A Light In The Darkness

October 15, 2018:

Cloak and Dagger continue to fight injustice and evil doers in this dark time.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

New York City. It is here that over the past few days terror, chaos and death has gripped this once proud city. It some places it stands in silent ruins - completely over run by horrific demonic creatures, some as big as an enormous dragon, others smaller, but all just as deadly. The demons, however, are not the only things to fear on the streets. There is no law here, police officers are not around to bring order to the streets. They are not around to stop industrious looters, thieves, and near-do-wells from taking over. In the areas of poverty and extreme gang violence, there is no one left to help, no one there to save the victims… no one but Cloak and Dagger!

In a dark alleyway a small group of criminals sneak through the shadows. The tallest of the bunch, their self proclaimed 'leader', snakes his head around the corner, casting his eyes towards the super market on the opposite side of the road. "Okay boys." He states, turning back around to cast his gaze at the dozen men and women with him. "The Emerald Punks have taken up refuge in that building. They're weak and ready for the plucking, ~helping~ their families." His words are brisk and annoyed, gazing towards the building where innocent civilians have taken refuge along with a small gang.

"We've got enough arms here to kill them all, all of them, and take that building as our own. We'll fortify it, and use it as -our- staging ground. We're the Skulls, and we're going to take this entire area."

The other Skulls all grunt out softly, most are armed with stolen weapons, taken from a recent looting of a pawn shop. They're ready for blood, it's kill or be killed, and right now there are no demons about to stop them.

From the inky blackness, a quiet voice echoes out from the depths of darkness, quietly whispering to the shadows themselves. "We can't let them hurt those people, Cloak!"

Bound together by fate and the twisted experiments of an evil drug lord, the vigilantes known as Cloak and Dagger were blessed - or cursed - with superhuman powers and burdened with the responsibility to use those powers for good. Some days, that crusade leads them against other drug lords and sinister criminals of the same ilk, but other times their battle against those that would do ill brings them to crimes of a much different nature. Still, while gangers such as these are no strangers to the pair, the situation that has presented itself to them is. New York is under assault, both from within and without. Demons and the supernatural aside, even rioting and looters such as this are new territory for the duo - though it is territory that they are only too willing to navigate, for if they're too afraid to rise that challenge, who else would be?

As Dagger speaks, a softly glowing pair of eyes can be seen from the general vicinity of her voice, as if appearing from the shadows where there were none before. The brown orbs are brooding and intense, set over the almost invisible line of a nose that can barely be distinguished against the rest of the darkness. "That is why we are here, Dagger," a voice resonates quietly then, deep and full. As he speaks, more of Cloak's features can be seen, a full hood finally becoming visible along with the rest of his broad features and chocolate-colored skin. His signature blue and black striped cloak almost seems to materialize from the darkness, hanging in loose and billowing folds. Under those folds? There is only an inky, depthless black void.

Then, without further preamble, Cloak sweeps into the light, his cloak flaring out to either side and almost seeming to grow in size and shape as it does so. His head remains the only truly defined part of him aside from that terrible cloak, and he raises his voice to a near shout as he bellows out to the conspiring Skulls. "You will take -nothing!- Leave this place now or suffer the consequences - for know that this neighborhood is a sanctuary to those who need shelter from the chaos besieging our city, and any who would violate that sanctuary shall be met with swift retribution!" His cloaks ripples and billows in an unseen wind, threatening to either swallow any who wander too close - or perhaps instead hurl some unspeakable terror outwards from that impossibly black abyss…

The Skulls react as cowards are apt to do, turning about with fright as the darkness itself speaks out to them. "DEMONS!" Is the first instinct that they all have, self preservation coming to the forfront of their very existence. They have lived this long within the hell now known as New York City, their quick reactions will continue their survival …

Or so they think.

Like one the men and women of the gang known as the Skulls raise their weapons upwards and begin firing towards the inky dark blackness that is Cloak. The shots continue to ring outwards, distinct *bang* *bang* *bang* of futile noise. The bullets seem to be enveloped into the shadows, disappearing into the depths of darkness that is Cloak.

Only as the last bullet is used up that suddenly from that very dark place does brilliant light erupt outwards. The light begins with a single stream of white which breaks out from the darkness. That single beam turns into a luminous torrent of radiant light from which a golden haired girl steps forth. Her lithe body is in fluid motion as her arms swing outwards in an arc, and from her fingertips long, glowing white daggers form, flying forth over and over again towards the surprised gang members.

They all go down, toppling towards the ground in a paralyzed terror, what they each see is not for Dagger's eyes, though she can only imagine the gripping tale that is weaved for them - the tale of what their life could have been.

