Summer Crossroads - DFW Metaplex

Catching the Scent

Session Three – Part One

Skire awoke with a start. He felt cold, exhausted and the bright lights around him forced him to squint as he tried to looked around. He took in a deep breath and simultaneously winced with pain as the purified air instantly tickled the back of his throat sending him into a coughing fit. He leaned forward, tasting a little blood.

Where the hell was he? Clean air and pretty quiet aside from some incessant beeping noise. He tried to get pull his thoughts together to figure out what had happened. He wasn’t at home (his house had a more “mellow” odor) and forget about incessant beeping – that would last under his roof. And the bright lights…yeah, no, not at the casa de Skire. His lava lamp just didn’t have that kind of wattage.

He’d remembered he’d smoked a bit yesterday morning, well, when he got out of bed that is. He’s sure he would have smoked again when he left the house but he had forgotten his lighter and no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t get the well-used cigarette lighter in his car to work (funny thing, not much in his car did work). He wasn’t worried cause he new he could grab some matches at the hotel when he got there…

Skire’s face lit up with a half baked smile, “Oh yeah, the hotel. Poker game, a job of sorts, dead body, crushed hummer, rabid jaguar men, ummm…shit…” Instantly the smile was gone. Skire looked down at the hospital gown he was wearing, still lightly soaked in blood and accessorized wth an IV taped to the back of his hand.

Whirling madly in the hospital bed, Skire reached out for his clothes which had been draped neatly across a small reclining chair. His hands went straight to the pockets of his duster. The inner pocket where he kept his stash first. No good, it was gone. Next, the outside pocket where he kept his wallet that held his cash which bought his stash..also, gone.

Placing his bare feet on the cold linoleum, Skire threw on the duster over his gown. He paused as he started to take the IV from his arm, staring up at the drip line and trying to decipher which of the two bags was the stuff that was making him forget a leopard tried to eviscerate him. Unsure, he grimaced and rip out the line and stumbled into the hallway.

Nurses rushed forward wide-eyed. He ignored their pleas with a gruff “Where is my fucking shit?” The nurses continued to try to coax him back to his room. They wanted to keep him for observation. The wounds had been numerous, mostly superficial, but fairly extensive. They said he’d been left at the emergency room entrance with no ID, no emergency contact and they need some information for ther records.

“Uh, no. Gimme the damn phone.”

“Hello,” Anita stared warily at the number displayed on her phone.

Skire’s voice blasted over the speaker. “Where’s my shit?”

The brief conversation that followed was stilted and broken. She tried to let him know he needed medical help which they couldn’t provide and they emptied his pockets before the drop so he wouldn’t be ID’d. Last thing they needed was the cops asking questions – or the hospital turning up his stash while searching for ID and inviting the cops to ask questions. She let him know she would come get him at once. Skire of course, was a bit ticked about being dumped unconscious at the hospital and left there…without any buds…err friends.

Looking at the rest of the group gathered in the hotel room she wondered if it was alright to leave them here. They had all been trying to make sense of the evenings events and as midnight started to give way to the new day, they were all exhausted. They got some rest, that is until Skire’s frantic call. Now they were wide awake again going over the previous night’s events. She gave Darryl a dubious glance as he spoke to Marion. Something about using the Sight and the place where Professor Donald died to try to get some clues.

Anita headed out to the garage to her Maseratti and was stopped by a uniformed officer stationed at the entrance. Given the night’s events she wasn’t surprised, but for some reason they were matching up plates in the garage with the owners. With a thoroughly disarming smile she walked through the process and headed straight to her car.

Anita arrived at Parkland Hospital right around 3 in the morning, prime time on a weekend night. The ER was in full swing and several ambulances sat out front. Frazzled ER doctors stood near the entrance ignoring the Surgeon General’s warnings plastered on their cigarette packs. A pretty typical scene but minus one half baked sonic wizard.

Anita cursed and drove around the lot a few times looking. She hoped out to approach the entrance and it didn’t take long before she overheard a conversation about some nut in a hospital gown and a duster wandering away from the grounds. With another curse she hopped back in her car and started canvassing the area.

Harry Hines, a street name which could somehow not escape infamy of some degree flowed through the middle providing a barrier of sorts between the sterile hospital grounds and darkened residential streets. She had nowhere to start and blindly driving the area was turning up nothing.

Suddenly, she caught a glimpse of a dark duster flapping furiously beneath the orange glow of a buzzing street light. Skire was racing toward the main thoroughfare, his green gown flailing wildly. With a prayer that the gown would hold, Anita buried the brake pedal, screeching to a halt and ignoring the angry honks behind her. Furiously jamming the electric window button she started to yell out to Skire and her voice caught in her throat. Not far down the darkened street the shadows lunged and something dark and graceful was bounding through the night after Skire.

“Get in the car!”

Skire hopped in and before he could completely close the door Anita peeled away from the curb. “What the hell is that?”

Skire stared back, wide eyed. “Dude, I can totally smell weed…for like miles…”

Anita could only stare and before she could belt out a repsonse, the car shivered accompanied by the sound of straining metal from above. Slamming the car into neutral, Anita threw the car into a quick bootlegger’s turn and she could see the headliner crumple as fingers stringer than steel gripped the roof. The car spinning wildly, Skire flipped on the radio and focusing the sound, blasted their unwelcome guest off the roof.

Anita furiously pounded the accelerator, keeping her an icy stare away from Skire. As they pulled away from the dark figure bouncing across the asphalt Skire tried to explain.

“I just needed some green and my normal guy wouldn’t hook me up, so you know, I magicked the air…you know, and, uhhh…sniffed some more out. Guess dracula there didn’t really want to pass any on like he said.”

Anita and Skire made it through the W Hotel’s lobby without much questioning. The heightened security stopped to stare for a bit, but fortunately, they felt they’d seen stranger things so far this night. As they wallked into the hotel room, their evening got even more interesting.

Darryl was propped up on the bed slackjawed and drooling. Normally, this would be little cause for concern, however Mustang, Marion and Lucian (clad in a nice fluffy robe straight from the spa) were standing over a pile of boxes and containers debating their possible use. Apparently, Darryl had Seen something in the parking garage. Apparently he couldn’t stop Seeing it. Lucian had procured some herbs and other remedies from the spa upstairs and Marion was studiously picking through them. There was talk of a ritual, coffee grounds, salt, lavender. With an exasperated sigh Anita retired to the adjoining office.

Within hours, Darryl was what passes on any given day for “normal” and the group had gained a bit more information. Anita’s contact at the front desk was on shift and called to let her know that the police were checking each vehicle in the garage against the owners as they came to claim them because they did not have an ID for the body which was discovered (Skire had taken his wallet…). Armed with this information, Anita made a call to a friend who could hack the DMV. For a reasonable sum, the contact switched the records to reflect Lucian as the owner of the deceased professor’s Volvo.

Feeling a bit of the pressure of discovery relieved, the group decided to rest for a bit. As usual, Mustang had slipped out unnoticed. When he returned wasn’t even clear as the rest of the crew needed some serious downtime. Still, as the sun began to brighten the concrete landscape, the loose ends and unanswered questions stirred the group to action once again. Using Darryl’s truck and the Professor’s Volvo, they hatched a plan to drive out to SMU in search of answers.

To Be Continued…

(Sorry, just due to length, time, etc. I edited a bit out of the weed sniffing side trip that got Skire chased by a Red Court vamp…figured the end results were just as entertaining :)



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