Bright Lights, Dead City

The Meet and Greet
Evil Acts

The first call I got as the new Warden of Vegas was to check in on the White Council wizard, Prospero. I didn’t want to come down on him like most of the other wardens usually do. So, I approached him without my cloak and sword. Maybe I should count myself lucky he didn’t attack me just for talking to him, but then again if he did that we might not have an evil spirit on the loose. The initial investigation didn’t turn up anything except a pair of tickets to the show. I guess this way when it went wrong I would be there.

The night of the play was more exciting than any other play I’ve ever been too… or should I say in? The lobby was packed and I got the chance to meet and greet with Katalina Delgardo again. I’m glad she doesn’t see me as food. Unfortunately, The Red Courts decided to show up and Vega Cortez had to throw his weight around. I’ve got to remember to make sure Alex stays in line around Vega’s muscle. What was his name, Terry I think? Whatever he’s not important.

Since Prospero thought so highly of himself, he failed to do the complete research on his ritual and his error caused the Sycorax to manifest from the pages of the Tempest using his power. Luckily, the White Court Vampires came to our aid against the weak mind controlled Red Courts. Of course, the Red Court distraction stopped me from getting to the stage in time to stop Prospero, but once I saw what the Sycorax really was I knew it was a bad day. The night left Prospero dead, his daughter injured, a Fae owing me a favor, and a powerful Spirit is loose in the Nevernever. At least I recovered the two stolen manuscripts. Maybe the council won’t be too mad…

-Henry Varro

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Holy Rollers
What's In The Box?

I go off for two weeks to study the Tempest and find a way to deal with the Sycorax when it decides to show up. You would think Vegas could run itself without me… sigh. The good news came from a priest, no surprise there, when Aaron decided to call me, and let me know that the church’s Powers-That-Be decided to move a box that has a demon sealed in it without telling anyone that could have made the delivery… uh I dunno… safer. The group making the delivery didn’t check in last night. At least they had the last known location.

Once we got to the sleazy motel in the desert I wasted no time and attempted to sense the essence of the demon or any other supernatural being. Aaron went to the office to do who knows what. I followed my senses to one of the rooms, hexed the lock, and popped a quick veil. One of the easiest places to find something left behind by someone is the bathroom. Inside the room was a horrific scene of some disgusting, adult… sporting. I didn’t have to look hard to find some hair in the bathroom. It was easy enough to notice it didn’t belong to the couple in the main room which was a plus. A few seconds I hear Aaron talking to the couple. Talking or arguing? Didn’t matter, Alex showed up then and convinced the couple he worked there and got them out of the room. I headed outside and started up my tracking spell while the others did something.

The tracking spell took us to the delivery boys in time to save them from bleeding to death in the desert. After looking over the scene, scraping some paint off the delivery SUV, summoning a spirit, not my doing, and questioning the survivors we headed out toward my new tracking spell location. An abandoned van, dark energy, and the scent of possible targets or possible trouble. Sherman, our shaman/werewolf, takes off on the trail of the scent while everyone else scrambles to follow.

What do you expect when you walk into a biker gang’s bar? Probably nothing good. Now, imagine the biker gang are all lycanthropes. Ever stare a wolf down? They won’t forget it any time soon trust me. Thugs verse Wardens, a Champion of God, and a Shaman probably isn’t a fair fight, but I don’t make the rules. After my stare down with Jesus, the lycanthrope leader, we found out they dropped the box off with some short, greasy weirdo. Aaron wanted to question Vega Cortez, and since he was driving we couldn’t really say no. Vega was his normal self, not saying much there. The guy really knows how to push buttons. At least he gave us the video of his van being “stolen”.

A call later, a new address, and more investigating lead us to the apartment of our warlock. Talk about mess, but then again I guess you don’t expect much from someone summoning demons for a living. I went to the quickest place to find some hair or nail clippings, and was brought some books when Aaron found some hidden in the guy’s room. I took a look over them real quick, put the tracking spell on and when the others, off doing their own thing, showed up we went to get Mr. Demon Summoner.

