(2016-11-19) Mosquitoes of Death and Devastation
Mosquitoes of Death and Devastation
Summary: An attack by an unknown source causes chaos at the Defender of the Harvest SCA event in New Hampshire.
Date: 2016-11-19
Related: Mugs and Dresses
NPCs: 200-some Scadians from the Midrealms
Scene Runner: Gabrielle

Defender of the Harvest is being held on a piece of private land owned by one of the 'nobles' from the SCA kingdom that encompasses New Hampshire. A large central clearing within the forested acres houses a Viking style longhouse, large enough to accommodate the 200 or so people already involved in the multiple activities taking place outdoors on three sides of the long house. To northern side of the longhouse has been reserved for the people that have brought tents to stay the weekend and is dotted by many of them, the majority of them replicas of medieval campaigning tents.

Makeshift kiosks are scattered around the whole area, even in between some of the forest trees bordering the large clearing, selling everything from more-or-less historically accurate food to weapons (both real and SCA combat weapons) and garb. To the south people have set up their own little work areas to work on period art and science projects and an impromptu musical group has set up under a large tarp, playing both period pieces and popular filk songs. Off to the west of the longhouse a good chunk of land has been kept clear for the melee tourney and a similar area has been cleared to the east for the archery competition.

In her blue wool viking-style dress Gabrielle immediately gravitates toward the melee area. Those of her fellow students that may be observant enough might notice she wears a thick, golden torq around her neck and as she walks by many people are either bowing or curtsying to her. As an afterthought she calls out to her group, "Feel free to mingle everyone. People here are going to be very welcoming and friendly and if you tell them you're new they'll be happy to teach you anything you need to know too. I'll be over at the melee." Good hostess she isn't, at least not when there's tourneys to win.

The French student looks like she should have been attending these since the beginning. It helps that her 'costume' is very much as Renaissance as the source of her powers. Charlotte beams brightly as she wears the French peasant dress with ease, the fur-lined cloak pulled around her to keep her warm. However, as Gabrielle mentions the melee, she ohs. "May I accompany you?" she asks curiously, ready to watch some fights as well as she watches others bow and curtsy to the blue hair girl. "Are you nobility, then? Is there a proper title?" she asks teasingly. Though really, asking the spirit of French independence to curtsy or address anyone by title? Maybe in greeting, but that's about it.

Alexander is… very out of place here. At least his costume is reasonably in-theme, if that helps — a slate blue tunic with long sleeves, gray (faux) fur vest, brown breeches, and gray (also faux) fur boots. Though he sort of looks like an extra in a 'How To Train Your Dragon' movie. What makes him look out of place is the utterly confused look on his face. He has no idea what he's doing here, where he should be, or what he should be doing. He DOES know to stay away from that place over there where people are swinging various weapons at each other. Combat doesn't have any lure for him, neither does the food. So eventually he gravitates over to the filkers, listening to them.

Back when Gabrielle had first told her about the SCA and their events, Tabitha was excited to experience it as the idea was something entirely new to her. She and her orphan sister/bandmate Katrina sat down and talked about the clothing for hours, with Katrina putting together an ensemble that while not quite period accurate still got the point across. The base is a plain linen laced-up swordsman's shirt worn long over a pair of plain grey thermal leggings (because period pants are itchy). Over these she wears a dublet, elbow length duelist gauntlets, and knee length boots, all of undyed doeskin. She has a sword belt at her waist with belt pouch, knife, and sword. She's draped in a dark grey wool lined cloak with an oversized hood, and is wearing a strip of grey wool over her eyes as a blindfold. On her back she wears a lute and she's carrying her hammered dulcimer and violin cases.
She nods to Gabrielle and Charlotte as that pair heads over towards the tournament, "I'm heading over to the musicians. I'll probably join you over there later." She goes with Alexander towards the music, giving a bright smile to those already gathered and finds a place to sit and set her instruments down.

Gabrielle shrugs a little bit in response to Charlotte's question, "I'm a Viscountess and a Knight, so technically its Lady Brennamar." She looks a little uncomfortable with all the formalities but politely bows her head in response to everyone that shows her deference. As soon as she reaches the melee range she hustles over to the Marshall and offers the large, red-haired man her rapiers for examination and as soon as the weapons are declared properly blunted she goes over to add her name to the lists. Ignored are the whispers that start among the waiting audience and 'warriors' as soon as she comes into sight. As soon as she's signed up she turns her attention back to Charlotte, "Do you need an explanation of what's going on?"

