A Messy Business

Scene played out on 29th March 2012 between the GM (David-Visage) and Mystic Kitsune's player.

«Scene Starts»

The sun had not long sunk below the horizon, its light yet lingering even as the city lit up slowly with its own artifical alternatives, when a figure slipping through the growing shadows stopped as something caught her attention.

Mystic Kitsune had quickly grown used to the 'suggested' patrols, to darting across town in wide and varying circuits as she became more used to her powers and her enhanced body, since she had started the week before. It had felt surprisingly good to push herself, to avoid notice of the oblivious people, and to find the odd nooks to rest in and open herself to the city.

Normally there was a rhythm to the city, to the elements which she could percieve in glimpses or snatches of sound. Some parts varied between harmonious sprays of colors, other places were akin to heavy metal ballads, but there was a sense to them which she'd enjoyed.

This, however, hit her senses with all the subtlety of being rubbed face first in vomit and was 'wrong' in ways she couldn't define. Earth rebelled, water tried to push itself apart, and on an instinctive level she felt that something horrible was where it should not be.

The direction, however, was harder to make out as her stomach twisted from the 'stench'.

Mystic Kitsune was finally getting used to the new routine. At least somewhat. It felt really good to be let out, but the form was still a little disconcerting when she transformed. Like changing from one suit to another, but this included her skin and senses. Once she got to listen to the elements again though, she could finally relax, and slip right into the role she'd been forced into.

Nothing seemed to reach the feeling of ease as she walked into the evening. That sensation to be in harmony with the elements, to hum to their tunes as she went along.

But this was somethign else. "Urk." The feeling stopped her in her tracks, holding one hand over her mouth to stop her meal from coming up. "Oh my god." She leaned against a wall, trying to stay up as the nausea rose. "Gh. What the hell is that?" It all felt so different, so WRONG!

Stone, in the form of concrete, sang a quiet but deep reassurance under her hands. Nothing was wrong here, all was fine… but further away she could taste, smell, or perhaps hear something of the same element doing the equivilent of screaming about 'Bad touch! Bad touch!'.

Frustratingly it was the sense of smell which was the most directional and, without trying, she could tell it was somewhere ahead and to the left… but the distance was impossible to make out.

"What's wrong now?" She asked herself as she tried to continue forward, holding herself up against the wall. Was this one of the disturbances? Even junkyards didn't have this kind of strong smell. It was so tempting to just pinch her nose for some relief, but as she did, the directions started to blur even more. Biting her lips, she let her nose lead the way as she quickenned her pace. The next corner was coming up soon.

A walk became a hustle, became a run, became an effortless sprint as the magic girl found herself unconsciously stepping up the pace and doing her best to 'track by scent'. Darting across a road, the motion overlooked by a few careless passersby, it was easy to let her body's reflexes take over and to allow her body to move.

That she found herself baring her teeth and not quite going down onto all fours hardly helped matters though as the scent became clearer and, if not worse, then at least more pronounced. One block over then a second and now there was a definite place ahead where her target lay…

But did she really want to rush immediately in?

Mystic Kitsune barely felt the hunter instinct kick in as she ran. From the horrible stench, to the feeling of danger, something just clicked. She had to hurry. She barely felt the last few miles that had gone by. But as she reached the destination, instinct pulled her back just enough.

As if she was following a prey, she sneaked a peek in first, trying not to startle it off. She couldn't just jump into the melee. That's how you got killed, right? So with one eye and one ear peekign around the corner, she took the first glance…

At first glance the alley seemed empty of anything of interest, a dumpster off to one side sitting open with some garbage bags piled on top of each other against its side. Yet something made her not just look but Look, taking it in with the eyes of a magic girl who defended and a kitsune who knew illusions.

It was like one of those magic eye pictures where, just by looking at it in the proper way, something leapt out of a mass of nonsense into clear view. The piles bags were not bags at all, but a large slug-like form which was hunched over the dumpster and doing something in there with amophous arms. And, before, the hoarse begging from within the dumpster had somehow gone unheard.

The creature shook off a piece of itself into the dumpster, something carrying -that- stench splattering on the inside and oozing down within, and for a moment the cries choked off in a wet gurgle before coming back more frantically.

Then it repeated the action.

Mystic Kitsune covered her ears at first as she heard the scream, the sound of horrors grating at her eardrums. It was horrible to witness. What was that thing doing? Why was it disturbing the elements like that? Why? As she asked herself, something sparked within her. She couldn't just stay back there and let it go on. As a magical girl, it was her duty to protect the balance here, and she

Mystic Kitsune could do something about it.

As she turned arond the corner, she held one hand up, snapped her fingers, creating a spark of fire in her palm, and she called out with authority. "YOU THERE! STOP THAT!"

