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Post by Airtia S. Cauthon on Mon May 29, 2017 4:12 pm

Airtia: One of the things that Airtia was not good at was asking others for help.  She had already reached her limit that day in asking Damon, a person she hardly knew, and now she was about to seek the help of another. The field day Tyger would have with later.  Fortunately the cat was staying to his post out in the woods… She took in a deep breath and focused on that knot in her consciousness which was Fallon. Mentally picking at it and tapping on that line.  She took a moment to answer the question.  " Sister Mary-Marks…  Is the bane o existence fer this place. Tis her fault this happened." And Airtia said that with malice. She had no love for that nun. Not at all.

Focusing again on contacting the other person, she drew up memories of him. Memories that went further back.  Good times, fights, bloodshed, promises and bonds.  There was a lot of history.  She looked up at the sky a moment.  " Fallon," Airtia spoke slowly, pushing his name through the bond as well.  " Help me."  For her to say the last two words he need had to be sincere.  

Damon: One might think Damon being involved in such a rescue mission with parties unknown to him would be uncharacteristic of him. On the contrary, this moment was actually rather common. In his realm of origin, he was the one people went to when they had a problem they either couldn't solve or that was impossible to solve.  Naturally, they were often the sort of problems that an innocent wouldn't consider upstanding, but that's where the 'couldn't' often came into play.  

He did well keeping a lid on the bulk of his reaction to Airtia's words, a predatory fury only flickering in his eyes as he rolled them skyward.  His silken voice nonchalant as he simply replied, "I am entirely unsurprised."  She was a large factor in why he couldn't stand this church, and his few and brief dealings with her had always been entirely unpleasant.  While Airtia made the rest of her preparations, he remained silent.  Brow briefly arching when she heard who she called to for help.  It was a name that sounded vaguely familiar to him, but without a face or scent to put to it he got no further in his recollection than that.  

Fallon: Twitch. It always started with a twitch. Even ages ago, when all his memories were fresh and intact, they always started with a twitch. A reflexive reaction to the awakening of something inside him. He had shared bonds with almost anyone who he had been close to... or was unlucky enough to be on the receiving end of his unique healing style. The more pleasant one, anyway. Whenever one of those ties were being yanked upon, it caused a twitch in him. In this case, it caused his eyes to open, head to jerk up.

The bonds, the connections to others, all of those had been lost to him. It seemed the only thing that would bring them back would be someone jamming on that cord, and waking it up. Just as Angel had done, months ago. And of course, at first, Fallon had no idea who this bond was with initially. All memory of it had been lost to the void in his head. Brows furrowing, he too focused on the twitch in him that had been roused from its torpor. It took several moments for the feeling, for they seemed to just as he heard that whisper in his mind. ~ Fallon... help me... ~ Memories of that voice, even as  a whisper, suddenly throttled his brain, as realization of where this was coming from set in. That.. was Airtia. She had been there, the night they all converged upon Angel. He.... was not sure why, of all people, she would be calling upon him. But... he had made a promise. Centuries ago. To this woman. One he did not intend to break.

Dull eyes lifted once more to the collection of moongazer lilies that bloomed before him, tangling with strings of snapdragons. A slow breath inhaled through his nose, exhaled as he rose from his kneel on the ground, to his feet. The mood would change quite suddenly, as the soft little 'pop'ping sound that always preceded Fallon's sudden arrival on the scene sounded a blink before the Madman appeared before the two. And of course, like he tended to do when not indoors, Fallon was out with his full effects. Forward curling horns, claws, fangs, huge , armored feathered wings, and of course, the long spade-tipped tail swishing about behind him. Standard Fashion Victim attire, black jeans, winged skull hoodie, laceless boots.

Those dull eyes drifted over the two people before him - the other he did not recognized - before they settled upon Airtia. They remained there, silently regarding her for a few seconds, before his quiet words were spoken. "Why do you summon me, Airtia.”

Airtia: She was pleased.  Beyond pleased even to see that Fallon arrived as he did. Inwardly she let out a sigh of relief that the bond was strong enough to still work. It should be noted that the group of them were being watched by the Nuns  in the field of the church and Fallon's appearance caused a stir. A few gasps and shocked cries in the distance.  Airtia didn't have to look to know that some of the nuns were quickly trying to usher the children away.  Fallon did look like something from hell to them with his horns and black wings.  Sister Mary-Marks was coming closer to the gate.  She was intent on locking it.  Anyway..

Airtia looked Fallon over and glanced to Damon before she spoke again.  "Tis good tae see ye, Fallon."  She lifted her head, keeping her hands casually at her side.  " I need yer help in taking Epiphany from the hands o God."  That was too the point.  Never saying why she couldn't do it herself, but she didn't think that was needed.  "Ye, along with Damon,"  motioning to wards him incase they did not know each other, " are needed fer this task.  

Then she took a small step closer to him.  Part of her wondered if he was going to stay as he currently was and the thought caused a ghost of a smile to tug on the left corner of her lips. "What do ye say?"

Damon: Regardless of where he directed his dark gaze at any given moment, Damon was listening as Airtia brought Fallon up to speed. Not to say that the man's arrival wasn't interesting, far from it, but a great deal of Damon's attention ever since he'd come out of the forest to the front gates was on the activities on the grounds of the church.  

The reaction to Fallon, well.  He could not help the beastly smirk that curled his lips.  It was always amusing to watch self-proclaimed bastians of goodness react with such outrage to what they proclaimed to be wickedness, as if each time they encountered it was the very first time.  It was when the infamous nun was on the move that Damon's eyes were steadily fixed on the church grounds.  His brow slowly lifting when it looked like she was marching in their direction.

He otherwise remained still, and silent, but his bottomless eyes were certainly fixed on her face, if she dared meet them.  "Yes, nice to see you, Fallon."  A delayed offering of mannered pleasantries, delivered in that same smooth, debonair tone of his.  He was still watching the nun, however, so Fallon would have to forgive that transgression.  No church pun intended.  

When Airtia stepped closer to Fallon, Damon took two steps, just two, closer to the church gate that the Sister was so interested in closing.  Perhaps he thought it a ripe time to have a lovely conversation, like two neighbors chatting over the picket fence that separated their lawns.

Fallon: Now that he stood before this woman, face to face, the multitudes of memories began to surge back into his mind.Not all of them? Because there were plenty. But they were beginning to clear the inky blackness in his mind, floating up to the surface. One by one, at first. then by the handfuls. Of course one of those memories was of a certain orange pain in the ass... a garden... their wedding - which he was late to... knocking over a vase...they continued to come, invading his thoughts even as she began to explain why he was here.

The name Pip came up, and that started a whole new wave of revelations and memories. They had begun to stir, the moment he stepped foot back at that Inne... he remembered her as the proprietor of the place. Memories of that name were vague... but mention of the word God helped fill in some blanks. The goofy little church girl he used to help during holidays at that tiny little church orphanage. Who grew up to be something far, far different... to say the least. Of course, her love for her gods eventually got her in trouble. It always did. "... Pip..." were the only words he spoke at first, his gaze certainly staring off past Airtia, though his gaze remain fixed upon her. He tended to get a little lost, as returning memories hit his mind. "... squeak." A few moments later, finishing the affectionate nickname he had for the little blonde girl. One of many, he would learn, as those memories returned.

"The hands of God..." His beef with the divine, and the fiends had ended years ago, but that did not mean Fallon wasn't beginning to remember that festering hatred for both sides. It would not be the first time that Fallon had stepped upon the glorious mount in this form... a little deja vu for the gods might be kind of fun!A blink of his eyes brought this woman back into his focus, the returning memories causing the deadly tail behind him to twitch and flick about more wildly. "Another crack at the gods... save Pip... Epiphany..." the woman's full name finally returning, "with him..." Finally turning his gaze to the man she had called Damon... still no recognition. He sort of just left it at that, not affirming or refusing. Summing up her request.

Airtia: ”You!" That was Sister Mary-Marks as she eyed down Damon.  She knew him alright and the hatred wasn't hidden. She even closed the gate, taking out her key and locking it - as though that would really do any good with the three of them about?  She huffed and looked at the other two and back to the vampire.  "You.  You are NOT allowed in here. You and your vile presence have no place here.  Any of you!"  That was to the others there.  

It was true that she barely tolerated Airtia but to see that she had brought two others here? Oh no.. that wasn't acceptable for her.  She was standing her ground to this vampire as she could, her eyes narrowed.  

Airtia silently rolled her eyes at hearing the nun, all the while she was keeping her attention to Fallon.  She smiled at him. A real smile which was a bit soft.  She was happy to see him, it was true, and hearing that nickname was funny. She tucked that away for later.  "Yes, Fallon. Pip."  She was watching him and he seemed… different.  Like something wasn't quite right.  Maybe he had been sleeping for a long time and was only now waking up, but it worried her. She wondered if he was really up to this task but it was something she would have to put a bit of trust in.  She knew that, deep down, he could do it.  He only had to shake the proverbial veil that was over his eyes.

"I would nae ask..  iffen it was nae needed."  For this.  Airtia tipped her head to the left. She even reached out for one of his claws as she took a backward step towards the direction of the gate.

