CAST OF PLAYERS:
Ezrandi Shadowheart……Andali…………………………………Eshu Changeling
Mia Schubert……………….Marlboro…………………………….Satyr Changeling
Jera Morrison……………….Alseyne Aulaudin…………………Sidhe Changeling
Carol Hart…………………..Janneth Jones………………………Troll Changeling
Kendall Nye…………………Joseph McAdoo……………………Ronin Garou
Rob Bennett………………..Arian Plicare………………………..Ananasi
Suz Dollar…………………..Samantha Reese…………………..Human Guardian
Debora Silkotch…………..Casey Gavin…………………………Human Psionic
Aron Head……………….Story/Setting/Everything Else…….Game Master
The satyr’s smile was not returned. In fact, he was greeted by the Sluagh with something akin to a withering glare. There was no humor or joy in her expression.
Yggthor the Troll caught his eye and provided a slight shake of his head as if to say: “Not now.”
Janneth smiled toward the satyr and the Eshu fae. “Marlboro.. Andali…Where did you guys go?”
The fae —Andali?— looked Janneth over. “You ok?” She gave the young troll a hug.
Janneth hugged her back tightly, then shrugged her shoulders. “For the most part. I’m alive, that counts for something right?”
The satyr — Marlboro — glanced over, “Shouldn’t they be fixin’ ya up? They still owe us a bike.”
Janneth shrugged again. “Guess they have other, more important things than me right now,” she whispered softly to him. “I’m fine… I’m tough.” She hacked a little, and suddenly a tremendous gout of black fluid exploded from her mouth, splashing all across Andali’s arm and chest.
McAdoo turned at the sound of vomiting, ” The food here that bad? ” he growled out.
The young troll shook, appearing suddenly a great deal weaker than she was a moment before.
“Tsk,” The dragon shook his head. He looked over to Alseyne, “Not long for this world, is she?”
Alseyne had started to her feet as the black fluid rushed forth, beginning to move towards Janneth, but was brought up short by Myrle’s comment.
“What do you mean!?!?” Andali demanded of Myrle. Janneth stared at the dragon as well.
“She’s been dying for days now.”
Janneth’s eyes were wide.. “What the?! I’m sorry Andali,” she added, rising to give the Eshu room to go to the ladies room to clean up. She looked over to Alseyne, embarrassment, worry and confusion written plainly on her face. “Uh.. I don’t understand this…”
“Don’t worry Hon,” Andali said. “We’ll get this right.”
Janneth nodded slowly.
Alsyene looked at the dragon for a moment before continuing on to Janneth, coming up next to her and placing her hand on the young troll’s forehead and speaking to her softly. “I know you have had a very rough time lately and you did say that you were struck by an iron weapon. But you have to hang on and fight. You need to remember that trolls are tough — and remember also that you DID manage to kill that hag this evening. Right now, however, you are your own worst enemy.”
Janneth looked at her confusedly, but then nodded. “ Can I sit down?” She slumped back into the booth, shivering. “What was that.. stuff?”
“Iron?!?!” Andail exclaimed. “Damnit…and you didn’t get her to the doctor sooner?”
Janneth winced. “They didn’t know,” she said softly. “It happened after the hag was killed, as well as after I left the hotel. I wanted time to sort things out … and ….” She shook her head, “I tried to be a hero…and it ended with me being stabbed with an iron knife, and some sort of iron net. There are kids out there…hunting us.”
“I wasn’t with her at the time, Andali,” Alseyne answered calmly. “It apparently happened after she left us and before Merle brought us here. The wound where she said she was injured is gone but I still suspect that is what has happened. I want her to see Makebetter quickly.” She looked towards Merle, “Did you heal the wound she had taken when she was brought here or is this just a psychic replica of her?”
“The physical wound is healed as you can see,” Myrle answered. “But you fair folk are so fragile. Look at her.”
