It is the morning of March 18th, 2007 and it will be a busy day. During the night Joseph got a data file dump from the Midnighter’s Club archives on known paranormal activity in Philadelphia. Going over the data he finds two hauntings that might bear investigation today.
Joseph and Lucas return to the shoreline to investigate the caves where Lucas and Jack were chased off the night before. In the light of day the only activity are a few fishermen and a single homeless man. Lucas senses that a spell has been cast in the mouth of the cave recently as the morning sun has not erased its remnants. Upon entering the cave it is clear that this cave has been enlarged using tools recently.
There is a very small tunnel near the back of the enlarged cave which smells different. Joseph calls upon the Coyote and crawls into the tunnel on all fours. Lucas follows behind; about it is a very tight fit. After crawling nearly two football fields, Joseph finds the tunnel blocked by wood planking. He is able to push the planking aside and enters into a dank storage room. Lucas is unable to enter the room as the entrance is too small, so he begins backing up towards the cave entrance.
Old Masonic Temple
The room has several bookshelves and a large dehumidifiers running. While most of the bookshelves are new, three of them are very old. Each of the three older bookshelves are adorned with the compass of the Masons. The older bookshelves contain mostly religious texts. In fact the entire basement to resonate with Christian faith, enough that Joseph begins to feel uncomfortable.
Joseph creeps silently up the steps and pokes the door open with his snout. He can hear people talking and smell what they ate for breakfast. Although they are speaking in German, he understands enough from his time in the army. The unknown speakers are talking about someone that has just arrived by boat. Someone very important is due to arrive soon by plane; unfortunately before he can get any closer he is spotted by someone walking down the hall.
Joseph is disguised as a coyote, but the man who spotted him seems to sense that he is not what he seems. The man is holding an old book, which he clutches defensively to his chest. Instead of grabbing the book Joseph flees into a far room, where he finds two men and the remains of breakfast. One of the men reach for him, but he jumps out of the window and runs back to the mouth of the caves where his companions are waiting.
Jack agrees to chase down the lead about someone arriving by plane, while the others decide to check out one of the hauntings. During the drive, Bryan notices that someone is following them in a dark blue BMW. He tries to lose them, but his unfamiliarity with the city eventually finds him cornered in a side alley.
Two men are in the car, but only the passenger gets out. He is wearing a heavy gray woolen coat and black leather gloves. He introduces himself as Sergeant Wilhelm. After he displays his knowledge of those currently facing him, Wilhelm says that he is looking forward to the upcoming fight. He then gets back into his car and both men leave.
A bit shaken up, they nonetheless reach the historic Philadelphia house. The house was one where a few of the Founding Fathers stayed during the writing of the Constitution – it has now been turned into a small museum. There have been a few thefts over the past year, but the Dedicate Stone of the Free Quaker Movement was on loan to Temple University when it was stolen.
While Lucas and Joseph wander the house looking for supernatural activity, Bryan goes outside. He notices 3 men with a military bearing sitting at a cafe across the street watching the house with feigned interest. After a quick glance inside, he goes across the street to speak with them.
They are with a security force for Heilsing called the Black Knights. The knights provide the backbone to Heilsing when necessary. All of its members are either ex-military or special security forces. A large man, who gives his name as Lonnie Watts, gives Bryan a card and tells him to contact him if he ever finds himself looking for work.
They tell Bryan that they have fought with the germans several times over the years. They are led by von Stiegler, who they believe was born before the end of the Napoleonic Wars.
Hermit of Wissahickon
Finding nothing else of value in the house, the three of them get back in their car and drive to Fairfield Park where Kelpus the Mystic once sought enlightenment. In the northern half of the park is a roughly carved obelisk with some form of writing on it. A Park Service plaque says the it has never been deciphered nor was Kepler’s remains ever found in the cave where he lived and presumably died. Everyone goes inside the cave to see if they can find any clues to what is happening.
