Pub Crawl / Its Raining Heads

March 17, 2018:

A St. Patrick's Day Pub crawl turns into a fight between mystical mayhem and nightmares and things!


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Somewhere shy of Midtown West, past dusk hours and after dark…

The weather of New York according to the St. Paddy's Day pub crawl is supposed to be warm and blustery, it isn't quite that but that's not going to stop a lot of the party-goers out tonight. If anything the months of chill that this city has suffered they've adapted, that's what people here do after all, threatened by supernatural storm of the century? Just one year of so many events that have been faced down, hardened a people already tough as a the concrete jungle they call home.

Besides, it's time people got out again and lived, with that blizzard the social lives of many went frigid, iced over and now, New Yorkers are ready to party again and indeed they are. This particular 'pub crawl' called the Luck of the Irish stretches from East Village, Murray Hill, Midtown West and Chelsea to beyond. Green shamrocks, streamers, leprechaun, rainbows, pots of gold and all manner of themed cliche livery is strewn about beyond blockaded roads to create boundary lines and points where everything is being watched, it is a scattered mess of chaos but an attempt, a bold one for those eager for a 'spirited frolic'. As such NYPD is in full force tonight, no rest for the wicked on either side even outside forces have been drawn in, DEO's Knightwatch are on standby and volunteers are mixed in with the peacekeeping ensemble.


Vivienne is living. So maybe it is about time. At least for some measure of living. She hasn't ventured far enough into any of the bars to taste anything remotely alcoholic, but she has amassed a surprising collection of beads, baubles and bags of penny chocolate coins all still wrapped in their bright gold foil, all collected in a charmingly kitch green plastic 'pot o' gold'. Well, alright, so she has snuck one or two, but who would hold chocolate against her? If nothing else, she at least seems to be doing her best to fit in, dressed in a pair of slim black pants, a matching black top, once again with that favoured mandarin collar, not very unlike, one might note, the sort of clerical shirt to which priests could attach their collars. A carefully fitted black trench coat, just brushing the edge of her ankles conceals most of her body, save for what might be immediately visible from the front.


After dark are the only hours Tom Judge recognizes. Judging by his pale skin alone, he hasn't seen the sun for a good many months. It isn't that he's particularly determined or strong-willed; more that he's too stubborn to let a mere ''storm'' stop him finding a place to drink a beer, ostensibly in honor of St Paddy's Day, but in reality just as a default way of life.

The tall, thin man joined in the pub crawl somewhere around Murray Hill, and has been with it ever since — most of the folks who joined at the same time long since having tapped out at one or another pub a ways back. Tom's completely oblivious to the show of force in place, carried along by the crowd of green-themed folks — he himself perhaps standing out — if just for the fact that he sticks to his usual white t-shirt and black leather jacket. There's a stray ribbon of green that's somehow fallen over his shoulder and flutters out behind him, so maybe that counts as contributing.


Lara Croft has been out of the public eye for a few weeks now, she'd sustained some injuries in her last expedition and it had left her hold-up inside of her Loft in the lower west side of Manhattan.

Now that it was the night of the Drunk, Lara's BFF has drug her out to go and immerse herself back into the light of 'public fun'. Lara wasn't so sure that any of this was fun, some of it was mildly amusing and it did occasionally make her smile or try to lighten up and embrace it, but overall she was that quiet and reserved young woman she had been for forever.

A black leather jacket and a dark green hoodie beneath it (for the holiday spirit) some dark blue jeans and black leather boots… these are the items she wears, pretty standard for her with the nights still chilly. Lara is standing with her second beer in several hours, she's not a heavy drinker. She's close by to her friend, Samantha, and is just listening to her talk to others while Lara occasionally chimes in with a comment or two.


Robert is at the fringes of the pub crawl, he has been quiet on the front of artifact seeking after their last misadventure, the text message from the Curator about the possibility of one of the bearers being present in this was not ignored though, not by him at least. Lara, Sara and Jackie would have gotten the same send but, no doubt Pezzini is busy and Estacado has been off the grid. Croft like him has been hard to reach, a wall of just no communication. Their open 'group chat' hasn't moved in dialogue other than the Curator himself, lately his spams are tons of emojis.

Tonight is the first night Ripclaw has responded with a, "I'll be there."

He is wearing a olive green outer jacket over a form fitting black shirt, torn jeans and cowboy boots, tall and pale skinned with that hawkish nose and hard deep reddish eyes, most often people just excuse for a brown or that he may very well be one of those mutants folks hear about.

Like a gargoyle he is perched with a knee drawn up, seated above a cluster of parked vehicles in a lot, the second tier's edge where he watches the crowd over, leg swaying, about fourteen feet up, hes been seen once, a man yelled at him and raised a beer in a cup. This caused others to cheer for no reason at all. Why not, right?


The sound of the cheer brings Vivienne's head around, from where she's apparently trading beads with a young woman clearly inebriated enough to think that any of the trinkets and random souvenirs that the brunette's collected are actually worth anything. Hey, at least she's (drunk girl) not offering to show her (sober Viv) her tits. That would be an entirely different set of circumstances. Instead, the girl's picking through the pot of gold, pulling out this bead and that, Vivienne only occasionally needing to nudge her to keep her out of the way of the herds moving from bar to bar. Leaving the girl to her perusal, Vivienne glances down along the street, up, along the second floors, attempting to catch sight of whatever it was that seems to have fanned the fires of drunken entertainment.


