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Animated Summaries
These short videos provide a very brief recap of each chapter and interlude. Well... some of them, anyway. I'm not up to date yet, but will be adding more as we go.

CHAPTER ONE: "Dark and Stormy"

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CHAPTER TWO: "Define 'Miracle'"

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INTERLUDE ONE: "Gail Dreams"

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CHAPTER THREE: "Independence Day"

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CHAPTER FOUR: "Heritage"

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INTERLUDE TWO: "New Perspective Triad"

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So that's it for animated summaries. Here are some write-ups of more chapters, though these will only take you so far through the story. To catch up, your best bet is to hit the archives and read along.

Chapter Five: Cross Country

The sisters take an unhurried route across country to New Orleans, taking in sights along the way as they try to process all they have learned. They begin to wonder about the limits of their potential, and how to test them. They also muse on why most people deliberately overlook their power, and other things that they don't know how to interpret.

We follow Ray Warwick as he continues his investigation. Though his ruse to wheedle answers out of Aaron Curmen fails miserably, he is able to pass himself off as a gentleman Bridge player to Lily Curmen, and thus gain her confidence. From her, he discovers the story of Sharon's miraculous healing.

On the road, Sharon and Gail's journey takes them into Oklahoma City. There, they meet Psyche for the first time. The stranger confronts each sister, forcing them to draw upon their hidden power in order to deal with Psyche's own superhuman abilities.

Their conflict ultimately leads to a church, where Psyche lets them witness another supernatural phenomenon. They meet a vampire, desperately in need of rescue from the "null zone" of Oklahoma City -- a place with so little ambient magic that it will eventually kill a being such as him. Sharon and Gail are startled to see a real vampire, as well as by the fact that it reacts to Gail's authentic Japanese sword as a holy symbol, but not the cross in the church.

Shaken by the evening's strangeness, Sharon and Gail continue their journey, each full of doubts and misgivings about what kind of strange, unpredictable world they have entered.

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Interlude: Mr. Warwick's Secret

Lily Curmen brings her "Bridge partner" Ray Warwick to meet her mother, in spite of her misgivings. After making an excuse to send Lily away on an errand, Stella confronts Warwick alone -- with her pistol in hand. She does not buy Warwick's phony gentleman act for a second, and demands to know what he is really doing.

Warwick says he will tell her the "truth," and unexpectedly begins to remove his shirt as he tells Stella that he is a servant of the Lord. To Stella's astonishment, angelic wings appear on Warwick's back and he is bathed with a heavenly radiance. Stella is amazed, yet strangely quiet upon receiving this revelation.

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Interlude: Saxony's Partner

In New Orleans, we meet Saxony Canterbury's partner in the Steel Angels detective agency. This is the beautiful Hayaka -- a woman who is half-human and half-kitsune (Japanese fox-spirit). Whatever powers she gains from her spirit lineage, Hayaka also carries a weakness: whoever holds her "White Ball" holds her soul in his hand.

A man named Grant Grogan has stolen this important artifact, and now uses it to command HayakaÉ and by proxy, Saxony. Like Ray Warwick, Grogan is one of the seven top members of Perivigilum (or "Vigil" for short), a group Saxony describes as "the most powerful players in the magical world." Grogan has come to New Orleans for two reasons -- to take control of the magical element in the city, and to investigate Sharon and Gail Curmen.

He forcibly enlists Saxony and Hayaka to serve him in both of these ends. With no recourse to accept, the two agree to helpÉ at least until they can figure out how to escape Grogan's grasp.

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Chapter Six: One Well-Placed Bullet

In New Orleans, Sharon and Gail begin to undertake the formidable task of tracking a man who was last seen over half a century ago -- and who may not even be human. After several fits and starts, they begin to find some more leads and clues, digging ever deeper into the hidden occult world of New Orleans. Perhaps their most substantial discovery is a remarkable restaurant-owner whose own story is very similar to the one their grandmother told.

Both the sisters struggle to reconcile the things they have seen and experienced. Sharon's rational world view teeters on the brink of collapse, while Gail's own faith is sorely tested. Unable to turn back, the sisters try to hone their own skills and discover the limits of their newfound power.

Unobserved, Saxony and Hayaka track the progress of the sisters, reporting each move they make to Grant Grogan.

Back in California, Ray Warwick meets with grandmother Stella, who is less awed by him than he had hoped. He reveals that Vigil is interested in the possibly dangerous magical powers of not only Sharon, but Gail and Lily as well. Under Warwick's threats, Stella has no choice but to help Vigil with their investigation, and reveals her connection to the man she believes is the devil.

