1964-01-12 - 12 Days: Seven - A Waste of Good Grog
Summary: Part II of the 12 Days of Christmas: Seven. The House of S just needs to get into Port Royal through a shark-clogged tunnel. Easy, right?
Related: 12 Days: Seven - On the Horizon
Theme Song: The Buccaneers - Brian Tyler
billy pietro tommy strange wanda 

Flying shark, dealt with. The conduction of Strange's saber aided in its demise and now the subterranean area smells of over-cooked fish. Joy. But at least they're all alive down there in the damp and the relative darkness!!!

There's a dull sound of impact as he collapses back onto the earthen floor and utters a laugh of tired relief.

Sitting up, the good Doctor realizes now that there are shark teeth in Pietro's hand even as the man speaks. The older of the two pale-haired speedsters receives a tired ho-hum sort of shrug and a nod along with, "We're all alive. That counts for something." A pause and Strange reaches up to touch his surf-dampened and sand-crusted hair and frowns. "I lost my hat. Dammit." Smacking his lips, he adds, "And why do I want coconut so badly?"

On a whim, the good Doctor whispers a Word, one of the basic evocations learned by apprentices at Kamar Taj, and above his upheld hand now swirls a ball of will-o-wisp, silvery-blue. It shines wane light on everyone and allows them to see precisely where they are as well as any other entrances and exits available to them — hopefully no more that would allow further attack by canny sea creatures!


Counting the shark-teeth in his hand — for the umpteenth time since he pulled them from the shark — Pietro struts past Doctor Strange, occasionally glancing at his fellow comrades to either side. "Have seen bigger sharks," says he with an attempt at nonchalance — accompanied melodiously by 'Smirk in B-Major', that's 'B' for 'bullshit' — Pietro finally stuffs the teeth in a pocket of his buccaneer outfit, and fiddles with his sword instead.

"So this tunnel is supposed to get us inside?" he asks of his sister. "Tommy and I can scout ahead while your boyfriend plays with his ball… of light." To Strange, he adds:

"Who taught you that trick, Doctor?"


For his part, Billy in the Spaniard clothing seems to be focusing on regarding his outfit for a long moment. "I would never wear this. That said did you see my water-into-concrete hoodoo back there, Stephen? Wanda? You have to admit that was Grade-A awesomeness on my part, thank you, thank you." He dimple-grins and gives a thumbs up to Pietro's suggestion that the speedsters scout. He has his vote for that, "And look for some rum, where the rum's gone!" And since Stephen is making light, Billy makes light too. A ball of lightning forms between his fingers, crackling all chaotically as lightning wants to do: but its in complete defiance of physics, because if that was a real ball of lightning it'd be cooking his hand off. But what do laws of physics have to do with Billy?


Tommy, meanwhile, /has/ been scouting ahead. Moving in fits and bursts of speed and returning in kind. He's more than a little bit used to being able to get in and out of places before he's seen - usually with mischief afoot and occasionally chocolate in hand. Just not hopping forward /too/ far. Just enough, instead, since mobility /is/ a little impacted by the dre- robe.

"Of course it is." comes Tommy's cheery voice on one of his returns, "You didn't see the flashing lights, the inflatable men dancing around and the giant signs that said 'These are the droids you're looking for'?" Accented or not, his voice drips with sardonic joy. "No idea where this tunnel leads. I discovered it with my infinite wisdom," Read: He fall down a hole "…and you guys said, 'Hey, let's go this way!'. So that's what we're doing." The youngest of speedsters walks with his hands at his sides, robes clutched between fingers to keep the fabric pulled up and at least slightly away from his feet, bible pressed against his side. Never know when he'll need to literally thump someone with it, after all!


Tick off all the elements of a good adventure: constricting garments, a bit of derring-do, a harrowing run through the dark. Flying sharks chasing them through a grog tunnel are par for the course. What would it be without Pietro snappish about some trouble or another?

"Do not be clever, Pietro. I am not healing your nose if you break it on the door frame," the other privateer mentions cheerfully, checking herself over to be sure a few coins and a vial full of sludgy muck are still in her magnificent pockets. Yes, yes they are.

Wanda sheathes her cutlass, fumbling a little in the perpetual dark until Strange summons the magelight. Ghostly glow strobes over the rough-hewn passage they occupy. Surely it's nothing natural that bores through the coral reef, and brackish water gathers in places where the permeable walls leak dark, slimy green tears. No side alcoves or branching tunnels are present, and the walls close in as the ceiling sinks, giving spaces where a full-grown man isn't going to be standing or stooping, but squatting to crustacean shuffle sideways to make it through. If he values his hat or his scalp, anyways. The route stinks of brine and the standing water gets calf-deep in spots, but no fish litter the route. A few broken bottles, sure, and the guttered remains of torches.