Certainly, not much marks Tom out as anything but another drunken attendee celebrating a night out. Except… well, that double-barreled cross shines, now and then, against his white tee, standing out. By sheer dint of a mixture of it being old and unusual looking, it's enough to draw attention, though he doesn't make any sort of effort to hide it.

As one does when one is drunk, he hears a cheer and echoes it, without even bothering to locate the source. There might not even ''be'' a source. Sometimes, drunk people just want to cheer.

Even Tom Judge.


Lara normally was prone to leave her half empty 1 glass of beer on a bar or table when she goes out drinking with Sam, but tonight she'd somehow managed to get through one and a half glasses, which was huge for her. She's not anti-fun for other people, she's quite happy to see others having fun, she just prefers to have her thoughts in an orderly place inside of her own mind.

With one hand on her glass of beer, the other is stuffed into her leather jacket's side pocket. When there's cheering, she looks in the direction of those doing said cheering and then her eyes catch sight of Robert, she knows his face and 'look' enough to know its him.

A moment is taken to bite down lightly on her lowerlip and then she glances toward Sam who's off in a group of drunks all drunken it up, so she separates herself and walks over toward where Robert is… he's liable to see her pretty quickly from his vantage point.


Lara is seen and this is likely what prompts Robert to stand up and step out to then drop over the barricade of fencing that separates parking rise from the party itself and that line, landing with a casual whump of those boots. The cheering happens again but it dies out, bleeds off. Maybe people were expecting something else from the 'albino' Native.

There is a text message, the Curator again, it is vibrating against Ripclaw's pocket the same time as Lara's. That group chat again, hopefully not more emojis.

Tom Judge is overlooked, not because he doesn't stand out, a handful here do but because they do not exactly know what the Artifacts look like and sensing them, well, thats also not in the skillset for these two particular seekers.

Vivienne is as well in that same unfortunate toss of blind to other than being one of the many attractive women flooding this place, supposedly popular cheerleader squads are in this, the Metropolis Meteor girls are here tonight. Crowd pleasers for sure. They make a job of it.

Berresford doesn't look like he is here to party though, there is something not right, preternatural senses have a general unease washing over him with this entire situation, it's back to the feelings during the 'supernatural storm' inspired by Moonstar's Demon Bear.


If Vivienne were to stand out, it would, more likely than not, be for her attire, which seems, in these environs, to be very much a 'girl from uptown slumming it'. Then again, this is New York, and it might not be noted at all beyond that typically sarcastic voice in the heads of the natives that drolls, 'Tourist.' To her credit though, she is, once again, moving along, having completed whatever trade was required to make drunk girl happy. She seems to be meandering in just the general direction of the herd, though she does pause, just as she gets to the curb, to glance over the heads of the people clogging the sidewalks, nearly filling the streets, as though she were looking for someone, the way one might if they had a partner somewhere keeping apace with them. But then she's stepping off of the curb onto perpetually cracked asphalt.


Tom remains drunkenly, blissfully unaware of whatever shift of mood seems to be settling down over the scene. It's a pleasant (cold) evening in New York, he's drunk — life is good.

And then he sees her.

He doesn't try to hide his reaction as his gaze settles on Vivienne: he stops dead still — causing a couple of people to knock into him from behind. He's scowling, he's not pleased to see her at all. By sheer virtue of him being the lone rock against the wave of the still-moving crowd, he probably stands out enough to draw attention, even if his gaze wasn't riveted on the woman.


Lara is walking right past Vivienne when Viv steps off the curb, she doesn't regard the other because there's people everywhere… its kind of hard to take note of any other face in the crowd and yeah, she can see that Robert has spotted her too and that's where the archaeologist's attention is right now (certainly not on some Metropolis Cheerleaders!).

The space between them is closed up as the buzzing inside her jacket is felt, she's not really responding to that Curator fellow right now, or lately at all either, she's still mad at him and trusts him even less than ever after last time…

"Hey." Lara says when she's within reach of Robert. "Why are you perching on walls like Batman?" She asks him, showing a faint smirk when her footfalls slow and then stop carrying her forward. "You look like you're about to pounce someone."


The tide of passing bodies move now uninterested past Robert, more entertained by the Leprechaun that's having a dance off against a Spider-Man with a green bowler cap. Too flabby to be the real deal but local heros and such.

"Hey yourself. I was just trying to get a feel of whats here, the Curator says we have an artifact present." Its as saying those words hes directing his gaze towards Tom, who not far off just got knocked.

"You're not here for the same reason?" He asks her, not that hes looking at her, hes staring still at the man.

"Does that look familiar to you?" He takes her arm, at the bicep to politely steer her to look where he is, at that dangling amulet or 'double cross' that's hanging from Tom's neck. "It has a… aura." Robert is trying to remember back, to the days upon days they spent pouring over the research that they were allowed to view at the Curator's shop of Antiques. A home base for them, when they can gather.


It sounds cliche, but it is, wholly, and absolutely true, that you can feel someone looking at you. And when that person happens to be staring, what he might wish were literal daggers at you? You stop and take a look around. Which Vivienne does, as soon as she's found a safe place back on the curb, now closer to the wall of the establishment that sits at the corner. There's a certain comic element to it, if you look at it at just the right angle. The wholly serious woman with the completely incongruous plastic tub of trinkets staring an the equally serious man across the heads of the drunken masses.

Does she move to approach? She does not.


So much for his happy place.

