2012-05-19: The Rescue From Dracula's Tower


Connor_icon.jpg Franky_icon.jpg Hosea_icon.jpg Travis_icon.jpg

Special Guests:

Dracula_icon.jpg Geoffrey_icon.jpg

Summary: Summary of what happened.

Date: May 19, 2012

Log Title: The Rescue From Dracula's Tower

Rating: R

This scene runs simultaneously with Escape From Dracula's Tower

Romania - The Forest

A single lamp hangs like a warning on a gnarled iron post, the chain connecting to it bearing rust but still strong enough that it only creaks when the chill wind blows through and down the windy crossroads it protects.

Around you, the trees seem not to stand, but to loom, bearing down a sense of oppression that the forest somehow does not find your presence welcome at this time of night, the storm-laden clouds in the sky blocking out even the stars, but somehow parting for a moon that is full but stained red to glare down at you in outrage. The only things that occasionally seem to break up that monotony of stormy grey are ravens, and the occasional flock of bats, and owl's nervous hoot someplace off in the horizon a reminder that the creatures of the night are about.

The large trunks of each of the tall evergreens breaks up the background into patterns that occasionally open up and reveal swaths of the underbrush, and flecks of amber reflecting light from what light there is that shines down into such a dismal place. Wolves. Wolves, or something elsec but as soon as you spot them they are gone.

As the road dips slightly and goes towards the north and a foreboding tower, a chill mist creeps around the first few inches of the ground, obscuring it from view and causing you to wonder if your next step might be your last…

The reason for the delay of the Blackbird's return was made obvious when the team returning advised that Viking warriors and ghostly beings attacked and temporarily subdued the group after returning from their mission in Africa. The earmarks of Dracula's doing. The remainder of the time was needed for repair of the plane, and refit for the new mission. The team of Connor, Hosea, Quenton, Travis, and the latecomer of Franky were quickly assembled, and with Connor being cleared to fly, the group took off from the Xavier's mansion in rapid order.
The flight itself was sedate for the most part, the plane clearing the Altantic in record time, and high over Germany before Connor has to say anything to the group, "There's a small clearing about a half-mile from the location that looks like the only place to land that's close to the tower. They're going to see us coming… so Franky's out the door first. If we have anything coming our way… well… it's between us and Rashmi." Offering a slight shrug of apology as he turns his head back to the controls, "We're about ten minutes out… last minute checks everyone."

The six armed Travis is currently dressed in a Barnes standard uniform which almost shouts SHIELD. He's rechecking his guns for the umpteenth time out of habit as he anxiously awaits touching ground. "How much Van Helsing did you watch to get ready for this?" He asks Hosea with a bit of a grin. He takes each arm and starts to stretch, getting ready for action.

Franky nods slowly as he listens. His armored suit having had the sleeves removed for use of his powers. He's been cleaned up and his hair cut, revealing the metal studs in his neck. With a military flat-top, the exposed studs, and the scars on his arms he's looking more like his namesake all the time. "If dey get in ze vay, zey vill not be dere for long."

Hosea arches his brow at Franky, "I do not know dis Van Helsing, I talked with vampires to find out what would hurt dem." He reaches into the pack between his feet, unzipping the canvas bag. He pulls a bottle of garlic pills from it, pops one in his mouth, and passes it around.
"If anyone is too afraid, I think now would be da time to speak, once we are in da middle, dere will be no opportunity to hesitate." The Nigerian's hair is restricted, having washed it differently today, it is pulled back into a pony tail. He adjusts his armored suit, and goes through his physical checklist of weapons. "Also rememba, dey have held several superpowered women hostage for many months now," he notes, having been considering the situation. "It is vedy possible dat Dracula has a powah to neutralize powahs, so do not put yourself in a situation dat only your powah can rescue you from unless you must. He has an ukwa called da keystone. It is in one of da basement cornerstones. If we remove da keystone, Dracula will lose his powah over da house. It should make our mission much easier."

The plane banks slightly southwest and settles onto a new course, as the geography changes under the group and outside the windows. The dark green forests and spotty lights of Austria fade away to jagged mountains and other more foreboding formations. There's a shudder, as cloud cover begins to roll in, and starts to obscure the path of the stealth aircraft's course. There's a lurch and a drop as the wind sheer and the turbulence of the storm cause a sudden two hundred foot drop, causing it to be a few more moments before the craft stabilizes once more. Outside is now fog-laden… clouded and carrying striations of lightning in the night sky. Even the moon seems to be darker now, cast in a shade of sangeuine.

After finally righting the flightpath, Connor says back over his shoulder, "Allright, so we need to get down there and get this keystone thing… sounds like a plan and a direction. Unfortunately… the place we're going is so old and so out of date, there's nothing more than a couple passing satellite shots. But if he's right about powers… well… that's what everything else is for. Quenton… just in case, I want you to stay with the Blackbird. It's on auto-recover in case… well…" And he pauses, "The course is set for Muir Island. There's a research facility there that will land the plane, and you can call in for reinforcements." Quenton nods but doesn't look happy about it, the seat rail on his chair suddenly groaning and then snapping off from frustration.

Travis starts arranging everything that's on his belt and strapped to his extra arms. "If we lose our powers too, I'll still have my arms but I won't really be able to use the extra ones." He just lets the group know. "Hosea, you'd be a fool not to be afraid right now, but that's what makes us stronger knowing we have to fight the fear and push through to save those we care about."

Franky nods again "Find bazement, find Keyztone. Undaztood." He takes one of the garlic pills when it's offered. Popping it in his mouth and wincing a little. "ewww…"

"God is watching us," Hosea answers Franky with a remarkable assurance. "If he is for us, who can stand against? We shall prevail. We do not need to feah, but be faithful." His only fear is that they may be too late. He grins as Franky takes the pill and winces. "I do not promise dat your breath will smell good," he laughs, "But hopefully it will be helpful. Vampires hate garlic." Hosea checks the long combat serrated edge of his combat knife and examines it before resheathing it. "Dere is another important factor. Dracula took another vampire before he disappeared to dis place. His name is Geoffrey St. John. I am uncertain, but it is possible dat he may be an ally in dis mission. We should not regard him lightly, but we should not assume dat he is our enemy, eitha."
He takes a moment as the course is finishing. "I will pray now. Anyone who would like to join me may, he is listening." Hosea bows his head, closing his eyes for several seconds in silent prayer.