Usually if something can go wrong it will. We should have been avoiding bridges that night, or at least Aaron’s car should have been avoiding bridges that night. Trolls, they’re real and they’re dumb. Trolls be trolling I guess. Once we made it past the troll and to the location of Mr. Demon Summoner, Aaron thought it would be a good idea to ram the front door taking down a ghoul in the process. We flooded out of the car only to be met by another, bigger ghoul and three novice spellslingers. I heard the chant of some thaumaturgy spell and took off for the summoner’s inner circle. I thought he’d have some sense after I broke his circle, but I guess I gave too much credit to the insane villain. My apprentice, Alex, rushed in there with me and grabbed the chest breaking the spell in progress, but that also released all of the energy into the building. It did it’s job at taking Demon Summoner out, but it also weakened the chest and the demon started pushing its way out. Luckily, the combined force of two wizards, and a champion of God was enough to put a band-aid over the chest.

I had no choice. There was no way I was going to be able to restore the full seal by myself to that chest. I had to call in the Council. They sent Ebenezer McCoy and Alistair Kendricks. Alistair’s daughter, Katheryn, tagged along. I guess it’s a lesson for her or something. Now, the White Council wants to convene in Vegas, and I have a feeling heads will roll…

-Henry Varro

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People Skills
Politics & The Student Council

So, the council made their big appearance and it didn’t go as bad as I thought. The Demon Chest came down to a vote that was close, but we’re giving it back over to the Church to deal with. I’m not sure who will be going on that “wonderful” trip. After the meeting we found our way to Scarlet’s pub for a few drinks on what should have been the end of the day. On my way out I was stopped by Meredith, a minor talent. She told me her boyfriend Justin, another minor talent, had been acting weird since the weekend. Her and I headed to their place where I found Justin lost in some sort of daze repeating the name “Alexandria”. Meredith told me he had been at some party that weekend hosted by a girl named Jessica.

After a few drinks there is no such thing as a bad idea, so I called up Aaron not thinking I’d be waking his wife up too. Since she was awake I might as well put her to work. I had her run the name Meredith gave me and asked of any noise complaints in that area. Sabrina came back with an address and she was “nice” enough to let Aaron come out and play. We went to the address, but it was late and I didn’t want to be caught snooping around in a well-for-itself neighborhood. We instead poked our nose on another lead. Lets just say we won’t be checking into the ICU anytime soon.

The next morning, Sabrina decides to get some payback with an early phone call. Luckily, Katy was up with some delicious coffee. Aaron showed up not long after and Katy was sweet enough to make us some breakfast. We headed out to his wife to watch some security footage that left us with questions and little answers to yet another problem. Aaron and I decided to check back on that address. If you’ve been out of school for awhile you tend to forget what time it’s usually in session. Jessica’s mom answered and was surprised when we asked about a party. I wonder if it was my people skills that made her mad? We then came up with the idea of ambushing Jessica by making it seem Justin wanted to talk to her. Jessica had a few awkward responses about Alexandria that I picked up on at the start. Now, we just needed to find little Mrs. Warlock.

The con was simple, Katy poses as a possible new student and tries to get information from the students, while I pretend to be her wealthy uncle trying to get her into a nice school. Aaron was gonna play the part of a reference and got us in with no problems. The problem came when Katy started getting the evil kind of stares from the student body. Seems Mrs. Warlock has been busy. We got Alexandria’s address from the records in the Dean’s office and made a B-line to Aaron’s truck. It felt like something out of a horror movie. Yes, wizards can watch movies, as long as it’s something like a drive in or we seat far from the projector. We had a whole army of students chasing us. Some jock got a hold on Katy, but it didn’t last long with Aaron there. I kept the rest of the students back with a powerful gust of wind as we made our escape. Another jock pulled a terminator move when he jumped on the back of the truck, and I had to bash his face in with my cane. He hit the ground in a roll, stood up and kept on coming.

We lost the kids with little trouble and found Alexandria’s house. Aaron didn’t want to play around and simply kicked her door in. Her mother charged us with some knitting tools. I was preparing a spell to gently put her down when Aaron took her down with a simple jab. I guess you don’t need magic to solve everything. Our warlock wasn’t home, but she wasn’t careful either. I found a DNA sample and used a tracking spell to find her “new house”.

