The Storm Diaries of David Mayseren, Fits the Fourth and Fifth

  • Monday’s Child is Fair of Face.
  • Tuesday’s Child is Full of Grace.
  • Wednesday we’ll be lucky if we ever get to…

Whaaaaa? Was that ringing? At (Urrr… 5:00 in the morning? Grrrr…). Phone. Who in hell…

You need some more power? Electrical and Magical? So does the TV? It wants a satellite dish and cable access as well? I did a very sloppy job on enchanting all of you? Oh, fine – but the cable access will have to wait a bit. Is there anything else? Can I go back to sleep now?

So Michael’s calling… Why isn’t he here? He was thirsty – and we haven’t got running water? So why is he…

You’re at the little convenience store a few blocks outside the park entrance and the place is being robbed? By a gang of about 30 people? Heavily armed? They’re shooting at you, you’ve got the force field up – and you just got the comlinks figured out?

Solaman? You teleport… Could you pop over to (Er, map, map… Here), and check on Michael? There’s some kind of big robbery going on.

(–Pop–)

(Yawn… God, I’m tired… That ought to…)

Waitaminute… Why in the name of god would thirty people be trying to rob a convenience store? That’d be overkill for a major bank!

Oh hell. We’d better go look.

(–Yawn–)

Meanwhile, Solaman had stepped out of time, and hiked over to the place… The store was packed with people, all of them armed, all of them looking a bit blank – and all of them shooting at Michael/Xenomorph. They didn’t seem to have anything else in common…

They also didn’t pay much attention to his attempts to settle things down – until he moved out of time and took away all the guns.

They promptly fell unconscious.

Zarquan’s Quickie Mart?????

Well… I guess it does have the virtue of being a bit hard to forget. Now what…

Now that’s weird… All kinds of different people. Even an FBI agent. Azrael? None of them remember anything about this? Their memories just go blank earlier this evening?

Great. Mind-controlled. Nobody here but victims. We’ll never be able to get that through to the police. Timewalker? Could you scatter them around in some safe places to wake up? Good. Hm… Just leave the FBI guy. He was looking for paranormal phenomena… Here’s one for him. I’ll leave a note.

The police were not happy with Warlock’s rapid-fire “explanation”… On the other hand, it looked like the word was gradually getting around. Warlock only had to wipe away a few memories – of them spotting Robert Lee making himself a hoagie. (He was kind of wanted.)

Back at the sanctum, the TV had a show for Micheal; “The Family Channel”. His mother, on a plane, worried about him, and dealing with some highjackers along the way. It seemed that somebody named “Lothar” had heard about him and his friends?

That didn’t seem like her at all.

Monday, everybody overslept… Sealed away from any other disturbance, Desrae’s enhanced psychic field – and simple exhaustion – led everyone to sleep both deeply, and late… They didn’t wake up until fairly late in the afternoon.

Michael finally managed to get out of his armor – and settled down to doing a lot of eating and drinking.

Warlock went home to see his mother… She’d wanted to see him about something.

Desrae and the junior thug went clubbing… He saw a great opportunity to do some sponging.

Timewalker decided to stay in the sanctum and monitor things a bit. He wanted to get a little more famalier with this timezone before he went out.

The TV decided to help him out. This would get very weird later on. Azrael stayed “home” as well.

Robert went hunting…

On the way home a weird helicopter appeared just in front of Warlock, some sort of invisible binding field grabbed ahold of him and started dragging him in – and an overly-amplified voice started telling him to “come along quietly”…
He was not inclined to do so.

Whaaa!?! HEY! LEGGO! I will not come along quietly! (Probably some of Dr Genos’s guys again). Maybe I can force the helicopter down if I reduce the air pressure around the rotors…

Cool.

So I’ll crash too? We’ll all crash together then… (Drat. They aren’t going for it – and there’s no room to push the descent rate enough to scare `em. At least we’ll be on the ground.)

Actually, the helicopter never touched down… It’d landed on the top of a speeding bus.

A buncha guys in business suits and dark glasses?!?

No, I don’t believe you’re from the government! The Government would start off with identification!

If this is an arrest, what am I being charged with? “National security”!?!?

Look, can’t you go bother somebody else? Go arrest the Seer. He’s a bad guy – and I don’t have time right now!

