Mage: The Ascension - French Quarter, LA

Thursday, August 06 - 2
Revenge of the Marauders

The three mages exit the repository and begin heading to Wates’ office.

Marcus, however, sees a rainbow flash and departs from his compatriots. Li calls to him, but Charles reminds Li that they’ve got big problems that require immediate addressing.

Loballo is addressing… he reaches into his filthy robes and removes a one-of-a-kind, ancient family Talisman.

Loballo holds the Glass Ant Mask in front of himself and after a few seconds shatters the Talisman across his face.

A rumbling in the Penumbra is felt as golden energies slice through the air.

Immediately, a sea of army ants begins to emerge.

An oceans – 500 million ants, 150,000 kilograms of swarming army ants (literally 165 tons of famished ants) pour out onto the repository’s floor, quickly consuming the fallen Marauders.

When Li and Charles return with Wates, they’re stunned that no bodies remain – only the monstrous Loballo who appears satisfied.

Charles shows the mechanical animal remains to Wates. Wates looks the remains over and is sure that both devices came from someone in the Technocracy.

By this point Charles says, “the fuck with it,” and asks Wates for some of-a-lot of his rum, while Li departs for his node. Loballo find a secluded park on campus and begins to mediate.

After a few drinking contests with Wates and an assurance from the professor that he’d take care of the repository problem Charles drunkenly searches for the SUV that Marcus took.

Finally, he just stumbles to Stacey’s house and climbs through her window to pass out on her floor and sleep off the booze.

Charles wakes up drunk – Wates put him three floors below the table.

He calls Li and tells him that he has no idea where Loballo is, Li concedes that he doesn’t either.

They both figure he must still be at Xavier University so they agree to meet up.

As Charles walks through the French Quarter towards Xavier University he sees that Arte Indie has been burnt to the ground – thoroughly burnt to the ground, there’s no frame just black debris and police tape.

He asks a cop what happened and is told to, “Get lost.”

Meanwhile, Loballo is attempting to connect with his Avatar.

The tree he’s under dissolves and he’s left floating above a pool of blood. A writhing mass of animal parts and carcasses, begin to ascend from the pool’s depths.

Each part that breaks the surface forms into a different animals, which itself breaks apart – knitting and forming into the various building that permeate New York City, until the cityscape is completed in perfect detail.

Loballo floats in the city until his field of vision soars like a bullet to a very tall black building in the Finical District.

His meditating / floating form ascends the building’s height and nearly reaches the top floor, but he stops… looking through a clean window over the shoulder of a total VIP of a man.

The man is flanked by assistants and his desk’s expensive name display reads Gregory Quincy.

There’s a picture of Charles’ face on Gregory’s computer as well as a “Top Secret” Classified file with Charles’ photo paperclipped to its contents.

Gregory turns off his computer’s monitor and closes the file, pulling open a drawer near his desk and filing the papers away in their proper place.

Loballo witnesses all of this and then begins to feel another presence growing more aware of him.

He leaves the vision his Avatar created and comes back to himself.

He then enhances his senses of smell, so he can sniff out Charles and Li.

A hungover (but now sober) Charles meets Li coincidentally right in front of the correct park, as Loballo emerges smelling the other two mages.

All three make their way to Wates office to confirm that the Marianna Repository is “under control.”

Wates invites them in and gives Charles some “Hair of the dog,” as a cure for the bags under his eyes and the dozen adding machines in his head.

As the four men make their way to the hidden library Loballo reveals that he knows a powerful Technocrat named Gregory Quincy is after Charles.

Wates fires Charles.

Then he rehires him as his # 3 TA.

As the group arrives at the repository’s location, Wates opens the hatch leading down into the library, but all that is revealed is solid concrete and a Correspondence sigil.

Charles, Li, and Loballo are impressed.

They then vow that they’ll handle the remains of the French Quarter’s Marauder cell.

The mages make their way to Audubon Zoo to see if they can catch any leads.

