Bone Golem

July 11, 2015:

WAND investigates a hotspot caused by Darques incursions…

Townsend - Delaware


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

The 'incident' involving the magical titans spreading blight behind them has been well documented by SHIELD respondants and now that the initial emergency is over forces are moving in to establish a containment perimeter around what the media is already calling 'The Deadzone' outside of Metropolis. It's about a hundred square miles worth of area, so there's a lot of ground to cover around the edges of it and people are still trickling out. Within it? Paranormal occurances seem the norm. Dead walking. Specters. Worse. SHIELD has been unable to prevent 'civilians' from mounting their own unauthorized rescue efforts. But that hasn't prevented them from mounting some of their own. There's tens of thousands missing from the populations of the farmland and several towns in the area and still some likely places where survivors are holed up.

To that end Director Fury has tapped SHIELD's own magical response division to investigate one of those hotspots, a place called Townsend in this case, well within the Deadzone. Insertion will be by Quinjet. Air travel over the area hasn't been affected. Yet.

Since becoming part of WAND, Paul's put together a rapid response bag suitable for all occasions and investigations related to the paranormal. Holy water, holy symbols, stakes, salt, incendiary grenades, sawed off shotgun, silver knives. The usual. It's stowed near his seat on the quinjet where he's eating one of those energy bars, waiting to arrive at the town.

The quinjet piloted by May arrives over the center of Townsend and angles to set down in a (mostly) vacant parking lot. "We're here. Be ready." Everyone in their group — yes, including Rain — that didn't already have a go-bag prepped has been given SHIELD issue protective gear and at the very least a sidearm whether they wanted it or not. May is NOT taking chances with this team. She looks at the person who's been minding the communications. "Any signals?"

Rain is totally one of those people. She had helped (literally) smash the problem. Rain is easy enough to contact. There's also unease at the idea of hapless civilians blundering into the zone in the name of Youtube fame or sheer curiousity. Even if she might be a coward, it would be awfully tempting, admittedly. The sight of something new and magical draws people. Her house is a testament to that and she still sometimes gets occultists trying to steal bricks or bits of it or take unwanted photographs and video.

She's new to this WAND business. But she's a witch. Magic courses through her soul and blood (which adds to her fear of being juiced one day). She has the protective gear. Captain probably has his own gear, staying perched on Rain. He's a good scout and definitely the social skills of the group. Which is kind of sad, really. She has her own guns, but the gear is appreciated. She is probably not the one minding communications.

May might consider herself the most Muggle type in her circle, but that's normally only because Simmons minds the lab. Although, being called out to look at sites after a magical disturbance seems to be becoming the norm - and Simmons isn't part of the WAND team, go figure.

Dressed in her SHIELD protective clothing, with her standard field kit in her hand, she's also armed with an ICER pistol. A pistol that she's becoming increasingly used to using.

Now she's waiting patiently for the quinjet to land and to find out exactly what she can do there.

The land under the quinjet is dark, of course. It's getting on toward evening which is probably not a good thing. It's also… well there's a miasma low to the ground kind of like fog that makes everything look dirty and a bit pale. The town is quiet. Deathly quiet. There's no radio signal, no people visible, no noise. Not even animals. Just the wind, at the moment. Command had said that there were heat signatures near the town hall which is a few blocks from here. That was a few hours ago though.

Agent May this is Trent. I'm setting up an overwatch position on the water tower. There's no one in sight at the moment. I'll keep watch. Signal me if you need closer support. Though he's got a nice big sniper rifle. Don't ask from where.

Paul finishes his snack then stands up. Pulling his sidearms, he chambers a round and adds one to the clip before putting it back in his holster. Then he puts on his vest and slings the bag over the shoulder not on the side of his gun. A flashlight is switched ona nd off to test the batteries. It's one of the ones you can use as a club if you need to. Which is exactly the point of it. After a moment, he goes to the back to get a pair of low light goggles and tosses them in his pack as well.

Rain has Captain for low light vision. And she can probably keep a flashlight with her. She's probably least muggle-like, though she's even keeled and sympathetic enough to those without magic. After all, she lived 20 years without any of her own. She smiles politely to Simmons, but cheer is in short supply. She has her magic GPS, but this zone is likely scrambling the readings or popping up all over with skulls. WARNING: DEAD ZONE IS DEAD. Oi.

Captain's tail curls around Rain's neck. He does not like this. She frowns faintly, looking over the place. She's not getting a good feeling. But, gear is hefted, cat is fastened (he does that himself) and the witch follows the others.

Melinda May finishes shutting down the quinjet's engines, leaving them on 'quick start' standby just in case they end up needing to leave in a hurry. "Acknowledged, Trent." It's actually kind of nice having a proper sniper on the team for a change. She'd never admit it to the archer aloud, but Barton's presence in the past has been extremely helpful.

