7193/1000 Faces: Death Comes With A Smile

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1000 Faces: Death Comes With A Smile
Date of Scene: 02 August 2021
Location: Fordham, The Bronx, NYC
Synopsis: The god of death is death. All hail the new god of death.
Cast of Characters: Jane Foster, Tetsuya Wakao, Blackagar Boltagon, Bando George, Kaida Connolly, Vintridr, Kamala Khan

Jane Foster has posed:
It's a quarter past nine, an hour when Fordham in the Bronx has already been up and busy for hours. Even in summer when kids aren't at school, the older ones shuffle out to service jobs if they have them or the park if they don't. Discarded handballs litter the churned fields, basketballs forgotten on the courts along with bags, the occasional body, and heaps of spent casings.

Ghostly spiders the size of cars whizz up and down Grand Concourse, the main road dividing the sports fields at St. James Park from Poe Park, named after yes, that Edgar Allen guy. Screams rattle off the low-rises and staggered apartment towers. A few residents brave their balconies or roofs to take shots at the horrendous, multicoloured arachnids, which may not be to their advantage. Even car-sized spiders can climb effectively with bone-hooked claws. Shelob has nothing on the bestial monsters springing twenty feet in a bound.

Hence why victim count hits the news reports almost immediately. The local precinct has barely had time to react, one car overturned by a number of skeleton warriors. Warriors with skull masks, wearing gorgeous plumed headdresses and bare-chested to show their painted rib cages. They move in clusters, wielding obsidian spears, macuahuitls, and even obsidian firearms that feel antiquated. Taking a blast from one of those arquebuses doesn't make a difference at close range.

When the spiders encounter the skeleton warriors, it's just as vicious as when humans are involved. A cop is on the run from a trio of the warriors, one of whom casually loads a spear in a spear-thrower, taking aim.

Gut-wrenching laughter originates from the park, sending ravens flying.

Tetsuya Wakao has posed:
Originally at his apartment, Tetsuya isn't about to let something like this go down whenever he can do something about it. Especially not whenever it's close to where he's just settling in!

That had lead to his changing to his Soryu outfit and leaping off rooftops, and using his crossbow grappling gun to head for where the activity was.

Once he lands on a rooftop, however, he freezes as he looks carefully at what he is looking at. The dark blue ninja's masked face turns one way then the other as he seems to be trying to figure out what is going on, how, and why. Far beyond the obvious it seems.

Otherwise, he remains silent as he observes for the moment. The park's laughter has him starting that way, leaping across the street via rooftop to investigate.

Blackagar Boltagon has posed:
Someone had told him he needed a 'better look' for when he was going to be out and about. Not so much a costume, because he was not intending to really hide himself. But something more respectable looking than jeans and a t-shirt. So now, Black Bolt has adopted to wearing a duster coat as well which flaps in an overly dramatic way as he descends from the skies, gliding down to land at the perimeter of the park.

The first few steps the dark haired appearing man takes has him taking stock of what he sees. It isn't just the sights that bring a grim look to his face, but the sounds. The screams. The terror. Yelling in Spanish as the citizens flee from something. Blue eyes follow the path they are running that cut of the shot has Black Bolt locking his vision on the source of the fear. A towering skeleton that has already taken some victims in its path, seeking more.

That is where his path starts him towards. Not away from the danger nor to rescue those in trouble. Rather a direct path towards the source of this immediate trouble.

Bando George has posed:
    School is almost back in session. Bando doesn't like that, but still he has a couple of days left before rejoining the masses of eager young minds in classrooms. He was on his way to the zoo. Or at least he told his folks that. Really he was looking for superheroing opportunities!

    He was a couple of blocks away when the news hit, and though he couldn't understand the mostly spanish reports, he could understand the pictures. Fortunately, he had brought his costume! He hopped into an alley, and over his shorts and T-shirt he put on his rather home-made costume. One of those green spandex suits that cover a person from head to toe with no discernable face over the full body sock, a utility belt from a backpack with various tools and...snacks? And of course the backpack it was contained within slung over his shoulders, along with a lawsuit pending from Mercedes Benz that is on his sharpie'd on the spandex suit.

    Knees kicked up high, Bando runs the opposite direction as most of the crowd, and stops as he sees the overturned car. "Whoa!" he exclaims. "It's like that old movie with whats-his-name in it! What was that movie?" he ponders a second. "I guess I can look it up later. Um..." now what? He glances around, trying to determine where he should start with such a dramatic scene as he nearly is hit by a car fleeing over the curb. "Hey, careful!" he scolds the driver, who surely has no intentions of stopping to apologize.

Kaida Connolly has posed:
It was the smells that attracted her. Well, attract was probably the wrong word. It was a hideous mix of smells. She was a heroine, though and as such, she had to investigate those smells. She came to the area only to blink and stare, "What the...?" She then spots a person running from a skeletal warrior with the sword wielding fiend closing in. She immediately leaps down to land right near the fleeing woman only to call out loudly.

"Dynamic Entry!" And she's suddenly a blur of movement, feet first aimed right at the Skeleton's skull. One might not think a mouse could do a great deal of damage but a surface area that small, weighing about two pounds, and moving at just shy of teh speed of sound? Well, guns work for a reason.

Vintridr has posed:
    In exile or not, in hiding or not - Vintridr is still Valkyrior, and when she hears that ephemeral clarion calling her to guide one of the victorious fallen to their reward, she can't /not/ obey it.

