1.8 Weavings

•June 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment
(Ci’s Stats 4/4 Willpower, 4/11 Vitae, one bashing damage)
(Scene Setup (Chaos 4): Ci is at the Moirai meeting. Modifier 9. Proceed.)

The Moirai meeting had once or twice been held at the Encore long ago.  The shadow cult rarely held a full meeting at the same place in a decade.  The semi-weekly human meetings were different, but then they were a little more inconspicuous as well.  The full meetings, which the vampires attended, were often filled with illegal, sometimes immoral, activities.  It depended on the ceremony holder’s mood.

(Is Ci the last to arrive? 50/50. Yes)

After passing through layers of human and ghoul security, Ci made it the theatre proper where the ceremony would be held.  She passed row after row of seating, where animals, vagrants, and weather had left some seats overturned or destroyed.  Some still had patches of stained velvet, reminding Ci of better times.  The six other hooded vampires were standing on stage in their ceremonial robes.  Ci stripped bare in an awkward procession heading down towards the stage.  She saw her robe on the ground in an empty spot next to Rachel.  A ghoul was already picking up her disrobed articles by the time Ci climbed on stage.  Her nakedness drew no attraction from any of the six vampires.  It wasn’t that they had grown bored with the body that they had seen in the nude throughout the unchanging years.  It was just that their lust was for the living.  Regardless, Ci quickly covered up with the ceremonial robe.

While the five others ignored the newcomer, Ci saw that Rachel was watching her out of the corner of her eye.  Rachel’s beauty always took Ci’s breath away.  For a vampire that had lived decades practicing the art of breathing, it was just as meaningful as a human’s.  Rachel’s beauty was enhanced by the intricate gold patterns that sparkled around her robe.  The pattern seemed to allude to a complex spiderweb, but any Moirai would clearly see an interpretation of the Tapestry.  The robe had the most adornments in the ceremony, which clearly marked her Moirai station as a Fate.  The other five had a few simpler patterns, which would grow in time and station as they were the Seers of the Moirai.  Only Ci’s was unadorned.  Ever since she had been created, Ci had remained a lowly Weaver.

Rachel cleared her throat, which was all that was needed to acknowledge the start of the ceremony.  Ci closed her eyes and unconsciously focused on all the sounds.  She heard the ghouls and human Moirai protection shutting the theatres doors and exiting on the crushed velvet floor.  She heard one of the security check his automatic weapon further down the hallway towards the stand that used to sell popcorn to theatre-goers.  Ci even let her sense bring her to the street where she heard a few cars go by.  Her errant thoughts snapped her back to the ceremony.

Ci grew a little ashamed, and if she had pulsing blood it would have surely risen to her face.  The other six vampires had their eyes closed anyway.  She had to concentrate on the Tapestry.  It was not as easy as invoking the Crone with a blood ritual, but Ci believed that the diviniations were far more accurate.

(wits+occult+auspex = 10 dice = 3 successes, event: return home.  Is home London? 50/50. No.)

Ci focused in her mind on the location of the seven vampires standing in a crude, unfinished circle formation.  She imagined she was looking down on points of light, and Ci herself was one of the envisioned points.  The points of light grew lines that spread inward and outward.  Ci concentrated on crossing the lines that grew towards the center.  Maintaining focus on the intricate web in her mind was something that took Ci years of training.  She was not even sure a human was capable of such focus.

She focused on the point in the middle and willed the web to become more complex.  Ci thought she was about to lose the vision when it took on life of its own.  No longer was the vampire in control of the vision, and the web became complex like a fractal.  Now Ci was a mere observer, trying to find patterns in the insane crossing and points of light.  The lines of light took a geometric shape, and Ci immediately recognized the building where her Haven was hidden.

It felt like a moment later when she opened her eyes, and the other six vampires, all better trained with Moirai secrets, were watching patiently for Ci to finish.  There was no race to finish.  As far as the Moirai present were concerned, they would be at the theatre all day if necessary.  However, tonight’s ceremony took only a few hours.

