Beastly Manners

Cast: date: 'October 12, 2012'
place: 'Tower Hamlets Cemetery'
participants: 'Jack, Mattie, Rory'
synopsis: 'The local graveyard sexton is an elderly fellow who has seen a lot of things in his long life. The things that go bump in the night don''t phase him much, but his once clear gaze isn''t nearly as good as he likes it to be. Luckily, he usually has his trusty canid companion with him when touring his assigned section of the sprawling cemetery grounds. Or rather, he *had* his canine friend, up until a few nights ago. Something is disturbing the grounds. Something large, dark, and something that disappears into the night''s fog before the flashlights can focus on the trespasser.'
log: "The hour is close to sunset and at Tower Hamlets Cemetery, most of the daylight visitors have filtered away and left the expansive grounds to its caretakers. The Watch makes its headquarters here within the cemetery's administrative offices, but tonight there is at least one soul - a living one - who does not rest well. Henry Litcott, graveyard sexton of the graveyard shift, stands at the main path headed inwards and deeper into the cemetery with his arms crossed and an electric camping lantern hanging off his fingertips. He waits for those he has asked for to arrive, though not knowing just who it is who will show. The elderly man's lips move - he's mumbling to himself. Or perhaps, to others unseen.\n\nA friend of the dark, Jack moseys thought it without lantern or torch to guide his steps. The patchy grey clothing makes him blend in more than straight blake, and for a big man he's got soft steps. He realizes, however, that causing the old man to start and possibly have a heart attack would not be the best course of action and so, once close enough, clears his throat politely. It's a precursor to pulling out a smoke and sparking it up with a zippo, allowing the flame to illuminate his face. \"Wotcha, guv.\"\n\nIt's not from the headquarters but from the path leading to the gate that Mattie comes; even in the flesh rather than in her more spectral form, her dark-clad form and light step make it hard to notice her, at least for a normally-sighted person. A bag slung over her shoulder likely carries the usual supplies, as her hands are busy holding a cup of coffee adorning the name Regency Cafe on its side. \n\n\"Evening,\" she says, and offers the cup to Litcott with a smile. \"I think Lovelace is joining us as well,\" she adds.\n\nIt isn't a polite gesture that gives away Rory's coming. It's a rather bawdy song that usually indicates someone's been drinking too much. However, Rory seems quite sober, which is good since he's coming from the HQ. It's almost as if he heard his own name, the timing's that good.\n\n\"I hope I didn't miss the fun,\" he says with a crooked smile, despite the fact that he's only just getting the hang of these missions. Confidence undiminished, it would seem. He has a bag with him, as well, and it drops at his feet when he joins the others. \"Is this going to be zombies? I was promised there'd be no zombies.\"\n\nHenry might not have the same sharp sightedness as he'd had in the past, but to his credit he doesn't startle when Jack seems to materialize out of the dark with the spark of a small flame. The older man coughs once - a sound more of his throat clearing in return - and he uncrosses his arms to look to the arrivals. \"Got another one of those?\" he asks of Jack plainly, neither expecting acceptance or rejection. Once Mattie's come with coffee, Henry's mood lightens a little. \"Oh wonderful,\" he notes with a grateful acceptance of the offered cup, \"I was just looking for something to warm up with. Fair evening though it is.\" And warming up is what Rory's bawdy drinking song does,in that it brings color to the elderly sexton's cheeks. Henry just frowns at the younger man. \"No, it's not zombies. I know zombies when I see them,\" enunciates Henry, following it with a snort.\n\n\"Here. Take this. You'll probably want it.\" The electric lantern is veritably thrown at Rory, thus deemed the packmule of the group. \"Whatever it is, doesn't like the light very much,\" Henry explains mostly to Mattie and Jack - more Mattie than Jack. \"Pretty sure you three will be alright by yourselves now?\" Henry raises a brow at them. Without waiting for a confirmation, he points down one of the paths that leads further in to the cemetery. \"You'll want to keep to the left, but swing right once you've hit Mad Maude's half-stone and keep on to the Crumbling Angel.\" Sure, Henry knows where the landmarks are in these overgrown grounds, but do they?\n\n\"Right you are.\" The pack, Marly Reds, is dug out and offered over, pinned by fingers to the lighter. Then the free hand gets stuffed back into the pocket as Jack glances toward the other two and gives them nods of greeting as appropriate. The old man gets a little wry smile then, \"She gave you a smile, and everything. She must like you.