An Asiatown Ghost Story, Part II

GM: Lotus
Players: Walker, Darius
Synopsis: Three mages decide to go to an abandoned shopping mall in Asiatown where a free blood spirit resides. What follows is an epic battle where the spirit throws all it's got to take out the mages.
Date: 13th of December, 2080

This particular night, the plan was for the magic trio to meet up at Walker's place, discuss magical theory over a few drinks or something as such. Pema, usually being punctual, probably had the other two a little worried after being about 20 minutes late. Normally she's never late. Then, she pops a message from her PocSec, saying:

«Come to Asiatown, quickly. News about the spirit. I'll wait for you at the late-night restaurant near the mall. -P.»

Meanwhile, Pema makes her way over to a streetside restaurant close to the abandoned mall. This part of Asiatown is far from the most glittery, corporate areas with all the fancy shops and bars, and is mostly a residential district, with decade-old decaying houses, flickering old neon signs above streetside food stalls and seedy teahouses. It's not the Warrens, but it's not the nicest of neighbourhoods either. Somewhere there, Pema sits on the side of the street near a heating lamp, the dark silhouette of the shopping mall in the distance.

Walker, whose feet had been firmly up on the couch as he tried to explain what a Fireball -feels- like to Darius for the third time that evening, descend rather suddenly when the message arrives. "Fly or drive?" he asks the other man as he heads to get his coat.

Darius who had been emphatically arguing that a fireball /feels/ like fire because it is a /fire/ball reacts promptly as well, rising from his own seat. "Drive is probably safer. I wouldn't want to try flying over the border between Tong and Gumi." Darius responds, heading down the stairs to the car he arrived in- his Americar. He slips into the vehicle, and beams the address over from his pocsec to the vehicle's autonav as he buckles in.

Driving through this part of Asiatown doesn't take long since there isn't a lot of traffic, and soon enough they arrive close to the place. Pema, recognising the car, gets up from her seat as they begin to close in (probably also heralding their arrival) and hops into the back seat of the car. "I've got bad news," she says, skipping any cheerful greeting phrases or anything as such. "The Tong elder just informed me that last night, some people with a van showed up and infiltrated the mall. Probably sent by Aztechnology, either a corporate strike team or Shadowrunners. That means they know where they helicopter went down, but it could also mean…" she bites her lip, "That the blood spirit just got a whole lot of fresh blood to play with."

"Fuckin' Azzies," Walker mutters, with a bit more venom than people generally see from the elf, "Make a mess then fail to clean it up." He glances back at Pema with a resigned expression, "I'm guessing that whoever saw these idiots walk in didn't see them walk out again?"

Darius offers Pema a nod of his head, and the car begins moving again by the power of its autonav, and he scowls at that news. "That is bad. I hope they didn't bring a mage." he says, muttering mostly to himself. As the carr rolls along, he reaches into the glove box and pulls out a handgun, turning back to offer it to Pema in the back seat- it's a no frills Browning Ultra Power. It's a big gun, though not quite as big as the one she has on order. "Tlali's weapon- you can borrow it for now." he says to her as the car rolls along. "So, I suppose time is of the essence? There's a chance it hasn't consumed or taken control of the whole team, yet. The less time we give it the better." he says.

Pema looks visibly bothered by the turn of events; understandably so since she witnessed first-hand what that spirit is capable of. "Right, the van turned up and drove away immediately afterwards. So… they're probably still in there." Then when she is handed a pistol, she takes it in her hands very carefully. It does look a little misplaced in her hands, but she does check it, checking the chamber and magazine like she knows what she's doing. "We should go there as soon as possible, I think… before that spirit grows even more powerful. The shopping mall is not far from here."

The mall itself stands out like a big dark figure amidst the mostly lit-up houses. The main building is about five stories tall, with a small raised tower-like structure of an additional three floors in one wing. There's also a huge parking lot around the place of the size you'd expect from a once thriving shopping mall that might have had its heyday back in the 50's.

The drive there itself only takes a couple minutes, and although parking on the lot might not be advisable, it's easy to find a spot in the vicinity. "The helicopter broke through the glass atrium on the top," Pema says, "So we could access from there. The bottom floor is flooded, if I remember correctly. Walker, how did we enter last time? My memory is a bit hazy…"

"There's a tower off the main concourse that has a hole in one of the upper levels," Walker supplies promptly, "We worked our way down from there so we didn't provide easy targets against the sky by going in through the dome." He glances to Pema with a torn expression, "Although didn't you say the spirit could see your mind? I wonder if doing the same thing twice is asking for trouble." Then he turns to Darius, "At the very least, we should assume the entirety of the main building is the spirit's domain."

The americar pulls up in the vicinity, the foreboding structure within view. He nods a bit at Walker's comment, "Even if that weren't the case, using the same route twice is best avoided." he says then as he eyes the structure from the vehicle for the time being. He takes out his own pistol and a couple of mags, stowing the pistol and one spare mag in his holster and handing the other spare mag back to Pema. "Your contact say how the team entered? Front door?" he asks. He goes through a small ritual, adjusting the signet ring on his finger, and then the tie pin he wears, activating the spells within these foci one by one.

«OOC» Darius says, "I'm going to cast F2 Spell Shield and sustain it with the ring, and then activate my increase reflexes anchor. BGcount here?"
«OOC» Lotus says, "Outside on the street is BG1"
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) has the Focus ring with the following information:
-----> Focus for Darius (#9060) <------
Focus Alias: ring
Force: 2
Focus Type: Sustaining
Spell: Spell Shield
Active: Yes (1 successes)
Bonded: Yes
GM Note: A ring with a bright purple gemstone. Won during a magical duel versus Arthur Palsworth

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) has the Focus tie pin with the following information:
-----> Focus for Darius (#9060) <------
Focus Alias: tie pin
Force: 6
Focus Type: Anchoring
Active: No
Bonded: Yes
GM Note: This tie pin is a F6 Reusable Anchoring focus. Bonded to Darius, he can trigger or turn off an anchored spell as a Simple Action while in physical contact with it. When triggered, it will cast Increase Reflexes F6 on him with 15 dice. Recharging this focus requires soaking 4D with 2 additional dice from the focus.

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) has the Focus gold signet ring with the following information:
-----> Focus for Darius (#9060) <------
Focus Alias: gold signet ring
Force: 8
Focus Type: Centering
Linked Skill: Player
Active: No
Bonded: Yes
GM Note: This is a gold signet ring, inlaid with a pewter design.

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Centering + 6 (Centering Focus) vs TN 4 for "Centering against Penalties":
1 1 1 1 3 3 3 5 5 5 5 5 = 5 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 7 vs TN 6 for "Spell Shield F2 need 4 successes for max benefit":
1 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 4 4 4 5 5 10 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 7 - 1 (KP) vs TN 6 for "Spell Shield F2 need 4 successes for max benefit KP 1/30":
1 1 2 2 2 4 5 5 5 9 11 11 15 = 4 Successes
«Plot» Darius says, "+2 pool for resisting spells, and +2 to TN of spells targetting me."
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls 15 vs TN 5 for "Anchoring Focus, +1d6 init per 2 successes, max of +3d6":
1 1 2 2 3 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 10 13 15 = 6 Successes
«Plot» Darius says, "Initiative is now 5+4d6"

"I could feel how the spirit was probing my mind," Pema says, her voice sounding troubled. "It probably could dig into my memories and anything really. Maybe it will be even easier if it tries again…" she says, sticking the pistol into the pocket of her coat. She takes the spare mag and tucks it in the same pocket as well. "They probably just got the info from some old auntie spying through a window," she says, "So not exactly prime intel. But since the bottom floor is flooded, I'm guessing the front isn't going to work, unless it has a big staircase or something leading one floor up."

«Plot» Walker says, "On a similar note, Walker will put Levitate in his focus, activate his tattoo and then I have a BUNCH of spirits to summon because seriously, screw free blood spirits."
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Centering + 3 (Centering Focus) vs TN 2 for "Against BG penalties":
1 2 2 3 4 4 5 = 6 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Sorcery + 2 (Totem) vs TN 4 for "F2 Levitate":
1 1 1 2 4 4 4 5 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Willpower vs TN 3 for "3M drain":
3 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 10 14 = 12 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) has the Focus eagle charm with the following information:
-----> Focus for Walker (#12094) <-----
Focus Alias: eagle charm
Force: 6
Focus Type: Sustaining
Spell: Levitate
Active: No
Bonded: Yes

«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) has the GM Note "F4 Increase Reflexes Tattoo" by Missy (#11459) with the following information:
----------—[ Shadowrun Denver ]-
========================> GM Note On Walker (#12094) <=========================
Date: Wed Jul 24 11:54:30 2019
Posted By: Missy (#11459)
Subject: F4 Increase Reflexes Tattoo
------> Text of GM Note <-----—-

Walker has completed a plot that resulted in his totem, the Adversary, granting him a Tattoo that acts as Increase Reflexes F4. The tattoo has 4 successes for casting and 6 for drain. The description is as follows:

Across Walker's torso is a stylised image of a coyote's face in the colour of dried blood decorated in a tribal, if somewhat angular, fashion. The entire image seems to be formed from burns like some kind of brand, but the marking is unnaturally even and smooth, as if produced with medical grade precision.

