The Contingent

Plans
A chat recorded between Wayne Hodges and Tazendra Crow

Tazendra Crow: “Wayne? Wayne! It’s good to see you, old friend. You smell kinda different.”

Wayne Hodges: “That doesn’t surprise me in the least.”

T: “Josie. How is she?”

W: “There’s a reason I’m here, ready to fuck up some supernatural shit. Pardon my French.”

T: “I don’t think that was French?”

W: “It’s just a saying, Taz.”

T: “Oh. Look, if we survive this, will you help me see her?”

W: “I’ll do my best, Taz, but I can’t promise anything. So, what’s the plan?”

T: “It’s sort of a multi-step thing. Kind of complicated and I forget the moving parts sometimes, but it’s basically this:

“These beings that want to crash our world with underworld, releasing all those souls through this door they created in the collective consciousness. These assholes who are trying to use us for their vengeance and power mongering while claiming it’s for our own good. They consider themselves superior to humans, using us – our souls, our minds - as batteries, tools, whatever, while believing that we in our inherent inferiority aren’t going to be able to do anything about it. But they made a huge mistake. They showed us that we have enormous capacity for power and – I think, at least - protection.

“So we’d be using everything that makes humans, well, human, that angels and demons don’t have or value like we do. Free will, love, adaptation, community, the ability to come together and become more than what we’d be alone. They used us, but they showed us how much power we truly have, and we can turn that against them like they wouldn’t believe. We also have our innovation and resourcefulness. We’re hunters because we can come up with things like ethereal rounds and fae bombs. Our ability to craft what we need to deal with the world is one of our great strengths. We are our own resource, and we should have the ability to tap into ourselves to defend our home, with a few key differences. First, we only take willing outpourings, and second, we can work alongside others, all as equals.”

W: “Ok…what do you mean by others?”

T: “Other beings. The fae, the werewolves, maybe some vampires. Beings that may have a reason to love this world, or at least not want to see it get overloaded and crashed like this.”

W: “Vampires? Seriously, Taz? What the he…”

T: “I know, but there are some that…they have reason to be who they are, and they have some sort of moral code. Look, we need to just look at all the possibilities and work from there. We’ve been learning about these beings and their motives for a long time. At the least, it’s good to know who to look out for. I’ll never work alongside the Carfaxes if I can help it, but I want people to know who they are in case they decide to step in as players again.”

W: “Ok, hit me.”

T: “No, not just yet. I need to try to talk this out of my head. This plan. These plans. They’re already in motion with Dr. Skaar’s announcement and news of Ed resurfacing, spreading the word. They and Gina have their own work cut out for them, though, so this part is on us, cuz they’re doing. . . ”

W: “Taz, focus! What is it?”

T: “Thanks, Wayne. It’s just been…it’s been something. Ok. What if we took willing expressions of collective consciousness that exist throughout the world and used it to power some kind of global protection against that opening door? I mean, we’re working toward that already with the global effort to let people know about The Contingent and how we’re trying to save the world. So we’re hopefully going to have a freaking ton of people focusing on our band to give us a boost against the Patrons. But that’s not gonna get everyone involved, and I’d bet that there’s gonna be more than a little fear mixed in with the hope. We need to diversify, Wayne.

“So, add to all that Buddhist monks seeking compassion and healing for the world; nuns in convents praying for the sick, dying, and alone that have nobody else; or fuck, anyone who’s praying, meditating, or consciously working toward the protection, healing, and well-being of others. They’re sending out massive amounts of energy into the world through those actions, and if we can focus it into a true protective barrier against this attack, we could anchor life and the land the way we anchored ourselves in Hill Valley to save Claire’s astral projection of her soul…sorry, what? Oh, she’s a reporter that joined the Contingent recently – from getting pulled into the machinery of the dam.

“Uh, yeah…the machinery is a long story. Basically, it stripped souls that were bound to the land of their very natures, and then stored the blanks. It was all sorts of fucked up, trust me. By the way, the soul of Jackson Carver is a giant Sluagh now. Just a head’s up in case you see an angry spirit eagle around.”

“What was I talking about? Anyway, it will be in line with what these people are fighting for, too, whether they’re consciously aware of it or not. It’s the anti-Patron lens. We also have a priest that’s been through hell with us who might also be able to help rally spiritual leaders in some way.

