(2014-09-15) One Upon a Midnite
Once Upon a Midnite
Summary: Topaz, Doctor Mid-Nite, and Black Lightning converge on a secret ritual and foil the efforts of the Secret Empire
Date: (2014-09-15)
Related: http://ageofheroesmux.wikidot.com/plot:soul-harvest
NPCs: Members of the Secret Empire
Scene Runner: Black Lightning.
Social/Plot: Plot

An evening in lower Manhattan, it usually gets a little darker at about 6 when most people leave, darker again at 8 or 9 when most of the C-Suite starts to leave as well. Thus, for any Outsiders at the base, it comes as a slight concern when several cameras in a three block radious on the main city infrastructure suddenly start to blink out and go silent. A quick map check shows that the First Shearith Israel Graveyard is at the center of this little video outtage. The city might right it off, but Black Lightning, along with any others willing to come, decide to go investigate this circumstance. Coming in, they'll notice a few street light outs as well, but there seems to be a small gathering at the cemetery, usually fenced and locked at night, eve if tucked between a few buildings (http://www.explorechinatown.com/Images/shearithcemetery2.JPG).

There might be others taking an interest in this as well, there are some tremors running along major ley lines in the mystical fabrics that thread their way around NYC - both those naturally occuring and ancient wards long since standing from decrees of ancient gods and powers alike. As if something is trying to pass beyond, or pass within from that beyond. Any traces there would also lead to the same said First Shearith Graveyard.

An owl hoots.

High above the graveyard, the nocturnal bird glides by — in a flight path that is something of a lazy figure-eight. Down below, hidden against a building not far from the gates to the resting places of the dead, Doctor Mid-Nite watches the images transmitted to his visor from the bird in the sky.

He sends a neural signal to his feathered companion, and the spycam worn around its next zooms in for a better look. Mid-Nite switches from his 'normal' night-vision to various other wavelengths on the light-spectrum: ultraviolet, infrared, electromagnetic…

He turns on his comlink in his cowl and whispers, "Black Lightning. Mid-Nite here. I have telemetry coming in now. It is not much, thus far. The effect appears to be localised — I can have Nite-Lite hack the power grid for more answers, perhaps."

Good thing it is a Monday. That means that the bar is not to busy and Topaz can hand it over to the other bartender when things come up. And this seems to be a thing…a potentially big thing if the ancient wards are being affected. It takes bit to pinpoint the exact location, following the magical energies to where the problem is, isn't an easy task. Not when there are so many ley-lines that run through the city of Manhattan.

There is a spark, like someone trying to light a empty lighter and suddenly where there was no one a lone figure has appeared in the center of the cemetary. The petite indian woman, with a bright shawl wrapped tightly around her is a familiar face, but one seen more behind a bar than in the middle of a graveyard. Topaz turns a circle, sending her magical senses deep within the earth and down the leylines that converge on this spot, searching for the reason why the Wards are screaming at her.

In the back of the cemetery is a large sarcophagus above ground, what surveillance will do for those watching, and those with ability to really see beyond the darkness imposed by lack of lights, is that there are a group of individuals around this sarcophagus. Hooded and cloaked, it absolutely looks movie scripted dark ritual. In this case though, it probably is. The sarcophagus is open and there is a pale orange light that waves to a red or purple even, like wine. Some of the figures move as if making gestures and every so often the color hued/tinted air above the open lid wavers.

Another thing that Doctor Mid-Nite might also notice is as the men move about, they seem to have night-vision goggles on themselves, a mix of mystic and tech it would seem as they go about in the dark doing whatever it is they are about. They remain unaware of the new presence in the cemetery itself as of this moment, focused on the sarcophagus itself.

Black Lightning isn’t sneaky, not when he moves around because of the flash of lightning, even when it’s just his legs that are supercharged to fly. Thus he’s holding back a building while Mid-Nite is scouting into that darkness. He returns into the comsys, “Ya, that would be great, we’ll figure this out here, but if something was done to make all this happen we might be able to track the outage back to the culprit too.” Not knowing some are actually present.

Just then another waver above the coffin, a large mauled fist comes out, its gauntlet some sort of dark and purple in color, but the warding there holds. A hint of laughter can be heard with the new push of that hand up, further or closer to the realm of mortals.

