Athens

Free At Last

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 (Christmas Eve) (continued)

John is woken up by a call from someone who hits buttons and then hangs up. He calls back and gets the hospital. He asks to be connected to Alex Henricksen’s room and a perky woman answers, chides him, and hangs up. He calls back again but nobody answers and he falls back asleep waiting for a pick-up. He wakes up at nightfall with his phone stuck to his face and heads to the diner. Jack tries the hospital but they won’t say if Alexandros is still there, so he calls Strauss who says the cops say he’s still in his room. The Fates provide a bag to take to him and meaningfully tap the candy cane taped to it. Jack ponders Santa while John references Narnia.

Strauss is waiting for them at the hospital with ids that will give us access to the room and walks us up. Alexandros is there and in a foul mood. He indicates he called John, who is apologetic about falling asleep. He throws the candy cane on the bag across the room and writes “Perky girls in candy cane dresses. Rebecca. Wanted a deal. Wants me to open a door for her. She was cagey, said it was a weird door.” He told her to fuck herself because she wouldn’t tell him where the door went. She indicated she could get the manacles off just by touching them. He indicates that the storage unit key opens a box, he takes it and makes a rubbing which reveals a series of numbers and letters. He swore an oath to not say another word until someone gets the manacles off.

He shoos us out and we head to the storage unit. It is too big on the inside and has weird old bulb faerie lights. A big glow in the back is from a small office made of boxes with a mummified body on the rug. His wallet identifies him as Paul Wharmby, an estate lawyer, and the box is under him. His credit cards and license are up to date. Jack thinks he was mummified pre-mortem. Jamie puts the numbers into the puzzle box and a hologram of Abacus appears, full-sized and opaque. It seems surprised to see Jamie and it doesn’t acknowledge the others until she touches them. He tells them he is a catalog of things in the storage unit and his memories are up to date until two weeks ago. Many of the items are promised to people at market, including Carmello, who gets a big ass anvil and hammer. Jamie has him make a list so they can deliver them tomorrow, the last day of the market.

John phases through the door and brings the car around to move the body. Harvey says Abacus fed bodies to Frank. Noting the weather is getting vile, Jack retrieves a pimpin’ fur coat. They roll up the lawyer in the rug and take it to Frank, who eats it merrily. They hit Target before midnight. Jack buys candy and a bunch of random crap. John buys duct tape, garbage bags, plastic tarps, and a battery-power vacuum. He tells the cashier, “Bitch had it coming.”

Wednesday, December 25, 2013 (Christmas Day)

The motley goes back to the market and heads to the bar to put out word that they are looking for Carmello and have Abacus’ trade goods which we are looking to get to their buyers. Jamie goes window shopping periodically and John accompanies her to cock-block ill-advised purchases. A huge guy with impressive eyebrows shows up and introduces himself as Carmello. He agrees to try and remove the manacles if he can keep them.

Outside, there is now a full-fledged blizzard. Carmello turns out to have a horse rig that cloaks as a taco truck. Jack calls Strauss to ask him to bring Alexandros to the storage unit. Jamie tells Harvey to give Carmello his anvil and hammer. He chucks his old anvil out the back of his truck. Jack tries to get everyone to play Magic while they wait. Carmello cracks out hit chocolate. Strauss shows up in a squad car with Alexandros and the truck is diminished when he enters it. Carmello stares at them for a long while, then tests his tools against them. He says he needs to heat them and Alexandros warns he may kill someone.

Jack summons Sands to put him out and they play Magic while they wait. Jack puts a Santa hat on Sands when he arrives and he drugs Alexandros to Carmello can get to work. It takes hours to get one of the manacles off and a lot of skin comes with it. The second one takes longer but with less damage. When it is over, Carmello leaves his truck (and its four flat tires) to accompany them back to the motel. Strauss takes Sands and the unconscious Alexandros and everyone else goes with John. Jack blesses Strauss, which is the only thing which prevents him from crashing in the drive back. On arrival, they find that Sorrow has a massive Christmas party going.

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