False in Some Sense

Those Caught Between; Chapter 7

Monday, March 2, 2009, around 8:00 PM (and throughout the next day)

With Elena freshly relegated to a hospital bed, Agatha, Billy Jack, Chuck, and Katrina go to Bishop’s Antiquities, meeting Jim there. After Mrs. Bishop is introduced to Jim and Billy Jack, as well as Duke, they get down to cases. Chuck shows her the armor and the baton that the group acquired from the hairy man, as well as the firearm the police officer gave him. She indicates that they are what is claimed — the armor is armor, enhanced by faerie magic, and the baton is a weapon, also empowered by faerie magic. The pistol, however, is normal.

Afterward, she answers some questions. When Chuck asks whether Fetches still serve the Fae that made them, she says that all things are possible. Some Fetches don’t know what they’re Fetches, while some do. Some go about their business, some serve the True Fae, and some are actually on friendly relations with others of her kind, though that tends to be relatively rare.

As Billy Jack and Jim ask more questions, Mrs. Bishop explains a few things. She explains that, yes, she is a changeling, one of the people who was taken by the True Fae. The True Fae live beyond the Hedge in their own realm. She is not entirely certain why they take humans, but they typically use them as labor or entertainment. Typically, if those who were taken find their way home, they do so through their memories of home. However, some forget home and do not return; this is especially common among those taken as children. Incidentally, this may be part of their plot; it is theorized that children raised in the land of Faerie become the True Fae themselves as part of some arcane life cycle. The True Fae seem to see everything as a contract with their surroundings; fire both warms and burns because the two have agreed that they will interact with it in that fashion. As such, they gauge themselves by comparison. Likewise, those who are taken likely must make these arrangements to survive, granting them arcane fae traits; this is why she can identify fae items, among other things.

As Billy Jack puts forth ideas about possibly drawing the True Fae out to fight them, perhaps in a trapped area, Mrs. Bishop further explains that changelings organize themselves into survivor cultures, and there are groups of changelings who specifically fight the True Fae. Likewise, however, there are some few groups, called Loyalists, who still serve the True Fae. When Billy Jack asks if they could speak to some of these fighters, she says that it would probably be unwise, but she could try to talk to them, though she largely keeps to herself and does not engage her fellow changelings too often. When Billy Jack asks about a way to draw them out, she says that it might be possible, but she will have to ask around, which might take a couple of weeks.

Afterward, Chuck explains about the encounter with the Sasquatch man and the Men in Black the previous day. Mrs. Bishop explains that there are tribes of Men in Black living in the Hedge — this idea seems to disturb Agatha. Likewise, the Sasquatch Warrior Guard is a unit of the Draconian Doctor’s forces, essentially watchmen. As such, Billy Jack assumes that he could probably not use the captured fellow to lure the Doctor out of his domain, and Mrs. Bishop indicates that the True Fae frequently, but not always, just abandon escapees, finding it easier to take more. They are a strange lot.

Once everyone’s questions are answered, they decide to take their leave. Mrs. Bishop promises to ask her contacts about possible tips for fighting the True Fae, or ways to draw them into the open. Katrina, also having things to discuss with Mrs. Bishop, says that she will visit her later. With that, everyone leaves.

Billy Jack goes home to have a beer. Jim goes to report his findings to his masters. Katrina goes home to let Michael know that everything is all right. Chuck and Agatha go to the hospital to check on Elena.

Meanwhile, Elena has been at the hospital. After her parents left, Agent Sklar arrived, telling her that Chuck called him and suggested that someone ought to watch her in the night. The two of them make small talk before Agent Sklar asks her some questions about the other members of the cell. First, he asks about Jim Soldati, and about whether he’s part of some secret X-Files division, which Elena indicates to be the case. Then, he asks about Billy Jack, just curious if things are working out all right with him. Finally, he asks about James Eliot, Katrina’s boyfriend. Elena gets a little flustered, but manages to stammer that he’s older and that he seems all right. She then asks why he asked about James, and he replies that he’s just being thorough. After a bit of an awkward silence, Elena gets a bit more chatty before Chuck and Agatha enter.

They check on Elena and make sure she is doing well. Then, Chuck asks Agent Sklar if it would be possible to see Jonah before he leaves. Agent Sklar agrees, and leaves Agatha in charge of Elena in his stead. The two go to Jonah’s room, where Chuck briefly speaks to him. After Jonah jovially threatens Agent Sklar, Chuck explains that the Snake-Bear is dead, and gives a brief update before asking Jonah who he is; how he has all this money and a lawyer when he just appears to be some bum. Jonah explains that he’s just been around. Finally, Chuck says good bye to Jonah, and he and Agent Sklar return to Elena’s room.

After a little more chatter, Agatha and Chuck leave for the night. Elena and Agent Sklar talk a little more before she goes to sleep.

The next day, Agent Sklar leaves early and Jim Soldati comes to visit Elena. After a little discussion, the two end up playing Battleship and talking. Jim says he will be around to visit more. Elena also gets several visitors in the afternoon, largely the cheerleaders and members of the football team, though Johnny visits a little later to see how she is doing.

Meanwhile, Chuck looks up Jonah to see what he can find. After a couple of hours, the information is vague, but he finds a few references that suggest Jonah Flood to be connected with Jasper Felix, who has incidentally been sighted in Terra Lake.

That morning, as well, Katrina calls Yuri to say that he is welcome to come over and to ask for details. He says that her friends Dimitri and Mishka will likely be with him; he explains that Dimitri had to make certain he would approve of Michael. This prompts Katrina to begin stammering, eventually explaining that things are strange and Michael left. She is with James, now. After trying to find more information or even determine if Katrina is all right, Yuri finally deigns to learn more upon his trip. He says he will probably make arrangements for the trip to be in a couple of weeks. After sending his regards and hanging up, Katrina calls Mishka to comment on the fact that everyone is coming to visit. She also asks how long they think they might be, as she forgot to ask Yuri; Mishka indicates that they will probably be in Terra Lake for a week or two. Katrina then makes her way to work.

Billy Jack calls Jim and Chuck to arrange a trip to Indianapolis to meet Packrat Pete. They agree, and after a brief delay, the three are off to Indianapolis in Billy Jack’s big-rig. After an hour and a half trip, they make their way to Packrat Pete’s apartment. There they find a gaunt, sallow man in a dirty bathrobe who recognizes Billy Jack and invites them in. He explains that, regarding Billy Jack’s story about the gate and the shapechanging man who came through it, he once had the opportunity to look at a sheaf of papers that apparently belonged to the feds. He made a few photocopies of them, and found a grouping of papers that seemed to allude to a similar story. He then gives Billy Jack a set of paper-clipped, wrinkled photocopies and says that he can have them. Billy Jack asks if he is inactive on the Vigil, which he indicates that he is, but he is willing to help them in the future. They can get in contact with him through some of the local Union members. The three then take their leave and read the papers in a coffee shop before returning to Terra Lake. Apparently, it relates to a cell of hunters in Philadelphia who encountered somebody using a door as a gateway to “somewhere else.” When the man passes through it he develops strange characteristics. Apparently, things went south and resulted in the deaths of the cell — but there is decent primary source material regarding a fae incursion. The three then return to Terra Lake.

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