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slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Location: Alliance Medical Center

Styx, you head through the doors to the emergency room, and citizens recoil at you, but you can't just drop Jennifer off, you need to keep her soul restrained until she's been healed. Kon's sister Hana arrives just in time, having used her precognition, and brings with her Memoriam who steps in and vouches for you. The old mage doesn't take over for you though, he just watches you enthusiastically as the doctors perform a cranioplasty that goes by without any complications. The doctors are pleased with the results but avoid looking at you as they thank you for what you did, inexplicable as it was to them.

Memoriam walks you out, then puts his hand on your shoulder. "Never forget that people come around to every hero eventually, especially the more people you save. When someone's family or friend is alive because of you... they learn." He's shifting Savior up and Freak down.

quote:

Styx (Theantero) - Yesterday at 4:25 PM
nice
also, accepting that shift

*****

Raiken, at the reception desk they ask if you know the girl's identification. You know she's in the same boat as you when it comes to the Santiago Federation: they declared you both dead but would be very interested to find you still alive. The doctors say her brain is undamaged, and she will make a complete recovery and be due to be released from the hospital in mere days...

But she should be dead or comatose without her implants! You would be...

quote:

Raiken (Tricky) - Today at 2:34 PM
Hmm, is there like a subtle "oh hey tell AEGIS I need to talk" key phrase I could give them?

slydingdoor - Today at 2:36 PM
sure, they have a desk at the Hospital for people who claim to have been injured by heroes, and have a heavily defended branch for people who start manifesting super powers in the hospital.
what do you want to know?

Raiken (Tricky) - Today at 3:11 PM
@slydingdoor I'm going to mention that she's under threat from White and we didn't find any identification on her.

AEGIS move her to their fortified wing of the hospital for patients targeted by supers–"heroic" or villainous–until she's well enough to identify herself.

*****

Dr. Smythe at the Santiago Federation steeples his fingers and smiles as he watches CCTV footage of the new Mastermind fighting the HCPD.

*****

Kon, the HCPD lets you know that they haven't been able to catch Mastermind, and they warn you that they encountered her and she's changed her MO from hacking and infiltration to unleashing EMPs and beam weaponry, so be careful if you encounter her again. They know nothing about White's involvement, plan, or your battle with him.

Hana looks horrified that you picked a fight with him. "You could die, and I would know." Nines, who accompanied her steps up and says, "The next time you run into someone as dangerous, let us know and we'll take care of it. It's a job for more established heroes, who punch a little higher." Your parents are there too, and they just hug you tight before you can respond. They're trying to shift your Mundane up and Danger down.

quote:

TBD
*****

Location: Halcyon City, above the hospital.

Outside the hospital police helicopters shine their spotlights on the city below, searching for the at large villain Mastermind. But one of them emits no light, and through its side door and looking down on you is White sitting on the destroyed psi-electric field generator, leaning forward, chin on his fist, amidst the ruins of the crushed, incomplete psionic amplifier. The only ones you left behind.

END

At the end of every session, choose one:
• Grow closer to the team. Explain who made you feel welcome; give Influence to that character and clear a condition or mark potential.
• Grow into your own image of yourself. Explain how you see yourself and why; shift one Label up and another down.
• Grow away from the team. Explain why you feel detached. Take Influence over you away from another character.

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Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...


Freak +2 | Danger +2 | Savior +2 | Superior -1 | Mundane -2
Potential 3/5 | Conditions: - | Location: Alliance Medical Center

Styx smiled, ever so faintly, as Memoriam spoke. "Yeah, I suppose that's fair. Kinda hard to keep being angry at the weird ghost gal when she's constantly saving your butt am I right? Hehe."

Now, all glibness aside, what the wizard had told her was... reassuring to hear. Something that seemed fairly obvious after the fact, but that needed to be said nevertheless. Really, it was almost sweet enough to make all the horrified glances (as well as the 'politely trying to not seem horrified but still being clearly horrified' ones, the owners of which Styx appreciated for their consideration) fade from her consideration. Almost. But they were still there, always, when she was not alone with the very few people she considered close to her. Reminding her that she could probably never belong.

...But perhaps it wasn't that bad? There were people in the world who had it much worse after all, and they didn't even get superpowers as a side. And really, what else could she do but live (heh) with it? She'd just have to make the best of it and help as many people as she could. She had the power to do so, after all, this whole debacle had proved it without a doubt. She might never belong, yes, but helping others might make her... accepted, at least. Besides, moping served no-one, especially moping about things that were outside your ability to change.

Styx stared forward for a moment, and smiled a determined sort of smile, as if she were making some sort of compact with herself. Then she turned to Memoriam again.

"Speaking of helping by the way", she looked around to check that they were speaking in private, "it would be nice if someone could keep an eye on Jennifer. She was under the thrall of some malevolent AI you see, that has now removed itself and runs at large. It would be unfair to, to, you know. Be unduly harsh with her. It wouldn't be right."

Memoriam was smart enough to clue himself on Jennifer's fate and origins based on that, Styx knew, if he didn't know already. And she trusted him to do the right thing with that information, more than anyone else.


quote:

At the end of every session, choose one

Styx picks "Grow into your own image of yourself. Explain how you see yourself and why; shift one Label up and another down", shifting up Savior and shifting down Mundane as she becomes more accepting of the fact that she probably won't belong, but refuses that to get in the way of helping others.

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage




Freak: +2 | Danger: +2 | Savior: -1 | Superior: -1 | Mundane: +2
Potential: 1/5 | Conditions: None! | Location: Alliance Medical Center

After the minor hassle of giving the reception desk what little information she could without betraying Jennifer to the Foundation's eyes and ears, Raiken managed to secure her a room and treatment in the secure wing of the hospital. The report from the doctors was as shocking as it was welcome. After injuries that bad, she'd be up and about in a matter of days? She'd had the cybernetics ripped from her body! You could see her brain! Styx had to do mumbo-jumbo soul magic to even get her to the hospital! Raiken tried to imagine what would happen to her without the various gadgets and implants that the Foundation — or the Hub, rather — had replaced her the vast majority of her body with. Somehow, she didn't think it would be solved with a few days in the treatment ward.

Raiken stood silently in the hospital's lobby as she watched people stream through the ER. Memoriam pulled Styx aside and Kon, naturally, was mobbed by all sorts of relatives and heroes. Raiken watched the dressing down, an unreadable expression on her face, but perhaps the barest hints of amusement were poking through. For all the day's failures and challenges, they'd made it through. Together. Her HUD displayed the results of the latest round of diagnostics: she was working at 100% efficiency. The Hub may have taken a peek at the various bits that make her up, but it didn't seem to have done her any lasting harm. And next time? Next time she'd take care of it for sure.

End of Session posted:

Grow closer to the team. Explain who made you feel welcome; give Influence to that character and clear a condition or mark potential.

Raiken feels like she grew closer to Kon after that discussion! Marking potential and Kon shifts her labels.

TheFireMagi
Nov 6, 2011

...She's behind me, isn't she?


Freak -1 | Danger -2 | Savior +2 | Superior +1 | Mundane +3
Potential 2/5 | Conditions: Angry |Location: Alliance Medical Center

Back at the Junkyard…

Kon gave a wordless nod to Raiken, supporting her with transporting Jennifer. He didn’t need to, really, as she was more than capable of doing so on her own. But he had no intentions of just idling by because someone else could do a better job. Otherwise, why would he bother with being a hero? Besides, after their little talk together, some simple teamwork just felt… right. They had screwed up, there was no fooling himself about that. Yet that didn’t mean it was the end. All they had to do was takedown White and the new souped up Mastermind to make up for it, no sweat. And though he was still frustrated with their failures this night, it didn’t overwhelm him, continue to cloud his mind. No, if anything, his resolve only strengthened. They couldn’t let something like this happen again.

Clearing Angry from the Comfort!

Now at the Alliance Medical Center…

Internally wincing as he listened to the HCPD’s report on Mastermind, Kon considered how much he should or shouldn’t divulge about their encounter with White. On the one hand, informing them that the villain out and about if neutered after the team’s destruction of the amplifiers would be good information to share. On the other hand… there was their involvement with Jennifer, the ex-Mastermind (?) to be concerned about. Tricking foes in combat was one matter, but deception to people on the same side felt somewhat dirty. But coming clean wasn’t exactly going to look great for them either. What to do…

In the end, Kon decided to tell the HCPD the overview of the team’s encounter with White, leaving out any mention of Jennifer as well as the nanoHub. It hurt him to do so, but all kinds of questions might be asked if they started to connect the dots, and that was trouble he wasn’t certain they wanted to deal with at the moment. It would prooobably bite them in the rear later, but that was something to worry about, well, later.

Receiving the embrace of his parents with open arms, Kon sighed as he replied to his sister (and decidedly chose to ignore Nines, who from his point of view had no right to be butting into family matters),

“C’mon, sis, not from you too. Already heard this spiel from Raiken. Ya gonna make me feel bad for doing my job. Remember? I know I ain’t a precog like you, but I’m still a hero too, y’know. And taking risks is a part of that. Not gonna just sit around when I see some baddie around because I could get hurt. ...Jeez, but I’ll try to be more careful.”

Accepting the Label shift! Ooh baby, -2 Danger.

Sheesh, Kon thought to himself, family. He knew shouldn’t complain. At least he had people that cared about him (and Nines), and people that he cared about (and Nines), who would be worried about him if he got hurt or worse (and-). Raiken and Styx… those kind of people were out there for them, sure. But they didn’t have the same luxury of meeting them like he did. To be honest, it was difficult for him to imagine what it’d be like, to lack these types of bonds. Much as he admired their superpowered selves… that thought put their situations somewhat more into perspective for Kon, and he found it hard to comprehend.

quote:

Shifting Raiken’s Freak up and Mundane down, because after their conversation together plus this meet-up, it helped Kon recognize the downsides to being a cool, badass cyborg lady. Oh, and Styx as well I guess, but I only get to choose one person

Also Kon grows closer to Raiken as well! Marked potential and Raiken gets to shift my labels back.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Location: "Babs" (Brewed Awakening Bistro)

Jeanine Holtman, the proprietor of the newly reopened teahouse, where you all met and now reunite, brings you all your drinks and pastries, asking what you think. Hana wistfully says it tastes like home, Nines guzzles and munches wordlessly. Crimson Fist–Chance, to you, Raiken–is late, though. The second someone mentions it, Hana chokes on her drink and realizes she forgot a prior engagement. "That's not like you at all!" remarks Nines, who she silences with a glare. "You forgot about it too, didn't you?" She says, slowly. He looks bewildered then eventually and abruptly changes his tone, "Oh of course... that. We better get going or we'll be late...?" They start to leave, and Raiken you realize your phone's gone missing–Chance's ringtone starts coming from Nines's pocket before he and Hana break into a sprint and round a corner. They're looking for a dark alley and you know Nines can teleport himself and passengers across shadows.

What do you do?

TheFireMagi
Nov 6, 2011

...She's behind me, isn't she?


Freak +0 | Danger -2 | Savior +2 | Superior +1 | Mundane +2
Potential 4/5 | Conditions: |Location: "Babs" (Brewed Awakening Bistro)

Kon blinked once, twice, and then dropped the cookie down onto his plate in surprise as his sister and Nines took off. If that was all, he would have let them be. Sure, it was strange the way they were talking around… whatever this thing was with Crimson Fist, but it wasn’t really his business. Sis had her own hero’ing to do, after all. But when he realized that not only had they just up and left, but Nines had taken Raiken’s phone with him…

“Wha- Nines, you lil’- you can’t just take someone’s cell!”

Rushing past Jeanine (“‘Cuse me, sorry!”), Kon scooped up his katana that he had left by the cafe entrance as he chased the duo out onto the street. Yeah, he might not have known what was going on exactly, and he might not have really cared either. But there was no way he was gonna just let someone run off after stealing something from a teammate, especially without explaining themselves, and especially when it was that dastard Nines! Still, they had a head start, and if they got into the dark alley they were going to bamf on outta there. Only ‘one’ thing to do then, Kon thought. With an annoyed, almost animalistic growl, Kon threw the sheath underhand, aiming to knock Nines off balance...

quote:

Unleashing my powers and hurling my katana sheath at Nines’ feet!
Kon (TheFireMagi)-Today at 6:11 PM
haha
we'll see about that, jerk!!!
/r 2d6
SidekickBOT-Today at 6:12 PM
@Kon (TheFireMagi): 2d6 = (1+1) = 2
poo poo

slydingdoor-Today at 6:20 PM
Hana intercepts the scabbard with her own sword, juggling it like a baton and flicking it back at you. Her harsh words travel in parallel with the missile.

