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"Michael Cray - Chapter Nine": In her San Francisco home, Homa Shahi broods while she thinks over Christine Trelane's instructions. She is to return to work and see to her other clients, and not fixate on the case of Michael Cray. Under no circumstances is she to try to contact him.



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Synopsis for "Michael Cray - Chapter Nine"

In her San Francisco home, Homa Shahi broods while she thinks over Christine Trelane's instructions. She is to return to work and see to her other clients, and not fixate on the case of Michael Cray. Under no circumstances is she to try to contact him.

Soon after, Homa Shahi books a flight to London.

In London, Michael Cray is meeting with Diana Prince of Hephaistos Industries. She recently tried to kill him, but her employee, John Constantine, convinced her that Michael would be a valuable recruit. She asks Michael if he believes in magic, and Michael responds in frustration that everyone he has met on this case has asked him that. Diana explains that Britain, like America, is a juvenile culture that has grown powerful and corrupt by ignoring the spiritual, while she and her family traces their roots to ancient Greece, and from there to the gods themselves. The goal of her scheme is to throw open the ways to the spirit world, release these long-forgotten gods to harrow humanity and thin out the weak.

Michael says that he scheme sounds like madness, and that while many have tried to destroy the world, none have succeeded. Diana tells him that he has been recruited to be her knight, but if he tries to betray her, she will cut him down.

In San Francisco, Christine Trelane leads a squad to break into the apartment of Dr Homa Shahi. Trelane had been hoping that the face-recognition software has malfunctioned when it pinged her in the airport, but she is disappointed. She orders her men to search for hidden files, and also to perpetuate the fiction that this is a robbery by stealing something.

In London, Dr John Constantine is showing Michael Cray the device he built for Diana Prince. A variation on the classic “Tesla coil” design, once fully-powered it should provide an endless source of energy. Diana's plan is to use a set of the coils as the powersource for a ritual, to be enacted by Dr Constantine, to summon her gods. Michael gets angry at Constantine, which leads the Englishman to mockingly remark that military men cling hard to material explanations, never realising how close madness is. Michael asks Constantine if he is certain Diana's plan will work. Constantine's response is that he isn't certain that it won't, which is why he is proceeding so carefully.

At this point, they are joined by Constantine's associate, Dion Fortune, who informs him that she has a source who says that Trelane has sent agents to hunt for Michael. Michael is perplexed that she has this information, but says he can handle it without Constantine's aid.

Elsewhere in London, Dr Homa Shahi has met Leon Carver, Hector Gonzales, and Victoria – the team assembled to assist Michael Cray, now tasked with hunting him. They think they should bring her in, but she gets them to let her go by pointing but that they have all seen Michael's unique death-touch ability, and that if Trelane tries to kill him, Michael might fall prey to base urges and use the death-touch to fight Trelane, which would be horrifying. She thinks she can talk him down. Victoria, speaking for the group, agrees, and Homa walks free.

Asleep in his car, Michael Cray is being hectored in his dreams by the voice in his head. It has decided that for blocking it so far, it will kill someone he loves. Initially it considers Dr Homa Shahi, but dismisses her in favor of killing his father. Michael wakes up behind the wheel of his car, screaming, but sighs and collects himself just in tome to be rammed by a black SUV, which promptly disgorges Leon, Hector and Victoria. Exasperated, Michael swiftly injures Leon and Hector, before holding Victoria at gunpoint and demanding that everybody drop their weapons. As soon as they have, he holsters his pistol and invites them inside to discuss the situation over drinks.

So over a bottle of whisky from the drinks cabinet in Michael's room, the junior agents explain that they wanted to catch him alive, partly because of Trelane's orders, but mostly based on the pleading of Dr Shahi, who wants to talk to him about his “glowly thing”. Michael is initially angry that they brought her, but calms down, and says they are to call her here to meet him, and then leave so that he can handle the rest of the case. He advises them to not tell Trelane he fought them, as she will either punish them for failing to catch him, or kill them for betraying the agency.

In her rented room, Dr Shahi is staring at her phone, waiting. Recieving a call from a private number, she swiftly picks up, recieving instructions from the caller for which she is thankful. She goes to leave, but standing in the doorway is Dr John Constantine, wearing a mad grin and holding a shaving knife.



Notes

  • This book was first published on May 11, 2018.
  • No special notes.

Trivia

  • Diana refers to Michael Cray specifically as “her Achilles”, but he is planning to betray her. The subsequent quote that Michael utters to himself after she leaves (“Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another”) is a quote from the Iliad, uttered by Achilles.



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