15237/The Cockroaches

From United Heroes MUSH
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Cockroaches
Date of Scene: 21 June 2023
Location: Happyville - Smalltown upstate New York
Synopsis: When bad psychogenesis happens, random accidental magic occurs. And whether or not it fixed everything? That is another story entirely.
Cast of Characters: Sinister, Lucifer, Phantasm (Drago)

Sinister has posed:
Itches that you cannot easily scratch.

Since the reckonning in Westchester and the use of Cerebro, there's been moments where Nathaniel Essex is simply... distracted. He hunted around the woods of the area, for a thing with no name and no description other than that niggling paranoia and wasn't all that successful. Other things got in the way.

And now the sun has just gone down. Mind, Nathaniel did let Lucifer know that he -had- to check something upstate, but there's a generalized feeling in the wake of that, of undisclosed hesitation? Dread? It isn't anxiety, but there is a tension that makes for a distracted time with Sin gone. Presumably HE is broadcasting a bit more than he'd like to.
Lucifer has posed:
Is it still considered stalking if the person you're following is truly a loved one? Maybe it was because Nathaniel was dripping with something that even he couldn't put his finger on. Maybe it's just general worry becaue he has no idea what business Nathaniel ever has upstate. The only other thing is that he can't really stalk Nathaniel because the man always seems to know when he's near or far. But perhaps the distraction of whatever his lover is up to will keep him off his game enough that Lucifer will succeed.

Just away, able to view and maybe hear, but only because he has good senses. Otherwise he's sort of out of the way and just peering like a good man.
Sinister has posed:
This is a small town. In the world of the wild west, this would be a one-horse town. It has a mainstreet, with a green grocers, a bar, a couple of mom-and-pop places and some houses along side a gas station. It has more churches than it rightly needs, in that there's three visible. And it has an olde timey cemetary and possibly THE most loaded name imaginable. The sign, quite happily informs the casual driver 'Welcome to Happyville, may it bring a smile!' with altogether too shiny happy people practically skipping down the idealized artist's vision of the township.

The sign in the nearest church's lawn says 'Service cancelled' though, which is a strange thing. No lights are on in the place, except for a floodlight in the gas station and the bar, which sounds -rowdy-. Loud music, yelling, and many, many motorbikes out front.

Things otherwise seem mildly off; there's more graffiti than one would expect in a little one-horse town of low crime and lower expectations. Windows are broken. There's a smell of smoke in the nostrils that suggests something got arson'd not that long ago.

And like the lone gunslinger, Sinister stands, illuminated in the open door of the bar, bleached by the light and wearing a grim expression and harder 'street' clothes than he usually does. <<I know you're there.>> The thought is a calm, gentle one though.
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer blinks. Looks around for a moment, at the one horse, three church, one gas station bar happy town that's on the wrong side of the tracks but also...not. He then blinks again. <<I figured you would. I didn't really hide myself... What IS this place?>> It's asked in the mind as Lucifer hangs out, having found himself a nice little perch on top of the gas station sign.

<<It's like Mayberry and South Detroit had a baby...and that's not a normal thing...>> He comments further, now wishing he had himself a bowl of popcorn and a drink because this is going to get entertaining real quick he thinks.
Sinister has posed:
The distanced figure of Sinister looks up at the perching devil on the exxon sign, with its red leaping pegasus, somehow wrong in this scenario. The light behind that, flickers a bit, as if the local transformers are having a hard time. Sinister's eyes glow bright in the night -- the fires of a dying star, as they sometimes are. Then, after that moment is passed, he looks back into the pool of light.

A man comes flying out and tumbles in a roll to land on his front not that far in front of Sin's feet. Blood pools on the asphalt.

<<Doesn't it just though? I suggest you go around the back of the gas station and take a look at the skip there.>>

What an odd thing to suggest! <<Or maybe not. You might get angry.>>

Oh. Dear. He advances into the bar. <<I decided to play by your rule book, because trying systematic logic wasn't working. I followed my guts and this is where I ended up.>>
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer watches everything for a moment, feeling the flickering beneath him - since he's that close to the electrical current that's skipping. A tilt of his head as he spots that glance his direction, sees the glowing of the eyes. That whole dying star bit. It makes him shiver.

<<Well see, now I gotta go see what you're talking about...>> So he stands, flares his wings and takes off from the sign to go to the back of the gas station. Unsure of what he's going to see but he doesn't quite like the smell coming from the area already.
Sinister has posed:
He probably doesn't need to actually -look- in the skip to smell death. Death and decay have a very specific kind of smell -- tufts of fur and a ripped collar beneath the rusted box on wheels tell a story that doesn't need to be terribly elaborated on. And the cockroaches crawl. They're black. They're everywhere. Something's not quite right with -them- either and it takes a moment in the dark to realize what it is. They have only their shape... they're skittering... negative space.

<<See it yet?>>

A flash of vision is shown inside the bar. The people all look relatively normal, except that there's... a generalized feeling of malice. The barman stubbornly continues his trade, Sin looks away, notes a hell's angel picking up one of the local women, who is quite clearly married and she just looks keen for it, all thirty years of housewife of her. And there's more skittering shadows. On the walls. On people's faces.
Lucifer has posed:
In hell, one doesn't have to deal with the scent of death and decay as much as just the lingering scent of sulfur. Rotten eggs one can get used to. This is a whole other field. He spies the collars, the tufts of fur, and then he looks back to the creepy crawlies. How they skitter so... nothing about this is right.

