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Having finished the transaction, Kiki cheerfully stepped from behind the bar/counter and started heading towards Lynn's office. "If you'll excuse me, I'll be right back with your purchase!"

Gretchen stayed behind the long wooden counter, still grinning like an idiot at the pair of customers. "Uh...can I get you a complimentary pastry while you wait? Mrs. Nussbaum's brownies are kosherific!"

 

Meanwhile Kiki knocked on the door frame of Lynn's office; she blinked for a few seconds at the boy, largely forgotten during what would probably be the largest individual sale of her life. "Oh, uh, hey Lynn? I need to get something from in back." She pointed at the bookshelf behind the boss's desk. "Y'know, way in the back; we just sold that creepy human skin book."

 

Lynn looked up from her scanner, her eyes wide. "The old anatomy book? Wow, that guy must really be loaded!" She looked over her shoulder, then back at the boy. "Uh, Keek? Can you escort Mr. Freeman off the premises?" She handed the lad back his ID. "Here you go, Will. I'll get the book for the customer."

 

Once they were out of her office, the changeling approached the bookshelf behind her desk; it appeared to be part of the room, like the other built-in shelves. She waved her hand, and a section of it melted away to vapor, revealing an ordinary doorknob; a quick turn, and the shelf easily swung open on well-oiled hinges, allowing access to the small dark windowless room behind it. It was dry and a little dusty, with a handful of shelves filled with a mixture of books and unusual odds and ends, and several large, old-fashioned steamer trunks bearing the initials 'I.S.' There was also a large magician's 'disappearing cabinet' and an elegant standing mirror with an intricate gold frame, partly covered by a heavy drop cloth.

 

A short time later, a beaming Lynn came back into the shop holding a wooden box roughly eleven inches by seventeen, and a few inches thick. "Sorry about the wait, sir, here is your item. The slipcase dates from the Nineteenth Century, and is included with the price." She also had a lightweight canvas bag with the Silberman's logo printed on the side tucked under one arm. "And here's a tote bag with some bookmarks and my card inside. Anything else we can get for you today? Would you like to receive our e-newsletter?"

Edited by Heritage

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"Sure.  I'd love to be signed up for your newsletter.  Flipmetothemoon@Horizon.net"  Erick responded revealing he was not above using New Horizon Media's  web email as his primary.  At least as Erick Sloane.  Though the reply was out of politeness more than anything.  He wasn't sure how much time he'd actually spend going through the e-letter of a bookstore.

"Rick's email's dated.  But thank you for your fine service."  Alaina added before taking the slipcase.  "Have a nice day."  At this she looked down at the wrecked cash register.  "Or at least a nicer day than you were having.  Sorry about the thugs."  The pair both waved goodbye before leaving the store.  Before finally driving off.

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GM

*       *       *

It had been some time since Erick and Alaina had left the book store and made it back to his manor.  Decompressing in the living room the precognitive gymnast was looking through the files he had been compiling on Zero.  Looking for the next link the in the chain.  Something that would let him put an end to long spanning criminal conspiracy.  At least that was the plan.

Then  it hit him like a ton of bricks.  Back inside the bookstore he was talking to the attractive store owner, Lynn once more.  Only it wasn't him talking.  No, it was Kiki.  Suddenly the loud screech of an armored car outside caught everyone's attention.  Six masked men armed with sub machine guns began firing towards the building without warning.

Screams, gunfire, and blood followed.

*       *       *

While Foreshadow was racing to the seen Lynn didn't have the benefit of warning.  The shots came loudly and suddenly.  First the glass shattered.  Then the hail of bullets hit the merchandise.  Lynn told her employees to hit the ground.  But, that did nothing to stop the grenade.  It came loudly and suddenly.  Disorienting everyone inside.  

Two men rushed inside making their way to Lynn's office.  It was all a blur.  They exited shortly after with a package.  On any other night the occupants upstairs might have been available to rush down to help.  As it were they were otherwise occupied.  Which might have been a small mercy.  As it meant there were less people around to get caught in the crossfire.

