783/Heck Mouth Part 3: The Mouthening

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Heck Mouth Part 3: The Mouthening
Date of Scene: 10 October 2014
Location: Chicago-667
Synopsis: Harry Dresden and a motley crew of investigators meet Gentleman John Marcone, get bribed, and then beat the crap out of a half-manifested outsider. Hilarity and blood ensues.
Cast of Characters: 206, 253, Riva Banari, Inga, 569, 570, 585, 591

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Harry Dresden grumbles faintly as he stands outside of what was listed in county records long ago as the Oak Park National Bank. It's not looking quite so magnificent and Victorian as it once did though. It's a middle class neighborhood aiming for something more, the signs of slow gentrification pushing through as developers knock buildings over for the new. This one seems mostly untouched, at least the major architecture.
    The old building has gone through some interesting renovations and there's now a sign out front that names the place as Holistic Health and Reiki Clinic. Three Things that Harry really doesn't seem to care too much about.

    It's also got an 'open 24 hours' sign in one of the old plate glass windows. There's a slow, if steady stream of traffic to the place.

    Harry is across the street in a little park space, polishing off a hotdog and favoring a bottle of Mexican Pepsi as he watches the place. He'd asked for help from the Union and the Usual Suspects, and... well.
    He's not sure what's going to be inside.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Kimiko Shinobu is here, looking much like any other girl wrapped up in a great coat and scarf. The silver hair, sans hat, is noticeable on some worlds, less so in others, but her overall impression is still pretty ordinary. The hotdog helps.

    Hotdogs probably aren't very good for you, but it's tasty and they don't really serve them in Mitakihara, so she's taking the opportunity. Not so sure she wanted this many condiments.

    "Reiki, huh," is the first thing she says on arrival, followed more formally by, "Hello, Mr. Dresden."

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    A woman with extremely long crimson hair, sparkling blue eyes, a generic white t-shirt and some jeans walks up from behind Harry, tapping him on the shoulder. She's barely five foot three, not exactly noteworthy. She has a detective's hat on, hard-boiled brown in color.

    "Yo, yo, Dresden-senpai."

    Aoko produces her best :D face, indicating the hat. "Eh? Eh? Isn't it great? It's almost like I'm a professional too!"

    A gust of wind confiscates the hat.
    She awws.

    Nevermind the fact she's got some sort of evil, passive aura and feels absolutely inhuman. It's a feature, and probably caused by her amazing friendliness and smile.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    There's no Psyber here today. However, there is a man who very closely resembles such a person. That man is wearing a black sports jacket, black slacks, dress shoes, and a pair of sunglasses to cover his red eyes, regardless of time of day (no tie, top button undone. Very classy). That man's name is Jim Croce, according to his incredibly well-faked CIA badge.

    He calmly steps out of the vehicle he drove up in: A classic 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 in black and white paint (Picture: kra0FoK.jpg). He adjusts his belt and sunglasses, hand falling to the holstered gun right in front of a similarly placed knife. He has a cigarette that he's smoking.

    "Dresden," says Totally-Not-Psyber, flashing his CIA badge, "CIA's here to investigate these domestic terrorism threats. Why don't you take us to the crimescene?"

    Anyone with the senses to tell, Psyber is definitely only partially human.

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
Bigby Wolf was actually almost pleasantly surprised to hear from Harry over his newly-purchased multiverse-capable radio. Maybe SOME of his ally-gathering hasn't been for nothing, if the wizard thought to call him for help. In any case, sending more horrors back to their horror-world and keeping them out of this one is the kind of cause he can support.

At the appointed time, on the dot, the permanently scruffy looking man strolls up the sidewalk through the park area, hands shoved into the pockets of a... slightly different looking but still shapeless and ill-fitting coat, and a cigarette dangling from his lips. "Is that more of this... mundies pretending to be witches crap?" he tacks onto Kimiko's comment as he comes up at the back of the gathering group.

He pauses, and his nose wrinkles as he blatantly SNIFFS in Aoko's direction. Something's off there.

Inga has posed:
Inga stands next to Harry, more than a foot shorter than him, making no attempt today to fit in with the locals. The only more modern outfit she had was currently being washed from the last place like this--two hundred year old blood sure does stain. So, the crowd will just have to deal with Inga in a long dress straight out of the viking age. She'd worn the older green dress, anticipating more blood stains. It sort of comes with the territory.

Inga narrows her eyes slightly as she gazes across the street. "This may be more difficult, people continue to come and go," she comments, looking up toward Harry. The wisewoman tosses a long white braid over her shoulder, finishes the last bite of hot dog, then turns to see others approaching. The woman nods to Kimiko, shrugging slightly. "I haven't a clue what reiki is," she admits. Then Aoki arrives, and Inga blinks several time efore nodding in greeting to her. There would be a few new faces (pretty ones too) today it would seem. There is something incredibly...strange feeling about Aoki, but then she might feel something odd from Inga as well. As always, close to her there is a faint smell of honey.

A man arrives, says some words she doesn't understand...another nod is given.

Then at last a somewhat familiar face. Inga nods to Bigby, smiling faintly. "Sir Wolf," she greets.

Inga then looks back up toward Harry, eyebrows rising. Well, he's leading here. She waits to hear the plan.

Bitter Medicine (569) has posed:
     There is a preponderance of signs here, posted along the road at even intervals. Most of them have the number forty-five, but thirty-five and twenty are not uncommon. The lower numbers seem to correspond with residential areas. The Alchemical in the skies above Chicago descends for a closer look--ah. Speed limit. He's nothing if not respectful of the laws of other peoples, so he faitfhully observes the posted limits. They must relate to air traffic as well, right?

     Carried along by jets of purple plasma, leaving cinders in his wake, he eventually finds a tall, haggard man eating processed meat among a motley crew of multiversals. Unless he's stumbled upon an organized loitering syndicate, this must be the Union crew. He stops, some sixty feet above them, and descends perpendicular to the ground, the roar of his Plasma Thruster Assembly growing steadily louder until it completely shuts off, punctuated by the thud of jackboots on asphalt. "Comrades."

     Here's the second man of the group to arrive in a long coat of some sort, but where Dresden's is all cowboys and Indians, his is comrades and insurrectionaries. And there is of course the somewhat... Mesoamerican makeup he wears, complemented by his silver earrings. Bitter Medicine takes a look around, surveying the others. "Bitter Medicine, Chosen of Autochthon." A pause, and a pair of glances--one to Bigby, the other to Dresden. "I see I'm among like-minded fellows."

Riva Banari has posed:
Riva is here too! There's a couple new people, and a lot of familiat faces. "Heya." She says, approaching with a wrapped taco in her hand. She unwraps it and crunches into it quite deliberately. The sound of the hard corn shell breaking is loud. "So what's the plan?" Riva asks.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    And the Gang's All Here. Harry snorts at the Reiki questions from Kimiko. "Uh, it's... supposed to be 'Chi Healing' or something like that, it's not... I haven't found anyone who's doing more than holding hands over someone and humming for a while. Not while calling it Reiki."
    Psyber an Aoko get sighs, and slumping shoulders. Aoko's... more of a wild card than he is, and this is getting weirder by the second. He salutes Psyber though and sighs. "Hello... Mr. Angel. Nice of you to come with your lovely young assistant." A look at Aoko. A LOOK. He's got his eye on you young lady.
    Bigby gets a professional nod from one gumshoe to the other before Harry smiles at Inga and... practically flails at Bitter. "Oy oy oy this isn't a bust, we're trying to do this discrete, cut th-fff.. gah." He waves hands as if a bunch of wierdos on the street corner outside a building isn't obvious enough. The hotdog man is already booking it. He knows trouble.

    "Okay so this place is on the list of buildings that were laid by the Three Branches Modern Architectural Society back in the early 1840s. It's still in use, it's bounced around holders in the past and is now in the hands of a bunch of hippies from Racine called the Dayspring Holistic Convergsense Collective LLC. So, uh. Hippies. I'm not expecting much but.. well."

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
Bigby gives Bitter Medicine a very long, hard look up and down. "Like minded as in what?" he asks dryly. "MY getup is designed NOT to attract attention." Nevertheless, he thrusts forth a hand to shake. "Name's Bigby," he introduces himself.

With his other hand he plucks the cigarette from his lips and taps the ash in a light shower to the ground. "Of COURSE it's hippies," he remarks sardonically. "Who ELSE would be using a demon-summoning hellmouth building to hawk holistic scams?"

A beat, a quick glance around at all present. "Got a bigger crew tonight. You must be expecting /something/."

Psyber (253) has posed:
    "Ick, I hate hippies," Psyber complains, slipping his fake badge back into his jacket, apparently done pretending to be CIA for now. Instead he looks around at everyone, "Oh right, if you haven't met me, call me Psyber. As good a name as any. Nice to meet everyone. Dresden and I work in a similar field, so I'm here to lend professional help."

    He does hold up a finger to correct Dresden, "Half-angel. The half is a very important distinction, as I'm sure a wizard like you will know, Mister Dresden." He grins a bit and then takes a long drag from his cigarette and sighs, looking over at the building, trying to figure out what he thinks.