Rachel was the first to speak as it was always considered that her vision would be the strongest.  As a Fate, she would determine and set the events that would last until the next ceremony, where the Moirai gathered would return with their goal accomplished or die trying.

(rachel’s vision: release animals.  From the Brooklyn Zoo? 50/50. No. From a dog pound? 50/50. No. From a prison? 50/50. Yes.)

“I saw Kindred releasing the rabid hounds from prison.  Their purpose was not clear to me.  But, the chaos coming from their entry back in to society must be inflicted on the Tapestry.”

(the five others visions: activity advice, neglect vehicle, guide misfortune, waste riches, praise power)

As the other Moirai shared their visions a story began to evolve from the unshared visions.  Rachel deftly wove together the seemingly random visions of cars left running unattended, funneling plague rats towards food, and defacing rare coins in to a prophecy of guiding the prisoners towards a gathering of the rich, while working them up in to a frenzy, and leading the wolves to slaughter the gathered lambs.  It was an event that rivaled the Kindred upheaval.

“And, Ci, please share your vision.  Yours must have been a powerful one given the time you watched the Tapestry.”  Rachel asked.  Ci was not sure how wounded her pride should be.

Ci began anyway with no embellishment, “I saw the building where my Haven lies.  It arose out of the Tapestry in the finest detail.  That was it.  I felt like I was in my Haven, only seeing things from the outside.”

(Does Ci’s building have a penthouse? Somewhat likely. Exceptional yes.)

Rachel raised an eyebrow.  Ci was not sure whether she would be scolded or scoffed at.

“The building has a pretty active penthouse,” Ci threw in before Rachel’s judgment came down. “The gathering of the rich might take place there.”

(Does Rachel think that Ci’s interpretation is correct? 50/50. No.)

“I do not believe so, childe.”  Rachel responded.  Ci winced at the insult.  “I believe that the Tapestry does not wish you to be part of this event.  You will, of course, help with the preparations, but on that night you will remain at your Haven.  This is understood?”

Ci nodded.  The last part was not really a question.

Rachel offered a slight nod in response, and then turned to face the other five.  “We have seven weeks.  Each of you should understand your part, and you may use Ci for help.  I will be planning with our human contingent.  Fate be with you.”

(Does Rachel want to talk with Ci afterwards? 50/50. No.)

Ci made a move towards Rachel while the other vampires were heading towards the exits.  The ghouls would have their street clothes ready for them.  Rachel shook her head while looking at the floor the seven were just standing on.  Ci stopped, and abruptly about-faced.  Most of the other Moirai noticed this.  Ci was hungry, ashamed, and more than hurt at the entire night’s events.  Perhaps Dhalia was right.  Ci might run back to Garaile’s Brooklyn with her tail between her legs.

(End scene.  Chaos 5, things cooled down enough. Ci’s Stats 4/4 Willpower, 4/11 Vitae, one bashing damage. New Thread: The Moirai’s Prison Break)

1.7 Interluded

•June 11, 2009 • 1 Comment
(Ci’s Stats 4/4 Willpower, 6/11 Vitae, full health)
(Scene Setup (Chaos 5): Ci is at the Moirai meeting. Modifier 4. Interrupt. Attach Randomness. A bus hits Ci. Blame the peanut gallery on that one.)

 When Ci was reasonably sure that the young vampires had run back to Dhalia, she turned back down the stairs to Rachel’s home.  Ci was lost in her own thoughts about Rachel.  The bus came barreling down on her before she knew what to do.

 (Ci wits + composure = 2 successes.  Bus damage roll = 21 size + 4 speed – 2 Ci’s wits – 3 Defense – 2 athletics = 5 bashing.)

 Ci managed to jump out of the way of being completely run over, and the bus, going at least 40 miles per hour, clipped her legs while she was midair.  She went spinning in the air and landed on the concrete curb.

 (Does the bus keep going? 50/50. Yes)

The bus actually sped up as it went down the residential street.  Ci wished she had a chance to look at the driver.  Clearly this was not a usual occurrence for the bus to be gunning down a residential street with a hit and run.  She could already feel the vitae in her mending the bruised bones before the bus was gone from sight far down the street.  It had ignored all the stop signs along the way.

