Dark Minneapolis

S01E05

High School Sucks

Marcus refuses to leave the Lair, so we set up an air mattress in a vault for him. A week passes wherein we are resting, recuperating, and installing security for our apartments upstairs.

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts calls for Marcus and wants to know when he’s coming back to work. Marcus buys a cow on the internet, then drains it of life force to heal himself. He took the carcass to a rendering plant in South St. Paul.

Several days pass when I got a message from Olivia saying that Coreman is out of control.

Det. Fredericks shows up, he asks us a series of questions relating to what our deal is. After talking, we agree that we can probably work together, and he has a job for us.

Miss Margaret Jones, High School English teacher from Coon Rapids HS is a 50-ish woman. There have been three deaths of cheerleaders, all apparently accidental. First one choked to death, second one caught on fire in the girl’s bathroom, third one fell down the stairs.

We agreed to meet the next morning. I extracted the video recordings from the times of the accidents along with the accident reports and other police reports. I found a police report from 2 weeks ago about a fight on the football field after hours that resulted in multiple
broken ribs and a concussion even though all of the witnesses swore that there was only a shove.

At 7am, Marcus and Steve went to the school and Det. Fredericks introduced them to the Principal, who showed them the scenes of death. We asked to talk to the witnesses and other cheerleaders. We talked to Jeffreys, the maintenance engineer, who showed us the basement. His bunions mysteriously cleared up three weeks ago. He is able to lift a whole stack of chairs that are way too heavy for one guy without even thinking about it.

(We decided that we should get business cards printed. I start setting up Greenway Consulting Group, LLC. Get it registered with the state and order business cards with a phone number and email account.)

Carol (first victim), was dating Kevin, the QB Lisa (second victim) was dating a wrestler Mary (third victim) was dating Jeff, on the football team, but they might have broken up before the accident.

Eliza, was the last girl in the bathroom. I started digging in to her home life, cross referencing the logs from Comcast with the Google search history for the IP addresses that have been assigned to her house. I found that someone in her house did searches for summoning
circles.

I dug into the lives and Internet habits of Kevin the QB and Jeffreys the janitor. Nothing unusual.

As Marcus and Steve are driving away from the High School, a dark shadow flits into the front of the van. Suddenly the brakes don’t work and it feels like the wheel is trying to wrest itself from his Marcus’s hands. Marcus manages to keep control and downshift to start to slow down, but then the wheel suddenly turns the other direction, flipping the van onto it’s side and sliding into the shoulder. Marcus had slowed the van down enough so that it didn’t run into anything.

After dealing with the police, Marcus and Steve have the van towed back to the Greenway Lair and rent a minivan to continue the investigation.

When we approached Eliza’s family house, Marcus got a detect magic hit from the house. Steve changed into a bird to fly up on the roof, but instead of his normal raptor appearance, he looks like a large raven with red eyes. He carried a spider drone on to the roof. Eliza is in
her room surfing the Internet.

I started digging into the family more: Eliza’s dad: executive at pharmaceutical company. He’s out of town a lot. Eliza’s mom (Lisa Montgomery): former beauty queen. volunteers a lot (PTA, football boosters, etc.)

I created a chatbot loaded with a linguistic analysis of Emo chat and hooked it up to a fake Facebook profile. I set it to befriend Eliza.

The spider drone snuck in after Eliza went to bed, but as it was sneaking down the hall, the bedroom door opened and Mom screamed and called the dad. I had the spider hide in the linen closet between towels and wait for them to go back to sleep. As the dad was getting
ready to go back to bed, the mom said “check the linen closet” in a very sure voice. Then “look in the towels.” When the spider tried to run up the wall, I lost contact.

The next day, we watched the house until everyone finally left after lunch. Steve in Raven form and one of the spider drones went in through the upstairs window that was open a bit, went down and let Marcus in, and discovered that the basement door was locked.

Steve shifted into dog form and found that this too was larger, black, and with red eyes.

The spider and Steve the dog went down into the basement. As soon as we got to the bottom of the stairs, we saw all of the family room furniture shoved to the walls and a white magic circle in the middle of the floor. Four shadows suddenly appeared flitting around the basement. I
immediately sent the spider drone into the drop ceiling and Steve tried to run up the stairs. Steve tripped over his feet and fell on the floor. The spider managed to escape, but a battering ram shadow hit Steve.

Lisa Montgomery drove back up to the house. She walked into the house surrounded by shifting shadows. She immediately splayed her fingers out and clouds of shadows sprang from her hands. Shadows pummeled all of us, including Big Dog. Marcus threw a stun rune, Steve tried to
tackle her, and I sent a hummingbird drone in to try and taser her. Steve missed, but the wave of blue rays from the stun rune caught both Lisa and Steve at the same moment that the hummingbird hit her. She and Steve go down.

Marcus headed towards her to tie her up, but the door to the basement suddenly flew open, then she rose from the ground and flew down the stairs at running speed. Marcus managed to hit her with a taser hit right to the base of the neck, but she continued down and into the summoning circle. She stood, opened her eyes, and said “I have them. They won’t let you stop me!” We don’t think that Lisa is actually in control of the situation. Maybe there’s something else going on here. . .

Big Dog shot at her with a shotgun blast. The pellets stopped about 3 feet from her and fell to the floor. Meanwhile, both Marcus and Big Dog have been taking a beating from increasingly solid shadows. Marcus managed to leap over the shadows coming at him, and dove at the
magic circle. His sword just nicked the magic circle, breaking it. There’s a great release of energy. The shadows circle faster and faster as Lisa looks confused. Just as they impact with her, they become the black, bald-headed demons that we’ve seen before. They said something in demonic just before they swirled into a tight black ball of blackness that is hard to look at. Then they poofed into nothing, taking Lisa with them.

Marcus started scraping the magic circle off the floor. Steve found a power sander in the garage and they sanded the magic circle out of the floor. Steve says, “Finally we renovate a basement.” We recovered all of our equipment and whatnot, then did our best to disappear.

Marcus did some research and managed to translate Dodger’s recording of what the demons said before they poofed. It was something like “We were hoping for your daughter too, but you still might have one in you.”

Over the next few days, a missing persons report on Lisa is filed. We found out that Lisa had recently converted to CROS. We told Det. Fredericks what happened, but it’s not like he can put “poofed into nothing by demons” in an official report.

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