Adam speaks with Lady V about learning additional spheres. She recommends he speaks with Addison about Time. As for the other spheres, she deliberates for a while and suggests Adam speak with Arthur Hallman. He is a retired Akashic war monk. Adam notices her hesitance and asks if there is something he should be aware of. She tells Adam that there should be no problems other than possibly old tradition history. She tells Adam to contact Nem’s former mentor. He may be able to introduce Adam to Hallman.
Adam calls Nem. He asks if Nem can introduce Adam to his former mentor Paul Harris. Nem wants to know why Adam is interested. Adam explains that he wants to get in touch with Hallman and Lady V said that Harris knows him. Nem asks Adam how he feels about personal fitness. Adam works out every day. Nem told him that he will arrange something with Harris.
Nem calls Harris and gets his answering service. Nem tells them that he is trying to arrange a private consultation. He mentions Lady V and gives Adam’s contact info. Paul calls Nem back about 20 minutes later. Nem explains the situation to him. Harris tells Nem to give Adam his phone number. He will be in the Vegas area over the next couple of days.
Nem calls and gives Adam Harris’ phone number. He warns Adam that Harris is kind of macho and may test his strength in like shaking hands and whatnot. Adam calls Harris. He tells Adam that he will be in Vegas area tomorrow and can meet him in the morning. Gives Adam directions to meet with Harris at an exercise park in the Sloan Canyon National Conservative Area the next day. Tells Adam to bring running shoes.
Elsewhere, Naia meets with her Avatar. Her Avatar apologizes for not telling Naia that Edith was there. She was scare of Edith. Edith told her not to tell Naia. She threatened to kill the Avatar if she did tell Naia.
Naia tells her Avatar that she tried to add protection to the van. Her Avatar is grateful of it. She also talks with her Avatar about making armor.
Later that day, Trina calls Naia to help her out with Spirit warding at her place. She invites Naia over.
Naia goes over to Trina’s space which is a warehouse with living space. The place has sewing machine, costume stuff, tables with computers and electronics,
Trina wants Naia to help her ward the place and learn some stuff about warding. Naia asks Trina if she tried April first. April told her to call Naia. She thought it would be good for Naia to help her learn as well.
They take off in Naia’s van as the warehouse space is not the best teaching environment for Naia. They drive over to an empty lot. Naia explains how she goes about activating her spirit site by kicking over a mound of dirt. She shares her vision of spirits with Trina. Trina is fascinated. She sees Naia’s Avatar and her own.
Naia points out the different layers of the umbra and things that exist in those layers. Trina can see the spirits of buildings back towards the Las Vegas skyline. Trina notes that the Avatars are the most solid things in the area.
Naia makes a bunch of mounds to help Trina activating her own Spirit sight. She works with Trina on activating the spirit sight.
Over the next couple of day, they work together on activating the spirit sight. Also, they work together to set up the Spirit wards in Trina’s place. They work on making wall hangings as primary focus of the spirit wards. Trina plies Naia with food over those days. She particularly loves Thai food.
Naia also wants to work with Trina on making a Spirit ward jacket for Nem. Especially since Trina does some costuming. She wants to make something like a leather jacket with fringes.
Adam meets with Paul Harris at the exercise park. Harris is already there stretching and chatting with a younger woman. There is also another woman sitting in the car doing paperwork that he is near. He comes over to Adam and as per Nem’s prediction, gives him a testing handshake. He seems to do something at the same time that may be magick, but Adam cannot tell what it is. Harris seems to approve of what he sees.
He takes Adam out for a run up the canyon. Paul is in amazing shape. Along the way, he does a lot of feats of physical strength that impress Adam. Adam gets the sense that Paul could probably run him into the ground rather easily.
