Index was once a small and close-knit community, but the town located on the western side of Washington state has grown in recent years beyond anyone's expectations. It is the ideal place for those who work in Seattle but can't afford the city's high real estate prices, and for others the natural beauty attracts them to the town. And Index truly is a beautiful place - surrounded by thick evergreen trees, tall mountains and glistening rivers and lakes. While weather is typically rainy with overcast skies even this does nothing to take away from the beauty of the town, and it is only highlighted further when the heavy snow graces the town and caps the mountains in winter. To many, Index would seem like a paradise. And yet lurking beneath this visual beauty there is more to this town than anyone might ever imagine...

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 [Private] It Can Always Get Worse

[Private] It Can Always Get Worse

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[Private] It Can Always Get Worse

Lilith Alysbury | Wolf; Warlord/Battlelord

Posted on Tue May 09, 2017 1:56 pm

Thread Details
The Cliffs ⋅ Warm but Cloudy ⋅ Late Afternoon at the end of the post

My plan for when I returned to Index had been so simple. Corner Arden. Get wrecked for the very last time at the Skatepark and then go pay my Priest a visit. Expecting him to be ready right away to deal with a wolf corpse was a tall order, but I hadn’t thought beyond those three activities. When stuck in the tidal wave of supernatural canines it dawned on me that I had more to do than just my selfish goodbyes. I wasn’t actually bidding anyone farewell because any of those I would bother to tell, would then try to drill me for information.

I’d taken Kidd on a training session. The boy had looked like he was about to explode with joy, since I’d orginally told him that he was too young. He was, but the Supremacy wouldn’t care about his age when they murdered him. I wasn’t going to leave him defenceless. He’d spent the whole two hours with this cautious look in his eyes.

I told him the truth Luxx. Nothing but the truth.

Lucky for some. To say what was real and have it not instantly assumed to be a fabrication. In some ways I was happy that Kidd had been the one who had intersected Onyx on his return to Index. In others it made me feel ill. Kidd was not a wolf I would say was completely my friend. That fact didn’t nessesarily bother me but it didn’t really bode well for me and my intentions to join the pack. The teenage wolf knew more about my true disposition than most being that he had been my secretary pretty much for the length of the Alpha’s holiday. He also wouldn’t tell me a thing about what they had spoke about. Beliving that to be private matter. That I didn’t need to know since I wasn’t joining the pack. He had a point and I hadn’t corrected him. There was a level of shame knowing that I was probably going to be turned away. A shame that I was only intending on having two wolves know about. Nebula and Onyx himself, since he of course would be the one to tell me to get lost.

Had some time to think it through? Who gives a fuck if they will be divided. Once Onyx is dead and you’re the only Alpha they’ll have to choose you or face Lonehood and no wolf wants that Luxxie. Now, come back to bed.

Orion had no idea that I’d spent an evening in his trailer for the last time. He’d tried to convince me to move in since it was now common knowledge that I was no longer living with the Alpha. Heard tones of stories about how that had come to pass. Some of my favorites were that Orion had a bigger dick. That some wolf named Saturn had taken my place as Onyx’s favorite play mate due to me refusing to partake in a threesome with Olympia. The biggest gem of the bunch was that I was pregnant, that was why I walked around in a baggy black hooded coat over Onyx’s leather jacket a lot of the time. When really it was because when I caught sight of myself in mirrors I saw Portia’s ragged face looking back at me, even though I didn’t look that bad yet. I could see the calling cards. I was running out of time. Gave myself about a week before I would have to wear it permanently to hide my bodies degradation. Was running on borrowed time from the short reprieve I’d had while on the road with Apollo’s Mom. Guess hanging with another junkie had divided the cravings or something. Who the fuck knew?

Orion had gone on and on about me devouring Onyx’s heart and taking the pack from him. I didn’t know where he’d gotten the idea that it was a thing still. Whether he’d just assumed. Whether Vilks had put him up to it. Or whether I had planted that seed back into his mind while drunk one night. Had no idea. Didn’t really matter because it felt like I was responsible regardless. I hadn’t even set him straight either. While in the enclased space of his trailer. Listening to heavy metal. Dancing naked. It had sounded…tempting. Expected. The natural progression of things. What I should want to do. What was going to happen. Hadn’t decided whether Orion was a bad influence on me or that me being a bad influence on him had transformed him into my own special form of kryptonite. He brought out the worst in me. Upon returning to my secret lodgings and seeing that Sequoia canteen resting on my pillow, sense had been knocked back into me. What was the point of taking Alpha when it would just condemn me? Not to mention, could I even do it? Wasn’t doubting my ability to take Onyx in a fight, not a fair one of course, but nothing abput this would be fair. There was another barrier.

