For those of you who don't follow the chats (I'm guessing none, but just in case), I found my grandfather. Or, rather, they did. He was being held captive in a Commune. Said they'd let him go if I joined them. And I agonized over that for a looooong time, let me tell you. I knew Grandpa would want me to leave him and continue my running. I also knew I had a conscience and that if I ran he'd die horribly and be turned into a White Mask. (I met one of those, by the way. Didn't kill it because I had no Ash Williams-y weapons.) If I get into all the details about my choices, though, I'll end up writing a novel. And this is probably gonna be a really long post anyway. I might detail everything in a future post, who knows.
Anyway, I tried thinking of a third option. The only one I could come up with was a rescue attempt. My only useful skills as of now are in dodging, running, escape, and generally not dying. Not a great set for storming a place filled with people far more powerful than yourself who /will/ kill you if they can't make you join them, and doing it alone, no less. So, that was pretty much out unless I was going for suicide. And then ol' Tall, Pale and Faceless would get my Soul anyway. So...yeah. Pretty much out.
We had been talking about the Evil Dead series earlier, and I thought to myself, "Man, if only I had Ash with me, he'd kick all their asses with ease!" But, unfortunately, I don't know anyone that badass because no one that badass exists. (Sorry, everyone that exists. You just aren't Ash Williams.) So I asked Vadiir for advice on Formspring. He offered to help me. And, although he's no Ash Williams, he's a pretty epic badass. So I made my mind up. It was rescue mission time. *puts on sunglasses*
Vadiir showed up and we headed to the Missouri Commune while Wilt laughed at us over in Limeyland. Actually, I don't know if the chat ever figured out that I wasn't going it alone. Probably better that they didn't. But anyway. We left Axel (my dog, in case you didn't know) tied to a pole and snuck up to the entrance as quiet as could be. I was expecting a stealth mission; get in, grab Gramps, get out. I seemed to have forgotten that this was Vadiir we were talking about. He kicked the door down and charged inside. I just grabbed Ziggy and followed him in, having no idea what else to do. (Ziggy is my bowie knife, by the way. Yes, it actually exists.) The halls of the Commune were eerily quiet and empty as we charged through. No one in sight but us, no sound but our footsteps. This went on for a while (freaking me right the fuck out, might I add) until we turned a corner and nearly got shish-kebab'd. Knives flying at us, lots of them. I mostly dodged them all, getting away with a few scratches. Vadiir dodged a few and parried the rest. Yeah, as it turns out, HappyRobin (former Leader of the Missouri Commune and 4th Circle Theurge) is versed in Aertheurgy and uses it to throw knives at people. Knives that she can control and make them turn corners and stuff. And she had such a cute-sounding name, too. How misleading. We mostly countered this by hiding behind things for a while. Vadiir told me he needed to get close to her, that he could take her down with ease if he could close in. I then did something that will allow me to live up to, I think, all of my various names and titles. I doubt anyone will ever question why they call me the Jester, the Fool, or anything referencing the Doctor - including LastLord - again.
The following exchange happened.
"Hey Vadiir, you know how I sometimes have brilliant ideas?"
"...this isn't one of them. Sorry!"
And then I leaped out from behind our cover, running and waving my arms around all while yelling, "LOOK AT ME I'M A TARGET!!!"
It may have been one of the dumbest things I've ever done, but - and here's the thing - it /worked/. HappyRobin turned her attention (and her knives) to me. I once more relied on all those skills I'd learned from playing dodgeball in school. There's a reason I was always the last one "out". No one could ever hit me, even when I was outnumbered ten to one and the other team had a ball each and all threw them at the same time. Well, apparently it works with knives, too. A few papercuts and one relatively deep gash on my shoulder, sure, but otherwise I was fine. And, while she was distracted by the
I stood there in shock for...I don't know how long. I was shaken out of it by someone grabbing my hood and dragging me off towards a hallway. Lucky for me it was Vadiir. We ran down a flight of stairs at the end of the hall, dashed in the door at the bottom, and promptly shut and barricaded it. Their basement was all stone walls and floor, cobwebs everywhere. A dungeon of sorts. And chained to the opposite wall was my grandfather.
"Looks like you made the stupid decision," he said with a smile. "Atta girl."
I picked the locks pretty easily. (I learned that skill because I once put a chain and padlock around my neck to be like Sid Vicious and promptly lost the key. Yeah, I was dumb in middle school.) When he was finally unhooked, he staggered a bit before returning to his usual cocky gait. He grabbed his shillelagh leaning against the wall and gave Vadiir a wary look, apparently having just noticed him.
"It's alright Grandpa, that's just Vadiir. Don't worry, he's cool. He's on our side."
"Is he that English guy that was after you?" my grandfather replied warily.
"I'm not going to kill her," Vadiir shot back with an edge to his voice.
"Hey," I said, trying to stop the stupidity that appeared to be brewing. "How about we save the distrust until after we get the hell out of here?!"
They seemed to agree on that being a good plan. Vadiir opened the door and started stabbing and flamethrowing. My grandfather waited for anyone that got past Vadiir. I watched him kill several people with one whack of the shillelagh each. He snapped necks and caved in skulls, mostly, but there was one unlucky sonofabitch that got hit full force in the Adam's apple. He coughed up a bunch of blood and staggered until he hit the ground, still gagging. I think he choked to death. This went on until we three were the last ones standing, covered in blood. We made our way outside the complex and blew it up for good measure. No, we didn't walk slowly away from the explosion, not facing it. Would've been awesome, but this isn't some action movie. Not to my knowledge, anyway.
We found an abandoned farmhouse and stayed the night there. We talked for a while, but Gramps was understandably pretty exhausted. (Actually, we all were, but Vadiir and I hadn't been captive for god-knows-how-long.) He went to bed relatively early and Vadiir and I were left awake. So he and I talked and stuff. At some point I finally got around to making myself Immune as opposed to just carrying a vial of blood around. We both went to bed at some point, but I didn't sleep much (if at all) and I kinda doubt he did, either. When he left in the morning, Grandpa told him that he was alright. For an Englishman. He said it with a grin, though, that I'm pretty sure meant that he thought Vadiir was a pretty cool guy, English or no. (My grandfather's a bit strange. He's not nearly as stereotypically Irish Catholic as he acts.) I never realized how much I'd miss those little faux racist comments. I never realized how much I'd miss my grandpa, I guess. He absolutely adores Axel, too. And, while he was still talking with Vadiir and I, he finally told me a damn thing or two about his connection to all this. Apparently he's a pretty good Alchemist (capitalized? I dunno, probably) but not so great at Theurgy. He's gonna teach me what he knows, though, since I can practice it without killing myself now. Well, probably. Heheh. It also turns out one of his IRA pals was Chosen against his will a long time ago and my grandfather tried to help him out of it. It...didn't work. So...well, at least he has experience with this kind of situation.
He's gonna start teaching me some Theurgy tomorrow. This is gonna be good.
Oh, and Nein? HE IS PISSED AT YOU. Just thought I'd let you know.