April 8, 2010

Infiltrating the Union of the Snake

(( More flashbacks. In this scene, Harper was waiting in the car as backup the entire time. However, this scene was awesome, so instead of doing it from her perspective, since she just sat there, It will be 3rd person. Asol and Goule were player characters that are no longer playing in the campaign.))

"So they're having you explore a 'haunted house'? What the fuck for?" Harper crossed her arms and leaned against the door frame of the confessional.

Tommy, Giuseppe, and Harper were gathered in the old church, the others either off doing other things, or in other parts of the church, unwilling to participate in this particular discussion. Giuseppe and Tommy had recently returned from a Union meeting, where they had posed as prospective members. Both looked the part, Tommy was only 19, and Giuseppe looked to be around 21. However, those in the group had quickly became skeptical that this was his real age.

Tommy was half sitting on the back of a pew, making a point not to look at Giuseppe, who sat on the steps to the altar, drawing in a sketch pad. "Not sure yet. We have to go in with a few other kids and check it out, and report back.."
Harper smirked at Tommy and Giuseppe. "Ghost hunting with Union kids. Sounds exciting."
Giuseppe quirked a brow at her over the top of his pad. "You're going to be our ride."

Her smirk wilted slightly around the edges, then finally dissolved into an annoyed frown. "So what's the deal with this Stone guy?"
"The kids talk about him like he's Jesus. Natalie got scared as shit when I asked her about him.. pretty sure he's our killer.. but no one, yet, knows where he is." Tommy said, thoughtfully.
"So why are all these kids so obsessed with this guy, if he's not even around?" She asked.
Giuseppe gave a small shrug. "He is, more than likely, supernatural in nature. It could explain the unnatural love the cult holds for him. Or they could just be brainwashed teenagers."
Harper snorted softly. "We're not lucky enough for it to just be brainwashing. What flavor you thinking?"
Giuseppe answered without looking up from his drawing. "Vampire, most likely. Maybe a mage.. but that is only speculation, as of yet."
Harper wrinkled her nose in distaste. "And what about this house? What's the deal with that place?"
Tommy just shrugged. "Supposedly haunted. Disappearances, noises, lights on at night when the house has been condemned for years.. the usual. That's all the info we have on it right now."
Harper fell silent, out of questions and smart ass comments.
After a moment, Giuseppe stood and walked back towards the rectory. "We leave in 20 minutes."


The house was an old, two story farm house. It looked sufficiently creepy, even in the middle of the day. The shutters were chipped and cracked, a few missing. Some of the windows were covered, others had no shutters over them. Oddly, All the glass was intact. There were even curtains. A once white rocking chair sat on the front porch, creaking in the breeze. It was disconcerting that the house showed no signs of vandalism.

Harper pulled the jeep onto the grass of the front yard, close enough for a quick escape, far enough back to survey the area. Not long after she pulled up, a beat up blue van pulled up and parked about 10 feet away, in the driveway. It was decorated with bad graffiti that was completely illegible to the layman, and was tattooed with numerous bumper stickers.

"Those your new friends?" Harper asked as she put the jeep into park. Tommy just grunted, and Giuseppe completely ignored the comment. They slid out of the car, and even Tommy looked grumpy.
"Keep your phones on. I'll call if I see anything from out here." She called after them as the car door shut.

Tommy and Giuseppe walked up towards the front of the house, pausing only briefly for the three kids who had piled out of the van to catch up. They all looked like goth band rejects, only one of which seemed like he wasn't stoned out of his mind, and instead, he wouldn't shut up.
"Hey, you remember the crew right? James, Kyle.. and I'm Asol. Tommy right? And.."
Asol paused, groping for Giuseppe's name. Giuseppe's eye gave one small twitch, and he turned towards the door. "Let us get this over with."
"Hey, sure man." Asol jumped up onto the porch and started prying off one of the address numbers with a pocket knife.

