The session begins with an introduction:
Well…where do I start? Let’s see…
I suppose, in Kansas, you always have to start with the wind, cuttin’ across the plains like a knife, cold as a witch’s tit, with nothing to stop it from the Rockies to the Mississippi.
Except this guy…frozen in time…dressed nice, running for his life through a field of winter wheat, suspended mid-stride, flurries of snow drifting in the wind. He’s got the look of a man who’s about to die and knows it.
The same guy sits in a smoky lounge across a poker table from this guy….
There’s a game on, but it’s not going well for our guy, his chips are down and the suit across the table is starting to look smug as he lays down his hand, fanning it with such an artful grace the devil ‘imself would be jealous.
“Full House,” says the suit.
Our guy has a sheen of nervous…no…terrified sweat as he folds his cards.
“Wait,” he says, as the suit gets up to leave. “A trade….”
“I don’t barter, kid,” replies the suit.
Our guy puts a small box on the table, a simple cedar thing, about the size of a cigar box, and slides it across. The suit settles back into his seat, raising an eyebrow and opens it. His face is bathed in a pale green light, shining from the box in the dim room. He gently closes the box, almost reverently.
“You know,” he says, “if you do this, you won’t remember it. Any of it.”
“Explain to me, sir, how that will help me when I’m dead.”
“Yes…well…. For this, I think I can provide you some assistance out of your…predicament….”
He stands, picks up the box, and steps behind the curtain and is gone.
Our guy sits uncomfortably for a moment, waiting for something to happen, and just when he’s about to speak, he feels a burst of that damned wind on his face, and the real world pulling him out of the Nevernever….
And then our guy…well…he explodes….
Most of the party is on the road a short distance away form the explosion, Seri having led Onesimus and Jacob on a chase ending at Ahiga and Chinese Ed. After recovering from being knocked down by the explosion, and after some brief attempts at communicating with each other and failing, the entire group moves to the site of the explosion.
They find a wide, smoking crater, and laying in the center is Holden, clothes tattered and smoldering, but apparently completely unharmed save for unconsciousness. At the edge of the crater are two natives, their bodies torn and pulped by proximity to the explosion. Standing there also is a teenage boy, his ears bleeding a bit, obviously in shock from being too close to the explosion. Within moments, William and Olivia arrive from the farmhouse, visibly relieved that the teenage boy “Junior” is well. Holden regains consciousness, but has no memory of where he is or why he’s in a smoking crater.
William points out silhouettes on the horizon, rifles, feathers, and while the party discusses taking shelter at the farm, Seri mutters some gibberish and transforms into a hawk, soaring into the air in the direction of the riders.