2401/Dancing the Spiral

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Dancing the Spiral
Date of Scene: 10 July 2020
Location: The Streaming, a new alternate dimension
Synopsis: No description
Cast of Characters: Douglas Ramsey, Samuel Guthrie, Danielle Moonstar, Julio Richter, Paige Guthrie

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
    For each of them, she is there - for Julio, she appears when he's headed down to the kitchen to get a midnight snack, with her back turned to him, arms wrapped around herself. Then they unfold. One, two, four, four, five... six of them.
    She is style, she is grace, as she turns, a flowing motion of limbs that all snap-point at him at once. There's a flash of light, and he's gone.
    For Paige, she appears in a clothing boutique, twirling five parasols in unison, while on one foot. She blows Paige a kiss with an empty hand, and there's a flash of light.
    For Sam, when he's out on a run, there's eerie music and an electric tingle - and then out of the corner of his eye she pulls her way out of a rent in reality, six arms ripping the gap open wide before she steps through. She casts a net outward with a graceful motion of one hand. It engulfs him, and he vanishes in a flash of light.
    For Dani, she appears in a swirl of mist and akin to Kali, knives and blades held in six hands, challenging - but when one strays too close, she merely laughs, and with a dancer's swirl, the mist engulfs them both in a flash of light.
    Regardless of time and place, all four of them appear together, at the foot of a mountain, made of an endless flowing tide of 1s and 0s, flowing upward toward the peak, where they're channeled into the body of Spiral, standing like a hindu goddess, six weaving arms channeling that endless stream of data into herself. Silver wires dangle from her fingertips, into a figure nearby at ground level, ending in hooks embedded into the skin, pulling it tight, working his limbs as he feverishly works at a console - his eyes held open, lips pulled back into a rictus grin, limbs moving awkwardly as it manipulates data in that endless, upward motion.
    Staring into the stream of 1s and 0s causes it to form into visions. Cute cat videos. TikTok clips. Tweets. All engineered by the figure at the console, all flowing upward toward their terminus.

Samuel Guthrie has posed:
Sam Guthrie looks around blinking as he finds himself here. He takes a moment, and looks to the others taking note of who all is here. "Ok, we got problems. He looks to Paige and Julio "Thats spiral hench assassin, major pain in the rear." He continues looking about and seeing the figure who is being controlled, he moves to try to get a look who it is. "No telling what we will find here Mojo does everything for the entertainment of his masses.

Danielle Moonstar has posed:
Danielle knows who this is. And she has an inkling as to why they're here. Or at least why -she's- here. The others might have meddled, too: she's not sure. "Spiral," she says as she looks up that mountain, trying not to look too closely into the data stream. She was in the woods outside of the mansion on a hike, so she's dressed in jeans, books, a white tee, and a red-and-white flannel that's tied off at her waist rather than worn.

There's a look over to Sam (and the others, taking stock) and she gives a small shake of her head. "This isn't Mojo. This is all Spiral. She's been... using Doug. Got into his head somehow."

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio Richter isn't aware of the passage of time, but the moment he arrives at the foot of the digital summit, he reflexively draws whatever tectonic forces he can reach to himself. In that instant, he knows that he isn't in the right place. He has been strengthening his connection to his powers over the past months, hearing the specific resonance of the stones wherever he goes, and it takes only a moment for him to realize that nothing below him feels familiar. Not little of it -- /nothing/. It's a disorienting, lonely, exposed feeling.

Moments later, he feels a lot less lonely as he realizes he's surrounded by people he knows. He only feels /more/ exposed, however, as their presence brings to the forefront of his mind the fact that he's wearing nothing but a pair of gray boxer shorts. Button fly, mid-thigh length, nothing too risqué; perfectly acceptable for a midnight snack run! A lot less so for being surrounded by awake people and -- according to Sam and Dani -- preparing for a fight. He sort of hunches over and retreats as subtly as he can to the back of the group.

"Mojo -- isn't that the goats guy?" he asks with a look of confusion. This perhaps-cryptic question does make sense to him, promise. Maybe less so to anyone else. "Can I be a goat again?" he adds in a quieter voice.

Paige Guthrie has posed:
Paige doesn't get a chance to go out and do some clothes shopping very often. She admitted to herself that her wardrobe is pretty basic, filled with the kinds of things that you'd see around a Kentuckian farm. If she's going to be staying in New York, she's going to need to glam it up. which is why she's here.

