Orpheus: The Taste of Ashes - Missions - Mission005

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Dramatis Personae

Protagonists

  • Frank, Unknown Shade
  • Craig Forrest, Haunter (Ghost)
  • Annie Harper, Unknown Shade (Ghost)
  • Tom Knox, Haunter
  • Teresa Reilly, Banshee

Supporting Characters

Orpheus

  • Andrew Green, accountant
  • Shelley Jackson, Haunter
  • Jerome, an accountant
  • Martin, a bodyguard
  • Matthew Peterson, manager
  • Alex Pretorius, Skinrider
  • Jack Tilton, head of the leadership team
  • Zoë Vitt, Poltergeist
  • Various Beta crucible members
  • A babysitter
  • All of the on-site staff (projectors and non-projectors)

Other

  • Callahan, police officer
  • Marcus N’Kejeda, Skinrider?
  • Jesse Osario, FBI agent
  • A Reaper-class spectre
  • A truck driver
  • NextWorld agents (projectors and non-projectors)
  • Various other spectres


Happy New Year

A couple of weeks or so after the Reaper engagement -- the night before New Year’s Eve, as a matter of fact -- Tom and Teresa have just finished coppertopping for the day when they receive a call from Matthew. He seems quite stressed, and asks them to come to his office right away. (It’s well after 5.30pm, and it’s quite unusual for him to be still in the building at this time, let alone for him to request a meeting.) He tells them that they are needed for an urgent mission. It seems that Zoë was critically injured while performing some routine reconnaissance in Portland, Oregon. She was scouting out possible locations for a new Orpheus headquarters out that way, when her body suddenly broke out in wounds. Her babysitter took her to the nearest hospital, where she’s currently in intensive care, and then called Orpheus. She’s unconscious and in critical condition, so they don’t even know if she’s back in her body yet. Matthew wants Tom and Teresa to fly out there immediately. He apologises for doing this to them -- especially given the date -- but it’s necessary. He’s already booked them on the next flight out, and tells them to go straight to the airport. They are to buy anything they need (clothes, toiletries, etc.), and claim the expenses back later. A bodyguard will be going with them.

In a very short space of time, the two investigators and their bodyguard (a man named Martin) are on their way to Portland. Teresa dozes on the flight over, and as she does so she dreams. She is lying on the ground. There is pain, and screaming, and whichever way she turns her head there are bodies. Some are writhing, some are still; some are in pieces. She looks down, and sees that half of one leg is missing, blood pouring from her stump. Jolted awake, she finds Kate and Annie just as disturbed as herself. She doesn’t need Kate to tell her that was a Forboding. There is something more than that, though. Kate says: “I don’t know if that was yours… or mine.”

Arriving in Portland, they pick up their hire-car (a people-carrier, actually) and head straight to the hospital, where they meet up with Zoë’s bodyguard. He tells them that she’s stable, but still unconscious as far as he knows. He hasn’t been allowed in to see her yet. Teresa speaks with one of the doctors, who tells her that Zoë is stable, and has just regained consciousness. She is still sleeping a great deal, however, and is in no condition to be up and around. Teresa manages to persuade the doctors to let them have a few minutes with Zoë, on the understanding that they don’t distress or agitate her. Zoë is more or less awake when they enter, so they ask her what happened.

Zoë tells them that she was poking around in Portland when she heard a loud bang, and felt the ground shake. None of the mundanes seemed to notice anything, so she went to investigate. It seemed to come from Powells’ City of Books. When she got close, she noticed a kind of haze surrounding the building. As with the sound and tremor, this seemed to be purely a spiritual, rather than a physical, phenomenon. It reminded her a little of the storm surrounding Chains, but not as strong. Pushing through it, she searched Powells for a possible source of the haze and the bang, but the only thing she found was what looked like a stone tablet lying on the floor of the map room. The interesting thing about it was that people were walking straight through it. Also, even though she had de-materialised, she was able to touch it. She had just picked it up (with the intention of taking it back with her) when two spectres jumped her. One of them was about ten feet tall and looked like a centaur, but with wicked claws that sliced her to ribbons. She didn’t really see what the other looked like, as she ripcorded back to her body. They know the rest.

