It is time. Information has been pooled from the previous encounters with Pha Q'Poran. A cultist has been interrogated...thoroughly...and more was learned. The researches hit the books and the web to find out what has taken down the demon in the past...while ignoring the slashfic about it. Those who were available for the mission, whether volunteered or sent by their 'bosses', were assembled at the Society for the Uplifting of Humanity conference room and handed their information packs.
It is believed that the demon can be taken down by bullets when it is in physical form. The problem is that it is very tough, its hide like the stone it was composed off before it was brought back to life. Another problem is that it is able to used the blood of those around it to replenish its body. So if you get cut, don't be surprised to see your blood shooting through the air and into the demon. Be horrified...but not surprised.
It has been trapped in the caves for weeks now. Too big to leave and, hopefully, still too weak to burrow out on its own. The place has been under surveillance and everything seems to be as it was when left. The entrance point for the Hunters will be the tunnel one team used the last time. It is now the only known access point to the caves where Pha Q'Poran currently stews. What became of any cultists who were trapped down there with it...unknown but the research suggests nothing good. They could be blood bags for it to heal or they could be dried out zombiefied husks serving their new God. So be prepared for more than one threat down there.
The briefing given and questions answered, the brave (or foolhardy) team are taken to the tunnel entrance in early hours of the evening. They have been supplied with flashlights and glowsticks to mark their way but any other equipment is up to them. Good luck. God speed. Don't let the bed bugs bite.
Beatrix seems to have been planning a few things herself. The girl arriving and bringing anyone that may have wanted a lift. The girl dressed mostly for mobility. Some good comfy jeans, a black hoodie that looks like it's been through a few scrapes. Some comfy looking work boots. Slung over her shoulders and behind her back is a sports bag. The sound of metal and glass and maybe a little liquid inside hunting she brought some extra fun along with the lever action shotgun cradled in her arms. "So here is hoping we can actually make a dent in it." she whispers softly, her French accent keeping her voice sounding way too cheerful for those words.
Carla drives over in a mid-sized white sedan and steps out after being sent by her superiors. She's in short white skirt with a tank top and a pair of tennis shoes. She looks sort of like a tennis player. She carries around a large handbag. She narrows her dark eyes at Beatrix and gives her a friendly little smile. "Hello, you're with the group yes? The one who is dealing with the dreadful thing in those caves. I'd like to express my appreciation for your work so far and commend you on discovering so much. I was sent over by those at the 'society. I will admit it is my first time with this particular group of people, though I"
Jolene is dressed in comfortable cargo pants, combat boots, and a long-sleeved shirt. About her waist is a fanny pack, and she appears to have some armor on underneath her shirt, also, quite a few knives strapped to her person. Under her left arm is a holster for a 45, which is hidden by the light jacket she is wearing. She arrives at the tunnel entrance with her hair in a tight braid, curled up at the base of her neck and leaving little hair available for someone to grab. The tattoo'd woman steps towards the entrance with a dark, yet very determined expression on her features; girl looks like she's on a mission today. Seeing Beatrix, she nods to her and waits for the others to arrive. Seeing Carla as well, she nods politely, "Howdy, ah'm Jolene.", she offers, and that's about it.
"I'm pleased to meet you and eager to see how you run things." Carla extends a hand to the woman. "Sorry I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Carla."
Beatrix beams her smile to the others. "Correct I am Beatrix. Beat for short!" she says with a cheery tone to Carla. The others getting a smile as well. "This is not going to be fun. Some very weird things have been happening of late so we may want to tread lightly and quietly while we are finding our way down. I have brought some Molotovs in case we need something a bit more damaging than gun fire." she adds in hushed words.
Guess who stopped and got holy water earlier in the week? Alora! She wasn't too terribly sure if it would help, but she's got it either way. The teal haired woman is dressed in jeans, t-shirt and her vest strapped on as well. Seth has also arrived with her and the two unpack their gear from the trunk of her car before heading in.
Carla raises an eyebrow. "Oh so it's this kind of mission. Set it on fire and hope it works." Carla smiles to Beatrix. "Hello Beat. You know I don't usually say this kind of thing but I'm sure we will get along well." She nods. "Alright. I'll try and be careful at least. I'll do my best. I fully understand the risks that are involved with this." Carla gives Alora and Jolene a wave. "And hello Jolene. I'm sure you overheard."
The Retired Navy Seal is stuffing what some probably will think of insane items into one of his leg pouches. Ladies Kotex Pads. Whistling idly to himself, where there is normally a cheerful friendly male expression. Ludlow’s is that of concentration, and there's a faint furrow in his brow over something. He checks his backpack a moment and frowns. Shuffling something within he nods looking satisfied if grim. It's sealed back up and he swipes black camo across the high points of his face in a well-practiced maneuver, a mid-shade of gray goes in between the black stripes. He's in all dark BDU's with nothing identifying what he was and is. Beatrix gets a nod at the soft whisper on the breeze. Carla gets a raised eyebrow and a little wince forms on his face before it's gone again. Jolene gets the most serious appraisal thus far. "Ludlow." Is offered up to the group that doesn't know him yet. He is local PD as well after all.
