(2014-08-28) When the Shade Falls at Noon
When the Shade Falls at Noon
Summary: Power Woman encounters a new heroine, the Angelus, who appears to perhaps not be so new. And they encounter the Shade, who has dropped the curtain of night over the Metropolitan Museum of Art at mid-day in Manhattan
Date: 2014-08-28
Related: NA
NPCs: Shade
Scene Runner: Power Woman
Social/Plot: Plot

A normal afternoon of museum activity is interrupted at the Met, when the entire building is suddenly swallowed up in utter, pitch darkness. No one can see anything. The building itself actually disappears from sight behind a curtain of darkness. Guards and patrons stream outward haphazardly, with jibbering tales of confusion, loss and incredible danger. Police efforts have thus far proven ineffective. Even massive spotlights cannot seem to penetrate the darkness by much, and each time they have been brought together to concentrate their assault, they have been destroyed by creatures of darkness erupting from within the curtain, flying out to destroy the spotlights.

Beyond that, no one knows what is happening. Is it a hostage situation? A terrorist attack? A daring mid-day robbery? No one knows. But it's pretty impressive, whatever it is.

You know what else is impressive? The armored figure that radiates light, a shining beacon of golden hue, head to toe to finger-tipped armor. Wings that shine and shimmer of the purest white. The female form is accompanied as she descends, flanked on either side by a total of six armored sword-wielding warriors. She stops, hovers above the crowd, and raises her hands to the sky, as balls of light form in her hands, and then as she brings them down, and beams of light hurtle towards the enveloped museum.

The six warriors surround the armored woman, looking out ready to protect the armored figure from oncomming atackers.

The beams of light strike the curtain of darkness, and it contracts, pushed back where they make impact, cratering inward enough to reveal the outermost edge of the building in places. Then, out of the darkness erupt another batch of fury-like winged shadow creatures, which descend this time not upon police officers and spotlights, but upon the warriors of light and their winged mistress, creating scythes and blades out of their very essences as they divebomb to make their attack.

As all of this is transpiring, a visitor to the city is making her way towards a planned meeting when she spots all of this going on down below her. No one has yet called in the League about this,and she's not going to argue that. But this is clearly unnatural, and she's here. She should at least look in. So Kara Zor-L floats down out of the afternoon sky, even as she is calling ahead. "JARVIS? Message for Caitlin, please. Can you tell her that I may be a bit late. There's something untoward going on at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and I'm going to take a look and see what I can do to help."

Then Power Woman lands, approaching the police officer in charge, even as she watches the woman of light and her small army do battle, curiously.

The warrior's swords are replaced with halberds, and then they attack, meeting the oncomming scythe wielding flying creatures with their own larger, reach styled melee weapons.

As for her, the beams of light, are slowly brought down towards the entrance of the museum and then she's slowly floating down, expanding the beams into cones, explanding them over the surface of the building as she gets closer, but not too close. She's glowing at this point, literally as if light is radiating from her.

Where the warriors of light have a bit of reach and the advantage of some degree of strength, they are against superior numbers, with advantages in position and movement, so the engagement is brutal and not at all one-sided, vicious slashes of blades both light and dark bisecting bodies of the opposite sort. It's quite a sight to see, to be sure.

The burning, searing columns of light slice away at the darkness, forcing it to contract further. But more darkness seems to pour and billow forth around those columns, gradually backfilling that which has been lost. It would be a continuous 'uphill' battle to burn it all away. Nevertheless, if the winged woman of light keeps up her radiant attack, she can likely sear a way through to the entrance, enough to penetrate into the Museum.

Having spoken with the officers, Power Woman moves forward, not yet taking flight as she examines the battle ongoing. Deciding that she likes the light-folks' style, she helps out, blazing heat vision raking across a few of those shadows, slicing them apart into ribbons, freeing up a couple of the light warriors to lend aid to their compatriots and start evening the odds, which would clearly tip them in favor of light. Then she starts advancing behind the winged woman, ready to help and encourage her, since she seems to be in charge.

"Sorry to interrupt. But is there something in particular I can do to help you, here? I may not be made of light … but you might say I am a loving worshipper of Earth's golden sun."