Mid-Nite hisses.

He signals the owl away.

"Transmitting data, then," he tells his comrade, communicating everything he has: visual information on the figures around the sarcophagus, a spectral analysis of the sarcophagus itself, and an electromagnetic scan of any equipment being used — providing none of the data is protected somehow. Glancing upward in Topaz' direction, the Doctor on the ground gives a frown and starts moving forward. "Very well… I'm going in quietly. It would appear we're not the only ones… interested." He sneaks forward several yards, and ducks behind a damaged portion of the fence.

Then he makes his way in the heart of the graveyard.

It's been quite a while since Topaz has been witness to a summoning of this magnitude and that was way back in 1923. She's done a few herself since then, but that was small on purpose and by design. Topaz frowns, an expression that is quite unfamiliar with her face, as she realizes that whoever these spellcasters are they are certainly amateurs. No spell of binding, no wards of protection and they are pulling way to much power than what the spell requires, especially from the other humans. This is course works in her favor. It will certainly make hi-jacking their spell easier. It will take time though, unlike them she doesn't work without a safety net. And arcane motion and whispered word has her disappearing and reappearing due south of thier location in the graveyard. This puts her quite close to Doctor Midnite, who she graces with a mysterious smile as she kneels down and places a palm flat on the earth. The words she speaks are guttaral words of power and are enough to make mortal creatures wince at the least. Magical senses would note a slight surge of power as the first of her wards are activated. She then disappears and reappears to the other cardinal directions north, east and west and repeats this. The final one sees the four wards joining in a circle of protection. No magic goes in, no magic comes out. What happens in the Circle, stays in the circle…magic wise that is. Everything else is fair game.

"Roger that," says Black Lightning, half official radio usage, but that's about as far as he goes with radio language, "Radio silence here until you signal than I'm in if you need me." So as not to give any undo noise pollution to the area, even if it’s just in Mid-Nite's ear.

Mid-Nite will notice in closer as he does scans beyond normal human senses that there is actually technology involved in this. Beyond the ring of summoners over the sarcophagus, there are boxes on tripods that seem to be feeding some sort of energy into the group, as if the technology is designed to assist in the mystical realms.

As Topaz initiates her protective circle, presumably around her and maybe Doctor Mid-Nite, one of the more practiced hooded summoners looks up, “12, we have a visitor, investigate, we must break the ward on this portal.” 12 nods, “Yes 32,” and he turns to see if he can find anything, he utters an incantation to reveal other magical energies, trying to see what 32 has sensed. The mailed hand pushes up, the ward over the dimensional portal wavers again, the fingers start to come through the weave of that magic.

Mid-Nite says nothing after that.

Sparing another glance upward at Topaz, he reaches to his belt for a pair of compact explosive devices: his signature 'black-out bombs'. He keeps both golf-ball sized items in his right hand and makes for one of the nearest trees. His cloak billows briefly as he darts from one tree to another, and peers around it. His visor focuses upon the individual breaking away from the group of summoners, heading toward Topaz. The bio-sensors embedded in his visor feed vital signs directly back to the Doctor's senses, and he purses his lips. Steady heartbeat. Regulated breathing. Epinephrine levels up, but controlled. Trained — professionally or religiously, but trained nonetheless.

He looks at the tripods around the perimeter for a moment, then raises a gauntleted hand in the direction of the man called "12". A single tranq-dart 'thwips' across the intervening space in near-silence, straight toward the man's neck.

Being who she is, telepath/empath on top of being a sorceress, Topaz is quite aware of the numbered individual coming her way. She shows no concern, and while she doesn't have the mind control skills that other mentalists have she has other tricks up her sleeves. Her hands dance in a graceful pattern, weaving a spell, pulling energies from the ground beneath her feet "Sleep." she commands as she unleashes the spell at the one designated as #12.