Of course, being a mutant, even going out clothes shopping comes with it's own perils. Like this strange six armed silver figure that just blew her a kiss and now she's.... in the matrix? Every time she tries to even /look/ at the landscape her vision gets filled with the latest memes and trending topics from the internet.

Shaking her head, she tries to focus on anything but the digital, and spies her brother, Dani, and her good friend Julio. She walks up to her brother and greets him. "Hey, bro. Any idea what's going on?" The question is answered, more or less, by her brother and Dani. "I've only heard about Mojo in passing, but not this Spiral lady." She squints at her, "What is she /doing/ to Doug?"

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
The figure - Doug - continues to work at the console, as the sky flashes with beats of light like a rave.
    Then suddenly the floor drops out from under the four, and they sink into the darkness, before coming to land - in a supermarket.
    Dani is dressed like Elsa, from Frozen. Sam is in a Spider-Man costume. Paige has on a clown suit and makeup.
    Julio's still in his underwear.
    And there's this SONG playing...
    Dougie finger, Dougie finger, where are yoooooooooou?
    Here I am, here I am, how do you dooooooooooo~
    Dougie finger, Dougie finger, what do you doooooooo...?
    There is a - something - beneath Julio's feet. It's like gelatin. Solid, but not. The tectonic energy of moving streams of data, the churning landmasses of an *otherplace*.
    There is a precariously stacked pyramid of baby bottles full of milk nearby.

Samuel Guthrie has posed:
Sam Guthrie looks round and blinks a moment "Ok, Spiral on her on?" He frowns, but moves to meet the others motioning her in "So, we got to get to Doug and get him free. He has been in mojo's computers before, we gotta figure out how to wake him. He looks over scanning the baby bottles.

Danielle Moonstar has posed:
Dani notices everything -else- first. The supermarket. Sam-as-Spider-Man, Paige-the-clown, and poor Julio. Then, THEN she notices her own wardobe change. She cringes and wears a sour look. "I'm offended." Crossing her arms awkwardly in the blue dress with its strange train connected to the wrists she looks to Sam even as she gestures and conjures up an outfit for Julio.

Sure, it'll only exist until she needs her powers for something -else- or her concentration breaks, but at least he'll look clothed to the party. Jeans, t-shirt; pretty much just standard 'teenage boy' fare. Underneath, however, he'll know he's still in just his boxers.

"We have to use a gentle touch. I already tried getting through to him and he was... very resistant. He thinks he's- he's following his destiny or something like that. She's done a number on him."

Dani looks up and scowls at the song before approaching the pyramid of baby bottles. She reaches out hesitantly toward them. "I'd almost prefer Mojo," she mutters with another sour look to her costume.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio actually feels vaguely better plummeting through the darkness. He was dressed for the darkness anyway, and in general, the lower he is, the more in his element he'll be.

Not so here, as it turns out when the lights come back on. As they enter the hypersaturated supermarket setting, he doesn't feel the strength of the underground, he feels like he's briefly surfacing from a weird, flowing subterra.

His pants situation is also unimproved -- at least until Dani intervenes. Noticing her gesture that led to the shift, he shoots her a profoundly grateful look.

"What is that pinche song?" he asks, squinting and looking for the loudspeakers the noise must be originating from. He might be able to blow them out with a carefully placed burst of vibration; he fires one off, but instead of the usual green aura and seismic rumble, he's putting off a Nyan cat pixelated rainbow with a noise like a couple of "All Star bass boosted" vids going off slightly out of sync.

Paige Guthrie has posed:
Paige just /stares/. The utter randomness of everything causes her brain to pagefault. "I...." she looks at everybody. She looks down at herself. "A clown?" And then the music starts. Oh God the music. The sad clown facepaint just makes her look so pathetic as she tries to deal with it all. "This doesn't make any sense!"

Indeed. This doesn't make any sense. She grunts in frustration, pulling helplessly at the clown suit, until finally she just gives up and husks out of it, intending to go full steel. But what's underneath her shed skin is just another clown suit, with different face pain. "Augh!"

She whirls around to ask Dani, "What does she want from us?"

