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Have You Walked the Streets of London?

Naomi arrives at the Community centre and meets with Laurence. He tells her that lots of children are sick, some of the worst affected have been admitted to the Parkside private hospital in Wimbledon (which Naomi figures out that Laurence paid for). Laurence introduces her to a new kid, called Antony, who has a serious sugar habit and spends most of his time guzzling a new brand of cola. Antony didn't arrive very long ago, yet in him the disease has progressed much faster than in anyone else. He insists he only has a cold though.

Naomi goes to see one of the sick children and, using her magic to take a close look at the disease, realises that it's actually very simple, something she could cure with even her own limited knowledge of Life magick. She decides to try and infect herself with the disease, cure herself, and then use the antibodies present in her system to create a vaccine. She phones Tom immediately, and lets him in on her plan, he urges her not to, but eventually gives up and persuades her to wait until he and the rest of the group can get to the community centre in case she needs them.

After getting off the phone she goes to her office to catch up with work and is visited by Tony. Apparently he was listening in on her phone conversation with Tom and overheard the word 'magick'. After being initially wary (he had had a bad experience with the Technocracy in the past) he eventually warms to her and tells her about his friend who is really sick after being 'somewhere weird', and he would like Naomi to help her. Naomi agrees, then persuades Tony to let her check his 'cold' out. She finds the disease quite far into it's progression, not quite to the point where his organs are shutting down, but almost. She gives him some herbal tea to drink and cures him. Then Tom and the others arrive, now healed from their experience in the Avatar Storm by Marcus. They meet Laurence, who Tom immediately decides he doesn't like. Laurence leaves to go to a business appointment, and the group get set up.

Naomi infects herself with the disease, then uses her magick to speed it's progression. In order to kill time whilst waiting for the symptoms to start showing, Naomi tries to teach Tom some self defense. However, as she's still badly injured from the Avatar Storm, and with the disease starting to show itself, she manages to fall over and knock herself unconscious. Jabe brings her back round, and Tony informs everyone that one of the children at the hospital has died. They decide it's time to get Naomi admitted.

They take her down to Parkside. Without Laurence around, Naomi is at a loss as to how to actually get in to the exclusive hospital, and Tom tells her he'll sweet talk someone. He goes inside and secretly arranges to pay for Naomi's care. Naomi is admitted, tests are done. The hospital confirm that she has the 'unknown virus' though won't tell Naomi that, instead Theo breaks in to the hospitals computers to find out. Naomi heals herself, and waits for morning, hoping then that they'll take another blood sample, find that she has been cured and use her blood to create an vaccine. In the morning, the blood test is taken, the doctors are amazed, but there's no talk of a vaccine. Laurence and Tony turn up to visit, and Naomi notices that Tony is once again infected with the disease, he offers her a can of the new cola. A lightbulb goes on. Naomi sends Laurence to fetch her a cup of tea, then takes a look at the can to see if it is the source. Nothing. Then, thinking that the can may be some kind of shield against magick, she tries to pour some of the cola into a glass, drops the glass, cuts herself and gets cola in the wound, and finds that she is also reinfected. Immediatley she calls Tom and tells him that the cola is the source of the disease, though she's not sure how, and when Laurence returns, tells him to take all the cans of cola out of the vending machine at the community centre. Laurence and Tony leave her, and she settles back to rest and await the results of the investigating that Tom and Theo are doing.

Tom sends a crank call to the emergency services, pretending to be a terrorist that has spiked the cola at source, hoping that it will get it taken off the shelves. Meanwhile Theo is looking in to the company responsible for the cola. He finds that the two managing directors have immaculate past employment records, though are strangely untraceable, even through the companies that they supposedly used to work for. The website shows what appears to be a fully automated production factory, with no human workers whatsoever, and whilst the factory/warehouse contains no offices, there's also no listed head office for the company. He also finds that the cola distribution, whilst currently only local to London, will be moving nationwide within the next couple of days. Theo grabs their address from the website and arranges to meet with the others at the chantry.

Meanwhile, back with Naomi, she cures herself again, and discharges herself from hospital, much to the doctor's disapproval. She tells Tony to go find his friend and try and arrange a meeting, then phones Tom and tells him not to leave the chantry without her. As soon as she arrives at the chantry she goes to see Marcus and asks him to cure her, explaining that she'll need to be at full strength in order to sort out the cola problem. He agrees and heals as much of the damage from the Avatar Storm as he can, then Naomi goes and meets with the others.

They discuss situation and then set off to the factory in a van that Naomi has sweet-talked out of Mitch. They arrive outside the industrial park that the factory is located on and Jabe, pretending to be a strange old man, wanders over to the guard hut and puts the guard to sleep.

Naomi drives in and park up near the factory, but far enough away that they're out of the range of the security cameras. However, the group feel uneasy, as if someone is watching them and Naomi moves the van over to a car park with other vehicles. Theo detects a group of minds, probably spirits, above the warehouse keeping watch. The group try to figure out how to get into the warehouse without being seen on the cameras, the only security system that the police would be able to get evidence from.

Jake comes up with the idea of using an explosive pad to propel everyone on to the roof of the building. Only he and Theo are suicidal enough to try this, and they just about make it to the roof, though Jake gets severely singed in the processs. Jake and Theo wander inside the building from their roof top position, whilst the others hide from a van that has appeared from further up the estate. Once the van is parked up round the back of the factory, and out of sight, Theo comes back and points the security cameras away from the others' approach. Jabe sets fire to the door, and they meet the others inside.

Jake has been doing some invisible scouting, and tells them that there are four men out the back in the warehouse, three hidden with guns, and one who is waiting for the group to go to the warehouse, apparently able to rip them to pieces whether they have guns or not.

Jake goes in invisible, and stands behind the ringleader, whilst Theo sneaks in and gets ready to use mind magic to make the gunmen shoot each other. Jake, Tom and Naomi walk in through the main door and confront the leader. He is unimpressed by them, and gives them a choice, leave or die. He tells them he knows where Theo is hiding, and a box above Theo's head begins to glow like a beacon. He also tells them that he knows there is another with them, and demands to know where he is.

Theo decides to let loose with his mind effect, whilst Jake stabs the man from behind. The man doubles in size, and suddenly the group are faced with a Crinos werewolf. Tom drops a slowing time effect on him, which only serves to piss him off, and the werewolf charges, skidding into boxes as Tom's wheelchair rolls out of his way. Naomi puts herself between the werewolf and Tom, whilst Tom casts more slowing effects on it. Through this, Theo is busying himself dealing with the minions, and Jabe is helping Jake throw fireballs at the werewolf, which seem to be causing it a great deal of damage, though the wounds start healing almost instantly. After a volley of incoming fireballs, and an unsuccessful attempt at hitting Naomi, the wolf takes one last rage-filled swing at her, giving her a nasty gash on her arm, then disappears into thin air.

After ensuring that the building will burn down completely and leave no trace of the tainted cola, Jabe uses his magick one last time. He determines that there is closure, for this chapter at least, and the production and distribution of the cola has been stopped.

The group return to the chantry to find that the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, a Technocracy Lab, has managed to produce a vaccine for the disease and has started running vaccination programs throughout London.

 
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