While prayer is done by one man, the other in the pilot's seat banks into a slow descent, looking down and around the nose and the starboard side for the landing zone. As the aircraft makes a third pass, it slows, and then the VTOL jets are engaged. The vehicle slows and begins to descend, lighting crashing and darkness run rampant around the small group. The further down they travel, the darker the world seems, the light being carried away like fleeing sparrows to a hawk. Below, there is a bank of fog heavy on the ground, which begins to burn away from the heat of the engines. Almost a disappointing single bump as the Blackbird comes to rest, and it's systems begin to be shut down.

Connor switches off everything but the stealth systems, and then turns the chair to slip out of it, walking to a side locker so he can arm up, "Faith or fear… what matters is two things. We get the girls, and we come back in one piece. I'd love to do one of those snappy speeches you see in the movies, but frankly… I'm trying to stop myself from throwing up. So… let's just get life back to normal ASAP." Pistols, knives, and a foot-long club are locked into places on his uniform, and then he moves to hit the button for the door, lowering the ramp in the rear of the jet.

Travis walks over to Connor and pats him on the back with two hands. "We're getting them back." He offers a faint reassuring smile before stepping back at Connor opens the ramp. "It's just like nerves before a big play off game." He says sounding unconvinced by his own words. "Okay so just to let you all know I can heal you. If you get hurt, just find me and all I ask is that if you can, while I heal just try to keep them off my back. I'll give you one of my guns if needed." He says making sure he has enough extra clips.

Franky stands once the plane lands and stretchs slowly. "nnnggh.. time to go." He heads for the hatch to leave the plane and meet anything that might be waiting for them. "Ve are coming Razhmee.. und god have merzy on vhatever getz in der vay." Sparks crackle unoticed from the metal studs in his neck as he exits the plane. Franky Stein has come to Romania… this is gonna get ugly.

Hosea opens his eyes moments after the landing is finished, takes one of his pistols in his left hand, and follows Franky off the plane. He doesn't have any words of fancy either. It's time to act. He phases to be intangible as he exits, the gun out and ready as he walks down the ramp.

The fog has cleared to the treeline, but there is a stillness and foreboding pressure in the air. As Franky steps off, golden eyes can be seen watching him, followed by another… and then another. The eyes double as Hosea appears, and then more sets of three appear once Travis and Connor exit. The ramp to the jet is closed by Quenton, who's eyes flick around with an angry tension, scratching one of his cheeks bloody just before he is lost from view. It is quiet… and then the first set of eyes coalesces into a wolf the size of a small bear. The head bobs with each step of those huge paws, and the body bears fur that is greyed and scarred with age. The beast snorts, and then says in a tone like gargling sharp gravel, "The Master said you would come. I would have words with you all."

A talking wolf. Not that surprising. But Connor still has one of the concussion pistols at the ready as the huge beast just ambles out of the darkness like that. His head tilts slightly to one side, and then he takes a breath and says without lowering the weapon, "Well… talking never killed anyone. What do you all think?"

One of Travis' arms quickly forms a round energy shield and he puts it in front of himself defensively as the wolf approaches. "How about we see what it has to say and if it says something helpful, then we decide." He offerers before looking over at the wolf. "And who is this Master who said we would come? Dracula? Then maybe it's all a trap."

Franky watchs the wolf step out of the fog, fists clenched. He looks ready to lash out before Connor speaks and holds back for now. Simply watching and waiting to see how this plays out. He lets Connor talk for the group, speech not being his thing.

Hosea's pistol is trained on the wolf the instant the eyes appear. "Da only words dat you can give me is da unconditional surrender of da girls you hold hostage. If you fail to do dis, den you, your dark master, and all of your allies here will suffer greatly until dey are released. Is dat understood?" He holds his fire, waiting for accept the terms or reject them.

A growling snort sends a pair of puffing jets from the huge wolf's nostrils before it works it's eyes back and forth over the small group, and then back again before growling out, "My Master is not the Dracula. To him we are nothing but beasts. But the Master has gained our trust… and the Dracula has imprisoned him where we cannot assist. He has sent us to you with a bargain. Rescue the Master, and we will guide you to the entrance safely. The creatures of this wood are more than your little band can battle through. And pup." The grizzled old beast's eyes now directly on Hosea, "The only surrender for a Dire wolf is death. Do not make me scruff you until some manners are learned."

Connor's pistol gives off a small whine from it's power core before he flicks his thumb along the safety, and then lowers it ever so slightly… but not enough that it wouldn't be a twitch to have it ready and fired once more. Taking a long breath, eyes under the lenses covering his eyes let him flick through the spectrums to see the other shapes of the other wolves in infrared. Flicking the mode back off, he then says quietly, "Well… you know how the saying goes. Evil turns on itself. If they're on the level… I say we take them up on it."

"Chase, I agree, at least we can get an idea where to go and if it comes down to it, we'll defend ourselves as needed." Travis says perfectly keen on following what orders Connor issues. "Hosea, try not to make threats like that, you do not speak for all of us and your words could get us all killed. They're wolves, do you really think they have command over Dracula?" He asks before looking at Connor. "What Master are they referring to?"

Franky shrugs slightly "Ve do vhat ve haff to do, if dey iz lieing, den dey vill pay for it. Let us go und free diz mashter of deres. Ve gain nothing by shtanding here."

Hosea hears the words of the wolf. This is an unexpected turn of events. He doesn't bother to retort to the threat of the wolf, nor does he look intimidated. If anything he feels a bit comforted by the wolf's response to the idea of surrender. "Den you must have great shame dat your master is captive," he answers. He doesn't lower the weapon, and he ignores Travis entirely, but he isn't becoming more agressive at least. "You would like to take vengence with us against Dracula?" he asks. "We are going farther then da entrance. Where is your master?"

