Walter & Cornell
Cornell and Walter arrive at Hank Caldwell’s house. A bookcase inside gets pushed over onto Walter, hurting his shoulder, as swarms of rats come pouring out.
Walter hears a man scream and then gurgle in next room. The rats swarm together and try to block entry, so Cornell shifts into Urshul and starts stomping on the swarms, trying to give Walter a chance to get to the room.
Laying on a rumpled bed, covered almost up to the neck with rats, is Hank Caldwell. A Rodent of Unusual Size is halfway down into the mouth of Hank.
Walter creates an illusion and causes the R.O.U.S. to think it’s on fire. It starts to back out of Hank’s mouth. Cornell bursts into the room, but is overwhelmed by the swarm of rats.
Walter uses his gift once more, to create the illusion that Cornell is on fire, a true flaming wolf.
The R.O.U.S. pulls itself free from Hank’s mouth, and attempts to rejoin the swarm.
Walter shoots the R.O.U.S. before it gets there, splattering it all over. At that moment, the rats disperse and vanish into the nooks & crannies of the old house.
Hank starts vomiting up bloody chunks of throat, so Cornell shifts back to human form and tells Walter to take Hank to the hospital while he burns down the house.
Walter gets Hank to the hospital in time. Doctors find that his throat was badly scratched; they’re not sure if the damage to his vocal chords will heal. They also find out that his house was burned down, most likely due to a gas leak, which must have been what set the rats into a frenzy.
Doctor Alison Bell updates Walter on the prostitutes the pack brought in. They’re all healthy and clean now and will be ready to leave the rehab house soon. Though, she suggests keeping an eye on a few of them because they may fall into old habits.
Brook wakes up in the middle of the night, next to Madeline Song. The further he gets from her, the more uncomfortable he becomes, due to his wolfy nature. He realizes the reason he woke up was he could hear a faucet running.
In the kitchen, the sink is running full blast, pouring gleaming silver that overflows in the sink and starts to spill over.
Getting near the silver makes Brook’s skin crawl. When he tries to turn the faucet, he realizes it IS off, but the silver continues to flow. Brook jumps out of the snaking metal’s path as it slides over to the balcony, filters through the screen and drips down to the first ground below, out of sight.
Brook heads out into the night, following the flow of silver. As he opens the front door, it follows his lead, changes course, and goes down the stairs in front of him. He finds outside that there are several streams of silver flowing from each of the apartments, and they join into a stream.
Brook touches the stream. It hurts a bit, hot to the touch, so he can tell it is true silver.
He explores the apartment complex and discovers one of the apartments is filling up with silver. There is no place for it to escape, so it started to fill the place, making a pool of metal knee deep.
Brook uses an Iron Master gift to break the lock on the balcony door, letting the metal flow out. Just then, he hears Madeline scream. He finds her as she comes running out of the apartment, covered only in bedsheets.
“Wolf! Wolf! There’s a wolf outside!”
Brook tries to calm her down, telling her it’s not unnatural to see wild animals in the area.
“Why does it always have to be wolves? It was right there, staring in through the window, the giant thing with brown fur.”
Brook calms her down, and pulls her close.
He doesn’t realize till later that the silvery streams are gone.
The next morning Madeline is cooking breakfast. She asks for a ride to class. He drops her off.
On the drive there, he notices that there is a large camp being built at the south corner of town. RVs, tents, and various other camping gear is being set up. A large amount of people, easily thousands, are setting up camp.
Brook heads back to Maddy’s apartment, and tries to find any clues of whether there was a wolf at the door or not. Shifting into Urhan, he can tell that there was indeed something here, smell the lupine scent. It is an Uratha smell, leading over the hill.
The scent is of earthy fur and cask-aged bourbon, and stops at a running path. He can see that there are tire tracks leading off from where he loses the scent.
Brook heads back to the garage, and sees Mudd rolling oil drums into the back of the tow-truck. They don’t sound like normal oil drums. Mudd puts them on the truck, says he’s off to do nothing suspicious, and heads out.
Brook meets up with Devlin.
They catch up on the happenings of the town, including how the camps that used to be near Humboldt came down demanding jobs, that their spokesperson, some woman who won’t say who she works for, represents the encampment.
Devlin mentions that there’s a new Irraka who’s pledging to join the group.
Brooke mentions the smell and the brown wolf, as well as the silver stream vision.
Dee wakes up on the couch at Luc’s Junk. Luc sleeps in. Luc’s employee Monique Slaughter is up and making breakfast.
Cornell shows up, has Monique elbow drop onto Luc to wake him up.
The club meets in the meeting room, and they discuss both the Mexican issue as well as Dee.
Devlin initiates Dee in as a prospect, and assigns Luc as her sponsor.
They discuss Vito’s attitude toward the pack. “For now,” Devlin says, “we play the idiots. We play as if we’re his muscle. We’ll grow in strength, and when the time is right, we take him out.”
They talk about how the people who benefit most might not be the cause of all the issues. Fort Bragg may be the cause behind it, but may not. Whoever succeeds will gain the territory.
Rat hosts are next on the agenda. They’ve gone to ground, but they’ll most likely be back.
Discussions are had about possibly patrolling the shanty town, letting the people know the club is there to help. Dee says that she’s willing to infiltrate the place, see what’s going on around there with the people and any criminal element. Since she’s new, no one would recognize her.
They discuss the prostitutes, and how they’ll be released for detox the following day.
Dee volunteers to stay at the soon-to-be-brothel at Maya Way to keep an eye on them. Also, she doesn’t currently have another place to stay. Devin doesn’t like the idea of giving her such a small task, but says she can stay there at night.
