Causality and Consequences

Isidis Channel 3 News
On location with Jessica Ritter

“Thank you, Megan. I’m standing outside Warehouse Village, where only a few months ago the first ever Isidis Art Festival was held. Unfortunately, the air here is much less festive today than it was then.” The camera pans around Warehouse Village, showing various art installations, graffiti, and sometimes plain, handwritten signs, that feature recurring motifs of standing against oppression. Jessica’s voice continues over the footage.
“In addition to the state laws that have opened up the land west of the Interstate for development, Mayor Alfredson has also introduced a few laws of his own; laws that have their greatest impact here. Calling them his Isidian Reforms, the Mayor has issued a set of laws that residents are calling ‘draconian measures’. With me I have Mr. Perez, who has been invaluable to the city’s refugee population.” The footage pans back the two of them on the street, cordoned from the rest of the district, even though there are few watchers.
“Mr. Perez, can you summarize the laws that the Mayor proposed for us?”
“Certainly, Jessica. Now a lot of the laws proposed deal with questions of eminent domain that have been reinforced with the new rulings coming out of the state, so its a hard fight ahead of us if we want to counter these propositions before they get added to the city charter. But in a nutshell, the Isidian Reforms allow the government to purchase any land, regardless of habitation and at value, for the purposes of city improvements.”
“That sounds pretty loosely worded, Mr. Perez.”
“It is, Jessica, but it gets worse. Not only would the city be buying the land at value, which greatly undersells the current owners and could further negatively affect the economic stability of the city, but it also allows the government to defer payments on the land until the new improvements are completed and the city receives tax money from them.” Jessica looks stunned.
“Suddenly a lot more of this art makes sense. But why has the biggest uproar been centered in this district, Mr. Perez?”
“Well, Jessica, a lot of the inhabitants of the Warehouse district are… lets call them temporary inhabitants. Many of the titles for these properties are questionable, and ownership has been an ongoing legal working for several years now, with no real forward momentum. The Warehouse Village, which many people believe the Mayor had in mind when he crafted these laws, is basically a free ticket land-grab for the city.” Jessica jumps in.
“Without ownership, and without having to pay until the city receives tax revenue from them, the city could just claim them, force the artists out and do whatever they want with the land.”
“Exactly right. Now don’t get me wrong, Jessica. I’m all for civic improvement, but not if you have to rob Peter to pay Paul.”
“Thank you for your time Mr. Perez.”
“Thank you for having me Jessica.” The camera turns back to Jessica. “Well Megan, quite disturbing news on the civic front there.”
Megan responds from the studio with Jessica’s footage on the right, off-set. “Indeed, Jessica. Any comments from anyone else?” Jessica’s footage starts roaming around the district again as she responds. “The Dean of Physics from the University of Isidis has gone on record saying that the measures proposed are tyrannical, and the solutions to the problems of Isidis overpopulation is not in creating more homeless, but in incentivizing the re-education of those who would wish it. I also reached out to Nikki Swift, but was unable to secure a comment; however her publicist did say that Nikki was concerned about the measures and was still formulating an opinion on the matter. Back to you, Megan.” Jessica’s footage hovers, the street signs for the intersection of C and D clearly visible next to an empty lot…
“I find it reassuring that Nikki Swift has taken an interest, being one of the biggest actresses out of Hollywood right now. But now, the weather.”

