The Chronicle of the Black Rose

by Michael L. Jacobs

Based on a story by Chad A. Brinkley
as acted by the Black Rose 'players'
VAMPIRE background from the game by White Wolf.
Copyright Michael L. Jacobs 1993

Requiem for the Ascension: Movement one

Episode one

A shadow races like the wind before dark clouds. A glance is all that may be afforded to what lies behind, and even that may be too much. One thought rings out among all others......REBUILD

Setting: A small college town in east-central Illinois. A steady stacatto beat of rain falls on the roof of every dwelling. A crackling radio news report quotes figures on crop failures, layoffs and gangland violence. We zoom in on the interior of a middle sized sorority house, and the living room where two girls have just entered.

1st Girl: So how was summer? Didja meet anyone 'special?'

2nd Girl: Summer was okay. I did alot of...(her brow furrows as she's searching for a word) productive work with Margie.

1st Girl: Isn't she leaving on sabbatical this year? I thought you mentioned that once?

2nd Girl: Yes, she is. I'm trying to get in as much work on the routine as possible before she leaves.

The first girl is dressed in clothes that are just a little too nice, even for your average sorority girl. Her makeup is aplied liberally, but not without care. The second wears a loose 'peasant' dress, yet possesses a lithe figure the first could never have. The second speaks carefully and quietly but with a happy and expressive face.

1st Girl: Oh, yeah. How did that go? I'd love to have ANY of my professors just listen to me and you have a prestigious dance instructor doting on you.

2nd Girl: She's not doting, she just cares about her students. Its differnt with artists.

1st Girl: Whatever. So who you taking to the dance this friday?

2nd Girl (with a half sigh) : Umm I havent found a date yet. I might just go by myself.

1st Girl: Gloria!! You cant go by yourself! Its THE MAIN party for rush, you have to have a date. I can try to arrange a date for you if you want?

Gloria: No thanks Amanda, I have this thing about blind dates. Who you taking? Is it uhmmmm..?

Amanda: No. He's a thing of the past. I found this great new guy, you'll just die when you meet him. He is so...gorgeous. Ahhh (starry eyed look)

Gloria: Oh, how nice. I mean thats great Amanda. Well I gotta go get some stuff done. Cya around.

Amanda: Okay, and dont forget to get something nice to wear!!

(Exeunt all)

Setting: Across town at a house that looks old beyond its years. A tall two story dwelling in the victorian design in need of paint and grooming. Inside the furniture is bare and sparse. The walls cracking and paint blistering. Yet there are wires everywhere. Wires attached to windows and doors. Wires running along lengths of floorboards and dangling from hooks on the walls. Deep within the house sits a man of stark ghastly apearance. He sits at a computer terminal and types away without moving his eyes from the screen. Each digit of each hand is branded with a tattoo on the tip which cannot be recognized as his fingers move with alarming speed. He smiles briefly as he pauses to read the screens contents and reveals one tooth filed to a point while light from the monitor plays across his face. He looks up as he hears a odd 'dinging'. It repeats. Repeats again.

Man: The doorbell? (a look of confusion glistens on his face for a moment and he is gone heading down the stairs and rushing to the door. He opens the peephole in the strong steel portal and sees a woman standing on his porch while water drips on her head from the leaky awning.)

Who is it?

Woman: Mr. Peripiteia? Im Angie Kelly, could I have a word with you?

Man: About?

Woman: Umm I wanted to speak to you about a job. I tried to call earlier, but there was no answer.

Man: Yes I heard the phone ringing...I'm not hiring anyone, so you can just..

Woman: No. You dont.. I think you misunderstood me. I want to hire you, or rather I work for someone who does.

Man : Oh, thats different (opens the door, to make it easier to be heard) Who do you work for and why do you want to hire me?

Woman: ahhh umm (gulps after seeing him) I work for the Anthropology department at the U of I. Its the department that would like to retain your services for consulting. Ummm we were told that Remiel Peripiteia was one of the best people for the job and since you were local... Do you mind if I call you Remiel?

Man: If you like.

Angie: Okay. (moves some wet hair out of her face) Ummm Remiel we have some items on loan for a few weeks that we were told you could help identify or translate.

Remiel: What items and who told you? (Oblivious to the fact that Angie is being slowly drenched in the rain)

Angie: Oh they are stone pieces, tablets really that come from ummm Iraq. Apparently they were unearthed recently. There has been, well, something of a brouhaha over the translation of the inscriptures on the tablets. Your refrence list was quite impressive with ancient languages and cryptology, thats what Silverstein said. He's one of the group who has been studying these for quite awhile, its a interdisciplinary study supported by many governments.

Remiel: He wouldn't be from the Israeli contingent would he?

Angie: Yes, actually he is. He mentioned you did some work for them.

Remiel: (sighs) Yes well I'd be happy to give them a look if you'll bring them over here with an advance on my fee.

Angie: I can't do that. (notices the look of distaste on his face) The tablets arent to leave the clean room at the building, we only have them on temporary loan. Besides there are other delegations here to view them.

Remiel: mmmmm In that case please send me a fax of the inscriptures on the tablets. I can work from that here at home.

Angie: I..I guess I could. I'd need your fax number though. Could I come in?

Remiel: (looks over the wet woman, and pulls out a pen and scrap of paper from his pockets. He writes a number on the paper.) Oh, well you were just leaving werent you? (hands her the number and smiles) I put the account number on the bottom that you can deposit my fee to, if I agree to do the work after seeing the inscriptures. Good day.

(Remiel closes the door on the stunned woman's face who just blinks at the door in mild confusion the runs back to her car.)

Setting: Back across the main quad and the bulk of the Illini Union and down past the glistening lights of Green Street which reflect off the ground. A young woman walks head first into the driving rain carrying two sacks of groceries. She enters a large apartment complex with an open air courtyard. She steps across a puddle and waits patiently as the elevator descends and then opens up to admit her. She rests against the side of the elevator as it moves past floors and then opens up again. taking a deep breath she once again walks out into the elements and heads off past several doors. The wind blows her long dark hair in front of her face and she spits out loose strands while fumbling for her keys. Stopping in front of a door she shifts the bags to rest on one leg and one arm while she tries the lock. It unlocks and as she hefts the bags before opening the door one of the rainsoaked paper parcels breaks open spilling groceries all over the walkway. She lets out a curse and sets down the other bag while she tries to round up her goods before they fall over the balcony and to the floor of the courtyard. Faintly in the background she can hear the phone ringing and then the sound of her answering machine kicking in. she scrambles to get the parcels just insdie the door and grabs for the phone just as the caller hangs up. She wipes her tired wet face and takes off her jacket, but not before hitting the message button.

Machine: *beep* Hi honey its mom. Your father and I were wondering about your registration, did you get the classes you wanted? You know Laura Henley's son didnt finish off those basic requirements and now he wont be able to graduate until next semester. Dont wait unitl later to finish what you can now, you have your future to think of you know. Now we arent pushing you dear but whether you go to law school or a business program itll still take about 4 years you know. Well, anyway call me when you get in and we can talk more about it. Bye.

The girl snorted through her nose as she put groceries away. She sighed and went over to the desk and picked up a official looking white envelope during her mothers message. Opening it she glances over the sheet within and reads the black letters next to her Art Apreciation 115 course "Section Full". Looking at the name next to the course she reads it out loud.

Girl: Castigere?

Mouthing the name to herself she grabs a phone directory off the shelf and starts paging through it while a message from Citibank Visa palys in the background. She finds a number in the directory and circles it with a pen while the machine moves to the next message.

Machine: Hi Mary. This is Amy Storm we met last year at the student voting drive if you remember. Anyway, Im calling because I want to talk to you about being a candidate for next years SGA. If you are seriously interested then call me back at ...

Mary looks up from the phonebook and her course catalog she has picked up and dashes for the save button on the answering machine. She listens to the message again and then dials the number Amy mentioned.


Amy (on phone) :Hello?

Mary: Hi Amy, this is Mary I was just returning your call.

Amy: Oh wow I just called a few minutes ago.

Mary: Yeah I heard the phone while I was trying to get into my apartment. You said something about me being a candidate?

Amy: Yes I did. Im working with a bunch of other students who are forming a REAL unified party for next springs campus elections. Several of us remember the speach you made on the Quad last spring on students rights at the campus and were real impressed.

Mary: Oh, Im glad someone was listening at least.

Amy: We certainly were. We'd like to make it possible for you to be heard by alot more people if you'd agree. We'd like for you to run for SGA president. Now you dont need to make any comitment now, just come to our organizational meeting next wednesday at 7 PM at the Union.

Mary: Jeez I dont know what to say...

Amy: Just say that you'll come to the meeting.

Mary: I will.

Amy: Great see you there. (hangs up)

Mary slowly puts the handset back on the cradle and looks around the room. Her face is alight with happiness and she lets out a scream of joy. "YESSS!!!" She moves back to the kitchenette with a renewed spring in her step and finsihes putting away her groceries. She glances at her watch picks up the phone and dials the number she circled earlier next to Santiago Castigere in the campus directory.


Phone: Im sorry the number you have reached, 555-4365 has been disconnected. No futher information is available about 555-4365. Please check your number and dial again.

Mary takes the handset from her ear and looks at the entry in the directory.

Mary : Thats strange...huh maybe his phones not working.

She looks at the office address next to the phone number : S27 Krannert

Mary: Well looks like Ill have to make a visit to hs office...oh well.

She turns on the T.V. and moves into the bedroom to get changed out of the wet clothes.

Setting: We leave the bright lights of campus-town and shift to the north- eastern end of Urbana. There we find a small house that sits on a darkened street. This house epitomises the poverty of the area, at least economically. It is run down and cramped, but unlike the victorian home some miles away, this house isnt neglected. No this house has just seen more than its share of suffering and strife. So has the man inside. In his living room, which is alos his dining room and parlor and half a dozen other things, he sits illuminated by one small lamp whose lampshade is yellowed with age. He drinks coffee and has the looks of one who has just arisen for the day, only it is now 7:00 pm. He turns when he hears a knock at the door.

Man: (in a loud deep voice) Who is it?

Woman: (after a loud peel of thunder) Cynthia Simonson. Im from the museum, I sent you a letter last week but you hadn't called ba- (at this point the man opens the door. Cynthia looses her voice as the tall man nearly fills the doorway.)

Man: I work nights. You should come in, this isnt a safe neighborhood for a young lady after dark. (he moves aside and gestures for her to come in)

Woman: (after entering and while folding her umbrella) Thank you Mr-

Man: (interupting her) Travis, just call me Travis.