Unfortunately, as Lynn quickly found out there were still bodies to get hit.  Years of life and death situations had allowed her to avoid the gunfire with lightning fast reflexes.  Gretchen and Kiki had no such luxury.  Gretchen was profusely bleeding from her abdomen.  It wasn't clear if it was shrapnel from the grenade or a stray bullet.  But what was clear she needed help.

Kiki was no worse for the wear pinned down by a books shelf with a clearly broken shoulder a bullet had definitely hit her in the leg.  The smell of blood and fire filled Silberman's books.  The damage was "contained" to the front of the first floor of the store.  But it was still chaos. 

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Lynn looked down at the register, shrugged and sighed as she paraphrased the final line of Chinatown. "Forget it, Jake. it's retail." Then she nodded and wearily smiled. "You two have a nice night."

 

- - -

 

Looking back on it later, Lynn could be happy the store was empty of customers; that was the only good thing.

 

It was late, and it had been a bizarre day; destruction of property, a young thief caught and a huge sale for Kiki, followed by several hours of inactivity, led to a trio of dulled minds. The three booksellers were lazily straightening shelves and wiping down tables when they heard the gunning of an engine and the squeal of tires. Kiki looked up near the bar, and Gretchen frowned quizzically as she took a step towards the front window.

"What the hell...?" 

 

The hairs on the back of Lynn's neck stood up as all her instincts screamed. "Gretch, don't-"

 

BRAAAAAAATTTTT!

 

The big window shattered, sending shards of glass flying through the air as the bullets ripped through the store. Lynn heard Gretchen scream.

 

BRAAAAAAATTTTT! BRAAAAAAATTTTT!

 

Shredded books flew off the shelves as more glass tinkled and wood splinters showered down; suddenly Lynn could move again as she deftly leaped across the room to grab the young barista and pull her to the floor. 

"Get down, stay down!" There was a silence for a few seconds, and the changeling could actually feel every bullet that had ripped through the store, her store, the place where she felt safe. Never again. Then there was a soft thud as a small lump of metal plopped into the middle of the floor.

 

"S###!"

 

She curled reflexively around Gretchen just before a thunderclap BOOMED indoors, popping everyone's eardrums and driving hot spikes of metal through their arms and legs; the faerie's sharp ears made her particularly vulnerable to this sort of attack. The front door burst open and there was a tramp of feet, making a beeline for her office. The scroll. The cursed scroll! She sent her eyes to the back of the store, hulking figures behind the desk, fiddling with something-

 

BLAM!

 

And now it was Lynn's turned to scream; they'd blown the door clear off its hinges, and the pain was almost unbearable, but she refused to let herself pass out.

 

No, no, do NOT black out! You have to protect your kids!

 

They had what they needed; she lost a few seconds as she tried to lock down the pain, but it was too late. They were gone. Lifting her head up, she felt her arms were sticky with blood. "Oh no..." She pulled back, and saw Gretchen's blood was everywhere. A gut wound; holy s###, a gut wound. The fae tore her eyes away from the sight as she refocused. "Kiki?! Kiki, where are you?!" Lynn's senses raced throughout the store until she spotted her assistant manager, partially trapped but still moving. "S###, s###, s##!" She leaned down and whispered in Gretchen's ear.  "Gretchen! Gretchen, can you hear me? C'mon, honey, wake up!"

 

The young barista's eyes rolled blearily open. "Hey. Hey, they broke the windows; that ain't right!"

 

Lynn conjured up a handful of thick soft gauze that she put into the injured girl's hands as she cradled her in her lap. "Gretch, can you take this and hold it to your belly? It's important that you do this, okay?"

 

Gretchen nodded like her head was on a loose spring. "Sure, sure; I gotcher back, Jack! We got this." Her fingers carefully wrapped around the wad of gauze like it was something precious.

 

"Good, great, you're the best, kid!" She furiously wiped the blood on her hands onto her jeans, then dug out her smartphone and dialed 911. "Hello, I'd like to report a shooting, at Silberman's Books in the West End, at the corner of Pratt and Frederick! Two people have been shot!" She pulled the phone away from her face and yelled, "Kiki, stay with me! I'll be right there, okay?"

