Lightning Crashes

Storm Clouds

Kass is on the phone, looking serious when she comes into where you are. She speaks, her voice in the cultured neutral tones of Silk rather than the much more animated voice she uses these days. “I see. Alright, I think we can be of some assistance. They call themselves the Bolts, you say? I'll be in touch, don't worry. Right. Right. Good day.”

Looking to you, Kass remarks, “Wanna go do some good for some nice people?”

Ally is sprawled out on the couch looking skyward, considering the ceiling. Yes, it's a lazy dog-dangling afternoon, that's for certain. Thankfully no dogs are actually dangling. She's not so distracted though to not notice Kass coming in. The voice is also noticed. Huh.

Kass smiles warmly, sinking down next to the couch, "A penny for your thoughts?" She closes the phone and sets it down carefully, watching your face for several long moments without speaking. The phone buzzes again and is turned off without even a look to the screen.

Ally lifts up from where she was lying and plops herself across you when you sit down, settling easy sort of in your lap. "I hope a couple, but one might do! Who was on the phone sweetie? Which nice people want us to do some good?"

Smiling as you come closer, Kass wraps her arms around you and sighs a little happily, a little sadly. "Well, a wiz gang called the Bolts that have been hitting talismonger shops, oracles, tarot readers, that sort of thing. They are basically preying on the less powerful in the magical community. That said, the last place they hit was over in the CAS sector, a place called The Talisman. The couple that runs it got out lucky: the husband is in critical care at Denver General, his wife was released today; she had broken ribs and lost a finger." She sighs again

Aladriel's face sours a little bit, not from the closeness that she enjoys so much, but at hearing the tale. "The Bolts?" she asks, screwing up her face but there's really no recognition there. She listens to the rest, and her forehead creases. "She lost….a finger? That's not…a normal thing," she murmurs, brows darkening further.

“Silver Moon is asking us to .. explain .. in no uncertain terms that what this gang is doing is wrong and that it would be nice if they'd stop. She says that she can pay us for our time and effort if we'll be willing to do this.” Kass holds up a hand, “She isn't asking us to kill them, but .. she is asking that we make sure that they don't do this again.”

Ally shakes her head a little bit, "That is just an awful thing to do. Beating up a family just trying to get by? I'd…..well, we'd probably go sort them out for free, just after being asked. You know all these things…do you know where we might find them or anything?"

"I don't yet, but I bet I can find out. I'll look into it while you settle Maya and get ready?" Kass smiles softly at you, watching you with interest. "And yeah, I'd do it for free too. This sort of thing needs to be curtailed, before everyone thinks they can just do whatever they want."

"I'll have Sally stay with her. She's great but I need to battle-harden her a little bit. If these are magi-types, I don't want one taking a pot-shot at her," Ally notes protectively. "So Sally and the doggies will stay in, and you and I will go crack some skulls."

"I agree. I love Sally way too much for anything to happen to her." Kass frowns faintly, reaching for her phone. "We'll have to see what they are like, but .. how hard do you want to hit them?" The elf flicks her phone open and starts looking for numbers .. "Aha. These guys ought to know."

"How hard to hit them…" Ally murmurs aloud, thinking about it then. "Well, maybe one pistol with gels and one with the real thing? If they default to magic, I can probably shield us enough so that they won't be able to hurt us and we can punch or shoot them. If they start getting nasty tho….not going to get you hurt cause I was wearing the padded gloves."

Nodding soberly, "Alright then, we'll see if we can't do this without leveling the block they live on." Kass snickers at that and then punches the digits for her contact, expression blanking some. "Hey! Dizzy? This is Silk. How is it?"

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Etiquette + 1 vs TN 4 for "Contacting Velvets for information":
1 1 3 3 4 8 9 11 = 4 Successes

«Plot» Kassandra says, "Kassandra learns where the Bolts hideout/HQ is."

«Plot» Kassandra says, "Is there any legwork Ally wants to do at this point?"

«OOC» Aladriel would find out where it is, and depending on where it is, probably do some light astral recon

Ally gives an 'awww' at not leveling the block. She giggles at you and then hurries upstairs to go take a look about for Maya and see what is up for the little one. If they are going to leave her, it's only going to be once she feels good and loved!

The conversation seems fairly one sided once it gets going, with Silk asking about the Bolts and getting quite the earful, "Really? That is pretty messed up, even for wizkids. Did you hear anything about them using zombies or doing anything else? No? Ok, I can wait …"

Kass grins and shrugs at Ally, making a 'talks a lot' gesture with her off hand.

"No, I am still here. Right. Well, if she says that is where they are I believe it. I know that place. Right. Right. You too. No, I mean it. Right. Ok, ciao!"

Aladriel's gone for about ten minutes in tucking Maya in with Sally. She'll return downstairs then, starting to get in the mindset to go do some business.. Business that could get them hurt, business where they might hurt some people.

Once Ally comes back downstairs Kass is in the study, a map of the CAS sector laid out on the big trideo. She is using the little terminal Sam left them, closing in block by block until she is near where she wants. When Ally returns she breaks into a smile, waving her over. "Ok. This is about where they live. It is a few blocks down from the abandoned insane asylum that Tanasen and the others live in? Close enough to the Warrens to be lawless, but still in the CAS sector. Fairly run down neighborhood, low response time."

Coming right up to the desk, Ally looks with interest at the map that Kass is drawing up, focusing in on the area that is zoomed into. "Ooooh, low response time you say? You mean we could bring our grenade launchers?" she asks with a little mischievous giggle.

