Points South

Log Info

Title: Points West
Emitter: Liv
Characters: Current, Lumina, Valiant
NPCs: Nephrite, Onyx
Place: Cove City Gem Exhibition — Cove City, MD
Time: May 12, 2010
Summary: Nephrite and Onyx drop in on the Cove City Gem Exhibition, and Current, Lumina and Valiant rise to meet them. Chaos, mass destruction, mystic rituals and pale orange blood.

In southern Cove City - not too far from the Steranko Institute - a local exhibition hall features a gem and mineral show for collectors and spectators alike. The inside of the building is massive with vaulted ceilings, laid out in a labyrinth of rows. The displays range from gem dealers to jewelry craftsman to educational and museum alcoves … and the clamor, resounding off the walls and so much rock, is deafening.

Over in one corner stands Reg. He's got his arms crossed, and seems to be watching the show. That is, he's watching the snooty people look over gems and tut like stereotypical British butlers. He looks amused. Shaking his head, he glances at his watch, murmuring, "Just a little longer, and the next shift will be in…good. I need to do homework." Stupid homework! He's carefully avoiding the rubies, on the far side from them.

Alia looks around curiously, just content to 'window shop' for the moment as she hmms a bit to herself. She isn't much of a geologist, but she seems to take a great deal of interest in the similarities and differences to the gems of her homeworld.

It was quite a test of Sandra's diplomacy and debating skills. After receiving a treatment for the blown eardrums of last night, the Steranko Sophomore had to then convince the staff to allow her to head to the Gem Expo this evening. In the end, Sandra had to admit to doing a stake-out involving the recent gem robberies and the various theories that had been th Thankfully, for Sandra, the Headmistress allowed the expedition when Sandra noted that there were shifts, she had an upcoming shift and that she would /NOT/ be alone. And the Headmistress just nodded, not even asking /who/ else would be there.
Now that Sandra is walking into the exhibition, the Atlantean woman frowns, wondering if the Headmistress already knew, actually.

Maybe the two costumed figures teleported in - or disguised themselves with invisibility. Or maybe they were mistaken for a publicity stunt related to the exhibition. Whatever the case, the pair - both entirely covered head to toe, the woman in jade hues and the man in marble black - go unnoticed until they approach the high security case of a distinguished local collector.
The woman leans on the nearest case - which sets off motion sensor alarms. Probably not for the first time today (blast people who bring their children), but it definitely brings heads around.
One can almost hear the toothy smile in her voice when she speaks, though her mask is opaque. "I think you can help me."
People nearby nudge each other and murmur, some curious, a few - maybe those with sense - made uneasy by the scene.

"Ah. There they are," murmurs Reg. He pulls a pen from his pocket, the fountain pen shimmering as he steps out from the corner. He chose that corner because it wasn't in sight of the cameras, too. Anyway, his clothing warps and in its place he stands there in a Graecian outfit, a mixture of Hoplite and Thracian. Thracian helmet covering much of his features and a bronze breastplate with leather kilt woven with bronze plates. And so it's Valiant who steps forward, hefting his spear and calling, "All right, everyone. Please head to the exits, if you will. This is a Neohuman emergency." A pause, and then he points the spear at Nephrite. "You. Surrender, so I don't have to hurt you." Subtlety? What's that? Even as he speaks, he moves forward, standing not more than ten, fifteen feet from them.

Sandra actually plants her face into a hand. Slipping to the women's poweder room, the trenchcoat is discarded and she can step out in the outfit everyone suspects. "Gods, I really need armor, even if just ceremonial. But I am not asking for that on a piece of paper in a damned bottle," she grumbles.
Shifting to try and flank the pair, Current arches an eyebrow at Valiant. "A Neohuman emergancy? That is all you could come up with?" she asks, before shaking her head. Current then turns to the guard and offers a smile. "Those two are about to try and rob you. Would you kindly help the citizenry evacuate the premises in a calm and orderly fashion? We would be most appriciative."