Edited by Heritage

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Foreshadow drove up to the scene just in time to see the men in the armored van load up.  The Gravbike that ASTRO Labs had given him handled like a dream.  Speeding through traffic with such ease.  The only problem was Foreshadow had not yet become used to moving in a three dimensional plane.  Coupled with the number of eighteen wheelers out and about left the precognitive gymnast in the lurch.  By the time he arrived, it was clear he was too late.

The absolutely last thing he ever wanted to do was be too late.  He felt a tightening in his chest, anxiety beginning to strangle from within.  The only thing that helped Foreshadow regain his focus in that moment was the distant sound of someone screaming out from within the store.  Hitting the throttle on the hover bike Foreshadow sped up.

Unfortunately the last two gunmen noticed him coming near and began firing.  Forcing him to make a sharp turn before reaching the store.

"If there's anyone there!  I'm on the way."  Foreshadow attempted to scream over the sound of gunfire.  But, he wasn't sure why he thought there was a possibility anyone could hear him the way they were unloading.

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GM

The phone rang for what felt like an eternity.  Finally, Lynn heard a click of acknowledgement.  Followed by a gravelly male voice asking the all too important question.  "This is 911, where's your emergency?"  In the background the sound of gunfire filling the air anew.

Quickly prompting a second question.  "Sir or Ma'am is that gunfire?"  The dispatcher sounded anxious.  With no context for the sounds going o around it was hard to blame him for that.  As he waited for the store owner's response to a very serious sounding situation.

Meanwhile, Lynn began to hear the gunfire get further and further away.  The gunmen were making their getaway.  Though she couldn't quite see what they were shooting at.  Just that it seemed to not be the store itself any longer.  Having seemingly accomplished whatever they wanted without a care in the world for the consequences.  

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Lynn started to get a little frustrated, despite knowing that it never helped in this sort of situation. "Yes, there is gunfire; the bastards shot up my shop and through a f###ing grenade through the window! I have two people shot, one of whom is bleeding heavily from a shot to the abdomen! Please send someone to Silberman's Books at the corner of Pratt and Frederick ASAP! We need ambulances and cops like now!" She thought she heard someone yelling out in the street, but she was too focused on keeping her assistant live to make out the words.

 

There was a soft cough followed by a ragged breath from the girl in her lap. "Uh, sorry, Boss Lady, but I think...we need more paper towels..." Gretchen was still bleeding steadily, the big handful of gauze Lynn had given her was now damp with blood. "S###, there's blood everywhere," she said absently into the phone as she shifted slightly to get a better look at the injured girl; her face was getting pale and was slick with cold sweat. The changeling made a blanket appear from nowhere and managed to get it around the girl's shoulders to help her stay warm, then made a large fresh set of bandages to replace the sticky red ones. "Keep the pressure on now, ya got it? Keep pressing down."

 

Gretchen smiled faintly as she let her head fall back into Lynn's lap. "I like this show; the doctors...always saving people..." 

Edited by Heritage

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"Emergency Personnel are on  the way.  Ma'am emergency personnel are on the way."  The dispatcher was quick to call out.  "Stay on th-"  It was at this point that Lynn had begun treating her workers.  Either through the haze of the grenade or the distracting situation her hearing faded for a moment.  Just long enough for Foreshadow to slip into the room.

"Is the scene secure?  Are there any serious life threatening risks to you?  How many injured?"  Question after question read off.  The dispatcher was intent on getting as much information as she needed to give to all three branches of emergency services.  With Lynn's hearing she would have heard if they were anywhere nearby.  Even as distracted as she were.

As it stood the sirens weren't even a faint sound in the distance.

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Foreshadow stepped over bits of debris and made his way over to the trio on the ground.  The store smelled awful.  Smoke and what he was assumed burnt wood and paper.  A far cry from his earlier stop as Erick.  He only took a few moments to triage the scene.  It was easy to make out who needed help.

