|The City In Hell: Descent|
|What: Jack Hawksmoor has a plan to trap the demon that's been possessing New York. He also has a backup plan for when things go pear-shaped. And things tend not to go exactly as planned.|
Lower Metropolis - Tribeca
The Triangle Below Canal Street is famous for its film festival and its unique housing. Most of the vacant industrial buildings were refitted into housing in the 1960s and become some of the quickest selling properties. New York Law School is also found here.
It's been the worst week of the citywalker's life. Even Tokyo wasn't like this. Tokyo - he was an overconfident teenager with the secure knowledge that this was his purpose, the thing he was literally made to do. Failure didn't enter onto his radar. This time? Failure is a disaster and even success... But they can't wait any longer. The demon's latest pranks range from the harmless - removing the Statue of Liberty's robe - to a very nasty trick in a night club that caused multiple injuries and one death. And Jack can feel it reaching its tendrils out into every corner of the city. He can hear New York screaming.
This stops NOW. The people he's called are the right ones for his plan. Loki offered to make something to put the demon in. The Hulk's strength should help reduce collateral damage, and he trusts Banner to keep control. The young woman, Cir-El, is an unknown to him, but her heart and spirit say something. Moon Knight might be insane, but he knows demons. And Kilroy...what can he say about Kilroy? He isn't sure he wants to. He stands in an empty parking lot, outside a boarded up warehouse. "Okay. I'm going to do something that will...I know...get its attention." He turns to Loki. "You have the package, I hope." If not, then Kilroy will have to make a literal scapegoat after all.
To Bruce. "Keep control, try to reduce damage, and if you have to, scare away any idiots that think they can watch a superfight." Then he closes his eyes for a moment. "And promise me that whatever happens you won't hurt anyone here." An odd promise to ask, but necessary in this moment.
He looks at Cir-El. "Same thing. Damage. Civilians. I know you aren't equipped to directly take on the demon, but it's going to start trying to destroy buildings. Try to make sure nobody gets killed."
Finally, he turns to Kilroy. "Are you prepped?" It's an odd way to put it. But he shifts back his jacket momentarily when only the "Economy" can see. He's prepped. He doesn't want to be, but he is.
"I'm not Captain America or any great tactician...but let's get this done." One way or another: It ends tonight.
Using human metaphors is probably not the best idea around Loki, since he doesn't understand most of them. "Package? I don't have a package...was I supposed to bring something else?" The young god looks worried now, concerned that he's already messed up.
Cir-El has jumped and run from the Hall of Justice, it was not very far and with her speed it had taken only moments when she heard Jack's call. She might lack super vision, but Super Hearing will do on most days. She nods at the orders and says, "Got it...I'm probably best off using speed to rescue civilians directly."
Kilroy nods, "I've been...checking the family vaults. There are some interesting artifacts there that will serve your purpose." He has 17 different plans, and he is terrified none of them will work. He is already not the most popular person in the world and unsure about this, but Kilroy will do what he must. That is who he is. He's all prepared to dunk anything around them in massive amounts of Holy Water.
Banner listens as Jack gives directions on what he wants and expects from everyone. "He is asking if you have what you promised to contain the demon within." is told to Loki before stepping away from everyone. Closing his eyes a moment goes by as his body transforms into that of the Hulk his clothes ripping off leaving him in dingy ragged pants. He gives Jack a thumbs up to show for now he does have control of himself. Looking around over the others his green eyes narrow slightly as he concentrates waiting patiently as a Hulking monster can at least.
Jack nods. "Okay. Let's do this. And yes, that's what I meant. If not, Kilroy can do something." It's not a disaster if the kid didn't get it done on time. "And remember...we need to *contain* this and keep the damage down." He crouches and then turns, running to the abandoned warehouse and scurrying onto the roof. There are people on the road. The hospital is...a bit to the north, but far enough away. He hopes. He can hope for this not to go pear shaped from the start. Then he crouches on the roof, puts both hands on it, and...starts to fix all of the damage caused by the years of neglect on this place. Energy flowing outwards from him. Positive. Healing. The demon should hate it. If not, well, he'll have to do something even more spectacular. Plus, Kilroy has all sorts of things up his sleeve.
There's a feeling of tension...of something waiting in the air. Building energy that starts to settle on those present, a little. It's a faint hint of fear, nothing that would bother any of them, but it's definitely there.
And then? Every light in the parking lot explodes, sending shatters of glass outwards. Two cars driving past find themselves on tarmac so slick they can't steer or stop. It's started.
