GM:
~~~IC~~~

GM:
::It's been a busy week or two... An has been tapping resources, moving funds around, and getting things set up for a major operation and refilling the group fund for later necessities... Lan has been busily working in the new lab he had set up, and has managed to create an astounding supply of enhanced methadone within the last few days, largely by some obscure hybridization of alchemy and science... Martel has been checking with contacts, setting up contracts with Muster mercenaries, and scheduling a coordinated hit on all the known warehouses... Maria has been trying to get in touch with any remaining trusted Hazat leadership that can keep a secret, and has managed to get a little help, and a lot of looking the other way, for your raids... as you start sending shipments of methadone out to baracks that are hardest hit, all that remains is to set a date to start the raids::

An:
((How long has this taken? Oh wait, I can't read. Busy week or two.))

Martel:
::muses over a gathered set of warehouse records at the dining room table, after a long night of warehouse scoping:: sooner would certainly be better than later...

An:
::stands opposite of him on the other side of the table:: What are your thoughts?

Martel:
Honestly? Send marching orders to the muster troops today, hit them tonight. Every delay works against us here.

Maria:
Assuming this goes right, do we want to keep it low profile or take credit?

An:
Hmm... ::taps his chin for a moment:: We can assume that our enemies will figure out its us. They have a powerful spy network and will most likely be able to trace it back to us. What are the benefits of each? Thought going public, it could possibly be easier for outside influence to spin it as if we are terrorists. But of course... not taking credit could do the same thing.

Maria:
Low profile probably doesn't get us anything, but leaves us plausible deniability if it becomes a line-crossing issue and keeps my Uncle out of it... High profile puts us on everyone's radar, but might get us enough credit to become major players

Martel:
If we are worried about public image, it'll be a lot easier to fight a slander campaign if we dont try to hide what we are doing.

An:
::nods:: Keeping a low profile would be best. If Maria was ever linked back to this it could cause problems. We can just hope that the major players take note of who is behind it.

Martel:
Maria WILL be linked to this, An, it's just a matter of how long till she is, and what's the perception of her when she is.

Maria:
Who are the Muster going to point towards if their operation becomes an issue?

An:
::paces back and leans against a counter:: We keep low profile. But we put out the word on the underground of who was behind it. We won't light up a sign but we won't we covering foot prints either, eh?

Martel:
They'll point to me. A lot of my contacts are old war buddies, and I won't have them go down running cover for my political ass.

Maria:
Do we want this to look like a church action? No offense, but does it help us politically for you to get the credit? Especially if you're not officially sanctioned by the Temple?

Martel:
None taken, but if someone goes diggin in the muster, my name is the one that's gonna pop up, unless we tell the troops to give them one of yours.

GM:
((and just a note if it's not obvious; Maria has her own agenda and leading questions she asks should not be interpreted as what the GM wants you to do :) Though she may ask questions that I want you to think about))

Martel:
I just wasn't going to give them that order without clearing it through you first. ((no worries, but I ain't gonna hang my Muster pals out to dry, no matter what Maria would prefer :-D ))

An:
::looks to Maria:: What if we pointed the credit of it, to your father?

Maria:
That would be an interesting way to stir the hornet's nest, but I don't think anyone would actually buy it... it would be pretty obviously a political statement. And, not that I think he's smart enough, but it would open up an opportunity for Petros to steal all the credit

An:
What do you think Maria, whats your idea?

Martel:
Not to mention the fact that he ISN'T responsible for this. I'd rather not throw people under the bus without a fairly certain plan for how to turn it into an advantage.

Maria:
I think that if this works, it will be big... big respect, but a big target... if we can take out a major Decados attack and make it stick, it would be huge, but they'd come after us in any way they can

Martel:
And I still contend that they'll come at us in any case, but if we hold the spotlight, it might limit how they can do it.

Maria:
I think it might be worthwhile to take the credit... but I'm afraid that we're not ready to handle the politics of it all, so my instincts are to stay low profile... but that's not really the brave, Hazat way

An:
::nods and leans back, thinking really hard staring at the floor for a minute:: Alright... Truth be told, I , personally, think we're not going to get much better at the politics of the situation. And sooner or later we're going to have to deal with them.So why not sooner, rather than later. We go public. Call them out. Handle everything that comes our way, and show people that we're helping.We hide in plain sight.