Alia suddenly changes into her light form, flickering over towards the other side of Valiant, to catch the pair on the other flank. Her glow is a rather muted green at present, and she simply nods, "What she said, truthfully." Her lips quirk a bit, as she doesn't have much of a secret identity to deal with.

The owner of the collection in question- a Mr. Tripplehorn, by the placard - stares at the pair from the interior of his booth and stands braced, arms crossed. "I think you have the wrong person."
"See anyone else?" the black-clad man mutters to his companion, voice tense.
"Oh, shush, Onyx," she says, extending one gloved hand to give him a playful nudge. Only then does she swivel her head to regard Reg, a disgusted snort escaping her. "Haven't you noticed that doesn't work yet? No one is going to surrender. We're almost finished." Her voice continues after the words are finished, a high-pitched thrum that makes hairs stand on end and causes the glass in nearby cases to rattle and twitch - obviously about to strike.
The dark-clad figure casually hops on the display case, one limb dangling on the far side. "So what if I told you this was a big misunderstanding and we're the good guys here?" he calls to Alia. It seems to be rhetorical, though, as he continues to the woman in jade, "I've got your back, Nephrite."
People start shuffling backwards, clearing out that row and moving towards the exits, but sheer numbers - and, of course, human curiosity - keep the movement of the crowd sluggish.
Tripplehorn, however, doesn't budge. "They will have to go through me to get anything."

Nephrite might have been the one braced, but the first, thrumming note comes from Onyx. The pitch bursts instantly into ranges so low it can only be felt, not heard, and then stabs lower, drilling into skulls and the ground. Painful as the sound might be, however, it is only the prelude for sonic aftershocks as the hall reverberates in sympathy …
Cases shatter. Glass and gemstones propel outwards in a shredding hail. The heroes are unscathed, whether due to hardiness or a matter of phase, but those same sound-propelled missiles will do considerably more damage to ordinary flesh …

The look Valiant directs at Current is stern. He is somewhat different in this guise. More forthright. "I meant what I said. I was trying not to panic people." His light tenor voice trails off as he points the spear at the villains once more. He looks at Nephrite, "I suspected as much," his voice firm. "I had to give you the option to see reason." He whirls the polearm-spear he carries, the silvery leaf blade glowing softly. This is as far as he gets before he's caught in a rather large explosion. In the aftermath, Valiant stands, totally unharmed, shards of glass at his feet. He notices the wave of sound spreading outwards, and considers. There's not much *he* can do. Unless they want to wait for him to cast a ritual. Then says to Current, "Rip the water from the mains underneath the building. Put up a barrier to deflect the debris." This is half-command, half-suggestion. Even as he says this, he moves forward quickly, whirling his spear and slashing towards Onyx. The blade glows with a silvery light as it strikes, and again and again and again! Onyx reels under the onslaught, and the young man commands, "Again. Surrender!"

Alia flies around, then suddenly blasts Nephrite in the face with a blinding ray of light, "That'll be enough of that!" The villainness suddenly finds herself quite unable to see as the green glow around Alia grows brighter, "Surrender or this can get unpleasant."

Water expodes in a rush from cracks in the floor, the air in the room feels drier - parched. "Ahead of you," notes Current as she lifts her hands and spreads her fingers wide, water forming walls trying to form a dome around the group. "Don't want to destroy the floor people are standing on, pulling from the air as well, sorry," she notes, her blue eyes cold and flat as she looks to Valiant. Then she lifts her chin stubbornly, regally, and pulls back on a glare as she turns away from the Greek Armor Clad Youth.