    The Einherjar-to-be isn't quite dead as she reaches him in that liminal space between moments, but he recognizes her nature and tries to clutch at her arm with his dying strength. "Please. You've got to..."

    His voice trails off as his last breath leaves him, but Vintridr nods at the glowing, translucent shape that emerges from his body before it flows into one of the gemstones worked into her armour.

    Her eyes harden as she looks out over the carnage below, sorting out friend from foe -- entirely too few of the former and too many of the latter. But that has never stopped the Valkyrior before, not when there was a good reason to engage in battle.

    Eight stories down is a bit much even for an Asgardian, but fortunately there's a warrior loading a spear-thrower to break her fall. The fact that her fall breaks most of his bones is a welcome bonus, and her sword is between the ribs of one of his companions before they've quite finished realizing they're under threat.

    She withdraws it as she turns toward the last remainder of the trio. "You chose the wrong place for your murder spree, scum" she coldly informs him before striking out.

Kamala Khan has posed:
    The victim count may have hit the news, but Ms. Marvel was already on her way by that time. Sure, the Bronx is a hop, skip, and a jump from her usual stomping ground, but the social media alerts she had set up drew her attention. She just couldn't ignore tweets like this:

            GIANT SKELETON FLATTENS BODEGA #KarensAttack #TalkToTheManager

    The journey was easy -- a giant Ms. Marvel ran across the George Washington Bridge, shrinking to avoid the overhead structure and growing again to increase her stride.

    "I gotcha!" a friendly voice calls out. Suddenly, the fleeing police officer is scooped up in a giant tan hand with dark nail polish. It's a 30-foot Ms. Marvel! She starts running as quickly as she can with the police officer in her grip. "Just a little further!" she calls out before turning a corner.

    "What the hell am I covered in?" the officer shouts.

    "Oh, sorry, it's tzatziki sauce! I was hungry!" Running from Jersey can take a lot out of a girl!

Jane Foster has posed:
In Poe Park... the ravens have fled, squawking and cawing mournfully. The open greenspace provides victims few places to hide as they run and dodge the fiercesome death-masked warriors. In the middle dances a laughing skeletal horror, growing ever larger as he weaves among the trees. Ripping out a ninety-year-old oak, he flexes the unrooted, heavy tree and swivels to hurl it into the sky at a nuisance floating up there. <<Delightful. More to feast upon!>>

Bloody slashes from the obsidian clubs rip flesh from the body and expose bone to be cracked. An older man stumbles, dragging his leg, only to be brained by another warrior. Where the dead have fallen, faintly tangible piles of grave dirt give way to shivering white ghosts.

Jane Foster has posed:
In the street, the skeletal warrior kicking a dumpster away to pursue that fleeing woman isn't prepared for a mouse to leap up. He's quick but Kaida smashes into him. Something like black blood spews, ichor as anyone magically inclined can tell. He staggers back and falls, but another of his buddies comes running to swipe at the fleeing woman. And so does a spider, who sat down beside her to feast on the death-warrior.

Bando in his bright green is a tempting target for a spider. It chitters, dashing at him.

Another of those spiders scuttles up after Vintridr when she blocks the spearthrower with a strike. The spear he flung at the police officer scratches Ms. Marvel's foot-wide nail. Boo, lacquer ruined! He's forced to use the obsidian spear to defend himself against the Asgardian Vintridr as explosive grey bursts mark wherever they strike.

The other two skeletons don't even bother defending their buddy. Is that a human over there? Yes! Get them! The pair tear off for another tempting target. Cowards!

Bando George has posed:
    Bando is not quite as fast to assess the situation as some others who have responded. Give him a break! This is his first otherworldly attack! He turns to see the incoming spider. "Ew!" He shouts, reaching out with a hand, he clutches it into a fist, causing the spider to disappear. His other hand opens up at an empty car on the street, the spider now...seeming to be made out of yarn? It maintains all of its form and functions, but is decidedly corporeal now, and trapped within a car parked on the side of the street.

    "Never been so happy to have things not work right," Bando says with a relief as the spider bounces about in an attempt to get out of the closed vehicle. "I need a weapon," he comments. "Oh hey, it's Ms. Marvel. HEY MS. MARVEL!" he exclaims, waving wildly. "GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN!" Wait, what was he looking for again?

Tetsuya Wakao has posed:
Soryu, as a Shinobi, has seen many things. This takes the cake more than anything. So, he does the smart thing to make sure he can show the ninja clan he is affiliated with and let alone his boss. Making sure the flash is off while he is hiding behind a tree, he snaps a quick photo on a small digital camera of the rather crazy sight before tucking the camera back into a pouch and pulling out something else.

Walking out from behind the tree, the object expands into a full on spear before he starts forward at a walk and then takes off with a footstep in a flying charge at the skeleton horror. Once close enough, his momentum slows down as he brings the spear around and stabs at the horror. The resulting small explosion of air even if he misses is sure to be an eye catcher.

"I do not know what you are, filth, but this place is under Ryujin's protection so long as I am here. Stop this madness or I will destroy you." The masked man says.

Blackagar Boltagon has posed:
Black Bolt's slowly hovering descent draws the ire of the Skeleton beast in Poe Park. Watching in a calm manner as a tree is uprooted, turned and thrown at him. Shimmering waves of energy encircle him as his hand lifts up and he strikes the large tree at a point that illuminates within his mind, the shatterpoint of the trunk taking his energy and causing the log to erupt into a cloud of splinters that rain down around them.

