Interlude! Koukishin 2

(upon meeting Nazarene at the ruined daycare)

While scoping out the remains of the daycare, Mitsuo sends a thought-pulse out into the aether. //Murrazonoth, I need you.//

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Mitsuo’s left shoulder burns as the demon replies. //And how can I be of assistance?//

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Mitsuo’s eyes narrow but he refuses to flinch. //I thought you would want to see this. A demon came through here looking for an artifact of faith. That man,// and he turns to look at Nazarene, //is the husband of the woman we found dead and enucleated. His daughter has been taken by the demon. When you have had your fill of examining the scene – discreetly – I want you to find her. There is a toy hairbrush in my coat pocket, with hairs from both the girl and a toy she likely carries. But! I forbid you to harm her or interact with her in any way. And I forbid you to inform any entity but myself of her whereabouts or your presence. Clear?//

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//As you will, taichou.// Murray replies. Out of the corner of one eye Mitsuo notices a small grey cat duck into the door to the VFW hall. No one else seems to see it. Once inside Murray sniffs the air and follows the scent of brimstone down into the basement. The place is a wreck, the once-neat office has been torn apart. But it is not without clues. Blood on the floor seems to belong to the human Andy, and Murray skirts it without touching it. It has the scent of faith on it and he wants nothing to do with that. A splash of darker, fouler liquid coats the edge of the broken desk. Demon’s blood. There was a fight here then. Murray tilts his head, pondering. The blood is unfamiliar to him, he does not know the demon, but the type is unmistakable.

//I know what you’re looking for, taichou. It will seek water and darkness, the girl will be held somewhere below ground.//

Murray looks through the wreckage of the desk. //The artifact was kept here. I can feel the aura of the old wards. Very clever. But your enemy did not stay and hunt for it. I will do better.//

Murray rolls investigation /- +4 = 1. Nice.

Regardless of his smug little pledge it’s not easy to make heads or tails of the scene. Hellfire has a nasty habit of overpowering mostly everything around it, which may have been why the attacking demon didn’t bother looking for the box when he couldn’t find it right away. Still, the little grey cat digs through the rubble. He doesn’t find anything. //Grrr.// Mitsuo can hear the demon’s frustration in his head and his shoulder burns again. He should probably look at that later.

Finally Murray stops and sits, in that unnaturally still way that he has. He opens his ears and Listens.

helphelpletmeoutwhat’shappeninghelp

The cat breaks into a cheshire grin. //Oh hoh, an artifact of Faith? That’s one way to put it.//

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Frowning, Mitsuo replies, //What is that supposed to mean? Does Nazarene have something to hide, or is he wrong about its nature?//

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//I doubt he knows, though his woman may have. What did he call it, a battery? Accurate, if crude. It is a soul. A human soul locked in a box for hundreds of years. Sort of… a pre-packaged sacrifice.// The demon snickers. //The best part is it will regenerate its power over time if you don’t use it all up. Poor fool, trapped in a box for eternity. I doubt it even knows what happened to it.//

Murray follows the sound of the crying voice up the stairs and into the playroom, stepping gingerly over the broken glass. He hops into the toybox and starts digging. //Here we are. It is too heavy for me to carry taichou, what would you have me do with it?//

-

//Wait, you HAVE it? It’s still here? Um.// Don’t panic. Stay cool. Should it go to Nazarene right now? Does it need to be examined first? Can you even think of a way to lead the group to it that isn’t fucking suicidally suspicious? //Murray, you should make yourself scarce. The group will be examining the building. I am not sure yet whether they will acquire it, but if they do not I will. Just hang about outside and alert me if anyone else decides to come looking.//

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Murray hesitates before replying. //Do not leave it unattended for long, it is a powerful thing. Dangerous. And it is crying as loudly as it can for anyone with the ears to hear it. The Hunters kept it quiet with spells. Those spells are gone. Only the stench of Hellfire kept it hidden during the assault. Lucky, for you. And lucky I was here to help.// There is a vicious little note of pride in his voice.

The grey cat sneaks back up the stairs and out the door without a sound.

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Interlude! Koukishin 2

Dresden Files: Nawlins mistaya