Martel:
::nod:: If they want to have any chance of saving their little scheme for the Hazat, they'll have to come at us hard, and almost immediately. This way, at least it probably won't be poison in the night, or a group of assassins in the street.So, It seems we've decided to out ourselves. Any opinions as to how?

Maria:
Call the press for the warehouse we hit? Tell them simultaneous raids are going on elsewhere.

An:
::nods:: Send lists off to the major authorities.

Martel:
The newsies do love a sensational story don't they? I'll do my best to restrain my more inflammatory impulses.

Maria:
Hopefully we'll still have time to hit any other locations we discover during the raids before they get wise and bolt.

Martel:
We should plan for a long night then. I'd rather not stop working until we've cleared out all we can find. We won't have another clear shot at this, in all probability.

Maria:
If they're cross-planet, we may have to put in calls to the city governments... Such that they are

An:
::nods:: That can all be done. strike them down in one night. Bloody their noses and get the reeling. How close in Lan to implementing a full functioning clinic. We go live and we can start staffing.

Maria:
I think he said he'd sent off care packages to the military hospitals across the planet. Hopefully they'll all show up sometime between when everyone knows what's going on and when the soldiers go into withdrawal.

Martel:
Now, we might consider leaving him out of the press releases. He's the most vulnerable of us, and the most important, when it comes to fighting the drug.We'll get his opinion, and bring that to the reporters.

Maria:
Except we may need his reputation to convince the hospitals that we're not just sending out poison

Martel:
Hmm, good point. They don't know us from anyone.

An:
Exactly.

Maria:
Somehow, though, I don't think he'll be in any more danger than the rest of us, especially if we keep him close

Martel:
And we will.

Maria:
So, tonight?

Martel:
Tonight. I'll get on the horn to my contact. An, you wanna deal with planning the news bit?

Maria:
I'll go see if I can charm the quartermaster at the local barracks into giving us some gear.

Martel:
Good deal. ::wanders off to inform the Muster teams of their targets::

GM:
::and plans go into motion... Martel gets his mercenaries in a row, while Maria coordinates with the local nobles or, sometimes, just the local civilian guards when the power structure is uncertain... Maria shows back up in the afternoon with some basic Shields and light body armor for anyone that doesn't have it, including one of her own synthsilk battle outfits lifted from the Eduardo home, and a few guns to boot... An gets a middle-string reporter from the local newspaper interested enough to plan on being in place in the warehouse district tonight...

An:
::does his best to arrange media influence, placing calls planet wide to groups who can over most of the raids::

GM:
and, interestingly, when An's in the news office he is able to pick up a light pulse telegram left for him on the planetary network... it's encrypted using a Favyana cipher, and asks that An have Elena let them know when she arrives on Aragon::

An:
::memorizes the origin point of the message and destroys it::

Martel:
((wait, my brain no parse last sentance well, who is letting who know when who gets to Aragon?))

GM:
((Elena is telling the Favyana that she has arrived safely))

Martel:
((ah))

GM:
::anything else you want to accomplish before go time?::

Martel:
((sleep, since I was up the whole night before scouting, but that's it))

An:
((Napping would be good. ))

GM:
::Our protagonists take a refreshing late-afternoon siesta before gearing up, assembling a half-dozen local Muster and guards, and meeting outside the warehouse::

Diego:
::The reporter waits, trenchcoat flapping in a late evening breeze, for the scoop::

Martel:
::kneels with anyone who would like to take prayer before the Pancreator before the festivities::

An:
::takes a knee::

GM:
::the participation is a bit half-hearted, but you don't refuse prayer with an inquisitor::

Martel:
Dear Lord, lead these men in thier hearts through this den of corruption, and see them hale, healthy, and blessed, ere they reach the other side. Amen. ::stands::

An:
::stands, looks to Martel:: Alright, this is your party.

Martel:
::brings the flamer to full "gouting black smoke" mode:: Lets knock. It's only polite after all.

GM:
::Formalities accomplished, the pre-raid adrenaline begins to take you, and events start to blur together into a montage...

Martel:
((we're gonna need a montage!))

An:
((Whee Montage!))

