CAST OF PLAYERS:
Jeremy Whitener…………Korin Alabaster………………………Were Mongoose
Debora Silkotch…………..Casey Gavin…………………………Human Psionic
Aron Head……………….Story/Setting/Everything Else…….Game Master
“Don’t worry, I can’t see a thing,” Casey sighed. “I’ll be right back.” She walked over to the next cell. “Hi, who’s in here?”
“Hello?” A small voice quavered. “I’m Dennis. Please let me out.”
“I’m going to try to get you all out,” Casey said reassuringly, dipping lightly into his mind to get a general sense of things in there.
He was terrified. Unlike the Changelings she’d met to date, he wasn’t battle hardened. He was completely out of his element and on the edge of losing it.
Casey looked around indecisively. The longer she hung around here, the bigger her risk of ending up in a cell of her own. She needed to come up with a plan, and quickly.
She could leave the prisoners here and go fetch backup.
She could let them all out right now and hope for the best.
She could just let “Percyndi” out, to see what she was dealing with, and hope that her defensive powers were good enough if things got ugly.
Decisions, decisions. Better do something, before she lost the chance.
Taking a deep breath, she flipped the deadbolt on Dennis’ cell and drew the door open. Within, she saw a fellow huddled in the far corner. He was trembling. “Hey,” she said gently. “Ready to get out of here?”
“Y-yes!” He climbed to his feet.
The chamber was a bare cell with only a drain in the floor. There was no illumination other than that provided outside the cell. The fellow was short, about four and a half feet tall. He was a bit portly, with thick mutton chop side burns. His dark trousers were dusty and stained, his yellow shirt had been torn and bore blood stains. She assumed the blood was his upon observing his busted lip.
“Can we go?” he asked, shaking. “Please?”
“Yep,” she said with more assurance than she felt. “Come on out.”
The fellow climbed shakily to his feet, timidly exiting the cell. He was just a little guy, she observed. Who’d want to hurt him? He looked harmless.
“Hey…” The voice called from ‘Percyndi’s’ cell, “Are we gonna get out of here? I broke off my engagement to the drain in here so I’m pretty free about now.”
“Be there in a sec,” Casey said, moving to the cell of the other unknown Fae and brushing the mind within. A female Pooka, unthreatening. Casey threw the bolt and opened the cell door.
This one had the eyes, ears, and tail of a raccoon. She was wearing bike shorts and tank top. Like Dennis, she was terrified and seemed rather harmless. Unlike Dennis, she was fit and trim — clearly athletic. “I’m Tracy,” she said to Casey with a nervous tremor. “Thanks for letting me out.”
“You’re welcome. How long have you been here?”
“I don’t know for sure,” she admitted, “But I don’t think too long. Couple of hours?”
Casey nodded. Then, distaste evident in the quirk of her mouth, she went to the vampire’s cell, took a deep breath, and dipped lightly into its mind.
She sensed a seething rage within. The vampire was coiled, prepared to launch himself at his captors. Murder and revenge filled his thoughts.
“You two should come over here.” Casey lowered her voice as she showed the Fae to the dark staircase, “and wait on the stairs. I’m going to let the other two out. I’m not sure what to expect from them, so this is probably the safest place for you. If you feel the need to make a run for it, the stairs will take you back up to the bar. But they might just capture you again up there; I’d rather you wait for me to come with you, unless things get really ugly when I open those other doors.”
They both nodded and moved to the stairs.
Casey turned to face the two remaining doors.
Eenie Meenie Minie Moe…
** Pana, back me up… **
Bringing her defensive powers up close to the surface, she slowly walked over to “Percyndi’s” cell. “Okay, I’m opening the door.” Nerves singing, she hauled the door open to see the same cell arrangement she had observed in the other two. This time, though, she found a naked man in his late teens, maybe early twenties. He stood just over six feet tall, tan and lean, with brown hair flecked with an unnatural stippling. Yellow streaks intermixed with blue/green made it look like a storm was raging in his hazel eyes.
He was different. His mind wasn’t like McAdoo’s or Claws,’ but she sensed that he too was a shape changer. The word ‘Mongoose’ kept coming to her.
“You don’t look much like a Duke’s daughter,” she commented, reaching under her jacket and pulling the slim, leather-bound crystal cylinder from its sheath. Her watchful gaze never left him.