\" A knowing little wink follows. \n\n\"Yeah mate, I reackon we'll be peachy. No clue about what's going on then? Ain't never seen nothin' like it before?\" The Crumbling Angel sounds a little eerie, and the mechanic turns those golden eyes down the pathway to peer into the gloom (small g) with a thoughtful expression.\n\nOnce her hands are free of coffee, Mattie pulls out her flashlight and a small pistol from the bag, tucking the latter into her waistband — no doubt she has her usual assortment of blades to throw and stab with in her pockets and her boots. The bag is tucked behind the trunk of a tree to retrieve later, and she rolls her eyes at Jack's teasing, but quietly waits for the sexton's answer, as she too looks down the path to where he directs them.\n\nCatching the lantern with an 'oof', Rory gives the man a wry look. \"Thanks,\" he says, that wryness in his tone as well. But he seems grateful to have it, since he turns it on not too long after the note about their target not liking the light. That's a handy hint. He peers in that direction as well, but since nothing pops right own, he looks back to the old man, too.\n\nHenry's busy sipping at his Regency, taking of the cigarette pack with a surprised look at Jack for the man's offer of the whole package. The sexton seems pleased, at least until the subject turns back to what lurks in the darkness. \"Damn thing's too quick for these old bones. The Angel was in pretty rough shape before but whatever it is, it crumbled it more. And you see in the day, there's all this mess! Ground's tore up and tombstones knocked over… I thought it was a bunch of those young who's-its, you know, those kids that come around for a scare-the-old-man and a piss on a few markers? But when Boo went after and didn't come back— I just think.\" Clearly, Henry is upset 'just thinking' about where his companion has gone.\n\nAfter a quick shake of his head, Henry points again to the right path. \"Anyway, if you find the blighter, give them a sound walloping and get it the hell out of my cemetery.\"\n\n\"Crumbled the statue. Interestin'.\" Jack aims for the knowledgable tone, as though he has ideas on this and it's all in hand. It's likely just a front for the old man's benefit. Inspire some confidence. \"Fuckin' chavs.\" he mumbles, filling in the who's-its. \"No respect.\" Done channeling Rodney, he looks from the path and turns back to the old man with a raised brow, \"Who's Boo?\"\n\n\nMattie pats the man's shoulder and nods. \"We'll see what we can find. Sorry about Boo,\" she murmurs. \"You stay safe, all right? Don't come knockin' if you hear us rockin', ya hear? We can handle ourselves, and if not, well, it's our own damn fault.\" She gives the elderly man a stern look, brows raised as if to be sure he's listening to her — the loss of one of the Watch's \"support staff\" is still weighing heavy on her thin shoulders. \n\nThe flashlight is clicked on and she begins to move down the trail toward the angel, one hand close to that gun at her waist.\n\n\"We'll get it sorted, Henry,\" Rory says with a lazy salute toward the old man. He starts after Mattie, light held high to try to cover as much area around them with it as possible. \"So, this normal?\" he asks, voice lower just in case the old man is still in ear shot. \"Not knowing at all what you're walking into? Seems to be a theme around old London Town, if you don't mind the observation.\" Even if she does, it's a step too late to take it back. Ah well.\n\n\"Boo is my one and only, my everstar,\" Henry starts to go on to Jack, except now the old man's getting a little more upset. \"She's my dog, Boo. Please bring her back,\" he pleas. Trying to stave off a wistful and mistful eyed expression, Henry turns and pats out a cigarette from Jack's pack to light, smoke and coffee grasped with all intentions to calm himself. No heart attacks here, no sir.\n \nOnce they are out of earshot of the old man (so Rory likes to think), the pathway seems to darken considerably as the trio heads towards the wooded parts where the tombstones pepper the ground as thickly as the plants surrounding it. Here, the flora and fauna go a bit wilder - a boon to nature lovers by day, an eerie wilderness manufactured in the night. Jack can see it all with his Touched vision: a mouse scampers around a grave marker underneath a watchful, lazing owl's eye from the branches of a gnarled oak; a little further off a fox thinks itself concealed in the bushes by a pair of tilted stone crosses. The tombstones are clearer in legible lettering the closer they are to the administrative offices. By the time they've stepped into the graveyard proper, the names have eroded and faded on many of the older sites.