There are voices, and then there voices that are powerful. This would be the later. The armored figure turns her head to see Power Girl of all people, "I do not know, I've never encountered anything like this before, it does not feel of The Darkness." The voice strong, feminine as well. She hilds her hands out to widen the surface area of those cones against the building, "Were it him, he would have shown himself by now, and not send minions after my warriors."

And those warriors are a rather fearsome bunch. Slashing, thrusting. They fight with a ferocity almost like that of a berserker, a full on attack, one who suffered an injury wielding his weapon with a single arm and fighting on even as help comes to his aid.

"Well … alright then. If you don't mind some advice, I'm going to suggest that we stop fighting the outside, and head inside to see what is going on." Kara offers to the winged woman with the mighty voice. Sheer presence, there, and she respects it. "I could be wrong. But this feels like a distraction, trying to keep us occupied."

The warriors of light will end up with more than a few injuries, of course, and they will be harried quite thoroughly. Nevertheless, they will emerge victoriaus … only to have to face another wave of the shadow harpies. This fight is not over by a long shot.

Power Woman waits a few moments, to see what the winged woman thinks of her idea … but before long, she rushes forward in a blur, diving into the darkness fearlessly as she makes for the entrance to the building and heads inside, Kryptonian vision striving to combat the darkness in a hundred ways to show her the way through the mysteries within.

some missing poses here, sorry

From out of the beams several more, warriors fly up from to join the fray, another 4 with halbreds, and a pair with bows and arrows to start catching the rushing enemies.

"If what covers the buiding, is also within, I will get weaker, and my warriors will fade with them while inside." she says, before flying after Power Girl, into the building.

"Well … I had hoped maybe shedding some light on the /heart/ of the matter might make a difference. If you think the risk would be too great, stay out here. I don't know your powers, I can't really say. But I'm going to try to go in there and do something about this." That said, as previously mentioned, Power Woman blurs away, diving into the heart of the darkness ahead.

Beyond the entryway of the museum, the interior is completely dark, as one might expect. What Power Woman did not expect was a darkness her Kryptonian vision could not penetrate; she has never encountered anything like that before. It's not something she can even understand, but she doesn't need to; the caped heroine simply stops, cold, right inside the entrance and closes her eyes. If they can tell her nothing, then her other senses will have to do. Thankfully, Kara has been to this museum many times, and her perfect recall tells her where she is, where everything else is in relation to her. She just has to move slow enough to guage that movement within her memory. Not /quite/ the speedy heroic rescue she was hoping for, but it will have to do.

The Angelus host will find the darkness chilling, but it is not /quite/ The Darkness, as those ancient memories within her can recall. This is something else, at once related and yet wholly different. There is definitely a mystic aspect to it, including animated minions of darkness and shadow. Her light pierces the darkness, driving back the minions she can see at the edges of her radiance. She should be able to reach Power Woman easily enough, if she keeps moving.

Most striking, beyond the obvious, would be the revelation that countless priceless works - paintings, sculptures and the like - are missing from their displays.

Inside, well just inside, there's still enough light that she's not succumbing to the effects of it's absence. There's subtle shifts in the armor, and in her right hand, an ornately crafted saber forms from the light. Gleeming in steel along the blade and a golden cover styled hilt and pommel, a pair of warriors armed with pole-arms form to flank her, both dropping to a defensive stance. "I and my warriors will stand against the forces of The Darkness, and this, while not him, is similar." she says to the other heroine. Looking along the edge of where her own radiance cuts a hole in the all encovering ansence of light, "There will be more constructs to impede us from finding the source…"

"'The Darkness' … and it's male?" Kara inquires, clearly confused. When she feels the warmth of light on her skin, she turns and opens her eyes, taking in the Angelus host now that she is here, radiating as she is. "I've never encountered a darkness before my Kryptonian eyes couldn't penetrate. Something about this is … well. More wrong than usual." Nevertheless, Power Woman confronts it fearlessly. "I can hear a lot of little movements, harsh breathing and rapid, frightened heartbeats. The patrons are still inside, most of them. They can't see, they're just huddling in fear. But I can hear other movement. Purposeful, bigger movements, heavy objects. And no breathing. I'm guessing that's the constructs? I can lead the way … if that would help."

