The Contingent

Letter to HR
Inquiry about medical expenses, wages and benefits.

I wanted to follow up to my prior letter, which apparently never reached you, as I have yet to receive a response. While I’m delighted to be a part of the Contingent and all the good work it’s doing I must ask for a response as the bill collectors are becoming a bit rude. (During my last expedition I had one repeatedly trying to call at the most inopportune moments).

I’ve enclosed my initial letter which outlines the information I need (where to file for Medical etc reimbursements).

I look forward to hearing from you,


To: HR
From: Tyr Anasazi

I was surprised at how quickly we were sent out to our first encounter without having completed all of the paperwork and other items necessary for most jobs. (I’ve enclosed a copy of my NY-2, and W-2 that I printed off from the In ternet to help payroll).

During that encounter I suffered some injuries to my arm that required some attention. I’ve recovered but need to provide the medical personal who saw me insurance information. Also, since this was a work-place injury I’ll need to find out whom to send the bills to.

Thanks,

PS: Do you guys offer a 401k plan? If so, up to what percent is matched?

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Meet Your Maker
Storyteller: Eric

“Hello…yes, this is Doctor Pendergrass. Is this the Contingent I’ve heard so much about on the news as of late? Good, good…you see, I believe I’ve seen a monster roaming about in Syracuse N.Y. It’s a big frightful thing, not terribly sure what to make of it. I’ve also heard rumors that it looks like a grotesque, and hulking man, but something less than a man, something that shouldn’t exist. I am hoping you can send someone to help make sense of this. I must admit, this is very exciting…”

Investigators

John Miller
Tyr Anasazi
Miles Jaggens

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They Hate to be Hungry
Storyteller: Justin

“Hi Contingent, it’s Detective Laura Shearer…again. I have some murders happening in the Maria Hernandez Park that I’ve been quietly but firmly told not to move on. I tried going to a reporter friend of mine, however, before they could publish, they were fired. I’m hoping you can help. Homeless people are being brutally killed and exsanguinated. I don’t want to say “vampire” and “cover up,” but I’m thinking it damn strongly. After some digging, I found some other instances of serial killers doing the same thing across the country. It starts with the homeless, and then it gets a lot worse.”

Investigators

Zak Zimmerman
Father Xander Court
Maddy Summers
Fina Aquinas
Meredith Cohn

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Evil Is Putting Down Roots
Storyteller: Adam

“Hey there Contingent. The name is Sam. I think some of your people were out at my bar, The Butcher and Brü, not long ago. Good tippers. Anywho, me and my coven were out performing some rituals up state in the forest near Eagle Bay and some weird stuff started happening. The rituals couldn’t have done it directly, but maybe something sensed us? I dunno. Anyway, livestock started going crazy out that way. Biting people…and each other. People they bit didn’t fare much better. I hear weird shit is your area of expertise. I suggest you go take a look before the locals do to the people what they had to do to the livestock…”

Investigators

Eileen Fisher
Kenny Crowder
Willard Buss
Jack Mills

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Nothing Says Lost Forever
Storyteller: Byerly

“Hi this is Thomas Downing. I’m, uh, not sure this is really something for you guys, but I don’t know who else to call. My uncle Bill passed away a few weeks ago at Manhattan State Psychiatric Center. When he died, they sent me his stuff.

“The weirdest piece is this deed to a piece of land up near Yorktown, right in the middle of this big suburban development. However, there’s nothing there. The road just stops at this, this, big wooded area and just picks up again on the other side. Happens to a few other streets too. It’s like someone dropped a big damn square of forest into the middle of suburbia.

“Uncle Bill got locked away after going crazy in his early 30s. From what I remember, they said they found him in the middle of the street, ranting about how the woods ate his home. Sounds crazy right?

“Not so much anymore… "

Investigators

Junior
Daisy Mei
Darren Knox
Sir. Nigel Mulberry
Eugenia

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Hey, I'm Back...

[posted on meredithcohn.blogspot.com on 4/27/2018]

Hey there, everyone. It’s me again! I know it’s been about forever since I’ve posted anything here… I’m surprised any of you are still following this page at all after nearly three years. Thanks for your dedication (even if you did just never bother to unfollow). It’s kind of crazy to be dusting off this old blog, but… well, I made a promise, and nobody would publish this piece.