 Ci was not happy with the evening’s events thus far.  She was supposed to be at the Moirai ceremony by now.  She was already frazzled by Dhalia and nervous from being in proximity to Rachel.  Now she was bruised and dirty from being hit by a god damned bus.  She checked her cargo pants pocket for her tarot cards, and started jogging through the alleys towards the Encore.

(End scene.  Chaos 4, another interrupt and a rocket bus.  Things need to calm down a bit. Ci’s Stats 4/4 Willpower, 4/11 Vitae, one bashing damage.)

1.6.c Happenings Past and Present

•June 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment
(Part of the way I play this game is “what feels right.”  Sometimes I just see notches in the pattern and I run with it whether it is cliche or possibly shaping the game against the system.  I had a tough time with “Travel Enemies.”  Would Ci be accosted on the way?  Were they Invictus?  Etc.  Then it came to me that Ci was not friendly with all of the Circle, especially since they see her as a Carthian lapdog.  Enemies do not always mean combat.)
(A three-vampire Coterie of the Circle see Ci as an enemy within their Covenant.)
(Did Ci used to be part of their Coterie? 50/50. No.)
(The Coterie Leader: Skilled Expert, Comparable in “Power” to Ci, Drive Charity, Account Advice, Maintain Freedom.  Dhalia.  I get the feeling she is a Gangrel.  Circle of the Crone.)

“Do you see what I see.”

Ci stopped as she heard the sing song phrase filled with homophones cut across the street.  She had stopped the taxi a few blocks from the Encore to maintain the location’s secrecy from humans and other vampires, and Ci had not thought that she might meet another Kindred or three on the way.  Ci grimaced at the thought of not being able to even go to the Moirai ceremony tonight.  The interlopers could never know her real purpose for being on Staten Island.

She saw Dhalia and her two neonates.  Dahlia was already making her way across, and the youngbloods seemed unsure whether to give the two older vampires privacy or back up their Coterie leader.  Ci was glad that she had already met the neonates so the urge to destroy them would not present itself.

(NPC Bearing: Prejudiced: Reputation. NPC Focus: Antagonist.  Well jee willy, I wonder what Dahlia is going to want to discuss. Stupid dice.)

“Good to see you, Dahlia,” Ci hoped that by being nice Dahlia might get bored and go away.

Dahlia ignored her and continued the song-like speech, “I see Ci-Ci-Ci seeeee.”  She was now a few feet in front of Ci.  The two neonates finally decided to cross the street as well.

“What brings you here, sis?”  Dahlia re-shouldered her backpack.  Ci knew it would be filled with Macguyver-esque tools. “Boss sent you to see the bitches?  Are you on an errand?  Afraid the big, bad Lancea will come and get’ya!?”

As soon as the two lackeys were at Dahlia’s side she popped the big question, “You’re not over here hunting are you?”  Ci knew this was not rhetorical.

“Of course not, my herd is in Brooklyn,” Ci replied trying to ignore all the other jabs.  “Anyway, I was going to see Rachel.”  The half-lie was necessary.  She would see Rachel at the Encore, but she knew they thought it meant Rachel’s haven.

“The Haruspex,” hissed Dhalia, the neonates looked uncomfortable as if they decided this conversation was not really for them.  “I don’t even know why she would talk to a traitor.  Her gifts are not for you.”

“That is for the Hierophant or Rachel to decide,” Ci added an edge to her proclamation.  “I am still an Acolyte.”

“Superficially.”  Dhalia waited for a response, but Ci decided the conversation had run its course.

“Rachel is expecting me,” Ci broke the silence, which was clearly beginning to be uncomfortable for the neonates.

(Does Dhalia let her go? 50/50.  Yes.)

“Fine.  But, you better run back home right after.  This is not your territory.”  With talk of ending the conversation, the neonates backed the command by standing closer to Dhalia.

