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Lone Star

Something Eldritch This Way Comes [IC]

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Monday, February 28th. Parkhurst Hotel.

Blake Salazar was approaching the Parkhurst Hotel, a backpack full of mystic books over his shoulder. A gentle breeze stirs his hair, which has grown wild and tangled. He is trudging up the path to the Parkhurst Hotel, his shoes almost getting stuck in the mud. Still, Blake moves on, his heart beating a little faster than usual. Although they were happy to have him be a part of their family back then, he wasn't sure if they would take him back now. Not that it was his fault that he got his powers back, but to show up without prior notice may not have been the smartest choice. Although he did try to call, his cell phone lost reception a long while back.

He was wearing a leather jacket, and a plain T-shirt of forest green. He grunted as the heavy backpack thumped against his shoulder blades. It was his intention to give the books to the residents of the Parkhurst as a gift. Inwardly cursing, Blake moved on. Why Blake didn't simply teleport there was a matter of manners. To teleport into the Parkhurst would surely set off an alarm of some sort, and that would hardly be a good way to see his friends again. A short bus ride and about fifteen minutes of walking wasn't a big inconvenience to the eldritch boy wonder.

Finally, he rounded a corner and saw the hotel a few yards away. Breathing a sigh of relief, Blake walked a little faster, his sneakers crunching on the grass. He was back with his friends again! He broke into a light jog and was at the front door. Taking just a moment to hesitate, Blake knocked on the door.

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The face on the screen was a little startling, not because of any effect the tv had on the small screen, but because it was the pale ghostly face of Joe leaning in with a message,

"We've got a visitor, he's"

Etain put a finger to her lips and did a low shhh sound, but smiled and paused the movie with a press of the button as she gently slid off the bed. Eve still lay on the bed previously next to her, nothing really was happening, they were just lying there, cuddled up to each other while watching a movie. At some point Eve had fallen asleep, and Etain did her best to move quietly from the petite gymnist's side while not making any noiseg. This was a fairly impressive feat considering the long skirt and long sleeved blouse she was currently wearing. It may of helped that she wasn't wearing shoes, her usual sneakers set aside so out of place with her normal apparel but never seen under her long skirt. She slipped them on quietly and put her fingers to her lips as she looked at Joe and moved towards the door. When she got out to the hallway she saw Millie moving down the hall and gave her a similiar sigh and and more gestures then words asked to pass on the quietness for the top floor to the other ghostly residents in hope that Eve would maintain her peaceful slumber.

Moving down the stairs quietly but readily she didn't want to keep the guest waiting. It was likely someone familiar, the ghosts would of been more alert to a stranger, Arcturus perhaps, she had not seen him in some time but she knew he was still at Claremont. Walking to the door she gave the handle a tug without realizing and the door as always swung open automatically as custom banging into the wall. She watched it go and said,

"We really need to fix th..."

She turned her gaze towards the person at the door and caught but a glimpse, but it was enough. Her eyes darkened and she nearly screamed as the insanity was shut out from her mind. It didn't stop her from moving, she grabbed into the umbrella stand and pulled out it's lone occupant and in a quick motion well practiced and very familiar she twisted the sheath of the flowery umbrella revealing the small silver blade and lunged forward at the creature of insanity that had somehow pushed past the defenses. Her eyes were distant and blind as she moved forward and her face twisted in a silent rage as she tried to cut into it.

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Blake almost smiled as Etain opened the door, but he saw the blind fury in her eyes and the sword in her hand, and he leapt back as its blade came towards him. "Woah holy crap-!" he had time to shout as he instinctively activated his strange mystic powers. Dual flames appeared on his hand- eldritch fire not burning his skin or clothing. "Etain! It's Blake Salazar, Warlock remember? So uh...I got some new powers, and don't try and kill me or anything, but they're kind of not from a totally kosher magic source. But it's totally me, Warlock, and also don't kill me."

Taking a few more steps back off the porch in case she lunged at him again, Blake found his fists raised like a boxer preparing to block a punch. "Okay? I understand that I should have called ahead. Nice to see you too." he added with a slight grin. "Now can you put the sword down?

