Emitter: Staff, Angel
A vision of true Armageddon draws a group of Rowanwood's defenders out to stop Wolfram and Hart from doing something really stupid, but it turns out it's a little worse than that....
January 4th, Year Unknown; Afternoon
Wolfram and Hart, San Francisco, CA
The area seems washed out, faded, even dreamlike. It's as if a fundamental component of reality had been drained away and replaced with something pale, sickly, and twisted. Angles don't fully make sense, and one's senses seem to carry a slight echo, as if of discomfort and vertigo. Smells are muted, fouled, and sounds have the faintest impression of being underwater. The air feels thin and lacking, yet somehow also thick and oily. It is very clear that, whatever is going on, all is very much not right with the world.
The human population, save anyone taken to Rowanwood, seem to exist in a kind of haze, barely going through the motions of existence. The presence of the Outsiders, only partially on Earth as they are, is sufficient to cast a foggy pall across the planet, rendering most of the population all but helpless.
The vision suddenly shifts, showing a view of San Francisco. A sudden bolt of lightning leaps from the downtown area and into the sky, which darkens suddenly. Then, fiery stars begin to rain down on the landscape, bombarding the planet and blanketing it with fire. When the tide of fire washes past, the landscape is left barren, blasted, and completely wasted. The Earth itself seems to cry out in agony with a final breath, and then all is still, the planet blanketed in endless winter.
The vision ends with a clear view of the night sky over San Francisco. Ascendant in this sky are three constellations, shining bright enough to be seen through the clouds, each having shifted out of its usual location: Lupus, Aries, and Orion.
It didn't take much research to learn that the three constellations corresponded to a familiar triad: Lupus, the wolf; Aries, the ram; and Orion, which in the ancient Indian Rig Veda is referred to as Mriga, or, the deer--and, an adult male deer is known as a hart. The wolf, the ram, the hart--Wolfram and Hart. Angel, knowing them well, was called to assemble a team, and soon that team was magically transported to San Francisco, finding themselves just outside the distinctive law offices of the firm.
Angel was less than pleased when he saw those three symbols in the sky. Didn't the world have enough trouble? Now there's Lawyers making it worse? Well... that's how it went sometimes. It never rains, but it pours. "Alright. Wolfram and Hart is extremely dangerous. They may or may not be aligned with Langdon. Depends, mostly, on whether or not their goals align. It's entirely possible the answer is no if Langdon's a little too destructive for their taste. Can't rule if there's nobody alive." Pause. "They definitely don't mean us any good."
River Troy is wearing heavy clothes against the cold, and for some reason, a brown wool felt, leather-trimmed fedora. He looks up at the building, wrinkling his nose a bit. "Lawyers, seriously? We came all this way to battle...lawyers?" He glances around at the others assembled. "What're we supposed to do, sue them?"
Ryan isn't sure exactly what he's doin in San Francisco, other than he wants to support his friends, and he had been poking around in the astral realm. "This is...I had felt some strange entropic energy here. I know it's...um, the end of the world or whatnot, but it seems to be affecting other planes, too." He looks at the building, then over at the rest of the group, unsure of...pretty much everything.
Their is a time and a place for everything. Some people have not been affected by the gathering spell right away. Rabbit was one of those such people. He was tapped into the game by whatever powers that be who decide to dole out visions. When Rabbit came to at Rowanwood. He was a little disoriented but it was not something that shocked him. However the psychic visions he received did throw him for a loop. Rabbit has known Angel for years however it seems the two only seem to get together when the world is ending. Rabbit is dressed in his usual fair, the typical jeans and a black hoodie. He scrunches his nose up. "This is better than the visions of things to come. Dealing with lawyers is better than the shit I saw." The psychic artist stuffs his hands into his pockets and avoids touching people. "What a rag tag batch of misfits we have gathered here." Visions make him cranky, especially the powerful ones.
"And I joked when I called Michael middle Management..." Florence mutters, glancing over to Piper. She has dressed up a little, grabbing a pair of leather chaps over jeans to go with a red-white checkered flannel blouse. Almost what one would expect from a stereotypical cowgirl, but the boots are not cowboy boots but ankle boots with a thick sole. "And now they have hellish lawyers. Nessa should have picked that dork that was constantly rolling these strange dice on his table in class some years ago. He was muttering about corporation conspiracy and the plane of hell and weapons against gods and such, but he'd probably know what to do against demon-lawyers in league with zombies and whatever Michael is. So, what's the plan?" She smiles a moment as she pulls some candy bar from the pocket, offering it to Rabbit. "You're not you if you're hungry."
It's a bit of a running joke between Angel and Thomas. One of them owes the other a favor, though it's up in the air who it is at any given time that owes the other. Thomas for his part is dressed in a plain white T-shirt and jeans... and still manages to look look like he just stepped off the cover of a dime-store romance novel. Glancing at the Vampire, the Incubus says "I've heard of these people. My father says they are the most evil bastards he's ever worked with. Let me repeat that, my father said that." He runs his fingers through his ebony black hair, somehow managing not to disrupt it's style. It's not fair, he doesn't even use product.
