34: Timewave Rising

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When It Happened (Chronicle Time): June, 2006

Who Was There: Yukio (Bob), Bruce (Matt)

What It Was

Strange visitors interrupt a quiet summer night at the Marble Arch, and the Jokers decide maybe the time is right for a raid on Castle Glamis after all

The Full Horror

The new order of Katsoulakis' New York is now very clear. Ariadne Kyrios has become an object of fear in the shadows of the City. Anyone who dares to cause serious trouble in the Five Boroughs is certain to get a visit from her. Or at least, that seems to be what happens, judging by the blood-spattered pieces that are left behind.

But for those who play by the rules, the times are good. Membership at Stuyvesant Lodge is up, and the leadership of Rolsten and Jameson (ever careful to keep Katsoulakis apprised of their plans) is bringing the Lodge steadily back to the prominence it once held decades ago in New York's Occult Underground.

Life at the Arch and at the Renaissance is quiet and orderly (as much as it ever is, anyway), the Faeries continue to integrate into the everyday life of the City, and Bruce's criminal and Mocker networks are slowly expanding. Five of Bruce's 'droogs' are able to handle the weird stuff, and also help to keep Bruce anchored. Miranda, now nearly convinced she is 'Lilly', Bruce's lost love, has also been a reliable anchor, and the peace of the Arch has stabilized her as well.

Bruce has been decorating the guesthouse at the Marble Arch with paintings, some of them magical items he has 'taken off the street.' Many of them are Mondrian-style, with specific matrices, though at least one depicts the sunken city of Atlantis. Yukio is less than pleased to discover that Bruce also palmed the blue-steel lighter, and makes him promise never to use it.

Close Encounter

So it comes as a surprise when a quiet summer night is shattered around 2am by the appearance of a strange, green craft, hovering above the Marble Arch. A portal silently opens, and two figures descend from it within a column of greenish light. Upon reaching the ground, they move toward the Arch and then pause, apparently to study the ward Yukio has established around it. Before they can do anything else, however, the Faerie guards, Pwyll and Oison, confront them and order them not to make a move.

Bruce and Yukio arrive not long after, and the two Visitors waste no time in insisting they be shown the "Crystal Lattice."

The Jokers guess immediately that this is some kind of reference to the Crystal Skull that Yukio knows is hidden away in Scotland's Castle Glamis, under the formidable protection of the vampiric Douglass family. Despite the serious challenge that presents, the two visitors are less than pleased to hear that the skull remains there. With only six years left until "the Timewave crisis," any delay is unacceptable.

Not waiting for an answer, the pale green light shines down again, and the two beings are drawn back up to their strange ship. Without a sound, it begins to move, and then streaks for the horizon.


A few days later, the Arch receives another visitor, this time Thomas Cartwright. When he hears about the previous visit, he regrets not being there for it. But he tells Bruce and Yukio that, despite their appearance, there is good reason to think the two beings had a terrestrial origin, not an alien one, though that would not rule out their being from another, Earth-based dimension.

Neither the Timewave nor the Crystal Lattice mean anything to him, but Cartwright does say they sound like something from a book written by a man named Morris Jessup. He has not read the book himself, but trusted colleagues referred to some rather unusual marginal notes.

Cartwright adds that he has also been hearing a new word lately. It sounds something like "Nah-Tal," but he has had no luck in tracking down whatever it means. And with that, he leaves.

Soon after, Bruce and Yukio start making plans for Scotland, beginning with Google Earth, tourist guides, and Yukio's memories of his spirit flight through Castle Glamis. Yukio worries that the reappearance of the green serpents heralds the return of Ben-Nevis, so he alerts Katsoulakis, while Bruce tells Saint-Germain. Then there are other options to consider: urge the Gilmores to attack the Douglases? Ask the Dark Queen for help? Or Aglie, Tessa DiMarco, or Derek Cross? The Jokers are not sure who they can trust, and there is the unhappy possibility that the two visitors may be setting them up for disaster.

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