Down by the Bayou
Jeff is late.
A scattered dream of a tall man, clad in full plate.
One of his eyes is white, and the other is black.
In his left hand a shield not a door, and in the right, a sword.
He stares and then speaks, but his words cannot be heard.
Come morning, Gemma has sent an email, asking if we want to do PR, on the Jimmy Tettle not be confused with Fallon show.
I'm not sure more attention would be beneficial.
But in the mean time, I go to help Piper Andrejenko fix up her place of work.
Apparently, meanwhile, Legion is playing at being the lord of bums.
Piper and Aaron go to be on the show. Aaron comes prepared by wearing the shirt for "Elephant's Nest", the bar he works for. Piper figures a little bit of name recognition would here either. After all, she is an actress.
Piper and Aaron are taken to the green room, and then prepped on what sort of questions Jimmy might ask. They're pretty general questions. Superhero questions.
A light comes on. They're on in five. A guy in a headset comes over to make sure they're ready, and then brings them over to the stage entrance. Jimmy Tettle is introducing them at this very moment.
Piper teleports on stage, and Aaron follows just behind by flying over.
Jimmy seems started for half a second, but he recovers his composure and exclaims that this was the most amazing introduction of any guest has ever done.
They shake hands, everyone sits down, and the interview begins.
He starts off by telling them that all of New York is in your debt, and says it was unfortunate that only the pair game.
He wonders what Aaron and Piper do, and Aaron is quick to plug his bar. So you still keep to your private lives? Nothing too special, Piper replies.
They banter a little, and Piper mentions she comes from down south. She's done some acting on some off-Broadway plays, and works at a coffee ship between gigs.
So, Jimmy says, all this PR must be good for you.
Aaron can't help but point out how he is just a normal orphan overcoming difficult life circumstances. A pretty normal rags to riches story. It's luckily he found his place at the Elephant's nest, and with that, he gives the address again.
Jimmy moves on to the Heralds of Peace, and Piper says they do good work. He also wonders if they have any superhero names. Aaron does not, but Piper flashes a grin and says she goes by Cheshire.
The people have concerns, Jimmy tells them. Perhaps they would have any insight into the issue of organizations like Bulwark, as well as martial law being established in places. "There will always be wicked men," Aaron responds. "And there will always be people to stop them." He also points out he isn't one of the wicked men.
Jimmy asks if they've registered, which makes Aaron uncomfortable. Piper isn't bothered though. Jimmy says he hopes the government doesn't push for harsher laws.
They banter some more, and Aaron makes sure to plug his bar again.
Piper and Aaron on their way home, and Piper gets a phone call.
It's Claire, who Piper is surprised to hear from.
It turns out, Piper's mother has been back for a few days, and has settled back in, but she's acting weird now. In fact, the whole town has been acting strange the last few days, and Claire thinks it'd be good if Piper came by for a visit.
Oh, and a chosen has showed up. Appleseed he called himself, and in fact, he was the one who found Piper's grandmother. Found her at a bus stop, he said.
He seems like a nice enough fellow, and he's been helping out around town, but still, if Piper would take to him, that would be good too. You know, see if he's on the up and up. He is a bit odd. He grows a lot of trees.
Oh, another thing. Super strange. Keep find their grandmother on top of her own home.
Alright, see you soon cuz'.
We go with Piper to her home town of Edgard. First by private jet and then by door. Don't ask.
The town is overrun with green grasses and trees, which is strange because it's the middle of the winter.
Piper knows a Bed and Breakfast, owned by a Mrs. McGraphin. She's a widow in her mid 40s, who runs it herself.
We go over to Piper's grandmother next. Claire's car is parked out front, and she answers the door when Piper knocks. Claire and Piper seem to be very close, and she welcomes us in. I leave my door outside.
There's a lot of pies in here, which we are offered.
Piper's grandmother is sitting in a rocking chair, and she immediately comments on my large size. I guess I am bigger than most ma'am.
Piper tells her grandmother she wants to meet Appleseed, and her grandmother tells her he is such a friendly fellow. He's been helping the whole town out, providing everyone with fruit. He's such a nice boy. He'll be around this evening.
When asked about the bus stop, Piper's grandmother pauses, and says she came home from her vacation. Where? Oh, it was an all around vacation...
We pass the the time helping about the house until, as expected, Mr. Johnny Appleseed shows up.
He's a tall lanky fellow in his early 20s. It looks like he spends a lot of time out doors.
