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18 May 2011 @ 08:26 pm
Dresden Files/The Sentinel Fic 5/7  
Here's part five of Shaman You. Still nothing you recognise belongs to me, Harry belongs to Jim Butcher and Jim and Blair belong to whoever owns The Sentinel.

Thanks again to aeron_lanart for her immeasurable skill as beta/handholder.

You can read all this from the beginning:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

Shaman You Part 5

I carried with me most of what I used for a location spell, but there were a few things in my room that I needed and I took the opportunity to grab my rod and staff; I knew I’d need them if we caught up to the killer. The eaten innards of the latest victim suggested that Fenris had agreed to whatever deal had been proposed; if Bob was right about the killer wanting a magical upgrade and Fenris had delivered his end then who knew what kind of spells the killer was now capable of slinging. I had to be prepared for anything.

Once we had everything, Blair and I walked over to their loft and I set about making preparations for the spell. It was a little disconcerting to have Blair watching me; I felt like he was taking notes on everything I was doing and it was making me hyper-aware of any mistakes I might make.

By the time I was ready to begin Jim had returned. I could hear him muttering in a corner with Blair, presumably arguing over the potential success of my spell. It seemed that despite all he’d seen, Jim still wasn’t comfortable accepting the existence of magic. Not a surprise, I’ve seen it often enough; humans are hardwired to shut out the unexplained. But he wasn’t trying to stop me doing my thing. I guessed that between the trust he had in his partner and the amount of weird he’d experienced as a Sentinel he was at least willing to give me a chance.

“Blair, can I borrow your glasses, please? I need a focus for the spell,” I told him.

“Sure, man,” he replied with a smile and handed over the spectacles in question. I took them gratefully and rubbed the swab over them, streaking the lenses with the killer’s blood.

A location spell isn’t difficult because, from a magical perspective, the blood sample and the person it came from were still the same entity; they just didn’t occupy the same space currently. They were still connected to each other and my spell would make the connection visible to me, allowing us to track the killer for the duration of the spell. With the degraded sample we had maybe an hour to find him before the connection fizzled out.

As I explained that to Blair and Jim, I sat on the floor and drew a chalk circle around me. The circle would help focus and contain my energy in the unfamiliar surroundings; I’ve always had a slight problem with finesse when it comes to working magic and I really didn’t want to accidentally blow up anything.

“Hope you’re gonna clean that up, hoss,” Jim commented. Blair shushed him.

I touched the circle and used a little of my will to close it and then shut my eyes and began to focus on the task at hand or, more precisely, the glasses I held in my hand. I intoned the appropriate words, a few moments of silence followed and then when nothing seemed to happen Jim said,

“Well that was all very…”

He was interrupted by a blinding flash of blue light that I could see through my closed eyelids. I heard Jim cry out in pain and opened my eyes to see him covering his eyes and Blair comforting him with a hand on his back.

“Sorry, should have warned you,” I said and the apology was genuine. I will admit to a small amount of satisfaction; I am only human after all and Jim’s denial was starting to wear thin. I was also mildly surprised; the light was magical and I hadn’t expected Jim to be able to see it, despite his ability to see the doorway to the Nevernever earlier. It looked like it wasn’t only the five regular senses that were all amped up in a Sentinel; Jim’s Sixth sense seemed to be hyper-aware as well.

“Did it work?” Blair asked.

“Let’s find out,” I replied as I put on his glasses and looked around. A thin ribbon of red light flowed from the glasses and threaded its way out of the front door. I smiled. “Come on, we’ve not got much time before this starts to fade,” I said as I picked up my rod and staff and then began to follow the trail, not waiting to see if Blair and Jim were behind me. As I hit the second flight of stairs down I heard their footsteps behind me.

We walked down to the lot where Jim’s truck was parked and got in. He drove, following my instructions, which led us into the heart of the city. Shoppers bustled along the sidewalks, disrupting the trail and making it difficult to spot.

Suddenly, the red light glowed much brighter than before.

“He’s close. Pull over Jim,” I instructed.

As soon as the truck stopped moving, Blair and I slid out of the passenger side and began looking for the suspect. I pointed Blair in the right direction and then we split up, Jim sticking with his Guide and taking the other side of the street to me.

I continued to follow the trail, all the while keeping an eye out for the guy we were looking for; I’d been caught out before by bad guys who took advantage when I was too focussed on a spell. I wasn’t about to be taken unawares this time.

I spotted him walking around a corner. I didn’t want to call out and alert him to our presence, so I hoped that Jim’s Sentinel hearing would pick up my voice from across the street.