When they reach the top of the canyon, Paul says that he thinks Adam is fairly good. He does not think Adam will embarrass by introducing him to Hallman. He asks Adam if he is interested in sparring right now. Adam agrees. Paul tries to kick him and the sparring starts. Paul switches through several different styles during the sparring. Adam can tell that Paul is stronger and faster than Adam. Adam cannot tell who wound win in a real fight between the two of them though.
They head back down to the car at a more leisurely pace. When they get there, Paul calls and leaves a message for Hallman. He gives Adam’s number as a call-back number.
Paul suggests Adam comes out to some of his seminars. Adam told him he will do so and thanks him.
Later that evening, Hallman calls Adam. Adam explains to him that he is a student of Lady Jhigan and she referred him to Hallman. Hallman asks if Adam is a killer. Adam tell him that he has taken lives. Hallman asks if he is a killer of men and women. Adam tells him that he has killed men, but not any women yet. Adam will not dismiss that as a possibility in the future, but he is not actively seeking it out. Hallman directs him to come to the monastery the next day. Tells Adam to bring loose clothing and nothing else. He does not promise anything though.
That same day, Nem spends time scoping out the Golden Nugget. He is still working on a way to make the Vordulok attack the bikers and/or vice-versa. He has some thoughts on how to do that.
Nem has been holed up in the motel. It has been warded and protect from people trying to track back to him. He has also told Zelda that he is taking some time off for some personal business. Nem focuses his scrying to see how the security works to handle things like fights breaking out. The place is a professional operation and handles those situations in ways much expected.
He scryes to see how to the commercial area is handled. Then, he scryes over the secure area. Lastly, he scryes the private area. He sees that a passcard is used for the first 2 areas with different levels of security. Then, the last area seems to involve some sort of Mind affect on a person monitoring a door and saying something in maybe Russian. The people that are gate keepers seem to have been pushed way too much.
After his scrying, Nem calls Adam to get the snake ring. Adam says he needs to ask Lady V first. He goes asks Lady V and she tells Adam to tell Nem to talk to her himself. Adam tells Nem to go talk to Lady V instead.
Nem calls Naia to comes out and do some Spirit warding in Nem’s backyard. Also, she can introduce Trina to King BBQ.
Nem calls the Lounge. He makes an appointment to speak with Lady V at 5pm. He grabs a couple of drinks beforehand and heads over there.
When he meets with Lady V, he explains that he wants to try to get the ring’s agents to try to attack him. He says that that diamondback has a problem with him but he has a problem with his followers. She is concerned about his approach. She suggests that he try to appease diamondback instead of fighting it. He wants to do some from a position of power.
She explains that the ring makes a channel between the wearer and the serpent. She does not think this is a good idea. She asks Nem about the followers. He explains Ms Olsen is in charge. She finds that surprising. She did not see that future for her when she dealt with them.
She pulls out a pack of cards from the Lounge. She asks him to pick a card from the deck, imagine Ms Olsen, put it back in the deck. He does so and drew a 3 of diamonds. He passes the deck back over to her.
She shuffles and cuts the deck. She has him pick the cut order. She does a sort of tarot reading with it.
At the end, she has a jack of spades and 3 of diamonds next to each other. She explains that Ms Olsen has some help. Someone brought her something. Something has given her power.
She give Nem the deck of cards. She said they may bring him luck.
He mentions that Ms Olsen seemed to know she was being watched. Lady V says it is likely the supernatural support. Nem points out that the heat haze had a similar reaction.
She gives him the ring, but recommends he does not put it on without a lot more thought. She says that he needs to look at it as two different issues and handle them separately. He may tackle them separately. Also, maybe talk with Adam and see if he can help.
Nem leaves and heads back home.
Adam heads over to meet Hallman that evening. He is at a Buddhist monastery in North Las Vegas that is not too far from the Lounge. It is a one story building with a couple of outer buildings.
Adam is taken through the main temple into the garden. He finds Hallman who is teaching someone what appears to be knot tying but Adam is not really sure.
