Lion Breakout

July 09, 2015:

A foolish magician pulls out of Hades one of the many monsters jailed there since the times of ancient Greece. Wonder Woman and Doctor Strange fight to return it back to hell.

Metropolis Suburbia

Characters

NPCs: The Nemean Lion

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

The seers of the Amazons can see events that happen in the underworlds, so they are often the first warning something is amiss in the Hades. Today one of the seers had a terrible dream. One of the monsters jailed by the gods was to be loosened in the man's world.
Some divinatory magics had to be used. Slow castings, as the Amazon rituals require time. But the oracle pinpointed the source of the breach. The City of Tomorrow: Metropolis.

In recent dealings it is rare that much accord is had between that of Diana's world to that of Patriarch's World. In fact the ties have been severed with lines drawn but this night Diana is awoken. Even the Moirai disagree with the course this has taken with the prisons of Hades burst wide and a trail of destruction blazed from one plane to another.
Wonder Woman wakes in her room in the embassy with a gasp and a start, the sheet clutched and clung to her chest while the drapery from the balcony whips and cracks inward on the high winds of a storm bearing sideways rain and arching lightning.
No dream, go daghter of Zeus.
Moments later the bed lays empty and the slumber gown is left behind in favor of her regalia that is known both her and at home. Message received.

It is 2 am in Metropolis, where an ambitious acolyte of the Cult of the Cold Flame has been going over the verses of the stolen scroll. She didn’t even bother to leave the apartment of the archeologist he just murdered. The old man is cooling slowly on the floor as the young woman uses her blood to draw ancient greet characters on the floor and walls.
The veil between worlds is tearing, and in a certain haunted house in Greenwich Village, the Orb of Agamotto is sending a mystical alarm to its current master. Meditation broken, the dark-haired man gestures to the cloak hanging on the wall, which obediently floats to settle over his shoulders. A note is hastily scribbled so a man called Wong knows what is going on if he wakes up before the cloaked man can return.
Then he vanishes in a flash of light.
Meanwhile in Metropolis, an unholy roar shatters the windows of a centric apartment building. The acolyte has no time to scream, or to realize her eardrums have shattered before a monstrous maw swallows her upper body and bites her in half. A second later the wall breaks and the beasts jumps to the street bellow, shattering the concrete with its five tons of weight. Crushing the sedan going down the street and its occupants inside as if they were insects in a matchbox.

The roar omission is even one that makes Wonder Woman ctinge in her bullet-speed flight towards the ensuing chaos, teeth gritting against the pain enhancedsenses can bring, as if she was standing in the feet of the woman whose fate is sealed just like he spell.
Nothing is ever what it seems or is written. Do not meddle in the affairs of ancient beings.
Her flight sends shockwaves through the air as she pushes to arrive just in time to see the vehicle crumble like a can beneath a car wheel, cerulean gaze narrowed as she sweeps down and lands in the beasts path, blocking the road in a braced stance, the light eminating from her bracers opening the enchantment of the swords of Hephaestus to bring them to her hands, melded and balanced from vambraces all the while the golden lasso at her hip takes on a forboding cast amongst the sadows of nights darkness.
One arm rises, the sword aimed for the beast, her own warning and battle cry echoing through the air and spanse between them. "No more beast! I know your placement here is wrong, but I will send you back to Hades wence you came!"

The beast is magnificent and sinister at the same time. A divine being, no doubt. It is a male lion, but a huge one. 15 feet to the eyes, the body larger than an elephant. Gold-brown fur, and a magnificent orange mane. But his eyes are solid, burning red, and his tail is a snake, five feet long and dripping poison.
When Diana lands in front of him, it roars again… and then pauses. "Woman…" he growls. Speaking in Ancient Greek, yet everyone can understand what he says. "I know thou… child of Zeus. Know I am blood of Typhon, and like Typhon defeat'd thy sire, so I will defeat thou, and devours thy flesh, should thou stand on mine way."
Meanwhile Doctor Strange materializes on the air, floating maybe ten yards from the ground. He quickly assesses the situation and his eyes widen at seeing the monster. "Flames of Faltine, I have read about of this creature, it is the Nemean Lion."

Wonder Woman remains, even as the words ring though her like a course of fear laden ambrosia to hear the tongue of her people - but from such a beast and bordered on such a threat, even Athena's gifts will do her no good this night.
"…And Hercules was tasked with your defeat as he tasked himself to do the same to mine. Do not make me have to prove the folly again." As much as it pained her heart to keep the weapon raised it remained there, and she did not move from the Leo's path while lips speak softly, more in a solemn vow and rite to herself and the dieties then anything for what she is about to do.
Strange is noted, but her eyes, they remain, even as his words ring forth. "And he is a mighty foe, but not one that will harm anymore here this night!" And with that Diana charges forward.

The great lion bares his teeth when Wonder Woman charges, but stands his ground, letting the sword strike his neck. The sword forged by Hephaestus dents on impact with the invulnerable pelt. Then he strikes back with a huge claw and a strength that must at least be Diana's match.
"No, he is invulnerable to physical attack!" Warns Strange, a second too late. "But perhaps not to the bolts of bedevilment," he adds more quietly. He gestures and lightning-like energy jumps from his hands, striking the lion's back twice, crackling sparks hitting the ground and nearby parked devices, making them glow with St. Elmo's fire.
The lion recoils briefly, but again the pelt is unblemished. "I see ye are a strong wizard, human, but nay mortal charm can harm me!" He boasts. Then he jumps to devour the insolent mortal, but Strange makes an imperious gesture and a shield of shimmering runes appears in front of him. The lion crashes, cracking the shield, but fails to reach him, landing on the street below with a roar of annoyance.

Diana is very aware of the lore of the Nemean Lion and the trials Hercules underwent for the pelt of the beast, and inwardly she smiled at the fact that it was folly and proven this night, but the seriousness is the manner and the man has already been humbled enough… Kind of.
When the space between them closes the swords strike, a ditraction to the god-beast that only seems irritated as if bothered by a gnat, even swatting her away as such. Diana lands upon the street, practically back where she started, the only thing that had kept her from being thrown further was that entangled grip upon the gold lasso that she had tethered around the Lion, now jerking back against it like a leash to jerk him away from Strange. "Mage? Can you banish him back?" Diana states as the strain and test of might is shown in the crease of brow.

"Fool, no mortal magic can touch me," the lasso, however is a surprise. He slashes at it with his claws and his surprise becomes annoyance when it doesn't break. So instead he pulls hard, trying to bring Diana close for a bite.
"I can and I shall," states Doctor Strange calmly. « But I need fifteen seconds, for the spell is complex and lengthy - and indeed calls upon power far stronger than any mortal magic » he projects his voice into Wonder Woman's head.

There is no truth Diana wishes to compel from the Lion, but a distraction, that, she can do. When the words touch her mind Wonder Woman only responds with the lowering of chin and a gaze that locks upon the charging Lion's. His lung of open maw has her meeting him in a lock, her hands clutching upper and lower jaws, sinew tensing beneath the strain as she twists her body with that grip to bring the Lion up and over her figure into a slam upon the road that will definitely create a pothole needing explanation in the concave shape of a large beast.
"What were you summoned here for Lion of Nemea?! This is no place for you and these are not your people!" And in saying that the lasso glows, the grip entangled in it one bearing blood from the force and puncture of massive fangs.

The Lion growls when Wonder Woman grabs his jaws. He pulls back, and then tries to shake his head. The woman's question goes unanswered, as even if she was compelling him to reveal the truth, he can't talk with his jaws trapped.
He is incredibly strong, though. Diana manages to lift him from the ground and slam him against the concrete only because she can fly. And when she does so, the beast tries to gut her open with his claws.
But then it is too late for him. "In the name of the Vishanti," he intones, arms raised. "In the name of the Three that are One, fabled in this plane as in all," suddenly the night seems more luminous, a holy light with no source illuminating the street, "I beseech you in the name of the inhabitants of this sphere, grant me your might." Now the magician is glowing, white light that is intense but not blinding. "I call upon the power of the Mystic Hosts of Hoggoth, vanish this monster to the darkness whence he came!" Light pours from Strange, washing over Diana and the lion. She can feel as if a strong wind brushed over her spirit, but not even touching her body.
The lion receives the brunt of the spell, he digs his claws in the concrete and screams curses in denial. "Noooooo… do not cast me to eternal torment! Have merceee…" despite his struggles, his form becomes fainter, transparent, and then he is gone. Diana can almost hear as if a huge door closes as the lion vanishes. A thundering sound just beyond the hearing range.

