Demon Bear: Falling Stars

November 14, 2017:

The Demon Bear searches out its enemies and attacks. Emery is one and Owen becomes another.


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful young Indian woman named Nimisha, she was a master at Kalaripayattu, skilled with a sword and daughter of diplomats and spies. She met a young Irishman back in the 70s, and had a passionate fling before she found him in bed with her cousin Stan and the woman from the curry shop. They remained friends but time went on…she aged…and the dashing young smartass with an overactive libido did not. Fast forward, said Irishman actually reproduced and because of her care and concern for anything that sprung from that man's loins…she took up a position as his Nanny to care for the child. His best friend and trusted confidant…

Today, the woman older, dark skin a bit wrinkled and hair peppered with gray but she is still attractive and tonight is her night off, after the last past weeks of tension as she wants to to return to England and gave her month notice. The new level of danger they live in is more than she signed on for and she has aging parents to care for. She moves along dressed in an elegant salwar kameeze in a dark maroon with silver accent, hair brushed and styled and her purse tucked under her arm as she holds a phone, eyes narrowed at the screen.

"Look Nimi, ye know I want ye to have a life…but an investment broker from Italy? The man looks like the second number in the number 10…what happened to the handsome real estate agent ye were seein'? " Emery Papsworth is parked on the side of the street in that dark Charger, seat reclined and cigarette dangling from his lips as he facetimes with the woman, flashing a dimpled grin as she calls him something unholy in French. He wears a dark blue fitted henley and a pair of black jeans, dark boots on his feet and his hair pulled back in a manbun, his phone resting in the dashboard holder. He tucks his hand behind his head. "I stopped followin' ye two blocks ago. Just text me when ye get tere safely darling. Ye are too good for this man…I have a book filled with candidates to scratch any…"

Rising in the late morning as if from a grave, Owen stumbles out into the street like a zombie in search of coffee. The cold winter sky is gray but still manages to be too bright to his eyes. Wrapped up in a coat and scarf, Owen manages to find a coffee cart that provides him with the basics: black coffee and a bagel. He finds the nearest bench, and grunts at some pigeons "No. My bench!" to shoo them and take his place. They being pigeons of the New York persuasion, merely scoot over enough for the man to sit. Working bar hours is fine so long as Owen gets to sleep but he has things he needs to check on so he's up before noon, granted it's barely before noon but still.

There are things currently at play that most can't see, or feel. Spiritual things. Magical things and more.

The more in this instance is revenge. Revenge against a man who's own heritage is too close to another. And today, that revenge will be taken.

It starts simply enough - crows. They begin to gather around.

The pigeons that Owen tries to valiantly shoo away? They soon find another in their midst. A large and glossy-black bird. The crow turns its head to survey the area around it and then, it focuses one beady red-eye upon the man sitting upon that bench. For the pigeons, their coo-coos turn slightly more agitated, but for now they don't dart away with fear; they simply bob-walk a few steps away.

Four more crows likewise appear, clustered closely around the area Nimisha is, with two settled atop street lamps, and two more upon a business' awning. Those four crows each turn their red-eyes down upon the older Indian woman to watch her progress down the street.

Before, however, the woman enters whatever establishment she's going to, the five crows make their presence unilaterally known. As one the Corvids open their shiny beaks and emit an echoing screech of, "CAW!"

A signal sent and for the very perceptive they might notice a deepening of the shadows that are cast upon the ground, sides of buildings and more.

"Em, you proper meddlesome bastard. I told you, I am looking for someone normal." Nimisha ughs and rolls her eyes as she continues on her way, she pauses, drawing her coat closed and adjusting her grip on the phone as she looks around, eyeing the crows with a shake of her head. She even walks past Owen on his bench, pausing to select a few dollar bills from her purse and setting them beside him.

"Normal is boring Nimi, look…tere is the bicurious fellow. Sculpted abs, gorgeous eyes…" Emery trails off, cocking his head to the side when he hears some familiar over the phone, catching a few glimpses of the crows and the shadows. "Nimi…" He rights his seat rather quickly, starting the engine and the roar can be heard over the connection. "Nimi…get out of tere. Now." His teasing Irish lilt has grown steely as he slams his foot on the gas, peeling out of his parking space and heading for the gps coordinates of his friend.