    He flicks some ash from the cigarette, letting it fall to the ground, "If it bounces owners a lot, it may have something built into the building to drive people out. We should watch for any special security systems like a poltergeist or something," He conjectures, thinking some more.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    Not-Psyber gets an exaggerated pouting frown from Aoko.
    On the other hand he is completely right not to trust her with a fake police badge, it would definitely not end very well at all.

    The normal and mundane magus eyes the not-a-wolf-at-all man, sniffing as well. This is far less productive than she thought it would be, and rather than ask him why he's smelling her, she suddenly twirls, facing Inga. "Honey! You're carrying honey. Why are you carrying honey and can I have some?"

    She should probably stop messing around though.

    "So magical hippies, got it. Is the building that important? Does it matter they're here and not half a block further on the street?" Generic question, since she hasn't gotten a feel for this place yet. Leylines, where currents flow. She's paying attention to that NOW, but wasn't five minutes ago.

    "Oh, right. Aozaki Aoko. Aoko's fine. Or just Blue. Blue's fine too."

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
Bigby makes a mental note to call her Aoko. He already knows a Blue, and she looks NOTHING like him.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Kimiko doesn't talk while eating a hotdog. That would be rude. She swallows, hesitates, then responds to Bigby with a nod. "You'd call them 'cults,' I think." After another pause, "In my world. Here could be different." From what Harry says, it's about the same.

    Not-Psyber gets a look, then a nod after Harry goes ahead and calls him Angel. Disguises are a little lost on her. With a crew like this, anyway. Maybe if plasma jets /weren't/ involved... Other, less familiar faces get yet briefer acknowledgement, though some are at least familiar voices.

    "Shinobu. Kimiko." Right. Introductions done.

    Until someone demands her attention, she'll be people-watching.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Aoko and anyone else doing cursory magical examinations of the place from here will sense... there's a stain on the place. A lot of bad things have happened in this building over the years and it feels like That Stain On Your Carpet You Need To Get A Rug Doctor To Get Out only metaphysical and vaguely malevolent.

Inga has posed:
Ah, another familiar figure! Though one she'd only met briefly in one of the strangest places she's ever stumbled into--that restaurant. It had been a little overwhelming, but she does remember Bitter Medicine well. "Hail, Chosen of Autochthon," she greets, bowing her head some, a small grin appearing as Dresden flails. Yes, this was going to be more difficult than the last one.

Inga turns her head to see Riva, grin growing as she nods a friendly greeting. She has a taco. Where do all these tacos come from!? Riva and Wuyin always seem to have at least one on hand.

Psyber introduced herself and Inga nods her head. "A pleasure, I am Inga. I saw you spar with Lady Arturia I believe," she comments. The night of the party, when Bedivere had gotten drunk on mead. An interesting evening.

Inga has no idea what a hippie is but they seem to be universally reviled for some reason. Huh.

Inga is then faced with Aoko, her eyes widening slightly as if she were and excited dog Inga is afraid is going to jump up and knock her over. "Ah, I do not have any honey. I just...smell that way," she explains awkwardly.

As Harry explains some of the situation, Inga nods. "It is likely we will need to be breaking a long enduring curse--may be messy," she adds.

Then, to Harry she asks. "Do we need a...distraction perhaps?"

Bitter Medicine (569) has posed:
     Bitter Medicine gives Dresden and Bigby a couple of flat looks, but not before looking over his shoulder at the fleeing hot dog merchant. "I had to commandeer a child's bicycle the last time I went to a world of this size without my First Responder Suite. Do you have any idea how ridiculous six feet of thug looks on ten pounds of pink metal?" He cracks his neck, and adds, with resignation, "Besides, when this /does/ turn into a bust, you'll both thank me."

     Inga receives a formal bow from the self-described thug. "Hail, Chosen of the Bees." He's yet to see a bee, so he's not sure what they are, but it's important to greet your peers with respect, or so the politicians of the Tripartite say.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Dresden grumps. "Bouncing owners seems to be a trend with these places, that's what tipped it off for me. They may not be able to sense it, but no one likes living over a hellish demon circle thingy."
    The Wizard pockets the wrapper for his hotdog, and carries the glass Pepsi bottle with him. "Me, I was planning to walk in the front this time. It's hippies and breaking in while they're open is... uh."
    He scratches at his head. "I'm in enough trouble with the cops as it is. Besides, we've got the CIA, the Templars and a Viking with us. Totally legit."
    He waves at Psyber, and laughs, and starts walking across the street.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Kimiko turns to Bitter Medicine to impart Important Information, delivered in her usual, flat tone.

    "You can requisition an appropriate vehicle from any Union garage."

    Then she scarfs the rest of the hot dog, and proceeds after Harry at a casual pace.

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
Bigby looks up and his eyes seem to light up with anticipation, at the suggestion of a distraction. He can be a very good distraction. But then again... the Chosen of Autochthon over is pretty much a walking distraction already. And HIS talents may be needed elsewhere, if this place is half as dark and dusty as the last one.

And then Harry announces he's going right in the front door anyway. Bigby shrugs, and follows after him, taking one last puff of his cigarette before tossing the butt down in the street, and mashing it beneath one shoe. Hippies don't appreciate smoking, and apparently they DON'T want to make a scene. Yet. He'll need his nose free and clear, anyway.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "Walking up front is fine with me," Aoko simply says, not lagging too far behind Harry as he takes off. Not unless someone stops her, anyway. She'd be likely to go along whatever other crazy plans come up, as long as they're entertaining.

    "Though, you should really consider just razing this place. I'd do it for free if you want! Catching some pretty awful vibes in the air, the kinds that make this place a perfect gathering spot for moustache-twirling modern-day necromancers." She has no filter between what she thinks and what she says, no. Not usually, anyway. Definitely not right now.

    Then she looks back towards Psyber. "Hey, hey, this counts as a contract, right? I'm totally getting paid for hanging out with you and fighting crime, yes?"

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Not unlike Bigby, Psyber discards his own cigarette, following after the mage with a slight laugh. His hands fall into his pockets and he looks over at Aoko, "If you're good, I'll see about calling my guy and setting you up a cover ID for Christmas. They take a lot of work, so I've only ever done em for Himei and Homura before." He assures her, trying to break the pouting streak, "And yes, it counts. I'll pay you seven hundred, but I'm going to fine you if you get on my nerves."

    Inga gets a nod of his head, "Ah, yeah, that. That was a fun party. It's never truly a good time until someone snaps my arm, I suppose," He muses with a smile. While walking, his hand falls to the holster on his hip and he unsnaps it. He's not drawing the gun, nor does he intend to quite yet. But it's nice to have on-hand for when things go bad.

    And knowing his luck, they will.

Inga has posed:
As Harry crosses the street, Inga follows. She's on the slow side, leaning on the staff she carries to minimize her limp. She supposes walking in the front door works. Kind of novel. She opens her mouth to lecture Harry on the word viking again, but closes it again. Doesn't matter. It has already apparently embedded itself in the language and no amount of tugging is going to budge it.

Inga glances toward Bigby. She knows he wants to break something. Perhaps today he would get the chance. The aura around the building is strong. Inga can't imagine how anyone could spend time here and not feel it.

From her belt she pulls a knife, quickly pricking her own finger before reaching up to draw a magical symbol upon her forhead, further opening the window of magical sight, though Bigby proved last time his nose can scent out the old blood easily.

Ah well, maybe it will freak out the hippies.

Inga raises an eyebrow toward Psyber, then chuckles.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    For everyone heading in the front door... This is a lot fancier inside than the slightly dingy outside would let on. Fine carpeting, well lit, no overpowering smell of patchouli. It's a small reception desk in a neutrally green room with a well manicured young lady behind the desk. There's signs on 'attend massage classes' and 'feng shui made easy' and 'ask about membership discounts' and the like.
    The magic senses that are on alert will sense a number of things. Somewhere upstairs is a practitioner. Also everyone just passed over a palpable threshold for those it matters to. There's basic magical wardings somewhere inside the building, and the basement's the place where the malevolent sensations are coming from.
    The sensations of the practitioner are shifting as well, they are aware of people in the building.

    The lovely blonde lady in the smart looking green smock murmurs. "We're appointments only today, folks, and group sessions aren't for another hour or so. If you take a brochure, we can help you out with..." And then she looks up... and LOOKS at Psyber and Harry. "Oh! Hello! I didn't realize there were members here." She shuffles around in her desk a bit, fussing. "Hold on just a second, sorry sorry, we'll have someone out for you presently."
    Harry blinks. A lot. He's never been welcomed to a place he's never been to before.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Bigby will smell... massage oil. Aromatherapy. Candles. Blood. Vomit. Fresh bread.

Bitter Medicine (569) has posed:
The Alchemical follows behind Dresden and the others, arms folded behind his back. He takes a look around. For a moment, it occurs to him that he's slightly out of place. It might not be a bad idea to use some of his salary for other wardrobes. Bah. His uniform's always served him right. Why fix what isn't broken?

     This whole time he's been commandeering bicycles and writing receipts for civilians, and he could have just requisitioned a vehicle? "Well. Now I know that," he responds to Kimiko.

     This is unfamiliar territory for him, so he's not going to do anything characteristic of his usual distressingly blunt nature--not yet, anyway. Despite the fact that he's blatantly magical in nature, he's only aware of fluctuations in his own Essence, and could not under any circumstances be considered a sorcerer. A supernatural martial artist, an Exalt, certainly, but not a sorcerer. He flinches slightly as he steps through the door, the threshold interacting gently but perceptibly with his personal and peripheral Essence reserves..