It happens fast enough that it’s hard to say who hit 12 first, or what the figure succumbs too, but the man goes down. The one designated 32 stops, “There is a compromise, 121 and 56, initiate For the Cause!” He says. Two of the remaining five figures step away from the sarcophagus, “For the Empire!” Doing some hand fist salute in the air, not too far from Nazis, they then pop something into their mouths and chew. Whatever it is, it’s fast working and they fall down, convulsing wildly before stopping as if dead. 32 looks over the edge, “Two hosts, we have intruders.” A spell is summoned from whoever is beyond, enough through the weave of the worlds to at least do some magic in the realm of mortals. 121 and 56 arise as the living dead, slowly, starting to move towards the direction of Topaz and Doctor Mid-Nite

Mid-Nite tenses as he eyes the motions of the cultists with suspicion. Magical energies do not translate well for his altered eyesight. "The game is afoot," he mutters into his comlink as softly as he can — then he tosses both black-out bombs into the midst of the approaching summoners. The Doctor watches for a moment as the already dark environment is blanketed in an thick, black fog as the air itself condenses into ink, and then smiles.

For Doctor Mid-Nite, the darker the better.

The smile does not long last, as a skeletal hand thrusts its way up out of the soil near Mid-Nite's feet and claws at his ankle with bony, dessicated fingers. The headstone nearest the hand displays the words: 'In Loving Memory of Velma Goodwright, Beloved Wife of Gordon Goodwright and mother of Thomas, Ian, Stephen, Gayle, Julianna, Mortimer, Simon and Sally…

The Doctor stifles a gasp of alarm and springs away — hopefully with enough speed to foil the attempts of the undead to hold him.

»>Good Doctor,«< Topaz's voice rings clearly in his mind, »>If you and your hidden friend can keep the living and unliving occupied I can deal with the whatever they are trying to summon.«< the undead heading for her are merely an inconvience in her mind at the moment and she goes about the business of hi-jacking the spell from the casters. Her hands lift as she mimics the motions of grabbing invisible reins, the magic at her command follows suite, wrapping itself around the spell grabbing her and there, starting with the weakest and working her way up to power chain.

The game is indeed a foot, Black Lightning gets the signal and with a streak, he joins in the cemetery close to where Doctor Mid-Nite is located. Though the fog and darkness do not help him so much. Its the unliving coming towards Doctor Mid-Nite, they have sense enough to not stop moving in the fog, sensing prey or victims or the living somehow. Black Lightning goes to them to start fighting, quickly realizing his normal punched, even backed by lightning, are not of much use as they're already dead. The reach and grab for him, scratching his costume even. He has to jump back and re-assess.

Doc Mid-Nite thinks »On it«, relaying though the comsys to Black Lightning. He leaps and bounds away from the undead, pulling out more gadgets, he lobs an EMP grenade near the sarcophagus that cuts out the power in the tripods. Then starts to engage the three living that are left to the best of his abilities, trying to pull them away so that Topaz can do her magic, literally.

To the normal eye Topaz is doing nothing more than standing there, waving her arms and spouting gibberish. Of course she looks good doing it, even with the look of concentration that is on her face. Of course that is far from the truth, she's already gotten control of three-quarters of the spell, which is probably causing both aggravation from both the spell casters and the thing they are trying to summon. Her hope is that the others can keep her from getting tagged before she finishes her work.

With Doctor Mid-Nite hitting the tripods helps Topaz's magic easily take control as she intents it to work. "Stop the girl," calls 32 when he realizes what is happening, returning from going after Mid-Nite and Lighting towards her. It allows the Doctor to drop some more darkness through his gadgetry and bound over some tombstones, winging a stunning device to stop 32. The living seem easier targets for Doctor Mid-Nite, both with his darkness and his ability to nullify the living by putting them out. For Black Lightning, however, the undead present a problem because no only are they already dead but lightning seems to help reanimate them. Resorting to fightning and pulling back to keep them from Topaz, he uses some shielding to protect himself, but is taking some damage between moving quickly but still trying to lure them away.

With Doctor Mid-Nite hitting the tripods helps Topaz's magic easily take control as she intents it to work. "Stop the girl," calls 32 when he realizes what is happening, returning from going after Mid-Nite and Lighting towards her. It allows the Doctor to drop some more darkness through his gadgetry and bound over some tombstones, winging a stunning device to stop 32. The living seem easier targets for Doctor Mid-Nite, both with his darkness and his ability to nullify the living by putting them out. For Black Lightning, however, the undead present a problem because no only are they already dead but lightning seems to help reanimate them. Resorting to fightning and pulling back to keep them from Topaz, he uses some shielding to protect himself, but is taking some damage between moving quickly but still trying to lure them away.

