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Stormcastle: And Other Fun Games With Cards And Dice

Jeromy Henry
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Gordon Rowlinson
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Jeromy Henry

Watching the Children of the Gods

by Edward Sullivan

Surveillance notes: confirmed members of Ordo Papilionis
August 4th 2010
Perk It Up Coffee, 134 Main St Burlington VT
Subjects: Wainscot, Alistair/ Wainscot, Alexandra
Audio, Video, Close in agent monitoring
Alistair sat drumming the fingers of one hand, while picking his coffee up with the other. Immediately after each sip, he knocked twice on the table, looked left, then quickly right. The casual observer would think he seemed nervous or compulsive, althoughThere was no tension in his face. His countenance was as serene as still water at dawn. He was joined by a young woman who bore a striking resemblance to him. They had the same golden blonde hair and light blue eyes. She seemed as if she was communicating to an unseen person in American Sign Language. The effect was not as organized as that language though, perhaps more as if she were playing at a ridiculous pantomime of spell casting.
“Alex, nice to see you.” He gestured with his wrist and fingers but not apparently in her direction. “Sorry, just negating a flood in Bali.”
“Allistair, you look well.” She jumped from foot to foot then sat quickly. “That was dirty bomb not going off in Kabul.”
The waitress saw an additional customer and came to take an order. He shook his head back and forth so she assumed he did not want a refill. Alexandra stopped fidgeting long enough to make eye contact with the girl.
“Café Mocha extra light please.” The waitress turned away and she made extra frantic gestures as if she were catching up. “That was an avalanche in Kathmandu.”
“Wouldn’t you know that just as I need a refill I pick up a landslide in Mt Nebo, West Virginia!” He looked frustrated for the first time in the encounter. “Damn I needed another cup!”
“You can have some of mine when it comes.” His sister shook her head like she was starring in a shampoo commercial. “Whoa that one was close by. Seventeen car collision on Route 89 outside Lebanon, NH.”
The waitress brought the coffee. Alexandra transferred some of the contents to his cup. They continued talking and making seemingly random compulsive gestures for about forty five minutes. Agent Stan Harper was manning the camera across the street. His partner was monitoring the audio. They were in a crappy vacant apartment that had been commandeered for the occasion.
“Do you believe any of this Will? I never even saw stuff this odd working for 51.”
“I don’t know what to think, Stan. They seem to have some knowledge of remote events. The problem is they claim to be preventing things from happening. How do you prove they aren’t preventing something from happening?”
“Are they all from the same family?”
“Hell, they are all brothers and sisters!”
“How many are there?”
“We figure between two hundred fifty and three hundred. There are fifty one known family members outside the compound and one known in the compound. The rest are unknowns.”
“That is impossible. No one has that many kids.”
“Different mothers, same father. Augustus Wainscot should be about one hundred at least. Breeding and saving the world for seven and a half decades. The daddy of Ordo Papilionis. He dispatches his children to change the world. Each boy/girl pair is named with a different leading letter of the alphabet. They seem to exhibit different preternatural powers for each pair. These are the A’s. They claim that they make minute adjustments which prevent disasters all over the world. When one pair disappears another takes their place. There is always just the one pair for every letter.”
“That doesn’t add up. You said fifty one. Twenty six pairs would be fifty two. What gives?”
“Don’t concern yourself with the T’s. The T’s are no one’s problem but a guy named Finch.”
“What do the the T’s do?”
“Whatever they want! We have a T. The other T was KIA. You don’t want to talk about what killed a T, you need to trust me on that. The weird thing is, as long as we have the guy, Augustus won’t deploy anyother T’s. The one we have isn’t interested in going back, so the process is kind of in a holding pattern. You didn’t really read your files, did you?”
“Not really. I figured I was being put into a more mundane section when they asked me to leave Extraterrestrial branch. They threw me out here with you right after I arrived.”
“Yeah this department does that. We’re always on the move and attrition is high.”
“People die, sometimes they just see too much, or not enough, and walk away.”
“That seems odd.” Stan heard a strained buzzing out the window. He looked up and saw a small plane sputtering and losing altitude. It pitched from side to side painfully. The engine cut in and out. It was coming down for sure. It also seemed eerily likely that it was going to be coming straight in the window that he was standing at. He was going to die. There was no good explanation as to how he knew this, he just knew. There wasn’t even time to say anything to Will. The plane’s engine fired back to life strongly when it was about twenty feet from the window. The plane briefly occupied the space over the street just between the structures on either side. He looked into the pilot’s green eyes just as he jerked the stick and made the plane climb hard.
Stan turned to tell Will what had just happened. Will was looking at him laughing.
“I think she likes you.” Will pointed to the eye piece of the camera.
Stan looked into the aperture. The girl was looking right at him. She was smiling at him. Her brother was laughing. She waved and turned back to finish speaking with her brother. Will was chuckling behind him.
“Welcome to the Supernatural and Preternatural Section!”

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