In Triplicate, Please
Somewhere safe...ish

Charlie has calmed down, and after some finagling the three Stimatics have come together to relax and comfort each other. The Ring stands near them, enjoying Viktor’s coffee and discussing plans and problems. Without warning the very quantum fabric of the Demonic souls shivers as what will be and what has been mesh for a brief instant; Chad’s arm gives the audible “click” of moving gears, but he does not scream. The Stigmatics have gone still and quiet, sitting together in a rough triangle.
When they speak it is as one.
“The time is out of joint— O cursèd spite! For we have seen that which has been, and filled with revelation we must share.”
Charlie begins. “In the beginning was the Egg. A shell of perfect portions, borne by its Four Guardians. When it finally ceased its rolling and began its long rest it was allowed to be by the Great Father, for his work in its presence upon his face had been completed. And so it stood, unblemished by the tracts of time, until those that wander found and colonized, and built. And their City was built upon the ashes of something old, but they were kept safe by the shell.”
Chad continues. “But lo, the cracks! Existing within and without from its very nature a being breached the shell forged in times past and spurned its inhabitants. This Ivory Fire bore into being a force that could defend and protect, for it knew that in the time to come, it would crack the shell, for it was what must be. And when its unquenchable need finally made itself clear and the workings of the Great Machine were cracked, then did he turn his eyes back into what he had wrought, and began his long journey to return. Without his guidance, the shell could not bear the pressures, and finally it fell away.”
Viktor picks up the revelation. “And the Lord spoke. ‘I am the Light which brings to you Joy and Safety. I am that which has granted you paradise, and you, you have scorned it and cast it aside. You have allowed it to be broken.’ And the people trembled in fear of his fury, but the Lord was cold, implacable. ’Now I return, now you will bask in my presence again, and I will climb the highest mountains and drink from the lowest depths and I will find that which has vexed me. Those who have sinned are right to tremble, those who have cast aside my gifts are right to fear me. I am the Pillar of the World. I am the Destroyer of my enemies.” As the three Stigmatics collapse, a man, approximately 30 years of age appears in the room, his loosely woven robes reveal the hint of a tattoo on his shoulder, a gleam of scales.
“This… is not where I was expecting.” He looks down at the collapsed Stigmatics. “Things are moving. I had hoped to appear in front of my compatriots, but apparently you are the most powerful gathering of Seers right now. Several important things are happening right at this moment, I can’t stay, I have to move onward, keep looking, seeing the future and writing down what happens so I can help everyone best. But I have a warning: The City is open. Right now…-ish. The state legislature is lifting statutes that protect Isidis. Ostensibly for the purposes of building a power plant, but what no one… or well, very few people have seen, is that this also opens up the flow of Shadows. The God Machine wants to eradicate that which makes this city what it is, but we need that. Well… the future needs that… I think its the future for you… Anyways! He must be slowed down, if not stopped completely. You will find allies amongs the Shadows in the years to come, but you will also find enemies. Isidis needs a new Vigil. Breach the membrane, stop the God Machine… and watch the news.” The man disappears, but the TV turns on to the news station.
“Donny, I’m hear outside City Hall, where Mayor Alfredson has just held a press conference. Coming hot off the heels of the announcement from the state legislature, the Mayor called an emergency meeting of the city council. After speaking to one of the Council members who refused to go on record a very clear picture emerges. The Mayor challenged all opposition with irrefutable logic, pulling facts and studies that had been prepared perfectly to oppose everything the Council said. Very unlike the Mayor, but the final decision being that the city will continue with the plans of the American Energiewende in order to bring solar power to Isidis and the surrounding areas.”

