2009-08-15: Mall Madness


MrFaith_icon.jpg Elastica_icon.jpg Antonio_icon.jpg Sophie_icon.jpg

Summary: Xavier Teens head to the mall! A peaceful Saturday afternoon is ruined by some mystic chaos.

Date: August 15, 2009

Mall Madness

Rating: R

Westchester - Salem Center Mall

On the far end of the Food Court lays the long, wide hallway of the Mall. Oversized skylights let the sunlight pour in during the day, while the florescent bulbs light the Mall at night. This hall has a number of kiosks, selling anything from cheap jewelry to car stickers to on-the-spot portraits, along with them come a number of benches and let's not forget the store fronts calling out to the consumers with their bright lights and attention-drawing displays.

Saturday afternoon at the Salem Center Mall is just about as busy as the morning. People are going about here and there, shopping, talking, and just 'hanging out'. There are even a few senior citizens out for their Saturday walks they're just now finishing. Among all these people in the mall is one Eddie Parker-Mayfair, sitting on a bench and trying to decide if he wants to head into the music store.

Meanwhile, down by the local 'Hot Topic' the people have started to complain. Why? Well, the lights in and around the store have suddenly turned off. And there strangest thing is that it only seems to be affecting that particular area. Weird.

July feels a bit 'stiff' by being outside the school, since she can't just use her powers to drop her empty plastic cup on the garbage bin on the other side of the corridor without standing up, but she's managing. "Huh." She calmly says, while glancing at the store with the lights turned off. "You think that store forgot to pay the electric bill?" She giggles softly, dismissing it as something normal.

Coming out of said music store is that Italian Stallion himself…Antonio! Hear that fanfare? No, it's just playing on the I-pod he has tucked into both of his ears, the tips of which are hidden under a orange headband. He is wearing his favorite soccer jersey and a pair of track pants. A bag hangs off of one wrist, carrying the newest purchases in his music collection. The flickering lights causes him to look in that direction.

The mall always causes high amounts of anxiety for the little 'tattooed' student named Sophie; mostly centered around the crowds and the various stares accompanying the patterns criss-crossing both arms. She'd normally wear long sleeves to cover them up, but with the summer heat, it's just too uncomfortable. So she ends up there anyway with the goal of finding something at the music shop, though she knows they never have anything of much interest to her. Reluctantly she begins towards the shop, but quickly is diverted as she spots some fellow students from Xavier's. "Hey July, Eddie." she says, taking any chance she can to stall entering the shop.

Eddie's dressed pretty normally for him, jeans and a Young Avengers t-shirt with a backpack on his shoulders. He blinks and glances over when July asks about the store and frowns. "I don't know. Does the power grid for a mall work that way?" he asks, not sure. He turns back to July and offers a wave when he spots Antonio. Sophie surprises him and Eddie jumps. "Hey, Sophie. Haven't seen you in awhile. How's it going?" he asks.

The lights remain off for several minutes down by that store. Eventually, people just shrug and move along while the owner of the store tries to find out what's wrong. Then, just as suddenly as the lights go off…the come back on but in red. Considering that the bulbs haven't been changed, this is odd as well. There's another pause before what sounds like a woman laughing rather loudly cuts through the
chatter of the mall.

July shrugs softly, smiling, "Beats me. I never owned a mall store to find out." she says, not paying it much mind. She turns to Antonio and gives the italian guy a wave, and then one for Sophie, "Hey, Antonio, Sophie. Small world, huh?" she asks, giggling softly at meeting her school friends here. She was about to say something when she hears the laugh, which gives her pause and she blinks, "What was that?"

Antonio looks around quietly and then frowns a bit before reaching to his backpack and looking at the others, walking quietly, he slips the pack off and throws his things in and offers in a quiet voice. "This feels like is trouble. We should put on the masks?" He asks curiously. Having one of his in his pack for emergencies. He looks to Eddie, seeing him as the leader.

Sophie's dressed in her usual attire; old worn tight fitting black t-shirt, rolled up tight fitting blue jeans and black converse all-stars. It all screams out hipster. "It is a small world. Always seem to be running into someone I know. Yeah, just been looking for a new place to live now that I'm all done with school." she says, biting down onto her bottom lip as her eyes briefly wander over towards the now red lit Hot Topic. "Man, haven't been here in a while, but red lights? Really?" The sound of the laughter causes her to pauses. "Oh, well, that might be my answer."

"Sounds like a laugh," Eddie points out the obvious in an innocent manner. Frowning, he looks back at all the red lights, tilting his head. "No…we don't know what's going on yet. Could just be some advertisement stunt," he says softly. He looks at the others and shrugs. "Anyone hear anything about weird advertising or events?" he asks.

The Lights continue and the laugh comes again. Several arcs of lightning strike from the light fixtures to a point on the floor. There's a sudden flash of light and when it clears…people scream. Standing at about seven feet tall and weilding some sort of pole-axe is a skeleton made of red bones. It looks sort of human with several odd extras here and there and fangs in the skull. There also seems to be some kind of black gem imbedded in the skull. It lets out that laugh again as people start fleeing.

July shakes her head softly, "No, I didn't hear of any publicity stunts…" she says, frowning at the store's lights, until, at least, she sees the lightning arcs, "What the heck?" she blinks, eyes wide, "I think it's time to call the big guys…"

Antonio points a finger at the skeleton and looks at Eddie. "Masks -
now-?" He asks as he starts to back away, pulling out a small black domino mask and starting to put it into place regardless of the answer. "I can try to take his weapon? Or do you have plans?" He asks of the group.

"Wow, that's one hell of a advertising campaign." Sophie says dryly, staring at the rather large looking red, laughing mutant skeleton. " Instinctively she begins to rub her arms, turning back towards the other students frowning. "You know, I'm really beginning to hate this mall even more than usual. Seems like something impossible happens every time I'm here." She looks over towards Antonio, pushing up her nose in a lazy attempt to readjust her glasses. "Well… I don't have
any sort of mask or anything, so…"

Eddie stares for a moment, glancing at Antonio when he asks about masks. "Uhh…yeah…calling for backup, good idea," he says. He looks to the others after seeing the skeleton take swipes at a few people. It lets out that laugn once more before starting to stop towards the bookstore across from Hot Topic. As it goes, the skeleton fires a blast of energy into the music store from its weapon. There's some static before some rather creepy music starts up. Eddie lets out a little squeak and swallows. "Okay…I'm staying. People are gonna need help. Who's with me?"

July grumbles mentally about heroism and its usual short lifespan, "… I'm staying." she says, clenching her fists for a moment, tensing a bit. She /could/ unwind a bit by tackling on that skeleton guy, but she's not sure it's /wise/.

Still using both hands to rub her forearms, Sophie gives the others a quick nod. "Yeah, alright, I'll stick around too." There's a reluctance in her tone as she turns back to watching the skeleton, now taking swipes at other mall patrons and shooting energy blasts from his large axe. "Maybe I can try to pull that axe out of his hand?"

"Alright," Eddie begins, pressing the panic button on his phone as he looks from the others to the skeleton. Reaching into his backpack, he takes his goggles out and slips them on. "Getting the axe away is a good idea. We need to get people away too. Try to keep it distracted so it can't focus on any one of us," he suggests. Taking a deep breath, Eddie nods and starts to run towards the skeleton. Meanwhile, there's a scream from the bookstore and a man carry a rather large book starts to flee. When the skeleton notices, it laughs again and starts to chase him.

July removes her jacket to expose her usual squad suit, "The axe. Right." she says, frowning as she looks at it. "Alright. I'll distract it, make sure to just get it right." She then runs towarde it, "Hey! Bony!" She calls to him, trying to get his attention, as she stretches one arm toward it, in an attempt to wrap around the handle of the axe to tug it away, or at least prevent it from using the axe.

Sophie nods, "Ok, I'll give it a try then. I think I can do it." She takes one quick breath, holding it in for a couple seconds before exhaling withanother nod. She's the last to take off towards the skeleton, and attempts to get around it from behind, to attack from the other side. It's not too hard as it appears to be occupied by the man running away, clutching a large book. Moving to situate herself slightly before the skeleton, she holds her arms out, sending two streaming wires towards the axe handle, an attempt to also lock onto it.

Eddie doesn't get too close, smacked into the bookstore by a kick from the skeletion. The big monster doesn't give the power booster a second thought, laughing once more and then stomping. Suddenly, the hallway is blocked a strange red barrier and the man with the book runs right into it. "No! Its mine!" he yells, pounding on the barrier as the skeleton starts walking towards him again. "Give us the book, mortal!" the skeleton laughs in about six different voices. It then raises its weapon only for July and Sophie's wires to grab on. "Let go!" the skeleton yells, holding tight to the weapon and turning to face the girls.

"Ah crap." Sophie mutters as the big red skeleton turns to face her direction. With its attention now on her, she can't afford to give any thoughts to Eddie who was just flung into the book store. She gives a little tug on the weapon, testing to see how strong of a grip the skeleton has on the axe. Guessing that she probably has no chance to pull it free, she begins to send some current down the wires, hoping to give the creature just enough of a shock to stun him.

The skeleton lets out a roar again as Sophie shocks it, grip strong
even as the shock seems to hurt it. That music still plays and the skeleton focuses on Sophie. "Begone, Mortal! This does not concern you!" it roars, firing a blast of energy at the floor under Sophie. Meanwhile, from under a pile of books, Eddie stands up. He's in his squad uniform now, rubbing his arm. "Ow…" he mutters, walking out to join the fight again.

July attempts to tug the hammer away from the skeleton's grip, but Sophie's shock affects her as well, and she cries out in pain, her hold on the axe handle loosening as her arm uncoils and she reels back from the sudden shock, groaning in pain.

The cries of pain from July immediately pull Sophie's attention away from the skeleton, but it's at just the wrong time as she doesn't see the energy blast coming towards her. Making contact with the floor, the blast sends chunks of tile and wood up into the little teen, causing her to loose her footing and fall down into the ground. She hits hard with a loud yelp escaping from her lips. Unfortunately for her, she's still connected to the Skeleton's axe as her wires remain wrapped around the handle.

Eddie jumps and rushes over to check on July. "Hey, you alright?" he asks, glaring up at the skeleton. He jumps again as Sophie gets hit, scooping up a book off the ground and chucking it at the skeleton. Unfortunately, the hard-cover book on sightseeing in New York City just passes through the monster's rib-cage without cauing damage. The skeleton yanks its weapon free from Sophie's wires and roars at the teens before turning back to face the man with the book. He's not banging on the barrier anymore, instead holding the book open and reading from it in what sounds like latin. Glowing sigils and arcane symbols float around him and give a generally dark and unsettling feeling to anyone that looks at them long enough. "NO! You dirty mortals are not meant to read the book of Majernick!" the skeleton roars. "Discord will not allow it!" the monster goes on, breathing fire towards the man with the book.

July shakes her shocked arm as she grits her teeth, "Y-yeah, I'm fine." she says, some slight smoke coming off her arm, "I'm fine, thanks." she says, nodding to Eddie as she comes to her aid. "Alright… too hard to get the axe off him. Soo…" she frowns, and then she stretches her arms toward it again to attempt to toss it against a far wall.

Sophie slowly begins to pick herself up, moaning slightly after just recovering from being knocked down. She quickly adjusts her glasses before placing a hand onto her head, rubbing at a spot that will likely produce a nice sized bump. "Sorry!" She shouts, turning towards thedirection of Eddie and July. She tries to move quick as the Skeleton heads back towards the man reading the book, yelling out to him. "Hold onto that book tight!" Standing behind the creature, she sends her wires out again, through his legs in hopes to grab onto the man's ankles, to pull him back through the skeleton's legs and away from the fire.

The fire from the skeleton comes to a stop against a shield of some kind generated by the man with the book. "Begone, demon!" the man demands, ignoring Sophie. The shield also seems to prevent the wires from getting thtough, sending a decidedly cold feeling through the wires if they touch it. "You little brats leave me alone too! This book and its power is mine!" the man yells. The skeleton…apparently called Discord, meanwhile roars again, the music getting louder. When July grabs hold, she'll find it rather hurts to touch the bones and the skeleton quickly shrugs her off. "We'll kill you all!" it roars, kicking a bench at July.

July gah's at the pain she feels at touching the skeleton's bones, and she rears back her arms. The pain makes her lose focus for a moment, enough to not notice the bench flying at her until the last moment, impacting against her and sending her flying against the far wall.

When Sophie's wires smack against the shield the man just put up, it sends shivers of cold through out her whole body, the wires quickly retreating back into her arms. She watches as the bench is flung across the mall and smacks straight into July, her face squeezing into a wince. "Shit." is muttered to herself as she begins to move closer to the skeleton. Once again her wires are sent flying towards the skeleton, this time with an attempt to criss-cross around his ankles in hopes of tripping it.

Eddie yelps and ducks as the bench goes flying by, cringing as July gets hit with it. He rushes over to check on her, moving the splintered wreckage away. "You okay?" he asks, glancing over at the fight. He frowns a moment before rushing towards the music store. "Be right back! I've got an idea!" he calls as he goes.

The skeleton's ankles aren't hard to tanlge, the beast letting out that laugh again as it falls. There's a loud crash, the floor getting damaged by the impact. "Discord will sacrifice you all to the Master for this!" it roars. Meanwhile, the man with the book has lowered his shield and started chanting again. With a mystic genture, he animates a potted plant and sends it after Sophie, the plant launching itself at her back to tackle her.

