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IC: S1:E1 "That's Just Nasty!"


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Well, this was freakish. Fisher followed Rachel's instructions, hurrying over to the foot of the cellar stairs, and reached a hand out for Natalie to take. "C'mon, Natalie. You heard Rachel. And if we let this thing go off, the town would be in trouble." What Mr. Syracuse said about a God being behind this reminded Fisher he should ask. "Who planted this crazy idea in your dad's head?"

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Nadya only stopped making a comment about Mercedes' sword compensating for something by biting her tongue, but even she had to admit the tall blonde looked hawt standing there, practically glowing under the dark storm, though Nadya would never had said so out loud. She contented herself with a sarcastic snort in reply to Eric's diatribe. "We may be new, yet we're the ones going into the haunted museum while you guys wait out here."

The only thing that mattered now was ending this mess and getting herself out of here alive. Oh, and the others too.

The museum felt a lot different now than the last time she was here, pulling her prank, and it wasn't just Nat's Dad trying to open a Hellmouth here either. Goosebumps prickled her skin and nodded at Rachel, a crooked grin on her lips. "Gotcha, Rae-Rae."

That said, Nadya still took a moment to pull out her fancy smartphone in its sand-coloured and black case and snapped a pic of the distraught Natalie before Fisher ruined the shot. There might be a use for it, cause a bit of distraction at an opportune moment. Then Nadya slipped it back into her pocket and pulled out her knife, opening it with a soft click.

Nadya made a gesture as if she was pulling on an invisible cloak over her shoulders. As she did so, her colouring, her appearance, grew dark and indistinct under an advancing line of shadow, like watching the phases of the Moon in an time-lapse video, until only those with the sharpest of senses could detect her darkened outline.

Then Nadya flitted silently away, skirting the edge of the room, to get a look on the other side of the roiling ball of black-lightning-laced-grey-shadows-Hellmouth thing and see if she could find Nat's Dad and Archie's purloined tome.

Spoiler

[Asarasa] 3:36 pm: Stealth + Larceny Roll to Activate Phase Cloak
(New Moon)
Asarasa *rolls* 8d10t7+2: 1,6,9,9,6,2,7,5.  Successes = 3. Plus 2
auto successes.  Total = 5.

Phase Cloak (New Moon) Activated - Mundane Detection attempts fail, +8 succs vs supernatural detection

Legend: 8/9

 

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"Hey guys!" Grace called out just loud enough to be heard, "I know where he is. Or I will in just a second if you all can have a half-second of patience." The last was growled out mostly in a mutter. She pulled out her necklace, using one of the dark thorns on the edge of the decorations to pierce her palm.

The blood welled up, then disappeared back into the claw; she made face at the pain, but pain was life and life was power. She immediately channeled the divine power she'd been granted into her unearthly senses, chanting quietly in something that sounded nothing like Spanish. "Niquitta amocualli tatzintli. Meyers." 

Mechanics

Grace is activating Maguey Itztli for a point of Legend, so she's got one Lethal now, and then she'll attempt to use Ariadne's Eye. I'm not sure if she can do both in this round, but I'll give the roll anyways. :) 

Perception + Survival

Roll(4d10)+0:
8,9,6,7,+0
Total:30

Woot! Three successes!

 

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Austin reached down and took Kyma Spestires in his hand, immediately, what had been a vaguely bronze cylinder extended.  at one end a spearhead, the other was unmistakeable head of a three-pronged trident.  It no longer looked like worn bronze, but looked as if it were newly forged, and with a flourish he spun it around before settling into a position that felt natural for one readying for battle with such a weapon.  This would be the first time he'd fought a real foe with it, but time alone had revealed he actually instinctively knew how to handle the weapon.   It was also a pretty dead giveaway who his father was.  He moved up with the others, matching pace with them, Telling himself he was ready for whatever they were about to encounter.

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Rachel Reaches out and puts her hand on Austins arm pulling him down as she crouches. "Let's give Grace a moment. Anngbjord , vokte oss!"

The shield maiden steps to the fore Shield and Spear at the ready, she takes a guard position ready to defend her mistress and her friends.

 

Spoiler

vokte oss = guard us

 

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Spoiler

I think Mala meant Ariadne's Thread.  I used that spell for the purposes of a reply.

Grace wasn't sure what would happen, after all, all the Scions present had been given nothing more than a pep-talk and a brochure of 'Welcome to demigodhood, try the buffet!'  He eye's snapped open and they were blood shot, like srsly blood shot.  Her pupils were opened as wide as they could go and her sclera (the white part of the eye) were as crimson as her mortal body would allow.  It was awkward, but the rush was so worth it.  The world was coated in a thin have of red, but aside from that every thing was the same.  Then, she heard a drop of blood... which should have been impossible over the wind and the noise of a portal to the underworld opening up.  Then it happened again, and when she looked down large splotches of blood dripped to the ground, seemingly from nowhere, and their pace quickened until the blood trail lead her field of vision all the way to one of the wax displays.

There among the display, a fall harvest scene depicting early settlers enjoying a meal among a Salem that was still nothing more a few frames for buildings.  There among the settlers, dressed as one of them, was Jell Meyers standing perfectly still, so still it was obvious he was no longer alive.  Okay, the fact that his face was emaciated and he looked like a jaundiced corpse might have been a dead give away too (okay, pun intended).

"He's disguised as one of the displays... and quite dead."  Grace muttered, a hint of confusion in her voice.

"Now that's cheating," came a voice that seemed to echo from everywhere.  It was male and sounded confident and intelligent.  "I was going to save him as a surprise, but... oh, what they hey.  Zombie Jeff, kill these upstarts.  I will have my chaos, and in case you think you can stop me," something fell from the air, like it had been tossed in an arc.  A series of small teeth hit the fresh soil of the display where the gate to the Underworld was pulsing, ready to burst open and unleash the dead into the World.  Where the teeth fell, the soil swirled up and formed humanoid shapes.  It was like watching clay sculpt itself until five muscular men stood around the portal armored like Spartans and gripping a xiphos and toting an aspis.  "Kill everyone, check.  Summon a chaotic maelstrom of death into the World, check.  Ah, dry cleaning.  I always forget the dry cleaning.  If you kids'll excuse me... gentleman, please help Zombie Jeff kill these interlopers."

Natalie looked at Fisher, tears in her eyes and fear in her expression.  "He did."  She pointed up and nothing, indicating the voice all around them.

The Spartoi slowly advanced as the portal behind them pulsed.  Jeff turned and looked at the Band now that his cover was blown.  Although dead, he seemed to possess more of his faculties that Michael had.  There seemed to be a dark intelligence behind his cold, dead eyes.

"Cover me." Mr. Syracuse said.  "I'll dismantle the portal, you handle the adds."

"Did you just refer to this whole thing like an MMO?"  Austin asked.  "Seriously?"

Rachel tapped him on the shoulder.  "Focus, we have trouble..."

This was it.  No more doubt or confusion.  The Band was about to fight for their lives... or die.

Spoiler

Grace's spell has prevented the Band from being surprise attacked by Jeff a few turns into combat.  Good thinking.

Combat order is:

Nadya

Fisher

Rachel

Grace

Austin

Enemies
 

None of the enemies are dodging, so use their Parry DVs.  The Spartoi have a PDV of 4, and Jeff has a PDV of 2.  Movement is rather irrelevant at the moment, the area is very small so it's not hard to close distances.  Any followers you have summoned will attack on your turn, I'll PM you their stats.

I'm not intending for this to be difficult so all the Spartoi are extras (4 Health levels) and Jeff is not all berserked out like Michael so he has 7 Health levels.

Spartoi have a soak score of 4L/6B and Jeff has a 3L/4B (weaker to damage, but he hits like a freight train).