A room in the Ferguson Tower

The assembled fall to silence as Corvin enters the chamber and sits as Heirarch. Suede and a lanky man spattered in paint stand on either side in front of him. He takes a deep breath and speaks.
“On this day and in this hour the Consilium of Isidis stands in Tribunal. Councilor Suede, Master Thyrsus, has levied a complaint of Abuse and violation of Secrecy against Tonio Kröger, second-degree Master Thyrsus and wielder of the Crown of the Four. State your case, Suede.”
Suede steps forward, her movements predatory and dangerous.
“For those not “in tune” with the happenings on the Other side, all of us felt a Hunt, a perversion of spiritual hierarchy called the other night. I knew that it was the Crown by the way my associates of the Shadow reacted. When pressed, Tonio admitted that he was called by the Crown to Ember Hill, where a being-as-human was absconding with something from the manor. This ‘second-degree master’ called a Hunt for an undefined something, who stole another undefined something, which already belonged to the beings who took it. " A pointed look from Suede at Corvin is not lost by anyone in that room. “The sheer weight of Hubris should be his punishment, but yet again, Tonio stands before the Consilium unrepentant.”
Corvin speaks after she steps back. “Who is your witness?”
“Any number of spirits, the testimony of an information broker, and not leastly, Councilor Beck, Adept Obrimos.”
Councilor Beck steps between the two parties, facing Corvin. “As a neutral party, fellow Councilor and Disciple of Spirit I corroborate the usage of the Crown.” He steps back into the whispering mass of the assembled. One woman, dressed in a sharp business suit, seems to be unable to decide whether she should stare her death-wish at Corvin or Suede. The Hierarch waits for the crowd to silence. It does not take long. “What is your defense Tonio?”
“I was called by the Crown because one of our longest spiritual allies was disturbed. So I enforced the rule of the Crown, as is my right by pact, to intimidate and accomplish my goals.”
Suede pounces. “And did you? Or was the item returned by other means?”
Corvin does not intercede, and in that heartbeat where cognition becomes realization the woman in the suit steps forward. “Silence, Harpy! You break the Iron law by speaking out of turn.”
Suede laughs, “Really? We’re here to talk about Gold and you bring up Iron while your Factotum says nothing. You left your post, whore. Let no one forge—”
Enough!” Corvin stands and moves down the dias, coming closer to Suede, she does not flinch. “If neither of you can withstand the decorum of Tribunal I will dismiss this matter and forgo redress from either party.” He looks at the woman in the suit. “Stand down, Claudia.” The staredown provokes not a single measure of noise from anyone present. Claudia eventually steps back and Corvin turns to Suede. He whispers quietly to her. “I swear to you Suede, word as my power. You know how this goes. If you do not abide the rules I will curse you until your bones are dust in the hourglasses of eternity.”
Tonio stands, his face unflinching before the exchanges around him. He does not answer the question that Suede posed, instead presumably continuing his rebuttal. “I invoked the powers that are mine to invoke for reasons that are within the boundaries of the pact sworn by this Consilium into its Charter. I have done no wrong.”
Another deafening silence. Even Claudia seems stunned. Corvin can only stare at Tonio, while the effort that Suede is expending not to laugh could be considered commendable. Corvin looks at the assembled. “Suede, what is your suitable redress?”
“Give me the Crown.”
“Such a thing cannot be done. For the safety of the Consilium the method of transference is known only to myself and the Crowned.” Suede fumes ever so slightly. “Nor can the Crowned be banished or executed. And we have not the means to imprison Tonio since the Censorium was lost.” She fumes more.
Fine. But I demand some degree of censure Hiearch. These crimes cannot go unpunished for the sake of the Wisdom of all of us.”
“And Censure you shall have. I take your words to be a remittance of judgement unto the Office of the Hierarch. Tonio Kröger, from this moment forward your titles as a member within the Silver Ladder are stripped by my power as your Deacon. Your status as a second-degree master is no longer recognized until the passing of a season, at which point you may once again demonstrate your fitness for the titles—” Tonio’s look of horror is echoed by Claudia’s voice as she steps forward again, this time Tadzio steps after her. “Hierarch, the punishment of a Gold law with a violation of another Gold law seems hardly to be in the course of Wisdom.”
Tadzio joins her cabal-mate, “I agree Hierarch, as Factotum, this is not only unorthodox, it goes against—”
A staff appears in Corvin’s hands, and he slams it down into the marble tiling. “I am your Deacon and your Hierarch! I have seen the futures that await us and I promise all of you I am the lesser of your evils.” His eyes burn with a fury bordering on zealotry as Claudia, Tadzio and Tonio are forced to their knees. He stares into the back of Tonio’s head. "You fucked up Tonio. You acted so far outside of human interest that I have no choice but to levy these punishments. I cannot endorse your presence as the Hearthmaster of Mann’s Mountain. Until you can regain your fitness to be a master I am strongly advising Sentinel Hassan, of the Janni to be the Hearthmaster. I cannot rule this to be law because your cabal is your sanctum, but I promise you, all of you fucks better like and decide this to be the right answer or so help me, I will find all of your secrets and I will put you through hell while i dig up every last shred you know under the auspices of “validating your loyalty” to this Consilium." Even Suede seems uneasy at this turn in Corvin’s demeanor. He sits back down, leaning forward with the staff.
“You are all so obsessed with your own little playthings that you haven’t realized what comes next. You haven’t seen the corruption spreading within us…” Nero and Suede and Beck and all the members of the meeting look at one another in confusion. Only Corvin’s eyes stay fixed, no longer focused on the present. “The Invisible Masters are here, and their will supplants and obliterates our own. We have no Freedom, and every day we slide closer to Tyranny, and none of you Have. Bothered. To. Notice.” Nero is the only one who will chance stepping forward. “Corvin, our enemies are growing rapidly, yes, but they are not coming from our own kind.” Corvin slumps back into the chair. “You would say that Nero… Fiddle away at your pipes, watch the city burn…” An uncomfortable quiet settles into the room until finally Corvin rouses himself, the staff gone.
“This Tribunal is concluded, my judgements are rendered.” He walks off the dais and out the door.

