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From Beneath You It Devours: Are You My Mummy?

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All Over the City
Bedlam City, Wisconsin

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

5:30 PM


Although it was a day away, Bedlam City was beginning to feel a whole lot like Groundhog's Day.  No, there weren't any furry little creatures predicting the future from the comfort of their little burrows.  No, much like Phil Connors the entire city was caught in an endless loop.  The denizens of Bedlam found themselves sharing a recurring nightmare for the past week.  A deep voice bellowing that "She be brought to him."  Egyptian imagery and other incomprehensible babble about scorpions flooding their minds.  Before returning to the waking nightmare that was life in Bedlam.


Suffice to say, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who cared about the going ons in Freedom City.  The Atlantean King's announcement went under the radar as the sleepless city grew concerned with local worries.  With the noted exception of Dr. Stoppleman, Curator of the Bedlam Museum whose live podcast came to an abrupt stop in the middle of streaming, the distinct sound of glass breaking and furniture being thrown around the last things viewers heard.


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John was no stranger to nightmares. It was a consequence of losing so many memories. He often ended up dead at the end of them. These were just weird, and totally unlike what he usually dealt with. It didn't take long to realize he wasn't the only one dealing with them. He'd been listening to  Dr. Stopplema's podcast for a while, so when he heard what sounded distinctly like an attack, he decided to investigate.


A war with Atlantis, the disappearance of  Dr. Stoppleman, nightmares about ancient Egypt. There had to be a connecting thread. And so, there he was. He hovered around the museum, waiting for it to close, waiting for sunset. He was wearing the face of one Charles Jacobson, a a caucasian gentleman in his mid fifties, with dark hair streaked with gray. He wore a windbreaker and a pair of blue jeans. 


He'd taken a cab, for once, mostly because he was sure the bus system wouldn't line up with his plans. That, and the cab service was fairly cheap. He'd taken something called EZ Cabs, and his driver had been a woman named  Noemi. She seemed atypical, he'd remember her.

Edited by Thunder King
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The Red Rat


Damn her sleep. Every night some crazy dream about something crazy. Normally involving Mummies or Sphinxes or in one case a half-cat half-crocodile monstrosity singing ominous heavy metal tunes. She wanted to check Bedlam's water supply wasn't poisoned with some strange hypnotic hallucinogen. 


She had caught some chatter on the radio about the Museum. Charley, the loud mouthed radio operator at EZ Cabs, knew all the gossip. And insisted on telling everybody everything. Especially the secret things. However, she was the one person that knew who Noemi von Neuman really was. And on this matter she was as silent as a tombstone. 


And now this gent wanted a drive to the Museum. "On the way mister!" she said, kicking the beaten up cab into gear. The gears crunched badly. Easy Steve did not consider maintaining his vehicles a priority. 


However, she got them there. Pretty quickly, thanks to the spartan traffic at this time of night. As she pulled up, she adjusted her mirror. 


"What's going on in there? Heard something was up. Bet it's some creepy Egyptian ghost or something, huh?" she insinuated. 


She studied the mans face. He looked atypical. She would remember him if she had seen him before. 




Edited by Supercape
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"Not sure." John said. "You know Bedlam, it's always something." His voice was defeated, weary. This woman was...paying a bit more attention than someone like her would. He shouldn't have asked to be dropped off at the museum, that was a dumb mistake. He couldn't even come up with an excuse. "All I know is that I've been having nightmares these past few days, a lot of people have." He politely paid his fare, and got out of the cab.


He had a feeling, this was going to be an interesting night.

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The Red Rat. 


"Ain't that the truth" replied Noemi, pocketing the money. Most of the already small fare would go to Easy Steve. She slapped the meter to see if she could wangle a little more to herself by changing the recorded fare. It never worked. She always tried. 


This was interesting enough to look into. And probably important too. 


She picked up the cab radio and spoke to Charley. "Just dropped the client off, Charley. Got a bzzzt....hssss...with a big....bzzzzt...shhhtttth....pipe blockage with shzzzmmm bzzzttt...an ostrich and two golf balls....bbzzzzzt shhhhhzzbzt....you are breaking up...got...bzzshhhhh....with a balloon....bzzzt shhht crck!" she finished, mimicking a defunct radio. 