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
    As Dani reaches out for the baby bottles, the pyramid falls over, shattering and collapsing into a big mess.
    There's an audible sound effect - the tuba that plays on 'The Price is Right' whenever someone loses a game.
    Then someone talks on the loudspeaker, and it sounds like an adult speaking on one of the old Charlie Brown TV specials - a muffled trombone.
    A moment later, there's the creak of wheels as Doug walks up, pulling a bucket and carrying a mop. He's dressed in a sad looking 1950s stockboy outfit, complete with stupid hat and a nametag that says 'DOUG' - he begins mopping up the mess, as he sings along to the music.
    "Dougie Finger, Dougie finger, what do you do?
    Mopping things, mopping things, that's what I do~"

Samuel Guthrie has posed:
Sam Guthrie looks over a brow raised at what Dani says and then when Doug comes over he looks to the man "Doug, what's going on, we are here for you man." He will scan around them, and will join in on the next line of the song, but tries something else Dougie Finger Dougie finger, what do you do? Your a hero and a friend, thats you too." He sings a bit off key trying to see if the words have any effect on him.

Danielle Moonstar has posed:
As the bottles come crashing down, Dani jumps back a step, startled. "I didn't touch 'em!" In case anyone was wondering. She watches Doug make his way out and steps back, clearing the way. For the time being, she just stares. There's a look up and around for those speakers again and her jaw works for a moment. "Uhm."

She repeats that again "Uhm" and opts to ... step in and try making more of a mess. Just kicking some of the bottles around. Is she trying to piss him off?! Or maybe just keep him around while the others work on other ideas.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio gives Doug a look that combines concern with, frankly, revulsion at his current behavior. Stepping carefully around the mess Dani is working on, he sidles over to his hypnotized friend. "Doug, you've got to come with us and get out of here. There aren't any speakers to blow up and I don't know how else to turn the song off," Julio says, giving the other boy's shoulder an experimental shake. He then hisses, with a note of increasing desperation, "Plus, now Sam is /singing/."

Illyana told them not to touch Doug back in Monaco, but with the time that has passed and the overwelming, alien environment, that completely slips Julio's mind.

Paige Guthrie has posed:
Paige watches open mouthed as the person she turned to for answers go all brain fried on her. Oh God, and now Sam has been infected with whatever brainworm horror that's effecting Doug. "Okay, Paige. Think!"

She screws her eyes shut as if that will help drown out the noise. It helps, marginally, and when her eyes pop back open she walks over to where Doug is mopping up the spilled milk and starts examining him. "She was puppeteering him in the matrix room," she remarks. "Maybe they're still on him."

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
    Indeed, silvery lines seem to trail out of Doug away into nowhere - he jostles, when Julio shoves him, and pauses for a moment, but then continues merrily singing along to the hideous earworm and pushing around milk and broken glass on the floor.
    Then he straightens up, mechanically. "Shift's over! Ding!" He says, as he drops the mop and starts to walk out of the store - into the parking lot - where he climbs onto a... giant baby bottle with wheels on it. ...The Hulk is driving, except he has the head of a giant baby doll.

Samuel Guthrie has posed:
Sam Guthrie frowns a bit and says "Well dang, hoped maybe the message might get through to him that way." He will motion the others to head out so they can follow Doug. "You got any ideas Chief?" He will ask Dani falling back into a bit of an old role with her

Danielle Moonstar has posed:
Unfortunately, Dani doesn't know what Spiral wants with them. She knows what Spiral wants with Doug, but... why bring the rest of them here like this? She scrubs at her face as her distraction tactic fails and spends a moment watching Doug as he heads out of the store.

"Wait..." She leans back on her heels for just a second. "Wait..." Another rubbing of face as she tries putting pieces together. The song -does not help- though. "When I went into Doug's memories, I found where Spiral whammied him. She wants his help taking out Mojo, or at least... carving out her own domain. Why would she bring us here and show us Doug under her control? She has to know we'd try to break him free."

As she tries to work through it, she's already running after and looking out for a vehicle they can comandeer. "We follow. There's a story being played out here and we might have to-" she looks down at her costume and shudders once more. "play along for a bit to figure it out."

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio backs away from Doug's sudden, robotic exit from the supermarket, and bumps into a poorly rendered shelf. He jumps slightly at the feel of cool metal against his skin, then a second later ducks his head and glowers as he remembers that his clothes are illusory.