     "Something brushed against my Essence," he utters quietly to those around him. See, he can be subtle! He pretends to be interested in one of the brochures, flipping through it for anything interesting, or anything that might be secret messages couched in New Age lingo.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    "Good, I'm glad you know how this works," Psyber says to the girl in a gruff and faux-annoyed tone. It's a good thing he's wearing sunglasses to cover up the confused look in his eyes, because otherwise that would totally betray his bluff at this.

    The half-angel looks over to Harry and kind of shrugs, "See? This is why I come here. They know exactly how it's supposed to be. I always say, why deal with the hassle if you just don't have to, you know?" He crosses his arms and then looks towards the others.

    Behind his glasses, Psyber's eyes glow a strong red. His vision is on and he's making sure there isn't any magical trap he's about to set off in the lobby, "Don't like this place," He murmurs to himself silently.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Kimiko doesn't have a lot in the way of magical senses. Maybe a little bit of a background sense, the slightest hint of a sixth sense, but the only thing she can clearly sense is where something is Wrong. Even then, in this case, it's too vague for her to get a solid handle on it. So far, at least.

    That's still enough to set her on edge. Something's going on, and more than just Harry being immediately recognized by someone he's never seen. A glance from her to Psyber intends to confirm whether he's seeing the receptionist for the first time, as well.

    "I think they intend to meet us. May as well?"

    She pauses, and looks over the group again, and then activates her radio connection without moving her lips.

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
Bigby Wolf sneezes, despite the lack of patchouli-smell. He gives Dresden and Psyber a halfway incredulous look, mouthing 'members?' "Sorry, I'll come back some other time," he mutters, like a rightly-scolded walk-in loser, and turns to go back outside. His nose got all it needed to with just a quick sniff around.

Blood and vomit. That smells promising. Sardonically, he muses to himself that it would be nice if there were a time when the 'promising' smells were the fresh bread instead. Maybe some bacon.

Trotting lightly back down the front steps, he gives a quick look to either side to catalogue any possible watchers, and then strolls purposefully around the side of the building, his nose twitching. Any casual observer might just think he was the gas man, here to read the meter and having a hard time finding it, the way looks up and down along the wall. Really what he's looking for is a basement window that might be broken into; the last hellmouth was below ground, and it stands to reason this one might be too. In the foundations and all. He's also casting about for that whiff of blood-smell he caught in the foyer.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    What a dreadful place.
    No reason to be gloomy though!

    Aoko remains cheerful, even as she passes through the wards. She supposes that everyone here probably feels like a freight train of magic, not just her, so she's unlikely to get singled out. If anything, weird aura aside, she's pretty mundane as magi go. She'd barely register, unless the wards are of decent quality.

    "Hey, hey, what if we're not members? What's the sign-up package like? Can we get cool cards and welcome gifts, and shake the hand of the owner and get a tour? Is that a premium option?" she decides to ask the lady at the desk, with her big honest smile on.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    The woman produces a pair of brown paper envelopes with Harry's and Psyber's faces plastered on the front, dumps them out on the table, and holds up plain golden ID cards to the both of them. Psyber's picture is apparently taken from file footage from somewhere or another, Harry's is his mug shot from the police department.
    The woman smiles again. "Compliments of Mr. Marcone. We'll get you right inside." She presses a buzzer, and the door opens to the palpable sense of the practitioner from upstairs. She is tall, nordic, blonde, and built like the proverbial brick house. She's also wearing the same green smock that the receptionist is wearing. "Mr. Dresden. Mr. Psyber, welcome to The Holistic Club. Right this way. Your friends too, I suppose." The words are spoken with the faint accent that Inga's got going on.

Riva Banari has posed:
Riva will show you a nice place down in the Haitian Quarter in London sometime Inga. You'd be surprised.

Having been standing in the back of the room eating her taco as quietly as one can, She'd been inching towards a fire alarm, but stops when things are handled. She shrugs slightly to herself and just goes along with the others. Unlike usual, she seems to be keeping herself at a low hum. Buzz? Whatever works.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Bibgy takes the route less traveled and steps outside. The smalls of the street return and he starts casing the joint.
    For a Reiki hippie bullshit place, this place suddenly smells a lot like blood and gunpowder from the basement vents. Whatever sort of HVAC they've got upstairs isn't working on the place downstairs. The blood and vomit is stronger near the basement windows as well. All the ones he's found so far are solid glass block.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Aoko and Kimiko get a flat look fro mthe receptionsit before she sighs and looks at the girls and the motley crew with Dresden. "Ah, Mr. Maronce instructed that you /all/ be let inside. For reasons." She sounds like she doesn't like the idea much now that she's not being forced to be faux polite.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    "Ah heh... heh. Where'd you get that?" Psyber asks in a tone that shows he's laughing out of more annoyance than any sense of humor, "I'm getting real sick of my secret identities getting made through my off-world work." He grumbles to himself silently, crossing his arms as he inspects the ID and then puts it in his wallet, "I assume you have a file on me, right? So you know it's useless to have me leave my weapons behind?" He inquires. Most reports on Psyber all clarify that the weapons are a formality and he is dangerous regardless.

    "Can I get one of those totally awesome hot stone massages, then? I don't go in for acupuncture or mud baths," He boredly asks the receptionist. Why not at least humor this situation for now?

Inga has posed:
Inga remains close behind Harry, frowning slightly with worry as the woman recognizes him and Psyber, saying they are members. The look on Harry's face tells her well enough that this is unexpected. Her frown deepens, but they seem to be playing along with it, so she should attempt as well. Little difficult with blood drying on your forhead, a futhark rune.

Her eyes turn toward the tall blonde woman and Inga stumbles back as if she'd just been struck by strong gale. She just about falls over. She reaches toward Harry, taking him by the arm and shaking him, her eyes wide. She's grinning like a mad woman.

She turns toward the woman and falls to her knees, bowing, speaking quickly in old Norse. "It is my honor to meet you, Chooser of the slain. I--I remain faithful to the old gods," she says, looking up, her eyes actually filled with tears.

Inga, derailed!

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
Well, solid glass block is a pain in the ass, but it's not insurmountable. Still, he'd have to make a fair amount of noise to break one. And then only to get a /look/ inside: there's no way he could fit through that narrow window gap. Bigby's face scrunches up in idle irritation as he continues to snoop for a cellar entrance that might be a little more forthcoming. He keeps one ear and half a nose alert for any hint of company, prepared to dive into the bushes if need be.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Kimiko doesn't follow after.

    "Do you mind if I stay here? I'll stay out of everyone's way."

    First thing she's going to do, if allows, is find an air vent. For reasons.

    She carefully ignores what Inga's doing.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    As Psyber eyes up the very tall blonde, he gets a sense of agelessness about her. Similar but not quite like his. Nordic blonde amazons who can use magic hmmmm.
    The nordic woman is about to address the issue of weapons when Inga has a fangirl fit and makes the blonde before she can even get any vaguely threatening or ambiguous words out. Harry sighs and plants his face in a hand.

    That... gets a much softer reaction out of the woman though and she regards the group again. "Stand up, seer, we're going inside. And please." Now she can get out the look at Dresden and Psyber. "This is an effort to keep the building intact."

    The group gets waved inside to a larger hallway leading to a number of smaller rooms and another larger room that looks like it's used in group sessions. Inside there are two men. One is a gorilla with red hair, a scared face in a ill fitting suit. Well, not actually a gorilla but he might have been in a past life. Every piece of him screams 'I AM A THUG'. The other man looks like Psyber usually looks like and looks like right now. Well dressed, confident, sitting idly in his chair and waiting forthe people making entry to get inside. "Ah, see, I told you Hendricks, Mr. Dresden or someone was on their way. A little later than I was expecting though."
    Introducing Gentleman John Marcone.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Kimiko... is staying outside! OKAY!
    The receptionist looks mildly annoyed at that, but really can't stop her while the Boss is Doing Things.

    A man in a tweed jacket with a bag of something tries to come in the front door, only to get a LOOK from the receptionist and a glance at the Magi. He coughs and murmurs. "Sorry, wrong spot, I'll uh." And he books it.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    How suspicious! Well, it's been pointed out already.
    Aoko's got nothing to add to that, really. She'll trail Psyber and Harry happily, now that this trip has turned into a free seven hundred dollars if she just behaves. Behaving's easy! She does it all the time. Ask the Mage's Asso-- no don't ask them in retrospect. In fact don't ask anyone at all. Just believe her internal monologue when she says she behaves all the time, it's completely honest and unbiased.

    "Sure, sure. I like reasons. I hope we're getting free samples to take home though, or I'll write a scalding review about this place." 'Walked into a horrible trap, smelled like centuries of sins and murder, did not get free samples, 1/5.'

    They are taken up to meet Mr. Marcone!

    Aoko, in all her politeness, says:
    "Hey, hey! Nice suit. And hair. And place, too!"

Bitter Medicine (569) has posed:
     "We'll try not to stain the upholstery."

     The wise woman's antics do draw a quirked eyebrow from the Alchemical. Is this woman a god? Or, perhaps a servant thereof? Perhaps his rude remark was made in poor taste. Oh, well. It's not like that isn't usual for him, anyway. He follows the woman upstairs so long as there's no sudden outbursts or protests from anyone. Hendricks gets a nod of understanding from Bitter Medicine, as well as an inarticulate grunt--the native language of thugs everywhere.

