The Snow Angel

December 28, 2017:

Attacked by an 'Angel' Ripclaw calls out to his new companions. Wiccan makes an introduction.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Doctor Strange, Jackie Estacado, Demon Bear

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The blizzard that grips the Tri-Cities in it's clutches was strong today, with it all kinds of supernatural anomalies have occurred up to and including the summoning of Yule Demons, attacks by cultists, ancient Greek sorceress unleashing Beastiamorphs, Elves abducting people…

Over the past week Robert Berresford and Lara Croft have had their share of bizarre otherworldly encounters including their being drawn together by the Curator to aid the Darkness and the Witchblade in a task they still have little answers to.

It's not as though they're friends, it is not as though they really know each other but they're somehow in contact now, that exchange of numbers, the offer of alliance in a world gone mad. When your back is to the wall it is good to know others might just be able to lend you aid, Robert called Sara, Lara and Jackie together once more, not because he wanted to try and have waffles this time. No, the man found a lead.

A building, half collapsed in snow, broken with age and time, a barrel stood up with illumination coming out of it as a fire had been started, its dark. Something smells freshly dead, it lies upon the snow it's innards stretched out across the gravel and whitewash, Robert with glistening claws waits with the barrel itself, extended, accepting some of the warmth though he burns very hot. He waits. What just transpired? Ripclaw killed an Angel. The lightshow was brilliant, brief and showy enough that it lit up the street corner in shining light long enough to leave an imprint of 'magic' or something akin to.

*

Lara had arrived after the killing had already taken place. She'd driven to the directions in her black and silver jeep and trudged her way through what snow was still on the ground, this time she was dressed all in black… a black winter coat, a black wool cap on over her brown hair and black pants and gloves.

Lara saw the form of Ripclaw and she moved toward him, her eyes looked around at the resulting area that he'd just… left this state? She looked rather confused, her eyes went back to him.

"What on earth happened here?" She asked him in her British flavored voice.

She started to move around to investigate a little deeper with her own two eyes.

*

Wiccan had detected that this storm and many other occurrences with this as a front….the supernatural anomalies don't take long to fall under the attention of Wiccan. Wearing his sorcerers garb as his vibrant red, tattered cloak trails behind his ankles when he walks, he decides to investigate these anomalies. Then the strong presence of an angel -surely- grabs his attention, as well as that imprint of magic left in it's wake.

Following the trail until he reached such a building, Wiccan flicks his hood up and he floats inside, hands still at his side in the event that he needs to perform a magic spell or perform a hand-gesture. His presence just -looked- like he was a sorcerer of high regard, young as he may be. the way one can appear to see the cosmos on his arms and sides that aren't covered by a bodysuit is evident of that. He speaks then.

"What has occurred here?" he says as blue magic circles that could just as easily be used for weapons appear over his hands after a single hand sign.

*

"Lara." Robert offers with a grim smile, he has developed a fondness for the woman of late. It doesn't help that the Curator attempted to 'bind' them all to a contract of fate focusing around each other either, not that the Witchblade and the Darkness require it.

Sorcerer tricks. Always.

"Self defense. It was after something here. Not the first thing out of place in the past two days since the River. I was attacked by elves." His eyes go wide at that, as if he still doesn't understand it. "At first I thought it was a prank, little creatures in cute costumes just harassing me for some holiday fun. Then one stabbed me with a candy cane… "

A crunch of snow and he is walking from the burning drum after Lara as she's canvassing the scene. The Angel was once upon a time a beautiful blonde woman, armored in shining garments that resemble some cross between armor and bikini, a wicked set of wide wings, eyes bright and open though vacant, ribcage peeled open with organs cleanly severed. Framed around her not in snow but blood is her outline. Definitely now the Snow Angel in a sense.

Wiccan's arrival, has Robert spinning to about face, kicking up snow in a puff, the jacket he is wearing tattered, falling off of a muscled pale body , wounds sustained from the Angel still present in slices and a puncture, jeans, boots, somehow is scarf remained intact upon shoulders,
"Doctor Stra… no, who are you?"

*

Lara continued to canvas the area… she'd been with SHIELD for awhile now, not that that made her an expert detective, but she was actually better at it than several who'd gone to school for that very subject… so she'd found out at least.