She is exhausted by that point, so they leave her to sleep. Martin stays to keep watch over her whilst the other guard accompanies them to their motel to rest. Tom and Teresa do some research on the area around Powells. There was a multiple murder that day (believed to be drug-related), but that happened after Zoë’s little excursion. There is nothing else that seems relevant. After planning an expedition to Powells for the following morning, they call it a night. Teresa dreams again, this time of being trapped in her own body as someone or something else puppets it along a corridor. Again, it feels like a Forboding, and again, they can’t tell whether it belongs to Teresa or to Kate. Either way, it’s worrying.

The next morning, the guards trade-off again and Martin drives the projectors into Portland. They stop en route to purchase a couple of camp-beds, and then pull into Powells’ car park. Setting up the camp beds, Tom and Teresa stretch out and step out of their bodies. They can see the haze that Zoë spoke of, but it doesn’t really seem to impede them. The other thing they notice is that there seems to be an odd tension in the air. It seems to be making everyone irritable and out of sorts. They search the building, but see no sign of any spectres. They do find the tablet, however, exactly as Zoë described. It has some kind of inscription on it, but it’s hard to make out. Watching through Teresa’s eyes, Annie notes that it looks like Latin, but it is covered in a layer of dust. The dust also seems to be gauze rather than matter, as Teresa starts to brush it away. Annie immediately orders her to stop, however, lest she damage it. She says that they should bring it to Orpheus where she can examine it properly. Teresa mentions the idea to Tom -- without saying where it came from, of course -- and he agrees.

As they take the tablet, they notice something odd. Somewhere near the ceiling, more or less directly above where the tablet lay, there seems to be some kind of disturbance, possibly a weak point. It reminds them a little of the where the Reaper came through. They don’t really want to hang around to examine it at the moment, however, (and there isn’t an easy way to get up there), so they head back to the car park, and their bodies. Teresa remains in gauze form to hang onto the tablet, getting back into her body once she’s deposited it in the motel room. They contact Matthew, who agrees that they should being it back to Orpheus. As the flight’s only a couple of hours, they decide that Teresa will project and carry it to New York on the next flight. Kate will meet her at JFK to take it off her hands, and she’ll simply ripcord once she’s handed it over. It’s all quite straightforward, and everything goes to plan right up until the explosion.

[Note: Annie Harper and Craig Forrest are PCs for this next part. They are played by Teresa’s and Tom’s players, respectively.]

Back at the Orpheus building, the New Year’s Eve party rolls around. All bar a handful of the onsite staff are attending. (Three -- Tom, Teresa and Zoë -- are out of state, four are in the tanks for an active mission and Shelley isn’t one for parties. Pretty much everyone else -- projectors and otherwise -- shows up at some point, though.) It is being held in the ballroom on the first floor (or second floor, since it’s in the US), where tables have been set up with plenty of food and drink. The event kicks off at around seven thirty, with a speech by Jack Tilton (the head of the leadership team). This mainly consists of congratulating everyone for another successful year. It’s a relatively short speech, and he concludes by urging everyone to eat, drink, dance and be merry.

Annie, who is not much of a party person, stays for a little while and then heads off to her office. Frank works the room, getting to know various important people and generally schmoozing. He pays particular attention to the medical staff, with a view to eventually seeing if they know anything more about the chips in the skimmers’ brains. Craig manifests and mingles with the crowd (he isn’t on duty this evening). As he’s chatting with a group of people, he notices something a little off about one of them: an accountant called Jerome. The man is acting a lot more formal than usual, and his body language doesn’t seem quite right. Craig notices that he’s wearing an earpiece, but as far as he knows, Jerome doesn’t generally wear a hearing aid. He asks Jerome about it, but the man just shrugs and says he doesn’t usually wear it because of vanity. Something about that doesn’t ring true, however. Craig takes his leave moves away through the crowd, circling back around to come out a little way behind Jerome. As soon as he’s close enough to see it, he Inhabits the ear piece. Much as he suspected, it isn’t a hearing aid but a receiver. There’s a broadcast coming over it at the moment -- an angry man’s voice saying “God damn it; she’s finally getting into position!” At that point, Jerome says: “Fuck, I’ve been made!” And then he explodes.

Craig takes some damage as the earpiece he was Inhabiting suddenly vaporises. When the dust clears, he can see dead and dying people strewn around the ballroom. Jerome and everyone near him have been blown to pieces: it looks like he was carrying explosives packed with ball-bearings. Standing in Jerome’s place is a spook whom Craig recognises: a former Orpheus employee. Jamal Karabey -- a skimmer -- was one of the first projectors to join Orpheus, and would likely have become a member of alpha crucible if he had remained with them. He never got the chance, as he was let him go “for ethical reasons”. Jamal disappears before Craig can react, possibly using Storm Wending. Frank manages to avoid injury, and looks around the room trying to work out what happened and what he can do.

