The Old Man‘s is in chaos. People are waking up, screaming. People aren’t waking up. The hallway has eaten a few people. Residents are fleeing.
Daniel watches Jahan leave at the speed he does and while there is some fleeting instinct to go after the boy, he does not. He feels like Joshua may be a bigger problem. “Jacob, go after him!” He speaks a little louder than usual, far-away but with some amount of command in his voice. You know, assuming the vampire will actually listen. “Hurry, get Jahan!” Then all of his attention goes right back on countermagicking Joshua as he focuses his ecstatic energies there.
Jacob runs, the hole in his chest already regenerated by his massively-powerful blood. But Jahan is too fast… and the place is too chaotic. He runs into America, and the pursuit of Jahan turns into a retreat.
The blonde vampire, the Prince’s plant, takes the time to bang on the doors down the quieter hallways, trying to rouse whoever might still be inside. “Out, out, this is not a drill!” He has some obligations here, and he will help anyone he sees who is trapped… but that’s about all he’s going to do. He’s out of the house even before Jacob and America make it outside, aided by Celerity. He carries the Old Man—the Prince really will kill him if that one dies.
So America and Jacob—and one ghostly companion—find themselves outside the Old Man’s, looking for Daniel. If he’s still inside, going back for him will be like running into a burning building.
But for America, a least, those are the obligations of cabal.
Without the aid of vampire prowess or Celerity, America Anders clears the building swiftly. The benefits of a life of sport. She doubles over, hands on knees, and pants for breath. “Is-everybody-clear?” she asks, glancing at her vampire cohort.
After a moment, the young woman stands herself up straight again and even bends herself backwards a little, hands on the small of her back. She turns and looks at the house of horrors they had escaped from. They did this. She was party to this.
A minute of awe is all the affords herself before her attention turns to taking a roll call of her squad. The Avengers. I guess more like West Coast Avengers, without the centers of attention: Will, Sonia, and Alex.
“Wait – Jacob. Where’s Daniel!?” she asks with urgency.
When you find yourself up against a powerful Time Master in the form of a marauder, you do not mess around. The Ecstatic uses every bit of knowledge he has to undo Joshua’s mess. Too bad it just doesn’t seem to be working. There is definitely something to be said about high-stakes situations. He starts to back up out of the room, every step a little faster than the last.
It’s a lost cause, He tells himself. You can’t save these people. Not right now. Don’t get caught in this trap, too.
“Damnit!” He curses loudly, not that anyone can hear him. Everyone is gone, out of the house or out of this time. He turns and runs before Joshua can trap him up in his mad bubble of reality too.
Daniel lags behind the last of those who escapes, passing the threshold of the Old Man’s long after the last person has left the house. His breath is short and he looks both irritated and slightly terrified. He looks around, searching for America and Jacob and hopefully Jahan caught with the two. Oh, he can dream.
“Uh. uh.” Jacob points, suddenly. “Right there.” It’s nice to be able to solve everyone’s problems, right?
Daniel will notice a middle-aged, probably-irritated woman dressed a bit like a Void Engineer standing by Jacob and America. Her hair is brown and her eyes are an unnatural shade of blue.
Relief spreads across America’s face and she rushes up and grabs Daniel in a hug, pulling him by the arm over to Jacob, ostensibly right where the unseen (to America) woman is standing.
“Shit,” she curses uncharacteristically. “We need to leave. Now. I can’t imagine the kind of trouble we’re gonna be in once whoever is left recognizes that we started this- this!”
America frowns, looking at the chaos they unraveled. What stupid children they were, she thought. To believe they could do this on their own.
Actually the woman in question is wearing plain old jeans and a t-shirt, looking exasperated but not particularly unusual? What, did you think she’d have wacky goggles or a big laser cannon or something…
Daniel looks a bit surprised to be tugged into a hug, but he does return it after a second. He glances around one more time before sighing. “Joshua left. I tried to stop him from taking all those people, but I couldn’t…” He takes a deep breath.
“I’m glad you two are alright. Jahan got away? I guess we should get out of here…” Fingers slide through his dark hair. “I should have seen this. I’m so sorry.”
He pauses. “Wait…who is this?” He asks Jacob and America, staring right at Cadance. “Sorry. That was probably rude. Who are you? Are you alright?” Excuse him while he comes off of a pretty extreme adrenaline high.