Cynthia: (smiles and pasues for a second looking around the room. There are several metallic sculptures sitting around the walls. Some are small and look almost frail others reach 5 or 6 feet in height and look tremendously heavy. All the sculptures are made of the same uniform blackened iron.) As I said in the letter Im looking for local artists to display their work and... these are your pieces correct?

Travis: (he still stands more than a foot taller than her and speaks in a low careful tone) Yes. This is some of my older works. The newer pieces are in the back room there if you'd care to look at them. (he moves to the kitchen area while she moves slowly towards the back room looking over the pieces she passes) How do you take your coffee?

Cynthia: (casually while running her finger along a tall spiring piece) Black. Ummm (her face gets a little red) No sugar or cream. (she moves into the back room and stops where some smaller pieces rest on a drop leaf table) We are planning to have a six or seven week showing of local artists starting with a one week showcase of selected pieces of each artists work. (Travis enters with two cups of coffee, his original one and a second which he hands to Cynthia) Thanks. I'd really like to see your work there. Its so....emotional. May I? (she gestures to one small piece as if to pick it up)

Travis: Yes. I do each piece when a feeling calls to me, that one is for a lover of mine.

Cynthia: (examining the piece) Present or (their eyes meet) Past?

Travis: Past. (a moment passes) Id be happy to have my pieces displayed with the others.

Cynthia: Great. (she looks at the barren floorboards and threadbare furniture) There will be a stipend for displaying your works, and If you'd like we can arrange to sell some pieces.

Travis: Im not interested in money.

Cynthia: Oh..I mean of course you arent, but even artists have to eat.

Travis: Thats why I go to work, which Im going to have to do now. I didnt see a car outside, can I walk you back? (he pulls on a jacket and removes a small revolver froma drawer which he places at the small of his back)

Cynthia: (eyes widening at the sight of the gun) Ahh no. I mean.. Im just parked down the street. I was confused by the address. (smiles as she moves with him towards the door) Ill be in touch with the dates for setting up for the show.

Travis: (nods) Sure you dont want me to walk you to your car? Like I said its not a safe area of town to be in at this hour.

Cynthia: No, really Im sure Ill be fine. Well, see you later.

Travis: (as she walks out the door) Miss Simonson?

Cynthia: (turns) yes?

Travis: You forgot your umbrella. (hands it to her)

Cynthia: (looking out into storm and chuckles perhaps nervously) How silly of me. (takes the umbrella and walks into the raging storm)

Travis: (calling after her) One more thing, how did you hear about my work?

Cynthia: (turning on sidewalk) Oh, you were recomended by a visiting professor who is sponsoring this showing, Professor Castigere. Do you know him?

Travis: no, no I dont.

Cynthia shrugs her shoulders and walks down the sidewalk heading east. Travis zips up his jacket and heads across the street towards campustown....

Chronicler's notes: This above is a pseudo-transcript of the first 4 scenes from the first session of the Black Rose campaign. Some of the names of characters have been changed or altered by me for various reasons. Most of the dialogue is true to that used in the game, or at least as well as I can remember. Their still remains four more 'introductory' scenes that will showcase the 4 other main characters (i.e. Players) which will follow in a second post. Following that will be the main body of the first game in a similar format. Note that most scenes have not and will not include all, or even a majority of the players involved. In truth, after four sessions of play [the fifth is scheduled for tonight, Halloween] I can only recall two scenes where all the players were in the same 'room' and even then they weren't really together. Some minor plot elements have and will be modified, both for the sake of brevity, and also because my notes for the first session are completely from memory.

For those readers familiar with the University of Illinois you will recognize certain locations and news items. Bear in mind though that this is not the same U of I that you attend or attended and that its history has been quite different as later posts will detail.

Finally, I encourage any reader with comments or questions, or who just wants to say "Hi" to mail me at the address below. Id really like to know what others think of both the story and the format.

Next Time: Four more 'Thorns' of the Rose.

P.S. Thanks goes out to Thomas Miller whose 'Adventurers' posts prompted me to undertake this task :)

Requiem for the Ascension: Movement one

Rise for Autumn - Episode two

Prelude: A small dusty book opens, its leather binding creaking slightly. A ebony pen glistens as the candle light as a hand carefully places pen to paper.

"5th September, 1993: Tings are worse than I could have expected. Everything has collapsed within days. Were it not for old friends I too would be in as much trouble as he. Chicago burns and I can only hope that the others are as fortunate as I. If they are as resourceful as I suspect, then I will hear from them soon. If they are not... well, I suppose I was a fool for making their aquaintance. I know not how many of us survive. In this day and age, there is only one certainty: The Jihad doth rage..."

Setting: A darkened room filled with tables. The only sources of light are the candles on each table and placed in candleabras along the walls. This is some sort of half-breed coffee house/pub whose patrons are almost exclusively clothed in black garments. Music wafts down from the first-floor above. The selection varies from The Virgin Prunes to early Gene Love's Jezebel. One patron stands out for not wearing the black 'uniform' of the locale. He is dressed in an outfit straight out of last summer's GQ, while his companion at the table could easily define the prevading style-- Goth. They speak in hushed tones.....

GQ: (pointing at some books on the table) Its all new-age crap. Everything in there is aimed at puritanical yuppies and crystal wavers. (sighs)

Goth: I know...But hey Josh its gotta be out there somewhere. In fact... (he flashes an all-knowing grin at his buddy)

Josh: What? C'mon Jesse what is it?

Jesse: You know those books you want to get at from the Graduate Library?

Josh: Yeah, the ones that are locked up in the rare book room, but dont appear on the catalogs. I've tried everything I know to get at em for years.

Jesse: Not everything, I met this creepy guy yesterday. He said he knew you, or at least he knew of you. Anyway he said that if you were truly serious in scholarly debates to contact him.

Josh: This isn't like that Cartouche woman you 'found' last spring is it? I still remember the DEA agents breaking down my door at 3 in the morning.

Jesse: Hey! Who was to tell me she was traficking? (notices some people looking at him funny, and drops his voice to a whisper) Now this guy has GOT to be legit...he was just TOO weird. Besides who else engages in 'scholarly debates' anymore?

Josh: Allright, what was his name?

Jesse: Castigere...Professor Castigere.

Josh: Ill check him out then...but if cops call in the wee hours of the morning Im gonna send em to your place.

(They resume drinking and absorbing the atmosphere. As we leave the room and indeed the Channing Murray foundation we notice that Travis occupys the place behind the bar and has been listening in to the conversation the whole time.)

Setting: Once again we are within a large, imposing, victorian dwelling. Remiel sits at a cluttered desk, his legs folded underneath him. He is staring intently through a large jewelers magnifying lens at a fax sheet. He occasionally consults leather bound tomes or a glowing workstation off to his left. Frowning he picks up a cellular phone from the workbench behind him and dials whilst reading a passage from one of the books.

Remiel: Hello, Miss Kelly its Remiel Peripiteia. I've looked over the faxes you sent of the charcoal rubbings and I have agreed to accept your commission..... Yes I do find them rather unusual, but I can't work from charcoal rubbings. .... Oh you did? That would explain the lack of quality. I will be at Davenport Hall at 9:30 tomorrow morning, I prefer Bagels not donuts, and like my coffee black. Goodbye.

He puts the phone down but not before we hear the strained voice of an irate woman on the other end. He then resumes his examination of the fax and writing notes.

Setting: Forked lightning cascades from the clouds and the storm surges anew. The peals of thunder resonate inside the large sanctuary of another church. This one, however, is still in use by its original occupants. An attractive girl gets up from her place on a hard wooden pew and moves to enter a darkened cubicle. Thin rays of light slice across her face as it is partly illuminated from the adjacent cubicle.

Girl: Forgive me father for I have sinned. It has been 3 months since my last confessional. <pause> Since then I have spoken untruths, coveted the possessions of others, been ungracious to my parents... (She holds her hands close to her chest and her and her head moves as is she were searching the floor for some answer)

Man (in next cubicle) : Is that all my child?

Girl: ummm yes. Yes that's all.

Man: Then your pennance shall be 2 rosaries and 4 hail marys.

Girl: Thank you father. (she crosses herself and exits the cubicle only to run into a tall young, but older, man in the garments of a priest) Oh Im sorry, forgiv---MIKE!!!

Mike: (enbraced in a bear hug) Hey sis, glad to see you too.

Girl: What are you doing here? When did you get in town? Why didn't you tell me?

Mike: In order: I came here to see Father Gregory who is in town at the university for a week. I got into town this afternoon and your roomate said you were here. And mom was supposed to tell you when she called monday.

Girl: Oh, well if I'd have known you were coming (she points at the booth she just left and sighs) Mom said we'd have a lot to talk about, but I thoguht she meant at Thanksgiving. I guess she forgot to mention this minor detail.

Mike: (laughs) So sis how's school?

Girl: Great, well the semester hasn't started yet so of course its great. (she's smiling uncontrolably) Im glad mom didn't say you were coming I love surprises (hugs him again).

Mike: Its okay Jay, I'll be in town at least a week. We have plenty of time to catch up.

Girl: How about now? I'm getting kinda hungry, wanna go get some food? There's a great place for hamburgers near by, its kind of a, well a bar, but they have really GREAT burgers.

Mike: Its okay, if they don't mind having a priest there I don't mind going. One doesn't have to drink in a bar you know. Besides just because I became a priest doesnt mean I died. (smiles) Apparently Father Gregory is going to be at the Anthropology building all night anyway, so I'm all yours.

(Mike puts his arm around his sisters shoulder and they walk out together)

Setting: Our view rises up into the stormy sky, we ascend to the tallest building in Urbana-Champaign, University Inn. We see a luxurious apartment on the fourteenth floor. Its spacious,light and decorated in neo-modern styles. A thin man wearing worn sweats lounges on a metal futon chair. He wears a pair of nice headphones and flips through a copy of the New York Times. At his side lies several other daily papers and a notebook computer. He glances up as the lamp next to him flashes, he removes the headphones and grabs a cordless phone nearby whilst extending the antenna.

Man: Hey-Lo.

Woman (on phone): Hello Eric, how are you doing? (her voice is very formal and aristocratic sounding)

Eric: Liz! (he sits up straight) Long time no hear. I'm pretty good, well as good as I can be in this cow-town. Its been raining for like months now. Hell, the basement and sub-basement in this place were flooded a couple of weeks back.

Liz: (sounds annoyed): I thought we had placed you in a nice establishment.

Eric: Its not this place, its the entire town. I guess this area used to be swampland awhile back. So now everything is flooding with all the rain, the local yokels are all bent up about crops and shit. Half the damn papers filled with economic woes.

Liz: Ahh, I see. You wouldnt be aclimating to the area would you?