Lara paused her searching and observing to listen to Ripclaw's words. "Amazing." She said. "Why is all of this happening so suddenly?" She asked him then, as if he'd know. "Its like a cork has been popped off a bottle of, very angry and magical creatures."

Lara's eyes then turned to look at the approaching—who was that?

She glanced between the two of them, Ripclaw and then Wiccan. after a moment she nodded to Wiccan. "I'm Lara Croft, an agent with SHIELD… and an…" She glanced to Ripclaw then. "An associate of Mister Berresford."

*

Wiccan sees Berresford's wounds, and he nods once simply, his magic fading away as he lowered himself to standing level. Lowering his hood he reveals himself. "I am Wiccan. I detected a multitude of magical phenomenon in this area. I had assumed you were it's cause. Though…." he looks at Laura. "If she is an agent of SHIELD, I doubt I have much to worry for about you." he smiles softly to her before that same smile is given to Robert.

"I pray you did not suffer any serious damage from whatever was here?" he asks curiously, crystal blue eyes scanning the man up and down. A look is given to Lara then. "Were you here for these events as well?" a question of equal curiosity.

Thus does he stand, awaiting the hopeful answers to his questions.

*

"Awful trusting of you." Ripclaw remarks. That scarf being yanked off and wrapped around his forearm over a wound that is still healing. It looked ridiculous.
A sidelong look is given Lara Croft, being an Agent of SHIELD is news to him. Maybe a subject that has never been breached and the Curator didn't blurt it out. Surprising that alone.

"While this storm is active we are bound to see a lot of it. This answers who I am, the name Wiccan alone doesn't mean much to me." An inhale at the air, the cold and the wind takes away much but… that of a faint scent, maybe. "Try again with who you are?" Maybe on the side of defensive but the last person to say 'hello' tried to Holy Smite him over whatever is hidden in the garbage here.

Lara in her seeking has discovered several layers of the snow are lighter, shorter layers and likely newer. Brushing aside some will also reveal deeper prints in the snow, crushed and walked on. Not by Robert, the Angel or Lara.

*

The SHIELD agent thing wasn't something she liked to toss around because she knew how it made a lot of people uncomfortable, but to be found here… at what would appear to be a crime scene, sort've made her want to explain the officially of what was happening here.

To go along with it, Lara fished her ID out of her black jacket and showed it off, her photo (So pretty!) and her title as 'Acquisitions Specialist' with 'W.A.N.D.' which was a division of the infamous agency as a whole.

Lara took a step to the side, she felt something beneath the snow, something that felt unlike the rest of the ground she'd been walking across.

Lara put her ID away and started to wipe away the show. Hand swipe, hand swipe, hand swipe!

The woman sat back on her ankles and looked down at it. "A doorway." She said to the others. She was already trying to eyeball it and figure out how to open it too while she softly breathed out poofs of white steamy breath.

*

Wiccan seems to narrow his eyes at Ripclaw then as he seems to take a more hostile stance. "Calm yourself. If I wanted to attack you, I would have. and vice versa. I see no reason to combat you." he looks then to Lara as she fishes out her ID as proof of who she is…but when she states out a doorway, he hums a moment, floating over to her to investigate alongside of her.

"Curious to be certain." He looks back to Ripclaw. "Tell me, what, or whom, did you combat? With so many Supernatural occurrences, I would like to know the relative scale of what we appear to be dealing with." a small nod then.

*

"This is me very calm." The broad shouldered and snow pale Native with the red eyes assures, his bladed fingers not extended in to talons but claw tips, a concentrated effort more so than usual. Hostility isn't something he is hell bent on right now just caution.

"The body is there, when I struck the lethal blow she expelled light, searing light that shot in to the heavens and in all directions. Before that it was largely violent melee this creature is not the mystery, why she was bold enough to attack me is." The Angelus, the Darkness, they're linked. Unknown to many Robert Berresford is no stranger to the Darkness or it's host, it's a popular tale with one of his own mentors.

