Monday, February 7, 2011
It’s a tense, two-hour wait. After some radio chatter from the team and the boatman, the police boat returns and Detective Daniels boards the seaplane with Jones at around 1 AM on Tuesday, February 8. Jones asks how everything went, and Daniels indicates it went according to parameters. They then wordlessly sit on the return flight to Los Angeles.
Once back at the airport, Daniels goes his way while Jones gets in his car and manages to get back to his home around 2 AM. Jane is asleep on the couch in her pajamas with Scotch at the ready, as she apparently tried to wait up for Jones to return. She awakens when he returns, pleased to see him well, and they drink Scotch before heading to bed.
As Kevin is getting ready the following morning, there is a knock at the door. He answers it to find Detective Willett. She apologizes for being curt the other day, and if she is aware of his arrest the other day, she doesn’t mention it. She asks if Kevin has heard from Jones yet; he has not. She then indicates that she wishes to meet with the members of the cabal: Jones, Kevin, and Leah, as well as Jane and Felicia. Does Kevin have any other roommates in the know? He indicates that his roommate Otis knows, so she asks him to come as well. Kevin needs to make certain he tells the others. Willett notes that Kevin’s parents own a commune outside the city, and asks if he thinks it would be an acceptable meeting place? Would Kevin’s parents have a problem with a police officer being there? (For her part, Willett knows the sorts of things that might happen there, but she doesn’t particularly care, and they fall outside her jurisdiction anyway.) He needs to check, but he can get back to her. Does Saturday work? She doesn’t know Jones’ schedule, but she figures she can find him any time if he can’t make it. Kevin says he’ll get in touch with everyone and they’ll figure it out. Before she goes, can she talk to Felicia briefly? Kevin gets her, and the two step outside for a couple of minutes. When Felicia steps back inside, she seems a little flustered, but otherwise okay. She remarks that Detective Willett seems really nice. The trio finishes getting ready for work.
Leah is surprised by a knock at her door at around 9 AM or so. When she checks and sees it’s Detective Willett at the door, she opens it, despite having just awakened and only being in her underclothes; Willett seems unfazed. Willett indicates that she spoke to Kevin earlier in the morning — he’ll call her later — and actually neglected to ask him about what she’s about to ask Leah. Has Jones been acting strangely recently? Leah hasn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary. Willett has concerns that he has perhaps been subverted by sorcery, and she has a diagnostic test that might potentially determine this. Leah pretty quickly surmises that Willett is talking about Jane, and when Leah asks about the possibility that Jane has given Jones some manner of magickal STD, Willett notes that she and Jones had a conversation about how much trouble he was having getting a date. The next thing she knows, he’s suddenly with this Jane person, and that seems suspicious enough to merit investigation. Willett indicates that he might not be influenced by her, or if he is, he might not know. Or that such influence might have altered his personality so that he will attempt to hide it whether or not he is consciously aware of it. As such, Leah needs to get him to her house without revealing the true purpose of the visit. Leah agrees, and Willett indicates her diagnostic requires another person, a former police officer named Aaron Diaz who is also aware of the occult underground. He can administer the test, which requires a specific mirror — a magick mirror, when Leah tries to offer her own mirrors — and for Jones to self-report what he sees. Leah asks if she should invite Kevin, and Willett says that’s not necessary, as she probably doesn’t even want to know what he sees in the mirror. Leah finally agrees, and Willett says she’ll call Aaron. Leah is going to get dressed and call Jones to get him over.
After Leah gets dressed, she moves deeper into her house and calls Kevin, indicating that Willett is acting a little strangely. Kevin reports what Willett told him about the meeting this weekend, and Leah finds Jane’s inclusion very odd, given that Willett just said Jane might be dangerous. Leah tells Kevin he should probably come over. She then calls Jones, and proceeds to immediately tell him everything Willett told her. He is very displeased at this news and quite disappointed in Willett, but says he’ll be over.