She had a small army of mortals guarding her new place. I put up a veil around Aaron and myself while Katy used Aaron’s truck to lure the mortal goons away. I’m sure Aaron’s heart was racing when a horde of students came running at us only to go around my veil after Katy. We made our way inside pushing by the threshold. Alexandria was on the phone and said. “They’re coming, what do I do?” I told Aaron to grab her and follow me as I opened a portal into the Nevernever. I wasn’t thinking on what could have been on the other side, but I felt “it” as soon as we went through. I quickly closed the rift and ran having Aaron following me. There was no time to explain, but we made it to a safe exit rift. I did hear “it” say it would look me up later. I’m so not looking forward to that.

Now that that’s settled, it’s time for a soulgaze, some interrogation, and a little beheading. I have no time for games in my city…

-Henry Varro

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Fallen Silver
Lead Us Not Into Temptation

A Denarian of all things. Shiro had to show up and add more fire to the already lit fire. Fine, bring it Denarian. After I got the news from Shiro, Henry, with perfect timing, shows up to get filled in, and we begin making plans on moving that Demon Chest.

Time was “of the essence”, so to speak, so the elaborate plan Henry and I were working on a few days back was a no go. So we took the wrath approach. The plan was simple, grab the chest and get to a safe spot in the spirit world, or Nevernever as Henry says. Then, we get to the White Council’s HQ for a break. After that, we push back through the “Nevernever” and into Rome. Easy enough, right?

Why avoid it if you already know it’s a trap? Two black SUV’s quickly pulled up and boxed us in. I guess it’s time to ruin another vehicle. The chase was on. They shot at us and we shot not only bullets but magic at them. Reuben’s truck was taking a beating from the gunfire; I’ll just chalk this one up as an I.O.U. It took a bit, but the old girl pulled through and we got away from the gunmen.

The chase ends there, right? Wrong. A little bit down the road stood a six legged bear and a huge wolf with mantis arms attached to it. Broken truck, two Denarians, and two Champions of God. Shiro thought he’d play hero alone, but I quickly jumped out and moved beside him. Henry tossed me some juice that got me moving faster than a human should. I saw him drink down something too that let him grab the chest on one shoulder and Sherman, who took a bullet I think, on the other shoulder. I kept both the wolf Denarian and team of Henry and Constantine as they went and talked some guy out of his truck. Damn wolf got me with one of his mantis claws, but I put a nasty hit back on him too. The poison from the claw worked fast. The grace of God let me push through the pain long enough for the others to get moving on the truck. Shiro came up to take the wolf Denarian off me when the Bear was nowhere to be found. I took off with inhuman speed catching up to the others with no trouble.

Not long after we made it to the safe house, and shortly after Henry got the portal to the Nevernever open. I saw him grab some snacks but couldn’t figure out why. The way was safe enough. Some Small fae were on the path and Henry struck a deal with them offering the snacks as payment. Henry noticed they were leading us off the normal path and asked them about it. I never heard them say anything, but Henry seemed to trust them so we pushed on. This poison was starting to wear me down when we made it to the White Council’s HQ. Some tall Native American wizard looked me over and by morning I was 100% again. Some other wizard gave us an update and directions on the Nevernever heading toward Rome. It seemed we had to go through trouble one way or another. Henry was called away by his commanding officer, I think. He came back later and said his mentor should be meeting us when we got through the Nevernever.

So that was that. We started pushing through the Nevernever again making great time from what Henry said. We came to a dark area said to be the hunting grounds of Malk, a large cat like winterfae. Sherman, in wolf form, noticed them first. They had us surrounded. Henry tried to use his status as a Warden, but the only response was to run to make it fun for them. So it was a fight they wanted, we were all too happy to oblige them. They rushed us from the shadows catching us off guard. After their surprise was gone I had to fulfill a promise and ripped one’s throat out. I killed a few I know, and Henry spared an equal amount.

We made it from Vegas to Rome in tow days without flying. We just had to put some “things” in their place along the way. I recognized the man’s face when we arrived in Rome. What was his name, ugh? He flipped a silver coin and I knew it was him. He was the traitor, and now he was a Denarian. Constantine tried to reason with him, but it was a waste of time. Suddenly, he became a large, four armed, praying mantis. I rushed him putting a fist right in the damn thing’s face. I saw Henry throw a lightening bolt over my shoulder knocking it back a bit. Sherman moved to put some of his claws to work, and Constantine started praying forcing the Denarian to double over in pain. He wasn’t a match for us and I think he started to realize it. Luckily, Henry’s Mentor showed up hitting the thing with a truck into some water. He probably got away, but the next time I see him I’m gonna shove my gauntlet down his throat and make him eat His Wrath.