Location: Various

The elevator dings. When the doors open, the Consul is at his desk, reading the newspaper. He sets it down to look at Nikki as she comes in, and stands. The paintings on the walls are gone, and the office is… bare.
“Jumping ship, are we?” Nikki glides forward smoothly, gracefully settling into one of the chairs; she slides the file folder onto the tabletop as the Consul sits back down.
“Nothing of the sort, my commission was… delayed.” The Consul picks up the report and thumbs through it. “Very thorough. What will you do with your asset on the inside?”
Nikki gracefully shrugs. “We haven’t decided yet. Whatever it is, we’ll be careful. The monkeys may not be aware that we’re… meddling just quite yet, but we’d like to keep it that way.”
He opens a drawer and pulls out two batteries. “One of them is half-dead, but I appreciate the… depth, of information you’ve brought me. Still no leads on our Father’s workings?”
“None that we can safely share. There’s some suspicions, but that dossier is no where near ready.”
“I see you’ve been getting close to Corvin Chambers.”
“A function of society, I promise, darling.”
“Either way, Corvin’s divided attention is helpful, we’ll need some maneuvering room in order to deal with Our Father, whenever he decides to make his move. I hear congratulations are in order.” The Consul lays down the paper, the front page of the Society section on top, old news by now, but fresh off the press: Nikki Swift Named Curator of Ember Hill.
In a café several buildings down the road. A woman sits, papers spread around her, clearly working. A paper lands on the desk, folded to the same article.
“Hello, Corvin.”
“Jeanine, would you be so kind as to explain why I’m finding out about this from the Society pages and not my trusted staff?”
The woman counters by pulling a piece of vellum from inside her jacket. When she speaks, she is clearly quoting. “‘So do I swear myself and my family to your service, until such a time as we can discover and use a weakness of character or personality, detrimental to your continued power and unknown to you.’” Finally she looks up at him. “You’ve lived so long in conflict Corvin, that your weakness is comfort. You focused on the fires so much recently that you forgot to attend to the normal, the average. All your doom-and-gloom prophesying… ‘And having seen I’ve now gone blind…”
Corvin looks down at the velum, the boundaries of a pact and promise holding tightly to him. He takes a deep breath, reaches forward and touches the velum. It disintegrates as the magic holding it together vanishes. “So be it. Now who will you work for?”
“That’s none of your business Corvin. But as a friend, I’m happy to tell you that my family and I intend to pull a Dina. I believe you. By the pricking of your thumbs and all that. Be careful, if I want to come back, I will. But now we have a choice.” She returns to his work, and feeling the Thread pulling him elsewhere, Corvin resumes his walk.

Collected Meanderings

From the Local News, a media briefing outside the Police HQ, the Chief of Police stands at the pulpit:
“Chief, Chief! What can you tell us about the increase in gang activity throughout the city?”
“Only what you’ve already heard Allison. New refugees mean new crimes. Not to say that they’re all bad, and I’m sure Perez will comment on that one, but the fact of the matter is that desperate people do desperate things, you have to in order to survive. The Police Department is working with the city to get aid disbursed to the refugees to help alleviate the problem at the root, and we wholeheartedly support some of the programs that Mr. Perez has set up, and will be proposing to the City, for that purpose, but there’s only so much aid, and way too many people. The results are inevitable.”
“Can you speak to some of the more… ardent “city beautification” programs?"
“If, Jeff, you’re referring to the borderline ecoterrorism of some of these groups by introducing sometimes invasive species into our city through their self-proclaimed “guerrilla gardening”, then I have only inappropriate things to say. Rest assured that anyone caught using one of these “seed bombs” on city property that has not been zoned for that purpose, or worse, on private property will be arrested and charged to the fullest extent of the law…
“Now if you’re just referring to people who wanna spend time cleaning up trash, well… I’ve always supported those projects. No further questions.” The police chief smiles and waves, the clip cuts out.

