January 15, 2010

The Spirit Hunt

December 7th, 2009

When I woke up, I immediately started strapping on my gear. We needed to be at the hotel asap, and I really didn't want to be the one keeping a bunch of angry (I wonder if there are any other kind?) werewolves waiting. I had enough of their kin pissed at me already. I walked past Ori's room as I stalked down the hall to the living area, only to stop half way there, turn around and back track to stand in his doorway, hands on my hips. He was sitting with his back to the door in front of a flimsy easel, putting the finishing touches on a canvas in front of him. It smelled strongly of blood.

I ignored the ache in the pit of my stomach, the restless rumble of the beast, and examined the piece. It wasn't a great painting, and the smell was coming from the red areas, presumably painted with blood, as if the scene wasn't macabre enough on its own. What I was looking at was a static representation of an almost identical scene I had watched in a bowl of blood the night before. There were minor differences, the 'wrong' looking man wasn't talking with the woman, but he was still there.. the shadow's weapon wasn't clear, but that's difficult to portray on canvas, especially for an amateur I'd imagine.

(((Players note: click on image to enlarge. Thanks to Ori's player for this digtal painting!))

"I saw it and felt like I had to paint it."
My eyes flicked away from the painting to briefly fall on Ori, then back to the painting. He was watching me, and probably had been since I stopped at the door.
I stayed quiet for a moment longer, taking it in with a thoughtful frown. Father Nico's gift to Ori made a little more sense now.
"I saw it too. Though mine was a little different. And in monochrome.. We'll talk about it later. We need to head out, and this will probably need a lengthy discussion." Before he could respond I turned and strode down the hallway, fighting to focus my thoughts on the upcoming encounter, instead of how sweet Ori's blood smelled.

We arrived at the hotel roughly on time and headed inside. There was a woman at the hotel bar who looked like she had no business being there. She had grease smeared across one cheek, dirt and grime so deeply embedded in her fingernails that no amount of washing would get it out, and her clothing was stained with oil and gunk. She looked like she probably worked more hours at the machine shop located next door than the hotel. But no one seemed to care.

That was probably because the hotel bar was currently empty.

She nodded to us as we entered, exiting the bar and motioning down the hallway with a jerk of her head. She led us to a partially concealed door (not that the door was secret, but the door to the basement isn't one management generally would want guests trying to open) that led down to the basement, where the wolves awaited. The basement was furnished like a game room, complete with comfortable seating, pool table, minibar, and mood lighting.

Over the next 15 minutes a few more people trickled in, including Calvin and his pack mate from the Slaughterhouse 5 whose name I wasn't sure of, Southpaw, and a few others I didn't know. Sansome was there, and Ori made small talk with a few others. I heard one call himself 'Sleepless William'. Apparently every pack in the city had sent as many representatives as they could afford to send.

With one exception. I stood silently as a few of the wolves bitched that none of the Architects of Steel had showed, apparently not willing to help in an area of Santore territory, even if it would effect the whole city if Pain of Animals escaped. Some of the wolves seemed especially bitter about this. It seemed childish to me that the Architects would be so petty.. but then, I never did fully understand werewolf politics. Or werewolves.

The next few minutes consisted of Sansome organizing everyone and giving out assignments. Our group was going to come from the south end. The only hiccup was a brief argument as to who would come from the East. Apparently too many people claimed it. I didn't understand the difference one way or the other.. again.. werewolves. What the fuck. I felt like I needed an interpreter even though they were all speaking English.

After a few minutes of planning, the woman from the bar came downstairs carrying a case. She set it on the table, sliding the catches, and opened the lid to reveal 4 metal medallions with unfamiliar carvings. Sansome nodded to her, picked up the medallions and handed one to me, Nadi, Gio, and Nobody. "These will allow you to step over."
"Will we be able to hurt them?" I asked.
He nodded. "These will also allow your weapons to hurt the spirits. It will also work once to call one of us to your aid, if you need it. Someone will answer the call if we're able. We need to make it to the center of the district before sunrise, that's where the disturbances are emanating from.. or else you'll be thrown out. These will only last until then." I vehemently hoped we were done long before sunrise.

It wasn't long after that that we headed out to the district. As we left, I caught sight of Sansome sliding a briefcase to the woman (who, as far as I could tell, was completely human). When she popped it open, I could see it was full of cash. Well fuck. Expensive little necklaces.