Wonder Woman's grip does not falter until the beast tries to slash at her middle, defensive to her body slam that very well likely shook the nearby apartments that have already seen the damage of this melee. The sweep of claws has her releasing the Lion, using flight as well to sweep away just in time to only meet a graze of those massive hooked weapons, though her armor catches just the tips, a warning that leaves its etchings across reinforced and corseted attire.
No relinquishment of her lasso came though, because wether or not the spell worked she was not going to allow the beast to simply roam free and wreak destruction in his path. Both hands hold the lasso, blood trailing in a small stream down its length towards the Lion while eyes meet in a return of the challenge, golden ember meeting those of the open seas, with a final exhale and flux of musculature she seeks to breach the distance again…
And he fades, the enchantment carried to even her ears, leaving her to look upon Strange now holding an empty lasso. "You know of my people's beasts, their lore and how to return them." Stating as much her eyes traverse him from head to toe and back again, a measured assessment, but one that does not come without it's weight.
"I am Diana of the Amazons, known as Wonder Woman here. And who are you fine sorcerer?"

Strange hovers down to land a couple yards from Wonder Woman. He is a tall man around forty, dressed in a formal, dark suit, with an eerie burgundy and gold cloak on his shoulders. "I am Doctor Stephen Strange, the Supreme Sorcerer of Earth. It is an honor to meet you, Diana of the Amazons, you fame precedes you. I have heard many great deeds of you."
Now the monster is gone, the few civilians that were in the streets and that hid when the lion appeared, start flowing out from the buildings around the street, and police sirens can be heard too.

"Doctor Stephen Strange…" Diana repeats the name in a slower manner, as if his name was one of familiarity, though the placement in memory is something she is having an issue placing her mental finger upon… And then it makes sense and when her eyes reside back upon his face her smile is slow but present. "And at last we meet under circumstances I did not intend to have met you under. A least at first."
Amongst the world Diana traverses as Wonder Woman, certain names pass her, certain suggestions had, and certain relations requested for reasons they all seem to share.
The sirens call in the distance is closing and she looks to the emerging people that utter now and stare warily around them, like frightened rabbits after the passing wolf. "Unless you wish to remain and answer the questions of the authorities, would you join me back to the Hall of Justice?" And if not now, he would find it's location not one hidden, but the offer is extended - it is only a matter of when.

Strange looks at the crushed vehicle, but its occupants are way past even his assistance. Then he looks up, at the place where the lion come. "I suspect the authorities won’t be willing to hear the truth of what happened here. But I’d like to know exactly why the lion was unchained. Afterwards, I would be honored to visit the Hall of Justice."

When Wonder Woman passes the vehicle her hand traces along the contour ofthe metal body, again that utterance of Ancient Greek, wishing them well in their new journey while her chin rises and gaze turns up towards the shattered apartment front. "No, and considering everything currently going on, the truth will do them no better." Wonder Woman's words sound level, almost saddened in saying what she had, but it was honest, and if Starnge has been keeping up - likely very true to the outcome.
"That is something I would like to know as well. I was told of no other presence here save the one, so it is of no doing on Olympus' end. If you find answers, bring them to me, please?" She inquires, slowly lifting from the ground to begin her departure to the Hall of Justice, waiting for his response before she does so. She will be asking her end of the spectrum as soon as she gets there.

The sorcerer nods and bows slightly as Diana departs. Then he floats up to the demolished apartment from where the lion was summoned. The Eye of Agamotto and a post-cognitive spell will show him what transpired there mere minutes ago.

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