"Oh...well yes, of course." Loki says, making motions in front of himself to conjure the object. It appears in the form of a large pot which he has to catch out of the air and waddles over to Jack to set on the ground. "I couldn't make it smaller. But you can use it as a decorative planter. Or send it into the sun."
Then the lights explode and cars are going crazy. He might not be able to stop both of them, but he can brace himself and place himself in the path of one of them in order to stop it.
Cir El had been wondering at the directions given to the slender bookish older man, it sounded as if he was expected to be doing something highly damaging, or preventing the same, and she was curious how. She saw him close his eyes and heard his hear beating louder and faster, then his skin started turning green of all things and his body became at least five times as massive, possibly closer to ten. Well, that explains it. She does not know the Green Goliath, but he looks like he as if he has muscles to spare.
Suddenly the lights explode and cars nearby start skidding as if on Black Ice. Cir-El reacts immediately, headed to the car that looks in more immediate danger of crashing. She jumps the distance, intentionally NOT cushioning her landing so her feet sink in on arrival. She braces herself and lets the car hit her hands. She is driven back, but the car comes to a halt and she is essentially undamaged.
Kilroy causes 50 tons of Holy Water to begin raining in a ring around the area, slowly tightening, enough to allow the demon to appear, but enough to cause it pain anywhere else but the chosen battle ground in the immediate vicinity. He keeps a wary eye out.
A side door to the warehouse opens just in time for Gabriel to walk into the sudden downpour of holy water. "Jeezus... Where's this come from!?" Taking the backpack off his back and putting it over his head he jogs forward, into the ring formed by the 'rain' and spotting Kilroy first, he makes his way over to him, "What's going on? Terrorist attack? Alien invasion? Punks with BB guns?" As he speaks he's motioning to the broken parking lot light to show what he's asking about.
The cars are stopped, but the parking lot is now dark, making the Hulk a shadow against a shadow that might not be immediately seen. And now the warehouse is starting to crack and crumble.
"Let it fall! It's empty!" calls a voice from above "And somebody tell that kid to either get the hell out of here or help!" He doesn't know who the kid is, but he's glad he's not going to have to get Cir-El to pull him out. The roof is starting to break under him, but Jack doesn't seem particularly bothered. Why let it fall, though?
Because the demon...well, there's holy water containing it for a moment. For a moment. Unfortunately, it appears to have worked out another of Jack's tricks, that of going from point A to point C without going through point B. Another warehouse starts to shatter, and there are lights on inside this one. Time for Hulk to catch a building?
Jack leaps from the crumbling building, landing facing that direction. "Oh no you don't. Come to daaaadddy." Is he actually beckoning? Yup.
"Banner, hold the building up while Ii get the people out," Cir-El states.
Soaked, Loki's hair long hair sticks to him and he ushers the driver of the car away. "Why did you make it rain? Now we are all wet!" The Asgardian sulks as he comes back to the vessel he brought.
Cir-El runs forward faster than the eye can follow, opening doors and searching the building at super speed. Carrying one person at a time, so she can cover them with her cape and keep friction from damaging them...
Kilroy shrugs to Loki, "I tried to keep it off of us. It is holy water and stings the demon but its already learning more of Jack's abilities. This is bad. VERY bad, we're running out of time." He'll move the rain to wherever he can to harass the thing unless he thinks it will disrupt Jack's plan.
And then comes as one warehouse drops and then another starts to go. Hulk is quick into action running over using himself as a brace to keep it up so they can get the innocents out of it. The look on his face is fixed as he stands much like a statue his arms out to keep it up.
OK, busy people... Since Kilroy seems too busy to answer his question Gabriel goes and stands behind him, leaning over to look over his shoulder and try and follow his line of sight to see if he can spot what everyone is so busy with. While he's doing this his hands are busy searching through the side pocket of his backpack and after a few seconds of rummaging he pulls out what looks like a small, overstuffed photo album. Since he's so close to Kilroy he keeps his voice low when he asks, "So. Terrorists it is then?"
While Hulk is holding up the second warehouse with his exceptional might and Cir-El is whisking out the people as fast as she can, another figure in silver-white turns up, carrying a pair of people from an upper level down to the street with his grapple. "Looks like your party's already starting, Hawksmoor!" Moon Knight calls, urging the two to get clear. "What's the situation?" he can see in the darkened area, at least, so for now he's scanning for anyone else who seems like they're out of place.
"Bastard's worked out how to dodge holy water rain." He glances at the kid. "No, it's a demon. Like I said, either help protect civilians, or get your butt out so we have one fewer people to protect." Kid doesn't quite look like a mundane to him, or he'd have Cir-El dump him somewhere.
