Awakened Boston - Shadows of the New World

Meeting the Hunters

Sean, Desmond, Keegan

Meeting with the Hunters – Sean, Desmond & Keegan

While you don’t pose the question directly, you’d expect someone to mention it if they’d noticed; yet none of the crew of WE show any awareness of the sudden changes of Jan 19. Vanessa expresses a feeling that ‘the people are coming closer to God these days’, but suggests that this has been coming for a long time. Emory counters that the Church is throwing its weight around more than ever. Drew doesn’t seem to have a strong interest in the issue, and Julio nods mutely when any of his co-conspirators speak, but his expression suggests that may not be in full agreement with them. Bill is working a late shift.

As the topic of religion rears it’s head, there’s a visible divide between Vanessa and Emory. “You can’t trust an ‘organized’ religion.” “But, how the people can know God if not for the church?” “They can pick up the book and READ it!” “And the priests, they are there to help interpret.” “And while the priests are doing that, the bishops are counting money and pressing hands with the pols.” “No, the bishops are to organize the church!” “Look kids, Big Ben! Parliament!” “Ey, diablo!”

Despite Emory’s general distrust, his concerns tend to revolve around political issues and the Catholic church’s influence therein. “But I’ll give ‘em this”, he adds. “There’s factions in the church that’re more aware than most about the things goin’ bump in the night, and those factions are no strangers to Boston. There in and out of that Lady ‘o Victories. I’ve seen ‘em. Wish to hell they’d share what they know, but the Network can’t get ‘em to say a word.”

With the perfect segue offered up, you change the topic. There’s an excited look in Emory’s eyes when you ask about NetWork Zero. He offers to show you what they’ve got going on, but warns that he “can’t give you the keys to the kingdom just yet. Not unless you’re willing to go through a … sort of a … background check. I’ll need all your online IDs and your email addresses, and I’ll need to know who your internet provider is. Stuff like that. Think on it while you watch this…"

He types in a long URL and it becomes clear to Rio at least that he’s accessing a hidden TOR server. The page is slow to load, and after a long period of buffering, begins to play a video:

The video starts and the camera is brought up and pointed at what appears to be a hispanic male passenger in a taxi. He is gaunt, with a long, narrow face and sunken, bruised eyes.. The dense urban night-time scene behind the car is out of focus.

The cameraman speaks in what sounds like a middle eastern accent. The passenger has a slight hispanic accent.

cameraman: “Okay, are you ready?”
bq). passenger: “You’re going to keep your end of the deal? If you’re lying to me…”
bq). cameraman: “Yes! But I told you, when the camera is…”

The camera drops. There is a momentary blackness. The image reappears with the camera at a slightly different angle.

cameraman: “Now, are you ready?”

The passenger pauses for 4 or 5 seconds before lifting his eyes to the camera.

passenger: “The man you see is not a man. He is a tool. A disguise. I am using his skin so that I can find the uratha who killed the nego-al. When I do, I will tell the hive, and we will trap them and punish them. Climb in their skin and make them our tools.”

The cameraman pauses, then in a shaky voice…

cameraman: “Now, prove this.”

The passengers mouth seems to unhinge with a pop and the front half and four legs of what looks like an enormous brown, hairy spider squeezes out through his lips, with a dozen glossy eyes staring into the camera, his voice is high pitched and reminiscent of a cricket’s chirping]

passenger: “Take me to the kennel where you saw the …”

The video clip ends.

Emory smiles. “Any takers on that ‘background check’?”

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daniel_reardon jdale

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