This is what it would be like if the vampirism had sent me mad, is Derek's thought as he emerges into the dome. The heartbeat echoes loudly in his ears without the plugs to counter-act the sound. The smell of blood and meat alternately makes him ill and want to drool. His stomach growls loudly as the rest of him cries for fuel he can't have in this place.
He shakes as he makes his way into the center of the room, looking to see who else has emerged into this odd hell.
He takes in the environment, but doesn't really process the differences. His immediate concern is Eileen. If she didn't end up going through with him, he'll never forgive himself...but his hand is still closed around hers. He breathes a sigh of relief.
It's not till then that he sees that someone else is here. "...Derek?" He stands up, helping Eileen up as well.
Hero genes. When he got back to the nexus, first thing first, he was having the motherfuckers removed. What the fuck was he thinking, stepping through some random hole beneath some satantic altar? All he could hear was Jean-Paul's voice in his head, asking him what the fuck he thought he was doing.
Bu they weren't back in the hospital. Nor was he trapped in an never ending fall, constantly screaming and never finding an end.
Instead he found himself within the dome. Gathering himself, mouth constantly seeming to work as he tried to gather any hint of moisture left. What he wouldn't give to be back in that fetid pool in the hospital. Lips cracked, skin feeling on fire even where he didn't generate it and his insides just felt shriveled. Never before had he pushed it this hard and his body was, literally, paying the price.
But he made himself move, looking around as if there would be anything more than a remote clue as to what the fuck they were supposed to do.
"HELLO?" His voice cracking as he calls out, causing Warren to couch as his parched throat constricts.
John snaps to attention, moving forward quickly to look for the source of that voice.
"Warren." He's using the careful-being-quiet-so-I-don't-yell-at-people voice. It's one thing to see Derek, no offense meant, but this is quite another.
To his eyes, Warren looks in worse shape than how he feels, and that makes him determined to not fuck up the ritual. "You're okay." It's a mixture of relief and question and, really, demand.
Lina has seen better days, herself. She lost her cloak somewhere along the way, and other than her face - she's coated in reddish brown gore. Her hair is limp and matted against her back and her head, and there are several spots on her pants that look like large chunks have been taken out. The skin itself is gore-coated there, but that could just be the same gore that she's been in lately.
"Guh. Gla... Glad to see you're all okay."
"Lina," yes, that's undisguised relief there.
Another jump... Merely a second one, but Abe's already sick of them. Sick of darkness, falling with no end and never having any idea where he'll emerge. He wishes they'd already find Liz, reunite with the rest of the team and leave this accursed place. In the back of his mind, though, he realizes - it can't be that easy. Walter won't let it be so.
Finally, the darkness around him fades like from opening his eyes - and Abe finds himself in a large grotesque dome, surrounded by dull red light. He likes red... It reminds him of Hellboy and Liz, the two people who always kept him going. This red, however, is alien and sinister. It makes him wish they'd go back to the stale darkness and faint electric lights of the previous area.
"Derek? Lina? Mr.Johnson?" Abe starts slowly walking forward, tightening his grip on the axe in his hand. He first calls for the names of those who were by his side through this entire journey, but then decides to call for another person... The one who he tried to find here, in the first place. "Liz?"
Seeing Abe is a welcome change from talking--again--about the ritual, which is the last thing she wants to be thinking right now.
"Abe!" Liz can't exactly run anymore, not that she was ever that good at it anyway, but she limps to him and loops her arms around his neck. "Abe, you idiot, I can't believe--no, of course I believe you came here. You always come for me." She manages a smile for him. "That doesn't mean I'm not thinking about punching you when we get out of here."
When, please when. Not if.
Like the ghost that he is, Lobster Johnson fades in from nothingness. For someone who's fairly "physically" unscathed, he nonetheless looks like he's seen better days. The blue claw emblem on his chest has been stained almost entirely red by blood from combat, and there's no "almost" about the ordinarily orange lenses of his goggles. His face is also stained with blood from combat... except for where it looks like his eyes have been bleeding from under the goggles.
He looks around, trying to get his bearings after his transport from Wish House.
"Lobster!" Derek greets him, the smile of relief obvious. All of his team made it...all of them. Thank god.
...That left only four missing now.
And Leon enters the dome, looking around a bit. His first concern was locating Warren. He really didn't want to tell Liz that Warren may have gotten himself killed because he couldn't stop the boy from being stupid.
When he gets there, though, he surprised and somewhat relieved to see other team members milling around.
"Hn... looks like I'm a little late to the party."
"Better late than never, man. Glad you could make it," Derek greets Leon with a slight smile.
Good. Two left. They were doing good.
He hates that he has to do this. That he can't just send them home, that he has to ask more of them...but it can't be helped. And he'd better get it done soon, while they've still got time. Hellboy's still missing, but he was with them the last time they did this- he'll at least know what's going on.
Henry squeezes Liz's hand, then steps away and raises his voice. "Okay, I think we'd better get organized here. I still have to do the separation ritual, and it looks like we've got to do something else as well." He points up to the painted words. "This probably means all the ghosts will be after us. There are fifteen, unless one of you got one pinned on the way." He looks around and sees only blank stares. "All right. Fifteen. Some are stronger than others. Keep your eyes out for swords with triangles on the hilt and weird writing on them. You can stab that through the ghosts and...they won't be able to go anywhere."
