Wretched Hive Of Scum

Date: January 14, 2011
Emitted by: Babbage
Participants: Rat Queen, Inquisitor, Proton, Spectrum, Gloria, Myth
Summary: After getting a mysterious summons to the Undercity, a group of San Angeles heroes meet the mysterious creature known as Wretched.

The Rat Queen got an unusual message, one of her friends told her that Han Lo wanted to see her. Han Lo, the Major-Domo for the most powerful man in China Underground, the Immortal Wu, crimelord and virtual emperor of the subterranean successor to Chinatown. In the meeting Han Lo was clearly off kilter, which would probably be terrifying to anyone that knows the man. And Rat Queen does. The long and the short…he received a vision. Now, he is known to be gifted, but the nature of his gift is not the reception of visions. People really don't know what his gift is for the most part. In this vision he foresaw something very daunting, a swarm boiling up from Undercity and blotting out the light of San Angeles, and then a filth pouring over the wide world and eventually snuffing out the stars themselves. Pretty daunting stuff. He went to a fortune teller, and the fortune teller told him where to start, and he used his real power on himself…the power to know what someone needs, and what he needed…was help. And the first person he thought of was the Rat Queen. He instructed her very simply to gather help, and that there would be something to tip them off — here. The Dump. Lovely.

Inquisitor looks around, surveying the scene for things that could go wrong. Rat Queen promised action…"Guess the scenery is an added bonus," he says, thinking out loud.

Of course, as soon as Spectrum got notified that Rat Queen needed help, he was ready to go. (Well, after getting into costume.) Among the first to arrive, he doesn't arrive subtly, a bright flash of light signaling his arrival as he appears out of thin air. Then he pauses, wrinkling his nose as he looks around. Then looking to the nearby Inquisitor, he gives a wave, "Hey."

Great. So she's in the dumps. There's a metaphor in here trying to beat her bodily over the head. Picking a form for the task as pretty simple - no swimming, tight spaces. Myth slinks along in her dark robes, the hood hiding her face but revealing sharp yellow eyes and shifting snake-hair. "And the smell," she adds as she joins the others.

Rat Queen steps out from behind a pile of trash that really shouldn't have been large enough to hide her. "Try it with my senses sometime. All I can say is, you get used to it if you're here long enough." Rats swarm over the pile of trash she stepped out from behind, some of them climbing up her cloak, one taking a perch on her shoulder.

Gloria does not know Rat Queen to be summoned to such an event. She does, however, recognize large groups of fellow superhumans gathering to do… something. And this she'll intrude upon, dropping from the sky, glittering and golden, reaching up to adjust her halo to a proper angle, just in case. The blonde beams all around. "Is something happening?" she asks nobody in particular, as she really doesn't know anybody here. "Can I lend assistance?"

Proton arrives not long after Spectrum, the young man dropping down to land beside his younger teammate. "Man, glad I don't /need/ to breathe.." he says, also commenting about the foul odor of the place. He nods to the others he knows, the young man's gaze resting on Gloria and Inquisitor, examining them briefly; then he looks to the Rat Queen for the reason why they've been called. "More than likely, yes," he says to Gloria.

The stench down here is actually nearly a palpable presence…one feels a skein of filth stretching before every movement. Incredibly, there are those that actually live in the area, not many, and usually horribly altered by the noxious effluvium…but there are people that live here. Even Rat Queen probably avoids this area most of the time, not many rats stay here either. One of those denizens starts to approach, a shambling form covered in layers on rags that almost conceal the hunch on their back…or that their limbs are…wrong, somehow. It doesn't seem to be menacing, though it .. he .. she? It, it approaches slowly from within the deepest darkness.

Inquisitor nods to Spectrum and assumes a defensive stance. "I bet we're going to be busy pretty soon, aren't we, Rat Queen?"

Spectrum smiles as the others arrive, even the stranger, who he greets with a quick, "Hi." Darkness is, of course, no barrier to Spectrum, who can, as his name implies, see beyond the visual spectrum. So he spots the figure's approach almost immediately, and asks Rat Queen, "That who we're supposed to be meeting?"

"I hope not," Myth says quietly. She looks up at the sparkly one making her descent. Subtle. Sacrilegious too, unless….no, she puts *that* thought aside entirely. Too silly. "Reptile smell is pretty strong too," she reminds Rat Queen.

Rat Queen says, "Not that I know of. A gentleman of my acquaintance had a vision of the destruction of San Angeles." And of the rest of the planet… possibly the galaxy. But she's not going to strain the belief of her listeners yet. "His vision directed him to send me here… and bring as much help as I could. That I'd need it."

Gloria is hardly sacrilegious — she'd be horrified at the suggestion. She's an angel! The approach of the menacing stinking thing is noted, and she draws a blazing sword from the scabbard at her hip. "This city has suffered enough," she declares, dropping to the ground to take her place among the others.

Proton folds arms over his deep chest, looking curiously at the approaching figure, his eyes shining just slightly. He's taken aback by the sight of the thing approaching them, but .. "I wonder if he, or she, is help as well," he indicates the shambling figure approaching. Those eyes look still intelligent, not like some of the bestial things he'd seen down here.