Meanwhile in New Orleans, Grant Grogan prepares to "neutralize" the occultist Bella Brouchard as part of his campaign to take control of the city's magical population. Saxony tries to warn him of how dangerous Brouchard is, revealing his own dark history with the woman. Brouchard, he says, is responsible for the death of his twin sister Jinevra -- a ritual used to make a seven-string harp that will grant her unspeakable power.

Grogan proceeds confidently, assembling an attack team to sweep Brouchard's mansion and slaughter everyone there. In spite of Vigil's technology and experience, though, Bella Brouchard escapes, and leaving a message for Grogan. She claims to have created an army of vampires that she can unleash as a doomsday contingency, and threatens to use them if Vigil does not leave her alone.

Grogan shoots the raven that carried the message and inadvertently triggers a trap --- an attack by an Indian demon called a Rakshasa. The creature's wrath decimates the Vigil assault team, though it will not attack Saxony Canterbury. To finally subdue the monster, Grogan transforms into an angelic aspect, sprouting six wings from his back and dispatching the Rakshasa with a single blow from his heavenly sword.

Saxony is left with many new doubts and revelations about both Grogan and Bella Brouchard. Sharon and Gail continue their search, unaware of the deadly currents now moving in the magical world around them.

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Interlude: These Little Conversations

Three short encounters reveal the dangerous unfolding intrigue that is still invisible Sharon and Gail. In the first, Saxony manages to reach Psyche by phone in one of the few times he is not being watched by Vigil. Although he now knows more about how powerful Vigil's top authorities are, he nevertheless plots with Psyche to oppose them. He directs her to recruit the help of Aaron Curmen before Vigil's people have a chance to get to him.

In the next encounter, Ray Warwick of Vigil reveals to Grandmother Stella what they have done with Lily Curmen, whom they know to be the daughter of "the Adversary." To her horror, Stella sees that Lily's mind is trapped in a happy delusion, while she is physically held in custody by Vigil for their observation. Warwick reveals that they will soon test Sharon and GailÉ and determine their fates.

The final conversation occurs between Ray Warwick and Grant Grogan. These two Vigil powerhouses agree that the threat posed by Bella Brouchard's vampires is indeed deadly serious -- and they form a plan to counteract it.

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Chapter Seven: Trials

Back in New Orleans, we see that Gail and Sharon have taken up a routine of martial arts training every morning before they continue their investigations. Saxony Canterbury watches this, impressed especially by Gail's keen awareness. The girls have attracted the attention of the local kids -- and of a young man named Devin, whose interest in Sharon is apparent.

Before Saxony can research anything about Devin, he and Hayaka are pulled off surveillance. They are put under the supervision of one Mrs. Whitehead of Vigil, and are commanded to go with her to London for new training and re-education. Saxony suspects that Vigil has made up their mind about what to do about the girlsÉ and, fearing the worst, he uses the feather he collected from Bella Brouchard's messenger raven to send a message of his own.

Sharon and Gail go out on the town that night -- still oblivious to the machinations around them, their most pressing concern is whether Sharon is going to spend the night with Devin. Gail leaves Sharon to do as she willÉ and walks right into the trap Vigil has set for her.

To test the authenticity of Gail's faith, Vigil sets three vampires they have located (creations of Brouchard's) against her. Gail's spiritual power not only keeps the vampires at bay, but to the astonishment of the Vigil observers, she quickly annihilates two of them. It seems Gail is attempting to help the third vampire in some way, but an agent of Vigil named Matt Hayes kills it. He makes contact with Gail, telling her half-truths and outright lies about Vigil in order to recruit her. Gail has passed her trial, and warily accompanies Hayes to learn more about this strange organization.

Sharon's test is subtler -- she follows Devin into a church late at night, hoping to find some shelter for lovemaking. Instead, he drugs her, leaving her almost helpless. Vigil's team moves in, determines that Sharon's sinfulness is too great, and decides to kill her there in the church, where the lightning rod keeps her from using her abilities to save herself.

Sharon is unexpectedly saved by a new arrival: a man who reveals himself to be a Dvergr, or Dwarf, named Agnir. He slaughters the Vigil team with brutal efficiency, and offers to take Sharon to shelter with his employer -- the sorceress, Bella Brouchard.

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Interlude: Steel Angels Take Flight

When the airplane transporting Mrs. Whitehead and her prisoners touches down in London, Vigil's agents receive a nasty shock. Saxony and Hayaka have escaped from their clutches. To her horror, Mrs. Whitehead discovers that Saxony stole Hayaka's White Ball from under her nose, thus freeing the half-kitsune to work her illusions and allow them to slip free.

Saxony reveals that he sent Bella Brouchard a message to save the girls -- knowing that she would want to kill one herself to make a string for her harp. Now, he and Hayaka need to evade pursuit and return to New Orleans, hopefully in time to save whichever sister Brouchard decides to sacrifice.

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Thunderstruck © Grayson Towler. All Rights Reserved.
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