W: “So how do we do this?

T: “Not alone, and not through brutality. No, it’s got to be through connection and common ground between beings. Many of the fae and the werewolves have a love for both their world and this land, even if they are at odds with us in other ways. They have anchors and connections all over the world. The werewolves can help as liaisons between humanity and fae, able to channel that consciousness through the links between realms to create that protective barrier all over the world. You’ve got high influence with the Union, so you’d know better than I who or what the possibilities are with them. The hobo network may also be able to help with this linking, as many of them are able to hop barriers and spread throughout the land through unconventional paths.

“Vampires are trickier, because most of the ones we know have no love for humanity or anything other than their own power and advancement. But, there are the Boo Hags. Not exactly good guys, but they would definitely have an issue with supposed superior beings using and throwing away ’lesser people‘ with their grand plans. I know that The Patron’s drug in New Orleans did some serious damage to the vampire community down there, too, from what I heard. Maybe they’d be onboard with helping us. In any case, creatures like that straddle the line between life and death already. They may be able to help in some way.”

W: “So, we’re using the powers of our minds to protect the world? Through what type of focus?”

T: “Right now, we’re looking at two major things: like I said, the fae-connections between this world and theirs, as pathways to channel the energy all over the world, and to bounce it off one of Empire’s satellites, maybe more. One of them I was working on to detect the people whose souls were still tied to bodies that should’ve died in Hill Valley after we shut down that dam machinery. I did a couple things with the hedge thorn to it, so it may have some connection to the fae anchor points. Or it could crash the fae plane into ours, or something.”

W: “…”

T: “I don’t think that’ll happen. But, I mean, if we have to have a world try to occupy ours at the same time, would you prefer fae or afterlife?”

W: “Let’s just…I’m not even going to answer that question, Taz.”

T: “Huh? Oh, ok. It might be interesting to have unicorns running around. I may have drawn up some mech-armor specs…”

W: “Spearing people to death with their horns?”

T: “…”

W: “Taz.”

T: “Yeah, ok, not the best idea. So here’s the next part. We’ve got the global mind creating that layer of protection, right? We can also use the power of our global heart to take action: push back against that door and lock it, then take or destroy the key.”

W: “Ok, so how’s this part going down? Have you found a global heart in your wanderings?”

T: “No, I don’t think so. Not this time.”

W: “I’m just going to let that one go for now.”

T: “What, did I say something? Huh. Anyway, Yeah, we have a global heart in a way: music. We have music all over the world. Every musician playing from their heart to add beauty to the world; every wedding celebration of love; and every moment where people use rhythm and melody to celebrate what makes us cherish our world; that’s our power. We use that to drive the door shut against the Underworld.”

W: “We throw music at it? Just play a happy song and make everything right? Have you been smoking something?”

T: “Yes. Well, I mean, technically, it was ingesting an extra-planar living rock that was on fire at the time. Which brings me to Forrest.”

W: “Ok…”

T: “So music is fundamentally just a vibration with soul. A tuning fork has the ability to turn vibration into a more focused, purer wave of power. We need to be able to take that force into the astral plane and turn it into something pure and powerful enough to push that door closed. Once the door is closed, we need to be able to either remove or destroy the key in the door, but let’s put a pin in that right now. Two things I can think of that are far reaching, associated with spiritual/astral planes, and respond to vibrations are crystals and water. Seems like the places we’re going to be to make our stands – San Francisco, New Orleans, and DC – are all near a major source of water. There are also several caverns with crystal formations, not as nearby, but close to each site.

“So two possibilities: using some crystal or crystals naturally existing in the earth as a cosmic tuning fork, sending a strong enough vibration to slam the door shut, or energizing water to do something similar. Most caverns are connected to water, so if we wanted to use underground crystals as that link between the expression of music and rhythm and the water itself, that could work, too. I have a very strong feeling that Forrest is into surfing planar vibrations on multiple levels. If our oceans and waterways could be used to channel these vibrations, similar to how the thoughts of people are going to be channeled through the anchor points, it’s possible that Forrest and other supernatural beings help take the energy simultaneously being created in the astral plane and basically launch it toward the door? Sort of like a massive astral waterspout that totally doesn’t sound super crazy, thank you very much. This would also involve Whim working to keep probabilities aligned to prevent us doing horrific damage. And we’d have the barrier we’d previously created to help mitigate damage, anyway.

