Saturday, January 15, 2011
Leah drives Kevin back to her house, and along the way, he gets a phone call. It’s from the courier dispatcher, indicating there is a package to deliver, but the person who mailed it specifically asked for Kevin. It’s apparently from the UCLA mathematics department, to be delivered to a Dr. George Wei at the Griffith Observatory. Kevin agrees to do it, and when he tells Leah about it, she asks if he needs accompaniment. He declines.
When they arrive at Leah’s house, Kevin gathers his bike and heads off to Griffith Park. She gets ready to go out to the club with Bex and Lorenzo. Jones, meanwhile, goes out drinking with Mabel, and they have a nice evening. Before they part company, she indicates she’ll photocopy her copies of Dirk Allen’s article and the Gorman diary and get them to him tomorrow. He says to drop them by Kevin’s house, and she agrees.
Kevin makes the ride up to Griffith Park, and as he approaches the observatory, finds a Chinese man sitting outside the building in a lawn chair. He appears to be tracing circles in the dirt as Kevin arrives. As Kevin approaches, the man asks if he’s Kevin Springday, and indicates that he’s George Wei. With introductions out of the way, George notes that word has spread about Kevin’s search for the mystical grid governing the city. He notes that he’d like to help, and further notes that the Whitley Folio is apparently in town, and such a tome would likely be of use. He further notes that since he knows about it, it’s only a matter of time before the local Urbanomancers, the Los Angeles Rats, learn it’s in town and try to find it. George doesn’t necessarily care to have it, but he doesn’t want the Urbanomancers to get it — Urbanomancers can only work their magick in the city itself, and if they find access to a hidden Otherspace in which they can potentially still work magick, they might be nigh-impossible to extricate. At Kevin’s questions, George explains he’s a Geomancer, and Geomancers naturally seek the same resources as Urbanomancers and Cliomancers. Cliomancers, as George explains, are also called cobweb farmers and are obsessed with the power of historical places. (He further claims a few are hiding within the Church of Scientology, which neatly explains why they like to purchase historic properties.) When he initially heard of Kevin and his cabal, he heard they were Cliomancers, and also understands they’ve had dealings with one, Minnie Marlow. Kevin indicates he was misinformed, and George says he figured that out, which is why he approached Kevin. He says if Kevin tries to get the Whitley Folio, or at least prevent the Urbanomancers from getting it, he’ll gladly help. As a token of goodwill, the package Kevin delivered is actually for Kevin — it’s a cheap compass, like the sort one would get from a Cracker Jack box, but Chinese characters have been painstakingly scribed around the edge. George indicates it’s like a luopan, a compass to determine the direction of a structure via auspicious feng shui convergences, but in this case, Kevin can use it to determine the weak or strong point of a building or organization. It only works once, though, before the magick is gone. Kevin thanks him, they trade contact information — George is apparently with the UCLA mathematics department — and Kevin rides back to his house.
The next morning, Jones putters around Leah’s house while she gets ready and prepares to record a video for her YouTube channel, indicating great things are on the horizon. At his own house, Kevin has an idea. He carefully crafts a taco according to his own ritual specifications, using George’s compass to align the grill lines for the fish in an attempt to make a taco of travel. He consumes said taco, and finds a quiet place to meditate. He finds a hole, focuses on Leah’s kitchen, and tries to move forward until—
On the couch, Jones is surprised as Kevin comes tumbling into Leah’s kitchen, seemingly from nowhere. Startled, he leaps across the island between her kitchen and living room and tackles Kevin. Kevin kisses him in an attempt to confuse him and calm him down, but he doesn’t seem to notice. After struggling to subdue him for several seconds, Jones finally realizes he’s wrestling with Kevin, and though he disengages, he still yells at him for sneaking up on a man by journeying through the holes. At the commotion, Leah comes out and chides them both for ruining her take, before realizing that Kevin is here somewhat unexpectedly. Still annoyed, Jones goes for a walk while Leah asks Kevin about the experience of going through the holes. They discuss the fact that he’s experimenting with it because he feels the need to hone his ability to traverse the holes — otherwise, when people come for him, they’re going to figure out he doesn’t know anything. They clearly need to develop magick to protect themselves. Her resolve to delve into magick renewed, she calls Clark and asks if they can meet regarding that thing they were previously discussing. He says he can meet her tomorrow at 10 AM at 822 W El Segundo Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247.
While Jones is out walking, he receives a call from Detective Willett. She starts by quoting a line from the book of Pablo Neruda he recommended, “as one loves certain obscure things, secretly, between the shadow and the soul.” She thinks that rather sounds like the world in which they find themselves, doesn’t it? She then asks how things are going, and further asks if he’s going stir crazy at all. She says she has something for him to do if he’d be interested, particularly since he asked to keep him informed about anything weird. There’s a building over on 811 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90017. It’s mixed commercial and residency, but the odd thing is that they’ve gotten a couple of complaints about it. A couple of people have indicated that their relatives moved there and refuse to leave — something the police can investigate, of course, but not legally actionable. And one of the responding officers keeps feeling drawn back to the place. Again, nothing you can do anything about. Since she can’t really spend time on the clock staking the place out, would Jones be interested? She just wants him to note who’s going in or out. He remarks this sounds like trading one cramped spot for another, but says he’d be interested. Would she be able to supply him with a badge or a gun? She says she’ll see what she can do. He asks if his friends could come along, and she says she doesn’t know anything about it. They agree to meet at a nearby Starbucks around 5:00 PM.
Once Jones returns to Leah’s house, he apologizes for attacking Kevin, and Kevin indicates he has agreed to only appear in the backyard. Kevin also indicates that Otis called, saying that Mabel dropped off some stuff for them. Jones then relates his conversation with Detective Willett, and says he’s going to meet her to discuss further. After enduring Kevin and Leah’s jeers regarding his meeting his lady friend, he indicates that it’s fine if they join him. . As he leaves, Kevin also leaves to catch a bus and go pick up the stuff Mabel left at his house.
As 5:00 approaches, Jones heads to Starbucks. Detective Willett is already there, sipping coffee, a lunchbox on the table in front of her. She explains a little more detail, and indicates that the lunchbox contains a fake but realistic-looking badge and a gun taken out of evidence, so she’d ideally like that back within a day or two. If he needs any further assistance, call her. He asks if there’s anything in particular he needs to log, but she says this is all unofficial anyway. Just keep a record of whomever enters or exits and get back to her. Once he agrees, she thanks him and tells him she owes him, and leaves. He waits for a while before leaving, taking the lunchbox with him. Once he gets into his car, he glances inside to see a badge and a 9mm pistol.
When Kevin arrives at home, he catches Felicia when she’s alone, and asks how she’s doing. He asks how she came out to Los Angeles, and she indicates she was in the Midwest previously, and just needed a change of scenery. When talking about the occult underground, he asks what she does; she reveals that she used to be into cutting and self-harm. There’s power in the blood, and power when it’s released, so she can manipulate flesh by mortifying her own. He notes that’s why she looked so shocked when the guy cut himself in the American Café the other night, and she agrees. She doesn’t do it anymore, though — things got dark back East for a while. It’s better now, though, and she’s appreciative that Kevin and Otis were so accepting of her. She grows somewhat quiet and introspective at the recollection, though. Kevin eventually gathers the papers and returns to Leah’s house.
Kevin and Jones return to Leah’s house around the same time, and Kevin deposits the papers with Jones. Jones reads the Dirk Allen article first, then shoves it at Leah once he’s finished. He’ll probably try to skim the Gorman papers next.