Something Wicked This Way Comes : Let's Kill It

First Mission, Part 1: A Murder of Goblins
And So It Begins

“Tiny," Sanya rumbled to Michael, clenching a demonstrative fist. "But fierce.”
—Dresden Files, Small Favor

There were five us on this particular mission, connected by our common desire to rid the world of unnatural evil. Some of us were connected closely; others had a more tenuous connection to the group, but we’d all worked together before. We knew we could trust each other, and that’s all that really matters.

The four humans, though natural and mortal, were all powerful in their own ways. Eliza Veda, who could see the patterns that others could not, connect the dots where others saw only chance and coincidence. Raina Kay, outwardly a harmless trust-fund baby but actually a skilled researcher, cataloger and mystic. Nagarajdah (Naga), part of an order that has always known and always fought the darkness, his knowledge of magic awesome. And Lucien Lesage (Luke), who learned that monsters exist the hardest way one can, leaving him scarred, motivated, and dangerous.

I am Ezekiel Freeman, or just Zeke. I was assembled from bits and pieces of dead humans, long ago, by a madman using science and magic. I rebelled from my maker and have spent the last 117 years trying to find and kill those who would make more like me. And trying to find and kill those just like me.

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First Mission, Part 2: A Murder of Goblins
I Left My Heart in Alma, CO

Eliza heard through her online missing-persons collective that there was a mysterious cluster of child disappearances in a small Colorado town. She contacted her cousin Raina and soon all 5 of us were landing in Denver.

Raina rented a black Hummer and we drove to beautiful downtown Alma, CO, population 237. Upon parking near the ancient-looking hotel we disembarked and were promptly greeted by a smiling, cherubic child. Since that child was not missing, we backed away from it slowly until it ran away. Later, it would occur to us that we should have spoken to that child, but such is the wisdom of hindsight.

We did speak to a healthy woman that it turned out owned the Cloud Nine Diner across the street. Eliza started things off a little rocky with an ill-timed comment about the woman’s Halloween-themed outfit, but quickly made up for it by pretending to like food and promising we would stop by soon.

We headed inside to get our rooms squared away. Luke lingered outside smoking a cigarette, much to the obvious irritation of the mothers in the town square with their children. Had they known he was French Canadian, their irritation probably would have boiled over into loudly muttered passive aggression.

Our attempt to check in was temporarily blocked by Pete the night manager, who suddenly insisted they had no rooms available despite our reservation—upon seeing Naga. I placed a hand on his shoulder to give him a bone-crushing squeeze of reassurance, and soon we had three rooms available to us. It is always best if I have my own room; I do not sleep, I do not dream, but I do have memories and I like to drink. Sometimes that can result in extra room charges.

The hotel was very old and the rooms were decorated in what we agreed was a disturbing manner. Thinking that perhaps we’d arrived in or near the nexus of evil that was kidnapping the children of Alma, I investigated and indeed—there were cold spots and areas of shadow where none should exist. Before long we’d discovered a mysterious staircase up leading to a door marked “Employees Only.” I would have to check it out soon.

We all joined Luke downstairs and walked over to the Cloud Nine Diner. The owner, Anne, was initially happy that we’d come over as promised but looked confused and panicked when she saw Naga. It is very pleasant to have Naga around, as it really pulls a lot of attention away from my appearance. After assurances that he was not under any bizarre dietary restrictions, Anne went in back and started yelling orders out in Spanish to the cooks.

Raina spotted a local sitting at the counter, the man we’d seen cleaning up the town square once the children left. She walked up and engaged him in conversation, generating some information about the town, but also giving him the impression that she was a big-city slut come to have some small-town fun. She even agreed to meet him at some dance the town was having the next day. We extricated her before the man’s rising blood pressure could give him a stroke.

