847/Heckmouth Finale: The Son of the Dad of Heck

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Heckmouth Finale: The Son of the Dad of Heck
Date of Scene: 24 October 2014
Location: Chicago-667
Synopsis: He Who Lurks In Shadows manifests in a piece of expensive public art in Chicago, Harry Dresden et al destroy the gate and also $25 million in public space oops
Cast of Characters: 206, Riva Banari, Inga, 569, 570, 585, 591

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    If you were to look up Palpable Dread, that would pretty well describe the feeling out at the park tonight. AT&T Plaza in particular is usually a popular place for tourists all times of the day but tonight, thankfully, it's a light crowd.
    Harry's Blue Beetle is parked halfway up on a curb in front of the plaza, the engine in the back smoking and sputtering its last breaths. The Wizard is busy digging through the crap under the hood of the vehicle, swearing under his breath.

    Signs of life still echo around the park at least, that's good. People are milling around the plaza looking up at a giant sculpture on the grounds, though a group of college students seems to be trying to get everyone to back away from the area. Cars can still be heard driving to the east on Lakeshore Drive, so this won't be out of the public eye in its entirety tonight, not in a place like this that's so open. Squad cars are blocking off traffic in front of the park at least, lights flashing. Murphy's SI crew by the looks of things, but god knows what excuse they're using tonight for that.
    People who have never been to Chicago Before will see a rather odd looking sculpture on the grounds of the plaza. It looks for all the world like a giant drop of liquid mercury sitting on the plaza itself, with a bit of space underneath to walk under and look up at the mirrored surface. At least... It's supposed to be mirrored.

    It's completely black right now. Like... Nothing is reflecting on the surface.

    (OOC: For Visual Reference: https://flic.kr/p/3kVeth )

Bitter Medicine (569) has posed:
    Bitter Medicine comes roaring into town, carried by his Plasma Thruster Assembly. The third time is the charm (no pun intended), as his third visit to Dresden's world marks the first time he's actually come with the right charms! He doesn't bother with subtlety, pushing himself as quickly as he can go and flying high above the streets. Ah. That must be the disturbance.

     The Exalt cuts off his jetboots, wind tearing at his face as he begins his descent. The sleek, menacing lines of his Regulator uniform are a help, as is the toughness of the synth leather. 100 feet, 90, 80... "Coming in for a landing," says the Alchemical over his radio--amidst MUCH roaring wind. There are, perhaps, ten seconds for Dresden or anyone else with a Union radio frequency to look around for him.

     BOOM. A last minute application of thrust prevents Bitter Medicine from injuring himself, but doesn't stop the creation of a new pothole. He brushes an errant bit of newly created rubble from his sleeve and salutes the frustrated wizard. "Comrade Dresden."

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Harry sounded worried, and that gets Kimiko hurried. She's obviously rushed, since this time she's not even brought her civilian outfit--visibly, at least. She's already transformed, wearing that faux-Victorian dress with the detached sleeves that tends to only be visible shortly before she's covered in armor. She's also moving significantly faster than the humans of most worlds are capable of, though the ten-yard steps make surprisingly little noise to those she passes by.

    She arrives, coming to a complete stop without fuss, turns to take in the situation and, not actually understanding it, looks to Harry for an explanation. Whenever he looks up from his car, anyway.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "That looks better in the picture," Aoko complains, as she looks at the image of the sculpture on her smartphone, lowers it to look at the real one, raises the smartphone again, lowers it again, and then frowns in disappointment at reality.

    "Photoshop! Ruining everything forever. Laaaame."

    Well, she's going to snap a picture of the real deal.
    See what happens.

    In her other hand is a Chicago Dog.
    Because Chicago.

    Yeah she's basically playing tourist right now while everyone is gathering up. Only thing she's missing is an awful hawaiian shirt and some awful hat.

Inga has posed:
Inga, shaking, gets out of the vehical, looking a little disheveled. "Human beings are /not/ meant to travel at such speeds, surely," she grumbles. She's fairly sure she nearly died of her heart stopping on the way over.

Just then, because OF COURSE, Bitter Medicine arrives with a sonic boom from the sky. Inga's eyes widen as she curses under her breath. "Hail to you, Chosen," she greets, nodding her head to him per usual.

The wisewoman of Uppsala smoothes the fabric of her dress, checks that her belt and all its pouches are in their right place, then looks off toward the giant bean shaped sculpture in the park. What is that even supposed to be? Whatever happened to sculptures of the gods? Tch!

As if that wasn't enough, it is giving off the sense of horrible Nothingness they'd by now become familiar with. "Have...they made it a gate?" she asks, still a touch breathless. "By Odin's bloody eye socket," she curses again.

Kimiko arrives, and Inga greets her with a wave. "May as well begin some wards..." she says, the draws her knife, disregarding the presence of police and others. No time for worrying about all that. Inga pulls up her sleeve and slices into her arm, greeting Aoko as she arrives. "Aoko, would you like one of my wards? I'd like to get everyone set as soon as possible," she comments.

Riva Banari has posed:
    Riva's on the case! Just look at it this way: it's not Harry.

But you get Harry too, so God(s) help you all. Riva arrives via motorbike, hopping off to meet up with Team Heckmouth and look over what Harry's rummaging around in, hovering a bit. "Okay Harry, do you have the big guns for whatever this is? What's happening and how do we stop it?"

She looks over to Aoko, Inga, Bitter and Kimiko. Maybe they know, becuase Riva's a bit clueless at the moment. She's not leaping to hug anyone at the moment. Now is business time.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Harry growls and looks up from the trunk of the car, carrying... a lot of gear. If anyone has magical sense turned on, he's quite literally loaded for bear, with every piece of magical widget he owns. And a shotgun.
    "Yeah, Inga get up wards, and no I have no idea what's going on. I'm hoping It will be talkative again, but I'm not entirely hopeful at this point. Who's dumb idea was it to make a giant mirror in the middle of the open like this? I'd really like to know."

    Aoko's phone takes the picture, sure. Then it starts to heat up. A lot.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Kimiko gets a wave as Harry closes the trunk, and starts to walk up the plaza's steps. One of the college kids trots over and waves to the group. "We've got as many of them away as we could, Harry, there's some people missing but they might have been underneath it when it happened. Not sure."
    The buff looking dude in the University of Illinois athletic gear waves at the group and smiles. "Hey, I'm Billy, any wolves you see out here tonight are friendly, please don't... you know, blow them up or anything."

Bitter Medicine (569) has posed:
    "I could use one of your wards, Chosen of the Bees." He returns Inga's respectful nod, but the gesture is somewhat lessened when he cracks his knuckles loudly.

     "Sure we do," he replies to Riva. "Me." He jabs a gloved thumb against his chest. "I was thinking I could hop on top of it and hit it until it stops being evil. But I'm open to a team pursuit."

     Speaking of team pursuits, the Alphas are here! "Hail, comrade. I am Bitter Medicine, Chosen of the Machine God. I'll be careful around your men," he says.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Kimiko gives a nod to Inga. "Please do so." Then, she looks at Billy. Wolves, huh. She's met some friendly ones before, it's true. He gets an affirmative noise and another nod.