As the taxi drops them off, they notice the tree the Marauders were gathering under is missing.

Charles rewinds time, again, and witnesses Stephen step out of the Penumbra with the remaining twin as they proceed to use Spirit magic to move the Palm tree into the Penumbra.

Charles coughs up some more condensation and tell Li and Loballo what happened.

Loballo figures he can track that type of magic, so he uses Spirit sight to see if he can follow Stephen’s trail.

He sees a slim golden thread, almost like glowing yarn, where the tree once stood – it shows the way.

The mages arrive at a cemetery and follow the Spirit trail to a mausoleum.

Charles draws his gun, Li charges his staff, and Loballo’s hands rend and splinter off – bursting like blood sacks as large eagle talons grow out of his wrists.

Loballo kicks open the wooden door and the mages are confronted by four very confused and shocked thugs.

Loballo tackles the nearest thug, Mark.

Charles shoots and kills Will – the bullet going right through his forehead.

Peter cries, “WILL!! NOOO!!!” and empties his clip at Charles, the door frame Charles took cover behind is torn apart and explodes.

Li rushes in and strikes the fourth thug Charlie, who drops his gun in response.

Mark tries to shoot the monstrous man who apparently has knives for hands, but to no avail – Loballo carves him up and Mark comes close to death.

Charles shoots Peter through the shoulder and Peter loses consciousness.

Charlie pulls out a switchblade and flails it at Li, who just steps back and knocks Charlie in the head.

As Mark is just about to die, Loballo heals him, feeling the sting of Paradox as he does so.

Mark nearly loses his mind as his leg knits together and he runs past Loballo.

He stumbles and falls on his ass next to Charles, and then gets up and sprints as fast as he can away from the mausoleum – babbling something about magic legs and knife hands as he runs.

Charles notices a trail of dirt – like the kind that flakes off from an exposed root system – on the mausoleum’s floor leading to a exit.

The mages recollect themselves, open the peculiar door, and begin to descend.

Five stories the stairs lead down, until a softly lit archway is revealed.

The party looks in and sees Stephen and the other twin engaged in an extended ritual, using the palm tree as a unique focus.

Charles tightens his hold on his newly acquired assault rifle, ducks in, levels it, and empties the clip into Stephen.

Stephen is killed immediately.

The only remaining marauder disconnects himself from the ritual and runs to the back wall – Li strikes him as he runs.

The young man is hurt, but still makes it to the back wall where a black porthole is displayed – it looks like someone painted a black dot onto the wall – a Correspondence sigil rests in the center and four Marauder symbols surround it.

The last Marauder touches the porthole and the Correspondence sigil vanishes, followed by the Marauder symbols.

Loballo rushes in and stabs the man through his back, the last Marauder dies.

Then, there is a rumbling…

The porthole is not painted – it’s actually a hole leading into nothingness.

There’s a loud crash on the other side of the basement’s wall as something attempts to come through.

It does not succeed, but Stephen’s shot up body revives itself and his mutilated frame bolts upright, floating… almost hanging off the ground.

Charles, angry that the man might still be alive shoots him again – but he continues to hang in midair.

Li rounds himself… and as fangs begin to grow out of Stephen’s face his plants his staff firmly in the man’s temple, disconnecting Stephen’s head from his shoulders.

The mutilated frame of Stephen bursts into flames, pseudo-transforms, and writhes as the porthole on the back wall vanishes and the palm tree begins to disintegrate.

Charles, Li, and Loballo hustle out of the mausoleum, not wanting to linger.

The Party hails a cab and makes its way to Larry Flynt’s Barley Legal Club, to check up on Gaberiel.

The mages arrive on the scene late, but the Barley Legal Club has seen better nights. The windows have been blown out, the walls are bullet ridden, and the door frame has been burnt to a crisp.