Eric: Puhleeze. I don't think its possible to aclimate to this hell-hole. So whydja call? It wouldn't be purely social would it?

Liz: No, it wouldn't, speaking of economy I have a job for you.

Eric: Great! Bahamas? Bermuda?

Liz: Actually the client is local, that is, local to you. (Eric frowns) We have been contracted by a girl at the University.

Eric: I don't like the sound of that. You know I don't like working where I have to live.

Liz: Yes, I know, but she saw your picture and chose you specifically. Of course your fee will be increased due to the inconvience of the situation.

Eric: Oh well since you put it that way. (smiles) So whats the deal?

Liz: Its a Sorority party... Ill fax you the info and profile the client provided. Dress will be semi-formal. She likes the famous angle so Ill make sure some of Eric Jelice's works get written up in some downstate publication.

Eric: Okay sounds easy enough. A little razzle dazzle to impress the wanna- bes is nearly trivial.

Liz: I knew you'd think so. I'll call later. (hangs up)

Eric puts down the phone and wanders into the other room where a fax machine quietly whirrs.

Setting: Returning to the ground level we skim a short distance to another campustown coffee house. This one sports a brightly lit sign and a somewhat more animated crowd. We focus not on any of the tables, but on a girl who stands behind the counter. She is serving a smiling couple.

Girl: There you go, enjoy. (grabs a rag and starts to wash the countertop)

Man: (off to the side) Hey Miss!! Some service please?

Girl: (turns around quickly clearly surprised) I'm sorry I didn...Evan. Don't do that. (she folds her arms and moves over to him. She is wearing a very loose dress and sports several shiny necklaces and bracelets. She has an alabaster white face surrounded by coal black hair.) What are you doing here? I don't get off work for another 2 hours?

Evan: Yeah I know, I just got some good news for you. Can ya take a break?

Girl: Sure, I guess. Hey Chris, I'm goin on break now.

Guy nearby: 'Kay Lara I'll cover the counter.

(Lara and Evan move over to an empty table)

Lara: So whats the good news, I could really use some.

Evan: I know that's why I came right over. Now I know you were really upset about Windows and what Ma-

Lara: (interrupting) Don't even mention him.

Evan: (waves his hand as if erasing air) ..what HE wanted to do with it. (pauses as if waiting for a response from Lara...he doesn't get one) Anyway, I overheard some people talking about someone new at the Theatre department. Apparently they got this visiting professor who's looking to put on a production this semester.....A Locally written production if you get my drift.

Lara: (Her interest perks at the mention of this) Who is this guy? Does anyone know his background?

Evan: (shaking his head) I didn't hear much. He had a spanish sounding name like Casa Veer or something. I guess alot of people are in the same boat as you so I'd get on this ASAP.....(looks at watch) *sigh* I hate to cut this short, but I gotta get over to work. They need me to fill in for a couple of hours

Lara: (squeezes Evan's hand) Okay, Ill see ya later. Thanks for the tip. (she smiles as he walks out. She gets up and moves over to the pay-phone.)

Lara picks up the receiver and dials campus-information.

Lara: Hello I'd like the number of a Professor Casa Veer? He's in the Theater department....No I don't know how to spell it...Maybe he's in another department. (long pause, during which Lara's mood visably decays) YES he is a professor at THIS university. ... Well thank you you've been SOOOO helpful. (she slams the receiver back into the cradle. People at a nearby table stop talking and glance her direction at which point she glares back at them. After brushing her bangs out of her eyes she stomps back behind the counter.

Lara: Can I help you. (said with a sneer)

Fade to Black..........

Chronicler's notes: This ends the introductory scenes of the main player characters. Next posting will begin to tie together the inter- related storylines more. Some characters will be focussed on more in the first few postings since their plotlines were more center-stage than others. As a side note, some people who have written to me have expressed confusion as to exactly which characters the PCs are. Rest assured the PCs will be identified very clearly in the coming postings by their actions. One PC, however, is unique in NOT becoming a vampire. You can ponder over which character that is for the next few weeks....

Requiem for the Ascension: Movement one

Episode three

Prelude: In a dark alley a figure in stained and tattered clothes rushes past trash cans and wooden crates. He places one hand against the wall and is breathing heavily. Water flows from clogged gutters overhead and rain mats his disheleved hair. A spinning disk, a manhole cover, strikes the man in the center of his back and he is sent sprawling. Gasping air back into his lungs he turns over on the pavement gazing towards the direction he just came...A stroke of lightning illuminates a tall dark figure from behind as the hunter descends. We pan away from the alley as a sharp shrill scream is drowned by a clap of thunder.

Setting: The next morning. Gloria walks down a sidewalk in Urbana. She holds an umbrella in one hand, but it is currently closed though the skies threaten rain at any time. She turns up a narrow walk and heads inside a small apartment complex. She passes through the ramains of a small drowned flower garden and angles towards a door marked with the number 4. She knocks and waits for a moment before being let inside by an older yet attractive woman. Inside the apartment we see a large number of cardboard boxes and items in various stages of packing.

Woman: Gloria! I'm glad you came over. I was afraid I might not get a chance to see you before I left.

Gloria: I'd never let you leave without saying goodbye. Is the packing going well?

Woman: Yeah, most of this stuff is going into storage actually but it still needs to be packed up. *sighs*

Gloria: Yeah I wish you'd have told me you had this much to pack. I'd have come over and helped.

Woman: Now you have far more important things to do with your life than help a fossil like me stuff things into boxes. Speaking of which... I know me leaving this year comes at a very bad time for your career. You have been developing so nicely over the last year I hate to run out on you.

Gloria: Margie your not running out on me. You're taking a well deserved break. Its an incredible oportunity.

Margie: Always the practical one... (she shakes her head) Opportunity is what I wanted to talk to you about. It just so happens that the department has had a sudden addition to the staff this year. A very renowned man by the name of Castigere whom you will be auditioning for tomorrow at 2 PM.

Gloria: Auditioning?

Margie: Yes, since you refuse to look after your own interest I made the first move for you. Now the man is apparently known for his discriminating attitude towards students so the rest is up to you. (she sees the look on Gloria's face) You are the BEST student I have had in years, its time someone else knew about it. Now you can thank me while we have some tea.

Gloria: (smiles) Thank You....

Gloria follows Margie into the kitchen where the tea kettle is already boiling.

Setting:The imposing structure of the recently remodled Davenport Hall, home of the Anthropology department of the U of I. A tall man walks nervously up to the main doors and inside. Once inside he seems to breathe easier as he glances around the entryway. As he heads up the imposing main staircase we see that the man is Remiel Peripiteia. He holds a small briefcase in one hand and an umbrella in the other as he rushes up the stairs and towards a room on the second floor. He stops when he hears a voice call out:

Female Voice: "Mr Peripiteia I presume." (Remiel spins around and sees Ms Angie Kelly standing in a opened doorway holding a cup of coffeee.) I believe you wanted your coffee black?"

Remiel: (recovering well from his intial shock) "Yes, yes I did. (takes the coffee from her) So where may I find the tablets?

Angie: "This way (she gestures down a hall) Professor Grifith is not in yet this morning, but he left instructions for you to have access to the room. You are familiar with clean room protocols?"

Remiel: "Yes I have my own." (as he says this he refuses the offer of rubber gloves from Angie and produces his own from his briefcase)

Angie: (opens up the room...within are several large objects covered in pristine white fact most of the room is white except for a man dressed in the black garb of a Catholic priest and the tablet he is examining) "Father Riley this is Remiel Peripiteia...Remiel, Father Riley" (Father Riley nods in their direction and turns back to the tablet) "Father Riley has also been called into inspect the tablets"

Remiel: "Pleased to meet you Father" (neither man offers his hand to the other) "Now miss Kelly I will get to business"

Angie: "Certainly, if you need anything I'll be down the hall"

Remiel, blocked in his attempt to view the first tablet by Father Riley standing there moves to another one and pulls off the sheet. The tablet seems to be made of carefully carved granite and resembles some sort of tombstone. Remiel carefully transcribes the images on the tablets surface. Noticing that Father riley is absorbed in his work Remiel removes his rubber glove and licks one of his finger tips before running it along the surface of the tablet. He feels a slight tingling sensation and is contemplating the meaning of this when...

Riley: Fascinating aren't they. (Remiel quickly but casually replaces his glove while turning to the Father) I'm afraid the inscription is a bit beyond me however.

Remiel: Yes it is a unique text.

Riley: But not untranslatable if one was skilled enough. I suspect you understand my meaning.

Remiel: In that case you suspect wrong because I don't know what you are talking about.

Riley: We in the church have heard of your skills and I am personally glad to see that you have been brought in on this matter. I was hoping we could make an arangement.

Remiel: What sort of an arangement would 'we' make?

Riley: We are very interested in the translation of these tablets and would be willing to pay you a considerable ammount for an 'exclusive' traslat-

Mike: (entering eith Jay) Father Riley? Oh, Im sorry I thought you'd be alone.

Riley: No, I was just speaking with Mr Peripiteia here. He's been brought in to study the tablets as well. I take it that this is your sister Jacqueline you have spoken so much about. (he walks towards them)

Jay: (bowing her head slightly) Its a pleasure to meet you Father.

Mike: I thought you might like to accompany us for brunch, but I see you're busy.

Riley (waving his hand slightly): Ah no. I wasnt' acomplishing much here anyway. I could use the break. We weill continue our conversation later Mr. Peripiteia, Im interested to hear your opinion. (he heads for the door)

Mike: (following Riley) It was nice ummm meeting you Mr. Peripiteia. (He leaves and Jay smiles and waves slightly)

Remiel continues studying the tablet as we hear a female voice echoing down the hall "...realy weird...". He stops suddenly as he sees a sheaf of papers lying on the cover of one of the tablets. He picks them up and carefully scans them. We see written in the first sheet "Transport Invoice".

Setting:A tree covered sidewalk in campustown that runs next to the main Quad. The skies grow ever darker and forboding thus Joshua has taken this opportunity to walk his dogs, two black Rottweilers. While taking in the scenery of the day Joshua notices his friend Jesse up ahead walking his direction with a girl.

Jesse: Hey how you guys doing? (he stoops to ruffle the heads of the two dogs who seem very excited to see Jesse, he notices Joshua standing there and making a small gesture to the girl with his hand.) Oh right! Joshua this is Kathy. (Joshua and Kathy shake hands) She's new to the university.

Joshua: Ahh pleased to meet you. (Kathy is also a Goth bedecked head to foot in oddly styled black garments) Jesse could I speak with you a minute.

Jesse: Sure. (to Kathy) I'll be right back.

