Clean Sweep by Captain Britain

October 16, 2015:

A strange occurrence in a dockside shop front

New York Harbour - New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

There's been a bit of talk about the fog that blanketed New York Harbour about 10 days ago… it was an unnatural fog and those who were magical attuned swear they felt something. But there was nothing reported… just a lot of talk, in hushed whispers.

The fog is back again, slowly rolling in over the water and laying like a miasma over the docks and creeping inexorably up towards the city.

There's a blue glow coming from what seems to be an abandoned store front right at the end of the dock…. and foreign magic washes out over the landscape… for those who can sense it, it might taste a little … fishy.

Rising up out of the water, is Ulani, dressed in the garb of the Blue (which is to say not much at all), grasping a sword made of water.

For those psychically aware, they may be feeling … exultation mixed with fear… the sense of a fanatic perhaps…. whatever - it's not good.

—-

It's not long after Brian left the capture of an 084 at the UN that he has settled on a rooftop of a warehouse overlooking the harbour. He actually feels his sister's approach, but he remains watching the water instead of turning his attention to her. And he actually speaks intsead of using their innate ability to communicate. "I know that in your mind, I'm the little brother." he says, looking down at his Captain Britain helmet, with his cowl pulled back, his blonde hair is allowed to roam free. "That I'm the novice combatant and you're the ninja. That you have the experience in the team battle. But when I have a unique perspective on a situation and can see more clearly what you can't from the air, I'd appreciate it if you would not turn my attempts to clear a lane for someone to get to the objective to be disregarded as merely.. showboating."

He's frustrated, that much is easy to see. And even the odd appearance of Ryden doesn't draw a smile from the Hero of Britania, as he finally lets go of his frustration. However, as the fog rolls in, he frowns. "When did this become London on the Thames?" he asks with a glance at the mostly underdressed woman coming to shore. "Someone you know?" he asks as he starts to pull his cowl into place to resettle his helmet into place and he moves to stand on his feet.

—-

Betsy listens to Brian's complaints quietly. Fortunately, being caught in the middle of a shopping spree meant that changing into something else was fairly easily done. Climbing into a grey pantsuit with a vividly amethyst blouse under it, and hair pulled back into a neat, tidy bun, she could pass for a high-profile businesswoman.

"I didn't disregard your efforts as useless, Brian," Betsy corrects him, in a cool tone of voice that echoes the sudden chill on the piers. "I simply redirected you to a more useful vantage." She squats easily down next to him in her black pumps, fingers loosely clasped between over her knees, then gives the back of his neck a soothing stroke and gentle squeeze. "My talents run in different directions than yours. One of them is that I am very, very good at surveying a situation and determining how best to proceed. I can literally see through your eyes at the threat in front of you, as well as see the enemies of which you're unaware."

A lopsided smile crosses her face and she tugs his earlobe, but quite gently. "And being honest with yourself— you have to admit you sallied forth to get between those villains and the pretty English lass in dire straits." She tugs his ear again, a bit harder. "Nerd," she says, flashing a rare but brilliant smile at her brother.

When the fog rolls in, she straightens and stands, then her eyes narrow to slits. "This is… atypical," she mutters. "And yes, I met her once. Ulani. She's an envoy of sorts." She elbows Brian's ribs. "Congratulations, you're officially representing The Land People. That's what you get for walking around with a bloody flag for a costume. Go say hullo, eh?"

—-

There's a sound of chanting coming from empty shop front, the blue glow slowly growing brighter. The magic in the air swirls and thickens - an ancient magic … that may well predate the Atlanteans.

That feeling of fanaticism, increases … Betsy should be feeling that now…

Ulani herself can feel the power thrumming out through the water and she concentrates for a number of minutes. By the time the others catch up to her, there will be three humanoid water constructs at the end of the dock, all bearing water swords … but seemingly autonomous…

Ulani starts striding towards that shopfront - is she seriously going to confront what's there alone?

As she does, something climbs up on the dock behind her… a black fishlike being that rakes at the Blue with clawed nails… catching her on the arm as she spins, raising that sword to deflect. Her swordwork is actually quite good… and she parries and slashes trying to push the creature back. Her three water constructs? Join the frey… this thing in strong… strong and dangerous.

From inside the shopfront the words can be heard "For The Lord Of The Deep" … and the air and fog thickens around our heroes… they might want to see what's happening.

—-

"I sallied forth because I had seen similar before.. from Mys-Tech." Brian starts to say, and then shoots his sister a frown. "I didn't come to America to look for a roll in the hay or a relationship." As much as she may enjoy teasing him on it, it's quite a raw point that she's rubbed now. "So make up your bloody mind. Either I don't date anyone, of you just pick someone and call it a day." he snaps his helmet into place and laughs. "This isn't this counrty's flag. Doubt I have jurisdiction - where the bloody Hell is their Captain anyway?" he asks, as he walks off the side of the building just to float in mid-air.