"Don't. Follow."
She doesn't think you're ready
She's trying to reduce your Danger and increase your Mundane.

Catching the katana on the rebound without thinking, Kon stared at his sister absolutely dumbstruck. Seriously? Seriously!? She was helping this… this… jerk!? And telling him that he wasn’t ready!? ...Okay, sure, Kon had no idea what she was even talking about, so he didn’t really have a clue as to whether or not he was ready. But she was treating him like a kid here! This was ridiculous. Even if it was her, he refused to be talked down to like this.

“You for real here, Sis? You’re sticking by Nines? When he just jacked Raiken’s phone without even saying anything? That’s petty theft, y’know, and I don’t care if he, or you, are heroes. Doesn’t matter if you got places to be, that’s no excuse to do as you please. Especially when you were just eating with them! Like, what the heck, Nines!? Act too cool for school all you want, but you mess with one of my teammates again? You, me, we’re gonna have problems.”

quote:

Rejecting Hana’s Influence by calling her out on defending Nines’ petty theft! (and him being a general prick in Kon’s opinion!)
/r 2d6+1
SidekickBOT-Today at 6:25 PM
@Kon (TheFireMagi): 2d6+1 = (5+4)+1 = 10
Rejecting Hana’s Influence and taking +1 Forward, and marking potential to immediately prove them wrong.

Turning his attention back to his sister, Kon jabbed a finger of frustration in her direction. It was one thing if Nines did it. He was a prick, and it was to be expected. But from his sister? No way. Nuh uh. That wasn’t happening. Kon didn’t care if she was the older sister here, or if she had more experience as a hero, or the fact that she was a precog. He had done plenty to help out, even without superpowers, even against actual supervillains!

“Furthermore! Maybe I don’t know what funny business you and Nine Months here are up to, but you’re saying I’m not ready for this? Bull! Sure, I don’t gotta record like you do maybe, but me, Raiken, and Styx here’ve taken down villains too, y’know! Like, I dunno, White? Big bad psion we happened to come across, before we gave his rear a whipping? Heck, yours truly snuck up on the guy without even being caught. I snuck up on a psychic! Without powers! Plus I even zapped this nanite swarm of his, when Raiken was having trouble with them! Not to mention we busted up and took these psi amps from him, before he could do… who knows what.”

Realizing at this point he should probably show some proof, Kon took one of the aforementioned psionic amplifiers out from his bag. He… wasn’t really sure why he was still carrying it around, to be honest. Wasn’t like he could make much use of it. Could he? Hm, maybe he’d have to look into that. Before that, though, Kon continued,

“See? Look, I ain’t trying to tell you off or anything. I know you’re just worried about me. But I’m a hero, just like you are, Sis. Maybe I don’t know what you’re up to, but me, us, the team… we can help. ...Probably.”

quote:

Kon (TheFireMagi)-Today at 6:37 PM
/r 2d6 #Provoking Hana to let me join her on... whatever she's doing by taking out the psi amplifiers!
SidekickBOT-Today at 6:37 PM
@Kon (TheFireMagi): 2d6 Provoking Hana to let me join her on... whatever she's doing by taking out the psi amplifiers! = (3+1) = 4 6 (forgot to actually add my modifiers) 7 (actually it’s 7 with the +1 forward, i’m just bad at this game)


slydingdoor-Today at 6:45 PM
she lets you come with and tells Nines to give your phone back

“Yes! Knew you’d see things crystal clear in the end, Sis.” Pumping his fist, Kon took the phone back from Nines with a grin. Then, he stuck his head back through the doorway of the Brewed Awakening Bistro, “Oi, Raiken, gotcha phone back. And a new mission for us, or something.”

OOC: On a side note, Tricky mentioned shifting my Labels -Freak +Mundane in Discord, hence why my Labels have changed from last post.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Hana tells Nines to give the phone back, which reads "1 missed voicemail." You all listen to it while you travel through shadowspace. Flashback: "It's like an elevator" Nines explained to you before, Kon. As long as the "doors" are working and he knows which "button" to press he can create a stable dimension that travels through spacetime from shadow to shadow.

From the phone you hear Crimson Fist whispering, "There's 10 heavily armed, highly trained soldiers in here calling out for 'Asano Ruri' and shooting some kind of silent rays at loud–" There's a pause "–at loud noises. I'm going to try to get out at meet you at 'The Pool.'"

"You know what coffee I like, just bring it there and we can figure out what the..." Another pause.

Longer this time.

The anechoic chamber causes the internal sounds of your bodies to start to creep into notice, like when you hold your ears shut and clench your teeth.

Then you all feel dizzy and disoriented.

Hana retches and Nines looks apologetically at you all and says "We're almost there. And don't the rest of you worry it's normal. Sensory deprivation stuff..."

(The Pool is this empty pool that some kids used as a skate park. Crimson Fist would learn who needed to get their asses handed to them by catching up to his friends there.)
Hana tells you all, "He's not going to make it to the Pool alone–that much I know, and now that you all are coming, someone's definitely going to get shot, no matter what I do."

Nines goes, "So... plan?"

He's talking to her, but…

Styx raises her eyebrow ever so slightly at Raiken's uncharacteristic flinching (at hearing her secret identity named), but says nothing. Well, nothing relating to that. "Righto. Don't really like the sound of mystery rayguns since like half of those have some sort of galvanic doodad that can fry a dainty ghost lady like myself real easy, you know, by discombobulating the thaums or whatever haha, but I can still go incorporeal and do some advance scouting. Maybe with Nines?"

Hana doesn't even look up from the ground, "That won't work."

Nines: "Yeah, they probably have bright lights... and it's the middle of the day."

Styx replies, "Whaaat a warehouse WITHOUT mysterious dark corners? Man I bet they act all in line with OSHA regs too haha. But yeah I get that.

"But like, I can always hook underground. And use my cool wraithvision to locate their life essences without being seen myself. That sorta thing you know."

Nines: "That couldn't hurt, right?" He looks at Hana, who's still bent over sick.

"Now we're getting somewhere. Pick them off one by one."

Nines interjects, "Ding~" then the 'elevator door' opens.

There's a crack of light and the sound of a city street, Nines tries to push open a wider opening, fails, and just turns sideways and scrapes through the narrow passageway. Seems there was a dumpster in the way.

Kon follows after, he can easily fit though the gap. "The joys of being a small manlet..."

Hana shoves her way past anyone else and grabs Nines's arm before he can walk out of the alley–"The van."

There it sits, white and new, parked by the sidewalk, sunglassed man in the driver's seat, both hands on the wheel. Bored. Fit. Wearing an earpiece.

"Don't be seen."

Kon glances back at the rest of his team, and says in a half-wary, half-joking tone, "Guessing this ain't no friend of ours then? Not being seen is kind of my shtick, Sis, and Styx can handle herself fine. What about Raiken though?"

You all move from boxpile to boxpile, hunting the hunters with your maphacks, Styx in the lead. At one point you wait for one lookout to walk past blocking terrain before signaling for everyone to move and taking off for the next cover, but Hana spreads her arms and blocks everyone from moving past her.

At that moment, Styx, you realize that there's 11 life forces now, the one you were waiting for just doubled and sent another soldier walking the exact opposite direction. A beam of light fires down the lane and the soldier shouts out, "Asano Ruri, your parents sent us, we're here to help!"

The ones out of sight instantly start changing their search, zeroing in on your position. One climbs up, the one who saw you stays to pin down your position. All search for new vantage points and take whatever shots they can get. Silent blue beams leave no marks where they strike boxes walls and concrete floors after you quickly squeeze behind another box corner.

Finally one hits you, bluescreening your world. Everyone else you see the solid outline of Styx in neon blue, frozen solid and lightly crackling like a malfunctioning display.

Styx, your world fades back into view and you're inside a cramped, transparent glass cube.

To your left is Crimson Fist, in another cube, to your right is a woman on dispatch, watching many display cameras. Business dress, olive skin, amber eyes–the last of which regard you with disappointment. "Bad news: not our target. Good news: if it were that'd mean she'd be already dead."

Hana mutters to the rest of you "That had to happen. Nothing we could do. But now..."

She looks into Nines's eyes and points with her chin to the soldier on the high ground, he opens a shadow portal and she draws her gun, puts her hand through and pulls the trigger.
You hear the gunshot come not from where she's standing but from where it was fired point blank next to that soldier's head. The rest of his team all turn to his last known position, pointing their rifles at nothing but an unconscious body. 10 left.

"This is the part where you guys take out the rest of them." Says Hana.

Sure enough, it hits you all like 'aha' moments how they've positioned themselves perfectly for an attack.

From where the group is, it's pretty clear that knocking over one of the large scaffolds is going to create a chain reaction that should cause an avalanche of boxes and assorted abandoned warehouse-y things to knock them flat. Just the sort of thing that a little super strength makes possible.

(so like, 10s sequence of you surfing down a box avalache disarming everyone
batman style, just breaks the gun in half

maybe shoot some guns

doesn't need to be you setting up the perfect rube goldberg machine
use one dude as a human shield so his gun gets shot by someone else's gun)

Cut over to the op center, Raiken headbutting a soldier up on the big screen via the dude's helmet cam which fizzles to static.

Kon just watches all of this with a dumb ol' grin on his face.

Styx, you see the woman touch that screen, rewind it to Raiken's headbutt, and pause the image.

"Asano Ruri...

"How you've grown"

The woman's attention goes back to the camera feeds, some of which are still and askew.

"Get out of there, soldier. You're useless without those guns.

""I" is in the best position to escape. A, climb up to relieve J. The rest of you just distract Asano."

8 soldiers mob you Raiken, while Kon you see one of them scrambling up the shelving to the unconscious one who Hana shot. That one still has his rifle, too...

The last soldier is making a run for it back to the van, which the driver starts up. What do you do?

Raiken grabs one of the soldiers and takes down the runner by throwing him bodily.

When one soldier strikes another a peculiar thing happens, they merge into one
that one still eats poo poo and can't get up, but you'd have expected that blow to knock them both out.

"King, we're hosed," says the driver to the woman.

"Nothing more funding won't fix, let's go."

The van starts up. Meanwhile, in the warehouse the Soldiers back off, hands up, and change their formation from a circle to a line facing you.

They're all cool customers, already seeming to be settling in to planning for later.

"Every second you waste with me here puts distance between you and your friends..."
One of them says.

"Tick tock."

Kon, Hana is about to tell you and Raiken to call HCP and wait for them here while she and Nines after the van. You don't need to be a precog to know that.

Kon scoops up one of the fallen rifles and takes a pot shot at the van's wheel, but when the unconscious soldier's finger is taken off the rifle, the safety comes on. He has to puppetteer it. The silent blue beam ends at the wheel. Just like in the warehouse, whenever they fired it at sounds it left no mark: the perfect weapon for kidnapping someone and getting away with it and just lighting a place up with a high rate of fire. If you fire a hundred beams, one of them has to hit something right? If you shoot someone with one of these guns, they get teleported into a cell and no one will know all the times you missed...unless you shoot the wrong people, then they'll be in the cell.

Inside the van Styx you hear the driver shout, "They stole a gun somehow! Keep your head down!" Then the van starts swerving and King sits down and buckles up, white knuckling the counter with all the monitors on it. You and Crimson Fist are thrown back and forth into both sides of your crates and your captor laughs.

Styx is not at all okay with ANY of this and lets out a good ol' face-twisting, soul-freezing banshee wail as she feels the van speed up.

King cries out, "They're inside!" unbuckles herself, slides open the van door and rolls out. The driver follows her lead and abandons the vehicle as well in mid turn, sending it rolling. The harder you smash against the energized walls of your cell the harder they force you away, causing a positive feedback loop. Crimson Fist ragdolls inside his, unconscious.