Apparently they've arrived just in time because almost immediately after Gabrielle signs up the first pair of fighters is called to the center. One of them wields a foam bardiche while his opponent is armed with a rattan long sword and a kite shield, with its edges covered in foam. The fighting is surprisingly violent and the first match is over in a matter of seconds as the sword-and-board fighter blocks the bardiche, gets into the other fighters reach and lands solid blow right in the middle of the bardiche-wielder's helmet. And so it goes, fight after fight. These are as real as you can get without shedding blood and most of them are over in what seems to be an incredibly quick manner for people used to movie-style fights.

Elsewhere, Alexander and Tabitha are welcome with figurative open arms, especially Tabitha and her instruments. She's immediately invited to join in and asked if she would like sheet music, so as to be able to follow along with song almost every other musician present seems to know by heart.

"I don't think my glaive would have passed inspection." Charlotte admits with a small wink to Gabrielle, though she is carrying her training staff that the young woman offers up for inspection, the wooden stave used for non-lethal engagements as she waits to see what the Marshall judges and then shakes her head to Gabrielle. "I have a pretty good idea." she says with a little giggle. "I've seen fighting tournaments before, oui." her heavily accented French stands out as she signs up as well and moves to stand next to Gabrielle to watch the sparring. "These are some.. interesting techniques."

Alexander looks up as he notices Tabitha. "Hey there," he greets. He goes quiet though as she's pulled in by the musicians, and he stands by to watch and listen. Alexander listens for a while and then starts to wander around the place, rather aimlessly. Yeah, 'exposure to other cultures'. Couldn't the same effect be established by making him read? He has no idea what he's doing here, and his clueless wandering is really giving away the fact that he really has no business here at all.

Tabitha smiles over to Alexander, "Hey there, Alex." As she sets up the stand for her dulcimer and starts to quietly tune both it and her violin by ear, she accepts the offers of sheet music and listens to a few songs before joining in. As it turns out, she doesn't really need to reference the sheet music too much or for very long. As she plays she lets her aura drift outwards unseen to its fullest reach, taking in as much of the surrounding flavor as she can.

Gabrielle giggles a bit at Charlotte's comment, "Yeah, I doubt the glaive would have passed muster. " She grabs the pool noodle and the duct tape the Marshall hands Charlotte to pad her staff and is about to start helping her with it when she's called to her first match. "Lady Brennamar to face Raphael of Aragon!"

At the music tarp poor, lost Alexander is quickly approached by a group of teenagers, who start introducing themselves and offering to teach him some of the songs the rest of the audience is lustily joining in on singing. A tall, blond girl in a forest green peasant's dress that makes her look very much like the stereotypical beer wench also offers him a mug of something frothy.

Back at the melee Gabrielle has engaged in a couple of exchanges with her opponent, who is wielding a rapier and a buckler as opposed to Gabrielle's dual rapiers. To an inexperienced fighter it may seem the Raphael is in control of the duel, since Gabrielle has been backtracking all over the large circle, narrowly avoiding thrusts and slashes with surprisingly nimble, almost dance-like moves that are sometimes interspersed with last second parries. However, experienced fighters and people that have seen Gabrielle fight in the past can see what's really happening. The normally shy girl is now in her element and it toying with her opponent. She intentionally putting on a good show for those watching while letting Raphael tire himself out, waiting for him to get sloppy. As soon as he does there's a lightning-fast parry, followed by her stepping half around him on his sword side and thrusting up under the overextended rapier so hard her own sword is almost in danger of snapping. The fight ends and the whispers she was received with start back up, with many people smiling and nodding knowingly. Raphael bows to Gabrielle then goes back to his friends, rubbing his ribs and bearing the teasing he is now the butt of surprisingly well. A few fights later Charlotte's name is called.

Tabitha's dulcimer is a welcome addition, giving the music an even more realistic, period feel. As the rest of the musicians, most of them highly talented in their own right, get used to the new addition it almost becomes a jazz-style jam session but with a medieval flair.

