⚡️THUNDERFANG S2 Prologue #2

A powerful family—with a powerful name—has found the plague that has been haunting their family for generations.

⚡️THUNDERFANG S2 Prologue #2
⚡️THUNDERFANG Season 2 Prologue, Part 2: The Plague
⚡️THUNDERFANG Season 2 Prologue, Part 1: The Portent
Many years before Locke Holmes is hired to prove Roger Usagi’s innocence, a boy learns the power behind his name.
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The Plague

Season 2 Prologue, Part 2

A few months ago...

His reflection in the metallic wall told Lucas Barbosa that his uniform needed some adjustments. He wasn't sure why he had been summoned, but one did not keep their superiors waiting. When he decided he was presentable and ready, he knocked on the office door. Special Agent Velez looked up from her conversation with a man on a holovid, then gestured for him to enter.

"You wanted to see me, ma'am?"

"Yes, Detective Barbosa," Special Agent Velez said. She gestured for Lucas to take the seat opposite her own. On her desk between them, the holovid showed an older male. He sipped a drink in an expensive-looking crystal glass. Whiskey, from the looks of it. She asked, "You were present on the scene when that passenger ship arrived, correct?"

"The Bohemian Express?" It had taken him a moment to recall the specific event, but the Salvi Sigil had not had such "excitement" as that incident in quite some time. It happened shortly after Akim Salvi's passing.

The man on the holovid nodded, followed by Special Agent Velez. "Yes, that one," she said. "Can you repeat your report here? Crossing our T's, dotting our I's."

He cleared his throat. "The owner of the vessel—one Annora Kei, I believe—radioed in shortly before their arrival on the Bohemian Express—the passenger ship she owned—to let us know that Amari Wade had been present on board under the guise of a passenger. While on board, he killed two other passengers: Roland Ruiz and Brian Kerra, the latter of whom was Annora's best friend. He was apprehended and taken into the custody of another passenger and then killed himself by taking an unknown substance."

Velez looked to the holovid. "Does that line up with what you were told, Commander Mor—"

"Who all did you speak with?" the man said sharply. His voice conveyed an almost eager, yearning, ravenous tone for the information being presented to him. It must have been important. Lucas thought over the incident for a moment, recalling the names of everyone on board with ease. There was a reason he was awaiting promotion.

"I spoke with everyone still alive on board, sir. The pilot and her nephew, Edris Gray. The S.P.D. agent, Booker Lux. There was a bounty hunter—Blackstone—as well as a father and his daughter—Hal and Sage Takara, respectively. Christa Duval, who was Roland Ruiz's caretaker. The heiress, Talia Vega. And a detective who helped apprehend Amari Wade."

"Does that—" Velez tried speaking once more. The man did not seem to care for her contributions. She didn't exist to him.

"What was the name of the detective?" he said, in the same tone as before. Lucas thought it odd, but he could have sworn he saw a smile. Not one of happiness, though he couldn't quite put a word to the emotion the smile invoked.

Hunger?

"Um... I believe it was Holmes, sir. Locke Holmes."

"And did he state why he was coming to New Bohemia?"

"I believe he said he was from this planet, sir. A native of Port Wreck. He was coming home to visit from over on Saffron. He currently resides in the settlement of Portent... sir."

"Good work, Detective Barbosa. We will be in touch, Special Agent Velez."

"Thank you, Comman—" The holovid abruptly ended. She cleared her throat, clearly embarrassed but she held it together well. "You may leave. Thank you, Detective Barbosa."

Lucas nodded to his superior and returned to his desk. Curiosity got the better of him, however, and he pulled up the files of the Bohemian Express incident. Everything had been as he had described.

He was glad the detective was there to apprehend that murderer. Life in the Salvi Pass would not have been the same if he had not gotten on board.


Elsewhere...

He gulped down the rest of his whiskey, poured himself another, and downed that as well.

So, the Detective had arrived on New Bohemia?

At last. He'd found him.

The Detective had been a plague upon his family for centuries now. And in all that time, known only by that name: the Detective. It had been a vague clue at best. It was what made his family shift a portion of their resources toward the S.P.D. in the first place. Surely, the Detective was within those ranks.

He spent the next few hours cross-checking notes and details, using what he knew of the Detective and connecting it with new information about this "Locke Holmes." There wasn't much, and there were a few gaps years of no information, and then suddenly... a private investigator. Odd.

But he was sure: this was the man.

The ever-present boogeyman, sworn to destroy everything they held dear, finally had a name and a face. He could finally have a face-to-face conversation with the mysterious figure communing with the Hivebranded throughout time. This entity of insurmountable power, responsible for so much death and mistrust, was a mere man of flesh and blood.

He pressed a few buttons off to the side and a holivid sprang to life before him. Moments later, side-by-side streams of two individuals appeared. They looked like him, and they looked exactly like each other aside from the contrast of his daughter's makeup and his son's stoic face.

"Yes, Father?" they said in tandem.

"I have good news and bad news: The Detective has arrived on New Bohemia."

Silence.

Then, his daughter spoke. "Are you sure?" Her voice was dark and cold, yet sharp and deadly with a hint of astonishment. The father knew that she'd been waiting on this moment practically her entire life. She'd wanted revenge for what he'd done to their family.

"I am sure, Jillian." He stood from his seat, though his form remained in view for his children to see. "He has finally revealed himself to us."

"If he's immortal, how do we kill him?" his son asked, running a hand through his hair. Zero emotions. He was no longer that child that struggled to keep them at bay. He shunned them, choosing now to express his rage and wrath in different forms, never one to appear weak.

The father said, "He is not immortal, Jack. Only the Hivebranded know the specifics, and I'm sure they aren't willing to divulge the weaknesses of their hero. I've confirmed it on my end, though. The First documented that he was born around thirty years ago, which fits the age of a man on New Bohemia now."

"I would think you'd reach out to The Forty-Fourth first, considering he's the firstborn," Jillian said. Her voice was energetic, like a dance. She was eager to play with the detective-shaped mouse they'd found.

"He's busy. Besides, I would rather my favorite twins handle this. You two are more than capable." He smiled knowingly. Jillian smirked.

"When should we start?" Jack asked. Not a single inflection, no hint at his thoughts or feelings. The father would have been terrified of his son if he did not trust him dearly.

"Immediately. The sooner we deal with the Detective, the better. Everything we've built, this sector, all of the Forge depends on it."

"Yes, Father," the twins said in unison.

"I know you two will make me proud. The boogeyman that led The First to begin his records, that led The Fifth to an early grave, the cause of your mother's death... It's time we finally dealt with him once and for all."

Jillian nodded. "We will clear this stain from our family's name. I'll make sure his death is excruciating." She smirked.

"You'll have to get him before I do," Jack said.

His heart was full, seeing his two middle children eager to get started. They made him so proud—much more proud than The Forty-Fourth did, but he'd never say that out loud. "There is a power in a name. And there is no name more powerful than ours. Who are we, my children?"

It was their mantra, the phrase that reminded them that they held the power of generations on the tips of their tongues.

Together, the three of them chanted,

"We are The Moriartys."


⚡️ THUNDERFANG Dossier
Want to figure out what assets Locke has, the progress he’s made on his vows, and more game-/lore-related knowledge THUNDERFANG has? Check out this page!
Next week: Chapter 1. Locke has enjoyed these past few months, more than he ever thought he could. But, of course, a conspiracy comes knocking...
Releasing January 19th

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This work is based on Ironsworn: Starforged (found at www.ironswornrpg.com), created by Shawn Tomkin,
and licensed for our use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.