Book 09: Chapter 03

Moving Day

BOOK: 09
GM: Justin
Transcribed by: Bradford
Date: April 24, 2022
In Game date: August 2012
Episode: 46 (120)

Part 01: Fergus Mac Cormaic

DFA_ECR_Log_0903_001.pngMoving days are never fun. I’ve moved across the country and I would rather pull teeth than do it again. But this move was not a normal one. This move was not real.

To rescue Jack’s missing daughter four of us would have to move into a gated community that according to a fallen angel was filled with members of a secret cult.

After weeks of preparation, I kissed my wife and promised I could come home as soon as we could. I would do everything in my power to keep that promise and move into a new home of my own when I got back.

But first, we had to start the move, which meant the first real obstacle. Traveling across the state with a shitty hairdo and a child in the back seat.

We showed up at Jack’s house to start the move in our disguises. I arrived decked out in my best PE Teacher outfit while hauling around Kerouac, our resident Pooka who was disguised as a child about six years old in overalls and a red baseball cap.

On this trip, we would be traveling as Aaron and Connell Willams.

I couldn’t help but scratch the damn thing despite everyone telling me not to do it to preserve my disguise.

“I just want to tear this damn thing off!” I said more than once that day.

“You and me both, my friend.” Jack had said, “You look like shit.”

Jack had provided U-Haul and various pieces of secondhand furniture while I supplied a kid stuff for Kerouac.

Virgil provided the last touch, an actual car we could drive around in. He pulled up in an old Dodge Caravan that would suit our needs.

“Where’d you get this?” I asked. It was in good condition but still had enough wear to look used.

Virgil shrugged, “Put on the right polo and a nametag and you can walk right into a used car lot and sign a car out for an extended loaner.”

“What if we end up trashing it?”

“It’s a Dodge. No one will care.”

“What if my magic causes it to breakdown?” Jack asked.

Magic made Wizards allergic to modern technology. Before meeting Jack Youngblood, I never thought I could see cell phones catch fire, but here we are.

Virgil shrugged again at his old friend, “That’s why we have to drain you first. If it does break down, it’s a Dodge. No one will notice.”

To get around his Technobane and the various magical alarms within Silver Falls, Virgil would spend the duration of our mission periodically draining Jack’s magic. As a result, Virgil and Jack rode in the U-Haul so Virge could keep draining him over the course of the trip. I followed in the SUV with Kerouac in the back seat.

Kero in human form was scrawny for his age, so the child seat he sat in was way too big for him. Growing up during the Irish Potato famine meant that his human form had no meat on his bones and his stomach was a black hole.

During our prep, we had worked out the amount of food he could “eat” to be realistic with human norms, but he still inhaled everything.

But what made the trip hell was that Kerouac was staying in character the whole time unless the situation was serious. That meant I had to drive across the state with a child in a baby seat behind me.

The hair was an endurable problem. The child in the back seat was not as endurable.

He started with humming and eventually whispered old nursery rhymes in what I think was old gaelic. They had a nice sound to them truth be told.

“Best not to sing those out loud,” I said to my “son”.

Kero raised a finger to complain before thinking about it. He then creeped me out when his body language instantaneously shifted from the six-year-old he was portraying to a much older man in a child’s body.

“Good observation. Best not to blow our cover.” Kero said in a voice I never wanted to hear come out of a kid ever again.

He then shifted just as quickly back and said, “Are we there yet?”

“Much better.” I said.

Kero never broke character after that and continued method acting like that the entire trip.

As a result, Kero’s disguise was more or less perfect. The disguise was worthy of one of the fey.

It also meant that I almost considered murder as a result.

His humming shifted to more recognizable tunes. As we passed various towns in the middle of nowhere, the wheels on the bus went round and round until we hit a rest stop. He insisted on tasty meals that came with toys because I didn’t buy him any.

Then he started asking me, “Are we there yet.” a million times until I gave up saying no every time.

I hoped that my own daughter wouldn’t be like this at that age. I hoped…

Part 02: Jack Youngblood

DFA_ECR_Log_0903_002.pngMy daughter was in enemy hands deep inside enemy territory. The Knights of the Blackened Danarius, our enemy, had kidnapped her at birth and were raising her as a vessel in some kind of cult. I had no idea how many enemies were around her or what they had done to her. I didn’t even know her name or what she looked like. Azael had talent hat from me and my wife.

