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.”
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: “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.”
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!)