Dropping down next to Gretchen, Foreshadow pointed out in Kiki's direction and immediately began speaking.  "I got this.  But, move the bookcase pining her down.  If they come back or something is structurally unsound we'll be in a real mess while she's down there."

Checking Gretchen's airway Foreshadow could confirm breathing had yet to be compromised.  And fortunately, or unfortunately, the bullets had not strayed North towards her mouth.  There was only so much he could readily do.  Gunshot wounds were a surgical problem.  What Foreshadow could muster, however, he did excellently.

Managing to control the bleeding with forceful pressure using her clothing and forceful movement.  He collected the bullet near the exit wound storing it in a storage bag.  "The doctor would like to know the caliber he's working against.  Can't guarantee how badly organ damage is.  But, if she's a fighter be glad that the abdomen is tougher than people give credit for."  

The reassurance towards Lynn was to try and make sure she focused.  As far as he knew she was just a bookstore owner.  Not exactly the sort of person used to this sort of situation.  And he really couldn't afford a freak out right now.

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"Just the two injured, I'm fine! Area is secure, for now." Lynn stayed on the line, clinging to the thin electronic lifeline of human contact, but when Foreshadow showed up, she was visibly relieved as she gestured down at her young charge on her lap. "Oh thank God, a mask! She's kinda slipping in and out." The store owner gently slid out from under Gretchen, not wanting to give her up; she hadn't felt this protective of a life since her daughter Ruthie had that 104 fever when she was little, watching the rise and fall of her chest.

 

She was especially happy to see that Foreshadow (That was his name, right? The outfit looked familiar.) seemed to have some medical training; she really had to take a first aid class next year! When he told her to get the bookcase off Kiki, she nodded crisply and said, "Done!" With a wave of her hand, the wooden bookcase dissolved into vapor, the remaining books sliding over Kiki and onto the floor; she shot Foreshadow a look and shrugged. "Secret IDs be damned; plus, she already knows, and this one won't remember anything." She indicated the grievously-injured barista with a nod as she got up and made her way over to her best friend and assistant manager, pushing aside the rest of the books on top of her. "How're ya doing, kiddo?"

 

Kiki had both hands around her leg, doing her best to limit the bleeding; her shoulder was bent at an unnatural angle, and her lips were tight with pain as she looked up at her boss. "Not so good." She looked down at the blood oozing from her thigh. "They shot me, Lynn! They shot me in..." Her voice trailed off; as a dancer, her legs were her life. The thought of the hours of rehab that awaited her, the possible loss of mobility and muscle tone, was clearly etched into her face.

 

"You're gonna be okay, Keek; you're gonna be fine." Looking back over her shoulder at Foreshadow, her face was fiercely determined. "What do you need from me? I can make stuff, just nothing made of metal. Bandages, a stretcher? What can I make you?"

 

Meanwhile Gretchen drifted back and noticed her head was no longer resting in Lyn''s lap; she craned her head around, looking annoyed but clearly still out of it. "Hey...! Hey, where'd...where'd Boss Lady go? I've gotta clean up before...she gets back..." Still holding a handful of bandages sticky with blood, she feebly dabbed at the remains of her shirt. "Oh oh...my shirt's torn!"

Edited by Heritage

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"A stretcher would be nice.  If we're lucky, her insides were cauterized by the bullet.  At least that's the best we can hope for when it comes to this sort of shot.  If you can get me an ice pack we might be able to speed up the clotting.  But, also playing it fast and loose with shock risks."  Foreshadow responded rather calmly.  With Dee this was about the point he shared his own identity.  But, seeing as Lynn didn't seem to be a mind reader that didn't seem to be a necessity.  Although he did have some questions about the whole vapor thing. Questions that could wait.

