Hunters Hunted

The Pale Horse

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As the coterie began to prepare, the figure put his hands into his pockets and withdrew a single cigarette, and a match.  "So," he said quietly, though still easily heard, a strange combination, "are you my enemies?"

He lit the cigarette and then tossed the match to the ground.  It continued to burn.  Suddenly, Abaphomel took a long draw on the cigarette, and an impossible amount of gray smoke began to spew forth.  It ignited, filling the space surrounding them and weaving about in a threatening dance.

"How interesting."

The billowing smoke set to flame parted, and figures, shambling forces of undead, some wearing bits of clothing, began to surge into the crossroads toward the coterie.

"Sammy…?" came a voice out of the smoke.

"Bad day," was the stunted response.

It was another voice, darker, more sinister, yet set almost to music.  "Aren't you two just precious…"

"This is not the time, douchebag!"

"It's never the time for us, is it darling, never a kiss to send me to my rest, never a…" the voice seemed to take in the shambling force that was still growing.  "Right, well—"  several of the undead exploded as a red mist surged through them, then briefly coalesced into the form of a man in the black suit.  "Lovely time, boys.  Pleasure doing business with you."

As Abaphomel drew back his hands, and more of that sickly gray smoke billowed toward the form, he seemed to melt away an instant before the smoke could reach him.  The smoke seemed to grow fingers and features, some of them human bodies crying tearfully and in great pain, until they eventually morphed back into human-looking hands, and his bright blue eyes pierced the veil of smoke.

"A knight of hell should be treated with more respect!" he bellowed, rushing forward into the fray, as what remained of his forces moved with preternatural grace to scoop up rocks, stick, or whatever else they could lay their hands on to fight.

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The Men in Black

The cars hurtled toward Route 8, stopping in the path of the fallen angel Ariel, whose mistranslated name led to the death of the code hunters.  The larger than normal devil's trap lay across the crossroads in the path of the man on foot, and the party lay in wait as an unsuspecting farmer lit a cigarette and took a questioning look down his driveway toward the spectacle about to unfold.

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Land of the Lost
The Men in Black

There is a certain perfection in knowing you're completely screwed.

May held on as long as she could, as the glowing panels of her radio began to spark and ignite.  She threw out a hand as the shell of the old radio parted, and something exploded from the radio waves into her world.

Long had she sought the secrets in the numbers, and as she completed the last pattern, she made out a name.  A strange name compiled from numbers shared around the world since the Cold War, repeated enough times and in all the known languages until his return was certain.

May threw salt across the floor.  It cascaded across the devil trap she had carefully laid around the radio, and as the windows in the mobile home exploded she felt the prickling sting of a thousand shards of glass and salt penetrating her flesh.  "Damn!" she had time to exclaim before the room fell silent.  She blinked and looked around under her arm before peering up at the figure now standing in the center of the circle.

Testing his grip and craning his head, a swarthy man dressed in a slightly dated black suit with a red tie and an obsidian tie pin looked her over, his eyes resting down from their usual red—RED! she realized!—to an almost auburn-settlesand.  He would have been attractive if he weren't the most dangerous thing she'd ever seen.

"Hello, love," he said quietly.  "Allow me to express my confusion.  I started this journey when the Nazis were experimenting with spiritualism, and now here I am, even though they lost the damn war."  He stepped forward, pensively, then stopped at the edge of the circle.  "Ah.   Right, then.  You're a hunter."

She stepped forward and raised a silver spike she was carrying.  "That's right, asshole, and I know what you are!"  Her voice dripped with accusation, but the middle-aged man shook his head and lifted a finger, which he wagged teasing in front of her.  "Don't patronize me!  I don't want any of your deals!"

"Oh," the demon replied, "well, that's good, because—" he dropped his hand, and a beam from the mobile home ripped loose and stabbed through the floor, piercing her and the circle.  She gasped in surprise before life left her as he strode out the door, "—I don't intend to make any."


Derelict in the Desert
The Men in Black

A car stopped along the highway.  

Two men got out, and advanced on the trucks discarded at the Park and Ride along the old US Highway.  It was dusk, and there were dustdevils blowing about the lot and across the desert floor.  They looked at one another, one nodding without speaking, as that fleeting glance exchanged an entire conversation of information.

They advanced on the vehicles, looking them over carefully.  Testing the doors, one of them was naturally unlocked.  That's just the way random causality works.  It's always unlocked—just like they always have one bullet left.

After five minutes of scrubbing the vehicles one turned to the other and said, deadpan, "They got out."

The other closed his eyes and chuckled, shaking his head.  "You know I hated the Matrix, right?" he asked.  His companion grinned before grabbing up a cellphone and sending a text.  "We impounding these?"

"No," his partner replied.  "They left these here intending to come back."


Driving Miss Maisie
Radio Silence.... Part 2

May Lynn is the newest victim of the Numbers.

Searching the radio transmitter, the crew discovered a devil's trap—now broken by the party's efforts to uncover the truth.  Now the power controlling the Numbers is out, and May is in mortal danger.

In an attempt to reach her as quickly as possible five states away, the crew tries to travel directly to the reservation in the Dakotas, where vehicles have already been arranged.  The old trucks are traded out for a 1978 Dart, and a 1969 Falcon, sleepers built for hunters, and a new arsenal makes everything seem easier…. for now.

Coyote Pile
Sometimes the joke is better the second time...

The realization that Daniel was up to no good, potentially to the detriment of the whole community, has led Tryste to lead a sojourn to the new coyote pack that just moved back to the Rez.

The Name and the Time of the Coming

The new priest Daniel has been calling for something unspeakable since he saw an act of true magick.  Jerry, fearing he was about to lose his young love and her child, performed a feat and saved them both, and Daniel hasn't let them into the church since.

Worse, Daniel has started prayer to something that has answered apparently, and it's not angelic, and it's not friendly.  Yet no one has died, no one seems to know anything about it, and no one is particularly upset by the new priest or his behavior toward Jerry or his young pregnant wife.

On Flaming Wings
"Terror and Darkness"

Radio and the internet…. powered by the gods?

Lara was the goddess of communication, also called the Babbler until her tongue was cut out by Jupiter.  It didn't work.  Instead, this act gave us the Etruscan goddess Mania, and the Lares.

The Lares lost their tongues and were said to cast their voices in the wind, and were responsible for keeping secrets.  Venerated as protection gods for the home, there were at least a couple of statues in every Etruscan home.

At least one of these statues would hold a tray that would contain offerings or gifts.

Is it a tulpa?
(It's never a tulpa...)

A tulpa becomes the doom of its host, not necessarily even to kill them—just to see them suffer and absorb it. People fear the end of the world universally.

The Maelstrom is buzzing: the next prediction is a massive earthquake on the west coast; and Demons can't cash in on the dead.

"Oh, honey, they're here!"
Thoth and Friends

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