False in Some Sense

Clap If You Believe; Chapter 4

Sunday, April 5, 2009, around 1:00 AM

As Chuck is driving away from the woods with Elena, Jim, Paul, and Jake, as Billy Jack’s friend introduced himself, Paul suggests that people should be called and warned. Elena calls Agatha, while Paul calls Katrina. Chuck instructs them to direct people to the “Lake House.”

Agatha, meanwhile, is asleep and awakens to Elena’s call. She indicates that she does not understand why they won’t just come to Chuck’s house, but she starts gathering things.

Katrina is with her friends and family in her apartment, talking. She takes the call, and once Paul is finished, she tells her friends that a friend of hers has invited them to come to their house outside of town, framing it as a social gathering. She looks pointedly at “James,” and while they are getting ready, she explains that there is some emergency, and everybody is gathering away from town. They gather themselves and start to go to the “Lake House.”

Chuck also instructs Elena to call Agent Sklar to warn him, which she does. Likewise, Chuck calls Mrs. Bishop to inform her of things. Both are instructed to call if they need anything or have further information, and they likewise instruct the group to call if they learn anything further.

Paul asks to be dropped off at his car, which is unfortunately by the woods. Chuck drives back, and not encountering anyone, continues on his way. Paul tells him not to slow significantly; he’ll just jump out of the moving vehicle. He does so, and misses the car, rolling a couple of times before picking himself up and getting into his car.

Likewise, Jake and Jim ask to be dropped off at their cars. Jim indicates that he will meet up with people later.

While driving, Chuck notes that Paul’s car falls into place behind him.

Around this time, Agatha calls again, having found a small, white mp3 player with speakers plugged into an outlet in the kitchen. It does not match anything that either of them own. When she asks if she should play it, Chuck says that she should, and hears a message about how whatever entity recorded the message is testing his dedication to the Hunt. Specifically, whatever thing has replaced Angela Johnson has been put in his basement along with whatever tools might be useful to examine her. Since there should be some rioting and chaos in town, her disappearance will not be missed.

After some discussion over the phone, Agatha says that she will go downstairs but leave Chuck on speaker phone. When she flicks on the light switch, another mp3 player switches on, playing Fats Waller’s rendition of “Dem Bones.” She walks into the basement to find it covered in clear, plastic tarpaulins. A folding table is set up in the middle of the room and Angela is lying on it, handcuffed to the table and wrapped in several layers of plastic wrap. She is gagged, but awake. A tray of examination and dissection tools is next to her.

Agatha explains the scene to Chuck, who indicates that he will be over soon. Agatha then leaves Angela downstairs while waiting for Chuck to return home.

When he does, Elena and Paul watch the windows for any of the creatures running through town while he and Agatha go downstairs. He removes the gag and indicates that he is not going to do anything to her, which surprises her, as she seems to have thought that he was the one who brought her here; she did not see her assailant. Since he indicates that he will let her go, she admits that she might be a Fetch and might be working for the Doctor. Chuck goes upstairs to discuss with everyone what they ought to do, and they decide to let her go on the grounds that for whatever she might be, whatever brought her to be dissected is probably worse. He returns downstairs to explain this fact, and she asks to be let go and if she can have some clothes. Agatha gets her some clothes, and everyone agrees to gather their equipment and take her home before going to the “Lake House.”

After letting Katrina know that they will be a little late, they are all ready to go when Paul spots the man with the burlap bag over his head, the crazed woman with a silver dress, and the giant cockroach walking down the street. They decide to slip out the back, but they end up blundering into the group. They drop their things and prepare for battle; Agatha and Chuck have their shotguns out, while Elena has her makeshift iron nails shoved through a wooden bar.

The cockroach sits, waiting, while Elena runs at the woman, punching at her with her iron claws and ripping open a large, ragged wound on her face that bleeds black. The woman tries to retaliate with her shimmering rapier, but Elena is far too fast for her to land a solid blow. Agatha fires at the cockroach with her shotgun, tearing through its carapace and breaking its concentration. The burlap-masked man with the axe leaps into the fray, delivering a powerful axe blow across Elena’s chest. Paul tries to hit him, but misses in the confusion. Chuck fires a shotgun blast at the woman, striking her in the leg, and Angela starts to run away. In the following confusion, the woman finally falls. The cockroach leaps forward and generates a cloud of choking dust, slowing everyone significantly. Nevertheless, a second shotgun blast sends the beast running. With the burlap-masked man still active, and quite handy with his axe, Paul manages to occupy his attention until he can be dealt with. Elena and Chuck both collapse, heavily fatigued from the grayish dust, and Agatha manages to finish the masked man off with a solid blow from her cane, despite the rather savage wound he manages to deal to her right arm—. Finally, as she and Paul try to gather everything again, she collapses as she attempts to look under his mask.

Everyone awakens in Chuck’s house, apparently having been returned there by Paul. Once they have haphazardly bandaged their wounds and let Katrina know they will be a little late, while also informing Mrs. Bishop and Agent Sklar that they were attacked, they once again gather their things and run to the car, driving toward the “Lake House.”

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