Kathy: Okay Ill just be over here... (she kneels down and introduces herself to the dogs who seem wary at first but accept her)

Joshua: I tried to call that Castigere fellow but the phone number he is listed at isn't working. Do you have any idea how I can get ahold of him?

Jesse: Can't help ya. Didja try his office?

Joshua: I'm not exactly sure where it is, I don't even know if he has an office.

Jesse: Oh shit, thats right I forgot to give you this. (pulls out a business card on very nice paper, it seems to be hand written but elegantly) He said you were to call on him.

Joshua: (takes the card which lists an office inside Krannert Center for the Performing Arts) Call ON him is different than call him Jesse.

Jesse: Hey how was I to know. We still on for coffee tonight?

Joshua: Yeah, (quietly) so where's Stephanie?

Jesse: She'll be there tonight. Why...(notices Joshua looking at Kathy) Oh no Stephanie is at class right now so...

Joshua: So Kathy is just filler?

Jesse: Yeah but she sure is filled (gives Joshua a wicked grin) Hey listen man I'll catch you later. (addressing the dogs) Cya guys (ruffles their heads once more and walks away taking Kathy's arm as he passes her)

Joshua: Unbeleiveable....

Setting: A small but functional dormotory room in Busey-Evans hall. An attractive girl sits at her desk word-processing, when the door opens to admit Jay.

Girl: Hey why are you back so early? I thought you were going to have lunch with your devoted brother? (now that we hear her voice we recognize this as Amy Storm)

Jay: Mike and Father Riley had to cancel at the last minute. When we stopped by the church so he could pick up his messages Father Riley excused himself and went off somewhere. Mike went off after him, but they promised me we'd reschedule for tomorrow. What are you working on?

Amy: Stuff for the Aliance. We're going to have a general meeting next week so I figured I better get ready now. (checks her watch and her eyes bug out) Aww damn, I was supposed to meet a faculty advisor at two. I gotta go. (grabs her backpack off her bed) Hey lets go jogging tommorow morning. Its the only free time I have and I still need to work off my summer gain.

Jay: Sure. Hope your meeting goes well... (as Amy dashes out.) *sigh* (Jay picks up a book but puts it back down right after opening the cover) Boy the fun never stops around here. (she sits around for awhile looking very bored until an idea strikes her. She gets off her bed and grabs the phone.) *ring* *ring* *ring* Hello Dan? Its Jay, you busy?

Setting: A very attractive sororiety house at night. The entire house is lit up and the sound of festivities filters out the main door. Its the middle of Fall Rush on campus and this house is going all out for the event. Inside we see Gloria looking lovely in a simple yet elegant dress. Next to her is a tall man who looks elegant, but fairly plain.

Gloria: Thanks for coming on such short notice Donald. I really appreciate this.

Donald: Uh, no problem, anything to help out a friend. (smiles) I haven't seen you around Krannert much recently.

Gloria: I kept busy most of the summer, I usually rehearsed at odd hours.

Donald: Ahhh

(The tow of them stand there silently for a moment, it seems to be an awkward situation at least for Donald. The silence is broken with the arrival of...)

Amanda: Gloria! There you are! (Amanda is wearing an outfit that looks just a little too showy for the occasion and is sporting the smile of a beauty contestant) Who's this?

Donald: Donald, Gloria and I were in a production together last spring.

Amanda: Really so your a dancer too? Wow. Gloria that dress looks fabulous on you. You just wear such nice clothes... Hey have you met my date? He's coming over now. Eric! This is a house-mate of mine Gloria and her date Donald.

Eric: (looking VERY good in a italian suit with very clean lines. He also Ahh Gloria, Amanda has spoken of you many times. Its a pleasure to meet you. (he gives her a slight bow) You are a dancer correct? It is very clear from the way you move (he smiles in a suggestive aristocratic way)

Gloria: Yes I am.

Amanda: Isn't this a great party? Its just so--Oh look over there.

Gloria: (wondering what Amanda is referring to) Where?

Amanda: Over there...can you believe those girls wore that to a formal rush?

Eric: Good lord. They're probably from one of the local towns and have NO idea that 'dress attire' means dress.

Amanda: Very true, well they can count there chances GONE.

Gloria: I think they look rather nice.

Eric: But my dear you can't be too careful, if you start tainting the cream with vinegar all you'll wind up with is curdled milk. If you'll excuse me ladies I believe I'll go fetch some punch. Some for you dear?

Amanda: Please (smiles)

Donald: (as Eric wanders off) I'll go get us some too okay? (Gloria nods and Donald wanders off after Eric)

Amanda: So what do you think? Is he not the greatest guy or what!?

Gloria: I guess so (gives a weak sort of questioning-smile)

Amanda: The best part is, get this, he's an artist! He was even written up in Campus Life the other day.

Gloria: That's great.

Amanda: Is there anything special going on between you and--'Donald'? (she gives Gloria a mischievous grin)

Gloria: Not really. We became friends last spring, I needed a date for this party and he was available. (trying to change the subject) So how did you and Eric meet?

Eric: (appearing out of nowhere with two glasses of punch) Actually thats quite a story itself. (hands Amanda her glass and takes a sip of his own) I was walking on the...what's it called...the Quad? Anyway I was walking along one day my thoughts completely lost in the clouds, which is really easy to do since there are so many about, when I literally ran into her. Of course I felt horrible about knocking her down so I invited her to have coffee with me and well you know the phrase : "one thing led to another.." (smile

Amanda: (also smiling after the little story) Well I just saw someone over there I want Eric to meet so we'll leave you two alone. (in the middle of the story Donald wandered up with two cups of punch) Nice meeting you Donald.

Eric: Pleasure meeting you. (they wander off)

Donald: Here you go (hands her a cup of punch)

Gloria: Thanks (they both drink)

Donald: ...This stuff is-

Gloria: (making an effort to swallow) Pretty bad.

Donald: If you like we could leave. I mean we can stay if you want I was just thinking maybe we could go get some coffee and pastries? Intermezzo's closed but Espresso should still be open.

Gloria:(taking his arm and putting down her cup of punch) That sounds like a wonderful idea.

As Gloria and Donald make there way to the door we see a darkly clothed figure peering in one of the windows of the house....

Setting: We are again present at the New World Cafe where the music coming from the club above is quieter this evening. Jesse and Joshua share the same table as before joined by a dark haired woman. Travis is nearby cleaning tables.

Jesse:No the candles were of the right wax, I tell ya its the ritual that was all wrong. Were not working from canon sources here.

Dark haired woman: Who would write down a ritual that was completely bogus? Do you have any notion of the difficulty in writing ANYTHING down in the middle ages? Why would you go through the expense of preserving garbage? Besides I still maintain I felt..something.

Jesse: What you felt was the earth moving, but that was later in the evening (gives her a lecherous grin)

Joshua: (both he and the woman glare at Jesse for a few seconds) I think Steph may have a point, BUT I'm not convinced yet. I say we must be missing something...maybe something that has nothing to do with the ritual but with the people who do it. I dunno, maybe the stuff got copied bad or something.

Jesse: Yeah, maybe someone left this 'bogus' stuff around to throw people off the trail of the real stuff.

Stephanie: So Mr. Stone any more conspiracy theories you wanna throw our way?

(they continue bantering back and forth whilst Travis's attention is drawn to a new customer)

Remiel: (enters and looks around for a second while his eyes get used to the gloom. His gaze settles on Travis and he moves over to him) Hey Travis how are you?

Travis: Pretty good...yourself?

Remiel: fair enough.

Travis: So what brings you out tongiht?

Remiel: I'm looking for some guys, strong ones.

Travis: (giving him an odd look) Is this something I should know about?

Remiel: (completely misses the innuendo) I was hired to translate some very interesting artifacts, but I need some help getting them to my house.

Travis: And you need strong guys for this?

Remiel: They're a little bulky.

Travis: How 'bulky'?

Remiel: 500 pound stone tablets

Travis: (whistles) That's bulky. Why not have them shipped freight?

Remiel: I really need them moved at night.

Travis: Oh, I think I get the idea...

Remiel: (has been gazing around the room) Those two guys over at that table, know anyhing about them?

Travis: Yeah they come in here at least once a week and talk about magic sorcery and stuff like that.

Remiel: Hmm sounds promising... (he walks over to the table where Jesse and Joshua are still talking with Stephanie) Excuse me?

Joshua: (who was in the middle of a sentence) uh..Yes?

Remiel: I'm looking for a couple of fairly stong guys to help me move some furniture and you two look capable.

Jesse: You came over here to ask US to help YOU move furniture? When, why and what's in it for us?

Remiel: Tomorrow night say around midnight, because I want it moved and I'm willing to pay you for your services.

Joshua: Where is this 'furniture'?

Remiel: At Davenport hall, its the Anthropology building in case you didn't know.

Joshua: So you want us to move stuff out of a university building, at midnight, on the quad?

Remiel: (licks his lips and nods curtly) mmm Yes.

Joshua: Ahhh (both he and Jessee turn to look at each other and a moment passes while they stare at each other, Josh then turns back to face Remiel) I think we'll pass.

Remiel: Suit yourself. (he walks away and chats with Travis for a second or two before leaving)

Stephanie: What a strange guy....

Setting:Outside Espresso Royale on Daniels street in Champaign. The neon sign lights up the sidewalk where Amanda and Eric are standing.

Eric: This is your evening, we do whatever it is you want to do.

Amanda: Could you do me a favor then?

Eric: (smiling) That is what I'm here for.

Amanda: Okay I really do not like the girl who works here. Could we like go in and then you be real nasty to her?

Eric: (still smiling amusedly) Certainly (looks in the window) Is she the one behind the counter?

Amanda: yeah thats her.

Eric: (nods and moves over to the door) After you my dear...

Inside the atmosphere of the coffee house is pretty much the same as before only now the place is fairly crowded with couples out for the evening as well as students calmly studying over a cup of cappuchino. Eric and Amanda walk up to the counter where Lara is currently talking with another person. Where they wait for about 10 seconds before:

Eric: You were right this place does have horrible service. Excuse me miss...miss we'd like some service here?

Lara: (after finishing the order of the man seated at the counter) Umm I'll be right with you.

Amanda: I told you they had incompetant help.

Lara: (ignores Amanda although she clearly knows her) Can I help you?

Eric: Two Cappuchinos, vanilla and sweet.

Lara: (goes off to get the order)

Eric: Expediency isn't there forte' here I can tell...ahh here we are.

Lara: Here you go (hands over two steaming cups)

Eric: (looks at the cups) What's this?

Lara: Uhm two cappuchinos vanilla flavored with sugar.