Snickering, Kass says, "I think we could. Probably should go in with heavy armour, leave the vehicle some away and air drop in on them? With our cloaks we'd be pretty much invisible to mundies and can get close. The launcher might not be a bad idea …" The elf considers, and points at the map, "Is that enough information for you to go a-looking for them and do a recon?"

"I think that's a really good idea," Ally tells you, then focuses on the map again. "Yeah, I think I should be able to get there. Um…is that like THEIR part of town, or do people go through on their own? Just need an idea of what I might run into. I'm just going to see important stuff, like they don't have elementals on every corner and stuff."

"From what I understand, they are just one of many gangs that run in the area. They have some Awakened members as their leaders .. a pair of magicians and some guy with a sword. That is their really power, the rest are scrubs with guns." Kass doesn't add that even a scrub can kill you. "There is enough going on that they don't own the whole block, yet, but they are trying."

Ally absorbs that information and is quiet for a little bit to process it. "Okay, so they want the territory but don't have it yet. So it's not like a war zone where they'll need guards posted on every corner. So that's good. Should be simple enough to take a quick peek in and get out."

"Yes ma'am. They may have some junior members wandering around, but I don't expect them to be looking for your sort of trouble." Kass looks proudly at Aladriel a moment, "That said, come home safe?"

"I'll have my sword with me, and if anyone happens to see me…." Ally brandishes a phantom sword, "Off with their head!" She giggles. "Well, maybe not. On the astral plane, I can *not* kill people with this, which is really nice."

Kass nods soberly and moves to take a chair, "Do you want to look before or after we get there?" She glances to the mage, downloading the map and the extra information she's collected onto a disk while they wait.

Ally thinks about it a little bit. trying to weigh the merits of each. "I suppose it would be okay if we at least got closer. Less distance to travel, less chance to get lost and maybe…maybe it'll be better to be closer, I don't know," she murmurs.

Kass nods, moving to get ready then, bowing to the mage's experience with astral travel and recon. "We'll take the van and get closer then, that way we can move in with whatever you find. Less chance for things to change en route." With that she heads to pull on the heavy combat armour, the matching sets currently adorning the life sized mannequins in the basement.

"Is it silly that I get all excited sometimes when we get all dressed up like this?" Ally asks on way down to the basement as the procedure begins to get dressed into the layered armor. "It makes me feel all safe, but also all tough and stuff."

Grinning, Kass shakes her head and starts stripping down and gearing up. "Not at all my love. I always get excited when we gear up, just knowing that things are about to get .. interesting." She snickers at that, checking and then double checking straps and buckles as she fits the armour on. "And we look tough, which is both a defense and an attack, really. More people think we are dangerous is the fewer we have to shoot."

The elf comments as she secures belts around her waist. "You check me, I'll check you?"

Buckled, snapped, secured, everything locked into place where it won't come undone unless desired. Ally looks all set for battle. "Sure thing," she says with a grin. "You first," she declares. She'll give a very close inspection then, making sure everything is in place and nothings unsecured. Then she swats your bottom. "We need to get more armor back here," she teases.

Kassie yipes, mock rubbing her bottom. "I'll special order a giant pair of armoured panties." Motioning to the mage to twirl for her, she runs her hands along Ally's body in quick, precise motions. The smile stays on her face but her movements are professional, crisp, tugging and checking everything to make sure that her love is protected.

That done, she moves to gather the belts and bandoliers and weapons that go in them, locking everything down where it needs to go.

Ally doesn't laugh, but she does smile very much as you make sure she is properly armored. Then as the weapons check begins, she snaps out the blades on her forearms, checking them out before retracting them. "Okay then. Let's go…knock on some doors?"

Slipping on her mirrored sunglasses instead of the helmet for the moment, Kass nods and leads up to the van. Tricked out for urban work and armored and armed, the pair make the drive into the big city.

This part of the CAS sector is perilously close to the Warrens, the neighborhood not unlike what lies in that no zone. Pulling to the side, Kass slips a pistol out and lays it on her lap, a fiber optic cable connecting it to the smart glasses. "We're about a mile north of their hideout, Phoenix." The switch to code names now that they are in public, away from the safety of home. "Close enough to go look?"

Ally is quiet yet upbeat on the drive through the sector. Her fingers drum lazily along her leg and she smiles happily at some of the sights she sees. The switch to code names catches her off guard. It's less of a mental switch for Ally to go from regular mode to run mode, so that is not uncommon. "Sure thing. Lemme just look at the map so I know where to turn when." She'll do just that, making sure she knows how many turns she needs to make. "I'll be back soon."

Nodding, Kass checks the display for her gun in the heads up display of the glasses, scanning the street around them. There is activity, albeit it light, outside the van but no one has tried to accost them. Dark vans in this area are not uncommon, and not all of them hold friendly things. Silk glances to Phoenix and smiles grimly, her voice soft, "Be careful."

"Of course," Ally beams. She purses her lips in a kissy face before she closes her eyes and goes limp in her seat as her consciousness leaves her body in favor of another plane. She materializes in the car for a moment, "See you soon!" And then she disappears, racing off towards her destination, following the directions by way of turns.

«Plot» Kassandra says, "Three perception rolls, please. Background count here is 1. 1 to go, 1 to look around, 1 to make it back."

«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Intelligence:
1 1 2 2 2 3 4 4 4 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Intelligence:
1 1 1 2 2 3 4 4 4 15
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Intelligence:
1 2 2 3 5 5 5 9 9 10

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 1:
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 1:

«Plot» Kassandra says, "You can easily tell on your roll that they are Force 1 Watcher Spirits."

