The Contingent

New Friends
Doctor Miller sat on a wall...

The itching wouldn’t stop. A little spot on the back of his left shoulder blade tingled, ensuring Richard was always aware of its presence. It was a reminder of an exhausting trial that he would much rather forget. It was perhaps the first time on a mission that Richard was in his element, yet it was all so alien. The Lazerus mission should have been a bust; They succeeded, but at what cost?

“You alright there, Egghead?”

The voice pulled Richard from his thoughts and back to the Alibi and the low drone of conversation that filled its walls. An adrenaline-junkie working with the Union sat across from him, eyeballing Richard with curiosity from behind a glass as he took another drink. Richard hesitated, almost forgoing his typical canned reponse. That certainly would have been a mistake.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Just trying to think if I’m forgetting any questions. It’s been tough finding leads. Are you sure you haven’t seen any anyone else with this mark on them?”

“Nope. Not apart from what ya’ll already know. Might be better to comb over details you’ve missed than seek new leads at this point. Atleast until something else happens, yeah?”

A sigh escaped Richard’s lips. Taking a break from being hunched over research was pleasent enough, but he struggled to part from his work, even when seeking respite at the bottom of a bottle. Ten minutes hadn’t even passed before Richard was plying some of the regulars with drink in exchange for talk about recent happenings. Talk of rashes and marks cropping up within the recent months. It wasn’t leading anywhere other than confirming what most in the Contingent were already aware of. Perhaps it was time to stop.

“I suppose so. Thanks for the chat, yeah?”

“Sure thing, Egghead. Keep safe out there, ya hear?”

Richard offered him a thin smile, excusing himself from the table. After paying his tab, he eyed Chris McMillian for a moment, the man who always seemed to be tied to a phone. Always in touch with various unknown contacts, it seemed. The itching on his shoulder kicked in again. Eureka!

Unknown contacts. “Friends” he hasn’t made yet. Where to start though? He frowned in thought as he left the Alibi, walking down Bourbon Street as he hatched a new plan, for better or for worse.

View
Faerie Tales: Susan Rourke

A long time ago, there lived in Hill Valley a girl named Susan Rourke. Incorrigible, she would smoke, talk back to her elders, cuss, and, worst of all, skip church. Raised by a single mother, everyone knew that Susan wouldn’t amount to anything. Then one day, a monster came.

Out of legends, the Dullahan rode into Hill Valley. Over the course of weeks, the good Christian people of Hill Valley began dropping like flies. The adults of the town, far too clever to listen to stories of magic and monsters, prayed for deliverance while looking for more mundane, medical causes. That’s when Susan and a few of her friends knew it was up to them. Through cleverness, bravery, and loss, they managed to seal the beast away in an abandoned amusement park. When it was done, they knew things could never go back to the way they were before. The world was so much broader than one small town in the middle of nowhere South Carolina. Susan left her mother and life behind to explore, to discover what else was out there.

Decades passed, and as suddenly as she left, she was back. The years had not been kind. Surgery scars adorned her, burn marks stood out on her temples, and her veins showed black against the skin by her arms and legs. She stumbled into town with a warning: the land was sick, and soon the world was going to end. Again, the good people of Hill Valley were far too sensible to listen to a crazy homeless woman. They dismissed her, and put her in prison. Her friends knew better, though. They reached out to the Contingent, and like a tempest, the Contingent came. With them, though, came Project Chimera.

Project Chimera sent forth witches and gun-toting psychic psychopaths. Monster snakes breathing poison slithered out of caves, and faeries came forth from hidden realms. Together, the Contingent and Susan faced them all. Every step of the way was a grueling trial until, at last, they reached the Promise Tree, a sacred symbol of an ancient pact between the Rourkes and the fae. Bleeding out on its roots, and slipping into a coma, Susan fulfilled the covenant and claimed the crown of the Queen of the Faeries. From her endless dreams she unleashed the Dullahan, and wielding a whip made of bones it cleansed the corruption in Hill Valley, ending the threat of Chimera.

As Susan lay dreaming, months went by. Her body mended, her mind healed, and she thought her story was done—that she was free of monsters and suffering. But that was not the case. While she slept, other monsters came. Hill Valley was dying, and the pact bound the faeries from interfering without their queen’s command. The Contingent came to her sleeping form and reminded her that she had a duty to her people and to the world. She awoke, and reestablished her dominion. Her mind now restored, she knew where the Patron was—and she would aid the Contingent in ferreting it out.

