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It is currently 16:00 Pacific Time on Sun Apr 17 2016.

Currently in Saint Claire, it is partly sunny. The temperature is 63 degrees Fahrenheit (17 degrees Celsius). The wind is currently coming in from the north at 8 mph. The barometric pressure reading is 30.21 and falling, and the relative humidity is 54 percent. The dewpoint is 46 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius.) For more detail, see: http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=98501

Currently the moon is in the waxing Gibbous (Galliard) Moon phase (69% full).

Office Park, Near the Waterfront

The most notable feature in this area is a large, flat and mostly barren lot that sits on a prime location near the river, and stands out against the various buildings--office buildings, they look like--that scatter northward along Hilliard Drive. Most are advertised as being FOR RENT. Despite the prime real estate, it doesn't seem as though this area has experienced much recent growth or development. A new, large wooden sign proudly proclaims 'Future Site of Hilliard Memorial Hospital'. Inland Construction and Gerlord Medical Association are listed beneath. On the opposite side of the street, across Silver and Beaugregory, are an assortment of medical research buildings, medical libraries, and even more banal bean-counting offices and classrooms for med students and interns from SCCU. North of Hilliard Drive, the seemingly mostly empty office buildings continue, spreading another block or so north to I-90, which slashes across the city streets in an abrupt divider.

It took a long time--a lot longer than Blue had implied, certainly--but the call eventually comes around late afternoon on a Sunday, when shadows are already starting to stretch long and the sun has begun sinking into the horizon. Their Dancer contact describes the mage as a 'dumpy, middle aged man, brown hair with graying sides, long brown coat, business suit'. He gives them an address, and a cheeky sort of wish of good luck, and then hangs up.

That address? It's certainly familiar to those who know the city, and to those not quite as knowledgeable, they may well recognize where they are as they get closer. It's the medical district, a street once known as Hospital Drive by those who can remember. The street signs have changed, however. It's now Hilliard instead of Hospital, and as they get closer to where they've been sent, they can see the large, open lot with the sign advertising the future (and past) hospital. There's a fair amount of construction equipment behind new fencing, but it looks as though ground has yet to be broken. Furthermore, some sort of temporary dais has apparently been set up at one end. No sign of workers, however, though the sidewalks aren't yet empty. Students, most of them, are heading home, even though most of the office buildings have clearly been empty all day.

Slug sits in the seat of his borrowed car, reclining on the arm rest. The Garou keeps the engine on and the windows up, the AC on, holding a smart phone up in front of his face. The screen's busted and the thing has long since stopped working, but the rest of the phone is unmarked, and he can hold the blocky thing up in front of his face.

Salem is inobtrusively dressed -- light hoodie zipped up, jeans and tshirt, and the good running shoes he's long since broken in on parkour jaunts around the city. He affects a lazy, loitering manner, hands tucked loosely into the pockets of his hoodie.

In the back seat is Justin, who has a red bandana pulled up over his face and a black baseball cap turned backwards on his head with a black P on the brim. Since he is of the latino descent, he is going out like a Blood on this bust-a-cap mission. In his hand he holds a standard revolver he was able to sneak off the street with the serial numbers scratched off. Humming to himself, the words of Tupac is muttered: "Heavenly father I'm a soldier - I'm getting hotter cause' the world's getting coldah, baby let me holdja. Talk to my guns like they're fly bitches. All you bustas best run, look at my bitches now."

Thane is sitting in the back seat of the car as to drop to a lower profile if needed. His hair at least is no longer pink and sparkling but the man was actually cheerful on the way over, even if he was discussing his delight at finally murdering this thorn in their collective sides. As they arrive at the sight, he does let out a sigh though. "Oh wonderful, this place. Let's hope we don't end up crossing over. Of course, I say that and no doubt I just jinxed it. It's Sunday at least, small favors." He remarks as he scans casually through the closed windows, taking note of where folks are located.

A bit down the street from Salem, Felix is sitting on the curb, having a smoke and apparently texting with one hand. He's not particularly notably dressed either -- black jeans, t-shirt, jacket, his usual well-worn boots and a black beanie, covering his hair and part of his ears. Hey, it's still chilly out here when the sun's going down.

None of the scattered pedestrians they pass seem terribly close to the given description. Most of the medical students are younger, and a fair number of them are traveling together in small groups; talking, occasionally laughing. Here and there is someone older, but always something is missing from the description. An older, plump man going to his car, but no suit. A graying woman. A thin-as-rails man in a suit and tie. They turn the corner, where pedestrian traffic seems to fall off completely. The address they were given is for a building across the street from the hospital lot, but it looks closed up. No cars in the parking lot. No sign of anyone. A block further is an even more rundown site; the parking garage that Thane has visited once before, but it's in shadow from the larger buildings around it, and it's unclear if anyone is over that way.

Slug keeps things nice and sedate, occasionally looking up for someone, as if lost. "Best case," he says. "We get to fight an incredibly dangerous guy who may or may not know we're coming. Worst case, it's a trap." Slug takes a moment to change the radio. "There ain't no jinxing somethin' that's already fucked up to begin with, but, you can only worry so much."

Salem ambles down to the corner and rounds it to bring the target building into view, still nice and casual. He's even found a bit of rock to kick along. No werewolf here, no sir.