As Lara reveals the hatchway that leads to subterranean levels below this structure attention diverts to join her, bolted and warded by a magical sigil. A ward against entry and also a trap. "Don't touch it." He warns protectively, "You see there?" A point of one finger at the writings scrawled along the outside. Lara Croft is familiar with these, some of them look Sumerian. Wiccan might also recognize it but something more, the actual mystic imbuement.

*

When Lara's eyes gathered up enough information on the door she'd uncovered, she stood up while Ripclaw and Wiccan joined her at the mysterious entrance. She glanced over at them, but her eyes ended up on the one she better knew.

"Its old, the writing." She told him in her deeply accented voice. Her head shook side to side. "I recognize its origins, but the words a meaningless to me. Magical in nature, which I'm sure you both…" She glanced over to Wiccan… if he was as skilled as he looked to be, then she figured he would be on-par with any other magic user she knew.

"Are likely better versed in it than I am." Lara pulled her phone out of her pocket and a moment later she was taking photos of the door, for filing purposes and reference uses later.

*

Wiccan's eyebrows lifted a little as he sees the doorway's magic sigils and wards covering the doorway. "Hmm…in modern tongue, this would be Sumerian.." he nods a simple time and nods to Lara. "Fairly." old that is. In the grand scheme of the universe and reality, a few thousand years give or take is young in some cultures. Regardless, he examines the mystic writing and nods a few times. "Ah…." and he idly mumbles the words as if reading it in full. Though Ripclaw's nature does give him some measure of caution, he is more focused on the clues that could help them.

Thankfully, Wiccan is well-versed and quite knowledgeable on Mystic writings and the dispelling of wards. He takes a moment to ensure he has the right one down.

*

"Only to a point." Robert admits to the magical knowledge. He' a student of many things poetry, psychology, the occult, Native American history to mythologies, the Sumerians as well but the occult and mystical is always a twist off to the left and frankly he is no magi, he is a medicine man of mediocre talents on his best days.

It's a weaker potency than Wiccan's capabilities, a simple lock and dispel but the nasty aspect of it is the trap, a demonic and possessing spirit would be inflicted upon whoever opened it. They likely do not want to see Lara Croft playing out the movie Exorcist.

"It is gone?" Ripclaw can sense it. Wiccan has dispelled it, a flash of motion and bio-metallic claws rake the air and sever the lock on the hatchway in one clean swipe, two inches of thick iron little more than clothe for the mutant's alien weaponry.

Clatter-SLAM and the opening opens like a yawning maw, it's not musty, its been opened recently.

"Something burns inside, a fire pit or similar." Ripclaw informs them, nose curling back. He may be a tracker but Lara Croft is the spelunker. A look at her and he motions, "Ladies first?" It appears for now he is accepting Wiccan as companion. The man's even got his back (half) turned to him.

*

Lara listened to both of them speak, and she watched them do their trades to unseal the door and then cast it open. She glanced back at Ripclaw then and released a light huff of an exhale at his remark. "How kind of you." She said in a dry response before she reached up her right hand and worked the zipper on her jacket down to about stomach level. Beneath it she was wearing a dark grey hoodie that was also zipped up. But she put her gloved hand into her overcoat and grabbed out her handgun.

Lara, handgun clutched in her right hand, moved toward the open doorway and she started down into it, using her free hand to brace herself as she descended into the darkness.

"I can smell the fire." She commented on her way down and into the unknown… hopefully there weren't any more magical traps for the poor raider!

*

With a simple gesture, Wiccan erases the demonically-intended ward spell and gave a small nod to Ripclaw when he asked if it was gone. "That it is." well, now Wiccan knows that Ripclaw can at least -sense- magic. Another reason to be wary of him, but for now, he and Ripclaw are at the least bit temporary allies as the situation demanded. He seemed to be in slight opposition when Ripclaw bade that Lara go first….since even he can realize that Lara isn't a mage. But since she starts moving, Wiccan follows suit.

His magic senses were on standby in case he needed to alert Lara of any traps that may befall her if she's not careful already. He lifts his hood back over his head as to prevent his identity from being known in the event that far more unsavory things await them.

