Of Mice and Men

July 31, 2015:

Hax attempts to lure Darque out into the open with a fake ascension ritual and bites off more than he can chew. Rowan, Zatanna, and May arrive to save him.



NPCs: Yin


Mood Music: [* ]

Fade In…

The Deadzone. A lifeless stretch of land where all manners of unsightly things shamble about. No one in their right mind would spend their free time mucking about in a ghastly place like this. Except that one guy right there. That's Hax.

Hax is finishes carving out a complicated looking set of sigils into a stone and places it amongst many other stones evenly spaces in a circle. Upon the last stone's placement the ring begins to thrum with power, and each stone sequentially begins to glow with multicolored arcane power. The completion makes Hax grin. The trap is ready.

Standing in the center of the circle, Hax begins to levitate as the stones channel some kind of mysterious energy into him. As Hax levitates magically constructed pylons materialize and surround the circle and begin thrum a deeper note of power complimenting the stones. A few moments later a black rift opens up outside the circle of pylons with a being wrapped in shifting, shapeless darkness from head to toe emerging. Wisps of blackness drift off of the figure as it strides towards Hax's ritual with the very earth beneath its footsteps turning as black as the void. The figure stops in front of one of the pylons and with a gesture of a hand the darkness around figure extends itself in the form of a shadow on the ground and begins to creep towards Hax. As the shadow advances everything caught within it begins to sink not into the ground be into some deep abyss. The ritual falters as the stones and pylons lose power, dropping Hax on the ground.

The figure smerks at the fallen Hax. A low, gruff voice emanates from the figure "Clever boy. You faked the ascension ritual" the voice sounds vaguely pleased "But what I want to know is why?"

Hax picks himself off the floor and brushes and resets his glasses on his nose. "I was hoping to get Darque, but I guess a two-bit runner will do" he adds provokingly.

The figure lets out a raucous laugh. He gives a little bow while the darkness in front of the mouth region parts revealing a wide, toothy grin. "You're a clever boy and quite funny" and the smile disappears "but it's time you learned some manners". The figure flings both of his arms outwards and his shadow grows in all directions swallowing all that it touches. "And you will be speaking with more respect when addressing me."

Hax jumps backwards as the shadow encroaches while reflexively letting loose a lightning shot from one of his hot-keys. "I don't even know your name, shadows."

The figure gives a small smerk "I suppose you at least should know that." The figure's shadow continues to swallow everything in its path and summons a black orb in his hand that absorbs Hax's lightning shot. "My name is Yin, and you will be ours when I am through with you" he finishes by releasing the absorbed lightning back at Hax.

A matter of seconds later an enormous wave of energy erupts from their location. Battle magic perhaps? Needless to say the effects can be felt for miles around.

Zee doesn't need to know it's battle magic… the fact that she can sense it and feels it come from the Deadzone is enough. Grabbing her SHIELD body armour and magically adorning it and the oil soaked combat boots, she thinks through her Pendulum «Primal Force. Something… bad… in the Deadzone. Moving now. Meet me there.»

The call is repeated on her Titans teamspeak app before she murmurs the words of her teleport spell… arriving just on the perimeter of the Deadzone… somewhere near where that battle magic is felt.

Agent May 'hears' Zee's call OF COURSE when she can't get away quickly, but she does so as quickly as she reasonably can. Good thing she's in the habit of keeping her 'go bag' packed and ready.

Upon arriving at that ley line near the edge of the Deadzone, she catches up with Zatanna at a near-run. "How bad?"

There's a scream in the air above them and something big moves through the dank cloud cover of the deadzone. It's not really visible that well from the ground but let's just say that wasn't the sound of an airplane. Or a bird.

Or Superman.

Those of you who have arrived on scene notice scorched ground and stone rubble. Yin is floating in the air the black wisps around his body now looking more like a vapor. On the ground is Hax who is quite severely bloodied and bruised. Yin has not taken notice yet of the arrivals as he if focused on Hax.

"No idea… it's just big… " It takes Zee a little time to get the ward down, she and Kitty had spent /a lot/ of time today reinforcing them… "I can sense Hax though and… Darkforce energy." May should know what that could mean.

As the ward is taken down, Zee gestures for May to go ahead… It's sort of the norm now and Zee still has to put the ward up when they get through.

It doesn't take long for Zee to find the scene and she pauses, some distance away and looks at May with a /very concerned/ look and murmurs "He'll detect me as soon as I start casting." It's pure luck he hadn't detected Zee manipulating the wards! "Be ready to get Hax out… I'll do what I can."

Without really knowing what she's going to do, Zee draws deeply on her power hoping that it will be enough to distract Yin… and let May get to Hax.

May nods to Zee, promptly pulling her swords and mentally hoping her pendulum helps this time the way it has in the past. "I'll move on your mark." She's ready to make a dash for the kid, and she'll slice at anyone or anything that gets in her way.

That cry in the clouds becomes a roar and something emerges from them. It's…

It's a dragon. From the direction of the deadzone an honest to God dragon is bearing down on them and starting to glow brightly like Smaug in that recent movie. He is fire.

He is death.

The dragon roar grabs Yin's attention. He looks up to see the descending dragon and sneers. "I don't have time for this—" he pauses realizing the presence of Zee and May.

He laughs. Not just any laugh. This is evil in its purest form. "You've come for the boy? He's lost to you!" Yin raises his hand and a black orb of energy coalesces in his hand. "Accept the master's gift!", and Yin throws the ball at the prone Hax, which hits and causes him to scream in agony. AI zooms over to defend Hax but is met with Yin's rebuttal "Away with you little worm!" and AI gets sucked in by a black vortex that materialized out of no-where. He turns his attention towards the descending dragon.