Ci held her tongue.  It wasn’t Dhalia’s territory either.  It was Rachel’s, and Ci wondered why Dhalia was there in the first place.  Something to save for later.  Now Ci would definitely have to walk a few more miles to Rachel’s haven to make sure she was not followed, and then she would have to walk back to the Encore.  With that quick thought, Ci walked away without so much as a grunt.

(Do they follow Ci? 50/50. Exceptional yes.  Does Ci know this? Wits(3)+Stealth(2+1)+Auspex(3) vs. lowest neonates’s Wits (2)+Stealth(0)= 3 vs. 0).  The reason I gave Ci Wits+Stealth as well is because she was actively watching for them, rather than not even knowing she was being shadowed.  I guess under vanilla rules it should be two contested rolls, but this makes it quicker.)

It was easy enough to see the two neonates following her.  One was making some effort to shadow her from afar, but the other seemed oblivious to Dhalia’s likely command of ‘not being seen.’

(Is Dhalia following her too? Unlikely.  No.)

Ci did not see Dhalia, which made her a little more uneasy.  Dhalia possessed, as far as Ci knew, few stealth-like skills.  Still, it was better to be on guard.  Instead of shaking off her pursuers she would lead them to Rachel’s and then make sure that they knew Ci knew about them all along.  She doubted they would want to deal with Rachel, even though Rachel would not even be there.

It would make Ci later than she wanted to the ceremony, but all Moirai built a lot of time in to getting to a gathering.  Secrecy was much more important than attendance.

(End scene.  New NPC: Dhalia.  Chaos 5, enough Chaos to lower things me thinks. Ci’s Stats 4/4 Willpower, 6/11 Vitae, full health.)

1.6.b Happenings Past and Present

•April 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment

On the way to the taxi stop, there were no easy targets to feed from.  With a little effort Ci knew she could have had her pick, but she did not have that kind of time or hunger.  If she was really pressed she could draw a snack from a human Moirai, but she would have to repay with a favor.  Ci did not want to owe anybody favors, especially a human.  Tomorrow night could be a night for blood.  With a sigh of regret she hailed the first cab in line.

(Is the taxi driver going to try and talk to Ci? Unlikely.  Yes.  Immigrant [80%]? Yes.  Female [20%]? No.  Alluring politician.  Compel literature.  Brooklyn School Board by day and taxi driver by night.)

The cab pulled up next to Ci, and the cabbie tried to jump out and grab the door for Ci.  It was a novice move.  A veteran would have seen that Ci was indeed a New Yorker and just pulled up.  The only people that appreciated cab doors being held for them were tourists.  Ci grinned when she sat down and closed the door before the cab driver reached it.  She thought he cursed when he ran back around to the driver’s seat.

(NPC Discussion Module – Bearing = madness (insane), Focus = last scene (Ted’s ferry ride))

“New Dorp on Staten,” Ci said while pretending to fiddle with her cell phone.

“You have toll money?” the cabbie asked before heading out in to traffic.

“Yes.”  Ci glared at the rearview mirror while throwing a twenty-dollar bill through the payment bucket.

The cab driver put the money on his dashboard so that the customer could see it through the plexiglass window between the front and rear seats.  It was his way of saying he would not mess with her.

(Aura Perception 7-2 (cabbie’s composure) = two successes.)

She watched the back of his head as he pulled out in to traffic.  It was interesting watching the human mannerisms she had forgotten.  The Masquerade held by all vampires required that those mannerisms be emulated as much as possible.  Mannerisms like blinking.  After fifty years of dancing the Masquerade Ci was pretty good at remembering.  Her focus went to that intangible realm and she saw yellow colors.  She knew the cabbie was an idealist.  Probably wished he could save her like a knight in shining armor.  Yet, the longer she stared at the colors the more they started swirled and tried to draw her in.  Ci broke eye contact with his aura when she felt the cab hit the bridge.  The cabbie was talking, and Ci didn’t know how long she had let him ramble without reply.

“Those fucking ferries are there just like I told you,” Ci heard from the cab driver.  She wondered what theories she had missed.  She stared out the side of the window to see lights coming off of the boats below.