Superior Soviet Radiocommunication Technology can induce radio failure came the printed images on her cybernetic eyes that only she could see. SLAVE was always keen to show off. And she was always keen to ignore the vexatious AI in her skull. 


"You got it hun!" whooped Charley back at her, crystal clear. "Sure thing. Radio failure. You got it". Even over the radio waves, Noemi could picture Charley popping her bubblegum and giving a massive knowing wink. 


Her glasses, off. Her hair, pulled down. Her knuckles, cracked. Out of the boot, her Jacket and a pair of snub nosed pistols which were, in fact, very superior Soviet Technology. She gave them a spin, and tucked them into her thigh holsters. 


And the Red Rat was off, following in the wake of John Smith, aka the Tattered Man. 



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Normally, Judex wouldn't be out on a regular patrol at this time of day. While Theo preferred to not stay up all night as his rough-and-tumble alter ego, he typically waited until after sunset to unleash his somewhat harsher self. But after hearing the abrupt end of the podcast, and with all the dreams he'd been having, well. He thought it'd be rude toward Uriel if he just ignored the whole mess. Use the talents you're given, and all that.


So here he was, hunched on a roof overlooking the museum, hidden in the shadows, an irregular shape that was thoroughly uninteresting. 


And now two people coming to the museum, so close to the end of the day. Or rather, one of them (looked to be a man) arriving proper, and another following him in? Hm. 


He got up slowly from where he'd been crouched, and started looking for a place to hop to the museum's roof...

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Lady Horus had had personal reasons to pay close attention to the news from Freedom City - only the assurance that everything was in good hands there had kept her in Bedlam. Especially with the dreams! The helm had warned her of much doings in the world of the supernatural around the museum but had been little help besides that, so she'd taken to spending her days at the museum in the guise of a particularly nosy tourist, wandering around and taking pictures with her brand-new phone, occasionally pleading baffled confusion when the bored security guards caught her behind a rope. You could get away with a lot in Bedlam if you looked right and sounded right - or could convince some young guys you did, anyway. 


To distract herself when away from the museum, she'd put on the live podcast from the museum while she made herself supper and watched the snow fall outside. Bedlam was cold - and godly rainments meant for the desert were not much help. She hesitated just a fraction of a second when she heard the sounds of melee at the museum. She didn't actually know the guy who was getting manhandled but she did owe the Bedlam museum something for all the use she'd gotten out of it, she supposed - and if this was the start of another serpentine eruption, she needed to be ready. Finding the helmet in her closet took just a second - and then she was in the air! 


Out of habit, Lady Horus kept herself invisible and soundless as she zipped towards the museum, easily passing both car and vigilante without leaving behind a trace of her passing. She appeared briefly on the roof by the skylight - then, with a smirk, disappeared again, reappearing inside the museum's main hall by the front entrance.

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Normally Rosa tended to meditate whilst Liam worked out, but today she was in command of the body. Though banished by circumstances from studying she still tried to keep abreast of the subject through the wonders of podcast and youtube, starting with a fascinating youtube series about magic by some young hero she assumed.


It also help her process the strange dreams that her and apparently everyone else had been having, it was obviously some form of mystical warning possibly involving Kemetian manifestations of some kind. It was perplexing and a little annoying, hence her arranging to meditate whilst listening to a relaxing academic lecture. Of course the multiverse couldn’t allow this and no sooner as she started to put the pieces together something happened to poor Dr. Stoppleman.


She was straight up on her feet and moving to the door, snatching her trenchcoat, and the keys to the battered car that the two of them shared, though she was pretty sure that others would get there well before them.

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Arrowhawk pressed herself against the wall in the front hallway, arms folded and hood tilted downwards, hiding her face. Or rather, it would were she not already invisible under the enchantment of her magical belt. She was blissfully unaware of the podcast containing the man's assault. And indeed, rather unaware of the very concept of a podcast. Instead, she was here under the assumption that, amidst strange dreams of the people of the Heliopolitans, a museum with an exhibit and researchers on the subject would be as good a place to start as any.


But people had begun to arrive. A taxi had pulled up outside, at this late hour. And there'd been something. A flicker, of something briefly appearing in the hallway. So she'd withdrawn to the wall, so she could observe whoever came in, and indeed, whoever may already be here. She kept a hand lightly on her bow and on her axe in case violence was needed.