Beatrix turns more smiles to the other new arrivals. "Last time we were here the best we could do was bury it and any cultists that didn't run away. Or at least seal off one of the exits. Do not know if there is another way out but I'm pretty certain the demon is still down there. We should expect undead. There has been some activity like that with the cult that summoned raised or whatever they did with this thing. If everyone has what they need, shall we get moving? No time like the present, oui?" she says with that way too perky tone for the situation.
Jolene nods to Carla politely and then looks over at Alora as she arrives. Another nod is given and she glances towards Ludlow, her own eyes appraising him seriously. She does not smile though offers, "Jolene..", her accent thickly Texan. "Yeh, watch out fer zombies..", she adds. "Just hittem' real hard, hips seemed'ta work.." Although as Beatrix speaks perkily, she tilts her head slightly and then reaches for her 45. "Alright. I am ready whenever y'all are."
Alora looks to the others and the ones she's not met, "Alora." the woman rasps out. That would be why the woman doesn't talk a lot. Because it's a lot of work. She gives a look over to Seth who has accompanied them, just to make sure he's got things together.
Anya comes walking up to the entrance to the tunnel at an easy pace, having left her motorcycle parked a short distance off. She's in a black jacket, all pockets, blue jeans and black hiking boots, with her hair pulled back off her face into a tight bun. There's likely a vest under the jacket, and she's carrying a backpack, fingers fiddling with it on approach. The corner of her mouth raises into a crooked smile as she nods around, "Hello!" she greets the others, gaze lingering longer on those she doesn't know, then swings her backpack off her shoulders and opens it up to fetch things from within. "I'm Dr. Joshi. If anyone's injured... just yell medic or something."
Slips on his bulletproof vest and grabs his pack to slip on his back. Next he pulls his shotgun from the trunk and checks the chamber before nodding towards Alora. A smile follows and then he falls in beside her while looking over the rest of the group and giving a slight salute with the shotgun, "Seth."
The access to the tunnel has been opened by the surveillance team once they were told the Hunters were coming. The corkscrew 'door' placed to one side on the ground next to the hole that drops twenty feet down to the tunnel floor. Thankfully there is a ladder in the wall. There is no sign of the surveillance teams itself though...they must have resumed station overwatching the ruined mansion.
Beatrix makes her way down that ladder with everyone else, slinging her shotgun into her bag briefly to free up her hands. Once both feet are back on more solid ground while underground she draws that shotgun again and holds it ready while she moves. Doing her best to keep quiet though she does have a little extra difficulty with all the stuff in her bag. A peak inside showing Molotov cocktails and extra ammunition for a variety of weapons aside from that shotgun in hand.
Jolene's eyes glance over at Anya and she nods to her, "Pleased ta meetcha..", she says with a nod of her head. A glance towards Alora and Seth is given and she nods to them too. Gun drawn, she looks ready to go in and then looks over at Beatrix, she gives a little grin, just a little one. Stepping towards the access to the tunnel then, she begins to proceed to enter and heads down the ladder as well. Waiting at the base, she searches the area while she waits for the others to come down, giving a protective perimeter.
The ladder leads to an earthen walled tunnel that leads in only one direction - towards the caves and ruined mansion. An old lantern hangs on a hook in one wall and there are shelves where once were stored flashlights but the Hunters have their own this time. The straight tunnel leads off into silent, cold darkness.
"If you're good I'll yell Doc." That's Ludlow’s brand of humor in these situations. His own armor is triple checked, and his NVG's tested briefly before mounting them on his helmet. His helmet of course goes on his head. Military Types, right? His weapon flashlight is tested and the sights checked one more time. He borrowed an M14EBR from the armory for the night. It gets slung across the SEALs chest and he too steps over to the ladder access. Once he can he shimmies down it in a practiced manner. "Use light discipline." Is murmured for the group. After a moment he explains. "Do NOT... follow the instinct to point it all the way down the tunnel. Keep it low like ten feet in front of you low. Try not to look directly at it either, saves your eyes from losing all their dark vision."
Carla follows Beatrix down the ladder. "Be careful not to drop anything!" She says a little worriedly in a whisper as she slowly climbs down. Once she comes down she pulls out a large caliber handgun from her bag. When in Rome right? "So here we are...the belly of the beast. She says trying to get a read on the area. She glances at Ludlow and nods. "Understood." she says simply.
Beatrix starts leaving a trail of glow sticks. The girl letting out the softest chuckle. "Sorry about the dark. I kinda blew up the generator they had powering the lights." she whispers and points her flash light up at some of the globes left inert and powerless overhead and along the walls. "That or let the monster have a chance at getting out."
Alora doesn't say anything else as they go. She was keeping her voice for if she needed it. She slings her shotgun over her shoulder and head down the ladder. She gives a nod to Ludlow as he reminds them about light discipline.