Romania - Tower

As the road behind spreads forth like a river opening into the ocean, the mists part away to reveal the ruins of what was once a great castle. Blocks of stone that are the remainders of the wall allow you to see the first signs of the ancient battle that once took place here. Half-buried skeletons that either bear weapons or show their death by them are strewn liberally about, to the point that your foot might occasionally fall on what you thought was a stone but is actually a time-stained skull.

Past the signs of a once epic struggle, you see a tower that looks less like it was hewn from the earth, and more like it was dropped from heaven and thrust into the ground like a giant sword, only the crossguard and grip visible to the world. Two wings sweep off and taper down, where the rest of what was once this castle connected to this titanic spire, leaving you to look at a portcullis that dangles ready to close upon you like the fangs of a great beast should you approach. About a foot behind that is the massive double doors of the tower, made of spiked iron and heavy, ancient wood of the surrounding forests so that they could stand the test of time, terror, and the battering ram. The first and most steadfast guardians of this most foreboding edifice.

The cloudy night sky clears around the tower in a clear circle, causing the moon to shine down directly on it, that angry eye stained red and casting a bloody light where it gazes. The only shelter from the sanguine moon, and the sensation of the dead beginning to stir from their shallow graves is past those doors, and within.

Once more when it speaks, it's the same gravel tone that sounds like it's chewing on rock, "The Master is imprisioned below in what the Dracula calls the Oubliette." The last word being spit out like some kind of profanity. Then, seeming that the accord has been struck, it turns and begins walking into the wood, the other giant wolves, each larger than the largest of dogs any of the young men have ever seen before, step into view, surrounding the group, and begin attempting to herd them into the forest, "Follow." Is all the packleader says, "The night deepens, and things even we wolves take caution of stir." As if to add credence to it's words, the thunder booms, but something else gives off a cry that has not been heard on any normal place on Earth. It sounds like claws on a frozen pipe, a grating, high-pitched thing.
The pack leads the group swiftly through the woods, and after what only a digital watch can tell you is a half-hour's travel time… the group appear at the edge of a cliff-side clearing, sloping up towards the looming tower that faces them all. At the base of the tower, a dozen man-like beings dressed in archaic armor sit around a pair of fires by the door, eating and murmuring to themselves. They seem unconcerned about the edge of the woods, nor the change in the wind that comes, and another one of those alien screeching cries piercing the din.

Kneeling down behind one of the trees, next to a couple of the smaller wolves, Connor looks back and forth with the group, and then moves to say something to Franky, "Looks like you're up. Shock and awe, big guy."

"Holy cow that's a huge tower." Travis says looking up for a bit before copying Connor and crouching down behind another area of trees a bit away, he pulls out one of his handguns and takes aim but doesn't fire. "Be safe Franky and we've got your back." He says waiting for Franky Stein to do his thing before he starts firing.

Franky nods and steps into the clearing, advancing on the group around the fire with a grin on his face before stopping about halfway between them on the edge of the clearing. Connor wants shock and awe and that's what he gets when Franky suddenly slams his hands together with another force to add his own thunderclap to the rolling storm. The motion sending a Shockwave packing around 2 tons of force towards the armored men.

Hosea stands back, his pistol still drawn, and he waits for Franky's move. It takes him a little by surprise, hearing such a large thunderclap from his hands. That should probably advertise their presence pretty well. He looks up the tower, checking to see what might respond from the instigation of the battle, and starts to scan for possible places to search for the keystone.

The other three are not the only ones surprised as the pressure wave hits the fires first, nearly blowing them out, before half of the group in the middle are picked up and slammed against the walls, enough that dust and some of the brickwork is knocked to the bone-scattered grounds. The others readies spears and swords, and one of them a crossbow as they regather themselves after the surprise of the assault. They call out something in a language that no ears here could understand. However, the largest of the dire wolves rumbles out with a whisper, "Good hunting. We watch. If you rescue the Master, we will return you to your steel dragon."

Connor just gulps and watches that little display, and then says, "Wow. Glad he's on our side." Coming out from around cover, he begins moving up towards the defenders, raising up the concussion pistol and loosing a single nearly-invisible bolt. The ripple in the air punches into a viking man with a spear and shield, throwing the wood and metal wheel from his arm, and spinning him to the dirt.
Travis doesn't move from his location but stands up a bit and takes his time aiming before firing three shots into the chest of one of the barbarian looking men. He's doing his best to try to aim for one of the guys that isn't on Franky.

Franky grins and advances, sister lisa always told him to hold back. That he would break normal people, but these aren't normal.. and they're not people. These are monsters, so he doesn't have to hold back. Reaching out he grabs one of the men by the breastplate, the metal crumples in his hand like paper. Lifting the man like a toy and hurling him towards the others like he was trying to knock down bowling pins.

Hosea steps out, gun back on the crew of defending men, and squeezes off a round at the man with the crossbow. He would rather no ranged weapons be used other than by the rescue team, and so he sees to that matter first. He makes a gauged advance, pistol up and checking flanks after he has dropped the crossbow man.

As the first half-dozen still recover from Franky's single and powerful clap, the one he grabs, who ends up dropping his massive zweihander as he's tossed like a ragdoll. As he flies through the air, he suddenly screams and the body first turns pale, and then dessicated, before finally falling away into corpse dust as the crumped armor and leather bindings falls away into a heap just on the edge of the cliffside. Connor and Travis' shots take both their targets center mass and end up knocking them both back and down, one unconscious from the force of the strike, and the other falling over and beginning to do the same as his skybound companion. The crossbow twangs wide as the man is hit, and the shot that would have taken Franky in the head instead spangs off one of the neckbolts. As the rest gather themselves, they begin moving towards the door, positioning to defend the entrance.

Moving along Franky's left, Connor draws another bead, but his shot goes wide this time, and it takes two more blasts before he finally downs a second attacker, but the pistol he has in his hands red-lights, and he holsters it, in favor of drawing out the staff at his back, extending it into full fighting position.

Another three shots are fired off at another one of the thugs before Travis quickly switches targets to fire at another. He starts to move closer and closer to the fight so that he can switch to fighting hand to hand to hand to hand to hand to hand against them believing his powers might be more effective. "We have to get inside and find them."

