The Nomad's Vigil

The job gets hairy...
Raf meets his first werewolf; people die.

Shit. They’re all dead: cousin Jose; the two niggas, Jake and the twitchy fellow; hell, the big white gringo never even made it outta the gun store. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that bullets were traded when they robbed the place, but one dead, two hurt before we even drove off? They musta’ known we were coming.

And who the fuck were “they”, anyway? I don’t know who “they” were, or what we even stole from them. I’m just the wheel-man. All I do is pick them up, deliver the goods, and shake any pigs that try to follow. Nothing to it, right? Only, our employer never said nuthin’ ’bout no …werewolves.

I still get shivers when I think about that. Couldn’t sleep for three nights, thinking about it. What it did to Jose. How it ripped Jake outta the car. It tore off the door like it was made of tin foil!

It doesn’t matter now. Whatever, whoever it was, it’s dead now. The goods got delivered, and I got the money. That’s what matters, right?

At least I could pay for Jose to have a decent funeral.

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Well THAT Went Well.
in which Cam narrowly escapes certain doom

Useless. Fucking useless. All of them.
They stood outside and waited while people died horrible, screaming deaths. They whimpered and stood frozen while I took aim and fired. Fucking suits and their crony soldiers. Useless, all of them. They cowered like dogs when it jumped from the window and gave chase, didn’t lift a hand to help when it caught me and nearly killed me. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen— a Frankenstein’s mess of muscle and tendons. It was… impossible. It couldn’t have been. But it was. It chased me down without any trouble at all.

I don’t know what it was.
I don’t know who they were.

Whatever it was, it took a piece of me with it. It was weeks before I regained my mobility— longer until I was able to move the way I could before. It still hurts, where it tore away the muscle. I don’t know how I got out of there alive, to be honest. How the hell did it get into my head like that? It triggered… memories. Things I had buried. Or so I thought. It must’ve done the same to them, the suits and soldiers.

Who were they?

They’re bound to be after me. I heard it on the radio, flying out of there like a bat out of hell. I’m a loose end. That’s all I am, after I dealt with whatever the hell it was they were there for— that thing. I put it down, and after it nearly kills me I’m a fucking loose end.

Ungrateful bastards.

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Are you fucking kidding me?
Regan

Jesus fucking Christ, I just can’t escape this shit, can I?
Just short of the one-year anniversary, and this dickhead calls me out of nowhere to recruit me for a fucking Scooby-Doo gang. Or Ghostbusters, whatever.
I wouldn’t be doing this I could avoid it.

One headstrong spunky leader girl, some born-again ex-jailbird, a man who would fit in just fine in an insane asylum, and me. This is just going to be tons of fun, I can already tell. At least these assholes are hilarious.

I’m still not sure what the fuck went on in that building. It would have been nice to have some info beforehand, you know? But we charm our way into Mr. Radiowave’s house, and Cam is distracting him while Sunny, Damarion, and I sniff around. Literally, in Sunny’s case. I’d like to try some of whatever he’s smoking… maybe.

So one minute, I’m flipping through this random guy’s address book, and the next is just full of pain. Bamboo slivers under your cuticles, a billion hot needles poking into your skin pain. I tripped in the living room and peeled several layers of skin off my right forearm —more than it should have been from that kind of scrape. Cam ran back in to help me up, someone fired a gun.

The last the I remember, we were all booking it down the hall as fast as we could. Then everything went black.

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What the hell am I getting myself into?
in which Cam contemplates the interesting turn life has taken

I was just supposed to be meeting Jake.
That was IT.

I was supposed to roll into town, hang around, and play catch-up. Then Jake finds some hookup (fine, no worries, doesn’t bother me) and I find these three lunatics. Apparently we’ve been recruited by Zero, international man of mystery (or something). He found us and put us in a room together, gave us a couple of shiny phones and a very, VERY fuzzy objective: find out what was exploding and killing people before it exploded again and killed more. Alpha called it an “event”.

Why the hell not, I said. It couldn’t have been worse than the thing that wrecked my back.

It wasn’t, thankfully, but in a way it was. Turns out the “event” was a man. A man trying to live a new life in America, a former KGB agent gone native. Damyn Olseianko was a normal man but for the ticking time bomb in his head. He was just… he was just some guy. A nice guy. When we showed up at his door for no reason at all, he invited us in and made us coffee. Seemed like an upstanding human being (aside from the ex-KGB thing, but who’s counting?). Then things got interesting— he burnt himself, and there was a wave of something that hit everybody but me. We booked it out of there at top speed, but Regan had to go and get himself tripped or something— I ran back in to grab him. I leave for half a second and Sunny fires a gun through the wall.

