The Eight-Pointed Star, Part V



Also Featuring:

aida_icon.gif baruti_icon.gif dave_icon.gif samson_icon.gif uluru2_icon.gif

Scene Title The Eight-Pointed Star, Part V
Synopsis Avi receives an important call and the web becomes clearer.
Date February 27, 2020

It’s raining outside, too warm to snow. It’s rained several of the last few days, enough to melt away the snow from the previous week, leaving nothing but stubborn heaps of brown ice behind. From inside the brick walls of Wolfhound’s NYC Safe Zone headquarters the chill is still evident. The Bastion is nothing like their primary headquarters in Rochester, with its radiant heating in the walls and insulated windows. No, the Bastion is old and drafty like a castle.

It is the whistle of cold wind coming in through the gap between wall and window in Commander Avi Epstein’s office that most reminds him of Bannerman’s Castle. His fingers are so cold as to be nearly numb, wrapped around a room-temperature tin cup of straight vodka, the last booze that was left in his desk. There’s a half-finished bankruptcy form still sitting on his desk, partially obscured by a few other pieces of paperwork. Overdue bills, refueling costs for the last full refuel for the Tlanuwa. He drinks.

Setting down his glass, Avi tugs the bankruptcy form out from under the stack of papers and sets it on top, smoothing out creases in the paper with his palm. He takes a pen from where it’s tucked next to his phone, then considers a scrap of paper nearby with a number on it. He sets the pen down, and instead picks up the phone and dials the number scrawled in marker.

The phone rings several times, eventually ending in a voicemail. Avi sighs into the receiver, slouching forward and resting his forehead against the heel of his palm, eyes shut. “Francois. We need to talk, whenever you’re feeling up to it. There’s, um, some business shit we need to go over. Just…”

A buzzing sound from across Avi’s desk gives him pause, and his eyes move to his cell phone vibrating its way toward the edge of the desk. Avi nearly disregards it, until he sees the number that’s come up on the caller ID screen:


“I’ll call you back,” Avi says as he hastily slams the receiver down with one hand and picks up the cell phone with the other.

There’s dead air for a moment, and it takes that beat for Avi to find the will to greet the party on the other end of the line.

Thousands of Miles Away

The Nasiryah Museum, Lecture Hall
Dhi Qar, Iraq

“«These bones belonged to a resident of Ur, roughly six thousand years ago.»”

A dark-haired woman of modest height carries herself as though she were a thousand feet tall. Her voice comes with the texture of crushed velvet and ground fog. She commands the lecture hall where behind her images of a partial skeleton on an examination table are projected. Close to 100 students and researchers alike sit in the darkened room listening to her speak.

“«Scientists at the University of Thi-Qar, some of your peers, were able to extract DNA samples from the man’s teeth.»” Images of ancient teeth sitting in small dishes with holes drilled in them are displayed alongside charts of the corpse’s genetic structure. “«They were able to concretely prove that this man, six thousand years ago, possessed the Suresh Linkage-Complex.»”

From off stage, a slim man comes into view and quietly makes his way to the podium where this woman is giving a lecture. She turns to him, one brow raised, and he leans in to discreetly whisper in her ear. “«Ms. Sa’id, Baturi Naidu is here to see you.»” She looks past the messenger, to where a dark silhouette lingers in the doorway, a pair of glowing blue eyes giving away his identity. She dismisses the young man with a wave of her hand, then looks back to the crowd.

“«My apologies, but an important matter has come up and requires my immediate attention. Professor Asfour will continue.»” Mrs. Sa’id makes a gesture to a man sitting in a chair just off stage who quickly rises to his feet and moves to replace her at the podium. She quickly moves to join Baruti by the door as the lecture continues.

“«What happened?»” Is all she needs to ask, because she knows Baruti would not interrupt her without due cause. Baruti turns a blue eyed look to the podium, then back to the woman at his side.

“«Aida,»” Baruti says in a low voice, “«Shedda Dinu has fallen.»” There is a near imperceptible change in Aida’s expression at the news; neither surprise nor concern, but rather anticipation.

“«Then it is time,»” Aida says, to which Baruti can only nod in agreement.

Thousands of Miles Away

Tupper Lake
New York

There isn’t a lot out this far north. Pine trees as far as the eye can see, small towns dotting the Catskills, and then there’s Tupper Lake. It was barely a speck on the map prior to the Civil War, and that speck’s only gotten smaller since. On the outskirts of the town, past the home-fried hospitality of Main Street, there’s a derelict building that’s sat disused for a couple years. A multi-bay concrete block garage with its doors rolled down and locked. A double-wide trailer is attached to one side, roof partly collapsed in from this year’s snowfall. A sign partly obscured by windblown snow reads Walt’s Garage.