Didn’t expect to see you here after all that’s happened. Guess you can’t use the bullshit excuse you have training sessions to run anymore huh?

Ozra had almost had a litter when I’d turned up to work for the first time. First and last time. I’d flitted about like a good little barmaid. Shocking even him about how many empty flagons I could balance on a tray. How diligent I kept glasses full. I had intended on working another full day at One Shot but that had been scratched off my schedule when I’d arrived to Kidd who looked as if he hadn’t slept a wink. A box which reminded me of a safe sat on the back stoop of One Shot, along with the tired wirey frame of the young pup.

Something terrible happened last night.

I’d smugley thought that I could handle whatever he was about to tell me. I was a Lone Wolf surrounded in wolves that hated or feared me but I wanted to be with them. I was a drunk and a Vampire blood addict who was killing herself slowly. I was set to protect an Alpha that despised me, who I dreamed about and weirdly tried to mimic. I fought a silent war against a pack who brought fourth memories I’d tried to shave from my mind. I’d felt guilt strong enough I had begun to hate myself before finding the strength to remember who I was. I worked for the Supremacy and at the same time wanted nothing more than their total destruction. Thought that I’d seen the worst, felt the worst that this place had to offer. Until he had uttered those words.

Vega is dead.

It wasn’t just that. She had been murdered. A headless corpse found in the forest just outside of Apollo and Matrix’s home. I hadn’t even gotten the chance to speak with her. To beg her forgiveness. Her opinion mattered, not the rest of her pack. That had been taken from me. While that loss was profound, what was deeper was the fact she was gone. Vega was beautiful. Aside from Sona she was the one Spiritual Leader I had met that had seemed to see me before we had connected via the Ancestors. I remembered clearly the first time I had seen her. At first when I had approached the Sequioa I had just been a stray that had wandered into bonfire celebrations and camp fire discussions. One night, expecting there just to be the usual crowd. Apollo, Matrix, Nova, Nebula….there had been her. She had sat apart from the others. Half bathed in fire light, half concealed in shadow. Her eyes had smiled even though her lips hadn’t. I had been drawn to her in an instant.

Don’t touch the box, it burns.

Kidd had shown me his hands. My blank eyes had stared not really seeing the silver scars that he would have forever now. Not seeing the tears that still stained his cheeks. I wanted to cry. I really did. An emptiness had opened up in my insides. My world had gotten a whole lot smaller. Kidd begged me to say something, to do something but I had just stood there. Hands limply at my sides. Staring off into nothing. He’d grabbed me to shake my frail body, even though it physically pained him to do so but I couldn’t react. I don’t know how long I had stood there. Even after he had given up and left. What roused me was the sound of keys. Ozra was opening the bar. Taking off Onyx’s leather jacket I bundled it around the silver plated box and briskly carried it down the alleyway.

Taking it to the forest to open had been my first thought. The thing was clearly addressed me. My name carved into the top panel. There was only one person I believed would send me a silver gift. Getting it open without burning myself had been a mission. I suspected they wanted me to scar myself further. More physical reminders of my situation. I’d been expecting a head. The box was just that size, that shape but when I’d finally gotten it open… wasn’t red hair I saw, but black. I sat here, with Vega’s head in my lap, quietly rocking back and fourth. My eyes glowed. I knew who this was from, what it represented. X wouldn’t have killed her himself. He didn’t even use the enslaved to do his dirty work, he had fanged lackies for that and…me. Wolf jaws had severed her head, torn it raggedly from her shoulders. I didn’t hold any ill will towards the collared wolf who had obviously done this. Their handler and X…they were both going to die. I was going to hunt them both down. They expected me to see Sona’s fate in Vega and I did but it didn’t fill me with the fear they probably wanted it to. I felt nothing but rage.