Okay...another building starts to shake, but Jack backs up towards the pot. "Loki, make that pot look like something more...attractive, would you?" The kid's good at glamor. Whether it will fool the demon is another matter. "Like, say, me." Yup. He's using himself as bait at this point. The new building in danger is a condemned tenement, but yeah, there are people in there. Squatters and the like. There's no EMPTY part of New York.
Loki nods, and holds his hands over the pot, a faint green glow swirling around it as it grows and reforms into the form of Jack, including movement such as breathing, blinking and shuffling his feet.
Kilroy begins working on stone armor for himself in case he has to fight some manifestation of the demon instead of the hulk but it takes time to create and destroy the numerous interlocking Rai stones. In the meanwhile, a few hover out the second and third story of the warehouse in case any of the folks inside come to the windows to lower them down. He'll resume the holy water in a NEW form besides rain soon enough.
He looks at Gabriel. "A demon has possessed the city. Jack Hawksmoor's life is at stake. We're trying to save him and keep it from destroying the city"
Cir-El is powerful, but she has her limits. For example, unlike Superboy, she can not extend her defenses over others. The costume Brainiac gave her is really tough though, so she can use it to protect someone. Of course, she has to cut back her acceleration, so she does not break bones saving people. It is not easy.
Gabriel's eyes flit from one superpowered person to another and the wheels turning around in his head are alnost a visible thing. Once Jack asks for bait Gabriel starts to grin and nod to himself, "Demon... Not much in here that'll help for that. But if its bait that's necessary I can do that..." Stuffing his photo album back in the backpack he drops the pack by Kilroy and says, "Watch that for me, will ya?" before running towards Jack, "Hey, hey you. The one being chased around by the invisible demon! Come over here and shake my hand real quick! Trust me, it'll help!"
Moon Knight curses, turning to the tenement building just slightly before it starts shaking; since Jack pointed out the presence infesting the city, he's spent the last couple days honing his awareness of it..for what little good it does right now. It looks like Kilroy and Cir-El are managing it for now, so he pauses by Jack and Loki to say earnestly, "Loki, can you feel that in Jack? If you can, can you make the pot give off that energy too? If I can sense it, the demon probably can. It might help nudge it to possess the right Jack." he notes, and then he's off with the others helping try and keep the nearby city from killing the people still in the area. Pity they couldn't have cleared bystanders out first, but it's clear too that time is simply out.
One Jack over there, one next to Loki. Will the glamor fool an invisible demon. It...actually looks like it might. The ground buckles in a rising tide towards Loki and the pot, enough to knock the godling off his feet if he's not careful. Unfortunately? It's multitasking. And it's multitasking badly. Street lamps explode, radiating out from the area. More to the north.
Jack? He doesn't know what the kid can do, or he wouldn't do this. Not under the circumstances. He moves to shake the kid's hand, but as he does, "It's up to something. There's..." Narrowed eyes. "A desecrated church, it's after that. And it's...we need to concentrate...more of its attention."
The church? It has gargoyles. They come to life and start flying towards the group. Primarily Hulk and Cir-El. And the civilians. This just got seriously weird. No, wait. This just got seriously weirder.
A second group of gargoyles flies...right towards the hospital, where they start trying to get into windows. Somebody should probably go deal with that.
Loki watches as others are busy being heroic and takes off toward the hospital, throwing magic at the gargoyles, but there are too many of them, so he tries to shield the entire hospital with magic.
Super Hearing is good, she can ignore any room that has no heart beats in it. She may be slower at this than, say, the Flash or Superboy, but not many others. She has the warehouse done when she hears...what exactly? It sounds like stone scraping stone,but it is coming through the air. She looks up and sees the Gargoyles. She sees the ones flying towards her rescued civilians first, but spots the second group quickly. She says, "Banner, defend the civilians here, I have to stop that group before it reaches the hospital!"
With that, she runs towards the second group, jumping up to smash the lead Gargoyle to gravel in mid air. She hopes someone finishes pulling the civilians out of the other buildings, she will have her hands full for a while...
Kilroy is still almost done but not quite finished constructing the armor, but he can begin smashing several of the gargoyles with Rai stones, while Veolus manages the remaining stones for those still fleeing the buildings. Meanwhile he moves towards the church. The plan requires Kilroy to be in the right location at the right time.