\n\nA semi-gloved hand pats Henry on the shoulder in a gesture of support. \"We'll do what we can, mate. I promise you that.\" Fingers squeeze and Jack adopts the stoic, 'it's on' face. It takes some serious Evil to kidnap an old man's dog. That is well and truly fucked up, in Jack's book. Killing people, causing mayhem, all that, that's evil. Oldmandogkidnap? That's Evil. Capitalized and everything.\n\nJack pulls out one of his pistols, checking the fit of the suppressor as he eyes the path and the stones. The area is passed by regularly, but never actually entered and explored. Perhaps at some point it would have been a good idea to familiarize himself with the local area, for security sake. \"Any ideas?\" he asks, looking back at the others.\n\n\"Let's go see if there's any track marks or any other clues around the angel, I guess,\" Mattie suggests, shifting from the solid form into her chosen defensive mode for missions — visible but transparent, and most importantly, without substance. It's unlikely she's the only ghost in this cemetery, of course. \"Boo's not a very big dog. Corgi, about yay high.\" She holds a hand to just below the shin. \"But it'd take something pretty hard hitting to crumble a statue, even one in as bad a shape as ol' Bertha.\" She's apparently nicknamed the statues in the cemetery, but then, she's spent a lot of time prowling around on her own.\n\nFollowing Jack's lead, Rory pulls out a gun, too, which might not be the best idea, since he doesn't have the eyesight the other man does, but he also keeps it pointed toward the ground, which shows some presence of mind, at least. \"I don't think I'm gonna be getting used to you going ghostbusters like that, Red.\" There's a glance he way, and a smirk, but he turns his attention to the cemetery quick enough. Hanging back, he keeps an eye out on what's behind, just in case something big and scary comes up from that angle.\n\nPerhaps not just security's sake - as they go along the tombstones all quite look similar laid out in row after row. Jack's superior sight allows him the ability to read the stones clearly as they pass on the dirt and gravel path. The path itself narrows as the density of tombstones becomes higher per plot, where there hardly is any room to walk between them. Jutting stones of former markers litter the area, which makes the going a little rougher and causes one to possibly think how Henry even gets around in the dark with just his one lantern.\n \nThe silence of the cemetery plays second fiddle to the sounds of the night, orchestrated by the bugs and complimented by the rustling of small nocturnal creatures. As the three move on and come to a particularly larger headstone - large by width and supposed height, except for where half of the 'M' that would have been carved upon its face has broken off to form more of an oddly legged V - the flashlight beaming from Mattie's hand skitters over a distinctly not-rain-like wet spot upon it. Further investigating yields that the ground is in fact moved in significant amounts here and there, grave beds disturbed and mounds unearthed from their former resting space.\n\nHeading alone, Jack stays ready and keeps the gun held in both hands and almost level as they advance. If it's quick, then it never hurts to be ready. Ideally there won't be any lookie loos around at this time of night. He's not above taking a shot of opportunity at any chavs they might find, although the closeness to watch HQ may temper that desire. \"You'll be surprised at what you'll get used to, if you stick around here long enough.\" he asides to Rory, in a quieter voice.\n\n\"Ey up.\" he murmers, interrupting what he may have been about to say in follow up to gesture toward this wet area and the earth around. Steps slow, then become tenative as he moves in closer, focusing on the wet spot first and trying to get a better look and seeing if there's any other similar areas on other tomb stones.\n\"My ghostbusting is the least of the creepy things you'll see, Lovelace,\" comes that sibilant whisper that is Mattie's voice in this form. She stops too, moving closer to where the earth has been upturned. \"Huh,\" comes her next eloquent thought, and her transparent figure bends down to peer into one of the holes, then at the ground around it. \n\n\"Whatever did this was either Other or human, I think. Look around to see if you can find any footprints or equipment,\" she suggests to the others. \"Graverobbers wouldn't scare Litcott like that, though. Are any of the bodies actually dug up?\" She shines her light on the deep hole she's peering into, trying to see if the casket within has been disturbed.\n\n\"I'm not entirely sure that's comforting, Jack,\" Rory says, but with a crooked smile. His attention swings back around at the murmur, though, to come over to peer at the graves as well. He brings his light close to the wet spot on the gravestone, eyes narrowing for a moment before he looks back to the disturbed earth.