Roosevelt's Cleansing

GM: Adam
Players: Adam, Air, Nine, Pulse, Selene
Synopsis: A follow-up team has been informed by the local gang that has refugees from the islet pouring in that there is more to that place than just the cult on the surface. The team goes back and discovers the underground sacrifice chambers. Pulse/Reed rearly gets swallowed by an astral gateway, but is saved by Selene. Adam goes in after her to get her back as the rest of the team goes to the source and eliminates it.

Date: 03/20/2070

It has been a full week since the aftermath that is the islet invasion.

The people of the Quincy islet were not here by choice. They were taken here by the cult of the 'faithful'. Its hard to say if they worshiped Chaos Magic or the Shadow Anima. Most of the remaining faithful refused to talk about it, save a few zealots that claimed that the divine pestilance that was the toxic Quincy Reservoir and the shadow anima was a gift. Some gift.

No matter how you slice it, the original assumption that the initial strike would leave several wounded was correct. The cancer was cut from the community, but several innocents were wounded or killed as a result. The death toll was kept low by Adam, Air, and Nine acting as medical staff. After a day of treatment, they needed more help from Selene and Pulse for equipment such as tents and simple cots in which to put those that are healing. Tireless days rolled on— as there was no fresh water for these people.

One by one they were released to go back to the shore— to whatever fate they would carve. When the last one left the island— leaving it an empty shell with a creepy villa of a house left standing, the leader of a resident gang decided to meet with them. He brought muscle, a lot of muslce.

Despite being outnumbered 3 to 1, the shadowrunners met with the leader to discuss what he wanted. The refugees were inducted into his gang— as the area southwest of the Quincy Lake is his turf. They also had thier turf being terrorized by that cult and wanted to thank them. More than just thank them— he wanted to explain that there is more there. One of the survivors came in confidence to him to explain there is something /beneath/ the house that is equally sinister— or more so. It was where sacrifices were done— the blood fuel of the cult they shattered.

Needing no more to go on, Adam requests that they finish what they originally set out to do and returns to the islet. It is dawn now— the light is skirting through the heavy fog of pollution in this zone. It shines off of the grime of the polluted lake and against the garbage ridden soil of the small islet.

Air is here, his gear is stowed in a side room. He hasn't been here the whole time, he had to go back, repair his armour, restock on ammunition, the important things. Nodding he chuckles to Reed, "Blood sacrifices, lovely. Should I be bringing spiritbusters for this?"

Reed is in place tonight, carrying his 'long gun:' the newly-smartlinked Enfield. No stealth with this weapon. He sneers a little as he looks at the others, including the boss's pretty little fiance. "So we gonna do this shit or what?" He asks. "I'd like to get this 'hooding done so I can get back to my whoring and my drinking. And my kicking of small children. I'ma gonna wind up with a halo at this rate."

"I would," Adam notes with a hand wave, "Blood magic is potent. The sort of thing you tackle with weapon foci if its purely a spirit."

Air nods, taking a moment to re-arrange his gear some then. "Should I bring the pistol spiritbusters… or the sniper rifle spiritbusters." He gets a gleam in his eyes on the thought of taking a sniper rifle down into the basement but laughs and shakes his head. "Pistol it is." And with some re-arranging later he has his trusted Alpha slung across his chest, and his Cerberus pistol loaded with firepower and spiritbusters. All with his bulky security armour on underneath. He looks longingly at the Walther rifle though, "I've still never used that thing yet."

Before they go below, Selene takes several minutes to prepare. She starts to dance, a slow giration of her hips that builds and builds until it is a rapid shimmy. Her voice also begins low, then rises, ever higher and quicker while the powers build and she calls to the energies of life itself. First, she is surrouned by a pale glow of a magical shield, then she raises her arms in supplication as clouds gather above her head, coalescing into an almost human form, occluding the stars until finally the spirit grows, up and up above her reaching it's great form.

The shaman sways on her feet, and then is done. Standing and glowing triumphant, with a huge storm riding at her shoulder. And there, once more, is Gloria. For once the rebellious free spirit is blessedly silent. And Selene appears ready.

Adam nods a touch on the decision to use a pistol. "Yeah— small area— likely pistol. Unless we find an underground cavern, the sniper round would be a bit much." He glares at Gloria and her god forsaken presense here.

Reed grunts. "If it's a pure spirit, I'll go at it with my bloody fists. Show it what fighting's -about-." He laughs, a cruel, sinister sound. "Or maybe I'll just go at it with my winning personality. Boss says I'm one of the most… persuasive people he ever bloody met." Reed licks his lips as he sees Gloria arrive. "Hey there, sweet cheeks. You comin' to this rodeo?" He checks the load on his shotgun, then leers at Selene for a bit more.

Selene glances over at Reed, "oh, you are one of the MOST persuasive people, I can never say no to you."

And Nine is here as well— just checking out something on the other side of the island real quick-like.

Adam motions to the house itself— cleaned of the blood splatters and cleared out, but still very much a wreck, "Alright— lets go investigate."

Air doesn't take too much notice of the interplay between Reed and Selene because well, who the hell are these people? In fact, he steps over to Adam and asks him that very question. Then Adam cuts him off and he scowls but moves on. "After you Waterboy."

Selene takes a deep breath, glances to Reed behind Air, to the storm riding her shoulder, and to Gloria flanking her left, then starts to follow Adam inside.
Adam shakes his head— taking grip of his SuperMac in his natural hand and heading in towards the house. Gloria oohs at the place and says, "Looks like there was a lot of fun here." He takes a sniff, "I can just /smell/ the excitement." Yes, blood, shadow anima, hell she could make this place home. The door to the house is still busted in, making initial entry easy enough.

Reed pumps the shotgun (it doesn't need his pump, but there's one on there for vanity and style). He steps into the door, looking around, eyes glowing brightly. "Come here, nightmare nightmare nightmare," he whispers, glancing here and there and everywhere. "Papa wants to kick you in the butt-ocks."
The Living Area room is where the battle for the shadowrunner's lives occured. Right now it is cleared out. The blood is cleaned up, but it leaves the room open and only lit by the rising run through borded up windows. It gives it a very creepy look to it all. To the west there are doors to what used to be a master bedroom and bathroom. Two doors to the north lead to other rooms.

Selene drops back behind Reed and Air, moving slowly and cautiously. Hopefully those 2 will soak the bullets first.

Air allows whoever wishes to pass ahead in, standing beside the door looking much like a corporate security guard. The only things he's missing are the corporate badges and emblems that usually adorn such armour. Stepping in behind the big, ugly feller he sniffs loudly, "Never saw a down before, it must be hidden somewhere?" Currently without a weapon in hand, all of his holstered or slung.

Reed says "That's what the boss said," to Air, sweeping his shotgun around. He moves through to the north, keeping his gun ready. "Why's he always givin' me this gun, anyway?" He asks. "He always uses the persuader. What if -i- want a nickel plated weapon?" Another adjustment. "I hate bees."
"I didn't see one either," Adam tells Air as he looks around. Given he spent most of his time with the patients— and all-in-all Air and Nine had thier hands full with that to not have all the details anyway.

Gloria says, "Oh because you probably weren't looking hard, boy," she says with a condescending giggle, "You're as dense as this one, just not as easy on the eyes." He motions to Selene— getting her quips in when she can.

Selene snaps in a hoarse whisper, "Shut Up. Gloria. Follow. Stay ready. And be fraggin' quiet."

Air agrees with Gloria, "That's true, I wasn't looking at all. Maybe I will need those sniper rifle spiritbusters after all." He muses quietly to himself as he looks around. "Split up and search or stick together? I don't think there's a threat up here, we've been here a week after all."