Kon and Raiken, you see a woman in uniform and the van driver bail out of the van which rolls over and slides into a street lamp. The driver's up first, and he helps the woman to her feet, hands on her shoulders as he escorts her to cover. What do you do?

Kon's only experience with guns is being around Raiken, and even then he doesn't know all that much about them besides the literal basic of "It shoots bullets."

He stops, but attempts to provoke her into throwing down her gun because even if she shoots, Raiken's not far behind and she's not gonna get stopped by a bullet.

We're superheroes, one of which took down all these woman's goons by herself, she doesn't even know about what Hana and Nines can do, and she's not getting far without wheels, so as far as I can see it, there's no getting out of this mess, and shooting me isn't going to help her escape while also escalating the situation. It's really in her best interests to just surrender and not potentially piss off Raiken or Styx.

The man all but agrees with you, but you see a flash from the gun muzzle and feel a bullet whizz by you that you dodged on reaction, or just missed. "The mission is to capture!!" the man exclaims.

Her eyes stay trained on you, and mutters back to him, "This is why you're the clone OMA [OneManArmy] leaves behind." Then she calls out louder, to you.

"I can make her choose between chasing me and keeping you from bleeding out, can't I? Drop the weapon and put your hands on your head." Is she bluffing or does she have the read on you? What do you do?

Now that you hear their voices, you recognize this man as Mr. Suspicious, who was observing you during your first fight together.

King must be the Ms. K they were talking about. She must not have been happy about how things went with Jormungandr.

She's not happy about how this mission is going either.

Kon starts to drop the katana, then kicks it at her mid-fall to try and knock the gun away, but she shoots him first.

When you hear the gunshots Raiken, Hana collapses and Nines tries to catch her. She's too heavy. "Only one was supposed to...!"

Raiken tells Nines to hold down the fort and runs towards the gunshots and screaming.

King looks up from over Kon right at you Raiken, then says to OMA, "See, carpe diem. Now I've drawn her out away from the rest of her team. Forget about those stupid capture beams and help me incapacitate her the old fashioned way–"

The man cuts her off with a surprised shout and stumbles. A split second later you hear the rhythmic report of Hana's pistol from the warehouse. "The bitch is shooting my clones!" Every time in the same place by the look at it: exactly where you were hit, Kon. Has Hana ever lost it like this before?

King keeps her eyes fixed on you Raiken, ignoring her partner's pain, "...Fine, you sit there and watch while the women do all the work." Her finger flicks the safety of her weapon and it starts to glow with the same lightning you wield, Raiken, what do you do?

Styx, the side of Crimson Fist's cage that he was leaned against flickers and shorts out and he tumbles out onto the floor of the van. Beyond him is where Ms. King sat at the control panel. HUDs tracking all of OMA's clones turn red in the same place one after another as Hana maims them and you can see a feed of the driver's headcam to Kon on the ground bleeding out and Raiken squaring off with King. What do you do?

I think there's really only one thing to do! Raiken is going to take King down. Hard. Go in for a quick sweep and then try to destroy her weapon. She takes a shot from it along the way, but Raiken is pissed! Gonna take more than that to ruin her day.

Raiken, King flies back from a clash and plays her final card. She draws a detonator and flips up the guard. "All right, that's enough! Go over to OMA and let him deactivate you or the van blows! Thought I wouldn't be surprised if you refused, all your programming cares about is self preservation and the mission... A woman after my own heart."

Raiken doesn't immediately follow King's orders, but she does drop her guns as she bites out, "gently caress you. You don't know the first thing about me."

King nonchalantly starts rattling off facts no one could know but you that she says were extracted during your augmentation. Which one had you forgotten until she brings it up?

Kon, you can't move without hurting but you can watch and listen just fine and it takes your mind off the pain. Who do you turn your focus on? (I also asked a thing about Hana earlier)

Styx sees a remote self destruct notification come up on the control panel. ARMED in big red letters. If you're looking to trigger Unstoppable, do so and roll it.

Raiken appears (mostly) unshaken by King airing trivia from her past until she mentions how she broke her leg falling from a tree when she was a kid. Specifically how it left a small, star-shaped scar just above the back of her knee. Her hand drifts down to check and her eyes widen as she finds it there just like she said.

Styx looked around in panicked bewilderment as things happened around her faster than she could really process them. Kon was shot, Raiken was fighting, Hana was doing something and Crimson Fist was unconscious and THERE IS A BOMB!? No matter how she pushed, she could not quite pierce the cage she was in, nor phase through it. She was still too entrenched in the material to do something like that, she would have to fully disappear to pierce a barrier like this, but how, but how…

…Perhaps there was a way. A method she had not really dared to try. She would have to phase into the nether completely. Tap power from the source, the River itself. But the river was scary. Really scary. And she didn’t want to go there, anymore. But Crimson Fist was in real danger. Could she really allow her fear to stand in the way?



Styx closed her eyes, and for a moment, she disappeared. She dived and subsumed herself. And what reappeared was a wraith of dripping blackness that could not be held back by any means short of the divine. The figure blasted through the barrier, grabbed the unconscious hero, and pierced through the car as if the obstacles weren't even there.

However the thing about being an unstoppable wraith is that you disintegrate everything you touch leaving tortured slag in your wake. "Grabbing" Crimson Fist in this state, especially when he's leaking vitality onto the ground would probably doom him worse than you imagined you did Kon the other day with the cars. If you want to save Raiken's friend, you have to get rid of or get him away from the bomb and from you. What do you do?

I go through the bomb instead. If I disintegrate its molecular structure, it cannot explode!

There's a loud lightsaber crackle of your cage straining and breaking, then you claw apart the van. It looks and feels like dense and gooey dark chocolate cake underneath expertly textured frosting, until the lights go from broken circuits. Your phone and belongings are gone, so you can't use it for a flashlight, so you have to open the ceiling to let in more from the overcast sky and take apart the whole van more or less to find all the charges, which you disarm by blowing out like birthday candles.

You feel like you're piloting this wraith from inside it or somewhere else, you don't know, but you look like a xenomorph cosplaying a dementor from what you can see. Can't see your own face without a mirror, after all.

Kon rolls onto his back, his eyes dancing back and forth between King and Raiken as the former throws information after information towards his teammate. Information that he himself knew nothing about. How much did he really know about Raiken? Not much, close to nothing at all. But he was fine with that, or so he thought. Yet hearing this strange woman speak so much about Raiken’s past made him feel… annoyed, actually. Annoyed with King for taking advantage of what she knew. And annoyed with himself for not knowing. Well, the latter at least could be remedied later. Assuming he didn’t bleed out here, that is.

His eyes moved now onto the van. Specifically, the side of the van that was apparently getting burned through with a familiar glow. Styx? She was in the van? How? Wait, no, who cared about that!? She was in the van, and now she was trying to escape in not exactly the most subtle of fashions. If King noticed before she broke through, it’d be bad. Real bad. Explosion bad. No, no, no. Kon might be bleeding out on the street, but he wasn’t going to just sit by and let this happen. He’d still sit though. Hurt too much to stand. Forcing himself to focus through the pain, he looked to Raiken, who seemed dumbstruck as she listened to King, and shouted,

“Oi, numbskull! So she knows a thing or two about you, maybe more than she should. Who cares!? Are you gonna just let that stop you from taking her down? She’s a baddie, Raiken, which means that as heroes we got a job to do!” Kon winces as all his yelling causes pain to shoot throughout his body. It hurt, but he needed to keep speaking. Divert King’s attention. And there was an effective way of doing that, though he hoped Raiken wouldn’t actually follow him up on it. “A bullet for me, a bullet for her. That’s only fair, yeah? Don’t even give her a chance to blow up the van. If anyone can quickfire like that, it’s you, Raiken.”

King calls "Open fire!" to whoever's listening and runs for cover, calling headquarters for evac. Dialogue is closed: she thinks you're going to kill her. You hear her rage into the communicator, "Now do you believe me that once your precious cyborgs go rogue they have to be destroyed?" The only response is that evac is in 5 minutes by air. What do you do?

Raiken is more interested in figuring out what King's deal is than shooting her. Especially since she's the only lead she has on figuring out what all she's forgotten/lost. She find her rushing up a fire escape trying to get to the roof of a building. Looking up, you all see the contrails of a jet having turned abruptly and started to heading for her. Then you see Hana's silhouette step onto the ledge of the building nearby and point her pistol right at the unaware King.

Raiken just grabs the fire escape and starts to tear it off the building, ruining Hana's shot.

The whole scaffolding whines as the metal fatigues and bolts pop out of the brick. It separates from the side of the building and before King can break a window open and get off the ride it's carrying her to the ground. It's Hana's shot that shatters the window instead, and then a frustrated click of an empty gun. She backs off behind the ledge again as the would-be rescue jet flies by. On the ground, King feebly reaches for it then blacks out.

HCPD and ambulances begin to show up and immediately @TheObservingMagi is put into a stretcher, patched up and sent to the hospital. You hear a voice outside doubtfully say, "Family?" then Nines busts into the van with you. "Where's Hana?" he asks, hesitating before finishing sitting down and settling on taking the trip with you.

Styx, you're stuck in this demonic form inside the van with the injured and unconscious Crimson Fist. A suggestion of hazmat suits is cut off by someone contacting the Night Watch: a team of heroes dispatched to deal with supernatural threats. A cautious young man's voice says, "This is black magic or something, you can feel it, and it's spreading... Wait! It's too dangerous!" Boots approach.

Raiken, you catch some dirty looks from tenants and police for destroying the side of a building as they extract King from the rubble and cuff her to a stretcher, but those looks turn to worry as they see the clawmarked van dripping with slag. "I hope we brought enough firepower..."

Styx looks at her hands, now black and gnarly things, and sighs dejectedly. Then, she sinks to the earth. With the villains vanguished, her continued presence caused others nothing but distress after all, and why subject them to that? She ghosts away away, underground.

Raiken, they recover Crimson fist from the van, see the bubbling asphalt where Styx went underground, and call it in. You hear over their comms that they have its bearing and are tracking it. Night Watch is on their way. What do you do?

Styx sighs. Figures they would try to track her. No point in wasting their time, she supposed. After all, since they were already on her trail, they were competent enough to find her too, all she was doing was wasting time. She'd just find some abandoned lot with her soul-sight, and wait with her hands up. She might have looked like your worst nightmare right now, but her chipper personality would surely make them ask first and shoot only later, haha!

Raiken's sensors can track Styx, so she heads on after her hoping to help talk her out of her monster funk.

Raiken raises a hand in a half-hearted 'my bad' gesture as the dirty looks flood her way. It was really pretty mild, all things considered. They'd taken down an entire (one man) special forces team, captured someone with links to her past and vital information, and... Well, Crimson Fist was going to be fine. He was tough. Kon too. Her HUD spiked with red warning symbols as some sort of necromantic force flooded out of the van and through the ground.

Raiken looks at the van, specifically the slag, and sighs. Styx. Why was she running away? Not that she'd be able to escape the Night Watch anyway, but... Well. What kind of teammate would she be if she left her to get taken down? She'd just be proving King right. Determined, Raiken follows the tell-tale arcane signature.

"I wish more of you used the last bit of control you had to give up..." mutters Wolfsbane, when she finds you alone, Styx. She draws a short sword and drenches it in liquid from a vial. "Thanks. And consider yourself avenged." Then she advances to execute you.

There is a flat, if eerily reverbating "What" as Styx addressed the heroine in front of her. "WHAT!?" she was yelling now, "YOU AGAIN!? Trying to murder me ONCE wasn't enough for you, you blind- blind, uhh AGH, BLIND PERSON!? How do they let you even have your license sheesh, who knows how many innocent people you've killed, acting like this!"

Oh. That might've been a tad too far. Styx backed up a bit, and gazed to the side.

"...Sorry about that. Didn't mean it, but just, like... go away. I know we did this whole song and dance before but being hunted like some monster is not something I need right now. I just want to be alone for a bit."

Styx you sound like a snarling hellbeast with a vocal filter when you speak. You're barely intelligible.

Wolfsbane grimaces and sighs to herself, "She's lost... dammit, fiend!" She seems uneasy while continuing her advance. What do you do?