"All right." May stands to address the others inside the quinjet. "I want us in pairs, and we need to check all of the usual places people gather in an emergency. Churches, public buildings. Mark the building as cleared once you've either confirmed it's empty or have moved everyone out. A SHIELD transport will be arriving in a few minutes, but bring anyone with medical requirements back here first." She pulls two small remote like things from a compartment by the bay door access, and tosses one to Paul. "Manning, you're with Simmons. Rain, with me." And then the bay doors are opening and she's pulling her butterfly swords.

Simmons pulls a headlight from her field pack and fixes it over her head. "Agent Manning." Jemma stands and shifts her bag to her shoulder, she'll follow Manning out.

The ICER Pistol, is put in her pocket, not the bag, she might need it quickly… of course.

The way to the town hall, the last known place where there were living people here, is littered with crashed, abandoned burning and overturned cars. The shopfront windows are broken. And the light is fading. Fast. Moving up both sides of the street and clearing the windows is slow going but they make it to within a block of the townhall without incident.

And then one of Jemma's detectors starts going off.

"Heads up. You've got some walking dead moving in toward the intersection ahead of you… and some kind of ghost just materialized in to one of the shops a block back. You'll head the corpses first if you keep going." Which is right in the way of where they're trying to get.

Paul slings his FN P90 over his other shoulder and lets it swing loose for the moment. "Agent Simmons. Do you carry a holy symbol? I think they only work for believers though. But I have a couple for each faith as spares for people who might need them." He must have them on him since he starts for the bay doors without waiting for an answer, stowing the remote May tossed him in a convenient pocket. "Roger Trent. Heading for the zombies." Taking the P90 in his hands, he clicks off the safety.

"Yes'm," Rain nods, and will follow May. "If you guys want to take Captain, let me know." Otherwise, Captain stays latched onto Rain and she's following May. She looks an odd partner, tall, slender enough to grow green beans on. Yeah. It's not the most impressive. But Rain has her twin pistols at her hips, and her gear with her. Rain doesn't have any sigils of a particular faith. Her blood courses with magic itself, and in truth, she's a little bit too Pagan to bluff her way into the good graces of other religions.

Mind you, she doesn't think less of anyone for it. It's just what Rain grew up into and does. She just has to mind the witch hunters. She keeps herself up and alert. Pistols in an easy place to draw. Looking with wide, violet eyes.

"Going to deal with the ghost, Trent." May nods to Rain and heads toward where Jericho said the ghost had appeared. She doesn't have a holy symbol either, but she DOES have weapons liberally doused in consecrated oil. Good enough. "Manning, speak up if you need help."

Jemma has a small christian cross in gold, on a chain around her neck. She's not thought of that in a long while and she pulls the charm out. "Just this Agent Manning." She follows along, worrying her bottom lip "Wait… what… we're going towards the Zombies?" if possible, she pales even more.

The moment Manning rounds the corner there they are. There's a dozen of them or so. They stare at him for a moment and then begin to run. No shuffling wacking dead are these. They're also not supernaturally fast, but they are running. One of them jerks and falls over, shot through the head. And then another. Trent at work. But he's not going to get more than one or mayby two and they're closing fast.

The ghost that May is moving toward floats out of the shop. It's skeletal with rags arround it and a pitchfork. Maybe a farmer of some kind but it lets out a shriek and immediately begins to approach May and Rain.

Paul glances over at Jemma's cross and nods. "It's not the size that counts but how you use it." he assures her seriously but there's a certain gleam in his eyes that might imply it's a joke. And then he frowns a bit and lets his P90 swing free in order to pull his pack around front and unzip it. "But speaking of size…" He pulls out a sawed off shotgun and hands it to Simmons. "I don't think an ICER is going to be much good against undead. If you need to fire something, fire that. Just point and shoot." He also pulls out a bandolier with shotgun shells and gives that to her as well. Once she's ready, he resumes walking and halts the moment he rounds the corner. The P90 comes up and he fires. It's set to three round bursts to conserve ammo but really, if you know how to shoot, who needs more to hit targets running straight at you. And if they get too close, there's always full auto.

Pitchfork. That's never good. May takes a few quick steps to put herself between Rain and that ghost, brandishing her swords. "If you can banish this thing without having to fight it, I won't complain," she quips to the witch. Regardless, she's going to aim to disarm the ghost first and foremost. Even if that means removing its arm to make it let go of the pitchfork.