I guess I should start with some background. It’s been a wild couple of years, but the most important thing for you all to know is that I joined the Contingent. Like, the demon hunter people. Yeah, I didn’t see that one coming either. I was as rattled as anyone after last year, I guess, and I wanted to get some kind of understanding of what all this stuff means. (Well, I can be honest with you guys- I couldn’t resist the story. Y’all know how I am.) But I’m starting to think this is all a lot bigger than I could have imagined. I’m learning how to shoot a gun, and eventually I’ll be expected to use those skills. I spend my days researching supernatural creatures. I’ve actually published a piece on a couple of faeries (actual real life fairies??) I’ve met, and without plugging myself too much, I’ve got a really big piece in the works right now about some coworkers. But I’m not going to go into too much right now about my day to day, as much as I even have a consistent daily life. If you’re really interested, you can check out this piece I wrote for the Post (I know, I know). Right now, though, there’s something in particular I need to write about.

I went on my first assignment for the Contingent a few weeks ago. Without going into too much detail, we were hunting down an object in a faerie market. Basically we had to use this thing against a creature called a Huntsman. I’m sure you get the gist of what he does. He was really, really scary. He chased us halfway across Manhattan and used creepy fae magicks to track us and all kinds of other stuff. But here’s the thing- he didn’t have a choice.

Huntsmen are creatures that used to be human, before they were kidnapped by faeries and turned into the things they are. They have their identities taken from them so that doing their master’s bidding is all they know. This huntsman could have been someone’s dad, or brother, or friend. The thing that was taken from him- the thing we used against him- was his own sense of justice. And when we found it and used it, what we did was make it impossible for him to find what he’s hunting. He’s going to keep looking, unsuccessfully, until his master figures out what we did, and destroys him. And it gets even more messed up from there: he’s incapable of understanding what this object is, even though it belonged to him. So he can’t even remember that we did this to him.

I talked to the Huntsman before we doomed him. He seemed okay with it, but I think he didn’t fully understanding what we were doing, for the same reason he can’t remember it now. I asked him if he wanted to keep hunting his prey, and he didn’t seem to understand the question. Like there was nothing else he even could do. I promised I would write about him.

Here’s what I know about him: he used to be a cop. He had a strong sense of justice, which he lost. I know what he’s hunting, but it would be too dangerous to say. And… that’s all the facts I know.

I also know that out of any cop I ever talked to (and there have been a lot), he was the nicest. He doesn’t think he can go back to how he was, but I think he would want to move forward if he could.

If it’s you reading this: it’s Meredith. I don’t know your name, but I’m looking. I’m going to find out who you are. Please come and find me. You don’t remember that we talked, but I’m on your side.

I’ve been going through a lot of missing persons files recently. It always makes me sad, thinking of people who will probably never see their loved ones again. But now that I’ve seen the horrible things that happen to some of them, I’m more determined than ever to find out everything I can about them. Maybe it will help bring them home, maybe not… but nobody deserves to be lost forever. I heard a lot of stories on this assignment about people who had their names taken from them. Being left without any idea who you are- that’s one of the worst things I can imagine. To all the lost people: I’m here for you. I’m working to find you and bring you home.

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Rocking back and forth

Jack leans back and runs his hand through his hair as he stares up at the flickering florescent bulb in the city library. It’s been two weeks since they escorted the troll back to the Contingent. He knows he should follow up on how she is assimilating since he’s the one that talked the team into bringing her in but he’s been obsessed with working out the message he’d been thinking back to over and over. The words still rang clear in his memory.

With the boat rocking back and forth, he grabbed Dr. Langston’s hand, helping to pull him out of the water. With a heave, Langston fell heavy onto the boat; hot blood pouring off him. He lunged toward the helm. The wind roared against him in a thousand voices. Steam swirled around the boat making it difficult to see. Beneath him, the dark man was reaching upward, its voice ringing out from the stars. He grabbed the boat key to escape, and then froze as a thought struck him. He was led here for a reason. Here, where the sea of nightmarish dreams slams against the shore of reality. He came here to find a clue about Lindsay. He stopped and listened to the winds, listening for a single voice. Dimly, he heard Langston yelling in the background, but that didn’t matter to him in the moment. Bit by bit, he narrowed his focus until he found that one voice speaking Spanish; the man who led him here.

“…Lindsay…New York…”

He was having a hard time making out the specific words through the cacophony. Langston shoved against him, trying to take the keys. Against this, he let the winds in, trying to get as much as possible. As his eyes sting from wind and steam, he can almost make out the South American man again, yelling his message.

