January 2 – 14, 2014
Brianna has heard nothing from Nerise or Clive since New Year’s Eve. She contacts Quincy to let him (and the Patriarch) know about the political coup in Portland. Retelling the events of that night re-ignites the fury and frustration that still simmers inside her. She asks Quincy to pass along any more information that he can find.
“I’ll see what I can do, but that’s Raith politics.”
Brianna also asks him to help track down Madeline Raith’s contact information. After the events in Seattle, Brianna figures she owes her a favor, which Brianna plans to collect. Quincy last heard that Madeline was in Chicago, but he’ll see what he can do.
“Thanks. I feel like I’m walking blind here. I don’t know what the hell’s going on. I just know that Perry Raith is now in charge, and Perry and I don’t like each other. Any information you can find out will be helpful.”
About a week later, Brianna gets a phone call from Quincy. He’s not going to be get in touch with Madeline.
Brianna is confused.
“Scuttlebutt is that she got iced in Chicago by a Council wizard by the name of Dresden.”
“What the hell?! They can just attack us?”
“Well,” Quincy admits, “It sounds she started it.”
“Oh, Madeline,” Brianna groans. “That’s just fucking awesome. I knew she was reckless, but goddammit.” She shakes her head. “Did you hear anything else about what’s going on?”
“A little bit. What Perry did wasn’t ordered by the Raiths, but there aren’t going to be any repercussions either.”
“Well, knowing that he wasn’t ordered to do it still says something about the situation.”
“I think the idea is that if Nerise couldn’t hold her position, then she shouldn’t be allowed to.”
“I guess we’ll see what happens if Perry can’t hold it,” Brianna mutters darkly. She thanks Quincy and hangs up.
January 15, 2014
During one of her semi-nightly phone calls with Shawn, he mentions that he may be out-of-pocket for a while.
“Well, I got a phone call from back at the Rez. A guy I used to know, Jimmy Torrence, was apparently attacked. They don’t know by what. The Elders want me to check it out.”
Brianna is silent for a moment, picking her words carefully. “I guess this is kind of a hard thing, going back?”
“It’s not something I’d rather do.”
“But you have obligations?”
“Jimmy was an okay guy.”
“They’re calling you in what capacity, exactly? As a cop?”
“Or for other reasons?”
“So, this isn’t just something that they’d call the local police about then?”
“There are no local police on the Rez. We tried to get a police department in 2008, but couldn’t get enough money from the BIA to do anything. So now they’re just on an as needed basis with King County.”
“Are you going by yourself?”
“That was the idea.”
“Do you want someone to go with you?”
There’s a bit of a pause.
“And by someone, I mean me,” Brianna says in a lighter tone. “Someone to watch your back.”
“I’m trying to lay low as it is. Getting out of town for a bit may not be a bad idea.”
“Yeah, it might be good to have another set of eyes.” Shawn is planning to head out tomorrow, so Brianna offers to drive up to Seattle tonight. In regards to how long this may take, he doesn’t think that he’ll be at the Rez for more than a week.
“Let me get some stuff squared away here first, then I’ll get on the road.” They hang up
Brianna lets Joey know what’s going on and asks him to keep an eye on everything while she’s away. Then she packs, throwing in her Kevlar and the remaining holy water as well. She tries to look up information on the “Rez,” but she doesn’t have a lot of luck. There are multiple Reservations in Washington and Shawn has never really talked about details about where he grew up.
January 16, 2014 (early morning)
It’s very early in the morning when Brianna knocks on Shawn’s door. He opens it and lets her inside.
“Are we leaving now? Or can I catch a few hours of sleep?” she asks, stifling a yawn.
“You can get a bit of sleep first.”
Being this close to Shawn makes Brianna very aware that she has still not fully recovered from using so much of her supernatural powers in the fight against Perry’s gunmen. Afraid of how her Hunger will react when mixed with desire, she is careful not to let her touch linger on him for very long. If he notices, Shawn doesn’t comment.
Later that morning, they both pack up into Shawn’s truck and head out of town. He tells her that it’s only about a thirty-minute drive.
“What’s the name of the Reservation?” Brianna asks.
“Well, tell me what I need to know before we get there. You’ve not talked about it a lot.”
“Not much to say. It’s like a lot of small towns. It’s pretty insular. Everybody knows everybody. It’s poor.” He pauses. “I don’t know what you want to know.”
“So, the Elders asked you to come in?”
“Well, specifically one Elder.”
Brianna tries to gather her thoughts. “In the past, you’ve said things like the Elders wanted you to be someone that you weren’t. I’m trying to get a little bit of context of how you’re going to be received. Who’s really in charge.”
“It’s governed by a tribal council.”
“So, they’re pretty much the law on the Reservation?”
“Yeah, it’s the constitution and the tribal council. It’s kind of like city codes and ordinances”
“One person specifically asked you back?”
“Yeah, Tom Clark.”