Rain is following May. She listens to May's quip, nodding. She takes a deep breath. "We need /fast/ banish this time," Captain bats Rain's shoulder urgently. "I think I can shackle it if we're in a rush. You'll probably wanna like, smack it with the blessed swords at least once." Right. Fast casting. Rain adjusts herself, taking a deep breath. It's easier to use visual symbols for shackling and banishing. It might look more impressive if she didn't look to be kind of intently concentrating.

Eerily, a soft, violent pentagram takes shape below the ghost and hopefully holds it in place for smacking.

A sawed off and a bandolier? Jemma is about to protest when she realises that Paul is in earnest. "I'm a scientist, Agent Manning…" which doesn't mean she can't shoot, it's just something she very, very rarely does and not under these circumstances.

Clumsily taking the offerings, Jemma takes a moment to put the bandolier on… which leaves her several steps behind Paul and she hears his P90 go off before she rounds the corner… or rather, she doesn't. Stopping, Simmons peers around the corner, waiting to see if the coast is clear. Brave biochemist, is brave, afterall.

P90's are meant to shred things and that becomes very apparent as Manning puts controlled, precise bursts into the incoming dead. Three, four, five go down. Another from Trent. Leaving only a few. The coast is not clear. Two of them are still coming right at Manning who will probably have to exercise that full auto option, but should be okay, really. He's handling them wonderfully. The last tries to dive past him and nom Jemma's face.

Rain's pentagram takes hold of the ghost which jabs at May with that ghostly pitchfork. Were her weapons anything other than what they are she might be in trouble but the veteran WAND agent (well veteran agent in WAND) manages to neatly parry and take the arm off. Rain's holding it, it's clear to finish him off.

And then Trent's rifle sounds again. Twice. Trouble near the town hall. Got a horde of small dead and a really big bone-thing trying to break in. Must be someone inside. INdeed the team can hear, over the sniper rifle, the sound of shattering glass and splintering wood.

He's thinking it. Each time a head explodes, Paul's thinking it. And then he forgets to use his inside voice. "Boom. Head shot." he says as yet another zombie goes down with half its head missing. He realizes he's going to be about five seconds short to take them all down at this rate and slips the switch to full auto. Only two of the three will be close enough to take out easily though. "Simmons, point and shoot." The two don't have their heads explode so much as get bisected. And then get a round in their heads too.

Melinda May doesn't waste time at hearing Trent's update. With the ghost trapped and disarmed (hyuck), she makes quick work of lopping its head off then doesn't bother to wait to see if that did the job. She turns to run toward the town hall, fully expecting Rain to follow or for Captain to prod her into following. Maybe for the next outing she should pre-treat the cat's protective gear with the same oil that's on her weapons.

The cat and witch are a pretty good pair. Captain's sheer snark and catliness are generally enough to prod the reticent, shy and somewhat cowardly witch into action. Plus, he gets free food, bonus special familiar powers and well, the world is a cat's oyster. For now, he's in protective gear and making sure Rain keeps moving. "C'mon, we're full of delicious brains and so are they." Batbatbat. "I'm going, I'm going." "… you almost failed PE, huh." "Ssssh."

Hey, bowling is a perfectly legit elective and so was walking! The two are tailing May easily enough. Fortunately, Rain has a long, loping gait. She looks relieved as the ghost dissipates without requiring further banishment. Banishings are a pain sometimes, especially if one wants it to /stick/. "Should I turn into a bear?" She asks. "Well, no, better bind the ghosts if more of those turn up," Captain points out. "Right, right." They are watching May's back and glancing up now and then. Just in case. They watched horror movies.

Simmons 'eeps', there's no better word for it, as the Zombie lunges for her. Raising the sawed off, she does just what Paul says to do. She points the weapon at the Zombie and shoots - Agent May might be pleased to know that Simmons doesn't shut her eyes this time. The Zombies chest just sort of explodes… everywhere.

One tiny problem though, the kick from the sawed off sends it up, and pushing Jemma off balance… that exploding Zombie had better of stopped.

Well it's not going anywhere. The center of it, the chest, the spine and so on… just isn't there anymore. It's gone. No more threat there.

Breaking into the town hall though are another dozen walking dead and… some… cobbled together mishmash of bones that seems self animated and really strong. May might remember something similar from the Metro-HYDRA incident when they went in after one of the magi powering the dimensional swap. It'll be tough. But not unbreakable.

Trent's sniper rifle sounds again. He's picking off the zombies but the rest of them will need to get in there. And yes, there is screaming - living screaming - coming from inside.

Paul glances down at his blood covered side then over to the zombie. He puts a single round into its head to be on the safe side then looks at Simmons and nods. "Good. Don't forget to replace the shell. Lets see what that church looks like."