View
Case File #040301
Journal Entries from Dr. Ethan Prescott

The following journal entries were found in the GesLab facility in San Francisco. It is believed that this journal belonged to Dr. Ethan Prescott, the head scientist running the facility. These are the portions we were able to save from the lab. It should be noted that these entries were handwritten and included doodles of a heart with a flame over it and a poorly drawn portrait of Stella Buchanan.


April 30, 2017
The last successful group has left. All were just as docile as the previous groups. The treatment has been successful. I’m not sure why we’re being ordered to stop. I feel like there’s much more we can do to help these troubled souls. I can’t complain too much as I’m being paid through the year as promised.

October 16, 2016
We have acquired our first test subjects. It has been decided that we will start with patients that have a history of severe mental illness or violent tendencies. Hopefully we can bring some peace to these people. I look forward to trying this new technology. I never thought I’d be chosen to work on such a prestigious and potentially life changing project.

March 13, 2017.
Our procedure today did not go well. We began with a woman who arrived with a doll she was very attached to. We had to sedate her to be able to remove the doll from her arms. The woman was delusional and seemed to think the doll was her child. I wanted to begin with her as I hoped to bring her some relief. However the machine seemed to cause her excruciating pain. She was thrashing in the chair and we had to administer even more sedatives. When the process was finished, and she awoke she was acting almost feral as if all humanity had been removed from her. Her cylinder was empty so we knew we had not successfully extracted her illness. The orderlies took care of her. I still don’t know what that means but I did keep her doll.

November 3, 2016
Finally a success! The cylinder was full. I spoke to Ms. Buchanan and she was very pleased. She said when we have 40 successful retractions, we can send them to the recovery center. The patient seemed at peace after awakening from the procedure. I really think we may have found the cure for mental illness!

November 24, 2016
Yes Im spending Thanksgiving at the lab. Ms. Buchanan had the staff over for a feast Tuesday evening. She is absolutely delightful. She was so thrilled at our progress in curing the patients. Our first busload of cured patients will be leaving for the recovery center next Monday. I am concerned about their complacency but Stella reassures me their time at the center will help them recover fully.

January 1, 2016
Stella invited me to her New Year’s Eve party last night. She was stunning. She chose to kiss me at midnight! I would do anything for this goddess of a woman. She’s so inspiring!

View
A Dream Within A Dream
Storyteller: Richard

A Dream Within A Dream

Whether via email, SMS text, or your choice of messaging service, you receive a link to a non-public YouTube video. It’s audio-only, running beneath a still image of an ASI logo. A boyish voice speaks into the microphone; barely-disguised fatigue and worry are evident in the timbre of his speech.

“Uh, attention all Contingent operatives, this is Director ”/characters/ken-yakana" class=“wiki-content-link”>Ken Yakana of ASI Washington. We’ve, uh, got a pretty serious situation here, and I need a team to come help us sort it out fast. Look, a few of our advanced-skills agents volunteered for a trial run of a virtual-reality psychotherapy matrix. Um…I dunno how to tell you this, but…dude, they won’t wake up. I can tell from their MRIs that they’re not brain-dead…yet. But, bro, something’s gone really wrong and I can’t figure out how to fix it from this side. I know this sounds sketchy, but we need to send some backup into the VR matrix—preferably people who are highly mentally resilient and have dealt with psychic phenomena before. We’ve developed a new serum that can probably help you get in and out of the matrix more safely if you want some—I’ll give you the run-down on it in the interest of informed consent before we jack you in."

Hunters

Reyna Parker
Miles Jaggens
Fina Aquinas
Lisa Morrow
Vickie Mack
Claire Hollingsworth

MAJOR CLUES:

1. The ASI dream matrix experiment was compromised by a virus inserted via a backdoor which traced back to an IP address at Duke University in Durham, NC. The purpose of the virus was to irreversibly fragment a user’s brain into multiple parts, leaving them comatose. However, Usturanol exposure intensified and altered the effects.

2. Five symbols appeared repeatedly and persistently in the dream world:
○ A sinister key, previously used by multiple followers of the Patron
○ The triple-eye symbol seen elsewhere recently
○ A Norse rune meaning “thorn”
○ A heart crowned by a candle flame
○ A tower resembling a chess rook with double doors on the bottom-front

View
Night Piece
Storyteller: Justin

Night Piece

“The dead are walking. Now that the machines of Heaven.exe have been shut down, it seems that souls and magic are flowing through Hill Valley, again. Unfortunately, it’s not a babbling brook, it’s a damn torrent. Shadows just on the edge of sight are everywhere, urging, hungering, tormenting, manipulating, controlling, and dragging people into whatever hell they’ve built. We’re handling the day to day, but we need some additional resources to solve the overarching problem.”