Franky continues to advance, jerking slightly as the crossbow bolt strikes one of the neckbolts sending a small shower of sparks into the air. He's heading right into the thick of things. "Out of da vay!"

Hosea moves in full speed, holstering his own pistol when he spots one of the fallen spears. The weapon he should have thought to bring with him in the first place. The African dives into the fight, snatching the spear up and letting out a bestial roar. He is ready to join the fray, rather than rely on Franky for all the heavy lifting. The spear is thrust forward at the gut of one of the knights, aiming for a division in the armor between the shoulder and breastplate.
The remainder of the defenders are dispatched with an almost ruthless glee from the small group of four. As Hosea takes down the last of them with a spear-thrust, and they all begin to turn to dust, all that is left is the door. As the last of the dust swirls away in phantom winds, another of those strange cries comes from the woods, which then receives an odd counterpoint to the beep from Connor's energy weapon as it confirms it's capacitor is recharged. This close, there is a strange thickness in the air around them all, and then suddenly an oppressive weight. Two find their powers suddenly do not work… all Franky has left to him is his strength and durability… and Connor is still Connor. Though for some reason his face is pale and he's broken out in a sweat.

Connor gulps once and clutches at his chest, breathing hard for several moments before saying, "What in the…" And he ends up leaning against the wall as he seems almost physically ill. Looking to the others, he puts up a hand to forestall them from assisting him, "Don't wait up on me… I'll be allright. Must be something in the air."

Travis knew this was coming and his extra limbs hang limply at his sides as dead weight. "Oh mean this is uncomfortable." He says ejecting the clip from his handgun and replacing it. "Lock and load." He mutters as he looks at the tower. "Rashmi…we're coming for ya." He mutters as he walks up to the door and opens it a crack just to peak through to see what's on the other side before they walk through.

Franky staggers a moment as he gets light-headed but takes a breath and shakes it off. "Don't veel zo goot.. but hy vill be hokay." He grabs the door and pulls.. if it's locked he'll rip it off it's hinges if he has to, and if he still posesses enough strength to do so. Once (or if) it opens he looks thoughtfull for a moment, and picks up one of the large two-handed swords. Hefting it in one hand for a moment. "Yah.. still stronk.. still tuff.. vill be hokay." He shoulders the blade and walks inside.

Hosea glances toward Connor, knitting his brow. He expects Connor not to be easily thwarted by such things, and takes several steps back, still clutching the spear. "Let us go," he concludes. "We must find da keystone immediately, and then enter da tower. If we destroy da keystone, den we may regain our powers. If we do not, den we will continue with what we have. He rushes to the tower, despite the feeling of the weight. The evil is palpable here, and he scans the corners of the building, looking for the keystone he saw described in the book. "Travis, do you see a different type of stone on dat side?" he asks. Certainly, he is unsure whether to find the keystone on the inside or the outside of the building.

Romania - Tower - First Floor

The arched door way, with a portcullis serving as a door, marks the entrance to the tall foreboding tower made of black stone. The first floor of the dungeon smells of rotten meat and dog waste as this floor serves as a kennel for the red eyed wolves that server the master of the keep. The wolves that make their home here are quite larger than an average wolf, almost double the size. There are no cages here and meat scraps litter the floor from the food thrown down to them. Curving along with the side of one wall is a stone stair case with torches lining the wall up to the next floor.

The peek done by Travis is interrupted by Franky yanking the aging door off it's hinges and it ends up crumbling away for some strange reason on hitting the wall, as if age suddenly had caught up with it. Inside is… empty. It looks like where a bunch of dogs would be living, save for dogs that fed on raw meat. The stench of musk and rancid meat permeates the air, bones strewn in places… some of them perhaps even human, though so chewed that they are almost indistinguishable. From behind, the dozen dire wolves come back into the room, following the group, the leader rumbling out, "There." Motioning with his muzzle towards an almost-hidden door under the stairs, "The Master lies beneath. Remember your word, meat."

Connor follows to the rear, nipped at by one of the wolves who seems to not appreciate weakness in potential prey. It causes him to swing his staff over and rap the wolf on the shoulder in response. It makes them all laugh… as much as a laugh can come from a mouth meant to rip someone limb from limb. He looks back and forth to the others, still hobbling along, and then pausing at the steps at the base of the tower, "Just… need a few to recover. I'll be fine."

Stepping into the tower, Travis looks at Hosea. "You said basement right? Let's see how to get down there." He says looking around the room noticing the stairs going up but where are their stairs going down. "What does this thing look like that we're supposed to be searching for?"

Franky glances back at the Dire wolf "Ve vill do our part, hyu do not do yours… und hyu vill not hit de ground until hyu reach France." He walks towards the indicated hidden door and having no patience to search for a handle simply throws a punch intending to smash it.

Hosea pulls a scrap of paper with a rough ink sketch on it, showing the basic drawing he made to remember the picture from Strange's book. "Something like dis," he says. "I am not much of an artist." He follows Franky, pulling a combat knife in his right hand and a concussion pistol in his left.
As the wolves settle into their places on the floor, some beginning to chew on bone or leftover meat, others simply making their way to places that look like they'd just picked at random for sleeping. The packleader directs Travis to the doorway he was attempting to point out, all but pushing him in that direction so that he will finally notice. The door is locked, but it's an old school iron lock.

Connor continues to wait where he is, still attempting toc catch his breath. Taking out a GPS tracker from a pocket on his uniform, he taps a few keys on it, and then shakes his head, "This isn't good…" Putting that away, he takes out one of the concussion pistols and checks the charge, "Well… weapons work. I'll… look, just get going. I'll be safe here. Promise."

Travis looks over at Connor with concern before following the wolf. "If anyone has a crowbar or anything good for prying open this lock here….Prophet if you still have that spear give it to Franky and Franky, can you try to get this lock open. Hopefully this should lead us down to get to…" He looks at that drawing. "The power nullifier thingie." Science words!

Franky stops and looks at the lock, then taking the sword he got outside in both hands he swings it down at the iron lock trying to break it off the door.

Hosea sheaths his knife, changing his option to the spear still tucked in the back of his belt now. When he sees that Franky has a sword, he doesn't bother handing him the spear, and waits for the door to be opened. If Franky is unable to break the lock, he always has the plasma pistol which should do the trick.

The lock shears off quite easily under the blade, and the door swings forwards with an ominous creak. From below, a young man's voice carries up and says loudly, "Hello?! Is anyone there?!" It's a long and echoed sound, the voice hollow and tinny from bouncing off walls and such to reach the others. The smell of must and decay comes up from the doorway, the scent of age and then the damp earthiness of something like a cave. The only light to come from down those steps is the pale flame of a torch.

Romania - Tower - Oubliette

The only light that filters into the dark cylindrical room is from the iron grate in the ceiling fifteen feet above. The walls are made of solid stone bricks and sporadically in the mortar are hooks, rings, chains and shackles are well secured. There isnft much for bedding besides a pile of rotted, damp hay shoved to one side, who knows the last time it was changed. Shadows can be seen flickering above from the dire wolves that make their home on the floor above the Oubliette. The growls and howls echo down to the dark room. The smell in here is of death, decay and other awful smells of prisoners that were put down here to be forgotten about.

After carefully making his way down to the dark room, Travis almost gags on the smell down here. "Whose down there?" He calls as he advances cautiously as he pulls one of the guns from it's holster and holds it one hand as he pulls out a small flash light to use in the other hand only to find once it turns on it flickers right out. "Can one of you grab one of the torches, I can barely see down here."

Franky nods and takes one of the torchs off the wall as he follows Travis. "Ewww.. shtinks in here. He waves the torch around a little "Helloooooo? Anybody dere?"

Hosea shushes, "He cannot be far," he states. The pistol is holstered once more, and Hosea snags a second torch from the wall. He starts down the hallway briskly. "We must be quick, Dracula eitha knows dat we are here, or will know soon." He holds his spear still in the left hand, and the torch in the right, ready for a fight. After all, if the keystone is down here with the voice calling, then certainly there is someone to guard both.

The only thing to guard at least the young man that the torchlight reveals is the fact that most of the room seems to be mostly a giant… unending pit. There is a small outcropping on the far side of where all three end up, with a young man who looks more welcome at a goth club. With pale, slightly feminine features and obvious makeup that's seen better days from how it's run. Standing up on clubstompers to do Shane proud, Geoffrey says, "Oh, thank whatever's left… they brought you didn't they! Please! You have to help me!" There seems to be no visible way to get to him, except for what looks like a bridge that's chained to a wall that's too far to reach without risking falling into the darkness and the ominous rushing sound beneath. the only thing going in the group's favor is a couple fist-sized rocks right around the entrance.

Looking around the room, Travis sighs. "Hosea, find that rocky thing, and I'll see about getting whoever that is free." He reaches down and picks up a rock, holding it like a baseball. "I wasn't first basement for nothing, Rashmi, this is for you, Jason Giambi style." He mutters and throws the rock with enough speed and accuracy to knock the bridge loose from the wall so that it swings down so it can be crossed.

Franky hmmms and raises one arm towards the bridge. Flexing his hand a few times but nothing happens. He frowns and sighs "Veapons not vorking.. can't change my armz.. Could try throwing sword from here, mebbe cut de chainz holding up da bridge." He blinks as Travis beats him to it and shrugs "Or that."

Prophet leaves Travis to the freeing of the prisoner, and sets his mind to the search of the keystone. He starts by going to the corner of the room, and crouches, holding the torch out so that he can see the stone clearly. Keystone, keystone, where is the keystone? His light flickers across each rock, moving from one to the next as he attempts to find the elusive source of power.

The bridge swings down… and then past… and then past once more, creaking back and forth from being knocked free in this fashion. The person across the way adds with a grateful expression, "I'm Geoffrey… but he calls me Damian. Look… seriously, I'm glad you're here. You don't understand. I did everything he told me to do! He promised me it would be all fun and parties. Now this. I just…" And he pauses, looking forlorn, "I just want to go home…" As if in afterthought he pulls out an IPhone, and turns it on, holding it up and waving it to try and get signal, "Did you come with that Connor fellow? The one Rashmi was so keen on? I hope you did. Please tell me you did?!"

While Hosea searches, it's not where he's looking at clues him in. Rather it's when the bridge swings back and forth. The creaking draws his eyes up for a moment, and there it is… hooked into the ceiling, the end of what looks like a crystal key sticking into the ceiling just between the two rings holding up both sets of chains suspending the bridge. In the darkness it would not be noticed, save for the ever so often glimmer of amethyst.

"Yeah Connor's upstairs." Travis says a bit dryly. "Right now we're trying to get them out of here we just need to find this rock that Prophet's going on about, can you help us with that?" He asks the vampire as he looks around. "Connor! Are you alright up there!" He shouts up. "We found this Geoffrey guy!"

Franky stays off the bridge as he's the largest and heaviest of the group. He's here as the group's heavy hitter, so he leaves the details to the others. For now he just holds the torch and lets Travis and Hosea do thier thing uninterrupted.

Hosea glances up at the stone, and almost misses it indeed. "Hah, dere it is." He rushes back to the bridge, and tests the chain holding the bridge. He drops the torch and the spear to the ground near the bridge, and leaps up onto the chain of the bridge, climbing it with one large arm over another to scale the bridge. His gloves handle the grip of the metal, though the climb still takes a considerable amount of effort. As he reaches the top of the chain, he reaches out to steady himself by holding onto the ring, and his other hand stretches for the keystone to remove it, if he can reach.

As Hosea grabs the keystone his hand slips away, and he begins to fall… but the keystone begins to glow with bright white fire, and then pulls free of the stone at the same time. The last piece of it slips free of the stone, and the heaviness that seems to sit on everyone pulls up and away, like hands on shoulders were lifted free. Travis' hands suddenly are able to move, more life seems to infuse into Franky… and Hosea can feel the sense that comes back with his abilities to know where to be and where to go to not land in a perpetual darkness. Even Geoffrey seems to perk up a bit at the feeling!

