CAST OF PLAYERS:
Debora Silkotch…………..Casey Gavin…………………………..…Human Psionic

Jera Morrison…………..….Alseyne Aulaudin……………………Sidhe Changeling

Kendall Nye………….……Joseph McAdoo………………………..Ronin Garou
Aaron Murphy……………..Claws-of-Honor………………….Were-Tiger
Jeremy Whitener………….Korin Alabaster…………………………Were Mongoose

Aron Head………………….Story/Setting/Everything Else…….Game Master

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“The nordic mythos is not known for stories ending in ‘happily ever after,'” Alseyne pointed out. “Which doesn’t mean that we can’t still fight and prevail. I’m not much one for letting someone else try to determine my destiny for me.”

“Me neither,” Casey agreed. “Claws’ memories are blocked after a certain point, so I can’t shed any light there. What I did see…” She described in meticulous detail the memories that she was able to access. “Not sure how that ties in with the prophecy.”

Leaning across the table, Korin looked at the Bastet. “Wait…so Claws was on the moon for a few hours which in moon time translates to years? Who would he bring back? Why would they follow him here?”

The black-haired Sidhe shook her head. “I think he was on the moon for a few hours — or what his mind saw as the moon, then he was sent to a different time for what appears to be several years, then returned back here. As for who would follow…presumably his enemies. Why…to kill him, perhaps, or for some information he carries? Their motive is unclear.”

Glancing around for a clock, Casey commented, “It’s getting late, I should head back. I’m supposed to be helping Falco with something.”

Claws seemed deep in thought, half listening to the exchange going on around him. He looked up, his eyes moving to each person seated at the table. With no further discussion, he stood and took a step back from the table. “Then it seems that I have something I need to set right. May Selene watch over each of you.” With a deep sigh of determination, he turned towards the door.

“Claws, where are you going?” Alseyne frowned. “Do you intend to fight this battle by yourself and deny your comrades a similar honor?”

“And should we need, perhaps that turtle ship,” McAdoo said, “or even the RV that Houseman stashed somewhere could let us venture to the Selene’s home and find out more of this story.” He stood, stretching a bit, “Yet we have one companion not here, I think it’s time to follow up on that commitment or to check with her.”

Pip returned to the table, closing his cell phone. “Just got a call from Wynne,” he said to those gathered. “She says…get this…a monkey has arrived at the house she’s staking out, dragging a girl along with him. I’m headed over there.”

“Wait for her livers or she’ll have yours for dinner instead,” Alseyne advised, tucking the information Pip has provided into the back of her mind, most of her attention focused on Claws.

Pip looked from Alseyne to the departing Claws. “What’d I miss?”

“A lot actually.”  Korin’s hands braced against the table as he rose from his seat. “I’m going with you.”

“With me?” Pip asked.

“I believe he means with me,” the werewolf added politely.

“Well then who I am with?” Pip asked, handing his credit card to the waitress.

McAdoo reacheed into his jacket for his wallet and dropped a few $5 dollar bills onto the table. “I would welcome you joining Yggthor, Korin and me. The house sits on a node, powerful one I’d guess, you’re a skilled mage and always welcome.”

Alseyne stood, nodding toward Claws. “He thinks he’s brought danger upon us with his return. Yggthor can give you details.” She headed after the stubborn Bastet. “Claws! Wait!”

McAdoo turned his attention to Pip as Alseyne departed. “Yggthor and I know the exact location of the house. If you’re coming, that monkey can move crazy fast.”

Casey sipped at her iced tea, marveling at the speed at which things had gone from zero to crisis yet again.  The Claws thing was beyond her:  unless he and/or Yggthor knew more than they were telling, the link between them and the ancient prophesy seemed tenuous at best.  As for the monkey and his girl…what did that even mean?  Was it an actual monkey, or was “monkey,” like ‘leech’ or ‘wolf,’ a term that meant something completely different in this new context?  Was the girl in some sort of danger or was she an associate of the ‘monkey?’  

Shaking her head bemusedly, Casey looked around the group and settled on the redhead across from her.  “Katherine, do you have a cellphone I could use for a sec?”

“Sure.” She withdrew her cell and slid it to over to Casey, “Help yourself.”

“Thanks. I’ll bring it right back.” Casey picked up the phone and went to find a quiet spot away from the noise.

** ** **

[Minor technical difficulties here. At this point in the story Casey called a cab for a ride home, realizing that her dinner companions were about to scatter to the winds on various new projects. Then she telepathically contacted Falco to let him know she’d be home soon to help him get the ghoul situation sorted out.

Alas, those conversations took place offlist, in a series of private emails that neither Aron nor I still have on hand. Let us pretend that I was able to post them, and that they were quite thrilling.]

** ** **

Pip gathered up Wynne’s chicken livers as Casey stepped back to the table. He called over to Alseyne and Claws, “We’re gonna go to the monkey house. What’re ya’ll gonna do?”

Alseyne kept her eyes locked with Claws’ as she stepped back towards the others, speaking softly to the looming Bastet. “I cannot order you, Claws, and I will not manipulate you into choosing as I desire. I have presented my persuasions — now you must make up your mind based upon what you know — what you feel. I will accompany the others and I think you
should come with us for the time being. Perhaps Yggthor can come up with more details about that prophecy that you should know.”