Giuseppe set his jaw, annoyed, and stalked up onto the porch, grabbing the door knob and turning. The door opened with a soft click. "Tommy, take the upstairs. You two, the back." The two teenagers turned, glassy eyed, and shuffled off to the back of the house.
"Hey, what about me?" Asol asked as he shoved the "3" into his pocket.
"Anywhere that is not close to me." And Giuseppe walked into the house.
"Whatever, dude." Asol followed on his heels.

The inside of the house was peculiarly clean. A layer of dust sat on everything, but the interior was completely devoid of the mess usually found in abandoned houses. There were no signs of squatters, or vermin, and the entire home was completely furnished with furniture and appliances that were several decades old.

Tommy went for the stairs. Asol crouched down and pulled a Crown Royal bag from his pocket. He dumped the contents onto the floor. A deck of tarot cards, a pendulum, and a few runes fell to the dusty wood. He cast the runes, picking up the pendulum and holding it by its leather cord. "Where should we look?"

The pendulum didn't move. It hung on the cord, pointing at the floor. Asol nodded once, put it down, and started digging at the floorboards with his pocket knife, trying to pull them up. All he succeeded in doing was raising the dust and sending himself into a coughing fit.

Giuseppe looked at him sharply from the living room. His voice was like ice. "Shut up and do something useful."

Asol shrugged, put his knife away, and started shuffling the tarot cards. He closed his eyes and drew one card, laying it face up on the dusty floor. It was the death card. He held the pendulum over the card. His eyes got rounder as the weight began to shake, then pulled forward, pointing directly at Giuseppe as he searched the downstairs. The weight followed him as he moved through the home.

Asol grinned widely, shoved all the tools back in the bag, and walked into the parlor where Giuseppe was inspecting the room.
"Hey.. are you dead?"
Giuseppe turned and stared at him incredulously. He pinched the bridge of his nose with two fingers and screwed his eyes shut. He spoke threw gritted teeth. "Go look in the garage."
Asol grinned as he turned to walk out of the room. "I'm gonna call you Deadboy!"
The only response was a monumentally irritated and restrained sigh.

Tommy moved through the upstairs as quietly as possible. The floor boards creaked and groaned in protest. The upstairs was just as pristine as the lower level, if not more so. The walls were covered with framed photographs of little girls playing outside. Oddly, the same girl never appeared in more than one picture. There were dozens of photos. The wall paper was pastel pink under all the dust. The place was eerily quiet.

He whirled sharply when he heard the sound of soft running footsteps.

Nothing. The dust hadn't even been disturbed. Nerves, probably. He took a deep breath and continued down the hall until something caught his eye. There was a bright spot of color on the door at the far end of the hall. He walked slowly down the corridor, a small knot forming in the pit of his stomach. He stopped in front of the door and exhaled a shaky breath. The door had a small, smeared red hand print.. in what might have been red paint, but was more likely drying blood. The door was also slightly ajar.

He drew his revolver from the pocket hidden in his jacket and stood to one side, pushing the door open slowly.

The sewing room was empty. Dying sunlight filtered in through the dirty window panes, refracting off the dust floating in the air giving the room a hazy, dreamlike look. A rocking chair sat in one corner, a bassinet in another, full of dolls. The entire room was white lace and pink trimmings. The sewing machine sat on its table, waiting for its owner to return. Beside it, sat a basket full of cloth, needles, and string. The whole room seemed to be suspended in time, simply waiting for someone to sit down at that machine.

Tommy walked over, frowning, and gingerly picked up one of the squares of cloth, squares that looked to be made for a quilt. But the cloth was too thick and heavy to be normal cotton or wool weave. It felt more like... very soft, thin leather.

Perplexed, Tommy shoved it in his pocket and walked out, eager to not be in the creepy, disconcerting room any longer than absolutely necessary. He couldn't shake the feeling that something was watching him.


Asol had finished with the garage, and had found nothing. He was quickly becoming convinced this place wasn't really haunted, which was a huge drag. What was he going to tell the others at the next meeting? Maybe he'd make shit up. Dead boy, on the other hand, was interesting as fuck. What luck being in the same group as that guy..

