1963-10-28 - Not All is as it Seems
Summary: Some heroes handle a standoff at the entrance of central park.
Related: Once Upon a Hellmouth Plot
Theme Song: None
danny luke liv domino morgan 

"Alright…now what…?"

The Sorcerer Supreme's muttered words fog in the cool night air as he steps through the Gate he's opened to the fringes of the Hellmouth's influence. He comes in full battle-gear, leathers, Cloak, and Eye and all. His eyes narrow, scan the area around him carefully, before he collapses it with a closing gesture.

Thank the gods for Duke's medicine. The vampire venom was burned out of his system the night before and it's left him in a state of health not seen since the beginning of this whole Hellmouth mess. His aura is kept low, at a simmer. There hasn't been much demon activity in this area, not since he enacted a tentative agreement with an escapee of the portal. It seems she's been successful - as have his wards.

Strange steps over and reaches out, eyes going distant as he relies more on Sight than sight to check them. Solid, self-rejuvenating, no points of weakness that he can sense. His fingertips cause ripples of silvery light to spread in the invisible magic before him and then he pulls away with another sigh.

"So why did you ring…?" he asks the silent wards as he looks around once more.


And the wards offer nothing in reply. In fact, only evening crickets and the occasional frog issue peaceful reply in a chorus that doesn't befit the city landscape. The wards themselves, however, alert to something other — something akin and aloft.

The moon overhead seems to grow; even in its impossibility its white surface brightens full and round: a superman. Were they expecting one this night? The rest of the night, however, veils black as if the night itself has drawn across the horizon like a blanket. Perhaps the light from the city or the moon has drowned out the stars themselves.

In fact, without much issue, the world continues in its strange peace. The perimeter around the Hellmouth has mostly been respected, yet even this level of stillness bears with it eerie silence.

The quiet rumble from the ground below starts slowly. Nearly serenely. Almost forgettably. Yet prophetically, some in their most haunting dreams have made one accurate prediction that the earth itself issues: Something Wicked This Way Comes.

The tremor grows reminiscent of the night the Hellmouth had been so opened — a testament of ripped earth and malevolent influence.



With a turn in place that leaves him facing the ultra-brightness of the moon, Strange readies his hands in defensive mudras. The spells rests on the tip of his tongue, behind lips thinned in rapidly-growing suspicion.

His mind races as he watches the stars blanket out one by one and he hazards another glance around him. Illusion magic - strong illusion magic. He's hard-pressed to avoid falling into its grasp and quickly sets a mental mantra on replay: It is not real, think beyond sight - it is not real, think beyond sight. Rinse and repeat madly.

In his enhanced state of sensing, he first notes the rumbling in the marrow of his bones. It echoes there as it does through the deeps of Gaia's earth and stone and increases until his teeth feel like they're buzzing in his skull. The good Doctor grimaces and alters his stance to remain firm, even as the grass beneath him begins to literally shift from side to side, like a horse attempting to flick a fly from its skin.


The earth cries out against whatever work the world takes on. The cracks in the earth are unmistakable as the grass rips up in tufts along with large clumps of dirt, almost like something burrows beneath the surface. Yet no beast has taken up residence beneath the turf. Instead, the earth itself seems to split — once, twice, thrice — in large tendrils that all seem to spout towards the Hellmouth in long ley lines.

The wards seem to hold, even as the world separates and shifts, in rumbling growing pains from the earth beneath. The Hellmouth's platform — a large bed of rock — extends higher into the air to take on whatever miracle, if any, the earth offers.

The quiet hum of chanting trails towards the Park. Like a growing choir, the voices seem to come from multiple directions, joining in some kind of other worldly ritual for some nefarious purpose.


"What?! NO!"

This is his reality! Nobody starts manipulating the face of this Earth without his permission!!!

Strange's snarled words are lost amidst the groaning rumbles of the Hellmouth's ascension towards the blacked-out skies above him. He's thrilled, somewhere within the entanglement of panicked thoughts of containment, that his wards are holding, but they're starting to strain.

It's like the slow bending of safety glass - the shrieking creaks that shouldn't be heard, the minor-keyed splinters indicating that his weaving is beginning to fracture in places.

"Not this time!" he spits before grounding himself in a stance that allows his feet full contact with the shifting grass beneath him. Tendrils of his Mystical power streak down the recently-opened cracks and dig into the ley lines beneath the Park that have been revealed like pulsing vessels from beneath covering skin. Strange becomes a conduit for the power, his eyes whiting out as his entire aura becomes visible in a swirl of silver and ice-blue. It's literally electrifying for as second; his jaws stand out starkly as he accustoms himself to the influx of raw magic and then he conducts it towards a counter-spell to the chaos beginning around him.

"By Gaia's goodness, Oshtur's light - Hoggoth's rage and Agamotto's sight -" The Eye of Agamotto around his neck clicks into searing incandescence with an audible ring and grants a swirl of citrine within the silver of the waves of power blowing from his person and across the Park around him. "Begone, dark Chaos, off with thee - this realm and reality recall to me!!!!"


The horde of mystics that trail each of the cracks in the Earth's surface form a strange circle around the Hellmouth, and Strange. The energy emitted from the chant, however, bears with it that air of novice that Strange has come to associate with his most inexperienced apprentices. The baby mystics, with their shiny new powers, would be easy to defeat, yet the spell they spin together has some semblance of strength.

The incantation, directly from The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus lives in English, repeated again and again: "Within the bowels of these elements,
Where we are tortur'd and remain for ever:
Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscrib'd
In one self-place; but where we are is hell,
And where hell is, there must we ever be:
And, to be short, when all the world dissolves,
And every creatures shall be purified,
All places shall be hell that are not heaven."

The band of light around Strange pings hard at the baby mystics, pushing them off their feet. They fall in a perfect circle around him and the Hellmouth. But even the ping of energy has some — through tears — reciting their incantation, as if unable to stop.

One of the mystics, however, manages to remain standing. The cloaked figure raises its hands, and again, the earth itself seems to move, yet something in this movement is entirely different. Root networks beneath the ground draw upwards as a large tree in the centre of the Park comes to life. The tree reaches down with its mighty branches, aiming to knock the Doctor off his feet to continue the mischief transpiring in the Park.


