Six months had passed since magic had returned, and although T-Bone had forgotten to return the glaive, so far nothing had been said about its disappearance due to the damage to the White Tower. The world had seemed to settle into the old routines, although religion had seen something of a resurgence as a result of the unexplained “London Aurora”.
T-Bone had returned to his neighbourhood, and organised his posse into a more effective “Neighbourhood Watch”. His Aunt Patty had become more involved with a new preacher at the civic centre, who claimed to be able to channel the Holy Spirit. T-Bone was somewhat suspicious of the man, and resolved to keep a wary eye on the man.
His crew, in turn kept an eye on the local dealers, and managed to obtain a sample of a new drug, the Gray Stuff, a mix of the Black Stuff and cocaine. T-Bone was unhappy that the Black Stuff, effectively cremated dragon meat, was still available, and those that sold it received his regular scrutiny.
Ronnie disappeared from view for a while, and although he occasionally dropped in on T-Bone, he spent most of his time in the shadows keeping an eye on the team. Ember was able to let him know that she was going off the grid to follow a story. They arranged a trigger word to be broadcast over the Dragon Net in case she got into difficulty. Unfortunately, he was caught on camera while “working” in London. It took him several weeks to track the film down and ensure that there was no record of him in the area, just in case.
Aiden’s father was having a few money troubles, and she spent most of her time talking things over with her family, she also decided that her boyfriend no longer understood her, and dumped him.
Darius had been permanently transferred into Rockford’s unit, the Special Investigations Unit. He closed a number of strange cases, but also spotted the two men who’d tried to shut him up during the events of the previous year, identified as bodyguards to Gareth Thomas, Labour MP for Harrow West. Darius made careful notes of them and their movements; however, his attention was soon taken away from them by a series of cases passed to the SIU.
An unusual number of incidents, and deaths, were occurring along the riverside in the Pool of London area. Of the survivors, Darius was able to track one person to a hospital ward, awaiting a psychiatric evaluation. As he arrived at the hospital, Starflower jumped out, declaring that he had a message from his friend, who’s waiting at Starflower’s house to deliver it. Darius shook his head slowly, and told Starflower he’d see him later and continued into the hospital.
Doctor Rojen, the patient’s Doctor was paged by the receptionist, but did not show, so Darius, impatient went to the Doctors office to see what he could find there. As he arrived, the door opened, and a very harassed looking Doctor exited. It was Rojen. After a rushed conversation, Darius was able to discover some background to the patient. The woman, had suffered from mental stress, and was described as “the crazy one” by Rojen who handed a patient file to Darius. It was also revealed that she had been discharged that morning and left to make her own way home as she needed to tell people about the river, and how it was talking to her. Darius got her home address and details. She was called Elizabeth Jones, and after a brief pause Darius recognised the name as the same one as Ronnie’s ghostly friend, and the address she had given hadn’t existed since 1942. Darius contacted Ronnie to let him know, and then went to the security office to look at the CCTV footage to see if the woman was indeed the Elizabeth Jones they’d previously encountered. He also saw someone bump into her – she was solid!
T-Bone got his posse involved in the search for Miss Jones, and the word went out to keep an eye open for her as her old home had been in his neighbourhood, while Ronnie visited the area where she’d ended up in the river, and then moved on to the areas where he’d previously encountered her. It took him an hour of searching, but as he looped around near St Pauls, he got the feeling that he was being followed, and after some careful manoeuvring spotted that Miss Jones was following him. He hid himself in a small alleyway, and waited for her to follow him. She did so, and when Ronnie spoke, she complained of being hungry, and then fainted. Ronnie caught her before she hit the floor, and put a call out on the dragon net. Aiden came to collect the two of them, and drove them back to her flat, where the others joined her.
After parking in the underground car park, Ronnie carried Miss Jones upstairs, and put her in Aiden’s bed. He checked her for injuries, and found a healed burn that may have come from lightning. More worryingly, her pulse was fluttering in a weird manner; it was as though she was in a state somewhere between life and death. Ronnie made something to eat, and left it with a drink at the side of the bed and settled back in a chair and waited for her wake up.
Darius received a phone call from Rockford; Starflower was waiting at the police station for him, still waiting to deliver the message, and annoying Rockford intensely. Darius apologised and arranged to collect Starflower from the station and take him home. Unfortunately when they got there, it appeared that the man with the message, Sebastian, also had a penchant for herbal cigarettes. He managed to pull himself together enough to pass on the message, something he’d scribbled on a piece of paper;
“He will only treat with those announced by his chosen servant.”
There were a number of geometric symbols, swirling shapes, and runes evident on the piece of paper too. Darius studied the paper, and the shapes and symbols began to look familiar. They were occult symbols that matched some of the symbols that were being worn by Sebastian, and Darius had seen elsewhere. Overall, even though Darius felt he was on the edge of understanding something, the message was still too cryptic for him to properly decipher… Sebastian passed on a card with a shop specialising in the occult to Darius, “Practical Magick”.
Back at Aiden’s flat, Aiden had had to leave to delay the builders that were refurbishing sections of the building and Miss Jones was still sleeping. T-Bone spent the time searching the house as a way of filling time. He found a number of interesting objects, including some past due bills. Eventually he wondered into the bedroom, and as Miss Jones moved, he noticed that as she moved it seemed that she almost seemed to sink into the bed before bouncing back. There was an energy around her, that seemed to change as she sank, and then reappear as she bounced back. Suddenly, the pair of them remembered that ghosts feed off magic, not food.
T-Bone began to channel power, and Ronnie aided, focussing the magic on Miss Jones. They shared a flash back to a similar memory where the pair of them, in dragon form, protected a city. As the seconds passed Miss Jones, began to wake, and suddenly sat bolt upright gasping, as if for air. She seemed confused, and then calmed as Ronnie spoke to her.
Initially she was reluctant to speak of the events that had led her to the hospital and then to her flat, but as the conversation wore on Ronnie gained her trust, and it seemed that Miss Jones had become the “chosen servant” of Old Man Thames who was angry at being chained. She agreed to announce the group to Old Man Thames, but to do that they would need to enter the water to commune with him…