As Gabriel takes Jack's hand nothing happens. And instead of watching Jack, Gabriel's eyes are on the buckling ground while he mutters, "A little long, a liiiiiiittle longer. Don't let go yet..." Right at that point where most people would forcefully pull their hand away Gabriel melts into a blob of golden ectoplasm which reforms almost instantaneously into an exact copy of Jack, which takes off running away from the buckling ground and back toward the empty parking lot, "Hah! Bet you can't catch me, ya ugly bugger!" to Jack #1 he yells, "You could've at least told me you can't see the blasted thing!"
Once all he innocents are out Hulk tosses the warehouse away like its nothing at all. Being directed to protect those here he moves into action planting his fist into gargoyles as they come close and catching one he spins around throwing it towards others that are incoming like a disc or javelin. As one human is about to get hit he uses his own body as a shield being hit by a gargoyle in the back.
Moon Knight keeps on track to the tenement building. The heavy hitters are defending the hospital, but the second building that suffered the demon's attentions might still have a few people in it. He makes his way in, shouting for anyone that might need help getting out and making a fairly quick scan of the reachable areas.. but even as he does, he's being mindful of what he can sense. The way jack was talking he has a feeling something is going to be going down soon at that church.
"I can't be mimicked and...it's too *dangerous* kid!" Jack exclaims. Then he senses what's going to happen next, feeling waves of energy towards the hospital. The dang hospital. He should have put this further away. "Hulk. Catch the dang *hospital*!" he yells to the green guy. Meanwhile...there are three Jacks now. The one that's really a clay pot, the real thing, and the one that's a very brave shapeshifter. A sense of maniacal laughter surrounds the scene.
Dang kid. It's going pearshaped. It shouldn't have been able to reach the hospital yet. Loki went to protect civilians, so the glamor around the pot, while quite realistic, isn't moving around like the other two Jacks are. There's a rush of energy towards it, curiosity, but then...then...it draws back. There's nothing, yet, to give it a reason to jump into it...and there's also one thing. Loki forgot.
The clay pot isn't afraid. Fear. This thing feeds on fear. This thing thrives on it, thrives on the screams of scared civilians, on Loki's concerns about screwing up, on Cir-El's fear, barely held in check. On Gabriel's. The only being NOT drawing it is the anger-bound form of the Hulk. It likes the hospital. That's fear, there's already fear there, and it can make more, and it's starting to realize, to realize what it can do.
But there's also that pesky citywalker. The pesky trebled citywalker. And it launches itself towards the one that appears to it to be feeling the most fear. Which, unfortunately, isn't Jack. It's Gabriel - and the demon hasn't noticed yet that this version of Jack lacks the deep connection with the city. Or maybe it doesn't care. As Gabriel runs, the ground under him buckles...something which wouldn't stop Jack, but? Jack can't be mimicked. Not by any means other than magic, anyway.
The dang kid...
Loki senses that he's totally screwed up and shapeshifts into the form of Jack to try and help at the hospital, but he doesn't know what to do. The young god begins to panic, covering his mouth with one hand to try and not make his little sounds of nervousness audible.
Cir-El thinks of a trick, if she is fast enough it might work. She jumps at the first Gargoyle...and then KICKS off it, launching herself at the second...then repeating to smash a third. It seems to be working until she misses the fourth and goes flying off, unable to change direction until she lands...
Kilroy finishes his stone armor and is much MUCH stronger as a result. A small penny is placed on each of the other jacks to track where each are at all times when in sight, but he flies on top of the church, now bereft of Gargoyles, a storm cloud of Rai Stones swirling around and smashing anything that gets near him or Jack as he approaches. Kilroy is now prepared and he is angry. He is livid because of what he considers the most likely necessary outcome. But he waits.
The Hulk runs over as directed to the hospital now trying to brace it up. This won't be easy it being bigger than the warehouse of course. Gritting his teeth his hands press against the building but the anger is building up more in his eyes as he lets out a loud echoing growl.
And Gabriel's pulse is indeed racing. And it jumps another notch as the buckling ground heads for him. He might not be a citywalker and his mimicking of Jack Hawksmoor might have not had the exact results he planned for but Gabriel-Jack is also no longer as new at this game as he used to be. His reflexes are a bit off since Jack's body doesn't have the same capabilities as his own but they are good enough for the shifter to be able to jump off to the side and away from the buckling earth, tucking into a roll then popping up and running away at an angle to the first attack but still running away from the hospital and other populated buildings.
The demon might be detecting fear but its clearly not interfering with Gabriel's thought process as he yells out, "Come on, Ugly! At least I bet you're probably ugly. Follow me, you know you want to follow me to... Where does he want to follow me to?" The last is yelled as loud as possible so if there is a plan someone can fill him in.
