The Pit

April 03, 2018:

Ripclaw invites some of his associates to the Metropolis French Quarter to discuss a nearby growing darkness residing in a "pit".

Metropolis French Quarter


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

A crisp cold night, degrees under fifty with enough of a wind chill that layers make for a good idea, Robert sent a message out this night. Not the Curator. Where they can cut him out they have been. This is one of those instances.

Atop a squat brownstone in Metropolis the cybernetic 'shaman' known as Ripclaw perches, overlooking the neon lit up streetways of the French Quarter, Lara Croft will know this area for being close to Papa Donjo's mysterious hoste/authentic Voodoo shop. Nothing special happening this time, no late night celebrations, just a normal back and forth walk of life.
Despite it's lack of visibility she knows like Robert what lies unseen here though, towards the East, further towards the Atlantic. That black 'Stranger Things' like monster on the horizon, upside down though. Its invisible here, possibly not even here but memory of it lingers.
They're bolstering, time to go closer to it on both 'planes' is very soon, it's been scouted, the dangers are known. Now is the time to begin taking full action.

Hence the summons…

Lara Croft's black jeep pulls up down belog where Robert is located, he'll recognize it and since he summoned her here… he's likely waiting to see it. It takes her about a full minute to exit the vehicle, but when she does she gently closes and locks the door before she puts her hands into her black winter jacket's pockets and moves to step around the front of the Jeep. Lara gives a glance toward Donjo's place, but she'd just as soon not go back to the Monkey's Dojo any time soon. She steps up onto the sidewalk and starts to look around for a familiar face…

Lara galnces at a street vendor to her right and moves over to look at some of the items on sale while the Vendor talks to her in a local style, trying to sweet-talk the customer up!

Vivienne Benoit has never been to Metropolis. Indeed, she could barely say that she'd been in New York. But when she got the message on her voicemail, she did what pretty much every tourist ever does. Or the host of new Yorkers who don't actually have their own cars. She hopped a bus. One of those Greyhound style that let you sit and enjoy the view while you get where you're going. She packed as light as was possible, one duffel, large enough to hold her gear, and kept the directions she's looked up in her phone to get her where she needs to be. And she's doing just that, coming into view as she is. She's opted for that more subdued body armor jumpsuit, with her trenchcoat over it, most of her accoutrement hidden, and that bag over her shoulder.


Roberts quick descent to join them has him just stepping off that ledge and landing with a heavy 'thump'. Fortunately two stories isn't enough to break him it's just an obnoxious 'clap' on his boot heels as well as statling the man in the booth, his hands flying up as Lara is talking to him and a 'waterpipe' is knocked over.
"you're paying for that!" He shouts in a broken up accent at Robert who managed to land just before Vivienne. As he straightens up he gives her a smile, dark hair and attire makes only his eyes and pale skin the only real coloration to him. Very 'gothic-metalhead' of him, despite not at all ever claiming hes anything remotely Gothic.

"Glad two of you could show. I am still awaiting a reply from the other three." Judge, Pezzini and Estacado, though this will be his final attempt for the last one. For now he is ignoring the startled and irrate merchant.


It doesn't pay to allow yourself to get too comfortable. And so, as Vivienne sees the body descending from the sky, having lifted her eyes to check the street signs again, her hand is already going to one of the hilts under her jacket. And why is it that they never seen to have a sign for the damned street that you're actually on, and not just the cross streets, eh? It's actually still resting there, even once she recognizes Robert and the friendliness in his smile.

The 'you two' brings her head around the big man's body, so she can actually catch sight of the woman she's seen before, but never formally met. "I came as quickly as I could. My apologies if you've all been waiting."


Lara wasn't familiar with Viv enough yet to recognize her, plus she isn't even looking in that direction… at least not until Robert is landing on the side street and causing Croft to jump to the side. "Christ." She gasps out softly at him. "Not amusing." Lara casually scolds him before she looks back to the vendor. She offers him some money in exchange for the pipe and then turns around toward the other two with her hands going back into her jacket pockets. "They've probably realized the danger in what we're up against and have decided to busy themselves elsehwere." Lara says back to Robert then before inhaling and offering Vivienne a nod of her head. "I'm Lara, by the way." She offers her right hand to the woman.


