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angrydurf

Golgotha Tenement Blues IC

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Liam Conner
It might not be much but they had an old battered car that ran well enough whilst being so dilapidated that no one wanted to steal it, even touching it seemed a waste of gasoline. For those that had no preternatural powers he offered a lift to the apartments, though it might look that it would be safer walking the car actually ran pretty smoothly. The bodywork might look battered and worm Liam made sure that it ran as if new.

Entering the block Liam paid attention to everything with a fine eye that you gained for several years as a detective, a second pair of eyes often helped with details that the other had missed.

Rosa Thorne
On seeing the unconscious mom Rosa straight away to go a check on the woman, she might come across as rude and abrupt but she really cared about helping people. She'd never bothered to get a medical degree but had studied enough that she could have if she wanted before you went to the supernatural it helped to discount the more mundane solutions.

"Do you know what she's taken?" as she checked for any reactions from the woman.

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There was a shuffling on the other side of the door as her brother apparently started to pack a bag carefully laying out tightly folded sets of clothes before packing them neatly into his backpack after Sam swung the door open.  The room was similarly decorated with copies of photos and news articles about the local barge tugs and similar watercraft.  One wall of the tiny room dominated by a carefully drawn mad and schedule with neat pins marking different spots around the harbor and rivers.

 

Sam turned at Rosa's question and cursed quietly under her breath, "Oh no-nothing." she answered a little too quickly as she rushed to her mothers side looking down at her recumbent form with mingled disgust, worry, and a deep sadness.  "She, just gets real tired sometimes."  the young woman hurriedly explained.  "After work and everything..."  it was clearly a lie and her eyes went to the paraphernalia and she shook her head kneeling at her mother's side and carefully turning her on her side just in case.  "I, I should leave a note or something."  she murmured and hurried off toward her own room leaving the others in the living room with the unconscious junkie.

 

From his room her brother shouted out, "How many days underwear do I need?"  as he carefully laid out his options and nervously recounted the stacks.  At her shouted reply of "a couple just hurry."  he put two in then awkwardly moved a third toward and away from the bag before finally placing them inside and topping the bag with a stack of ruled composition books with neatly labeled date ranges on the covers.  Zipping the bag and shrugging it onto his shoulders he stepped out and frowned at the strangers in his living room.   He offered an awkward wave, "Hi I'm Adam."  he introduced eyes downcast as he fidgeted waiting for his sister to come back.  

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Mister Strix's black eyes glared downard to the ground floor where the thugs were pouring into the apartment building.

 

His body dissolved into a cloud of mist once again. The fog seeped into the girl's apartment through the cracks in the poorly-seated window, and just as quickly, it condensed back into the man in white. Everyone in the apartment felt a sudden chill.

 

He ran into the center of the apartment. "They're coming!" he barked, with the same deep reverberation echoing under his voice. "Right behind you, at least as many as before!" He glanced at the couch, saw the unconscious woman, and hefted her up over his shoulder. "Hold them off as long as you can. I'll get them to the roof, then I'll come down to back you up."

 

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Judex gave Adam as gentle a smile as he could. 

 

"Hello Adam. You may call me Judex."

 

Anything else he may have said was cut off by Strix's warning. The smile fell from his face, and his head fell a bit. The his shoulders started to shake...with laughter.

 

"Ahaha! The wolves howl again! Come my friend!"

 

He slapped Dr. Thorne on the shoulder as he moved to the door.

 

"Go with Mister Owl, children! The sheepdogs shall see to the mongrels at the gates!"

 

Judex grasped the doorknob, turned it, and flung the door open...

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Doctor Rosa Thorne

Liam began to rise up ready for the fight he couldn't help but notice on the way in, but Rosa dampened him down. She knew he would burst out if real trouble started but he trusted her enough to wait and see what she could do.

 

"Why is the first response always violence? We can do so much more if we put our mind to work."

 

As she spoke she set herself in a lotus position and tried to recall an incantation she'd read in Chinese scroll. It was a translation of a Tibetan method to hide people from sight, or at least that's how she explained her methodology as she recalled, or created, the chant. It was the curse of her powers that she wasn't totally sure.

