January 2, 2013 (Wednesday Afternoon)
“You okay, Nick?” Sabrina calls out as she drives. “You don’t look so good.”
“I’ll…I’ll be okay. I’m just tapped out. Gave myself a headache. Need some time to recover,” Nick says.
“What the hell were those guys?” Daymar says.
“I don’t know,” Sabrina says.
Yuriko is upset and shaking. “Those were people like us. People that the Fomor changed into their horrible foot soldiers. You heard them! They are planning to raise some sort of army and go after everyone who signed the Accords. The White Council, the Fae, the Vampire Courts!”
“You win Yuriko, when we get home, I’ll call Gordon. It just feels like trying to put out a fire with gasoline," Dillon says.
Yuriko shakes her head. “I don’t know what else to do. I can try to call Capstone, but I haven’t heard from her since the holidays. This is big if people have been disappearing from Seattle as well.”
January 2, 2013 (Wednesday, 5:30 pm)
Sabrina pulls up to Yuriko’s apartment and lets everyone out. Yuriko collects her baseball bat from the trunk.
Sabrina takes Dillon to the side. “I’m going to tell Tom what happened. I’m probably going to get in trouble for my illegal search, and nothing legally can come of it as a result of that, but he ought to know that trouble may be coming.”
Everyone else heads upstairs where Yuriko makes a pot of hot tea. She hands Nick a cup of tea (and offers him a couple of aspirin). She then gets Daymar settled on a couch and sets a cup in front of him as well. Yuriko curls up in a chair, still clearly shaken from the afternoon events. “Why are they after you, Daymar? How do they even know who you are?”
“I don’t know,” Daymar says. “I guess they found me the same way that mobster found me. Same way you guys found me. They asked around. As far as why, maybe its for what I do.”
“So maybe the Fomor are looking for very specific talents, including Divining. Daymar, are you the only practitioner in town that specializes in that magic?” Yuriko asks.
“I’m the only one I know of that specializes in it,” Daymar says.
“I have no contacts in the Paranet that specialize in it like Daymar does,” Nick says, “Though I do know a lady in Sellwood that has some minor precognition.”
Yuriko frowns. “Not to stir up panic, but maybe you need to get word out through the Paranet, Nick. So people can watch their backs. So we can hear if someone goes missing.”
Nick nods and says “I’ll call Kendria as soon as I leave here and start getting the word out for people to watch their backs. Go out with friends. Use the buddy system for a while until this gets sorted.”
Yuriko offers to try and pass along information to Capstone as well. “I’ll text her and see if she responds.” She continues, “If these guys are going after all members of the supernatural community, it may be hard to get to word out. Some groups aren’t as well connected as others.”
Meanwhile, Dillon has come into the apartment. Yuriko hands him a cup of Earl Grey. He calls Gordon. “Hello Gordo, it’s Dillon. I need some information about a group called the Fomor. What can you tell me?”
Gordon chuckles. “You are either extremely naïve or insanely insolent, mortal. Do you offer nothing in exchange for this information?”
“I believe I am owed a favor. Give me a thorough report including their weaknesses, specifically how to fight them and why they are kidnapping mortal practitioners, and we can call the debt settled,” Dillon says.
“That is quite a lot for a single boon,” Gordon says. “You will have to talk to the Envoy, as it is her boon to give. I will make the arrangements and get back to you.”
Sabrina gets off the phone and comes up to the apartment. She knocks on the door and waits for someone to answer before letting everyone know that she has to go into work. Tom wants to see her and she’s going to run some of these names from the IDs in the database and see what pops. Not sure what can be done with them, but at any rate it’s something she can do.
Dillon says to Sabrina: “Hey, if you get in trouble at work, just say you had to chase us in. As an officer of the law, you are obligated to protect the citizens of Portland. And watch your back, those guys know what we look like. They may decide hitting us individually will make grabbing Daymar easier.”
Back inside, Dillon says to the group, “They may be focusing on ‘Diviners’, in two encounters they completely focused on Daymar and never made a move on Nick, who clearly showed off that he was a practitioner of the arts. So, they’re purposeful, not just grabbing any and every wielder. Maybe we should make a trip to Sellwood and find this, ‘Precog’ lady, give her a heads up and watch her place. She may be a viable target for them.”
Yuriko nods. “I’ll also talk to those I know in the supernatural community that may not be connected to the Paranet. I can see if Aleister will spread the word as well.”
She turns to look at Daymar. “We need to keep you away from those goons. Can you continue to stay at the church with Dillon? Do have another safe place you’d rather be?”
Daymar shrugs. “I’ve got no other place to be, but for how long can we keep this up? I can’t stay at the church forever.”
January 2, 2013 (Wednesday, 6:45 pm)
Dillon, Nick, and Yuriko (Sabrina is still at work) head to the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland. There are lots of really “cute” houses and kitschy business along the main avenue. There are also several eateries and night spots.
On the way, Nick explains that the precog, whose name is Tabitha White, gets brief visions of the future or of somewhere else in the present. However, these visions are coupled with debilitating seizures. She has no control over when the visions come or what she sees. Sometimes they may be important to her—sometimes they can be mundane and useless.
