Hellfire Sale At The Mall

Title: Hellfire Sale at the Mall! Part II of Broken Bottles
Emitter: Lovelace
Date: September 24, 2010
Players: Arcane, Spectrum, Dusk, Daybreak, & Proton

===< The Quake - Market Row >-------—< #235 >===

The Quake is the largest indoor mall on Earth having displaced Canada's Mall of America for the top spot. The mall is built on four circular levels, three of them above ground. The mall itself has two lens shaped levels for the ground and third story, the middle level smaller and straight, the exterior walls shimmering glass and steel. The lens shaped levels are made of concrete, the outer edges of which are covered with murals, and the top level sporting many skylights alternating with solar panels. Island stands with a bewildering array of knick-knacks are spread throughout along with planters and fountains.
The subteranean level is home to exotic novelty shops that sell things with a more adult theme such as body arts and jewelry, massage, specialty clothing such as leather and vinylwear, and The Bunker, a dance club with two wings — one for those that can drink legally, one for teens.
At ground level one will find major department stores such as Sears and JC Penney, as well as a lot of clothing and shoe stores. The second floor houses the food court on one side, and The Quake Megaplex, home to fourty screens of cinematic goodness on the other. The third floor has the high end clothing and novelty shops, as well as books and music stores, even toys and electronics.

Lovelace 0s OOC
Timo 57s OOC



Derek really isn't much of a mall rat — all the pretty and popular kids hang out at the mall, and he's neither. Still, it's the best place to buy the latest video games. And so, just after dinner, he slinks through the crowd, trying his best to be as unnoticable as possible, as he makes his way to Game Heaven.

Timo is just coming out of an electronics shop, an iPhone box visible in the bag he carries, a grin on his face. He makes his way to the food court, sitting to dig the box out and open it up. He hasn't realized yet that Derek's in the mall too.

For a personal reward, Linus was going to hit the local Holdenbooks, pick up a novel or two for him to read for fun. He ponders that it might not be exciting for some, but he's happy. Still, even though he's already had dinner, first thing's first. He's at one of the food court kiosks, getting his usual fruit punch as his personal fuel for mall-walking. He'll finish it, usually, before he gets to the store.

Leigh's staked out Aeropostale today, her father's charge card at the ready because it is now OFFICIALLY Fall and if the state of her wardrobe isn't considered an emergency, well, she doesn't know what is. Besides, it's a twenty-five percent off sale, and that's just awesome. She's trying on a new magenta sweater that seems just about perfect, far as she's concerned, and a dark blue scarf that she's not quite so sure about. "I so need to drag Tiffany out here," she sighs to herself, wishing she weren't doing this alone. She thinks the sweater's cute, but the mileage of others may vary.

*click* Someone on the third floor, juggling packages on the escalator accidently knocks over a black glass bottle someone left hidden behind some plants on a ledge. *crack* The bottle lands two stories down, shattering into a spray of black glass and *WOOSH!* A fountain of red and gold flames rises… and rises… and rises. The pillar of fire is the color of dried blood and gold nuggets, no natural fire and standing in the center is a black horned, red scaled figure. An evil laugh echoes through the mall, and people begin to scream and run.

It's the sound of the broken glass that gets Linus' attention. After the last incident, he's been a bit jumpy, but for the briefest of seconds, he considers that maybe something made of glass broke somewhere, and he's getting all worked up over nothing. Then, the flames erupt, and Linus finds himself spitting out an 'Oh shit,' despite himself. The flames are easy to pinpoint, as is the demonic laughter, and the young man drops his fruit punch (which means it's On), and rushes into the mass of people running the other way, whispering words to change his clothes into the Arcane disguise. Once done, his amulet glows as he rises above the crowd, doing a slow fly over there. Mostly because he can't fly all that fast.

