Demon Bear: A Trap Mislaid

November 19, 2017:

Emery, Owen and Jessica Jones lay a trap for Bear and Company.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Once upon a time…there was an 'innocent' (not really) Butler who was just minding his own business (not really) and there was an 'innocent' (nope) homeless looking guy who just wanted to enjoy his bagel when they were viciously set upon by a demonic bear and his bow wielding pet Human (probably not) and wronged in ways that can never be forgiven (but possibly momentally forgotten depending on the amount of alcohol in their systems). Said Pet PsychoBi-woman shot, stabbed, taunted, and traumatized these poor men, depriving them of both Childcare and Bagels. Bravely they fought, and they did not prevail in fact they were left passed out in the street like the drunken bums they sometimes pretend to be…but a good doctor patched them up and gave them rum. So it was totally cool, but still totally uncool.

Numbers were exchanged, wounds were nursed, vengence was sworn…for Childcare and Bagels. And a little bit to help protect others. But mostly for Childcare and Bagels and because Maggots are gross and getting stabbed in the back and shot in the tit is just…wrong.

48 hours after the attack…a trim man in a dark hoodie walks down a dark shadowy alley on the phone with a mysterious person, his Irish accent a tad rough, he rattles off an address before ending the call. Black duffel bag hits the ground, the sound of a can of spray paint being shaken echos down the alley followed by the occasional swig from a glass bottle of whiskey. The Trim man exits the alley, the lower half of his face hidden by a dark green bandana and his eyes shadowed by that hoodie as he is leaving behind a shattered bottle of whiskey that had a match dropped in it, lighting up the alley and the wall that reads 'Hr Soul Iz Mine' and under an Enochian Symbol for 'Angel'.

Several other alleys are treated like this. Some with latin prayers, the prayer to Saint Michael written…others with fun taunts like 'Gotta Take 'em All'.

Fast forward to tonight…a figure wearing a pair of dark jeans, dark combat boots, a knee length leather coat and he's currently in an abandonned warehouse. Emery Papsworth, Professional Butler and Certified Personal Assistant wears a black wide brimmed fedora, pulled down at an angel to shadow his eyes and he's got a very unique set-up in this warehouse. Up in the rafters, pointed down towards the floor are series of flood lights, industrial floodlights. The walls have been tagged with red spray paint. North is the entrance and over that is a Latin Prayer to Raphael. South wall, has that damn prayer to Saint Michael. East wall, a prayer to Gabriel. West wall, a very rude poem in Gaelic about Tavern Wenches. He had spray paint to spare.

He has probably had help with this set up, as he continues to regularly check a silver pocket watch from time to time and eyes the entrance. On that table, there are chains, handcuffs, and rope. There is also a box of bagels and a cooler on the floor under the table. Probably filled with Irish Whiskey.

For now he waits, murmuring softly under his breath as he starts to unpack his own arsenal. Swords. Daggers. Holy Oil. Daggers. A hand grenade. A bottle of honey. You know. Essentials.

Its Party Night


When Jessica Jones had called, this…party night…had been the last thing she'd been expecting.

She'd called, as she almost always does, in the pursuit of answers. After her dubious performance in her attempts to help rescue Jane from the demon bear, she'd just kept right on doing the only thing she knew how to do. She worked the case. Granted, it was after a nudge from Strange, but she worked it. And finding out Emery had run afoul of it, while listening to him ramble about penance and licking (or was it biting) souls and whatever else…on the voicemail that sent her off to perform Acts of Substitute Child Care certainly produced its fair share of questions.

When she'd called? Getting answers to said questions was pretty much the only thing on her mind. Instead, she gets this address, and some sort of hint of some sort of plan.

For half a moment, she'd even wondered if she should have touched this case at all; the bear savaged the crap out of parts of her soul, left wounds and aches in her ability to trust, to touch, to even go to her own goddamn apartment. And she'd wondered at this, that she had such little courage that she can't even face her own home without throwing up (which she did, when she tried, in the elevator), couldn't face the prospect of a relationship without feeling a burn in her own veins, couldn't even really face her friends in anything but the most workmanlike of capacities…but somehow, she finds herself coming back for Round II. What is it in her that makes that shit make any kind of sense? She'd actually gone back for more rounds when she'd started working the case at all, she supposes, and she truly doesn't get it.

Whatever. She took a shot of courage in the form of half a bottle of Wild Turkey, and showed up. Showed up in a hoodie and her jacket and thick jeans and boots and gloves and her scarf, the whole nine yards, the full 'armor' in ways that are psychological as much as physical, but she showed up.