When Leah returns to her living room, Willett asks if everything is all right, and Leah says that Kevin will also be coming over. After an awkward pause, Willett comments that Leah told Jones everything, and Leah angrily retorts that Willett put her in an awkward position, and she won’t betray Jones’ trust. Besides, how does she know Willett isn’t compromised? Willett admits that there is no way to know, and it’s something she considers often. She also notes that Willett suspects Jane, but invited her to the meeting at the Spring-Day commune. Willett retorts that if she found evidence of wrongdoing, that would give her three or four days to do something about it; but if there’s no evidence of wrongdoing, there isn’t a good reason to avoid inviting Jane only to invite her later. They then wait for the others in awkward silence.
Eventually Kevin shows up and makes small talk. It’s still about another half hour before Jones arrives. He arrives as a middle-aged Hispanic man with a shaved head emerges from a pickup truck. He appears to be hefting a long, narrow, flat object under a sheet. Jones remarks he suspects the man is here for him, and he knocks on the door. Leah lets Jones and the man inside, and Willett introduces him as Aaron Diaz. She makes introductions all around, and Aaron unwraps the object, which appears to be an antique mirror, and props it against the wall. Willett instructs everyone to look in the mirror and describe what they see; if something is out of place, it will probably be obvious. She goes first, describing that she has bigger eyes, a set of scales in her hand, and the shadows loom uncomfortably close behind her. Jones goes next, describing himself as alert but with bags under his eyes, a “Joan of Arc sword,” an American flag flying behind him, and a pretty good smile. He does not mention the field of corpses behind him that also appears in the mirror. Leah steps forward and describes herself as sitting in lotus position with a flaming aura behind her. She is illuminated by a spotlight, and has many arms, each with a pretty mask in hand. The hands take turns placing the masks over her face, which is her old face. Finally, Kevin describes himself as earthier, covered in a web that connects to the city-like jungle behind him. His eyes have no pupils, and shed light outward, like the beams of headlights.
Willett thanks Aaron, and he begins to rewrap the mirror. Leah says that was cool, and Jones asks how he does that. Aaron replies that a good magician never reveals his secrets. Jones asks if they can potentially use his mirror again, and he says to give him a couple of days’ lead time, as he’ll probably need to perform the ritual again to make the mirror work. He takes his mirror and leaves.
Willett apologizes to Jones, noting that the last thing she heard was that he was single, and then he suddenly started dating this model. Kevin brings up the meeting that weekend, and he calls his parents to see if it’s all right. Most of the people are going to be at a music festival, anyway, so Saturday is just fine. When Kevin confirms this, Willett asks him to pick a time; they eventually settle on 10 AM Saturday morning. They’ll meet her at a gas station about ten minutes away from the commune to make sure she doesn’t miss any turns. With that done, Willett leaves. Jones leaves shortly thereafter, still brooding, but before Willett enters her car, he shouts to get her attention and give her a nod. She returns the gesture before driving away. Jones returns home. Kevin returns to his work for the day. Leah continues her auction preparations, although she does post on social media later about the “vision” she had, describing herself in the magick mirror. She encourages her followers to produce fanart of this vision.
That evening, when Jane gets home, Jones suggests they go out to a restaurant, still annoyed from earlier and not wanting to have to deal with dinner. He explains Willett’s concerns about Jane from earlier in the day — Jane thinks they probably represent a fair concern — and then hesitates. When pressed, Jones intimates that he knows Jane is out of his league. She retorts that he’s out of her league, as he’s thoughtful and honest, and not either a rube or ruthless like most of the people she’s met. She proceeds to explain how this relationship is very important to her, and she wants to try really hard to not to ruin it. She proceeds to explain several things that have apparently been on her mind. She knows she has a tendency to run if things get rough, and notes that she’s less likely to flee if she had to walk past someone to do it. Additionally, most of her possessions are in Jones’ house — but before she can finish the thought, Jones gathers what she’s saying and interrupts to say she can stay.
