SESSION: June 26th, 2013
CHARACTERS: Alistair, Douglas, Felicity
SETTING: New York City, approximately Christmastime 2027
As they head back to the pawn shop, Felicity notices Dog keeps glancing up at the sky. When she asks him (though their mind link) what’s wrong, he says that it is a full moon, which means when the sun sets, he needs to be away from the others, as he will change.
Confused, Felicity asks what he will change into, and he replies “one of you”, though apparently he feels it would not be safe for him to be around them. When she questions the group, Lea confirms that he does have to go away from them on the three nights (the full moon, the night before and after) each month.
They ask Dog to go find his friend, Seamus, and bring him back to the pawn shop before he has to go away for the night. Dog heads off to the water (where Manhattan once lay) to find him.
As the others continue back to the pawn shop, the residents of that time period (Lea, Damon, Sara, Lyander) seem amazed that Alistair, Doug and Felicity came through an area that is full of overgrowth and foliage without having to fight the entire time.
They’re even more amazed when they accompany them through the area, and after Felicity draws her sword (well, the Fallen Angel‘s sword), the plants actually move out of the way (as much as they can) for the group to pass through (though Douglas notes that, once they’ve passed through, the plants return to the original state behind them.)
En route, they hear some strange sounds and decide to investigate. Several streets over, they find what appears to be a golem of some sort, forming out of plant life. It is easily twelve to fifteen feet high and looks that will be almost as wide once it is done forming, though the process is a long one.
The inhabitants tell the newcomers that these are not unheard of, that the plants form these things to destroy obstacles, buildings and the like, from time to time. Deciding that the golem was not an immediate threat, the group all agreed to try to keep an eye on it for now.
Returning to the pawnshop, they led the others inside, though Douglas decided to take watch atop the roof, from where he could see the golem and observe the progress of its formation.
Meanwhile, Dog had found where Seamus had gone; through her link, Felicity was able to see a makeshift generator of some sort running, with a large cable or tube going into the water. Before long, a person in primitive underwater surfaced.
As he removed his suit, it seemed apparent that it was, in fact, Alistair’s great-great-granduncle Seamus, though he was younger than the last time they saw him, some three decades ago. (Felicity was still able to recognise him, as she had met him in the 1940s, when he was in his early forties, back in UP FROM BELOW.)
Dog led Seamus back to the pawn shop, and then departed. A family reunion (of sorts) was had; Seamus explained that his age was a result of Felicity’s birthday party – when everyone was transformed into their costumes, he was a young World War One soldier (something he had been in real life in his late teens.)
Unlike everyone else, when they were returned to their homes and their beds, Seamus woke up to find that he was still his nineteen year old self! He quickly slipped out (fearing that if people found out that he’d been reversed in age, the government would snatch him and stick him in a medical lab for experimentation.)
Seamus filled in some blanks – it was the occultists who banded together when the giant monster was making its way across the nation. They were the ones who, using the animated/sentient flower from Seamus’ garden (the very same plant that Seamus had presented a cutting from to Felicity for her birthday) to awaken the plants all about the world to fight, and destroy, the monster, stopping it from reaching the Pacific ocean. (It was also because of Felicity’s link to the flower that the plants had not attacked them directly.)
Additionally, he says that Felicity went to Faerie with others (presumably Smythe, Festigkeit, etc), suggestinging that they must have known what was going to happen and turning their backs on Earth – this is a sore point with Seamus and one he brought up on more than one occasion.
Now that they had four people with a connection to Diego, they could use the tablet to contact him again. This time, they found him several months after the last time they spoke to him. Diego was not in possession of *Oxossi*’s stake (having given it to Smythe so he could use it on the mission to destroy the Nazi weapon, the “body of a dead god”) and, as such, the connection was not as strong as Christmas Eve.
After they were able to convey their situation to him, Diego immediately lamented not having the stake, for if he had, he could use the link with them to heal the wound of time in the future. He imparted upon them the importance of doing so themselves, suggesting that as powerful as the stake was, the tablet was even greater and should be more than enough to begin the healing process.
Douglas asked if they had to be at the location of the Dark Men’s lair, thinking that perhaps that was the locus of the rift in time. Diego answered that perhaps it would help, but it was not essential – the rift was in time, not in physical location. (Seeing that the island of Manhattan was completely submerged, Douglas was glad to know it.)
Farewells were said again, and the connection was broke. The group prepared to sleep, secure in the basement in the pawn shop. Rummaging through the various goods stored there, they found most of them unblemished by time (another side effect of the tablet, perhaps?) and were able to find some sleeping bags to make their rest more comfortable.
During the night, the bestial roars of a man could be heard outside, seemingly Dog’s transformed self was just as savage as a human werewolf’s wolf form.
The next morning, the group readied to head to the surface. Seamus and Alistair had plans to go back to the submerged Manhattan, as the occultist said there was a magical sword ready for the picking. He told Alistair he needed his assistance in recovering the weapon and had hoped his great-great-grandnephew would be able to take it back to 1996, where it might prove of use.
As Felicity and Douglas were to be working together, using the tablet to heal the rift, it was decided everyone would accompany Seamus and Alistair to the waterside, rather than splitting up. There, they would have access to three of the four elements – water, earth and air – and they brought necessities to build a bonfire.