When the tattoo activates, the coyote's eyes seem to burn with golden flame, which spreads across the entire pattern. This changes its appearance to that of fresh blood, though it does not flow or stain, and clearly does not come from Walker's body.

«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Willpower + 6 (Tattoo) vs TN 3 for "3D drain":
1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 7 = 10 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Willpower + Spell Pool: 2 vs TN 2 for "Soaking 2M drain":
2 2 2 3 4 5 5 7 7 9 13 17 = 12 Successes

«Plot» Walker says, "Do you want me to do separate rolls for each spirit, or would you rather truncate that to a single representative roll? My plan is to summon 10 F5 Great Storm Spirits to give everybody 3 friendlies to discourage attempts at Possession, with a spare for Walker to channel. TNs will be 5s and 2s, drain will entirely be dealt with by the damper. I don't expect to have to use KP."
«Plot» Lotus says, "Just do a single roll"

«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Centering + 3 (Centering Focus) vs TN 2 for "Against BG penalties":
2 3 4 4 5 5 8 = 7 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Conjuring + 3 (Power Focus) vs TN 5 for "F5 GF Storm Spirits":
1 1 2 3 4 4 5 5 7 = 3 Successes
«OOC» Lotus says, "10 spirits vs 1…"
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Conjuring vs TN 2 for "Invoking":
1 3 4 4 11 16 = 5 Successes

"Did they see which way this strike team went in by?" Walker asks curiously, "Just wondering if they know something we don't. In the absence of another plan though I think the tower's a better bet than the dome still."

Pema just shrugs in reply, "They didn't tell me anything about it, really, just that a van stopped here and some people entered."

As Darius touches the tie pin, his eyes widen and his pupils dilate rapidly, a shudder runs down his spine, and he blinks, rapidly, for a few moments- like a 'borg juiced up on stims. He lets out a careful, even breath, and shakes his head a bit as he begins to adjust to the rush of stimulus from the magic. "We could assault from two sides." he says then. "I have a cybergil, I could come from the water while you come from the roof." he suggests to the other two. He fetches a pair of binoculars from under his seat and then steps out of the car to bring them up and peer at the mall through them- see if he can't spot any activity from their current vantage point.

Walker ponders the suggestion for a moment. "I can see some benefit in that approach, but it might be safer to stick together," he suggests, "Especially if the spirit has a cadre of new puppets."

The mall stands big and empty, although power in the building is not completely off as there are still a few lights on at the exterior; there's one sign on one side showing the name of the mall in big, glowing Chinese characters, except they're so broken they just glow faintly at this point. There's also a cargo access point that still has a light on. The building itself lacks enough windows to tell what it's like inside.

Pema looks at the place like it's a slaughterhouse and she's a calf. "What about me," she says. "Should I go in as well or keep watch like we said last time?"

"I see a loading bay." Darius comments to the other two, "Did you two scout that out last time?" He wonders. "Might be worth taking a closer look, at any rate." he comments. He looks back towards the asian girl then, and looks confliced, "Well… it's as I said before. If it's something you feel you need to do, neither of us are in any position to tell you you can't." he says to her. He brings his binoculars back up, scans about for a few moments more, and then puts them down on the driver seat of his car. "Alright, roof it is, then." he settles. "I trust you'll be calling in the cavalry?" he asks Walker. "Hearth or Sky? If the latter, we'll need to keep a clear view of the sky won't we?" he asks, thinking back to his prior ops alongside shamans. "I'll call a few elementals I have bound, too, once we're ready to go in."

«OOC» Darius will be calling 1 each of F6 Earth, Water and Air elementals. When Walker summons his friends on the roof.

Walker doesn't look happy about it, but nods along with Darius' assessment. "It's not ideal either way," he explains to Pema with as gentle a tone as he can manage at the moment, "At least inside we can keep an eye on you, even if it is a nest of vipers. Darius is right: it's up to you." In response to Darius' question, the shaman simply grins, "Only until I invoke them: greater nature spirits aren't bound by domain lines the way they are in their natural state."

"I want to see that spirit destroyed," Pema says, her eyes narrowing. "It might have new tricks up its sleeve now, but so do we." She slams her fist in her other hand. "I'll go with you. If you see me bleeding out of my eyes, knock me unconscious or something." She has a resolve in her voice, but her body language still speaks of fear. "So one of you enter from the loading bay, the other from the roof?" She ponders, "I could perhaps raise a water spirit from the lake in there, though I don't know if the water down there is something you want to swim in…"

Darius shakes his head a bit, "I think we decided we'd be better off sticking together." he says and tilts his head towards Walker. "Pincering probably works better if we know exactly what we're up against and where abouts they are. It's a big building." he adds then. "We should take the roof again. It may be expecting us, it may not, but we're coming prepared and loaded for bear." he says to Pema then.

Nodding to each of them in turn, Walker turns and pushes off the ground to fly up towards the tower. Past the wrecked wall they used to enter last time, the shaman spirals up and around until he floats at the pinnacle of the tower.

Flinging his hands out to the sky, the elf's hair streams out in a gathering wind as he spins a broad net off mana across the darkened sky. One by one, a stream of ghostly figures descend from the clouds to surround the shaman. In turn, Walker breathes his own power into the spirits, each growing until they tower around the elf like giants, silver hair streaming in the growing wind and lightning dancing from their eyes. Finally it is done and the elf gives them their instructions, "Three of you with each of us on the astral plane. Defend us from any attackers." He nods to the final spirit, "You're with me." Nodding their assent, the storm giants fade from sight as the split up to guard each of the group.

Floating back down, Walker grins. "OK, let's try this again," he growls with a wicked grin.

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Centering + 6 (Focus) vs TN 4 for "Centering against Penalty":
1 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 4 4 5 11 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 7 vs TN 4 for "Levitate F6":
1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 4 4 5 5 5 5 = 6 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Willpower + Spell Pool: 2 vs TN 5 for "Soaking M Drain":
1 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 9 = 2 Successes
«Plot» Darius says, "Trauma Dampener eats the rest."

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 3 vs TN 4 for "Levitate F3":
1 1 2 3 3 4 5 5 7 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Centering vs TN 4 for "Centering against drain because I forgot to center against penalties":
2 5 11 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Willpower + Spell Pool: 3 vs TN 4 for "Soaking M Drain":
1 1 2 2 2 3 4 5 5 = 3 Successes
«Plot» Lotus says, "4 successes with Centering, Drain fully soaked"

"Alright, let's go kill this thing," Pema says and steps out of the car with the others. She joins her palms and chants a quick prayer as Walker levitates towards the roof, herself lifting off the ground not long after, landing not far from where he does to summon his spirits. She pulls out the gun and looks around at the place.

The ceiling of the building looks somewhat different from before; there's footsteps in the dust and mud here, and those with a good memory will note that some of the derelict helicopter parts that were still on the roof last time have been moved. Otherwise, it looks roughly the same; it appears the Aztechnology chopped came in, hit the side of the tower building, then crashed onto the roof, cracking the concrete then sliding into the atrium's glass dome and falling down into the mall itself. Up close to the dome, there's the remains of a grappling hook and a rope leading down into the darkness below…

Darius glides through the air, pulling up the hood of his cloak as he does so. Once he alights upon the roof, he presses the button concealed within the hood, and after a few moments of shimmering with oil-spill iridescence, he fades from sight. Rolling his eyes- concealed though he might be- by Walker's admittedly spectacular display, he muses, "That quickening seems to be working out for you, after all." he muses. He snaps his fingers, and in a flash of smoke, three forms appear around him- a brutish hulking thing, looking like a troll hewn from basalt with sapphire eyes. A slender, elfin thing with glittery turquoise skin and gossamer hair that drifts as though afloat in water, and finally a roiling stormcloud given metahuman shape. They too fade back into the astral after making their presence known.

«Plot» Walker will put 8 shielding dice on the team, while I remember. :3

Glancing to the place Darius was before he disappeared, Walker asks, "You want to take point? Invisibility is a trick I still haven't learned so you're the closest we've got to a sneak. I'll shield us as we go." He glances to Pema, "You in the middle, me at the back?"