Damon: "Hello, Sister."  There was no question that Damon hated the woman at least as much as she hated him, but the moment she engaged him there was not a flicker of that hatred on his face, in his body language, and certainly not his tone.  He was truly playing the part of the jovial neighbor on the other side of the fence, a downright cheerful smile given to her that matched the charming nature of his tone.  That his smile just so happened to put his two sharpened eyeteeth on display, well that couldn't be helped, could it?  It could, but hardly the point.  Damon never hid his fangs, period, and he certainly wasn't about to start for this comfort of this odious woman of faith.  

"I can't think of a better evening than this for such a reunion, it is shaping up to be a splendid evening, isn't it?  Not a single vile act or intention in sight, just beautiful."  She shot declarations and judgments at him, and he was behaving like they were shaping up to have a nice long chat to catch up.  His way of demonstrating that he wasn't interested in sinking to her level.  

He took in a deep, albeit unneeded breath of air through his nostrils as if he was glorying in the fine scents of the evening, but exhaled it in a weighty, dramatic sigh.  "I can't speak for them, but never have I done anything that could remotely be considered vile while standing on your grounds.  I do have a place here, however, if what I hear is true."

Fallon: Different. Different was a very apt word to describe the Madman. Since when did he not immediately barrage her with that crazy talk of his? Where was that lopsided grin that seemed to never be far away? And where was that duality, the darkness and light that he radiated? All of it was gone. The life in his eyes, his voice, and everything else. Even the scars. Scars she had actually helped to create, at one point, were gone, though that was not easily seen while shrouded in clothes. Much had changed, in the countless years - for Fallon, anyway - that had passed since they last met. She was much different, as well. Her look, mostly. But her voice, her manner of speech, even her clinical coldness... that seemed to all be perfectly intact. The soft smile she offered him brought about another rush of memories... she used to smile a lot more, back when he was young. The gesture earned a faint hint of a smile, touching only one corner of his mouth.

As she began to backpedal, and reach for one of those black clawed digits, his gaze finally darted off toward the gate, where the Jesus bitch harpy was howling her curses and ravings. This... Damon character seemed to have her attention for now. "...she is in there? Pip?" ... was this that very same little church that he had always hung around with her? His memories have not quite drudged up that deep yet.

Airtia: Airtia’s temperament was different.  He was right in saying it was colder.  Life happens and the events cause a shift in mood. There were echoes of her there, but at times like this, and thinking about what she had to do - she asked them to do - that weighted on her.  Fingers on her right hand tapped on the side of her thigh as she sighed, pushing the thought out of her head.  

"She tis in there.  In a trunk made by Michael. "  Her silver eyes searched his face as she took another step back. She was anxious to get back there. Back to the trunk. "I fear that her time tis growing shorter b'fore she tis lost fore'er." Despite all that she had been through, maybe it was odd to think that Airtia still held out hope that things would work out. But it was this small bit of optimism that enabled her to do some pretty dramatic things for the people she cared about.  The scarifies.

She turned her head to look back at Sister Mary-Marks talking to Damon.  "She's completing God's work!" is what the Sister yelled at the trio. "Would you interfere in what he has ordained? Go back to the fiery pits of Hell and let us alone."  Then she fixed her eyes on Damon.  "Haven't you done enough?  Go. Go from here…."  

Damon: His wolfish smile would be the clearest hint that the nun's words, and likely her behavior, amused him.  Mortals.  Allowing their emotions to twist them up into unnecessary complexities when in truth the logical reality was so much simpler.  In that way, Damon watched humans with the same morbid curiosity that many modern humans watched television.  

"That is a rhetorical question, yes?  Surely you cannot sincerely be asking if we would interfere.  You locked the gate for a reason, Sister, an albeit pointless reason, but for that reason nonetheless.  Allow me to ask you a question which is also rhetorical - haven't you done enough?  I haven't done a damned thing, I haven't even set foot in this realm for nearly a decade, but when I do I'm barely here for twenty-four hours before I find out that the church that was so beloved to Epiphany has turned upon her and is holding her captive.  So who exactly has 'done' what to cause the current state of affairs, you or I?  

“And whose supposed work is Epiphany's free will being stripped away to do - your gods, or your own?  If your hands are clean and your intentions pure, if Epiphany's current state of affairs is truly your god's will be done, then what has you so afraid?  You should have nothing to lose by allowing us on these grounds.  So unlock the gate, Sister, and let go and let God."  Yes, he knew that phrase.  It was an old one, and he was old himself and had been a human with a religious family once upon a time.  

It should be noted that for all Damon said, never did he raise his tone besides to put emphasis on certain key words.  His logic was exacting, and unlike the nun he didn't allow the storm of emotions beneath his cool exterior to come to the surface.  What he felt was none of the Sister's business.  In different circumstances, the opportunity to lay into this woman has he just did would have given him a euphoric satisfaction, but there were greater things to be concerned about.

Fallon: Didn’t Fallon know, about life happening. Life... and death... happening were what brought him to this state. Wouldn't this have been a far more enjoyable and fun filled journey, if the old Madman were here at these gates, being charged with what sounded like busting Pip out of some church prison? Wisecracks and horrible one liners galore as he set the place to waste like? It certainly would. But alas... they would have to work with the empty, broken Madman instead. Hopefully the desired results would pan out the same?

Damon was speaking to the woman at the gate, which now appeared to be locked tight. And Airtia had affirmed that Pip was locked away, somewhere behind that gate, within the church walls. That was all that he needed to hear. Pivoting away from the retreating Airtia, Fallon turned himself toward the gate, and the woman standing behind it. In one sharp motion, the huge, ashy gray feathered wings that had been settled about and around him like an armored cloak flared open to their full fifteen foot span. And in that same moment, twin bursts of fire seemed to ignite within his eyes. At around the exact same time that the air around the sister ignited in the exact same way. Fallon didn't seem to be interested in discussion here. He was intent on accomplishing the mission he had been given.  Regardless the cost.

Airtia S. Cauthon
Airtia S. Cauthon

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Post by Airtia S. Cauthon on Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:55 am

Airtia: At this point Airtia had stopped and simply listened and watched. It was delightful to hear Damon talking to Sister Mary-Marks like that. Neither of them liked the woman and that made the vampire good in her book. Not only that, it was what he had said which really hit the mark, and Airtia took note of it. Then, just as she was about to say something, the nun burst into flames and that made Airtia laugh. It was soft at first, but it was a laugh nonetheless. It was almost ironic to see the Nun burn considering how she had told them all to go to Hell and now, here she was, burning.

Sister Mary - Marks screamed and her shrill voice brought others running over. A few of them stayed back for fear of what was there at the gate. Though.. no one came too close to help the Sister who was now flaying on the ground, rolling and trying to put out her flames with the last bit of strength she had in her body.

"I do declare," Airtia said slowly. "Who's going tae Hell now?" A smirk pulled at the left corner of her lips. Efficiency. Needless to say, anyone else who was left on the outside of the church yard made a run for the doors and away from what was happening.

Damon:Ah. They were finished. Occupying the Sister was the one useful thing he could do while Fallon and Airtia had their interesting conversation, but he certainly hadn't expected such a finale when they were through.

While his eyes had remained on the nun, his attention was split as he had been eavesdropping on the chat between his partners for the day. Fortunate, too, as he picked up a detail that Airtia had yet to share with him. But that was then, and this was now, as he watched a nun who likely wanted to do nothing more than like him on fire be the one to burn. As she was otherwise occupied and as such had nothing more to say to him, he had nothing more to say to her, either. Instead, his focus shifted to watch the response of the others on the church grounds. Brow lifting when he saw that no one intended to come to the nun's aid. "A shame, that no one is inclined to help her." Spoken with his usual casual detachment, as inwardly he processed the implications of such a thing. "Telling, but a shame." Why he felt it was a shame, he didn't elaborate. The reasons plunged deep into ethics and philosophy, and neither had a place in the current moment.

Gaze shifted to the gate's lock, which he popped open with a flex of his power. That same power swung it open as well, without Damon laying a finger upon it. "Ladies first, as they know the way?" A question directed at Airtia, though part of him had to wonder if Fallon was going to bring the entire church to the ground.

Fallon:There was no point in talking to the woman, in Fallon's eyes. They could stand outside that gate all night, wasting their breath on the 'sister' trying to convince her to let them in and rescue Epiphany. But if the girl's plight was as serious as Airtia had made it to be, then they did not have the time to waste. So the logical course of action was to remove her from the path, and get their asses moving. And since this was clearly not going to be a peaceful rescue - would he be here, if it was to be? - lighting up some uppity nun seemed a fine tone setter. 

As the woman burned, Fallon turned a glance toward Airtia, before beginning his walk toward the gate. Damon had already opened the gate, and flung both sides open for them, so he didn't even need to break stride. "Thank you," Spoken to Damon as he approached, and walked past. Fear not, Damon. Fallon had no intention on burning down the church. He would have done that from the outset. From what he had gathered, they were trying to save Epiphany, not cook her. And there were children inside... the children had nothing to do with what was happening. They need not die for the stupidity of those who cared for them.