Anya gets an MP5 out of her pack and wears it on a sling, taking a moment to adjust it across her shoulder and chest as she watches the others begin to descend. Thus equipped, not counting whatever else is in her pack and under her jacket, and after some rustling and clicking as she gives her gear one final, cursory check, she tags behind the others. "Doc's alright." she smirks in Ludlow's direction, making a face and shrugging as if in mock doubt of her own abilities. Once she's down the ladder, she hoists up her weapon, turns her flashlight on, and looks to the others, waiting.
Jolene glances at the others as they come down, and then looks over at Beatrix as she already heads off. Following along, she lowers her flashlight in one hand, and keeps her 45 lifted in the other, down the pathway. Normally, the Texan is talkative, but today she's rather quiet. She keeps her eyes forward, narrowed slightly as she observes for any sign of movement.
France leads the way...is not heard often but in this case it is Beatrix who is at point and placing glowsticks on the muddy floor of the tunnel. Jolene behind her, the others soon sorting themselves out how they will. They are about a hundred yards along, after turning a slight corner, that the glowstick illuminates a spent 5.5mm cartridge...and then another. Soon there are enough to be crunching underfoot.
"Oh. Oh god." Ludlow explains in a harsh whisper to himself. It's only -now- that he takes a good look at each of his fellow Hunters. "Shit, I'm the only actual Operator here, aren't I?" Tom sighs softly and shrugs. "Ah well, we all started somewhere. Speak now if you object me to take over point. I can use my NVG's better that way." Annnnd then there's the ammo expenditures underfoot. "That's. Not. Encouraging." Is muttered to himself. Then the SEAL finally shuts the hell up, being a Cop made him more talkative, he needs to fall back on older habits in times like these. He takes a moment here at the corner to examine the walls and the ceiling of all things.
Beatrix starts feeling metal shell casings under her boots and clinking as some get kicked about against others. When Ludlow offers to be the man in front the tiny French teenager grins and gestures to let him past. "Be my guest. If you see any undead aim for the pelvis to take out their legs." she suggests with a grin. "If you see the demon. Well I hope you have grenades." she adds.
Carla furrows her brow Ludlow. "Sorry they were a little...vague that this was for people such as you. But do know how to use this thing. And can do other things. Of course I could leave all up to you if I would prefer...Certainly wouldn't like to jeopardize this. Yep. Just leave right now on your word. You're the leader here. At least I presume."
"Be my guest." Alora offers the squid. Her eyes drift from side to side for the moment. The shells underfoot don't bother her as she carries the container of holy water. "I think those are some of the ones from us last time...can't swear on it though." she rasps.
"No grenades. Boss Lady said we're just passin' through this place, not occupyin' it." Frowning his displeasure at that, it shows Ludlow is a fan of Jayne. Tom kneels by the wall first, and removes a black cloth wrapped item from the backpack. "No, no need to leave. You learn by doin'. Look. Bottom line, you're -here-, that's enough for me. Uhm, assuming they told you first you were dealing with a blood stealing demon, right? If not, and you're not runnin' already, congratulations. You're on the road to, ah, new experiences. Tell you th' truth? Demon part is new for me too, so. There we go." Standing up he shoves it into a little alcove he spotted high on the wall near the ceiling. He makes sure it's going to stay put before he slips on his pack once again. "Fallback surprise." Tom mutters grimly in explanation, then he checks his rifle yet again before picking his footing to step by the rest of them. Crouch-walking, M14 at the ready, it's only once he's ahead of them does he drop his NVG's in place.
Alora bends down to pick one of the shells up and frowns, "No...they aren't from us..." she mumbles.
Jolene looks over at Ludlow and then arches her eyebrow slowly. She chuckles faintly beneath her breath and then also allows him by. As she feels things under her boots, she looks around at the floor below her, shining her flashlight on it a bit and then she looks forward again. Glancing at Carla's words, she arches another eyebrow curiously and then looks forward again as she steps carefully, slowly. Still Jolene remains silent, although as Ludlow mentions the Demon part, she narrows her gaze and looks a bit pissed off -- and not at him. She is staring down the tunnel and just moving with the others.
With the shotgun casually resting over his shoulder, Seth follows the group into the tunnel and pauses to look around. A soft sniff is given to the air and then he's looking to the other hunters while waiting to see what will go down.
Anya keeps as quiet as she can, which is for the best. She sticks to the rear of the group. Since the others are sweeping the path ahead, she keeps an eye elsewhere. On the walls, on the ceiling, and behind them. "I did a year of JROTC, that count?" she tosses out to Ludlow, an easy smile twisting the corner of her mouth, fading into a tense line a moment later. She looks down, steps around the casings, and takes another, longer look at their surroundings. "So who was shooting at what? Any blood?"
"And you know how that went at the start of the movie." Beatrix points out with a giggle as she lets the man move into point. "So I guess we're sticking with bullets and fire." she says with a shrug of her shoulder. "Probably any surviving cultists trying to not get killed?" she guesses with more shrugs and light clinks of glass and metal from inside her bag. "I expect they will have failed."