The rest of his descent ends, booted feet landing on the ground of the park. Although the large Skeleton has the primary focus of the King, he moves quickly to intercept one of the Skeleton minions. A sword is about to come down upon a young woman and Black Bolt punches the sword on it's downward swing, striking the broadside of it to knock it off target. Startled the Skeleton Warrior redirects it's focus on the Inhuman. The blade swings heavily again, Black Bolt swaying his body out of the way of the strike before tilting dispassionate eyes in observation. This sequence continues for several more frames, the Skeleton attempting to hit him, Black Bolt moving aside from the strikes. The young woman, still screaming uses the opportunity to flee. The time is being purchased for escapes. Focus upon him means focus not upon others. Another Skeleton eyes him, beginning that way.

<<Gather to me>> Blackagar thinks silently. It is only when he feels he has the attention of the warriors more fully that he strikes with a series of blows back at the warrior, punches and swift kicks that would make Karnak quite proud.

Vintridr has posed:
    Vintridr idly registers the flashes as blade meets blade or shield. Magical weapons - not unexpected. In all likelihood the spiders are magically enhanced as well.

    The factoid is filed away as she parries, feints, sidesteps an overeager swing, and bashes the skeletal warrior in the 'face' with her shield with enough power to send a car flying, then turns and slashes her blade through two of the spider's legs, then stabs it straight in the head on her return swing.

    She glances to one side where the other skeletons have veered off to attack another mortal and moves in pursuit, aiming to decapitate one of them before they realize they're under attack.

Kaida Connolly has posed:
Blinking as she does a little flip and lands, Kaida stares back at the skeleton thing she kicked and shakes her head.

"Tougher than they look." She states to no one in particular before she idly taps a finger on to the hilt of her sword and stares as more spiders move to attack people along with more skeletons, "Weirdest gang war I've ever heard of!" She calls out to no one again and then blinks, "Oh, hey! It's that Ms. Marvel person." She then shrugs and rushes forward, whipping out her tiny sword in the process.

"Hey! I just saved that person, no unsaving them!" And with that she attempts to leap and stab her tiny blade into a spider's eye before flipping away and landing on top of a skeleton head.

Kamala Khan has posed:
    The giant hand swoops down to gently deposit the police officer into an alleyway. "Gotta get people to stay in their homes," Ms. Marvel declares, acting on blind faith that the fully grown, fully adult, fully trained police officer would take suggestions from some kid in a mask. "Thank you!" the police officer says to Ms. Marvel. "Though maybe you should get a napkin next time." His voice lowers. "Or a carpet sample..." he mutters under his breath. He is covered from head to toe in tzatziki sauce. Why did the spilled sauce grow with Ms. Marvel, anyway? Don't think about it!

    Upon her return to the fray, a giant spear strikes her right in the finger nail, which hurts just about as much as anything could. It packs a punch -- way more than she's used to getting from her scuffles with humans and even meta-humans alike. The sudden force causes Ms. Marvel to pull her hand inward, holding it against her chest. "OW!" she cries out. She may be thirty feet tall, but she's still a kid. Ms. Marvel narrows her eyes while looking at the nail. "...Why do I even bother painting these..."

    Ms. Marvel reaches out to pick up the thrown spear but cries out in pain. Her finger is broken, which is pretty gross when that finger is the size of a canoe. The misshaped digit begins to stretch and reshape as the teen's healing factor starts mending the bones. Suddenly, Ms. Marvel stumbles forward, shrinking back down to normal size. "Oh no! I always /forget/ that!"

    Ms. Marvel gives the giant skeleton warrior a sheepish smile before taking off! She runs as fast as she can towards a pair of double-parked cars. Her legs begin to expand so she can leap over the cars with ease, but they don't seem to get large enough, sending Ms. Marvel tumbling to the ground. "Hi, Bando..." she says, looking up at the enthusiastic boy.

Jane Foster has posed:
In Poe Park, Mictlantecuhtli actually claps his bony hands together when the tree explodes. Soundwaves blast outward from him, shuddering waves that fling the ghosts flat to the ground. The concussive force blows out from him, possibly shoving the Inhuman king a good while. Where several of the skeletal warriors engage with Black Bolt, he gleefully reaches out and the fit, sleek businessman shrieks silently and vanishes. Feathers gleam on the skeleton's vambrace.

His bony knees flex in a ghastly pounce to bring him round to that spear in midair, for Tetsuya -- as a shinobi -- is there, and suddenly the air around them blossoms with the scent of fresh blood and suppurating flesh. <<Oh, is that so? I ate the last god who said that. Do you pair well with rum? Roasted dragon's quite the thing with chiles.>> A skeleton with no discernible inner organs or tongue mocks the warrior, dashing aside. The spearpoint slides through two ribs that have a considerable gap, earning a guttural cackle. Two bat-like orbs form, the death energy hurled at point blank range at Soryu.

Jane Foster has posed:
In the street... The violent insertion of a spider into a car means the squished, angry arachnid has to figure out a way to escape. It shrills and smashes out the windows. Bando doesn't have to worry too much about it escaping inmediately. Another of its friends chews through a mortal, leaving a soul that evaporates into ether and the thing glows a brighter shade of glossy stone-grey. The shell proves weird to Kaida trying to stab through it, her hand moving out of space, the knife dodging askew by several degrees.