His steps toward the church did deviate some, though. He seemed to stray just enough to reach the smoldering woman he had set ablaze. Her groans and wails were starting to irritate him. So, as he walked past, he made sure that one of his booted heels stomped down on the side of her head. A satisfying crunch was the result, and it also served to silence her for good. All while making his way toward the church's front door.

Airtia: Perhaps the rest of the church knew what was good for them and so they stayed away. With the gate now open Airtia started through, giving a nod of her head to Damon in thanks as she passed by. But she was only a couple steps past him when she stopped and turned to face him. She was little more than a arm span away. Standing still she studied his face a moment while running through her own thoughts. Then she pulled out a pendant. It was one she had earlier when she was in the basement with her grandchildren and Titania. The Bloodstone pendant.

"Damon." she said his name slowly and then paused before starting again. "I do nae know ye, but I am willing tae put trust in ye in order tae bring Epiphany forth. But there tis something I need tae ask o ye b'fore we enter in the resting place." She cast a small glance over at Fallon and then to the now corpse. "Fallon can get us in, but I ask ye.. tae take Epiphany out. I cannae remove her and I do nae think that he will be able. But I need tae know that she gets out and somewhere safe." Coming from Airtia, to not only admit that she couldn't do something but that she may not be able to keep a person safe was painful to her own pride.

A hint of irritation in her voice she opened her palm and showed him the pendant. "I believe this may be yers..." While she waited she looked at Fallon. The church doors were.. not that big. Maybe he would have to bring his wings in to fit inside. " Where we are going the walls are close..."

Damon:"You're welcome." Following them in, brow lifted again when he stopped short so soon. His jaw tightened slightly when she pulled out the pendant he'd given Epiphany long ago, the only sign that he was putting effort into stifling what the sight of it stirred in him. The grand juxtaposition of life, considering the war of vulnerable feeling inside of him against the backdrop of Fallon crushing a nun's skull. "It's hers," he replied. "But I gave it to her, yes." For protection. How ironic. But then again, it was a pendant to ward off ill spirits, not zealots and her god. He assumed that she was offering it to him, and as such he took it from her hand.

"Of course I'll get her out." It was what he was here for, was it not? "And to safety, as well. But I have to ask, because it will only help me succeed...what is it that you suspect you can't surmount that I can? I'm a vampire, after all, strolling into a holy relic." A beastly smirk curled his lips. There was nothing that had prevented Damon from walking sanctified ground before, even as a vampire, but then again he never tried to waltz into an edifice made by an Archangel before. While he did have a way around that in his pocket, should it prove a problem...he'd much rather leave that solution unused in his pocket.

Fallon: Yes, most structures were not very accommodating to winged freaks such as himself. Narrow doorways, hallways and a lack of open rooms? Architects were the bane of the winged population. And the tailed, as well. And rocking chairs? Don't even get him started. Luckily, Fallon had long since found a way around that. While she and Damon continued their discussion behind him - tactics and planning were important, after all - Fallon had continued on towards the church. And as he neared the door, they would see shimmering begin around the man's bizarre gray wings, fading them from sight as the shimmering did. But that still left claws, fangs, horns and tail! And of course, his own bitterness toward the gods. More than enough to bust up into a church, kill off a few sheep, and get Pip out of there.

Since the two were hanging back, Fallon's footfalls would cease, right outside the door of the church. He could hear panic, screams, a lot of shouting behind it... sweet music to his ears, at one time. Now, it was just more noise. Turning to gaze back over his shoulder to his other two companions. He had heard the conversation between the two of them, and only now decided to interject his own thoughts. He was the bouncer, Damon it seemed would be the retriever, and Airtia... what exactly was she doing? Overseeing the operation in the rear with the gear? "And where will you be during all of this." The words clearly directed to her. Her role had yet to be revealed. And that would not stand.

Airtia: First it was Damon asking why she couldn't do it, and then Fallon in asking what she would be doing. For her, both of these answers went almost hand in hand. She set her jaw and lowered her hand once Damon took the pendant. "Ye can give it tae her again," she said that softly and it was in reference to the pendant.

Airtia needed a moment to think of the best way to answer both of their questions and she took it by turning away from the vampire and walking towards the door. Airtia had carefully avoided stating her role in all of this on purpose. It was something that she did not want to say and now there didn't seem to be a way around it. She thought about it with each step and her fingers twitched at her side. It was one of the reasons why Tyger was so against her spending so much time down there with the accursed trunk and one of the reasons why she may have seemed so solemn about the event and determined to get the girl out. Granted she figured that Damon was coming, so she didn't stop to look behind her to see if he was and she didn't stop walking until she was at the door. If Fallon wasn't fully blocking the way she would get close to it and then turn to look at the two with her.

She set her eyes on both in turn. She stood up a bit straighter. "The trunk tis made by Michael tae rid the being inside o' it o' the evil.. the ungodliness that tis within them." she stated as she explained of the trunk. “Demons. Devils. Hellspawn, creatures from the under, cannae survive." here she took a pause. "I am fairly certain, that I will nae survive long in the trunk. And, iffen I touch Epiphany, I will die." There was reason why Airtia and Pip never embraced each other once she girl came into her own. "Fallon.. ye ave celestial blood in ye. Tis there. I know it. Ye can open the trunk. Damon.. Ye ave been with Epiphany and yet live." in a manner of speaking live.. "That is why I need the two o ye." Here she waited. It was likely their last chance to back out.

Damon:"I could, yes." What a rare flicker of chagrin on his face, and a brief boyish grin that most never got to see. The result of Damon imagining that moment, and Epiphany promptly taking the necklace and lashing him with it until her arm went numb because he'd decided his departure from her life was the best thing for her well-being, without consulting with her on that fact. Well, not even he was perfect, but he certainly did his best to keep up appearances. At any rate, the necklace was slipped into his pocket.

A spark of understanding - and interest - in his eyes when he understood the implication of Airtia's words, in respect to herself. Had it been another time, and another place, that could have made for an interesting opportunity. But time was of the essence, and obviously by virtue of him standing there she was correct in her assumption when it came to he and Epiphany. His reply simple. "Understood." He'd followed her this far, hadn't he?

Fallon: Fallon had no intention on backing out of this. Pip was a friend, he remembered. The friendship waxed and waned, as all did, but she was a friend all the same. And the gods needed to be taught their place from time to time. Even if it is something as minor as plucking one person from their grasps. Here he had hoped he'd be up in the higher peaks, stomping archons and celestials... instead he was just robbing a church of a valuable. And... committing a little violence. Somewhat disappointing. But still, it was for Epiphany.

However, even though Airtia's explanation did clear up much of what was going on. He still did not get a straight answer to his question. Damon's was cleared up. but his own? That was still murky. Damon was satisfied with his answer, but Fallon? Not so much. "So... where will you be during all this, again?" He understood the limitations the woman had, given the situation. But did she really intend on hanging back and letting Damon and Fallon do the dirty work? "At least serenade the battle while we get shit done." One little bit of snark for the woman's evasion of his question, before he turned his attention toward the church door. No destruction, no explosion, no burning. Fallon simply reached out, and opened the door, so he could walk inside.

Airtia: Couldn't get anything past Fallon.. much to her dismay. "Inside the trunk." That's where she would be despite what it would do to her. It wasn't like Airtia to let people go off by themselves. Well, it was but this case was different! She wanted to see what was inside and wanted to test if her theory was true.. They say curiosity killed the cat.

Anyway. Fallon didn't know where to go, though he may be able to feel the holy power coming from down the staircase. Airtia slipped past him to take the stairs. The way down was narrow.. Stone walls and cemented steps. Light on the walls marked by torches. They were going straight down. The air getting a bit cooler but not by much. The torches leaving the air to smell as sulfur. There was nowhere for the air to go but up the stairs or around the room at the bottom.

Airtia drew in a deep breath and closed her eyes as she finished her decent. She didn't need to see to know where she was going. She felt that pull and it made her skin crawl as she got closer. Once at the bottom, there was no door to the room, only the archway. She opened her eyes and approached the dark wooden trunk that stood on the dais. It was rather plain except for the carved script of an old Celestial language which was carved all around it. If any of them could read it, it said “Darkness shall give way to the Light” and it repeated over and over around the trunk. Airtia walked to one side of it and held a hand over it. "I hear that it tis bigger on the inside."

Damon: It had been a long time since he'd stepped on these grounds, and even longer since he'd stepped into the church itself. Dark eyes scanned the area as he stepped inside, as he inhaled slowly through his nostrils. Checking scents, just as his ears were checking heartbeats. He didn't expect anyone else to get in the way, but he did like to know who was around, and where, if the occasion called for it. A slight smirk when he heard Fallon repeat his question. "I always found the rhymes sung during the yellow fever to be catchy, but I fear I may be dating myself." Or he would have if they were from his world. It'd been so long since he was in Rhy'din, he'd forgotten he had no shared history with most who dwelled here.

