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Great Bay, Riverrock Island,

Thursday, March 25th 2013,


Superheroine Pitch - real name rock journalist Carmen Cantos - allong with the Captain of the S.S.Gadelica ship - the ship that had ferried Carmen to Riverrock island, which had been marooned on the Island the night the demons were unleashed and murdered rockstar Acheron - S.S.Gadelica crewmember William Smithson, and island residents Dennis and Pedro - both servants of the now late Acheron, real name George-Louis Phlegethon - made their way to Phlegethon's Villa, situated in the center of the island.


Their journey to St.Blaise's village, in order to find clues to the appearance of the demons on the island, was met with minimum success, yielding precious few information about the history of the island, before being met with a horde of demons, summoned by a mystically imbued and highly cryptic golem, the Magician. Carmen defeated the Magician, aqcuiring the stone tablet that was used as a medium to materialize and anchor the Magician in the process, but during the battle, Dennis and Pedro were severely wounded.


Dennis managed to recover, with some minimal rest, but Pedro's life, while outside of immediate threat, is still hanging in the balance. Deciding to postpone further searching for clues, and prioritizing the safety of the civilians under her care, Carmen decided to escort the wounded to the back to Phlegethon's Villa, in which the servants and the rest of the crew of the S.S.Gadelica had hidden, having fortified places of it in order to stave off the demons.


It had been a long, busy, and eventful day since Pitch's arrival on the island. What had started as a prospective interview with a famous rockstar in an exotic scenery, had quickly turned into a living nightmare. A nightmare that was still going...



Phlegethon's Villa



The journey through the hailstorm had been a tiresome affair, not only for Pitch, but for the humans as well. Smithson, in particular, had to bear the brunt of it, what with carrying Pedro on a stretcher all by himself. Every so often, the group had to find a defensible, fortified spot, so that they could rest and catch their breaths. This meant that the journey back to the villa took almost twice as much as it had taken them to arrive to the village.


Nevertheless, conservation of strength was of a high priority to the group, and while thankful that they'd finally arrived at the manor, they were largely no worse for the wear than they had been two hours ago. The humans inside the manor welcomed the lot, providing them with water and warm blankets to stave off the cold. Alex Movida, Phlegethon's personal valet and closest confidant, rushed to the help of the wounded servants. "Oh, heavens, are you alright?" he asked, worry written clearly on his face. "Quick, get Doctor Homelock here!" he shouted, and at once a servant went to usher the resident pathologist.


Billy Blooms, photographer from Rock Report who had been assigned to help Carmen, ran concernedly towards Pitch. "Boss? What happened? You all look like you've been through hell!" he asked the superheroine, aghast at their disheveled, sweaty, and dirty looks. "More run-ins with the demons?"

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"Demons...and something else" replied Carmen, slumping on a leather couch and massaging her temples. Her clothes were ripped and torn and she had more than one scratch, cut, and scrape. Still, all things considered she had come out pretty well. Her only real problem was her foot, paralysed and numb, and red raw from the splint she wore. Much more walking and she would ulcerate. That was a risk already. 


Taking off her splint she soaked her leg in salty water, fresh from the kitchen. There was not time to rest, but she would make the most of the time she had. Probably needed to bandage her leg up, if there was linen enough to spare. 


"A sorcerer. And this..." she explained, revealing the stone the wizard had left. 


"I can feel it pulling somewhere. Maybe a clue. Maybe a way out of here. But I'm running dry. I cant keep on hiking through this island. Not with my leg. Damn, what I'd give for a motor or a horse!"

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"Oh dear." a female voice came from down the hall, as the servants mr Movida had sent were ushering a woman on her 40s. Short bob-cut brown hair, green-beige jacket and pants, brown-yellow blazer, and a white labcoat that she was wearing as she moved. "Lemme see them." she instructed, and those who had gathered around Pedro and Dennis scattered around, to make room for her.