Sierra is late…she's always late. And her outfit has been thrown together at the last minute. No flowing dresses for the Ares Latina, she is coming in armor. Well…armor of a design procured from the web after searching on 'sexy armor'. At least it isn't a chain mail bikini! Looking lost, Sierra meanders over to the musicians before her brow furrows and she realizes that the music is playing with a jazzy extemporization. The expression on her face suggests she is not a fan of it though she is a fan of the dulcimer player. "Tabby!" she greets with a grin and then a hug - which may cause a few notes to be forgotten. "Oh my God. How awesome is this? Just like 'Lord of the Rings'. I love medieval history but the guy inside of me is expecting some human sacrifice to stay in period."

OOC Note - Sierra's dress http://data.whicdn.com/images/69957240/large.jpg

As Charlotte has her name called, the girl ohs, and grins at Gabrielle. "You did really well!" she offers encouragingly before the blonde moves into the arena against a man dressed in armor and carrying a large bastard sword. He looks at the young woman and her staff and guffaws, "You should have brought your broom!"

The girl frowns. "The only thing I'll be sweeping is you.." at least she tries to sound bravadoish about it, even though her fingers slip on the fresh foam and tape, the soft cover an odd feeling of the staff causing her to nearly drop it before the man slaps her with the blunt of the blade on her bottom and the girl squawks angrily.

The audience is half-laughing, half-jeering at this point, and the young empath can feel it all roiling around her, and she tries not to feed off of it. After getting her staff back and the girl goes on the attack, catching the knight off-guard and sweeping him off his feet and she smiles winningly. "Told you!" This of course, only makes the man madder, and he goes on the attack, the young blonde moving to defend and parry - those with experience can tell she's had formal training in the way that she moves as she manages to hold her own to a standstill.

The man roars, moving to attack the girl's exposed face and she spins around, bringing the blunt of the staff to the back of the man's head as she puffs out a few breaths of white air. "Yield.." she says quietly, and waits for his surrender and the response of the crowd.

Alexander clearly looks lost, so it's no surprise some of the locals would approach him. And with teaching, too. Alexander's familiar with Alestorm and Tyr, so he should be able to pick this up reasonably well. It's not exactly a sea shanty, but it's close. And all music inherently has familiar principles that stretch across different genres. Alexander is a fan of a great many genres of music, after all. It's just memorizing the lyrics. And he doesn't care if it's not period, Alexander has his smartphone and is gonna be either looking up those lyrics or typing then onto a blank note-screen to remember.

To say that Tabitha is in her element would be an understatement. Her music flows naturally once she's gotten a feel for the songs and the other musicians, and eventually she sets the sheet music aside as unneeded (although there have almost certainly been people wondering how a tightly blindfolded woman was reading it in the first place). After a few pieces she swaps instruments, picking up her violin about the time that Sierra catches up with the crew. The greeting and hug do cause her to fumble her instrument, much to the amusement of the other musicians. She returns the hug with a good natured smile and a hidden pinch to Sierra's side with her aura. "Glad you caught up, Sierra. Pull up a stump. Gabby won her fight, and it looks like… yep. Charlotte has hers on the ropes as well."

Finishing her fight, Charlotte strolls over to where Tabitha and Sierra are sitting and offers a polite smile. "I want to apologize for my friends the other day." she offers to Tabitha. "I am not sure what caused emotions to run so high.. but I hope I can help calm the nerves instead of running away in the future. I'm still getting used to my abilities." she admits quietly before she glances over to the brunette and smiles to offer her hand. "Allo, I am Charlotte Pasquier. I just transferred from France."

Alexander does however politely decline the frothy stuff, passing it off as, "Thank you… I don't drink, though." But he does smile. Hey, it's not a lie, he doesn't drink. Anything, really. He can still taste it, he's just not sure what his body's doing with it. Better safe than sorry, right? Anyway, as long as he's got the lyrics, he seems good with the songs. He's accustomed to looking up lyrics and singing from a list. Being a fan of Japanese rock and pop does make one grow accustomed to looking off of a page of lyrics.

"Sierra" the Latina replies, taking the offered hand and shaking it. "Transferred from Mexico…because Mexico does not really have a school like the one we go to and they wanted me out of the country." She glances around. "But I do not think I should say such things here. I like your outfit, Tabby." A concerned look at the blindfold. "Are your eyes okay? Do you need more energy?" That last said in a whisper because they're normal every day school kids…right? A tilt of her head as she returns to studying Charlotte. "Your friends hurt Tabitha?" she deadpans…with just a hint of threat.