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Centering vs TN 5 for "Centering against penalties":
1 4 11 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 4 vs TN 4 for "Improved Invisibility F5":
1 2 4 5 5 5 8 9 10 11 = 8 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 3 vs TN 3 for "Soaking M drain":
1 2 3 3 3 4 4 5 9 = 7 Successes

A moment after, Pema makes a little gesture with her free hand, humming to herself in Tibetan before he also disappears. "The spirit will probably see through this," she adds, "But if there are brainwashed runners down there, maybe they won't. I'll stay in the middle…" she then notices the rope hanging down from the dome. "Look at this, I think we've got the answer from where the other team entered. Well, ready when you are…"

Darius nods his head, "Can do. This invisibility probably won't fool the spirit, but should work against any puppets it has." he agrees with Walker. He heads on over towards the rope, there's a rustling- a faint shimmering of his outline, as he puts on a pair of gloves and then draws his pistol- but keeps it concealed beneath the cloak for now. And then he lifts off the ground, "I'll go on three. Pema, give me a couple of seconds, then follow, then Walker takes up the rear. We should move quickly, in case it's anticipating us, and try to overwhelm whatever we face with the speed of our assault." he says. "One… two… Three…" he says, and then there's a faint whooshing as he hovers his way down into the tower.

«Plot» Darius says, "Want a stealth roll?"
«Plot» Lotus says, "Sure"
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Stealth:
1 4 4 7
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Stealth for "+12 Visual/Low-Light, +6 Thermo, +0 Other Senses, -2 for Concentrating on Levitate":
2 4

«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Stealth:
2 3 3
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Stealth for "Reroll, KP1/18":
1 2 9
«Plot» Walker stands on that.

Walker sneaks along behind the others, hugging the shadows where he can and navigating mostly by periodically checking Pema's position through astral perception. Idly he wonders if with a dozen spirits accompanying them, the entire attempt at stealth isn't all in vain.

And thus, the three mages and their veritable army of spirits descend down into this accused place. The tower section mostly contains empty office spaces, but once they descend into the mall itself, an eerie presence takes over. The mall's corridors are empty, and with hardly any windows the corridors would be shrouded in near-perfect darkness were it not for the myriads of old advertising and shop signs that are still offline. Glowing signs of Chinese, Japanese and Korean characters and images of fashion models still glow, flicker and bathe the pitch-black corridors in eerie neon lights. The upper floors is nearly completely barren, not even the shops having anything left in them. Pema doesn't say anything, and as she's invisible she only shows up astrally, walking quietly in the middle of the ensemble.

«Plot» Darius says, "I'll put in a pair of NV contacts."
«Plot» Lotus will do the same
«Plot» Walker says, "Can't remember if I said last time, but 8 shielding dice on the three mages."
«Plot» Lotus says, "In fact, parts of this place is so dark that not even low-light vision is really enough"

Darius hovers just above the ground, so as not to make noise with his footsteps, and reaches into his jacket pocket to produce a small carrying case in which there are a pair of contact lenses. Being as he is not an elf, he must rely on technology to deal with the poor light, and so slips the night vision contacts into his eyes, blinking a few times to get them settled, he puts away the case. And then begins floating onwards, keeping his eyes peeled for signs of danger.

Walker halts for a moment when he sees Darius' astral outline pause, keeping a lookout for anything that might sneak up behind the trio (et al). Beyond that he stays quiet, letting the invisible pair lead their little party into the mall proper.

The upper level that they enter is eerily silent. Old trid-screens occasionally flicker in and out through the dark corridors, sending colourful lights cutting through the darkness with old pre-recorded adverts. All of them in complete silence, though. Further down the corridor, towards the stairs, there's a sound of dripping water from somewhere, but apart from that the place is like an ancient tomb. There's two lifts, one with its doors completely open baring the deep shaft. A staircase leading down is also there.

Darius pauses, and he extends his arm out of his cloak for a moment so that he can gesture towards the elevator shaft, then the staircase, and then does a hand wobble. Hopefully the others will grasp what he's getting at with his silent enquiry. He clearly hasn't watched enough Military trideos, if that's his idea of tacticool hand signals.

«Plot» Walker says, "BG count here?"
«Plot» Lotus says, "3"
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Centering + 3 (Centering Focus) vs TN 2 for "Against penalties, TN=4+3-8=2":
2 3 3 3 4 13 17 = 7 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Sorcery vs TN 4 for "F2 Mindlink, BG centred away":
2 3 4 4 5 5 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Willpower + Spell Pool: 2 vs TN 3 for "3D drain":
1 1 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 4 5 7 10 23 = 10 Successes

Walker extends both hands, flickering them through a quick set of gestures that seem to encompass the three of them before his voice sounds in their heads. ~Suggest the stairs. Easier retret, better light than a pitch black shaft.~ For the uninitiated the words accompany a set of memories for mindlinking 101: How to Keep Friends and Not Show Them Your Worst Impulses.

The invisible Pema stops as Darius does. As the Mindlink comes up, her fear of the place comes out and floods over the net. Obviously, she is terrified of the place and is fighting a silent inner struggle to step down into this cursed place. So far, she seems to have it under control. ~I agree. I don't like the idea of floating down that shaft, if that spirit shows up and dispels my magic. Walker, do you remember what floor the chopper was on?~

«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Intelligence + 1 (Mnemonic Enhancer) for "I think it was lower down on a balcony, but Blondie has superbrain… >_>":
1 2 5 5 5 8 9
«Plot» Lotus says, "3rd floor"

Darius nods his head, and responds over the link ~Alright, stairs it is, then. Although they don't look much brighter.~ his own mind is fairly cool and collected, but of course, that might just be his experience with mental communications rather than his actual feelings. This is the sort of place that makes even the most hardened runners hair stand on end.

Walker projects calm into the link almost without thinking, a warm yet unshakable determination pushing against the fear that flows out from Pema. This time they know what they came for and they came -prepared-. ~One of the lower balconies… third floor,~ he sends back, supplying a memory of the crashed copter with a crazed figure shooting wildly into the mall in his direction.

~Lead the way,~ is all Pema replies.

The staircase seems to lead all the way down, although it is so poorly lit than not even low-light vision is enough to see clearly. Some sections, they have to pass through pure darkness, something unusual in the midst of a sprawling city. All of that seems very far away now.

Darius heads on into the staircase, and glances about, ~This darkness feels almost supernatural.~ his mind speaks over the link, but he presses forth regardless- his elementals hovering just behind him in astral space. His eyes scan each patch of light as best as they can- but he's glad he's hovering, and not needing to use the steps in this darkness.

Bringing up the rear, Walker pauses for a moment to assense the shadows in case there is something sinister to them beyond a simple lack of light. In the blackness, his golden eyes stand out like stars.

«Plot» Lotus says, "Perception check, please"
«Plot» Walker says, "Astral or regular?"
«Plot» Lotus says, "Regular"

«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Intelligence for "-2 because I am sustaining a spell":
1 1 2 5 5 10

«Plot» Lotus says, "Darius as well since he's taking point"
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Intelligence for "Also -2 for sustaining a spell.":
1 2 3 3 4 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Intelligence for "Also -2 for sustaining a spell. KP":
1 1 2 2 4 5
«Plot» Lotus says, "I assume they're going down to the third floor then?"

~I've had so many nightmares about this place..~ Pema communicates, her inner voice almost trembling.

Finding the right floor is easy, with large numbers still visible on the walls. They come out in the end of a corridor that stretches on for a bit, that seems to connect to a larger hall further that. Remembering the layout of the place, the central part of the mall is an open-floored space with catwalks going around it, leading into corridors with closed stores, abandoned restaurants that once was the beating commercial heart of this community. Some of the store-front windows here are smashed, leading to the floor being covered in thousands of shards of glass that glitter in the gloom like sinister stars.

Also, further up ahead in the shadows, there's the outline of a person, leaning against the wall as if waiting for someone.

~Nightmares are an occupational hazard, I'm afraid.~ Darius chimes in over the psychic link, sympathy bleeding through as he continues onwards, seemingly more focused on the shards of glass and run down mall than where he is going, and so he is rather late to notice the silhouetted figure ahead.

«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Intelligence + Astral Pool: 8 vs TN 9 for "Trying to assense the figure… bit of a long shot between the BG and the spell though":
1 1 2 3 3 4 5 5 5 5 5 7 9 10 = 2 Successes
«Plot-Page» (To: Walker) Lotus says, "He's dead. Zero astral presence."

~Y'know I here there are some weirdos who have boring dreams?~ Walker offers, a complex cocktail of emotions behind the thought quickly masked in favour of a front of gallows humour. As he spots the silhouette he freezes, eyes lighting up once more as he peers through the astral murk. ~Dead,~ he informs the others with no emotional inflection. He supplies the view from his astral senses to confirm the point.