Piper stares at the building with her hair down and free while dressed in her oldest, scruffiest clothes she could muster, hands in her pockets. "Lawyers. So. Is this what nerd demonstrations feel like, going outside a law office to get what they want? We want a third season!" she smarts, "Nah, we want....to know what's going on" Piper says as Leo has a hand on her arm. "Leo," Piper says before addressing the others, her friends, partners in this idea. "Alright, I say we go in, and bill them for this. C'mon, River suggested suing them. I suggested a more cruel method. We bill them per hour for the apocalypse," Piper says, as Leo looks worried for a moment, then casts his eye over the group. "Please tell me you're not going along with this?" Leo asks as Piper looks worried for a moment, then looks to Oz, and the others. "C'mon, we'll get filthy rich off of it," she protests and stares at the building. "Or... not. Why did nobody tell me how dangerous these guys are?" she adds and sighs. "Fine, fine, okay. We'll get through this, all of us," Piper mutters and catches Florence's mutter, "See, we go in, we get an appointment, and we negotiate with him," Piper snarks. "Middle management. Love that, don't they?" she asks as Leo gives her a sharp look. "We're here to save the world, not close a deal."
The front door opens, and a security guard emerges. He looks like any common corporate security guy, only he's also wearing a copper arm band stamped with various runic symbols. He moves to one side of the door, standing to attention. Then, a second guard emerges, standing to the other side. The third figure is not a security guard. It's a man a few inches shy of six feet tall with brown hair, blue eyes, and fair-skinned, youthful, clean-shaven features. He wears a flawlessly tailored charcoal gray suit, as well as a big, insincere smile. Angel knows him as Lindsey McDonald. "Angel," the man greets him, nodding. "So good to see you. And you brought friends! That's... fortunate. You'd be no good to use at all unless you brought help." He gestures inside. "Won't you join us? You're just in time to... what's that thing you're always saying you want to do? 'Save the world'?"
"Lindsey. Lack of pleasure is all mine. Still, if the world goes kaput, you're out of a job, aren't you?" Angel seems to have this tense sort of look, like one gets when eating something one really does not like tasting. Still, setting one bad guy against the other bad guy isn't a terrible idea just now, and if he can make that happen, so much the better.
Oz looks to the new guy, then to Angel. "Who's that?" He asks. He seems to be considering what to do, but this is all on Angel, he knows these guys best, after all.
River looks Lindsey up and down, wrinkling his nose again. "Oh no, a lawyer!" he says mockingly. "Quick, someone hand me a vanquishing potion!" He rolls his eyes then, looking to Angel, this little expedition's leader. "So what do we do with this guy?"
Ryan looks to River, then to Angel, then to Lindsey. "Um...I think I'm confused, because I don't quite understand how a law firm can stop...this." He makes a vague 'everything' motion with his hands, his azure gaze sweeping over everyone to make sure everything is alright.
Rabbit flickers a glance around the gathered group. He is taking in those he knows and the skills that he knows that they have. And then the others that he doesn't know. One of which is Florence. He pulls his hands out of his pockets and he says, "Okay. I am going to not hate you. You brought snacks." He carefully snatches the offered candy bar and he peels off the end and bites into it. He's chewing on the candy bar when the doors open. His bright eyes turn to the guard first and then Lindsey. He grumbles something under his breath when he is hit by a psychic wall when he tries to get a read from the lawyer. Fine, he will go back to eating his snicker and looking like one of the rather unassuming teens. He retorts to Ryan, "They aren't. They are going to provide the information and make others do the heavy lifting." He motions to the heavy hitters in the room. "Why do the hard work and put yourself at risk when you can put the risk on others." This isn't the artists first rodeo.
Florence chuckles as she nods to the dark haired teen 2 inches taller than her. "Florence," she notes to Rabbit, but then turns to look to Lindsey. "Such nice of them, isn't it? So why would Angel again be useless without us..."
Merek arrives from: Financial District.
Thomas Raith keeps his face turned to the lawyer, and his expression relaxed and bored, but he speaks to the rest of the group in general. "Do not underestimate these assholes." He says in a soft tone. "The universe operates on rules. Lawyers manipulate, twist, and subvert rules to their own ends. The way I understand it, these are universal level lawyers."
For all her snark, Piper's now quiet and following Angel's lead. Her usual insecurity is bak, as she's stayed close to Leo and River, and Florence, positioning herself near those three if anything bad should happen. Still.....Piper's definitely being careful, but River's mocking gets a slight smile.. "No, no" she says gently, "You don't vanquish lawyers. You know people say lawyers and politicians are evil incarnate?" Piper mutters, watching Angel quietly.