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  • 2 weeks later...



The group filed into the museum one by one.  And much like any other person who had ever entered the Bedlam Museum, they quickly learned just how badly funding was.  The animatronic T-Rex was missing its head.  Access to the upstairs art gallery was currently closed.  And that didn't even get into how outdated (and mislabeled) many of the displays were.  And this was just the entrance hall.


A woman in a faded blue blazer, which once may have been a brighter hue, sat at the receptionist desk to the museum.  Giving the crowd a half-hearted look this woman simply blew bubbles of gum as they filed in one after the other.  If there was supposed to be a cover fee for the museum, she made no sign of it.  Doing absolutely nothing to actually greet the prospective patrons as they entered.


Signs and maps were posted around the entrance leading to different wings of the museum.

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The Red Rat


Decadent Capitalistic Doctrine Results In Cultural Atrophy!


Commented SLAVE through the Rat's eyes as she scanned the Museum and the lamentable results of cost-cutting underfunding. Still, she didn't pay much attention to the AI in her head. If she did, she would probably try to scoop out her own brain with a blunt spoon. 


Whilst she was watching the Tattered Man enter, she had a feeling she was being watched herself. Perhaps this was not unusual. She was a spy. The feeling of that she was being watched was as normal to her as brushing her teeth. And perhaps the strange dreams had put her on edge. Whatever...being paranoid was her default position, and nothing odd about it. Lamentable as the condition was, it was worth remembering it had saved her life more than once. 


Perhaps guns weren't allowed in the museum, so she tucked her snub nosed pistols into her Jacket. A cursory search would reveal them, but it looked like the receptionist wouldn't give a cursory look unless she was poked with a cattle prod and given her own body weight in stimulant drugs by direct IV. 


The man she had driven here was an enigma. She couldn't size him up. He seemed to be investigating the mysterious events of the museum and on this they were of the same accord. But it was too early, for now, to assume anything, or even take a balanced estimation. So she just tailed behind him, observing him carefully. 

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Judex had slunk in largely unnoticed, even by the others. He wasn't overly remarkable, even in this form. Just another dirty white boy, really. He used that to his advantage, combined with his natural confidence to just walk in the direction he picked, referencing a couple of smudgy maps to try and make his way toward what seemed to be the offices in the museum. It would only make sense the podcast was recorded in a museum office...

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Lady Horus watched the superheroes enter the museum, those she could see, anyway, and was reminded of other times and other places, when she hadn't been so different from the mortals entering the room. Except I knew how to have a good time! She figured they were probably all here for the same reason, since they'd surely have been preparing if this was the ambush she'd honestly been expecting for months now. Better do something to get their attention!


To most of those watching she seemed to simply appear near a subtly marked door labeled Museum Staff Only, one positioned between the men's bathroom on one side and the Egyptian wing on the other. "Lo, thou wastrels!" she called, "the office of our quarry lies within! Come hither!" She took advantage of divine strength to open the door without bothering with the old-fashioned lock on it, then zipped down the corridor to Dr. Stoppleman's office. "Stoppleman! Your rescuers are here!" And with a mighty blow of her mystic ankh, the door was cleaved inward! 

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Doctor Thorne wasn’t really a hero in the traditional sense she was a scientist and a detective and whilst others would probably be investigating the Doctor himself, s/he would be better used to try and disentangle the mystery from another angle. Rosa was more than aware that she wasn’t always the best at dealing with people, that was always Liam’s strength.


After checking that she wasn’t being watched and with a moment's thought Rosa was gone and Liam was there instead. There was no flashy effects or subtle morphing just one moment she was gone and he was there.


Confidently Liam strode to the front desk full of his normal charm and a cheeky smile on his face.

“Hello there I’ve been asked to check on Doctor Stoppleman.” he lent in conspiratorially “I don’t suppose you could tell me anything that’ll help me out?”

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On 3/3/2017 at 10:33 PM, Avenger Assembled said:

Lady Horus watched the superheroes enter the museum, those she could see, anyway, and was reminded of other times and other places, when she hadn't been so different from the mortals entering the room. Except I knew how to have a good time! She figured they were probably all here for the same reason, since they'd surely have been preparing if this was the ambush she'd honestly been expecting for months now. Better do something to get their attention!