We got to the stairwell when Mr. Olseianko went off. We blacked out, ears bleeding and piled in a heap; when we came to and headed downstairs, there was a ruckus in the lobby. People milling around, asking questions. We ditched the place quick and told Alpha what we’d found out— that it was a person. She sounded confused when I told her that. We headed for the ER to patch Regan up and Sunny decided to self-medicate at the bar across the street. I hauled his drunk ass back to my hotel for the night (why the hell am I the responsible one?!) and we met up again in the morning. Zero wanted us to go back to the scene.

He provided us with an in— he set Sunny up with a badge marking him as a Fed. (Sunny, of all people. Jesus H. The man is batshit crazy.) We got in all right, got the information we needed from the investigation crew that was already there and got out (though not before Demarion blew our cover). Real sharp bunch I seem to have fallen in with.

Alpha pointed out that if we wanted to find out anything else we’d have to talk to Mikhail Potrakoff while he was in town. I drove out that way as fast as possible, but when Alpha told us we’d have to get rid of the badge, our merry ray of sunshine decided he’d take care of it.

With a shotgun.
In the back of the van.
Which is bulletproof.

The ricochet nearly grazed Regan, hit Demarion and nearly killed Sunny. How I managed to dodge that bullet (yeah, lousy pun, I know), I have no idea. Sheer luck maybe. Anyway, I pulled the fastest detour I’ve ever done and hauled them to the ER— left Regan in charge and headed down to talk to Potrakoff. (By myself. Real bright, I know, but what was I supposed to do?) I talked my way in, lying through my teeth (I’m a real upstanding citizen lately), telling the guy at the door I’d forgotten my purse inside, and telling the guys outside Potrakoff’s dressing room that I was there for a… personal visit… and for some reason, they believed me. I waltzed right in.

Potrakoff told me that Mr. Olseianko had been part of an experiment, that the KGB had put something in his head. He also said that if Mr. Olseianko was losing control, we’d need to move fast (and we’d need to put a bullet in his head, in just the right place). Just what I wanted to hear— we’d have to find this nice, polite man and put him down like a dog.

I bounced after that, swung back by the ER to pick up Regan and Demarion. I might’ve spoken a little harshly to Alpha, trying to get things straight. (She’s a real sweet thing, reminds me of a foster sister I had once. I feel bad about being a little snippy.) She didn’t have anything else to help us, just told us that the GPS would get us to where we needed to go. We pulled up outside the warehouse where Mr. Olseianko was, and as soon as we found him we saw that he was about to lose it.

There was a blue glow around him, like you’d see radiation in the movies. It was solid, though— trying to walk through it… it was like a wall. Demarion waded in, though. I have to give him credit there, he pushed through and walked right up to Mr. Olseianko. The poor man was on his knees in pain, trying to keep whatever was in his head under control. He’d resigned himself to it, at least, but that’s almost as bad as if he’d fought. He deserved to live, he wasn’t hurting anybody but for that thing the KGB put in his head. But we— no, Demarion— put him down. It was a mercy, I guess. I’d have liked to have given him a funeral, at least a proper burial, but we had to split before the cops showed up. We did just hunt down a man and kill him, after all.

What am I getting myself into?
I’ve driven like a madwoman, broken into buildings, lied to people, hunted down a man and helped kill him.
I was in hiding anyway, but damn.

Anyway, when it was all over we finally met Alpha and “met” Zero. I’m still not sure how I feel about this, but at least I’m helping people. We’ll see where this goes, I guess.

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Those Assholes
Regan

I thought this shit was supposed to be straightforward. If nothing else, I though, MAYBE, just MAYBE, I had gotten away from those shitheads.

Too bad, it turns out the lunatic that Zero is chasing has nothing to do with those mages. He doesn’t even have any information on them. Called Grandfather, he hasn’t responded.

Zero sends us to Nevada to investigate a series of chaos murders, and somehow we run into both The Trickster and those mages, completely unrelated to one another? Weird, creepy, but not impossible. I’m feeling a little scattered about this whole business. The nightmares are back, just as bad as ever. That’s nothing new, though, and that’s what sleeping pills are for…

I feel pretty shaky about this shit, though. Should I stay with this group? Should I go hunt down those mages? …I don’t know for now. I don’t have enough info.

Grandfather is supposed to call me back on Tuesday.

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Another Helicopter
Cam

The suits are back, and a little too close for comfort.

Zero sent us to a dig site in Middle-of-Nowhere, Idaho. One of his old agents, Ruth, flew us out. (Seems she took a shine to Sunny. Ha.) He calls her by her name and everything— I’m impressed.