I’m wanted for questioning? So what is it you want to know? (Maybe about the alien invasion?)

You haven’t got your instruments here? (Oh No. I’m not about to disappear into some sort of lab/prison! It almost sounds like they want to vivisect me! Don’t know what this fellow can do, but they’re holding onto me somehow…)

During the ensuing debate, one of the agents seemed to deduce that Warlock wasn’t very old, Warlock spray- painted everything pink, shut down every technological item in the helicopter, grounded out “whatever-it-was” that was holding him – and got handed an FBI ID to check out. Of course, anybody could fake an ID…

<Timewalker? Could you come and help me? I’m being kidnapped… Where? Well, look for the pink helicopter parked in the street.

OK, so I painted it.>

About then, David realized that they were on top of a bus, rather then on the ground, a spirit calling itself “The Voice” (Of truth, justice, rationality – and whatever) put in an appearance and threatened to tie the rotor blades in a bow – unless the pilots took it away RIGHT NOW – and Timewalker showed up…

With the solitary agent who seemed to have personal powers entangled in a psychic struggle with The Voice, Warlock and Timewalker tried to simply leave. This did not work out; trying to get the driver to stop the bus revealed that he was afraid to slow down – someone had threatened to blow up the bus if he did…

You’ve got to be kidding. A secret government group tries to grab me, and I force their helicopter down on top of a bus that’s rigged to explode? So where’s the bomb?

Someone’s made the bus itself into some kind of explosive somehow? That’s RIDICULOUS!

OK. Fine. Wecanhandlethis. Lets put the passengers in the helicopter… Timewalker? You know how to drive this thing? Great! (Look – We have to put everybody on your helicopter because this bus is rigged to explode. Yes, I KNOW that’s absurd!!! It’s been going like this for days now, it’swhyIhaven’tanytime, JUST TAKE THEM!)

Well, I’m not the one who’s spent the last ten minutes fighting a mental duel with a belligerent sprite!

Not enough room? I’ll have to bail out and use the feather-fall spell on the last few… Jeez, why are you trailing along? How do I do this? How the hell should I know! I’ve only been at this for a couple of days!

OK… We need a big empty field or something. DAMN. Nothing within a reasonable distance. Maybe a nice, big, condemned building to crash it into? One they’re going to blow up anyway? There. About six miles away. Head for it…

Timewalker shunted himself, and the entire bus, about five minutes forward in time. It would give the others time to find a route and to clear the way. “The Voice” turned into a huge (And extremely silly-looking” pixie” type thing, Warlock threw in some siren-spells, and that FBI agent used some gadget that turned all the traffic lights green…

Warlock went on ahead… The place wasn’t actually scheduled to be demolished until tomorrow; there might be somebody inside. Besides, some illusion-signs would help Timewalker find the place…

Three street children? Oh fuck! No time. {Sleep} I’ll drop them off down the block… Anybody else? On the top floor? Damn!

Up on the top floor, Warlock found someone who knew that the place was due to go, but who seemed less then familiar with a lot of ordinary things, and who seemed to “flicker” slightly at the edges of your vision…

Warlock tried to haul him out of there FAST – and got stopped in his tracks by a telepathic override.

Weird. What’s a bus? A bus is kinda like those cars down there, but – NEVER MIND! We’ve gotta get out of – HEY! How’d he… He seemed to change as I came in… Maybe a Zarkonian? Nah. It seemed more like they way Azrael makes my eyes water when he pulls that…

Hey! Azrael! If this is one of your guys, tell him to stop fooling around, we’ve gotta get out of here!

What’s that? Lessee. You’re glad you’re not alone, but sorry it’s not a girl – and you’re annoyed that he outranks you?

WE’LL TALK ABOUT IT LATER!

Despite the Warlock’s shielding spells, the mass of the building, and Thorn/”The Voice” growing to 50 feet tall and using his body to contain the blast, there were some serious injuries – and quite a lot of damage to the surrounding buildings.

They spent some time cleaning up… Warlock healed people, The Voice (Who seemed to be basically an earth elemental with a human mindprint) propped up and fixed buildings – and Timewalker went back to the sanctum to keep an eye on everybody…

Warlock and the police (when they showed up) kindof ignored each other until everybody had been patched up – at which point one of the senior officers at the scene told him to “Just get out of here… GO AWAY”. The FBI guy was still hanging around – although he was still a bit nonplused about Thorn/The Voice turning back into a tiny sprite, and going off to try and figure out who’d rigged the bus… He decided to simply give Warlock a plane ticket, and tell him that if he didn’t come in for an interview within two and a half weeks he’d come and get him anyway. Sadly, Thorn’s expedition simply led to the city bus terminal.