Walking trees. He's seen it all now. The falling trees of the Hellmouth's initial emergence into this reality have nothing on the creaking rush of the branches coming down at him like a vengeful dryad's scion.

With a grunt and leap to one side, he dodges the first and biggest of the branches; its impact in the earth is audible and visible, the grass torn and mashed a good few feet into the ground. Strange ducks the sideways-swat of another branch and then darts backwards beyond the reach of another limb bigger around than his thigh. This tree has no qualms in breaking its own boughs. Several remain impaled in the earth even as it draws back, writhing with an unnatural flexibility as the good Doctor rises into the air via his crimson Cloak. While he was never fully-smacked, he bears a good scratch down his face, just forwards of his silvered temple, on one side that bleeds in little beadlets and a snapping switch will no doubt leave a good linear bruise on the frontal rounding of his shoulder.

With a frustrated glance over his shoulder towards the one remaining chanter, he then shouts towards the tree,

"Ancient one, return to sleep! Let none than Gaia earn your keep!!!"

The spell, evocative of sunlight falling through spring leaves and laced with the warmth of loam, flies towards the tree's shifting trunk even as it rears back to make him flit through another round of falling branches.


The tree, when hit with the spell, bends towards the caster, longing for even a fleeting glimpse of warmth — an easily exploited weakness for something so prone to flame. A monster the mistress may have created, but its weaknesses remain in its makeup. A large branch rears towards Strange, aiming to know him off from the sky.

The mystics on the ground slowly begin to peel themselves from the earth, and mutter their chanting again. Evidently they will not be easily deterred — none of them.

But the one who had managed to stand through it all holds its ground. Two feminine hands tug at the hood around her face. Her hands again — a call to attention for whatever followers she's managed to glean in the weeks she's been wandering earth once more,
"//The Mistress calls,
A promise she keeps,
Come alive those who sleep
Beneath the surface warm and safe
Out of Hell we will raise!"

The earth turns again through the other mystics' incantations, yet the woman, one Morgan Le Fay, calls something else. Beneath the ground, in the New York sewer system, something stirs.


With a grunt of effort, Strange darts to one side and barely avoids the approaching branch. Wind whistles through the branching twigs and drags at his Cloak in the wake of its passing. The earth emits a muffled thud upon its contact that seems to shake the nearby stands of un-charmed trees; leaves flutter and fall like confetti to the ground.

"Stop it!" It's a silly thing to hiss at the thing, now slowly pulling back for another attempt to swat at him, and so he yells something in a foreign language that deepens his voice even as it fills the air around him. The magic, silver swirled with terra cotta red, is flung from doubled hands into the trunk of the ancient tree once more. It crackles over the roughly-barked surface and the movements of the oak come to a stuttering, grinding halt. He has canceled out the spell that brought the tree to life (with a spell's worth of 'KNOCK IT OFF, DAMMIT!!!') and it will forever remain in the oddly-tilted pose if it manages to retain life after the shallowness of its current rooting.

His crimson Cloak swirls around his body as he pivots in mid-air, hands held in loose claws out to his sides. His gaze narrows at the singularly-staunch hooded individual who rallies the apprentice mystics in time to cast yet another spell - and the last few words he catches unfortunately sound like a summoning to his ears.

He has to get back to the ground! Like a stooping falcon, he flies down and lands with a skidding stop on a patch of untouched earth. His silvery magics once more delve deep into the cracks and he releases another blow of power from himself that pushes out with the vicious hum of electrical lines.

The mini-mystics are knocked backwards in the wake of its passing. As he watches it wash over the now un-hooded female, he then pauses, panting lightly.

"I'm going to give you one chance - ONE," he emphasizes across the distance to her loudly, "to stop what you're doing and then apologize for this!"


With the apprentices all creamed along the grass, an amused passive-agressive smile tugs at the woman's features. It's tight, engaged, and altogether, assured. She takes a single step forward before loosing her arms from the robe, and shrugging off the layers of fabric, and exposing black leathers of her own — in an oddly styled tunic. Her green eyes stare at his form. "You must be the one the spirits tell me of," two dark eyebrows lift with that same mirth, subdued, but undeniably present, "the one I was warned of. Indeed," her chin lifts, "the powers of this realm have certainly surpassed what I'd encountered before. Yet," her voice hisses, "cunning and power would require you to know what you battle, would they not," her eyes narrow, "Sorcerer Supreme?"

Her grin bares teeth, exposing a grim caricature beneath the youthful guise, and a strange testament to whatever intention she carries with her. She begins to tread around the earth, encircling her own followers as she moves, "They were my creation. Only hours ago. Imagine, if you will, what centuries will do to this realm. We both know the scope will change. And it already has. Even now, your wards will break, and it will be impossible to contain what looms."

Clangs around the park call to further movement and draw a shrill cackle of delight from the woman. A fog draws into the Park, thick and heavy as footsteps trample along the earth. They start slow and soft — the simple beat of feet upon soft soil — and then crescendo, calling to spades more followers. But these followers' energy makes no sense.

Lifelessness invades Midtown.


Merlin arrives from Midtown.


Merlin has arrived.


Magical pangs such as these cannot be ignored. No matter how hard one might try. Merlin has shivered with a magical surge the likes of which he has not felt in many, many years. It's familiar, yet strange. It's something that feels so near, yet so far away. He can't shake the feeling that he must follow this feeling to its origin. Taking a deep breath in, he has prepared himself with magical wards surrounding him, just in case. In his many years, he's learned to be cautious of such feelings.

He's finds himself drawn to Central Park. The home of the darkness, of the Hellmouth. It's only as he gets within the Hellmouth within his sights that he stops dead in his tracks. A pang hits him, this time of shock instead of magic. Do his eyes deceive him? He blinks. Once. Twice. A third time. Should he leave this to the Sorcerer Supreme?

