7.6 A What Now?

by Matt P.

“A what now?” Walter sputtered as they started to walk out of the room. “Dammit, I feel like all I’m doing is repeating the last thing you said but as a question; can someone please—once and for all—tell us what the hell we’re doing, and why we should be terrified?”

Morgan sighed. “As long as we’re moving.” She emphasized the word ‘moving’ with a little motion of her hands, fingers scissoring like someone walking. “We’ve spent too much time already making sure everyone is up to speed.”

“Finally.” Tania offered with an unhelpful snort as they filed out of the small medical wing and started towards the stairwell.

“There were protections on this building because there were things that needed protecting within it.” Morgan explained as they filed in to the stairwell and started down the old concrete stairs to the basement, cold storage, Morgan’s office and the old morgue. Bodies were only stored in the PD for a brief time before being transferred to the hospital, and as a result Morgan had an office in both buildings.

“Like us.” Walter said, rotating his shoulder.

Tania snorted again. “Only incidentally at best.” Walter glared at her, but she ignored it with a practiced ease that now made him wonder if it was a rich person thing, a Faerie thing, or maybe both.

“There were two levels. The outer level was the hardest to get through, because the inner level had to be weaker.” Morgan continued to explain as her heels clicked along the time floors of the basement hallway to the morgue. “The inner wards couldn’t be as powerful because of what they were containing, only powerful enough to keep out the casual and the moderately strong. So the outer wards were like castle walls.”

“Then how did they get through?” Antigone asked curiously as they walked along.

“Why are you both still coming with us?” Walter asked his daughters, having—somehow—not noticed they were with the group that was walking convoy like toward the station’s most literal cold storage.

“Because even the strongest wall has flaws, Antigone.” Morgan answered. “Exploit enough of them and the wall will come down, no matter how strong it was. And sometimes you can just go around it, although that’s not the point. Since the bad guys are unfortunately allowed to get lucky, I think that’s what happened here.”

“Because we just did freaky twin magic, and thus get to see whatever is in Morgan’s kinky morgue dungeon?” Siobhan supplied helpfully in response to the second conversation going on around the walking party.

“My what?” Morgan actually stumbled a bit as she walked in to the morgue, turning back to look at the teenager with wide eyes. “I would never have a kinky sex dungeon.” She answered with a sniff, although she caught Walter’s eye after a moment and smirked. “In the morgue.”

Now it was Walter’s turn to open his eyes a bit wider, and say nothing for a long moment as they followed Morgan along to the back of the room. “In front of my fifteen year old daughters, can we maybe cut out the sex dungeon jokes?” He also looked to Siobhan. “And in front of your father? Christ, some goddamn propriety.” He offered, although the laugh he himself had in his eyes probably dulled it.

“How did they get lucky?” Antigone asked, blushing deeply herself and trying to steer the conversation with her alleged adult father away from anything horrifying.

“All of our magic is pretty much destroyed by iron.” Morgan explained as she took them to the back of the morgue, to a maintenance closet. “And the specific wards that were put on the building had to allow in people who were brought in under the authority of the Marshal and his deputies, or else no one could come in.” She took a key out of her purse, and reached out to put it in to the lock. “And because the wards were partially put up by the Unseelie Court they were susceptible to the waning of the moon, who shines her light upon the court of night as the sun does upon the Seelie.” She turned the key and opened the door, which opened in to a long tunnel lined with torches leading to a spiraling set of stairs. “Also, we didn’t know until it was too late you brought in Tennyson.”

“Jackass.” Tania spit, miming actually spitting on to the ground as she stepped out on to the dirt floor.

“This…” Andre started, while Leah just made sputtering noises. “This hallway isn’t on the blueprints, I’ve seen them. And it doesn’t…fit in the building.” He protested.

“I told you magic was BS.” Walter offered with a shrug. “But when I call it out for being nonsense I get called a Narnian atheist, which doesn’t seem very fair.” He said with a wry glance at Siobhan.

“Why did the inner wards have to be weaker, why couldn’t they both be strong?” Antigone asked, plowing ahead with the conversation as they all plowed ahead in to the impossible hall way, and toward the serious unlikely stairs.

“The more powerful something is, the harder it is to contain.” Morgan explained as she took one of the torches.

“Why?” Siobhan asked in return, working hard to keep it from sounding like a four year old just being a brat.

“A ward itself is a thing of power. It’s like putting two power sources too close together. So the wards over powerful things need to be more tricky than strong. You also don’t want to feed the thing behind them, which can act like a plugged in television and steal power even when it’s off.” She paused as they walked down the stairs and came to a large, iron banded door. It wasn’t attached to a wall or opening anything, and it had a dent in it the size of a large dog—complete with claw marks.

“Balls.” Morgan swore.