Feeling uncharitably more sober, Tom starts moving again, bowing to the ever-increasing pressure of the moving crowd. He doesn't seem to be moving towards Vivienne so much as letting the crowd just keep moving him past her, like he's planning to pretend he didn't see her, or she him. Except… his gaze flickers past her, taking note of the man also staring at him. He's too far away to read too much into the other man's expression, but the intensity and interest is familiar enough that he reacts in an exceedingly familiar way.

He starts running, away from them. Or as much as he can run, given he's fully surrounded by a crowd. So, not really making much headway, truth be told.


Lara is staring at Robert as he replies to her and then when he pulls her arm she turns to look. "An artifact?" She says while turning, "Here?" She seems surprised, which begs to suggest that she wasn't here for the same reason. "I'm just here with a frie—" Her words trail off as she looks to Tom's indicated amulet but she can't see it from her vantage point.

"I'm, I'm not sure." She replies to Robert, a moment before the man starts to run, or try to run. Which makes her look back once more to Robert. "I guess that's a 'yes'." She says to him then.


Robert stands out even when trying to blend so being caught open staring like he and Lara are, easy response to get defensive over but to run? "More than likely. If he is running that says plenty, lets find out." The Native American's deep voice is loud enough it carries to Vivienne if shes paying anymind, Lara is left standing there as not running but striding very quickly Ripclaw tries to catch up, to at least get near enough to confront Tom….


Outside the festivity proper, beyond that green rope twined with gold, past a strip of buildings and over yet another street there is another chase transpiring…

Ragged breathing it is intense, rising in volume to a near wheeze as lungs struggle, pain crushes through a chest cavity and a man's hand grope at his torso, claws at it as he feels his heart pounding like a jackhammer, threatening to erupt from his ribcage.

"Fuck…. fuck me… " A groan and he starts to move again. Towers of the city around him in the backdrop are nameless, knowing them means caring, he doesn't, not unless hes got a target in one, thats not the case right now. The table has turned.

He turns a corner and looks left and right, only a split second to decide and he is running again, powering along the street with arms pumping like pistons, tennis shoes skipping off the pavement in a staccato of rhythmic taps, faster and then he is tripping, staggering and falling face first in to a chainlink fence. He knows he cannot stop here, knows he has to keep running but his cheek mashes against the cold wiring, lips pressed through it gulping in air, sucking it down in and out.

It's not until jaws snap a few inches from his face that he scrambles back on his ass, a pitbull leashed on the other side and jerking violently to get to him snarls.

The runner reels up and looks out across,, through the dark line of buildings to the colorful illumination and noise so very close. The fence and the dog in the way now… an alley over. That has to be a way through.

The dog he is scared enough he might just try to brave it but then, no, one more attempt. He pivots, begins his run and the dogs barks follow him, a stream of obscenities fired at his backside.

Hell with the dog. SOMETHING is chasing him something far worse.

A dead end, the alleyway is a dead end and a street light buzzes, flickers in and out. He turns and pulls the holstered Glock 19 out to aim at the end of the block. The light above causing an unsettling strobing effect.

He waits, sucks in air and it feels like his eyes are going to burst out of his head. Suddenly the dog stops barking.

It is here…

Panic and terror seizes his chest, the track suit he is wearing suddenly feeling like not enough, it protects against the cold but it won't save him, a swallow is attempted… Shakily he fumbles with a cellphone, typing a message in to his contact. That gun steadied out at the length of his arm, swaying wildly. "Not worth, not worth it…"

"Help…." He croaks, "SOMEBODY HELP!" A louder scream, screaming at the top of his lungs but the sounds of the Luck of the Irish, that 'spirited frolic' it drowns out such things. The outdoors techno-dance beats being blarred by a nearby massive speaker set up also not helpful.

The next scream? Louder, loud enough those attentive enough will hear it, even one a drunken man with full beard and swaying, nearer a boarded up fenceway is looking over his shoulder, belching, "Anyone else hear that? Like, we got Coyotes in New York? Spooky… " His next thought is to drink more. Lots.


There's that moment, that instant of profound hesitation, that stills the body and stymies the mind. As Vivienne sees Tom begin to effectively run away from her. That was not the moment of indecision. Rather, it came from a confluence of two things. The first, that she did indeed overhear the two strangers who seem to be setting their sights on the fleeing man. And for that moment, she was weighing going after him, and possibly interceding on his behalf, unwelcome as that would be, and allowing him to fend for himself. The second, was the sound, not of a coyote, but of a scream torn from a very human throat. The sound was too familiar to her to be anything else. And so, the indecision. The man, seeming hale and whole, or the sound of terror?

Vivienne passed off her trinkets as she began to ford her way through the sea of bodies in the direction of the sound that had risen even above the riot of the outdoor festivities.
There was a time when Tom used to attribute coincidences like this to God, and His plan. Not so now. These days, coincidence is just worse luck than usual.


He's aware — vaguely — there are people behind him now that are showing far too much interest, and moreover, coming his way. He has plenty of powers at his disposal, but dispersing a crowd is clearly not one of them, since he's locked in a very mortal, ordinary attempt to push his way through the crowd and making a futile kind of non headway.

Maybe he hears the scream, maybe he doesn't. He doesn't seem like the sort that runs toward one, either way.


Lara didn't have any intentions on chasing a man in the dark who may or may not be dangerous, not tonight, she was… unwinding tonight! But Robert was off and she just sighs heavily before setting her cup of beer down on the back of a Toyota. "We don't know what he is or how dangerous he could be!" She shouts after Robert.

