To Be Merry and Escape From It All is a story by Renae, and runs from 2006-11-18 to 2006-11-25. It is the seventh Merry story. It is the only story which has been published in parts then combined into one.
At ARC, Beltane, Sara, Fey, and Chou have come to talk to Karen and her mother about Whateley and their experiences as changelings. This is interrupted by Maelstrom breaking out, as a result of Lenston’s sabotage. The Whateley contingent fights him and his zombie minions, while Merry heals the injured Security people, who unofficially help her get out. The ARC staff, including the chairwoman, put together a story that Merry was injured in the break-out and is in a coma. Merry heads into the woods and is intercepted by the Medawihla weres, who cut off the part of her arm with her Knights’ ring in order to turn her into a were-panther, in a plan to get Sara to become part of the tribe and help them against the Bastard. Sara is not pleased, but accepts the situation. Bluejay, who is a lore master in training for the weres, explains what they know about their enemy. Then they find out that the part of Merry’s arm that was cut off is regrowing into a clone of Merry, without any mind or soul. Sara moves Chad and Chaddy into the new body, leaving Merry and Mai in the were-cat body. Eloise and Ben Donner adopt them, with the new names Petra and Paige. On Thanksgiving, Sara’s werewolf mate Carl comes to visit and attacks Paige, in a dominance fight. At the same time, Sara goes and gets Joni out of the way of an attack by her uncle, and is persuaded not to kill him. Joni is also adopted by the Donners, under the name Jo, and she and Paige go to Whateley, while Petra goes to Rome for training as a Church Knight.
Kam informs Merry and Karen that they will have visitors from Whateley prior to Karen leaving ARC . Beltane browbeats Fey, Bladedancer, and Carmilla until they come clean about their plans to 'rescue' Merry and bring her to Whateley. Mrs. Taliesin introduces Karen to skirts, and gives Merry a Galilee t-shirt. Mrs.Taliesin is revealed as a Whateley Alumnus, of Dickinson Cottage. Maelstrom comes out of cryo-suspension, and begins manifesting zombies. Dr. Otto greets the group from Whateley, then leaves them with Karen and her mother. They tell Karen and her mom about their experiences as changelings, and assure them that they will be friends for Karen. Maelstrom breaks out of Black section, and the combat at the entry to Red section alerts ARC Security to their danger. Dr. Otto hopes that ARC orbital forces can contain Maelstrom, but informs Sara that if they become involved, deadly force is authorized. As casualties stream into Red sector, Merry goes into a healing trance, seeking out the wounded. Sara places Karen and her mother in shelter, and then Sara, Beltane, Fey and Chou go forth to give battle. Heyoka acts upon the Astral Plane, interfering with Maelstrom's zombies targeting abilities, and distracting them from injured guards. As the healed guards prepare for a counterattack, Walter makes it clear to Merry that they wouldn't be watching which way she went. Maelstrom reaches the surface, and it becomes clear he's been tampered with, as he is manifesting Mythos elements, causing Sara and Co. to rethink their strategies; Aunghadhail comes to the fore and provides direction. Maelstrom is subdued. Merry observes the last of the fight from atop a nearby hill, and then advances into the surrounding woods, given some direction by Chris, acting upon Sara's direction.
Dr. Otto meets with his staff, who inform him of Merry's escape, and the circumstances surrounding their complicity with it. Madam Chairperson calls, apparently with knowledge from Mrs. Potter, and tells them to cover it up, it's OK. After cleaning up from ectoplasmic goop, Sara has an interesting exchange with Bluejay. Merry, on her walk in the woods, finds fresh bear sign out of season, and then signs of wolves, including a fresh kill precisely centered in a glade. Up comes papa bear, up comes some wolves, papa bear morphs, wolves morph, weres oh my! Discussion with Ben and Eloise Donner, verification that she's the one Sara was sending, then they dart her! [fade to black] The weres try to infect Merry with the were virus, no joy, she's got a mark and a magic ring, they'd have to remove them to have a chance; they want a hold on Sara, want a strong additional pack, and think Sara would be a good pack leader, see Merry as the hold. Sara meets with Mrs. Carson, debriefs on the outreach project, talks somewhat about Merry coming to Whateley, and then is informed that Eloise wants her to come to the res for a meeting about tribal matters; hair raised at back of neck, fade to black.
Eloise is sharpening big knives, and a little knife, talking about a blood price and council witnesses. Cut to: Council discussion, with a stump with two arms upon it. Consensus that Father Rico and the Church should accept the Blood Price paid. Sentiment that Sara being seated on Council on behalf of her mate and others should fly, provided she calms down and thinks things through after hearing the reasons for the actions taken. Cut to: Sara and Delarose, part way to the res, busted engine, calling for a ride, Sara feels a sharp pain through her left arm. Cut to: Hawthorne Cottage , Jade is helping with some reconstruction, fixing the place up for Merry to move in, helping Amanda and C.J. lay tons of fiber optic cable. Cut to: ARC , where Dr. Otto is giving the Official Story about Merry being in a coma for umpteen bazillion years to some CIA operatives, the younger of whom doesn't believe anything they tell him about the Miskatonic Region Cut to: Medawihla Res, Sara is pissed. After talking privately with Eloise, Eloise is terrified; they'd no idea just what Sara really was, they thought just some minor lust spirit according to the info they got via a Whateley Security puke, nuh-uh, The Kellith was a bit more than they were up to, oopsy, so nice that she agreed not to wipe out the Clans... Cut to: Merry wakes up, Sara is with her, who gently leads her to the knowledge that she's now a were-panther. Cut to: Merry flickering in and out of the now, having gaps of consciousness, having run out of the house and dealing with the Blood Rage, the Full Moon curse of being were, all spotty blocks of being, talking with the weres sent to watch over her and make sure she didn't get into trouble. Finally it comes out, they cut off her left arm to remove the influence of the ring and mark so the were virus could catch. That's why Sara got so upset. Cut to: Merry fades back in. She's talking to Cindy, a young were, who mentions that she'd been darted [again]; it's one of the ways they deal with weres who are deep in the Blood Rage, keeps them from hurting anyone. Cindy gives her the nuts and bolts about being a were-kitty.