Annie hears the explosion from down in her office. Telling Kate and Teresa that it seems to be within the Orpheus building -- they hear it through the mental link -- and heads towards it. Her office is on the third basement level, along with the labs, the medical facility, the cradles and the security room. (There are two main security rooms inside the Orpheus building: this one and one on the second floor aboveground. Although both of can receive all camera and sensor feeds, they tend to focus on the signal from the basement and aboveground facilities, respectively. Security is much tighter belowground than aboveground.) As she’s hurrying through the corridor, she spots a non-projector security guard running the other way, towards the belowground security room. Much to her surprise, the security guard also sees her, automatically moving around her as they pass. As the realisation of what this means hits both of them, the guard stops and turns back, swearing. She is carrying a large canvas bag. Figuring that this can’t be a good thing (especially in light of Teresa and Kate’s vision of someone being Puppeted down a corridor) Annie decides to try to stop her. Manifesting, she uses Flesh Flux to split her arms into a mass of writhing tentacles and wraps them around the guard. The guard swears profusely and then explodes. Annie’s gauze is shredded by the blast, but she pulls herself back together with an effort of will. A blonde woman -- another spook -- is standing where the security guard was, but she disappears before Annie can do anything.

All the projectors in the building sense four spikes or pulses of energy that happen within moments of each other. It feels like someone is -- or, four people are -- expending large amounts of vitality, and the timing means it’s likely to be a part of the attack. Craig Inhabits a telephone and calls the second floor security room to let them know what’s happening. (They must have heard the explosion, but it’s important that they also know the rest of it.) Unfortunately, the telephone system (or possibly the whole building -- it’s hard to say) is already occupied. The Inhabitant says: “I’m sorry; this line doesn’t seem to be connected at the moment” and then laughs. Craig exits the system and heads up to the security room in person to find a scene of carnage. All but one of the guards are dead, apparently torn apart by automatic weapons fire. The remaining guard -- Tyler Ford -- is holding a submachine gun. Craig uses Puppetry to possess him and drive out the resident spook. Although he could swear that Tyler’s body doesn’t move, the man abruptly explodes. In the brief moment or so before he does so, Craig can feel that there’s something -- wires? -- inserted into the skin of his back. When the dust clears, he has time to get a brief look at the Puppeteer -- a skinny, good-looking Caucasian man he doesn’t recognise -- and then the spook attacks him. After a hard-fought battle, he damages the spook enough that he decides he’s had enough and blinks out of there. (It looks like he has Storm Wending as well as Puppetry.)

Annie is about to head to the ballroom again when she hears gunshots from the direction of the cradles. Hurrying down there, she sees the facilities manager unloading a shotgun into one cradle after another. Remembering Teresa’s little trick with Wail (when facing Not-Gwynneth in Chains’ VIP room), she Inhabits the explosives she suspects are there (based on her experience with the security guard) and channels her rage and fear to make them not work. The man is indeed rigged to blow, and she can feel the system corroding and failing as she fills it with what feels like pure entropy. When she’s as certain as she can be that the man isn’t going to explode, she jumps to the shotgun and repeats the trick. Unfortunately for the facilities manager, the effect hits as he’s about to fire again. The gun backfires, blowing his hand to pieces. He falls to the floor as a projector steps out of his body. Annie recognises the spook: it’s Marcus N’Kejeda, the NextWorld operative who carried out the assassinations at Magnox Computing. Knowing just how scary this man is, she turns and runs, climbing straight up through the walls and ceilings. She hopes that there isn’t anything further he can do to whoever might still be alive in the cradles…

An alarm sounds and the emergency doors start to come down: the Orpheus building goes into full lockdown mode. The doors to the ballroom seal themselves, trapping most of the partygoers (some have managed to get out) inside. Someone attempts to break one of the windows and jump out, but is immediately cut down with a hail of machine gun fire. Those who had managed to drag themselves to their feet hit the ground again. Frank hides himself in a dark corner behind some debris and then projects. Heading out into the corridor, he sees the door to the stair well open and two figures emerge through it. The door closes behind them. The figures are men in full tactical armour with guns. They don’t seem to see Frank, so they are presumably not spooks. They move towards the ballroom as if they know exactly where they are going. When they get there, they open the door and toss in a flash-bang grenade each, quickly closing the door again afterwards. There are a couple of bangs as the grenades go off, and after a few seconds they open the door again and head in, guns at the ready and moving like professional soldiers. Frank uses his illusion horror to make the lead operative think that the second has fired at him. Apparently moving on instinct, he turns around and shoots his comrade. (Presumably, he also knows about Skinriders, so this isn’t necessarily an unreasonable response.) Without much of a pause, he faces back into the ballroom and opens up with his submachine gun.

