(2018-04-29) PrP: Port Angeles Blues - Finale
PrP: Port Angeles Blues - Finale
Summary: Felicia the Fetch gets a call - the Machine Realm is in chaos and she urges Harris to go to the gate and to bring Allies. Tali and Audgrim join up. Harris manages to get a message to Harris, and Tali uses her powers to find his whereabouts - they know they have a chance. But what they face is chaos, a gate that is open straight into the real world, robotic violent dogs and a battle with time itself… And of course, they have to deal with the gate itself before everything from the Machine Realm pours into the world.
Date: IC Date (2018-04-29)
Related: Port Angeles Blues - Sticks and Stones, Port Angeles Blues - WORKERMEN, Port Angeles Blues - Felicia
Player Characters: Harris, Tali, Audgrim (also ST), Sean (NPC), Felicia (NPC)

It's a rainy and yet warm evening when Felicia starts acting strange again. She is looking at the reflection of a window, after cleaning up dinner, doing the dishes: she drops a plate. Harris will hear the familiar buzz, louder than it was ever before, plus a distant rumbling booming sound. Felicia pales and turns to him, saying simply: "The Gate. We have to go to the Gate now. Things are broken, and we have to go there /now!/. Bring whatever friends you have. He's… he's moving. I can feel it, he's enraged. And I have to go too."

So, what Bureau are available are called in, whatever contacts Harris has that are of the less human persuasion contacted too. And they all join up at the sight of the old torn down office building, in the rain and the dark.

The site has changed significantly when they arrive. The flooring that was still there has caved in - and at some places it looks like it has blown out. Like something underneath pushed and exploded and shook. The gate, the big stone tub that was once used for laundry, now lay bared to the sky, as it's all caved in around it - there's a giant crater but the tub itself is unharmed. The area quakes every now and then, like a very localised earth quake and it all enemates from the gate itself.

Once they've made it down to it, standing on rubble around the tub itself, they'll soon realise that the black surface is flickering like a TV-screen that goes on and off; sometimes it is intact, but more often it is just not there, and they can see straight into the Machine Realm. It's disorienting, because the gate on the other side is on a wall, like a standing arch - so while on this side you have to bend to look down, you look into a realm that is vertically the other way. And in there, there's chaos. The building that the gate is in has collapsed and lays bare to the city outside, the post-apocalyptic dust-swirling dead place. And the city is quaking every now and then, sending ripples into this world.

Ol' Jim's been keeping up appearances with Felicia with both grace -and- aplomb. Almost acting like- dare he even say it? -an actual -boyfriend-. The last few weeks have become so second nature, he's almost begun to allow himself to settle into the role. But when that machine grinding starts up… it shatters that comfortable illusion in a heartbeat. In an instant, he's on the horn to Audgrim, to Sydney at the Bureau, and his fellow agent Tali. Gently herding Felicia into his Skylark, he hits the siren and puts the pedal to the floor. Tearing through Port Angeles at nearly 90 miles an hour, he's at the ruins of the old building in a matter of minutes. As soon as he hauls the Buick to a halt, he's out with Beretta cocked, locked, and ready to rock. But he keeps a weather eye on Felicia as he trots around to help her out of the passenger side. "Where is he?" he growls softly. "Is… is he -here-? On our side?"

Tali is here, of course, Harris being more like a partner in her mind, even if they aren't assigned to one another in the department, because they're both also Bureau, also psychics. They get it, as much as mortals can at least. She's armed and wearing her vest and holding a 20 gauge shotgun in her hands, because if you're gonna make an entrance, or an exit, probably wise to do so with a spread. She's also brought something from the special ops locker in the Bureau, nylon rope and a grappling hook. In case they have to go to the other side, she wants to have a connection to this one.

Last of all comes Audgrim - he's not usually on time. He looks rather harrid and stressed for being him, usually lazy and laid back. "Helvete," he sighs, looking down into the crater and the gate. "Gate is oozing Other. Not good, not good. Things might come out. Oh, and hi." He grins at the two, studying Tali very curiously - he's never met her before after all. Felicia is studied with outright suspicion, and not greeted except with a nod.

Felicia clambers out of the car hurriedly, ignoring everyone - she seem faintly entranced. "No," she says, shaking her head, hair getting quickly soaked by the rain. "But he's moving. Something has happened in there. Something… is attacking the realm. I think." She looks desperately at Harris, but isn't sure what to do, once she's here.

Below, past the gate, they can see figures moving now, further down a street past the collapsed building in Faerie itself. Worker-Men, stumbling out of one of the buildings that is shaking, as if it's about to collapse any second. And dog-shaped things? Robo-dogs? That start to attack those that escape the building.