 

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Fisher quickly turned around once the Spartoi started moving in on them. His pulse started beating heavily. No more waiting while Nadya and Rachel had squared off with the Gollumichael. Now it was here and now. Alright. Be a hero. It's so easy in the books, right? From his pants pocket, he withdrew a pen. It looked like an ordinary click-on, click-off pen, except the coating and the push-prong were all bamboo.

Because, as Mom said, it wasn't really a pen. It was a weapon, if you knew how to transform it - which she'd showed how when she'd returned from out of the blue in 12 years. Just a moment of focused will and intent. Fisher concentrated on it, and the pen glowed slightly as it changed and grew. The length of the former writing implement stretched out into several feet of haft. Bamboo, Izanami claimed, that had come from the time of the division between life and death.

The metal point drew its head out and into a couple feet of keen steel. Oddly, as Comb Tooth the naginata stood it all its revealed glory, Fisher felt better. Indescribable, as if something in his blood knew what to do at this point. Both hands snapped around Comb Tooth and Fisher brought it up and into a guard position.

The nearest Spartoi to Fisher saw the point of Comb Tooth thrust forward, and without fears or distractions, Fisher drove the naginata blade just under its breastplate.

Spoiler

Since Asa's taking his time, Dave let me go ahead.

[Jeremy] 12:25 am: Ok. So Dave, I am officially making ze rolls
[Jeremy] 12:25 am: Drawing weapon and attacking are multiple actions so the attack receives a -2 penalty
[Jeremy] 12:26 am: But I am also spending a Legend point to add 3 successes to the attack roll
[Jeremy] 12:30 am: Attack roll
Epic Dexterity adds 1 sux also.

Jeremy *rolls* 7d10t7+4: 10,6,8,2,6,2,1.  Successes = 2. Plus 4 auto successes.  Total = 6.
[Jeremy] 12:31 am: As that's a 10, makes 7 successes

[Jeremy] 12:40 am: Yeah, so 3 successes carry over.
[Jeremy] 12:43 am: Strength 2 + Weapon Damage 4 + 1
[Jeremy] 12:41 am: Base Damage 7L + 3 successes = 10L - 4L Soak = 6d10
[Jeremy] 12:45 am: Damage roll
Jeremy *rolls* 6d10: 3+1+6+4+10+3: 27

Just 1L damage dealt, since 10s don't count twice on damage rolls.

Health: Unharmed
Legend: 8/9

 

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The voice was so snide and condescending, Nadya wanted to drive a stiletto heel into his kidneys, and she had to bite down on her tongue not to retort and possibly give away her position. Only... she couldn't find him. The voice had no discernible source, seeming to come from everywhere, and he had to be at least as good at hiding as she was. Even when the Spartan-sprouting teeth tumbled out of midair, Nadya hadn't seen a hint of movement.

She wanted to hunter the fucker down, but then Archie called out for them to draw aggro while he shut down the portal. Nadya had every intention of ignoring him in pursuit of what she thought more important - it wouldn't help shutting down the portal if evil-dude could just open another one - when one of settlers of the harvest festival scene bloody moved at the command of the voice!

Nadya barely stifled a squeak of surprise. The animated corpse moved towards her friends, but Nadya hesitated for a moment. Her dad was all Natalie had left and Nadya knew what that was like, personally, even if her own mother, however unbelievably, was back in her life. But then she got a look at... its eyes. It may have looked like Jeff Myers, and it didn't seem as mindless hungry as Micheal had been, but its eyes... something was still in there, but it wasn't Jeff Myers, and any sympathy Nadya had sloughed away. The undead were just... wrong! Anathema to this wondrous world full of possibility and life.

Zombie Jeff cleared the festival scene, shoving inanimate non-undead out of the way with hideous, and behind it, a piece of the darkness came alive. In the feminine silhouette's hand was a vicious claw, its inner curve glinting a deep, mottled blue in the rippling black-light of the Hellmouth-to-be. The blade came down in a perfect strike at the back of the zombie's neck, cutting through dead flesh... and glancing off a the hard lump of bone at the top of the spine.

The shadowy silhouette cursed in three languages as Zombie Jeff did her the great disservice of not falling down dead-dead and instead, glanced over its shoulder to give her a look of deathly malice.

Spoiler

Attacking with Fang of Cloven Shadows
[Asarasa] 11:39 am: Attack Roll: 7d10 + [2] + 2 (Surprise) = 9d10 + [2]
Asarasa *rolls* 9d10t7+2: 9,2,9,1,4,8,5,8,10.  Successes = 5. Plus 2
auto successes.  Total = 7 = 8 successes (10s count as 2); no reduction to successes from PDV thanks to Sneak Attack!

Damage
[Asarasa] 11:45 am: Damage = (Weapon Damage + Strength +
Threshold successes +1) - Soak = (2 + 2 + 8 +1) - 3 = 10d10 L
Asarasa *rolls* 10d10t7: 9,1,5,1,5,5,6,4,1,9.  Successes = 2L damage to Zombie Jeff
[Asarasa] 11:46 am: Balls!

Health: Undamage
Legend Pool: 8/9

 

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Grace swallowed hard as Zombie-Daddy Meyers turned towards them; sure, she'd seen Micheal, but that thing had been an animal. This thing had cunning. She scooted back, reaching out a hand behind her to grab Natalie's arm to pull her with the Aztec teen into a corner. Once there, she tugged her necklace off and threw it to the groud. It fell with a clatter, then spread out like a bloodstain. Cuate rose from the red-black puddle and Grace let out a soft sight of relief. "Stay behind me, Natalie. Cuate will defend us if we get attacked, and the others are pretty good at beating the crap out of things." 

Good enough, I hope. She hunkered down in the corner, hoping it really didn't come down to just her and Cuate to get Natalie out of here alive. I really need to get a weapon. I can throw a punch, but somehow I don't think anyone here is gonna care if I do.

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The adversaries voice and words chilled her blood and when the teeth sprouted warriors Rachel knew fear. But some part of her brain flared as she realized that whoever, whatever this A-hole was he was just another bully, a bully who had killed at least one friend and his mom and who knows may have killed others. And Rachel didn't like bullies.

In a second the field had changed. Nadya was facing a zombie alone but there were five of the warriors. Surprise came when Fisher, wielding some sort of sword on a stick, came out of the corner slashing. She made a flash decision.

"Austin help Nadya! Fisher, Anngbjord, and I will deal with the Spartans!"

With that she rushed forward, a red mist descending over her vision and a crazed battle cry ripped from her throat from some deep primeval place in her soul. Dodging in past the swords of the two nearest Spartoi she battered aside their shields and grasped the ancient warriors by their throats. Showing uncanny strength she lifted both boddili and bashed their heads together with a loud crash. the bronze helmets collapsed like plastic cups along with the skulls they were supposed to protect. Instead of blood and gore spraying out though, the summoned warriors simply exploded into dust, dirt, and sand!

Spoiler

  [Nina] 1:01 pm: rolling for rachels action 3 dex+brawl 2 -2 penelty spending one legend point for 3 auto sux

[Sunstar] 1:02 pm: hey party people

[Noir] 1:03 pm: Toshi can chat up a local, walk the less desireable parts of the city, bug a gaijin or whatever

[Dave] 1:08 pm: Remember, if you fail a roll you can spend Legend point to re-roll the dice.

Nina *rolls* 3d10t7+3: 1,10,4. Successes = 1. Plus 3 auto successes. Total = 4.

     [Nina] 1:12 pm: 10 is 2 sux or reroll?

[Jeremy] 1:14 pm: 2 sux

[Jeremy] 1:14 pm: So you hit. Congrats.     

     [Nina] 1:16 pm: so 5 sux total on the the hit

[Jeremy] 1:19 pm: So 1 threshold success to add to your damage calcs

[Dave] 1:32 pm: So with the gloves it's [1]8L minus their soak. So 5 damamge dice.

[Jeremy] 1:32 pm: One roll to apply to both?

Nina *rolls* 5d10t7: 8,7,10,9,10. Successes = 5.

