USW: Tip the World Over on Its Side

Session 27

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Jones awakens to prepare for work. Jane, somewhat hungover, rises with him. He makes a sufficiently greasy breakfast to assist, and before he leaves, he gives her his spare key. She asks what it is, and he replies that it’s trust. She is overwhelmed by the gesture, so Jones takes a few minutes to explain that maybe they can try the normal relationship thing. Besides, he knows a few police officers, so if something goes missing, he can track her down. This gets a laugh out of her, so he kisses her good bye and heads off to work.

Kevin and Otis spend the day cleaning after last night’s party, although Felicia helps minimally, as she is quite hungover. Leah goes about her routine and continues auction preparations. In the afternoon, Kevin calls her, asking about the fact that since the King’s Court appears to have made a deal with Iggy but no deal with Jasper, is bringing him back to Los Angeles actually a problem? Leah isn’t sure, but still knows that she’d rather neither ask for permission nor forgiveness — she’s just going to do it the damn thing.

Kevin later contacts the others about meeting tomorrow to experiment with the holes, and they agree. They all agree to meet around noon.

When Jones arrives home, Jane reveals she made a copy of his key so he can keep the original spare. He and Jane then go for a walk around his neighborhood. While out, they spot a young woman trying to change one of her tires. Jones notes that he has to go help, and when the woman turns around, she appears to be a young African-American woman, dressed for the gym. It’s also immediately clear that she and Jane recognize each other. She greets Jane as “Jenny,” and Jane greets her as Rosie. Jane introduces Jones — “Just Jones?” Rosie asks — and they talk briefly. Rosie suggests she thought Jane might have been dead, but Jane says she just wasn’t the best at farewells. Jones notes that’s a habit he hopes to change. After talking a bit further, they exchange numbers and say they’ll see each other soon.

As Jane and Jones continue on their way, Jane explains that she and Rosie were in the Sect of the Naked Goddess together back in Las Vegas. She left so quickly amidst the chaos that she’s hardly surprised the others thought she was dead. Jones notes that it’s awfully coincidental that she runs into one of her former cult members right when she’s thinking of abandoning her veneration of the Naked Goddess. Jane agrees, and Jones admonishes her to be careful; he doesn’t want to lose her.

When they return to Jones’ house, they hang out until Jane goes back to her apartment to get ready for work tomorrow.

The next day, Jones and Leah gather at Kevin’s house to indulge him in his experiment. He wants to take Leah through the holes, to her house. After some discussion, they agree to have Jones stay to observe their departure, they will call when they arrive on the other side, and then Jones can go to Leah’s house to pick them up. They decide on a secluded, rocky grotto on the beach to perform this experiment.

As the group leaves, they find three disheveled, homeless men standing on Kevin’s porch. Kevin recognizes them as the L.A. Rats he previously met. Jones also notes a car parked across the street; based on the general condition and number of occupants, he suspects local gang members. The three men, speaking in unison as before, tell Kevin that he totally fucked them — he sat on the Whitley Folio for too long, and now Edna Salinas sold it to The Dealer, and retrieving it is going to be significantly more difficult. If Kevin gets it for them, nobody is likely to be hurt. After some heated words from Jones and Kevin, the three homeless men prepare to leave, having delivered their ultimatum. They look slightly confused for a moment, then shuffle off in different directions. Shortly thereafter, there’s movement in the car, and it drives off.

After discussing that turn of events, the trio heads down to the beach. Once they find a secluded spot among the rocks, Kevin concentrates, hugs Leah, pitches forward — and disappears, leaving Leah behind. Jones gets a phone call from Kevin a few moments later, indicating that he’s fine, but in Leah’s backyard.

After retrieving Kevin, the trio discusses the matter with the L.A. Rats, and Kevin thinks this has forced their hands. He’ll have to contact The Voice and see about the prospect of turning to the King’s Court and accepting their offer in exchange for protection from the L.A. Rats for everyone, including their loved ones. Jones and Leah suggest that he try to operate as a freelancer if possible, with which he agrees. He calls The Voice and the two agree to meet at 11 AM tomorrow morning along the pier.