"You all should be working together! Only through goodness and hope will this world be saved!" Her gaze turns towards Cloak then, "They do not deserve the light, do as you will."

While the blinding vision that erupts from the darkness may be new to the hapless Skulls, it is one that Cloak has seen many times before - yet never tires of. He watches with his piercing gaze as Dagger fells the cowardly thugs, leaving them trembling and quaking on the ground before the pair. Slowly, the man lowers himself towards them, his cloak fluttering about to offer glimpses of his shadowy hands and feet, and then he silently envelops the nearest of the Skulls within that dark, striped material. The thug's whimpers can briefly be heard spiking into a full-fledged scream before he's silenced completely - the abrupt change perhaps unnerving and eerie to someone who may not have witnessed it before.

Cloak's eyes flash briefly afterwards, as he nods to Dagger. "The darkness within them is deep and strong," he intones. "It clings to them like a foul stench rising from rancid meat. There is only thing that they deserve… Only one punishment that is apt for the evil in their hearts." He strides forward in that silent, gliding gait of his head then, his cloak sweeping open briefly before he takes another of the gang into the abyss, the same brief cry of terror sounding out from the ruffian before the noise is completely stilled. And so goes the rest of the gang, one by one snuffed out like proverbial candles, what light they had within them now given to the darkness within Cloak.

When he is finished, the vigilante turns back to regard Dagger, his features at first stoic and inscrutable - or they would be, to any who was not familiar with him. To Dagger, however, there are very subtle cracks that she can see in that facade, a betrayal of even Cloak's weariness at what he is compelled to do, and the toll it takes on him. It is fleeting however, before he nods his hooded head towards the super market across the street. "The refugees that are sheltering in that building - shall we see what aid we can offer them?" It is not often that the pair have the opportunity to act in a supportive manner to those in need, at least not when defeating some type of attacker or abuser isn't part of that support. Though it's clearly not within Cloak's 'comfort zone', he is asking Dagger as he knows that is definitely within hers.

Perhaps Dagger should not have been so brash in her last words, her eyes widening with each person that is sucked into Cloak's darkness, and then not returned! The fear she can see on all of their faces is wide and so very familiar. She has seen it so much now, it hardly registers. It's like a dulled numbness which consumes her thoughts and feelings. When the last of them are consumed, and Cloak falters ever so slightly, Tandy's voice lowers quietly.

"The darkness is all consuming, Cloak, but you will release them - right?" Dagger's gaze beseeches Cloak. She made a mistake, everything that is going on around them, all of the pain and anguish, the death, chaos, the apocalyptic environment sucks everything good, even Dagger is feeling overly aggressive.

"I regret my choice of words, Cloak. Even now, even at the end of days, we can not allow ourselves to become that to which we give retribution. They have learned their lesson, they have seen the light, and the darkness, let them go, perhaps now they will help others, instead of just themselves." Tandy is always the hopeful, seeking the light in those that she would condemn just a moment ago.

Even as she speaks, Dagger is moving towards the super market, her gaze sweeping the streets, seeking dangers where there are currently none - hopefully.

At first, Cloak's grim visage seems to darken at Tandy's words, the lines that crease his face growing a bit deeper, his eyebrows gathering just so towards the bridge of his nose. Not in anger or malice - but in frustration, perhaps. He remains silent for a long moment, silent and unmoving save for the gentle swishing of the edges of cloak as an errant breeze drifts down the empty street, his gaze focused on his partner as he weighs her words. Then, he nods once, slowly, closing his eyes as he almost seems to let out a sigh - and opens his arms to part the front of his cloak, letting the Skulls gang members tumble one by one out of the darkness within. They are each shivering and mumbling incoherently, trembling both from the cold and the nightmares they were subjected to in the place that Cloak had sent them. They may recover, eventually, but as Dagger has stated - they will be forever changed by the experience, for good or ill.

"I wish I could share your optimism…" Cloak finally responds as he moves to catch up to her, heading also towards the market across the street. "Your belief that wretched souls such as they can find …redemption. The cancer that afflicts the city, that has sent demons to invade the streets… there are those that live here that do not need such excuses to do evil things. Only the opportunity. I wonder if it's the evil hearts of transgressors like them that has brought chaos here, and not the other way around." Always the dark counterpoint to Dagger's light, in more ways than one. But - he at least is moving with purpose towards the makeshift shelter that the supermarket has been turned into, seeming to make good on his offer to her to aid those within with whatever they may need. He does not make the same gestures of safety as Dagger does - either trusting the woman to spot any danger that may be present, or otherwise feeling that there just isn't anything out there that could truly threaten the pair.