Frank tries to incapacitate the gunman with the illusion of pain, but he just seems to shrug it off. At this point, Annie arrives. Marcus doesn’t seem to be pursuing her. Taking stock of the scene, she manifests as a monkey, sneaks up behind the soldier and pulls the pin out of one of the grenades. He goes boom just as she manages to dive behind cover. In the security room, Craig hears the explosion and comes running, arriving just as Annie shifts back into her usual form. Several members of Beta Crucible -- including Alex Pretorius -- take the opportunity to grab the soldiers’ weapons and secure the room, and then discuss their options with the other three. Annie and Craig fill them in on their encounters, and Alex swears profusely at the confirmation of NextWorld’s presence. He suggests that the best course of action for the corporeal ones among them is to hole up in the ballroom until the police arrive. Given the explosions and gunfire, it seems eminently reasonable to assume that they will be showing up at some point. There’s a good chance NextWorld will withdraw when that happens. They’re just starting to seal the room again, when something completely unexpected happens: spectres show up.

The world around them tenses and then splits open, the resulting shockwave like the ringing of a giant bell. A cloud of darkness oozes through the crack, flowing around the room. Wherever it touches, newly-forming ghosts simply vanish as if they had never been. This is something that none of them have ever seen before, or even heard of. Just as they’re starting to react to this, two more spectres appear. (The tears they make are much smaller than the one made by the darkness, and don’t cause reality to tremble in shock. The ability to make ‘portals’ like this seems to be quite common among the more powerful spectres, and seems to be their equivalent of the Horror Storm Wending. Such portals vanish once the entity has stepped through.) The new arrivals consist of a burning man and a man-sized hound made of razor-blades; a Frightener and a Fetch. (Frighteners are believed to cause death in a manner identical to that of their own. Fetches are just big and scary and eat anything that moves.) This could get very nasty.

Annie panics and flees the scene. Spectres usually ignore spooks with high vitality, so Frank is probably okay. Craig is a little low, and so would probably attract their attention, but he doesn’t stay out in the open to find out. He Inhabits one of the many pieces of debris that’s scattered around the place. Annie (who, what with being shredded once already, has used most of her energy by now) might as well have a big fat target painted on her chest. Besides, she has more to fear from spectres than most. Hoping they haven’t noticed her yet, she turns and runs for it. Back in the ballroom, the Flames start leaping from the Frightener, setting some of the debris alight. The Fetch starts to shred some of the new ghosts that haven’t yet been taken by the darkness. Some of the NextWorld projectors appear… And are completely ignored by the spectres. Neither do the spooks show any surprise at the sight. It’s as if they are in league with them, but that’s not possible… Is it?

Meanwhile, Annie is dashing through the corridors in the vague direction of her office, not paying much heed to where she’s going. Suddenly, she catches sight of a little girl, just standing there. The sight is so incongruous that it stops her dead. Before she can do or say anything, however, another spook dives out of the wall and knocks her to the ground: it’s the blonde woman from earlier. “Got you, you bitch,” she snarls. It seems that she’s after revenge for being stopped before she could reach her target. She’s a skilled fighter, and she catches her opponent completely off-guard and already low on vitality: she’s wiping the floor with Annie. It looks like it might all be over, but the little girl steps towards them. “Leave her alone,” she says, in her high, child’s voice. The blonde woman ignores her, so she makes a small gesture with one little hand and Annie’s attacker is simply torn apart. Holding that same hand out to Annie, she speaks again: “Come with me.” And Annie does; she can’t help herself. The girl -- the spectre -- is using some sort of horror akin to Unearthly Repose. Annie walks towards her and takes the outstretched hand, aware of what’s happening but unable to do anything about it. Reality splits apart, and the girl leads Annie through the rip. Kate and Teresa hear Annie scream, once, and then the sound is abruptly cut off: they can’t hear her any more.

[Note: Teresa and Tom are PCs again from this point onwards.]