They didn't have to save them.  They just had to keep them alive long enough that the paramedics could get them in for surgery.  Last thing he wanted to do was attempt an operation himself.  As clean as Lynn's bookstore may have been at one point in time, it was definitely not a sterile environment anymore.  Controlling the bleeding and watching for shock was the name of the game.  "If need be.  Don't be afraid to press your knee down on her femoral.  It'll hurt her.  Like a lot.  But, I'll cut off circulation in that leg too"

On the bright side.  The one who got shot in the leg wasn't spurting blood.  She wouldn't be skipping through the streets either.  But, small graces."You're gonna be fine.  Boss Lady took care of cleaning up the shop for you."  Foreshadow responded to Gretchen.

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Lynn nodded, happy to have someone else in charge for a change. "I can make a stretcher, but it would have to be an old fashioned wood and canvas one; anything the EMTs will bring would be better. Still..." There was a flourish, and a stretcher appeared just as she described, probably inspired by an old movie about World War II. Then she waved her hand again, and a wooden pail soon appeared, which she filled with several cloth icebags. She also made a nice stack of sterile gauze bandages and absorbent cotton pads right next to the pail, as well as another soft woolen blanket. As an afterthought, she provided a corked glass bottle full of rubbing alcohol; all the items were as real as anything else and fully functional. Lynn smiled grimly. "You're pretty well-stocked now, Shadow; let me know if you need anything else." 

 

Turning back to Kiki, she winced as she adjusted herself to better carry out Foreshadow's instruction. "Sorry about this, Keek; sounds like it's gonna hurt like a bitch."

 

Her friend just shook her head and took a deep breath. "Do it; just do it." Lynn nodded as she scooched over to her friend's side, shifted to her knees and leaned; the young dancer groaned then sharply breathed through her nose. She was no stranger to pain; a lifetime of ballet and jazz dance lessons had toughened her as much as any athlete, but this really did hurt.

 

For her part, Gretchen had largely stopped talking, her breathing shallow but steady as she once again drifted in and out of consciousness, though there was still the occasional mumble. "Mom...can I...ride the mall...?"

Edited by Heritage

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Lynn and Foreshadow worked in tandem to care for the girls.  Up until Lynn heard the sound of sirens a block away.  Foreshadow stuck around just long enough to help the paramedics load the girls on the back of the ambulances.  Completely disappearing from view while the police questioned Lynn.  Getting her statements over what occured and cordoning off the area as part of their official investigation.  Turning the corner of the small shop, he quickly reunited with Lynn outside of  prying eyes.

I'm all for keeping the police in on the loop.  But, I honestly have nothing to share, so why bother?  Foreshadow stretched his neck.  Wondering what it said about the store's luck that so soon after coming into a bit of money it gets so massively trashed.  "So, I'd ask about the whole disappearing bookcase thing.  But, I'm more concerned about the thugs with guns.  No offense to you but, your store isn't exactly a hot commodity.  Why shoot this place up?"

Or smash a register for that fact?  Heck, what was the boy after earlier.

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Lynn was almost completely honest with the police and EMTs when they arrived on site; she'd created a 'dummy' bookcase next to Kiki before they entered the store, and explained the stretcher as an odd bit of Army surplus that happened to be around the store. As far as the nature of the attack, she told everything like it happened, and described the incident from earlier in the day; the cops gave her a bit of grief for not reporting it, which she freely admitted was a mistake. The thought that somehow this could have been avoided if she'd reported the activities of the two thugs gnawed at her gut, and would no doubt bother her for some time.

 

As they made ready to load both girls into the waiting ambulances, Lynn slipped each of them a small stuffed animal to hold onto, which struck the EMTs as slightly odd but they didn't comment on it; they didn't realize that she hoped to check in on the two of them remotely via her glamour connection. "I'll be there as soon as I can, okay? Just need to take care of some things here first."

 

Once they were gone, Foreshadow naturally reappeared. "Ah, there you you are." The shopkeeper was leaning in a darkened doorway, watching the crowd of gawkers pass by; at first, it seemed as though she hadn't heard his questions, but then she finally responded in a flat, unemotional voice.