    Ah, blood wards. Well. Her shoulder's bared already. May as well put some mojo on it.

    "I could try to... put up a perimeter. But that's... energy-intensive. May not be worth it. I need a more focused target."

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    Aoko stuffs her face with her hot dog.
    And then, anyone paying attention to her can feel extremely advanced magecraft just casually flow from her shoulder to her fingers, into the phone, without so much as a chant or word. The smartphone is now invulnerable to harm, although that is definitely not going to keep it from crashing or otherwise functioning poorly due to the heat. It will however prevent the heat from causing hardware damage. Software bugs, well, that's too technological for her to prevent.

    With a hand now free, she nods to Inga.

    "Sure, sure, I'll take a ward. Also this thing is messing up my phone pretty hardcore. So what, do we expect this thing to come to life, sprout arms, legs and tentacles, and just outright attack us?"

Inga has posed:
Inga nods to Harry. He has prepared, as he said, for a serious altercation. He already has a talisman she'd given him, but she reaches up to draw a quick warding rune in blood before turning to the others, repeatedly dipping her fingers into the blood that flows quickly from her wound, quickly drawing her wards into the flesh of any who will submit themselves to her messy method of quick warding.

Inga turns toward Billy then, blinking in mild surprise. "Another shapeshifter...very well, would you and your people accept my wards? It should continue to protect you even after you shift," she informs him. Wolves fighting on their side? That is fortuitous! Inga smiles briefly. "Odin be with us and grant as victory."

Inga looks back toward the sculpture, frowning. "It is a bloody gate, isn't it. This is a disturbing trend for this week," she comments to Riva in particular.

Riva Banari has posed:
"Hey, mirrors are pretty!" Riva replies. "Modern art is awesome." She objects as Harry grumps all over. "Look, we'll kick whatever it is' ass just like Bitter says, and we'll fix it so it can't happen again. Sound good?"

She waves to the Alphas. "Hi guys! Nice to see you." She hasn't met the Alphas. Inga starts passing out wards, and Riva nods. "Hell yeah." She'll take what divine backing she can get right now, even if she's pretty sure Inga's secret sauce is bee power more than anything else. Once Inga is done giving her the hookup, she answers the wisewoman. "It's Halloween, Inga. If gates are going to work anytime, now would probably be it."

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Billy looks over at Harry who nods, and he kneels down to Inga for a ward as he waves up to Bitter and the rest. "Uh, little late for that, most of them are trying to keep an eye out for spooks and stuff. Too close to halloween for anyone here. Uh and we're the ones that called it in to Harry and then to Karrin. So... we're totally not sure what it was but it wasn't good an-"
    Harry snorts and taps Billy on the forehead. "You did good, don't worry, buddy."
    He looks over at Bitter and grumbles. "Let's... try to not blow up any prominent landmarks, okay? It's just... it's not what I'm here to do." A hesitant hitch in his voice, as he looks to Kimiko. "Okay, perimeter. Go make sure we don't have any people trying to sneak in. You can go help the Alphas if you want, though stay close. That things metal so we might need you... to fix it. Maybe."

    "Alright. Let's go." He steps up to the platform of the Plaza and adjusts the duster. Staff, blasting rod, bracelet, rings, everything is here tonight.

    He Who Lurks In Shadow rumbles as the group approaches... and a sudden gush of black ichor flows down out of the cupola indentation in the bottom of the Cloud Gate. Oh dear.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    There's an uneasy tinge to Kimiko's usual stoic look, but she's focusing on what she can do. A look around the park establishes first that the place is pretty open--this is not optimal for getting set up. There are trees, though. Those will do, if she keeps this light.

    She backs up off the main party, and gets to the edge of the area. With a jerk of her hand, she spins a fistful of materializing chains around the nearest tree and catches the ends. Now she moves quickly, around the area's edge with long, leaping strides that will let her circuit the place quickly enough, leaving suspended, silver chains behind her. It won't really block anyone moving through, but so long as she's holding on she'll know where it's been touched, and "chained off" gives a clear message to most passers-by.

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
The Alphas. That's cute. Meanwhile THE Wolf stubs out his cigarette -- in an actual receptacle meant for the task this time -- and crosses the square, eyeing up the giant bean with trepidation. He'd been contemplating several items of interest before he decided to join the fray, namely:

Why did those college kids smell so funny and... almost-wolf-but-not-quite. Putting together snippets of overheard conversation he comes to the conclusion that they're dabbling shapechangers, not really anything like his type.

Why would someone build a monument of a giant bean. Magic beans aren't giant, just the beanstalks. A giant bean is just... weird.

And why a mirror? Bigby's had some experience with Bad Things coming out of mirrors, himself. Of course he killed the last one but it was no walk in the park. Still, the fact that this one has gone all black is... even more unnerving.

"Harry I'm hurt," he announces as he comes within normal-conversation-voice range, and the bean seems to start its menses. His nose wrinkles. "I know I'm fashionably late but what's with the Teen Wolf brigade?"

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    Ward get!
    And then Aoko pockets her dangerously hot phone. She's not worried it'll melt, although she might just lose the data on it. She wouldn't really know what sort of software issues a phone heating up can cause. Nor would she know it'll probably just crash from the data usage anyway. She's already about a hundred times more skilled than the average magus just being able to use the phone correctly, cut her some slack!

    She will approach He Who Lurks with the others, when they finally do, waving with enthusiasm in greeting to the great being. If you are wondering, she has not learned her lesson, no.

    "Heeeey, guy! How's the view? You're bigger this time."

Bitter Medicine (569) has posed:
     "I understand. Must be a significant landmark." With that, he's shifting gears. Follow Dresden, protect him, protect Inga. Oh, Bigby's here. Aaand He Who Lurks is provoking them. The Alchemical flares his anima banner in response. "Come get me, you parasite." He adds a rude finger gesture to boot, and tosses his chakram. It flies near the landmark and scrapes a line in the dirt before returning to Bitter Medicine.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    One of the wolfs running past Bigby on her way to Inga to get a ward yaps at him, and there's recognition in her eyes but she keeps right on going. She's a dog on a mission. She runs past Billy and bumps him in the legs. He blushes and waves. "Sorry I'm not pulling my weight apparently." He happily flips of Bigby at the Teen Wolf Squad comment, and then... and then he's gone, and much like bigby there's a pile of clothes there and a wolf slipping out of them as he barrels off to start patrolling Kimiko's chain.
    He Who Lurks RUMBLES, the whole park and several surrounding skyscrapers rattling with the noise. The Cloud Gate is now getting toxic black crap all over, as the crap progresses. Aoko and Bitter will both feel the Outsider lash out with mental pressure, the Words it is Speaking now powerful enough to be felt rather than heard. <THIS IS MINE. INTERLOPER. WE CLAIMED THIS CITY BY FIRE AND BLOOD. YOU WILL NOT DENY US ANY MORE.>
    And then the goop starts to lash out, misting into a massive rush of that by now familiar Nothing.

Inga has posed:
When Bigby arrives, she will draw a quick ward in blood on him if he will allow it, some extra protection considering she well knows he and Bitter will get right up in He Who Lurk's face.