Lindsey leads the group inside. The guards wait for them to pass before following. "Much as I'd love to exchange idle banter, Angel, things have gone way beyond the usual stakes. You might hate us, but like you said, we can't really be choosy about our allies when the world's about to burn." Inside, the place is looking remarkably untouched by the outside situation. The lobby is less busy than usual, but lawyers and support people are still visibly in evidence. There's even still someone at the receptionist's station, though instead of answering phones and making appointments, the pretty blond receptionist is reassembling a number of field-stripped high-powered firearms, checking them, and then setting them down again. She's also wearing heavy body armor and has a large sword strapped across her back.
Lindsey takes them up to the desk, then turns to face them. "So, here's the short version," he says, clapping his hands together. "Whatever's going on out there is disrupting our link to the Senior Partners, and that's left us... in a bad position." He picks up a tablet from the station, then looks up to the others. "I think you might be familiar with our second biggest problem." He taps the screen, and the tablet comes to life, showing a picture of what looks a lot like Angel... only his eyes are solid black. He nods to Ryan. "You're right. We can't stop Angelus. But that's why, when our oracles saw a vision, we knew you'd be coming along. Angel always does. So, you've got the perfect chance to stop Angelus... from unleashing our number one biggest problem." He taps the tablet screen and swipes it, and the image shifts... now revealing video footage of a nuclear warhead detonating. After that, it shifts to a map of the world, showing what appears to be hundreds of points, each flashing red. "So, you want the short story or the long version?"
Angel sees his alter ego...and shakes his head. "You'd better give me all of it. Even you don't know everything my other side is capable of. I'm sure you have records...but the idea of launching nukes...well, he already has Acathla on his resume." Hmmmm. "That number of nukes would cause nuclear winter. There essentially wouldn't be a world left to save...or deal in, from your point of view. A deal takes two organizations."
"You guys are world wide. And you at least used to have your fingers in most governments. You have to be at least trying to slow the war down. We're an elite strike force, we can only be in one place at a time." Unfortunately, Wolfram and Hart tends to have the manpower, even if the individual men in that manpower aren't as strong.
Oz looks at the tablet. "Well," he says, taking a breath. "Well. A nuclear war would benefit absolutely no one." He takes another breath and sighs. "What're we looking at?"
River can't help but move a little closer, trying to get a look at the tablet's screen. "Oh hey, I played that video game," he says, stepping back to stand with the others. "Let's not play that. So to avoid needing fallout shelters, we hafta ice this Angelus creep? Where do we find him, and more importantly, do we need a specific vanquishing spell?"
Ryan hums softly as he peeks toward the tablet, then looks at River with worry in his eyes. "Um...I don't think that is....a game." Even if he doesn't totally understand what's going on, he can feel the dread in the air around him, and he knows enough to stay quiet and observant.
Rabbit goes silent as he processes it all. His hands clench the candy wrapper and he worries his lower lip. Pearly whites chewing on the flesh. "So easy to take over the world when you eliminate most of the opposition. He doesn't expect most people to survive, just enough people to survive. Start with a clean slate. Keep enough humans to restart and keep them subservient." Those bright eyes look towards Ryan and the emotions leaking from the young man. "End of the world stuff happens. We always get through it." He looks to Florence. "Rabbit." And that's what she gets as to an introduction because the more serious stuff has taken over.
"Angel, that's not nuclear winter level, that is MAD level. I mean, come on, that's like every big city on the world marked. Shanghai, Rio, Tokyo, London, Berlin, London, New York... hell, that might even be Austin, Texas! The only one that would benefit from a war of that scale would be the Grim Reaper, as he can cut down the last humans and then put his scythe to the hook forever." Florence swallows as she shudders at the size of the destruction shown. "What does this guy have to gain besides stopping death by killing everybody? That level of destruction... is more than a clean slate. It is a blank slate. All glass, snow and desert."
Thomas Raith gives the redhead a wicked grin, and shakes his head. "I think you're underestimating things just a bit. Humans are allot harder to wipe out then all that. They are almost like cockroaches in that regard. Hell people willingly go to Antarctica. Pretty sure Rabbit hit the nail on the head though. Thin the herd, make it controllable. What makes humans dangerous to preternaturals isn't their strength but their numbers. Like ants on a scorpion.
Piper watches the group silently. Anything to avoid the tablet. The idea nuclear warheads are going off is enough to scare her, so she keeps her eyes on Florence, and River, and Angel, and.....and...as she speaks up, coughing to get Angel's attention. "So...so...if...if they are worldwide, wouldn't it be better for everyone to work together?" she offers, quietly, even....voicing her fears. "A war wouldn't help, right...I....I....mean....we can't just...don't they have self destruct codes like in the movies?" Piper asks nervously, as Leo looks worried, though he says nothing for now, as Piper rubs her temples. "I feel a migraine coming on" she murmurs. "Yeah, people are hard to kill....but ll it takes is one attack...and people die" Leo says finally. "As for the codes, I doubt we can just mass destroy the nukes. There's more than ust warheads. There's all the material left over from the Manhattan Project, all the waste, there's no telling what somebody truly evil would do with that" Leo says solemnly. "But nukes are dangerous.
