The mages take a flustered and uncomfortable Max to a nearby cafe. They order some food and Max starts up the conversation, hands still fixed on his iPhone (pew pew). Lily, annoyed, breaks Max’s iPhone with a Hermitcally empowered spitball, but Max replaces it with another from his pocket. Very nervous and chatty, he wants to know about who ‘Susie’ is and how the mages know that “his grandmother” isn’t at the police station. Gia is having none of his tomfoolery and quickly forces a confession. She offers up that someone named Susie stole Emma’s body last night, but then demands the truth from Max.
Max concedes and tells them what he knows. Max is a Virtual Adept and one rather concerned about the rise of the Tradition Rogue Council. He tells the group (a reminder to some) that fifteen years ago the original Council was killed and the Traditions have been leaderless ever since, which is terrible in some ways, but also gives younger mages a chance to make more of an impact. Over the last few years though, a rather shadowy group called the Rogue Council have been trying to bring back the old structure, directing and coordinating Tradition endeavors from some hidden location, probably in the spirit worlds. Max isn’t against the Rogue Council per-say, but referencing the Virtual Adepts’ relatively recent defection from the Technocracy, he has a healthy distrust for shadowy cabals controlling vast organizations. All of which is to say, he intercepted a Rogue Council transmission sending a couple of mages here to retrieve Emma’s body and thought he might get here first and see what was up.
At about this time, he brings up that police scanners are going nuts. Something bad is happening back at the police station and he hacks into their security feed to find out what. He passes out phones to the others so that they can tune in – although he gives the one with the cracked screen to Lily.
On the third floor of the police station they find a older, disheveled man wearing a police lab coat. A number of officers are in the hallway, shooting at him. The bullets are hitting, but the man continues to advance. This looks bad for the police. The group decides to head back to find out more while Max backs them up from the diner, via phone.
Reaching the police station, they discover a host of squad cars outside, but a meager two guards remaining at the front entrance. They sneak around to the conspicuously unguarded rear entrance and Max offers to unlock the card reader. What they find is the coroner, terrified and running for that exit on a badly injured leg. He is being chased by the former population of the morgue – naked and with what looks to be a hunger for brains. Lily fires off some magic, but it isn’t strong enough to hold them. Kenny yells at the floor, demanding that it become tar. The formerly-dead are caught in it. They disgustingly tear themselves free, but by that time the mages and coroner are safely outside. Gia calms the coroner, who tells them that there was an emergency announcement inside the station and when he asked officers rushing by they claimed that a man named Tommy was back. Tommy was a junkie who died at the station a few months back and was supposedly haunting the place. At that point, the morgue burst open and the coroner’s charges began attacking him.
Gia gives the man a thorough looking over to check for zombie bites and then sends him off to a hospital. She notices that his life-force seems slightly diminished and that a larger,life stealing effect seems to be emanating from somewhere on the third floor. At this point, Max warns them that more people are showing up. A Fed is walking through the front doors that Max suspects is Technocracy and two women are sneaking in another entrance, who Max suspects are the Rogue Council mages.
Lily climbs a tree to get a better look at the third floor and Kenny tells one of the walls to turn into glass so she can see. What she sees is awful. Police are strewn about the hallway, unconscious and slipping towards death. Walking past them is the disheveled man who is apparently Tommy. At the other end of the hall, by the stair case, stands a very odd pair. One is the Man in Black. Cool, composed, in a business suit, and firing a semi-automatic pistol into Tommy. Next to him stands a weathered looking woman in her 40’s, fading blonde hair pulled back into a tight bun. She too is firing a pistol into Tommy, their combined fire keeping him at bay, but not for long. Each shot blows away what appears to be the ash of human remains, revealing for a moment a younger woman trapped inside Tommy, screaming for help. But each time, the ash reforms, sealing her away.
Lily can see that whatever Tommy is, he feels more like a magical side effect than something intentional. His power is tied to something larger, beyond her perception. Gia asks Max to focus on finding whatever that is.
Behind Tommy, the last races of life fade from two police officers. In that moment, a dark force animates them, lifting them back to their feet and propelling them towards the two gunmen. The Man in Black shoots one in the head, his enchanted bullet tearing through the magic animating the body and dropping it to the floor for good. He switches aim to the other, but the woman deflects his arm. In that moment, Tommy lets loose a shockwave of dark energy that slams the Man in Black against the wall, staggering him. Things are looking bad and our heroes spring into action.
Gia throws her goggles to Lily, letting the treebound sleuth see through walls. In addition to the insanity on the third floor, she sees the morgue zombies making their way to the stairwell, the police captain on the phone in a second-floor office, and a strange young woman praying over a candle in the second floor hallway. Gia begins using the power of science to hype herself up, flooding her system with adrenaline. Kenny climbs a tree to the roof, demands that the roof part for him, and then reaches down to help.
More officers are slipping into death and rising again, but Lily fires a force field through the glass to hold them back for the moment. The gun-wielding woman helps the fed to his feet and pushes him up to Kenny. Tommy unleashes another blast, throwing the woman down the stairs. Kenny jumps down and goes after her. As Lily struggles to hold the force field in place, Kenny grabs the now-unconscious woman, runs back up the stairs, and raises her up to the fed, getting both of them to the roof. He then runs back down to see what’s up with the praying woman.
Gia, now super-pumped, takes a tree to the roof and tries to help the injured woman, but can’t do much. “Protect Shanna…for just a moment longer…” she says. Gia jumps down and ends up on the stairs, trapped between animated police officers above and morgue zombies below. Kenny has the fed’s gun and the other woman’s, but doesn’t want to fire with Gia in the middle, so he wades in with his fists, asking his clothing to be kevlar for a while.
There is quite a fight. Kenny and Gia force their way through the morgue zombies and take up a position in front of Shanna – the praying girl. Lily has snuck in through the front and made her way to the second floor, joining her friends. Kenny only has one shot left in the woman’s dessert eagle and is waiting for a shot on Tommy. The animated officers are making that difficult and Gia tries to fend them off with a fire extinguisher. She throws it into the middle of them and Lily tries to detonate it with a word of power, but can’t hit the mark. The officers, close in around Gia, the horror of their otherworldlyness threatening to suffocate her. But Lily lands her second spell and the extinguisher explodes in shrapnel, blowing a hole in the officers. A moment later, Shanna completes her spell and the hall is filling with blinding, holy light. The officers are stunned, the zombies are destroyed, and Tommy is staggered. Kenny takes the shot, striking Tommy squarely in the face. Ash explodes with a definite finality and the young woman trapped inside him tumbles down the stairs.
To everyone’s surprise, the police officers that were thought to be dead begin crying for help, many of them severely injured by the extinguisher bomb. Gia does what she can to help them, Lily directs her attention to the hiding police captain, and Kenny turns to regard Shanna. Lily calls Max, who is o the run after the Technocracy traced his signal – but he offers to look into the phone number the captain called.
With all these victims, the captain, Shanna, the news media outside, and the two rooftop fighters unaccounted for there are a lot of loose ends and not much time…