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Etain really didn't listen as she adjusted her stance,

""

She yelled it in Latin, out of habit and not any real care if whatever it was in front of her understood what she was saying. The intention was there as she lunged forward she promptly, disappeared completely. The russle of her skirt couldn't be heard, her breathing or the swish of air. There was no swordswoman there, or sense of a swordswoman there, except when the pain indicated that this was so. A cut appeared on Blake, running up the shoulder blade. Though it's source could not be found in the swiftness of it all, it was very real and the blood began to drip as the invisible swordswoman began to switch into another attack against the person she couldn't see, or at the moment understand was in fact someone whom she had talked and explored the place long ago for her fear of the thing she could not see, or quantify because madness would strike her if she were to try, the fear that this was something imitating and trying to attack the home of the ghosts may be forced into the bidding of something horrible and dark once more would come happen as well as well as the fear that the girl she cherished in the room above may be taken by the creature of insanity like so many were taken before the previous year on that horrible day.

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Blake screamed in sudden pain as the sword slashed up his shoulder blade. Okay, now he meant business. Throwing the books aside, he got firm grounding and said the magic words that would give him his weird mystic form.

"Cthulhu fthagn!"

A wash of green mystic flame coated his body, and scales erupted over his body. "I don't want to have to do this, Etain. But you're not exactly giving me a choice." His costume, light grey robes with the Elder Sign in the middle, flowed in the wind. Not taking a single moment to hesitate, he summoned twin spheres of mystic flame and started to fire behind him, hoping to hit Etain by some random chance. The green fire lit up the air as it streaked forward. His breath was hot in his throat, not knowing where the next attack would come from.

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Parkhurst had been seeing a lot of activity over the past year, with numerous superheroes (both experienced and new) coming and going at all hours. Some met up regularly to discuss weighty matters, while others were barely aware of each other, only catching glimpses (if even that) in hallways.

Dead Head tended to fall in the middle of that spectrum -- he was often available for a chat, but rarely stayed long, always running off to assist some poor soul or other. Most every visitor or inhabitant at least knew of him, if from nothing else than the chatter among Parkhurst's ghostly tenants.

When Blake Salazar had arrived, Dead Head was out back, helping with some of the yardwork Joe Delmundio (the construction worker who'd been murdered while Parkhurst was being built) had left undone. Joe, yer a great worker, but a lousy landscaper. He'd just finished turning over some compost with his shovel; he wiped his hands on his overalls and adjusted his broad-rimmed straw hat when he heard the fight break out at the front door.

He sprinted to the front door, shovel at the ready, just in time to see the green eldritch flames wash over Salazar's form and transmogrify him into Kid Cthulhu. ... Blake? I thought he got rid of- "Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hold up! Put y'all's swords an' tentacles down!" the revenant called out, diving to interpose himself between KC and Changeling's blade.

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Corbin Hughes knew Blake had planned on coming to Parkhurst today; he'd even offered to give his friend a ride, but the other boy said something about "having to do it himself". Corbin took it as a sign of Blake's new more serious outlook on things. So he'd driven himself and, failing finding another parking spot, was driving up the lane slowly (the gates had opened without visible assistance, though he had some suspicions considering what Blake had said about the place) when he saw Blake walk up to the door. He grinned and shook his head, finally parking a little ways down the lane and getting out of his car.

In the time it took him to lock the door and turn back around, Blake had blood running from his shoulder right before he transformed and started blasting the lawn. Corbin swore in Hebrew as he shoved his keys in his pocket and started sprinting up the lawn, his huge frame easily assuming a runner's posture.

For the couple of seconds it took for him to realize he could still fly, that is.

Then there was a flash of blue fire and Cobalt Templar was making an extended hop through the air, landing right beside Kid Cthulu as Dead Head dove into the fray.

"Blake! Cut it out! Right now!"

His voice distorted, and his form started to shift a bit as fire built up around him...

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Into the midst of the chaos, a black coated figure came walking down the stairs, nose buried in a book. His mouth opened in a jaw-cracking yawn as Morgan finished a paragraph - he'd been up late working on the same treatise for Latin class. He'd taken just about all he could take from that class - this time, this time he wasn't going to bollix it. Now, if he could just get his prefixes and suffixes where they were supposed to be...

His mental permutations on the pernicious language were suddenly ground to an earsplitting halt as he saw the tableau before him, through the large double-doors. Etain with a sword out, attacking...was that Blake? Who was transforming into something a little less hideous than a Fomorian. Cobalt Templar was in the air trying to stop her, Dead Head was jumping in between. Why was she attacking him? What the heck happened to Blake? What was-

Damnit, stop staring and move!

The book hit the floor.

