Manhattan Under Siege pt. 1

Brief Title:
Manhattan Siege

Richenda Grey, Ares, Mirage, Night Ravn

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:
06/20/12 14:24

New York City, near Central Park

Shadow Creatures Attack the City

Social or Plot:


The city of New York is alive, bustling and wild with the activity of the day. The sidewalks are overun with pedestrians rushing hither and yon, travelling from one place to another. There's the steady sound of traffic, the white noise of automobile engines rumbling and punctuated by the occasional car horn. It's that time of day when some workplaces are closing early. Summer is here, the city is hot and sweaty, so some are calling it early and heading out onto the streets. Then, of course, there are the tourists.
People visit New York every day, take pictures, see the sights and stay for the nightlife. Today's no exception as amongst the buildings and skyscrapers there is no shortage of people looking around, pointing, snapping pictures with their phones and actual cameras if it can be believed.
One individual among those tourists is there to indeed see the sights, for once not working in the middle of the day. John Aaron arrives in the middle of a park, appearing out of nothingness and stepping through the ripple of reality that warps and distorts the world around him. If it were not for his strange means of arrival he'd be a man of little remark. Just a tall man, in plain clothes, standing in the middle of a side park that has no shortage of people enjoying the summer.

Chenda's one of those people who has been a resident, a tourist, and a simple visitor to the Big Apple. Right now she's the last, though seriously considering becoming the first again. School sucks, even in summer.
Right now she's just taking in the city with Danielle, one of the few X-folks who bothers to talk to a lowly student like they're a real person. "Thanks for coming with me, Dani. Much as I love this town, it gets pretty mean when the heat is on," she says to her companion, smiling up at the Native American woman. "A friendly face is a welcome sight."

Being a member of X-Factor means that you are never truly off duty. So even though the trip into Manhattan is purely for pleasure today, Danielle Moonstar, aka Mirage is always prepared for things to go down, even when she doesn't look it. She has dressed casually today, jeans, sleeveless blouse and her usual mocassion boots. She also has a backpack slung across her back.
"Well after the teams latest mission I could use some downtown and where better than here?" she glances back at her young friend as the move down that sidewalk.

For the two young women it's truly an almost ideal day. The weather is warm, the sun shines, and even the wind is cooperating. The crowd moves along beside them, unmindful of the presence of the pair of mutants amongst them. A corner street vendor with his cart hollars as he hawks his wares, offering hot dogs, falafal, and even some ice cream.
The first realization that something is amiss comes from a scream off in the direction of the nearby park where owners are allowing their dogs to run around off the leash in a small enclosure. Yet the sound originated from the playground.

Chenda's developed the habit of carrying her own well-worn purple gearslinger, since she never knows when things will go bad. In the past, she's had to be someplace else at a moment's notice, which meant running off without what little she had. She wears a tee instead of a blouse, and her usual tennies instead of boots, but otherwise she and Mirage could be distant cousins in appearance. "I'll bet! What little I've heard, it sounded bad." She gestures to a pushcart not too far away. "Feel like some frozen yogurt? My treat."
And that's about when the peace of the day vanishes, driven off by a scream from a playground. "Huh? Oh, that didn't sound good..."

Dani surveys the cart in question as the two women approach it, "I appreciate the offer.." the rest of her comment is cut off by the scream from the park "No it doesn't." she agrees "Guess it was to much to ask for a day in Manhattan without and altercations." she makes a motion toward the park with her head "Let's move." she then runs toward the park, slinging her backpack to the front of her, but doesn't pull anything out just yet.

When they head in that direction it's only a short distance before they get around the hedge barrier that blocks their view. Many people in the crowd on the sidewalk turn and peer in the direction of the scream, some even stop walking though footsteps falter further when another pair of screams match the first.
They round that corner and the view that greets them is surreal. A flickering fading gateway swirling in the middle of that playground is there, bleeding and dripping a mix of shadow and gore upon the ground, an abomination and insult to the fabric of reality. The swirling vortex makes little sound, just a low hiss almost like a background noise of an old television tuned to a channel that doesn't exist.
Yet what has drawn the screams of the people isn't that portal, it's what came through it. A being of shadow, contorted and long-limbed like something distorted had cast it, growls in a low rumble. It rails angrily at those around it, extending flexible tendrils in several directions ending in wispy spines that suddenly slash out.
It's when this thing roars that the crowd breaks into a run.
Of course that's when more portals begin to open. In the playground... the street... on top of buildings, in walls... all over the city.

