Over the course of the drive from New Mexico to Houston, the ghost named Hogarth proves to be very amiable and chatty, even when the subject matter is a little grim:
"I became a ghost-host in '89. If you're keeping track, that's six years after our boy, Price. I was out on the West Coast then, though. I had some nice digs. My sister didn't. Her no good baby-daddy had left her and three kids in a shithole in L.A.. I had finally talked her into moving them and herself in with me. I had plenty of room, plenty of food, a safe neighborhood, good schools. I was staying the night to help her pack and the moving truck was coming the next morning. We'd finished watching the babies' favorite movies and gotten them into bed, and we'd stacked the last box.
Then there were tires squealing outside, screaming, popping. You know, you want to tell yourself that's not gunfire, it's firecrackers. In the middle of a Wednesday night in May. Twenty seconds of that. Then it was quiet. We had both dropped to our knees, hands up over our heads, then we were tripping over each other to get to the bedroom.
And it started again. S'only time I've ever been shot. I went down like I'd been suckerpunched. Delia, she dragged herself up. I think she was screaming, but I can't swear it wasn't me. The babies didn't move from their beds. Delia made it to the bed, and then she, she sort of draped herself over them. Everything was bright red.
And then I was on my back staring at the shitty ceiling.
Y'know there's those assholes who talk about dying and they make it sound romantic? 'It's like going home,' or 'It's like slipping into a warm bath and a lover's embrace and there's a string quartet playing instruments made of rose petals?' Yeah, I don't think they ever consulted anyone from Harvard Park. So, I hear a song playing in my head. It's telling me I can keep going. I can maybe save them, I just gotta say yes. So I say, 'Hell yes,' and I get back up. But I couldn't fix dead.
Well, I let the cops come and try to do their job, convince them that the blood on me isn't mine, and the whole time I've got my babies wailing at me from Twilight, so while I'm answering stupid questions, 'Yes sir, I'm sure those were gunshots, No sir, we don't own any guns, Yes sir, I'm sure it wasn't us who shot anybody,' I'm plotting out how I'm going to find these gilipollas and I am going to take them apart…"
You're three hours into the drive before he's made it to when he met Price for the first time:
"I think I met him before Jessie did, but I wasn't walking around looking like Little Boy Blue, so I didn't get his attention until later. But let it be known, I did meet him first. And I knew what he was as soon as I met him. Had power stinking off of him even back in '91, like he'd rolled around in a cenote made of dumpsters. Or something. His passenger is… something old. And you can feel it, if you get close. Kinda like…" he'd look around and trail off. "Well, yeah. So I met him first. But Jessie needed him first. Justin is… He's a nice guy, but he pays more attention to you if you're, uh, broken? That's not really the right word, Jessie was never broken. But his death messed him up pretty good, and Justin's got a soft spot for the kid. Did Justin tell you how he got his passenger? No? I should probably let him tell it…
So he died in '83 in Alicia. After what we've learned about Teel and his group, we're pretty sure it was one of his type that caused that. Price didn't live in H-Town, he was visiting his mom in the hospital. He didn't live anywhere at the time, he and his two boys called a silver 4-door home. They were sleeping in a parking space on the first floor of a hospital garage when those floodwaters came in, and Justin… well, he never gave us anything like a play-by-play, but it sounds like he took his Bargain because he wanted to try to save his boys. He couldn't fix dead, either. I think he reacted to it a bit better than I did, but maybe that's just because he didn't have anyone to hold responsible at the time. So it's not like he became a killing machine right away. I mean, he's definitely not a killing machine now. He kills, sure. But he's not a machine, and it's always the people who deserve it. Like those "fine folks" up in Hartley. You know that house he burned down, the lady was using her kids in a child porno ring? He took her out fast, way faster than she deserved…"
Two hours later:
"Now your krewe, that's like your gang. No, it's better than a gang. Astrid, what do the kids say now?"
"Yeah, whatever that means. You guys are powerful together if at least one of you knows the right spells."
"Jessie's our spells guy," Astrid interjects.
"Eh, was, mija."
An hour after that:
"But the krewe is just sort of small scale. It can be big, but then it gets… well, I'd say messy. Justin would call it unwieldy, but he talks weird. Bigger krewes have rules and histories and founders and hierarchies and then people start fighting for power and it's stupid. Above that, well, maybe feeding into that, you have the Twilight Network. That's how we all talk to one another, if you're a social type who's not into face-to-face interaction. Sometimes we leave signs and sigils around, sometimes we use email." He shrugs. "There are bigger pockets of people to talk to in the big cities, just like there are bigger pockets of everything in the big cities."
He follows this with a completely unrelated story of a haunting in Alaska which he didn't see personally but everyone thought it was some awful powerful thing and it turned out to be a couple of polar bears.
Two hours later:
"So you can see how there's a whole lot of debate about why exactly things like us exist. Me, I think we're here for the ghosts and the dead. There are a lot of people alive today, but there will always be more dead people. That's just like, math. And you've got doctors and whatever for the living, but who takes care of the rest? As far as I know, no one but us. And just like with everything else, there are always tons of dead people in the cities. Lots of people with lots of things to do, and those things don't just go away because you're dead. At least, that's the best explanation I heard. This one lady was causing a fuss in her apartment building because she was trying to get dressed and go to work. But she couldn't touch anything, and all her furniture was gone. She thought someone had stolen it and replaced it with something different. Then, when she did manage to get a drawer open, none of the clothes fit. And she went crazy breaking stuff in that place. I finally managed to convince her she was dead, and the first week that didn't mean anything to her. She wanted to find out what a dead person needed to do to set up direct deposit, since all her accounts had been closed. Anyway, there's a lot of that. Which I guess means there's always something for us to do in the city."
What you might glean from this:
Hogarth's Threshold is Torn (death by violence). His Archetype is Advocate. From the revenge he describes exacting upon the criminals who took his family, it sounds like he had access from the beginning to Stigmata and Stillness keys. Later he picked up access to the Tear-Stained key.
His manifestations were Curse and Rage. His reference to his geist as a "passenger" tells you that he enjoyed a pleasant relationship with the entity, likely resulting in a higher Synergy. He does not talk at all about his geist.
Justin was the leader of their krewe.
Hogarth has also given you a scene-by-scene analysis of the play Cats. He doesn't particularly like musicals, he notes. But something about those cats just… it gets him, you know? Like, right in here. (points to heart).