Eric: I said one Vanilla without sugar and one plain with double sugar.

Lara: (clenching her teeth) Oh, Im sorry..It must have been my mistake. (she goes to pick up the cups)

Eric: (feigning exasperation) No just don't bother. This will be fine I suppose (sighs) How much is it?

Lara: $2.25 please

Eric: (handing her the money and speaking to Amanda):No wonder they can't afford skilled labor. (smiles sickly sweet at Lara) Thank You.

As Eric and Amanda leave Lara turns back to the man she was speaking to before...its Remiel.

Lara: argh! I can't believe her! (to Remiel) I'm sorry we were interupted, what was it that you wanted?

Remiel: I just wanted to know if you knew of any really strong guys who were looking for a job and hang out here?

Lara: Uhhhh not really, but you never know who might wander in.

Remiel: If you hear of any let me know (he wanders off towards the tables)

Lara: I'll do that. (she picks up a rag and cleans the counter while shaking her head as if to clear it of the recent events)

Remiel wanders to the far corner of the room while his eyes are fixed on Gloria who is sitting with Donald at a window table. As he passes by he 'accidently' hits the table and spills coffee into Donalds lap.

Donald: (stamnding up REAL fast) Yeeeouch!!

Remiel: Oh Im so sorry. I'm really very clumsy. Is there anything I can do?

Donald: No I'll be fine really.

Remiel: I can't believe I did that, at least let me pay for the dry cleaning. (he pulls out his wallet from his coat while staring at Gloria) Forgive me but I know I've seen you before....Do you dance?

Gloria: Yes perhaps you saw me-

Remiel: At Krannert, last spring yes? You were in a studio piece weren't you?

Donald: Yes she was...we were both in that.

Remiel: (deadpan to Donald) How nice for you. I'm usually not that fond of studio pieces but I thought your piece was exceptional.

Gloria: Thank you very much.

Remiel: (after a long awkward pause) I'm sorry I must be interrupting you. Once again I'm very sorry about the coffee.

Donald: Its no problem...really.

Gloria: (after Remiel wanders off) What an odd man.

Setting: The next day. We are in a corridor lit by bright flourescent lights. Located in the sub-basement of the Krannert Center for the performing arts its hard to tell whether its night or day down here without a watch. Two people approach the same office door which is firmly closed. As we see their faces we recognize them as Lara and Mary.

Mary: (looking at a paper in her hand) Hmmm S27. (she checks the door which does indeed have that number on it. she then reaches up and knocks on the door. Several seconds pass and no one answers, she becomes aware that Lara is standing here with her) Looks like no one's home.

Lara: Yeah, I guess he isn't in yet. You here to see Professor Castigere?

Mary: (nods) I'm going to ask him about doing an independent study. You?

Lara: Submitting a play. I'm hoping he'll want to produce it.

Mary: Wow you're a playwrite?

Lara: Yeah, well I'm hoping to be. I haven't actually had anything put-on yet. I heard he was a new addition to the department and was hoping for a fresh opinion.

Mary: (nods) Sounds like a good idea. He's new huh. Was he just hired or is he visiting?

Lara: Visiting I think.

Joshua: (who wanders up and looks at the door) You waiting for Castigere?

Mary: Yeah, join the line. (To Lara) By the way my name's Mary.

Lara: Lara. (they both look to the newcomer)

Joshua: Josh (he smiles and rocks back on his heels) Has anyone seen him before?

Mary: Nope, have you Lara?

Lara: No, I tried calling but the phone company recording said the number was unavailable.

Joshua: Same here. You don't think he might be hurt or something in his office do you?

Mary: Maybe he fell down and knocked his phone off the hook. Although wouldn't the cleaning staff notice?

Lara: Trust me you could be lying in the corridor dripping blood and the O and M people wouldn't blink.

Joshua: Maybe we should go get someone to check the office.

Mary: I'd hate to think of some poor old professor dying in his office while we did nothing. i'll go find a janitor.

Lara: Don't bother I have a master key (pulls out a key-ring full of keys) I used to work here.

As Lara starts trying keys on the door all three are statled by a man clearing his throat RIGHT behind them.

Man: Ahem, Excuse me but what are you doing to my door.

Mary: Your door?

Lara: Oh we thought someone might be injured inside since there was no answer.

Man: There was no answer because Im not inside. (he unlocks the door and walks inside)

Inside the office the decor is very austere. Four posters, one on each wall, compose the entire decoration. The central figure in the room is a very old looking wooden desk with an antique pen set and a small stone paperweight on it. The man himself is a thin older man with shoulder length grey hair. He is wearing a conservative, almost antiquated, suit and a very traditional looking hat which he places on a small hook on the wall. He carries an old worn leather case which he places under the desk before seating himself facing the door.

Man: Now what can I do for you? (looks at Mary) You first please.

Mary: (A little put back by the man) Uhmm Professor Castigere I wanted to ask you about doing an independent study project this semester. I tried to get into your class, but it was full and I can't seem to schedule any other class that fits that requirement so I was wondering if you could help?

Man: I beleive Miss...

Mary: Catharte, Mary Catharte.

Man: I believe Miss Catharte that the procedures for an independent study at this institution require the student to present the faculty member with a formal proposition, not the other way around.

Mary: I...I see its just tha-

Man: When you have an idea of what you would like to do please come see me again and we can discuss the porposition then. Now if you'll excuse me (he gestures to the door)

Mary: umm Thank-You for seeing me Professor, I' that and be back later. (she leaves)

Man: Now, what can I do for you? (to Lara)

Lara: Sir, I heard that you were going to be maybe producing a play this semester and I wanted to submit mine to you. (she hands a bound codex of papers to him)

Castigere: I see, what is the play about?

Lara: Its called 'Windows'. Its about this woman who watches the world go by through her living room window and makes comment on what she sees.

Man: (nods) I will read your work over. Please come back in three days and I will have it finished....(he places the play into a drawer of his desk) You may leave.

Lara: Umm thank you Professor. (she leaves)

Man: So Joshua what can I do for you?

Joshua: You know me?

Man: Yes I do, why else would I have sent for you. I believe you have some interest in old texts?

Joshua: ummm yes, I do have an interest in some ancient works. Jesse said that you could help me?

Castigere: What books would you like to see Joshua?

Joshua: Ummm (he names off a few books of trivial nature and 2 books that he is pretty sure have the REAL STUFF in them)

Castigere: (nods) I see. (he reaches into a drawer and carefully removes a sheet of paper. He takes up a pen in his hand and dips it into an actual ink well before writing) Show this letter to the director at the library. They will let you see whatever texts you desire. Please come see me if you have any difficulty interpreting the texts I would enjoy discussing them with you. (he stands and moves to the door) If you will excuse me I am late for an apointment...

Joshua: (takes the letter) Thank-you (he walks outside followed by Castigere) I really appreciate this Professor. (he turns to address the professor and sees no one there) Professor? (feeling a little spooked he calmly but quickly moves to the elevator and steps inside.

End of Movement One

Notes: This post is much longer than the first two, but I wanted to complete the first run of the game by the end of this episode. Some people have made inquiries about SPOILERS. I will not include anything of a spoilerish nature without first putting up huge alarms and whistles. There is some relation to Chicago in the Chronicle but nothing so far that would seem very spoilerish. its rather natural to features Chicago occasionally since its the closest Major City to both the characters and the players. :)

Requiem for the Ascension: Movement two

Disintigration - part 1

Prelude: A car drives down Neil street. We see the surrounding houses and yards reflected in his mirrored shades. The driver glances upwards at a McDonalds billboard and then over to a small warehouse nestled next to the railroad tracks. He glares at a worker who is taking down a "Space for Rent" sign from the soaped windows of the warehouse. The car passes under the railroad tacks and as it does so we catch a brief glimpse of the driver: a younger man with long black hair. He is unshaven and wears rugged clothes of mostly black. As the car emerges from the underpass he picks up a copy of the Daily Illini off the seat, glances at it, sneers and throws it back on the seat.

"By Deseree Vauner-- Daily Illini Reporter

Yet another missing persons case was reported yesterday evening in the north side of Champaign. 5-year old Vanessa Ruiz was reported missing by her parents after an extensive neighborhood search by them and several members of the local neighborhood watch. Young Vanessa was last seen wearing a white blouse and pink polka-dot skirt and has shoulder length black hair. Any information on the whereabouts of Vanessa should be submitted to the Champaign police department. This latest missing person may be related to recent wave of disappearances and violence among the homeless residents of both Champaign and Urbana, according to Detective Daniel Hedgewood. There does exist the chance that these are unfortunate but unrelated crimes but dectective Hedgewood was quoted as saying that was 'not likely'. This and other recent gang-related crimes has only added to the county's growing crime rate which has already topped the record set only last year with 4 more months left on the calendar. Local residents blame the descent into lawlessness on the economy, but the official word from the mayors office places the blame on the rapid insurgance of Chicago gang members into the Twin Cities. Mayor McCullum said 'Its bad enough when we have to fight our own crime much less the riff-raff that even Cook county can't handle.' "

Setting:Midmorning finds two young women bedecked in shorts and running shoes making their way across campus. The two can be recognized as Jay and her roommate Amy Storm, the former in obviously better physical condition than the latter. They are heading vaguely south towards the stench rising up from the South Farms.

Jay: Phewwww! This kind of makes aerobic breathing rather difficult.

Amy: *puff* Speak for yourself...It was difficult for me even before we left Busey-E. So *puff* you auditioning for the musical?

Jay: Yeah, I'd hate to waste this tremendous breath control on dodging pig odors. Actually I tried to jog most of last summer, aerobic exercise really does improve your lung volume and diaphram control.

Amy: That's great for you, personally I'd just like to see a little waist control. (points down a small hill) Lets head over past Mt. Hope, maybe the foilage will mask the farm smell. Besides *puff* its mostly downhill.

Jay: *puff* Good idea.

They jog on for a little while and reach the gated entrance to Mt. Hope Cemetary, a picturesque old resting ground that is now nestled near the central part of campus. They enter following the gravelled path.

Amy: So do I have to come out and ask it?

Jay: Ask what?

Amy: Who is this Dan guy?

Jay: how did you hear about Dan?

Amy: Well lessee *puff* We share a space of about 50 square feet and you have a persevering love for sticky-notes...You figure it out for yourself.

Jay: *giggle-puff* He's just a guy I met at registration.

Amy: Just a guy? C'mon Jay its Amy yer talking to here. I demand my rights as a roommate in good faith to get some dirt.

Jay: Speaking of dirt....

They are both passing by a guy who is filling in an open grave, an odd thing in a cemetary that was filled decades ago. They both catch a glimpse of the tombstone that reads 'Erasmus DeHavre (1835-1910).'