Tabitha looks up at Charlotte's approach as she's playing a courtly dance number with the others. Not a lot of bow work on this, she's mostly string plucking. When the piece is over she takes her leave of the group so she can respond to the apology. "Not your fault. Rain is a good person, but Sky is still stuck in diapers as far as his maturity goes." She shrugs as she says this, her tone suggesting the matter really doesn't keep her up at night.
When Sierra reacts to the conversation, Tabitha puts a gentle hand on her shoulder. "It's alright. Schuyler was being his usual jerky self. None of it was Charlotte's doing or fault."

A small airplane overflying the event goes largely ignored and because of this almost everyone misses the small silver sphere that drops from the aircraft. Even the few people that do look up miss it thanks to the bright sunlight in their eyes as they look up and the small size of the sphere. Once the sphere is reaching the level of the tallest tents it suddenly splits open and releases a cloud of mosquitoes.

The insects spread throughout the crowd quickly, doing what mosquitoes do. And with the exception of a few random self-slaps here and there the bugs are mainly ignored, people so focused on what they are doing that they don't even think to wonder at being bitten by mosquitoes in the middle of winter. A few minutes later all the blood-suckers have succumbed to the cold and lay dead and lost on the ground, unknowingly being crushed underfoot and ground into the clearing's dirt. By the time the screams start no one is even thinking about mosquitoes. People are instead thinking about their friends and family members, falling over for no apparent reason, yelling in pain. Once the screaming starts chaos breaks out all over the clearing in a matter of seconds.

Near the archery range a man is melting like a candle set down too close to a fire. By the filkers, a woman is suddenly elongating, her skin darkening and roughening up and she starts a metamorphosis from human to tree, groaning in pain and fear. Another woman rushes out of the long house, trying to strip off her clothing as she grows exponentially in size. A few steps out the door her feet completely loose contact with the ground as she starts to float up into the clear, blue sky. At the melee circle one of the current combatants bursts into flames, screaming in pain and dropping to the ground. Although he rolls around the flames show no indication of subsiding, impelling him to jump back to his feet and start running, looking for help.

Similar scenes are happening all over the event, provoking a panic as some people try to get away from some of the dangerous mutations, like the 9-feet anthropomorphic gator, while others try to run to those affected to help as best they can.

There's a reason why, when Charlotte's abilities manifested, she wasn't allowed to go to concerts, rallies, or any other place where large groups of people are gathered to celebrate, protest, or otherwise supercharged with emotions. The girl absorbs the emotions like a sponge, and as the confusion and fear and pain grows, it does with her as well.

The girl gives a scream of terror and horror that could only /enhance/ the fear around her, and realizing this, Charlotte takes flight, leaping high into the air and rapidly ascending against the cold air, tears springing to her eyes as she tries to get just away from everyone and find her composure again, her arms tightly wrapped around herself as she gets several hundred feet up in an instant.

Alexander's in luck here. His blood is dead and he has no heat to speak of, so the mosquitoes aren't likely to target him. He is, however, close enough to see the woman basically turning into a tree. He doesn't quite know how to help her, as he's not this kind of a scientist. And then there's people dying… and Alexander can hear them.
Both as the living and as the dead. It's… painful, and he noticeably winces, hands going to his ears. "HEY!" he calls to the departing ghosts. "C'mon! Over here!" Yes, he's calling them to him. "Let me help you!" He's going to help them move on, is what he's going to do. He doesn't want any of these guys hanging around and causing problems for the living. Violent and sudden deaths tend to be the ones that make ghosts that harm the living. And dying from your body suddenly exploding into protoplasm — or one of the other creative ways these poor people died — is definitely 'sudden'!

After waving off any concern regarding Charlotte and the Incident With Sky, and hopefully keeping Sierra from forming a negative first impression, Tabitha shakes her head to Sierra's offer of a charge up for her eyes. She leans in to whisper, "Thank you, but I can't heal what has been taken away." In other words, she no longer has eyes to regenerate. It's about this time that she feels the descent of the sphere through her extended aura. She tries to alter the fabric of her aura to catch the object, but it detonates before she can form the thought. She can barely get a read on the thousands of tiny flying things that burst out of it, but she takes no chances. Her aura tightens around Sierra to prevent any of them from stinging her dear friend. She's not worried about herself. Even without her aura, her skin can resist penetration by anti-tank rounds.

