When Imps Attack

It's a nice, quiet evening in suburbia. Well, at least until there's a burst of magic from a particular, run-down house that does NOT feel like a normal mage, regardless of how powerful. It just doesn't /feel/ right. It's darker, hotter, than any member of the Traditions. Uh oh!

Andrew is not far away, and feels the call of the City. He has been focused on hearing the City, listening to where the sources of Magick are… and feeling the ripple that radiates out, he immediately steps into a doorway, only to appear across the street from the house. The man frowns softly, looking across the gauntlet to see what is happening there… and if there are any spirits nearby who can act as scouts for him.

Hank walks his dog, a dauschaund-beagle mix, every day at this time. While the dog attends to business Hank distractedly plays a game on his PDA. The eruption catches his attention, and he immediately closes all of his applications - except the Global Conscious Monitor. He tunes it in to a local frequency.

The single, large burst of dark magic is followed by a scream, one that Andrew can definitely hear, and it probably carries to Hank as well. Now that, /that/ does sound human, normal. On the spiritual plane, the house looks even more rundown. More, it looks haunted, dying. Time - and who knows what else - has not been kind to this once lovely looking house. And there's a glimmer of something bright coming from the back yard, though the danger seems to be coming from the house itself.

Andrew looks up as he spots a small shardling moving by. "My friend…" He speaks softly to it, using the protocols that ensure that Dreamspeakers such as he hard 'heard'. "What is it that occurs in the house yonder? The City Father feels the pain of it…" He keeps his eyes on the house.

"Shush, Vannah!" Hank hisses at the dog as it begins to bark its fool head off. As he channels his will into the PDA, it interprets the real-time signals of global positioning satellites activity, somehow pin pointing all the spirits that surround the home. "Fascinating," he monologues. There's an audible system beep and he narrows his eyes on Andrew. "Greetings," Hank offers, acknowledging the other man and the spirit he is speaking to.

The spirit pauses just briefly to look at Andrew, and though such things aren't necessary, it whispers when it responds. "Danger. Pain." Then it moves off quickly, not wanting to be anywhere near if things get worse.

From inside the house there's an angry yell, and the sound of things breaking, being thrown.

Andrew looks back at Hank, tilting his head as he looks at the man and his PDA. Acknowledging him, he says, "Greetings, friend…" He pauses, and then looks into the air, before saying back to Hank, "Danger and pain are near… are you… aware of such things?" His own aura signs with the obvious signs of a man employing spirit magic of some kind at the moment. And even in the real world, he has an otherworldly feel to him - common for shamans and similar.

Hank flashes Andrew a broad smile when he mentions 'danger'. "I noticed. Let's set things straight and help this neighborhood." The bravado of youth, or the certainty of age? His aura shows active spiritual magicks, a golden light rimming the iris of his eyes. "I noticed something in the backyard, maybe we should walk around the place first?" He broaches the topic diplomatically, not being much of a leader himself.

Andrew is quiet for a moment, before saying, "Do you have abilities in the arte of Correspondence, friend? For you are clearly a user of Magick, as am I, and whether you and I are to be allies or not in the future, it is just as clear here is something that needs us both to deal with it. If you do have such abilities, can you look within? I will take a look at the other side of the yard, and return." He steps into the doorway, and in the shadows seems to disappear. But… wait… is that a figure on a rooftop on the far side of the house? On a house nearby… one positioned where he can look into the back yard…

Hank's chest heaves with a defensive sigh. "How stereotypical. You think just cause I have a PDA I'm going to…" He loses his train of thought, abandoning it to lean down and unhook Vanna's leash. "OK. Go home now. Go home." She stands there dumbly then trots off in the direction of home. "No, sorry. I can't really see in there. Maybe… I can if someone's home. Just one moment." He makes some on the spot diagnostic change to his program, a wiz' with the stylus.

There's another scream, and something hits the front door, with enough force that it bounces the door open, showing a room that looks like a hurricane has gone through.

"Six negativistic entities, and one normal sign. People should be more careful with what security systems they choose," Hank mutters off-handedly. "Do you have any experience with, um… this? I'm more of a manager, really."

The figure on a the distant house roof (not THE house, but another house), slips into the shadows, and at that moment, Andrew walks out of the shadows of the door he was in a moment earlier, near Hank. He says softly to the man, "The back yard has a tree that is split down the middle… a living tree that is dying. But the house itself… pain and danger. I am… not a fighter. Nor can I see inside. The spirits will not go inside for me." He pauses "Yes… I am a seer and shaman… not a fighter." He pauses, "But… perhaps… I can do something, but to do it… I would need to… see in. Would you want to run right in?"

The next scream that comes from the house is one of pain, and through the open doorway, something short runs across, so fast that only a glimpse of brownish-red can be seen.

With the scream echoing in his mind, Hank acquiesces, unable to think of a better way. "Yeah, fine. Let's go in." So nonchalant. Hank pulls out his inhaler and takes a pre-emptive breath from it, then takes off for the Evil House. Front door. Not so subtle.