 

"I had something they wanted to buy; something bad. Dark magic." She shook her head. "I should have just destroyed it, or given it to Scarab for safe keeping. So stupid." She closed her eyes and sighed, visibly sagging under the weight of the day's events as the tears welled up. "Sooooo stupid."

 

Edited by Heritage

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"I'm not just saying things because I hate to see a pretty gal upset.  But, safe the self blame for another time.  Sounds like you have some idea of who I need to beat up then."  Foreshadow replied before smiling softly.  Recalling the earlier events of the day.  "Really, I'm sorry about your employees.  I'll make sure the people who did this are brought to justice.  Anything you can tell me about this magic they wanted to buy?  Last "magic" thing I dealt with was a weird noose guy hanging people he deemed guilty.  Kinda want to not be caught off guard with that brand of crazy."

Over time he had grown more accepting as magic as something more than broadly defined meta ability.  Acceptance didn't mean he was about to stuff either of his homes with tomes full filled to the brim with knowledge of eldritch horror.  Magic seemed one of those areas where knowledge was a double edged sword.  So Foreshadow kept it at an arm's length unless he deemed such knowledge necessary.

Judging by the state of the store.  Such knowledge was necessary.

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Lynn nodded as she picked at a bandage on her wrist, one of the many the EMTs had insisted on putting on the many minor cuts she'd sustained from flying glass and shrapnel. "Yeah, I've got a pretty good idea, but you're not going alone; I'm gonna help you."

 

The changeling groaned as she rubbed her face. "Alright, to put this in context. There are basically three types of people who can do magic. Folks who are either non-human or naturally magical, like me, for example. Folks who track down old books and bit of knowledge and study and study for years."

 

Then she met Foreshadow's gaze with sad, old eyes. "And then you get the worst ones: the lazy,'I-want-it-now' types who crave unlimited power but lack the patience for study. They want a short cut...so they make a deal."

She shrugged. "What they took was basically like an incomplete shopping list or recipe book called 'the Scroll of Renark'." She grinned a sickly grin. "It's for people who really like short cuts."

 

Suddenly there was a swirl of mist, and Lynn became Grimalkin; her bandages were neatly covered by her black-and-midnight-blue leather outfit and domino mask. Her eyes behind the mask were filled with barely-concealed rage.

 

"Let's start hunting while the trail is still fresh."

Edited by Heritage

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Foreshadow and Grimalkin traveled by the former's Gravbike.  With Grimalkin navigating the route using nothing more than her assailant's scent.  Their path led them across the South River into Greenbank.  Through the rail yards they found themselves in front of a location most map services would otherwise list as a decommissioned Roundhouse.  However, it didn't take long for the fact that decomissioned didn't mean abandoned to become readily apparent.

Surrounding the property was a eighteen foot wall.  A sealed gate barred further entry inside.  Even from a safe distance away both heroes were able to spot the fact that a three floor villa had been built upon the roundhouse.  The armored van was barely visible parked near a circular fountain paired next to two similar vans.  The Greenbank Rail yards were no stranger to supervillain remodeling, but this was perhaps the first case of someone turning the land into domestic estate.

 

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Grim swung her leg off the bike and shook her head, hands on her hips. "Wow, that is...downright upscale for this neighborhood. And from the looks of it, a real nasty piece of work to enter." She turned to her newfound partner in this affair. "Okay, so I'm guessing from the getup and your actions, you can sneak pretty darn good." She placed a gloved hand on her chest. "I myself am also insanely sneaky." She jerked her thumb towards the wall. 'I'm estimating they probably have...let's say a bajillion guns and rounds of ammo in there, so getting caught would be bad."

 

She stood there studying the structure for a few more seconds, scratching her lower lip with an extended claw. "So do we go straight for the villa, or do we try and drop as many mooks as we can first?"

Edited by Heritage

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"I'm all for sneaking in.  Worst case scenario they call for the guards from the outside and we get completely surrounded by guys with guns."  Foreshadow responded rather calmly.  As if that worst case scenario wasn't all that worrisome of a situation to find oneself in.  "Surprised though, if I were my friends shot up.  I probably would do the stupid thing and try and knock out even remotely associated with the going ons in here."