- Tom Michaels, VP of Cloverleaf

Hunters

Wayne Hodges
Xander Court
Granger Simms
Darren Knox
Zak Zimmerman

Important Clues

  • The Patron has a plan to destroy the world.
  • The Underworld is going to rise up.
  • The Patron is active in the Triangle of NC.
  • Patron has many supernatural allies that are all in for the end of the world.
View
Alone
Storyteller: Cathy

Alone

The San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness estimates that there are 12,000 homeless people living in the city. Citizens are used to seeing them as they go about their business, but something is changing them—reports say they’re becoming more subdued and lethargic, and rumors are spreading that the government is lobotomizing people. Most people, though, barely give all this a second thought—they view these people as a burden, and wonder if this change is for the better. Fortunately, not everyone feels that way: The Emperor of San Francisco has left a note at Wilson’s calling for hunters to help him figure out what is happening to his homeless friends.

A Call To Arms! I request the assistance of my loyal foot soldiers. Several good citizens of our city have gone missing. Some of the missing have returned, and they are different. I fear they have lost their zest for life—their true essence. As Emperor of this grand city, I cannot stand by and let such a fate befall my people. Will you join me? Meet me at the Miguel De Cervantes memorial statue in Golden Gate Park this Friday at 20:00.

Hunters

Eva Jimenez
Charles Powell
Doctor Mallory “Mal” Cunningham
Virgil Half-Dollar
Jack Mills
Desmond Mallory

Important Clues

  • The drug Usturanol is being pushed on the streets of San Francisco
  • Someone had been collecting homeless people in the city and bringing them to a lab owned by GesLab. The people were promised food, shelter, and job assistance in exchange for participating in an experimental treatment. In reality, they were having their souls sucked out.
  • Stella Buchanan appears to be linked to the experiment. An ASI team was sent to her home to apprehend her. The entire team was slaughtered.
  • All of the homeless people who had been experimented on now bear the three eyed mark.
  • Several chartered buses seemed to have taken people from the lab to an unknown destination.
View
All for Nothing

(Recording starts)

“So I guess this is day ten since I ingested the fruit. There was concern about the amount of propofol that was needed to keep me sedated. Anyway, since I’ve been talking to myself a lot even while I was unconscious Chelsea thought it would be a good idea for me to have an audio recording, so I can review it later. I don’t see how this is going to be helpful. You know what would be helpful? Letting me see my records. Letting me run some tests. If I don’t get the data now…”

(Eva’s voice) “Mal, I already told you. We have someone monitoring you, taking your vitals and…”

“No, that’s not good enough! That’s not going to tell me anything! Steve says it’s been three days since you took a urine sample. If I am seeing things, like you all keep telling me, then there is going to be some change in neurotransmitter levels and that has to be monitored often. Blood samples are not reliable for that. And I need compare the structural integrity of my cells to the samples from Cloverleaf. There’s a special test with this contrast… See, this is why I have to do this myself, because I know what I’m looking for! That’s why I ate the apple in the first place! I know myself, I know my labs, it was the best way to get the information. Are you just going to sit there and let this be for nothing?”

“Mal, you need to calm down. It gets worse if you’re upset.”

“How would you fucking know that huh? Show me proof!”

“Mal, Mami, you know that I hate doing this to you, but I will put you back under if you make me.”

(pleading) “No, please, I don’t want to. Guys, you’re right there, you have to help me. Make her understand…”

(Sound of footsteps and inaudible words)

(Male voice) “Doctor Cunningham, I need you to remain still okay? Hand me the syringe please.”

(sobbing) “No, Eva, why did you call them? Please…”

“I’m sorry.”

(Recording ends)


Day fifteen. So, I found a blood draw kit under the bathroom sink. Well, Cerin told me it was here. She’s good at finding things, since she hides in the shadows and watches. I will admit I overreacted the first time I saw her, I thought she was the Patron, which seems silly now, because I know that not all shadows are inherently evil. But hey, now I can get the samples I need. See, I’m clearly labeling the tubes so there is no way they can mess this up.” (pause) “What’s that Steve? Why is my blood red? Well, to put it simply it’s because of the interaction between the iron in my blood and oxygen. You want to see it? I don’t know..” (pause) “You’d do that? Are you sure? Because I’ve got to tell you, it’s been my dream to be able to study Fae anatomy, and I’ve never got the chance…I’ve always wanted…Just one vial of blood? Okay, I mean I was only going to run a CBC on this one anyway…”

(Sound of a door slamming open and plastic on tile)

(Eva’s voice) “What are you doing? Where did you get that?”

