Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

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Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

Madam Marvelous
A few days after the battle in Washington D.C. concluded, I received a strange message on my BADGE communicator.

YOUR NEXT MISSION IS GOING TO BEGIN THIS WEEKEND. THIS IS A CLASSIFIED INITIATIVE, DO NOT DISCUSS WITH ANYONE OUTSIDE CHAIN OF COMMAND. BE AT THE SUNSET GROVE CEMETARY FRIDAY EVENING AT PRECICELY 11:45 P.M. AT THE GRAVE OF ARCHIBALD BRAITHEWAITE. REMAIN HIDDEN AND OBSERVE ANY ACTIVITY. IT IS IMPERITIVE THAT NOTHING IS AWARE YOU ARE PRESENT AND OBSERVING WHAT MAY OR MAY NOT OCCUR. YOUR ABILITIES MAKE YOU AN IDEAL ASSET TO OBSERVE WHAT OCCURS, SO IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED YOU ARRIVE IN THE FORM OF AN ANIMAL OF SOME TYPE THAT WOULD BE NATIVE TO THE AREA.

COMMUNICATIONS WILL FOLLOW SATURDAY FOR DEBRIEFING.

S.A.S.S. DEPARTMENT CHAIR F. KOLCHAK

I'd never heard of the S.A.S.S. Department before. I checked through the BADGE division directory and found them listed under Special Investigations, with no other information on who or what they were.

A secret mission in a graveyard shortly before midnight. Despite the obvious creepy nature of the site, I was stoked. What might it be about? Some kind of undercover meeting they needed me to witness? Maybe a hidden treasure buried in the Braithewaite grave that they were afraid would be stolen?

I might not be able to talk to anyone else, but that didn't mean I couldn't do a bit of sleuthing of my own. I rolled off my bed and opened up my laptop. I brought up a high-res aerial map of the graveyard. It was a very, very large lot. Bigger than I ever imagined a graveyard could be. I needed to know where this specific gravesite was, so I searched for the name Archibald Braithewaite.

Nothing. The name never existed, or at least, it had never been recorded on any online site. I wondered how long this person might have been dead. I'd have to wait until morning to find that out, when the staff of the graveyard would be in the office. Darn. I hated waiting. I started to shut my computer off, but decided to dig a bit deeper. Archibald wasn't listed, but maybe he had a nickname or shortened version that would show up. Archibald... Maybe under Archie.

I entered in the abbreviated name. A few links popped up. Archie "Satan's Pride" Braithewaite. He was a pre-colonial settler in New Amsterdam who many believed brought the practice of witchcraft in the New World. In 1647. The really weird thing was the dates for his birth and death. 1522-1776. Over two-hundred and fifty years old? No way.

Searching some more, I found all sorts of odd records about him. I even found a picture of his grave, and seeing it almost sent me out of my seat. It was weird. What did they think he was going to do? Crawl out of the grave after they buried him. There was a metal cage over the slab marking his grave.

Did BADGE have an X-Files division I didn't know about? What the heck was going on?


(Any interested on joining this thread can join by receiving a similar message on their BADGE comm unit. Looking for people who want to have some fun with a X-Files, Fringe, Kolchak the Night Stalker, or Friday the 13th: The Series vibe.)
Madam Marvelous ID#26130
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Re: Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

Arcane Ace
Arcane Ace reread the message sent to him by the S.A.S.S. Department. "Who the heck are these guys?"

The crowd out front of the stage wasn't nearly as loud as usual. Not only had the tourism in Las Vegas diminished after the Giant Robot's attack several months ago, which damaged multiple landmarks and casinos, but the recent anti-Hero sentiment brought protesters out front of his venue at the Desert Labyrinth. He could barely hear the sound of their applause as his assistant opened the Iron Maiden, revealing his missing body.

Following his que, he stepped out from the stage wings and waved at the quarter-filled room. "I'm as big a fan of a big hug as the next person, but her grip is a bit on the needy side. That's one relationship I'm happy to be out of."

Tables of people clapped as he took his final bow. "Thank you. You're all to kind. May fortune favor you, and don't forget to tip your server's well. Karma works, so pay it forward and make it easy for Lady Luck to find you."