     [Nina] 1:33 pm: 7sux with 10 =2

[Jeremy] 1:33 pm: 10s don't count twice

[Dave] 1:33 pm: 10's don't count as 2 sux on damage rolls.

[Jeremy] 1:33 pm: Doesn't matter, because holy shit you killed them both

[Sunstar] 1:34 pm: Regular killed

[Dave] 1:34 pm: Damge rolls are the exception to the 10 = 2 sux rule.

[Sunstar] 1:34 pm: or chunky Salsa killed

[Jeremy] 1:34 pm: Sun: Enough killed

[Dave] 1:34 pm: Regular.

[Dave] 1:34 pm: Killed is killed.

     [Nina] 1:35 pm: then 5

[Dave] 1:35 pm: Nina - 5 damage is applied to both, killing them both.

[Sunstar] 1:36 pm: So who else is lookin' forward to Second Ed Scion

[Jeremy] 1:36 pm: I am

[Dave] 1:36 pm: They disintegrate back into soil and sand.

[Dave] 1:36 pm: Sun - I'm not overly impressed with it so far.

Sunstar nods

[Sunstar] 1:38 pm: I'm hoping we eventually get Marduk and co

     [Nina] 1:38 pm: sun- not at all i think that in an effort to improve scion and the trinity games they have pretty much riuined them

     [Nina] 1:39 pm: I woul drather they used their new system on a new property

     [Nina] 1:39 pm: ok dave i will paost later i have to get back to work now

 

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Spurred into action by Rachel's request he found where Nadya'd engaged the zombie in their midst, and moved with a fluid grace that seemed perfectly natural.  The trident was a weapon that allowed a warrior to keep someone out of reach, which was just what he wanted here.  He thrust the three pointed head forward,  all the while thinking just how crazy this all was.

Long6 *rolls* 7d10: 1+5+2+3+4+5+3: 23
[Long6] 2:41 pm: lol
[Jeremy] 2:42 pm: Wow.
[Jeremy] 2:42 pm: Epic fail.
[Long6] 2:42 pm: yeah
[Jeremy] 2:42 pm: I think that's a botch
[Long6] 2:42 pm: it is
[Noir] 2:42 pm: well below average

Well that's pretty depressing....

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[Grace] Rachel's gloved hands crushed the heads of two of the spartoi like grapes but she wasn't fast enough to move to he next foe before they all had time to fan out and select their targets. One leapt over fallen debris and knocked over wax mannequins and landed near Grace and Natalie. Natalie's eye were as wide as any teenagers could get, Grace;s heart sank as she realized that Natalie's sanity was being pushed it's limit.

This isn't happening.... this isn't happening...” she grasped her head and mumbled the same thing over and over to herself.

The spartoi raised it's blade up and swung downward on the two ladies. Grace, knowing Natalie could hardly defend herself grabbed her and threw them both to one side, barely dodging the blade. A second swing came down, and she kicked Natalie away from her as she rolled in the opposite direction. The sword slashed down with a 'clang' into the floor, right between where the two girls would have been standing had Grace not thought quickly. “Cuata! Whenever you're ready!”

Heeding his charges call the powerfully built warrior cocked his head, composing himself as he suddenly realized he'd been summoned in the middle of a battle. He snarled and shot off like a jaguar spotted dart. The spartoi raised his weapon for a third slash but found Cuata's mighty grip around it's wrist preventing any further assault. With a roar that sounded half jaguar roar and half human Cuata hefted the spartoi off the ground and raised him up only send the warriors spine crashing down upon his knee. The spartoi groaned in agony as it dissolved into sand, soil and blood soaked clay. He stood, offering his hand to Grace. “My apologies,” He said in English with a thick accent. “I hope you are... unhurt?”

 

[Fisher] Fisher thrust the point of Comb Tooth into a spartoi, amazed at how easily it breached it's armor. He was so wrapped up in his success however, that he didn't react in time to avoid the spartoi's aspis (shield) from slamming into his chest. He felt his ribs crack, and he was pretty sure it broke his nose, but he didn't have time to think about it before the spartoi lunged forward for a series of attacks. He parried and dodged the best he could...

[2 bashing from the shield bash]

 

[Austin] Austin's lunge should have been spot on, but he miscalculated the speed of Zombie Jeff.  It was too late to move when the Scion of the Earthshaker realized the corpses feint.  Zombies were dead, and Jeff used that fact to his advantage.  The trident hit, but not anything vital, the pirced flesh and tore through unneeded gut like paper, as did the haft of the weapon, and Jeff stepped forward arm outstretched. His cadaverous hand met Austin's throat and his fingers locked tight like a vice around the young man's airway. Effortlessly the dead father lifted the suffocating Scion from the floor, the dark gleam in his eyes was decaying, merciless rage.

[Your botch got him grappled. Jeff is holding you, but failed to do damage this turn. You can break the grapple on your turn by achieving three successes. It is reflex to break a grapple, and will not cost you your action. Attacking Jeff while grappled incurs a -2 penalty.]

 

[Archimedes]  The God ran forward through the chaos of the battle towards the pulsing sphere of gray mist.  He reached is hands into it and purple electricity pulsed into his body.  He began moving the arcs of electricity from one place to another.  It was hard to see what exactly he was doing, but it seemed like he was operating the portal like it was a puzzle box, unraveling the enchantment by moving the magical energies in an opposite pattern.  The portal let out a pulse that thumped the foundation, and a spartoi warrior took notice.  It turned on it's heels and dashed off in Archimedes's direction.

"Annbjorg!"  Rachel called out, pointing in the direction of the running spartoi.  "Protect-"

Like a wolf Annbjorg was sprinting towards the spartoi.  He shield smashed into his side and the two collapsed to the ground in a roll.  Annbjorg rose first and gripped thr spartoi's helmet, pushing hi head forward into her knee.  His head arced back only to recieve the impact of edge of her shield.  The spartoi fell back to the ground and she proceeded to kick the downed warrior with her fur wrapped boot until is dissolved into bloody clay and broke apart.  Once finished, she poised her shield at Archimides back and turned to face the battlefield, her spear at the ready.

Grace shot Rachel a look that said 'what the hell?'

Rachel smiled proudly.  "I don't care what anyone says.  I like her."

 

At a Buffalo Wild Wings, not far from the battle...

"Booya!" Thor raised his hands high in the air sending beer all about in a splash as Rachel's hands smashed together the heads of Spartoi. He had buffalo wing sauce all over his beard and was still chewing as he smiled wide, smacking Vidar on the back.  The massive red haired man looked right and left trying to spot a refill.  On the large plasma screen the current events of the World played out, and currently the battle in the wax museum was all the news in Asgard and was getting quite the coverage on VNN (Vanir News Network).  Izanami offered to get several of her kitsune servants to spy on and record the battle for later viewing, but Fox News was unreliable.  "That's one damn fine girl y'got there, my brother.  She'll make a great addition to Asgard one day! Even with those big ol' man-hands she'd got."

Vidar smacked aside Thor's arm.  "I assure you, she just got lucky.  Her tactics are sloppy, her form is poor, and her flailing about is simply her primitive mind knowing that her ineptitude has simply bought her a few extra moments of meager existence. And, for the record, she does not have man-hands."  He cocked an eyebrow at the screen as Austin staggered forward with his trident, ending up choked by zombie Jeff.  "He's so dead."

“He'll be fine,” Bast's caramel features purred from behind the two Aesir. The tight sequined skirt she wore hugged her frame in all the places. As she stood to get another drink Thor and Vidar cocked their heads to get a better view of her rear in the reflection of the television screen. “My Nadya will save his skin, just you wait.”

“Or she'll wait for the corpse to kill him so she can go through his pockets to loose change.” The rest of the room snickered at Bast's expense. Izanami was not a fan of Bast's dishonorable choice in children, and never ceased in reminding everyone in ear shot. “At least, however, you gave your child a means by which she could defend herself.”

