CAST OF PLAYERS:
Debora Silkotch…………..Casey Gavin…………………………Human Psionic
Jera Morrison…………….Alseyne Aulaudin……………………Sidhe Changeling
Jeremy Whitener………….Korin Alabaster………………………Were Mongoose
Kendall Nye………………Joseph McAdoo……………………..Ronin Garou
Aron Head……………….Story/Setting/Everything Else…….Game Master
Pip smiled, looking around from face to face. “Ummm… anyone seen Percyndi?”
“She was above us on the ladder, up nearer Korin and Marlboro and Wynne,” Alseyne said. She looked around, “Where’s he, by the way? Or Andali or Wynne?”
“I’ll see if I can find them now.” Casey extended her restored perceptions out through the wreckage, into what was left of the compound, searching for the missing members of their group. She found Elijah … and Percyndi and the other two surviving prisoners. They were outside the Machine room, but still within Mardmor’s subterranean sanctum.
She brightened. “Percyndi’s alive, Alseyne. And Elijah, and two of the other prisoners.” She indicated the direction. “That way.”
Alseyne smiled widely over at Pip before turning back to Casey. “Good to hear! Let’s go get them!”
“No sign of Marlboro or Andali, though. Or Wynne,” Casey added.
Alseyne frowned. “Maybe she’s out already. Sluagh are able to get through very small openings.”
Casey started to say that her telepathy had a broader range than a person on foot could have walked out of yet, but then realized that she didn’t know how long she herself been unconscious after the explosion. And Sanctuary’s dampening effect on her psionics seemed to be be preventing her from reaching outside the structure anyway. “Maybe,” was all she said.
“Wynne lives,” Yggthor rumbled. “I’d know were it otherwise.”
Alseyne nodded. “That you would. You and Pip both.” For the first time she really *looked* at the figure behind Yggthor, “Uh…Mac? Is that you? What in Sefu’s name happened after you and the General fell through the catwalk?”
“Aye, is me … sort of.” BranAdoo shook his head slightly. ” This is what happened.” Pause. “Halloo, Lass,” he added a moment later in the General’s thick brogue. “‘twould seem this beast has two heads.”
“Wait – BOTH of you are in there?”
“How is that even possible?”
The stonewolf winced as he almost shrugged, “Gia Bless, if I knew.” Pause. “Glamor, girl. Glamor.” Pause. ” You think that glamor fire being extinguished left a lot of unburned fuel around … ha.. we fell into a pool of toxic glamor. What a story for the comics.”
Alseyne looked flabbergasted. “Can you … change form? Do you read each other’s thoughts or what?”
“Change?” Pause. “She refers to me, General. Werewolf shifting. Experimenting is what got us into this form,” he growled, “although it probably saved the general’s life. I’ve not tried shifting yet, I’ve no idea if going human will hurt the General. ” Pause. “I can handle it.”
The combination of answers coming out of the same mouth in two different voices was plainly as unsettling for Alseyne as it was for Casey. “Umm … it shouldn’t hurt him since Kithain are faery souls in a human body,” the Sidhe commented. “In this instance … it’s a faery soul intertwined with a Changer’s body.” She frowned. “However, given the way the two of you look, you’re probably right that it is best not to experiment until we can get you to some experts.”
“There are experts in this?” Pip asked.
“Well, there are experts in our magic is what I meant. People who know more about the nature of the Kithain and could presumably come up with some options to try. I’d be tempted to consult Makebetter myself or perhaps the Duke’s soothsayer.”
Pip nodded. “Should probably consult with one of the Garou Shamans as well.”
” I think I remember hearing of one living out of town. ” BranAdoo added. ” A bear, if memory serves.”
“You mean Tim. He came in here with us tonight. He was guarding Casey.” Alseyne looked to her. “I assume he came in with you but I’ve not seen him since we left you and him and T-Ray outside. T-Ray didn’t make it — the Ogre killed him but whatever happened to Tim?”
“We got separated at Sanctuary’s entrance,” Casey said, and then blushed. “I got … a little disoriented by the, ah, collective social vibe inside the bar, and then Pana picked up Percyndi’s scent almost right away and we ended up down in the dungeons.”
Alseyne raised an eyebrow at the blush. “First time in and it’s straight to the dungeons, huh? Wow — and here I thought Wynne was the one into the kinky stuff. Heck, it took Pip and me at least an hour to work our way downstairs and that was after a threesome!” She winked teasingly at Casey.
Casey’s face went from warm to hot. “We … me and Pana,” she clarified hastily. “In the dungeons. Not me and Tim. No kinky. I lost track of Tim at the front door and never saw him again.”
“With a dog no less! I AM impressed, Casey!” Alseyne exclaimed, then burst out laughing. “I’m teasing you, Case. No harm intended.”
Casey nodded, but the blush remained. “That place, Sanctuary … the top level, the bar ….” Her eyes darkened at the memory of unrestrained mass sexual hunger hanging thick and intoxicating as opium smoke in the atmosphere of those rooms. Everyone there had been broadcasting their arousal and desires. Loudly. “Quite the ambiance up there. I’m definitely going to have to work on shielding better if we’re going to be hanging out in S&M bars very often.”