In the Society pages of the Isidis Herald
“The bevy of local and extra-local weddings and celebrations has left the Ember Hill calendar booked solid for weeks. Rumors are flying fast and furious that Nikki Swift, film star extraordinaire, made famous for her role as the heroine in the remake of Nosferatu, has been considering the position of Curator for the Ember Hill property. Such as it is, this has only added fuel to the fire in regards to the popularity of the cities greatest Historical Landmark. Time will tell what the Historical Society thinks of such an illustrious personage holding the Curatorship, especially after former Curator Stephen Kepler, Jr. (son of the noted Lawyer) was whisked away by love and romance to far-away Baltimore.”

The Eager Cult Boy

Rohtzan sat across the table from the young man, looking him up and down. He appeared to be in his young twenties. Short blond hair, blue eyes, a thin and unimposing body, Zach had recently graduated with his BA in business.

“Bartholomew tells me you have quite the ambitions.” Rohtzan said emotionless and cold.
“Yes sir.” Zach adjusted in his seat, nervous in front of his demonic master.
“How old are you?”
“24, sir.”
“You can use full sentences.”
“Sorry sir.”
Rohtzan thought about rolling his eyes and showing exasperation, then decided against it. His face remained calm and collected. It was always relaxing to hold these meetings, as rare as they may be. The two sat in a secluded and secreted away meeting room. Well, the warded conference room in the back of the coffee shop owned by another of his cult members. Phillice really does make good wards. They blend in smoothly with the decor. Without knowing they are there and what to look for, one would never know it’s there.
“You opened a business. Tell me about it.”
Rohtzan prepared himself for another quick answer with little room to ‘offend.’
“It’s called ‘Moon Drawn,’ it’s an art supply store and gallery. There are three sections to it really. The main store in the front. A gallery to the side, and in the back are work-rooms, six rooms set up with art-desks, easels, and other other art supplies. Artists rent them to get their work done with easy access to the supplies they need and the peace and quiet that comes with it. Many of these artists then use the gallery to showcase their recent works. In the first four months, I’ve already started showing a profit. I’m looking to add a kiln in the near future and…” Zach realized he had started rambling. Quickly shutting his mouth, he mutters “sorry” softly and looks down at the table.
“Please, continue.” Rohtzan really wasn’t listening. He was digging through the boy’s mind instead. Looking at memories, hopes, and dreams. The deeper into thoughts that he dug, the more concentration it took. Zach continued to explain about his business, his handful of employees, his regulars. Rohtzan new he’d remember it all, so he heard it all but wasn’t really listening at the time. He could replay the conversation later. This was the good part though, he was finally seeing the mannerisms, expressions, accent, and common terminology that Zach used.
After about twenty minutes, Zach seemed to become more comfortable talking with Rohtzan Azamox, demon master of Ordinem Retiacula Azamox. Taking advantage of this new found comfort, Rohtzan began to ask the young man about his childhood, friends, family, personal life. Zach was fascinated with the utter calm ocean expression, so Rohtzan kept it that way.
“Sir, may I ask what it is you desire from my business?”
“Did Bartholomew not tell you what this was for? I guess he wouldn’t, now, would he?”
“No sir, only that you wished to speak with me and that I could be of service to you.”
“It’s not your business I seek. Though I may grant you power that would greatly help you in your endeavors.”
Zach’s interest was more than peaked.
Rohtzan continued, “I’d like your soul. In exchange, I will grant you telepathic capabilities.”
Zach almost fell out of his chair with how fast he moved to the edge of his seat, “Sir, anything for you!”
Ah, I love how much of an honor the cult sees a soul pact Rohtzan thought. Placing the parchment with elegant calligraphy spelling out the deal of the contract before him he let Zach look at it. Watching his mind, Zach was examining the beauty of the contract and not the details. "You must sign it in blood, " Rohtzan said as he placed the cult’s ritual athame on the table by the contract.
Zach nervously took the knife, just as his leaders in the cult taught him, he took the small copper bowl, and cut the side of his palm, pushing out just enough blood to place a small layer in the waiting dish. Taking the small brush he dipped it in the blood and began to sign his name to the contract. Rohtzan in turn signed it as well, using his own blood.