Inga approaches with the others, not hurrying, her staff clicking against the pavement as she moves. She stands her ground as He Who Lurks speaks, his words shaking soul-deep. Her instincts tell her to turn, to flee, that this is WRONG. But she won't be moved. There is a job to be done.

"Tch...then by fire and blood we will take it back," she shouts back in defiance, then prepares to try to guard against the surge of Nothing that rushes toward them, trying to unravel their existence.

Bitter Medicine (569) has posed:
    Having someone shout inside your head is one thing. Having someone shout such that the message is /felt/ is something else entirely. This isn't mental influence, it's sheer power. The Alchemical feels as if he's walking against a strong wind. That only pisses him off.

     He scowls, his brow locked into a downward slant, turning his eyes into narrow daggers of pure hate. For a moment, he tries to think of some kind of comeback. The truth is, he can't. That's fine. He's treated this thing as an entity, instead of what it is. An infection. This thing is just another Gremlin Syndrome. The only difference is, it has a presence. He can wail on it. The Alchemical steels himself, his free hand clenched so tightly as to produce a sound of leather on leather, just barely drowned out by the rumbling of the Outsider's defiance.

     "TASTE MY HATRED!" Without grace or finesse or strategy, Bitter Medicine barrels into the nearest visible evidence of He Who Lurks' physical existence, jetboots roaring.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "Geez, geez, we get it, we're not welcome. Can you tone down the mindbending horror greetings down to a seven or eight from your current ten or eleven? Banter never hurt anyone, you know? Probably. I mean, I don't know, maybe it did, but--"

    Ah, hell, black goop.
    And an angry Alchemical, apparently.
    This thing is serious. She'd better start being too.

    "Siiiigh. Alright, alright, no fooling around today."

    A surge of blue fire suddenly rushes into existence, in a 180 arc where Aoko is facing. She doesn't move, not to invoke or direct it, her hands still in her pockets, but the force behind the flames is definitely there, trying to push back against the blackness flowing out of the monument. And maybe damaging the ground a bit, sorry Harry.

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
Bigby is flipped off. He grins back arrogantly at Billy the fake -- but now is not the time for wolf-dick-waving contests, he's reminded as He Who Lurks shifts right into badass mode. Well, if everyone's being wolves tonight then he sees no reason to pretend otherwise. He shrugs off his coat, slips out of his shirt and drops trou as he transforms, sparing the viewers at home any immodest peeks as coarse black hair covers the naughty bits.

Now in his natural form, the giant Wolf gives himself a shake and pads with head lowered threateningly toward the writhing mass of darkness spilling out from the bean. He does consent to Inga drawing a ward over his broad face, muttering a gruff thanks. Then he turns again toward the crawling Nothing. "You just don't learn, do you?" his rough voice barks out; and then the great beast leaps into the leading edge of the goop, snarling and snapping.

And showing up any of those little /dogs/ yapping around. This is how you tank for the team, kids.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Kimiko completes her circuit, returning to where she'd started from--and looks on as Nothing fills the space. Even at a little distance, it's not exactly pleasant just being here. At least Inga gave her that ward. She'll do her job, though, no matter how rough it gets.

    A slight shine goes along the entire length of her chain, and every foot or two one or the other of the chains splits, letting the fork hang low until it touches the ground. It won't do much more, but if the Lurker hates silver and steel, maybe it'll encourage the flood of black death to remain inside the area.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Oh dear. We're all opening up very strongly.
    Blue Flames! +damage to organics and also Dark Bullshit Tentasmoke. Aoko's bust of magical pressure is enough to both dull the pressure coming at her from the Gate as well as keep the worst of the goop from slapping her square in the face. The Nothing attempts to surge around it, but her magic is holding... for now.
    Bitter will find himself DIVE KICK into the smoke itself, which immediately attempts to smother him and also eat away at him slowly by nullifying him piece by piece. Bigby's presence manages to get the smoke to flinch again. Concept versus Concept at its core. All The Things That Lurk In The Dark versus the Big Bad Wolf. There too does smoke-goop try and muzle the Wolf.
    Inga and Harry are apparently having the same idea as ever. Let the Heavy Hitters get in close while the two of them scurry around to figure out what the hell to do with the place. Inga's wards make an extremely clear spot around herself and the wizard, blessedly free from corruption as the Wizard taps his staff against the stone and grumbles. "I've been here before there's no freaking circle inscribed in the stones here, Inga. And it would have to be... you know, operable to let that Thing in there unless It's fully manifested in which case we're fucked."

    'Fucked' is a good term as there's a returning rumble from the Lurker, who makes another of those Noises, and starts shattering glass across the street at the Art Institute and over at the Visitors Center. <THIS HAS BEEN PLANNED. INEVITABLE. YOU WILL NOT STOP THIS.>

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Kimiko has a very good idea though, and that silver chain flutters into existance nad light and... and the Wolves patrolling the area skitter to a stop and look over at her from across the field. A flutter from motion from one, and a briefly naked young lady yells. "Thank you!" And then she's a wolf again, trying to chase a mom and her kids away from the chain fence. Bark Bark Bark.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    She would rather none of the goop at all make it to her, but it can't be helped. Whether or not there's a lot of energy being poured into that fire, it's still a third-rate magecraft. Overly simple, one function only, inefficient. If it weren't for the magus herself, it wouldn't even remotely compare to a being on this tier. No, chances are, that sort of being would be outright immune to shitty magecraft from mundane people, where she's from. She would put money on it being close enough to true here too.

    She takes a step back, and the flames intensify. Rather than there being only the one wave trying to push out, smaller waves start ripping out of her feet, pulsing every second, adding their strength to the main one.

    The bright blue fire is only getting brighter.

    Experimentally, she takes a hand out of her pocket and produces a small, pulsar-like orb of blue light. She lobs is towards the center. It's basically a small mana grenade. It probably couldn't hurt Him a whole lot, but that's not the intent. She wants to see what happens if something that explodes is lobbed INSIDE, and whether or not the explosion is muffled or felt full force.

    Bad ideas are in the making.

Bitter Medicine (569) has posed:
    It doesn't take long for Bitter Medicine to come up with a different plan of attack.


    This thing wants to eat? He Who Lurks isn't the only thing here with an appetite--of course, there's Bigby, but there's also Voidbane. Soulsteel weapons hunger for the Essence of their prey. As the exhaust ports on his neck and hands rust themselves shut, he activates Voidbane and begins performing a Thousand Wounds Gear kata, remembering the odd sensation of successfully punching a cloud of smoke. Hell, Bigby /ate/ some of this thing one time. He slices and dices until his sifu's words ring in his head.

     'You are a DEMIGOD! FIGHT like one!'

     Alright. If Bigby can /eat/ it...

     Bitter Medicine holsters Voidbane, then grabs onto the nearest goop, and /squeezes./ "Remember that time you tried to choke me? I remember." It's time to find out if this thing can breathe.

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
Bigby roars in defiance and snaps viciously at the tendrils that try to lash themselves around his muzzle, making the Nothing pay for every hair and whisker it tries to de-exist. Inga's ward probably helps too, making protuberances of the black mass recoil in dramatic hissing smoke.