The walls of water shield the fleeing bystanders from the ricocheting stones and shrapnel - though a few pieces spear through, their velocity is reduced to nothing by the time they drip-drop out, leaving reverse ripples in the surface. The only one not within the aegis is Tripplehorn, and he finally had the good sense to dive for the floor.
The hum remains in Nephrite's voice even as she stumbles. "You are the ones making this unpleasant," she counters, one hand coming up to her mask for an instant. The sound intensifies, shrill and snarling, and then sings out in an expanding cone of force. All three are caught within the arc, Alia's form briefly disrupted by the sonic force, the other two unharmed. The sound reverberates off the water wall.
Onyx slides off the case, tumbling with the blow - landing with surprising lightness despite the hard blows. When he comes up, however, he seems rattled … so much as one can tell with the face completely hidden. "All right, hey, I didn't count on this …" He half-crouches, hands up … and then somehow, he's rolled through the frame of the case and spun to one side of Valiant with the first three of a rapid series of blows. Each blow carries with a stinging jolt of sonic force - but remarkably, it's no more than uncomfortable.

Whirling his spear again, Valiant lashes out with it. The weapon blurs through the air, and Onyx dodges at the last moment. Valiant takes a step back, holding the weapon at the ready in front of him as he states, "Yes. We do that when people act in an irresponsible manner and break the law." The man's voice is firm. "I really wish you'd surrender," he says. "Make this easier all around."

Alia grits her teeth as her waveform is interfered with, then suddenly turns a violent shade of red, shouting, "ENOUGH!" She blasts Nephrite with a brilliant beam of energy, stunning her as she looks to no longer be playing around.

Blue eyes shift from Lumiya to Valiant, then to Tripplehorn on the floor. "Forgive me for this, Sir," she notes to the man. "But I also suggest you flee the scene." With that, Sandra lifts her hands over her head, the pipes groaning beneath the floor as more water seeps upwards, thickening the wall she has created.
With hands above her head, Current brings them down quickly, the dome rising, almost completing before the water flows downwards and inwards. That is right, the water ceiling is breaking, crashing down. While it flows over the figures inside, it does not leave anyone wet and dripping, quite the opposite, everyone is refreshingly dry. However, the water is pushed away, flowing this way and that, out of the way, and with it, the glittering, sparkling gems, off into the distance - for now.

"Mind what you do with them!" Tripplehorn replies. "You would be surprised how fragile they can be if knocked against gems of greater hardness." But he starts to crawl out under the booth flap and away.
If Nephrite reels from the force of Alia's blast, the sight of the gems washing away brings her back to her senses. "Damn you," she spits at Sandra. "But if we cannot have those stones, others will have to serve …" She takes a deep breath and begins chanting, her voice wavering eerily over octaves of notes - skipping in and out of human register as if that were nothing more than a suggestion.
She kneels down midway through, picking up one of the fallen shards of glass. It rips through bodysuit and the arm beneath - a flash of skin the color of opal, or is that just her sonic force field wavering? - and sheds a long, thick line of pale orange blood, woven in a complex, angular symbol. It hits the concrete and sizzles, driving deep into the ground. She speaks the final words with a gutteral hiss.
Nephrite gasps heavily, clutching at her arm. As she rises, her voice continues to drop, a deep, throbbing note that strikes the nerves on an instinctive level - but whatever its intended purpose, it fails. She makes a little peeved sniffle.
"How does your local saying go?" Onyx cocks his head. "If wishes were - worms? Bah, I've forgotten." He frowns at Reg, sidling around and past him, and then pivoting to engage Sandra. His first blow catches her off-guard, the touch sending a banshee howl through her chest into her lungs and leaving opportunity for following blows - which she weathers well, even though she is left dazed and wobbling.

"Blood magic," Valiant says harshly. He lifts a hand, and considers, as if about to say something. Then, he makes a different decision. "Two can play that game." With this, he steps forward, and hefts his spear. He murmurs, "Metaphor is important, especially when…" He's doing mystical equations in his head. Or trying to. This isn't his specialty. He reverses his spear, and with a thrust, drives it *into his own side*. Blood gushes out, and he murmurs quietly, the blood beginning to glow a bright silver as it lands on top of the symbol. The blood starts to mar the symbol, fighting to wipe it out of existence.

