Logs:The Axe and the Dead (or: The Phantom Menace)

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The Axe and the Dead (or: The Phantom Menace)


Characters: Robin, with Ian as storyteller
Date: 2019-11-15
Summary: There's an axe and a lot of dead folks, and hints of future trouble.
Disclaimers: {{{disclaimers}}}

Inlow Music is one of the most well-known guitar shops in New Orleans proper. Robin was there for hours before they closed, and when they finally chased them out, Robin waited until everyone was gone from inside. Ian was no help until long after the store closed, and Robin is -frustrated-. There is something that calls to them about these instruments, something about the way they feel. And now they're locked inside this store, where Robin can't get at them.

And all that's between Robin and those guitars is the glass of the giant front window of the store.

<Inlow Guitars Image>

The thing is, there have been people in and out of the shop all evening, and someone, somewhere, just so happened to collect on an online bounty for 'have you seen this person' with a grainy photo of Robin's flaming hair and another of Abel's choking red face. That someone sent a picture, with a set of coordinates, and collected a prize fifty dollar sum, and it has taken roughly this long for the person who posted that bounty to act on it... but the distant rumble of motorcycles is audible, and an entire damn squad of them - four riders in all - comes rolling up towards the music store.

Okay, motorcycles. Fine, fine, motorcycles. But -guitar-. Robin has an -idea-. Robin ducks down into the narrow alley between this building and the next. It probably looks like they're avoiding the approaching villains on motorcycles, but really, they're just spending a minute standing in the shadows because that will turn them invisible. No joke.

"I see her!" Yeah, the Bruja are exactly the sorts to misgender people. "There!" Motorcycles rev and the first rounds the corner into the alley-- "What the fuck?" No Robin. The bike in the lead rolls to a stop and the eager beaver atop it - not someone Robin would recognize, narrows his eyes and pulls out a gun.

In fact, Robin doesn't disappear for that -whole minute-. So one of the vampires turns the corner around the dumpster and sees Robin's eyes widen before Robin...blinks out of visibility. They stand stock still, unsure if the vampire can see them, now. This is inconvenient. They just wanted to steal a guitar!

The vampire lets out a kind of furious, over-excited yell and raises his gun. The vanishment causes him to hesitate for a second... and then he unloads. It's a shotgun, sawed off. If Robin's didn't just teleport away, they're getting a face full of buckshot.

Okay. Okay, guns are scary and loud. Robin...eases out from between the vampire and the wall all slow and steady-like. There's a big hunk of brick impacted by buckshot, but Robin left no blood or skin behind. Vampires. But better armed, this time. Robin heads back out to the road and begins to prepare...this means pulling out a flask of whiskey from their jacket, and taking a swig while pulling out a lighter.

"Fuck!" screams the vampire in frustration. He knows exactly how bad it is that he missed.

"Get back here," snarls one of the others. "Spread out, make a kill box."

That one retreats, leaving his bike to lean on the dumpster, reloading his weapon with trembling hands. The others steer to the sides so that they're not all in one place, taking aim at the alley and /watching/. One can positively see the blood pulse thicker in their veins as their senses expand.

As the vampires spread out to cover the alleyway, Robin is in the street. With a mouthful of whiskey, they can't say anything witty to get the vamps' attention, so they just...viciously, mercilessly kick over one of the bikes. They wait just long enough for the vampires to look before blowing a spray of aerosolized flammable alcohol into the lighter, making a gout of flame that rises into the sky...and then swirls into a tornado that swoops down to envelope Robin in a swirling suit of fiery armor.

"You really should have stayed in Baton Rouge."

<Arctic Monkeys - Brianstorm>

The one who was reloading his shotgun just... drops it and runs with a shriek. He's gone in a heartbeat. The others shout and cover their faces, turning away, but... this was something they were warned about. They /expected/ this. And they turn their attention on the flaming creature - and their guns.

The Summer Mantle knows that Robin is fighting these vampires on behalf of Abel, who has Bargained with Robin to protect him. As a Champion, the Mantle of the Iron Spear flares into a wall of heat-shimmer. The first hail of bullets melts as they pass through that barrier, sizzling hunks of metal thudding harmlessly against the dragonhide armor Robin wears. The fae reaches up to the sky. "Helios, Sun of this world, I call upon you to honor our Contract." From the horizon, a spear of light appears. It races fast as...well, as light. Robin catches it at the last moment and it solidifies into a six-foot length of spear made of pure, -true- sunlight. They drop into a fighting stance and gesture with their left hand, a sort of 'Well, come on' crook of the fingers.

These guys are literal idiots. The spear comes into being - and the third remaining thug just raises his sawed-off shotgun and blasts Robin full of shells, and lets out a vile curse in another language when it doesn't appear to do anything. He looks down at his gun with a scowl - is this some kind of trick? ...Why no, he doesn't believe the pure fucking sunlight that just manifested right there - Robin was already hard to look at previously, this is nothing new, and he'd rather not look and potentially frenzy when he could just... point his gun and blast the hell out of them. The other two, however, are staring, and they look horrified.