“Jim, he’s on my side of the street, about half a block ahead and just turned right.”

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted Jim and Blair crossing the street with their guns drawn, running toward the corner. I quickened my pace to catch up to them and readied my rod; unfortunately I’d left the staff in the truck. The three of us rounded the corner at the same time to see the suspect get into an old black Thunderbird and drive off.

“Son of a bitch!” Jim exclaimed and he holstered his gun at the same time as he yanked his cell from its own little holster. “This is Ellison. I need an APB on a black T-bird and full details on the registered owner. License plate number…”

I tuned out the rest as I focussed back on the spell, hoping we could pick up the trail again. Looked like we were out of luck; the red line had faded away to nothing. With a sigh I took off the glasses and handed them back to Blair.

Disappointed, we all headed back to where Jim had parked his truck.

“We’ll get a name and address from the DMV. Hopefully the guy’s arrogant enough not to use an alias or fake address and we’ll get him at home,” Jim explained as we got back in the truck. I nodded.

“This is a win,” Blair said cheerfully.

“Not yet it isn’t,” Jim replied.

The information came through on the radio moments later. The car belonged to a David Emerson, late of Seattle and relocated to Cascade six months ago. His house was only a few miles from where we were so Jim gunned the truck into traffic, police light flashing.

Dusk was falling by the time we reached Emerson’s house, a detached single story in one of the less salubrious suburbs of Cascade. It must have been a nice neighbourhood back when it was built, the 1950’s I’d guess, but, as happens a lot, it had fallen to ruin. Empty lots and abandoned buildings jostled for position with burned out cars and gang graffiti covered, boarded-up houses that were probably meth labs. Emerson’s house actually stuck out a little; aside from an overgrown garden it was pretty well-kept compared to the neighbours.

As we pulled up across the street, Blair spotted Emerson’s T-bird parked on the driveway. Looked like our boy was home.

“We should call for backup,” Jim said and reached forward for the radio.

“That might not be a good idea. If this guy is capable of offensive magic now, cops with guns aren’t going to make much difference, no matter how many you call in,” I said. Jim glowered at me.

“And I suppose you suggest I let you handle it?” he said. Internally I counted to ten.

“If you value your life, yes.”

“Come on, man. We brought Harry in because he’s an expert in this stuff. Let him do his thing,” Blair reasoned. Jim glowered at me for a moment more and then huffed.

“Fine. But we’re coming too.”

“If you have to; stay behind me. Blair, you should have your amulet ready to make a shield. If me and Emerson start slinging spells at each other, duck and cover. Bullets won’t do you much good,” I instructed before climbing out of the cab.

Blair followed me and Jim got out the driver’s side before we all crossed to Emerson’s house. We walked three abreast in a line, me flanked by the two cops on either side, and as my trusty duster billowed in the evening breeze, I smiled. You get few times where you feel like a movie hero and I knew things were about to get ugly so I enjoyed the moment. A few feet from the property line, Blair held out his hand to stop us and looked to me with a puzzled expression.

“Is that Emerson’s threshold? It feels way stronger than ours,” he said.

“Chief?” Jim queried, naturally confused.

I’d not felt anything, so I focussed and reached out my senses to try and find what Blair had detected. It took me a moment, but I realised that he’d sensed warding spells that Emerson must have put up around the property. I was impressed and I told him so.

“Those spells are going to make getting inside a little tricky,” I explained.

“We’ll see about that,” Jim replied and marched up to the house. I called after him, but it was no use.

“Probable cause, Jim!” Blair tried protesting.

“I smell gas,” was the reply.

Jim strode up onto Emerson’s porch and kicked at the door. There was a flash of light and a noise like thunder and Jim was thrown twenty feet through the air and onto the lawn.

“Oof,” he said eloquently. “What the hell?” he muttered as he clambered to his feet. Blair rushed over to check his partner was ok.

“Warding spells. Can’t get past them. Sure I mentioned that,” I snarked. Jim glared at me, but before we could get into it any further, the front door of the house opened and Emerson came out holding a wooden staff in one hand. He paused on the front porch to reactivate his wards; he was clearly more worried about us getting into the house than his own safety.

While that made attacking a lot easier, it also made me very nervous. He could wait us out forever behind those wards, or at least until the magic weakened at sunrise. Either this guy was intensely stupid or he was very powerful. I figured on the latter.

“David Emerson, you are under arrest for the murder of…” Blair began to read him his rights but before he could get very far, Emerson raised the wooden staff he had in his hands.