“Now, the last thing: the key. Thanks to this guy Jack’s awesome parkour, we have half of it. What I’m going to suggest is way outside my wheelhouse, but I think I have the basic ideas down. We need to get some of our best scientists and occultists, maybe crafters, too, to study its properties. One idea that an electron or atom can be in two places at once, so what affects it in one place will affect it in the other. I have no idea if or how that’s true, but I have a feeling mages and dreamtime people can step in with their ideas. The other thought is the medieval concept of sympathetic magic, or even weapon-salves, which involve the belief that treating the weapon can cure the wound. I’m basically wondering if there’s a way to control or destroy the part of the key in the lock through the half that we have. It obviously has to have more going on with it than its physical form. But that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

“Another possibility would be to “magnetize” it in some metaphysical way that it pulls the other one out and back to the half we’ve got, but I’m not a fan of this because of the risk of ours actually getting pulled to the half in the door,instead, if we fail. We might be able to create a type of astral magnet that doesn’t involve our part of the key, if we can get enough info about it, though.”

W: “Sweet Jesus, Taz. This is a lot to take in.”

T: “I know. And there are a lot of gaps in my mem…in my knowledge that, if we do this, we’re going to have to work together to fill out. But that’s where I’m not as worried. We have our innovation and resourcefulness. We’re hunters because we can come up with things like ethereal rounds and fae bombs. We can come up, between all of us, with what we need. I don’t have any doubt of that. If you’re ok with it, I’m going to share this recording on a safe channel with the rest of the Contingent”

W: “No problem. You know, you sound different. Is something going on with you?”

T: “I’m more focused than I’ve been in a long time, Wayne. But yeah, I’m pretty sure I’m still me.”

W: “Ok. Just…I see what you’re saying. Be careful, anyway, ok?”

(Careful Taz! you could hurt someone!)

“What?”

“Nothing.”

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Notes from the Road
Found along NYC/Raleigh/New Orleans routes

Dozens seen on bulletin boards in migrant services centers, translated from Spanish:

Brothers and sisters, keep your eyes open, because dark times are coming. The stories and legends of our childhoods are rising up and we are caught in the middle. Some are friendly, some are not. Do your best to learn: ally yourselves with those who work alongside humanity to defend us all from those who wish harm to humanity and its allies. Your brothers and sisters in the Contingent stand with you; we are your teachers, your mail carriers, your trash collectors, your police, your doctors, and more. Learn, prepare yourselves, and don’t stand alone. We are here and we are with you.

[[Dr. Skaar—The More You Know | http://www.EmpireFoundation.org/disclosure]]

http://www.E-GaDS.net/datadump

- – - – - – - – - -

Dozens seen on bulletin boards in county jails, bail bondsman offices, and county courthouse holding rooms:

Boys and girls, you’ve seen things moving in the shadows, skittering in alleys, melting into the cracks in the pavement. Things that don’t make sense, things that just can’t exist. You’re not wrong; they’re there. They’re real. Some of them are friendly, some of them aren’t. It’s time for you to learn the difference…because real soon, it could mean life or death. Time’s tickin’ away, kids. And not just because the cops caught you this time. The Contingent exists for times like these, and we are with you. Don’t face the darkness alone. Be informed, be ready, know who your friends are. Might be surprised at who turns out to have your back.

[[Dr. Skaar—The More You Know | http://www.EmpireFoundation.org/disclosure]]

http://www.E-GaDS.net/datadump

- – - – - – - – - -

One envelope, addressed to Fr. Balfour and taped to a confessional at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Atlanta, GA:

Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It’s been a long time since my last confession. So long, I can’t remember when the last one was. A lot has happened since then. Some of it, I won’t confess because I don’t believe it could ever be a sin, regardless of what the Church teaches. But the rest…oh, Father, the rest. I’ve caused physical harm countless times, in defense of myself and others. I don’t think I’ve ever actually killed a person, but I’ve certainly had the chance to stop others and not done so, which is the same, I suppose. I’ve stolen. Cars, weapons, stuff. I’ve taken the Lord’s name in vain more often than I’ve spoken my own. And we won’t even try to sum up the individual counts of fornication. Really, let’s not.

