Trouble Out of Mexico
- Searching around the ship and talking to the crew the posse find a translator to look at Captain Blood’s journal. Out of the many things written, the most disturbing describe an upcoming invasion of California by Santa Anna in the coming months. From what they can gather from the journal, the captive Aztec sorcerer, and what they have seen onboard, the army will consist of undead, under the control of an odd plantlike substance, all orchestrated by Santa Anna and another Aztec sorcerer named Xitlan, who unfortunately is also an “advisor” to the European ruler of Mexico, Maxmillian.
- In secret, Max contacts the captain of the super ferry and they execute the captive Aztec soldier, against the arrangement for the Aztec’s release in exchange for information. No great strife comes out of the incident, however, when the rest of the posse hears of it.
- The two ships arrive in Quarrytown to much excitement and soon several boats surround the ferry to unload the cargo. Abigale scans the docks for her brother, but does not see him.
- She does not find him at town hall either and nothing gives her a clue about where his is until the secretary gives her a note. Her brother writes to her about a plan that Roger Monroe has for defeating Grimme. Feeling inadequate, Eli has decided to leave in order to play a part to bring Monroe’s plan to fruition.
- Abigale is stunned, but there is nothing that she or the rest of the posse can do to find him and mend bridges, they do not know where he is. In the meantime there is an election to prepare for.
- Sentries posted outside the homes of the candidates report that thugs have been seen coming and going from the Kurtz residency late at night. The posse plans to track them the following evening.
- Abigale successfully moves the voting location to the mining lifts while Jo talks to one of the two candidates, Luke Watson, about writing up a profile for distribution among the miners.
- Jo goes to the Tombstone Epitaph office to talk to Lacy about publishing Watson’s profile. There he sees Lacy talking to Roger Monroe.
You stare for a few moments, forgetting all manners.
Is this really the same cowed and beaten elderly man you met just a few days ago? You can’t believe your eyes! He looks ten years younger, his back straight, eyes bright, and power behind each stride as he walks in front of you. Vigor practically emanates off of him as he eagerly invites you all to take a seat with him at the bar.
Everyone opens his or her mouth at once, but Monroe speaks first, addressing Abigale.
“Abigale, I’m sorry. You’re brother was going to be here when you got back, but complications came up and we couldn’t wait.”
“What did he get involved in? What is this plan he mentioned?” The lines of worry on her face run deep.
“Well, shortly after you left we met at this very bar, talked together, and I told him about this idea I was mulling through.” Monroe begins to talk faster and there are a few moments where he almost runs out of breath. “Now, I have researched stories and legends of a powerful Aztec medallion, an artifact that has power over the realm of death. Seeing that Grimme-“
“Don’t call that thing Grimme,” Abigale says flatly. “Grimme was a decent man who died a tragic death.”
“Ah, yes, slip of the tongue, I agree… What should we call…it?”
“Anything but Grimme. I call it the face-stealer.”
“Yes, well, seeing how “not Grimme” is some sort of undead, I believe we can use this medallion to defeat him. Maybe even bring back the real Grimme.”
None of you speak for a moment as you let the shock wash over. Another way to end the threat of the Church of Lost Angels…is that even possible? Your current plan sounds complicated and farfetched enough to account for all of The Elder’s safeguards.
“Where is this medallion?” Max asks.
“That’s where Eli came in. He offered to retrieve it himself and he sounded very adamant that he be the one to do so, so I allowed it. I don’t know where the medallion is, but I am certain that it does exist. A lesser spirit and servant of the locust god I’ve spoken of is guiding him to it as we speak. I was able to procure this spirit’s service after meeting its payment. We were going to have it wait for your return, but the spirit was very insistent and we did not want to lose it, so Eli left a few days ago. Don’t worry, it has agreed to stop long enough for periods of rest.”
Everything he has just said is astounding, but one thing has caught your attention. “When you say payment, what do you mean?”
“The spirit requires payment in return for its services, so I gave a year of my life. In other words I will die a year earlier then fate originally designed.”
At this a few of you exchange uncomfortable glances and Max speaks. “What are you going to be doing?”
“While Eli is looking for the medallion I will be in the City of Lost Angels.”
“You’re going back to that place?” Abigale sounds shocked, almost horrified and she conveys all of your reactions to Monroe’s latest words.
“Yes. I can do the most good there. The Elders trust me. This way we can keep up to date on their plans. We’ll need to keep in contact periodically, so I think we should meet in Perdition. It is still not affiliated with the Church as far as I know and it’s far enough away to avoid attracting attention.”
No one looks like they envy the Reverend. Abigale’s face falls, but she only sighs and says, “So this is the penance you’ve chosen. God forbid I take it away from you.”
Jo frowns and looks skeptical. “How are you going to keep your cover? Certainly Lost Angels has ways of detecting infiltrators.”
“Ah, that’s the thing. I designed the method of detection myself. It’s a soup that causes severe indigestion in people who harbor ill will towards the Church. I know ways around it.”
Your stomach churns for more reasons then one. You already have a bad feeling about this plan; so many things could go wrong. Monroe is going back to the bowels of hell itself and he does not even know exactly what this medallion does. Meanwhile, you all have been keeping a secret from Monroe; you already have a way to take out Grimme. But a backup plan makes sense and what Monroe has in mind is just as much as dangerous and unknown as The Flood.