Elsewhere, Robert had been targeted by the Order Of The Firehawk – apparently some group which hunted down supernatural beings. Unfortunately, the seemed to feel that all supernatural beings were malevolent, and used silver knives that could turn their own powers against them.

Whether fortunately or unfortunately, they weren’t really ready for Mr Robert Lee, or for Timewalker, who went to his assistance. It wasn’t easy – especially after Robert went berserk and it turned into a massacre. Even a bunch of highly skilled archer-warriors were no match for a martial-artist werewolf, although they did manage to temporarily overload Timewalker’s abilities.

That meant he couldn’t intervene when an Ogre grabbed Desrae out of her car (Which got totaled), or when a suction tube made from slime sucked the thug (Desrae had refused to associate with him any longer) into the sewer system…

Desrae, rather worried about Mask, started draining the ogre – but it didn’t seem to have much effect. It hauled her off to a cave anyway; to meet it’s brothers and get tied up… “Pret-ty La-dy”…

The thug was confronted with talking mutant rats, and their slime-controlling “king”, his servants and their various minor talents, and a lot of rats with blowguns and poisoned darts. He managed to avoid being dinner – but had no idea what to do when the surviving rats started to surrender and worship him… They were afraid of the alligator-men, and wanted him to protect them. He wound up taking a nap in the slime (He was exhausted…) – and it promptly started mutating him into a giant rat…

He was very unhappy about it when he woke up.

Hi Mom! What’s up? Schools doing all right… You were worried about me? Why?

One of your colleagues saw my name on a list??? For possible investigation by a special department??? Sort of like the “X-Files”??? (Oh boy…)

I’m not on the top, and she’ll try to get me off the list – but those are bad people to get involved with?

I “haven’t been doing anything that might get their attention somehow?”

Errr…

David, have you been up to something?

Errr… Those would be the guys in the helicopter, with all the weird gear? (“Yes… WAITAMINUTE! They tried to pick you up already? What could’ve got their attention that fast… and you got away?! HOW? You’re not an alien or anything… I know – I was there!”

Well; It started with the dragon showing up for the game… (No I haven’t been taking anything funny – and I haven’t been playing the games too much… And it’s not flashbacks or anything!)

See?

Mrs Mayseren got the whole story… She found it a bit hard to believe – especially the bit about the bus and the explosion – and the vampire and werewolf. She told him to try not to get into trouble – and left for the airport back to the east coast in a great hurry.

In the meantime, Desrae had used her power to “turn into a mist” to escape the ogres – but took the wrong exit from their transdimensional cave, and wound up in an alternate world. She took refuge from the sun in a hollow tree – and used her link with Mask to call on her allies for help – before she slipped into her daylight slumbers…

Mask went and got the Warlock – and Thorn, who’d used his tracking powers to locate one of those interesting people he’d seen… Tracing Desrae proved pretty easy. The great big footprints were a dead giveaway.

What do you want Mask? We’ve got to go save Desrae? Don’t tell her you got killed? (WHAT?)

The ogres took her?

Ogres… Only four hit dice. Right. Waitaminute. They grabbed a vampiress?

No, I’m not good to eat… I taste awful… Where’s Desrae? The pretty lady? She turned into a cloud and left? Through one of the doors?

Oh boy…

Good Lord. This place is some sort of nexus! A gate to other worlds. Desrae must have gone through one of them. Great. Maybe if I anchor myself here, and then follow her, I’ll be able to pull us both back through. It’s worth a try…

Cool. Weird, but cool. Now where… You can track people Voice, where’d she go? Sunlight isn’t good for vampiresses…

We should “look out for the things that eat Ogres”? They come out after dark? With any luck, we’ll be out of here then… Thank you uh… Mr Tree.

Warlock and the Voice waited out the afternoon – woke up Desrae – and got the hell out… Even with Issilor’s ring, Warlock could barely manage it; despite Desrae’s apparently limitless confidence (“You’re a mage aren’t you? Just poof us there!”)… It was a very good thing that he’d thought to leave an anchor.