He waved as people exited the theater for his "Arcane Ace: Magic's Wildcard" show. Once the last of the active groups departing left, he returned to the wings and began to stow his gear. While having arcane powers from Morphons, his training as a stage magician paid his bills. He inspected his swords from his last set to make sure none of them lost their edge as the Labyrinth owner everyone called Mr. B stepped up to him.

"Good show, as always, Darren," Mr. B. said.

"Thanks," Arcane Ace replied. "Now tell me the real reason you're here."

"Is it that obvious?" Mr. B. asked.

"Whenever you see me, it is either with an invitation to your table in the restaurant to celebrate or you coming to the stage to deliver bad news in person. Since I don't see a surf and turf dinner between us, I think it's the latter."

"The protests are starting to interfere with the casino, Darren. People aren't coming here after that announcement by that Judge Alpha," Mr. B. shrugged. "I've got hundreds of employees. I have to think of them too."

"I get it. I'll pack my stuff," Ace said.

"No. I don't want that-," Mr B. waved his hands in protest, "- I simply wanted to suggest you take some time off. A small vacation for a few weeks while we renovate the room."

Ace smiled. "So, a disappearing act."

"Yeah. A short one, until this all blows over. Do you mind?"

Ace chuckled as he closed the lid to the box he stored his sharp weapons inside. "I can find something to do. Do you know how the weather is in New Amsterdam this week?"
Arcane Ace: ID 23078
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Re: Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

Madam Marvelous
During lunch break, I looked for Keri and Doug in the cafeteria, but didn't see them. I wondered if the S.A.S.S. department contacted her for the mission in the cemetery tomorrow night. The message said not to ask or talk to anyone about it, so I decided to see if she showed up. With the fact that a five-hundred year old dead warlock might be involved, I wondered if Ms. Fae would be involved. Maybe she knew more about S.A.S.S.

I wolfed down my lunch and headed to the Sagan Academy's library. I'd heard it was stocked with more books than all the libraries in the city combined. The outside door to the library was done in stained glass with the etched image of two trees growing around columns with script arcing above the design.

Speak Friend and Enter.

I entered through the doors and walked onto a platform that overlooked a large room. Three stories down and nine stories above with books on each level on wooden shelves. Staircases filled the interior space, leading both ways. The scent of old books filled the air, making the entire room smell like a musty hundred-year-old library, despite being a new structure build over the summer. To my left, a red-haired librarian sat at a desk. Before her sat a large sign with the name Donna written across it.

"Um... Hi, Donna," I said as I approached her desk. A large poster hung on the wall behind her, tucked into a black frame. A Good Book Never Leaves You, Even After You Are Finished with It.

"Oi. Hello, love. What's your name?" she asked.

"I'm Blossom."

"Lovely to meet you. How can I help?"

"I'm looking for books on the New Amsterdam area back before it became America." I said as I glanced over my shoulder. "Where might they be?"

"Studying your history. Good for you, girl," she said. He typed into her computer a bit and then took a brass disc off of a small shelf on her desk. "Just follow this. It will lead you right to the books you're looking for."

I looked over the object and found that it was a digital device sort of like a compass. It said a floor number, #2, and pointed directions with a glowing arrow. "Wow. This is kinda cool. Thanks."

"Learning should always be like a little adventure, love. Now off with you. Find your treasure." Donna waved one hand at me, shooing me off toward the nearest staircase.

Following my library aid, I found a tall stack of books full of books, both old and new. "Wow. That's a lot of books to search through."

"State the topic you are searching for to refine your choices," the library compass said.

"Pre-American witchcraft. Archie or Archibald Braithewaite."

"Searching... searching... searching... Topics located." It pointed at three different books with flashing arrows.

I grabbed all three from the shelf. "Thanks."

"You're welcome, Blossom Talri. That you for using the I.F. system," it replied.

"I.F. system?" I said aloud, not really expecting a response.

"Index File. Have a nice day.
Madam Marvelous ID#26130
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Re: Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

Madam Marvelous
I studied the three books at home that night. Most of the information was about the beliefs and superstitions that the early American's lived with. Some facts about the lives of the settlers, many of which were really gross. What they used parts of animals for in everyday existence made sense, but made my flesh crawl and stomach churn as I could become any of the creatures. So many of their clothes were made from hide.