He shakes his head. No. He must face this, one way or another. Adjusting his pointy hat, smoothing out his robes, and making sure his sword in its sheath is is securely fastened to the belt around his robes, he begins to step forward once more. His staff taps lightly against the ground. "Well, well, well. Taking a stroll in the park, my dear Sorcerer Supreme? And you didn't think to invite me? How rude!" He grumbles. "Perhaps you didn't want me to meet your woman friend?" He shakes his head. "No, no. That can't be it. I think it's that your woman friend didn't wish for me to know she was here. Hmm? Could I be correct in that?" He peers at Morgan. "I can't say I'm not surprised."


It is very irritating when your foe knows who you are, but you're stuck hovering there and watching them smirk and pace about while all the while raking your brain for any gleaming of information as to who they are.

Finally, Strange draws himself up tall and readies a blistering retort - and then he hears a voice he never expected. Glancing over his shoulder with mouth half-agape in surprise, he watches the peaked hat and bearded form of Merlin make his way towards them with an agility counter to his old age.

"Merlin, what —" You know what? Never mind. The old Wizard does what he will and the good Doctor has never been able to convince him otherwise. With a slow sigh and movements of hands that insinuate the press of centering self, he releases the majority of the ley line's power back into their thrumming hearts, all save for enough to continue emitting that teeth-gritting, low-level hum in the air around him. An audible warning - the guard dog's growl.

"You know this woman?" he asks of Merlin tersely, all the while glaring at the lithe form wrapped in a stygian tunic.


An irritated smile replaces Morgan's serpentine one. Her chin lifts. "And here I thought you might finally have found a way for death to bid you forward, former Master," her tone takes on a sickly-sweet edge, only to fall into something more sinister, "or have you roved this earth like some kind of petulant disease spreading like cancer across the mystical field of this realm? Making promises of grandeur, well wishes wrapped in promises that cannot be kept in this life or whatever follows."

A small murmur builds up with a few of the apprentice mystics, and the rumbling continues once again. A cocky smile edges Morgan's mouth. She's pleased. Of course, her smirk only grows as the dead that had begun to come up from the manhole covers around the Park enter into it.

Varying degrees of decay allow different movement of the bodies. Several smaller ones, intact only as skeletons traipse up towards the wizards to assault each in turn. And more follow suit. Strong. Determined. Lifeless.

The chanting resumes again, and the world beneath begins to tremor. The cracks begin to grow once more.


"What…am I doing here? What am I every doing anywhere?" Merlin asks calmly. "Magic." To him, it seems like such a simple answer. He nods his head slowly, sighing. A pained expression crosses his face. "Oh, I know this woman all too well. In fact, I've known her most of her life." Rubbing his eyes gently, he looks back at Morgan.

"Apprentice." Apparently, Merlin still considers her a current apprentice, and not a former one. Or so it would appear, by the way he talks. "Death suits me not. I'd dare not let Lady Death visit upon my soul while there is still work to be done! And…" He pauses, looking at her with almost pleading eyes, "souls yet to save. I still have hope for you yet."

He frowns. "You are still one of my greatest accomplishments, and one of my greatest failures. I regret not being able to turn you from the darkness within, Morgan."

As the dead make their approach, Merlin unsheathes his sword. "I had hoped that I had enough of your respect that you would face me yourself, instead of sending your minions after me, Apprentice."


"Apprentice?!" Strange hisses, but his incredulous word falls unheard to the two practitioners glaring at one another across the lacing of small valleys in the earth around them. He looks between Merlin and the woman, apparently named Morgan, before it clicks.

Arthurian legends come to life - that's what this entire mess entails. This is Morgan Le Fay, enchantress Supreme, once beholden to the Arch-Wizard who calls her Apprentice.

Blessed Vishanti!!!

The good Doctor feels the earth beneath his feet begin to tremble and grits his teeth as he gestures with crooked fingers once more to draw from the ley lines. NOT on his watch! It's a different spell this time, one aimed very specifically at the mini-mystics that continue to get back up. "In the name of the Vishanti, who grant my might alone, I command you one and all, let your tongues turn to stone!"

The spell is whispered and slithers across the space towards the remaining supplicants of Morgan at blinding speed. Should it strike true, its fangs imbed themselves into the mouths of the hooded group and bind them mute.


"The apprentice has surpassed her former Master. Of course you already know that." She smiles slyly as her army vaults forward. "Regret nothing, Merlin. Except, perhaps, becoming so complacent in your old age. Senile old man."

The dead do not stop their onslaught at the sword. Claws come further as a small body — made solely of bone virtually sprints towards Merlin. It's strength reaches for his ankles to drag him downwards, back into the earth from which each of the zombies had risen. Others don't stop. In various states of decay, the dead roam forward. Their moans, like an eerie chorus resound over the Park.

Silence befalls the mystics, at Strange's spell. The magic binds them, creating mutes of the lot. No matter for Morgan, however, she reaches up with her own will, beginning the incantation she'd left to the others. Her murmuring of Mestophilis' words from Doctor Faustus continues to cause ripples, and the Hellmouth itself begins to expand. It is, indeed, growing.

Pangs of growth resound across the earth itself, prompting Morgan to float into the air. Her arms lift sky high. "Wards be damned. Feel the power of new gods in the place of the old! The world will incur wrath it never imagined — "


Hacking at the hand that reaches for him, Merlin begins slashing at the various zombies that are closing in. "Complacent? No. Complacency has always been your hubris. Being so smug in how powerful you believe yourself to be. You could have been even more powerful. As Mordred, too, could have been." Words…words will always be his own undoing. He does talk a fair bit. "Senile, however…well, senility would bring me a peace I've not known in a millenium and a half!"

Continuing to use his sword to hack down zombies, he lets out a frustrated growl. "Lady of the Lake curse you all! Why can I not remember the spells to undo these vile creatures?" He furrows his brow in concentration. "It's been centuries since I last dealt with them!"


Both practitioners Supreme are interrupted in mid-sentence, one airborne and one grounded and readying a counter-spell to the attacking undead.

"You're telling me that you can't remember a simple-" The sudden feedback of his own wards rakes his ears painfully and Strange nearly doubles over, clutching his hands to his head as he yelps. The pained screeches resound in quickly-arcing pitches as the Dark Artifice of the Hellmouth presses against them and strains them at their utmost limits.

Then, with the light of a hydrogen bomb's fusion blast and the whalloping blow-back of a miniature tsunami, the magic poured into the wards slams into every living being within a quarter mile of the Hellmouth's blight.