Everyone looked at the well dressed Aztec man sitting at the head of the long table positioned in front of the plasma T.V.. He stuffed his mouth with a massive bite of his burger. He didn't care for the Aesir that much, but when it came to get-togethers, they sure knew how to pick the best places. The burgers at Buffalo Wild Wings were amazing. After a few moments he chewed and spoke at the same time, as best he could. “I have taken everything from her and replaced it with self-reliance, self-discipline, and self-confidence. She has all the weapons she needs.”

“You sure about that?” Thor laughed, pointing at the screen. “She looks like she's hiding in a corner with a mortal girl.”

“I could try and explain it to you Aesir, but I didn't bring along any crayons.” The Aztec God smirked. “Just watch how the show unfolds. We're observing, so, let us... observe.”

“Austin's a thinker.” Poseidon stepped out from behind the bar with yet another drink in his hand. So far he was three ahead of Thor, and that usually wasn't good. He looked like he hadn't combed his hair in days and he was dressed like a retired guy living on the coast of Malibu with cargo shorts and a loose linen shirt with a few too many buttons undone. “He'll do fine. Or he won't. Either way, my brother promised me a great deal for him in the afterlife. S'all good, man.”

 

Outside the wax museum...

Eric swallowed hard. He was brave, but he;d never faced numbers like this before. Nearly a hundred of Salem's dead had gathered to the site of the museum, drawn to the power of the portal. They shambled forward surrounding the building.

“That's a lot of shamblers, Eric. Got a plan?” Horace said softly.

Mercedes approached the redhead. Her expression held worry and concern. “We can't defeat that many.”

“We don't have to defeat all of them.” Thor's Scion cocked back the hammer of Giantbane and electricity crackled up his arm. “We just have to hold this spot! Take down as many as you can! May we shake the pillars of Asgard!”

One could almost here a record needle scratching the surface of perfectly good vinyl as Eric's Band all stopped to look at him.

“Why does it always have to be Asgard?” Mercedes glared at him, placing her hands on her hips. “I mean seriously, it's always Asgard this, Asgard that... why can't we shake the foundations of Mount Olympus?”

“Or rock Ra's Barge?” Horace asked.

“Not you too,” Eric shook his head and sighed. “Seriously guys? You want to have this conversation now?”

“Well, I mean, Asgard generally gets all the credit for our work with you always dedicating our deeds to them.” Mercedes pursed her lips, remaining stern in her argument. “It's the equivalent to Pantheon Shaming. Making us do your pantheons dirty work, like we're not good enough to be praised equally.”

Now, that is an excellent point she makes, fearless leader.” Aaron took a break from talking to his skull to chime up his two cents. “There needs to be equality, or the center will not hold.”

Eric rubbed his temples as the zombies continued to shamble forward. “Fine, fine...” He said, defeated. “May we shake, rattle, or roll, any respective foundations of any and or all, non-pantheon-specific lands or holdings! Better?”

“That sounded so lame.” Mercedes said with an arrogant huff.

Several zombies suddenly exploded into showers of gore as blades of magically compressed air sliced through them. Yokiko, the final member of their Band had arrived with an acrobatic vault over the front line of the dead. She landed graceful, the sounds of 'Zombie Nation' could be heard thumping through her ear buds. “If you're all finished. We have work to do.”

With their Band completed, each of the Scion's smiled to one another and readied their weapons. Bridgette stepped forward, her skeletal make-up making her look like a ghast among the dead and the living. “Yokiko is right. Forget shaking pillars, let's just rock the house.” She cranked up the volume on her cell phone and Black Label Society's 'Parade of the Dead' began blaring at a level way to high for the small speakers to handle, not without magic.

With a battle cry, the World's defenders charged the undead, giving their comrades inside the time they needed to reverse the calamity befalling Salem.

Spoiler

If you weren't listed, you weren't attacked.  If no damage was listed, you weren't struck.

1 Spartoi is battling with Fisher.

Zombie Jeff is grappling Austin, and will inflict damage automatically unless Austin can break the hold.

 

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"Yipe!" Nadya squealed, barely twisting aside from Austin's trident as it tore through Zombie Jeff's guts, some dark, wriggling, and apparently unneeded vitals dangling from the tines. "Watch it, Aquaboy! I ain't a fish!"

The sleek shadow was going to fade back into the darkness to come back at Zombie Jeff from another unexpected angle, but Austin very inconveniently decided to through his neck at Zombie Jeff's crushing hand. It wasn't a good tactic - while Aquaboy could presumably breathe underwater, he still needed to breathe, apparently.

"Dammit!" Nadya swore, staying vaguely visible and vulnerable making her tingle uncomfortably. She glided behind Zombie Jeff and around to its side, her teeth gleaming in a tight grimace as she lashed out with her curved blade. It cut into its meaty bicep with a dull and not particularly satisfying tchunk. "No means no, asshole! Besides, I don't think Aquaboy swings your way."

Over Austin's shoulder, Nadya's shadowed eyes widened at the sight of the Valkyrie and the pleasantly mostly unclothed, dark skinned Aztec - or was it Nazca, or Olmec, or Toltec, or... she should have payed more attention in History class - warrior and muttered enviously, "Dayum! I need me some minions."

Spoiler

[Seanette] 12:35 am: Attack Roll - Zombie Jeff's Arm!
6d10+[2]
Seanette *rolls* 6d10t7+2: 9,9,3,4,1,1.  Successes = 2.
Plus 2 auto successes.  Total = 4.
[Seanette] 12:35 am: Minus PDV 2 = 2 successes
[Seanette] 12:36 am: Damage is 4L + 2 thresshold
successes +1 - 3L Soak = 4d10
[Seanette] 12:37 am: Damage Roll
Seanette *rolls* 4d10t7: 6,1,6,6.  Successes = 0.
[Seanette] 12:37 am: Sigh
[Dave] 12:38 am: Spend a point of Legend for a re-roll.
Noir *rolls* 10d10: 3+9+9+1+2+7+7+7+1+1: 47
[Seanette] 12:38 am: Dave - I can do that for Damage
Rolls?
[Seanette] 12:38 am: If so, sure
[Seanette] 12:38 am: Spending a Point of Legend then!
Seanette *rolls* 4d10t7: 5,9,4,6.  Successes = 1L to Zombie Jeff
[Dave] 12:39 am: Yes, you may.  It's any failed roll.  You
failed, it qualifies.
[Noir] 12:39 am: Asa - It is infinitely better!

[Dave] 1:03 am: You are undetectable.  His DV would
not apply.  The Bonus stealth dice are only needed when
you attempt to hide from SUPERNATURAL pereception.  
Like Rachel's Predatory Focus, for example.
[Seanette] 1:03 am: Okay
[Seanette] 1:03 am: So, another 2d10
[Dave] 1:04 am: So...
[Dave] 1:04 am: You can reroll the pool as a whole, or
just the 2 dice, your choice.
[Dave] 1:04 am: Since it was my error.
[Seanette] 1:04 am: I'll reroll
Seanette *rolls* 6d10t7: 3,5,3,3,8,9.  Successes = 2L Damage
[Seanette] 1:05 am: Well, one more is one more.
[Jeremy] 1:05 am: Ah. That's better.    
[Dave] 1:05 am: So he's at 3 Health.
[Dave] 1:06 am: The downside to undead... no woulnd
penalties.    

Health: Undamaged
Legend: 8/9
Phase Cloak (New Moon) Active

 

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Fisher wheezed for a moment through his broken nose, and trying to get a breath that didn't feel so... wrong. Considering he'd never had his ribs broken before, even at Eric's hands, he had no proper word for the sensation when your lungs expand against a less than pristine rib-cage. So far, he was on the back foot, doing what he could with the reach distant to keep back the spartoi at bay.