The creature arrives and as it does the scent of rotting tissue is added to the already lovely scent down here. As it approaches it becomes apparent that the being is little more than an ambulatory mass of infection. The horror of its condition is that the eyes are perfectly normal, a deep blue and very rational. A male's voice solves the mystery of its gender, a voice rough with pain. "Greetings, heroes. I've been expecting you." He spasms then, coughing into the filthy rags he's wearing, and then looks to you all. "I am Wretched." Clearly a name.

Inquisitor nods, but does not let his guard down.

Spectrum blinks, "Wretched? Well, fitting name." He looks to Rat Queen and then back to Wretched, and he says, "So, are you here to hurt us, or to give us information, or something else?"

"Frighteningly on-point," Myth mutters. "Ask for help?" she suggests in a louder voice. "It better be good, for us to traipse around the dump."

Rat Queen gives a small bow, "I am the Rat Queen… though I did not know we were expected." She doesn't flinch from the sight of Wretched, nor cringe away from his disease. Then again, she's currently got a rat perched on her arm, and is scratching it like another might a pet cat. Disease isn't something she seems to fear.

The sword slowly lowers. "You poor thing," says Gloria, clearly horrified. "You certainly are." It's the worst case of leprosy she's ever seen, and as near as she can tell… well, this man should be dead. "I can help you," she offers. "Or try, anyway…"

Proton nods slowly, glad his superhuman physique means he can't just turn and throw up. Still, he'll be sleeping with the light on for a night or two after this. "What is it you need?" he says to Wretched. "We'll be glad to help if we can," he says, though the young man is aware he could only probably speak for Spectrum and himself.

"Indeed, I sent out a call, and that call would be a dream, and the dream would mandate that heroes gather." Wretched extends his arms, and looks about as if to say 'here, this glorious place'. And then he settles to sit on a tipped over drum marked 'toxic'. He needs a moment to gather his strength, and then he chuckles and shakes his head. "I cannot be cured, Glory to God." One of the latin interpretations of Gloria. "I am accursed to feel every affliction and never die, to wither, to weep, to suppurate and never know peace until the End of Days." A wry twist of deformed lips. "And even so I would not hasten them. I wish to live, there is…good I can still do." And then he claps a hand to his thigh, the sound unwholesomely wet sounding. "What I need is for heroes to stop a coming plague, a plague that makes my affliction seem purest health, but it is not of this world."

Inquisitor relaxes…a little. "Is this plague metaphorical, or some sort of virus or bacteria?" He asks.

Spectrum nods a little to what Proton says, "Yeah, definitely." He frowns and says, "This the same plague that's been hitting the city? The one from the Mayan god of disease? We've already been trying to figure out how to stop that one."

"To talk like a ponce," Myth says wryly. "If it's an urgent emergency," she says. "Maybe you should have out with it? A threat to the city we'll help stop, no question. No reason to be cryptic."

Rat Queen murmurs under her breath, "Some people have no patience." She perches on the edge of a crumpled piece of metal that may have once been a fridge. Her hands in their clawed gloves scritch her little pets. "The vision you sent indicated something bigger than the rage-plague going through the city. Please, what do you know and how can we help?" Her rats curl around her, perching near her, as if seeking or providing comfort to their Queen.

Gloria hasn't had much contact with other heroes, though she's been seeking it. She hasn't had any experience with this 'rage plague' herself — but she's concerned as it's mentioned by others. She goes quiet, listening closely and watching all those around her.

"Maybe he can't say more," Proton says, having soaked up a little oblique mystical knowledge from Arcane over the past months.

A nod to Proton. "I am who I am, what I am. I cannot speak other than the way I do…nor can I give the precise answers you wish." Wretched answers, and then he looks pained, eyes fluttering a moment. "I can say that this plague is even more distant in origin than the one the God of Plagues is inflicting. I…do not think it is a disease as such…" And then he writhes, his manner changing, his voice deepening, growing stronger. "The start is the end, the end is water where water isn't. The first signs of that which is coming will be seen here, in the Undercity, but far to the south…where anything can be had." And then he sighs, his voice returning to the pain wracked thing it was before. "And that, heroes, is all that I can say on this matter." A smile, rotted teeth nearly black. "That…and good luck."

Inquisitor nods. "Thank you. Both for the clue and the good wishes," he says.

Spectrum nods seriously to Wretched and says, "Thank you. We'll do the best we can to stop this." He frowns then and glances up to Proton and the others, "Any idea what the clue means? Flooding, you think?"

Myth shakes her head, crossing her arms. "Not a clue. What's to the south? Mexico?"

Rat Queen rises, and gives an elegant Chinese bow to Wretched, "Thank you elder, for your guidance in this." She looks over at Inquisitor. "Where anything can be had… The Bleak Market." She grimaces. "Bleak doesn't have a price on my head at the moment, but enough other people do that going there is going to be … interesting. And Bleak will turn a blind eye to anything… except cutting into his profits."

Gloria nods sagely — she -does- know of the Bleak Market. She's heard people talk about it. She does not, of course, know where it is, but… well, others seem to.


Inquisitor 21
Timo 18
Carrie 15
Rat Queen 13
Gloria 10
Aleksei 10

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