The crows that land next to Owen get a half hearted wave of a bagel to shoo them away. "Go, stupid black pigeon.." No, he isn't quite that dull, but it does take him a second to realize the much larger bird is not a pigeon, and it's not alone. He is just getting a bit weirded out when the lady drops the bills beside him, at least she didn't ruin his coffee.

Staring at the bills for a few seconds Owen wonders if she is paying the birds? It finally dawns on him that she thinks he's homeless a few seconds later and he calls out "Hey! Lady! Wait!" He puts the bagel in his mouth, picks up the bills and heads after her with a "Mhmm nhhhh homm-lefff!" said emphatically around most of an everything bagel with cream cheese. He's not homeless, but he certainly looks and sounds a little deranged at the moment. It doesn't help that he's nearly chasing Nimisha down the street waving the money at her.

The 'black pigeon' doesn't seem to be too afraid of Owen, or his potential shooing aways. In fact, it almost pecks him, but before it can do that the query it seeks passes close-by. That's enough to pull the crow's attention off of Owen and to the woman again.

Those red-eyes follow her steps, unmindful of when Owen likewise rises from the bench and runs after her.

As the two walk and respectively run, the shadows continue to move. Those shadows closest to Nimisha show the most change, as the edges blur and distort. In-between a blink of an eye, or the beat of a heart, the woman and her unlikely tail find their path suddenly cut short.

It's a 'bear', in some respects, but perhaps not the one Emery is expecting. Instead of the shadow-y beast he fought once before, a woman stands there now. She's dressed mostly in black, with the dark-brown pelt of a bear worn atop her outfit like a cloak. The majority of her hair and face is covered in shadow, thanks to the 'hood' of the cloak, which consists of the bear's head and upper jaw. While the woman holds a bow in one hand, and a quiver of arrows sits upon her back, the weapon isn't brandished.

Not yet.

For now, all this Bear does is speak. "Too late." Comes the harsh words and with a tilt of her head, the shadows nearest Nimi reach up with grasping hands. They reach for the woman's legs and the long hem of her tunic-like top. They reach to pull her down, into the pools of bleak blackness, where the touch of cold winter emanates from.

There is a reason why Nimisha was trying to retire. Stuff gets weird around her employer, she was pulling a can of mace from her purse as Emery is telling her to run and then Owen is chasing her. There is a step/pivot to turn and spray at Owen before she feels herself get grabbed. She looks up to meet the eyes of the driver of the speeding Charger that is rushing towars the group amd she mouths 'I am sorry.' before being pulled into the darkness.

The Irishman was expecting a bigass bear. His initial shock however is watching Nimisha get pulled into…nothingness. He slams on the breaks, jerking the steering wheel hard right as the muscle car screetches to a spinning halt, leaving behind black tired skid marks and smoke. Driver car door swings open as Emery dives out of the car, rolling to his feet sighting down the barrel of his glock and just firing at the bear draped figure, over and over again, in his other hand is gripped the scabbard of a sword, his own personal daggers strapped in his hidden sheathes.

"Do ye know how expensive childcare is in New York?" He is not even aiming yet, just drawing attention., his voice surprisingly calm but it drips with the promise of pain

As things start to go from strange to worse, Owen slows down his chase and has completely stopped by the time the shadows take full corporeal form. His bagel sadly drops to the ground as his mouth falls open. The pigeons, completely undeterred by being surrounded by evil as they are so used to it, swarm the precious dropped baked goods. "What the… ? Heeeeellll?"

To make matters worse, the woman he was trying to help is first attacking him and then getting attacked. Ignoring the pepper spray, he's had worse, Owen darts forward faster than the speed of sound to try and grab the woman and pull her out of the shadows and hopefully across the street away from the shadow bear-wearing woman. If he misses, he's moving too fast and will be across the street regardless.

For others the quick arrival of the car, screeching tires or not, might garner some type of reaction. A startle, a look, maybe even a step away.

For the bear-draped figured, however, it doesn't. Neither does the barrage of bullets flying her way seem to phase her either.

As for Owen, his speed is quick, but somehow the shadows sense or perhaps see the man moving towards them and so, they rear and swallow the Indian woman whole, before he can ever touch her. So, he definitely finds himself across the street, but that doesn't mean the Bear doesn't see him, or that he's safe from her reach.