\n\n\"I was kidding about the zombie thing,\" he says, apparently to the Universe, since he doesn't seem to be directly addressing anyone. He steps over to examine the next disturbed grave, though, to see if the body is missing there, either.\n\nAs Jack closes in on the wet spot, it becomes more apparently thicker than water that is on the broken headstone of Mad Maude. Thicker like plasma, dark like blood - but blacker, older… Other. Not all the tombstones have marks like this rough spatter, though some nearby areas where the earth has been dug into sport this gooey substance. The cool night air makes it harder to tell but once it's noted, there is certainly an acrid scent to the air.\n \nThe light shining down into a hole reveals splintered wood and a partially revealed pine box style casket that has natural wood rot - signs of a very old coffin - but also a large hole that appears to have been smashed into it in a way that would have made Johnny and his axe proud. The body is not present from what Mattie can see into. Rory finds something similar in the next part, but down in his shallower hole he finds a torn, dirtied but bright blue leash.\n \nAs the three continue to poke, darkness falls once night truly sets in and the chill starts to roll in with the low, misty fog common to this region. Jack might not have an issue, but Mattie and Rory's flashlights won't shine quite as far now.\n\n\"Got to wonder what'd be making an Other bleed.\" Jack mumbles. It seems wrong to talk in normal volume now, when the fog is closing in and the tombstones are looming around like silent mourners, disrespectful somehow. There's a series of sniffs, testing the air and the face that follows clearly indicates the distaste for that smell. While the other two are poking into the holes, he's keeping an eye out on the perimeter since he can see the furthest. Finding a more solid memorial, he tries to get to slightly higher ground.\n\n\"I'll keep watch while you look for clues.\" he whispers, not looking to them but turning constantly to look for signs of movement.\n\n\"Body's missing,\" is Mattie's terse report from the grave she's perched on. \"Something dug them out.\" She rises from the edge of the hole and moves along, though it's harder to see her in the fog rolling in. \"Some aren't that hearty, but that's a lot of blood.\" \n\nAnother grave is moved to and peered into, her flashlight shining first on the gooey black ooze and then down into the hole. \"Have you read anything on file about any necromancer Others?\" she asks the other two, worry evident in her strange ghostly whisper.\n\n\"Clues, right. Does that make me or Red Scooby Doo?\" The delivery is just a little off as Rory looks down into the next grave. Be it the growing dark, the bleeding Other or the missing body, his joviality is swiftly sagging. He hops down into the grave, picking up the leash before he climbs back out to show it to Mattie. \"Not the only body that's missing.\"\n\nThe leash is carefully placed into a pocket before he straightens up to look at the others again. \"It happens. Seen it up in Scotland a few times. Sometimes animating the bodies, sometimes possessing them, but it's never pretty. Either way, the trick is to ignore the bodies and go for the source.\" As if ignoring animated corpses were totally easy.\n\nMost of the tombstones are clean and clear of the goo-blood, and Jack's find of higher ground reveals that fog to have settling down. While Mattie and Rory are busy looking down, Jack is the first to see a larger shape appearing out of the fog and flying on small bat-like wings through the night air. Its figure is so skinny it looks practically skeletal. Yet, it is definitely almost-humanoid in shape. The speed with which it flies is fair, as it doesn't appear to be hurried. It is pointed in the direction to the right of the group, headed further into the graveyard and presumably with purpose.\n \nJust as Rory makes his Scooby Doo reference and looks into the next disturbed grave, a cacophony of spine-tingling shrieks erupts from the pure darkness, from the forest just beyond Jack's line of visible sight in the same direction in which the flying ghoulish Other is headed. The Hunt is on.\n\n\"Necromancer?\" Jack asks, not being book smart. The answer then is apparently no, given the little blank look he tosses toward Mattie. The leash prompts a frown, \"Now I'm picturing dead bodies on leads.\" he mutters, apparently it's not a pleasant image. At least Rory's able to clarify a bit what necromancy might mean, and given that he doesn't supply any more references, it confirms the answer.\n\nThen there's the sight, something moving through the fog. That's bad. \"Incoming.