(2014-12-02) Fire Harvest
Log Title
Summary: Topaz and Black Lightning deal with a suspicious fire
Date: (2014-12-02)
Related: http://ageofheroesmux.wikidot.com/plot:soul-harvest
NPCs: Secret Empire
Scene Runner: Black Lightning.
Social/Plot: Plot

All is well in the world. Those companies doing well report good sales from Black Friday and Cyber Monday, those companies not so well report sales that didn't meet expectations. Finally, everyone is selling X-mas stuff, along with the other half of places that started selling it in October or earlier even. Though, store fronts on the street are catering to holiday spirit. Of course, Gramercy Park, less store front, especially around the park itself, but some homes are being festive enough, some neighborhoods have their trees decorated and resplendent in holiday lights.

Today though, its chilly, not quite freezing, and overcast, as if threatening snow, or worse, cold rain or ice bits. Nothing has fallen, just cold and dreary. Most people at work or staying in their homes.

This peace is interrupted when a large truck, bringing in a shipment, swerves around an unsuspecting child in the street and collides with a building, setting a fire at ground level of a 40 story rise. A few responders arrive, fire trucks and ambulance or two initially. They seem to struggle with the fire, what they don't see is the other responders, robots or men in metal suits, have gone into the fire, and are helping it spread. There is death in the building, and what might draw more attention is that one of the robot things is firing some mechanism at the dead that is latching and tearing at their souls - a threat on the fabric of reality perhaps.

Black Lightning of the Outsiders is inbound from their base, "I should be at the Gramercy fire in about 30 seconds." Said into his com device as he is a blur stretching out from the Bronx and coming in overhead.

The sirens of fire trucks and ambulances aren't what gets the sorceresses attention, nor is it the call over the comm, as she doesn't have one of those, it's the agonizing screams of souls being ripped from their mortal shells that she more feels than actually hears, since it's doubtful souls make that kind of noise. She arrives in a spark of flame, her coat of many colors swirling around her as she quickly surveys the scene with both normal and magical senses. It would be easy for her to tell whether they are men in suits or robots.

As Black Lightning comes down as, well lightning, not too far from the flaming spark arrival of Topaz, he looks about to see who is around and makes not of her. Seeing she is surveying a moment, he remains quiet, but moves in her direction.

Her scan reveals that the things are on the second story, preventing individuals from escaping. Her attuned senses to life and death reveal more of interest. The one shooting the soul anchors to take souls from the blaze is a robot, the firestarters are men, but they're brains are not working correctly, they are corrupted by technologicaly intrusion. Not so much a brain converted to a computer so much as in part controlled by the body inside the suit. The nature of the technology implanted there is not quite realized by an initial magical scan - they still have life signs and auras that are detectable and unique.

After some moments, BL defers to Topaz, "Do we risk going in?" Letting her make the calls, she being the attuned one to the unnatural and this fire is unnatural in his book.

"Not while the fire is raging like it is. Not without protection at least." Topaz replies with her soft accent "There are men in there making sure it stays raging, under control of some sort." the robot, having no emotion or life signs remains unnoticed to her, though she knows something is pulling souls, just not what "Something else is in there, I know not what." the bells on her wrists begin to chime as she starts to move them, drawing runes in the air that glow with light before fading from view, she chants in a long dead language, that isn't as harsh or gutteral as what she has used before. Her magic designed to pull the energy from the flames so that the fire will die. That enegy of course has to go somewhere so she funnels it through herself and into the earth underneath her bare feet.

"I was about to ask …." Black Lightning says this as she moves and draws runes to start working at the fire. The effect noticeable, the fire sputtering on the windows near the side of the building they are on. In fact, it seems to work to great affect, either drawing the fire directly, or somehow related to the oxygen that feeds it, the magic is impressive. This does, however, get the attention of the fire cyborgs. They seem to split up initially, trying to keep the fire in multiple locations and to spread it. One takes the stairs to go to the third floor. The walking soul machine continues to move, following its programming. Almost as if the fire is a simple cover to collect souls.

The effect of channeling fire energy is quite noticeable, the ground within a a few yards radius of Topaz begins to steam as the cold air meets a increasingly warming surface, think of black pavement on a hot summer day, hot to walk across in barefeet but fine if shoes are worn. As it is the sorceress is no longer touching the ground, her barefeet several inches above it levitating. "Quickly, we must stop the firestarters before the blaze roars up again." of course the firefighters soaking the place with water helps some. She wastes no time in flying forward and into the smoky building, pulling a scarf from the pocket of her coat and wrapping in around her face to cover her mouth and nose. From past expereince she knows that the minions of Pluto, and with the soul harvesting she has realized that is who this is, have mixed magic and tech so figures that is what is controlling the men causing the fires. Her own magic and technology don't mix so the first one she comes across she lances with beams of magical energy. It won't do any physical damage, but hopefully it will disrupt the tech part that is controlling him.

Little room for a scarf in Black Lightning chosen get up and there is a momentary pause as he sees the steam rise from the ground and feels the warmth at his toes, which were admittedly cold in his get up. "I'm following," he says, taking off the same, his legs a blue bolt behind him. To make up for scarf, he waits until he's high enough and out of site to remove the goggle mask and use that.

As Topaz comes upon the first fire cyborg and lances it, he turns, as if to spot flame at Topaz herself. It licks the walls but the connection seems to die. The programming tries to take control, his eyes rolling back, there is no safety for when the technology fails, the bodies not trusted it seems. The man parts in the suit all fail, the suit loses a lot of mobility but the flame jet turns up. It can't turn all the way to topaz because of the severed connection, some functionality remains to the suit itself.