Another one leaps onto the Ortiz Funeral Home directly south of Poe Park, and eagerly starts tearing into the asphalt-shingle roof like a dog digging for a bone.

And when Ms. Marvel goes running through the street, dodging away from the skeletal warrior, he snarls. Where is she going? He goes chasing after her. A spider goes chasing after her. A frantic basketball player covered in blood runs after her. "Come back here, you stupid bony ass--!" He fires at the skeleton, not the heroine. Or Bando. Aim when running and sick isn't great.

Blackagar Boltagon has posed:
Tumbling backwards from the shockwave, Blackagar pushes himself back to his feet. There is a measuring look to the skeleton warriors now. The Aztec looking reanimates getting an evaluation that was not present before. The threats of this world were light in his mind, but this was not. The weapon /hurt/ and that was mild cause for concern. Blue eyes quickly flash around the area, the danger of what is befalling growing in the King's mind.

Glancing around, that brow furrows more. Do they know? The danger at hand? Looking back to the skeleton warrior that he has been dealing with, thought slows and a nearby civilian is almost swiped by that blade. Stepping in front of it, the deep wince from Black Bolt as the weapon slashes his arm draws the ire fully and with blood streaming down his arm, he swings with force. The Inhuman strength augmented with a surge of the electron energy that he controls. Nobody makes Black Bolt bleed his own blood.

But the larger problem still exists, that of Mictlantecuhtli, or from this point on, Skeleton King. His blue eyes level on the creature, what cost will need to be paid. Unable to speak, to communicate with those in the area brings an air of frustration to him. Why is there never a telepath around when you actually need one? For now however, the battle he rages with some of the skeleton warriors absorbs his focus. Care is taken. They /can/ in fact hurt him. To what extent he does not know, best not to find out.

Bando George has posed:
    Bando's masked face looks down at Ms. Marvel. "Wow, you can still tell it's me?" he asks. "I gotta get a better disguise." Of course, he sounds the same, and who else is going to go fanboy in the middle of a fight? He looks over to spot the incoming skeleton warrior, behind her and reaches out to port the weapon out of the fighter's hand to his own. It seems not to have had the changing nature of the spider, and he puts the spear at the ready. "Hey! Quit attacking people ya jerk! Can't you see this isn't a cosplay thing! There's like, real spiders attacking people!" It's at that moment that he spots the spider attacking a poor human. Behind the green faceless mask, his eyes go wide. "Ms. Marvel, that spider, it..." he seems to be chastened by the death of the poor person by the other spider. He charges forward at it, swinging the but of the spear at the now unarmed warrior as he passes, and then making a fierce dive for the brighter looking spider, the tip of the spear aimed straight for it's psuedo-ethereal eyeballs.

Tetsuya Wakao has posed:
One thing about a Shinobi is knowing to stay on the move, even a Senshin knows that. And Tetsuya is no exception. The moment he strikes is the moment he moves again. The spear is thrust forward and into a pair of ribs. That gives the masked man a small head tilt. "You should not have done that."

Then he uses the spear as a vault to avoid the bat-like orbs with an impressive display of acrobatic skill. Spinning around, he tries to plant a foot right on the skeleton god, change the angle of the spear, and aim at the spine while it's still in said skeleton god.

Then he thrusts it with considerable force before attempting to push off and get away, bringing the spear with him. And perhaps a rib on the way out. Said spear does happen to have a backwards facing side tine, after all.

After all that, he addresses the mocking, "Oh? I am sorry, but you are mistaken. I am not my lord."

Vintridr has posed:
    Ghostly skeletons and giant spiders. Vintridr has fought stranger - and deadlier - foes in her time; her largest handicap in the current battle is that none of them are willing to fight her, instead opting to chase after the nearest mortals to murder and claim.

    On the other hand, it means that very few of them are paying attention to her /before/ she runs them through, but it does mean she's spending more time chasing after targets than actually fighting them... And even as she fights, there's the uneasy feeling in her stomach as she senses the presence in Poe Park.

     On her own she's no match for a full-on Death God -- not unless she can weaken his hold on this plane first...

    ... For instance, by eliminating his minions and denying him the souls he's trying to harvest.

    She catches an attacking spider on her shield, stabs it through the head while its legs jab at her arms, then heaves the corpse at the nearest cluster of skeletal warriors.

Kaida Connolly has posed:
Scrambling about, Kaida is not having the best of times against whatever these things are. Of course, she is going to have to revert to another trick, it seems. She grins and rushes off the spider with an easy leap as she spots what she is looking for right across the way.

Blur, scramble, skitter, and then she's back carrying something with crazy balance and strength above her head. Well, crazy for her. She's only two lbs after all and the thing she's running with is nearly ten pounds. The strange, large glass bottle wobbles above her as she runs, leaps and spins above a spider causing fluid to fall and then more fluid upon a skeleton and she's still running, splashing various enemies as she goes. Laughing maniacally.

If anyone sniffs at the air, they'll catch a strange scent of the pool?

Kamala Khan has posed:
    Ms. Marvel smiles up at Bando. "...I just had a feeling," she replies gently. Terrible costume or not, who else would stop in the middle of a fight to wave like that? She hops up to her feet and takes a readied stance. "Be careful!" she shouts, watching as Bando moves forward to strike at the spider. At this point, Ms. Marvel starts throwing punches. Giant fists start wacking spiders away from the helpless humans caught within their sights. BOOF! BLA! BLAM!

