Basement and Vices

March 23, 2015:

The conduit to Rains basement flares again and the assortment of people who arrive… is interesting

Moontree Mantor - New York


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

It's cold outside, but winter is slowly loosening its grip in the throes of age and turning time. Its knuckles crack as things melt and ebb away. Clouds roll across the sky, driven by an unseen chariot rider, winds whipping them along. Silver and gold stars glitter like specs of diamonds woven into a cloak, then swirled dramatically. The moon is unseen, perhaps tucked away behind clouds.

Inside the manor, life is going on. Rain is working on something at the table with a soldering iron. The servants are in their quarters, watching television, sewing and doing their hobbywork. Captain is sitting in front of the fireplace, which crackles gently. Caaaaat butttt roasting in front of a fiiire~ (Well, not roasting, but cats do love them some warm).

Inside the booze cellar/basement, there exists a strange magical abnormality which seems to defy study. It is too powerful and energetic just to unravel it - the ensuing backlash would probably level a small part of the city. And Rain can only study so much during the day. Sometimes that naughty conduit overlaps with other places in reality. Sometimes it just calls people and things. The mechanism is unknown, but that is what it does. It drops things and people into Rain's basements. Hopefully, no Avon ladies from Beyond show up this time. She still has no idea what she's going to do with the Pumice of the Damned.

The conduit is… well, it's badly made. Let's just call it what it is. Most of the time John doesn't bother with teleportation, but sometimes there's an issue with moving House's front door, there are problems with ley lines, the taxi is charging a ridiculous amount…

Unfortunately, they aren't John's best spell, and he forgets to lock them down. So while he's zipping across town on a magic trail, Rain's conduit flares up and misbehaves…

…sucking Constantine right out of his teleportation spell and sending him flying through her basement, right through a pile of crates with a deafening crash.

Pepper Potts arrives in a much more composed manner than Constantine did, not even thinking about magic or ley lines or any of that for a change. She simply steps out of her office for the evening and … At first it's awfully dark, so she pulls her cellphone and uses its screen to provide a bit of illumination. "Oh," she says faintly to herself. This basement. Again. At least this time she knows what to do. Turning her phone again, she looks for a particular name on her contact list and sends out a text. « Rain? Your basement did it again. »

At the same time the conduit flares for John, it flares for Zee as well causing the teleport she was enspelling to backfire. Zees used to her teleports backfiring though and lands far more gracefully, right next to Miss Potts in the illumination of the cell phone. "Hello Miss Potts, we've done it again, haven't we?"

Oh look! One second Kara was flying through the air fist forward through the skies of Metropolis.

The next? A super creepy magical portal was opening in front of her and sucking her in. Thankfully this wasn't the first time Rain's house had sucked her in so she wasn't scared.

However she did continue flying through the portal and poor Constantine happened to get punched right in the face as she was unable to stop herself in time!

"Oops! I'm so sorry!"

Ka-Thump! And there's a Jericho. A very confused Jericho who haas landed more or less right next to John. "Um. So… this is new. And… suspiciously not Limbo." The hacker looks about. "Where am I?"

The conduit was just kind of - there. Who knows? Rain got the house very abruptly, when her aunt's magic and alcoholism met in an unfortunate, spectacular collison. Maybe the sheer amount of power loosed when the house fell and the witch died twisted the fabric of space-dreamtime. Its secrets will require much scrutiny. Rain is doing her thing, when the crash happens. She and Captain jerk straight, staring at the basement.

And then a brief MC Hawking clip plays on her phone. Text alarm. Thinking, she replies, « Coming to let you guys up. Gotta keep it locked after zombie bears incident. Sry. »

"Alright, let's tend to our guests," Rain grunts and stands. She will take a moment to get to the basement door, open it and turn the lights on. Torches and electric lights interweave to provide pleasant, flickering lights. They might notice they're surrounded by spirits, booze and drinks of all sorts. Most of it is very old, expensive and well, well regarded for being delicious. But their hostess is atop the stairs. "Oh geez. Sorry, guys. I'm - glad to see you. Please, bring up a drink if you like or I can prepare something up here," Rain waves. Captain pokes his head around her legs. "I'll have Steven cover the pervert mirror." Rain pauses a beat. "Please do. Do you need help up?" She asks down the stairs.