 

As the words were spoken nothing appeared to change but for anyone but her allies the room would appear completely empty.

 

"Hang on a minute..." she gave a loud whisper to Judex "...they won't be able to see any of us whilst we're in this apartment. If you do need to attack wait for the very last moment to get the full benefit."

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Sam stared at Mr strix uncertainly as he  hoisted her mother on her shoulder and let out a slow breath turning to her brother, "We're gonna go with this man and he's gonna keep us safe ok?"  she promised and held a finger to her lips, "But you have to be quiet no matter what."  sh paused, "Try to count the buoy chimes right?  like we used to?"  she encouraged and nodded to their apparent saviors as the boy nodded and crouched by the window.  There was almost no chance he could hear the distant harbor over the noises of hte city but it seemed to quiet him and his nerves.

 

The illusory masque was erected not a moment too soon.  Voices could be heard echoing down the now empty hallway as the first of the hired muscle reached the apartments floor.  The clink of chains and tap of a bat on the crumbling plaster of the walls projected both the intimidation they were attempting and that while armed they were unlikely to be hurting anyone not in the hall with stray shots at least.

 

The band slowed as they approached the door looking at the rime lingering on the frame and hesitating, "What did tony say about some kinda ice monster?"  one murmured another telling him tony had been high as a kite and to keep moving.   They held in the door as more spilled into the hall behind them unwilling to enter and pass the threshold as more arrived behind.  Soon the hall would be full enough they'd have to enter and no one knew how long the illusion might be maintained once they started in on the place.

 

 

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Mister Strix popped open the window, then grabbed both children with one arm and clutched them close to his chest while holding their blacked-out mother over his shoulder. He leaned his head down and whispered to them.

 

"You hold on tight, and so will I. Keep quiet and close your eyes. It'll be scary for a second, but that's all. I've got you."

 

He stepped onto the windowsill, crouched, and jumped. His inhuman strength carried him and his charges up onto the roof of the neighboring building. Despite leaping several stories while carrying several hundred pounds, his landing didn't make a sound.

 

He gently laid the mother down onto the roof, and then placed a hand on each child's shoulder.

 

"Stay here, stay down, and stay quiet. We'll take care of this gang like we took care of the last one, and then we'll come right back up here for you. You'll be safe. I promise."

 

With that, Mister Strix turned away from the children and jumped back down to their apartment window.

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Sam clenched her hands over her brothers mouth as Strix grabbed them and lofted them across the gap to the relative safety of the other building managing to mostly muffle his terrified shriek at least well enough not to clue in the thugs in the hall what was going on.  Once they were on the roof the boy stumbled back and sat down hard on the gravel of the roof still keening though quietly as he clutched at his backpack and seemed to be reciting some string of letters and numbers perhaps in an effort to calm himself.   Sam went to his side to try and help and only nodded silently to the white clad stranger.

 

In the building the hallway continued to fill and peering around hte edge of hte door a few of the braver thugs noted the empty seemingly abandoned apartment with some trepidation and uncertainty.  One frowned and shook his head, "Looks empty, where.."  only to be cut off by a slightly more clever or frightened companion, "They musta went for the roof!"  and a small group broke off for the stairs once more.  It was probably a good thing the kids and thier mother were not on that roof but the thugs might spot them if from up there if they stood or got to loud.

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Judex waited until the man at the front was distracted talking to the others. That was when he struck.

 

"Looks can be deceiving, you mangy cur!"

 

His right arm lashed out, the forearm striking the man. However, instead of hitting his throat and eliciting a few moments of nearly choking, it struck the man along his collarbones. Worse (from Judex's point of view), between the angle and the heavy leather the man was wearing, instead of winding him, it seemed to mostly just surprise him. Surprise him enough to shove him backward, but now the element of surprise was lost.

 

Then again, Judex was now just....standing there...having come from nowhere, and now he was visible, in all his burly glory, leering at these men. 

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We're crowded too close together. We need to spread out.