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 2 for "Mystery":
5 9

ASTRAL SPACE: This neighborhood reeks of misuse and the everyday horrors mankind does to itself. Drug use, prostitution, gang violence, and general anger have left grooves in the psyche of the very earth here, causing faint blurs and a pollution that you have to dive through on your way.

There are metahumans moving about throughout the night, the vast majority of them mundanes or near mundanes, with very few showing any signs of augmentation. Knowing where your goal is you are quickly able to locate the headquarters of the Bolts. Even without the glow of wards on the building you would know that something is wrong, the area around it showing signs of the gangs dominance in the area. The mundanes seem to go out of their way to avoid the place, straying across and away from it. Two tiny astral forms soar in a long loop around the building on some sort of patrol.

Aladriel will do her astral scouting as sneakily as possible. It's easy when you can move fast and don't need to try to lift someone's wallet. So she's able to hang back and see what there is to see from a decent distance. Two watchers and some wards with no mages standing watch on the corners. That's good. She'll do a swift about-face and race back towards her body at speeds that would put the Flash to shame.

Kass keeps watch over Ally's body, the Savalette in her hand. She is quiet, eyes skipping from person to person as they move near the van but otherwise not moving.

The Wind Picks Up

A deep intake of breath signals that Aladriel has returned to her body and regained consciousness. She looks around quickly and then smiles. "Made it!" she says with a big smile. "All was well, nothing too strange. There were two lil things flittering about. That's about it."

Kass lets out a breath she hadn't realized she was holding and smiles with relief. "So they are just standardly cautious, not super crazy paranoid. That's good. Means they are either overconfident in their power or don't think anyone would dare come to see them." The weapon is holstered before she speaks again, "OK. Did we want to go through the roof ala superheroes or something more subtle? Either one will probably give us the element of surprise, but the roof thing will put us in the middle of them."

Aladriel's eyes go wide and she looks very blushy. "You said crash through the roof. We have to crash through the roof," she murmurs, laughing a tiny bit. "Now that you said it we just have to. Maybe will peek inside first so as not to jump in the midst of like ten people..but we should. I can bring elementals too, so it'll be four of us versus….whatcha think?"

She can't help it, her cool attitude and professionalism crumbles a bit and she grin at Ally's blushyness. Kass nods, "I think that would be great. We could have Rocky or one of your elementals smash through the roof to make a hole and scatter them and we can land and make our entrance. It should have quite the effect on them, I'd think."

Ally winks as Kassandra as she starts reaching for her helmet, realizing it may be a good idea to put it on. "Nono we'll go with mine. Yours is for emergencies only. I'll put two on standby, we'll then….take the high road to their building under cover of cover. I'll take care of their air cover, we'll set up and do it?"

Grinning, Kass pulls off her sunglasses and prepares to helmet up as well. "That sounds like a plan, my darling. We'll take them by surprise and see if they are willing to negotiate peacefully, or we'll break some bones and see if that gets their attention." Slipping on the helmet, her voice comes through the digitalized speaker now. "I won't say be careful, but …"

Ally bunches up her hair and then carefully slides her helmet onto her head. She takes a few moments to make sure it seals into the neck of her armor and then turns her head several times to ensure she has full range of motion.

"I know," she says, the smile in her voice even though it can't show. "You be too."

Putting on her game face, Kass nods and slides out of the van and vanishes from sight, her ruthenium cloak blurring her form and erasing her from existence, as far as the common man knows. A whisper of her voice and gravity is canceled around her, allowing her to drift upwards and above the van. "Alrighty, let's go do some good."

«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Centering vs TN 2 for "Centering against penalties (BG Count 1)":
2 3 5 7 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 8 vs TN 4 for "Casting F5 Improved Invis, locking to foci":
1 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 5 7 10 19 = 8 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Willpower + Sorcery Pool: 3 vs TN 4 for "Resisting M Drain":
1 1 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 5 7 8 = 7 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Centering vs TN 4 for "Negate BG Count again":
1 2 3 5 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 2 vs TN 5 for "F3 Levitate":
1 1 3 3 3 5 9 11 11 15 = 5 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Willpower + Sorcery Pool: 4 vs TN 4 for "M Drain revisted!":
1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 11 = 5 Successes

Aladriel hops out of the van and closes the door behind her. Her fingers splay into a strange-looking symbol a moment before she becomes invisible. A moment later her fingers do it again before she lifts off into the air too. She immediately starts to perceive so that she can follow Kass more easily, and wait for the first opportunity to grab those stinkin Watchers.

For her part, Kass keeps track of her favorite mage's location via BattleTac transponder keyed to her radio. "You are going to have to teach me what you are doing with your hand. That looks interesting." She hovers there until she and Ally are at the same altitude before moving forward.

Ally smiles inside her helmet and keys her comm. "The easy, common term for it is centering. Spells are just a thought really, thinking through a formula. The hand motions just help me focus more, makes it easier to ignore distractions."

"Huh. Interesting, that. So a way to keep your focus and not be distracted. I'll have to watch closer." Kass's eyes scan the area, keeping track of those moving beneath them. The warehouse is fairly easy to see from here.

The streets are relatively quiet here, with the usual signs of gang activity, tagging, the bloody lightning bolt of the Bolts gang the primary tag in this area. A partially burned out apartment building has the most tags on it, and lights are on all along the third floor. Loud thrash music can be heard from quite some distance away.

Astrally, you can still see the little watchers moving in a slow circle around the building on patrol. There are no lifeforms or spirits outside, but there is a deep sense of anger and violence around the building as you get closer.

