Twenty-five minutes later, we were pulling up outside of a dilapidated warehouse in Bridgeport. I’m glad the drive was quick… Cooper spent the whole trip clipping his fingernails when he wasn’t giving me directions or clearing his throat. Once I parked, Cooper jumped out and pulled the duffel bag he’d brought out of the back seat. I walked up to the door and raised my hand to knock, but Cooper just turned the knob and walked right in past me.
“You weren’t followed, were you!?”
Once my eyes adjusted to the dark, I saw that the single room inside looked like a mad scientist’s laboratory decorated by Stevie Nicks, with a weird mix of scientific equipment, occult paraphernalia, and candles strewn about haphazardly. In the middle of it all was a lovely young woman with short dark hair and glasses, who didn’t even look old enough to be out of college. She was draped in a shawl that covered the tattoos on her arms and shoulders, sitting cross-legged in the middle of what looked like some sort of summoning circle that was drawn into the floor, reading a very old book.
“No, I don’t think that they’re on to us yet, y’old witch,” said Cooper. “But nevermind that… we’ve gotta get this guy to the Conjunction.”
She looked at me then, with eyes darker than sin or night. “The fez-man told YOU what to do?”
“No,” I said, “but he told me what led up to this, and I think I know what to do. He didn’t need to explain much… I’ve studied conspiracy theory for years. I just didn’t believe it.”
“More the fool you. Everything is true… even the false things.” She then snapped the book shut and stood up, stepping out of the circle and pointing to where she’d been sitting. “Stand there.”
I did as I was told as she grabbed a beaker filled with some sort of red powder from a table and began pouring it on the floor around the circle. Cooper dropped the duffel bag next to me, then stepped away and looked out the window. “Car,” he said. “They’re here.” Past him, out the window, I could see two men in black suits and sunglasses walking toward the door.
“Dammit! Block the door… I still need a few seconds!” she said as she finished making her powdered circle. Cooper grabbed a heavy table and dragged it over by the door as she started chanting quietly. I picked up the bag and looked at her.
“You know what you’re doing? You don’t look old enough to be a wizard…”
She stopped chanting, smiled, and pulled out a box of matches. “I’m an old soul.” She struck a match and held it over the powder. “Hold on. This is going to sting a little…”
She dropped the match as the door exploded, and the world went white…