The creature less turned and more reoriented itself, it's 'head' holding only a round hole for a mouth and so seemingly undisturbed by tilting it back so that it was no longer bent over the dumpster but now 'facing' the magic girl.

"Please wait." It requested in a slow, deep, and almost mornful voice, "We can deal with you afterward finishing our duties and find a nice place for you to rest."

Mystic Kitsune kept the flame held back, her sense coming back to her now that she faced it, and she had another shot of nausea coming to her. She swallowed, and kept her composure. "Place to… What the hell are you doing? Who are you?"

Something inside the Mystic Kitsune screamed that she had made a mistake, that danger was here, and the creature somehow gave an impression of a smile despite having a ring toothed maw rather than any other features upon it's 'face'.

"I am Returned To The Soil." The creature announced in that same slow and solemn voice, the words falling upon the magic girl like a sudden weight. There was a wet sound from the dumpster and then gurgling choking screams from within as something rose up from inside and washed over the alley in a minor flood.

The substance, a nauseating grey-green mud, tried to cling to her shoes but the elemental of fire within her flared of its own accord around her feet and the 'liquid' retreated. As that happened the monster, sounding disinterested as it moved forwards, added, "And you shall give back to the earth…"

Mystic Kitsune shuddered as she felt the weight over her. What had she done? Wincing under her first big mistake, she listened to her instincts, and cut the small talk. "Not today. I've got way too much to do." Stepping away from the flood, she focussed on the fire in her hands, and quickly launched it at the creature. "Eat this! Fox fire!"

Flame struck what could charitably be called 'waterlogged soil' as Returned raised an arm in a vague gesture of defence, causing a hiss of steam but no real visible sign as its 'flesh' flowed over the dried out patch. There was no real space to step which wasn't covered by the flood, at least to some degree, but a little of her fox fire lingered around and reduced the patches beneath her feet to merely 'slippery footing'.

Judging by how a nearby -actual- trashbag was dissolving at a fast enough rate that it could be mistaken for sinking into quicksand this was a very good thing.

"Please, relax." Returned said as he clumsily tried to catch the quick moving girl, "You can lay down and rest…"

"AIE!" The magical girl squeaked as she ducked under the slimy arm. Looking about, she whinced as she saw how little footing she actually had The last thing she wanted was to end up like that bag. "Oooohhh no. I'm not ready to rest." She lit another fireball between her hands, and launched it at the creature's teeth. "Not your kind of rest at least," she said before bounding to one side, clinging on the pipe, and makign her way up. She had to get away from that corrupted water.

The pipe creaked slightly, and for the moment it seemed to support her, but other things occupied her attention as she saw her flame blossom as it entered the monster's head… and exit the back in a shower of steam, goo, and greenish mud without appreciably impeding the creatures attempts to get closer.

From the higher vantage point though Mystical Kitsune could see into the dumpster for the first time and that was something she almost immediately regretted. Inside she could see three heads, people buried up to their necks in the 'mud' within, and two of them were frantically trying to keep breathing despite the level of that liquid -matter- being high enough to cause them problems.

One was succeeding albeit barely. The next bore exposed patches of flesh on his cheeks where something had seemingly eaten away the skin and was managing to snatch a breath or two. And the third head was mostly exposed bone with horribly intact eyes looking this way and that in desperation…

"WAAAAAHHHH!" The girl screamed at the horrors she was peering into, and clung on the pipe as hard as she could. Was THIS what this creature was doing? Snuffing people down an inch at a time? How horrible! What a monster! "Hoollllyyyy…" As she looked back at the creature, a sense of duty started to come back again, any hesitation she had was evaporating. She had to stop the creature NOW! "You monster…"

"Rest, you say, go back to the earth, you say." She pulled her legs up, looking down at it. "You're just going to snuff us out, aren't you? Well, I don't think so." She gracefully leapt from her perch, over the worm, and landed on the lip of the dumpster bin. "On my name of Mystic Kitsune…" She spun around as she stood up, four balls of fire erupting from her. "I'll show you the strength of my fire, the strenght of LIFE!"

Standing with negligent ease on the lip of the dumpster, her tails flared out behind her for balance, and with the eager flame in her hands the magic girl presented an impressive sight indeed. Later she might realise the sort of view she was giving the trapped victims beneath her, but for now she could understand why the earth was protesting its abuse by this creature and she could feel the weight which had slowed and impeded her falling away.

Here was an unnatural perversion of the elements, of the earth forced to take the living back into itself piece by piece rather than graciously helping the dead let go of their former bodies.

The worm creature, Returned, flipped it's head back over as it had before and reversed direction as it tried to approach her. Already the wet mud near to her was starting to dry out under the heat of the flames but it still tried to address her, "You just have to be a good girl and you can get a nice soft place to rest?"