Still, Gaberiel Roget is simply sitting outside the doorway, a pillow behind his back, smoking a cigarette, drinking some wine, talking to the former owner, and enjoying the company of three lovely ladies.

Before the mages can ask what happened a very expensive stretch limo pulls up alongside the pummeled club and one of its doors opens…

Tuesday, August 06
"We'd Like Our Leader Back..."

The Party takes Stephen back to Marcus’ safe house, the Marriott on Canal St.

As they arrive, Gabe receives a call on his cell phone.

“The fuck you say? They can’t close you down. I’m on my way.” He takes off to his favorite strip club.

Marcus meets the Party and assesses the situation. He has them drive to Arte Indie to perform some quick “medical” procedures on Stephen.

They make their way and actually manage to stabilize Stephen though he’s still in a coma.

Li and Charles decide to ditch the stolen Volvo so they drive it out to the Mississippi and roll it into the river.

Meanwhile, at Arte Indie, Marcus calls in some favors to get the Party some transportation while Loballo guards the establishment.

Li and Charles arrive back at Arte Indie just as a black SUV and a taxi pull up in front of the club.

The driver of the SUV gets out and piles into the taxi, they drive away – Marcus and Loballo lift up the unconscious Stephan and lay him down in the back of the SUV.

The Party then proceeds to Marcus’ former safe house, the Magnolia Mansion.

The mages arrive and pile out of the SUV, they then swiftly drag Stephen’s body into the darkened Mansion proceeding to Marcus’ suite.

Once there, Charles finds and wheels in a roll-away bed and Li deposits the comatose Stephen on top of it.

Everyone is tired so Li and Charles head back to Charles’ safe house to rest and recover – Marcus makes some final calls before heading to bed while Loballo stays up and attempts to catch a midnight snack.

His magic backfires and he burns his finger, leaving a scorch mark on the suite’s balcony’s guardrail.

The next morning, Marcus sends Loballo out to catch up with Li and Charles.

As he leaves a taxi pulls up and a doctor gets out making his way to Marcus’ suite.

Phil Filter enters and performs some medically necessary procedures on Stephen.

He finishes and tells Marcus that Stephen should be conscious in about 2 days.

Marcus thanks him and shows him out.

He then performs some mind magic (rolling his cocaine pouch back and forth) to project himself into the Astral Umbra.

He locates the doorway into Stephen’s dreamscape.

He enters into a languid Serengeti that features even more animals than is usual for an ecosystem, all of them are placid.

He spots a cave on a hill and begins to trek towards it.

As he draws closer even more and more animals surround him, though they are not aggressive, Marcus finds his field of vision inundated by a plethora of animals.

They part slightly, revealing only the cave entrance to him as he proceeds.

As Marcus descends he takes note of the abundance of Marauder symbols.

When he reaches the bottom he finds a nude Stephen curled up staring into a luminous fire.

Any attempt at conversation is futile.

Marcus begins to leave, but accidentally let’s his eyes rest on Stephen’s fire too long.

There is a – ( “EUREKA” ).

Marcus shakes off the feeling and makes his way back to the dreamscape gateway.

Marcus returns to himself and makes his way downstairs for breakfast.

Meanwhile, at the Frenchman Hotel, Loballo arrives in time to see Li and Charles covertly loading firearms into the Party’s SUV.

As greetings are exchanged Charles offers Li and Loballo some breakfast, but Loballo passes as he spies a large open sewer entrance.

He drops down into the sewers to feed on the rats.

Charles and Li and both taken back.

When everyone’s been quote unquote filled, the three mages head back to the Magnolia Mansion to hook up with Marcus.

Marcus and Charles talk at the front desk, Charles shamelessly flirting with Serena the whole time, while Loballo and Li head to the suite for some showers.

Loballo shows Li where he scorched his finger.

Suddenly, a bird descends from a nearby tree, lands atop the scorch mark, and gets uncomfortably close to the two men.

It oddly stares at both of them and both feel put-off by its gaze.