Alora's second statement is the correct one and shows the value of peer review...even if she was her own peer. These bullets have been recently fired. The flashlights will show the tunnel starting to break up into various smaller tunnels. All heading in the same general direction but twisting and winding through the earth. A flashlight catches a face staring at the Hunters. And when the beams return, it is still there. The blank eyes of a human face watching them. The head spattered with blood. The neck impaled on a stake.
There is little sign of blood in the earth. The severing of a head should have left some but there is nothing. Not a trace.
Because he's looking back at the group to snort towards Anya and Beatrix for scoring points back off his slightly-arrogant ass. Ludlow is rewarded by practically running into a head on a stake! It's almost a better toy than Log, only... more homicidal and creepy. "Clearly as a warning to others. Newsflash. We're the others, everyone stay frosty." There's a slight pause and a murmured. "I mean be ready. No blood under it, or I'd wager in it. Looks too pale, right Doc? So. Let's assume for safety, that it's close."
As they run into the newly spent bullets and a head on a pike, Jolene pauses and stares at the face. "I hope... this ain't the survey-lance unit...", she says softly, her accent showing through on a few words. She takes a deep breath and then looks down the path again, clearly looking for signs of well, anything. "The Demon ate'm... or his blood ah reckon.", she answers.
Carla smiles to the rest of them. "Well if that's what we have..." Carla says as she inspects the weapon. She stoops down to observe the ground. "Hm, very well. As you will." She observes the head. "Still looks quite fresh." She clicks back the hammer and takes a deep breath. "You don't have to tell me twice."
Alora just looks at the bullet for another moment and the Hunters face settles into a grim sight. She was suddenly wanting to tell everyone to get the hell out and they'd just nuke it from orbit! But, she doesn't do that. The Ludlow runs into something…literally, "Point taken, but this is our job." she murmurs to the stake. Sorry dudes!
The blonde French girl tries to not burst into giggles with Ludlow nearly bumps the disembodied head. "Sneaky time!" she suggests to everyone and thumbs the safety on her shot gun. Leaving a glow stick lit and held in her hair where it can light and look pretty at the same time so she can keep hands free and on her weapon for now as things get closer to being loud.
Anya slows down as the tunnel branches off, taking the time to survey each direction, gripping her MP-5 a little tighter and higher. She halts at the sight of the head, and lifts an eyebrow, then picks up her pace slightly to get a closer look, hunkering down right behind Ludlow. "Right. Let's assume that." she replies while examining the ground, before tilting her head low enough to get a better look at the underside of the head, actually leaning closer to coolly appraise the sort of damage responsible for the decapitation.
The head looks to have been torn off by more than one hand. Anya can even see where human sized fingers dug into the flesh to get a grip. It must have taken some strength to do that. Those who were here last time can figure out which tunnel they took then that led them to the caves. The other tunnels...they could go anywhere; they may lead to dead ends or flank the demon. About three feet into a side tunnel is a partial footprint...a bare foot at that. Human sized and deep, like it was carrying something heavy. But there are no other footprints in the rocky earth nearby.
"Yeah, stealth will be good. So uh don't point your lights on me ok? Please?" Ludlow’s tone is polite, respectful and a little pleading. It's only natural to be concerned to be backlit as food for a demon after all. He starts off slowly, NVG's roaming for Demons, things that make noise underfoot, and traps. He's thinking quietly too.
Jolene nods and then looks behind them and then forward again. She clips her flashlight to her fanny pack and then looks towards the multiple tunnels. Glancing at Beatrix, and then Ludlow, she waits to see which direction they wish to go in. Nodding slowly, she murmurs, "Stealth, yah, good idear.."
Beatrix drops the glow stick in her hair when everyone else agrees on being all stealth and stuff. Enough glow sticks have been left to find their way back so far. The last one being dropped at the fork in the path. "Yeah, okay. Getting close." she says and points towards the direction she remembers going in last time she was down here. Another glow stick thrown ahead just in the direction she indicates.
"Alright... judging by the damage here, I'd avoid engaging anything down here in hand to hand combat." Anya comments in a deadpan tone, and looks away from the head. She stays back as the others lead the way, and sweeps the ground and the other branches around them. Now that anything could come from any direction, she does her best to focus and keep alert. The footprint makes her frown, and she keeps the beam of her flashlight on it for a second. "I'm guessing the body was taken that way. Or it walked that way."
The glowstick tossed in the passage they had used last time makes the dark walls glow green. It also casts a green pall on the Plague Doctor standing there. His long beaked face looking in their direction. His long cloak tattered and torn and showing dry, shrivelled flesh beneath. It takes a step back into the darkness.
Knife to Throat Combat is something Ludlow excels at, so to hear from the Doc to avoid it is a matter of concern. He's pointed in the right direction, so he tries to ignore that ominous bare footprint and concentrates on the job. Failure is not an option for him. He wants to live. He'd also like his new friends to live, surprisingly. He must be getting soft in his old age. "I'll try not to trip over the body-ooohkaayyy. That's a new thing." Ludlow’s M14 comes up to center on the Plague Doctor... only to have it fade back into darkness.