Following down the stairs, when Damon came through the archway he was surprised at what he saw. Wood. Plain wood, at that. He was Italian, religion in his homeland was rather showy. He did approach the trunk, peering at the script, but the language wasn't familiar to him. Context clues though, he could made an educated guess at its general sentiment. Dark eyes shifted to watch Airtia as the woman hovered a hand over the trunk. Eyes narrowing thoughtfully. Exhaling the unneeded breath he'd taken when the first entered the church, he mimicked the gesture. Fingers hovering just over the wood without touching it. Call it a test.

Fallon: Inside the chest. That seemed like a rather unhealthy place for Airtia to be, given her previous explanation. But he had received his answer. Which meant he could let the matter drop. Though he kept that little tidbit tucked away in the corner of his mind. Something he wanted to remember, just in case.

He could feel the power that their target radiated, even from right outside this church. And as Airtia slipped by him to lead the way, Fallon lingered outside for just a bit. That feeling... it was drawing up more memories in his mind. Reliving them in his mind held him in place, staring off into nothing for several seconds. It was Damon's words as he entered the church that snapped him back into the waking world again, several blinks indicating his snap back into reality. And behind the vampire he came, following the procession down the dank, narrow hallway. The stench of the sulfur wafting a few more errant memories into his thoughts, but his focus remained more resolute, his steps continuing ahead.

As they came into the chamber at the foot of the stairs, the source of that power was revealed. And... it really was just some janky ass trunk, with Celestial written all over it. A bit underwhelming, considering its creator. The last to step through into the room, Fallon took his place before the trunk, since the other two had taken to flanking it. While they hovered their hands over it, he was looking for the way to bust this thing open. The sheer power coming off of it had Fallon a bit uncomfortable? But it was not going to deter him from his task.

"This is where Pip is, then." Looking up to Airtia, then Damon, then back to the trunk. "Let's get her out." And without any further wasted words, Fallon reached out. No hovering. His clawed hands took hold of either side of the trunk's lid. What happens next...

Airtia: Airtia had her hand over the trunk because she was pushing herself to see how much she could take. She could feel it snaking up her arm, feeling like hundreds of small needles raking under her skin. She had her jaw tight and her hand quivered slightly. She could take it right now but later... And later came rather suddenly. Once Fallon came up and took hold of the lid, he could pull it off rather easily. There were no bolts or locks to hold it in place. Why should there be? Woe to anyone who went in who wasn't suppose to. It was their funeral.

As for the size of the trunk it was nearly five feet long and about two feet wide. When Fallon took the lid off a bright, pure white light burst forth and filled the room. It was blinding and Airtia staggered back from it and the chest. The sensation she felt earlier now increased three folds. The light flooded the room and pushed any hint of shadow out as far as to the steps. Airtia placed a hand over her heart and took in deep steading breaths. " After.. ye two."

Damon: Woe to Damon, then. At least Jade wasn't here to witness this moment, because she'd flip her lid in about the same style as Fallon had flipped off the lid to this trunk. When Damon held his hand over the trunk, he felt nothing that caused him to recoil. Power, yes, being what he was and allied with the Kalderash as he was he couldn't stand before and object like this and feel nothing. But it didn’t give him any discomfort...until the room flooded with holy light.

"Jesus Christ," Damon spat, in a totally reflexive moment with absolutely no pun intended. The hand that had been over the trunk was now shielding his entirely too-sensitive eyes as they adjusted to...was there really any kind of adjusting that could be done? It was moments like this that he was damn glad that he was a daywalker, though Damon kept hours that never drew attention to that fact because walk in the sun as he could he still found it uncomfortable and not at all intuitive. But, again, he'd come this far. So up onto the dais Damon stepped. Making his way into the trunk, Damon was entirely prepared to drop as he expected the floor of this thing to be far below where it seemed, and likely the light made it difficult to see a damned thing. The one thing he was certain to do, however, was slip a hand into the pocket which held the vial. He liked to be over-prepared.

Fallon: Well, it was like yanking off a bandaid. Why do it all slow and drag out the pain, when it was much easier to just rip it right off? Easing into this wasn't going to do any of them any good. Sure, the sudden eruption of light and power caused even Fallon to lift his hand to shield his eyes from that obnoxious ass light, and grit his fangs back at the growing discomfort it was bringing. But they had to get her out. And diving right in was the easiest way to get that done.

After the curses and snarls from the three of them had ended, Damon was stepping right on up. The first to disappear into the lightwell coming from the chest. Airtia seemed to be off a bit, so Fallon would step up next. One leg over the side of the trunk, dangling down into the light. but he paused, and turned his gaze back toward the woman. "Stay close. Don't fall behind." He had something else in his mind, now. Something she had said. Something he would not forget. His empty gaze remaining on her for a moment, before he too disappeared into the chest.

Airtia S. Cauthon
Airtia S. Cauthon

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Post by Damon Fauci on Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:44 pm

AIRTIA: It was now or never. Airtia could go from the trunk and leave the two to do the job - that’s what she should do, but she made a promise to the girl’s mother who gave her charge over Epiphany. And maybe, just maybe, she’d be enough to distract what was inside so that the others could get away.  Steeling herself, she stood and dropped in after the others.

They ended up in a place that was made up of light. Bright, near blinding, light. No floor, walls, ceiling, sounds, or smells; neither hot or cold it was a void that was made up entirely of the light and the numinous feeling that came with it. There was no air to be felt, but those who needed to breathe found that they were able.

As the trio was gathered in the Light, the words which were written on the outside of the trunk were heard. With a slight alteration. Darkness shall give way to it.  It played softly over and over again. Hard to tell where exactly it came from as it didn't change the mechanics of the room. Although, it would be more veracious to say that they heard these words from within themselves and in whatever language that was native to that being. Whatever tongue that was for whichever person, it would translate to that phrase: Darkness shall give way to it. It was those words that were effectively seeking to burn its way into the hearers soul, seeking to burn out any Darkness that may have resided within. Members of this motley crew that happened to be what Airtia described while outside the trunk, would start to feel rendered from the inside. It was likely that items that fit into that category could become uncomfortable for the person to handle - those things had no place in the Light.

Airtia felt the effects of the place even before she fully entered into the ‘room’.  There was nothing visibly to stand on but her knees were bent and she was in a crouched position, head down to her knee as she focused on breathing and pushing back the pain she felt.  Who in room had good eyes - and a clear head enough - to be able to catch the faint image that flickered right outside the peripheral vision to the right? If they did, it would be of someone placed spread eagle. Possibly in the air but, in a room where spatial and relative direction hardly mattered, that point was undetermined currently. As quickly as the image came into view it flickered out.

DAMON: This was...not the evening he'd expected to have when Titania had sent him the text that woke him up early, and Damon, always smooth, always in control Damon, was not the sort to receive having things invade his mind and body very well. Mouth twisted into a sneer almost as soon as the first 'darkness shall' pinged his mind, and it was only because he was gritting his teeth that he managed to hold back the snarl. Snarls, growls, or anything else would not help this situation, nor would allowing the primal nature of his blood take the reigns.

So air unneeded as it was, Damon was taking a very slow breath through his nostrils and that gesture was repeated a few times as he looked around. At what little there was to look around at, anyway. Needless to say, his eyes were not performing with flying colors in light like this - it was hard for him to separate this glare from that, to see the nuance. His sense of smell worked just fine, however, and so would his hearing, two senses that were preternaturally acute.

Taking a few steps "forward," if forward was defined on this occasion as 'the direction he happened to pick', those senses were on high alert as he also put his sixth sense to use. Epiphany was here, and here was close enough, and perhaps they were still close enough for this to work...depending on the state of her mind. Damon's mental fingers reached out, and in a place where there weren't a lot of minds to get distracted by his mental search it would likely be a quick one as he sought to find Epiphany.

The fingers of his left hand, the hand not still jammed in his pocket, were slowly clenching and unclenching as he was doing his best to think human thoughts. Humane thoughts. Thoughts that would make him focus on what humanity he had inside of him, and how convenient that the one who'd stirred the most humanity in him since he became a vampire was the one he was currently looking for.

FALLON: If she had just hung out up there and left their asses in here, her and Fallon would be having a very painful conversation a little bit later. Luckily Tia followed, and three of them were dumped into this time/space of light. It really, really didn't need to be this bright in here. And that incessant chanting was enough to make a person put a drill to their temple. Darkness shall give way to it...dawn. Not light? But dawn. That was what he connected it with. And that meant he connected it with a particular group of renegade angels that he had some dealing with, many years back. That caused a momentary flare of anger in the man, which led to an almost instant twitch. That was not the kind of thing to be thinking about in here!

Though Fallon was nothing compared to what he used to be, the raw power of the light was affecting him. Nothing too serious yet? But just a little tingle. It would get progressively worse as they hung around, so he was all for getting Pip and then getting the hell out of there. That infernal - err, celestial - racket was the worst of it. The Light was so lame... spooky chant! The brief glimpse of a strung up figure did make it to his eyes, but not long enough to tell if this was who they were searching for. Then again... how many people did they throw into this thing at once? Glancing back behind him to where Airtia had landed, Fallon made his standard move. A clawed hand held in her direction. To help her up when she was ready.

AIRTIA: As Damon was reaching out for Pip that image flickered again in the distance. It was a bit clearer now.  Certainly it was that of a female.  Dirty blonde hair hanging loose and tangled, hiding her face as the chin was down to the chest. The image held for a count of four before it blinked out again.  