July shakes her head to get the oobwebs off her mind, "Y-yeah, I am." she says, before flowing out of the wreckage of what used to be a bench. "Damn it…" she says, and she watches the potted plant attacking Sophie, "Damn it!" But she /does/ notice that the man's shield is down, and she stretches an arm toward him to try to take the book from him.

"Yes!" Sophie yells as the large Skeleton comes tumbling down into the ground. Unexpectedly, she's tackled by a now animated plant, jumping onto her back as she goes tumbling back down to the floor. She tries to turn around, in an attempt to block the various leafy swings directed her way. Luckily, the plants not too big and she swings her arms out, hoping to push it off her.

The plant bats ineffectively at Sophie with twigs and leaves right up until it's knocked off. The pot breaks when it hits the groud and the plant collapses. "No!" the man yells, starting to chant another spell. He doesn't get too far into it before July's arms get the book. She's able to take the book but when she does, a decidedly unpleasant feeling will pass from it and into her. Not pain, just a sense of wrongness for as long as she holds the book. And strangely enough, despite the writing in the book being a bunch of odd runes and symboles, July will find herself able to read them as if they were english. Weird. The man collapses but the skeleton's getting back up. "We want the book!" it yells, starting to crawl towards July. It tears holes into the floor as it does, that bad opera music still playing. Suddenly, the music cuts out is replaced by one of the more upbeat pop numbers currently on sale. "Shock it again!" Eddie calls suddenly, coming out of the music store. He starts applying a boost to Sophie, increasing her power to twice its normal levels. "And don't let it get the book!"

July winces as she has that feeling, but she has to get that book away from that guy. The skeleton is already bad enough without potted plants attacking everyone. "Ugh…" she looks downat the boot, and blinks. She pulls away from the skeleton, walking away, "Oh my god, maybe there's something here that can banish it? I bet it was used to summon it!" She opens the book to start reading it.

Sophie is quickly to roll around, facing the skeleton as it is now crawling its way towards July. "I'm on it!" She yells, pulling herself up to her feet as she flings her arms forward, letting loose the wires from her arms to wrap around the bones of the skeleton. With full concentration, she begins to let loose the electrical charges once again, being twice as strong as usual thanks to Eddie's enhancements.

The book isn't any nicer inside than it is out, giving information about things like sacrificing humans, tossing things into lakes of fire, and ways to 'spread the glory of the master'. Nothing about banishing or summoning though. Eddie comes up next to July and quickly moves to stand in front of her defensively.

The skeleton meanwhile seems to be in pain thanks to the switched music. It continues to let out laughs and roars as it goes for July. When the wires wrap, onto the bones, the skeleton shrieks. The shocks light it up nice and bright, the bones breaking down and fading away into dust after a few moments. Soon, the music dies, the barriers fall, and the lights return to normal.

July keeps looking for something to banish the demon, unsuccessful so far, her stomach turning the more she reads it, but when Sophie banishes it using good ol' clobbering, July screams in didgust and closes the book, tossing it on the ground, leaving her trembling and hugging herself, "So… horrible."

Sophie's wires return back into her arms as soon as the skeleton crumbles into dust due to her and Eddie's efforts. She doubles over, her arms wrapping around her stomach as a little bit of nausea begins to kick in from expelling so much energy into defeating the creature. As she regains hercomposure , the little teen begins to walk towards the other two teens, exhaustion causing her steps and movements to be slow and sluggish. "Guess we got 'em, right?" She says, forcing a half smile to her face as she eyes drop down to the book laying before July.

Eddie stops boosting and lets out a breath. "Everyone okay?" he asks, looking around. Frowning, the teen looks down at the discarded book. Figuring it should be brought to proper authorities to keep anything like this from happening again, he reaches to pick it up. The moment he touches it, Eddie yelps and pulls his hands back. His finger tips are burnt and the book seems to be burning away in an odd blue flame. It's gone in moments. "Ow…" the power booster mutters. He walks over to
Sophie to offer her his shoulder. "C'mon…lets get out of here…" he trails off, glancing back at where the book had been and then the others.

July is still shuddering a bit from all the feelings she got from the book, and from what she read from it, "Good riddance…" she mutters, before nodding to Eddie to get away from the mall, walking toward him slowly.

Sophie gladly wraps her arm around Eddie's shoulder, letting him help support her. "Sounds like a plan."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License