Bring Your Dead to Work Day

May 10, 2017:

Elinor Ravensdale and Darkedge investigate an infestation of unusual ghostly activity at a local office building.

Caravex Lending, The Bronx, NYC

Full of stuffed shirts, predatory lending agents and resourceful interns.

Characters

NPCs: A bunch of ghosts, emitted by Jessica Jones.

Mentions: Jessica Jones

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Before she left for Germany, Jessica Jones tasked Elinor Ravensdale with tracking occult happenings all over the city. What she asked for— having them track incidences where Primordial Darkness might be bubbling up— has proven to be impossible, per se. They haven't found anything.

But there have been occult incidents. A lot of occult incidents. A cult trying to summon up a demon here. Several murders that used ritual magic as the murder weapon there. Enough to start creating a map, enough to make it clear that evil magic is a lot easier and more potent for people lately than it used to be. If they've been diligent, they've probably been able to 'pin' about 7 or 8 incidents on the map hanging on the wall at Alias Investigations, to add incident after incident to the file. Jessica specifically requested the both of them; they worked well together and at least one of the pair had a vested interested in all that had gone down.

Tonight the incident is of specific interest to Elinor. It's not normal for an entire office building to be haunted. Usually few people die in office buildings, and usually whatever happens doesn't leave the sorts of traces that lead to the creation of ghosts. It's even more unusual for some forty ghosts to converge on a high rise, bent on murder and mayhem. Today, though, they're converging on a lending institution known as Caravex Lending, a 10-story building housing the kinds of executives that are routinely expected to work late. There are some 15 of them now trapped in a conference room, and the only reason they have survived, so far, is because of nerdy little Shana McGee, the intern who grabbed salt from the lunch room and made a big circle around the table. Shana is also the one who called Elinor to let her know this is happening; three years ago her dead father lost his mind and went on a rampage, nearly killing the surviving family. Elinor helped, and, hey, the salt circle was a thing before.

But Elinor also knows some ghosts blow right past those, so…it might be good to get in there and figure out what's causing this nonsense.

—-

Elinor and Darkedge were hard at work on the map on Jessica's wall when she got th ecall from Shana. She remembered the girl fondly, but not the father that had haunted her family so many years before. She does find the location to be very odd, so she figures that ths has to do with the primodial darkness she keeps hearing about. Elinor quickly walks to her apartment to grab the items that she'll need. More salt. All of the salt! And other various items that she uses when dealing with ghosts that just need to move on. She gives Darkedge the address so he can get them there in a quick, timely and shadowy manner.

Once they're in the building, she covers the both of them in darkness. One to hide them from security cameras, and another to protect her sidekick from the horrid lighting. "I'm not sure what we're going to find once we get up there." She whispers as she heads to the elevator, since there is no way she's climbing 10 flights of stairs. "You may not be able to see them, but what is important is getting everyone out safely, understood? I'll deal with the dead, you can save the living."

—-

Well, Elinor was hard at work. Darkedge couldn't make heads or tails of the thing, but he was giving Elinor very detailed directions of where he had been locating all of the magic. He even WALKED parts of the way so he could give her proper directions she could use for her map. The address didn't help, but with directions he found it and slipped them in through the shadows. No sure do they appear, than his blades are in hand and his body is ready for action.

Speak on the shadows. None but us will hear. I will save hte living and do my best not to add to the number of lingering souls you're dealing with, promises the elf. He just follows, not sure of the difference between elevator and staircase. HOnestly, stairwell would be faster to navigate given enough shadows.
The elevators are working; the building does still have power. The doors slide open with a 'ding!' Right about that time, a massive ghost picks up a printer from the reception area and *chucks* it at Elinor and Darkedge. This smashes against the back of the elevator, but he's picking up the monitor next. He goes woooshing through the air towards them (which, to the elf's eyes, it will of course look like there's just this monitor whipping through the air). The ghost does not look like he belongs in an office building. He's wearing a t-shirt that's a little too small for him; a bit of rotting belly pokes out of his massive form. It looks like he died of a stab wound right in said gut.

Darkedge's ability to sense magic may be helpful though. The ghosts themselves don't emit any, but there is definitely something pulsing away on the top floor, a sickly source of something that is almost reprehensible to the senses, causing a sensation very like having one's mind petted with a slime-covered hand.

—-

Let's face it, Elinor is no where in the amount of shapre that Darkedge is and she'd probably collaspe around floor six. Sadly she was focussing on getting in the elvator and not on the ghosts who were there and ready to meet her. When she hears that printer hit the back wall she shriks in surprise and looks toward the Ghost. "I don't think it will matter how we communicate. I'm a beacon to ghosts, it's very hard for me to hide from them." As the ghost picks up the next item she raises her hand toward him. She uses her will, her connection to the dead and reaches out to him. "Stop." She says firmly, trying to gain control of the ghost. "Put it down, or I will banish you to your grave and it will not be peaceful."

—-

Not able to see or hear or sense what's picking up and throwing the odd human made objects, Darkedge can only put himself in a place where he can move to body block or shadow step Elinor away if things go flaying again.