Hallman comes over, bows and shakes Adam’s hand. He asks Adam to walk with him. They walk amongst the garden. Hallman does not say anything for quite a while and Adam matches his silence. During the walk, Adam can sense that Hallman is doing something magickal, but not sure what it is.
When Hallman speaks, he tells Adam that he lacks connection. Adam is not sure what he means by connection. Hallman clarifies that he means connection to others and the world in general. Adam agrees that he lacks connection as Hallman describes.
Hallman tells Adam that he will not teach him at this time. However, he will meet with Adam one day a week to work together on building something and teaching Adam meditation. Adam agrees to join him on this.
Adam spends the remainder of the morning working on a Pachinko machine and pondering Hallman’s words.
Later that day, everyone meets over at Nem’s place. Trina is introduced to King BBQ. He has started developing his own personality beyond just a flame spirit.
Nem offs Katrina drugs. She accepts. Drugs are happening all around except Adam is not partaking. He starts to get a bit of a contact high. He moves upwind of them.
Naia goes to get the ring from Nem’s house.
Nem shares some of his conversation with Lady V. Naia points out that the person helping Ms Olsen may be the same person as the heat haze. She wants to give him/her/it a name. After some deliberation, it is decided their name will be Asshole Baneseeder.
Nem still wants to kick the bikers in the nuts, but now he is not sure diamondback would be the best way to go through it.
Katrina tries to watch the logic spirits that appear around this conversation.
Naia points out that the ring may be something used as bait for the bikers.
Nem says that Lady V told him to talk to Adam about the bikers. Adam says that he can also go back to their encampment if needed. Nem tells Adam that they have relocated. They are now above Mountain Springs. There is a farm ranch house being run by the diamondbacks. There are dirt road leading from there to two buildings further back. Ms Olsen, Porkchop and a couple other bikers are holed up out there.
Adam asks what they are trying to achieve. He can go out there and scope the place out. Nem could do the same thing with scrying. Adam could eliminate them, but that may remove a lead to Asshole Baneseeder.
Adam asks Nem if he has gotten any results from the finger print off the collar. Nem has not followed up on that yet.
Naia asks Adam how the Bonemaker situation is going. Adam explains that he met Lillian of the Strange. He got a photo of the different bone sites and dates/locations of the dumpsites.
Naia is excited about Adam meeting the woman. She asks about her. Adam does not have much information. He thinks she may be a former war correspondent. She definitely seems to have had previous journalism experience.
Naia makes a comment about how everything is connected except for Adam. Adam gets very silent at that point. They notice the change in Adam and start questioning him about it. He tries to explain what happened with Hallman.
While this is happening, Trina sees Adam’s Avatar is behind his shoulder weeping blood. She also saw Nem’s ears for the first time a bit earlier.
Naia makes a point to tell Adam he needs something to be emotionally invested in. Is there anything that makes him happy? Adam cannot think of anything. If he stopped working on the machines, would he be sad? Adam does not think so. He would just move on to something else. If he no longer hung out with the cabal would he be sad? Adam gets flustered. He does not know how to answer that without possibly hurting the others’ feelings.
Adam is thoroughly bewildered by all of this conversation. He hears the truth in what Naia and Hallman told him, but does not know what to do about it.
Naia starts working on the warding for the place. She is using colored sand and metal filings. She has Trina 6 inch channels and puts the sand and filings in the channel. Then, they fill the channels back up to keep the sand from blowing away.
Nem helps her out with it. Naia explains to Nem that King BBQ would probably be very helpful against diamondback since he helped fight the dog collar Bane.
During this time, Adam is lost in thought. Naia tries talking to Adam again. It is obvious that he does not know what she is asking of him. She is trying to get him to talk about anything, but Adam does not know what to talk about. After a while of prompting, Adam starts to speak about his time training with Dr Baral. He talks about the times where he had to hunt/stalk prey in order to bring about the good death. Though he is not sure what precisely, he realizes that there was something important to him from that time.