How would people feel if aliens showed up and work our skin as coats and dresses? Blech!!!

The sections on Archie all told a similar tale. He supposedly came from a wealthy family in Europe. Some said he grew up in England while others said his lineage could be traced back to deeper in the main continent. There were rumors and legends of him making a dark pact with some very powerful demons after his family died. Then he fled to the New World and became a recluse.

A few stories from different colonies mentioned him visiting them. Passing through as a silent visitor, but a deadly one. When he left a settlement, disease and death with no reasonable reason swept in. Occasionally he would warn citizens to flee their homes for a spell, claiming dark forces followed him. Those who did survived to tell of encountering him.

What happened back then? Was he diseased, stricken with some type of virus that spread after he passed through? Or was there something that followed after him like he said, an evil force that brought death?

Tomorrow night seemed an eternity away as I contemplated the possibilities. Watching over a grave probably wouldn't bring many answers so long after he died, but why else would I be sent there if SOMETHING wasn't going to happen.
Madam Marvelous ID#26130
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Re: Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

AphraeltheFaeChildGoddess
In reply to this post by Madam Marvelous
*"So S.A.S.S. has noticed the anomalous psy readings too. About time they decide to involve themselves personally in the going ons around here. This way not everyone has to come skulking around asking the Academy unwanted queries." Aphrael thought about this for a few hours.

"Please send in Jade and Kyle StarRunner. I have an important task for them in order to assess if they are prepared to face the perils of this version of Earth without any supervision of their parents or professors here."

The twins soon after came into her office slowly but with eager grins on their faces. "You wanted to see us?" "Yes I have an assignment for you both that will be considered an independent one from the Academy itself. You will be away from here with support of non Academy magic users on a Halloween type mystery. You will meet with a heroine codenamed Madam Marvelous and a hero named Arcane Ace. Do not do anything to offend either of them."*

((Kyle and Jade StarRunner are the twin children of Headmaster James StarRunner and Headmistress Bobby StarRunner of Ice Ray Academy. They are young adults at this time. No pictures currently available of them, because at the time they were created no bios pics or appearance information were made available for future usage.))
ID: 11292 *"Ice Ray Academy:Magical Institute"* story coming soon to these forums.
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Re: Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

Astra
    Keri received a message from SASS a division of BADGE.  It was a secret mission and she was not to share the information with anyone, including Doug.  Doug was to sit this mission out because they did not want him to be trapped again.  She sighed at that.  She wondered who else had been assigned, but know other information was available.

    She went to collect historical information on the "so called Warlock" and was shocked to learn someone else had already accessed the information.  She just went to a different library to get the same information.  Her true eidetic memory made this easy.  She would have liked to ask Futurina about this case, but knew her adoptive mother did not have clearance.  Keri figured this was a BADGE test of her own resourcefulness.

    "How am I supposed to go undetected?" she asked herself.  The answer was in astral form.  Her powers may be weaker in that form but she could not be seen or detected by normal means.  If anything could detect her in Astral form they would have to be on the Astral plane or detect the astral through psionic means.

    She gathered her items and began to research.
ID: 22632
Astra
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Re: Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

Madam Marvelous
"I know it is the weekend, but why are they asking you to go on a night mission? Isn't there someone else that can go and do this?" Mom said as we waited in the foyer for Eggie to arrive. "For them to not even tell us where you are going is something I plan on talking to Director Nova about."

"Mission orders, Mom. I can handle it. And you don't have to worry. You tell me you went on trips all the time with your school track team." I said as I checked over my BADGE gear, making sure the flashlight worked. After the screw up during the fight with the Augments, I now understood why pre-mission checklists were important. "I'll be fine. Eggie will be close the whole time. Well, not too close. I am on duty."

The Volkswagen engine clearly purred as it pulled up into the driveway.

"You be careful." Mom wrapped her arms around me and gave me a big hug while Dad stood near the staircase and waved. He told me in secret that he already had Mom's favorite pizza ordered and a movie picked out on Netflix to watch with her. My Dad knew how to be sweet when he needed to be and I was glad I wasn't going to be home to watch them get all lovey-dovey on the couch. Talk about a nightmare.

