Saturday, February 12, 2011
A few minutes pass before Felicia, Jane, Jones, Kevin, Leah, and Otis spot Willett’s car returning. When she steps out of the car, she notes that she forgot something, and is trying to avoid writing anything down. She asks if Jones is part of a gym — he is not — and she recommends joining Hollywood Gym (1551 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028) as it’s a twenty-four hour gym and would therefore make an excellent dead drop location. She gives Jones a combination padlock and tells him the combination is “28-13-24,” and that he should practice it a couple of times to memorize it before she reclaims it. When she determines the locker number, she’ll text it to him. Jones asks if it’s a nasty gym, but Willett explains that it’s fine, it’s just out of the way. Once Jones is comfortable with the combination, Willett leaves again.
Jones and Jane go for a twenty-minute walk around the property, while Kevin goes to see what’s happening with Chief Bug. Shortly thereafter, the group gets back in their cars and heads back to L.A. The rest of the day is relatively quiet; Jones sleeps, but gets a membership to the Hollywood Gym before he heads to work. Kevin lets Jane and Leah know that he’ll probably fire up the grill tonight; Jane comes over, as does Mabel.
Sunday, Jones receives a text on the burner phone reading “#108.” Kevin looks to see if there is any sort of volunteer work he could do to help the city’s flow, but there isn’t anything substantial enough for him to use. Leah continues auction preparations.
Jones goes to Hollywood Gym on Monday and checks locker #108. Inside is a gym bag, containing a typewritten note indicating these things are from their mutual friend from the other day. This is accompanied by several pages of typed notes written on an old typewriter describing two rituals — one to construct the mirror Aaron Diaz used, and the other allowing the ritualist to detect enchantments placed upon him or her. Otherwise, the day proceeds quietly for everyone.
On the morning of Tuesday, February 15, Kevin reports to the Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse in Long Beach. Kevin is called before the Hon. Ross M. Klein, a Caucasian man in probably his fifties or sixties. Klein notes that in his eighteen years as a public defender before ascending to the bench, he never quite saw anything like this. Kevin puts in a guilty plea, receives a $50 fine, and an admonishment to never return to Klein’s court again. Otherwise, the day proceeds quietly for all involved.
Around noon on Wednesday, Jones, Kevin, and Leah all meet The Voice at a local Starbucks to discuss terms. Kevin again expresses his interest in learning what the King’s Court knows about the holes. The Voice indicates that his understanding was that Kevin would want to investigate the Whitley Folio, and in exchange, might be willing to investigate the Otherspace beyond on behalf of the King’s Court. Kevin now indicates that he would rather be his own man and do something more freelance for the King’s Court, and The Voice retorts that if the Court has the Whitley Folio, it sounds as though it may contain all information they require about the Otherspace beyond, so why do they need Kevin? Kevin notes that he has a more intuitive grasp of the holes, but The Voice asks why he wants to see the Folio if he has all he needs? Additionally, since The Voice is literally the King’s messenger and beholden to tell the truth, he is not necessarily the man to ask about these matters, as he doesn’t even know if the Whitley Folio is in the Court’s possession. The cabal probably wants to talk to The Dealer, although they seem averse to doing so. After a bit of this back-and-forth, Jones interrupts, noting that it sounds like they need to find more information, and thanking The Voice for his time. They leave, and The Voice chuckles as they do so.
After leaving, they discuss these proceedings, and Kevin remarks that The Dealer has three objects: the pipe, the map, and the Whitley Folio. As it sounds like they now have to deal with The Dealer, they discuss that avenue. After a significant amount of back-and-forth regarding how each entity in the Court operates and whether or not they’re independent, they decide to contact The Dealer. Kevin calls The Voice, and indicates they need to talk to The Dealer. The Voice recommends that Kevin talks to The Dealer on stronger negotiating terms than he did with The Voice, and that Kevin figures out a time. They all eventually decide on 10 AM Friday, and The Voice says he’ll contact The Dealer and see if that works. The trio then discusses how they should negotiate this. During this discussion, The Voice calls and interrupts, indicating that The Dealer can meet at Kevin’s house at 10 AM on Friday.
Afterward, discussion continues, with Jones and Leah trying to get at the essence of what Kevin wants out of these negotiations. Leah gives him a primer on haggling, and they decide he should probably go for ownership first so that he can haggle down to at least a day’s access. Ultimately, it will probably come down to an impromptu agreement at the negotiation table, depending on whatever people are willing to give at the time. Eventually, everyone takes their leave, figuring they’ll see each other on Friday.
Once Jones is at work, a creeping realization over the past week and a half finds purchase as he realizes that the few people who met Jane at Dan’s Superbowl party don’t agree on what Jane resembles; he’s overheard people having disagreements about whether she resembles Salma Hayek, Mariah Carey, or Jennifer Tilly in the same conversation. When he has a break, Jones calls Leah to ask what Jane looks like. Leah remarks that she has a bit of an Eva Green thing happening — curvy, big eyes, pale, dark hair. Jones notes that she appears to look different to everybody, and so Leah asks the relevant question: how does she appear to Jones? He’d say that she appears similar to how Leah described her, but blonde.
