Anima Threshold

Weak Link and Hard Choices

The pack gathered together with Peter from the Leaning Fortress and Vera the Bone Shadow to deal with the spirit HMS-Craggy-Wave-Runner, a magath of some form. After some deliberation, they decided to store it in the form of a fetish by bonding it to Aleister’s rifle. After affixing a St. Christopher to the gun and having Peter perform the fetish rite, it channeled the spirit’s power to make the gun portable in the Shadow as a necklace wearable by Bright-Eyes and able to gift a bit of Essence when used to discorporate a ghost.

The bar was nearly ready for its grand opening. Bentley, working harder than he likely ever had in life, experienced a strange dream. In it, he was sinking deep into a woodland bog. Arms reached forth to help him out of the muck; and, when he took hold of one, he heard a low howl nearby. He saw the Winter Wolf growling at him with lightning in his eyes and icicles on his breath. Bentley looked at his hands and saw they were those of his Gauru form, covered in blood.

He met up with Philip for a drink to congratulate him on his progress with the bar and talked about his upcoming meeting that evening with his superior, Tashimoto. Philip drove home that the man was in a sour mood and Bentley needed to tread lightly when speaking with him, then excused himself after a couple of shots of whiskey. A well-dressed hispanic man at the bar offered his congratulations and—once Bentley realized it was Local-Trade—shared a drink with him to the success of his dream. He told Bentley that he would very much enjoy the experience of seeing a dream realized in person.

Aleister was covering a night shift, riding with Stash, when he came to the scene of a gang skirmish. One of the victims had his face severely mutilated and needed to be stabilized. Jeremy arrived in time to see said victim loaded into the back of the ambulance, after receiving a tip from one of the gang members he knew. Through Gifts and investigation, he learned that the man with the mutilated face was not attacked on-site, and the gang members loosely associated with Reina AraƱa found the scene unnerving enough that Jeremy doubted they were directly responsible for it.

In the ambulance, Aleister tried to keep the victim stabilized and ask him who did this to him when his eyes opened and he rasped that he did it to himself. His name was Stan and he was an obvious threat, saying that his pack was going to remove the weakest link from Aleister’s pack. Aleister smelled his blood in the air and knew this man was Uratha. He moved to inject him with a sedative when Stan threatened to set off a bomb if he did so. Aleister called his bluff and injected him anyway (regaining a bit of willpower for tapping into his Vice), yelling to Stash that the patient was freaking out. As Stash started to respond, they heard a loud howl in the distance.

The ambulance was approaching a bridge when it lost all power and came to a rolling stop beneath the overpass. Stan told Aleister to give him a hug and grabbed him. Then the bomb went off. Stash took a face full of windshield glass and Aleister was knocked down. The ambulance was buried in rubble and went completely dark. Aleister took on Gauru form—nearly crushing the walls of the ambulance under the pressure—and bit into Stan. Stan went all out and returned the favor, nearly killing his enemy. Aleister staved off Death Rage, but killed Stan while trying to keep him down. After failing to revive him, Aleister tended to Stash’s injuries.

Jeremy and Bentley heard the explosion from their respective locations nearby and rushed to investigate. Finding the collapsed rubble of the bridge covering the front of an ambulance, they quickly dug passage to the windshield. Aleister climbed out, set Stash on the ground, they retrieved Stan’s body, and left. Aleister and Bentley went for the hospital Locus while Jeremy took his car to a chop shop to get rid of any evidence of his presence at the crime scene. Bentley called Walt and told him where they were heading.

Once Aleister reached the Shadow with Stan’s body, he immediately started out for the pack’s claimed Locus, despite his injuries. Bentley bounded off after him through the spirit and then followed his lead, though Walt told him to wait at the hospital Locus. When they reached their Locus, Bentley kept the corpse from being devoured by the hungry grass spirit. Jeremy eventually caught up with them, followed last by Walt. Walt was torn and bloodied, as though he had been in the fight of his life; but, he was healing.

Discussing the situation, the pack decided that the best—or most honorable—thing to do would be to return Stan’s body to the Pure so as not to further escalate hostilities. After a private conversation between Jeremy and Walt, the pack was ready to move. Aleister and Walt went to scout the drop area, leaving Jeremy and Bentley to set up the meeting. Jeremy sent a dove spirit as a messenger of peace and crafted his appeal quite well. An owl came in its place with the return message. The meeting was accepted and set for midnight.

Aleister found himself a sniper’s nest and agonized over the events of the evening while they waited for the others to show up. He and Walt were well-hidden when Jeremy and Bentley arrived. The latter two carried the body, wrapped in a shroud, setting it respectfully upon a bedding of leaves and pine needles. Jeremy represented the pack when the Pure arrived. Two of them were in their Hishu forms, the third a snarling white-furred Urhan. Aleister lined up a shot on the male Hishu, seeing him as the leader after their last meeting. Jessica seemed much more forcefully restrained than her previously vivacious self.

The male asked Jeremy’s name and received his First Tongue name, Dagganum Urbat. Jeremy lamented the tragedy of the situation and expressed his pack’s intention to act honorably in the face of death, to which the male seemed bemused. The male said that Jeremy carried himself well under the gravity of the situation and recognized his wisdom in not bringing the killer of his pack mate to this meeting, giving Bentley a glance for confirmation. When Jeremy sued for peace he balked, saying that there could be no peace with the Tribes of the Moon. Because of their ties to the Mother, he said, they were all natural liars and could not be trusted. Jeremy could not convince him otherwise and had a hard time holding his tongue on the subject of honorable actions.

Jessica told Bentley that he was a fool for taking the life of an Uratha and aspiring to nothing. She insulted his intelligence and said that if he had been Pure, his mind would be forged of steel by now instead of being wasted on some bar. Bentley made a crass remark that his choice was to avoid people who try and fail to kill him. The male calmed Jessica and they gathered up their fallen comrade, leaving with the white wolf covering their exit.

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