"Someone more useful than you," Strange replies to Pietro in key of B-minor, for 'blatantly unamused' — though do note the smirk that implies the presence of a laugh buried deep down inside.

The younger of the reality-warpers gets a quiet chuckle. "Yes, it stopped the sharks long enough for me to do some casting of my own." Billy's summoning of lightning is given a glance and while it seems like there might be a little lecture at hand, the Sorcerer keeps it simple: "However, Billy, the walls are leaking saltwater and there are pools of it." He inclines his head towards Tommy, apparent lead-scout in his not-dress, just returning from his latest zip into the darkness unknown beyond foxfire-light and contained plasma alike. In the straining pale-blue light, he can see the reflection of said dark puddles of water. "Lightning isn't a good idea at the moment."

Rising to his feet with a grunt and a wince (that landing jarred his lower spine and he might limp for a bit), he glances at Wanda and ascertains whether or not she's alright. A silent once-over and he nods to himself before glancing back to the pale-haired Bible-Thumper. "As Tommy said: let's go this way." He takes a few careful steps towards the young man, attempting to avoid the shards of broken glass he can see with the pale light still hovering before him, though now it needs no hand for succor; it stays at chin-height to him, about three feet out, a beacon in the gloom.


Pietro Maximoff struts over toward Tommy, and holds out a single shark-tooth. "Souvenir, nephew," says he to the younger speedster with another smirk — and a glare thrown back at the doctor. "C'mon, let's go see what's what — leave these slow-pokes to their balls and lightning."

He casts a glance over at Wanda, eyebrows raised, with a slight shrug as if to say: …What? and dashes off down the tunnel.

The formation of the tunnel is interesting to Pietro… for about a nano-second; it just needed to be longer. Possibly wider. Higher, more twisty and turny, and maybe a few gift-shops along the way wouldn't go astray either.

He says as much to his nephew.

In the space of a heartbeat or two.

Then, of course, is the taste of the puddles of seawater on the tunnel floor. Pietro had passed them by so many times he just felt he had to try it at least once. Ugh! Don't try that. It does not stop him from snagging a flask from someone's belt, filling it with the same seawater and replacing it back on that special someone's belt — all in the space of half a heartbeat.

Enjoy, Someone!

At the far end of the tunnel, he comes upon the trapdoor in the ceiling, and for the first time in a million nanoseconds, he stops — actually stops — to have a look, and then to have a look at Tommy. "Figure this one out," says he with a grin, and zips back toward the rest of the group in a streak of blue and silver.

"We found something," he tells them with a thumb over his shoulder. "Strange… hieroglyphics upon the walls — cave drawings!, probably… three million years old. The Boyfriend can probably translate them." Pietro hides the shark's tooth in his hand behind his back, but forgets to brush the rock dust off his shirt and forearms. To Billy he adds with a grin:

"There's one that looks like you, nephew! Oh, and a trapdoor — but that doesn't look like you. Maybe the doctor…"


"It's not like its real lightning. Or that it can do anything I don't want it to." replies Billy with a shrug, though he drops his hand and lets the lightning just vanish, "It's just something that looks lightningy but when I have it on me its just light. It's not hot or doesn't cause static or anything like real electricity would. I've been thinking about that. I think its just all a visual effect — up until I throw it at something at which point it becomes somewhat real. But even then I don't really think its REAL lightning. If I wanted it to branch and go through water and stuff I think it would, but if I didn't, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't. Physics and me don't seem to be on the same page." But? He'll follow the speedsters quite contentedly. As they make it up to where the speedsters are, Billy pauses, and blinks, "Wait, Pietro has a boyfriend?" He's asks in confusion.


Let's hope Tommy and Pietro have lived up to their collective 'stringbean' nickname or they're going to be caught in a pinch point on the tunnel, squashed together. Or brained on the forehead. Or covered in brackish sea-goo water. Sucks to be them, since their clothes are exactly from the period they're in: heavy, thick, and stifling if slimed.

The trapdoor in question holds very few features of note other than being slightly bowed in the middle, constructed of thick wood planks nailed together. Two sides converge on a central reinforced seam. No one has thought to be mindful and leave a big metal ring inset into it, or a secret puzzle on the wall, only a broken torch bracket.