"Papsworth. I swear to God if this was all a ruse to throw some sort of kink party I really am gonna turn you into origami."

It's a bad joke, one she's not even comfortable making, but. It spills out anyway.


The life of a super villain is surprisingly straight-forward. You pick something you want, you make a plan, you get that something and roughly half the time you get trounced by a cape and sent off for some R&R in jail cell. The rhythm of that life becomes the easy to adapt to, and right about now Owen finds himself looking back almost fondly on his time as a villain. Because this? This is seriously screwed up by comparison.

He has been making preparation for the last few hours, his gear stowed in a bag near the table. He is stripped down to just jeans and a tank top fiddling with some odd tech that he has cobbled up around the walls. He wanders over to finally avail himself of the concessions, because while the job may be wildly different from what he's used to, his deep and abiding love of bagels and booze, though not necessarily at once, remains constant.

Of course throughout all of this 'preparation work', he has agreed heartily to whatever the Irish butler warrior has suggested. He eagerly threw himself into whatever task was at hand, anything to not think about what they were actually doing, what actually happened or anything unpleasant like that. Slipping into a black longsleeve shirt, half a bagel hanging out of his mouth, he is rather shocked at who walks through the door. Seriously, outside of work and bar regulars, he's pretty new here. Dropping the bagel into his hand and temporarily setting down the whiskey, he asks "Jessica?"


Somewhere within the cold cradle of darkness a woman floats. Her form shrouded by both cloak and ice. Only the tattered edges of that bear pelt offers any real sense of movement around her. Sound is likewise non-existent with only the soft thrum of a drum, the beat of a heart, the swish of blood through veins heard.

Time passes. How much is unclear, but eventually the solitude the woman drifts within is broken.

It's the sound of the crows that brings her awareness back.

Those avians the eyes and the ears of the Bear and its allies. While smart the crows may be they're not quite smart enough to understand what those symbols, that fire and the word 'angel' really means, but someone does. Afterall, secrets are never safe in the dark. Ever.

As such, the crows watched Emery and Owen. They watched, waited and when it seemed Emery and team were here to stay, the birds relayed the information of their whereabouts back to their masters.

And that is what allows Danielle Moonstar to know just where Emery, Owen and Jessica Jones are.

That is what allows an attack to commence.

Within the room where the three finish their preparations and to wait, the shadows begin to move. Small things really. Deepening and darkening as doorways begin to open. Then once those gateways are open wide enough that movement becomes a flurry of activity, as crows alight from several corners. Seemingly to appear from thin air.

Their raucous shrieks fill the air and quite quickly the half-a-dozen birds streak across the warehouse toward the three figures nearby.


"Dun worry darlin', I've left the silken ropes and ridin' crop at home…" Emery drawls softly, holding up a blade into the dim light. Its a sharp blade, greased up with holy oil like the rest of them, ring hilted for easy access and he gives it a idle twirl before slipping it into the sheathe hidden at the small of his back. His dark gaze flicks between Owen and Jessica as he turns, lips parting to offer introductions. Another dagger is twirled around a finger by its ring, ran through a couple of figure eights before the Irishman nods and tucks that one away as well. "Oh good, ye know Maggot Mitts over here. Maggot Mitts, this is Miss Jones as ye probably already know. - Speakin' of Maggots, dun forget…long sleeves, keep them pretty petters covered up with gloves."

He snaps his fingers and then points to Jessica. "…ye can lift tings. I spent the night wit' a fire chief, and he gave me his hose." A pause. "Not /his/ hose. Well. I got that too, but he gave me also the hose and I ran it up and through the back…we are gonna need that love. Can ye be a dear and fetch it. Its one of them high power tings."

Then…for him the world slows down and he looks over his shoulder slightly…taking a deep steadying breath. "Teh birds are yours Owen, light teh fluttery bastards up. Avenge your regurgitated baked goods…now's your chance."

Meanwhile he has shoved his parrying blade into a hip sheathe and he grips one of his slender swords and takes another deep breath, clearing his throat and calling out in Dad Voice, he can't help it, its automatic. "Dani Moonbeamorwhateverthefeckyourlastname is! Ye march your little arse out of the depths whatever hell ye be in RIGHT this MINUTE Little Lady! Right now! Dun give me this attack of the killer crows bullshite, ye know what ye did!" Drawing attention, and keeping one hand in his pocket on a special switch.


