Campaign of the Month: February 2022
Dresden Files Accelerated: Emerald City: Requiem
Book 05: Chapter 05
The Big Bang
Transcribed by: James
Date: October 13, 2019
In Game date: April 15, 2012
Part 01: Fergus Mac Cormaic
I had just started down the stairs to the basement, close on Leif Wotensen’s heals, searching desperately for the other bombs, when the blast went off. Everything erupted in a fire and noise so loud that it was like a physical assault on my very existence. The shock-wave threw me across the stairwell into the wall and I saw stars as the whole building shuddered under the multiple detonations. Lief caught the worst of the blast as he was on the landing below me nearer to one of the bombs. Rubble slammed onto him from above as the building began to collapse around us and I dove forward, dragging him further down, seeking shelter under the structure of the stairs themselves.
There was a roar of sound and it felt like the whole world disintegrated around us. I must have lost consciousness for a time because when I came to there was no light or sound at all except for the random flaring of a broken power main. It showered me with hot sparks as it sputtered and seethed. Small fires flickered around me and a heavy pall of dust choked the air. I tried to take a deep breathe and it felt like I coughed up a lung before I managed spit the dust out of my mouth. I could tell that the air was already getting thin. I had to get out of here and I wasn’t about to leave that pretty boy doctor behind.
I was relieved to feel a pulse in Leif’s wrist as I searched him for injury and aside from a nasty head wound he seemed largely unhurt. I hate to admit it but he is one tough hombre. Most men would not have been able to survive half of a building falling on their heads. He was unconscious though.
I surveyed the damage through the dust and it became very clear to me that the only way we were going to get out of this alive was for me to use my connection to the Wylde to take us to the Nevernever. I knew that David Clay must be trapped in the rubble above me. He had been going up the stairs to look for the bomb on the second floor and was in the stairwell when the blast went off. But there was no way I could get to him. As a golem he was made of clay. So it was possible that this was all just a mild annoyance to him. I would just have to trust him to take care of himself.
I steeled myself and tried to concentrate on my connection to the Wylde power within me. I had only taken a person with me into the Nevernever a couple of times in the past. In both cases it was someone who I was familiar with and cared about. Lief Wotensen is not someone who would make the shortlist of my favorite people in Seattle. If I am at all honest I know I have an irrational disdain for the guy.Pisses me off how Anna Maria Avila will get so flustered when he is around. I mean I don’t even know if she realizes that she is affected by his…charisma. I guess that is it. He is just so fucking perfect with those chiseled good looks and being a doctor and all.
But I had to set all that aside. Concentrate on what was positive about him. He is a really good doctor and I know he has been taking great care of Anna and little Erin. He was also one of Jack Youngblood’s best friends. Which is saying something. I get the feeling Jack doesn’t trust just anyone.
As I tried to calm my thoughts and concentrate I could feel the rubble shift and move under me. The outer wall had partially collapse and black soil spilled into the claustrophobic pocket of space that we were trapped in. I could see a tree root that was exposed as well. We were running out of time.
Impulsively I slashed my palm on a piece of exposed rebar and smeared the blood on Lief and then grabbed the tree root with my bloodied hand. I reached deep within me, feeling the connection between my blood, Leif, and the tree root. I reached through the tree root and touched the vast network of the Green that connected all life on the planet. Power surged through me and I wrapped it around Lief and myself and pulled us down the root through the Nevernever.
We erupted out of an old oak tree with a flash of green light, in what was clearly a park, and landed right in front a pair of surprised bicycle cops. I guess my luck was running true to form.
Part 02: David Clay
I nearly ran into Emmie Mercer as she was coming down the stairs when the explosion went off. Emmie, who worked in the office of the clinic and was dating Leif Wotensen, was a very brave woman who was obviously making sure everyone had been evacuated. I would not allow her bravery to result in her demise. The blast wave hit her and knocked her flat causing her to lose consciousness.
As the building began collapsing around us I charged forward, my body growing in size and power as I reverted to my clay form. I grabbed the unconscious woman and sheltered her slim form as much as I could as the structure shuddered and collapsed with a tortured roar of sound. When the dust settled I realized that we were trapped in the stairwell, surrounded by rubble. I had no need to breathe but I could sense that we did not have much air. If I didn’t get us out of here quickly Emmie would suffocate.
I took a moment to survey my surroundings and considered what I knew of the building’s structure. I realized that we were near a heavy support structure for the entire building. If I could move it I should be able to shift a large ceiling panel to the side and get us to the air. I gathered all my might and strained as hard as I ever have before. The entire stairwell structure shifted and began to collapse underneath me as I budged the panel several inches. I could only trust that my friend, Fergus Mac Cormaic, had used his abilities to escape through the Nevernever. Otherwise my efforts could be the death of him.