I drugged my girl and left her in the back seat of the car while our friends and I did a job. For her safety, and ours. It was a shitty thing to do, but it was safer for everybody. It really was. She was freaking out, and she would have given us all away. Doesn’t mean I felt good about it.

Also, I’m questioning the nature of God these days. Hard. I’ve seen the Angels, Father, and the Demons, too. The wheels of eyes, and haloes of fire, and wings of blades: they’re real, and they treat us like pawns in their power games. I can’t allow myself to believe that the God I was taught about as a girl would allow that. Was that God a lie?

Anyway, Father, I’ve got a lot to atone for, and probably not a lot of time left in which to atone for it. So any prayers you could offer for me are appreciated. I’m sorry I couldn’t be here on the right day to do this in person. I’ll just keep praying as I do, and hope to find atonement through action.

The end might be coming sooner than you think, Father. Be careful who you pray to, and for what. Open your eyes to what’s going on in the world. We’re almost out of time.

EMJJ

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New Room Discovered in Winchester Mansion

Calliope at ASI sends this article through to the Contingent.
newspaper.jpg

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Knowing is Half the Battle

The high tinny sound of old country music filled the dingy bar. No one seemed to pay much attention to the aging jukebox in the corner, minus the drunk next to it humming along to whichever song of heartbreak and loneliness it played. Above it stood the Union emblem burned into wooden planks, covered nearly entirely in photos of those lost to the vigil.

The rest of the bar’s patrons certainly were of a type: roughneck. These were men and women who made a living by sweat and pain; the sorts that built this great nation and were generally invisible to the rest of it.

A man and woman stood behind the wraparound bar in the center of the room, clearly related. They moved with easy comfort from years of the trade, a well-orchestrated system of bottles, glasses, and just the right word or look at the right time to help those not lost in their cups. Above them hung a series of party lights from the back-stock cabinetry, burned out long ago.

A welcoming smell of grilled food floated in the air, barely covering the smell of cigarette smoke outlawed years ago. It was late afternoon; neon light from the sign outside declaring “Johnnie and Connie’s” floated in between the old wooden blinds with the sun’s dying rays.

The sound of wood creaking and cracking cut through the music as the door to the bar shifted in the frame, the light of the East Texas sun through the small window in the door going dark as small thorny vines crept around the frame. With a sound like a splintering frame, the door opened the wrong direction, revealing a narrow path through an overgrown forest, and a wall of a man with strongly Nordic features and blond hair pulled into a ponytail. The room fell silent as Dain’s penetrating eyes swept from side to side, looking for threats. ‘Predator’ radiated from him, and no one dared to move.

“Room’s clear,” he called out, stepping out of the doorway and to the left. Several of the burned-out bulbs in the party lights flared red as he entered the room.

Moonlight flooded in, along with the smell of flowers and spring. The party lights continued to twinkle red and then green as three additional figured crossed the threshold: a Latina in road leathers carrying an assault rifle, a tiny pale-skinned girl with technicolor hair, and Ed McLaughlin.

Ed’s appearance broke the spell of silence. Suddenly the room filled with whispers and mumblings, shock and disbelief on many of their faces. “Holy shit, it’s you,” exclaimed Johnnie. “We heard rumors you were out of the game.”

Leanna closed the door gently, patting it like an old friend as the vine retreated from around the door and the sun began to shine through the window once more. Dain and Victoria stalked through the room, closing blinds and peering out at the cars in the lot.

“I thought so too,” Ed replied, taking Johnnie’s extended hand in a warm handshake. “But you saw Skaar on TV. You know he’s telling the truth. You can feel it. Something bad is on the horizon and we can’t wait for it to get here.”

Connie sat down the glass he’d been cleaning. “So what do we do? I mean, that sounds great on a billboard, but what do we actually do?”

“I know what we do!” came the drunken exclamation from someone at the bar. “We pop us some freaks! Don’t matter which ones, fangers, furries, dandelion eaters, whatever. Plug ’em all and let God sort it out.”