Alora keeps her flashlight low and the shotgun the same way, she had some combat training it would seem. Then her eyes look to the group. Sweeping over the girls and what they are doing. Then she looks to Ludlow and Seth and then there's a sharp look to the shadows. Oh hell no. "Ugh..." she mutters. More of them.
Beatrix just shakes her head as the landing glow stick illuminates the Plague Doctor. "Rush it!" she suggests to the others ahead of her while she shuffles and makes sure her shotgun isn't aimed at any one except the plague doctor. "Don't let it get away to warn anyone or thing!" she says in rushed and hushed whispers!
Seth lifts his weapon and then says to the group, "I'll guard the entrance... Make sure it’s clear for a retreat if needed. Yell back if you need anything." With that the tattooed hunter sprints off in the direction they entered the tunnel from.
Carla smiles back at Seth. "Thank you Seth. A great idea." she takes a deep breath and levels her big honking pistol and homes that this Ludlow fellow has it covered. She looks back at the exit then bites her lip then forward to Ludlow and Alora to see what they're doing.
Beatrix doesn't wait for the others once she suggests rushing the thing. The girl dashes forwards and goes for an attempt to knock the plague doctor down when it disappears into the darkness. "Stay right where you are!" she says in a grunted breath whether it can hear her or not. Whether or not and most likely not hitting.
Cursing under his breath Ludlow takes off after the refugee from Beetlejuice, and Beatrix. Only he has the aid of his NVG's to keep sight on the man in darkness. Leaping past Beatrix, Ludlow’s football days come back into play. The former linebacker brings down the figure, but just barely. "Normally this is where I slit your throat, but since that helps your overlord. I'll settle for crushing your balls with my bare hand."
The Plague Doctor attempts to wriggle free of Ludlow's grip, despite his witty banter and exciting offer. But the TFV agent can feel how frail the creature is under those robes. So thin. So light. It has no hope.
Another Plague Doctor emerges from a tunnel near Anya, looming out of the darkness in almost total silence. It reaches out with almost skeletal fingers towards the TFV doctor and the tips peel back to reveal wriggling worm like veins that emerge.
Seeing the strange cultists and Ludlow go and pin one, Jolene spies one reaching for Anya. She races forward and does a sweeping motion with her leg behind its while stepping forward and coming down landing on the guy. She grapples him with a headlock and wraps a leg so it can't move and just holds it there, "Y'all need t'not move now, y'here?", she growls lowly.
Another tunnel, another Plague Doctor. This one's cloak is frayed to almost nothingness and it reveals the desiccated, almost skeletal body beneath. Pale to almost invisibility save for something red inside the carcass where the heart would normally be. It reaches out for Alora.
Anya's creeping along, with her knees bent and her body low. Things happen fast. As the other hunters rush ahead, she shoulders her MP-5, the beam of her flashlight sweeping up ahead across the tangle of limbs around the creature. Then there's something at her side, but she largely catches sight of it when Jolene rushes by and tackles it to the ground. It startles the doctor, enough that she jerks back from them, the barrel of her weapon hesitating. That's when she sees the third one, and any thoughts of stealth drain along with the blood from her face. She depresses the trigger, and a very short burst of bullets rips from her weapon and thumps lightly into the thing. The loud report echoes down the tunnels.
Anya's bullet whizzing past Alora's head makes the teal haired Hunter spin on her heels. The thing in back of her gets a look and her lips peel back in disgust as she raises the shotgun and blasts the thing, the dust explodes like someone throwing a balloon filled with it and the soft sounds of it hitting the floor can be heard, "I'll take that hand on the way out." she rumbles out.
Carla sighs and then grips her pistol heading towards the nearest plague doctor trying to slam the handle of the weapon into the thing's head. It was a big heavy pistol. Had a bit of weight to it and she slams it into him but it wasn't hard enough for that thing apparently.
Beatrix figures the cat is out of the bag with that shot. And with the first PB zombie just going poof in a cloud of dust she just levels her shotgun at the downed dead thing's head, warning Ludlow to move aside before she pulls the trigger and gets a resounding heap of nothing. The shotgun jamming on her with a mutter of 'Merde' under her breath as she steps back to start clearing said jam.
"So much for Stealth." Ludlow grunts, as he takes a look around. He's blinking against the faint and rapid brightening of the tunnel from the muzzle flashes. He wasn't looking directly at them anyways. But first, wrestling match! He growls in effort against the Plague Doctor. "You need new perspective of vision." Ludlow manages to maintain control, then the SEAL lunges upwards grabs the things head and gives a very professional twist snapping its neck like a dry dusty twig. Which coincidentally puts its eyes looking behind it at such an impossible angle for the living.
Trying to concentrate on her desiccated corpselike remains and keep it immobile, Jolene glances around, and seeing the other two down, she grits her teeth and puts some effort into breaking its neck. It's hard to break someone's neck that it seems, and she struggles with it a bit, but eventually there's that tell-tale -snap-, and Jolene slowly rolls away to rise and dust herself off. "Well, ah'm reckonin' we should high-tail it there..." She re-arms herself and takes the safety off, looking at the others to see if they want to do anything else. "Should we sever their heads?", she asks mildly.