“No, he was going to let me see his heart.”

“Mal he’s not there, he’s not real.”

“I was going to give him my blood…”

(shouting) “You fucking stupid girl. You don’t make deals with Fae. Ever.”

“You just said he wasn’t real!”

“He’s not, but Mal you can’t…” (sobbing) “Ah, come here, it’s okay. Shh, it’s okay.”

(Recording ends)


Day twenty one. I think I’m starting to feel a little better. At least now I’m able to acknowledge that what I’m seeing isn’t real.” (pause) “Well of course you’re real, but not in the mortal realm. Look, would you please just shut up you’re not making this any easier. I think part of the issue is I’m bored. Not being productive is…agitating. I wis…I want to be able to just shut my brain off for awhile, but I can’t. I have lists,” (shuffling of paper) “I hoped that by writing things down it would help keep my thoughts straight, but it’s not working. I’ve been thinking about the Vampires, about Allie and the vision, about how to help Susan. What makes it worse is that I have no way to get answers, because I can’t leave the apartment. I know it’s something that is necessary, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. But what scares me is these things I’m seeing, they keep telling me they can give me the answers, to everything. I know that if I say yes, they are going to take something from me. I don’t know what. Not knowing the price is what got me here in the first place. But the longer this goes on, the more difficult it is to say no.” (pause) “No, I don’t want to know how much voltage it would take to obtain Susan’s memories. I can figure it out on my own. I don’t need you, I’ve never needed anyone”

(Recording Ends)


Day twenty eight. I’ve been taking Haldol for the past few days. My thoughts have been slower, more quiet. I keep wondering, is this how the majority of the population experiences the world? I can’t imagine living like this. At this point I just want this to be over. I’d like to be able to say that I’m never going to do anything like this again, but I can’t. Eva said that I’d be lying to her and to myself, and I know she’s right. She’s right about a lot of things. All I can do right now is keep filling out the questionnaires to assess my mental state. It’s improving, which is encouraging. I just hope that I can glean something from it later. I would hate for all of this to be for nothing. Please don’t let this be for nothing…”

(Recording ends)

View
3 a.m. toast and yard work
Season 4 Session 3 Writeup

The rains had softened the earth making the shovels job easier. Soil gave way to clay, followed by a rich vein of minerals. Virgil Half-Dollar inspected his work. “That oughta to be deep enough”, the hobo stated as much to the night sky as to his axe wielding companion.

“That’ll be right, Friend Virgil. Deep enough but not forgotten”, Tom Scarlet acknowledged while letting his reliable axe roll in his out stretched hairy palms. Steam escaped his crimson derby as it was struck by each drop of rain. Tom leaned the axe on his leg, letting it rest on his corduroy trousers. He reached into the air closed his eyes, and when he opened them again was holding an iron box 13 inches long, and 6.5 inches wide. Tom handed the box to Virgil.

Virgil took to box, and sat on the wet earth. He proceeded to unfold his classically constructed handkerchief bindle that was filled with mementos of adventures undertaken with the Contingent. Virgil rooted past the banjo string, the letter H from a broken keyboard, piles of salt, iron nails, an origami frog, a broken globe, and a black and an out of scale cartoon map of hill valley to reach the symbol of the Dullahan’s bane, a four leaf clover. Virgil placed the clover in iron box, placed the lid on it, and sealed it with a kiss. Virgil placed the box in the whole, and narrowly missed getting dirt kicked on him by Tom Scarlet. He filled the clay and dirt around the box and together in front of the plantation ruins of the Rourke estate the two men spread leaves, twigs, and debris around to conceal the spot.

Tom looked at the Hobo without judgement or even for once without the vague threat of murder in his eyes for once. “Lord Half-Dollar I am honor bound to tell you, this is a fool’s bargain. My Lady holds no interest in retribution upon you, or the Contingent. All that matters to her is the pact. Due let them know, the area must be cleansed by ancient way and even older terms. We will not move on the people or Rourke, or the lands of Rourke without the permission. Your actions have put you in the Rourke interest. We know you now, by your deeds”.