"Moving... hey, wait for me!" Chenda calls after the longer-legged Dani, following as fast as she can. She bounces her gearslinger over her head with a well-practiced motion and begins opening the top.
And that's when she clears the foliage and sees just what's going on. Sort of. It's not exactly what she'd been expecting. "Wha-wha-wha-what in the world is /that/?" she exclaims, staring for a moment at the shadowy shape. Then her brain begins working again, telling her several things at once. But the most important, definitely, is that if she keeps standing here like a fence post she's almost certainly going to die! Very messily! "Dani! Dani, get clear!" she shrieks in alarm, seeing the people scatter away from the monstrosity. She backpedals, summoning power-seeds in her free hand and hurling them one after another at the thing, full-force concussion blasts to keep it back from herself, Dani, and the crowd.

Stopping as she comes into view of the portals, Dani just stares a moment before looking around at at the bystanders. In her experience very few good things come out of glowy portals "Run." she commands though the thing coming out of the portal roaring drowns out her cry and essentially has the same effect. Being well aware of what Chenda is capable of Dani gets out of the way. Chenda bombarding the monster(s) with her bomby things will give Dani time to snap out her collapsible short bow and arrows.

A quiet day in Manhattan, Night Raven is out on the town. If one considers always being in game mode the same as out on the town - ivory mask, slick black sports jacket, and emblemed t-shirt underneath. Not to mention being on a roof top for the Beyonder knows how many days in silent contemplation about criminal meetings at Big Wing Wangs over in Chinatown while starring up at the sky to be normal out on the town behavior. However, a scream reaching his ears as it bounds around the buildings, perhaps enough to reach him over the din of normal midtown noise, is enough to bring Night Raven out of his personal reverie. Already running to the edge of his building to look down towards the scream, its when he sees the shadow form that he yanks revolvers from holsters or pockets or thin air. Indeed, taking aim at the figure below, he is most likely presently unaware of any other portals around him that may be opening. "Not today, Death, my old friend," he says, interpreting portals and madness into his own delusions, "The world beckons me to live." He'll unload towards the shadow figure from the first portal.

First concussion blasts slam into it and around it as the shadow creature /ROARS/ again, its tendrils lashing the air as he rounds upon Richenda and Dani, screaming out its pain and preparing to charge.
People continue to rush away, running out into the street, causing vehicles to skid. Horns sound, brakes squeal. Then there are screams, and more screams. Through the other portals more shadowy creatures emerge, each looking different than the others yet still sharing a similar lineage.
An instant before that creature upon the playground starts forward, there's the sound of weaponsfire and Night Raven darts down from on high like the wrath of God. The shells slam hard into the shadowy creature's form, causing it to waver as it wails in pain.
Its attack is turned into flight as it abruptly spins around and /runs/ away, grasping the wrought iron fencing that surrounds the playground and vaulting itself forward.
It's a brief respite, just an instant of peace as the severity of the situation becomes all the more prominent. More screams sound, more roars, raging creatures in the distance. More and more.
And through it all, watching from a distant park bench, John Aaron remains.

Chenda does her best, aiming for the thing's feet to trip it up... only someone beats her to it! Gunfire sounds nearby, and the thing shrieks in pain and turns to flee. Chenda sticks with Plan A, hurling another power-seed at its feet to stop its headlong flight. Maybe another dose of lead would take it down!
But first she looks up, and then realizes she's seen the shooter before. "You! Where'd you come from?" she asks, more from habit than because it'll make any difference. Her gearslinger goes back on her back, zipped up again, and she turns to Mirage.
But the turn shows her the cornucopia of horror being unleashed upon the city: Portal upon portals and monsters upon monsters! "Oh my god... How are we going to stop them all? There must be a dozen in Central Park alone!" But something's nagging at her, one of the several things she realized when she snapped out of her shock. If only she had time to focus on it... "There's something about them... I'd swear I've seen them before."