But he, the anime nerd, had injured it already! The Scion could do this, Fisher just needed his opening. The moment soon came when the spartoi found his xiphos pressing outward on his unshielded side against the blade of Comb Tooth. Fisher yielded just enough for the blade to slip downward and bite a deep cut into the Greek warrior's hip.

The spartoi recoiled from the slice, Fisher jerked Comb Tooth back and swung again, this time for lower down on the leg. Giving his limited experience with the naginata, the haft made much more contact - but the force would break a mortal leg, and it did the spartoi's, whom fell onto his stomach. Fisher twisted his grip, and stabbed again, right into the back.

In moments, flesh began melting into blood and clay.
 

Spoiler

Epic Stamina 2 means no wound penalties yet.

[Asarasa] 1:21 am: Should declare first
[Jeremy] 1:21 am: Official Declaration: 2 attacks, applying the -1/-1 option.
[Jeremy] 1:21 am: lol
[Asarasa] 1:21 am: So you know how each attack's threshold successes are going to be modified
[Asarasa] 1:22 am: That's right, bitch!    
[Jeremy] 1:22 am: So just one roll for both attacks, Dave?
[Dave] 1:22 am: Yes. -4 penalty.
[Jeremy] 1:23 am: Ok.

[Jeremy] 1:23 am: The dice pool is 5d10 + [1]
Jeremy *rolls* 5d10t7+1: 7,8,1,10,10.  Successes = 4. Plus 1 auto successes.  Total = 5.
[Dave] 1:24 am: That poor bastard.
[Jeremy] 1:24 am: ....Ok, so 6 + 1 = 7
[Dave] 1:25 am: Now watch... two damage rolls... 0 actual damage.    
[Asarasa] 1:25 am: Jebus!

[Jeremy] 1:37 am: Right. Both attacks have net succ of 5, and thus their damage is 5 + 7 = 12d10 L
[Asarasa] 1:38 am: Did you apply soak to the damage rolls first?
[Jeremy] 1:38 am: The worst part is that she has more E-Dex than Fisher
[Jeremy] 1:38 am: Doh.
[Jeremy] 1:39 am: I didn't. 12 - 4 = 8d10
[Dave] 1:39 am: 8 dice, since the soak is 4 Lethal.

[Dave] 1:40 am: Asa - He means he has a lower Dexscore and is still out successing you.
Jeremy *rolls* 8d10t7: 2,4,8,7,8,6,10,3.  Successes = 4.
[Jeremy] 1:40 am: Damage #2
Jeremy *rolls* 8d10t7: 5,6,4,1,10,8,2,2.  Successes = 2.
[Dave] 1:41 am: Post it up Jeremy, get your revenge.  Make me proud. :)    

Health: 2B damage
Legend: 8/9

 

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Rachel paused as Anngbjord stomped the Spartan into dust, Her blood running hot, she felt an unaccustomed, almost orgasmic thrill at the display of unbridled violence.

Nadya's comments, which she heard clearly over the din, brought her back to the now. Seeing Austin Struggling in the Iron grip of the zombiefied Jeff, kicking his legs as he strangled, Rachel acted without thought.

Repeating her earlier battle cry she launched herself at Natalie's zombie dad burying her shoulder in his gut, wrapping her arms around him she lifted both the zombie and her band mate off the floor. Legs pumping she carried the two straight into and through the nearest wall. Splinters of vintage wood showered the three as she kept running smashing into and through the exhibits scattering them. Somewhere along the path as the smashed through a mock up gallows the zombie lost his grip or maybe it was the hand , and Austin fell to the floor rolling to a stop by the wax figures of a condemned witch and her accusers.

Still screaming defiantly, Rachel continued on until she and her burden smashed into a second wall near a curtained window, the force of the impact caused Rachel to lose her footing and the two wrapped in the heavy curtain crashed through the window in a shower of glass. Rolling to a stop Rachel, in a panic, ripped through the curtain and found herself staring into the eyes of a quite dead Zombie Jeff. In disgust she shoved his broken body off of her but then a noise caused her to look around.

"You have got to be kidding me!"

The risen dead had turned to the noise of the scion smashing through the window and advanced on her and their new way into the museum.

 

Spoiler

Dave] 10:50 am: It's technically two actions, a sweep (knockdown), and an attack (putting him into the wall for damage).  The stunt is cool, so -2 penalty.
[Dave] 10:50 am: S'up Kao.
[Kaoleth] 10:50 am: Heh. Yngvar Demolitions Inc.
Nina *rolls* 5d10t7+3: 10,10,2,2,1.  Successes = 2. Plus 3 auto successes.  Total = 5.
[Dave] 10:51 am: Get Rekt!
[Asarasa] 10:51 am: Nice! 7 sux!
     [Nina] 10:51 am: wait thats wrong i forgot the -2
[Jeremy] 10:51 am: That's more like it.
[Asarasa] 10:52 am: That's like 3 rolls of successes for Nadya
     [Nina] 10:52 am: fuck
[Dave] 10:52 am: No worries.
[Asarasa] 10:52 am: D'oh!
[Dave] 10:52 am: I generally remove the last nubers when people (or me) forget.
[Dave] 10:52 am: So it's 10, 10, 2.
[Asarasa] 10:53 am: That's generally what I do too
     [Nina] 10:53 am: ok ill take it    
[Asarasa] 10:53 am: Hee
[Dave] 10:53 am: For Star Wars the wild die is always the first die number, for mistakes, you just remove the last numbers counting backwards.
[Asarasa] 10:54 am: Kill thief!
[Asarasa] 10:54 am: Nadya ninja's the loot!
[Dave] 10:55 am: Now, ZJ's DV is 1 since Nadya attacked him already.  So you carry over 6 successes.  This would be a heavy attack so what's her heavy attack damage?
     [Nina] 10:56 am: 7b
Nina *rolls* 13d10t7: 2,10,9,3,6,10,2,6,7,8,8,8,6.  Successes = 7.
[Dave] 10:56 am: Minus is 3 soak.
     [Nina] 10:57 am: did we go through the wall?
[Dave] 10:57 am: Oh yeah, you got through the wall...
[Dave] 10:57 am: ...and the next wall.
[Dave] 10:59 am: He had 3HLs left, you did 5.  He's sploded.
[Asarasa] 10:59 am: Nadya could have done that, if she wanted. *kicks a rock at the wall*
     [Nina] 11:00 am: ouch i can see thor now slapping Vidars back spilling his beer
     [Nina] 11:00 am: are we still in the building or did we end up outside?
[Dave] 11:01 am: You hit with enough force to break through one wall, and severely damage a second wall (if you want to go that far).  Austin will fall to the ground somewhere halfway between Wall 1 and 2.  Austin will take 2 of
the 5 damage.  His soak is higher.
[Dave] 11:01 am: I dunno, that's for you to decide.    
     [Nina] 11:01 am: ok let me write it up
[Dave] 11:01 am: Go crashing through a window, or right through the wall.  Go nuts.    

 

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Eric dodged out of the way of a shambler and used it's own forward momentum to send it right towards Mercedes.  She slashed low, disemboweling the rotting corpse then raised her shield, letting fall atop it so she could toss it aside with a single wave of her arm.  One shamber met the business end of Horace's kopesh sword then he held still aimed the gun in his other hand.  There was a brief stillness as his senses honed in and the Eye of Horace he wore in his socket glimmered slightly as he pulled the trigger.  The bullet sped through several corpses, not really doing much to slow them but Rachel saw that his target was the one about to strike Yokiko from behind.  Its head exploded in a shower of gore.  Yokiko turned and offered him a nod before returning to keeping Bridgette safe from harm as she raised the fallen zombies back into the service of the Gods.  The ones she had raised had shuffled towards the door and formed a sort human barricade, to slow the entry of any that had slipped through their defenses.

"Eric, I can't keep doing this!"  Bridgette yelled, her voice heavy with a Creole accent.  It seemed to get really thick when she was under stress, Rachel had never heard her accent sound to authentic until now.  "There is only so much I can do."

