Hack is rather upset as he heads home, when he happens to see the young woman that enthralled his driver hitchhiking on the side of the road. He revs his engine and clips her with the side of his Towncar. He loads the unconscious faerie’s body into his car and drives to Lucas’ apartment.
Lucas disappointingly tells him that she is not a fae, but instead of White Court Vampire. The young woman stops feigning unconsciousness and agrees with Lucas’ assessment. She thanks Lucas for inviting her into his apartment so they could chat amiably. Bryan smiles and reaches for an old black powder pistol he recently acquired, but Lucas tell him that the vampire is under his hospitality.
She introduces herself as Rachael and she is very interested in who is in this apartment that is drawing all of the fae attention. She is even willing to play a game of questions. They find out the following:
- Camille has begun bidding for a very important secret, but she does not know why she wants such dangerous information.
- Camille is acting as a proxy for a human wizard – Racheal thinks very little of any human wizard.
- Camille has been spending a great deal of time at the Druid Ridge Cemetery.
Rachael spends her questions on very mundane parts of Lucas’ life, especially his childhood. She leaves the apartment cordially.
The night thankfully passes uneventfully.
Druid Ridge Cemetery
In the morning Hack and Viola drive over to Druid Ridge Cemetery in Pikesville to see what is over there. Hack remembers hearing about several disappearances in this area – seems that people believed a statue nicknamed “Black Aggie” is responsible. Goth kids from the university visit and so the cemetery administrators removed the statue.
While Hack is driving, Viola is watching out. They drive past a what appears to be a memorial service held by rabbis. Hack barely has time to stop his car when a swarthy-complexion man in a suit with a yamaka steps out into the road. He slowly walks around the front of the car watching Hack. Hack notices that the man is wearing a pin he cannot place, but he knows they came around the house and his father did not like them.
When they finally find where Black Aggie used to be placed – they find the pedestal has been defaced with chalk. On closer inspect several of the symbols could be magical in origin – so Viola takes a chalk impression of the work. She estimates the chalk is no more than 2 days old.
Lucas meets with Camille to chat over their “childhood.” Lucas is very distrustful, but Camille says that their grandfather sold him to the fae in exchange for knowledge. When the fae came for Lucas’, Camille took his place. She does not know why the that particular faerie was so interested in Lucas, but that he was less pleased when she tricked him into taking her instead.
Everything just seems a jumble for Lucas. What his sister says make sense, but there is just something about it that is not ringing true for him. He wants to believe her, but he has spent so much time not trusting anybody but himself. She does agree to let him see the place that was made for his guest.
Upon returning to Lucas’ apartment after his lunch with his sister – Viola shows the fragment of the markings. Lucas determines that someone was trying to ward the ground – specifically from vampires. Viola decides to follow up on this as she can offer little knowledge about magical wards.
Viola does get a lead in the name of Dr. Felix Henderson. He is a blood-disorder specialist at John Hopkins and was called in during an autopsy for several bodies found in the Druid Ridge area. However, whatever conclusions he reaches are not on the official report.
She manages to reach him and he seems to know far more about her than she does about him. It turns out that he is a member of the Midnighter’s Club and does verify for her that Black Court Vampires did kill those people and he took the necessary precautions to see that the bodies would not be a problem. He extends to her an invitation to join the club. Viola lets Bryan know what she found out then prepares to meet Maeve.
Early evening Hack and Lucas meet with Camille and some 30-something woman that refuses to give her name. They follow their car, which eventually pulls into a Yogi Bear campground in the town of Pasadena, MD (just south of Baltimore).
The ward has been set up in the main lodge. Lucas is curious because there is no natural threshold to build upon, but Camille tells her this has more to do with the Nevernever. They have an agreement with the spirit whose demense is on the other side. Hack can tell that Camille is very hurt by Lucas’ distrust, but hides it well.
Lucas approvals of the wards, plenty of deterrents and wardflames to stop any silent intruders. They are just finishing up when a sedan and SUV pull into the driveway. Everyone heads for their cars and speed out a back exit to the park. Camille veils the area behind her car enough for her and the woman get away – while Hack manages to get around behind them with the pursuers none the wiser.
Hack follows them to a house in the suburbs and see six men get out. One is wearing the clothes of a priest, while another has a conquistador’s breastplate on. Lucas decides to find his own way home so that Hack can watch the house.
Dark Faeries Hunting
Viola catches a ride with one of Hack’s cabs to a nearby park to meet with Maeve, instead she faces a dark shadow with a sword. He tells her what options she has – but she ducks the question. She convinces him that her free will is important and she will not surrender it to anyone. The fae is confused as such a thing is foreign to him. He agrees to carry her message back and not kill her this night.
When she returns she finds the cab (and its driver) covered in a sheet of ice, clearly the handiwork of the messenger. As she is calling 911, she is attacked by more scarens. Unlike in her previous encounters she finally gives in to her fetch nature. She tears four of them apart and sends the other two running.
Lucas and Bryan are holed up in the apartment when they are attacked by nearly a score of scarens. Bryan takes up his firing position in the hallway again, while Lucas strengthens the ward around his apartment. The scarens try everything to get into the apartment – including tearing up a concrete bench and using it as a battering ram. In the end they are either killed or driven off. More difficult is that the local cops arrive and their patience with Bryan has worn thin – they have filed an official complaint.
Hack watches as everybody but the man who was dressed as a priest leaves the house. About an hour later he sees scarens running between the other houses of the neighborhood straight to the priest’s house. He starts up his engine and slowly angles his car towards the house. The scarens throw themselves at the house, but cannot batter there way through the threshold.
Hack smiles and continues to rev his engine, the scarens far too focused on the house to notice him. Just when the first ones turn to face him he flips on his lights and rockets towards them. The metal bumper of the American car slams into the faeries, throwing them around the yard.
He spins the car around and comes in for another pass. This time the scarens scatter on his approach and he misses them. However, the third time he swings his car around the man steps outside with a crucifix in his hand and commands them to stop in the name of the Lord. The scarens are frozen and fall under the tires of American metal.
After the survivors flee, Hack pulls unto the road. Father Williamson, the priest who lives in this house, thanks the Lord for guiding Hack to his house at his time of need. He asks the Father Williamson about visiting the campground, the father is wary but eventually tells him that one of his flock had a vision of a great evil chained there. An evil that must be purged from this world.
Richard Thorpe, one of the members of his prayer group, told him that he had a holy artifact that had been passed down his family that would aid them. Although they found nothing his prayer group will stand vigilant. Hack declines an invitation to join the prayer group, but he gives the man his business card.
Tiny URL for this post: