Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Monkey Kitty
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Imiel and Marshal Knox

Marshal, his mind now fully returned to the present, let out a low whistle of awe between his teeth. "Man," he said. "I thought one crappy childhood was bad enough, let alone infinite ones."

Imiel too had regained his focus, but not his sense of dignity. A literal queen of Camelot. And he'd thought about... what, asking her out for coffee? At least he hadn't made a fool of himself yet. Not fully, anyway.

Marshal had no such worries. He'd already admitted to Cait what had happened with Ginny, removing all possibility of anything more than friendship now that she knew how stupid he'd been. Just as well. He wasn't exactly the noble prince type.

His mind turning immediately to practicalities, he said, without slightest hint of sarcasm, "This is all really interesting." (It was interesting.) "And we want to hear all about your adventures over the years... at some point. But right now, it seems like we have a pressing problem with this banshee situation. I wanna help. I'm sure he does too." A gesture toward Imiel, who nodded. Marshal went on, "But I'm gonna be honest, I don't even know where to start. Point me at something, and I'll do whatever you need me to. But where do we even begin? I don't suppose you've ever seen or heard of anything like this before?"

***

Down the street, a moving truck pulled up in front of another of the near-identical suburban houses.
Quaxo9
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:33 pm

Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Quaxo9 »

A ruin in the mountains

"And it was soooo easy. After the big deal everyone was making about it."

The young woman's hood was pulled back from her face as she hovered over a plate of chips. She and several others were sitting at a long table in the facility cafeteria. They made up a semi-willing audience for Agraylea's tale of how the twins were captured.

"Of course it was. You had the easy part. A simple sleep spell followed by a simple distortion spell. Any first-level acolyte could have pulled that off."

Her detractor was passing by with a tray of his own.

"Yeah, everyone knows that the big part was the preparation for the actual transfer spell."

Sensing she was losing her audience, Agraylea started back in with what she knew. "Yeah yeah. It was cool having a front seat to that."

This statement brought some jealous glares from a few of her table mates. Bingo.

"The beast - you should have seen how fast her skin could knit back together. The drugs barely kept her under long enough to cast the spell. And Tian..." She whistled, "Woo, he had the royal bee all in a tizzy. Haha."

The man in question frowned at her and made to give her a quieting motion. She kept going.

"And can you imagine her poor little kiddies the next morning when their mommy comes back all messed up?" The woman's laughter rang out for a short moment before a deafening silence descended on the room. Her mouth stayed open for a few seconds before she realized she couldn't hear anything coming out of her throat. A terror gripped her as she slowly turned her head toward the door.

Dressed in a long purple gown with gold trim, hood pulled low over her face, stood their master. The woman's elegant frame was all too obvious under the fine silk, but the dangerous aura was what attracted everyone's attention. Wide eyes stared at her from every corner of the room.

"Children? Adopted, I assume, as if they were born of her flesh someone would have told me about this important development."

Silence. Tian whet his lips. Agraylea swallowed hard.

"Master, we observed children calling Rhiannon 'mother', but we do not know for certain if they are blood." Tian spoke calmly, bowing his head with respect as he did.

"Are you serious, Tian? They look just like hrrrkk"

Agraylea had not learned the lesson her partner had tried so hard to teach her. That there was a time to speak and a time to be silent. As the woman's lifeless body fell to the ground, her head at an odd angle, he thought that it only appropriate that she went out while talking. He knew he was still at risk, of course, but he could only hope that his manner would keep his Master's anger at bay.

"Well. This is troubling news. You...walk with me. I want details on this little family before I pay them a visit."

Tian nodded and stepped quickly to catch up with the powerful woman. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. He spoke as they walked.

"Well, the children appear to be twins around eleven or twelve years of age. A boy and a girl. The boy is sight impaired..."

He could only hope that he'd have opportunity to amend his error.
Quaxo9
Posts: 1153
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:33 pm

Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Quaxo9 »

A ruin in the mountains

"This is a massive oversight. You realize the severity of the situation."

"Yes, Mistress."

Her eyebrow arched as she stared at him over the edge of the ornate scrying pool. The deep purple liquid swirled slowly within. The slim woman stood slowly, distancing herself from the structure and moving closer to Tian.

"The future is hidden from me. These 'loose ends' must be tied up. These children - and the original reliquaries - must be neutralized."

"Mistress, the originals have been warded with gards preventing re-entry. We could perform the same rite on the children."

A cold smile pulled at the corners of her lips. "Of course. But we must also prevent this passing on of responsibility from occurring again. Understand, we cannot kill the reliquaries outright. There are likely fail safes against that. But we can take certain...precautions."

