Reaper's Reach
Roleplaying Log: Reaper's Reach
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

The Bear and all of its heralds attack!

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: September 12, 2019
IC Location:
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 26 Sep 2019 01:03
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits: Moonstar GM'd
Associated Plots

There is always a level of expected chaos within New York City itself.

The streets, the cars, the pedestrian traffic alone is enough to create a lot of noise, not to mention frustration.

Only this particular evening the shouts that can be heard aren't necessarily angry retors from one driver to another, or even pedestrians to drivers. Instead it's the sound of fear.

It's screams of fear and it's all happening now.

For this particular evening, as dusk begins to darken to true evening, the shadows have come alive. For those that can sense such things they can easily feel the pull of magic, a swelling of wintery coldness, until its released. With that crest of magical energy doorways open. One aftr the other, as the shadows between buildings, beneath benches, from people even, become living pathways for creatures to travel.

And now those creatures are here.

It's a pack of what can only be described as were-creatures.

A small pack (six) of what looks to be werewolves chase a dozen men and women down the street. With each touch of their claws upon body those people fall to the ground, insensate and unconscious.

Across the street another two packs chase more people; one pack looks decidedly fox-like, while the other cat-like.

As with the werewolves when their claws touch people they fall to the ground … their souls lost.

For those that may be able to sense such things it's almost like the feeling of a bubble popping with each lost soul -

*POP*

*POP*

*POP*


For those of the metahuman variety New York City has not been the friendliest of places lately but life somehow manages to go on. As does the work, whether personal or those of a contract-based nature. Through some warped aligning of the stars Domino is back in town, zipping through the dense traffic on a sport bike. It's all off to a decent start. No DPS. No Sentinels. Traffic ebbs and flows as usual.

Then suddenly it doesn't.

A flash of something low and covered in fur darts out right where the bike means to pass through. The two objects collide, one giving a shrill yelp while the other catches air and lands with an unsteady wobble. The bike screeches to a halt and up comes the rider's visor, staring first at what she struck (some kind of fox..?) then at what the thing she struck had been chasing.

And hey, it has FRIENDS.

"You've gotta be freaking kidding me."

A flicker of motion brings her attention around as another fox comes charging at her from the side, prompting an abrupt swear and a reflexive twist of the throttle. The bike slides about and pops the front wheel into the air right in time to smash back down onto the beast, pinning it to the road.

Clearly it is not a normal animal. Also, clearly it is NOT HAPPY with this arrangement. And there are more. So..so many more.

The next *POP* is more of a *BANG* as Domino puts a handgun round through the snarling creature's head. With a flick of a hand the visor's back down then she's back in motion. There is no way in Hell she's getting on foot with a bunch of wild animals running in packs around the place!

"Man, the ASPCA is so not gonna like this…"


On the bench he took to rest, reading a book that looks about as old as he, the old looking man with long white hair and a long white beard can feel the pull of the magic. It's just a tingle at first. But the tingle grows stronger. It becomes a tug. His body nearly vibrates as he takes a deep breath in. The book in his hands disappears as the old man peers around. "Something wicked this way comes." He murmurs. The old man, Merlin, stands to his feet and peers about. He's in the wrong part of town, of that he's certain. But not by much.

A quick teleport has him in the general area. What he sees would be considered unusual, if unusual weren't his normal life. "Well now, that's not nice of them." He frowns. Bodies are dropping, were-creatures are hunting. He holds out his hand and a staff appears in it.

He shrilly whistles as he makes his way toward the cat looking group. "Heeere creature, creature, creature. I just want to say hello!" It's times like this when he wishes he was wearing his robe instead of a t-shirt with a jean jacket and jeans. Robes make it so much easier to run.


The swell of chaos rouses one Cain Marko, better known publicly as The Unstoppable Juggernaut, from his peaceful evening of beer and pizza on the outdoor patio of a favorite locale hotspot of such things. For the most part, things have been fairly slow, chill and even relaxed for the massive super-villain..much to the relief of the rest of New York. A little time under the radar can do a man good but it seems it's not meant to last.

As the cries of the pursued rings louder and chaos spread by the magical creatures spreads, Cain grunts and stretches out, pulling up to his full height and ducking out from beneath the umbrella canopy of the table he had claimed as his own. Already, the people around him are surging into a panic of their own, getting caught up in the chaotic mayhem being perpetuated on the streets beyond the edge of the eatery with the shadowy creatures incoming, horns a-honking and some cars crashing in their haste to avoid falling and running bystanders.

He doesn't exude the same level of concern or panic as those around him though and instead slowly meanders towards the edge of the patio, looking to get a better look at just what's going on and moving through the surge of the crowd around him like an elephant through a group of panicking sheep. His lack of concern might have something to do with the fact he's got a chest wider then two men standing side by side, let alone the rest of his immensity. Overconfidence is a thing.


Part of the burden of the whole 'lone protector' business is that you're eternally plagued with the knowledge that you can't fix everything. Whether you're a veritable demigod from space or just a dude in a costume fighting various themed criminals, you always have to deal with the awareness that you can't be everywhere. That you have to make choices, you have to triage. If you respond to one incident, you might not be able to do anything about another.