The last two spellcasters put up a fight. If it were just the two of them, no problem, but Topaz is juggling here, trying to keep possession of the tendrils she has stolen as she continues to wrest control. And then there is the funneling of the energies away from the spell and into the places they belong. She can barely do all that and pay attention to the fight going on. At least if she fails, the circle of protection will still keep everything, including the thing summoned inside, hopefully. Finally, the last two are in the sorceress' possession. She has the summoning spell, or whatever it is being called and now the harder task is upon her, to reverse it, which could possibly mean a fight with whatever is being brought up from across the planes.

The two remaining do not fight directly, one enters the astral to try and counter the work that Topaz is doing. No match for her directly, he only tries to strengthen the work they had done and keep her from completely undoing what they have done this evening. The other man tries to act as a guard for the other as that is happening. This leaves Doctor Mid-Nite to finish up 32, the man leader of this group, who puts up a fight but is no match for the Doctor.

Black Lightning tries to lure the two living dead closer to the edge of the cemetery, planning to snap a power line when he gets close and tie them to the fense with it, keeping them attached to the circuit there to see if that keeps them immobilized.

At the portal, the hand pushes up again against those magicla wards and pauses. "What's this I sense," calls a voice and if she gets closer, she might see down into that abyss beyond the portal that its Hades, or Pluto as he seems want to use currently. Good sign or bad sign; bad sign, its a greek deity, good sign, the wards were probably assisted by Zues himself when Pluto was banished.

Black Lightning is flashing back near her, the zombies presently routed for now at least, he asks, "What do you need me to do?"

With all the spell casters down for the count, and having complete control now, nothing stops Topaz from approaching the tomb and looking down at the god of the underworld. If anyone in the area can see that magic that the woman handles and is currently handling it would be Pluto. He can probably sense that she isn't human either, at least not wholly so. She is more akin to Hercules as far as race goes, part human/part diety. "Greetings Lord of the Underworld. You will find no purchase on the mortal plane this evening or any other. Do you have any final words before I send you back to your dear wife Peresphone?

The Outsiders remain outside of what Topaz is doing now.

Pluto looks up, "You don't yet realize how much influence I have now in your world, its only a matter of time now." But he does realize enough that this portal will not be breached just the same, "They are just one cell of many, there are other cracks in the fabric between our worlds, we will find them, we will find them all." As much menace as he can muster from behind the mystical 'bars' of his present prison.

»>Stand by to catch.«< Topaz finally sends to BL as he shows up nearby. Catch what, who knows. Prespiration has started to bead up on the woman's forward. She is one doing the work of what many and several tech devices were doing, it's taking a lot out of her "Thank you for the warning Pluto. The race is on." words done she begins to unweave the summoning, sending Pluto back to his dimension and the energies back into the ancient wards. When all is done she collapses, though not into unconsciousness.

Getting the thought, Black Lightning is on standby and, as she collapses, he flashes forward lightning quick to catch her. "Gotcha, Topaz," he says, remembering her from the last meeting they had. "I'd like to let you recover, but I think we should get you out of here. Can you walk?" He could support her more, but he's not the sort to just assume someone wants it or needs it, he simply gets arms to her to help her not fall down or hit the ground. In his earpiece, "If the dead are still animated, we need to collect them." And figure out stopping the reanimation bit later, but stopping them from being discovered by anyone else, or escaping and doing more damage.

"In a moment." Topaz closes her eyes breifly and if it wasn't so dark it might be noted that the grass beneath thier feet, begins to dry up and go brown as does a few bushes in the area "Thank you." she still looks weary, but walking shouldn't be a problem "You will find that the undead have been dealt with. I pulled the energies from the spells creating them and put it back where it belonged.

"Good, thank you," returns Black Lightning, for her stopping the undead. He'll still support here, even when she feels ready to walk. "I don't know what that's all about," he says, talking quietly while Topaz regains herself/rests. Meaning Pluto and returning, or how important souls might be to him and why New York, with over 100 deaths a day, would be an ideal target for the god. "But if you plan to keep good on your word, I'd definitely offer as much help as you need?"