A low growl, more felt than heard, rumbled from Dain. Ed, hackles raised, pinned Dain in place with a glance that said Let me handle this.

“And just what good do you think will come from fighting each other?” Ed thundered in reply. “You think they’re not just as fucked as you are if this goes down? No one wins, everyone loses. That’s what happens if we all start fighting each other. This is not our way!”

Ed slammed his hand on the bar to punctuate his point. Mumbles of agreement spread throughout the bar. Running his hand through his hair, Ed composed himself. It would be so easy to let the anger win, Ed thought. Always right there, just under the surface…

Ed pulled a brown folder from his jacket pocket and dropped it on the bar. “This is a list of Gestalt sites in the region.” he said, jabbing his finger onto the folder. “They’re in the thick of whatever’s going on and we need to shut them down. Show everyone that we can make a difference. Right now, there’s a lot of fear out there and not much hope. It’s time to change that.”

Victoria had paid little attention to the room’s antics, regularly peeking through the blinds into the parking lot. Something caught her attention. “Ed, we have to leave — now,” she said, forceful and stern.

Ed sighed. “There is never enough time. I’m sorry for what comes next,” he said.

Dain placed a hand on Ed’s shoulder and steered him back towards the entrance, barking a command behind him. “Leanna, the door.”

She nodded before kneeling down and whispering into the lock. Standing, she pushed it open the wrong way with the sound of cracking wood, revealing a moon-lit pasture choked with nettles instead of the sunny parking lot. Victoria was the first through, rifle at the ready, followed quickly by Dain and Ed. Leanna gave the room a wide smile. “You can do this—I just know you can,” she said, pushing the door shut.

Moments later, the same door swung inward, hitting the bell at the threshold. The bell’s tone seemed to break the moment, bring things back to the now. In came a trio of men, clearly not the type to spend their time in out-of-the-way dive bars. Everything about them screamed “cop”, from the mirrored shades to the arrogant swagger in their walk. The leader walked directly to bar while the others fanned out throughout the room. “We’re looking for someone,” he announced, pulling a photo from his breast-pocket. “Ed McLaughlin. Answer all of our questions and there won’t be any trouble.”

Johnnie glanced just above the newcomer at the string of party lights now burning bright blue. Other bulbs came to life as the other two men neared the bar. To one side, Connie reached between the ice chest and liquor rail to pull a sawed-off shotgun from its holster.

“Lock the doors,” Johnnie called out to his patrons, then turned to address the newcomers directly. “You boys just found a whole heap of trouble.”

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Dr. Skaar--The More You Know

As various primetime television channels fade to commercial, the first ad opens up on Dr. Skaar leaning against his desk. The classic oak furniture and masculine earth tones of his decor give a warm, comfortable feel to his office. Off to the side, something that is just out of focus is thrashing in a cage. Skaar looks at the camera and gives a small smile before he starts speaking.

“Good evening, or whatever time it is when you’re watching this on YouTube. As you are no doubt aware, I am Dr. Skaar. Several years ago, I founded the Empire Foundation on three simple ideals: pursuit of pure science unfettered by orthodoxy, ethical transparency, and the protection of humanity.

“You have no doubt heard some pretty wild rumors recently. Even more, you feel something. Something ineffable has changed. It’s like you just noticed a door in your house for the first time that you never knew was there, and something on the other side is jiggling the handle. I am here to tell you that it’s real. All of it. There are monsters. They are amongst us, hidden in plain sight. They are our allies, friends, and lovers—some of them helping us throughout the centuries. However, there are many more who view us as nothing more than a lunchable.”

Skaar stands up and walks toward the cage. As he does so the camera pans in on some sort of four legged creature inside. Hard to rationalize, later people would describe it as looking like a hairless grizzly bear, rough grey skin stretched across muscle and bulk. There are too many teeth in a jaw that stretches far too long. Fire licks its nostrils when it exhales. As the CEO approaches, it appraises him with pale blue eyes. They’re almost human looking.

“Over here, we have what is colloquially known as a hellhound.”

The animal growls; small spines can be seen rising from its pallid skin. The two stare each other down for a beat before Skaar continues.

“Ordinarily, the quantum flux of such a creature renders it invisible to the naked eye. Empire Foundation technology has made it possible to see such an abomination.”