And he's not just a meat shield, either. The Wolf counterattacks as he sees openings, lunging and biting and tearing at pieces of the Nothing. Somehow, his teeth find purchase in the roiling smoke; his claws rip ragged lines in its trailing ends. Because he /is/ the biggest and baddest thing that lurks in the dark of his home world, and FUCK THIS INTERLOPER.

Even as bright lines of blood leap out in contrast against his dark skin, and tufts of fur fly and are devoured with the awful smell of burnt hair, it's clear that he's holding his own... for now at least.

"Only two things are inevitable," he growls taunts between flurries of engagement. "Death... and-- *snarl* taxes. And I'm pretty sure the Reaper negotiates."

Inga has posed:
Inga looks to Harry, frowning deeply. Fucked? Well, Inga isn't willing to resign them to that. They're going to beat this thing. If there isn't a circle here, they will make one to close it in.

Inga moves around the Bean, dipping her fingers into more of her blood to scrawl a symbol on her forhead to help her open her third eye wide. Using her Sight, she begins to look around, feeling about for magical energies...

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Aoko would be right in assuming that because now the shadows that her spell was creating behind herself as starting to boil over with smoke as well, attempting to grab at yank and pull at her from behind, aiming to unseat her casting balance. You know, and choke her out too as they aim to smother her.
    That mana ball flies at the Gate and... bounces off the side. It's still a piece of modern art despite the Nothing that inhabiting it. When it blows up, it scatters energy around, scorches the stone of the plaza... and reveals mirrored surface of the Gate. Which is now and properly a Gate To Somewhere, as a writhing, grinding mass of Things crowd out of the surface for a moment, a few managing to squeeze through before the dark comes back. The Little Lurkers start to barrel across the park, running for freedom.

    Bitter's sudden Assertion of Power is enough to stop the suffocation for now, as he starts to properly Charm at the Lurker. There's a momentary shudder in the mass of smoke, and this time the words are pounded directly into Bitter's Anima, struggling to beat away at his Essence. <I. WILL. UNMAKE. YOU.>

    Bigby Wolf, he of the North Wind, starts to make headway in his direction by sheer dint of being practically another Thing in his own right. But the Lurker is trying more things. Smoke starts to push in at those wounds, and the Outsider is trying to Get Inside the Wolf. <DEATH IS BUT A SHADOW OF WHAT I WILL DO TO YOU WOLF.>

    RIGHT. Inga takes a LOOK at things and might immediately regret it. The Gate and the Lurker are but extensions now of a greater mass behind that piece of art, as Aoko so masterfully demonstrated. While the gate is being blocked by the Outsider's attempts to Exit, there's so many other Things that really want to get out of there. So badly won't you let us out let us out let us out letusout letusout~
    Also Bigby is simply registering as WOLF and will happily trigger any horrible deep seated human failings of 'oh god it's a wolf and it wants to eat me'.

Riva Banari has posed:
The Nothing billows out like a misty doom, rolling over the park grounds. Riva charges straight into it, her MAC-10s at the ready and burning with Anima. But how do you fight Nothing? She's heard all the jokes about shooting the Darkness, but what do you aim /at/?

"Well..." Riva says, "As far as denying eldritch horrors things they claim, I think you're my first." Riva comments. "Guess I'll have to make this one memorable!" Even as the smoke attempts to start choking her out, she rushes forward, unloading magic bullets at the darkest point.

Harry points out there's no circle, but Riva then yells out from the fog, "HAVE YOU LOOKED AT THIS THING FROM ABOVE?"


Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
If this Thing really wants to fight like smoke, it picked the wrong adversary. The Wolf twists mightily and lets out a sharp snarl of pain and indignation as the black smoke tries to ooze inside his body; and then realizing something, he leaps back to gain some breathing room.

Jaws gaping, panting for breath, Bigby's yellow eyes scan over the writhing, misty mass, and the Gate behind it. And then he begins to inhale.

The beast's ribcage expands, his chest thrusting out as he lifts his head and keeps breathing inward, his lungs filling to a literally impossible capacity of air, such that only a magical creature AND the son of the North Wind could possibly manage.

And then he expels it, with such force that anyone in his path -- including the smaller, running Things -- would be knocked off their feet, propelled backward with the force of a hurricane. Bits of paving crack and fly away; landscaped trees sway alarmingly and crack, if they aren't supple enough to bend; car alarms along the edge of the Square wail as they're rocked by the shockwave force around the cone of utter Force Of Nature. And what can Smoke do to stand against Wind?

Bitter Medicine (569) has posed:
    Pain. It's a motivator, and the Soulsteel Caste Alchemicals know that better than anyone else. An anima is an extension of an Exalt's very being--it's a cosmic identification card, and really, an accidental consequence of the Exaltation. A mortal body is very good at being a mortal body, and very bad at channeling superhuman levels of Essence--even if that body, as is the case with the Alchemical Exalted, was made for the express purpose of bearing an Exaltation. Having your cosmic identity forcibly used as a loudspeaker and directly attacked /hurts./

     Bitter Medicine shouts an equally anguished and infuriated noise, his grip tightening further.


     There's a sound. Clunk. A bulky, blackened heap of metal looses itself from Bitter Medicine's leg. He Who Lurks is nowhere near the first thing to threaten his life, but he is perhaps one of few beings able to go through with it. Still... "I'm prepared for that." His grip wrenches the tendril of smoke. "Are /you?/"

Inga has posed:
The risk of insanity is simply part of being a Seer. If the normal human perception of the Other is a pinprick, a small opening, then that of a V�lva is an open channel, always ready to see Beyond, to speak with the spirits and the gods themselves, to see the wyrd as it is being woven in ints mutliple possibilities manisfesting then shattering moment after moment...

Madness is always possible. Even still, looking at something from the utgard shakes her down to her core. A sight that will haunt her dreams for a long, long time. Inga stumbles, leaning heavily on her staff, feeling as if she's drawing to grab at the pieces of her mind as they try to buzz away from her. Bigby is also Seen. Nightmares instantly materialize, that primal fear of the Wolf...but with that fear comes an also instinctual reverence.

Inga is trying to pull herself back together, trying to refocus her mind on the gate and the Things trying to exit behind. "Shut the door shut the door we have to shut the door!" she cries quickly, then is blown from her feet as Bigby lets loose the powerful gale from his lungs. Inga, being rather small and weaker than even the average human physically, is blown from her feet, hitting the pavement hard.

Thoughts scatter.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Kimiko doesn't want to leave her contact with the chains she laid out, just in case something tries to get through and she needs to pinpoint its location. On the other hand, she's not going to sit idly by while everyone else fights, not if there's a good compromise to handle both. And with a good place to stand, there is.

    It's a park, and there are trees, so there's also some well-packed earth. That gets dislodged slightly as Kimiko rams the lower stabilizing spike of her bow into it. She can't summon anything that isn't metal, but with a bit of work, it turns out that bows can be made that way, though the results aren't identical to horn or plastics. She stretches back the braided cord, and that's when she spots the Little Lurkers making a dash for it.