He was pulled from these thoughts by a faint sound of dripping. Dripping in a house that hadn't had water running in the pipes in years. Curious, he headed towards the kitchen. James and Kyle should've been done in there already but he hadn't heard a word from them. They probably went back to the van once Dead boy ordered them around the back. Kyle had been complaining that he was loosing his high. They probably never even came into the house.

He left the musty garage and turned down the short hall to the kitchen. Something smelled.. off. A faint wif of stank ass, with a weird underlying metallic scent. Maybe there was rotten food in the fridge. This place has probably been without power for awhile now. The other alternative never occurred to him.. until he stepped up to open the door to the kitchen. Asol's stomach fell into his feet when his shoe squeaked in the thick red liquid that was seeping under the french doors.


Harper sat in the jeep and waited. She was bored, and thinking about those kids annoying the shit out of Giuseppe had already lost its entertainment value. She sat, drumming her fingers on the steering wheel and watching the house.

But it was movement from the van, not the house, that caught her eye. She watched, and waited for it to repeat itself. Nothing. She frowned, pulling her gun out of its holster and laying it in her lap, safety off. The breeze picked up again for a moment, and she saw a tire swing swaying the wind and smiled slightly at her paranoia. But she didn't put the gun away.

She sunk low in the seat and turned back to the house. The dog tags beneath her shirt clinked softly, then turned ice cold. Cursing, she sat up and yanked them out to see frost forming on the edges. The stamped lettering had rearranged itself again.

It read, It thinks its alive. It's going to kill them.
"What? who? What the fuck are you talking about?" Harper's voice sounded silly to her, talking to no one in the car. But she knew he was there. He was always there. She just had no desire to use the drops to see and hear him. It was unsettling, and she had a limited supply. Or so she told herself.

The tags revealed nothing more. The stamped lettering reverted to normal, and the frost melted away. Harper looked back up at the house with a scowl. She let the tags drop, on the outside of her shirt this time, and sat low in the seat again, arms crossed. Driscoll never ceased annoying the shit out of her, even, or maybe especially, when giving her 'helpful' tips. But she focused her attention on the house again, scanning it more seriously than she had been before.

Which was the only reason she saw it. She bolted completely upright in her seat when she noticed a small figure, about the size of a 6 year old, dart quickly across one of the grime covered upstairs windows. What the FUCK was that? She grabbed for her cell and punched the speed dial with more than a little urgency.

When Giuseppe answered the call she didn't even give him a moment to speak.

"Unless you guys are having races on your hands and knees in the upstairs hallway, there is something in there with you. Get the fuck OUT. Now."


Asol slowly pushed the door to the kitchen open. It might have creaked, had the hinges not been dripping blood. The blood had not been seeping out from under the door, as he'd first though. No, its was a thick trail, like someone had been dragged through the doorway as they gushed the red stuff onto the tile. The trail led into the kitchen, more specifically, to the fridge. There were spatters all over the wall paper, smeared hand prints on the counters.. and a miasma of prints and smears on the door to the fridge. He could hear a soft dripping as the blood leaked out of the fridge and pooled below it. He approached the appliance slowly, the kitchen seeming to stretch out before him, so the walk was long and slow. The blood seemed to entrance him, and he had to see inside. The soft dripping had become a deafening roar. The rational part of his brain was screaming at him to run, but the morbid curiosity kept his feet moving forward, and kept his voice from crying out for help.

His hand was shaking when he reached for the fridge's handle. When he pulled, and the latch clicked, the door practically flew open from the pressure being exerted on it from the inside.

The smell got to him before his brain had the chance to process what he saw. Asol promptly vomited all over the gore covered linoleum. When he finished, and his brain caught up, he just started retching again at the sight. His band mates had been twisted and shoved inside the fridge, limbs, backs and necks at awkward and impossible angles, bones protruded from the skin in a dozen places. Kyle's eyeballs had popped from the sockets and hung like grotesque, lumpy, tears on his cheeks. The blood was everywhere, and the stench of voided bowels just made him retch harder, tears coming to his eyes.