Tracks in the snow show one set of footprints approaching the trailer, the door halfway torn off of its hinges and hanging crooked to the side against the garage wall. Inside, past stacks of dust-covered newspapers and the forgotten life of David Cardinal, is the remains of a bedroom. Here, far from any traveled road, a fugitive returns to the ashes of the life he once knew. One he left behind in search of answers, one he came back to with the intention of closure.

A loud, hatcheting crack echoes through the trailer. Inside what was once a small office, David Cardinal stands hunched over the floor, a wood-splitting axe in both hands, shoulders heaving, axehead embedded into the floor. He wipes sweat from his brow with the sleeve of his denim jacket, then takes a knee beside the hole torn up through the carpet and the floor.

Reaching inside, David retrieves an old cigar box partially wrapped in a red bandanna. He lets the cloth fall aside, then opens the shallow box and looks inside. David’s mouth twitches, corners playing with a bittersweet smile. He sets the box — containing a few polaroids, some money, and a few baggies of cocaine — aside, keeping only one prize from his well-hidden treasure chest. A cheap silver ring with an opal inset between two cubic zirconia.

David swallows dryly, then tucks the ring into the front pocket of his jacket.

Thousands of Miles Away

The Ruins of Coyote Sands
Arizona, Pacific Southwest Dead Zone

Long ago, lodges once stood here, a monument to the internment camp that once stood on this very site. The buildings collapsed long ago, some through vandalism as knowledge of the site became public, others through the simple passage of time. The wooden skeletons of the buildings dot the dry and dusty landscape now known as the Dead Zone.

Pale fingers scrape through the sand, taking up a handful of dirt to hold before a pair of glowing orange eyes. The hand turns, and sand runs through that palm like sand through an hourglass, caught on the chill wind. The sunlight is blocked by a tall man stepping in to occlude it, and the gold-eyed woman who was once Eve Mas turns to regard the figure with a smile.

“What’re you doing here?” Samson Gray asks, a scowl spread across his lips. “Moreover, how the fuck did you find me?” A low rumble fills the air, sand disturbed around his feet as he considers in what way to kill Eve. But the gold-eyed woman is not Eve Mas. Not anymore.

Eve Mas is dead.

Hambone!” The Entity proclaims in a flinty voice, rising up and throwing the sand in the air. “Oh, it’s so good to see you!” She slinks closer to Samson and he lifts a hand as if to push her back, but then stops. Something clicks inside of his mind, something about her eyes, about her demeanor, something intangible that he processes as sensory information thanks to his ability. His curse.

“What.” Samson says. It isn’t a question, so much as it is an exclamation of utter confusion. The Entity curls her lips into a smile, leaning in to place a peck to Samson’s cheek before sauntering back, barefoot, across the cold desert sand. She pivots on the ball of her foot, turns that into a pirouette, and then spreads her arms in a bow.

“Sammy, Sammy,” the Entity says with an impish tone of voice. “I’m so glad you got out here okay, because do you know where this is? Do you know what happened here?” The Entity asks with a chirp in her voice. Samson’s bushy brows furrow, teeth grating together.

“What happened to Sibyl?” Samson asks through his teeth.

The Entity tilts her head to the side, then points a fingergun at her own head and pulls the trigger. She makes a kapow sound with her mouth and then collapses to her knees on the ground. “Girlie got got,” the Entity says with a bubble of laughter. “But Sibyl wasn’t ever really there, Sammy. You know that. You knew. That girl was dead a long time ago, that body was just a…” she waves her hands in the air, “a prison!

Samson can feel his right hand closing into a fist. His eye on the same side twitches.

“Oh Hamson,” the Entity exasperatedly says, slowly pushing herself to her feet, “don’t be such a sore sport. Our deal’s still good. You scratch my back,” she says with an impish smile, “and I’ll scratch yours.”

Sliding his tongue across the inside of his teeth, Samson restrains himself from saying something stupid. Instead, he spits out, “Why are you acting like her?” He motions to her with one hand. “Eve.”

The Entity spreads her hands, flashing Samson a pearly grin.

“I’m not acting.”

Thousands of Miles Away

The Bastion
Phoenix Heights, NYC Safe Zone

Monroe. Yeah, that’s understandable.” Avi’s voice is a cold, flat tone.

“Oh yeah, no. I don’t… need any extra clarification other than that, Sir. If I’m being brutally honest, I’ve been looking forward to this for a while.” His eyes track down to the photograph on his desk, of Wolfhound years ago, to the daughter he never knew he had hiding in plain sight. The daughter that was taken from him.

“Wolfhound is at your disposal, Mr. President.”

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License