2016.06:The Hippies Are Up To No Good

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The Hippies Are Up To No Good
Someone is trying to summon another demon out of Hell.
IC Date June, 2016
IC Time Evening
Players Aleksei, Esme, Harikumo, Larry, November, Schuyler, Simone
Spheres Demon

Deep Refuge

A rectangular space that is roughly the size of a three car garage, this opulent subterranean refuge is fit only for royalty. No expense seems to have been spared for the appearance of the room; the walls and ceiling are constructed of premium white marble, polished to a glossy finish. In contrast, the floor consists of glass-like black granite tiling, and the center features a uniquely styled pentagram of inlaid gold, where the five points of the star extend beyond the reaches of the symbol's ubiquitous circle.

Tall brass braziers are placed strategically around the perimeter of the room to provide luminescent flame, and marble curule seats with black velvet cushions provide for approximately thirty guests, arranged in two concentric circles. Placed in the far right corner of the room is an obelisk-shaped obsidian pedestal. As if cast within, the pedestal's pyramidal point confines a silver orb the size of a small melon. Accessible by touch, it protrudes slightly from each sloping surface.

Simone is seated at one of the chairs - if by seated, you mean leaning against the side of it with her eyes closed. She's probably not asleep. Probably. Alternatively, if Larry's there, she's leaning against him.

Larry usually makes a good lean-to. Today, maybe not so much, on account of what he says next. "We're going to need to get going soon, I think."

Harikumo is pacing, waiting for those magical words. "Alright." She's amiable to any course of action, save sitting still.

November comes down the stairs, her sword actually out and slung ove rher shoulder. It has a wicked curve to it. Kinda sexy, really. "I'm ready. I know pretty much right where it is. Who has an update, who needs an update? I want to move on this."

Simone opens her eyes - so she wasn't asleep after all - and looks between Larry and November. "Why? What's going on?"

"That flock of dead seagulls?" Larry explains. Okay, that's a lousy explanation but he's about to fix it. "We've got one of our own incoming. One of the good ones, hopefully."

Harikumo nods, not looking very suprised. "I had suspected as much, but had no way to confirm it myself."

Aleksei wanders in there after November and he lets out a soft yawn before telling her, "So, you found something then, huh?" He asks her while he stretches a bit before moving to drop into a seat comfortably. "Well, I can check in on the rehab center. I think there are a few cases that are probably not going to get any better unfortunately." He says with a small frown on his lips.

"Wait, is someone being summoned or something?" Simone asks, her forehead wrinkling. She sits up straighter, though.

"Someone IS being summoned, actually. I've got it narrowed down to a block or so. ANyone else got a clearer picture? They're either juts getting started or there's not a whole lot of power." November, rakes her fingers through her hair. "Anyone have anymore info than I have?"

Harikumo shakes her head, awfully somber tonight. "Nothing from me."

"Not yet," Larry offers. "Might be able to help narrow it down once we get closer, but this far out? Little too much static."

Simone shakes her head. "I didn't even know this was happening." She pauses for just a beat. "We going to head out there and see what's going on?"

The group, led presumbly by November, ends up in a quiet part of town near the ocean, the streets flanked by large, mature trees. It's a mixture of older houses and small commercial buildings, a couple of which probably were houses at one point.

November leads the way toward a small blue building and she pauses, frowning just a touch. Breath of Life Healing Center. "Fuuuuuuucking hippies. Fucking reiki and yoga and tai chi and all that bullshit. God, I hate the smell of patchouli." She motions that way, though she keeps her distance. "There."

There are windchimes hanging outside made of round pieces of shell and adorned with crystals. If you look through the front door, you can see a dreamcatcher. Hippie alert.

They all need to die

Esme sighs. "Pacifism is a pretty idea, misguided, but pretty. I would probably like hippies if they bathed more often. Maybe you should let me talk to them. Hippies love rockstars."

"You know, if you kill a hippie," Larry muses, meanwhile, "the garden gnomes will haunt your front lawn for a month. I saw it once, wasn't pretty."

Harikumo snickers at all the hippie bashing. "Or maybe bring barbeque. Scare the vegans out."

"Do they come riding in on pink lawn flamigos, too?" Simone asks Larry with an amused smile. It's quick to fade, though, and she looks between the building and the others. "That's the spot, though. I can feel it."

Esme says, "Maybe we should make fun of them /after/ we leave."