"I don't know what she wants us for," he answers Dani. The music really isn't helping his cognitive functions, either. "I've never even heard of the hija de puta! We've got powers, we go to the school, we know Doug. She wants us to try to break him out? Just for the drama of it all?"

He throws his hands out in a fed-up shrug, then his fingers go to his temples. "Can anyone even make sense of this? What is this shit supposed to be?" he asks. He's neither extremely online enough, nor familiar enough with young children's entertainment, to recognize a Finger Family video. "And more importantly, how do we /break/ it?"

He emphasizes the word 'break' by slamming one foot against the ground -- it emits a massively clipped noise like a jumpscare video -- and his nyan aura sends a wall of popup ads clipping out of the flat-colored pavement directly in front of Baby Hulk's Bottlemobile.

Paige Guthrie has posed:
"I'll trade you," Paige offers Dani. "At least /you/ get to have a pretty dress." She rushes off after her so they can keep up with Doug. "She's still got her strings in him!" she shouts. "They're still there but you can hardly see them. Maybe we can cut them somehow?"

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Every time Julio swears, the video seems to get a little grayer. "Stop it." Doug says, where he's sitting atop that baby bottle. "Stop it!" He finally looks over at them. "You're demonetizing the video! We need X-Men to get the most shares and you're DEMONETIZING THE VIDEO STOP IT."

His fingers twitch. "Get on. We have to go to the cemetery. Get on." The strings have become more apparent, as have the hooks embedded in his flesh. His eyes are bloodshot, with tears forming at the corners of them, near where hooks have stretched them and are visibly holding them open. "Dougie Finger, Dougie Finger..."

Samuel Guthrie has posed:
Sam Guthrie hmms and has seen Spidey do this a few times, so he will try to spin a web splattering web here and there some on the road, some on car, but soon he is able to start making a sorta basket big enough to carry the other three in. "Well there has to be a way to get through to him, I mean, what if we start using copywritten things?

Danielle Moonstar has posed:
"I'm dressed like the whitest of white girls," Dani points out to Paige. Might have something to do with her ire on top of it being, y'know, Elsa. Dani doesn't mind being pretty sometimes! She just doesn't have a lifestyle that allows for pretty dresses. When Doug finally acknowledges them, she blinks a few times and the gears start moving. Tick, tick, tick.

While she does start to head for the vehicle, she also starts putting together one of her illusions. Giant, purple balloon letters that spell out 'FUCK.' Sorry, Julio, no more illusory clothing.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio raises an eyebrow at Sam. "She put Dani in an Elsa costume," he says, sounding skeptical, "So I don't know about copyright. I know you can get strikes for recorded music, but I left my phone in my other" -- he stops, takes a deep breath, and corrects himself in a brittle tone -- "in my pants."

Dani's plan meets with a grin of approval -- at least until he glances down and realizes he had to drop illusory trou to enable it. He looks back up, shuts his eyes, and sets his jaw.

"Still, if we get booted, we need to make sure we bring Doug with us," he says, hooking his toes into one of the web-globs Sam splattered onto the bottle. "This is /so/ wrong," he mutters with a disgusted expression. "Jesucristo, I wish I were wearing shoes."

He clambers the rest of the way up onto the bottle, swearing extra profusely and extra bilingually at every moment of frustration, and finally slides in behind Doug. Before they get moving, he starts inspecting the hooks minutely, trying to see if he might be able to remove them without hurting his friend.

Paige Guthrie has posed:
"In case you haven't noticed," Paige says wryly, "I /am/ the whitest of white girls. Besides, how do you run in these things?" As if on queue, she stumbles over the big floppy shoes. She manages to catch up to them to tumble into the back of the milkmobile, ending up face first with those clownish feet sticking out into the air.

"Gosh darnit!" she shouts in frustration, as she wriggles her way right side up. "I know a thing or two about coding," she offers. "Maybe there might be a way to look at what Doug is doing that way and try to help him get out of this? I don't like feeling this useless."