Joseph hears some stones moving and turns into a coyote to flush out whoever is hiding at the back of the cave. There is a scream and a lanky teenager comes running towards the mouth of the cave. Bryan flashes his badge and threatens the teenager until he finally talks. He tells them that him and some friends come here to smoke with the hermit, but a few days ago some men came in with a box. They never touched the box because the men were carrying guns and had the eyes of killers.
Bryan lets the teen go, but gives him a warning not to come back. He is sure the kid’s story is embellished, but they do find a box at the rear of the cave. The box is marked on the sides with the Nazi eagle and swastika. Inside the box are assault rifles and explosives. There also must have been a trap because shortly after opening the box there are a series of explosions and the roof of the cavern collapses.
With tons of rock falling around them, Lucas summons forth a large shield and wraps it above them. It does not catch all of it, but it gives everyone enough time to retreat deeper into the cave. Trapped behind too much rock for even Joseph to move, Lucas clears enough space to begin a ritual. He summons forth the water running in a spring under the cave. He directs it against the rock and blasts an opening.
Everyone can hear sirens and people outside the cave, no doubt brought here by the sound of the cave-in. Not wanting to get caught with a Nazi chest full of weapons, Joseph draws upon the Great Spirit and sprints out of the cave carrying the chest. While no camera was functional enough to capture his visage, there are enough witnesses outside that the police will have a very good sketch of him and the Nazi chest. Bryan, and a very exhausted Lucas, walk out in the confusion.
The police do have all of the exits blocked, but Bryan is able to bully his way past a junior patrolman under the guise that he is working with Detective Roberts on the Robin Hood murders.
Jack returns to the hotel that night. He has found out that a privately chartered 747 is coming in on the 20th at 11 pm from Argentina International Airport. He could not find anything else about the chartered flight. Bryan spends the evening contacting Captain Issac and Detective Roberts with the information he has gathered to date.
The headline news in the morning is the attack by Neo-Nazis at Fairfield Park at Hermit’s cave. Several eyewitnesses are interviewed and they give great descriptions of Joseph and the box he was carrying. In addition someone got a good picture of Bryan and Lucas leaving the park at the same time. The reporters draw a straight line between the FBI and this terrorist attack – when did the FBI know about the terrorists and what are they not telling us.
Bryan gets a call from the Mayor’s office about a meeting at 11 am that he is expected to attend. Shortly after that call he gets a call from SAIC Klien chewing him out about letting this get out of control. When things like this hit the news Congressional meetings are called and he has to go in front of them and get chewed out. When he gets chewed out – Bryan gets it twice as bad.
Jack goes to LaSalle college to research the thefts of items they had on loan from the Fighting Quaker Foundation. He discovers that several other items related to the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 were stolen as well.
Lucas goes to Wissahickon Park, where people who profess to follow the teachings of Kepler have gathered over the years. Lucas finds it is mostly a collection of homeless, hippies, and stoners. There are three ladies with a food cart handing out some simple food to the hungry.
Lucas spots a homeless man acting suspicious and when the man leaves he follows him. The man goes and retrieves a cell phone from a hollowed out piece of a tree. Lucas listens as the man reports the arrival of both the three women and Lucas. As soon as the man hangs up, Lucas steps forward and magically whips up the debris around the man. The man drops his cell phone and flees the area. Lucas takes the phone and hopes Bryan can find something interesting on it.
At 11 am Bryan and Detective Roberts have to sit in the Mayor’s office along with the Chief of Police, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, and head of the Philadelphia council. To really make it a pressure cooker there are two reporters and a cameraman. Bryan and Roberts are on the hot seat as just about everyone else in the room hammers them with questions. Finally Bryan cannot take it anymore and explodes at the Mayor and his political cronies. He all but accuses the Mayor of incompetence in allowing these terrorists to fester her on his watch. He then storms out of room shouting “Meeting Over!”
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