From up the stairs… there is no voice. But there is a bright blue-green glow that comes from the doorway upstairs, caroming off the walls to cast and odd and pale glow on the group, added by a second source that comes from the grating above. Suddenly… said grating erupts upwards and goes flipping away to slam into a far wall. The dire wolves can be heard above, some growling, a couple yelping, and one pained howl.

"Connor?!" Travis calls up as all of a sudden he can feel the use of his other arms and there's a smile of relief on his face. "Alright, we got what we needed up here, let's go see if Connor's alright and then find my girlfriend, your girlfriend," He directs at Hosea, "And the rest of them." He says as he starts to lead the way upstairs. "Franky, I have the feeling we're going to need you now."

Franky perks up as he's restored to full power, grinning again. "Oooo dat feelz better…" He looks up the stairs at the light show and the sounds of the wolves howling and heads back up the stairs "Hyu guyz take care of dat guy.. hy vill see vhat iz going on."

Hosea drops out of the ceiling, clutching the key. The African passes into the darkness, only to reappear above the darkness, landing on the ground solidly. It isn't the most graceful landing he's ever managed, but the teleport saved his life. The key is revealed for a moment, and then after a pearly smile is flashed, he tucks it into one of the utility pouch, behind a gauze wrap. He plants his hands on the ground, and pushes himself up. "Yes, let us go quickly. He grabs his spear and torch, and follows Travis up the steps. Now it is time to do some real damage to Dracula.

Another person just appears in the room. There's nothing, and then suddenly the air ripples as if it was water, and then Connor is just there. Just like the old days. His staff is put away, and his eyes are charged enough that all you can see is blue-green with two pinpoint blackpoints in the middle, "Hey guys. I guess that was just the kickstart my power needed." Looking to Franky and Hosea, he says, "I kinda threw all the wolves around in a gravity storm… they're not too happy. We better go. Travis, can you stay here while we go catch up with the girls? I've heard fighting. I think they got tired of waiting, and started the rescue without us."

Romania - Tower - Fifth Floor

At the top of the ladder leading from the fifth floor to the sixth floor, a shimmering sort of force field stands between the two floors which is easy enough to pass through. Once through the force filed the heat in the room is almost unbearable. The cylindrical room is about twenty feet in height and there is a large part of the wall that is missing, replaced with the same force field over the entrance. In the middle of the floor a large black dragon lays sleeping amidst a pile of treasure. Gold, jewels, silver, swords, armour, paintings, expensive looking clothing and other riches make up the dragons bed. Puffs of smoke exit the nostrils of the sleeping giant as he sleeps. On the walls are all sorts of runes and sigils pulsating with a faint red glow. On the opposite wall from the where one enters is another tall ladder that leads to a force field that is just as easy to pass through.

Sophie grinds to a halt, upon feeling the tingling sensation. She drops the sword, which clatters to the stone floor with a noisy clang, as the blind girl releases Kalindi's arm. She drops to one knee, and clutches one hand over her chest, right where a diffuse light from a source beneath her skin shines once more. "My Dios," she gasps, and her face contorts in pain for a few brief, agonizing seconds; but then it passes, "…Gracias," she gasps. "Then, shield your eyes," she declares, as she pats for her sword, and grasps it once more as she rises. "For, as God said on the first day;" and as she speaks, her skin takes on a soft, warming glow, "LET THERE BE LIGHT!" She raises both hands, and her entire body is lost to view as she erupts into luminescence, casting brilliance to match the light of full noon in all directions.

Powers restored, Kalindi grins wickedly, her eyes flashing black, shining with such pure darkness that they pull the light out of the air around them. "This is what we call good timing, yes?" The young woman touches the gold and the treasure horde just becomes a series of spikes, spearing up towards the dragon's underbelly to try and spear it while the light distracts it. "You will /not/ do any of us harm!" While most of the gold does that, the gold she is touching snakes around her body and forms a form fitting armour, including spiky shoulderguards, cape, and a helmet that covers all but her eyes. A thin layer also extends to coat her weapon and shield.

Dashenka is too busy shifting into seven and a half feet of pure arctic fury to shield her eyes. It's now apparent why the girl decided to leave with nothing but a t-shirt and a pair of oversized overalls, so she won't be naked when she finally is able to shift. She's about to rush in and see if she can take a swipe out of the dragon when Kali does her thing, causing her to stop short lest she get impaled herself.

"Whoa!" Jill skids to a halt so fast she stumbles and falls to one knee, shading her eyes from the starburst of light. A pained groan escapes her lips and she turns away from Sophie even though her forearm is pressed tightly to her brow.

The light causes the dragon to recoil and the golden spikes of Kalindi's strike true to the dragon's underbelly. Blood spills from the wounds as the dragon lets out a might roar and falls over.

Shortly after there's a flash of blue as Connor, Hosea and Franky teleport into the room in time to see the dragon fall over dead. As soon as it falls over there's a loud crack of thunder followed by a bright flash of lightening. The dragon fades into dust but the force fields remain up, trapping those inside the room, inside.

From somewhere unknown Toccata and Fugue in d minor seems to start playing as a mist rolls into the room. In the center rises up a black mist which quickly forms into none other than Count Dracula. "You have bested my knights, killed my dragon, freed my son from his punishment and tested my patience. I will no longer tolerate this." At rapid speed he runs towards Dashkena to swipe at her the sharp talons that are his finger nails.

"TRAVIS! Connor! …..*Franky?!*" Torn between delight, relief, and pure bemusement, Rashmi pelts toward the new group as the draghon falls. When the Toccata kicks in though, she skids to a halt, unable to suppress a terrified squeak as the mist begins to roll in. Drawing herself up, she turns to face Dracula, glancing around herself as the Lord of the Vampires lists off the group's crimes. "I *told* you you were making a mistake!" she cries, launching all six orbs in a likely vain to intercept Dracula. Some things are simply too fast to properly track.

Kalindi looks towards Count Dracula as he appears and scowls, "I come from a royal and powerful family as well, and if our families /were/ to merge we would be awesomely powerful." She draws the stake from her belt, and it seems to flow through the gold to form the tip of her blade, "But you /insult/ me and mine by taking me against my will, instead of extending an invitation, which I would have accepted, and /trapping/ me in your home away from those I love. Your hospitality is lacking. It is insulting." She dashes towards Dracula to attempt to drive the blade-stake at him, "You are not the only one whose patience has been /tried/!"