And just when she'd spotted the PERFECT fleece hoodie, too. Bright green. It is almost as amazing as the sweater. Fortunately, the ruckus outside of Aeropostale is distracting the clerks and other customers. Leigh grabs the hoodie and dives into the closest changing room to strip down to her disco costume, and then bursts back out, stashing her backpack under a rack of clothes and tossing the sweater, scarf and hoodie onto the counter and shouting, "Hold those for me! I'll be back!" Once outside she flies toward the center of the mall and sings brightly, "Here I come to save the dayyyyy!"

What? Mighty Mouse is awesome.

Timo blinks at the figure coming out of the fire, "Oh, man." Then he's gone, reappearing oon the ledge above the demon creature, in costume as Spectrum. "Hey! This mall's for humans, metahumans, and friendly aliens only. No demons, devils, or whatever you are!" Spectrum snaps his fingers, and there's an incredibly bright flash right in the demon's face, most of the intensity aimed right at its' eyes.

Derek had just made it to the front of the queue and was about to ask the clerk for the game he's been dying to get his hands on — and there's only one copy left. Typical! As everyone else in the store hurries out to see what the ruckus is about, Derek ducks behind a large cardboard cutout and promptly vanishes. Moments later, the gloomy form of Dusk slides out of the shadow cast by a large planter, not far from the tower of flame. "Again, really?" he grumbles.

The demon is almost nine feet tall, its skin covered with red scales, a pair of large black horns curlimg up from its head. It takes the blast of light from Spectrum full in the face and is dazzled for a moment, clawing at its eyes. But only for a moment. Shaking it off, it rasps, "FOOL! Do you think to defy a Lord of the Pit?" It sends a blast of red and gold flame surging at Spectrum and misses setting a Jumbo Juice stand on fire.

Aleksei was in the mall to meet his buds, and to pick up some new skateboard wheels. He's window shopping at Air-Time, and sees the immediate commotion down the mall. Blasts, the flash of light, the roar of fire. And the demon, of course. He fades back into a side corridor leading to the bathrooms while everyone else is running TO find out what's going on. He grips the stone around his neck and there is a flash of light, leaving Proton in the boy's place. He flashes out of the back-area like a rushing wind and winds up floating in front of the demon's face, cape billowing. "Sorry, by order of the Fire Marshall you must extenquish all smoking materials. That's you," he says and lands a punch that booms as his fist briefly goes supersonic. Right on the jaw. The Demon rocks back and then grins, seemingly unhurt as Proton glares at the thing.

As Arcane rises into the air, he sniffs for a moment. "Uh, yeah, might want to know that yes, smells like you're Lord of the Pit. Dude. Right Guard. Seriously." He pauses, and just /eyes/ the demon. "I'll eat my spellbook if you're a full Lord, anyway," he adds, and floats back for a moment. And…he finds himself breathing easier as he finds familiar faces. Even the light-girl! Daybreak, that was her name! "Keep him busy," he warns, as his hands glow with mystic blue energy, as he starts a long, droning chant.

A sizzling blast of heat flies from Daybreak's hands as she flies into the mezzanine. It's a brutal blast of heat and if one were close enough they could easily feel the wash of warmth coming off of it. Unfortunately, the demon just looks bemused. "Right," mutter Leigh to herself. "Demon. Hell. Hot. Right. Got it. Stupid demons, immune to my powers. Hmmph."

Spectrum nods to Arcane, then grins at the creature's question, "Sure I do!" A shimmering force field comes to life around Timo, and says, "Pits are dark, I'm light. Really, defying you is in my nature." He points a fist at the demon, setting himself, and a sudden flash of light streaks from his fist. A blast of pure photons smashes into the demon, sending it staggering a few steps. "See, you're not so tough."

The demon snarls, shaking its head, pulling itself back together. "I -felt- that. You will pay for the insult, mortal. Your suffering will be legendary, even in hell."

Still in shadowform, Dusk flies straight at the beast, fists-first. Wham! He strikes a devestating blow! Or rather, it would have been devestating, were it not for the demon's protective scales. Dusk continues around behind the creature, frowning when he sees it shrug off his attack.

