Hard Times in the Big Easy

Mommy Issues

Alandria came to in a bathroom shower, suspended upside down from the ceiling by ropes that held her body at a slight incline. Water was coursing down her body and falling to swirl down a drain in the floor. Her body was encased in a straight jacket that hit about mid-thigh on her, making it hard to squirm away from the steady dripping of water on her forehead.

She noticed a few things right off, aside from the running water; One, she was naked except for the straight jacket. Even her coral ring that enhanced her water control was gone. Two, there was a TV monitor hooked up where she could see it, currently showing a figure ramming against a door.

Alandria looked closer at the display and saw that it was her father, Roane, in a straight jacket. He was furiously pounding his shoulder against the door, trying to bust it open. Behind him lay a figure with long hair, sprawled on the floor. Haley didn’t seem to be moving yet and Roan was desperately trying to get out before she came to.

Alandria made an effort to get out of her restraints, writhing and squirming. The more she struggled, the tighter her bonds seemed to be. When she looked up at the monitor again,she saw Roan huddled in a corner hunched up into a little ball. She assumed he was trying to veil himself. Haley’s hair had begun to move. The crazy woman was waking.

Again, Alandria struggled again, this time trying to call up magic to get free, but just about the time she had enough magic gathered to do anything, the water would drip down onto her forehead, disrupting her concentration.

Another desperate look at the monitor showed Haley’s fingers and toes starting to twitch. Alandria was out of time. Whatever the Denarian had done to keep Roane from opening a way to the nevernever and escaping, it was working. All her father could do now was hold a glamor and hope it worked.

Alandria hesitated for just a moment before closing her eyes and taking a deep breath. It took every ounce of concentration to do it, but she focused her will on the camera recording her every movement and before the next drop of water could fall, the camera sparked and crackled, dying. She didn’t want the Denarian watching her to have any idea of what she was about to do.

As the camera died, Alandria let her breath out slowly. After a moment, her body changed. One moment the lanky girl was there, dangling from the ceiling, the next moment a sleek harbor seal slid easily from the wet fabric to thump against the floor. She struggled to right herself, twisting from her back onto her belly in a fluid motion. The time it took for her to get onto her stomach was all the time needed for her to shift back to a human form, now on all fours, naked on the floor.

Alandria stood and gave the dangling straight jacket a look of consideration before untangling it and donning it once more. The TV listed the room number her father was in. If she hurried, she would be able to find him and save him.

Jack and Ianweren’t sure what to do. The changeling had disappeared, Nevarres had run off with the Denarians, and Alandria was nowhere to be found either. Luckily, Ian had the bright idea to stop by Gideon’s place to see if he would be willing to help them kill a few Denarians. Jack’s smooth talking landed them the help they needed and the trio stormed off in Ian’s loaner car to hunt some demons.

They arrived at Lake Pontchartrain Mental Institution to find magical shrubberies creeping across the parking lot. They made it inside without much hassle, and found a guard at the front desk with unnatural green eyes. After asking to visit with Rose and Haley and being turned down, the guard agreed to let them see Nevarres and escorted them to a waiting room.

A soulgaze with the guard showed Ian a man being sucked into the trunk of a tree coated in green moss, the same shade of green as his glowing green eyes.

The three waited for ten minutes before Jack got impatient and went to leave the room, only to be surprised by someone on the other side of the door when he opened it. He fired a shot at the figure with his holy water modded tranq gun, but missed.

Nevarres got the call to meet with Jack and Ian, but before he did, he snooped around in Rose’s office. He found the camera display showing Roane and Alandria, and was writing down room numbers when Alandria fried the camera showing her room.

Nevarres then went down to talk to Jack and Ian, narrowly dodging the gun when Jack shot at him out of surprise. He gave Jack the room numbers and then ran away again.

Jack, Ian, and Gideon then started down the hallway to try and find Roane’s room first. Gideon had to rip the doors off the walls in order to get past a security checkpoint, and then they were stopped by a lot of orderlies and security guards. Ian used a spell to put the lot of them to sleep, and then Alandria found the group of them.

She was still soaking wet and clad in only the straight jacket, but she didn’t let that bother her. She got them to follow her back towards an area she had noticed with heavy security doors where she thought Roane might be kept, and sure enough he was there.

Ian drew back the panel covering the window to Roan’s cell, and the group could see Haley standing, staring at an empty corner where Alandria knew Roane would be. In a rush to distract her from finding Roane, Alandria spoke into the intercom, calling Haley to get her attention. Of course, Haley looked up at the speaker instead of at the door.

Alandria ought to have communicated her intentions better.. But she put up a glamor over the door of a closed door, then she opened the real door outwards. Just as she was opening it, Jack had to speak up “Well, we gonna open the door?” Of course, Haley was out the door in a flash and the fight was on.

To make a long fight short, Alandria disintegrated Haley’s hair, Gideon held her so she couldn’t move, and got impaled for his troubles. Ian used his sight to locate the coin, and Jack used his gladius to hack Haley’s arm off. When Ian tried to pull the coin out of the fingers, the hand flung it at his face. Jack intercepted it, catching it and pocketing it.

As soon as Haley was down, Alandria had went to her father, crouching down to gently lay a hand on his shoulder. “It’s all right. It’s over.”

Roane looked up at her, then looked at her closely before smiling. “I knew you’d come around” He gave her a hug and Alandria returned it with a warm smile.

“You know I couldn’t just leave you like this.” Ian had stabilized Haley in the background and was trying to revive Gideon. Jack came up to Alandria and Roane, intent on collecting payment again.

The guys bickered for a little bit, with Roane insisting he had paid his debt. Alandria suggested that if he had really paid,just go to the Erlking and tell him that he delivered his payment into the hands of his debt collector, and Jack had lost it.

With that settled, Alandria knew something had to be done about Haley. From what Father Masseyhad told her, Denarians could teach their host how to summon the coin back to them whenever they wanted.

Alandria saw a way to perhaps achieve the death of Haley without getting her hands dirty. She asked Jack to borrow a sword, and as expected, he refused. She had to explain why she wanted it and when she told him that as long as Haley was alive, she could possibly summon the coin back to her, Jack acted without thinking. He promptly stuck his gladius in Haley’s neck, killing her.

At some point, Ian pick pocketed Jack and stole the Denarian coin. Roane told Jack that Ian didn’t do it. He had his eyes on Ian the whole time and never saw him take it. Then he proceeded to illusion things like scorpions into Denarian coins along the way to the Erlking’s. Jack tried to pick up every single one.

Jack, Alandria, and Roane go to see the Erlking and Jack gets tasked with getting the payment he destroyed: The innocence of three maidens. Alandria took Jack home, then went home herself.



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