As Dr Homelock set out on examining her patients, the Captain ordered Williams to go take five - an order that he was all too happy to oblige - and asked another of her crewmembers on the status of Tom Jenkins and Angelica Theodine, both crewmembers of the S.S. Gadelica that had been keeping watch the previous night, on the St. George the Dragonslayer's church, while the crew and Carmen were resting. "Jenkins and Theodine are both are sound asleep, Captain." Bob Hobson replied. "Should I wake them up?"


"No... let 'em rest..." She said. "I could use with a light nap myself, to be honest... barely slept three hours during the night..." Having finally gotten the time to rest, the fatigue that had been building up caught with the Captain. She took a seat, and almost collapsed upon it.


Billy helped Carmen unload, as she explained the situation to him. Looking at her soaking her limp leg on salt-water, he remarked concernedly. "Looks awfully in pain, miss Canto. Will the salt water help, or do you need anything else?"

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"Drugs?" smirked Carmen. She was not a novice to drugs, but had cleaned up her act since getting a "proper" job at the Rock Report. Even riding with the biker gangs of her youth, she had stayed off the hard stuff. But right now, some smooth Vicodin would hit the mark. 


"No..." she grunted as an afterthought. "I have to keep my wits about me. I'll rest later" She strapped her splint to her leg and gripped her cane. 


"Right now, I should follow this..." she explained, holding out the stone that pulled. "The crew here, they are too exhausted to follow. Maybe I am too, but I can't wait around..."

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Billy resisted a smirk at Pitch's suggestion. Certainly, she didn't give off the air of a teetotaller, but he couldn't disagree with her. Things could go south pretty fast if she wasn't operating on 100%. "Hmmmm... I dunno, Boss. I don't think you're in any shape trekking through the island on foot, unless..." a thought pop'd up on his brain at that moment. "I recall that Movida guy mentioning something about a bicycle or two. It might not be ideal for your foot to be doing any pedalling, buuut... If nothing else, I could always pedal in your place!"


Meanwhile, Dr Homelock had finished with examining Pedro, and had instructed he be moved to the clinic nearby. There were only 7 able-bodied servants at that point, including her, Movida, and Dennis, but plenty more crewmembers could fill in on the shifts. After that, the doctor went to Carmen, to see how she was faring. "Miss Canto, right? On behalf of everyone on Acheron's employment, I can't thank you enough for all you've done! Don't worry about our Pedro; he's a survivor. A little blood, an IV, and some rest, and he'll be good as new!" She exclaimed, while enthusiastically holding Carmen's hand.

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Carmen took the thanks graciously, with some satisfaction. The state of her companions health had weighed on her. And some good news lifted her spirits. 


But more than that...a bicycle!


Quaint it might be, but it would be a lot easier than walking. A paralysed foot would make it awkward, but not impossible. And yet that limitation would gall, and be dangerous. As reluctant as she was too put Billy in danger - he was in danger anyway. And time was not be thrown away glibly. 


"That would help, Billy, it would help us all. But its hell out there, possibly literally. We are all in peril, and I appreciate your bravery..."


No opt out clause. If he wanted to go, that was his choice. He wasn't so stupid he didn't know what was out there, and what risks he would be taking. 

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"Well, sounds like you two've got a plan. I'll go see if I can help anyone else. If you two ever need treatment, don't hesitate t'ask!" The Doctor noted, after shaking hands with Carmen.


Billy beamed at Carmen, as the good Doctor went on to examine the Captain, in case she needed any medical attention. "Honestly, boss, if anything, I think right now being close to you is the safest place! Well... as safe as the eye of the hurricane can be at any rate..." He trailed off, before mentally kicking himself. "I-I-I mean, uhhh, I trust you, boss. No one is perfect, but... I trust you!" He'd hoped he didn't make Carmen feel dejected. This situation wasn't on her! It wasn't her fault!... Wast it?


In the distance, the Captain groaned as Dr Homelock was examining her. It seemed she nursed a few bruises throughout the whole ordeal, that she hadn't deemed to share with the group.


A minute later, Movida approached Carmen. "Is there anything I can do for you, miss Carmen? Sorry, with the injured, and making preperations for the clinic, you understand, I had my hands full here."