A voice very familiar to Etain came roaring across the hall and out the door, followed by a sprinting figure. One she'd heard frequently in the Doom Room, during training sessions; this time calling an ancient oath. Morgan Crowe's tone was strong, implacable, and most importantly, loud - the battlefield voice he took when the Irregulars were on the field.

"ETAIN MAHER! By the Cauldron, the Sword, the Spear and the Stone! Hold yourself!"

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Dead Head nearly fell prone as he'd dove in to shield Kid Cthulhu from Changeling's sword, but managed to catch himself. He stumbled a bit as he regained his balance, then saw the other two heroes arriving on the scene.

Whoa, Crow and... uh... Ring-Kid... what's his name... runs 'round with Wander an' them... Cody... Colby... Cobalt!

The revenant looked over the gathering of teens, giving an extra-long "we're gonna talk later" look at Blake, and shook his head. "Y'all behave yerselves," he said as he walked off back to the rear of the hotel, "an' keep it down -- y'all're liable to wake the dead!"

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Blake turned around, and saw all of his friends. Dead Head had taken the hit for him, and he patted the revenant on the shoulder. "Thanks, Dead Head. I think there's just been a misunderstanding."

"Hey Corbin, hey Crow. I think Etain and I have a few things to talk about." he said, breathing heavily. This was certainly not the welcome he expected, although he was nearly certain there was something going on he wasn't understanding. He probably should have called ahead, to be fair. Blake wiped sweat off of his green forehead, and muttered the words that transformed him back into Blake.

"Etain, want to head inside? I think there's a few things I need to tell you. One of them being, uh. I have eldritch superpowers."

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The last ten seconds was hard to explain, she felt her hit, into to the skin, grazing at best but a hit. She then heard a langauge she didn't understand and smelled the scent of brimstone as the fire pushed past her. Then she heard voices, several, all saying different things, mostly to stop. That this should stop. She didn't know why, but she did. She stood still and unseen and heard footsteps and yelling, and the voices. It was several seconds but she then made a decision.

Etain appeared in front of Blake and Dead Head, the sword gripped in her hand, she was still in her stance, still ready to attack if nessicary. Her eyes were distant and unfocused, but she recognized the voices, Morgan, and Corbin, and even the one of someone she had seen long ago that didn't fit what he described. Something was wrong. She kept her stance, but she said in Latin just on reflex,

"

She tried to look around, but her eyes couldn't find anything, and every time it seemed a light was coming she only glanced at Blake and they dimmed, unseeing, and unable to comprehend, but she switched languages when she spoke again,

"Where is everyone?"

In english, the shake was more present as was the accent, though her long and thorough phrasing was absent, she just wanted an answer.

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It wasn't the commotion that woke Eve, though she certainly heard it as she left dreamland behind, rather it was the absence of the girl who was next to her. Etain's comforting presence--something which enabled the telepath to fully relax--with the quiet intimacy of the setting had combined in such a way that Eve drifting off was a certainty, as was her waking now that Etain was absent and the tranquility of the day was shattered.

Eve was moving before she was fully aware, fully awake, the padded footfalls of her stockinged feet making little noise as she hurried. She heard Etain's shout now, in Latin a portion of her mind told her as it translated and the last vestige of sleepiness vanished. She also heard other sounds, bursts of flame, combat noises. Cold clarity settled in as the acrobatic vaulted down to the ground level, skipping the staircase entirely, a blade of psychic energy forming in her hand when she landed. Later Eve will remember that she hit the ground near someone she recognized--at least in passing--from school.

The petite gymnast skidded to a halt just outside the entry to the re-purposed hotel and hesitated. She recognized Corbin as well as Kid Cthulhu, and suddenly felt a little silly standing there in her socks, hair disheveled, with her weapon drawn. "" Eve said in French, calling out to the illusionist, "

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Blake stood there, trying to catch his breath. He nodded again to his friends. At least he knew his friends would defend him if...one of his other friends tried to kill him. The mystic tomes were still sitting on the ground, and he picked them up, dusting them off. When he looked up, he saw Eve, the telepathic girl he had met a while back. He gave her a smile, and waved.

"One hell of a welcome wagon, huh? Mind telling me what exactly's going on?"

Thanks to Dead Head's quick thinking, Blake was unharmed, but he was still a little shaken. What exactly had gotten into Etain. Oh, right. He shouldered the books, and started to head towards the entranceway, being sure to keep alert in case Etain still percieved him as a threat.