So too the Sorceror Supreme.

It's easy to say of any particular magical threat 'well, why didn't you fix that, Stephen Strange, with your fancy cape and your perfectly trimmed mustache?' but he has to make those choices, too. Maybe he can't show up to deal with a demon bear or someone making an evil magic computer virus (coughcoughJanecoughcough) because he's out in the mystic realms preventing everyone on Earth from getting turned into gummi worms by Shuma-Gorath.

Maybe he's out brokering a peace between strange astral entities that nobody would've even noticed until their war tore a hole in the very fabric of reality, flushing all existence down a proverbial toilet.

Or maybe—

"Stephen," says a man, burly and bald but with a rockin' goatee he's been trying out in recent days.

"Gnuh," replies the Master of the Mystic Arts. It's not a magic spell: He's barely paying attention, his lanky form draped over a plush armchair in the Sanctum's curiously arboreal living room, his grey eyes fixed on the television. He has a snack bowl in his lap, but it's better to not dwell on what he can actually eat for snacks these days. It wriggles, though.

"Stephen," Wong repeats, with less patience. "You've been watching this all day. There's been some very unusual astral activity, and…

Finally, Strange pulls his attention away from the screen, looking up at Wong with grey eyes full of hurt. "But I need to know who wins the Great British Bake Off," the world's greatest(?) occultist and mage complains, in a tone that might be whining. Wong's resolve nearly falters at the sight of his old friend like this, actually relaxing; it's not often they actually get a proper day off, and maybe the unusual astral activity isn't anything important, and…

"It was Rahul Mandal," calls a young woman's voice from the other room.

Strange takes a deep, shocked breath before shouting the vilest curse in this or any other realm. Fortunately, the properties of the Sanctum Sanctorum protect the delicate ears of the outside world.

ANYWAY

"You'd think a librarian would have a better attitude about spoilers," Strange mutters to himself, ambling through the streets of New York as he tracks that first pull of magic, that icy chill. His attention is less on the physical plane than the metaphysical, his own invisible/metaphorical third eye open wide as he follows the flow of power, the way the curious fauna of astral space try to get away from those holes, those doorways. "Maybe I'll jump back in time a few years and ruin Dumbledore's death for her, or…" Whatever other petty acts of retribution he was considering are quickly forgotten as his arcane senses are battered with a sickening feeling, again and again. Something awful is happening.

Uncaring of the attention it might draw his way, Strange lifts into the air with a flutter of the Cloak of Levitation, and speeds towards the ongoing attacks.


Anywhere's better than Iowa, he figured. New York would be FINE, he thought. Tyler's starting to wonder just how right those thoughts were as another quest for a good hot dog gets derailed by animals of unusual size.

"Seriously? I thought it was just the rats that got big out here."

There's a moment of staring before he's moving, because unlike the last wolf he ran into this one doesn't look mostly harmless by any means. His direction? /Away/ from the threat. He needs to take a moment to regroup, collect his thoughts, and figure out just how to deal with this… /this./ One hand bumps against a quickly abandoned car. The other? Snatches the cell phone out of the hand of someone who was trying to livestream the event.

"Sorry chum, no photos!" Tyler chirps, before chucking the phone up and at an angle towards a street light. Eyes focus less on what's in /front/ of him than the motion of the phone through the air, and in three, two, one…

Tyler's trading places with the phone, hurtling at the light and slamming into the thing. He manages to grab onto the light before gravity takes hold as it turns red — not that traffic much cares about silly things like the colors of lights at the moment. Breathing hastily, he takes the moment to survey the field of were-creatures and figure out just what to /do/ right now, because outrunning them? Probably not an answer for long.


If Domino thinks she can ruthlessly run over one of the fox creatures and *not* find herself being chased she's surely mistaken.

Because here they come -

Upon hearing the fading cries of their packmate two of the fox-creatures turn their heads in Domino's direction, then their golden eyes narrows. It doesn't take long for both of the fox-human-hybrids to leaps at the woman upon the bank. The claws that tip their hands are stretched out before them, ready to slice into the woman's leather outfit. Ready to slice into her soul.

Merline might as well have simply said 'here kitty kitty kitty', for as soon as that whistle and those words leave his lips the nearby clowder of cats turn their felinoid heads in his direction. Two of the cats are orange-y while the third is golden with dappled spots, all sport claws upon hands and sharper than average teeth. It's one of the orange-y cats that leap at Merlin, clearly the bravest, or perhaps that's the dumbest one? Either way, one orange-y human-cat-hybrid launches itself at Merlin and much like the Fox, its claws are extended outward. To magical senses those claws sing with an unnatural song and along their blighted edges comes the cold bite of winter.

Juggernaut of course gets a couple of side-eyes (okay a lot of side-eyes, he's big!), but the stream of panicked people just continue. Their shouts might answer some questions, but perhaps not? There are a lot of 'OMG', 'RUN', 'This is not like the Twilight movie!'

And while the masses of fleeing people don't necessarily turn their attention completely on the Juggernaut, there are a few who do. Hungry eyes turn towards the very large man and a Fox and a Wolf consider the very large crunchy soul-treat. In tandem both step into a shadow and disappear only to reappear behind Juggernaut, then they likewise LEAP for his 'unprotected' back.