An arrow flies, followed by two more from Dani's bow as the creature goes under fire from multiple directions. Wincing at the loud roar of pain it makes she prepares to nock another arrow "Chenda focus!" and she doesn't mean focus on what the creatures are. As she targets the creature again she notices that more portals are opening and she is hearing screams of panic coming from all around. An attack of this magnitude is something she was not prepared for, she certainly didn't bring enough arrows to deal with the many hostiles that are appearing through portals. As the largest monster flees she follows, but from a distance that keeps her out of tendril range.

From his perch, Night Raven calls down towards street level, "I've been brooding in the shadows, the scream was a good recollection to the world." As if that explains it all. He'll pause a moment to exchange a pistol in his off-hand for his grappling gun, shoot out a cable so that he can swing his way down to join those battling the beasts on the street level. When its secure, he'll flip out the 6-shot clip, let if fall to the ground and then beging to reload as he moves down. "You are seeing them too, this is real then?" Shouted towards Chenda and her companion as Night Raven makes his way to street level, readying for the next shadow monster they encounter perhaps.

Having leapt over that fence, the creature is now out there amongst the crowd as people rush past, fleeing in all directions. A woman, perhaps fleeing from another shade, barrels straight towards it as she wails forlorn. She almost collides with it, its limb curling around her and abruptly yanking her into the air. Her new scream is much louder than the one before. It's just in that instant when the shadow's eyes flicker with a blaze of white flame that one of Dani's arrows slams hard into it and hangs there.
The woman is dropped hard to the ground even as the creature reels and turns back to face the young archer. Yet even as it turns it begins to fade, the shadowy wisps of its forms tearing, fraying, then finally disappearing from view.
But the world continues to devolve into madness around them. From high above an office chair is _thrown_ through a window of one of the nearby high rises, followed suddenly by the flailing body of a person defenestrated down... down down to land with a _whud_ onto the street.

"If it's not, I haven't stopped to find out!" Chenda calls back to Night Raven, grimacing at Mirage's shout. She /is/ focused. She's just noticing things, that's all!
Like the sight of the thing vanishing under Dani's bowshots. She blinks as the realization hits her. "Wait, I /have/ seen something like this before. With Ares! But he doesn't usually go in for wanton slaughter of innocents like this..." She trails off as she tries to figure it out... between following Dani and concussions blasts, of course, which she's now throwing with both hands. Bright light has been added to the concussion, on the off chance that it might help.

Not wanting to get separated from her young friend, Dani calls to her "Follow me." she rushes to where the large tendril monster disapperaed and quickly collects the fallen arrows. She doesn't have many with her so she will use those that she can repeatedly. Not having many arrows, she will have to supplement what she has with ones that do less noticeable damage, especially knowing that they disappear when defeated.
Lifting the bow she draws back the string, though she hasn't nocked any arrow. A flaming arrow of psychic energy forms, (Surprise Chenda!) and she lets it fly at the the cloest shadow creature to her.

Having one pistol reloaded, Night Raven means to follow the ladies who seem to be fighting the monsters as well. Aiming for any other nearby shadow monsters, he'll let loose with six-shots, duck-walking as his nice shoes click their hard soles on the pavement. "This nightmare is wide spread," he says to his new companions, "I vote for a new course of action, we pick a direction, shoot anything in the way and get out of the danger zone." Whether he finds a new target or not, he'll work on reloading his spare gun, letting go of the grappling gun and th elin e for now
gun and the line for now.