Aleksei quirks a brow and he offers, "Is that what that smell is. Wonderful." He mutters with a sigh rolling out from him and his fingers come up to idly scratch the side of his jaw. Looking toward November he offers to her "So you've got a bead on where it is coming from then? I would really prefer to make sure that don't pull someone out and shove them into an object."

November's brow arches at Esme and she glances around briefly. "Larry, you want to step to the other side and scout ahead, see what's going on? Worst case scenario, we're up against a bunch of mages. Best case, we walk in and scare their dreadlocks off their heads and they learn a lesson." November is obviously speaking VERY quietly

"I'm just glad we had some advance notice," Larry muses, glancing down at his street clothes. "Hate to have to do this in a jacket and tie."

"Be careful," Simone murmurs to Larry, reaching out to give his hand a little squeeze.

Aleksei looks back over toward november and he lets her send Larry across which will be much better for him as he hated his time across the way quite a bit. The others are accustom to it. His hands slip into his pockets and he offers to November, "Sounds like we have a good running idea. You can watch to make sure he doesn't get chomped by something over there, right?"

Harikumo frowns at that. "Chomping is bad...." She gives the building a worried look, as if it might try to eat her as well.

Saying that Larry is accustomed is stretching things. It isn't long before he returns, shaking his head. "Mixed bag from what I can tell," he says. "We outnumber them, but they've got somebody on lookout."

Esme purses her lips. "Can you tell whether its mages or simple humans?"

Simone bites her lower lip at the talk of Larry getting chomped, and is visibly relieved when he pops back over to this side of reality, alive and well. "Do we have any idea who they're summoning?"

"Mixed bag of.. fruits and nuts or are we looking at a cult thing or is it just a few girls giggling in the back room to summon the Angel of Love and Hairy Armpits?" November sighs quietly. "How many on lookout?"

Larry shakes his head. "Not sure about that, but they're getting /something/ right or we wouldn't be here. One on lookout, three doing the heavy lifting."

An older, boxy car pulls up near the healing center and parks at the curb. A tired looking pair, maybe mother and daughter, get out and climb the stairs to the porch. Even from here, it's obvious that they're exhausted.

Esme says, "Well when we no longer have the element of surprise the mortals will follow me and the others will remain it it comes to violence."

November shakes her head. "Nah. I'm going to run across myself. See what I can stir up. If things go batshit, come in swinging." And then she's ready to step across herself. "Do you WANT to come with me, Esme?"

Harikumo looks over to Esme, looking a little worried herself. She doesn't say anything, because Esme can make her own choices.

Aleksei looks back over toward November and he nods his head, "If we hear something going off we'll make a lot of noise. I'm quite good at noise." He says with a smile pulling across his lips as he looks up toward the powerlines that are held aloft. His hand comes out to rub the side of his jaw while he thinks it all as he dwells on it.

Esme nods. "Yeah Im coming.". She steels herself for it.

Esme grits her teeth and follows.

Aleksei lets out a soft thoughtful sound as he debates just what to do he looks back toward the others a moment and offers, "Time seems to be of the essence. At the very least we're going to be needed to cause a distraction. If they aren't doing this right... then we could have something very nasty on our hands." He says with a bob of the head thinking about it a bit longer. He draws a deep in before letting it rush out from him as he adjusts his jacket.

"Well, setting off car alarms is easy. Unless you had a different distraction in mind." Harikumo can come up with other, more bizarre ideas, but her Family has the better sense of them all.

November crosses back over with Esme after a few moments, making sure that she pops in somewhere away from other eyes. She would have known her best point before she crossed over the first time. "OKay," she says, approaching the group again.

"Does anybody care about car alarms?" Simone wonders. "I've never seen anyone treat them as anything but an annoyance." Across the street, the pair - mother and daughter, maybe - open up the front door and head right into the place.

"Okay?" Larry echoes, glancing over toward November as she returns. He's been muttering under his breath and looking off into the distance. "Well, it doesn't look like they're hauling in an Earthbound. /That/ would be a reason to immeiately stop being subtle."

November nods. "Right. THere's three people in there. Not counting those two, who are chanting. There's one guy that's over there, just leaning against a wall and watching. I say two or three of us step over, snatch him up, interrogate. They're chanting they might not even notice."

Aleksei looks back to Larry and quirks a brow, "The difference between us and an Earthbound is where we end up when we get here. Did you see someone in there that they are going to put the spirit inside of?" He asks him then looking back toward November as well before offering, "Let's light the place on fire or something. Sprinklers, alarms, and fire crews showing up should throw that off at least."