In fact, behind him a shadow stirs and while one can't say the shadow makes noise, perhaps some sixth-sense within the animal part of his brain might give him a swift-kick to the unnaturalness happening behind him. Those same black hands that grabbed the missing woman now reach for Owen, intending to yank him backwards into its frozen depths.

Those bullets travel rapidly toward the cloaked figure and right before they could pierce flesh, darkness once again moves. The same shadow that Nimisha was pulled into rears upward and swallows those bullets whole. The woman chortles softly, her voice raspy with amusement, "She was alive, but who can say if she is now? Tsk. I suppose you'll likely be finding out just /how/ expensive, won't you."

And then the humor held within the woman's voice leaches away and is replaced by anger, "Come soul-toucher. It's time to meet your maker."

A gaze flicks over to Owen temporarily, watching how he moves and The Irishman's nostrils flaring in a sharp exhale. "Oi, dun get dead!" Is his helpful advice before he watches his bullets go…God only knows where but seemingly into the shadows that just consumed his Nanny. He has run out of bullets and just throws the whole gun at the shadowy figures's head.

He squints for a moment, studying the new version of his soul eating sibling from another father and in a fluid motion draws his sword from it sheathe. "You remind me of a woman I shagged back in 52…."

There is a flick of a lighter as it is held up to the glistening blade, the sweet scent of holy oil…and then he lights that thing on fire. "Exsurgat Deus…et dissipentur intimici ejus…" Comes the softly muttered Latin, invoking heavenly protection.

Finding himself across the street empty handed and horrified that his breakfast is gone, oh, and that he didn't save the woman either. He sacrificed that bagel for nothing! Nothing!

Watching the man empty his gun and and then throw it Owen is tempted to laugh "Nice toss bro-" What? Why are there more tendrils?

Pushing off the wall again at super speed, Owen wishes he had any of his weaponry on him. He has.. a knife. That's it. Pulling it out and slashing at the tendril hands behind him. Seeing the sword get lit on fire just draws an exclaimed question of "What the hell is going on?" He's just a slightly more capable bystander to all of this and it's confusing as hell even for someone who is used to being dropped into terrible situations.

The woman could pull the shadows up again, but she doesn't. Instead she side-steps that tossed gun which hits the ground with a clatter of metal.

Emery's remarks earn silence from the woman now. Apparently she doesn't dabble too much in witty repartee; or perhaps it's the situation. There's a heaviness within the air. Especially when the sword is unleashed and Emery begins to mutter those Latin words.

It's that invocation of his that causes the darkly-dressed woman to cock her head in an obvious listening gesture. "Too late for that." She says and then, with a speed that is inhuman the woman brings her bow up and reaches for two arrows.

Those arrows are nocked and loosed in rapid succession -


Both are aimed for the torso; one for the stomach, and one for the chest, specifically Emery's heart.

Owen isn't forgotten either. Not as those grasping hands continue to reach for him. His knife slides through the shadows quite easily, without actually harming them, and when he pulls his knife back he'll find the blade covered in frost. Clearly wherever those shadows lead to it's cold.

The five crows, while mostly witnesses here, don't stay idle for too long. Not when that super speed is seen by all. It's enough that the creatures take wing as one and arrow toward Owen. Owen will find sharp beaks and sharp little talons on display, as they dart to scratch and peck any exposed skin.

"Demon. Evil. Eats souls." Emery replies to Owen, distractedly, light on his feet and swearing softly as he sees the arrows coming in almost slow motion, step pivoting out of the way of the first arrow, bringing his flaming sword up for defense as he does move faster than a normal human, staggering back a bit as an arrow finds a home in the merg between his pec and his shoulder. He grits his teeth."Et fugiant qui oderunt…eum a facie ejus…" There is a twirl of that sword as he darts foward, ducking a shoulder dropping to his knees in an attempt to swing the sword at the avatar's legs. "Flag on the play…tit shots are not cool!"

The frosty blade doesn't go unnoticed, but at least it's not too cold to hold onto for now. Owen does flip his grip to hold it blade down when he sees the flock of death birds coming for him. He holds both hands up and hammer strikes at the first bird in range, "You sure this ain't just some pissed off ex? Seems kinda personal for a soul eating demon."