"The Darkness has always been of a masculine nature, while The Angelus has always been of a feminine nature. Since before I become the host, and all others before me." she says, "We have always existed, battling, throughout time." She frowns behind the mask, "Lead me, and we shall find out who is behind this, and end the fear, we have to be quick, it's rare I am ever cut off from some form of light…"

"Well … my options for providing light are a tad limited. But, I do have a few options." Power Woman offers. "Be right back." She disappears in a blur, reappearing moments later with a big stick - actually one of the police barrier bars, snapped off - wrapped in cloth. She sets it on fire with her heat vision, and hands it to the Angelus host. "Hope this can help, a little bit." She could have gone with a flashlight … but no one had those out, and she didn't want to rip open a police car. That would be rude!

That arranged, however well or poorly it may work, Kara then closes her eyes again, getting herself adjusted, adapted. Hands out - just in case - she leads the way, following the sounds she can hear.

Up on the upper floor galleries, they will encounter small groups - three to four - of the shade minions, not unlike those encountered outside, but currently unarmed. Each carries a piece of artwork, or sometimes two, and they are making their way towards the lower levels, which would be where the loading docks can be found. Battling them is easy; doing so without damaging that artwork, a mite more challenging.

The Angelus tilts her head curiously. Then, takes the tourch, which…burns hotter, brighter, larger as she holds it in her left hand. Moving to stand flanking the woman. The warriors and she work to do their best to not damagae the artworks and priceless pieces that are being taken. What si dropped is also taken and move out of the way. If she could see, and watch the woman fight, there's a gracefullness to it. "All of this for a robbery? That's…no this is not The Darkness, he would not do this."

"Sorry. I really don't know what you mean by 'The Darkness.' Can I ask, though? What should I be calling /you/?" It's a worthwhile question. Power Woman is an internationally known figure; one pretty much has to have been living in a cave for five years not to know who she is. But the Angelus is a stranger go her, and she's someone who actually pays attention to even the small fry of the metahuman world.

The fights with the minions are brief and fitful. Power Woman's speed proves invaluable at saving pieces that are dropped and might otherwise be harmed. She opens her eyes for combat, then closes them and adjusts again each time they move to follow the sounds and find another result. All of that ends, however, when they reach a gallery on the fifth floor.

One of the larger galleries they have found - in fact, one of the four largest in the entire building - this one is dominated with truly ancient artwork, a special display juxtaposing ancient works beside modern efforts. And it is here, then, that the two heroines and their entourage of light-shape warriors find a figure of darkness that is not simply made of shadowstuff. Instead, a tall, thin, elegant man in a tophat, coat and tails turns, a gleaming ebon cane in hand, to regard the two women. "Well, well. I could feel the two of you moving through. Power Woman? I thought you bothered Metropolis. Damn. And you brought help." He eyes the Angelus, grimacing. "/You/, lady, are /annoying/. And painful." And he's wearing little round shades to cover his eyes, and still he clearly doesn't like looking at her.

"I am the host to The Angelus, it is how many would address me, I am a human inside this armor. I can explain more, later." she offers. Showing some skill wielding the saber, slashes and stabs amidst the skirmishes.

Upon moving into the gallery. She tilts her head curiosly, and the torch begins to burn a hotter from reds and yellows to a bright blue and white. "You don't belong here. Your minions have persihed at the hands of us and my warriors. You can stop and come peacefully, allow yourself to be taken into custody, and save youself much pain, much trouble."

"Well, what fun would that be? Just surrendering? Seriously? Does anybody do that?" the thin man of darkness comments wryly, as he gestures with the cane, billowing shadow forming from the tip, shaping itself into several dozen more minions. "Besides, if I do that, I don't get my payday. After all the trouble I've gone through, I do not intend to miss out on that." He grins, a cocky expression, and offers with a graceful bow, "The name's Shade. Please, allow me to keep you entertained. I wouldn't want you lovely ladies to be bored."

That said, the minions attack en masse, a wave of dark shadow warriors, creating weapons out of themselves as they try to swarm the heroines and their glowing entourage. They fight more competently and intelligently than the others have, even making attempts to attack and even hack up the torch, recognizing that it represents something of import for the Angelus. They also prove harder to fight, as they absorb attacks into themselves - when not composed of Angelus-hardened-light - and then yank and twist, throwing the subject around. Power Woman has to stop herself more than once before she is thrown into some priceless artifact. It's making this fight much, much harder.