GM:
Martel, knocking politely at the door as a frowning Cadavan opens it a crack and is blithely tossed into the street by a hulking inquisitor... Three mismatched heroes diving into a dimly lit warehouse trailed by chainers, city guards, and an excited-looking reporter... Bulky, suspicious looking men diving for cover, one getting clipped with a flamegun blast that is smothered as he crashes into crates of green liquid... A bullet clips An's shield, and Maria runs the attacker through before he can get off another shot... An totally ninja kicks a guy in the head... A drug trafficking warehouse sits with all of its guards dead, disabled, or unconscious, and a reporter furiously taking notes and pictures... but the montage still has you...

GM:
The next morning, newspapers and television reports fly, showing a string of highly successful raids on an offworld drug cartel... Documents lifted from the sites point at other locations, each also raided by their local authorities... An, Maria, Martel, and Lan all get cornered into a few pictures and interviews by the local news outfits as the night's festivities die down and no more leads are forthcoming... Until another list of names and locations comes in the mail that evening, in the same font and paper as the original notes... Our heroes burst into another warehouse across the planet, smashing in drug dealer heads in a quick succession of grainy newspaper photos and bad holo-video...

Martel:
((can I stave in a barrel of drugs with a sledgehammer?))

GM:
((You can absolutely do that))

Martel:
((prohibition ROCKS!))

An:
((Yay! Wait... I mean... booo!))

GM:
Papers spin into frame "Heroes of Vera Cruz Active Again" "Inquisition and Hazat Joint War on Drugs" "Eduardo Scion Unearths Conspiracy" "Local Reeve vs. Organized Crime"...

Martel:
(("Doctor does sexy Playgirl Spread"))

GM:
Finally, after a blur of activity that left you only a few hours sleep over the better part of a week, the montage leaves you, exhausted, holed up and free of media attention in Elena's house::

Martel:
::rests his head face down on the kitchen table, next to a cold cup of quafie he poured the day before::

An:
::shuffles into the room and opens the fridge, just sort of staring::

Martel:
::rolls his head to look blearily at An:: Anyone else surprised we haven't been assassinated yet?

An:
::continues to stare:: Am I hungry?

Maria:
::slumps in the couch, idly cleaning her sword:: I think I stabbed one guy into a box of drugs, and then stabbed another guy with drugs on my sword... do you think he got high?

Martel:
Think of it as preemptive morphine. Killing with kindness, or something.

GM:
::A big sheaf of confiscated papers sits on the table; shipping logs, contact information, and a lot of other stuff that will look very bad for the Decados::

Martel:
::turns his attention to the pile:: we need to copy this, somehow. Stash it.

An:
::closes the fridge and goes back to sitting at the dining room table::

An:
::shuffles around some of the papers.

Martel:
::sighs, and begins to gather the papers all up, so they can at least be transported quickly if the need arises::

GM:
::An idly turns to a page of transcript from a captured dealer, copied from the guard logs, referring directly to the "Creepy Decados Bitch" that coordinated his warehouse... the next transcript from another place says something similar::

An:
Hmm... look at this... here in this guard log... then here again. ::shows to Martel::

Martel:
Hruhh? Looks like the organizer of this, meybe? But I don't think we bagged anyone like that in the raids.

GM:
::you don't recall her turning up in any raids... according to the prisoners, she was tall and beautiful, platinum hair, and cold as a snake::

Martel:
Oh I bet she's had about as long a week as we have.

GM:
::Maybe she's the "-A" that signed a lot of the orders elsewhere in the log?::

An:
Wonder if she's the "A" signed on this one, and this one... and well, a lot of these.

GM:
::something about the way the A is signed looks familiar to An::

Martel:
Hey Maria! How well do you know the Decados folks? ::begins digging for a less partial signature::

Maria:
Not very well

Martel:
Don't know any creepy, tall blonds? Names beginning in A?

An:
::studies the A closely looking for something, doodles an A on a spare sheet of paper::

GM:
::When An tries to sign the A in the elegant cursive style, different from his normal handwriting, all but abandoned after introductory calligraphy class in grade school... he finds that his doodle is identical::

Martel:
::notices the doodle:: An, if this is creepy, evil you, I'm going to be very vexed.

An:
Get vexed.

Maria:
What?

An:
::holds up the paper and the signature.

Martel:
::grabs a bag and begins scooping paperwork:: We need to go. If you know this place, so does creepy-you.