 

Mister Strix evaporated into mist again. The roughly human-sized cloud surged up along the outer wall of the apartment complex, up and over the roof. It slipped through the cracks in the interior access panel, and slithered like a snake down through the stairwell, coming to a stop less than one flight above the invading gangsters before re-solidifying into something slightly closer to the form of a man.

 

"You're right. They are on the roof. And the only thing standing in you way...is me."

 

The man in white balled up his hands into fists, crouched down toward the thugs, opened his unnaturally large mouth to bare his unnaturally long fangs and tongue, and unleashed a tiger's roar. Everyone who looked into his black eyes or his gaping maw caught a glimpse of the Schattenwelt, the deepest darkness in the Multiverse. Anyone who looked at him also looked into The Abyss. No two people saw the same thing, because no two people have the same nightmares.

 

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As the horrifying specter in white manifested atop the stairs and let out a banshee wail the advancing thugs stared in horror and recoiled.  The few steelier willed tried to turn the tide as their companions fled and cowered to no avail.  The stairwell was filled with panicking hoodlums holding back those trying to advance further into the hall perhaps buying time for Thorne and Judex to attend to those already advancing.  

 

Staggering back under the blow from Judex's fighting fist the lead thug regained his feet with a snarl and wiped a bit of blood from the corner of his mouth, "You gonna pay for that you freak." he spat as he and his cohorts surged forward as one crude clubs and blades coming from all sides as they pressed toward him with dire intent.  

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Judex was genuinely taken by surprise by the sheer suddenness of the group's attack. He didn't have time to avoid their blows; instead, he moved himself such that the blades scraped fabric, not flesh, and the clubs and fists and feet struck the thickest parts of his body. He might have a few bruises later...but then again, maybe not. For now, he weathered the storm, forearms covering the slowly-growing smile on his face...

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Doctor Thorne

Sitting cross-legged on the floor of the apartment, ignoring how funky the floor actually was, she was dimly aware of sounds of the battle going on outside the room. Her third eye saw so much more with her two fellow heroes awash with magical energies, where they danced it was obvious there were thugs even if she could sense any powers in them.

 

Concentrating she drew more magical energies around her weaving it into a magical matrix and web of effects she dropped on the thugs with one word for the effect

 

“Sleep!”

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As the spell took hold and the enchantress' words flowed into the hall the raucous gang of thugs quieted struggled to stay awake in the face of the sorcerous lethargy unleashed upon them.  One by one nearly all collapsed leaving their few comrades blinking away sleep and staring in disconcerted silence at the group laid low.  Those nearest the door escaped the effect and seemed too driven to overwhelm the hulking preacher to take notice of their sudden lack of backup.  Despite their blows being ineffective they continued to push back against the bearded holy man with sheer force of numbers.

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Judex felt the assault of the thugs lessening, heard several of them in the hallway collapsing. Slowly but surely, his arms came down from protecting his head, revealing his face. He was smiling. Then he laughed.

 

"Rejoice, brothers! For today, I shall help drag you closer to redemption!"

 

His right hand lashed out, the palm slamming the temple of the man closest to him. It struck with the whole forearm behind the blow, putting all the force into his foe instead of Judex's arm. The man dropped like a sack of potatoes. The next man received a one-two combination of a boot to his nether regions, followed by a knee to his face.

 

"For it is as the Good Book says!"

 

He shoved his hand into another man's throat, kneed him in the gut, and threw him to the ground. 

 

"Blows and wounds scrub away evil! I greet you now with a holy kiss as I deliver more good news!"

 

He leapt forward, as his hands grasped one man and wrangled him around, until he had his head under one arm. He actually kissed the man's forehead, before whirling him to the ground in a landing that drove the man insensate. 

 

"Beatings purge the inmost soul, my friends! And your souls have much that needs purging!"

 

His hand lashed out, grabbing the fifth man by the neck and lifting him a couple of inches off the ground. Judex brought him closer, that same smile still on his face.

 

"Your sins are many, but I am here to rebuke you! To turn you to the ways of righteousness!"

