Just Like Clockwork: Scene II/VI -- Rose, Ilkin, Erin, Caelan, Rakesh

And then the world melted.

All the ticking and tocking finally stopped but Roses' headache was still present and accounted for. "Why are they always so messy..." she mumbled to her spectral friend who was still not paying any attention. She massaged her tear ducts and closed her eyes to try and think clearly. GeGe was there but he still seemed to preoccupied. He seemed to stop caring about the spot on the wall and the dog and was now following view of the mousy brown chick as she began to skitter about.

The message had said a hostile was there, but if the hostile only worked when the brain was on how did someone even write the message? She wondered briefly about weather the person who wrote the obituary was in on what was happening, if so she would call the newspaper and drop kick the bugger. Sometimes the Twilight Network was to confusing to figure out.

Ba~Da~Boop~Thunk~ sounded the organ in a glorious blast of horror.

"I'm alright!"

Rose looked up briefly for a moment, just enough of a time to see the woman taking off her shoes before she closed them again.

Sighing Rose slipped her hand with the gun back inside her jacket placing in that unknown skanky forbidden location that only she knew the exact whereabouts of. Yes the people around her still had guns but she doubted they were about to use them on her. They saw ghosts, shot ghosts, that made them, as far as Rose was concerned, on the same side.

"But, umm, I think they summoned that ghost to kill you, miss,"

"What?" Rose's eyes snaped open, her headache forgotten for the moment "That little prick!" Her lips pruned together in anger. "I hate russians, please tell me you didn't take down all the security cameras, I really wanna flip those assholes off!" she shifted from one foot to the other doing an awkward turning backwards walk while staring at the ceiling in hopes of finding one. Middle finger perked and at the ready she held it up in front of her just in case a camera was watching but she couldn't spot it.

GeGe's attention snapped suddenly that Rose was inclined to pause, finger still up, and look. A small blue lizard was now sitting on the Mouse's shoulder... TALKING to her. Rose wasn't paying attention to what the thing was saying, just that it was SAYING something. "Geico would pay a fortune for him." Rose mumbled to GeGe who was having some weird version of Geist ADD. To many new toys in one place and he seemed to be on some weird catnip high due to that ghost that had melted away.

Well this was better then having him concentrate for now, to many new things of excitement meant he couldn't pinpoint just one thing to bother.

Erin perked up, a stupid grin on her face. "I could turn the cameras back on so you could, easily!" she suggested to the angry lady, her eagerness to please overshadowing the fact that this was incredibly stupid. But there was a gecko talking to her now, and it seemed more authoritative. Erin didn't seem to find a lizard talking to her any stranger than a person.

"Oh," was all she replied, before remembering Hammond instructing her that people actually wanted her name here. "My name is Erin Lamothe?" she tried, sounding a bit uncertain about it. "Um. Are you also with the police? Undercover?" she asked, dangling her feet. "Do you think the Russians will run? I thought they would just kill us. They own the movie, I'm pretty sure, so I don't think they would just leave it..."

"What did you learn from your Contract?" it asked. "Anything we don't know?"

"I was just looking for an off switch..." Erin replied, her vine-like fingers curling up against her lips. "But there wasn't one."

There was a pause, as Erin gulped slightly; sudden twitch, as the little changeling tensed, then quickly unfolded herself. "I will go examine it right now, immediately, sir," she said, sliding off the pipe organ with great care not to disrupt the little gecko on her shoulder. Without bothering to retrieve her shoes, she started padding back over to the brain.

Lizards weren't what most people thought of when they thought "dour." However, Kertenkele managed very well. He flashed Rose a look that could only be described as dour.

"Geico would never be able to find me," he snorted. "He gives a bad name to all true hobgoblin lizards."

He clung to Erin's shoulder as she moved and blinked quizzically. "'Sir?'" he sounded bemused, "I'm a hedge beast, not a member of the Gentry, my dear. You need not call me 'sir.' Ah, and you disabled the cameras, lovely! I ought to get my human back in here and make him look at the magic on this thing. He's quite a slacker, he is."

The hobgoblin drummed his toes on Erin's shoulder while he considered.

"I do wonder if those bloody Russians know what they're doing. Ilkin ought to look at them."

