The Doom that Came to SLO-Town

Episode 22: Perilous Alliances

Early March

Molly Sterling and Mahala Kindt continued their work in the arcane arts. Mahala, tutoring Molly in some of the finer points of magic, showed that she was as powerful as she suggested. But Molly could not shake the feeling that there was something sinister and dangerous about her new friend. She asked questions about how much Molly trusted Simon Parker, Emma Lee Raines, Devon Lauer and Lilith Marid. Perhaps Mahala was trying to undermine the relationship, perhaps she was getting at something else. Either way, every time Molly looked into her eyes, she saw something dark and whereas she saw a true kinship forming between the two, she also knew that Mahala would stop at nothing to achieve her goals.

The two began a sexual relationship as the study of the arcane arts brought them closer together. Molly felt a true bond forming but she also began to realize that she may well be a horrible person. She had betrayed every relationship she had been in and she seemed to use people to get what she wanted. Whether or not she would ever reverse course on the path she was on was coming. The crossroads she currently was at was one where she would have to make a decision on what route she would take.

For the time being, at least, for as dangerous as Mahala seemed, she at least seemed as if she was a true friend – and lover – of Molly’s. But Molly stopped short when Mahala offered to teach her a powerful spell that would give her even greater power. But Molly feared the cost would be too great. Instead, Mahala left her with a small magic item – an onyx – that would be consumed for a small burst of arcane energy when Molly would need it.

Lilith used her powers to change her form into that of Sharon Lake, her mother’s best friend. She then took the key to the safe deposit box Sharon had given her and decided to pour through the photos and articles Sharon left behind. Examining the photos, she saw pictures of her mother and the man who was supposedly her father, Aslam Khan. But what was most unusual was in several of the pictures there was a woman in the background, giving Lilith the distinct impression that perhaps this woman had been stalking her mother, Aslam or both. Was this woman the cause of Aslam’s break-up and disappearance?

In an encounter with his brother, Evan Parker, Simon was shocked to learn that Even seemed to have fallen under the sway of Minerva Mink, the devilish girl that once was an ally of Emma Lee’s and the current puppet of Carnamagos. Simon was taken back by this revelation and decided that no good would come of this. If Evan was making a bad decision, he had to be convinced otherwise. If he was somehow under Minerva’s sway, more drastic measures had to be taken.

Emma Lee, using her skills as a hunter, watched the Castalanta home, seeing who would come and go from the house. She discovered, not truly to her shock, that few people came and went from the house.

During one of the arcane sessions between Mahala and Molly, Mahala stated she had to leave, suddenly, explaining that someone was summoning the Consag and she had to make an appearance to grant a wish or engage in a bargain. Molly remembered, of course, that Mahala was the source of this strange legend all along so Mahala suddenly leaving to meet with someone was not unusual. However, once Mahala was gone, Molly did not take the opportunity to go through the house, but instead went into a trance, used her mind’s eye to see what she could discover and to her shock, saw a vision of Lilith and her mother dead, their bodies being pulled from a burning house, the cause of the fire no doubt due to he machinations of the Castalanta family.

The following day the group circled back together to convince Molly that she had to help them steal the Tome of Destiny which would be delivered to the home of Hollis Dandy that night. They suspected that the best opportunity would be to somehow intercept the book before it reached the destination. Molly agreed to help, determining her magic would be a key resource they could use. It was at this point that Simon told everyone of the budding – and eerie – relationship between Evan and Minerva. Emma Lee decided she was in the best position to deal with this.

The altercation between Emma Lee and Evan did not go the way Emma Lee suspected it would. When confronted, Evan was angry, lashing out by saying that Minerva was his best shot at a girlfriend, getting laid, happiness and anything else that came to mind, emphasizing each point by pushing Emma Lee, in an increasingly violent manner. Emma Lee tried to explain that Minerva was extremely dangerous but Evan would have none of it, saying, likely due to Minerva’s magic, that she was one of the only friends he had left since everyone else was so self-absorbed in their own lives to pay attention to him. However, Emma Lee used everything at her disposal and every ounce of leverage she had over Evan as well as Minerva’s powers to convince him to give her a rest for a few days. But she knew this victory was fleeting, to say the very least.

That afternoon, Molly used her clairvoyant abilities to gaze into the darkness and see what route the delivery would use to get the Tome of Destiny to Hollis Dandy. She had a vision of an armored car and a vision of several guards that would handle it. This led to the unorthodox plan to recruit Raphael Castalanta. However, Lilith stated that the best way for him to be brought in would be for Emma Lee and Lilith to both seduce him at Diamond Cove. Both girls agreed, perhaps both knowing that the seduction was likely not needed but they both seemed to secretly want this as an extra benefit.