Alia glows even brighter red now, as she lets loose a volley of blasts at Nephrite. The first one Neph manages to shake off, but the second one seems to get through and stun the villain, as Alia shouts, "I AM THE VANGUARD OF YOUR DESTRUCTION!" Someone needs to keep her away from the dormitory 360.

Current is attacked, visciously - and while she wards off the final few blows, the first has already left her reeling, gasping for air with a rather shocked expression. After all, lacking for air … is a completely new experience for her. How is this … possible for the woman who can 'breathe' in water? This makes no sense!

Nephrite's body tenses - but though Valiant's blood mars her etched symbols, it does not destroy the underlying pattern. "Nicely played," she acknowledges, "but not quite enough." She hopes. On the other hand, Alia's blasts of light *are* enough to leave the green-clad mystic out of the fight for the moment.
"That," Onyx says sharply to Sandra, "is for forcing her to play out that particular ritual." He sounds … sort of protective, when you come down to it. But he doesn't remain to press the advantage, spinning away from her to engage Alia. Considering that touch is mostly sonic force, not kinetic impact, it's likely he could hit her - but the world may never know, for he misses. "Neph! You all right?"

Taking a breath, Valiant murmurs, "I think I did enough to make things more difficult." Pause. "It was worth it." With this, he moves forward, lashing out with the spear. Unfortunately, he's still shaky from /stabbing himself in the side/. Thus, the attack misses.

Alia soars around, the red fading back to a green aura around her as she takes another shot, but this time at Onyx. The blast hits, but doesn't do much more than bruise the other villain, as she frowns a bit. "Blasted nei'rrhs… what are they doing?"

Sandra shakes her head, a breath rushing into her lungs. She frowns as she looks around, setting herself upright and peering at Onyx. Stepping into the circle of the spell, Current peers down her nose at the dimensional traveller. "I have no regrets. Your attempts will harm innocents. We can't have you doing that," she notes.
Glancing left, then right, Current throws out her arms, before as the fingers of her right hand move slightly. She brings her hands up over her head again, a large wave of water forming behind her, even as a worm of water ripples behind her right foot, sinking into the symbol and bubbling it, shifting it slightly.
Then the Atlantean woman brings her hands down, the wave crashing into the floor and sliding away from Sandra, but the Current is easily fought.

Nephrite's chin lifts - she might be staring in Current's direction, but it is difficult to tell. Whatever her thoughts, she maintains that frozen stance for several seconds before she whirls and strides towards Onyx. "Call off," she snaps. "Rhodonite and I are going to have to do some serious recalculation."
"Oh, please spare me and your brother droning on about confluences and sympathetic associations blah blah blah," Onyx whines. The damage he has sustained certainly adds to the petulance.
It doesn't take a mindreader to guess at the look Nephrite is shooting him. "Yes, I never said your mind was your redeeming feature." Again, the deep, subsonic pulse of sound that plays havoc with mental balance … and this time, disorients Alia and Valiant both, distracting their attention from the villains.
"But I do have them." Onyx wraps an arm around her waist. An exhaled sigh of sonic force causes that soundwave ripple beneath them both, elevating them into the air and … straight through the ceiling. They disappear through that opening, rapidly accelerating.

"Arrr!" As the confusion takes hold, he charges forward straight towards the enemy. His spear thrusts out, even as they disappear. Valiant is a pirate! And he thrusts it into the heart of the floor where they were. He lifts it. Does it again. And again. And again. And again. What is he -doing-? Digging a hole? Finally, he shakes off, and he stares at the spear a moment. Before sighing. "Great. Now I have to pay them for the damaged floor." Yes, he's utterly serious.

Alia suddenly turns into a pink light version of herself, blinking as she looks sneakily down at Valiant. Before anyone can say anything to stop her, she materializes shining pink holographic shuriken, tossing them at her archnemesis, the pirate! Then after a few moments, she blinks it off, flying down to ground level to talk to Valiant, "Er… sorry, are you okay?"