To most of those watching she seemed to simply appear near a subtly marked door labeled Museum Staff Only, one positioned between the men's bathroom on one side and the Egyptian wing on the other. "Lo, thou wastrels!" she called, "the office of our quarry lies within! Come hither!" She took advantage of divine strength to open the door without bothering with the old-fashioned lock on it, then zipped down the corridor to Dr. Stoppleman's office. "Stoppleman! Your rescuers are here!" And with a mighty blow of her mystic ankh, the door was cleaved inward! 

Judex stopped where he was half-hidden in the shadows, closed his eyes, and sighed.


'Right. Of course. Her. Lord give me strength.'


He walked forward with a casual, almost arrogant gait, his arms just swinging at his sides, a smile beaming on his bearded face. He chuckled a bit.


"Fancy seeing you here! Like attracts like, one supposes."


He lets her bust the door down before moseying onward to glance inside, keeping his hands clear to see what the scene was like. 

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"I suppose subtlety is out." John said, stepping forth. The older man he had been was now gone, replaced by this figure in an old, tattered coat. His features were altogether common, a man with so little uniqueness it would be hard to pick him out of the crowd. "All for one purpose." His gaze fell on Lady Horus, and he felt like facepalming. Though, from what she gathered, she considered stealth, subtlety and silence to be unworthy of her...whatever she was.

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The Red Rat


Tactical Analysis...processing...multiple...multiple...things...


Basically, SLAVE didn't know what the hell was going on. And in honestly, neither did the Red Rat. Women ripping doors off their hinges. Grimy men in trenchcoats. Women turning into Men. Well, it was the 21st Century. 


But one thing was converging. Dr Stoppleman had broadcast an emergency message and several of the more exotic residents of Bedlam had come a running. Or driving. Or presumably other things like floating in on mystic surfboards. 


In a flash, her guns were out. If the strongwoman was rushing in, then either there was too much urgency in Dr Sroppleman's peril to scout the situation, or the strongwoman was throwing caution to the wind. In either case, time to jump in. 


Lets hope its not a hostage and trigger finger situation 


"One rescue coming up!" she said, running full speed after the Strong Woman, giving the Tattered man a salute, the woman/man person a wink, and sticking her tongue out at the crazy wild bear man. 


"Pleased to meet you!" she finished, as her cybernetic eyes scanned through the walls of Doctor Stoppleman's office with X-Rays...



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  • 3 months later...



The receptionist gave a half hearted point to the direction which Lady Horus, Judex, and Red Rat headed to answer Dr. Thorne's question.  But, before Dr. Thorne could could join those who had decided to sprint off she was interrupted by a woman.  "Excuse me, could you and your numpty friends kindly find your way to the exit.  I do not have time to deal with bloody would be lugs ruining my hard work before our largest exhibit in ages."


The door to Dr. Stoppelman's office was rendered to shreds to no surprise.  The pieces of door fit right at home with the mess that was the office.  It was clear that there were signs of a struggle. Papers, furniture, even the man's computer from which he had been recording his live podcast was in tatters.  Still leaving it as the most expensive object they had seen in the museum so far.  In fact, the only thing in working condition was the bookshelf filled with books on the "Hidden Worlds".  Common nomenclature for the isolated societies of what scientists of human offshoots like the Aerie, Atlanteans, and Serpent Persons.


 But, the door was locked.  And before Lady Horus got to work, it was clear that it only locked from the inside.  SLAVE was surprisingly not a fan of these books.  Treating the information as some sort of Western propaganda.  Unlike the Egyptian exhibit it seemed during the Cold War such places were not considered allies or even existing.  What SLAVE was forthcoming with was that there was a hidden tunnel behind the bookshelf.  

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"'Zounds!" declared Lady Horus, hands on her hips as she studied the room. "Lo, his abductor must have moved with the speed of Shu itself. Or mayhap a more sinister method - can any of our fellow Bedlamites step between spaces?!" She hmmed as she moved through the room, hovering slightly to avoid actually touching anything. There are some real advantages to this god thing! "A scene of some great struggle - but he was just a man. Who could he have fought so greatly?!" Carefully, she pulled a text on the Aerie off the shelf and flipped through it, then moved down to the next one and flipped through it as well, sliding it back on the shelf as she went. "These are realms beyond. The only thing not touched...!"

