Dresden Files: Philadelphia

Chapter 2: Sink or Swim

Or vaporize a fountain and get your hand crushed. It's cool man. Whatever.

  • Victor Lorraine's Penthouse: Valentin Devereaux responds to a call from his employer, Victor Lorraine. He walks in on the vampire having a talk with his brother, Alfonse, about the missing journal. Alfonse is upset with Victor's progress. Victor passes the mission of obtaining the journal on to Valentin, recommending that he break into the Pendergast estate and kidnap Anastasia Pendergast to draw out Ian Pendergast, who should know how to get to the journal. Valentin accepts the mission.
  • The Sheriff's Department: Jean-Fazel drops Deputy Tao off to process "Sniper Sam." The Deputy conducts a fake interrogation to get the necessary information for a cover story. He then goes to the Sheriff to request that the department's forces be redirected into dealing with the Journal. The Sheriff tells him he will look into the matter. Deputy Tao excuses himself to go get some heroin.
  • The Masjid al-Tarhib Mosque: Jean-Fazel arrives to seek advice from the Imam. Even though Jean-Fazel is not a good Muslim, he has gotten useful advice from the Imam on many occasions. When Jean-Fazel gives him a vague description of his situaiton, the Imam says that "It takes much longer for a pear to grow than it takes for a man to eat it." He also remarks that all marriages face obstacles as secrets are revealed, but that this is no different and that Jean-Fazel's best shot is to come clean. Jean-Fazel thanks the Imam and leaves.
  • The al-Assad's Condo: Jean-Fazel comes home to dinner with his wife, Felicienne. He tries to tell her that she is better off not knowing what his happening, but she reveals her own card: she is pregnant. Backed into a corner, Jean-Fazel spills everything, and Felicienne breaks down. Unable to console her, he takes his old "work clothes", ties Lysander's boon to his neck, and leaves to go back to Ian's house and see if dinner is still on.
  • The Pendergast Estate: Ian excuses Jean-Fazel from dinner and does his best to leave as soon as possible. He gets away to go track Roy with what hair he has left. Soon after, Valentin Devereaux parks his car near the estate and gets out his guns. When a guard approaches his position, he shoots the guard's dog with a suppressed pistol and disappears in the foliage. The guard raises general alarm and the security of the Pendergast Estate mobilizes to stop the intruder. Valentin catches one guard at gunpoint and tells him to ask the other guards if Ian is present. As he does so, Jean-Fazel is pulling up to the front gate in his wife's Camry. When he hears Ian's name, he asks Mr. Reynolds if he may listen in on the radio as they prompt the same guard to talk. Jean-Fazel hears Valentin's breathing, asks after the guard, and turns into a lion to hunt Valentin down. He closes the distance before Valentin can stop him with guns, knocks the soldier down, disarms him, turns into a man and takes his gun. They speak (in French) and Jean-Fazel offers to drive him away from the estate. Valentin accepts, and the two leave together in the Camry. On their drive down to find Ian, they form an official truce and explain their situations to each other.
  • South Philly: James goes to see his heroin dealer, Pete Scolari. James only has twenty-two dollars, so he trades his sidearm for smack. After shooting up in Pete's place, he wanders around in the street high for a while, until a meth head with a knife tries to take his money. Fearing for the safety of his drugs, the deputy uses his vampire powers to just barely best the meth head, and winds up stealing his supply instead. He calls up Deputy Cassidy, who finds him and brings him along to go stop a car chase that has broken out in the downtown.
  • On the Road: Ian's tracking spell takes him back to Camden, New Jersey, where he sees Roy leaving his apartment building in a jeep. He is being pursued by some men in a white van, and one is wielding an old light machine gun, one handed, out the window. A chase ensues, with Roy leading, the van in the middle, and Ian in the back. When they get to the bridge back into Philadelphia, a black court vampire jumps out of the back on the van and latches on to the hood of Ian's Exige. Ian shakes him, but not without damage to the car. The chase continues at high speed, with the black court van gaining on Roy, until Roy crashes into a lamppost in Logan Circle, Center City, and is jettisoned from his jeep.