Maria:
You haven't been masterminding a Selchaka ring just so you could set it up to fail, have you dear?

An:
No... well yes... but no. Short answer no. Long answer... sorta.

Martel:
He wouldn't. He knows I'd torch him for costing me that much sleep.

Maria:
Why are we running?

An:
((Does Maria not remember what happened?))

GM:
((Maria, even not exhausted, is not the world's brightest bulb :) ))

An:
((Gotcha))

An:
Remember a while back when all the bad and dark and evil in me got pulled out. And flew off to start life anew?

GM:
((Also... may have assumed the whole dark twin thing was a hallucination))

Maria:
Your evil twin is a Decados woman? ... Named Aerilyn? Shit.

Martel:
::stops for a moment:: Somehow, that does actually kinda make sense. ::shovels faster::

GM:
::there's a well-timed knock at the front door::

An:
::sigh heavily:: ... Who is it? ::raises gun::

GM:
::voice from outside "Courier"::

An:
::mumbles something about landsharks::

Martel:
((female voice?))

GM:
((nope))

GM:
((but then... it wouldn't have to be))

An:
::makes his way to the door and cracks it open::

Martel:
::steps in front::

GM:
::a small young man in a Charioteer Courier uniform bears an envelope... and wards it between him and you when he sees you::

Courier:
Griffen?

Martel:
::peers at the package, expecting a spiked poison death-bomb:: I'll take it. ::tips the boy heavily::

Courier:
::hands you the envelope, bows, and dashes back to his bike::

An:
::Puts the gun up to the door facing the courier but on the other side of the door or at least, did::

GM:
::the envelope is identical to the ones An has been receiving for the past few weeks, though this one isn't all folded up from being stored in a key hiding place::

Martel:
::passes it over::

An:
::opens it slowly::

GM:
::the familiar paper with fixed-width font stares at you from within::

An:
::takes it out and opens it.

GM:
Family Reunion
Midnight
Local Drug Warehouse
Press, Muster, and City Guards Not Invited
Priests, Doctors, and Dates optional
-Aerilyn

::says the letter::

An:
::says the reading it outloud:: Well... this should be fun.

Martel:
::stares at An carefully:: ...you understand that the inquisition cannot let what she has done pass, right?

An:
::nods:: I need to think for a few minutes. Figure this out.

Martel:
::nods:: take your time.

An:
::goes into the kitchen and starts pacing taping the letter against his head:: ((gotta go afk real quick, brb.))

GM:
((hehe, either that's meant to be "tapping" or An is doing a weird Johnny Carson routine))

Martel:
::sits down at the table to write a dead-man's insurance letter, in case the night goes poorly::

Maria:
::quietly to Martel:: I wasn't exactly around or cogent when all of that happened... what is it and what does it want?

Martel:
::makes sure to leave in it any details about Aerilyn another inquisitor might need to try to hunt it down later:: An is a man of remarkable talents, Maria. As sometimes happens to such men, though, his talents got away from him. This thing is a manifestation of all the negative impulses he had built up from a lifetime of using said talents. And I'm not sure what it wants, but I suspect it either wants to see him destroyed, or to help him in ways he would not willingly do himself. Such as arranging a massive drug operation for the sole purpose of destroying it for the good press.

Maria:
::chuckles a bit mirthlessly:: Actually, that's only a couple of years of using said talents... at least he didn't have those powers during his teens

An:
::wanders back in::

Martel:
::rolls his eyes:: Thank the Pancreator for small mercies. He's a world class brooder NOW. I cannot begin to imagine "An Griffin, the Teenage Years"

Martel:
::looks up at An:: Did your thinking help any?

Maria:
An... assuming this thing is the worst parts of you... there's no way it did all of this just to get you some good press and say "hi"... what does it want?

An:
A little. I'm going at midnight to meet this... me. I want you to come but wait outside. If its a trap then, you two can get out before things go badly. Its too much of a risk for all of us to get caught or killed. As for what it wants... I think it wants me. Or at least to bring me back down to its level, even see me unhappy. Destroyed. I think. It hates me. I know I would have.

Martel:
What would YOU want, if you lacked any morals, or limits?