He wasn't sure how long he knelt there, retching, but after what felt like hours, and was probably only a few seconds, Giuseppe ran into the room, Tommy on his heels, both skidding on the wet floor. Giuseppe cursed loudly, and Tommy barely managed to fight down his gorge at the gruesome mess. Giuseppe grabbed Asol under the arms and they ran from the house. Had Asol not been in a state of shock, he may have noticed that Giuseppe was running much faster than any person's legs should be able to carry them.

They burst from the back door, and Asol yanked himself from Giuseppe's grasp, stumbling onto the grass, and over to the van. Before anyone could stop him, he yanked open the sliding door. Mark was gone.

"Fuck me!" Tommy yelled as the kid tripped towards the van. He grabbed him by the waist, threw him over his shoulder, and fireman carried him to the Jeep, which Harper already had running. He dumped him unceremoniously into the back seat and jumped in after him.

"GO!" Giuseppe commanded from the front. Harper didn't need to be told twice. She slammed it into reverse and peeled out so fast that she probably left half her tires on lawn. She hadn't even given Tommy a chance to close the door. It wasn't until they were several miles away that Harper slowed the car to a speed that wouldn't get her pulled over.

Asol was sitting in the back taking in huge gulps of air, eyes showing mostly whites.

"Someone put a blanket on him and give him some water before he goes any more into shock please. Its all in the back." Harper said, watching Asol in the rearview mirror.

Once Tommy finished the doctoring, Harper glanced at Giuseppe. "So what the fuck happened in there?"
He opened his mouth to speak and Asol cut him off, babbling.
"They were in the fridge! something folded them up and put them in the FRIDGE! And it took Mark! He was asleep in the van, and he's GONE!"
Harper grimaced. So she had seen movement. She inwardly cursed herself and tried very hard not to think what would have happened if she'd been the target, not the sleeping teenager.

Tommy held out the small square of cloth to Harper. "I found this in the sewing room, with a lot of other pieces. Can you tell what it is? Feel like leather to me."
Harper scowled and took the cloth, examining it in short glances as she drove. "How should I know? I'm not a taxid...oh what the FUCK." She threw the cloth into the backseat at Tommy. "That's skin Tommy. Human skin. God, that woman was crazy!"

Tommy gingerly pick up the cloth and put it back in his pocket. "What woman?"
Harper rubbed her hand on her jeans vigorously. "The woman who lived there. I did some research before we left. There was some crazy old maid that lived there who was always trying to get the little girls in the neighborhood to come over. No one really paid it any mind, she was nice enough, and held little tea parties and shit.. but the little girls started to disappear. Rumor said that she wanted a daughter so badly that she killed them out of spite.. so others would be just as miserable as she was."

"And you didn't tell us this before?" Tommy asked with a frown.
She just shrugged. "Didn't seem all that important at the time." she said lamely.

"Apparently the rumors are slightly off. I believe Tommy's discovery would indicate she was doing something much different with those little girls." Giuseppe said without looking at anyone.

Harper and Tommy both turned a little green.
"What? What did she do?" Asol looked from one person in the car to the next, confused. "And who the hell is this?" he said, gesturing his water bottle to Harper. "We weren't supposed to involve outsiders you know. Who are you guys?"

Giuseppe rolled his eyes. "Harper, if you would?"
She smirked and nodded. "Tommy, in the med kit, 3rd one from the left. Just do it anywhere."
Tommy dug around and pulled out a syringe, sure to hold it where Asol couldn't see it. As Asol began questioning the stone wall that was Harper, Tommy jammed it into his shoulder and depressed the plunger. Asol was out in seconds.

"That was just a sedative right?" Tommy asked skeptically as Asol relaxed into the car seat.

"Yeah, sure." Harper said quietly. She cleared her throat and quickly changed the subject. "So what are we going to do with him?"