Nothing at all.

<<What the hell is going on here?>> Asking this even as he's making a b-line towards the back door entrance of the gas station. If the door even thinks about budging he'll just yank it off. <<Mind if I lend a hand either way?>>
Sinister has posed:
<<I'm trying to work that out. What I think might have happened, is a psychic backlash event. I don't know for certain, but I think psychoprotogenesis occurred...>> Sinister's voice remains calm, but there's a determination clear in his thoughts. He's hunting for the source of this. Or someone untouched by it. Either way, there might be answers.

<<And by all means, please do. I am trying to work out why this manifested here. It must have had fertile ground.>>

The gas station door might be a strong one, but it isn't liable to survive the devil yanking it off, they're not really designed for that kind of event.
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer gets the door off with ease, even if it took a tug or two because he wasn't sure how much of his force was needed. Walking into the fun from the back can be interesting, and he gives little glances here and there to see if there's anything else out of place around these parts. <<Psychic backlash? Like something tried a thing and it backfired and then backfired on the targets?>>

He's not quite sure what he's walking into, but the skittering thats going in and out of shadows, and over people's faces has him almost acting like a blood hound. He tries to follow it the best he can, even if that puts him nearly in the face of a few Hell's Angels.
Sinister has posed:
It is everywhere that there's people. Over the places that they dwell. The gas station attendant appears to have left and locked up and took all the cash from the register, along with trashing the security cameras. That has to have been an inside job, as no obvious damage to the locks is obvious, but the pouring of an entire slurpee slush container on the DVRs of the camera systems is rather obvious sabotage.

Luckily there doesn't seem to be anything but larceny and vandalism there.

Outside though, well, the hell's angels are obvious individuals and they've got thier fair share of the shadow cockroaches on them. Sinister seems to have gone through the bar to the back alley, where a group of young teens are smoking up weed and drinking booze in the back of the mom and pop grocery store.

But really, it's where there's the most of these shadows that they want to find, or a significant lack, right? They seem to be ubiquitous, but a few less on the edge of town, where the post office is. There's but a few there and that's where Sinister strides toward. "What you just thought is possible, Luci. This could be a side-effect of an assault gone wrong, but we won't know without some further questions."
Lucifer has posed:
"I feel like we'd be left dead in the water asking anyone for an actual answer..." Lucifer says this as he begins to walk with Sinister, leaving the gas station slash bar slash loitering hold behind. "If this had something to do with psychic stuff, how are we going to get to the bottom of it?" He's serious in his questioning, because a part of him feels either one of them could sus out the source. But it might be a bit tricky either way.

"So what drew you here to begin with? Just something on the telepathy lines not making sense or had a hiccup somehow?"
Sinister has posed:
"As I said, I took a leaf out of your book and started letting my gut instinct guide me, trusting that not my analysis, to lead me to where I needed to be. I've had a feeling for a while, since Cerebro that something wasn't quite right, but it all seemed to be chasing wild geese..." Sin looks askance to Lucifer and nods. "I would tend to agree with your assessment though..."

And yes, indeed, there is a truth to the thoughts summised in one infernal head.

The actual question has him pausing in front of the post office and staring at it. After a moment of analysis, as Lucifer is very observant, he'll notice what's different about this place as opposed to all the others. It's likely run by a native american, given there's some symbology and charms hanging, including a spirit wheel by the door. Sinister looks square at Lucifer then. "To erm... not sound ... how shall I put this... hokie? But... I tuned my mind and thoughts into the bad vibes and harshed mellow."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer nods while he listens to Sinister explain his train of thought. "Taking pages out of my book can be a dangerous thing, my darling..." He offers this much with a grin and then shrugs his shoulders. "But if you were getting bad juju and decided to see to the bottom of it by way of just figuring it out. Good for you."

Then they come to the post office and he looks it up and down, left and right. "Why is it always a post office?" He asks while looking over to Sinister. "It makes sense and it's not hoke. Let's go ask the Native inside the building if they know of anything? I can't tell if these are wards of protection or...spreading things."
Sinister has posed:
"Is it? I hadn't made that observation -- well, other than a spat of the earlier part of last century up to the middle, where postal workers went off the deepend. That's where we get the term 'going postal' after all..." pause, beat. "You, I am sure of it, are capable of planning and scheming. If you weren't, you wouldn't be near as clever as you are. But you trust instinct and impulse a lot more than I do, much of the time. But lets..."

Unsurprisngly, the post office is shut. Tugging on the door, elicits nothing but a lock. With a glance to the devil, Sinister taps the top of the lock and a soft, almost inaudible amount of clicks and a slide of a deadbolt can be heard from behind. There's another pause, a hesitation with a mouthed count of three and he steps one step to the left of the door as a shotgun blast peppers bullet fragments through the wood. There's a second bang and he looks down at his chest and then the wall, where a single 9 calibre bullet hole has made quite the impact on the wall of the building.... and back down at his own chest.
Lucifer has posed:
"Kinda what I was getting at. The whole going postal bit... so of course they would be in the post office..." Agreeing with Sinister as they begin to head towards the post office itself and Lucifer gets one good look around before glancing back to the door. It's then that he watches as Sinister picks the lock - because that is what a Sinister can do.

Does he notice Sinister counted to three before opening the door? Maybe. Does he bring it up? Absolutely not. In the moments after the doors are opened and Sinister walks through, the sounds of gunshots are all that fill his ears. Though, they never act as some usually would. All chest-holding, Oscar-Award Winning scene of trying to defy death which comes too quick.