Emery's return quip produces one of Jones' signature withering looks. It's a look that had sat on a shelf for awhile as she'd tried to be the warmer, kinder, more open version of herself, but it's back in full force now. Knee-jerk.

Armor.

Owen's startled comment makes her study him, and her eyebrows lift. "Huh. Hey, Mercer."

Maggot Mitts? She actually looks nauseated. The mention of maggots has her taking her scarf and winding it around her head, and the lower half of her face, pulling it and knotting it tight so that only her eyes show, so layers of fabric sort of keep those a little hard to get to as well. She's had her fill of fucking maggots. They were what unbalanced her in the first place, even before…

And then…there's…the…goddamn birds. Her head snaps around, and she cries, "Dani? I thought she was hunting the—"

No. There is just no time to solve the motherfucking mystery, is there? No, she needs to go fetch the hose. It's a measure of the fact that her ability to do teamwork has not been as damaged as her ability to relate to others that she springs to do that at a dead run, pushing herself to full speed rather than demanding to know what good a motherfucking hose is going to do, or stopping to try to punch the shit out of birds. No, she follows this plan she knows nothing about, cause hey.

She sure as fuck dosn't have any better ideas.


Any confusion at seeing the PI that tracked him down here in this spray painted, geared up demon trap of a warehouse is quick to disappear once the shadows start flickering. Once Owen sees the crows, he knows it's fully on. Of course his first response is to yell "No! You are not getting my damn bagel this time.." and he shoves the rest of his half bagel into his mouth. With a blur of speed, he brings his preparations up to fully ready. It includes a jacket with specialized pouches and boomerangs up the front, and a pair of specialized goggles.

"Jones. *chewchew* Ignore the lusty leprechaun *swallow*, grab some goggles. 'Bout to get bright." He kicks the bag at his feet over towards her before finally settling in and focusing on his winged nemeses.

Razor boomerangs. These are all Owen wanted last time. Super efficient at slicing through things, like ropes, weapons, or in this case demon birds. Owen only needs three, because well, boomerangs. It's like a weird specialized juggling act as he sends them out and back, first targeting any crows coming for Jessica, then himself and finally if he has time he will keep them out of Emery's hair as well. He uses enough speed to be faster than the birds, but tries to limit it to just throwing.


Name's have power, even half of one. It also helps that the portals carry the words of Emery and Company into those wells of darkness.

Those words are enough to produce a faint rumble of growl from the Bear, which prods the woman still held within their shade into action.

First, however, the birds. Two break away and follow after Jessica Jones, even as she goes for the hose that Emery speaks of. Before those two can peck or scratch the woman, however, those razor-edged boomerangs hit home. The birds disintegrate with a puff of feathers and a squawk of pain. Maggots fall to the ground with perhaps a nauseating sound, as they hit wetly against the floor.

Two more crows angle for Owen and Emery, their red-eyes beady and full of anger, and while they almost make it to both men those boomerangs once again hit their mark. Decaying meat and wriggling maggots fall among broken black feathers.

When the broken bodies of the birds have stilled the trio will find a fourth has joined their ranks.

The chill of winter can be felt from the shadows now, as Dani steps through one near a corner. She's dressed as before, black suit, bear cloak and mostly shadowed face. Her bow is held in one hand with an arrow in the other and for now, that weapon stays low. "I like my crows." Is what the woman says, the faintest traces of humor found within her words.


The Irishman hasn't known Owen very long, but he trusts his rage and his skillset, even if he's not fully aware of the other man's abilities. Emery may have sent Jessica after the hose to get her temporarily out of the way to allow Owen to do his thing, but his plan does include this hose. And possibly lotion. All things will be revealed in time. He's ducking for a moment as things whiz and slice above his head. His hair, thankfully is safely tucked into his hat.

Jessica's return is greeted with a rushed toss of extra sunglasses before he slides his own shades on. "Long story short, she probably fucked wit somethin' she shouldn't have. M' pretty sure the Bear has her soul and thought she was cute. Now she's a backstabbin arro-" He points at Dani's arrival. As if to say 'See?!'.

His sword his held at the ready but he also keeps it low and quirks an eyebrow. "I'm sure your undeady goth parrots are ye bestest friends. We need to talk."

There's a sharp whistle to signal to Owen he's about to light it up. Then he presses a button on the switch in his pockets and its a reinactment of the 'Let there be light' moment as those floodlights all switch on with a chchoom noise and the hum. Filling the warehouse with almost too much light.