"I'm not tripping." Justin says as he continues to stare out the window with narrowed eyes. "Maybe that guy? Nah... not him... he doesn't look magey."

"I wager the first lesson any of us learns is if it can go to shit it will." Thane gives a shrug as he leans back in his seat. "Which really applies to most anyone. The trick with these situations os to ensure someone else's day goes to shit before your's." He glances to where Justin looks and then turns to glance absently out the window on his side. "...he's not going to be carrying a broom, Justin."

Felix periodically glances up from his phone and down the street as though waiting to be picked up. About the time Salem's rounding the corner, the Galliard gives his phone a glare, sighs, and gets to his feet. The phone goes into a pocket, and he heads down the block toward the corner in question, no longer checking down the street as he was, and looking vaguely annoyed.

The car continues down the street, drawing level with, and then passing the building Blue sent them to. Nothing about the other side of it seems to give any more of an impression of activity. As they pass the old parking garage, however, there's the brief spark and glow of a cigarette, just on the other side of the old rusted chain blocking blocking one lane of entry (but not the other), and the graffiti covered security booth.

Slug lowers the phone a bit below the dash. Wouldn't do to get pulled over in a stolen car full of Garou, guns, and other things because a cop thought he was texting and driving. He leaves the phone on his thigh and keeps his eyes up, but his head bowed a little.

Continuing to hum to himself, Justin mutters, "Seriously, we couldn't even get a pic texted of the guy? How we know we aren't about to cap some random fatty who's a substitute teacher?"

Salem gives his rock a good kick, sending it further along and jogging after it and down the block across the street from the target building and the parking garage. He glances up to note the position of the car with his Septmates in it as well as check other people in the area.

Being that Thane only has one-eye, he most likely will not be the one to spot a spark of someone's cig. He continues to glance about with a happy smile upon his face. Dum-de-dum. "Then at least the kids will have an early vacation."

Felix turns the corner, finishing off his own cigarette and squishing it out, then dropping the butt into a pocket. His hand stays in there, and the other slides into the other; his stride stays even and irritated, and he glances around distractedly as he goes.

Slug thinks he might see something- but between the driving and the talking, it's hard to be certain, and pulling a u'ey to go and check might be a touch weird. Instead, the Ragabash pulls over off to the side and takes out the phone again, thumbing the broken screen as if he's texting.

More medical buildings lie ahead, as well as the waterfront. There's little activity that way; most of the buildings look closed for the day, and the real waterfront activity happens elsewhere when night falls. Slug will have to turn again to avoid hitting the water, rounding the 'block' that makes up the large hospital lot.

"Well, common sense would suggest our boy'd be aiming for the buildings since they're the only things out here." Thane murmurs as he's looking towards the old hospital site. "Question is, where? Parking garage has something nasty going on so even a powerful fellow likely wouldn't be recommended to go wandering there."

Salem stops some distance away from the parked car, his last kick sending the rock 'accidentally' toward the other side of the street. He makes a face at it, then looks around, idly scratching the side of his neck.

"Guess it depends on where he's going, and what he's doing. If I was a guy and I knew some people knew where I hung out, where they could follow me, I'd probably stick between buildings and stuff so I didn't get shot from a rooftop." Slug licks his lips and shrugs. "What'd the Spiral say, anyways? That he commutes home along this way, or..."

The voice of Briari comes through their ear pieces. "Just a description and where he'd be at. I'm peeking from a distance though, trying to see if I can find him. Just be patient guys."

Felix continues down the block in the general direction of the water, apparently idly glancing over the various buildings and cars as he passes them. It's not a very exciting walk, with one side nothing but empty lot.

The dim glow of a cigarette just inside the parking garage remains, but it doesn't stay still. Up and down, then in a slow circle, and only when his body blocks it is the owner more noticeable. It's someone with a long coat, darkish in color, with his or her back to the street. The gloom of the interior, even only a few feet from the outside, makes it hard to pick the person out.

Meanwhile, most of the departing students have made their way off, either to cars or several blocks away. Here and there, lights are still on in buildings as the sun sets, but none seem particularly open or active. The building Blue sent them to remains shut and dark.

Thane hears the remark from Briari and settles back in his seat, responding only simply with a "Right." back through the piece and otherwise keeping the radio quiet. He looks back through the window to try and keep track of where Salem and Felix are located and then towards the buildings. "Hopefully he shows soon. This'll be a lot harder in the dark."

"Everything gets harder in the dark. Trust me, I know." Slug says, as dryly as he can. The Gnawer lowers his phone, rolls his eyes, then goes back to thumbing at the blank screen.

"That's what she said." Justin chirps back with a chuckle.

The voice of Briari comes out in a long sigh from the other side. "Still nothing. Just kids. Kids. Kids. More kids."

"Well either he's not here or he's in one of the buildings." Thane says over the earpiece. "So, empty looking blue building or parking garage where there's signs of ooze. Street view, see anything that way?" He asks of Salem or Felix. The Shadow Lord leans over to try and get a better view out the window towards the buildings.

Salem's nose wrinkles, face pulling into a grimace. "Going to check Blue's," he mutters, only loud enough for the earpiece, and then trots across the street toward the building Blue gave them the address for.

"Maybe he's down in the ooze basement, having a swim," Slug suggests. "Because that would make the evenin' complete, now, wouldn't it?"

