He finds out fairly quickly that the truck is currently registered with someone that is related to the Diamondbacks, but not directly. It seems like a step-brother of someone that is part of the Diamondbacks.
He let’s Adam know this. Then, he digs a bit deeper to confirm that they are definitely Diamondback related. He spends some time tracking them to see what is going on with them. They head to Mountain Springs. They drop off their truck. Someone takes a 4 wheeler up to the compound.
He “bookmarks” the time the truck leaves the Lounge and where they depart with the 4 wheeler.
Nem calls and lets Adam know about where they are dropped off. He is going to come over at some point and bring what he has found.
Lady V is organizing some sort of gambling event will be happening soon. She has been spending her time arranging security detail, catering and the like.
Adam speaks with Lady V. He tells her about the meeting with Addison. He also mentions the Cradled while showing her the dart. He gives it to her to examine. She says it is a bad thing.
She recommends going to the Chantry to research. She thinks Roberto may be interested. She said to contact Harmonius Chin. He may help Adam. She gives Adam a business card with his contact info. She will call ahead and let him know that Adam will be calling him.
She also asks Adam to reach out to Addison. Let her know that the Lounge is safe haven if she needs it.
She asks about the people watching the Lounge. He tells her that it is definitely the bikers. He mentioned that the Nem spoke with the Technocracy and they may do something, but he is not really holding his breath. They will probably need to do something personally. She agrees, but warns that they may be more prepared and better armed this time. Finding the Lounge is a difficult thing and they may have more supernatural aide than before. She is leaving the planning to handle this with Adam and she will help fight if needed.
Also, before he has a chance to leave, she tells Adam to fix a bunch of machines for the upcoming gambling event. She tells him not to drop everything to get this done, but it needs to be done in the next couple of weeks.
That same day, Trina is working on the usual.
Elsewhere, April teaches Naia how to create Spirit bullets. She gives Naia some Quintessence to make some bullets. Naia makes 4 bullets for her own gun with her first attempt.
11/20/16 – Sun
Iron Paul Harris has a seminar in the Las Vegas area. Adam invites Nem to join him. Nem actually agrees to go.
Nem smuggles in drugs, cigarettes and alcohol. It is being held at a small convention center at the Tropicana. It is held in a smaller hall there. The first couple of hours is mostly self-help and mind tricks taught by Iron Paul. It is obvious to Adam and Nem that they are not the target audience for these teachings. Some people in the audience seem totally stunned by what is taught though.
There is a core group of people that obviously come to every single event he has. Harris does not pay more attention to them than anyone else though.
After this time of discussion, they move into a form of yoga that is taught by a bro (“Bro-ga”). He does not talk about the spiritual aspect of yoga. The emphasis is just on the physical aspects.
During this part, Adam is doing okay. Nem feels like he is dying. Adam finds he is learning things that may help build his stamina or athletics. He also sees where he could use these teachings to help with Life rituals. Also, the training he has been doing with Hallman definitely applies here. He sees the possibility of using these teachings for Mind related stuff as well, but he does not have enough of a grasp to do this.
Nem is taking it slow. He ends up taking a lot of breaks and often goes to smoke in the restroom. He picks up that he lost a lot of body control over time. Things that he used to be able to do with no problems during his performing days are really difficult now. Towards the end of the training, he gets serious about participating.
During the lunch break, Harris comes over and shakes Adam and Nem’s hands. He asks Adam how he is enjoying it. Adam tells him he is having a good time. Paul tells Nem that he is surprised to see him here. Nem said that he is glad he decided to come.
After lunch, there is a bit more strenuous work out. It is followed by a cool down period and then by guided meditation. Altogether, the program runs for 7-8 hours including lunch.
That same day, Naia contacts Simon. She is looking for a free Node to help complete Nem’s jacket. She is hoping to find one outside of the city to relate more for Jackrabbit.
She calls him and goes by his house to pet all the cats. He’s happy to see Naia. It is obvious that he has not been up for very long. He is drinking coffee and offers her some.
She tells him that she has been building some armor to protect people. She mentions the Gummy Bears and Edith while trying to explain why she is making this armor. He gets very interested in what she tells him about the recent events. He asks her a lot of questions about Mercury. He also asks a bit about Edith but keeps coming back to Mercury.
At one point, he asks if he can record their talk. She is a bit nervous about this. She asks who will be hearing this recording. Simon hesitates about telling her. He says that he is here observing for and reporting to a group named Seidmennir. She agrees to let him record the remainder of the conversation.
She explains that she is looking for a Node. He says that one of the things Seidmennir do is track ley lines. He gets some maps out. He points out a number of Nodes to her. She memorizes them. He points out the Chantry Node where like 4 lines cross.
