Sunday, September 2, 2018

Chill: Defenestration

Yesterday we played Chill. First session in the case here.

The envoys get back to the Bliss household, and they see Wendy walking up to meet the car. She's been crying and is obviously upset. Jordan gets out of the car and Wendy tells her she'd better go; Janet is pissed at the condition of the house. Jordan says that they're sorry, and Wendy responds incredulously - how are they sorry? They trashed the place!

Wait, what?

Turns out that when Janet, Wendy, and Giles got home, the house was wrecked. Janet, at this point, comes out of the house and screams at Jordan to get the hell off her property, and says that if she ever sees any of the envoys there again she'll call the police. Wendy begs Jordan to leave (she only barely managed to talk Janet out of calling the cops in the first place), but says she'll call her tomorrow morning if Janet goes to work. Wendy has seen things that Janet hasn't.

The envoys decide that leaving the house unguarded tonight might be unwise; they aren't sure what the ghost is going to do. They decide that Beth Anne and Jordan will stay up and watch the house from a copse of trees across the street, and Mohammed, Blake, and Willa will get a hotel nearby in case something awful happens overnight. (Do note that Willa is injured at this point, and is in a lot of pain.) The envoys go to sleep...including, unfortunately, Beth Anne and Jordan, who both fall asleep on the job.

Next morning, Jordan gets a call from Wendy, telling her that she managed to convince Janet to go to work, but it was difficult and involved a big fight. Wendy is panicked that Janet is going to leave her and she'll have to go home to her mother, but Jordan says that isn't going to happen. She asks if the envoys can come over, investigate some more, and help clean up, and Wendy agrees. At this point, Jordan's phone dies (it's been on all night).

Willa gets a call from Darnell, saying that a SAVE envoy from Chicago named Jennifer Joyce is in town, and maybe they could use some fresh eyes? Willa agrees; this is bad and they need all the help they can get. Jennifer heads out from the airport, which is nearby, and the envoys who actually slept in a bed last night grab some coffee to bring over.

Wendy lets them all in, but asks that they stay quiet, as Giles is asleep (he didn't get to bed until very late). Jordan and Beth Anne check over the house and note that while much of it is destroyed - the kitchen has been trashed, appliances broken, couch overturned, etc. - Giles' toys, the TV, and the bathroom are untouched. Beth Anne pops upstairs to look in on Giles, and he's fast asleep on the floor of his room.

Outside, Jennifer talks with the others, and Mohammed asks that she do some digging (she's better at research than any of the others). Willa asks her to check the house out with them first, get some fresh eyes on the situation. Willa, too, has a look around (she's experienced with the damage that ghosts can do) and reaffirms her earlier suspicion that some powerful telekinesis is going on. Jordan talks with Wendy about Giles' early life; Wendy knows that his birth mother is incarcerated in Wyoming and gave up parental rights. She knows that his birth name wasn't "Giles," but she thinks it started with a "Z". The ghost, then, isn't Giles' birth mother - so who is it?

The envoys decide to split up. Jennifer and Jordan are going to head downtown and do some research, while the other envoys help Wendy clean up. The envoys set to it; Willa goes upstairs and peaks in on Giles using Eyes of the Dead, and notices the ghost in the corner of the room, passed out. She goes back down and reports this, but the envoys aren't sure what to do. The ghost is "asleep" (Willa reports she actually looks drugged, which is in keeping with their suspicions). They decide to keep working, quietly, and try and find a way to trap her.

Jordan and Jennifer, meanwhile, spend some time at the library. Jennifer digs into SAVE archives about poltergeists, and there's plenty of info. She learns that poltergeists ("noisy spirits") fixate on children because, in life, they made or broke a promise to a child. The children they fixate on, though, are rarely their own. They are confused, violent, impulsive ghosts, but they're also very powerful. Worse, a small subset of them become "smothering ghosts," which eventually decide the only way to keep their promise is to kill everyone around them. Jennifer also realizes that the power the ghost used on Willa yesterday was a discipline of the Evil Way called "Wound", and a ghost powerful enough to wield that almost certainly is powerful enough to become a smothering ghost.

The good news, if there is any, is that poltergeists can be banished. It's just a matter of figuring out what they want and giving it to them, letting them pass on quietly. Of course, that's highly personal and particular to the ghost in question. The envoys have to find out who this ghost was in life.

Jordan, for her part, learns that the houses in the area are fairly new, and the land itself doesn't have an unsavory history. Nothing to do with the land, then. She starts checking on obits for women who died in the area within the last few years...and she finds her. June Stevens died October 20, 2016, survived by her parents, her husband Barry, and her son (now 5), Joey. She died right before Halloween, meaning that she didn't get to go trick-or treating with her son.

Meanwhile, at the house, Mohammed, knowing where the ghost is, decides to try and figure out her motives in a bit more detail. He sneaks into the boy's room and senses the Unknown (not hard), and then, focusing on that area, uses Follow the Threads. He realizes that on one level, the ghost wants to show Giles how much fun Halloween is...but that's skin on the pudding. Below that is the seething hatred for humanity that all creatures of the Unknown have. And at this point, the temperature in the room changes. June wakes up.