"No, just me." Robert tells Lara with a bit of humor in his voice. "I find it amusing."
"We haven't been waiting long. Needed the time to prepare some anyways."

"Do you feel it here, Ana?" Ripclaw asks and holds up a hand like it was a 'dowsing' object, no gloves just those bladed bio-metal-sheathed claws palm out towards the east, past apartment projects and buildings in the distance beyond them. Ominous. Even outside of the spirit realm.

"If they're smart… probably."

The vendors bitching becomes background noise as it shifts in to another language.

What will she feel? GREAT darkness, necromantic and corruptive energies. A blight, an old and archaic power. Its nearly visible to those who can pierce the veils. As if the world just shadows that direction further, pitch black where light should at least try to creep.


Vivienne steps to the side of Robert with a polite word, to accept Lara's hand, the shake firm, but with that slight something that makes it immediately clear that that's not her dominant hand, but rather, a gesture she's learned to do over time. "Good to meet you, Lara. Vivienne. But most everyone calls me Ana." Which might be odd, considering the names don't sound a thing alike, but there you are.


Robert's question brings her attention back to the man, her eyes following the line of his claws, looking out in the direction he's indicating, "Like an ache in the back of the teeth, or that moment just before you know a headache will begin." Pain, and pressure, and discomfort. "Why are we here? For that?"


Lara counters the handshake with her own, her grip is rather strong but not overly so. "I'll call you Ana as well then, unless otherwise asked not to." She says, showing the faint hints of a smile toward the other woman before her attention returns to that of Robert. "Whats the plan then?" She asks him. "Are we seeking out the crude monkey to ask for more of his crude wisdom? Should we pick up a bag of candy bars, that was his fetish, right?" She gives Robert a faint grin as well while her hands go back into the pockets of her black winter coat, eager for the weather in this region to warm up again for the approaching summer months… she's quick sick of the cold.

Ghost Warrior, Tomb Raider and Magdalena all in one place now on the streets of the dark and cold French Quarter, it's a moment worth pause for Robert, his lips curling back in to a grimace thats also part smile.
"I've talked you both up to one another. She shares your concerns about the Curator, Lara, shes only met him briefly and once. That is saying plenty I imagine."

"It has reenforced a lot of our intended subterfuge, we're keeping our newest bearer away from the man as well, despite the Curators insistance."
"Donjo, candy bars and video games. Yeah. No, we're not headed there, not yet. Physical approach this time. I want to see this pit in 'our' world."


"He's none too eager to be involved with any of this, so it hasn't been a trial. Of course, I'd be just as happy if none of us were involved in this, but at least for my part, my path seems to have been decided for me." Vivienne, having reclaimed her hand, tucks both into her pockets, pulling her coat close around herself, though she seems not much bothered by the cold. "I'm afraid that you'll have to catch me up. 'Pit in our world?'"


Lara draws in a deep breath and slowly releases it when Robert tells her of Vivienne's determined feelings toward the Curator. Her eyes move toward Ana then and she nods her chin softly once toward the other woman. "He's hiding things. He's not who he claims he is, or at least is not out for what he claims he is out for. I thought, at first when I got involved in all of this, that I would wait him out and see if I could uncover more of his unsaid truths… But he's pushed his luck too far with me and I no longer wish to put myself around him in any situation that may benefit whatever it is he's after."

And with that said, Lara looks back to Robert and she nods once and the motions in the direction of the ominous 'pit'. "I'm ready when you are then." She states in a soft voice.


Inside my shell I wait and..

The French Quarter…

Beneath a leather coat is a tank top, the strap falling off her shoulder as Sara shifts the gear of the Prius to have the (non)posi(traction), ass end skid into the block with the old metal blaring from the speaker system!

A skid in the slush as she growls to the (music?), or that of the elements as gears grind and wheels SPIN!!.

"C'mon tiny tampon. Go Kotex.. GO!" Yes, that is precisely what Sara Pezzini has named the temp-(go)Cart when she spins into the French Distric of Metropolis.

Two blocks away:
// /BLEED!/ //

Stepping out of the ehicle she stomps boots into the slush and rights her leather coat, exhaling to step…sytep… RUN!

… Towards the designated meeting point.

Late, is not her usual!


"Right, which makes it much easier on us." Robert stares off, still towards that horizon line. It is as though he can see what is there. At least some of it.