~I remember this place, we might be close to where we found the spirit last time. We stood on the floor right above here. We're close. Please, don't let it get to me again.~ Pema's fear bubbles up again at the thought of meeting that spirit once more.

If they decide to inspect the figure ahead, they'll see the remains of a street samurai, who seems to have been shot several times then nailed to the wall by his own katana blade. It's broken, only a portion of the blade sticking out through his cybertorso that contains so many large holes a section of his cybernetic spine sticks out from his neck.

Then, there's a slight rumble on the floor. The samurai is rattled by the movement and slides off the blade, plummeting to the floor with a loud thud. Then… the shards of glass begins to jump around, only to quickly whirl up into a maelstrom of broken glass.
«Plot» Lotus says, "F6 Poltergeist"
«Plot» Lotus says, "6L physical due to broken glass"

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Quickness vs TN 4 for "2 Impact armour vs lots of broken glass":
2 2 8 = 1 Success
«Plot» Lotus says, "Pema takes L wound"

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Quickness vs TN 5 for "Soaking 6L Physical":
3 4 7 16 = 2 Successes

«Plot» Walker says, "I figure Blondie's either in light security or plated vest for this party. Either way 4 impact."
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Quickness vs TN 2 for "Soaking 6L":
1 3 4 7 = 3 Successes

~How long?~ Darius wonders as he begins to drift closer towards the corpse, but he does speak back to Lotus ~We won't.~ he offers Lotus his promise in response to her own plea. Any further thoughts are curtailed, though, as the glass wakes and begins to move. ~Watch out!~ he calls over the link and then darts to the side to move out of the way of the whirlwind of broken glass.

«Plot» Walker says, "If it's still going can I attempt to dispel this nonsense?"
«Plot» Lotus says, "That you can"
«Plot» Walker says, "Do totem bonuses apply when dispelling that kind of spell?"
«Plot» Darius could be wrong, but thinks they do.
«Plot» Lotus isn't sure, but let's say they do
«Plot» Walker drops the mindnet first.

«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Centering + 3 (Centering Focus) vs TN 2 for "Against penalties, TN=6+3-8=2":
1 1 1 2 3 3 10 = 4 Successes
«Plot» Walker stands on that.
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Sorcery + 2 (Totem) + Spell Pool: 2 + 3 (Power Focus) vs TN 7 for "Dispelling F6+3BG-2Centering":
1 1 1 2 2 3 3 3 4 5 5 5 10 = 1 Success

«Plot» Walker says, "Probably gonna need more than that, huh?"
«Plot» Lotus says, "Need at least 5 successes"
«Plot» Walker oofs, might need some help with that. :P

«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Sorcery + 2 (Totem) + Spell Pool: 2 + 3 (Power Focus) - 1 (Success) vs TN 7 for "Dispelling F6+3BG-2Centering, KP1/18":
1 2 3 3 4 4 9 10 11 11 11 14 = 6 Successes

«Plot» Walker says, "Or not I guess O_O"
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Willpower vs TN 5 for "Soaking 5M drain":
1 1 2 2 3 4 4 4 4 5 10 11 = 3 Successes
«Plot» Walker says, "Trauma damper eats the L stun."
«Plot» Lotus says, "Goodie. Pose away!"

Spinning in place to keep his face away from the hurtling shards, Walker's fingers trace bright lines through the air as the elf pirouettes around in a smooth movement, eyes blazing with golden flame as he hurls a hand out towards the centre of the maelstrom. The mindnet disappears as he releases it to focus on the sorcery, the last emotion that floods it a heady mix of hot fury and protectiveness. With an audible thump, the whirling air stills, the glass tinkling to the ground around the trio. "Stay alert," he instructs the nearby spirits before glancing to the others, "You two all right?"

As the glass rains down again onto the floor, some of them have already had their first taste of blood. Pema, who fared worse than the others during the crystalline attack, has curled up on the floor, arms over her face. Several shards have stuck in her coat, others in her hair, and a few managed to cut her bare hands, leaving them bleeding. She whimpers in pain, but once assured the spell has stopped she gets up again, grimacing. ~Let's find the damn thing and kill it.~

Ahead lies the opening of the mall with the large, six-story open lobby with surrounding catwalks. Above is the broken atrium, casting down ambient light from the city and cascades of rainwater that join with the artificial lake that is the flooded bottom floor.

There, straight ahead, they can see the broken helicopter, the Aztechnology logo still visible on it. There are more bodies around there. One human hunched over the catwalk railing, his head missing, another human who had his body torn in two with blood spattered over the floor, and the body of a troll slumped against the wall next to the chopper. Probably the Shadowrunner team they heard of earlier.

Darius makes a grimace as the scene unfolds before him, though hidden by the invisibility cloak he wears. "Well. At least it doesn't have any more minions…" he murmurs quietly. He pauses, now they are on the scene, "I'll conjure a watcher, and have it scout ahead for us." he adds.

«Plot» Darius summon watcher F4
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Centering vs TN 2 for "Reducing penalties from BGcount":
3 4 4 4 5 8 = 6 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Conjuring vs TN 4 for "Watcher F4, Penalties Negated":
1 3 3 5 5 5 = 3 Successes
«Plot» Darius says, "Drain soaked by Trauma Damper"
«Plot» Darius says, "I'll direct it to begin an astral patrol, starting on the crash site."

Giving Darius a curt nod as the man begins conjuring, Walker's gaze flits to Pema and her bloodied hands. "Let me take a look at that," he says quietly, holding out a hand towards her, "Shouldn't be difficult to heal."

«Plot» Walker will zip cuts unless something new and hilarious happens.
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Centering + 3 (Centering Focus) vs TN 2 for "Against penalties, TN4+3-8=2":
2 3 3 3 3 4 11 = 7 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 2 + 3 (Power Focus) vs TN 4 for "F1 Heal":
1 2 3 5 5 5 7 9 13 13 17 = 8 Successes
«Plot» Walker says, "Done in a turn"
«Plot» Walker says, "Trauma damper deals with L drain."

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 9 vs TN 4 for "Something something":
1 2 3 3 4 5 5 11 16 = 5 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 4 vs TN 9 for "More something something":
2 3 5 8 = 0 Successes

Pema holds out both of her hands to Walker, biting her lip. It's not a serious injury, but there are still a few shards of glass stuck in the flesh of her hand which looks rather nasty. "No… it hurt but not serious. You can heal it or I'll do it myself."

Meanwhile, Darius' spirit floats out across the open hall of the shopping mall towards the crashed helicopter. There's some moments of silence while Pema's injured hands heal up.

Then suddenly the watcher spirit gives an alarm over having found something, and then is immediately destroyed the next moment by a manabolt coming from someplace close to the helicopter. From across the hall, two glowing red eyes light up in the darkness. The corpses of the Shadowrunners light up as well, their exposed bloody flesh taking on a slight glow. The dead street samurai close to them begins to twitch and attempts to rise up, despite having his spine broken and exposed. The headless one and the troll begin to rise up as well, and the eyes disappear into the darkness.

«Plot» Darius says, "Going to inits?"
«Plot» Lotus says, "Let's!"
«OOC» Lotus ponders what corpse cadavre wired-reflex but wonky spine undead street sammie should have for init…
«OOC» Walker says, "Half the mod from his wires? Ballpark as you see fit though I guess. :P"
«OOC» Lotus says, "Sounds fair"

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Initiative with a modifier of +8 with a result of 15.
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Initiative with a result of 20.
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 2 for "Undead Sammie Init 2D6+6":
10 23

«Plot» Walker says, "In the interests of simplicity I'm thinking of leaving the spirit swarm in astral space for now to hedge against possession. Reasonable to leave them out of inits for now? :P"
«Plot» Lotus says, "Sounds good… lest we'll be rolling init for half an hour"
«Plot» Lotus says, "The other two undead are still some 50-60 metres away so will leave them out of init for now"
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Initiative with a result of 6.

«Plot» Lotus says, "Walker, Undead Sammie, Darius, Pema"
«Plot» Walker says, "Sammie look armed?"
«Plot» Lotus says, "Nope, but he has cyberarms, so…"
«Plot» Walker says, "And am I safe to assume healing is done?"
«Plot» Lotus says, "Healing is done"
«Plot» Walker says, "Neat. Complex to channel my butler spirit then. :3"

«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Centering + 3 (Centering Focus) vs TN 2 for "Against penalties, TN2+3-8=2":
4 4 5 8 9 10 13 = 7 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Conjuring vs TN 2 for "Channeling F5 Great Storm Spirit, TN5*2-8=2":
2 2 3 3 3 4 = 6 Successes

«Plot» Walker says, "Don't remember how many services I had… do you?"
«Plot» Walker says, "But for the time being, +5 physical stats, immunity to normal weapons and voodoo powers. :D"
«Plot» Lotus says, "3 successes for conjuring check"
«Plot» Walker says, "OK, so 3 minutes max."
«Plot» Lotus says, "So, Undead Sammie then"

After zipping up the small wounds Pema has picked up along the way, Walker turns at the awful crackling noises of the dead samurai reanimating. His eyes narrow as he sweeps his arms through the air around him, his spirit becoming briefly visible before the two astral forms merge with a flash. With eyes glowing like the sun, Walker floats off the ground to put himself between the others and the walking corpse.