Having said that Air turns and steps across towards the bedroom. He seems totally relaxed, Adam would probably note that he most likely doesn't even has his reflexes on yet. "Will do," he notes as he opens up the door.

Selene remains behind Reed, following him into the study, creeping forward on soft soled boots.

Adam says, "Tch. Me and Nine will over here. Away from 'her'," he notes as glares daggers at Gloria. They disappear into the norther rooms that hold storage. After several minutes they don't appear to uncover anything that useful. Lots of boxes with likes of very disturbing things inside. Really. The bedroom is similarly not that entertaining. There is an old bed frame there and the plumping is not in working order. How anying really LIVED there is anyone's guess, but these guys were not exactally paragons of sanitation.

The Study for Selene, Gloria, and Reed is a little bit different. The Study itself is a room full of broken bookshelves. None of them hold books— but various flora and fauna— decapitated hands, and colorful things such as a dead cat swinging from the ceiling cat. Poor ceiling cat. From the look of it, it looks like the shadow anima spent a lot of time here as the place has a very corrupted feel to it— which makes Gloria positively giddy. She even giggles with excitement.

<<Auto-Judge[TRUE]>> Reed (#3231) rolls Willpower:
     1 2 3 3 5 17

Reed doesn't even shudder as he feels the room's corruptin and sees the ceiling cat. He steps into the room, searching around a little, kicking the floor in places. "This is a mess," he says. "Reminds me of the boss's house."

Selene shivers with the chill as she walks through the room. She looks up at the ceiling, around at the shelves, and visibly swallows down the bile. One would think she'd get used to this, but she never really does.

Air steps into the bedroom looking around. Kicking aside trash with his feet as he studies the floor. Shoving a dead body aside without even a second glance. Then he heads into the bathroom part and shakes his head. It takes a minute or two and then he steps back out into the main room.

Gloria practically dances around, "Oh this place is FUN. This guy had tastes. Look," she picks up a disembodied head— making it's jaw move 'My name is Fred. I am a head. I was alive, but am now dead.' She tosses the head over towards Selene, "Catch."

Selene bats the thing away, and it rolls across the floor, a few teeth rattling out as it goes. She glares at Gloria, "YOu try my patience. Keep it up, slave, and you'll suck the pain of every magical move I make until you die."

Gloria cutely puts a finger to her lips, "Aw. I sorry." She giggles, "No. I'm not. La la la." She finds the broken chair and plops onto it, blond tussles swishing about as she kicks her heels up.

"Both of you, shut up," Reed growls. "There's a spot on the floor. Right there." He walks over to the corner and kicks at it… "Yeah, there's something here. HEY! WATERBOY! GUNMONKEY!" He levels the shotgun at the spot. "Found something."

In a few minutes afterwards, Adam and Nine come into the room. They are empty handed in thier own search, "Whats up?" asks the silver-blue haired mage.

Air steps across and enters after Adam and Nine, "Did you just call me a gunmonkey, you big ugly bastard?" His tone is perfectly civil however, as he steps in and takes a peek at what Reed found.

The area itself looks like something was dragged across it a lot. It gets plenty of traffic. Reed notices after a moment or two a draft coming from behind the staircase. Thats it! Evil Staircase. Boss battle! (Kidding)

Reed puts the shotgun on his back. "There," he says, walking over to the back of the staircase. "There's a draft. Cover me, blondie mcblondpants. Or is it blondie blondpantson? Is that the racial patronymic?" He runs his gloved hands over the area, trying to find a crack, or… something.

Selene keeps a wary eye on Gloria as she tries to watch Reed search.

<<Auto-Judge[TRUE]>> Reed (#3231) rolls Intelligence for "lowlight, thermographic, eyelights.":
     4 4 5 7 11

After some mighty intense staring at the bookshelf, he notices that there are hinges on one side. The damn thing pulls out like a door. Hence the scuff marks. Fancy that.

Air chuckles as he flicks his wired reflexes on, "It would be blondpantsson." A very minor correction on pronunciation as he lays his hands onthe Alpha, booting up his smartlink and connecting to the weapon. Suddenly his eyes are filled with information about the weapon and he stands more prepared.

Reed steps back, grunts, grabs the bookcase, and pulls.

The the bookshelf is yanked back— cracking open after a certain point and breaking off one of the hinges. The dry rotted part of the house gives as the bookshelf collapses under it's own weight— causing the heavy thing to come crashing down in Selene's direction.

Selene squeeks! and dives out of the way, barely missing getting squished like a bug.
Selene says "Careful, Reed!"
Selene says "Boss will be angry if I don't come back."

Gloria ooohs as she comes up behind Reed and tries to carress his arms, "Such a /strong/ man, purrr."

Selene growls at Gloria.

Adam shakes his head at Gloria and looks over towards Selene, "You okay?"

Selene nods quickly, "No harm done. Lets keep going."

Air himself is more interested in what was behind said slammed door, peering down the corridor and turning on whatever vision mods may be required. Also, his hearing is being very selective as he filters out the people around and listens intently.

Reed doesn't respond to Selene, not drawing his weapon yet as he shoves Gloria away. "later, wench," he snarls, and peers down the way he's opened…
Down the corridor is a small flight of stairs. At the bottom of the stairs looks like a ladder— the type service drainage use in water treatment infrastructures (aka sewer systems).

Reed grunts. "A ladder. Of course. Will go down first," he says, and starts heading down the stairs on giant cat feet.

<<Plot>> AdamLOG says, "Descent order?"
<<Plot>> Air says, "Looks like Reed, Air, Selene, Adam, Nine"

Air follows Reed the boots of his suit the firm soled kind, they clop on hard surfaces relatively loudly. Especially bad with echoes, very irritating, of course Air can't hear himself walking thanks to his filtered hearing so he doesn't realise it.

Selene creeps lightly after Air and Reed, descending carefully, with her troop of astral presenses behind her, ah.. that's where Gloria should be. Astral. The local Astral. Or not. Hard to keep an eye on that way.

To be certain— the trip down the ladder is not long by any means. It just takes the team to the area directly below the house— past the foundation, a couple meters of earth, and then the basement area. The ladder itself it sturdy and supports quite a bit of weight.

The area down here is full of… machinery and vats. There are pipes that go into the north and south walls— as well as the east and west walls. Vats hold water mixed with who knows what else. In this room there are two options— east or west. Faded markings of the equipment designation exist— too erroded to make out well. The air here is foul and the background count makes it unpleasant for anyone not a cyberzombie (or a toxic spirit).

Adam descends after Nine does— taking up the rear guard just in case something crazy happens. Which nothing crazy does. Looks like they depleted the amount of crazy from this house on the last trip, but missed Gloria somehow.

Gloria, however, stops being a ditz and has something productive to say now. Walking over towards one of the vats she says, "Clever. Very clever! They were using a refinery for defilery. I like this guys' style. Can I meet him?"

Reed's steeltoed boots are even louder than Air's firm-soles! Cause they're shanked in steel, too. That sort of fing. As he hits the ground, his skin begins to crawl… but there's much less soul there than there was before. He looks around, staring at the vats, staring at the equipment.

"This is the den of the devil," he murmurs. "And you shall, Gloria. Perhaps in time to watch me tear out his throat. With my teeth." He tosses his long, scraggly hair, and heads to the East.