I did know that I along with Virgil, Fergus, and Kerouac were going to risk everything to get my little girl out. We had spent weeks building up covers for our four-man infiltration mission. We get in, fool the cult, find my little girl and burn the whole thing down to get her out if he had to.

To make sure that happened, I stood in the main room of my house, looked over to Virgil and handed him a very important item. He took it and looked it over quizzically.

“This is it?” He asked.

“Yes.” I said.

It was a semblance of a canopic jar, just a small clay pot decorated with carvings and some faded paint. My cover identity of Steven Williams was an archeology student working on his dissertation. He was studying this jar among other artifacts for some paper or something.

In reality, the jar was an arcane focus object. A container for magic I had designed to work with Virgil’s ability to drain magic.

Virgil scrutinized the jar and was careful not to move any of the interlocking parts.

“This will work?” Virgil asked.

“It’s thaumaturgically sealed, of course it will work,” I said and sat down in a chair.

Virgil put a hand on my shoulder and exhaled all of the air in his lungs. He then sucked in a breath slowly like a monk during a deep meditation and I felt a pull. I couldn’t describe the feeling, my magical senses were unaffected, but I could feel my power leaving.

It was like the feeling of goosebumps or the static charge you get when you walk across a carpet in socks. Only it was backwards.

Virgil finished his breath and the air seemed to leave him. But, instead of coming out of his nose or his mouth, it didn’t come out at all. Instead, light moved into the jar and the runes of the seal glowed.

He continued like that for what felt like the better part of an hour and eventually took a seat himself.

I looked down at my hands and couldn’t really feel anything different.

“Did it work?” I asked.

Virgil pulled out a cell phone and tossed it to me.

“Turn it on.” He said.

I picked up this phone and did the unthinkable: I turned it on.

Cell phones were the canaries in the coal mine that was the world of magic. The little gizmos died in moments every time they were on in my presence. I could also kill almost any computer just by standing next to it.

Fergus still hadn’t forgiven me for when I made his first iphone catch fire the day he got it.

But this time, I turned on the phone and…it actually turned on. It…booted up I guess and I saw a background of a starry night.

Virgil made a face and read my mind.

“Holy shit.” We said in unison.

I offered the phone back, but Virge stopped me.

“Keep it. I bought a whole bag of burners like that one.” Virgil said, “If that one starts getting buggy, we know it is time to drain you again.

Our preparations over, we set out on our mission. We kissed our loved ones goodbye and promised we would make it back, unsure if it was the truth.

That first step was the hardest. The next was simple by comparison, riding across the state for 6 hours in a cramped U-Haul.

I barely noticed though because I spent the time familiarizing myself with the most wonderful invention on the planet.

“Die pigs…” I said in the U-Haul in frustration, “Bock bock motherfuckers!”

I lost track of time, even as we made pit stops and Virgil drained me again.

I think Virge asked me a few questions and I automatically answered without thinking much. Instead, I was enthralled by tyrannical pigs in glass houses.

The small distraction combined with some sleep along the way took my mind off our task to come. It took away my fear and dread for a little while at least.

Then Virgil tapped me on the shoulder and said, “We’re here.”

I closed the phone and got back into character. My brain remembered the backstory I had constructed, the lines I had rehearsed and personality that was not my own.

Today and for the next few days to come, I was Steven Williams, grad student.

Silver Falls was a town just south of Spokane that I didn’t know about until two weeks before arriving there. It had a wall around it and a gate with a guard station with a pair of security guards out front.

Virgil stopped at the station and he handed our information to the guard.

“The Williams family, just moving in.” Virgil said with a smile on his face that I copied.

The guard inspected the fake IDs we had. We had worked with Doctor Sue and Griz to get the best we could acquire under the circumstances.

As the guard did his check, I couldn’t help but notice the silenced pistol Virgil had hidden in well the U-Haul door next to him. Virge didn’t like violence, but something about this job had put him on edge. Something about it had made him different.

The guard finished his inspection by handing the IDs back and pushing a button on his console.

“Welcome to the neighborhood.” The guard said with his own smile.

The gate opened slowly as the guard went back into his booth.