The good Doctor is whipped back and away from the site with a viciousness unparalleled. He smacks against several other broken bodies - undead? - as he flies through the air and then lands in a tumble of limbs and cries before remaining still and silent for a minute but for his stunned breathing.

Silence reigns briefly and the ring of devastation around the Hellmouth is pronunced. Nearly two dozen of the undead move no more. Where is Merlin? Morgan?


The Hellmouth itself has grown in scope and size. It's influence emits dark magic the world hasn't encountered in centuries — the brunt of which seems to create its own cloud around the Park. Whatever the intention of the sorceress, she seems to have extended the influence of the portal.

Morgan Le Fay, is, however, nowhere to be found.


Log-edit: Please edit "fusion" to "fission" in reference to the hydrogen bomb.


The screeching sound causes Merlin to drop both his staff and his sword, falling to his knees as he covers his ears. He nearly passes out, his extra senses working in overtime as they do. However, it's the bright blast that truly causes him to faint. It's a reprieve that his body gladly welcomes.

When he awakens moments later, there's a ringing in his ears that makes it difficult to hear. "I've remembered the spell!" He shouts, though to whom, he has no idea. He grasps his sword and staff from nearby, using the staff to help ease himself up once more.

He looks around, looking at the cloud that has surrounded the park. For the first time, a true look of horror crosses his face. He can only hope that they'll still be able to close it.


With a cough and a groan, Strange pushes himself first onto his knees. His ears ring as badly as if they've been boxed and he has a new gash across his forehead from where an errant undead joint smashed into him in mid-flight. The scalp wound keeps bleeding even as he wipes the blood from above his eyebrows with a snarling sort of grimace.

"Gods-dammit!" The force of the restrained emotion nearly tears out his throat, even in a guttural whisper, and he makes himself rise to his feet, even as his knees tremble. He picks out Merlin through the looming fog and walks as quickly over to him as possible, stepping over rapidly-rotting bodies and trying not to slip in effluence he'd rather forget.

"Merlin," he croaks as he approaches, wiping again at the leaking gash on his face. "Merlin. Back to the Sanctum. War Council - NOW."

The Sorcerer Supreme's tone books no argument and his face is thunderous as he opens a Gate that crackles open to reveal the Sanctorum's foyer. He strides through and leaves the remaining undead behind for now.

Blessed Vishanti, he's going to need all the help he can get.


Morgan has disconnected.




Dark haired, green eyed, and pale skinned, Morgan Le Fay has an air of mystery about her. Her curvaceous figure, nearly perpetual smirk, and angular face, creates a mishmash of space and geometry on her form.


Danny arrives from Midtown.


Danny has arrived.


Central Park has turned into a battlefield over the last week. With its expansion, it's vast growing, and its continued depth, ghouls of all kinds have been allowed further access thanks to the perma-night created by its increased influence. Citizens have been strongly advised to stay inside this All Hallows' Eve, and a barricade has been set across Midtown.

Despite it being relatively early in the night, the lack of sunlight in the region has set it apart, and an army — large and brutish — of pale faced other worldly people line the outer perimeter of the Park. A growing Hellmouth means no hours are safe for those that live here. The Vampires that have occupied this side of NYC over a month are protecting it in an effort to keep the looming portal open.

And as the Hellmouth continues to expand — as heard through rumbling in the ground — the vampires encroach further on the city, following the darkness as it grows.

Along the line, a layer of blood seems to follow the vamps as they move, like an organized army. Strange order seems to rule supreme.

Yet even with the vampires so presently known, something lingers in the shadow. Like a faint memory, it tugs on the mind, relaying something truly odd and unsettling as it pokes and prods…


To the north of Central Park is Harlem. It's not a good neighborhood, as these things go. Its people are frequently denigrated and assumed to be thugs and worse. Some are, of course, but they're just a visible minority.

Then there's Luke Cage. He's kind of the self-appointed hero of Harlem, for all that he calls himself the Hero for Hire. On a night like this, when monsters are encroaching on his turf, the man is out and visible, stomping back and forth along the northern edge of the line formed by the dead. He's not challenging them — he's not that stupid — but he is waiting for them to cross out of the park and into his territory. When that happens, then he will be forced to act.


Danny has been doing what she can. She still has something of a day job, or at least a reason to keep people from knowing who she is, but she's not willing to cede this city to the dead. When she took up the mantle of the Iron Fist, she took the role of a champion. Since she's left K'un Lun, that makes New York her city of choice. And the Immortal Weapon isn't going to abandon her city to the undead.

Of course, she's not crazy enough to take it on alone, either. She's a pint-sized green and gold shadow roughly at the center of where Luke paces, arms crossed over her chest as she looks at the army assembled against them. "You know," she muses. "You'd think they'd've called the national guard by now."


It had not taken long for word of the would-be army in the park to reach Liv's ears, and any thoughts she might have given towards taking a hard-earned night off were immediately dismissed. Clad in her increasingly beaten-upon armor and with her sword at her side, the Asgardian exile's arrival is heralded by the rumble of a motorcycle's engine echoing from a ways down the otherwise abandoned street… and once she's parked it in an alleyway, she closes the remaining distance on foot.

"This doesn't look ominous at all, does it," Liv mumbles under her breath, letting her hand rest lightly against the hilt of her sword as she stares towards the Park.


Tired, injured, borderline broke, and as grumpy as ever, Domino's not out of this fight yet. Since she's still mending from her last encounter with the Hellmouth she's opted for a different strategy tonight. Liv, and a few others, have the stage proper in this battle. The albino's taken up residence in a nearby building three stories up with a couple of long-range options. No lines of communication are necessary, all she has to do is point at the baddies and pull the trigger. The hero-sorts down below are easy enough to pick out from the rest.

Normally one shot from this rifle could take out the engine of a car. With a good amount of help from both Liv and Duke she's also running a variety of special munitions, bullets specifically made to take out vampires. Now she gets to see if any of them work! And if they don't she's got one last chance with a silver-plated bayonet on the weapon's business end.

The window on this office building is already broken out. One of the desks is easily cleared of clutter, a solid oak build which easily supports the prone sniper's weight.