"It'll be enough," Eric yelled back over the wind and thunder.  "Buy them the time they need.  Hold the line!"  Another shambler made a leap for Eric only to find it's progress impeded by the impact of a glowing blue crystal skull.  It slammed into the zombies head with a 'thunk', knocking it down before spiraling through the air and back to Aaron where it floated several inches above his shoulder.  Eric saluted Aaron with two fingers and smile before pulling the trigger on Giantbane.  Rachel jumped slightly as the crackle and blast of pure electricity shot forth from the guns barrel and obliterated the fallen zombie.

Rachel didn't care for any of these guys, personally.  They were a bunch of jerks in their personal lives, but a part of her had to respect them in the now.  The fought as a team, were here to defend the World, and were here supporting her Band despite everyone's personal feelings for one another.  It was in that moment Rachel's sense Loyalty kicked in and made her truly realize what was at stake in this whole 'Titan War'.  It was bigger than all of them put together.  Rachel and all the Scions were actually protecting and defending the entire World.

 

"Grace!  Fisher!"  Archimedes called out.  "Your assistance please!"  He was caught up in the maelstrom of mist.  The more he battled with the purple arcs of lightning the less progress he seemed to be making  The orb was simply too big, he couldn't manage to diffuse them all in a timely manner.  The air thundered once again and a pulse from the still closed portal sent a shockwave through the entire area.

Grace looked to Fisher and vice versa, and they both took off in a hurry.  "What do you need us to do?"  Fisher yelled over the pulsing storm of the Underworld.

"Grasp the lightning!  It's solid.  You need to move it across the surface, the right patter will diffuse the magical energies!"

Grace reached out and grasped the arcing purple energy.  Mr. Syracuse was right, it was solid.  It didn't hurt her, but the magic sent a tingle through not unlike placing her tongue on a nine volt battery.  Her and Fisher moved the bolts, pulling them across the surface of the sphere until it exploded once again, knocking them both to the floor.  "It's not working!" She cried out to the God.  "We can't do this!  We're not you!  We're not gods!  This... all of this... it... it makes no sense!"

All the weight of the past few days seemed to fall right atop Grace in a single moment.  She was a foster kid.  She never had much of anything, never fit in, and never really knew what it meant to have a family or something worth protecting.  Gallantry was more Rachel's bag, not hers.  She couldn't do this.  Grace wasn't a winner, she was... well, she was a nobody that World had cast aside along time ago.  No family, no home...

"You're right, it doesn't."  Mr. Syracuse said to her softly.  Even over the wind and rush of mist, his voice was calm and tone was clear.  "But the World needs us Grace.  It needs you and Fisher, right now more than it has needed any Scions in a very long time.  I need you.  Trust me, you can do this."

"If it's not this ball of mist today it'll be something else tomorrow, right?"  Grace stood, expressing her pent up frustrations all in a single volley.  "I can't do this forever, I'm not like you!  We're all walking dead at this rate, it's only a matter of time before our parents get us killed!."

He smiled at her, understanding exactly where she was coming from.  "Perhaps you're right, and we both know your dad is a right bastard.  But when you stand before your father at the end of your life, I would hope that you would not have a single bit of talent left, so you could say: 'I used everything you gave me.'  Then spit in his eye."

His smirk was all she needed.  Her defenses crumbled and a slight grin appeared to fight it's way through her grim outlook.  Then she saw it... the arcs flashed.  Purple lightning streaked from side of the mist to the other, then again... there was a pattern!  Her head cocked.  "Fisher, there's a pattern!"

"It's drawing energy from all over, faster than we can diffuse it."  He replied, studying the ball.

"But from where, Fisher?  That's why it's a sphere!  It's the World!"  Grace stepped right past Archimedes and stood before the globe with confidence.  The pulses didn't shake her.  The arcs didn't cause her to shudder in fear or recoil with caution.

"Ley lines!  The orb is drawing energy from ley lines!  Of course!  If we have the pattern, we can unravel this!"

"You're Europe.  I'm North and South America."  Graces eye narrowed as she watched the pulses.  An arc sped across the globe's surface and she reached out, grasping it like it was her own property.  "Moscow!"  She shouted, and with a shove she sent it sailing back across the globe to Fisher's waiting hand.  He grasped it and pressed the arc into the sphere.  It dissipated.

"San Juan!"  Fisher called out, sending an arc to Grace.  She caught it and placed it back where San Juan would theoretically be on the globe.  The arc dissipated as she returned the stolen energy back to where it had been siphoned from.  This continued for several moments, with each arc they returned to it's source the storm overhead seemed to grow weaker.

The Gods gathered around the television, held in rapt fascination as Grace and Fisher worked on opposite ends of the globe their eye moving at inhuman speeds and processing information on a level the mortal mind could never attain.  This was on for the history books, the Gods could only look on as the two rookie Scions literally hacked the planet.  They tapped into every ley line found the energy they needed and reversed it's flow.

"They're actually doing it..." Vidar said, a bit of bewilderment in his voice.  "I thought only Archimedes knew the proper pattern?"

"He does."  Poseidon said calmly.  He sipped his White Russian.  "Perhaps there's more to these kids than we first believed, but the girl, she needed to come to realize that she was part of something more, she has a family now in her Band, she needed to feel needed."

Tahil raised an eyebrow.  "And spitting in my eye?"

The Greek god raised his glass and smiled.  "That's like, a bonus, man."

Grace caught an arc and slid it into Ankor Wat and with a sizzling jolt the whole globe expanded and collapsed inward.  And it was at that moment that they glimpsed the Underworld, or one of them at least.  Legions of lost souls lined up in the colorless wastelands that looked a lot like somewhere in Japan.  Eight muscular giants, each with the head of a different beast thrashed about on the other side anxious to charge through the portal.  "We're too late."  Grace said.

Fisher stood before the portal, something about it seemed familiar, it called to him.  He knew that place from somewhere.  He knew those giants.  His eyes turned solid black, his pupils became skulls.  The legion beyond the portal back away several steps, they could see him, but they couldn't come through the portal.  "Ah."  One of the giant's growled.  It had the head of a diseased boar.  It's voice was a guttural wheeze.  "I know that smell.  Child of Yomi.  You can not keep us out for long... we will find a way..."

The portal shuddered and closed violently like an iris collapsing into a 'poof'.  Nadya helped Austin to his feet.  Her smile was a welcome sight after all that zombie breath in his face.  "Hail the conquering hero."  He mused.

"You'll get them next time, Aqualad."  The two Scions limped lazily towards where Grace and Fisher were recovering.

Outside the vanguard held their position valiantly.  Rachel entered the fray without hesitation and the seven were a force to be reckoned with until all of a sudden every zombie hit the floor, their bodies rapidly decaying and drifting away like dust on the wind.  The storm abated, most of it anyway, and torrential downpour was released from the heavens.  Thankfully this was just a regular storm, a side effect of the residual energies of the World balancing themselves out.

The World was saved, at least for now.

Spoiler

Do some RP to wrap things up.  Nice work guys/gals.  I'll post an epilogue so you guys can read what all the bad guys are up to. :P

 

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Rachel was amazed at how well the others, Eric's band, worked together. They acted almost as one and even when she joined them almost seamlessly added her to their groove. For her part she was rough but held her own and didn't get in anyone way too much. After a few minutes in the moshpit of the undead,   the zombie horde crumpled to the ground and crumbled to dust and was swept to sea in the rivulets of rain running off in the gutters.

"Wow you guys are good! What happened to the zombies?" Rachel stood there hands on hips, chest heaving as she breathed heavily from her exertions, t- shirt soaked through in the rain looked around at the zombie particles floating away. "Nice gun, Eric."

 

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"Yeah," Eric tucked Giantbane into the back of his pants.  "It is."

Wow, even after all this, he was still a dick.