“Is that necessary?” I asked quietly, indicating the gun.

Virgil didn’t take his eyes off the road as he drove.

“Assume everyone in this place is a threat. Don’t believe a word they say. Everyone hear is armed and deadly.” Virgil said more seriously than I had ever heard him.

His tone alone got my head in the game. We take no chances. We get my little girl out of this place.

“Shoot to kill.”

“That’s the spirit.” Virgil entered the neighborhood, “Eleven o’clock.”

We looked up and saw that someone was waiting for us behind the gate. A white man in his fifites with a huge head of hair that stood up on its own and dressed in jeans and a sweater vest drove up in a golf cart beside our U-Haul.

“Howdy neighbors!” The man said, “I”m Ross Roberts, the head of the Silver Falls HOA. Follow me inside and I’ll show you your accommodations.”

“Howdy Ross.” We both said and smiled back.

Ross drove his golf cart in front of us and led us into Silver Falls.

As we passed the front gates, we passed the point of no return. Then I saw what was beyond and it put a pit in my stomach.

“Good god…” I said.

Silver Falls was a planned community. Houses of five colors, mostly earth tones with splashes of brightness. Every house was of similar style and had similar features: front lawn, driveway, garage, picket fence. An idyllic version of suburbia.

The place looked nice. The lawns were all meticulously groomed. The grass perfectly green. The sun shined how it should.

But it was…off. That uncanny valley of normality.

The houses looked like there were from a catalog for the ideal neighborhood, but all from the same catalog. Everything had been chosen before anyone had moved in and stayed that way.

There were families with children, but no playgrounds anywhere. No basketball hoops over the garage. No toys in the front yard or swing sets in the back.

“Homes for families of four, but I don’t see any kids.” I said, “This place feels like the Stepford Wives or something.

Virgil kept moving his eyes around and was disturbed too.

“It isn’t a question of if there are bodies buried in every yard, it’s a question of how many.” He said.

The Dodge Caravan that Virgil had procured us followed us in and seemed to be at the lower end of the acceptable range for this place. The cars here were all for show, not for regular use. The kind you put in your driveway and never actually drive.

Our nightmare tour ended when Ross stopped his golf cart in front of a white house. It looked plain, just like the others.

We got out of our vehicles and took some much-needed stretches.

Fergus walked up beside me holding Kerouac by the hand.

Ross approached us and handed me some keys and a welcome packet. It had a fridge magnet along with various pamphlets for the amenities.

“Welcome to the neighborhood, Williams family.” Ross said, waiting for an introduction.

We replied with our practiced routine with Fergus starting us off.

“I’m Aaron and this is my son Connell.” Fergus said in a way completely unlike himself.

Kerouac just stood there, staring at a ring of keys hanging off Ross’ belt. “

“You’ve got keys…Baby shark…” Kero sang in that disturbing little kid voice he now had.

Fergus continued the introductions by pointing to me and Virge.

“This is my brother, Steven. Our soon-to-be-professor from Penn State. And this is our stepbrother, Warren.”

Virgil just nodded. He was dressed the most normal looking of all of us. He blended right in without trying.

“Great to be here.” Virgil said, “Ready to start work tomorrow.”

“Excellent.” Ross said as he started shaking hands.

I tried to avoid him, but before I could Ross was grabbing my hand for a firm handshake and tried to look me in the eye. I didn’t want to soulgaze him for so many reasons, so I looked at his nose. I didn’t feel the energy of a fellow practitioner off of him, but I hoped he didn’t sense me either.

Ross was obviously trained to look for magic users, so we followed up with our plan for such a situation.

Kero appeared out of nowhere and snatched Ross’ keyring off his belt. The little guy expertly drew Ross’ attention away from me to the child running around with too much energy.

Ross broke his gaze and tried in vein to retrieve his property from the six-year-old.

“I hope he’s better behaved than that in school.” Ross said, concerned.

Fergus was on the spot with his reply, “It’s been a long trip.”

Fergus whipped out his coach’s whistle and blew it once. Kerouac reacted instinctively and walked up silently. He stared at his son with a scowl and Kerouac gave Ross his keys back.

“What do we say?” Fergus said in his best Dad voice.

“Sawry Mistah Ross.” Kerouac said in perfect six-year-old.