    "Runners. Engaging."

    The arrow that appears is clawed, rather than pointed. The ends are nearly blunt. But from the sound of straining steel as she nocks it and pulls her fingers to her shoulder, getting hit could still be fatal for anyone unprotected. Against the surroundings, hopefully, the collateral will be slightly less should it just pass through the enemy. 'Piercing' seems like it wouldn't be optimal, here, so 'bashing' is more the intent.

    The first man-catcher bolt is unleashed at the closest runner. The second is adjusted for (the son of the north) wind. The third quickly follows, magic clearly augmenting both power and precision.

    Kimiko stands firm, as ever.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    Aww man, evil modern art is still modern art?
    Aoko frowns, and then gets ganked from behind by BLACK NOTHING GOOP. This is conveniently around the time BIGBY BLOWS. She could normally stand her ground, but chooses not to in this case. She gets send flying back, away from the incoming goop and with a big grin on her face.


    She passes by a streetlamp, and decides to cling to that.
    A few shuffles later and she's standing on it.

    Looks like she's got a few marks on the back of her neck from some of the Nothing getting a lucky close-quarters graze. Doesn't feel very pleasant, mentally or physically, but what can you do?

    She forms another pulsuar of blue light, and lobs it towards the Gate. She tries to mimic its style within the sphere, in an attempt to make something that can penetrate the now-exposed Gate. She'll get it right eventually! Probably. Maybe. It's possible those things are one-way portals.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Riva's got the right idea at least as she unloads the Mac-10s, a splintering array of bullets lashing out and denting at the surface of the Gate. Wait what? The surface of the Gate is still metal, despite all of that Nothing inhabiting the place. The Lurker RUMBLES again, and then a billowing cloud of smoke obscures the surface of the gate, clouding at the object.

    Bitter's attempt to ablate the attack of the Lurker only spurs further attempts as the Outsider shifts methods and starts whispering delicately into the ear of the Exalt. <when i am done with you i will send your pieces to the depths of> And then a name which hurts to listen to and doesn't properly translate anyways. Also the smoke flinches in that grip again and they right back into the lockup, the Lurker still trying to grip and grab at anything it can. Which is promptly and directly Removed. The Son of the North Wind huffs and puffs and BLOWS at the mist and smoke, lashing out and clearing it all out and away from the Plaza, giving EVERYONE a look at the Gate now as Aoko's orb bounces in. The Circle Is The Gate. The bean shaped piece of art glistens dangerously, as a fresh batch of smoke and baby lurkers pours forth from the cupola, trying to replenish what Bigby just HuffPuffed. That flash of light without the smoke to help obscure shows off the metal again, which is quickly reinforced back with smoke starting to mist out from the surface.

    And now everyone gets Babby Lurkers!

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Kimiko's arrows fly true, though the last one strikes at just the same time that the Babby Lurker attempts to leap the chain fence and is promptly both evaporated and skewered. They're not corporeal but that doesn't matter to Magical Girl Arrows which messily pin them to the ground, squirming and wriggling.

    Harry manages to blunt Inga's fall at least, and is quickly hoisting her back to her feet as he rushes in at the smoke and mess, Riva's attacks have got an idea boiling away in his head. "Get me as much dirt and crap out here as you can! I'll need a whole bunch! Break the plaza a bit if you have to!"

    Sorry Murphy.

Inga has posed:
Inga hits something softer than ground at least, a now familiar man-wall. Before she can even get hear bearings she's put back on her feet, shaking her head, trying to figure out what is happening.

Quickly, everything rushes back into focus like waking from a dream. Smaller Lurker type beings have escaped through the gate and are attacking. This is a Bad Thing.

Focus. Harry needs dirt. Dirt is below the pavement. Inga lets out a heavy sigh, then begins to throw her focus into channeling her anima. The rune carved walking staff she uses begins to glow, runes lighting with a blue-white energy. Anyone nearby may feel their hair begin to stand on end as Inga raises her staff then slams it down against the pavement, discharging a bolt of lightning right into the cement. Chunks of the stuff go flying, hopefully to reveal the dirt beneath.

Harry has a plan, she'll help however she can.

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
Bigby has already helped to break the plaza quite a bit, which should make it easier for everyone else to shovel up the 'dirt and crap.' Unfortunately, as his mighty wind finally blows itself out, it looks like he's going to need some time to recharge the bellows before he can manage another huff and puff. The Wolf stands at the apex of his cone of destruction, legs spread wide to brace himself up as his head hangs between his forepaws and his tongue lolls, panting mightily.

He is by no means out for the count -- as a babby Lurker finds to its discomfiture when it tries to dart past and is summarily snapped up in the slavering jaws for a quick snack -- but the hurricane has died down for now.

Still, Harry's voice in his radio earbud penetrates Bigby's haze, and there is still /something/ he can do. Turning to put his hindquarters toward the bean, the Wolf flexes his foreclaws against the broken paving beneath him, and starts to dig. Chunks of concrete fling heavily to either side at first, but then great gouts of dirt begin to fly up between his hind legs. If the little babbywolves are smart, they might just join him.

Bitter Medicine (569) has posed:
     This is just great. This is JUST fantastic. Soulsteel gets its name for a reason. Now, in addition to his Charms whispering and moaning, he's got an Outsider doing it, too--and blargh what is that god-awful name he's murmuring?! The Alchemical spits upon the inky blackness around him, even as it tears at his flesh.

     Something gnaws at his leg. Good. A tool. Bitter Medicine grabs the spawn of nothing, forcibly tearing flesh from his leg to do so. Grabbing the babby Lurker by its nearest indescribable appendage, he wrings its neck and begins beating back the nothing with its own... child?

     He's seen swinging it with martial discipline--unfortunately extradimensional entities are not considered form weapons for Thousand Wounds Gear style, but what he lacks in efficiency he surely makes up in spirit.

Riva Banari has posed:
Riva is slowly getting picked to pieces by Nothing. It's a game of attrition that one is forced to play when dealing with this kind of thing. The problem is that there's a lot more of it than there is of her. However, the gets to take a moment of satisfaction that damaging the Gate and making the observation she did seems to be paying off.

Her moment of smugness lasts just long enough for her to get Huffed and Puffed through the air. She goes flying, losing one of her guns in the process with a yell. At least that hand allows her to break her fall as she hits the ground, unpleasant noises emitting from Riva as the rolls and skids until she hits a bench with a low thud. "Owwwwwwwwwwww." She sums up her experience.

And then she gets swarmed by tiny lurkers. "WHAT THE CRAP, YOU ARE NOT FOISTING YOUR ELDRITCH KIDS ON ME!" Riva yells, suddenly indignant and angry as she sweeps the area with gunfire. "DO I LOOK LIKE CTHULHU'S DAY CARE SERVICE TO YOU?" She stomps around, unfortunately lacking the ability to produce large measures of dirt or mud, but what she can do is to run interference. Riva lunges across the ground to grab her fallen gun, and continues spraying targets, mentally sending a word of thanks to Adelaide as she lays down high-sped automatic fire. "And in strange aeons even Death can get a door closed in their face!" Riva yells.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    Bounced off. Ugh.