Lindsey grimaces. "Well, see, that's the problem," he explains. "We had a contract. Deals were made. Mistakes, too, for that matter." He taps the tablet, which shifts to show a picture of Michael Langdon. "He was a client. He wanted certain... information. Well, all right, what he wanted was access to the world's weapons of mass destruction. We--and, just for the record, I wasn't involved in this deal, since it was way over my head--helped him get in touch with the right people, and our understanding was that he planned the usual, take over the world. And we got him what he needed." He sets down the tablet again and holds up a hand. "We're not idiots, of course. We made sure we had a failsafe kill switch. When we found out that Langdon planned to launch--which is coming very soon, so you know, you're cutting it very close--we were prepared to handle it. Right up until Angelus showed up. He's upstairs in the executive suite, and he's probably almost broken into the vault with the kill switch inside by now. We're getting ready to storm the offices, but frankly, we don't think the odds are very good." He grins widely, too brightly. "So, whatcha say, Angel? You and your allies want to lead the charge, save the world? If you do, I'll even throw in a bonus. I know where there's a group of humans he's got set aside for, ah... recreational purposes. You help us fix this, we release his prisoners into your custody."
He looks to River, shaking his head. "I don't think a vanquishing potion's gonna do the trick, kid. Angelus is juiced up on something from his new allies, Langdon's bosses. If it was that easy, we'd do it ourselves." Looking to Florence, he says, "Yeah, thing is, he's a demon. What's he care if there's no life left on Earth? He just goes back to hell." He shrugs. "As for Langdon and his people? No idea. But they seem pretty comfortable with destroying everything." He shrugs at Rabbit. "Maybe some would survive. We probably would. We've got bunkers, shelters, all of that. But it's not the humans they want to wipe out. It's you, the supernatural beings, or at least most of you. Humans, except for us who have protection, are being... zonked, by this fog, whatever it is. They'll be easy to conquer. But a world full of champions and magic beings? More trouble than it's worth. Going scorched earth is their best bet for an easy victory." To Piper, he says, "This won't be a war. It'll be genocide."
He gestures to the collection of weapons. "All right, people, this is it. Angelus is on the top floor. You want to take him out, we'll be right behind you."
For most beings, recreational purposes would probably include a lot of sex. For Angelus, well, he's legendary for his ability to create hell on earth for a living being. As someone who experienced at least Acathla's Hell once, well, leaving someone in Angelus's care is probably crueler.
"Right. How much help does he have?" Angel's already moving forward, though, because, well, his alter ego only exists because he insisted on fixing the Curse, and the way it was fixed included putting Angelus in a separate body. Great for being happy, not so great for the world when this happens.
"And Lindsey? Next time, have several kill switches, each independently operated. I can't stop you from doing what you do...even if I killed you, another would take your place. But have more safeguards next time."
Instead of grabbing one of the readied weapons, Angel grabs his own, and Caladbolg is out and ready to go, complete with a rainbow arc as he moves. To his people, "Angelus will avoid straight up dueling me. He'd rather hurt me by killing you. Be on guard."
Oz seems to consider something. "Be careful guys. I don't know but this could possibly be a trap. And even if it isn't, well. We've certainly got a fight ahead." He moves forward to join Angel, but he doesn't grab a weapon, after all, he has them built in.
River looks up at the ceiling high above. "Top floor? Okay, meet you guys up there. Leo, coming?" A shower of silvery white orbs descends and engulfs River, and then he's gone.
Ryan nods slowly to Rabbit, feeling at least more composed by the end of the briefing. "I'm not sure how well I can help, but...I'll do my best." It's all he can do, after all!
Florence's eyes go wide. "Wait, you have him up here in your office, trying to steal your failsafe? Great... uhm..." As she follows the others lining in to not grab weapons, she stops to at least eye them. "What is Angelus anyway? I mean, what is the correct thing to stab-decapitate-kill him?" Not that she has training with either. Instincts are her best call.
Rabbit just looks around. "Well this is just dandy. Where are all the meat shields. I am all squishy." The artist has never been too ashamed to admit that. "We are always careful, we are survivors. I can tell you this. My gut is telling me that this isn't the time when they try take out Angel. You don't eliminate the savior until your own personal victory is assured. And right now, I'm not feeling that Wolfram and Hart are coming out on top with the way things are at present. But what do I know? Lead on oh Champion my Champion."
Florence's eyes go wide. "Wait, you have him up here in your office, trying to steal your failsafe? Great... uhm..." As she follows the others lining in to not grab weapons, she stops to at least eye them. "What is Angelus anyway? I mean, what is the correct thing to stab-decapitate-kill him?" Not that she has training with either. Instincts are her best call when it comes to fighting. "I have no idea."