“Nobody uses them to travel.  Everybody who is smart uses taxis.  There are a bunch of druggies that ride the ferries through the bay all day.  That’s it.  The wastes of life sit there staring at the buildings from the water.  People that have nothing to do.  But, we have stuff to do.  People in taxis have stuff to do.”

Ci wondered if she openly sighed if he would shut up or if it would just make it worse.  She didn’t want to be told that she belonged on a ferry.  She opted to remain silent instead.

“They wanted to have fucking field trips for the kids on the ferries.  Not even to see Ellis or anything.  Just to go out on the water like some stoners.  Kids would learn more just reading about the bay.  Can’t see anything through the pollution anyway.”

Ci started to shuffle her tarot cards with her right hand.  It helped to drown out the man’s rambling.  He kept at it through the whole ride, and did not require so much as an obligatory grunt from Ci.  By the end of the ride she wondered if she would ever ride a ferry again.  Annoying as it was, the cabbie’s argument had a certain appeal.  Of course taxis were nearly the blood of New York, or at least a strong artery.  Ci stopped shuffling the cards, and put them away, deciding to fore go pulling a card for the cabbie.

She got out a few blocks from the Encore, and let him keep the rest of the twenty.  Thoughts of ferries we already a far off dream in her mind.

1.6.a Happenings Past and Present

•April 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment
(Ci’s Stats 4/4 Willpower, 6/11 Vitae (-1 waking up), full health)
(Scene Setup (Chaos 6): Ci has a Moirai meeting. Modifier 2. Interrupt. Travel Enemies. Ci is on her way to the Moirai meeting.)

Ci woke up from her dream. In it she was dangling her feet on the Brooklyn Bridge while ships from every age sailed under. Time ran quickly and slowly and then quickly again. She woke up just as the sun was beginning to color the sky over the forever stream of ships. She never saw the sun. Even in her dreams.

She unbolted the large steel closet from the inside, noting that she would likely have to apply some WD-40 to the door hinges. A wax-sealed note fell in front of her. It would have been precariously placed on top of the steel closet, just out of sight of prying eyes. But, nobody came down to the boiler room. Ci made sure of that.

She knew what it meant before the note hit the ground. The Moirai sent it while she slept.

She was one of the very few Moirai that found and chose the Shadow Cult. Usually it was the opposite as the Moirai sought out those that could change fate. Ironically, fate chose the Moirai for Ci. The day when she stumbled upon a Moirai ceremony in a deep basement in London was barely a memory anymore. She mostly remembered the sound of the German bombs as she buried her head into a cloaked man’s breast.

There was only one leader of the Moirai left alive after the Prince of New York’s final death. So many Moirai played their hand those horrible nights of blood and ash that the secret cult was nearly unhidden. However, the choice to any Moirai was a simple one: die, rather than be found. Ci was a mere apprentice even with all her time in the cult. She was not sure why. Most Kindred in the Moirai with the amount of time she had given to the cult had risen above her station. In the end it did not matter, Ci thought, the Tapestry that bound the world’s fate was served and changed. That was what mattered.

(Meeting location: immitate reality)

The note said the meeting was at the Encore, a ruined, closed-down theater on Staten Island. Ci liked the ceremonies there because the owners had never upgraded the style past the 1950’s when the theater was built. It reminded her of days long past. Granted the theater was in a dilapidated state. However, the humans had to make the place presentable at their cleansing ceremony when the sun was still up. If the sun would not outright kill Ci, she would have to attend their precursor ceremony as well.

Ci glanced at the note again. It only had the word “encore” written on expensive paper in Rachel’s spidery, beautiful script. Rachel was the one leader that survived mostly because the Circle of the Crone Covenant had unknowingly protected Rachel during the New York shakedown. Rachel was also the only Crone that knew why Ci was not closer to the Covenant. Ci got a lot of untoward comments about her time with Garaile the Carthian Covenan at Circle gatherings, and Rachel refused to protect her from the remarks. It only made Ci love/hate Rachel more.