Selene is chilled to the bone walking down into the basement, she clutches her arms and rubs to keep warm. Sniffing the air, again.. she almost wretches, and struggles to keep composure. It never, never gets any easier. She glances over to Gloria and demands, "Explain, how does the refinery work?" And then starts coughing, hiccups, coughs again, and covers her mouth to keep from throwing up. "Also, who is 'him'?"

Air himself turns in opposite to Reed and advances to the West, best to not be caught from behind. The feel of the area even has his skin crawling, cybered up and soulless as he is. Letting the Alpha drop, the smartlinked information fades, until he pulls the Cerberus and new ifnormation flashes up. A silencer is withdrawn from a pocket and screwed onto the muzzle here, better not to deafen people in closed circumstances. Mentally switching between his ammo clips as a nervous tick he peers around, flicking on his eye-lights.

"Well he, him," Gloria motions a hand— making up for her earlier annoyances with being useful, "the free spirit that lives here. Take a look around in astral. His signature is everywhere. It used to be stronger, but then again this place hasn't been getting its regular love now hasnt it?" She leans down and runs a finger along the oily water in one of the vats. Standing back up she motiosn it over to Selene, "See? Exact opposite of pure water. Drink this and who knows what'll happen to you. Becoming a ghoul might be a blessing." Coughing she continues, "Anyho. Looking from this equipment, this was a water purification refinery by some company called. Green Pace. At least I think its Green Pace. Its on that sign." The symbol for the Green Peace organization, which is a century ole lore at this point, is on one of the vats. "It draws water in— filters it— and redistributes it to the reservoir. It was probably made to aid in combatting pollution. BUT, instead, it looks like it is AIDING pollution since its getting all sorts of goodies introduced into it."

Adam looks around— going with Nine to check out one of the vats as well to confirm some of this information. "Checks out," he says after analyzing some of the water, "the Quincy water already is rather foul— but this is concentrated. I dont even want to think about the toxins introduced into the water supply here."
She knows, she just knows that this is the worst idea *ever*. But, curiosity will kill the Bat, as quickly as the Cat, and for much the same reasons. Selene shifts her perception to the astral, with great trepidation. Likely, it will be the last time she tries it down here.

Reed Growls. "Can we break this shit, Adam? Keep it from poisoning the locals? That's for the corps to do, not these bloody shitfucking cocklickers, not fit to be crushed beneath my boot or to taste Selene's sweet buttermilk biscuits."

Astral space is very foggy— thick with a high background count of corruption and pain. When you get close to the floors, the equipment, the doors, or the walls— purple tendrils like poisoned strains of ivy decorage the room. The astral signature is all the same. That also checks out.

Selene just as quickly shifts her perception back to 'reality', "Ugh. Yeah.. Gloria isn't lying to us. It's bad."

Adam motions to where the pipes go— and Nine actually pipes up here, "We'd have to see all of it first." her Engineering background makes explaination that if we just smash it— it'll just introduce the concentrated toxins to the water. Adam agrees, "Yeah— we have to see where these pipes go." And the pipes go to both rooms— as well as the north and south walls. Nine surmises, "One of these pipes takes water from the reservoir in, one sends it back out. Soooooo the 'changing' of the water happens from these rooms." She points to the west room, the east room, and the vats here.

Gloria intervenes, "Uh, I dont think you are getting into those rooms." She mentions to the east and west gates. She isnt as obstructed with the 'toxic' astral fog as Adam, Selene, and Nine are.

<<Plot>> Reed says, "what are the gates made of?"
<<Plot>> AdamLOG says, "The doors look like steel."
<<Plot>> Selene says, "gates, or doors? solid or bars?"

Reed stares at the door. "I might be able to get through that," he says. "It'll be hard, but I'm… maybe just as hard. Shoulda bought shocklocks." He backs up a few meters, the better to get a running start. "Should I?"

Gloria just giggles, but says nothing. Adam looks at it and says, "Well— we can always patch you up if you break your shoulder, right?"

Selene gets out of the line of crashing, this time. "Let me get far away first…"

Air perks up, "Oh, shocklocks. I have a few of those," he states, turning back from his locked steel door. The guy doesn't even use a shotgun but he has shocklock ammo? "Here, lessee," he pats a few pockets on his webbing and eventually comes up with a handful of the barrier busting shells.

<<Auto-Judge[TRUE]>> Reed (#3231) rolls Athletics:
     1 1 1 5 5 10

Reed drops down to a classic football position, and then he launches up in perfect form- he couldabeenastar- and hurls himself at the door with a mighty yell, moving faster than he should, the very -air- whimpering as he hurtles through it…

Like a Rhino to a gazelle, Reed blazes through the air (not Air himself, though) and collides with the door. The hit is solid, but there is no metallic 'clang' sound. There is more a electric 'Bizzzziitt!' sound as the impact ripples throughout the entire wall like a shockwave where he hits. In about the amount of time it takes to realize 'Oh shit' the ripple is coming back, converging on Reed and blasting him back a few meters in the same direction.

Gloria giggles, "Toldya so!"

Air mutters, "Don't touch the doors then huh?"

Reed hits the ground in a tumble, smoke rizing from his body, his hair half scalded up… and then he opens his eyes. "Mother-fuck," he mutters, and gets back off his feet. "That wasn't actually what I thought it was."

Selene walks over to Reed, "You OK? Nothing broken?" she asks with an undue note of concern, and a sideways glare at Gloria, "next time. Be specific."

"Nope!" Gloria says, putting her hands behind her back, "Well actually there /is/ a way to open /that/ door, but not this one. But I dont think you'll want to open it anyway." She motions to the door Reed slammed into recently as 'openable' but the opposite, east door as more 'sealed'.

Selene says "Gloria, What is holding that passage closed. How can we open it? Are you able to percieve what is behind it?""

"Yeah," Gloria says to Selene, "I can see into it. You'll /definately/ /need/ to go in there. But opening it…" she gets close to Selene— aiming to comb through her hair and whisper her something.

Selene frowns darkly, "What is on the other side?" she asks of the spirit, a very straightforward question.

Gloria answers plainly, "The altar they used to sacrifice people. Also it has the key to that," she motions to the other 'sealed' door, "room. Even I cannot pierce that one by myself."

Air turns back from the sealed door and has a considering look around this centre room. "So what is the easiest way past that barrier then?" Not particularly asking anyone, but thinking out loud.

Selene seems to be lost in her communication with Gloria, staring at her intently.
Selene asks Gloria, "And the other door, are you able to see beyond, what is behind it?"

Adam has a theory— looking at the door, "Myself, Selene, and Nine could attempt to break it in astral space. Though— it obviously does not like being tampered with." Theory theory.

"Beyond that," humors Gloria, "is the source of all of this. He is very interested in meeting you, judging from the look on his face."

Selene says "oh, the master spirit of this place is there? why does he simply not reveal himself and face us?"

Gloria giggles, "Oh— well he can't, silly. What a stupid question to ask. So anyway— that door first, yes?"

Commlink-Raven> Selene says, "Reed? if I don't make it out of here. For *any* reason, tell your boss I loved him."
Selene looks from Gloria, to Adam, to Nine.. and to Air and Reed. Then back to Gloria and puts her face in her hands. "not good." she murmers, not quite loud enough to be heard.

Selene frowns, "hmm.. this is very bad." She looks from Adam, to Reed to Gloria and back again, considering carefully. Then says to Adam, "The spirit has an idea that I don't like. But she also says that we try to force it open, without allowing her to help, there is a high probability of very serious astral backlash, and one or more of us could end up dead, or worse."

Adam ohs? He looks over the wall a moment. Then he looks back to Selene and says, "Well is 'not liking it' worse than 'possible fatality'? Its kinda like the old joke about your house being robbed and you confront the robber. He has a gun, you dont. Whats more important— your life or your posessions. Or in some cases, your pride."

