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Episode Five: Stalk
Session Ten : 11/26/2014
Sunday, October 28th. The Next Morning
- Thomas Michael Craig awakens not sure how he's going to deal with explaining last night to Teresa Cantu. Or just deal with last night in general. He heads over to Kaffe early for some alone time.
- Jace Evans hits the hospital as soon as visiting hours open to find out how Davis Monk is doing. When he enters Davis's room, though, he is blocked by the imposing Gideon Monk, who seems unimpressed that Jace's status as workout partner qualifies for a visit. Obviously he's fairly unimaginative about what being a workout partner could entail. Lydette Monk, however, might not be so naive, and she shoos Gideon to the side. As Jace passes Gideon, he notices reflected in the window the man blowing some sort of whistle behind him but hears nothing.
- Davis is awake, and Lydette insists that Gideon get breakfast with her to give the men some privacy. Jace confesses that he should be pretty angry at Davis, but after seeing him near death last night trying to rescue him, he really can't be. Davis accepts any blame Jace has and is surprised when Jace instead holds his hand while they talk and asks if there's anything he can do for Davis. Ares, who doesn't like Gideon, will need tending to.
- Jace asks about Davis's family, and Davis reveals that the Monks truly are brutally dedicated werewolf hunters. They all go through military training before taking up the hunt, and only Davis, because of his injury, has gone to college. Davis has seen his family do terrible things, and some of them are none too appreciative of his liberal bent. Davis also tells Jace that he keeps a cache of hunter equipment in a lockbox under his bed. Their conversation is halted by the rest of the family's return, so Jace takes his leave. Lydette strokes his cheek with her silver-adorned hands and tells him she's glad her grandson has someone looking out for him.
- Teresa tracks Thomas down to Kaffe and is appalled at the extent of his injuries from the night before. For once, shifty Thomas isn't able to hide the truth very well, so he confesses to Teresa that he is involved in something but can't go into details because they involve other people's secrets. Teresa is surprisingly mature in her response, saying that she'll give Thomas the space for now, but insists that Thomas go the hospital, offering to pose as his abusive SO to deflect questions about the cause of his injuries.
- Henry Mulgrew wakes up to the smell of pancakes. With nothing better to do with the unresponsive pup last night, Stella Jalo brought him to her house to sleep off the murder and cannibalism. Pancakes seem to do the trick, as Henry wakes up all bright eyed and bushy tailed with little lingering horror over last night's events, though he tells Stella he doesn't want to talk about it. Stella recalls that Henry's family is still in town and offers to take them out to brunch with Henry. Fortunately, Henry's eating for two, and Sparky has mostly digested Maisha by now. Bring on the hash!
- While at brunch, Henry's mom Melissa mentions that his sister Christina has been secretly looking at the University of Astoria curriculum on her tablet, not pictures of Portia de Rossi or Michelle Dockery as expected. Henry breaks out into a cold sweat trying to think of ways to turn her off the idea, but his aunt Bethany Boss assures him that she will start singing the university's praises.
- Jace has spent the afternoon moping and taking out his frustrations on fuckbud Sissy Thompson and finally texts Aedia Randall about tonight. She comes over and notes the smell in Jace's room. He shoots back that it can't be the first time she's smelled someone else on him. Aedia isn't really in the mood for a fight, though, and instead tells Jace that she has to attend to the pups first for the full moon but after will give Jace the bite. Jace questions pack life and whether Aedia will have control over him, to which Aedia responds that Jace will be free to leave the Astoria pack whenever he wants but yes, he will have to submit to her in wolf matters. Jace tells her she's welcome to try, but he accepts the pack life. Jace offers to help with Warner Pelt if need be. Aedia leaves, but not before Jace expresses some regret that their relationship hasn't gone as planned while making it clear that it's over.
- Aedia texts Thomas, one floor down from Jace, on her way out to talk to him. Thomas is firm that he doesn't want the bite, and Aedia tells her that unlike Jace, she's not sure Thomas would survive it. While trying to tiptoe around the notion of magic, Aedia tells Thomas that she smells the spirit of death around him. She further unsettles Thomas by mentioning that Teresa is very clearly into him. The two agree that Thomas would be a good person to have on hand at Warner's loft for the full moon, and she also mentions that Orlando Guerra is the Astoria pack's rite master, which means he has some special tricks to help with Thomas's injuries.
