The Arrival
So I received a call from my contact with the Order. I've never met her in person, not sure I want to. The voice is about what I imagine they use for those 1-900 hotlines they advertise on late night tv. She wanted to know if I had my usual room available for use. I told her it was free. I owe them, it's not like I can say no and besides...they know when the room's free. I hold it for them.

In addition to room use she also wanted to know if I could do a pick up for the guest. He was coming in to Union Station down in Wichita, KS. It's not a far drive and the weather was supposed to be okay. She didn't give me a lot of other details besides his name, Samuel Blackwater, and I didn't ask. Safer that way. I agreed. Winter in KC isn't exactly the most exciting time in the world anyway and the store practically runs itself for these months.

The drive down was uneventful. Granted, it's Kansas, so it's not like there's a lot that goes on anyway except in the corners and shadows that people like you shouldn't check too closely. I arrived an hour early. One thing you learn driving in Midwest winters is to give yourself a lot of lead time. Settling down to wait I picked up the local paper. I could have gotten a KC Star, but I like to keep an ear to the ground in the various small-ish towns in the area when I'm around. Helps keep me abreast of anything unusual I need to be worried about.

There wasn't much of interest so, being the not-so-patient person I am, I decided to check out the station itself. Many of the Union Stations around the country were built by Masons for a variety of purposes, not all of them rail-related. There was power here, but it wasn't active and it was very very subtle. The organization that bought and renovated the building apparently had someone enough in the know to not mess with the signs and sigals posted around and worked into the masonry.

As the train I was waiting on arrived, there was a surge of mystical power in the building. While I hate making assumptions I was pretty sure this was my contact. I realized that I hadn't made up a sign or anything for him to find me, so borrowing a marker from the news-stand I wrote his name on the front page and held it up as people exited the train.

Now, working as I do, in the shadows and edges of the world most of you only dimly perceive, one of my talents is to see things as they truly are. Some of you, raised on a steady diet of tv fantasy might think it's a good, albeit slightly scary, thing to see through the Veil. Let me tell you, reality is much MUCH worse. I don't do it often if I can help it, but not knowing for sure who or what I was picking up, I had to open myself to see past the Veil for Mr. Blackwater. I was not sure exactly what I was expecting, but this was not it....

Mr. Blackwater was about 3 feet tall, dressed quite dapperly (always loved that word) and...a goblin.

Not that I've had much interaction with them before you understand, nobody in their right mind goes LOOKING for Fey, but I'd heard of them before. Generally shy, the bottom rung of Fey society. Dangerous in tight corners and in dark places. Not to be trusted.

He walked up to me and we appraised each other. Granted... he had a lot farther to look up than I did down. I'm a bit on the upper end of 6'6" tall. Deciding that neither of us was going to immediately try to kill the other, I escorted him to my car, a 2010 Honda CRV. I love this car. I would say that I don't buy into the idea of giving cars names, names give all kinds of things power like you wouldn't believe. But I couldn't help myself and in a fit of weakness I named her the Grey Knight. Yeah okay, laugh if you want, but I'll take this car over anything you're driving, foreign or domestic. Especially in a Midwest winter.

Heading back East towards KC, Samuel and I talked. Tentatively at first, it's always a little tricky talking to those returning from Fey, I gathered it had been a while since he was last on Prime. For you noobs out there, that's here in what you laughingly call "Reality 101." The snow-fall got heavier and heavier as we went and after a close call from a stupid trucker, we decided to take a break at a local Fast 'N Friendly truck stop that had a golden arches on the side.

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