"Well, if no one else is gonna call dibs," she says to herself while reaching for the trigger.



Domino's shot takes out the undead she takes aim at. The bullet, with its chemical make up, does the trick, and the vamp falls to the ground lifelessly beneath its influence. This prompts others to charge forward towards the heroes' roost.

The smallest of the horde sprints forward. With blonde hair, pristine creamy skin, and pale blue eyes, the child-like creature, with its fangs exposed runs desperately in the lead. Another with dark skin and curly hair, no older than the first disappears into a mist only to reappear on the other side of the heroes to flank them.

Across the heroes' minds, the darkness seems to grow. The low rumble of the earth complains as ripples within Gaia herself give way to large cracks. It's moving, and the troops, likewise, are on the move.

The clatter of footsteps somewhere far below the heroes signals to something else at work. A sense of deja vu tugs at some of their minds. Something is coming out of the sewer.

The vampire that Domino had just shot stands up. Its eyes, glowing a bright green, indicate new foul at play.


Luke has some choice words for the re-risen dead. None of them are printable in the newspapers of the day — only in the raunchiest of true crime magazines available at the least discerning of kiosks. He mutters these words to himself before he replies to Danny, "Ain't like a buncha soldier boys would make a hell of a lot of difference." The darkness sinking into his mind has him more restive and irritable as usual, but he's not going to let these creatures past the line if he can help it. He's off as soon as the words leave his mouth, charging forward to meet the tiny blonde vampire with fists like bowling balls.


When one vampire turns to mist, Danny is already spinning around, aiming a glowing fist at the space behind herself. The past few weeks have honed her chi even further, a shining weapon of life energy focused into her fists. She keeps her mind centered on the fight and her own body, doing her best to close out the creeping darkness with a lifetime of disciplined meditation. But it's there all the same, pushing at her.

"That's fair," she quips back to Luke. "Could be they'd all end up brainwashed and then we'd have to fight undead things plus a bunch of soldiers."


It's the gunshot that sends Liv surging forward, her sword drawn from its scabbard in a sweeping arc — a precisely aimed one, for the neck of the first monster that strays within range. Decapitations and thrusts for the heart are the order of the day with monsters like these, and she, at least, is able to do so with no feelings of hesitation. These aren't people. They're monsters.

She does manage to notice the vampire that Domino's shot took out rising back to its feet, and that gives Liv some pause. She knows exactly what kind of bullets Domino's using. "…hell. I think we have a problem!"


Okay. Things messing around with her head was -not- part of the deal! Domino flinches, not from the shot but from the shifting in the ground and the strange feelings of ..familiarity? Things are NOT all right, here. The horde has already started to rush the others at ground level, this should be a simple matter for her to just keep picking her shots and thinning out the herd.

It -should- be simple. But..it isn't. She's still trying to shake those weird feelings when the one downed vampire just gets right back up again, causing her to do a double-take before her pale-eyed stare starts to grow wide.

"Aw, frig."

What else does she have… The distance is a little far for wooden rounds, even if they're weighted. Her motions are almost frantic as she switches to military tracers, maybe if she can set the bastards on -fire- they won't get up quite so easily!

"C'mon, if you guys can cheat then so can we!" she growls while picking out another vamp and shooting that one -two- times.

The tracers look quite lovely spearing through the darkness of the city. Kinda like shooting stars. Not very subtle, either.


The blonde vampire, despite her presumed frailty claws and scratches at Luke's skin. Her teeth rise up to bite, yet when they meet flesh, they crack, causing the small creature to wretch out in pain. Evidently even vampires get tooth aches. And that moment gives Luke ample opportunity to utterly destroy her.

Danny's fist strikes true to the vampire behind her. She dusts it as it comes into a state of solidity. Something is changing. Slowly, the vampires seem to be susceptible.

While before, they would've merely reformed following such action, they fall apart against it now.

Blood sprays across the trajectory of Liv's sword. The beasts hiss and claw and reach for her flesh as she nears them, but her armour holds true. The sheer number, however, unsettles. For while she manages to carve a circle around herself, they don't seem to be stopping.

The risen vamp, however, doesn't look like it did before. Something in its eyes is different. Possessed; taken over. The tracers make purchase with undead flesh, causing it to rise into smoke. Like shooting stars, they make purchase with bodies, and consume them from the inside out, lighting them with fire deep within the depths of their stomachs.

A light scorches across the sky — a spell from one of those that have managed to cross the boundary — causing many of the army to spark and flare. The flames present a fresh threat to the world at large, and only a handful of vampires remain.

The ten daywalkers seem to represent the last line of defence before being able to enter the Park.


Luke hates to be quite so brutal to a kid, but let's face it: this kid is not on Santa's nice list. "Ain't the brightest little sucka, are you," he says dryly, before he grabs her by her little blonde head and wrenches it clean off. Decapitation, he's heard, is supposed to do the trick. He'd feel worse if she hadn't been trying to bite him. Just for good measure, he drops her head on the ground and stomps on it before turning to face the next of the monsters. "Come 'n get it."


Just disintegrating? That's definitely too easy. "What kind of problem are you thinking?" Danny calls back to Liv, turning to take on another of the vampires at the same time. "Because I was going to go with this is getting way too easy, which probably leads to a problem, but I'm not really sure what it is yet."


ROLL: Domino +rolls 1d10 for a result of: 2


ROLL: Liv +rolls 1d10 for a result of: 3


ROLL: Danny +rolls 1d10 for a result of: 2


ROLL: Luke +rolls 1d10 for a result of: 8


There may be a lot of vampires attempting to rend Liv limb from limb, but one of the benefits to being an Asgardian is that she does not tire so easily. It's unsettling, sure, but that's never kept her from swinging her sword before, and that's not about to change — right up until the bodies she's surrounded by burst into flame from the spell.

For a moment, Liv is engulfed.

When she steps out from the dying flames, Liv just looks a little perplexed. Okay. "I was going to say that they were getting back up from blows they shouldn't be," she calls towards Danny, squinting towards the bodies that remain. Ten. That doesn't seem so bad… right?