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
    When Dani creates that big swear, things go gray. Doug looks up and says, "NO!" He points at Dani. "You! OUT!"
    And she vanishes with a *poit!*
    He glares at Julio. "STOP IT."
    And then he points at Paige, who's no longer a clown! Now she's Elsa! Because all these creepy freakin' videos have Elsa in them.
    Now the trickles of blood where the hooks dig into his flesh are visible, dripping down his skin, and his repetition of that song is more of a ragged croak. They're almost tangible enough for someone to grab hold and start digging them out of him, maybe.
    The creepy baby bottle-mobile pulls out of the parking lot and sets off down the road, with Doug and that creepy hulk babyhead driver bobbing their heads from side to side in unison, before it pulls into a graveyard. Doug hops down, and a guy dressed like Magneto promptly kicks him over. THUD. Mr. Sinister, the Silver Samurai, and uh... Professor Xavier except he's dressed and painted like an evil clown all attempt to do the same to the others.
    If this is a youtube video, demonetizing it must negatively affect it - these creepy kids' videos are all procedurally generated by a bot. They all iterate on themselves and go largely the same way. So messing with that might disrupt it further.
    Magneto is putting Doug in a hole up to his neck, now, and beginning to fill it in with dirt.

Samuel Guthrie has posed:
Sam Guthrie reacts stronger than maybe needed. He kicks in his blastfield blasting past first the Silver Samurai, and then into Magneto. "Keep your damn hands off him. He is not dead, you will not hurt him." Sam's field seems to be flaring brighter than normal. Paige may have seen with a similar set to his face when standing up to a couple of Cabbots who were picking on her and Josh.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio stares as Dani is gone in a puff of smoke, taking with her any chance at maintaining his own dignity. At least after this, the skintight X-men costumes won't seem so embarrassing, but he does wish he could have adjusted to that in some way other than just being thrown into the deep end.

"Okay. At least we know a way out, now," he comments, a little bit nervously. "We just need to make sure the next one of us gets Doug out before they go."

He's gritting his teeth, about to grab some hooks, when the vehicle jerks to an instantaneous halt and Doug leaps away to get brained and buried. "Who watches this shit?" he asks, sneering at the inevitable graying. But burying people in dirt? This is definitely Julio's bailiwick, and Magneto and the rest can eat it if they think he's just going to passively play along.

For one thing, he's not going to get punted, he's going to dive straight into the earth under his own power. Quickly raising a column of what turns out to be text from a spam email, he lifts Doug out of the dirt. Then he opens a chasm under Mr. Sinister, ready to smash it closed the moment the sadistic geneticist falls in. The whole time, the rumbling earth sounds like the bassline to a viral OK Go video.

Paige Guthrie has posed:
When Paige sees that she's Elsa now she raises her hands in a cheer, "YES!" And then Dani is ported out of here. "NO! Crud!" She clambers over the back door to see if she can unhook Doug from a couple of those puppet strings, but Doug just ups and hops out of the car before she finishes one. "Dangit!"

Paige turns to answer Julio, "Nobody. It's all a scam. Just a bunch of bots, churning out these videos just to have more bots watch it and cheese the algorithms." She scrambles out of the vehicle, careful not to trip up in her dress. She scowls as Sam goes full Broforce on the ersatz Magneto. She reaches down into the pit, "Help me get him up out of there while Sam has them distracted!?

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug is getting more desperate, those hooks more visibly pulling at him. They threaten to tear his chin. "Stop it, stop it, you're ruining everything, STOP IT--"

He says, looking at Sam. "If I can't finish the video--" When Paige pulls him out of the hole, he points at the other holes in the ground. "You have to get in!" They could grab hold of those hooks and pull them out, now, maybe. But it'll hurt. "Dougie finger, DOUGIE FINGER...!"

Samuel Guthrie has posed:
Sam Guthrie looks over to Doug, and says "You don't have to do anything you don't want to Doug, you beat her you beat Mojo, they aint got anything on you. When it comes to this type of stuff, no one beats Doug Ramsey." He stresses the last name as he keeps anyone except Paige and Julio from Doug.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio bursts upright out of the ground, propelled by a column of clickbait headlines. He's holding tightly to the waistband of his shorts, just in case that viscous feeling isn't just the seismic profile, but a physical goopiness that might drag at them and get him NSFW'd into oblivion prematurely.

He stops by Doug, wincing at all the hooks and their threads. "Did ANYBODY bring some scissors?" he wails.