Moments after Lara vacates her beer, some college dude who's out of shape and has long curly hair and a green shirt on that says 'Kiss my I'm Drunk' swipes up Lara's cup and shouts loudly. "Free hot chick beer!" And then he starts chugging it to the cheers and chants of his friends with him.

Lara just darts after him, unaware of any killer dogs or screams, there was quite a lot of noise going on around them tonight as-is.


The noise cuts Robert off of his pursuit entirely, even as Lara races past him still after Tom, its a sound that he like Vivienne is familiar with and despite his promise to aid the Curator there's a side of him that's repentant and required to act the role of 'vigilante' when possible.

"Be careful, Lara, keep an eye on him."

Maybe that's not smart but then shes strong and more than capable of handling herself against most threats. Not that Tom Judge is /most/ threats.

Those who can 'sense' the supernatural or great otherworldly beings will know that one or perhaps many are nearby, those who can discern a direction… they will be aware beyond the artifacts both bearers present have, something else is present.


There are days, now growing more frequent in number, when the voice in Vivienne's head is not her own. But it is in her, though it is not of her. The voice of the artifact. The voice of the Spear, edging its awareness into hers, urging her to act, to see, to serve. And now its voice is a murmur in the back of her head, the artifact's particular form of prescience filtering into her mind, sparking her awareness of the otherworldly, allows her to pinpoint the precise direction from which the feeling of otherness is emanating. At least…she doesn't draw any weapons, and makes no move to appear aggressive in any way beside her fording of the human tide, in the direction of the source of the threat she can, as yet, feel, but not see.


Let's face it, Tom Judge isn't setting any world records for marathons or anything. He's far too thin to have any bulk or muscle to him, and given his drunken state, he barely manages to do more than move a few feet. Maybe in his head it's an infinitely greater distance — certainly when he turns and sees the woman who was with the man who was staring at him practically on top of him — he exhales a breath of surprise and alarm.

True, he is drunk, and on guard, but that doesn't make him easy prey. "You want to do this right here? I'm game — come at me, demon!" he snarls towards Lara, spreading his hands as if to welcome the expected attack, something sharpening in his quickly-sobering gaze.

It earns him a few looks — but not for long. He's drunk, everyone else around them is drunk. It's not the weirdest thing for someone to yell in New York.


Lara is an exceptional runner, on the contrast, and she's not really even drunk either so she's able to get right up on Tom's business all too easily and when he does spin around to shout back at her she slows down to arm's reach away from him. "I'm not a demon!" She shouts back at him and then pulls up her 'wallet' from out of her leather jacket and opens it up. Inside is a SHIELD badge.

"I'm a member of SHIELD." Sort've. She's a collections agent, which means SHIELD calls her when they need a job done that is up her alley… with her very specific set of skills that she's gathered over her life(don't start that speech again).

"Your amulet." Lara says to Tom then. "My friend and I just though that we might recognize it, and we've had a report of some… odd activity going on here tonight." She lowers the badge to her side again. "Might I have a look at it?" She asks in that all too British accented English of hers.


As Lara and Tom engage one another Robert and Vivienne break through the wall of drunks to find themselves facing a barricade, a simple one, just step over the green rope. The man is leaping it in his run, only to cast a sidelong glance at Vivienne who is headed the same direction, while active the artifacts should be easier to sense for those aware of the more 'mystic' related sphere, a broad thing that, something science can't exactly categorize.

Another scream, a final one that ends in immediate silence. The scent of blood , there is a burst of wind, a pound of air pressure and something ahead of them ascends, with… wings it rises higher, there is gleaming in reflective tosses back, a flicker-flash of light and an object drops, keen eyesight can make it out, a body or what is left of one.

Soaring overhead and disappearing in to the smog above the St. Paddy's Pub Crawl, it can still be felt up there, sensed and circling.

The party? Why it rages on oblivious. Not a clue in the world that a winged predator is hunting prey amongst them.

Robert is not slowing from the direction he was headed, going there to where that thing lifted off and left it's victim. Perhaps more or perhaps he has no other options or ideas, maybe he missed the thing in it's ascent.


The voice is fairly clamouring now, insistent, like a drumbeat rolling over her mind, pushing her to run faster, to work harder to get clear of the crowd. So much so, that when she finally does hit that final wave, and stumbles free, and unable to slow her momentum in time, she nearly runs into the green barrier that marks off where the party ends and unfortunate, in more ways than one tonight, begins. She manages, not quite as effortlessly, to jump the rope, before she turns her gaze towards the body crumpled on the ground. And something in that moment, as she sees the man, who had, for reasons perhaps not entirely unknown, left off chasing Tom to stay apace with her, stop at the body himself, she finds her eyes dragged upward.

"Aidez moi."

Soft words, barely a murmur in her throat, as she flicks back the right side of her coat, running her hand along the set of spikes that are worked into the tooling of her belt. A flash of pain, as her skin opens, her blood flows, and she leaps, looking, for all the world, as though she were flying upward into the clouds. Towards that sense of circling evil.


Tom barks out a disbelieving laugh at Lara's response. "That's what they all say — I'm not a demon! — right before they try to tear my flesh off my face, or pierce my insides with their claws, or—" maybe he'd continue the infinitely-personal seeming descriptions of probable past experiences, but the sight of that badge stops him dead to rights.