Jay: Weird...maybe they had to exume his body?

Amy: You're dodging the subject. (Jay gives her a fake-innocent look) Dan, you know 'just some guy'.

Jay: He is 'just some guy'. Well just some guy that I talked to on the phone for 3 hours yesterday and I'm lunch with today. (smiles)

Amy: Oh *puff* just some guy that you are falling for then?

Jay: you could say that. (they both chuckle)

Amy: Hey, I hate to sound like the human appointment calendar, but aren't you having lunch with your brother and Father whassisname today?

Jay: (suddenly stops on the road) Ohmigosh! I completely forgot about Mike! What am I going to do?! I can't cancel on two priests! That's probably grounds for excommunication or something in some circles.

Amy: (quite happy to stop) why not just invite Dan along? Lunch with the clergy should be a pretty good trial-by-fire for any potential flame, besides who'd try anything with two priests hanging around?

Jay: Good Idea. C'mon lets get back to Busey, I need to call Dan about the change of plans. (starts jogging off)

Amy: Can't we just take a shuttle bus? (gets a stern glance from Jay) Just an idea.... (she jogs after her roommate)

As the two girls leave the cemetary we see a dark figure wearing a long coat carefully watching them from behind a tree. He watches them jog back up the hill and then moves fully behind the tree trunk and is gone.

Setting:The Lobby of Busey-Evans Residence House. This could easily pass for the archetype of a dorm. People pass in and out the main doors and other mill around in the lobby waiting for someone to meet them or pay for their pizza. One such person is Mary Catharte who sits in a chair near the main doors and occasionally glances at her watch. She stands up when she sees the twin figures of Jay and Amy enter covered in a light layer of sweat.

Mary: Amy? (walking towards them) Did you forget--

Amy: (slaps her forehead) Aww jeez we were going to talk about the publicity for the campaign this morning. I TOTALLY forgot about it. Here let me dash upstairs and change out of this then we can talk. Oh Jay this is Mary...Mary, Jay. (she runs for the stairs)

Jay: (checking her pulse) Hi! (pauses while measuring pulse) You working on the Aliance with Amy?

Mary: Yeah, I'm the Aliance's candidate for SGA president next year.

Jay: Oh that's right, Mary. I just wasn't thinking, Amy says great things about you. She said you were involved in some open forum work last spring.

Mary: (nods) That's me representative government in action. I don't suppose we could enlist your aid?

Jay: (chuckles while putting her hair back out of her face) Uh-uh. Amy and I have a binding agreement. I don't torture her with gargling Gershwin and she doesn't give me pamphlets to pass out. It helps keep us both sane and civil.

Mary: gargling Gershwin?

Jay: Voice major.

Mary: Ahhh, I suppose you're trying out for 42nd street then?

Jay: Yeah and Im just a little nervous (smiles) Hey here comes Amy.

Amy: (walking up and looking un-sweaty if not entirely refreshed) Sorry about that Mary, wanna go down to the computer lab and see some of the fliers I've designed?

Mary: Sure, nice meeting you Jay.

Jay: Same here, cya tonight Amy. I'm gonna hit the showers. (starts to head off)

Amy: Yeah I'll see you then, you gotta tell me how the last supper goes. (Jay turns around and makes an exasperated shooing motion at Amy who chuckles) Inside joke....C'mon.

The two of them head off to the computer lab leaving the lobby still full of people.

Setting:A large bare room with a wooden floor and a floor to ceiling mirror along one wall. This is a practice room inside of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Gloria stands within wearing a loose outfit and stretching. She bends down to place her hands on the floor and spies Donald entering the room.

Donald: G-Gloria! You're auditioning too?

Gloria: Yes (she continues stretching) I was wondering if anyone else was going to show up.

Donald: I hope not -- umm I don't think so, apparently this guy is very selective as to who even auditions for him.

Gloria: (notices donald seems VERY nervous) I suppose its a real honor to even get this far then. About last ni-

Gloria is cut off by the door closing even though neither occupant of the room heard or saw anyone else enter. Santiago Castigere turns from the door and moves towards them.

Castigere: We will begin. You (he gestures to Gloria) will dance first.

Gloria moves her towel and bag out of her dance space and hands her tape to Donald who places it in a stereo system. He gives her a thumbs-up sign for luck and starts the tape.

Gloria begins the piece huddled on the floor her arms wrapped around herself. As the first chord of slow music plays she begins to make slight movements and extend her limbs. She moves fluidly as she rises to her feet and stands her eyes searching an imaginary horizon for we know not what. She seems to lock on one place in her perceived sky and reaches upwards closing her fingers around it and pulling it in towards her. she seems to hold this mote of imagination in her hand as she moves around it in a circle that contracts with increasing rapidity as the tempo of the music rises. She spins as if a dervish about her new axis finally releasing her grip on the thing and spinning out of control as she watches it sail back into the sky. The music ends with her again lying on the floor, this time her limbs are all strecthed out and her eyes are fixed on the sky she once touched and has now lost.

Gloria blinks twice then sits up pushing her hair back into place and looking to Castigere for his impression.

Castigere: A fair beginning, we will have to work on perfecting it.

Gloria: (looking stunned) B- But we choreographed that piece for 3 months!

Castigere: (fixes her with a gaze) WE will work on it. Firstly you do not grab for the item in the sky. (he moves over to her and assumes the position she was in) You should coax it out of the sky....make it come to you. Then draw it into your center not you into its. Pull it down here (he pokes her in the sternam with his index finger) draw it fully into you and never-ever let it go. It will try to force its way out but you and you alone must master it. Do I make myself clear?

Gloria: (her eyes are wide as she has been taking this all in) Yes.

Castigere: Good, you have too much energy left.

Gloria: Excuse me?

Castigere: If you are doing everything in your power to hold it to you then you must exhaust yourself. By then end of the dance you could scarcely be able to breathe, standing should make your very muscles shake in rebellion. To do less is to cheat yourself. .... Now do it again.

Gloria:I need to rewind the tape--

Castigere: No. Do it again, you should already have the music within you. You do not need this machine to give you what you already possess.

Gloria begins again. This time she works in the changes that Castigere suggested and whereas before she was a dervish, now she is a whirlwind alive with motion and life. She finishes standing still, her breast heaving in exertion to restore oxygen to her lungs. She barely stands, but she stands triumphant.

Castigere: (slowly claps three times) Very Good. (he turns to Donald) Now you.

Donald nods and after giving a nervous smile to Gloria he puts his tape on the stereo and begins. His performance lacks the raw artistry of Glorias and at several points he makes obvious flubs. After each mistake he seems more nervous then before but continues to dance until suddenly the music stops. Both he and Gloria whip their heads around to look at the silent stereo and then back across the room where Castigere stands.

Castigere: Enough... I have seen more than enough. Your performance likes insight, it lacks artisty and it lacks thought. Your movements as those of an ungainly youth and betray your incompetance and (he looks Donald up and down) inadequacies. I suggest you seriosuly reconsider your chosen profession.

Donald stands in the room his mouth partly open and his eyes glazed over like a deer standing in the glow of headlights. His bottom lip quivers for a second before he rushes from the room grabbing his coat as he does so.

Castigere: (after Donald leaves) Your tutalage will begin tomorrow at this same time. Please select some music for your new piece.

With that Castigere turns and leaves the room and Gloria in stunned silence.

Setting: A bright sunny day outside as we move across town to a rather large book store in southwest Champaign. Within we see two employees hard at work.

Amanda: Okay I finished shelving the restock do you want me to start work on the new releases display?

Evan: Sure whatever Amanda. (he seems preoccupied with some papers he's looking over)

Amanda: (leaning over his shoulder and getting rather close to him) Do you need any help with the invoices?

Evan: (very aware of Amandas close proximity, he tries to move away) Uhh no thanks I can handle this. You just worry about the display.

We now can see Lara walking up to the main door and beginning to enter the store, an event not lost on Amanda.

Amanda: (bending way over evens shoulder so that her breasts rest on the back of his neck and pointing to an invoice on his lap) Isn't Ballantine spelled with one 'l'?

Evan: (he turns around to face her, or rather her chest) No its....two. (he sees Lara walking up to the counter and stands up dumping paperwork all over the floor) Lara! What brings you by?

Lara: (who caught Amanda's little manuever) Just dropped by to see you and tell you the news.

Amanda: (smiles very weakly at Lara then looks to the papers on the ground) I'll pick these up for you Evan. (she begins to bend over)

Evan: Uh--That's okay Amanda, I'll get em myself. You just go and start working on the display and I'll be over to help in a bit.

Amanda picks up a couple of papers then shrugs and walks over to the new releases section and begins work. As she passed Lara she gave her a wicked little grin that only Lara could see.

Lara: ARGGGHHH She drives me crazy! Can't you fire her or something?

Evan: I can't fire someone because my girlfriend doesn't like her. You know that. Now what was this news you had?

Lara: (cools down a little bit) Well, I went to see Castigere--which by the way is his name not Casa Veer--and he said he'd look over my play. Finally I have a chance for an objective opinion of my work.

Evan: That's great, maybe this is your first step to being discovered.

Lara: I wouldn't go that far, but it certainly is a step in the right direction. Now if I could only get rid of little miss you-know-who.

Evan: Amanda's harmless, besides she says she's got a new boyfriend.

Lara: I've met him I think.

Evan: Oh what's he like?

Lara: Suffice it to say I think they're perfect for each other. (looks out the picture frame windows at something)

Evan:Perfect match eh? This sounds like a guy I gotta see to believe.

Lara: Looks like you're gonna get your chance that's him coming in now.

Eric walks into the store and looks around puzzled until Amanda comes running up to him. She grabs his hand and pulls him up towards the counter where Lara and Evan are standing.

Amanda: Evan, I'd like you to meet my new boyfriend Eric Jelice. Eric this is Evan, my boss, and hisgirlfriendLara (the last bit is slurred together under her breath)

Eric: Pleased to meet you (he extends his hand to Evan who shakes it. He turns to Lara) Have we met before? Your face looks familiar.

Amanda: (before Lara can reply) I doubt it Lara's into theatre, she's a writer.

Eric: Oh perhaps I've seen one of your plays then?

Amanda: No chance of that none of them ever get produced. (she receives an evil glare from Lara)

Eric: Oh, I'm terribly sorry to hear that, perhaps in time I will (he smiles at Lara) Now, if you two will excuse me I'd like a word alone with Amanda here. (the two of them walk off)

Evan: That's the perfect match for Amanda?

Lara: He wasn't acting the way he did last night. Trust me he's as rotten as she is. Who can trust a man that wears a suit like that on a hot day like today?

