Darius notices that Nebby hasn’t seemed like he wants to go outside much, and when he goes out to do his business. He finds some odd tracks in the snow and calls Calvin. He freaks Calvin out by speaking with lots of high rising terminals. Calvin agrees to come and help out, and also offers to call Alex, Darius reluctantly agrees.
Calvin calls Megan and Alex: Something’s wrong with Darius.
He offers to pick up Megan on the way, Alex says she’ll combine it with her morning run and she doesn’t need a ride. In the car Megan asks Calvin how he is, and he replies “Brilliant” in a somewhat bleak manner.
Alex arrives first and reconnects with Darius, who is wary of her.
Alex: It’s not your fault. You weren’t the one with the bright idea to let go while falling through a Hell dimension.
Megan and Calvin arrive and Darius says: The whole gang’s together again.
Calvin doesn’t look too pleased at this statement.
They talk about the tracks and how there’s been some bodies found without their innards.
Calvin: It could be a chupacabra.
Megan: A what?
Calvin: goat sucker.
Darius: Wasn’t that an episode of the X-Files?
Calvin: Yeah, but so were freaking ghosts and stuff.
They talk for a bit about how to find out more about the creature and Darius does the repeat after me spell on Nebby, since he’s presumably seen the thing he’s afraid of.
Darius: You’re a clever dog!
Nebby: Yes I am! Yes I am!
Nebby doesn’t want to talk about the thing in the yard, just saying that it smells bad and he doesn’t like it. Calvin notices that Nebby calls Darius “Food” and laughs, asking Darius to find out what he calls the others. Nebby calls Calvin “Big”, Megan “Not Big” and Alex “Tough Dog.”
They do some research on how to track demons. While that’s happening Calvin gets a call from Cassie, and has a stilted conversation about when she’s coming back. After he hangs up, Calvin leaves the room. Darius calls the magic shop to see if she can help any.
Nebby: I’m not barking! I am barking! I’m not barking!
Calvin is out in the backyard when Alex goes to find him. She asks if he wants to talk about it.
Calvin: It’s fine. She’s coming back. She said she could. Just because she said she wouldn’t run out on me and then she did. Doesn’t mean anything right?
Alex gives him a comforting hug and he cries a little, but pulls away once he’s got himself under control. She says comforting things about how Cassie is definitely coming back, etc.
Alex heads back inside to give Calvin some space and the gang agrees to head to the magic shop the next day to see what help they can be.
Alex and Megan have a private conversation as Megan starts building a super-science whatsit to locate the demon.
Alex: So, how long did it take? For Calvin to move on?
They talk about Cassie coming to town and the time it took.
Alex: Just, the things he used to say. Like, he’d love me forever and…he’d wait, and he’d been waiting so long.
Megan: That’s what Ash used to say. They’re all just assholes.
Alex: It’s pretty hard for me to wrap my head around you know, after…and it serves me right, for cheating on him. With her.
Megan looks at Alex, and she explains what happened when she was away. They talk about Cassie.
Alex: It doesn’t surprise me in the least that she’s bailed.
Megan: It seems like what she does.
A: I just want to punch him and hug him at the same time.
M: You still love him?
A: Yeah. Maybe more than I did before…
M: He doesn’t deserve you, you’re way too good for him (and on and on)
Meanwhile Calvin drives Darius home in silence. Darius opens his mouth like he’s going to say something a couple of times and then thinks better of it.
At the magic shop Carmen has two possible spells that might help them, ones for locating. She offers to alter them to suit their needs. Megan tries out her gadget in the back yard and they find some evidence of where it must have phased into this dimension.
Darius does the ‘forget me not’ spell from Carmen with a trace of the demon stuff to find what kind of thing it is. It shows an image of a hideous spiked demon in a lacey floral heart, all soft focus and sweet looking.
Calvin: Your boyfriend?
Between the spells and the gadget they have a direction so they head out in Kermit, tracking the monster’s path across the town. They find a cow under the snow, it’s insides pulled out and apparently absent.
D: It looks like a tauntaun
M: Tauntaun to pieces.
C: Let’s get back in the car.
Further into town they find a dead old man, his grocery shopping scattered on the path under a fresh snow bank. Again with his innards missing. Heading out of town they find a people mover which had careened off the road. Calvin parks Kermit and they all head down to investigate. Calvin sees the bloodied, dead hand of a small child in the back window and throws up. The others are leshs affected, although very sombre. The whole family inside is dead, innards removed.
Alex notices that the claw marks on all the victims are not the same size, the demon is probably growing in size as it eats more. Alex comforts Calvin a bit and he heads back to the car while they continue to investigate. He calls the police to report the dead body in the middle of town. They find tracks that are heading into the treeline of the forest outside town. The gang arm up and then they start tramping through the woods to find the demon.
They find the relatively fresh body of a dead elk, insides missing. Darius starts making off colour jokes about using all the meat. Calvin, still feeling queasy, walks off ahead to follow the trail. The others don’t follow, still looking at the elk and talking about the demon. When they notice he’s gone a few minutes later they all panic, shouting his name and following his tracks, which go about 50 metres. They find the broken remains of the maglite he was carrying and drag marks through the snow, peppered with drops of blood.
Alex starts running and Megan and Darius follow a little slower. When Alex notices that they’re falling behind, she slows so they’re all running together. Megan yells at her to speed up and get there, but Alex protests that she’s not leaving them behind.
They catch up to the now 9 foot tall demon in a clearing. It’s massive, a frightening spiny beast standing over the unconscious Calvin and snarling. Alex dashes in to attack and slices it in the belly, it whips its tail and hurts her with the spikes on its tail. The monster heals up the slash in its belly as Alex watches. Megan drops her torch and tracking device and goes in with her sword. Darius uses his telekinesis to move Calvin up off the snow and extract him from under the monster.
Alex leaps onto the demon’s back, stabbing it with her knife. Its tail lashes up and wraps around her neck. Megan using her sword two handed, slices off the tail, which flicks around on the ground like a severed gecko tail. Alex drives her knife into the neck of the demon at the base of the skull. It starts to keel back, flexing its back muscles and impaling Alex with the numerous spines on its back. It falls to the ground partially on top of Alex. Megan decapitates the demon for good measure and pulls Alex free. Calvin comes around just as Darius checks if he’s okay.