"I'll take it," declares Tommy with a grin, snagging the offered tooth from the elder speedster as they run along. Liing the same moments in a state of fast forward that nobody /else/ there was likely able to comprehend. Of course, then Pietro's stopping to do /something/ on the ground and Tommy's head twists around to look, but his feet don't stop moving because ceasing momentum is for jerks, and losers, and slo—


Running face first into things was not a sensation that Tommy Shepherd was unfamiliar with in the slightest, so when the anachronistic speedster finds himself face to face with more than a faceful of wall, it's not a scream or a yelp that escapes, but the smooshed-face sound of "Ow." From the sounds of it, no injury much more severe than his ego.

…but given who he is, that's a fairly decent blow in and of itself.

Then a glance up reveals a curved wooden structure, with a seam down the middle suggesting that it opens.. but no obvious way to open it. Not from their side, anyways. There's a heartbeat's worth of time allowed for debate. Read: None at all.

"I got this!" declares the reigning King of Bad Ideas. Empty hand motions towards the wooden structure, green eyes narrow to focus… and by the time anyone can blink? Splinters are going flying through the air like tiny tiny missiles.

Tiny tiny missiles that the speedster still at the helm of the raiding party is backpedalling away from at his pace. Which also means that he's going to be tripping over those robes as he goes along. Which leads into a tumble. Which turns into a human bowling ball moving with decent velocity towards the rest of the group.

Think before you act? Pfft. Where's the fun in that?


ROLL: Wanda +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 16


ROLL: Strange +rolls 1d20 for a result of: 15


ROLL: Billy +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 14


Tiny tiny missiles moving very, very fast pepper the ground and the air, leaving a blast radius and covering both speedsters in potentially hazardous shrapnel. Certainly everyone else further down the tunnel — all the wise mystic practitioners of varied reality-warping arts — have a little more protection by the distance and bodies in the way. They can't pass two-a-piece down here, so Pietro and Tommy are the Maximoff shields.

More importantly, they will be helpfully sheltered for roughly fifteen kegs and one half keg that decide to come crashing down at that exact moment a hole opens up. Those pierced by splinters and metal bits at high speed are already starting to leak. The explosive force throws all those barrels. What goes up must come down. What comes down hits a band of telekinetic force just in time for the igniting alcoholic fumes — rum, red rum — to go bursting in a very oddly coloured cloud laterally. Well, if no one in the tavern before knew someone was in their cellar, chances are the fireworks made of their precious grog will.

And above all, there's the whiplash voice of a privateer in its sibilant cadence, a hiss rendered in Transian with the full force of twindom, motherhood, and worst of all, gypsy curses to back it up: "PIETRO."

That generally means 'fix it.'


Glancing over his shoulder towards Billy, Strange squints in pensive contemplation before shifting his shoulders in a ho-hum expression of acceptance. "It certainly looked real. You could use it as a bluff in battle, I suppose."

But then the speedsters are doing their thing and it seems safest to pause in his travels in the tunnel. The surface of the pale fox-fire light riffles to their passing, but otherwise remains steadfast. There's the faintest tugging near to his side and he glances down to see that it seems his water flask has shifted. Odd, but the belt might still be settling from where it shifted upon his initial landing. Pietro's return and comments grant him an eye-roll, surprising from the good Doctor. "I have a PhD and MD in neurosurgery, not archaeology. If the markings don't — " and the distant thud of Tommy's impact reaching him from the end of the tunnel.

The echoing sound followed by the groan causes him to frown and sigh. "Tommy? You're alright?" His voice modulates weirdly with the uneven shape of the passageway and rime-covered walls. Clearly the Dad Check-In was ignored by the following pronouncement that also reaches the Sorcerer's ears and no doubt the quiet 'hmph' can be heard by the immediate collective. Glancing to Wanda, the tall man in officer's garb mutters, "Hold on…"

In the short time it takes the reaction of Speedster + Trap Door = EXPLOSION - Billy TK, Strange has traveled all of four steps. Maybe even three and two-thirds. The muted sounds of the reactive liquor are nearly timed with the approaching tumble that is Tommy and he simultaneously stoops to save his shins from impact as well as attempt to shelter the pale-haired teenager from any arcing shards of wood. If he's time, Tommy will come to a halt against the strong line of one kneeling leg and be further halted by the good Doctor's arms.


Pietro stands beneath and amidst a hail of wooden shards moving in very slow motion. The man's eyes widen with alarm — even fear, now there's a rare emotion for the arrogant SOB — which then turns into self-righteous indignation. If Wanda could only see what takes place when her older brother moves at super-speed, she'd see him turn to face her, put his hands upon his hips, lean his head to the side — eyes wide, jaw set — and mouth the words:

What'd I do??!!

In any case, she'd hear the thought as he hurls it back at her… and Strange. And Billy.

Cue the music.

