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Saturday, May 18, 2019
Bayview Heights
9:53 PM

 

Miracle Girl

 

It was quite a warm evening, considering it still was the middle of May. Which was a good thing, because the outfit that Casey was wearing wasn't exactly winterwear. Sure, her powers meant that even if it came down to it, the cold wouldn't be too bad, but the warmth was appreciated nevertheless. It wasn't her own outfit.

 

One of the other girls in her sorority had gotten an invitation to an "exclusive party" up at Bayview Heights, and had decided to bring-slash-force Casey along with her. The invitation, quite a fancy letter, specified goth outfits, but fortunately, her housemate could provide one of those. And so the two of them made their way up Bayview, having been dropped off by a friend who was visiting her boyfriend who lived nearby.

 

The party was held in one of the mansions that dotted the area. As Casey and her friend approached, it was quite apparent which mansion. Although officially the party only started at 10, it seemed that quite a few people had arrived earlier, as faint music could be heard (even with just human hearing), and through the windows, one could spot the changing colours of lights, synced with the music.

 

The gate to the driveway stood open, and on it, a few people were chatting amongst themselves – all dressed in goth style clothes as the invitation had specified. Up by the door, the doorman stood, staring into the distance blankly.

 

 

Dead Head

 

Burt had been tracking this particular case for a few weeks now. It was quite a peculiar one – he'd essentially stumbled across it on accident, it was different from what he'd seen in his long career, yet most of its individual aspects seemed familiar. The latent magical energy that was just part of living in Freedom nowadays – especially ever since the last Invasion – showed more disturbances than usual. And the fact that cemeteries were involved in a lot of them meant that this was firmly in Burt's domain.  

 

But finally, he'd found a solid lead. It was more of a hunch, really. But it was a hunch that seemed about right, because energy was gathering in one place, streaming in from all over Freedom and even beyond. It was subtle, and Burt probably wouldn't have noticed it had he not visited a few cemeteries right after one-another on a patrol, but something was here.

 

Inside this manor, which seemed to be hosting some kind of party. Was it related to what he was investigating? Perhaps.

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"I don't know how you talk me into these things," Casey muttered to her fellow Pi Darlene Lampwick as they approached the front gate on precarious heels. Both had used their considerable sorority costume skills to assemble proper gothwear (yes, a pilgrimage to Hot Topic was involved) and now looked like what suburban girls thought was 'morbid chic'. Darlene's costume was much more daring, and probably involved ordering from an online fetish store with Daddy's credit card; Casey's dad would wring her neck if she pulled that stunt, but Dar had hers wrapped around her finger. Casey had forgone the spiked dog collar, fishnets and latex route of her sorority sister, and instead focused on black nail polish, eyeshadow and lipstick, lots of pale make-up and more black lace than you'd find in Stevie Nicks' closet. The two things they'd agreed upon were corsets and four inch heels, and Casey felt a certain amount of pity for Darlene, who didn't have the advantage of superpowers to move comfortably in something so ridiculous. 

 

"We are goin' to have a blast," assured Darlene as she (ahem) adjusted her corset; looking over to Casey, who'd employed black lace a bit like camouflage netting, the Southern blonde scoffed as she indicated the heroine's outfit. "Look at you; you can't see the hills for the trees!"

 

"That's the idea," the blonde powerhouse said with a smirk; as always, an oversized bag over one shoulder held her costume, just in case. They made their way up the driveway, with Casey using occasional boosts of flight for stability, heading for the front door.

Edited by Heritage

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"Well, well, well, this is an interestin' development," a shadow-wrapped figure across the street muttered, seemingly to himself.  "Looks like th' trail leads to some kinda party.  An' I know better'n most what a pow'rful bad combination mystical energies an' partyin' college kids can be."

 

~Ruff~ a friendly voice barked in his mind.

 

"Rough indeed, A Mutt ol' pal, rough indeed."  The Revoltin' Revenant stroked his chin in thought, "an' rougher still, figurin' out how t'get in.  You got it easy, " he remarked, glancing down at his incorporeal, invisible spirit dog, "a handsome mutt like you can get in anywhere.  But me..."

 

He paused, watching the slow but steady stream of young adults in Goth attire enter the foreboding manor.  "Hrm. This might not be that difficult, if'n I can play my cards right.  I mean, I can still pass fer early 20s, yeah?"

 

A Mutt cocked his head quizzically.  ~Ruff?~

Edited by Dr Archeville

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Miracle Girl

 

As the two Pis made their way up the driveway, they didn't receive much attention. One or two of the people who were out here chatting and, in most cases, smoking, may have given them a short glance, but that seemed to be the most of it.

 

The doorman didn't seem to notice them at first, still staring off into the distance with what could only be described as a thousand-yard stare. He was dressed in all black – a dress shirt, well-fitting slacks and long black hair to match. The corpse-paint on his face made him look like a third-rate metal act. It was only when Darlene snapped her fingers that the doorman snapped out of his …well, almost trance, and actually looked at the two women. Almost immediately, he had a huge grin on his face, as he spoke slowly.