«Plot» Lotus says, "Undead sammie does the zombie outstretched arms thing and rushes against whoever's closest"
«Plot» Lotus says, "1-3 Darius 4-6 Walker"
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 1:

The undead Street Samurai, despite being dead and torn to the point his spine is off, managed to get on his feet with an unnerving, unnaturally fast twitch. He raises his hands like claws and begins to rush, his maimed body barely managing to stay upright but nonetheless darts at disturbing speeds.

«Plot» Lotus says, "He'll try to attack with shock-hand implants"

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 6 vs TN 4 for "Cyber-Combat 6 attack, assuming dead people have no CP":
2 3 3 3 5 9 = 2 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Aikido + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 4 for "Counter":
1 1 2 3 3 4 5 5 = 3 Successes
«Plot» Lotus is going to assume it pushes the corpse and the attack fails but it being immune to Stun damage. Pose!
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 6 vs TN 9 for "Zombie samurai knocked over? Min. 3 successes":
1 1 1 1 3 8 = 0 Successes
«OOC» Lotus says, "Flat on his chromed arse!"

Letting the corpse flail towards him, Walker ducks the wild swing as the zombie comes in, countering with a savage blow to the ribs before ducking back. The elf's eyes narrow as the creature barely registers the blow, sprawling on the ground but obviously still moving. "I'm sure I felt a couple ribs crack!" he calls back over his shoulder, "Don't think they'll go down with a beating!"

«Plot» Darius will cast F6 Laser at M Damage on the fallen Zombiesam.
«OOC» Darius says, "It's a ranged attack so I take visibility penalties as well as BGcount, what am I at with low-light vision?"
«OOC» Lotus says, "+1 partial light"
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Centering + 6 (Focus) vs TN 2 for "Centering away penalties. 4+3 (BGCount) +1 (Partial Light) - 6 (Grade) = 2":
1 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 4 4 7 11 = 11 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 7 vs TN 4 for "Laser 6M":
1 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 9 = 5 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Willpower + Spell Pool: 2 vs TN 4 for "Soaking D Stun":
1 1 2 2 2 3 4 4 4 4 5 5 = 6 Successes
«Plot» Darius says, "Last box is eaten by TD"

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 6 vs TN 4 for "Body 6, Impact4/2, Soaking 4D+1, (Allergy to light)":
1 2 3 4 4 4 = 3 Successes
«Plot» Lotus says, "Undead sammie zapped to death!"

Darius turns his gaze towards the samurai as it comes towards them, and Walker knocks it back, "Spoke too soon- cover your eyes." he warns and then begins to murmur in Aramaic- 'I call upon the radiance of the sun to penetrate the umbra that shrouds this place' he speaks, and his eyes begin to glow in the darkness. He fixes his gaze upon the fallen zombie, and the radiance in his eyes builds to a blinding flash, before projecting outwards in coherent beams of light. They collide with the chest of the creature, and tattered clothing and torn flesh begins to sizzle and burn as the beams bore their way through him- the air cracking with the energy punching through it.

The beam continues for several long moments, until it begins to scorch the concrete on the other side of the creature, leaving a gaping, sizzling hole in his chest.

The samurai twitches on the ground, until his chromed chest is burned straight throgh and eventually stops. The headless corpse begins to stumble forth towards the intruders, while the undead troll picks up a big and mean-looking shotgun and begins to walk.

The red eyes show up as well, belonging to the helmet of man dressed in a suit of corpsec armour with a vaguely Aztec look to it. He pulls out a smoke grenade and drops it to the ground, almost immediately covering the area around the chopper in a thick cloud of smoke, engulfing him and the two remaining undead as they advance.

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Centering vs TN 6 for "Centering for penalties":
1 1 2 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 3 vs TN 8 for "Casting Clairvoyance F3":
1 1 1 2 3 4 4 5 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 3 vs TN 8 for "Casting Clairvoyance F3, KP1":
1 2 3 4 4 4 5 10 10 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Willpower + 3 vs TN 4 for "Soaking M drain":
1 1 2 2 2 4 4 5 8 = 4 Successes

Pema closes her eyes, humming a silent prayer to herself. She seeks out with a magical vision into that thick cloud, trying to see something behind it. In a moment, she gasps and stumbles back, almost falling to the floor. "Watch out, it's got a bomb!"

«Plot» Walker says, "Last we saw there were a couple of them by the chopper, right?"
«Plot» Lotus says, "The catwalk they're standing at branches out in two directions surrounding the opening in the centre over the courtyard. The headless one was last seen running along on the left side, the troll on the right."
«Plot» Darius says, "Couple of zombies and the Aztechnology guard, I think."
«Plot» Walker says, "Troll with shotgun, right?"
«Plot» Lotus says, "Yep"
«Plot» Walker says, "Would you say the hole in the roof provides enough of an open sky to use the storm power to clear the smoke? Asking for a couple friends… :3"
«Plot» Walker says, "I ask because it's a domain-dependent power"
«Plot» Lotus says, "Yes, definitely"
«Plot» Walker does that. Don't think it needs rolls.
«Plot» Lotus says, "If it fits a whole helicopter…"
«Plot» Walker says, "The AoE is massive, like up to a kilometre across. :P"
«Plot» Walker will confine it to the building though.

Grimacing at the smoke and the news that there's now a bomb in the equation, Walker glances to the others. "I'll set 'em up, you knock 'em down," he offers with a devilish grin. Throwing his arms wide as he looks to the sky, light pours from his eyes and mouth as he calls forth the storm with a wordless shout that is quickly swallowed by howling winds that clear the majority of the smoke in a few moments.

Furious rain begins to pour down through the atrium, creating a circular waterfall down through centre of the hall that disappears into the artificial lake below. It quickly deals with the smoke in the middle, but some of it remains around the catwalks.

On the left, the headless rigger appears, his cyberdeck still strapped to his chest and datajack wires flopping around. In his hands he's holding an explosive device that's bleeping menacingly with a red light.

On the right, a big troll with several bullet holes in him appears. His eyes are replaced by permanent goggles, and he's sloppily wielding a big shotgun in both hands.

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Centering + 6 (Centering Focus) vs TN 2 for "Centering away penalties. Base 4 BGcount +3 Visibility +1 Grade -6":
1 1 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 5 9 11 = 10 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 7 vs TN 4 for "Nova 5M":
1 1 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 5 10 11 13 = 7 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Willpower + Spell Pool: 2 vs TN 4 for "Soaking D stun":
1 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 4 5 9 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Willpower + Spell Pool: 2 - 3 (Successes) vs TN 4 for "Soaking D stun KP":
2 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 14 = 5 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 13 vs TN 5 for "Troll soaking D5 (+1 dm from allergy)":
1 1 2 2 2 2 3 4 4 4 9 9 11 = 3 Successes

"A bomb?" Darius asks, glancing towards the smoke as it appears and just as promptly begins to be washed away by the rain. He grits his teeth, and then holds out a hand. Sparks of light appear at the tips of each of his fingertips, drifing into a point of light hovering just before his palm. 'Drive back the darkness from this place, and wash away these creatures with radiance.' he murmurs in that same ancient language as before as more sparks gradually coalesce into the point of light- infinitely small, but painfully bright, too bright to look upon even without the night vision contacts.

Finally, the single point of light drifts away from his palm, skittering and drifting in slow motion towards the shotgun wielding troll. Until it touches him, and then suddenly it is daytime in the mall. Shadows are banished from every inch of space the wave of energy washes over- colors are bleached out of materials, the rain flashes to steam, metals glow and creak and the Troll is vaporized instantly.

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Centering vs TN 5 for "Centering for penalties":
1 4 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 3 vs TN 6 for "Casting Levitate F3 on corpse":
2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 3 vs TN 6 for "Casting Levitate F3 on corpse KP":
1 2 2 3 3 3 9 10 11 = 3 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 3 vs TN 3 for "Undead don't have willpower so Str 3 to resist":
2 4 5 = 2 Successes
«Plot» Lotus says, "Pema wins with one success"

«Plot» Lotus says, "May I have a perception check, please? TN6"
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Intelligence vs TN 6:
1 2 3 3 4 10 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Intelligence vs TN 6:
1 2 3 4 5 11 = 1 Success

As the troll disappears in a spectacular show of lights, the dead decker remains, stumbling across the catwalk holding the bomb. With the others busy doing other things, Pema has to intervene. She holds up her hands as it mentally trying to stop the headless runner, and he does indeed stop. He lifts off the floor, his legs still flailing in the air as if unaware he's not moving forward. Thus, Pema throws him over the catwalk railing and discharges the spell, sending him falling down three floors and disappearing down into the artificial lake with a loud splash.