Humming the tune to 'Ode to Joy' in his head, Pietro firstly quickly checks on Tommy, then attempts what he thinks would be a 'good idea' to start with: i.e. he tries moving the flying splinters one by one out of harm's way…

It proves fruitless in the space of a… very small space. He manages to spare his family (for they are all family — even 'the Boyfriend', i.e. Strange) some danger in this way, but swiftly turns his attention toward the barrels of rum floating in the air — courtesy of Billy.

Love that Billy.

"Need some help here," he says to Tommy, and he… grabs Strange. "Grab Wanda! I'll come back for Billy!" Using one hand to brace the Sorcerer Supreme's head, Pietro speeds the man along the tunnel, up the wall, through the cellar above and into the tavern — leaving Strange standing lying on top of the piano, wearing another man's hat. Then he goes back for Billy.


Explosions are bad. Exploding rum is especially bad: primarily because he wants to drink the rum real bad. What's odd is Billy has drank like once in his life and it was ever so not straight hard liquor, and drinking rum would probably send his eyes watering and choking to death. But he deeply wants the rum. It must be something about the Spanish dude's outfit. Fortunately, his reflexes are in shape, and the bands of pure force are up and out before he even has his hand up to telegraph the maneuver. "… whoa." is his intelligent contribution to the discourse. He concentrates on holding the barrier there for the time being, because suddenly Strange just *disappears* and he knows what that means. Speedster 911 Rescue Squad, GO!


Upstairs the rattle of boots moving, chairs shifted, and shouts of surprise permeate through the floor into the cellar. What little might be seen through the floating accumulation of flaming kegs is essentially a storeroom, bare floor and rough walls shorn of any real valuables. Smoke starts to rise from the saturated alcoholic fumes. Ropes used to restrain crates and empty kegs are visible to one side, and there are shelves in the dusty darkness probably used to hold pony kegs and smaller casks for grog, alcohol, and water. Other buccaneer provender is probably stowed in a wooden box that Strange, at least, would recognize as a cheap way to store root vegetables in sand. Stairs of some kind probably exist to connect cellar to main floor.

Time rapidly ticks down as the denizens of the above building respond to the sudden forceful activity in a quiet cellar. Thunderous raps pace across the floor above, masculine voices calling instructions to one another as clearly something needs to be looked into. Lights, cutlasses, and magnificent hats are on the move. Do they have firearms here, flintlocks or proper pistols?



Well, it's definitely a fortunate stroke of luck that the Doctor was there to catch the speedster, because otherwise he would've kept rolling and gone who /knows/ how far. Not to mention the likelihood of potentially bowling everyone over in the most literal of senses. On the plus side? Rolling back this way did drive him out of the path of the majority of the splinters. Pietro handled the rest at their levels of speed in a way that Tommy was able to see in clips — when he was upside-down and thus facing that direction. Clearly, Pietro was running on the /ceiling/ when it happened. Thus adding to the levels of awesomeness involved.

In the back of his mind, Tommy makes a mental note to /try/ running on the ceiling. Spoiler alert: It will not go well, and the gathered few that see it will laugh at him and never let him live it down.

Nonetheless, the call for help from Pietro is answered as Tommy quickly gets back to his feet, and moves to collect Wanda — there's a brief slowdown to be very careful where hands go, because seriously — before running up to join the rest of the family (save Billy who will be brought back shortly!)

"Whoa." Tommy offers, blinking. "Billy, welcome to your next lesson in drinking. Go wild, bro."

If a man of the cloth said it, it /must/ be permissible.


Let it be said there's soon to be a Spanish prisoner among a nest of men in frockcoats upstairs, a British officer dragged up by one of the two privateers of Anglo-Dutch appearance, and a Portuguese Catholic priest hauling the other privateer of obvious female extraction into the tavern of fairly grand proportions. They just emerged out of the cellar where flaming wreckage of their entire stock of liquor is happily burning away, possibly eventually burning through the floor. Or down into their rum-running tunnel out to the cay.

A cay littered with sunken ships, hung sailors, and leathery bodies of who knows what.

More pairs of eyes than one can probably count swivel, and there's already a ring of freebooters headed for the cellar entrance. Knives and swords aplenty here.


ROLL: Wanda +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 26


ROLL: Wanda +rolls 1d20 for a result of: 5


Okay, what the everliving HELL. One moment he was braced against Tommy's impact and attempting to keep the young man's limbs and head from whiplash and the next —

The sensation of moving at intense speeds before a short drop and sudden stop…atop a hard surface. It resonates in jarring atonal chords beneath him and even as he's pulling up the pilfered hat that is not his from blocking his view, he's realizing that he's laid across the top of an old piano. He shares the gaping expression of shock from the grizzled piano player before taking into account that he's the only one wearing British military uniform in the entire joint — tavern, rather — and no one seems happy at all, least at his sudden presence, the myriad of gestures against the Evil Eye notwithstanding. If only they knew what Eye actually winked beneath his high-buttoned undercoat.