Domino might sigh in relief if the others weren't busy getting swamped down there. Bullets work again! But setting them on fire could be a problem of its own for the hero sorts, she'll have to focus on the further-out targets. Though—

"Oh holy shit," she breathes out when the big guy down there just rips the head off of a girl vamp as easily as pulling a head from a doll. "Note to self: Do not start a fist-fight with -that- boy."

Another vamp is lit up to tracer fire when suddenly a -whole lot more- of them go up in fire. Dom pauses, frowns, then looks at the rifle in her hands with a soft "Huh" as if she somehow had something to do with it.

Only ten left? They survived the fire so it's back to 'new strategy time.' Solid silver bullets. "Don't even wanna think of how expensive this is gonna get…" she grumbles while taking aim on one of the daywalkers. They're all targets down there, right? No one told her there were exemptions.

Heads up!


As the vampires mostly disappear, one with dark hair steps to the forefront. "You will not send us back," she hisses angrily. The woman, with green eyes, dark hair, and pale skin grabs onto the hands of those she's lingering with. They form a chain across the Park, laying claim to whatever lingers inside. "Leave," she states blandly — confidence born of recent events, "or die."

The bullets that soar towards them cause the dark haired woman's lips to quirk into a smirk. Shy of the group, the bullets drop as if coming against an invisible forcefield. "Go," she repeats blandly.


"Ah, shit," says Luke. And then more loudly. "Shit! Don't hurt 'em! They ain't vamps! Just people!" He glares around. "Somebody's makin' us see things, and I do not like havin' my head played with!"


ROLL: Liv +rolls 1d10 for a result of: 6


ROLL: Luke +rolls 1d10 for a result of: 9


ROLL: Danny +rolls 1d10 for a result of: 5


ROLL: Domino +rolls 1d10 for a result of: 9


"Who're people?" Danny asks, brows furrowing as she looks to Luke. "They're vampires, don't they start out as people anyhow?" She holds off for a moment, though. She's learned enough to trust that Luke's got his head and his heart in the right place. Not to mention he isn't afraid to use force if necessary. Since he's made her think, though, she pauses, reaching out to feel for the flow of chi. Living people? Chi flows through them. She can feel it. Vampires? Not so much.


Sword still in hand, Liv slowly paces closer to Danny and Luke, giving him a brief, uncertain look before she returns her eyes to the forming chain of… people? monsters? whatever, that stands between them and the Park. Her eyes narrow, her fingers flexing around the hilt of her sword. "Something is wrong," she murmurs quietly, sounding uncertain. Something is wrong, but she doesn't know what, and that bothers her.

One thing is certain, though. Liv isn't leaving.


"Aaand we're back to not being able to shoot them," Domino growls as she pushes herself up away from the desk and moves closer to the broken window. "There's another grand down the drain. Nobody'll miss that."

Now then, -what the hell!- She gives the newly formed circle as close of a looking over as she can from her vantage point, her ears still humming away from the gunfire when Luke starts yelling something out.

Then she, too, notices something unusual. Nothing she can quite put her finger on, but something's definitely amiss… It's time to fall back to the others. Fortunately she's already got a rappel line hooked up, kicking the end out the window then carefully lowering herself over the edge. Maybe they can all figure this mess out together?

May the Gods help the city if they can't.


ROLL: Morgan +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 5


The row of ten cling to each other tightly. Their hands turn white at the knuckles, and their eyes, very slowly, lid. The chanting starts softly, lowly, like a dull hum. But the hum becomes louder. Those familiar with latin may pick up pieces of what they say, but the wannabes know little of what their doing, calling attention to something in the vicinity.


Luke doesn't know Latin. He doesn't care about Latin. Latin can go hang. He cares about people trying to get into his head. The only one of these people ahead of him who matters, he thinks, is the brunette. So he moves up toward her, moves in close and attempts to shove her out of the line. "Red Rover Red Rover, I'm comin' on over."


"They may be people, Luke, but they're not…right," Danny frowns as she gets a feel for the energy around them. "Whatever's making them alive, I don't think it's actually them. Or if it's…I mean, it's alive, it's just not…It doesn't belong in those bodies, and it's giving me the creeps."

Skill in martial arts means she doesn't have to kill. She knows just as well how to disable, how to put someone down for just a few minutes. So when Luke goes for the brunette, she picks a vampire near the end of the line, hand snapping out with pointed fingers for a throat.


ROLL: Morgan +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 99


ROLL: Domino +rolls 1d2 for a result of: 1


ROLL: Morgan +rolls 1d10 for a result of: 1


That's one benefit to having an Asgardian present. As the row of ten begin to chant in Latin, Liv's eyes narrow into slits, and Domino has the dubious honor of landing at her side just in time to hear her murmuring a translation under her breath: "Come to life. We bid thee to come to life."

So that's not unsettling at all. Liv casts a brief glance to Domino, eyebrows raising in a shrug, before she gives her sword a light little twirl and starts marching in Luke and Danny's wake.


Chanting can't be good. Chanting is never good. Domino comes to stand next to the other three, a bit stiff in motion. "Hey. So there's—" she stops when Luke storms forward to try and get at the brunette in question. "..That, yeah. The others..I don't know what's up with them. The one in the middle might be calling the shots here."

Here the albino's nodding in silent agreement with Danny's observation, likewise frowning at the situation.

Then Liv translates, to which the pale lady gives the Asgardian a peculiar look. "You actually understand that shit?" It's followed by one of those 'hoboy' expressions.

As the other three press forward for the attack she gently rolls her shoulders then braces the rifle and takes aim. It's way close range for her weapon of choice but she can make it work. It's about the only thing which is familiar to her tonight!

Just..gotta..make sure not to hit any friendlies… If she can even hurt them with gunfire. This crew? Who the heck knows!


Behind the group, something large and cumbersome uproots. Roberts towers, a glamour condo building containing fifteen floors of apartment style condos, actually moves towards the heroes. It bends down like some kind of anthropomorphic building-monster. As it bends and sweeps the earth to uproot the heroes, the horrified faces of residents inside can be seen as they scream blue murder for whatever terror has befallen Midtown Manhattan.

It'll be a wonder what this will do to property values.