Lt. Harris glances around as the group assembles. Suddenly realizing that, as the oldest and most experienced (at least in police matters) member of the group, he's nominally the one in charge. He squares his shoulders as he listens to Audgrim's assesment, then looks to Felicia. Moving cautiously, he goes to peer over the lip of the tub, into that other world beyond our own. "Jesus Christ… attackin' my ass. Somethin's tearin' the -shit- outta that place!" His jaw grinds. "Shawn an' Felicia are still -in- there!" He straightens, then looks back at Audgrim. "We go in there… can we get out the same way?" he asks, without hesitation. The Keeper seems to be busy, after all—maybe there -is- a chance they can get in, get their lost comrades, and get out -without- suffering a Durance.

Tali eyes Audgrim in return and gives him a nod. If Harris called someone in, he must be all right. She racks the slide on her shotgun and levels it towards the pool. "Looks like someone is stirring the pot in there," she mutters, with her Israeli accent becoming more pronounced in the face of things that simple should not be. She hands her shotgun to Harris for a moment, "hold that," then digs in her pack for the rope and grapple. She looks to secure the grapple end of the line securely somewhere on their side.

Audgrim just stares at Harris. Stares. "You want to go… in?" He puts his hands on the tub and leans over so he can look more closely, trying to get an idea of what's going on. "Gate is broken," he admits, "and now anyone can go in and out. /We/ can always go in. Humans, only if the Others want you to. But now? It is open. Something is very broken…" He eye-shifts suddenly, looking nervous. "Maybe…" He stops there, shaking his head. "Eddie would say, you are crazy going in. If you go in, you be /fast/. Gate can close, you be trapped. And after? We need to break the gate."

In the Machine Realm, there's something else happening now. They can see it right past the gate - green vines are growing fast across the floor and the walls, slithering almost like they're alive. Considering there's /no/ other plants /anywhere/ in the machine realm - this suggests the Realm is fighting off a force it's not used to. Out on the street, the confused Workers are fighting off the robo-dogs as best as they can, but quite a few have already been taken out, or being dragged into buildings by numerous of those machine-beasts.

Felicia remains close to Harris, but she's staring at the gate, like she wants to go in.

Jim takes the shotgun as Tali begins prepping the rope. But as those vines start snaking in—and the robo-dogs start hauling the Worker Men away, he sets his jaw. Both shotty and Beretta get set on the lip of the pool, and he leans forward, curling his fingers over the stone edge until the knuckles whiten. "Shawn," he growls softly, his eyes glassing over. "Shawn, -hear me-!" Drawing upon every last erg of psychic might he possesses, he surges his thoughts through the gate and into that other realm. Once again seeking Shawn Miller's mind and weaving his urgent message into the other man's thoughts. -This way. The Gate is THIS way! We're here to get you out! HURRY.-

Tali moves to the edge with the trailing rope, tossing it through into the other side. She digs Miller's badge out of her pocket and hangs on to Harris' arm with the other hand so she doesn't fall into the pool, focusing on trying to find the policeman. "Let me see if I can find where he is," she whispers, eyes closing to concentrate.

The connection is there, Harris can feel it - he finds Shawn's mind in the chaos in there, /somewhere/. But where? He won't know this… but there's others with talents.

Past the gate, the scene remains much the same, but now they can also see those vines coming up from the ground on the street, breaking already brittle asphalt, moving dust aside as it begins to creep along buildings. It catches one of those robo-dogs and entwines it so much the robot-animal can't move.

The Clairvoyant Bureau Agent's mind is suddenly somewhere else entirely. It's a dark area, below ground somewhere. It is shaking, debris is falling from the ceiling on top of… is that Sean? His features are the same, but his skin is as white marble, shot through with darker streaks and swirling patterns. His hair like strands of metal. He's looking up sharply, hearing Harris in his mind - and without further ado, he shouts: "SKITTER! It's time! We're going NOW!" From behind him in the dark, a female figure comes out - her skin has a slight fuss, dark short fur. Her eyes are impossibly large on a narrow face, and completely black. She's only wearing a threadbare white dress that contrasts sharply with her eerie, spider-like features. Her response is just a hiss and a widening of lips. The two run towards a door further away, his steps lumbering and thudding, hers lithe and quick.

Audgrim points urgently through the gate. "Bad dog! Coming this way!" And indeed, three of those robo-dogs are moving straight for the gate.

The clairvoyant watches the two burst through a door and up some stairs, the building shaking around them - they manage to avoid some of the vines and then burst out through another door, now on the street, entering the chaos with the robo-dogs and other worker-men - about two hundred yards from the gate itself.