Proton watches for an opening, floating there in front of the monster as beams and blasts strike at it from all angles. "We've got him," he says when Spectrum's blast hits home, and he moves in for his own strike: a powerful two-handed overhand blow that sends the demon crashing to the floor and cracks radiating from the area of impact. He lands atop the thing and glares down at it. "Arcane! Ready to send our unwelcome guest packing?!" he yells, fist cocked back and ready to smash the demon again if needed.

There's a slight break in at least one chanting passage of Arcane's banishment ritual. The smaller imp? Easily done, and the imp was unconscious. This is…if not a Demon Lord as it proclaimed, higher up the heirarchy. But, there's a moment of pause, even as the white lenses of his mask widen as he sees his friends apparently boot-stomp a huge demon. "Stay on'im!" he blurts out, as alarm bells go off in his head. He continues to chant, and the magical energy rolls off of him like water, flowing along the mall floor into a circle of coruscating radiance around the demon itself.

The demon is not getting up, infact the hellfire has gone out. And while some regular fires have been started, the sprinklers kick in spraying water everywhere. The demon mutters dazedly to itself, "Summoner… I will gnaw your soul in hell…" It actually groans but does not try to get up.

Spectrum teleports down to near Proton and the creature, and extends his fist. His fist glows like a spotlight. Not enough to even blind the demon, but something to show that he's aiming right at its' face if it tries to get up.

Daybreak watches Spectrum and Proton moving into position over the demon and decides she's got things she can do that do not involve close proximity to the forces of Hell. She starts floating around and putting out fires — the ability to absorb heat is rather handy in that respect.

Dusk stays in the air, hovering a couple yards above the demon.

Proton glares down at the massive creature he's standing on top of. "Who is he? Who summoned you?" the young man snaps at the demon, fists tight enough that the leather gauntlets creak.

The demon's eyes gleam wickedly. "I am bound that I can not tell you anything about the PERSON that summoned me." There is a certain sly emphasis on the word person.

"Dusk," Arcane says, in another break in the ritual spell. "Look for glass like we saw the last time. Get a sample…or get it out of the way so no one picks up any accidentially. No idea what it'll do."

Dusk gives Arcane a nod, then zips down to the floor, hunting around the demon for any shards of glass that look out of place.

Spectrum frowns at the demon's answer. Not quite smart enough to figure out exactly how to ask around that limitation, he instead asks, "Ok, why were you summoned? Doesn't make sense you'd be summoned just to smash up a mall."

The demon grins, showing pointed shark like teeth. "Because an ultimatium was sent to the mayor when the Summoner sensed me released. A dozen more bottles are waiting, lined up in a row."

Daybreak has drifted near enough to listen in on this conversation now, and frowns thoughtfully as she considers the words of the demon. "So where is the Summoner keeping these bottles?" she asks. The demon can't tell anything about the person… but about the place? Well, that remains the be seen.

Proton mms as one eyebrow goes up. "Interesting," he says, keeping the thing pinned until Arcane can banish it back to Hell. "/Where/?" he says to the thing when it reveals the Summoner's goal, pressing his booted foot harder on it's chest.

The demon chuckles wickedly, smiling at Daybreak. "Clever girl… maybe sometime I can show you real heat. He keeps them in the same room he bound me in, beneath the ground. Come a little closer, firefly." Eeww… and she thought Robbie Butler was slimy!

Robbie Butler -is- slimy. Demon is slimier, but she knows sometimes you gotta take one for the mall. Also the team and the city. So Daybreak moves closer, counting (probably overconfidently) on her ability to absorb heat. "And where's that room? Got an address?" She adds, in her mind, a variety of insults, starting with 'hornhead' and continuing on to things more or less unprintable according to the comics code authority.

The demon eyes Daybreak, "At least some things on this frozen piece of shit are still hot… No addresses down below… buildings tossed together like broken toys, wrack and ruin. Defiled ground made it feel almost tolerable, if that bastard hadn't been in the midst of binding me."