Melinda May stops and takes quick stock of what they're up against. "Rain, can you reinforce that entryway? Paul, the bone golem is the one we need to worry about." She glances at Jemma, quirks an eyebrow at the shotgun, but doens't otherwise comment. Instead, she swaps out her swords for a black military grade rope with weights attached to the end. She quickly douses it in oil. "Quickly." And then she's rushing toward the group of undead, launching the weighted end of her rope at the bone golem's head.

Captain is quiet, as they skid to a halt behind May. Rain's balance is slightly altered on account of Cat(TM). She looks around, frowning faintly. A nod. "Sure, I'll do my best." Rain will stay near the door, to quietly concentrate. One might see wood slowly mending, slowly being woven into something stronger. The best damn door this side of - wait. It's stilla pretty awesome entry way.

Jemma shudders a little and rolls her shoulder, that hurt. Still, she shakily replaces the shell in the sawed off and follows behind Paul. Agents May quirked eyebrow has the biochem looking very self conscious and not because she's covered in Zombie gore.

Hurrying as Agent May instructs, Jemma still stays well behind, if she can avoid that type of unpleasantness again, she really would rather like to.

May I hope you don't mind, I'm jacking into the Quinnjet and bringing it over to you on autopilot. You're losing the light here and I can see more walkers coming in. So they need out now. By this point May's done a number on a few of the zombies with those blesed swords and the wood is proving more resiliant to their attacks than expected. They're going to need to clear that entryway and get the civilians out though. Fast. The Quinnjet roars in, it'll be in position in about fifteen seconds.

When May calls for reinforcements, they head over to her position and Paul takes a look at what's awaiting them. A bone golem. He reviews what he brought that might be useful but really, little of it is reputed to work on undead and even less on mystic constructs. So brute force it is. Shrugging a shoulder, the packs slides down to the ground and then he starts running. He boosts, increasing his speed as he heads for the bone golem and then launches himself right at it, transforming right before he hits into his demon smashing form.

Melinda May startles at Manning's approach but then leaves him to fend off the golem and nods to Simmons. "Help me get the civilians clear." With Rain reinforcing the entryway, Manning going 'Paul SMASH' on the ndeads, and Jericho bringing the quinjet closer, this will hopefully be a zero casuality extraction.

Rain could bear form, but it's probably too big and she's busy with the door. For now, wind whips a bit around her while she hurriedly reinforces the door. Captain is watching May and the others, so they know when to move. Sometimes it's handy to be part of a unit. Rain is his meat mecha. Or is she the familiar? Hard to say. But she's doing her best, as metal weaves with wood and now and then, a bit of wood slaps at offending undead.

Jemma looks a sight, she's sure of it… but she smiles as reassuringly as she can at the civilians. "Come with me, we've got transport out of here." and working with May, letting Paul and Rain do their things, she'll assure the survivors to the Quinjet.

The Quinjet roars in and Jericho takes over it's minigun remotely, blasting at the dead that Paul doesn't smash. And he does. Smash that is. The bone golem catches fire before he breaks its spine and there's a few others around there for him to chuck away. The moment it's clear the door is flung open. The people inside heard the plain and the gunfire and knew that it meant living people. Once everyone is safe aboard, Rain and Jemma and Mae included, Jericho turns the controls back over to May for extraction.

Melinda May has to push her way past the recovered civilians in the now way overcrowded quinjet, but once she's in the pilot's seat she gets them underway quickly. "Trent, do you need a pick up?" They should be able to carry one more person.

Rain is able to squeeze in easily enough. She's a beanpole type. Captain rides on Rain's shoulders easily enough, though he's cool with being petted. yes he is. They will bolt into the Quinjet once the civilians are in. Gotta keep that door up long enough to sprint for LIFE. SPRINT TO LIVE. If it were a QTE, she'd be mashing that x button so, so fast. "Phew. That's - I hope they didn't find that chalice," Rain sighs.

Jemma hands the sawed off and bandolier back to Paul with a small look of distaste as they enter the Quinjet and then starts to tend to the civilians. As May pilots it out, Simmons will do triage until they get back to a proper medical facility.

"That'd be good. I'll meet you in the air near the tower. I don't fancy flying out of here solo." Time to pack up. Jericho grabs his rifle off the bipod, folds the bipod and takes to the sky. Once out it'll be clear skies all the way back to the Tri.

Except for the part where there's still a huge Deadzone south of Metro, of course.

Melinda May takes the time to add Jericho to their group of passengers, they're on their way back to the Triskelion. May's busy piloting, of course, but she's good at multitasking, contacting HQ and giving them a preliminary run down of what happened, and relaying any medically pertinent information on Simmons' behalf. There's a full med team prepping to meet them the moment they land anyway. "Everyone, well done today."

Rain fingerwiggles to Jericho. But she is a passenger. Hooray happy words from May. Captain settles quiet, probably getting pet. "Thanks," He offers.

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