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"To Thine Own Self Be True", Part One

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Week Sixteen

September 19th, 1996
Avg. Rating: 4.1 out of 5

Saturday May 13th, 2043, 1800 hours

As the session began, Derek, Alex, Baal, Bug, and Rook were heading over to Diamond Dave's to sell off some excess hardware before moving on to their next "mission". But Derek ran into an old friend of his, a fixer, and he, Alex, and Baal decided to pursue a brief side job while the team was "in between" ops. Rook and Bug remained behind, stashed the goods in their vehicle, and returned to Granny's apartment.

Meanwhile, Granny was leading Drake into another "past life regression"; even Eve was allowed to participate. Once the trance began, however, it felt different than the first time. When Drake opened her eyes she could see herself and the two others in a place of dim light and fog, and she realized she couldn't move. A figure was approaching, and as it drew closer Drake recognized it- it was her, the woman from Drake's past who had destroyed everything. And she was carrying something- her husband's head.

The woman threw the head at Drake's feet, and, smiling evilly, began slowly changing shape, changing color, until it was Morgan himself who stood before the paralyzed trio. He mocked them briefly, tried to intimidate them, but suddenly Drake, through sheer force of will, was able to move and attack him.

Their battle in the dream world was brief. Drake, having surprised Morgan, pressed her advantage and clearly dominated the conflict. But then Morgan stood tall, said, "I'd love to stay, but I really should be going. After all, I have what I came for", and he disappeared into the smoky ground. Drake noticed that he carried something in his hand; a small rag doll.

Both Granny and Eve could now move, and Granny was busy studying their surroundings- she informed Drake that they were trapped in the Dream World until someone on the outside could free them.

Back at the apartment, Bug and Rook returned. They could see the three women sitting on the floor, within the vever. They all had crowns of thorns on their heads, and blood dripped freely onto their shoulders. Their mouths occasionally moved, their arms occasionally flailed, but they were totally unresponsive to Rook's attempts to break their reverie. Finally Rook removed the crown on Eve's head.

Eve "snapped out of it", and almost immediately began bombarding Rook with questions about what she had just experienced (and also with a strong desire to "do it again"). Rook then removed the crowns from Granny's and Drake's heads, and they both "returned". Drake quickly searched the apartment for the girl, but, as she feared, the child was gone.

Rook scoured the nearby alleyways for tracks or signs of passage, but found nothing except for a freshly broken roof antenna nine stories above the ground. He returned to Granny's apartment and asked her if there were anyplace close by with any strategic value, perhaps with limited entrances or exits. The Panther, one of Granny's guards, assured the party that there was an underground chamber in the sewers close by, a chamber with only two connected tunnels and lots of room for combat. Rook then asked where the nearest S&M/B&D club was located, in hopes of tracking down Mbua followers, and Panther directed him to Spanky Pete's, about 2 miles away.

Before Drake left, Granny gave her a small amulet she had made, to "help keep her safe".

Spanky Pete's was overwhelming, with dancers and sex shows everywhere. Rook asked around a little, dropping hints that he was interested in slavery, and he was directed to speak with Criss Cross, a young (heavily scarred) black man at the club. They spoke briefly, and Rook agreed to return the next night for a slave auction on the premises.

After a few more casual inquiries, Rook found the club's lower level, where the more private entertainment was held. He eventually mentioned Mbua to one of the club employees, and was led to yet another sublevel. Rook, Drake, and BUG proceeded down this passage very carefully.

The walls of the passage were covered with vever, though it was obvious to Drake that they were not drawn very well at all. They could then hear muffled voices and chanting, and eventually stood in the doorway to a small chapel dedicated to Mbua. A large altar stood at the far end, with a skull and a book resting on it. The wall behind the altar was covered with an enormous mural depicting a white hunter shooting a black native in the head, and two crossed knives hung below this. There were six people here, five of them dressed in black hooded robes and chanting softly. The sixth was a middle aged white man, sitting up near the front, staring intently at the mural.

Rook crept up and sat next to the man, engaging him in conversation in an attempt to learn more about him. The man explained that months ago he had come here, to this chapel, in search of something, anything that would convince him that things existed outside of what can be explained. This was his quest, to search out anything that could prove to him that there were things in this world science and technology cannot explain. And as he sat here for the first time, many weeks ago, the hunter in the mural turned his head and looked right at him. The man had simply returned to see if it would happen again.

Meanwhile, Drake had become convinced that this was not an actual Voodoo "temple"; there was no powder anywhere, the vevers were incorrect, and there was a book on the altar (Voodoonistas never write anything down). The only thing that seemed genuine was the mural, that exquisite mural- signed with the name, "Morgan".

Drake, Rook, and Bug quickly killed the five "worshippers" here, and then Drake painted on the mural with the blood of one of the casualties. She blotted out the hunter's face, obscured the signature, and painted a large snake vever across the whole thing. Two men came running in at this point- Roy's (the man) bodyguards. He told them that he was okay, and that they should just sit down for now (which they did).

Drake then called to Morgan, to show himself, to come and combat them now. At first it appeared that nothing would happen, but then a heavy portcullis made of bones and skulls fell across the only passageway out and the altar began to release thick green smoke. The altar vibrated, then exploded, and there in the rubble stood Morgan.

He wore the same fur lined robes as before, and in his right hand he carried a large staff. His left hand held the leash to an impossibly huge hyena-creature, and his black eyes slowly scanned the room.

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All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers.
-- Francois Fenelon