     Now it's time for diplomacy. "Who are you?"

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Thankfully for Bigby, there's such things as Building Codes and Renovation Standards.
    here is a basement acces fire exit on the back of the building. Someone has chained it shut. That's going to violate their next building inspection.
    A man is coming up the side of the building. He is in a tweed jacket, carrying a bag. There is a gun in a shoulder holster. He is panicking and smells like something caustic and chemical. Amphetamine of some sort.

Inga has posed:
Inga gets to her feet, clears her throat. Everyone is looking at her strangely. She grumbles about people forgetting the gods, but pulls her dignity back around herself at least partially before moving inside to meet Marcone, though she will continue to glance back toward Gard with awe now and then.

Right, Marcone. A man who can hire a valkyrie is no one to take lightly. She nods to him, remaining silent for now. Oh gods, she just wants to dance. Diginity! Wisewoman of Uppsala! Deep breathes!

Inga manages to calm herself to face the situation, both hands resting on her oak staff.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Kujo the Redheaded grunt grunts in return at Bitter. There is a Bro Moment. Not really, he's trying to stare the Alchemical down.
    That's like a Bro Moment.

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
Bigby smiles as he finds the fire access, quite sure he can break that chain. On the tipoff from the radio though, he leaves it for a moment and jogs back toward the corner of the building to get a view of the guy he was told just left via the front door -- only to smell him coming this way! He dives, as planned, into a conveniently placed bit of landscaping to let him pass by.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Kimiko's futher examinations of the room will reveal that the building's rather hefty HVAC systems do in fact have a vent somewhere above Miss Receptionist's desk.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    "I can firmly promise you I have no intention of harming this building," Psyber says in an assuring tone, lifting his hands up defensively. The half-angel sighs a bit, "Totally wanted that massage," He says, ignoring the feeling of agelessness. Best to not let on that he knows things.

    Meanwhile, inside Psyber's head: 'Ageless magic blonde women. Magic. Amazonian. Likely from German, but the norse girl reacted. Aesir? But no, they wouldn't work. Possibly the Vanir. No, that's not right. Valyries? Likely. Hate Norse monsters, no documented concrete weaknesses. Should have brought an ashwood stake, best connection to Yggdrasil. Most reliable killing mechanic.' All of this goes through his head during the short walk upstairs while he keeps a blank look on his face.

    He looks towards the huge guy and tilts his head. Psyber seems less interested in Marcone and more interested in the giant redheaded guy. Psyber stares up at him and calmly removes his sunglasses, putting them in the pocket of his jacket, "Are you supposed to be the intimidation?" He asks honestly, rolling his neck to the side to pop it.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Hendricks grumbles at Psyber and crosses his arms. "I'm the insurance." HEY! That word was three syllables! WOW!

    "Miss, I'll thank you for the compliments, actually. Always good to know that my outfits are in style among the Union elite." Marcone sighs a bit and smiles at the group. "Sorry for the convenience here, but you'll have to imagine my discomfort when someone matching Mr. Dresden's descriptions was down at the Cook County building inspector's office pulling the blueprints of a building I owned. He has a... troubling tendency of causing unexpected remodelings of my holdings." Marcone stands and smiles. "Though, that is a real membership card and you're free to come back and get that massage. The best Union Officer is one who isn't particularly interested in the affairs of the locals."
    The tall blonde shuffles somewhere behind Inga and stands... protectively near her? Okay.

    Marcone looks cross though. "To what do I owe the pleasure of this investigation?"

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Right--tailing people is not something Kimiko is good at. Subtlety, in general, is not something she is good at. 'Not letting anyone know what she's doing' is something she can manage, but only so long as they have no way of knowing what she's capable of.

    She finds the air grate. Unfortunately, it's right above someone watching her. Fortunately, she is not self-conscious.

    She stomps up to the desk, locking eyes with the receptionist at the first opportunity. Her heels are, mysteriously, a full inch taller than they were when she went in, though she is still very much on the short side to anyone sitting down. Doesn't matter--she just has to get the woman's attention. Not a big deal if she notices what else is happening, but inconvenient. Might as well try.

    When she's close enough, she stops, and a wire-thin chain races along the floor--silently summoned into existence--either under or around the desk, behind the receptionist's chair, up the wall, across the ceiling, and then touches against the air vent, all held in place by nondescript thumb tacks.

    Once she has physical contact, her magic applies. So long as its connected, she can feel out the entire system. She won't get much more than that, but being able to bend any section of the HVAC--something she's avoiding doing--means also that she needs to know where all parts of it are, how far it extends and where are the rooms it touches.

    Kimiko doesn't say anything during this. She just stares.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    No quicktime event here, the bush is quite receptive to hiding. Also Tweed Man is too panicked to spot the Sheriff hiding. He runs right past Wolf's position, smelling like chemicals and fear. He pulls a key from his pocket, fumbles it, picks it up again, and starts futzing with the padlock. "Come on, come on you sonovabitch."

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
Bigby crouches very still and quiet behind the concealing leaves of the bush. If the man were to look directly at him, he might well see the unnatural golden glint of his eyes, like catching a dog in a flashlight beam, but he doesn't think he's going to do that. No, this guy is seriously intent on getting inside the building. Still, he waits for his moment, his nose wrinkled in puzzlement as he tries to sort out the smells wafting from the bag.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    "Is that supposed to intimidate me?" Psyber asks curiously, looking up at the big man. Psyber slowly takes the card out of his wallet again and says, "I'll make this clear. And you can be sure to pass this along to everyone," Psyber says, turning away from the big man and towards Marcone.

    "I am a man of much more principle than to be shooed away with a spa membership promising me a massage from a valkyrie and threatening me with Erik the Red over there." Psyber takes the card that is in his hands and sets it down on the table, "If I ever even think you're trying to buy my disinterest again, it will not be pleasant. I will take whatever you tried to bribe me with and kill you with it. Trust me, I don't give a shit if it's a membership card, a decorative bath soap, or a fine silk pillow."

    Psyber repeats the phrase, summing his point into three words, "Don't. Bribe. Me."

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    That is... a very hefty HVAC for the building. There's ben remodeling to put it into place. There's a bunch of massage rooms, rooms for more than massages, 'aromatherepy rooms' which clearly smell like pot from the vents, and Miss Gard's office which smells like meat mead magic and sleepy valkyr.
    The basement is another story. There's bad things going on down there, someone's getting the crap punched out of them right now, someone is busywith something that smells like a chemistry set and there's an unnatrual sensation of Nothing. That's growing.

Bitter Medicine (569) has posed:
     Bitter Medicine shifts his right foot an inch forward. His knees bend slightly, but not so much that he no longer appears to be standing up straight. His arms are still folded behind his back. Before, he took his eyes off of Hendrick. Now that Psyber's insulted, threatened or perhaps provoked this... whoever he is, this man with all the makings of a well-connected criminal, his eyes, with those unnaturally purple irises, are focused on Hendricks once again. How will the insurance react to this?

     "I'm sure he has a good reason," replies the Soulsteel caste. "Something about old curses, spilled blood and permeating evil--but if that doesn't describe it, you can always get it..." He pauses. "Straight from the horse's mouth, as mortals say."

Riva Banari has posed:
Riva continues to wallflower it up in the discussion with Marcone. The liquid intimidation, the sociological assertions of dominance, the smooth, well-oiled mechanics of mob diplomacy, they are all super fascinating to watch.

Also, Psyber got a chance to be a super hardcore principled action, which is a plus.

Finally, she pipes up to derail the inevitable response from the Mob Boss. He can't accept that, that's a challenge to his authority even if Psyber is super badass multiversal Elite grade. "Guys, as fun as this all is, we're just here to deal with the whole Heckmouth problem. You guys have any issues with invisible holes of magic that bleed evil?"

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Marcone's face screws up a bit, and he murmurs at Psyber. "Point taken. That said, it got you inside the door without anyone blowing it off its hinges or unnecessary fireworks, which was the primary goal. Oh, also Miss Gard is not available for massage sessions, she's my other security consultant."
    Bitter's movements aren't missed and Hendricks shuffles closer as well, before Marcone plants a hand on the bad suit. He looks over at the group as Riva speaks up. "What's this? Old curses and... Heckmouth? How very Dresden."
    tIn the back, Harry sputters a bit and grumbles. "Johnny, we're here cause there's a magical pile of crap in your basement and we want to get rid of the damn thing. Can you just let us down there?"

Inga has posed:
Inga looks back toward Gard, eyes shining. This is the best day.

She then nearly chokes as Psyber speaks again, her eyes growing fierce. "Have some respect please," she says, reaching up to touch her mjolnir pendant reverently.

That said, the feeling of Wrongness is growing. Inga begins to look alarmed. "There is something very wrong going on in the basement of this building. I hope that you will let us go deal with it--or the destruction of this building is actually quite likely. It is likely to be much worse than Wizard Dresden's typical destruction if you do not let us go deal with it," she tells Marcone. She's respectful but insitant.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    Aoko winces ever slightly as Psyber declines the bribery. Well, if it was intended as such. No, she didn't expect him to take him up on it, admittedly. She might have, in his place! Free stuff, and all. Then she'd have leveled the place anyway. Some people might use this time to wonder when they became that sort of person, but the magus is more curious about whether or not this place really has good massages. Maybe they use magic to enhance them.