Something else was happening.  There were other movements of light. Like patches of haze shimmering in and out of existence.  These shapes were seemingly getting closer to the group. The buzz in the air, the volume of the chant grew. An annoying buzzing in the ears.  This sound was drilling hard into Airtia's head and she would swear that her ears were bleeding. It wasn't but, as she looked up to try and stand, she saw Fallon's offered hand.  As she reached out to take it she coughed.  When she coughed a small spray of blood came from her lips.  Wasn't a good sign at all.  

Especially since this action caused a rumbling in this so called 'room'.  The haze of shimmering lights took on a more solid color.  It looked more like ice and it was forming a barrier between them and that figure that had been seen earlier.   A boisterous voice, which was neither discernibly male or female, that came from all around and yet nowhere.  "Who mares this sanctum?"

DAMON: There. He turned, just in time to make out the outlines of what clearly wasn't just another glaring swath of indiscernible matter.  His steps quickened, and did not slow when he tracked the movement in the light.  With his mind reaching for Epiphany like it was, he could sense there was consciousness stirring within that movement, of a kind.  It was welcome thing, in a way, to have something to actually focus his eyes on besides disorienting glare, it rooted him in his own head a bit more.  

Until the rumbling, that is.  Clever room, he decided, with so many ways to keep the mind from feeling steady. When the voice sounded around them, he took a single glance over at Fallon and Airtia. It was obvious she wasn't faring well, and if he hesitated his tricks might be too late to try and thwart whatever barrier was shaping.

On a regular day, when he wasn't literally inside a holy relic, Damon had the uncanny ability to shield his presence, and regardless of who was standing in front of him that talent had never failed him. That was the trick his pulse of will attempted now, on top of his form dissolving into mist. Harder to see, and for him easier and faster to travel, and honestly have you ever met an evil mist? Don't answer that. The mist that was Damon shot upward first, trying to slide his way over whatever what shaping to keep them out, then an attempt forward toward the flicker of Epiphany that revealed itself - if that barrier didn't thwart him.  He'd told Airtia he'd get Epiphany and get out, and that's exactly what he was looking to do.

FALLON: It was Damon's job to nab Pip and get her out of there, hide her away, keep her safe. And it was Fallon's job to get them in here, and give him the chance to do just that. There was a few ways to do this, and he would likely be using all at his disposal. But that booming voice gave him the first option he would be using, once it sounded throughout his consciousness.

He helped Airtia to her feet, even as she coughed her blood and was clearly suffering. Before he would do his best to draw attention away from the suddenly vanished Damon, back onto him. Releasing her hand, Fallon turned back toward the shimmering, which looked to be solidifying to protect its treasure. ... Pip did grow up to be quite a treasure... ha! Ahem. "You don't recognize an abomination when you see one?" Taking a few steps forward toward the barrier, allowing those massive feathered wings to once more shimmer into being. "I've killed enough of your kind to have tragic songs and horror stories told of me."

Now with all his effects out, the last little bit was needed. It was hard to see in the relentless glare of the light, but licks of white flames began licking about the edges of his form, growing quickly until his entire body was lined in this fiery aura. Not really so much fire? But the power of pure destruction... Fallon's fave. "There's no need to hide? Come out and play. I promise I won't hurt you?" Come on out and play, please...

AIRTIA: It may have been hard to notice in all the blinding light, but perhaps they did note they were in a void. Where was the opening from which they came into this place? Gone. So the one question which may settle on them later, was…how were they to leave?  The Damon-mist did its due and was, for the most part, ignored.  He was vapor? And it was likely that the effects of this place didn't weigh so heavily upon him while he was thus.

The more he focused on Epiphany the more her form came into view.  She was there alright. There and looking as though she was suspended in mid-air.  Mid…light? Nothing seemed to be holding her, yet she was held. Eyes closed and hard to tell if she was even breathing aside from the very faint pulse. She was being kept alive by what was happening to her. Around her that swell of Light was intense.  Holiness running through her body and the light illuminating her skin. How close could Damon get to her like this?

As for Fallon.. he was wanting the voice to come forth and so it did. It wasn't afraid of him. It started with the haze of light forming a shape. It was a shape made out of light but there was a color difference.  Part of the light took on a more light blue glow of fire.  A line down the middle of the solidified Light. "I know you."  The Light said. " And you have no place here."  The voice filled the room and shook the area.  Booming echoes that Airtia felt as she was standing and it caused her to fall down to one knee.  If this Light had eyes it would be boring right into Fallon's. "Do not interfere.  Leave now. Or death will follow."

DAMON: The likely complications surrounding the exit strategy was something Damon had been thinking of ever since he'd escorted Jade and Titania back into the woods and he'd done what he could in that moment. Currently, there was nothing to be done but focus on the current step. The mist that was Damon slipping around the back of her.  A specific move as he took shape again. Damon was still putting great effort into making himself unseen, but he had no idea what level of perception the thing had that Fallon was dealing with so he'd take any advantages he could get.  

There was no need for Damon's feet to touch the ground at the moment, if there was no ground underneath him to touch.  As a vampire his gifts were limited, but what gifts he had he'd mastered and quite a few of them were coming in handy today.  She wasn't even in arm's length, but now that he was no longer mist, the intensity of the holy energy that surrounded her was causing an ache in his still heart. That ache was literally one of his least favorite things, the ache of a heart that had a mind to beat like any other living heart. Wasn't going to happen.  Well, if it was going to happen it'd happen on his terms, not because some insufferable holy light thought it knew his proper purpose better than he did.  He was suffering through it, at the moment, as he set for a series of subtle actions to see what exactly he could get away with when it came to touching her and moving her. While he did not touch her, the invisible fingers of his power did, brushing over the side of her neck as it slipped around to cup her chin. A favorite gesture he'd done both this way and with his actual touch, it was timed with him mouthing words that he gave just enough breath to send them to her ear as he spoke the same words to her mind. "You're my salvation, Epiphany. Did I ever tell you that?" Likely not.  It wasn't the sort of thing Damon was inclined to divulge, though standing here in front of her made him realize just how much the actions of his past seven years had been shaped by the influence of her light on him.

Not really the time to mull that over. In addition to attempting to see if he could stir her consciousness with those words and their connection, he was also trying to see if his telepathic touch could reach through all this holiness. And better yet, if he could move her that way.

FALLON: Maybe he would get a fight after all! Now that he had gotten this light's attention, Damon hopefully could make his move. And hopefully, Airtia wouldn't burst into flame or keel over stone dead before then. Those empty eyes did not waver from the light once it began to coalesce. He wanted its attention firmly fixed upon him, and nowhere else. It looked a battle of posturing and belligerent words were to be the start of this little face off. Fallon liked that.

"I didn't belong on your glowing little mountain, either. But that did not stop me from rampaging through it, hunting down your renegades." Renegades was used loosely; he wasn't so sure they hadn't been sent out with their purpose. The light may not have feared him, but Fallon had little to fear of it either. Nothing this being could do to him would be anywhere near as painful as what he had done to himself, already. So, Fallon continued walking forward. Directly toward the forming light. "Death comes to us all, winger." Like he was one to talk? "You must have known that. Considering you threw nothing but your underlings in my path, rather than face me yourself."

Coming to a halt, directly in front of the glowing voice. The power it radiated did make him quite uncomfortable, and made the tingly sensation that much more intense. But Fallon did not back down from it. In fact, the fiery nimbus about him grew stronger, brighter. "Your booming voice and strobe lights don't impress me. You think you can stop me? Then I suggest you start trying a bit harder to scare me. Or maybe... running your mouth is all your kind is good for? ... well. That and dying." Taunts, challenges, puffed out chests and testosterone driven bravado. Damn it, being a boy was awesome.

AIRTIA: The blue blade grew and moved closer to Fallon.  Maybe he would feel the intensity of the heat.  It wasn't normal fire but holy, godly fire.  He should recognize it.  He would be right in thinking that this being wasn't afraid of him and, if Fallon thought about it and what Airtia had said, he would know the one who was standing in front of him. This archangel was charged protecting the being inside this space.  He had placed her there after all and the job she was meant to do had to happen.  In one form or another. "You choose death."

The one thing about angels at this level was that they didn't have much free will - or any at all. As he spoke the word 'death' that's what would begin to happen, but to Airtia, as the same blue flame that was on the sword surrounded her body.  She was a thing that did not belong here, in any ways, and it was stirring things up in this 'room.'   Airtia had curled down  in a ball there on the ground and her breathing was haggered.  What she did not tell the others about her part in this venture was that she had intended to distract.  She knew what her presence would do. The Angel turned his sword to Fallon, raised it and struck down...  

Meanwhile…over at Epiphany....

Damon's actions caused things to stir.  For the first time since they had gotten into this place there was a stirring of air.  Movement and it blew through Epiphany’s hair.  There was a very faint flicker of her closed eyes.  She had heard him.  It was the connection that was causing it.  Whether she understood what he said or not was debatable, but she heard…something.  But the force which was holding the girl grew stronger too.  As it sensed that something was trying to get to her.  And small sparks of flame danced along Epiphany's skin.