Leo sighs. "Genocide is an act of murder in a war" he says as Piper shakes her head. "No. Hold it. Do you really think it's that easy?" Piper says. "You think we're just going to be able to go up there, and... and... kill Angelus? I don't think so" she says and looks serious. "You don't think that smells too good to be true, go up there, kill the ringleader?" Piper asks, looking around. "For all we know, Angelus is being played, played and used by somebody else and doing their bidding" Piper points out. "I mean. C'mon. Think, instead o running up there and running into the unknown" Piper warns, looking over the group. "Angel. Think about this. You get where I'm going with this" she warns, looking over. "It's not adding up to me. Angelus is here, supposedly. We only have the word of these guys. For all we know it's a trap!" Piper hufs, not picking up a weapon. Instead, she's got the feeling she's either hugely paranoid, or... her strategic nous is kicking in. Or both. As River orbs, Piper glares. "Get back here!" she snaps. "I swear I'm..." she says, before she looks to Florence. "Fine. We team up" she grumbles. "Do your most dangerous animal... thing... most destructive and painful... in other words. Honey badger. Go! I'll ride you into battle!" Piper says, forgetting Florence isn't a snifter. Though the image of Piper riding on Florence into the fight... it's enough to get Leo to laugh a little. Even if they are walking into a battle. "You could always ride me into battle" Leo says as Piper ust gives him a look... and shakes her head, readying herself for whatever's to come.
Lindsey unlocks a special executive elevator with a key he wears on a pocket chain. It slides open, and he gestures inside. "Straight to the top. We'll follow in armed squads." Said squads are already coming out of side passages, heavily armed and lining up after the champions. "Just this once, Angel--good luck. Seriously." He looks to Piper and says, all seriousness, "Does it matter if Angelus is being played or if he's the player? He's up there trying to stop us from saving the world from a nuclear holocaust. So you can either go up and help us stop him... or you can sit back and enjoy the fireworks. Your call."
Inside the elevator, it's spacious but there's not room for much more than the group of heroes. It shoots swiftly upward, and before long there's a soft ding, and the door slide open, revealing a long hallway. At the end, an office door stands ajar, a pair of vampires guarding it. Inside, the sound of heavy equipment being operated is easily heard.
Looks like this is it.
Up they go! And for once in his life, Lindsey isn't lying! Angelus really is there, with vampiric and demonic henchmen. He's got guys cracking the safe, and they look to be about done with it. "Almost got it..."
Angelus's face looks rather like a kid at Christmas with the thought of causing so much devastation...and when he sees his alter ego kick the door in and come in sword glowing, well, that's...kinda funny. "Oh, there you are. It just wouldn't be an Apocalypse without you. I used to have to look through your eyes at them, but hey! Now we can watch together! It'll...be a blast."
"Oh no you don't..." And Angel comes in hard with the sword. Angelus parries, and...in his new hybrid state, he actually attempts to teleport behind Angel to slash him. Angel seems wise to it, though, and a behind the back parry later, they're on even terms again.
Angelus motions to his men, except the safecrackers, to take the incoming party!
It's not long before Oz is in wolf form, much like the night of the invasion, embracing his wolf instead of fighting it, and he's ready to kill. The demons and vampires of course. The best ways to kill a vampire, decapitate or stake it. Since Oz can't stake them, he can at least crush their skulls and yank them off their shoulders. For the ones he knows are vampires, that's what he's going for, but he doesn't pay attention to the ones attacking, instead going straight for the safe crackers. If he can stop them, well, Angelus's plan failed. He gets to work, he has little time to waste.
River doesn't appear to be here.
Oz phases to his wolfman form.
Ryan is careful as he accompanies everyone, trying to stay out of sight and as unassuming as possible. When things get hairy, Ryan pulls the silken cord from his pocket and does his best to stay out of sight as he starts doing the pushing and pulling motion of cat's cradle, fingers picking up lengths of the cord and rhythmically moving to and fro into various patterns as he chants softly to himself in a whisper.
Rabbit is squishy, Rabbit is careful, Rabbit is standing in the back behind all of the "meatshields." The artist is taking in the scene unfolding before him. He is not usually the guy on the front line and that is obvious. And he thought he was the one who stayed off in the back. But it's Ryan who is taking up a position as the back of the group. Well only one person can be in the back. So he starts to head forward. Oz is shifting. People are preparing and Rabbit is just standing there. He has a super power right? Only Angel has ever seen him in action and that was a long time ago.
Florence sighs as Piper calls her to carry her into battle, shaking her head. "I just talked about that like hours ago..." she mutters as they leave the elevator, her face shifting. Her face darkens while the hair pales, ears flattening while her nose shifts up some, shaping a short snout. Her teeth push past her snarling lips, the canines of the lower jaw in front of those of the upper, both interlocking to shape a pair of fangs. It's probably not the strongest animal, but mellivora capensis surely has teeth... and a thick, leathery skin, combined with a metabolism to shake off most poisons. As the doors in front of them open in the top floor, she growls, letting instinct guide her as she leashes out for some goon, her fingers sporting similar claws to the animal. "Honeybadger don't care..." she calls out to the one in front of her, even though she is rather crude with her style.