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"I don't think so...holding up..." she replied, uncertainly. "My leg hurts. Nothing so new there. But I don't know how much longer I can run around the place without the skin breaking down. Ulcers, infection...been there...done that...." she frowned. 


The nature of paralysed flesh was something she knew well enough, and her case was mild. The movies, the TV shows, they never showed that. The numb ulcers of wheelchair users, the careful checking, the careful and constant redistribution of weight. For if they appeared, they would be slow to heal, and prone to infection. 


"Some antibiotics might be good, just in case" she added. She was no doctor, but she had been ill quite a few times. "But otherwise, I'm good to go" she said, more positively. "I'd be surprise if its the worst of the day. I'm expecting a lot worse!"


Turning to Billy, she continued. "You are a brave soul and I don't deserve you, Billy. But if we have a tandem bike, I'll still ask you to pump the pedals. I hope you have been working out at the gym!"

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Movida's brow darkened, as he listened to Carmen talk about the issues she had to deal daily with her disability. "Here you are, fearlessly battling eldritch abominations and protecting us... it makes it hard to remember that underneath it all, you're still a person, just as vulnerable as we are. I think... no, I know that my admiration of you, miss Canto, grows stronger by the minute!" He exclaimed. A super human capable of leveling demons and whisking away the civilians in a blink of an eye might have been the best to ensure their safety. But one who rose up against their own weakness and fought, tooth and nail, that one was a hero worth respecting, a hero worth rooting for. "We've got a healthy supply of antibiotics, enough for three months. I'm sure that we can do at least THAT much for you, miss Canto!"


Movida motioned two servants, one to bring a bottle of antibiotics, and one to deliver one of the bikes, while Billy nodded to Carmen. "Not a problem, Boss!"


5 minutes later, the two of them were out of the mansion, a bottle of antibiotics in Pitch's hands, and a bicycle in Billy's. It seemed peaceful, for now. At least, the rampaging had long since ceased, but the demons seemed to attack with little rhyme or reason, so there was no telling when things would turn south.

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"Right then, get to pedalling!" ordered Carmen, clutching her cane. She was feeling peculiarly sick of demons right now, and, despite the risk, decided not to let Tazel into her blood. Something about the fire and sweat of him in her made her spine itch right now. 


Something about it all made her crave cleanliness.. and she was not thinking about sweat and grime, nor the stains of blood. Come Freedom City, she would expel Tazel and be free of him, as long as she could. Which, intuition told her, would not be long. But some sanctuary would be nice. 


On the bicycle, she could feel the stone, and its sickening pull. Ignoring the nausea, she pointed Billy towards...

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Following the clear trail, Billy pedaled furiously until hitting the slope, whereupon the bicycle accelarated on its own. The road was bumpy, but Billy held on firmly on the handlebar grip and ready to hit the breaks as needed. Carrying Carmen on the seat, and with him pedaling while standing, Billy knew that this trip would be anything but a cakewalk.



S/W Forest, Forest Entrance Clearing



Billy and Carmen had just exited to the outskirts of St.Blaise Village, or what remained of it after the demonic rampage that had hit it.


STOOOOOOOP! MAKE IT STOOOOOOOP! PLEASE MASTER, I BEG YOU, MAKE IT STOOOOOOP! Tazel writhed in agony inside Carmen, as the little imp had finally encountered the one dreaded presence to its miserable existance.


"~... my bicycle, I want to ride it where I liiiiike~" Chipper Billy sang, as he tried to lift his and Carmen's spirits up. The slope had ended quite some time before, so now he was more able to kick back and enjoy the ride, hail or no hail.



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What burns, you wretched thing? hissed Carmen through her blood and into her belly. 


I can hardly quench a flame when I cannot see it! she added angrily. The torment of Tazel was a conflicting thing. She though of him as pure spite and twisted selfishness, but was also uncomfortable at his slavery. 


The hail was annoying, and she had half a mind to fire Tazel up, and warm her guts. 