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Morgan just shook his head, breathing a sigh of relief. Etain had spoke well of the girl at her shoulder - ditto with John; hopefully they'd be fine. And Blake was back to being...well, Blake. Except with fewer tentacles.

...Mental note, ask him about that one of these days...

He shrugged, then turned on his heel, vanishing from his spot by the door. One moment he was picking up the book, the next he was walking down the corridor to the kitchens, calling back over his shoulder.

"Yo, Corbin! Give another shout if all heck breaks loose again."

Back to Latin...and leftover pizza.

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Corbin stood for several moments, still not sure if Etain was actually going to leave his friend be. When it was clear she wasn't going to attack, at least not immediately, he relaxed his stance, eventually letting his costume fade as well. His face was still etched deeply with a frown, and he made sure to keep his body between Etain and his best friend.

"Yeah, sure Morgan. If something comes up I can't handle I'll holler."

His tone indicted he didn't foresee that happening. At any rate, Blake seemed to have the books well in hand, so Corbin elected to simply follow his friend, keeping as much attention as possible on Etain.

"Yes, an explanation for why you attacked a friend with naked steel would be most welcome."

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Etain blinked as she turned towards Eve's then Corbin's voice. She still wasn't looking at them, her eyes were more in their area and unfocused. She lowered her sword and reached out around, it took her a few seconds to find her, but Etain clung with one hand to Eve for support while still clutching the sword in one hand her knuckles white as it gripped it. She turned but still didn't lock onto any other persons exactly location. She spoke in Latin, not her usual tactic, but she knew Corbin and Eve would understand and those who were unfamiliar may not.

""

She kept her sword raised but did not make a motion to swing it,

""

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Blake shook his head. There were a lot of things he still didn't understand. "Again, Etain. It's me. Blake Salazar. The Artist Previously Known As Warlock. Remember me?" His voice was more than a little angry. He wanted an explanation, and he wanted one very soon, or he'd have to find another place to hang out.

He turned to his friend Corbin. "Hey, buddy. So, what exactly is she saying?"

Pausing for a moment, he decided to stand next to Corbin. He had a feeling she wouldn't attack him.

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Eve slipped one arm around Etain, holding the taller girl close to give her a sense of comfort and familiarity, while at the same time placing herself bodily between her girlfriend and the two young men. That she was concerned for Etain was evident on the white-haired teens face; that she was getting upset and impatient with Corbin's badgering tone was also evident. She turned her gaze to look at Corbin, her green eyes flaring as she opened her mouth to speak.

She closed it without saying anything, took a deep breath and made a visible effort to calm herself before trying again. "She's obviously distressed Corbin, leave off your badgering for a moment," Eve said in her French accented soprano. Turning back to Etain, Eve kept her voice low and level, "I am here, Etain. As is Corbin and Kid Cth--Blake."

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Corbin didn't even flinch under the telepath's glare. His own glare had reduced to a few dying embers, but he was clearly not going to casually forget what happened. Instead, he turned a bit as they walked into the house, his gaze mostly forward but keeping an eye on the two girls.

"She said there's "insanity" and she can't actually let herself see it, or it might "overtake" her. Then she asked who was still here, but we've already answered all of that."

He was silent for a moment before giving a slight grin.

"I'd have thought you'd be keeping up a bit on your Latin. You know, for wizard-y things."

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Blake grinned for a moment, then gave Corbin a huge hug, wrapping his skinny arms around Corbin's frame. "Thank you. It meant a lot, you standing up for me, man." He let him go, looking shy for a moment. "Heh. Well. Latin and me never got along, not completely anyway. I took a few lessons at Claremont, but I never got the hang of it. Even when I was Warlock, I just read off enchantments from books. Lots of damn instructions, those things have. It's worse than assembling an IKEA futon." he said, scratching the back of his head.

"So I guess there was something about Etain that I didn't know. Should I...leave or something? It's not that I don't feel welcome or anything, but I'd hardly want to make Etain uncomfortable. It seems like she saw the source of my mystic powers, and wigged out. I can't blame her." he said, bowing his head a little. "To be fair, it's pretty bad mojo."

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Etain didn't object to being led away by Eve. They moved upstairs to the room, but she still felt bad. After inquiring about a webcam Eve rather quickly had one delivered by Renald, who apparently took longer finding Parkhurst then obtaining two webcam ready laptops with Skype. If it weren't a nessicity for speaking in this particular instance Etain may of asked about the price and ways to pay Eve back, however she doubted the other girl even thought about that sort of thing, given how Etain had earlier had to dissaude her from purchasing her a motor vehicle much like the one she drives if only because Etain lacks a lincinse.