Styx gagged and coughed a bit, as her words failed to properly manifest. So much for chipper personality huh? She looked around, forlorn. Maybe she should escape again?

...

Or maybe she should do something else, first?

She floated back a bit, and lifted a single finger, in a plaintive gesture for the heroine to wait. Then, she attempted to scrawl a message on the ground with her corroding essence.

I'M STILL ME
YOU CRAZY KNIFE MANIAC

"Runes!" she says to herself, before throwing a flask of some kind of arcane, flammable liquid at you and your letters. What's worse, you find yourself stopped by a ring of salt when you get to the perimeter of the lot.

Oh god, Styx thinks to herself, Wolfsbane was just as crazy as before. Totally unreasonably, too zealous to listen. Probably even if she could talk. And who knew about whoever was making these salt circles for her?

...

.....

Was this it? Was this what her life was going to be like? Getting no peace, not just from villains, but from heroes too? Why were all her best efforts rewarded with headhunts from her own side?

Well, her nominal side at least, didn't really feel much like her own side at the moment.

...Did she even have a side? Styx looked at her hands again. Was she really so horrible?

...

Man, this was heavy. She didn't want to deal with it at all right now. She just wanted to get away. And be alone.

Then she charged the barrier, with all intent to barrel through, and loses control of her powers in a terrible way.

Styx pressed against the barrier. She pressed, and she pressed, but it would not yield. But it didn't matter. The less it gave way, the harder she pressed, and more singular her desire to escape grew.

So she pressed.

She had to escape.

She was faintly aware that she was wailing. A horrid, screeching, keening sound, louder and more primal than anything she had thus far aired.

She was aware also, that her pressing against the barrier was squeezing out the excess essence of The River from her like water from a rag, flooding the lot, the surrounding area.

There was a smoky haze born of the ground dissolving in a deluge of corrupted essence.

Then there was darkness.

Kon opens his eyes as Nines rushes into the ambulance, the boy hero having been trying to rest in spite of his concern over his teammates, over his inability to help them. The fact that Nines had come through when the workers had questioned about 'family' was doing little to improve Kon's mood either. More than a little frustrated with how everything had gone, Kon made no efforts to hide his annoyance as he replied, "Does my sister look like she's in here? If she's not with you, then I don't gotta clue, Nines."

Raiken, you arrive at Styx's location but the creature giving off the energy signatures you've associated with her is completely alien to you, and the way it's fighting with Wolfsbane is like nothing you've ever seen from her. For one thing, she slams the ground and makes two trails of sludgy filth ring the Night Watch huntress in the lot with her. Then they start constricting that arena. The walls are closing in on them. What do you see that makes you and probably only you recognize her for sure?

Kon, you aren't there but you've always known somehow that Styx was capable of terrible things and warned Raiken about them in your own way. What one of those things does Raiken see? If she tells you about it you'll be able to say "I told you so..."

"Don't intervene." caws a black bird perched nearby the battle, either a shapeshifter or some kind of familiar or animatronic scout. "This is her destiny. Coming of age. She should pass the threshold alone, but we Watchers will save her should she fail... and remain a child." There is some impatience and disdain in that last part. What are you sure's gonna happen if you don't intervene? What do you do?

It's safe to say that Raiken wasn't expecting the sight that greeted her. Styx - and she knew it was her from the way her right hand kept clutching at her heart - was squared off with Wolfsbane. Yet, despite everything telling her that this was Styx, she was like nothing Raiken had seen before.

Raiken's eyes swept over the situation. Some sort of mystic barrier. It was likely unable to impede her advance. Wolfsbane appeared unwilling to cease her hunt. Mysterious watchers were warning her to back off. She wasn't in the mood to play games. It was clear that Styx was hurting. Lashing out at the world. And right now? Everyone standing between her and Styx was an obstacle. No obstacle could stop her. Not now.

Raiken bites out, "I don't care. She is my friend. And your destiny bullshit can gently caress right off." Not even waiting for a response, she began to walk towards the battle between Wolfsbane and Styx. She was going to stick herself right between the two of them. If need be, she'd smash Wolfsbane into the dirt and talk down Styx afterwards.

She needs to smash Wolfsbane into the dirt and talk down Styx afterwards.

Raiken, the raven takes flight as you leap past the ring of salt and muck and try to slam the young huntress senseless but she reverses the throw, taking you down with her. From your floor-height point of view you see the two fudgy trails are sinking into the concrete, which begins to crack and issue steam.

Styx, you find the time to finish the writing you tried to make to communicate with Wolfsbane earlier, but it changes before your eyes from

"I'M STILL ME
YOU CRAZY KNIFE MANIAC"

to
"HELL'S GATE
RETURN WHAT WAS STOLEN"

Then the floor falls out from under you all. A force far more severe than gravity sucks you down into the pit, faster and faster. Wolfsbane clings to you Raiken, screaming bloody murder as you two spin out of control. You lose sight of the small circle of the Halcyon City sky and you're still accelerating, then the Night Watcher trainee is torn away from you and you lose consciousness.

Kon an hour later you're in the hospital and in recovery, surrounded by your clan minus Hana, who Nines just keeps trying to contact to no avail. Same thing with Styx and Raiken when you try to get a hold of them. You doze off into troubled sleep until a plaintive old man's voice awakens you.

It's Memoriam, and you're in some kind of dreamscape, uninjured. "Your friends are in danger. Death made their play and took control of Styx, forcing her to create a hellgate that swallowed her, Raiken and Wolfsbane of the Night Watchers.

"No one else can enter it unless they are the same age as Styx, and the only way to rescue them is to bargain with Death. Offer them this." He hands you a jewel box with an ancient lock and no key. "Are you ready?" What do you do?
Any people your age you want to bring with?

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Location: Memoriam's Sanctum

Memoriam stands at the head of a table in his ritual room, briefing you and pointing to a tome in its stand that shows diagrams of demonic arms and armor. They span from blackened iron and glowing flowstone, to the grotesque and creaturelike. "...I cannot stress this enough: do not engage anyone who wields one of the ancient demon weapons. They exist to clash with one another and either grow stronger from the conflict or break. Adapt, or die. Thus, a wielder of a mature demonic arm cannot be overcome except by another wielder, even by Chevalier under perfect conditions... The weapon would consume its wielder first, and no one wants that." He snaps out of the digression.

"That is why your mission, children, is to reconnoiter. Whenever a demon weapon wielder is defeated, another another auric ovum–golden egg–is created. Older, more experienced heroes are who you are to call upon if you see any more of them, for they draw the attention of the Lightning Demon, hatch when exposed to its sparks, releasing the spirit embryo within to go seeking the beginnings of the kind of conflict it's been dreaming about and make those dreams a reality. The first new weapon has already been born–" He turns a page to a confidential letter written by Font, the journalist super heroine. Styx, you realize you dreamed about her before she wrote the article about you in the Halcyon Star, this must be one of her secret powers!



"–it named itself the Evening Star." He looks at you, Luci, searching for a reaction, but other than sort of sounding like your angelic name, it doesn't ring a bell. Should it?
"By my research, this weapon will be searching for a certain type of wielder based on its dream logic. All there is to go by now is its chosen name, which refers to Venus, so I suspect a nocturnal female wanderer. That could apply to any one of you, which follows because you were near enough to the dreamers in Hell that you may have inspired them."

He stops and looks directly at you, Styx, reassuringly. "Despite what Helios, Grimoire and the Night Watchers would have you believe, the Hell Arms' rebirth on the firmament isn't necessarily bad and your part in it is nothing to be ashamed of. Power needn't be corruptive, and weapons are tools. Therefore, while I think they are right to believe and we all would prefer the Evening Star should be safely restored to Hell with its own kind, weigh the risks and use your best judgment...
A frayed scroll map of the city with moving ink sees one of its pearlescent droplets of ink stop, sink into the parchment and dry with a wisp of smoke. It's in Crowley Park.

"The demonic arm has chosen its hand. There. Remember: your mission is to reconnoiter. Observe and report." He looks each of you in the eyes with that guilt inducing grandfatherly gaze.
There is more research in Font's dossier of the Evening Star, and an angrily scrawled "What relevance could this possibly have?" That you know cannot be hers.

"Evening Star (1827)
by Edgar Allan Poe
'Twas noontide of summer,
And mid-time of night;
And stars, in their orbits,
Shone pale, thro' the light
Of the brighter, cold moon,
'Mid planets her slaves,
Herself in the Heavens,
Her beam on the waves.
I gazed awhile
On her cold smile;
Too cold—too cold for me—
There pass'd, as a shroud,
A fleecy cloud,
And I turned away to thee,
Proud Evening Star,
In thy glory afar,
And dearer thy beam shall be;
For joy to my heart
Is the proud part
Thou bearest in Heaven at night,
And more I admire
Thy distant fire,
Than that colder, lowly light."

From Investopedia.com:
"The Evening Star
A candlestick requires a certain amount of information about a stock. You need to know the open, high, low and close price for the stock over the time period you want to analyze. Each candlestick consists of a candle and two wicks. The length of the candle is a function of price high and lows within the given time period. A long candle indicates a large change in price, while a short candle indicates a small change in price. In other words, long candlestick bodies are indicative of intense buying or selling pressure, depending on the direction of the trend. At the same time, short candlesticks are indicative of little price movement.

The evening star is a candlestick pattern containing two long candles and one short candle. The first candle in the pattern is a long bullish candle, indicating a long move up. The second candlestick in the pattern is a short candlestick indicating price consolidation and indecision. In other words, the trend that created the first long, bullish candlestick is losing momentum. The final candlestick is a long bearish candlestick gaping lower than the previous candlestick, indicating a confirmation of the reversal and the beginning of a new trend down."



Location: Crowley Park

It's late summer, the nights are cooling. Like the body of the werewolf off the beaten path. Wolfsbane still pants from the exertion, wiping her silver knife on the grass and slightly limping to a pole topped by a destroyed street lamp to lean on. Her clothes are wrinkled and worn, unchanged since her escape from Hell, and she looks like she hasn't eaten well in days. She pours water from a cheap plastic bottle that used to contain a soft drink over busted knuckles and the fang-abraded palm of her off hand. The Night Watchers recruited her because she was immune to the spiritual disease that devolved people into beasts, but the potions and rituals they offered to strengthen her also made her a lure. "Wolfsbane" wasn't a repellent, it was bait and poison.

And it had done its work. Where once was a monster now only fur remains, before scattering and ascending on the wind. The girl returns to the park bench under the broken light and slouches back into it closing her eyes and exhaling. She snores softly in the dark, then is cast in brightening reddish light. She turns her head away from the source, which dims again.

"Help me," says a boy's voice. Wolfsbane's eyes open and focus on a spikey haired teenager perched precariously on the lamp pole. "I'm gonna fall!"

He does before she can stop him, and he just laughs and groans in pain and laughs some more. "My hero..." he says, reaching up for her hand to help him up with an red glimmer in his smiling eyes.

****

A boy wreathed in flame with huge iron spikes protruding from all sides of his body and rams horns on his head flies like a wrecking ball unchained through trees and walls and bridges and the bronze sculpture of a loyal dog, leaving nothing but smoldering splinters, dust, gravel and slag in his wake. The spikes and horns retracts and flames go out as he argues with Wolfsbane, "Just wait for it, the park guardians will come–Head werewolves, which the Night Watchers never told you! We'll beat them up, then you can take a well-earned vacation from werewolves. Admit it: you love to fight, but you hate your "duties." I saw it in your dreams! Join me and we'll live for the fight, on our terms!" He tilts his ear, listening. "That was quick...the twilight bark just started."

Then he sees it's you, Raiken, first on the scene. "Oh. Well you suck too. Might as well be the queen bitch werewolf for how much you've ruined Zlata's life!" The horns thorns and flames come out again and he lowers his stance, preparing to charge before stopping himself and sniffing the air, then scoffing and clapping his hands together.

"I didn't know you became part of the family, Ruri. What a pleasant surprise! ...do they know? Should I tell? Or should we show them!" Evening Star can only be referring to your demonic weapon. Wolfsbane has no idea what he's talking about, and no one else has arrived yet. What do you do before the next one of your team makes their appearance, one by one?