Meanwhile, Molly and Mahala had their own plans. The two girls contacted one another, mentally and Molly, wanting to stay in good with Mahala, revealed the plan. Mahala was both stunned and curious at the boldness of the group and suggested to Molly her own secret plan. But it would involve meeting up. Unfortunately for Molly, she was with Simon, so Mahala suggested meeting up at the local Barnes & Noble where Mahala would pass off a fake book that Molly was to switch in the confusion and cover of darkness. Mahala stated she would distract Simon.

When the two arrived, Simon somewhat leery of ‘emergency research’ having to be done at the local Barnes & Noble, Simone was indeed distracted as Mahala had taken the form of Marisol Garza. While Mahala/Marisol distracted Simon with her endless charms, Molly found the book in question and took it, realizing she could switch it later and deliver the real item to Mahala.

Meanwhile, Emma Lee and Lilith met up at Diamond Cove where they engaged in a sexual liaison with Raphael, Emma Lee being brought to the ultimate pleasure as she was reminded how satisfying it was to be with Raphael in every possible way. It was after the encounter that the two girls posed to Raphael how much he was needed and how his unique abilities – as a dragon – could be used to distract and destroy the armored car that would be delivering the Tome of Destiny. Fortunately, Raphael was so taken with what had happened that he did not bother to ask why or what they were hoping to steal. Nevertheless, Emma Lee had the foresight to bring with her the Amulet of Carnamagos with her, knowing it was a shiny distraction that could be used to prod Raphael along. Besides, ever since she had taken the item from Annabell Starr, it had brought her nothing but bad luck.

However, as Emma Lee dug through her house, looking for trinkets with Lilith along side her, Lilith could not help but notice a photo sitting on a desk. The photo was of Emma Lee’s mother and it was the same woman Lilith had seen in the photos stalking her mother and Aslam Khan. Without knowing it, her anger seethed and something inside of her caused the frame to melt and the photo to catch fire.

That night, the heist against the book went off, more or less as planned. However, in the altercation, Molly was not able to take the book as she wanted and Raphael was suddenly hurt by some powerful weapon one of the guards had. Emma Lee used all the energy she could to push the mortally wounded Raphael to soar back home where he would be safe. But the vicious and ruthless attack against him did not look good. In the meantime, the group made off with the book, Simon wounded as well but able to drive. As Molly communicated with Mahala that she was unable to get the book, Mahala resorted to a more daring plan, sending officers to go pull them over. But Lilith’s quick thinking disguised herself as the police chief caused enough confusion that Mahala’s plan sank, resulting in one of the officers shooting himself in the head as he could not reconcile the two opposed orders he was getting.

Simon dropped off Emma Lee and Lilith at Emma Lee’s car and the two immediately went to the Castalanta mansion where they could see what they could do. Lilith, still terrified at the notion of entering the house, could not bring herself to do so. But as Emma Lee threw caution to the wind and entered, she was confronted with the extended Castalanta family, with the family patriarch, Ferdinand Castalanta trying to forbid Emma Lee’s involvement.

Outside the house, much to Lilith’s surprise, Mahala showed up in a hoodie sweatshirt. Lilith knew Mahala was desperate to arrive at the home of her enemies because if they found her, her disguise would likely not hold up. Mahala begged, threatened, negotiated for the book, all for naught. It was not until Lilith threatened to make a scene as well as burn the book that Mahala backed off and slunk back into the darkness, but not before playing her hand, slightly, that made Lilith suspect Molly could have been involved in some way and perhaps was a threat to the plan all along.

When Emma Lee did everything she could inside, she found that using the magic amulet of Carnamagos, was, with great irony, the very thing that saved the life of Raphael. However, she was shocked that the family did not seem to appreciate her efforts the way in which she suspected they should. Instead, they unceremoniously kicked her out. Emma Lee thought that the thanks she got was likely that they did not simply kill her.

The following day, Molly had to explain to Mahala what went wrong and why she did not get the book. Mahala seemed to understand and appeared to hold no ill will towards Molly. However, when Molly brought up coming clean with Lilith, Mahala was slightly more hesitant. She was concerned Lilith would not react well but gave Molly her blessing to see what she could do.

When Molly approached Lilith and she got a strange feeling, she decided that she would explain to Lilith that whereas she was on her side, she was also working with Mahala to bring about a better, safer, world. Lilith seemed suspicious that Molly could work with herself as well as Mahala as Mahala would eventually lead them down a path that they could not return from but Molly reasoned that Mahala was still the best of several bad options.

Lilith, growing increasingly frustrated with Molly’s indecision and shifting alliances, finally had enough and told Molly she would no longer he manipulated by shitty people and there was so much that Mahala was likely not telling them.

It was at that moment that Molly felt something interesting, her strange feeling returning. Lilith had the same feel and sensation that the being inside the Ebony Statue had when Molly had gone inside. What did this mean?

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