For them it doesn't come at all.

In fact, Lucifer sort of looks at the door, looks as Sinister, glances around the office, then back again a time or two before his gaze settles on Sinister himself. "Did it tickle?"
Sinister has posed:
"Well...." looking still at his own chest, Sinister raises both hands and lets them fall to his side. "It knocked the wind out of me?" He offers that much as somewhere in the dark of the post office interior, someone curses to the powers that be in Mohawk and the sound of scuffling into the parcel locker can be heard.

"I've got more ammunition, you stay the hell away, I saw what you did!" A woman's voice comes from the back, hidden behind something or other. "And I got enough large amazon packages in here that you wouldn't hit the broadside of a barn!"

But after this, there is commendable silence and more than likely a spot of creative rearrangement of location.

Sinister narrows his eyes as the bullet that struck him simply tickles to the ground, his clothing mending itself. "I doubt she knows what's going on particularly, but she clearly knows -something- is."
Lucifer has posed:
"Right then." Lucifer says this and looks into the post office once more. The voice, the threats, he just shrugs them off for a moment while Sinister amends himself. "Well...maybe she'll have some answers that will better point us in the right direction." This much more as he takes a step further in.

"And what is it that we did? We only just arrived tonight, this looks like it's been going on for some time..." He says this much while taking another step inside. "And we don't plan on hurting anyone. Instead, we'd rather help...so if you can tell us anything. Anything at all. Like when it started? How? That would be a great help to us.."

Boxes get pushed out of the way. By mind or hand it may not be quite known. "Also, I don't need to hit the broad side of a barn. Trust me on this. You can come out. We're friendly and bullets don't hurt us."
Sinister has posed:
There is more cursing in Mohawk and kudos to logic and sensibility... the owner of the cursing tongue appears behind one of those oversized amazon packages at the back of the post office lock-up. She's probably in her early fifties, with the kind of face that usually would be prone to smiles, in circumstances that aren't these. But the mohawk people are not shy of stepping up to the line and taking up arms and never have been -- she is no different. She squints between a wayfair package containing the planks for a do-it-yourself armoir and the large amazon package. She has a shotgun in one hand, cocked with it braced against her hip, a 9 millimeter in the other hand, which is likely why she was so deft. This isn't her first go around with trouble, apparently.

"You know, sayin' your bulletproof ain't much of a reassurance. There's enough in the world that can resist being shot." She cocks her head, watching warily through the bars of the lock-up cage. "This started about two months back, so we're straight and to the point. Reports came in of cattle bein' mutilated, then stray dogs, cats, chickens even. Coyotes. Nothing as wasn't a person, winding up dead and they were thinkin' to call the CDC, 'cept that we knew it was people that done it, not no disease."
Lucifer has posed:
"You are more than welcome to take a shot at me point blank if you want to see that I am bullet proof. And you already shot my partner in the chest and as you can see, he's none the worse for it." Lucifer offers, matter of factly, conversational.

"I saw the cats and dogs...I haven't seen the cattle. And while it may be someONE doing it and not someTHING, I suspect whatever it is is not human either." Offering this much more, his ears twitching a bit. Picking up something from her, he shifts his tongue and begins speaking in Mohawk. "Much like the Wendigo. Something not of this world...or not supposed to be in this world. We want to help. To stop it. Can you share anything else with us?"
Sinister has posed:
There is silence for the span of a human breath. A minute, not even breathing. "Who -are- you?" this returned in Mohawk, but the woman doesn't wait for a response, clearly thinking that in this place, in this circumstance, she doesn't have the luxury of knowing. Or doesn't -care- to know, despite the asking. "I think it is Wendigo. We know when people do wrong, when there is a malice that comes through the mind, action and deed that it has consequences. The last time something like this happened, it was a hundred and fifty years ago and it was because of those that came. This time? I don't know. I want to lay a blame, but that's not for me to do." She replies this, then steps fully clear of the box, btu still with both guns cocked and without opening the cage.

"I don't know what started this. My people believe when there is great trauma, a great wrong doing, that such things can be born. Sometimes, it's because of disturbing something that should have stayed asleep. But there is no pattern here that I could see, only the start and it was spread across the town. And I saw the cockroaches crawling. I thought they were banes from the other side. I think I was right."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer continues the conversation in her native tongue. "Well, you asked and I must be polite to answer. I am Lucifer Morningstar. Yes, the very one. No, I am not lying." That much beore he listens to her further. "Is there no place it came from? No origin point? You said it started with cattle. On a farm perhaps?" Trying to perhaps jog her memory a bit or offer her words she can agree to that will help hone their search.

It's when she says the can see the cockroaches that he pauses and looks directly at her. "We can search. We can see them as well. Did they begin to come from any place? Or is there a place you've noticed they do not go?" He then holds his hands up. "We are sorry we disturbed your hiding spot, and will do well to not let the crazed ones find you here. I thank you for your help."
Sinister has posed:
"The mutilations started on the highway coming south. In fields on either side, like what started it came by road. The cockroaches avoid our reservation. Most of us are ok, some of us... succumbed. I have a job to do though, so I stayed." She replies this, looking at both of them. "Those that were angry are the ones that succumbed on our lands. The drunks and the loudmouths, some of the women that got mistreated by well... everyone. And they're the ones that started killing the dogs and cats first, I think because we started seeing it through them -- they'd bark and growl and snarl and hiss." She sighs, shaking her head.