The Plague Doctor that Alora and Anya shot is now a cloud of dust in one tunnel. The only remnants are its clothes and some strange organic glob of red that rests on the robe. It is about the same size of a heart. The other two, their necks snapped, lay on the ground and slowly turn to dust. Again save for the red globule that is in their chests.
Alora looks down to the pile of dust and frowns. Whatever. She then turns back in enough time to see Ludlow snap a neck and there's a soft nod of approval. Alright then. "Yeah, need to move." she states in a strained tone. She looks to the others that lay on the ground, "Wonder what the red thing is." she mutters.
Beatrix clears the jam and cranks the lever on the shotgun, ejecting the shell that was part of said jam. Discarding it and slipping a hand into her bag to set a new fresh shell into the weapon along the way she shrugs her shoulder. "Probably just easier to have their heads stomped and crushed now." she says and shrugs her shoulders. A poke with her bootclad toe at the globule gets a curious hmm. "Anyone wanna take that thing with us. See what it is. Bet it's what is making the dead move."
As one thing goes down to gunfire, and the others go down to snapped necks, Anya cocks her head towards Ludlow and gives him a shrug and an apologetic look, "Sorry about the stealth." she mutters, then eyes the thing on the ground, crooking her nose. "I might grab one on our way out... with gloves. I don't want to catch whatever these three had." she notes, shrugs and straightens up, mouthing a 'Thanks.' to Jolene while preparing to continue down the tunnel.
Staring at the man that turned to dust Ludlow mumbles. "Well that's different." Some things he just hasn't experienced yet. This is FORT's usual territory. He peers at the red globule. "Uhm. Not sure if we should crush, bury, leave or take. No wait, don't smash it. It's probably filled with blood... though that would lead us to the demon. But probably make it stronger." He gets up and dusts the Plague Doctor off him. Then checks his weapon and pulls it up on the sling once more preparing to be on the move asap once more. "Shit happens, Doc. We're all alive, we're all in weird Indian country. So don't sweat it. Anyone hurt, other than our pride?" Maybe that girl had a point before, maybe they do need someone to say the things Leaders say. "Deep breath. Move out." He puts actions to words, crouch walking ahead of them once more NVG's firmly in place to scout ahead. Hopefully The Predator isn't down here.
Jolene gives Anya a hat tip with a non-existent hat, she wouldn't bring her precious hat to this kind of event. Stepping towards the red globule thing that remained after the creatures turned to dust, she hmms and crouches to look at it without touching. She's still studying it when Ludlow says 'Move out' and turns her head to glance at him. Nodding, she rises smoothly and with her gun in hand, safety off, she moves to follow after, "These puppets, hope there ain't more."
Alora looks to the thing in the cultist’s chest and she gives a soft 'huh' and then she looks to Ludlow, "He's not far off." she states with a nod of her head. "Sorta powering them. We should smash the ones we don't take with us for research." she states.
Beatrix ponders what those things she just nudged with a toe might be. "I have no idea." she says with a scrunch of her features and a shrug of her shoulders. "If we survive and killing the demon doesn't destroy it sure. Setting herself in step with the others she readies herself to keep moving closer to their intended target.
Ludlow leads the way into the darkness...though his NVG make short work of that. He gets to see a green glowing tunnel which branches off in many directions but there are those in the group who can guide him towards the cave. There is no chanting echoing around the earthen walls this time. No dark ritual being conducted. It is all too late for that. Instead they see the red glow of flames on the wall as they approach the entrance to the caves. And the smell...sulfur and decay.
Nodding to Alora and Beatrix at their words, Jolene nods in a silent agreement. She follows Ludlow then into the darkness, moving slowly and carefully since the safety is off of her 45. At the smell of sulfur and decay, she pauses briefly and murmurs a prayer beneath her breath, one that she was taught in situations like this. Might not hurt to have a little God on their side.
Anya concurs with a nod, glancing at the bodies, then at Alora, "Right, best not take the blood bags with us to meet the demon if that's what they are..." she murmurs as she tags along the rear with the others, keeping a close eye on the various branching tunnels, now that it's obvious there are these things out there. Her nostrils flare in distaste at the smell. There's no prayer on her lips. She draws a deep breath and adjusts her grip on her weapon, looking to Ludlow, waiting.
Carla stoops down to observe the wounds of the plague doctor. She makes a face at the spell and lingers behind for a moment to satisfy her scientific curiosity. She pokes a little hole into the creature with a syringe, getting just a tiny sample before heading back with the others. "Seems the creature altered their entire system. Interesting..."
"Leaving them there was the best option." Ludlow murmurs softly. Once the flames become apparent ahead, he snaps the NVG's up and onto his helmet. He turns towards the others and waves to get their attention. Putting his finger to his lips in the ancient sign for STFU, including himself in that SHHHH gesture. Then points towards where he sees the red glow. He nestles the borrowed M14 to his shoulder and once again, trying to be as stealthy as possibly, crouches forwards to see what he can see.