Maria:
But why give you all this time to prepare? Why go to the trouble instead of just abducting you in the night, or something?

Martel:
Just killing him is not the same as destroying him.

An:
Because I think maybe it wants to make me suffer. Or to get me back. Elena was headed here, she hasn't arrived yet. I've got an itch that it may have something to do with that.

Martel:
But I don't think this plot was to destroy him. It could have looked and acted just like him setting things up, but it didn't.

Maria:
That thing has Elena?

Martel:
You sure she hasn't arrived An? The letter does say family reunion on it.

An:
I haven't seen her yet.

Martel:
How long ago since the letter came in?

An:
Since before the raids. It was a letter to contact her friends when she arrived.

Martel:
((wait, I dont know about the letter. scratch that and insert "how long ago did we have word she was coming"))

Maria:
Well, this is obviously a trap... but it's a trap by someone that should be able to anticipate all of us as well as An could.

Martel:
hmm. I'm not sure I comfortable sitting on the sidelines for this one. Somehow, I don't think it's just you that the trap is laid for.

An:
Exactly, I think we need to limit the chance that this trap, if its successful, can take us all down.

Maria:
What would you have planned in this situation?

Martel:
Hrmph. It's your creepy-you, so I'll heed your advice, but if things go south, you can damn well bet I'm not going to leave you whistling in the wind.

An:
::nods:: I appreciate that. Hmm... I would probably. Have Elena, have a plan, keeping in mind if the group shows or just my target. My plan would leave me falsely vulnerable with a chance that if things go poorly for me I could take everyone with me.

Maria:
Then let's armor up and keep an eye out for explosives and load-bearing columns

Martel:
Sound advice if ever there was any.

GM:
((any other preparations before you go? call the doctor and tell him what's up in case you aren't around tomorrow?))

An:
((Yeah, lets do that. And get some communication device))

An:
Three taps on the mic, means get away, two taps means come in. All clear if it is.

Martel:
((I leave my note to be delivered to the nearest Avestite outpost, in the event of my demise. The note includes the location of all the paperwork I'm about to bury out in the back yard))

GM:
::rustling up some short-range squawkers from your recent montage isn't hard, and you tiredly suit back up for battle as Martel makes like a pirate in the back yard::

Martel:
Right. Two taps, come in, all clear. Three times, come in guns blazing. Got it. ::he mutters to himself::

GM:
::a bright moon sees you outside the first step in all of this, police tape snapped and blowing in the wind at the warehouse door::

An:
Two taps means come in guns blazing, three taps means run your ass off. all clear means all clear.

Martel:
Uh huh. Get in there An. Get out safely. ::takes up station next to the entry door::

An:
::chuckles:: No one can kill me. ::opens the door and goes in::

Martel:
That doesn't you can't be hurt, idiot. ::after the door swings shut, Matel looks at Maria:: We're going in guns blazing whether it's two taps or three.

Maria:
Absolutely

GM:
::the warehouse is strangely different since you were here a few days ago... the guards carted away all the containers of drugs to be destroyed, but left the rest of the place uncleaned... Places where drug runners crashed into palettes or bled on the floor are still perfectly preserved, while your sightlines are far more open than during thre frenzied fight amongst the crates... Dim fuzion lights allow you to see towards the back, where two figures recline in portable chairs::

An:
::walks back, hands in pocket, non-chalantly::

GM:
::As you move closer, the figures resolve into crispness... an Engineer, not so young as she used to be but still little-marked by the years slumps unconscious in one chair, a nasty bruise visible peeking over the collar of her jumpsuit... Next to her, rising to greet you, stands a woman that could be more called "striking" than beautiful... harsh features, tall, thin stature, and long, brittle white hair pulled into a tight ponytail... she wears loose-fitting black synthsilk and casually leans on a plasma shotgun, her mouth twisting into a sardonic smile of greeting as An approaches::

Aerilyn:
The posse waiting outside while you bravely gauge the danger level?

An:
::ignores the question, knowing full well it would piss him off:: Well well well... brother. Still can't listen to advice? Should have known.

Aerilyn:
You want brother? I'd thought this might be less confusing... and I had some interesting digs planned with it... but if we're dispensing with the facade it will save me some effort

An:
Wouldn't want you to get tired out.