“Whim…three weeks…Left Hand Path…Ironwick…Gulmoth!”

Langston slams the acceleration and the voice dies as the engine explodes into life.

One week left and he doesn’t have it all worked out yet. “Left Hand Path” in occult circles frequently refers to dark or chaotic magic. Given his experience, is there really any other kind?

Researching “gulmoth” lead him to descriptions of creatures from beyond that some thought could be summoned forth and make deals with, creatures of the “abyss” and darkness. Could that have been what that thing beneath the water was? It was man shaped but dark…so dark. Jack shivers.

Ironwick had him stumped. It could be some sort of sconce or candelabra used for a ritual, but was it a specific one or just a tool? Is it a location? The old defunct company down Long Island seems like a remote possibility but after what he saw down south, creatures and histories can run far back.

And then there was the first part of the message, “Whim.” If Ironwick had him stumped, Whim had him infuriated. “It has to be something with her,” he mumbled to himself “but I can’t find her” as he felt the anger rise up again. He’d met her once in South Carolina for all the good that does him now. No one at Cloverleaf will return his call since the Empire distanced itself from the Contingent. All calls down there just end up going through endless phone trees and disconnected transfers. He knows he shouldn’t have slammed his fist on Vivian’s desk but her curt reply of “she’s hard to track” while she just kept throwing those axes was just too much for him to take. Someone from ASI would probably be able to help him but he hadn’t been able to find a contact in New York and he couldn’t expect Mama Minerva to show up here after just a call in to New Orleans. Maybe Gina will finally get back to him. They’d at least taken his message and call for help.

He steeples his hands and press them against his face as he tries to figure out his next play. “Why couldn’t he have given me more? Why did he have to take me to that place to tell me?” He realizes he’s begun rocking back and forth.

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Prayer of Father Court
Administrative Church BS

Holy Father, please help me. The Unyielding Faith of God Church in Boston is essentially disowning me. They say that moving me and my position to NY is for the best of the church. Deacon Matthews, our new bishop, tells me NY really needs me, but I know he is lying to me. A bishop that lies…how did it ever come to a bishop that lies being in charge of a my district. I told him that you Father are not calling me to put down roots in NY and asked what he intends for me to do in NY. He said The Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Rochester needs a new Administrative Lead…I cant but think this whole move and Lead Admin job is stemming from how bad I made the church look last year during the troubles. Of course everything I said to them was true and was shown to be so once the media got ahold of the story. I told them I was doing your will, But I had hurt the image of the church…the pride of my church is a fickle thing. Please forgive them Father, they no not what they do, but I do and I wont stand by. Please give me the strength of character to do what I must and ensure your will be done above all.

P.S. Father please show Meredith Cohn your love and lead her to your side, make her a disciple of your glory.

Amen

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Tea and Conversation with the Fae

[Published 04/20/18 in Reader’s Digest ]

Since joining the Contingent about a month ago, I’ve learned more about the supernatural than I ever would have thought possible. I’ve met beings that I thought only existed in bedtime stories, and even the humans here have been through things that seem almost unbelievable. I spend most of my days training or doing research, but I do go on assignment as well, and that’s where the real craziness happens. In my very first assignment as a member of the Contingent, I was sent to a Faerie realm, which was full of some of the most bizarre and fascinating people I’ve ever met. I was able to catch up with two of them later for an exclusive interview.
For purposes of confidentiality, let’s call my new friends Mr. and Mrs. X. As I made my way down the main street of the Faerie market where they live and work, their house loomed above most of the stalls and small shops in the area. It’s an old but sturdy Victorian building, complete with a tower running up the side of it. Little creatures called pips, which Mr. and Mrs. X make with their magic, run all over the market, but tend to congregate around the house. A lot of people aren’t big fans of the pips, but one of them helped me out of a tough spot, so I consider them friends.

I was brought inside and sat down at an elaborate table. Since Mr. and Mrs. X run their store out of the house, every room was full of curiosities beyond comprehension. Trinkets and jewelry littered every surface, but the real treasures available at the Faerie market are a little harder to pin down. Mr. and Mrs. X trade not only in physical objects, but also in dreams, memories, and emotions. The physical manifestations of these goods can be found on shelves, side tables- just about anywhere in the house.
Mr. and Mrs. X offered me a cup of tea, but I had to refuse- I’m not brave enough yet to try eating Faerie food. I can say that it smelled amazing, though. After we were all settled at the table, we got down to business. Here’s an excerpt from our interview:

What’s your favorite thing about working at the market?
Mr. X: The guests, of course!
Mrs. X: Customers, dear.
Mr. X: Yes, yes, the customers, that’s what I mean. We’ve met so many interesting people. Why, just recently there was that- that-
Mrs. X: Yes, so exotic, with all those-
Mr. X: And those limbs!
Mrs: X: Absolutely fascinating, weren’t they?
Mr: X: oh, yes. We just love guests.