DAMON: And that damned force was killing him. Well, the opposite, actually, all this holy energy was taking its toll on the beast in his blood and trying to really bring Damon's humanity back into the driver's seat. And the sparks of flame? He didn't need to stretch his imagination far to guess at what they'd likely try to do if they lashed out at him. No offense to the poor Sister, but he was not looking to be the second roasted today.

Hours ago, as soon as Titania had told him she was in the blasted church, Damon had asked Jade to lift a certain potion from her wizard boyfriend, and just before she left to take Titania and the kids home he'd had her activate it with her blood. And now he had a choice. He could either press his luck as he was and at best likely get the vampire holy-fired right out of him, or he could take the damn potion that would shift out of him what was evil on his own terms, and actually have a chance at touching her.  At least it would also buy him time. Literally buy him time, if he wanted it.  

"Epiphany." He put a bit more breath in his words, and he put a bit more intensity in pressing his thoughts into hers, while he still had the ability to. "I need you. To come back to me. And control your own power." Lid of the vial was popped off and he drank the damn potion.  A shifting potion.  That he'd taken several times before, so that Epiphany might enjoy experiencing what he was like as a human (even though he found being such disdainful), except that Jade wasn't human, she was a fae.  Which meant that now, as Damon's heart hurt itself back to beating, so was he. Pulling the rug out from under that holy light. Because the horrible secret about Damon was that while he played the part of the gentleman beast so well, in actuality...a large reason behind why he played that part was to subversively use that reputation to do good.  And knowing Epiphany, being with her as long as he had, even though she didn't know it and he hadn't realized it until now, she'd only strengthened that part of him.  Rubbed off on him, just like she was supposed to in that grand purpose of hers.  

Once his heart was beating strongly in his chest, once he felt the swelling surge of summer energy that came with Jade's court of fae, Damon didn't hesitate in touching her any longer, slipping his arm around her waist. She was sparking, and now he was sparking. Soft pops of glittering silver as the holy power met the hot energy of a summer sidhe, setting off some faerie lights. He was attempting to pull her back into him, too. The big move.

FALLON: Oh yes, Airtia's words had been heard. And he knew who he was faced with. It would not be the first of the grand archangels he had ever stood in the presence of. Of the nameless god's court, or any of the other gods that dotted the multiverse. Lack of free will and their own thought resulted in a lack of creativity. Which Fallon would use to his advantage.

As soon as the being of light lifted that fiery blade, Fallon did something even he was surprised he did. Blinking from sight was normal for Fallon. But never before had he considered blinking into the exact same space that another being currently filled. That would normally make quite a mess, suddenly existing inside another person... but this being was light. And that light had consciousness. So when Fallon's blink brought him right into the heart of this divine light? His hope was not only to sear it with that destructive force that raged about him? But to disrupt thoughts with that mingling. Cause a battle within their minds as well. This was just as likely to do some extreme damage to Fallon as well? But come on. When did Fallon ever give much of a damn about that? This was for Pip. And now, Airtia. And if it bought them enough time, then it was worth it. Besides, Fallon had no intention on being destroyed by just another lackey. No matter how high, mighty and powerful that lackey was.

[ TBC. . .]
Damon Fauci
Damon Fauci

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Post by Damon Fauci on Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:52 am

AIRTIA: A few things happened almost simultaneously.  Damon’s heart beating was causing its own effects. It was actually his convergence to a beating heart and portions of humanity, which were working to his benefit. As the man made his way back to a ‘living’ being the pain would ease by a small percentage. And it was the heartbeat that Epiphany heard and it resonated in her head.  Words he said started to make sense but couldn’t quite make out yet.

As soon as Damon dared to touch her, Epiphany’s eyes shot open and she gasped for air. To her it felt like a bolt of electricity erupting inside of her. And it was her. If Damon was still connecting to her then her presence would suddenly shoot forth strong and hard.  The fire was that was dancing along her skin mixed in with that of the Summer Fae and found this new creature to be, mostly, good?

Needless to say, the power in the room was slightly jostled for a moment, not knowing if it should protect or dispel. The Holy fire which had been working on Epiphany did not fully subside, but it was moving over Damon, seeking to find any dark impurities that needed to be burned out. Poking, prodding, and searing around the skin.  

“NO!” Michael shouted as he felt his captor awaken and for the slight moment he was distracted.  In that moment Fallon had made connection with Michael and that caused the ‘room’ to tremble and shake anew. Light and Dark simply did not mix and the archangels Light was tearing at Fallon’s darker side. The sanctity of the place surely in question. “She must…die!” The Angel cried out. The sword he had been holding, Michael now brought down and pierced himself in the side. How else was he to expel the vile Darkness which had entered in?

When he did that the blue flame of the sword shot out across the ‘room’. One wave struck Epiphany and, if she was awake, she was out once again.  The blue fire at war with the white, but something - her own power - was keeping it tentatively at bay as it tried to surround both her and Damon. The other wave lashed out and struck Airtia who was now being covered in this blue sphere of holy fire and was… vanishing?   The room, no longer pure and blinding white, was coming down like a cave in. Off, somewhere to the ‘left’ there was a crack that may have been a way out.  

DAMON: Had taken this potion to make this particular shift more times than he'd care to admit, in the name of helping Jade learn how to leverage her abilities to the full of their potential. Who knew that possessing that knowledge would be so useful in a harrowing moment like this?

Outside the church, Damon had advised Jade to use a glamour to hide the truth of her appearance as to not tip off the church or show her hand. Now, even in the face of far greater things, he was doing the same so that he appeared to the eye as he always appeared. Should Epiphany catch sight of him, he didn't want to alarm her by looking...uncharacteristic to his usual self, especially since alarm often lead to complications which could threaten the possibility of a successful escape. The heat coming off him, a stark contrast to his usually cool body, that he couldn't hide. Especially when that Holy Fire was trying to get personal with him.  It sought impurities, and the summer heat sought to put whatever that nosey energy was in its place - the fae courts had queens, and those queens had claws in their fae mind and body no matter where they were.  In fact, not only did Damon hear that holy mantra if this place was still chanting it, but he heard the 'broadcast' of the summer queen's will as well and frankly he was looking forward to a time when he had his own damn mind to himself again. So if there were impurities - and this was Damon, the man wasn't a lamb - it would have to fight the sidhe heat to try and get anywhere near them and Damon would let that war wage without his immediate attention.  

Focusing on the fact that he could now touch Epiphany, he was picking her up like they were about to walk over a joyous threshold together instead of leaving this holy nightmare of a trunk in a holy nightmare of a church.  Soon as she was secure, Damon's real power in this sidhe shape would help her own when it came to fighting against the blue fire. Every fae had a Hand of Power, a special ability that few of their kind possessed.  Damon's, much as it disturbed the most ancient parts of him, was toying with time. It could only be done on a localized scale, but on a scale enough that he could push back on the moment when the blue flame of the sword shot out by pushing it slowly backward not through force, but through time, back towards the entity and back to the moment when that entity had released it.  

And Damon was on the move, with Epiphany. But not without looking in the direction of Fallon and Airtia.  He would keep his promise, and he would do it in haste when it seemed this infernal world was crumbling around them, but if he did it without them being able to get out safely that...well that would make for an interesting conundrum.

FALLON: He knew this was a terrible god damn idea. Indeed, Light and Darkness did not mix. Light had a way of searing and banishing the darkness to the furthest corners of the multiverse. But, you know? The darkness was a powerful force in itself, smothering and snuffing out the light. That was the battle happening both inside the Madman... and inside this archangel. That holy power, the holy fire burning inside Fallon' very being tore howls of agony from him, which sounded from Michael’s lips, tangled up in his own cries and screeches. The blue blade driven into his won side pierced Fallon as well, driving another snarl from Michael's throat. That certainly did cause Fallon to be ejected from the archon's form! But not without consequences.

Fallon's form lurched out of the light as he tumbled to the floor, but not before one of those taloned hands swiped out in his tumble. The talons ripping through the light's face and neck. Abomination no more, but Fallon was still fully capable of damaging even this archangel. Landing on his knees facing away, that writhing tail made the next strike, driving straight up and out, to drive through the archon's abdomen with its bone edged spade tip. Things were looking to be falling part here... people were getting jacked up all over the place, and the box felt like it was about to collapse. And... Tia looked to be in some serious trouble! Another blink from Fallon took him away from the archon, and back to the woman. His form falling over her, trying desperately to get her out of that blue light that was certainly destroying her.

AIRTIA: There was so much war going on inside of this place. Holy war and wars of will.  It was likely why the place was crumbling as it was. It was a good thing that Damon's Fae abilities were helping with Pip's because though she was pushing back at it, her strength was weakening.  The place had been keeping her alive and now that she was being disconnected from it, her life was draining out with it and would take a while for her normal, human self, to kickstart itself.  But it wouldn't be now. The fiery light which was around her started to fade. It blinked and fizzled but still glowed over her skin. Even the fire which had been trying to wrestle with Damon was starting to lose its
own battle.