"Your Band, they must have accomplished what you set out to do."  Yokiko said quietly.  Rachel noticed that the Japanese girl was bone dry, despite downpour.  She slid her sword back into its scabbard.  "It would appear we have won the day."  Of all of Eric's Band, Yokiko was the only one who seemed halfway decent, which Rachel assumed meant she was a closet sociopath, given the current trend.

Mercedes stepped past Rachel like she wasn't there.  Which wasn't surprising, considering what she knew of the rich, stuck up snob.  It was amazing how much the opposite Mercedes was to Nadya, who she seemed to hate.  Mercedes was rich to her poor, she was smug to Nadya's smiles but most of all she was dour and cruel to Nadya's perky kindness.  One thing was certain though, the two ladies had a fetish for wearing heels all the time.  How they managed to fight in those things was beyond Rachel's understanding.  Her calves burned just looking at Mercedes's designer footwear, and Rae-Rae was in perfect shape.  "Of course we won, Yokiko.  Then again, it would be nice if we didn't have to come all the way out here and get soaked because the rookies got in over their head."  She pulled her hair back and out of her eyes, it irritated Rachel how amazing Mercedes looked soaked and covered in mud.  While everyone looked like they'd been through... well, a war with zombies, she looked like she was coming off the set of a swim suit photo shoot.  "Ugh, let's get out of here.  I totes need a shower.  I look so nasty, I'm sure."

Her Band rolled their eyes.

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"You know just when I was maybe thinking you guys were alright and that maybe we could learn something from you," She pointedly looks first at Mercedes then Eric, "You open your mouths and crap comes out." Rachel steps toward the door and as she passes Eric. "Thanks for helping us rookies, after all we needed someone to pick up the trash."

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He felt like an idiot, nearly getting himself killed, and having to be rescued like a helpless child.   He didn't bother saying anything to the others, there was little he felt there was a need to say.  Clearly he needed to actually train with what he could do before thinking about attempting such a thing again. 

He followed Rachel out, only then taking a moment to say anything.  "Thanks for the save Rachel."  his voice was quiet, his aggravation with himself hard to keep from his voice.

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"But, I thought Nadya was part of your Band?"  Mercedes shot back.  Narrowing her eyes at Rachel the tall Asgardian Scion knew that the stuck up princess was only trying to goad her into a brawl by implying Nadya was trash.

Yokiko stepped up and looked at both of the women.  Mercedes was itching for more battle but Rachel was to level headed, this time, to let the Greek get to her.  "Enough, Mercedes."  She nodded to Rachel and to Austin as he stepped out of the museum.  "Your Band has earned your victory today, every bit as much as we have earned ours.  Let us part on kinder words."

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The place so familiar, the animal-headed giants likewise - and the odd moment of domination, of seeing them refrain from their invasion at his gaze, that felt familiar as well. So they obviously had some sort of grudge with Mom, and by divine genetics him. Right, Fisher decided he would need to peruse the books in the library some more, so he knew who he was dealing with if there was a next time with these monsters.

"So that takes care of the portal." Fisher looked around the wrecked room, with the bloody clay previously spartoi, the hole in the wall, Jeff's dead and now unmoving body, and a traumatized but still alive Natalie. "We need to call Sheriff Farrow. Mind you, I have no idea how he's going to explain this away. Where's the book?"

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Grace reveled in their victory for a moment, grinning at Fisher and Mr. Syracuse. "We did it," she breathed in relief. She turned to find Cuate and lifted her fist in victory at the umber-hued warrior. He gave her a bemused smile and returned the sort-of salute. 

The Aztec hero's expression fell as she saw the mortal behind him. Natalie was staring at the space where the proto-portal had been, but her expression was blank. Grace knew none of the enemies had made it past Cuate, but the worst injuries were always the ones you couldn't see. She walked over to the girl, snapping her fingers in front of Natalie's face. At the lack of response, Grace sighed and looped an arm around the mortal, heaving her up to a standing position. "Cuate," she said quietly, "thank you for keeping us safe. We're going to need to take her to hospital, though, so it's probably time for you to go home, okay?"

The Jaguar Warrior nodded and said simply, "Call upon me again when you have need." He placed a hand on the side of Grace's neck, then was gone. The jaguar charm on her necklace thumped against her chest with a comforting weight. 

Grunting a little at Natalie's weight, Grace made her way outside, catching the tail end of the bickering. "Guys, celebratory cook-out and bitchfest later. Natalie still needs our help now, even if the World doesn't."

 

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Nadya stretched, feeling vertebrae pop and sighed. She knew how Austin felt - she hadn't even been able to bring down a single zombie, while Rae-Rae and the Minions brought down not only Zombie Jeff, but the Spartans too and Grace and Fisher had closed the Hellmouth. Still, at least there were all down, the portal was closed, and none of them the worst for wear, except for Fisher's busted nose.

She glanced through the hole in the wall Rachel had made, then turned her attention back to scene of the fight. Fisher was right, if the Book wasn't here, then for all they knew, Voice McVoiceFace could just try to open another Hellmouth. Nadya poked around, looking for the Book or any other signs of... well, since he got away, their Nemesis? Obviously, without a body, he'd be back in a later episode.

"So, Archie, I think you need to change the locks on your Vault," Nadya commented wryly. "Maybe set up a nanny-cam or something, too, in case they try to check out any more books without signing them out."

Her poking about and searching done, Nadya sauntered out of the wax museum the same way Grace had with Natalie, through the holes in the walls Rachel had conveniently made. Passing by the broken body of Jeff Meyers, Nadya paused, frowning. Natalie was still out of it and hadn't seemed to noticed, but it wasn't a sight she needed to see.

Nayda grabbed a woven blanket from a display, but when she bent over to cover the body, she noticed a glint from one of Zombie Jeff's hands. She glanced around to make sure no one was looking, then bent closer. Her lips curled in a grin of concentration as with a deft touch, she slipped the gold wedding band from Zombie Jeff's crooked finger. It was battered a bit, but the woven design was spartan and elegant, probably worth a good chunk of change. Nadya surreptitiously palmed the ring.

She stood up and dusted off her clothes but had only taken a couple a steps towards the next hole in the wall when her green eyes brightened and whispered excitedly, "Score!"

Rae-Rae's passage through the walls had knocked off the old style cash register from the ticket counter, springing open the money tray. There wasn't a lot in it, but Nadya helped herself to a couple of twenties, surely they wouldn't be missed and they wouldn't look too closely at the amount in the till anyway, if it wasn't all gone.

Besides, they had provided the Salem Wax Museum, and the Salem at large, the World even, a valuable service. Really, she was sure they would want them to have a few bucks for their efforts, she was just helping them by having not needing to remember something else, what with dead bodies and destruction all around. Tucking the bills into her bra, Nadya stepped out of the last Rachel-shaped hole in the wall.

"Yeah, and what did-" Nadya ground her teeth as she stepped out of the museum, biting off her retort since Yokiko and Grace were trying to hold off the incipient bitchfest that was usually inevitable when Nadya and Mercedes were in proximity to each other. Nadya moved to Natalie's other side, helping Grace support her limp weight. "Here, let me help you with her."

Under the guise of helping Grace with Natalie, Nadya slipped the wedding band into Natalie's hand with a sweet bit of slight of hand and closed her fingers about it. Nadya well knew what people thought of her and most times, she didn't let it bother her. But she also knew the difference between monetary value and real value. Most people didn't bother looking deeper - and really, Nadya preferred it that way - but for the most part, those Nadya pilfered from or scammed could more than afford the lost (or were too stupid to be allowed to keep their money or stuff in the first place).

She didn't know where Natalie was going to go or stay will now, with both of her parents gone, but maybe the ring would be something to remind her of who her father used to be.

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They did not part on kinder words.  As Grace and Nadya exited the building, interrupting any further arguments from the Scions on both ides, Eric and his group simply turned and walked away.  Yokiko offered a polite bow, but nothing more.