Marcus enters to retrieve some business cards and the two mages describe to him what happened.

Marcus feels that the bird was not a regular animal and decides to move everyone to the most secure place in the French Quarter – the Marianna Repository, currently stationed at Xavier University.

Marcus calls up Charles and tells him to distract Serena, while the three of them load Stephen into their SUV.

Charles quickly improvises and decides some Mind magic coupled with card tricks should be a good enough distraction for Serena.

As Charles does his “thing” Marcus, Loballo, and Li hustle Stephen’s body out of the Magnolia Mansion and throw him in the back of the SUV.

Charles says goodbye to Serena and the Party heads for Xavier University.

Once there, Loballo and Li carry Stephen’s body towards the repository’s location, while Charles and Marcus procure the key from Dwight Wates.

Everyone settles in for the night and Marcus begins re-researching Marauders, while Loballo and Li scan the library. Charles goes and gives the key back to Wates and as he walks back to the repository a cat begins to follow him.

He pays it very little mind and enters the repository, but seconds later the same cat is on a bookshelf looking down at the mages.

Charles shoots it.

It shatters into dozens of electrical pieces and components, which lose their electric current and fade out.

Marcus begins looking up machine cats and finds a brief article, but before everyone can read it the far wall of the repository displays a large glowing Marauder symbol.

The symbol swirls and spirals just like the bricks did for the kid Charles and Marcus faced.

Eventually, a cave opening appears like the one Marcus entered and a bird flies out.

A sweet voice bubbles and echoes out of the cave, “…a little birdie told us you have out leader.”

Charles shoots the bird and it shatters just like the cat, “I just fucked up your little birdie.”

A pair of twins, a young woman, and young man come out of the cave’s light… the French Quarter Marauder cell and the Arte Productions Cabal engage each other.

The woman attempts to fire a Prime blast at Charles, but Loballo grows his fists and knocks her out of the way.

The young man pops knife and tries to cut Charles, unfortunately the naive Marauder is unaware of Charles’ childhood on the streets of New York – Charles kills the youngster quickly and mercifully taking his switchblade as a trophy.

One of the twins tries to punch Li, but he easily manages to counter, though it distracts him just long enough to allow the other twin to race past to where Marcus is holding the unconscious Stephen at gunpoint.

The other twin communes with his leader via Mind magic and Stephen awakens.

A quick flick of his eyes and Marcus’ gun falls apart.

While the scene behind Charles, Li, and Loballo escalates the young girl attempts to open the Penumbra and bring forth a Minion.

Loballo notices this and brings both of his fists down on her, breaking her jaw and knocking her unconscious.

Li notices what the other twin is trying to do, so he back flips and cartwheels away from the first twin and aligns himself next to the other. He then slams his staff into the twin’s neck shoving it into a 45 degree angle.

Stephen feels three of his disciples depart – he channels his Quiet and his eyes glow gold.

He Steps Sideways into the Penumbra sinking into a golden trench and vanishing.

The other twin follows his leader’s stride and vanishes as well.

The cave opening forms back into bricks and the repository’s wall returns as if it was always there.

Charles isn’t finished though. He trains his gun on the unconscious woman and directs Loballo to heal her just enough so that she’s conscious and lucid.

Loballo does so, and the woman’s eyes open to the hard end of a 9mm.

She isn’t phased and attempts to Step Sideways.

Charles fires, and he’s quick enough to kill her mid spell.

The Spirit magic rebounds and Paradox takes hold.

The young Marauder-ess is threshed apart, mutilated – her Life and Spirit energies fleeing from one another.

Her entrails, sinew, guts, and blood divide like a playhouse curtain and a wave of human meat circles out.

Li and Marcus are shocked at the sight and Charles steps back to prevent blood from getting on his shoes.

The three men begin hustling back to Wates’ office to explain the situation and begin damage control.