His initial expression was shock, but it changed quickly to a sardonic smile. “Well, had I known I was going to have such an attractive young heroine show up to save me I’d have had the servant lay out something more appropriate. Maybe a Cat ‘O nine tails or some nipple clamps.” At her movement he recoiled slightly…”Whoa!! Whats that?”
“Gift from a friend,” she said easily. “Kind of a security blanket, I like to keep it with me.”
He looked down at himself, “Got an extra one of those? I hate getting rescued when I’m so under-dressed.”
She was beginning to relax just a bit; his request brought a smile, equal parts sympathy and amusement. “Sorry, I only have the one. I’m a little short on clothes myself at the moment,” she nodded down at her own rather scanty attire, “or I’d loan you something to cover up with.” She considered for a moment, then reached up with one hand to unbuckle the dog collar at her throat. Handing it to him with a grin she said, “Here, put this on. You’ll fit right in up there.”
He raised his hand at her offer…”No thanks looks better on you.”
“Suit yourself,” she smiled, rebuckling the collar around her own neck. “So to speak.” She frowned quizzically. “So who are you, really? You’re not Percyndi, I’m pretty sure about that at least.”
“Name’s Korin, but honestly? I’m a nobody. I’m just a college kid who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Casey accepted this fiction without comment. The longer they stayed down here chatting the worse their chances of slipping out unnoticed became. “Okay, come on out. I’m Casey, nice to meet you Korin. You might want to go hang out on the stairs with the two Fae; I’ve got one more prisoner to release and he might be dangerous.”
Korin was moving towards the door even as she began to speak, but slowed at her mention of Fae and the dangerous prisoner. “Umm Fae? Do they go to UA?”
“I don’t know; we hadn’t really gotten past the ‘let’s get the hell out of here’ stage of conversation. They look like they might, though.”
Standing behind and to one side of Casey he glanced to the stairs, then did a double and triple take, eyes lingering on the girl’s tail. Giving her a smirk he mouthed the words, “Nice…we should talk sometime.”
“Maybe after you’ve located some pants?” The Raccoon girl smirked.
Korin turned back to Casey. “Well I cannot let you put yourself in danger alone…that would be rude. You did save me after all. Anyway…if he he acts up I…I may be able to help you.”
Casey smiled at Korin’s chivalry, but she only said, “Okay. Thanks.”
“So if this guy’s trouble…why let him out?”
It was the very question Casey had been asking herself. But she replied affably, “Same reason I let you out, ‘Percyndi.’ I don’t like the idea of people being held captive for other people’s amusement. Besides, I’ve been told not all vampires are bad.” There was a trace of disbelief in her voice as she said that last part, but she said it with a straight face.
“I can respect that…I guess. Ready when you are.” ^^That’s funny considering I’m standing naked in a hallway waiting for an attractive girl I’ve never seen before to open a cell door for someone who may or may not want to tear my head off…^^ Casey could hear his thoughts without effort; he was unintentionally broadcasting. ^^Whoever said college was an experience never knew the half of it.^^
Her smile faded as she moved over to the vampire’s cell door. Schooling her voice to calmness she said clearly, “I’ve come to set you free. I’m not your enemy, but if you’re hungry or anything I strongly suggest you go find a meal somewhere else. Okay?”
The hair on Korin’s neck bristled as he stepped up beside her.
There was no reply from the vampire. Casey shrugged, tightened her grip on her “security blanket,” tossed Korin a wry ‘here goes’ glance and then shoved back the deadbolt, stepping quickly away from the unlocked door rather than opening it herself. “You’re free to go,” she called to the cell’s undead occupant.
Korin moved protectively between Casey and the vampire’s cell. She shifted the leather-bound cylinder into a two-handed hold and kept her eyes on the door.
The darkness within the cell felt alive. It took form as a lone, lean figure emerged.
He was tall. About 6’2″ with a lean body mass. He wore jeans and cowboy boots. A brown cotton shirt hung on him, unbuttoned, revealing the spiraling tattoo swirling up from beneath his buckle and up his chest. His hair was dark and long. Black eyes sparkled darkly in the light as he looked over Korin and then the two changelings on the steps. Finally, his eyes settled on Casey.
She tensed, fingers gripping the cylinder tightly, but met his black gaze determinedly.
After a moment, he nodded respectfully. Casey started to breathe again, just a little. He didn’t seem inclined to immediate violence, at least.
“Dude,” he said at last to Korin, “You have got to put some clothes on. I can see your dork, man. I’m Elijah,” he added to Casey, “Thanks for the get-out-of-jail-free card. How we playing this?”