Then, he has an unbelievably stupid idea. But it's the specific kind of unbelievably stupid that might actually be perfect for this setting.

He puts both hands into the snarl of puppet strings and flicks his left pinky and middle fingers in a pantomime of a gesture so practiced, it is engrained in practically every computer-user born after 1980. "Control-X!" he shouts as he does so.

Paige Guthrie has posed:
Now that Paige is Elsa, she?s going to give husking one more try. This time, just a hand, and this time, success. She breathes a sigh of relief when the skin comes off revealing a shiny chrome hand with some very sharp looking fingernails.

?Doug, focus!? she yells at him, as she reaches up to one of the strings to see if she can cut them with her sharp nails. ?You can beat her!? Much to her surprise, the thread splits cleanly at her cut. Looking hopeful, she starts cutting all the strings she can get her hands on, trying to get the face ones first. ?We got you,? she says encouragingly.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
...Control X? Several strings go PING - each one that pops and snaps goes trailing away into the ether. "Stop it," Doug says, "Stop it-" But it gets fainter and fainter, as the strings are cut.

Sam holds Magneto, Sinister, the Silver Samurai and uh... Chuckles the Clown (maybe not bring that one up to the Professor) at bay while Paige and Julio cut Doug loose - and then he's left slumped on the ground, his elbows on his knees. He's staring straight ahead, tears in the corners of his eyes, his teeth clenched. The hooks are still buried in his skin, but they're not being pulled. His breathing is gradually starting to ramp up, though, as he begins to hyperventilate.
    Then he clenches his hands and opens his mouth, but the word is FELT rather than said:
    S - P - I - R - A - L
    And the graveyard disintegrates, leaving them back at the mountain. Doug gets to his feet, and begins to climb, data rippling and pooling at his fingertips, as he climbs toward the Six-Armed figure, visibly growing in size to meet her.
    He opens his mouth again, and once again it shakes the heavens.
    S - P - I - R - A - L
    ...Doug *hates* Spiral. Now would be a good time for Sam to remind his little sister and the new guy about this.
    Because now she's noticed him, and Mother Durga is pulling swords, looking for all the world like Kali come to life.

Samuel Guthrie has posed:
Sam Guthrie looks to the two others, and says "If we let those two get to one another pretty sure only one of them is going to be left. He hated her before all this, not it is ramped to 11. You get Doug out of here, Ah will take Spiral. He kicks in the speed, trying to hit not just spiral but the tip of the mountain with it, to knock her away from Doug.

Julio Richter has posed:
"Nobody ever wants to have the big finishing fight underground," Julio mutters to himself, drawing up an intense enough Nyan aura that the incessant vocaloid melody becomes faintly audible, and pixelated sparkles start blipping all around him. "Ay, no, Julio, let's fight on a metaphorical plane of viral web bullshit, won't that be fun?"

Completely ignoring Sam's directive, because 1. he has no idea how to get Doug out of here, and 2. one person going alone to fight the end boss seems, frankly, really stupid to him, he slams his bare fists into the binary ground in a complex sequence, and the whole arena echoes with a cacophonous, descending synthesized drum fill sure to strike terror into any earthbound heart.

By the time the molten synths have burst up underneath Spiral, it's unmistakable: this puta is about to get RICKROLLED. As the ghost of every false link descends on her, the drums and synths shake the ground just as violently as they shook internet users' faith in their fellow man. Good luck dancing through THAT.

Paige Guthrie has posed:
Paige breathes a sigh of relief once the last thread is cut. Then Doug becomes the Colossal 50' Giant Angry Nerd beelining straight for Spiral. She glances at her brother and shakes her head. "I don't think I could stop him if I tried," she says honestly. "Besides I have absolutely /no idea/ how to get out of here."