The fury had burnt brilliantly for hours. Well into the afternoon. I knew how this was going to look. They would think I had done it. If I was smart I would bury the evidence and wash myself clean in the river so no-one knew what I’d seen. What I’d held. I was glad I had gone into part of the forest I knew only a few Pacific wolves knew how to get to. A pathway off the very one that lead up to the Scrying Bowl. The Sequioa would be searching. I’d dug a hole. Don’t know when but it was there. Instead of doing what a part of me wanted to, I called Kidd’s phone. When he’d answered I had asked for one thing. Apollo’s number. It was suicidal. I was mad. Vega didn’t deserve what had happened to her. Maybe it was because I was close to the Scrying Bowl but I felt like she was with me and she didn’t belong here.

Follow the setting sun, keep it straight in front of you. To the foot of the cliffs. Find the rock shaped like an obelisk along the base. Take seven paces along the rock face, you’ll find a narrow path. Push through and up, it will seem like you’ve lost your way. It’s overgrown, steep and precarious but stop, feel, and you’ll know which way to go. When the pathway opens up, a cliff to one side, stone to the other, take a sharp right onto another track. This one I made myself. It will take you back down. There you will find me. I’m with Vega.
4:53 PM

Soon as I’d hit send I felt the tears begin to fall. Creeping down my cheeks.

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Paul Thacker

Re: [Private] It Can Always Get Worse

Paul Thacker | Wolf; Warlord/Battlelord

Posted on Thu May 11, 2017 12:43 am

I had never felt this kind of rage toward one of my own kind. Fangs? Absolutely, easily. But it was a nonspecific rage. It was an anger at the situation, but this - it was something I never wanted to have to deal with. For the first time I wanted to escape rather than to fight. I wanted to figure on a way to shut her out of everything. Not even literally but figuratively too. Any time I thought I had, that's when she would be shoved in my face. Overhearing a conversation, gossip about her and the Alpha, seeing her at the mall, even something like seeing a wild strawberry in the forest. That was almost the worst, because that was the kind of thing that should be reserved for happy memories of a girlfriend. Not for an enemy who set your blood on fire. A text was the last thing I'd expected. The words set my brain and on my chest on fire. I felt like reaching for anything, even Matrix's bowl he thought he had hidden from me so well. Anything to drown it. Because rage like that wasn't me. But it was a cut deep enough to make me lash out like an injured animal.

I didn't show it to anyone. Not even Matrix, who would likely confirm the number for me, but I went with a feeling in my gut. Who else would have that kind of twisted delusion that she was with Vega? That even with Vega gone, she would have the nerve to think she was worth time time of Vega's spirit. Another thing tainted, as the only thing that could put a smile on my face was the reminder that she would still be there in a way. Something I hadn't shared with anyone - the fact that I'd almost felt this coming. The vision of her having that same vitality anywhere but home could never be made real for me. But the way it happened was the serrated knife in and out of my gut, the guilt of how or why I couldn't protect her. It was an answer, it was why my eyes never turned white. An answer that wasn't worth the question.

Any time I knew of people who had lost their parents, I attempted to think of what it would feel like. The best answer I got was feeling like there was no floor, no foundation beneath you. This made me realize Vega was my mother, because that's exactly how I felt. A road that had been so plain in front of me had completely disappeared. It had taken me some time, but day two... or was it three? The house was filled with broken objects and I finally found a moment alone when tears flowed and the sounds that came from me were completely inhuman. Not like you hear on TV, whiny words and little sobs. Screams? No, uglier. Half word half... something.

Getting the text made me angry, and hesitantly I admitted to myself it felt like a violation. I could almost see the scene in her head, the person she grew close to while fucking over the people. The person she regrets fucking over. That didn't give her an invite to the funeral. To me she didn't deserve one tear. If you're going to set a house on fire, don't cry when the people in it burn too. I didn't want to give her the time or attention. I remember my sister kept saying something, Don't feed the trolls. But she wasn't there to talk me out of it. Neither was Matrix. I wanted to protect mine, even the dead, and so I had to see with my own eyes just what in creation she was talking about.