On Friday, February 18, Jones, Kevin, and Leah are all gathered at Kevin’s house when The Voice knocks on the door. He asks if they would want to ride with The Dealer, or if he should enter Kevin’s house; the trio asks that The Dealer enters. The Dealer, flanked by two suited-guards, enters, as does The Voice. Three of them decline coffee, although The Voice accepts a cup. Kevin indicates that he wants access to the Whitley Folio, and he is probably the only person who can use it. The Dealer retorts that, assuming he does have the Folio, he would have had it for several weeks and may not need Kevin. Jones notes that The Dealer clearly doesn’t know about the open holes to other dimensions. They deign to show him, trekking up the beach to show him the cave to another dimension. Kevin and one of The Dealer’s goons go into the cave until they can see the beach on the opposite side. They return and the suited man reports to The Dealer what he saw. Jones and Kevin note that this portal could cause big trouble for the King of Scales, although The Dealer notes that it sounds like a problem for the Sleepers. They retort that marauders from other dimensions are assuredly the King’s problem, and since Kevin might be the only person to sense them before they become trouble, it’s probably worth assisting him. The Dealer says he’ll have to do more research before returning to the negotiating table, and so they trudge back up the beach toward Kevin’s house.
On the way back to Kevin’s house Leah tells The Dealer that the auction will be on March 6 at Bonhams & Butterfields auction house. The Dealer notes that Edna will be attending the auction in his stead. He leaves.
Jones, Kevin, and Leah head back into Kevin’s house and are discussing the proceedings. Jones asks Kevin if he can find him a fish tank, but that conversation is interrupted by a knock at the door. Kevin peeks to see a well-dressed Hispanic man, holding a smartphone. After a brief discussion, Kevin opens the door and the man flashes a badge indicating he is Lawrence Torres, an agent of Homeland Security with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Jones also recognizes that he is currently fiddling with the GNOMON app on his phone. As such, Jones asks to see his badge, saying you hear about all sorts of scams these days. He then notes that he’s spent some time on the GNOMON app — Torres’ demeanor changes to one of recognition, and perhaps, a bit more ease until Jones continues that he hasn’t been able to get it; he thinks it’s an art project? Torres demeanor again changes, and he dismisses the previous thought, returning to his more professional demeanor. He minimizes the GNOMON app. Jones then heads into Kevin’s bedroom while Torres asks Kevin about the shootout on the beach.
Kevin notes that somebody broke into the house, and left while he was trying to call 911. Torres asks for details, determining by description that the man matches the description of the composite sketch of the man wanted for questioning. Is this the same man? Kevin answers affirmatively. Torres then asks if there was a police report filed, and Kevin says they should have it. He also asks if Leah was present on that evening, and she says she was not. Kevin asks for a business card, which Torres freely gives. Then Agent Torres then thanks them and goes on his way.
Meanwhile, Jones is texting with Willett, letting her know Lawrence Torres with ICE is here. She says she knows him, asks if they need help, and Jones asks if Torres is aware of the occult underground. She says he’s not, and Jones says that may not be accurate, so she calls him. Jones tells her that Torres dropped a thumbdrive leading him to Jimmy Morgan’s sister. He was also on a weird website that Jones was led to visit through mojo channels, and he doesn’t know if it compromises or mind controls people. He tells her about GNOMON, telling her that she should be very careful while investigating it in case it causes some manner of mind control.
Kevin holds up a note for Jones indicating that he told Torres what he told Willett. That leads to the revelation that Kevin mentioned a police report when none was filed; Willett just had the composite sketch done as a potential person of interest, and Kevin gave his testimony anonymously, and the fact that this person broke into his house was left out of the official record. Willett says she has some things to research, and she’ll handle any inconsistencies in the record.
Jones and Kevin then spend several minutes trying to get the story straight in case ICE comes back around again. Once they determine they probably need to wait for whatever Willett does, they depart.
On Saturday, Jones takes Jane up to the commune for the morning to picnic and walk around before he has to go to work in the afternoon. The rest of the weekend is comparatively quiet.
Monday morning, Kevin receives a call from The Voice asking when he would be free to meet with The Dealer. After conferring with his associates, he calls back indicating Tuesday afternoon at his house would be optimal.
Tuesday, February 22, Jones, Kevin, and Leah are all present when The Dealer and two of his suited guards arrive. He indicates his associates tell him there are currently two open gates in the city, and The Dealer suspects Kevin is well aware of the second open gateway. He wants to know why he should deal with this cabal when he suspects the gates can be closed with sufficient ritual action; he also wonders why it sounds like he’s cleaning up their mess. But he finally comes to the idea that he’ll let Kevin look at the Whitley Folio for a day if Kevin is willing to give a taste of his ability to traverse the holes. The group initially seems to misunderstand this — does he want a description of what exists in the Otherspaces or a peek of what’s in these Otherspaces? — but The Dealer explains that he can take a small parcel of Kevin’s knowledge and ability to traverse the mystical grid around Los Angeles. They counter with potentially giving glimpses or memories of what lurks in the Otherspaces, but The Dealer explains that if there are no important resources therein, and the only goal is to close them, why does he need to know what’s inside? They note that it seems unfair for Kevin to only get a glimpse of the book whereas The Dealer picks up a skill forever, so Kevin counters that he can hold onto the skill for as long as Kevin can look at the book. The Dealer accepts, and they shake on it.