The trio then spends much of the afternoon shopping and generally indulging in their personal idioms — Jones keeps an eye out for trouble, Kevin looks for neat things he hasn’t encountered before, and Leah tries to be seen and take Instagram selfies. Eventually, everyone goes home, although Jones goes down by the water to practice flying a rental sea plane in preparation for next week. It’s not quite what he’s used to flying, although he has few problems with it, and should be as ready as he’s going to be for flying Detective Daniels into Mexico next week.

The next morning, Jones again receives a phone call about the firearm that arrived a week ago. He says he’ll pick it up sometime today. Against his better judgment, he calls Eli and indicates he has a gun he needs him to examine, as he’s worried someone has tampered with it. Eli agrees to meet him after work, around 4:30 or so.

Kevin meets with The Voice and lets him know about yesterday’s occurrences — that the L.A. Rats showed up and appear to have forced his hand, so he would be interested in potentially working for the King’s Court. He would want to secure protection for his cabal and their families. The Voice thinks this is possible. However, he indicates that working for the King’s Court requires an oath of secrecy to work with the King of Scales, and so Kevin’s entire cabal would have to agree, as they hold no illusions about the fact that one loyal person surrounded by an unattached cabal is unlikely to maintain their level of secrecy. He admonishes Kevin to speak with his cabal and contact him again when some level of consensus is reached.

Kevin returns to his house and calls the others; Jones, Kevin, and Leah all meet at Leah’s house. He recounts The Voice’s offer, and once again, the conversation becomes heated as Kevin seems to think Jones is too aloof and completely rejects the idea of allying with the King’s Court when Kevin’s friends and family have been threatened. Jones disagrees, indicating he’s merely expressing his misgivings, but if Kevin is going to be unreasonable, Jones isn’t going to talk to him until he calms himself. Jones leaves for a walk, and Kevin, still fuming, heads outside to wait by his car so Jones can’t leave without talking to him. When Jones returns and sees that Kevin is still mad, he still refuses to talk to him, getting into his car and driving home.

An irritated Kevin goes back inside, and after grumbling, heads back to his own house.

While Jones and Kevin have their tiff, Leah decides to call Amadeus of Tyrannicide. She indicates she wants to discuss some things; they eventually agree that Amadeus and Sara will meet Leah at her house around 6 PM tonight.

During his afternoon, Jones goes to the gun store to pick up his Springfield XD .45, and inquire about where it was held during delivery. (Apparently it was a postal error here in Los Angeles.) Jones later receives a text from Jane indicating that she’s meeting Rosie for drinks after work, probably around 6:30 PM or so. He thinks he should be able to meet her then.

Jones meets Eli around 4:30 and shows him his new firearm, explaining that it was held, and he doesn’t know if any of the local organizations, like the King’s Court, tried to tamper with it. Eli makes a comment about authority always trying to overstep its bounds, and then examines it for a few minutes, dismantling it. He indicates the gun has not yet been fired; it has no “soul.” Jones asks him to explain, and Eli proceeds to note that a gun picks up impressions of the owner as it’s used, much in the same way animists thought a tool gains a spirit as it’s used. This one appears unfired, and indeed, has not been cursed or modified. He returns it to Jones and tells him to ask if he needs anything else.

Once Jones takes his leave, he has about an hour and a half to kill until he needs to meet Jane and Rosie.

Meanwhile, while Kevin is contemplating the day at his house, he tries to see if he can sense Jasper Fitzroy through the holes. Straining, he senses an edge to the network of portals; the mystical grid containing them seems localized to Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. He becomes aware of the city as an entity, and similarly senses the L.A. Rats feeding on the city like parasites. He estimates there are no more than half a dozen of them, although he cannot be sure of the number. Likewise, he senses the King of Scales, in some strange symbiosis with the city. Although, the thought occurs to him — is it his thought or the city’s thought? — that Los Angeles does not need these scavengers feasting on its roots. Perhaps it needs a representative instead, someone who truly understands it.

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