Ally doesn't give much thought to the flight itself, she just keeps focusing on moving towards the warehouse. She's busier taking in other things as she looks about, trying to ascertain that she doesn't accidentally miss something. She keys the comm again. "We're not going to get too close, want to set down and zap the watchers from afar while I can concentrate a tiny bit better."

"Yes ma'am." Kass doesn't argue at all; Ally is the mage and knows what and how and where she wants to deal with this. Her job? Make sure nothing bothers her. She gives the area another look, scanning rooftops and windows for problems.

«Plot» Kassandra says, "Perception rolls, please. Astral for Ally"

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Intelligence for "Various eye mods":
1 1 1 4 5 5 7 13
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Intelligence:
1 1 2 2 2 2 2 4 5 8

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 1:
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 1:
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 2 for "mystery":
5 5

Astral Things seem fairly the same as you look around astrally and then, without warning, one of the Watchers starts to shake and black 'smoke' comes off of it. To your magician's vision, you can see it literally coming apart molecule by molecule, sucked through a tiny hole that leads to a dark, dark place. The tiny creature doesn't have the power or time to scream.

For Kass: You can see various forms moving back and forth in front of the windows amidst the pounding music. Lights flash inside not unlike a flash of lightning.

Ally's eyes widen at what she sees and with an eep she throws on the brakes. She keys the comm immediately, "Hold for a sec," she says firmly, furrowing her brows.

Kass stops immediately, left hand going to her hip and the pistol there. She stays quiet, not bothering Ally with questions.

Astrally, the watcher spirit is simply gone, the tiny black hole flickering fitfully as if trying to grow larger. It pulses once, then again, before starting to collapse.

«Plot» Kassandra says, "Astral Perception test"

«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Intelligence:
1 2 2 3 3 3 4 5 5 7

Storm Warnings

It appears to be something similar to when a Free Spirit tears a hole in reality to allow others access to the metaplanes, but perhaps a natural occurrence. Whatever it is, it is fading away quickly.

Commlink-«Phoenix»> Aladriel says, "What I saw…I don't know why I saw it. Something strange on the astral."

Kass looks around carefully with one hand hovering over her weapon. «Strange? Like we are about to get attacked strange?»

Ally hmmms and then starts to descend to another rooftop so that she can let go of the flight spell she was sustaining. She'll crouch then where she can look at the warehouse, but give it some real consideration before charging in.

Commlink-«Phoenix»> Aladriel says, "No….strange like. Don't know how to explain it. it did something it shouldn't have been able to do, or something just happened that shouldn't have just happened."

Following Ally down, Kassandra nods and stays low even tho she is mostly invisible due to the ruthenium. She looks to where the battletac shows Ally to be and waits, letting the mage get her bearings and figure it out before bombarding her with questions.

In 'real' space everything seems like it was before, no changes or variations to the music or noise coming out of the warehouse.

In Astral Space, you can see a faint smear on reality where the hole has collapsed in on itself, a distortion that marks where the laws of even magic shifted for a moment. The other watcher is making its little circuit, not having seen or noticed the problem.

Ally sighs quietly, annoyed at herself for not knowing what she has just seen, and slightly unnerved by it. Still, it won't be enough to distract her from waiting till the other Watcher flicks by. She'll target it with a Spiritbolt, fingers curling inwards as she centers herself.

«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Magic Background:
1 2 7

«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 2 vs TN 2 for "Killin a Watcher with F7 Spiritbolt D Damage":
1 2 2 3 4 5 5 8 10 15 = 9 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Willpower + Sorcery Pool: 8 vs TN 3 for "Need 8 to full resist Drain":
1 1 1 2 2 2 3 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 7 7 8 9 16 = 14 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 1 vs TN 7 for "You are kidding, right?":
3 = 0 Successes

«Plot» Kassandra says, "Spirit dies"

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 4 for "Mystery":
3 4 4 8

It seems to you that, for some reason, the boundaries between the astral and metaplanes is very weak here. Even so, it shouldn't just tear like that for no reason. Just the way it opened and closed almost suggests a sort of intelligence.

Ally doesn't even so much as point at the spirit before she destroys it. There go the sentries. That lets her look towards Kass then. Then she comms in. "I don't know what it is, the planes…kinda closer here. It's strange and I don't like it."

Kass frowns inside her helmet, scanning the area for anything she can see. She remarks over the comm, "You wanna go? I mean, we can just bail on this and head back? No sense risking something if you are uncomfortable?"

"I'm not thrilled about it but I can't put my finger on whether or not it's something I need to be worried about," Ally admits, shaking her head a little bit. "We'll keep on. Just will really be keeping my eyes open."

"Yes ma'am." Kass bobs her head, "We'll move forward then, but if something changes tell me and we'll bug out. I am not risking you over some stupid gangers. Same plan as before or do you want to change things?"

"No…no, we'll go same plan, I think. Calling first one of our big guys…now," Ally tells Kass, focusing on that strange connection she has with the bound elementals to summon it to be 'on call'. Once onto the roof she'll start him into action.

Kass nods, drawing the pistol off her left hip, the smart circuits interfacing with her armor. Information floods across her heads-up display as the targeting computer built into the armor begins to work, projecting firing trajectories and information.

«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Magic vs TN 5 for "Think thats the right TN for Filtering.":
1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 4 5 5 11 13 = 4 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 4 for "Need several 12s or better to see anything":
1 3 4 5

Aladriel takes the time to attune herself to the background count in the area, then looks astrally at Kassandra. "Lemme grab onto you and get us over onto the roof? Don't want to cast yet just to make sure everything's well."