Dr. Strange and Tyler definitely have a great bird's eye view and from their vantage points they can definitely see the craziness down below, but they might also see something more. A fourth wave of hybrids come through the portals, though these ones are different. More human looking and dressed in some kind of low-grade armor.

Upon the men and women's face scales can be seen, shining in whatever light is avail, but it's their eyes that truly show their inhumanity. They glow eerily green or yellow and their pupils are thin black slashes against those bright metallic colors.


"Crap."

A moment comes around where Domino doesn't have time to punch it and drive out of the line of fire. The quicker course of action is to roll right off the side of the bike and use it for cover! A sweep of a foot flicks the stand in place then she's flat on her back, completely behind and much lower than the small vehicle as the foxpack leaps through the space she had JUST been occupying.

This kind of engagement is going to require a whole new set of moves, isn't it.

As soon as they've cleared the bike she's diving back onto the seat, lying flat while giving it some beans. She's off like a shot with a quick squeaking of tires, dodging and weaving around fleeing pedestrians before getting a strange sight of some old guy with way too much white beard -calling the animals over?-

Whatever. It's New York.

With the werefox likely in pursuit the albino keeps pushing on the speed while looking for any options. There are other packs of animals roaming around, maybe she could give them a moving target to focus on? Dogs love chasing cars! There's wolves over yonder and what look like …cats… Oh hell why did it have to be -cats?-

She'll leave the cats alone for now.

The wolfpack has it coming though. She's aiming to run the bike right through the middle of the herd to get their attention!


Thrusting his staff toward the cat-creature leaping at him, Merlin shouts, "Revertere, a quo tu egressus es." And invokes the words into a spell. The words translate roughly to 'Return to where you came from'. The spell is intended to do just as the words say, to return it to where it came from, which hopefully far from here, and difficult to travel from without magic.

"Now, kitty people, an ultimatum, if you can understand me." He calls to the creatures closest to him. "Leave us be, or I shall be forced to continue to take you on. I shall send you all back to you home, should you force my hand." He plants the base of his staff on the ground and holds his place, murmuring a spell to warn him of any creatures out of his line of sight that might intend to do him harm in the immediate future.

"I shall give you the count of ten seconds, if you've not made to leave by then, foul beasties, then I shall not repeat my request." His demeanor is calm, though the pandemonium does have him worried. There are many innocents to worry about.


A resounding *BOOM* rips through the area as both of Cain's arms come up and he spins, whirling on his feet to slam the club like girth of his arms into the incoming creatures a near split instance before they make purchase onto his body. It' a simple enough move but the force of the blow rings out like a mnature earthquake, shaking the ground and shattering windows with its force.. The power of the blow sends both sailing skywards and across the streets in a wide arc that then totals a few parked cars as they pass through them. Can't have The Juggernaut make a move without some property damage resulting. Alas.

"You fella's must be achin' for a quick one way trip across town!" quips Cain as he pulls his arm back and laces tree branch thick fingers together to stretch and then crack his knuckles. Crimson energy begins racing up and down his growing body until a second later, a flash of red light fills the area about him, revealing a fully armored Juggernaut more then ready to continue his assault.


The first possibility Strange considers, though he discards it almost immediately, is that this is some sort of extradimensional incursion: Diplomacy might work, if that was the case, though in his experience that usually comes down to having to trick them back to their reality or plane of origin.

But no, it becomes clear quickly that there is - or at least was - something human about these creatures. Magically altered, and the magic feels like…

"Mrph," the Sorceror Supreme mutters to himself, keeping his annoyed frown hidden by means of a cunning ploy: He strokes his mustache back with his fingers. Yes, very clever, Stephen. A truly masterful subterfuge. So now he just needs to—

*BOOM*

—turn his head towards the source of that thunderous strike. And that's the Juggernaut, all right.

"Well," the Sorceror Supreme says to himself. "One problem at a time, eh?"

By the time Strange has floated towards that fourth wave of soulless hybrids, he's wrapped a length of cloth over his eyes, though the blindfold doesn't seem to be limiting him too much as his feet - shod in combat boots, because even wizards need to be practical - alight on the ground.

"Hi," he says, with the elaborate casualness only a guy carrying a big magic axe (where did that come from?) can manage in the face of armored soulless lizard-people. "You know flash mobs aren't really a thing anymore, right?"


The bird's eye view does give Tyler a good scope of the battle. There's gunshots coming from a woman dealing with those fox-creatures. An old man is being surrounded by the cat-creatures…

Welp. He's dead.

…and then that freight train of a man is being attacked by a couple others. Bets on the big fella, in that one. But which way is the way /out?/

Tyler's gaze focuses on the portal and the not-entangled group of lizardfolk and something inside just tells him he doesn't want to look /away,/ but at those magnificant eyes and… wait. Why can't he move? Inside, Tyler's freaking out for a couple moments. Muscles won't respond to commands, limbs refuse to move, and… wait a second. Maybe…

A second later the aforementioned cellphone is plummeting to its demise from the spot he was clinging to. As for Tyler? He's back on the sidewalk, and able to move again. Unfortunately, he's also got a werewolf that's realized his new position and has started barreling right towards him.