Even Casey, who had never laid eyes on Janneth before tonight, could see that the girl was dying. To her new perceptions there appeared to be a dark shadow on the young troll’s soul, slowly draining her life away.
“Either way,” Alseyne said firmly, “we need to get her to a doctor quickly I believe. She may have cold iron poisoning in addition to another problem she has been having which appears to be worsening.”
“No physician can help her now,” the dragon stated.
“What is going on?” Andali frowned.
“How deadly is iron to us?” Janneth asked softly. “Was that infection?” She looked down once more at the spot where there should have been an injury.
Alseyne looked to Pip . “Can you help us get to the doctor’s house, Myrle, or do we need to drive her there?”
“Yuir wasting yuir time, Milady. And you have a precious little of it. Janneth will live or she won’t. The choice is entirely up to her.”
At the mention of Dr. Makebetter Janneth looked mildly alarmed. “No…really I’m fine. See, I’m okay…I’ll be okay.” She smiled a bit too brightly. “I don’t need to go see any doctor’s. I’ve seen enough of Doctor Makebetter anyhow. Really, I’m okay…I just need to sleep…or take a quick nap. I’ll be okay.. just fine…peachy really…just need some sleep.”
“Shut up and don’t be stupid J.J.” Andali said, “This is serious..”
Janneth’s eyes narrowed slightly at that, and then she nodded her head. “Yes, ma’am.”
Arian Plicare leaned in a bit, examining Janneth with what appeared to be clinical interest. Andali whirled and snapped “Back off, this is of no concern of yours.”
Arian pulled the battered spiral notepad from his pocket and started to make some notes. “Of no concern?” he asked. “Indeed.”
“Put it away, Mr. Plicare,” Alseyne ordered. “She’s right.”
“All things die. If iron is what is causing her illness, it would seem that it is an unusual toxin. An unclean death. We disapprove. Things that enter our webs die cleanly. What does it benefit to kill slowly?” Arian commented dryly.
“Iron is not what is causing her illness. It…never mind.” Alseyne responded shortly, “Put your notebook away. My squire’s illness is not a learning experience for you.”
Arian cocked his head a touch. It didn’t give him any kinder a look. “Do you not learn from her death?” he asked in his signature monotone. “If you do not learn from her death, you are likely to tread those webs. How is that different for me?”
Janneth growled loudly through clenched teeth, “I’m not dead…I’m right here…RIGHT here! Do not talk about me as if I’m not…as if I’m dead … when I’m sitting right here.” She stood up, clenching her left hand. Casey noticed for the first time that her right hand was missing; the arm ended abruptly at the wrist. “There’s nothing to learn about my death…when it’s not going to happen…not right now…not even for the rest of the evening…nor for the next months or so. I’m not going anywhere…so please…stop talking about me like I’m some sort of science experiment.” She growled at him, eyes flashing with a trollish inner flame. “I’m not dead…and I’m not going to die,” she stated soundly, glaring from Arian to Alseyne. “I’m not…not without a fight at least.” She looked around the group of people. “I do not understand much of what is going on. I’m rather new at all of this…however when there is a battle to be fought, I’ll do my best to be there. You have my word.”
Alseyne looked over her shoulder at Arian coldly. “I told you to put your notebook away. If you fail to do so and question me about it again, then I will assume that you are unable to follow orders. If that is the case then you can look for employment elsewhere.”
The Spider tilted his head and watched her with unblinking eyes for a long moment, then sighed softly and put away the notepad.
The Guardian girl arched an eyebrow and said mildly, but in a tone meant to carry to every corner of the burger joint, “All of life and death is something to be learned from, though ’tis best done with a modicum of sensitivity to the tender emotions of those involved within. So sayeth one who has stepped on the toes of victims’ families and suffered for it.” She swiveled her look at Alseyne, “As for his employment, if he’s part of this, he’s part of it and no status you choose to hang on him, ’employed’, ‘not employed’, ‘partner’, ‘tolerated presence’ or what-have-you, will really have any effect on the matter.”