Jacob looks over at Cadence, then looks back to Daniel, and then looks back to Cadence. He’s clearly a little surprised, and seems almost to be waiting for Cadence to say something. “Who? This one?” Gingerly he moves his fingertips there as if seeing if she’s still solid to him—America almost moved straight through her—before looking back to Daniel. That’s about as close as you get to ‘You can see her?’ at a time like this.
America cocks a brow. “What the – are you talking about me?” she asks, eyes darting from Jacob to Daniel. Worry spreads across the girl’s face. “Oh no. No no no, you two had your marbles mixed up by Jahan? I don’t understand – how’d he get so powerful?”
Cadence irritably swats Jacob’s hand away as the vampire touches her shoulder. Her eyes do something very strange in the moonlight, seeming to catch and reflect it with an inhumanly blue undertone. “Where did you learn to fire a damn gun?” she snaps back at Daniel, evidently just accepting that he can see her now without missing a beat. It’s hardly the weirdest thing that happened tonight. “I’m sure I heard you say you didn’t want to make him suffer on the way in. What a clusterfuck.”
“No no. There is a woman right there.” Daniel points, his brows furrowing in confusion. “Beside Jacob. With dark hair and eerie blue eyes.” As if he’s one to talk. “You can’t see her America?”
Cadence’s question stings, just a little. “I’m Canadian.” He mutters darkly. As if that’s supposed to explain everything. “I didn’t want him to suffer! You really think I meant for this to go down how it did?” That’s said with more force than he meant to. It’s clear he’s entirely out of his element mentally and emotionally. Alex was the one who was supposed to do that part but who knows where that asshole ran off to.
He turns to look back at the house for a moment, his face screwing up before turning back to America. “I don’t know. Mauraders don’t follow the rules. They just…do whatever they feel like. We really should go before someone shows up.” He starts to stalk away toward the street.
“Hi Daniel, this is Cadence,” Jacob begins, making introductions. “I shot her in the head. Now she’s haunting me.” He brings his hands over his eyes and makes a scarily good “Oooooooooh” sound.
He follows the group once they start moving.
The pair basically walk away from the mess they created, leaving behind a confused America Anders. She looks back with remorse a final time before setting sight on the West Coast Avengers and jogging to catch up.
The girl settles to a jaunt once she’s between the pair – occupying the same space as the unseen revenant. “I’m surrounded by crazy people,” she sighs aloud.
“Hey guys. What are we doing to tell Will?”
Despite being a ghost, Cadence evidently walks like a person. Will Harrison’s precious feelings are pretty low on her list of priorities, and America wouldn’t be able to hear her anyway. She tags along after Jacob, patting down her jacket pockets until she finds and withdraws a cigarette and a lighter. One nice thing about being dead is you never run out of stuff! “Actually, they do follow rules. Who put you in charge of this op? Cripes.” Lighting up, she takes a long drag from where she’s strolling along right beside America. “Marauders that strong should already be sealed away somewhere deep, deep down in the Umbra. The Gauntlet doesn’t like them. I don’t know how he’s getting around it.”
“I’ve been to the Umbra,” Jacob adds helpful. He’s not helpful enough to repeat any of this for America… but then if he was Cadence could have been using him to feed information to the cabal already.
“Oh God.” Daniel runs his fingers through his hair again, gripping it tight and wanting to rip it right out of his head. “I’m not keeping secrets. We need to tell him the truth. I’ll take the fall. This was mine and Alex’s idea, after all. Where the fuck is he, anyway?”
He glances at Candence, annoyance clearly in his blue eyes. “Great. So why am I seeing your ghosts, now?” He asks of Jacob.
“Op? Seriously?” Daniel snaps. He has to take a deep breath, trying to keep himself in check. “I just…it doesn’t matter what I wanted, because I just hurt that boy more and fuck…just fuck.” Another deep breath. He sucks on his lip thoughtfully. “Well apparently he’s doing something to get around it. Who are you? Or were you?”
This would certainly not be the first time America Anders was being talked around while she had no clue what was going on. She listens, but as so often is the case when one is not addressed directly during conversation, she begins to slip into daydream and internal dialogue.