And then suddenly everyone is screaming, warping, changing, and dying all around them. She makes certain that the bugs are gone before letting Sierra loose. Then she runs towards the man on fire, extending her aura in his direction and wrapping him in its folds, then giving a mighty /PULL/ on the flames enveloping him. She drinks in the fire like a giant Slurpee, a look of mild ecstasy forming inside her hood.

At first the Aztec God inside Sierra thinks this is normal. You can't have one of these celebrations without human sacrifice! But even he realizes something is wrong after a few moments and Sierra's hands light up with mystic flames. "Tabitha! If you have no eyes then you need to get away" she informs her friend. "Wait…you have no eyes? Never mind, something is happening to…" And then Charlotte is shooting up into the air in tears and that makes Sierra sad…until she has to deal with a manigator coming at them - she's trademarking that when this is all over.

Ancient words fall from Sierra's lips as her magics build and form around her until that flame shoots from her hands to engulf the hideous combination of man and alligator. But rather than simply burn it to death, the kind soul that is Sierra uses her flames to consume all the oxygen around the creature. Hopefully that thing still needs to breathe. And hopefully this works!

From the air Charlotte can now clearly see that what was a few moments ago a joyful gathering is now an all out disaster. Not only are people dying all across the clearing in unique and gruesome ways but now the panic is causing people to fall and get trampled as well. The lady that ran out of the longhouse stripping out of her clothes is now naked and barely recognizable as a human as she gently but relentlessly floats by the French girl. Now the woman looks like nothing more than a balloon with stubby little arms and legs topped by a cartoonishly fat head, rolling eyes wide with fear.

On the ground Tabitha's efforts have the expected result at first as the flames bursting from the burning man flicker and almost die. But a second later there a huge WHOOSHING sound as the man bursts back into flames, now more blue and white instead of yellow and orange. His screams redouble as his skin starts to blister, crack and turn into ash just to heal and start the process over and over again, dozens of times a second.

Gabrielle, originally on route to try and help the burning man, is turned away by the unbearable heat of the strengthened flames. As she turns away she sees what by now amounts to a 10-foot ent reaching out for Alexander, moaning, "HEEEEEELP MEEEE…" With a pop and a flash of light that's mostly lost in the sudden brightness of the burning man's flames, Gabrielle disappears. Then she appears with her hands on Alexander's shoulders, and disappears again with him. This happens just in time to pull Alexander out from under a huge arm/branch that was reaching out for him and now instead crashes into the ground with enough strength to pulp a normal human.

The Manigator (TM) reacts as aggressively as its natural counterpart to being attacked. Apparently it either does not need to breath or it can hold its breath for a long time and got a good breath before being enveloped in flames because it bursts through the fire, opening its huge jaws wide. Tossing people aside like dolls it charges at Sierra, clearly intending on biting her in half, which it could theoretically do, given the size of its jaws.

It doesn't even enter Alexander's mind that these newly mutated people would be dangerous. So he hadn't been expecting the armbranch that had nearly crushed him. Suddenly Alexander is… not there. Gabrielle saves him from the armbranch, the two of them reappearing out of Treewoman's reach. However, Gabrielle may find something a little alarming. When they reappear, Alexander slumps to the ground, like a puppet with cut strings. In the area he was standing before the teleportation is a misty outline of greenish-gray fog that looks vaguely human. The branch cleaves through it, scattering it. But it's like swatting fog, it's just not going to do anything to it. The scattered fog starts coalescing again, into a vague ball shape, and starts moving back towards Alexander's crumpled body, filtering in through his mouth.

Space gave Charlotte a chance to regain her senses. Noticing the woman floating towards her, the French girl starts to remember her position in all of this as she moves to grab the Balloon Girl. "I have you." she promises gently before she turns her attention to the crowd. Holding onto the balloon girl's foot, she tries to spread out her empathic presence to offer a general feeling of calm. "Please, everyone, help is on its way!" she offers as she tries to get some sort of control over her own flagging emotions and focus them into helping everyone else.
Manigator alert!! So much for plan one. As the giant beast comes charging towards her, Sierra shoots up into the air to avoid it. Coming to a halt outside of its reach…hopefully…Sierra hovers and starts to fling mystic fireballs at the creature. Sometimes the simple approach is the best. If that doesn't work then she has another plan…just the one.