Skaar absently taps the cage, causing the beast to lunge, impotently snapping at its containment. With a small sigh, Skaar looks back at the camera.

“This is not why I’m here, though. There is an imminent attack that threatens the lives of millions of us. I am working with a group, the Contingent, to stop it, but we need everyone’s help. To that end, I am publishing online everything we have. Names will be redacted, but all the notes, all the research, all the proof, will be there. Worse, evidence of our government’s collusion is in there. Read about Task Force Valkyrie, Ashford Abbey, and Thurisaz Ventures, and hold your leaders accountable. Gaze at the tangled web that is Gestalt and their many subsidiaries, then clear your medicine cabinet and pantry of their wide influence.

“The Empire Foundation will temporarily offer live tours of our facilities, organized by my assistant Ms. Whitehall. Come to our labs and see the supernatural with your own eyes.

“Good night, and good luck.”

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Our Shot
How To Save The Entire Damn World...

Friends,

I and a few others have been thinking quite a bit about how to un-fuck the world after what happened during our last set of missions to stop the Patron(s).

Not everything about the mission was bad. Specifically, the Patrons showed us something that can most likely help fix all of this: There is a goddamned COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS OF HUMANITY

This isn’t a hair brained theory any more. This isn’t some kooky spiritualist’s ramblings. This is a bonafide fact of the damn universe that everybody witnessed in The Triangle.

And it’s ours.

Not theirs.

So let’s use it.

This is seriously going to take a unified and coordinated effort by every Compact, Ally, Contact and Asset that the Contingent can bring to bare. All our skills. All our resources.

What we do is actually pretty simple. We craft a story about the Contingent. An amazing and epic story that uplifts the spirit and gives you hope when you read it. An amazing and diverse group of people coming together to stem the tide of darkness that threatens to overtake the world. We name names and spare no detail on descriptions of past exploits and greatness. We tell the stories of everyone that has fought and died with the Contingent for the betterment of humanity while everyone slept, oblivious to the unrelenting dangers that threaten our world on a daily basis.

We go public.

And we provide evidence. Years and years of collected and corroborating evidence. Other Hunter organizations can back us up if they want. We hack government databases and provide all the surveillance info we can. We build tech to boost the signal We use every member’s connections and allies to back it all up and help spread the story. We reignite the “Secret Frequency” as the “Overt Frequency” using the satellite the Empire Foundation recently put into orbit and whatever other networks we can hack and use. Bring the dark net into the light. Make this modern epic go viral like nothing has before.

We need all of our available agents and assets to travel to the parts of the world that aren’t connected electronically. They’ve got a month. They can do it. Spreading the story of the Contingent to anyone who will listen. Every corner of the world will know what we’ve tried to keep in the shadows for years.

The story spreads like a virus through music and stories and memes and YouTube and 24 hour news coverage and whatever other vector humanity can think of. A month in the modern world is a damn eternity.

But here’s the kicker. The crux of it all. We have to drive home the fact that in the near future the Contingent will need everyone. And by everyone I mean every single person living on this planet. Men, women, children, Mages, Werewolves, Changelings…whatever. Everyone. They’ll need everyone to think of the names of the members of the contingent and lend them their strength through sheer force of will so that they can save the world one more time. Stop saying “Our thoughts and prayers are with you” and let’s actually do it.

Over 7 billion people thinking at the same time about the same little band of people trying to do good and wishing they would save them one more time when the world is faced with annihilation. 7 billion people focusing their collective consciousness on the Contingent…

And then we save the damn world.

Because I honestly cannot think of a more appropriate way to stop the end of existence than bringing all of humanity into it and putting a stop to all the shadow game bull shit.

-Granger out

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Dear Brother
The Death of Richard Miller, Part II

An older reflection of John appeared upon the screen. Tired rings weighed down his eyes, and his hesitance was plain in his expression. John wasn’t sure if it was the constant traveling or the years in academia that gave him the small shocks of white hair that peppered his beard, but they were certainly new. It’s been over eight years since he last saw Richard, and news of his death still hasn’t quiet settled in. John glanced over the instructions once more; Richard had left instructions to only play the video over the camcorder it was recorded from. A large stack of papers came with it all, all neatly written and detailing a bunch of hoodoo he knew nothing about. Blackstar? The Patron? Keys and Towers? Granted, he knew his brother was a history buff, but this was reading less like a thesis and more like one of those spooky SCP story entries that people write for fun. Or because they were crazy.