Moon Knight exits the tenement building on the far side, with anyone he found still inside in tow. He's unable to see that the hospital is actually not doing so well. But he can sense Kilroy clearly at the church, and, he thinks possibly, that irregular flicker that seems to be Jack might be heading that way too. Well, if a big nasty demon had something up it's sleeve, a hospital would be about the best distraction to use right before you did it... he heads to the church, trusting the god, the Kryptonian and the hulk to keep the hospital safe.
"Ideally, into the other fake me." But that ship's probably sailed. Jack narrows his eyes, takes a deep breath. "Try to lead it that way. If it doesn't follow, change into something else and RUN."
It's the kid's fault at some levels. But it's not. The demon isn't trying to jump into Gabriel. It's trying to kill him. That tells Jack the last thing he needs to know. He pauses.
"Even if it does...still run. Thanks. You tried."
Then, he breaks into a run himself, towards the church, leaps at a wall and sinks into it, emerging into the cold, dark that was the sanctuary. It's been desecrated by some amateur Satanists, at some point. The crucifix hangs upside down and there's blood - hopefully not human - splattered over the altar and filling the chalice. Kilroy and Moon Knight will both sense him in there. "Come on...come and get me." And he opens his link to the city all the way, reaches out to her. Embraces her. A quiet moment in the middle of the storm. Physically, crouched there in front of the twisted altar.
And as he does so, the demon changes tactics one last time, the church tinted with blood, the buildings still standing starting to turn into twisted images of themselves and that, like a plague, extending outwards across Tribeca. Threatening the entire city. It has it now...it has the power, but it's not looking behind it.
Not looking as Jack breaks off that embrace, the one nobody can see, tears of metal blood starting in his eyes. Not looking as he...opens the conduit to the fullest extent, grabs and pulls. He can't let it do this. He can't let it do this to his city. He can't let it do this to his friends and their homes, and every person who moves through the City That Never Sleeps.
And he also can't let it kill a teenaged boy who just stopped to offer his help, who just tried with everything that kid had, who just risked himself. "I'm sorry," he whispers.
Then, a moment later, he screams.
It only takes a few seconds to hit the ground, Cir-El can not leap like some others can, only at most half a mile across and possibly a quarter of a mile upwards. She starts running back to the Hospital when she sees things start to turn seriously WRONG. Jack had warned her about this possibility, he had said it means that he is failing...something confirmed moments later when she hears Jack Scream. She is torn...confused...but then firms up...there is only one person here who can help, and that is Loki. This is a matter of magic, and he is the only Magician here. She heads back to Loki, stopping in front of him and saying, "We need a solution and we need it now, what magic can draw and trap the demon now that it is manifesting?"
Kilroy has two objects that appear in his hands, two objects collected through his experience. The first is a fail safe made by his father, designed to be used against Kilroy, paid for by some of the deadliest for hire mages on the planet, used by the elite criminal organizations of the world. It is a thing seethed in Darkness, and Kilroy was tempted to destroy it on sight, but thought he might need it one day.
This is that day. He still feels there are other options. Indeed, it is only now, when it is far too late does it occur to him that maybe he can find a way to ask himself the price of something. But other methods or no...there is no TIME. The alternative plans have failed. So atop the blasphemous swollen church, surrounded by stumps of where the gargoyles once stood, now smashed on the ground below, Kilroy looks down through the stain glassed ceiling, not to crash through it to the rescue, but to point the gnarled brass scepter with a skull on the end, focus his will and intention on Jack and simply says,"Die."
It is invisible, but it is a hammerblow to Jack's body, instantly shutting down his life essence, snuffing his life like a candle.
But Kilroy himself had a failsafe from the failsafe. When he was in Purgatory, corruption in the corruption of Providence allowed him to obtain some...items....among the which was a simple bottle full of the River Elysium, the very shore that flowed through heaven itself, pouring it on Jack as the Demon and He merged, the holiest of holy water feel down down down through the chaos his spell erupted below, awashing Jack and Demon alike. To a human or a mortal spirit, it would be benign...but to a Demon, it would be like acid. Not enough to kill but to make the passage back to its native domain painful beyond imagining.
This was personal to Kilroy.
With a final whispered act, he places the Ferryman's coins on Jack's eyes as he falls. That Jack may find his way.