Alseyne arched an eyebrow at her haughtily, “Not that it is any of your business but I suppose I will respond to your criticism. Considering I still don’t know why I’m here or why he’s here and since he is still currently under retainer by me, for now my statement stands. If he had chosen to leave my employment but continue to take part in whatever we are about here, I would have had no objection. But I do expect my employees to obey me when I tell them to do something. Especially something as simple as this. And now if you will excuse me, I was attempting to assess my squire’s current condition.” She turned her back on both Arian and the others and placed her hand on the troll’s shoulder. “Janneth … J.J … you are the only one who can help yourself now. You KNOW what is wrong with you. Belief is the key. You were able to believe in yourself earlier when you fought the hag and it worked — you defeated her. Now you have to believe in yourself again if you want to survive.”
Janneth paid her complete and undivided attention. She smiled slightly at the mention of the hag. “You don’t think less of me for that?” Her eyes sparkled just a touch. “I used Yggthor’s axe…he threw it to me…and she came at me, again and again. At first I thought I was dead.. but then…something.. a calmness came over me…and I simply knew what I had to do…and I slew her down.” Her smile brightened at the memory.
“You did very well there, JJ, as I told you before. You must continue to believe in your strength,” Alseyne sighed heavily, “Otherwise you as you are now will cease to exist. The body may go on living but it won’t remember any of this — your kithain soul will be gone and you will no longer be who you are.” Her voice grew softer, “I would miss you if that happens, J.J. You show much promise. Please…believe in yourself. Embrace who you are. It may not be what you expected but that doesn’t mean it can’t become even better.”
“It’s not exactly what I expected…no…but then again..who wakes up and discovers themselves a troll.. does?” She laughed slightly trying to take the edge off. “I understand, Alseyne. I want to learn, I need to learn all this is bigger than me, but I can be something bigger too. I just need…time…your time, at least some of it. I want to be great one day, legendary like you and Pip.” She blushed slightly as she looked over in his direction. “I’ll work hard.. I’ll do whatever you ask.. just help me. I don’t want to fade.”
“With all my heart, JJ, I don’t have time to give you to train you the way I would like to. There is too much important work to do. I WILL train you, however, but it must be as we go about our business here. But YOU need to make the effort now — immediately in fact — to begin to believe in yourself. To embrace your fae nature. Otherwise, as Myrle says, you are not going to make it.” Alseyne turned away from the girl and sat across the table with Pip, sliding up close beside him. She slipped her arm through his and hugged it to her, leaning into him as if for warmth. His eyes softened, drinking her in. A smile tickled at the corner of his mouth. They whispered together, a low intimate exchange, and Casey suddenly realized that these two were lovers. The Sidhe woman blushed like a schoolgirl as the satyr murmured softly into her ear.
The Guardian girl’s lips twitched and she said with dry humor, “How about some introductions? What a novel concept.”
“And you would be starting? ” the damp garou inserted.
“I’m Samantha.” She wiped her hands carefully on a napkin before holding her hand out to the bathrobed man, “FBI. Guardian. That sort of thing.”
McAdoo took the woman’s hand but at the words “FBI, guardian” he froze, eyes widening. He blinked, and answered stiffly, ” McAdoo, Joseph.”
She arched one eyebrow then grinned at the dragon, “My, I think he’s taken with me.” She winked at Joseph, “My pleasure, apparently.”
“Och, he’s hardly an ideal match,” Myrle complained. “But I am available to chaperone.”
Samantha let loose a peal of laughter. “I’ve no need of a chaperone, Myrle. I’ve no doubt the time for courting and such will be fairly non-existent.”
McAdoo released the agent’s hand and glanced furtively toward the men’s room door.
Andali suddenly looked to the ghoul and then back to Casey. “Why won’t you be friends with Trevor? Has he done anything to you?”
Trevor hooked an eyebrow in Casey’s direction.