Scouting The Undercity

Scouting the Undercity: Broken Bottles, Part III
Date: September 26, 2010
Emitter: Lovelace
Characters: Rat Queen, Daybreak, Proton, Spectrum, Dusk
Summary: Teen heroes head into the undercity, trying to find the source of the demons…

===< ~Lost Angeles~ >---------< #216 >===
The largest habitable area in Undercity, Lost Angeles is a honeycombed maze built from the crushed remains of the old city. Pockets of relatively intact buildings are sought after for living spaces, and bases of operations. Roughly half the denizens of Undercity make their homes in Lost Angeles.
Law and order are terms that few would use here, unless you're speaking of a LAW Rocket with an order of a fries on the side. People live in tight knit groups for mutual protection, a half dozen gangs offering protection to those in the turf they've claimed and very few loners strong enough to hold their own. It hearkens back to the Wild West, or some post apocalyptic film — well named as Lost Angeles, there's no angels here.

China Underground…………..<CU> The Restoration…………….<TR>
The Waste………………….<TW>

Lost Angeles is not a safe place for anyone. The area that used to be Beverly Hills is more open than many areas, as the mansions and buildings were much further apart. On one hand, that means less cover for the heros. On the other hand, it means less cover for the bad guys. The old Beverly Hills motel is a ruin, but perhaps not an abandoned one…

Dusk has a sudden idea, which isn't a very common occurance. He leans closer to Spectrum to rasp, "Remember that Rat Queen we ran into the last time we were down here? We should try to find her. She'll know her way around better than anyone."
The Beverly Hills Hotel was something of a tourist attraction back in the day, and not just because of its association with a famous rock group. It was a gorgeous building, and one of the priciest hostelries in the city. And Daybreak, after doing a little research, knows just where it is. Or was. She leads the way there, then stops, hovering in midair over the place. "Not much left down there," she notes.

Spectrum, arm hooked through an empty bracket on a support pole, looks down at the hotel as well. "Yeah, not much. But enough. They could easily be in there. Shall we go in and check?"

Dusk hovers near Spectrum, his body composed of gloom. "That's what we're here for," he rasps, peering at the wreckage. "Can you see anything interesting with your x-ray vision? Or is there not enough light in there?"

Proton drifts along with Daybreak, eyes narrowing as he focuses in on the wreckage with he telescopic vision, seeing if it seems to be still inhabited. "Daybreakr should be able to make light for you to operate by?" he says.

"That's easy enough," Daybreak agrees, "though, to be fair, I think you can make as much light as I can, Spectrum. And either one of us would have to go down in there to do it." She pauses. "But what's the use of being a superhero if you don't take a chance, huh? C'mon." And with that she starts to lower herself down toward the hotel. "Plenty of room at the Hotel California."

Spectrum shakes his head to Daybreak, "No, I don't need light, there is some." He looks down at the church, tapping the light that's there and bringing it to him, "There's about a dozen gangers in there. Black leather, spikes, really stereotypical looks."

Dusk frowns a bit. "But you don't see any…I dunno, magic ritual sorta stuff? Like where the bad guy was summoning and trapping his demons?"

Spectrum blinks at something he sees, almost staring a moment, but then shakes his head quickly, "Um… nope, nothing like that. Just some posters."

"It might be in the basement, away from any direct light," Proton says, cape stirring a bit in the faint breeze.

Dusk peers curiously down at the wreck. "What sort of posters? You guys want me to teleport down to the basement and see what's there?"

"Or it could be that none of us really know what we're looking for when it comes to demon-summoning stuff," Leigh points out. "I mean, have any of you ever looked at that kinda stuff except in movies? Oh! Did any of you see that one that came out last year with Megan Fox? It was SO awesome."

Spectrum shakes his head to Daybreak, "Yeah, no idea. But, I don't think that they use posters of nude girls to summon demons. That's all there is in there, really. But yeah, might be something in the basement."

Leigh is not entirely certain that demons are -not- interested in nude girls, given the reaction of the one they dealt with before to a clothed one. "We should check it out, whatever the case."