A wrap came at the door. "HEEELLLOOO. I can see you through the window." She raised her voice. "IS BLOSSOM READY TO SPEND THE NIGHT OVER AT HER GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE?"

I shook my head as I pushed Mom off me. "I've got to go before she starts chatting up the whole neighborhood trying to secure my cover story."

Mom nodded. "OK. I'll miss you. You can always stay and we can do a movie night???"

Dad waved his arms high in the air, signaling that wasn't an option. "Let her go, honey. Don't keep your mother waiting."

"My mother. I thought she was supposed to be your mother," Mom said with a sly smile. "She's way to old to be my mom."

I opened the door and grabbed my gear. Eggie stood their in a pair of Carhart overalls and jacket with a hunting cap pulled over the top of her head, furry flaps hanging down over her ears. Her rosy cheeks looked slightly rosier beneath all the layers. "Hello, dearie. Can I help you with your bags?"

"I've got it. Bye." I grabbed my duffel and headed out the door. I tossed my gear in the back seat and waited for her to finish chatting with Mom. Whoever programmed Eggie definitely had some skills. She was completely believable as an adorable old grannie. Even down to her complete lack of ability to say goodbye to someone at the door when it was time to leave. I crossed my arms and settled back, watching the two of them jibber-jabber.
Madam Marvelous ID#26130
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Re: Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

AphraeltheFaeChildGoddess
*Jade and Kyle StarRunner magically teleport under an invisible enchantment to the park location. From there each twin magically shrinks and transforms through mysterious ancient magic into two separate but similar small nocturnal animals native to the assignment location in question. Once transformed, they hide underground and listen unobtrusively for anyone else to appear while keeping their mental and magical energy as minimal as possible.

They have been told nothing about who to expect other then superhero names only and so they go into a very light long trance.*
ID: 11292 *"Ice Ray Academy:Magical Institute"* story coming soon to these forums.
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Re: Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

Arcane Ace
Doing his due diligence on the flight over, Damian (Arcane Ace) studied up on Archibald Braithewaite and the legends around him. As he read over one of his mystical texts, he muttered quietly to himself as the plane neared New Amsterdam. "Hmmm. Very interesting. The Braithewaite family is quite notorious during the first half of the new millennium, but after that, there isn't one mention after Archie here."

"You read Archie too?" a young boy seated next to him asked.

Ace glanced as his the pile of comic books the small red-haired boy had set upon the tiny table opened out from the seat before him. "I don't think it is the same Archie we're talking about. Isn't he a bit before your time?"

"Mom got them for me. Cause he's a red-head like me." The boy pointed as his mess of red locks.

"Ahhh..." Ace said as he settled back into his seat. "That makes sense."

"Go Home. You Aren't Wanted Here!!!" the young boy said with a voice not his own. His eyes had become pitch black and trailed a dark purple energy from the corners.

"You aren't my travel agent, Spirit. Get out of the boy, NOW, before I get angry," Ace said to the entity inhabiting the boy's form. Everyone else on the plane didn't seem to notice the exchange, in fact, Ace glared around and noticed that there was no movement at all. Even the clouds outside seemed to be frozen in place. "I'll put you up something other than my sleeve."

"This is your one warning. The Treaty of Maeve has been observed. Set foot in our sacred space and it is your life that is forfeit, charlaten." The boy's eye's returned to normal and motion began all around the plane once again. The child opened and closed him mouth as if trying to spit out a horrible taste. "Oooww. Mom. I think I bit my tongue. It hurts and my mouth tastes bad."

The woman seated next to the child grabbed the boy's face. "Open your mouth and let me see, Jakie."

Ace waved his hand over a cup of water on his own tray. "Here. Use this ma'am, if it will help. I haven't touched it yet."

"Thank you," she said, taking the cup. Not seeing anything wrong, she offered it to her son and he drank deeply. "Is that better."

"Yeah. Thanks Mommie," he said, sounding much relieved.

Making holy water wasn't a trick most magicians knew, but Ace's Morphon power allowed him access to any and all supernatural or magical abilities. Being Magic's Wild Card came with its perks.

