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Lauren Hastings Meets Father James
Issue 2, Story 1
Lauren Elizabeth Meyers Hastings Story 2

Our second issue will continue the Lauren Hastings story.
"After having met two men who seemed not quite human, Lauren Hastings spent part of the night looking at a local newspaper--and deciding that the world was far too depraved to be her own earth in 2005."  Image of Lauren on city streets.  She is wearing the kau sin ke around her waist.  "So she's off to the St. George Mission to find out whether Father James can tell her what's going on." Lauren, at door of mission:  "Hi, my name's Lauren Hastings, and I'm looking for Father Matthew James."  Girl:  "He's not here, but you're welcome to come inside."
Lauren:  "I do need to get in touch with him."  "I need to know about someone named 'Gavin'."  Girl:  "He doesn't see people very often."  Lauren:  "Well--tell him that whoever is not against us is for us."  Girl:  "Alright--have a seat.  I'll let him know you're here." Lauren is sitting in an uncomfortable wooden chair.
Lauren is sagging down in the chair. Lauren is slumped over in the chair.
Girl:  "Excuse me, miss?  Father Matt will see you." Hands her paper.  "He'd like you to meet him at this address."
She's back on the street... As she rounds the corner, two men are in front of her.  One holds a knife.
Lauren:  "This is a mistake--"  "You don't want to do this, I think." Mugger:  "Hey, I don't want to hurt you"  "But I do want you to give me your valuables."  Lauren:  "I don't think so."
She leaps into a flip over their heads. Landing behind them, she releases the kau sin ke from her waist, while thinking, 'I'm glad that worked.'.
Swinging around, she hits one of the men with the weapon. The man drops his knife, as both turn to run.
She springs into a forward flip and lands with the kau sin ke striking the other man.
For reference, she can dive forward or backward into a roll and return to her feet.  In a gymkata sort of way, she can do cartwheels and handsprings in both directions—over an obstacle of perhaps 5 feet.  She can also do a leaping flip forward or backward over a 6 foot obstacle; and she can fall 20 feet without injury by rolling on the landing.  (In the game, these would all require a successful skill check; sometimes she should say, "glad that worked"—and she could mess up on a few things.)  She isn’t really proficient with the kau sin ke, but she can remove it from her waist in seconds, swing it around impressively without hitting herself (usually), and in a most impressive move, she can swing it forward coming out of a forward flip in a potent strike against a target.
Lauren is standing in front of a city row home.  Lauren:  "Father James?"  James:  "Lauren Hastings?"  "All who love Christ are welcome in this house."  Lauren thinks:  "Interesting--he didn't actually invite me inside." Now inside the house, James:  "Will you take the Sacrament with me, child?"  Lauren:  "I would do so, Father, but I'm not Catholic--I'm Baptist--"  "and unless things have changed a great deal, you cannot permit me."
James:  "Perhaps then you will allow me to pray for you, and to bless you?"  Lauren:  "Certainly, Father." Father James, sprinkling holy water on Lauren:  "In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit...."
James, walking through the hall:  "I cannot be too careful.  I've got an incredible story to tell you."  Lauren:  "No more incredible than mine, I am sure."  "But you go first." In a dining room, James, handing something to Lauren:  "Please have a seat."  "Isn't this a beautiful piece of jewelry?"  Lauren:  "Thank you."
Close up of well-made crucifix.  Lauren:  "It's lovely; of course, I prefer the empty cross and the hope of resurrection over the emblem of suffering--"  "But I'm not here to debate theology."  James:  "No.  Nor am I." Seated at table, James:  "You must understand, child--the world is not as you've been taught."  "Many of the creatures of evil which we've been told are myths and legends walk abroad in the world around us."  "Chief among these are vampires."
Image of battle at night with vams in NYC; James continues:  "When I was a parish priest in New York, one of my parishioners told me about the evil undead preying on humanity." "I was skeptical; but it wasn't long before I was deep in battle against these Vampires."  "Another parishionier, and now good friend, Jake Williams fought with me."