Maybe it's some kind of smoker's spidey-sense that lets Felix pick out that dim, moving glow when that part of the garage gets into his view. "Looks like maybe someone smokin' in the garage," he murmurs to the mic, and offers, "Could go try an' bum one to see who."

"Checking the parking garage." Comes Briari's voice as she looks to adjust positions on the roof, peeking through her scope.

"Got a smoker in the parking garage area. Can't really see them. He's sorta .. making it dance though, instead of puffing on it. Like he's doing figure eights with it." Briari comes through the radio again.

"Blue's looks dead," Salem says over the radio, after checking out the building next to the parking garage. "At least on this side." He keeps making a show of poking around, though -- bored kids do as bored kids will -- as he moves around it toward the side facing the garage.

"Might be a signal," Slug suggests. "Could be your Spiral buddy. Or something. Whatever. Going inside all together, or we leaving some people out here, or..." he trails off.

"Or a magical spell." Justin says with a loud yawn as he leans against the window, bonking his head. "Maybe he's checking out the ooze on his own dime."

There might be something to Justin's suggestion. The movement of the cigarette glow seems more and more deliberate the longer they watch, although it's certainly not anything recognizable. Now and then the person will stop and bring it to about head height, where presumably they're puffing on the cigarette itself.

"Briari, are you able to line them up?" Thane says over the radio. "I see who you mean. Car's viewpoint isn't going to be good. I'd prefer not to rush in if we can avoid it. Salem, Felix, see how close you can get in the event this guy tries to bolt. We're not going to get a good shot at this from the car unless he flushes out of the garage."

"I can probably plunk them from here, but it will be a really tough shot. The caliber I got in here will take a nice chunk out of 'em though, so if I hit, he's not walking out of there and feeling good about it." Briari says as she continues to squint one eye through the scope, adjusting it. "Whoever they are is at the start of a slope into the garage. So, I'd really have one chance and if I miss, it's a shit storm. Also, definitely not smoking that cig. They're doing something with it. Kinda twirling it over their head, yadda yadda. Looks like a rite of some sorts."

Salem wanders over toward the parking garage, having apparently found nothing to interest him at the closed-up building. He aims to keep out of direct sight of the cigarette wielder.

Felix continues past the car and to the corner, where he turns and crosses the street in the direction of the parking garage.

"If it is a rite or some magic thing, you probably don't want them to finish," Slug suggests, taking a moment to check his gun. He sets down his phone, then idly rolls down the window just enough that he could shoot out the window, not revealing more than than a fraction of his head and face. He keeps his eyes off the garage, so his scars aren't facing it.

"... Can we put on some DMX if we're gonna do this?" Justin asks. "I would suggest X Gon' Give it to yah'. That can be our killing sound track."

"Sing it in your own head." Thane says aside to Justin. To the radio, he says, "Briari, go for as much damage as you can with the best odds. Badly wounded with a better chance is more ideal than a riskier kill shot. The car will back you up. One round of shooting, enough to do what we can, then Salem and Felix move in. Finish him off it he's prone, do what you can to slow him down otherwise while the three of us join you.> "Justin, Slug, you two are closer to that side of the window. I'll head out when the shooting starts and head across the street to him." "Any last additions, now's the time."

"I'll be here with the wheels, ready to shoot or drive, or both," Slug says, glancing in the rear view mirror at Justin and Thane. He blows out a sigh, then looks off down the street for a second, making sure that the way's clear to go if he needs to drive in a hurry.

"Yes, sir." Briari's voice comes through the radio. "Good luck to all of you. I'm going to shift a bit closer, give me a few seconds to get locked in. I'll count to three, then pop it off."

Salem mutters, "Roger." He glances around, brow furrowed.

"Got it," Felix murmurs as well, continuing his stroll.

"Let's hope fate decides to give a shit about us today." Thane murmurs within the confines of the car before he says over the radio, "On your mark, Briari." And then he waits, one hand on the handle of the car door and eye on the entry to the garage.

Screwing the silencer on the end of the muzzle, Briari leans forward and kisses the gun on the top of it. "Daddy, please don't let your twenty grand super gun let me down." She says as she shifts into position, squints her eye through the scope and gives it another twitch. She watches the glow of the cherry dance around slowly, then adjusts again juuuuust a little bit. She looks to line up the shot to the body. Closing her eyes for a moment, she lets out a slow breath, then whispers, "... 1 .... 2 .... 3..." Paf! "... go."

Briari is far enough away that they can't hear the shot, even if she were working without a silencer. They do, however, hear a sharp rap from within the garage. Bullet hitting a wall? Their target's doing? In the chaos of the moment it's unclear, but the gloom shrouded figure seems to buckle and drop. Was he hit, or is he taking cover? The cigarette itself is dropped, however, and rolls well out of sight. The moment after that sound seems impossibly quiet.

Slug watches anxiously without trying to appear so, one hand on the wheel, the other laid on his thigh near his gun ( and whatever else he's got beneath his jacket ). For a second or two he drums his fingers on the wheel, then stops.

(OOC) Justin says "For us in the car, can we see him?"
(OOC) Sheogorath says "You could until he went down/kneeled/hit the ground/whatever he did."