Giuseppe sighed, pained. "Take him back to the church. As idiotic as he seems, he may have information we could find useful."

"Just the way I wanted to spend my evening." Harper muttered to herself as she pulled onto the highway.


Asol was just coming around when they hauled him into the church. "Oh man.. I think I'm gonna puke.. where's the bathroom?" Harper pointed, and he bolted into the room and slammed the door shut behind him. They heard the lock 'click' softly. Harper perked an eyebrow at Tommy, who just shrugged.

"Who the fuck is that?" Goule grumbled from the front pew.
"Union member. May have some info on this Stone guy." Tommy said absently as he went to retrieve his toolbox.

After a few minutes, Goule frowned at the door. "He sure is taking his sweet time.."
"Mmm.." Harper nodded. There were no more sounds of vomiting, and no water running. Thankfully, that bathroom had no exterior windows for Asol to crawl through.
"Why do we keep picking up runaways?" Jaleel asked in a sour voice. Karl grunted in agreement. No one answered them.

After a good 10 minutes, Asol reappeared. The bathroom didn't smell of vomit.
"So who are you guys anyway?"

"That's not really important, Asshole."
"Asol." He corrected. Harper just rolled her eyes and continued.
"We need to know what you know about Stone."
"You're fucking spies! I fucking knew it. Well fuck off. I'm not talking." He crossed his arms and set his jaw, resolute.

Everyone looked at each other with the same bored annoyance. Asol took the opportunity to bolt for the church door.

"I am so tired of this shit." Harper growled. She unholstered her pistol, took aim, and shot him in the calf as he ran down the aisle. She expected him to fall with a minimum amount of damage to the leg.

But another shot roared from slightly behind her, and she watched as a .40 caliber round took Asol in the thigh. He fell with a scream and started bleeding out all over the floorboards. She whirled on Goule, then thought better of it and turned to help the kid.
"What the FUCK are you doing?!" She screamed at Goule, even as she bounded down the altar steps.
He shrugged and put the gun away. "I was aiming for his head..."

Harper slid to a hault next to Asol and started barking orders at people. He was unconscious and bleeding out quickly. In seconds, she had her kit, and a mess of other supplies to fix the gushing wound. It took 45 minutes, and two rounds of CPR, but she managed to get him stabilized. When she finally sat back on her heels and exhaled heavily, most of the eyes in the room where on her. She glared at them and wiped her sweating forward with the back of her wrist, her hands currently caked in blood.
"Yeah. There's a reason you keep me around." She said with a scowl. "Fuckers.." She muttered to herself.

"We need to search him while he's still out. Everywhere. And I ain't doin' it." Karl grunted from the back.
Harper glared at him, stripped off the dirty gloves, and grabbed a new pair. No sense arguing. He was right for once.

The cavity search was fruitful. Harper pulled a small, rolled up note inside a plastic bag from the kids ass. It was probably what he had been doing in the bathroom for so long. "Here Karl, catch." She tossed it at him, and he stepped to the side and sneered at her as the note landed on the floor where he'd been standing. He didn't move to pick it up. Tommy rolled his eyes at the exchange, retrieved a pair of gloves and picked up the note. He read it silently to himself, nodded, then read it aloud to all of us.

"We need to prepare the ceremony. I will meet you at the Temple of Tezcatlipoca. Dispose of the messenger."

Harper looked at the kid and sighed heavily, rubbing her eyes with now clean hands. "We can't let him leave, can we?" She asked no one in particular.

Jaleel shrugged. "At least we know where Stone is going now."
"We do? Where the fuck is the 'Temple of Tezcatlipoca'? Because I've never heard of it." Goule said as he cleaned his gun.
Harper raised a brow at him and scowled. "Fuck if I know, but if I were to make an educated guess, I'd say somewhere in Mexico, genius."

Giuseppe pushed himself off the wall he'd been leaning on and walked into the Rectory. His words filtered back to them as he shut the door. "To Mexico then."

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