He shows her that north of Mercury, there are 6 lines that come close to each other in the NNSS. He says a lot of energy is being used out there. Naia points out that the Technocracy are the ones using all that energy.
He points out a different place where a green line and a yellow line overlap. It looks like it may be underground. He gets out a small mason jar with metal filing in it. He shakes some out on the map and starts to chant while drumming the side of the table. The filings separate and spread around. A clump builds up over that Node. Simon says he thinks this Node may be corrupted.
Naia asks Simon if he knows what is corrupting it. Simon goes outside and digs his toes into earth. He puts his hand on a tree and mutters under his breath. He then spends about 15 minutes concentrating. He tells Naia that Mojave says something is living there that is bad. Mojave would be happy if Naia cleaned the area up.
Naia gives Simon her earring that is tied to Mercury. She explains how it works.
She mentions that the stuff is moving along Mercury. He points out that there is a ley line in the area and that explains why she sees the movement.
Simon gives her food before she leaves.
11/21/16 – Mon
3am – Trina and Naia were awoken at the same time by the barking of a dog. When they wake up, they still hear it barking.
Naia texts everyone to let them know that the Bonemaker is at the West Prep high school.
Adam is up and out the door within minutes.
Trina speaks with Kim and finds out that she is also hearing the dog barking. She picks up Kim and takes her to the school.
Naia heads straight to the school.
Nem is on his way, but Naia told him to pick up dog biscuits along the way which he does.
Adam gets to the school first since he was closest. He activates his Spirit sight and sees the spirit of the school. It is pacing around but keeps looking in the same direction. It is no longer barking, but lets out an occasional wuff.
Adam drives around to behind the cafeteria where the dog seems to be watching. There is nothing immediately visible to Adam. All he sees is a bunch of dumpsters and nothing in the spirit realm.
Adam pulls out a flashlight and starts shining around the area. He still does not see anything out of the ordinary.
Naia arrives. She asks Adam if he spoke with Westy. Then, she realizes that asking if Adam talked first is a silly question and she goes talks to Westy.
Westy tells her that “bitey worms” appeared. It takes a few moments to communicate that he barked at a lot of these “worms”. He tries to explain to her what he saw, but he is having a hard time communicating it. He gets Naia to go inside the cafeteria and shows her the fire hose. She does not get it. Westy goes back outside and sniffs around the dumpsters.
Adam starts moving some of the dumpsters to see if he can see anything behind or under them.
At that time, Trina/Kim shows up with Nem a minute or so behind them.
Naia starts scanning the area. She finds a spot on the wall above the dumpsters about 3 1/2 feet in diameter where it may have came through. She wonders if maybe there were multiple manifestations.
Nem will scry into the past to see what happened. Adam sets up a circle for Nem to look at the area. Kim shares some of her LSD with Trina and Nem.
Nem backtracks. He sees a bunch of calamari-like appendages come out of the wall. They come out of the wall like bursting blisters. They writhe around like they are blind. Nem sees they grab a handful of cats, rats, a skunk and dead birds. They then drags it all back into the Gauntlet. Nem realizes that this was all visible in the mundane world.
Nem describes what precisely he saw. Trina scryes backwards as well. She sees it comes from a Spirit realm, but not a place she recognizes. She does notice that Westy seemed to be growling just before the tentacles appeared. When she questions Westy about it, he tells her that there he knew something bad was there. He thinks of it as some sort of scent or sound, but that is not right. He is not able to communicate clearly how he knew. He just knew it. Trina also notes that the tentacles took animals, but left behind the processed food that was in the dumpster.
Nem scans for physical evidence left behind. He cannot find anything but Trina manages to find some where one of the tentacles reached inside a dumpster. Nem scrapes off a sample of the material left behind.
Everybody heads home to get what sleep they can.
11/23/16 – Tues
Adam meets with Hallman. Adam has been meeting with him every few days or so. Art has been giving him mental tests along with the body awareness training and meditation. He has been asking Adam to do things like memorize the color and placement of rocks as he walks through the garden paths then quizzing him on it. He has Adam move his pain and discomfort to a different part of his mind so it is processed and not ignored but not affecting him. He shows Adam how to dedicate a part of his mind to processing information like running through a sequence of numbers or performing calculations and letting it run on its own only to check in on its progress later on. He effectively trains Adam on what is needed to unlock the Mind sphere in a way that works within Adam’s paradigm.
Later that day, Adam preps for the underground trip. Along with his normal stuff, he brings tools to lift manhole covers, ropes, spelunking gear, bolt cutters, etc. He also realizes that there is a tool needed to unlock manhole covers. He looks over a manhole cover and figures out how it is opened. Then, he goes back to his shop and fabricates a tool to open them.