"Gavin has been a particularly troublesome enemy."  "Most vampires believe that we hunters will die before we can make a difference; but Gavin decided we should die." "When the parishioner who had showed me the truth died, he left a large trust fund with me as trustee"  "to use to 'fight evil in all forms, and to meet the needs and expenses of those who continue to do so.'"  "The Cardinal had already seen the problem we faced, and gave his blessing to the special mission under my direction."
"A few years ago, Jake and I fled New York to escape Gavin."  "With some of the trust fund money, I established the St. George Mission,"  "from which I continue to fight vampires here in Philadelphia." Back to Dining Room image.  James:  "I told you it was incredible; I doubt you believe me."
Lauren:  "Father, I do believe you."  "I met Gavin, and I knew he wasn't human."  "But I believe incredible things--my own life is incredible." "I was born in another universe."  "Although it seems a lot like this on the surface, it's very different."
Image from NagaWorld--Lauren in front of Glass City?  "An accident which should have killed me instead tossed me into another universe, nothing like this one."  "I learned some unusual abilities while I was there." Back to dining room.  "And then I died again, and woke up here."  "I'm convinced God has chosen me to do his will in many worlds."  "In this world, that means helping you fight these vampires."
Lauren:  "Gavin thinks I'm a wizard--"  "I guess you must have some of those around, too."  James:  "Yes, although I haven't met any,"  "and I'm told some of them are as bad as the vampires." Lauren:  "Well, that can work for us, so I won't let him know I'm his enemy yet."  "Father, one of the things I've learned is telepathy--"  "With your permission, I'd like to reach your mind."  "If I've done it once close up, I am more able to do it again from a distance,"  "and that could also be useful."
James:  "Is this safe?"  Lauren:  "As safe as anything else."  "Then I guess so.  But there are a few things we should do for you." Image of Lauren moving into a house.  James:  "I've got several safehouses, dedicated as holy ground so that vampires can't enter;"  "We'll have to move you into one of these..."
Image of Jake Williams at construction site.  James:  "And Jake will get you a job at the site."  Lauren:  "I'd like to work the night shift--that way I don't have to be sleeping when the vams are active."  James:  "He's on a high-rise right now--that won't be a problem, will it?"  Lauren:  "I taught myself tightrope stunts in the last world; I should be fine." Lauren leaving James, Lauren:  "This should work well.  In NagaWorld, I slept 13 hours out of every 40--"  "It should be simple for me to sleep every other day, work 5 nights, and have 2 nights a week and every other day to do important things."
On the construction site, Lauren is working.  Various men:  "Hey, babe, I've got a job you can do."  "Sweetheart, you move like a pro--I think we could make something together."  "You like heights?  I can get you there." Lauren:  "Gentlemen--can't we keep this professional?  I do my job, you do yours, and everybody gets along?
Older worker:  "You shouldn't be here."  "This is man's work, and you can't do it as well as a man--"  "and even if you could, you're taking a job away from a man." Lauren:  "That's not fair.  You should at least let me prove I can do this."  Man:  "There's an idea--let's let her prove herself."  Another:  "Yeah--let her prove it."
Man:  "O.K., this is the deal.  Over there we've got two joints what need riveting."  "and we've got two autoriveters there, warmed up and ready."  "You gotta get from here to there, secure the joint with six rivets, disconnect the autoriveter, and bring it back here."  "If Lauren wins, no one will bother her about doing a man's job."  "If Big Bill wins, Lauren'll go downstairs and ask for an office job."  "Ready?"  "Go!" Lauren sprints out ahead; the older man, Big Bill, is trudging more slowly and carefully behind her.
Big Bill slips, and screams:  "AAAAAaaa!!!" Bill is hanging from a girder by one gloved hand.
Lauren's slender hand comes down and grabs his arm as his fingers release the girder.  Lauren:  "I've got you, Bill--hang on!" Bill:  "I'm slipping!"  Lauren:  "Hang on!  I'm trying to pull you up!"
Lauren is hanging way over the edge of the girder, clearly in danger of falling.  Lauren:  "If...I...can...." To be continued....
Lauren has trained in acrobatics including tightrope walking and stunts, so moving through the high-rise shouldn’t be a problem; also, since she’s practiced levitation and psionic flight in another world, she’s got a built-in safety net (although if she falls, she’ll try to make it look lucky).

Back to previous story for this character.

Next Story in this issue:  Robert Elvis Slade.

Next Lauren Hastings story.

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