Ross put the keys back on his belt and continued, “That’s more like it. Remember, all outside vehicles must be off property by sundown. Do not go out at night.”

“Thanks so much, mister Robets.” I said.

“Enjoy the neighborhood, Williams brothers.” Ross said as he got back into his golf cart and drove away.

I barely remembered to stay in character when Ross was out of earshot. This place was creeping me out.

“We should get unpacked.” I said.

“Already on it.” Virgil said as he started hauling a couch from the U-Haul into the house in record time. Virge had been working out some since settling in Seattle, but goddamn.

We all helped haul things inside until another man in suburban uniform showed up with a tray of lemonade. He was accompanied by a teenaged boy.

“Howdy, new neighbor.” The man said, “I’m Burt Donner and this is my son, Timmy.”

Fergus seemed on edge by the offered food. We didn’t want to eat or drink anything here we didn’t prepare ourselves.

“My son and I are diabetic.” Fergus said, politely refusing the drinks.

“We have splenda, it’s no problem.” Burt said.

We made our introductions and took the lemonade. I was hesitant to drink any. I could see Virgil pretending to drink, but it wasn’t until Kerouac nodded to me that it was safe to drink.

Burt tried to engage with Kerouac, but Kero just hid behind his father.

“Connell, we talked about you being more assertive.” Fergus said.

Kerouac came out from behind his faux father and put his hands together.

“Hewwo mistah Burt.” He said. Burt seemed to give Kerouac a death glare. I already didn’t like our new neighbor.

But, we were stuck here and we had work to do.

Part 03: Virgil Gugasian

DFA_ECR_Log_0903_003.pngSilver Falls was by far the most intimidating environment I had ever set foot in. Everyone on our team for Jack’s rescue mission was weirded out by the inherent creepiness of the place. Houses out of catalogs and HOA membership with fake smiles. But that was just the surface.

As we drove to our new “home” we found Silver Falls a gated community with private security. Nothing I couldn’t get past with some work, but they had enough insulation that there was no calling for help out here. The closest thing to a police station was a Spokane County Sherriff’s office, which I would put money on had more than one confederate in it to protect the idyllic community. If we tried to call the cops here, it was likely no one friendly would come.

The fact that the cultists were mixed in with potentials meant that it was impossible to tell friend from foe or enemy from civilian within Silver Falls. What’s worse is that the cultists themselves were fanatics who may or may not have been directly influenced by beings of great power.

Tradecraft dictated that I treat everyone inside that hyperpolished suburbia as an enemy. When we actually moved into our new house, that fear was further confirmed.

I advised everyone to not trust any food or drink in here that you didn’t prepare yourself. As a result, after moving in we went out to drop off the moving truck and then stopped for some takeout. We bought groceries offsite from a place the other inhabitants didn’t shop at, so there was no chance anyone could tamper with our food.

When we got home, Jack spent some time memorizing the face of everyone in town he could while the rest of us checked for bugs. Kerouac in his child form could fit in places we couldn’t and in doing so found not bugs but infrastructure in the homes themselves that would make the house and every other home trivially easy to bug for electronic surveillance. That is not even counting magical surveillance.

Then Jack started using his supernatural senses and we started noticing even more creepy stuff that night.

“No one walks on the sidewalks at night.” I pointed out.

“They must be warded.” Kerouac posited, his act as a six-year-old replaced by the concern of an experienced trickster.

“I can hear low rumbling out there. Like the sound of dogs.” Jack said.

“Hellhounds?” Fergus asked.

“Or some hybrid. They’re invisible.”

“That explains the lack of small animals.” I said.

It was only after that comment did everyone see what I also saw. Within the walls of Silver Falls, there were no dogs. No barks, leashes, or even doggie shit bags. There we also no feral cats. I could count the number of birds we had seen even with a lake nearby on one hand, too.

I’m not sure what kind of puppy chow you gave hellhounds, so it tracked.

“How can we beat them without magic?” Fergus asked. We didn’t realize how much we relied on magic until we didn’t have it at all.

Jack slicked back his hair nervously, “They can smell blood, so once you start bleeding they will find you. Otherwise, anything that can beat scent dogs should work on them.”

“Sounds like I need to do some shopping.” I said and grinned.

There were ways to beat a dog’s sense of smell. I hoped they would be enough to work on hellhounds.