 

"Ah yes, you are here for the party I take it. The invitations arrived then, … good."

 

He opened the door, still with a huge grin on his face. Casey could notice an accent in what he was saying – European probably, but she wasn't entirely sure where from. As the door opened, some smoke streamed out along the floor. The smoke machines were clearly working at full blast. The room looked about as Casey had expected. Everywhere, people dressed in black, sometimes more simple, sometimes very extravagantly, were dancing to the music -  a heavy dance beat. An impromptu bar was set up towards one side.

 

As the two Pis stepped into the room, and the atmosphere and the sound rolled over them, the doorman closed the door behind them.

 

 

Dead Head

 

Burt managed to find a pretty nice spot to observe the driveway from. It was far enough away that he wasn't immediately visible and could blend into the darkness between streetlights, but still close enough that he could keep an eye out on what was happening. Not that a lot was, for that matter.

 

Every few minutes a small group of people – sometimes three, sometimes five, occasionally just a single person – walked up to the doorman, who seemed to be in some sort of trance he had to be snapped out of every time and entered the building. The solid wall (this was a mansion after all), which surrounded the lot seemed to be quite well maintained, only a few places looking like they're crumbling slightly. It reached to about elbows, although some bushes and trees were close to it in the garden, which made it hard to observe over it.

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Dead Head gave the scene a last quick look, waiting for a large group of party-goers.  Ideally, ones that had already started drinking, and so wouldn't immediately notice -- or, at least, not immediately object to -- another body joining them.  "If'n I'm gonna pass as another college kid, it'll be easier t'do with a group.  An' as fer you," he looked down to the empty-seeming space beside him, "you can g'on ahead an' trot through the wall there," he pointed to a spot about 30 feet from the gate, "an' scout 'round the yard. We'll meet up when I get through, an' enter th' house together. Sound good?"

 

~Boof~ 

 

"I know, I know," he replied, "I'm not gonna try to scare anyone. Not yet, at least."

 

At that moment, a group of five partygoers rounded the corner, heading for the gate. Dead Head stood, brushed off his clothes -- black leather jacket over a one-size-too-small white tee shirt, worn but mostly intact blue jeans, and a pair of very well-worn black Doc Martens -- and sauntered out to join the group. 

Edited by Dr Archeville

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"Ohhhhh God," Casey groaned; this was as close to cursing as got since coming to FCU. The scene was not to her liking, and something about the doorman really unnerved her. Darlene had more at stake here, as the party was her idea, but she wasn't about to admit defeat.

 

"Okay, I admit it looks a little...gross, but we just got here. Let's get a few drinks and mingle."

 

"Fine."

 

Drinking was a complex issue for Casey; due to having missed a year in middle school die to her skiing accident, she was now old enough to legally drink, though it rarely had any effect on her due to her enhanced physiology. However, some of her sisters drank, a few of whom were underage. At first, she'd preached abstinence, which went over like a lead balloon. Casey finally decided she could not prevent her sisters from drinking without physically restraining them or losing their respect, so instead she took on a sort of 'designated driver' role; she's drink with her sisters (sometimes acting a little tipsy), and then be there for them if they needed help. More than once she'd rescued one of her friends from peril without their even noticing; a subtle use of power was often more effective than brute strength.

 

Both girls moved over towards the bar, one with glee, the other with dread. "Hi," said Casey with a cheeful smile that was 75% fake. "What do you have?"

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Miracle Girl

 

Getting to the bar wasn't too difficult at the moment, but it was very obvious to Casey that the moment that this place filled up (which it most likely would considering the party had only just officially started), moving around the room would become more and more complicated. The heels didn't help with that part, either.

 

The bar was an actual, built-in bar that was part of how this Mansion was furnished, separating the kitchen area from the living room that the party was taking place in. A few other people stood at the bar and chatted amongst one another as the two sisters approached. The barman was bald, probably in his early 30s, and sporting a sculpted brown beard, his red-and-black t-shirt being quite a contrast to the fancier outfits of just about everybody else in the room. He looked at Casey's face for a moment, perhaps trying to figure out something, then replied with a quite upbeat tone, that still had something slightly sinister about it. And it probably wasn't the accent, which sounded similar to that of the doorman.

 

"Welcome, ladies! I can offer you just about anything you would expect from a party like this. We've got some gin, whiskey, rum, various mixers and a fair selection of vodka. I can also offer you the usual non-alcoholic drinks and snacks."

 

As he was talking, a woman walked towards the two sisters, having broken off from a small group that had been talking amongst themselves previously. She was quite tall, with her hair in a long blonde ponytail. Her outfit was fairly similar to that of Darlene, just perhaps slightly more revealing, and her eyes were accented by what either was a makeup-accident or a deliberately large amount of black highlighting around her eyes.

 

"So, what brings to girls like you to a place like this?"

 

Before either sister had a chance to respond, the woman quickly addressed the bartender.

 

"Their first order's on me."

