Thursday, 12 March 2015

Fallout (Episode 29)

TheBetterHalf_1919: We have her.

Anders: What? Where?

TheBetterHalf_1919: She’s safe with me.

Anders: You found her?

TheBetterHalf_1919: Agent Larch did. She’d been trailing Jay for days. Unfortunately, it meant leaving Jay's trail to save Pine.

Anders: And Pine? How is she?

TheBetterHalf_1919: It’s touch and go.

Anders: Does anyone else know?

TheBetterHalf_1919: Larch, myself, and now you. No one else.

Anders: Are you on the continent?

TheBetterHalf_1919: Only until she’s stabilized, then we’ll go where you and I agreed.

Anders: Will she survive?

TheBetterHalf_1919: We just don’t know. She was half-drowned in that culvert, and she’s missing most of her right thigh, half of the muscles in her left arm, and parts of her face are simply gone, including an eye. There was massive internal damage as well. She’s covered in lacerations and bite marks. He missed her arteries by a hair’s breadth.

Anders: Did she say it was Jay?

TheBetterHalf_1919:  No, and I'm not convinced this was his doing. I’ve known Jay to be many things, but neither cannibal nor ghoul.

Anders: I’ve had my worries about him for years.

TheBetterHalf_1919: Worries and facts are two very different things, my love.

Anders: Do you need me there?

TheBetterHalf_1919: There’s not much more you can do to help.

Anders: And is she…human?

TheBetterHalf_1919: Not any more.

Anders: So then she does have a chance.

TheBetterHalf_1919: If she had been infected 3-4 months ago, I would say she'd have an excellent chance at survival. The question is, can she survive long enough for the infection to take hold? The answer is...maybe not. But we haven't given up hope.

Anders: What about Larch?

TheBetterHalf_1919: I’ve recommended she accept immediate promotion.

Anders: With or without Wyrd approval?

TheBetterHalf_1919: Wyrd be damned. If Ishmael be your son, so be these women my daughters.

Anders: How poetical!

TheBetterHalf_1919: My only regret is that only one of them will come out looking like me.

Anders: And the other one...? I'm not sure how Pine will feel if she comes out looking like Jay.

TheBetterHalf_1919: Time will tell, so long as Pine survives the next few days. Twice, I’ve already had to resuscitate her.

Anders: And here you are, chatting with me instead of watching over her.

TheBetterHalf_1919: She’s in good hands with Larch.

TheBetterHalf_1919: As for what she might become? Sumac says he heard a wolf howl in the background when she called the second to last time.

Anders: And with that much tumultuous human traffic so nearby, no natural wolf would linger to howl. Fortunate for us, less so for Pine. So, if not Jay, perhaps a friend or another rogue lycanthrope.

TheBetterHalf_1919: And yet she raves on and on about these “bonewalkers”. I’ve asked Larch about them, and she says only that she saw human cannibals running about in porcelain masks.

Anders: Then we can hope it was Jay. Odd though...cannibals? As far as I know, cannibalism isn't catching. But then again, I've been watching too many zombie movies to laugh off the idea entirely.

TheBetterHalf_1919: And then there was Wyndham Farms. Maybe someone escaped during all the ruckus. 

Anders: But why porcelain? One would think carbon fibre a more practical material.

TheBetterHalf_1919: All the more reason to keep this girl alive as long as possible.

Anders: And when she begins to metamorphose? She'll lose more than her identity.

TheBetterHalf_1919: We need to resuscitate her enough prior to full onset of the infection, in order to get a clear understanding of what happened, before the infection steals her memories.

Anders: Assuming there hasn’t been any substantial brain damage, of course.

TheBetterHalf_1919: Although, if she comes through this as a lycanthrope, even without her memories she may yet point us in the right direction. Like sire, like pup, as they say. If she comes through as anything else...well then. We'll have a better idea of what these cannibals really are.

Anders: Yes…yes I can see how well that’s worked for both Bridget and Ishmael. Letting them fully develop into their final cycles has clearly pointed us in the direction of their own forebears. And so quickly! Why, it’s only been thirty-five years, tracking down anyone who looks like Ishmael.

TheBetterHalf_1919: You’re such an optimist, my love. That’s why we get along so long.

Anders: Indeed.

Anders: And if not Jay, then who? Who is our culprit? Someone stole two and a half million dollars from Wyrd, and it wasn’t me, it wasn’t you, and it wasn’t Ishmael. If not Jay, then who?

Anders: Someone abducted a senior field agent and mauled her in the middle of nowhere. Why?

Anders: Someone has murdered my boy Sumac. I want to know who, and I want to know why.

TheBetterHalf_1919: And I want to know who’s next, so we can get to them before "Someone" else does.

Anders: One might assume Bridget is the next on Someone's list, especially after what she did at Wyndham Farms. And naturally, we can rely on Someone including the two of us on his or her list.

TheBetterHalf_1919: We can handle ourselves. I’m more concerned about our curious human counterparts.

TheBetterHalf_1919: Beloved…

Anders: Yes, my heart.

TheBetterHalf_1919: Whenever Pine comes around, she asks about Sumac. Distress is adding an unnecessary strain as she struggles to fight both injury and infection.

Anders: I’m doing all I can with the resources I have.

TheBetterHalf_1919: Nothing at all?

Anders: I have a medical examiner's report - with rather graphic pictures attached - a death certificate, an obituary, a closed coffin funeral, and a burial plot. Other than that, I have nothing but conflicting reports.

TheBetterHalf_1919: Whether he’s dead or alive?

Anders: No, *how* he died. Wyrd says he died of an infection (which may or may not be true, depending on the "infection" in question). Omnispectrus says he committed suicide the night he was fired. We both say he was healthy, sane, and driven to find Pine, before he was rudely murdered in the middle of our conversation. The doctor says he was drugged, beaten, and bitten to death. All four stories are believable. All four stories might be wrong.

TheBetterHalf_1919: So what do you think is the true story?

Anders: That both our Agents of Chaos have had their wishes fulfilled.

Anders: Pine has been promoted.

Anders: And Sumac has died in the body he chose.