"Umm… hey." And watching the girls run in to go for a curbstomp with a vengeance, Connor turns and holds out both hands, and then brings them close together, beginning to spin up a portal. Something he hasn't done in a long time, "You… ahhh… lemme know when you're done." Once the energy begins to form in his hands, he holds it in one while he gets his phone from his pocket, and connects to the feed from the Blackbird. Getting an external camera view from the jet, he get into the second stage of exitting this whole thing, by adding with an almost relieved tone, "Robyn's baking cupcakes… we don't want to take too long curbstomping the Dark Lord."

The brilliance streaming off of Sophie dims upon the deathknell of the dragon, fading to a level where she still illuminates the room, but can be seen herself without it being painful to look at her. "Tried your patience? Your patience!?" Sophie shifts her grip on her purloined sword, tapping the ground with it, while raising her left hand and clenching her fist around a brilliant, angry white light. "You dangle before me that which I cannot have, while taking away that which I truely desire, and claim to be hospitable?" She thrusts her hand forwards, and with the sound of metal fingernails on a chalkboard lets fly with a howling neutron blast, aiming to catch Dracula on his way to Dashenka, based on what she can hear of everyone's positions; though like Rashmi, she's likely not near fast enough to catch that. "Come to me if you are wounded!" she calls to everyone else.

If anybody can take the brunt of a vampire attack, it would probably be Dashenka in her enraged Polar Bear form. They're not known for their speed, but their tough hide and dense muscle mass makes Polar Bears tough suckers. She isn't fast enough to get out of the way, but her hide is thick enough that the rents in her skin from Dracula's attack look worse than they actually are, red blood welling out in sharp contrast to her white fur. The Polar Bear girl roars in pain and anger and, seeing that everybody's converging on him, reaches out to grab the vampire by the arm to keep him put. Wouldn't want him doing anything silly like dodging all these attacks.

Franky steps through the portal and looks around, frowning that the dragon is already down. "Awww…" He then hears the music and sees the new arrival. Electricity crackles from the metal studs in his neck as he arms turn to a silvery liquid metal. "Get de girlz end get zem out of here, hy vill keep him buzy.." His fists and forearms enlarge till they're almost as big around as beer kegs, the silvery metal hardens into some kind of steel. Large crosses raise from the surface to run the full length and lettering appears across the front of his fists like those junky rings rapper wear, the right hand having 'Ave' and the left 'Maria'. He begins to advance. It's Franky Stein and Dracula… time for a Monster Mash.

"Connor?" Eyes still dancing with spots from Sophie's light-glare, Jill tries to blink them away. She rises shakily, a brown leather violin case dangling at her hip from a leather belt around her torso. "The hell are you doing here? Get out! Run! Take the others and go!" Despite the obvious return of everyone's powers, she has yet to go blue and see-through. She waves her arms in a vain attempt to garner more attention. "Don't fight! Just run!!"

The moment Hosea sees Sophie and the other girls, his heart lightens. They are alive. Kalindi's presence isn't something that he expected to see, but another matter for another day. The presence of Dracula brings him back to the task at hand. His torch is dropped to the ground. The spear is follows suit, clattering as the wood and steel hit the hard floor.
Fingers slide to his thigh, pulling one of his silver stakes gently from its storage. It twirls in his fingers for a moment, the light glinting across the silver as he narrows dark brown eyes. The Nigerian weapon watches as the vampire lord engages the others, eyes on the hips for movement habits. He knows that this is no ordinary combatant, but there are certain rules that apply to the movement of any humanoid figure. The charge against Dashenka, Rashmi's orbs flinging through the air at him on top of that. Three steps to the right, the stake still twirling in his hand. Kalindi's dash forward is read and Hosea still waits. Patience. He has been patient for nearly three months, and the moment to slay the beast has come. He most definitely doesn't want to get in the way of Franky. He gauges for just the perfect —
Hosea takes a step forward, cold and calculated, yet with the full force of his fury behind him, and teleports mid stab behind Dracula, stake headed straight for his cold heart, and then a twist.

Dracula uses his super speed to dodge the orbs from Rashmi but one catches him and throws him off a bit, then there's the neuron blast that he has to worry about which he just manages dodge but when Franky comes in, it's a full out brawl between the two, exchanges punches, kicks and other things and it seems like Franky is wearing the monster down. When Dashenka joins the fray she only assists in keeping Dracula still long enough for Kalindi with her wooden steak to strike true into the heart of of the Vampire. There's a cry from Dracula as he's stopped cold. "You..will all pay for…" But he doesn't have time to finish speaking as a second stake is into him from Hosea and the vampire falls to the ground in a seemingly dead state.
As Dracula 'dies' there's a surge of energy that seems to flood from him to Kalindi as she was the first one to stake him and all the secrets of the tower are now known to her, a long with the knowledge that she is the new owner of the tower and it will answer to her every command.

There is a long moment of silence, as Dracula slumps to the ground, Rashmi's eyes wide and frightened; despite all the power arrayed before Dracula, there was a small part of her that still thought they were simply going to stage a fighting retreat. Shaking her head, she approaches the combatants, Franky first. "Franky… *thank* you… Thank you for coming all this way…" The patchwork giant is given a tight, unself-conscious hug, and an on-tiptoe kiss on the cheek. Moving on to Connor, she favors her friend with a likewise tight hug, and finally manages a sigh of true relief. "*Thank you,*" she whispers, sniffling back the tears that threaten to fall. "Let's get everyone home, okay? Cupcakes sounds… *really* good right now."

Kalindi shudders softly at the flood of energy, and the armored girl takes a knee for a moment. She blinks a few times and her armor retracts, forming the shape of a backpack and she drops the weapons, looks up at the speared dragon, and then grabs the book. "Thank you, to all of you. Thank you very much, I am indebted…" She nods to Connor, Franky and then, after a moment's hesitation, Hosea. The glow from her eyes fade and she looks around the room with a kind of overwhelmed expression. "I think I would like a cupcake, if I can have one, yes? I will not stay, I will be wanting to visit my girlfriend. She must be worried."