Between the locals and the security, we were extremely limited in what we could do. With an infernal aura encompassing the place, we were without our main problem-solving resource: magic.

Without magic, we were pretty screwed. Which meant we had to find Jack’s daughter fast and bring the wardstone down. As soon as that stone was down, in theory we could then let loose and burn this place to the ground if we wanted.

That meant I had to go to work.

The best way to get something you need without anyone finding out is to make it yourself. The best place to make something you need that you don’t want someone to know you have is to go somewhere that has the materials you need in bulk where a little bit of it won’t be missed.

The Viridian Dynamics munitions plant was just such a place.

Viridian Dynamics was a weapons manufacturer that most people had never heard of because they wanted it that way. They made weapons and parts to make weapons and parts for larger companies only people in the Department of Defense knew the names of.

For the Denarian cultists, it provided an easy way for them to get their hands on serious firepower and cover it up. VDI made missiles, rockets, bombs, and who knows what else.

I showed up to work as Warren Newton, a forgettable demolitions manufacturing technician. I had brushed up on my knowledge of explosives to get through their interviews and standard tests, but I was far from an expert.

I made my way inside and took notes for myself on the local security. A lot of common-sense measures, but there were ways I could get something out. There were two main sections, a classified section that serviced god know whom and an unclassified section that serviced anyone with a big enough paycheck.

My question of what I could take came when they put me on the assembly line in the unclassified section. The entire plant was like any other factory. Lots of noise. Lots of whirring machines. The big difference was the volume of creative warning and danger signage all over every surface. Some of them warned of toxic gas fumes or fire hazards, which made sense. Others warned that touching this liquid to this solid would result in an explosion when nothing else did.

My daily task mainly involved removing a plate from a missile housing that read “Made in China”, insert a chip onto a daughterboard and then replace said plate with one that read, “Made in America”.

American manufacturing at its most American.

Eventually, I ran into our neighbor Burt Donner and made myself a new friend. Burt it turned out had been working there for 40 years in all of the sections at one time or another and even had a custom license plate that read “Kap00w!”. I managed to remember enough of my prep materials to talk him up and he took me to lunch.

Burt encouraged me to go through some of the optional training materials after work. He said if I did well enough on them, I could get transferred to the classified section where he worked.

After work, I went through all the optional training materials and worked out a few routes for smuggling some gear out. All told, it made me an even more dangerous man than I was before.

At the very least, I could fill a backpack full of explosives and make Silver Falls a much more entertaining place.

Part 04: Kerouac

DFA_ECR_Log_0903_004.pngBefore I was Pooka, I was a boy. A poor irish lad who lived in blissful ignorance of the dangers of the world. I grew up during the potato famine when food became dangerous and living to see adulthood was not a certainty.

When I took the form of a child, I resembled myself shortly before I became a faerie. Whenever I see a human child, I see that poor irish lad and the lads and lasses I knew who never made it past the age of 12. I knew a dozen Connells, Stevens and Aarons. Darbys, O’dells, and Macdonalds.

That meant that the character I was playing fit like a pair of old comfortable shoes so to speak. When I was a boy, I didn’t own shoes, but the simile stands.

Fergus walked me to school in his track pants and sweater. He carried a mesh bag full of dodge balls for his gym class. Amazing invention, the rubber ball.

Fergus met with the principal, a German woman whom I found to be dodgy. My father expertly evaded suspicion by saying to the woman, “This playground looks too hardcore for young Connell. Where are the soft surfaces and safety gear?”

When the shriveled harpy was not looking, I jumped into Fergus’ arms and put a whisper in his ear.

“Daddy, it’s the metal parts I’m worried about.”

The jungle gyms and monkey bars were all made from The Bane. They were a bigger hazard for me than any of the hellhounds in the neighborhood.

Fergus nodded and whispered back.

“I’ll take care of it. Find her.”

“Okay Daddy!” I said and hugged him back. Dads always needed hugs. This one especially.

So, while Fergus spoke to his new superiors at the school, I played my part by running straight for the football field. Or as the modern colonists call it, “Soccer”.

I ran in the fields the way I ran in the fields back then. Sun on my face, grass beneath my feet, and the power of nature all around.

Eventually, Fergus called me back in. I found that Herr Principal had handed him some papers, so i went along with it.

