Crystal McCristol

Oh, there are better professional toll-keepers out there. Better-trained and better-mannered at the very least, to say nothing of being legally allowed to cross state lines, what with those methamphetamine convictions and the armed-robbery charge. And if you want a lot of fancy stuff chanted in Eskimo or whatever when she's listing off Cherries, how to find them and how to get them unlocked, well, you're shit out of luck when it comes to dealing with Crystal.

Hell, you're taking your life into your hands just visiting Crystal's place to begin with: her baby-daddy is a crazy-ass mother-fucker, and he seems to feel that the best way to avoid violating that 200 yard restraining order again is to drive past the trailer park and pop off a few shots from a handgun in her general direction and keep driving. And there are a bunch of times when Crystal simply isn't available: her two other jobs involve waitressing at a local "dance club" and giving hand-jobs to high-tipping customers, and that's on top of her full-time hobbies of playing pool, getting into bar-fights and trying to get somebody to babysit her kids.

But on the off chance that you really, REALLY need to get to Narosec or Illchrist, or have a deep-seated yearning to hop back out through Anomaly 2 once you've crashed it, or just need to find out exactly where in New York Malignant Meathole is lurking these days, there's nobody with quite the dossier of for-sale cherry, transit and drift run-downs than Crystal McCristol. Pop by her trailer with cash in hand, give her 48 hours to look the shit up, and she'll (probably) have the necessary info all ready to go in a quickness, printed out on those old-school laser-printer pages with the perforations on both sides, wrapped up in rubber bands and stinking of menthol cigarettes.

Bigger jobs, of course, require a week or more. And some crews have sat in a hotel room for a month, waiting to hear back from the bitch only to discover that she got picked up for another DUI while spending their money.

Nobody quite knows where Crystal's info comes from. Story goes that she used to date Billy Tombs, self-proclaimed Scientist of the Shuddering Storm, back before he became a guest of the state for performing all those castrations without a medical license; the theory suggests that she kept his old hard-drive and can look up all of his notes and put them up for sale.

The fact that a girl like Crystal would never in a million years date a guy like Billy is usually glossed over.

Other, weirder theories claim that she scored the legendary Hell-scrying "Nether-Stones" off of the Three-Eyed Man back before Bibb Graves sent the bastard to a dirt-nap; then again, if the Nether-Stones actually worked and it wasn't just an elaborate con by a very talented cold-reader with a little smattering of Damnation-Lore, then theoretically the user is supposed to jam the egg-sized, vein-encrusted wad of marble into an empty eye-socket to see anything. So maybe she has a pet one-eyed oracle stashed somewhere?

Or maybe the rumors are true that Crystal is part-time "Hatchet-Girl" - turning tricks & snapping necks for the Warden of Be'YT in exchange for some small info on other entrances she can sell to crashers, all part of the Warden's wheels-within-wheels plan.

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