  • (The Battle of) Logan Circle: The Black Court Vampires park their van and their leader, the guy with the light machine gun, gets out approach the addled Roy. Ian dives out of his car and deliberately crashes it into the Black Court's van. He breaks his fall with a shield. Jean-Fazel and Valentin happen to be driving nearby, and park the Camry just out of sight in order to help Ian out. Jean-Fazel also wants to secure the book. Valentin gets out a rifle and sets up a spot to shoot from next to a mailbox. Jean-Fazel runs forward as a lion and distracts the lead vampire. Roy dashes away and uses his "Carbuster" rote to detonate Ian's car, severely damaging two of the vampires, and Ian, steeling himself through the trauma, fires a lightning bolt at the remaining one. None fall, but the lead vampire breaks from Jean-Fazel and walks over to Roy to exploit his mental strain and try to break his mind. Ian calls out to his friends to draw the vampires towards the fountain as he charges a powerful spell. Tao and Cassidy arrive amid the chaos as the vampires fire many bullets, some meant to distract Ian from his spell. Jean-Fazel wrenches Roy from the lead vampire's grip and heads towards the fountain, and Valentin shoots off part of the vampire's foot. At Ian's request, Tao lures one vampire into the fountain, Cassidy pushes another in, Valentin goads one in with rifle fire, and Roy, regaining control of himself, backs the lead vampire in with his Warden Sword. Jean-Fazel breaks for the jeep. Ian unleashes "Ragnarok," a last resort air-lightning rote that unleashes so much current that it vaporizes the fountain and chars the three weaker vampires out of commission. The leader, as badly burned as he is, is left standing, albeit with only half his body fully intact. He walks over to the staggered Ian, and when the warden goes for his sword, grabs his hand. The vampire squeezes, crushing every bone in Ian's hand, and tosses him at the other mortals as he leaves the scene, with his gun, in a cloud of mist. Roy mocks him by going for a high-five. Jean-Fazel has destroyed the inside of Roy's Jeep and obtained the Journal, and through his screaming in pain Ian urges him to promise that he will not give it to anyone, but Jean-Fazel cannot make this promise. As Ian passes out from the pain, Jean-Fazel introduces Valentin to Tao and tells them to exchange numbers. Jean-Fazel and Valentin leave in the Camry while Tao and Cassidy take Roy and Ian to the hospital.
  • Pennsylvania Hospital: Doctor Sterling sets the bones in Ian's hand. The entire process takes a couple of hours. As Ian fades in and out of consciousness, he catches Roy mentioning that he will "take care of it" as he leaves. Roy also mentions something about Mikhail having an eidetic memory, and having memorized the contents of the book. Ian tries to get up, but Doctor Sterling won't let him, and he passes out again. Meanwhile, James and Cassidy debrief what just happened. They then head back to the Sheriff's Department.
  • On the Road: Jean-Fazel takes Valentin with him to the Mosque, where he leaves the Journal with the Imam after getting his attention during the evening prayer. The two then clean the blood out of and off of the Camry, and Jean-Fazel takes Valentin to his car. Valentin calls Victor and asks if destroying the book is an acceptable option. After making a plan with Valentin to meet for brunch at 10:30 am at High Steaks, Jean-Fazel drives home, makes up with Felicienne, and takes he with him to stay the night in the Mosque.
  • Valentin's Apartment: Though he was involved in an intense fight, Valentin remains relatively unfazed and goes through his normal nightly routine. He goes to sleep.
  • Pennsylvania Hospital: After he wakes up, Ian takes a cab home, gets in the door, avoids his parents, and passes out in bed with his Warden sword still on.
  • The Sheriff's Department/James's Apartment: James discusses a potential cover story with the Sheriff, who tells the deputy of what he needs to explain: a vaporized fountain, one car exploded, two others completely totaled, a damaged lamppost, thousands of shells at the circle and along the road, and three bodies. The Sheriff is drinking whiskey from the bottle, but he says he can probably make it work–something about gangs and a freak power line/gas main explosion. Cassidy takes James home. As James walks in, Cassidy asks him about his missing sidearm, and his heroin. Cassidy remarks, "This can't go on forever," but says he'll report the gun stolen to cover for James. James goes to sleep.

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