“Is that homework?”

“Yes it is. For your father.” The principal was Doctor Siegel. Curious that.

I was ushered into the Kindergarten and met Mister Kemp, my new teacher. I played the part of the shy child with grace. All the better for them to ignore me.

Then they sat me down and I almost broke character.

The children in class were much like the children I had seen in the fields outside. Perfectly disciplined. Every child raised their hand. Every child followed directions. Every child was in the top percentiles for intelligence for their age brackets.

But, they weren’t having fun. They only laughed on cue. They smiled the same fake smiles. They were not being taught but molded. All individuality was being taken from them.

The loss of fun is one of the unforgivable losses of innocence. It took all my concentration to not break character and seek my revenge for these children.

But their time will come. These innocents will be saved. Thrice I say.

Until the time was right, I had a mission to complete. I spent the day watching and playing my part.

Lunch was served in a lunch room that was open to all. I socialized with as many other kids as I could and tried to be the best friend these kids desperately needed. If I didn’t then no one would.

It led me to meeting one child who told me that their father was a Navy SEAL who was away on classified missions. The claim seemed to not be baseless, but it was concerning.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find Jack’s daughter or anyone who resembled him or Abigail. Damn.

I did find that my cover was solid when we played dodgeball in gym class. My small size earned the nickname of “Runt” as well as a target of dodgeballs. I could see that that was the first fun those children had had for a long time.

But, then the teachers made me run laps and my strategy of faking a stomach ache backfired. I threw up. But, the children laughed…

Part 05: Fergus Mac Cormaic

DFA_ECR_Log_0903_005.pngAs I took Kerouac by the hand and walked down to the school for our first day, I took time to enjoy myself for a moment. I thought about doing this with my own daughter in years to come. A father walking his child to school. A moment like this was one I yearned for.

Jack was denied that moment by Azael. I would fight to make sure he got this moment of his own.

For that, I let my mind change to that of Aaron Williams, Gym Teacher, and cultist in training.

We had worked out a backstory during our prep. My son Connell was being bred as a sacrifice. His death would be a means to power. A pathway to possibly a coin of my own someday.

The whole thing left me feeling filthy. No number of showers could wash it away until we did something.

That meant I had to go to school.

Silver Falls’ school was modern, clean, and perfectly ordered. An example school of the highest quality of education. Anyone who entered would just see a school they’d wish they could get their child into.

But this wasn’t a school, it was a training camp for zealots.

I would play my part of a teacher until we found Jack’s kid and the wardstone came down. Then, I was thinking about going wyld and burning this place down.

I wore my uniform for the zealot school in the form of a Gonzaga sweater, gym shorts, fake ass hair, and a mesh bag full of dodge balls.

Kero and I were met by an old lady in tailored clothes. On the surface, she looked like a college professor vastly overqualified to be running a school in a neighborhood like this. Then she started talking and I realized why she fit right in here.

“You must be Mister Williams.” The lady said in a discernible german accent, “I am Dr Siegel, principal of this institution.”

She gave me a firm handshake and looked me in the eye like Ross had tried to do to Jack earlier. I gave my practiced reponses and tried to make small talk while she yammered on.

Dr Siegel handed me a folder of various papers and Kerouac took notice.

“Is that homework?” Kerouac said, looking innocent.

“Yes it is. For your father.” Dr Siegel said, “Are you ready for today mister Williams?”

I held up my bag of dodge balls and game my answer with a chuckle, “Nothing better to weed out the weak from the strong.”

She looked at my bag and gave me a smarmy look.

“Your orientation will be with Mister Jeffries…” Dr Siegel continued.

I used the opportunity to get a read on the good doctor. I was not as good a cold reader as Virgil, but already I could see some clues about the good doctor.

Her eyes darted from place to place, checking for threats. My grandfather had once introduced me to a member of the IRA from back in the day. That guy did the same thing. A hypervigilance born of someone who had seen not just combat, but serious action.

Doctor Siegel it seemed was trained.

At one point I used the opportunity to comment on the playground equipment and make sure Kerouac’s head was in the game. The little guy didn’t disappoint and ran off to play on the soccer field before coming back when called and going for his first day of Kindergarten.