 

 

Dead Head

 

"Oh, you're clearly heading to the same party, right? Follow us then. " The group didn't seem to mind to much, before Burt had even said a word. And judging by the volume of their speaking, their movement and so on, they hadn't been sober for a while now. As the group waited in the queue for the groups in front of them to get let into the mansion, they talked amongst themselves about the party (cool, a bit weird, hopefully fun) and one of them, a woman who probably was in her early 20s, turned towards Burt.

 

"Your makeup is really cool, you're gonna have to tell me how you managed all of that. I'm Jenny, by the way."

 

She held out her hand – and probably did her best to keep it steady, which seemed to work somewhat.

 

At the same point, everybody began to take a few steps forward, as the Doorman now began to speak with the rest of the group. He spoke with a deep and slow voice, before waving the group inside.

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"Thanks, folks," he replied cheerily, "seems I lost my own group.  They must've gone inside already -- I'm sure I'll meet 'em once I get in.  Pleased t'metcha Jenny," he took her hand in both of his so hers wouldn't shake too much, "name's Burt.  Aw, this?"  He removed one hand from hers and fanned his face, "'t'ain't nothin' special -- got it at a party much like this'un!  Cost an arm an' a leg, though, an' as good as it looks," he grasped her hand with both of his again, and spoke in a stage whisper, "I honestly cain't recommend it.  But, hey," his voice ramped up again, "yer outfit's great!  All'a y'all's!  An' I hope y'all have a really good time t'night!"

 

He eyed the doorman, looking for any signs of the supernatural forces which had drawn him here.  Hey, Mutt, he thought towards his canine companion, you make it over yet?  See anythin'?

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This was not a good scene; as much as Casey wanted to grab Darlene and drag her back to the Pi House, her professional side now felt the need to hang around and figure out if the place was just over the top or actually up to no good.

 

"A rum and Coke, please."

 

"I'll have a margarita, thank you very much. I must say, you throw one hell of a soiree; it reminds me of one of our..."

 

As Darlene activated her 'Southern socialite mode' (God, she was such a legacy!), Casey did her best to nonchalantly scan the mansion, first on the intrafred, then next the X-ray spectrum. If something was amiss, hopefully she could find it.

Edited by Heritage

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Miracle Girl

 

 

 

The barkeep nodded, and without any further words, pulled out a bottle of coke, before bending down to probably search for the rum. His movements suggested that he had a fair amount of experience, probably just not in the setup that was currently located in this kitchen.

 

 

"Oh, thank you, but I'm just a guest here, I just happen to know Tom over there…" The conversation between Darlene and the woman was just about loud enough so Casey could still hear it, even as she focused on looking around the building while not appearing to conspicuous about staring at the floor or at a wall.

 

 

As far as Infrared was concerned, Casey could not immediately pick out anything that was wrong, but not anything that was entirely right, either. The room itself was quite hot (that much she could feel herself), yet quite a few people in the crowd appeared to be rather cold, definitely on the lower end of what was healthy for a human body – if even that.

 

 

Looking around at the walls, she couldn't really make out anything out of the ordinary, either. A small amount of people seemed to be upstairs, and there seemed to be quite a large empty space – definitely a cellar – below her, but neither the X-Ray 'nor the Infravision told her much about it, it seemed to be fairly empty.

 

 

At that point, the Barkeep handed Casey and Darlene their drinks. "Enjoy."

 

 

The woman then addressed the two of them, as she handed over what appeared to be some sort of plastic token to the barkeeper. Her tone was … suggestive? Casey wasn't entirely sure how to classify it, perhaps she was just imagining something.

 

 

"So, what are your plans for tonight, then? Any expectations?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dead Head

 

 

 

In place. So far, it's a yard. Saw a squirrel in one bush, it ran away before I could get a closer look. Lots of plants around here, and whoever these people are they've clearly not heard of gardeners. Oh … I smell something!

 

 

 

  At that point, what was happening right in front of Burt played a bigger role again, which fit just nicely, because Mutt probably needed a few seconds. The line had finally cleared up, and so Burt and the others could actually enter the building.

 

 

"Oh, I've not been to a lot of these, so this is just something I threw toge-" Jenny stopped for a moment as she took in everything in the room. "…wow. This looks awesome.". The mansion's big living room had been turned into a proper dance-floor, with lights and a serious smoke machine. An energetic and rather heavy beat pretty much forced people to move along with it, and it made conversations at speaking volume a fair bit more difficult.

 

 

There was quite a crowd inside the room at this point, most of them dancing. They were all dressed fairly similarly, Burt probably wouldn't have issues fitting in. Off towards what appeared to be the kitchen area, a small bar had been set up, where three women stood and talked with each other. On the other side of the room, a few couches were arranged in a crescent shape, where some people seemed to relax. One of them, a relatively young man, had completely red hair, which made him stand out a fair bit, not that any of the people he was talking with seemed to care.

 

 

And then, Mutt replied once more. There's a hatch here, covered by lots of weeds. And Burt, it smells like blood coming from below. Actual blood.

 

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