Henry wanted to spend a few days in Rome. I noticed when he and his mentor entered the Vatican they both said some prayer at the same time. We took a little vacation before heading back the way we came. This time the Malk didn’t try their luck.

Now, I need to prepare for Sunday’s service…

- Aaron Katz

((Written by JeffReil))
((Edited and Reviewed by HShot45))

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Knight's Legacy
Side Job #1

Henry: “…and so we finished up delivering the chest to the Vatican. I decided we would stay a few days longer for a short vacation.”

Aaron: “That first night I received a vision from God. I was fighting in the Crusades and at some point during the dream I noticed it wasn’t me, but one of my ancestors. I went to find Henry the next morning and asked if he’d say in Rome for at least a week while I went to do something… something I didn’t even know I had to do.”

Henry: “That made my excuse easier to the White Council. I wanted to stay that long anyways.”

Aaron: “So, I rented a car and headed out. I’m not sure how I got there, but what seemed like a few minutes turned out to be two days. I had made my way to some small village in France. The only English speaking person I found in the pub became my translator at the church. The priest there lead me to a tomb hidden inside the church. There I ran into four dead knights…”

Henry: “They were ghosts not actual knights.”

Aaron: “What’s the difference?”

Henry: “When someone dies there spirit moves on. If a ghost is created it is just a copy of the original not the original itself.”

Aaron: “Whatever. Anyways, they asked me some questions, which I found irritating, then they decided to challenge me for my Family’s Gauntlet. Without warning they attacked and I took them all on at once. It proved to be little trouble. Their captain told me the item I was there for was stolen long ago by some Francisco vampire…”

Henry: “A Black Court Vampire. The Dracula kind.”

Aaron: “Would you stop interrupting?”

Henry: “No. This is when Aaron called me up and asked me to meet him in Spain. We meet up a few days later outside of Madrid. I did some looking around a found a nice little shop with camping supplies in the front and ex-military gear in the back.”

Aaron: “We headed out to the village in Spain and clearly it had a dark presence about it.”

Henry: “I threw up a veil and we decided to sneak in when the church bells started ringing. When we got closer I instantly knew there was bad mojo here. Suddenly, there was buzzing sound and then a loud pop. We looked up and saw there was a modern day surveillance camera that just shorted out because of my magic.”

Aaron: “We hurried out of there and back to our camp a few hundred yards away. Just as it grew dark we heard some noise in the forest. Two brainwashed humans…”

Henry: “Renfields.”

Aaron: Glares at Henry “…Renfields and a vampire. We took them out quickly and brought the bodies with us as we escaped.”

Henry: “Then this guy here gets the idea to steal a car.” Puts on an innocent look “But it takes him like 30 minutes just to hot wire it.”

Aaron: Sighs “Look European cars are a lot different than American cars.”

Henry: “He then decides we’re gonna take the car back, put the bodies inside it, light the gas tank on fire with a long rag, and hope to God the car can steer itself into the village and blow itself up.”

Aaron: “Which it did and caused panic like I wanted. I don’t think it hurt anyone that was not messed in the head.”

Henry: “We ran to the church during the distraction. I could feel an alarm ward on the door, but we already made a big splash so we just kept on going. Inside we ran into a few more Renfields, but we just pushed past them and locked the doors behind us. In the security room I made sure to hex everything so there would be no evidence of us being there other than witnesses and I guess magical residue.”

Aaron: “Yeah because this guy here had to at least remain in a ‘gray’ area. He didn’t help me fight off any of the vampires because of his status as a Warden…”

Henry: Give an apologetic look

Aaron: “When we made it to the final room I saw the boots of my ancestor…”

Henry: “And three caskets with Francisco sitting in one. He didn’t look happy.”

Aaron: “We talked for a bit and then I grabbed the boots from the shelf and ran.”

Henry: “I didn’t have time to warn Aaron I was preparing a spell, but once we both made it back into the halls I let loose an air spell that acted like dynamite and closed the tunnel. ‘Some things’ find it hard to die. The vampire went into a gas like form and started pushing through the debris. I put into effect another spell that acted as a vacuum keeping him there long enough to get away.”