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage




Freak: +3 | Danger: +2 | Savior: -1 | Superior: -1 | Mundane: +1
Potential: 4/5 | Conditions: None! | Location: Crowley Park

At the Sanctum...

Raiken watches the briefing with an impassive look. Though she was holding up, despite the recent spate of unwelcome revelations and the subsequent bartering of her soul, enough turmoil consumed her inner thoughts to dismiss Memoriam's dire warnings and prophecies to mere background noise. The demon weapons, as much as a menace as they were sure to be in the coming days, were something she could punch. Sure, yeah, "don't fight them" or whatever. Wizards always want to make everything real complicated. But, at the end of the day, all she really needed to do was break them and then call in the adults to handle the resulting baby weapon thing. Easy enough. If there was one thing she was drat good at, it was not breaking.

No, she was far more concerned with a more existential threat. That being, of course, what she even was anymore. Enough of a different person to be dead in the eyes of Death — second-hand soul aside, she was less meat than machine these days — and he would be something of an authority on the matter. For all that Styx, Bravura, and... Raiken's eyes drift towards their new-found guardian angel, a brief hint of warmth peeking through the cold and precise expression on her face. For all that they were there for her, it seemed that nobody truly understood what it was like.

---

Later that night, at the park...

Raiken looks at Evening Star with no little amount of disdain. A punk-rear end kid, demonic weapon or no, and her absolute favorite rear end in a top hat hero on the scene together. It didn't get much better than that. She looks over at Wolfbane, then waves her off dismissively, "Get out of here, Bane, this kid's outta your league. It ain't like Styx, where she was running from you. This guy's playing for keeps." Raiken rolls her shoulders and cracks her knuckles. Then, before anyone else can make a move, Raiken blurs into action.

Pulling out her pistols, Raiken cranked them to maximum charge and sent a pair of crackling, crimson bursts at the flaming rear end in a top hat that seemed to pierce through his head and chest. After a split-second, the image faded and Raiken's HUD pinged him as being dozens of feet off to the side. The guy had some moves, despite how he looked. A shower of sod and an eruption of masonry echo in the distance as the errant bolts unleash their power upon the scenery.

Raiken looks at the boy a bit more seriously, then leveled her guns with him once more, "You aren't bad, kid, but that's not enough to get me to take her out."

It was part common sense and part sheer stubbornness. As much as Raiken could hear the faint chill and whisper in the back of her mind, it was going to take a lot more than that to get her to take Judecca out again. She was a bit saucy and, well, Wolfsbane was already a notoriously poor judge of character. It wasn't like she liked anyone on Raiken's team, but it didn't seem like a great idea to take out an actual demon weapon in front of that would-be crusader.

Crimson flashes and bursts of hellfire light up the night as she charges back into the fray.

Rolled a 6, but using In A China Shop to cause some collateral damage to the park to Resist Evening Star's Blows.

Tricky fucked around with this message at Sep 28, 2017 around 05:30

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Evening Star points at you Raiken, gaping, and looks at Wolfsbane while faint howls echo in the distance, "She admits it, Zlata! Help me stop her, just this once, promise I won't even bind to you–"

"I don't care. Raiken and Styx are both on a slippery slope, I've always known that. So am I. But I won't sink to her level. I don't care about setting her free or stopping her or saving anyone anymore. I just want to be alone with whatever part of me is still me, and never see any of you ever again!" She's screeching by the end of it, and runs into the darkness, right into 6 pairs of disembodied yellow wolf's eyes shrouded in pitch darkness. She leans forward to sprint between them with her forearm guarding her face, but they just let her pass?

Then you see why: a solitary left eye, glowing blood red and larger than all the others comes into view when the leader of the pack makes a twisting leap to slash across Wolfsbane's back with a massive metal claw that glints in the flickering light of the trees you and Evening Star have burned. She briefly stumbles, keeping her balance in the end but now leaving behind a trail of silver-tinged blood.

Evening Star looks perturbed as he continues to flee and dodge pistol fire, "Huh. Guess dreams can lie... Oh well!" He touches his temple, extends a hand towards the red eye, and inhales through his nose. "Pretty limited imagination, but this guy looks powerful at least! Raiken, Judecca: meet Ognjen. Judging by the smell of it, you just destroyed his favorite tree." The trickster himself vanishes in a quick burst of flame that streaks over to the splintered trunk and shapeshifts into the convenient-looking handle of a massive club.

Then the thirteen eyes return their predatory gaze to Raiken. The twelve yellow ones look up to the sky and howl in unison and the overcast sky splits in two, revealing a bright and shining full moon that spotlights the pack leader.

Hunched forward, probably ten feet tall if he stood up straight, his right arm is hairless, scarred, and white knuckling a manufactured silver claw weapon that drips with Wolfsbane's blood. Spittle flies as he snarls at you, Raiken, and charges on all fours with supernatural speed. You interlopers have slain his pups and defile his hunting grounds, now you will pay!

Lucky for you, he's not the only one with backup. Which one of the rest of you come to her aid? What do you do?

Platonicsolid
Nov 17, 2008




Freak: -1 | Danger: -1 | Savior: +2 | Superior: +1 | Mundane: +2
Potential: 0/5 | Conditions: None! | Location: Crowley Park

What's that noise?

That's roaring sound?

Through the darkness of the park comes a bright glow of light from behind a hill, which grows and resolves itself into a bright beam. The beam races down the hill, kicking chunks of turf behind it. Feel bad about that later. The light resolves into a sleek yellow motorcycle, with a young woman in black and yellow atop it.

Bravura grins as she revs the engine, racing down the slope towards Raiken. And she's not slowing down. Gwen leans to the side as she zooms past, reaching out and grabbing Raiken about the waist, plucking her out of the way of the monster.

"Man that dude is ten feet of ugly," Bravura declares. The bike crests another low hill and she slides to a stop, putting down her cargo. "What did we say about the buddy system?" she asks, dismounting and grabbing her bow. "And about observing? This is not observing."

"Okay, it *is*, but we're observing things going sideways. I'm lucky I can't just get fired from this 'leader' gig," Bravura observes. After all, she was the one who read through their paperwork with the city and actually signed it, which meant...leader. Nobody's called her out on it yet, which means she can't be screwing up too badly. Bravura pulls an arrow out and nocks it. "Don't suppose this'll do much to it, will it?"

Defending Raiken
SidekickBOT - Today at 10:51 PM
@Bravura (Platonicsolid): 2d6+2 = (4+4)+2 = 10
Will add one team and take Influence over Raiken

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...


Freak +2 | Danger +2 | Savior +2 | Superior -1 | Mundane -2
Potential 1/5 | Conditions: - | Location: Crowley Park

Even though her demeanor was still somewhat gloomy and shaken due to the experiences of the near past, Styx could not help but feel a bit better at Memoriam's encouragement. That man always knew how to make her day just that little bit brighter, even the really dark ones. It was nice.

Certainly they could do some scouting to make up for this mess that they caused. It was the least they could do.

_______

"Ruri...", Styx mouthed more to herself than anything as she observed the shining orb that was her soul leave the scene accompanied by that of Gwen, presumably on motorcycle, chased by the pack of werewolves. The girl had always been fast to take punches, sure, but her rhetoric seemed somehow more on edge recently. Was she really alright?

Styx shook her head. That was a question for another time, for now she had to focus. To gather intel, to ambush and interfere if necessary. Ruri and Gwen were disengaging, Lucy and Iscariot's almost blinding presences were where they were supposed to be, and Wolfsbane...

Where was Wolfsbane? She had been told that the girl was present but she could not see. Did she... not have a soul? No no, that couldn't possibly be. Maybe it was protected from detection, that made more sense for a Night Watcher? And if she couldn't see her, chances were that nobody could, she was confident enough in her power in that regard. Memoriam was always saying that there was no need to underestimate or doubt her own power just because she was young, after all. Just because she lacked the experience and composure that adults had, did not mean her power itself was their lesser, he had said, and she would not forget. And that, of course, meant that Wolfsbane was likely all alone up there. She had to take a closer look.

The first thing to surface was Styx' ghostly head, black eyesockets taking in the sights, the signs of combat, an impeccable lawn torn apart by tire tracks (the poor groundskeeper...) and- wait. Was that blood? Styx rose fully above ground and checked out the silver-tinged stain. A trail of the stuff was leading away. That had to belong to Wolfsbane.

Oh no.

"Umm", she spoke into the team's communicator, "I know there are werewolves after you two and all but I think Wolfsbane is injured. Might be badly injured too, I don't know, she's shielded from my vision. And... and it wouldn't be right to leave her all alone and bleeding. Can you four hold if I go check up on her at least?"


quote:

/r 2d6+2 #Styx what do you see? (Unleash)
SidekickBOT - @Styx (Theantero): 2d6+2 Styx what do you see? = (2+2)+2 = 6

Theantero fucked around with this message at Oct 1, 2017 around 20:00

Scrree
Jan 15, 2008

WHEN ONE STRIKES THY NEIGHBOR THEY STRIKE THEMSELVES.
WHEN ONE FEEDS THY NEIGHBOR THEY FEED THEMSELVES.
THERE IS NO OTHER.



Freak: +2 | Danger: -1 | Savior: +0 | Superior: +2 | Mundane: +0
Potential: 0/5 | Conditions: None! | Location: Crowley Parking Garage

High above the unfolding skirmish, standing on the precipice of a parking-garage roof, Luci runs a hand through her hair, absent-mindedly pushing away several strands that the wind had blown into her face. She had her wings folded tight to her body, and over that was an oversized poncho. Luci’s intent in coming to this location was to get a good vantage point of the park while ‘in-disguise’, but her attention had been drawn to another matter. The poem that Memoriam had read to the group. The Evening Star.

It was close to her own heroic alias, and that put her on edge. There were no coincidences in the Elysium Kingdom; everything was planned, everything had meaning, but Luci had found that wasn’t quite true for Earth. It was possible that the name was just a name, and all her fretting was for nothing. But then again, the opposite could also be true…

Luci sighs, “What do you think, Iscariot?” She turns and asks an oddly shaped lump with a trap thrown over it. The lump shifts, and emits a noise that sounds like stone grinding stone, “But at the same time, with this ‘Evening Star’ and the daemonic weapons,” she pounds a fist into her palm, “It’s just another reason to stay on Earth. This is all waaaaay to important to just leave! You agree, right?” Iscariot shuffles a bit under the tarp, emitting another serious of scrapping sound. He does not find his situation dignified in any way.

Her chatter is cut off by Styx’s voice. “Woah!” Luci swivels about, searching all around for the ghostly girl, before remembering the communicator in her ear. Putting her hand to her own communicator, Luci nearly shouts, “Hey Styx! Can you hear me?! If you can, just do whatever you need to do, okay! We can hold a lot – basically anything. Don’t worry about us!” Still unsure if Styx got her message, Luci jumps onto the knee-high ridge of the roof and looks down into the park below.

The yellow dash of Bravura’s motorcycle stands out against the darkness of the park. Was that a streak of white hair? Probably Raiken. A glint of reflecting metal catches Luci’s eye, drawing her attention to a – woah! Was that a werewolf? He was huge! Luci leans forward, completely unafraid of toppling off the building, and focuses herself totally on the monster in the park.

If that big guy was chasing after Bravura and Raiken, than that was going to be a problem. Luci shifts her wings beneath her coat, preparing to jump at any moment. The best way to get the Werewolf off her teammates tails and keep them safe would be too--

8 on an Assess! Asking: ‘how could we best end this quickly?’

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ognjen slows once you crest the hill, and stands atop it, spotlit by the full moon. All he does is watch, and Luci you know he's waiting for you to leave and never return to his territory which you despoiled. One by one his six yellow-eyed werewolf packmates arrive carrying passed out or terrified people in their maws or arms, and send them rolling down the hill. Humans are no longer welcome in Crowley Park, and trespassers will get worse than the scrapes and bruises these curfew breakers got. Wolfsbane is not among them, nor is Evening Star. According to the map, he's still unclaimed somewhere on the grounds, attempting to be tempting, and she's hiding, invisible but trackable.