Black Lightning lifts a hand to follow though, pulling the power from the suit the same way Topaz drained the fire. The gestalt works, he says, "How many more of them are there?"

Topaz isn't fire proof so there is a bit of a dance backwards to avoid the jet of flame being shot at her as the man falls over unconscious "Four or five, now that I know it works I can get them all at once. Find the Harvester while I do that." she knows there is something ripping the souls out, but is clueless as to what, she can feel the results but not the robot itself. She puts a hand to a sooty wall in the burned house, sending a pulse of magic out and through the walls of the house itself, commanding the magic to search out the technology that binds the minds of the men and short circuit it. There is some words and a glowinig rune drawn on the wall, but it's pretty simple stuff, not like the magic from a few moments ago.

Face covered to be in the building, Black Lightning has less to worry about when in lightning form. Taking to that, and merging into the wiring of the building for quick transporation on his search, he sends out a field to gauge various emf reading and locate other sources of power in his search for the harvester.

Meanwhile, Topaz touches the wall, throwing out that pulse of magic to short circuit the technology binding the men to the cyborg-like suits they are in. It seems to work, of the remaining four or five, all but one cycles to that unconscious mode unable to follow the logic. One keeps working it seems. To answere where it might be, it comes through a wall not far from Topaz, searching frantically, but stopping when it sees her. The man seems a mess, suit helmet off, some scorching to his face. Topaz can see why he has it off, he ripped it from his neural port. He's struggling to push the suit with the technology on the fritz, hoping to find the reason, seeing Topaz in her colorful regallia, he assumes she is the one. "You did this," he breaths, raising his flame shouter, but its no longer working. So he starts to move towards her.

"Yes, it seems I have that effect on technology, but now you are free, your mind is your own." Topaz stays where she is, he is just a man, one that is having trouble with his suit "Now you have a choice. You can go turn yourself into the authorities downstairs willingly, or by force. Willingly would be easier for both of us."

He looks up to consider that, they always have a choice, and usually choose the worse of the two. "For the Empire," he says, taking his hand and slowly lifting it to his mouth, deciding to go for a third option, which is probably suicide at this point.

His hand struggles against the machine, as Black Lightning sends out a telepathic thought, «Its trying to drain me … I can't fully stop the power source unless I get closer to it …» Some strain evident as if he's been hit by the harvester already, there is the sense he is firing lighting back at it as it is now coming for him.

She can read his intentions, they scream at her as loudly as if he were to say them outloud "That is never an option." her fingers move as she slings a sleep spell at the man trying to pop his pill. BL's voice is then ringing in her head and she uses that link to home in on his location in the building and makes her way there as best she can, considering the fire damange »>What is it?«< she asks though he can probably feel her using the link to look out of his eyes for a brief moment to get the answer for herself. She is by his side in moments, either by teleportation or other magical means.

The sleep spell is far quicker than his hand and in a moments notice he joines the others in an unconscious state. Seeing from his eyes, she can see the machine turned on him, much like a big robot, maybe 6 and half feet in height and having a cannon in stead of a hand, which is most likely what has been syphoning the souls. Black Lightning can attack with lightning from a distance, but he needs to get closer to simply drain the device. He's probably taken a hit and had enough juice to leap back before being harvested himself. »The machine I can handle, its the magic that is too much.« He fires another bolt of lightning, it seems to falter the arm for a moment, but the juice returns for it to keep moving.

Topaz doesn't need to be all that close to do what needs to be done, first a shield around the non-magical party in the room to protect him from the draining effects of the magic. She doesn't have time to figure out what kind magic is being used exactly so she goes for something a little more all purpose. A hand goes over the bangles and braclets that decorate one of her wrists and one is pulled off and dropped to the ground "Step on it." when he does a glowing sheild forms around him acting as a magic sink, any magic thrown at him either for good or bad is absorbed by it and sent into the aether. It doesn't keep anything from going out though. With that done her hands glow as she throws a powerful TK Blast at the robot, if the magic doesn't disrupt the tech part of it, hopefully the blast will do some damange.

Where the lightning had little effect, the TK Blast sends the robot off kilter, where it wobbles backwards. A few sparks to indicate it has been damaged and isn't quick to recover. Whether it would or not is either's quess at this point as, after stepping on the breacelet and the shield goes up, Black Lightning jumps in. Both trusting Topaz with her magic and seizing opportunity as the robot stumbles backwards, hitting a nearby wall. A quick lighting jump and he helps to drain some energy. Strengthening his physical shield under her magical sink/shield and replenishing what he's used. Having caught enough from what's happened, and realizing what this machine has done with people in and around the fire, he looks to Topaz as the robot sputters the last of its life in a shower of sparks, »Can any of this be reversed?« Meaning the lives the machine has taken.

As the robot finally is defeated Topaz moves forward, her own thoughts were going in that direction as well »>I am unsure. The body can live without a soul, but it would just be an empty shell, comotose, catatonic. As long as the body still lives the soul will immediatly be drawn back to it.«< she kneels by the dead robot "They are still in there. I can feel them. I can undo the magic, it will take time and all my concentration. Make sure no one disturbs me, please." she drops into a comfortable sitting position and within moments she is at work, starting at the robot with trance like intensity, unraveling magic is quite a bit different than weaving it, she'll be at it at least an hour or so and probably need to be carried home, but everyone lives!

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