Air scratches his hair as he watches Reed recover from the magical lashing. "So you think shocklock rounds wouldn't do it either then?"
Selene shrugs, "No matter what I do, it will be wrong. But, I thought I would at least lay out the risks of your plan, as they were relayed to me. Keep in mind, Gloria is not a friendly spirit."

Selene shakes her head, "Magically sealed doorway."

Nine also offers commentary that if we shoot the thing there is the chance that the richochettes will damage the equipment in this room and cause leaks to make it worse.

Adam nods once and notes, "Yes, I know. She is a corrupt spirit that I'd like to cut open most every time I see her. What was her idea?"

Selene says "Apparently, we have to get through that door, before we can get through this door… And, behind the second door, is the creature, man, or spirit that is the master of this place."

Commlink-Raven> Selene says, "Reed? You tell your boss that I loved him, regardless of what happens here. OK?"

Selene looks to Adam and Air, "So, your input?"

Adam motions his hand towards the door/wall. "We get past this one first. Force or otherwise. I'm still not sure what Gloria's plan is, so I can assertain which is more prudent a course of action."

Air scratches his head again, "Unless there is a lock I can undo, or hinges I can blow off my options are limited here. All I know is forcing it will maybe kill us."

Selene telepathically contacts Gloria again.
Selene makes a decision, "Adam, we will go with your plan first. If it fails… well, I will let Gloria do her thing." <re>

Air frowns, "Hang on, what -is- Gloaria's thing before we make any hasty decisions!"

Selene shakes her head, "Unfortunately, and this is one of the things I do not like… I cannot share more about her 'plan'."

Adam ahs and nods his head. He thinks a moment and looks to Air, "Then, given the situation, you'll have to decide Sel." He trusts her enough to go on, "You have the data necessary to make a decision. Want to dispell it or go with Gloria's plan?"

Air grunts, "Can't I just shoot Gloria now? It might save us some time in the future." He sighs, and fingers his pistol idly.

Selene frowns, "I would prefer to try dispelling. Frankly, I have more faith in you all, than in dear sweet Gloria."
Selene shrugs to Air, "Sure, go for it. She'll just come back in a few days."

Taking a deep breath— Adam faces the wall. He slowly places his hands on the wall as he explains, "Without her True Name— she is right. It'd be a waste. She can come back whenever she wants." Looking over to Nine and Selene he says, "Alright— hands on the wall. Lets do this."

Selene takes a queueu from Adam, and lightly places her hands on the wall..

Air has nothing to add to this dispelling attempt, "You guys can't cast a spell to ward against magical backlash first? This seems like a bad idea." He sighs but waits, nothing more to say.

Adam takes a deep breath, "No, we can't. Its like— its like trying to overload an electric fence. On that note— if I say to Abort— get ready to toss us off. Nine and Sel first." The later to Reed for Sel and Air for Nine.

As the three magi put thier hands on the wall— crackling sounds begin to erupt similar to when Reed crashed into it. The wall itself ceases to be a physical entity and is exposed on the physical realm for what it is. It is a shell— arching with purple energy as mana flows into it. There is a 'pop' as energy lances off of Adam's shoulder from his metal cyberhand. The 'grid' lowers in magnitude as Selene pumps back at it during a sag. The mages are still fiercely engaged with this thing.

The magi continues thier assault onto the wall. The pattern continues— with more effectiveness. Adam draws out a lot of the Wall's energy as a heavy jolt of negative energy cracks through his system— sizzling his skin at this point. It provides a chink in the armor to be exploited. This time around Selene deals a heavy blow to the energy matrix— causing it to visibly dim and 'hum' quite a bit less.

Air watches carefully over Adam and Nine, the mages under his care. The fingers of his hands grasping, relaxing and grasping again at their shoulders, ready to yank them both on a seconds notice. Less than a seconds notice really, he's high on wired reflexes at the moment.

The final round with the wall is it's death knell. When Adam draws out energy from the wall this time, it fails to overpower him and instead is drained of it's force. The final blow is delivered by Selene— who shatters the protection on the wall altogether. The 'door' that was once there is completely gone— as if there was never a door itself. A careful look at the ground will note there is debris and dust where it once stood. Victory.

Selene draws on what little clean energy she can gather in this wretched place and pushes it into the wall, her whole form darkening with the effort as she softly chants a dispelling.

Adam exhales at that— combing back some of his now frazzled white hair. Frazzled like Einstein— and as much as he pats it down, it still sticks straight up. "Great," he says as he looks up.

Selene stands agaisnt the wall, and cautiously peers into the new room.

Air blinks as the door dissapears and releases his hold on the mages shoulders. "Uh… ok." Flicking on his eye lights he scans the new area quickly, paranoia ia setting in deeper in this underground pit.

The new room itself is a wide, open room. At the far end of the room is an altar— and even from here it is easy to see that sacrifices took place there. Blood runs down from the altar into the center of the room across channels that mark runes and diagrams. The walls are lit by an ever present torch light that gives it a soft, natural glow of red.

Adam looks back to Air and notes, "Uh— short version is: Magical Door." He nods and peers inside as well. "Well if this doesnt stink of Blood Magic," he says in distain.

Selene shudders, the background count of the place getting to her, and making her slightly nauseous. "Ok, then…. " She slowly steps across the threshold into the room, cause.. who else would. She is cautious, looking left, right, and center before risking a look into the astral.. .

Adam also steps into the room— right behind Selene. He looks around both in physical and astral— noting, "Both sickening— and fascinating," he says.
The astral of this place is— well you can see several entities here. The look like normal people. Some are talking, most are crying— like this was a common room where 'spirits' hang out at. After some perception, a little boy comes up to Selene's astral form and tugs at her like a child would that wants to get her attention.

Air only sees a room, warmly lit, covered in blood stains and stinking of misery. "This room is… in dire need of cleaning. Ugh. This is worse than that time we gassed those… uh, nevermind."

Sure she will regret this, Selene looks down at the astral/spirit boy tugging at her clothing "Hello." she says, very neutrally. And glances about to see if Adam can see him.. and the rest of them.. too.

Adam can surely see the child too. He looks over to it and also to Selene. The child asks from astral— which becomes very creepy for Air since he 'hears' this but does not see it, "Are you here to take us home? Mom's probably worried by now…"

Selene's lips curve into a slight smile, "Perhaps. What is your name? Where is home for you?" She is still very cautious, as though any moment the boy might turn into an essense sucking monster.

Air quirks an eyebrow, looking around quickly and then behind himself. Turning with a quick jump and a spin, staring down the room to the door at the other end. "What the hell is that?" His voice is tense now, because yes, this is weird.

"Its— on the other side of the lake," the child-spirit says to Selene, "My name is… it is…" He puts his hands to his head, "I can't remember." It gets chilly as the child gets frustrated trying to remember. Adam says to calm the situation, "Its okay. Just take it slow." He looks back to Air and whispers something, "If I had to guess— these are ghosts…"

Selene nods, "Likely ghosts of the people sacrificed here." She looks back to the boy, "We will try to help you, if we can." And then she looks around the room again, this time counting the entities, and looking at each in turn more carefully. Perhaps there is a wolf among these sheep.

There are easily two or three dozen spirits here. Only a few interact with each other. All others are repeating some action over and over— writhing on the floor, screaming over and over again, crying against a wall or broken down. There are only a few that look 'at peace'. The child is one of them. He nods his head to Selene as the cold winds calm. "Ok," as he turns back to center of the room. He points down, "We came in here. But we can't go out." Looking around at the other spirits he notes, "Most of these dummies dont even try."