The question is fight or flight, and since flight didn't work out too well /last/ time, Tyler yanks the earbuds out of his ears by the cord and just /chucks/ them at the creature. Might not do much as is, but as a second passes and those lime green earbuds are being replaced by an (also green, now) streetlight that's no longer directing traffic? Well. It's the Iowan who's going bowling for wolves as said light smashes into the one that had targetted him before it can make him a soul-snack.


When danger comes knocking, it's up to heroes to answer the call!

As long as they're registered heroes.

As long as they're registered heroes and this is their jurisdiction.

As long as they're registered heroes and they're part of an organization that provides insurance coverage for property damage in the pursuit of justice*.

(*'justice' must conform to the previously agreed terms of service on what qualifies as 'justice')

Thankfully, Billy Kaplan, aka Wiccan, qualifies for all of the above! He's an Avenger now! His dream! It's great! Except for all the red tape he wasn't expecting. Except for frequent run-ins with a red witch who makes his head feel like it's about to split between five different juxtaposed realities and how did he even know those realities were juxtaposed? Except for how registering has opened him up to a deep wealth of existential issues the very second he found out he is in fact a mutant.

exceptforhowhe'stechnicallyalsoworkingwithunregisteredmutantsinthex-menbutwedon'ttalkaboutthat

The point is: dreams aren't always what they're cracked up to be, but at least, they do allow the very self-conscious would-be wizard to intervene in times of need, which is exactly what he wants — needs — right now. It's why, when he hears of the disturbance in the heart of New York City, the young Avenger is swift to answer the call: there is a shimmer blue of light near a traffic intersection near the center of the were-chaos as if reality were peeling apart like an orange skin; falling free of that cerulean abyss, clad in his very best cosmos-studded uniform, Billy Kaplan, at least, makes for suitably heroic late entrance. He even manages to temper his anxiety into a more suitably stoic and brooding look. He's getting the hang of th—

"Wh — is that the Sorcerer Supreme and Unstoppable Juggernaut?!"

And then he ruins it by staring, dumbfounded and slack-jawed, at the insanity sprawling out before him.

You tried, Billy. You tried.

Fortunately, it doesn't last long before, with an awkward, only slightly nervous (wouldn't you be nervous? That's the Juggernaut! He's unstoppable!) clearing of his throat, Wiccan jumps into the foray, directing a sudden and powerful electrical discharge towards the pack of villainous vulpines in hot pursuit of Domino, lights shorting out and bursting one after the other like popcorn kernals in the wake of those wildly arching currents of ionizing air.

"Wow," Wiccan breathes out as he watches the albino woman just kind of try to run over a bunch of motorcycles with her bike, "… cool."

He wishes he knew how to drive a motorcycle.


Domino revs right on through the wolf-pack and while the foxes likewise run through the pack, both teams don't seem to upset by it.

Instead the wolves join in on the run! They take great loping strides after the woman and while Domino definitely stays ahead of the two packs that chase her, it likely won't be for much longer. Not when shadows seem to run across the street she barrels down. Those shadows angle sharply for the pack behind her, specifically the wolves. Two disappear within those shadows and then pop up right in Domino's path.

Merlin's spell catches that orange-y cat and he disappears in a blink of an eye! The orange-y cat finds himself far far away and with a yowl it runs through the room it ended up in.

The rest of the just hiss in feline anger, but none of them make a move. It's only the shadows that do as the nearest one near Merlin stretches across the sidewalk and street to try and capture the older man into the darkness that's something more than a simple silhouette.

A gateway to hell. A winter-ish hell.

The Fox and the Wolf go flying and when they land upon the cars they definitely do not get back up. Their bodies simply disappear in another twitch of shadows as they swallow the creatures whole. And while Juggernaut calls upon his armor and grows even more impossibly large, that doesn't seem to stop the creatures from attacking again. Though it's neither Fox, nor Cat, or Wolf. It's a Lizard. Two step forward and the man and woman try to purposely meet the Juggernaut's eyes.

'Hi'

That casual greeting turns the nearby lizard people's heads in his direction and upon seeing that blindfold they hiss. Such a simple guard against the Beast, but work it does. The pull of their gaze is thwarted, but that doesn't mean they stand their like idiots. They don't! They see that big axe he's weilding and it causes one Lizard person to step backwards and with that movement it sinks into the shadows. The rest of the lizards jump at Dr. Strange, intent on sinking fangs and talons into the Sorcerer Supreme!

Tyler for his part is snared and the Lizard holds his gaze, up until he's gone?! Only to be found by a Wolf and while that Wolf offers a sharp-tooth filled grin, that expression doesn't last long as the street-light smashes into the werewolf.

It really does go splat.

Billy's lightning arcs outward and fries a healthy portion of the pack that follows after Domino. The smell of burnt and singed fur rises heavily within the area and sharp yips of pain can be heard from the poor creatures Billy just fried.

This of course brings some of the fellow soulless creatures attention right on over to the young man. A nearby Fox leaps at Billy, its claws extended toward the young man and those claws hum with an unnatural energy.