And since the evil spirit could find him so easily aboard a plane before it even reached New Amsterdam, it also had its downfalls...

Arcane Ace: ID 23078
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Re: Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

Madam Marvelous
11PM OUTSIDE THE SUNSET GROVE CEMETERY

A van drove down a two-track road north of the pre-colonial sector of the graveyard. Due to its age, this section appears to be more of a forested area rather than groomed memorial for the deceased. A small field of tall grasses laid just the other side of a limestone wall that circled the several acre grotto, the entrance a wrought-iron gate that had definitely seen better days.

The two doors opened shortly after the van stopped and two men climbed out. They both wore black turtleneck sweaters, black fatigues, and combat boots. One stepped to the back of the van and opened the double doors. "We're here. We don't have much time. Bring out the gear and get started with securing the site."

Two others, one male and one female wearing similar gear, brought out what appeared to be a large steel drum. They chanted repeatedly in quiet voices. "Muttergrund. Muttergrund."

As they carried the contraption, another person jumped out from the back of the van, carrying several earthenware containers. This individual bore far darker skin, nearly black in hue, and their appearance was strikingly beautiful but androgynous. "You're expecting interference."

"Be prepared," One of the first men said. "That was my work's motto, once upon a time."

"Good. So am I."

Walking over to the now set up drum, the one bearing the containers began to chant. "Muttergrund. Spirit of the Earth. Hear the plea of your children."

One by one, they opened the containers and poured them into the drum. Eventually, a spark ignited and a plume of red smoke drifted from the strange cauldron and floated over the wall and encompassed the bordered area. The chittering and noises of nocturnal creatures went silent as the wildlife and all within the field of effect drifted into a deep slumber.

The group began to place masks over their faces. Wooden masks that bore resemblance to animals from nature. Wolf. Bear. Something like a large lizard. A horsehead with a spiraling horn sprouting from the middle. "We'll wait a minute and head in. They'll be here soon."
Madam Marvelous ID#26130
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Re: Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

Arcane Ace
11:08 PM NEW AMSTERDAM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

The landing of his flight was an ordeal. Computer systems aboard the plane had gone haywire. Navigation had them going to far north and the aircraft had to be rerouted. Ace excused himself politely from his seat and headed to the tiny bathroom to invoke an anti-jinx ward on the plane. Casting spells in plain (pun intended) sight thrilled people while he was on stage, but while hundreds of feet in the air, the encapsulated crowd typically didn't react well to actual spells being cast in front of them.

Once the plane finally made its way to the ground, the inconveniences didn't stop. The catwalk wouldn't work, so disembarking was interrupted while the passengers had to wait for over an hour-and-a-half for another unit to become available. Security alerts triggered as people eventually stepped off the plane. Once Ace was pulled aside for a strip search, his good humor finally wore off. He showed the guards his BADGE ID, gave them his ID#, and teleported to the baggage claim to get his suitcase.

"Someone really doesn't want me showing up for this appointment," Ace said as he searched for his belongings. "I don't know if I should be very honored or very frightened..."

"Sir. Sir. Stop. You can't be back here," an airport employee shouted once he spotted Ace amidst the luggage.

Discovering his large black trunk, Ace pulled it out from the myriad of others. "It's OK. I've got it."

Summoning his arcane might, Ace waved his hand and lifted up into the air on gossamer wings. He floated up to the ceiling, slightly inconvenienced by the weight of his belongings, until he reached the ceiling and created an aperture though the material which allowed him to escape the building.

He cast a second locator spell that created a tiny floating green light to lead him to the graveyard.

If traveling by plane was going to be disrupted so badly, he couldn't imagine what traffic would have done to him if unknown forces were marshalling to keep him from his destination.
Arcane Ace: ID 23078
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Re: Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

Madam Marvelous
11:22 PM -- OUTSIDE THE GATES OF THE SUNSET GROVE CEMETERY

"I don't know if I should be leaving you to go all the way in there by yourself, dearie," Eggie said. "I think I should go in with you."

"Did you get orders from S.A.S.S. to accompany me?" I said as I stepped out of the Volkswagon onto the crumbling parking lot asphalt. "I know you were sent to bring me to the cemetery, but not on the mission itself."

