USW: Tip the World Over on Its Side

Session 9

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jones expresses his displeasure at this whole situation as sirens are heard in the distance. Clark takes care of a couple of pieces of last-minute business before the police arrive. He gives Jones a card for a lawyer, one Terrence Kozlowski, and recommends calling him; he’s aware of the occult underground, so Jones should be able to speak more-or-less freely with him. Supposing that Jones and Kevin might want to investigate this situation further, he notes that ghosts and demons cannot possess hosts without permission, although it is possible for someone else to give permission, so whether Maps-to-the-Stars Jimmy accepted possession by Maxi Molars or was cursed remains to be seen. He also shouts to the bartender, whom he calls Ninkasi, to keep the police busy in case they arrive while he’s still setting up. Finally, he notes that blood spatter and ballistics analysis may contradict their claims since Isaiah was not standing where the actual shooter was standing. As such, he turns to the Hispanic woman, whom he calls Kat, and indicates she’d be the most useful to contaminate the crime scene. If she acts upset and hugs Isaiah’s dead body, the police probably won’t question it too much. She is reluctant, but he points out that he’ll pay her $1,000 and she gets to lie to the police (which he notes as a bonus for some reason). She is about to agree when the leather-clad man tells her not to take the deal. Clark, calling the man Fist, says this is not the time, but Fist suggests it’s the perfect time. After some back-and-forth, Clark says he’ll pay them each $2,500 if they go along with it. Fist and Kat finally agree. Clark says they can find Ninkasi tomorrow, and she’ll make sure they’re paid.

The police arrive. Everyone is separated and most are questioned for a long time before finally being released. Jones, on the other hand, takes a ride down to the precinct and calls Terrence Kozlowski. When they meet, Terry seems increasingly relieved that this case seems like a straightforward example of shooting in defense of a third party and Jones seems fairly responsible and relatively normal. Since Jones thinks Terry also seems pretty normal, he asks how he ended up amid all this; Terry says it’s a long story, but Clark saved him from something that looked like a lionfish made out of human hands. He is questioned much longer than the others, but police don’t incarcerate him and just tell him to stay in touch and not leave the city. He agrees. Terry recommends that Jones avoids work for a week and probably wants to stay somewhere else for that time, and they agree to keep in touch.

Meanwhile, Mabel ushers a shell-shocked Felicia and Leah to her car. As she’s driving away and sirens blare in the distance, Leah snaps out of her fugue to note that they’re driving away from her car, and she can’t leave her car there because then people might know she was at the American Café. Mabel asks if Leah wants her to turn the car around now that the parking lot is probably swarming with police officers. Leah reluctantly agrees. Mabel also notes she’s too drunk for this and asks Leah to get some mouthwash out of the glove box. She takes a swig, swishes, and spits it out of the window before replacing the bottle.

Since Felicia lives with Kevin and his roommate, and they live near Mabel’s house, she takes Leah home first. When they arrive, however, the lights in her house have been turned on, and her front door is ajar. Mabel keeps driving, and after some discussion, Leah decides to call her brother, Mel. Melker says he’ll be over, and recommends she call the police. She does.

The police arrive quickly and proceed to search the house. Once they are certain it’s safe, they escort Leah through the house to ensure nothing is missing. Apart from the lock being broken, the only thing missing is Old Hippie Tom’s pipe — no money, drugs, or anything else was stolen, further suggesting the perpetrator knew exactly where to look and only wanted one thing. She does not report this, however.

Once Melker arrives, she recounts what happened, omitting the bit about her pipe and the nightclub shooting, and reiterates that she’ll need to get a new door lock. He agrees and asks if she needs anything further or if she needs to stay at his place for the night; she says she’s going to call Bex. With that, he leaves. When the police officers say they’ll continue investigating and be in contact with her, she returns to Mabel’s car. She calls Bex and tells her about the night’s activities, and Bex says she can come over. As Mabel drives her to Bex’s house, she describes the pipe to Mabel, who indicates it sounds like Old Hippie Tom’s work — she knew him and Brian Lane back in the day, although the latter lives in Chicago now and tends not to come back to L.A. Too many bad memories. Leah says that Kevin thought the pipe was Tom’s work, and she asks who he is to foist something so awful on her. Mabel says that Tom’s pipes are usually made and given to people who would use them for controlled consciousness expansion; the guy who gave it to her probably did so unawares, or with his own nefarious intent. Leah asks if Tom might be able to track down his own pipes with sympathetic magick; Mabel doesn’t know, but says she can try to get in touch with him. She doesn’t know his number offhand, but she can track it down and give it to Leah tomorrow. Leah and Mabel exchange numbers.

Once Mabel pulls up to Bex’s house, she is about to get out when Felicia asks how cool Bex is about stuff. Leah assumes she means the occult underground at first, but Felicia just means in general. When Leah says she’s okay, Felicia divvies up some of the marijuana she purchased from Chiral Dharma earlier in the evening and gives it to her. Leah thanks her before going inside.