It's sad that Owen actually has experience to draw on here, granted it's more on the angry ex side of the house but some on the demon side. 'Tit shots' gets a laugh out of Owen despite the pecking and the scratching. Having enough of that he attempts to grab one of the birds by the feet and brandish it like a hammer against the other feathered harassers, like some kind of great black pigeon hammer. He keeps the knife up with the other hand, ambidextrous even when wielding unfamiliar weaponized corvus.

Emery's description of just what she is, or what the Bear might be, earns a retort, "Funny. I could have sworn you do something similar. What's the saying? Two sides of the same coin."

And when one arrow finds its mark the woman smiles. Even with that wound, Emery moves like lightning and the Bear doesn't stay stationary either. That would be plain stupid and the woman is anything but that.

When Emery swings that sword at her legs, he'll find it whistles neatly through the air, but it doesn't find a home in the flesh of her legs. Only because the woman steps into another shadow and disappears completely within. Should Emery try and follow her he'll find that doorway quite closed. A normal shadow once more.

Seconds pass, tick-tick-tick, and finally when it might seem like she's not going to reappear, there's movement behind Emery. It comes from his own shadow. From the depths of the man's silhouette the woman rises upward. An archaic hunting knife held in one hand with the edged weapon already set in motion, a downswing aimed at the man's back. "Then perhaps you'll like this more."

Owen definitely bludgeons some of those birds with knife and even with its comrade. Broken feathers and squawks of dismay can be heard, but that doesn't stop the birds from continuing to attack. In fact, as they strike with beak and talon, Owen might feel the familiar burn of an open wound. Nothing major, just a scratch here and there, but what is an unnatural sensation is the feeling of wriggling beneath his skin. That wriggling turns to burning and then to burrowing.

There are things beneath his skin.

"…I did /not/ shoot you in the tit." Emery likes tits okay. That is…not cool. But he does have to rack his brain. "I cared enough to stab you." He then spins in a circle when she dissapears, holding that sword at the ready as he looks around warily.

The Irishman shakes his head slowly. "I am almost positive that I did not have sexual relations wit this demon wom-"

Then she is right there behind him stabbing for his back. "-MOTERFUCK-" He does try to move out of the way but he takes a stab right above his kidney, thankfully he has eaten a soul recently so he feels the newly incorporated life forces writhing beneath his skin. "-er! Almost sure! Almost sure…." He has been stabbed by forks and metal hair combs before. Doubt surges through his mind.

"Waaait a minute, wait…time out. Wait." He does stab behind him with that flaming sword. "Hold up on goddamn minute ye vindictive animalistic soul whore!"'

Fighting off the birds is sadly much harder than Owen had hoped. He feels the scratches and the expected pain, and then the unexpected wriggling. Trying to keep the birds off him so he can see if his skin is actually moving, he exhales "Dammit" and tries to keep his cool. It's probably a hallucinogenic nerve agent delivered by a subcutaneous scratch. It's weird how he hears that in Amanda Waller's signature barking voice in his head, and why is he picturing her naked? It's got to be the demon birds. Probably.

"Hey no judgement! I've made worse choices.. well, maybe not worse." He is trying his best to not feel the maggots that might be under his skin. Or think about them.

Seeing Emery taking a stab at the woman, Owen launches his knife as fast as he can throw, which is considerable at her as well. Maybe dodging two attacks is harder than one? Maybe. At any rate the knife is like a large extra pointy bullet headed for her.

The movement beneath Owen's skin is sadly /not/ from a hallucinogenic. Not when the wriggling spots begins to multiple even without any further scratches, or pecks.

When Owen looks at his skin he will definitely see movement and lumps, as well. Tiny little lumps that move with that sense of burrowing. If he slaps at the lumps he'll find they squish just fine, but one has to wonder what that really means. Sure, the things can be killed, but what might happen with their little dead bodies under his skin still.

Either way, Owen bats those birds down and while the majority lay broken upon the ground that doesn't stop the shadows from reaching up and swallowing the birds whole.

