At the Edge of All Things

A Sentimental Mood

A Sentimental Mood

pond.png

Sinon is sitting on a park bench looking out over a duck pond.  It’s a cool and cloudy day, with a slight breeze causing the yellow-green foliage on the other side of the water to slowly sway. A pair of joggers passes by as the Guardian reaches down for a coffee sitting next to a 1′×1′ package wrapped in brown paper.

Jones arrives a few minutes late.  She’s wearing track pants and a sweat-stained tank top, and her hair is done back in a short ponytail with a rubber band.  “Squash,” she says after a long pause. She gives a code phrase indicating an all-clear.

Sinon motions over to the bench.  “Coffee?”  A cardboard caddy holds another cup.

She nods, an expression of gratitude flitting across her face briefly.  She pops the lid off and takes a long sip.  “…Thank you.”  She reattaches it, putting the cup carefully next to her feet, and folds her hands in her lap, legs locked together in a prim, schoolmarm posture.  "What did you wish…to speak…of?”

Sinon looks off in the distance.  “This is a nice spot.  Reminds me a bit of a park Wheeler and I would do lunch.”

He sighs.

“I’m tired, Jones.  For some reason, I never thought I’d make tenure, you know what I mean?” 

Her expression is unchanged.  “Feeling burnt…out?”  Her voice doesn’t seem to imply any judgment of the condition.  Just a professional query.

“I won’t say that there aren’t times when I wonder past decisions.  Whether we have made the right calls.”  He looks over at her, the “we” clearly not a figurative statement.  “I’d like to think that we’re… friends of a sort. Or at least we were at one time.”  A pause.  “Would you mind if I ask you a personal question?”

She gazes levelly at Sinon from behind her black wraparounds.  "…Ask.”

Sinon shifts in his black and blue running outfit. A look of discomfort passes over his face before being quickly replaced with his more typical expressionless guise.  "Back in the days when we were both with the company.  We both had a choice. Morley or Poole.  You chose the… secular… path then.  You seem to have found your faith since then.  Why now?  Why him?”

She is quiet for a long moment, although the fingers of her right hand tug unconsciously at her track pants.  “I….was like…you.  Pensive.  Skeptical of…..” a much longer pause than normal.  SHe’s actually choosing her words.  "…of faith.  Of certitude.  So he let me in.”

”He…invited me…into his memories….his head.  His faith….is authentic.  Grounded in….fact.  In…experience.  Where others blunder in the dark…he has seen ahead. The clarity we…long for…he has it.  He wants…to share it.”

“I apologize.  I didn’t invite you for an interrogation.”  He waves the subject matter away.  “I suppose I just I haven’t had much sleep since Seattle.  There’s only so much coffee and mind rotes can do.” Sinon looks away off into the distance.

She inclines her head slightly.  "None of us…are getting…younger.”

“True.”  Sinon chuckles a bit.  He looks back over the pond.

”What else is….on….your mind?”

He looks back over at her.  “Too much.”

”I assume the boss told you of my new venture?”

She nods.  "I…expected..you’d be up to…something along those…lines.  I am glad you…did not..disappoint.  We need…more networks.  Better ones.”

“I wanted to know if you could recommend any young interns who might be appropriate for some research. I’d be looking for someone who can complement my skill set.  Preferably one with 3 semesters in probability theory and a class in the core curriculum.  Experience seeing projects through to their end would be a bonus.”

Jones thinks a moment.  “Talk to….Shroud.”  She pausers.  "Cabal name, not…a Shadow name.  Gaslight….Rover…Z.  If you need Death…Rook.”

She pauses a moment, and continues.

”Shroud is…private.  All…federal employees.  High-level.  Don’t like to…mingle.  But you can…make your case.”

“If only I knew the type…”  Sinon trails off wryly. 

A moment later.  “Thank you.”

She dips her chin a bare millimeter, her idea of a nod.  "Of course.  Was there anything…else?”

A second passes.  “One last thing.”

“I recovered an item of interest.”  He motions his head to side, indicating the package next to him.

“Yes?”  She bends at the waist, picking up her coffee and sipping it.

She looks down at the package, setting her cup back on the ground.  An eyebrow raises in curiosity.  “May I?”

“Certainly.” He gestures over.  "It’s something I know you have been looking for…”

She opens the package.

monkfoster.pngInside is a white LP, four black letters—M, O, N and K—emblazoned across it. 

“It took me some time, but my contacts managed to track it down to Sikora. His employee tried to deny having it, but I can be persuasive when needed.”

She flips the cover from front to back and to front again with a deft motion, then taps the vinyl a couple inches out and peers inside both sides, as if she’s looking for something hidden.  "What…is this for”

Sinon grins, ignoring the question.