Anne returned with our food, which indeed reminded me of the solid peasant fare that I so enjoyed shortly after my awakening. Eliza engaged her in conversation and found out that the Sheriff was heading out early in the morning to look for Amy Green, the child who had most recently disappeared. Eliza told her we’d like to help, and Anne said she’d let the sheriff know.
We left the diner and Eliza and Raina retreated to their room while Luke, Naga and myself decided to see what was beyond that door. Our hope, I will admit, was that the three children were locked up in there, Flowers of the Attic style, and we could free them and go back to civilization promptly.

Luke stayed at the foot of the stairs to keep an eye out and run interference if necessary while Naga and I tried to pick the lock. I could not, and became frustrated, and quickly very angry. So I broke the lock and we went in. A storage room greeted us…and another mystery door. I was so sure the children were behind it that I barely tried to pick the lock before breaking it and pushing in.

An overwhelming smell enveloped us, causing us to lose all hope of finding the children. For we had stumbled upon the grow room of the proprietors. Rows of carefully tended, bushy and budding female marijuana plants grew healthily under lights. We’d made a big mistake.

At that point we heard Luke’s raised voice, and heavy footfalls on the stairs. Naga and I ran into the storage room; I was prepared to take the fall but Naga has many tricks, and he pulled a neat one out of his turban in the form of a spell that cloaked us with invisibility. It was a close thing, but Pete did not see us. Once he went into the grow room to count every crystal and bud we escaped down the stairs.

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First Mission, Part 3: A Murder of Goblins
Things Get Real

We all met up in the room of Eliza and Raina to discuss next steps. We were there just a few minutes before we heard what sounded like the laughter of children…coming from outside the window. Luke went to check it out, but after putting his head out the window he was pulled out by an apparent whirlwind! He was whipped around and thrown down to the ground, disoriented, bitten, and hellishly angry.

At that moment there was a scream from next door. Eliza and I ran next door and started pounding on the door; a curvy disheveled woman in lingerie opened the door. It was distracting, but I assume we said something intelligent because we ended up in her room while she ran to get Pete. The window was open and searching under the bed revealed a small green creature with wings! It looked intelligent and malevolent, and I sensed it could see into my mind when it said “I SEE you” and scurried farther back under the bed. I was rattled, knowing that IT knew that I was cobbled together and hideous to behold. Eliza was beseeching me to help her move the bed so we could capture the creature, but an odd fear had taken hold of me and instead I used an ancient spell I’d learned long ago, to evict demons and spirits. The creature flew back out the window at tremendous speed and slammed into the side of City Hall, falling to the ground with a wet sound. A bit more than I’d had in mind, but magic is mercurial in nature.

Naga had meanwhile gone downstairs and created a magical barrier, protecting us from the ball of whirling goblin faeries, for that is what they were, that wanted very much to grab us and drop us over a canyon. We ran downstairs to confront the whirling mass and try to get information on the missing children, as we were sure these evil Fae had something to do with their disappearances. Our attempts to communicate were met with stubborn defiance, and a promise that we would pay for killing their brother. Pete appeared with his wife at the door of the hotel, convinced that whatever these things were had to be what broke into their grow room. He fired a shotgun at them with no effect.

At this point, Raina decided there had been enough talking and that it was, in fact, time to flambé some Fae. She quietly went into the Hummer and donned her ACME Flamethrower. On her return she braced herself and shot a lance of flaming, jellied fuel…which the cloud of goblins avoided en masse, but which the side of the hotel could not. We watched in horror as the side of the hotel caught fire. The goblins cackled maniacally. Pete and his wife wept.

We had only been in town for a few hours at this point.

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First Mission, Part 4: A Murder of Goblins
Motherfucking Snakes in the Motherfucking Police Car

Emergency vehicles began to show up, and the ball of goblins flew off to the south, tittering and mocking us as they left. Naga, Luke and me decided to give chase, while Eliza and Raina were shown to our new quarters in the Woman’s Hall next to City Hall. They began a necropsy of the creature we’d killed, while we raced off to find what we hoped was their lair.