Then, a deep, loud *BOOM* echoes through the abandoned mall as the bomb detonates under water, sending the entire building shaking and a huge cascade of water reaching up and washing over everything up to the fifth floor. The cascades of water washes away any remaining smoke.

There, the man in corporate guard armour stands in the smoke, brandishing his assault rifle and getting ready to fire. His covered face and glowing eyes hide his identity, but… they notice something on his armour. It's hard to read in the distance, but the white chestplate has the words 'HELP ME' scrawled over it in dried blood.

«Plot» Lotus says, "He'll fire an HVAR burst against Darius"

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 5 vs TN 10 for "Assault Rifles 5, Burst fire":
1 2 2 3 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 5 vs TN 10 for "Assault Rifles 5, Burst fire, KP1":
1 2 3 4 10 = 1 Success

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Combat Pool: 6 vs TN 5 for "Dodging Burst":
2 3 4 4 5 11 = 2 Successes
«OOC» Darius says, "If it's a HV burst, I believe my TN is 6, so I'll KP"
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Combat Pool: 6 - 1 (Success) vs TN 5 for "Dodging HV Burst KP3":
4 4 5 10 11 = 3 Successes
«Plot» Darius says, "TN was actually 6, but still got enough successes."

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 5 vs TN 18 for "Assault Rifles 5, Burst fire, +2 changing target, +9 recoil":
1 2 2 5 10 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 5 vs TN 18 for "Assault Rifles 5, Burst fire, +2 changing target, +9 recoil, KP3":
1 1 2 5 7 = 0 Successes
«Plot» Lotus says, "Darius is safe, possibly on the floor! Pose away!"

As the explosion rocks the mall, Darius finds himself on unsteady ground- a hand goes out to grab hold of something to steady himself, and his knees bend to absorb some of the shaking. Which puts him in perfect position to hit the deck when the assault rifle is leveled on him. The high pitched an exceptionally loud buzz of the high velocity assault rifle going off fills the air, as the bullets narrowly whip past him, even as he slams into the concrete ground, likely picking up a couple of grazes from the glass there. "Fuck." he mutters, "I'm getting too old for this…" he says from his position on the ground.

«Plot» Lotus says, "Alrighty, Walker's turn I think?"
«Plot» Walker says, "Unless he looks like he'll tumble if I do, going to stunbolt Mr. HELP ME."
«Plot» Lotus says, "Not likely"
«Plot» Walker nods, "Willpower 3? 4?"
«Plot» Lotus says, "5"

«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Centering + 3 (Centering Focus) vs TN 2 for "Against penalties. TN=5+3+1-8=2":
2 2 2 3 5 10 11 = 7 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Sorcery + 2 (Totem) + Spell Pool: 6 + 3 (Power Focus) vs TN 6 for "6D stunbolt, TN=5+3+1-3=6, shielding down to 4 dice":
1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 8 8 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Sorcery + 2 (Totem) + Spell Pool: 6 + 3 (Power Focus) - 2 (Successes) vs TN 6 for "6D stunbolt, TN=5+3+1-3=6, shielding down to 4 dice, KP2/18":
1 1 1 2 2 3 3 3 4 5 8 8 10 11 11 = 5 Successes
«Plot» Walker stands.

«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Willpower vs TN 3 for "3D drain":
1 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 10 13 = 8 Successes
«Plot» Walker says, "No drain."
«Plot» Lotus says, "He doesn't have enough Willpower to resist that much damage so he goes down"

As his gaze rises towards the figure raining bullets down on the trio, Walker's eyes narrow as he spots the scrawled plea for help. A hand extends, fingers flexing as they gather in mana before sending it lancing through the corrupted air, snuffing out consciousness like a candle. "Anyone see the spirit?" he calls to the others.

«Plot» Darius will assense.
«Plot» Lotus says, "Shoot"
«Plot» Darius says, "Looking in the direction the watcher went when he went splat."

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Intelligence vs TN 7 for "Looking for the spirit, BGcount 3":
1 2 3 3 4 17 = 1 Success

«Plot» Lotus says, "The watcher spirit got creamed over by the helicopter. No spirit there, although there seems to be a warded object inside of the wreckage"

"No spirit, but I see a ward." Darius says to Walker then, as he climbs to his feet and brushes off the dust from his very cool and not at all embarasing dive to the ground to avoid the bullets. He begins heading over there, "Inside the chopper. Spirit trap they were keeping it in, maybe? Or could be hidden life, after all." he adds. "Watch my back, I'll take a closer look."

The guardsman, after only having unleashed two burst from his high-powered rifle, goes down, his plasteel carapace making a sound as it hits the floor, his rifle bouncing once before landing next to him. For a moment, things are quiet, only the sound of rain pouring through the atrium. As the shooting stops, Pema also dares to step forward. She threw herself to the floor almost immediately as the man with the assault rifle appeared. "Be careful… that thing is still loose, and we're stepping around in his domain."

Then, something happens. Just as a flash of thunder sears across the sky and illuminates the old shopping mall, there's a rumble from the water underneath. The artificial lake darkens, its waters turning into blood. Long jets of blood shoot up, spraying the walls and railings of every catwalk until the place looks like an utter slaughterhouse. Pema gets a long splash of blood across her face, which sends her screaming with a high pitch and falling on her back.

From the bloodstained railings and beams of the hall, a vaguely humanoid-shaped cloud of blood takes form, its twisted eyeless visage burning with hatred. It makes a horrid, hissing sound that pierces the ears, pulsating astral veins across its enormous body constantly spurting out blood.

Even the rain that falls through its body as it floats in front of the group turns red like blood. It begins to gather up this falling blood and unleashes it like a cascade of gore across the third floor.

«Plot» Lotus says, "Angry blood spirit using Engulf power!"

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 8 vs TN 4 for "Quickness 8, Engulf attack on Pema":
2 3 3 3 3 3 7 8 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 8 vs TN 4 for "Quickness 8, Engulf attack on Darius":
3 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 = 7 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 8 vs TN 4 for "Quickness 8, Engulf attack on Walker":
1 1 2 2 3 3 4 23 = 2 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Quickness vs TN 4:
1 4 5 8 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Quickness vs TN 4:
2 5 5 = 2 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Quickness + 5 (Channeling) vs TN 4:
2 2 2 2 3 3 3 5 5 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Quickness + 5 (Channeling) - 2 (Successes) vs TN 4 for "KP3/18":
2 2 4 5 5 5 10 = 5 Successes
«Plot» Lotus says, "Walker is fine, Pema narrowly escapes, but Darius takes 12M stun"

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Body + Combat Pool: 10 vs TN 12 for "Soaking Engulf":
1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 4 5 5 11 = 0 Successes
«Plot» Darius says, "1 Box eaten by TD, 2 Boxes total."

«Plot» Lotu says, "Init"
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls 3:
4 5 11
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Initiative with a modifier of +2 with a result of 18.
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Initiative with a modifier of +14 with a result of 21.
«Plot» Darius says, "+15 from my focus, -1 from L stun."
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 1 for "Blood spirit init F6+1+10":
«Plot» Lotus says, "Darius, Mr. saucy, Walker, Pema"

«Plot» Lotus says, "Oh, and you guys might want to unleash your
spirits/elementals too and roll for them?"

«Plot» Walker says, "I can't remember what orders I gave them before, but the way I see this round going is Walker pointing at the blood spirit and siccing 9(?) spirits on it. If they haven't done anything yet I'm guessing they're delaying until my action?"
«Plot» Walker says, "And since they're astral they're definitely faster than everyone."
«Plot» Lotus says, "Think they were ordered to protect against attempt to possess"
«Plot» Walker says, "Sounds plausible. Hang in there D!"

«Plot» Darius says, "Laser, F6 Deadly, at the Spirit."
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Centering + 6 (Centering Focus) vs TN 3 for "Centering against Penalties. 4 base. +3 BGcount. +1 visibility. +1 L stun. -6 grade":
1 1 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 5 9 = 9 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Centering + 6 (Centering Focus) - 9 (Successes) vs TN 3 for "Centering against Penalties. 4 base. +3 BGcount. +1 visibility. +1 L stun. -6 grade KP4":
3 4 5 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 7 vs TN 4 for "Laser F6 Deadly":
1 1 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 9 10 = 7 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 7 - 7 (Successes) vs TN 4 for "Laser F6 Deadly KP5":
1 2 2 3 3 5 9 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Willpower + Spell Pool: 2 vs TN 4 for "Soaking D+1 Drain":
1 3 3 3 3 3 5 5 5 7 8 10 = 6 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Willpower + Spell Pool: 2 - 6 (Successes) vs TN 4 for "Soaking D+1 Drain KP6":
1 3 4 4 4 4 = 4 Successes
«Plot» Darius says, "So 9 successes total on my cast, and base damage is deadly."