(Plus, getting as close to Manhattan as they could surely couldn’t hurt, counting on any physical nearness to the place where Diego had slipped in time, and then healed the rift in the 1940s, might help.)
Doug and Felicity sat on either side of the tablet and focused, preparing for their attempt at healing the rift. As they attuned their consciousnesses to the tablet, Seamus took Alistair aside, and performed some ritual magic, using both their blood to enchant Alistair, so that he would be able to breathe water and swim with greater ability.
Alistair marveled as webbing grew between his fingers and, feeling his feet beginning to burn and itch, he kicked off his boots, to see them widen and flatten somewhat, becoming vaguely flipper-like.
When Seamus gave him directions, explaining that his makeshift air compressor wouldn’t let him get far enough to the location, Alistair inquired why he couldn’t do this magic on himself.
“That’s because I’m just awakening your natural ability,” the elder Irishman grumbled, adding remarks about his clueless family. “If you want to know more about your potential, find me when you get back to the twentieth century.”
Before sending his great-great-grandnephew into the water, he explained some details. The sword was called Fragarach and was a powerful blade from Ireland. For years, it had been stored at an unimpressive brownstone in Harlem, a safehouse for a group of occultists called Ordo Involvolus.
Seamus said it was still there when Manhattan sank, and as such, the magical protections the occultists would have erected had faded by now.
And, before he sent Alistair in, he told him to be careful whom they talked to about the current events – even in The Company… ESPECIALLY in The Company. When Alistair questioned this, Seamus said that he wasn’t sure why, but he was of the impression that at least part of The Company knew that something was happening, and yet, did nothing to prevent it.
Meanwhile, Felicity and Douglas found themselves on an astral plane, sitting on opposing ends of a football-field-sized tablet. Felicity could see that the runes were still moving, still telling a tale. She had, for some time, an impression that the tablet was telling a story, some sort of lineage, perhaps.
Both of them found their “physical” forms transformed. Douglas was a black Labrador retriever, but one composed almost solely of shadow-stuff. Felicity’s form, on the other hand, was a small dragon, one that changed colour in scintillating patterns.
Above them, high in the sky (which was now night where they were), they saw the rift, a gash in space. As they watched, it seemed stars were being drawn into the rift, eaten by void.
They began to will the tablet up, as it was obviously too big for them to move. As they did so, the runes started taking pictographic form, showing faces and places from their lives. Douglas saw his family, Diego, then his mates in the Army.
Felicity saw her family, her fellow students, then her friends and associates at CERN. She saw her father in Antarctica, saw the dig… and sensed something… unnatural, alien, deep within.
Douglas was challenged by the woman from Iraq, the one who burned, the one who walked in flames without being harmed. The one who carried him, the sole survivor of his mission, out of Baghdad, into the desert, leaving him there to live.
There, at the tablet, he demanded of her, “What do you want?”
“What do YOU want,” she replied, “it is YOU that I owe the boon.”
Suddenly, the incomplete recollections that had haunted his dreams for the past several years were no longer broken. He remembered. He recalled her taking him out to the desert, where she lay him down in the desert and whispered her name in his ear, the Farsi word for “conflagration”, and told him that she owed him a boon, for rescuing her.
“Say my name, and I will come to you and do your bidding, for one task. Just once and then the scales are balanced,” she had whispered that night in Iraq, before walking away.
Alistair, meanwhile, had entered the water and swam down to the sunken isle. Following the landmarks his granduncle had given him, he found the street he was looking for, and with some difficulty, found the exact residence.
Swimming into the upper level, he began searching for the ornate display case, which he knew had a false bottom that contained the object he was there for.
However, before he could find it, he found a large sea snake or eel had taken up residence in the house! Alistair pulled out his knives, but the creature got the best of him, biting him several times. The Irishman got some blows in with his knives, but unconsciousness overcame him.
Felicity sensed Alistair’s conflict. She sensed his panic as the snake attacked him. She sensed his pain as the sharp teeth sank into his flesh. It took every ounce of control she could muster, but she shoved her feelings to the back of her head. She knew she had to stay focused. She had to remain clinical. Time was broken, will be broken, had been broken.
Diego had started the healing in 1942, after being transported back in time (at the end of UP FROM BELOW .) Diego was stuck then, they were here, in the future. IT HAD TO BE DONE NOW. Alistair… well, he had to wait, no matter the cost.
Douglas sensed her dilemma, that something was wrong. He inquired if she was all right, but she didn’t respond. He sensed, through their connection through the tablet, the panic running through her.
Then he sensed it quenched. Like a cold, calculating fist smothering a fire, it was gone.
Again, their effort renenwed, the tablet was lifted up, higher and higher, towards the rift. It covered a good large part of the rift, and then became like a band-aid, covering the wound in time, salving the wound, starting the healing process.
That done, Felicity and Douglas quickly found their spirit avatars falling back down to Earth, to their bodies.
“Where is he,” she demanded, the moment her spirit was back in her body. She leapt up, demanding, “WHERE IS HE?”
Everyone blinked at her, confused. Seamus replied, turning to indicate the water “He’s in the water, he went down…” His words stopped, as he pointed. Everyone’s gaze followed his outstretched finger and they all stopped and stared at the pirate ship that floated in the water!!