The Hunt is On- to Catch a Shade

As Noah is entering the store, he notices a mangy grey alleycat on the other side of the street. He’s fairly sure he spotted the cat once or twice on the way; someone sent to keep an eye on him, probably. The cat’s ears are flat on its head and its hair is standing out. What’s that about? Something in the store it doesn’t like? Hmm.

Inside the store, Drake seems to have been recognized, but the shopkeeper is clearly on the back foot. It seems that the Shade’s mannerisms are rather different, for all that it is a copy of him.

&quotPlease, excuse my friend. I am Dr Noah Rache.&quot Noah hands his card for the clerk to inspect, and gestures towards Drake. &quotMy patient here was recently found on an alleyway in tatters, having no recollection of the last few months. It is not certain what caused this; we suspect maybe a bad batch of honey, or black absinthe, or&quot Noah leans in closer and lowers his voice &quota case of… Jack. You understand that, as my patient is a well-respected member of the society, covering up after any possible scandalous activity is of utmost importance. We would greatly appreciate any light you could shed on his deeds.&quot The doctor smiles pleadingly at the employees, and gives a meaningful look. &quotWe heard he’d been sighted in these parts. I’m sure my patient would be most grateful for any help.&quot A wink would probably be taking it a bit too far.

&quotWe will take you to the second story.&quot
&quotMuch better to discuss such matters with some privacy.&quot
&quotThe owner is there, he will know all about this matter.&quot

The salespeople, having decided on this course of action, will usher all interested up stairs. Narrow and rather steep stairs, an impediment to casual thieves. They will close off the stairwell with a mildly scorched screen showing a snow covered bazaar, before retreating downstairs. The owner was examining a shipment of gloves, and unbends himself with stiff pain. He peers at the group with suspicious interest.

&quotSo, you’ve lost your memory?&quot His silence hangs there as Dirae Erinyes starts fitting hats on Evensong, despite her feigned annoyance.

Downstairs, the clerk watches any who stayed behind, dark things moving behind his eyes.

It looks like Noah has the salespeople under control - the Sailor catches some of their conversation as sidles past them into the Imaginary Hunt. Some impressive on-the-spot fabrications. He senses the two of them relax a little as he shoulders - a hair more aggressively than he meant, perhaps - past them. Not easy to put people at ease like that. People surprise you.

The salespeople usher Noah, Drake and some of the others upstairs - presumably to speak to someone more senior - but the Sailor remains, mostly oblivious, sifting through the racks and rails of garments and fabrics. It’s been a long while since he’s bought any clothes brand-new, and you can tell by looking at him. Holes and patches adorn most things, including one glove darned and patched so many times that it’s hardly the same glove now as it was when it started. Still, though, some of his tattered vestments were once expensive and grand. Time and a life of work are not kind, especially to delicate things. He ponders an exceptionally fine undershirt - just regular neath-silk, but tightly-spun, and hardy.

&quotIs that -&quot a delicate touch on his arm where a ragged shirt-cuff is just visible - &quotwhisper-satin? My, my, what a surprise. Under such heavy wool and sackcloth, too.&quot The low, sibilant voice belongs to the figure who, until just a few seconds ago, had lounged at the back of the shop and who has now appeared at the Sailor’s shoulder without so much as a sound. Tall and slender, and with a suit cut to emphasise the fact, the clerk draws the Sailor away from the rail and towards a full-length mirror, sweeping up garments into their arms along the way. &quotWe have much better wares than that spider-stuff you were considering. How about this?&quot They hold up a billowing black overcoat that they had apparently pulled from thin air. &quotWoven with silk and Heartwood fibres. Strong as leather, light as a shadow.&quot

Something disconcerting flashes in the eyes of their reflection. The Sailor steps back so he can’t see the mirror’s surface - it’s a beautiful coat, to be sure, and he can feel the strength of the weave as he takes it from the clerk, but one can’t be too careful. &quotGet many of them around here?&quot A blank look. &quotShadows, I mean.&quot The clerk’s blank look turns flinty. &quotFine, I’ll buy the coat. And,&quot a quick glance to see who else is near, &quotany information you might have about…&quot

It doesn’t take long to explain the situation with the Bombazine. The Sailor hopes he’s made the right call: years of cadging information and dodging lawmen around Wolfstack have left him with good instincts as to who can and cannot be bribed, and something tells him the clerk is willing to deal. And if not, then still - it’s a very nice coat.