    One-way it is, and there goes her amazing idea.

    Let's see. From up here she has a pretty great view, as the tiny Lurkers come forth and the Gate glistens. The fires have died down (but some of the stony ground may still be on fire regardless) but the magus isn't quite satisfied. She raises her arm, finally doing something herself. "Turbine, set. Full open."

    The sound of jet engines going full bore rings out of her ribs, shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles. She hops off the streetlamp, leaving her baby Lurker to follow her if it so pleases. Streams of blue fire shoot right out of her hands and feet, allowing her to remain airborne and position herself right above the gate.

    And then they're coming out of her ankles and elbows instead, the thrusters basically pointing her metaphorical plane node down straight at the gate. "HEY, LURKER! HIIIIIII!"

    She streaks down like a blue comet, one fist extended. Looks like she's going to just forgo magic and straight up punch the Gate. With enough force to topple a skyscraper. Bigby's a real man, he can withstand the nearby impact. Might even help him dig the damn Gate out too.

    But her main interest is seeing whether or not it can be cracked, or broken, and if doing that disrupts the creatures' flow into this world.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    DOGS GOTTA DIG! SEERS GOTTA MAGIC. Bigby starts diggin' and eatin' while Inga rumbles up at the stone plaza, cracks and marks and rumbles and chunks of concrete flying everywhere from the two of them, more than enough rubble out around the Gate now. Harry can work with all of this, as he turns to start beating a Babby Lurker with his staff and shouting FUEGO at it to slap it away from him. "I'm busy you little piece of crap! Come back when you're Older!" That said he's quietly starting to reach out at the area, and there's a palpable twinge in the air as the wizard starts to pluck at the ley-lines in the area. He may not have the brute force that Aoko has, but he can at least make use of Proper Magic when he needs to.

    For the record though, the stranglehold on Bitter has passed as the Lurker's been blown away, and now the Exalt is currently swinging a tentacle smoke monster bodily against the side of the Gate, the whole scene rather comical if not for the eldritch horror of it all.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Aoko's pretty much in the clear up on top of things, to be certain, but now she's going to FALCON PUNCH the Gate. Okay. Well that's going to pretty much negate Harry's Plan of Don't Blow It Up but we were getting to that point anyways. There's a massive THUNK and a CRACK as that punch connects, the Gate's surface denting inwards in a good 2 foot wide circle from the punch, but... it's surprisingly sturdy for a piece of modern art. Who the hell made this thing? That said, the surface remains mostly reflective, just bent inswards and stretched. The stretch marks though aren't oozing quite so much smoke as before.
    Buuuuuuuut now there's another indentation on the Gate that Aoko just made herself bodily and the whole divot fills with smoke and tries to eat her.
    Riva's on Babby Murder duty it would seem and is drawing a lot more aggro than attempts at Digging and Babby Percussion might otherwise. The Lurker remembers you, Gaian. 3, 4, 6 of the little lurkers start to close on Riva, lashing out at her with smoke and goop and quickly start to stagger by the sheer dint of gunfire.

    The Gate rumbles again, another SURGE of smoke trying to raise up its defenses again. <THIS IS A DELAYING TACTIC. I AM ETERNAL. THIS IS FUTILE. ROLL OVER AND STOP FLAILING, INSECTS.>

    Harry is still gathering energy, but the dirt and dust and rocks are starting to rattle on the ground. Is that blood dripping from his nose? Maybe a little.

Inga has posed:
Once her lightning is discharged and there is enough dirt to work with, Inga ambles to Harry's side, eyes wide as all the other fight against the Lurkers with magic, bullets and pure muscle and teeth. It is complete and utter madness, and at the sight of it a frantic little giggle rises in her throat, escaping briefly before it is quashed.

Lurkers coverge on Riva, causing Inga to frown deeply. She opens a new wound in her arms and flings her blood outward toward Riva, giving her a surge of healing and another barrier to soak up all the damage she is taking.

Then, Inga turns to Harry. He's gathering magic. He seems to be drawins it from the earth itself. "Let me help you," she says, grabbing him by the hand as her own anima rises like a storm tide.

The Lurker's word earn a smile. "Have you ever seen a colony of bees defend their hive?" she asks.

You don't fuck with bees. You definitely don't fuck with The Bees.

Bitter Medicine (569) has posed:
     Do these things bleed? Bitter Medicine is curious about that. So, like any enlightened individual, he chucks the little Lurker with all his Exalted might towards the landmark. The intent is to make the little bastard go /splat/, and in so doing, screw up the reflective surface. Sorry, Comrade Dresden, but this is for science. He doesn't stop to look.

     Caw! Caw! Caw! What the hell is that noise? He looks up to see a flight of dingy white birds. They look like rats with wings... "Be right back," says the Alchemical over his radio. He then disappears into a back alley to search for a new tool in the fight against He Who Lurks.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    "If you do not like our mortal resistance," Kimiko calmly states in the Lurker's direction, "you may wait until our mortality removes us."

    Kimiko keeps firing. Anything that actually reaches her immediate proximity is also going to get stabbed to dissipation-death, but her main focus at the moment is to keep firing. No trick shots from her; that's not her forte. Just the quickest stream of arrow-fire that a world-class archer could produce. Magical proficiency is basically cheating.

    At the notice that gunfire also takes these things down, and that Riva is getting swarmed, she shifts her focus over to taking out anything that might be in dangerous proximity but not quite in sight of her.

    "Covering fire."

    She hopes the wolves are handling all the areas she can't see--that weren't already covered by The Wolf.

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
Bigby has by now dug quite a large hole in the center of the plaza. Casting a look over his shoulder as the Lurker starts mentally 'shouting' again, he sees the huge pile of dirt and crap and Harry trying to do something with it, and decides to shift from digging duty back to something a little more bloody.

Leaping lightly out of the trench he'd dug, the Wolf stalks back toward the Gate. "You're awfully whiny for something so confident in its inevitability," he taunts. "You wanna go another round?" He heaves a breath and blows a sharp blast of air at the re-gathering smoke, nothing like what he displayed before as his lungs are still recovering elasticity, but the Thing doesn't know that. "Let's go," he growls out an arrogant invitation. "If you can even stand up. Come at me, I'll be happy to make you my bitch again."

He can say bitch because his mother was one.

Riva Banari has posed:
Riva gets attention. A lot of it. The Lurker shows its own swarming action, by sending a bunch of mini-Lurkers after her. Every time she shoots at one, another one lunges at her, using wolf-pack tactics. The irony here is palpable, but Riva is not in a position to appreciate it as she begins to rapidly get pieces disintegrated off. She screams in pain as this happens, falling over. One lunges and gets hot bullets of anima to die, but that doesn't stop the second.