The hug from Rashmi startles Connor from his concentration so that the energy ball needed to generate the portal to get everyone back to the Blackbird just falls kind of carelessly from his hand, "Oh…Yeah, you're wel-" And he's cut off as there's the sudden blast of energy as the mote of light spins out into a six foot wide disc of blue-green energy. And unfortunately, Rashmi falls right down through it with a surprised squeak. But he just stands on it fine… "Oops. Ride's ready." And does he ever look embarrassed about it, "Just… jump in. It's like a pool. Only with alternate reality visions of your life."

Hosea watches as Dracula falls at his feet, but doesn't dwell on the villain's death, he's just another body now. He has no interest in secrets of the tower; Kalindi might as well have them, for he would not have done anything with them. To her he gives an understanding nod, void of his previous spite toward her. "I think you should join us," he declares to her, intent on being the first to invite her to join them. He sees the look on Rashmi's face at the sight of Dracula's death, but while she may have been surprised, it was exactly the conclusion that the African warrior had desired and expected. He doesn't reveal the keystone, instead choosing to keep it to himself for the time until he can decide what should be done with it.
He then quickly goes to Sophie's side, large hands colder than normal, but familiar to be certain, from iron to down the moment he touches her. "Sophie, you are safe," he states, wrapping himself around her in a massive embrace. "I am sorry dat it took me so long to come for you, but I am overjoyed dat God has protected you." For someone such a tough weapon, it is now that warm tears begin to crawl down his face, dripping down onto Sophie's blond head.

A paw reaches up to her chest after Dracula goes down, gingerly touching the gashes in her skin. "Tsk," Dashenka says, "This will be hurting in a minute or two." Already the blood is beginning to clot, which slows down how much it's leaking, but unlike other ferals she isn't blessed with regenerative healing. She looks up just in time to see Rashmi disappear into the portal that is laying on the ground, and blinks. "That is way back to New York, da?" she asks Conner, and when it's confirmed she doesn't waste any time in jumping down after her. But not before she spits on the corpse of the master vampire.

Franky smiles wide as Dracula finally falls, anyone watching would already see any wounds Franky took are starting to heal. His arms return to normal and he looks around as friends are reunited. He blush at the hug and kiss from Rashmi and as she goes to Connor he looks around and hmmms. Walking to the dead Dragon he grabs a pair of the gold spikes kalindi formed to kill it and breaks them off from the rest of the reshaped metal, pulling them from the corpse and taking them with him. "Ooooo Cupcakes!" He jumps into the black disk and vanishes.

As Hosea comes close, Sophie's breath catches in her throat; the white light fades from her hand, as does the glow suffusing her skin; leaving her as she was before, with just a small beacon of light beneath her throat. She gasps as the tall Nigerian reaches her, and as his hands wrap around her she nigh throws herself against his chest. "Hosea!" she declares in palpable relief. She holds one hand to his shoulder, while the other wraps around his back, still clutching the sword as if she didn't realize she still has it. The blind girl tucks her head under Hosea's chin, and where Rashmi might be holding back emotion, Sophie fails to duplicate the feat. She weeps openly, tears streaking down her face as she trembles. She remains like this until the time comes to enter the portal, whereupon she shifts to cling to Hosea's arm. "If anyone is wounded," she murmurs, straightening her back and putting on a brave face, "Bring them to me… I… will heal them." And with that, the pair disappear into the
into the portal.

Knees wobbly, Jill sags but manages not to fall by catching a hand against the wall. She's silent as she looks to the body of the fallen lord of vampires, stunned and vaguely sad. Her ruby red eyes drift from him- from his staked corpse to her hands, turning them over slowly and inspecting them with the same troubled look of disquiet. Whatever she was looking for, she did not find in them. Her tongue moves gently across her teeth behind lips tightly closed. The girl's own tears might be easily mistaken for the relief and joy of reunion of the others but for the softly murmured lament from a throat choked with the bitter taste of hope denied. "… fuck," the vampire girl breathes and drops into the portal after the others.

Now that things have seemed to settled down, Geoffrey and Travis come to join the group. Travis goes over to Rashmi and holds her in a tight hug whispering "I love you." To her. "Time to get you home." He says releasing the hug but always keeping one of his six arms around her as if he's afraid that if he lets go, he'll lose her again.

Before the girls leave, Geoffrey approaches them to apologize and thank them for all his help. "I'll be able get away from this place and I'll be free from him till the next asshole decides to bring him back. For now, I'm just going to lay low for a bit. I just would like to give you all something for your troubles." He first approaches Rashmi and waves a hand to pull something out of think air. "I have all of my magic back." He says with a toothy grin. "This is a tonic." He says handing her a bottle. "It'll help grow your hair back, within a few months it'll be a long as my father made it. That's if you wish to use it." He then goes to Kalindi. "There's a library here with a bunch of spell books seeing that the tower is now yours, and Igor will answer to your command, I'm sure there is a lot you can learn here. c. Now Dashenka. The car lover."
He says as he pulls a lumpy envelop out of thin air. "Inside there are keys, the deed and address of where you'll find your replacement car, a '71 Cuda Hemi convertible." Turning to Sophie, Geoffrey ponders for a moment. "I wish I could give you your vision back but I can't do that, just limited spells like my father did. Insteadc" A metal box is pulled out of the air and handed to Sophie, it's quite heavy. "The box is made of lead because my father and I can't touch what's inside, but it's a powerful item. It's a crucifix that belonged to Pope Pius IX. May it protect you." He says to her before turning to Evelyn, whose still a Margay. "When she's more coherent, give her this." He pulls a box out of the air and hands it to one of the girls. "Inside is an old and antique camera, I thought she'd might like it."
Turning towards Jill, Geoffrey gives her an awkward hug. "I'm sorry, there's nothing I can give you to make up for what happened. When I think of a way to apologize properly, I'll find you. In the meantime, the violin is yours to keep." He turns to Connor and offers a hand shake. "See them home safe. I must be off." He says as he launches himself to the sky to get away from the place.

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