Andrew is quiet for a moment, before saying softly, "Yes…" He begins to order his mind… looking for when people are focusing on him.

Once inside, it's definitely not good. There's one human woman, Kay, and half a dozen little brown…Imps? They certainly look similar to stereotypical imps. Right down to the smell of sulfur that lingers around them. Four of them surround Kay, who's bleeding from their sharp little claws and teeth, but the other two are running around, making a mess of things.

Andrew walks in, standing by the doorway… and seeing what he's seeing, his hands immediately begin to draw symbols in the air. He whispers to Hank, "Keep them off me for a few moments while I… banish them. They are imps…" Apparently, the Dreamspeaker recognizes otherworldly beings when he sees them…

"Morton is Mortuus - I made a mnemonic last month when I read about these guys in Cryptozoological Journal." Hank runs past the imps and goes straight for the kitchen - and once he's inside there, the pantry. So much for protecting Andrew, but who does this guy think he is?

Kay seems to be unconscious, but considering the blood drawn, that's probably a blessing. The imps first notice Andrew, given that he speaks first, and the two wrecking the house go for him. After a moment, the others notice Hank, and two go after him as well. A pair of imps for each mage. But Hank is in luck! Despite the house looking abandoned, there is still a container of salt in the pantry, half full.

Andrew frowns as he looks at the imps, and finishes a set of symbols in the air, his hands pointed outwards at the imps approaching him… letting an invisible blast of energy spin out from him…

"Ah-ha! Now get ready to meet your shaker, imp." Hank advances on the imps, but hangs on to his salvo, preferring to dump it on the imps then hurl it at them.

One of the imps sees Andrew doing /something/, or feels something perhaps, and tries to dive out the way. He doesn't quite make it, and he's knocked back. However, his buddy just keeps going, heading for Andrew. The other two are rushing toward Hank, but hesitate, not sure just /what/ he's doing. Seems they don't recognize a container of salt when they see one, or maybe they're unsure why he's playing with salt.

Andrew turns to step back through the doorway… and then appears to come out of a doorway on the FAR side of the room, close to Hank, but behind him, meaning the imp chasing him finds himself chasing… air. He begins to move his fingers again even as he slips to the other side of the room that way…

Hank seizes on the creatures' uncertainty, charging them with a slightly effeminate but no less frightening scream, and then past them, straight to the unconscious Kay, where he begins to sprinkle the two guarding her with handfuls of kosher salt.

The imps charging Hank get brushed past fairly easily. Maybe the scream threw them off. The people aren't supposed to scream until they hurt them! Oh well. The imps by Kay soon start to scream themselves, darting away from Hank and starting to run around the room almost comically, trying to brush off the salt like frightened women try to brush off bugs.

Andrew finishes the symbols in the air again, aiming at the two imps that Hank ran past, hoping to catch them both with a single blast if they're unaware…

"I am the imp destroyer! Take me to your king!" Hank screeches out, manically snickering as he returns the suffering they inflicted. As he expends his ammo he grows more anxious, then shakes the canister to see how much is left. That's when he begins to draw a circle just big enough to surround Kay. "By the way, buddy - nice shot." He winks at Andrew.

The imps shriek and run around like mad, and soon they start to…smoke? It seems everywhere a grain of rice hit them, they're starting to burn. And man do they smell RANK. The imps Andrew's going for both get hit, but it's not a direct hit like the first time, so while they're knocked down, they get back up, albeit slowly. But there's still one imp who's unharmed, and he's going for the salt wielder!

Andrew is silent - straight man to Hank's shaker. For while Hank is throwing salt at the imps, Andrew is attempting to send them packing in a different way. He is quite serious, muttering under his breath, "The City Father demands that you leave this place…" And with that, he begins to form those symbols a third time, the man apparently not caring about paradox - for here are imps invading the city - and there is no doubt that the expression on Andrew's face is one of fervor. The city must be cleansed - and that cleansing starts right here. This time, however, he doesn't hold the bolt to build its strength. Seeing Hank in trouble… he aims right for the one going for Hank…

Hank only has a smidge of salt left, and he joins Andrew's side, since he's got all that fire power, and the testicular fortitude to use it. "What the hell are you doing, by the way? Do you want to get eaten by the World Serpent or something equally mythic? Sheesh!" As the imp closes in, Hank exerts his authority over impkind, threatening the cretin with a jostle of the shaker. "Get some, pseudofiend!"

Already it's a scene of carnage. Kay, bloody and unconscious. One imp down, dead, two nearly there, two running around, shrieking and burning up, and then, boom. The final one goes down under Andrew's magical blast. Not that it gets quiet. It seems death by salt, while painful, isn't a very quick way for these imps to die. However, in her circle of salt, Kay groans softly and starts to come to.

Andrew stands there, panting, the man taking a deep breath, saying softly, "I… yes…" He seems a bit dazed, as if he were focusing in another plane of existence and not this one. Finally, he manages to say, "Good salt-slinging…"

Hank, out of steam, reaches for his inhaler again and takes a deep, hospital-flavored breath. "Um… yeah… thanks. Thanks." He manages to say between heaving breaths. "Do you know her?" Deep breath. "Because I'm really" Deep breath. "Hoping she's not your sister."