“The cellar is where we store those goods. You would need some to escort you who has a key. The daughter should be around to handle such matters. There’s been a high demand for it lately, and thieves are always a worry. . .”

Lady Orosenn can’t believe her bad luck. Not only are they clearly surrounded by——something, and this store has probably been a trap all along. No, it has to be the silly American woman of all people who joins them now! Miss Dynamo should count herself lucky that Timmel didn’t just slit her throat in reflex when she bumped into her. Surely, if you grabbed an urchin off any London rooftoop, you’d find someone more capable than this cowbrained would-be gunslinger? Though probably not with beautiful brown doe-eyes like hers…

… wait, where did that thought come from?
edited by phryne on 3/9/2017

The Imaginary Hunt, from the outside, impressed Azoth; aside from the few Fourth City revivalists she’d seen from inspired architects and confused Bazaarines, there really wasn’t much in London - at least, the populated parts - that held such a sense of archaicness, like a living relic of a bygone age. Of course, if Evensong was to be believed, that was because it was. Azoth was particularly impressed by the craftsmanship of the horses, standing dignified against vandalism and time itself.

The inside was considerably less impressive.

It looked no different than any other clothing store, with rows upon rows of shirts and pants and other fabrics. The doctor - Noah - was speaking when she first entered, and it seemed he was handling whatever situation the people ahead of her had gotten themselves into. The shopkeeper soon was ushering people upstairs and she began to follow. But first …
&quotBastet,&quot she whispered to the grubby kitten on her shoulder. &quotYou know what to do.&quot

&quotWhat do you take me for? A mole?&quot the kitten meowed, scrambling down her owner’s arm. The shop seemed like the perfect playground: full of dirty little secrets to find (or she assumed, at least; her owner had said there was no place in London without them) and place to scratch.

&quotJust come back in one piece,&quot Azoth said as the kitten jumped to the ground, &quotor else I’ll have to bequeath all your worldly possessions to the other cat, and neither of us wants that.&quot

&quotThe Naughts and Crosses will have made peace before I give up that spare bedroom,&quot Bastet replied, and she was off.

Confident her second pair of eyes would be there to keep an eye on the ground floor, Azoth quickly followed the others upstairs.

In the meantime, Bastet had found a particularly nice clothes rack to attack with her tiny little claws. Eventually, she’d get bored and start looking for misplaced secrets. For now, though, she was content.

After that strange man was hoisted off onto the daughter, the clerk turns his attention to an intruder in the shop. Grabbing a laundry bag, the clerk stalks towards Bastet, relying on the carpeted floor to hide his heavy soled tread. Following the claw marks on off the stands, he finds Bastet investigating the door to the basement. Then he strikes, with a smooth motion to capture Bastet! Will she notice in time?

For as much as the man was hiding his tread - and he was hiding it well, for a humanoid - he couldn’t hide his scent. It reeked of fabrics and moisture and … something unfamiliar. Bastet couldn’t quite put her paw on it. What it really reminded her of was the one time she’d sampled a bit of Azoth’s prisoner honey collection, but that couldn’t be it. This was the real world, big and imposing and fun. That was something from a -

A light breeze swept across her back … but this was indoors. Thousands of years of hard-wired instincts passed down from her feral ancestors kicked into action as she leaped forward. Within seconds, the adrenaline was rushing through her veins as she took off. The human behind her glared and gave chase, but something was odd about him, like his eyes weren’t quite right. Still, it didn’t matter - there was a chase to be had!

She immediately dashed beneath the nearest clothes rack, but in mere moments it went flying. She tumbled through the pile of clothes that had fallen on her, scratching a hole in a particularly nice spider-silk jacket on her way out. She didn’t even think about where she was running after that, as long as she kept on turning. Left, right, left, right - her head bumped into something.

Looking up, she saw the human’s leg. His eyes turned to face her.

Whoops, she thought as the clerk lifted her from the ground, squeezing far too hard for anyone with a shred of love for a kitten.

And that was a perfectly interesting door, too …

Noah runs to the window in time to see Lady Orosenn do something rather unspeakable to an assailant who thought they could sneak up on her in the chaos. Yikes. The ones outside seem to be holding their own, but there are quite a lot of enemies, and they certainly seem at home in a fight as well.

