Sunday, November 24, 2013

Arrival: May Contain Traces of Geist

They returned toward the house but before going inside they went into another property where she attempted her new exorcism ritual for the first time, taking two lethal in stigmata-like scalp wounds, bleeding gums and a blood nose. It didn't matter much because she could use Regeneration just afterwards, though it does mean her hair now smells like an abattoir. Partway through, Johnny Starr started freaking out but Jack held him down. He didn't look like a demon trying to evade possession, more like a guy who had made a bad decision. Afterwards, he seemed really down and barely spoke.

One Infernal Vision later and Nicky saw him standing in front of two graves - a big one with a woman's name and a smaller one with his own name. As he laid roses down on the grave Johnny was suddenly surrounded by ghosts speaking silently, but he seemed to hear them, and he clamped his hands over his ears. When the ghosts finally departed, she could see a shimmery man standing behind him facing away. When Johnny turned to say something to him, the shimmer-man walked away.

Nicky took Johnny aside and confronted him with what she saw. Johnny, who had been looking like he'd almost killed someone and seemed fairly guilty, then explained the situation. His mother died when he was 12 but he'd pretended nothing had happened because he was scared of the foster care system. He'd started dealing to get by but at the age of fifteen he'd decided he was done with life and so he bought heroin and used it for the first time - to kill himself. He drifted away and found himself in a conversation that he doesn't remember too clearly but it basically involved a geist - an old and powerful ghost - telling him that he'd thrown away his chance at life but tha the geist would give him a second chance if he helped the geist deal with its unfinished business. The geist wanted answers to the questions that it had failed to answer in real life. When Johnny woke up, he found a notebook that had belonged to it which had nothing that identified its owner and little that identified where it had been written, but which was obviously an archaeologist's notes.

The geist only communicates to him with urges and feelings. When Johnny had seen the trio go past, his geist had filled him with a profound sense of loneliness. The geist was also quite pleased to see all this new information as it despises demons and has been trying to push Johnny into doing something to fight back since this all happened. Johnny had resisted and had used his powers merely to halt the monsters so he could escape. The geist is upset with him because he tried to exorcise it, of course, Johnny hadn't really thought that much into it at the time. It seems he's ambivalent about the geist. The entity is keeping him alive, and doesn't seem to be bad, but it's existence inside him means that he can see and hear ghosts and they, in turn, seem to notice him more than anyone else.

Nicky doesn't much know what to think but the fact that he passed her Scent the Unrighteous and exorcism ritual supports his tale. She kind of just wants to brush off the complication and reinforces that he should leave once they reach civilisation.

He's not so readily dissuaded and convinces her that he genuinely wants to help. Sure, he doesn't have a history of heroism but she's impressed him. Not only has she slain five nasties but when she sees the Skinless Man, she sees someone to put out of its misery and not just a monster. When she saw that man's infection, rather than shoot the center of mass she goes for the hard shot and pulls off a real difficult shot. A miracle, in short. And even though he was being selfish when he stayed back to help that man, wanting the gun and all, helping give him water and seeing him recover felt good. Really good. And he wants to feel that feeling again.

In short, he's been bitten by the dogooder bug.

Nicky can't help but be a bit proud of his rather emphatic speech and decides that he can stick around, after all. So she gives him the Colt 1911 (no ammunition, though), lets him borrow her Glock while she turned to her carbine, and gave him the black and red crackle nail polishes which he promptly used to paint Nico's, Rochelle's and his own nails. Jack wouldn't be budged into allowing anyone to paint his nails. Werewolves apparently aren't big into colourful claws, unfortunately.

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