Proton lets the demon spill to Daybreak, giving the teen girl a slight nod, the young man concentraing on keeping the thing pinned long enough that Arcane can work his - pardon - magic.

A tendril of darkness creeps out of Arcane's shadow, and when it retreats, several shards of glass are laying at his feet.

There are few things that make one want to shower more than flirting with a demon. Daybreak, nonetheless, gives a grin and a wink at the comment about her appearance. "Well, that's a start," she says. "Any way you can be a -little- more specific, hmmm?" She's practically cooing, and feeling utterly disgusting about it. The sooner she's got information for everybody, the better — Arcane can get rid of the monster and she can hightail it for someplace clean. There's gotta be a shower in this mall somewhere.

There's a slight tremor in the feel of magic he has around this place, which causes Arcane to nearly jump, even while floating. "We have to finish. His binding spell is weakening. I'm not sure I can hold him if it does…"

Spectrum, now, stays quiet. Daybreak is by far the most likely to get answers, so he stays quiet for the moment. He nods to Arcane then, though.

The demon's fingers twitch. "A former church, a catholic church, though it's been quite thoroughly defiled. Come a little closer, firefly…. let me whisper a secret in your ear…"

Some part of Leigh knows this is a bad idea. Catholic church — that's decent information. She glances warily at the others, but leans in all the same. "Alright, demon. What's this secret." Such a bad idea. On so many levels. Stupid, Leigh, stupid!

The demon whispers to Daybreak 'The summoner thought he caught 12 demons… but he only caught 11. The twelfth bottle holds a god.'… then sticks his forked tongue in her ear.

"Daybreak, no!" Arcane says. The blue energy surrounding him flares into life for an instant, as the young mystic focuses and grits out the last few syllables in his ritual. "Next stop, housewares, lingerie, and Hell! Bye now!" he says, as a hole opens up beneath the demon, ready to drop it none too gently into ye Olde Underworlde.

The demon falls out of view, and you can hear his laughter echoing behind him until the portal closes behind him.

Proton tenses as he watches this. "Careful, Daybreak.." he says. Then he pulls back his fist as if ready to crack open the things chest. Then he floats there as the hole opens, kicking off a bit to hover.

Dusk solidifies not far from Daybreak, frowning. "That wasn't very smart," he rasps, shaking his head. "What'd it tell you?"

It's all Daybreak can do to run screaming for Q-tips. She jerks away with a look of disgust on her face — no amount of skill in performance can hide that. But it doesn't matter, because Arcane's getting rid of the demon. And thank goodness. She sort of suspects she's going to hear from it again. Pawing at her ear she says, "One of the bottles doesn't hold a demon. Ugh. Somebody find me a washcloth, PLEASE?!" She wonders, idly, if she can make lasers in her own ears to burn away the demon saliva. Oh god YUCK! And with all of this going on, she manages to maintain enough presence of mind to make a rude gesture at Dusk — she didn't see HIM risking his aural integrity to get information.

Sirens can be heard faintly in the distance. Or not so faintly to those with superhearing.

Spectrum steps back, watching the creature fall, and says, "Well, we have to go find those other bottles, fast. Before any more are let out." At Daybreak's request, he vanishes, reappearing a moment later with a wet facecloth, which he tosses to her.

Daybreak immediately starts washing her ear thoroughly.

Dusk collapses into shadows again, then reappears once more beside Arcane. "Here," he says, holding a fist toward the sorcerer. "This is all I could find. Did you want the stopper, too?"

"You know…I don't know your religious leanings," Arcane says as he alights onto the ground. "But you might want to get some holy water for that." He's about to say something else when his voice catches. Oh sweet mother of God… He walks over to Daybreak, and whispers something into her ear.

Linus whispers "Like you probably do every time Robbie Butler gets close."

Proton looks to the others. "Cops are coming. Are we good, here?" he says, looking to Arcane. "He's gone, right?" He gives Daybreak a look of concern, especially with Arcane's reaction. "We have to stop the rest of this.." he says, probably unnesesarily.

