Episode 3. Gathering
Tad stared blankly out the window, still getting quite used to being home with Tammy. He memorized the pattern in which the rain fell, pat, pat, patpatpat, patpat, pat, patpat. He counted the seconds between the thunder and the lightning.
He turned around to greet Tammy into the darkened room, and took her hand. "Hey."
Tammy smiled a little, and let him wrap his arms around her as he continued to stare out the window. "Hey...what's up with you? You're acting...different somehow. Did something happen?"
"No. I'm just...Tammy, listen. Let's not fight anymore, okay?"
"Let's not argue. Let's just get along. I know we can, we're great together when we try!" Tad looked down at her and smiled, pleading for her to agree.
"Okay, Tad. I won't argue anymore."
"Me either." He kissed the top of her head, and the two of them continued to watch the raging storm outside.
"Guido?" Brad whined, trying to shake him awake. It was ten o'clock AM, the thunder was cracking every few seconds, and it was frightening him. He shook Guido lightly, and when he didn't move, Brad proceeded to burry his face in Guido's neck.
Guido sniffed awake, and looked over to Brad, and poked him. "Brad? Brad, what's the matter?"
"...Scared..." Came Brad's muffled response.
Guido yawned and turned over, gathering Brad into his arms. "It's just a thunderstorm, Brad."
"It's lasted three days, now. And the sky's turning a nasty dark green color, too."
"Excuse me?" Guido clambered out of bed, and made his way to the window, rubbing his eyes as he walked. He stared out the window in awe. Brad was right. It was turning a nastly shade of green. He turned around, walked to the bedside table and picked up the phone. He dialed a few digits and waited.
"Nanjou residence. Nate speaking."
"Nate. What does it look like outside where you are?"
"It's...disgusting. The sky is a sickly green color. It's as if the very heavens themselves are being torn apart!"
Guido stared at the reciever. "...Uh, yeah. So it's green over there, too?"
"I'm afraid so."
"Guido!" Brad snapped at his choice of language.
"Sorry, Brad. Nate, listen...We all need to get-"
"Chris and Mark are at Ellen's! Katie is all alone with Takashi!"
A lump formed in Guido's throat. "All right. We'll pick them up and head to Ellen's. Get Ituki and-can you pick up Mary?"
"All right. Let's meet at Ellen's then."
Nate hung up without saying good-bye and walked upstairs, immediately beginning to pack his things. As he walked by Ituki's room, he kicked the door, being greeted with a loud, "I'M UP, YOU BLOODY LOMBARD!" Nate ignored this insult, and walked back downstairs, throwing a duffle bag to the emerging Ituki.
"Pack some clothes. We're going to Ellen's for a while. And don't argue. I'm not in the mood for you."
Mary Sonomura was making a bowl of cereal for herself, singing the pharmacy jingle she remembered Nate singing. She giggled to herself as she ate, and then walked upstairs to tidy up. She took a shower, brushed her teeth, and fought with her hair to make it lay flat. She dressed herself, and then walked downstairs.
As she reached the bottom step, her doorbell rang. "Now what in Philemon's name..."
She opened the door, her hair still dripping water onto her shoulders, making her gray shirt look darker than it actually was. "Nate? Ituki?...What's going on?"
"Mary, you need to pack some clothes and stuff. We're all going to Ellen's."
"But WHY are we going to Ellen's?"
"Because...Ellen'll know what to do."
Katie sat with Takashi on his lap. He gurgled happily and looked up at his mother and giggled. Katie smiled back, and then looked outside, her expression turning glum. She wished this rain would let up so she could take Takashi out and show him off to the world. It was a mother's gut instinct to want to show off her new baby...
Takashi let out a shriek and pointed to the door. Katie looked up just as her doorbell rang, and gave herself a heart attack. She drug herself up, and walked to the door, carrying the babbling Takashi in one arm.
She peeked through the window on the door, and then opened it. "Oh, God, Guido...you scared me. What's up...?"
"Uh...well...something's happening. This storm isn't natural. In fact, I have reason to believe that it is indeed paranormal."
"So...my brother is at Ellen's. Everyone is heading down there, and I'm to pick you up. I have Brad with me."
"Oh, okay..." Katie allowed the two men inside, and then hurried to pack her things. The phone rang then, and Katie asked Guido to answer it.
He picked it up, and actually looked at the receiver before saying, "Hullo?"
"Chris? It's Alana!" She was crying, and before Guido could say anything, she was rambling almost incoherently. "Chris, some weird puppet thing is in my house! I'm in the closet! It's trying to get to me, and I don't have anywhere to go...it's got blades and it's trying to cut through the door! It already got Ryu, Chris! He's dead! I tried to call Nate but no one answered!"
"Alana, listen! Chris isn't here, this is Guido. Aw...shit...alright, I'm on my way!" He hung up the phone, and spun to face Brad. "I'm going to help Alana. Stay here with Katie. If I'm not back in one hour, call the cops."
Brad had trouble not thinking of Katsuya at this point. "Alright...but be careful, okay? Don't get killed." He hugged Guido, and then watched in a fit of un-Brad-like worry as Guido rushed to the car, got in and started it.
Alana was sobbing silently, a hand cupped over her mouth, trying to keep from screaming. She figured being quiet might through the...thing...off guard. She had vomited twice already, from the smell of rotting flesh coming off of the puppet, as well as the graphic site of her beloved husband's corpse.
"Oh God, someone help..." She whined quietly.
Finally she heard Guido's voice. "ALANA! Alana, I'm coming!" She heard him fly up the stairs, and waited. He was about to find Ryu. "HOLY SHIT! Oh, God...ALANA!" He ran into the room where she was, and she heard no more-Guido said nothing, and the thing stopped moving.