Monday, August 06
The Cabal Grows Stronger

After the death of the SWAT Officer, the mages disperse from the Treasure Chest Casino assured by Gabe that some people named “The Cleaners” would take care of the body.

Charles and Marcus return to their safehouses to reflect on their current predicament and the future of the Cabal.

A day passes…

A man named Loballo arrives from South America, the fates directing him towards New Orleans.

It’s dark when he arrives, so Loballo holds up in an alley and waits for the sun to rise.

He consumes some birds and rats to sustain himself.

When day breaks he begins to drum and meditate earning some money in the process.

As the day begins Suchart Li arrives in New Orleans by way of train.

He disembarks and heads towards Woldenberg Park.

Before Li left Los Angeles under the direction of his martial arts master (Master An Yu) he’d revealed that Woldenberg Park is a node under the control of the Akashic Brotherhood.

Li arrives at the park and begins to meditate.

Gabe and Charles wake up and get in contact with each other, deciding that they should go “shopping” for some weapons.

They arrive at the James H Cohen & Son gun store.

Charles buys some rifle ammo and then steals a gun for Gabe by flicking a quarter at a gun rack and causing a small diversion.

They are, however, chased from the store.

Still needing ammo for Gabe’s gun the two mages cross the river and do direct business with the James H Cohen & Son gun store’s chief rival Gretna’s Gun Works.

Charles decides he needs a change of clothes and swipes some threads from a nearby thrift store, while Gabe waits outside.

As he exits he notices a drummer near an alley and can sense that the monstrous looking man is not a Sleeper.

Meanwhile, in Woldenberg Park, Li makes direct contact with his Avatar and it instructs him to follow its lead.

Li travels across the river as he’s led to Gretna’s Gun Works.

As he nears the three other mages his Avatar merges with the Mississippi River and motions towards the three assembled men.

Charles’ eidetic memory snaps into action as all the new pieces of data knit together. He deduces that the drummer and the monk are more than likely other mages who have been sent to protect the French Quarter.

He introduces himself and Gabe to the two other men and quickly explains the events of the past week in breathtaking accuracy.

Loballo and Suchart Li agree to accompany Gabe and Charles back to the Audubon Zoo to try and deal with the French Quarter’s Marauder cell.

This time the expanded Cabal simply watches the Marauder group.

While that’s going on, Charles slips into the park and tries to hustle a job from the bespectacled park manager, Sam Filter.

He doesn’t find any of the open positions terrible exciting so instead recommends Loballo’s services.

A tentative trial period it set for Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the people under the Marauder logo disperse and the Cabal stealthily follows the leader back to his resting grounds, reading his surface thoughts and watching as he retrieves a bag of weed.

When they’re sure he’s not paying attention Loballo emerges, fast talks, and then grabs Stephen with some freshly grown pointed fingernails.

The man freaks thinking Loballo’s a werewolf and bolts.

Charles tries to chase him down, but Stephen magically speeds up his pace to match and then outrun Charles.

Loballo and Charles unload on the man and Stephen is knocked unconscious (with a bullet hole and a prime blast).

Li mentions that Sleepers are starting to notice the commotion, so Charles hops the park’s fence and steals a car using time magic – transgressing the vehicle’s engine to an earlier point when it was on. The air in the vehicle quickly grows cold and the tailpipe shoots out a stream of condensation as Charles’ bends reality.

He then quickly “learns” to drive.

Gabe, Loballo, and Li haul up Stephen and race to the front of the park to meet with Charles.

Charles drives to the front of the park and takes out two signs in the process.

The Cabal loads into the stolen vehicle and yells that they’re taking the man to the hospital and drives away hearing a random Sleeper comment that, “Isn’t the hospital in the other direction?”

Charles, Gabe, Loballo, and Li drive with the unconscious and possibly dying Stephen towards Marcus’ safehouse.

Saturday, August 06
Enter Gaberiel Roget

Charles and Stacey decide catch a cab back to her place.

They stay with each other for the night.