Meanwhile, Timewalker had recovered – and was back to watching the TV – Robert had eaten a deer, and gone back to sleep, and the Junior Thug had woken up and gone to deal with the alligator men – as well as to find a way out. He killed a lot of subsapient alligator-things, but couldn’t find an exit. “The slime” didn’t want to let him go…

Great! We’re back… So what’s wrong now? Your BMW got totaled? I’ll see what I can do with it… Maybe a series of repair spells?

Cool. She nearly kissed me. It might’ve been worth the explosion…

I’ve got to figure out that insulating spell.

What’s been happening to the thug? I’ve just gotta see it on the TV? It’s funny as hell?

Well – It fits him.
I suppose we’ll have to go and get him back… What if we can’t change him back? Do we really want to wind up associated with “RATMAN”? He was bad enough before!

Meanwhile, Desrae’s thirteen-year-old kid sister, and Robert’s young cousin, had gotten pretty curious about what was going on…

Remember; Shapeshifting runs in families.

Amd so do the psychic potentials which allow people to survive becoming vampires…

Robert’s still asleep? Good!!! At least he hasn’t gotten into any trouble. Desrae? Asleep again? But she just slept for… Oh. Sunrise. Tuesday morning… I think I’ve got “Dimension Lag” or something. At least I took a nap while I was waiting for sunset under that talking tree…

So: Mother called to say something about some sort of an investigative team, and wants to be called back. The TV wants to talk to me. The phone and some of the other objects want recognition and rights for sentient objects written into the constitution (OK, next time I have a chance to amend the constitution I’ll take care of it), and my home computer wants to discuss a business contract with me – and says I should bring a mainframe?

Not to mention that we’ve gotta go and rescue Ratman.

Urghhhh…

It’s too early to call mother… and the TV doesn’t seem to be too talkative at the moment. Solamon left a note saying that we shouldn’t try to go after “Ratman” for a few hours… Well, it’s not like there’s nothing else to do around here.

Besides… I think I might have a way to get those pesty ninja guys off Robert’s back; what if I can make the people who hired them think he’s dead?

Warlock spent the next few hours arranging; running water, waste disposal, electricity, a remote cable and satellite connection (He tapped into the rangers), and various other necessities for his sanctum. He also used some protein mush, magic, and Robert’s regenerative abilities to grow and tan a “spare skin” – a bit of “evidence” of Robert’s “death” to send to his school…

What’s up Michael? You think that my powers include something that really attracts girls? (Cool!)    Because Julia told you she wanted to go out on a date with me, and asked you to have me call her, she’s free Saturday night?

At least there won’t be an explosion…

Mother should be in her office by now!

The phone call was… odd. There was this low buzz in the background, the voice sounded a little off, her tone was far too emotional, somebody tried to trace it back (Cell Foe diverted that to the bottom of the Marinas Trench somehow), “she” sounded rather like a man – and kept trying to find out exactly where he was. She said there was some sort of investigation going on – and that she’d fly back and see him personally at 5:00.

Well… SHIT!

OK… Presuming that that really wasn’t Mother, all that interest in exactly where I was sort of indicates that somebody’s after me – and that they could get there fast. If they’re tapping mom’s line, they’re probably keeping an eye on the house. I could try to warn Dad, but I’m not even sure that there’s a threat, much less what it might be, it might do more harm then good, and I’d have to try to explain what was… and that mother’s a secret FBI agent… and how I knew… and try to get him to believe what’s been going on (Hah. I’ve been living it, and I don’t believe what’s been going on), and…

TOO FUCKING MANY IF/MAYBE/BUTS!

SHITSHITSHIT!

Maybe Timewalker will get back… I think maybe my best option otherwise is simply to be an “unsuspecting kid” and just show up… I’ve got help nearby, and it might be nothing much…

Damn.

Well, at least it’s late enough to go after Ratman.

Yeech.