Not that he lowers his arms, mind; the tall, thin man just looks at Lara a bit more critically, but no less like she's still a threat. His lips twist, and he half turns his body to put himself sidelong to her, one hand held out as if to keep her at bay. His other hand reaches for the Rapture, swinging on its chain, clutching at it. "Yeah, you and your friend can fuck right off. Not letting any spooks get their hands on—" he trails off, abruptly, like he's seen something, but he's still staring at her, brow furrowed.


Lara is standing ready in case this man decides to try to attack her or some such, he seems more than a little agitated and on-edge, to say the least. She has to smirk at his response to her and she shakes her head side to side. "I've eaten a lot of strange things in order to survive. But I assure you that your flesh and guts are going to remain right where they are, at least when it comes to interacting with me…" She draws in a breath of air between her lips and gives him a quick shake of her head left to right.

Lara doesn't notice the creature taking off, she doesn't notice any dropping bodies as her eyes are focused solely upon Tom.

"Look, my friends and I? We deal with this sort of thing… You could say its our speciality." Lara nods toward his chest and the amulet he was guarded over. "We can help you, find peace and safety. We're trying to keep demons -from- harming people, like you've described." The Agent glances over toward where Robert was then before she looks back to Tom. "I won't force you though, I just had to say at least this much… to offer it."


What Robert and Vivienne witness of the body is it lacks a head. Just the tracksuit of a man who has been badly torn in to, not just cut at but rended and ripped, his bones jutting outwards exposing the lack of internals.

Robert is only able gape at the Magdalena as she goes sky bound, the quick display of slicing and activation has him pulling up artifacts they've researched, that makes not just one here but possibly two, maybe he was wrong about Tom Judge's trinket, maybe the one they have been sent here for is the Spear which…

Through the dark ground light affected smog to the wing beats above Vivienne will see the killer, a beautiful creature, armor of brilliant silvers and golds, a face that is hard to tell from man or woman, long flowing hair, blood caked forearms, a sword luminescent and incredibly sharp clutched in one fist, the head of a man in another.

It's not looking at her, no, its looking down. Blue vibrant eyes latched on the Rapture, that was their mark this night, that was the order the Host of /Angels/ was given and this one is out to prove itself.

It's hesitant though, as if it can feel something new, the hand gripping that head opens up, the head of the man plummets, falls to the ground and lands with a crunchy 'splut' in the center of the Pub Crawls current location, not less than ten feet from Lara and Tom, brain, skull and hair in all directions, fragmented human remains being cast out with that fall distance.

Curious noises and exclamations become cries of shock, surprise and someone vomits, "That's an eyeball… " "That was a human head!" "Gross!" start to circulate, reactions grow louder, more frantic as people try to back up, looking upwards.


Perhaps thankfully, Vivienne is high enough above the streets, that she cannot see the fallout…quite literally, of the head being allowed to drop back to earth. What she can see, is a creature which seems to embody every artistic imagining of what a heavenly host should be. Winged, beautiful, seemingly flawless. And yet, that voice in her head, the one that feels like wrath, that tastes like vengeance, in the face of a mortal life callously taken, that propels her towards the creature, her cut hand reaching for and withdrawing a matte blued blade from a sheath at her back.


Undoubtedly, the woman's expertise should be reassuring in some fashion. Tom does not look reassured, however, wariness still lining his swaying features. Or maybe that's just… yeah, that's a burp.

His guardedness eases by measures as she keeps talking and doesn't try to claw him in the face or snatch the thing around his neck from him. After a moment, voice tight, he asks grudgingly, "Are you with the Magdalena, too?"

That's when a head tumbles from the sky and splatters against the ground, less than ten feet from them. He's already twitchy, and Tom practically jumps at that. "What the fuck—?" Naturally, his instinct is to look up, because he has to know, where's the body? He'll regret that instinct later, no doubt, when he gets sight of just what was carrying the head to great heights.

"…oh, shit."


Sara does not know who or what is present at the parade quite yet, until the APB comes across her comm unit in her Dodge Challenger, but… simultaneously the Curator is blinking on her SPhone.

"Hey!! That's a barrica—-
..that's a hydra…
Jake is riding 'Bitch' in the Hemi'd vehicle while it spins corners!

Sara, behind the wheel, is flicking switches as well as blacking out her bluetooth so only the earbud hears what the Curator has to say, as it is none of Jake's business.

"Shut up, Jake, please!" So many voices in her ears and then she cranks the music from the amped system to blockade his terror at her driving…

Erratic already, but then once she hears the calls, the hacked channels, the Curator, it becomes something far more wreckless as a light-bar of 'Cherries & Berries' is thrown into the dash while violence vibrates the speakers.

It's all about the he sais she said Bullsh*7!!

It's just one of those days!!
(But far more heavy, a remake? Whatever!)

"I have to park right about…" A parallel spin of tires and she is nicely wedged between a Prius and a Eclipse, getting out and slamming the door only two blocks from the parade, but one from the 'murder' that is about to light up the 'Green Party'. "You go East, I head west. There's a possibility of… Leprechauns." Ominous 80's horror sound?

"Keep in touch, Jake." Sara states as she pivots on heel and heads in deep, leaving Jake queasy and still whirling from the drive alone…
"…kay…" *Hurk*…


Lara is about to reply to Tom when……….. yeah, a head. A head lands on the concrete and it explodes into a gushy heady mess, right there by all the damn drunks.

Croft's eyes turn to look at it, but her eyelids slide shut when she realizes what it is. She breathes out softly before she exhales and starts to backstep up toward the sidewalk and the buildings. Was something plucking people off the street?