Instead, she's going to do what everybody else is going to do: Fight. She reaches up to her face and grabs the skin, tearing herself out of it with one long *schrrriiiip!*, revealing a glinting metal body. "Let's get her!" And she charges at the six armed figure, throwing a punch.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
    People shouldn't be able to move like that. She's all arms and weaving blades and she moves aside when Sam rockets at her. As Julio begins to shake the datascape with his trolling and #rickroll trends on Twitter as a bunch of people just start... doing it again, making people reluctant to click on unidentified YouTube links their friends give them.
    Doug is reaching the peak of the mountain now, looking huge, mostly techno-organic, and angry, his howl of rage once again making this bizzare reality shake as Spiral meets him with a flourish of blades.
    She's grinning, showing sharp teeth, as the battle is joined - "Too little too late, kids - the Stream has now been codified, and it Dances its way through Reality as a whole new realm, a power yet to be tapped - a power my Master is incapable of understanding... and it will belong to ME!"
    Swords float in rings around her, as she weaves and dances her way around her attackers, until Paige tags her in the side, and she lets out a shout of pain - and then with a weave of her arms, everything's *upside down*. "Spiral controls the vertical. Spiral controls the horizontal - you are the dancers," She says, "And I am the dancer and the caller of the tune~"
    Then Doug shouts again, and the landscape is torn up, going ragged. YouTube goes offline and Twitter crashes. Facebook ads get *weird*.

Samuel Guthrie has posed:
Sam Guthrie does not have to worry about up or down, no, he flies through this environment as he would any other. He looks over to Doug "Doug "IJON TICHY'S MEMORIES," He shouts to his friend, trying to get through to him and with an idea that Spiral may not realize. "You can do it."

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio reaches down deep into the mantle of the datastream, dredging up the worst imaginable internet filth to fling at Spiral: a volcano of bigoted 4chan memes, a landslide of shuttered subreddits, torrents of the most perverse dark web pornography imaginable. AI chatbots corrupted by twitter mobs emerge from the ether to clutch at her heels, regurgitating holocaust denials as they try to drag her under.

So, so, /soooo/ many mediocre dick pics.

Finally, he digs his fingers into the darkest strata of the information superhighway, splitting it apart to reveal the ravenous, ever-shifting void of processing power that is the global cryptocurrency mine. One good hit from any of the others should send her, well, spiraling into the black hole where communication capacity goes to die.

Paige Guthrie has posed:
Paige scrabbles at the ground... now the ceiling... to keep from being plummeted into the void. She punches up through the datastream with one hand, and grabs an errant ad to SELL GOLD NOW. She twists, and tosses the ad at Spiral. She reaches in again, searching, looking for something specific. Ah. Here we go.

"Enjoy your ransomware!" she shouts as she /launches/ herself at Spiral. Let's see how good she is at the internet when everything gets encrypted and some guy in has the only key.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
    Spiral is - moving. It's uncanny how she moves, with more grace and speed than any human dancer. Data weaves around her in a shielding stream, but she is put on the backfoot by the three mutants attacking her as she struggles with Doug for control of the environment.
    Sam's shout to Doug gets his attention, and data pools around his fingertips, as a doorway appears behind Spiral - a doorway to a decrepit metropolis of abandoned websites that sucks her in.
    Spiral growls, clinging to the doorway with her six arms. "...There's no prison Spiral can't dance her way free of, sweetheart--" She says.
    This time, when Doug speaks, it's audible, though it still shakes the Stream. "See you in GeoCities, bitch."
    She grins, showing sharp teeth - but as the door sucks her in, one hand lets fly, hurling a Roman gladius at Sam - it streaks through the air high above, toward him, tip first.
    "No drama without tragedy, Cypher--"
    Then she's sucked inside, and the portal to an abandoned corner of the internet slams shut behind her.

Samuel Guthrie has posed:
Sam Guthrie is hit by the sword, and there is something about Spiral's swords. It does not bounce off Sam, instead hitting him, and sinking into the young man. Sam gets a look of surprise on his face, and he veers off to the side blast field winking out and Sam is falling out of the "Sky" .

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio tries to pull up the softest internet content he can find -- cat videos, cute puppies, embroidered baby blankets on pinterest -- but his powers don't have nearly as much pull with the fluffier sections of social media as they do with the nasty underground stuff. So if Sam's going to come out of this fall OK, it's not going to be by his doing.

Paige Guthrie has posed:
Paige's eyes go wide when she sees Sam get hit with the sword. "SAM! NO!!" She lets go, finding her feet again, and rushes to where he's falling positioning herself underneath to catch him. Which she does.

Tears well in her eyes as she sees how badly injured Sam is. The gladius has gone deep into Sam's chest, up to the hilt. "No, Sam!" she cries, falling to her knees, holding a lifeless body. She pulls the sword out, and just kind of drops it, forgotten. "Please, no."