He gives the side of his helmet a rub where she yanked his ear, "Should have told Roma that you wanted the powers back now that your sight's restored." he mutters as he starts to approach Ulani, that is until she changes directions and charges the shop front. "Jump on, Bets." he says to his sister, catching his sister to carry her down to ground level before he rockets across the dock, quickly snapping to a sub-sonic speed as not to cause any collateral damage. He trusts his sister to assist Ulani with her current troubles as he hears the voice from the shop and crashes through the front displays, the magicks of his forcefield flaring to life as he enters the Little Shop of Deep Lord Horrors.

—-

Betsy obligingly hangs on to Brian's arm. "Good, I'm glad it's settled. No one's good enough for my brother," she says with a firm nod. "We're all in agreement." She gives his arm a squeeze and leaps off a pace before he comes to a half, moving quickly towards Ulani. She sighs. "I just bought these shoes," she says, giving her new Louboutains a mournful look. Still, it's work. She whips a scarf into place from her sleeve, hiding her features, and ties it over the lower half of her face.

Betsy eyes the creature dueling with Ulani, then focuses her thoughts and cuts loose with a brilliant, swirling comet of amethyst energy. Rather than manifesting her talents in such a way to cause impact, she merely hammers at it with raw psionic force— energy sufficient to fry computers, disrupt magical emanations, and paralyze limbs and stop hearts from beating.

"A friendly, behind you," she tells Ulani primly, bringing a pair of telekinetically charged blades to bear in her hands and stepping smoothly into place to parry a flailing claw.

—-

Inside the building, when Brian gets in there, he'll see … piscine like beings arrayed around a circle drawn on the floor, the source of the blue glow eminating from there. Some of the cultists are down - dead or unconscious, he can't tell at the moment, but there's a creature starting to manifest in that blue glow. The four remaining beings who were on their knees supplicating that being … looking scared, fanatical but scared, turn as Captain Britain enters… stand and rush at him.

If he's watched any of the hokey supernatural TV shows, he'll know that breaking the circle is the trick… if he can get through the human, if piscine looking, beings.

Outside, Ulani continues to dance with squid like creature… her waterblade boucning off of it's chitinous shell … and thing rakes at her again, this time gouging her from her shoulder blade down…

Betsy's psionic hammer has some effect, causing the thing to step back but then it rushes Betsy spitting corrosive black water at her. The bits that hit the wharfing, sizzle and pop… this is really not nice stuff.

"Can you crack it's shell, with that power." The Blue female pants as she ducks yet another attack of the claws… "If you can, I can dessicate it… but we will have to work together."

—-

Inside the close confines of the buildings, Captain Britain isn't exactly in his element, but he can make do with what he has available to him. Grabbing up a broom, the Captain spins it like he used to when he had the Star Scepter, and snaps the end of the broom out to smash into the face of the first cultist. "Two portals in one day - I'm really going to have to start talking to people about what these interdimensional pockets do to the fabric of the Omniverse as a whole.." he grumbles as he brings the broom around to a defense position to block the attack of one of the cultists and turns to drive the end of the janitorial item into the stomach of the cultist before spinning it it about and cracking it on the top of the head.

"I'm sorry, I can't let you come through…" he says, as he grabs a cultist to shove to the side before he grabs up a large bait locker, lifting it in the air, and throws it at the emerging creature, smashing the container into it and spreading worms and crickets and bait fish all over the place, as he shoves it downwards, pushing the creature back towards the portal, allowing his magicks to intermingle with the portal and hopefully help with the disruption of the summoning square as he releases it to grab the broom and furiously scrub at the circle to try to remove it, even as the last cultist charges at him, Britain sidesteps, and the cultist overshoots him. "This better work.. or we're going to have a fight on our hands.." he mutters, sweeping hard and fast at an attempt to break the circle, and then gives up. Tossing the broom to the side, he lowers to a knee, draws back his fist and slams it as hard as he can into the floor on the edge of the circle to splinter the floorboards to break up the circle.

—-

Betsy snaps one of those telekinetic blades up to abbreviate the slash of those claws as best she can, at least trying to mitigate the deep cuts it threatens Ulani with. The ninja leaps skywards and backflips, hurling another stunning energy burst at the nightmarish oceangoer, attempting to numb or paralyze outright those lashing limbs.

Ulani's request is noted and Betsy checks her step, focusing herself, and sends a focused effort as thin as thought at the beast. It probes and pushes, feeling and sensing, and then with dreadful effort and concentration, Betsy rapidly swells the size of that psychic tendril many times over. Armor is usually quite redoubtable… from one side. Whether in steel or shell, however, forcing it from the wrong direction rarely works out well for the armor's sake. The chitin snaps and cracks in a spiderweb as Betsy shatters the shell, guarding the wounded Ulani with her twin blades.