Thomas Raith draws on his hunger and the world seems to slow as he, more or less, follows Oz's lead. Drawing two of the pistols he procured from downstairs he takes aim with both of them at separate crackers. He fires three rounds each at the would be thieves, two at their chests and one at their heads, before rotating to any additional targets. The brass flying from his guns in perfect arcs, his long black silken hair flying out behind him as he advances. His eyes, now silver pools, giving him an aethereal appearance. Like a beautiful angel of sex and death. It's not fair, he doesn't even watch Wachowski movies...
Piper....follows the honey badger into the room, and steps around her...and wills her power to work with a wave of her hand. Leo pushes a heavy.....something into her hand,and Piper throws it toward the nearest vampire, and steps back. She's more used to brawling....but brawling with vampires is a bad idea. Still, though, Piper's got help. A honey badger near her. Piper shakes her head. Florence is something else, alright....
One of Angelus's mooks goes for Oz...a lone vampire against a lone wolf is a bad trade for the vampire, but it's not an instant win either. Also a problem is that Wolves in wolf form don't tend to do much staking. Evidently he decided to protect the safe crackers though.
River attempts to teleport grab Angelus... but Angelus is an elite warrior, and the grab of a fellow teleporter is something he can evade. River now has a particularly evil looking sword swinging in his direction...precisely, of course. Angelus won't miss, River will have to evade on his own.
One of the mooks does go for Ryan, evidently with plans to bite him if nothing else! Vamps do think with their teeth when they're young.
A mook charges Rabbit, entirely unaware of what his capabilities actually are.
Vampire vs. Honeybadger. Well, that's not going to end well for the vampire, who screams loudly as he's overpowered. Of course, Flo still needs a stake to finish the fight.
Thomas shoots both safe crackers...but they're undead, and bullets do little good against vampires. It distracts them both for a moment, and nothing more. They seem to be about finished with their task.
Piper asplodes a mook, who promptly turns to dust, being asploded and all.
Angel engages his opposite with swordplay, but Angelus isn't having it, and aims for Piper next, with that dark blade...
Oz is happy to send the vampire that goes for him flying with little more than a thought and a powerful hit with his paw, instead going directly for the safe crackers, tearing them from their task, planning to destroy them.
River appeared in another spray of orbs, looking rather confident in his plan. But Angelus is faster than he expected, and a moment later, River has to vanish again, the sword passing through the silver-white lights. He reappears again across the room, frowning. "Well, that didn't work," he mutters, dodging a young vampire. "But if at first you don't succeed...." And again the shower of orbs absorbs him.
Ryan seems to not notice that he's being stalked like prey, is hands moving deftly back and forth, finger to palm, finger to palm, moving the silken cord into each meticulous pattern around his fingers until it begins to glow and a spirit manifests before him in a shimmer midair. "Your claws are my claws, my claws are your claws," he murmurs under his breath like a mantra, putting his energy into working with the spirit to protect himself, though the primary goal is to try to protect his friends. One step at a time, it seems, as Ryan can't help if he's lunch.
You know how to distract a room full of vampires to stop them from what they are doing? You hit primal urges that even the big bads have a hard time ignoring. Rabbit knows all too well. "You know... When you don't see any meat shields around. That means you're the meat shield." The artist has one of the baddies headed his way. But that isn't enough. The key is to get to the safe crackers and stop them from opening up the safe. He grabs something from his bag. He doesn't have any weapons. He's an artist not a warrior. It is a compass. The old school ones that have a metal point on one end and a pencil on the other. Grit of his teeth and he stabs himself in the hand. How do you distract the bad guys? Dangle fresh meat in front of them. And his blood is irresistible. As soon as he is bleeding it is filling the air. And he flicks his bloody hand into the air so that the vampires working on the safe will get a smell. He's chumming the water and they will have a hard time resisting that smell. The artist has a plan. Good luck resisting that urge to drain every drop from his veins. Even Angelus might be affected by the scent, Angel has in the past been affected.
Florence growls as she finally manages to get a hold of the arms of the struggling -vampire, her head tilting left and right for a couple moments as if unsure what to do, but then her teeth part, a somewhat foul stench breathing into the face of the vampire as the teeth came with the odor of a Honey Badger's stomach. A moment or two they just hang there, tilted, bared in their ivory shine, before they suddenly jump forward for the vampire. The only thing missing to make this a comedy would be violin music... and Randall telling the people "This is a honeybadger. Watch it bite in slow motion. It's pretty badass, look. Whoa, watch out, says that vampire. Eh, it's biting down on the throat? Oh, its ripping at it. Oh my gosh! Honeybadgers are just crazy."
Thomas Raith sees how little effect his shots have and lets go of his guns. Even as he continues running forward, closing the distance on the safe cracker's with Oz, his hands go behind his back and pull free those wickedly sharp kukri knives. In a blur of motion he tries to bring the blades across the neck of one of the safe crackers, the blade in his left hand moving right to left and the one in his right hand moving left to right in a scissoring motion. Moments after that there is a clatter as the guns strike the floor.