    Her question to Marcone comes as abruptly as it is fairly inconsequential. "You should move your business somewhere else. You know, a spot that doesn't feel like a hundred babies have been sacrificed and burried here. Wouldn't that be better for you? Then nobody will come here looking to fix that spot! Oh, you could let us go have a look too."

    She yawns, very disrespectfully.

    "Psyber, I'm getting bored. Say the word laser if you ever get tired of waiting and want us to hit the basement more... directly~."

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    The bag smells like... drugs. Comingled. He's got a cocktail of stuff.
    The door to the basement opens up as he gets the chain off and...

    And Something moves in the basement. There's a metaphysical lurch that even the mundanes can feel as Bad Stuff. Mr. Tweed lets out a strangled gasp of air before he is grabbed by Something and dragged into Darkness.

    The scents in the basement have all vanished.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    For a moment, Kimiko considers /not/ immediately going to resolve any of the things she's just been made aware of. This is immediately quashed. She refocuses her efforts on finding, first, the specific room from which she hears the beating, orienting it in her mind, trying to place its location under her feet. Then, the trickier business of figuring out which halls and stairs will lead her down there. She's going to have to use some guesswork on that, since her power doesn't really give her a map of the place, just its air conditioning. She knows roughly how it *might* be laid out.

    Then she steps off, chooses the first door likely to lead her there, and goes through it.

    Any lock in the way is getting quietly slagged, but to anyone paying attention to the use of magic it'll be obvious she did it.

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
Bigby's eyes narrow on his quarry as he hears Kimiko's report of violence in the basement. Hurry up, asshole, he thinks silently at Tweed Man, shifting his weight to get his legs properly beneath him for a charge. As soon as he gets that chain off--

Wait, what?

Bigby almost falls forward as he starts to move and then arrests the motion and has to catch himself with his fingertips against the ground. It's like... the guy was just swallowed up by something. A black hole. "Uh, guys?" he addresses his radio softly. "Tweedy just disappeared. I mean really disappeared. I can't smell ANYTHING down there now."

He stares at the gaping black hole that is the fire escape to Nothing. Or is that from Nothing? Whatever. Will he be swallowed up by a singularity too, if he tries to follow him?

"Fuck it," he decides. "I'm going in."

The Big Bad Wolf doesn't afraid of anything. To prove it, he stands up, brushes some mulch off his knees, and charges into the darkness under the house.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Psyber nods his head at Marcone and then... immediately shifts back to his cheerful self, the anger seemingly gone moments later. A bright and beaming smile is across his face and his eyes are alight cheerfully, "Great! Then we're square. To be honest, I don't care what mafia-like thing you've got going on. I'm aiming at a bigger fish, so you help everyone out and I don't have any reason to give you trouble at all."

    Psyber continues, "I'm sorry if that came across as harsh of me. I can be very principled." It's an apology because, Inga is right, he was a bit rude there, "Even in terms of the paranormal, I think if you run your business legit, you shouldn't get any hassle. If this is just a spa, why bother you?" He cheerfully rocks on his feet before looking at Aoko.

    To Aoko, Psyber says, "I suspect Mister Marcone bought this on the cheap and has no idea of, nor wants anything to do with, the trouble associated here, right?"

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    The vague discomforting feeling downstairs has vanished and is being steadily replaced by Nothing. Lots of Nothing, no magic, nothing physically sensed, nothing.
    Miss Gard plants a hand on Inga's shoulder to shush her just about the time that stuff starts happening downstairs. That hand tightens a bit, and she hisses. "Hendricks, get him out of here, NOW."
    Cujo the Guard growls, moves between the group and Marcone like a good bodyguard, and starts advancing backwards towards a fire escape door. The Don grunts, and sighs. "If that's what's going on it's lost anyways. Go ahead." And then he and Cujo are exiting.
    Well, have at it.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Kimiko and Bigby go barreling into the Nothing and reach it there on other sides of the basement.
    Kimiko's side has the unfortunate remains of what looks like a Protection Racket Collection Room. A chair and table under a single bare light with blood all over. Well, more blood than usual, there's a dead guy slumped over a table and 1 and a half dead mobsters against a foundation wall.
    Bigby will run smack into Tweedy getting eaten by something dark and beady eyed and made out of darkness. It hisses into the basement. "Feeeennnnnrissssss."
    Shit, he's been.. partially made? Uh.

Bitter Medicine (569) has posed:
The trouble is downstairs. The stairs are narrow. Efficiency is key.

     Bitter Medicine gives Hendricks a two-fingered salute, then runs towards the window. He shoulder-checks it and goes flying through it, landing on his side with a thud weighty enough to be felt inside the building. Bigby's warnings are heeded. "Heard, acknowledged, understood. Moving to assist," he responds through the radio. Jackboots crunching against glass, he sprints around the exterior of the building and--this must be the place.

     One hand reaches for Voidbane, wielding the weapon and extending the teeth of the buzzsaw-like contraption. He leaps, probably less ferally than Bigby, into the darkness. "Got a light?"

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    No backsies, Don.

    As soon as Psyber utters her favorite word in the entire dictionary, Aoko gently taps her right foot on the ground. If anyone still wondered why anyone would ever call her Blue despite the bright red hair that is her most obvious feature...

    The beam of bright blue light roughly half the size of the room that shoots downward from her sole might be the answer you're looking for. Since her foot is touching the ground, only a hole large enough to pass is going to be cut into the floor of their current room, but the floors directly beneath, all the way to the basement and some...

    Well, big laser. It is also extremely incendiary.


Inga has posed:
Inga stiffens at the hand upon her shoulder. "Well then, time to get to work," she says, then looks to Gard. "I would welcome the chance to speak with you again," she says quickly, assuming Gard will be going with Marcone. If not, well, certainly fortuitous to have a Valkyrie at your side.

Inga rushes as best she can down toward the trouble, sticking close to Harry and Riva if possible. "If someone is hurt I can likely save them, but only if I can get there quickly," she says, grumping. Stairs, ever the enemy. Luckily, down is quicker than up. As soon as she is down she pulls the knife at her belt and begins opening up her opposite arm, flicking the blood drawn outward as it form a fine red mist, glowing softly as an invigorating barrier is placed over as many of the party as she can currently reach. Tch! More time to prepare would have been excellent, but these people are prepared for this, she is sure.

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
"Wrong Wolf," Bigby snarls back, his features contorting as his fangs push out and hair sprouts from every visible patch of skin. There's a ripping sound as he ruins yet another set of pants from the knees down as he shifts forward into a digitigrade posture and SLAMS a furry forearm menacing with claws into the mass of palpable darkness.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    "Thank you for the express Elevator, madam~." Psyber says to Aoko before immediately hopping into the hole she made for them, wanting to make his way down to the basement as fast as possible. One hand is already drawing out that handgun at his waist.

    The other hand extends and electricity crackles out of the walls, forming into a red longsword in his other hand. If Psyber's going into the breach, he wants to head in armed as best he can. Upon making contact with the darkness, he discharges a good burst of holy electricity from his blade, careful to avoid friendly fire on anyone that the holy allignment might hurt.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Kimiko will be surprised if this doesn't ping her radar for horrific supernatural creatures of darkness. Stranger things have happened, though, and this is worlds apart from home.

    No sixth sense is needed to know that the thing in front of her is an enemy. Her coat and scarf are gone in a literal flash, replaced with with a bit over five feet of gleaming armor, including helmet. She goes 'ordinary girl' to 'fairytale paladin' in about half the time it takes her to rush across the room and shouldercheck the darkness.

    She is, again literally, glowing.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Let's start with lasers. The laser beam scorches a good way through the floor and into the basement, but stops dead in its tracks against the solid concrete and marble of the sub-basement. A massive four layered circle glows in the basement, before the image is quicky swallowed up by Nothing again, eyes appearing up to greet the people descending to face whatever that is.
    There's a bone rattling rumble of challenge from the basement as people pile onto the Nothing. Bigbys and Exalts and Liches OH MY. ANGELS AND VIKINGS AND MAGES OH MY. Ever single one of those attacks causes blood to fly out of the Nothing, human blood. Lots of blood, fresh blood, old blood, clotted blood, scabbed blood. And all of the attacks get more rumbling.

    Finally, another voice. "Desssspaaaiiiir magi, woe onto you children of Gaia and divine of old." The Nothing lashes out, attempting to dissassociate chunks out of people with swipes of Non-Existance. "Diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie."

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Harry, for his part, hops down after Psyber and the rest, busily shuffling around the basement and trying to sneak somewhere the Nothing isn't. He's got a flashlight out and is hunting along the floors and walls.

Riva Banari has posed:
Riva finally looks down the Express Route and looks at Nothing. A part of her just wants to immediately nope the hell out and go let it eat the poor idiot and possibly most of the building.

The rest of her knows better. "Why me?" She sighs, resigned, and reaches under her coat.

She then withdraws not one, but /two/ Ingram MAC-10 submachine guns, each inlaid with gleaming silvery metal that sizzles green in the light.

