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“There is no such thing as choice, not here … Merely the inevitable …”
New York, 1899. A city full of hopes, dreams and love… Quentin Collins has left Collinsport, hoping to leave his family and their terrible secrets behind, for ever. But something new and evil is stalking him. As the Skin Walkers seek to take command of a new century, they need Quentin at their side. Just as the prophecy foretold…
Autumn 1899, New York. Late one night whilst Quentin walks home he observes a horse drawn funeral hearse galloping through the streets. For a brief moment the coachman gestures towards Quentin. Quentin thinks he recognizes a mark at the centre of the man’s palm. Intrigued Quentin follows, chasing it through the streets across the city to a marble cemetery. Slipping in quietly, Quentin observes tall figures dressed in black gathered around a grave dug deep into the earth. Stood apart from the rest of the party, a priest gleefully performs a ritual, which the rest of the mourners repeat as a coffin is lowered into the ground. Quentin notices that they are all identically dressed, each adorning a pentagram. Upon leaving Quentin realizes that he’s been noticed.
Angelique has the diary belonging to Caitlin Mathews, a woman that Quentin was close to. Angelique asks Quentin about November 8th 1899.
At a party, Quentin meets Caitlin for the first time. He is totally captivated by everything about her. Several other men are watching Quentin. As he tries to leave he begins to stagger, he’s been drugged. He falls unconscious.
Quentin awakes in a darkened room strapped to an operating table. A middle-aged man stands over him. Quentin notices the mark of a five-sided star on the man’s palm. Several other people stand around lurking in the shadows. Quentin observes numerous cages at the far edges of the atrium containing horrific creatures, all undergoing varying levels of torture and humiliation. The man standing over him introduces himself as Jackson Lowell. Quentin is in the lair of Lowell’s brethren, and is here because of a prophecy. Lowell and his brethren seek to rid the world of the curse of the werewolf.
Quentin reveals to Angelique that Lowell’s brethren refer to themselves as ‘The Skin Walkers’. During that night the cult tried unsuccessfully to awaken the werewolf contained within Quentin.
Quentin yells out in pain as he is tortured. The cult attempt to kill him in the hope that death will provide the key to his true nature. They watch in fascination as Quentin starts to heal before their eyes. They continue to torture Quentin to observe the extent of his immortality.
Angelique observes how well Quentin has healed. Quentin reveals that the mark of a pentagram was calved into his palm, a brand that didn’t heal until years later.
Lowell takes the permanence of the pentagram as proof of Quentin’s connection with the prophecy. Quentin is released as the prophecy stipulates that if he is to return to them then it must be of his own free will.
Angelique asks what happened to Caitlin. Quentin recalls that November 8th was the night that his and Caitlin’s lives changed forever. Angelique observes that Quentin is all that Caitlin talks about in the diary entry.
A few weeks later, Quentin encounters Caitlin by chance walking on streets. They talk about the night they first met. Quentin notices that they are being watched, the inhuman eyes of a wolf gleaming at them. He realizes they are being hunted. Caitlin invites Quentin back to her home.
Quentin reveals to Angelique he can’t remember the rest of that night as he suffered another blackout. This would often happen whenever there was a full moon.
Quentin awakes in a bed, there’s human blood on his skin, across his face and in his month. There are fresh wounds across his chest and arms. Quentin suspects that most of blood isn’t his.
Angelique summarizes a report that Quentin kept on the deaths that occurred that night:
- 11 dead, 8 men, 2 women, 1 new born. None of the people had any connection to any gangs or to each other. The only link between the victims was the mark of the pentagram calved into the palms of their hands.
Quentin hears the approach of footsteps. It’s a little girl. The girl studies him silently. He lights a candle and in that instant she disappears. The next morning, Quentin finds Caitlin in the dining room. She tells him that he collapsed moments after entering her home. Caitlin has a son and daughter, named Lucas and Brianna, who join them for breakfast. They are her adopted children, the offspring of a failed marriage. Caitlin’s husband apparently died a few years ago. She warns Quentin about the dark forces that are at work.
Angelique deduces that Caitlin married into a cursed family in charge of two werelings. Quentin reveals he never told Caitlin the truth about himself, he suspects she already knew. He knew Lowell’s brethren were also after Caitlin and her children. He resolved to stay and protect them.
One afternoon in the middle of December, Quentin returns to the house to find Caitlin and the children gone. Upon hearing the sounds of sobbing, he rushes upstairs to find Caitlin alone in the centre of a wrecked bedroom. Scratched into the plaster above the door is a message with the sign of the pentagram that reads:
- He will come.
Later, Quentin runs through the back-streets of Manhattan heading towards the lair of the Skin Walkers. Upon entering he finds the brotherhood’s chamber abandoned expect for a few cages still containing tortured werewolves. One of the wolves transforms back into Lowell. He tells Quentin that each member of the brotherhood has the curse; they seek to lift it through science. Lowell reveals that he is the father of Lucas and Brianna and that while Quentin has come to him willingly Caitlin and her children have been left unprotected and shall be burned alive by the cult. At this revelation, Quentin races out onto the street smelling the smoke in the distance. Upon reaching Caitlin’s house, he is unable to enter. He stands helplessly outside as it burns.
Angelique notes that December 17th, 1899 is Caitlin’s final entry in the dairy. Quentin reveals that the two bodies of Lucas and Brianna were recovered from the ruins. It is unknown what happened to Caitlin.
Quentin attends a ceremony conducted by Lowell and his brotherhood as the children’s remains are laid to rest. A few weeks later, Quentin returns to the brotherhoods lair, now completely abandoned, all trace of the cult has gone. He decides it time for him to move on too.
Quentin’s portrait finishes recounting Quentin’s time in New York to Angelique. Angelique reveals that she is just a voice, a phantom from the past that it has chosen to revive. It tells her to read the letter bearing the mark of the pentagram, it is written in Caitlin’s handwriting:
- My dearest Quentin, first I must begin by apologizing for the nature of my correspondence, such are circumstances of my lifestyle and means. The written word is so much less articulate than I myself would hope to be, but this must be our final communication. For even now the brotherhood tread the world, walking amongst us, looking for our kin, and I’m entirely afraid that they may find me. I watched you as they sailed from New York all those weeks ago, I saw you shed a tear at their graves and I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you I was there, but I knew that they were watching too. And then like me they followed you here, they always will. Which is why I couldn’t say anything, why I’ve confined myself to shadows for now. I’m sorry. That’s why I had to do it, why I had to betray them and you. I need to escape you both, for all your protestations your morality is not that far removed from those that would threaten my life. You have sought a cure for the werewolf curse just as they have, and I would not risk having such a thing inflicted upon me. Not when the full moon tastes so very succulent. I knew of their plans though my associates and I suspected you would never have them face us. So I made the necessary sacrifice. I had to force you to their lair so you might leave me with our children, that they might be allowed to perish at the brethren’s hands. This is the way of the beast, the need to survive at all costs. But I do not write to gloat, instead to express my gratitude. For without you, I would have never escaped the stalking of my brothers. Nor come to observe them from the distances that I do now. So I thank you Quentin Collins. I thank you for your loyalty, your honour, some might say predictability. But rest assured I do not judge you. One day my darling Quentin we shall meet again. Of that I promise you. And when we do, when I am free to walk this earth once more The Skin Walkers shall perish and on that day wolves shall rise. The war goes on it will never be over…
Background information and notesEdit
- The events of this play are mentioned in Operation Victor.