Bounding out of the car, Justin tears up the driveway as he pulls his gun upwards to chin level. If he spies the body, whether injured or not, he will fire off a rally of shots as he grips the gun tight with both hands.

At the sound of the shot, Thane is out of the car. He's only a step or two behind Justin as he has to round the car but the Shadow Lord is moving at a run for the garage and ready to react at a second's notice depending on what greets them - one hand on his gun, the other metaphorically ready to hit the button of Rage.

Salem sheds the facade of casual loiterer and bolts toward the garage when he sees the others exit the car, all deadly intent now, all business.

Felix does the same, not yet pulling out any weapons but ready to do so if there's a Mage in handy shootable position once he gets inside.

Still upon the roof, Briari continues to peer through the scope and watch the others converge upon the scene. There is a click-clack noise as she sets up another round, then slides her finger over the trigger.

Slug shifts the car into drive for a speedy retreat ( or advance ), and unzips his jacket, now that the others are scrambling out. With his cover blown /anyways/, he winds down the window all the way and looks all around, ready for the first thing to go wrong.

No sooner has Slug wound down his window than there's a massive *crunch* as the entire front of the car buckles downward from some unseen impact, the front windshield cracking into a thousand spidery splinters and yet somehow, for the moment, still holding together. There's a person suddenly on the impacted car hood, or the likeness of a person--though the more one looks, the less human this person seems to be. Their skin is deathly white and strangely patterned, almost ribbed in places, with odd, almost gill-like slits near the nose and what can only be described as ponderous tendrils along the chin and jaw. Their hair is likewise white, nails long, and mouth bared into an unnatural grimace in which long, sharp teeth are quite visible.

At practically the same moment, Justin feels something close around his gun wrist like a vise and yank him backward and up with disturbing ease, as another white skinned thing suddenly appears between him and Thane, looking very much like, if not quite identical, to the one suddenly on Slug's car.

"Slug, hang in there." Briari says as she swivels the scope around, peers through it, then gives a soft prayer as she looks to plunk the guy on the hood. Paf!

Salem neither slows down nor looks back; he charges directly into the darkness of the parking garage to where the cigarette-wielder was last seen, trading stealth and subtlety for sheer speed of attack.

As the Shadow Lord moves to close distance, the Thing appears. But he's preparing for a bigger fight and reaches inward, tapping spirit power on the head to bring forward Luna's protection. "You got this!" He bellow to Justin with a bark of half-manic laughter and is moving hot on Salem's heals to head into the garage.

There's a curse that comes over the communication device, something not wholly formed and lost to the crunch of metal and glass. Flesh and bone reform as Slug slides from human to Glabro, the shape of his body moving around in the driver's seat.

"Woah!" Justin goes flying upwards, then hits the ground with a skid as he tumbles end over end. As Thane bails on him (asshole), he bounds upwards and blurs forward into the Crinos form and howls out. ~Felix! You back Thane and Salem up!~ Diving into the white fomori, his claws look to work quickly in a blur of rage as he swipes over and over.

Felix continues doing just that, fast as he can, following the original -- well, okay, second -- plan, aiming to help Salem (and now Thane) flank the mage. Assuming he's still there.

Thane is the first to realize something might be wrong. As Walker, Gnawer, and Shadow Lord barrel down into the garage itself, he reaches inward, calling on the gift of Luna's armor...and nothing happens. A third white skinned being, still nearly but not quite identical to the other two, appears immediately in front of them, screaming with wordless glee as he lunges forward in turn.

Justin's claws find purchase in the strange, pale skin, but 'quickly' doesn't seem to be on the menu. It's far hardier than it looks, and while his strange opponent bleeds red, his blows don't go nearly as deep as he'd anticipated. The creature grabs again at his now-furry wrist, yanking it to the side with strength to match the Gnawer's crinos, and hammers with its other fist at Justin's face. It's hard enough to crack the bones in his muzzle and even a few teeth, though fortunately nothing more serious.

Briari's shot pings off the pavement in front of the car just as Slug slams on the gas. The car sputters and jerks forward, but the engine dies almost immediately despite his efforts. It's enough to send the creature on the car scrambling for purchase, first against the broken windshield and then the hood itself.

"You fucking serious." Briari click-clacks another round in the chamber, then lets out a deep breath, then takes aim once more. Steadying herself, she calls upon her will and fires off another round.

Slug reaches into his jacket and yanks out a cylinder of some kind. The Gnawer yanks something off the top, throws it onto the dash, then bails out of the car with his back to it.

As he takes a face full of fist, Mouse-Trap yanks his arm forward, the one that the fomori is gripped on, then dives forward with his jaws to try and sink them into the throat of the fomori. If successful, he is going to thrash his head back and forth wildly like a pit-bull with a cat in his jaws.

Salem calls on his Rage and shifts into Lupus while still on the move; he makes a feint at the fomor and then attempts to dodge past it, looking for the mage -- the real target.

Thane snarls as he crosses the threshold and swells up into his Crinos form, eyes burning with fury. ~Gift's blocked.~ He leaves Salem to play feign and takes the ideal distraction to try and get around the other side of the Fomor and continue on towards the mage.

Felix slides into Hispo once he's in the garage proper, increasing his speed, and continues with his group. When the fomor appears, he makes a feint toward it from the other side; he can always hope it won't be able to choose in time to stop either of them dodging it and finding the Mage, but surely it can't interrupt them both... can it?

