Jack and Bryan find a concealed trapdoor in the library near the back of the house with a ladder leading down. In the room below the house they find a silvery ring on the floor, several shelves loaded with boxes holding all manner of strange things, a school chemistry set, and a pair of folding table loaded with several books and binders. The only other exit out of the room is a door on the far wall secured by a simply latch.
Jack unlatches the door, but cannot pull the door open. He calls upon his vampiric strength and yanks the door open, practically off its hinges. There is a shot of electricity that runs through his body, but he shakes it off. One the other side of the door is what can only be described as a vast desert of fire, smoke, and tar. Something rises out of the tar and begins moving towards the doorway. Just as important the trapdoor at the top of the ladder slams shut and several fire spring up along the walls.
Realizing the deadly situation they, Jack charges by Bryan and slams into the trapdoor with all of his strength – to no avail. Bryan slides one of the desks over to the doorway to block it as a fiery tornado begins to form in the room. With nothing lest to lose Jack steadies his legs and slams his shoulder in the trapdoor, finally cracking the wood. Bryan clambers up the ladder and pulls Jack up behind him. A black dripping hand reaches up and out of the basement room and nearly grabs them when the propane tank in the basement explodes.
A large plume of fire bursts out of the basement and explodes inside the house. With the house rapidly burning the two stumble out of the smoke and reach their car. Bryan can hear sirens coming closer and resigns himself to sitting around and playing nice with the locals.
Jackson is Stonewalling
Heinrich and Joseph finally meet with Jackson Spencer. He says that of course he knows James Allen, but only only met the others up at the resort. He does not think that James knew any of the others, but he was not part of James’ close circle of friends. Joseph uses some of the bits that were found in the hidden stash in James’ house, but Jackson remains resolute that he knows nothing more. When Heinrich attempts to push the issue, Jackson threatens to call the cops if they do not leave.
Joseph and Jackson exchange a few legalese jabs, the end result being that Joseph knows the law much better. Still the result of moot, Jackson is on solid enough legal ground when he calls campus security. Not wanting to cause any problems Joseph and Heinrich leave Temple University.
I am from the Government
Everyone meets at a O’Charley’s for dinner. During dinner Bryan gets a call from his boss. He tells him that Adam Phillips from the Department of Homeland Security will be arriving in Philadelphia and wants to chat with him. Jack, grumbling about invasive governmental laws, is outside smoking and appears to be chatting with a very attractive woman. When Jack leaves with the woman Heinrich gets concerned and follows him.
After a few blocks the woman turns around and orders Jack to attack Heinrich – and he obeys. It is a quick fight that ends when Heinrich slams Jack’s head unto the hood of the woman’s car. The woman stomps on the accelerator and tears out of the parking lot, Heinrich runs towards Bryan’s car – where a very confused Joseph and Bryan are standing. Within moments they give chase and soon catch the woman’s car, finally trapping it in an abandoned gas station. In short order everyone except the vampire is leaving, she is tied down to the car lift where the morning sun will bake her.
Joseph takes Jack home with no problems. Meanwhile Heinrich eventually has to take the wheel when Bryan runs over some garbage cans and sideswipes a pole. When they reach the parking lot Heinrich is met by a woman matching the only eyewitness description of the killer. She is called The Huntress and like Heinrich she is a wardhound, unlike her she serves a master. Heinrich feels a yearning and leaves Bryan sleeping in the car and leaves with her.
Lucas Ward Finally Arrives
When Joseph gets back to his hotel room he finds a soaking wet man in his room waiting. The man is Lucas Ward, a warden of the White Council who has arrived to oversee events. After a few pleasantries they hear the crunch of car metal as Bryan finally arrives. He staggers out of the car, which is sitting awkwardly against some steel railing.
Joseph fills Lucas in on Mab involvement along with all of the information they have gathered concerning the murders in Philadelphia. Lucas knows that a powerful sorcerer named vonSturmholdt, but he has been directed to not share that information. He does however share the knowledge that each of the murder victims were Changelings of Winter.
March 16th 2007
The next morning they decide to visit Jackson Spencer at a home he rents near the University. Joseph pulls a bit of breaking and entering much to the annoyance of Bryan who cannot use any evidence he finds in court. Still, time is running out for the surviving people in the picture, so he goes in with everyone else.
Jackson’s room looks like it has been hastily ransacked and Jackson is nowhere to be found. Bryan believes that Jackson has fled quickly with whatever he could grab in a few minutes. Someone besides them must be on Jackson’s trail – possibly the killer. Lucas casts a hasty spell using some of the personal belongings that Jackson left behind. The spell eventually leads them back to the FDR Golf Club.
After a quick search they find Jackson in the woods along the practice green hidden behind a ward. Lucas tears down the ward while the others flush Jackson into the open. It does not take too many threats for Jackson to finally spill what he knows. He is scared and on the run from those who killed his friends.
He tells them that the final person is Elisa Wilson, a musician who sings for an feminist punk band called the Bloody Balls. She is playing tonight at Lilly’s, a well known dive bar a few blocks from the university. They manage to calm Jackson down enough that he agrees to go with them.
Unfortunately that plan goes to hell when a tree explodes nearby and automatic gunfire rips through the trees.
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