Noah turns back towards the shop’s owner; an old man with a sword-cane. It is not unclear which action a humble doctor is to take should he wish to avoid harm. He looks at Drake; the employer seems capable enough, and carries that impressive scimitar. This could be a good opportunity to ensure Noah gets to be in the part of the hunt that decides just what information goes to the other members, and maybe worm his way to something of a right-hand-man position. Besides, depending on how stubbor the old man will be, it might be a good idea to make sure as few as possible witness Noah’s information extraction methods.

&quotThey’re under attack!&quot Noah yells with what he deems the appropriate amount of panic in his voice. &quotThe owner must have sent for help, it’s a small army out there! Our friends need help!&quot He looks at Drake. &quotMr. Drake, I fear this is meant as a diversion to let this man escape. Let us stay here and get our answers, or this is all for naught.&quot

Drake looks back with a frown, but eventually nods. &quotVery well. Everyone, downstairs! The doctor and I will come help as soon as this man has been subdued, we’ll have time for questions after the smoke has settled.&quot

Crud. Oh well. As the others rush downstairs and the shop owner and Drake brandish their swords, Noah pulls out his knife. &quotSir, you say you obey the monster for fear of your life. Please do not force us to end it.&quot Noah looks him in the eye, hoping from the bottom of his heart that the old man is as timid as he seems and that this won’t come to actual blows. &quotDrop the sword.&quot

Lady Orosenn is in full-on combat mode. She has fought beings that attack in packs or swarms before—more intelligent ones than these poor wretches, too—and knows that it’s all about where and how you position yourself. Having two pretty good shots at her back helps a lot, of course. Still, two problems present themselves here:

One, these wretches are insanely hard to kill. The Shade must’ve fed them on Its own blood, that is the only explanation. She basically has to chop each and every one that closes on her to mincemeat to avoid him or her rising again. The ones hit by Sgt Lyndon’s and Miss Dynamo’s bullets drop down, shake themselves, and get up again. Certainly, they must already be running low on ammo! Constantly ducking the various bricks, bottles and whatnot their attackers are throwing at them is just a minor complication.

Two, there are just too bloody many of them.

Then she hears quick steps, running, from the shop’s interior. Some of their party coming to help! Hopefully Dirae Erinyes will throw themselves into the melee. She has an inkling that the big guy is hard to kill, even by near-immortal zombie-hobos.

But then Emma Dynamo runs out of bullets and instead of seeking cover, or maybe asking Timmel for one of her knives, the impossible American throws herself at a random bottle-wielding attacker, screaming like the madwoman she obviously is! What does she think she’s doing? Dismembering them with her manicured fingernails?

On pure reflex, Lady Orosenn leaves her long-knives behind in her two nearest attackers’ brains, draws her harpoon and throws it at Emma’s opponent. That her aim is slightly off doesn’t matter, the half-sentient weapon fixes that in mid-flight and pins the hobo against a dilapidated shed, which promptly collapses around it.

But now their battle-order is broken: each of the three stands alone, Timmel and Emma weaponless to boot. The hobos howl with glee, closing in.

Timmel Orosenn picks up a brick.
edited by phryne on 3/9/2017

Lyndon glares at the enemies in front of him with a mixture of annoyance and admiration. It is really quite embarrassing how easily they have surrounded them. If it hadn’t been for Orosenn’s sharp senses, they might have caught him by surprise. Not that knowing they were coming did them much good. He has riddled some of those b_____ds with enough bullets to give them lead poisoning and yet a few of them are still moving.

Orosenn is handling herself much better than him. She has dismembered a few of those hobos, and that seems to have put them out of commission for good. The Dynamo girl has proved to be a better shot than he would have thought, but her pistol has run out of bullets too soon. She is basically defenseless now.

“You there.” he cries at the girl. “Fall back, and wait for the others.”

Either the Dynamo girl hasn’t heard him – which is unlikely – or she has decided to ignore what he just said. Whatever the case, she plunges herself into the fray barehanded. Lyndon wonders whether he should feel awe or spite. He makes up his mind soon enough. The line between bravery and stupidity isn’t so thin as many seem to think.

