Spirits are to be taken very seriously.

Poe sat in the burned out carcass of of some strange hybrid of a car and a house. Maya called it a “camper” but Poe could never remember that. To most people it would look like Poe was staring pointlessly at the rotted out bed in the back of camper. But to those with The Sight, it would be a very different view.

In front of her, in the Astral but also enough, in reality, to be seen, sat the Spirit. She called it Rattlebones, for Spirits didn’t typically communicate with speech as mortals perceived it and therefore didn’t use names. Rattlebones was a powerful Spirit for sure. One that she had communicated with many times seeking advice and prophecy. Not all Spirits could provide these things, but Rattlebones could. It did though, ask a high price for such things.

In this instance, she had fasted for several days. Denied herself food and even sunlight before summoning the Spirit. Now that it was here she had locked gaze with it for several hours. Finally it gestures to her, grasping at her with it bony outstretched…. whatever passed for a hand. She reached into her satchel, careful not to break her gaze with it, and produced a rabbit skull. That had been hard to find for it was a perfect specimen free of mutations.

Vines and cables stretched from Rattlebones appendage and ensnared the perfect skull. Drawing it out of the physical plane and into Rattlebones “body”. Soon Poe could see the little skull peaking out of Rattlebones’ shoulder, staring at her, she could have sworn she could see eyes in the empty sockets.

A dry whisper croak from one of the skulls. “You may ask…. two…. questions.”

This was unusual. It was is usually three questions, but that was okay, she only really needed two.

“Where can we go for safety from the ones under the Atom Banner?” She spoke, she had to phrase that carefully. Asking for absolute safety was always met with laughter.

“To the Southwest, there is shelter. You have…. a chance there.” The dry crackle of its voice never failed to give her shivers.

“Is there anything we can do to further protect ourselves from those under the banner?” She asked.

“…..When….. if, others arrive. Trust…. but verify.” An unusually evasive answer, maybe it wasn’t sure for once.

She opened her mouth to thank it. But suddenly it was right upon her. It’s vine covered, bone hands grabbing her by the shoulders, it’s cow skull head inches from hers. If it had breathe, she would be able to feel it in her face. The dry crackle of its voice gave way to a booming pronouncement.

“Poe, you must protect The Witness from those under the banner. Do not allow him to fall into their hands. Do not allow him to be taken alive…”

She was startled. The Spirits were NEVER this clear about anything and never that direct with a command. At least not the more benign or esoteric ones like Rattlebones. This meant it had to be very important. Mercifully it allowed her to leave its grasp before looming over her for emphasis. Then just as quickly it disappeared leaving only a few knuckle bones behind.

She stumbled out of the camper. Maya was there chatting with a few of the other escapees, trying to figure out what to do next to get out of Bandit territory. She came to Poe’s side immediately, for once letting her concern show for her girlfriend.

“We need to go Southwest, there’s shelter there. And we need to talk about that guy.” Poe said gesturing to the shirtless maniac who had taken to following them during the escape. “I think we may have picked up a problem…”

Leave a Reply