GM:
::Her muscles relax, shifting back into a visage much like a sick and wasted version of An, but beautiful in a heroin-chic way. As he resolves, parts of the loose black shirt become obvious, broken black wings::

Am-hetep-f:
You never held that face day in and day out for months. It's no fun.

An:
I did for a little bit... of one similar. Truth be told... I don't remember it that well. You probably do. We were bald then. Not a good look for us.

Am-hetep-f:
I always preferred the ponytail.

An:
So, what brings us to this, our destined crossroads.

Am-hetep-f:
You should call in the others. I don't want to have to monologue again. Don't worry. I don't plan on killing anyone tonight unless things go awry.

An:
::chuckles and taps the microphone twice::

Martel:
Well well, guns blazing it is! ::Lifts flamer and shoulders through the door::

GM:
::as Martel and Maria rush in the door, aiming guns across the room and trying to get resolution on the correct figure... it tilts its head slightly and a force not unlike a speeding truck yanks the weapons from their hands and flings them across the room to a corner that appears to have been carefully fireproofed::

Am-hetep-f:
Really? That was the plan?

An:
::laughs::

Martel:
::drags his scrupulup out in one hand, and his hand blaster out in the other::

An:
Always too willing to flash your cards.

GM:
::the blaster joins the pile, the scrupulum heats up but isn't able to deflect enough of the TK::

An:
::puts up a hand stifling a laugh:: Enough, Martel, Maria.

GM:
::An notices the dark twin's hand drift to caress Elena, and she shudders in her sleep as it refreshes its Wyrd from her::

Martel:
::growls:: Creature, do not touch the girl again, if you wish for civil conversation.

An:
::walks up to his dark twin right in its face very calm:: What do you want?

Am-hetep-f:
Oh, father, does An still keep you around? I guess it's useful to have a freak around to make you look sane by comparison. You know what I want, brother. You lost the vision, I didn't.

Martel:
::grins:: Kid, you want to get a rise outta me, you gotta do better than sharp words from an empty face.

Am-hetep-f:
::glances at martel as if considering getting a rise out of him, then shrugs as if it's not worth it::

An:
And this... is your master plan? I would say I would have thought of a better way about it, but I guess proof here is that I wouldn't have.

Am-hetep-f:
No, no... this is just tying up loose ends... It's really quite cool

An:
::arches an eyebrow:: Do tell. Cause truth be told, I could never figure it out.

Am-hetep-f:
I needed Elena to leave her Favyana guardians... the only way she'd do that is if she saw visions that her dear brother was in a dire situation, with the very thing that killed our cheating brother in law... So I had to make a real dire situation... it's hard to fool a psychic...And if I could get you lots of ammunition to use against the Decados in the process, so much the better; those bastards ruined our life... I have more information in the briefcase over there by your guns if you want it... It's amazing just who they'll let into the Jakovians these days, if you're ruthless enough

An:
How's does Elena play into all of this?

Am-hetep-f:
Do you remember lonliness, An? Not the weak, maudlin feeling in your core that those around you are poor fools unworthy of your greatness. I'm sure that's still a factor. But real lonliness, not even the minions and sychophants you surround yourself with now. When I rip the Pancreator from the heavens and force His eyes upon the wretched universe He has created, I shall need help... That help crawls within Sister, just waiting to come out and play

An:
So you just brought me here to gloat? So I could understand your plan? What were you looking for, approval?

Am-hetep-f:
No. I want the soul shard that birthed me. And a week or two with Elena. Then you get her back, I and our new Sister go on our merry way, and you can enjoy the world for a few more years yet, for all the good it will do you.

Martel:
::raises an eyebrow:: Wow, and you called ME crazy.

Am-hetep-f:
Father. I am a transcendent being birthed from An's psyche. I wield powers that put your fragile theurgy to shame. If anyone can open God's eyes, it is me.

Martel:
Son, the local hedge priest can put my powers of Theurgy to shame. That being said, just because you are immensely powerful, doesnt make you anything like an equal to the pancreator. Help me out here. How is pissant little you going to be more than a would-be An, without all the good stuff?

Am-hetep-f:
::smiles evilly: An barely restrained himself from snapping and doing anything that needed to be done, despite the blood, so many times you wouldn't believe. I have no such restraints.

Martel:
Again, the fact that you have less inner strength than he does makes you better...how?