Jessica catches the sunglasses neatly and shoves them on her face; she…points the hose at Dani Moonstar cause she has no idea what else to do with it, or what they're doing here at all. And oh hey, floodlights. She just…grips the hose tighter. Like some sort of child with a super soaker, playing at knowing what the everloving eff she is doing. Which she does not, but she will at least fake it real well.

Except, you know. No quips, no banter, just a woman swathed in cloth, leather, and shades from head to toe, these two guys sound confident and in control and look badass while doing it. She feels like a grubby ten year old who failed to take the left turn at Albequrque and ended up in the wrong building by far.

Still, standing her ground even when she feels like shit is kind of one of her very few skills and/or virtues, so that's what she does.


There is only a small smile of satisfaction on Owen's face when the birds go down. It's only the first of what will probably be many hurdles tonight but still it feels good to actually be prepared this time. He even lets himself have a quick sip of whiskey while Dani appears, because he is quite frankly, a cocky idiot. Goes to all the thought of preserving his speed in the attack, only to blur to grab a drink? Yeah.

"They're full of maggots! Why can't you have like a puppy or a bunny… nevermind, you'd probably just feed it to your bear. What is wrong with you? Feeding puppies to bears."

As the lights hit, he follows it with the razor boomerangs flung at Dani. It's not a strong attack, it's not even aimed at anything vital. No, it's meant to miss on the first pass, and swing back for the straps of the quiver. He doesn't really understand that the 'arrow' that hit him last time didn't come from there, so he wants to get that out of play if possible.


Why can't you have a puppy?

Why can't she, indeed?

The floodlights snap on, scouring the area in harsh radiance. The boomerangs fly out, aimed to loop around and catch Dani from behind. But even as all this is happening, the woman's shadow is crawling across the ground, spreading beyond all reasonable bounds, eating up the light in shadow.

Large enough, in fact, for something to come through.

At the last moment, a solid wall of black fur and writhing blackness surges up from Dani's shadow. The monstrous shape turns its left shoulder into the attack, glancing the boomerangs off the plane of its foreleg with the cold ring of metal. It leaps clear afterwards, lighting beside her and circling around behind.

It's a wolf — or nominally, a wolf. If a wolf existed that stood several times Moonstar's height at the shoulder, and had a left foreleg wrapped in dripping, sliding shadows.

Its searing eyes burn: a flat, frigid blue, cold as the frost left behind in each step of the creature's left forepaw. Fangs the length of an arm show in a snarl.


A single shadow breaks free from the wolf — separates as if were possibly formed part of it, or simply in hiding among its thick, coarse fur.

Out swoops a tiny shadow, feathered and winged, no bigger than a common sparrow, and taking to the air — its small, black body streaking through the flaring beams of light. It takes perch on some hanging loop of wiring, hopping down with a fold-in of its wings, and in a twitch-turn, veering its little head down on all those below.

It taps on the wiring it walks, stopping on another twitch, black eyes blinking, cleaning its beak on the rubber sheath of the cabling.

Then the songbird begins to sing.

The song calls out, over them, through them, and one by one, begins to turn those spotlights off.

Click. Click. Click.

Ever-closing darkness.


The light dazzles Danielle Moonstar's eyes, even with the 'hood' of her cloak shadowing the majority of her face.

That doesn't stop her, however, from listening to what the men have to say.

Her head tilts in the direction of Emery first and then Owen. It's Owen who gets the first response -

"Funny - I do have a puppy. Do you like him?" She asks, rhetorically at this point of course, but the question is said nonetheless. When the great wolf briefly alights beside Dani, she reaches to touch the dark fur, both in greeting and thanks, before her hand drops back to her side as the great beast settles behind her. A guardian against those that would hurt them.

Now, Emery is addressed. Or rather, his previous words are. By this time her sight has likewise returned, perhaps a little spotty still, but she can see the trio before her. "We've nothing left to say to you, or your friends. It was foolish of you to invite us in, but since we're here -"

And with those words the songbird reveals itself and then it sings.

The song acts as signal to Danielle Moonstar, one that causes the woman's shadow to twist and distort again. That blackness slithers up the woman's legs to cover her form and when it recedes something else now stands in her place. A grizzly bear. Larger than your average one, but smaller than the great wolf-beast behind her.

There's darkness upon its brown fur and it spreads like a disease, encroaching upon the warm chestnut color of the animal.

With a growl, the Bear lumbers toward her first target - Emery. Ivory claws swing at the man, a heavy-handed swipe, intending to gouge and tear.