Staring at the ratty tricorn hat in his hand, Strange quickly slides from the piano and holds up hands before him in the universal gesture of "we come in peace!"

If only the grog stash hadn't been destroyed seconds before and a large grouping of motley sorts is staring at him — and the others, now appearing in his peripheral vision, with shock, distaste, and general dislike.

"Oy, that's my 'at!" Comes the cry from somewhere across the room, the man in ragged sailor's garb rising from his table with crusty mug in one fist and the disbelieving pat of his other hand on his bared head.

"This hat? Oh, hah, well…have it back," the good Doctor shouts before attempting to fling it across the room. The tailors of the time period never took aerodynamics into account with fashion. Utility defeats its path and it lands on the dirty tavern floor pitifully halfway across the room. He's given a glare by the man, who clunks down his half-finished stein and begins to roll up sleeves. "Ah, now, NO. SEE HERE." The British accent adds an extra crack to his authoritative tone as Strange points towards him with one hand while the other remains outstretched palm-away. "No one will try anything on, on, on the authority of the British navy!" Dammit, he should have paid more attention in history classes! "We will be leaving and no one will molest us." Of course the Sorcerer accents the unspoken 'OR ELSE' with a steely glare shifting entirely around the room.


With his family now out of one immediate danger and into another…

Wait. No, hang on.

Pietro appears (seemingly) at the stairs that lead down from the second floor (where all the rooms are, and prostitutes), a busty girl under his arm… actually, she was already walking down the stairs, and Pietro just inserted himself (into the picture!) as though he was returning 'with her'…

And the silver-haired man's lips form a worried — and slightly guilty — Oh. In hindsight, it might have been better to speed everyone OUT of the tavern entirely, but sadly that thought did not occur to him as he was too busy turning the Sorcerer Supreme into Aretha Franklin.

"Is a horrible English accent, no?" he asks the girl beside him. "Who is he? What is going on?"

Yes, the silver speedster is totally innocent of all this.


Billy takes into a jog to get up out of the cellar and move towards Strange and, presumably, Wanda. Look. Pirates. Billy, after he's wooshed in a silvery way takes a moment to steady himself as the good Doctor ensures they are to leave without molestation. Fortunately, no priests are about and no one expects pirate—- wait. One totally expects pirates to get their molesting on, don't they. So, with a narrowed eye, Billy spreads his hands out and pushes out in every direction to form a dome of telekinesis large enough to try to hold around the three non-speedsters. The air flickers like heat above a fire at the edge of the enclosed space. Fortunately it can move with him, and as a dome that wide its far from its full strength, but its not weak, either. The speedsters he is sure can handle themselves. Also: everyone else. The dome is just to protect the squishy ones in the meantime. That way everyone's safe while the speedsters do all the real work. Ideally.


If only the flames weren't actually dancing as more of the spilled grog ignites, and the rapid calculation leads to one man with a splendid, clipped beard and several rings in his ears snarling, "They bloody broke into our cellar. They've ruined our drink!"

Grumbles all around reach a rather healthy boiling point at that, and add a man of the cross to it. Another, bald and broad across as a door, thumbs the hilt of his cutlass. That's no mean rusty blade. Most of the cuts of clothing in here are serviceable and good, if not opulent. The bald sailor's sword is certainly rather lovely. "Pathetic cleric's had a go at our grog! Gonna let that stand?What say ye to that?"

The roar is nearly instantaneous: "Nay!"

Another voice emerges near the bar, a retort in an old, guttural growl of a seadog with plenty of years indeed. He scowls, lowering his tankard. "Ye an' what boat, ye chowder-headed buffoon? Be seeing much o' the panty-waisted Marines 'round here, d'ye? Aside from hisself, naturally."

The problem for Pietro? He's not English. And Wanda's credo — try not to stand out — means that the distorted blur on his words gets even weirder, because the realm is not playing, it's not helpful at all. His mangled terminology cuts to Transian, which he was gifted with. Recall he the other warning about the lovely harlots?

The girl under his arm looks up at him with blacker than black eyes, liquid and doe-eyed, the way Crusaders dreamt of lovely girls in the wild deserts of the Middle East, the souks of the fabled kingdoms. Fingers curl around his arm since he so helpfully 'aids' her via carrying her. Something moves under the thin shift, the pretty cafe-au-lait skin; a ripple of motion, and the iron-band firmness of her grip isn't shifting even as she starts to leech his life energy directly.