Boots, jeans, long sleeve shirt. One that I didn't give two shits about because I knew she wouldn't use her DeLorean abilities for a teeshirt and I didn't want her doing me any favors with it anyway. I felt the sun on my back, attempting to make its presence known though a break in the clouds but it was nothing akin to the sometimes oppressive rays I'd felt in southern California. I kept pulling my phone up, another memory of my sister. Constantly returning to the directions on the back of a box of frozen pizza. How hard was it to remember? But that's what I'd done with the text. I'd attempted to push it from my mind, only retrieving the bits of it that were required. Seven steps here, a path there, but once I'd gotten to a certain point I didn't need anymore directions. To an extent I felt like I was trespassing. Like an atheist in a southern Baptist church. Her figure was obvious and I was reminded of those fucking black things people saw in sleep paralysis. At least until a gust of wind blew the hood and what was left of her face was revealed. That kind of gaunt look of death didn't happen with a few days of grief. For a split second, I'd thought she was Belinda.

This was the scene out of a dream, the wind still whipping around that grotesque grim reaper shit she was wearing, branches with the beginnings of spring life bouncing nervously. I couldn't speak. I stood there, brows furrowed but my expression wasn't - I wouldn't call it burning. It wasn't concerned. My lips were almost as tight as my chest felt. The skin under her eyes raw, perhaps more than mine but probably because there looked to be only a membrane of skin to act as a barrier. I thought of the implications of this place, knowing it was the closest I could be to Vega without actually going home. Thank you. The last words I'd expected to fall from my lips, and probably the last words she'd expected to hear from mine, even if they were barely a whisper. I wouldn't have known this place, and wouldn't have felt right asking yet. Even if I wasn't ready.

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Re: [Private] It Can Always Get Worse

Lilith Alysbury | Wolf; Warlord/Battlelord

Posted on Thu May 11, 2017 1:45 am

Could smell him before he got close. All my senses were heightened. While my body began to die with me still in it. Liked to think it was because my soul was just that strong but if I was honest with myself it was because of the Fanger blood. My hearing was better than the average wolf anyway being of a Warlord rank but it was now amplified. Excellent taste buds weren’t worth a damn when they were only used to detect other flavors in blood that I shouldn’t know existed but smell. God smell. Apollo had always smelt good. Good being the shittiest word imaginable to describe it. Now Onyx smelt fucking amazing but that was largely due to his white eyes. The fact I barred myself from really drawing in that particular scent at all. Take away Apollo’s rank which forced his natural smell to filter through that of victory, power and determination and you still had sunlight. No clouds to indicate incoming rain. Just the scent of a forest that I hated. That I missed.

I should be afraid. What I’d done was fucking stupid. I knew he would think I had done this. In a way I had. I might not have been the jaws to rip her apart but I knew I was to blame. Just that thought gave me heart palpitations because I knew what they would all say to me thinking that way. Oh Luxxie don’t flatter yourself. They didn’t see what I was beginning to see. What had taken over my thoughts to stop the tears constantly rolling down my face. I’d thought it before. Many times before but now it was so glaringly obvious I couldn’t deny it. Every single person I loved died. Such a horrific thing to realise. My brother Finn. My Grandmother. Dominion and now Vega. All fucking dead. All with one thing in common. “You die if I love you.” Whispering the words I instinctively wrapped the ends of my long cloaked jacket around Vegas head. “I’m so fucking sorry. I won’t do it anymore.” Was it too late? Could I take back what I felt? Oh fuck…Sona.

If I’d been wise I would have been ready for an attack. He’d wanted to maul me in that Mall. I’d wanted him to. Wanted so badly to not have to look at him that I would have ripped shreds off him so I didn’t have to. No energy for preparedness. No desire either. I just sat there as he approached staring vacantly ahead like I had been doing for the better part of an hour. What happened I didn’t expect but I also didn’t react to it for the longest time. My brain very slowly trying to work out what he would be thankful for. When I realized he couldn’t see what I held in my lap. Was this my chance to try and explain what I was about to show him? Did it matter? The best way to keep him away from me was to keep fuelling that rage. This though…this was grounds for execution. If I had been a member of the pack right now I would have leaned back and showed him where my heart was. The one he didn’t think existed. I’d welcome death since it wasn’t going to happen the way it was meant to anyway. Here or in the church. It didn’t matter anymore.

