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Summoning Shenanigans

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GM

Thursday, March 15 10:15am

Tracey Feldman glanced down and reached for the dial on her car radio as a particularly annoying song started to play. She turned the volume down, then looked up in time to see traffic screeching to a halt in front of her. Panicked, she jammed her foot down on the brake, but the wheels of her Toyota just locked up. Unable to stop, she crashed solidly into the back of a Peugeot sedan. The accident started a chain reaction in moments the mid-morning traffic in the North End district turned to gridlock behind a 6-car pileup.

As drivers climbed out of their cars to argue, yell and fuss over the damage the cause of the accident became clear. A little further down the road a white Courier's van on its side, the front section of the vehicle a smouldering ruin with tendrils of black fire still writhing around the engine bay. Hovering above the wrecked van floated a robed figure, wreathed in similar black fire. With his arms folded across his chest he surveyed the carnage impassively.

Atop the rolled van stood another robed and hooded figure. Holding the injured Courier driver by the scruff of his neck in an impressive display of strength the villain cut an imposing figure and stood with a menacing posture that seemed to dare any of the onlookers to intervene.

The back door of the van was also open and a third robed figure was inside rummaging through the the packages and boxes, obviously searching for something in particular.

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Rene leaned out of the taxi window as the horns started bellowing and the tempers started fraying. It was gridlock.

"Thankyou, Monsieur" he said to the Taxi driver, giving him his money plus a generous (but not flamboyant) tip.

"I shall walk from here" he said politely, doffing his cap "and, if things do not improve, I rather suspect you shall to!" he said with a little chuckle, before turning heel and walking towards the commotion.

"Damn my hips" he said, rubbing his side as he walked to the locus of the problem. "It's been downhill after the first two centuries, madam..." he said politely at an elderly lady who was complaining to her husband about the traffic, and who gawped at Rene.

"Damn my eyes..." he said, squinting and readjusting his spectacles. He could barely see what was going on. A robbery?

"Damn..." he concluded, setting off at a brisker pace to see what was going on.

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Despite everything Lucy still liked to take the Monorail. She just loved to be around other peoples, to listen in on all there little daily drama; it kept her active to be around people. Plus the Monorail, unlike say the bus, had wonderful views of the city. Views of grid lock were common in this part of city, but clouds of smokes less so, so it wasn’t long until people in the cabin noticed that something was happening.

She should have stayed on the monorail, but she could never resist helping people in possible trouble, so at the next stop she left and began weaving through the traffic on her way towards the trouble.

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Saeid got out of the large office building with mixed feelings. He just successfully sold a 12’ x 8’ carpet, a true masterpiece, to the newly appointed CEO of Peach Pharmaceuticals. On the other hand, the interior decorator he dealt with was a jackass and a sycophant that kept pointing out flaws in his work. A hand-woven carpet is supposed to have flaws, you jerk thought Saeid if you studied a bit, instead of focusing on butt-kissing, maybe you’d be better at your job.

With this irritated frame of mind Saeid stood on the sidewalk with the catalogue under his arm, trying to remember which way was the nearest Monorail stop – when a loud series of crashes coming from around the block filled the air.

He quickly ran towards the end of the building to see if he could be of help – and he almost bumped into an old man slowly walking behind the corner.

His eyes popped in surprise when he looked at him to apologize “Monsieur DeSa…?†he bit his tongue. He’d only met the painter while in his costumed identity “Ehrrm… I mean, are you ok, sir? I didn’t hurt you did I? I apologize, but there seems to be a large accident, I was in a hurry. I’m really sorry.†He turned back to the gridlock to see what was going on.

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GM

The situation at the wrecked van deteriorated quickly as a pair of police officers approached to investigate the cause of the accident. The robed figure standing atop the van screamed threats and abuse (in a rather young sounding, feminine voice) while shaking the injured driver like a ragdoll, but it was the flying villain who made the biggest impression, calmly immolating a (thankfully empty) car with a gout of black fire.

The police fell back quickly calling for STAR squad support while the civilian onlookers and stranded drivers abandoned the street and sidewalk, with the majority moving to a safe vantage point in the nearby Liberty park. One driver however was trapped in her Toyota sedan, not seriously injured but with her legs pinned in the crumpled footwell.

Meanwhile, a third villain continued to rummage around amongst the packages in the back of the van, tossing several out onto the road to lessen the clutter, obviously searching for something very specific.

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“Monsieur DeSa…?...

Ehrrm… I mean, are you ok, sir? I didn’t hurt you did I? I apologize, but there seems to be a large accident, I was in a hurry. I’m really sorry.†He turned back to the gridlock to see what was going on.