Zee hates Darkforce users, she really does… and she cries out as the black ball of energy hits Hax. "As soon as I start casting, Agent May, go." It will leave Zee open, but they have to get Hax clear. Barely glancing at the descending dragon, the Mistress of Magic is focussed on what she has to do…. she recites a spell

~~ dnuorG elbmerT rednU siH teeF, riA dniB miH dnaH, tooF dnA htuoM ~~

The teen mage holds nothing back, for all she knows this is a one shot attempt and she's not going to waste it. The ground shakes under Yin's feet and air whips out and around the dark mage…

May watches the dark mage and the dragon, and the moment she hears Zee begin to cast she bolts at full speed toward Hax. She has to go past the mage, so wny not make a hamstring swipe as she goes by? Then she's at the kid's side, moving both blades into the same hand and reaching to drag him to his feet. "Move. Now."

The dragon's coming in - ahem - hot. Literally. Fire preceedes him in an 'Apocalypse Now' disply of pyrotechnics that warms the heart of any who love the smell of napalm in the morning. In short, the place where Yin is standing is about to get very hot, very fast. And the longer he waits, the more of it there's going to be.

Upon further inspection May sees a black spot the size of a tennis ball burned through his clothes and onto his skin. The spot appears to be around the area of the diaphragm. In addition Hax's breathing is rapid but he appears to be struggling getting air into his lungs. Physically moving him might be dangerous. But the alternative will be certain death.

Yin notices Zee's magic and sneers "Child, you have already been touched. Do not test me" and he snaps his fingers. The energy building up around him begins to slowly drain into a black ball in his hand. The darkness around his mouth parts again and that same toothy smile appears.

That smile doesn't last long as he begins to feel the dragon's fiery breath bearing down on him. "SHI—" and the fire envelopes him.

This might be the only window to seize the initiative.

"Touched isn't the same as converted." Zee stands firm as the darkmage faces her down. See May not being able to move Hax quickly enough, she thinks through the pendulum «Teleporting you, Agent May, to just outside the perimeter, I'll join you as soon as I can»

She's still holding a lot of power as she murmurs the words to teleport Hax and May the heck out of there… just as the fire envelopes the Mage. Seeing Hax and May blink out of there, Zee glances up at the Dragon and starts running back to the perimeter - she'll buy whatever time she can for the other two.

May might be stronger than she looks, but she still can't heft an adult human like a toy. Zee notices though, and before May can tell her no, she finds herself and Hax on the outside of the barrier around the Deadzone. "DAMNIT, Zatara." She makes sure Hax isn't missing any limbs, then moves back to where she knows the mage will be coming through and prepares a consecreted oil Malatov. THe moment there's an opening in the barrier, she's going to pitch it at anyone chasing the spellcaster.

Out of that plume of fire a thirty foot lizard emerges, at breackneck speed at just above ground level. It reaches out and grabs Zatanna and shoots for the wards near where May is. Well no strike that. More or less directly at May.

The fire enveloping Yin seems to be sucked into Yin's body… or is it more of an armor. As the fire is absorbed it's very evident that pieces of the darkness is missing from certain areas of his body. But once the fire is completely absorbed the missing chunks of darkness are reformed and Yin once again turns towards the fleeing heroes. It doesn't take an empath to feel the malice seething from Yin. "Fall. Into. OBLIVION!" and Yin starts to create a pool of absorbing darkness near the heroes.

If Zee could have heard Mays imprecation, she might be cringeing but she didn't so she looks up at the dragon that grabs her… Maybe she recognises it… maybe not. Yin's words just cause her to sigh and draw on her power again "Let me deal with this… " and recites the words of her spell

~~ nruteR miH oT ehT ecrofkraD noisnemiD ~~

She's no idea what that will do to the dark mage, but she's quite over him. Let Darque deal with his failure - she doesn't have to.

Okay, now May is cursing in some Asian language, or maybe multiple languages. She steps back into the deadzone even though the dragon is reaching directly for her and throws the jar of consecrated oil at its face with every bit of strength she has. Oh, and she slashes at the thing's hand with her swords. She's honestly expecting this to go … poorly.

Rowan grabs May… and gets his hand slashed for his trouble. But then he's spun and is winging back. This guy needs to shut up. Rowan doesn't know what he's dealing with but he knows enough to know when there's some serious mojo being thrown around. "DIE IN A FIRE!" The dragon snaps. And then he does his level best to make that happen.

Rowan's fire hits first but Yin doesn't let the same trick work twice. A spinning vortex meets the dragon's wrath and quickly snuffs it out, but Zee's spell catches him off guard. From the ground behind Yin a giant obsidian double-door shoots up and as the doors slowly open tendril like hands made of the same darkness grasp at Yin's arms, legs, and body. A booming voice erupts from the door "RETURN TO THY MASTER, MORTAL" and Yin is dragged in. With the immediate threat handled all eyes turn to battered Hax. The mark on his chest certainly will be familiar to Zee. This mage is now touched. To what extent remains to be seen, but he desperately needs medical attention. Badly.

That's what Zee had intended and she actually smirks as he disappears. Let Darque deal with his failures.

Zee isn't touched physically… she has no marks that are visible, hers are on the soul… and the impact is yet to be recognised, if at all.

"Take us back through the perimeter, please" the Teen mage is rather calm considering… "Agent May will be worrying and I need to see to Hax."

She'll take them all to Shadowcrest, where her staff can help care for Hax, to regroup and discuss what the heck just happened.

"Worrying?" May is currently being held in the dragon's OTHER hand, after all, Zee. She can hear you. "That's not even close to what I am right now." BUT, she'll put that aside to help get Hax to medical assistance.

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