- Prompted by Aedia's revelation, Thomas returns to Teresa to tell her that he definitely wants her in his life even if he can't include her in every part of it just now. Teresa responds that this feels like an escape clause to her, but she'll accept it. She always has arson to fall back on, though, if things get rougher.
- Thomas stops by the library to see Orlando, who reveals that he can touch the pain away. With a face like that, of course he can.
- Jace receives a call from Dean Tessa Edmonton asking to meet him at a new address for the evening. Puzzled and now on guard about everything, Jace texts Thomas the address he'll be at before heading over. The address turns out to be at the Youngs River Lofts, which the dean reveals she owns. One unit is empty, and she's decided she'd like Jace to live there for the time being. It'll be easier for their trysts away from campus, and she appreciates his company enough to have a protected space for it. Jace suffers from emotional whiplash and surprises a second person today with a show of affection by hugging her. He's speechless, and the best way he knows to thank the dean is to christen some of the rooms in the loft. They start in the bathtub because Jace realizes he hasn't cleaned up from Sissy yet.
The Hunters Moon
- Aedia has already made arrangements for the three pups to be watched over for the full moon. Warner will be in his loft with Thomas, Vanya Simonson, and Victor Sutherland. Henry will be in the empty library vault with Aedia and Orlando, and Stella will be in a ranger's station with Desmond Lancaster and Martin Dane.
- Warner's full moon is going fairly well until Danny Marin, the last of Warner's crew to be uninvolved in the werewolf conspiracy, shows up on the scene. He's indignant when Thomas tries to bar him at the door with the excuse that Warner is heinously sick, and his indignation sets off Warner's territoriality. Thomas wastes no time convincing Danny to leave as growls begin to emerge from behind the door. A puzzled Danny does leave, and, unknown to everyone, heads over to ATO to try to hang out with Henry for about the fourth or fifth time, only to find the Henry is as usual unavailable. Poor little hot kid, there's no glee in his life.
- Teresa calls Thomas to tell him she's spotted the dean's car unattended on campus. She saw the dean leaving campus by taxi for some strange reason. Thomas reveals the true depth of his skills by overcoming the car's electronic security so definitely that he generates a permanent electronic key for himself. Teresa reveals the true depth of her skills by taking the wheel for a zoom around Astoria.
- At the library, Henry settles in for the full moon by playing WoW as a worgen, which is either an example of failed repression or groan-inducing irony. In what is definitely not an example of symbolic irony, Henry locks himself in the library's rare books vault without prompting. Aedia, however, insists that he feel the full moon first, and Sparky is remarkably well-behaved for once, but maybe he's just waiting for Henry to log out of WoW so that he can take his turn playing his human.
- Aedia leaves the library to check on Warner, and shortly after, the peace of the full moon night vanishes as a crash echoes from somewhere else in the library. Henry quickly lassoes Sparky into helping and starts to break out of the cage. A howl splits the air.
- All of the pups, Elaine included, hear the howl and recognize it as a call to hunt, but not from Aedia. At the ranger station, Stella hears the sounds of struggle outside. When Desmond goes to investigate, a large shape snatches him out of the doorway, and Stella discovers that she has merited an assault by Team Handjob--Miranda Barnes and Harris Clayon--in feral form.
- Team Handjob almost brings Stella to her finish, but they're interrupted by Reese Tavis, who syringes the duo with something that knocks them out. With no sign of Desmond or Martin outside, he encourages her to run and strips to assume wolf form. Stella decides to explore her canine nature more fully by assuming the form of the legendary Buster the Wolf. Alice is also on the scene and tries to snatch Stella, but she dodges and charges toward campus. Alice sheds her clothing and stands nude for a moment (you're welcome, straights) before also assuming wolf form and pursuing. She's hampered, however, by Reesewolf and loses Stella.
