My contract to move the Symperio Family, also known as the Clan of Night, was successful. Nabu and The Last Messiah were excellent partners; it definitely put me at ease to know a Fate Spinner and a Matter Weaver were on my side. Unfortunately, not everyone in the Cabal was pleased with the result. Yes – they are vampires. Yes – they do have ties to the particularly troublesome vampire organization. And yes – they did move to a house about 10 minutes down the road from Threadstone Manor. I understand how that looks and what it could be, but I did offer to turn down the contract on several occasions. People – in and out of the Cabal – voiced concern, but no one flat out asked me to turn it down. And I’m glad I didn’t; I believe my strategy will work to our benefit.
I’ll touch on that more in a second, but first I have to tell you how I spent the Summer Solstice. Mirra, the beautiful and singularly voiced changeling from the Met, invited the Threads of Fate to a house party in South County. Advokat, Adianni, Freya, Nabu, Wanderer, The Last Messiah, and I agreed we should attend, if for no other reason than to try and enjoy the weather. We were also concerned of the chosen location, since the disappearances in South County have continued. Freya said the media would be publishing a story indicating such by the end of the week. So before we got ready to go, I told the Threads I needed to inform Chant of our situation with the Slender Man.
My phone conversation with him was straight-forward and to the point. I explained the Slender Man and how he has been haunting us for months, but also that we know little about it. I also told him something some of the Threads say as a joke, but I said it seriously. “Where we go, trouble seems to follow,” I said. He understood my reasons for cautioning him and appreciated the gesture, but said he and the others would rather have us around given our deeds.
I shared the bullet points of the conversation with the Threads, mentioning that Chant also knew of the media’s story through friends at the Providence Journal. But instead of focusing on the phone call, or leaving for the party, Advokat and Nabu needed information. Neither of them were familiar with the Slender Man, so we explained what (little) we knew. Nabu said he thought he saw something that fit the Slender Man’s description in the front seat of the car during the Symperio Operation. Up to that point, I didn’t think people unfamiliar with the Slender Man saw it, but I was wrong. We know so little, but my gut tells me there is a mortal source we can follow.
Advokat and I drove to the party. I’m not usually one to notice fashion, unless it’s a Court matter (and I haven’t been to one of those since high school), however some Threads were wearing beach attire that was… different. The Last Messiah was wearing a suit from when my parents were born, Advokat wore a beach style suit, and Nabu wore a long sleeve shirt. Normally the long sleeves would not surprise me – to avoid sun damage – but I realized he left very little exposed. Strange considering his personality…
After learning the beach, the backyard, the front yard, and the house, I went to the volleyball court on the beach. I don’t get to play sports like I used to anymore, so it was nice to play a competitive activity with other “enhanced” individuals. Jack remained in his lupine form, watching and listening like a good boy. The Last Messiah reviewed the property the same as me, but he decided to take a post on the roof. Normally I would have discouraged such a position at a social event, but 1) not going to force him to do something he doesn’t see value in doing himself, 2) I saw where he stored his rifle, and 3) if something did happen I would appreciate his decision. Freya and Nabu took off toward the bar and pool with Mirra, Advokat made a sandcastle on the beach, and Wanderer wandered socially.
During the game I was reminded why I stopped playing sports. Whenever I play, I always hear your cheers in my mind. Normally it puts my heart in a vice, but it was different today. I smiled, and there may have been a tear mixed in with the sweat, but it was a happy tear. It may sound corny, but ever since that day at the Church when I felt that connection to the Light, I see light where I once saw darkness. I may even call my parents this week to catch up. Anyways, thanks for cheering me on during the volleyball game; you always looked so cute in your cheer-leading uniform.
After winning the match, I headed back to the house to check in on the Threads. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the party, though Freya looked a little too tipsy. A charismatic man – later known to me as Daring – was ramping up the party vibe in the pool when Wanderer found me. He said Ardent was at the party and looking for me, to discuss the new Newport residents. I nodded and gave him my thanks and headed into the house to find Ardent.
He was behind the only closed door in the house with Chant, discussing something not for my ears I expect. Once I was in the room and the door closed, Ardent shared his displeasure with the Clan of Night, and his confusion when I told him the Symperio clan wished to exit Boston for the very reaons he was citing. And then I pointed out something that really gave him pause… the key motivator for my strategy. Why would a powerful, terrifying clan of vampires move 10 minutes away from a Mage Cabal with the power to destroy them in spectacular fashion? Because they’re scared of something worse. The Clan of Night was scared. I think the realization shook him, because our conversation ended soon after and the next place I saw him was taking shots at the bar.
And then Chant found me, mentioning that there were people at the party he did not know, and neither did anyone else. He said it was possible there were passers by from the beach, but asked me to take a look. The closest was a man by the pool, talking with some other party-goers. I opened my eyes to his Soul and saw dim light. This man was mortal, but he was not a good man.