Rat Queen steps out of a shadow… and Dusk -knows- there was no one there a moment ago, just some rats. "If it isn't Sparkles and Shady…" She smirks just a little, "Excuse me, Spectrum and Dusk. I thought the two of you were going to keep your shiny happy butts up topside." She reaches one fur-gloved hand to her shoulder, to gently scratch the rat perched there.

"I should check it out," Dusk says, a bit more loudly than he usually talks. "But alone. If there's a leather gang in there, they'd probably wanna fight us. But I'm a shadow, so they'd never—" He stops short, however, at the Rat Queen's sudden appearance. "See, I toldja we should have looked for her first," he grumbles, voice lowering to his usual rasp."

Proton nods to Daybreak. "We simply don't know. Without Arcane, the best we can do at this point is scout, and I think we have a great group for that," the young man says. The appearance of the Rat Queen, though, does surprise him; she snuck up on them, even with his super-hearing! He's got to be careful about that…

Spectrum nods to Leigh, and then nods to Dusk. "I can follow you in, invisible, just in case too. And make it real obvious to signal for help if we're caught." Then he looks up to Rat Queen and waves, "Hey. Well, yeah, until a crazy guy started releasing demons all over the city. We know he's basing out of a defiled catholic church, so we're looking for one."

"Or possibly a place a lot of people thought was the First Church of Satan," Daybreak prompts as she peers at the grey-clad girl. After a moment she glances left and right at the others. "Friend of yours?" she wonders.

Rat Queen looks between Spectrum and Daybreak, then looks at Spectrum, "Ok, I apologize. You're merely shiny, Spectrum. She's now Sparkles." She looks at Daybreak, "I don't have friends that run on two feet. Most people call me the Rat Queen." She looks between Dusk and Spectrum, "I don't know anything about demons above…. I'll make you a deal though… tell me what the Devil Dogs are up to in there, and I'll tell you know about churches underground."

Proton also looks to the 'younger' heroes, the maskless young man looking a bit surprised. "You've met before, I take it? I didn't know either of you patrolled the undercity," he says.

"We don't, usually," Dusk rasps. "We did meet once though. Devil Dogs? Is that the name of the gang? Okay, it's a deal then. You guys stay here, while Spectrum and I check it out, all right?"

"Rat Queen. Gotcha," says Daybreak, who tries not to wrinkle her nose in quiet disgust. Like most girls from her neck of the Great North Woods, she's got a reasonable fear of plague-carrying, flea-bearing, filthy rats. The ones you find at the pet store are okay, though. "I'm Daybreak. Sparkles are sorta my thing." She glances at Dusk. "'Kay. Yell if you need help."

Spectrum nods quickly to Rat Queen as well, "You have a deal." He vanishes from sight, sort of shimmers away, and says to Dusk, "Let's go. And, um, everybody else? If it suddenly looks like a sun's lit up in there, come fast."

Rat Queen tells the pair, "Whatever they're doing in the basement has killed off some of my rat scouts… so try not to breath too much down there, hmm?"

Dusk dissolves into a formless shadow, rasping, "Got it — no breathing in the basement. Spectrum, make a very small illusion of some sort for me to follow. Let's check on the gang first, then look into the basement."

Rat Queen looks between Proton and Daybreak, "Sparkles, it's not a complement. I would rather you shiny happy hero types keep your butts Topside. But if someone's got a base down here, and is attacking Topside, then yeah… I am going to help. So you'll get your butts back topside again."

To Proton, Leigh notes, "See? I told everybody this was a lousy place for a base. The mall is so much better." She turns her eyes back toward Rat Queen and notes, "You may not see 'em as a compliment, but you know, better sparkles than fleas." Rats. Ick.

Proton smiles at Daybreak. "OK, then; you two scout and we'll be your backup. Go in, listen, watch, come back out. OK?"

A small bat appears out of thin air, flying down towards the window, to point the way inside without actually going to where it'll be seen. Then, the invisible Spectrum teleports inside. The two are gone inside for a few minutes, and then Spectrum reappears holding onto that support pole again, "Meth lab in the basement."