"Evil takes the innocent first." And looking back up, she shrugs her shoulders once. "Your name doesn't mean much to me, outside of the stories they forced us to listen to. If you are him, I hope you actually bring light where it's supposed to shine, where they least want it to. You do that, you'll have my gratitude at least. Probably the gratitude of the council, Herald of Dawn."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer smiles and shifts a hand to rest over his chest while giving his head a short bow. "You have my thanks. We will leave you to this. When it is over, we will come give word." He offers this much and then turns and looks to Sinister, giving him a bit of a 'lets get out of here' wave.

He'll wait until they're outside the post office before speaking in English again. "Can you re-lock her hide out?" This asked and then he takes a breath. Knowing well Sinister likely does not have a clue what was just spoken, he relays the conversation to him - in short terms.
Sinister has posed:
"Yes, I can do that..." Sinister touches the lock when the door is shut and the tumblers telekinetically trip into place. He looks sidelong to the devil for a long moment, "I got most of that, by the by. Not all of it, thoughts often express through intent and some of the semantics are lost when I am hearing them in a different language." Listening to the short version of the words, he looks away, through the township's main street to the periphery roads and the promise of the highway just out of sight. South. There's a soft grunt and with a nod, he lifts off the ground in silence, flying up to get a better view of the town from above, under the cover of the dark -- and then after a pause, he lifts up higher....
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer nods a little as the lock is redone and then he moves along with Sinister until the man seems to pause. In his pausing and looking, suddenly Sinister is up into the skies and seeming to climb higher. With this, Lucifer spreads wings and takes flight himself. A few powerful pushes of them to lift him into the skies until he's next to Sinister once more. "Sensing something? Or just trying to pin point how far south we may have to go?"
Sinister has posed:
"I had a thought," Nathaniel replies. "Dangerous, I know. I shouldn't do that too often, things might happen..." there's a half-smile as he reaches his right middle finger and index to the jewel in his forehead, extending the left with fingers spread toward Lucifer's face.

The world looks as it should do, with lights in buildings and the sparsity in the township itself. But the highway has car headlights. Trucks are insectile multi-eyed things along the road with their trailer lines and floods. Monocular bikes can be seen here and there. In the dark this is -normal-. Then the edges blur, colours becoming more indistinct where outlines are concerned; the physical and the material carrying less weight as the psychic and astral pierces through. The lights are more like vapourtrail streaks here and the dark down the sideroads... the off-ramps from the south? There's patches of dark that seem to want to wriggle in the eyeballs, like there's things moving there.
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer chuckles and shakes his head. "You said it, not me." He offers this much before Nathaniel does something that causes Lucifer's vision to slightly alter. The normal shifts as if being pushed aside for something else to take it's place. The darkness there that's trying to wiggle and wraggle has him lofting an eyebrow up. "So I guess we're heading to that patch of black? Proceed with caution and all that?"
Sinister has posed:
"Likely. I wanted to see if there are other spots. If there are, we may have to find a method of localized cleansing. They're quite easy to miss aren't they? On a wide scan, you wouldn't even notice. They're hiding..." Turning slowly on the spot, the psychic plane doesn't have the same rules of distance that the curvature of the earth has, so it's possible to see wide and far, a thing that without being used to it, could be overwhelming. "Do you see any others?"

There's a few, one rather dense cluster in the middle of what seems to be nowhere. They become more frequent the closer one gets to Westchester. Not all the clusters seem to be 'wriggling' though, some seem to be very static, like they didn't find anything to proliferate in, or that they went dormant.
Lucifer has posed:
There's a glance around made by Lucifer as things come into better view. "Hiding? Like they know there are more powerful things around now or that maybe they've had their fill and are just waiting to be hungry again?" He asks this even as he looks around and gives a soft hmm.

"I see some...but they're certainly less wriggly and more looking like they're dormant. Static. So maybe we should focus on the wriggly ones first?"
Sinister has posed:
"They'll probably be more obvious. And as far as I've understood things, we've commited to fixing Happyville," Nathaniel turns his face up to the moon, eyes closing as he lets the summer breeze and moonlight play on porcelain pallid complexion for a moment. A deep breath following and he sets his flight toward the cluster at the south of this PARTICULAR town. It's right there, after all.

Landing, these are outlier buildings. Farmsteads mostly, of a small nature. One looks like it was once a cattle farm, but it's hard to ranch cattle when you've killed them all, isn't it? "Fertile soil. I wonder if this town has a lot of secrets." He muses, advancing as soon as he lands, into a predatory stalk toward the main farm building.
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer smirks and then shrugs. Before he can say anything else though, Nathaniel has taken himself towards that cluster in the south of this town. So fixing Happyville first it is then, and Lucifer makes to follow. Landing just beside the man before folding arms against his chest and watches.

Fertile soil. Dead cattle. Mohawk tribals. This place could be filled with anything, and these little cockroachy creatures are just the beginning...or the most mischievous. After a moment, he follows Nathaniel but his steps are more casual stroll than predatory stalk.
Sinister has posed:
Welcome to a sudden and overwhelming gut-lurch. It's fleeting, but it churns up of a sudden and leaves the knuckles itching and the hackles raised. The duration was little more than an 'emmission' of sorts, like something very nasty just belched. Mind, if something fed off all this discord, it would be quite happy digesting by now. Right?