The cracks in the room grew stronger and patches of black and brown were seen in the section to the left. That was the direction they should be going, if they were to head in any direction at all.  There was also the smell of moistness and dirt that trickled in coming from that direction.  As for the angel…he was not in the best shape, as you may imagine, but neither was Fallon.  For having that type of light inside of him, and the sword stuck into his side, those two were practically one in that moment.  When they two broke off there was a bit of the archangel which stayed with the madman.  Michael swiped out at the fiend before he receded into the fading light of the room.  But he wasn’t dead.  No…Fallon would be able to feel that the angel was wounded, but he was alive.  Perhaps gone to heal and come back at a later time?  

Now as for Airtia....As Michael left, so did the blue fiery light.  It started to fade away and Airtia seemed to stabilize, but she wasn't moving.  She wasn't even breathing.

DAMON: Words cannot describe how more than happy Damon was to move toward the area of the trunk that wasn't glaring with blinding holy light. At least like this, his eyesight was far better suited for the circumstance. As the holy light that was pushing against him started to weaken, the hot summer energy boiled down to a simmer and Damon's body would feel less like a stifling sauna. It also meant that he could focus more of his strength on fending off Michael's blue fire so they could make their escape.  

Damon's nostrils were filled with the scents of the earth as he held Epiphany near the cracks in this world, and he turned around again just in time to see the master of this chamber of holy horrors seemingly make his exit.  “Do you have her?" That question was for Fallon, of course, and Damon would do the man a service by not adding some statement of the obvious about how these 'walls' were about to come crumbling down around them.

Epiphany felt heavy in his arms, and he'd noticed she hadn't stirred since she was struck with the blue fire, but at the same was a weight which felt proper for her to have.  Far more appropriate for her physical body than the divine flames of a moment ago.

FALLON: Was nowhere near in good shape. Even as he was working to try to get at Airtia and drag her out of that divine power, he was coughing and wheezing, the fiery divine power of the archangel spewing from the Madman's lips. The dead eyes were gone, now replaced by the same glowing white eyes of the departed archon, its essence still not expelled from him. Michael had retreated, but he knew he likely had a piece of the former abomination snagged inside him, as well. It was likely the two of them would cross each other's paths again, to reclaim what the other had lost. But not for a while...they both had some serious healing to do.

Fallon's clothing his most of be damage that he had inflicted upon himself by merging with the archangel, but the steam from his smoldering still swished out from his body as he moved. Still gagging and hacking to expel that power, he managed to grab hold of the woman, and start to lift her from the floor slowly. His brain, his body, every bit of his being was on fire, but nothing more than pure will was forcing his body to act. The woman drawn up to his chest, then came he distant sound of Damon's voice.

Looking up in his direction, burning white eyes looking like they might have locked in on him? A slow nod given as he adjusted Airtia in his arms, moving to catch under her knees and behind her back to lift, and cradle the woman as he forced himself first to one knee, then with a snarling groan, pushed himself up to his feet. It looked like he had Epiphany... hopefully he was in better shape than the rest of them. He awaited Damon's next move; he had not seen the shattering of the room. He had no idea where to go... without just blinking him and Airtia out, leaving Damon and Pip to fend for themselves. Probably not something they would appreciate.

AIRTIA: The escape route was Epiphany's doing. The small part of her which was conscious and aware, had known that Damon was 'good' and that they were in danger here, had plotted an escape route to the first place she could think of.  Her underground cavern. Damon may not recognize it now, or remember it, but that was what lay on the other side of the exit. The scent of earth was growing stronger.  There wasn't any light to be seen beyond the cracks, only patches of black and brown as reflected from the fading light of this room.

Even as the room was falling apart, wisps of blue tried to whip out and snag at the girl and the one who was stealing her away.  Fallon was, hopefully, moving towards where the others were. Ground now showed itself and it was falling away in chunks, but where it fell there was a black void of nothingness.  The chanting, which had been so loud at the start of this venture, had shifted and was now a high-pitched scream of agony.  It beat around the room and to the minds which were still open to feel it.  And anger. There was a lot of anger in this place.  What had happened there did not appease god in the least.  Consequences were sure to happen.

DAMON: Certainly wouldn't be the first time someone was screaming in fury because of something Damon had done. To have that scream be coming from a deity, however...that might be new. Damon's sense of smell was keen, not as acute as when he stood as his regular self, but it was enough that as he made his way into the earthen cavern memories were being stirred.  Not something he was able to deeply concentrate on when that damnable blue light was still giving chase like a holy kraken, its actions enough to pull a growl from Damon which was sadly void of much of its beastly ferocity. Turning to face the whipping light, Damon walked them backwards into the tunnel so that he could better put his focus on releasing his sidhe energy with a surge. Pushing back the clock on all those wisps of light to a degree that left him momentarily lightheaded. To toy with time was no small matter.

He shifted Epiphany in his arms so he could direct some of the dust that littered over his flesh to assemble into small floating orbs that would shed some light around them. Damon had just made some faerie lights. Adorable. From what he was able to see of Fallon and Airtia, the man had nodded that he had the situation in hand and that was all Damon needed to know so he could carry out his end of the bargain. If the man decided to choose another route out of here, more power to him and Damon would be slighted - so long as Fallon and Airtia got the hell out safely.

FALLON: Let the screeches and howls ring on throughout his place. They mixed in well with his own snarls and gagging coughs that still were seeing that fiery power. Let the consequences come. Especially if they get the crew back together again. The crew needed a little time to rest and recover? But once everyone was back up to full power...

As the room fell apart, walls caved, floor fell away, Fallon was trudging across the expanse, carrying the fallen Airtia with him. Following behind Damon, he would slip them into the crack in the wall that reeked of damp earth and stale air. That... did not seem like a good place to bring Airtia. There was no obvious life in the limp body in his arms. Fallon knew what he needed to do. And having only Damon and Pip near him would be extremely detrimental to his ability to save her. He didn't know where this crack led...

So once he saw the vampire and Half-Pint disappear through the crack with the wispy tongues of power at their heels, Fallon made up his mind. 'Pop' went Fallon and Airtia, the pair vanishing out of the crumbling ruins of Michael's chest.

AIRTIA: If Epiphany were awake, the action of Damon making faerie lights would have brought out a delightful glee of awe from the girl.  It would probably also be something that she would bring up whenever the opportunity presented itself.  Unfortunately she wasn't awake to see it.

Once everyone had gone through, the remaining energy that Epiphany had used to get them out, and the source that was keeping her alive, was gone. The room winked out of existence, closing that entrance and taking away its light.  Epiphany was heavier now and the heat was leaving her body.  

The room they were in now hadn't been used in a while.  The lights bounced off of pieces of metal: shields, trinkets of jewels and gold. Shiny marble.  There was no dust to be seen though, and the air supply here in the room was low. They were in a closed off, high ceilinged chamber room with a high closed door to the North and a low closed door to the South that seemed to be the only exits.   There were bits of Pip all around this place.  Stacks of books, empty vials, sketches of stories.  The floor was covered in a large Persian rug and, of course, there were treasure chests stacked on the walls.  A handful of them.

DAMON: In other words, fortunately she wasn't awake to see it. He had an image to uphold, after all. Or...some semblance of pretense, at least. When the doorway into that infernal chest closed, Damon let out a breath that he'd been holding long enough to make his lungs hurt. The need for breath, what a pain in the...anyway. The sigh was a subdued celebration that now there was only one demanding voice throbbing in his head, that of the queen of the summer court. Irritating as it was, there were occasions where it was also useful, and time would tell if this was one such occasion.

Now that this chamber was filled with glimmering light, he remembered this place and the reason the smell seemed familiar was clear. It was possible even some of the objects in this place seemed familiar as well, but Damon's eyes were on Fallon and Airtia for the brief time that they were here. He gave Fallon a nod of thanks, his gaze dropping to look Airtia over in the brief moment before the pair of them disappeared, and what he saw seeded a frown. The woman was not well off, news which would likely not please Epiphany, but considering Epiphany was also not in a state of consciousness matters had to be approached one step at a time.  

Eyes searching the room, Damon knelt and lay Epiphany down in the most comfortable place he could find, using the most comfortable thing he could find to provide comfort to her head.  While it was counterintuitive to his desires to leave her side, after being nearly trapped in a holy relic, he wanted to be certain that they hadn't traded one trap for another. Which is why Damon was choosing the higher of the doors to check first.  Before walking away from her, in the closest way he could manage to his usual tricks, he brushed his fingers across her forehead which left a trail of silver dust in its wake. He'd use that to tickle at her consciousness, in place of being able to literally place a thought in her mind, while he went to check on that door.

FALLON: See? Fallon would have never known where that place was. And low oxygen was a difficult thing to work with when you're trying not to let someone die. So, Fallon had brought her to the place that made the most sense to him. From decaying interdimensional space to the living area of his manor, beneath the crystal chandelier that held the dozens of wicks of ghostly green fire.

Heavy, rattling wheezes heaving from his chest as he leaned down to place the lifeless form of Airtia down onto the leather couch before them. He knew he didn't have a lot of time to take care of this situation, with a mostly dead woman sprawled on his couch. "Hold... on..." the two words wheezed out through gasping breaths as he took a few steps back from her. Luckily she was in no position to protest the method that he planned to use in order to bring her back from the brink of oblivion. Pulling himself up straight, taking a few deep and ragged breaths. Fallon did it again. 'Pop'ping out of the room again. He was gone for a minute or two, before another 'pop' brought him back at the side of the couch.