An:
So, if we refuse your offer, what then?

Am-hetep-f:
I am grudgingly forced to kill the priest, break your legs, and hurt Maria until you give me the shard, assuming you aren't carrying it right now.

Martel:
Wait, that doesn't make any sense.

Am-hetep-f:
And I take no pleasure in hurting you or those we care about, brother. But I will.

Martel:
If you could take us down, just like that, why haven't you?

Am-hetep-f:
Why would I "take you down" if I don't need to? An has resisted killing you for years. Obviously, you have some value to him. I'd hate to shatter that if I don't have to, no matter how annoying you are.

An:
Oh brother, you seem to have me at an impasse. A difficult decision to say the least.

Am-hetep-f:
If it makes you feel any better, if there was a less painful way to bring out Elena's twin, I'd try it. The shard will save her months of torture, most likely, compared to the normal birthing of a twin.

An:
::puts his hands in his pocket:: You just missed one tiny detail.

Am-hetep-f:
::sighs:: Oh, no, not one tiny detail. What's that?

An:
The shard. Its gone.

Martel:
::grins widely:: Miscalculate much?

Am-hetep-f:
Brother, you have never once discarded anything of value, and despite your well-constructed poker face I think we should both be able to tell when we're lying. Do you want to say anything to Martel before he dies?

An:
Alright alright. Fine. You want it.

Am-hetep-f:
Please don't fling the shard. It's a priceless relic. ::all of this said with exhausted ennui::

An:
Should I roll it across the ground or just hold it out and let you reach out and grab it with your mind.

Am-hetep-f:
Why don't you set it down calmly and walk away?

An:
::reaches into his shirt and pulls out the shard, tied to a necklace::

Martel:
::quietly palms the Scrupulup, and gets ready to jump the demon::

GM:
::you've had it in your palm the whole time, it's much warmer than usual::

Martel:
::Breaths in and out slowly::

An:
::tosses it up into the air, double taps the mic and wait for any twitch from the other him the look he knows well, hopefully::

Martel:
::charges the demon::

Am-hetep-f:
::pushes with both hands and a wave of force bursts from him, knocking you all back and down::

GM:
::again, the scrupulum doesn't seem to be designed to stop waves of force, but it does seem to lessen it somewhat and heats to a painful temperature::

Am-hetep-f:
How has someone less caring not killed you all yet?

GM:
::the soul shard clatters to the warehouse floor, but remains unscathed::

Martel:
::grunts loudly in prayer:: Lord above, bless me to confront this creature, if it be your will. ::gets up and sprints for flamegun::::

An:
::leaps and sprints straight forward, pushing forward with all his will:: ((Is he out of flying monkey ninja leaping kick?))

Am-hetep-f:
::Airdances the lot of you again, into the far corner of the warehouse near the door:: I'm a being of pristine psychic force, people. "Get him" is not an acceptable plan.

Martel:
((did I manage to get a hand on a strap of the flamegun?))

Am-hetep-f:
::begins to walk towards the soul shard where it lies on the floor:: And that is an Ur artifact. It's hard to break.

GM:
((nope, it's a decently big warehouse))

Martel:
((sad))

GM:
((all you've got is your rock, and probably a knife))

Martel:
((yeah, and I can't get close enough to use either))

An:
::stands up and walks back towards his twin::

Am-hetep-f:
Anyway, the door's to your left

An:
::taps his mic three times::

Martel:
::draws knife in his off-hand, and throws it at the demon, hard::

Martel:
::readies to throw the rock after::

GM:
::the knife flips end over end, narrowly misses An as he walks up, and embeds itself about a half an inch into the creature, falling out of the Soma-toughened skin::

Am-hetep-f:
Ow. Stop that.

Martel:
::pegs the rock down it's throat::

GM:
::well, it's difficult to hit "down it's throat" from across a warehouse, but it does make a nice line drive across the warehouse::

Martel:
::one can hope::

Am-hetep-f:
A rock. You're down to a... ::he's cut off as the scrupulum thuds into his chest... and sticks::

GM:
::the scrupulum begins to glow brightly, emitting a heat immediately obvious to An from a few feet away::

Martel:
Yea, and did young david hurl the stone, with the might of the lord in his arm. ::stands::

Am-hetep-f:
::tries to brush off the scrupulum, then tear it off, pulling away fingers seared off with tendrils of psychic energy drifting from the ruined digits into the stone:: What. Is. This?