Down in the tunnels, Ratman had found the Alligator King – and engaged him in conversation… He seemed to have been a stockbroker before the slime got him – and he didn’t really want to fight – even though something was making him feel like he ought to. They decided to combine their power over the slime, and to try to escape instead. If they couldn’t do it alone, they could try to recruit the Slug King and the Bat King as well. Back on the surface, Robert, David, and Azrael, had picked up a diagram of the sewer system and were on their way…

Ok, this is where he got sucked down. Right in the middle of the street. How very inconvenient. You don’t like the look of it either, Azrael? Well, you can keep us in touch from here – and that way you can field stray questions…

Well – a few “Men At Work” illusions ought to cover it. Yes, Robert – I’ll keep it out of your fur. A good slimeshield spell seems like a fine idea anyway…

(Disgusting… It looks like a big throat!)

Huh. Shut tight. Robert? Would you? Yeeech… Slime all over the street. (Sorry Azrael! How was I supposed to know that the sewer could vomit?). This way… Boy his this stuff got a weird aura to it.

There you are! So what’s with this fellow? You both want out? Fine – but I think we’ve gotta do something about this slime stuff…

After a brief discussion the the group went looking for the Slug King – and the center of the slime… It was a very nasty trip. They also had to evade talking, poisonous, guard-slugs, cleaner-slugs smoothing slime, and random garbage… At the center was a big, clean, and somewhat overheated room cut into the bedrock. It was occupied by a lot of equipment – and a man in a suit sitting behind a desk.

OH GREAT! The first guy who recognizes me, and it’s a guy who lives in the sewers!

Yes, hitting you is definitely an option! It kindof depends on what you say and do, so WHAT’S GOING ON!?

You were running an experiment on the slime-stuff – but Hardin Inc. refused to mass-produce it because all the test animals died within a month, even if they did show signs of vastly boosted intelligence. You got an offer of funding, you took it, got set up down here, and went to work with some “suggestions” from your backer; Dr Genos. (OH, NO!) It got away from you, sealed you in, and left you with nothing to do but watch TV and try to figure out what was going on. You have a phone, but it only connects to Dr Genos – and you’ve been reluctant to call him until you understand what’s going on.

Well, THE SLIME-STUFF HAS BEEN SNATCHING PEOPLE OFF THE CITY STREETS, you IDIOT! HAVE YOU GOT AN ANTIDOTE?

It’s only stays out of here because of the heater and the dehumidifier??? You have a counteragent – but the stuff has changed a lot? Give it to me, and I’ll try to enhance it…

Enhanced, the counteragent worked – on individuals. Not an infested sewer system… Warlock called in the other people who’d been mutated, and treated them (There were sixteen) – while Dr. Carlson raved at Dr Genos… Unfortunately, they couldn’t think of any way to handle the slime – and it would just keep grabbing people until they got rid of it. At least they could clear it out of the exit corridor and get the victims out.

Interrupting Dr. Carlson revealed that Dr Genos had a countermeasure – but it’d kill most of the creatures who’d been exposed. He was willing to improve it – but he wanted something in return; An opportunity to run a few tests on Mr Robert Lee. A full scan of a natural shifter could be quite helpful to his experiments. It took him a few minutes… Apparently the slime wasn’t exactly what he’d given Carlson any more – and getting enough of his new counter ready would take a few days.

OH NO! I’M NOT GONNA LET SOME GUY POKE AT ME UNLESS YOU’RE THERE TO KEEP AN EYE ON HIM!

“I don’t like it much either Robert – but I haven’t any other ideas! Has anybody got another idea on how to get rid of the stuff without wrecking the city? No? Hell…”

They told him all right – and he sent around a lab-in-a-truck and a sampling team… David knocked Robert out for the bits that would’ve been painful, and it only took a few hours…

“Don’t worry about it Robert. I’ll watch them”. Hm. Some neat Technology. At least ten years ahead on the computer stuff… Some “Psi-Based Technology”? How on earth would that work? Ahh. Thought so. Trying to scan at me too. That wasn’t part of the deal – so he’s got nothing to complain about if I block and erase it…

Actually, the tests were fairly straightforward, if repetitious. They wanted to run most of them at every step in his shapeshifting process… Fortunately, they were done about noon – just in time for them to attend a massive car pileup. Whether luckily or unluckily, at least one guy with a videocamera was around.

It took him almost half an hour to get everyone out and healed… At least the illusion-disguise he’d put on Robert was still running. He was very helpful about lifting smashed cars.

The police just cooperated. They were even obliging enough to keep the reporters out of the way.