Claws considered for a long moment, then said slowly, “I will hold my rage and my claws for the time being. You are right that Yggthor might be able to come across more answers to our riddle. But if an enemy steps out of the shadows, I will tear it to the ground. Where do we go from here?”

“We hunt a monkey, from what Pip and MacAdoo say.” Alseyne turned to face MacAdoo with a smile, “Lead on, MacDuff.”

“I thought ya’ll were going to the Guild House?” Pip asked.

Alseyne shook her head. “I don’t want to just barge in there. I’d like to get some information on the situation there first. The last thing we need to do is walk into the midst of a bunch of that mage’s allies and have them decide to strip our powers like they were trying to do to Claws.” She cocked her head to one side, thinking. “Did we ever try to call Lena or did that idea get lost in the shuffle of getting supper?

Pip shook his head. “Not me.”

“Do we know of any other mages or magic-wielders who might be involved in that guild if we can’t get in touch with her…not that I’m expecting to…”

“Two guys I know…Oswald and Drax. Between the two, Oswald’s the more reliable.” Pip jotted two phone numbers on a napkin and handed them to Alseyne.

Alseyne pulled out some cash to hand Pip as she flipped up her phone and punched in the number she had for Lena.

Pip looked to both Alseyne and Casey, who was likewise scrounging up her share of the check. “I’ve already taken care of the bill and tip.”

Alseyne chuckled. “Love, this is a tip for the band…and you, of course. I figure you can pass it along to them later.”

Casey frowned. “I can pay for my own meals.” That reminded her, she’d just about used up the days off she’d requested from her boss at the Longhorn. She’d need to get back to work soon if she wanted to go on being able to pay her own way. How she was going to fit THAT into her new schedule she had no idea, but she had no intention of mooching off her fellow world-savers when her meager savings ran out.

“I’ve no doubt you can,” Pip smiled at her. “Just being neighborly.”

She hesitated, then decided it wasn’t worth making a fuss over. “Okay. Thanks.” She added quietly, “Did Wynne give you any other details about the monkey? Was it a baboon, maybe?” Suddenly remembering that McAdoo had mentioned seeing the monkey himself, she turned to the garou. “Falco says a talking baboon was involved in the murder of Lobban and his niece. If it’s the same one, he might have some useful information.”

McAdoo’s eyes were cold. “It is the same one.” He looked to the psionic. “I…” he fumbled for the right words, “have an obligation to Lobban yet unresolved. Should you aid me in this I would welcome your support and be in your debt. “

“You want me to come with you?” Her faintly surprised response turned thoughtful as she considered the request. “I was working on something else with Falco, but he did seem interested in finding the baboon….” She trailed off, and her eyes got that slightly unfocused look McAdoo had come to recognize as the ‘voices in her head’ expression.

“Indeed.” The werewolf looked to Yggthor and then onto the high lord Sidhe and the warrior Bastet. ” I think.. ” He lifted his nose slightly, nostrils flaring, the gesture echoing a wolf raising his muzzle to catch sent of prey…or hunters. “Hmmph…Keep it focused, Joseph, ” he muttered to himself, rubbing at the grin tugging his cheeks.

Casey’s gaze refocused on him. “Okay, I’m in. Do we have enough car space to go around? I have a taxi on the way, should I call back and cancel it?”

McAdoo raised an eyebrow and looked to Yggthor and his wife. “We came in a big truck. Might be good to keep the taxi for Lady Katherine. Everyone ready?” He made eye contact with all and with a head bow Yggthor’s wife. “I believe we can all fit into the suv, if Lady Katherine will take Casey’s cab.”

“I think he just called me ‘fat,'” Katherine said to Yggthor.

The werewolf’s eyes widened. “Oh…no…”

“That’s what I heard,” Pip agreed.

“Me, too.” Percyndi nodded.

Casey stifled a laugh.

“Do you mind if I kill him later?” The big troll patted his stomach. “I hate to behead someone so soon after supper. It makes me gassy.”

“Well none of us want that.” Katharine patted his arm. “I guess I’ll head on back to the hotel.”

“Percyndi’s coming with you,” Pip said.

“What?” The Princess was surprised by that.

“Yes,” Pip nodded. “Yggthor will be a lot more comfortable knowing that someone with your skills is keeping an eye out on Katherine. It wasn’t so long ago that her life was threatened.”

“Understood,” she nodded. “I’ll take care of her.”

“We’ll order in pay per view,” Katherine said. “And room service. It’ll be fun!” She turned to Yggthor, who scooped her up in his arms. He kissed her deeply, holding her tight. After a moment, he set her down.

“Don’t be late,” she directed.

“Yes, ma’am.” He grinned after her as she and Percyndi exited.

McAdoo headed toward the door alongside Pip and asked quietly, “You have sidearms? Pistols, smg’s.. silvertipped rounds?”

“No.” The satyr shook his head, then held the bag in his hand. “I’ve got chicken livers.”

“Thank goodness for that,” Casey smiled. “I think I’d rather face the baboon empty-handed than Wynne.” But she ran a hand unconsciously over the blunt hilt of her weapon all the same as she followed the others out.

Alseyne patted her handbag with a reassuring nod to McAdoo.

“Blades, bullets, claws and fangs…and chicken livers,” the werewolf replied easily. “Fear us.”