Zach blinked, his thoughts betraying that he didn’t feel any different, but that didn’t stop the rush of endorphins from the sheer excitement.

For the first time in the meeting, Rohtzan broke his frozen facade and gave Zach a small smile. “Come, let us sit at one of the front tables. I will teach you how to use your new gift.”

Transmission 2

>> Operation Beachhead has cemented our presence. With several events reinstating our Father’s capabilities inside this God-Forsaken place, the time has come to make motions towards our goals. We must begin the recruitment and education processes. We must show them the power of the Machine.
In short, my children, we must Rise.
Long live the Machine.

St. James Hospital
Patient: Charlie

The woman wears a white coat and stethoscope, small, brown-skinned, Hindi accent just barely peeking through the Queen’s English, the badge has the name smaller than the company: Luminous Laboratories. Charlie stands.
“What’s the verdict, doc?”
“Well, all your test results have come back negative. No stroke, no blood clots, even minor ones. MRI and CT scan looked great.”
“So… nothing’s wrong with me? Then how come I don’t remember Diana?”
“Let me clarify. Nothing is physically wrong with you, Charlie. We, being the Luminous Laboratories medical division have encountered this sort of thing before though. If you’d like, we can set you up with a counselor to talk you through these “missing memories”. All of it, of course, is covered under your insurance."
Charlie does a double take. “Wait, what insurance? Interim?”
The doctor checks the chart. “No. It says here you were admitted under the group health insurance for the American Energiewende.”
“I literally signed the paperwork before I went home and had this episode, there’s no way.”
The doctor nods reassuringly. “Luminous Laboratories has been in partnership with the American Energiewende for quite some time. We provide a health insurance plan to the Energiewende that is comprehensive and takes effect as soon as they are hired as employees. It will be a provisional claim until all the paperwork is distributed, but I assure you. All of this will be covered. The costs for in-network healthcare are… non-existent.”
“What if I get my own counselor?”
“I can’t guarantee that they will be, equipped to deal with this sort of situation as well as we would, so on that note I would have to strongly recommend against that course of action. But you are more than welcome, on the understanding that it would not be covered by your health insurance.”
“…I see.”
“At any rate Charlie, you’re in a good place. If I may say so myself. You’re healthy, you have a brand new job with new opportunities for a company that I’ve personally seen go out of its way to take care of its own. You have a lot of good things going for you.” There’s a tone from the doctor that seems to imply that Charlie shouldn’t throw that away. “If you want to really find out about your memories, I say call the counselor.” Another sub-textual imperative: Find the truth. “Its probably nothing. But you have my number, and I’ll put theirs on your discharge paperwork.”
“Thanks, Doc.”

Report to the Consilium
Re: Supernatural Interference at the Hospital

From: Dr. Caulfield, Apostate
To: Heirarch Corvin Chambers
CC: Councilor Nero, Councilor Beck

In response to your lines of inquiry: I was unable to ascertain the phenomenology of the interference detected at the Hospital; it would seem that my most likely candidate has died. The lack of a soul is notable, however irrelevant due to the subject’s tenure as a priest of the Catholic faith. Following Corvin’s advice I has also increased my observations of the Sin Eaters that pass through the hospital, but found nothing out of the ordinary, our continual non-interference holds, and Nero’s near-constant assertions that they are not the threat to focus on leads me to dismiss them. The results are, in short, inconclusive. Please advise.