First Christmas was ruined by these dark dimensional monsters, now Saint Patrick's ridiculous holiday is too?!

Croft reaches inside her jacket to pull out her handgun and she-to starts to scan the sky for whatever dropped the damn human head.


What a time to stop and text. Robert's clawtip of a thumb begins tapping horrible autocorrected "Crawl Dead Contact 2 Architects Need Ducking Help" the 'Seeker's' group chat lightning up. Location already earlier announced by the Curator it should not be hard for Sara to find them.
The body of the fallen man ignored as phone is tucked back away and he races back to the party, to rejoin Lara and Tom.

The smog above obscures much of the Angel and Magdalena from streetview but there is a gleam of light, that sword ignites like a lightsaber and it streaks downwards, aimed directly for Tom Judge. Not that it's distance closes much more than a dozen feet, just enough to burst free of the above atmospheric gunk cloud, this causes the noises around them of fear to rise even higher, an upturn high in crescendo as an actual biblical thing covered in blood just appears Vivienne with drawn weapon of her own incoming at it. So very close….

"LOOK OUT!" A scream, a reactive Pub Crawler.


It had to go there, didn't it? It really had to. And in the end, it was one thing to hold the Spear, and another to use it. So precious was the artifact, that Vivienne always seemed to choose to use it only at last need. Always her first thought was for its safety, and not her own, though, in truth her blood was more precious than any Spear and she spilled that seemingly with wanton disregard.

But the light of that sword, the change in the host-like thing's direction. Lord save her, right back towards where she last saw the drunk possibly priest. She finally bowed her head and conceded.

The Magdalena resheathed the sword with one hand, but the other reached back, withdrawing the Spear from its space beneath her coat. A flick of her wrist as she dove, and the spear burst into brilliant flame, the halt lengthening until it as nearly as tall as the woman herself, the light of it a beacon as she set herself on a collision course with the creature now winging its way down to earth.

And if she was wrong? If the Spear was wrong? Then she would be judged.

The Magdalena dove, her body angled to attempt to collide with the winged creature, to impale it on the head of the spear.


There are many things Tom Judge could choose to do in this moment. Out of the corner of his eye, he can see that the woman near him is drawing out a handgun, and he grimaces — a brief shake of his head. All his instincts tell him to run, and given his inebriation, he's inclined to give into it.

Except, well, it's looking at him. Some part of his brain acknowledges this truth, though it takes a little while for it to penetrate enough that he stops his slow shuffle backwards.

"For fuck's sake. I just wanted a quiet night out, no demons or… weird shit," a dart of glance towards Lara puts blame for this squarely on her shoulders, unfairly or not. His shoulders shift, and then something ripples across him.

More accurately, he ripples, skin warping and darkening, bulk added to his from from nowhere as he lengthens out, pale skin becoming hard brimstone. Fire flickers over the sudden form he's taken, standing towering over the SHIELD agent as he steps forward and tilts his head up towards the brilliant creature, the pavement smouldering underneath his feet. They are like twins of a coin, one light, one dark. His jaw, full of sharp teeth — don't make for clear speech, but it's clear enough to hear the challenge in the words: "Bring it."

The sword arrows down from the sky, directly towards Tom Judge — who is now a seven-foot monster — or easily mistaken for one. Blackened hand reaches out to bat the sword away; where the edge of it slices against his hardened skin, a brief, but intense flare of fire whooshes heat and light around him — over Lara — as the sword drives into the ground and the Rapture throws his head back and howls an unearthly noise.


Sara is gone before Jake can fully recover, but he is only 'supposing' this is for the revelation about Julie - Sara's sister.

Though, right now?

Sara does not give a fuck. Or any fucks, for that matter, but when she rounds into an alley and is almost a block away she stops..

Fogged breathes pant as she hears the robotic voice relay of incoming texts finally catching up and giving her the intel of:
…Heed dropping into dude eye…balls……'*

The sound of screams begins low as Sara is propped against a Brick wall and every breath is a fog before her lips as she types back..
-Block away.
Balls what?
I did not just make Jake puke for 'ballgazi — -'

A person runs past screaming in tones akin to 'the sky is falling… or heads are falling and Sara commences…
-Set location..
Wtf is that??-

As eveything surmounts in the skyline and a bellow raises vibrations through the 'lines' Sara tucks her phone into her pocket and surfaces just at the mouth of the commotion where Tom, Mag, Lara, and Rob are all…

-How fucked are we??-

All hail voice command?


Well there's not a lot that a normal, unpowered, human can do in a situation like this. Except what her training has told her to do in situations like this! And thats get the civilians out of the way as much as you can… and get backup here asap. So!

Lara turns to the pub crawl crowd and most of them have already started to move toward doors or trying to run away down the sidewalks, so the Archaeologist is just trying to run in their directions while she's pulling her phone out (cellphones!).

Lara is quickly texting the Curator < You cuold've warned us a little better than this!! :( > As she too is then ducking inside the nearest open doorway to get the hell out of the fight that she has no chance of positively effecting.


The Curator sends back a sad face emoji followed by a poo and another sad face. Maybe he means sorry. It is hard to tell what he is relaying to them. The guy is strange.

