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…shall know the Fount and be known by him…
-excerpt from the Prophecy of the Fount of Knowledge, Greece, circa 300 BC
Chuck and Morgan found Susan – or Dawn, since they weren’t at work – at a pub in downtown Palo Alto. She was sitting in a booth with a plate of fried fish and fries, except that the pub’s owner was English, and they were called fish and chips. She also had two pints of beer and a scotch on the rocks in front of her, untouched as of yet. “Come on, Morgan,” she said without turning around. “I’ve been saving seats, and I got you guys beer.”
Morgan and Chuck, who was now warier as the initial shock had worn off, walked up and sat beside her. They sat and drank and chit-chatted for a while, staying carefully away from such topics as werewolves or other government secrets until their drinks were half-gone. “So you’re supposed to tell me about this alleged prophecy?” Chuck said eventually, sipping at his drink. “What makes you so sure that I’m the right guy?”
“The fact that Oz tracked you down,” she said. “And the fact that you knew about the Key.”
“What key? The key to what?” asked Morgan.
“How did you know that?” asked Chuck.
“Oz heard you. He has very good hearing,” said Dawn with a grin.
“Is that because of his… hair problem?” Morgan interjected. “Do you think he’d ever…”
“So tell me about the prophecy. What does it say?”
“You mean you don’t know? You’re the guy who’s supposed to know everything.”
“It doesn’t work that way,” Chuck said automatically. “When I see something that’s in the-” He cut himself off, looking suspiciously into the beer Dawn had bought.
“I didn’t drug you, Chuck,” Dawn said, following his gaze. “I didn’t put a truth spell on you, either. That would be bad form when meeting an ally for the first time, wouldn’t it?”
“Then why do I feel all weird?” Chuck said, staring into his mysteriously empty pint glass and wondering where all the delicious booze had gone.
“My guess is that you didn’t eat lunch today, and that you’re used to weak American beer.”
“Whoa, Dawn,” said Morgan. “You went native at Oxford! You know, I wi-”
“Morgan!” screeched Dawn. “What did we tell you about that word?”
“Um… Oh yeah! Never to say it,” said Morgan sheepishly. “Oops.”
“Wait, what word?” said Chuck.
“W – I – S – H,” Dawn whispered. “It’s, well, it’s a trigger word. Anybody says that word in the room with a vengeance demon, and bad things happen, every time, without fail. Well, except maybe once.”
“How do you do that?” asked Chuck. “Talk about demons like they’re normal, I mean.”
Dawn’s expression became sad. “Because, ever since I was young, they were normal. I was babysat by a vampire, and I played poker with a demon. The owner of this pub is a demon, too. They’re not all bad, and that’s the only reason we all survived this long.” She looked contemplatively at Chuck. “This must be hard for you, huh? Getting all this pushed on you, I mean.”
“Oh, I don’t know,” said Chuck. “I figure I can drink myself into believing that this is all a very bad dream.”
“That might work at first,” said Dawn. “But the prophecy makes it clear that they’re going to come after you.”
“Who is ‘they’?” asked Chuck.
“‘They’ is everybody with a teaspoon of magic in them and a leaning towards the dark side of the force. And since the universe never seems to run out of baddies of varying levels of power to throw at the good guys, this is going to keep going on until the day you die. Maybe even longer.” She fingered her glass and then looked Chuck square in the eye. “We can make sure you die standing up with a stake in your hand, or maybe even of old age in a hospital, but only if you trust us and make an effort to believe.”
Chuck looked away. “You always talk like this to the new guy?” he half-joked.
“Only when I have to,” she told him.
“Okay,” Chuck said eventually. “But I have one condition.”
“Help me get Morgan home.” The now-drunken guy in question started to snore.
“Pft. Lightweight,” Dawn said, knocking back the rest of her scotch and reaching under the table to pull him up.
I've placed Chuck's hometown in Palo Alto. If anyone has conflicting information, just forward it along in a review and I'll change it.
Also, I wrote this chapter when I had a bad cold, which I am still struggling with. If anything else in here makes no sense, just drop me a line.