Virgil replied, it may be a fools bargain but a deal is a deal. “You and the Lady of Sorrow will not seek harm on the Contingent members operating out of Hill Valley until I get back or until Im dead. After that we’ll see where our interest junction”

Tom churtled to himself while looking up and down the pact tree in the distance. He spat in his hand and the two shook on it.

The rains increased. They two men took refuge under the tarp Virgil had setup over his still. Virgil released the copper tap and filled Tom’s stine, and his trusty mug for himself. Tom waited for Virgil to sit on the maola milk crate thrown before taking the coleman camping seat across from him. Tom asked him “When do you leave?”

“Tonight, tonight is my best chance to escape the Huntsman. I’ve gotten a tip that will make things easier. Even if that doesn’t work out, pity on him and his that try and stop me. My people need me. That’s how I got started in this whole mess. Asking the Contingent for help with the situation in California, and now they’ve come through. It’s taken a long way around, black stars, maypoles, boggards, getting thrown out of airplanes, humvee surfing, lost and found people, and purple crack mushrooms but duty calls.”

“Duty, one of my favorite things, along with the joy of a well kept hat. Shouldn’t you be worried about your friends here? They’ve made a strong enemy with the Carfax family, making deals they don’t understand with Boo Hags. Worse yet, and while we are grateful for services rendered, when a levy breaks there will be a flood. And the Carfax’s won’t be the only ones trying to pick up leftovers from the dam.”

“They’ll be fine. I have to find out if I’m broken or not”.

“Ah there it is, the source of this midnight melodrama. Everything fitting okay?”

“So souls are real, obviously a 6 year old can tell you that, but they don’t do what I thought they did. Your Soul is you, right, so it doesn’t make sense that they can be washed, hung out to dry, and then changed long long johns.”

“What matters Virgil, and take it from an experienced Butcher, is the meat, and the blood. Your pallet may change a bit but your experiences, they are what make you tough, and tender where it counts. When you the time comes you can try and get your old soul back. You may not remember where it is, but you know where to go.”

Their drinks finished, Virgil left the wild wood and began heading to the edge of town. Hear Tom’s laughter and and the swings of an axe meeting copper as walked away.

View
[CNN.com] BREAKING NEWS

breaking-news.png

February 20th, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Historic stonework has been uninstalled from the M Street Bridge, and no Washington D.C. municipal authority has any record of a work permit being issued to remove these carvings.

City agencies speculated that the Masonic carvings may have been stolen by black market prospectors seeking to sell the antique stonework to collectors.

The M Street Bridge has a storied history dating back to the late 18th century. The original wooden bridge at the site was the first bridge in the current District of Columbia, being constructed in 1788 by the City of Georgetown two years before it was incorporated into the District. The bridge collapsed during a severe storm, leading to a legend that the ghosts of a stagecoach driver and his horses that drowned in the collapse could be seen thereafter, still attempting to cross the bridge.

It was replaced by a heavy wooden drawbridge in 1800, as Rock Creek was at that time wide and deep enough that sailing ships needed to transit the bridge. A covered wooden bridge replaced the drawbridge in 1839 after the creek became unnavigable, followed by a steel-truss bridge in 1871, which was closed in 1925 because it had become structurally unsound. Remnants of the western abutment of the 1871 bridge still exist adjacent to that of the current bridge, which is where the stolen carvings were located.

George Seghers, Executive Director of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, expressed sadness and disappointment at the theft of the Masonic carvings. “As you can imagine, my organization is greatly disturbed by this. We ask that anyone with information pertaining to this crime please step forward and contact either us or the Metropolitan Police Department so that we can retrieve these national treasures and see to it that the parties responsible are held accountable for this heinous act." Seghers added that the Masonic National Memorial is offering a reward of $1 million for information leading directly to the return of the carvings.

View
Scanner in the Works
Taz really hopes she's helping

“The scanning parameters are ready to go, Ms. Crow. We’re just waiting on your final adjustments to the satellite.”

The earnest young woman, one of Empire Foundation’s brighter stars recently sent down from New York, attempted but didn’t quite achieve a state of casual non-hovering behind Taz. She wished her assistant would stop with the Ms. Crow business, but it seemed hardwired into damn it, what was her name? I can’t ask again, pretty sure I can’t call her “Smells like mimeograph ink and how the hell does someone smell like that in…uh…2017?” Hardwired into the scientist’s makeup. She probably can’t help it, means it as a sign of respect or something. The constant Ms. Crows were annoying, though. Agitating. Too close to something else.