Nothing's easier than washing your hands of things and letting the chips fall where they may. But in terms of speed, Ognjen is wielding a weapon that could easily kill him. A metal claw dripping with poison blood. Why on Earth would he keep something so close? Perhaps to rule his pack with threats of swift death? Or maybe he doesn't even know its significance? It'd have to be a learned Earthling to know the truth... as for now, what do you all do?

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...


Freak +2 | Danger +2 | Savior +2 | Superior -1 | Mundane -2
Potential 2/5 | Conditions: - | Location: Crowley Park Ranger's Shed

quote:

Styx followed the trail to a ranger's shed. Wolfsbane didn't respond to her calls. She foundd her body judging by the blood soaked clothes, but it's a dummy. Suddenly, Styx triggered a trap Wolfsbane set for the werewolves, that she changes her mind only just at the last second and pulls Styx out of the way of from her true hiding place.

She looked like absolute hell and had dressed her wounds and armored herself with layers of duct tape. It'll only hurt like hell to remove if she survives, anyway.

Her war face was on, so Styx shouldn't be surprised when she was less than diplomatic, "You couldn't let me have this one thing. You and your Hell bretheren." She had been taking out the werewolves that infested Crowley Park one by one starting from the weakest, and was on the threshold of culling their population below the quorum needed for them to ritually summon the moon (One for each lunar month in the year).

This is the reason she joined the Night Watchers to begin with: to destroy the monsters that killed her brother Ognjen, the original Wolfsbane. She'd been purged from the ranks after failing to destroy you as the final part of her initiation, and realized she had to do it all alone...

"What more could you possibly want from me?" she asked.

Styx stared at the girl, face almost blank at the other girl's accusatory tone, even if a tiniest tinge of worry or pity could be seen on it. ”Let you have this thing? After all we went through together? I-” The ghostly girl quieted down, glanced to the side a bit and bit her lip, before turning back. ”Look. I'm... really sorry about your brother, and I realize this whole quest must be really important for you. But what you're doing right now is just needlessly risky.” ”And that's exactly why I'm here. Because you're injured Wolf...”, there's a very slight pause here, as if Styx was deliberating whether to use her actual hero name or something more familiar. She settled on the former, ”..sbane. You left blood all over the place, ran to the woods all alone without any support. What was I supposed to do? Any decent person would check out if somebody in that sort of situation was alright. Do you really think so little of me that you thought I'd have some other reason?” Styx looked up at Wolfsbane, her empty eye sockets almost pleading, ”...We don't have to be enemies anymore, you know. I don't want to be your enemy. And you don't have to do all of this, go through all of this by yourself any longer, either.”

quote:

SidekickBOT - @Styx (Theantero): 2d6-2 Styx, Pierce the mask of Wolfsbane and then cry yourself to sleep later when you realized you made everything worse by your inconsiderate bumbling! = (1+4)-2 = 3

quote:

"My name is Zlata Havlíková. You want to help me? Etch it on Ognjen Havlíková's tombstone when this is all over. Also..." she kissed Styx' mouth with tightly closed lips. "Your hell-bretheren wouldn't stop mocking me for never doing that with anyone before being dragged to Hell. You've succeeded in your foolish quest to save me from one flavor of eternal torment, so the next one might be a surprise. Now go. I have to reset my trap. Don't make me have to do it again."

quote:

Wolfsbane takes Influence over you and refuses your help, expecting to die in her quest.

Well she did not see THAT coming. A look of abject shock overtook Styx' features as she was suddenly kissed, and only managed to gather the wherewithal to bring her fingers to her mouth several seconds after Zlata had disengaged. It took her several moments to fully process what had just happened, what had just been said, and only after Zlata was already making her way out did Styx manage to reply, following behind the girl, stumbling slightly before she corrected herself.

”No”, she simply uttered. Her voice wavered slightly, but she was not lacking in conviction, ”First of all, stop calling those demons my hell-bretheren we are not related by blood or even origin. And more importantly...” Styx paused for a moment, as if gathering courage, ”This thing you're going on about? It's dumb as hell. What you're doing is trying to commit glorified suicide, you're just dressing it up as somehow grimly noble. But it isn't. It's cowardly. It's not... It's not what your brother would want you to do. Or can you imagine him standing there, approving of what you're about to embark on? I can't. And you can't either, not really, you must not, deep down. This is absolutely not the way to deal with your problems Zlata.”

”And...”

”And I won't allow you.”

”Stand down.”

quote:

"You know nothing. You're not fit to speak his name. I doubt you can even spell it. This is what hunters do. What we live for, since before the Night Watchers! "I am who I am: a humble pohodný like my father and brother before me. Take your limitless imagination and go invent another would-be friend who wants you to save her." She sounded resolved, now more than ever. She's got nothing else left, and she's holding tighter to her convictions the more Styx tried to move her, but her eyes are shimmering when she flees from her. The last Styx saw of her is the three strips of duct tape on her back. Two long and one short between them.

Evening Star appeared beside Styx in boy form, shook his head and sighed. "I can see her dreams and couldn't turn her, that's how mad you got her at us. I'm jealous though, you got a kiss! That'll be in my dreams now, ehehe." When he laughed Styx realized why he looked so familiar: his smile is exactly the same as Vinnie Cropper, her ex. Looks like he looked into her dreams too. Styx found herself thinking, 'you're so crap at talking to people, what if you had that power, like Evening Star, and Font?' He stopped and looked at her with smiling eyes, "I dunno, what do you have to offer? You don't have a soul..."

Styx watched, face full of dejection as Wolfsbane disappeared into the woods. Was she truly this impotent? This incapable of talking sense to others? Before she changed she used to get along so well with others, people listened to what she had to say. She turned to gaze at her palms. Was shooting black bolts of nether energies really the only thing she could do well these days?

And indeed, this self-pitying brooding would likely have gone on for even longer, if she wasn't interrupted by a demon of all things. She gazed at it, face unamused at its unmasked glee at her misfortune, even if she did wince a bit as the thing took the features of her ex.

”I do have a soul”, she answered petulantly, ”I mean sure it's soiled with nether energies, once severed and bolted on. But it's mine, and even though it's a bit battered, it's still good. I wouldn't let you have it even if you wanted it.” Even though she spoke with conviction, she couldn't help but clutch at her chest somewhat self-consciously at the jab ”And what makes you think I'd strike a deal with a demon anyways? That's basically the posterboy for all bad deals. Like, a 'deal with the devil' is an actual metaphor for a deal you shouldn't make.”

”Power needn't be corruptive, and weapons are tools. Therefore, while I think they are right to believe and we all would prefer the Evening Star should be safely restored to Hell with its own kind, weigh the risks and use your best judgment...”

Styx paused for a bit, as Memoriam's words wormed their way from her memory unbidden. She had her reservations, of course, but Memoriam had said that, and Wolfsbane could really get hurt... ”Besides”, she continued, ”I wouldn't even know what to offer you anyway. Do I look like a demonologist to you? I thought souls were the only universal currency you guys dealt in.” She does not say it, not directly, but clearly she is giving Evening Star a chance to throw a pitch. Just one, though

quote:

"Surprise me."

“Surprise you huh…” Styx said, trailing off. For a moment or two, silence reigned. Finally, Styx broke it by speaking, tone slow, neutral and deliberate. “Ok. How about this?” Styx extends a middle finger, flipping the demon off, but her face remained a blank slate. She stood for a few seconds before taking to the skies with a huff.

“I hope the rest of you are feeling up to a fight”, she spoke into the communicator, her tone uncharacteristically flat and cold, “We have a suicide by werewolf to prevent.”

quote:

"–I knew you would do that!" Evening Star shouted after her.

Theantero fucked around with this message at Oct 1, 2017 around 20:01

Scrree
Jan 15, 2008

WHEN ONE STRIKES THY NEIGHBOR THEY STRIKE THEMSELVES.
WHEN ONE FEEDS THY NEIGHBOR THEY FEED THEMSELVES.
THERE IS NO OTHER.



Freak: +2 | Danger: -1 | Savior: +0 | Superior: +2 | Mundane: +0
Potential: 0/5 | Conditions: None! | Location: Crowley Park!

Looking down at Ognjen, there is a moment where Luci wonders if they even need to engage the werewolves. After all, if they just want the park, than why not let them have the park? Memoriam had sent them after the demon weapon, after all...

But then Styx's message comes in, and the need to intervene is cemented. "Gotcha, Styx-ie!" Luci replies over the com-line. She jumps off the ledge and walks towards Iscariot, lifting the ophanim in a smooth motion. With a smile on her lips, she sprints toward the edge of the parking lot roof, jumping off the ledge with all her might.

A person on a lower level of the parking garage would've heard a great woosh of giant wings flapping against the air, and seen a raincoat and tarp mysteriously drift downwards, all the way to the ground.

Now flying over the park, Luci knew that she wasn't being very stealthy -- but that didn't matter. She didn't plan on being in the air for long, after all. She holds Iscariot with both hands, and positions herself above the werewolf leader, "Raiken! Bravura! I'm going in!" She cries into her comms. Even if she hadn't warned her teammates there was no way they wouldn't have noticed her attack, as the angel unleashes a great burst of light as she begins her descent. Iscariot's wheels spin and Luci's wings glow as, like heaven's wrath, the Morning Star falls upon Ognjen.

(OST: Riders of Light!)

quote:

@Luci (Scrree): 2d6+3 Directly Engaging with Surperior (Kirby Craft), and +1 from the assess! = (6+6)+3 = 15

"Heeeeeeyaaah~!" SLAM! Morning Star slams the giant werewolf into the soft dirt of the park. To his credit, he's quick to get back on his feet, but -- SLAM! Morning Star hits him again, this time bowling him directly into a pair of smaller werewolves hiding in the bush.

Morning Star stands on the grass, panting slightly from the excretion of her attack. She doesn't know if her attacks dealt truly deep damage, or if her team will be able to get here in time to totally cover for her. But what she does know is that, in her free hand, she wields the gleaning metal claw that Ognjen held so tightly. "This is pretty bad for you, right?" She points it at one of the lesser werewolves, and gives a playful swipe in the air.

Choosing to: Take Ognjen's Poisoned Claw, and impress, surprise, or frighten the opposition by showing off that Morning Star has the weapon to the lesser werewolves!

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ognjen's packmates flinch at the weapon and flatten their ears. He looks at his scarred, empty hand and then his pupils move up and to the left, searching his memory for a replacement weapon. Then he grins, barks at his cowardly gang and leads them back into the darkness, surely to his favorite tree, where Evening Star lurks temptingly. Any who give chase are met with a supernatural fog rolling in: the clouds that were blocking the full moon now do its bidding thanks to the twelve lunar disciples' circle magic. Crowley Park has become walled by swirling lunacy fog that scrambles all sense of place and leaves all who inhale it with a sense of being hunted. Everyone but you, Luci, you feel insulated by some blessing upon the metal claw. As long as you wield it true and your friends stay close, they too are protected by the wards, but should you become separated...

Styx, you escape the fog just in time, if you had tarried any longer even you might have gone mad. What do you all do now?

Platonicsolid
Nov 17, 2008




Freak: -1 | Danger: -1 | Savior: +2 | Superior: +1 | Mundane: +2
Potential: 0/5 | Conditions: None! | Location: Crowley Park

Bravura snaps off a quick shot at one of the approaching werewolves that goes wide, then stows her bow and hops back on her motorcycle. A quick rev and she looks at Raiken. "Wanna go for a ride?" she offers. "You can shoot from the back of a bike, right?"

It was the thought, at least - until the fog starts rolling in, giving Bravura pause. "Or, maaaaaybe we should book it home." "Hey team?" Bravura radios up. "You all okay? You'll probably see us in a minute, we've still got some werewolves behind us." And with that Gwen kicks it into gear and takes off, pushing away from the approaching wolves. She glances back. "And me without snausages..."


SidekickBOT - Today at 10:06 AM
@Bravura (Platonicsolid): 2d6+2 Straight Up Creepin = (4+4)+2 = 10
Gwen will ask "What's my best way out?" and "What is being concealed here?"