The creature in front of Salem makes a grab for him as he shifts--its fast, too fast, but not fast enough, as its fingers close tightly on fur but not flesh, and Salem gets away with all but a rather painful chunk of fur torn out. He can smell things up ahead, and one of them is human. The others are damp. Mold. There's a dripping he can only just hear.

Felix and Thane follow suit; Felix gets around the other side without so much as an attempted grab, but Thane isn't so lucky as the thing twists toward him and tackles. It's not enough to bring the Shadow Lord to the floor, but it's enough to stop his momentum.

As Slug bails out of the car, the creature on the hood starts to follow, but too late. There's a blinding flash in that vicinity and a shriek of surprise and pain from the creature.

Briari's next bullet hits the passenger-side door, and for the next moment or so looking that way is too bright for aiming.

Justin gets his jaws around the thing's neck and digs in. The blood tastes foul as it runs into his mouth, trickles down his jaws, but he thrashes viciously. The creature gurgles, but it's still standing, and as Justin attempts to rip its throat to pieces it maintains its grip on his wrist, while jamming the palm of the other hand quite suddenly up against his chest.

Sheogorath pages: He doesn't smell blood, mind you. Just human.

There is a loud hiss from the rooftop as Briari rises upwards and peers over at the flash of light. "Bullets are no good up here, Slug. Something is preventing me from hitting it. I'm coming down." And with that, the sniper rifle disappears in a ripple of spirit matter as a tattoo coils about his arm in the form of a viper. With that, she starts down the fire escape rapidly.

Consumes-Shadows has no time for this nonsense. Twisting around to better face the thing that's trying to hug him round the middle, the Lord spreads his claws and moves to render the thing's head to ribbons as quickly as he might manage.

Scar bulks up into Hispo as he heads deeper into the parking garage, slowing a bit from his headlong charge once he's past the fomor. He bares his fangs, growling low and steady.

The Gnawer Ahroun lets out a loud noise of pure agony as his body tenses up. Stubborn to survive, he locks his jaw around the beast and /squeezes/ as hard as he can, then yanks his head back as his claws grab the wrists of the creature, trying to yank the arms away.

Slug takes just a second to get his bearings now that he has some breathing room on his hands. The Gnawer grabs a second cylinder from beneath his jacket, then shifts to Crinos, and lunges off toward Mouse-Trap with blistering speed. With his free hand he bends down and swipes his claws, first at the thing's right knee, then across it's back.

Chugs-Mystery-Brew follows Scar's lead, approaching their prey from the other side at slightly less speed than before, trying to get a good look at what's facing them as they close in.

You enter the run down parking garage.

Parking Garage, Level 1

A vast parking garage that seems mostly empty and barely maintained, though the reason for its decline doesn't seem particularly obvious. The spaces closest to Hilliard Drive are reserved for the handicapped. The wide space echoes the slightest noise, making it ring ominously off the concrete walls. Yellow lines painted on the floor indicate the direction of traffic.

An exit to the south leads to Hilliard Drive.

The sounds of battle from outside seem almost immediately muted as the two frontrunners enter the garage proper. They can both hear the sound of pounding feet up ahead, now running flat out, and there's a shadow at the far end of this level of the garage, undoubtably their mage. He's right on the cusp of the next ramp downward. Somewhere deeper, they can both hear a distant dripping, and the smell of damp and mold is strong even here.

Scar puts on a burst of speed once the prey is spotted, aiming to close the distance between them as quickly as possible and get fangs into flesh.

Chugs-Mystery-Brew growls and gets back up to speed as well, with much the same aim. He's still attempting to catch and attack from the other side from the one Scar is on.

The man--it's clearly a man now--is running flat out, but he's still human after all, no match for wolves. Scar's teeth close on his right shoulder, and Chug's on his left thigh, halfway down the second, curving ramp, and the man screams and stumbles--and he's rather abruptly not in their grip any more. He's ten feet down, partly scrambling, mostly rolling, and bleeding copiously from both horrific injuries.

Scar is surprised for only a moment, and then he's after the mage again. If anything, the desperate display of power seems to lend speed to the Walker's paws; he's tasted blood and damned if he isn't going to have more.

CHOMP--? Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew blinks at the sudden lack of flesh between his teeth, but the movement of the rolling mage draws his attention almost immediately, and he too leaps after their prey, trying to catch him before he can get much further.

Gasping, crawling, the mage makes a pretty pathetic figure. But not a defenseless one. As both Garou close in again, he lifts a hand, wide eyed, as if to shield himself, and shield himself he does. Scar and Chugs lunge the last few feet and...find that they haven't crossed the last few feet at all. As for the mage himself, the joke about a substitute teacher isn't far from reality; he's a little chubby, his suit nicely tailored but worn and ill kept, even fraying at the elbows. His brown hair is going gray at the temples, and his chin is almost non-existent. His eyes, however, are wide and terrified, and he seems to be repeating a quiet, steady mantra of, "No, no, no, no."

Scar pulls up short with a surprised snort, then shakes himself. ~He can't do that forever,~ he growls, staring at the mage. He stalks forward, tail up and hackles bristled, bloody fangs bared and tongue flicking out, pure demondog.