That last shotgun blast came for Robin's -face-. Robin throws up an arm defensively, and the melted slag of the bullets hit the flames that encircle that sleeve of their armored jacket and tinkle quietly to the ground. They drop the arm and let out a brutal scream, deep and gutteral and filled with rage. This isn't Robin -fully- berserk, but they throw caution to the wind. They're not fast enough to dodge bullets anyway, and their Mantle and dragonhide seem to be protecting them. They charge across the street with their spear low, and when they land the blow it comes in through the Bruja's stomach and up into their rib cage. The tip shoves into the vampire's heart - and piercing weapons made of true sunlight are very, -very- bad for a growing vampire's heart. The vampire incinerates from the inside out, bursting into a puff of flame and dust as Robin turns to face the other two remaining vampires.

The other two take one look at /that/ and... yeah, frenzy doesn't matter here. They start their bikes and /go/. Final death by /sunlight/ is clearly not of any interest to either of them. Apparently their frenzied friend had the right of it.

The one in the rear has the presence of mind to point his shotgun back behind himself and fire - not blindly, but with all the power and blood and will he can muster - at the sunlight monstrosity that just murdered his friend and will probably take him next. And then? He rides, rushing to leave while his unlife is intact.

That parting shot, fueled by vampiric will and vitae, managed to penetrate the Mantle. Not only that, but the slugs hit at -just- the right angle to pierce between dragon scales, to thud into hide, to punch through -that- and lodge in Robin's left pectoral muscle. The Changeling staggers back, but their reaction is vengeance, immediate and without thought: they take two running steps forward and -hurl- the spear after the motorcycle. Lancing light slams into the back of the vampire, burning it from within for a few long moments before it vanishes to reappear in Robin's hand.

The sunlight slams into the fleeing vampire and his scream is something truly terrible to hear, tormented and howling through the night. The bike skids gracelessly as he burns up from the inside - and then, miracle of the night, rights itself and surges forward as the vampire /flees/. The bike kicks into high gear and bolts past the other rider. Sooner or later the vampire will stop, and when he does he will very likely hurt someone, but for now, he's running as far and fast as he can while he's still clinging to the charred shell of his body.

"Ow."

Robin presses a hand against the bloodied spot on their coat. That -hurts-. They head over to the door of the music shop. One stomp, two clicks of the tongue, three short raps on the door and it swings inward. It doesn't open into the actual -shop-, though, but into Robin's Hollow. The next couple of minutes are Robin gathering up guns and motorcycles and pushing them through that door. Vampire bodies are very convenient about not remaining behind. Robin then tucks the spear into the crook of their arm. A scarlet handkerchief comes out, and Robin ties it over their face to conceal it. They came for a fucking -guitar-, and a guitar they will have. They hold out the spear and let the tip rest against the glass. It only takes a moment for it to begin to melt and flow, molten, until there's a huge glowing-rimmed hole in the window. The spear disappears afterward - the glow fades as Helios takes back the weapon until they call for it again. Robin lightly hops through that hole, the flames around them now having died back down to what can be covered by the Mask, and they go about climbing up one of the movable ladders. They -know- which guitar they want. They've played most of them. The fact that the price tag on this one says $8,889 is irrelevant.

<Robin's New Guitar>

Oh Robin. Well, at least they have good taste. It's probably sometime during the burning of the glass that a fire alarm begins to sound, and the lights come on at their motion inside. There are cameras, of course, but what they're seeing will not make sense, and that bandana should be sufficient. Robin is making excellent time, so long as the fire alarm doesn't send them fleeing.

Stomp stomp, stomp stomp. Little bits of molten glass are squished to kill any fire springing up around them. Not that Robin knows about fire alarms, they just don't want to burn down a nice shop. Robin grabs the amp they liked best from the day, too, and then - hip hop! - out through the window. These go into the Hollow, and then the door is closed. Robin pulls out their phone, finally, and texts Ian:

Robin: I got my guitar. I also got shot. With a gun. Ow. I'm bleeding. Do you have a pair of pliers, some whiskey, and clean bandages?

Oh good lord. Ian texts back quickly: Yes to all. Open a door, I'm coming.

And he's racing around his house - lord help everyone - to grab the appropriate items. Yes, he just sort of assumes Robin knows how to open a door inside his house - he'd have shown them if they were at all interested - and also how to handle bullet wounds.

Robin: Ian, I can't put a door from my Hollow into your house. I have to be -in your house- to do that.

Still, what Robin -can- do is go dig through that pile of ashes for the keys to one of the motorcycles. And then, after hauling it out of the door to their Hollow, turn it on. Bracing with one foot on the pavement, Robin texts:

Robin: Where is your house? I have a motorcycle. I think I can figure out how it works.