Tabitha lives in an apartment above a record store. Nick leads the way up the stairs at the rear of the store that lead to the apartment. When he gets up to the door, he knocks. The three can hear movement beyond the door and then a door-chain being moved before the door is opened.
“Hi Nick. What’s going on?” Tabitha is an attractive woman of color, her heritage being hard to tell for certain.
She’s dressed in yoga pants and a tank-top and her hair is up in a ponytail.
“May we come in? It’s pretty important,” Nick says.
She looks at Nick and company a little warily, with a more than a little skepticism, but says, “Yeah, all right.” She steps aside and lets every one come in.
Tabitha’s apartment is small, but neat. One unusual feature is a boxer’s long punching bag dangling from a strong chain in the corner of the unused breakfast nook.
“Have a seat,” she says, indicating the couch. She takes a nearby chair. “What brings you over to Sellwood?”
Nick starts by introducing everyone. “Tabitha, this is Yuriko and this is Dillon. They’re two of my closest friends. We’ve been dealing with some stuff that may affect members of the Paranet, but may also deal specifically with you.”
Tabitha cocks an eyebrow. “Me specifically? I keep to myself, you know that. What are you talking about?”
Yuriko leans forward slightly from her spot on the couch. "I don’t know if you’ve heard the rumors, but there have been some disappearances lately. People from the supernatural community turn up missing, and some weird fish-goons were involved. The reports were originally from Salem and Eugene, but we personally know that they’ve now shown up in Portland as well. They’ve been targeting a friend of ours, someone with a divination talent. We’re concerned that these goons may also be targeting anyone with similar abilities. "
“And naturally you thought of me,” Tabitha says, looking at Nick. “I appreciate the heads-up. Do you know why they want people like me?” she asks the room in general.
“We don’t know yet, it’s just a guess that they are targeting diviners, but we wanted to make contact and give you a heads up just in case," Dillon says.
Yuriko adds, "These goons are controlled by an old race called the Fomor. The Fomor are known to capture and magically alter people to be their slaves. It can’t be for any good reason.
Tabitha nods, “Well, like I said, I appreciate the heads—” Tabitha’s eyes roll back into her head and her muscles lock up. She starts shaking and slumps out of her seat onto the floor. Nick rushes over to her and picks up her head. She’s jerking in his arms. As suddenly as the fit began, it stops and Tabitha takes a deep breath. She looks up at Nick. “Did you say fish-goons? I think they’re on their way…”
Yuriko springs out of her chair. “We’ve got to get you out of here! Do you have a car?”
“I…I have a van. It’s parked in the street,” she says. Tabitha seems a little jittery from her seizure. “I’m not sure we have time. I saw them downstairs.”
Yuriko speaks urgently, “We need to lock the door and put something heavy in front of it. Those creatures are strong. Tabitha, if you have anything you need to take with you, now’s the time to grab it.”
Tabitha runs into the bathroom and grabs a bottle of medication and shoves it in her pocket. She then runs into the bedroom and grabs her purse. Right about that time, there’s a hard rapping at the front door.
Yuriko runs to the window nearest the fire escape to see if there are any goons waiting outside for them. She sees none.
Dillon asks Nick, “Can we raise a magic circle in front of the door, will that slow them down? If not, let’s start barring the door with furniture!” Dillon makes a mental note to carry spray paint to make magic circles on the fly.
Nick says, “I’m not sure a magic circle will stop them. I think they’re mostly human, after all. But we can try both.” He asks Tabitha for a marker. She gets one out of a drawer in the kitchen and tosses it to him. He draws a circle around door on the wall and calls upon his will. You can feel a slight shifting of energies in the room when he’s done and then you start moving Tabitha’s furniture against the door as more pounding ensues.
Yuriko quietly opens the window by the fire escape and starts gesturing for everyone to sneak out.
As Yuriko makes her way down the fire escape, there is a loud BOOM as the goons try to crash in the front the door. As Tabitha makes her way down the fire escape, there is another loud BOOM as the goons try to breach the door. As Nick makes his way down the fire escape, there is a loud CRASH as the door is opened by goons. Dillon can see that the goons are not slowed by the magic circle scrawled on the door, but are being slowed by the furniture piled up in the entryway.
Dillon turns and shuts the door to the bedroom and locks it and makes his way down the fire escape to the join the others down below. From downstairs, they all hear the CRASH of Tabitha’s bedroom door being smashed open.
Tabitha leads the way to her van. It’s a VW microbus, powder blue. Everyone loads up inside and Tabitha takes off.
“I don’t know where I’m going!” Tabitha calls out.
Dillon suggests Yuriko’s apartment and Yuriko agrees. Directions are given and the microbus flies down the road.
They all arrive at Yuriko’s apartment and manage the shuffling of talismans needed to get Tabitha inside past the ward. Once inside, introductions are made to Daymar and to Hana.
Once everyone gets settled, Tabitha asks, “So now what? I can’t stay here indefinitely. I have a life I need to get back to.”
