False in Some Sense

Children of the Atom; Chapter 2

Monday, May 4, 2009, and throughout the following few days

Katrina, lacking any sort of information regarding her father, attempts to make contact by leaving a note on her computer. Elena and Paul decide to go to Indianapolis another night, while Chuck contacts everyone to set up a meeting on the following night. He also looks up Officer Ed Dunn, learning that his killer was one Anthony Reuter, who was arrested when incarcerated during a convenience store robbery. However, Anthony claimed that his associate, Hank Martinez, set him up. Hank is currently living in Indianapolis with his wife Julia, where he works construction.

The following day, everyone engages in their normal activities. Agatha and Katrina go to work. William investigates his options, and calls Paul to ask him about where to find fake identification. He determines that Mexicans in Arlington, VA could probably help him; Paul agrees, and William begins looking into acquiring a plane ticket. Chuck prepares for the night’s meeting, and Elena hears that Noelle Isaacs may be in the running for Prom Queen.

That night, around seven, Agatha, Chuck, Duke, Elena, James, Katrina, Paul, and William all gather at the Lake House. “James” and William meet for the first time, and William asks some questions about how James leads his life. James indicates that he largely tries to live a normal life, like a human. After Elena describes the fact that Noelle has been replaced by a fetch, she and Chuck further announce that the Doctor has threatened to appear to abduct Elena on prom night. After some discussion, everybody determines a course of action. First, Chuck wants to profile Noelle so that everyone can benefit from whatever he finds. Second, on prom night, everyone needs to be prepared. Katrina and “James” will watch the woods — assuming that the Doctor and whatever minions he may have will arrive from that gate — and drive ahead to notify the others. Since the Doctor has previously traveled by car, they may arrange to have caltrops to slow him down. Anybody who cannot get into prom will wait outside, while Chuck, Elena, and Paul will be inside, and hope to smuggle weapons within. Other than that, they’ll play it by ear.

Afterward, Chuck asks about the ability that the Doctor manifested to prevent people from harming him. William indicates that he is familiar with this ability — being able to use it himself — and that the Doctor likely cannot attack without breaking the spell. After testing William to determine the limits of this ability, they agree that this is likely the case, and hope to research other ways to break it. Since William plans on traveling to the Church of Ezekiel’s Divine Retribution on Sunday, and plans on revealing his majesty there, everyone decides that they will observe and further test the limits of his ability. Also, William is tasked with finding gates into the Hedge in the school, to see if there is any way for the Doctor to enter simply through the school. After deciding these things, the meeting parts for the evening.

That night, Elena has another dream featuring the Doctor. He asks about why she did not like his gift, and she explains that replacing people is wrong. After some bantering back and forth, she awakens. Rather than returning to sleep, she practices some more with her kukri.

The next day, Agatha, Chuck, and Katrina go to work, while Elena goes to school. She starts campaigning to get people on her side for Prom Queen, largely to ensure that Noelle doesn’t get it.

During the day, William does a little investigating. First, he goes to the school, suggesting to the person at the door that he is there to check the doors, and checks for Hedge gates to check for gates. Not finding any, he goes to the woods and opens the Hedge gate. He walks down the path a short way to look for some fruit. Finding a sparkly lemon, he takes it and places it in the grocery store, waiting to see what happens when someone purchases it. When a police officer purchases it, he follows him to the station. After convincing the receptionist to let him pass, he goes into the office and determines it to be Officer Hayward. He asks him a few questions about the lemon, claiming to be here on behalf of a lemon grower, and proceeds to engage in a very disorganized line of questioning to confuse Officer Hayward. In the meantime, he harvests Glamour from this confusion. After it becomes obvious that Officer Hayward knows he’s a changeling, he explains that William ought to be careful, as there are forces at work that will soon find his rifle and connect him to the murder of Johnny Page. William thanks him and goes on his way.

He then returns to the woods to use the gate to the lands of the dead. He bleeds profusely on the gate, and once he gains passage, he recalls a pledge from Arcadia, a way to cheat death. He notes this memory, knowing he will have to research further for it to be of use to him, and he begins to wander. He finally comes to a boiling river with a lone policeman standing watch. He bears a rifle. William asks him about it, and after some conversation, they come to an agreement. If William can track down his killer and bring him to “The Law,” better known as Officer Ed Dunn, “The Law” must give him the rifle. In the meantime, “The Law” cannot discuss any information regarding the rifle and cannot let it go, or else he will face dire consequences. On the other hand, William must not fail in his task to catch the killer. Once agreed, William seals the pledge and enforces it such that failure will summon the Wild Hunt to take the offender to Arcadia. He then returns to the surface, again bleeding to open the gate, and leaves.

Chuck, meanwhile, goes to Bishop’s Antiquities to find some iron implements. Finding some success with another iron, he speaks to Mrs. Bishop briefly and goes about his way.

Katrina similarly looks for some iron implements, with less success. She also attempts to leave messages for her father, finally meeting him on the street. She asks for proof that the things he has said will come to pass, and he says that these are merely visions of the future; he cannot provide proof. Finally, he tells her to gather the members of her group who are not compromised, and that he will meet them to explain himself. She sends messages for everybody to meet her at the food court in the mall, and not to mention it to the others.

That afternoon, Agatha, Chuck, Katrina, and Elena meet in the food court. Anatoly Kournikova arrives shortly thereafter. He and Katrina explain that he believes that Michael, Mrs. Bishop, and William will turn on the others once the Doctor is no longer a threat. They will vie for control and betray everyone else. He says that they must be dealt with, and if they do so before meeting the Doctor on prom night, he will outfit them. Otherwise, his people will be forced to take care of the situation, and they will not be nearly so neat and surgical as the local hunter cell will be — they will gladly destroy the town to take care of the problem. Once he has said his piece, he bids them farewell.

Even though Anatoly claimed it is untrue, Chuck believes he is connected with the people who abducted Angela Johnson’s fetch and placed her in his home. He also thinks that William might betray them, but Michael and Mrs. Bishop will not. They do not exactly decide what to do, though Chuck indicates that he is attempting to take care of the William Puckett problem, and discusses his idea that Billy Jack killed Johnny. He says that he is trying to find the evidence. Otherwise, though, they do not plan on doing anything about Mrs. Bishop or Michael. Katrina also reveals her plans to possibly leave with Michael after this is through. After some further discussion, the meeting breaks for the time being.

Afterward, Chuck follows Noelle while relating the information to Agatha. After the two have compiled everything, they put the information in the Lake House to reference later. As best as Chuck can tell, Noelle seems reasonably normal.

The rest of the week goes quietly. Everyone goes about their routines in preparation for investigating the Church of Ezekiel on Sunday.



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