And this as they draw within six feet of the farmhouse. There's dark smears here and there on the corrugated iron of sheds, on the door itself which has a cheerful little plaque upon it, which reads 'Welcome to our Home' with daisies and sunflowers painted around the edge. There's blood splatter on it and a few strands of cowhide.

Sinister shivers, fists unclenching as he looks down at them, back up at the door and when Lucifer draws up close enough, to the devil. "Did you feel that, or was it just me?"
Lucifer has posed:
Even for someone with Lucifer's constitution is put off by the sheer STENCH that suddenly fills the senses. He almost even dry heaves but manages to maintain some sort of composure. A glance around as he finally catches up with Nathaniel at the house. All homey and such if one doesn't take the blood and cowhide remains.

"Oh I felt it...I can't put my finger on it...but I felt something..." He offers this to Sinister and then moves to pass the man so he can simply walk up onto the porch. A kick here, an elbow there and then he looks at the front door. Screen door gets opened and then he tests the actual front door itself to see if it's locked or if it just happens to open right up...
Sinister has posed:
The door is open. And it opens easily enough. In fact, once opened one can see tht it was splintered on the inside, like someone kicked it in. What follows inside will not be repeated. There was a family. Past tense.

Three kids, a wife. An old man, either a grandpa or a great uncle. It's really quite hard to tell though.

Lizzy Borden wannabes.

Electricity is still running though it looks like somoene hacked at the phone lines and at the fuses. What's still powered is powered by a generator which probably means eventually it won't be.

Sinister stares around the front room. Then the kitchen. Then the pantry where grandma seems to have been. A multigenerational home. And pauses by the pantry door and cocks his head. A moment later, he opens the cellar stairwell and stares down. The sound of shovelling can be heard and he? He has clinical dispassion going on right now, in spades. <<I find myself more than a little surprised.>> And THAT is the word he chooses to go with?
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer tilts his head one way and then the other before he steps through the house, looking at the massacre. It's too brutal for words. He walks past it rather quickly. Electricity via generator, so it's not going to last long. The kitchen is where things get a bit more interesting.

Watching Nathaniel open the cellar door and then hearing that sound of shovelling...he just stares into the abyssmal dark that is beyond the stairwell. Lucifer gives a grin, but this isn't just any grin. It's not even his infamous flirtful grin. This grin screams bad things are coming.

He holds a hand out, palm down flat, then he makes a grip like he's grasping onto an invisible handle before sloooowly turning his hand. A red glow, very dim at first, begins to fill the cellar as hellfire begins to sprout up from the ground beneath the shovellers feet.
Sinister has posed:
Some might stop the Devil there. But that's not the sort of thing that Essex is prone to doing -- not when there's a calling being fullfilled. Sinister turns eyes upon the outstretched hand, then the cellar door with a tip of the head to the side. Once it's got going, and the frightened shouts begin, followed by the yells of oncoming panic, it's THEN that he strides on down the stairs as the flames begin to catch on things that shouldn't really burn. His clothing hisses and sizzles a bit but the halo around him of reddish energy keeps him from incandescing. Into the inferno, to use the term -absolutely- correctly.

Images are sent above, of the man desperately patting out the fires that are catching on himself and the big hole he was digging in his cellar, presumably for his family. But also, there's an image of what's in the pit, which seems to be writhing. More cockroaches, a nest of them below -- withdrawing from the heat, into a tunnel of sorts, or rather... a root? A tree root, but it looks sick.
Lucifer has posed:
With the images being sent back to him, Lucifer is quick to turn the attention of the flames away from the man and chasing the cockroaches. As this happens, he begins to jog gently down the steps keeping the fire right on the tail of that black swarm. "Follow it. Tell me if I need to kill the tree." He offers to Nathaniel before looking to the man who was shoveling.

A step, and then he's in front of the man, but more so, he's got the man pinned to the wall. "Did you do that?! Upstairs! Did you go all ape shit crazy and kill your whole fucking family? Answer me!"
Sinister has posed:
There's a look that can be seen in the wild eyes of a terrified horse; it's a hair shy of total raving lunacy and it has been captured many a time on film, where the whites of the eyes can clearly be seen all around the iris. Where it will take only one nudge to start wailing or whaling about or...

The smell of urine is strong, the stain on the man's dungarees a final insult. "Y-yes," the voice is barely a strangled gargle, a whimper in the hellish scene of flame and Lord of Hell in front of him. "I /had/ to. I h'had to. They... they..." it gibbers, the rest of it.

Arching brows, Sinister looks from scene he has no interest in, to the pit. There's a sigh as he liquifies, pouring into the hole and coating the root with his being. He vanishes into the soil and passage of rootway, with it.
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer growls. The growl of the Devil is one that might just send someone to shatting out excrement after they urinate themselves. "Had to? Had to?! There is no reasoning for that type of slaughter. I bet you hacked up your cows too. What were they doing, not giving you any milk?" His eyes narrow and then he throws the man onto the ground. Eyes, flaring with hellfire, stare into the man's very soul through the whites of the eyes. "Burn." It's all he says before he goes to walk towards another wall, one step, two, and then he's at the cockroach tree.

The house goes up in flames.
Sinister has posed:
And that's where it gets squiffy -- not when the house is on fire and the murderer with it.

No, when attempts are made to travel to the cockroach tree.

Lucifer pops out by a tree stump in the middle of a field. Sinister is not there.