Kimiko stops the second, the arrow punchgin into a second - and then a thirrd, buying Riva critical time to ACTION DODGE out of the middle of the swarm. Inga's blood magic comes in, soothing her aching body and supercharging her self-healing capabilities before wrapping her in a blood-red bubble. It's kind of gross, but Riva isn't going to complain. "I've got enough bullets for all of you!" She challenges, and tries to prove just that, as the combined forces work to eliminate the swarming threat while the other mages try to shut the Gate down. Despite the sass, they can't hold out in the face of this forever and that thing knows it. "Hurry up!" Riva calls out. THE PEOPLE KNOW WHO THEY ARE.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    With a crash, Aoko lands atop the Gate. The jets of pure blue prana are still there, coming out of her shoulders and ankles, idle, smaller, but still buzzing loudly. Her Magic Circuits are spinning at full capacity, so fast it's making sound. Sadly, that's neither impressive nor meaningful for anyone gathered here.

    The smoke and the shadows gather, trying to smother Aoko. For a moment, it seems they succeed in swarming her, and she disappears in the blackness.

    Then three bright blue clawmarks tear through the shadows, and flames erupt from her. Seems she just used her bare hand to cut clean through, but with all the reinforcement and wild prana leaking out, she can't really be said to be unarmed at all.

    "So why don't you tell me something before you sink back into Nothing. What do you do after you win? What happens then? When all your enemies are dead, all the worlds are consumed, what do you do then? How boring of a future are you trying to bring?"

    With her one hand still outstretced from the 'claw' swipe, her other balls up. A blue ball of light appears at her feet, and she suddenly arcs down to punch straight into it. "BREAK!"

    The result is a Gate-sized laser as the sphere explosively turns into one on impact, aimed at the ground and Gate point blank. That might leave a hole bigger than Harry would like, if the Gate can't stand the pressure. Or the laser will get bounced in every damn direction and it'll get messy. 50/50!

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    The answer to garbage is clearly more bullets, and Riva's got all the bullets she needs. She's also got covering fire from Kimiko who's still able to safely sit out of the range of most of those Things and pelt her arrows from a nice supportive distance. The blood from Inga also helps quite a bit, the Aegis shoving back at a number of smoky blasts before it finally dissipates, but the slow trickle of Babby Lurkers is increasing now as the cupola dumps more and more crap all over the Plaza. The blackness is finally starting to spread, filling in the gouge that Bitter left and trickling down into the trench Bigby just wrecked up.
    Bigby's challenge just spurs the Lurker though, as it turns up the faucet on its Hotline to Hell, dumping a flowing stream of Things out of the metal womb. This time the smoke comes in bite sized packages to be sure, but as Riva is pointing out, there are a lot of them, so many of them.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Speaking of garbage, Bitter's got some sort of idea that involves seagulls and nothing involving seagulls can be anything but garbage. Where's he going?

    Aoko's natural reaction to everything is to blast the fuck out of it, it would seem, and that is likely a good reaction to be certain. The smoke is cleared, the darkness is cleared on the gate, that's for certain, but that laser is still a laser and that thing is a big damn mirror and she's inside a concave depression in it. Okay so.
    Points for destructive force all around, and it does punch a hole through the metal right in front of her, that's for sure! It also halfway reflects directly on her. Ooops.

    If she can see though, there's something very obvious inside. Riva was right, the circle is the Gate, and the inscriptions are inside. A massive circular support ring inside the structure glows and churns away as a roiling hot mass of mana starts to billow out of the inside of the Gate.

    Inga's effots to steady harry are helping, that's for sure, and his eyes come into focus again, as he levers himself back upright and... "VENTAS CYCLIS!" Okay so his latin has always been shitty but its the thought that counts. The dust and dirt and debris start to whip up and around in a cyclonic action, billowing up and at the underside of the cupola. He may not be the North Wind, but he's got Torque, baby.

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
Oh look! Finger food! Hey, it's all fine as long as it's turning the Babby Factory at him and not Dresden. Bigby leaps over the trench of now-seething Blackness and plants himself in good position to maim, mangle, snap up and eat the flowing stream of hors d'oeuvres.

"Tasty, but not very filling," he complains between bites, swiping three of the little fuckers away with the sweep of a forepaw. "I'm gonna be hungry again in half an hour."

The purpose of this banter is, of course, in addition to stroking his own ego, still to keep the Things focused on him. Preferably in a mindless rage.

Dresden may find that he has a little more torque than expected, as Bigby's previous display has somewhat awed the local wind currents; and as his eyes narrow in the direction of the magical cyclone, the surrounding eddies seem to feed into it at coincidentally just the right frequency to build into the Perfect Storm.

Bitter Medicine (569) has posed:
     Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud.

     That noise heralds the arrival of Bitter Medicine. Right now, he should be called Stinky Medicine because DAMN. He's a couple dozen feet away from the park, and carrying, of all things, a /dumpster./

     Clang. The dumpster is deposited unceremoniously before him. His palms meet as he meditates on the task at hand. More as a matter of centering himself than out of any biological need, he takes a deep breath.



     "Linear Flight Principle!" The Exalt's palm strikes the dumpster with force enough to dent it, but the martial arts charm sends it flying through the air. It turns midair and empties its disgusting contents all over the former piece of art.

Inga has posed:
Inga follows Harry's lead again here, supplying added magical energy. In order not to let go of his hand, she tears her flesh reopen with her teeth, offering up her arm as blood sprays into the cyclone, glittering red with anima. Inga's lips move in a chant that cannot be heard of the howl of the cyclone and all the violence taking place, but it helps her to keep her focus and keep the stream of magic flowing, giving it a sort of rhythm as blood continues to pump from her veins.

Or course, she'll run out evetually.

Bigby adds some Oomph of his own. Inga looks toward him for a moment, flashing him a smile of thanks.

Bitter Medicine returns with a huge metal bin of refuse, and dumps it all over the piece of art that serves as a Gate. Well, that's just adding insult to injury, isn't it?

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    Matters have progressed beyond the point where one should be worried principally about keeping passers-by out. Anyone willingly approaching at this point cannot be dissuaded. Kimiko therefore grasps the chains in front of her for a moment, and concentrates. The first, obvious effect is that they glow. The second is that the entire perimeter sprouts a mass of barbed spikes. It would now be increasingly dangerous for low-power creatures vulnerable to iron to run into it.

    Kimiko fires three more arrows, these with single, sharp points, though the heads are circular rather than bladed. These, contrary to the others, are designed to impact with enough force to leave cracks, and she aims them for the mirror--toward the lower half, or wherever else isn't covered in dirt or junk from a dumpster.

    Then she leaves her bow, and begins wading forward. Long blades of an ornate Italian design appear in either hand. Her swordsmanship is quick and efficient, but both the smoke-beasts and the wind make going slow. But then, perhaps she won't even be needed to reach it, with this much firepower concentrated on the Gate.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    In fairness to Aoko, blasting the shit out of her problems has historically been a good way to proceed. She just hadn't fought a huge mirror portal before. She should definitely have thought about it, but that implies she's capable of something as basic as thinking about what she's about to do.

    Don't be silly, that's for nerds.

    Blasted back by her own magecraft, Aoko actually gets swept off her feet by the surprise. Her clothes don't seem too damaged at all from the direct hit, although she's cheating. Her clothes are more or less invulnerable to harm, she likes doing that. Unfortunately that does not stop impacts, and her own attack might have broken a rib from the sheer force. Invulnerable armor isn't that sweet a deal if it doesn't null the kinetic energy, just avoids being damaged by it.

