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Ronin

 

Ronin brushed his hands, feeling satisfied with a job well done. As far as he could tell, they were in the clear. For now. But this was no time to rest on his laurels. It was only a matter of time before the sabotage was noted. It might be next week, it might be next minute. This was good camouflage, but even the best camouflage wasn't invisibility. 

 

He pulled out the Street Special. It wasn't silent, and he wondered if he should fix that. He didn't want to use it, but he would rather have it in his hands when he needed it than need it and not have it in his hands. 

 

So determined, he started going up the building again to rejoin the rest of the motley crew. 

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Ah, jeez! I'm melting his freakin' eyeballs!

 

Seeing the falling ink and Mr. Strix's distress, Lady Horus took a gamble - she could potentially solve two problems with one sharp blow. And so she did, or at least tried to - gathering her strength for a terrific blow with her ankh against the floor beneath their feet, aiming to shatter the floor in one great blow. It'll get me and the ink outta the way in the same minute - unless the ink can fly! Goddamned flying ink! she thought irritably as she struck the floor with her glowing blade, again and again. 

 

Seeing the growing liquid mass, and feeling the impact of Lady Horus's blows beneath her feet, Wadjet said a bad word in her mother's native language and began fumbling quickly in her pocket for chemical charges. She hadn't come prepared for this! 

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GM

 

The room was shaking. Much of the building was, in fact, as Lady Horus smashed her weapon into the floor again and again. The black liquid neared them. It seemed as if it started moving quicker the moment that Lady Horus began trying to break the floor. Now, the building was old. It was not well maintained. And Lady Horus was strong. Or maybe they were just standing on a weak spot. Seconds before the liquid would have reached them, Lady Horus struck one final blow, and the area of the floor directly underneath Lady Horus and Mr. Strix gave away, sending them falling down to the floor below.

 

The black liquid was not far behind, however, beginning to drip down from above.

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Doctor Thorne

Upon spying the oozing blackness from the book her reaction were almost instantaneous.

 

“I need to see that straight away, catch me up when you can.”

 

She sprinted up the stair and threw open the door to where the ooze was, just in time to see Mr Strix and Lady Horus disappear through a sudden hole in the floor.

 

“Huh that can’t be good!” not bothering to check if they’d followed Rosa called back to the other “You probably should go check to see if they’re both okay.”

 

As she spoke her senses both mundane and magical scanned the ooze to try and determine what she could about this stuff.

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Anna regretted her inability to have a normal conversation while wearing the helmet - checking on Mr. Strix, apologizing for how her divine solar powers must have hurt him, none of it could be said in the heat of the moment without sounding like she was some sort of Shakespearean lunatic. So instead Lady Horus declared "Up!" before leaping into the air, her glowing ankh seeming to drag her up to the level of the ceiling. Once there, she zipped around to all the exits of the room where the inkfall was rapidly collecting, closing and locking windows, locking and (as best she could) sealing doors at super-speed, all the while careful to avoid being touched by the falling ink. She knew, or rather figured fast, that collecting the ink was better than letting it spread - even if it meant they had to move faster. 

 

"Pretty sure they're fine," said Wadjet reassuringly. "Vampires are tough and Lady Horus falls down a lot." She snorted inside her costume.

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Mister Strix barely had the chance to spot the black liquid creeping toward him before Lady Horus pulverized the floor beneath them. He fell down through the new hole, landing on his feet without a sound, then quickly rolling to the side to avoid the ink dripping down after him. Whatever it is, whatever it does, it probably won't affect me. But it's probably best not to take the chance if I don't have to. His unnaturally powerful legs launched him back up at the ceiling. His hands and feet clung there like an insect. He quickly flipped himself around so that his back was against the ceiling. He glanced back and forth at the hole in the ceiling in front of him, and the floor beneath him. The ink is following us like it has a mind of its own. So let's find out if it can run up walls and cling to ceilings like I can. If not, it buys me time to think of something...

 

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Doctor Thorne

“Hmmm, this is similar to an outbreak in 19th Century Germany the chronicles noted the appearance of tattoo’s along with what we’d called zombie-like behaviour. We must make find a way to contain this ink somehow, and don’t let it touch you unless you want a few extra tattoos.”

 

She was considering options to push all the ink into a containable area, the hole in the floor really didn’t help matters. There was also another thing to consider as well.

 

“This is definitely controlled by some kind of sentient force, even if it’s a hive-like mentality. So what do they want from us right now?”

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GM

 

Lady Horus and Mister Strix both moved swiftly, whether to the ceiling or to shut windows and doors. The black liquid seemed to continue seeping into the somewhat small room. The closed windows and doors did indeed seem to stop it, at least as far as they could see, but they were now faced with another problem: The ink kept pouring into the room, seemingly never ending. The hole that Lady Horus had punched through the floor were simply filled to overflowing. How would they escape? At least the flow of the ink seemed to slow somewhat, even if the level kept rising.

 

Doctor Thorne, Wadjet and Ronin were met with their own problems on the floor above. The black liquid seemed to notice them, and even as it poured into the hole in the floor, it moved towards the trio. Not exactly as fast as it had moved before, but still fast, and it seemed that the fallen books was creating an unending supply.

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Ronin

 

"Thats not good, is it?" asked Ronin, rather redundantly, backing off. Give him a bomb, a solier, or a master of preying mantis king fu, and he would know what to do. 

 

He held his street special tightly. But he didn't think bullets, even the modified non-lethal kinetic catridges that the Street Special held, would do much against a liquid. Might cause ripples. 

 

The books however....

 

He flipped a switch on the street special, changing the firing barrel into an ignition chamber. The Dragons breath. The ammunition would explode in fiery light. 

