As told by Mustang
Some days, it just doesn’t pay to try to save the world. So, there was a rampaging horde of renegade meat products, a lot of darkness, and then things really got busy. When I tapped in to bleed off the energy of the Aztec ritual, using it to light up the stadium to keep people from trampling each other, I expected to get burned to a cinder, or just blasted to nothing. Not to become part of a committee. And that, kids, is why we don’t play with magic: even certain death doesn’t go as expected. Imagine being one voice of many, all arguing, vying for control of your body. Talk about frustrating. Worse, your suggestions that being the main character in a ritual sacrifice is a bad idea being lost in the maelstrom of voices, and nobody being able to get control of the body.
We won, and enough of the tribe thought leaving was a good idea that we made it work with only a few sidetracked moments. As we all discussed it, we decided that maybe I shouldn’t drive. Enough of the crowd was around before cars that it just seemed like a bad idea. After we all made it back to the hotel, someone suggested that I should hang out on the balcony, and lots of people thought that sounded nice. It was good weather, after all, and the lights of the city were amazing. I’d never seen anything like that before…scratch that, some of us hadn’t seen that before.
There was a lot of discussion, seemed like hours. An exorcism would be required to get the spirits clear and free to pass into the next world, but not all them wanted to go. The point was raised, and was hard to argue, that we could use people around with some of the skill sets available. Trackers, fighters, even a wizard or 2 were represented. Just the first hand history could radically change the understanding of our ancestors. But we couldn’t do anything productive with the constant changing of control like that, and in the end, the exorcism won out. Besides, the team members were freaking out quite a bit.
About that time, Viveca came up with an address of some Christian holy warrior, living in an apartment not too far away. We decided to head over there, after an argument about who should drive. I did my usual sneaking out of the hotel, and some of the voices were yelling at me, asking me where I was, and where I was going, even impersonating other voices over the radio to do so. But they knew, they just were trying to stop me from getting control over my body. Most of the voices wanted to move on, so it wasn’t that difficult. The worst part was trying to keep them from gawking while driving. And the British archeologist was the worst, trying to drive on the wrong side of the street.
By the time I got to the apartment, the team had already gotten there. We really are going to need to upgrade from the grungy old Volvo, especially if we keep taking so many people everywhere we go. Lucian was out wandering in the parking lot, but I’m not sure what he was looking for. Maybe just on sentry duty. The apartment was sparsely furnished. The guy who opened the door was a bit young, introduced himself as Tyler, and said he thought he could help, but with a touch of fear and confusion in his voice. Then again, he invited in a clearly armed stranger with wild hair and crazy constantly moving eyes. To not have fear and confusion would have been a bad sign.
We all went next door to the Baptist church. There was a lot of debate about whether we would find someone to give us holy water, or if it would stay holy if stolen, and in the end the new guy got us some. Back in the apartment, the holy guy and the wizard types drew some stuff on the ground. Somebody decided that it’d be better if I was handcuffed to a chair, and after some reluctance, I agreed. The Team had Bastion stationed over me in case I got rowdy. That’ll teach them.
The exorcism started, and it got a little funky. Spirits were leaving me, most eagerly. Some didn’t want to leave, and tried to hold on. There was one, though, that grew and had a familiar sound to his evil laughter. The same green gas as at the stadium came out of my mouth and immediately moved into Bastion. I knew there was going to be trouble when his eyes started glowing green.
The Aztec body snatching priest was back. I don’t know how, this is all new, but I did know that I shouldn’t let the werebear eat the new guy. A fight broke out. There was flinging furniture, darkness, swords, batons, claws, and in the right circumstances, a barrier circle makes a painful solid object to be squished against. Outside the circle, the rest of the team did the best they could to blind, confuse, choke, and otherwise restrain Bastion.
Eventually, through teamwork, I managed to knock him out.
As expected, the green gas came out, but this time, the new guy’s holy fist punched into it and dispersed it with a dramatic ghostly image and a holy flare. Fortunately, the fight was contained by the circle, so he might get his deposit back, but the neighbors were certainly displeased by the ruckus.
Bastion was pretty beaten up, but rather than a trip to the hospital with paperwork and money, Anita knew a guy who could fix him up over at the Arboretum. Some fairy botanist. That’s always a good idea. As we wandered the grounds trying to find him, a portal to the NeverNever opened up, and we blindly marched in. As we went, a couple of us explained to Tyler that we were going to the spirit world and not to eat, drink, or basically touch anything. And no matter what, never ever agree to anything.
We met the guy, and he looked at Bastion. He said he could help, for basically a favor. Anita agreed to the favor, and he healed Bastion up. Then he began to tell us about what he wanted Anita to do to repay the favor and introduced him to a fellow botanist, from the Spring Court, which I hadn’t heard of before.
It seems that there’s a special plant that he needs, that only grows in one place. Well, really no place. And of course, it should be easy to get to. In the real world, it’s the frozen land of Siberia, in the devastation left by the 1908 Tunguska explosion. Of course, that’s only the real world representation, the mysterious explosion that killed every living thing, flattened every tree for 50 miles, and is still a source of oddness 100 years later. In the NeverNever, it supposedly was actually bad, and in the ruined landscape remaining, there’s a specific plant that thrives there. And Anita will be getting it for him, and of course, we won’t let her go alone.