She spins the guns in her hands, feeling the Anima rolling through her and into her weapons. "I've been waiting for a chance to use these." She says, and then spins, leaping down into the basement with an acrobatic flip, thumbs flicking the safeties as she unleashes a pair of fully-automatic series of Anima bullets at the nonexistent entity. "GAIA SAYS HI!" Riva yells, trying to override the inherent crawling scream trying to make its way out of her mouth. "I DON'T THINK YOU HAVE ENOUGH BLOOD FOR THIS!"

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Kimiko doesn't understand what this thing is, but she knows that it's got enough Wrongness bleeding off it that she doesn't want to risk facetanking that blow. Fortunately, she has a shield. A moment ago, she didn't, but there it is now on her arm. A great big kite shield that, angled with finesse, should cause any physical blow to scrape right off. What it will do in this case is less certain, but all she wants to do right now is keep its attention on her, as much as possible.

    The longsword that appears in her right hand is for the same purpose. Its point twirls and strikes, but she knows better than to lunge for the heart.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Psyber hops back out of the fray, trying to avoid those tendrils as they hiss and burn at him with their attempts at erosion. He skids along the floor from his own jump and holsters his gun. The sword in his hand is shifted and Psyber draws the blade across his hand, opening the palm up to spill blood, as is done in his own rituals. Psyber begins drawing some Enochian runes on the ground as he says calmly, "Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio; contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis, satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute in infernum detrude."

    Or roughly translated: Blessed Michael, Archangel, defend us in the hour of conflict; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God restrain him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust, down to hell, Satan, and with him the other wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls.

    "Amen," Psyber says as he slams his palm down on the sigils he drew. Immediately there's a huge blast of holy light that tries to push back and diminish as much of the darkness and nothing as possible to give others an opening to go in and deal some huge damage.

Inga has posed:
Inga descends into chaos and horror, a chill falling like a stone in her stomach, radiating outwards. She arrives in time to hear it speak, her eyes wide as it lashes out at them, blackness coming--maybe she will die after all. It is hard to imagine coming back from death if you've been killed by something like this. It speaks of Gaia...

Inga is not exactly quick, so she gets hit full on with a swipe from the creature, falling back with a stifled scream. Her wards however, hold, and none of her person goes missing into the nothingness. She pulls herself back to her feet, eyes roaming the room. Blood. So much blood.

She can use blood.

Inga begins channeling a fairly massive amount of anima. The fresh blood splattered around the room begins to rise and pool together, quickly coagulating into sharp, jagged spears of crimson. The wisewoman gestures and the spears fly, attempting to pierce through the creature of darkness.

Riva goes in next, sending Gaia's regards. "Gods see us," she prays, then spots Dresden looking for something. Of course, if it is like the others, there will be a circle.

Inga limps toward him, eyes searching, as well as her magical senses, though she's struggling not to be overwhelmed with all the energies flying about the room. "Circle?!" she asks. Psyber is saying something about an exorcism. Could she be of help with that?

....Alright, maybe not.

Bitter Medicine (569) has posed:
     This thing spreads nothingness and void. That makes it remarkably similar to a gremlin, insofar as the end goal is similar. Naturally, that means it must be destroyed with extreme prejudice. Bitter Medicine has only the slightest grasp of subtlety. It's not that he's stupid--he's a fairly intelligent sort. His problem is that he's far too direct. Whether or not the solution /is/ in fact wailing on the Big Bad, the Big Bad is what's in front of him, so that's what he'll do until something more effective shows up.

     This thing wants scary? He can do scary. Just spend a few motes of essence and... ANIMA FLARE.

     The room is suddenly filled with the sound of a factory press, a grim song with a tempo beat out by the sound of ever advancing boots on a catwalk. Ghostly wails and moans sing the chorus of this dirge, and all around Bitter Medicine is a blue-black thundercloud, filled with volatile sparks of purple lightning which cast the room in relief with each strike. Riva's got the trash-talking down, so he adds in a bit of his own. "Autochthon sends his regards."

     The soulsteel gyroscopic chakram, named Voidbane, goes screaming through the darkness, bobbing in and out of the mass of darkness. It hungers. Of all the sounds in the room, perhaps the one least expected is a high-pitched sound reminiscent of a certain actor, coming from a certain Alchemical.

     "WATAH!" His booted foot snaps out with a crackling discharge of energy as Psyber exorcises and Kimiko swords it up. A swiping bolt of Nothing catches him on the rebound, and he rolls with the impact, sporting a light wound.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Kimiko's shield tanks the swat of the tendril, a sudden line of tainted erosion appearing on the metal, pitting it horribly but not shattering it. That longsword attack swats another line of blood out of the Nothing. Some of it splashes on the Magi.
    An image leaps into Kimiko's head, seemingly from the blood. Three old men, chuckling to themselves over blueprints, pointing at plans for an inlaid circle and talking about 'the millenium.'

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    Aoko, standing at the edge of her own express way down, likely already surrounded by blue flames thanks to her display, casually peeks down at the Nothing. It tries to gnaw at her, distance be damned. It probably feels a lot like trying to grab high tension lines without gloves, really. You could say she has a pretty heavy existence.

    An extremely, extremely large future debt.

    It's still painful, but force of will alone is enough to keep the Nothing at bay, for now, as the magus continues watching from up high. She brings a hand up, snapping her fingers.

    A blue circle roughly the size of the hole appears overhead. It rotates slowly, an emblem not unlike a flower, filled with runes and smaller circles. It starts raining beams of blue light and fire into the hole, towards the Nothing.

    It basically never stops, like a belt-fed machine gun.

    There's a faint hum coming from Aoko's body, but she's already stuffed her hands in her pockets lazily to keep peering down the hole.

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
Bigby howls in pain and rage as he feels Nothing tear through muscle and sinew, leaving his left hand a useless, dangling lump at the end of his arm as he withdraws it with what looks like a huge bite taken out of the top of his forearm. "FUCK!" he roars, demonstrating that he, at least, is not entirely animal because he can still swear articulately. That's going to be a bitch to heal.

Nevertheless he keeps up his assault, slashing with his good arm, and snapping bites at any more swipes outgoing from the creature.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Psyber's exorcism catches the Thing by surprise, that's for sure, the blast of holy energy swatting enough of it out of the way of the middle of the room to reveal the surging energies of that old blood circle on the marble. The Thing is protruding from the middle of it like a faucet turned on high.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Aoko's magical energy rain suddenly couples with Psyber's exorcism to batter away at the newly exposed circle. But there's a problem. The creature suddenly curls back up around the base of the blood rings, coiling like a snake to strengthen its purchase on this plane of existance. "MAGGIIIIIIIIII."

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    The Anima Flare does its job, bathing the basement in metaphysical energy, and declaring that This Is I, Chosen of Autochton. The creature wheels on itself, more eyes and mouths forming in the inky nothing as the kick comes in heavy and strong, leaving a 'dent' in the creature and causing it to buckle backwards. SOmething wrong, this is not what was supposed to be happening.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Riva's clarion call of challenge comes right alongside Aoko's attacks, a hail of bullets pounding downwards at the creature and battering more at the circle as the creature expends its energy trying to hold its lifeine to this plane in check.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Totally Not Fenris gets a bite taken out of him, and another hiss that sounds vaguely like 'woooooooolf' before the Thing buckles again. There's too many attacks that it totally wasn't expecting here. Dammit.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    And then there's an explosion of Nothing as a surge of energy slams out of the circle, the Thing wrenching itself free from the Full On Hellmouth, howling in anger and outrage and Disdain For Reality. The sort of howl that literally shakes the entire city block, rattling all the ley lines, shaking the chakras, swatting at anima and essence and every piece of metaphysical junk it can reach, trying to stop this nonsense at the source.

    The darkness billows upwards, trying to fill the whole basement and choke people out.


    The attempts to smother and silence continue.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Harry's hand finds Inga's in the dark and he grumps, tugging her along right into the middle of all of this mess. "Come on, let them beat the crap out of it. We've got work to do. Get your dagger out, we've got to ground that piece of shit circle again."

    And it's right about here that He Who Lurks attempts to strangle everyone.

Inga has posed:
Inga hears and articulately growled oath from Bigby, eyes snapping toward him to see the bite taken out of his arm, now hanging useless. Muscles and tendons severed, nerve damage, blood loss...Inga lists the likely situation quickly in her mind, a healer well attuned to the frantic rhythm of battle and acting quickly to save lives. "Odin's favor be upon you," she says, then brings her knife up to slice deeply into her arm. Her blood flies toward Bigby, covering him with a crimson barrier that will both soak up damage and provide several jolts of healing through his body, hopefully beginning to repair his arm.

Psyber's exorcism invokes her least favorite of gods, but now is not a time to grumble about it. They must banish this creature back to whatever realm it hails from, any way in which this is achieved is a just fine right now.

Inga tries to graps as the darkness tries to smother them all, but it is like the air has been ripped from her lungs.

A hand grips hers through the madness and finally breath returns. She does gasp now, but nods, squeezing his hand in the affirmative to let him know she understands. Her knife is already drawn and wet with blood. The champians yell for their gods and wail upon the beast. She will /not/ fail hers. "Lets send this monster back into the void where it belongs," she hisses, following.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Psyber is standing up and wiping blood off his palm with a rag that he quickly discards. He takes a couple moments to catch a breath, since exorcisms take a bit out of him due to only being a half-breed.