Renald delivered the webcam to Corbin and Blake and Etain set up in her bedroom, which connected to the other one fairly quickly. When the picture became clear, Etain looked rather sheepish on her queen size bed with Eve at her side as she spoke through the small microphone and was able to see Blake for the first time,

"Yes, hello, can you hear me?"

Her voice was a little hesitant,

"And further more, could you speak as well, and possibly explain a little better. I was a bit paniked as you saw before, I thought, I thought what had happened the previous summer had happened once more. It scared me quite a bit."

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Blake took the laptop, and set it up in the kitchen, where he sat in the breakfast nook. It was good that he at least had a chance to explain himself. Blake tried to look as non-threatening as possible, and he was leaning back in the chair a little bit as he gave her a affable smile. A small sigh escaped his lips as he recalled the events of his "Cthulhufication".

"It's probably best to start from the top, Etain. My parents were both artists. They were fairly famous, I guess, but they did a lot of radical work; performance art and all that. They sometimes dabbled in the occult. My parents were also pretty big on drinking...and my mom died from alcohol poisoning when I was ten." He scratched the back of his head, and looked away from the camera for a moment. "My dad died shortly after. But anyway, I inherited this and that from them, and one of those things was a genuine copy of the Necronomicon. I, being a young lad, decided to try it out. Curiosity kills the cat, I suppose. I managed to summon a bit of The Unspeakable One, and it changed my form into...something terrible. With this in mind, I decided to make the best of it by fighting crime, and I joined the Claremont Academy. After an encounter with Chevalier, I lost my pseudonatural powers, and briefly became Warlock- which is when you met me."

He took a deep breath, and smiled at Etain. "But. After that event with the Deep Ones, my powers were restored. And so, I'm Kid Cthulhu once again."

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Etain absorbed the story not interupting once, just looking thoughtful at his conclusion,

"Well this is, understandable. I have not seen you since before, though some forwarning would of been useful. Though I guess you would not of known how I would react, so I would like to properly explain."

She quietly sighed,

"There are several practioners of the arcane who can sense magic, it feels more like intuition then say a physical sense to them. I am different in this respect,"

Taking a gloved hand she tapped the side of her head by her eyes,

"I see magic, always, clearly and vividly, there is very few things that can be hidden from my sights, and even those leaves stains. When I saw you, I saw the stain the magic left on you, that magic, no one should see it and remain sane, so I did not see it, or anything else and that scares me immensely. The same thing happened with the deep ones, I saw them from the window but even at a distance they blocked out my sight."

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Blake nodded, now completely realizing what had happened.

"Well, that is true. I probably should have called ahead, in retrospect. Although a lot of people know me as the Eldritch Boy Wonder, my...appearance can be a bit unusual. So, I hope that we can put this all behind us. I understand why you responded to me aggressively, and I hope you understand that I was only attacking back in self-defense. So! Etain. With all of that said and done, I offer you a virtual hug." Blake smiled widely, and spread his arms, wrapping them around the laptop.

"Although we will have to know when the other one is in the house. I'm nearly certain that we won't be able to fight crime together, but that's alright. I'll be sure to call ahead or at least let someone know if I'm going to be showing up. His face fell a litle bit when he mentioned they wouldn't be able to fight together. He liked Etain quite a bit, but if that was what had to happen, that was it.

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Corbin had raised an eyebrow at the webcam setup, but it seemed to be working. He tried not to wander off and just explore the house (Blake could give him the tour later). So he just stood to one side as Blake talked things out with Eve, shifting a bit now and again as he started to feel a bit uncomfortable.

Seeing magic? Getting blinded? Odd stuff. Sure his ring was magical in nature, but...Maybe this would be a good reason to make himself more educated in the matter.

He was also frustrated at Eve. Yes Etain was her girlfriend, but she seemed to act like it was Blake and Corbin who had done wrong. Maybe Blake shouldn't have started shooting and asking questions at the same time, but Corbin had been about to intervene, at least until a motley crew of residents sprang onto the scene to help defuse it. The two of them had butted heads a few times already this school year.

'Maybe it's best we won't be going the same direction post graduation. Eve's good people, but I think we're both too much of Type A personalities. Without Trevor and Erin's good influences on us, or Mark to lighten the mood. This year hasn't been a disaster, but it's like we're barely a team any more...'

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