 

"What do we do... burn the books? I mean, I like a good read, but seems to me the books are feeding this thing...."

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"Lo, a thought comes to me," said Lady Horus as she flew above the hole she'd knocked in the ground. "Good revenant, shield thine eyes from the ancient glory of Ra," she warned Mr. Strix before she braced herself against the ceiling prone and raised her ankh before her like a teenager repelling a vampire. 

 

She took a deep breath, trying not to think about how silly she felt - and then she boomed in a voice like a god made flesh. "BY THE POWER OF RA!" Her ankh glowed suddenly with a brilliant golden flare of pure solar energy, one that blasted down into the heart of the inky lagoon rapidly rising up from the hole she'd blasted in the floor. She continued chanting as she called upon the power of the ancient gods to come to her aid, feeling heat beginning to sear her hands as she channeled the might of the Avenging Sun himself! 

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GM

 

The mighty light of Ra shone directly into the hole. The heat was intense, powerful and burning. If a hit from Lady Horus' ankh was enough to break through the floor, then a blast such as this was enough to cut through a few others. Even from the outside, the bright blast empowered by the gods themselves. Whatever ink was caught in the blast seemed to be disintegrated almost instantly. Whatever was close seemed to burn away. The ink that was just a bit away caught on fire, which quickly began to spread to the rest of the ink on the floor below. 

 

It would only be a matter of time before everyone outside would start to notice the fire.

 

The ink oozing from the books moved faster, now, as it seemed the control of the flaming ink was either fading or abandoned all together. It was moving straight towards Dr. Thorne and Ronin.

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Ronin

 

"Fire, eh?"

 

He didn't think he had nearly enough ammunition. But Ronin could possibly buy them some time. 

 

He turned from left to right, firing three rounds of the Dragon's Breath. The shells exploded in fire and light. 

 

"Doc, I hope you got something hotter at your finger tips" he said to Doctor Thorne. "I don't fancy spendin' an eternity swallowed up by some black ass Ink!"

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"No, that's the divine light of Amun-Ra. This is fire," said Wadjet, firing a shot from her paintball gun into the swirling, burning mass of ink. Her neck was burning too, around the place where she'd gotten her mark, and the voice in her head that was screaming that this was all madness was also coldly calculating that she had ink under skin and that was some sort of animate ink creature so maybe like would call to like and the thing that was the symbol of her liberation was about to make her bleed out on the floor right here in front of everybody. Shock usually took her this way. It was better than curling up into a ball and screaming. More productive, anyway. 

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Doctor Thorne

“Best not touch the books, in case...” her warning came a little to late as they were caught in fire and light.

 

Well, time for a new plan she guessed the ink seemed to be acting as a singular entity so it should be able to handled as one. That meant she should be able to hold it in place...

 

“I have an idea that will work. When I tell you drive it back towards the hole, until then don’t let it touch you at all.”

 

Rushing down the stairs she made a few quick calculations before getting out a piece of chalk, which she carried for just such occasions she began to draw and holding circle around the area below the holes in the floor.

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I don't know what to do. There's nothing I can do to destroy the possessed ink. Probably not even anything I can do to contain it...well, not all of it. But if Thorne and Horus are going to figure out a way to stop it, they'll probably need a sample to experiment on.

 

Mister Strix's eyes glanced rapidly around the room he had found himself lurking in. Luckily, it appeared to be a store room. He spied some decorative glass boxes with hinged lids.

 

Not perfect, maybe not even water-tight, but it'll have to do.

 

He dropped down to the ground, without a sound as always, grabbed one of the glass boxes, emptied the candy onto the floor, and used it to catch some of the ink dripping down from the hole in the floor of the room above him. He slammed the lid shut quickly, and struggled to find the balance between keeping it clamped shut with his superhuman strength while not also crushing the flimsy glass box between his hands.

 

"I GOT A SAMPLE!" he shouted to the others above him. "DO YOU NEED HELP EVACUATING?!"

 

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GM

 

The fire spread through the ink now, rapidly, far faster than before. Its aimed movements were starting to fade all. Mr. Strix had but seconds to gather the glass box before the ink in his room began to burn. The fire was spreading fire than should be possible. So fast, so hot. Such bright fire, all around him now, and further, lower, falling into the hole. The rest of the burning ink from the top room seemed to be falling down below, through the hole now, but that did not mean that everything was not burning all around the heroes.

 

And exactly below, Doctor Thorne managed to finish her circle on the floor, directly below the holes above, pooling above. Would her magic hold? Could she contain the ink? She could feel the heat from above, and all that was needed now was for the burning ink to fall into her trip.

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Lady Horus and Wadjet had a problem, and the problem was the building was catching on fire. "Fly, you fool!" Lady Horus yelled at Wadjet, knowing that her sidekick wouldn't hesitate to save herself but wanted to make sure she wouldn't linger to save her. With Wadjet's retreat towards one of the building's fire stairs, that left Lady Horus to deal with the problem she'd created. Unbidden images of times past came into Anna's mind as she raised her hand, blocking the nigh-infernal heat from the burning ink below as she flew cautiously a few steps closer. Think. Think. Powers of a sun god...geez, where's Sekhmet when I need her. Where's...It suddenly occurred to her that the vampire guy hadn't come upstairs yet and he was still down there in the fire! 

 

Well, jeez, Anna Cline didn't leave a man behind to take the heat for her unless he was a jerk, and the Strix guy had been all right. So Lady Horus disappeared through the hole in the floor and dug around for the vampire man. "Ho!" she declared as she grabbed him about the waist and hauled him up. "The Sunhawk has you!

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