Fair enough. But we have to get UP. The source is there. Back outside, I can get us to the roof… he sends, because what are stairs even? …because that small room leads no where. he adds of the elevator.

—-

Elinor does this every single night, and this isn't the strongest or even the most vicious of the ghosts. He scowls at her. He drops the monitor on the floor. It shatters, but…he didn't throw it at them. Then he flips them the finger and zooms straight up, through the floors (apparently no more excited by the thought of elevators or stairs than the two who have come to handle this night's business).

In any case, the elevator waits patiently; nothing seems to be trying to knock it out of commission yet; the shadows in the shaft are similarly available.

—-

When she gets the ghost-sass she sneers at him and growls. "Oh I am going to banish his ass /so hard/ when I find him. It'll take him months to reform himself and pester other people again. Darkedge's comments cause her to sigh and she grabs his wrist and pulls him inside. "It's a lift, it will take us to the same spot on the floor above. Not all of us have cool powers like you do." Once inside she'll press the button for the right floor and leans against the wall.

Of course, it's awkward to be battle ready and have to wait for the elevator to get to the right floor, while smooth jazz plays over the speaker.

—-

It's a lift.

What's a lift? Same spot. Floor above.

Clever. he remarks as he stands with Elinor in the elevator. He won't comment on her promise tothe ghost. He must assume it was a ghost that was throwing things. As she was the ghostly expert, he focused his mind on sensing the Source while remaining ready for battle.
Bedlam has erupted on the 10th floor. This is the area where the conference room is.

Some of the ghosts have gathered enough energy to form themselves into something solid and physical. One is going at the door to that conference room with an axe. The salt circle will not stop him once he gets in there, as he can just rub it aside with his foot. Three or four other manifesters are there, armed with blood-stained meat cleavers or knives. The amount of sheer juice it takes to allow spirits to do this is, as Elinor knows, incredible.

Where they don't manifest they flood the halls; they're all but ripping the place apart. Pulling down lights, ripping up carpet, punching through walls, throwing office equipment around. It's a field day of restless dead, all flipping out like ninjas all over the place.

Darkedge can feel the source at the end of the hall, behind a heavy oak door protected by a security panel he may or may not recognize as such. Buuuut there's a lot of nonsense between them and that right now. As it is, the five manifesters all turn at the 'ding' of the elevator and go rushing, screaming, towards them.

—-

Maybe they should have taken the elevator to the floor below than snuck up by the stairs. That would be a smart idea, but she's flying by the seat of her pants right now and when she sees all of the dead, how they've formed and chaos they are causing she pales. "Chaaaaange in plan." She says, her tone higher pitched than normal. "You deal with those and I'll… uhm… oh shit they saw us." Elinor has been in a large combat situation once before, and it was overwhelming. She knows she can't walk away from this problem, she has to fix it. "I'll give you some cover." She extends the shadows out of the elevator, pouring them out into the hallway for Darkedge to use his advantage while she ponders on how to banish /all/ of these ghosts.

—-

That's a change in plan? Darkedge tosses Elinor's way. He saw the chaos, the battle, the sheer amount of cold iron steel out there. This… wasn't going to be pretty. How does one stop the already deceased? Killing them again really isn't going to be an issue, nor break any oaths about not killing that he may have given. So, without even waiting for Elinor to say anything about cover, Darkedge moves.

This is what he was trained for.

The fighting, not the dealing with ghosts.

Focus on the source. End of the hall, beyond the oaken portal, he says as he works on makign his way through the minefield of things being flung and ripped about by unseen things on his way toward the creatures he can see.

A test first, half way there: Darkedge quick shapes one of the cabacoins from his belt pouch into a throwing shard. This is flung at the one with the axe. Darkedge is hoping that if he can see it it means he can hit it and thus dismember it into uselessness.

All of these are dead humans, right?

He might have asked that AFTER throwing the gemstone. Oops.

—-

"There's a portal here? That's just what we need." Even though they've spent a fair amount of time together, there is still a language barrier between the two. Looking out for this tree portal she then realizes he's probably talking about a door. Getting toward the other door is going to be difficult, but she expresses her will again, pressing against the ghosts that block her. She just wants them to leave her a path, because she hopes on the otherside of that door is the key to getting rid of all of the dead here. If not, it's time for plan B. She'll examine the security door, first to see if it's unlocked, and if it isn't what sort of lock is in her way.

—-

The shard does indeed make it possible to see the ghost; it is a woman in a tattered dress who is going nuts on the door. He can feel the presence of the others coming towards him with that cold, cold iron; the cold iron, itself, easy to see as the first knife swipes towards his throat. He'll want to move fast to reveal them and fight them if he wants to survive them, though whether or not he can actually take them out or whether he can merely hold them off is anyone's guess. Perhaps bringing them into something he can actually interact with, infusing them with bits of his own magic, will have provided an edge.