Jim looks to his left as Tali takes his arm. He recognizes the signs of her own gifts at work, and he nods sharply. He turns back to the pool, eyes narrow and thoughts thrumming with power. As he feels Shawn make the connection and start making his way -with this Skitter person in tow (is -that- what became of Felicia, Jim wonders) -he sends another telepathic burst. -Be careful, that place is a warzone! And there's robot dogs everywhere! We've got the Gate covered, so HAUL ASS!- But then, Audgrim gives his warning, and Jim's gaze shifts. "-Fuck-!" he snarls. He snatches up his Beretta and takes a couple quick steps back. "Felicia, get -back-!" he growls. "Tali, get ready! When those fuckin' things come through, -waste- 'em!" He brings his Beretta up, flicking the safety off with a practiced flick of his thumb. There's no telling of perfectly ordinary bullets will actually -do- anything to these -Things-. But it sure as hell can't hurt to try.

"Miller heard you, he is coming wit the one he calls Skitter," Tali rasps out, trying to reconcile the beings she saw with the humans they might be, or may have been once. "About 200 yards out, running this way." Audgrim's alert has her snapping her eyes open again, with a furrowed brow, and taking her shotgun back from Harris.

Sean pulls on the woman he called Skitter - they start running, towards the gate. Meanwhile he is shouting at other workermen to do the same, but they're all still totally brainwashed, confused and doesn't understand - some are fighting robo-dogs, some are hacking at vines. They dodge and weave - him not so much, the woman is moving through any obstacles like it's nothing, skittering… like a spider.

Audgrim curses - and then he swings over the edge of the tub and lands on his feet, now the other way around so to speak as he dives at one of the mech-animals, claws raking. The dog barely seem to notice though and engages in combat with the other Beast.

Once Audgrim has entered the gate? Harris and Tali can both /see him/. How he really looks.

Tali waits until one of the beasts is in range of her shotgun. She widens her stance, because the Saiga has quite a kick, and she fires. BOOM! The slug slams into the dog-like thing and the detective grunts in satisfaction.

Felicia is just moving, fluid in anything she does, almost eerily dextrous. They're rapidly approaching the gate, but now buildings are falling apart around them, the vines are growing in numbers.

The dog Audgrim is fighting turns on him and jumps: steel teeth and steel claws dig in and hurts the devilish beast quite badly. But he's tough - he just continues with it, shouting; "WE BETTER HURRY!"

Meanwhile? The other two dogs, they move so damn /fast/. ONe of them jumps right at Tali and it bites into her arm, ripping flesh.

Jim takes a quick step back as the robo-dogs erupt out of the Gate. The second it takes to reposition costs him, as Tali is suddenly assaulted by one of the mechanical beasts. "Tali!" He swings his Beretta around. Brows knotting, eyes gaining razor-sharp focus as he lines up the shot. POP POP POP! He fires off three rounds in quick succession. The robo-dog's chassis pings metallically as the bullets hit home. The first two slamming into its flank. The third one, however, hits its head, and the mechanical shears apart with a squeal of twisting metal.

The final dog's momentum is clear - he was already going for the third enemy. Everything not Worker men, or machines - enemy. It makes a metallic sort of barking sound and leaps at Harris, but as Harris has turned to shoot the dog bites down on his shoulder and tumbles into this world behind him.

Sean is suddenly growing - he's becoming like a giant boulder, rollling through everything, grabbing Felicia and swinging her up on his shoulders; the woman laughs a bit madly but clings on, like this is all hilarious to her. The two are approaching fast, now visible from the gate, dodging debris, other Lost, vines and general madness.

Audgrim keeps fighting the dog inside the gate, bleeding profusely but refusing to give in, grinning madly himself - like he finds this to his liking. His tail swings in rhytm to his claws as he rakes madly and with little finesse, tearing off pieces of metal and bits of flesh; that dog is looking wounded.

But it's a good fighter too and weaves around Audgrim through his legs and bites behind on his thigh, another bleeding wound.

Tali lets out an angry shriek of pain as the beast bites her arm. Hot blood leaks from shredded flesh. The monsters hurt. She backpedals a step then racks another round into the pump action shotgun. Then the dog on her drops like a hot potato from Harris' fire. She spins to face him, in time to see another of the beasts attack the other agent. She unloads a slug into it's flank, making it bleed like a stuck pig.