John, fortunately, is one of those cautious wizards who plans for strange eventualities, like getting punched by a superhuman travelling at breakneck speeds fist-first.

That being said, there's no amount of magical reinforcement that can really ablate such a tremendous amount of force. John actually hits the back wall hard enough to shake the foundation and crumples in a heap on the ground, though he's moving and groaning almost immediately, struggling to his feet and trying to gather a nimbus of magical force around outstretched fingers to do something, though even the uneducated would see he's barely focused enough to see in front of him.

Pepper Potts is just finishing reading Rain's reply when Zatanna appears next to her and she startles. Luckily for her, she's in the habit of clutching onto her phone more tightly when startled instead of letting it go. She recovers quickly enough when she recognizes the magician, but then startles again when Kara appears equally suddenly and mows a trenchcoated man she'd not yet noticed down. "Ohmygod." She starts across the smallish space just in time to startle a third time when Jericho is suddenly right in her way and Rain appears at the top of the stairs. "Rain, I think we need to consult some people about your basement." And not like exterminators. Way, WAY more serious.

Zee is equally as stunned by Kara's appearance and startles as the foundation rock. Following in Peppers footsteps, the young magi calls back to Rain "Looks like you have some more guests Rain! And yes, it's nice to see you and Captain again." Seeing a similar tableau to Pepper, Zee smirks a little "Hello you three! Anyone need any help?"

Kara waves to Zee and the others, trying her best not to frown, "Rain really needs to get control of her house. This is like, the third time I've been portaled down here." She starts to nose around the basement wondering what she can find.

She then looks to John and asks, "Do you need a hand? It's Rain's fault."

Jericho picks himself up slowly and looks about. This place looks vaguely familiar. Smell of old booze. Check. Bunch of possible strangers. Check. Wait no. That's Pepper's voice. Clearly she's… right next to him. "Sorry." He murmurs. "This one wasn't me. Just opened a door and appeared…" His HUD has finally caught up. "Moontree Manor." He sighs. "Rain…"

Rain blinks at John. "… are you - okay?" Did he need healing? She comes down the steps a little. At least the lights are on. "Yeah? … yeah. I've been studying it," She admits. Captain sighs softly, closing his eyes a moment. He shakes his head.

Rain hms softly at Zee. "Seems so," She murmurs. "Nice to see you. And sorry. I really - I can't unravel it. The amount of energy would probably level a small part of the city," She bites her lower lip. "Please, um, do you guys need help? Help yourselves to a bottle down there if you'd like. And uh, hi Jericho."

"Hhnnnhnnh," John says, helpfully. He cuts loose with a puft of what might be pixie dust at Kara, falling on his rear again.

"Rain?" he says, picking a name out of the overwhelming roar in his ears. He squints, trying to focus his eyes, and peers blearily around the room. "Bloody hell, girl. If my neck is broken, I'm going to sue," he threatens feebly, settling his shoulders against the wall while he waits for the world to stop spinning. He manages to get out a flask and a cigarette, but stares at his hands in befuddlement as he tries to figure out how to work a lighter into the equation.

Pepper Potts reaches to help Jericho stand, then dusts her hands off. And that's when she recognizes Constantine. "You!" Okay, if anyone ever doubted that she's a true redhead, proof is available here and now. "You had BETTER not be expecting me to 'find' one of your horrid spellbooks for you again. I REFUSE!"