For Emery, her knife bites into his flesh and the woman allows a second smile for the day. Though that smile doesn't last too long, not with the point of the flame engulfed sword coming her way. She dances aside, but her momentum with the knife slows her reaction time, as such, the sword bites into the cloth of her cloak. There's a sense of extra drag from the sword which perhaps speaks of the weapon hitting the flesh of her side, but if it does, the woman doesn't visibly react. Not even a pained grunt or an indrawn breath. The darkness of her outfit likewise hides any sign of blood.

Smoke curls around the woman as the edge of her cloak smolders, and while she was just prepared to answer some of Emery's quips, the flicker of a knife heading her way is sensed. Or seen. Or both. It's enough to bring the woman's hand upward, but not enough to stop the knife from burying itself into the palm of her hand.

While (again) a pained response isn't shown, what is seen, or heard in this respect, is the faintest of growls. That growl only increases when the woman pulls the knife from her flesh. That knife is then sent right for Emery, a careless throw, but a throw nonetheless. Something more for distraction than actual injury and whether that distraction works (or not) the shadows behind the woman roils.

They twist, turn, expand and detract and from the depths of them something large emerges.

This creature Emery knows. It's the Demon Bear rising from the blackness. Taller and larger than the last time he saw it. It stands upon two legs, like a man, with crazed glowing eyes and when those eyes focus upon Emery (and maybe Owen too now) it ROARS a taunting challenge.

Taking deep steadying breaths, he has been stabbed and shot and is bleeding through his shirt in two different places, he moves out striking range from the stab happy woman, sinking back into a defensive stance, sword held low and and he kneels to draw a dagger from his boot.

Then he has to dive and roll out of the way of a flung knife, rising back in a crouch of sorts, sword outstretched at his side, flames still flickering. He watches the shadows churn and shift. "Sicut deficit fumus deficient, sicut fluit cera…a facie….a facie…" He looks up and up and…up as the Demon Bear makes an appearance.

"You turned her back into a bear!!!! Do you regularly turn teh ladies off so much they transform into beasts!? I had her in the palm of me hands. Well more like a quarter inch away from me kidney…but we were communicating!" He has a dagger in one hand and a flaming sword in teh other. He points a sword at the Bear, but something makes him narrow his eys. "Oi. Hot homeless chap. Are ye into threesomes because it looks like she's just roaring to go…" He tosses his dagger towards Owen, already reaching for another at the small of his back, glad it didn't stab him in the arse at the bearly backstabbing.

It's the fact that they squish that really sells it. Owen could handle it right up until he swats at them and there is a bit of a crunch under his skin. He exhales in a half choke and drops down to his knees to retch. "Groooss.." is about all he can manage before the part of the bagel he did manage to eat earlier finds it's way to the sidewalk as well. He laments it with a soft "Aww, bagel.. no."

Catching his breath he forces himself to move, blurring away from the birds and trying to get closer to Emery. Seeing the bear emerge is just about the final straw for him as he continues to swat at his skin and wipe vomit from his mouth.

At Emery's comment he responds "I didn't know she could turn into a bear! Why would I know that?!" He grabs the dagger easily and spits off to the side. "I could not be any less into this threesome. No offense, man bun." The quips are mostly through gritted teeth as he tries to not focus on the wriggling beneath his skin.

While the Bear looks quite solid, which it is, the torso of the bear is shadows. Those shadows churn like the ones around the two men, shifting this way and that, and for the keen eye images appear upon the beast's torso. A wolf merges with an eagle, the eagle shrinks to a small bird, the bird lands upon a pegasus, the pegasus loses its wing to become just a horse. A hobbled horse.

Next to that horse a familiar face appears; Nimisha. Terror and pain etches across her expression and while words can't be heard, her mouth moves. She says - Rr-un-nn. Plea-sse. Rr-u-nn.

The quips between Owen and Emery are, for the most part, lost upon the Bear. What isn't lost, however, is the challenge both of them represent. Especially Emery. Clearly, there is no love-loss for these two 'brothers'.

And so, the Bear attacks. It's movements are like a snake, swift and sure. One minute it's standing there and then the next it's launching a strike at the two men. The fact that they're close to one another seems to please the Bear, as one of its talon-tipped paws lashes out with both speed and force. There's a blurring to its movements, something Owen is likely quite familiar with. The Bear is going to be much faster than the typical grizzly found in the woods.

For Emery, he'll hear the familiar song of life and death upon the edges of those claws. They sing with want, with greed, for both the men's souls.