"I'll rest when I'm done!" She claimed, now more confident than ever. "And I've got a lot of work to do. Why don't you be a good worm, and go back from wher eyou came from, ashes to ashes." She spun around once more, flaring the fire before it, before leaping low on the solid ground, and launching the flames at the creature up close. "FOX FIRE!"

The sound it made this time, as the fire hit struck its arm, was high and loud enough to offer a headache if heard again. It also hurt in a physical way as the creature screeched and the arm, now as hard as dried mud, fell away only to shatter upon the ground as it thrashed.

Yet that motion almost concealed the way it whipped its other arm around and a blob of its substance came free headed straight towards Mystic Kitsune.

Mystic Kitsune was almost too happy to see the effectiveness of her flame to notice the flailling arm. She barely had time to hold her arms up, and call out: "Runic Wall!"

Concrete cracked, mud fell away, and a solid monolith of stone surged up from deep beneath the earth in answer to the magic girl's call. This was not the tainted soil, so carefully 'nurtured' in the dumpster by the monster, but good honest rock emblazoned with glowing runes of protection and strength. Against that the projectile was about as effective as a snowball against a cliff face.

Mystic_Kitsune openned one eye carefully as she felt the rock come in place, and let a sigh of relief. That was a little too close. There was no use to keep this going on any longer. The people in the dumpster were still decomposing. Lighting another ball of fire, she leapt on top of the rock wall she'd formed, looking down at the beast. "Can't handle the heat?" She held her hands out. "Well here comes so much more."

"Oh Element of Fire! I decree thee a boon!" She called out with force as she pointed her flame. "Show this creature the might of life! Imolate it back to dust!"

Mystic Kitsune could feel the fire respond, feel it hear her request and agree with the fervour of flame to its spirit, and then something seemed to reach into her and pull the breath from her. It was all she could do to stay standing there, to not topple off of the wall, as the flame between her hands drank greedily of the 'fuel' she was provided it and grew.

And grew. And grew.

A fox of flame swelled into existance, leashed by the merest tip of its tail which remained in Kitsune's hand, and -lunged- at the worm creature. Fire engulfed it entirely, wrapping around it and mud dried to dirt, baked to soemthing more solid, then cracked into dust as it was exposed to the outraged flame.

Yet the fire seemed not content with merely that and spread, losing shape as it flowed over the mud which had coated the ground of the alley, then immolated even those traces before bringing itself together and moving towards the dumpster…

The effect took away her breath in a way she hadn't expected. As if someone had clung it's claws into her, and was siphooning the warmth out of her to fuel this mystic flame. The intensity rooted her in place as she watched with some satisfaction that the worm was truly gone, and a hint of horror at what she'd caused. As the flames spread, she breathed a silent 'No! Stop!' As she tried to pull the flames away from the dumpster and the people within.

Given its task, given its requested boon, the flame didn't want to stop. Like any flame it, at its heart, wished to spread and burn while in this case the outrage of its fellow elements spurred it on. It's stubborness was fueled from Mystic Kitsune herself and, for a horrifying moment, it seemed as implacable as a juggernaught as it spread towards the dumpster.

Finally though the fires seemed to heed the one who had called upon it and, relucantly, moved to disperse… yet one last, almost spiteful, movement had to lash out at the dumpster and burn through the sides so that the contents spilled out into the alley.

A man, his clothes in rotting tatters, coughed desperately for breath. A starved looking woman screamed with patches of skin gone. And a tumbled pile of bones and meat which might have once been a person finally stopped trying to scream.

With the fire gone, and the sight of the people recovering, somewhat, Mystic Kitsune finally let herself go, and fell backwards against the charred earth. "Ooof. That was close…"

Now what was that feeling? Like she'd forgotten something? She coudl almost feel it. As her head turned to the right, she came face to face to the half decomposed body… And screamed: "AAAGH!" Before scrambling back against the wall. A moment after her heart stopped beating too hard, she looked over to the skeleton, and a mixed feeling of dread and sorrow started to fill her. "Oh no…" But then there were the other two, and as quickly as before, she rushed to the woman's side. "Are-are you okay?"

The remains weren't even a full body but perhaps the upper half of one and the shards of bone and gristle which might have been the lower parts and limbs. Yet, at the very least, the mud around it was fading in hue from that infected green to something more… acceptable for dirt and muck to be.

The woman who Kitsune checked though seemed to be frantic, brushing at the raw patches even as she struggled and said less than intelligable things about 'get it off me!', yet surely her cries were going to call attention if the magic girl remained. The man had managed to get to his feet, still coughing, and was hammering on the back door into a nearby building and calling out for help.

Mystic_Kitsune whinced at the sight, but as much damage had been done, she'd given it all she could. For now, she had to return to nothing more than a ghost. Getting back to her feet, she left the scene quietly, regaining her breath slowly…

«Scene Fades»

Notes: The session should have, finally, happened the previous week but RL intervened. But at least we're back into doing things so yay!