He takes a deep breath and continues. "I'll be reading most of the ritual. It's going to come out sounding weird, so expect that. There's four parts. The fire's first, and...I guess all three of you will be doing that." He nods at his family, not looking too happy with this decision, but not having anything other suggestions. "Then the water, then the blood, and then the sign. It's a symbol I write on the ground. Once we get done with that...we should be able to kill him." I hope.
"I'd say to wait here until we get it done if you're hurt, but..." He looks around the room. Almost everyone looks hurt. "I don't think this place will be safe for long." He looks at the ground for the moment, then back up to them. "We do this and we'll get out." He looks fairly sure about that one. "Uh...is everyone going to be okay for this? Is there anything we can do to help...?"
"We're here until it's over, Henry. We'll just have to do what we can," Derek looks at the others, "We should start looking for those knives before things start up. Once they're into the ritual, they're open, and if there's no one to watch their backs, they're screwed. And so are the rest of us."
The very last thing Liz wanted to do in here was actually seek Walter out, because she has spent enough time with him to last her for several lifetimes, thank you.
But this is what they have to do, and as the ritual goes, fire comes first. She casts what she fervently hopes is not a last look at this
band of buggered happy few and moves, telling her feet every step that yes, of course this is the direction they want to be going, toward the doors.
They swing open with a yawning shriek before she can touch them, which is definitely not a good sign.
Beyond the double-doors lies darkness, and multiple pathways before them. This is something of a labyrinth, of wet flesh underfoot, rusted grating and walls, and the omnipresent suffocating atmosphere.
Of course this is how it is. Maybe at this point brightly lit, linear hallways would have just caused her brain to implode. She looks at John and Warren and wants to tell them to be ready, but there is no ready, and there never was. Now there is not even the illusion.
"This is it."
The sound of guns being cocked beside her.
2006-07-20 02:44 am (UTC)
Labyrinth, Group Battle
The group that passes through those double-doors is quite a bit more bloodied than the group that jumped through that hole in the island, what feels like years ago. But at least everyone's standing, and more or less alert. As badly off as they are now, it's likely to be about to get worse.
Multiple dark, narrow corridors lie before the group, branching off away from the door. The four Sherman-Townshends, eager to get the ritual underway, start off down one hallway, turning a corner and disappearing, even though the hallway beyond looks to be long and straight. Not long afterwards, unearthly moans sound from down the other hallways, familiar to everyone here now as the sound of one of Walter Sullivan's Victims.
The last of the team steps through the double-doors, and they slam shut.
(( This is time has no meaning'd: your character can enter and get started anytime, separate off in groups or pairs or singles however you wish. Once the group is through, the doors do shut behind everyone and can't be opened. Ghost attacks will be fairly immediate; these will not be NPCed, as we don't have enough staff, please feel free to pick and describe on your own! ))
2006-07-20 03:00 am (UTC)
Re: Labyrinth, Group Battle
Derek busied himself stripping away the sleeves of his jacket. Burned and ruined as the one side was, it was pretty much useless and in the way. The other sleeve followed just to keep the amount of concentration needed to know what his clothing was doing in a fight on an equal footing from side to side.
He re-tightened Jun's yellow scarf, now easy to see without sleeves to cover it, around his upper left arm. He touched it for a moment, eyes closed, whispering something in Italian before straightening back up.
The katana stayed in it's sheath for now, and he stood aside and waited just inside the gateway. What little instruction he could give had been given. Now he was simply waiting for the others to organize and go forward. Whoever wanted him by their side for this was fine by him. Right now, they were all his team in his mind--he would fight to protect and back any one of them in this.
((Derek's player will accept any partner. Keep in mind that I am at work 6am-4pm american central time (-6 GMT), so there will be sporadic answering at those times.))
With Walter dead, his world can no longer support itself. The walls of the maze begin to collapse and everything starts to tumble down. There's no telling how long they have before the place they're in simply ceases to exist.
"Is everybody here?" Hellboy looks around and does the quickest headcount he can. He goes over it again, paranoid about being wrong, but they really don't have time. He looks to Kate who still carries the book from the church.
"Here's hoping that escape plan works and wasn't just a clever poem."
Kate gives HB a worried glance, but it's the only way out that they have and she trusts him. She opens the giant book to the correct page. "But...the sacred object..." When Hellboy simply holds out his stone right fist and gives her a reassuring nod, she accepts it. In part it's because she trusts him, and in part it's because it's the only hope they have.
She keeps her focus on his raised hand and recites the ritual text:
"Bless my mouth that these words read
offer passage free from dread
Bless my eyes that they may see
the veils shall be as glass to me
Bless my ears that they may hear
the silence in the spaces clear
Bless my hands that they may reach
the walls of other planes to breach
Bless my feet that they may walk
between the worlds, safe paths unlock
Bless my mind, Lord keep me sane
protect this traveller from all pain
All these things shall come to me
if Thou seest fit, provide the key."
Hellboy grimaces as the dark energies of the town and it's faith move around and through him, mingling with the ancient power held within his right hand. As Kate speaks, the world shudders and snaps and cracks spread across the ground. As the ritual finishes, the ground crumbles to open a huge, circular hole in floor.
Lobster Johnson comes running out of the Labyrinth, carrying the diminutive and unconscious form of Lina Inverse. He pulls up short as he sees the gate open in the floor, then looks around.
Seeing Walter lying dead, he says, "So. There it is. Justice." He tries for his usual tone, but it's worn down some by the weariness that this place can induce in even a spirit without a real physical form, shown in the ways that his presence is darker even than what it was before the Otherworld; darker, and bloodier.
Lobster looks at Hellboy and Kate. "It's done, then. We just need everyone to get here so we can leave."