Friday, December 20, 2013
Jamie is woken by an odd call from Madame Serena and then discovers that she is covered dried blood and locked in a convent cell with no memory of what happened the night before. John is on the floor of Jack’s room. His gun is on him and has been fired recently. His clothes are covered in blood. Jack and Jake are in the bed. Jake has a stab wound. Checking text messages and voice mail, they determine that Elliott wanted a meeting and Abacus told them to attend. Jake is difficult to keep conscious, but Jack keeps poking his wound until he is able to relate that Abacus is dead and says it wasn’t Alice (directly) or Elliott who killed him.
Traveler shows up with a newspaper reporting an explosion at the ice cream parlor with Abacus and several nuns listed among the dead. It relates that a van full of armed men pulled up, there was a fight inside involving gunfire, followed by the explosion. In addition, the slashed remains of an unidentified woman was found behind the building. Jack determines that Abacus planned to kill Alice over her treatment of Alexandros and Elliott texts Jamie telling her to stay away from Alice for now.
Jack calls Serena, who says that the last time she saw Jamie was when she came to ask about the difficulty opening doors to the Hedge. She was told that Alexandros’ brother said he was being experimented on and there was to be a rescue. She seems unconcerned with Abacus’ death. Jamie finally shows up, having escaped the convent. Jack calls Tyler, who tells him that Jamie was contacted about a meet-up at the ice cream place. For some reason, she was behind the building when the van showed up with Alexandros and a bunch of armed guys. Strange magic was thrown around. John was shooting people, Jack stabbed Jake when he got between him and Elliott (who was fighting Abacus). A bright light came from Elliott and Tyler took off, but couldn’t get Alexandros out of the van. Jamie was absent for the whole thing.
Jamie sends a message to Sands (getting the number from Moose) when she realizes that Jake is bleeding out and the motley heads to Abacus’ house. The car has blood on the seats and Jake’s coat. The house is unlocked and looks to have been trashed by someone angry (rather than searched). They find his sex torture dungeon and a list of names paired with objects, none of which are familiar. Jack retrieves Abacus’ will, Book of Shadows, and ring from the safe. There is a note for Jack in the back of the book with the combination to the safe in the Autumn Court hollow and instructions to retrieve the crown.
They drive to the cemetery, reading the will on the way. It leaves most of Abacus’ estate to Alexandros except for the contents of an address for Jamie. If Alexandros is dead, half of his estate goes to Jack and the rest towards establishing a scholarship fund. Claire, Mike, Traveler, and Emile (whom they’d never met) are at the hollow when they arrive. Emile refuses to yield to Jack, to he challenges him to a duel. John cuts in to sucker punch him and he gets huge and hits him back. Jack talks him down (with magical assistance) and he steps aside, letting Jack take the crown and put it on his head.
John steps outside to check his messages and runs into George, who wants to know what happened (Serena told him to ask Jamie). John goes in to get her and finds Jack trying to convince Wood to swear fealty to him while Jamie tries to talk Jack out of it. She storms out to talk to George but is sent back in to get Jack when told he’s taken the crown. Claire hands in her pin and says she’s pledging to winter while Mike ponders joining the summer court. Wood finally agrees and swears to Jack, followed by Emile. When Jack emerges, George says, “Balls,” and congratulates him. They give George the rundown of what they know and he leaves.
On the drive back to the motel, John gets an email from Elliott with pictures and documents. Jack postulates that Jake is actually dying from a broken Knight’s Oath and that he may be able to save him by getting him to swear a new one to him. On arrival, John goes to look at what Elliott sent him, Jamie grabs food from the diner, and Jack goes to take Jake’s knight oath. The email has pictures of wards, drawings of wards, and documents explaining them. It is way over John’s head so he turns them over to Jamie when they meet up back at Jack’s room. Over lunch, they decide to go see Madame Serena.
At the Winter Queen’s house, they are greeted by a strange woman with a sword for a hand. Serena tells Jack that there is a celebration on campus where he will crown her and then he’ll have a year to work things out. Jamie shows her the wards, which she agrees to help decipher in exchange for an unspecified favor from Jack. She plucks out her spare eye, grinds it up, and drinks it in tea and gives them the following details about the previous night:
- Tyler told Abacus that Alexandros was being experimented on by Alice to gauge the limits of our endurance with magic and iron.
- Abacus lost his shit and called the motley.
- Elliott called Jamie and said he wanted to talk about it.
- Abacus promised to trade the knives for Alexandros.
- Jack and John showed up and Jamie left.
- Elliott came in good faith but other Browns sent by Alice did not and a fight breaks out.
- Abacus attacked Elliott, breaking his oath.
- Jake saved Jack’s life.
- John was gravely wounded.
At this point, things get fuzzy for Serena. She speaks of a “fractured soul” and treachery. She says that Elliott’s soul looked fractured when he arrived but was briefly whole, then fractured again and Abacus died. They are able to piece together that he was whole when Jack stabbed him with the knives but that it wasn’t related to the explosion, which was a spell put on him and fueled by the souls of those nearby. The memory loss was due to another spell. After the explosion, Elliott healed Jack and John and Jake dragged them to the car and drove them home.