"YEARRRGH!" Harris bellows in rage and pain as his suit jacket shreds under the mechanical's jaws, leaving a slowly welling spot of red oozing up from the cheap JC Penny fabric. He twists and staggers, tearing himself away from the monstrosity. Just in time for Tali to unleash thunder from her shotgun. The beast staggers away, giving Jim the clearance he needs to bring his Beretta up. "Eat -this-!" he snarls, before unleashing his own thunder. POP POP POP. It may not have the grandiose effect of a shotgun spread, but his bullets find their target with precision. The mechanical beast staggers under the onslaught, before collapsing with a clanking of metal. Gritting his teeth against the pain, the big man looks over to Tali. "You okay?" he grunts, flexing his fingers. "Nnh… -fuck-. Hope these things don't got tetanus in 'em or anything stupid like that."

"Hopefully they aren't rabid," Tali mutters. She tears off a strip of her t-shirt to tie around her arm and stem the bleeding best she can.

Out there, just a few steps inside the gate, the remaining part of the building the gate is in is shaking again. Audgrim ignores it, jumping on top of the dog and clawing desperately, is thrown off and counterattacked - the two seem to be on rather equal terms, although Audgrim seem less affected; the robo-dog is starting to look rather torn up.

And to make things worse… further down the street, pouring out from a building is now much smaller robo-animals coming. Ratlike, catlike - they all start to attack the vines. And quite a few of them, are moving towards the gate…

Sean and Felicia are close enough now that there's only a few seconds left before they will come hurtling through the gate. However… so will a lot of other things.

Jim reaches up and pulls his tie off, winding it around his own wound with a grunt. He leans forward to watch the progress on the Other Side. "C'mon… c'mon c'mon -c'mon-," he growls under his breath. When those other robo-things start pouring his way, his eyes widen. "Grim! Shawn! -Move it-!" he thunders at the water. He looks back and forth, starting to look shaken. "Jesus… they're -everywhere-. We gotta shut this thing down. But… -how-?" He pauses, then straightens, and looks to not-Felicia. "How do we close it?" he growls to her. "I -know- you know how!" He doesn't, actually, but she doesn't need to know that.

Audgrim has had it - he growls and attacks the dog like a mad beast, claws spraying bits of metal and flesh around - a bit of an overkill, continuing a few seconds after that dog has fallen apart into nothing. "Hah, got you, stupid dog," he says and looks triumphant - only to stagger. He's half dead, moving back towards the gate, blood dripping and tail drooping.

Behind him? Sean and Felicia Skitter jump over some debris, then dives towards the gate with wide eyes. Freedom is so close. They even pass Audgrim by as he laborously climbs back into the real world, and now looks human again. "I'm fine! I can walk."

Felicia has just done… nothing the whole time. She's just stared with longing emotions, and dreadful ones, into the gate. "I don't know!" she screams, putting hands to her ears. And then, she sees the otther Felicia. The real one. Comes tumbling in, looking exactly like herself. And Sean Miller, like his old self too - though both are definitely haggard looking. "NOOOO!" Felicia-Fetch screams and she's now running straight towards the gate.

"The basin, it's not affected by anything else. We need to destroy the stone basin!" Tali hollers over the noise. "We need enough force, do you have grenades? Any TNT left on the build site?"

Jim shakes his head. "Grenades? I'm a detective, Tali, they don't usually issue us military-grade hardware," he grumbles. He skips back as Shawn, Actual-Felicia, and Audgrim leap back into Our World. Safely concealed behind their Masks once again, but… he remembers. He remembers the trick Shawn pulled, growing huge. "Shawn! We gotta break the tub! We gotta get this thing clos—" But then, the Fetch wails, and starts running for the Gate. He doesn't think. He doesn't hesitate. He swings his Beretta up. It was almost a nice relationship. Comfortable. Soothing. And the sex was pretty great. But like the Fetch herself… it wasn't real. It was just a dream. It was nice to pretend it wasn't, for awhile, but now, it's time to wake up. He tracks her with his gun, his expression an impassive scowl. "I'm sorry," he can be heard whispering, before he pulls the trigger.

Tali grimaces, and she sweeps the basin walls with her eyes, the engineering part of her mind turning it over. She slaps some of her blood on a spot on the basin. "Harris! Focus fire there!" She adds her shotgun to the mix.

At Tali's shout, Jim swings without missing a beat. He draws a bead on the spot she marked and goes ham. He unloads the remaining bullets in his clip into the stone basin, the Beretta bucking in his hands as he throws everything he can into getting the Gate closed.

