Aurum opens the door and ushers everyone out of his Sanctum Sanctorum. The basement area looks the same, the prison cell and danger room in order. He leads them upstairs to the main floor to discover that everything looks exactly the same.
The team is rather unimpressed, given how much spectacle there was downstairs. They look around, Aurum slightly annoyed. Johnny 5, however, is going full alert mode saying “Something has changed.”
It doesn’t take long for them to discover that there’s an elevator door next to the exit.
Aurum calls the elevator and the team steps inside. There are 10 stories, each button marked with a letter after the first two. Aurum starts with the first floor.
The team finds out that the first two floors are a “main lobby” where as the second floor is the common area, complete with state of the art kitchen, computer room, and weight room. The following floors are all designated living quarters for each member of the team, including War, each tailored to their specifications. Well, as best as Aurum was able to guess.
The top two floors belong to Aurum, including one floor dedicated to his laboratory.
Firework attempts to travel through the walls to see where they’re located, but ends up back home, leaving from the side of the house. When he zips back in, he realizes he has to take the elevator to get back to the group.
Back in the original portion of the house, Aurum gives Johnny 5 permission to expand to the new section of their home. Johnny says he’ll need several hours to modify and evolve his systems to do so, and will be mostly off line for a while. But with a gleeful WHEEEEE he goes off, to assimilate to the new household.
With the tour over, Wildheart calls his mother to inquire more about the letter. She says that she’s just happy that he’s alive and that Wildheart shouldn’t worry. However if he wanted to come over for dinner, she’d show him the letter. Wildheart agrees and asks if he can bring some friends over.
During the day, Firework attempts to keep busy by cleaning up the large trash island that’s in the middle of the ocean. He starts what did Firework do? Chuck things towards the sun? and is on his way of getting rid of the mass debris. However, he gets a call from AEGIS, telling him to stop what he’s doing and to return to base immediately. He is told that he almost created an international incident because he’s a known AEGIS agent (yay social media!) and he was performing unsanctioned activities.
Basically people in power were nervous that a Paranormal was doing god knows what.
Firework tells Aurum about this, and Aurum plans to do some political maneuvering to see if he can get Firework’s pet project sanctioned.
Meanwhile, Jesuit talks to Aurum in private. He asks if Aurum can help him find his daughter in a way that wouldn’t put her in danger, but would allow Jesuit to know if she’s safe. Aurum says he’ll need some blood from him and possibly from Constance, and he may be able to find a link to their daughter. Jesuit agrees and will get Aurum what he needs.
That evening, the team takes the van and head to Wildheart’s childhood home. It’s a quaint one story, three bedroom house, in a quite neighborhood, with a small front yard that has a cement patio off to the side.
Wildheart rings the doorbell and the door immediately opens. Molly Matthews greets the team, giving them each a hug as they enter. She is short with curly blonde (going white) hair, a welcoming smile and a slight tint to her pale skin.
After introductions are made, she asks them if anyone would like some wine. This causes Wildheart to stiffen, but only Jesuit & Firework notice. Jesuit stands up to help and while looking for a fresh bottle of wine, sees an empty one discarded in the recycling bin.
Molly talks nonstop, a gracias if rather perky hostess. She tells them that dinner will be ready in a little while and begins to talk nonstop about how proud she is of her son, how she’s happy that he’s found such good friends, and that she’s hoping that it works out with that new boy of his.
Aurum excuses himself and goes to the bathroom, casting a scrying spell to see if the brother who sent the letter is within the area. He is not.
It soon becomes obvious that Molly isn’t just happy to see her son. The smell of wine is abundantly clear. She keeps putting off showing the letter to Wildheart, who starts to get impatient, and disappointed, with his mother.
Jesuit pulls Molly aside and talks to her in private, while Firework tries to alleviate the mood in the living room. Jesuit finds out that Molly has been sober ever since her husband passed away. When The Breaking happened, and she lost both her sons it seemed like, she almost threw away her sobriety, but went to meeting after meeting to keep going. When Rick showed up, better then ever, she was overcome with joy. But with the recent attack in her neighborhood, the way Rick risks his life everyday, and finally this…letter…it was too much all at once.
Jesuit helps her calm down, helps her get perceptive, and assures her that after all she’s gone through, she’s a much stronger person for it. He offers her his personal assistance, as well as suggesting that she contact her sponsor. She smiles and after making sure (with Jesuit’s help) that all alcohol is out of the house, they start serving dinner.
During the talk in the kitchen, Wildheart discovers a new ability. He can now sense each of his friend’s individual scents. They all have a tinge of caramel in them, but each has their own distinct smell. Jesuit is hazelnut, Firework is popcorn, Aurum is Wine, and Bouncer is black licorice.