Lyndon unloads the last few rounds he has in the heads of the hobos that are closing in on the Dynamo girl and Lady Orosenn, who has let herself open to help the foolish American. Not that it would stop those wretches for long, but that should buy the girls some time. One of the other f____rs tries to use that slip in his attention to try to disembowel him with a knife. He manages to land a flesh wound before getting impaled on Lyndon’s sabre. In Venderbight, that would have been a winning blow. Here, it’s just the beginning. The Sergeant lets out a low growl before pushing the hobo back and hacking him to pieces with a few aimed slashes.

In the meantime, the wretch’s friends have gathered around him. At least five, possibly more. It seems like the ladies will have to fend for themselves for now.
edited by Bertrand Lyndon on 3/14/2017

Looking behind her, Azoth felt Noah was handling the shopkeeper well enough, though she’d thought that the first time too. If things went badly, he’d need backup, though.

From the window, the battle seemed like utter chaos, and they were on the losing side. Without a second thought, she slid her ancient hunting rifle from her side and smashed it against the window.

I can just pay for it later, she reasoned. This was an emergency and she had no intention of jumping into the fray herself. The glass cracked, and Azoth was genuinely concerned that the rifle would go off on sheer accident. A second hit and the shards went flying to the ground outside.

Taking aim at the fighters below, she fired. A bullet went flying into an enemy, straight through the chest. He stumbled backwards, but strugged it off far too easily, even for a citizen of the Neath. Well, that’s spectacular, she thought. Looks like the Shade can spread its vitality.

She kept on firing, trying to slow them down. They couldn’t reach her at this distance, and it looked like everyone needed as much help as they could get. One enemy went down, and then another, but again and again they picked themselves up. She still had ammo, though, and she was not going to give up.
edited by Azothi on 3/9/2017

Lady Orosenn may have wished for Dirae Erinyes to throw themselves into combat. Though probably didn’t intend it so literally.
Shreds of broken glass rain down around them as they descend from the two story window, crushing an hobo upon impact. Even if that wasn’t in incapacitating blow, it will take that hobo some time to regain their senses after hundreds of pounds of flesh and metal used him as a cushion. Dirae Erinyes isn’t so much as winded as they pick themselves up. Drawing a double set of knives, they descend into the melee as a whirlwind of destruction.

Careful observers may notice that their path of destruction isn’t entirely random. They are using Azothi’s shots to help tenderize their targets, ruthless ripping into the partially healed shots. With this tactic, they are hoping to be a monkey wrench into the coordination of the hobo gang. Wedging themselves into the middle of the melee, they are hopeful providing a welcome distraction for Emma, Lady Orosenn, and Bertrand.

Meanwhile, Evensong gives the shop owner a measured look. &quotPut down that sword cane and watch. Once we are done, tell me if you find us insufficient against the Shade.&quot With a that, they tug parts from under their dress, quickly assembling a finely made sniper rifle. They will not the maniac shot that Azothi is, but maybe accuracy will count for something in this fight.

OOC: I figured we will move to interrogate the shop owner after hobo attack.

The Scorched Sailor, who had been poking around back rooms trying to find the proprietor’s daughter after the clerk had disappeared amongst the racks and rails, starts violently at the report of the first shot. An ambush?

By the time he has fought himself to the front of the store, bashing over a good number of displays and mannequins, the shots are coming thick and fast, and the sounds of the fight show no sign of letting up. Rounding the doorway, the Sailor is met with quite a scene. Emma and Lady Orosenn are engaged in frantic melee, surrounded by a number of dead and bleeding derelicts, but seem to have the fight largely under control. The Sergeant is in a rather tricky situation, sabre drawn, foes approaching from all sides, but he too seems able to hold his own. There are, however, an alarming number of assailants, unkempt and grimy, and they appear to have no regard for their own personal safety, launching themselves at the party in frenzied, suicidal drives, biting and tearing and ripping and slashing.

Two more fall down as the Sailor gets his bearings in the doorway, sharp gunshots ringing out across the small square. Poking out from the sills of the upstairs windows are the barrels of two rifles, methodically picking off the attackers, and the Sailor ducks just in time to avoid a shower of broken glass as the figure of Dirae plummets into the fray from a third window, cracking a paving stone or two with their landing.

&quotWell, this has gone to Hell.&quot A small group of derelicts, keeping out of Dirae and the others’ way, has gathered just close enough to the shop to avoid the covering fire from upstairs, and advances on the shopfront. Their pupils are pinpricks, their lips stretched back over bared teeth, their nails encrusted with blood and grime. If they get inside the shop and up the stairs, the brawlers out here would lose their covering fire, and if the owner is attacked then the party lose any leads they might have as to the Shade’s whereabouts. These are things the Sailor will realise later, but for now it is simple fear and anger that lead him to brace himself in the doorway, slipping one hand into a set of worn brass knuckles and curling the other around the hilt of a wicked flensing knife.