Amidst all the chaos, there's one thing that strikes - how content and joyful Felicia looks as she reaches the gate. Finally she gets to go back to see her Master - like he's called her, over and over and all those promises. She glances back though… hesitating. Looks at Harris, just when he shoots her. For one split second, she was thinking of him instead. Maybe also a fake reaction, cause they do /fake/ it so well. And then her eyes widen - and a bullet lodges itself straight in her forhead.

She falls into the Faerie, momentarily looking entirely human, blood forming in the hole on her head. And then there's like fairie dust coming off of her; floating away with the rest of the dust in there. What lands on the floor just past the gate is… Sticks. Stones. Piece of cement. A feather. A piece of red cloth… Felicia Fetch is gone.

Sean Miller and Felicia - the real one - watches the scene, panting, drained, like it's all a dream. Sean does move foward though, as Harris calls - and then stops as the two instead start unloading bullets into the side of the tub.

Past the gate, a literal horde of mini-robots roll through the streets to battle the onslaught of vines. Harris might recognise the thorny vines, from his own 'dream' of the Hedge. The Hedge itself seem to come at the Machine Realm for some reason. What's worse is that some of those vines are moving towards the gate now, eager to expand itself into the real world, together with robo-critters. 15 more seconds and it'll be right at the Bureau Agents.

Tali unloads slug after slug into the blood-mark on the basin, the shotgun booming loudly in the space, combined with Harris' fire.

Jim's finger squeezes the trigger with smooth, repetitive motions, bullet after bullet slamming into the tub. POP POP POP. Myriad cracks begin to spiderweb up the stone wall. "We almost got it!" he shouts over the gunfire. POP POP POP CLICK CLICK CLICK. He scowls at his gun, as though irate at its temerity to be out of ammunition. "Shiiiiit," he snarls, ejecting the clip and fumbling on his belt for his spare. He slaps it back into place and cocks it with a single practiced motion, then brings the Beretta back up to continue. He's not letting up until that damn thing is -dust-.

The tub cracks. Repeated chipping away with the bullets causes enough strain to stone and old magic. What it needed was old fashioned violence in the form of modern firearms. At first, nothing seem to happen and a few precious seconds move along. Through the gate, what they all see now is something… amazing and terrifying.

Far down the street, the ground shakes violently. Cement and debris explodes upwards and something comes /up/ from beneath. It is a monstrous construct that climbs up, with gigantic cogs and wheels and metal and wires. It has no head, it is large as a house, and it is making a grating terrible sound. The Machine is moving. It's going to erradicate all enemies himself. The gate is a minor nuisance for now… and soon a memory forgotten. There will always be other gates….

There's suddenly a flash around the circle of the stone tub, a blue light running along its length. Then there's a sizzling sound as the stone begins to implode on itself. And then, of course - because this always happens when Harris destroys Fae artifacts - it /explodes/. Little bits of stone spray out at everyone, forcing them to duck and hide behind debris already there. Fortunately, vests and fast reflexes save them from further injuries.

What's left after the tub explodes is just… flooring. No more gate into Faerie.

Audgrim stares, wide eyed, while tying some fabric around his own wounds with such expertise it's clear he's done this before. However, he stumbles away and moves to start climbing up - he isn't actually that far from having died, but he's stubborn, still fighting his injuries.

"Well, that made for an interesting dance party, Harris," Tali says wearily, the wounds finally starting to set in as the adrenaline begins to ebb. "Care for an afterparty at the nearest emergency room for stitches?"

Jim's eyes go -wide- when he sees the Machine heave itself out into the center of its realm. But then, the cracks widen, and the tub begins to crumble. He pumps his fist—the one with his good shoulder. "Yeah! Suck my -dick- you faerie piece o' shi-" And then, it starts to warble and shake. You'd think he'd have learned by now. "Oh -shiiiiit-!" he yelps, ducking and scrambling away. He manages to get down and his head covered just as the tub explodes, raining gravel down on his back. When the dust finally clears, he slowly looks up. Sees that the Gate has closed. Carefully, he rises to his feet, dusting himself off. Taking a moment to holster his Beretta, he looks around. "Everyone okay?" he asks. His gaze rests on Felicia for a moment. The -real- Felicia. He almost stares. Now that her Mask is in place, all he can see is the woman he's been ostensibly dating for the last few weeks. Shaking his head, he clears his throat, turning his attention back to Tali. "Yeah," he says. "Probably should do that." He looks back to Shawn and Felicia. "C'mon. I'll give ya both a ride." Turning, he lumbers for his Skylark, digging for his cigarettes as he goes. He settles himself-carefully-into the driver's seat, taking a moment to get a smoke lit up. He sighs heavily, pinching the bridge of his nose. "I'm gettin' too old for this shit," he grunts softly.

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