From the torch another pair of warrior's join in on the fray. With Danielle stepping to slash and hack, still with a gracefullness to her moves, and it's a full attack from all 4 warriors, and Danielle. There's clangs as weapons hit armor, Dani's own showing cracks, and there's a touch of favoring her off side from defending the torch. "Shade, you use the dark, but not as well as it's master." she says while the fight rages. A parry, a thrust, a slash, she's working towards Shade. Frowning, she pauses and tosses her saber to Power Woman, "Catch and use this Pwer Woman!" Pausing her charge.

Super at everything Kara may seem, and she may well be in many respects, but when tossed the saber, Power Woman merely catches it and then holds it somewhat limply. "I … don't really know how." she has to admit. Her own attempts to battle these improved warriors of darkness aren't going very well. but she attempts to make admittedly pathetic use of the sword. It's embarrassing, really. She doesn't manage to cut herself, but that almost has to be because of Kryptonian reflexes, not any actual skill or talent.

"I don't know you, shiny lady. But I can assure you, no one uses the dark like I do." Shade snarks off to the Angelus host, apparently unimpressed. He does not engage, but his minions do plenty of fighting, pressing hard with superior numbers and improved skill against the warriors of light and the two heroines. As soon as the Angelus tosses away her sword, they push all the more ferociously towards her, scythes and swords aiming for that arm and the torch with clear intent.

"The handguard, use the handguard!" she calls over, before turning her attention to Shade and his minions, rising into air, as she's unprotected by a weapon. The warriors turn their backs to each other and close their ranks, making as small a window to be attacked as possible.

"I am the host of light, of freedom, and good in this world, and no darkness will stop me." she calls out, holding her hand towards Shade, she draws light from the torch, condensing in into her hand, and sends a series of rapid succession of blast towards Shade, and to his cane.

Loathe to snap the blade off, Power Woman still doesn't do very well, but she does her best to adapt to the Angelus' suggestion, punching with the handguard rather than trying to slash or stab with the blade. It's awkward, but much more effective than her bare Kryptonian fists. In this case it seems speed counts far more than sheer force.

Drawing so heavily upon the limited resource of the torch, it is not yet guttering, but quickly burning itself up. Nevertheless, the Angelus' host is able to fire her bolts of light at the Shade. Predictably, he swirls out more darkness from his cane, but those bolts should penetrate a barrier like that quite easily.

This, then, is where the Angelus' discovers a primary difference between the Shade's darkness and the force she is so used to battling, as his darkness … is of another world. And the beams of light never reach the other side of his barrier to strike him, instead striking whatever lies within the Darklands. Not, perhaps, the best solution in the long term. But it does mean Shade is still up, still mastering this battle.

Back to back, the warriors of light can support one another in ways they could not, before. This enables them to better hold their own against the swarming pressure of the darkness warriors, the attrition starting to even out.

A scowl beneath the mask of her armor, she begins to whisper. 'Try and get behind him, close to him. Seperate him from his cane." she says in the whisper, hoping the stories she's heard, she's read about just how powerfull Power Girl was not embellishment by any party. She reaches to grasp the white hot flame of the torch, pulling from it's source to cover glove over her hand, and then drops the extinguished torch. "You are a child, playing with a child's toy, Shade." she says aloudperssing her hands together, the fire soon enveloping both hands as she starts to float towards him, "You can still save yourself, you can still surrender." The fire spreading along her armor, glowing there, giving a testing punch against the barriers he's placed around himself.

"Little angel, I am far more than you can imagine." Shade drawls, largely unimpressed. Which doesn't mean he isn't paying attention, but he is not intimidated by the Angelus' posturing, either.

Angelus' white-hot hammerblows against the barrier instead shower back shards of ice-like hard darkness, stabbing a bit at hands and forearms, flaking away in scattered rain like shrapnel from small but powerful explosions. The woman of light and life can feel the energy of her blows syphoned off into whatever Other lies beyond the event horizon of the darkness shield, which is a lucky thing for Shade. He's not very physically imposing, that's for sure.