John huffed, thumbing the play button.

Greetings John. If you’re listening to this, then it’s likely because I have died one way or another. The how shouldn’t concern you, because quite frankly, there is a lot for you to catch up on, and it’s rather overwhelming, even for myself.

John pinched the bridge of his nose. Seemed like Richard didn’t change much. Asshole…

I wouldn’t normally consider this, but given my current situation, I found it prudent to ensure that whatever I’ve researched, found, or gathered be readily accessible to The Contingent in the event of my demise or if I am compromised.

The Contingent? John canted his head, as he listened to his brother ramble about who they were.

Speaking of which, what is shared here is between you and I. Samantha and Rhys don’t need to catch wind of this. I’d say Rhys was the more responsible brother, but he can barely hold a gun. At least you look like you could handle yourself. You just need to make sure that you keep them safe, keep them uninvolved with whatever these things have in plan for us. I’ve left a few locations listed somewhere that you can drag them off to, hopefully they may workout as a place to hide out, but time will tell, I suppose.

John was already finding it all to be a bit much to take in.

If you decide to get in contact with the Contingent, my first suggestion; don’t trust anyone. Any one of them could be marked like myself. The chances that the enemy has people inside are rather high. If you DO follow up on all this, talk to Virgil, or Eva. You might be able to get a hold of one of them by talking to the proprietor of the Alibi, down in New Orleans. That might be your best lead, aside from digging through my phone if it is recovered. Just be sure it’s something you want to do before you dive in like you always do. You may not recall Six Flags, so let me add that you should be careful in New Orleans, and for God’s sake, try not to end up on a bus full of vampires again. I’m not around to dig you out of trouble a third time, so just be smart, alright?

John watched Richard’s tired face form a small smile.

We’re dysfunctional, but we’re still family. Be safe.

John blinked at the camcorder’s playback screen, still digesting what he had heard. He mumbled the only words he could muster to himself.

“What the hell?”

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The Key That Opens The Before
The Death of Richard Miller

Richard eyed Allie with uncertainty. Her sudden appearance in this hellish maze didn’t make sense, but he was quickly finding that hard to focus on. As Charles leveled his odd weapon at Allie, Richard found himself unable to focus on the conversation at hand. The occasional word of argument would make its way to his ears, drawing his attention briefly, but the door behind the woman raptly held his gaze.

Wayne held him from back, much to Richard’s ire. “Let me go, I am fine!” Richard’s hiss was cut short by the sting of otherworldly energy searing into his flesh. Wayne’s grasp faltered, and the hunter’s scrambled to react. Before them was the Patron is it’s true form, horrible and mechanical, a mess of eyes bearing vile intent. Or at least it seemed that way for a moment. For the briefest of moments, he thought he felt compassion, echoed by a warm voice urging him to the door; to safety.

He complied. The door was shelter from the impending doom, a safe haven from the coming troubles. He wasn’t sure how he knew this, but that didn’t matter. He knew he was right, everything he’s researched pointed to this. The before. This obviously lead to what was before.

“Zhī gi án dă kāi dè goānijàn,” he muttered, watching the chains fall away from the door. He glanced behind him, hesitating briefly as he observed the others. They were delaying the inevitable. He turned back to the door and reached forward, resting his hand upon the door and savoring this triumph of his. Just one step. One step and he’d know the truth. He hesitated once more.

In that moment, the Patron’s whirling form barreled through the door, nearly knocking the man over. Richard was flabbergasted. What had happened? The grasp of finger’s upon his jacket made him aware of the others once more and an alarming sense of dread set in. He cast a maddened glare over his shoulder, seeing who it was that would keep him from the door, his gateway to salvation.

“Let go! Get back!” he cried, slipping an arm free from a sleeve. They were going to get him killed! They would all die out here! Either by fate or luck, he tugged free of his assailant’s hold, lurching towards the door. No more hesitation, this was his chance. With an arm blindly held forward, he followed after the Patron into the doorway.