Robert is back with Tom and Lara just in time to see the sword clash off of the Brimstone fist, dash to the side wide and open the Angel up for Magdelana's own spear thrusting impale. The violence suddenly escalating ten fold, the music a technobeat in the background continues but the Pub Crawl itself is scattering in a massive wave of fear, only stragglers remain behind as a Stony Demon, a flying war-Nun and an Angel have now engaged in a three way battle royale, the Witchblade to top it off is now present in the form of Sara Pezzini, Detective Sara Pezzini.

The creature has its right arm out wide, the block-parry from the Rapture has its opening so easy an opportunity its almost heartbreaking as the Spear of Destiny rams through it's stomach to hips sending it sliding across the cement to hit a curb, pulling her with it in this forward momentum, legs kicking out trying to flap wings at the same time, as if these two gestures will free it, blood of blue pours out of its lips and its glowing eyes shine bright a look of disbelief as it looks at Vi, "The Mistress, I cannot fail." It's voice haunting yet melodic, the sort of sound a person falls in love with yet finds unreal, scary.

The sword forgotten it pulls itself along the spear and tries to backhand the Magdelana.

"I will not fail."

The impact of her body hitting the ground, even with the angelic creature beneath her to cushion the impact is intense, as is the pain of the thing's hand making solid contact with her face. And maybe that would be enough to knock her off of the thing. Except that the Magdalena was no ordinary woman, raised in the public school systems. No, she was raised by nuns. Warrior nuns. It sticks with a person.

And it helps that this isn't the first hard knock she's come into. So when her body rocks back, she tightens her grip on the Spear, twisting it in the creature's guts, allowing her body to fall back as she scrambles for one of her swords. She dares not remove the Spear, but she can still try to get at the thing's head. A life for a life. It took a head; The Magdalena seems intent on taking one of her own.


It might be easy to look at the fight in progress, at the demonic heritage of the Rapture's physical nature — all fire and brimstone, Hell Incarnate — and the brilliant, clear, gold lines of the Angel, and determine who is the monster in this scenario. These things are rarely so clear-cut, however.

As the Rapture's howl dies, Magdalena's dive drives the angel towards the earth. Towards him. A blackened, firey hand reaches out, grips the sword that's half buried in the ground next to him, and pulls, with an effortlessness showing the strength of his form. A normal sword might blacken and melt under the touch of his hand, but this sword… is not a normal sword.

The pavement buckles and melts as the Rapture's heavy steps carry it to where the Angel and the Magdalena battle it out. There's no attempt at showiness, or facetious words — the brimstone creature just lifts the sword above his head and brings it down with all his might, aiming for the Angel's neck.


-I don't understand…-

The text back to them is brief, but fitting, as Sara is now a full face in this battl of the Headless.

- *Poo emoji #sent* -

"… oh my g—," Sara hears the chimes, the relays, the mechanical voice… The palm that smears her face and pushes Auburn hair from it, is bare, but at her wrist, a ruby colored stone flashes, inset within archaic metal knotwork and clawed grasping that seems to bear not only into that stone, but into flesh and bone.

Disconnecting her Bluetooth, those eyes flecked in gold among the dark brown follow that bass tempo of combat.

The Angelus…
The Spear…
The Rapture.

The Witchblade, however…

"*/People are fleeing, screaming something about eyes falling… heads falling…?/*" Over the radio Jake is seeking out Sara.
"*/Sky is falling, Jake. There's some bad 'Kool-Aid' bowls over here, I am dum—/*"

The comm cuts off as the Rapture and Magdalena join forces against the Angelus… an action that has Sara going pensive, rigid… The walk of cop-strut, turning into a wolfish-stride while small veins of metallic vines lace from the bracelet to circumference her fingers and form that of claws.

Only a couple inches, maybe a foot… from Robert and Lara, Sara takes a deep breath.

*/"Sara…. Sara?"/*

"Who…?" Beat. "Sitrep." Voice steadying…

"I hate texts." BTW!


Lara's inside a pub watching out the windows like everyone else, though unlike everyone else she's not wasted drunk, and many of the drunken partners are kind of loving what they're seeing outside, cheering at the sight of the fight and taking pics / videos with their damn phones.

The SHIELD agent is doing what SHIELD Agents should do though, and she's calling in for backup and when she's got the call placed she's stuffing her phone into her pocket while a college-aged kid a year or two younger than her, wearing a plastic hat that has beer cans on the sides of it with straws going down and into his mouth… hands her a bottle of beer.

"SHIELD is totally badass!" The college guy says to her.

Lara shows him a faint smile and a light nod then looks back outside, glancing down at the bottle in her hand now.


The impact of the backhand does less than its original intention upon the Magalena, the Angelus Warrior, hisses and actually bites at her while the spear gores deeper, shoving through it to actually pit it against the wall, cornered there. While Vivienne is after the sword it drags itself up, clawing at her now, attempting to stop the incoming blow shes intending to deal with the blade shes yet to present then, looming above her, behind her is the Brimstone Golem that is the Rapture embodied, the blue glowing eyes of the Angel go circular, large and rounded before fire and shadow descend, one clean swipe and its head flops off to slap onto the ground and roll in thumps, its body falling slack on perhaps the most prolific spear in the world; the same spear that pierced Jesus.


Ripclaw has moved with Lara, a step back and near the entryway to one of the pubs, hes aware shes making a call to SHIELD, "Is that wise?" He asks her, aware shes part of that organization but to what depth.

"We need instruction." He says but hes not about to call the damned Curator on the phone. "We need to approach them not have them arrested… if they won't fight us."