Ci placed the half-rolled note on top of a stack of others that were nearly identical except for the one word elegantly scripted thereon. She could not bear to throw them away even if Rachel severed all the psychic impressions from the paper. Sometimes when Ci held the stack she could easily imagine Rachel writing each note for Ci. Maybe the psychic cords were not cut as well as Rachel would have liked.

The steel closet was locked up, and the tripwire to the crudely made booby trap was set. Ci’s new haven in Brooklyn lacked the privacy and security of her old home on Staten Island so extra precautions had to be taken.  At the very least the booby trap would set Rachel’s notes on fire.

The trip to New Dorp from Bath Beach was quick, but Ci would have to take a taxi and pay the toll across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The nearest taxi stop was a good fifteen minute walk from Ci’s Haven, but she would make it liesurely. Perhaps she would find a snack on the way.

1.5 Just on Ferries

•April 16, 2009 • 1 Comment
Ted got off the blue line at High Street, and walked the couple blocks to the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park.  As usual he had forgotten about an actual breakfast, but there was a hot dog cart on the way to the park.  Ted also had to walk by the old tobacco warehouses lining the park.  They seemed to ignore the fact that the sun was shining, pretending instead to be under an eternally gray sky.  Ted wondered if some vagrants lived in the empty warehouses.  That was likely the reason that the Ferry State Park had become so run down.  Ted grimaced with the thought of some homeless pushing trash out of their rat’s nests in to the park below.  He flipped open his pocket notebook, after finishing his hot dog, and made a note to call one of his buddies at the police office to see if they can’t get the homeless out of the warehouses. 
(Are there protesters? 50/50. No.)
 Ted sighed when he saw the park before him.  He was half hoping the few liberals had already started a protest.  It would draw a few police, and then he could chat with them about the likely homeless problem. 
After a half stroll through the park without a sense of connection, Ted decided to take a ferry ride around the bay.  He doubted there would be anything to connect, but it would be nice.  He had not done anything close to a tourist thing in quite some time.  So, he bought a ticket and sat on the small ferry boat waiting for it to take off.  Ted noticed that there were no large tourist groups today.  Only a few small families dotted the two decks of the boat, and they gave Ted plenty of room to sit and contemplate by himself when the ride finally started. 
(Does the ferry ride go past the treasure hunting ship, Sharon? Somewhat likely. No.)
 Ted concentrated on the bay’s horizon rather than watch the Brooklyn skyline as they headed out along New York Bay.  He did not want to become awash in memories, and with so much time on the police force, memories were nearly in every building.  Even the tobacco warehouses held a memory for Ted. 
(Random past event: lie nature)
 As a detective, Ted had let a man go free because after intense interrogation the suspect seemed honest about being a law-abiding entrepreneur.  Everything about the suspect checked out.  No one would believe Ted that the man was guilty of the rape and murder of a 17-year old girl they found dead under the Brooklyn Bridge.  A few days later another girl went missing, and Ted was led to the old warehouses.  That girl was already dead, but the suspect they set free was sleeping next to her desecrated body.  Ted, alone on that warehouse floor, gave a false reading into the radio, and then he shot the rapist in cold blood.
On the ferry, Ted shuddered, and he prayed that one of the homeless would leave a cigarette burning so that the vacant warehouses would all just burn.  He believed that worse things than those rapes had happened in those buildings.  As the ferry headed back towards the dock, Ted imagined billowing smoke rising out of the warehouses, and flashed back to the memory of his dream.  He shot a glance over the rail of the ferry to see if there was any gold or bodies beneath.  The sunlight dancing on the top of the small waves blocked any view of the depths below.
Once Ted was back home he started a pot of noodles.  Ted  had thought about heading to Joe’s for a beer and some wings, but he was getting a little tired from the walking, ferry ride, and the sun.  There was still some meat on the chicken carcass in his fridge, and after adding a dash of soy sauce and some green onions, Ted felt like he would have a decent meal.  He tried to do a few chores while the noodles cooked in order to prolong the excitement before checking his email.  Whatever was in his inbox would determine whether the day was over, and there were no good games on tonight. 
(Did the reporter reply? 50/50. No.)
 Finally with the food ready, Ted sat down at the computer letting the noodle bowl steam on the side.  There was a few police brotherhood events in his inbox, but nothing else.  Nothing about the treasure hunter.  Ted stared between the inbox and the newspaper clippings.  The day was actually relaxing, and not stale, but Ted got no sense of self-affirmation.  It was days like this where he doubted this was anything more than some schizophrenic mission that would take him to a padded old folk’s home.  He had not gotten a strong hit in weeks. 
Ted finally decided to leave the three clippings by his computer in the hopes he might receive an email or find something else about the Ferry State Park.  He took his now cold noodle bowl, still full, to the couch and turned on the TV. 
(Scene End: Ted’s Chaos = 7).
(Notes:Sometimes there will be posts like these where nothing happens, especially to Ted, who is the reactor in this story.  It is kind of tough playing Ted because I (and you) know what the connection already is.  We already saw what Ci did, and there will be little if any ambiguity in the news story that deals with her.  The dice just didn’t want Ted to make the connection this time.  Also I am going to split the Chaos for Ted and Ci.)