 

He grasped the man's belt buckle and lifted him higher, laughing now.

 

"I return you to your brethren, that ye may repent of your unrighteousness!"

 

And then he threw the man into the next cluster of thugs out into the hall, as easy as some might toss a duffel bag of clothing. 

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The doctor and the preacher have to start at the top, and work their way down. It follows that I should start at the bottom...

 

Mister Strix heaved himself up over the hand rail and jumped down the middle of the stairwell, holding his cape up to spread behind and above him like the wings of a great raptor. His boots crashed into the floor, smashing through tile and churning up concrete, but his landing didn't make a sound. The only noise came a fraction of a second later, from the chunks of floor bouncing off the nearby stairs. His cape flowed behind him as he slowly rose from his crouch to loom over the thugs who now surrounded him.

 

Give them a moment to take it all in, to get a good look. I want them to remember this part.

 

Then he became a white blur of fists and feet, an ivory tornado smashing into them. With each savage strike, a thug went flying into a wall, or the lobby ceiling, or one of the vending machines they'd been trying to improvise into some sort of barricade. At one point during his carnival of carnage, Mister Strix seized one of those machines, heaved it over his head, and swung it around, breaking it in half against the torsos of the two thugs unlucky enough to be closest to him at the time. Cans of soda flew out in every direction, some exploding when they hit the walls, leaving brightly-colored splatters of sugar-water to mark their passing, while others clattered loudly across the broken floor.

 

Edited by Grumblefloof

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The battered frames of the thugs littered the stairwell around strix, they'd hardly had time to notice his presence before he was among them and unleashing hell. The remaining gangsters in the stairwell aboe paused as the figure in white plummeted past then set about preparing to defend against whatever came around the corner next.  They may have been trapped in here with you  rather than the other way around but they hadn't seemed to realize just how out of their depth they were.

 

Above Mr. Strix he could hear the shuffling as those on the floor above turned to face the new threat coming from below.  They too held back keeping the higher ground in preparation for what the white clad monster did next.

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Judex looked down the stairs and beheld the group below him. With a laugh, he dashed down, practically skipping steps until he was in direct sight of the front of that group. With a wordless yell, he launched himself into the air. He managed to collide with the mid-section of the man in the front, but between the man's natural "padding", the poor angle of the blow, and his comrades behind him, the criminal was left standing...

 

With Judex now hanging on fiercely, his grin shining through that great beard of his. Casually, he wrenched the man around to face away from him and toward his comrades. Both of them were sent ducking and weaving around incoming blows as Judex laughed some more.

 

"Haha! Good show brothers, but I think you protest too much! Your black-hearted sins bear fruit today, boys!"

 

He tightened his grip just a bit as he planned his next move. 

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The broken remnants of a soda machine and the broken bodies of hired thugs were scattered about the cracked lobby floor. In the middle, Mister Strix licked the blood off his knuckles, listened to the accelerated heartbeats of the gangsters on the floor immediately above him, and smiled. Then he took a moment to reflect, and the smile melted back into a scowl.

 

I'm enjoying this too much. It's not a game. Stop playing with your food and get the job done. The life of every innocent person in this building is in danger every second these scumbags remain standing. One stray shot, that's all it takes to kill someone in their own home. Take them down now, hard and fast.

 

The man in white crouched, then sprang into the air, his powerful legs launching him up onto the second floor. He landed inches away from one of the thugs, who barely had time to register his surprise before Strix grabbed his shirt and pulled him close into a brutal head-butt. By the time the concussed thug hit the ground, Strix had already kicked one of his friends hard enough to break several of the man's ribs and send him flying several doors down the hallway, simultaneously elbowing a third man who stood behind him in his stomach. That third man collapsed onto his knees and immediately started vomiting onto the tattered hallway carpet. One, two, sometimes three at a time, Strix lashed out and battered thugs fell, until only one man remained unscathed.