“Well.  No rest for the weary, I’m afraid.”  He rises and begins walking away.

A moment later, he turns back.

“Happy birthday, Therese.”

Her face crinkles in a small grin, just for a moment.  “…Thank you.”

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Rough Night

Rough Night

The crowbar lands with enough force that BJ feels two ribs crack. Enough force to send him flying, even with his forces armor up to dampen the blow. Retaining enough sense to roll as he lands, he comes up gun in hand. Five shots ring out before the slide locks into the empty position. The five bullets having as much impact as the first twelve. The next crowbar swing comes down faster then the first but BJ avoids it. Ducking under it and sprinting to the other side of the room.

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Skyboxes and scissors.

Skyboxes and Scissors.

The gavel bangs once. “Welcome to the eighth meeting of the one hundred and twenty-second year of the Consilium of the City of Vancouver, British Columbia. Perhaps now more than ever, we seek the guidance of the Oracles in the light of their Watchtowers.” Rattenbury’s face is somber.
“Some of you have already heard the news. Others have heard distorted hearsay and rumor. Allow me to clarify. The Awakened of Seattle are dead. It happened just over a week ago, apparently in a single instant. Pentacle and Seer, one and all, aside from those lucky enough to be outside the city.”

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Hair Curlers and Skyboxes

Hair Curlers and Skyboxes

It is a Saturday afternoon in early August. The Consilium meeting begins at sundown, which is in two hours or so. The five of you are at the Sanctum, getting ready.

Blackjack comes out of the basement carrying a large object wrapped in black velvet. “Nodens can you summon the other cabal members please?”

The spirit appears and bows once. Each of you, whatever you’re doing, it finds you and delivers BJ’s invitation. What ARE people doing, btw?

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Is that why you asked me over?

Is that why you asked me over?

Aurelia arrives at the address. It’s an utterly unremarkable apartment complex. Not particularly lavish or run-down. Just decently-maintained.

After getting beeped in the entry, there’s a stairway leading up to #7. Elithora opens the door looking, well, essentially the opposite of her usual appearance. She’s wearing very faded pink sweatpants, canary yellow socks with white toes and heels, and a somewhat too-large t-shirt with a print of a Far Side cartoon faded almost beyond recognition. She has her hair pushed back out of her eyes with two metal barrettes which are not really even.

Aurelia blinks in nonrecognition.

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Not While I'm Around

Not While I’m Around

Nothing’s gonna harm you, not while I’m around.
Nothing’s gonna harm you, no sir, not while I’m around.

Demons are prowling everywhere, nowadays,
I’ll send ’em howling,
I don’t care, I got ways.

No one’s gonna hurt you,
No one’s gonna dare.
Others can desert you,
Not to worry, whistle, I’ll be there.

It’s the Thursday before the Consilium. Forge is at his studio. He lets BJ in, wiping grease off his hands with a blue paper towel as he does so. “Sup?”

“I am here to see if the rings have been completed.” Unwrapping 8 units of Tass from his hallow. Doesn’t remove his jacket, simply endures the heat. Forge nods.

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Mor 45.a.1 p.37: A New Interpretation

A New Interpretation

The Mysterium scholars have a lecture room in BCU. It is unremarkable in every way: rows of desks and a succession of Mysterium mages speaking in front of images projected up on a pull-down screen behind them.

Elithora takes her place in front of the room filled with a mix of her superiors, compatriots, and undercaffeinated Mysterium researchers.

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Blackjack and Sinon Scene

Blackjack is waiting outside a local food truck near the University, he has requested a conversation with Sinon.

Sinon arrives riding a fixed-gear bicycle.  He’s in a red t-shirt, shorts and has a messenger bag strapped across his back.

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Session 24

Last time the caba; drove off the remainder of the Praetorian Guard Security force and broke into the vault of the Seattle Mysterium. There, they encountered a strangely-acting man who had gotten there before you – dark-skinned and with an odd accent, he seemed lost and confused, looking for something he couldn’t quite describe or articulate. Elithora cast her vision back to the moment of the…whatever it was that happened…and saw the lights in the Athenaeum flicker and go off, then this man appear in a scorch mark on the floor. He got up, confident and assured, and began searching the room.
Then, as she watched, he met her gaze through time somehow and hit her with a psychic blast powerful enough to nearly kill her. As she fell to the floor, the man (back in real time) smiled to himself. “Of course. Rattenbury has it.” and vanished.

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Session 22

You guys met Goldman for (for most of you) the first time, and she told you about the disaster that has befallen Seattle – every mage in the city’s borders dropped dead less than a week ago, apparently all at the same time, and nobody knows why. After debating what to do, you guys set out to recover their Athenaeum – but upon reaching the border, you learned that the Seers also have designs on it – and the race is on!

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