Finishing a few more delicate adjustments, Taz brushed her hair out of the way and leaned back. The most intricate ones – the ones requiring some judicious use of the hedge thorn – had been completed late last night at Granger’s Own, out of sight of curious, ambitious scientists. Ground tests have all proved true so far, but hopefully, this will fine-tune the satellite’s ability to identify and track the “walking dead” of Hill Valley. Some are painfully obvious, and it appears that many of them understood, maybe in the back of their minds, that they weren’t really connected to the world of the living anymore. For others, though, this is going to be a nasty surprise.

At least now they won’t end up getting uploaded to heaven.exe anymore. That would’ve been Granger, or Virgil, or me, too. Christ. Who came up with this shit? Factory soul farming. Save the rainforest, buy organic, make sure the essence of your being isn’t being harvested and stripped for useful materials through a loophole created by an ancient pact between colonists and fae.

“Come to beautiful Hill Valley, South Carolina. You’ll put down roots before you know it.”

“What was that, Ms. Crow?”

“Nothing Mim…I mean, sorry, I’m really sorry. What’s your name again?”

“Tanya, Ms. Crow. Tanya Chance.” The young woman offered a smile and seemed to finally relax, for the first time since arriving with the latest batch of personnel. “I was briefed on some of your memory issues, Ms. Crow. It doesn’t offend me…actually, it reminds me a little of my late grandfather.”

“Oh?”

“Before Alzheimer’s took him, he would tell me the best stories of his years as an office assistant downtown, working for the Times. Half the time he called me by my mother’s name, the other half by her sister’s.”

“Hmm. Did you keep anything of his?”

“It’s kind of foolish, but I always carry around some of his old paperwork with the handwritten notes he made on them, back when they used mimeographs to make copies…oh! Is that why you just called me Mim just now?”

Taz nodded and shrugged, a little half grin on her own face. “So, they told you about that, too?”

“Yeah. You know, I kind of like that. I’ve never had a nickname before. Didn’t spend a lot of time hanging out with classmates; too many scholarships to try for. It paid off, though, getting a chance like this with the Empire Foundation. He would’ve been so proud, My grandfather, I mean.”

It was getting really hard to not like this girl, dark brown eyes shining and her face taking on personality, as she stepped out of the “model scientist” role and let her unrestrained self come forward.

I hope she doesn’t want to become a Contingent agent.

“Ok, Mim then. I can remember that. And can you please just call me Taz? I can’t take much more of the Ms. Crow-ing. The satellite’s all set to go, so you can let Skaar, uh, Adr, no, uh Dr. Skaar’s connections at SpaceX to expect it there for tonight’s launch.”

This is going to help. I think. Is it a benefit to actually know? Will they start counting back the days to when they should’ve died, request a backdate for their obituaries? It’s not just for them, though. Other things are coming, and nobody but a few of us need to know about the other set of hardware and scanning parameters. Nasty things are coming, and it looks like some of them have already got eyes in the sky. Maybe this will even the playing field.

Or am I playing right into someone’s hands?

Why does this suddenly feel so familiar?

(“Excellent work Miss Crow!”)

“Taz, you’re going to hurt someone!”

“Um…Ms…I mean, Taz. Are you ok? You’re not hurting anyone. It’s just the two of us here right now.”

“Oh, sorry, Mim. My mind wandered there for a sec; it takes a while for me to get out of my tinkering zone, you know?”

“Oh, yes, of course! Well, no, not really. But if it’s anything like writing a thesis, then I’m right there with you.”

The young woman offered her hand to Taz, lips curving back in a warm smile. Bright teeth. Not those teeth, though. Taz shook her head, one quick jerk to clear the cobwebs and took it, hauling herself up from the laboratory floor.

It’s going to be ok. These are good preparations. Helping ones. Not like…whatever. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that they keep my crew’s asses alive this month.

Maybe Mim would like to take a walk down to the artists’ enclave, grab some fair-trade artisanal coffee, get introduced around to folks. Maybe kick a hemp balloon around with the kids, meet a psychic or a mage or tree spirit or something. Might be nice to take an afternoon off to rela-

“Oh, Taz…endra? Ms. Taz? No, just Taz is fine, got it. Did you hear about the notice sent out from HQ about keeping an eye, or nose, out for strange molds? Apparently there’s some really disturbing stuff they’re finding associated with it.”

Mold. Huh. Nope, can’t say that I’ve come across any strange mold recen-oh. Oh.

Well, shit.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.