    "Hey! Look out!" she shouts at the basketball playing running towards her. "He has a ----" The spear is now in Bando's hand. "....Had. He /had/ a spear!"

    Looking up, Ms. Marvel squints at the spider making quick work of the funeral home's shingles. "Oh, come on..." She looks around. "Is anyone going to..." Her eyes close and she sighs. "I'll get it, I'll get it..." Her limbs start to grow and shrink independently as she starts scaling the building... Foot to window ledge.... and so on. "HEY!" she shouts, now standing up on the roof with the spider.

Jane Foster has posed:
In Poe Park, the scorched black energy thrown by Mictlantecuhtli don't dissipate after released from his skeletal fingers. Tetsuya may have dodged but the teen pawing at the door to Poe's cottage isn't so lucky.

"Let me in, let me in!" she shrieks. Tears run down her face. Frantic shaking of the door doesn't release the vandal-proof lock, but echoes as a noise. The sooty sparkles land on her and her body evaporates into ash, blood pooling under her bones.

The leering grin - Mictlantecuhtli is a skeleton, he grins - turned on Tetsuya comes amidst the clash of falling warriors dealing with Black Bolt. The skeleton soldier unit does poorly, their numbers shrinking though they hack and one fires that ridiculous arquebus. The skeleton god doesn't dodge aside, the Shinobi getting a foot on him. A spear lodging between ossified ribs clips away chunks of bone to reveal blood on obsidian. <<No, you're the appetizer.>> He giggles. Really. In Blackagar's direction, he adds, <<Getting angry, little man?>>

Tetsuya may be fast, but he can't dislodge that spear and his foot faster than Death its bony-ass self. Grass in swathes shrivels and dies, burning a sickly pattern into the ground as found in the ceremonial temples in Mesoamerica. For the Lord of Mictlan is a jealous, hungry deity.

Jane Foster has posed:
In the street, wet spiders halfway phased out of existence into a spirit plane saturated with negative energy do not seem perplexed at being wet. They hook their clawed bone legs into bodies with glee and rip out the soul-sticky innards even faster, jealously clutching their prizes. Kaida faces more of a risk for being stepped on by a falling body answering Mictlantecuhtli's call, a voudon symbol tattooed on the man's arm.

The barista Vintridr bowling with skeletal warriors stops the quartet from pulping an SUV between them, the driver already long lost but the five passengers clinging to life. Shattered rum soaks them. A chicken loudly squawks from the back as the spider smashes into the windshield and knocks a warrior twenty feet back past Ms. Marvel's leg. When she gets to the top of the battered funeral home, a great hole reveals an interesting sight. The ghost spider raises its legs and rears to pounce.

The spider phasing between yarn and breaking windows keeps shrilling in that high keening yell about being left out, if anyone could hear it. It, too, laments the lack of telepathy. Bando's victim is sufficiently less prepared to be skewered and piercing that eye absolutely floods him with that disgusting milk-white ichor smelling of bogs and the stuff accumulated at the bottom of an abattoir, left out in the Nevada sun to cook for a few weeks. Tasty.


Jane Foster has posed:
Going badly, is it? In Poe Park, the teen's cowering ghost streams across the grass to merge with the Aztec death god, and so come the other dead, ripped from alleyways and the Grand Concourse. Two by two, a heap of four. They're all answering, unwilling though they may be. Even the one in Vintridr's keeping drags at the jewel in her armour, screaming.

Vintridr has posed:
    Vintridr snarls in righteous outrage as she realizes the abomination that the death god is attempting to perpetrate, then grits her teeth. She looks up at where Kamala is scaling the building in pursuit of spiders and calls out. "The one behind this is trying to claim the souls of the fallen to strengthen himself. I'll hinder him for as long as I can, but you need to get to the Park and stop him /now/!"

    She spins around and decapitates another spider, then reaches out and catches the mouse that was standing on its head. "That goes for you too, little Warrior; brace yourself," she says more softly, then tosses Kaida in an underhand arc in Kamala's direction for the currently giant girl to catch.

    That taken care of, she takes a deep breath and focuses. Mictlantecuhtli may be a death god with more power than she could dream of possessing, but she /is/ a psychopomp, with the knowledge and the power to claim the souls of the fallen and guide them to their proper rest. The gems on her armour begin to glow softly as she spreads her arms and issues a silent call, drawing the fallen souls to her.

    It's not enough, of course -- not even with what little energy the souls themselves can muster in a choice; all her skill, experience and determination is no match for the sheer brute strength of the death god's call...

    ... But she /can/ make him work for it, force him to expend power -- and more importantly, attention -- that he can't quite afford to spare when he has to confront multiple foes at the same time...

Blackagar Boltagon has posed:
This creature. This Skeleton Death Lord thing seems to be gathering the souls around them. Black Bolt has picked up on that fact and the strength that is being gained from this assault is concerning. How much longer until they have gathered enough for their purposes? Or at which point does this tip in the favor of the Death Lord and it becomes a downhill battle. The struggle of those decisions go over the King's mind as he snaps the arm of one of the skeleton warriors when the arm is swung at him. It is caught, snapped between his bicep and a downward smash of his other hand to literally disarm the creature.