Danny's hand snaps precisely at the blonde woman at the line's end. Speech fails to be produced by her lips, causing adrenaline to spike in the line that she holds. She reaches up a hand to force Danny back kinetically with some kind of magic, not of her own making, shoots towards the woman.

Ramming the woman at the centre, strangely, seems to be rather difficult, but not impossible. As she is pushed, the building also falters. Undeniably, she should be the target. Yet even with the ram, she remains standing. Something is altogether different about her. "Hold. Your. Ground," she orders the others.


Danny takes a fall when the magical energy hits her, tumbling back a few feet. She knows how to take a fall, though, rolling with it and coming up with a shake of her head. "Right," she agrees with Domino. "Pile on the quarterback."

Focusing her chi into a burning glow at her fists, she braces herself and takes a running start toward the woman at the center of the line. There's not much she can do about buildings, but she's very good at hitting people.


%r"Pull 'em apart!" Luke shouts. "Whatever you have to do! Just separate 'em from her!" 'Her' is obvious. Luke is not letting up. He knows there's magic involved, but if she could kill him with a snap of her fingers she'd have done so.

"Lady, my mama told me never to hit a woman." He glances skyward for a moment. "Sorry, mama." And then he hauls off and aims a punch at her midsection. Not full force, but it might well crush a normal person. This chick ain't normal.


Of all the things Liv has had try to take her head off over the centuries, a condominium is a new one on her. She is very effectively swept away from the chanting undead by brick and mortar, thrown with enough force that she actually goes through a van that had been left parked on the side of the road nearby.

At least the van took the worst of it. Liv hauls herself back to her feet with an irritated grunt, giving her head a hard shake to clear it and send some shards of glass flying from her hair. Her eyes flick from the woman Luke and Danny are attempting to pound into paste, and the living building full of terrified civilians. Well. Hell.


Ever..get that feeling..like there's a giant freaking building coming right for—

"-SHIT- incoming condo!!"

No training exists to deal with this! Can't outrun it. Trying to catch a ride is probably a mistake. Domino looks for the lowest point within sprinting distance and hauls tail for it, throwing herself into the inadequate foxhole with a pained grunt.

It's still not enough. Dirt gets torn up, and her along with it. What's black, white, and swearing up a storm while sailing across the park? That'd be the albino lady who promptly ends up partially embedded within the windshield of a parked car not too far from Liv.

On the upside she's back within optimal range for her rifle. So..there's that… Maybe she'll still be conscious enough to make use of that, too.


The pile onto the brunette causes the building to falter again. It stumbles as the woman takes a punch to the gut, an obviously painful move that certainly does her some damage. She staggers… as does the building — prompting people inside to scream as it rattles them around their condos like mice in cages.

The hands she manages to continue to hold, however, seem to grant her some semblance of power. Red rover might be a wise move.

Smoke begins to emit from the building, someone may have lit something on fire in their apartment.


Luke grimaces. He can hear the screams from the building — but aren't they even more likely to get hurt if the woman is left to her own devices? "A'right," he grunts, staring at her, glancing over at Danny. "Got one idea left in me," he says. "Hope her neighbors got good insurance." He turns from the woman at the center and grips the arm of the person to her left, clenching her hand — and attempts to tear it from its socket.


Joints. Joints are weak spots. So when Luke goes for the person to the woman's left, Danny goes to the right, lashing out with a grip to the next person's wrist before she pivots and flips, using the weight of her own body to try to pull the other person with her as well and break the grip.


Once she's regained her balance, Liv adjusts her grip on her sword, grasping it in both hands and shifting as if to charge back in —

— until she smells smoke. Liv's head whips back towards the building and, with a quiet swear, the sword is immediately sheathed. "Domino!" she calls towards the albino-shaped dent in the car nearby. "If you can, give them some backup!"

With that, Liv charges straight for the walking condominium, bringing her arms up to shield her face as she launches herself towards the nearest door. Ready or not, here she comes.


It wasn't so easy for Domino's brain to make sense of that animated building when it was coming right for her. Now that she's some distance away she can see the whole situation in all of its unreal glory. She's managed to come to terms with the idea of mutants, demons, vampires, even that Hell itself is real.

Moving buildings… Moving -burning- buildings…

She pinches her eyes shut, actively trying to not look at it. This is just too much… Too many years of too many messed up chemical tests, her sanity's but a hair's width away from cracking anew. Something's gotta give.

The fight or flight response is still trying to make up its mind when Liv's call gives some much needed motivation. Dom brings the rifle around, squinting down the sights with watery eyes and quickly firing one shot at each of those 'not' humans linked together with the brunette. Just..kill 'em all. Mow 'em down, -fast,- before she's completely compromised. She can deal with the nightmares of this later!


The arm pulled from the socket is met with a loud, very resounding scream. But each of the subsequent bodies down the line collapse, as if the life had been sucked out of them. The corpses, brought to life only through necromancy, fall to the wayside, losing any dark magic within them.

On the woman's opposite side, Danny breaks the woman's arm in half. Rot and decay had meant that even with the magic coursing through the zom's veins, it had some semblance of life left within it. And as it snaps in half, emitting a black goo across its splash radius.

One by one Dom fires at the zombie-witches, causing the remains of them to collapse to the ground, and leaving one lone woman standing.

The green eyed woman, a close approximation of Morgan Le Fay, lifts her hands to yield whatever magic she has left in her. For the time is short, and she made a promise to guard the border of the Park.

Liv manages to enter the building and comes into complete and utter chaos. The world is topsy turvy as outside, the woman uses the building to once again swoop at the heroes and prevent them from taking her out. Glass shatters across the grass below as it gets too close, and people scream as they hold on tight to whatever they can of their homes, amid the destruction that so easily wrenches against the girders and frame of the building.


"Still?!" Luke demands. And then mutters words that he would never say aloud in front of a lady. "A'right," he grunts again, turning to the woman. Morgan Le Fay? Whatever. Luke's got no use for King Arthur, never heard the name in his life. "I'm done with this," he grunts as he attempts to lift her from the ground and cart her bodily away from the building. Proximity must have some impact on her control, or else why make a stand right here?