The Irishman raises out of his crouch to eye Owen with a hint of concern before smirking gently. "Keep sweet talkin' me Barf Breath." He glances back over to the Bear, staring at the creature and cocking his head to the side as he lets the core of his abilities skim the surface of the life that swirls within the beast.

He takes a deep breath, his gaze darkening. "Your greed has gone straight to your hips.."

Then he is turning in an attempt step and spin out of the range of the claws but embracing the meaty blow of the paw, slashing the sword in an upswing that would sever most arms. Normal arms. "Dun get scratched or I will have to pull your soul out of his arse too." He instructs.

"Fair" Is all the response that Emery gets in response to his light taunting. He is not really looking at the man though, much more concerned with the giant demon bear that apparently eats souls.

At the swipe Owen himself blurs backwards enough to avoid the swipe but he avoids counter attacking at this point. He is starting to become more aware of the amount of speed bursts that he is using and chances are good he's going to need to use his speed to get himself out of this situation soon.

"Oh good. The birds have infected my skin with maggots and this thing can steal my soul. Great." He mentally tries to call up anyone he could ask for help, especially with the demonic maggot infestation and sadly most of his resources are only slightly less likely to eat his soul than the bear. Having mostly villains for resources sucks. For now he tries to keep an eye on both the bear and any surviving birds or shadows, the knife raised up ready to poke anything that comes at him.

The wittiness between Emery and Owen continues to be lost upon the Bear.

What isn't lost, however, is the fact that Emery dodges its claws(though not the paw itself) and Owen blurs away.

The fact that Owen didn't even get nicked by the beast's paw enrages it to some extent. Enough that its muzzle crinkles back to show blighted ivory teeth in response. Another growl reverberates through the air, but soon enough that growl turns to a roar - a roar of pain, as the sword bites into its arm.

But that's all it does, bites, deeply, yes, but not deep enough to sever the limb from body. From this, the Bear's attention shifts back to Emery now, Owen forgotten for the moment, and while the pain shivers up its arm (for the cut, the fire and holy water) that doesn't stop the Demon from pulling the injured appendage backward and then up. WHile most creatures would try to dislodge the sword from its flesh the Demon Bear doesn't. Instead it tries to bring the sword-wielder up with that movement of its.

And even as the Bear tries to lift Emery off of the ground, that doesn't stop trouble from reappearing for Owne, as a smaller shadow separates from the Bear. It's the woman again. As she rematerializes her bow is already before her an arrow drawn tight against the bowstring. Once her target is sighted the arrow releases.


That first arrow hurtles swiftly through the air, the wind whistling past the fletching, as it strives to bury itself into Owen's side.

And whether that arrow hits or doesn't, the cloaked woman pulls a second arrow from the quiver that sits upon her back. It too is nocked and pulled back and then sent along a similar course toward Owen; or at least, the last known location Owen was at.

The maggot thing is new, that's very new and the dark haired Irishman takes note of how fast Owen is, but is a fleeting glance as he's trying to keep his attention of Evil Groom of Smokey over there. "…I thought the birds in America were supposed to give ye /flu/ not…" Because that is…nasty. That's just nasty.

But that blade finds a home stuck deep in the Bear's arm. Shining still and flaming blade, flickers of light against the shadow exterior of the monster/demon/wtf. Hair is falling out of that man bun and he lets out a soft explicative when he's yanked off the bloody ground by his own blade, dangling there for a moment before he narrows his eyes. Gritting his teeth as he notices the woman is back! "Stop, drop, and roll!"

Then he turns his head back to regard the bear, bleeding from his back and his chest even though the bleeding is starting to slow, bruises from the paw swiping…pain just swirling in his nervous system. He uses his upper body strength, pulling himself up a bit, shirt hiking up to expose a peek of developed abs, one armed by that sword and then in a sudden burst of speed with a grunt and yes…he lunges forward to bite the closest bit of the Bear he can. He just needs skin to skin contact, to open the floodgates of that empathic contact, letting all the pain receptors in his body flow through that connection water through a hose.

Yes, he's Irish. Biting is a legal fighting move.

"Oh this bitch." Owen can hardly believe his luck that he is fighting off some sort of demonic parasitic invasion, avoiding getting his soul eaten by a bear scratch and now he has this lady shooting arrows at him again. His response is an angry snatch of the arrow out of the air.