“Fuego!” he yelled and a fireball came hurtling towards us. Luckily, Blair has faster reflexes than me and he put up a shield. I could feel the heat of the fire as it hit; Emerson wasn’t messing around, but it was deflected harmlessly into the air where it dissipated.

“Blair, you and Jim keep back, let me handle this,” I instructed and strode forward without waiting for an answer. I held out my rod and summoned my will, funnelling it into and through the rod before unleashing it with a simple word.


Emerson managed to get his own shield up in time, but my spell was much stronger than his had been and the force of it knocked him to the ground. He scrambled to his feet, a look of shock on his face.

“The Council won’t have the satisfaction of executing me,” he jeered and then sent another fireball toward me. I summoned a shield in time, but the spell was stronger this time and I was momentarily disorientated. When I looked up again, I saw Emerson running toward where he’d parked his car.

Jim and Blair were giving chase, but Emerson had a head start and made it to the car and peeled off from the driveway. Jim took a shot, but only succeeded in shattering the car’s rear window before it disappeared around a corner.

It looked like Emerson had bargained with Fenris for power and had received it in abundance; that last fireball had some serious punch to it. But he wasn’t in control; it was raw power lacking direction, something I’ve often been accused of myself. If I had to guess, I’d say that he wasn’t prepared to face off with a wizard and had the sense to realise he was outgunned, which was why he ran. He was learning quickly though and if we couldn’t stop him soon then Emerson could be as big a problem as Fenris.

There was no way to get inside the house while the wards were up; we’d have to wait until this was over before we could search the place. We knew Emerson wouldn’t come back, but Jim called in to the station and had a uniform put outside, just in case. Then we headed home to get some sleep; with no way to track him it was unlikely we’d catch up to Emerson now so our best shot was to head to the stadium in the morning. We’d all need our strength for whatever tomorrow brought.


Shaman You continues in Part 6
Rhi: Merlinvipersweb on May 18th, 2011 08:12 pm (UTC)
Nice chapter. I like that Blair and Jim are interacting with Harry in this, that it is not just Harry running to the rescue so to speak.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: jim n blair laughidontlikegravy on May 30th, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I just figured that they are all such strong personalities that none of them would want to take a back seat and Harry likes them so he'd be glad of the assist :)
Caro Dee: Talk Fastcarodee on May 18th, 2011 08:43 pm (UTC)
Yay action. And Jim is so funny with his determination not to believe anything Harry says. Illogical when he can actually see some of this stuff. Getting closer to the grand finale. This is exciting.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: jim n blair laughidontlikegravy on May 30th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you for staying the course :) Not long to go now (part six is up and seven is almost finished - I hope to have it posted within two weeks, muses allowing!)

This is exciting.

Phew! glad you think so :)
The other Weird Al: Dresden Files - advertaeron_lanart on May 18th, 2011 09:15 pm (UTC)
you know, I wish I could see this onscreen and not just in my head!

BTW, have you posted this to any of the Dresden comms? The fic one at least would be a good place so give them a try dresdenfic and dresden_files

Edited at 2011-05-18 09:17 pm (UTC)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: pleased hamsteridontlikegravy on May 30th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
I have now!

you know, I wish I could see this onscreen and not just in my head!

anniemare: Thantsanniemare on May 18th, 2011 09:20 pm (UTC)
YAY! Thanks for the update!
But, I don't want to be a pie,: pleased hamsteridontlikegravy on May 30th, 2011 07:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks for still reading! :)
Black Rook: Jim&Blairgrachonok on May 19th, 2011 04:57 am (UTC)
Well, hope Jim finally understood he should 'stay in the truck' in this:). Waiting for the next part!
But, I don't want to be a pie,: jim n blair laughidontlikegravy on May 30th, 2011 07:19 pm (UTC)

I think maybe he's finally realising this is slightly outside his expertise!! But of course, that won't stop him from jumping in feet first.

Not a long wait - part six is now up :)
Matchy西matchynishi on May 19th, 2011 11:51 pm (UTC)
I really liked this; great job! The crossover was very neatly done, no awkwardness at all... i kind of liked the way you wrote the soulgaze too. XD Looking forward to the rest. :)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: jim n blair laughidontlikegravy on May 30th, 2011 07:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you so very much. Part six is now up and the final part should be up within two weeks or so (as long as I can finish it!!)
Cedara: *zen*cedara on May 22nd, 2011 01:48 pm (UTC)
I like this.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: jim n blair laughidontlikegravy on May 30th, 2011 07:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)