The Neighborhood Watch

Episode 1: Waking Nightmare

In which the end is the beginning...

Season One, Episode One sees us begin in media res with the Neighborhood Watch arriving at the closed-down amusement park on the Everett waterfront.  It's night time, the moon is full, the air is crisp with that cold that always seems to signal the shift of the seasons from fall to winter and the evening's seen a light drizzle.  They are there to secure the thing (you know, the thing) and while they're not entirely sure where they'll find it, they know they'll recognize it when they see it.

The group contemplates using bolt cutters to get through the padlock barring the gates, but realize quickly that the chain is covered in a string of little silver bells and that forcing their way in, even with subtlety, will lead to some alert of whoever's within the park.  They instead choose to climb over the fence.  Once securely within the park's confines,  Calvin sets up a camera to watch their backs as the Watch makes its way deeper into the property.  The crackling of walkie-talkies and footsteps tells the group they're not alone; security is on patrol.  Calvin spots a glimpse of Bad News Fred on the camera feed, further heightening the sense that things are not quite right.  The group makes its way to the Funhouse where the door looms large over them in rapacious fashion, a giant mouth waiting to swallow them in.  The group forces their way into the Funhouse where Calvin attempts to use a spell to better understand Bad News Fred's aura through the feed on which he was briefly captured.  The spell goes wrong (or right?) as Bad News Fred's aura shifts into a stream of scarabs that make their way out of Calvin's device and onto his arm causing him to shout in panic and drop it (whereupon the hungry bugs immediately disappear, having never been visible to anyone else).  

Security makes its way to the door and the group tenses up for a potential fight.  The tingle of the supernatural is everywhere, as the guard's voice sounds like guttural walkie-talkie static rather than anything human and the walls have started to throb in a rhythmic fashion, like a heartbeat.  Darcy readies his maglite to strike whomever is opening the door and shining a light in the Watch's waiting faces when…

Darcy wakes up in his motel from a dream he can't quite remember.  It seems important, so he begins the text chain to the Watch.  Everyone agrees to meet at the nearby Denny's.  The Tattooed Woman ("J") sends a text to the two members of the group whom she knows, Vera and Darcy, indicating that she needs to see them later that day.  Calvin makes his way into the bathroom where he proceeds to "read the pee leaves", doing some basic gutter magic on a newspaper to figure out what's significant.  It seems like there's some significance in the upcoming mayoral election, with the ECCE pushing their candidate, Roman Christensen, for the position.  There's also some discussion of the decrease in the vagrant population, which is couched in cleaning up of the streets.  The group discusses splitting up to follow some leads on the recent disappearances of various individuals which they tie to the ECCE.  

Mox goes to school after the Denny's get-together where they discover that a classmate, Keisha Gray, has gone missing over the course of the weekend.  They pass the information off to the group, including Calvin who is at Mox's home, attempting to put surveillance on Frank, Mox's emotionally abusive step-fatherfigure.  Using Vera's connections at the police department, the group discovers that Keisha went missing after a house party and was last seen in the docks area.  Auntie Blaze swings by Claire's casino and lets her know that a handful of her friends have been moving out of town lately.  She notes that her friend Darren has been sleeping at the amusement park and that her friends Raymond and Quimby spent a recent evening in the drunk tank before hustling out of town to make camp at Makeout Point.

The group reconvenes at the Chapel in the casino where they discuss their various findings as well as the possibility of going to see J that evening.  Darcy mentions the bloody history of Makeout Point to the group, although he doesn't mention his role in it.  As plans for action are formed, the group's attention seems to be drawn to the chapel door.  A strange sensation passes through the group and Claire walks over to the door, opens it, looks around to see nobody, and walks back.  The sense that the supernatural has been close isn't diminished and Claire and Calvin head up to the security room to review the camera feed from inside the chapel.  Doing so ends up causing Claire a significant fright, as Claire witnesses her actions on the feed somewhat distorted, with her image looking directly up at (and through?) the camera and whispering to her.  Claire freaks out, slaps the nearby security guard, and rushes out of the casino and the group follows. 

Rather than spend time out in the drizzly parking lot as the sun begins to set,  the group goes to the Golden Corral to plan their next move.  They decide to go out to Makeout Point to talk with the Darren, Raymond and Quimby.  They make their way out there and find a small homeless camp in a nearby cave where Darren mentions that there was something strange about the amusement park, the sense of a roaming animal perhaps, and that he eventually decamped to move to Makeout Point.  Raymond mentions that the police are definitely herding vagrants out of town to Makeout Point where they can be out of sight, out of mind. 

The group then decides to meet with J and then investigate the docks, although only Darcy and Vera will actually attend the first meeting.  J's meeting with Darcy and Vera happens on the second floor of an old Everett brownstone where, after they clear her security mook, the visitors are told that she's missing something of importance, something she was using to watch what was happening at the amusement park, and she needs their help in retrieving it.  They agree and then it's off to the gas station to pick up some supplies.  While there, the TV newscaster is in the background, droning ominously about would-be mayor Christensen's proposed pilot program to revitalize the downtown urban area of Everett.  Calvin attempts another surveillance spell which also goes awry, leaving his own aura with a strange red pulse, like a heartbeat.

The group makes their way back to the docks and the nearby amusement park where the nighttime drizzle  has given way to a clear evening where the moon is full and the air is crisp as it is at that first sign of fall changing to winter… and it becomes clear that the end of episode one is where we began as the camera pans back and credits roll.



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