There is no shortage of targets. A brief glance across the area reveals the mayhem. In the street alone there's almost a score of the creatures all railing, roaring, lashing around as they wade into the crowd. At times a person's body is hurled away, some torn, ragged, injured terribly or worse. A car flips into the air as a large bulky creature of shadow slams its hands hard down upon the hood and catapults it into the air to slam into the wall, imbedding itself into a building's display window.
A shadow with long claws menaces a young girl as she cowers behind one of the park's trees, wailing as she calls out for her mother. The monster steps around, lashing the trunk of the tree with its talons and shredding the bark... only to have Night Raven's rounds and Richenda's energy bomb slam hard into it. It's attention snaps back around and with a blurring /THUNK!/ Dani's arrow slams straight into where its head should be. It reels, falls over, WHAMS into the ground... and begins to fade.
Luckily the crowds are rushing off, some taking shelter in buildings, others running into the distance. The mayhem continues and occasionally a new portal flickers into being in the distance.
Then, perhaps surprisingly, the fallen woman who had been hurtled out of the high window slowly regains her feet. Shadows flicker about her crippled form and that white fire is seen once again when she opens her eyes.

It's amazing what you notice when you're stressed, near panic, and fighting for your own life and the lives of your friends. Chenda, harassing the creatures with her concussion blasts, catches sight first of the fact that Dani's pulling back a bowstring with a conspicuous lack of ammunition... and then not! "Whoa..." she murmurs, blinking and quickly turning back to the fight.
The second thing she notices is the broken form of the woman who fell from the window rising to her feet. Something's definitely not right about her. Shadows abound, and then she opens her eyes. "Oh, that's not good... that's /really/ not good. Guys, watch out for the victims!"
And then there's one more thing she notices. There's a man in the park, sitting calmly on a bench in the midst of all this chaos. He could be taking in a ball game for all the concern he shows! And then she gets a closer look at his face... she knows him! "Th-th-that's him! Ares! I've got to speak to him!" And the gypsy girl takes off in his direction, dodging around the few remaining fleeing people and skirting wide around the shadow monstrosities, hurling concussion blasts their way to keep them occupied.

One more down, several dozen more to go...and still counting. Dani wastes no time in picking her next target, one charging the duck-walking Night Raven perhaps, and another of the glowing arrows flies from her bow. Another quickly forming in its place. Glancing over at Chenda's warning of the victims she sees the woman that was supposedly dead get to her feet. "This is not good." she says as Chenda runs off toward the man, she sighs in exasperation as she moves to position herself so she will be back to back with the tall Night Raven when and if he decides to stand up, "At your back." she warns, before loosing another arrow at another portal monster.

Standing to take the woman's back just the same, Night Raven focus' on his 180 degrees of the circle. "Quite the friend you have, I think that's running into the thick of the madness, not away from it. I'll run out of ammo at this rate, but I suppose we should follow her," she does have concussive bomb powers of some sort. The woman at his back has energy powers of some sort, better to stick with them than run it on his own. Firing a new clip, he starts to alternate between reloading one pistol while using the other to fire. Not the most precise shots, but enough to keep rounds going down range and hopefully keep anything at bay. "After you," he says shrugging his masked head towards the girl and the man on the bench - though if she moves in that direction, he'll keep her back just the same.

A winged shadow drops out of the sky and /WAILS!/ as it tries to snare Dani with its long slithery tendrils, only to have its attack averted by the rapid-fire shots that come from Night Raven. It turns, ragged decayed wings flapping and flapping as it tries to gain some distance... then its departure is arrested when an arrow slashes straight into its contorted thorax, dropping it from the sky like a kite whose string's been cut.
Yet the are having an effect, the shadows are fanning out, rushing off into the crowds, darting into buildings and seeking easier prey. They've created a partial area of control at the least as the monsters seem not looking to battle, not looking for a fight instead they seem intent on something else entire.
Answers only come when across the way they see the brutish giant shadow creature lift a man into the air, its eyes flashing that white fire before it seems to force itself bodily into the man, its mass compressing into a wispy vapor as it dives right into the man's eyes, mouth, and nose. The man falls... no longer held by the creature... but possessed by it. He gains his feet slowly, shadows wisping around his form.
Meanwhile, Richenda rushes across the park to the man who is sitting on the park bench. John Aaron lifts his eyes, looking on her levelly as he remains unmoving in his seat. He's just a man seemingly, wearing jeans, a flannel shirt. He cants his head to the side slightly as the girl approaches and he greets her in the calm amongst the mayhem. "Hello, Richenda."