Flinging it back at her at much quicker speed than she shot it he calls "Your irishman said he's sorry he never called. All his fault, he was wrong, you were right."

Glancing over at the said Irishman, he watches in confused horror as he tries to bite the bear. "What the hell are you doing?!" This time he barely has time to move out of the way of the arrow and it catches part of his arm. "Shit!" The dagger, is thrown as a rebuttal, again with near bullet like speed. It's probably a dumb move to throw his only weapon but he's quickly moving from thoughtful battle strategy to thinking biting the bear seems like a good move for him too.

Emery's attempt at biting succeeds and when he opens those empathic floodgates upon the Bear two things happen -

First the Bear roars again. Though not in pain. Only anger. Rage. Such intense rage.

Second when Emery pushes the pain into the Bear it only goes so far before it meets resistance. The Bear itself pushes against the man's pain with its own. The pain of the wound upon its arm, the pain from its herald's hand, the pain of the souls within it. The freezing pain of Nimisha. All of that is flung back at Emery, like bricks and mortar used to build a wall - only this wall is set against psychic assaults.

Owen's words finally pull a response from the cloaked woman - a hiss of irritation, as she snaps, "Enough with these jokes! You stupid foolish m-" Man? Mortal? Meathead?

It's hard to say how she would have finished that sentence, but she doesn't get a chance to, not when her first arrow is returned to her with such a rapid pace. It takes the use of her own shadow to avoid injury as her silhouette jumps up like some mad Peter Pan rip-off to absorb the arrow within itself.

While that first attack of his alerted the cloaked woman to the likelihood of a second, the speed at which he throws the knife is such that the woman can't quite compensate for it. As such, the knife sinks meatily into her upper arm, piercing the cloak that sits around her shoulders and arm. While the force of it brings a faint grunt from the woman there's still nothing to show she's in any pain. Even as she curls fingers around the hilt of the knife and yanks it free.

The knife is dropped carelessly to the ground and while a look is fastened upon the Bear for a split-second, that doesn't stop the woman from retaliating against Owen's previous attack.

Instead of bow, or arrow, or shadows the woman instead reaches outward with her gifts. Nightmare or greatest desire, both can be pulled by the woman and for tonight, for Owen, Danielle Moonstar reaches for his greatest fear. His greatest nightmare. The things he fears the most.

There are so many smartass comments Emery could make right now, but his mouth is full of angry Bear. There used to be a running joke about just how much Emery would be willing to put in his mouth, but he never imagined it would be a Bear, in this way. Light and Darkness cannot occupy the same space, but the flames that snake out in tendrils from his own gift are hitting the freezing shadowy tendrils of the demonic creation, two psychic streams flowing into the same direction and getting jammed in the pipes.

The Irishman's eyes glow ever so slightly as he glares at the Demon Bear, his own senses picking up on the unnatural state of the souls within the creature and his arm trembling with the strain of holding on to that blade that is less flaming and more smouldering at this point. The residue left behind from releasing so many souls to their final destinations are mere fragments in comparisons to the souls the Bear has swirling within him. Enough collected fragments however, give him a competitive edge in the pieces of himself that do not originate with him.

He grrrs against that arm twisting around to flail out with his dagger to stab into whatever he can so he can grab the arm to steady himself with his bare hand. He finally releases his bite with a gasp. "ENOUGH! Oh my GOD, ye are so fucking /dramatic!/." But he's keeping that connection up, arm trembling at the strain. "Ye attention seekin' soulmuncher…"

Owen is about to press his advantage against the woman when she begins to reach out with her powers. And suddenly instead of being super fast, Owen finds himself unable to move at more than a snail's pace. It's almost like he's frozen to the ground except he can move every so slightly.. slowly. And then the voices come as figures flicker into view around him, taunting him, berating him, cursing him. It's a mix of cruel children and vicious, snarling adults all telling Owen the same thing in different terms: No one loves you.

Owen drops to his knees, slowly, as if underwater. He can't run away. He can barely get his hands up to cover his face as the images begin to spit at him and hit him. Yes he still looks like a fully grown adult, but somehow in his mind, he's back to being a scared little kid. Gone is the confident voice and taunting tone, instead is a soft, pleading.. "Please.. stop.. I'll be good."

