Sunday, December 15, 2013

Arrival: Coming Together

Nico arose that morning somewhat hung over and gave Al the baseball had she had bought from St. Helios. She greeted Jack and went out looking for Rochelle whom she found doing a deal in this little settlement’s cock fighting ring where cooked chickens were being sold. There were apparently live chickens being kept in another warehouse and she figured that she could purchase a couple bags of manure to take to the university to help their food supplies.

She took Rochelle aside to a semi-secure location and levelled with her. Rochelle already knew that Jack was a werewolf but she also needed to know that Nico had ... demon blood. Rochelle took it surprisingly well, though she was obviously still a bit shocked. Rochelle asked after Johnny Starr’s situation but Nico told her that Johnny would need to speak for himself.

Nico then gathered everyone together and opened up a dialogue where everyone explained what they were and what they could do. Jack pointed out the issue of lunacy and Nico decided to trade her tin foil hat relic for some amulet that would protect Rochelle against it. From everyone’s power discussions, it seemed that Johnny Star was, in fact, the most potent with his ability to create wind homunculi, turn invisible, puppet others, etc. It was funny because Johnny obviously didn’t see himself as the most dangerous. The idea kind of perplexed him.

Nico was surprised at how well everyone took her revelation. Her condition was logically the worst. She literally shared blood with the Enemy. But oh well, if they weren’t going to make an issue of it then neither would she.

Nico asked the team whether any of them wanted to go their own way, with especial consideration to Rochelle. Rochelle wasn’t sure about her situation but she also knew she didn’t want to leave. She wasn’t too sure how helpful she would be, being human. Nico pointed out that every creature she’d killed had been killed with a gun and her normal skills. Rochelle acknowledged that, but still seemed a little unsure.

They split up for a bit and Nico went down to make the trade with Stix but Stix didn’t figure it was a fair trade. So she threw in the Hedge thorn and he accepted it, giving her a wolf skull engraved with sigils. When she returned to Warehouse 13 to show the others, Jack took one sniff at it and left in a rage. Turns out it was a werewolf’s skull ritualistically taken from a murdered werewolf to keep it in that condition. Considering that Jack had a human femur in his backpack, Nico didn’t think him one to judge but she sure as hell wasn’t going to tell him that. There were a lot of human bone relics out there. But she figured he’d seen fewer werewolf corpses then she’d seen human ones so it made sense he’d be more precious. She made a point to talk to him about it, keeping it in a cloth bag and treating it with respect. He agreed with the practicality of it though he still didn't like it.

Jack admitted meeting Nico's older brother before meeting Nico – or rather fighting with her older brother – and had sensed the same vibe from her as her brother. That man didn’t have the subtle exorcismal powers, however, and instead could clothe himself in the powers of a demon for combat. Jack had tried to visit her family to forewarn them of an oncoming calamity but her brother had fought him off and confounded him at every turn. Apparently something terrible would likely happen by the end of the month and Jack figured the man responsible.

Nico knew her eldest brother’s vice was pride and that he’d been chafing at the restrictions of not being in charge. She scolded Jack for not telling her earlier that a) he already knew her secret and b) that her home town was in mortal danger. Nico gave her team the day off for some rest and relaxation regardless of these problems. They had some rather heavy information to come to terms with in regards to each other and they needed some time to learn how to relate to each other – especially Rochelle.

Nico wrapped the massive armor piercing sniper rifle that she’d left at Alyssa’s and gave it to Rochelle, trading a battery recharger and four batteries for ten additional high calibre rounds from Stix. Rochelle was pleased with it though she wasn’t sure how well she would carry it. Nico also gave every team member a food brick (single bite swells to fill you up and contains a day’s worth of nutrition), traded for a decent hiking backpack for Johnny, grabbed the two bags worth of manure and set out for the university.

The university patrols stopped them and took them aside into a processing office where they went over everyone’s stuff – taking especial notice of a shard of glass in Johnny’s possession that had an agonised face impressed into it. It was the egg of his wind elemental, but Nico tried to pass it off as just another relic. Jack’s engraved human femur got a few more looks, though, so they had to wait until they sent for Dr. Gruber.

Gruber took her aside for a chat about her friends, asking if she will vouch for them. Nico vouched for Jack quite readily, pointing out how he’d helped her save a woman, but was less eager about vouching for Johnny whom she didn’t know very well. Gruber’s security consciousness led her to become less and less keen on vouching for any of them, especially as he indicated that she was reaching a point where she had to either join (and learn their secrets) or leave.

She declined. She was a collaborator, after all, and she didn’t want to lead Gipontel to this place. For all she knew this secret was why Gipontel wanted her. So she made comments about being a lone wolf, gave them the two bags of manure (which surprised security since they’d figured it was here to trade and not as a gift) and left.

Gruber was a bit perplexed as well, as (judging by his words) he had assumed that she’d brought the manure as an investment in the place. In truth while she had planned to be there for the winter it wasn’t why she had brought it. She’d brought it because they needed it and it was in her power to accomplish.

So, like Big Damn Heroes, they walked away from the university under the assumption that they would need someplace else to sleep this winter due to that monstrous (and kooky) demon, Gipontel.

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