When we reached the south end of the district, Theo and Davaraux were waiting for us. Sansome pulled a full length mirror from the trunk and set it up in front of us. "You go." He nodded to Ori, who returned the gesture, pulled out a small pocket mirror, and disappeared. "Who's first?" Sansome asked.
Nadi volunteered.
"Stand in front of the mirror. Now I want you to look deep into your reflection. Very deep. Look deeper..." And he planted a hand on her back and shoved her into the mirror. Only she didn't break it, or smash her face into it, she fell into it like a portal.. and she was gone. I went next. I walked up and stood in front of the mirror.
"Okay now look dee..." He rolle his eyes. "Okay..so make yourself HAVE a reflection to look deeply into." He said with an exasperated sigh.
I held back a smirk, sharpened my reflection, and went through the same process as Nadi. Ori was waiting on the other side. He caught me as I stumbled through into the spirit world.

Everyone made it over fine. Sansome and Davaraux took off in another direction and we were left to face the hordes of spirits in front of us. The world looked odd. Everything seemed to have a life of its own. We stood in a river of rotting blood up to our shins with the meat packing district spread out before us like some twisted empire. Ori's sticks, Theo's keris, and Gio's shotgun all looked strange. Giovanni looked as though he was outlined in something, but the outline didn't quite match up to his actual proportions. I didn't have much time to examine the scene. The spirits knew we were there.

They approached us like waves on an ocean of blood. Pig spirits, as far as we could see, skinned faces leering grotesquely. I wondered how in the fuck we were going to wade through them all to get to the heart of the city. Surely it would take us a fuckin' week.. and I was pretty sure the sun still rose in the spirit world.

But we went to meet them. I may not always (or ever) like some of the people I spend my nights with, but in dangerous situations, times when the likelihood of death is high, if not probable... none of them are cowards. Every one of us faced down the torrent of malicious spirits with a determined face (or a highly anticipatory smirk, depending on who you were looking at) with weapons at the ready.

The pigs were on us in seconds. In a blur of speed, several things happened, almost at once. Pigs lunged at Ori, their teeth bared and already bloody. He fell back, not in retreat, but into a defensive posture that caused the attack to roll harmlessly off his shoulder. It also had something to do with the hazy visage of a ghost that flared up in front of him, knocking the pig aside, then winking out again. I'd have been more surprised if I'd had time to be. I wasn't sure if this was new, or just an effect of being in the spirit realm. I had seen Nadi doing her hand motions before we engaged the pigs.. so it seemed likely the ghostly armor was her doing.

Nobody (who was one of us who had the smirk, of course) pulled some of his gravity defying acrobatic shit that I was always silently jealous of and lept on top of one of the pigs, burying a long knife into the back of its neck. He yanked the knife out and used the momentum to throw himself into a back flip and landed with a foot on two pigs, standing side by side, and shoved one knife into each spirit. He was so quick the pigs never even had time to react before they became nothing but...well..nothing. They pretty much exploded, and ceased to exist. Nobody was back in his initial position almost before we could tell he'd left, and the look on his face said he was enjoying himself immensely.

The second that Nobody was out of the line of fire, Gio had leveled his weird ass looking shot gun at the oncoming assault. He held it with one hand, the other still on his cane for support and said in a low voice that seemed to carry over the entire battlefield, "Dumah..." The writing etched into the barrel glowed red. "SCREAM!" And he pulled the trigger.

What spewed from that gun wasn't the product of shotgun shells and gun powder. It can only be described as a swath of pure destruction. It looked like pure fiery wrath spewing out of the barrels. It burned with a heat that was not fire, but concentrated rage. Like the gun was channeling all the hurt, anger, pain, hatred and cruelty around it into a malleable and violent attack. The shotgun had become a cannon of savagery. It cut down the front FEW lines of pigs with disturbing efficiency. We were able to make impressive headway towards the city center because of it. My main thought at the time, though, wasn't about that. It was much less analytical. It was something like..."Holy fucking mother of GOD! Where did he get THAT?!" I'm a profound thinker, really.

During all this, Theo was doing his own version of mage voodoo, as was Nadi. I think it was their support magic that allowed us to take so many blows and remain mostly unscathed.

Spirits lunged at Nobody in retaliation, but he nimbly sidestepped them, leaving them vulnerable to the tire iron that Becca brought down with impressive force. It ladned against the pigs skull with a wet 'THUNK' caving in its face. The pigs were fast, so I made myself faster. I leveled my semi-auto at a pig that was in mid-leap. I took my time to line up the perfect shot. I was, after all, moving exponentially faster than the pig. The time taken to aim was mere milliseconds, and when I pulled the trigger, the pig exploded into oblivion. I didn't stop there. gun I spotted another pig gathering itself to attack. Right as the bullet left the chamber I swung the pistol around and fired again. Unfortunately, the recoil fucked me up and the second bullet never landed. I could speed my movements, but not those of the firearm.