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 14 vs TN 2 for "Essence 5 armour, Burning all CP just to stay alive":
1 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 7 10 11 = 12 Successes
«Plot» Lotus says, "Serious wound. I'll also rule that the engulf power drops"
«Plot» Lotus says, "You're free :3 Pose away!"

Darius is caught entirely off-guard by the surge of blood and viscera that overwhelms him. He disappears from view, suspended in the liquid, and no sign of him remains for a few moments. Then bubbles rise from the blood, and a glow begins deep inside of it. The glow increases in intensity, and the blood begins to sizzle and bubble and boil away, before those beams of coherent light burst forth out of it with another whip-crack of superheated steam. '-consign you to return from whence you came, fiend. Burn!' he bellows, finishing the chant he spent his last breath to begin under the liquid.

The beams jolt across the foyer, slamming into the spirit and causing its fleshy mass to boil and sizzle away. He sweeps his gaze across it, tearing a charred chunk of bloody, ephemeral mass from it- and melting the surface of concrete and steel as it passes through to the other side, leaving glowing trails.

The flood of gore subsides, and Darius falls down to a knee, coughing and sputtering- his cloak's scanners thoroughly overwhelmed by the deluge, causing him to flicker and flash with kaleidoscope colours.

As the beam of intense light sears through the creature's semi-solid body, it shrieks in that ear-splitting fashion agin, cascades of blood spurting out of the wound. It falters, two enormous gory hands reaching forward to grab the railing in front of them. Its gigantic mouth opens and it lets out a horrid scream.

«Plot» Lotus says, "Spirit's turn!"
«Plot» Lotus says, "It will attempt to cast Fear power on the trio"
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) has the Attribute Willpower with the value '6 (12)'.
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) has the Attribute Willpower with the value '6 (10)'.
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Willpower vs TN 6:
1 1 2 2 7 8 8 11 11 11 = 6 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Willpower vs TN 6:
1 1 2 2 3 4 5 5 7 8 8 9 = 4 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 11 vs TN 12 for "Essence 5 + Spirit energy 6 vs WP12":
1 2 2 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 8 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 11 vs TN 10 for "Essence 5 + Spirit energy 6 vs WP10":
1 1 3 3 3 4 5 5 7 8 9 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 11 vs TN 6 for "Essence 5 + Spirit energy 6 vs WP6":
1 1 1 2 4 4 5 5 9 9 11 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Willpower vs TN 5:
1 1 2 3 4 11 = 1 Success
«Plot» Lotus says, "Pema struck with Fear"

Pema, already on her back, screams in terror from the display. Rather than fleeing though, she just curls up in a fetal position, shrieking in fear.

«Plot» Walker says, "Simple action to shift to astral perception, making him dual natured, then simple to instruct every spirit to murderise the blood spirit, which they do at the end of his phase."
«Plot» Lotus says, "I don't really need to roll for 10 spirits against one nearly dead one, do I? :P"
«Plot» Walker says, "Only if you really want. Shall I pose some cool nonsense?"
«Plot» Lotus says, "You can make a symbolic collective roll then imagine it tenfold and pose away :p"

«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls 5 + Combat Pool: 5 vs TN 2 for "Nine spirits (plus Walker who by this point is PISSED) vs 1. Hilarity ensues.":
1 3 3 3 3 4 5 5 10 10 = 9 Successes

Vaulting away from the tidal wave of gore, Walker takes a moment longer than Darius and the blood spirit to collect himself. After a brief glance at Darius barely freeing himself and at the screaming Pema, Walker's entire body seems to light up as his astral form tears out of it and flies towards the monstrosity with a single wordless scream of unalloyed rage.

As his astral form fades across the barrier between planes, thunder rumbles overhead as their astral guardians join in, the bloated pile of blood and bile buried under an avalanche of gold fire and lightning. In the physical world, the already battered spirit seems to be cut from a dozen different directions at once before being ripped in to in a grisly display, it's remains fading into nothingness as they drift downwards to the floor far below.

On Walker's face, lying face down on the wet floor, is a peaceful smile.

«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Charisma + 3 (Power Focus) vs TN 6 for "6D channeling drain":
1 1 1 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 14 16 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Charisma + 3 (Power Focus) - 2 vs TN 6 for "6D channeling drain, KP4/18":
1 1 1 1 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 5 8 9 9 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Charisma + 3 (Power Focus) - 2 - 3 vs TN 6 for "6D channeling drain, KP6/18":
1 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Charisma + 3 (Power Focus) - 2 - 3 vs TN 6 for "6D channeling drain, KP9/18":
1 2 2 2 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 8 = 1 Success
«Plot» Walker says, "Trauma damper cleans up the last bit."

Darius's coughing turn to wretches and hacks as he tries to clear the scent of blood from his nostrils and the taste of it from his throat- a task that will likely take some time. He eventually pulls himself together enough, though, to move over towards Pema. He clutches her shoulders, to snap her out of her blind terror. "It's done. Pema, it's gone for now." he says, urgently and firmly- though he might not be as reassuring as he would like, dripping with viscera.

The spirit utters a final long shriek as it is torn apart by an army of wrathful storm spirits, then it finally disappears from this plane of existence, leaving nothing behind but copious amounts of blood splattered over the place. The difference is almost palpable as a sort of cursed presence lifts from the place. It is still a scary place, but at least the foul supernatural horror has been banished to its own wicked plane of existence.

Pema, who is on the floor, covered in blood like everyone else, calms down as Darius comforts her, but she keeps crying for a bit before she dares to uncurl herself and look up. "Is it gone? It is really?"

Ahead lies the unconscious Aztechnology guard, and the helicopter wreckage.

With a wracking, shuddering breath, Walker pushes himself up onto a knee. With blood coating him from head to toe, matted in his golden hair and streaking his face he looks like something psychotic which isn't helped at all by the wild-eyed look complete with teeth gritted in a snarl and veins standing out on his temple. He stays where he is, fists clenched and drawing deep, gasping breaths, clearly struggling to maintain some semblance of composure.

Darius ends up sitting on the ground next to Pema for a few long moments, himself, for now. "It's disrupted." he says to her. "We still need to find its true name if we want to destroy it for good." he says to her, "But it won't be able to return to the material for some time." he adds. He finally pushes himself to his feet, the red on his face hiding how green around the gills he looks beneath. "Walker…" he speaks cautiously to the rather deranged looking elf, worrying a moment that they've lost him to his totems darker impulses, "Can you secure the guard? I'll take a look at that ward."

Pema gets up on her feet, still shaking from the experience. Ultimately, she might be the least blood-soaked of the lot but she still has copious amounts of it over her face, hair and upper body. She takes her coat off and drops it to the floor. She looks over the railing, but there is nothing there. "Are you two okay?" she looks over to the helicopter. "Let's go."

Walker as it turns out, has an utterly perfect Kubrick stare in his repertoire that never sees use. The looks he gives Darius could never be called friendly, in fact it looks like the elf is looking for the next thing to work out his anger on, but he barely manages a grating nod to the other man. Pema barely registers a glance when she talks, the elf almost seeming to ignore her entirely as he pushes himself upright and walks with deliberate steps towards the unconscious figure.

«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Intelligence + Astral Pool: 8 for "Assensing the dude, just in case":
1 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 4 7 11 16
«Plot» Lotus says, "He's alive but still unconscious. Mundane guy with a pretty messed-up aura. No spirit presence though."

Darius, for his part, nods his head at Pema. "We'll be fine, I think." he answers her, though he doesn't seem entirely convinced himself. He makes his way towards the downed chopper, finally, to examine that warded object whatever it may be. on the way, he toggles off the ruthenium on his cloak, ceasing the flickering as it tries to mimic countless rivulets of liquid.

"Walker? You okay?" Pema says, her voice sounding a bit worried. She looks like she considers walking up to him, but with that deranged gaze and him covered in gore she decides not to. Instead, she begins to walk towards the helicopter, but stops as she reaches the unconscious corporate guard. She picks up his assault rifle and looks it over, but soon keeps walking over towards the helicopter. When she comes up to it, she peers inside, pointing that rifle in just in case.