The incoming Detective has him pausing in what he is about to say next, offering the woman a wave of his hand, "This will weigh our odds a little better."

"Just in tmie. We're about to take a walk right to the devil's door."

The Witchblade. They are now considerably more formidable. He doesn't comment too much on the Curator, he wants to believe the besst but like them, he knows, darkness lies there, trust is not to be had.

"The pit is a broken tear, a rip between several doorways, something… has died and lives there still, it breaches not just here but the dreamscape and perhaps other places, we have witnessed enemies of ours, things we battled against retreating here. It is believed there might be an artifact at it's heart. We have yet to confirm that…. "


"He tells a very carefully crafted story. And weaves words well enough to never answer a direct question. And he sees things he shouldn't." Vivienne seems content to fall into step with the other two, seeming, not pensive, but thoughtful, as she listens to the description of the pit, of the things which might be held there. "If it must be one of us to enter that place, I should be the one to do it." Her tone is practical. She is, after all, the only artifact bearer. Until she isn't, but she doesn't rescind her words, even as she turns to watch the approach of the other woman she only just saw in passing.


The badge that slaps to and fro is gripped by her bare hand, the bracelet of an old metal and older ruby stone inset, flashes when she snaps the eyelet-lock of beaded metal to tuck her status aside for this.

There is no P.D. here… No Darkness.. As the 'Lings have even been absent for a few days… A week or so? Sara has no time/place-ment as the leathe jacket is zipped in her approach, a blow of heated air into her fisted grip of fingerless gloves.

"I am ready." Sara states. Lara is given a familiar nod, but Magdalena… Viv…

.. Still suspicious in her lingering stare.


"He tells a very carefully crafted story. And weaves words well enough to never answer a direct question. And he sees things he shouldn't." Vivienne seems content to fall into step with the other two, seeming, not pensive, but thoughtful, as she listens to the description of the pit, of the things which might be held there. "If it must be one of us to enter that place, I should be the one to do it." Her tone is practical. She is, after all, the only artifact bearer. Until she isn't, but she doesn't rescind her words, even as she turns to watch the approach of the other woman she only just saw in passing.


Lara's nod is soft in response to Ana's words. "Yes… all of that." She replies about the Curator in a grim sort of way. "Would very much like to have telepathic abilities around him, to cut through the bullshit and find the creamy center core of what he's keeping from all of us."
Lara's eyes look over to see Sara's arrival and she shows the officer a warm smile. "Good to see you again." She tells the other upon her approach. "We're off to see the dark wizard, only this road is paved in something far worse than gold bricks." Lara glances over toward an alleyway where a homeless man is urinating. "Something, far, far worse…"

With a heavy sigh, the Brit just shakes her head. "Whatever resides in the pit, I'm sure its evil and I'm sure its trying to enter our world. Its what they do, afterall." Its entirely possible that she's becoming overly cynical.


"Thats a subject we're all on the same foot about at least."
Robert sighs, "So, perhaps I should give a brief history to what transpired here a few years ago, there was a black wizard, a powerful one that attempted to create pockets of unlife throughout Metropolis. He even managed for some time to erect a zone of absolute unliving outside of it, a blight that still lasts and I was there to aid the heroes of the time in putting him down, we banished him with the help of white magics. A cabal of us had to form."

"This necromancer… his lair was never found."
"I have a belief this might be it. I have been considering that since Lara and I first ventured here, I just didnt want to beieve as much."

"Master Darque." Robert murmurs, "He sought the lifeforce of Gods to make himself one. Almost succeeded."


"And in all of that time, no one has ventured down there to see what resides there, or to search for a way to close it? They've just left it open to fester?" Vivienne, turning to watch Sara's approach, offers her right hand, much as Lara did to her, "Vivienne. Most call me Ana." Though it's unlikely that she misses the look of suspicion in Sara's eyes, that too, she seems to think better of commenting on.


Sara pauses, her stance careful beside The Magdalena, but she remains behind Ripclaw and The Tombraider…

Tattered denim stretches over thighs and calves, as she was texted 'casual'!

But no one noted Viv, Mag… to boot the casual right the Fuck out of the Park!

'W'? Flag for them…!?

Towards 'Ana' Sara is about to extend a hand between Lara and Ripclaw and it freezes in place at the mention of 'Darque'.
… Dark….
… ness…

Master Darque….