"Understood." he bowed his head reverently. "Our cover on location is blown, Mistress. We have it on good authority that SHIELD has many agents in the area and they are scanning for mystical energy. I recommend that we collect the individuals in question and move them to a secondary location."

The woman paused to consider the information. She absently touched the yellow gem on the chain around her neck.

"Very well. Let's lay out the red carpet for our guests, shall we?"
Quaxo9
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:33 pm

Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Quaxo9 »

Cait McIvor

Cait was taking a moment to respond to Marshal when suddenly the room fell away into starry night. She reached out for the children, trying to grab onto them in what felt like zero gravity, but without anything to push against she was left flailing. Her heart jumped into her throat just as her body slammed into a stone floor.

She lay there, the room spinning until it solidified into a natural rock cavern strung with not so natural lights. The scents in the room suggested a large number of people. Strange smoke. Familiar herbs - but not in a good way. She took a deep breath, steadied herself, then sat up. Rhiannon and the children were stirring. She felt Marshal closeby even as she took note of Imiel and his children. Oh no.

"Welcome, honoured guests. I have been dying to meet you."

The silvery voice dripped with sarcasm and malice. Cait buried her concern for her family and friends and stood to face the woman in long purple robes standing outside a shimmering barrier. This might not be her dimension, but Cait had a strange surge of familiarity seeing that face. It had to be.

"Morgaine le Fey. You'll forgive me if I don't bow."

The woman laughed, the empty sound echoing in the chamber. The hairs on the back of Cait's neck stood on end. This was bad. Very bad. Magicians in general were bad news - and this was possibly the worst person they could run into in this dimension - but Cait wasn't completely out of tricks. Her first duty was to get her family out. Then she could deal with the witch and the horde of robed figures behind her.

"What do you want. I have Pilates at two."

"You should show some respect for your better, little vessel. Or rather, former vessel." Morgan touched the gem hanging around her neck and smiled, surveying the rest of the bubble's denizens. "What an interesting house party. Shame we're going to have to break that up."
Monkey Kitty
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Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:31 pm

Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Imiel and Marshal

Imiel felt himself falling, suddenly - how was that possible when they were in a house? - but had little time for a reaction other than instinct. He did his best to shield Annie and Mia from the fall, twisting his body so they fell on top of him instead of under him. The girls were unhurt, as a result, but it meant his control over his own landing was limited, and he impacted the stone floor directly on his back. It knocked the wind out of him, and he saw stars.

After a few seconds to regroup and get his bearings, his thoughts turned to the others. Where were Rhiannon's children? Were they safe too? He located them - they seemed unharmed, thank goodness - and then Rhiannon. Finally, Cait and Marshal.

It seemed like everyone was okay. But what the hell had happened? And where were they?

Cait's response to their captor didn't much clarify things.

Nor did Marshal's quiet, surprised gasp of, "Holy shit, she's real too."
Quaxo9
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:33 pm

Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Quaxo9 »

Rhiannon McIvor

She hit the floor and lay there, but she wasn't just catching her breath. Rhiannon reached out into the floor. The felt the footsteps, counted the people, felt the dimensions of the room through them. The hair on her arms stood up when the woman spoke and Cait confirmed her worst fears. They were stuck in a room with the most powerful witch their dimension knew and she couldn't do a thing to protect her own children.

But then, that actually wasn't her job. And there were children here she could protect. She stood and shifted to stand in front of Imiel, Annie and Mia. Rys focused her eyes on the floor, but turned her head slightly so her whisper could carry to Imiel's ears.

"Hold on to me - tightly. As tightly as you hold to your girls."

While Rhiannon couldn't touch her own flesh and blood, she could touch others - if she let them through her barrier. If Imiel did as she asked, he would feel something like water running over his arms and then over his whole body. Her bio-resonance field extending over the other three as she accepted them as part of her own body.

If only Cait could keep Morrigan and her followers distracted long enough.
Quaxo9
Posts: 1153
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:33 pm

Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Quaxo9 »

Ewan and Charis Thomas

It was so hard to think. Breathe. Anything. Was this...colour?

"Yes. That's what colour looks like."

Charis' telepathic voice was strained. Like she was feeling this overload too.

"But what is it all? It doesn't make any sense. It's too much."


Cait McIvor

The kids were slow to get up. That couldn't bode well. Rhys...she had heard her stand, but she didn't know what kept her sister so far behind her. In a way, that was helpful. It gave her room to work.