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"~Bicycle races are coming your way. So forget all your duties oh yeah!~"


THE FOOL! WITH HIS EAR-SHUTTERING, HAPPY-GO-LUCKY SINGING! MAKE HIM STOP! Tazel continued complaining, as nonexistant tears rained down his immaterial cheeks. I BEG YOU MASTER! DOUSE ME WITH HOLY WATER, WEAR A CROSS, GO TO THE CHURCH, ANYTHING!!! JUST AS LONG AS YOU RID ME OF THIS WALKING, SINGING POX! Trully, it appeared as if Billy's singing was somehow getting on Tazel's nerves. It wasn't like he was a terrible singer, either, he was no tenor, sure, but he was at least decent. Nor had Tazel exhibited any particular aversion to rock music, including that of the Queen.


"~On your marks get set go!~"

Edited by Vahnyu
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Tempted as she was to make Tazel burn for the sound, she asked Billy to stop. 


"Best skip the Queen, Billy. Not that I don't appreciate the tunes, its just that I'd rather not attract attention. Silence, just sometimes, is golden" she explained. It was the best sort of lie. Namely, the truth. 


But something was fishy here. Why was Tazel being so...obtuse? Had he taken a sudden dislike to a dead rock star?


She contemplated the matter as the wheels spun and the bicycle propelled them onwards,guided by the stone. 

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"~...I say caine, you say John, I say Wa-~" Billy went on, until he came to an abrupt end, at Carmen's behest. "-Ah, right, yeah, you're right, Boss. Sorry." He sheepishly apologized. Tazel, for his part, finally quieted down, giving Carmen some much needed peace of mind. Of course, he never gave her a single word of gratitude.


Soon their path had taken them to the forest's entrance, and the hut in which Pitch had rested a few hours ago, along with the others, came into view. "This was where you'd stopped, miss Carmen? Doesn't seem particularly safe. You must have been desperate to make a stop here." He commented, as he slowed his pedalling. The terrain from here on out was getting increasingly uneven and rough, and Billy realised that he couldn't afford to have his bike overturned by a random rock, and risk injury on Carmen.

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"Safe? Nothing is, Billy. Not today" she replied. The ground did look to even, she acknowledged, reluctantly. "And yeah, we were pretty desperate" she acknowledged. Billy's silence was, whilst safer, unpleasant. She preferred an upbeat song. Or any song with a beat at all, be it up, down, or sideways. 


The stone was still pulling. 


"How are you holding up? I gotta feeling about where to go, but the ground doesn't look made for wheels...do you think we can make it?"



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"Mmh..." Billy wordlessly nodded at Carmen's comment on the situation. When she asked him about the terrain, he responded "It's cool, Boss! I've got a handle on the, aha, handlebar." he joked a bit. "I think I can manage. We'll slow down to a crawl, but there won't be any nasty surprise bumps on our way." He continued, more seriously this time.


He rode amongst the trees, making sure to follow Carmen's prompts for direction. The more he pedalled, the more the stone tablet reacted, as if its reading got closer. Then he stopped. "Boss? Can I ask you something?" Billy asked Carmen. He seemed quite serious. "What do you think is going on? I mean, REALLY going on?"

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"I always hate bumps" complained Carmen. 


"I mean, those so - called Speed Bumps are a joke. If anything, they make you go slower..." she complained. 


In answer to his question, she considered a while. 


"Honestly, I don't think an answer is a good idea. Possibly even dangerous. You think one thing, and its probably what they want you to think. And even if it isn't, it probably isn't the truth. Or only half the truth. Its like an onion. You peel back one layer. You just get another...."


"Best to keep an open mind and a clenched fist..."

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Billy nodded, and was about to go back to pedalling. However, trumpeting could be heard in the distance, and the ground started to shake, as if a pack of elephants were stampeding just a bit off to the distance. "Uhhh, boss? Is that the sound of elephants? What the hell do elephants are doing here?" The few birds that had been in the nearby area, all decided that it was more prudent to weather the hail than stay where they were.