Adam walks towards the center— but does not pass into the blood channels. The channels are not deep, just two-three inch grooves in the ground. He kneels down and begins to investigate some of the markings and the blood there to make sense of it all.

Selene now turns her attention to the channels and runes on the floor, attempting to discern their purpose. She looks first at their physical appearance, and again at the lines in the astral.

Air slowly turns back… "Ghosts, right. Of course, why didn't I think of that?" Sighing he steps further into the room, moving across towards the altar to inspect that, lacking ghosts to make any small talk with himself.

Adam offers what he discovers, "The design of these canals… it is circle within circle. Like perpetual energy— it would flow from the outside in. And it converges inwards." He looks over towards Selene and notes, "That is likely where thier life energy was siphoned— to fuel— something. It could be many things, though." He pauses the theorize, "Such as the mechanism to open the other door."

Air bends down to peer at the altar, side stepping to get a good look around it and then turns back when Adam speaks. "This altar isn't solid. Or at least it doesn't look it. It might have a mechanism to open it or something, or just pry the top off by brute force."

Selene calls over to Adam, "To me, it looks like the whole symbol converges in the center."she nods to Adam as he says a portion of what she was thinking, and then calls out to the air, "Gloria? Information. How does this emblem in the floor, and these channels work?"

Gloria walks on over and looks around, "You both have the right idea." She motions to the outter circles, "It looks like the life energy from a sacrifice or sacrifices fills the canals. When they get to the center it becomes a focal point for blood magic." He looks at the poor directly and cruely says, "It has some side affects to the original owner of the energy."

Adam stands and heads over towards Air to take a look, "Thats strange."

Nine, ever being the humanitarian, goes off to the kid to talk candidly to him and assure him that things will be okay.

Selene walks around the circles in the floor, giving the entire magical device a wide berth, and goes over to the altar to check out Air's find.

Sure enough— when Air points out the lines in the altar— it is clear the top is more of a slab of some sort that is placed on top of it. It does look rather heavy, no matter how you slice it.

Air nods after pointing out the thin line, "It would require some brute force and a crowbar, me or Reed might be able to to manage it with the right tools, even more chance working together. But I'm not sure we have a pair of crowbars."

Adam looks at the altar— going over the line there with his hand. He takes out his survival knife and runs it along the groove— wiggling it in and saying, "Can't tell. My knife isn't strong enough." He pulls it out. Slipping in astral— the device doesnt seem all that special, though.

Reed stares at the Canals. "Fascinating," he murmurs, running his tongue across his lips. He looks over at the altar. "Grotesque. I wonder… the obvious answer is one of us needs to bleed."

Selene sighs, "I was hoping no one would come to that conclusion. Gloria - what does this room have to do with opening the other door?" she demands of her 'ally'.

Looking back to Reed, Adam says, "Yes— that would likely be a solution. Just at the center instead of at the altar"

Gloria looks to Selene and motions around the place, "Oh— this is the place where energy is funneled to the other room. As such— when energy exists, the way to the other room opens. Otherwise, there is no need to go to that room, so it remains shut. Clever, huh?"

Air shrugs, "I'd rather try to open this altar than start cutting down on people just yet. We haven't explored all options."

Selene nods to Gloria, "Very. Just how much blood has to be shed to open the door?"

Reed grunts. "Ain't got no problem bleeding," he says. "Practically a job requirement. Any harm in me being fixed right back up afterwards?"

Selene shakes her head, "healing you would be very difficult for me down here. Very, very difficult after opening this door."

Air sighs and throws his hands wide, "You wanna bleed, fine by me. You must suffer from the same kind of mental deficiencies as your boss in that case."

Selene demands, "Gloria. Answer. HOw much blood?"

"Not much," Gloria explains to Selene, "probably one or two drops. It would open the door long enough for you guys to get over there if you hurried. Think of it like a motion sensor. Sense blood. Door opens. No more sense blood. No more open."

Selene glances around to her friends, "Well, I am personally not a fan of Reed bleeding. But I would be willing to spare a drop or two.. if we can figure out how to get it to the center of the circle without standing there."

Adam studies the altar to no avail while they decide on bleeding. He looks to Air and notes, "Outside of the 'line', I didnt find anything of use. Breaking it open is about equally risky as the blood donation. Too bad these things dont come with instructions."

Nine seems to be off in a corner and talking jibberish to something that is not there on the physical plane, but it is there on the astral one. Though, when she hears what Air says, she looks over to him and smiles when he talks about not wanting to cut down people, but wanting to figure this out, and then she goes back to speaking with the ghosties, "Do you know how to get the east entrance open, sir?"

"Yeah," the boy says to Nine, "The door opens when one of us comes here." He motions to the other ghosts in astral.

Reed grunts. "After a while," he tells air, "I Don't care too much about a little blood." He draws something small out of his jacket, flicks his wrist… lo and behold, there's a nasty-looking switchblade there. He moves to the center of the room. "Ready?"

Adam stands up and nods his head once— tensing up to get ready for whatever might happen. Hopefully that will be: door opens, mad dash towards it.

Selene winces, "uh.. don't *stand* there. Just DON'T." she sounds rather serious about that. Not becuse she knows something bad will happen, but because she doesn't.

Nine nods just a little and looks to be quite bothered by that, but she masks the stuff from her aura for the sake of el ghosties. They need no more bad vibes. They already got a lot, enough to die for. "Thank you for all of your help. And, I hope we can help you get free of this place." she whispers, and then she moves slightly to the side, "I might have to go, but I'll be back unless you find a way out already, ok?" She gets ready to do the mad dash!

Air sighs, "It's heavy but if Stupid McMeathead over there woudl put his knife away and stop trying to act macho maybe we could move it. Better than adding to the blood sacrifice already present in the room."

Reed grunts. "Listen, Swedey mcSwedeson. At least I got the meat to be proud of. Sides…" He lines up the knife with his finger… "Maybe I'll become a god." He cuts and drops the blood where the evil spirit of doom and naughtiness told him too!

Air sighs, "You're worse than Cassidy, and he's mentally retarded."

Air says "Mental age of a three year old."

Selene winces, "Goddamnit! Reed! Stop!"
Selene says "And get the fuck away from there."

At the center of this room— where all of the blood flows to in the end, is a central pool. The blood freefalls down to that pool and hits the cold stone. It grows across the center— and like a flash of darkness, spreads across the entirety of the 10 meter diameter in a black, shady portal. There is a crack of energy— and it is too late. Already around Reed's boots, the black, sapy floor is sucking him down. Plus side? The door on the east side is open now.

Reed looks down at the ground, being sucked down… he doesn't panic yet, though, but points. "Someone get in the goddamned room!"

Selene shouts, "You all get into that fucking room. I will deal with meathead here."

Adam looks at Reed's situation— then Selene— he opens his mouth and nods, "Don't get in too deep yourself," as he begins to run around the circumference of the circle to get to get out of this room and across to the next.

Air curses loudly in a foreign language, "You idiot! If I die in this room over here I am going to haunt you." with that he strides around the ring of tar and out towards the far room with the big bad monster.

Nine glances between everyone, and she starts to power up her foci, the increased reflexes bit, and then she dashes off after Air, to follow her man!

Reed tries not to struggle much, knowing the stories about quick sand too well. "Don't worry, Selene." He says. "I've been in worse scrapes. Remember that time in Palmero, when I was being tortured by Adversary Cultists? Or when my drink was poisoned? What about when I blew up? A little blood magic is nothing!"