Rene raised his eyebrows at being recognised. He didn't actually conceal his identity as downplay it. He had acquired some fame, and more wealth, from his work as an artist. There were all sorts of stories about him being a "mage". Most where laughed off, the rest, he made sure were wildly inaccurate - describing him as nothing more than a "dabbler" in arcane arts.

The man recognised him. He did look kind of familiar...but his memory wasn't what it used to be.

"Oui, oui, I am fine Monsieur. Ze problem seems to be up ahead. A crash, and looting. Not that I can do anything about it, being a helpless old man..."

He cursed to himself. The last thing he wanted was his cover to be blown. He made no secret of it, but rushing in, blazing mystic fire and pyrotechnics was the last thing his reputation needed.

On the other hand, he could not leave people's life in danger....

He brought out his paintbrush, and put his finger to his lips, winking at Saied.

"Invisible Ink is so wonderful, do you not think, Monsieur!" he said, waving his brush in the air and painting the both of them with the marvellous stuff...

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Getting a little closer Lucy had time to take stock of the situation. And to be honest it didn’t look good, someone had to try and do something about all this, and it seemed like she was the only one available.

She pulled up a good distance and jump on top of a nearby car, making sure it was empty first.

“Hello there, I don’t suppose that there is any way you would stop what you’re all doing and surrender immediately?â€

It never worked, but it wouldn’t hurt to try. And you’d never know maybe just this once they’d give up.

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Saeid was a bit dazzled by being so suddenly turned invisible: it was a first for him. he looked in disbelief at where his arms should have been, and saw only the ground. “Oh that’s a nice trick, thanks a l…†he tried to locate Rene, but the elderly painter was nowhere to be seen. Oh, of course.

Using the concealment provided by the painter, Saeid changed into his Weaver costume – you never know when the spell is going to wear off.

His first priority now was to get civilians out of the area, as fast as possible. The one in most danger seemed to be the driver, already injured and clearly scared out of his mind. Weaver reached out with his powers and grabbed his clothes – very careful, avoiding tightening them around the neck or any wounded area; then pulled the poor driver away from the villain, hoping to be powerful enough to overcome his hold.

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Fortunately for Rene, his invisible ink did not work on his "artists eye"...in his head, he could "see" the world as a painting - of form and beauty rather than detail.

And Weaver looked rather magnificent to his head.

Leaving the clothed magician to his task, he spied Revenant ahead.

"Zut Alors!" he muttered under his breath "She certainly gets herself into all sorts of trouble. She has ze nose for it!"

A couple of people turned around to see who was speaking, but nobody was there. Rene headed off, catching up with the undead superheroine.

"You have company!" he whispered in her ear. "It is I, Rene! Incognito!"

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Atop the van the hooded figure's head snapped towards Revenant as the heroine voiced her challenge, and for a brief moment there was a faint red glow visible from within the depths of the dark hood. It almost looked like a shining pair of red eyes. As the robed villain turned and took a step towards Revenant, Weaver's powers animated the uniform of the courier driver. With a brief tearing noise as his collar gave way, the man was whisked clear out of the grip of his captor.

The villain snarled, the sound audible even at a distance, and snapped her head in the direction of the now levitating driver. Unable to immediately locate a target for her wrath she turned her attention back to the much more clearly visible heroine. A short leap landed her on the roof of a crashed Toyota and she laughed darkly at the fearful cries of the trapped motorist within.

"Surrender? I have a better idea! How about I pound you into this street until there's nothing left of you but pieces?"

The flying, fire-wreathed villain turned to watch the confrontation for a moment, then swooped down, hovering in mid air between Weaver and the van. Arms folded he ignored the floating courier driver, apparently deeming it more important to guard the van than retrieve the hostage.

Meanwhile, the third and as yet unseen villain continued to search through the cargo section of the van - several more discarded packages flying out the back doors to land unceremoniously on the street.

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By now nothing about Rene surprised her, irritated her sometime yes, but never surprised her. Instead she whispered down to her unseen ally.

“Ah Monsieur as usual you are full of surprises. I’m about to do something how would you say stupid!†she gave a wry smile “Whilst I keep this one busy could you try to get people away from the danger?â€

Waiting a little while to allow Rene to get some distance she altered her stance. Putting her hand on her hips, but relaxed a little from a fighting stance, looking for all the world like the world that this little encounter bored her.

“Really is that the best threat you can do? I don’t think you even worth my time to sort you out.â€

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GM

The robed figure atop the wrecked Toyota practically howled in fury as Revenant showed her disdain, and once again the heroine saw a flash of red light behind the eyes buried deep within the folds of her hood. The angered villain crouched, then leaped towards her tormentor, her departure leaving another dent in the battered vehicle.