Ori went at one with his sticks, but it glanced harmlessly off the things shoulder as it went after Theo. Its sharpened hooves cut through his ghostly armor and left a moderately deep gash in his arm, and the pig promptly died as Nobody slit its and one of its companions throats. Theo grimaced but didn't give ground. If anything, he seemed to start acting quicker to reapply his armor.

Giovanni growled low in his throat, a disturbingly bestial sound, and suddenly shifted upward. Giant black wings unfurled from his back, forward sweeping horns erupted from his forehead, and he grew to about 10 feet tall. His voice became deeper and more booming as he leveled his shotgun again. "You fucking asked for it." as he fired the devastating weapon and cut another path through the ranks. Gio glanced back at Cheshire, who had been sitting in the back this whole time. "You just gonna SIT back there?!" The cat glared at him. "You haven't fulfilled your end of the deal." Gio growled. "I'm a little busy!" Chesh just glared harder. "Then I suggest you make it quick." Gio's eyes burned with angry fire as he turned his focus back to the enemy.

One spirit that had avoided the onslaught hunkered down, and its back rippled and exploded outward. Dozens of carrion birds shot up into the sky, wheeled, and dive bombed Giovanni and Theo. The birds must have hit hard, because I smelled the fresh blood well up from the shallow gashes on them both as they threw up their arms to shield their eyes.

Pigs closed in on Becca and me, too close for firearms, so I pulled out my blades and took out two more. Becca took to another. It was less impressive than the way Nobody does it, but it got the job done. Ori followed suit, decimating another with blunt force trauma. It was then that the spirit decided to change things up a bit.

Pigs started to jump..on top of each other. The carrion birds started flying in quick circles, forming a spiral downwards until they were re-engulfed by the pigs. There was s sickening sound of bones snapping and wet flesh tearing.. and a new enemy stood up. He was 12 feet tall, and dressed in a butchers apron, covered in old blood. His head was that of a pigs, skinned and dead. He held a huge meat cleaver in his right hand, and his attitude was NOT friendly.

Nobody and Gio didn't even wait for it to finish forming before his shotgun caused the butcher's shoulder to explode in a shower of gore, and Nobody's knives bit into its other arm. The wounds immediately began to close up again. Giovanni went to one knee and drew a quick symbol on the ground, it flared a sickly green. "Fine. Here's my end of the deal." He said as he stood to face the monster again. As far as I could tell, nothing happened.

It swung that cleaver with deadly force, forcing Theo to take a step back under the shear fury of the blow, blood seeping from his wounds. But both he and Nadi made with more of their mage voodoo. I had the feeling once again that if it weren't for their shields, we'd already have massive casualties.

This thing was big, but then, the last time we fought something this big, he'd been an ancient Egyptian god. I tried not to think about the fact that we'd had all of Chicago helping us as I rushed in and pulled my knives across the back of its leg in an attempt to hamstring the motherfucker. Becca and Ori were right behind me, bringing weapons down on his kneecap. None of us succeeded in bringing him down. He just knit the wounds back together and kept swingin'.

It swung again, but not at us closest to him.. but at Gio. The cleaver forced its way through the shields and into his gun arm. But the shields had taken away most of the blows strength, and it only left a wound a couple inches deep, instead of severing his arm and half of his torso.

I glimpsed Nobody slip round behind the beast and lost sight of him. I caught a flash of metal as Nobody jumped up and buried both knives in the creatures back. He hung on. As his knives hit home, the beast howled.. a grating sound that nearly caused my ear drums to rupture.. and started to change. Its head fell forward and shifted lower, down to its chest, and two more arms erupted from its back. Giovanni fired his shotgun again, aiming right at its chest. What none of us expected was the creature spinning swiftly around and putting Nobody into the path of the blast (god knows why he hung on to the fucking knives..). Things seemed to move in slow motion as that beam of pure carnage flew straight at his unprotected back.

There was no way he'd survive it.

In a flash and a roar of the shotgun, Nobody was gone. But not in bloody pieces, and not dissolved out of existence, but 20 feet up in the air being dragged through the sky by a black winged cat. He had not, thankfully, taken the full force of the blow. But he was pretty fucked up. Blow poured off of his unconscious form from countless gashes and abrasions. Cheshire fell from the sky like a bullet (I didn't even see him take off) and laid the changeling gently on the ground a few yards behind us, in relative safety.