*

Urban exploration in old cities like New York with its 110 years plus of underground subways and tunnels is a fad or was several years ago. Prohibition put a lot of them to good use. Treasures like this can be found everywhere and this side of New York, run down, old town, suffering from burns and riots of the past as well as horrible weather cave ins and random discovery is not unknown, the drop to the floor is a good ten feet or so. It's dark, smooth and bored out, stone walls that obviously were once built by man. Not some time lost passage of dirt or cave works, no, this is an old shaft that likely was used to transport slaves, booze or dead animals like Horse Bay. Hard to say just yet. It's warmer below than it is above at least and there is a faint flickering of light in the distance.
"You have a good sense of smell." Ripclaw appraises Lara, following behind her quietly his mutant eyes adapting to the low lighting to allow him some measure of better eyesight in darkness. It's more akin to an animal than thermals or technology, despite the augmentation of bionics under flesh.

"The Darkness drops again… Old feeling. A lot of ghosts in here. Enough if we get lost we can ask for directions." The man's delivery of humor doesn't convey to his face. No smile. He may just be serious.

*

When Lara made it down to the ground inside the initial chamber, she pulled a little flashlight out of her pocket and flipped it on with a quiet 'click'. She shun the beam around some before looking back to the two of them. "Watch your step." She warned them softly, as if either of them were nerdy enough to trip!

"There are few things in this world that smell quite like smoke." She replied to her sense of smell commentary from Ripclaw.

Lara's eyes went back to scanning while she started to progress further. "What on Earth could they be hiding down here… and why would a cellar like this really serve them any purpose.." She was muttering out questions to herself that were already springing to her mind.

The archaeologist's light scanned about while her snowy/frosty boots softly touched down on the dirty floor beneath her, soft crunching following her where she maneuvered.

*

Wiccan quietly followed the path that Lara was leading, his eyes looking around as if to see if he can detect some trap or ward so that they are not destroyed in the process of this investigation. Sticking true to the point, when Ripclaw made his possibly poor timed joke, he simply shakes his head a few times. Though he does take him seriously, casting a small spell on himself quietly to help if him see such apparitions if they attempted to hide. Here's hoping they are friendly!

After? He returns to surveying his surroundings, no words from him. Though Lara's retort to Ripclaw does earn a smile.

*

"The distance… " Ripclaw manages but his voice trails off and he manages to strike a smile at Lara's backside, "Cute." He remarks. "What purpose does a cellar serve anyone who isn't wealthy enough to own racks of wine or stockpiling firearms?"

Wiccans silence gets glance. The 'medicine man' is still studying the young sorcerer.

Along the walls floors there is what appears to be rocks, no, closer look reveals bones, bits of clothing, old trinkets, ruined a ruined and faded wallet. Dozens to perhaps a hundred such piles situated up and down the length of the corridor. Inspecting the first one passes several heartbeats long enough to that have that light at the end of the tunnel suddenly go out. Blanketing them in complete darkness. Absolute pitch black.
"Our new friend Jack would be useful about now." Ripclaw says quietly, his voice though a hushed whisper sounds very loud in the passage. A second light further down goes out.

*

Lara glanced back at them both behind her, she still wasn't sure about this Wiccan person… his presence seemed awfully convenient, but she was trusting in Ripclaw's judgment on this, allowing the stranger to proceed with them.

When the wallet was spotted, Lara crouched down beside it and she picked it up to lay it across her left thigh. She flipped it open to look inside, thumbing through anything in it.

"To store things within." Was Lara's response to Rip then.

Her eyes caught sight of the lights turning off and she looked up in their direction, her light shun down in that direction… Normally, Lara Croft was the type of woman to just all out to them and expose her presence to whomever may be doing such a thing, but with the other two companions on this journey she'd try to play it a bit more wisely. Or so she hoped.

"Looks like we may have company." She spoke soft.

*

Wiccan looks off to the distance as the flame goes out. "I doubt we are alone." he says simply, blue magic forming in his hands that would mimic a ball made by electrokinesis. Though Ripclaw may be able to detect that it was actually Wiccan's mutant power. he narrows his eyes as he casts a silent spell to allow him to see in the dark…but that may not help him at all if the beings ahead have used spells of invisibility, or are elsewise hiding their presence.

He looks behind him to Ripclaw, nodding a few times to him as he is most certain he knows to be prepared. Wiccan does his best work at range…so this should be interesting.