Her thoughts sift over what just happened. That Garou woman. The house just ate her. America shudders. She steps away from thinking more on that and considers the situation as a whole. She felt she handled herself quite well. She ran solid defense and when it was time to get out, she melted the wall and got them out. Jahan, though. America didn’t help Jahan get out of his situation.
“Alex is in the Umbra. So’s the Farooqi girl.” Cadence flicks the cherry off the end of her cigarette. She has no answer for why Daniel is suddenly seeing her, and Jacob is apparently off in la-la land, so she lets that one slide. “I was a Void Engineer, before this undead fuck blew my brains out.” That may help to explain why she’s referring to this as an op, at least. “”/characters/xifeng-lin" class=“wiki-content-link”>Xifeng Lin‘s amalgam back in Davenport. I liked Jahan. I don’t wanna see him hurt any more than you do, which is why I tried to help your piss-poor aim. Also, it’s really fucking rude to not tell this one what we’re talking about, don’t you think?" She points at zoned-out America.
Daniel glances at America. “America, I’m sorry. I’m a little overwhelmed at the moment.” He explains. “Jacob’s ghost says she was a Void Engineer in Xifeng Lin’s amalgam in Davenport.” He swallows. “Do you remember a technocrat named Cadence?”
He licks his lips. “She also says Alex and Sonia are in the Umbra…” His brows furrow and to Cadence he asks. “How?”
Jacob points to Daniel as the mage licks his lips. “Because of that. I think it’s because you had my blood.” He’s not keeping this one a secret, not after what happened last time. He doubts, though, that Daniel will be back for seconds without Jacob to egg him on. “I’ve always been able to see dead people. I guess Will was too scientific to pick it up, but he got other things from me.”
He looks to America. “She wasn’t there. We picked her up after we killed Cadence.” It’s ‘we’ now.
America shrugs and gestures a thumb towards Jacob. “Yeah I don’t know, but I know Xifeng. Like everybody else in that crazy ass organization, she saves you from your Mom one day and tries to make trouble for you the next.” The emotion and resentment is especially palpable in her voice.
Her nose wrinkles at the mention of Daniel feeding on Jacob’s blood. “Jacob!” she cries out, eyes wide, “Do you just need all the boys to taste you or something?”
“I’m not here to do everything for you.” Cadence has no fucking idea why Alex and Sonia are in the Umbra. “I just know.”
America’s barb really means nothing to her – she isn’t privy to all her former comrades have been up to, because she’s stuck following this stupid vampire around. But she laughs at the girl’s accusation. “Ah, they probably should’ve just killed you after they fixed Harrison,” she says in a casual aside to Jacob. “Who keeps a crazy vampire around…”
“What?!” That’s a little loud. Daniel stops dead for a moment, staring at the vampire as he tries to sort out just when that even happened. “Oh God. That’s the last thing I need.” He glances at America, then back at Jacob. Alright. Keep walking. He needs to sort that one out later. Accept that Cadence is there, deal with that shit later.
“Well excuse me for asking a simple question.” That is directed at the Void Engineer. “Thank you for letting us know that is where they are.”
“Saves you from your mom? What do you mean?” The Ecstatic really knows nothing about his cabal-mates, being pretty new still. Perhaps this isn’t the time to fixate on the emotion radiating from America, but he is anyway.
Daniel is starting to look a little overwhelmed. The usually collected and cool Ecstatic stops again and turns off his walkman. It’s probably the first time he’s done that in front of anyone. Clearly their ‘op’ going foul and the appearance of Joshua really got to him.
“America!” Jacob begins, his lip twisting a little bit. That never gets old. “It wasn’t my fault! I got hit and it just splattered all over Daniel’s face and—”
Cadence’s comment cuts off Jacob’s lurid and yet incomplete explanation, and he looks over at her, offended and a little hurt. “Cadence!” His exclamation has a little different quality than the way he said America’s name. “I’m a contributing member of this team.”
America smirks at Jacob, pleased with her response. He eyes widen when he exclaims again for the apparent ghost. “I got no idea what this Cadence lady is like, but by your reaction Jacob, I think I like her,” America says with a giggle. Then she shrugs and faces front once more.
“Have heart, Jacob – you’re definitely an Avenger in my book. I’m also not buying your whole it splattered on his face idea. Not so worried, myself – I increasingly feel we are not each other’s types,” she says with a chuckle.