Kara is still there, somewhere coughing with Pixie Dust in her face before she starts to yawn loudly. She covers her mouth before she slumps down and falls asleep in a corner. Stupid pixie dust. Zzzzzzzz

Jericho turns at the sle- that's Supergirl. Okay. He looks over at Pepper with a grateful smile, which turns into a smirk when she rounds on Constantine. "Rain. Why are we all in your basement." Beat. "Again? Pepper, should we maybe… leave? Before someone truly unfortunate shows up?"

"Come on, John" Zee snerks at her fellow Wizard even as she makes her way to Jericho "You've taken worse hits than that." Looking over her shoulder to Rain, Zee rolls her eyes a little "He'll need somewhere to lay down somewhere… " she doesn't add that she thinks he's been drinking.

Peppers response has Zee peering at her intently "Just what spellbook did he give you, Miss Potts?"

Sigh. "What in the world were you-" She shakes her head. "Nevermind, it's fine. We understand." Though, Rain is coming down the stais. "We're going to put him in a guest room and give him a healing spell. Captain, can you fetch Steven?" The orange cat nods and turns around. The two freeze, jerking, startled by Pepper's outburst. Rain's mouth opens and closes, as she comes down the stairs. "Um. Should I ask…?"

"And please, do come upstairs. I'm really sorry. I can fetch you something to eat, drink and send you on your way if you wish. Or you can use the living room to chat. There's a library, too." Either way, Rain's going to get Steven's help to pick up Constantine. For now, Steven is enchanted, to look human instead of his usual goat headed self. The two will carry Constantine between them. She smiles apologetically at Zee. "It's okay. Pain is relative."

To Jericho, she explains, "Dimensional conduit, to put it simply. Things get put here."

Jericho glances over to Zee whom he just noticed (he bumped himself a bit hard. Give him a break). "Oh hello to you too. Rain, would you mind it terribly if…" Yes upstairs. Jericho waits for the others to proceed and then brings up the rear and closes the door behind him with a measure of… finality. Not going back down there again for a while. He thinks he saw a tentacle in the corner.

Pepper Potts stops as she realizes that Constantine is out for the count, and so is the strangely dressed blonde girl that hit him. She takes a step back, closes her eyes as she draws in a deep breath, then slowly exhales and returns to appearing visibly calm. "Let's go upstairs," she says, looking at both Jericho and Zee. "I'll explain there." She follows the others up and takes it upon herself to claim a seat in the living room.

"If it's anything like the book John gave me when I was 16…" Zee mutters as Steven and Rain carry the Wizard off "Dads never really forgiven him…"

Looking at the sleeping Kara, Zee wonders if she should make her follow Rain… dilemma. Assuming Kara doesn't wake up, Zee will murmur a spell and have her float after Rain.

Following Jericho and Pepper, Zee snags a few bottles from Rains shelves to share with everyone upstairs.

Rain pauses. "Thanks, Zee." And she'll likely take Kara and Constantine to a guest room each, so they can sleep themselves better. The basement door is locked, once Zee comes up last of all. And considering the Darkness visits the manor, what artifacts might be stored somewhere within, not to mention a certain mischievious Asgardian kicking around… well, it's not entirely unlikely there's a tentacle or two around.

Captain comes back, "You guys want snacks?" He asks. Steven nods as Captain asks.

"Sure." Jericho says. So long as it's not raw fish. He's not bothered by the darkness really. If Rain's place were say, consecrated, that might make the hacker a bit uncomfortable. "Sorry I almost tripped you up there, Pepper. Uninentional. Kit, hello, how are you?"

Pepper Potts shakes her head a Jericho. "It's all right." She's calm again, but clearly still unsettled by having encountered onstantine. "And thank you, Captain, but I'm fine." She's set her bag on the floor by her leg, but she's still fidgeting with the phone in her hands.

"Zee…" the Mistress of Magic fixes Jericho with a stare "and I'm doing just fine, thank you Jericho." Placing the bottles she taken on the taken, Zee smiles at Rain and nods "No worries Rain…"

Pepper being unsettled has the young magi frowning a little before selecting on of the bottles and finding a glass. Splashing some of the contents into the glass, Zee hands the glass to Pepper and then sits on the floor near her feet. "It must have been one of the worst John has access to." she murmurs as she settles.