Selene's staff slams down on the floor with a crack, and glows bright white. The woman herself disappears, and is replaced by the form of a giant black bat with dark spreading wings, and she shouts at the spirits here. "NO!" Summoning all of the power at her disposal to pull that bastard out of the black pool.

With the way the room is now— things immediately to get very strange very soon. Air makes it out of the room and back into the 'main' room easily. Nine is right behind him. Behind Nine is Adam. They catch glimpses of what is happening in the room— the fires flicker various colors— to blue and to yellow and to purple.

As Selene's spell is cast, the weave of magic itself is manifested and it can be seen as Bat is embodied around Selene— not just a Totemic mask, a very real manifestation. Likewise, the tendrils of magic which wrap around Reed are seen. He is slowly tugged out of the black tar. However, it creates a bridge for the black tar to jump up and latch onto the mana— speeding towards Selene to draw her in as well…

The tendrils creep along like aliens— drawing across and past the boundries of the circle. An immediate 'crack' is heard in the room as the ghosts all manifest into the physical realm. Reed is levitated a few inches above the black tar when the black force reaches Selene. It wraps around her like spray foam— dragging her in. Then, all at once, it grabs her with supernatural force.


Reed's meatbody is flown across the other side of the room like a catapult, right out the door and into the main room. But Selene? She is gone. Disappeared into the tar which has now become the consistancy of a smooth, black lake. He may be tough enough to survive anything, but what about when the tables have turned and its the ones closest to you that are effected?

*plop!* Selene is gone.
Selene sleepily thinks. o O (my, this is interesting.) *yawn* . o O (so tired… if I could just have a wee little nap…)

Reed hits the wall, sliding to the floor with a heavy thump… but he springs back to his feet and there's not even a second thought about it- he's making a quick run back towards where Selene is! She won't get out of marriage that easily.

Welp, sometimes people do stupid things. Generally, Nine is a bit more swift than this, but she had been acting 'off' from time to time more lately. There is a moment when she stumbles while dashing for the main room but at keast she makes it inside and then glances side to side quickly before stumbling to turn and glance back at the other room… and here comes Reed, and thus she ducks off to the side out of reflex, a hand going to her head, and then she moves out of Adam's way, but still tries to follow after Air. Frowning, a lot is going on, Nine is a bit stunned from drain, cannot focus!

Adam catches what happens as he ninja-dodges off to the side. Wow, he wasnt even aware he could do one of those. It must be his lucky day. "Damn," he says as he looks to the eastern room to the west. He stands in the center of the doorway as Reed makes his sprint, "Stop! If you go in you will DIE. INSTANTLY. Its— shit I dont have /time/ to explain it. Just go with them— and Nine," he looks over towards Nine, "you're the only mage topside now. Look over these two." He looks into Reed's eyes and says, "You have to trust me. I'll bring her back. If you go, neither of you are coming back. Understand?"

Reed skids to a stop, peering at Adam. He stares at the man, points at the room. "Die? Instantly? what the -fuck's- going on in there? I ain't that easy to kill!"

An air bubble rises from the black goo: *glug*blurp*

Adam shakes his head and says as he turns away, "Selene is an initiated magician. She can survive in that realm. I can survive in that realm. Briefly. But you will die. Your soul can not withstand it." He turns and says, "If you trust me, dont go in. Otherwise— I'll have to explain to Selene why you commited suicide." He dashes in and swan dives into the black lake. Bwoosh. Adam is gone too.

Reed swears, profusely… but he -does- trust adam. "What fucking realm?" He mutters, turning and heading after the others. "I fuckign survived the horned lord's realm. The seductress's realm. Fucking plane of fire, once upon a time. Fuck." And over towards the East Room!

Air is steam rolling along too, this door is apparently not open for very long so now is the time. "Nine, go that way." He yells as he passes the entrance in, pointing up, ordering her out of the underground basement. Pulling his Cerberus he checks the readouts through his smartlink, mentally switches to the spiritbuster ammo and prepares to get thrashed by a spirit.

Nine pauses as she hears her name being called by Adam, and it is like she just woke from a haze as she stops and turns to look back at the man. Nothing makes clear sense, but she gets the basics of what Adam means, "Aye!" But then, Adam is gone… She beckons to Reed, "Come on! This way!" is said, but there is a distinct whimper to her soft voice, not so clearly enunciated, now. But then, Air gives her an order and she looks back to him, confusion, but she nods… Having to choose what to do, to whom to listen. She is the only mage now. But gravely stunned. She decides: Breaking off for the up entrance way, she also shouts, "DONNA, MAKHA." rather loudly… ellies!

Reed swears, profusely… but he -does- trust adam. "What fucking realm?" He mutters, turning and heading after the others. "I fuckign survived the horned lord's realm. The seductress's realm. Fucking plane of fire, once upon a time. Fuck." He turns to stare at Nine, shakes his head… and over towards the East Room!

He HOPES there's a spirit he can punch.

There will be plenty to punch. After Adam disappears into the portal— things start coming OUT of it. Beings that look like humans— but are shadow-like and shambly like zombies. They start coming out swarms— pulling themselves out of the edges of the circle. Yeah, it doesnt look good.

In the eastern room itself is a single creature hanging from the center of the room. It is the size of a large human— maybe seven feet tall— and bound by chains. The chains come from all across the rooom and rip into it's flesh with hooks. Part of it's right leg has been ripped off and his flesh is cut and torn— bones sticking out in several places and 'shards' of bone stuck back in him. A single eye remains— as it looks down at them. "Nnggg. You… must not stay…" it says— not in a menacing fashion— but in a raspy, pained advice.

Air doesn't have time to hang around or wait, no he brgins the reticle of his Cerberus up over that remaining eye and puts a spiritbuster through it. Next he's talking, calling his own elementals forward, "Jordi, Fetch materialise here."

Nine scrambles over to the ladder and starts to go up it as fast as she possibly can while speaking a bit more softly now, but drawling some, "Dakota and Stunnaz." The last two elementals come to her just as the first two that were called begin to get ready to assail that which might approach with intent to harm Nine or her allies. If the creatures are dual natured, Donna and Makha take the opportunity to go after them while still in astral form, but if they are something else, then as materialized beings to fight. Donna is like a Nine-sized crystaline lady on either plane, and Makha is of the earth but a dark rich soil with scissor like talons, rather than just a chunky rock form.

<<Auto-Judge[TRUE]>> Nine (#10584) uses 1 of item 2: Dakota (F6 Air Elemental) Services from Magic Items (#4270).
<<Auto-Judge[TRUE]>> Nine (#10584) uses 1 of item 3: Makha (F6 Earth Elemental) Services from Magic Items (#4270).
<<Auto-Judge[TRUE]>> Nine (#10584) uses 1 of item 4: Donna (F6 Water Elemental) Services from Magic Items (#4270).
<<Auto-Judge[TRUE]>> Nine (#10584) uses 1 of item 5: Stunning (F2 Fire Elemental) Services from Magic Items (#4270).

Reed stares at it. Well… fuck.

His shotgun comes down off his back again. "So… we going to do this the hard way…" He sweeps his aim around, staring at the shambling… things… and then back at the THING. "Or the hard way?"

The 'Master' creature looks down to Reed as he states, "Nnnng. You must… destroy this… body. Your friends… they are below…" Then there is the effect of a bullet going into it's eye. It splatters out a majority of it's head as it lays there, limp.

But hey, the shadow monsters are far less talkative. They shamble forward a lot faster— swiping at one of the elementals as they manifest. It rakes Makha's body, to which the elemental smashes it into bits. No worries, more are pouring out of the portal still.