“Okay,” Cadence replies easily. Excuse her for not caring if she’s nice to the guy who killed her. “What’s the plan now? Back to your weird car chantry to break the bad news to everyone else?”
Daniel tucks his hands into his winter coat. “That would ineed be the plan.” He mutters in reply to Cadence. “Right, you two? We’re going to go break the news to the cabal about Jahan and if they haven’t noticed, about Alex and Sonia.”
Jacob makes a face at America, though brightens when she says she considers him an Avenger. Alex definitely does not. “I’ll still drink your blood in a pinch,” He offers with a grin, not contradicting the line about types. Jacob can only survive off mage blood now. “Does this mean Cadence is joining the chantry?” Like she’d want to.
They pile into the trunk and end up in the foyer. Davey’s there pacing. “Where the hell have you been?” He demands when he sees them. He looks down at the gargantuan watch on his hand. “No, I think I have an idea, but you couldn’t possibly have picked tonight of all nights, could you?”
What teen aged girl with a penchant for science, pulp, and comic book fiction hasn’t had a fantasy about vampires once or twice. However – Jacob’s offer is ignored summarily – laughed off.
Along with the others, America enters “home” the trunk of a Volkswagen Beetle, and finds herself confronted by her mentor, and fellow Etherite – Davey Darkefell. “I know – I know!” she says, hands raised to try to calm her younger colleague. “It was a terrible mistake and it went totally wrong – but shut the heck up about it! We don’t want the others to hear. Is Harrison and Son here?”
Cadence will certainly follow them in, if she’s able to, but the look on her face says she’s not interested in “joining” anything. She’s invested in Jahan, and if they’re about to discuss the young Marauder, she wants to be able to offer advice. That’s all.
America will get half of an answer immediately. At the sound of Davey’s raised voice in the living room, Will appears at the top of the three stairs that lead to the upstairs bedroom. He looks bone-weary, and he doesn’t say anything. He merely holds up his handheld, screen visibly on the application that tracks the bugs most of the cabal wears. That Jahan still wears. How much will there even be to explain? “We don’t know where Sonia is.” He lets the unasked question — what about Jahan? — hang in the air.
Daniel steps in last, staring out at the night before closing the trunk behind himself. He ignores Davey’s incessant pacing and looks up the stairs at Will. “She is, from what I have been told, in the Umbra.” He tells the Virtual Adept. He shrugs out of his jacket and lets the question hang in the air a moment longer.
“Alex and I had a plan and it fell through, apparently, because he is also in the Umbra.” He shakes his head and turns to address Davey’s question. “So America came with Jacob and I to go after Jahan. It failed, Joshua showed up and dragged who knows how many people with him and Jahan ran off.”
“Jahan says she’s in the Umbra,” Jacob says, almost on top of Daniel. He glances at the Ecstatic mage. That’s a lot of detail. “So does Cadence. Jahan’s… probably fine?” America was the one whose equipment detected he just reached a new level of madness. She may not truly understand the implications of it but she knows enough to know it was a terrible mistake and it went totally wrong.
America glances at Jacob and then looks over at Will. “Jahan is not fine,” she states flatly. “We wanted to help him- to save him from what he’s becoming so he could start over. Another life,” the young woman explains, gesturing her arms outward to include the others.
“We didn’t count on Joshua. What happened to those people- What happened to Jahan!” she continues with a shake of her head. “I don’t understand what Marauder’s are capable of – but something happened and things have changed. I picked it up. A Primal shift. The house came alive – it swallowed people whole! We made things worse, Harrison! Jahan is worse!”
Will doesn’t even seem to know what to do with all of this information at once. He rakes his fingers through his messy hair, leaning sideways into the wall, and studies the dated carpet under his bare feet very, very intently.
Instead of outright responding to any of this – because all of it, from the fact that Jahan is worse than ever to the little detail that Sonia is in the Umbra, for some fucking reason, is just too much – he offers up a little information of his own. “Alex’s body is here- Kate just teleported it in a while ago. Someone activated the network tonight, on a small scale, and she found him at the epicentre of it. The middle of a tiny earthquake. He’s comatose again.” All of this information is shared completely tonelessly. When he pushes off the wall to pad down and join the others, taking a seat on one of the living room chairs, he just looks kind of numb.