An:
The one thing you've never had. Friends in high places.

Martel:
::walks up to evil An:: May you be forgiven your transgressions, my son. In this world, or the next.

GM:
::the heat becomes unbearable, and the creature staggers towards the middle of the floor, gouts of red energy bursting from his form and being pulled back into the stone in a psychic aurora::

An:
::rushes to elena scouping her up::

GM:
::burning from the front and dissolving from all angles, he rolls in agony upon the ground::

Martel:
Ashes to ashes... Dust to dust... Amen.

Martel:
::backs up from the heat::

GM:
::then, proving that he is An, if only a cruel mockery, he stands, slowly, from knees to feet, burnt fabrics sloughing to the ground and waves of heat masking his ruined form::

Am-hetep-f:
I... will not... die on my knees.

Am-hetep-f:
I... will not... die forever.

Martel:
::walks over to the Flamer::

Am-hetep-f:
::reaches out a collapsing arm towards An and Elena, and there is a pulse of psychic energy that seems mostly consumed by the stone. It warms An from across the room.:: Make me. Again.

GM:
::with that, the body bursts into scarlet flames and collapses into a smoking pile on the floor. Within a few seconds, there is nothing left but the flames, and then, not even those... waves of heat still rise from the scrupulum, beyond white hot, slowly melting the surrounding concrete into slag.::

GM:
::the fallen soul shard glints on the floor where it lies, untouched by the creature::

Martel:
::shoulders his flamer and looks up at An:: If you ever pop him out again, I'm going to punch your damn teeth in. ::pulls a canteen from under his robes, and begins splashing water onto the stone::

GM:
::the gouts of steam scald Martel's hands::

Martel:
::grimaces, but continues his work as carefully as he can::

Maria:
::moves up to help support Elena::

An:
::looks disheveled:: We should get her to a doctor.

Maria:
I'll call and tell Lan to get a bed ready at his clinic. ::goes back into the warehouse office to find a phone::

An:
::sits down lowering Elena to the ground, cradling her head in his lap::

Martel:
::shakes head:: You make me write the most complicated damn reports An. I do more fiction that most professional authors.

GM:
::speaking of reports, the briefcase the creature referenced is, indeed, sitting in the corner near where Maria and Martel's guns landed::

GM:
::by the time the scrupulum is cool enough to move, transport has arrived at the warehouse::

An:
::looks up:: You should look into writing for a living. Probably safer. Speaking of writing. ::motions to the briefcase::

Martel:
::picks it up, and then gathers the briefcase:: MAh. Safe is for sissies who don't like demons flinging them around with their minds. Like that ever ends well for them.

Maria:
At least he didn't get an evil Elena. She took out an entire starport more or less by accident four years of intense psychic training ago. I wouldn't have wanted to fight that.

Martel:
::kneels before exiting the warehouse:: Thanks for the help, o lord. Woulda been screwed without ya.

Maria:
::Gathers up the rest of the stuff, and leans down to gingerly pick up the shard by its chain::

Martel:
Yeah. You realize that it's crap like this that makes the church so nervous about you guys. Fortunately, we were able to deal with this incredibly powerful Decados psychic. RIGHT?

Maria:
Yeah, well, it all wound up being necessary to stop a Brother Battle from blowing up Vera Cruz. The non-Church sector doesn't have a monopoly on crazy. Is that a better angle than demon?

Martel:
It's a better angle than "Demon what spawned from An's head" if you want to keep our boy in one piece.

Maria:
True enough. Let's get going.

An:
::carries Elena out to the transport::

GM:
::one tense cab ride later, you're dropped off at the clinic, where Lan is quick to note that Elena is just doped up on a strong sedative. He begins to treat her bruises and other signs of torture, but expects a full recovery within a day or two::

GM:
::that evening, wherever An finally collapses from exhaustion, he dreams...

An:
::probably in Elena's room::

GM:
Monsters birthed from flesh, pain suffered and expunged, angles and demons cast out of their genetic hosts, finally having a brother and all the agony that it caused, and one last bright transfer of energy::

GM:
~~~OOC~~~