Half a gramme for a half holiday
One gramme for a weekend
Two grammes for a trip to the gorgeous East
Three for a dark eternity on the moon
- Aldous Huxley – Brave New World (1932)
Starfall new exactly how long he had been in this drug infused state of coma. He could recall every dream he had had and how many times he had gotten lost withing his own mind while trying to convince the two “gangstaz” in the room to leave a gun close to the bed. Man, this is some pure shit. He thought to himself. Focus on the beat in the digital white noise. It’s there. As Brigham says: Only God can create something perfectly random. If magick did not fail him, all the pieces would fall into place in exactly 34 seconds. His right hand would be free to grab the gun one of the gangbangers had placed just within reach (believing his prisoner is out cold in a cloud of opium addled bliss) and the two, now slighlty stoned, dopeheads wold be perfectly aligned so Starfall could shoot them without the need of sight.
-Three, two, one: NOW.
Grab gun, fire.
-One down, one behind the couch, wounded.
Let the gun down a few inches. Fire.
Starfall could hear people coming from downstair.
-Getting sober now, just a few minutes.
With barely any strength left he dragged himself behind the couch.
-What’s happening in there?
- Leroy? Aldo?
The door opened.
Starfall could see some feet just under the sofa.
-Just point and klick, he thought.
The man fell with a scream.
More shooting from downstairs.
-Something’s there. In my mind. Connecting. Fighting.
Using what’s left of the drug to fortify his mind, Starfall latches on to the invading mind, and subdues it.
The whole flat is covered with blood, none of it belonging to Starfall. And now, the Phurba Dagger, the one he took from the Chineese Jumping Vampire, in his hand. And Grimm. And Blakeney. And Brigham. Though it’s probably his hollow clone.
-They tried to kill me. Dehydrated and sore that was all Starfall managed to say.
-They tried to kill all of us, the difference being you probably enjoyed if.
Grimm, always the smart ass. It was good to be back among friends.
At first unwilling to heed Grimm’s call to action, Blakeney reluctantly agrees that Starfall might be in very grave danger. Together, they have Benny track the scent of his master through New York City, en Taxi , as it were. They finally lose the scent in New York’s notorious Browntown district, where the cab driver is unwilling to continue. Despite Grimm’s unease, Blakeney takes them strolling through the dark ’hood, unseen by most of the locals. He even performs a tracking spell by painting over a tag on a brick wall, which does catch the attention of the locals, although thankfully after the two Magi have moved on down the street. As the local gangs end up in a fracas, undercover police suddenly appear, and the two Magi wisely retire, determined to return the following day to save their friend, whom they now believe they have located inside a low-rise tower block.
The following day they return, “all tooled-up”, and with Brigham in tow. For some reason, Benny insists on carrying with him some kind of case. No one bats an eyelid at that. That pooch is cray-cray. They penetrate the building, and meet scattered resistance before they find the scene described by Starfall above. The Phurba dagger Starfall’s bidding. It is soon over. They hastily retreat with the sound of sirens around them.