Brook brings up the fact that there’s a new wolf in town, potentially stalking Maddy.
With the meeting adjourned, Luc shows Dee around town, after Buster dedicates her clothes.
Walter goes to check on Dan & Mira Bernadine, the sellers (and contractors) of the Maya Way place. Dan says that the house will be ready by the end of the week.
Dan asks, in a sheepish way, if he and some of his boys can apply to join the Sons. He also mentions a cousin of his is a mechanic, and looking for work.
Devlin decides to go see Vito. He heads into the Corn Hole, shifting into Urhan before he steps sideways. He runs into some Frutto de Vite guards who ask him his business.
They take him to Vito, where he is enjoying watching Trellis Hulks squish grapes by wrestling in a pit of them.
Devlin says he thinks the Brutocaos are not being honest, and may have caused the encampment. He asks that some of their new fields remain barren for the time being. To show the Brutocaos that unless they play ball, they won’t make money.
Vito ponders this a moment. He says there are three spirits that are attached to the Brutocao daughter, and just one of them is as strong as Vito himself. Vito have a detente with the Sisters — the wine spirits stay away from the family, the Sisters don’t interfere with the wine. So Vito truly has no direct influence on the Brutocaos themselves — his interests simply dovetail with theirs.
Devlin continues, saying all he’s asking is for them to stay fallow for now, until they make the Brutocaos play ball, keeping them in line, giving strength to the club, and eventually more power to Vito.
Vito asks how he’s going to convince them the club can prevent growth. Devlin says mortals can believe a lot of things, especially the unseen.
Vito agrees to keeping 2/3s of the fields fallow.
Brook and Maddy
Brook takes Maddy on a date to a hilltop off the highway, overlooking the ocean. He asks her about her time in S.F. trying to get info on her ex. She mentions that her time there ended badly, due to a bad relationship.
They discuss Brook’s time in Iran, and that his time with the club has helped him get through it.
At last Maddie starts telling him about her ex. He was in the Korean war, and they dated for a few months. When he was on, he was always trying to be with her. He got into a fight with a friend of hers, and put him in the hospital.
During the fight, he seemed to get bigger, stronger, hairier.
She broke up with him. “But he kept coming around, stalking me. He never hurt me, but stalking is stalking. I tried to get a restraining order. Something happened, it never went through, and I decided to just come back home.”
Something struck a chord in Brook. She said that her ex was Korean and that his name was Graham. He’s thinking that this is the same Graham from Fort Bragg, Delia’s cousin.
The week passes.
Dee patrols a few nights, and finds Alfonso Cuzco, the biggest bully in town, is trying to move in on Big Toro’s turf. The migrants call him El Culo, but never to his face. He’s been the biggest guy throwing his weight around, with a posse of 4 dudes.
Devlin interviews the mechanic, Charlie Prokop. He also talks to those interested in joining the club, and plans to divvy up the prospects to officers.
Mudd walks up to Devlin, after a few moody days, and tells him he loves the club, but isnt’ cut out to be a gangster. He asks to be the first Sons of Thunder nomad.
Devlin and Luc give him permission to wander.
The next day, Cornell says that Thunderbird’s Last Echo says that Coraggio de Vite wants to meet up with the pack, at the Union Hall.
Cornell leads them through the locus into the viel.
TLE is hovering around the podium, ready to throw down with the more powerful Coraggio if need be.
Coraggio says, “I’ve been sent as an emissary of Don Vito. It’s come to his attention that after the battle of the Avenue, a few of our soldiers were disrespectful to you. It seems to the Don that this is bad for our relationship that our foot soldier badmouth you.”
“One of those spirits will be forced to empower a fetish, of your choice and creation. Also, in the interest of our further goodwill, Don Vito has interceded with the local City Father on your behalf.”
The City Father — the spirit of Ukiah.
Coraggio says that they can announce themselves, tell him that they’re the new pack around here. He hasn’t deigned to meet a since the 1970s, but Don Vito has spoekn highly of the Sons.
Coraggio leads them down, to the Hisil’s version of the Mendicino Book Company, two stories, new and old print, very liberal. There’s a cafe in the center.
Sitting in the cafe, in a comfy arm chair, is a figure that looks like a lanky hippy. Its flesh is all pages from leftist manifestos. It wears hemp bell-bottoms and vest, abd t-shirt with a smiley face on it. A big ol’ peace sign necklace. Its hair is all bookmarks from different books. Recessed into his face, are a pair of hippy glasses.
Far-Out Man, City Father of Ukiah.
After introductions, Devlin and the City Father go to talk. But Coraggio points out to Luc that they are about to be ambushed by banes.
Luc sends Watler and Cornell to the roof, and Dee hides into the shadows, while Brook and Luc face the banes head on.
Luc and Brook take on three banes, tearing them apart piece by piece.
Dee spots another bane flanking the two wolves, leaps on top of it, taking it out, and steps back into the shadows.
As the pack goes against the banes in the alley, and Coraggio and her Frutto flank the others from nearby windows, Cornell sees a giant hulking figure come leaping from out of the distance to joins the fray.
Walter blasts the giant hulking thing, so it decides to change its trajectory and focus on him.
Luc finds himself filled with hate and rage, barely holding onto his humanity and avoiding Death Rage.
Devlin tells the City Father to put himself out of harms way, leaps out the window and joins his pack.
Devlin finds his way to the roof and shifts into Gauru to fight the 12 foot behemoth.
The creature rages and attacks, barely missing Walter, but impaling Devlin.
Cornell, Devlin, and Walter keep the Bigot busy, when Dee appears from the side of the building and slashes furiously at the creature, discorporitng it.
The grape spirits come out of the shadows, and all the banes are taken out.