The light warriors and their dark opponents continue battling each other with devastating blows struck on both sides, as numbers dwindle. But just as the Angelus is not creating new light warriors, so too Shade is not creating new darkness warriors, so they are as fully engaged as they are going to get.

Hearing the Angelus' suggestion, Power Woman considers the idea; she's not one much for sneaking, as she is largely ill-suited to it. But she can certainly try. She blurs away from her last opponents, allowing them to enjoin instead against the other light warriors, and brings herself around Shade's backside rapidly. There, she can see a large sack at his feet, which the cane-twirling villain is gathering up with one hand. She blurs forward and tries for a punch with the hand guard of the borrowed blade against the cane. The strike hits, unbalancing the cane, sending it twirling out of Shade's grasp. But the villain recovers with a leap, grabbing the tip of the cane, bringing it down against the floor.

Even so, the dark warriors stutter in their assault. The light warriors seize that opening and charge, quickly dispatching those that are left, with two of the light warriors managing to survive, if wounded and weakened, two others lost. The barrier the Angelus' host is assault wavers as well, and starts to unravel.

Then the cane strikes the ground, and all of the darkness evaporates … inward. Swirling around Shade, a cyclone of darkness.

And then … gone. Just an empty museum in mid-afternoon.

She frowns, so much so the faceplate is frowning. The rights herself, the flame along her armored arms and hands fading away. Leaving her standing there. "They always run away." she says more to herself, than to the other heroine. She looks o the warriors, who start to fade away, returning them back to just light. "Thank you for your help, or was it me helping you?" A touch lighthearted, "He will return again though, but I will be ready the next time we meet." The saber too fades from existence, as an armored hand if offered to Power Woman, "I am The Angelus, host to primal force of light."

Power Woman extends her blue-gauntleted hand to meet the one offered her. "I am Kara Zor-L. Power Woman. But you knew that." Kara offers, with a wry smile. "'Angelus', you say. Interesting. The ending implies masculinity, yet your description implies that all of the hosts are female, and opposed to a masculine force of darkness. I don't mean to be rude, but are you … related to 'angels'? Heavenly messengers?"

"The Angelus has been in existence for all time, just as The Darkness. The hostt for The Angelus have always been women, just as Hosts to the Darkness have always been men. As for Angels and the like, yes." her wings flutter a little "Though saying it well, I was raised in the Church before becomming host, it's still something i am getting used too." she says. Her helmet fading, revealing the woman behing the mask.

"Wow. So … you /are/ related to angels?" Clearly Power Woman is a bit astounded, and unsure of herself. She's been informed someone is actually a messenger from the Almighty; she may be a Kryptonian powerhouse, but that doesn't hold a candle to /that/! "I can't quite imagine stepping up to something like that, and I've got quite the legacy to carry myself." She smiles a bit shyly as the other woman's face is revealed, nodding. "So there's someone else out there, as dangerous with darkness as you are with light. And it wasn't this Shade guy. That's disturbing."

"There is, yes." she says softly, "We both maintain the needed balance, though The Darkness does push and vie for more, i'm merely content to hold the balance." she says, "Light and dark, neither can truly prevail ultimately." she says with a small smile, then something under her armor beeps, "Sorry to cut this short, but i've got a class to teach in about 30 minutes and need to get across town and ready…" she offers with a polite bow of her head, "I'll be in the air over Metropolis sometime, Power Woman, and it was a pleasure to meet you."

Metropolitan Museum — Upper East Side
The lobby of the museum is a huge, roughly circular room with a very high ceiling. A staircase curves up one wall, dark-veined white marble stairs lined by a thick, dark red-brown railing of polished wood. The floor is tiled in black and white marble, and an impressive light fixture just shy of a chandelier's elegancy is suspended from the ceiling, casting light all the way down to the bottom floor. On one side of the lobby is the entrance to the gift store - a room lit just a bit too brightly, and stuffed full of shelves and racks containing souvenirs of all types. A short corridor leads past the front desk, and the ever-present duo of receptionist and security guard, into the depths of the museum.

  • Contents:
    • Danielle Baptiste
  • Obvious Exits:
    • [O] - Upper East Side — New York
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