I was given a tour of the school and despite the creepiness it was actually impressive. They had a training course for parkour that I wish I had in my studio. They had classes for various languages and age-appropriate gateway classes for all manner of physical activity and martial arts training on top of STEM and regular old academics.

They even had modern textbooks written just for their classes with solid curriculum.

If this place weren’t a training ground for zealot minions of fallen angels, I’d wish I could actually send my kid here. Instead, I just felt dirty and wanted a shower.

This was further cemented when I met Coach Grey, who taught ASL. Grey was also one of the tongueless that I had heard about. You don’t realize how much you speak until you have conversation with someone who can only speak by writing their answers on a whiteboard.

Being born mute or being rendered mute for a medical condition is one thing. It was another knowing that person voluntarily removed their own tongue as a sacrifice to their cause.

The school didn’t have any rooms full of kids with shaved heads all practicing martial arts in formations, but I would not put it past the school to have that kind of class day at the higher grade levels. All the kids in this place were way too well-behaved.

You know that one kid in class who has been medicated so much that they have no sense of humor and are always on task no matter what? That was every kid at Silver Falls.

It was fucked up.

I got oriented and started putting together a lesson plan. Dodgeball was a good lesson and thanks to my leadership I think the kids started having fun. It was a minor relief to see these kids smile.

Kerouac seemed to do his part by not causing trouble and getting murdered during said Dodgeball. It sold his cover, but I didn’t appreciate anyone calling my boy “Runt”.

Part 06: Jack Youngblood

DFA_ECR_Log_0903_006.pngWe went to bed on alert. Our mission was clear and we needed all the information we could find about this enemy territory.

So, when I woke up I made omelettes for everyone.

French cooking was how my old master taught me the rudiments of alchemy and potionmaking. Thank god.

While Virgil looked for something to blow up the wardstone, Fergus played the part of a teacher and Kerouac looked for my daughter, I played my part of a grad student.

The hardest part was learning how to type. Before Virgil drained me, I had given up any hope of using a keyboard that wasn’t a typewriter. Now, I could actually use one of those word document things and record my thoughts.

It was weird as fuck.

Eventually, I couldn’t sit down any longer and decided to do some recon via going for a jog around the neighborhood.

WIthout my magic, I would be helpless. We brainstormed ways of defeating the hellhounds including some pepper bombs, but this first day we didn’t want to raise any suspicions. Me jogging would make me look normal at least to these people.

I ran out of space in my mental lists to record all of the ways Silver Falls was disturbing. We were all in agreement that this place would be better served with no one in it and nothing left standing if we could help it.

Our information on the wardstone’s location was limited. Our best bet was that it was below the community center, so that was where I finished my morning jog.

I found Ross’ office and made sure he was in it and plenty distracted as I decided to go exploring. I found a side door and went back in time to my summer jobs at B&E. If I had had magic, I could have hexed down the security systems I found, but without it I had to do some picking and other stuff.

Luckily, my skills hadn’t faded very much and I was able to bypass some electronic locks an alarms in record time.

I made my way downstairs and found a few doors. Most of them led to storage areas for groundskeeping and the like, but I found one that drew my attention. It seemed to lead to a storage area that was not as big as the building’s main footprint.

I suspected immediately that this must be our wardstone room. No where seemed to be in the ballpark and this door looked like it could be barred shut if needed.

I disabled another alarm in record time and took my time listening at the door before trying to open it. Thank God I did.

As I crouched down by the door, I reached my senses beyond it. I smelled brimstone and felt crackling like static electricity. Then I heard a deep, rhythmic bass sound.

It took me a minute to realize what it was.


I decided to risk it and subtly cracked the door open as wide as I dare to have a peak inside. The small crack allowed me to see a magical circle etched into the concrete floor. I clocked it immediately a summoning circle that also bound something within its design. This circle was meant for whatever was guarding what was within. Whatever was breathing.

Moments passed and my focus only broke because the sound of breathing changed to the clomping sound of hooves on stone. Hoofsteps that approached the door.

I closed the door as silently as I could and waited.

All I heard was that breathing. I didn’t see what made it, but I figured I knew what it was.

A demon was guarding the wardstone.

And we didn’t have any Magic to kill it.



Book 09: Chapter 03

Dresden Files Accelerated: Emerald City: Requiem HumAnnoyd