What are some of the craziest things that have happened to you here?
Mr. X: Well, there was that one time…
Mrs: X: Should we even tell her?
Mr. X: Oh, I think we must! You see, we had just picked up a very interesting item…
Mrs. X: And somebody tried to steal it!
Mr. X: Can you imagine?

What did the thief do?
Mr. X: well, he came into the house.
Mrs. X: quite overstayed his welcome, too!
Mr. X: Oh yes, just milled about, wouldn’t buy anything or take any tea.
Mrs. X: It was such a display, he quite embarrassed himself.
Mr. X: Well, he waited around until we had another engagement-
Mrs. X: and then he just picks up the item and walks away with it! Can you imagine?
Mr. X: it’s a lucky thing for him our pips caught him before [the person who supervises the market] did.
Mrs. X: We were quite kind, really.
Mr. X: And made quite a profit.
Mrs. X: Of course, [the supervisor] knows what he did. She chewed him up and spit him out, alright!
Mr. X: he won’t be coming back here.

Stealing is a huge offense at the Faerie market, so big that anyone who’s caught doing it is stripped of their name and all their memories. I asked what was so valuable that somebody would take that risk, but Mr. and Mrs. X weren’t telling. In fact, there was a lot they didn’t want to share with me. I tried to find out if they knew anything about last year’s events in New Orleans- apparently the Fae helped the Contingent then in fighting some kind of demon- but they wouldn’t say a word about it. I’m still determined to find out all I can about that day- stay tuned, dear readers!
Although I left with unanswered questions, I still had a pretty incredible afternoon with Mr. and Mrs. X. Joining the Contingent has opened my eyes to a lot of crazy things, both exciting and terrifying. I would say that making friends like these makes the whole ordeal worthwhile.

Meredith Cohn is a freelance journalist, a cat lover, and a demon hunter. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Some Kids Are Dying to Graduate
Willard Buss

Work alongside Dr. Sandoval put me right in my element. I am competitive by nature, so working with another expert brought my best to the fore. The work was made all the better because of the opportunity to work on a Promethean, which I would have only dreamed of existing not so long ago. Seeing the Promethean arm react to the various metal isotopes for which it was subjected was compelling work. Having access to a living piece, or I suppose, a fragment left behind of a living being has sparked an interest in me I didn’t know I had.

It was made perfectly clear the last few weeks that my skills are best used in the laboratory. My success beyond the lab was less than stellar. I had a sneaking suspicion that on our first assignment we were given a chaperone in Reyna. Comical, when you consider we were going to help high school children, but an apropos choice considering the circumstances. Regardless, Daisy, Eugenia, Junior, Reyna and Myself got along well and I believe we help Mr. Herring and Ms. Matson find some peace.

I nearly drowned my first time out on assignment. I can thank my continued existence to Junior. (Not my preferred choice but he was adamant on the nickname.) If not for him I would be keeping company with Charlie Herring. I should confess something when I was being dragged ashore I couldn’t help but think about an old college buddy named Charlie. (I know odd time with the circumstances.) It dawns on me that this friend of mine went by the nickname Red. This, of course, led me to think about the ghost no less than a stone toss away. When I thought about it, this boy could have drowned being a Red Herring. It’s funny what you think about when you’re drowning. But, I digress.

Another thought that’s been weighing on me is this flask. When I think about it, what context do I view my research on it? The Promethean Arm twitched as if it possessed some semblance of life, yet Dr. Sandoval and I performed all manner of research without a second thought. But what of an apparition? Dr. Mayo seemed human enough, but those three kids were repeating that same instance over and over for fifty odd years like a broken record. Does the Hippocratic oath apply here? Does it even matter if it does not? Is it just a fragment left behind? Mr. Forbes was a drunk that ruined the lives of a whole community. That should be enough of a justification to subject the boy’s ghost to pokes and prods, but that isn’t enough of a reason.
This needs to be put in the right hands, I’ll turn over to Dr. Sandoval this afternoon.

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