*

There is darkness surrounding, but Sara received the text, but business before 'pleasure'. But… always business even as the arch of feet lift heels high, to the crouch and rest of shapely denim clad posterior.

The half trench-coat falls to darkness a silhouette beneath her as the Angelus Construct is touched, and over fingertips the 'Artifact' splays across palm, coating over index, middle, and thumb while a fallen feather is plucked upward, the body looked upon, those dark eyes lighting only slightly as it is lifted, twisted between fingers and the dropped upon the body of the Fallen Angelus Warrior.

"Be Wiser about thine enemy…" A sigil in 'clawed' fingertips over the carcass before the feather falls back to its deceased owner and Sara heads towards the dilapidated structure, disappearing within the shadows of its maw.

Jack? "Jackie?" A double check as she reveals herself, the half-trench buttoned over abdomen, but parting in the middle, a white top exposed with the worn badge tucked beneath -Off Duty?- (Never).

"Be careful who you call friend.." Stated in a whisper before Sara is fully revealed, her eyes passing Robert, lingering on Wiccan in question, and then Lara with her wallet - questioning…

Flickering light the end game in the distance. Hands thrust within pockets draw the coat tighter to a close. Yep, she got the text.

*

Ripclaw has no ability to sense mutant powers but the ignition of electrokinesis and it not being of a mystical or supernatural source has him turning, hand up and claws out somehow longer, almost dagger length and pointed, metamorphic in action and also displaying full trust isn't there just yet.

It is by that light that Sara can see them down in the tunnel passage, the Tomb Raider, the SHOC mutate and Wiccan. The mutant spellslinger. Not one she knows likely.

"Detective, just in time. We're about to do something stupid." We? He means him and he turns with a full rush and starts to run down the tunnel towards whoever or whatever is shutting off the lights.

Those that follow him will end up running for quiet a distance, down the tunnel to a sloped shaft while he bounds ahead and the lights continue to blink out, yells can be heard, shouts and soon they are landing in an open subway cavern, old cars broken down and situated around, a homey air to it as there are blankets, graffiti, bundled up bodies, dim lights, a television, cobbled together little shacks of survivor shelters, people, men, women, children and they're all pale, oddly pale just like Ripclaw with glittering eyes, also like Ripclaw but they are different. Much different. Their eyes only glow with reflection of light, black pools that are devoid and any illumination comes from the party itself. More bones, a new smell, a sweet meaty scent, like bacon. The faint taste of magic is also in the air, it lingers here. Dark, old magic.

*

Lara set the wallet back down on the ground where she found it… in the little dusty rectangle shaped spot on the floor it had been in. She rose up then, looking to Ripclaw and Wiccan… when Sara suddenly arrived.

Lara's light swept back to bathe over Sara and then Lara lowered it. "Good to see you." She said to the other woman with a light smile.

A moment later though and Ripclaw was gone, jogging/sprinting down the corridor? Lara's eyes trailed after him, then looked back to the others.

"That is highly unwise." She spoke out, before turning and starting after him. The explorer wasn't an expert on the New York underground and its endless passages, this could be bad if they were to get lost down here!

*

Wiccan seems to take note of Sara, tilting his head at her. Though he can tell that she's no normal person either….jolly, meeting all kinds of new people today. But it's not like he's opposed to that. He turns his head then as Ripclaw just darts off into the darkness, and Wiccan lifts a hand as if to stop him before he just sighs, realizing that whatever light magic he used would simply be broken by Ripclaw.

Then Lara goes after him after claiming it unwise. With a sigh, "at least these people are relatively fun to be around…" he floats after Lara and Ripclaw, though gives a passing smile to Sara.

*

"Go… figure." Sara breathes out as she simply inspects the scenario, offers Lara and Ripclaw a /waning/ smile of wariness and pins Wiccan beneath the suspicious gaze of a cop that has -Zer- trust left in her very sub-cockles.

Booted footfalls carry her forward and the wallet dropped by Lara is picked up by the hand encased in links of ethereal golden/silver armor, then shoved within a pocket. For later.

Some run, some float, Sara walks briskly, but lingers far enough behind to un-holster a weapon, check 'safety', chamber, readied.