This time, though, he was no longer empty handed. This time, there was a grunting, gurgling man flailing his feet about several inches from the floor, his throat caught in a vice like grip in Fallon's right hand. His arms flopped desperately at his arm and wrist, trying to fight free from the hold as Fallon leaned down some, taking a hold of Airtia's wrist with his free hand. The white glow in his eyes began to fade almost immediately, inky swirls of darkness writhing into his eyes as the transfer began. And thanks to that newfound light within him it brought a whole new round of snarls out of the Madman as the mortal's life force began draining from his body using Fallon himself as the bridge between him and Airtia. As the human in his grasp began to fade and wither, his life force flooded into her... hopefully giving her just enough juice to reboot.

AIRTIA: This cavern recognized Damon, in a matter of speaking.  If walls could talk the things these would say.  Epiphany made no protest - how much could an unconscious person protest anyway? The silver Damon had placed over her felt warm and it pushed down at her thoughts.  There was an ever so slightly a twitch at the corner of her eyes, but that was it.  Years ago, Epiphany had dug out this place and placed her treasures here. Things she had collected from her pirating days in her youth.  Back in her memory she remembered Damon's reaction to her 'tomb' underground.  

When he went to check on the door it was a bit hard to open, but only because of the air pressure on the other side.  Pull hard enough and it would open, making a bit of debris of dirt and rock roll down from where the door swung open on its hinges.  On the other side of it was darkness and the hint of sea air.  If his sight was what it should be, he'd see a hint of tunnel moving  upwards.  North.  It was narrow and small, but it was big enough to crawl through or proceed with a crouch.    

Meanwhile... back at the Manor...

Airtia may have raised a brow as to where she was!  Talk about things long forgotten. Rebooting this...person was almost a chore and as Fallon was transferring life energy from one person to the next he'd feel a spark of her inside his head.  That same bond she had used to contact him in the first place was still there and it was pulsing.  Along with a thought for blood.  Life energy and blood.  That was the strong though pushing through as she started to stir.

DAMON: He had plenty of aggression left in him to yank the door open. Including the flare of aggression that came when Damon had to apply more effort to the simple task of opening a door than usual. A cough followed, Damon brushing himself off (ever the aristocrat) and a flick of his wrist sent one of the lights up into the tunnel.

"Jesus Christ, Epiphany." A rare grimace followed at his own choice of words, tasting sour on his tongue after that holy ordeal.  "Always making things a challenge." He was not about to drag her through that tunnel, not when she wasn't even conscious, but the air flow was welcome for obvious reasons.

Turning around to take stock once more of his surroundings, Damon was coming to the same conclusion as Fallon about this place.  Grateful that it had provided them immediate escape, but not exactly suitable to current circumstances. So Damon did a quick search of the trinkets in this room, selecting something that was metal with at least one pointed edge (hell, even one of the shields would do). With that bit of metal in hand, Damon closed his eyes, focusing on the force that was the queen's will in his head. When one focused on it, a landscape began to take shape, one that the mind could travel if it knew how.  As soon as Damon saw a spot that he recognized as the safer part of the ways, he slashed the metal downward and ripped a gateway for them to pass through.  

Picking up Epiphany, he quickly stepped them through it, carrying the trinket he'd used to slash the thing open with him.  Through this gateway, they walked from one “house” to another, a cottage that was warm, bright in colors, bright in light, comforting in its furnishing, and just sparkling with homey charm. So very, very unlike Damon.  While he'd been the one to procure this place, he was not the one who normally used it. A fact he was ignoring right now as he carried Epiphany down the hall into a room with a bed, so that he could lay her down somewhere more suitable.  This world that he'd taken her to, the summer land of fae, it buzzed with energy akin to an incredible July day that didn't have a cloud in the sky but had every flower in the meadow blooming to perfection.

FALLON: It had changed quite a bit, since the last time she had been here. Everything had, really. Him, her, everything around them. It was probably a good thing she never saw what he had become. Who knew if they would have been here now, if she had. But regardless of all the woulda coulda shoulda, she was laid out on his couch, taking the last few moments of this mortal's life as his desiccated withered body hung lifeless from his right hand.

As the last of it was sucked from him, both the corpse and Airtia's wrist were dropped, one final snarl as he sunk down into a crouch. Both those hands were needed to clutch at his head, where most of the pain was right now. That light he had absorbed was not all that pleased with the way he had made sure a creature it wanted dead was saved from death. Maybe? He wasn't really sure...he just knew she was lifeless, and needed to make that otherwise. "Come on, Tia..." murmuring as much to himself as he did to her. He could feel their bond stirring, the rumbling of her thoughts starting to push into his own mind, chasing away for now the throbbing and noise the light was causing. "Wake your ass up..."

AIRTIA: Start off with Airtia.  With the other’s life coursing through her veins it was doing its work of waking her up.  A flash of movement here and a flicker there…Her fingers twitched at her sides.  There was something about taking another’s life and infusing it in your own - oddly this wasn't anything new for the lady just…something she hadn't done in a very, very long time. Therefore, it stirred up cravings that had been dormant and desires she had long ago learned to put into place. Eyes still closed her hands took on more movement and started to feel around, patting on the couch.  

A low moan started at the bottom of her throat and her chest started to rise and fall with the pattern of slow breathing. Under her closed eyelids her eyes shifted back and forth... She was trying to open her eyes but wasn't quite there yet.  Her inner self spoke out through the bond. The chic was tired - even with the energy.  The body was rebuilding and her basic functions were more at the helm.  But she was 'alive' more so than she was when she had first gotten here.  

Meanwhile, back in the house of flowers and light...

It was a scene that would make a damn good story! And you can bet that when she woke up she would take in the details of this place for later use! The air here and feel was what Epiphany's body - and soul - needed. It had that warm energy and light that agreed with her making and it helped to fuel more life into her. With that her angelic side - not the crazy side of the archangel - tried to feed off the Fae magic and bring more color back to her skin as well as warmth.  In her ears she heard a warm buzzing sound, or maybe it was the plants she was surrounded by.  Epiphany always did like flowers. they were living things and all of them were a part of creation.

DAMON: This was the only dwelling in the area for miles, as summer fae proved to be pretentious at times and this land was too close to the untamed wyldelands which separated the winter court from the summer.  Even so, after he placed Epiphany on the bed he moved over to the room's large windows, drawing open the curtains (what lovely, chipper layers of lace) so that he could check the area and be sure they were safe, and alone.  

Oh, how radiantly the sun lit his face here. He could feel his skin drinking it in, pulsing in tune with its fortifying heat, and god was insufferably irritating.  It was enough to make him pull his cell phone out of his pocket, so he could check the time.  An estimated eleven hours and eight minutes left until he regained his usual self.  How marvelous.  

He left the curtains open so the light could stream in, for Epiphany's benefit of course, and it was because of her that he was glad he'd taken the potion.  He could keep them on the move, use the exit way that was not far from here to bring her to a location that was more...affable to his tastes, but he knew that this place, this energy, was likely more healing for her than anything else he could provide.  

So, he finally stopped moving.  Or rather, he stopped moving after he went over to the bed.  And laid down next to her.  Flat on his back, just as she was, so that they were laying side by side.  His hand reaching for hers, he intertwined his fingers with her own, pressing his palm to her palm.  Likely creating a second source of buzzing for her - the summer heat had been strong in him when they were in Michael's holy chamber, but now that he was a sidhe in his so-called place of origin?  His body buzzed in the fashion as the flowers outside, and the dirt underneath him, and the breeze that brushed above them, and he knew it. He could feel it.  Just like he could feel that she was

warming. It drew a smile to his face, as he stared up at the ceiling which was draped in blue and white fabrics to look like a soft summer sky (seriously, who had decorated this place?) and sparking the bits of dust on his palm he gave her hand a squeeze.

FALLON: Don't take it personal, Tia. Fallon was just not very keen on going out and finding another person to feed to her. Not with the way the light within him now protested this action. She was slowly rousing, but she wasn't back at full strength, or anything even kind of close to it. But so far, so good. A little motion, a little breathing... a little craving for life and blood? That, he wasn't counting on coming through their bond. But whatev. That was her business. And he had no intention on prying for it.

Instead, he would let himself slump from his crouch to the floor, ass hitting he hardwood floor as he slumped back against the base of the couch beside her. Hopefully she would at least surface enough to give him a better idea what she needed. More people, chicken soup, seven pounds of bacon, whatever. But since he saw her hand moving, he would reach up and back - a weird angle given how he was seated - so he could snag the hand at her side with his own. Cautiously, of course, considering he was only able to take her palm with his fingers, and there were seared talons at the end of those fingers. He wasn't trying to take fingers off? It was more along the lines of thinking outside stimulation could help job her brain to consciousness, and open up those eyes. He really hoped she didn't want any more people... that had given him one hell of a headache.

Damon Fauci
Damon Fauci

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