Anyway, we got out to the site and took a look around. There was a city there, and there shouldn’t have been. One of the undergrads told us a little about what had been going on— people disappearing, impossible results from the dig, noises at night, the works. So we went out and explored the site itself. There was a pile of remains there. It was massive. Hundreds, maybe thousands of bones. I walked the pit end to end, and it struck me then: the pile? It’s shaped like a person. Arms, legs, torso and a head. It looks an awful lot like the thing I met in Sudan. An AWFUL (and I mean awful) lot. Here’s the problem: this thing would have been impossibly large. Much bigger than the one I met.

The thing snatching people from the dig may well have been its pet. There was half of a frayed rope among the bodies… the other half was around its neck. I only saw it for a second, but I’m almost positive that’s what it was.

The thing snatching people— I don’t even know what it was. It moves faster than it should, and it doesn’t flinch when you hit it with anything but ice. I shot the thing in the eye and it didn’t blink. We blew it up, and it gave chase anyway. We bolted on an ATV stolen from behind the main tent. I’ve never driven that fast in such dense woods, I’m surprised I didn’t crash it sooner than I did. We kept moving, but when it got close we got separated. It followed us to a frozen lake— we found out it won’t walk out on the ice. That’s when we called Alpha for help. She didn’t send us much… but she did send us Demarion. There was an ice fishing shed in the middle, thankfully it was stocked with supplies for fire. Regan and I got it going and waited until morning. Hell knows how Sunny found us— he was half-dead and nearly frozen stiff when we spotted him.

I’m a little pissed at Zero for what happened after that.

“Don’t leave,” he says. “Stay there and play bait,” he says. We needed to get Sunny and the kid he picked up to a hospital. So I headed back to the camp with Demarion. It was swarming with suits when we got there. The Cheiron Group. They’re staging another cover-up. But suits means helicopters, and I got to steal a second one from them.

(Not gonna lie, that’s kind of satisfying.)

A sniper started taking potshots at the suits when we got there— I wish I knew who it was. Demarion decided to head in guns-blazing. He took down a couple of suits while I got to the helicopter. We lifted off without much trouble, though they did fire at us when I took off. We picked everybody else up and were about to head out when Zero decided to contact us again. (Without contacting Alpha, apparently. What the hell?) That was when he told us we were going to stay put and play bait.

I told Ruth I’d do my best to keep them alive. So what else could I do but wait and do as Zero said? Who else was going to make sure they got out? Sunny would’ve been furious if he’d been aware of what exactly was going on. We’re lucky we got high enough to get away from the thing when it finally caught up. I took off as soon as we saw it, and that was barely enough to clear it. It tried to catch us, stretching up with antlers and paws and hell knows what else— and that’s when Zero came in and did a flyby maneuver to drop snow around the thing. It worked, at least temporarily. I don’t know what he’s going to do with it permanently, but he told us to get out.

So we did.

Now we’re on the road to Montana. Regan’s asleep in the passenger seat, Demarion is passed out in the back. Sunny insists on driving himself, but there’s no arguing with him sometimes. Maybe I’ll put on the radio just so I stop thinking about all of this insanity for a little while.

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Magical Mystery Murder Mansion
Regan

In the future, let’s just establish that any and all letters from questionable sources offering us a haunted mansion are DEFINITELY A TRAP. A horrible terrible trap in which we meet assholes with gigantic knives.

Fuck that shit, I hate knives. And he wasn’t even the bad guy.

In retrospect, I should have known it was the chick who opened the door that ended up being the killer, because no one should be that peppy in a creepy ass haunted house. Also, she had this huge thing for Demarion, which was slightly inexplicable in that I’m pretty sure he was nearly twice her age but apparently there’s no accounting for the taste of psycho telepathic murderers.

Anyway, we get to the house and this one guy dies basically first thing, but not before I had to cut a chunk out of his spine, what the fuck is up with this shit, second mission in a row. I didn’t sign up to be team nursemaid, damnit. So he dies, we split up and search the mansion, creepy shit is everywhere, then one of the hot chicks dies which honestly, I was expecting from the start. Actually I thought it would be Kiki since sluts die first, but then she turned out to be the killer so whatever.

We met a nice chick named Amy who is being faced with the awful reality that there really is no getting out of the family business, an older guy named Earl who has obviously been keeping the vigil for awhile, a guy named Carlos who was really quiet and basically useless, actually.

And Rodney, who is tagging along behind us in his car. Cam said he could follow us, but that knife is not coming into this van. Ever.

Anyway, it’s only a few hours back to the hotel, and then maybe we can figure out where the hell Sunny went.