Topaz does need the support, she doesn't want to do permanent damage to the plant life "We should find out who these people are." she gestures to the one that was acting as leader "And what their plans are." instead of leaving she begins to walk over to where the leader fell.

"Allright," says Black Lightning to Topaz, going with her to where the leader went down. As they walk he calls into the comsys, "Can I get a check on any response time to this situation." Meaning city responders and if anyone has called anything in. There are some residences nearby even if the streets are mostly deserted. Getting a response he says to Topaz, "We got about 20 minutes." The leader is currently unconscious but not completely taken out by gas or some drug it would seem.

Topaz nods "That's more than enough time." she crouches down next to the leader and places a hand on his neck, checking his pulse and then moving the hand to his forehead "Keep watch. This shouldn't take long." she has no need to wake him, in fact it's easier for her with him being unconscious. She dives her own consciousness into his mind, searcing for any information about his group and thier plans.

With a nod, Black Ligtning stands close at hand, both to keep an eye on Topaz, after her recent effort, and to watch beyond the fence/gates of the cemetery. Going into his mind reveals this group, along with four others worked as something like a splinter cell. There is one man further up beyond 32 that ran this group of 10, and he is only known by the number 5. It seems they all take numbers to hide who they really are. Topaz can find out, he's a local accountant bitter at the world - other countries taking over, the rize of metahumans, the move of wall street institutions to Metropolis post 9/11, a number of things. He was invited in to the Secret Empire by a friend, but going through some training was also brain washed to remove some memories of the people higher up. #5 might have more of a lead, but he might be brain washed the same. There is a mutual meeting spot for this cell, the same location information is left for them by someone higher up in the organization.

The good thing about being a powerful telepath like Topaz…besides the obvios reasons, is that it makes information sharing quite easy. Once she gets everything she thinks she can, including what ever Pluto/Hades has to do with all this. She stands and reaches out a hand to touch BL's forehead "This may sting a little." it's a joke, her dumping all the information she gleaned into his brain doesn't hurt at all, though it may cause a bit of disoreintation for a few moments.

Black Lightning is disoriented as his mind absorbs the knowledge, including the knowledge on Hades. It seems this cell was supplied with he information to work with Hades, in part a union to set forward their agenda. As he gets it, he takes another moment to digest it. Looking slightly stunned, he regards Topaz, "We're lucky you were aware of this tonight, I don't think Mid-Nite or myself stood much of a chance at stopping what they were doing here." The summoners, yes, zombies perhaps, but if Pluto broke through, definitely not.

"Luckily these poor excuses for sorcerors." Topaz gestures to them "Don't know what they are doing. Had that warded properly and not pulled so much magic from the leylines I wouldn't have noticed until it was to late." she glances around and with a gesture the sarchaphaus is once more sealed up tight "I think this certainly has earned us a drink, don't you?" she puts her arm around his and snaps her fingers. One minute they were in the cemetary the next the are standing at the bar of the Voodoo Lounge and she is calling for drinks to be made. She seems to have to problems using her powers against people, or with people, etc, without permission. Boundaries are for normal people.

Caught off guard again, Black Lightning has to take in his surroundings and, for once, feels out of place wearing the costume and mask. But he rolls with it, not the extra goodie sort to preach morals about what to do and not do, he is an adult and not opposed to a drink. "I can't agree more," he grins a little, taking in the inside of the Lounge, his first visit here. As they settle in with drinks, formalities maybe to the side, he opens up, "Topaz, I can't say whether or not we might have anything to offer you, but its apparent that the Outsiders could definitely use your help." He might not of said the team name before, but enough context clues abound that its the group he's with trying to protect NY with a team based model of super-heroing. "Is there anything we could do to encourage you joining with us at all?"

"And you..or rather you and they will have it." Topaz is glancing around as she sips her drink. It's rare that she is on the customer side of the bar. Her gaze does light on him though when she speaks "Let's deal with Pluto first. Unless he is stopped there might not be an Outsiders to join…or even a city to protect." well it isn't a no, though an agreement to help with Pluto is certainly a start.

"That sounds like a good start," returns Black Lightning, meeting her gaze when she turns it on him, a hint of a smile even, "Shop talk can be saved then, I'll not hinder drinking or relaxing now, while we can." Holding his up, he tilts it as a toast and takes a drink.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License