His focus narrows until the sounds of the other skirmishes seem distant and irrelevant. The vagabonds, who almost seem to be growling, leap forward as one, and the Sailor matches their roar with his own as blades and eyes flash.
edited by Barselaar on 3/9/2017

“Could sir raise his arms please?”

“We shall just take the waist measurement… I say, have you lost weight since last you were here?”

Gideon responds to the salespeople with friendly chatter, his mind elsewhere. He buys his clothing exclusively at The Imaginary Hunt, but only because his scholarly acquaintance Normal Edgar ‘found’ him a ream of discount coupons. The staff are distasteful at best, and he is entirely sure the place is a front for some sort of illicit clothes-colony trafficking scheme; nonetheless, the bombazine is to die for.

I DON’T LIKE THE WAY THAT ONE’S LOOKING AT US.YOU SHOULD DISCOURAGE SUCH THINGS – YOU’RE A MARRIED MAN, AFTER ALL! WHAT WOULD THE BISHOP SAY? (Undeniably projection. Perhaps London would benefit from everyone having their own internal Southwark?)

He thinks back and quickly realises that the last time he saw his wife for more than a brief conversation and a peck on the cheek was their wedding day. Vela is always so terribly busy, though he cherishes the time they spend together. But lately she has spent all her time at her Baseborn & Fowlingpiece offices, working on some grand legal case that would apparently take far too long to explain. Gideon assumes it must be for a fabulously wealthy client – the poor rarely get due process, let alone representation. He would like to chalk it up to the Bazaar’s baleful influence, but the sickness of inequality has been eating at society for far longer than that.

There are exceptions, of course, such as the day he and Vela met. But that story can wait, for while Gideon has been enduring the attentions of the salespeople in the fitting room, a commotion has been brewing outside. At first he attributed the screaming and gunshots to a particularly vigorous urchin-fight, but it is starting to sound more like a war-zone out there. He has half a mind to complain to the manager.

“That’s enough, thank you,” he says, rising and shrugging off the salesperson wrapping a tape-measure around his wrist. “I very much doubt my wrists have changed size in the last month. I’m sure you have the rest of my measurements on record; send the suit to the usual place once it’s done.” He fishes some change out of his pocket, followed by one of his several hundred remaining coupons. “I believe this should cover the bill.”

And with that, he strides out of the room, rummaging in the inner pockets of his suit until he finds a small and unusually heavy metal ball with Correspondence symbols etched into its surface. If there’s a fight to be had, he would rather end it quickly and from a safe distance. Gideon is far too slight to be effective at close-quarters, and besides, he so dislikes the sight of his own blood. Others’ blood? He’s not so fussy.

Gideon exits the back rooms and beholds a scene of utter chaos through the shop window. Vagrants spew forth from alleyways like a Marxist simile, howling with rage as they swing dirty shivs and dirtier bottles at the bourgeoisie. The air is thick with gun-smoke and confusion.

Crouching behind a collapsed clothes-rack, Gideon holds the metal ball close to his mouth and whispers a word that crackles like flame in his throat. The sigils on its surface glow orange, and the ball unfurls eight spindly limbs. He places it on the ground and it wobbles unsteadily for a moment before scuttling off into the midst of the melee, its metallic legs clicking on the paving stones.

With a shirt from the rack draped over his head as camouflage, Gideon watches the battle from afar. The Scorched Sailor holds the doorway, planted solidly as a great oak and refusing to yield to his screeching assailants. Sergeant Lyndon, Emma and Lady Orosenn are all but surrounded, but well-timed shots from above pick off enough vagabonds to prevent them being overwhelmed. Dirae fights without regard for personal safety, intercepting blows meant for the others and thinning the crowd slowly but surely.

The supply of attackers seems inexhaustible. The fighters are an island of stability in a sea of writhing derelicts. More and more of them dash in from every corner.
Gideon’s device should take care of at least a few in a rather permanent way. He hopes this spiderling is the one etched with the Correspondence symbol for “a battlefield strategy in which one does not irreparably damage one’s allies”.