Though, behind her slitted eyes lower to the ground reflect from the (lack of) light, trailing her heels.

It is when Sara drops into the 'Catacombs of NY Sub-Tunnels that she stares, unsurprised. "We're all in the wrong line of work for 'wise', Lara." The sarcasm is low upon the light draw of lips in a chagrin.

*

This is definitely lived in and for some time. These humans? Creatures? Black eyes, serrated teeth rags for clothing, most bald or having lost all of their hair. Nails tapered and hard pointed. They look at the group not like they're something akin or familiar but more like they're threats and quite possibly food.

There is perhaps two dozen of them that are adults, beyond that a varying degree of smaller ones. A tapestry above and in the center stands out, a symbol upon it, one of the Thirteen's runic etchings. It's encircled with blood and has hand prints around it. An upside down triangle with a black dot in the center. These are one of the several emblems the Curator has texted them images of.

"Cannibals." Ripclaw doesn't question he states. As scary looking as these pale Nosferatu resembling tunnel dwellers look the chalk white Native shirtless, long haired with glowing red eyes and foot long blades at the end of shiny cybernetic-to-muscled arm looks that much scarier and he knows it, even going so far as to show them his own pointy canines.

"You always hear the stories but you never realize some of them may be true."

Wiccan can tell these people, maybe once humans are infused with a low level of Dark Magic, corruptive and clearly even transformative. How long its been happening to them is another question entirely though.

The Witchblade gets a curious look from those creatures and one of them actually leans in, sniffing the air and making a 'thhthhthh' sound towards Wiccan, their eyes shifting towards him as that look of 'hunger' grows. They apparently like the way he smells. Yet no moves forward are made.

"Open for suggestions before this gets real ugly… " He says first to Lara as she is closest to him but he looks at the others as well.

*

Lara's light beam shot around the area they were, the train cars, the odd sights of a world long gone and transformed into 'this'.

She glanced back to Wiccan and Sara when they caught up, but then her light went back when Rip mentioned 'Cannibals'… Lara would visibly tense-up at the presence of their new onlookers, she'd shine her light around them but try to keep it off of their faces directly as they likely had a severe sensitivity to lighting and this wasn't the time to anger anyone.

Her gun was gripped in her other hand, kept with the barrel aimed down at her side.

"We were never prepared for this journey. We should go back the way we came and better research and prepare for this, then return… perhaps in a few hours." That was Lara's suggestion, go at this in a more wisely way.

*

Wiccan arrives and he looks at all those beings around him that have been oh so evilly tainted with such foul witchcraft. "They have been infected with a old, dark magic. I am uncertain I can cure them, but I can try." he says especially after seeing the children. But magic like this….wasn't often so easily bent. Though when some of them start to sniff Wiccan's scent, he looks at them with a small narrowing of his eyes.

First thing he does is conjure a shield around them through the use of a gesture. "dleihs ekam…" (make shield) and with that, they are protected by a well-maintained magical ward. "That should keep them at bay." he looks around then. "There doesn't appear to be an obvious way out aside from the way we came…other than making a new door." he nods once, but he's going to try to cure those individuals first.

"meht laeh, meht laeh! esruc siht fo meht dir!" he (rid them of this curse! heal them! heal them!) he says as he tries to undo the dark magic.

*

Sara has a 'tail' and she is letting this happen despite the hairs at the nape of her neck rising beneath the mane of deep auburn hair.

Or perhaps it is the slow realization, a flare of nostrils and lips thin in the light motion so as not to make the 'larger' one and draw more attention. But she truly does want her gun, especially when the small chitter-cacophony of cackle behind her is like marbles in gravel and gasoline - teeth grinding in ..Let me eat..

"…Jackie…" A whisper as Sara is moving to step in the way, but position her back towards that exit of Origins.

"I agree with Lara." Stated as her hands remain deeply thrust within pockets, fingers of hand rolling as if 'itching'…

"Or we can try that, but once the flesh is consumed…" Sara whispers, looking towards the denizens of this underground meat locker.

*

They do indeed shy from the light, these bizarre Morlocks, Cannibals as Ripclaw referred to them obvious from the smells of not-quite-bacon in here and some of the ornaments of bone these people wear.

