With the White Necromancer once again engaged in resurrection-research (that book of Yuki’s had some interesting material about the wheel of incarnations in it), “Satan” occupied with his rebuilding projects, and the Chauffeur buried in legal paperwork, Yuki/Yukikaze in her “superhero identity”, Lahatiel, and The Hauntsman were left somewhat on their own.
Lahatiel elected to play guardian at the moment. He’d rarely ever heard of anyplace as trouble-prone as the orphanage.
The Hauntsman recalled something he’d been meaning to do: Vasilko had been kidnaped by the War God as a small boy – and in the ensuing five years, no one had ever gotten in touch with his parents about it. He got The Chauffeur to give him a quick ride to the appropriate area and drop him off while he tried to reach Vasilko’s parents.
It looked like they’d been spending their time waking and allying with every nature spirit in a radius of twenty miles. The area was a maze of misdirection effects, shields and wards, and magical fortifications. None all that powerful on an individual level – but the cumulative effect was pretty formidable for creatures that were evidently limited to personal magic. Evidently the pack was determined to protect their other children. He decided to simply get the local spirits to carry a message for him instead of trying to bull his way through.
He got a response quickly enough – but it took an awful lot of explaining to avoid being torn to bits. Vasilko’s mother had been fairly sure that he was dead, since the War God had been pretty brutal on his way in (everyone had recovered except for another, somewhat older, boy who’d been cursed – beyond their power to break – with being stuck in wolf-form), they had sensed that his spirit was drifting free on the astral plane occasionally, and most of the time they’d been unable to sense him at all. It took a lot of persuasion – made all the harder by the pressure of her jaws wrapped around his head – to convince her that Vasilko was alive, was doing fine, and that he hadn’t been involved in stealing him or keeping him separated from his family to begin with. In fact, he had his own pack now… At least uncursing the other young man was enough to convince the pack that he meant well.
He offered to bring Vasilko back for a visit, but Vasilko balked a bit for some reason, so he invited them to come and visit on Vasilko’s territory instead.
Meanwhile, Yukikaze was doing some cooking as an introduction and a way to get to know everyone (and finding out about the kids and their various oddities), researching the Red Dragon, and reviewing the news. It looked like the Lanarists were embarking on a missionary world tour, the Ankylosaur Armor was being transferred to a special Primus facility in Chicago, Swarm, of Dagger, had been found dead in his cell – yet again (and Frost had been held not responsible by reason of incompetence – yet again), the Undead Nazi’s had been successfully repelled from Washington and most of them had apparently simply vacated the bodies they’d been occupying, an exhibit of many millions of dollars worth of Mayan Gold Artifacts would shortly be opening at the museum, several witnesses were reporting kidnapings by mysterious armored figures in Russia, and… What was that about millions in gold?
Definitely time for an after-hours visit to the museum. She’d better see what the flaws in the security system were so she’d know what she had to stop.
The biggest flaw turned out to be that the Security Chief had been hypnotized into taking on The Crimson Scarab (along with Tantrum and The Black Mist, two of the other charter members of Plunder) to provide upgraded magical security – and he’d been setting up to simply dimension-shift the entire exhibit for plundering at leisure (or possibly for ransoming back). This rapidly led to a bit of a fight. At three to one – even if they weren’t a particularly combative crew – it was pretty much a forgone conclusion that the villains would escape, but at least there was a lot less damage to the museum than there had been when Ranko fought the same group there.