Dusk resolidifies, partly at least, near Spectrum. "And the posters aren't that interesting," he adds. "But yeah, meth lab, nothing that looks even remotely ritualistic."

Rat Queen nods, "That explains the dead rats… side products from making meth are toxic as hell…" She glares at the base, "I'll settle them… pull some strings, but I know who to talk to…" She looks at Spectrum and Dusk, ignoring Daybreak. "Thank you. There's hundreds of churches Underground, most are collapsed, abandoned. A few are active, ministering to those of us stuck down here." She pauses, "There's a church a little north of here… some street kids were using it as a base, until a gang came through and killed them all. No one has used it since then… except that there's been something odd. I'm having my rats check it out now."

Proton's head comes up at the mention of the multiple murder, and his lips thin into a tight line. "Thank you," the young man says to the Queen. "That sounds like what we might be looking for. That would certainly be defiled ground, I would think."

Dusk perks up a bit. "That sounds like a desecrated church to me," he says. "We should all check it out. How far north? Was it a Catholic church?"

Rat Queen starts heading that way, "Not far five, six blocks… And yeah, it was. Our Lady of Sorrows, if that isn't ironic. The oldest of the kids was maybe fourteen. I helped Father Michaels get the bodies." She keeps close to cover, moving for shadow to shadow.

Spectrum nods quickly ina greement with Proton and Dusk, "Yeah, let's go." He starts to follow along after Rat Queen, walking along the ground now. Sure, he could speed right to the place, but he doesn't want to show up there alone.

Dusk continues to hover above the ground, following the Queen from shadow to shadow. "What sorta sick, twisted mind kills kids that young?" he wonders aloud. "They were practically our age."

Daybreak mutters under her breath. Something about grimy, broken cities and psychopaths who dress like rodents. Very, very quietly. Alek can probably hear it, all the same. Also commentary on the length of the shower she's going to take when she gets topside, and how uncertain she is that this job is worth the water bill. But she goes along with the others without any louder comment. She's just a little grumbly. She doesn't like being insulted, even if she didn't find it much of an insult.

Proton's gloves creak as his hands tighten into fists at the mention of the murders. "OK, then," he says, following along on the ground not far from Spectrum, just in case there is trouble.

Rat Queen says darkly, "Life's cheap down here… A gang did it, the Black Tide… but then they didn't take the church, and pushed south instead and the Devil Dogs killed the Black Tide… Well, most of them. There was still a little cleanup for the rest of us to do. And if you don't like the company, Sparkles, feel free to head back topside." She glares over at Daybreak, "And trust me… you really don't want to see what's under this mask."

"I've got no doubt," Leigh snaps in reply.

Rat Queen stops at the end of the block, gesturing to a building further down. "You can see where the statue of Mary used to be… someone tore it down about three months ago, which is odd…" She drops down into a crouch, and lets her rats scurry off her shoulder.

Rat Queen pauses, "No one human inside… no bottles either… But shelves, and someone's been … Blood smell, I'm getting one of the rats up higher… oh yeah, I bet this is the place, pentagrams and crap carved into the floor." She pauses, looking between Dusk and Spectrum, "I'll make you guys a deal… Get Sparkle's butt back topside before I try to feed her to a hundred or so of my little furry friends, and we'll stake out this place for you… let you know if this guy turns up here again."

Dusk glances at Daybreak, then gives a shadowy shrug. "Works for me. You know how to find us?"

Rat Queen hands Dusk a cellphone, "Disposable prepaid cellphone. I'll call you." The things are cheap, no GPS, no data service, just 1 or 2 hours of talk time, then they die.

Leigh silently seethes. She'd fry any rats that came at her, the hideous things. It's way too dark down here, too. She is, in general, not at all pleased with this place. Or the people who populate it.

The phone dissolves into shadow as Dusk absorbs it. "Good plan," he says, turning to the others. "Who wants to teleport Daybreak back to the mall?"

"Daybreak can get out of here on her own, thank you," says the brunette, and she starts flying back the way they came.

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