"That Angel arrived here for a reason. She was not attacking me we showed up together, something down here drew her… " Like it is them in kind.
As Lara gives them a brief touch of the directed illumination they will scurry back, growling, grumbling or hissing. Climbing even over each other but they make no moves yet.

"Body language like scavengers. We do not want to turn our backs or look weak but… I am inclined to agree. We should go." The magical ward produced by Wiccan flares out and confuses those near enough but they scurry away from it, remaining at a distance up until he starts to try and 'cure' them of their curses, first one then another begins to cry out, their hands slap up to their faces and fingers splay out, the cries soon become screams and yowls, howls even as one after another the pale skinned dwellers start to convulse on the ground, frothing in obvious pain inflicted by the wizards incantation. Only one being within the crowd does not drop. It stands there bald, black armored and staring, it's lips drawn back to reveal sharp jagged teeth, black beady eyes and a stare that could kill plant life. It's armor is upon closer inspection jagged, glossy bones, it almost resembles the Witchblade or a Xenomorph. Ripclaw himself is reminded of the Deadliners. It's pale skin splotchy blue where it's not white, it looks more like a corpse than a living being.

"Witchblade… " A hiss as it looks at Sara ignoring the others for now. Nose curling back and it's lips, no, clearer now they see it has no lips to actually 'draw' back but those are just bones and gums. Then it looks down at it's seizure stricken 'kin' and stares at Wiccan, "Release my children and go."
A snap pop of it's neck and it looks past Sara, past the group and hisses loud at the Darkling that Jackie has trailing after Detective Pezzini. That is a territorial response there. This is their spot in the darkness it would appear.

*

Lara was much more relieved to have Wiccan here now if he truly had just enveloped them all within some sort of magically protective bubble, how could that not ever sound like a wonderful thing really… especially in a horrible situation such as what they've all found themselves in now?

Lara glanced back at Sara when she agreed with her, and then to Rip when he did so as well. "Good." She said, starting to move backward while the spell started to seemingly go, poorly.

"Shit." Lara said softly, looking now toward Wiccan. "Let them go!" She shouted at him. "Its not working, its hurting them." She urged the sorcerer to release them. Lara looked to the Xenothing. "We're sorry, we'll leave your domain right now." She told it as it seemed, well, more than a little terrifying.

*

Wiccan seems hesitant, appearing to prefer the freedom of these people rather than succumb to fear by that thing that stands before them. "If we let it remain, it will no doubt lure more down here to suffer such a fate." he replies to Laura, besides, he looks to Sara. "Besides, he doesn't seem to like her." He remains on the defensive, looking at those suffering and then back to the Xenomorph monster.

"Damn." and he keeps his magic up for a little longer before he stops, his hands lowering to his side. A look to Lara.

"I won't let these people live the rest of their lives as creatures of the night. Such foul magic should never be used."

*

Sara is stepping back, one… two… the paces stop as heel of sole meets rock… And upon the rock the larger 'Spynx'like Darkling uncurls with the drag of claws down the small obstruction, the tail where every vertebrae of bone can be seen in protrusion lashes out to coil around Sara's ankle in a 'caress' before it parts ways and steps from darkness. It's eyes blinking away the /glow/ with a tilt of head, feline in slope, massive bat-like ears atop its head, skin drawn into ink-colored wrinkles atop. For a moment the head tilts, massive ears flop and /droop/.

It was almost "cute", if not for the response to the /hiss/ its own hairless lips peel back and reveal dual rows of teeth, jagged canines all in a row, spine arching and darker metallic claws from each… /paw/ evident, despite each pad more like shorter fingers.

Sara is deadpan, placid, neutral in her stare at the Xeno-Cannibal, Lara and Wiccan's exchange heard while all she wanted to do was /leave/ as Ripclaw stated. Live to fight another da—-

"Sssshhh!" —-iittt. A leer down towards the darkling, the hand withdrawing to try and grab for it bearing that armored sheen. A look towards Wiccan shows the veins of gold and jade in brown eyes, a nod offered to him in accord there. "Time. But 'Let His People…'," a pause as the singe of magic draws hair on end beneath the sleeves of her jacket in their conflict. "We should go…" Tssst! How the hell do you stop a Dark(Catish?)ling?