Mohammnd finds himself flung out of the room against the wall, and feels ribs crack. The door slams. Downstairs, everyone's breath catches (Willa is, at this moment, scrolling through Jennifer's texted report on poltergeists). Giles starts crying, and Wendy and Beth Anne race upstairs. Wendy opens the door and scoops up Giles. Beth Anne, using Eyes of the Dead, sees June crouched over Giles, and when Wendy grabs him she becomes incensed. Beth Anne tells Wendy to run and puts herself in front of the ghost, and June waves her hand, flinging Beth Anne out the window. She lands on the sidewalk, bleeding.

Blake sees Wendy rush downstairs and hears the window break, and runs up. He tries to block the door, and feels something grab his head and slam it into the door frame. Willa, downstairs, sees June float through the ceiling. She looks at Willa and asks "where's Giles?"

"Back door," Willa lies, and June turns her back. Willa takes the opportunity and uses Astral Attack, hammer-fisting June on the back of the neck. June collapses, and turns over, nose "bleeding", and for a moment she looks terrified, and shrieks, "I'll get you your money!" And then she seems to remember where she is. The blood disappears, and she smacks Willa in the head with a coffee table.

Willa stays standing (Shock is your friend!), and punches June again. This seems to trigger something in June, and she disappears. Willa gets the hell out, and Blake helps Mohammed down the stairs. Wendy is outside holding Giles, nearly hysterical. The envoys regroup on the lawn, and Jennifer and Jordan pull up.

Jordan treats Beth Anne, binds her wounds the best she can, but tells Jennifer to take her to the hospital - she'll need stitches. They take Wendy and Giles with them to get them away from the house and the ghost. Jordan tells Blake to get online and find a Facebook profile for Barry Stevens, June's widower. They need to find a picture of Joey in a Halloween costume. Blake finds the profile, but it's locked down - no family listed, no pictures public. Not even June's mother, Joey's grandmother, has any such pictures.

Jordan looks after the other envoys, too - Mohammed has some cracked ribs, Willa might have a mild concussion, Blake's head is bleeding. This ghost is not screwing around.

Willa is watching the house and sees June float out and towards them. Jordan, thinking quickly, draws a circle on the lawn, waits until June is in it, and then seals it. June pounds on the "barrier" and demands to be released, and also where Giles is. Jordan tells her who she is - she's June Stevens, her husband was Barry, and her son is Joey. This seems to have an effect, but all it does is make June insist on being told where Joey is. Mohammed tries to lie to her - Joey is at school, at a Halloween party, having a great time. This does not work, however; June points out that it's Saturday. Mohammed decides to walk away at this point; June thinks he's a cop, and cops lie. She sits down in the circle, says "I want a lawyer," and shuts up. Willa, who is actually the only one who can see or hear her, notes that her clothes change to county lockup.

Jordan contacts Jennifer (using Blake's phone, since hers is dead) and has her find Barry Stevens. He's at work; she calls him and tries to get him to talk about his late wife and their son, but her cover story is flimsy. All he lets slip is that Joey isn't excited for Halloween, and then hangs up. No pictures are forthcoming. Jennifer lets Blake know. Jordan calls Wendy and asks if she can find Halloween decorations somewhere and get a picture of Giles with them, just something to show him having a good time. She says she'll try, but she's a little freaked out. (A lot freaked out.)

This stalemate continues for a bit, and then it starts to rain. Blake runs inside and grabs a tablecloth, hoping to shield the circle. Just then, though, a police car rounds the corner and two cops get out. Seems that Janet called and asked the cops to drive by today. Mohammed lies and tells them that they're here to help clean up and set up Halloween decorations. Jordan leads them up to the house (around the circle) to let them look in. They say they're going to call Janet and verify the envoys' story, but Jordan tells them it was Wendy who gave them permission to be here, and that Janet will be angry (the women are fighting). The cops figure this isn't something they need to get in the middle of, and head back to the car, but watch while the envoys go inside (remember Blake is standing in the yard holding up a tablecloth...in the rain).

Knowing that June is about to be released, Willa goes inside and uses Voice of the Dead to summon June. The other envoys head in and the cops leave, but now Willa is possessed. She talks with the envoys a bit and they try to convince her that she's in no danger, the people she owed money to or who sold her drugs are no longer a factor. She doesn't care about any of that. She just wants Joey. Blake gets a text with a picture of Giles in front of some decorations at the pediatric ward, but he just looks upset and forcing a smile. He doesn't show it to June/Willa; he wisely figures it'll just upset her.

Meanwhile, at the hospital, Beth Anne has been discharged and given painkillers, and she and Jennifer head back to the house (they don't have a way to contact Wendy so they figure she's safer here anyway).

Willa feels pain in her face, and Jordan reaches in and uses Disrupt. June flows out of Willa just as Jennifer and Beth Anne arrive. All of the lights go out (and cell phones and other devices stop working; Jennifer's car actually shuts down as she pulls up. They get inside, but the door slams behind them. Dark storm clouds roll in and lightning crashes. Willa sees June floating in the room. "You tell me where my Joey is," she says. "Or I'll scare you all. One at a time."

Spiders start dropping from the ceiling towards the envoys.