Teresa is still on the plane back to JFK airport, carrying the tablet she and Tom retrieved from Powells City of Books in Portland. Kate and Chet were waiting at the other end to take it off her hands. The attack begins when she is only a couple of hours into the flight.

As soon as Teresa, Kate and Annie realise that the explosion and sounds of gunfire are in the Orpheus building (as opposed to at JFK or on the plane -- the mental link can occasionally lead to some confusion about which of the three of them is experiencing what), Kate tells Chet that something bad is happening back at headquarters and they need to leave. Chet is used to Kate’s Forbode visions, so he doesn’t question how she knows this. They start to head back to the Orpheus building.

While they’re en route, Chet calls Tom, who is keeping watch over Teresa’s body in the hotel in Portland. He tells him that Orpheus is under attack by NextWorld, and they need him and Teresa to come back right away. He also instructs him to get Zoë out of the hospital and into another one -- preferably a backstreet clinic, or somewhere else under the radar -- under an assumed name. If NextWorld are determined to take them all out, they might come after her as well, and she’s pretty much helpless at the moment. When Chet hangs up, Tom books himself, Teresa and their bodyguard on the next flight to JFK. He manages to locate a backstreet clinic that will take Zoë in with no questions asked. Between them, he and the babysitter get her out of the hospital and to the clinic, where they check her in under the name ‘Susan Sarandon’. The babysitter remains with her.

Back at Orpheus headquarters, there is another explosion -- or possibly a number of explosions very close together -- and the building shudders, collapsing in on itself. (It seems that load-bearing structures have been taken out, presumably with just this intent.) Despite the gunfire from outside, people start fleeing the burning, collapsed building. The shots stop at around this point, and the emergency services turn up. People are milling around outside, looking rather shell-shocked. Frank re-enters his body and joins them. Within the crowd, he sees the gauze forms of a few sleepers that he knows are in the tanks at the moment. (Presumably this means either that destroying the body of a sleeper doesn’t affect them as it would a skimmer, or their bodies have somehow survived the building’s collapse.) There are no projecting skimmers that he can see.

The police are taking charge of the situation, trying to establish what happened. The injured -- and quite a high proportion of the survivors fall into that category -- are directed to the paramedics. Fire-fighters tackle the burning remains of the building. All in all, the situation seems to be getting under control. It’s at about that point that two spooks emerge from the office-block across the street. Frank doesn’t recognise them, which means that they’re not Orpheus. (Orpheus only has -- had -- about thirty projectors in total.) So, they’re probably skimmers and they’re almost certainly connected with the attack. Some of the other Orpheus spooks start to notice the newcomers. One of them smiles nastily and waves at the audience. Moving towards one of the police officers, he abruptly dives into the man (Puppetry). The other spook extends silver cords from his hands (Helter Skelter), which he uses to pick up some debris and throw it at the possessed cop. Shouting “They’re attacking us!”, the puppet draws his weapon and opens fire on the crowd. They run and scream whilst the other one continues to throw rubble. Other police officers are now starting to draw their guns, and one or two of them are also opening fire in response to what they perceive as an attack by one or more of the Orpheus employees. This is starting to turn very messy.

Frank ducks across the road to take cover in the building that the spooks emerged from. The place smells heavily of cordite, and he thinks this is probably where they fired on the Orpheus headquarters from. He gives the place a cursory search, mainly hoping to find the spooks’ bodies, but there’s nothing there. It looks like they cleared out not long before, and they obviously cleaned up after themselves. There aren’t even any casings on the ground. The smell of cordite is the only real sign that they were there at all. The downside of the place being empty is that he can’t deal with the hostile spooks outside by targeting their bodies. The upside is that it’s reasonably safe for him to project from here, and then he can actually do something. Ensconcing his body safely in a corner on the second floor, he projects and considers what to do. He decides to try to get rid of the spook throwing rubble first, on the grounds that the puppet will have to stop firing without the excuse of an attack. (Assuming that the spook cares about not drawing attention, of course.) Reasoning that the appearance of a spectre might scare him off, he forms an illusion of the dark cloud that ate newly forming ghosts (and some projectors) in the ballroom. The spook ignores it at first, but then it heads straight towards him. Looking somewhat startled, he ripcords out. The possessed cop looks confused, but stops shooting when the others do.