(Non Igni!) ShiftThatCarWorstCasesFirst! OhGod, Half HisFrontRibcageIsShearedOff. TryAnyway… Nobody’sDead Yet. MaybeICanKeepItThatWayIfIKeepSnuffingFires…

Next? Aren’t any more? (Whew!) Good. Look, fellows, I just don’t have any good answers for you! Err, Well, it’s like this…

David tried to explain a few things – and then made the mistake of mentioning the slime. He’d thought that it might be a good idea to get out a warning until Dr. Genos had it cleared up, but the reporter’s were a bit torn… It’d be a great story – but people would panic and others would rush down to see… The second reporter looked at his torn colleague – smiled a bit, made some comment about reporting responsibly, and magically wiped the first one’s memory of that bit… “Being reporters doesn’t necessarily make our judgement any better then yours Warlock”.

Urr… Right. I’ve gotta be going.

12:30. About four hours until I’ve gotta walk into something-or-other…

Wait a minute… I’ve got an idea. I’ll need a few ingredients though… One of those “occult speciality” shops has gotta have a mandrake root… I’ll send in a simulacrum!

Along the way, David had to stop for cash, two pig- faced green demon-things popped in, said “Damn! Wrong Continent!”, and vanished again – and Michael tried to practice sneaking up on David and Robert, but couldn’t get the sound effects generator to turn off…

The Professor called – to announce; “I remember who you are… I have a lot to do right now – but someday I’ll be back!” (“Why?”) “VENGEANCE! (Click)”. Azrael and the Commander pestered David into scrying for a ship, and Warlock settled down to constructing a simulacrum he could channel a part of his power through…

Huh. Vengeance? For what?

Oh great… There’s one handy, but it’s in the navy construction yard, stuffed into warehouse 36. Great. Even if we manage to grab it somehow, we’ll piss off a major department of the government!

Cool. The Simulacrum bit worked! (For that matter, so did the extra memory chips I put in the phone. How did it manage to do a voice comparison anyway?) It’s a bit clumsy though…

Robert? Would you play reserve? Thanks…

Something’s bloody wrong. Dad’s nervous, he’s trying to get me to go away, and somebodies shoving something into his back. Let’s try and pull them out… Joseph’s upstairs? In his room? Why don’t I take him down for Pizza?

A dozen of those agent guys with weird weaponry? But they said they’d wait a week! (I think it’s stun stuff – but I bet this would REALLY hurt if I was really there). Well – lets collapse… Maybe they’ll haul “me” inside so I can see what’s going on…

Dammit! That one recognized that it’s a fake – and blew the head off it (Owww! Fuck! Not real, but Still. Bother. Now I can’t see… Maybe a scrying spell?).

Now who’s this? He’s smoking in the sunlight and his clothes are centuries out of date… Seems to fit the description of the guy who “sired” Desrae… Hell. He seems concerned. Maybe a darkness spell? Thanks, but it won’t work? You tried that sort of thing centuries ago, and it doesn’t work for you? OK… Yes, I know I’ve looked better! Maybe I can regrow the head… That’s a lot better. Yes, I’ve got family inside… You’ll distract the agents while I get them out? Deal!

Holy God! How can anything more that fast? He was through the door so fast I couldn’t even see him move!

David went through his brother’s window just as the screaming started downstairs…

There’s some fucking bastard ready to shoot Joseph? He’s only ten! <Corpus Humanis Mutis Corpus Canis!>

Don’t growl at Me, or I’ll leave you at the pound!
<Leash>    Yeah, “Whimper” is about right, asshole…

No, we haven’t time for you to write about this!

Warlock headed downstairs invisibly. “Lestat” had already killed eight men – and was moving too fast for the three remaining to hit… Eric was in shock. David threw some protective spells on him – but even warping time didn’t let him spellcast fast enough to drop more then two of them before Lestat killed the third and left in a blur…

Holy God! Dad?!? He’s OK… In shock a bit, but OK. God. The place is a massacre zone… Not as much blood as I would have thought. Lestat must have drunk a lot of it…

God.

Robert? Could you escort them back to the sanctum? I’ve got to clean this up a bit… “Just Vanished” is a lot better then “Slaughtered”… No, I didn’t do it, and I’m not proud of it!

Police? Hell! I’m not quite finished yet! <Forget!> <You don’t see anything!> Good… It worked. I guess the commotion was loud enough to reach the neighbors.