"Yer a brave, wee girl, Kitt'n," she said as she also exited the vehicle. "The Supernatural Antiquities Studies Section had better know what they are doing or else I'll file a complaint with H.R."

"You know what S.A.S.S. stands for? I couldn't find out anything about them," I said with surprise. "Do you know why they wanted me or who else is going to be here?"

"I can't say, my dear," Eggie said. "I do have access to most BADGE mission files when needed, but not all departments, I'm sorry to say. What I can tell you is that this is classified as an information/surveillance mission, so keep a sharp eye out. And Kolcack is reputed to be a strange mission leader, according to observational files that mention him. He plays things very close to his vest out of a single-minded focus on secrecy. Apparently he is a very need-to-know type guy."

"Good to know. Next time I'll ask you more questions. I didn't know you knew so much," I said. "I thought you were built just for me."

"Oh, I was dearie, but some of my programs have been around for, well, as long as I look like I've been around," Eggie giggled. "Speaking of being around, I want you to take this with you." She unpinned her amethyst pin and handed it to me on a long, looped leather cord.

"What's this for?" I asked. "Good luck?"

"It's a remote surveillance eye-," she tapped her forehead just beside her own set of eyes, "-so I can see if you're in any danger. Then I can come a-running and keep you safe."

"I can keep myself safe," I said as I wrapped the loop around my neck. "But thanks. I hope I don't need to use it."

"Me too, dearie," she said.

I gave her a short smile. "Well, time to go. He said to be there at 11:45PM. I don't want to be late."

She nodded as I morphed into a barn owl rather than my preferred snow owl. I lifted high into the air and began to circle the cemetery, looking for movement.
Madam Marvelous ID#26130
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Re: Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

AphraeltheFaeChildGoddess
This post was updated on .
Heroes Rising Forum

AphraeltheFaeChildGoddess

Re: Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open ...

11:30pm Inside Sunset Grove Cemetery

*From their hiding places, the magically transformed and sleeping siblings slowly begin to stir as night has fallen and their nocturnal animal forms awaken. Using their unique twin mental telepathy, they discreetly communicate with each other while keeping eyes on the mysterious intruders.

""Those masks look like those used in ancient Native American rituals to call upon the ancient spirits of the land," Kyle thought to his sister Jade. "But those men sure didn't look like Native Americans. Keep your mental voice down brother.  She could be a voodoo priestess or shaman. That would explain them talking about spirits and elementals. If so we need to avoid her more then them until those we were asked to work with arrive."

Suddenly the hoot of a barn owl slowly floats through the air around them. Both siblings cut off their telepathy immediately and use their abilities to turn invisible quickly and silently before coming back above ground and reassuming their original human forms. After all, they do not want anyone from B.A.D.G.E. to be scared or surprised who is not on this mission too so they are dressed like Muggles trick or treating as a witch and wizard from the popular series "Harry Potter."*

ID: 11292 *"Ice Ray Academy:Magical Institute"* story coming soon to these forums.
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Re: Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

Krystal Fae (Acidburn)
Krystal didn't normally patrol this late at night, but since the near-riots caused by the D.C. debacle,  the criminal elements in New Amsterdam had flourished, and heroes from all over were putting in extra hours to get them back in check.

As Krystal made her way back to her apartment, she felt the 'flare' of multiple instances of magic use to the north. scanning the area mentally, there was a suspicious amount of magic being used and psionic activity for that region, given the hour of the evening and the location indicated.

"By Oberon's horns... what is going on at the cemetery?", thought Krystal, as she rose into the air and flew speedily in that direction.

As Krystal approached, she noticed the psychic traces of several heroes with whom she was quite familiar, as well as several others who bore the aura of magic use of a ritual nature.

Krystal, approaching the area silently, faded from sight, so as to unobtrusively observe.
ID# 10962
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Re: Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

Astra
    Astra flew over the cemetery in her astral form.  She still thought it was odd that her astral body was female when her original form was male.  No one had been able to convince her that it was normal.  She felt familiar energies nearby, she also saw what appeared to be an occult ritual taking place.

