Our cabal heard several shots fired outside the frat house and instinctively ducked for cover. Two other police cruisers pulled up. While two deputies grabbed and hauled William away to stow in their vehicles, the other two proceeded to empty the magazines in their assault rifles into Gus and his van. 

Agreeing they needed to leave, Lucius remembered hearing about a conspiracy involving how many of the colleges reportedly had secret tunnels created by the Freemasons that linked them to one another. Ripping up the carpet underneath the computer desk, he found a strange looking hatch that led down into the sewers below. 

Sean stood guard with the shotgun and waited for everyone to descend before training his aim on the fire extinguisher at the back exit. When a tall and dangerous looking deputy walked through with a deadly automatic, he fired. White gas filled the room, creating a smokescreen for the team to successfully escape from.

Lucius expertly covered their tracks, the deputies unable to follow. The conspiracy theorist bartender experienced a moment of panic when he realized that they were abandoning William to his fate with the Sleepers. He ran as fast as he could. Alex proved to be faster, however, pushing him against the walls of the tunnel. 

“We can’t do this to William! He wouldn’t have done it to us and you know it!” Alex yelled.

The group debated over how to confront and defeat the deputies when both remaining vehicles could be heard speeding away from the scene. Moving to a manhole cover, Damien and the others re-emerged next to the frat house. The real police would be along soon and would want answers to important questions. 

Before leaving, Damien went to check on Gus and the van. To his surprise, Gus didn’t appear to have a single mark on him. The old man didn’t waste any time, however. Upon seeing him, he asked for the keys to their car. His van, you see, was…shot.

As he drove away from the frat house, waves of police cruisers swarmed the area. With some bold and expert driving, Gus was able to put distance between himself and the cops. Helicopters made this difficult on side streets..

Jetting to the freeway, Gus drove into oncoming traffic and performed a tight 180 turn before switching off his lights and moving onto a down ramp. Damien used his chaos magick to glean a hint of where they would be able to find William and glimpsed a faded billboard on the highway for Two Brother’s Plumbing, located on the other side of town.

Hiding the car underneath the overpass with some construction barriers, the cabal evaded notice. When the danger was passed, he drove them to a local gas station and answered many of their questions.

How do you kill a split? Same way you kill anything else. 

What are Sleepers? The boogeymen of the Occult Underground. People causing too much trouble to the social order with their magics or out of control avatar powers would receive a special visitation from them in the form of a pillow to the face followed by a gunshot.

Who really controls the government? That doesn’t matter. Learn to ask better questions.

Who is Frank Gordon? An Annihilomancer and sociopath, Frank has been faking his death and trying to escape Gus and others for many years. He had engineered a proxy ritual of some sort that would redirect any queries or attacks from his person to someone else. In this particular case, a proxy cloud was hung over the heads of our protagonists. As to why they were chosen? Now this was an interesting question. One he would need more time for an answer.

Everyone’s phones began to ring. Sean answered the anonymous callers first and the other calls ceased. He was greeted by a deep-voiced man who offered to make a trade in two hours at a local park. An even exchange: William for Sean.

“I’m not stupid,” Sean said. “I want proof.”

A text message appeared with a bloody and bruised Will strapped to a chair in a darkened place. 

“You have two hours to meet us. Otherwise, we’re going to hurt him more,” the voice promised.

“I’ll be seeing you soon,” Sean said, never agreeing to anything.

Someone proposed a plan to get William back. If Damien’s magick was correct, they could surprise the Sleepers and rescue their friend before they had a chance to do anything else. The team would have less than two hours to do this.

“Good luck,” Gus breathed. “Plans rarely survive contact with the enemy.”

Since going to the police was not an option, Lucius suggested they acquire weapons. He spoke about how, during the Cold War, the Soviets had used Pepsi Co containers to move around munitions and supplies to their allies in central and South America. If the Sleepers’ current whereabouts were on the outskirts of Jersey City in an old industrial park, what would be the chances of there being an old Pepsi plant that holds a weapons cache?

The magic eight ball of the universe answered with a resounding; You may rely on it.

In the dead of night, Sean used a shotgun blast to open the padlocked container of an abandoned Pepsi Co container. Inside were scores of old Soviet era weapons and ammunition. Jesse acquired some hand grenades and everyone else managed to score some AKs and Makarov pistols until they were interrupted by the gang whose territory they were seemingly in. 

Four armed individuals approached, firing into the air as a warning.

Lucius and Jesse attempted to purchase the weapons off of them. When this failed, Lucius offered that they collectively just leave. No harm, no foul. 

The gang was not so welcoming of this idea and Lucius was shot in the back. 

Wasting no time, Damien used his magick to turn their weapons to snakes. This caused most of them to run in terror and confusion. One stood their ground and began firing back at the rest. Other shots rang out from the darkness across from their position, causing everyone to grab cover.

Everyone but Sean, of course. Ever The Warrior, he charged into the fray and blasted the remaining ganger with his shotgun–killing them in one blast. With Lucius retrieved, Damien once again used his chaos magick to turn a bad wound into a graze. With their weapons acquired, the team drove off in a hurry to Two Brothers.

Low on charges, Damien walked half a block away to a biker bar Lucius knew about. He interrupted a game of darts, plopped down $250 and promised to give it to the first person who successfully bullseye his hand on the dart board. With every hit and miss, Damien felt his power increase. The universe owed him and it was already time to cash in. 

Alex and Jesse remained in the car with the engineer using a drone to drop a grenade as a distraction out front. The rest of the team followed Gus’ lead up the side of the fire escape to the top floor where three of four deputies were keeping William. 

The explosion drew the attention of one of the Sleeper deputies. Jesse’s battle bot raced in and attempted to cut him to ribbons, but soon found itself withering and falling apart at an alarming rate. The Sleepers, it turned out, had a chaos mage of their own.

Upstairs, Gus got the drop on one of the deputies and killed them with a well placed shot to the head. The remaining ones turned their automatics at him and fired at full auto, causing him to fall back from the force. 

Sean successfully hit one of the deputies with his shotgun. Unfortunately for him, these were not gangers like before and wore body armor. After a moment, they rose and returned fire from cover. 

In retaliation, a large and scary looking Sleeper moved to Sean and placed their hands on his head. Suddenly, Sean’s skin was reshaped and he could no longer see, hear, or breathe. He panicked and collapsed, unable to scream without a mouth, his lungs burning for air. The Sleepers, it seemed, had an epideromancer as well as a chaos mage. 

Lucius, having no real training in firearms, used suppressive fire to keep the deputies behind cover.

Sean took a moment to retrieve a pocket knife and cut a hole in his face so that he could breathe again. Stumbling with the blade, he attempted to free William of his bonds, cutting fingers and hands as he went. 

Dusting off the bullet casings, Gus rose again and made eye contact with the skin mage. Something occurred in that moment that caused the tall and imposing Sleeper mage to fall to the ground screaming and weeping into his hands. Gus wasted no time in blowing his brains out.

Realizing who it was they were up against, the Sleepers issued a retreat order over their walkies.

“It’s him again! The Comte. Time to bug out!”

“What? Who’s here?”

“St. Germain! We need to go…NOW!”

The remaining two deputies left out the back and the group fled back out through the front, piling uncomfortably into Jesse’s car and driving off into the night. 

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