And while the heroes definitely do maim and in some cases kill the hybrid creatures, it sure doesn't seem like it. Not with the amount that continues to flow through those gateways of darkness, as nearly every shadow is a pathway that leads away from New York City.


It's the Juggernaut who becomes the next catalyst for chaos. The shockwave of his attack (warning shot?) is more than capable of catching Domino's attention but it's the critters slamming into those cars which opens up a whole new avenue for Lady Luck.

She just doesn't know it yet.

While she's driving like a bat outta Hell one of the nearby wolves flies at a great rate of speed and caves a lovely depression into the side of a parked van. There's enough power in Cain's swing to rock the vehicle up onto two wheels when the wolf hits.

Suddenly a bunch of those wolves are IN FRONT OF NEENA HOLY SHIT!

Some VERY frantic swerving funnels her and the bike into a collision course with that same van as it's ponderously starting to reach the apex of its tilt. There's nowhere else to go there's not enough time to stop there's nasties nipping at her heels—

She punches it.

The bike hits the van as it's rocking back onto its wheels, adding a neat little flick which sends the motorcycle and rider upward..backward..upside down..diagonally sailing over the pack which had been chasing her and is now getting FRIED BY FREAKING LIGHTNING…

The view also offers a picture-perfect opportunity to start firing down at the animals with a semiautomatic, because why not add a little fight to your flight? One of them is leaping for Lightning-Bringer Billy and Neena's lining up a called shot on the critter, as ridiculous of a stunt as it is.

But how the hell is she supposed to LAND this crazy jump?

Eh. She'll figure it out when she gets there.


"Oh 'hiss hiss hiss'. Grumpy cats are all the same!" Merlin waves a hand. "Be gone, foul beasties, be gone and let me not find you upon this plane henceforth!" Merlin's voice rings out in all its British glory. It's only then that he's made aware of the creeping shadows. "Oh sneaksy snakes in Medusa's wake! What now?!"

Shuddering slightly, he holds out his staff and says, "Light of knowing, light of sowing, light of hope every grow! Shine high, shine low, let this stave glow bright and brave!" He holds his newly lit top of his staff toward the show that appears to be encroaching upon him. "How now, shadowy shadow?"


"Ahh..my adoring public." Juggernaut grunts upon hearing his name shouted out by Wiccan. "I'll have t'start charging for autographs?"

The brute chuckles but then grows more serious as he considers the situation. It's all fun and games until one realizes that the local good guys are likely to start swarming in..and the authorities. The gosh darn authorities. He's not one to back down from a fight though and it would be nice to have the heroes owe him one, but with all this registration this and registration that mess going on..and he's very much -not- registered..and kind of a wanted criminal with a rating of Walking Natural Disaster .. lingering for to long might not be a good idea.

Except..Lizard People.

"Hurh?" is his unintelligible response to the attempt to make eye contact with him. He maqkes no real effort to avert his eyes either. He's not particularly cautious anyway and certainly unaware of any particular abilities his foes might have. He -does- however, recognize an aggressive move on his person and a sneer curls across his broad features.

"You want somma this to?? Come on then——urk?!!"

The second half of that isn't particulary epic as Juggernaut wavers and then staggers forward, caught in their gaze as a feeling of paralysis begins to attempt to wend its way through his semi truck cab of a body. His posture begins to slack and his aggressivenss slowly drains away as the creatures hold over him increases and the unstoppable seems to have been stopped before it really had a chance to get going.

Except..Oops, nevermind.

"RARRRGH!!" Juggernaut suddenly surges forward, shaking off the paralysis and breaking the invisible threads of magic that were attempting to bind him. He brings his massive arms around in a wide arc to slam his hands together into a thunderclap that sounds off like a bomb just detonated in the middle of the streets with the lizards at ground zero. The *KATTHOOOM* shatters windows blocks away and sends a circular shockwave pealing out away from the goliath that peels up the concrete around him, depressing a growing crater that ruptures water mains, flips cars and shakes the area with all the force of a west coast earthquake.


Something that's immediately obvious (at least to Doctor Strange, because he does this thing a lot (way more than anyone, including himself, would like)) is that there's other magic involved. Other sources of sorcery being applied to the situation. Not just the Juggernaut and his particular bag of unstoppable tricks, either - the other sources are familiar but not, in the same annoying way as a word you can't quite remember but you know it's there. 'On the tip of your tongue,' except magically.

Though you should always try to not put anything magical on your tongue, because ew.

"You guys aren't very chatty, huh?" the Sorceror Supreme remarks. He doesn't see the one step back and sink into shadow, exactly - it's complicated, since he's not actually using his eyes - but he's aware of it, just as he's aware of the way the others turn aggressive. "Nobody wants to monologue? No elaborate fiendish plan to explain? Just mindless shock troops out stealing souls?" Of course, they're leaping at him, all claws and fangs, which is a definite immediate problem.

Except…

"Shield of the Seraphim," Strange intones, his voice gaining an odd timbre as he invokes that power: Sparks fly as the lizards' claws impact the invisible bubble surrounding the Sorceror Supreme, though those traces of demonic energy make them far more effective than mundane claws would be, even against that shield.