Elinor might have to get creative. This is a keycard door. Then again the group in the conference room surely has them. Or she might just have to get the door down and open another way. She is able to get a path through the ghosts through the application of her will, and they in fact mostly seem to start treating her like she's one of them, which is to say they ignore her completely, giving her some room to work.

This also means swiftly more and more of them will focus on the elf, so it's a good time to work fast and smart.

—-

As the shard embeds itself in the woman ghost, Darkedge sees her properly for the first time. All he could see was the cold iron about him. He tucks, narrowly avoiding the slit to his throat by twisting away. But at a disadvatage, some things come with a price. The price is his hair. Held back in a thick braided rope down his back, the dull knife meant for his neck sliced through the silver locks with far too much ease. The faint wiff of burnt drifts into the air. The elf doesn't hesitate in collecting more gemstones from his pouch, shaping and dodging. Tiny throwing stars, the size of a child's bouncy ball, are created and thrown at where he suspects center mass of peoples would be based of what he can see of the weapons coming at him. One hand throws, then other keeps the almost short-sword length diamond blade at the ready so the moment they are visible to him, he can try to kill them (again) any way he can.

—-

Thankfully Elinor has the space to think, but perhaps not the time. She reaches out with her shadow magic, searching the door for the mundane items that hold it together. If she can manipulate her magic to get the pins out of the hinges, the door won't be a problem. Sure, she could stick her head in the conference room, but she doesn't want to upset the delicate defenses they already have in place. "Hang in there, I'm trying to get the door open." Of course if this doesn't work she's wasted precious time.

—-

Pins pop out of hinges one after the other, and the door falls open, revealing the CEO's office. There, on the heavy oaken desk, is what can only be described as a phylactry. It's swimming with ectoplasmic energy, a construction of glass and pewter, and if the actual housing of the thing looks like it wouldn't be out of place in any one of New York's creepier occult shops, the swimming green-yellow energy inside that is both acting as magnet and sanity-stealing spur for the restless dead is top-notch work.

A note is attached, written, incongruously, in ink, on a yellow post-it.

'As you have brought misery to others, so too may it be visited upon you.'

In the meantime, Darkedge engages in a beautiful dance of blade and magic, of otherworldy denizen vs. human dead. He'll find his blade ramming home, and the shower of magic and ectoplasm shatters the energy binding the spirit together. It seems they can, indeed, be killed again. They scream at him, mostly incoherently, but some pounding into the corners of his sensitive mind: *die die die join us*

He can hear the reverberations, sense the growing power as more start to find their way into the sort of manifestation that can not only wield random bits of office equipment but create and manifest the iron weapons that they're using to try to take him down.

—-

The thoughts attacking his mind have his face scowling. Lips peeling back, Darkedge keeps moving, heedless of the slime and gore covering him as he seeks to stay just ahead of the cold iron. So many ghosts, so many points of attack. It's worse that they can summon weapons against him. The more that manifest the less he can attack.

Darkedge wants to call out to Elinor, to beg that she hurry. But if she's focused the request might disturb her.. Worse, with the ghosts so focused on him, if he sends to her he may give her away, there by putting her at risk.

Unacceptible.

So, Darkedge grits his teeth, pushing himself. It's hard to focus with the throbbing of the ghost's mental summons and the growing pulse of magic in the room at the end of the hall, and as Drakedge is forced into full defense he can sense that it's a matter of time. Each attack is closer to its mark. Each spirit manifesting at a new angle, forcing him to move before he's ready to shift his weight.

He is forced to start parrying the cold iron.

This is deadly turn of events for the elf, if things stop going his way. ..continue to not go his way.

—-

It's not often that Elinor gets to touch a real life phylactry, they're not foregin to her, but they are items that she really tries to avoid. Slowly she walks over to the desk, staring at the item as she gets closer. The note makes her frown, and she figures that this is some sort of revenge on the CEO and they're doing a fantastic job at it. As much as she would love to study this, to see who it linked to, there are more pressing matters at hand. She has a confrence room full of people to save and she isn't sure how well the Elf is doing against incorporial creatures. Pulling a dagger out of her satchel she carves a circle in the desk containing whatever with in inside of the circle, it's then that she takes the hilt of the dagger and shatters the glass, disturbing the material within. "Take your friends with you asshole!" She snarls, hoping that will at least depower the bastard wherever he might be.

—-

Forty horrific screams rend the air as Elinor's swift dispatch of the phylactry does its work. And in due time, too, because more armed shapes were about to continue to give Darkedge a terrible night. They all get sucked back towards the circle in some horrible, eldritch, otherworldy wind, through and down and down to whatever section of the Other Side their earthly deeds have consigned them too. Banished, as Elinor promised the one, though in this case there's no telling whether it's to rest or punishment or what.

However, everything that was held falls, every manifested weapon pops in a blast of ectoplasm, and the whole building goes quiet.

"Oh thank god," someone says from behind the ruined conference room door.

But of course, it's not really god they have to thank. It's a Ghost Whisperer and the faithful Dark Elf who stepped in to defend them this night…stepped in, and succeeded.

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