If my heart still beat it would have frozen in my chest at the sight of a comrade's certain death (like him or not, he's still a comrade), only beating again once that death had somehow been avoided. I cursed and bolted to him. I skidded to a halt at his side and immediately started dressing his wounds with strips of his own clothes and supplies I'd brought with me. He was still unconscious and bleeding pretty heavily, his real blood mingling with the rotting spiritual blood he lay in.

As I fell into my old role as medic, I kept one eye on the battlefield. Everyone else had recovered quickly from the scare. Ori attacked the left side, bringing his sticks against its arm. He managed to cause the arm to explode outward in chunks of decayed meat. It simply reached around to the front with one of its new arms, and now held the cleaver with two hands. As though one armed blows hadn't hurt enough. Fuck.

It gave a mighty swing, going for Gio in an attack that probably would have cleaved the Lucifuge in half, but right before it reached him, it only cut empty air. Gio was suddenly 2 feet further back than he had been seconds before, and Theo's aura was blazing. Giovanni recovered quickly from the unexpected movement, nodded briefly to Theo and took aim one more time. The shotgun roared, but instead of hitting it full force in center mass, we all watched as the cleaver cracked and shattered as the blow tore through the weapon. Gio hadn't been aiming for its chest.

The butcher paused, looking at the cleaver with empty eye sockets, and let it clatter to the ground. Skin and muscle rolled and bubbled, and in an instant its arms had transformed into wicked spikes. All three of them. I wasn't sure destroying that cleaver was the best idea ever. For the first time, it spoke, but I'll be damned if I could understand it. Ori translated, yelling over the roar of battle. "I will rain destruction down upon you!" And the butcher took the arms-made-spikes and slammed them, one by one, into the pig head on its chest. Then its flesh started to swell and churn.

"Get to cover!" Ori screamed, grabbing Becca and pulling her along with him. I picked up Nobody and booked it towards the closet building, about 20 yards away. I made it there in seconds. Gio was right behind me, no longer in need of a cane in his demon form. Theo had opened a portal and dragged Nadi through it with him. We hunkered down just as we heard an earth shattering explosion of meat and bone.

We waited for an impact of projectiles that never came. As we all slowly peeked outside, we could see two men standing in front of the place the butcher had been, back to us. As we moved from our cover and towards them, we could tell it was Alexi and Nick. They were working together to form a container for a huge mass of flesh and splintered bone.

Nadi nodded to her brothers. "Thanks." He returned the nod, expression strained. "Anytime." Alexi scowled and said, "This time." I also thanked them, and Alexi just glared at me. "Fucking go!" So we did.

We were able to get several hundred yards before we came across the next wave of defenses. They were bigger. They were bulls. Horns slick with gore. I saw Gio survey the incoming army and frown as he reached into his shirt and touched his pendant briefly.

We heard them before we saw them. Joyous laughing echoed across the landscape, completely at odds with the sounds of death that surrounded us. It was jarring. We kept pushing forward as Calvin and his pack mate seemed to appear out of no where and began cutting a path through the bulls. The look on Calvin's face was pure unadulterated elation as he tore through ranks of malicious spirits. They gave us enough time to get through the majority of them, but there were so many. All of us seemed to feel the nagging urge to get to that city center as soon as possible. We were all on the same wavelength without ever having to say a word. We'd use the coins. If the werewolves couldn't take the time to help, then we'd cut our own path, but if they were in a spot to slingshot us forward, there was no reason not to let them.

I don't know who touched the next coin, but someone must have, because we heard the sound of familiar thunder as a streak of red fire impacted on the ground a few meters in front of us, bull spirits torn to pieces and tossed up into the air by the concussive blast. We never actually saw Davaraux, but his weapon was unmistakable. What we did see was Sleepless William walking calmly through the spirits. The look on his face was one of deep, strained, concentration. Bulls fell and disappeared before him. It took a few more yards before we could see why. He was surrounded by a small pack of ghostly wolves, teeth stained with what I could only assume to be the blood of the spirits. They provided enough support that we could push through the bulls with few problems.

We were getting closer. But Pain of Animals hadn't used up its reservoir of defenses quite yet. We came to a place where the blood had pooled. It did not flow like a rotting river as it had in other areas. The pool was perfectly round, and roughly 15 feet across (from what I could tell. but a lake in the middle of a river is a bit tricky to measure accurately)

We slowed our approach, weapons still drawn. We stepped to the edge, and before we could start our debate on how to get passed the obstacle, the surface began to boil... and a shape came straight up out of the water. It reminded me how the lady of the lake had risen so effortless from Lake Michigan. Only where she had been beautiful and ethereal, this creature was bloody and radiated violence... which.. was still beautiful.. in a completely different way.