In the days that followed...

Sheriff Farrow, Horace's uncle, did what he did best in the city of Salem: he covered the whole thing up.  The Band wasn't too pleased about the results, but the sheriff didn't do things with others in mind, only the safety of the Scions and the city.  Michael was an overachiever and always under a lot of stress so when the police found a buffet of amphetamines no one really though to question it. Michael and his family were innocents caught up in a dark, secret war between Gods and Titans.  Michael was a great guy with a bright future ahead of him, not the drug addled psychopath the law and media made him out to be.  He was an innocent victim who the world would shun as a monster that he wasn't.

Only five showed up to his funeral.  Five Scions placed a rose on his coffin.  Five Scions watched as he was lowered into the ground.  Michael's remaining family never came to see him.  His sister and father left to spend time away from Salem, they probably wouldn't be back.

Natalie was traumatized.  In the span of a few days she'd witnessed evils and wonderment far beyond what she was mentally prepared for.  The doctors didn't hold out much hope for her recovery.  She remained catatonic most of the time, she barely slept without medication to calm her, and her nightmares progressively got worse.  Grace visited her everyday, but as far as Natalie was concerned the world outside the prison of her own head didn't exist.  She was just another innocent soul caught in a war and was already being swept under a rug to be forgotten about.  The state would care for her until she was eighteen, but she wouldn't be fit to enter into society by then, that much was certain.  She would be locked in a room in a mental ward somewhere, fed her meds everyday and she'd go on as just another statistic.

This was their life now, and they certainly didn't feel like Heroes.  Michael was dead and branded a drug addled murderer.  Natalie lost what was left of her family and would probably spend the rest of her life in mental hospital doped up on medication.  They didn't recover the book, the bad guy was still one step ahead of them, plus Eric and his Band were being less than helpful okay, they appreciated the assist at the museum, but they didn't have to be jerks about it)...

Darcy's house the day of the museum brawl...

Her father had been drinking again.  It has gotten worse since her mother left him a couple years ago.  She couldn't deal with his drinking abuse, but Darcy didn't have the option of just up and leaving.  He hated her mother for leaving her behind.  With Natalie's mother having passed, the two girls had a little in common with one another.  She pulled her t-shirt over her head and covered the bruise in the middle of her ribs.  It was still tender, but she thanked her stars that it was not as bad as it could have been.  She slid down he wall and sat, her back to the wall.  Her eyes had swollen a little bit, but she refused to give that bastard of a father of her any more tears today.

She checked her phone.  Still no reply from Fisher.  People to talk to in her life seemed in short supply.  As the storm raged on she assumed he'd have nothing to do but be sitting at home messing around on his computer or his console.  It'd been nearly forty minutes and nothing.  She set her phone down and buried her head into her hands, at least she felt safe hiding the bathroom, for now.

Rachel's house, the day of Michael's funeral...

A knock at the door was answered by Rachel's father, Michael Cooper.  He swung the door open and found a young man standing there on his doorstep, hands in his pockets and a nervous look in his eye.  His body language told him that the teenage boy was scared and unsure about what he was doing or why he was here.  His fight or flight instinct was fully active.

"Can I help you?"  He asked, politely.  Since the young man was about Rachel's age, he assumed he was here for her.  "Rachel is attending a funeral for a friend.  She's not here at the moment."

The young man offered a polite, but nervous smile.  "A-actually, Mr. Cooper, I'm here to see you."  He looked past Mr. Cooper to his partner, Robert Grant.  The men had been together forever, by gay standards in Salem.  "Both of you, actually..."

Mr. Cooper stepped aside and ushered the young man in with a sweep of his arm.  "What's this about..." He let his words hang, implying he was ready for an introduction.

"Oh, uh, you probably don't remember me."  Their guest said, smiling a little bit, but the nervousness was still obvious.  He was completely out of his comfort zone.  Mr. Grant set aside the reports he ws reviewing from his job as a detective to devote his attention to this new mystery.  "My name is William, er, Billy.  Billy Troup."

The name Billy Troup was like a curse word in the Cooper household.  Nothing had set Rachel off in years past like mention the name 'Billy Troup'.  She would squeeze out one more lap around the track, or one more reps of sit ups or crunches just by burning the seething rage that coursed trough her when that boy's name was mentioned.  Suddenly, her fathers were finding this whole situation increasingly interesting.  "Oh, we remember you, Billy."  Robert said, standing as he folded his shoulders.  Robert had always been a great man, and an excellent cop.  Billy Troup was the only child he'd ever wanted to honestly slap the living snot out of.  "What brings you by?  We assumed you had moved to Florida to be with your aunt, or something."

If Billy was nervous, the sight of Robert standing and folding his arms to take a defensive posture, made him just a bit frightened.  Billy looked like he could take care of himself, thick shoulders, toned and ripped arms... but Robert could shoot him, and had the Essex Count Assistant District Attorney to help him get away with it.  "Uh, I got back recently.  Look, I uh, know I'm probably the last person who has any right to be standing here in your home," he looked at the floor and then looked at the two men, trying to muster the right words.  "Regardless of my age when all that... stuff happened, what I did, the things I said, I'm not proud of an of it.  What I'm trying to say is... I'm sorry for what I did and said years ago.  I figured I owed you two at least an apology."

With those words, the two men were thrown completely off guard.  Both, with arms folded, simply stood there, staring at one another and completely unsure how to respond...

Somewhere in Salem...

"You worthless little bastard, get in here!"  The woman who screamed through the house was a beastly creature.  Overweight, terrible make-up, a raspy voice from her three pack a day habit.  Her soul was as black as her lungs.  "Niles!  So help me, if I have to come get you then you'll be sleeping in the garage and Mittens will sleep in your room!"

A ninety pound teenager ran into the kitchen at the beckon of the foul woman's voice.  He shielded his face from the barrage of slaps that greeted him.  "What?  What did I do?" He whined.

"I told you to feed Mittens!"  She threw a can of cat food at him and it bounced off his head with a painful 'thump'.  Young Niles fell to his knees, crying and covering his injured head.

Soon he was huddled up in a ball, hiding in his room.  The behemoth was silent, hopefully her heart had given out.  He sat there, staring at his door, wishing for terrible things to befall the horrid hag that had custody of him.

"Aren't you tired, Niles?"  A comforting voice cooed from the edges of the shadows.  It startled the boy and he cringed further into the head board of his bed.  The man's eyes had a pinpoint glimmer of red in his eyes.  "No need to be afraid.  I can help you.  I want, to help you."  He pulled from the folds of the shadows that surrounded him, a simple tome.  The Greek Book of the Dead, The Nekyia.  "Here, with this, no one will ever hurt you again.  No bullies will pick at you, you will have the power to shape the world as you see fit.  Vengeance against all those who have wronged you will be yours to claim."

Niles was dumbfounded and speechless.  He just stared at the shadowy figure, disregarding the fact that something like this entity just simply should not be.  There was a long pause of absolute silence.

"Unless of course you don't want it.  You don't want the power to be the man you know you were meant to be."  The voice offered the Nekyia.

Niles just stared, still completely speechless.

The shadowy figure held it for a few minutes more then finally sighed.  The book slacked a bit as his arm got tired of holding it.  "Seriously, Niles... I have things to do.  Do want the damn thing or not?  I know, I know... dark and shadowy... oooooohhh.... spooky... but I need you focus up here buddy, I'm offering you some awesomely cool shit here."

Niles snatched the book from his hands and clutched it close to his chest, still silently in awe of the dark figure.  The dark man rolled his eyes and threw his hands up and let them fall to his side.  "I'll go out the front... your window is stuck.  Have a sweet life kid, best of luck..."

Alone Niles sat in his bed.  The Nekyia laying there in front of him.  Cautiously he reached out and opened the book.  A warm light lit up his room and Niles eyes opened wide.  His mind filled with endless possibilities...

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