Kay starts to sit up with another soft groan, just as one of the burning imps falls, smoldering until it's nothing more than a pile of foul-smelling ashes and some blacked bones. Her eyes open, a hand lifting to her forehead, where it's cut.

Andrew collapses slowly down to a nearby chair, the man saying softly, "I do not… know her…" He takes several deep breaths. That clearly… took a lot out of him. He looks at Kay for a long moment, before saying softly, "You were attacked by creatures of the underworld, Miss… Thankfully this man was here to save you - and me to assist him. Are you… alright?"

"False humility is not becoming," Hank mumbles with a smirk. He's out of breath but for different reasons; Hank is no hero, just completely out of shape. "Are you OK? I'm a doctor." Coming out of Hank's mouth it sounds more like a menacing come-on. He starts to walk towards her, awkwardly.

Kay frowns, blinking at Andrew, then Hank, before she nods slightly, the motion causing her to wince. "Yeah, I know. Damn imps. I'll be alright, though," she mumbles, glancing around at the bodies of the imps, nose wrinkling at the sight - and smell - of them. "Where did you two come from?"

Andrew takes a deep breath, still sitting there, as he says softly, "I came from… nearby. I heard that someone was being harmed. Told by the City itself. I… am Andrew." The fact that she knew what imps were makes it clear to him she is no ordinary sleeper. His eyes glaze over slightly as he looks… through… her, before nodding once. "I am Andrew. Andrew Fuller. I am new to this town." But not so new that his reputation hasn't spread before him. For many in the Traditions have heard of an Andrew Fuller who is an expert with all things spirit.

"I'm Hank!" He pulls out his PDA and begins flipping through screens, opening various programs. "Don't mind me, I've just got some new free-point metrics systems that are collating data." Which is geekspeak for, 'I'm not looking at you naked'.

Kay frowns at both of them, though she's more confused at Hank. "You've got what? And hi Hank and Andrew. How did you get rid of the imps?"

Andrew takes several deep breaths, before saying, "I believe our new friend Hank here threw salt on them, while I… asked them to leave." He pauses, and adds, "With a bit of oomph behind my request." He pauses again before standing slowly and bowing to the woman. "I am more fully known as Andrew Fuller bani Dreamspeaker, Follower of Father City and Cleanser of His Realm." And with that… he slowly lowers himself into the seat again - clearly his 'oomph' cost him some energy.

Hank looks between Andrew and Kay. His bearded face cracks into an abrupt and friendly smile. "Well, he has his way of saying it, but the way I see it, I'm an improvisational genius, and Andrew nearly paid the ultimate price. In less crude terms, sodium chloride and residual psychic rage."

Kay cocks her head, then she holds up a hand. "Someone help me up. And thank you. They surprised me. Wasn't expecting imps to have set up shop. And I'm Kay." She doesn't give anything magey, but then, neither has Hank.

Andrew looks from person to person, the man just sitting there… but then Kay asks for help, and with a slight blush on his cheeks, he steps forward, reaching out his hand to help Kay up. He says softly, "A pleasure to meet you, Kay." His golden (yes, they're golden!) eyes focus in on her own eyes intently.

Hank pushes the glasses up of his thin nose. "No one expects… the Impish Inquisition. True story," He affirms with a very matter-of-fact nod. "If you weren't expecting imps, what were you expecting, Kay?"

Kay accepts the help and stands, but she immediately wobbles unsteadily, likely from the loss of blood. "An empty house. Was checking it out before…moving in…" She says, hand moving to her head again as if dizzy. "You bani something too, Hank?"

"'Bani'?" Hank sarcastically intones, "I'm a reality hacker with the Virtual Adepts. How do you self-define?" Blunt.

Andrew reaches out to put a hand on Kay's back - for while he is tired, he clearly also has concern for her and seeks to hold her up. "Are you ok?" He pauses, and then says to Hank, "I have met a virtual adept before… we worked closely together…" He nods his head once, "That explains your quick thinking."

Kay smiles, seeming to appreciate the bluntness. "Good." Her hand digs in her pocket, coming out with a…leaf? And in her mouth it goes. Chew, chew, chew. At the same time she's shaking her head to Andrew and plopping back down on her butt. "No. Will be," she murmurs between bites. And with a tingle of life magic, she seems to relax, just a bit, but it's noticeable enough.

Andrew takes a deep breath, before saying softly, "And you, Kay? What are YOU bani?" For clearly… there's some bani'ing going on here…

Hank takes the compliment in stride. He taps and slides the stylus across the screen of his PDA and then looks up to the other two, "This appears to be excellent home, despite appearances. But it needs to be cleansed properly. Do you know how to do that, Andrew?"

Kay takes a moment before she answers. "Verbena." Beat. "Can cleanse…When I'm better. Day or two. Damn imps," she mutters.

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