Unfortunately, their journey met a sudden and immediate end, as hound wolves suddenly leaped an incredible distance, snatching them in the air, and devouring them in one gulp. They landed about 200 feet away from Carmen and Billy, and on closer inspection, they appeared to be sporting bat wings, and their mouths exuded a green-hued breath that seemed corrosive to everything it touched.


Still in the distance, the stampede went on.

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"Elephants? What in the name of Texas!" blurted Carmen. 


"Fire me up!" she commanded Tazel, and in a blink of eye she was smoke and embers, twisted burnt leather and twisted burnt metal, breathing hot ash, with fiery eyes. 


"Billy, take cover!" she commanded. She gripped the Cantos Cane with one hand, and cracked the knuckles of her other. 


She did not fancy the acidic breath of the bat-dogs one bit. But exactly what was going on here?


She crouched down, not wishing to draw attention to herself, and watched...

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"G-Gotcha! Be careful, Boss!" Billy said, as Carmen stepped out of the bicycle. With the Elephants behind him and the wolves in front of him, he turned left, then started pedalling, as fast as he could.


The wolves noticed this, but for the moment, they seemed more fixated on the fiery visage of Pitch. Letting out a low snarl, one that begun at the bottom of their jugular and went on to the jugular of their prey, five of the winged abominations took flight towards Pitch, barring their fangs, and along with them, their intent.


Pitch, for her part, seemed to be expecting their response, as she summoned unholy fire and smoke that burned the plants and trees nearby, and submerged everything inside it to complete darkness. The wolves seemed disoriented, unable to sense their foe by means of sight or smell, but they did not stop their advance, and 4 of them struck true, burrying their knifey teeth on Pitch's left hand.

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Pitch circled around, seeing just fine through the smoke and gripping her cane. Silent would be nice, but her braced leg dropped, and ground in the dirt. 


Stealth ain't my style. 


For all its power as a chain to the Infernal, the Cantos cane was still a cane, and a rather good one at that, with a heavy brass top. And it did not need to be infused with black magic, inscribed with unspeakable symbols, or fashioned from terrible woods to function as a rather effective club. 


And so, her body fired up with Tazel to impressive strength, she proceeded to bring the weighted brass down onto the skulls of one of the hounds...

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These kind of demons trully were a dime a dozen, for an expert of Pitch's caliber. She didn't need much effort to guide her Cantos Stick down like the wrath of god on them, and the unholy beast could only yelp like a puppy being run over by a truck, as it got whacked to the ground. A moment later, it burned its essense as it lied lifelessly. The other Hellhounds were still in the blind, but Pitch hadn't really put much effort into relocating stealthily, so they were able to hazard a guess at their would-be prey's whereabouts, and lounge at her.


... At least, that was their intent, as only one managed to attack to her general area, and it ended up flying by 5 inches next to her. The shaking of the earth was getting more intense, as whatever was rampaging was getting closer by, while Billy had managed to put about 200 feet between himself and Carmen's battleground.

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"Filthy dogs!"


Pitch gripped the Cantos Cane and felt its horror. As always, the uneasy feeling of it being a key hit her stomach. The uneasy sense of her dead Father's presence. He forged the Cane. And somehow, she felt, he was the cane. 


Ignoring the unease, she rammed the cane into the maw of one of the hellhounds. 


"You are mine! Obey me!" she commanded, feeling the power of the Cane wrap around the Hellhound, feeling ancient bonds and oaths ensnare it, feeling Latin, and Greek, and other unnameable languages pour into its ears in muttered whispers. 

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As the hellhound fell under Pitch's command, the other three hellhounds lunged at her general direction once more, only one got an accurate ping on her location, and even then, it still missed her by a mile. Meanwhile the Hellhounds that had been sitting this fight till now, decided that now was a good time to give Pitch a taste of their hell-bound flames. The greenish fluid that was dripping from their mouths slowly formed into a fiery substance that they spat at the encompassing smokescreen. Pitch felt two of their hot breaths landing on her, but her innate immunity to such hellish effects meant that she might as well have been hit by a light shower.


Interestingly enough, Pitch noticed that a third shadow breath hit a stray Hellhound, but the mutt seemed no worse for wear than she had...

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