Runes start to trace over the bubble, motes of light drawing themselves against the otherwise invisible and impermeable surface. Writing out… Something. A language not of this world, or any even the most knowledgeable would know.

His hand, the one not holding the Axe of Angarruumus, contorts, tracing briefly in the air before him.

"Fiat lux," the Sorceror Supreme of Earth says, and that invisible shield turns into a brilliant light, like somebody turned on a little sun.


Hand goes into pocket. Out comes a penny. Penny becomes Tyler's earbuds once more, and they go back in his ears during the moment of (relative, in /his/ direction) peace. Now that the important things are handled? It's back to a moment of surveying the battlefield. Most people seem to have their situations well in hand except for the old fellow with the… giant… flashlight? That's still quite surrounded by fierce felines and somehow still alive.

Oh, his parents would be so ashamed of him right now, but dumb ideas are encroaching their way on his brain.

Digging around for more change, he produces a nickel and dime from a pocket. The nickel is chucked above the street and towards the cat-group, and a moment later Tyler's sailing across the street and in its place, just barely close enough to reach out and smack one of the creatures during his fly-by. The dime? It's flicked in front of him. A moment later? It becomes the cat-person he tagged, who becomes a target of a flying dropkick from Tyler's boots. As soon as contact is made, he switches places with the dime, instead — which may not have been the best idea as it leaves him back with the /rest/ of the cats, the spooky shadow, and Merlin.

"You should be running!" he yells at the old British guy, before taking his own advice and turning tail once more, because he doubts it'll be long before those cats realize their buddy's not among their number anymore.


Electricity crackling in cheeky vestiges at his fingertips, the young mutant settles into a thoughtful, anxious kind of frown as he assesses the situation in those tiny moments between violence and confusion.

The shadows. The shadows are moving. And these creatures feel… strange. Wrong. It's hard to put a finger on, for someone who's never felt a lack of soul before. It just makes him feel cold.

"What are these things? Where are they coming from??" Eyes aglow with cerulean light, Wiccan whips his head around as he tries to track the frantic pace of Domino And The Runaway 90s Action Movie Budget. Hands snap to his side, the galactic swirl of his gloved fingertips growing more frantic with the static crackle of electricity. He needs to find a clear shot — but would it matter? There are so many of them and they just seem to keep coming from — from —

For a split second, Wiccan's gaze turns towards the darkness of cast shadows as it belches out another were-creature. Frowning, he focuses in on it…

"Some sort of… gateway…?"

… so much so he does not quite notice the fox until it is a shadow cast over his vision. Glowing eyes turn upward. They widen.

He pivots on his heel. A strangled sound is all that manages to escape his throat as he tries to conjure a barrier between himself and the sharpened churn of those glowing talons. It's going to be too late —

BANG

And then the most absurd gun trick Billy's ever seen introduces itself to him in the form a bullet ricocheting into that terrible creature. And he's gone on missions with Bucky Barnes.

This woman is more absurd than Bucky Barnes. What's even going on here??

Fortunately, he's very quick on the recovery; with an opening, the young Avenger turns his reality towards the worsening situation. Gateways. Can he close it? Could he? He's not sure, he doesn't think — he —

Focus. Focus on the immediate. That weird crazy woman just saved his life and is falling. There are still dangerous monsters. Focus on that. He exhales. And in one breath —

"Slow fall slow fall slow fall slow fall"

— he tries to wind reality in a way that might be eerily similar to anyone remotely familiar with certain, scarlet-loving witches, slowing the exertion of gravity on Domino's bike. And in the next?

In the next, Billy tries to think: what is the most inoffensive animal he's ever heard of? And he recalls something he saw on Animal Planet once, the most adorable, most harmless critter in all the animal kingdom —

"Werewolves are werejerboas!"

… please don't let this backfire please don't let this backfire please don't—


Magical beings or not when bullets rain on down they bleed like anything and anyone else. So, while Domino tries to figure out how to land her particular jump, she likewise takes out beast after beast after beast with her automated gun.

For Merlin, the cats definitely are not talkative, but those shadows sure are. Or, at the very least, they're magically active as they try to slyly slip over to grab the older magician. Before they can quite drag Merlin down into their sinister depths, however, the staff he carries blazes to life. That light shines upon the shadows and where it touches the shadows disappear with a crinkling of sound. Like glass breaking, or ice cracking.

Then comes the *BOOM* from the Juggernaut as he breaks free from the lizard's hold, and like a mini-earthquake the ground and area around him trembles. That's definitely going to take a moment to get repaired and cleaned up.

And for a moment, the Juggernaut earns himself some breathing room as the creatures around him try to re-group.

Claws slash against the shield that Strange calls forth and while the various creatures snarl their rage, he then lights up like the sun! That's enough to cause the creatures to fall back and for a dozen of nearby shadows to wink out of existence. To the magical senses around those gateways likewise close as the shadows are obliterated by the light.

The first cat Tyler side-swipes goes down with a howl of surprise and that second, having caught that sound from its litter-mate turns, but luck is not on this particular cat's side as he turns right on in to Tyler's kick! It likewise goes down and while there are fewer cat-people surrounding Merlin, they're now much much more angry. Several pairs of furious cat-eyes turn to stare at Tyler now. Tyler better take his own advice here and run!

