July 8th 2023

Abby hears a commotion, an argument, a gunshot, and silence. She takes note of it and finishes her cigarette. Welp, better go get a witness statement ready. She climbs down the fire escape.

She hits the ground in the alley across from where it sounded like the gunshot was. She starts walking towards it and feels a sudden sting in the side of her neck.

Loric heads to his sect's church HQ, The Holy Trinity. His handler gives him some info about paranormal activity and people who have gone missing. He receives fake law enforcement credentials to investigate a crime scene. Special Agent Jack Hunter of US Customs is investigating a possible illegal alien. At the crime scene, Hugo Juarez is revealed as the name of the deceased.

Strange… Under each bed there is a hawthorn berry. This was discovered but ignored by local police. They’re assuming this is some drug deal gone wrong. Loric can tell this was a signature of some magic. An entity came and enchanted the family and they left.

He continues through a side alley and as he looks around, he realizes someone has gotten the drop on him. The sting in his neck is taking him down.

Karen notices back page discussions about people disappearing. Midtown lawyer ran off, landscaper missing. Let's take a coffee break and do some research. On the way to the coffee cart, the regular guy is gone. Weirdly, the park door behind is open, too.

Karen makes her coffee and another for the coffee guy. She goes into the park to find him. This is a hidden part of the park, mostly used for maintenance. As she strides down the middle path, she hears a twig snap and feels a sting in her neck. Things are fuzzy. And she's out.

They all wake up in individual cells able to talk to each other. Everything has been taken, even the *hidden stuff*. There is a small cot, a sink, and a toilet in each cell. Angelina tosses Loric his phone, but as he looks at it he sees there is no signal.

The bars are some type of advanced ceramics. Abby tests their strength and she doesn't have enough to break them.

Runic incantations in the wall block everything (magic, phones) and the floor is electrified. The cells are joined in a way that the circle in the middle can be used to do something to all the cells at once.

Loric tries to _ but gets injured. Abby reaches out as far as possible through the bars to see if she can use magic there.

When they lock us up, they touch the door and whisper something to activate the runes. An older man tells the guards to make sure we are neutralized completely. The "guest" will be here in 5 min!

Loric recognizes the symbols as belonging to a group called Zero Day, an off-the books black ops pseudo goverment tactical team.

Loric attempts to quickly summon something outside their cells to help them escape. Karen and Abby try to help but only make it worse. They're all holding hands and feel a connection to each other and the monster. The summoned monster is destructive and dangerous, but uncontrollable. It crashes through a wall and leaves. The group finds that their arms are stuck outside the cells and their shoulders are pressed against the bars.

A guard drags himself into the room. He walks directly to Loric with his gun out and asks how to get rid of it. Loric demands to be let out first. The guard shoots and grazes him. "There's a ritual," Loric groans.

The monster storms back in and oh my this is not the one he meant to summon! It emits a low grumble that instills fear in everyone.

Angelina goes for the keys but the monster smacked her hand away from his dinner. It tries to break through the wall and meets resistance by some magical force. The monster screams and breaks the wall. At the same moment the group notices their wards have dropped. She gets the keys and releases everyone.

The group heads out to find their belongings. A sealed armory is to the left in a room full of dismembered people and weapons. Angelina finds the key to get in and they retrieve their things.

Abby and Angelina change into tactical uniforms.

Loric investigates what the monster was. He has absolutely no clue besides bad. Karen investigates further and finds that a very small class of very small religious artifacts could hurt the demon that he summoned.

Given the new information, they make some calls and decide to get out. Loric gives the Zero Day sitrep to his superiors. They look at the circle through Loric's cell phone and say the intent was to subvert them. There is nothing worse than a demon being loose in the world.

Karen is thoroughly documenting the situation and syncing to the cloud. This will get a lot of hits on her blog. The people need to know!

Angelina takes Abby and Karen (begrudgingly) to safety. She comes back to take Loric to join the rest at the cathedral. His supervisor demands that he look into how normies are able to use this kind of magic. Moreover, FIX THE MONSTER ISSUE.

The group returns to the scene of the crime. Police are outside investigating. Loric's cover is great. Karen doesn't need to hide anything. She's coordinating, obviously, in her capacity as EXECUTIVE assistant to the deputy MAYOR.

This facility is an off-books interrogation space. Evidence suggests that several of the missing were in fact captured and held in this same place. Another prisoner was kept here and his suppression circle was much stronger. He claims his name is Paul Johnson and he has no idea what's going on.

Loric goes to question him before they take him downtown for further questioning. Karen explains why the cameras must be turned off. NEED TO KNOW AND YOU DON'T.

The other prisoner says the Zero Day is trying to use Loric to infiltrate or attack his sect. Dude is so obviously lying about stuff. Maybe everything. He even flat out admits he's not going to be helpful. The reports come back on Paul's identity. It's pretty solid even though it's obviously a lie.

Karen slips a tracker app on Paul's phone since nobody else is doing anything useful. She notices on the open computers show there's a bigger network at play but she can't get into the heavily encrypted machines. Reports of strange damage across the town are coming in. As they release Paul, he looks at Loric and smiles.


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