What has gone before: Coffee shop owner Andrew Weazle spills coffee made with magic beans into a planter containing a dead bonsai tree, causing a massive ash tree to grow in its place overnight. As a force of Order, the Tree attracts the hostile attention of forces of chaos. Following a climactic battle with minions of Chaos, Andrew and his companions stand amidst the wreckage of the coffee shop...
Sunny and Mikey pulled up to the wreckage of the shop, and Mikey had jumped out even before the car had stopped moving. He scrambled through the shattered window, mouth agape. Sunny grabbed her medical kit and ran up behind him, surveying the chaos that had once been Andrew's coffee shop.
Blackout's car had skidded around so that it had struck the window tail first, but had caved in part of the window frame as well. All the glass from the window lay in shards and fragments, letting the frigid winter air into the shop. Lying ten feet from the car was a gory mangled heap of feathers and what Sunny could only think of as 'chum', and Mikey likened to raw hamburger meat. Further into the store, they saw the new barista climbing down out of the big tree prop, which both of them were looking at with growing realization. Beneath the tree, Blackout was laying on one of the couches, a wet cloth on his head; Ripper was seated beside him in an awkward position that made Mikey think he was trying to hide something. Andrew Weazle was pouring coffee for Ripper, smiling, wearing a winter coat and a blanket wrapped around his legs like a kilt. Courtney was reclining in one of the plush chairs, dressed in her chain mail and holding her right side. Blood was flowing from between her fingers.
"Cort!" Sunny yelled and ran to her friend. "What the hell happened here?"
"You should see the other guy," Courtney said, smiling ruefully.
"You mean the naked guy with the espresso machine for a head?" Mikey called, having found the Nephilim's body.
"I mean the pile of chum out front," Courtney called back.
"That's funny," Sunny said, "that's the word I thought of too. I'm going to have to cut the leather straps on your chainmail Cort. Sorry."
"Better than bleeding to death."
"So," Ripper said, taking a drink of coffee. "This has been great fun, but I'm thinking the cops should be showing up soon, and I'm wondering how we explain all this."
"I'm just glad to be alive," Andrew said, pouring a coffee and handing it to Lara. "Being in jail would be a cake walk compared to what I just went through."
"Yeah, but if we all end up in jail, who takes care of the Tree?" Lara asked.
"We're facing jail time for homicide and you're worried about your stupid decor?" Ripper shouted.
"Not...decor," Blackout said weakly, opening his eyes for the first time.
"He's still talking nonsense," Ripper said.
"No he's not," said Andrew. "And...you're right Lara. Going to jail won't help any. But what else are we going to do? I mean, it's not like we can fix that window, move the car, clean up the carcass of the succubus..."
"Of course!" Ripper said, snapping his fingers. "I should have known! Transformation into a half-owl form, the screech...I mean, we fought one of those before," he said, addressing this last part to Courtney.
"I liked it better when it involved plastic dice," Courtney said, wincing at Sunny's ministrations.
"What about the three women?" Blackout asked weakly. "Can't they help?"
"What three women?" Andrew asked.
"Tell you later," Lara replied. "They're currently indisposed, working to heal the Tree from the damage the Nephilim did."
"I think I would be confused if I had even a lick of an idea of what's going on here," Mikey said. "But I don't. So I'll just say I'm very excited to be a part of whatever is going on. This far exceeds my expectations for how cool it would all be."
Andrew sat down. "Maybe the best thing would be for all of you to get the hell out of here before the cops show. I'll stay and take the blame. I'm the only one who's linked to this whole mess."
"Like my car sitting there in your shop window doesn't link me," Blackout said. "I'm in, thick or thin."
"So am I," Lara said. "I didn't come this far to walk out now."
"But what do we do about that mess? We can't clean it up before the cops arrive."
"Maybe that's where we can be of service," said a voice with a lilting, musical quality to it, and they all turned to look at the shattered window, to where seven leprechauns were standing.