Episode 9: Raiders of the Misfiled Ark

 

Walker's werewolf relatives take him down to the riverbank, and take Billy with them, so he can learn how to do the Moon Healing ritual. Under the full moon, Natasha and Quentin bite their thumbs, paint their names on Walker's wound with their blood, and then hold him under the water until his wound erupts from the surface of his body, a many-clawed silver thing with gnashing gears and spines. Billy and the werewolves wrestle the thing until Billy whacks it in half with his Assamite scimitar. With the poison expelled, Walker heals his belly wound in moments.

 

Faith visits Diligence's house. She knocks on the front door, shamefacedly explaining she tried to break in the kitchen window but couldn't enter uninvited. She's still new to all this vampire stuff. So, she says, wanna come out and talk, or can I come in?

 

Diligence closes the door and dials for help, of course. But Juliet's not home, Billy's out with the werewolves, and Alexandra's phone's busy. Diligence does reach Marcus, who promises to round up Miles Callendar and head right on over. Faith calls through the door that the Fourth of the Fallen wants Diligence on his team, so she's either going to bite him or torch his house in about ten seconds.

 

Dilgence tries to reason with Faith while calling the fire department, pointing out that, first, Juliet is tougher than Faith and will kick her butt when they clash, and second, the Fourth of the Fallen doesn't care about his flunkies and will just use Faith till she's killed, then hire another one. When he's done with his reasoning, he peeks out, but she's gone. So he opens the door, and she jumps down from the roof, whips out a bullwhip, and yanks him out the doorway like a cork in a bottle.

 

Faith is about to bite Diligence when she sees Thessaly, the purple-haired ghost girl, in the window. She recoils, sees Thessaly again in a shiny windshield, and runs away. Diligence waits for the fire department to arrive, and when they do, they take him to the hospital.

 

Moonstomp turns up on Alexandra's doorstep. He wants her to do a spell to get rid of this soul he's somehow picked up, possibly through unsafe biting of a priest or just a very virtuous person. But now he feels all troubled whenever he commits murder or theft, or even takes the Lord's name in vain -- it's horrible! And it's made him unemployable, too. The Fourth of the Fallen took one look at him and threw him out, before Moonstomp got to hear the master plan. But he does know it's going down on Friday, and he'll tell the rest, he says, if she'll just exorcise this bloody soul. This being Wednesday, there isnít a lot of time.

 

Alexandra tells him she's not interested. Marshal shows up just as Moonstomp is slouching off, and suddenly Alexandra very much wants Moonstomp around. Marshal wants Alex to call Juliet and tell her the weapons are at 102 Halsey Street, as promised, before he kills her. But Moonstomp offers to kill Marshal in exchange for the spell, and Alex agrees. Moonstomp and Marshal hunt each other through Darkwood, while Alex calls 911 and has herself taken to the hospital, where she can consult Dr. Armitage.

 

The gang goes down to the address, which turns out to be an abandoned warehouse. Inside are row on row on row of cryptically labelled crates, like the place the Lost Ark was filed at the end of Raiders. And they contain all sorts of strange things, including a Richard Nixon hood ornament from a luxury car, a bag of gummi-bears of which all but one have small pieces torn from their necks, while the last gummi bear is larger than the others and seems to be faintly smiling, and a clay cup which when touched transforms into a huge silver chalice whose waters heal all wounds. Billy grabs that, while Diligence finds, first, another Dilgence from an apparent parallel universe (he gets crushed under some boxes fairly quickly, unable to adapt to the savage, unforgiving warehouse environment), and second, a clay circle with a pentagram on it and the names, and sigils, of all 63 demons from Solomon's Key! Alexandra finds a staff covered in Celtic runes, with brass streamers as soft as silk hanging from both ends, and Miles finds a Persian processional axe named the "Light of Ahriman" which refers to the Persian God of Darkness who will be defeated by human effort at the end of time. The fact that, with Juliet's Crusader sword, the team now has Wand, Cup, Sword and Pentacle, the four suits of the Tarot embodying the four Greek elements of Air, Water, Fire and Earth, passes unnoticed.

 

Juliet, however, once she sees the warehouse is safe (she hadn't reckoned on the other Diligence toppling thirty feet of packing crates onto himself!) runs out into the street to fight the vampires who, according to the Fourth of the Fallen, are scouring the city for more innocents to cast into Hell, not only providing more vampires for the Fourth's army but more importantly swelling his credit in Hell with the other demons whose services he wants. She finds newmade vampires, one or two at a time, and kills and kills until dawn sends the rest into hiding. By that time, her arm is tired, both legs are going numb from running and kicking, and her stake is decidedly blunt. Plus there's all the dust.

 

As a new day, perhaps the last full day Arkham will ever see, dawns, Dr. Armitage rallies the troops outside Miskatonic University's library annex. There are twelve, a mystically complete number (there were twelve Apostles, twelve Olympian gods, and twelve months of the year, if it matters):

 

Juliet Winters, the Slayer

Alexandra Harrow, witch with a machine gun and the Runestaff

Diligence Peaslee, scholar with a pentacle

Billy Boucher, de facto dropout with the Holy Grail

Marcus Aurelius Pope, science fiction fan

Dr. Henry Armitage, professor of the occult

Miles Callendar, junior commando with the Light of Ahriman

Walker the werewolf

Quentin the werewolf

Bobby C the werewolf

Natasha the werewolf

Dr. Noah Black, principal of Darkwood High School, bearing cross, crossbow and Bible against the darkness

 

They have 48 hours to save the world ...

 

 

 

 

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