But his mind is. <<Did you just... go past me somehow? I can feel you. But you're... not here.>>
Lucifer has posed:
<<The house is burning down. Which we know I can survive but I figured I would try to meet you at the tree...>> Lucifer thinks back to the man whom he can't find. <<But now I'm at a stump in the middle of an empty field and...I guess I could follow these roots towards you?>>

The house will burn down without a trace. Hellfire is a very interesting thing. No remains. Only ash where once stood a house and the family within.
Sinister has posed:
There's silence for a bit as mental triangulation occurs. <<You're about twenty miles to the east. Different township... how??>>

A mental image of where Sinister is, by the school building in the town, is brought vividly to mind. He can transmit such thoughts with astonishing accuracy most days.

And the house? At the moment, nobody will miss it. If the town recovers itself, then there might be a mystery. And a tally of who remains.
Lucifer has posed:
One step. Two. Then Lucifer is where Sinister is and he shakes his head after arriving. "I focused on you, on the entities skittering and the tree root you were following. I got led to a tree stump. How the hell did you end up at the school?"

Too many questions and not enough answers perhaps. Or maybe there is something a bit more at play. The devil is getting annoyed. He's already angry. Now he's angry and getting annoyed.

If Sinister doesn't figure this out soon he might just take it all into his own hands and play the Devil and his advocate.
Sinister has posed:
<<You did? Wait...>> Sinister pauses a moment, looking at Lucifer's anger and annoyance with a care. <<Deep breath, my dearest.>>

And I know that you want to go and incinerate the madnesss here. I know that. I can practically smell it. -- But he crouches down at the foot of the school's foundations and starts looking along it, walking after a few moments and around the corner, to the loading hatch. This school is quite old and still has a coal chute, which this trapdoor in the floor beside the foundation was initially for. He crouches there, where rain would normally seep around the foundation and digs around a bit behind weeds and plant matter, only to stare at the concrete and steel that reinforces where once wooden posts were driven. "You did go where I went. You just didn't emerge where I was. This is... mycorizoid. It's fungal. An interconnected network. Look..." he points at black mold at the base of the school. Which skitters away as they look at it. "These damn insects are fungi."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer takes a breath. Then another. Then he watches as Nathaniel moves along the edge of the school, around the corner and opens the loading hatch. "So I went where you went but emerged elsewhere...because this is all interconnected and somehow I got lost?" Which, in the long of the short, is a possibility. Mostly because if Lucifer is focused on too many things when teleporting, his destination can go a bit awry.

"Fungi? How can an insect also be a fungi?" Asking this as he stares at the skittering black mold.
Sinister has posed:
"That and I was dispersed, as I was liquid. Either way..." Sinister straightens up and stands staring at the black that ran away. "...this doesn't seem random, does it?" Stroking his chin a moment or two, he looks at the school, then rather neatly blows open the chains on the fire escape and walks on in, down empty corridors. Alarms go off, but it seems very unlikely that cops or first responders are likely to come a'calling here. Not when everything else is happening. Whose to say the sheriff's office isn't also effected. He aims for the lobby, that's where 'history of x' information plaques and such tend to be posted, to find...

That. A nice little display of when the school was founded (1840) and what it was originally all about, which was a pilgrim christian establishment. This is not New Hampshire, but it didn't take long for this state to carry the same haunts as others. Missionaries. Native children taken from their families to learn the christian doctrine. Outreach, established as a proper institution sometime in the early 1900's and when Tuberculosis and the spanish flu hit, it became a hospital. He looks at the walls, looks at Lucifer again. "Something is being drawn to places of trauma. It attracts the fungii. And I should show you the zombie fungus sometime then you'll understand how a fungus can be an insect. It's quite fascinating."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer follows along, through the fire escape and into the lobby. He'll be annoyed by the alarm soon enough that it suddenly stops for some reason. Once they've reached the plaques and such, he looks everything over. "So...piss off the Native Americans enough and they begin to fight back? Also I don't know if I want to see fungi anything after this. I just want to figure out where and how to get rid of it so things go back to relative normalcy and we can go home."
Sinister has posed:
"Well... you could try summoning it all up into a ball and see where that takes us?" Sinister suggests. "That is if you can do that, I'm not sure about that business, truth be told. I just know we cannot incinerate everything in the ground, or we'll make the entire area probably in a twenty mile radius, barren. I doubt that hellfire will be completely and utterly discriminating."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer grins and then begins to walk back out. "It's kinda like pulling the longest piece of snot ever out of a nostril....Have you ever done that? Just gotten hold of a boogey and pulled and pulled until it came out, but you could feeeeeel it coming?" He says this as he waves a finger, using some sort of trickery magic or mental to begin pulling and pulling on this network of fungi. It might take a moment. Especially if he's pulling from a twenty mile radius.
Sinister has posed:
Now this is strange.

As if the rest of it wasn't before, things just got a bit stranger. It isn't that the mushroom tendrils cannot be tugged upon, that's not the case at all. It's that they start to tug back and it becomes a literal tug of war -- and wouldn't it be a surreal thing for -mushroom- matter, to be able to tug comparable to the Archangel of the light? It surely would. Some veins snap, some then emerge elsewhere, take the snapped and lasso and tug harder, like the entity en masse is a giant mollusc of some kind, with more tensile strength than it has any right to have.

With it comes that fetid feeling of anger and wrath, all over again... feelings that Lucifer Morningstar is very familiar with, given the Christian mythology.