Kass smiles and reaches out a hand, taking a hold of Ally and pulling her close. She breaths out the command and takes them both into the air, murmuring, "I told you I'd take you flying for a change." A faint laugh, her left hand moving to scan around with the smart linked weapon, giving it a last check before combat.

Ally laughs softly, allowing that light sound to flit out where Kass can hear it. "You did," she says with a smile. "We'll do a longer one later. One just for fun."

"This isn't fun?" Kass teases, "I thought you got all excited when we put on armour and sailed out over a dozen or more people that wanted to shoot at us." She keeps a firm grip on the mage around her waist, letting the light banter fade away as they come to just over the warehouse. "They are on the third floor it appears, or most of them. I doubt the elemental will stop once he plows through, so we have to make a few examples before they wanna talk."

"Oh I know, I just meant… complete fun without even the slightest risk," Ally mentions as they lift through air and come to rest right above the warehouse. "I'll tell him crash through the first floor and draw some fire. It'll be a good distraction if nothing else. You ready?" she asks.

Giving Ally one last squeeze, Kass remarks, "I am ready." There is a faint click and hiss as she closes down the armor and switches on the respirator, preventing airborne attacks like tear gas. The gun in her hand clicks off safety, reading ready to go.

Aladriel takes a deep breath and then contacts the Earth Elemental she's brought onto call. Mentally she says: 'Crash through the roof, please, and feel free to punch anyone who attacks you.'

The Elemental nods slowly (you can feel it), agreeing to your terms. It manifests next to you, a mountain of rock and marble and swirls of reddish animating force beneath. Once fully on this plane gravity takes hold of the creature, pulling a near ton of rock-like material down. The roof simply shreds beneath the impact like the lid of a cup having a straw punched through.

A tremendous sound is heard as it crashes through the floors beneath, a cloud of dust and debris rising up through the hole. The music stops immediately and there are sounds of scream and profanity.

Kass murmurs over the comm, "Going down." She brings the pistol up, killing her invisibility. Her 'magic cloak' relies on scanners and they aren't going to do well with all the dust.

A Roll of Thunder

As you drift quietly down you can see what was probably some sort of party going on before the Elemental crashed through. There are at least a dozen gangers in the Bolts colours in various stages of dress and armament. One ganger in the corner is trailing electrical energy off his hands and looking around and everyone is talking at once. There are hangers on here as well, girls and boys that haven't joined and are here for the party, for the sex, to get noticed.

Aladriel stays invisible just because it didn't occur to her to drop the spell. She's brought in nice and gently by Kassandra and then she gets to see full well what everyone is doing and what they are up to. Holy…she stops counting after 4. Four was probably more than she'd have liked. So with that having been said, she goes straight into survival mode: reaching into her grimmorie to come up with a massive spell that may just even the odds.

«Plot» Aladriel casting Force 8 Stunball at S Stun.

<Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 5 vs TN 5 for "Casting F8 Stunball at S Drain, whoosh!":
1 1 1 1 1 1 3 4 5 5 5 8 17 = 5 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 5 - 5 vs TN 5 for "Casting F8 Stunball at S Drain, whoosh! 1KP for fun!":
1 2 2 2 5 5 5 15 = 4 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Willpower + Sorcery Pool: 4 vs TN 4 for "Need 8 to fully resist":
1 1 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 5 9 11 22 = 6 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Willpower + Sorcery Pool: 4 - 6 vs TN 4 for "Need 8 to fully resist KP 2/33.":
1 1 1 1 1 4 4 5 10 11 = 5 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 5 (Willpower) + 4 (spell defense) vs TN 8 for "Mage":
3 3 4 4 4 4 4 5 11 = 1 Success

«Plot» Kassandra says, "5 gangers go down, 12 wannabes go down. Mage 1 goes down."

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Pistols + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 2 for "You. No, not you, you.":
1 1 2 2 3 4 5 7 10 = 7 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 4 (Body) vs TN 6 for "Resist 10S Gel round burst":
2 3 4 11 = 1 Success

When faced with the just the possibility that there could be more than 6 guns turned on them at once, it doesn't matter how good their armor is or their luck. Ally simply does not like those odds, and at being just at startled as facing them as the people must be who just got an elemental in their face, Aladriel does not hold back. She releases her grip from around Kassandra's waist and throws her arms wide, throwing out a ball of damaging magic.

Kass feels Ally moving next to her, her own eyes taking in the scene. She doesn't hesitate, targeting the closest ganger in Bolts colours and almost negligently shooting him in the chest with the Savalette. The high powered weapon barks out a burst of ballistic gel rounds, slamming the boy down and over a couch, the sound of ribs breaking in the process.

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 6 for "Morale Check for gang. 6 gang members down, 1 mage down. Numbers reduced by half. Superior odds. Must have 21 or better on total dice to continue":
1 2 3 3 5 7

«Plot» Kassandra says, "Gangers make morale check and continue. We move to init"

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Initiative with a result of 21.
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 1 for "+3, gangers init":
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 1 for "+2, wannabes init":
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Initiative with a result of 16.
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 1 for "+3, Mage 2's init":
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 3 for "+5, leaders init":
8 10 11

«Plot» Aladriel would assign 6 Spell Pool die to Kassie, 3 to herself for Shielding.