Just in case, he breathes out another word of the Correspondence, scorching his tongue. The spiderling abruptly changes direction, heading to the avenue where the flow of vagrants is thickest. Once it reaches a sufficient distance from his allies, it explodes.

Much as Gideon is an unconventional man, this is an unconventional explosion. Inspired by leaked designs for the irrigo-cannon of the infamous zub Irrepressible but unable to build such a cannon on his roof without being visited by stern-faced Special Constables (why does nobody appreciate the sciences?), he built an autonomous device capable of producing a hypnomnesic blast of irrigo. Results proved surprisingly effective when testing it on a gang of street thugs looking to liberate Gideon’s valuables. Those at the centre of the blast had their minds entirely wiped, while those at the edges found themselves confused for enough time for him to escape.

This spiderling is far more potent, its explosive core steeped in the radiations of the Nadir for a full week. He’s been saving it for a special occasion, but this will have to do.

The irrigo tide rolls forth from the spider, consuming at least a dozen vagrants in the colour of forgetting. At the epicentre, the unfortunate victims keel over immediately, their skin rapidly growing to cover their eyes and their memories utterly eradicated. The other vagrants within thirty feet suffer a less painful fate, consumed with confusion as they forget entirely what they are meant to be doing and look around at the unfolding battle. A handful of them simply turn and walk off in a daze or sit down on the cobbles to try and orient themselves.

Many of the vagrants near the blast turn to flee at this display of unnatural sorcery, but there are always more. Gideon can only hope that he has stemmed the tide enough to make a difference for the others. For now, he is all out of tricks.
edited by JimmyTMalice on 3/9/2017

The sound of gunshots echoed as Henchard pulled himself onto the roof. Not as safe as inside certainly, but a much better distraction. He smiled as he brought up his rifle. Produced in an impossible year, for something with more arms than him. He pulled the first trigger.

A scream of ripping metal echoed across the street.  One man went down, clutching his leg, closely followed by another scream and another victim.  Both were up again within moments, heads swiveled towards Henchard’s rooftop vantage point.  So it was like that.  Seems he wasted his surprise.

He stuffed a few more bullets into the chamber from below.  Thankfully, the gun wasn’t too picky about the orientation.  It jerked in his arms, screaming the broken fears carved in metal as bullets flew.  They fell again, one clutching their head, the other, their gut.  Still on the ground, they started crawling towards him.

Henchard fired a few more shots at the crowd in front of the shop, targeting hands, disarming them when he could.  A few missed, the owners flinching back as the cobblestone cracked beneath their feet.  Then turned his attention to the ones who split off to find him.  They were sliding onto their legs, bones bending like melted brick, rags ripping against the cobblestone beneath them.  

Metal tore, and one of them collapsed, joints broken and mending.  The other ran into the shop beneath Henchard.  The screams started as he forced his way up.  Henchard flinched and fired his rifle, screaming metal drowning out screaming humanity.  Bullet after bullet, cracking the cobbestone under the man’s head.  Both screams died in time, the man below barely connected to his head.  Hopefully that would keep him down.  Footsteps approached from behind, followed by a bloody knife and a grim face.

Henchard turned, the knife swung, and the shot went wild.  The bloody knife bit into the wood of the rifle, staining it a dull red.  Henchard threw the rifle aside and drew his own knife.

Nothing seemed to happen.  Gaps in movement appeared, as if time was being forgotten.  And that face, whatever was behind Henchard, the attacker was frightened, confused, stumbling.  Henchard took advantage, stepped forward, and slid his knife up through the ribs.  A few moments later, and a body fell from the roof, twisting, trying to grab onto something.

Henchard picked up his rifle and looked back.  A strange violet mist hung in the air, obscuring the area in front of the shop.  He hesitated, then remembered the fliers.  Drake wanted inventors?  Looks like he got them. He hoped this one wasn’t too bad, and prayed they were less destructive.

He pulled the knife out of the rifle and settled down.  Waiting for a sign of movement.

edited by suinicide on 3/10/2017

Mr. Hamilton runs downstairs (he was upstairs examining the clothing) with his rifle clutched in his hands. He crouches down by the wall and starts shooting through the window. He dodges a well aimed bottle thrown from one of the hobos. He runs out with dagger in hand and begins wildly slashing at the hobos. He gets slashed by a broken wine bottle in the arm and starts bleeding, he retreats back, but not yet stopping his relentless stabbing, jabbing, and slashing.