People -- well, those that can -- continue to run and scream for a little while, but eventually the police manage to calm them down. Every embodied Orpheus projector has now disappeared from the scene, having used the confusion as cover. Frank returns to his body, but remains concealed in the building, watching. He doesn’t know if the cop is still possessed, or if the puppeteer bugged out when his buddy did. It’s difficult to keep track of him through all the confusion. After a short while, FBI vans roll up and disgorge a scad of agents. Frank recognises the man in charge: a man named Jesse Osario. Jesse has a reputation as a man who never gives up, and he is known to have something of a bee in his bonnet about Orpheus. All in all, it’s not exactly a surprise that he should turn up here. Jesse finds the officer in charge -- not the possessed one; a man named Callahan who Frank recognises -- and the two of them have a brief, heated discussion which ends when the FBI agent pulls out his mobile phone. He dials, says something and then passes the handset over to Callahan. After listening for a short while, Callahan hands it back with an expression of disgust. Frank surmises that the FBI have been granted jurisdiction here, presumably by labelling it an act of terrorism.

As Kate and Chet get closer to the Orpheus building, they see start to see emergency vehicles and cars marked with “FBI” all heading in that direction. The police are in the process of setting up a cordon around the area. Kate’s “Forebode vision” has ended -- that is, now Annie isn’t there anymore, she doesn’t have any way of seeing what’s happening -- so Chet rings around, trying to get hold of someone who can tell him what’s going on. Unsurprisingly, an awful lot of people aren’t picking up their phones. The few he does manage to get hold of have all fled the scene by this point, so they can’t tell him much beyond what he already knows. From the little they do know -- sounds of gunfire after the police showed up, for instance -- he decides against advising people to return to the scene. Instead, he decides it’s better to regroup at his ranch, and directs everyone he manages to get hold of to meet there. (This is a little way out of town, and doubles as a weapons and combat training facility for those Orpheus members who are so inclined.) Eventually, he gets hold of Frank.

Frank is still holed up in the office block over the road from the Orpheus building, watching. Ambulances start to leave, carrying away the wounded and the dead. Everyone else is rounded up and taken in for questioning. They’re being treated like suspects, rather than victims. Something seems a little off about the whole thing, although it could just be the fact that someone apparently attacked the police. It’s hard to say. Fortunately, his phone is in silent mode, as he turned the ringer off for the party. Chet asks how he is and what’s going on. He says he’s okay, and quickly summarises the attack and its aftermath. Chet’s only response is a whispered “Damn,” and then he’s back to brisk military mode, telling Frank the plan. Frank says he thinks he can get away without being seen, so Chet gives him directions and hangs up. Fortunately, the police and FBI haven’t got as far as cordoning off the area or extending their search for survivors much beyond the bounds of the Orpheus property yet. Frank makes it out of a back door -- which, conveniently, has already been unlocked by the building’s recent occupants -- and away.

As Tom is making his preparations, he receives another phone call from Chet, who tells him there’s been a change of plan: they’re regrouping at the ranch. (He’s been there before, and doesn’t need directions.) He tells Chet that they’ll be there as soon as they can.

While this is going on, Teresa stays on the plane to JFK. Although not being able to do anything is driving her spare, she knows that ripcording back now will probably mean the tablet she’s carrying will be lost for good. If she was actually needed back there right now that would be different, but she isn’t. That means she might as well finish her task. Continuing on to JFK airport, she leaves the plane and finds a suitable place to stow the tablet for later pick up. (The original plan was to give it to Kate, but obviously that’s no longer an option.) She deposits it a locker and tells Kate, who makes a note of the locker number and location. Hopefully, it will stay where she leaves it. With that done, she ripcords back to her body.

Tom gets Teresa’s body through the airport by the simple expedient of puppeting it. (This is actually the first time he has ever puppeted a woman.) He leapfrogs between her and his own body, the bodyguard keeping watch over whichever one of them is currently unoccupied where possible. By the time Teresa returns, they have passed through security and are waiting in the departure lounge. Looking very shaken, she asks what happened, and why they’re in the airport. Tom explains what he knows. Teresa says she had another Forebode vision, but she thinks that she saw what was actually happening. Specifically, she says that she saw what was happening to Annie, and she fills him in on the details. (She isn’t as careful about keeping her story straight as she might be. It’s probably because she’s still extremely shaken, both by the attack itself, and by the fact that Annie has been taken by a Reaper-class spectre. Tom is already a little suspicious of the way that she seems to sometimes know things she shouldn’t, and he isn’t overly convinced of those ‘convenient’ Forebode flashes. He already suspected there was more to what happened to her, Annie and Kate than the three of them claimed.)

The flight from PDX to JFK passes uneventfully.