Now, as for Billy, his wish definitely comes true, but there are fluctuations to what he wishes and what necessarily happens. The forms of those various were-hybrid-animals begin to flicker and change, and his wishes begin to become reality. The nearest creatures to him shrink and turn smaller. Eyes become bigger, as does ears, and legs, and what's that? A tail too! And while they still hold human-ish traits to their bodies, they are definitely less ferocious looking than what they once were.

A Fox spies the werewolves beginning to change to transmute and with a quick leap it jumps into a nearby shadow, disappearing from sight. It scampers back to wherever they call home and after a few minutes the shadows begin to hurriedly clump together. Creating a gateway that's much larger than the others, to allow something larger to come through.

Definitely larger than a werejerboa, for sure.


It's a heck of a thing. Domino's experienced a lot of situations before but never one which involves both her and her vehicle suddenly defying gravity as if they weigh nothing more than a feather.

"What—?!"

Then comes the big brute known as the Juggernaut doing another big brute kind of thing when sending a(nother) massive shockwave out from the Marko Epicentre. The relaxed speed of her fall combined with getting shoved over by the shockwave leaves this leaf on the wind perfectly aligned for the bike's wheels to kiss the asphalt with a polite chirrup.

It doesn't keep her from yelping along the way because HOLY CRAP. But hey! It worked!

The darkly dressed rider snaps a grateful salute off of her helmet toward Billy and Juggernaut. Then this corner of the city is lit up like a friggin' atom bomb went off. The Hell?! It's bright enough to cut right through the tint on her visor, bright enough to show the sharp contrast of the spot around her one eye. Not too bright to blind her, fortunately!

Dom should probably get out of here. There's a lot of crazy stuff..dare she think 'magic'..going on. But given the nature of what she's managed to see a thought pops into her head. This is all striking an eerily familiar chord in the back of her mind. Shadows, a chill in the air, animals, and what the hell even lizard people?

Neena brings up her phone and grabs a quick video recording. The window for this is now, getting some evidence could prove useful. Plus the lighting is just AWESOME. Thanks, Strange!

It's looking a whole lot like there's going to be some more shared beers in Moonstar's future… They'll have some matters to discuss.

A proper hero sort would stick around and see this disaster corrected but that's the beauty of it all! Domino's so not a proper hero sort. The albino takes what she can get then turns and burns, the bike winding up into a scream as it darts back into the city.


So that quake was just a little itsy bitsy baby quake on the Juggernaut-Richter-Scale and though it did its job and even aided some of his - ahem - allies - it was was basically a quick tantrum on the part of The Juggernaut to try and shake off the paralysis. The attempt to transform his magically infused body into a living statue has winded him for a moment. Even with his resistance he's still abit groggy and he drops down to a knee to shake his head back and forth a few times tot ry and clear out the cobwebs, so to speak.

"Man, who put the ground on a turn table.." he grumbles before finally wobbling back up to his full, nearly ten foot tall, height. He teeters this way and that, a sequoia on the verge of toppling over again..and then he stabilizes and gets a good look around.

And then the sun itself decides to land in the middle of the battle zone. Apparently. Juggernaut grimaces and shields his eyes against the blast of light and then turns his head to look over the area for a quick way to make an exit?which he quickly determines the same way he determines how to make all of his exits. A straight run 'That Way' - because when you're unstoppable any direction in a straight line is an exit.

That decided upon, the heavy *TOOMS* of his footfalls begin, no doubt setting off seismometers elsewhere in the city as he starts walking and then lumbering into a slow jog and then a full on freight train like run which flattens, fortunantely, abandoned cars under foot and leaves craters in his wake. It won't be hard to track him until he reaches a body of water, likely the nearest river, for him to swim for it. In his wake - well let's just assume there is Insurance that covers 'Juggernaut Attack' or that he qualifies as natural disaster.


Another shudder. Merlin is glad he was able to keep the shadows from fully taking him to…wherever they're going. He's done some travelling, he knows there are dimensions out there worse for wear. He'd rather stay here if possible. He looks around at the various were-cat-people and frowns. And then a young man appears, kicking one of the cats and angering them. "I'll be gone shortly, save yourself, young man!"

When the young man does so, Merlin takes his staff and calls out, "Cattus bestias relinquere locus iste!" When the staff hits the ground, a pulse of magic bursts around him. If all works out, any nearby were-cats disappear.

The boom from Juggernaut catches him off guard, almost falling. He quickly catches himself and gazes about.

Holding his now well-lit staff in front of him, he incants, "Guide my steps, lead my feet, so that the darkened magical opening I may meet!" It's not long before he finds what he thinks he's looking for. He frowns. "This is going to take some doing."

He takes a deep breath in and shouts, "Porta illa tenebrarum et discriminis metu in clausis." Which, loosely translated, is 'Doorway of darkness and fear, be closed.' He imbues the words with magic and gears them toward the portal allowing the creatures through.


The light winks out after a few bare moments of existence: Not long enough to have blinded anybody, hopefully, but probably anyone unfortunate enough to have been looking that way is going to have to deal with some purple blots in their vision for a little while.