Each second is counted in Emery's head, each breath and he's just incredible still as he collects himself, taking a deep breath as he can feel the itch along his spine as if every confession/prayer that's tattoed there is tingling and whispering in his ear, pleading to be brought to life through a name he has not used for years. His jaw sets and his lips part.

Then the wolf appears.

"Mister Mercer." The Irishman is staying calm, really. "God. Damnit.Did ye just. Make. A fucking. Wolf?" He sucks his teeth and exhales slowly, idly cracking his neck.

"Oh…Dani." His tone of voice shifts, there's still traces of that Irish lilt on the very edges but it is a soft, almost purrish like voice…warm honeyed wine from a winery in Europe with microscopic shardes of glass hidden through out it. Its the same tone that may have been used in the famous line: And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.

As each light goes out, Emery's jaw twitches. Shadows. Darkness. Its all too familiar. Its all too comfortable. "Mister Mercer, please allow Miss Jones to keep you safe…" Its all remnants of a life he left behind. The song of the songbird pierces through the whispers going through his head.

"When Moses first heard my name. It was in the 7th heaven. And he prayed to the lord to never let his soul fall into the hands of the one who bore that name." There's a soft chuckle in the dimming room. Snikt of that zippo, touched to his blade as he watches the woman transform and the holy oil ignites. The swipe is met with a twist and running into it with his shoulder to void as much gouging and allow his coat to take the brunt of the tear. He does not however, swing his sword at her yet, his free hand flailing out to grab the closest part of that new bear arm that he can, eyes flashing/glowing dimly in the light. "You've opened your gates and brought forth shadows and fear. Do you wish me to return the favor? It has been a long time since I've had to fight to take what is rightfully /mine/. I just wish to TALK. One question."


The clang of a boomerang on the wolf's metal leg briefly draws Jessica's attention, but then all Hell is breaking loose. She's supposed to protect Mercer? Fucking how? She's not John Constantine, to burn the magic away. Last time she just got swallowed, chewed up and spit out like yesterday's old gristle. She has this…hose thing…What the fuck is going down with that?

"Run the fuck away and I'll cover you?" is her grim sort-of-advice to Owen Mercer. Cause that's all she's got, if she's meant to keep him alive. Just GTFO, man, cause from where Jessica is standing? Whatever Emery meant to do here has not gone right at all. All this chanting and talking and praying and symbols…Augh.

"PAPSWORTH!" she finally shouts. "WHEN YOU ARE DONE SAYING YOUR BIBLE VERSES MAYBE TELL ME WHAT THE FUCK THE HOSE IS FOR?"


"No!" The accusation is quickly rebutted by Owen. Only to be weakly followed with "I'm pretty sure I didn't. Fuck, maybe yes. I don't know. Stupid demon zoo."

By all accounts the fact that Dani was just replaced by a large demon bear should make things worse in the minds of all those opposed to having their souls eaten. However, in Owen's mind this is a good thing. A demon bear that eats your soul and might damn you to an eternity of pain and suffering is horrible sure, but what Dani did to Owen last time? That. That is never happening again.

"No! Stupid black pigeon! Shut yer face." Yea, Owen may have mistook a crow for a black pigeon last time, but in his defense he was super hungover and hadn't had his coffee yet. And this one is at least more pigeon sized. He lets loose with a napalm like boomerang that spews a highly flammable burning goo that sticks to and burns whatever it touches. It's super unpleasant and aimed at burninating the bird and if it scorches the puppy, well that's fine too.

"It's for burning everything to shit Jones." He does at least move close to her in case using that hose becomes a necessity. Granted he is hoping that he has a few more tricks up his sleeve that might work before it comes to just spraying fire everywhere.


The 'puppy' has no opinion on being liked or disliked. The puppy has no opinion on anything except Owen calling the bird a 'stupid black pigeon.'

The puppy has a lot of opinions about that.

The wolf wraiths away into shadows, splitting into darkness, disappearing temporarily from sight.

When it reappears, it is behind Owen, and its jaws are reaching to close on the man, shake him, and throw him bodily right back into Jessica.


That fiery boomerang is one of the few, remaining points of light left in the warehouse — whirling fatally towards that little songbird. The bird chirps a threat-call and drops, attempting to evade, and twisting its tiny body in a tight arc to escape the worst of that weapon. It scathes just past the little creature —

A creature that is not natural, not normal, as it flaps black wings lit with burning fire at the feather tips, pushing itself higher into the air as it whistles with shocked pain. In pain, but still strong.

Circling above them, above the monster wolf that cuts in between their prey and hunts them, the songbird sings again.