Chugs-Mystery-Brew looks startled again, then annoyed, eyes narrowing further. ~Nope,~ he agrees, advancing on the mage again, ~...but if keeps tryin' it maybe I shoot him.~ Claws and teeth are still clearly preferred, and he stalks a bit aside from Salem; if that shielding's still there, maybe it has edges.

The mage keeps his hand up, the one not attached to a mauled shoulder. Chugs goes to one side, Scar moves forward; neither of them seem to actually gain any ground. Movement feels perfectly natural, it just seems perfectly useless. Whether Scar is right about the mage's capabilities or not, one thing is clear; he's hemorrhaging, and however long he can keep up the effect naturally, his body won't have much time if something isn't done.

At least, that's the case until the blood suddenly starts coming out black.

Scar utters a really foul curseword in Mother's Tongue and shoots a look sideways to Felix. ~Shoot him.~ Pause. ~If you can.~

Chugs-Mystery-Brew aims to make it as smooth as he can, giving as little time for the mage to react to the change as possible; he warps up through the forms to Glabro, moving to pull out the gun as quickly as it and his opposable thumbs come back into being, aim it at the mage, and shoot.

One can't usually see bullets, but as this one crosses the threshold that seems to be stopping the two Garou, they can both make it out; a small, spinning bit of metal, going slower and slower and yet somehow remaining in the air. The mage's eyes widen even further, strain showing in his face, the trembling of his fingers...and then suddenly they can't see the bullet anymore, but they can see the impact as a black blooded flower blooms near the center of his chest. The mage gasps, looking both afraid and surprised, but his hand remains upraised, as if held there by unseen forces.

~Shoot him again,~ Scar snarls.

Precisely what Felix had in mind! One corner of his lips twitches upward as the bullet makes an actual impact, and he's already shooting again while the blood is still in the weirdly-slowed air.

This time the bullet appears to suffer no hindrance--a second wound opens up not far from the first, and the mage's hand finally drops as he does, choking on his own discolored blood. Blood from his shoulder, his thigh, his chest...and now from the eyes, copious amounts of black, bloody tears as he struggles, and fails, to breathe.

Scar makes a snerling noise of disgust and rears up into Crinos and approaches to put the corrupted mage out of his misery. ~We'll need to burn the body.~

~We're sure that blood ain't nothing-ooze or some shit, right?~ Felix asks as Scar approaches the dying mage, and takes a couple steps closer as well, ready to quickly finish things with a last shot or two should Scar decide against doing it by hand. Or tooth, whichever. ~I got a lighter but not gas or anythin'.~

There's more black blood pooling around and still coming out of the mage than there should have been blood in his body. His eyes aren't visible any more, but he continues to cry 'tears' of the stuff. The only noise he's managing now is a soft, desperate sort of gurgle.

Scar pauses, ears tilting backwards as he eyes the mess and reconsiders. ~There's probably /something/ in the car.~ He looks at Felix. ~Put a bullet in his brain, then go check on the others. Yell if you need me.~ The way he's eyeballing the soon-to-be corpse suggests he's wary about leaving it alone.

(OOC: Time check: It's now just after sunset, IC.)

Felix has stopped a bit outside the area of pooling blood and is already aiming with just that target, so compliance with the first part of the instructions is quick -- and if it seems necessary, repeated. ~Got it. You want my lighter?~ he offers, as he turns to start on part two of the Adren's instructions.

With the third gunshot, the gurgles end, and the bleeding at least seems to slow, though it hasn't stopped.

Scar reverts to human form, hand going into a jeans pocket. "Got my own." The youth's face is quite grim.

Felix nods, giving the Walker a mock-salute before he conceals the gun again and starts back up the way they came, at a run.

Memory arrives on the wing, a whisper of feathers against the air. She comes rather close to Felix as he runs past, then glides over the oozy body and Salem. Coming in for a landing a good thirty feet distant, she fold her wings and regards the fellow on the ground. "Well now, he doesn't look all that healthy."

Salem scowls at the raven; he's agitated and impatient, in no mood for levity. "Do you have something we can use to burn it? Some kind of fire-making bird magic?"

Memory's feathers ruffle up, as she cocks her head to one side. "Afraid not, but I do have a can of starter fluid and some matches." She watches the body for a moment, nictitating membranes flashing across her eyes. "I could try talking to his memories, if you have any specific questions. Don't have to touch him for that, or take the eyes, but that ooze infection makes me nervous."

A tiny bubble forms in the black blood pooling in the dead mage's eyesockets, then pops.

Salem grimaces, nose wrinkling. "Call me stupid, but... no. That shit makes me nervous, too. /I/ wouldn't poke at his ghost, so I wouldn't ask /you/ to." He inhales a breath and steps back. "Let's just burn the fucking thing, turn it to ash."

Memory considers the body for a moment longer, then shifts up into the form of her birth and slides the bag from her shoulders. After some digging, she comes up with a can of lighter fluid and a pack of matches in separate zippy bags. Stepping up to the body, she murmurs something under her breath, then starts to liberally apply the lighter fluid to the corpse.

Nothing interferes with Val's actions, although the air around them seems rather chilly, and there's a persistent dripping from somewhere further down in the garage. Sounds from up top have gone quiet as well.