Almost instantly his mania snapped, leaving in it’s wake an empty void of dread. What did he do? This is all wrong! This isn’t salvation!

This is hell.

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A Lens Looking into What?
The Darkness Closes In

For not the first time in the last couple months, I again lie in a hospital bed wondering if I made the wrong choice in joining the Contingent. I got partially frozen on my last mission, with two demons possessing me and trying to come alive in me. This mission I was brought to consciousness after nearly bleeding out after an attack by someone who we thought was our friend, but turned out to be a Demon. I have grow closer to Grainger over the past month or so. He felt guilt about me taking his possession and it almost killing me. He has been helping me through the recovery and we get word that we are to have a mission in Chapel Hill, NC. He still seems to be having some problems with his guilt, I am trying to get him to let go of it, but it is deeply embedded. But, maybe I can convince him to give me his confession, if he can rid himself of this guilt and I can help, maybe it will lend some healing to both of us in our mutual attempts to battle our own guilty conscious. We combined with Taz, Jack, Virgil and Zac for this mission. I love these people, I worked with Virgil and Taz before and I cannot think of better people. Jack is an enigma. He was soulless from his last mission until…SHE…gave him a soul. How does one lose their soul? It is not even their’s to give and God would not relinquish control to another. What is going on? And then there is Zac…God bless him, Lord knows the college students sure did when we showed up at the Morehead Observatory. They acted like it was the second coming of Christ. He is not even a good actor, Antiquarium is one of the worst films I have ever seen. The amount of thought he puts into his films is equal to the amount of thought he puts into the rest of the events in his life, mainly none. His cavalier shoot first, ask questions later attitude nearly killed us this time. God love him, cause I am having some difficulties in that realm. None the less, his pretty face posed as a wonderful distraction at the observatory for me and the rest of the team to sneak into the back rooms. This is where we found…absolutely nothing, zip, zilch, nada. Except for the existence of some weird construction on the observatory itself. Allie came with us to “help.” Which of course was welcome at the time. But after we were zapped from the arcade called Baxter’s to some steam tunnels under the observatory, she showed who she really was. We had found ourselves in this tunnel which oddly enough had offices in it with lots of information concerning the construction on the observatory and other things. In addition we found a computer with the transcript of a conversation held between four entities, one of which turned out to be Allie. All four of which appeared to be Demons, and us having a traitor in our midsts. Cue Zac. While we attempted to talk to Allie and make heads or tails of this information, he shot an arrow at her. Then after she appeared to open a door to some weird place he shot an explosive arrow into the doorway. He hurt everyone, to say both were brash actions, might be an understatement. Allie or whatever her Hellspawn name is led us through this entryway, into what can only be described as maybe a pocket dimension. We were on a platform and in front and below us were ourselves with jacks and cords plugged into our heads, strapped to tables. Of course this is where we find what we were looking for and Allie says she has been keeping “us” until she can convince us of the validity of her actions. In a nutshell, destroy life on Earth by colliding it with the lives in Heaven and Hell at the same time and overloading God with everything that is going on. Thus destroying Him. Cue Zac once again… he shot some weird device we know nothing about out of Allie-Demon’s hands and it led to more pain for us. I feel a little deja vu coming on. Allie turned into some mass of eyeballs that shot lasers and tried to kill us. At this time, the weird lens siphoning energy from the contingent members with the 3 eye symbol on them in the distance seemed slightly less important. Did I also mention that it was sending this energy into the entire populace of the planet? Cause that is what it looked like. After that things got kinda nuts. Virgil sang some song into a Black Sun Diamond and called some Angel of Death down to help. Thats cool, but of course he came to kill everything, so were in the crosshairs as well. After some door opened, and a key appeared, Jack was able to break the key, by nearly sacrificing himself to the action. Zac saved him. I guess all that stunt work can be useful at times. Somehow Allie opened the door back out of the room, from which we dragged our other selves and escaped through the steam tunnels. When the consciousnesses converged from both existences of each person, some were unconscious and close to death. Yours truly amongst them. i don’t really understand what happened as i lay here in reflection. All I know is that, the Lord has put me in a place where I feel I am doing His work, but I will be damned if I am for once not sure if I can do what He is asking.

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