Reality Check

S12. We all float down here.

When Agent Wander escaped, he apparently used explosives to block Poison Wing from following him back into the abandoned building next door. Therefore, Poison Wing heads to the other exit: the stairs to the lesbian section of the club. On the way there, they hear an explosion from that direction and they find the way blocked by large chunks of broken stone. Agent Amy easily removes a massive fragment, but it is replaced by two others falling down. Poison Wing is now trapped in the basement. Agent Holly asks Agent Peyote to assess whether the passage can be blown open, but Peyote concludes anything powerful enough to clear the passage would also bring the roof down on the wing. Agent Holly heads to the passage leading to the abandoned building (to see if they can get through that blockage more easily), and notices the carvings in the gold-flecked quartz wall include one that appears to depict Isis facing back towards the way they came. Agent Weed examines it, and presses it in. A button! They hear a click and a deep whirr from within the wall. Retracing their path back toward the room Agent Wander was tied up in and beyond, they encounter a series of Isis buttons, and press each in turn.

Eventually, a section of wall slides away to reveal a room decorated not with Celtic patterns, but covered in symbols resembling Egyptian hieroglyphs. Although Agent Weed cannot read Ancient Egyptian, he recognizes that there is something strange about these hieroglyphs, and attempts to consult D7 for deciphering. At this time, the party realizes their eldritch phones have become non-operational, unable even to snap pictures. Agent Weed sketches the hieroglyphs in his notebook. Pressing a final Isis button in this room reveals yet another chamber, this time with completely blank walls of the ancient gold-veined quartz and incongruously a rather modern looking 5′ × 5′ × 5′ concrete cube in the center of the floor. Hoping that this might hide an exit, Agent Amy shoves the block. It shifts more easily then expected for a solid concrete block, and an eerie green glow shines through the crack. (Has Poison Wing discovered a cache of Kryptonite?) With help from the other agents, Amy topples the block, which is actually hollow revealing a strange sight indeed: a double-terminated crystal the color of green calcite glowing brightly, floating a few feet off the bare ground, and contained within a levitating antique-looking golden birdcage with an Isis motif running around the upper band. Mustering her courage, Agent Holly reaches around the cage and feels a tingly force underneath it and a slight resistance to touching it. Tying some rope through the loop at the top of the cage, she tugs the caged crystal after her.

Continuing to search for an exit, Poison Wing investigates a hole in the wall near where Agent Wander was tied up. It leads outside the quartz to a passageway that appears to be cut through the conglomeration of dirt and rocks one would expect to be used for filling in the South of Market area. Agent Leela is bored and decides to poke her sword at the wall. Some water trickles through. The trickle builds. They try to shove a piece of stone debris in to block the water. This works for a few seconds, then the briny bay water begins gushing in faster and faster.

They run through the basement desperately seeking another egress. Someone notices banging and scraping sounds from debris-clogged lesbian play space door. Nobody knows Morse code, so they bang a shave-and-a-hair-cut cadence on the ceiling. The noise from above stops, there is a two-bits reply, and after a moment the scraping and banging sounds resume, more loudly and quickly this time. The sound of the rushing water drowns out the noise of the scraping and the water level rises past their ankles. A small hole through the debris opens, and Agent Steele calls out to them, “We’ll get you right out of there. Hold on.”

Agent Holly replies, “We have something you need to see, boss.” The workers above widen the hole enough to get everyone out (though Amy does present a challenge). Agent Holly shows Agent Steele the birdcage, floating at the end of a makeshift leash. “We tried to call you earlier; is that crystal blocking our phones?” “No, Agent Wander deployed a disabler. When we lost your signals, we figured you’d gotten in over your heads. Anyway, cover that up now.” Agent Nico lends his jacket to hide the artifact, and they walk back to their vehicles. They notice a blond man in a golden suit talking with Agent Steele. The blond man seems to have eyes that are completely white. Once everyone has left the building, there is a loud thunderclap, and the club collapses in on itself. Poison Wing rides back to HQ in the Presidio. At HQ, Agent Steele takes possession of the crystal as well as the silver letter opener and the cash-filled envelope recovered from the adjacent building. He debriefs the wing and learns that the wing has discharged its duty to make contact with Wander, as well as Wander’s refusal for fear Larson Kulling will harm Ann Marchment, whom he is currently holding hostage. He informs them that the basement was from a Shadow analog of Egyptian culture, and had somehow been magically teleported South of Market, and has now been sent back through Shadow [along with all its flecks of gold :(]. The crystal is one of five parts to a Shadow artifact coveted by Kulling and believed when fully assembled to provide a vampire with a number of invulnerabilities. The Wing disperses for some well-earned R&R (Agent Peyote discovers that Chemise has the evening free!) before their next mission.

1000 XP each for escaping from basement with clues and crystal.

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