“I’m hiding at the church. You can come with me, if you want,” Daymar says.
“Hiding is not a plan,” Tabitha says.
“Is so,” Daymar says, a bit petulantly.
Dillon says, “We will lay low until we get more information. These guys are tough, every head on confrontation has ended with us running, they busted through your door, they’re strong. We’re waiting on some…friends…to get back to us, hopefully with details and weaknesses, that’s the best we’ve got so far.”
Yuriko chimes in that she will be contacting both the current and former Wardens so they can help spread the word about the danger for the supernatural community. They may have suggestions as well.
Although there’s not a lot of room, Yuriko also offers her apartment as a temporary place to stay. The wards may help.
“Look, I appreciate all this, I really do. But I’ve got to work. I’ve got a life. I can’t hole up in a stranger’s apartment for who knows how long,” Tabitha shakes her head. “I just don’t know if I can do this.”
Yuriko cocks her head at Tabitha. “If you don’t want to stay here, of course that’s up to you. But you need a safe place to be and that’s not your apartment. Do you have another friend you can stay with? Maybe someone else in the supernatural community who can have your back and help keep you safe?”
Her expression turns grim, “Because we’ve been up close and personal with those creatures. We’ve seen what the Fomor have done to them. It’s awful. There doesn’t appear to be anything left of the people they were before. If they get a hold of you, you won’t have your life anymore. You’ll have what they give you.”
Tabitha’s eyes flash at Yuriko. “I understand that. But I also have a job that isn’t going to go away because I tell them I have fish goons chasing me. I have responsibilities that don’t go away because of this. ‘Lying low’ is all well and good if I didn’t have a life that doesn’t accept the presence of fish goons.” She sighs. “Look, I don’t mean to snap. This is a lot to take in. I’ll stay here, if you’re still offering. But I can’t stay here forever. There’s got to be something to be done.”
Yuriko nods. “We’re trying to do something. None of us want you or Daymar … or anyone else for that matter … getting nabbed by these fish goons. The Fomor are up to no good and we need to find a way to stop them. However, before we can stop them, we need more information.”
She pauses slightly, then continues, “You can certainly still stay here for the time being. As for your job, can you take any time off for now? If the fish goons decide to target you at work, you may be putting other people in danger as well.”
Tabitha shakes her head. “I’m an actress. If I don’t show, I don’t get paid. If I don’t get paid, I lose my apartment.” She sighs. “But I suppose I got a bit tucked away for emergencies. For a little while. Alright. But let’s hope this information you get helps.”
Dillon’s phone rings—it’s Gordon’s number.
Dillon answers. “What’s the good word, Gordo?”
“The Envoy will be holding court at the Elysian Ballroom downtown tomorrow beginning at 8 am. There you may petition her for your boon,” Gordon says. “A bit of free of advice mortal, if you will listen. You will be in a court of Faerie. Your usual flippant manner will not do. Your words will matter.”
“Oh, of course Gordy, I’m only playful when talking to friends. Bye”
Yuriko and Dillon discuss whether or not he wants back on this meeting, as it is not on Accorded Neutral Ground.
“Hmmm, this whole thing is suspicious. Why am I having to petition her for a favor she spent most of a year reminding me she owed? She has also seemed quite annoyed that I haven’t collected. Now I have to ask permission to collect on the debt she owes? The whole thing smells like a set up. I just don’t know for what purpose.”
“I do want back up, but not in the Faerie Room Proper, just in the building or at least close enough to hear me scream. And, everybody pack iron, literally!”
“As far as 8 am, that’s when court starts, not when I’ll arrive. I believe the term is, fashionably late.”
Dillon intends to fill his pockets with iron shavings as a deterrent.
Yuriko does some research on the Elysian Ballroom. Words used to describe the Elysian Ballroom are “Delightful, Glorious, Blissful…”. The Elysian Ballroom is conveniently located on the corner of Southwest 9th and Yamhill streets across from Directors Park. Guests will enjoy convenient parking across the street at the Smart Park and is on the Max line and within blocks of most of downtown Portland’s major Hotels.
There is a main ballroom, a lounge, and a staging area for the bride and the groom. How the Envoy is utilizing these areas is unknown.
The Elysian Ballroom facility appears to occupy the 5th floor of the building.
The 2nd floor is another ballroom, The Adrianna Hill ballroom. The other floors, I believe are the staging areas for the ballrooms and the offices for the management of the ballrooms.
The group plans for Dillon to arrive at noon and for Nick, Yuriko, and Sabrina to be ready in the nearby parking garage in case there is trouble.
Yuriko texts Warden Capstone “Agents of the Fomor are in Portland, targeting those with divination talents. We think they’re responsible for some recent disappearances. We’re spreading the word for people to watch their backs. The Fomor have a bigger plot in mind.”
Capstone texts back: AM OUT OF THE CITY. FOMOR ARE FORMIDABLE ENEMIES. POWERFUL SORCERERS. GOOD TO SPREAD WORD TO BE SAFE. WILL RETURN AS SOON AS ABLE.