Eric and Amanda move to the far end of the store where they commence talking.

Amanda: Why wewre you being nice to her?! I told you to be mean to her!

Eric: That was last night when I was on the clock. Today I'm not, which is why I came to see you. I cannot pretend to be your boyfriend all the time without proper compensation, it just wouldn't be good for business. If you want me to maintain this charade on a day-to-day basis with any of your aquaitances its going to cost you extra.

Amanda: (biting her lip) Fine, money is no object. I just need some more help from you.

Eric: (paging through a book that was on the shelf) Such as?

Amanda: That guy over there...Evan?

Eric (glances that direction out of the corner of his eye) Yes?

Amanda: I want you to find a way to...ummm

Eric: Make him forget the coffee-house girl and fall madly in love with you?

Amanda: Ummm yes did you know?

Eric: I saw the classic signs... It'll be expensive you know?

Amanda: I said money is NO object.

Eric: (puts the book down and looks her in the eye) Well they don't call me Jealousy for nothing. (he smiles a shit eating grin and starts heading for the door) I'll give you a call.

Notes: I'm going to still number these postings but the titles themselves will go as follows: The actual game sessions are denoted by different Movements, thus this episode is the first part of the transcription of the second game session. Since each session had an overall theme to it I will keep the individual episodes as 'parts' for each Movements. The first overall composition was Requiem for the Ascension which consisted of the first three Movements. The titles of the Movements are the titles used in the actual game and don't always refer to anything I can nail down. I hope this settles any confusion as to the titling of any post.

P.S. I have had a suggestion that I post a list of the characters we have seen so far so as to make it easier for people to identify them. If YOU would like to see such a compilation please write to me at the address below. If enough people request such a beast I will type one out ASAP :)

Requiem for the Ascension: Movement two

Disintigration - part 2

Cast: (In Alphabetical Order)
Amanda: Co-worker of Evan and rival of Lara. She has recently hired Eric.
Cynthia Simonson: Administrator for Krannert Art Museum
Eric Jelice`: High paid escort/ pleasure facilitator
Father Riley: Catholic priest in town to examine mysterious tablets
Gloria Swanson: Dance major at U of I who is under Castigere's tutalage
Jacqueline Pierce (Jay): Voice major at U of I
Joshua Covenant: Law student at U of I who is a magician wannabe
Lara Pritchard: Ex Theatre major at U of I now works at Espresso Royale.
Mary Catharte: Pre-Law student with political aspirations. Head of Alliance.
Michael Pierce: Jay's brother and also a Catholic priest, in town with Riley.
Remiel Peripitieia: Scientist/Inteligence expert working on tablets...weird.
Travis: Artist that works at New World Cafe at night.

Santiago Castigere: A reclusive artist whose office resides in Krannert.

Setting: A medium sized office in an older,yet well kept building. Large quantities of law books line the bookshelves along the walls, many seem to have worn and weary bindings. Seated at the desk are two figures. One we recognize as Joshua Covenant, the other can be assumed to be Christopher Moorlane whose name appears on the door's placard.

Moorlane: Yes that was the decision that influenced Alabama's civil rights cases in the 60's....but you knew that before you came in here Joshua.

Joshua: Yes well...I suppose I did at that.

Moorlane: So why the pretext? I've been wondering that since you made the appointment to see me, having problems with classes? 2nd year law students typically feel a little strained as they begin to tackle the more touchy subjects.

Joshua: Well I haven't, not yet anyway. I...

Moorlane: Yes?

Joshua: Have you ever heard of a Professor Santiago Castigere?

Moorlane: (frowns) Should I have? What university is he at?

Joshua: This one

Moorlane: News to me, granted I've missed some of the college functions recently but I don't remember a Castigere...Whats his speciality?

Joshua: Theatre I think

Moorlane: (an odd look on his face) Entertainment Law?

Joshua: No, he's not in Law at all, he's in the Theatre department.

Moorlane: (a flash of realization hits him) OH! Different college entirely *wheew* I thought one of us was going crazy. (he notices that Joshua doesn't smile at his joke) So what's up with this Castigere fellow?

Joshua: He's been helping me with some research I've been doing, not law related, and I was just wondering about his background. No one seems to know exactly where he coems from or even exactly why or how he came to be at the University. They all just tell me he came highly recomended but no one says by who. Its just bugging me.

Moorlane: (chuckles) Demons of conspiracy theories keeping you up at night?

Joshua: Something like that.

Moorlane: Tell you what, I'll make not-so discrete inquiries about this guy someone must have hired him after all.

Joshua: Won't that look a little odd?

Moorlane: Not at all...the Administration is used to me poking my nose where it doesn't belong. Anything else I can do for you?

Joshua: I guess not...Thanks professor I'll be in touch.

Joshua gets up and shakes hands with his professor and walks outside where he sees a woman waiting by the door. A woman he instantly recognizes.

Joshua: Tara! What are you doing here?

Tara: (looks up from the gear she was gathering from the floor towards Joshua) Josh? I thought I heard your voice through the door. I'm here to interview Professor Moorlane. I'm doing a piece on homosexual professionals...what brings YOU here?

Joshua: I wanted to ask him to check on another professor I've been working with..a very strange guy named Castigere.

Tara: Castigere? (thinks for a second) I think Brian did a piece about an upcoming art show that involved a Castigere...Krannert art Mueseum I think in about a week or so. Same guy?

Joshua: Could be..the man is strange enough as it is why not add an art show to the list?

Tara: Excuse me?

Joshua: Long story

Tara: Oh, listen I've got to do this interview...why not meet for coffee later say Espresso at 4?

Joshua: Sure.. see you then.

Setting: A medium sized american restaurant, Coslow's has tasty but very generic fare. It appeals to middle america and also the Drinking Illini. Currently seated at a table are Jay, her brother Michael, Dan, and Father Riley who are finishing up their meal with light conversation.

Father Riley: who then had to attend the sunrise service with nothing to wear but a choir robe and the stiffest underwear ever to be seen on this earth. *chuckles* I've heard our choirs delivery described as stiff but.. *chuckles again* not THAT stiff. (Michael is now several shades of maroon)

Jay: (giggling) Now why didn't you mention anything about THAT in your letters Mike?

Michael: (still blushing) I didn't think it was all 'THAT' noteworthy...

Father Riley: Now now humility before the lord my boy...particularly when its so funny. *chuckles* So my dear Michael here tells me you have a voice of a songbird (Jay's turn to blush) Any chance I might hear you sing?

Jay: I'm trying out for a musical later this week, If you and Michael have time I'm sure you could sit in.

Father Riley: Well we'll have to try and make the time won't we. Then again there is always the local choir is there not?

Jay: There is?

Father Riley: I'm told they have a need for good altos....Perhaps you and your friends could enchance the reputation of the choir...I must admit the choir here could use your voice.

Jay: I'll have to consider that Father (gives a sisterly smile to Michael that says 'I haven't really the time for a church choir and were talking about this later')

In the background of the restaurant we see a young man is very dark unkempt clothes who searches the room and then sees the table the group is gathered at. He walks over half way and catches the eye of Father Riley.

Father Riley: Please do...if you'll excuse me a moment I have to talk to someone.

Everyone watches in puzzlement as Father Riley walks over to the young man and has a short discussion with him. Riley then leaves the man where he is and returns to the table.

Father Riley: I'm very sorry, but I'm going to have to excuse myself. I need to go see something that can't wait. My apologies to you all. (Michael starts to get up) No need to cut short your visit on my account Michael.

Michael: (having gotten a good look at the scruffy fellow) That's okay father, Jay and I will have time later besides I think these two (gestures at the up till now silent Dan and Jay) could use some time alone. (he winks at Jay)

Father Riley: (smiling) quite right you are...well come along then. (he heads over to the young man)

Michael: Listen Jay I don't know who this guy is so I think I'll stay with the Father...I'll give you a call later. (smiles) nice to meet you Dan.

Dan: Likewise (Michael rushes after the other two)

Jay: I wonder what Father Riley would want with a guy like that? Oh, well. So did you like Mike?

Dan: Yeah your brother is pretty cool...The priest was a nice touch too by the way.

Jay: Listen I'm real sorry about how this turned out. I honestly forgot about dinner with Mike.

Dan: Thats okay I'm just kidding. (pause) Actually I was wondering if you'd like to go out on a date sometime? A real date that is...I mean going out without priests...although that is'nt bad its just--

Jay: I know what you're trying to say and Yes I'd like to go out with you --on a date that is.

Dan: REally? I mean thats great. Listen I gotta go right now but I'll give you a call later and we can set everything up okay?

Jay: Sure I'll talk to you later.

Dan: See Ya (he walks off..seemingly with his head in the clouds)

Jay stays a moment to finish her coffee and is deep in thought when the waiter brings the check to the table.

Waiter: I'll take it whenever you're ready.

Jay: Hmmm (looks at the pad in front of her) oh yes, okay. (smiles as he walks off, then she turns over the bill and frowns) No wonder the church is so rich...They never pay for anything. (she begins digging through her purse)

Setting: The luxurious and trendy apartment in the towering heights of University Inn that is Eric Jelice's home. The time is late afternoon and we find that Eric is once again lounging in his living room almost totally immersed in a virtual reality headset. A slightly annoyed look crosses his face as he hears the door buzzer sounding.

Eric: (removing headset and heading towards the door) I'm coming....

He reaches the door and looks through the peephole to find an attractive woman outside. He raises one eyebrow and after checking his appearance in a mirror next to the door he admits her.

Eric: Hello can I help you?

Woman: (still in the doorway) Mr. Eric Jelice? (he nods) Hello, my name is Cynthia Simonson. I work for the Krannert Art Mueseum and was wondering if I could talk to you?

Eric: Surely, please come in. Here let me take that for you (he takes her coat and hangs it on a halltree nearby) Please make yourself comfortable.

The two move fully into the living room area, Eric gestures for her to sit down and she does.

Cynthia: Thank you, Mr. Jelice, as I said I represent the university's art mueseum and am interested in having your work at an upcoming show. We are doing an exhibit of outstanding local artists from various disciplines though I was interested to learn that a man whose works have been written up in the New York Times lived here in town. I don't mean to pry, but I'm surprised you haven't been mentioned in the local media before?

Eric: (clearing off a place on the coffee table where he sets two mugs of coffee that he had been preparing in the background) You do take your coffee black correct?

Cynthia: Ummm yes how did you know?

