Heroes of Mt. Pocono

Part IX - The Trial

Monday, June 12. 2005

The pack arrives in New York early in the morning. At the airport they are met by two drivers and a handful of local Garou, whom they have seen before. They enter two cars and drive towards the Glasswalkers headquarters.

At the mansion they are escorted into a conference room. In the center of the room stands a long table. The pack take their place at one end of the table where four chairs await them. At the other end stands five empty chairs and another single chair is placed at the middle of the table. A few minutes later Simon Gentle enters in the company of Simon Francis Smith, Mother Larissa, Silver Tail and Gentle’s personal assistant.

Gentle welcomes the pack to the hearing and deals with the formalities by introducing everybody and announcing that his assistant will be taking record of everything that will be said and done during the hearing and the following trial. Gentle then starts the hearing by letting all members of the pack tell the story as they witnessed it, from the moment Max and Faeleas went through the portal at the tivoli, until the pack was contacted by the Stag and afterwards flown to New York.

After having heard the stories from the pack, Gentle summons Johnathan as a witness. Even though John has been a treated as an equal member of the pack since the first day, and that he in most cases will be treated as a member of the pack, he hasn’t been accepted totally yet. This is mainly because the Totem of his old Glasswalker pack, still is connected to John and as such he cannot be connected to the Stag, to make him a full member of the pack. John tells his version of the story and explains why he reacted as he did. After this all four elders spend some time asking different question to different members of the pack, as they try to seek the answers which will guide them in the following trial. John is sent away again, and the four elders leave the room to deliberate.

When the elders return they are ready to continue with the trial. The first order of business is the Black Spiral Dancer who helped Max and Faeleas. Though they have fought against him several times, he still remains unknown. Comparing the testimony of Shaira, Max and Faeleas who have seen the Spiral in his homid form, they are able to create a drawing which resembles him very much. Upon seeing this drawing they all share the same feeling, that there is something vaguely familiar about his face. Larissa looks at the drawing and without beeing able to explain how, she also has a feeling that she knows this person or at least ought to, though she isn’t sure. She tells the pack that in light of everything that has happened it will definately make a difference if they are able to figure out who this person is. If they somehow learn his name and who he is or was, wether or not he indeed is a former Garou as he claims, then maybe they will be able to ask Gaia for help. And maybe she can give them some answers regarding his claims that he has seen his own demise, and that it shall be at the hands of the pack, by the will of Gaia herself. It will however be a very difficult task. She believes that they will need to study the old Garou legends, though she doesn’t know where to start.

As leading Philodox in the Sept, Simon Francis Smith is responsible for passing judgement on the pack. They can sense that he is troubled with this task. Being a close friend of the pack, he is finding it hard not to let his personal feelings get involved in the case. In an effort to be as honest as possible with the pack, he presents them with both his personal view and the view of the Philodox.

Looking at the situation from a personal view, he has little trouble seeing why Max and Faeleas made a deal with the Black Spiral Dancer. And he is almost convinced that he would have done the exact same thing if he had been put in the same situation, which is saying a lot as Simon also has a history with the same Black Spiral and that there is nothing he’d rather do than to cut his head off.

He cannot however ignore the fact that he is Philodox and that, even though he considers them his freinds, they still have to remember who they are and why they are here. They are all a small part of the war. A war bigger than anything else. And being part of this war also means that you accept the reality, knowing that you can die any day, and that you to some extent are expected to sacrifice yourself for Gaia if the need arises. He cannot ignore the fact that this is the second time members of this pack have made a deal with this Black Spiral Dancer more or less on his terms. On two occasions members of this pack has acted directly against the Litany, and that cannot and will not go unpunished.

The thing that Simon can’t stop thinking about, is “what if this is his plan?”. What if the Spiral want’s to postpone this fight? Maybe he knows they are stronger than him, maybe he is doing this to buy some more time. Even though he most likely is very powerful, we don’t know how powerful he really is. And they cannot escape the fact that he is a Black Spiral Dancer, an elite agent of the Wyrm, the embodiment of evil itself. And as such it is hard to believe that this being can be trusted, even if your intentions are good.

Having taken these things into consideration, it is clear that the pack have to be punished. Judgement however will not come to the pack until the moon is full. In ten days there will be a moot in New York, at this moot they will receive the judgement. If the pack should be lucky enough to find any evidence during these ten days regarding who the Black Spiral Dancer is and wether or not he is telling the truth, it might have an impact on the judgement.