Walker's eyes snap up at his name, nostrils flaring as he glares at her. It takes him some visible effort, but eventually he manages to contort the corners of his mouth into a semblance of a smile and grate out, "Never… better." From the manic grin, he might actually mean it. Letting Pema take the rifle, he squats down by the guard, removing the helmet and propping the man up slumped against a nearby bench. Not seeming to trust himself near the others yet, he stays away for the time being, keeping a watch for any further trouble.

Darius arrives at the chopper, himself, shortly and with the skinny Asian girl behind him with an assault rifle, he ventures inside to look for that warded object he saw from outside. His eyes become glassy, switching his perception to the astral once more as he seeks it out so that he can have a better look at it now they aren't being hunted by undead and blood monsters.

The helicopter itself is a somewhat modified WK-2 Stallion with extra armour. The cockpit is almost completely crushed in along with the pilot seat, leaving few remains of the pilot. The rest of the crew, five in total, are all still in there, lifeless bodies in security armour. Their necks have been torn open and drained of blood, making the scene ironically much less disturbing than the vista just outside the helicopter. In the middle is a large cold-storage container of the type used to transport bioware and other biological material, with markings written in Spanish and Nahuatl on them. The lock is compromised and the ice that it once contained has turned into a pool of water. Inside is a cylindrical glass container that appears filled with biological samples. The label just contains a serial number and some Nahuatl writing, along with a corporate logo. Its glass has shattered, and the biological samples have probably spoiled.

Walker busies himself with their 'prisoner' cable tying the man's wrists behind him and eventually perching next to the slumped figure, hunched in on himself as he struggles for control. His feet tap restlessly on the ground.

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) has the Language Nahuatl with the value '3 (6)'.

The writing on the jar says "Brain tissue sample, possessed patient 36/b, 5/11/79, MAGICAL HAZARD DO NOT OPEN KEEP WARDED AND REFRIGERATED"

Darius makes a face as he enters the helicopter- they might not look as bad as the area outside, but they've been here longer and certainly smell worse. He sets his jaw to fight back the bile rising in his throat, and then focuses his mind on the task at hand to take it off the corpses. He looks at the sample box, moving closer to examine the label. It doesn't do much to improve his expression, "Spirit was hitching a ride in some living tissue on ice, seems like." he says then. "Guess it escaped when the chopper went down, but that means there's no luck on hidden life. This is already rotted." he says. "I don't even want to know why Aztechnology was shipping possessed brain tissue samples over Denver." he adds. He steps back out of the chopper for some… well, less rancid, if not exactly fresh air. And looks back to Walker, "We may have to pursue it to the metaplanes, after all." a pause, as he considers the elf. "Are you yourself?" he asks, firmly.

Pema reacts similarly to the stench inside th chopper. In fact, she doesn't stay more than a couple seconds after seeing that tissue specimen. She gags and moves out, putting a fist over her mouth while resting the assault rifle over her shoulder. "Grabbing the last few horrid experiments before vacating the Aztlán sector?" she says with bitterness. "We should burn that sample… just to be sure."

«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) rolls Willpower for "Just for fun":
1 1 1 2 3 4 4 5 5 5 5 5

"Good," Walker snaps back at Darius' speculation, as if impatient at the subject, "I wasn't done with it." Cocking his head at the man, Walker tries and miserably fails to put on a bright smile, crazed mania seeming his only option at the moment. "Who else would I be?" he asks philosophically, a question made all the more ironic by the way his voice seems to be a duet.

His eyes light up, literally, when Pema suggests burning the sample. A hand snaps up, fingers curled like claws as a pearly of fire appears between them. Screwing his eyes shut, he closes his fist, knuckles white, and mutters, "You better take care of that." His foot keeps tapping against the unconscious guards breastplate, the grisly letters 'HELP ME' bouncing gently in the otherwise still room.

Darius watches Walker for a few moments more, but says no more on the topic for now- everyone is on edge, after all. But he does turn and nod to Pema, "Ageed." he says to her, and turns back towards the chopper. He takes a breath, and then heads inside. He fishes the specimen tube back out of the cooler box, sets it down, and then once more he conjures forth the beams of energy from his eyes to work on incinerating anything that remains of the rotten brain matter inside.

As the two mages begin to take her suggestion of burning it seriously, she steps away as to not get hit by stray energy beams or fireballs or what have you. She walks over close to the corporate guard.
About that time, there's some movement from the guard, who appears to be regaining consciousness. The glowing lenses of his goggles are off but he moves, and begins to make gagging noises from inside his helmet.

Wrapping an arm around the guard's neck, Walker hisses softly in his ear as he begins to remove the helmet. "Hold still and let me help you. I am not in a mood to ask twice." The unsettling double voices has not abated and the elf seems in no mood to coddle the man.

Darius emerges again from the chopper after a few moments, "Samples gone, dust." he says simply, and then he looks back over to Walker- spying that their friend is waking up, he begins heading over. He unholsters his pistol, just incase he happens to need it, as he heads over but otherwise leaves Walker to it, for now. It's hard to say which of the two he's paying more attention to.

Pema looks for a spot on the floor that isn't covered in gore and sits down. The assault rifle looks heavy for her, but she keeps it in her lap, as if willing to use it against the guard if need be.

The helmet requires a few buttons to unlock, but once Walker finds them it comes off easily, revealing a young man not much older than Pema underneath. With dark hair and bronzed skin, he has typical Aztlanian features, and he has a thousand-yard scare like he's seen untold worlds of horror. He bites his lip and closes his eyes, lowering his head. "Yo no quise hacerlo, eso el porque la fantasma me forzó… please don't kill me"

«Auto-Judge[]» Walker (#12094) has the Language Spanish with the value '1 (4)'.
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) has the Language Spanish with the value '1 (4)'.
«Plot» Lotus says, "'I didn't want to do it, it's because the ghost forced me to'"

Walker sets the helmet off to one side. "I ain't gonna kill you!" He sounds vaguely insulted by the suggestion, "Tell us what happened. What were you transporting and where were you taking it?"

Darius nods his head a bit as he draws nearer and the man speaks, "We know. That's why you got the stunbolt, not the nova." he says to the guard. But then he falls quiet and lets Walker get on with the questioning.

"I didn't know what was in the box, I swear," the young man says, with a clear Spanish accent. "Our orders was to pick the box up from the university, then take it out of town, back to Aztlan. Our… hechicero, lost control of it and it escaped, killed the pilot and we crashed. And since… it has been in my brain, forcing me to…" he looks like he's about to break down. "Horrible things. Please, can you take me out of this place? I don't know much, I'm just security, but I'll tell you anything you want."

Walker's gaze flicks up to Darius, distaste written across the elf's handsome features. Shaking his head slightly, he reaches down and frees the man's wrists. "Walk," he instructs, scooping up the helmet and getting to his feet himself. After a moment of silence, he reaches out a hand and claps the young man on the shoulder. "Memories fade," he offers, finally speaking in just his own voice.

Darius nods his had, "Couldn't agree more with that idea." he mutters, on getting out of here. He casts a glance about, briefly, "Is there a more direct way out than back up to the roof?" he asks Walker and Pema, since they had been here before. He still has his pistol in hand, and seems tense, though his shoulders do relax slightly once Walker's voice is once again his own.

Pema has a sympathtic look for the man's plight as well, knowing what he's been through. She gets up on her feet as Walker unties his wrists, assault rifle lowered.

The Aztlanian guard slowly gets up as he's freed. "Yes… there's a service tunnel that isn't filled with water, leads to a sewer entrance on the parking lot. I used it many times. Do you want me to show you? Or should I leave on my own?"

Seeming to finally notice the gun in Darius' hand Walker nods to the man with a tired expression. "You can put that away," he mutters, adding with an almost disappointed tone, "Nothing left to fight here." An irritable twitch crosses his face at the guard's question, "You lead. We follow. Then we're going to have a quiet talk. Nobody's going to hurt you." The brief pat on the shoulder apparently having used up his sympathy, all Walker can muster now seems to be condescending pity.

Darius nods his head to Walker, but he doesn't put the gun away just yet. "Out the tunnel, then, and we'll get hosed off. We can use the back room of my unit to chat." he suggests then, since Jinwei isn't too far from this place. Once the guard is ready to go, Walker behind him, Darius will take the next spot and leave Pema to take up the rear so that they can file out of this cursed place.

"Bueno," the young man says and starts walking. He heads down to the first floor, just above the water level, then through a couple of service corridors, down a ladder, then finally through a section of sewer before they come up and appear on that wide parking lot just outside the place. The rain is still pouring down over Asiatown, but the calm sounds of the city and the neon lights are soothing compared to that place.

The man, whose name turns out to be Gabriel, does not know much, and eventually it becomes apparent there's not much reason to keep him around. Pema even hands the assault rifle back to him, confident he won't use it.

There they stand, in the purifying rain, Darius' car still parked nearby. All three of them probably yearning after a long shower.

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