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The mass of thugs surged forward as one trying to overbear Judex by pure dint of numbers some grabbing at him to free their compatriot from the fanatics steely grip others aiming a rain of blows on the giant of a man though with so many of their own in the way the latter were rendered largely ineffectual.  Down below it was a different story.

 

The remaining enforcer stared down the monster in front of him eyes wide in terror at the carnage unleashed in the small stairwell.  Reaching behind himself he pulled a heavy pistol from his waistband and braced himself with an animal howl as he rapidly emptied the clip into the white clad avenger of the night.  What he lacked in technique he made up for in sheer volume of burning lead flying through the air to chip the concrete walls or bury themselves in undead flesh.

 

At the sound of gunfire those on the floor above descended weapons drawn and aimed at the sinister figure in the small landing.

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Doctor Thorne

Rosa generally didn’t generally get directly involved with conflict, she had Liam or other allies to do that for her, but walking out onto the landing and seeing the fighting going on down below she couldn’t help but feel the need to help out a little.

 

“Could we hurry this up please people? We have places to be after all!”

 

Partially in frustration, she recalled a spell causing swirling damaging energies to rise up and form around the thugs just below. She’d not had time to call down more powerful forces but for now, it would help a little.

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Judex was just continuing to laugh as he fought, the blows coming against him either missing entirely, or almost bouncing off of his sturdy body. As their assault ebbed, his leg snapped out. It landed in a perfect kick dead between the legs of the man in front of him.

 

"You won't need that for a while anyway, brother!"

 

Then he gave the man an axe-handle-chop to the head, before turning to another thug. This man just got a punch to the face that knocked him over like a cut tree. Yet another man was backing up, trying to get away.

 

"You can flee, but the Lord's wrath shall always find ye!"

 

Judex grabbed a fistful of his shirt and the man's belt, bodily lifting him over his head for a moment, shaking him as if he were a bag of potatoes. 

 

"I think your friends need you still, little wolf!"

 

And then he threw the man at the other thugs. He was getting good at tossing grown men at each other! 

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The thug's shots tore through Mister Strix's costume, but they barely pierced his skin. As usual, the wounds didn't bleed. The bullets simply remained embedded in his undead flesh. He glanced down at himself, then glared at the thug. He was about to pounce on him when he heard another group of men cock their guns behind him. Interrupted. Damn. Miscounted. He glared into the thug's eyes. "Hold still." Then he slowly turned toward the new group. His massive cape followed, flowing about him. "Killing for money. Killing children. Not a single one of you deserves to walk out of here tonight...so you won't." With a roar, he surged forward, a streak of white slamming into puny human flesh and bone like a wrecking ball through drywall.

 

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The ghostly figure was among them in a blink of an eye and where his fists landed the low rent goons fell like wheat before the scythe.  Behind the distracted vampire the killer left to his own devices quietly retrieved the well used .45 from a fallen comrade and pulled himself to his feet uncertainty.  Two of the cohort attacking from above managed to scramble to their feet after being tossed up a flight of stairs and promptly turned to flee upwards away from the devil below.  They rounded the corner and found themselves breathless and face to face with Judex hulking form and the untouched Dr. Thorne.

 

Strix hadn't but a moment to appreciate his handiwork before he felt the barrel of the illicit handgun pressed to the back of his head, "Night Night assho-"  click... the silence as the gun jammed in his hand was deafening and strix could almost hear as the murderous junkies heart began pounding in his chest as he realized how close he'd gotten to the monster.

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Judex's gaze shifted smoothly to the two new arrivals, his form sweaty and a bit winded, but still whole and uninjured.

 

"Y'all picked the wrong direction, little wolves. You're messing with the big sheepdogs now."

 

His head lashed forward and caught the first thug's nose, which left him reeling and open to be grabbed around the neck and body-slammed back-first into the floor behind Judex. Before he stood back up, the hairy hero's feet lashed out and tripped the other thug. This left him open for being grabbed up by belt and neck, then slammed down on top of his compatriot. 

 

With those two out of the way, Judex turned to Dr. Thorne and spoke, smiling still despite all the human wreckage around them.

 

"Shall we join our fine feathered friend now?"

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