We lost sight of them, but decided they must have gone to the graveyard. Naga parked in front of the locked gates and we did our usual attempt to lockpick, which ended with my usual anger and breaking of the lock. We walked in, separating to cover ground. Luke found what he thought was a faerie ring. While we were staring at it, we heard the distinctive whoop of a police siren, followed by a loud yell demanding that we exit immediately with our hands where we could see them.

We had run afoul of the local constabulary. Luckily, Naga saved us again through his use of the arcane arts: a swarm of Burmese Pythons appeared near the police car. We heard the police begin to scream, shots rang out, and we used the distraction to get away in our Hummer. HOWEVER the goblins had apparently been following us, as the Hummer was now pink, which made us look like we were successful cosmetics salesfolk. The goblins would pay, oh yes they would.

We arrived back at the Women’s Hall and Eliza let us know that her online inquires had borne fruit; a young woman who seemed knowledgeable confirmed they were goblins and told her that only special iron could harm them permanently—we would need to find this special iron. The team then went to sleep while I meditated deeply for a few hours. The peace was all too brief however as a rude knocking awoke us early that same morning. Then I remembered: we’d neglected to tell Eliza and Raina about our “incident” at the graveyard. It was the chief of police, and he was furious. Apparently the deputies had shot up their cruiser during the snake incident. Miraculously Raina was able to talk him down, with the understanding that any further problems from us would result in arrest, and that we were NOT welcome to join the search team for Amy.

It was time to explore the town in more detail, so we piled into the now-pink Hummer (Raina also not happy about that) and drove down to the café, which Anne had assured us was of low quality and run by weirdoes. It sounded much more our speed.

Upon arriving to the café, Eliza decided to go into a trance and try to detect any unusual patterns or presences. Suddenly she was thrust into a vision of the most horrific kind: “…dust motes in the forest…blonde hair…fingernails…blood…a body but not complete, MISSING THE BONES, just a skin…a man’s boot—the sheriff’s boot!” This put us all in a somber mood, as one of the missing children had blonde hair. Was the sheriff somehow involved?

We walked into the café and were greeted by an effusive woman of generous proportions who owned the place. Raina ordered all the food in the display case which seemed excessive but did put the owner into a very good mood towards us. She told us that Anne was ignorant, the sheriff was a good man who had come to her aid several times, and that she wasn’t afraid of rednecks. About this time I noticed she had certainly had many surgeries; I complimented her on the quality of the work her doctor had done, and she complimented mine. At that point I sensed the team staring at me and I realized that the woman had large hands and an Adam’s apple. I muttered some thanks and we headed out. This was not the queen we were looking for.

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First Mission, Part 5: A Murder of Goblins
Police and Hunters in the Street

Splitting up yet again, Luke went to see if the police would talk to us. Naga and I would hike to the cabin of a fellow Hunter that he knew, that he’d been assured would be able to arm us with the iron and poison that we needed to fight the Fae. Eliza and Raina took the Hummer further up the road.

Luke successfully determined that a body had been found, but it was of Emily Taylor who had been missing for some time. The team in the Hummer came upon the crime scene just off the main drag to the south; police tape and a policeman were visible. They went to investigate after texting us.

Naga and I were successful in finding his contact, who armed us and told us to focus on the queen; killing individual goblins would not remove them as a threat. He would not join us in our fight however; he was disabled and disillusioned with the war against supernatural evil.

Luke eventually arrived to the crime scene. Attempts to infiltrate the scene had been a failure as the policeman in charge was distraught and actively hostile. Luke tired of waiting, as it does seem as though Hunters are always waiting for police to get out of the damn way. He attempted to question the officer regarding details, but unfortunately mentioned the graveyard incident…the officer drew his weapon and demanded Luke’s surrender. That wasn’t going to happen; Luke drew his weapon and fired at the officer. The officer returned fire and there was a short but intense firefight which left both of them wounded. The officer retreated to his vehicle to request backup and Eliza pulled Luke into the Hummer for an off-road escape. It had been very close.