This is a different song than the last, low and haunting, a caged bird's cry for home — as the warehouse walls warp and begin to fall away, its steel frame and high rafters suddenly a forest. A winter forest all around them, stacked with tall, naked trees, all a hundred points of skeletal branches, and snow clinging ankle-deep.

The moon burns a sick, infected red in the black sky, a sore in the sky. The black trees around them begin to bleed.


The Bear sees Emery light that blade of his on fire. She watches as he steps and twists just out of reach of her claws.

His reach for her arm is successful and earns a handful of fur and a grip upon the skin and muscle beneath it. It's only when he's finished speaking that fur disappears, as does the overt strength of the Bear, now the Cheyenne woman is back. That arm he holds covered by a thickly weaved cloth; something that denotes more than just cotton and rayon for this costume.

The chatter between Owen and Jessica is heard and while it earns a raise of black eyebrows, all Moonstar says at this point is, "Speak then. I'm all ears -" Comes her slightly mocking tone, even as Bird and Wolf continue to fight in their capable ways.

Even as Owen lashes out at Bird and targets her with a boomerang. In fact, it's upon seeing that boomerang take flight toward the Bird, that Dani interrupts her own words to add, "Foolish move."

And to prove her point a new song begins and the terrain changes. It causes barely a flicker upon Moonstar's face, as she continues on with her previous thought, "- My time is unlimited, whereas yours…"

And true to her word, Dani does pause any sort of follow-up attack. That, however, doesn't stop her from discreetly dropping her free hand beneath her bear-hide cloak, to a bone-handle knife that sits sheathed at her waist.


When in doubt, blame Mercer. This is something that Emery is learning. His lips part as he huffs out a breath. "Contingency plan." Is his reply to Jessica, shoving Samael back into his box as he has the answers he really wanted out of this entire exercise.

And then…"There's FUCKING WOLF the size of me CAR and ye decide to waste a flamin' battle croissant on a goddamn bloody pigeon?!" It is incredulous exasperation. Even though, the weapons themselves are pretty damn badass. The bible quotes, the charging up to become a Battle Angel, the voice that changes when he forgets to be specifically Irish…all of that is derailed as he is in an arm-bar with a bear. Because. He can only watch the disaster unfold.

He doesn't even have enough time to warn Owen about Black Fang because Owen seeking revenge /for/ his bagel. Seems to now /become/ the bagel. Its trippy. And Jessica, poor Jessica…he actually feels guilty for not just telling her he'd have tea with her tomorrow and explain everything. He was trying to do more showing than telling. And all he's managed to show Jessica is his really big hose and…alot of weird shit. And now, the bad guys are calling them foolish. "Shitty BangBang! Ye throw /one/ more fucking tings and make tings even worse and I'm drinkin' that entire cooler of whiskey on me own! I swear to teh Saints!"

Its when the warehouse shifts that he raises his voice and offers…one more thing. "WAIT!" Because bloody trees, no. "Let me take her pain!" He's assuming its a her to avoid being sexist. Both Jessica and Dani can hurt him. "Ye KNOW I can do it. Let me take her pain!" Its a white flag. They don't need a win. They need to survive. "You know…I can do it. Let me take her pain, and release us from this Maxi-Pad advert of a nightmare…I only wanted to know, one thing. One thing." He knows about the pride, they don't need a win. They just need the Terrifying Three, to think they have won. "I just wanted to know…one thing." He holds out his bare hand now, stepping back from Dani and holding it out as he searches the literally…bloody sky, flaming sword held low and defensive but not as if prepared to attack.


Jessica realizes she's holding a hose full of gasoline and drops it rapidly. Sure, she's survived full body third degree burns before but it is not an experience she wants to repeat. "Are you shitting me?" Their plan was…straight chat, bondage, and basic burnination?

Then…a sudden Owen. She reaches out to sort of catch him and sort of break his fall by tumbling over beneath him like a leather clad cushion. And as little as she wants to be touched by anyone, she can't stand to have him on her, so she growls, "Getoff," and shoves him away without much fanfare. Though for a moment she is thinking her strategy might just be to haul these two idiots up by the scruff of the neck and shag ass, trailing both of them behind her like balloons.

Instead, she picks up one of the useless floodlights, raises it over her head…

And wheeere the fuck are they?

"No, no, no, shit," she hisses. This looks an awful lot like being back in the nightmare, though at least none of hers feature snow. The blood red moon reminds her of Bradenburg, though the bleeding trees are not a pleasant sight, and she's beginning to wish she hadn't been such a god damn DETECTIVE about all this. She'd have been at Shadowcrest. Taking a bubble bath.