Gabriel starts looking around himself, particularly at the sky, as he continues to run. After a few seconds and a stumble he spots what he's looking for, a flock of pigeons that have been startled into the sky by the sudden changes in the buildings around them. His focus on the birds he misses seeing a car parked at the edge of the street and runs straight into it but manages to keep eye contact on the birds as he turns the hit into a slide that takes him to the other side of the vehicle. Then, instead of Gabriel-Jack popping up running from behind the vehicle, a pigeon, grey with white and black markings along the wings' edges, flies up into the sky headed towards the church circling around it and watching the action taking place inside it through the hole made in the ceiling's windows by Kilroy. Finally it lands next to Kilroy himself, melts into a golden blob again and once he's reformed asks,"Is it over now?"
Moon Knight grapples up to the roof quickly, intending to coordinate with Kilroy when he feels Jack appear in the church below.. and then scream as things go horribly awry all around them. Moon Knight gasps, his glowing eyes snapping to Kilroy. "He's damn well luring the demon to him anyways!" he snaps, We've got to get-- what are you -doing-?!" he exclaims in disbelief when Kilroy activates the staff. Moon Knight rushes over to yank Kilroy by the shoulder.. but he can already see through the now dripping skylight that it's too late.
Hearing his friend screaming causes Hulk to take nearby light poles to brace the hospital with at least long enough for them to do whatever they need too. Now he is running towards the church tossing anything out of the way that he needs too. "JACK! HULK COMES!" leaping he attempts going through the glass.
Pulled into him. It's agony for that moment...but at least it's his agony, not hers. And fear. This was the last resort, but it wasn't even looking at the pot, it wasn't remotely fooled. And in the end? He didn't lure it. He forced it. He found the way to eject it...and had it been a different demon, an exorcism would have solved the problem, Jack as the focus.
It wasn't a different demon. He looks up, sensing Kilroy's presence. And Moon Knight's. He should have given Moon Knight the gun. But then, could he really have trusted him to use it? That's the only motion he can do, everything else, everything about him, every bit of him is focused on keeping the demon from getting away. From jumping back into the city and if it does that, all is lost. He's terrified, but he made his choice. No other way. No, wait, there's one other thing he can do. Stop screaming.
Stop screaming in the moment before Kilroy whispers one word, and perhaps he hears it, perhaps not, but it's just...a moment of deep, profound cold as his body crumples to the ground like a puppet with cut strings. And in the next moment he almost, almost understands something...but there's another problem, the one he didn't foresee, the one none of them saw coming. He's still holding the demon. And, betrayed, snarling, the demon holds onto him. Nobody can see their moment of struggle, although those sensitive to magic might sense the edges of it. Kilroy's trick might almost have got him free...but he's still holding on, he *can't let it get away* even as he understands what that cold was. He can't risk it...and the two, tangled together, the demon the one screaming now, a scream that almost impinges on the senses of those NOT sensitive to magic and the astral, and is definitely heard by those who are, FALL.
And fall...and fall into hell...
And the city snaps back to normal, the buildings returning to their old form, but the damage remains...the collapsed warehouses and tenements, the damage to the hospital - propped up by Bruce but still in need of fixing...the crumpled parking lot.
Everything is very, very quiet and still, including the citywalker's body, supine in the desecrated sanctuary. Everything is very quiet indeed.
Cir-El sees the city suddenly revert to normal, and realizes she can no long hear Jack. She breaks down crying, realizing that, somehow, the demon has been stopped, but it cost a brave man his life.
Loki has no idea what to do with himself. When the danger begins to use his magic to make repairs to the building, feeling rather awful. Once he is finished with the hospital he would move on to other damaged buildings.
Kilroy shakes his head. He'd cry but his experience under the Dark Curse of Mnemosyne and his horrific experience in Wonderland...changed him. "No Gabriel. Jack's soul has been sent to hell by the demon that wouldn't let him go. We're not done. We're going to find the right portal. We're going to rip it open, and make every single one of those infernal things regret every evil act they have ever conformed on the mortal plane of existence. We are going to Find Jack." He looks as the brass rod turns to complete dust and blows away in a mystical wind. "And then we are going to bring him home." He looks at Moonknight as he says the last, in answer to the question the second asked him.
Moon Knight's shoulders fall a bit as the city returns to normal. "..He sacrificed himself to save the city." he says solemnly.. but then twitches, jerking back back from Kilroy, and pressing a hand to his head. Whatever's going on, at least he's quiet while Kilroy explains to Gabriel... and by the time Kilroy is done talking, Moon Knight answers with a far more fervent tone than the one he'd been using before, "You're damn well right we are."