There is an instant where Tabitha is relieved when the flames go out. She can appreciate the sheer sensual pleasure that always accompanies taking in so much energy. And then it's over as the man not only reignites, but gets hotter by the second. She tries to maintain the flow of energy from him to her, but the balance shifts in his favor quickly. She sees no way for her to win while remaining Tabitha.

So in order to provide mercy, she gives up on being Tabitha. Only the hand of Lilith can end his suffering.
Her feet lift up off the ground as she takes flight for the first time since she was tortured at her Father's hands. The air behind her body shimmers and twists as four bright reddish-brown wings of volcanic ash form out of the energy-mist of her aura. The wings spread wide, each one of the four nearly five times longer than she is tall. As more and more energy flows into her body, she gets ever closer to the Burning Man, and the wings go from ashen to molten and then from molten to the blazing fire of a solar corona.

She steps ever closer to him, the energy drain pushing past the flames to the person below. She begins to drain not just the fire, but the very energies that allow the human body to function. The sparks of energy flowing through all living cells. And then she reaches deeper still, to the energies binding the very atoms of his body together. And she pulls.

From the outside, Tabitha and the Burning Man are no longer visible, both of them wrapped up in the brilliant light of her wings like a solar cocoon. And then something… cracks… and superimposed over the two of them is the image of a tall, graceful, lithe, feminine figure crafted of the very Threads of Creation. This figure stands, the wings that came from Tabitha very much a part of her body. And there is a thread joining her to Tabitha's form inside the energy storm. A thread made up of the glyphs that adorn Tabitha's body. A chain binding one to the other.

And then the figure is gone. And so are the wings. And so is the Burning Man. For a timeless instant, only Tabitha remains in midair. Her body is a roiling maelstrom of the Flames of Armageddon, she's absorbed so much energy that it's leaking out of her flesh. A moment later all that she can't hold bursts straight up into the air in a pillar of light lasting several breaths before it dissipates and Tabitha collapses to the ground.

Charlotte's efforts clearly calm down Blimp Girl, who regardless of her condition seems to be in no pain, just freaked out. And below a few people here or there calm down enough to behave in a logical enough manner to get out of the press without hurting anyone else or themselves. But by and large the panic continues. Another thing Charlotte might be noticing is that now that the group of fleeing humans has spread out a bit there's not really that many of them. Out of two hundred maybe a third actually managed to get any distance from the longhouse. And even among those some of them are falling, morphing, mutating, showing a delayed reaction to whatever started this all.

Gabrielle's powers seems to always keep her away from popping into living creatures, even in mayhem like this. However, that doesn't mean she doesn't pop in /close/ to living creatures. As she stares down in surprise at Alexander's collapsed body she fails to see a large, armored man running right behind her with a large warhammer clutched close to his chest within arms that have melted and melded right into the armor he's wearing. As he runs by he accidentally smacks the solid metal head of the warhammer right into the much less solid bone and flesh head of Gabby, felling her like an ox at the slaughter house. Without so much as a sigh, the blue haired girl collapses right next to her classmate. And those extra vertebrae that make her so flexible? They also make her contort in decidedly inhuman ways when she goes limp like that. As for the man that clobbered her? The melding of armor and man continues as he runs until between one step and another he freezes into a metal and flesh statue, toppling over a second later.

Manigator jumps as his target takes to the air and his jaws gnash together bare centimeters away from Sierra's toes. He starts taking hits from the fireballs as he lands back down on the ground but all they seem to do is dry out his scales and piss him off. Not being able to reach Sierra directly he starts using his jaws to pick up anything within reach; rocks; saplings; injured and dead humans; and he uses the mutated neck muscles to throw them at the flying woman. His accuracy is horrible but considering how far even the heaviest items he tosses at her go flying its clear getting hit is not going to be pleasant.

Nearby the ent is picking up fleeing Scadians trying to find someone that can help her. But the transformation is one she has not adjusted to and her strength is such that she is invariably crushing every person she grabs, severely injuring or killing them outright. Thankfully, she is also very slow, making her easy to avoid by anyone that notices her coming.