1.4 Kings and Ferries

•April 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Ted woke up and immediately trudged out to grab the newspapers. It used to be some kind of non-lucid battle between grabbing the papers before neighbors started borrowing them and starting the coffee. He was glad he had bought the automatic coffee maker.

As soon as Ted picked up all the papers off the hallway floor he got a tingle, but he could not tell from which one. On his way back in to the apartment, Ted looked at the wall covered with “sightings” and “tinglings” of something. Maybe his dead, or not dead, sister. Maybe a strange woman with her soul, if one believed in reincarnation. Ted would save that line of thought for later. It felt like he was looking for his sister, and so that’s what he called her on the wall of clippings. “Sister,” not her real name.

He remembered his dreams, and the one that stuck out the most was he and Tabithia were sitting on a small boat on the river Thames with German bombers flying overhead a smoking London. Also on the boat were three kings sitting on thrones and one empty throne. The three kings were arguing over whether the woman standing behind the chair could sit down and become a king. In his dream, Ted couldn’t actually hear what the kings were saying because the smoke, bombs, and airplanes were too loud. The river below them was filled with dead Britons and gold.

(Newspaper roll: difficulty 5- 3 sux = 2 red herrings. Punish the public. Negligence with nature.)

There were three stories that he thought might give him another extrasensory nudge, but nothing seemed to be narrowing the three down. The first was that the Mayor was shutting down the Ferry State Park for the weekend in order to force volunteer organizations to pick up trash and clean out some of the homeless dwellings. The ferry services were up in arms because they would be losing a weekend’s worth of service. It was an article only Brooklyn natives would care about. He thought back to his dream. This story was tangentially connected, but he knew sometimes that was enough. He couldn’t drop this clipping in to the wastebasket yet.

The other story was about a treasure hunter finding yet another Dutch slave ship filled with ivory and gold. The interviewer seemed to get a weak interview from some bar in Brooklyn from the treasure hunter. The interview read like a rock star interview. This story had less connection than the ferry one to his dream, but the small paragraph on the slave ship’s history seemed to invoke something in Ted. He put this article under the ferry article. Two from The Brooklyn Paper was not bad. The most he had was five from the Sunday Times, and he just gave up and headed to the bar that day.

The last story was about the pollution in the New York Bay. Tourists, beaches, what little fishing there was, etc. all contributing to some horribly polluted waters that the New York boroughs enclosed. Although this story came from the Post, different from the Ferry State Park story, it was like two signs in one.

The Park was not closed yet, and getting out in to this unusually nice weather would be great. Ted was not sure what, if anything, he could find at the Park. It was worth a look. First, he emailed the writer of the treasure hunter email congratulating her on the “excellent article.” Ted asked a few questions, mostly focusing on the history, that were not printed. Doubtless the editor did not want to turn it in to a slave history article in a paper largely read by minorities. Hopefully the reporter would have more to share.

The rest of the newspapers went in to the recycle bin, the ritual being completed.