Do you want the bad news first or the REALLY bad news first?
So…I’m back. In L.A. How do I say this…um…Jairo is dead? No, yeah, he’s 99% dead…I mean I’m 99% sure he’s dead. He got possessed by a demon. Mouser Bowen told me. Oh, and Rogue Mouser Dingo’s dead too. I’m 100% sure about that because I indirectly killed him. I found them in Donovan’s old apartment in Philly. Okay. So that was A LOT of info. I knew it was a bad idea to do everything I did! I never do what I’m told and it will end up with me super dead if I don’t chill. UGH.
Okay, okay! I’ll slow down a little bit and try to explain:
As you know, I left and didn’t really say why because I just wanted to take a super casual trip to Philly. It was supposed to be a purposely badly-kept secret of a holiday that I was definitely going to fess up to at some point really soon (I promise), but that shit totally blew up in my face. Like TOTALLY. Blew. Up. In. My. Face. I just planned on walking around the city to see if I liked it. That’s all. And I did. Of course I did (I’ll tell you why later, if I get to keep my job after this…). Then, I wanted to do some sight-seeing. Mouser-style. So I decided to go visit our dearly-departed Donovan’s apartment. The outside of it. But. I sensed something was off, like, immediately. A huge wave of horrible feelings washed right over me. I decided to stay nearby and watch the place to see what was up. I saw weird lights going on and off inside through the cracks in the drapes…Even in broad daylight. Uh. Huh. Yeah. The light only magic could produce. I waited more. Just in case. Then I got sick of waiting after a couple of hours and decided to throw a piece of trash from my pocket at the window and hide in the bushes. Sure enough someone popped their head out to look…and it was Mouser Bowen. I felt so confused…Didn’t she…die in that attack on the Warren? What was she doing here? I stood straight up and screamed.
“Hey! HEY! What the hell!?”
She didn’t look super happy as she withdrew her head back out of the drapes. I ran up to the door and demanded to be let in and also threatened her a whole bunch for lack of a better way to handle this random ass situation. There were some people sitting on a stoop across the way who were smoking cigarettes and laughing at what was going down. I smiled nervously and nodded my head. One of them gave me a thumbs up and took a long drag off his stoge.
I whisper-yelled into my cupped hands at the crack where the front door and wall met.
“Let me in or the Org is here in less than an hour!”
The door unlocked. I suddenly didn’t really feel like walking into this weirdo situation, but my adrenaline was going so I creaked the door open and looked around. It was totally dark. My eyes needed to adjust from the sunny day I was hanging out in just a second ago. She wasn’t even in the front room when I closed the door behind me.
“In here. The last door on right.”
I felt around in my pockets. I rolled my eyes. Of course. No trinkets to use in case I needed to fend her off. Pretty sure I’m a terrible mouser sometimes. Hardly prepared, but extremely resourceful. So it mostly works out. Anyways. I had more trash in my pocket and would fake her out if need be (it’s totally my signature move!) She was sitting on the ground next to someone laying on the floor. I saw a bright pulse of light flicker out of her chest into his. Magic again.
“You realize you shouldn’t be doing that here on the Surface, right? I mean. That’s rule number fuckin’ one.”
She didn’t look at me at all. She was staring at the ground next to the man. Unblinking.
“Dingo brought us to this place through the Pittsburg entrance after the explosion. He has told me many things since then. But he’s dying. He punctured his lung in the blast. I’m keeping him alive just in case he has more to say.”
Dingo was staring at the ceiling, totally out of it.
Man. I felt unqualified to be in this situation. I wished, for once, someone from the Org was here barking orders at her. Barking orders at me. I didn’t know what to fuckin’ say!
“Um. What did he tell you?”
“Jairo is dead. He touched a Black Star. And it consumed him.”
“What is that?”
“How did you even graduate from the academy? The Mouser Organization is too desperate in seeking new agents for their ridiculous agenda.”
After a minute she spoke again in a solemn voice, looking down.
“He contracted a vile stamp—“
“Wait…Do NOT even joke about that…”
I didn’t want to believe her. At all. I got really mad.
“Okay. You know what? LEAVE. Get the fuck out of here. I don’t know what you’re up to and why you’re still alive. You’re hanging out with Dingo. And you’re saying that Jairo got—that Jairo’s dead. If you leave right now, I won’t fight you. I know you’re unprepared for a dual right now. You won’t win.”
My heart was pounding while I dug around in my pocket filled with gum wrappers and keys. She looked slightly nervous and stood up. She ripped something hanging off her neck and threw it at Dingo.
About the same time I heard the front door slam shut, Dingo started gasping and punching at the air. He was staring at me the whole time with a look of horror on his face. I stood frozen as the gasps got louder and more panicked. Shit. Shit. Shit. He grabbed the necklace and thrusted it forward in my direction. I bent down near him nervously and he pushed his hand clasping the item at my chest. I didn’t know what to do.
“What?…WHAT! What is this? What do I do!”
He kept pushing it harder at my chest, looking at me wide-eyed and unblinking, gasping frantically. I took the necklace from him and quickly put it on but nothing happened. I tapped it. I pressed it into my chest. Nothing. Two minutes passed like this.
Dingo finally grabbed my hand hard and went straight as a board letting out one last, quiet gasp. He didn’t look at me, just the ceiling again. Then he went limp. I jumped up and ran to the other side of the room. I couldn’t hear anything but my heart throwing itself against my chest. It hurt. I ran out of the apartment and down the street, not wanting to think about anything anymore.
I heard the same guys across the street on the stoop calling and laughing at me.
“Hey girl! What’s up?”
Nope. This is not what I signed up for. I’m not going back to that apartment. You guys have to send someone to figure it out. Not my department. I fucked up. But I won’t again.