Morgaine was right to be overconfident, but she'd also given so much away. The gem around her neck had to be where the bean sidhe were stored. The plan was to make sure they stayed there, no doubt. By tying up loose ends. Painfully.

Well, if she could surprise the witch, the goons shouldn't be too much trouble. She approached the shimmering wall and wished not for the first time that she were a little taller. Luckily she had enough confidence to pull off a show of bravado even though she had to tilt her chin upward a little uncomfortably to make eye contact.

"Well, seems like you already broke up our party once. The way I see it, you owe us a little vino, maybe some pizza..."

It wasn't her best, but hopefully it would still do what she needed it to do. Distract the sorceress from the movements of her right hand at her hip.
Monkey Kitty
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Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:31 pm

Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Imiel and Marshal Knox

Imiel did as instructed, holding tightly to Rhiannon as he did Mia and Annie.

I wish this was under better circumstances... he thought to himself, then felt like a fool. She was a queen, he reminded himself. The closest some random Skrull was going to get to holding her was just a time like this - when they were all fighting for their lives in some chaos world he didn't understand, and somehow this magic was their salvation.

Marshal, meanwhile, could do little but stand by Cait - but that was exactly what he did. He kept silent, but drew on his full military bearing and all of his height. The super soldier, sure... but more than that. This had been his whole life. Martial bearing? It was like his middle name - heck, it pretty much was his first name.

He always joked that his mother couldn't spell, but that wasn't true. His mom had known what she was doing when she carefully dictated M-A-R-S-H-A-L onto the birth certificate. She hadn't been just giving a name - she'd been bestowing a title. One he had always been expected to live up to, as long as he could remember.

Her little 'Mordred,' with the military bearing.

Well, under the circumstance maybe that would work in his favor, now that he had to deal with a goddamn real-life Morgan le Fay.
Quaxo9
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:33 pm

Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Quaxo9 »

Cait McIvor

As it turned out, Cait's paltry attempt at a distraction was completely unnecessary. A man ran into the room, his hood thrown back from the speed at which he'd been running. He looked about to shout when the witch lifted her hand and closed her eyes.

"Strange."

"Yes m'lady. SHIELD just descended out of the clouds - they're making short work of defences."

The distance booming sound of something large hitting the ground...then shaking in the chamber. Dust fell from the ceiling. Morgan le Fay shut her eyes and began preparing an incantation.

Cait saw her opportunity and took it. "NEPO!" she shouted, pulling her hand up to reveal a tear in time and space. A dimensional rift gifted to her by a dear friend. How fortunate that inter-dimensional space wasn't just between her own dimension and whatever plane this pocket was in. Otherwise, she wouldn't have had a sword in her hand right now.

The witch's lip curled in a snarl, no doubt due to the form of magical incantation Cait had used, but her face soon grew slack in shock. Excalibur pierced the magical shield separating the two women, shattered it, then proceeded to stab directly into the crystal around Morgan le Fay's neck.

Cait's world became nothing but screams.

~~~~~~~~~~~

To everyone else watching, a very bright yellow light erupted between the elegant Morrigan and the rough eternal princess. Cries and screams filled the cavern. More dust fell. SHIELD agents started pouring into the chamber. Purple tendrils appeared out of thin air, picking up the Mistress and her cultist servants to deposit them somewhere beyond the walls of the Swiss prison they'd created.

The screams died down. Rock plummeted down onto the small group below, bouncing off of an invisible wall around Rhiannon and Imiel. The three children lying prone on the ground had no such protection. Not even the sword under the palm of the girl in too-loose clothing could save her now.
Monkey Kitty
Posts: 722
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:31 pm

Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Imiel and Marshal Knox

The rain of stones panicked both men.

Imiel's daughters were safe, but he was very conscious Charis and Ewan weren't. There wasn't much he could do in the moment, but as soon as the rockfall had subsided, he disentangled himself from Rhiannon - grateful as he was for her protection, he was confident she would prioritize the finding of her children more highly than receiving thanks - and began digging around for them as best he could with Mia in one arm and balanced on his hip and Annie sticking close by.

"Charis? Ewan?" he called out.

Marshal had less trouble locating Cait, but what he saw took him aback. He had know stuff like this could happen, right? That she had been many different ages. But he hadn't quite counted on it happening right before his eyes.

He was concerned for her.

He tried to pretend concern for her was his only motive.

Don't be stupid, he told himself. This isn't about you. She would never have wanted you anyway. Just concentrate on the task at hand.

He turned his super soldier strength to digging her out.
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