She raced toward a collection of industrial buildings as fast as the off-road terrain would allow. Naga and I changed course to meet them. Somehow Raina beat us all there…but there was no time for questions. On Eliza’s arrival the inside of the Hummer looked like a combat ambulance, blood everywhere. Naga worked his magic to cure Luke, successfully. We breathed a huge sigh of relief and investigated the buildings, but there was nothing. Seeing another collection of industrial buildings west of us, we armed ourselves with iron daggers and poison-coated swords and drove over.

You didn’t have to be a Hunter to know there was something off about this place.

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First Mission, Final Chapter: A Murder of Goblins
Sharp Teeth

We parked, pulled our weapons, and approached from both sides of the door. Raina was sporting her flamethrower again, and decided to step in to the building. The change to darkness left her blind, but she heard the chittering of goblins and fired a stream of flame…which missed the goblins and congealed atop some heavy steel machinery. The goblins swooped down and grabbed Raina, biting her and trying to pull her up with them. Luke immediately stepped in with a knife attack of pin-point accuracy, dropping goblins and grabbing Raina. He appeared outside with her moments later. The team started breaking out windows in the hope of blinding the goblins with sunlight. They didn’t like it, but it wasn’t killing them either. I tried to go in through the roof but my heavy foot slipped…and I found myself hanging, surrounded by furious creatures. They enveloped me and pulled me from my handhold, biting me and spinning me about. Finally getting my bearings I slashed about with my knife, scoring several two-for-one hits and forcing the goblins to let go of me. It was a long fall but I landed well, with a resounding BOOM in the cavernous building.

I could hear the team discussing ways to burn the building down, and so could the goblins. They swept up in a tornadic mass and flew out the building, heading for town. We realized the queen was not here, and determined to follow the Fae into town.

Once in town I suggested that the queen must be at the undertaker’s building. The rest of the team however had accurately deduced that our target should be the Cloud Nine Diner, and that Anne could be involved.

Naga, Luke and I entered the diner through the back, while Eliza and Raina entered through the front. We immediately faced resistance in the kitchen but slew all the goblins that attacked. They were under more pressure in the dining room, and we burst out of the kitchen to find Anne lounging in a kind of harvest garden, completely nude, surrounded by a cloud of goblins. We had found the Alma Goblins Queen, and she was not happy.

An epic battle ensued, and it was obvious that Queen Anne had not expected us to arrive with effective weapons. We skillfully cut our way through the whirling mass of goblins, while Raina kept the attention of Anne herself by engaging her in questions, taunts and threats. Before long Eliza had crept up behind the Queen and slipped a poisoned garrote around her queenly neck. However Queen Anne would not go quietly into the night and put up a titanic struggle. At that point Raina dove forward with a long poisoned knife and thrust it into Anne’s heart. It was over.

We left the leaderless goblins crashing into windows and walls in the dining room while we made a hasty, but victorious escape back to our vehicle on the outskirts of town. We grabbed our equipment while everyone’s attention was riveted on the diner, and raced back to the airport. A Bombay martini in first class never tasted so sweet.
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Second Mission: Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition
The Heat, the Humidity, The Alien Brainlings

Sydney Curtis alerted us to what he thought was a problem in Jasper, FL. He does a lot of alerting, so we kind of blew him off. But after he didn’t check in for a few days we got worried and mobilized a team to see what he was up to.

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Third Mission: I Dream of Djinni
He Who Fights Monsters Should Look to it That He Himself Does Not Become a Monster

This mission took us to New Mexico, where El Lobo was comfortable, Raina did some shopping, and Zeke was forced to abandon his trench coat in favor of a poncho.

Local archaeologist Dr. Laura Wade has gone missing and evidence of a supernatural ritual points to something the police won’t be able to handle. But can the team find her and save her—without killing her?

It is the most powerful adversary yet, and it will test the team’s very humanity. Along with their grasp on reality.

Unrelated clues begin to appear, both before and after the mission…but by the time the team figures them out, it’s too late: Jane is missing and the faeries have her!

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