A withdrawal of her hend in only the fisted curl of her fingers to Viv… "…" A glance to Ripclaw, Lara… The two she has worked with the most in This Bullshit… Circus… Side…show!

No right handed grip, instead her posture rights and the left (unladen in Artifact) is held towards Viv… The Magdalena -

In turn that keeps her right to face that of Ripclaw and Lara, those who know the fisted grip npw encased in an Ancient Symbiote! Fisted… "I have read on this… Darque and the effects he.. can leave." A pause in the grasp of hands.

'Creeping' hairs prickle up the nape pf her neck, the only hint to 'shift, SARA!', and causes such a join of Magdalena and Witchblade, casually… For now.

"Sara. Most call me Sara. Detective Pezzini." And hopefully her "deputized" Ripclaw and Tombraider have her back???


Lara is just listening to the others at this point, there's not much she can add that Robert can't clarify with greater detail. Lara's involvement in all of this so far up to this point was… experiencing the madness of it all. She'd survived two trips into the 'other verse' and both had been horrific in their own separate ways, but the second time had certainly taken the cake, so to speak.

"I feel as though this is one of those situations where someone else believed that 'someone else' would take care of it all and it has effectively been overlooked until now, where the boiling hellwater is bubbling beyond the barrier of the brim and now its spilling over to burn all of us poor sods."

She glances over at them and affords a light smile. "For lack of a better description."

"We searched for some time. There are areas like this hidden around Metropolis, most of them we found, sealed and purged. Some of them were harder to find, it has taken the passage of time for them to surface." Robert explains as they walk, closer and closer to their destination. Down a cul de sac, a familiar-ish one to himself and Lara, new to the other two. They're near Donjo's place.

"It did, become someone elses problem though, you're not wrong there." He admits to Lara's words, giving a smile to Sara thats meant to encourage and comfort as she tosses in to the mix.

"I guess we'll do it right this time around."


There's actually a widening of the smile that flits across Vivienne's face, as Sara, rather than offering her right hand, offers her left, which, given her own left-handedness is rather a rare treat, though that fades a moment later, as she sees the Witchblade begin to encase the detective's hand. And so, the handshake if Sara allows, or not, before she turns far enough contemplate the three people now arrayed around her, "I am beginning to wonder precisely what stories have been passed on to all of you about who and what I am. I am no thief in the night come to steal artifacts for the Church," and from the tone, she's been accused of that, "Nor any enemy of any of you." She steps back from the three of them, not far enough to remove herself from the group, but far enough that she can move without interfering with either of them. Robert's explanation gets a nod, but nothing more.


But what isn't a 3 Ring Sideshow?

Bullshit… Or not. Sara shakes Viv's hand. The Magdalena and the Witchblade, a firm grip to the fellow woman and that merurial gaze seeks the others' own even as a distance is sought between them, beneath leather the symbiote ascends her arms, but does not shred the under-layer of her protective leather jacket. There is care in the 'covetous' nature of the Beast. "I do not call you my enemy," A smile from Sara, one of a flick of lips as she stands with Lara and Robert. "Not if we are to… Do this right.."

A slow pause and Viv is granted a smile where hands thrust "casually" into jean pockets with a rock back upon booted heels.

"Together?" A tilt of head, enough to slice strands of auburn hair from her face where the spired and clawed grip straddled her profile and fades away.

Sara is trying


"These are my…friends…" ((Did that hurt?!? Maybe…)) "I trust them." ((No, it hurt! Truth does that…))

"If you arewith them…" Enough said….


Lara's eyes drift over to Ana's then and she shakes her head lightly side to side. "I'm sorry if I gave off the perception that I had some knowledge of who you were, I assure you, Ana… I don't. I haven't had time to look into you. Its true that I looked into the rest when I first joined with this wild expedition into the dark." She motioned to Sara and Robert. "But since we've been at this since early December, I've grown a bit more complacent, I suppose. From bodies in the sewers, to monkeys who have to be bribed to talk to us us… with candy bars. My ability to maintain a level headed is being put to an honest test." Lara looks to Robert, who's done everything he can to make this easier for her—so she certainly doesn't blame him for the insanity of it all, to Sara who's been helpful in grounding them a bit. "Friends is a good enough word for me." She states to the Witchblade with a little grin.

To be Continued…

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