Bringing down the balloon, Charlotte finds a rope to tie to her foot. "I will hope this affect is temporary." she promises as she rises back into the air as she starts towards the group. "There's people trying to leave!" the girl yells out as she takes out her phone to call the authorities, because you know, it's not like twenty other people have already tried to call, right? She's frowning as she keeps her staff close to her for defense as she swaps it out for the glaive, the girl's powers coming into play as she brings out the heavy weapon to try to bring the blunt end down on the top of the Manigator's head. "Hey! Laissez-la tranquille!" she calls out, flitting backwards to use her enhanced reflexes to keep him at bay until she can handle him better.

That is so unfair. How can Manigator be throwing things with its teeth! Big things. Things that will make Sierra hurty-boo-boo if they hit! The Latina weaves through the air as best she can, dodging hurled people and flinging useless fireballs at the beast. Thankfully Charlotte is there with her way more powerful stick! As the Manigator wobbles from the blow, Sierra mutters another spell and a portal forms beneath the beast to send it…well…she's not actually sure where they go when she does this. Probably where half her socks go.

Pay no attention to the pile of limp flesh on the list field. Tabitha isn't going anywhere soon. She might not even be fully physical at just this moment. Bright blue-white energy saturates her body, pulsing randomly, turning her into a rave DJ's wet dream: the ultimate living disco glowstick! From one pulse to the next she alternates between flesh and cosmic flame. Slowly the flesh is winning, but there are a few times, should anyone be looking, the image of the cosmic entity that emerged from her body can be seen as a hollow afterimage that sinks back inside.

Sadly, Alexander missed most of Tabitha's display. He was kinda busy putting himself back together. The smoke filters into his mouth and disappears, and his fingers twitch. Then he blinks. And finally he shifts, to sit up, just as Tabitha becomes a glowing pillar of light. His eyes go wide. "What happened?" he asks, standing up. He notices the collapsed Gabrielle and his eyes widen in alarm. He looks up, wondering what happened to her, and sees the toppled-over armor-man. And then at the ent-woman. She needs to be stopped from hurting people! But how? He can't think of any way that wouldn't kill her! All he can do is try to pull Tabitha and Gabrielle together, so he can try to protect them both while chaos goes on around them.

Charlotte's hit comes right as Manigator manages to get his jaws around the ent woman's leg, lodging his teeth deep into the wood. Seconds later the portal opens under the mutated man and he is either unwilling or unable to let go of the humanoid tree as they are both sucked into the portal, leaving behind the echoes of the ent's moans, "help meeeeeee…"

For the people involved the disaster may have seemed to last forever but in reality only 3 minutes after the screaming started a sudden calm fills the clearing. The lucky few that were able to escape are now either lost in the depths of the forest or in their cars racing down the dirty road leading off the property. Around the group is a tick ring of dead bodies that slowly thins out until there's only the sporadic mutation among the first line of trees at the edge of the clearing. The only surviving people are the students from Coral Spring, evident by the fact that both Tabitha and Gabrielle are showing signs of life, the later starting to groggily blink her eyes open. Oh, and Blimp Girl. She's also alive, bobbing in an almost obscenely gentle way at the end of the rope Charlotte has used to tie her down…

With the portal opening, Charlotte gasps, about to make a play to grab them, but it seems that the Aztecs want their sacrifice and Sierra has more than providing for the feast as she drops to the ground and looks around, as she stares openly at Tabitha for a moment, before she comments softly. "Let's get everyone back to the school. I'm not sure I want to be here to explain this to the authorities." she mutters softly.

Once all the hell has stopped breaking loose, Alexander can concentrate on the dead again. Not all of them have managed to pass over, and he can see them wandering around helplessly, confusedly. There are so many of them. With the others now free to see to Gabrielle and Tabitha, and Gabrielle herself now coming around, Alexander starts to approach these spirits, consoling them as best as he can. He tries to move the spirits on — yes, 'go into the light' is exactly how it works. The 'light' is always there. Even Alexander sees 'the light' in his peripheral vision sometimes, being half-dead. These ghosts should be too new to have turned into something nasty, even if they were nasty in life, so it shouldn't prove too stressful a task individually. But the sheer number of dead will likely keep him busy for a while.

Sierra is actually sad to see the Ent-woman disappear with Manigator. She wanted help but maybe she couldn't be help. Probably driven mad by the whole experience…and then she would have suffered the ignominy of having Christmas decorations draped all over her. Perhaps it was better this way. The Latina floats slowly to the ground. "Everyone okay?" she asks, carefully avoiding eye contact with Balloon Girl. A nod to Charlotte's idea. "It would be good if I can avoid police. I do not want to be deported in January so it is best they do not know I am here."