The dog, meanwhile, was getting back onto it's feet, rather unsteadily. The German Shepherd, which had only recently been rather bravely mauling the Clockwork Ghost, looked utterly dreadful. It's paws quivered, and it stood only for a few moments before sitting down on its haunches. The dog looked from Erin, to Rose, and then to Kertenkele.

"That shall be making some appearances in my nightmares. Thank you Ms. Lamothe. You are... kind. Very kind." The dog could talk. This probably was not the most surprising thing that had occurred today, following clockwork ghosts and talking lizards. The German Shepherd had a light, masculine voice, which currently sounded as though in the thrall of a very bad hangover, and spoke with the most perfect Recieved Pronunciation accent one could imagine, albeit presently a little slurred. The dog sounded like a newscaster after a few whiskeys. "I'm all right Ilkin, thank you for checking... where's Caelan? Caelan?"

And now... a dog was talking...

Rose traided her raised finger for raised eye brows

"Seriously, if one more thing talks that isn't supposed to talk we are so outta here!" Ghosts were fine and dandy but this night was turning out to be filled with way weirder things.

"I still think that Russian bastard was just pissed we touched their wardrobe" she muttered while GeGe observed and itched the inside of this spade hole.

"I could give you sweet dreams, Mr. Rakesh," Erin offered, as she approached the brain. The dog talking wasn't any weirder than the lizard talking - that is to say, not weird at all, to Erin's mind. If she had any questions or misgivings toward the dog that dragged her into this, no one could spot them.

She knelt down by the clockwork brain, getting into another staring contest with an inanimate object, her antenna waving at it vaguely.

Caelan was shaken by the mage. Her eyes peeled open, coated with tears of Vitae. She stared into Ilkin's face for a few seconds. "I'm s-sorry. I never wanted to hurt you!" she sobbed.

Her hands gripped at Ilkin's clothes like a clawed vice as she shook with tears. "Please f-forgive me for what I did to you...to Rakesh!"

It took a moment to recognize the nagging at the back of her mind. If Ilkin was dead, why see him now, smelling like he was full of mage-blood? Who was that ghostly woman? Wasn't there a ghostly woman? She remembered firing her gun...

"What happened?" Cae asked meekly, carefully releasing her hands from around Ilkin's collar. She wasn't quite relieved to see him alive yet; she hovered somewhere between confusion and disbelief.

"It's alright, Cae. It's alright." The dog said, still in the slightly slurred Queen's English accent. He shook himself, a classically canine gesture, and tried to control his speech. "I think we've just been the victim of a psychic attack. A decidedly unpleasant psychic attack. But it's gone now."

"Ah... very sorry for all this, Ms. Lamothe, Ms..." The dog looked inquiringly at Rose. He sat down by the door and examined the two women, though his eyes kept flicking back to Caelan. "I suppose I should handle introductions. My name is Rakesh, and these are my friends, Ilkin and Caelan. We're... ah... paranormal detectives."

"Did to me?" Ilkin stared at Cae, then shook his head.

"It's all right," he soothed, "You've not done anything to us. It was all in your head. It never happened. The ghost is gone now."

The mage held her gently by the shoulders and continued murmuring gently until she seemed more calm.

"The ghost discorporated," he said, "She cast a spell on you. Awakened magic, the Mind Arcanum. That brain was made by a Mage, a member of the groups that would become the Free Council later. The Guardians of the Veil will be displeased when they learn this device is being used. They have been squelching knowledge of these devices from the public ever since."

Ilkin stared at the spot where the ghost had been. "I disagree with the Guardians on several things, but here I do not blame them."

"Oh," she said in a small voice, and wiped at her eyes. It only smeared the blood. She returned Rakesh's canine gaze for a moment. Now she was relieved.

"Sorry about the mess. It's nice to meet you, Ms. Lamothe?" She looked to the waif inspecting the device, and the other eccentric stranger. "There seems to have been some trouble here..."

Something clicked in her supernaturally preserved brain. "Trouble!" Cae grabbed for Ilkin's collar again. "There's something coming. Here. Tomorrow. If we show up two Changeling hunter things will rip you apart. Or its prey will. It's called...Wormwood, some creature, takes human form. More powerful. It has nothing do with this missing person, but there was a Changeling squatting in Robert's head, trying to scare him away."


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