Current peers at Valiant, then at Lumiya, as she places a hand on her hip. "That was disturbing," she drawls - the fact that she was unaffected and the other two were. Then she blinks and reaches for an upright display, trying to casually hold herself erect on it. "I … altered the symbol," she notes with a wave to the floor where she was just standing. "Alas, I think the female in green noticed."

Unsurprisingly, since an alarm had already gone off when this thing started, the sound of police sirens is already closing fast … and the security guards assigned to the exhibition poke their heads through the main doors, cautiously. Presumably, they saw the rapid villanous retreat.

Light shuriken slam into Valiant, to no effect. He goes, "Arrr!" before the effect wears off, then says, still shaking his head, "That was odd." A pause. "And did you just become a ninja?" He sounds amused. "That was a weird thing. I felt really strange." He nods at Current, "Between us, it may have been enough. We can hope."

Alia blinks, "Well, it seems to make some sense… are they not natural enemies?" She says that rather innocently, and she might actually BE innocent, honest! She hrms, "That was a rather… strange affect, though."

"Forgive the departure from levity," notes Sandra, who looks a little gray, "But Lumiya, could you grab my coat in the powder room. Valiant, can you prepare us a way back … mmm … home?" Sandra reaches up and rubs at a temple weakly, before she sighs again. "I have -GOT- to ask to go home to get some armor. This scrap of scant clothing look is rediculous," she murmurs tiredly to herself.

"It is, yes. It would be best if you wore something more appropriate." He considers her. "I'll ask around." If Sandra's not careful, she might end up with a suit of armor crafted by Athena herself. Wouldn't THAT be a kick in the arse when she found out? With this, he rips his spear down, and a hole in space appears. "Let's get going."

Sandra starts to push off from her pillar of strength, only to snap her head and look at Valiant. Her blue eyes circle a cold gray momentarily, before the woman sniffs in annoyance, and lifts her chin. A flick of the woman's wrist preceeds a tendril of water rising behind Valiant and smacking him, lightly, in the back of the head. "Says the young man wearing a skirt," notes Sandra with a motion towards the lower-half of Valiant's costume. Never mind that Sandra actually has no problem with the look - rather likes it - but she'll NEVER admit that. Certainly not to Reg.
And with that, Sandra steps towards the rift in space, before her exhausted legs decide to give way completely and she is forced to be -carried- away. Because … Reg would certainly insist on it. Blasted annoying Graecia!

News Report:

(Cove City Chronicle)

The Cove City Gem Exhibition at Reeker Hall came to an abrupt halt yesterday after neohumans Nephrite and Onyx - both sonic manipulators - arrived to menace renowned local collector Alexander Tripplehorn. Vigilantes Current, Lumina and Valiant stepped up to demand their surrender … and the situation promptly turned ugly when Onyx released a sonic burst so forceful it exploded display cases and fired glass and shrapnel in an outward hail.

Current created a wall of water to absorb the impact, protecting the panicked crowd, as the other two closed to the attack. The efforts of Lumina and Valiant harried and delayed the villains long enough for a second wave of water to sweep the entirety of Tripplehorn's collection out of the hall. Nephrite responded with a mystic chant - an intense ritual that left a symbol etched deeply in the floor with her blood.

Even this the vigilantes thwarted, Valiant with a smattering of his own blood, and Current with further watery force … while Lumina pressed both villains hard. After one last parting shot, Nephrite called the retreat. Her companion lifted her and they soared upwards, through the ceiling and to parts unknown.

Tripplehorn offered his personal thanks to the neohumans, but added, "It will take me forever to sort things back out! Ages, do you hear me? How am I supposed to know if anything is missing? Some young hooligan snatches a shiny off the pile and I won't know about it until I reconcile my records …"

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