She had been planning to throw the light; now she's planning to swing the damn thing like a weapon, or use it like a shield.

She sort of freezes too. Moonstar is, so sure, she'll hang out. With this light. Over her head. In the blood snow of darkness and horror. Great. Fantastic. But oh good. The Irish Angel is performing an epic hostage negotiation. Faboo.

The look on Jones' face is rather like someone strapped into a roller coaster ride they were not anticipating being on when they are in fact afraid of heights. It's true.


"Oh sure underestimate the pigeon" says Owen. Just because it's small doesn't mean it's not the real threat… Well shit, there goes that theory. The wolf is indeed the more pressing threat, who would have thought. He goes sailing and is quite surprised that Jess isn't squished. In a blur he's off her and is about to throw some more shit at the problem, seeing as that is literally what he does when the scene changes.

"What in the actual..?" Owen quickly checks his wrist, and is able to confirm that he hasn't moved, or at least hasn't lost contact with his backup plan. "See? Stupid bird.. but it's just an illusion. We haven't moved.. I think. Unless it also broke my tech." Kind of helpful?

As much as Owen would love to blur out of here, it's a lot harder with the illusion up and that's not the plan. The plan is to let Emery get whatever he needs to figure this out and from the sound of it, he's not there yet.

"What's the plan now Irish? You going to bite her too?" It actually didn't work out so badly last time, all things considered.


Stupid bird, he says.

The songbird lands down on one overhanging branch, tilting its head, its black mirror eye blinking. It heard that.

Feathers lift up from its body, and it spreads its wings, hopping up to the trunk of the tree with a beckoning chirp. It pecks its beak into the black bark.

The forest around them shifts and pulls, a slithering sound of dry, rasping, dead-bark bodies, branches splintering and cracking with carrying echoes as they shift to life. They bend shudderingly down on the three standing among their bleeding bodies, turning down needle-edged branches to try to trap them, webbing a hooked, barbed-end cage as more branches come carving down in reaching swipes — and if they contact, will leave deep, dangerous lacerations, able to scissor through flesh and clip unprotected arteries.

/Illusion that./

One tree reaches for Owen in particular, trying to fold its cutting branches down and around him — not to attack, but simply to try to hold him still…


And he just keeps saying stupid bird…

The bird has something to say about that. It pecks one of the rotting trees, and its branches twist and unfold. They try to reach down, to snare the trio, to bleed them with raking thorns.

And through the shadows, there comes the click and scrape of claws. Two points of blue light flare through the darkness, searching, as the wolf ghosts through the twisting forest. It licks the weeping blood from the bark of the trees it passes.

It zeroes in on Owen, as the bird tries to pin him still. Jaws part, and the creature lunges to try to take this gift.


"No. You can't have it." The woman says to his offer of pain relief and likewise to his request for release. "Time's up." With that said the shadows twist back over the Chyenne's form. Seconds later the Bear is once again present. It stands upon two legs very much like a man and with a shift, the Bear drops to all fours even as the trees come to life.

When the Bear hits the 'ground' a tremor reverberates from the epicenter of its front paws. Each shake and tremble causes cracks to rip apart the ground. Dirt shifts and falls into what lies beneath those crevices. Only what's below doesn't stay there -

A jagged slash near Emery twitches to life as something burrows from underneath. It doesn't take long for a figure to break through. It's a small figure, swathed in a tattered frilly dress. Her brown hair lays lank against her head, brittle strands broken in spots, to allow patches of her scalp and skull to peek through. Her face is likewise damaged and decomposed, but for Emery it's likely apparent who this little girl is.

The barest of wheezes comes from her broken throat, "Da-a?", she asks, her dead-eyed gaze focused upon Emery Papsworth.

With that done the Bear shifts its gaze now. To Jessica Jones. If an animal face could show a grin like a human's, this Bear would be smiling. Slowly it stalks forward and with each step the broken corpses of crows begin to appear.

They sit within the tree and upon the ground and between their broken feathers and visibly cracked ribcages the wriggling black-slug-like-bodies of the maggots can be seen. One takes wing and delicately flutters toward the woman, it's broken beak sounding with the raspiest of cAwS.


Emery gives a small nod when his olive branch is rejected. He tried and in that refusal he learns alot. He does not get the chance to speak to Jessica or Owen because lately, anybody that wants to fuck with his brain goes straight for the kill. His one knowing…and his one living nightmare is knowing he will outlive his daughter unless she become what he is and gets stuck with his curse.