"Sara!" Robert calls, waving at her, trying to push panicked onlookers and gawkers aside.
Maybe he needs to talk to them if Croft or Pezzini won't. "They're fighting the same ones we fought. Maybe they're on the same side." Sides drawn? Might be news to some.


The Magdalena never manages to free her sword, but perhaps her prayer was heard, as the golem chooses just this moment to sweep in, utilizing the host's own sword to behead it. And just like that, in one swift instant, the battle is done, the creature's body dissolving around the spear, dissipating into light and essence, though thankfully, without the stench of the demonic.

Still embedded into the wall, the Magdalena uses the spear to pull herself to her feet, before she works at pulling the spearhead from the stone. Now that it seems to have done its work, it no longer holds itself fast to the stone, but slides out as easily as a knife through silk.

The flames that lick the spear do not die, though they dim, a banked light, rather than the blaze of a moment before, as the woman turns to the creature looming over her.

And whatever it might appear to be, whatever her first instinct might lead her to believe, she has the Spear in her hand, and its voice in her head, and neither of those mark the creature as demonic to her. And so, "Thank you."


Another noise comes from the Brimstone creature — one of satisfaction, presumably — as its foe is vanquished. Its gaze turns on the Magdalena, now — nothing human in those burning eyes — the hand that is still on that sword tightening, taking a step forward..

And then she speaks. Two simple words that stop the Rapture in its tracks. Again, his form begins to ripple, this time in reverse — height and bulk beginning to shrink, blackened hide fading into pale, white skin, flames receding from around his form, becoming… human again.

By comparison to his former form, Tom Judge looks thin, pale, fragile. He's also dropping to the pavement to soundly empty his guts as the sword clatters to to the ground beside him.

It's been one of those days.


Lara is setting the bottle of beer aside and turning away from the college kid with the beer hat on just as he's going in for the 'Can I get your number?' line. Now she's facing Robert fully and she's -glaring- at him for saying that to her.

"The Curator isn't having us help him solve something… He's having us help -him- achieve something!" She replies to him then, making an assumption on it, but it was a gut feeling she'd had since all of this had started that was only growing stronger every day and every time they took another step, no matter how far that step was.

Lara glances back outside before looking back to Robert. "SHIELD is a protector of the peace and if you haven't noticed, the peace of this otherwise innocent night of fun has been broken by the sounds of falling body parts…" She throws a pointing finger out toward the street. "And the battling of super powered entities. This is everything that SHIELD is designed to come in and solve. So, yes… I'm sure its 'wise'." At this point, Robert might think Lara is not entirely happy with him either.


"Fine, I won't argue this one with you, you're right. Maybe with all of it." Robert frowns, he never seen the look the Curator had given her, he was not out of the Dream State yet. Not aware of the manipulations himself just the aftermath, "Come on then, at least we can do this… we can talk on the rest more, plans around the Curator if we have to. Just right now… " A touch to her hand and hes racing, leaping up to extend his fingers that elongate in to long claws and swipe out an overhead light, knocking it out and then turning to slash another lower one, blacking out a portion of the road, trying to obscure them from more videos, flashing and images.

"WE need to go now!" He shouts loud, his voice directed at Tom Judge and Vivienne. "Lara, Sara… " He shouts at those two as well. "Come on, please… "

Not demanding but asking, he goes the opposite direction, rushing past anyone in his path and turning only to see if anyone is actually going to follow, speaking once more, "Authorities and likely more of those Angel monsters will come for us if we linger, if we're all in one place it will be a bloodbath. We… may be on the same side." Voice of reason, why not. Someone has to do it. Leave it to creepy Chief McEdward Scisorrhands.


Vivienne's eyes widen, as she watches the transformation from brimstone golem, to possibly priest. Still, she doesn't move away, instead moving into a defensive position, placing herself between Judge and anyone who might be inclined to feel the need to approach him. When she hears the call from the man she doesn't know, but at least doesn't appear to be an immediate threat, she looks down to Tom. The spear, finally flaming out, dwindles back down to its former size, small enough for her to tuck back under her coat, before she holds out a hand to the man who's fallen back to the ground. "He's not wrong. We need to get out of here. And I have a feeling we need to see where they lead." Whether he takes it or not, she at least makes the offer.


There's something so oddly comforting about this moment. There's always comfort in familiarity — even if it's emptying one's cuts on a dirty New York street, the ringing of his ears, and the haziness of still slightly inebriated. These are the things that make up the very fabric of Tom Judge's existence.

Of course, the dead angel and the powerful sword — not to mention the Magdalena — are all new, but details.

With a shaky hand, Tom's fingers feel across the pavement until he takes hold of that sword — he has a feeling that's not a weapon to be left on the street, before he glances up at Vivienne. He takes a breath, something fleeting passing across his expression, before he uses the sword as a makeshift cane, leaning his weight on it with one hand, and taking her hand with the other, using both to draw himself to his feet.

"Figures he was with you." Assumptions. But still, he's moving with them — after the stranger — albeit probably more slowly than is wanted.


Lara really had expected more of an argument with Robert than him just accepting her words as she'd said them and it shows on her face when she's looking up at him and then just nods once. "Okay…" She says then. And when Chief Scissorhands starts to run off, she moves to follow him though she's sending a text to Samantha who's already sent her 15 since all of this started. Lara texts back that she's okay, that she's with SHIELD and handling this.

Sliding her phone away, she picks up her pace in keeping up with Robert, but she does glance back to see if they're being followed and sure enough it seems so… which was good. Right?


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