    She's still got her thrusters firing though, and just comes crashing back down to land by the hole she made immediatly. "GUYS! GUUUUYS! Who wants to see a real life nova?" It didn't answer her questions, so it's officially a jerk. Besides, the hole fills in for her initial plan, which was to lob a star into the Gate. Now it'll just be 'into the hole'.

    She points a finger up. A small star, about a foot in diameter, forms out of blue light. It rotates, slowly. Dust, rocks, trash get swept up in its gravity field slowly. This is a legit tiny star, with solar winds, detailed surface movements, everything. It suddenly compresses itself into a tiny dot of blinding blue light.

    And she lobs it down the hole, before she SCAMPERS THE HELL OFF.

    It will, in fact, go nova.
    No, she has no idea how big that's going to be.

    But it will definitely be enough to quake the area and ruin the Gate's day. Probably. Harry is REALLY not going to be happy with her, but at least she lobbed it down a hole! Better than there being blue fire absolutely everywhere.
    Also Kimiko can fix all thing right?

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    If there's someone who can cow the wind into doing his bidding, it's certainly the Big Bad Wolf. Now there's blood and grit and rocks and garbage and everything scouring at the outside of the Gate, the efforts grinding away all that carefully polished work that coincidentally cost sponsors and community groups around $25 million to build by the way and don't think Harry isn't thinking about that right now as he and his friends are busy ruining both a Chicago landmark and a horrible gate to the Outside.
    In fact those seagulls were even going to join in the party before Aoko decides to Ruin Everything by dropping a train into the mix. Well, not a train but a bomb. The energy sphere makes little tinking clattering noises on the inside of the gate before Harry realizes what Aoko's just done, and yelps. "GET BACK!"

    The Lurker seems to realize as well, and as the efforts to counteract all the damage being done to the Gate compound, it suddenly retracts and pulls away from the gate itself. A rush of Things ooze out in what few reflective surfaces remain, before there's a dull THUD inside the Gate, followed by a massive flash of light and debris out of the hole that Aoko made in the first place, followed but a crumping of metal and steel and platform and..
    Well that all happens pretty fast really. It blows up pretty good, really. Let it never be said that Harry Dresden didn't /try/ to settle things peacefully... at the start.

    Staggering Things around the platform start to scamper and rush off away from the plaza, but there's still that damn chain in the way, and they start to dig instead. GOTTA HIDE!

Riva Banari has posed:
Riva is trying to hold on. The support fire and healing have had to be diverted towards other means, which means now she's getting seamred under.

But then there;s a giant tornado and the Big Bad Wolf puffing again and blood and garbage and-

And Riva is standing right in the middle of it. Riva's shrieks can almost be heard over the wind as she just yells, holding down the triggers on her guns. There is a crack and a flash, and Riva turns to see the micronova in the middle of the Gate. Riva stops screaming because of the grossness.
5rShe starts screaming because they're /all gonna die/.

A moment before the thing explodes, there is a low thud, and Riva's scram is cut off.

This is because the dumpster landed on top of her.

Upside down.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    It's not blood this time, Riva you can stop bitching.

Kimiko Shinobu (570) has posed:
    ...yeah, no. Kimiko is not going to be able to smooth over what's left of that. Pockmarks would have been a different story, but there isn't enough left in one, undamaged piece for anyone but a team of engineers with a brand-new set of materials. Goodbye, giant, mirrored bean thing. You were never understood.

    More importantly, the Things are *digging*. That is not the escape method Kimiko expected, and it's about all she can do to leap, slash, thrust, spin, slice and dice. Alas, her reach is not incredible, though she is quite fast.

Riva Banari has posed:
Nope, there was blood, Inga did it. You're still getting it, Harry. SO GETTING IT.

Bigby Wolf (585) has posed:
Bigby's reach is better, though he's not quite as fast as Kimiko's flashing blade. He bounds past her to go for the outer fringe of the escaping Things, leaping among them and snapping like a fox in the proverbial henhouse. And if anyone compares him to Reynard he'll bite your head off.

Bitter Medicine (569) has posed:
     Bitter Medicine hits the deck. There is a lot of collateral damage, yes, but on the whole, he's pretty satisfied with his handiwork, and with that of the other Elites. The people of Chicago will surely speak of the Garbage Bomb Skirmish fondly for years to come. When the explosion is over with, everyone is treated to a shrieking wail.

     Don't worry! It's not an Outsider, it's just a motorized death frisbee made of condensed souls, hungering for the flesh of the impure.

Inga has posed:
Inga's eyes widen as she sees what Aoko is doing. While she doesn't know what a star looks like up close, she knows there is certainly a great deal of destructive power in that ball of buring death. Harry yells for them to get back, and like the noble idiot he is throws Inga behind him and shields her from the blast.

It is deafening. She covers her ears with her hands and curls in on herself.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    Aoko is used to the noise and light and impact of explosions. That is hardly the problem. The falling chunks of rock, debris, dumpsters and other assorted hazards, on the other hand...

    She manages to barely outrun them, ending up with a few bleeding bruises on her face (which blend in pretty well with her crimson hair, at least), and stops by Harry, putting her hands on her knees and panting a bit. By now the thrusters are gone, and her body's not making an infernal ruckus anymore.

    "Haha... ha... sorry, Harry. Does every problem you deal with end up being this big? That looked like a pretty big deal. Like, end of the world if you weren't there to solve it big deal."

    She TRIES not to stare in Bigby's direction.
    Keyword tries.
    Does not succeed.
    Ohmygod he really is eating them.

    ... the thought to taste-check crosses her mind.
    It is quickly discarded.

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Harry is just standing there, his shield bracelet up and at just about full power. There's only so much it can do, really, and while he can protect himself from debris and shit, he cannot stop DEAFENING SOUND WAVES and thus he's staggering with his ears bleeding and trying to hold himslef upright with his staff.
    He's also hearing distant noises. "HELLO I THINK I'M DEAF SORRY ALSO I HURT ALL OVER."

Harry Dresden (206) has posed:
    Also the Alphas seem to have the same ideas as Bigby as they help out, chasing down after Things and helpfully digging up at the ground to get and bite and yank them out of the groud even if that hurts. A lot.
    Don't chew on nothingness unless you're a trained Concept, folks.

Inga has posed:
Inga straigntens and reaches up for Harry, trying to push him to sit down. All her wounds are luckily self inflicted, and healing quickly. "SIT DOWN! HEAL," she shouts to Harry, looking to Aoko. "What in the worlds was that!? I don't know that it is always this bad..." she says, looking to Dresden, brow rising. Is it?

Another cut, and Inga covers Harry in one of the now familiar healing spells. It will boost his natural healing significantly.

Kind of tickles.

Riva Banari has posed:
The good news is that the dumpster shields her from gettimg blown up.

The bad news...

Well, the side door of the dumpster opens up, and Riva steps out. She is covered in sticky, windblown dried blood, garbage, and other nastiness. Her expression is stone cold neutral as she stands there.

She is exceptionally smelly. She folds her arms.