Light and Dark. Fire and Ice.

Similar yet different. A dichotomy in that respect.

That doesn't stop the two from straining to take each other down. Especially for the Bear. While the Bear's eyes already glow with an inner light, the whorling madness that can likewise be seen spins faster as it strives for control of the link between the two. It harnesses more of its rage, its pain and tosses it ruthlessly at Emery.

It will win. That's the prevailing thought within its mind. It will win and it'll succeed even if it has to cheat.

Definitely if it cheats.

Danielle Moonstar watches her powers reach out and sink into Owen's unshielded mind. She continues to watch as those ghostly psychic images appear around him. To taunt him, to laugh at him, to make him suffer. Her gaze only shifts when the strain from the Bear is felt and with a frown the Cheyenne looks to the man that hangs from the Bear's arm. The dagger that Emery stabs at the Demon Bear sinks neatly in and while the pain flares across the Bear's senses, the internal struggle between the two only allows a vague grunt to be heard from the Demon.

Moonstar, by this time, raises her bow upward. By this point the physical arrows are left behind and as Dani Moonstar pulls the bowstring taunt, a magenta colored psychic arrow coalesces within bow and fingers. It's released with the twang of the bowstring and flies silently and quickly at Emery.

Should the psychic arrow hit it'll act very much like a taser; only this psychic taser shocks a person into unconsciousness thanks to the imagery it pulls from their mind. Fear or greatest desire. For Emery, this arrow is laced with fear. With nightmares. It brings forth those terrible thoughts that lay deep within the man's mind.

And as the psychic arrow flies for Emery, a second one manifests itself within that bow. This one is for Owen - to stun him similarly, to allow for the nightmares that play out before all of their eyes to continue into unconsciousness should he be hit with the shot.

There are certain things that Emery has no real defense against, especially not when engaged in the empathy equivalent of an arm wrestling match with no clear winner. He's taking deep steadying breaths, a vein popping out a bit at his temple and lashes lowered ever so slightly.

Then just like that, WHAM…his body goes rigid and the connection is severed reflexively as his eyes widen in a hint of panic. His body jerks as if tazed and he's falling to the ground, that blackened sword clattering as the weight of his body jerks it free and he hits the ground, gasping for air as his eyes stay open but roll back so that the whites only are showing.

Nobody can see them, or hear them…but the ghostly apparation of a young man in tattered trousers and a 60s hairstyle would appear on the plane of existence that only the Butler is aware of. The soft clinking of chains as in his mind, his body is suspended once more from the wrists above his head. Its inevitable. It always comes, the feeling of a blade pressed against his flesh. So it will be a thousand cuts this time.

As unconscious as he is on the ground, steeling himself for the torture that will begin, he doesn't scream…because he knows it is going to be bad. What is Nightmares for some people, he experiences as reality.

He's going to light that bitch up like a roman candle next time.

Owen is able to at least see through the visions and focus on Danielle. He can't shake the fear though, the feeling of powerlessness is overwhelming, and worse it's not his imagination so much as his memory. He sees the arrow notched, and assumes it's to kill him. Sadly, that doesn't sound so bad. Unfortunately for Owen it just prolongs this nightmare. Yup, he goes down!

Both fall. Both surrender to the nightmares of her arrows.

Both are neutralized.

From the depths of the Bear's torso a figure emerges, that of Nimisha. She's covered in a fine layer of frost and while she looks like death when Emery and Owen awake, they'll find her heart beats, her lungs breathe. She, however, doesn't wake up. Her body is just that, a body. No soul. The soul now belongs to someone else.

Or something. But instead of enslavement, the Bear just keeps it.

The Demon Bear, at this point, chuffs a noise of success. Its arm begins to heal now that the blade is removed and slowly, the Bear's form shrinks. It turns a look to Dani and the woman says simply, "I will be there shortly." And then, just like that, the Bear is gone. For Dani that 'shortly' resolves into a few minutes of inspecting Owen and Emery. Owen to perhaps see who the man is and then over to Emery.

Crouching down, the black-haired woman says, "You lose."

Then she rises to her feet and walks away, her steps taking her over to a shadow and then into it. Disappearing from view within the blackness of that shade.

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