Harikumo gives a half nod. "Or cause the fire alarm to throw itself off. Less damage, and no fire crews to see us."

Larry waves a dismissive hand. "They're not hauling in one who /will become/ an Earthbound," he clarifies. Verb tenses are hard. "And, are we sure this spirit would make it out on their own? Maybe we're better off letting them finish and then busting it out."

November shrugs just a touch. "Maybe the kid," she says, pointing toward the people going in. "If you guys want to pull an alarm somehow, do it. Now. We're wasting time."

Larry pauses another second or two, then makes a sour face. "And if you see a kid in a wheelchair, grab him. Do /not/ let him stay here or he's ending up a Ravener. I don't know who they're gonna pick up today, though."

Harikumo looks curiously at Larry. "How many people do they pick up regularly?" The event may take some time to prepare, but what happens to the recipients?...

Meanwhile, across the street, two different people emerge from the building: a skinny man in his sixties, with a pony tail, who looks like he probably rides a bike and only eats locally grown organic kale, and a different middle aged woman, who doesn't look like a hippie at all.

Aleksei takes a breath before letting it roll out from him and he offers, "We have a moment. It should take them some time might be a change of people working on it. I can drum up some rats, see if I can get them to nibble on some wires to set off the alarm." He offers with a bob of the head before glancing back over toward November seeing if she or anyone else has a better idea.

"I don't know," Larry answers Harikumo, "but at least a couple of these guys are heading for the Ravener thing. Maybe more than that. I'm guessing they just don't fully understand what they're getting into, though I could be wrong about that."

Harikumo nods in agreement with Aleksei, and then ponders. "Wouldn't the rats' presence simply scare them off?"

November lets someone else lead. Her idea was yoink and run. OThers disagreed. She IS looking for another minister of Lions, so she'll let other people make some suggestions

Aleksei nods at the words from Harikumo, "Well they won't like it, that much is certain." He offers before his eyes close and he focuses tightly while he lets out a silent call toward the beasts drawing them toward him pooling them from a large radius about the city while his eyes open and his lips crook into a grin before looking toward the others, "Should be a moment, see if we can't get them a little distracted."

Simone likes animals, it's true, but that doesn't seem to extend to rats. Her nose wrinkles and she takes a step back. "Gross," she mutters quietly.

Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. November proves, to someone other than Otto, that she is, somewhere in there, a GIRL. She shakes her head and slides up onto the nearest car, picking her feet up a little bit. Nope. Nope nope.

DO IT TO JULIA! NOT TO ME! No, wait, wrong script. Larry, meanwhile, just makes a face and gets to stepping. "Split up and try to grab a few near the exits?" he suggests. Because if they /just/ disperse the group, then they'll just get back together again later.

"So we're scattering them and then trying to grab them as they run out?" Simone asks, sounding like this plan is causing her some concern. Simone grappling someone? She has trouble with heavy doors, let alone much heavier - and combative - people.

Aleksei just grins to himself as he looks around the shadows seeming to grow and... move about on the ground as the rats start to swarm around the building, racing off toward it looking for a way in he looks back toward the others his head tilts to the side and he asks them, "We could give it a shot. I don't know if they'll scatter from this just yet but it's going to be interesting to see their reaction." A smile spreads further across his lips before he offers, "Shall we post up on the exits?"

Note to self: grab a shower in the near future. Larry eyes Aleksei and nods. "Front, back," he says, pointing one direction and then the other before taking off for the nearer one.

November nods. "That's fine. How many of us are there? I"m going to watch from the other side, inside. While those things do whatever they're going to do."

"I'll take the back, don't need too many people seeing me," says Simone. That's a tabloid headline she doesn't need.

"Five." Because Sky has been there the whole time watching and being the new kid. "So, what's our play?" she asks. She's been paying attention and not wracking her brains for abilities, honest.

Aleksei lets out a slow breath and his head tilts to the side while he looks over the building then he starts to head toward the building. "I'll go around back." He starts to head in a loop around the place moving quickly as he goes to make his lap around the place looking for where a backdoor might be as the rats scatter through the building seeking to cause mayhem and chew on wires to set off the alarms inside.

Larry makes another face as he heads toward the front at a light jog. Oh, it's a few steps closer, sure, but there's liable to be random other bystanders that direction. Fast-talk skills, go!

November invokes Aleksei. <<Still chanting. Dude is heading toward the front. Whatever you're doing, tell them to do it more. Making the chanters nervous. Pass it on. I'm following him>>

"Should I move to the front? Drop some Radiance on them?" Sky asks quietly, looking at Aleksei and Larry since Simone is in the back.

