During the supernatural clash that took place between the man in black and the floating entity with Amanda’s face, Alex narrowly escaped with a deep gash along her leg from the killer’s fire axe. It was at a great cost however. Initially, Alex awakened Amanda from her slumber and this made the floating entity disappear. A problem, because it was the only thing that had seemingly made the killer bleed and grunt in pain. Alex yelled for Amanda to flee, seeing as the axe killer was only after her. She tried unsuccessfully to use a defibrillator against the killer and watched as he brought the axe down on a now defenseless Amanda several times, killing her. Alex fled from the scene and only stopped when confronted with familiar faces down the hall.

Jesse and Sean also heard the commotion down the hall from his room and decided to take advantage of the chaos and slip out through the fire exit.

Meeting back up with the group at the lobby, Alex attempted to disguise her gash and hobbled over to escape the hospital together. They reconvened at the Snake Pit to try and figure out what had just happened and what their next move would be. As it was closed, Lucius opened up and hosted everyone at a table. They were surprised by the unexpected entry from Bill, the old fireman who helped pull them out of the orphanage fire over twenty years ago and the sheriff’s deputy who saved Sean from being trapped and blown up in his own car. Bill’s been drinking in the back.

“How’d you get in here?”

Bill: I let myself in. Used the door. 

He went on to explain the cosmology of their strange world; 333 archetypes. When people embody these archetypes perfectly they ascend. When all 333 archetypes are filled, the world ends and is remade by their godhead. Amanda and the man in black appeared to be versions of the Dark Stalker archetype.

Alex called for privacy for a few minutes and Bill excused himself to the back kitchen where he began making some sliders. Sean joined him. 

Alex made the connection that the tattoos Amanda and the woman who claimed she was attacked by her had were of movie slashers. She posited that maybe the man in black was Amanda’s husband, Jeremy, noting how he seemingly knew about her ‘episodes’ where she would go into convulsions. Jeremy had told her to lock up Octopus Ink and that he would “take care of it.” Competing archetypes of the Dark Stalker, perhaps? The tattoos seemed to be indicators of marks for the Dark Stalker.  

Damien used his chaos magick to make it that the wound Alex sustained in her leg from the man in black wasn’t as deep as it *could* have been. This left Alex stunned for a time. 

Coming back into the main room with overcooked sliders and beers, Bill informed the group that though there’s a lot more he doesn’t know, his fellow reality cop Gustavo, or Gus, would be able to answer any and all questions for them and give them some much needed assistance. Gustavo, he said, will end up finding them soon enough.

Sean tells him about his plight and Bill apologizes.

“Sorry, you got a split. You got a double.”

“What the fuck? Does he just go and live his life then?”

“No, splits don’t live their lives; they take and live yours.”

Sean realized that he had inadvertently kidnapped his son Jackson when the Crossroads pulled them from his state to New Jersey during the 3:33am. Now his ex wife Lily was in town and had vowed to go to the police. She wasn’t answering her cell. 

Suddenly, there was a banging at the door. Jersey City police. Three deputies. Bill was suddenly nowhere to be found. Mostly everyone headed to the back door. Jesse hid behind the bar and prepared his battle bot. William prepared a molotov cocktail.

Damien took a peek and saw a strange looking barbie doll hanging off of one of the deputies. Entranced, he wasn’t prepared for the door getting kicked in. Somehow the deputies knew the group was heading towards the back and yelled for their friends to cut them off. Damien fled with the others out back.

As the deputies stormed the main room of the Snake Pit. Jesse used his battle bot to saw off legs of chairs and tables, causing two of the three to have to take the long way around. One deputy was caught by a rolling table and collapsed into some chairs. 

“The Warrior’s heading out back. If you see him, take the shot!” one of the supposed deputies yelled. 

Damien caught this and informed the rest that these were not normal police.

A fourth officer flashed their flashlight in Sean’s face and warned they would fire. Sean ignored this and scaled the fence in the back alley, easily clearing it. Lucius running tackled the officer, their shot going wide. As a fourth deputy surprised the crew in the alley, Alex hefted Lucius’ shotgun and threatened to shoot the downed officer.

“I don’t know what this is about but back off or I’ll shoot.”

“We’re not here for you,” the officer said, indicating with her eyes at fleeing Sean. “We’re here for him. Now get your gun out of my partner’s face!”

With Sean out of sight, the standoff ceased and the deputies eased off. They jumped back into their cruisers and began making their way around the block to cut Sean off.  

Jesse used his engineering to find and scramble the officer’s unofficial comm channels. Sean doubled back to rejoin the group, who quickly piled into their own vehicles and drove off. Alex led them in Amanda’s car to her college campus frat hall where they could plan and regroup. 

While there, they engaged in some light research on their cpu network. Jesse began recompiling and restructuring his battle bot. This one would feature an explosive surprise. 

William reveals that he isn’t from this era; he was born in the early 1900s and one of his earliest memories was watching his home burn from a distance, his parents nowhere nearby. Then Awakening inside the similarly burning orphanage decades later. This, he reasons, is why the ghostly authority figure entities were trying to apprehend him back then and at the time of the Crossroads incident. 

Alex explores chaos theory explanations about alternate realities and William pulls from his occult knowledge on proxies; a sort of curse or hex that often includes a minimum of two people. 

Around this time, William notices someone skulking around outside. Checking it out,  he’s blindsided by a pair of the police deputies from before and restrained.

“Hush hush, little one.”

“Who the fuck are you people?” 

“Sleepers, assailed. Keep our name out of your mouth.”

Before the rest could react, an old minivan pulled forward on the curb. An old man emerged and observed the two deputies.

“Get outta here, old man. Police business,” one regarded him before turning back to William. Just then the old man wordlessly drew a snubnose .38 and fired all six shots into the two deputies, killing them instantly.

The old man climbed back into the van, looked at William: “Name’s Gus.  Get the fuck in the car.”

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