Well no one mentioned that to Daniel. He swallows and glances at America, eyebrows furrowed. There is an uncomfortable amount of silence coming from the Ecstatic at the moment.
“If he was at the epicenter of it, is it likely that Alex activated it?” He turns toward Will. C’mon kid, stay with them, here. “Is he alright, otherwise?”
Davey’s been quiet—uncharacteristic, for him—while he listened and processed all this information. To anyone who knows him at all, the fact he’s reacting like this is not a good sign, but he’s in better shape than Will, at least. At Daniel’s comment, though, he directs him a sharp look. “Dude, he’s in a fucking coma.” He moves past the others, leaning against a wall in the living room. “We’ll contact ”/characters/trista-hanford" class=“wiki-content-link”>Trista in the morning," He suggests. Because she was such a great help the last time. “Maybe Eleanor can help Alex’s body.” He glances at America. She can probably call Eleanor now and not piss her off. “He’s stable, at least.”
Davey receives a reply from America in reply.“Right – I’ll call her right away,” she says, and begins to remove her shoes. The girl throws a look to Daniel and to Jacob before looking once again to Will.
Simple questions, Will can handle. “It looks like a building fell on him, but he’s alive.” It’s a more helpful answer than Davey gave. “I dunno, I guess it’s possible he did it. But I can’t think of why he’d do something so completely stupid when we still don’t understand how it works.” The tone is all wrong, but that certainly sounds like something the usual Will would say.
He pinches the bridge of his nose, cycling through all of the night’s events over and over again in his head. “Did you say Cadence? As in Richmond?” he says suddenly, looking up at Jacob. Maybe Will can’t see ghosts, but he knows Jacob sees ghosts. “So… from the beginning. You and Alex had a- a plan to… deal with Jahan.” Now he looks at Daniel. “He didn’t show up – so we need to find out what he was doing at that restaurant and why. Sonia’s in the Umbra for some reason… so maybe that’s a Trista problem… and Jahan’s maybe alive, but probably- worse…”
“And more powerful,” Cadence supplies, not that Will can hear her. Jacob and Daniel can. “That’s how Marauders work.”
Daniel drapes his coat over the arm of a chair and sinks down into it. “I did say ‘otherwise’, Davey. That tends to imply ‘besides what you just told me’.” His head bobs as he glances back at Will. “Well, sometimes when you are in over your head, you do unexpected and incredibly stupid things. Did Kate know anything else about what happened at the epicenter of the activation? That might give us a clue.”
“I…guess so? Cadence the Technocrat?” His eyes slide to Cadence for a quick second before settling back on Will. “Yes, we had a plan and it clearly backfired.” He pauses. “Cadence says on top of worse, he is more powerful now. That those two things go hand in hand…which makes sense, I suppose.” There is another long pause. Daniel is trying to form a sentence of some sort, but nothing comes. Instead he closes his eyes and rubs his temples.
“Yeah, she started following me around a few days, maybe a week ago.” Jacob says casually. “She’s still taking it a little personally that I SHOT HER IN THE HEAD.” Davey gives him an incredulous look. “But she really wants me to kill Jahan before he gets worse.” He goes and sits down as far in the corner as he can, or near Daniel if he can’t. Let Daniel take the heat for this. “Like he just did.”
“I think I’m growing up.” Davey mutters. “Ask Cadence is there’s a way to make him LESS crazy and LESS powerful?”
Seconded," America chimes in support of Davey’s suggestion. “He’s off the scale as it is. The building swallowed a werewolf like it was nothing. That woman did nothing to Jahan and she died. A lot of people died because of him. People who had nothing to do with our bringing trouble to the Old Man’s house,” she elaborates.
America becomes silent for a moment, lost in recollection. She wasn’t in the room with the heavy duty marauding going on, as Jacob and Daniel were. With a shake of her head, she begins to make her way through the living room toward the kitchen.
“Jahan tried to kill me via explosion in Hollow Earth. He killed some people tonight for nothing. I don’t think he’d want to become this,” she says to Will as she gets to the edge of view.
“Anyway, I’m going to call Eleanor now and get some help for Alex. Calamity number two. I’ll be back in a flash.”