It'll take Rain a little to come back, but she's thoughtful enough to tuck her guests in, close the door behind her and give them peace and quiet.

Captain nods to Steven. "He's got the opposable thumbs." The cat might even be grinning a little. Fortunately for Jericho, Rain's people take a great deal of issue with the whole 'thou shalt not suffer a witch to live' bit. No consecrating here (while she could consecrate it in her own way, her servants are demons and that's just cruel).

Captain follows Pepper and sits by her, if she likes. Nosebump. Hey, he's doing as best as he can. But Rain returns in time to smile weakly at Zee. "I still feel a bit bad." Seeing Pepper shaken up touches the young witch. "Steven's preparing some food. If there's anything we can do, let us know," Rain lowers her head politely.

The fireplace is warm, crackling gently. The TV is on pause, and it seems Rain was watching Rifftrax or something like it while she was working. "I admit, I haven't been poking the conduit too much since things have been going screwy with the leylines."

Jericho takes a seat. Nice overstuffed armchair. The other three get regarded from behind amused amber eyes. "Has that been affecting you here too? Or is it just a risk?" He glances to the other two. "And why did it pull Pepper and Zee?"

Pepper Potts accepts the glass without even wondering as to its contents, then idly swirls the liquid gently. "Thank you Captain, and Rain, and everyone here. I appreciate your hospitality." She's quiet for a bit longer before saying as if out of nowhere, "He called it the Book of Vices. Something about it only revealing itself when the spells inside are needed. And, we were in this really bizarre old house with an insane library when giant snake-like things started after us. And the book nearly brained me falling off of a shelf or something. He insisted that it chose me, and made me hang on to it. It… made things difficult."

Zee shudders at the name Pepper uses and will give Pepper a hug around her legs if she lets her "Bloody John…." she mutters. "It's no wonder you're so upset with him, Miss Potts. Did the possession of the book have any ongoing effects? Oh! I'm assuming he's taken it back."

"As best as I can tell, Jericho" Zee looks towards the hacker "the conduit flared just as I was going somewhere." The Mistress of Magic flushes slightly "caught my teleport and drew me here." Fixing Jericho with a flat look "Illyana might call it a 'sympathetic connection'."

Looking over to Rain, Zee smiles softly "Don't be… magic is strange beast at the best of times."

The manor is nothing if comfortable, once one gets past the spooky. "I'm not sure. I assume it's a risk, as is any large release of magical energy," Rain remarks. "For now, most of what I'm finding is purely theoretical. And I'd hate to throw a wrench into things for people investigating. I can tell you that it's quantum properties are highly unusual, but I've found the only thing my engineering and physics chat seems to do is put people to sleep," In other words, Rain is refraining from poking it with a stick for now. "As for who and what it chooses, I am uncertain. It seems to like calling back familiar faces, but I've had everything from Avon Ladies from Beyond to necromancers riding zombie bears to…" Handwave. "You get the idea. I suspect sympathy has to do with its strength."

At Pepper's story, Rain looks sympathetic. "That seems rough. I'm sorry." It seems Rain doesn't have much to offer, since she's not really familiar with John. "If it helps, I beat him at poker once." Small comforts?

Jericho winces. He remembers that. Pepper's office felt damn odd and the woman was on edge a lot. "Avon Ladies from… no. I don't want to know." THere's a lot of things Jericho doesn't want to know. He just listens for now. "Mmmmmmm, well yes, she might, mightn't she?"

Pepper Potts offers Rain a small smile then takes a sip of whatever Zee put in her hands. "Oh. That's good." She then takes a breath to continue. "I don't think it has, and Rune was able to help by borrowing a sack from Wassea to put it in that kind of muffled it. And Contantine did come back for it, but it was weeks later. And he had the NERVE to light a cigarette in the middle of my office." She nods to Jericho.

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