In the morning Charles is confronted by Stacey’s parents.

He lies his ass off and sells them on a child abuse story.

Stacey doesn’t miss a beat and rolls along perfectly with the act.

Then Charles sets out for the Marriott on Canal St to meet up with Marcus.

Gaberiel Roget wakes up in the manager’s office at Larry Flynt’s Barley Legal Club.

He rolls off the floor and contacts Marcus asking, “What’s on the agenda?”

He too sets out for the Marriott on Canal St.

All three mages meet up with each other on one of the top suites.

Chess contacts Marcus and tells him to watch the news.

Charles turns on channel 3 and see a breaking report about missing people and the shut down Arte Indie.

Marcus is shocked. He calls his entire staff and no one knows how the New Orleans PD found out about anything.

Charles even calls Stacey to make sure she’s OK and to ask her some questions (also if a Dr. Robert Davenport is a Professor? He isn’t…)

Gabe pulls out a map and flips his coin onto it. It hits the zoo and the rolls on top of Xavier University.

The three mages depart for the University.

They arrive and try to figure out their predicament.

Charles tries to get enrolled, but he’s turned down due to the fact that it’s the end of the summer quarter and he has no previous records with the University.

Gabe and Marcus contact Dwight Thomas Wates – PhD.

He’s a cool guy and gives them the lowdown on Marauders.

He also directs them to the University’s “Private Library,” giving them the key.

Charles manages to becomes his new # 2 TA a prestigious position that offers zero monetary compensation. Gabe and Charles swap numbers with Dwight Wates.

The three mages make it to the Repository and discover tons of info on Marauders. Password for the computers Marianna of Balador bani Cult of Ecstasy.

The party goes back to Wates and gives him the key to the Repository. Then they set out for the zoo.

They arrive and notice the 5 people under the Marauder logo again.

Gabe and Charles go into the zoo and Charles steals a jacket and Gabe steals a letter opener.

When they comeback out New York PD show up and begin talking to the Marauders.

Charles calls the New Orleans PD on them, but when the local cops arrive they hightail it outta there when one NYPD cop shows him an important badge.

Gabe tires to stealthy listen to the conversation, but is rebuked by one of the NYPD officers.

Eventually, the cops leave and the group breaks up – Marcus heads for his safehouse.

Gabe and Charles follow Stephen.

He leads them back to his place of residence, Louise Armstrong Park. Charles steals a hotdog on the way.

Gabe tries to fool the guy with a rigged card act for tourists, they make some money (not enough though) and then they leave the guy under his tree.

The group reconvenes at the Treasure Chest Casino.

Charles and Gabe gamble (though Bill Boyd doesn’t like it when Mr. Roget gambles) while Marcus gets a little drunk.

After the festivities they head for Gabe’s room to sleep off the excitement and booze.

Then there’s a knock at the door.

A SWAT operative kicks in the door and tries to kill the party.

They kill him instead.

Charles pulls off the man’s mask and the letters G and Q are tattooed onto his neck.

Friday, August 06
The Cabal's Second Day

Charles wakes up.

Draws some quintessence from his node.

Leaves his romantic partner (at the Frenchman Hotel).

Goes to see Marcus. Catches a cab with an Iranian cab driver.

Stops in a fabric store (getting the clerk to show him some fabric that matches the New Orleans Flag) and swipes some money from a mother and her daughter who where planning a wedding.

Arrives at Marcus’ (speaks briefly with Serena).

Marcus is having breakfast.

Chess calls him and tells him to wait for his call.

Charles showers in Marcus’ room and then joins him for breakfast.

Marcus tries to get a hold of Chess.

Charles chats with a nearby couple and plays cards with the husband who turns out to be a shark.

Marcus at last gets a hold of Chess who’s crashed from an speed binge.

He sets up a meeting a Louis Armstrong Park.

Charles and Marcus depart. They catch a ride with a New Jersey cabbie.