It seems he does like to help, and he's well known for his fruit, so he provides. Growing his fruit takes a lot of attention though.
He talks about his history a little. He's from LA originally, but then he got his powers, and the city was suffocating, so he moved to more open areas.
Johnny demonstrates his powers next, by pulling a green flecked orb out of his bag, and tossing it on the ground. Grass appears around it, and trees suddenly burst out of the ground. We're now surrounded by a small orchard.
He plucks an apple off of one of the new trees. This isn't the only thing he can make, but people seem to like the fruit, so he provides. He can make any landscape you can imagine, but it has to be natural.
Night descends. Dinner is finished, and Johnny Appleseed bids everyone a good night and leaves.
Piper goes invisible and follows him. Appleseed talks to a neighbor, before continuing on, where he stops in an empty field. He pulls out another one of his "orbs" and throws it on the ground. An acacia tree (or something resembling one) bursts from the ground, with some strange fruit.
Piper picks one of the fruit using telekinesis, and gets in contact with Gemma, who sends Koi to pick up the fruit.
Satisfied that there is nothing more to be done here, she returns to the bed and breakfast, but on the way she notices a man watering his lawn. He seems to be doing it kind of idly, and he returns her greeting, but then Piper continues on.
There is the sound of crashing outside.
Probably an animal.
Piper is curious though, and spots a man running down the street. She teleports to him, and notices he has blood running down the side of his face.
Piper recognizes him from school years ago, but he seems terrified of Piper. He tries to run away from her, but she easily keeps pace. Piper yells to him, asking what he is running from, and he only responds in fear that she will taint him, and something about evil demons.
Finally, he stumbles into a creek, and Piper calms him using a spell. He catches his breath, and Piper finally manages to get something out of him.
He explains that there is a demon in this town, a many faced demon. It has this town, and has been here several days, since Piper's grandmother returned, and the other man showed up too. Emily is tainted too, he says. He must head to New Orleans.
Piper comes and gets me, and I go to find him, but he is gone. Piper has no idea where he went either, and the only sign of him is an odd shaped depression.
But then we notice another strange thing. There are several people standing on their roof tops, including Piper's grandmother. Piper teleports her off, and she looks at Piper strangely, before leaping out of Piper's arms and back onto the roof.
What is even odder is the people are facing east, so Legion and I go east to see if we find anything.
We don't. Eventually the houses just don't have people standing on them anymore.
Meanwhile, Piper and Aaron go to see Johnny, who is sleeping at his tree.
Aaron shakes him awake, and then flies him up and threatens to drop him if he doesn't spill the beans about the demons.
Johnny doesn't seem to know what Aaron is talking about, and finally Aaron sets him back down. Johnny collapses in relief.
Johnny has noticed that the townsfolk act strange sometimes...as if absent minded or blank, but he didn't think of anything out of it at the time. One thing is for sure, Johnny doesn't want to stick around.
We head back towards the center of town, and I grab a man off of his roof.
He struggles, and finally I let him go, and he runs back to his roof. But instead he suddenly turns around and launches himself at me.
All around Legion and I, various people are leaping at us, and they don't pull any punches, whatever they are.
After a though fight, we manage to knock them all out.
Piper gets an analysis back about the fruit, which says the fruit has some medicinal properties, which is good because she just force fed her grandmother some. To be fair, it seemed to help a bit.
Legion and I return, and Piper decides to go around town a little bit, casting some spells to try to reveal the truth of things, and she does see something strange on a door. It's a cloud on the door, which heads towards Piper.
I put my door up in the way, and the cloud collides with it and dissipates.
Piper unlocks the door, and Aaron walks in, and looks around.
Upstairs, inside the bedroom is a strange altar made of bone and flesh. Aaron challenges the room, and the altar starts melting into the carpet.
The floor collapses into the kitchen, and all that remains is a strange amoeba, about the size of a man. It shoots some acid and then stops moving.
Legion slices it, and a bit of biomaterial comes out. Piper uses her telekinesis and moves it outside, and it disintegrates further.
Piper looks around the house. She knew the man who lived here, James Round, but it seems like he's been gone for a few days. There's some stale half eaten food out, and the place is kind of messy, which is weird because he was always kind of a neat freak, at least he was with his hardware store. He was very organized, very structured.
Legion has his minions read some of the dishes, and other objects, which only confirms what Piper already found.
I check out his hardware store. More evidence that he just kind of fell apart organizationally three days ago.
Uh. Legion also has one of his minions talk to Piper's grandmother's clothes. It's...weird.