I think we all tensed at once for an assault. I tightened my grip on my knife and traced my fingertips across my medallion with the other. We watched (it all happened very quickly) as she raised a hand in the air, droplets of blood pulling themselves free of the pond and rising into the air at her bidding. We watched as they lengthened, forming into long pointed spears that seemed to hover there for an eternity, aimed at our hearts... and yet her expression was pure seduction.

She threw her hand towards us and the blood obeyed, racing towards each of us at blinding speed, and we had no doubt they'd be sharp as knives.

But the black blur of muscle and fur was faster. I hadn't seen many werewolves in their war forms, but this one I recognized immediately as she used a 3 foot long piece of jagged glass to slice clean through every single one of those blood spikes. In one blow. Roxanne landed on the far side of the lake, crouched and ready. She snarled at the spirit, jerking her head at us to move on and while I was grateful (and surprised, where the hell had she come from?), I had no desire to stick around and watch. We let her handle it, and kept going.

More fucking bulls. Fucking HELL. We could see our goal right in front of us. A giant, towering building that looked like a manufacturing or power plant of some kind. All the blood flowed out from it. I think Nobody used his coin this time, because we all heard, "We are already here." And turned to see Blind Larissa with a hand on Nobody's shoulder.

Needless to say, we made it through those bulls in no time flat.

We barged our way into the plant at the same moment that Sansome entered from the other side. The place was not what I'd expected. A giant heart was suspended in the middle of the room by an unimaginable number of hoses, cables and other industrial crap. It was the size of a small sedan. It looked more like a bovine heart than a human one, and it was nearly black. It beat rhythmically, presumably using the tubes and hoses as veins and arteries. There was no blood on the floor, and there was no other machinery in the place, as though it had been built just to house this giant heart.

Sansome stood beside us as we surveyed the situation. I looked at him and pointed at the heart with a knife. "So what now? Destroy it?"
Sansome shook his head and said, "No. If we destroy it, the entire area will destabilize, which would end up being even worse."
Well shit. "Is there any way to weaken it then?" I asked. Surely we didn't come this far only to not be able to do anything about this thing...
"Maybe. I'm gong to try." And with that, Sansome began using his huge knife (we could actually see the spirit inside of it here) to carve a deep circle in the concrete around the heart. We watched silently as he dragged the blade through the floor, making his way back around to where he started.

He was almost done before the shit hit the fan.

He had about two feet left to go before the circle was closed when the heart gave one thunderous beat, louder than all the rest. Black waves of energy flooded off from the heart throwing Sansome across the room to slam into the far wall. I think he dented the metal wall.

Thankfully, we had remained alert. Theo reacted first, bolting to the spot of unfinished circle and slamming his keris into the ground, muscles straining to pull the blade through the hard concrete. The circle closed with an audible 'pop' and glowed for a brief instant. Of course, that pop might have also been the noise made when one of the tubes attached to the heart pulled itself free from the wall. It writhed down, quick as a serpant and snaked itself around Theo, rotted blood gushing out of the now open end. The keris fell to the ground and was carried to the other side of the circle by the flow.

It was Nobody who threw himself through the air, using his falling momentum to drag both of his blades down through the metal tentacle. The metal made a terrible screeching noise as it was torn apart. The tube fell limply to the ground, its blood flow becoming nothing more than a trickle. It gave a final spasm before laying still. Theo gave Nobody a brief nod in thanks. It was all they had time for.

Sansome was at Theo's side in seconds, winded, but otherwise unscathed.
"Thanks. If I tell you what to do, can you carve the symbols on the other side?"
Theo nodded. "Yeah. Show me."
Sansome drew in the air and Theo repeated his hand motions. Movement from the corner of my eye alerted me, and I whirled around to see the keris, moving by itself, to carve the symbol Theo was drawing in the air. That was certainly a handy trick..

As Sansome and Theo moved around the circle, carving lines into the ground, another pipe yanked itself free and flew towards Giovanni. He easily side stepped it, but upon missing, it reared back like a snake, coming to rest right above the heart. The heart pulsed several more times, again knocking the two stone carvers back out of the circle, just before Theo could finish the last symbol. The keris lay still, yards away from anyone who could wield it, and Theo was too disoriented to do a damn thing about it. The heart began to pound harder and faster, a thin trickle of completely black festering blood began to trickle from the tube above it, hissing as it hit the concrete and ate away the hard floor. It was gearing up to completely fuck us all. A feeling of dread and urgency slid through us all.