Val lights a match and drops it onto the body, once the can of starter fluid runs dry. "I'm gonna check on something," she informs Salem, as the body begins to burn. Shifting down into her raven form, she takes off, intent on checking out the dripping sound.

_____POV: Val_____

The fire throws dark, unpleasant shadows around the parking level, but it's enough to light up the ramp leading down to the third level well enough even for non-supernaturally influenced site. The difference in temperature is stark; about halfway down, it drops noticeably, and Val can see her own breath in front of her beak. Down this far, things are pitch black, as no light from above reaches, likely even in daytime, and the power has been gone for a long, long time.

Even in the darkness, Memory's eyes perceive things to be lit up as if under a noon-time sun, thanks to her Gift. She keeps to the air and in the middle space as best she can, as she searches out the source of the dripping sound. She has no real desire to get too close to the floor, or the ceiling, what with the likelihood of oozy badness about.

The third floor appears clear. There's another temperature drop on the way to the fourth--how deep exactly does this garage go?--and then. Yes. Oozy badness does indeed abound. There are tendrils stretching along the walls, puddles of it on the floor, even wriggling glops along the ceiling. It only appears to get thicker as the garage goes deeper, somehow, to level 5.

Memory calls on Enemy Ways, as she presses deeper into the garage, trusting on the Gift and her own gut instincts to let her know when things becomes dangerous enough that retreat is the only sane option.

She winds her way down, far faster than anything on foot, even if raven's aren't the fastest of fliers. Level 5. It's worse down here, thicker, seemingly darker even though she can see into every corner. And there's yet another ramp. That can't be right, can it?

Memory keeps going, while keeping a wary eye on the ooze. Particularly the stuff on the ceiling.

It seems to be growing longer, the ceiling tendrils. And it's more active. Once or twice, only Val's Gift keeps her from being swatted, intentionally or not, by one of the things. She's on level six now. Except the sign on the wall still reads level 5.

Memory looks for anything that seems significant, as she flits around the '6th' level of the parking garage.

_____POV: Salem (who's babysitting the burning body_____

Briari pages: In the ear piece, you can hear Briair yelling: We gotta the fuck outta here, NOW!

Pack> Slug says "Queen's coming. Time to go."

Briari pages: Followed by: The Queen knows he's dead! We're about to become paste!

_____POV: Val_____

For the most part, the only difference seems to be the increase in Ooze activity, and the decrease in temperature. It's downright freezing, pitch black, and covered in bad goo. There's no sign of anything more malevolent, however. No whisper or hint of the strange monsters. In fact, aside from the flap of her own wings and the beat of her own heart, everything is very, very quiet...except the dripping. It still seems to be coming from further down, seemingly no closer than it was up on the first level.

Memory draws in an icy-cold breath and it is released in a misty cloud, as she heads deeper, in search of the source of the dripping sound.

It's level five again, except she can be sure she's not simply repeating rooms. Things are thicker here. Nastier. Colder. The room itself seems somewhat warped; longer, and narrower at one end than the other, as if it had been slightly squeezed. There's a sense of distant danger, but she can't be terribly sure if it's from further down...or back the way she came.

Memory hesitates, then, as before, heads deeper into the bowels of the parking garage.

Once again, the faded, peeling paint reads '5', although it's mostly obscured by black, reaching, twisting tendrils. The room seems to bow a little, the floor dropping away before coming back, but the walls don't follow suit. Instead, there's a wave of sorts, with one wall curving inward, and one outward, and yet the floor and walls remain perfectly in line. Her eyes slide off of this impossible distortion, taking it in, but failing to understand how it's occurring.

Memory gives her head a shake and nearly plows into one of the dangling tendrils as a result. Feeling vaguely nauseated, the Corax pushes on, down one more level.

A '5' is etched into the dark stone wall--stone, not cement, a gentle curve with a rough surface that seems naturally formed rather than manmade. It's larger and taller than it should be, stretching out in front of her for at least several hundred feet, before the tunnel seems to twist downward again, echoing the parking garage's ramps. Behind her, the cement ramp remains, curving upward.

Memory huhs to herself, as she wonders if this passage is connected with the on beneath Last Days. Down she goes, on and on, ready to flee at the drop of a hat.

_____POV: Salem_____

Thane makes his way down from the upper levels, clearly agitated but looking no worse for wear save a coating of blood that doesn't seem to be his. "Hey, you two still down here? We gotta go." He calls out as he heads for the fire.

Salem is alternating between watching the remains of the mage burn and looking toward the ramp leading downwards. "Val went investigating," he says, jerking his head in the direction of the ramp.

There's no sign of the Corax returning either. Everything is very quiet from below.

Pack> Salem says "Val's gone down into the garage. Mage is dead but ended up bleeding black."
Pack> Slug says "She's not doing anything stupid, is she?"
Pack> Salem says "She's a Corax."
Pack> Salem sighs. "She flew off to investigate shit down there."

"By the sounds of it shit's coming any second." Thane says with a frown as he looks to the deeper levels. "She bolted before I could say anything. The lower levels are infested with ooze and there's no light down far enough. My pack could only go so far."

"Fuck," says Salem. He looks at a loss for a moment, then jogs over to the top of the ramp and peers down toward the darkness.

"And we don't have time to wait." Thane says before taking to his Lupus form. Once he's solidly on four paws the Shadow Lord lifts his head and howls down to the lower levels an urgent-sounding cry of warning and danger.