The Hulk stands by the body of Jack poking it once or twice with a finger. Things around him go rather into a blur and no sound can penetrate his ears. Finally he lets out a roar of rage punching the floor of the church and then picking up different objects they are tossed through windows broken or not. The roar becomes that of agony as he scoops up the body into his arms in a hugging gesture his eyes closing as he snugs him just lightly. Setting him down gently he inhales deeply letting out another roar now turning there is blind rage and he leaps out the window he came through. Both hands come down to crack the ground beneath him and he latches onto a light pole uprooting it from the ground and tossed like a javelin through the air hitting an abandoned building and now he lifts a car up over his head.
Cir-El, through her tears, hears what Kilroy is saying. She Runs to the church, but pauses. She steps in front of the Hulk, "I know how you feel, but not that way. Do not destroy what he died to save, let us speak to Kilroy about how we get him back.
Gabriel sighs at Kilroy's answer and looks glumly down at Jack's body for a long moment. Then he looks back at Kilroy and Moon Knight to say, "You know, I've never been to another dimension, let alone to Hell. Does anyone know if demons even have DNA?"
Then The Hulk starts going berserk drawing the shifter's attention, "*sigh* It looks like we have a more immediate problem right now. If he doesn't calm down he could be as bad as the demon itself. Anyone got any idea? I mean, I can go toe to toe with him if I can copy him but I don't think that's the best option for keeping damage to the city down..."
Kilroy says, “He did. And we will." He looks at the Hulk. He can't blame Bruce for being upset, but the body might be needed. He doesn't think the Hulk is a mindless monster like many but he sees how the Hulk gently puts Jack down and is ..oddly touched. And really? Upgrade or no, he's not REALLY doing much to the Hulk if the hulk doesn't wanna be affected. "Let him work his anger out. Keep an eye out in case he hurts anyone. I think its better than you think. I don't think demons have DNA, I'm sorry Gabriel.”
Moon Knight glances over his shoulder at the Hulk, but nods to Kilroy. "As long as he stays in this area, it's pretty much trashed and abandoned anyways. Let him be.." his eyes narrow with purpose and he looks back to Kilroy. "You have a lead on this?"
The Hulk throws the car across the empty part of the lot letting it roll. The green giant seem to be oddly sobbing. It isn't long until he is back in human form as Bruce on his knees naked but not caring. "Jack.." the man whispers. Does anyone know he just lost whom he considered his best friend?
Kilroy is aware of the bond between Bruce and Jack. He doesn't know how deep it is. He stands on a Rai stone and allows Moon or Gabriel to board if they want, and floats up and toward Bruce, landing. "We can get him back Bruce. I can track him." He looks at Moon and answers within Bruce's earshot. "But the portal I used last time to go to hell is...almost impossible to use. I know some who can open it up, and I have other means if those can't work, but ideally someone like Constantine or Zach would do it. But I can sense him. I know EXACTLY where he is, and I know the city can too. I will ask her when the time is right all the details we'll need to know to go and find him.
As the scene clears, a silvery streak arcs in from above, curving around into a loose spiral descent as it smoothly decelerates to hover above the scene. It comes to a stop near Moon Knight, and the man aboard it--tall, dark, dressed in a white silk robe--leans over to him. "Excuse the interruption. You were here for... the incident, just now?" he asks, clearly aware that something happened here but not quite what it was.
Gabriel joins Kilroy on the stone and rides down to street level with him. Once down he goes over to where his backpack was left behind, picks it up and returns to the group. "Well, it was just dumb luck that I got mixed up in this but if you all think I can help I'll hope in on the rescue trip." That's before he gets distracted by the hover bike coming in, which even around here isn't the most common of sighs, "Cool ride man."
Moon Knight rides down with Kilroy too. "Okay, so you can find him when we get there. I'll talk to Khonshu, see what sort of protection he may be able to afford travelers in hell.. but if anything is just, then saving Jack is. I think he'll help if he can." when Dyson appears on..a flying scooter Moon Knight ehs..? He doesn't recognize the man, or his conveyance. "..Technically.. I don't remember most of it. Who are you..?" he asks, a bit guardedly.
Bruce Banner raises his eyes to Kilroy, "Count me in." he tells him before standing up. Indeed he is naked but who cares. So he turns walking off likely to where he hide some stuff of his own to change into.
"My official operative designation is 'Dyson,'" the newcomer in white explains. He pauses to glance at Kilroy, nodding, and adds, "Thank you," before continuing, "My actual name is William Argent. Use whichever serves your purposes better." He casts a look around the area, frowning at Moon Knight. "I sensed a massive upheaval in the Astral Plane corresponding to this physical location, but it seems to have subsided now. I'm only trying to get some information about what happened here."