Ben, Eloise, and Sara meet. After discussion of faulty information, the Accords, etc., Sara lays down the price for what they have done to Merry and her; their family will have to join her cult. Father Pete and Father Rico meet with Bluejay, who is training as a Lore Keeper for the weres. Sara finds Bluejay in the basement library, things are a little tense, it's not that long after Halloween. Bluejay hands over the latest intelligence reports, points out the materials dealing with were-felines, were-law, and provides a quick head's up about the Bastard and his pet wizard, who associates with Lycanthros, Nightgaunt, and Lady Darke; Sara suggests they research the Necromancer. She mentions that she'll trust him as far as she can throw him; Bluejay's in luck, she's pretty strong. Discussion of vulnerabilities of the local weres, and the various warning networks. Cut to: Merry wakes up, less furry, feels itchy in the left arm, oops, part of it is still missing! Eep. Slow regen going on, looks like two to four years for the arm to fully regrow in human form, Sara points out it's fully there in were form, just got to learn how to switch between forms; enter Cindy with some info on changing forms. Enter Father Pete with disturbing news; the arm they cut off, its growing. Not just piddly little growing, either, it's majorly growing. Like, a third of a body growing, and going strong. But nobody's home. Growing, breathing, living, but no consciousness, no soul. After thinking a bit, Sara has an Idea: move Chad and Chaddy, and part of her soul, over to the new body, leaving Merry and Mai where they are; two bodies, two personalities each! Well, it's a step towards having an uncluttered mind... Merry decides to hide under the covers for a bit, it's too weird just now. Preparations made after consultation on Sara's part with Gothmog , no more hiding under the covers, dinner and then it's Showtime! Bundled up in enchanted black silk to sleep for two days while Sara sorts things out mentally. Cut to: Jade wandering around Hawthorne, where they're continuing to fix up space for Merry. She gives Willard Jennings the tour. Willard thinks Hawthorne needs to be fixed up. Cut to: Chad wakes up, as does Merry; the operation is a success! And... back to sleep, to continue mental decompression. Awake, again, Chad that is, off to see people, like the Good Fathers, Eloise, Ben, Mrs. Donner, and others, in the kitchen, with food. First food Chad's had in this body, careful now. Father Pete suggests a new name might be good, doesn't look like a Chad anymore, does he? Eloise offers to adopt Chad, Merry, and Joni, partially as reparations, although she's not sure she's up to three teenage kids. Father Pete suggests a new name, Petra, Chad says he'll think about it.
Fubar gives Chaka backgroundish stuff on the incoming residents, in the hope that she'll befriend them. Chad finds dropping into computers isn't so easy, Sara helps him scope out the changes, and they're IN! Next stop, Whateley servers for forms, and en route a chat with Blue. Then, oh then Chad is overcharged and needs help figuring out how to lower the charge, such a giggly person with the overcharging, emotions flying all over, mood-swings galore. Sleep. Breakfast. First stop, Agent Tim for New Identities! Chad's now Petra, Merry's now Paige. Off to scenic Dunwich to go shopping! For Petra, Father Pete helps with religious wear, Page goes to Rogers' Fabric Boutique. Then for glasses; were-kitties are far-sighted. Finally, lunch.
Thanksgiving Day. Wondrous stuff cooking. Father Pete fills Paige in on plans for her at Whateley; watch Rev. Englund, take various archaic language classes, take Mystic Arts course from Ms. Banacrof, things like that. Cut to: Mrs. Carson's office, where the proposed additions to Paige course list from the Church Knights is eyed with some suspicion, given the proximity to Englund. Back to Eloise' kitchen, where Mrs. Donner and Eloise educate Paige on Alpha culture and weres. Petra hangs out on the 'Net, making money and discussing ethics and the Palm with Blue. Close to food time, Petra is loopy, needs to discharge, manic twins. In line, getting food, getting harassed about eating vegetables, suddenly depantsed by someone who must be Carl, rage, fight begins.
Paige is woozy; dang, tranqed again! But apparently quite triumphant, given all reports. And assured that such a challenge should not happen again for many years. Cut to: Joni! Alive and well and hiding out with the Scarlet Knight, a stop in the Mutant Underground Railroad. But not for much longer. Dead if her uncle and his H1! friends have their way, alive and far away if Sara and her father have theirs. Joni spirited away by Gothmog, Sara and the Scarlet Knight stay to do fearsome battle with the forces of evil. In the course of conversation concerning the fate of one Uncle Wilson, Satan gives Sara two names, the birth names of Frank Lenston and his twin... Sara and Joni say their goodbyes to Gothmog. Attempts are made to inform Sara as to what happened while she was out, not helped any by Joni's Serial Linear Precognitive kibitzing. Gothmog disposes of Uncle Wilson, manipulating time to his pleasure. Sara checks in on Paige, who is sleeping, but restless; slipping into her dream, Sara finds Mai doing an instructive replay of the fight, bringing to conscious knowledge that which occurred in the Blood Rage. After playing to the end, they wake Paige and bring her to meet Joni. And there was much rejoicing. Petra gets ready to head to Rome for training as a Knight of the Church, Paige, Joni, and Sara see him off. Paige, Joni, and Eloise meet with Mrs. Carson, going over stuff. Joni goes with Duplex to Dickinson, while Jimmy T escorts Paige to Hawthorne.