At this point, several things happened at once.

The heart gave one massive contraction, and time seemed to slow down. I saw the black sludge burst out of the tube with explosive force in a wide spray pattern. Gio and I threw ourselves out of the line of fire, but I could tell no one else was moving fast enough to avoid the attack. The flesh would be dissolved off their bones if that gore touched them, I knew that sure as anything.

As I dodged, my shadow did not follow me. Instead, it took off like a shot, lengthening towards the circle, passing under the heart and rising off the floor as it did so. As my shadow became three dimensional it also began forming human features as it crouched on the ground. One hand as pale as death held the keris and drove it into the half finished symbol, and with two quick, simple strokes, completed it.

The circle activated, white light shooting up out of the carvings. The black sludge that was hurtling towards everyone else smashed violently against the newly formed barrier and evaporated as if it had never been there at all. Everyone was frozen in place, fully away that catastrophe had narrowly been avoided. My shadow, now, no longer a shadow at all (in fact, my normal shadow had now returned) stood, keris in hand. Giuseppe faced Sansome, proud as ever. "There. I did something."

I watched Sansome's teeth clench, and his voice sounded more like a growl. "We are in your debt." He spit the words out as though they tasted foul.
Giuseppe smirked ever so slightly. "Yes. You do." He tossed the keris to Theo and walked out of the plant.

"That sonofabitch.." Gio said with an amused smirk. I just shook my head, looking at the floor as I did, to hide the smile. God knows how long he'd been hiding in my shadow, engineering this entire situation. He had responded to Sansome's challenge to get shit done in the only way he could. Indirectly. Giuseppe had used us to get the hunt called, then piggy backed over into the spirit realm on my shadow. Like that, no one but us would ever know he'd been involved.

The doors opened and more werewolves began to enter. I think it was all the spirit talkers... coming in to finish whatever it was that needed to be done to keep Pain of Animals in check.

We turned and walked out the door. Ori walked beside me and asked in a low voice, "So, uh.. how long has he been pretending to be your shadow?" I felt a rather nasty smirk spread across my face. "For the last couple weeks, at least." Ori proceeded to go slightly pale. Giuseppe had heard every word of what Ori had said about him. I didn't bother to tell him that Giuseppe was unlikely to give a shit. I enjoyed watching him sweat too much to ruin it.

When we walked out, I noticed that the river of blood was fading away. I also noticed a very angry werewolf yelling at Davaraux in a language I would never understand. Roxanne and Davaraux faced each other, Roxanne in her near-human form, in the midst of a more than just heated argument. The other werewolves stood around, mostly in human form, and watched solemnly. It seemed like it was something that needed to happen, judging by their facial expressions.

"Ori.. what are they saying?" I asked.
Ori proceeded to translate for us.

"Coward!" Roxanne bellowed.
"Watch your tongue." Davaraux growled.
"You dragged us here, leaving the locus unguarded! and whats worse, in hands of a mage!" Roxanne was nearly howling in rage. The mage she referred to was more than likely Bridgette.
"She'll take care of it." Davaraux responded.
"But she..is not..Uratha!" Roxanne yelled, each word louder and more angry than the last.
At that, Davaraux hung his head. "No, shes not.."
Roxanne sneered. "You're throat, old man."
Davaraux lifted his chin, exposing his throat to Roxanne. We turned our back on the rest of the scene. Not our business. But I didn't like it. They'd been vitally helpful. I didn't want to think what may have happened had they not been here to help us. But apparently that wasn't what was important to Roxanne.. and I couldn't even pretend to understand her motivations. Nadi frowned slightly and turned to the werewolf closest to us, one who's name I didn't know. "How do we exit?"

"Oh.. just break the medallions."

We all pulled out the medallions given to us. I think we were all eager to escape the werewolf pack drama. Nadi held her hand over hers, presumably to just decay it away.
"No! Stop!" Gio held out one hand in a frantic gesture. She looked up and quirked an eyebrow at him. "Why?"
"Because I need the pieces!" His expression was pleading.
She stared at him a moment longer, then gave a mostly imperceptible shrug, and snapped the medallion in her hands. We all did.

In an instant, we were all back where the whole thing had started, the meat packing district, and the cresent moon still hung high in the dark sky.

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