Given the other things that have gone into her ear in the last few minutes, it's likely not a surprise that Daybreak jerks away when Arcane comes close, but her expression is wide-eyed behind her golden mask when she turns to look at him. "WHAT?!"

It's been a rough evening.

The sirens are now right outside the building, and heavy booted footsteps are running up.

Spectrum looks towards the doors, and says, "C'mon, let's talk about whatever this is on the roof." And he vanishes, appearing in a blink to grab his thankfully unstolen iPhone before vanishing again. By the time the others get to the roof, assuming they do, his iPhone is gone and he sits waiting.

"Yeah," Arcane says, gathering the glass shards into a globe of mystic force. "I am not ready to explain this, there's a dozen demon bombs like this still out there, and we need to get gone." He starts to float upward, ready to open a way out through the glass ceiling.

Dusk vanishes in the blink of an eye, only to reappear on the roof near Spectrum. "Don't think I like demons anymore than I like imps," he rasps. "Plus now I'm never gonna get that video game."

Daybreak needs to swing back through Aeropostale, grab her bag, pay for the hoodie and sweater (yes, she remembers them even after the demon — she's earned them, though she pays cash), and then, finally, she can fly up to the roof with her backpack slung over her shoulder and the shopping bag clutched in one hand. She still has the washcloth, and she's till cleaning her ear. "I'm gonna have to get a priest to bless my showerhead," she grumbles.

Proton joins the others up top and floats there, arms crossed over his deep chest as his cape billows slightly in the warm breeze. "So, any idea where these bottles are? 'in a row' he says. Um, maybe something like that as a street name? Someplace pretty popular? I doubt he'd trap 'Oak View Row' or some suburb like that, would he?"

"Sorry about that, Daybreak," Arcane replies. "It all suddenly clicked and my mouth is about three steps ahead of my brain sometimes." He floats away from the windowed dome, so people looking up don't see him as he dissolves his mask with a gesture. The others already know who he is. "Who you tell is your call, though." He lowers the glass to the roof, and blinks. "Dusk? I need a favor. Every bottle like this has a stopper. Cork, rubber maybe. It usually holds the glyph that seals the demon or imp inside, and…it will help. Resonance to find the others, or give us a lead on who this crackpot is. The other bottle, I think the stopper was incincerated in the explosion."

Spectrum comments to Daybreak as she comes up, "I can go to the Vatican, if you want Catholic holy water. Or, more generic, there's a cave in Indonesia with a holy spring. I saw it on Destination Truth. I can get some from there, if you want." Being able to travel around the world in a split second has its' uses. Then, to Proton he says, "He said a church in the undercity too. A defiled church, so one from before the Quake that's abandoned now. Maybe we can do a web search for old churches that might have survived?"

"You're forgiven, Arcane," Daybreak says. "But you better tell me how you know who I am ASA… Oh…" Well, that explains a few things. And if Linus knows the others… that'd probably mean they're trustworthy and all, but… well… she'll think on it. There is important information to impart first. "It's a defiled -Catholic- church," she adds. "And the demon told me, when he whispered to me, that it's not a demon in one of the bottles. It's… uh…" She pauses. Gods? Really? "It's a god. And probably a pretty pissed off one. Maybe we just need to open the right bottle?" Her eyes turn pleadingly toward Spectrum. "Both? Please?"

Dusk floats closer to Arcane again, holding our his fist. "Got it already," he says, offering the a cork with a wax seal to Arcane once more. "There were dozens of Catholic churches in Los Angeles before the quake. Hundreds, probably. It'd take months to search for all of them. We need to narrow it down somehow." Then he casts a frown toward Daybreak. "There's only one God, and I doubt He's trapped in a bottle. The demon musta lied to you."

Proton swallows. "Um, a god? That.. can't be good," the young man says, suddenly somewhat more concerned. "Oh, man. Maybe.. just being destroyed doesn't defile the ground, but something has to happen there? Something bad?" The young man pauses. "Sorry, most of my knowledge of this comes from horror movies."