Afterwards Gentle closes the hearing and the trial. Larissa, Simon Francis and Silver Tail all leave the room. Gentle asks the pack to stay for a few minutes, as he has some good news to share with them. Gentle have been contacted by some Glasswalkers from Europe. The situation in Gratz with the surveillance footage from the tivoli is under control. Any remaining evidence have been destroyed and there are no more loose ends. He invites them into the lounge for a more private and relaxed talk. After having talked and shared a drink with Gentle, the pack go their seperate ways for some time.

Corruich goes back to Mt. Pocono where he is greeted by Charlie, who obviously is surprised to see him back. Corriuch takes a tour of the territory and makes sure that everything is ok. Shaira goes down to the irish neighborhood where he hides in a dark corner of a pub, drowning his troubles in a keg of ale. Faeleas and Max goes downtown to pick up some new clothes, that will need to be dedicated to them in the morning. Afterwards they return to Pocono.

John goes down to the basement of the mansion where he takes a seat at his old desk. He pulls out his computers and starts working. He begins by checking the surveillance footage from the tivoli, in an effort to figure out what happened before and after the shooting. He hasn’t been sitting at the desk for very long before Emily enters the room. She jumps in his arms and hugs him, both surprised and happy to see him. She sits on his lap and starts looking at the footage with him.

After some time he locates the same guy he wrestled with in the tivoli after the first shooting. The guy enteres the park with a colleague some hours earlier than the pack. They walk around in the park checking several different places including the tent where the Fortune Teller lives. They both notice when the pack enter the park. Neither of these two guys are responsible for shooting the fortune teller. They did however fire their weapons afterwards creating the panic in the crowd. After having investigated the time around the shooting, John decides that the Fortune Teller most likeliy was shot by a sniper, from a distance of at least 1 kilometer.

Not finding any other important evidence John decides to keep searching. By this time the hour is already late and Emily have gone to bed. John starts going through the many hours of surveillance footage that exists from the night of the massacre in the tivoli. He is searching for anything that he can link to the two shooters or any other known henchmen he has in his records, whom they suspect is working for Gaerwyn’s twin brother. As the sun rises on the horizon John is finishing his search having found nothing. A sleepy Emily appears at his desk in her pajamas, and convinces him to go to bed.

Tuesday, June 13. 2005

Shaira is up at dawn and begins to prepare two rites. A short while later he’s joined by Max and Faeleas and he uses Rite of Cleansing on both. As he finishes the second rite, Corriuch joins them, and he assists Shaira with the Rite of Talisman Dedication on the new clothes Max and Faeleas bought yesterday. Afterwards they gather to hold the fist pack meeting at Mt. Pocono in a very long time.

Meanwhile in the city, John awakes around noon. At the bedside table Emily has left a sandwich with a note attached, telling John to meet her in the basement. John eats the sandwich as he gets dressed and goes down to join Emily. Together they continue searching through the footage from the night at the tivoli three years ago.

After a long search they find two suspicious events. During the mayhem where the Garou frenzies, there is a period of almost two minutes where the Garou cannot be seen. When he reappears he is obviously wounded. The rest of the footage shows a Garou that stumbles around, as he struggles to stand on his feet and stay awake. When he finally passes out in the middle of the park the footage shows a single person, most likely female, who crawls over to the unconscious body and drags it into a tent. John concludes that Gaerwyn must have been shot during the two minutes where he is off the camera. Searching all the footage around that period of time, it appears that none of the reamining visitors in the tivoli reacts to the shots they should have heard during that period of time. He does however see the Garou enter and afterwards exit a specific wagon in the tivoli. Taking a closer look at the wagon which apparently is a shooting gallery, he discovers that the owner of this wagon has the same name as the shooter who John neutralized during the incident last saturday. He traces the name of the shooter and learns that his father is the owner of the wagon, but he finds nothing suspicious about him or the rest of the family.

Later that afternoon John joins the rest of the pack at Mt. Pocono, where he tells them what he has discovered so far. The pack have been talking about what have happened these last few days. Shaira confronts John with the situation where John left the pack after they had rescued Max and Faeleas. He demands answers reagrding why he left, and what made him do what he did. The following discussion continues for a long time and becomes so heated that even Corriuch finds it hard to stay calm and has to intervene. After a discussion that lasts most of the day, John and Shaira comes to a mutual understanding. Besides agreeing that that some things where handled wrongly by all of them, they find that several misunderstandings occured between different members of the pack. Now there is nothing left to do, other than to learn from this experience and make sure it will not happen again.

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