—-

Well then… Captain Britain… certainly sweeps the stage! The four cultists crumple to the ground … they are only human, even if they've been mutated.

The fist through the floor, shatters the circle … and the summonsed creature disappears… leaving the good Captain alone with passed out cultists and a floor strewn with fish bait.

He might want to examine the circle …

Betsy might be surprised at the Blues constitution… despite the rending gash to shoulder and arm, she's still up and fighting and … quite strong … it seems although she is grateful for the other womans assistance. Her three water constructions continue to slash and swipe and as Betsy cracks the chitin shell, Ulani calls on her natural ability and evacuates the water from the being… it's becoming nothing more than a husk - one more good hit should this done.

—-

~Bets. Alright out there?~ Captain Britain asks through their shared link as he goes to the counter and roots around. "Emergency kit, emergency kit.. aha." Taking out an electric torch, he flicks it on, coming back over to check on the cultists. The ones that are alive, he moves to one side and wraps them up neatly in a fishing net. Those that are dead? He leaves in place for the police so as not to disturb the scene anymore than he has as he shines the light on the summoning circle he disrupted. "What is this?" he asks, a frown on his features. He's used to the normal ley lines between Britain and Otherworld. These unnatural summonings and portals do not feel natural with his energy from the Isles.

—-

~Quite. How long has it been since you had sashimi, incidentally?~

Betsy bobs and weaves, waiting and watching. Timing is, as in so many things, more a matter of patience than reflexes. The withered husk slows and grinds, the creature in obvious pain and growing slower by the second while Ulani batters it with the hydromancy and dessicates it at the same time.

With an imperious flick of her wrist, Betsy seizes the moment and hits a vulnerable, cracking point where the armor is gaping wide, and slams enough brute telekinetic force behind an impossibly thin point to smash a hole the size of her fist clear through what passes for the creature's brain stem. A warding shield flicks into place around the two of them, more to prevent the wild, dying strikes of the being from accidentally hurting anyone.

—-

As the creature shatters to dust, Ulani breathes a sigh of relief. "Thank you … " she says to the woman "BetsyBraddock" yes, she's still doing that "wasn't it?" As she speaks her three water constructs dissolve into puddles. "We must get into that room…" and without waiting for Betsy, she enters the building and surveys the chaos. "You did this? It is a good job." she speaks as she surveys the circle.

Seeing his apparent interest and obvious 'Champion' clothing she gestures "It is old, very old, magic. The magic that Atlantean magic is based on… "

—-

~Sashimi? Thought you said her name was Ulani.~

It's a poor attempt at humour, but an attempt nonthless as Captain Britain continues to study the crudely made summoning circle. And of course, that's when said Ulani enters the room, and thankfully it's dark enough that she can't see the blush to his face that blends so nicely with the red of his uniform as he offers a bow. "Envoy." he offers to her polietly. "I am Captain Britain of the British Isles." he says with a clearing of his throat as he continues his study of the circle.

"I thought that Atlantean magic required the gift of flesh and blood of those that are performing the ritual?" he asks Ulani as he then glances at the fanatics. "Oh." That makes a lot more sense now. "I don't recognize most of these markings, and I did not get a good look at what they were attempting to summon. Perhaps you could provide some insight?" he asks her.

—-

Betsy rolls her eyes minutely when she senses, more than sees, Brian's embarassed flush. ~Eyes front, Brian. Think of it like a swimsuit.~ Utterly practicable, she doesn't stand there and gape at the markings- Betsy whips out her handy cell phone and starts snapping pictures of the sigils and runes underfoot. "I have a feeling we might want to consult some other experts in this field," she suggests to Brian. She glances at him, then wiggles a phone around. "You know they have the new sPhone Plus out, yes? Impact proof, water resistant, global GPS. Almost certianly made for ambitious vigilantes."

—-

Ulani is quite used to Surfacers responses to her dress and she's more bemused by it than anything else. "CaptainBritainOfTheEnglishIsle" hey, it's a blue thing! "I am Ulani of the Blue" Padding around the circle, she shrugs a little at Brian and glances up as Betsy enters. "I'm not well versed in Atlantean magic, nor that of the Blue." From the way she moves and stands, she's obviously a Soldier… a soldier turned diplomat … a dangerous combination. "I don't know. But, I do know that this magic is what the Atlantean magic is based on." she pauses a moment before continuing "It is a long story, but I'll summarise as much as I can." Even though she summarises, the retelling of the tale still takes several minutes and it sound's like a fantastical childs fairy tale, ommitting only that they don't know who they can trust within their community.