There's not much that Tabitha can add to the situation. Then again, she really isn't in any shape to do much of anything except twitch, glow, twitch, throw off sparks… maybe twitch again. There is one last appearance of the Entity's face superimposed over Tabitha's body before it sinks back inside of her completely.

Gabrielle slowly starts to make her way up from the ground up to a seating position. Then she makes the mistake of touching the spot where the warhammer hit her and the flash of pain is so intense she is forced to put her head between her knees, taking deep breaths to avoid passing out again. From down there she mutters, "Well, I can't get us out of here. That last hit probably left me with a concussion…"

Charlotte frowns as she notes Gabrielle's injury. "We need to get you treatment.." she looks around for anyone else that can teleport, and seeing no one, the girl glances to Sierra. "We could carry you back, but that would be awkward." And they're all too young to drive. All she knows is that she's ready to return to her dorm room and collapse.

Sierra stares at the devastation around her and her bottom lip wobbles a little. "No" she informs the voice in her head, "This is not how it had to be." Her eyes fall on pools of blood and there is a slightly hungry look on her face before she takes a deep breath and shakes all thoughts of sacrifice from her mind. "I need to go before I make this worse" she informs the others. "I am sorry." Then she is shooting up into the sky once more and heading back towards school.

There is a stiring over on the list field at the place where the Burning Man was disintegrated. A tiny female figure covered in horrible scars, intricate mystic glyphs… and not a stitch of clothing. The garb that Katrina made for her is now nothing more than parted atoms as Tabitha half-staggers, half-trips towards the others. Her body continues to leak bright streamers of blue-white energy, most notably from the hollow depths of her empty eye sockets which now more closely resemble Satan's own spotlights.

She walks amongst the dead without registering their presence. Once, then again, and then a couple times more soon after she diverts her course and stops near one of the bodies. Each time the body proves to be someone badly injured but non-mutated, and each time Tabitha reaches down and touches them. Energy pours from her body into theirs and their injuries heal as if on fast forward. Then she moves on, drawing closer to her classmates with each person healed.

As she gets closer to the others she watches Sierra abandon the field with teammates left behind, but there is no emotion visible on her face/not-face. Instead there is just a blank resolved expression as she makes a 'come over here' gesture to the others. Her mouth moves but no speech emerges. All she can do to get her message across is make a gesture for them to gather together next to Gabrielle.

Then she floats up a couple feet from the ground, and takes a pose similar to the classic daVinci 'Vitruvian Man'. She closes her eyes and after a few seconds a ring of energy forms linking her head, hands, and feet. The ring grows brighter, expands outward until it's bottom touches the floor. Then the energy moves inward, covering Tabitha completely although she is still visible as a silhouette in the unstable disk. A breath later and three things happen all at once. The energy disk becomes stable with an almost audible 'snap', its glow is replaced by a seemingly infinite blackness with a rim of violet at the edge of the disk, and then a cutout circle of the Paragon Island forest is suddenly there in front of them.

Gabrielle motions weakly at the floating girl, "Blimp Girl… Emergency service won't be able to do anything with her. Staff might." This short speech seems to exhaust her however so she stumbles through Tabitha's portal, without really paying attention to whether someone listened to what she said or not. As she goes through the portal she does mutter to herself, "Suddenly everyone can teleport…"

Charlotte watches Sierra leave, and the girl frowns. She's seen her around the Ares dorm, and makes a note to check on her when she gets home. For now? She can't figure out what she's doing, that is until Tabitha decides to open a portal home. Heading over to where she had tied down Blimp Girl, the young woman offers quietly. "We're going to try to get you help, okay?" she says, as she unties her and carries her to the portal to see if she's too big to shove through. If she is, Charlotte will carry the balloon back to the island. After all, who knows what insertion limits Tabitha has.

Alexander notices the Tabitha-esque entity — also being very glad he no longer has the ability to blush, because NAKED! — coming towards them. And then the beckoning gesture… Alexander hurries over, though more to protect the others from not-Tabitha than anything else. Suddenly a portal appears! And hey, that's a way to get back. Hoping she can hear him, he says, "Thanks, Tabitha." Then he heads through the portal himself, probably behind the others.

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