The whole building shook and shuddered again as it all resettled and shifted. I could see a gleam of flashing emergency lights and realized that my efforts had succeeded. We were out of immediate danger and were on the surface. I placed Emmie where she would be easily fond by the First Responders who were bravely searching the rubble. I used the dust and smoke to conceal my clay body and began to shift back to my human form. My clothes had been shredded when I had taken my golem form but that would be easily explained away by the explosion. I dug down a bit into the debris, placing myself to be found by the rescuers.
I heard the firemen’s excited calls as they found Emmie and cleared her from the building. Not long afterward they found me and excavated me from the rubble. I was arguing with a paramedic, refusing his medical attentions lest he discover that I was not human, when I heard a call on the police band radio. Apparently the so-called “Green Man”, who had been involved in the shoot out at Alki Beach, had appeared in front of a pair of bicycle cops at Volunteer Park carrying an unconscious man. They were giving chase. With that news I knew that I had to get to Fergus as soon as I could.
Part 03: Fergus Mac Cormaic
I put Lief down as gently as I could as the cops and I stared at each other in surprise and fear. I guess seeing a fellow come right out of thin air with green, glowing eyes and tattoos was a bit of a shocker. Unfortunately, the two officers recovered with admirable speed and one of them reached down for his pistol as the other snapped a radio to his mouth and called for backup. I charged forward with supernatural speed, running right over the handlebars of one of the bikes, knocking the officer on the radio to the ground and taking off at full speed. Yelling back at them to take care of Lief, I began spinning glamours of me running off in a different direction as I sprinted toward the shelter of the trees. My focus wasn’t what it should be though and the glamours didn’t seem to be fooling them. One of them screamed at me to “Freeze!” and when I kept running he fired several rounds at me with his pistol. I was moving far too fast for him though and the shots never came near me.
Once out of direct sight I used a glamour to make it look like I was continuing to the south while leaping up into a tree. One of the bike cops tore down the trail after my illusion. I used a second glamour to make me look like a little old lady walking her reluctant cat. Under the glamour I made it out of the park with a clean get away. I was going to have to be careful though. This whole “Green Man” thing was spreading. The last thing I need is for my power and responsibility to protect the Seventh Gate to become common knowledge. It could put me and my whole family in untold danger.
I decided that the best course was to make my way to Jack Youngblood’s house. It was only a few blocks away and it would be good to check in on Anna and little Erin, who had said they were going to heard there. I got to his house quickly but I sensed that something was off. I could smell smoke and ozone in the air and I saw that the front yard looked chewed up. I saw his old WW2 era Jeep was parked in the front but there was a large dent in the side of it. Even more alarming I saw one of little Erin’s pacifiers lying on the sidewalk. I used my magics to cloak myself in shadow making me all but invisible.
I started to run towards the house as my heart seized in terror. Anna’s baby bag and purse were strewn across the front porch of the house and the front railing that led to the door had been smashed in as if by some powerful force. I smelled something…fishy? Dead? It was hard to say exactly but it was definitely not human whatever it was. Silhouetted through the window I saw the huge form of a large man. Who was that? It couldn’t be Jack. The shadow was way too big to be him.
I heard little Erin cry out from inside the house and Ice ran through my veins. I felt the Wylde power within me flair. I had to protect my baby! I charged forward at supernatural speed planning on diving right through the window and tackling the huge menacing figure behind the curtains. I was not thinking clearly at all. The reason I wanted Anna and little Erin to stay at Jack’s house in the first place is because he had protected it with powerful wards that would fry any intruder to a crisp. I charged forward not heeding the warnings that tugged uselessly at my mind. I was running on instinct. The raw, primal need to protect my mate and offspring.
Part 04: David Clay
I was relieved to learn that the bombing of the clinic had caused only a few minor injuries and no one had died. I heard the police speaking about the Alki Beach suspect AKA the Green Man who had somehow carried a clinic doctor all the way to Volunteer Park and then had made a clean getaway. I approached Aunt B who seemed absolutely devastated that her clinic had been bombed. She explained to me that she had seen Anna and Erin get into Jack’s Jeep with Abigail Youngblood and they had said they were going to his house. I borrowed a Paramedic’s cell phone and called Jack’s home to check in on them. Anna answered the phone and she seemed nearly panicked. She said that there had been an incident and she needed my help immediately. Aunt B ran interference for me while I slipped away to flag down a cab. I was still wearing the torn clothing from the explosion but the mylar blanket gave me a bit of cover.