«Plot» Kassandra says, "Inits: Leader (23), Kassandra (21), Aladriel (16), Gangers (6), Mage 2 (4), Wannabes (4)"

There is silence for almost a moment before the screams of the gangers can be heard as well as some sort of crashing from beneath you. An older man, well, older than the other gangers, gives a whoop and cry, diving over the couch and moving to attack Kassandra since he can see her. He has a wickedly curved blade in one hand and a pair of shuriken in the other, his speed just this side of astounding.

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 4 (edged) + 3 (Adept power) + 4 (CP) vs TN 4 for "Leader attacks Kassandra":
1 1 3 4 4 4 4 5 5 8 14 = 8 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Brawling + Combat Pool: 3 vs TN 5 for "Defending vs. Knife, reach is against her":
2 3 3 3 4 5 5 = 2 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Brawling + Combat Pool: 3 - 2 vs TN 5 for "Defending vs. Knife, reach is against her, karma reroll":
3 3 3 5 7 = 2 Successes

«Plot» Kassandra says, "Kass rolls body to resist 5 deadly damage"

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Body + Combat Pool: 8 vs TN 2 for "Resisting 5D attack, -8 Impact armour, need 8 successes to remove all damage":
1 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 8 8 13 = 13 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Pistols + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 5 for "Kass shoots gang leader, +2 TN for being in Melee, -2 Smart Armor. Base damage 10S (gel burst), TN 5 to dodge":
1 1 1 2 3 4 5 5 5 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Pistols + Combat Pool: 4 - 3 vs TN 5 for "Kass shoots gang leader, +2 TN for being in Melee, -2 Smart Armor. Base damage 10S (gel burst), TN 5 to dodge, karma reroll KP 2/15":
1 1 1 3 4 7 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Pistols + Combat Pool: 4 - 4 vs TN 5 for "Kass shoots gang leader, +2 TN for being in Melee, -2 Smart Armor. Base damage 10S (gel burst), TN 5 to dodge, karma reroll KP 4/15":
1 1 2 11 13 = 2 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 6 (Body) + Combat Pool: 2 vs TN 5 for "Gang Leader resists base 10S damage, +6 succeses=10D+1 damage, -5 armor":
1 2 3 3 3 4 5 11 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 6 (Body) + Combat Pool: 2 - 2 vs TN 5 for "Gang Leader resists base 10S damage, +6 succeses=10D+1 damage, -5 armor, karma reroll kp 1/5":
1 1 3 4 5 5 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 6 (Body) + Combat Pool: 2 - 4 vs TN 5 for "Gang Leader resists base 10S damage, +6 succeses=10D+1 damage, -5 armor, karma reroll kp 3/5":
1 3 5 5 = 2 Successes

«Plot» Kassandra says, "Aladriel goes. Gang leader takes a Serious Stun damage"

The gang leader is a blur of motion, coming at the tiny elven girl for all he is worth. Kass releases Aladriel on solid ground but doesn't cease floating, using her flight and agility to her advantage. She back peddles a few feet, giving her room to maneuver and block, right arm deflecting the blows again and again, heavy armour turning the blade's cuts away from less armoured vital spots, away from her face. She is almost as fast as the man, their fight simply a blur of motion to anyone not augmented by magic or metal.

Silk swats the blade away from her face and raises the gel round carrying Savalette again. Another burst hammers out, catching the lightning quick leader of the gang across the left thigh and hip and spinning him around. He rolls backwards and back to his feet, favoring that leg and eyes wide at the pain. He breaths hard as she raises the weapon again, speaking in an electronically modulated tone, "Surrender."

Aladriel quickly surveys the combat arena. She sees her fiancée in battle with a crazy man with a knife but she can't devote her attention to her. She has to trust that Kassandra can handle herself…that's part of teamwork. Because if she helps, it means taking her attention off of everyone else, any one of them capable of doing who knows…like the one who's got to be a spell caster. Aladriel's hand curls into almost like a 'C' as though she was cupping something, and she practically winds up before 'throwing' a spell. This is a spell that is tangible and visible (and audible!) on the physical plane. A thunderous rush like a storm taking place *right* in this very room.

«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 2 vs TN 4 for "Casting F7 Thunderbolt at M. This spell stages.":
1 1 1 2 2 2 3 4 5 9 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 2 - 3 vs TN 4 for "Casting F7 Thunderbolt at M. This spell stages. KP 3/33":
1 2 3 3 5 9 14 = 3 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 4 (spell defense) vs TN 7 for "Please dont let me get hit!":
2 4 4 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 4 (spell defense) vs TN 7 for "Please dont let me get hit!, karma reroll 1/3":
2 3 4 5 = 0 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Willpower vs TN 4 for "Need 6 to resist S Drain":
1 1 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 7 7 = 7 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 6 vs TN 4 for "Ok, sure, I can't use magics, but I can dodge!":
2 3 3 4 5 5 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 6 - 3 vs TN 4 for "Ok, sure, I can't use magics, but I can dodge!, karma 2/3":
2 2 5 = 1 Success

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 3 (body) vs TN 5 for "Resist Thunderbolt, 7S currently, -2 for impact armor. Also take blast effects.":
1 2 3 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 3 (body) vs TN 5 for "Resist Thunderbolt, 7S currently, -2 for impact armor. Also take blast effects. karma reroll 3/3":
2 4 5 = 1 Success

«Plot» Kassandra says, "Mage takes serious stun, is deaf 3 combat turns, is knocked down,"

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 5 for "Morale Check. 6 teammates down, 1 mage down, 2nd mage injured and almost out, leader beaten by girl. Need 20+ on total dice":
2 2 5 9 10