    But that lasts all of a half-second before he's stepping back into the fray. The holy-electric sword in his hand is swung in cleaving strikes, trying to hold off the darkness and keep it from choking him out.

    Heavy strikes are being swung as he tries to hold it at bay so Harry and Inga can advance.

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
There's another source of blackness expanding into the relatively narrow confines of the basement, but instead of Nothing it's hairy and Wolf. Bigby assumes his true form, his jaws closing over a writhing segment of shadow with a ferocious growl, favoring his left foreleg but still rearing up as much as the low ceiling allows to swipe with his good right paw and raking claws.

Inga's healing energy flows with what feels like sparking electricity into his injured leg and he makes a low groaning noise deep in his chest, his glowing yellow eyes rolling up at the discomfort of flesh and bone forcibly knitting back together; but he can put weight on that foot again and that's good.

"Fleeting memory?" he growls through a mouthful of Nothing. Technically, it's Nothing so it can't hamper his speech, right? "You haave no idea--" Another snarl, as his teeth grind harder and he shakes his head as he would to snap the spine of flailing prey. "--who you are FUCKING WITH!"

He's the goddamn Big Bad Wolf. The terror behind a million bedtime stories told to a million children. And he will NOT be silenced by this interloper in HIS territory.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    The oppressive trhust against Psyber's senses dulls as he exerts himself again, that sword slashing and crackling through the air and through the Lurker as the half-angel starts advancing. And it's slowly becoming apparently that the Lurker used up a lot of energy with that trick it used, the creature's tendrils not as strong or swift or cloying as before. The blood coming off of it is thinnerr too, fresher.

Bitter Medicine (569) has posed:
Bitter Medicine is knocked off of his feet by the shockwave, only to be held by the throat. His chakram is deflected, lodging itself into the nearest wall. The pressure on his throat hurts, because He Who Lurks /wants/ it to hurt--obviously. He kicks his legs about in an effort to get free, and for a moment, it seems like there might be one less nuisance, one less 'pitiable creature' in the room.

     That creature smiles. The Alchemical Exalted don't need to breathe. Their lungs, and their other similarities with humanity, are courtesies, largely, and anything but permanent. He'd laugh, if he could, but simple physics dictate he needs air in his superfluous lungs to do that. His form... shifts. Somehow, he's upside down, heading for the ceiling. His boots touch it only for as long as it takes to spring off of it and headbutt He Who Lurks, wrenching himself free with a preposterous display of Exalted acrobatics. An ugly bruise around his neck is the only evidence of the entity's attack, a testament nonetheless to its vile strength.

     "I am Bitter Medicine of Autochthonia. I was built to destroy the likes of you. Filth. Subversive parasites who destroy the works of their betters. You will kneel, or you will be /knelt./" Once more, the Exalt leaps off of the... ceiling, switching his relative gravity back to the floor to bring his boots slamming into the top of He Who Lurks in a powerful--and symbolic attack.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    There's sudden recognition in the Nothing around Bigby and whispers invade his ears as the Lurker takes those bites with what can only be detached aplomb now if an Outsider can have such things. It's retreating, or attempting to, but teeth are holding it back. "Wooooolllllf. You will be laid low in time."

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "Geez, geez. Aren't you persistent? You know, the funny thing about time is, nothing is eternal. Even the origin point of all things will end one day, that's why it's so funny when people claim to be," Aoko muses, to no one in particular. Still several floors above, she almost has a mind to let the Nothing peek into her head, if it wants to. But no, frankly, that'd probably be more painful than she cares to deal with right now.

    It can keep trying to feast on her though, that's fine.

    With metaphorical tears and cuts into her being, and she even winces at the strain needed to push the force away. And from those conceptual wounds bleeds the future, cold and lifeless, empty, faded.

    The magus just grins, oblivious to her own presence.

    "C'mon, crawl back into that ugly hole for now."

    The humming intensifies, like her ribs are producing a sound not unlike a jet engine, though it's a bit muffled and distant, more warming up than actually firing.

    The circle of blue light constantly firing new projectiles of energy and fire starts rotating just a bit faster, and the shots have smaller and smaller delays between them, while being a bit more sustained, to put pressure onto the creature's ability to keep regenerating.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    The Exalted's Presence overpowers and thrusts that attack back at the Lurker, as the Outsider trickles back, and retreats from the Alchemical.
    That double axe kick CRACKS against the magical circle's energy, holding back only by virtue of the nature of the circle and its design. It's tough.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    So long as it doesn't make it through her shield, Kimiko can just repair the damage. Healing her body is nowhere near so easy, but her arms and armor reform near-instantly. In a sense, it's still destroying her. Her armor is manifested from her soul, after all. But, shining as brightly as she is, she clearly has more existence to spare.


    Between Psyber's exorcism and the constant flow of bullets and lasers from one side, and Bitter and Bigby on the other, it's pushed back. She doesn't advance too far, instead trying to keep an eye on where Harry and Inga are and keep between at least one of them and the source of danger. Positioning is key, with this much happening at once, but she is practiced.

    Then hell breaks loose, and she finds herself crouched behind her shield, just weathering the presence of the thing. Beneath her visor, her mouth is drawn, features taut and tense.

    "No." She does not make speeches, to those that cannot learn by words.

    Nothing is changed. Only the scale of the situation has altered. Positioning--Harry and Inga are working on something. Bigby is injured. Can she even block an attack that fills the room? Hers is only to try.

    Ducking aside, she leaves open the same vector of attack as Aoko and Riva had used, hoping they'll keep up the pressure from Aoko's 'shortcut.' Kimiko comes in nearly from Harry's direction, off of Psyber's. Where the half-angel is using his sword, the Puella Magi uses her shield--melded into a tower shield, which she slams against the ground. Shimmering in the air, a second shield fuses to its edge. A third and a fourth follow, then more and more, as the girl pours her existence into an almost passive display of defiance, but for that she gives the growing, summoned wall a kick into the core of the pouring-out Nothing. Contrary to how physics would have it, the shields in the air move slowly, as if the entire thing faced too much resistance to fall over.

    It's a distraction, at least, a defense for Harry's approach at most, and as damned irritating as she can make it.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Aoko... oops, she's about to see more than she should up there. There's a reason the Outsider is getting weaker in the basement, because it's starting to billow up and out of the hole, shotting up into the HVAC system of the building. The energy bolts singe and pepper at the Lurker, even as a tendril whips past Aoko's ear, a sudden whisper coming into the girl's head all at on<span class=" bold_fg_x bg_n ++ e.

    chx">You cannot run from your debts forever, Endmaker.</span>

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    That tower sheild's defiance is palpable, the concept of Rejection shoving through Nothing and driving it away from the group and that circle.
    Kimiko's attack is the last straw, as the Lurker seems to have had enough with this rabble. Though, for an Outsider that really wasn't as difficult as it could have been. The creature seems awfully keen on fleeing from the likes of an entire squad of Empowered Elites.

    There's only a tenuous link to the circle in the basement as Harry and Inga are revelaed near the energized barrier of the Hellmouth. What once was a nice neat orderly circle is a clouded mass of junk and blood and garbage, words that are awful and very painful to look at for too long.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Harry is already scrabbling around in the basement, drawing out another circle with blessed chalk around the hellmouth. "Really wish I had moretime for a proper one of these but that thing might be coming back. Anyone who's good at... hell any sort of magic get over here and help charge this thing."

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
It's /trying/ to get away, but Bigby still has his teeth in the thing after all. "Help me," he growls, jerking and tugging at the remaining bit of the oozing mass even as it tries to slip away upward into the vents. "--hold onto this thing..."

He rears up, planting his forepaws against the somehow solid mass of Nothing for more leverage against it, even as the Thing RIPS free and disappears up into the shaft.

But not unscathed. A writhing, floppy tendril of darkness remains in the Wolf's teeth, shredded at one end where it was parted from the main body. Bigby stomps on it; shakes it ferociously and then, with a SNAP of his great jaws, the darkness slithers down his gullet.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "Hnf. You sound like my sister. I don't like my sister."

    That is the only reply the creature will get out of Aoko, as it apparently readies its retreat. She pulls her hands out of her pockets, adjusting her hair behind the ear that was just whispered in, the tendril having actually managed to wipe the grin off the magus' face.

    The truth is, a decade and a half later, she still hasn't figured out what she'll do about those Debts. The artillery circle disappears, and she hops down the hole, landing against the hard ground of the basement without so much as a scratch from the fall. Thank god for Reinforcement, where would she be without that.

    "Sure, sure."

    Aoko puts her hand on the ground. Blue light seeps out of her finger and towards the circle Dresden is tracing. "Main, set." She's adding a component to his circle, if it can support it. The circle will now ignore its own imperfections and behave as though it were traced completely, with all the preparations this entails. It'll also take a bit less magic to charge.

Riva Banari has posed:
Aw hell. The thing begins sizzling through Riva's defenses, Anima warping as her protective talismans flare in an attempt to protect her.

Too bad they're not all that good. A ring on her hand hums and shatters, and the necklace she is wearing crackles with a flare of orange light before the chain breaks, the occult charm shattering in the face of the hideous being. Weapons are all well and good, but that only works if the rrturn hit can be handled.