“I made a promise to Portia. That I would tell you the truth about what happened.” I was going to try and make this as simple as possible. Wasn’t going to try and explain why I’d ended up talking to his drug fucked Mom in the first place. Why a promise to her trumped all of those that I might have made in the past to so many others. “I did what I did because I didn’t know what I had.” Every part of me was in agony having to say this out loud. Yet my voice was monotone. Face expressionless. “My plan was the same as always. Get to know the Warlords. Find a way in. If it felt right then it was time to murder the Alpha.” Rinse and repeat. What he didn’t know. What none of them knew is that there had only ever been two battles against Alphas themselves. One I had been forced into, he had attacked me not the other way around. I had held my own but in the end had been run out of town. The second and final had been with the Sequoia. “You’re right, I lie to myself just like I lie to everyone else.” Had known that was true. Just hadn’t wanted to admit it to myself or anyone else. “When I saw you I realised I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do that to you. Couldn’t turn you into my Spiritual Leader.” Taking away his free will.

Dominion had heard a rumor. That he had pursued. That in leiu of a Spiritual Leader, with no potentials, the Ancestors would choose the strongest female wolf within a pack and change her eyes. He had tried to make me his, like I had tried to make Apollo mine. “I stopped but the damage had already been done.” I finally looked at him, really staring, burrowing my gaze into his. “I’m a hurricane. Everything I love turns to rubble.” With that I moved the cloak from around Vegas head.

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Paul Thacker

Re: [Private] It Can Always Get Worse

Paul Thacker | Wolf; Warlord/Battlelord

Posted on Tue May 16, 2017 12:46 pm

Why hadn’t I noticed it before? That faint smell of death. A nearby fang? That was one thing I had to give Luxx - between the two of us, unless we came across an ancient I didn’t see us having any problems. But this smell wasn’t quite like that. It was familiar. Was this something to do with why she was here? The words she began to say might have been close to what I wanted to hear at another time. Just not now. I wasn’t here to fight with her over our past. I wanted this to be solely about Vega. But if I couldn’t expect her to be honest, I couldn’t expect her to be a mind-reader, either. If I expected a lot of you, that meant I held you in high esteem. But that fragment of a phrase didn’t get past me, I didn’t know what I had. I tried, but I couldn’t speak. Would it have been too much, for us to just sit here, both searching for a way to feel Vega? What was it about her that made it so easy for Vega to forgive her?

How thoughtful. Flat, no emotion behind it. Just words, until the possibility of something registered. The only way I could register someone doing the things she did, lining up with the person I remembered. I slowly took a seat beside her, left knee up, my hand resting on it, right leg straight out. Luxx, did someone make you do it? I mean, shit, is someone forcing you? It sounded stupid, selfish was selfish and there were those who had that craving for the white eyes and had let it get under their skin. None worth it, though. I’d seen one try and fail when I was a kid. Maybe I just wanted to believe she didn’t have the personality to be that way.

God, was I dumber than a box of rocks? The words sunk much later than they should have. Spiritual leader? Seriously, Luxx, what kind of crack are you smoking? At this point, I couldn’t fathom a reason for her to lie, unless it was just compulsion. What would she have to gain from it at this point? What did she want from me right now? I hated it, despised it, that I couldn’t just take her words, I had to stop and try an’ search for whatever pursuit was behind them. Sometimes you mourned the loss of people that were still walkin’ around right beside you. I wanted to believe her, god, not because of the actual words she’d said. Fuck, if they weren’t true she needed an oscar. Maybe she believed it and fuck, that’s what mattered. I went to speak, even though there were no words I’d prepared.

But I jumped up, stepping back like a girl seeing a rat. I looked away and even then shielded my eyes, wishing I could completely burn that image away. How in the everloving- I turned away, both hands covering my face. I’d seen disemboweled vampires, I’d seen corpses dead for days. I’d seen waterlogged bodies with skin sloughing from the bones. None of it did anything to me like this. I turned around, eyes looking up at the sky, the closest I could come to facing her, them. Talk. Now.

My mind was running on overtime, trying to figure out her game. Was there one? Why would she show me this? My earlier thought swelled up in my brain. It was true, wasn’t it? She was under someone’s thumb. Who did this to you? Who is doing this to you?