Sinister is suddenly in movement, a moment or two ahead of what occurs then, wrapping both his arms around the devil and closing his eyes hard, the diamond in his forehead flaring a nimbus of red over them both, when the psychic bellow comes:

Lucifer has posed:
Oh. OH! It wants to get fiesty now? It wants to try and out tug the Devil himself? When that feeling of anger and wrath begin to feed into the Devil he just digs in his heels and continues to pull. Then Nathaniel is behind him, holding him and shielding him.

"That's right. I brought a Sinister with me. You've been terrorizing this area for long enough...and you won't get a chance to prey on anything or anyone else." Lucifer speaks, and pulls and tugs. "You know...this could very well act like a line of gunpowder. Only the gunpowder burns...unless there's something at the end that would go kaboom.."
Sinister has posed:
"Or it could be something like an absolutely incandescent nightmare, because whatever -this- is might be spiteful, judging by the sound of that psychic scream. I really am glad I could feel that coming..." Sinister mutters, although he looks consternated at whatever resonance that threw at him. He thrusts his hand sideways, into thin air and turns the hand palm up, lifting it skyward then yanking it down -- rather faster than usual, a ring of ozone materializes and he makes a fist toward it, causing a second one to materialize just inside and above the first: A 'wormhole' ring.

<<Nick, we might need some help. I think this might be quite a bit bigger than what we can see in the material plane. I apologize for this, but...>> Sinister is a powerful telepath. He is. He's also very good at projecting thoughts, even changing the minds and personalities of the weak willed. It makes him very good at /creating/ memories and the like. And so, through the connection he rather cheekily forced, he sends the cliff-notes version of what the heck is going on -here- in Happyville.

<<There should be a wormhole in your closet. It's the thing that smells like ozone. Hop through and you'll come here. But I might have not managed to go horizontal, you might come out vertically.>>
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer is still playing tug of war with pissed off cockroach fungi and not really able to concentrate on or do much else.
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
As Sinister has limitations, so does Nick. The musician had been asleep when the doctor's voice popped into his mind, interrupting what was likely a very unpleasant dream. Unless you like staring down the barrel of a gun while a family member lies nearby with half the face missing. Then it's the best freaking dream to have! Either way, the interruption gets an odd response for Sinister as the dream's washed out and he wakes up. Eyes wide.


And then the footage is played of another dead family. Fu-? Roaches? Help friends. Right. Help-

Stumbling out of bed, the groggy musician brings up a hand to scratch the side of his head before he reaches down to tighten the draw string of the sleep pants. After a few more waddles, the shoes are acquired and-...

What was he-

Get in the closet?

Wh-Some bug problem. Man he makes weird friends.

The door to the closet is open and the musician ends up stepping through.

And that is the story of how Nick Drago ended up lying on the cold ground, topless, with his hair splayed about like he's on the cover of some sort of romance novel.

"...you called?" Nick tiredly asks.
Sinister has posed:
In the meantime, Sinister turns his own telekinetic weight to pulling on the threads. This doesn't seem to go any better than Lucifer tugging on it -- it's surprisingly regenerative, it seems. And then, there is a Nick falling out of the wormhole onto the ground just outside of the old and closed up school, looking considerably like he just got woken up. "Oh dear. I am sorry about that, I forget sometimes that other people still need to sleep. Hi. We have... Hnnnnnng!" -- even the non-psychic can feel that backlash, it feels a lot like a sudden case of really loud tinnitus -- "...gah. A thing. I don't know what it is, precisely, but it's psychogenerative and is inhabiting both material and astral plane. It arrived... shortly after I had my session with the School in Westchester..."

That explanation given, he looks to Lucifer. "You ok? It's fighting hard."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer nods in response to Nathaniel, and is briefly distracted when a Nick falls out of thin air half naked and looking like he's either modeling for smut or just woke up. Either way he turns his attention back to the fungi he's playing a massive game of tug of war with. "The land will heal. I'm about to just set this shit on fire...See how it handles itself then..."
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
There's a thing about people being woken up. They tend to be cranky. Even if the waking up did interrupt a bad dream. There's still the tired to contend with. Plus the lingering effects of seeing family being killed. Then another family dead an-

Sleepy people are just cranky. And based from him not jumping immediately into action, one could assume a bit slow on the reaction time too.

While likely not getting it as hard as the more attuned Sinister, the twinge of pain does cause for Nick to tilt his head in pain as he lets out an "AUGH" of discontent.

Sleepy people in pain get more than just cranky. And right now, this sleepy pained person is starting to feel a bit vindictive.

The puzzle pieces given to Nick are taken and quickly shoved together, piecing together a picture that wasn't originally intended but... in a way they make sense.

\<span style="color:#D69602"\>'A being upon two planes are spread,
To stop this fungus is what is pled.
A continued fight can be such a bore,
A fire's kiss will destroy all the spores.
With the loss of one, the other shall go.
The presence astral, no one it will know.'\</span\>
Sinister has posed:
"I think that might have been an invite bespelled, to do you, Lucifer..." Sinister thrusts his hands toward the ground, makes grabbing motions and haaaaaaaaaauls as best HE can also, a growing growl becoming an all out roar as he throws more actual power into it than he usually does -- he can lift quite a bit without effort and -with- it and risking going a bit ... nosebleed-territory, that's considerably more. Things not fixed to the ground lift off, mostly dust and tiny animals and insects, but also Nick -and- Lucifer as well as himself, /and/ a good amount of the tendrils of ghostly white and black spongiform threads, adding to the mass that Lucifer's already hauled upon.