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The Red Rat


"The speed of Shu!" agreed the Rat, without knowing what Shu was. Or is. Or whom. But no matter. One didn't get by in spycraft unless one projected a clear air of knowing when one had not a clue. 


"or maybe the secret passageway, beyond the bookcase!" she volunteered, pointing her gun at the bookcase. 


One explosive round...but wait. This was a library. And some presumably very valuable books. The need for expediency was one thing, but perhaps the destruction of...


Corrupt western propaganda! ventured SLAVE, helpfully, on her cybernetic eye HUD. 


...valuable archaic tomes of wisdom was a step to far. 


And besides, someone stronger than she could probably shift the book case. 

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"Mmm, I think I've heard rumors about 'porters. Which doesn't mean this is someone we've heard of; plenty of sinners pass through Bedlam and indulge. Others think this beleaguered place would be fine as a new...nesting ground. The care for the books is curious..."


His eyes were scanning the room, taking in every detail he could, trying not to move about too much. Then he noticed Rat pointing her gun at the bookshelf. Almost on instinct, his hand found itself resting on the top of the weapon, trying to gently push it down. Rat didn't seem to fight him, and he certainly refrained from attempting a disarm. Instead, he just gave her a slight smile.


"Peace be with you, my friend. Now is not the time for swords, but of eyes and ears, and perhaps a bit of honest labor with our hands. Hm."


He moved carefully among the wreckage of the office, proceeding to poke at the bookcase, eyeball it for possible levers, and even, carefully, try to move it to one side or the other. 

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Luckily dealing with people was what Liam did best, alongside the detective work, so when the woman cornered him he went straight into action.

Ask her about the exhibition.

"Those numpties as you called them are professions and only wish to check on you good colleague." he didn't have much experience with capes, being fairly rare in Bedlam, but they seemed to know what they were doing.

Ask her about the exhibition.

"If you wish I will stay here and make sure that no harm befalls it or your good self." after what he thought was a good enough pause to irritate Rosa he added with a smirk "Maybe whilst we're waiting you can tell me about the exhibition itself?"

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If there was a secret lever or button to move the bookcase.  It certainly wasn't found in the bookshelf itself.  Not that such knowledge impeded the group's ability to move the bookcase.  And make quite a racket while at it.  Metal creaked and screeched as the shelf moved.  The mechanisms holding the hidden door in place trying their best to hold their place.


On the other side was the aforementioned tunnel.  Unfettered access to which was now presented.  The floor slanted at a steep slope still made it difficult to see to the dark bottom of the tunnel's entrance steps.  A bloody hand-print the only real sign of anything nearby.


"Fine."  The woman responded exasperatedly.  Clearly not at all enthused about explaining the exhibit to someone who wasn't a paying customer.  "One of our most trusted donors has granted us access to a rare collection of Egyptian artifacts.  The grand opening will even include an opening of another sort.  The inside of a real life sarcophagus."  

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Ah, jeez! Lady Horus was no forensic expert, but she'd seen her share of bloody handprints in her time and they were usually not a good sign. She decided to let the other heroes have the boring conversation with the lady Poindexter - she was going to go down the tunnel and rescue the professor whose little radio show was about the only thing she enjoyed listening to in this one-horse town. "Come, my friends!" she called to the other heroes. "Let us go below and battle the darkness! Perhaps some minion of Apep lies within!" The voice in her head wanted her to say Set, but she figured Set got enough bad publicity and there was no sense in ruining her friend's gig. 


She kept it slow as she flew down the tunnel, the glow of Horus's divine power only providing limited illumination as she headed down into the darkness below Bedlam. 

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The Red Rat


Infra Red mode activated, darkness was the Rat's friend for the most part. But she did not complain. The Lady Horus seemed fun.


As for the priest who seemed to have a thing against guns...


Religion is the opiate of the Masses! informed SLAVE, helpfully. 


For once, she agreed.  It was just she disagreed with communist philosophy of bulldozing religion more. There should be no tyranny of mind, and on this most dreadful tyranny, communism was guilty. And on this note, the priest man at least seemed dedicated to saving books. 


"allons-y!" she sang, launching herself down the corridor. 

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