Aleksei is quick to invoke Larry and tell him the man is heading his way. Giving him the heads up while making his the pistol hidden under his jacket is free to be drawn from it's holster. "I think Radiance might do the trick, yes." He offers toward Sky with a grin on his lips.

Simone frowns. "Aleksei, can you go support Larry?" It's clear she's worried about him facing someone alone, though her worry is perhaps somewhat misplaced: the man, a dark haired guy in middle age, doesn't pull a weapon on Larry. Instead, he just opens the front door, glaring indignantly at Larry. "What is the meaning of this?"

Luckily for the middle-aged guy, Larry doesn't pull a weapon on him, either. What he does produce is a flyer that was conveniently left on his car recently. "Hello, I'm here on a spiritual mission. Would you like a copy of our free newsletter?" Something about a megachurch downtown, and mailing in vows.

Harikumo is smiling brightly, having not drawn her weapon either. She appears warm and welcoming to the gentleman they are harassing at this time of night.

The man, who most certainly did not just do something, narrows his eyes at Larry and Harikumo. "I very much doubt that. Why are there rats in my center?"

Aleksei looks back to Simone and his brow quirks telling her, "Then you two better get the back covered well." He says with a nod of the head as he starts to slowly make his way back around toward the front moving with carful, easy steps. Walking softly to try to hear what's going on before he gets it up there.

Okay, so the 'our newsletter' part is a lie, but the rest is actually sort of true. Hey, Larry /tried/ to be nice. "Well, did you leave any take-out sitting around? Because that's how you get rats. Also, can we have a word with you about exactly who's been signing up for your private travel packages?"

Harikumo's welcoming smile now dims, eyes taking a brief glance around at their surroundings while Larry is distracted with the gentleman.

The porch of the converted home is festooned with windchimes, most of them made from seashell or other natural materials. They rustle and clink gently whenever a breeze blows through. It's early evening, and there doesn't seem to be anyone else within earshot.

The man keeps his eyes narrowed, looking warily between Larry and Harikumo. "Call off the rats first."

Sky stays with Simone in the back and looks at her. "Fire or Radiance?" She asks and looks towards the door. "Unless you have something less obvious?"

Aleksei moves slowly along toward the front of the building but he intends to hesitate at the corner there and wait. Listening to try and pick up on anything he can hear of people running out the front or any trouble that Larry might be having. He doesn't move from where he is posted up on the corner though.

Larry inclines his head toward the man, turning and murmuring something. "All right. Let's go in and have a word?" Just a little ways in, he has no intention of leaving the front door wide open for them to make a run for it.

Harikumo casually moves to flank Larry, staggering the pattern to catch any runners that might come their way.

"Radiance," Simone advises Sky. "I can back you up with Longing."

Meanwhile, up in front, the man continues to regard Larry and Harikumo as if he doesn't trust them in the slightest. "The rats first. As a show of good faith."

Aleksei lets out a sigh and he frowns before muttering a few words and he draws a deep breath before focusing on the rats again. Sending out his command they pull back, vanishing from sight and hiding they will probably have seem to have all fled but some left in cracks, corners, hidden in walls and various places while others slink into the shadows around the building ready to surge back in again.

A few rats scurry out the front door, and that's enough for the man to nod and step back to allow Harikumo and Larry inside. He still doesn't look like he trusts them. "Come in." Doesn't sound like, either. In the back, the chanters resume, although the teenage girl looks very unhappy about all this. Nobody comes bursting out the back door.

Larry clasps his hands behind his back, considering. Talking with regular humans about regular human things? That, he can handle-- but usually he knows more about their agenda ahead of time. "So, your summoning club here. We're very interested in what sort you're targeting. They might be our friends, after all."

The front room is a reception area. There are dreamcatchers on the walls, yoga magazines near the chairs, and various New Age goods - incense, crystals, etc. - behind the counter.

Aleksei leans against the wall and folds his arms across his chest while he waits. Letting those inside take care of it for now while he waits to cause more of a ruckus.

"Funny way you have of greeting your friends," the man notes coolly. "You could have knocked." He pauses for just a second. "I am summoning a former companion of mine: Varpil, Sigh of Breezes."

"And you could have called," Larry counters. "Months ago. It's not like the old Tyrant didn't make his presence blindingly obvious." Sigil on the cover of his well-publicized book? "Anyway, Varpil's one of the good ones from what I remember. Who else, though?"