And the world listens. The Dream listens. One wonders what might happen next.
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer's ears prick up a bit as he hears that spell coming from Nick Drago. He's had some weird experiences with the man's spells so far BUT, this one is going to likely help him and so that's a good thing. Then things begin to lift, including himself and things around them.

"Right then..." And he grips the fungal tendrils in his hand tighter, his eyes flare with hellfire, and soon the tendrils burst into flame. Much like he anticipated, they act like gunpowder and the fire begins to trail along the line of fungus. Can fungus scream? It likely is a torrent in Sinister's head at least.
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
Nick doesn't protest as he's lifted up. In a way, when compared to the cold ground he had been lying on, it's actually kind of comfortable. So. Considering that, the tired levels and the spiteful spellcasting from a few moments ago, one could probably forgive Nick for just resting his eyes a little. It's just a long blink. Nothing more.


Just a blink.


Ok. That's longer than a blink.
Sinister has posed:
Yes, fungus can scream. Or it can when it's not quite /actual/ fungus, owing to the nature of where the original manifested from.

To everyone that's not got that extra edge of being a telepath though, it kind of 'squeeees' owing to gas release and sudden combustion, the entire thing whistles madly.

There is a pause, when the last little whisp of what is here is faded to nothing but ash, then everyone is lowered to the ground once again, sadly including Nick. "... ... ..." the Doctor has a nose bleed, which he wipes with the back of his hand, staring at the red for a moment before it fades into skin. "..." again, mouth open, no actual words. He blinks at the blood, then quietly and rather unceremoniously keels over backwards and just lies, staring up at the sky, slowly blinking.
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer drops his hand, letting the fungal ash trickle to the ground at his feet. His chest rises and falls with breaths he doesn't need but in the moment feel like they make sense. "Fuck that was...weird." Saying this before looking around. Nick's asleep. Sinister has...fallen over. A sigh and he walks to find a stick, just any random stick, to pick up and moves back towards Sinister wielding said stick to begin poking the man. Poke poke. Pause. Poke poke. Pause. Poke.

"We can rest when we're home. C'mon. We have stuff to do still."
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
As the musician is set back down upon the cold ground, the blink ends up ceasing. Through slightly parted eyelids Nick's head rolls to the side to look over to Sinister. The timing is off, leading to him not seeing the blood being wiped away.

"...we good?"
Sinister has posed:
"..." and then finally a guuuuuuuuuuh of air rushing into lungs. Sin doesn't get up though, not yet. "...I feel like that took a lot more out of me than it had any right to," he admits that, then rolls partially onto his side, propping himself up onto an elbow, his head bowed over. Hair obscures his face as he reaches to his nose and blows at it again, eyeing his finger and thumb. "Hnnn. We appear to be in a quiet at least. I can't hear the interference any more?"

He pushes himself to being on one knee, then stands, albeit slowly. "Oh my word, lightheaded."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer shifts so that he's looooooming over Sinister while the man recovers from whatever the fuck just happened. He then shifts to slowly back up and away as the man then struggles to get up. "I think we're all done...but there might be only one way to find out..." Though he looks towards Nick. "Also. Hi. Thanks for joining us... and for the help... but... uh. I think we're good?"
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
To the assurance that they were indeed good. Nick gives a tired smile. "Nice..." Heavy lids soon interject themselves into the conversation by removing Nick once more from it as another blink lends itself to being longer lasting than it's predecessor.

At least the dream this time isn't as bad.
Sinister has posed:
Sinister stares for a moment at Lucifer, a bit longer than he ought, then at Nick where the man's fallen asleep again on the ground. He points upward rather slowly and once again, a circle of ozone opens a ring in the sky, a mechanical tentacle or two coming down to gently pick the man up. They'll return him to his bed and there might be that weird moment waking up tomorrow where one's not /entirely/ sure if any of that actually happened.

Then and only then, does he nod to Lucifer. "I ... er... what way is that?" Having a stupid moment, or just a fatigued moment, it seems.
Lucifer has posed:
"What way is what? Oh. Right. To go back to the gas station and see if everyone woke up and went home?" Lucifer asks, because he figured that would be the best way to tell. "And then go tell the native woman that it's all taken care of. And then we go home. And then you figure out some super awesome way for this to never happen again. Cause between broodling aliens and insectual fungi on top of elemental spirits ... our lives are very very interesting."
Sinister has posed:
"Oh, was there someone asleep at the gas station?" That's asked with a slow blink, looking back toward the township. "I didn't... check, I suppose. Did I check?" He ponders that, then waves vaguely in the direction of the center of thos one-horse town. "The bar should have calmed down a bit. That will tell us, I'm sure." He squints then, giving one more blow of his nose to clear the last.

"It could be worse you know. I could be heroic and do-good." That is said rather drolly. "You would get bored with everything being normal and then you'd find trouble to get into."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer blinks. "No. There were people going bonkers. I figured they would stop once this whole thing went away. I could be wrong tho..." Lucifer is likely just ready to go home, soak this off his mind and body in the hot tub and then contemplate the insides of his eyelids. Maybe while still in the tub. Not like he can drown.
Sinister has posed:
"Nnnnnnnng," Sinister wavers a little where he stands and after a moment of looking irritated, firms his feet up and concentrates. A single raven is born out of the depths of his chest and wings off into the night. He then holds out his hand. "I'll check. A bit of me will check. Things will be checked. I think I need to clear my mind and lie on a cool floor for a bit." Whilst you soak in the hot tub no doubt.

And perhaps, just perhaps, the psychic planes are safe again, for a while.