They meet up with Jimmy to see if he’s OK.

Jimmy’s fine, in fact, the safe house he’s at was kind enough to provide him with some corn liquor.

Charles and Marcus arrive at Louis Armstrong Park.

They wait for Chess who’s late.

He gets there eventually (breaking his cell in frustration as his bodyguard Clarke rolls his eyes) and gives a manila envelope to Marcus.

Chess leaves and Marcus opens the envelope to find a shirt with a Marauder Logo on it (it’s the shirt the crazy kid was wearing).

Marcus and Charles mull over the information and then decide to revisit the alley where Jimmy shot the crazy kid.

They get there and Charles use his time manipulation to replay the moments the alley has witnessed.

He sees the crazy kid and takes note of when the kid was speaking to another man. Also, sees him stop into the alley previously to smoke a cigarette.

Charles also catches a glimpse of the anti-reality bubble.

After finishing his time magic Charles exhales a few breathes of condensation and tells Marcus what he saw.

Having encountered these types of people before Charles suggests heading to the local zoo to see if the French Quarter is ill with a Marauder cell.

When Charles and Marcus arrive at the Audubon Zoo they spot four people talking around a palm tree with a chalk Marauder logo drawn on it.

Charles drops in on the conversation unseen and takes note of what the four people are discussing.

He catches the name of the oldest Stephen – but doesn’t hear the names of the two younger males and the young female.

Charles relays the information to Marcus who quickly covers their conversation avoiding a confrontation with a fifth member who was lurking behind them.

Charles and Marcus decide to head back to Arete Indie and catch their breath.

Charles stops into a 7-Eleven and expertly steels a Popsicle.

They get to the club and its Friday night so there’s a modest crowd (staff is working – doorman, two bodyguards, two bartenders, and Lisa {event coordinator & audio engineer}).

The two men chill and Charles attracts the attention of another Indie girl.

As the DJ spins Marcus and Charles feel the evening will pass along smoothly, however, another crazy guy shows up.

People and attention move around the man in circles of arcane primordial distraction.

Marcus and Charles lure the man into the back room and attempt to neutralize him.

The man pulls a switchblade and attempts to attack Marcus.

Thanks to their combined effort, however, “The Wolf’s” put out to pasture and both Marcus and Charles escape unscathed.

Charles pours himself two shots and downs them, letting the adrenaline where off, as he rejoins Stacey on the dance floor.

Marcus takes note of another Marauder logo and confiscates Hector’s switchblade.

He then calls his bodyguards, doorman, and Lisa into the backroom and tasks them with disposing of the body.

They bring out a large sack, body bag, hacksaw, and turpentine. Lisa takes note of the procedure.

15 minutes later, Marcus’ crew comes out – the deed having being completed. Lisa seems phased.

Marcus calls to one of his bartenders to call him a cab. 10 minutes later Chess shows up looking better and gives Marcus a brown paper bag with a light .38 special in it.

Chess escorts Marcus to his cab. The cabbie’s short and where’s a fedora

Chess sees Marcus off who travels to the Marriot on Canal St. – Marcus makes sure no one follows him. He’s jumpy and wants to make sure his new safe house is not compromised.

Charles shrugs and goes home with Stacey.

Sunday, August 06
The Beginning

It was raining in Hell’s Kitchen New York as Charles Arthur walked SE on West 50th Street near the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health.

He reminisces about how his gang had scored so much methadone and prescription drugs from that joint over the years.

The previous night near the docks on that very street his gang’s safehouse had been raided by the police. Everyone had been killed. He was the only one who had survived. Cops had kicked in the door and started shooting, no warning, no chance for surrender.

His eyes come back into focus, finally taking note of the rain and a newsstand to his right.

The front page story features Cyrus Jr., Michael Bloomberg, and assistant DA Gregory Quincy all smiling and shaking hands, each man celebrating his own ego and how crime and drugs are on the decline.

Charles cell rings and it’s a dead dial tone.