Confidence is not necessarily a bad thing, Cloak and Dagger have been through much in their lives, from the moment they first met, to now - when it seems as though the End Times have arrived. Tandy is ever the optimist, and Tyrone is the darkness itself. As Cloak speaks, his words ring true, and that corruption that exists around them calls out to Tandy to give in as well, to listen to his words, to let go of her hope.

Dagger ignores the sensations and continues onward, voicing her beliefs with a soft, confident tone. "Whatever has brought hell to this Earth will pay, Cloak, but we can not be so quick as to believe that all light has been extinguished. Whether it is the work of those that deal in darkness, or some quirk of fate that has brought about these dark times, I fully believe the light will return. We just need to maintain our beliefs, our hopes." As Tandy speaks, her steps finally find her on the doorstep of the supermarket, within there are several men and women with guns aiming towards the duo, they react with suspicion - and fear, yet they do not fire.

"Halt right there you two." One of the men states, within his hands is a long rifle. In the background, there can be heard the sound of a young male's voice. "Thems the one dad! That's the angel! The angel! The one that saved me from the Skulls! She just came out of the darkness, an angel of light. Thems the good guys!" Several more voices echo outwards as a small argument erupts on whether or not they should let them in.

Before any can say anything, however, Dagger offers a quiet, "We mean you no harm, we are Cloak and Dagger, and we're here to help you - if you need."

The relationship between Cloak and Dagger is complex but well balanced - there are times that his pragmatism and yes, doubt, anchors his partner when she would otherwise be too wishful or trusting but there are just as many times that her hope and belief serve to lift Tyrone up from his own darkness and the road to despair. This moment is one of the latter - for even in the face of what might truly be the apocalypse come to Earth, the woman beside him refuses to let her light be dimmed by sorrow or anguish. It is a powerful example, one that renders Cloak momentarily speechless, before his stern visage breaks into the beginnings of a small yet still noticeable smile. "I /hope/," he begins, emphasizing that word, "That you are right." But even his tone now suggests that there is much more belief there than there was previously - and a renewed affirmation that despite whatever may happen, as long as he and Dagger face it together, all will be well in the end.

Then, they are at the supermarket entrance and are facing understandably untrusting refugees. Despite his instincts to the contrary, Cloak takes further inspiration from Dagger's previous comments and concentrates enough to become a little more solidified and, as a result, less intimidating than normal. His body under his cloak has an actual form, if dark and inky, and his cloak hangs like normal fabric rather than floating about him as if possessed. The reactions of those within causes Cloak's expression to soften, even though the guns have yet to be lowered. He nods in support of Dagger's claim and then adds his own words to follow - or, tries to at least. In solid form as he is, his stutter returns to plague him, though he does his best to fight through the impediment. "Sh-sh-sh-she's… right," he manages, gritting his teeth a little at his inability to speak properly. But he senses that the last thing these suspicious folks need on their doorstep is a being made of dark shadows, so he forges onwards. "Wu-wu-we.. ju-ju-ju-ju-…" He pauses, taking a deep breath and the starting again, a bit slower and more labored. "Ju-just w-w-w-want to help…if w-w-w-we c-c-c-c-an…"

It's a stark contrast to the powerful and imposing delivery that he gave to the Skulls just moments ago - but then again, perhaps the stuttering might seem far less threatening to those holed up in the market, and make them more willing to admit if they truly do need help, than turning away the hand that is being offered to them?

Those inside are inspired both by the words of one of their own, as well as Cloak and Dagger's convictions. It is this reason, all of them lower their weapons and begin moving the barracade for Cloak and Dagger to enter.

For them, society would as soon as forget them, they are the lost, those that fall between the cracks. They can't leave, they have no where to go, and staying has cost many of them dearly. Banded together, they have repelled not just the demons that roam the streets, but monsters in human flesh that would take for glory, for greed, for themselves.

The supermarket has been transformed into a make shift camp, families banded together in different aisles, food stuffs there for their eating. In one corner, a jar filled with money is located. The man with the rifle gestures Cloak and Dagger into the supermarket, the others work to fix the barracade back up. As Dagger's gaze settles on the collections pot, the man offers a pained expression. "It's all we got to pay the owner of this place back, but when this is over, we'll do everything we can to pay back what we've taken. It's only right." A few bobbed heads is given.

Dagger's hand moves over to rest upon Cloak's arm, as she offers a soft. "We will let no harm fall on you. There are others who need food and shelter as well, if you allow, we will bring them here, for only together, working as one, can we hope to stop this madness."

The only response from those within are to begin making more beds, moving more of the shelves to one side, and getting prepared to shelter more lost.

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