With a crash she landed opposite Lucy, staggering for a moment almost as if she was completely unused to being able to jump so far. "I'll give you something worth your time!" she snarled as she straightened and took a step towards the heroine with clenched fists. In an unpracticed stance the enraged, but obviously rather strong villain launched into a wild haymaker that missed its mark by more than a foot. Still moving forward she followed up with a second swing that was far better aimed..

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"Not so fast!" proclaimed Rene as he took an involuntary step back from the villain.

Zut Alors! Fast! he noted at the woman's speed and ferocity, not to mention her jump. She is like an animal!

One that needs a leash!

"I think you are a bit to frisky for your own good, madam!" he called to her. In his mind, he painted the picture, and low and behold, the brush stroke on the fabric of reality formed. A silver chain fell from the sky, like a whip or a net, landing directly on the woman.

"I don't approve of chains normally, but I am afraid they must be a temporary inconvenience now and again, forgive me!"

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GM

The enraged villain thrashed and struggled as the magical chains fell around her, somehow managing to fight her way free before they could entangle her or tighten enough to hold her. Still snarling she lashed out with another wild swing in Revenant's direction that once again missed by so far that the heroine wasn't even mildly inconvenienced by having to dodge.

In the struggle with the magical chains her hood somehow swept back, revealing a surprisingly young face - the wildly aggressive villain appeared to be nothing more than a plain, slightly pudgy, pimpled teenage girl.

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Great some child wanted for some reason to defeat her in some manner. Still almost everyone was younger than her, so she couldn’t really allow that to be an excuse

“Do you really need to do this? Will it achieve anything?â€

Then again she suspected the answer, when she was younger the best way to gain respect was to defeat the oldest kid in the gang. But she wasn’t going to hurt the child unless she had to. So she watched the girl’s actions and after a few second struck, attempting to pin her and stop making her a threat.

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GM

"Get off me!" the teenager howled at Lucy as the heroine caught her firmly by the shoulders. With a powerful sweep of her arms the enraged villain burst free of the Revenant's grip and delivered a stiff-arm that opened a little space between the two. A moment later a look of realization dawned on her face as she realized just how strong she was.

The surprised expression wore of quickly and was replaced with a wicked grin, and the youngster cracked her knuckles as she regarded Revenant. "People like you think you're so tough, always pushing people around! Well you can't push me around anymore!" she growled as she raised her fists and started to stalk forwards in an awkward stance that made her inexperience all the more obvious.

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Weaver let the frightened driver free from his hold as soon as he was sure that the villain wasn’t going to go after him.

Still feeling confident and secure in the invisibility spell provided by Rene, Weaver moved to face the hooded figures.

That pale girl in the period dress was clearly superhuman, and was fighting one of the villains, so he probably had an extra ally he didn’t know. The girl was handling the bad guy pretty well, and surely the French painter was somewhere helping, too.

Saeid looked up at the flying figure engulfed in black fire. Oh, a hooded robe? Really? You couldn’t make it easier for me if you tried… in a second he took control of the cape and hood of the baddie BIND HIM! he ordered. The clothes tightened around their wearer, but he somehow managed to break free of the hold without even making it look hard.

Well, that will teach me humility thought Weaver while watching the baddie still flying free of restrain.

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GM

The teenage girl facing Revenant continued to wade forwards as she threw wild haymakers with both hands. While she put every bit of weight she had behind the punches it was clear she was untrained in hand to hand combat and not one of the shots came close to landing on the far more experienced heroine.

Meanwhile, the flying villain struggled briefly with his robe as it tightened around him. Somehow in the heat of the moment his hood swept back to reveal his face. Despite the dark flames swirling around his body this villain also appeared to be little more than a teenager. He was however clearly far more in control than his enraged companion, and the flames intensified, breaking Weaver's control over the robes before they could restrain their wearer.

"Marcus! We got trouble! You better get out here fast!" he called with a glance back towards the van, then swooped low towards the wrecked Toyota. "I know you're out there!" the boy yelled in Weaver's general direction as the flames darkened and built up around his hands. "Show yourself or I'll torch this car!"

Inside the vehicle, Tracey Feldman's eyes widened as she heard the threat. "HELP!" she screamed as she tried once more to wrench her trapped legs free of the crumpled footwell.

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"Show yourself or I'll torch this car!"

"HELP!"

"Villain!" cursed Rene, loudly. It was directed at Revenant, but the astute could have heard it.

"Wretched Villain!" he added, marginally softer, but with more emphasis.

He summoned up his mystical power in a twinkle in his eye, and once again painted onto reality. The effect was subtle, dream-like. Art can reflect mood, feelings, and repose - and Rene's conjuirations were not limited to the material and fantastic. A more subtle effect was called for.

Creeping in a spiral around the villain was a change, a soporific change in lighting and colour, like a hazy dreamlike zephy on a hot afternoon. If one studied it carefully one could notice the details, but somehow its hypnotic effect erased the memory of its existence. And the snake like haze wafted straight to the Villain, full of the promises of sweet slumber...