The howl echoes about the cement walls, and seems to travel further than one might expect, and stay longer, echoing, echoing, echoing. It dies down eventually, but there's no response.

Salem swears in Serbian. "I'm going down after her," he says, and starts heading down the ramp.

Salem heads down the ramp, alone. Level three is significantly colder than level two, enough that he can see his breath. Then level four. Then level five. His path is mostly unbarred, though ooze tendrils snake along the walls, grasp from the ceiling, and puddle here and there in inconvenient places. His journey is similar, if not identical to Val's, and again and again he finds a different level '5', and always the dripping further down. And down. And down. No parking garage has this many levels, even if they weren't all labeled the same.

Level 5. Level 5. Level 5. Level 6.

It opens out into a room that's too large in all directions to be part of the garage, and yet it has all the trappings. Faded, painted lines. The number on the concrete wall. But the lines all seem to be slightly twisted, as if being pulled toward the center of the room, where the floor is dipping downward again. How far down is uncertain, because it's hard to look at, and at a certain point black ooze is pooling. Near the edge of this pool flaps the raven, finally, but she appears to be flapping around a crinos. Black fur with a mix of dirty grey. Metal claws are digging into her own face, her dark eyes squeezed shut, metal teeth clenched. Slightly too long ears. Patagia. She's making a terrible noise, again and again as she attempts to smash her head against the floor. ~Shut up. Shut up. SHUT UP.~ The dripping has ceased, but as Val flies closer, the crinos swipes madly, blindly at her. ~Agggh! Shut up!~

Memory dodges as best she can, retreating to what appears to be the far end of the room. ~No need to be rude,~ she chides the crinos, somewhat breathlessly.

Salem's eyes widen. "Ghost?!"

The crinos stops digging claws into her face in order to dig them into her ears. She presses her ears so hard against her head it's a wonder if any blood is managing to flow at all. ~Shut up,~ she says, more weakly, followed by a noise that's half whine, half snarl. Her eyes remain tightly closed. It certainly looks like Ghost. It sounds like Ghost. It even smells like Ghost. Two ugly scars cross her torso--the first Salem will likely recognize as the injury that took Kavi's efforts to seal. He's seen that scar. The second is new, a deep gouge between her ribs. Both seem to be sluggishly oozing blood--red blood, thankfully, but blood all the same.

~Mind if I use you as a perch?~ Memory asks of the newly arrived Salem. ~I think I can get her calm. Maybe.~

"...Yes, fine," Salem says, looking rather stricken at the sight in front of him. Distractedly, he adds, "The Queen's incoming, up above."

The crinos--Ghost--continues to attempt to shield her ears, with little regard for what damage she might be doing in the meantime. She's at least stop screaming for the moment, although now and then her tongue and lips move as if she's about to start again. Instead, there's nothing from her but heavy, labored breathing.

Memory perches on Salem's shoulder and folds her wings, glad for the rest. ~Honestly surprised you made it down here, what with all the darkness and ooze tendrils. Level five went on forever. I'm pooped,~ she says absently, as she calls on her Gift to gain the use of Dazzle. Looking over at Ghost, she attempts to affect her with the Gaian Gift.

Salem mutters, "The luck of idiots, I suppose." He shifts his weight in response to the large bird on his shoulder.

Ghost certainly doesn't appear to be overcome with the love of Gaia--but something about her relaxes. Slumps, almost, first forward, then in general. She keeps her hands over her ears and her eyes closed, but her claws stop digging in so deeply.

Salem steps carefully toward Ghost and reaches out to gently place a hand on her shoulder.

Ghost recoils, but doesn't actually pull away. That shoulder is trembling slightly, although that's likely because the rest of her is too. Salem gets no other response.

"It's Jack," Salem says quietly, calmly. He takes in a breath, calling on the Persuasion Gift. "Look at me, please."

She doesn't react for several moments, long enough that he might think about doing or saying something else, but then her eyelids loosen a little, and for a moment, barely a breath, she opens them, though she doesn't move her head, or her eyes, toward the Walker. She almost immediately squeezes them shut again, visibly wincing.

"Please come away from there," Salem says, stroking the big furry arm in as calming a manner as he can; the environment is hardly conducive to calm. "We need to go."

A breath. Two breaths. Three. She moves. She keeps her hands clapped over her ears and her eyes squeezed shut, but she does move, just a single, wobbly step, away from the dip in the floor.

"That's good," Salem says. He avoids doing more than glance at the dip in the floor, that horrible inky place. "Another step now. Can you shift down?"

There's another long pause between the request and Ghost responding, but she does. One more step. And then, with what's clearly a monumental effort given the furrow in her brow, the wrinkle along her muzzle, she shifts downward. The first attempt fails. The second only gets her to glabro. The third comes in fits and starts, but she makes homid, and stays there.

(OOC) Ghost says "Yus, since you have to go soon, I'll say it's a looong trek. And the place is, thankfully, empty by the time they get back up. So, mm. Let's say around nine in the morning. Ghost isn't going to be terribly responsive outside of direct requests (Salem's doing good though!). No talking. Her clothes are rather bedraggled."

(OOC) Salem nods. He'll take her to a nearby hidey-hole for her to recover and we can pick up there.
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