Waning Full Moon
The pack assaults the Technomancer as one, exploding from the umbra and leaping at where the oddly-dressed woman hovers on a disk in the center of the Space Center’s lobby. Though her reaction is one of shock and dismay, the first moment one of the Garou sets a claw upon her or her possessions, they abruptly discover themselves flung away and knocked unconscious by a contingency deus ex spell.
Cleo and Waffles wake in a submerged replica of a space station, where Men in Black in diving gear attempt to harpoon and drown them. Jules wakes alone, in a vacuum chamber that immediately begins to suffocate and decompress him. Nico and Timone find themselves strapped into a G-force machine that’s already beginning to spin. Though Jules swiftly dispatches the two MiBs set to watch him die a slow and painful death, he has a bit of trouble clawing his way free of the reinforced door. Even so, he’s soon out in the hall, rushing toward the doorway from which Nico is shoving more laser-wielding spirit constructs. Hapless Timone fails to free himself in time, emptying the contents of his stomach over the room and Nico alike before they manage to stop the machine. Cleo and Waffles fare the worst, narrowly rending their opponents to pieces before running out of air. Still, they give themselves time to heal before making their way to meet the rest of their pack in the physical world and head up toward the facility’s roof, where they can hear a helicopter descending.
Arriving on the rooftop, they spy the Technomage readying herself for departure, only to interrupt with a vicious assault. She launches several portal-like devices intended to shield her and redirect attacks, causing packmates to grievously wound one another while she unleashes electricity and radiation from her contraptions, or calcifies them in the very webbing of the local Pattern Web. Cleo opts to attack the helicopter instead, bringing it down atop friend and foe alike. The Technomage takes the worst of it by far, crushed immediately by the full weight of the chopper. Nico and Timone find themselves dangling from the rooftop, while the rest of the pack fares better, with only minor scrapes and burns.
Fleeing emergency response by stepping sideways, the pack discovers first that there is an enormous, glowing pillar of what looks like an enormous spider’s web strand extending from the top of the New York City Center for Space Education toward the heavens, vanishing from sight at the cloud line. Then they find the Queen laid out atop the roof, heavily damaged by the Technomage and beginning to dissipate. She tells them that while this tether remains, she can sense that many others have been destroyed in a concentrated effort. The Skylab is held aloft and protected in part by these tethers, and should it fall and destroy its renowned crew, humanity may turn its eyes from the stars in their grief.
In her final moments before being forced to reform, the Queen gifts the pack with an extra pair of arms, enabling them to climb the hulking strand of web as a Pattern Spider might. Then she melts away with a final warning that the strand will not hold for long, though it will lead them to their goal.
The climb is arduous and frightening for those (rightly) concerned about the heights, especially when the tether seemed to snap free from the earth alone. The pack was made to climb more rapidly and carelessly, nearly falling into the open air before reaching the cloud cover above. When they finally did fall, they found the umbral clouds as solid as spongy earth, and allowed themselves a brief reprieve.
It was made briefer still when a pair of crinos-formed Garou came riding up atop mythical Kirin mounts, wearing samurai-like armor. Introducing themselves as Antares Bitter-Truth and Rigel Walks-the-Stars, they politely but firmly inquire as to what the young pack is doing within the protectorate of the Sept of the Stars. Telling the truth of their tale, the pack was offered an escort back to the Sept, where their leader might be able to shine a little more light on their task. Given enough space to talk among themselves, they debated whether or not a true Sept could exist entirely in the umbra. Especially a Near Realm, once Waffles figured out they were in the Aetherial Realm and not the penumbra.
Regardless, they were led to what appeared to be a beautiful, serene, Tibetan-style monastery amidst a mountain range made of cloud-stuff. At the apex was a towering and vast orrery, where the man they called Altair meditated. As the leader of the Sept of the Stars, the powerful theurge was privy to all manner of the Aetherial Realm’s secrets, which happened to include the current fate of Skylab. Altair explained that it had a powerful Umbral reflection thanks to so much of humanity’s attention on it, and that he had seen several of the Weaver’s webbing strands snap away from it recently. He informed them that it was possible to reach Skylab if they were bold enough to leap from a passing Moon Bridge, but falling from this Realm could land them most anywhere in the Umbra if they were not precise.
He also provided them with a worn box of dog collars he claimed had been delivered by a falling star spirit. Oddly enough, they appeared to be physical items brought into the Umbra rather than spirit constructs. A bit of deliberation informed them these items had belonged to various soviet cosmonaut dogs that had died in space, apparently salvaged by the spirits of the heavens. Each packmate put one on their wrist before continuing, daring the dive from a moon bridge into open, Aetherial space. They were also provided very archaic space suits in case they had to step back into the physical world on the station, which could potentially expose them to the harsh realities of vacuum.
The free-fall was a harrowing one, and more than one of the pack found themselves catching the Umbral space station by the tips of their fingers. Once all were aboard, it took little time to find some eerie form of the MiBs here as well. They seemed to be faceless and flowing, moving back and forth from the outside of the station to the inside, disrupting the systems as they went. Shapechanging would ruin the protection of the suits, so the pack was hesitant at first. But once it became clear these eerie, alien spirits were far too powerful to deal with in the form of a homid, they resorted to tearing their suits apart and rending their foes with tooth and claw.
Cleo and Timone both found themselves grappled and transported out into the physical space, as the spirits proved quite adept at moving between worlds and moving others along with them. Thankfully the Garou were able to step back across the gauntlet rapidly enough to avoid lasting damage, ‘swimming’ through the spirit-stuff of the realm to return to the shuttle. When the spirits assaulted the astronauts, they managed to kill one before the pack burst through in Crinos, sending another into the delirium. Curiously, the third crew member was unaffected, knocking the other survivor out and sheltering him as the battle unfolded. In the end, the Wolves of Montauk were victorious, but at the cost of the shuttle’s integrity.
Through Cleo, the spirit of the dog-star Sirius began to speak with the pack, explaining that the still-conscious astronaut was kinfolk to the Glass Walkers, and a devotee of Sirius himself. Through his tiny star-spirit he had reached out to the pack and watched them through their various trials. He deemed them worthy of his service, and swore to save all surviving members of Skylab if the pack took him on as their totem spirit and fed them all their remaining gnosis to fuel his abilities. They were all too happy to do so, at which point the powerful star-spirit pulled the Garou and humans alike into the spirit like a falling star.
They felt what comets feel when crashing into the earth, but with none of the pain that should come with having bodies shattered upon stone. Instead, the physical remains of Skylab fell into the sea off the coast of New York, while the pack and two surviving astronauts were returned to the lighthouse. It was there Sirius left them a fragment of himself; Sirius Pharos, the star of Montauk and the pack totem of the Wolves of Montauk.
The Glass Walker kin Mike Adams guaranteed he would tell no one of these events, returning himself and his compatriot to the ocean for rescue, sadly discrediting his friend’s account of werewolves in space as hallucinations brought on by the stress of impending death. With the Veil intact and a totem to assist and empower the pack, the Wolves of Montauk returned to tending their territory with newfound dedication.