Naia scopes the above ground area of where the Node is located. It is a parking garage for a casino. So, there is no obvious means of accessing below ground at that point.
Naia wanders around interviewing street people to find someone that knows the tunnels well. She manages to find someone named Mank. He is somewhere between 30-60, missing a bunch of teeth and possibly a former addict. She notices that he is missing fingers on his left hand and asks him about it. He said it was from frostbite.
He asks Naia to buy some food for him. After she does so, he asks if she is a reporter or writer. She tells him she may write some books in the future. She points out where the Node is located on a map. He seems surprised that she wants to go to a place that is not normally lived in. He tells her he can scout out the area ahead of traveling there. She warns that he should stay away from the area.
He asks her for $100 a head to take her and her friends down there. She offers $200 per person. He agrees. They will meet tomorrow morning at a location a couple of miles away from the Node. He tells her to bring food, water, and non-claustrophobic people.
11/24/16 – Wed
Everyone meets with Mank out at a wash at 6:30am. They spend several hours walking. Mank points out a number of signs painted on the tunnels. The signposts show them roughly where they are in relation to above ground streets.
A while in, Mank has to jimmy a door. They continue on for a while further. They pass through areas that obviously have traffic passing through them.
After a couple of hours, they stop seeing signs of habitation. The area starts looking more industrial. They also see signs of flooding definitely occurring in this area.
The group manages to sneak around some workers. Mank seems to know one of the workers and there seems to be some sort of agreement between the workers and below ground dwellers. The group starts moving downwards shortly after this point.
Around 2pm, they get close to the point where they are looking. Mank says he is feeling a bit uncomfortable and cautions people to be safe. Something about the place is unnerving him.
The group pauses to start activating their various senses. Adam activates Life and Spirit. Adam can tell that there is a lot of life up ahead. He tells the group that there are a lot of things up ahead. He is not sure what precisely.
Mank tells them that there is a cistern up ahead. They suggest that Mank head back up the tunnel a ways so they can proceed on their own. Mank agrees and heads back. He is apparently weirded out by the sudden rituals that everyone seems to be performing. It is only later when they go to pay Mank the rest of what they owe him that they realize he left them entirely at this point.
The group stops and scans ahead in more details. Adam can see that they are short creatures. Full size bodies and arms, but practically no legs and their feet seem attached to their pelvis. They move around on their arms. There appear to be roughly 12-15 of these creatures including some non-adults. They can probably see in the dark.
They are probably a hive group rather than individuals. About as intelligent as lower primates. They are smarter than dogs but not by much. There does seem to be a larger one that appears to be some sort of queen position. It also has some sort of stinger near its genitalia.
Naia suggest blocking off the lower tunnel and fire down on them from above as a plan of action. They realize that they will most likely not be able to block all their avenues of escape.
Naia is fine with that. She wants to get them out of there right now. Adam is not okay with it. He feels strongly that they need to eliminate all of these creatures. If some manage to escape, they may attack the homeless people in order to feed. This conversation carries on for several more minutes before Naia finally relents to give it a day to see if Adam can put his hands on a concussion grenade. Dropping that in the midst of the creatures should basically take them all out in a single strike.
Nem uses Correspondence and scopes out another avenue to get to this area that will only take like a half hour to get here. The group heads out the route that Nem found. The group gets back to their cars and head home.
When she gets back home, Naia researches conspiracy trivia looking for signs of these creatures. She finds some rumors but not sure which are legends and what is based on these creatures. A paper from a year or so ago wrote about the underground people. It mentioned that often the old or sick people would disappear and skeletal remains are found at a later time. This lead to a rumor of possible cannibalism, but the dentition found on the remains did not match human teeth.
Nem and Trina work together to map out the ecology of these creatures. They figure out which tunnels these creatures may move around and their day/night activity cycles.
Adam calls Addison and leaves her a message. While waiting for her, he starts designing some gear to help clear out the cistern. He thinks of things like wenches to help hauling things up and out.
Addison gets in touch with Adam around 1am. Adam tells her he wants to get his hands on boom stuff. She comes over to meet him at the Lounge. He explains what he is planning on doing. She gives him some C4. She explains how to use it. She thinks dropping it in the cistern will be as effective or more so than a concussion grenade. She warns him to make sure he is far away when it goes off and preferably a door between him and the explosion.
Before she leaves, Adam relays Lady V’s offer to use the Lounge as a safe haven to get out from the Blood Ghosts. She is really touched by this offer. Adam actually realizes that she is touched by this offer. He gets embarrassed by realizing this and does not know how to react to it. She is embarrassed to realize she gave away the fact that she was touched by the offer. They go their separate ways in embarrassed silence.
Addison later sends Adam an invoice for $1,200 for the C4 and the detonator.