Squishy ones concealed behind an amorphous shield cannot remain concealed forever, and being backed up into a corner while ringed in live steel doesn't sound good either. Cornered people are walking corpses. Wanda gives absolutely no signs of holding any patience for this, and the one with the advantage of traversing this dimension before grits her teeth, tugging lightly on Tommy's hair to pull his attention. "Get him outside. Stay low." A pause and the hissing sibilance of her voice rises. "Go!"

The buccaneers expect a buccaneer, and they have one, who swivels back for the railing with its rotten hanks of canvas. Good enough for a handhold as she kips up with none of the speed of her twin, only too much experience. From there, it's a fraught, hurried swing to jump for the round chandelier. Blame Errol Flynn: her touchpoint is swinging her damn lithe self over, around, through pirates.


Oh boy.

"Now, now, children. Let he of you without sin cast the first tomato." …it /is/ tomato, isn't it? Many many years have passed with the platinum-haired speedster last attended Mass, and little details like that are forgotten in the wind. Granted, he could check the book, but that seems like a little too much work at the moment.

..then Wanda's grabbing him and telling him to go; and get 'him' out. Which 'him'? Well, given the options… and considering that trying to get near the /non/-speedsters means bouncing off a telekinetic dome? He assumes she means Pietro.

How's this handled? He's over to his Uncle in the blink of an eye. Looks towards his Uncle's 'companion'. Then back to Pietro.

"Oh, good. You found a man for Billy to enjoy." …whether this is just a lie for that 'made you look' reaction or it's truth because Pietro /didn't/ look and it's a man who's the wrong kind of buxom? That's debatable. "You'll have to get his number for Billy later, for now…"

…and he's going to try and grab one of Pietro's arms. And /pull,/ with a decidedly /outside/ trajectory. Namely weaving around various scoundrels in the process. …and collecting the occasional shiny because he can.


His Charisma attempt might not have rolled the Natural 20 he wanted, but the Sorcerer didn't truthfully expect it to work. The grudge against his uniform runs blood-deep here. Oh well, it had been worth the shot. That being said, he shifts into action as soon as the rush begins.

The buccaneers might expect a buccaneer, but they assuredly don't expect a fumbling British naval officer who grabs first for a sabre that is not there — oh gods below, it's down in the tunnel still, with the dead shark!!! — and rapidly morphs from a tall man in salt-stained uniform to a crackling conduit of Mystical energy that strikes out with numbing plasmic filaments. Unseen to all but those with the Sight, it's like a tornado suddenly exploded into life around him as the frustration and fear for his immediate family grants the invisible lashings extra snap. Add the sudden sparkling froth around his hands that rapidly form mudras and the appearance of the dreaded molten surujin from nowhere and it's no surprise that those immediately rushing him with swords and dagger raised high come to a screeching halt.

"Try me, boys," he growls, eyes flashing icy-violet. As the immediate attackers looks amongst themselves in concern, he locates the swashbuckling form of Wanda literally swinging from a chandelier (how very Flynn of her!) and then glances to Billy. By the concentration on the young man's face, he thinks to check the status of the space around him and quickly locates the edging of the protective bubble. Then, Tommy is blurring off and the sudden disappearance of the pale-haired cleric seems to galvanize the motley sailors into frightened self-defense. Read as: forward rush.

With a grimace, Strange steps through the shielding created by Billy and gets to utilizing fighting techniques the poor piratical types have never encountered in their island-hopping lives. The defensive whirling of the monks of Shaolin meets the space-creating tactics of malla-yuddha in combination with the flaring Mystical weapon and it's not long at all before he's cleared off a good number of them, at least eight. All sport various bruises and lash marks that sting just shy of a thermal burn.

Looking back to the reality-warping teenager, Strange shouts over the tumult, "Billy, follow me! Quick!" Whether or not he's heard is uncertain with the chaos of crashing glass and colliding swords and the random shots of black-powder weaponry.


Well, as it should happen…

That channel of energy blows out like a cannon going off, throwing out sparks that stink of damp gunpowder and saltpeter. The streamers of blue and red practically shout "BRITANNIA RULES THE WAVES!" to anyone and everything.


Pietro does not object to being pulled out of the tavern and into the street. He did think of an objection — such as, Hey! That's something I do do OTHER people! — but it came out as:


When he and 'Busty LaRoux' — known for her assets above and below deck, to use a nautical analogy — reach the streets, Pietro collapses to the ground, struggling vainly to dislodge himself from the vampiric whore's grasp.

To little avail.