Kilroy says, “Pleased to meet you Dyson. Basically a demon possessed the protector of cities. It was the kind that could not be exorcized. The host had to die and it was too smart to fall for distraction. Jack is dead, but his soul is in hell. The city is safe. But hell is not. If you want contact information on how to help kill it..." a card is produced with an email, "Send your contact information here and you'll be notified.”
Kilroy nods to Moon Knight, "That sounds like a very viable plan." He also nods to Gabriel, "Any aid is appreciated.
He's probably talking about the dead...or at least slumped and not breathing...guy in the middle of the church.
Moon Knight is still watching Dyson, as if to gauge his concern in this matter.
Moon Knight looks to Kilroy. "..I'm gonna go see what I can turn up that might be of use with this. Can you find me if you need to? My..schedule's not exactly reliable."
Gabriel shrugs a bit in response to Kilroy's thanks, "Well, you and Moony have both helped me in the past so its only fair. And besides, what kind of person would I be if I didn't do everything in my power to save a good man's soul from hell?" Looking Dyson up and down he smiles a little bit and asks, "So, you work with Tony Stark by any chance? That looks like his kind of gear."
Kilroy says, “Wear your costume, be in New York and make sure you have $7.77 on you and I'll find you and be able to contact you." HE smiles at Gabriel, "I like the attitude."”
Dyson's expression darkens at the mention of Jack's death, and it darkens further still at the explanation. He takes the card, nodding slowly, and admits with a weary tone, "Hell. It had to be something supernatural, didn't it?" He pockets the card, looking between the others. "So the impact was purely indirect. You don't have any reason to believe this entity is directly active on the Astral Plane?" His manner remains generally businesslike and emotionally detached, apart from a general impression of irritation at the mention of Hell and possession.
Moon Knight hehs in Kilroy's direction.. "If I was always wearing the costume there probably wouldn't be trouble contacting you. But I'll have my weapons on me if that helps, and I should be able to manage the rest." he looks a bit surprised at Gabriel. "You're serious..?" he's surprised, but also sounds impressed. After what the kid just saw today, he wouldn't expect him to be back for more. But he's never been the sort to tell someone what dangers they can and can't risk. "Well..if either of you want to help, you're welcome as far as I'm concerned." he says, addressing Gabriel and Dyson both. "..And it looks like the demon and Jack both aren't up here anymore."
Kilroy nods to Dyson, "It's gone. Where I sent it, it won't be back for centuries. That's the one up side of these awful things." He nods to Moon Knight.
Moon Knight doesn't seem surprised by Kilroy's odd specifics, at any rate. "I'll see what I can learn." he promises earnestly, then heads off as well. Kilroy seems to have known more about this than the rest of them.. he trusts him to fill in the new arrivals.
Gabriel slings his backpack onto one shoulder after pulling out some business cards out of one of the side pockets. Offering out the cards he says, "Well, when you're ready, call me." On the cards there's just the name Gabriel and a phone number, nothing else. Once the cards are distributed he waves once to the group and start walking away, "See you all soon."
Kilroy is actually going to place Jack's body under a Rai stone and take it to the one person he is quite certain Jack would trust to take care of it with the connections to fix it in case something happens to him, but first he surrounds it in salt to protect it from the elements.
Belatedly answering Gabriel's question, Dyson says with an air of moderate distraction, "Stark's reputation is excellent, of course, but I'm afraid I've never had the pleasure." One jaw muscle twitches slightly at Moon Knight's words, but he nods again, and directs his next words at Kilroy. "Well, it sounds like you've dealt with the only elements that would directly concern me."
He takes and releases a slow breath, frustration bubbling slightly closer to the surface. "I'm afraid I know nothing of 'Hell' or how to get a soul out of it. I assume it's some outer realm where the mind can be trapped, independent from the body, but... it's observably supernatural. Barring a sudden and impressive advance in transdimensional science, I have nothing to offer you." He offers Gabriel a final nod as the man turns to depart.
Kilroy says, “Loki...can you perform a preservation spell and watch over his body until Bruce calms down? I think...Bruce is the best person to watch over him while I make some inquires.”
"Yes, I can do that." Loki sits down and casts a spell, surrounding the body in a green and gold sparkly field.
Dyson lingers a moment, casting a last look over the others, and then Loki starts to do magic. That appears to resolve the matter for him. He twists one handle of the jetbike's controls, as if gunning a motorcycle, and the repulsors glow, sending him skyward and then swiftly away from the scene.