1:00 AM, January 17th, 2113, XSWAT Headquarters

Strange how things can change so quickly.

Thirty-five minutes ago she'd been walking down a Gamma Sector street, wondering how and where she was going to spend the rest of the night.

Twenty-five minutes ago she'd been riding in the back of a Sentinel Watch spinner, under arrest as an enemy of the state.

Ten minutes ago she'd been released from custody and told to see Disaster Coordinator Hemelshot, who was waiting for her in Director Cadbury's old office.

And now she was sitting in front of Cadbury's black slab of a desk as Lieutenant... pardon, Disaster Coordinator Hemelshot tried not to smile as he listened to her story.

"Arrested? You let them arrest you?"

"I was tired. It's been a long day."

"Well, it's going to get longer. I've decided to temporarily appoint you Director of Metaphysical Activities. I want you to look into the magical aspects of Gurzorath's assault and how that might hinder the relief efforts. I also want you to take over all of XSWAT's magical resources—people, artifacts, that sort of thing. We'll need them to provide security, hunt down any remaining Entities, and assist with relief and reconstruction. Oh, and I need you to see about recruit more mages. I don't care where from, but we need more of them. Understand?"

"Understand, Renuka?"


"Hmm.... perhaps this can wait until tomorrow when you're awake."

10:00 AM, January 18th, 2113, XSWAT Headquarters

"This is your new office, Sergeant... Captain... Director... ma'am."

"Thank you. And... uhm... what's that?"

"Disaster Coordinator Hemelshot asked us to print you up a hardcopy of your assignment sheet."

"Did he now...."

1:31 PM, January 18th, 2113, XSWAT Headquarters

"Corporal Mack?"

"Yessir... Director... ma'am."


"I'm going to go up on the roof and see if I can do something about the weather. I want you to send this message out to all magically-rated XSWAT officers and ask them to meet me here tomorrow morning at 9 AM."

"Yes, ma'am."


"Uhm... ma'am? You're going to do what?"

"Change the weather. I can do that you know."

9:30 AM, January 19th, 2113, XSWAT Headquarters

"So let me sum up. Right now, the most important thing for us to do is assist with relief efforts. We need to contain any rogue Entities, and we need to push them back into Omega Sector."

"Any questions?"

"Uhm... Director, ma'am? Is this going to be a straight up fight or, y'know, just your basic bug hunt?"

9:58 AM, January 19th, 2113, XSWAT Headquarters

"Greyson, I've been given permission to promote you to Master Sergeant."

"Thank you ma'am."

"You're welcome. Our first order of business is to divide our people into three or four groups and have them start sweeps around Omega. We need to clean out any Entities in hiding and make the area safe... safer for rescue and recovery crews."

"Yes ma'am. I'll do my best."

"We will, Master Sergeant. I'll becoming with you."

10:09 AM, January 19th, 2113, XSWAT Headquarters

"The Disaster Coordinator has asked me to catalog everything in the Vault. So the first order of business is to transfer out everything that's not a magically active object. Then we need to go over the inventory database and sort everything out into a couple of basic categories—with cursed objects and enchanted weaponry being the most important. What do you think?"

"It's a great plan, but for one small problem."

"Like what, Anubis?"

"Well, between Lieutenant Shade and Sergeant Carpenter, the Vault's a wreck. I know you're going to be busy, and, well, that's a lot even for me to sort out."

"Ahem, I see. Well, as Director of Metaphysical Activities, I am naming you Assistant Director of, uhm... oh, that won't work. I know... I'm naming you Curator of Metaphysical Artifacts. Go find yourself a staff of about a half-dozen people who don't mind working in the Vault and report back to me. I'll get the Disaster Coordinator to sign off on it. How's that?"

"I like the sound of that. Thank you, ma'am."

3:26 PM, January 19th, 2113, XSWAT Headquarters

"Sign here."

4:43 PM, January 19th, 2113, XSWAT Headquarters

"Sign here."

8:02 PM, January 19th, 2113, XSWAT Headquarters

"Sign here."

"What am I signing?"

"I... uhm... I'm not sure. But the Disaster Coordinator seems to think it's important."

7:41 AM, January 20th, 2113, Omega Sector

"Captain? Ma'am?"

"Yes, Schlickenmaier?"

"Is it true you went in there?"


8:01 AM, January 20th, 2113, Omega Sector

"There! Behind you!"

"Thunder/lightning/come, Lash/burn/shatter!"


"Jan! Ken! Pon! SCISSORS!"


"And that, gentlemen, is how we do it."

"Captain, that makes three."