"Hrm…" he mumbles. "Lillhllp…Li'l… Little help!! Vamp — vampire!! No, not me! Her…" And he fights the urge to stay conscious.


With Wanda swinging like a pirate monkey and the Doc taking the offensive, Billy lets the defensive barrier drop— really, that's not even slightly the more useful use of his power, anyways. But he moves to follow Strange, even as a pirate rushes him— there's a flick of his hand and an invisible car slams into the poor guy and sends him *flying* the other way. Billy usually holds his punches and tries not to kill people but a) he is not at all in the mood at the moment and b) he thinks they're probably dead and or not real and c) ALL THE FUCKING RUM IS GONE. He's furious about that. A little part of his brain is a) really disturbed by the fact that he even thought the word 'fucking', and b) not at all sure why he wants the rum so bad, and c) realizing he is doing this weird internal list thing a lot and he's not sure why that is, either.

So he overcompensates. Strange is lashing out with invisible mystical force, and so suddenly Billy becomes nearly living lightning. The electricity wraps around his body so many times it almost seems to just arc out on its own, striking towards anyone who wants to come near him as he goes rushing after Strange to head out of the place. Alas since he's behind its up to someone else to 'save' Pietro from the whores.


Of all the people to be taken by a vamp, who expects the man who was a vampire to fall prey? The unyielding grip around his forearm gives no freedom, and the speedster has no real choice. Tommy has to bring along Pietro and Mlle. LaRoux if he's to reach the overhanging awning and the sunbathed street of Port Royal. Narrow and thick with greenery, the juxtaposition of a rough port town and the splendours of nature may be more than the mind can comprehend at a glance. Vaguely Spanish architecture mingles with the decidedly Anglo-Dutch clothing smattered by deviations from either, the kind of bastardization culturally that shows up when a realm is presumably cut off from the motherland and let go for a while.

Though no Caribbean isle ever quite boasted succubi as these lovely, dulcet whores smiling freely nor the prospect of invisible black-tip sharks or flying white-tips. Lanterns swing lightly and the commotion in the tavern hasn't quite lured the bystanders. Men running out at speed will, certainly. Nearly everyone here is armed. Except the whore doing a tango with the elder Maximoff, and she leans in to nearly breathe Pietro's scent. Even at total speed. His life energy simply spills into her through touch, certainly. She has eyes for Tommy only to bat him away from her dinner.

The very large shadow spilling over the rough planks laid down as a main 'street' or the cobblestones in front of choice one- and two-storey buildings does, however, appear to notice things. Palms rattle. A few of the sailors flick a look upwards, and cutlasses, rapiers, and knives come free of their sheaths.


Billy may be wreathed in lightning, but it comes out gold as the Spanish main, and the scent of sizzling flesh mixes with copper and iron blood. When the spell pulls around him, weird bands of greyish light form around his ankles and wrists. They don't impede him any, but he most certainly looks to be a shackled captive, albeit one who broke free of his chains and also happens to be electrified.


Well. Wanda /had/ warned them.

Tommy's the right man for the kind of job that's required here; which is rapid removal of vampires from uncles. When the word of warning is delivered, Tommy's brain works at superspeed to think back to all those vampire myths that he'd heard about. Stake through the heart? Too messy. Sunlight? Apparently not bright enough. Improvised flamethrower? …/tempting,/ but possibility for important collateral damage plus c) all the rum is gone.

"Y'know what, lady? You can /have/ him. He was dumb enough to get sucked in by you in the first place…"

And Tommy walks in the other direction. Two… One…

Then he's a blur in what hopefully made him lose the vampire's attention. Covering a block's distance in less time than it takes to breathe, he comes charging back towards the scene. Running at /full/ speed, because really? He doesn't do anything half-way. The intention? To /punt/ the offending creature right off of his Uncle. Time to see just how strong that death grip really is.


ROLL: Wanda +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 78


ROLL: Tommy +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 40


With Billy electrified behind him and his inherent magic blistering around him in hues of scarlet and ocean-blue alike, the Sorcerer Supreme fights his way towards the entry doors of the tavern. The immediate attackers have fled and only the bravest — most drunken, actually — continue to attempt to molest the two of them. With a sizzling smack, the surujin disarms a man of the pitted sword arcing down towards Strange and a firm boot to the chest sends him backwards over a table with a clatter of tumbled chairs to boot. A blank fist chops into the windpipe of another pirate attempting to sneak-rush the Sorcerer and he doesn't need to follow up with any further attack as the grimy man gurgles and stumbles back.