What he needs is help. Help that he cannot summon or call for. Unless.

Black Bolt begins to side step various swings from the warrior blades at him as he pulls his chalk slate from his hip. He writes on it as quickly as he can and then snaps it in half. The first half is sent flying in the direction of Tetsuya who is closest. The second is thrown off towards the street as well. The writing on it is simple, hope rises that someone finds it that will read it. That will interpret it.

~Clear the area of all you can. 2 minutes.~

Blue eyes turn towards Mictlanteuhtli. Angry? Little Man? A slow smile comes to Black Bolt's lips. The die was cast. The countdown was on. In 2 minutes, he is going to have a conversation with this Death Lord.

Tetsuya Wakao has posed:
Seeing the magic circle go up, Soryu looks at it, then turns a bit to call towards the only other one he sees doing some good throughout all this. Black Bolt has the masked man calling out, "Run! Get out of the circle!"

Then the ninja turns and runs at the skeleton god again, full human speed. To a mystic, they would see what he is doing. Pulling in his own mystical power and intending to use it on the skeleton god somehow.

A few steps in, the ninja leaps into the air, and brings the spear into a back spin. He has to time this just right, else it'll hurt worse than what the skeleton god is planning as far as his senses can tell him. At the same time... he knows he needs to end this as he can start to feel the effects of the battle.

Doing a triple back spin to build up his momentum to as much as he can, all of his ki channels down the spear as he gives off a yell. The crazy part? The shinobi is aiming to get in close again.

But frankly, he needs to give others a nice, good target. Especially if there's others in the area who can pack a punch. And he's aiming to do that.

The spear, kept close until the end of the spin and building momentum, is let loose to extend and go upwards as it brushes the grass.

While a spear may not be a sword, Soryu is a Shinobi, and not even a Skeleton Death God is going to ignore the force of a speeding car going between the legs, after all. If that doesn't knock him into the air, then he can at least go haunt Constantine's pub and tell him he nailed a Death God in the balls.

Bando George has posed:
    Bando winces as the disgusting ichor flows from the dead spider, and he pulls his spear out, looking back at the car with the angry captive initial spider. He runs to the broken window, starting to stab into the car to try to give the same fate to the captive creature. "Whoever owns this car, I'm really really sorry!" he yells, having no idea who might be the owner. Once it is dispatched, he looks back at the park and the giant mostrous skeleton. "See, this is why everyone needs Jesus!" he declares, seeing the ghosts. He taps his foot nervously, looking about. He spots Ms. Marvel, having seen that she's after the spider on the funeral home, and then looks at the spear in his hand.

    "Oh, I know!" he exclaims aloud. He picks up his feet and runs toward the park, though...he'll stay outside the immediate combat range. He studies for a moment the distance. "Okay okay," he takes a few breaths, and holds the spear out tip down. He looks at the spear, then looks at the skeleton god, then the spear, and the god again. He lets go of the spear, which disappears from his hand. It reappears in the sky above the death god, and begins to fall like a dart from the sky, picking up momentum as it falls toward the death god. "Wait, I hope killing monsters doesn't count as murder..." he considers after his action.

Kamala Khan has posed:
    "Hey, since when are you calling the...." Ms. Marvel's moment of healthy teenage defiance towards Vintridr is cut short as she gets a good look of what's happening down in that funeral parlor. Tobacco. Rum. Chicken. Blood.


    Ms. Marvel turns and gives the Asgardian an oversized thumbs-up. "On it!" She hops off of the funeral home with her legs growing to close the distance to the ground. Kaida is caught in one of Ms. Marvel's oversized fists. "Gotcha!"

    "Hello again!" she says with a grin. Kaida is placed on Ms. Marvel's shoulder, close to her neck. "Grab some scarf. No hair!" With that settled, she's racing for park and the Death God she has been ordered to take down!

Kaida Connolly has posed:
A blink as she is picked up by Vintridr and Kaida shrugs, "If you say so, I am all about saving on the calories!" And she is then thrown up to Kamala who then puts her on her shoulder. Still holding the bottle, Kamala can smell what seems like a pool. Is that chlorine? A mix maybe? It's unclear but Kaida idly sets it on Kamala's enlarged shoulder and holds on, "We'll need this." She nods and grins, "That and some cleaners..." She grins wider as shew atches where they are going and then blinks, "What the heck is that thing?!" She points at the death god, "We get Skeletor riled up?"

Jane Foster has posed:
Tick. Tick. Tick.

It's funny how fast two minutes can bleed away. Two minutes to dash the length of a city block when cars are left in the street and frenzied spiders strike at skeletal warriors or the heroes who get in their way. That clouded ichor spat at mortals knocks them down and leaves them in a hardening carapace, the better to have their lives extinguished. A few injured ghost harvestmen hobbling along on two, three, four legs wink out to the spiritual plane to run with their reaped payment. Some have empty arachnid pockets when they get there.

Tock. Mictlantecuhtli snaps his head to the psychopomp. Red eyes flash. <<Isn't this sweet! Daddy's little girl wants his attention. His reign's over, jumping bean. Best fall in line before you go down with the ship.>>

Tick. Vintridr lays tug-of-war but the symbol of the Lord of Mictlan hauls her closer no matter how hard she digs in her heels. Gravity yanks her in to him, leaving scrapes in the concrete, ripping furrows in the tarmac. Her footwear might melt or throw sparks. The tortured soul she clings to stretches out ectoplasmic atom by atom, memories bled into the shadow-shrouded death god. But she holds, for all the gem turns milky and the dead cry for a mercy that isn't found. Vestiges of another realm start bleeding inside the park, glimpses of the Underworld visible to all.