Finally, a fit of gunshots went off, and she heard wood crumble. Then, a knock at the door. "Alana, it's me. Open the door."
Alana unlocked the door and opened it slowly, still shaking madly, tears pouring down her face. Guido held out his arms to her and she climbed into them and began bawling out loud. "Ryu's dead, Guido...it killed him...!"
"Come on. Let's get outta here." He let her bury her face in his chest so she wouldn't see Ryu laying on the floor missing his head. He carried her out to the car, and helped her to climb into the back seat, and then circled around to get in himself. "Alana, I wouldn't come back here if I were you. I have to make some calls now."
The first call was to Brad and Katie. Katie picked up. "Guido?!"
"Thank God. Is Alana okay?"
"Yes. She's shaken, and her husband's dead, but she seems to be fine. I'm on my way to get you, Brad, and Takashi."
Guido's second call resonated through an office where a young man sat, nearly asleep. It rang nearly four times before Katsuya Suou sprung awake and looked around madly. He picked up the phone, slightly embarrassed. "Detective Suou speaking."
"Katsuya. It's Guido Kandori. Alana's husband was just murdered by...something. I took care of it, but it's remains should still be hanging around."
"Woah! You can't be serious!"
"Have you ever known me to not be serious?"
"Well, no, but still, the thought is quite outrageous."
"Listen, smartass, I have Alana in the car with me right now. She's crying, and she's vomited all over herself."
"Woah, Kandori, I didn't mean I didn't believe you. It's just...I've gotten a similar call from Tad Satomi."
"His mother was just killed. Some of the men working under me went to clear it up. Tad said he took Tammy to Ellen's."
"Shit, well, isn't Ellen's just the damn congregation of the century? Well, let's hope her house doesn't get bombed. Then we'll be short a few Persona users."
Yuki arrived at Ellen's to find Brad, to tell him that he had missed far too many days of work in a row. She had already been to Brad's home, as well as Nate's, and there was no sign of him yet. She decided to go to Ellen's to see if Brad had gone on one of his show-offy visits to less successful friend's houses that he often went to.
She knocked at the door, and surprisingly, Brad answered. "Hey Yuki."
"Brad?" She could hardly believe she managed to track him down. Suddenly her expression turned sour. "How come you haven't been to work in forever? And why did you turn your cell phone off? Is this some kind of sick joke?!"
Brad shook his head and opened the door. "Everyone is here, Yuki. It's not just me. And you came too! What a coincidence, huh?"
"Excuse me?" Yuki wondered, walking in, laying eyes on all of her old Hermelin friends, as well as Katie and Takashi Kido, and Guido Kandori. "...What the fuck?"
Katie looked up, alarmed, covering Takashi's ears as she did whenever Chris started with his crude language.
Guido about screamed. "Why is everyone here!?"
"Should be obvious, mate." Ituki said without looking at Guido. "It's Philemon's doing. He wants to tell us something."
Guido glared. "Philemon."
"Yeah, Philemon." Chris snarled. "See, unlike you, we followed an entity of good. You had the flamin' tentical monster from hell leadin' you around on a fuckin' LEASH!"
"CHRIS!" Katie shrieked. "Would you PLEASE hold off on the cursing?"
"Anyway, who ever said Philemon was an entity of good? He's just playing with us, as is Nyarlathotep." Ituki leaned back in his chair and glanced around at the people watching him curiously. "We shouldn't trust either of them with anything important. And that includes the truth, you know."
Nate nodded in agreement. "For once, I actually fully agree with Ituki." Ituki looked at Nate for a second with anger in his eyes, but then calmed down when Ellen gave him a dirty look. "Philemon has a habit of either not telling us the entire truth, or stretching it to suit his needs."
"He's really nice though!" Mary said, taking a seat next to Guido without a second thought. Guido however, looked uncomfortable. "He'd never do anything to hurt us."
Suddenly Mark cleared his throat. "I don't think Dante has the vaguest idea as to what we're ranting about."
Ellen and Nate took respective turns explaining everything that had happened from their senior year of highschool to present day. When they had finished, Guido glazed over the things they hadn't understood, and Dante nodded fervently.
"Oh, that's tough."
"..." Guido shook his head and leaned back.
Mark actually started laughing. "So, anyway Dante, what brings you here?"
"Actually...there's an island off the coast of France, called 'Mallet.' It's been experiencing some bizzaro weather. I came to see if Ellen would like to come help me examine it, since she works with the paranormal now. But...it's getting a little out of hand. If we're in Japan, and this is going on here too...then we better get to the source. I believe that it's Mallet."
"What are we waiting for then?" Tad asked, bitterly. "Let's go out there and kick some ass. I need to put Mom's soul to rest."
Alana nodded fervently in agreement. "Yes. And Ryu's."
Ellen stood up. "When we all separated, you all gave me your weapons to hold onto in case they were ever needed again. Nate has his. I have everyone else's in the basement."
"Some little blond brat stole my gloves." Chris growled, getting a dirty look from his very blond wife.
Guido slipped something into Chris' hands, and when he looked at what he had received, he looked questioningly at Guido. "Where did you get these?"
Guido only smiled and said, "It's a gift from your big brother. Think of it as a very late birthday gift."
Chris watched, frozen in confusement as everyone else retreated downstairs. His wife moved past them to Ellen. "Ellie...ah..."
"Stay with Tad and Tammy. They'll be doing mission control on the coast of France. You all should be safe there."
And Ellen smiled and turned to walk down the stairs with everyone else. What she didn't see was Dante watching her intently.
A/N: Ahahahaha. Crappy ending but I'm tired of typing. Write more later. *Falls asleep*