Sometimes, Doctor Strange has learned, you just have to do the thing, and worry about consequences after.

If at all.

There's virtually always consequences, though.

Most people are sensibly clearing the area, at least, though none of them make quite as dramatic an exit as the Juggernaut, who nearly upends the Sorceror Supreme as well without even getting all that close.

And, considering everything that's going on, getting upended might have some extremely dire consequences.

Speaking of dire consequences, the initial resistance these soulless shock troops are meeting seems to be resulting in a change of plans. Portals coalescing into a single portal, larger. Big enough to let something else out, and whatever it is they probably don't want to see it, right now. Especially if it's something the beasts want to field against Marko. That's bound to be something nasty.

The axe he was carrying has managed to disappear somewhere along the way, leaving the Sorceror Supreme free to bring his hands together, energy like burning embers whirling around his wrists, over his palms as he draws them slowly apart, then traces a circle in the air: Those burning embers move, drawing, etching in the air, a circle, a star bound by its circumference. They trace words, marks, emblems of power from a thousand cultures from a hundred realms. Not, as Merlin tries, to close the portal, no. Think of this more like magical aikido: Using his opponent's momentum, in this case the portal itself, and just… Helping it along.

By making another portal in that portal.

That points somewhere else, somewhere that might make them reconsider the portal in the first place.

Like outer space.


Yep, running seems like the best idea in general right about now, but a better idea? Driving. More random objects are pulled out of Tyler's pockets and tossed over cars that are peeked inside. Each time he jumps into an abandoned car that's missing its keys, he switches with the random object thrown. Eventually, though? Paydirt! Someone was in enough of a hurry to leave their keys in the ignition, and Tyler's quick to shut the door and turnover the engine.

He's done his good deed for the… well… year. But much like Domino, the kid from Iowa is nowhere near a proper hero, so he's peeling off into the distance. Be grateful he tried to avoid the slew of soul-less bodies on the ground on his way!


It's a little hard, at first, for Billy to make out what's going on. That might, possibly, have something to do with the Sorcerer Supreme's Splendid Sun Sensation going on over there; it's hard for him to be frustrated about it, though. It's Dr. Strange!!

(he's a little frustrated)

Mostly, though, he's nervous, a tight knot of dread and vague self-doubt that he hoped didn't creep into his incantation winding itself tight in his gut as he shields his eyes against the fading halo of refracting light. He blinks rapidly, a series of wet-eyed squints against the remaining starburst patterns clinging to his vision, working against the blurry smear of -something- in his peripheries. He tenses —

— and then his vision comes to, right as a fluffy, adorable part man part jerboa comes hopping past him. He blinks, one more time. Yep. Jerboa. Domino, also not a vague albino splatter on the sidewalk. Everything worked! … Huh.

"….. I don't know why I'm surprised," he mumbles, to no one in particular.

It's just when he's feeling a palpable sense of relief, of course, that everything just gets worse. Enter: the Giant Gate.

"Oh. That's why."

Because something terrible always happens Billy.

One foot snapping back, Wiccan braces himself. That — is a big portal. At this point, he doesn't have a choice. He just has to trust himself. Trying to steel his nerves, he starts to concentrate on that power within him that he scarcely understands. Can he do it? He has to. But just in case…

"Ma'am, maybe you should get" he begins, looking back towards —Domino the very empty spot that once contains Domino and now only contains skidmarks and the lingering squeal of tires in the distance.

"out." Billy squints. He frowns. He knows he was going to suggest she retreat, but

"… somehow that just feels worse. Ugh."

He doesn't dwell (much). People are already working on the portal. He needs to help. He can do it. He knows it. Exasperation melts away into something at least approaching resolve as blue light dances at Billy's fingertips. When he exhales next, space seems to twist just a bit around the diffuse pathways of his breath. When his eyes open… they glow, a solid, cerulean gleam. Cold sweat runs down his brow as he concentrates. His powers — not quite magic but at the point it might as well be — seek to bolster Merlin and Strange's efforts equally like someone hedging their bets. That gateway leading to New York City doesn't exist. It doesn't exist. It doesn't —

"There is no portal here there is no portal here there is no portal here there is no portal here"

Couldn't they have all just stuck to being werejerboas?


Domino, Juggernaut and Tyler all run away to fight another day.

Which you can't really blame them. You just can't.

As for Merlin, Strange and Billy, several things happen at once -

The werejerboas continue to hop adorably around.

Merlin's spell reaches out to that large portal and begins to close it, slowly, but still it begins to shrink.

Strange's spell likewise reaches out, but instead of forcing the portal closed it instead opens a gateway within itself. That alone causes the shadow pathway to shake. Though it doesn't quite crumble. Not yet.

Not until Billy reaches out with his own powers and belief and fortifies both Merlin and Strange's spell casting. The three sets of powers combined are too much for the Demon Bear's portals and slowly, like some collapsing sun, the portal folds in on itself thanks to the weight of the combined power of the three.

When it's all said and done all that remains are a scattering of werejerboas, werecats and werefoxes and lastly (but not least) the fallen who's souls are now no longer within.

Their lungs breathe, their hearts beat, but what made them them has been taken away. They just exist. A shell of who they once were.

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