"Good, let's make it four."

10:22 AM, January 20th, 2113, Rutger Bridge

"There, see that crater? That is where Gurzorath fell. We'll need to burn it out to make sure it's clean. I'm thinking fire spells and the like."

"How about those leftover incinerator units? We have about a half-dozen or so."

"Those will work too."

10:56 AM, January 20th, 2113, Somewhere between Rutger Bridge and Omega Sector

"Is that a Wolfspider?"

"Yes it is."

"It's huge!"

"And they get bigger."

"Uhm... how much bigger? Uhm... Ma'am."


"Yes, ma'am?"

"See that stone next to your boot?"


"That's me."


"Yes, Captain?"

"See that chunk of wall there?"


That's the biggest Wolfspider I saw."

4:43 PM, January 20th, 2113, Sigma Sector

"Councilwoman Dawes, I understand you are still a sector representative only at the sufferance of Disaster Coordinator Hemelshot, so I will say this only once—do not attempt to meddle in my affairs or my policies, for you will find me subtle and quick to anger."

*a few moments later*

"If you don't mind me saying, sir... ma'am... uh... Captain. That doesn't sound like you."

"But she doesn't know that, now does she?"

8:44 AM, January 21st, 2113, XSWAT Headquarters—The Vault

"Anubis? What is this stuff?"

"I have no idea. It was dropped off last night. The report says they were found packed away in an old storage chest and the former owners didn't want anything... bad to happen."

"These boxes are falling part. How old was this chest?"

"Ahh... pre-Catacylsm?"

"Really? I swear, these things look like magic wands. Well, someone's idea of a magic wand."


"This one has a name inscribed in it."

"Anyone you know?"

"I have no idea. Who's 'Harry Potter'?"

5:49 PM, January 21st, 2113, XSWAT Headquarters

"Sign here."

11:33 PM, January 21st, 2113, XSWAT Headquarters

"Look, I need to see Captain Renuka, and I need to see her now!"

"No, you're not. She's sleeping and I am not going to wake her."

"It is a matter of great importance!"

"I'm sure it is. Does it involves Entities, the magically active, or enchanted artifacts?"


"Then it can wait."

"Look, Corporal, do you know who I am?!? I can have your job! Now you go in there, you wake Captain Renuka, and you have her see me now."

"I have a better idea. How about we go see Disaster Coordinator Hemelshot about who has whose job."

11:35 PM, January 21st, 2113, XSWAT Headquarters

"I swear, Schlickenmaier, the first sleep the Captain gets in sixteen hours and some pompous jackass from the city council wants me to wake her? Fuck that."

"Don't worry, Hemelshot's gonna chew that guy's ass up and spit him off the roof."

"I hear ya."

7:53 AM, January 22nd, 2113, XSWAT Headquarters—The Lobby Elevators

"Excuse me, don't I know you?"

"Uhm... no Captain, uhm... ma'am. I was just assigned here today."

"Didn't you arrest me a week ago?"

"Ahhh... no ma'am, I was never in Sentinel Watch."

"You keep thinking that."

1:11 PM, January 23rd, 2113, XSWAT Headquarters

"Sign here."

9:38 AM, January 24th, 2113, XSWAT Headquarters

"Is it true what they say ma'am?"

"Is what true?"

"That you... uhm... summoned that big angel thing that looked like Director Cadbury."

"Oh, that. Yes."

"Uh... really?"

"Yes, really. Now Officer Cabiletti, is there any other questions you wish to ask me or shall we try and get this shelf unit sorted before lunch?"

"Ahh... no, ma'am."

*long pause*

"Officer Cabiletti?"

"Yes, ma'am?"

"Did you hear the one about how I summoned the spirit of the Earth?"

"Errr... sort of. Corporal Cephus was telling me that Lieutenant Brogan was telling her that he saw the video of what you did."


"I... uhm... called her a liar."

"You owe Corporal Cephus an apology."

3:14 PM, January 24th, 2113, Omega Sector

"Spirit of the dancing flame, grant me unto me a sword of explosive fire!"


"Nice shot, Captain!"

"Thanks, Schlickenmaier. Any more?"

"No, ma'am, looks like we're clear for now."


8:52 PM, January 24th, 2113, XSWAT Headquarters—The Disaster Coordinator's Office

"Exceptional work, Captain Renuka. You're up to speed much faster than I'd expected."

"Thank you, sir."

"Now, I've talked this over with Lieutenant Brogan and we're agreed. We need to give your office a stronger air of legitimacy. So we want to capture and confine an Entity."


"You've got to be kidding."