Arriving at the beach, we see various police blockades, as well as some familiar MiB looking cars in the parking lot. Traffic is being rerouted, and even Jimmy’s winning smile can’t get us through. I decide to go undercover and scope out the scene.
Shifting into man’s best friend, I scamper over to the crime scene and sniff around. The body of a dead dame is lying in the sand, the metallic scent of blood overpowering the sea salt air.
As I look for clues, I notice that Agent McCall and his goons are doing their own investigations. They ignore me until some guy I’ve never seen before pulls out a scope glares at Levi and checks me out. He hands the scope over to McCall and he starts giving me the stink eye.
Knowing the gig was up, I vamoose and head out into the ocean, all doggie care free and the like, as McCall facepalms. Oh well, so much for stealth.
Jimmy is talking it up with his fanboy of a cop. He gets it outta the kid that the woman was found on the beach, and that it looked like someone had taken a chunk out of her chest. As Jimmy gets some details, an agent comes over and tells them that “Agent McCall would like to see you.”
They mosey on over to the crime scene and look around. The victim is a young woman, early 20s, her arms and face covered in slash marks, a large puncture wound along her neckline, a big gaping hole in her chest cavity, right where her heart shoulda been.
Emphasis on shoulda.
From the wounds, it looks like the heart was yanked out, with one swift pull. Which means whatever did this was strong enough to pierce through her chest cavity, with sharp enough claws to do so.
Malthus looks over the wounds and guesses there are quite a few nasty creatures who could’ve done it; werecreatures, ghouls, demons, any number of aquatic beasts (gotta start hitting the books one a these days).
I show up, wet but man like, and take a gander with human eyes this time around. I find an amulet glistening in the moonlight, hidden between some rocks nearby. The chain is made of gold, thick and interwoven, with an occultish looking design. I bring it over to the group, show it to Malthus and ask him to take a gander.
Malthus looks at it intently, it’s intricate carving laid in an arcane pattern, with the shape of a fish head…thing, not quite a fish but kinda/sorta.
With McCall standing around, Malthus tries to play it cool, saying it’s a cheap trinket and not worth anything. McCall calls him out and Malthus concedes that it’s probably important.
McCall says they found ID on her, one Jane Earl, a SFSU student. We tell McCall that we’ll look into it, and though it irks him, he agrees that he could use the help. But we’re to share any intel we gather, and he’ll do likewise.
The whole time, the youngster who was scoping me out in canine form, Agent Marcus Elliot, was looking at us through his scope. He flirts (rather poorly, I think) with Levi, who I ask to build me an anti-scope…thingee. What’s the point of being the ultimate infiltrator if I can’t infiltrate?
We head back to Underground to get our bearings, and to check on Allison. Having left her with Malthus’ boss lady, I wanted to make sure she was still okay.
Okay may be too strong of a word.
Donnie had Alisson playing dress up, with various types of dressings that made Alisson not Alisson. She didn’t look bad, per se. In fact she looked pretty darn good. I mean, if you’re into that kinda thing.
Which apparently I am.
Anyways, Donnie has Alisson in a protection circle, with an obfuscate spell around her. She can’t go anywhere, but no one can find her. I tell her to stay put for now, and that we’ll look into getting her into a safe house soon.
Donnie puts Malthus to work, and as he’s taking out the garbage, he runs into his old pal Barry the Bum. Well, runs into and accidentally buries in bags of garbage are the same thing, right?
Barry goes off on “Splishing & Splashing” and pokes Malthus as he walks away, saying over and over splish splash. He stops, turns around and yells “You saw them! You know they see you! They see you everyday, now!”
Malthus cocks an eyebrow. “Where are they looking from? he asks.
“Yes…?” Barry whispers.
“Can you show me?” Malthus asks.
A fit of maniacal laughter leaps from Barry. “He she sees you. Deep deep down they will find you.”
He walks away again, whispering “Splish, splash, splish splash.”
Not creepy at all…
Next day, Levi works on my anti-scope. It comes in the form of a Casio Watch. How very high tech. Granted it’ll be weird for a dog to be wearing a watch, but hey, beggers can’t be choosers.
With Odille out of town (way, way out of town from the sound of it) we need to find another Big Brain to help us figure out this talisman. I make a few calls and get in touch with an old pal of mine, Dr. Nikolas Ork’er-stra. He’s a professor at SF State, in the Archeology Department. Nice guy, wicked smart, with an interest in the occult.
Also, he’s in Orc. What, you believe all stereotypes are true?
I ask him if I can visit him, and he gives me his office hours. I head out, with the boys in tow.
On the way over, we hear over the radio that an APB has been put out on Alison Argent, who is a suspect in the missing children’s case. Story goes that she evaded arrest with the help of an “unknown suspect” (yours truly) and that if anyone had any leads, to call the authorities.
Hell’s Bells, that’s all we need.
Quentin Kopp, a member of the board of supervisors, has taken quite a bit of interest in the case. He’s been looking into it, and working with the police, or so he says. I’ve heard the name before, quite the active political figure, but don’t know much about him. I’ll have to remedy that later.
Getting to the university, we head on over to Doc Ork’er-stra’s office. He’s a rather unassuming fellow. That is if you can’t see him for what he really is. Eight foot tall, green skin, muscles for days, large protruding tusks, bald as the day I was born, and wearing a white button down shirt, tweed jacket with leather patches and the tiniest pair of reading glasses.
Speaking as eloquent as any big brain I’ve ever talked to, he welcomes us. We get some small talk outta the way, introductions are made, and then we get to business. I show him the amulet, in a protective zip lock baggie.
He looks at it, gingerly holding it in his hand. He goes to his books and pulls out a few volumes. After a bit of research, he comes back to us with some much needed info.
The artifact is a sacrificial amulet for Father Dagon, one of the ancient sleeping gods. He discovers some writings on the amulet, in latin, which are consistent with Deep Ones, Were Creatures that worship Father Dagon and Mother Hydra. The amulet is meant to denote a being for harvest or sacrifice, as payment for gaining mystical abilities or blessings.
Basically someone used the poor girl as payment for some major mojo. And that someone is going to pay back in full.