Right… That’s everything. No bullets, no bullet holes, no blood, no bodies – lots of odd gear, but I’m taking that along to check out… Along with the two I managed to KO (Plus the dog). The shield-spells and the rock should block any tracers…

But what the hell am I going to do with the agents?

I’ll just keep them asleep for a while… I’ve got to try and locate Andrea and Cathrin… They might be in danger as well.

Can’t find mother… Maybe she’s just out of range. Washington’s quite a stretch. Cathrin’s at work at the University… I can just call her.

Cathrin? It’s David… Look, we’ve got something of a family emergency… I can’t come over because of the security? How about I meet you in the parking lot? As soon as you can.

It took 26 minutes. Cathrin wanted to know what was wrong… She was being followed by a pair of agents, and so David told her he’d explain on the way…

He told her about the snatch attempt, and that he had Eric and Joseph hidden in Fern Park (Where’s that? If this as another one of your practical jokes, I’m gonna kill you David!).

“If this is one of my jokes, I’ll kill me!.. Those agent-guys are following us… Turn here!” David threw an illusion on their car and a passing car…

There. They’ll follow that one. “David? How did you do that?” I cast an illusion-spell, I’ll explain later – just turn into the park and drive up to that wall…

“You’re sure you haven’t been playing those fantasy games too much David? Do you think you’re Batman?” “No – look, I’ll explain in a moment, OK?”

Back at the Sanctum, Eric was recovered, and it was time for explanations. Fortunately, Eric had seen some of the film from the studio and wreck on the news. That made it a lot easier… Unfortunately, the proceedings were interrupted by the T.V.; It seemed that a trio of “Supervillians” had taken over the football arena, and were holding everybody hostage… One football player and a cameraman were already dead. They had a bomb – and wanted a lot of cash, and the release of six paranormals from secret federal detention. They were giving the authorities till dawn.

It looked like one semi-metallic brick, one energy- projector, and a martial-artist type (At least according to “Champions”…). There might be somebody off-camera giving orders as well…

Great. Just great. Well – we’ve got all night to do that. I’m gonna interogate the dog first…

Stubborn, huh? Desrae?

About 1200 agents and lots of cash? SHIT. No… It wasn’t me. You ran into an elder vampire. Yes, they’re nasty. Lots of trained (if very low-powered) psychics? “Q” determined my identity, and put a high priority on me? They’ve been tracking power-bloodlines for generations? Great. I’ve gotta set up some remote entrances for the sanctum…

So why aren’t you surprised about this Joseph? You want me to read your book; Man Into Magus; The Life Of A Teenager (!?!) A lot of your writing turns out to be about someone you know, even if you never know who?

I can’t find mother… If you get anything on her, please let me know about it, OK?

About that time, the special ninja squad (Based out of Los Angeles?) showed up to get Robert… There was a big fight with the ancient lich-ninja who could find the sanctum. The group won, but only managed to banish him… They did get some of his gear though.

Right. I’ve no time… They’re all gonna wake up as dogs. Desrae can question and drain them a bit. Hell. They were willing to shoot at Joseph, they bloody well deserve to be dogs. I’ll make myself a kennel!

Warlock is getting a bit stressed out here…

Right… So now we’ve got some cages.

Now who’s calling…? My computer? But… I haven’t even been back to the loft! How could my computer get enchanted?

It doesn’t like my roommate… It thinks he’s a bad guy because he feels creepy (OK, I can’t disagree with that), he wears black tights (?????), and he keeps odd hours. Er, well, I suppose we’ll look into it… (Why are all my appliances buggy?). You still need a mainframe?

So what else is going on? (Besides the mass hostage situation… Arghhh… What the hell are we going to do about that?). The TV has a show about a girl Ratman knows? She’s been kidnapped by a gang? About an hour ago? (Oh great). Last, but not least, the city Mayor is calling??? (HOW’D SHE GET MY NUMBER? You’ve – been – giving – it – out… ToEveryOneYouThoughtOughtToHave It. AAAAAGGGGHHHHH!!!! YouThoughtIt’dBeOKSinceYou’reAutomaticallyDivertingAllAttempts ToTraceIt?!? ARRRGH! NeverMindNoTime! Put her on, oh “Cell Foe” (I begin to wonder if it’s serious about that!).