During dinner, where Molly seems to have calmed down and sobered up, she pulls out the letter, still in its envelope. Wildheart looks at it, sees no return address and no postage stamp. He reads it out loud.
insert Letter text here
Wildheart gets nothing from the letter, other then his brother seems…off. He was never this eloquent, and yet, his handwriting is distinct. He tries to get any clues from the letter regarding his brother’s whereabouts, but gets nothing.
Firework sees that there was a return address on the letter, but that it was erased. He thinks Johnny may be able to scan it and pick up any residual ink or lead which may lead them to the right address. Aurum points out that Johnny has shut down in order to expand throughout their new home.
After making sure that Wildheart’s mom is taken care of, and has the number of the local AA chapter, the team heads back home. Wildheart gets a call from HOPE and gets an appointment with Tyrone Black, the head of the organization.
The following day, Firework does some research on Wildheart’s family. He finds out that Wildheart’s dad was killed in a burning shed, where the spot of bare cement in Wildheart’s yard is. He discovers that though it was deemed an accident, Wildheart went to Juvie because he had unintentionally set the fire in the first place.
This struck Firework as odd since before this, Wildheart did not have a record, but his older brother did. A rather extensive one. He begins to suspect that Wildheart took the fall for the fire, for his older brother who would’ve been sent to prison instead of Juvie.
Firework asks Wildheart about it, but Wildheart denies that his brother had anything to do with it, that he had accidentally set the fire.
Firework is able to see through Wildheart’s lies, but doesn’t push it.
As Wildheart gets ready for his meeting, Firework looks over the letter one more time. He uses his sparks to “scan” the letter, and see if he can get any more clues. Because of his pinpoint accuracy, he’s able to make out a zip code on the return label, in Oakland.
The team decides to split up. Wildheart says he has some important business to take care of, and that he’ll meet up with the team later. Jesuit, Firework & Aurum head out to see if the can narrow down where Wildheart’s brother may be hiding.
On the way over, Wildheart calls Dr. Brennan. Dr. Brennan once again asks that Wildheart infiltrate HOPE, to make sure they’re on the level. AEGIS likes to keep close tabs on any group claiming to want to “represent” Paranormals at large. So far, they seem like a legit organization, but the fact that they seem interested in Wildheart could allow them an inside look.
At the meeting with Tyrone Black, WIldheart apologizes from the way he had acted before. Tyrone apologizes and tells him that they’ll start fresh. After some nice chit chat, Black offers Wildheart a position at H.O.P.E. He says that Wildheart has gotten some recognition, the kind that HOPE could use, to help other Paranormals such as himself. Black tells Wildheart that after he passes a background check and fills out some paper work, he’ll be put out into the field, to help recruit other Paranormals.
“Recruit?” Wildheart asks.
Black tells him that HOPE is an organization dedicated to bringing about equality and protection for Paranormals, that they offer any assistance, legal or financial, to those that need it. However, having a fellow Paranormal like Wildheart talking with them would have a greater impact then if someone like himself did the talking. Since HOPE is a growing organization, they could use the help, both human and Paranormal.
Wildheart accepts Black’s offer. They shake hands and continue their lunch.
Overhead, a one eyed raven watches the meeting intently. Once the conversation has moved on to other matters, the raven flies off.
Back with the rest of the team, Aurum once again scries to see if he can locate the brother. His spell leads the team to an area of warehouses, some abandoned it looks like (the economy took a hit after The Breaking, and is still recovering).
Rather then rush inside, the team spreads out and surround the building. Jesuit heads to a nearby warehouse and sets up where he can get a good shot. Aurum flies up and hangs a hundred feet in the air, while Firework lands on the roof. He sends a spark inside to scope it out.
Firework is able to see several people sitting in on what appear to be yoga mats on the floor. They are in various meditative positions, some moving slowly around, others not at all. The floor appears to have been cleared of debris, most just pushed to the sides.
He goes into a loft area, behind closed doors. Sitting in a lotus position, in a room lit only by a single window letting in sunlight, is Firework’s brother, Derek. His eyes are closed and he seems to be in a deep meditative state.
Firework scans Derek’s aura. Light blue, but it’s rapidly rippling. This confuses Firework, but he notifies the team that he isn’t a Paranormal.
The team waits until Wildheart shows up. Once he does, Firework tells him about what he saw. Wildheart decides to take the initiative and leaps in through the sky light, raining glass on the floor below.
He stands up and demands to see his brother. The people meditating get into martial arts stances and tell him to get out, that he’s trespassing.
“What’re you going to do, call the cops?” Wildheart asks sarcastically.
One of the people reaches into his pocket and begins to dial 911.
“Hold.” A voice from the loft causes everyone to look.
Standing in a robe, with a shaved look, a few more wrinkles around his face, but otherwise the same, stands Derek Matthews.
“Hello brother. I’ve been expecting you.”