Tock. Closing in a dash, Kaida and Ms. Marvel come down into the charnelhouse zone and the only person potentially bigger than the death god. A few scattered skeletal warriors shoot with the arquebuses on the run, strafing the biggest target. They glow black when they cross the Aztec death-wheel, jagged obsidian tines erupting from their bodies.

Tick. A handful of black motes shaped like bats fly out of Poe's cottage at Bando like bats out of... Right. Gonna work on that.

Tick. The spear Tetsuya rips away from the death god is poisoned by the energies charged in the area, blood dripping from it and a scalding heat backlashed at the moment he connects it back with the negative-saturated aura. Something fundamental rips out from under the point of contact, a crater ten feet deep punched into the street and grass. He drives Mictlantecuhtli back and up, at the expense of being hurled into jagged, liana-strewn rocks of a stepped temple running with blood that isn't native to New York. Bending shadows and ghastly owls turn their heads to him, their shattering cries and hoots the same laugh as the god....


Vintridr has posed:
    Vintridr groans, body and soul alike trembling at the strain. The death god's power is overwhelming, inexorable... But she is Valkyrior, and she will die before she yields.

    She spits at his taunts. "I don't do this... on behalf of Odin Glad-of-War..." she snarls in response. "The mortals you prey upon... Are reason enough to oppose you."

Tetsuya Wakao has posed:
Soryu is sent rolling, spinning, and well... he comes up out of the roll at least wheezing a bit. Then he sees where he is.

And he freezes for the moment. Something's wrong. Very, very wrong.

The owls, the laughter, the temple.

In the real world, he's looking around for a moment. Then he turns to the skeleton god. "You... you did this... you..."

Then he turns, and looks at the skeleton god. "So that is what has been happening. You. It's all been you."

He takes a few steps away from where he perceives the temple, looking around for what can be done. The others around have him looking carefully, trying to discern if they are illusion or not perhaps.

Seeing what look like other heroes, however, has him yelling, "Stop! Attack from afar! The circle is calling them all and building!"

Bando George has posed:
    The spear drops and Bando watches, as if he could will it to stay on target. "Hit him hit him hit him..." His intent focus in interrupted as the bats swarm him. How did he not notice them coming at him! Darn that ADHD! He begins swatting at the notes. "Get off get off!" he stumbles around, feeling as the scratch at him. tearing the thin material of his costume. "Gah!"

    It's too bad he doesn't see the spear finish its descent as the heavy obsidian tip strikes the vambrace, tearing through the material and thongs, into the forearm with enough force to drag the death god's arm to the ground, pinning it there to the ground.

Kamala Khan has posed:
    "Hold on! This is gonna get weird for a second!" Ms. Marvel shouts at Kaida as she runs into the park. Her body suddenly loses all rigidity between her neck and waist, causing her to look like a really large piece of cooked spaghetti (wearing a bright red and blue burkini.) She wiggles in the air as spear after spear passes by harmlessly.

    "Right!" she calls back at Tetsuya. "I know just what to do!" Ms. Marvel's body straightens up, firms up, and grows. She starts hurling punches at the obsidian warriors from afar, with arms growing and shrinking to make this melee attack into a ranged attack! One hand is laid flat and swung around to try and sweep their legs.

    For the Big Bad, Ms. Marvel expands...and expands...and expands... to roughly thirty feet or so in height. Fists the size of Volkswagens. She winds up, reaching back with her enormous dukes, and fires her knuckles straight at the Death God! Bam! Bam! Bam! It's... marginally effective. Maybe just annoying? But... Wait.

    With the Death God's arm pinned to the ground, Ms. Marvel catches sight of a weak spot. "Bando!" she exclaims. "You're a genius! Look! Under the ribs!" It's a tiny spot, one that would naturally be safe against her giant fists. But, what about something smaller? Much smaller? Perhaps, two somethings?

    "It's gonna get weird again!"

    Ms. Marvel charges at the Death God.... She's running right for him! And then... She's gone! What? She teleported? Oh, no. She's just small. Really, really, really, small. Kaida and Ms. Marvel are up close and personal with the Death God and the tiny weak spot made clear by Bando's spear. "Ohhh, I'm really going to regret this," Tiny Ms. Marvel mutters as she climbs into the crack in the Death God's body.

    Now inside, she begins punching, kicking, pulling, slapping anything she can get her tiny fists against.

Blackagar Boltagon has posed:
Black Bolt keeps track of the time ticking down within his mind, brawling with the skeletons that are around him. He pushes them away, battles them and bounces them off to throw them out of his way. His steps are certain now, with the time slipping away into the future he is headed directly for Mictlantecuhtli. Blue eyes flare momentarily as one of the warriors shoot with their antiquated weapon, striking him in the shoulder. It hurts, he feels the pain in his skin, pressed to the flesh. Shaking it off, the Inhuman King pushes off the ground, surrounding himself in a bubble of energy hovering towards the Death God.