    The caged grave was undisturbed.  She knew the mission was to observe and possibly stop whatever emerged.  Then she saw Krystal Fae watching.  Was this a test?
ID: 22632
Astra
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Re: Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

Madam Marvelous
11:40PM INSIDE THE SUNSET GROVE CEMETERY

I flew high above the area where the caged grave of Archibald Braithwaite lay, watching for movement. Surprisingly, I didn't see or hear any other wildlife active in the small clearing where the long-dead warlock had been buried. No birds. No small creatures of any sort, not even insects. A fog-like mist drifted in the air, with a strangely floral scent.

Finally, out of the trees bordering the gravesite, a group of people stepped into view. They were all wearing black and most wore oddly designed masks that nearly covered the gas-masks they wore beneath them. Perhaps the notes of poppy I detected in the air were doing more that making the forested area smell pretty. I had flashbacks to The Wizard of Oz where everyone started to fall asleep in the field of red flowers.

The cadre of uniquely clad people began to remove objects from pouches or bags they carried with them. "Place the stones."

"Yes, Mistress Elvira," one of them replied.

I started to wonder if I should be doing something. What if they were going to try to dig up the centuries-old grave? They hadn't done anything wrong so far, except for dressing like an experimental off-Broadway cast and being in a public graveyard after hours.

In the floating mist, I noticed some unusual movement. The air swirled around two voids of nothingness on the ground, as if there were something solid there. A couple of human-ish outlines were there, perhaps the other heroes S.A.S.S. called in for observation duty. From the level of the forest, they might not be noticed, but from the air, they stood out like holes in a piece of cheese.

After placing white stones on the ground in a circular pattern, one of the masked people pulled out a forked branch and began to turn circles while loosely holding the forked ends in their hands. A few revolutions, and they stopped. "There are others nearby. I'm sensing five beings, three of which are highly unnatural. One in incoming quite rapidly from the west."

"Ready yourselves. We prepared for this."

I glanced in the direction she pointed as spotted a pinpoint of green light heading rapidly toward the group.

I guess it was just about showtime.
Madam Marvelous ID#26130
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Re: Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

Arcane Ace
11:43PM THE SUNSET GROVE CEMETERY

Arcane Ace followed his guiding light to the site of Archibald Braithewaite's burial. As he came in over the trees, he spotted a masked group in the clearing where the grave was located. He recognized the masks the cultists wore.

"What are you freaks doing out here this time of night? Shouldn't you be tucked into bed in your straight jackets by 7:30?" He said.

"You have no right to interfere with us, magician," Mistress Elvira said. "Muttergrund is with us tonight. Our mission is righteous."

Ace activated his arcane sight. He could see the weave of their magic in the misty air. Each of the cultists sported mystical runes and tattoos beneath their clothing, making them extremely dangerous individually. Even more so if they worked in concert. Two cloaked figures hid in the periphery of the graveyard, as well as a powerful Fae presence he recognized hovered nearby. The stones that had been placed on the ground were the most concerning. They were charging with enough magical energy to rip a hole in the fabric between dimensions.

The cultists were trying to bring something into the world. "Giving guided tours again to some kind of demon? I don't think we really need them around, do we?"

"We are going to cleanse the wounds she suffers from. You and your companions will not stop us, especially those who befoul this world with their caustic presence." Mistress Elvira shouted. "Protect the link. Don't let them interrupt the summoning."

Arcane Ace: ID 23078
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Re: Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

Madam Marvelous
I recognized Arcane Ace from League Wars. He lead the Star Force Junior League to a gold in their Division last war, and I had considered asking to join them for the next one. What I didn't know is how he knew who these cultists were and what they wanted here. And who or what was the cultist who was doing the talking going on about? What was Muttergrund? What wounds were they trying to heal?

What I did know what I didn't like the sounds of them summoning anything. If they all started chanting Candyman, Beetlejuice, or Bloody Mary three times, things would turn fast quickly.

Ace stayed in the air, flying somehow with phantasmal magical wings on his back, and moved his hands in a strange pattern of elaborate fingerings. It reminded me of extra-hard sign language, the way he bent and held his hands in specific poses. It must have been some type of incantation, based on the glowing gold light that built and emanated from his actions. Beams of light radiated outward to the stones placed by the cultists on the ground.