"So I can kill someone."

Despite the moment though, Sara is all eyes back upon the Xennibal, gauntleted fingers curling towards a hook.

Smells delicious, Sheba ain't got nothin'..

SwatSWAT!

*

The cannibals are released with Wiccan's relenting they lie upon the ground moaning and growling in their own lingering pain.

Ripclaw doesn't appear to give them as much consideration as Lara and Sara are, his eyes are fixated upon the Black armored thing.
"I recognize it." He says first to them quietly then straightens up to his full height, pointing a claw at it. "I know you for what you are. Remain here and do not follow us or we'll tear each and every one of you apart."
Quieter, "You can come back for them. We have their scent and they're likely to go deeper. This isn't over but they need stopped or cured, they're murdering and eating people. Black magicks or not."

A long hiss to snarl at the Darkling, "Go now." It says more forcibly. "Do not care. My territory. You stay you die. You come back you die."

Conversation appears over. One by one the 'heroes' are allowed to peel off and return to the surface where that dead angel lies.

"We are on the correct path. Our foes are as well." He regards the 'bloody snow angel'.

"I need a shirt and a hot meal."

*

Lara had stuck close with her companions on this trek back out away from the rather horrific threats…

Once back outside, she turned to them. "That…" She pointed back to the doorway that they'd broken into. "Is why we don't do these kinds of things without -planning-." Lara's words were forceful and insistent, borderline angry, but not quite there.

She sighed out into the cold wintery landscape around them. "I'm going back to my flat. I'm going to research this entire under city area and…" She sighed. "I don't know." Her eyes went back to the others. "We have to purge that place, save them if at all possible.. but it can't be left like…" She looked back to the doorway. "Like that."

Lara looked to Wiccan then. "Can you seal it up again?" She asked him. "Until we return."

*

Wiccan already seemed to be in sort of a huff, with his hands emanating blue with magic. He already seems to be at least one step ahead of Lara today. With a magic incantation and a wave of his hand, the door would return and slam itself shut. "nruter I litnu esolc niamer siht tel llahs I" (I shall let this remain closed until I return). and the door would be enamored with magic sigils for a moment then, sparking to life like blue embers, before such sigils would disappear, remaining hidden.

"Done and done." he nods once. "I will save them when we return." he says simply…though he looked saddened, clearly. "and banish that dark creature whence it came." and with a snap of his fingers, a blue embarked portal starts to widen, showing the location on the other side to be some kind of alleyway. "I will return when you have need of me." he makes a sign in the air with his hand, and Lara and Ripclaw would know how to reach him: his phone number and email. and how to summon him by magic if need be.

"I will see you all shortly." and through the portal he goes, which closes behind him in a fit of blue sparks.

*

The backward steps come with a heel tap- /sliiddeee/ to push the massive Sphynx-ling back with her. "Stop it… Don't… I … Promise meat market visits…"
Low mumbles, low whispers, and with a draw-then-withdrawal of those dark shined claws the darkling pivots and walks off with the added flick of 'tail'.
Deal.

Once the impasse is out of view the hand bearing the gauntleted fingers is brought over Sara's face and smeared downward with a trace over her lips and a huff that puffs cheeks out (and may also be nausea at the departed scene and smell).

Wiccan is still watched from periphery warily as Sara steps around the Fallen entity outside, paused upon with apprehension but diligence as he recites his incantation. Somewhere in there she may thank him, but not getting his number is wise on his part.

Detective!

Lara and Ripclaw are then glanced towards, her other hand withdrawing from her pocket to click the safety on her weapon back into place. "I need coffee, not hungry." Obviously…

*

"More sorcery and Blighted magics." A long sigh from Robert. He'll just blame the Demon Bear and the fact he has been enlisted by Doctor Strange in his fight against dimensional evil.

"We think-tank this, find our fourth and go back down. They are likely to go much deeper and become more dangerous, I hope all of you are prepared for that."

"The assistance is appreciated, Wiccan." He says polite enough to wandering hero-mage despite not inviting him to go dine with them. This is Curator related not… /other/ and the man is still an unknown.

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