Aaron: “And by the grace of God we made it out alive with my new boots.”

Henry: “More like new-to-you boots.”

A long silence falls over the room for a minute.

Sabrina: Full of sarcasm “If you wanted new shoes then we could have gone to the mall. And why is it you never take me to nice places?”

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Numb

The young woman sat in front of her computer, word processor open, but the document opened was completely empty. She sat mindlessly watching the cursor blink on the screen. For how long, she wasn’t sure. One hand rested on a considerable “baby bump”. Her expression was as blank as the document before her.

She reached up with one hand and typed on word on the screen, slowly, putting emphasis on each single letter.

Numb.

Her hand came free of her stomach and she brought it up to put her hands in the “asdf jkl;” home key positions. Being a detective for the LVPD gave her plenty of typing experience.

That’s all I feel is numb, at least that is the only word I have to describe it. I am so far beyond pain and sadness, that there is nothing left. Tonight, I lost my world.

I prayed so hard. I know, as a minister’s wife, I should have faith. I’ve always considered myself a person of faith. I have never been much to pray.

I’ve poured my heart and soul out to God, and still I am unanswered. Mysterious ways, my ass.

Who do I blame for this?

Myself.

I am a stupid, silly girl.

When did this all happen? How long has it been? I don’t even fucking know.

I remember the first part of the day perfectly. Aaron went out to get some stuff for the house, stuff we need. Really he went out to get away from my blazing hormones, I think. From laughter to tears, in .006 seconds.

As a sat waiting for him, I felt the first stirrings of life inside of me. I mean, I knew I was pregnant. Saying it, and feeling the first flutters of life inside you are two different things. It was the single most amazing thing that has ever happened to me.

I heard something outside the door, and I thought it was Aaron so I rushed to tell him. I flung the door open, but Aaron was nowhere to be seen.

I’m a fucking police detective. I knew the two guys standing outside were bad news. With the things I’ve seen, and with my husband’s job, his real job. I knew what the fuck was in front of me.

I choked. I did the one thing Aaron told me to make sure I didn’t do. I crossed the threshold.

The men grabbed me and pulled me out. Something was shoved over my face and mouth, and I couldn’t breathe. The one holding me was so strong, and I was so afraid to fight.

God damn it, I froze. I should have done something. All that fucking training, and I choked.

When I awoke, I was in the face of pure evil. I was so scared of the being that spoke to me. The weight of power and evil coming from him was paralyzing. I tried to scream but I had no voice.

The rest of the day went on as a blur. As night fell, the only thing I remember from the drugged out haze that I was in…. was it drugs? My head was so fuzzy. The only thing that registered was the evil telling me that my husband was coming for me. He was giving himself, so my child and I could live.

I’m a horrible person.

I didn’t want him to come. Even though there is this life inside me, depending on me, even though I have never met him or her, they are depending on me.

Aaron should have never done what he did.

Our child is worth it, perhaps, but I am not. If only it could have been me to trade my life, and Aaron and the child live.

I’m nobody, Aaron is somebody important.

Even through my drugged haze, I tried to go back, tried to stop what was happening, but the fucking White Court Vampires, were too strong. I was too out of it.

They pulled me away from the scene, but I felt the power even as I was speeding away in some piece of shit, eurotrash car. A power so horrible, I think it drained all the happiness out of Vegas that night.

The woman’s hand shot down to her stomach, as she felt a slight pressure inside of her stomach. The baby was making his or her presence known. She tore her eyes away from the screen to look down at her stomach. Tears that she was too broken to let fall finally broke free from her soul. As she typed some final words.

To my child, I am sorry that you won’t be able to meet your father, the most wonderful man that I know.

I am sorry that I am not going to be able to be the mother that you are going to need me to be.

There is just too much emptiness in my heart.

-Sabrina Katz

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Double Trouble
Pleasure Business

Warden Business kept me out of town for a few days. I come back to find my messages are full, and my apprentice is still missing. I sift through the junk messages before I hit an important message from Aaron. Something is going down and he needs my help a little too late albeit. A few “unclear” messages from a detective friend follows Aaron’s message, and then there’s one for Alex from the Delgado twins of all “people”. Now I had somewhere to begin my search for Alex, but since he didn’t seem to be in immediate danger I had to find out what happened to Aaron first.