Beatrix chuckles as the others decide what to do. The small little blonde looking back and just for the heck of it, drops another glow stick a little further ahead in their travels.. "So, wonder how many of these things we'll find. Least if they dust they won't make much mess" she says but soon goes quiet when Ludlow gestures for a little shush for now. Nearly party time after all.
Anya nods to Ludlow, and keeps quiet. Letting him handle the red glowing cavern ahead, or perhaps just not too eager to show herself, she shifts her body to keep a watch behind them, on the dark tunnels full of creeping things.
Jolene goes silent at Ludlow's gesture and she crouches slightly as she attempts to slowly approach the chamber every-so-slowly. Her eyes are narrowed and there is a fire in her eyes that nearly mirrors the fire in the chamber. Clenching her jaw, she lifts up a hand and pulls out her crucifix that she was wearing beneath her clothing to let it shine openly.
The tunnel opens out into a vast cave that glows red...though there isn't a fire in sight. Clumps of robes and other clothing litter the floor where Plague Doctors were drained of their sustenance. Sitting on a ledge in the center is a massive humanoid creature. Its scaly skin looks like rough granite. Huge leathery wings are curled up on its back. It faces the other way from the Hunters yet, in a deep rumbling voice, it says, "Are you all that they sent? I was hoping to dine a little longer than what you can offer. But perhaps you will be enough for me to finally escape this prison." Slowly it stands, easily fifteen feet tall, before turning to face them. "Come to your death then. The sooner I am free, the better."
Beatrix comes to a stop right as she sees the demon and he outright challenges the group. With a shake of her head the tiny thing just simply says. "Nope!" she aims with that shotgun. The trigger getting pulled with a loud crack as buckshot flies towards the demon. Time to find out if guns actually work on this thing.
The shotgun blast slams into the hard skin of the demon and do put a dent...but Pha hardly seems bothered and even makes a dramatic action of flicking away the pellets. "You I will feast on last."
At least it's not Pennywise! "No. You won't." Ludlow states very factually as he calmly and professionally raises the M14 up to sight. The SEAL squeezes the trigger nailing his target in the face so very shortly later... and barely dents it. "Ok well. This is why I might normally ask to kill it with fire, but demon and fire may not work?" But he knows something that will, and it's clipped to his belt... as a last resort.
Jolene enters the cavern and glares at the Demon, and immediately she lifts her gun and rapid-fires at it. She runs to the side a bit so that they are not all clustered and frowns as her gunfire seems to have little to no effect. "Shit..", she growls beneath her breath. "Go back to hell!", she shouts at it, angryangryangry.
The thing speaks, and everyone starts shooting. Anya takes a moment to flinch, pivots to face it with her best game face on, lifts her MP-5 and depresses the trigger with a slight nervous jerk, holding it down and sending a brief barrage of fire downrange against the stone-skinned fiend, her aim climbing to thump a few shots uselessly onto the wall. "Don't suppose tranquilizers will work on that thing?" she hisses under her breath, narrowing her eyes at the effect her rounds have on the demon, or lack thereof.
Alora follows after them rest of them, flashlight and shotgun pointed down for the moment. She didn't want to blind someone. But she was sure that the thing still knew they were coming. She stops once they are in the cave and her eyes flash in the red light. When the winged creature turns to them she whistles low, "You are still ugly as ever." she chuckles as she aims the shotgun. "Eat some blessed lead you ugly mutt." she states as she pulls the trigger! BLAMMO!
Carla fires the large pistol that's almost a bit big for her small hands, the guns cocks back from the massive amount of recoil as a bullet wizzes by the demon. She widens her eyes when she realizes that demon is still breathing. Still moving. And it was about to do something about as terrible as one could expect. Her wrists shakes slightly but she grips that large honking pistol tight and levels her gaze at the target as she prepares for the worst.
Pha Q'Poran thinks he will be laughing his way through yet another encounter with puny humans...until Alora's shotgun blast leaves a nasty hole in it. The flesh and blood of the demon still sizzling from the impact when it turns its greedy glare at Alora. "You will suffer, bitch" it rumbles before tendrils whip from its body, their serrated heads cutting through the Huntress' armour and her flesh. And then her blood streams from the wound and flies through the air to smear over the demon's hide. Its wounds start to knit over...
Again the demon strikes, cutting at its new plaything, Alora's blood helping it heal once more. "You should run while you can" it laughs at the other Hunters.
Beatrix sees the effect Alora's holy water infused shotgun rounds do to the demon. Which gives her an idea. With a quick dash to Alora as she takes that second hit she hunkers down. "May I borrow this?" she asks and grabs the container of holy water. The bag of hers is slung around and opened for a spritzing of holy water over everything. Clips, shells, the Molotov rags, the ammo in her own shot gun. Even any clips brought to her while she's working and trying to stretch the bottle out. Hopefully a little goes along way. While working she keeps an eye on the injured Alora. "Can you move?" she says darting eyes between the teal haired woman and the demon that's healing from her blood.