“I get it,” Will says, more harshly than he likely means to. “I fucking get it. He’s- not himself anymore. Stop.” Orphan, Taftani, Dreamspeaker, Virtual Adept – that’s four paradigms even before things got really bad. Before he fell out of the back of a van and Will didn’t even notice. He sinks down in his chair, turning his handheld over and over in his palms.
While he’s having his minor meltdown, Cadence helpfully answers their question. “Not really, in any permanent way. I dealt with Marauders way crazier than him in Deep Space. If you can isolate one and make some kind of connection with him, ground him in the here and now, you can help him shrug off some of his Quiet. Less crazy means less powerful. But it only helps for a few hours, tops. And it’s really dangerous to get that close given how they manipulate Paradox – shrugging it off to everyone around them, generating extra… But I mean, you send him in,” here she jerks her chin at poor, shattered Will, “to distract him for a bit and then shoot him in the head. Maybe give the gun to someone who knows which way to point it this time.”
In. Out. Center. Not allowed to run from this confrontation. “I’m sorry, Will.” Daniel says softly. “We do know you understand and we also understand why you don’t want any part of it. I don’t think anyone is trying to do anything but be up front and frank about what happened.”
He grits his teeth through what Cadence says, giving her a dark look. “No, Davey, she says there is no viable way to do that. Nothing that will stick or truly help him. We need to just…” All of this is said while his focus remains on the ghost in the room.
Jacob looks between Cadence and the ghost. That’s not what she said. Looking at Will, though, he resists the urge to repeat it out loud. If Daniel’s going to lie he’s not going to ruin the effect.
Davey exhales, some of the tension leaving his shoulders. He won’t leave the answer there—and Daniel still has to ask Kite—but he’s starting to lose hope. “Whatever. I’m going to update Kate and ask around on the Web. Tell America I’ll be jacked in down in my bedroom.” The rec room they divided has a unique property, well worth the minor division of space—it’s an Etherite Sanctum. Gabrielle didn’t magick in her bedroom enough to make that effect, although whether Will would have given up the master bedroom for Daniel if it were an Ecstatic Sanctum is questionable.
Cadence doesn’t look even a little bit remorseful. But she does chime in, “There could be other people he’d talk to. Me, maybe. Or you could just step back and leave him alone until the Gauntlet sucks him into the Deep Umbra where he belongs now.”
“I wish there was an alternative,” Will says quietly. “But there’s not. Please just- don’t sneak around behind my back about it, if you decide to try again. You’re new, so maybe you don’t know, but secrets already tore this cabal apart once before, Daniel.” His eyes drift to Jacob as he says that, then quickly dart away.
“I’d rather not do that.” He tells Cadence. Great, now he’s going to start looking like he’s talking to himself. “Let him be trapped, I mean. He deserves a second chance.”
He turns to Will, nodding his head. “I know. I just want him to have a second chance. I should’ve tried a little harder to predict this, but you can’t predict Mauraders. It was never my intention to keep this from you, in the long run.” He sighs. “I am sorry we went about this the way we did. No sneaking about behind anyone’s backs again, I promise. The last thing I want to do is tear this cabal apart after you’ve all accepted me in.”
Jacob looks thoughtful, tilting his head. “You said Joshua wasn’t moving beyond the Gauntlet. What makes you think Jahan will?” The question actually sounds rhetorical, though Jacob typically doesn’t make anything sound rhetorical.
“Because that’s what Marauders usually do when they get as powerful as Joshua,” Cadence replies succinctly. “That’s how it works. We need to find out why it’s not working in his case, because maybe it’ll spread to others – including Jahan. But in every other case I’ve seen, and I’ve seen a lot, it’s that simple. You hit a certain madness threshold, and blip! Off you go to your own little pocket realm for all eternity, until the Void Engineers wander through to clean up.”
Will seems to accept Daniel’s apology, because he drops it with a little nod. “None of you are even a little bit worried about a Technocrat ghost just following you into the chantry…?”
“Tell that little shit that I’m trying to help his friend.” Cadence rolls her glowing eyes. “I’m dead. I don’t give a fuck about the Ascension War anymore. I just don’t want to see that kid go through anything else. The Traditions have done more than enough for Jahan at this point.”
“And turning him into a Technocrat in no way aided in his descent.” Daniel mutters to Cadence, deadpan. He is listening to the rests of what she has to say, though.