- Elaine, who had been reading the books she secretly stole, heads to campus to investigate the howl. On the way, she is almost run off the road by a barely under control dean's car. She arrives on campus just in time to see Orlando come spilling out of the library while fighting Donaldo. Orlando manages to tell Elaine to get to the library's vault to help Henry before Donaldo, the Mountain wolf, smashes his head into the pavement.
- As Elaine rushes into the library, she finally breaks utterly with reality, feeling the chill of the grave pass over her as her eyes turn black and talons erupt from her fingers. Her descent into madness is so complete that even Henry sees her transformed when she arrives to help him out of the vault.
- By the time they get back outside, they find Orlando motionless on the ground with blood spreading everywhere while a newly arrived Victor fights Donaldo. Henry joins the fight while Elaine gets her crossbow out of the car. After taking a shot at Donaldo, Elaine decides that this is the perfect time to use test subject Henry as a scratching post for her new talons. They work remarkably well against Henries. Although the trio manage to drive Donaldo away, Victor is badly injured and Orlando confirmed dead.
- Oblivious to all the turmoil elsewhere, Jace has spent the early evening running errands. He brings Ares back to his new loft and on the way back stops at last night's warehouse party site to survey the damage. He salvages a few bottles of alcohol and is drinking back at the loft when a text comes in from Warner's phone. It proves to be Jerome, who says he and Warner need help and somewhere to go. Jace directs them to the ATO house and texts Thomas to meet him.
- Teresa and Thomas are not too far away, so they swing by to pick Jace up. Jace is angry to see them in the dean's car, but he puts that aside for the moment to get to campus. Teresa almost hits Jerome and Warner once they get there, and in swerving to avoid them, she flips the car completely and smashes against a building. Teresa and Thomas are horrendously injured as the front half of the car crumbles, and only Jace is vaguely conscious. With a lot of effort, he manages to work himself free of the wreck, but not before crawling over Teresa's ruined body.
- Jerome rips the wreck apart to get to Teresa and Thomas as the sound of sirens quickly approaching fills the air. Stella, Henry, Elaine, and Victor converge near the accident just as Volk Yuriev's howl of victory cuts through all the tumult from the ridge above campus.
Session Eleven: 12/10/2014
Monday, October 29th. Very early <<Write Up Pending>>
Session Twelve: 1/7/2015
The Week of Monday, October 29th - Friday, November 2nd
- Thomas Michael Craig awakens in the hospital after passing in and out of lucidity. The bite that Alice gave him the night before hasn't healed, and a nurse realizes that this is a new injury. She questions how he was bitten, but Thomas convinces her he has no idea. She asks Thomas if he's friends with the Astoria Serial Biter Henry Mulgrew, and because he is, she brings in a doctor to question him further.
- Dr. Elaine Litchfield, Stella Jalo, and Warner Pelt have retired to the House of Running Water to rest after spending all night in the hospital. Later in the day, they join Vanya Simonson and Desmond Lancaster to discuss the pack's plans for the future. Victor Sutherland is also there, but he's still recovering from being torn up by Donaldo the night before. Vanya reveals that she was once part of Volk Yuriev's pack, and based her experiences with him, she suggests the pack should leave Astoria. Desmond, however, counters that he is determined to stay and fight, even if it means fighting alone.
- Stella, for her part, announces that she will stay in Astoria as well, and she is torn by guilt that Volk told her the entire pack would die if they stay in Astoria, and she didn't tell anyone. But that's about item #27 on her guilt list.
- Vanya explains that there are traditions many werewolves follow, and Volk is especially conservative in this regard. He's unlikely to attack again until the next full moon because of this. She also mentions werewolf secret societies organized around lodges as loose governing bodies. She suspects Volk is part of a lodge but knows nothing definite.
- The pack eventually arrives at the question of what to do with captive Reese Tavis. They question him about this motives, and he tells them that after Amarissa Randall was killed, the Astoria pack was scattered. Volk's pack hunted and caught Reese, who had no idea whether any of the rest of the pack was still alive. He gave into fear and cooperated with Volk, who promised to allow Reese to attend school at the U of A as long as he spied on his former packmates.
- Eventually, though, Reese couldn't remain complicit in all the harm the Coast Range pack was perpetuating, which led to him knocking out the Handjob Twins to save Stella. Now, Volk will kill him for his betrayal. Victor refuses to participate in deciding Reese's fate, and the pack ends up shelving the matter for the time being.
