en route to Boise from Jericho
The posse leaves from Jericho. The trader they are traveling with was very excited to have done so much business there. Ben warns the trader that if he would like to continue trading there, he may- but if he ever mentions the place it will be his doom.
Along the way the crew stumbles across a grouping of vehicles wrought with bullet holes. The corpses of a few bikers lay strewn about. There is an unusual marking pinned to the bakc of their jackets. Ben recognizes it as the symbol of the “Cult of Atheron”. The entire culted was slaughtered en masse by the Texas Rangers and the Pinkertons (a rare joint venture in those times). There was another tale of them in the early 2000s, in a very Waco Tx like situation- a sacrifice was supposed to take place, but the Special ops group was able to take them out.
It seems that these bikers may have adopted the logo for it’s design, or at least for the creepy fear factor it presents. The posse decides that it is not worth their time to investigate further and continues on to Boise.
The trader drops off the posse outside the Boise maelstrom. He and the posse exchange their final business dealing and he heads back to the market area.
All of the posse members pass through the Boise maelstrom. They notice there is hardly any effect on them this time, the passing feels like hardly more than a tickle. Inside, the atmosphere of Boise is much lighter, less foreboding than ever before.
In the few days that it took for their journey, news had made it’s way up to Boise. Notice of the defeat of the Boise Horror has come, as well as rumors of Simon’s death. The spirit of the town is much more unified (from a combination of both of those events). All of the town folk are wearing some form of the templar cross, be it a pinned on sheet, or a make-shift tabbard.
As Ben, Nigel, and Hammond enter, they are recognized by several townsfolk. The posse is quickly innundated by people asking as to what happened. Their reknown within Boise/Templars calls even more attention to them.
Hammond steps forth and offers up a few words. “I know yall got a lot of questions about what’s happening. Meet down in the town center, I’ll address everyone at the same time. We got news coming out of Junkyard that everybody’s gonna wanna know.”
Hammy informs them of the defeat of the Boise Horror, as well as Simon’s death. It is also mentioned that the Templars, and all of their follower are now part of the Iron Alliance.
He calls out to the first row of people and asks them to gather materials for a large pyre.
Ben and Nigel head out to track down their van and other belongings. Soria leaves to go get Marilyn.
Hammond arrives at the temple and finds Jonathan Douglas standing in Biletnikoff’s usual spot. Douglas has basically been acting as head while Josephine is out of town.
They explain what they can to Douglas, without revealing the full truth of the Horror. They also discuss the Templar’s involvement in the newly formed Iron Alliance. They also discuss the Combine’s brazen attack within Junkyard. Both agree that the Combine is likely starting it’s push toward the Harvest- what they refer to as their ultimate take-over plan.
Ben and Nigel find the van in place and intact. They sort through the inventory and ensure that all items are still in working order.
Boise Town Center
The crowd has gathered by the large bonfire awaiting some direction. Ben and Nigel stand nearby Hammond. The people look to Hammond for some explanation or words of guidance.
“Good people of Boise. I know this is a hard thing to endure, but you must realize Simon gave himself to defeat the Boise Horror, because he knew that we could carry on on our own. The ideals he’s taught us, and the things he’s shown us over the years are enough to preserve ourselves, and likewise humanity as a whole. Humankind must carry on, death is just a part of everything, but we do waht we can to endure.”
“Though this is a sad day, it is an happy one, because we can appreciate all that he has been able to do for each and every one of us. And what he has been able to show us, but more importantly- what he has been able to inspire within us. I see in each one of you something, just as he did.”
“You didn’t come here because you had to. You came becasue there was a calling inside you. I ask that you step forward now as members of humanity. There is battle coming. The Combine down in Denver, they want to wipe the rest of us off the face of the planet. People like you and I, the folks in Junkyard, Members of the chamber and the rest of the Alliance realize we need to stick together in order to survive this. With everything Simon has taught us, we can survive this.”