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 3 (skill) + Combat Pool: 3 vs TN 5 for "Firing on Kass, Colt Manhunters, base damage 9M. +2 TN for firing into melee, -1 TN for laser sight. Ganger 1":
2 2 4 5 9 10 = 3 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 3 (skill) + Combat Pool: 3 vs TN 5 for "Firing on Kass, Colt Manhunters, base damage 9M. +2 TN for firing into melee, -1 TN for laser sight. Ganger 2":
1 1 3 4 4 8 = 1 Success

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 3 (skill) + Combat Pool: 3 vs TN 5 for "Firing on Kass, Colt Manhunters, base damage 9M. +2 TN for firing into melee, -1 TN for laser sight. Ganger 3":
1 1 1 2 4 5 = 1 Success

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 3 (skill) + Combat Pool: 3 vs TN 5 for "Firing on Kass, Colt Manhunters, base damage 9M. +2 TN for firing into melee, -1 TN for laser sight. Ganger 4":
1 4 4 7 8 11 = 3 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Body vs TN 2 for "Kass resists damage using body, -10 TN for armor. Resist 9S (need 6 successes)":
1 2 2 2 3 3 4 10 17 = 8 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Body vs TN 2 for "Kass resists damage using body, -10 TN for armor. Resist 9M (need 4 successes)":
3 3 4 4 5 8 10 11 14 = 9 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Body vs TN 2 for "Kass resists damage using body, -10 TN for armor. Resist 9M (need 4 successes)":
1 2 2 2 3 3 5 8 13 = 8 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Body vs TN 2 for "Kass resists damage using body, -10 TN for armor. Resist 9S (need 6 successes)":
1 2 2 3 3 5 9 10 10 = 8 Successes

The Bolts' mage waves his hand to try to deflect the energies he feels coming towards him. His eyes widen as the spell keeps coming like a freight train towards him, building speed and power, roaring through the air. He panics and throws himself to the side, narrowly missing the full force of the spell and yet catching enough that he is dazed and thrown across the room, skidding three meters into a wall and laying there, ears ringing, the plaster all around him shattered and falling.

The four Bolts arrayed around the room do the only logical thing: there is just one little chick and she can't stop them all. They open up on her with their pistols, each firing a round and moving to hide behind chairs or couches or whatever else there is. She may not die!

Kassandra jerks as bullets impact on the heavy polyceramic plates of her armor. A few shatter from the impacts but the rest hold, resisting the heavy pistol rounds and denying any penetration. She stands there, her armor pockmarked from the shots but otherwise unharmed, the tink-tink of flattened ten milimeter rounds clinking to the floor the only noise for a moment.

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 5 for "Morale Check. 6 teammates down, 1 mage down, 2nd mage injured and almost out, leader beaten by girl. Need 24+ on total dice, attacker immune to gunfire":
1 1 1 3 4

«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Willpower for "Self Restraint test. High would be good.":
1 1 2 2 3 4 4 4 4 5 7 11

The leader watches the small armoured figure simply stand there and take four shots at close range. He's seen people die from less. He's seen *cars* die from less! Although confident in his own brand of magic, he wasn't even able to draw blood on the female figure, and got shot in the process.

His knife falls to the ground, sticking there. He lets the shuriken fall too and says, "Drop the guns, guys. What do you want?"

Kass levels the Savalette at the man, the targeting icon on his heart. She keys her comm, "Phoenix, are you all right?"

Aladriel just saw the love of her life get shot four times in the blink of an eye. She couldn't do a thing to stop it. If the armor had buckled…. but no, no, she's fine. There doesn't seem to be a single scratch on Kassandra. Aladriel had felt the rush, practically seen the red creep in from the sides of her vision as she was filled with a terrible anger. But….Kassandra's fine. She's in complete control.
Still…Aladriel carefully puts her hand on the hilt of the katana sheathed at her hip drawing it just a small bit.

Commlink-«Phoenix»> Aladriel says, "I'm fine. *You're* okay?"

The other gangers lower their weapons carefully, looking to their leader in askance. It isn't often that they shoot something and it doesn't at least fall over if not die outright. Below them, there are the sounds of destruction and mayhem as the Elemental wanders around. It isn't actively breaking things, but it weighs a literal ton.

The dazed mage sits there, trying to clear his head. He couldn't hear the order to stand down, but he also sees three tiny armored forms and doesn't know which one to attack yet.

Commlink-«Silk» "I am fine. Bruises, nothing else."

Commlink-«Phoenix»> Aladriel says, "Thank the goddess!"

Aloud, Kass says to the gang leader, "We come with a message. You are bothering people, you are hurting people. If this happens again, I will come back and kill every single one of you and burn this place down. I will salt the earth and scatter your ashes." The hammer pulls back on the Savalette, "Do you believe me?"

The man swallows and looks down the barrel of the gun, the distance between the two seeming much less. There is a hush in the room as even the wannabes can sense that things are at a tipping point and anything can upset the apple cart.

«OOC» Aladriel will take a quick astral look around to make sure there's no baddy lurking around, and will recall the elemental upstairs.

«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Intelligence:
1 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Intelligence for "KP 5!":
1 1 1 1 2 4 4 5 5 7

Astrally, you can see that the gang leader is an Adept with his powers geared towards speed and martial prowess, as well as a mild resistance to magic. The mage in the corner is still dazed and is no where near your power. He is trying to assense at the moment and you can feel his fear even from here. There are no astral bad guys lurking, no elementals currently called besides your own.