“Do we like Tom Clark, or not?” Brianna’s voice is serious.
“He’s a good guy, but he thinks I’m some kind of spirit totem.”
“I take it that makes you very uncomfortable.”
“And the rest of the Elders?” Brianna continues to carefully ask questions, watching Shawn’s face as he drives. “I guess I’m assuming you know everyone who’s currently on the council.”
“Not all of the Elders are on the council.”
“Okay, then who are we really going to be dealing with?”
“So, do you know the rest of the Elders? It’s been a while since you’ve been back.”
“They all figured into my childhood one way or another. It’s a small place, so we’ll probably run into them.”
“And do we like them?”
“We don’t dislike them. Well, except for Sheila. I don’t think she ever cared for me.”
“How many people know about you? All of the Elders? Or just a few?”
“Most of the Elders.”
“I’m assuming this was something that was hard to keep a secret in such a small, insular community.”
Shawn nods, “Exactly. Several of the people in my generation have some idea, they just keep it to themselves. Who’s going to believe them?”
“Are a lot of the people that you grew up with still there? Do they leave?”
“They’re still on the Rez. It can be hard to get out.”
Brianna is quiet for a moment, processing everything he’s said. “Those people who know about you, do they know about the rest of the supernatural community?”
“No, just me.”
“So, not even the fact that there are other weres out there.”
“No, they just know I’m a freak.”
Brianna’s expression hardens. “You are not a freak.”
His voice drops to a mock whisper. “I know that, but they don’t know that.”
Brianna’s anger flares and her hands involuntary ball into fists. She breaths out slowly, then forces herself to relax. “Okay, that gives me some parameters on what things to say and what things not to say. Are we going to be staying there?”
“Did you tell them you were bringing someone?”
“No. I didn’t know I was at the time.”
Brianna doesn’t have many other questions to ask, so shifts the conversation to relate what she learned from Quincy. “I haven’t heard from Nerise or Clive since New Year’s.”
“They may be laying low.”
“Aren’t we all?” After a moment of driving, Brianna speaks up again. “I need to mention that if we’re going to be here a full week, I’m going to need to go into town every so often.”
“Ah.” Shawn’s voice is knowing.
“I’m still a little bit shaky from New Year’s. I don’t want to be this close to the edge and not feed for an entire week. I don’t have as much control of things as I’d like.”
“Well, there’s not going to be places like Seattle here.”
“If we’re here that long, I may just have to go back to Seattle. I don’t want to cause trouble on the Reservation. I don’t want to be known as the person who causes fights.”
“Yeah, that could be problematic.”
“I just may need to borrow your truck.”
About half an hour later, they pull into the small town of Sonqualmie in rural Washington. The population is about 650 people. Brianna feels claustrophobic just driving into town. Shawn pulls into the parking lot of the Tribal Building and the two get out of the truck. He leads the way inside the front lobby. A receptionist sits behind the desk. She smiles at the two of them. “Hello, how can I help …” Her voice trails off as her eyes widen. “Shawn Loomis! As I live and breathe!”
“Hello,” Shawn replies evenly.
“What can I do for you?”
“I’m looking for Tom Clark. He said I could meet him here.”
“Well, he’s just around back. Let me go get him.” She leaves her desk. After a few minutes, an older Native American man enters the lobby.
“Shawn,” Tom says heartily, “Good to see you!” The two shake hands and exchange pleasantries.
Shawn gestures, “This is Brianna Karkana. My friend.”
Brianna smiles. “Sir.”
“She’s going to be helping sort all of this out.”
Tom blinks for a moment, then says “Well, good. I suppose you’ll be wanting to view the body then.” Shawn agrees. “Then come with me. We haven’t called King County yet, but we can’t delay too much longer.” The man leads the two of them to a back room. A body lays on a table, covered by a sheet. Tom pulls back the cloth and reveals a heavily mauled body.
Brianna takes off her jacket, pulls back her hair, and dons a pair of gloves. She’s not able to determine much besides that the man was probably in his 20s or 30s. Shawn works next to her. “This person is just mangled,” he observes, “not eaten. There are bite marks, claw marks. Looks canine.”
Brianna looks at Tom. “Where was he found?”
“He was found behind his trailer house on the outskirts of town.”
“Do you have anything in this part of the country that tends to eat on people?”
“Not generally. There’s coyotes. There are timber wolves, but they don’t tend to go after people and stay in the deep woods.” He gestures, “That’s one reason we called Shawn here. It’s unusual.”
“Do you have a good estimate of when the attack happened?”
“I think it happened the night before he was found.”
“Who were his closest neighbors? Did anyone hear anything?”
“He doesn’t really have neighbors, per se. There were no witnesses and no one heard anything. We did have Joe Reed take a look around.”
Brianna looks at Shawn and raises an eyebrow. Shawn speaks up, “Did he find anything?”
“Well, he did find some pretty large wolf tracks. Big ones.