034. Girl Talk

We're Getting Mutants in the MCU - The Loop


A new crisis forces the motley to return to Cross' Shadow.

"Maybe I'll look back at games I've run and shudder…."

The motley spends the evening at the Sapphire Eye, calling Kyoko at the Spark to try to communicate what exactly happened to them. She wants Braum to come home as soon as he can, as she's "not used to sleeping alone". Waiting for the Countess Weyer to return, Sophia quashes Braum's suggestion of playing a concert for the freehold, telling him that she's not interested in gaining respect in this freehold. "I left once before, and now I remember why I did." And although Sophia does her best to stay on Count Spencer's good side, Patches and Braum still manage to embarrass her at dinner. Dr. Sayley checks on Braum's wound, then takes him to the Space Needle, convinced that it's a "horrible place". When Braum points out how much Glamour there may be at a magnificent place like that, Dr. Sayley points out various mortals' medical conditions, peering into their futures and noting how much pain they will one day endure.

The next day, the motley meet the Countess Weyer, a fast-talking, bright-eyed, energetic sidhe with tattoos and mussed hair. She's a total whirlwind of energy, telling them that she's just come back from an EDM festival in Prague, and tries to gift a marionette to the motley (but ends up presenting it to Reggie instead). She is so excited to see Sophia again, and though she understands that they would like to return to the Spark soon, she insists on taking them to see the Chihuly Garden and Glass (a art installation in Seattle). At this moment, Reggie enters with some disturbing news: the Spark has been taken into House Eiluned control!

While the Countess Weyer is excited by this political intrigue, the motley are naturally shocked by the development: how could this have happened in so short a time? On whose authority are they able to seize a commoner muse? All Reggie is able to tell them is that it seems some House Eiluned sidhe at the Spark at that moment. Sophia and Weyer try to puzzle the situation out: taking over a commoner muse is incredibly rare and is essentially a declaration of war, and only Duchess Eloyse would have the authority to "give" the Spark over to another's control. Sophia tries to reach the Duchess Eloyse, but is unable to get through. Kyoko, Zistor, and Incisor all call the motley simultaneously, trying to figure out what to do. Sophia asks Incisor to keep Claude from attacking any of the intruders, while Braum and Patches tell Kyoko and Zistor to stay put and keep their eyes open until they are able to return.

Countess Weyer sends Reggie away and offers to "read a few chapters ahead": she scrys through the mirror in her office right into the Exhaust, showing two sidhe in suits taking stock of the freehold while Incisor drags Claude away into the back offices. Patches is able to tell that the two Kithain are carrying ceremonial rapiers, but don't seem to be warriors with combat training. She figures that the sooner they can get back, the sooner they can kick them out and re-establish control over the freehold.

The Countess Weyer asks Sophia to perform a concert at the Foufounes Electriques in Montreal so that she'll have an excuse to accompany them there. At that moment, a tall Selkie with side-swept bangs enters: Paulie is her private Wayfarer, it would seem, and asks the motley for their most vivid memories of Montreal to get them there. Sophia describes her first night in the city in a youth hostel, having left home; Patches smiles as she reminisces about her first view of the city from the air; and Braum definitely states that his most vivid memory is sitting with Kay on the Mount Royal lookout at night.

A single moment later, Countess Weyer, Paulie, Doctor Sayley and the motley find themselves beneath the cross on Mount Royal… but where is Braum? Sophia and Patches begin to grow very concerned as Paulie tells them that no one's ever simply disappeared before… it's possible that the troll could have ended up anywhere. As they make their way to a café to meet up with Claude, Countess Weyer boosts Sophia's confidence by telling her that though she may have knighted her for her musical talents, she truly believes that the sidhe is destined for greatness, and has the potential to become a true kingmaker.

At the café, they are reunited with Claude, who sheds a single tear when he sees Sophia and Patches. The Countess asks Claude how his wife, Halleah, has been doing; Sophia and Patches are taken aback as the boggan tells her a simple "fine" as he looks away; they'd certainly never known Claude to have spoken of a marriage! Sophia and Patches are torn: do they head off to search for Braum, or stay at the Spark and try to reclaim it? Countess Weyer offers to hunt for the Red Branch knight with Paulie in tow, and creates a wisp to guide her to him. They part ways, anxious about Braum's safety.

Inside a room at the Four Seasons Hotel, Braum opens his eyes to discover himself face-to-face with Fala. She immediately points a chimerical arquebus at him, demanding to know why he is there. Braum is deliberate, knowing how much danger he is in: appearing here was a total fluke, an accident of the Dreaming, and he asks to leave so that they can each go their separate ways. Fala calls someone on her phone, telling them that the "takeover" is progressing well, and that "your will be done by my hands". She cautions Braum that she has a new scroll of orders to read, and that she doesn't want them to have to be enemies. Braum, knowing his injuries are already severe but unwilling to prove himself a coward, firmly declares that her actions in Cross' Shadow do, in fact, make them enemies already. A fight breaks out in the hotel room: Braum manages to dodge Fala's arquebus blast as he swings wildly at her. He is unable to knock her down as she springs to her feet with a chimerical dagger. Braum tries to defend himself against the onslaught but finds his magic failing him: he instead leaps out the window, using his perilous action as a bunk to catch himself on the wind. The wind transports himself safely to the roof of the building across the street, but Fala quickly hopscotches over to catch him. Defiant until the very last, Braum roars at Fala: "You cannot kill me!" as the eshu brings a fireball down onto his head, and all goes dark.

As the Countess Weyer and Paulie set off in search of a Kithain that no longer exists in the Dreaming, and Sophia, Patches, Claude, and Doctor Sayley make their way back to the Spark, a middle-aged man wakes up in a motel room in the Kingdom of Willows….

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