OOC: I didn’t have wifi for some time so I couldn’t make a post… this happens right after the battle starts.

Edward, decides that he is more needed outside to fight the horde, than inside interrogating. He bursts past The Scorched Sailor and charges in following Dirae and finishing off any hobos left alive with his sabre and firing at far ones with his pistol. As he slashes and shoots his way through the crowd, he thinks of how he murdering innocent hobos possessed by the Shade. The thought made him even more angry at the Shade than before. Fueled with new fiery rage, he goes berserk slashing through every hobo who gets in his way, getting many wounds and apologizing in his mind to each one who goes down by his blade.

(OOC: Sorry if I was unclear, I wasn’t saying he just killed all of them, he was just finishing off any hobos that Dirae didn’t kiil. Sorry about that.)
edited by Edward Frye on 3/10/2017

Barselaar will feel a comforting hand on his shoulder - it’s the missing daughter. Her eyes still have residual honey blurriness, but she grips the coat rack tightly in her other hand. Next to her, the salespeople are securing their brass knuckles, not sharing a word between the two of them. They are probably ill-equipped to help with the army, but one must admire their dedication to their work.

The salesclerk is dedicated to his own work. Racing up the stairs during the commotion, he has found good perch through the attic window. His Master’s find these strange events fascinating, but see no need to risk him defending this shop. He can escape through the window and use to sunlight if they manage to make it up here. For now, he relaxes and feels a hankering for roasted chestnuts.

As for the shop’s owner? Well, you get to wait for that. . .

OOC: This short post is mostly here to placate my need to make sure I know where all the characters are at in this scene.

Lyndon welcomes the covering fire from above like a godsend. Whoever is doing that, they have his gratitude. The wretches slow down a bit, albeit momentarily. No matter how many times they are hit, bullets don’t seem to be able to stop them for long. And no amount of covering fire could change the fact that he was outnumbered.

One of the wretches closes in surprisingly fast, aiming a sharp half-bottle at his neck. Lyndon shatters the makeshift weapon with a bash of his sabre, turning the owner’s hand into a bloody pulp. The man pulls back, but another one immediately takes his place. A knife lunge. A quick parry, and a savage riposte. One last, merciless slash separates the scumbag’s head from his neck. Lyndon takes a moment to look for Orosenn and the Dynamo girl. He sees the monster-hunter savagely bashing a man’s head with a brick not too far from him. She seems to be doing good enough, and he has more pressing matters at hand now.

An iron grip blocks his sword arm from behind as yet another wretch draws in to exploit the opening. A swift stab to the leg from Lyndon’s own knife and the grip lets him go just in time to skewer the man in front of him. His impaled enemy gives him a bloody grin, and Lyndon realizes that the thrust has stuck the sabre in his rib cage. He frowns. “Is this so blo–”

Lyndon’s quip is cut short by a brick connecting with his head. The whole world spins for a moment and then goes black. All becomes still like dark, frozen water. He struggles to get out, but something is fighting to keep him down. That chilling zee is stealing his breath. The Sergeant squirms, and shoves, and kicks. A lighthouse on a shore far in the distance bathes him in purple light, and a sense of relief washes over his body. It is just for a moment, but his head is out of the water. He draws a breath as deep as he can.

When Lyndon comes back to his senses, he sees a wretch standing right on top of him: his leg is still bleeding from the knife cut, and his filthy paws are firmly clenched around the Sergeant’s neck. His head pounds like a huge drum and feels as light as a feather. His ears are filled with the buzzing of a thousand angry bees. The wound on his chest burns like hellfire. This is going to become very bad very soon, isn’t it? Lyndon doesn’t think anymore: he relies only to his instincts. His hand is still holding onto his knife, and he shoves it unceremoniously in the wretch’s ear. That proves to be enough to stop him for good, and he silently slumps down right next to the Sergeant.

Lyndon coughs and wheezes. He unholsters his revolver and searches his coat for ammunition. He only finds a handful of bullets. Right now would be a good time for someone to show up. I’ll settle for anyone, really. Well… maybe not the mad girl.

(OOC: Since most people is keeping to the sidelines, I assumed nobody is exactly close to Bertrand except for Timmel and Emma)
edited by Bertrand Lyndon on 3/11/2017