Then a payphone to the right the newsstand rings. Charles answers it and it’s the only person left on the planet who knows him.

Marcus Boudraux reconnects with Charles and invites him to a meeting near the French Quarter in four days – having no other options Charles agrees.

He catches the next available Grey Hound to Penn Station and buys a ticket to Louisiana.

Jimmy is hitching a ride with a white lightning bootlegger towards the French Quarter.

A traveling drifter musician, Jim is doing the Chuck Berry thing and forming bands on the spot. Just trying to make ends meat.

He and his transport come off interstate 10 and head SE on Canal St. Then NE on Charles St. towards Jackson Square.

He disembarks and thanks his associate, taking in the scenic flair and local talent of the park.

Jimmy makes his way to a small gazebo housing a jazz saxophonist and joins the Sax player’s small crowd.

By chance Marcus Boudraux walks by and notices Jimmy’s purple hair and Gretch guitar. He introduces himself as a record producer for Arete Productions an indie offshoot of Columbia Records and invites him to a show at his modest indie club in three days.

Jim takes Marcus’ card and thanks him kindly; then he sets up shop next to the saxophonist and begins earning his keep.

He plays for 40 minutes, drawing a modest crowd, and earns some bread.

He also draws the attention of a Marriott Conference Serviceman who invites him to play with a Benny Goodman cover act at the Marriott on Canal St. The Serviceman offers Jimmy room and board plus drinks for a two night gig.

Jim agrees and sets his schedule.

The night of the meeting, Marcus arrives early at Arete Indie and begins producing the joint for opening.

When he’s done he enters the back room where a card table, mini bar, and a couple of monitors are setup. Gaberiel Roget and Chess Milgram are waiting for the dealer to show up and the show to start.

Jimmy arrives and enters the club talking to Lisa (the house’s coordinator) and the female engineer for the night.

He gets situated behind the stage and prepares for his set, rubbing a few of the second act players the wrong way.

Charles arrives and flashes Marcus’ card to the doorman who lets him into the club. One guy outside can’t believe it.

He enters the back room where Gabe, Chess, and Marcus are drinking lightly, listening to the club’s music and just talking.

Charles and Marcus greet each other and Charles suggests that until the dealer shows up, he’ll deal the cards. Gabe is intrigued and demands a Black Jack deal.

Charles deals the cards perfectly and the night rolls along smoothly – until Jim starts his set.

Jim’s playing lights the club on fire – the entire back room is impressed, Lisa’s impressed, the engineer’s impressed, and the guitarist for the second act is blow away. Through the haze of his blunt smoke he walks back behind the stage and starts yelling at the engineer, because damn it why didn’t his guitar sound that good.

Chess comes out after Jim wraps up and brings him into the back asking Marcus where he’s been keeping this kid.

The DJ sets up after Jim and the club falls into a nice pace.

Charles excuses himself from the table once the actual dealer shows up – quite late and very embarrassed.

Charles goes out to the main bar and swipes the second act’s drummer’s wallet.

The night’s winding down (thought the club’s still hoping) when Charles returns into the backroom.

Everyone’s still playing Black Jack, though Chess is doing his best to sweet talk Jim – Gabe looks like he’s winning.

Chess excuses himself for the night.

Then Lisa comes into the back and tells Marcus there’s a problem outside.

Marcus looks to the dealer who hightails in out of the club, Gabe says he’s unarmed and leaves as well.

Marcus, Charles, and Jim run into the back alley and see the drunk second act drummer in a fight with a wild kid.

Charles yells at them to stop, but as soon as the drummer turns his head the kid throws a dynamite punch to his jaw and knocks him cold.

The drummer goes down and the three mages fight the kid.

They kill him when he goes crazy.

Marcus’ staff comes out of the club and handles the cleanup.

Charles hauls up the drummer and gets him into a cab.

The three new acquaintances each depart for a safehouse provided by Arte Productions.


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