Things are not going so well... and while ordinarily he'd think Holy Water was a hilarious idea. He did just observe it work. "ShitShitShitShitShit..." He thumbs the mag release and catches it in his hand. Turning towards Alora, he finds Beatrix has beat him to the idea. So he just sticks his mag under the flowing water coming off of her stuff. "Medic! Hey Doc commere, this looks nasty." He's reloading his mag and putting his eyes back on the demon. "Put pressure on it, hard and painful. The pain in this case is a good thing."
Anya's widening eyes track the tendrils flicking through the air, blinking shut as they plunge right through Alora's armor. "Damn it." she curses the demon redundantly, and springs into motion, hurrying towards the injured woman's side. While in motion, she hoists the submachine gun and holds the trigger down, spraying off another dozen rounds at the fiend. Most of them hit their mark, but she can't even be sure of that, for all the effect they seem to have on her target. "Shit..."
"Oh I probably will, but I'll be walking out of here, might take a piece of you with me." Alora rasps out as she aims the shotgun at the fifteen foot tall monster. "I'm fine guys, just some scrapes. Dowse your ammo in the holy water and then light this thing up!" she shouts to the others and then pulls the trigger. Blasting another chunk out of the huge demon.
Carla winces at the backfire again. "Aw...shit." is the only thing she can mutter as she just chips that awful thing and he sees its tendrils flickering about. She stumbles back slightly and bites she lip as her hands begin to ache from that recoil. Carla takes in another deep breath. In then out as she looks on at the horror unfolding in front of her.
The demon hisses at the gunfire...particularly Alora's blessed rounds...and its tendrils lash out at the French woman arming herself with holy water. They coil around Beatrix's throat and pierce the flesh, sending more blood shooting across the space between them and healing the wounds of Pha Q'Poran.
Beatrix shudders as the demon coils around that throat, her own blood being soaked up. Even while it it's almost choking her she lifts the shotgun and barely squeezes out. "You know. I think you were right! You did eat me last!" she coughs before pulling the trigger on her now holy water infused shotgun shells. A loud crack leaving the weapon.
Beatrix's newly sanctified round...as roughly blessed as they are...blasts the demon's head into a million pieces. The remainder of the body shivers, wobbles and suddenly collapses into a cloud of dust. It swirls in the windless cavern before it thins into nothingness. The red glow ceases and the cavern is plunged into darkness.
Carla runs up to see the remains of the demon. She needed to know if there was anything left but after looking she turns back. "Is...is it done with then. Seemed to take a lot of...well bullets. The shotgun seemed to do the trick though." She smiles lightly. "The only question regarding that is....well...now what."
Beatrix drops to sit on her ass in the dark when the demon dies. A hand at her bloodied neck. The girl chuckling and grinning at Alora. "I could kiss you and your dog for bringing the holy water!" she says and starts picking herself up off the ground. "Think it would have taken a lot longer without that stuff!" she says while slipping the shotgun in her bag and slinging it over her shoulder again. "Let’s get out of here." she says to everyone.
After soaking his rounds and reloading, Ludlow brings his weapon back on target in the next move. Only the target thankfully vaporizes. He breathes a long low sigh of relief. Suicide isn't on his high list of priorities. So he plucks up what little he can of the demons head to take back to the Boss Lady. Maybe he’ll get her phone number... or a fist to the face. "Dunno about the rest of you but I vote we get the fuck out if there’s nothing else right here." He's not even going to think about the It route and wonder if it’s really gone.
Alora watches Beatrix blow the head off of the demon and there's a nod of approval. That a girl. She looks down to her vest that's messed up and sighs, "I liked this one." she mutters. She doesn't even bother with medics. She goes over to the monster and starts collecting things. "We should probably make sure no one can find the bodies or burn this." she states in a strained tone.
Anya's been holding her breath, other than for letting out expletives, wincing as she sees the tendrils shoot for Beatrix this time. She exhales in relief as that shot rings out and the demon finally collapses. It's still no time to relax, and she only gradually lowers her weapon, in case it gets up again. Safety off, albeit reluctantly, she looks around. "Just like those aliens in that movie." she mutters, and after a moment to recover her breath she looks to Alora, turning her flashlight on the other woman for a quick assessment of her injuries. "Right. If you can walk... I think we can get a better look at these once we're outside. I don't want to know what's in the air in this place..."
The Society for the Uplifting of Humanity oversaw the clean-up of the location. The remains of the cultists, the surveillance team and scraps of demon were gathered and distributed among the Hunter groups. Not to mention the souvenirs the actual Hunting party took as they left. But not every piece was found. How could it be after the demon was blown apart and then turned into dust? So as the Hazmat suit clad Hunters set the explosives to cleanse the area, they can’t be blamed for missing the throbbing gristle no bigger than a centimeter across. It does arouse the interest of a cockroach though as it scuttles around the demon meat. The insect pays for it curiosity. A tendril lashing out from the remnant to draw it into the tiny mass that consumes it an instant. The lump sprouts legs and disappears into a crack in the stone floor just as the napalm is ignited.