Platonicsolid fucked around with this message at Oct 3, 2017 around 14:07

Platonicsolid
Nov 17, 2008




Freak: -1 | Danger: -1 | Savior: +2 | Superior: +1 | Mundane: +2
Potential: 0/5 | Conditions: None! | Location: Crowley Park

Slydingdoor posted:

The best way back out of the middle of the park is probably the "secret" subway tunnel that runs under Crowley Park. Construction keeps getting delayed, but you've been down there and it's completely functional. The lunacy fog probably wouldn't reach down there, and if you were being chased worst case scenario you could collapse it behind you.
The city admitted that it exists and isn't randomly hiding it on some maps and not others anymore
As for what is being concealed... the whole perimeter of the park is walled by mist. It clears up sharply once it passes an invisible border though based on certain trees which the werewolves must have marked. Their domain is under attack and they are hiding their movements: it's a guerilla war.
oh and one more thing, even your mechanical instrument's readouts are affected by the lunacy
You could swear your speedometer started fluctuating and your odometer ticked backwards at one point. But you aren't certain, they're back to normal when you escape far enough away from the fog.(edited)
Perhaps it's just a deterrent? If this fog were truly a weapon there's no reason it shouldn't spread and have longer lasting effects... right?

Bravura swings the bike in circles, trying to make long enough runs to stay out of range of the werewolves without going into the fog. It's...trickier than it looks. Thing Gwen, think! There must be a clever way out of here...

The Subway! Yes, that would work. Bravura leans into a turn, skidding and chewing up dirt. "If all the other humans are out, I say we book it too. No need to be in the middle of a guerilla war. Or a wolf war." A quick rev of the engine, a stream of dirt and Bravura and Raiken take off, rounding a hill and heading towards a blocked off building. It's a weird little brick thing and if you didn't know what to look for it probably wouldn't mean much - you wouldn't know it's part of a subway the city's been trying to build since the freaking 30's, and that this brick house is part of an old entrance. It's just sealed off with some plywood and beams, and if you run a motorcycle into it fast enough...

"Follow me to the subway! Uh, Raiken, hold on, kay?"

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...


Freak +2 | Danger +2 | Savior +2 | Superior -1 | Mundane -2
Potential 2/5 | Conditions: - | Location: Crowley Park Ranger's Shed


“NO”, Styx leered at Bravura as her voice boomed, her already ghastly features contorted further by a ghastly grimace, “All the other humans are not out! Wolfsbane is still in there”, she pointed at the fog clad woods, “And I am not leaving before she is out of there. That is final.” Styx crossed her arms, and stared on defiantly at the rest of the team, as if daring them to disagree.

Bravura posted:

Woah, where the hell did that come from? Bravura sits on her bike, glaring back at Styx. But that face...that face makes Bravura start to go pale, even as she sets her jaw. "You think she can't fend for herself?"

“Against half a dozen werewolves in a disabling fog she might or might not be protected against? On a ill-conceived revenge quest to the death?” Styx basically hissed at this point, “No, I do not think she can just ‘fend for herself’.”

Bravura posted:

Bravura stretches her fingers, flexing her gloves, tugging on the cuffs of them. "You're really intent on this," she says. Gwen's eyes narrow, she straightens her back. "Fine," she says. "We'll go rescue your girlfriend," she says in a blow-it-off tone.

Styx glanced at Bravura. “That is not a good tone to take Gwen. Wolfsbane clearly has some really deep set issues and is on an actual suicidal quest. If somebody asked your help to stage an intervention to goddamn suicide would you snidely call it ‘rescuing your girlfriend’? Regardless of whether it was by werewolf or jumping or whatever? No? You wouldn’t? So maybe shut your trap.” For a moment, an awkward silence reigned. Styx’ angry grimace mellowed to a more somber sort of frown. “Let’s... let's just go.” Styx floated softly towards the woods, making no further eye contact, a far cry from the good natured and humored girl she usually was.

Bravura posted:

Straight to tone complaints? That escalated quickly. But she's not about to back down, holding Styx's face with a curious blankness until she turns and starts floating away.
"Sheesh," she mutters, looking at the rest of the team. "Alright, guess we have one more pickup to do."

Luci posted:

"Honestly," Luci floats by, metal claw still in her hand, "We should just totally clear the park out. Like, park are for humans and dogs, not for werewolves or demon weapons." She gave a mighty flap of her wings, gaining a few feet of distance above the ground, "Well... I guess werewolves are kind of like, dogs and humans together, so they could stay -- but only if they decided to share! And the weapon still has to go!" Luci threw a quick glance to Bravura and Raiken, willingness to follow them wherever they went clear on her face, "So, back in?"

Raiken posted:

Raiken slightly tilts her head, "You're right, Luci. The weapon needs to go." Her face was presenting a flat, expressionless affect, but inwardly she was fired up from the earlier skirmish and wasn't about to run from a fight. Specifically a fight with the errant Demon Weapon. If she needed to bring out Judecca to keep the boy from running, that's what she would do. It was the clear priority. Leave the mission of mercy for Styx. It was a foolish crusade, Wolfsbane having attempted to kill her many times, but Raiken could see that the undead maiden's mind was made up. So be it.



Styx rolled a 7 to Provoke Bravura into going on Mission: Save Wolfsbane, choosing to give her a condition were she to not go with it.

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...


Freak +2 | Danger +2 | Savior +2 | Superior -1 | Mundane -2
Potential 4/5 | Conditions: - | Location: Crowley Park Abandoned Subway Tunnel

The walk through the abandoned tunnel was a quiet one, at least as far as it came to Styx. She floated in front of the group, silent, almost brooding in a way. And the moment they arrived at the other end, she spoke. Clearly, and with conviction, as if she had been rehearsing this particular bit in her head during the journey underground.

“Right. So here’s the deal. We need to stop Evening Star’s plots. He made an appearance after I was done with Wolfsbane, and seems to be bent on tempting a wielder, and is still likely near the shed in that direction”, Styx points sharply to the direction she meant, “So that is your best bet if you want to intercept Ognjen from getting him”, Styx paused for a bit, collecting composure, “And I say you, because I’m not leaving Wolfsbane alone. Not against twelve werewolves. You need to go together, you cannot split since we only have one claw. I alone can possess the power to go without it.”

“Are we clear on the plan? Good”, her gaze crept to the side, “And umm, my powers aren’t exactly pretty so Lucy? Gwen? I’d appreciate if you didn’t look. Just for a bit.”

Or did it really matter? Why hide what she was really like? They would learn sooner or later, and it was better to rip off the band-aid early. “…Or peek if you want”, she added after a while “It’s your choice I suppose, if you want to know what my power really looks like when the baby gloves come off. Heh.”

Eyelids fell over empty sockets as Styx concentrated on her power. A strange feeling, a slightly wrong feeling, could be increasingly felt emanating from her.

Luci posted:

Luci watches Styx monologue with a still face. The ghost-girl seemed very determined in her mission, almost too determined, but she also had a point. The claw was the only thing protecting the more fragile human members of the team, so splitting up wasn't an option. Luci finally reacts, jumping towards Styx and grabbing her forearm intimately, "Don't get swept up in anything too big to handle yourself."

Hm, that was a pretty big ask, wasn't it?

"...Without giving me a chance to save you, okay?" And she lets Styx's arm go. Luci does not avert her gaze from her charge, accepting her in whatever form she takes.


As the angel’s hand touched her arm, Styx made no sudden movements, nor expressions. Indeed, she seemed largely as before, eyes closed and silent. But a ripple in the strange aura around her could almost be felt despite her outer calm, revealing a lapse in concentration. A fact proven when Styx suddenly reached for the angel’s arm as she was pulling it away, and pulled her to an embrace. A quick one, though, she let go fast, but held the angel’s hand in her own. She stared into the angel’s eyes as she spoke, her usual leakage getting gradually worse and worse.

“Sure thing, Lucy”, she was still not smiling, but at least she she seemed more forlorn than grim, “You’re my guardian angel after all right? Wouldn’t want to rob you of your job, heh”, the laughter was a bit forced, but at least she was trying. She even tried to force her mouth into a little feisty smirk for Lucy’s sake, but couldn’t quite. Mainly because her lips had started to degenerate into black sludge that was sloughing off, accompanied by rivulets of the same pouring from every orifice on her face as the transformation took hold.

Styx still held onto the angel’s hand, but softly. In such a way that she could pull out at any time she wanted without issue.

But if Lucy truly wanted to see what she could be? Well, she out of all here deserved to see as closely as she wanted to.



…..

Soon, her vision went dark, and Styx departed into the mists with an otherworldly wail.




Styx rolled 6 on Unstoppable, thus she will "smash through, but leave devastation in your wake or wind up somewhere worse, GM’s choice." Luci rolled a 10 to Comfort Styx, who opened up, and chose to mark Potential, and a Team was added to the pool.

slydingdoor posted:

Luci, Raiken, and Bravura, you three split up with Styx and find Ognjen, alone, wresting a blackened branch away from his favorite tree, destroyed in your initial clash with Evening Star. He hasn't gotten the club free yet, but you all know according to Memoriam a soulbound demon weapon cannot be disarmed from their wielder, and only another wielder could stand up to one in combat.

He notices you in particular Raiken, snarls, and you hear splintering wood as he doubles his efforts to free it. He's outnumbered, you have his claw, and you're the ones to blame for the devastation of this landmark and his territory. Raiken, Judecca is eager for you to strike with her immediately. There's no possible way you could stop someone who doesn't even seem to speak, is there? Whether she had it before or not, now she take Influence on you and reminds you that you are a doer. Together, you can take out the threat, capture the weapon and collect the egg as a trophy. Mission Accomplished, above and beyond everyone elses's paltry expectations. It's impossible to keep your relationship with her a secret forever anyway, you need to make a powerful first impression in favor of its necessity. Do you spite the team and attack, or reject her influence?

Bravura, Luci is too new to notice it, but something is off with Raiken. There's a conflict in her that's different from just woman versus machine. If you can Pierce her Mask you will realize Judecca's trying to take control and be able to intervene, what do you do?


Bravura posted:

"Don't do anything stupid, Styx, kay?" Gwen says, her levity laced with concern. They're a team, after all. Once she's gone, the rest of them keep hiking and come out in a clearing in the park - a clearing now, at least, thanks to the destruction of early. Ognjen's yanking on a burned out tree, and Bravura's got an arrow out and ready right away. Sadly she does not have a trick 'demonic weapon' arrow. Still, reflex and training makes her feel a bit calmer, if nothing else.

Her heart beats. Thump. Thump. Thump. Bravura's brow creases slightly. Something seems off with Raiken...the way she moves is off. "Raiken?" Bravura calls, moving in closer to her teammate, taking soft steps and keeping her bow in her hands. "Rai? What's up? We really should have a plan here, huh? What've you got in mind?"

(Taking What are you really planning? and What do you want me to do?)

Luci posted:

Luci leads in front of her teammates; she doesn't see Raiken come to an odd halt, nor the concern on Bravura's face. All she sees is Ognjen struggling to arm himself, and if he gets armed she knows its going to be a whole lot of trouble.

So there's no hesitation on her end. She cries out, "I'll push him back!" And pushes off with her wings so hard they audibly clap the air. She bolts straight towards the giant werewolf, a living missle of light, feathers, and force.

And then--
(10+ on a powerful blow!)

Perhaps she was slower than she thought, or perhaps Ognjen was more of an alpha predator than she realized. Whatever the case, just as she's about to reach Ognjen like an arrow reaches it's target, the werewolf's giant paw fillls her vision. The thing she feels is the thud! of being spiked into the ground, hard. Luci rolls uncontrollably away, batted out of the air like a fly.

The park dirt is soft, and Ognjen's blow didn't break anything. But when she finally gets back on her feet there is a small trickle of blood -- real, golden angel blood -- flowing down her cheeks, and an expression of shock on her face. She was supposed to smash monsters, not the other way around! Tears began to sting her eyes as an almost uncontainable wave of shame and fear threatened to freeze her in place.

(Marking Insecure and Afraid)

Raiken posted:

Raiken's attention is almost entirely inward as she slows to a halt. The icy chill of Judecca's fingers running down her arm as she cajols the hero into rash action is almost intoxicating. The plan — "plan" — Raiken's demonic passenger suggests seems so reasonable. Why worry about consulting her friends? All she needed to do was destroy her enemies. That would keep them safe. No need to worry about Bravura getting hurt anymore. Nothing keeping her from Luci's company. Nothing... nothing hurting Styx, either. That was what was important, right?

