So, its 3am, we’re sat in the back of a van, and Boo is waving a severed arm around. On the floor in front of us is a torso. No attached limbs or head. Today, on the whole, is pretty weird.
Wher do you go at 3am when you have bodyparts to hide? For now, the answer to that one is home. I’m taking the pack home to meet my brewery. None of us had the faintest idea of what to do next, and we were pretty exhausted, so sleep was probably a good idea.
The next morning, we had a vote. It wasn’t much of a vote, but the end result was that we go back to Amanda, and see if she can pick up anything from these body parts. Over night I’d checked th phone we’d rescue’d and pulled down an email. The company name was ThornIndustries. The internet had surprisingly little information on this company. Just a couple of subsiduaries. I had pulled out a single address, near City of London airport, but nothing concrete.
In the light of day, I remembered that we now had the mobile map app. A quick cross reference showed that the area was a hotbed of wyrm activity. Oddly, we were also getting a trace here.
We headed down to the van, and I drove the pack across to Rainham Marshes. We showed our discoveries to Amanda and Gab, but they knew little more than us.
Eric suggested we speak with Boar, find out what he knows about this. He summoned him, and shortly after the giant shape of Boar shimmered into being. He sniffed around the flat, a look of distaste evident on his face. He sighted the torso and arm, and his disgust deepened
“Wyrm.” His deep base voice boomed out. “It smells of Wyrm.”
I’d never spoken with a spirit before, and his voice resonated inside my head. It took me a few minutes to get used to it. While I did, Eric talked with Boar as if it were common place, something he’d being doing for years. Boar told us that that he (I assume he’s a he. sounds like a He in my head!) could sense Wyrm in the body parts, but not in the surrounding area. He sounded… Well, he sounded sad, almost wistful. Eric pushed him to find out what the problem was, but Boar had almost descended into misery.
“Boar, you seem Sad. What has upset you?”
A sigh sounded in my head. a long drawn out one. “This used to be the home of my pack. Not this pack, my first pack. Gone now. All gone.”
He was staring out across the marshland.
“You mean the Cairn? the lost one? This was your pack’s?”
Boar nodded his head. “Lost now, lost without the pack.”
“Where are the pack? can we find them?”
“Gone, the pack is gone now. dead. Your lot killed them”
“How can we get the Cairn back? can you help us?”
Boar fixed us with a stare, “Prove yourself. Then we talk”
With that, he faded out, and the echo of his words hung in our ears.
Well. Theres that then.
We brainstormed for a few minutes, and general consensus was that we should check the other body in the swamp. I fired up the app, and checked to see whether the other body location was showing signs of Wyrm. Not only was it showing, but there were new sightings too.
Suddenly Scribbles stared off into the swamp. “Somethings watching us…”
Like the master trackers and with the subtly of Godzilla we all whipped our heads round to look. Nothing.
Standing still wasn’t going to get this Marsh cleared of the taint of Wyrm.
Checking the scanner, the closest mark was the place where the first body was found. Its as good a place as any to investigate. We set off at a brisk pace, and whilst walking I started to show Boo how her mobile phone worked. Obviously she wasn’t going to get the hang of writing when she couldn’t speak, but she took to emoticons like a professional teenage girl. Within seconds I was receiving poop emotes. Wonderful.
After an hour of walking (and emoticons) we finally reached the site. My phone went mental with alerts of Wyrm, so I switched the volume and vibration off.
A few minutes search turned up a bit of police tape, and a well trodden crime scene. Nothing much to see here. Suddenly Boo’s nose came up, and she stared intently into the swamp. My phone blipped. An eye Emoji. I can see where this is going. Visions of Lassie trying to tell me Jimmy was stuck down the well by emoji’s.
“What is it Boo?” She darted off into the marsh. Another text alert. Frog Emoji, Eye Emoji, Exclamation Emoji.
I turned to the others. “I think she’s found a frog spirit. I could be wrong though.” We all gathered up on an area of drier land, and I called out. “We mean you no harm, come, talk with us!” Hell, it could have worked! It just didn’t.
After half an hour of waiting, the feeling of being watched passed. We headed on to the second location. It was further into the marsh, a little more off the beaten path. Once our phone went nuts, we realised we were in the right area. Well, the phone, and the fact that there was a sodden corpse. Mostly the phone though.
This body had been here for a while. It still stank of Wyrm, but it had also entered a stage of decay. Visual examination showed that this was a teenager. roughly the same age as us. Very little in the way of identifying marks. No tattoos, no wallet, no phone. Nothing to tell us who this was. We weren’t getting anywhere fast.
The only two other blips on the app were the original crime scene that we’d been to, and a residental area. We hid the body in a dumped steel drum we found nearby, and headed back to the visitor centre. Once there, we jumped in the van, and drove out to the final blip.
The area was quiet. No traffic on the roads, most houses shrouded in the darkness that only 3am can bring. Parking the van, we decided to track the blip on foot, to save us attracting too much attention. Fortunately Eric had navigated us pretty close anyway, and we located the house pretty quickly. The front of the house was flush with the pavement, and the front curtain was open. The light had been left on, and a sly glance inside revealed no-one around. Eric and Scribbles popped round the back of the house, and Boo stayed with the Van. I placed my hand against the lock, and hummed “I want to break free”. The lock popped open, and I slipped inside. A few paces later, and I could hear nothing from the internal door. I flicked the light off, and drew the curtains, then opened the internal door.
Looking at me from a set of patio windows were Eric and Scribbles. I opened the lock, and slid the door open for them. Motioning them to wait downstairs, I crept up the stairs. Not a single floorboard creaked.
A light flickered blue underneath a door in front of me, and to the left came the sounds of snoring. I popped the door to the left open, and had a quick look inside. Two bodies lay sleeping on a double bed. I gave a quick sniff, but nothing stood out. I pulled the door too behind me, and moved to the next door. On the door in front of me, a large KEEP OUT sign, with skull and crossbones barred the way. I recognised it, hell, I think I had the same one a few years previously. Low tinny voices muffled their way through the door. Someone was listening to TV through headphones on the other side of the door. The smell of Wyrm flowed through the gaps. Opening this door would be obvious. Once we went in, there would be no coming back. I popped downstairs to let Eric and Scribbles know. They’d found a payslip while I searched upstairs. The main occupant worked for Thorn Industries. Paul Harries. We were on the right track. The email had suggested an awakening. A possibly relative of an employee. Here we were in an employees house, and upstairs a teenager was still awake giving off the unmistakable aroma of Wyrm (and teenager…)
I beckoned to the others, and headed back upstairs. I had spotted another set of stairs, and wanted to check the top floor before moving in on the threat. As I reached the top of the second stairs, the sound of someone falling up stairs thudded its way to my ears. Muffled swearing followed, then sudden silence.
I could almost head the sound of people holding their breath. Then, from the master bedroom, the gruff sound of a woken parent. “Go to Sleep Jimmy!”
I carried on into the small bedroom in the attic conversion. A small form slept on the bed here, and the overwhelming attack of pinkness made itself more than obvious. I slunk back down to the others, beckoning them to follow me (quietly) to the ground floor.
“On the top floor, theres a small child. In the main room is two adults, and in the second bedroom a teenager. Anything we do now is going to involve humans… What do you want to do?” I whispered.
Eric and Scribbles shrugged. Scribbles suggested we monitor the occupants without attacking yet, and Eric suggested a tail on the teenager. With no attack imminent, we slipped from the house, closing the door after us. We climbed back into the van, and drove home. Perhaps after sleep we’ll be able to formulate a plan. For now though, the dream realm calls.