The approach continues, he gets closer until he is only a good half dozen paces away. Staring still at the being, the last seconds in his mind tick away and a very small smile quirks at the corner of Black Bolt's mouth. Why? Why would this floating being smile in such a way face to face with the potential death in front of him? In his periphery, he sees others move in, attacking, pressing for some kind of advantage. It causes him to hesitate. His message didn't get through. If he does this. No.

A deep moment of focus and Black Bolt channels the energy of his voice into his body and dashing forward, sends the energy through his body, up his arm, striking with the force of a shout towards the Death God before he crashed to the ground, chest heaving from the effort but without the exhale of breath.

Jane Foster has posed:
The spear plunges like a drop from the sun. One ray, shining through a skeletal body. Toothpick into a whale carcass, right?

Not quite that unimpressive, when the terminal end skewers the space between the forearm and sends feathers into the air. Mictlantecuhtli snarls, and the owls in the Otherworld grow massive and horrific. Claws pierce their wings. From vestigial memory of a time when huge mammals roamed the Americas, far before proto-Indigeneous peoples crossed the land bridge, they move forward in a surge.

The dead trapped in that eerie Underworld jungle, lit by shadows, cower together. Whirlpools churning beneath them send up blackened and red flames as the unfortunate vanish. A pyramidal block drops to the ground, split in half, and becomes an Ionic column. Another pillar sprouts behind it.

Energy streams around out of the god's struck arm in a wild vapor even the most stone-dead skeptic can see. Gods are beings beyond mortals, but not beyond touch. Flower petals and blood streak the air. Where it sticks, it stinks of rot. Ew.

Mini-maximum Ms. Marvel and Kaida in conjunction crash and twirl through bones, through the stuff that makes the Aztec death god resemble a skeleton. So often she's hitting invisible force and sometimes her fists rebound off unbreakable obsidian. It hurts. He swipes and smacks her back, but Vintridr being dragged into the death-circle keeps him from really punching her too far until the end. One solid fling hurls her up.

Time's up.

The shattering force of shifted energy goes hither and fro for a whisper that could collapse cities can in fact shatter a god.

Mictlantecuhtli screams as Blackagar can not. So scream the dead through the Underworld, a rattling shudder that grows in swells of sheer, utter terror. Owls collapse and shadows writhe in inkspots on the ground as the jarring force unravels bones and dissipates whatever makes a deity thus divine. Bits and pieces shred into chants and songs, splinters of painted hieroglyphs on rock bombarding the ground from ten, twenty, eighty meters up. Bone spikes crash down. What is the corpse of belief when torn apart by a word, an invoked idea?

A skull mask bounces off the ground and wisps away into dust. A cracked gold coin tossed end over end lands in its place, a second smacking the dead earth after it.

Mictlantecuhtli, the Lord of Mictlan, is as dead as the Aztec world that bore him.

Quoth the raven: "Nevermore."

Vintridr has posed:
    Vintridr sags to her knees when the pressure suddenly drops, panting with the expended effort. A moment, two, to catch her breath and focus, and she stands back up and once more spreads her arms, calling the remaining souls to her - even if right now, something is badly wrong with the pathways to the afterlife, she can at least hold these in trust until such time as the ways are clear again...

Bando George has posed:
    As the death god explodes, Bando winces, covering his head. "Ew!" he defends himself from the raining pieces of bone. He's a little scratched up, tears in his uniform mean it probably won't see another use. Given how atrocious it is, that might be for the best. He glances around. "Where's Ms. Marvel?" he asks. "Did he eat her?" He wasn't looking when she dove into the chink in the armor, he just knew she had been giant when he last looked. Don't judge, he was getting attacked by bats!

    Bando walks forward, wandering into what was a moment ago ground zero for the attack. His hair is tufting out the top of his costume. and his t-shirt can be seen from the back where there's a particularly large tear in the material. He looks to see Tetsuya, and Blackagar, their performances much more refined than his own. "Wow," he comments. Very profound. He looks down at the brittle spear left in the ground. "Is it over?"

Tetsuya Wakao has posed:
Soryu, meanwhile, sags a bit as the fight ends. The spear shrinks down and he moves to place it behind his back. Looking around, he gives a respectful not towards Black Bolt before moving forward. He saw something in the midst of the explosion. And seems to consider it important.

Reaching down, he picks up one of the coins and looks it over. Then looks around again.

Tetsuya's suit is torn here and there, but he doesn't look to be bleeding. Scraped, but otherwise mostly unharmed. He seems to be considering the coin more than anything before he looks around at the heroes left. "Congratulations." The ninja says. "You can say that you fought a literal god and lived."

He looks to Black Bolt specifically, giving a respectful bow before turning to just walk away after stuffing the coin into a pouch.

Kamala Khan has posed:
    With scarves billowing in the dusty wind, the miniature Ms. Marvel straddles one of the Death God's bones. One arm is curled around it while the other one flails in the wind, as if she was riding it down to the earth, like the bomb from Doctor Strangelove.

    Suddenly, Ms. Marvel appears normal-sized and sitting on the ground, legs akimbo. The bone is somewhere underneath her. "Welp, I need a shower!" she announces. Her costume, meanwhile, has suffered almost no damage -- courtesy of Bruno Carrelli's mysterious super polymer. Ms. Marvel hops to her feet and brushes each arm.

    "Hey! Hey, where are you going?" she whines, taking a few steps in Tetsuya's direction. "We gotta help clean this up!" 'this' being...uh... the neighborhood?