“She says she’s dead and doesn’t care about the Ascension War any longer and that she just legitimately wants to help Jahan.” He says to Will. “I believe her, as much as I would also like to punch her at the moment.”
Huh. He glances at Jacob and Cadence, sucking on his lip thoughtfully. “Hmm…do you have any theories as to why that would happen? That Joshua wouldn’t blip into his own universe, I mean?”
Jacob looks thoughtful at Cadence’s info-dump, only brought out of his reverie by Will’s question. “She’s been here before. Nobody else can even see her. The only reason Daniel can is because he drank some of my blood.” WHOOPS so much for not aggravating the situation. He looks over at the mage. “You said we’d come clean baby right?”
“We could email the Technocrats and ask,” He suggests to Will, as if he hadn’t just brought up the b word.
America comes back into the living room quietly, her cheeks flushed. She smiles a little oddly and bites her lower lip. Oh what timing, it seems, as she enters as the vampire is making declarations of sharing bodily fluids with yet another cabal member. “I come back and talking about your conquests again, Jacob?” she muses.
Without giving much space for laughter at the joke which would likely fall flat – the young woman composes herself and sits down on the arm of the couch and turns to address the cabal. “Eleanor’s on her way. She’ll get Alex sorted. I just know it,” she says.
Will can feel his chest constrict. He pushes himself to his feet, his face paler than usual. “You,” he says, pointing a finger at Daniel, “stay away from Jacob for the next week. And you,” he adds, rounding on Jacob. Evidently he’s at a loss for words, though, because he just stares at him for a long moment, anger and betrayal mingling on his face. Maybe they should have explained how it happened.
“I’ve got a lot to do,” he says finally, turning away. “Just let Mrs Morris down to see Alex when she gets here.” He moves towards the stairs, though there’s still time to call him back.
“I don’t understand how any of you have survived this long,” Cadence remarks unhelpfully.
Watch as the Ecstatic Mage cheeks brighten at being called ‘baby’. It’s not a new term of endearment for him, but the whole situation is very odd. “This was not a planned or even deliberate thing.” Daniel’s defense falls a little short, though it does sound honest. “Will…Will! Wait!” He gets to his feet as well. “It really was an accident. I shot him, his blood hit me in the face. And apparently the mouth. I honestly don’t even remember it happening.” He sighs. “Don’t worry, I don’t plan on drinking any more of his blood.”
Jacob gets a half-hearted glare from Daniel. You just have to make a bad situation worse, don’t you? His acknowledgement of Cadence’s oh-so-helpful statement is a roll of his eyes.
“Awesome,” He says to America. “Thank goodness. Maybe something can go right today. How long should it take her to get here?”
“Yeah, funny timing,” Jacob says to America. “Speaking of, how’s the American Revolution going? Chopped down any cherry trees yet General Washington?” He waggles his eyebrows at her.
Will’s near-departure distracts him, and he turns, looking a little conflicted. “I don’t know,” He says distractedly to Cadence. It’s a good thing Dan calls him back because Jacob didn’t have any words for him. “I’m not planning on feeding him anymore of my blood he doesn’t shoot out of my chest,” The Ravnos says truthfully.
America looks aghast. Her eyes dart from Jacob to each of her cabal mates as her face reddens. Her eyes snap to Daniel as he asks about Eleanor. “W-well I mean how the hell should I know, right?! Haha,” she says in panic and forced laugh. “Haha, ya well aw heck-” America trails off and walks over to the couch to sit down, arms crossed, staring at her feet.
His head is swimming. Will presses one palm to his forehead as he turns around long enough to snap, “I don’t care how it happened. Don’t let it happen again, Jacob.” He has no idea what has America so bashful all of a sudden. He just wheels back towards the stairs. “I’ve gotta check in with Gabe and see what it’s managed to find on the network.” As if the computer doesn’t send second-by-second updates to his handheld. He’s just making excuses to leave the room.
“You’re in contact with the Union?” Cadence asks Jacob, more interested in that little fact than in any of this weird teenage drama.
Daniel lets the kid stalk off. He’s had enough to deal with today and this is clearly a touchy topic. He sits back down in his own seat, rubbing his head. “What a mess.” He mutters.
“Sorry, America. You walked back in at a choice moment.” He says to the girl. “Thank you for coming with me tonight and I am sorry that it went the way it did.”