She proceeds to tell a very surprised Bex about the night’s excitement before they relax. They drink a little and smoke some of the weed; when she’s smoking, Leah is thinking about who might know where to find her father and Iggy, and she gets an image of The Dealer.

Once Kevin is done being questioned and briefly examined by medics, he heads for home. On the way, he notices several missed calls and texts; they only appear to be from two people, one of whom is Otis and the other is from an unrecognized number. When he checks his messages, the other appears to be from Felicia; both are informing him about a break-in, although Felicia is significantly more concerned about it, and leaves several messages wondering if he’s all right. He calls Otis and learns that the only thing the burglar disturbed was the broken surfboard in the corner. The only thing the invader apparently took was Leah’s poster that Kevin was examining. He notes that he’s glad he made copies and continues on his way home. Since he’s out and about, he buys a change of clothes before heading back to his house and going to sleep.

The next morning, Jones, Kevin, and Leah keep each other updated with a combination of calls and text messages. Leah calls Jones with the prospect of helping Bex get Leah’s car, but Bex notes she can just take the bus and get it on her own — a trifle unfortunate as Jones is starting to stir-crazy just sitting in his hotel room. Terry calls to see how he’s doing and to discuss rates and such; with nothing else to do, Jones heads to Terry’s office to take care of procedural business and ask for some additional advising. He notably asks if it would be all right to purchase another gun, as he doesn’t know when or if his will be returned from evidence, and while Terry suggests it’s a little untoward, he doesn’t see any problem with it. After leaving his office, Jones gets put on the ten-day waiting list for an XD .45.

Kevin, meanwhile, goes to B.S. Taqueria on 514 W 7th Street to keep his 10 AM appointment with Edna. She asks if he is familiar with H. J. Whitley, “the Father of Hollywood.” He is not, so she explains that he was a real estate developer who created the original Hollywoodland housing development that would later become Hollywood. After doing some digging, she managed to uncover his secret folio of urban planning designs. Like the lost Chicago Workings Folio of Daniel Burnham, it contains his layout and notes on sacred geometry, including the grid he planned for the city to allow access to the Otherspace Hollywoodland. She shows Kevin a picture on her smart phone to prove that she has access to this relic, although she warns him that she has it locked away and he won’t find it if he tries to pull anything funny on her. Other occult correspondences around Whitley are that he was a seventh son — she has not yet confirmed whether his father was also a seventh son — and that he lost all of his siblings to cholera, his parents to a buggy accident, and his first wife and child in a fire. Some occultists suggest this was a sacrifice to power his occult designs. Whatever the case, she is willing to trade for it. He can make a counter offer, but she has a lead on a print of the lost 1922 film One Glorious Day. It’s a five-reel Will Rogers vehicle with a plot similar to The Nutty Professor: a nebbishy academic becomes charming and accomplishes all the things he’s too shy to do. The difference is that he’s a spiritualist, and while he’s astrally projecting, he is possessed by a Viking ghost awaiting reincarnation; the ghost does all the things he is too timid to do while he is attempting to regain control of his body. Before Will Rogers was attached to star, however, Fatty Arbuckle was the lead. He was removed from the cast when his rape trial started — her sources suggest the Sleepers might have helped fabricate the claims to halt production on the film — but some filming was completed with him. Apparently, the original Arbuckle print had more overt mystical overtones and potentially occult correspondences hidden in the film. Her sources indicate that a print exists in the archives of one Chloris Rosa, more properly known as Brigid Ruskin, an old-school mystic and honest-to-God Rosicrucian who lives at 7922 Santa Ana Rd, Ventura, CA 93001. Edna hasn’t been able to get the old woman to sell, and she doesn’t care how Kevin retrieves the film, merely that she receives it. In return, she’ll give him the Whitley folio. However, he’ll need to make the decision soon, as her research suggests that factions are already aware of Kevin’s search for the Otherspaces and are beginning their own investigation — somehow the information has gotten out. Additionally, once the Los Angeles Rats learn that she has this folio, they’ll probably try to leverage her to sell it to them, “Possibly at gunpoint,” she says. She bets she can hang onto it for a week or two before people come calling, so he’ll have to give her an answer by then. He says he’ll think about it, and he thanks her and indicates he’ll be in touch.

When he talks to Jones later, he says he’ll probably pass — he doesn’t like the idea of antagonizing a big occult badass by stealing her artifacts — but Jones tells him to not let Edna know right away, as he wants to think about it.

In the morning, Leah receives a phone call from the American Dream, who suggest that she can always try gutter magick to get what she wants. In addition to that, Clark actually has some experience finding people, or if Leah prefers, she could try to speak with Jimmy lessthanthree Brenda. They give her contact information and she thanks them. Leah also receives a phone call from her lawyers who indicate they are trying to coordinate her family to meet with E! Entertainment. She says she should be free whenever the meeting is set.

After Bex acquires Leah’s car, she calls Clark, and they agree to meet at the Denny’s on 888 S Figueroa Street as soon as they can both arrive.

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