I made some calls starting with setting up an appointment with Katalina Delgado later in the day, and then I returned my detective friend’s call. He didn’t give me much to go on over the phone so I told him to just pick me up. He didn’t show up alone. He had some pretty boy with him who I noticed had some sort of higher power backing him up and it wasn’t God. I had them bring me to ground zero. A graveyard, The Woodlawn Cemetery to be exact, how original for the Black Court to choose such a place. I noticed the remnants of a ward meant to keep things in and out. Inside where everyone believed Aaron died was full with mixed energy. I reached out with my Sight to sort through it all, and was able to see everything that happened there the night before.

I’m sure I saw everything the others missed. Aaron was never here nor his items of power. Whoever was posing as Aaron had real power. The glamour was almost perfect, hell it fooled the Black Court, but it looked like he wanted to get caught and pretty boy was the one he wanted to notice. I took a minute to pull Ken aside to ask him about his friend. He had little to tell me so I asked pretty boy, Johan, himself. He never said who was backing him, but I saw the spark in his eyes when I mentioned the poser with different colored eyes. I had little to go on and it was getting close to my time with Katalina. I had Ken drive us to Caesar’s Palace, and told them I’d meet them in the lobby.

Katalina’s receptionist was very attractive and dressed professionally. I only made it half-way through an article before I was able to see Katalina. Did you know men should have 21 ejaculations a month to lower their risk of prostate cancer? I greeted Katalina with the usual respect. Katalina is easy on the eyes and it’s hard not to notice. Yes she has power and yes she is dangerous, but she has not once made a move to influence or seduce me. I’m not sure why she is quick to give me information when it probably won’t come close to benefiting her. I’ve never heard of any White Court doing something for nothing. Maybe I simply amuse her or maybe she actually likes me. A question for another day. She told me Aaron called in a favor to get Sabrina out of last night’s mayhem, and that she was protecting her until some Vincent guy shows up. She gave me the address to find Aurora and Selena, the Delgado twins. I thanked her, and told her to give Sabrina a message that things aren’t what they seem and I’m looking into it.

I met the guys in the lobby after they finished gambling. I told Ken to head to Scarlet’s for food and drinks. While at Scarlet’s I overheard Johan ask Scarlet about some guy with different colored eyes, and she mentioned he was calling himself Loki. That’s when it hit me that Johan might be linked to Thor, Loki’s counterpart, but what the hell is someone with Thor’s backing doing here? Half the day gone and no real leads. Then Ken and Johan mention some girl they rescued from a ghoul the night before. She was at the hospital and again Ken drove us there. He used his badge to get us past the nurses. The girl was cooperative. She ended up describing the ghoul in detail and even drew a tattoo it had. The tattoo matched similar markings I saw in Spain earlier this year. Still short on leads Johan split from the group, and Ken and I went to check the ghoul crime scene. Ken talked us past the cop there, and I pointed him to a corpse of a dead Chinese woman after meeting the woman’s ghost, an aftereffect of opening the Sight earlier today.

On my own now, I made my way to Delgado Studios 69. Of course it was called that. The receptionist here was attractive too, but not in a professional way like Katalina’s receptionist. She was what you’d expect at a studio like this. She told me I was allowed to go back, and I was able to watch the ending scene involving the twins. After, they greeted me warmly (more like hot as the damn sun), and took me by each arm and down to their dressing room. It’s so hard to tell them apart, but damn they are hard to ignore. I asked them about Alex, but they were more interested in pleasure before business. I tried to resist I really did, but it’s been awhile and every man has his breaking point. The only thing I said before they started on me was “no feeding”. They agreed this time. I’d like to tell you I had my way with them, but I’d be lying. I easily lost track of time with the girls, but after they told me Alex was looking into the Nevernever and they stole books from Katalina about the topic. That gave me some leverage. If they kept this little rendezvous a secret I wouldn’t tell Katalina they stole the books. I knew where Alex went and I’m sure he’s dead or worse. He failed to listen to me and now he’s done. I’ll figure out how to deal with him, but first I want to know who this Johan guy is and where to find Aaron.

-Henry Varro

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