- Jerome Tate, who is also hanging around the house, shares with the pack his experiences with Volk. He would turn his pups feral and force them to fight one another to learn power and control. Jerome still doesn't have complete control over his wolf, but he wants to return to school.
- Back at the hospital, Henry is still in treatment for his infection, which gives the police an opportunity to approach the Astoria Serial Biter for a mold of his canines. To prove he didn't bite Thomas, of course. But it is on file now . . .
- Thomas's family remains in town while he's in the hospital, and his parents are keen to remove him from school to take him home. Thomas's grandfather, George Michael Thurgood, intercedes, however, convincing them to let him stay in Astoria. After the parents leave, George reveals to Thomas that Teresa died the night before. The hospital has not provided enough painkillers to deal with this.
- When Warner returns to his loft with Vanya, he finds a text from Jace Evans on his phone demanding to talk to him right away. When he returns the text, Jace asks him to come to his loft. Vanya wants to come with him, but wary of Jace's reaction to uninvited guests, Warner tells her he should go first. Warner is surprised by Jace's three story loft, but Jace points out that Warner knows the lucrative business Jace is involved in. He also tells Warner that as far as he's concerned, Jace's parents are paying for the loft, however.
- As it turns out, Jace only wanted to talk to Warner to get connected to the real werewolves, so he summons Vanya over. In the meantime, Jace offers Warner his hospitality and a dog treat. He also introduces Warner to Ares. Vanya has a slightly different take on the loft when she arrives, observing that Dean Tessa Edmonton's smell is everywhere. She also doesn't believe Jace's lie that the dean was only there to turn over the keys because she owns the building.
- Although Jace is somewhat angered by her presumption, he tells Vanya that he and Aedia had agreed before she died to give Jace the bite in exchange for his presence in the pack. He intends to keep that agreement and demands to start learning the ways of werewolves immediately. Bemused, Vanya takes him to the werehouse in the woods to start training.
- Jerome and Renee McDonnall visit Henry in the hospital. While Renee is out of the room, Henry has an awkward conversation with Jerome reminding him that Henry will tell Renee everything because she's too involved in the situation. And he does just that when she returns, probably oversharing once he gets to the point of pissing outside her window and coming out as a cub bottom. Apparently, once Henry learns a lesson, he learns it hard. To her credit, Renee is still conscious, sane, and calm by the end of Henry's revelations. She's not even particularly phased by Jerome's confession that being near her helps keep his wolf under control. And she even knows this is not euphemistic in any way!
- Henry concludes by sending Renee to Elaine to get armed, and even that Renee acccepts. This girl will likely be an asset to the pack.
- Out at the House of Running Waters, Jace notices a whiteboard Elaine has put together planning out her werewolf weapons and reveals that he has access to Davis Monk's arsenal. Desmond questions how he has this access, and Jace reluctantly reveals that he is involved with the on the downlow Davis. Nevertheless, Jace, Elaine, Desmond, and Warner head to campus to raid Davis's weapons locker, coming away with an array that Elaine immediately sets to studying. She also shares some of it with Renee during her office hours. This probably breaks a few university rules.
- Over at the hospital, Stella is hanging out with Thomas's family when he is finally released from care. While his parents want to take Thomas to George's house for a week, Thomas refuses and returns to campus instead. Teresa's adjoining dorm room hasn't been packed yet, so after awhile, Thomas starts to do so, but not before completely trashing his own room.
- Detective Devin Matthews calls Thomas to let him know that Teresa's funeral will be held in two days. Before Thomas can do any damage to anything else (thank god Alice's bite never kicked in?), Warner and Jerome show up with pizza.
- When Thomas later takes Teresa's stuff home, he drops it on her mother's porch, unable to bring himself to knock on the door. After standing indecisively for a while, Juanita Cantu opens her door to wrap Thomas in a hug. They break down together.
- Most of the pack attends Teresa's funeral, held on a rainy Oregon winter day. Later that night, the pack mourns its own losses with a pyre to Aedia Randall, Orlando Guerra, and Martin Dane.