Aladriel looks around carefully and then takes her eyes out of the astral. She walks quickly to where the mage she thunderbolt'd is down on the ground. She draws her sword, which will be visible, and kinda waggles it in front of him. "Relax," she says firmly, speaking for the first time.

The Bolts' leader nods slowly, keeping his hands very still. "Null sheen, null sheen. We were just funnin', don't mean no harm now." He swallows, the barrel pointed at him not wavering a fraction.

Everyone's eyes snap to where the new voice comes from, looking spooked and edging back. The mage whimpers and puts his hands out, closing his eyes.

Kassandra speaks again, voice distorted. "Don't make us come back. Stay on your turf." She steps towards the hole they had made to enter the warehouse and waits.

Aladriel starts after Kassandra, her sword bobbing ominously in the air as she walks. Then she stops and turns around. Remembering. "Who's idea was it to attack a woman and cut off her finger?" she asks, voice low.

Everyone takes a deep breath and looks between them. Two of the gangers start to point and the leader shakes his head, "Don't do it!" The two gangers hesitate, look at the leader, look at the bobbing sword and the armored form, and then point to the mage Ally thunderbolted. "He did it!"

Ah. Aladriel turns around and goes right back where she'd just been. "Stand up," she tells the mage, voice rather calm under the circumstances.

The mage shakes his head and tries to curl into a ball. "No nonono!"

Kassandra pivots slightly so she can watch most of the room, switching the pistol to her right hand, drawing a fresh with the left. The clip on this one, however, is a dull silver colour which means it is NOT gel rounds that will come out the next time.

Aladriel behind her mask doesn't look too sympathetic to the man's cause. Far from it. She doesn't make any motion as she winds up for a spell, casting…probably not the spell someone would expect. She casts quietly, without circumstance, and then sheaths her sword…

«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 8 + 2 (Power) vs TN 4 for "Casting F7 Increase Strength…want 14 successes, grr":
1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 4 5 5 5 13 = 5 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 8 + 2 (Power) - 5 vs TN 4 for "Casting F7 Increase Strength…want 14 successes, grr KP 6/33":
1 2 2 3 3 3 4 5 5 5 8 8 9 = 7 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Willpower vs TN 4 for "M Drain Resist":
1 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 5 5 7 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Willpower vs TN 4 for "M Drain Resist":
1 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 5 5 7 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Willpower - 3 vs TN 4 for "M Drain Resist KP 7":
1 3 4 5 5 5 5 7 9 = 7 Successes

Lightning Crashes

More strength was exactly what Aladriel wanted and needed at that moment. She doesn't so much dive ontop of the mage as she does carefully put her weight atop him, using the point of her knee for control, one leg to balance. Her left hand grabs for hair so she can control the head. It's a vice like grip. Her right, dominant hand balls into a fist and she takes a deep breath, thinking back to her Tai Chi exercises and forms. Focus. Punch *through* the target, was always the word. Fists lined with super-hard, ridged Hardliner gloves, Ally takes careful aim with a punch a troll would be proud of, and lets it rip right into the man's mouth, teeth clearly her target.

Kass lets the barrel of the new pistol point at the gang leader, the other watching the four remaining gangers. She doesn't say anything, the threat of two rapid-fire high powered pistols more than enough threat. The lesser gangers wince as Ally punches the mage, although one of them even looks happy about it despite his fear. The gang leader rises up on his toes, kept in place only by the threat of death.

The mage spits teeth as Ally slams into him with a magically enhanced punch, jaw fracturing with a loud pop. He screams and struggles in her grasp but lacks the strength to get away, his screams turning to sobs after the punch.

She's invisible, so no one can see it. But Aladriel's hand had pulled back for another punch. But she waited, and saw with satisfaction that the first did everything she'd hoped. She got teeth. She lets go of the sobbing mage and leaves him there, going over to Kassandra then without a further word. She wraps both hands around the woman's waist and comms to let her know that all's well. She'll cast another spell as they go.

«Auto-Judge[]» Aladriel (#604) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 5 vs TN 4 for "Casting Trid Phantasm":
1 2 2 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 11 15 = 6 Successes

Commlink-«Phoenix»> Aladriel says, "Ready."

The right hand weapon is slide away as Ally joins Kass, the comforting weight of the woman even through the armor welcome. She keeps the left hand pistol still trained for the center mass. She doesn't say anything to the gangers, no more needs to be said. Some invisible force has broken their mage's jaw, most of their number are on the ground unconscious or stunned, their leader demoralized. Their headquarters, a shamble.

Kassandra rises into the air and begins to fade from existence, the black cloak around her body coming to life and distorting her image.

When Kassandra starts to rise up into the air, Aladriel's spell bursts into existence. An enormous bird with it's entire body encompassed in rippling flames. It seems to rise up right from where Kassandra's armored form just stood and swoops up to take her and the invisible Aladriel out of the gang's den. Leaving on the wing's of a phoenix.

The Firebird Effect

The pair rise up into the night's air, the wind rippling at them before Kassandra changes course to the van, staying high above prying eyes. Beneath them, several of the night's denizens have come out to watch the show, to see what is happening, and maybe to gloat that one of the local predators was slapped down.

The moon is out in all her glory as Aladriel and Kassandra settle before the van, the vehicle wisely left alone and unmolested. Kass finally speaks aloud, murmuring, "I am glad you are alright, my love. Let's go?"

Wrapped about Kassandra, Ally squeezes her tighter. "More than ready to go. Going to look you over and make sure you're okay, that nothing's wrong and…you're okay," she just breathes, letting out a long sigh.

May 18, 2009

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