 

He then made a running motion with his gloved hands.  "So over the wall and through the hills.  To crazy criminal's house we go then?"  Confirming where he stood on the sneaking versus busting in side of the debate.  Hopping off his bike that could just barely not reach the top of the wall with it's maximum altitude.

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Grim laughed, and it wasn't an entirely pleasant one. "Oh believe me, I'm hoping the s### hits the fan right away, to give me an excuse to do something stupid; I just think the goons look a lot funnier when you beat them up from surprise." To be honest, she realized she'd been so focused on finding the guilty parties as a way to avoid thinking about her two friends in the hospital, but now that she had a moment to think about it, she felt a sinking feeling in her stomach.

 

If Gretchen doesn't make it, I will never forgive myself.

 

"Actually, give me a second." She closed her eyes and concentrated, shifting her senses to the two stuffed animals she sent along with her two employees; after a few seconds, she shook her head and sighed. "Well, they're both in good hands; I just hope-" He voice cracked for a second, and then she squeezed her eyes shut and clenched her hands into fists. "Let's just get these guys."

 

There was a soft 'whump' as the faerie shrank down to pixie size, and then she was in the air and over the wall, dropping softly to the ground back at normal size to wait for her temporary partner to join her.

Edited by Heritage

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Foreshadow easily scaled the wall using his escrima sticks as a swing line to ascend the wall.  The pair sneaked past a pair of roving guards and began making their way towards the storage building.  Even from the distance they could tell the building had been converted to a proper shelter of sorts.  Most of the train entrances had been sealed off leaving the first visible access point a man sized door with a porty man guarding at the moment.  However, there was still one tunnel for a train to enter through providing an alternate means of entrance

 

Throughout the area were many carts from decommissioned trains.  Throughout the yard area visually concealed by the many train carts, Grimalkin could smell the men who had attacked her store.  Although, they each smelled exactly the same, their movements remained scattered.  Amongst that varied collection of scents what she could not smell were her stolen possessions (at least in the immediate area).

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Grim was familiar with train yards; when she'd first run away from home at fifteen, she'd ridden the rails out West, partly inspired by The Journey of Natty Gann, one of her favorite movies as a kid. Of course, the reality hadn't quite lived up to the fantasy; if only she'd found a wolf like Natty did, maybe things would've turned out better...

 

Back in the real world, she kept her voice low as she spoke to Foreshadow. "Okay, the guys who hit my place are out here, hiding out in the cars, I guess, maybe acting as additional security. They don't have my stuff, though; must have already delivered it inside." She smiled a very unpleasant smile. "I'm in the mood for a terrifying interrogation; how 'bout you?"

Edited by Heritage

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"I can terrify with proper motivation."  Foreshadow responded calmly.   "I'd like to give you that catharsis of us picking them off one by one and leaving the last guy peeing his pants enough to answer our questions.  Tactically, it's probably not as smart as say snatching one of them up without alerting the others.  Getting our answers and then moving where we need to go."

 

He didn't know what they wanted with the book they stole.  But, the rather public criminal assault mixed with the hidden layer didn't exactly speak to someone who had read the Road one too many times.  "Before we make Jack London proud, I need to know, do I need to worry about you out there?  I get where you're coming from.  But if you're not in the headspace to keep yourself safe or worse to stop yourself from going to far when we strike I want to know."

 

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Grim found Foreshadow's concern to be both amusing and touching, but she completely understood where he was coming from, and his bringing it up spoke well of his professionalism and good character. 

 

"Oh honey, don't worry about me; I've been doing this a long, long time, and I've seen combat and all manner of nastiness, some of which I perpetrated in my younger days." She sighed and looked a little wistful. "As fun as that first scenario sounds, what I really want to do is resolve this quickly so I can be there for my people, y'know? That's what's really important in life."

 

The changeling nodded decisively. 

 

"A quick snatch and grab it is." And then she faded from view, until just her voice hung in the air, like the Cheshire cat. "You take the lead; I'll follow."

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