I arrived at Jack’s house and was alarmed to see the disarray of it. There had obviously been a battle here. I spotted Fergus as he stepped out of a glamour becoming visible to the naked eye. He was breathing heavily and his tattoos flared and a spear manifested itself in his hands. He was intent on the silhouette of a huge man in the window and he bent down to charge him. I realized that the wards on the building would surely doom the young Guardian and called out for Anna to stop Fergus immediately. She opened the door just as Fergus blurred toward the window at full speed. She cried out for him to stop just as he was leaping and at the last second he was able to grab a pillar and stop himself from flying through the window. We could all feel the power of the wards. The very air crackled with their power. If Fergus had not managed to stop himself I had no doubts that he would have been destroyed by them.
Jack’s best friend, Bruno Walsh came out the door behind Anna and I realized he must have been the large figure in the window. Anna used an amulet to get us past the wards and we found Jack unconscious on the couch inside. He looked like he was severely injured and had what looked like a nasty head wound. Anna breathlessly explained what had happened.
Jack and Abby had heard about the explosion on the news as they were heading home. They drove back to the clinic and spotted Anna outside. Abby insisted that they pick her up and drive her back to the safety behind the wards of their home and Jack agreed. They were attacked when they were getting out of the Jeep at the house.
Dozens of Fomor Minions had been waiting in ambush and they all sprung out all at once. Abby grabbed Anna and sprinted for the front door as Jack stood against them alone. Abby spoke in awe of the magics the young Wizard wielded against the attackers. He blasted them with lightning, fire and earth itself and they didn’t stand a chance against his power.
But then a strangely severe looking man walked up as the last of the fishmen fell. He sped toward Jack at inhuman speed changing into a scary, baboon like monstrosity with huge claws and fangs. From her description I identified the monster as The Knife of Hunger – Nôž Hladu. Behind him an old man stood with a Wizard’s staff in his hands his fist raised towards the ghoul assassin. Jack unleashed a blast of fire at the creature but it just seemed to slide right off of him without doing any damage. I realized that the old man, most likely my nemesis The Patient One, had used his own magics to defeat Jack’s attack.
Jack, realizing his attack had no effect, valiantly tried to draw his Warden’s Sword to defend himself but Nôž Hladu was too fast. He slammed Jack with a backhanded blow knocking him a dozen feet through the wooden railing on the porch of the house. Abby cried out Jack’s name and gave Abby the amulet to get past the wards and ran back to try and drag Jack across the threshold of the house and to safety.
The fiendish ghoul assassin was bearing down on her and Abby managed to throw Jack across the threshold. Jack was safe but there was no time left. Abby wasn’t going to be able to get inside in time.
Anna explained that she was terrified for her new friend and she cried out her name. Someone else appeared from thin air and smashed the ghoul back with a terrible blow, knocking him out with one punch! At first Anna was relieved. But then she got a look at the supposed savior. It was a walking corpse-like zombie with terribly intense, furious eyes. Another, smaller man appeared and ordered the dead man to grab Abby. She tried to struggle and screamed for Anna to stay behind the wards no matter what. The dead man struck her, knocking her out and put her over his shoulder.
The nerdy looking young man traded insults with the Patient One crying out that soon he would have the power to crush them all. Anna said he really didn’t seem to be quite sane. He saw her and told her to give Jack a message with an evil smile.
“Tell Jack that I am Barry Goldman. Tell him that I have his wife!” He laughed maniacally and left flipping the bird to Patient One.
The Knife of Hunger woke shortly afterward and, with the help of some of the Fomor Minions, managed to gather up all the dead and wounded and then they too left.
I had heard of this Barry Goldman before. He was an insane occultist serial killer who had murdered at least 15 victims, including his own mother and sister. Abby was in terrible danger.
After finishing her story Bruno got in touch with my old friend Craig Big Eagle who arrived shortly afterward. Craig examined the still unconscious Jack and said that he had a severe concussion as well as a broken arm and collar bone. He would need some serious medical attention. Craig called Lief Wotensen who agreed to treat Jack’s injuries at his home.
While we waited for the doctor we filled Craig in on what had been going on. Craig was a shaman with an affinity for rituals and he believed that the reason Goldman had kidnapped her was because he intended to use her to harness the power of Sebassis. Abby had been possessed by the Denarian Demon Azael for nearly a decade and he believed that because of that demonic connection she would be an excellent sacrifice to steal Sebassis’s demonic energy. With Jack badly injured Fergus and I were Abby’s only hope for salvation. I would do everything in my power to prevent her death.