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
    The stream quiets now that Spiral is gone - it stills, the normal flow of the data that makes it up resuming.
    Doug shrinks down, and he's just - just Doug, standing there. He reaches down and grimaces as he begins picking silver hooks out of his skin, leaving very real wounds - and then he looks up.
    The stream begins to flow and fade away around them, receding in on itself like water draining from a tub - shapes begin to materialize in the dark. Trees. Grass. The lights of the mansion - they're dropped from the stream into the backyard.
    Doug closes his eyes, and tears run down his cheeks. "...Damn it. DAMN IT-"
    He looks over at Sam, and walks over, before he drops to his knees. "...Damn it." He closes his eyes, and then says, quietly, "...Take him inside, Paige. Julio --" He says, "...You should wake up the others." He curls his hands into fists and lets them drop to his sides, trembling. He is very much Not Okay. "...Spiral." He says, barely more than a mumble.

Samuel Guthrie has posed:
Sam Guthrie is not breathing for a long few moments, and then there is is a breath from the dead man, He is in his sister's arms, and he looks around. His chest no longer has a hole in it but it is inflamed, with a huge bruise already there "Is Doug ok?" He asks, Yea Sam dies and his first reaction on coming back is asking about his friend.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio stoops beside Doug, placing a bracing hand (after a moment's search) on a part of his friend's shoulder that doesn't seem to have any hooks in it. In a low undertone, he says, "We're just glad to have you back in one piece." Glancing back and forth between the two injured boys, then over at Paige, he continues, "Paige, do you mind being the one to tell the teachers?" As far as he knows, she isn't aware this is anything more than a school, and he's guessing both of the others could use a trip to the more advanced medical center in the sub-basement, if only to get bandaged up and readied for bed rest and recovery.

Paige Guthrie has posed:
Paige gasps in surprise and relief as her brother is suddenly resurrected from the dead. He wasn't breathing. He had a /hole/ in his /chest/. This was a miracle. She clings tight to her brother, which may be a bit uncomfortable since she's still all steel, but she refuses to let go for the moment.

"Thank God," she breathes into his neck. "Thank God you're okay." After a while she releases him and holds him out at arms length, looking at the wound that has already closed up. "How?" is all she can manage to ask.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
    Doug's eyes open a little, half-lidded. He stares straight ahead, and gives a flat "What." The horror at Spiral's parting blow fades, but the numbness stays.
    He remains kneeling where he is - he'll go where they tell him. He doesn't seem to be in a place to do a lot of talking right now. "I'm sorry guys -- I think she messed me up pretty bad."

Samuel Guthrie has posed:
Sam Guthrie coughs and lets out an ow, not so tight there girly." He coughs out "Yea, ummm," He sighs a bit and looks around them and says "Lets get Doug inside and make sure he is ok, Ah'll be ok." He looks over and says "Guess Ah should have told ya, when Ah die, Ah sorta get better," He winces a bit and tries to sit up on his own. He looks over to Doug :"Aint your fault man."

Julio Richter has posed:
"Espera. ¿Que?" Julio stares at Sam, clearly rattled. "I thought it was just a special effect thing..." That had seemed like the most reasonable assumption when the digital world evaporated around them and Sam healed at the same time. "He should definitely get to the lab," he says in Spanish, kind of horrified.

Paige Guthrie has posed:
Paige sniffles and wipes her nose, steel on steel making a grinding noise, finally letting go of her brother. She glances down at him. "You're /immortal/? When did that happen? Does mom know?"

She shakes her head and stands, helping Sam to his feet as she does so. "Yeah." she says, nodding. "Let's get inside. I'll get some clothes on and see if I can round up some teachers."

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
    Doug remains where he is, staring straight ahead - he doesn't resist, if Julio helps him up - he just follows along with stumbling steps - numb. He still has silver hooks embedded in his skin, but he doesn't seem to notice the pain.

Samuel Guthrie has posed:
Sam Guthrie will stand with the others and head to lead everyone to the med lab "No Ah aint told Ma, don't need her worrying about me. Hey ma, by the way this dinosaur guy killed me the other week and I got better." He rubs his chest. "That's the second time it has happened, didn't know if it would happen again or what not." He looks at them and says "Lets get Doug inside and fixed up."