Alseyne mused, “I’m not sure even stronger shields would help, Casey. There was magic at work in there as well deliberately adding to the sexuality of the environment. Most of the people who go there enjoy that. However,” she smiled at the young telepath, “Unless you start hanging out with Wynne I don’t think you’ll need to worry about hanging around S&M leather bars with us.”
“Can’t really see me and Wynne getting that chummy,” Casey smiled. “She’s very colorful, isn’t she?” She took a fresh look at the Stonewolf, now that she was feeling human again, then glanced uncertainly at Falco. “Do you think we could fix them somehow?”
Falco shook his head. “No. Were we to meddle in this, I suspect both subjects would die.”
Casey resignedly accepted that. Just plain unsettling, was what it was. She plotted a path out of the wreckage and back out to the stairwell.
McAdoo stopped as the others followed the psionic and considered a moment. “Alright.” And tried to shift toward human.
Two distinct screams pealed through the chamber as the Stonewolf’s form became fluid, the stone flowing in a rush of dark waters and setting in the form of a man. At last, McAdoo stood before them breathing heavily.
That didn’t look like a comfortable experience in the slightest.
McAdoo whimpered, sagging. “Oh … shit.”
“So much for that idea,” Alseyne commented in the quiet afterward. “You idiots could have managed to get yourselves both killed just then, I hope you realize.”
“Hmmph.. yes” he agreed. “Had to try.” He followed the group up the stairs. “Let’s get out of this place. I could use a beer. ” He cocked his head and asked the air, ” General … you still with me?”
This time there was no answer. He was all alone in his head.
McAdoo took a deep breath and shakes his head. ” I really don’t want to do this … Gia bless, General. I hope you’re still there.. this is going to hurt, I just know it. ” And shifted toward galbro.
The Garou gasped as shards of stone erupted from his body. His eyes widened, wedges of rock splintering from his arms. Flint spikes split his cheeks! His mouth widened. McAdoo’s scream was a piercing wail of anguish at the punishment being wrought upon his form.
Blood and gore splashed those around him.
“Od’s blood!” Yggthor exclaimed, pushing Casey behind him.
She stared wide-eyed around the huge troll, unconsciously clutching his massive arm. “M-McAdoo…!”
Standing in the remains of McAdoo’s human form was the gauntleted Stonewolf.
“So?” The General asked. “It didn’t work?”
Casey’s stomach lurched. She would have thought after all the blood and gore she’d seen tonight she’d be immune by now, but the garou’s inadvertent self-destruction was a new kind of horror. “Is he … gone?” He looked pretty gone.
“Is who gone?” The General asked. “And what’s this mess?” He indicated McAdoo’s bloody remnants.
Alseyne, who had taken all of this in with gaping mouth, finally managed to shut it. “Umm … General, are you aware of anything happening since he tried to shift and you cried out? Did it seem to be immediate that you appeared here?”
“What do y’mean, lass?” The General asked. “The boy tried his change and nothing happened. But I don’t recall all of this mess here before ….”
“That…was McAdoo. He changed into his human form with no sign of you. Then he tried to change forms again and … exploded when your form just seemed to force its way out of him.” She blinked. “Wait — nothing appeared to happen for you? No pain? Nothing? But we heard you scream … and then Mac was there in his human form. Then after about 30 seconds or so I guess he tried to change again and screamed in pain and then you tore him apart as you appeared. But for you nothing appeared to happen at all? Can you sense Mac at all?” She looked down at the bloody remnants. “Although how he’d have survived that with his body torn to bits I have no idea ….”
Casey stepped gingerly out from behind Yggthor. “I would’ve said the same of Pip, though. Wasn’t his head chopped off?” She hadn’t seen it herself, but the image had been nightmarishly clear in Alsyne’s mind.
Alseyne shuddered. “I was trying to forget that, thank you very much. I haven’t even spoken to Pip about it. It’s hardly ‘normal’ for kithain, much less changers.” She gestured at Bran. “Besides, even if the General could attempt to change, he wouldn’t know how to go about it and even if the two of them do manage to survive multiple explosions of their body as they change forms it is not like it’s painless, nor can they share info with the other personality so the two of them would constantly find themselves catapulting into situations they know nothing about.”
“People tend to not stay dead in this place.” Casey nudged a small chunk of McAdoo carefully with the toe of one boot. “Maybe he’ll get better.”
The stonewolf spoke suddenly in McAdoo’s voice, ” Oh damn … that hurt.”
Casey just about jumped out of her skin. “Sorry!” She yelped to the chunk. Then it sank in that the stonewolf itself had spoken, and she looked up quickly to his face. “McAdoo?”
” Stupid … stupid. Glamor, that’s the key. ”
“Mac?” Alseyne stared at him. “You’re in there? Even though…ummm….your body exploded? I don’t recommend you try to change forms again, by the way. And what do you mean ‘glamor is the key’?”
” It’s obvious, isn’t it? In my human form all I have is the power of the were and the gifts of Gia. No glamor. ” He considered. “Maybe a little magic. Hell, I don’t know. But if this form uses glamor, sorry, General … then a non magic form is impossible for it to occupy. ” He sighed, ” I won’t try any changes again anytime soon. ”
Most of that went over Casey’s head, but the last part certainly made sense. “Can’t blame you there.” Suddenly her eyes widened. “I almost forgot the amulet — it’s still in there somewhere! I need to find it before someone else does!”