Then she continues "Based on our investigations. They will use the Blood of Power, which we think means mutants, to make the waters flow like in the time of the ancient ones from whom it came. The Lord Of The Deep will drink of the power, the seas will obey him and the surface will bow or learn the fury of the seas." There's more, obviously, but she waits to see how that is received.

—-

Considering that Britain has been to the land of dragons, elves, and knights, the idea that other lands that fairy tales may actually have some basis in reality is not lost on him. He listens patiently to her story and he gives a nod of his head. "Souls for a great evil?" he asks quietly. Sounds like something he's seen before, and he seems pretty accepting of the idea. He glances over at Betsy. "Psylocke?" he asks. He doesn't care if Ulani used his sister's real name, he has to play his part as still an unknown in all this. "There been an uptick in mutant disappearances as of late?"

—-

Betsy glances at Ulani, face partially hidden by her half-mask, then nods at Brian. "Yes," she confirms. "It's a perennial nuisance, of course. Mutants disappear, are kidnapped go into hiding— it happens with disturbing regularity. However," she amends, "I have heard quite recently that a group of us were nearly kidnapped en masse, and not far from here. It fits the modus operandi of this cult and the timeline is quite suspcious. Ulani, where would the cultists /take/ someone they kidnapped? Is there…" Betsy struggles to dredge up what little she knows of magic. "Some kind of focus, or nexus or something similar where this power could be best harnessed?"

—-

Ulani looks… frustrated and shifts trying to ease the stiffness in her shoulder. "We think… for his army. The people they kidnap from our settlements are … mutated and pressed into his army. But" she shakes her head "we're not sure. I only found out about it from Bobby, the other day." she pauses "One cultist we questioned, did tell us that whatever they're planning will occur in the City of Angels, where the stars shine brightest amid the holly and the trees, as the Blood Moon rises."

Glancing between Psylocke, yes she did get that distinction, and Brian she continues "About the things I'm sure of there is that it means Los Angeles and maybe, the Day of The Dead… the rest … is beyond me."

—-

"The Blood Moon could be a Lunar Eclipse." Britain offers as he considers the riddle presented to him. "During those times, ley lines and magicks do become more powerful." he explains with a little wave of his hand, actually having paid attention during Merlyn's explanations sometimes. "It's why most Celtic holidays are held during so-called Harvest Moons." he says with a thoughtful look. "Though the idea of the brightest stars may mean planetary alignments.. and holly and the trees.. that one I'm not sure of. But it sounds as those two of those are more a time than a location." he offers as he glances towards Ulani and then to his sister, he smirks at her mention of the phone. "I don't really have a place for one of those in uniform." he points out. "But it doesn't make sense that he's taking from here just to transport them clear across the country for his summoning. Something's not right. Or off. But I'm just a newcomer to this."

—-

Betsy's eyes slip sideways, thinking, then exhales in frustration. "I know next to nothing about magical auspices," Betsy reminds Brian and Ulani. "However, I do have Google. One moment."

Betsy starts flicking through her phone again, reading the screen and stepping away to think and ponder the information Ulani provided and that Brian sifted into useable tidbits.

—-

Ulani nods to Brian "Normally, we would agree with you, a lunar eclipse however, they also said 'soon'" which kind of rules out any solar eclipse. "Oh and that was definitely a location…" how does Ulani know this? Best… not ask… she threatened to roast and then eat the cultist. "They said 'Where the stars shine brightest amid the holly and the trees'"

Brians next statement has the Blue smiling a little and nodding "There is much about the underwater world that is not obvious or well known." Not that she's sharing, either.

"Would you both be willing to help us?" the Blue asks the Braddock siblings, not that she knows this at all. "If so, how may I contact you?"

—-

"I'll help, if I can." It's just what Brian does as he glances towards Betsy, "My handler and sidekick will know how to contact me." he says, a thumb given towards Betsy as she's on the phone. He gives Ulani a smile and a bow. "It's what I should be able to offer to a fellow Envoy." There's a faint smile as he rises back up before he leaves the shop to fly back towards the Consulate, leaving his 'sidekick' with Ulani.

—-

Betsy rolls her eyes so hard the force of it might actually hurt Brian in passing as he blasts off. She exchanges a look with Ulani that requires no translation and suffers no confusion with the cultural gap.

"It's Hollywood," Betsy says with a shrug. She puts her phone away. "I don't need a reseaerch library to tell me that's where the stars shine and the holly is. It's not even far from the City of Angels- Los Angeles. The only major confluence I can find coming up, though, corresponds to the Day of the Dead- All Saint's Eve. That's a three-day period, though. You might have to do a little better." She considers Ulani, then bows politely. "If you need us, just call. We'll aid as best we can. Save travels, Envoy."

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