The icy fingers grow closer and closer to her heart — or at least where her heart once was — and the urges grow stronger and stronger. It would be so easy, wouldn't it? What could stop them? No mongrel dog, no other weapon could dream of matching their strength. Finally, Raiken closes her eyes. That was what she would do. She would save them all, whether or not they understood her deci—

Two things strike her, almost simultaneously. The first is Bravura's tentative question. The second? The impact of Luci against the ground. Raiken's eyes snap open. The temptation to listen to those feelings, those icy whispers was gone. She'd use the weapon, yes, but it was a tool. It was nothing more than a chatty sword. It was hers, not the other way around, purchased with her facsimile of a soul.

Got a 7 to Reject Judecca's Influence! Cancelling it and taking +1 forward against her.

She looked over to Bravura, "No time for that, Luci's in trouble. She needs our help. You want in? Stall the small fry, leave that big rear end in a top hat to me. After all..." Her eyes narrow with determination. "That's what they made me for."(edited)

What are you planning? — Judecca has one thing right: the demon weapon needs to go. Raiken is out to take down Evening Star. Ideally before it finds a proper host, but if not... Well, she'll cross that bridge if it comes.(edited)

What do you want me to do? — Raiken wants Bravura to stay out of harm's way. Fight if she must, but in a way that keeps her out of the thick of it. It's not a fair feeling, but she's seeing Kon as much as Gwen in this situation and remembering all the pain and danger he went through.(edited)

slydingdoor posted:

Ognjen crouches and meets the winged charge with a blindingly fast counterattack that embeds the silver claw in the tree stump and breaks your grip on it. He unearths a basketball sized boulder in his giant palm and smashes it into pieces against the wooden anvil. The stone shards peel away like a hatching egg revealing his old weapon now nothing more than a twisted piece of scrap metal that releases a wisp of silvery smoke. You, Luci, recognize the wisp as concentrated prayers and blessings, and everyone immediately notices the fog closing in from all directions now that the source of your warding is broken. Ognjen snorts and pants, like he's smiling, and his empty socket of an eye alights with the same stoplight color of Evening Star's.

"I suppose one fallen Night Watcher is as good as another." comes the trickster's voice from the brute's maw.

Raiken, you hear Judecca scoff at this.

"He doesn't stand a chance as long as you defeat him before the effects of the lunacy fog set in. How easy this could have been–actually, it can still be quite easy. It only could have been quicker had you used me to begin with. And your allies would have still had their talisman..."
What do you do?

Bravura posted:

The thunderclap of Luci's wings gives Gwen pause, as she tenses up. She locks eyes with Raiken, as she assigns her a task. A small task - Gwen swears she hears the 'Human' stuck in at the end.

A biting response forms on her lips. Still...Raiken's right. Lucy does need help. Decision made, Bravura goes charging across the ground. Just as Luci's rising, Bravura grabs her and dives with her behind a bench. "Don't leave yourself open, you doof!" Bravura says, having tackled Luci down onto her back. Bravura spreads a glove, seeing weird liquid gold on it. "Huh," she says, blinking rapidly behind her mask. "Please tell me you heal fast, because I don't have any first aid stuff," Bravura says.

Bravura sits up, looking over the back of the bench towards the showdown between Ognjen and Raiken. Eying the situation, she raidos. "Styx, you knock off for coffee?" She's not even sure where Styx had gotten off to. Well...

"Tiny Assholes!" Bravura calls, raising her bow and snapping off a few shots at the little demons.

@Bravura (Platonicsolid): 2d6-1 = (6+5)-1 = 10

Luci posted:

"I'll be fine in a moment," Luci sniffs out, "It's just, I, I thought it would work!" her words are more bawling than real syllables. Despite her distraught appearance, the angel does move to compose herself. She straightens out her wings, and really looks at Ognjen for the first time since she was bashed to the ground. She had been hurt. Her heart was a swirl of emotions that she barely knew she could feel, yet she knew this wasn't a situation where she could just run away. She had to stay.

She had to fight.

slydingdoor posted:

Ognjen dodges a bunch of arrows but one of them hits, making him Angry, so he jukes between the volley while bounding on all fours with his club between his teeth, heading straight for Bravura. The fog roils and whirls with every zigzag move he makes, even your augmented senses start showing artifacts due to the lunacy fog. But it's obvious what he wants to do: repay the archer, and do to her fingers what he just did to his old silver claw seconds ago.
What do you do?

Theantero fucked around with this message at Oct 22, 2017 around 18:49

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage




Freak: +3 | Danger: +3 | Savior: -2 | Superior: -1 | Mundane: +1
Potential: 4/5 | Conditions: None! | Location: Crowley Park

Raiken calls Judecca into being, the black ice creeping out from inside her hand to form an elegant, unsettling blade. With a flourish, she slashes along the ground and sends a twisting line of frost through the hard earth of the park. If she did this right... and if Judecca cooperates... it should erupt into a wall of ice that blocks Ognjen's charge long enough for Bravura to escape his attack.

Raiken growls, "I thought I told you to leave this to me! Keep an eye on Luci, his claws are going to rip you in half."

quote:

SidekickBOT - Today at 6:13 PM
@Raiken (Tricky): 2d6+4 Defending (though also Frustrating) Bravura from her angry werewolf friend! (+Danger, +1 Rival) = (2+1)+4 = 7

Escalating the situation.

GM posted:

"Good thinking Ruri, we should cut out these interlopers." smarms Evening Star, Ognjen's new right eye, which emits a red jet of hellfire that leaves swirling pillars of flame to form a makeshift arena just for two. The ring of fire and ice keeps the fog out but where the two meet hellsteam rushes out, and where it hits the fog that's no longer held at bay by the broken silver weapon, tiny storms form that leave black clawmarks on the ground from miniature lightning bolts. It's a microcosm of the battle between you and Ognjen, Judecca and Evening Star, and between Hell and the Moon.

Luci and Bravura, you two are all alone now. Styx is lost in the fog with hunters and the hunted, Raiken's fighting a duel whose end marks the birth of a new demon. What do you do?

Raiken, Ognjen's silhouetted by hellfire as he circles you with club held high, snarling and snapping at you with his foaming canine maw. Judecca seems bored, as if this fight is a foregone conclusion in her favor. "Go," she urges. What do you do?

Raiken says, "I don't need you—" Crimson lightning begins to crackle around her as she unleashes the power that sleeps within her. Even as the werewolf slavers at her, she takes Judecca with both hands and, in an instant, launches towards the wolf with explosive speed and power. The earth shatters beneath her feet. "—to tell me that!"

quote:

SidekickBOT - Today at 7:29 PM
@Raiken (Tricky): 2d6+3 Directly Engage Ognjen (+Danger) = (5+2)+3 = 10

Avoiding blows, and Impressing/Frightening/Surprising Ognjen.

Avoiding his clumsy blows with ease, Raiken slashes across Ognjen's flank — black ice blossoming into his flesh along the blade's path — and kicks him backwards... dangerously close to the ring of hellfire and ice that separates the two from the rest of the park.

She spins Judecca, then levels it with the werewolf once more, "Is that all you've got...? Don't think I'm going to let you off easy for hurting Luci... or for trying to hurt Bravura."

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Styx, the familiar sensation of being torn between two worlds washes over you as your form destabilizes to that of a pitch covered banshee-demon and you lose control of your voice. You fly out of the subway terminal and into the fog leaving the same moist, devil's food cake-like trail of tainted earth that you did the last time you rushed off to meet Wolfsbane, before you dragged her to Hell. The cold mist settles on it and thins the mixture until it reaches the consistency of crude oil, which sinks deeper, revealing a supernatural wrought iron grate: a storm drain to the abyss.

That’s different. Now the long gate to the netherworld that follows Demon-Styx wherever she goes is fenced off–you aren't welcome back. However, a trench in the fog opens up as the long, thin Hellmouth you leave behind slurps up the pea soup fog, and you can see where you came from easily, and wherever you go visibility gradually improves.

Zlata's traps are no better obstacles. Pentagonal treebind glyphs flare out in woodburning white when triggered, but the branches' tight grasp only warps them to their own breaking point. The living wood bends, splinters, and breaks like rotten rope; your speed remains constant. A tripwire sends atomized silver solution into your face, but you needn't even blink as it covers your corneas, nor does it obscure your lifesight. You realize that as same as a child watching a horror movie, you can't stop *seeing* even if you will your eyes shut.

But it's your hearing that leads you to Wolfsbane. Her prey cries out in the wilderness, stung by one of her traps as they try to surround her entrenched position: a ranger's station with boarded up windows and floodlights pointed outward, rays thrusting out through the mist like a circle of pikes. The pack of puzzled and bloodied lycanthropes all turn to you in shock when you let loose an unbidden screech, then one sniffs the air, touches its lips and looks to the others. They nod and scatter into the thinning fog and begin to stalk you instead. After avoiding being lost in the fog or caught in the young Night Watcher's traps, you wind up caught in a dozen jaws striking as one, from every angle, and as they begin to gnaw, a yellow eye for every hour of the day looks to the log cabin for a response from their real target.

It comes in the form of a stunning silver bolt to your chest: an apparent mercy killing. The werewolves are taken aback, and you have an out of body experience as they lower the demon form down onto the disintegrating earth and leaving you for dead. Your wraithvision reverts to that of a normal ghost. You hold up your hand and see the untainted human spirit of Lydia Bristow. Beyond it and below you the same werewolf who sniffed the air before covers the demon’s silver sleep mask with its claw and sniffs the banshee demon's lips, shaking its head in confusion. You understand why: it smelled of Zlata Havlíková, but she just shot you rather than come to your rescue. It's a violation of all that they know about being a pack *and* about hunters. Now more than ever these werewolves see the huntress as the real monster.

quote:

2d6 Styx takes her beats (like a champ hopefully) = (4+5) = 9
Styx struggles past the pain, marking Angry (Goddamnit WOLFSBANE) and Guilty (This only happened because I failed to convince her in the first place)

As the werewolves charge the ranger's station and jump through the barred windows, you will yourself through the pain of separation to repossess the demonic form and rise again. However, your vision doubles, and you notice the bolt missing from your chest. Looking back, you see it never moved. The human Lydia Bristow's spirit-corpus is what lies on the grate now, shot in the breast, and when you hold up your hand it's the demon's that you see again. Your human emotions feel distant, but with your sharper wraithvision you see that the silver bolt is named Tomas, after the one of the 12 followers of Jesus Christ. The one who doubted him.

Do you believe Zlata can walk out of the tomb she’s in?

There’s reason not to: 12 disciples, 12 bolts, 12 werewolves, but she used one on you. Now she's fighting them alone, expecting you to just stay pinned to the spot and to witness her. What do you do?

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Platonicsolid
Nov 17, 2008



Bravura winces as Luci sniffs and then ducks back out onto the field. Respect for her determination, but that little angel's going to get herself smashed.

The battle with Ognjen rages, and here she is, a human with a stick and some pullys. That's not going to do much against a...demon? Gwen's not all up on the theology of it, question for another time. As she's lost in thought, Ognjen turns and begins to rush her. Gwen gets up into a crouch, ready to run until....


..Raiken dashes in and saves her. With lightning! Oh my. Amidst the mystical lightning and epic fights, Gwen finds a new spot behind a fountain and narrows her eyes, looking about. They probably can't stay here forever, and even if they beat Ognjen - big if! - these storms don't seem like the 'get hot cocoa and wait it out' type. Attention darts here and there...

Slydingdoor posted:

Bravura, the lunar hellstorms are definitely going to destroy the park, from your vantage point you realize the best way out is back through hell! All you'd need to do is open one up with one of your trick arrows, go to hell, then navigate the chaos until you find where the grate is closest to your bike, thanks to your electronic key making it beep.

Crap. The ground definitely isn't solid. Bravura reaches back into her quiver andpulls and an arrow. It's bigger than normal, with a straight, large shaft, more like a tiny missile than the normal arrow. When she got it from Memoriam, he'd said to hold onto it until an emergency. This qualifies.

"Hey, Luci, Raiken!" Bravura calls. "This place isn't going to last. We need to get going now, and I only have one 'Holy crap things are bad' arrow!"

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