Commlink-Little Sister> Nine calls over the subvocal mic, but her voice is drawn, "Shoot it in the heart, and cut him down!" as she scrambles up the ladder to at least a height from which she can start hooking an arm through rungs and using the other to pull a pistol from within the greatcoat, ready to unload on these things.

Reed levels his shotgun. "Oh yeah?" He asks it. "No problem." And then the shotgun's roaring like thunder, pouring armor-piercing death into the twisted abomination. His aim is accurate enough… the man knows no subtlety.

Air gives his materialising elementals loose orders, "Defend Reed and I." Hopefully simple enough to interpret and follow. Turning away from the hanging thing which has now had it's brains blown out Air switches to less expensive regular ammo in the Cerberus and preparing to repel the shambling denizens of the tar pit.
You must be on Plot Room 5 to do that.

With the double blast of rounds into the chained creature— they rip through him. It causes the creature to bleed profusely— but it continues to seep out of him— so the heart is still pumping. Many of the hooks that held him up were blasted off— leaving him swinging now by fewer chains.

The small army of spirits meets the small army of shades as the middle room becomes an epic battleground. Several make it past and flow into the eastern room where Air picks them off. Even then, several get past Air's shot and mob onto Reed, who deftly lays the smack down. When hit hard enough, they just disappate into air. Yet the stray rakes of thier claws prove that they are no illusions. There is just so many of them.

Reed keeps up the shotgun fire. "Son of a -bitch," he mutters, just trying to fight his way clear enough to get another shotgun blast off. He wheels under a shape, striking out with knee and foot, his steps adequate if not perfect. "COME ON!" He shouts. "WHY WON'T YOU DIE?"

That last blast knocks off the remaining hooks— leaving the body on the floor. Blood continues to spill out though. Heart is a pumpin.

Nine starts to try to shoot at the horde with her morrssey alta pistol, keeping firm grip on the ladder rung with her right hand, while her left one is wielding the gun. » "IN THE HEART SIR" « is blasted over the comm waves, topped by a soft growl, cause Nine has a headache from Hell! Some of her shots hit some of the horde, some that are nearest her. Her elementals do a better job of slicing and dicing and smashing and strangling, though.

Air calmly sights on the zombie hordes, as they slip past the elementals the Cerberus whispers bullets. The silencer keeps the sound reduced to that of the metal workings of the gun. Bullets striking and dissipating zombies harmlessly. The counter on Air's eye display counts down from ten with each trigger pull, another zombie dissipates, the horde presses ever on. "Shoot the heart and cut it down!" He yells to Reed, still focused on horde.

The tides are turning, and not in the 'runners favor. One— two of the summoned spirits go down. They are literally swarmed with these creatured and covered from head to toe. Its strange to have an elemental engulfed. The spirits in the room with Air hold the line the best they can but it looks like even if they have HMG right now, it wouldnt be enough to take them all down.

<<Auto-Judge[TRUE]>> Air (#8050) uses 1 of item 3: Spirit Buster Ammunition (Heavy Pistol) from Ammo Crate (#4547).
<<Auto-Judge[TRUE]>> Air (#8050) uses 1 of item 1: Services from F4 Earth Elemental (JORDI) from Elemental Services (#2876).
<<Auto-Judge[TRUE]>> Air (#8050) uses 1 of item 2: Fetch (F4 Air Elemental) Services from Elemental Services (#2876).

Reed kicks another one of the creatures, and there's his opening. He leaps through the air, springing off one of the shoulders, piffing another thing, and he lands atop the monster beasty with heavy feet. "On top of it," he calls to Air, lowers his gun, aiming right at the heart…

And then he pulls the trigger, pouring another triple-blast into it, the shotgun roaring its thunder like a raging cyclone.

Blood splatters everywhere. Splatterhouse! The creature doesnt even twitch— its like shooting into a corpse. The heart— it stops beating. Like ash in the wind, the shadow creatures begin to vanish and are replaced instead with the ghosts that were once in astral earlier. They stand there— confused— looking around in thier ethereal forms.

Air slowly lowers his pistol as the creatures morph and dissapear from his vision. "You got it… you got it… Is it dead?" He asks and turns back to examine the wretched thing.

As Donna, that beautiful crystaline woman, starts to go down, Nine gets a little bent, and she starts to pull the trigger even faster, but then her gun runs out of rounds. Just as two of the horde are about to clutch onto her, the ash effect happens, and the ghosts reappear as mentioned. Nine sighs out deep! » "Good job!" «

The shell of a corpse just lays there like so much dead meat.


For Selene and Adam, the situation is quite different.

The world may be fading for Selene… a deep… gentle slumber.

And that ends like someone throwing cold water on you. Adam jolts energy into her body like a pair of defibulators right into her chest. He says, "Selene! You with me?" then he looks down— hoping Reed took his advice.

The world they are in now is a black-and-white version of the physical realm. Everything is much more orderly here. The room is neat, but the torches still burn bright. The way to the central and eastern room is open— but those rooms look different as well.

Selene wakes with a start, "What the? Goddamn that big dumb fucking boxer!" she shrieks first thing, and then slows down a moment to actually look around. Then looks at Adam. "Uh. Quick run down: what the fuck happened, where am I, and how the hell do I get back to my body?"

Adam looks around and theorizes, "We are in the plane of the Dead or a part of it. So in a bit— we too will be Dead. Judging from Reed not jumping in here," he says as he looks to Selene, "which he wanted to, they are heading towards the source." He motions towards the eastern room on thier realm. "One way in. One way out. We go out through the source. I only hope they can deal with it— as if they don't…" He shakes his head and says, "Lets head to the source. Its our ticket out."

Selene nods, "sometimes the only way around it, is through it. Guess we go." And she follows him out to the eastern room.

"I have got to stop doing this crap," Adam muses to lighten the mood. The central room looks like more of an alchemists shop than the toxic dump of the physical realm. "The whole 'white knight' thing isn't very rational. Still— if this is the realm of the dead, its slowly sapping our life force away. I theorize that yours fueled the runes— as it returned to a 'natural' state when you went in…" Rambling— it helps him stay calm. Even worse when he rambles in Enochian.

Selene nods to him as they walk though the room, "So, its a good thing to clean up an area like this. That part I agree with. But really, why are we here? What's in it for us besides one more ticket to heaven rather than hell?"

Selene she looks around, "Much nicer in the realm of the dead, really… the place that is. I prefer to exist in the realm of the living , personally."

"To clean it up," Adam admits— a bit lacking in explaination, "I don't know how to explain it, Selene. This place has been plagued with diseases and virii like ebola. Its been the target of so much toxicity…" He shakes his head, "And not just that, but its a target of toxic magic. It makes it too easy. The people of the Warrens they have no running water, they drink what they can— like from this lake. We practically 'allow' it to happen because SINless 'dont exist'."

THey head into the room as he admits, "I don't know why I care. I just do. Always have. Always never makes sense to me— but all you ever try to do is what is right with the information that you have before you, right?"

The eastern room is a throne room. The throne is notably empty though. Adam replies to Selene's commentary, "Yeah. I agree."

Selene shrugs, "well.. I agree with the ideal anyway, and try to help when I can. Sometimes." She looks arond the room cautiously, trying to find it's usual occupant.

Adam looks as well— but it looks like no one is home. He starts to search the throne, "Yeah, and I understand if you feel this is 'going too far'. I wasn't certain what to expect either— and had I went alone, then I'm certain at this point I wouldnt have made it. That circle woulda swallowed me up and I would have been dead." Nothing there. He leans against it, "But all the same, thanks for helping. Sure, we may die, but its nice to die amongst friends, right?"