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Officer's Report (Pending)

CASE TITLE: Molhallugh, Kenneth
DATE/TIME: MAY 1st/ 17:22:00
LOCATION: VILLE PLATTE
INCIDENT TYPE: HOMOCIDE
REPORTING OFFICER: DANIEL MCMINTON

NARRATIVE: On May 1st, 2012, while patrolling the perimeter of VILLE PLATTE, I ran to the sounds of a dispute in a back alley of the VILLE PLATTE market-place. Two persons were fighting at the end of the alleyway, but when I got closer to them, one of them (Kenneth Molhallugh) slid to the ground while the other fled the scene towards the street. Suspect appeared to be male, tall, race: unknown. I pursued the suspect out towards the street, but could not locate him.

I returned to the victim, identified as Kenneth Molhallugh after searching belongings, and confirmed death. Victim had fist sized hole in the upper right area of his chest. The size of my fist

Agents Orange and (?) appeared on scene after reporting crime to HQ. Later encountered HOLLIS WHEELER, armed with one M1191A1, Colt-manufactured, military-grade officer’s pistol (concealed license), and having one bloody hand-print on his shirt. Brought into HQ.

BLANK
Returned to VILLE PLATTE. Met with Landlord “LIL’” VINNY.

Met Dr. CAMERON FOXX. Encountered Suspect previously. Found in the company of REGAN (LAST NAME HERE). Uncooperative.

Left for SOCIAL CLUB with HOLLIS WHEELER, with both DR.FOXX and REGAN (?).

BLANK

INVESTIGATE GRANDFATHER THUNDER. Force needed.

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No Place in My Army for Equivocal Men
Hollis

Vocal diary of Maj. Hollis Wheeler, formerly of the 29th Infantry Division, Fort Belvoir. First of May, 2012, 22:45.

Whatever that man in Ville Platte was, if indeed a man he was, he knew his truths in and out. I found something here in this drenched and craven city. Not parasites or demons, nothing so straightforward. I found what could be a new army, if they let me make them one. And may God help me, for to forge soldiers from this would tax the General himself. And I am but a major.

The policeman, to start with. He is stubborn. Headstrong. His desire to be in charge far outstrips his meager capacities for leadership. He is impatient, demanding and immature. And he is foolish enough to think that guns alone can win this war. I see in him great promise, but he must allow himself to be educated or he will die in this fight, in spite of all my efforts and exertions.

Dr. Foxx is stubborn, too, but hers is a symptom of the quickened venom of the pursued and not from the bitter drug of arrogance. Having seen already too much death she retreats into herself. She must learn to trust me if we are to survive. But if she can, she is sharp as cold steel and she drives like a jockey rides his horse. Perfect poise. There’s shades of Stuart in this one.

And the other one. He is a puzzle to me. A child of darkness, that much became clear as time went on, one of the Italian’s spawn. I’ve only met one before, a woman in Louisville. His grace under fire is… wanting. But I see a flair for improvisation in him and a desire to use his, well, devilish charm might be a adjective not entirely unsuited in this instance. Anyway, a desire to use his charm where it can do its best.

How strange, the little fae man! How strange, the slasher that bowled me over and the coward police in their threadbare suits and sweaty palms. Twenty years and some I’ve been at this fight and still I wake up mornings wondering if I have merely slipped deeper into the recesses of the gunpowder dreams. The General waits for me there, sometimes. Not last night, though.

I dreamed last night of the crossroads where we parted ways. Me, heading south to Laredo, my old guns held in salute to my troops. Llewellyn, raising his sword high, racing down the dirt track towards Lubbock and, later, Las Vegas. Jacobi headed back north, he said he had business to attend to in St. Louis. Ahh, but heading east…

How her hair shimmered in the sickle moon, reflecting from the muddy banks of Pontchartrain. Her eyes green as forest moss. And her voice.

Ah, it is cruel. Cruel to live when such beauty vanishes into the mists of the bayou, only her voice singing behind her with her otherworldly grace.

You shall be my ain true love… I’ve gone to find my ain true love…

Ah, Oleanna.

Oleanna.

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New Friends

Meeting new people is never fun anymore. What a shame. I knew there were good reasons to stay out of the family business.

M is going to get himself killed, and you can sure as hell bet I won’t be anywhere near him when it happens. Can’t save someone who jumps into the fire themselves. H seems nice, weird in the way that candle-burners are always weird. Ha, sorry, “candle-makers”. I wonder if that’s a dialect.

Anyway, C is playing stubborn, but we need the help right now. We can’t deal with R on our own. And we can’t stick with V forever, either.

We’ve heard nothing from A or Z. I doubt we ever will.

If this is going to be a club, we should have a club name.

Monster Bashers Association
Authority on Candle Burning Making Burning
Insane Occult Theorists Anonymous?

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