Danny is probably one of the best hand-to-hand fighters in the world. But when it comes to durability? She's human. Entirely human. So when the building makes another pass at them, she actually ducks behind Luke as much as she can. Sorry, buddy, but you don't break. It's not enough to completely protect her - broken glass rains over her with a hundred tiny cuts while a larger piece of rubble knocks her legs out from under her - but she's alive when the building comes up again.

"Hold her still, Luke!" she calls as she stumbles back to her feet, limping half a step. "Gonna try something." All of this seems to be twisted energy. Life turned to death. Stolen chi. Not right. "This could go really wrong. Take me down if it does."

Five years ago she plunged her hands into the burning heart of an immortal dragon to claim the legacy of the Iron Fist. If it worked on Shou-Lao the undying, then maybe it'll work on this crazy woman. Maybe she'll even get a nifty new tattoo.

Hands flaming with the force of focused chi, she leaps to try to force them into the body of the woman who would be Morgan Le Fay, trying to at least force her out with her own energy.


This isn't Liv's strong suit at all. She should be out there, putting a sword through an evil sorceress' sternum — that is more Liv's speed than… this. But somebody has to do something, and with Luke and Danny preoccupied and Domino embedded in a car's windshield, she's been elected.

"Hold on to something," Liv says, pitching her voice to carry over the screams and sounds of breaking glass. How she manages to sound calm is kind of impressive, but she's focused, and starts awkwardly clambering her way through the rocking, lurching building in search of what drew in her to begin with: the fire.

It feels entirely mundane under the circumstances, but no matter. Liv rips a set of curtains from a window on her way past and marches for the flames, intent on smothering them before they can spread any further. This Is Fine.


The two scrappers of the group are making short work of the brunette. The Asgardian's gone somewhere really crazy. The line of ..what, followers? They're all dead.

Domino's still here, breaking out into a cold sweat and gripping onto her fraying sanity with tooth and nail while she crawls off of the ruined car and crouches behind it. If she didn't have something solid to brace against the shaking of her arms would make it impossible to aim.

She's just not sure what to attack..! She wants to run, leave this mess far behind, bury and forget the whole thing ever happened, but Liv…

If it looks like it can be shot, she'll shoot it. But she is -not- going any closer. This is a line which has been drawn.


'Morgan' weighs more than she should. Her bulk feels wrong in the small package that is the petite woman. She begins to scream and writhe and then hands enter into her chest, pushing the woman out of the body that isn't hers. The energy changes, pushing out of the brunette, and in short order, the woman's appearance changes too.

The woman's features shift, becoming decidedly male. The chin angles out, the jaw juts, and the shoulders broaden. Whatever magic has been cast here, the human corpses left along the parks edge are casualties in a much bigger scheme.

And as the body goes limp, the building seems to settle. It no longer rocks and teeters. It seems to fall back into its mundane existence despite its call to some monstrous purpose.

Inside, Liv reassures a teenaged girl everything will be okay. Tears stream down her cheeks as she remains pushed against a cabinet, sobbing into her hands. The petite brunette — waif in appearance — continues to cry, even after Liv's efforts put out the flames. Blood matts her hair to the side of her face as tears and dirt line the rest of her person.


Luke regards the male body in his arms, sets it down with the other corpses and raises a hand to run back over his head. "Y'know, I think I can do without magic from now on," he says. "Fine for you folks, but…"


Domino has disconnected.


It worked! It's probably for the best that, with her mask on, Luke is the only person close enough to see the surprise and relief on Danny's features when she falls back onto the ground on her butt, letting out a huff of breath. "I don't think that was fine for anyone," she shakes her head, giving her hands a careful look to make sure there's nothing too unusual clinging to them. "But I…think it worked?"


It's a lot easier to put out a fire when the building is no longer attempting to murder anyone.

Once that is dealt with, Liv turns her focus to the brunette, carefully picking her way across the mess that used to be a presumably tidier apartment to offer her both of her hands. "Shhhh. It's going to be fine," she says in as gentle a voice as she can. Asking the girl if she's okay would be ridiculous — she'd bloody and sobbing, of course she isn't okay. "Let me help you down to an ambulance, huh? What's your name?"


The girl rubs her face, drying her tears as she does so. "Mattie," she says softly between the sobs. The young teen straightens and accepts Liv's hands. "W-what happened? We were supposed to stay inside! They said to stay inside! I stayed inside!!!"


"Sure," Luke says to Danny, turning back toward the former brick golem. "It worked. But I prefer when I can just punch things and they stop doing things they ain't s'posed to."


"You and me both, buddy," Danny says, glancing down at herself and finally taking stock of her injuries with a wince. "I'm so not making the board meeting tomorrow morning," she mutters, holding a hand up toward Luke with a grasping motion. "Help me up?"


"Mattie. I'm Liv." The Asgardian carefully draws the girl up to her feet before, after a moment's thought, shifting to try and simply scoop her up. Mattie is wounded and the walk back down to the street is going to be pretty hazardous. This is just easiest. "Here, let me — ah. You did everything you were supposed to," she promises her. "It's just that… erm." This feels so absurd. "…basically, an evil sorceress cast a spell on your building and it was trying to crush my friends and I." Why not be honest. WHY NOT. "But it seems to be over now. So that's good."


The girl stares at Liv in disbelief, and then, without warning, her eyes roll to the back of her head. Yes, Liv has just rescued the ultimate damsel in distress who has fainted on the Asgardian's watch.

The faint sound of emergency services alarm in the background as they draw towards the Park. Something has shifted.


Luke extends a hand to haul Danny up with significantly less force than he was applying to Morgan. "You alright? Didn't get hit too hard?" He isn't even scratched. Bulletproof skin is handy.


Danny hops a bit when Luke pulls her up, keeping most of her weight on one leg. "Couple days and I'll be okay. Got hit by a piece of building there at the end. Nothing broken, though." She got plenty of scratches, too, but she doesn't seem to be too worried about those. Testing the weight on her leg, she peers around him toward the building. "At least it went back to being a building?"


ROLL: Liv +rolls 1d10 for a result of: 7


The photographers outside the building snap a photo amid the smoke, dust, and carnage that is the world at large. One in particular gets in closer as he gasps to see the teenaged girl in Liv's arms. "Someone call the boss! Jameson's foster kid isn't okay!!"

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