She was initially surprised when opening up to Jones didn’t swiftly erode her connection to the Naked Goddess. As such, she suspects she might be able to maintain some dynamic equilibrium by being open with Jones and mysterious with everyone else. If her connection ever crumbles, then perhaps she can walk Mabel’s path of the Flying Woman. Additionally, since she would like to maintain a schedule that is more compatible with Jones’ odd schedule, she’s been considering modeling so she can work flexible hours. With her inherent magick, she thinks she’d have a good shot at it, even in a town like Los Angeles; specially after talking with Leah and Bex, she thinks this might be a viable option, despite potentially being a risk to her magick. She does acknowledge that both she and Jones are relatively private people, and such a career might bring scrutiny, so she understands if he feels somewhat hesitant about it. He says he’ll ponder it; for now, can they go to dinner?
The next several days are relatively quiet. Before Jones heads to work on Wednesday, Jones, Kevin, and Leah meet to discuss what they want to do about the King’s Court. They agree to meet with The Voice in the hopes of seeing what the Court would want from them, but decide not to agree to anything or make any deals. Kevin calls and sets up a meeting for next Wednesday afternoon at a nearby Starbucks.
Thursday, Jones presents his plan to form their own court to counteract the King’s Court to Jane. She feels as though that is reasonable, and pledges to assist. Likewise, he presents his plan to Mabel on Friday, and she says she’s always ready to cause trouble. He hopes it won’t come to that, but Mabel suspects it will. It often does.
On the morning of Saturday, February 12, Jane, Jones, and Leah meet at Kevin’s house so that the four of them as well as Otis and Felicia can carpool to the Spring-Day commune. Along the way, they pick up Willett, as planned. Once everyone has reached the commune, Willett explains the purpose of her visit. She is aware that everyone present is somehow involved in the occult underground, and as she has interacted with everyone and performed background checks on the people whose names she knows, none of the assembled party appear to be the sorts of people about whom she needs to worry. As such, she indicates she is part of an organization known as the Blue Line, a very loose network of police officers who know about the weird things in the world. They task themselves with policing things that ordinary police and citizens know nothing about. Willett also notes that her personal speciality is homicide, so she doesn’t particularly care about whatever else anyone is doing, as long as no bodies are dropping. Jones asks how many Blue Line officers there are in the area, and she says that there are a few, although she doesn’t know all of them, as again, it’s a very loose network across all levels of law enforcement. She suspects that it would be useful for both parties to be able to contact one another, so that they can warn each other of potential dangers in their respective spheres of influence. (After all, it’s useful for her to have people involved in the occult underground who can inform her of things the police ought to know, just as it’s useful for them to have a police contact similarly able to inform them of things civilian occultists ought to know.) The clandestine nature of this particular meeting is caused by the fact that Homeland Security is currently investigating the aftermath of the Khalifastan Otherspace shootout on Long Beach, and so she doesn’t want to risk anyone being connected with a federal investigation. Jones and Kevin ask about Steve, and Willett says the police have not made much headway — even with a solid sketch, it’s hard to track someone with no paper trail or relatives in this dimension. Likewise, Detective Daniels has apparently grown suspicious of Jones and his friends; she doesn’t think he’s the sort to come after them, but they should definitely be careful. He’s a former Marine and Vietnam veteran, and his experiences with the occult have been overwhelmingly negative, so he is predisposed to think the occult underground is only going to cause trouble. Over the course of the conversation, she asks about 811 Wilshire, and they indicate they’ve learned nothing more about it. She feels that’s good enough, and as long as everyone knows to stay away from it, that will probably work out for the best until further information can be obtained. She also asks if there is anything else she ought to know, and Leah mentions the auction. Willett asks if she needs police to provide security, as she’s certain they’d do it if she is willing to donate, but Leah says she’ll think about it. Willett also indicates that she has purchased several pay-as-you-go phones. They have a number for her own pay-as-you-go phone in the Contacts, and that should be used as the primary point of contact for her to avoid any investigations finding connections between her and the cabal. To avoid surveillance, buy the phone cards from gas stations or drug stores or wherever else they’re sold, and only pay in cash. She heads back to her car and passes out phones, and when no one has any further questions, she heads to her car to drive back to Los Angeles.