Everyone else but their leader moved to the beams and created glowing green swords out of thin air, swiping them into Ace's shafts of golden light and severed them.

The leader stepped away from the others, towards the metal-covered grave and hurled a bolt of lightning at Ace. He raised a hand and a circular golden barrier deflected the blow.

"Awww. Come on. Do we really need to do the fighting thing? You're going to get your pretty masks dirty as I wipe the floor with your faces." Ace said. "Elvira, tell your lackeys to stand down."

Elvira nodded and dropped her hands. "Lackeys. You hear him. Stand down-," she said as she reached into a pouch and threw something glittering on the ground before her. Each of her cultist companions followed suit. "Let these fight for us."

Six figures manifested from where they dropped objects. They were shadowy, smoke-like bodies with something hiding inside of each. The one before Elvira charged at Ace. One catapulted into the air and headed for me. Two moved toward the strange voids in the mist, and two others also raised into the air in a different direction.

The one flying up toward me shed itself free of the black haze surrounding it. It was Valkyrie. I'd encountered while patrolling in New Amsterdam, and she beat me into unconsciousness. She was the only opponent I'd fought that made me fear for my life. And now she looked even fiercer, more bloodthirsty.
Madam Marvelous ID#26130
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Re: Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

AphraeltheFaeChildGoddess
*"By Great Gandalf's Ghost we've been detected!" Kyle silently said to his sister Jade. "We might as well reveal ourselves before we get outted by B.A.D.G.E agents too and end up failing this assignment worse then failing Prophecy with Aphrael or Old-fashioned Muggle Healing with Collette."

Jade laughs silently but mirthfully at her brother's language. "Really now are you in North America or back in the United Kingdom Kyle? Keep talking like that and they'll think we are as crazy as those cultists out here."

Blushing and hiding it fast from his sister's tongue-lashing, the twins remove their invisibility enchantment and reveal themselves just as two shadowy figures appear in front of them.

"And just who might these be....?" Jade starts to say when laughter from ancient nightmarish Academy history surrounds them both. "Ah the lovely stinking scent of StarRunner blood," comes a beautifully melodic female voice that still sends chills up and down their spines. "Merciful Minerva! It can't be! That's impossible!" Kyle looks at her sternly now, since usually she is the one on his case for cursing. "I recognize this ancient magic too sister. And like you, I too recognize that hideously beautiful mocking voice. Alexis show yourself!"

A way too beautiful Elf witch appears before the siblings. "So you know my name even though you personally have never met me before. I am not surprised as that vile hag Aphrael has been a thorn in our side for many millennia now."*
ID: 11292 *"Ice Ray Academy:Magical Institute"* story coming soon to these forums.
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Re: Madam Marvelous: Chapter Three -- Midnight Watch (Collaborative -- Open to All)

Arcane Ace
As the smoky cloud approached Ace, he wondered what trick the members of the cult were trying to invoke. When the dark spirit he first encountered with Astra and the Infinite Tempest swelled out of the misty mass, Ace began to sweat. They'd banished the Torment demon back in Colorado. How was it free once again?

"I'll have my revenge on you. You and all the rest involved in defeating me before I devour your entire world, one soul at a time," the entity said as it circled Ace in the air. "You're suffering won't end until I've had my fill of your entire species."

"We've stopped you before. We can do it again." Ace cast an invocation that created a golden helmet and armor over his body. The helmet allowed Ace to see all around himself without needing to turn his head. "The Armor of the Divine will keep you from possessing me. Go take up shop in one of those punks down there. I like a good two-fer-one."

The Torment demon hissed. "I won't turn on my allies. They freed me and my bretheren."

Great.  Ace hurled a wide golden beam at the flying demon. As if one of them wasn't bad enough at a time. Good thing Krystal's here. I'm sure she knows how to handle a demon or two.

The demon flew through Ace's attack, unimpeded by the attempt to capture it. It flew around Ace again and swerve up and then dropped onto Ace's back. It's clawed hands pulled at Ace's spellcraft forged armor. "I'll peel away this paultry second-skin you've surrounded yourself with and nest inside you. You're powers will become mine."
Arcane Ace: ID 23078
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