The strike from He Who Luuks in Shadow blasts into her, clothing shredding, flesh turning red before wounds explode open with a gash of blood. She screams for a moment as her defiant voice dies in her throat, left gurgling as the thing begins to attempt to dissassemble her. Is this where she dies? Can this thing truly kill her? What will happen? Panic rises in her eyes...

And the others save her. Riva falls to the floor, falling to the ground unconscious. Thankfully, the being doesn't have time to finish her off before it is forced to bail from the combined firepower of the Elites present.

She'll live. Maybe.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Kimiko places a hand on her deployed equipment. The mass of fused armament, scorched and scored, dissolves into light. She raises her visor.

    "That was... strange."

    She looks down, then shakes her head. If it doesn't come intuitively, she has no idea how to help with magic, so she says as much.

    "I don't know how I put energy into things. Probably not safe for me to try."

    Then she has to watch Bigby eat whatever that was.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Psyber grumbles as he watches the thing flee, making a lunge for it. The 1911 is drawn from the holster at his size and leveled upwards. With seven quick shots, Psyber empties the Diversity-Designation clip he usually carries on hunts like these.

    Each bullet sent streaking up at the fleeing being is a different tip, a trick Psyber picked up after being forced to contend unknown beings one too many. Standard lead, then Silver, then Iron, then Mitril, then Salt-tipped, then a gold-tipped round and finally one of pure-forged steel. While the bullets themselves are powerful, they probably won't ping a weakness in the fleeing being and leave Psyber annoyed he shot after it.

    "Annoying," is Psyber's sole comment to the being before he holsters his gun, "And I get the feeling that we're gonna see it again. It needs to die."

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Harry's circle... suddenly glows and shifts itself perfectly round. It also thrums with energy. The only kind of energy Aoko knows, probably. The Wizard looks up at the retreating Outsider, and he grumbles. "I don't think you can kill Outsiders, man. Just piss them off enough to go back to Where They Came. Also, I get the feeling I'm not just disarming this ring this time, Aoko."

    He also stares for a second or two at Bigby. "Did you just do that? Stars and Stones!"

Inga has posed:
Inga has never seen heroes come together like this. Sometimes she cannot escape the surreal feeling of walking with near-gods, her footsteps beside theirs. Surely, she is out of her depth. A long dream, a Seers decent into madness?

Within the dark, yawning nothingness that threatens to consume them all, Inga feels a moment of stillness takes root in her soul. Anima blooms, the honey-golden glow bathes her as Yggdrasil seems to loom in her mind, branches stretching outward to cradle the worlds. Be still, soul unshakable. Banish the Outsider.

Her eyes lidded and distant, Inga Sees. The threads of wyrd stretch out before her, the paths changing so quickly she can hardly grasp them, prophecy forming, shattering, reforming again...

The wisewoman snaps suddenly to attention, her arms in motion to once again draw her knife deep, cutting along the vein of her forarm so the blood wells quickly--and there is plenty of it. She draws the knife in a circle, mirroring the chalk circle Harry is drawing on the floor, blood like dark satin hovering above the chalk to reinforce the circle. "Outsider, by all the power of the Aesir and Vanir...yy Odin Far-Wanderer I banish you! By Frigga All-Seeing I banish you! By my blood I banish you!" she cries, channeling as much anima as she can manage into that circle.

Thrice is always the charm, isn't it?

Bitter Medicine (569) has posed:
Bitter Medicine knows one thing--he can kick it, and he can punch it. Okay, that's technically two things, but he can argue semantics with himself when there's not an enemy of reality on the loose. He scowls at He Who Lurks, and utters a one-word response to Psyber. "Agreed."

     In a last-ditch effort to try and stop its escape, Bitter Medicine vaults off of the floor, kicking against the walls and sending himself closer to the ceiling and the vent through which He Who Lurks is hoping to utilize. He stretches his arms out and... just missed him.

     An infuriated growl escapes the Alchemical's gritted teeth, and his fist snaps out at the nearest wall, leaving an indentation. And then, Inga's banishment catches his ear.

     He knows better than to hope--his job has illuminated the futility of that, at least for one in his particular position. But he can certainly /anticipate./ And right now, he is /anticipating/ so hard that the leather of his gloves is squeaking audibly. Kill it, kill it, kill it, kill it.

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
The Wolf stares back at Harry, and belches.

"Well I wasn't going to just LEAVE it there to go all choke-monster again." Besides, it insulted him. He licks his lips and looks almost wistfully up at the ventilation shaft where the rest of it disappeared. "It actually didn't taste half bad. Is banishing it going to work, with it not actually... here?"

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Also the bullets that fire off at the outsider... all hit their mark as th creature flows out into the sky.
    Lead. No.
    Silver. Yes.
    Iron. Yes.
    Mithril. No.
    Salt. No.
    Gold. No.
    Steel. Yes.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "Haha, well~. I have no idea what your circle does. You're going to have to explain, sorry! I just have a few fancy tricks, but mostly I'm good at making energy inside me not be inside me anymore." She likes her specialty. Pew pew lasers and all that. Aoko forces herself to regain her smile.

    Her eyes wander towards Inga's own circle, and she whistles in admiration. "Oooh, Scandinavian magecraft. Looks a lot more formal than just using lame runes too. I haven't seen someone practice a variant like this in... ooh, ever, really."

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Kimiko frowns. "If I knew it was going to try to escape, I could have closed the ducts." Sigh. She'd really thought this was one of those bound-to-a-point things. Shame on her for assuming.

    Not fast enough for any of that last-ditch stuff, either.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Psyber actually does make a mental note of that, "It reacts to Silver, Iron and Steel. Interesting." He says aloud, sliding a new magazine into his pistol and then cocking it. He gives a nod to Bitter when he agrees with him before he scowls once more.

    Then he sighs and takes a Lucky Strike out of his cigarette pack, putting the cigarette into his mouth and lighting it.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Harry Dresden's roused from the freaking unbelieveable thing that Wolf has performed, before he turns back to the circle, and grumbles. It's as good a time as any now.
    He adjusts his duster, pulls the mantle as far up over his face as he can go, and grumbles. "Here goes nothing."

    The circle around the circle powers up, and the energy from Aoko and Inga and Harry all turns inwards on the Hellmouth. There's a dissonant crackle, a shift of Chaotic Energy as the Hellmouth makes one last desperate attempt to reassert itself...

    Have you ever popped a blood blister? Like actually popped one? Because that's what happens here. Only the blood blister is magically powered and is about 200 years old. And full of enough blood to cover every surface in the basement, shoot up out of the Elevator Hole and douse everyone. Surprise!

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
Bigby jerks his head back and squints his eyes shut as, once more, he is doused in old blood. He snorts and shakes his head, spraying sticky droplets out of his fur in a secondary bloodsplosion, sorry everyone around him. "...I should have seen that coming," he grumbles.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Kimiko brightens slightly--very slightly--on overhearing Psyber. Ah. "I can work with that."

    Her visor snaps down in time for something to explode. Now her entire front side, as well as most of her back, is coated in crimson. That's not so bad. The line of it that got through her eyeslit is more bothersome.

    More frowning.

    Very quietly, from inside her helmet, "I don't want to be able to smell right now." Too bad she doesn't know how to turn that off.

Bitter Medicine (569) has posed:
     Bitter Medicine... wrings his hands. That's about it, really. This is pretty damn gross, but freaking out isn't going to do anything about it. "Ugh." It's not that he minds blood. He's a master or near-master of a killing martial art in a universe where mortals are like tissue paper. It's how /long/ that blood has been sitting there. Is it anything other than gross ass gunk right now? Hnngh.

     If this is normal for Dresden, then the Alchemical really, really sympathizes with him. He'd say so out loud, but doing that would risk this... stuff getting into his mouth. And that's unacceptable. He stands, dripping and glowering, in silence.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    Someone who could see Aoko's Magic Circuits working would see they all jumpstart at the moment the blood firts appears. In the second it takes the blood to travel a meter, the Circuits have spun a dozen times, preparing, processing and producing a finished effect, internally.

    There is even sound, like rocket burners.

    Aoko locks her state to 'not covered in blood'.

    As a simple courtesy to this fact, the magus will appear immaculate even as the entire room and its occupants are painted red. She takes ones breath of air in, and then immediatly regrets it.

    "I didn't think this protection spell thing all the way through. I should get one of those little pine trees you hang on your rear-view mirror for next time."

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
Bigby makes a snorting, horking sound, spitting gobbets of clotted blood out onto the floor. "You think this smells bad to /you/... So this is going to sound like a weird question but does anyone see my pants?"

Inga has posed:
He Who Lurks gives her attempt to banish him the middle finger it would seem.

The circle explodes with blood. Inga knows not to close her eyes and mouth, the force of it still knocks her over. She through a lot of energy into that circle, and let a lot of blood from her veins. Shuddering, Inga sits up, looking around, assuming she'll need to hold on a bit longer. Healing might be needed.

She spots Riva unconscious and crawls to her, casting some of the blood from her still bleeding wound to sink into Riva, charging her already excellerated healing. She'd be fine. Though, Inga notes the shattered talismans. Tch...she'd make better for her.

Inga looks toward Bigby, realized what his question was, and promptly looks away! "I haven't a clue," she replies.

In the next moment, she curses. "Odin's bones! It has escaped, hasn't it?" Even with all they'd done...

Woodenly, she looks down at herself. "...have to throw this dress away..."