As Angelus aims for Piper, Leo grabs her. One mook asploded is enough, though, as Leo orbs Piper away. Not before Piper gets a cutting remark in to the vampires. "Did you expect us to fight with dental floss and toothpaste?" she asks, and with that she's orbed away. Still though, Piper's pleased. She's helped. She's done her bit. And... Leo's safe, too. Now, if only Leo could orb the honey badger back with them, or River. River deserves safety, too. Piper though is relieved to be out of the fight, but she's immediately turning her attention once back at Rowanwood to relaxing, which... is another reason it's a good thing there's not many people at the house, really. Piper has a hunch those in nearby Seattle could hear what's going on. In blunter terms, bow chicka bow wow is going down, or--something like that.
Just when things seem to be turning toward the heroes' favor, a side office bursts open, and there's the stench of sulfur--most likely a demonic teleportation circle of some kind, because a moment later a half dozen hulking Pylean drokken beasts come charging in toward the heroes. At least a dozen more head the other way, just in time for the elevator doors to ping back open, so that as the Wolfram & Hart security teams sweep in, they're battling a group of massive, gray-skinned humanoid boar-things with giant tusks and fearsome claws. They let out grotesque cries, and the backup seems to be doing all they can just to hold the line. So much for the cavalry!
This also means that Thomas, Ryan, and Oz each have a pair of the things charging brutally toward them!
Uh oh! Bad news! The bad guys pop the safe just then, and the vault door swings open. Well, that's not good! The two mooks run in after all...Angelus would get it himself, but he still can't teleport in or out, and he'd have to run in after it. Of course, nobody else can teleport in or out either. "Hurry and get it to me!"
Meanwhile, something smells...super good. Without really thinking, Angelus teleports behind Rabbit and tries to bite him!
Angel is running into the safe after the mooks. Just as well the Drokken interfered, or the two vamps would've been torn apart by the angry wolf. Rabbit's scent is distracting...but Angel is a man who snuggles Slayers all night and good tasting blood is a thing he's used to resisting.
Honey badgers are strong enough to rip a head off...at least when they're Flo's size. So dust is the only reward of that bite. Not too tasty.
Thomas follows the safecrackers into the vault, and promptly decapitates one, but it takes both kukris used together. The other guy has grabbed the device!
there is still a vampire trying to take a bite out of Ryan though. Evidently, he follows the bird in the hand philosophy.
Oz is smart enough to chase the vampires into the safe himself and try and take out the guy who grabbed the device. He's still operating on speed, efficiency, and deadliness, of course.
While Angelus is distracted with trying to bite Rabbit, River appears just in back of the beast, reaching out both hands to grab his shoulders from behind. "Gotcha!"
Ryan continues to work with his silken cord, the air around him growing dense with energy as he continues his work. The spirit before him lashes out with spectral claws in an attempted slash at the vampire's throat even as Ryan slowly takes a few steps backward, steadily, his half-lidded eyes nearly aglow.
Someone forgot to tell Rabbit that Angelus upgraded to have freaking teleportation powers. When it comes to keeping your powers a secret and being a snack for a vampire. Rabbit decides to not be the snack. He unleashes a telekinetic force blast on a level that is not kiddy play. This is the attack of supernatural strength from a telekinetic psychic master. The kind of attack that someone on Angelus' level needs to keep him in check. Rule number one, don't try and eat Rabbit. Rule number two, don't try and eat Rabbit. He really really doesn't like that.
"The honeybadger has been referred to by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most fearless animal in all of the animal kingdom. It really doesn't give a shit. If it bites, it bites. Ehw, what's that in its mouth? Oh, its got a pile of dust?" could be Randells commentary at the last moments the vampire had before Florence watches a little confused, but moves to the new kind of monsters that just appeared. A snarl, then almost a ponce for them, trying to pin one of the things. Not skilled, but it was still a honeybadger-human-hybrid. It doesn't care!
So fun fact, it's actually really hard to cut someones head off. The neck bones are solid, the muscles are tough, and the gaps between the vertebrae aren't big. So Thomas tries a new plan as he chases after the other vampire in the vault. Ball-and-socket joints are not tough, the muscles arounfd them are mostly flexible and thus easier to slice when stretched... not to mention people just don't think to protect their arms the same way as their throats. So He tries to use one blade to effectively "lift" the arm of his opponent, and the other to separate the arm from the vampires body. No arms, no hands. no hands, can't work a computer... Harry'd probably make a Jedi joke.
Ryan's spirit has two massive, tusked demons to deal with in addition to the vampire, and they're now bearing down on him. Meanwhile, the other four of them lumber after Thomas, not as fast as he is but tramping, snarling, after him and Oz. Inside the vault, the vampires are too occupied, for the moment, with the defenders to do anything about the kill switch.
But that's when a monitor suddenly flickers to life, flashing red with the words NUCLEAR LAUNCH. Michael must have had warning from somewhere, because it seems that, from his stronghold, he's pushed the button. The monitor shifts to a tactical map, covered in red dots, each of which is now radiating angry red concentric circles.
If someone's going to hit that kill switch, now would be a good time!