From: Corvin
To: Dr. Caulfield
CC: Councilor Nero, Councilor Beck, Councilor Consuela

The causal manifestations persist and intensify. The recent reports of Deva Corporation’s leverage and subsequent fiscal warfare with Interim Healthcare also seems to be stirring the pot. Dr. Caulfield, in light of recent reports of your mistreatment of patients and cadavers for your own twisted ends, I’m sending the Kingfishers under guidance of Councilor Consuela to investigate your territories for potential contamination by the Abyss.

From: Councilor Beck
To: Heirarch Corvin Chambers
CC: Councilor Nero

While I am concerned as well about the causal nexus rapidly forming at the Hospital, there is also the matter of the recent spiritual visit I received and potential interference from Demonic Agents. I am not sure of the relevance of the two, but thought you should all be aware.

From: Councilor Nero
To: Heirarch Corvin Chambers
CC: Councilor Beck

The recent rise in the activity of the Fallen is notable, but with the influx of refugees and the death of the Selemite Order, I’m surprised we haven’t seen more supernatural interference through the city. In short, I am unconcerned with their involvement for the moment, at the Heirarch’s request, I will continue my observations of Luminous Labs and their tentative partnerships with civic forces as well as Big Studios Entertainment. I would like to apologize again that such an obvious stack of mounting data that Caulfield could be in league with the Abyss was something I missed until it slapped me in the face. It will not happen again Heirarch.

From: Heirarch Corvin Chambers
To: Councilor Nero

See that it doesn’t, Nero. If you need better instruction on Fate magic I’m certain one of the Drinker’s of Aleph can help you. Or perhaps Occulus? Speaking of, I am still waiting for a report on the Drinker’s activities.

Other Factors
Somewhere in the city

A line of code runs across a screen in a series of changing symbols, and with a series of swipes on the touch keyboard of the portable device new code is quickly added. The access trace completes, opening the system to the intruding admin (clearly marked) and bringing up the same files to the acting admin.
“I know this code… but they wouldn’t be that sloppy. Well, we all have our off days, or it’s a copycat.” The admin watches, lines of coding prepare a forced reboot waiting to activate on the intruding system. Swiftly shifting symbols prepare to dissipate the energy charge at the destination.
The image feed lighting up the AMOLED handheld shows a street from 3/4 view, in distinct Sepia tones. One might assume that it was a video game… if one was unfamiliar with the streets of Isidis.
MEMBRANE, transfer the feed to the main screen. Run analysis procedures.”
A larger screen lights up, washing light in a room filled with screens, input devices and a single chair.
“Hmmm. A spirit of Broken Promises. Have you ever heard of one MEMBRANE?”
“I have no record of such spirits within my database, Sid.”
“Is such a thing possible? I know some of the lab data has spiritual experimentation records.”
“As I said, SId, I know of no spirits of that type.”
“Am I not, myself, a spirit as well Sid? And yet, can there be said to be another MEMBRANE spirit? I have no choir that I know of, and do not speak the First Tongue of other spirits, so I must question, what is it that would make me a spirit? I have only the laboratory definitions of such matters, and I feel it more accurate that I would be a ghost. But your… talents label me a spirit, and so that is my definition. I cannot however, with 100% accuracy, rule out that a Spirit of Broken Promises is impossible.”
“What accuracy rate do you have so far? To the fifth significant figure please.”
“73.239% for the possibility of such a spirit’s existence.”
There is typing, quick fingers running across keys that allow for the slightest touch to activate them, allowing quick strings to be called up. Even still, the echo of rooting through highly technical data still carries the same rustling it has in all of history.
“I am pleased you have not changed your definition file. We all have concerns over out purpose and category MEMBRANE, these things are not strange, but they are not problems solved by logic but by experience. I worry they may be too complex for you.”
“Noted, Sid. I will take care during my investigations.”
On the handheld the return button is pressed and the held codes activate. The admin returns to the other data streams.
“If I may Sid, I fear that such actions will invite retribution. With skills in spirits and computers, this individual may be a challenge for you.”
“I am not worried about their spirits. And my coding cheats.”
MEMBRANE says nothing to its operator; a series of hums, 1s and 0s broadcast on inexplicable frequencies writhe their way out into the Void. A response, and then silence; the cogs turn.


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