Selene chuckles, "Well, personally. I would rather live. Because, if I die.. that bitch spirit goes free, and I suspect she had something to do with this mess. I could have got blood into the center of the circle with out standing there… I'm sure."

Adam nods and grins, "I'd rather live too. I never finished my power focus— oh and these really nice rings I was working on." He does love his craft, even if that was possibly not the most masculine statement. "Yeah I wonder about that. Gloria. Think she had a hand in this?"

Selene shakes her head, "I have no idea. Not really. But I certainly wouldn't put it past her."
Selene says "And Oh. My. God. Reed! I am going to report him to his boss for lame stupidity. Jeezus fucking christ, what part of DON'T DO THAT, wasn't in english?""

Adam laughs and notes, "He doesn't listen much. But I did manage to convince him NOT to jump in after you. That would have been bad."

Selene rolls her eyes at that, "I could see him doing it. Sometimes stubborness doesn't work in his favor." She looks up at the ceiling and around at the walls of the room, "So… nice and quiet as it is here… we need to get out."

Adam looks up as the room suddenly shakes with a flash of energy. A somewhat ethereal form sits on the throne now. It moves it's mouth but nothing can be heard.

Selene lifts an eyebrow and looks sideways at Adam, "hmm…. think we can damage it yet?"

Adam pops out his handblade and says, "One way to find out, right?" He stabs at the form's hand first— and nothing happens at all. The form itself shakes his head and makes some gestures like 'No.' or 'Dont do that.' Then it rubs it's chin and points upwards.

Selene stands back, not having any good physical weapons at hand, "that was a very odd reaction… think he even felt it?"
Selene she looks up where the spirit, or whateer it is points.

Adam looks up as well. The ceiling looks normal. Huh. Then out of curiosity, Adam looks down and says, "Whoa, wrong direction," as he motions Selene to look down. It is as if they are standing on a mirror and there is another world on the other side. The physical world can be seen now. There is a large humaniod being hung from all directions on chains— recently with it's head shot off. Air and Reed are there— blasting at it as dozens of shadow creatures swarm them. Six elementals are fighting the war with the shades.

Selene lifts an eyebrow, "hmm.. Well, seems solid enough… but" she takes a longer look at the scene, "So, you think our friend here on the throne - is the thing down there in chains? Is the real enemy the shades… or the thing… or both?"

"In theory," Adam says as he looks down, "I think the thing in the chains is the thing here," he says as he points to the man on the throne. He shakes his head, "But Im not so sure he is the enemy. Most trickster and even shadow spirits don't do that to themselves. What would they gain from being imprisoned?"

Selene nods, "exactly. They torture others, not themselves. How do we free him? Or is that what Air and Nine are doing?" yes, she knows Reed is there, but she's not talking about him right now.

The events below them unfold as Reed blasts the chained creature. Several hooks that were once in his flesh are blown off and now he swings. It causes the creature on the throne to come more into view and his voice a faint whisper. Adam says, "I don't think we can yet," as he looks towards the man on the throne, "not until they take care of things up there. Or down there."

Selene steps back, and just watches the creature on the throne, wondering what it must be feeling. Sometimes, she looks through the floor to see how the battle goes, "I wish we could help them somehow.."

Adam watches and agrees, "Yeah— when you can /do/ something it feels better than not being able to do nothing but watch." He looks around to confirm there isnt anything they can do here.

Selene speculates, "Maybe he was the original owner of the house here… before it was corrupted?"

Nodding slowly, Adam says, "I think you may be right. "

Selene glances back through the door to the other room, "And the alchemists shop in there…" she thinks, and then turns to Adam, "You guys routed the blood mages, or whoever the current occupants were…. before we came back here?"

Adam nods his head, "Yes. The cultists were killed— most of them at least. And the head of it all was a shadow spirit that Annie destroyed. Or distrupted."
Selene hrm. "Well, maybe the shadow spirit won't come back, but I doubt it was completely destroyed. You think this guy maybe summoned something he couldn't handle?"

And the story below unfolds as the chained body hits the floor from another shotgun blast. Now the spirit can be heard, "The guardian," explains the spirit, "I was the guardian of this place."

Selene asks him, or rather tells him, "I am desperately curious to hear your story… but we must also get out of this realm, very soon…"
Adam nods and stands next to Selene. He wants to know.

The creature motions a hand, "What you see here is not my home. It is the plane of the one who you defeated. He challenged me. I lost. This is my punishment." He looks up— which is where Adam and Selene would look down, "I was a guardian. Of this lake. It was my task to protect it— as it has been under seige for quite some time." His eyes level once more, "I failed in my task. Most of my essense is trapped in that shell you see— and twisted for perverse reasons. When I am free, I shall return you home." He motions to the two of them, "If you have enough time."

The whole 'time' bit would be a surprise if not for the fact both Adam and Selene are starting to feel tired again.

Selene yawns, "Is there anything we can do here… to help? Some way to free you from your prison?"

Adam yawns as well, because it is contagious.

In the scene below them— Reed jumps onto the creature and blasts it in the chest a couple times. Now the spirit is fully in the spiritual realm. "Come," he stays as he stands from his throne. A motion of the hand and a large oval portal appears. He walks towards it to leave this forsaken place.

Selene follows.

Adam also follows!

Back in the physical realm…

Reed says "Hit it with everything I got," he says, ejecting the empty clip and slamming a new one in. "But my fucking boots are a mess."

There is a crack of energy as the far wall of this room splits into a portal of energy. Stepping through is a new creature— tall, with flowing robes and a walking staff. Behind him is Selene— and then Adam. Looking around the tall spirit looks to the ghosts, "Poor creatures." He motions to the portal, "Venture home." The ghosts seem drawn to the portal— heading towards it and through anything that gets in thier way like, well, ghosts.

Nine stays clung tightly to the ladder, her gun still out and in her left hand, and her elementals looking battered as they gather just below. Looking toward the portal opening and the new arrivals, she smiles faintly, but she says nothing, just tries to focus through the haze of her mana drain to watch the current scene before them all.

Selene steps out of the portal, and steps aside to let the ghosts past. She bows to the guardian, "Thank you." and then looks over the rest of the room, her eyes finally falling on Reed.

Air raises his pistol in the direction of the new tall figure, expecting this to be the real magical challenge, then he doesn't act offensively. Slowly the pistol goes down again, "What, the, fuck. I need some fresh air." And with that the lanky Swede is heading topside via the ladder, herding Nine ahead of him if she doesn't otherwise get out of the way.

Reed is covered in blood… not his, never his… and he hops off the wreckage. "Well," he says, grinning. "My plan worked. Cutting my finger was the right move after all!"

Adam nods his head over towards the guardian and notes, "Thank you." He turns towards the creature— as everyone appears to pair off, "What should we call you…" and the two begin to chat.

Selene hears those words come out of Reed's mouth. Her jaw drops, and she raises herself to full height. In very tight, controlled words she says, "I will report this to your boss." Then she turns her back, and tries to listen in on the conversation Adam is having with the gaurdian spirit.

Nine looks quite stunned, and she is somewhat in a 'huh?' state, now, but instead of feeling like moving much, she just gets behind the ladder, so she can see through it toward Air and allow him to climb, hoping he does not step on her hand or something, though, on his way up. She scans over his aura, well, what she can see of it with the BG and the drain… which is probably not very much. "Are you ok?" she whispers softly to him, worried.

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