Angelus got telekenetically flung away...and then grabbed and taken to the moon! For a vampire, of course, this isn't fatal...but it just might be for the young lad that took him here, so grinning wickedly, he turns his grab right back on River...intending to hold him in the vacuum of space, since the moon has no atmosphere. And while he doesn't breathe and doesn't die from extreme cold...
Angel shouts, "Forget your opponent, get the SWITCH!" Angel unfortunately has mooks in the way. While the great sword Caladbolg cuts them in half, somebody else will probably reach it first.
River flew Angelus to the Moon! But a moment later, River orbed away again...with Angelus latched onto him. The two appear in another shower of lights, this time near the elevator at the other end of the hallway. "Hey!" River protests, slugging Angelus in the nose. "No fair!"
Ryan is doing his best to keep up with the vampire and the two demons that are hounding him, still moving his hands and fingers deftly to work with the spirit protecting him. The spirit shimmers in the air, a flash of its spectral claws glinting in the light here or there as it tries to swipe at the demons and keep them at bay, off of Ryan, but hopefully off of anyone else, too! In the meantime, Ryan is building energy, perhaps some sort of attack?
Rabbit just shakes his head as the use of that much telekinetic force in one blow is not common thing for him. He holds his hand over the bleeding stab in his hand. "Alright. I'll hold them back. Get in there and figure it out." He throws up a wall of telekinetic force between the attacking demons and the vault. To anyone who is looking at him, he looks almost like a mime. This is what he is good at, holding up a wall.
Florence pretty much continues to try to get one of the Demons into a pin - or somehow challenged.
Being that Thomas and Oz were the only 2 in the vault, and not only was Thomas closer to the kill switch, but Oz couldn't hit it in wolf form, he jumps on the ones attacking Thomas to get them off of him, then waves with a paw toward the kill switch, as if trying to tell him to go for it while he holds the enemy off.
Hit by a truck full of devil's food cake while rescuing a buss load of nuns... In bed some where in his late 300s with a twenty year old woman, shot by her jealous husband.. Crushed by a thanksgiving turkey that fell out of an airplane... Thomas has actually given allot of thought as to the ways he'd like to die, but torn apart by demon monsters or in a nuclear apocalypse didn't make the list. As Oz stalls the beasts, Thomas throws his knives into the body of the vampire closest to him...yah know, to get them out of his hands... and makes a running, jumping stretch to strike the kill switch button... It's no fair, he doesn't even take fight choreography..
Between Ryan's conjured spirit and Rabbit's wall of force, the Pylean demons are held back. They're brutes, not terribly bright, and they clearly weren't prepared to face these particular powers. Most likely, they were expecting Angel, werewolves, maybe slayers or witches--but this kind of magic, the psychic powers, they didn't seem to expect that. Hemmed in, that set of demons seems to be out of the fight.
The others, though, are leaving heavy casualties among the Wolfram & Hart teams. Bullets seem to do little to them, so they're fighting sword and claw, but the demons are much stronger. Not that any of that will matter very much, unless--
The words NUCLEAR LAUNCH ABORTED flash in yellow across the screen, which shifts back to the map, and all the little circles vanish. The red dots go gray.
Armageddon, for the moment at least, has been canceled.
Angel looks relieved for a moment...
Angelus, meanwhile, is enraged, "I'll kill you all you all....slowly, intimately, in a way only a master like me can!" But this launch is cancelled, and Angelus knows better than to stick around when he could cause misery another day, and teleports right on out, leaving his lackeys to their fate. He doesn't care, there's always more humans to make into more vampires.
And now Angel looks broody again.
Oz seems to understand Angel's plight, and once everyone in the vault room is taken care of, he trots over to him, taking a moment to give him literal puppydog eyes before resuming the killfest.
River doesn't look happy when Angelus vanishes before his eyes. Letting out a small growl of frustration, he reaches into his pocket and pulls out several small vials, tossing them at the feet of the nearest Drokken beasts. where they shatter with a puff of green smoke.
Rabbit wraps up his hand with a cloth from his bag. He looks around, "Well that's done. Can we get out of here. I don't like being in the home of these lawyers. The more they know about us. The less I like it. I need some ice cream. And a shower. I hate vampires." The artist looks around. "Shame I don't have orbs."
Florence mauls one of the demons, taking it down with brutal efficiency. Oz takes a second, his werewolf's strength too much for it. River's vanquishing potions blast away the rest of them, either destroying them or banishing them back from whence they came. That's when the elevators ding again, and a fresh wave of security sweep in, bolstering the defenders with heavier weapons. The conflict turns brutal, but it's all over soon enough.
Lindsey shows up only after the violence is all past, but he does deliver on the hostages, who appear to have been some kind of tour group, made up of a mixed group of college freshmen and a group of uniformed students from a private boys' school. They seem quite rattled, but they're relieved to be taken away from the place. Fortunately, before long, they're all making their way back to the safety of Rowanwood.
So, yes. Armageddon has been averted, but for the moment, they still must contend with the apocalypse....