Everything out-of-the-ordinary that happened in the city went over the mayor’s desk – and there had been a lot of it over the last few weeks. Enough to convince her that, if her city had suddenly acquired a “superhero”, it might be worth going along with it…

Especially with whatever weirdness was going on out at the air force training center… Lights and noises, guards who acted semi-hypnotized, and a complete refusal to talk to the city police – or even to her – was just a “bit” out of place for a basic training camp…

The next call was from Julia… She had a couple of concert tickets for Saturday night, and she’d like David to go with her…

Pick her up Saturday night? Where am I going to get a car?

Oh, never mind! I’ll come up with something if I’m still alive by then! It’s only Tuesday…

Michael seems to have accidently teleported himself somewhere? Oh great! I don’t think he’s hurt, but it may take him quite awhile to get back… We’ll have to go without him this time.

All right already! We’ll got after Sarah first. It shouldn’t take too long, it’s just a gang…

Huh. Can’t find her now? Could be shielded somehow – or she might be dead. Damn.

We could go back and look? (Yes, Dad – he’s a time-traveler… Yes, I know that makes no sense! You seem pretty pale… Uhmmm… There’s a bed over there, OK?)

Leave us some margin… About an hour and a half?

Huh… Everything seems sort of stiff and sticky… Maybe something to do with being temporally displaced?

OK, she’s been snatched into this huge “warehouse”. It’s heavily guarded, belongs to the “Bloods”, and has only two entrances?

So we’re not just talking punks here. We’re talking major criminal organization… Just great. We need a diversion? How about an illusory drive-by while Ratman blows the door in?

Watch out, they’ve got automatic weapons and combat training?

Ratman? Do you think you could mention things like that a little in advance from now on?

WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!?!?

Please tell me that that one guard-punk didn’t just take off down the street fast enough to be trailing a sonic boom?

Please tell me that?

Well, it’s not like we’re going to catch him! Let’s get on with the normal punks…

Actually, dealing with thirty or forty punks wasn’t all that hard (Especially with the amount of confusion an illusory “Aliens/Predator” assault motif spread). What complicated things was that they’d been running a private roman-style arena – and had been snatching any necessary “volunteers” from among the street people.

They’d also been making tapes. Unfortunately, none of their “productions” were on the premises. Weapons and such, yes, but no tapes.

TimeWalker fixed that readily… It was easy enough for him to go and do some personal filming…

Then they called the cops.

What a look. Surely they can’t really be swallowing this “Predator” bit? It’s only a movie! Well, it makes for confusion anyway… Let’s go with the gag.

No! You can’t just swipe the guns and drugs and stuff! It’s evidence, we’re the good guys – and we don’t need any more guns anyway!

I bet he sprouts whiskers again inside a week, just on force of personality…

Hello? Yes, I’d like to report a drive-by, murder, kidnapping, drug possession, conspiracy, and quite a few other things… Could you send someone around? Here’s the address…

It took the police almost half an hour to respond – but it was hard to blame them, given the area… They were a bit bothered to find that the Warlock and company had called them – but had to admit that it served as a great reason for a search. They didn’t need TimeWalker to turn up any more evidence though… The videotapes, the drugs, the setup, and the weapons, were plenty…

I HATE this sticky feeling… Let’s get back to the time when we’re supposed to be, and maybe it’ll go away. We can check out my roommate…

WaitASec… I’ll shield Sarah against my scrying and the TV’s first… A few hours should do. That way we won’t interfere with our own decision to jump back and look for her… No paradoxes please… OK.

Well, he seems normal enough… (Shaddup Solamon!!! You can’t just ask people if they’re villains and peer into their closets! Yes, I agree, he gives me a creepy feeling – but he’s always done that! He’s a creep, it doesn’t make him a supervillain!).

OK; You need a mainframe to run your sentience core on, and you want some “metals” from the “Spirit Realm” to bring your magical powers online, and you want some crystals to bring your psychic powers online – and you need more power, and a bigger drive, and a…

Spirit Realm? Matrix Crystal? Sentience Coding?

You can’t be moved because the “access location” is important? My enhancement spells are much too limited to be of any real help?

What in the name of God are you?

Unfortunately, David didn’t manage to find out before fatigue caught up with him and he had to crash for a couple of hours.

Next up: Wednesday!

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