The man looks at Larry as if he'd grown a second head. "Who *else*? It took me fifteen *years* to put together the pieces for Varpil's summoning ritual, and I'm *still* not sure I've gotten it right."

Simone, meanwhile, looks to Schuyler as the back door remains stubbornly shut. "Think we should invoke someone out front?"

"Invoke? Like how?" Sky asks and looks at Simone. "I'm confused." She admits and looks at the door. "We're just watching the door, right? I think that's going well."

Larry sighs, releasing some visible tension as he gestures with his hands. Things seem a good bit clearer now. "Well, I hate to break it to you, but I'm pretty sure you haven't. I'm seeing a summoning a couple days from now, but not Varpil. Not unless he's /seriously/ lost it since the old days."

"What?" The man blinks at Larry, furrowing his brow. "That can't be right. Who did you see?" He pauses, regarding Larry more critically again. "And who *are* you, anyway?"

Meanwhile, Simone is giving Sky a slightly confused look of her own. "You don't know about invocation?" She frowns, looking at the back door. "They're supposed to be scattering, and we're supposed to be grabbing them. I'm guessing that hasn't happened."

"Ummm, maybe I know the idea?" Sky says thoughtfully. "Is that the same as calling? Or is it something like, controlly?" Her eyes narrow thoughtfully as she looks at the door. "Maybe Nova knows what's good?"

"Calling," Simone says, and shakes her head a little. "I'll explain it later. Don't know if anyone's listening on the other side of the door."

Aleksei lets out a sigh, whispers some words to himself before heading along the side of the building to head inside. He readjusts his jacket, making sure it's laying properly before heading toward the door to slip inside after Larry.

Larry takes a fresh look around. Anywhere decent to sit down? "Amanita," he replies to the man. "And what I saw was you and your friends pulling in a Ravener. Not on purpose, unless--" Well. If it's 'unless', then they do get to be aggressive after all. Best to not let them get started, right?

It's a reception area. There's a couch and three chairs. And plenty of reading material, assuming you want to read yoga magazines from February. The man seems doubtful. "If this does succeed, I can't imagine summoning anyone but Varpil. And he... no, he wouldn't." He looks to the newly arrived Aleksei, and grows tenser again. "And who are *you*?" His attention swivels back to Larry. "Any other friends you brought with you that I should know about?"

"Mildly annoyied." Aleksei offers with a nod of the head as he lets out a sigh his hands slipping into his pockets while he walks slowly to follow behind Larry, "Why would the Court of Prospect send a single person, on their own, to check up on a summoning happening in their backyard? That's just... stupid. You can call me Aleksei though, until you speak your own name." He offers easily while lifting his shoulders into a shrug as he settles in flanking Larry slightly as backup.

Sky shuts up, since it's been pointed out there might be someone listening. She just watches the door and slips her hands into the pockets of her pants. Cultists wasting their time. She could be having sex right now.

And November is apparently continuing to play wild card out of sight, which is not a bad idea, considering. "Relax," Larry says, "if we were a hit squad, you'd know by now." Of course, they /might/ still /become/ a hit squad if this goes further south, but so far it hasn't. "But yeah, what I saw was things going wrong. Maybe someone's planning to change it up on you somehow, I don't know."

"Musuziel," the man replies to Aleksei. Despite Larry's reassurances, he doesn't look like he trusts the group. Nonetheless, he finally sighs and shakes his head. "I don't know if you're telling the truth or not. But I'll stop the summoning while I look into it."

Meanwhile, Simone is frowning. It's clear that the lack of anything happening is bothering her, and she eventually quietly invokes Larry. "Amanita, things okay?"

Aleksei quirks a brow while he looks back toward the other man and his head tilts to the side, "Well, at least it's not mortals trying to pull a 'demon out to be their dark lord' shit happening." He says with a sigh rolling from him and his hand comes up to rub the side of his face and he tells teh man, "Go and fetch one of your number of the fifth house they should be able to see the truth in the matter. Or the fourth could see the issue in your plan here. Either would work."

"Or if you don't have one on staff," Larry adds, "then I can keep an eye on it. If it worked once, it /should/ work again." Not that it's gone through industrial testing for reliability.

< Larry invokes: ~Looks like an honest mistake. Come on out and say hi.~

Musuziel looks dubiously between the two, but nods. "I'll look into it." Whether he has a Defiler or Fiend hidden around there somewhere or not, he doesn't seem inclined to take Larry up on his offer.