Ducking a flying bottle of liquor that shatters on the floor behind him, Strange glowers in the general direction of the projectile's origins before looking to Billy. Whoa. WHOA. Now that is some energy. He catches sight of a scarlet blur of buxom buccaneering beyond the young man and shouts to him, "Get outside, find Tommy — and Pietro?!" The name comes out more as query than statement as he realizes that he hasn't seen the taller of the two Speedsters since the bar brawling started. "Go find them! Keep them safe! I'll get Wanda out!"

Or at least back up the Witch in her combat and thus enable them both to escape.

"WANDA!" It likely goes unheard over the din of the fighting, now expanded to generalized chaos, even with the Sorcerer acting as unintentional beacon in British blue and Sorcerous power alike. His eyes narrow and everything takes on a momentary crystalline sheen as the clarion projection travels along the indelible lines of connection between them at the speed of thought:

«Beloved», we must go! I have Billy, Tommy and Pietro are outside? No doubt he is heard and perhaps his message enables himself and the two reality-warpers to escape to the streets of Port Royal proper.


The chandelier inside makes a decent point to swing from, and the whole purpose of Wanda's adventure up there? Avoiding the wrong kind of attention, while half the tavern crew go running after Strange and Billy, another quarter shout about the burning rum and try to put it out, and the last group have to deal with her. Or decide if they'll cut their losses, cut her down, or cut a bit. Commotion makes good cover, especially when she lets go at the top of the arc, landing a bit awkwardly among the snarling pirates. This might end badly, but a good kick and a dead run after knocking a chair aside afford a slowing as she goes for a window rather than the front door. Throwing herself through isn't the smartest thing Wanda's ever done; being on the other side of piratical rabble is also less than desirable.

Strange and Billy have the advantage of being in the open air, or at least somewhat; awnings shield the entrance to the tavern, faded in the bright semitropical sun. Pietro and his whore's amorous encounter takes place in the middle of the street, causing vague interest. It's Tommy the bystanders seem to be irked by. Sorcerers enter another kind of trouble with the irate buccaneers inside in hot pursuit, giving very little quarter for all they're burnt and disturbed. Some of those wounds might be somewhat superficial if anyone bothers to look. Why not bother?

Breaking glass is flung outwards in a burst. A pair of shots cracking through the warm sunshine follow afterwards, following two separate trajectories. Fanfare of a speedy churchman running back as though all the demons of this den of depravity are poking his arse, perhaps. Blitzing a woozy Pietro sounds like a great idea, but Tommy never quite reaches his target. For horrifyingly fast as he is, there's something even faster that snatches out a claw to shear through his robes and haul him up off the ground. Wild nobility and restless savagery meld into a form sleek as the blue-tinged sky it launched itself from, and that isn't the only one up there. Sleek and vaguely avian, the elemental opens its elongated beak and screams, a raptor's trumpet backed up by all the force of thunderous calamity brewing in a black squall. Dustdevils churn at the backbeat of its nearly invisible wings.

Any questions why Wanda said stay low ought to be answered right there: they're staring into the nebulous fury of a fully fledged elemental that doddering minds might spit out 'gryphon' as a name for. It's like calling a Lamborghini a pinebox derby car, or a thoroughbred a my little pony. Not precisely the most adequate term for a monarch of the lofty heavens.

And that's not the only one.


When moving past Strange, the electrified Billy's energy carapace shrinks and quiets a bit, only to become threatening and offensive a bit later. Mostly its just a *potential* for destruction then actual destruction. Oh, a bit of electricity arcs over and blows up that pot over there, that pirate lounging outside that gets up to challenge someone. But the show of Lightning Incarnate is mostly a show. Then Billy moves past, waves to Strange to acknowledge 'find tommy', and he just feels where he thinks he should look. And he looks, and sees a blur, and some blue skinned thingamabird that he is not, AT, ALL, OKAY, with grabbing Tommy.


He could throw lightning, but he doesn't. He could think of some spell to turn the gryphon into a chicken with an ego problem, he doesn't. He might try a blunt force strike of telekinesis. But he doesn't do that, either. Billy is so furious he's not hot and out of control but cold and precise, and in that moment he can think of only one thing: You. Shall. Not. Be. The telekinetic strikes are not blunt, they are not broad, but they are strong, and focused on a single point. The invisible bands of pure force he so commonly calls upon become a weapon not of brute strength as they are usually applied, but precise fury. Daggers to warhammers. But oh, oh so many daggers. He holds his hand up and out towards the bird-thing and focuses all of his will on one two three four strikes focused into sharp points. Slicing, stabbing, striking. This is new to him: he might not be very GOOD at applying his TK with such precision, but it's something his cold-fueled rage has him trying out for size.

Anyone for some ground chicken? Billy's gonna barbeque once he's done trying to slice and dice the bird up. If it works at all.

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