Pushing through the faerie circle eventually allows them to recover Darmoria – or at least the person they suspect is/was Darmoria. The touch of the Winter Court lays heavily upon him, but he appears to be an man in his 70s. Everyone helps the man towards the outskirts of the nearby houses, they must keep moving of the faerie ring of mushroom reforms and impedes their movement. It is not until they reach the pavement that the formation of the ring slows down.
They wake the old man and find out that he is James “Jimmy” Hoffa. He was ambushed at the restaurant by Sheeran, a well-known mob assassin, and buried alive in a pine box. In that darkness the most beautiful woman he ever laid eyes on came to him and bargained for his life. He remembers nothing else until he was woken up just a few minutes ago.
With Hack’s cab stripped and tagged he calls for a another cab to take everyone to the old Startech facility. Mr. Jacobs meets them at the perimeter and agrees to let the speak with Kirovak. The dragon is not happy as the mortal form is not truly Darmoria. The mantle of power has been passed on or stolen. However, as agreed he accepts the man as payment by Lucas and promptly turns Jimmy over to Mr. Jacobs to erase his own debt.
Lucas implores his companions to help him continue to search for his sister, who is still missing. Once they agree Mr. Jacob implores them to leave quickly for a powerful spirit is approaching. Outside they find the cab under attack by the spirits of union and mob men that swore their service to Jimmy. Lucas drives the spirits back long enough for everyone to get into the cab and leave.
Back at Lucas’ apartment they find Alexandra Laigos waiting for them. She says that Camille approached her uncle for safe passage for one person (Darmoria) through the city. She says that when her uncle discovered who the passenger was he reneged on the contract at took both of them hostage.
He tried to recapture Camille at the hospital, but she was already gone. Now her uncle is coming for those that interfered with his plan. She can help smooth over the waters with House Laigos is she was in control of the family. Should her uncle die she is next in line to control the family. Otherwise a vampire war will consume Baltimore as her uncle cannot lose face in front of House Usher from New York.
Lucas turns down her offer to kill the head of the White Court in Baltimore given that they have stayed neutral in the current war between the Red Court and White Council. Viola and Hack likewise decline the offer – Leo simply nods his head sleepily from the couch.
Lucas stays at his house to fashion a tracking spell to find his sister. She is in mortal danger – hunted not only for what she is, but what she has become. He believes the mantle somehow passed to her.
Viola goes to the hospital to see if she can find out more about Camille’s disappearance. She gets nowhere in the face of HIPAA regulations, but instead meets up with an old lover, Dr. Langstrom. He takes her to the staff office for a cup of coffee and a chance to talk privately. As the door silently swings shut a fetch rises from the corner.
Dr. Langstrom, so overcome with fear, collapses and flat lines. Mitch, a fetch known to Viola, comes through the mirror and taunts her. Tired of being pushed around she slams Mitch about the room and drives off the fetch terrifying the doctor. Before she lets Mitch flee back to the Nevernever he tells her that he came to feed on Camille but she work up and fled the room. She called upon the power of deep winter as she leaped out the window.
With the room cleared Viola calls for assistance for Dr. Langstrom. None of the hospital staff knows what happened in the room but Dr. Langstrom was well-liked and now nobody will say even a polite word to Viola.
Hack left Lucas’ apartment and returned to his office to do the paperwork his dispatcher called him about. With letters from the IRS and NLRB it would appear that someone is mounting a full court attack on his company. With some information from Brian McDowell he puts together that House Laigos is trying to shut him down using Cervant Trucking as a stalking horse. Hack has his own contacts and within a few hours manages to turn the tables on the vampires and get Cervant Trucking under investigation.
During that time an attractive middle-aged woman named Rebbecca drops by the office. She brings a personal letter of apology from Russel Carlson (aka Damocles Ravenborn) for the actions of a former student of his. He knew that she fell into a bad crowd, but she would not listen to his advise. He offers to make it up to Hack by treating him to the dinner of his choice in town. He recommends a trendy local restaurant named Spotlight in the city center. Hack declines tonight’s offering, but tells the woman that he will contact Mr. Carlson and arrange a better time and place.
Viola and Hack exchange information over the phone about what has transpired. Viola plans to speak to Rachael while Hack finishes up dealing with the paperwork from Cervant Trucking.
Rachael agrees to meet with Viola. She seems perturbed that Viola understands so little. The car explosion, Patriot Limousines, and the museum Rachael had her visit. She explains that she has been helping Viola as much as she can, but if she does not learn to help herself then a war in Baltimore is inevitable. With nowhere else to return Viola returns to the museum that Rachael seems so interested in because it does not fit.
The main wing of the museum is filled with pictures and mementos of the labor movement in Baltimore – especially their links to the mob and Jimmy Hoffa. There is a bust of Jimmy Hoffa on display that has marks on the base similar to those used by Lucas. She manages to wave down a guide and ask about three missing photographs. The guide tell her that they are pictures of the Hoffa residence in Baltimore that are being restored after an incident. On the way out of the building she notices a sign that Cervant Trucking is sponsoring the display.
In the end Hack manages to fend off several additional financial and legal attacks against his company. The trail leads directly back to Reginald Laigos, the President of Cervant Trucking. Now that he has a name Hack sharpens his own contacts and moves against him. Within a few hours the local business news is already saying that Cervant Trucking is under investigation for financial improprieties that may finally catch a company that has always alluded its nay-sayers.
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