His jaw sets and his eyes go dead as he just stare at the morbid hallucination of his baby girl. "No….no, ye do not get to use her like tat ye mad horror cupid…." And he grips that flaming sword even tighter. He takes slow breaths though and just nods to himself. There is a switch in his head. "We get it…you are all infantile arseholes." His breathing speeds up, body going numb as anger driven adreneline is building up in his system and he just adjusts his hold on that flaming sword. "And you and ye… ye…ye box of demonic animal crackers…" Another deep breath. "Can totally and completely…just…." Another deep breath. "I am coming for him. Ye tell tat mother fucking bear, My name will be the last ting he hears. Ye tell tat him tat… Tell him." As he sinks to his knees and just stare at the zombie version of his baby girl. Murder promised in his gaze.


Jess is in no mood to get sliced up today. The PI starts swinging the light rather ferociously at the barbed branches, trying her damndest to snap them, break them, send them away. She grits her teeth, concentrating hard on the task. She just swings and swings, hard, precise, focused pretty much on that and that alone for the moment.

But as she swings her heart starts to roar and pound in her ears.

The panic attack is coming. As hard as her swings. Her breath comes in ragged, fearful pants, her face pales. It's not a heart attack. She knows it's not a heart attack. This isn't going to kill her. The monsters probably will, but not this.

Distantly, she becomes aware this is some new trigger, one she doesn't even have a context for. Awesome. They're multiplying, those triggers. Multiplying like maggots beneath skin.

She reaches for a mantra she hasn't needed in months.

"Birch Street," she gasps. Swing.

"Higgins Drive." Swing.

"Cobalt Lane."

Swing. Her world narrows just to that. This list of streets, repeated over and over again. This series of persistent swings. She may not be much help to Owen at all.

If I live, I gotta take myself off this case, comes the distant thought.

And then: Can't. Made appointment. Finally earned trust. May be important. -Gotta- keep at case, if I don't die here. But it's kicking my ass. Who would have thought a case about a magic bear would kick my ass this hard? I can't even name the last time my ass got kicked this hard. Physically sure, but who cares about that? This case is making me lose my goddamned shit again. And I don't know how to stop it.

She looks up in time to see the bear stalking for her with her maggot-infested death birds, her nightmarish minions. Round fucking two indeed.

She sniffles, suddenly, tears flowing down her face, seeing all of it again. Dead Kennis isn't exactly great for her either, though she knows it pales in comparison to what Emery must feel he looks upon that twisted form.

So Jess finds she's looking up, instead, meeting the Bear's eyes. "Yeah," she agrees, around those tears. Perhaps in response to that sensation of being grinned at. It's not a back-up of what Emery said so much as an answer to the bear. As if the bear had actually spoken some taunt out loud.

"Yeah, I know. You're stronger than me. You all are."

Might as well address the bird and the wolf too.

But she hurls the spotlight at the bear with all her might anyway.

Follow the leads. Work the case. Resist the bad thing until she doesn't have anything left to resist with.

Even now. It's all she knows how to do.


The haunting and the possibility of losing your soul should really impact Owen more than it does. For a second, he's almost concerned about the fact that he isn't concerned? In fact he calmly is about to enact his second act when the tree decides to show him some love.

"Stupid tree!" Is about as witty as Owen gets at this point as it manages to stop him from triggering the fun light and mirror show that he had painstakingly setup ahead of time. There were mirror powered lasers! Lasers! And all ruined because he insulted a bird… twice.

As the wolf comes for him Owen calls out "Come and get me ye sad excuse for a demon hound! I will blow you the fuck up!" Yea, that would probably also kill Owen but he's pissed and never the best at thinking through threats in the moment.


Emery speaks his promises to her and more importantly the Demon Bear.

Jessica throws that floodlight at the smaller Bear.

And Owen shouts his anger at to the trees, but more importantly at the Wolf too.

Destruction and death should have happened, but before Bird, Wolf and Bear, could cast those final cuts, the world pauses -

Shadows twist, distort and stretch, and from within those wells of darkness greedy black fingers emerge. They reach for Bear, Bird and Wolf and before the Bear is hit by the floodlight or Wolf is able to attack Own, or Bird is able to sing more songs, they disappear.

Once the shadows close around the three avatars the nightmare around Jessica, Owen and Emery fades. They return to the room that they were always in, nothing changed from just a few seconds ago.

At least nothing physically changed within the room, that is.

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