Eric: Its a gift. Actually it comes from too many years of entertaining, you begin to read someone's prefrernces in their eyes and yours just said "Straight Black". (he smiles at her) No I only recently moved to the area, well a couple of years ago now I suppose, and I really value my privacy so I have tried to limit my local exposure. In fact I'm a little worried about this show you are planning. Local artists...I don't know. Will Larry Kanfer be there?

Cynthia: Yes, actually he is scheduled to be one of the main attractions, why?

Eric:Ugh, its nothing personal against the man but all those prarie-scapes really get monotonus after awhile. My first Christmas in town someone gave me a copy of one of his books and while the photography was quite looked so.. Norman Rockwell. Hardly the sort of art I'm used to.

Cynthia: That's exactly why we need you at the show. Your art would be a contrast to some of the more purely local art while still not violating the basic theme of the exhibition.

Eric: Hmmm get the local yokels to come and see their favorite cow self-portrait and actually get snagged by some real art in the process eh? (he gets a wicked little grin on his face) Now I think I'm interested. When is the show and how many pieces would you need?

Cynthia: The show begins in a week and a half so we are really getting down to the wire in planning this out. I want as wide a spectrum as possible from each artist so we are allocating more space to those with a variety of themes.

Eric: Yes, I'll have to send up to the warehouse I maintain in Chicago and have the pieces shipped. Let me go get my catalogue and we can work out the specifics of shipping and whatnot.

We leave the luxurt apartment as the two sit down and hash out the final details of the show.

Setting: A plain silver and white medium sized delivery truck rolls along a campus side street...we follow its progress for about half a block before it turns into an empty parking lot. The headlights illuminate an old loading dock they are shut off and the engine killed. Two figures emerge from the vehicle and creep through the night to the building's back entrance.

Travis: (putting on thick work gloves) Do you have a key to this place?

Remiel: (also sporting work gloves) Of course I have a key...if I didn't have a key we'd be breaking and entering. As it is we're just entering and there is no crime against entering because people enter this place all the time, its a student building...they have classes here. (opens the door)

Travis: (bending at the waist slightly and gesturing for Remiel to enter) Yes but they have PERMISSION, they are INVITED we aren't...that makes us tresspassers. (follows Remiel into the building after looking to make sure no one was watching)

Remiel: (waiting for the elevator near the door he dismisses Travis's comment with a gesture) Semantics, its all semantics. Besides we have permission (he pulls some transfer invoices out of a pocket in his jacket) they just don't know about it yet.

The pair steps into the elevator and rides upwards taking with them a loading dolly they found sitting at the loading dock. The elevator slooowly ascends and then stops at their floor with a grinding shriek as its doors grudgingly slide open. They move down the hall stopping in front of a metallic door behind which lies the clean room. Travis tries the handle.

Travis: its locked

Remiel: Is it? (he bends down and fiddles with the doorhandle and lock for a few moments, then turns the handle easily) Ahh no the doorknob mechanism was just rusty...happens alot in these old buildings.

Travis: (rolls his eyes and almost says something before thinking better of it and simply pushes the door open)

Inside the large stone tablets rested along each wall covered with the large white dropcloths as before. The room was completely dark until Remiel turned on a flashlight he had on him and shined it on one of the stone monoliths.

Remiel: I think this one will do. You load it on the dolly while I look to the paperwork.

Remiel replaces his doctored copies of the invoives in the right files and then helps Travis move the tablet. Before too long they are wheeling the tablet to the elevator and taking a squeaking ride back down. As they exit the building with the dolly they notice that two police cars are sitting in the parking lot with the driver's sides together yin-yang style and the cops are talking to each other. They place the tablet safely into the truck and are closing the door before one of the cops gets curious and leaves his car to approach them shining his big flashlight in their faces.

Travis: Evenin' officer. Can we help you?

Cop: You two boys mind telling me what yer doing here at 2 AM in the morning?

Remiel: (looks around briefly for the boys the cop was talking about then points to himself) Oh, US? We're just making deliveries.

Cop: Isn't it a little late for deliveries?

Remiel: (rubbing his forehead with his gloves hand) They called and said they wanted this tablet delivered tonight. Who am I to complain about overtime?

Cop: Tablet?

Remiel (points to the inside of the truck) yeah a stone tablet, you wanna see?

Travis is now re-entering the building with the dolly while Remiel talk to the cop.

Cop: Where's he going?

Remiel: He has to return the dolly we borrowed.

Cop #2: (arriving) What's the deal?

Cop #1: They say they are moving a tablet tonight.

Cop #2: What's in the truck?

Remiel: (interjecting) A tablet

Cop #1: why didn't you have your own dolly?

Remiel: We didn't know it was going to be that big.

Cop #2: What's a tablet?

Cop #1: You know like the 10 commandments...stuff written on stone.

Cop #2: Oh

Cop #1: Isn't this a large truck for one thing?

Travis: (emerging from the building) Its a big tablet. Heavy too.

Remiel: Listen we have a schedule to keep so could we go? (produces some yellow-copies of the invoices which Cop #1 looks over) Actually its a good thing you're here. This door here is unlocked and anyone could break in.

Cop #2: (tries the door and realizes Remiel speaks the truth) Jim, I'll go call this in to O+M.

Cop #1: Okay. I guess everything is alright.

Remiel and Travis pile into the truck and drive off honking and waving to the cops as they pull out.

Cop #2: O+M's sending a guy over to lock the door. Hey didn't Charleton Heston carry two tablets in the Ten Commandments?

Cop #1: Those were styrofoam tablets dummy...that was a stone tablet. Hey wanna head on over to the pantry? I need a refill.........

Setting: The next morning the sun peeks out from behind the grey clouds and spreads warmth across the sleepy campus. We find Mary Catharte and Gloria Swanson chatting over morning coffee at Espresso. Lara is behind the counter but is busy with work.

Mary: I'm really sorry I haven't talked to you in so long. I had intentions of getting everything done early but the semester crept up on me and now I've got classes and...argh its just so much!

Gloria: Its okay, I've been busy myself. I saw Margie

Mary: (interrupting) Your dance instructor right?

Gloria: Yeah, I saw her off the other day -- she's going on sabbatical, and classes and stuff at the house have been eating up the rest of my time.

Mary:Sabbatical? What are you gonna do? she was like your personal advisor wasn't she?

Gloria: Yes, I'm working with a visiting professor this year instead. He's a very intense man. I think he's from Spain.

Mary: (jerks her head as she gets a flash of insight) Wait this man wouldn't be named Castigere would he?

Gloria: Yes he is? Do you know him?

Mary: (nods) I'm doing an independent study with him. Well, I'm trying to do one anyway, I have to get back to him with an official proposal. The man really isn't on my top 10 list since I don't really have the time to deal with this stuff right now. (notices Gloria's puzzled look) Oh, I didn't tell you, I've joined a student political organization called the Alliance. I'm trying to organize an election platform for the spring SGA elections.

Gloria: Wow that's what you've really wanted for awhile right?

Mary: Yeah but its...a lot of work and sometimes it just gets to me.

Gloria: Well you got my vote (smiles)

Mary: Thanks, that's one.

Gloria: Are you studying dance with Castigere?

Mary: No Art History. He was supposed to teach a class in it this semester, but it was cancelled and I need it to satify my Gen-Ed requirements.

Gloria: Hmmmm I guess dance and art are rather closely related, still it seems a little odd. *shrugs*

Mary: *shrugs* So tell me all about summer...

Setting: Deep within the bowels of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts we find Joshua Covenant sitting in Castigere's office. Joshua has an old book he cradles lovingly in his hands and seems to refer to it while conversing with Castigere.

Joshua:..more of an art form than a formula then. He refrences several Eastern European traditions yet with a greater emphasis on function rather than form.

Castigere: Mmmmm (he stares unblinkingly at the young man) So the desired result is independent of the means to achieve it?

Joshua: (trying to meet the stare though he ends up looking to the book) No while the will in performing the act is the most important part of the ritual it still needs the particular actions to work.

Castigere: Once you know what you want you still have to 'go through the motions?'

Joshua: Yes, but a better analogy would be....ummm a painter. A man can create a glorious portrait in his mind and can see every brushstroke clearly but without the canvas the paints and the trained hand he cannot paint a masterpiece.

Castigere: (simply stares at Joshua for half a minute and then shows the slightest crack of a smile) Very good.

There is a knock on the door to Castigere's office that breaks the unseen tension of the moment.

Castigere: (sharply to the door) Come in!

The door opens up to reveal a somewhat timid looking Mary standing there.

Mary: Professor Castigere I was-- oh I see you're busy I--

Castigere: (sharply again) Sit! (he turns to Joshua and speaks in a normal voice) Read through the other sections I have noted in that book and then pay a visit to the Rare Book room where you will find more texts have been placed on reserve in your name. I believe that you will find these most enlightening....

Joshua: Thank you Professor, (is aware of Mary sitting there) I'll be on my way then.

Castigere: We will continue our discussion later.

Joshua: Thanks again (he exits leaving the door open)

Castgiere dips his pen into his inkwell on his desk and makes a few notes before turning to Mary.

Castigere: Can I help you Ms. Catharte?

Mary: (has been staring off into space) Uh, Yes. I have a proposal for the independent study I asked about earlier (she hands him a sheaf of papers) I looked into some of the literature in the library and thought I could work on the ummm dichotomy of pre and post Renaissance artists. Unless you think thats too broad a topic?

Castigere (looks over the sheets and is quiet for awhile) You have an Encyclopaedic grasp of the material Ms. Catharte which is too say that all of this was gained from an Encyclopaedia. Nevertheless it is a valid starting point. (he pulls out a fresh sheet of paper from his old desk and starts scribbling down titles) Here is a reading list for the material. These titles are available through the Library. You will also need these. (He produces two texts from the bookshelf near the desk and sets them on the table. Each is easily 500 pages or more thick. He places the list on top of the two books) Return to me after you have read the material and we can then discuss the particulars.

Castigere returns to working on the other notes before him and turns away from Mary. For her part Mary stands up and collects the two volumes plus the list and starts to read the titles silently to herself. Figuring that she won't get anymore out of the man she turns and moves to leave the office.

Castigere: The Texts are meant to be read Ms. Cartharte. Not skimmed not looked over but read.

Mary: (turning around at the doorway) Yes Sir, and umm Thank You.

Mary takes a step backwards and leaves the office facing Castigere. Just as she turns her face to head down the corridor the door to the office slams shut. Startled Mary nearly drops the books she carries and looks back to the door for a minute before she pulls the books up close to her chest and moves quickly down the corridor and far from Santiago Castigere.

Notes: Yes this piece took awhile coming out, but finals and X-mas vaction have a tendency to play havok with writing schedules. Hopefully the next episode won't be as long coming.

Next Time: The Krannert Art Museum.