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Re: [Private] It Can Always Get Worse

Lilith Alysbury | Wolf; Warlord/Battlelord

Posted on Tue May 16, 2017 10:24 pm

No. Everything about this was wrong. What I wanted. What I had expected wasn’t happening. It was all so terribly wrong. Actually having him listen or believe me hadn’t been thoughts that had crossed my mind. Always a way to get around a promise. Loopholes. Little cracks that could be taken advantage of. All Portia had made me agree to was to telling him the truth. So I gave him bare bones details of what had happened and why. Hadn’t even had to give him any semblance of why. That had been a gift. A fucking apology that wasn’t actually saying the words I’m sorry. There was no fine print stating that Apollo had to listen to what I was saying nor take it as truth. Fuck. If only I could find a way to bottle whatever I had opened. Pop that cork whenever I really needed someone to listen to me and believe me. This had so not been one of those times. However I was thinking in a way that suggested that I had a future. That whatever relationships I had been trying to maintain, to destroy or to build for different reasons would matter. Nothing really mattered anymore aside from leaving them all in the best state possible. If that was indeed possible for someone like me. The ultimate in my expression of a need for forgiveness, for redemption. Actions did speak louder than words, unless of course the words weren’t actually just me scrolling through a thesaurus’ worth of ways to just say I had regret. When I knew given the chance for a do-over I’d do it all again the very same way.

Fuelling the anger he had towards me benefited me but what did Apollo want from me that I could actually give him? I could easily find answers to all his questions that would just flick a rage switch. They wouldn’t be lies nor did I feel would they be the whole truth. I really did hate this. Second guessing myself all the fucking time. Before that had led to guilt so powerful I had considered just cutting my own throat. Really sawing the shit out of it with silver. The bundle of claw marks on my chest began to ache with the very turmoil bouncing around in my head. Making me wanted to scratch the living hell out of the never healing injury. “The one place I was ever welcome turned into my worst nightmare. If I had stayed with the Dominion so many woman would have lost their lives and the Ancestors agreed with me. They sent me away. I just believe that the only way I’ll have a family is if I’m the Alpha of it. So no, no one forced me to.” Why in the fuck would he ask that in the first place?

“What?” To ask these questions. Made it sound as if he cared about my situation. Wanted to do what I did and explain away my actions with outside influences. Poor little Luxxie. My teeth clenched. Was the same shit just a different location. The Sequoia had this disgusting way of making me feel shit about myself. Actually no, it wasn’t them. It was just him. Just Apollo. Once upon a time that hadn’t been unwelcomed. To look at someone and want to be a better person. Onyx had done the same thing. Oh…fuck….fuck fuck fuck. Don’t think about it…..don’t think about it. This is wrong. All kinds of wrong.

“Trying to throw me a pity party? I’m not rsvping.” Find that anger. Fury might have been a way to conceal myself but it was also the best for Apollo. He didn’t need to get mixed up in this. Neither did Onyx. I had made a mistake trying to reveal a secret in order to garner his trust. This was all my burden to carry. My own mess. All I could find was words. There was no emotion left in me. Everything had been drained out. Stroking Vega’s hair I begged her to send me one last primal gift. The winds carried nothing to me. The Ancestors not hearing me. Deaf to my pleas. “Why does it matter?” Finally managing to conjure a sneer into my voice I placed the head onto the grass in front of me. Concerned that I might crack her skull. “I don’t need your fucking help. I don’t need you to feel sorry for me. Take your shit and shove it Apollo.” It was then that the breeze did bring something. To my nose.

Tea tree, a smell that had hung around my Grandmother. The fresh clean smell of citrus. “Do you smell that?” Of course he must. Apollo’s nose was better than mine. He had proven that over and over again. It wasn’t coming from the disembodied head. Scrambling to my feet my eyes widened, tilting my head back to try and catch where it was coming from. Everything else paled in comparison to smelling Vega. “She’s here.” Smiling brightly I breathed in deeply suddenly having a brilliant idea. “I think she wants to speak. We can talk to her you know. Onyx brought me up here to use the Pacific Scrying bowl. It’s fine.” Load of bullshit right there. Was pretty sure that had been a one-time deal. “I know all the rituals for connecting to the Ancestors and we have her blood.” Felt a bit wrong using the head as a tool but nothing about any of this was right. “I’m doing it if you want to come or not.”

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