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GM

Rene's magic swirled and danced around the flying villain. The dark flames around his hands began to dim and his head drooped as he dropped lower, barely hovering above the ground near the front of the wrecked Toyota. For a moment it looked like he might fall asleep completely, but at the last moment he shook his head dizzily, mumbling "Show yourself!" once more.

Moments later the third robed villain popped out of the back of the van with a small square package tucked under his arm. "Found it!" he called in a rather young sounding voice, then looked around at the chaos. "Well this got out of hand! Maybe time for a bit of a distraction!"

The villain's voice changed completely as he spat three guttural sounding words of power. A loud crack of thunder heralded the arrival of a small army, ten short but very broad, strong looking demonic figures that hissed as they looked around in confusion. While all were dark and scaled, no two looked the same, each bearing a different array of spikes, boney ridges and claws.

After a second of hesitation the new arrivals burst into motion. A trio pounced upon the nearest target and claws shrieked on metal as they began to tear on the doors and hood of the wrecked vehicle, obviously trying to get to the trapped driver. Three more fixed their glare on Revenant and broke into a full run towards her. The final four whirled towards the park and found a tempting target - a small crowd of civilians most of whom had abandoned their cars for a safer vantage point.

People scattered in all directions as the demons charged towards them.

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Ah the first blush of adulthood when the world was against you, because she been a bit of a tomboy in her youth so she’d got it out of the way quite early.

“You know I was like you when I was younger, striking out on my own fighting against the world. That why I’m capable of doing this.â€

The poor kid was unlikely to listen to reason, so she was sorry to say she would had to resort to physical violence. It wasn’t an elegant blow she just drew back her arm and slammed it into the young girls. Striking a good solid blow.

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GM

Revenant's blow struck the young villain with thunderous force and lifted her clear off her feet. The teenager landed heavily on the road next to the car she had been standing on, but quickly scrambled to her feet, apparently completely unharmed. The fierce, angry expression on her face slipped for just a moment and was replaced by a look of sheer terror, but rage clearly won out.

The teenager bared her teeth at Revenant as she stalked forwards again, growling "That all you got?" as she clenched her fists once more.

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So now we have demons… that’s always great fun. thought Saeid even better, demons controlled by kids!

The flaming bad guy was on the verge of collapse, but Weaver was afraid he’d explode in random destruction if he didn’t get a target soon. Even then though, he wasn’t able to turn back visible. The mage took control of his own clothes, previously left in a corner of the street, and animated them in a passable imitation of a human being. He made them move behind the and screamed, while still invisible “Yeah, come and get me, you fool! You can barely stand, I bet you’ll fold like a cheap suit!†Saeid smirked Oh the puns, the puns we make for distraction.

The demons were a much bigger problem. First of all, they were many, and they were naked, which meant having to use his personal reserve of scarves. Second, they were already acting randomly, so it didn’t seem like they could get distracted furthermore.

Well, let’s make them less efficient in their destruction, at least. A snap of his fingers, and all loose fabric in the zone took the sky. Towels, scarves, handkerchiefs, shawls started twirling in the air, then descended quickly and wrapped themselves around the demons’ and the villains’ eyes.

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GM

The flame wreathed, flying villain whirled towards the animated clothing but hesitated then narrowed his eyes as he noticed that they were empty. Shaking his head, he started to yell something in Weaver's direction, but stopped cold as he looked around in amazement.

A whirling multicoloured tornado of cloth descended on the battlefield and in moments the small pack of demons and the three robed teenagers found themselves blinded as scarves, towels and various pieces of clothing wrapped strategically around their eyes. The demons went berserk, flailing and clawing wildly at the cloth as they tried to clear their vision, momentarily distracted from their chosen targets.

The young woman facing Revenant found her sight blocked at a crucial moment, but pressed forward behind another wild swing, but missed the heroine rather badly as she stumbled.

The flaming teenager was also blinded as a bright purple pair of trousers from a nearby clothing store wrapped itself around his face. After a moments struggle he simply raised his hands and unleashed a fireball in Weaver's direction which curled lazily through the air then zipped downwards into the street just in front of the animated clothes before exploding in a burst of dark purple fire!

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Rene shielded his eyes from the explosion of flame. Whatever, and whoever, these villains were, they were not holding back. And civilians could easily be harmed.

"Zut Alors! ze Flames!" he spluttered to nobody in particular.

Once again the waft of soporific haze wound its way, in no particular hurry, towards the villain he had sent half way to sleep. This time, he dearly hoped the ruffian would not manage to resist his mystical power.

He edged further towards the fray.

"Spare ze pyrotechnics!" he yelled "These people are innocent!"

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