Chenda notices the slackening pressure as she dashes across the park. Some of the monsters are actually fleeing, dashing from the place of greatest resistance, and she only spares one blast or two for each of them. All this blasting is beginning to take its toll. Her feet feel heavy as they pound the sod towards John Aaron.
Finally, she's skidding to a stop in front of him, regarding the calm man with wide, frightened eyes. "Ares... what are these things? Why are they here?" A hesitation. "Are they yours?"
Dani just nods at the tall pistol toting man as she moves with him in the direction that Chenda ran. She is used to working with one or more people so has no trouble covering her 180 degrees while NR covers his.

"Ares?" Dani repeats the name that Chenda shouted out. She has seen many an Asgardian diety so has no diffulculty in imagining that the greek/roman ones exist as well. If she had any doubt about his godly origins they are dispelled by the foggy act of possession. The bow drops from her hands, a long feathered glowing staff manifesting in its place "If you beleive in any gods, best be praying to them." she says over her shoulder to Night Raven.

"I walk with Death," says Night Raven, "That is the company I keep in the long, dark night. Best I not pray, else the onslaught might be encouraged." Which doesn't mean he has to stop alternating his shoots. With their area clearing of shadow forms, he takes less. Though, perhaps for his own purposes, he'll steady a shot towards one of the seemingly possessed and pop a shot at a leg - maybe curious if the damage does anything to the body or chases the shadows out even.

As Richenda stands before him, the man declared to be Ares looks her over, then shifts his attention towards the approach of Dani and Raven. He cocks an eyebrow curiously, his features slack and without animation for the most part. Yet he finally turns back to the girl and says levelly, "They are lost souls and I hold no dominion over them." He lifts a hand to scratch thoughtfully at the stubble on his cheek, he looks away. "I suppose that is part of the problem."
One of the possessed is already moving towards them when Raven's bulletfire cracks out with a heavy report. The round takes her in the leg, causing her to pinwheel and slam towards the ground. She breaks her fall with her fists, slamming them almost furiously into the ground. That motion causes the earth to CRACK as a crater of impact explodes around her, shadowy energy flickering around her. She brings a closed fist up and then aims some of that energy right at Night Raven, the blast firing across the distance with a roar of the damned.

Chenda's eyes widen, if that can be believed. "No dominion?" A moment of doubt flickers across her face. "Please, is there any way you can help us? They're killing innocent people! There's only three of us, and there are too many of them for us to fight!" She looks back in the direction of Night Raven and Dani, only to see that possessed woman blasting at the tall man. A power-seed is in her hand instantly and flying at the woman, full force and full flash, and it's instantly followed by another aimed at the ground under her feet. "Please..!" she calls back over her shoulder at Ares.

Night Raven doesn't move, but stands like a dummy target, ready to take more shots. As he pulls the trigger to shoot at the lady again (nonlethal shot), the dark force-like energy hits him. It rips into his suit and sends up the scent of smoldering flesh. This doesn't seem to phase but he stops pulling the trigger, then lifts a hand to his head, pistol and all, "No, Inez, it wasn't my fault, I didn't mean for them to hurt your." Is all he says, he seems to forget the world is madness around him, but rather he is lost in his other reality for the moment.

Even as Night Raven is struck by that dark beam, even as Dani whirls to face the encroaching approach of some of the Possessed, and even as Richenda pleads with him... Ares remains in his seat looking upon them, their situation. And he remains unmoved.
His voice lifts as he watches the mayhem around him, then he tells her levelly. "This is not my part to play, girl." His voice is strong, firm. He looks across the city as more and more portals continue to open. Shadowy creatures fly across the skyline and the screams in the distance continue.
"Your fates rest in the hands of your heroes now."

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