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Coveroftgtbatu

The Cover of The Good, The Bad, and the Undead

Rachel is called into the FIB to assist with a missing persons interview regarding a witch, as the FIB is not capable of handling her. The witch in question is Sara Jane, claims to be missing her boyfriend, Dan Smather. Rachel is paired up with the FIB's Inderland specialist, Detective Glenn Edden, who she estimates to be more dead weight than helpful. After interviewing Sara Jane, they arrange to see Smather's apartment, for which Sara Jane has a key, to see Pizza Piscary's, where he used to work, and sign Rachel up for a ley-lines class Smather had been taking.

Glenn takes Rachel home where she makes an anti-itch charm for him. Unfortunately, she hadn't forewarned Ivy, whom Glenn shortly offends through clumsiness. Rachel manages to convince Ivy not to eat Glenn by somehow being more dominant than she, and by telling her they plan to go to Piscary's to ask questions. Ivy is afraid for her, and physically assaults her, trying to convince her not to go, but when she will not relent, Ivy insists on going with them.

Before their meeting at Piscary's, Rachel reacquaints with Dr. Anders who had long ago failed her out of a ley-lines class when she refused to summon a familiar. Anders is none-too-happy to see her in the class, knowing of her association with I.S. and assumes Rachel is there to accuse her of killing the other ley-line witches to thin out her competition.

At Piscary's, it is extremely easy for all of the vampires to manipulate Rachel by using her demon scars. She tries to avoid letting them touch her, but is easily captivated by Kisten, Piscary himself, and Ivy. Piscary chastens Ivy for not claiming Rachel and arranges a future undead heart-to-heart with her to discuss it.

Rachel and Glenn go to the FIB and review the case files of the dead witches, which she finds to be very thorough, save for one detail. She calls each victim's surviving family, asking if they had associated with Trent Kalamack, finding of those she could reach, all of them had. Edden however, will not give them leave to question Kalamack about it, having no hard evidence or motive, frustrating her.

Angry and distracted, she spars with Ivy who has been training her to fight vampires, albeit somewhat unsuccessfully given a vampire's speed and strength advantages. Because she is distracted, she presses Ivy too hard and Ivy gets too serious, concerned that Rachel isn't able to defend herself, unrelenting in her attacks even though Rachel doesn't want to continue. Ivy explains that the vampire scar makes her too weak to resist vampires, makes the pain into pleasure and that any vampiric depravity would never hurt her. She offers to claim Rachel as her equal, as her scion to protect her from other vampires but Rachel doesn't fully understand the implications and rejects her. Ivy takes the rejection personally, but Nick hits her in the head with Rachel's spell cauldron and they flee.

To avoid going back to the church the next morning, Rachel, Nick and Jenks visit her mother. Her mother tells old stories of Rachel's childhood and shares some photos, Rachel having lost all of hers when her belongings were death cursed. Through the stories and pictures, she realizes that she was genetically manipulated at her summercamp by Trent's father and her own, to cure her terminal illness. Both of them had died within a week of each other.

At home, using a Latin familiar binding spell translated by Nick, Rachel and he try to bind the fish as her familiar, only to find their efforts interrupted by the demon Algaliarept who, true to form, tries to trick and kill them. He becomes visibly surprised when he sees what book they are using to bind the fish.

When Dr. Anders inspected her fish in class the next day, she concludes that it is not Rachel's familiar and is concerned with some of the methods used as Rachel described what she did. Nick arrives when Anders shows Rachel how to summon her familiar. She is clearly surprised at the strength of Rachel's ley-line magic even without training and appalled at the monstrosity of binding a human as a familiar. Anders reveals that her father insisted that Rachel be failed out of the class because it would be dangerous for the other students. Anders also tells them she has a meeting scheduled with Kalamack to discuss further funding of her research and Rachel attempts to talk her out of going, saying that witches who talk to him end up dead. Unable to change her mind, Rachel learns where they intend to meet with the intent of following.

The next day, she begins to experiment with the ley-line magic she once feared as a tool of corruption, going so far as to play with it using a telekinesis spell to repel attacks by Jenks' children. Glenn calls to inform her that Dr. Anders is dead and the FIB had a warrant to search Kalamack's estates. Unable to find a body through normal search, she calls Nick, looking for a ley-line spell to see the unmarked dead, which he provides from the ancient spellbook he was borrowing from her. She is surprised to find a ley-line running directly through Kalamack's office, realizing that he could use it, which put him in a substantially smaller set of possible species. Kalamack and staff are surprised at her strength to channel their entire ley-line without the use of a familiar. Using the spell she finds the corpse of Smathers, which everyone did not expect to see. Glenn evicted her from the crime scene as she started accusing Kalamack of murder. Edden was forced to take her off the payroll.

At home, she and Ivy try to talk through their last encounter, but Ivy is too hurt by Rachel's rejection of her offer to talk about it. Instead they discuss her run and her experience at Kalamack's, exploring the possibilities of what that might make him, finally reaching a conclusion through deduction: Kalamack must be an elf who survived the Turn. She arranged to meet him and he engaged her services to bring the murderer to justice. Figuring she was going to do it anyway, she had little choice.

She and Nick summon the demon to answer Kalamack's question, they haggle over price and get enough to know, but not enough to prove who is responsible. In exchange, Algaliarept takes the book Nick had been borrowing from Rachel, and they become unable to unbind Nick as her familiar.

Returning home, Ivy had been at Piscary's where she was forced to drink, ashamed to have enjoyed herself, and felt guilty for being unable to protect Rachel. Rachel goes to Piscary's to avenge her friend's rape and the murder of those witches.

At Piscary's, he admits to summoning the demon to kill both she and Trent, along with any ley-line witches he employed. He wouldn't let their fathers' research continue. He summons Algaliarept and orders him to kill Rachel, but she summons him afterward, preempting Piscary's command. To get the demon to testify against Piscary, she agrees to be his familiar and is twice-marked by it.

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