Owen receives a box full of items from a customer, and Nick and Shandra take it into the Archives to test the items for spells or wards. Amid some mostly-friendly banter, the two get a crash course in item enchantment from Janus, and manage to assess the whole box together. Among the items in the box:
- Several books
- An old photo album
- The Locket
- A ring of skeleton keys
- A pair of bronzed baby shoes
- An old tea tin with 10 wheat pennies in it
- The Wooden Spools
- Brian the Bear
- An old copy of Boece’s Scotorum Historiae, worn illegibly on the cover and containing a personal, coded note to Owen.
When they bring their findings back to Owen, he takes the Boece book for further examination, and gives Brian a place of honor behind the counter. He then sends Shandra and Nick out to lunch, so that he can go over the book and its mysterious message privately. Shandra and Nick spend a somewhat pleasant lunch at the local diner, getting to know each other a little better and trading stories about their families. On their way back to the Organization, they’re intercepted by Crowley, who tells them to come with him so that they can work up on the Training Floor.
Needless to say, they’re both somewhat unsure about this new development – and it only gets worse when one of the other Organization members there goes Wild in the middle of her training and attacks the two. Crowley leaves to go get Janus, leaving Nick and Shandra to fend for themselves. Nick calls up his bear anima, and tries to use his enhanced strength to keep the woman at bay – but she shoots quills at him from her fingers, making it evident that her anima is a porcupine. Ouch. In a desperate attempt to keep them safe, Shandra throws out her hands and hollers “STOP”, and discovers one of her Fire abilities: the power to create a backdraft of strong, hot air. Blown back, the Wild woman goes for a chain hanging from the ceiling – one which held the punching bag she’d been training on before she knocked it down – and slips, knocking herself unconscious.
Another Enforcer comes out from the clinic area at the back of the room, introducing herself as Amelia, and helps Nick and Shandra tend to their own wounds. She also brings the other girl – Caroline – into the clinic, so that she can recover. Once they’ve been patched up, Nick and Shandra decide they deserve some answers, and go to find Janus.
Janus sends Crowley away, and then proceeds to give his visitors the truth: he’s been preparing them for field work, this whole time. There are artifacts, antiques, and other relevant items out in the world that Owen feels he’s no longer able to go and hunt down by himself – and the fight against Caroline was planned. She agreed to help train them, and was given a bracelet that made her lose control of her anima, so that they would be forced to try and discover their powers. Nick is less than pleased about this, and loses his temper at Janus, but he simply uses one of his own powers to calm him down. He then tells Shandra and Nick that it is their choice: they can either accept the offer and better their knowledge of themselves and of the Organization out in the field, or they can stay in the shop with Owen, and he will find someone else to do the job … possibly Crowley.
Being less than fond of the troublemaker, Nick begins to reconsider saying “no”, but tells Janus that they need a day or so to think about it. He and Shandra then spend a good while sitting on the steps outside Janus’ office, talking the matter over. While Shandra sees it as an opportunity to get out and do something with her life, to get out of their small little town and do something worthwhile and exciting, Nick is not so sure, having carved out a comfortable little hibernation hole for himself over the thirty years he’s already spent in the States, working with Owen and straightening out the chaos of his shop and of the Archives. Eventually, though, Shandra convinces him to say yes and go along with her – if only by appealing to the fact that he feels he should protect her. Having made up their minds, the two go back to the shop … but decide to still make Janus cool his heels and wait until the next day before giving their answer.
- “Pretend there’s a pocket here.” – Krista, upon just sitting her prop handkerchief on her chest
- “No, you may not intimidate the locket.” – Ang
- “I now know how Jack’s mother felt when he brought home the beans.” – Owen, re: the items in the box
- “They could be Hitler’s baby shoes!” – … was this Nick or Shandra? GM can’t remember.
- “You’re a very sweet young little snip.” – Nick
- “He’s talking to the toaster.” “Yes, he … he does that.” – Shandra and Nick, re: Owen
- “Maybe it’s time you stopped hibernating.” – Shandra, to Nick