“I see umongst you now some uncertain, but I assure you. Simon would not have let himself fall if he did not truly believe that we had the strenght to do this. Together we can stand as heros. I as you now, should the battle come down to us and the Combine— are you with me?!”
The crowd gives out a quick cheer…
Meanwhile (during the time of the speech.)
Jonathan Douglas scans the crowd. His eyes pass back and forth, not finding what he is looking for. He takes a moment and ducks back away from the crowd. He heads to the barracks.
Barracks (during the speech)
He enter to find Soria. Another woman in the room crumples to the ground. Soria sways and stumbles a bit. Marilyn stands next to her, caught in a catatonic stare. Douglas calls out “what’s going on here?”
Soria slowly removes her helmet. Douglas has seen her before so he is not phased, but then he notices her eyes. The are all black. He reaches for his sword when suddenly he is struck across the face by a phantom fist. The blow is so strong it nearly knocks him out. He rolls with the punch and spins to make a strike.
as he comes full circle, Soria holds up her hand, blasting forth a deep green energy into his face. The room darkens, as dark black tendrils emerge from Soria’s back and envelop Marilyn. A man dressed all in black enters from a nearby doorway. “Are you ready?” he calmy asks.
Soria(Incubus) “More ready than ever. Let them know, let them come, soon they will die.”
Boise Town Center
As the cheer of the crowd roars out- a loud gunshot echos through the town.
The man dressed in black stands atop a nearby building. “Hammond, I have a message for you. Do you want it?”
“There’s an old friend who wants to talk with you. This time you’re not going to be able to refuse it. You already know where it’s going to be waiting for you. Don’t make it wait- for your sake- and for hers.”
The man in black punches down on the building, causing a large blast, debris crumbling down on the crowd. He leaps off in the distance in one massive jump.
Hammond rushes to heal the innocent. Ben and Nigel head to the barracks to find Marilyn/Soria.
Nigel and Ben find Douglas critically wounded. The collapsed woman turns out to be none other than Barb of Doom. They are able to revive both, at least to moderate health.
Barb is a little confused at first. Then with some prodding, the memories come rushing back to her in horrible succession.
She had been drinking one night in Junkyard. While stumbling about she had a chance encounter with a horribly sick person. The figure caught her by surprise- and in that instant a dark presence flowed from the body into hers. The figure crumbled to dust, as if the corpse had been held together just so by the dark energy. She remembers being able to see, but not control herself at all. Like being a backseat driver in her own body, while this thing did all the steering. It was horrible- the thoguhts it would force into her mind, and the darkness of it’s actions.
It used her to get close. The fact that Barb had access in to Boise, and knew Marilyn from before gave them easy access to the girl. Then, it used the same trick to leap out of Barb’s body, right in to Soria’s.
The posse realizes that they will have to make haste. Kansas was the location they knew it to be, but also in a place of great battle. Wichita will be the basic starting point, since the battle there was quite large.
Elsewhere- in a dark field somewhere in Kansas.
All around are wooden posts with potato sack men with pumpkin heads attached. Only one is standing, hunched over. It looks up, a noxious gunk flows out of the carved pumpkin head.
“Back I see, and what be. Ah, a prize a prize.”
The incubus with it’s new captive body, walks toward the pumpkin man. Along side it are Marilyn and the man in black.
Pmpkin- “It’s death again. He’s always there, watching, waiting, ever stare. Every time I look behind.” it mumbles off in rhyme somemore.
It finally works it’s way back around- “Your guest has arrived, dark master dear. My friend, come over here.”
The pumpkin creature beckons towards a nearby mass of corn and hay. A distintive figure walks forward, it’s eyes glassy and distant. This man was touched by the dark before. His long and troubled journey had come back to a loop. Kevin “Twitch” Bowers steps forward.
Incubus – “Good. All the pieces are together. Soon. Soon I’ll be born again, Just as I consume them … body and soul. They will watch as I am born again, and become a god.”