Spectrum, as Linus takes off his mask, changes back into his normal clothes too. "Hey." Then he nods quickly and says, "You got it. Might be a minute." He vanishes again.

"Perfect," Arcane says, as Linus magics the mask back into being. He's on the job, as it were. He looks at the stopper, and sighs, starting to chant over the thing again. "I need to find some resonance," he says. "We have to find the source, or the other bottles."

Dusk rolls his eyes as everyone goes about revealing their secret identities. He remains in shadowform, however, gray eyes peering curiously at Daybreak. Nope, not a clue who she might be, despite the presence of a familiar backpack and Leigh's normal concern for her appearance and such. This kid is no detective!

Proton flashes a smile. "All of you already know who I am. And if I go back to normal, I'll fall," he grins. He looks to Arcane, hopeful his friend can figure this out…

Spectrum comes back, just a couple minutes gone. In one hand he carries a plastic water bottle full of water, and in the other the kind of glass vial of holy water one would expect to get at the Vatican. He offers both to Daybreak.

The mystic of the…team? Group of like-aged associates? Well, in any case, Arcane shivers as he sees the glyph that glows under his magic scan. "Ancient demon-accented Enochian," he says. What he wouldn't give to talk to Jonathan right now, but his ancestor calls the meetings. "Whoever is behind this is no dabbler; this is some serious dark mojo. But, a demon would never use the word 'God.' Or even YHWH. He'd be referred to as 'The Adversary,' probably because for a demon to say the name of God is anathema to their natures. If they've captured a god, it might be one of the pagan dieties or aspects. And to trap it, it won't be one of the nice ones…"

"Oh," mumbles Leigh as Timo's face is shown, and as he disappears she screws up her courage and reaches up to peel away her mask. "If everybody else is showing their face," she says, showing a lack of confidence not often seen on the faces of either Daybreak or Leigh Sunderland. If they trust her… "I… uh… this may be a totally stupid suggestion, but maybe we should check out the Beverly Hills Hotel?" She hesitates, then rushes forward. "It's on the cover of the Eagle's 'Hotel California' album. The song made a lot of people think that the pictures were of the Church of Satan." Church of Satan, which uses corrupted versions of the Catholic mass… defiled Catholic church, right? Demons are weird that way, right? When Timo offers her the water she takes it, smiles her thanks, and then pours first the Catholic-blessed water, then the Indonesian stuff into her ear.

Dusk's gloomy jaw drops open when Leigh exposes herself…er, her identity, that is. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine she was a superhero. It takes him a long moment to recover, and then all he can manage to say is, "The Hotel is buried. Dunno if enough of it is still intact to be called a building though. They built a new one up top though, in basically the same location…I think."

Proton has to smile at Dusk's reaction, then he grows serious again as they talk over options. "I guess you could check. Would Arcane be able to tell if it's actual defiled ground, though?" He continues to float a foot above the rooftop of the mall, looking to each of the others in turn.

Timo doesn't seem all that surprised at Daybreak's identity. Probably figured it out from her backpack and other clues. In any case, he just smiles back to her, and then looks to the others. "Well, we have to find them, even if we have to look through every possibility.

"Unsure," Arcane admits, when asked. "I can sense magic, but defilement is…different. Spiritual, as opposed to mystical. They're two different paradigms though both are capable of some form of miracles, or magic as it were, and…" He pauses. "Magic theory. Shutting up now."

The caped Proton smiles a little at Arcane, and then nods. "I can fly pretty fast, and you can go faster. Spectrum, can you scout out the ruined churches, then I could bring the others you can't."

Leigh's mask is back in place in short order, and there's an obvious look of relief that crosses her face now that she's poured half a gallon of holy water down her ear canal. "We'll just have to see what churches we can find and check them out," she says, extracting a scrunchy from her backpack and using it to pull back her hair. "I mean, there may be a lot of churches, but there are five of us, plus Diana — she'll totally want in on this — and Los Angeles isn't -that- big."

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