\" he lets out, urgently. It's a moot point, given the screams that soon follow. The other pistol is pulled out from the pocket, as he bamfs down from his vantage point to ground level; when reappearing there's more to him, with writhing appendages being born from the shadows of his clothing and growing outwards, stretching after their creation as though revelling in being free.\n\n\"Following,\" Mattie hisses quietly, clicking off her flashlight, pulling out the pistol, and disappearing entirely from view. She can't move any faster in ghost mode than she can in human, except for the fact that she won't stumble on rocks or into an open grave, and that her path is as clear as the crow's flight — she can simply walk through the jagged jumble of tombstones that get in her way. There's neither sight nor sound of her, even for Jack with his supervision, but they can assume she's following the creature flying to the right.\n\nRory's head lifts at the shrieking, and for just a moment he seems frozen in place. But at least this time, he's able to get moving faster. He picks his way around the graves to meet Jack on the ground level. Of course, he has to take a moment to process the extra limbs, but he brings up the gun to be ready to shoot. His bones creak and splinter as they grow out of his skin, making curved spikes along his forearms. \"Alright, Lovecraft,\" he says to Jack and his shadow tentacles, \"can you see what's making the noise? Not that I don't love a serenade…\"\n\nThe skinny Other doesn't appear to have seen or heard the group, but it does flap along quicker when the calls start. It too utters a nails-on-chalkboard cry that echoes the eagerness of the other monsters further in the darkness.\n \nMattie in her incorporeal, near invisible form, is able take advantage of her abilities and catch up to the Other that glides its way into the forest. She is the first to come off the beaten path and come upon the broken form of Bertha, and a huge, horrific looking beast that is as can only be described as a Man-Bear-Pig monster lumbering its way through the old grave sites. Its height on all fours is almost as large as a tall man, and trunk-like forelimbs acting as the power behind its plate sized paws and sharp, shovel-like claws. The back limbs are kind of small in comparison, but allow for the Other to rear up on hind legs long enough to crash on and against things. Mattie bears witness to the beast rearing up and throwing its weight against the old stone walls of the sturdy mausoleum, each heavy thud eliciting a chorus of excited cries from a flock of the flying Others waiting around. Mattie can also see that the Render - this huge flesh eating Ghoul creature - is the thing that is bleeding from multiple wounds around its limbs and head. One of its jet black pupiless eyes appears to be weeping the goo-blood, and missing from the socket.\n\n\"Showtime.\" Jack says to Rory with a wide smile; there's a curious eagerness that takes him when these circumstances start. It's not so much pleasure, nor eagerness but something of an exultation in the righteous vengeance that is about to occur. The cockney has an axe to grind with the Others, and takes some measure of satisfaction from it. \"Keep up.\" he adds, hopping up onto the adjacent grave and then pushing off and upwards. At the apex of the jump, he vanishes in a puff of darkness to reappear again on the top of another edifice, closer to the action. This is only long enough to get bearings, before boots scrape against the moss and stone and he leaps out again in a move that would surely mean serious injury, if it weren't for the fact that half way through he vanishes once more. Bamf.\n\nSeven others were more than they bargained for tonight, and of two different species. If they can kill them both, the doctor will be very excited to have new creatures to dissect — not that Mattie's thinking about any of that. Her eyes dart from one creature to the other — the one is already badly hurt and likely to die soon, but also likely to do a lot of damage in the process. The six flying creatures outnumber both the humans and the quadriped. \n\nMoving to a tombstone, she crouches behind it for cover before growing tangible again, then takes aim at one of the perchers, shooting the silenced weapon twice at the thing's head and chest.\n\nRunning is a lot less fancy, but it's all Rory's got to try to catch up with the other two. But he also has screams and banging around to follow the sound of. He arrives somewhere behind Mattie's hiding spot, and he's quick to slide behind some cover as well. He'll take aim at the nearest Other, leaning only far enough out from his stone shield to see what he's aiming at.\n\nIn virtually no time at all, Jack is next to come to the area where the Render and Skinners are busy trying to acquire their next meal. He can't see Mattie, but the slight flash of her suppressed gun twice blips her position from behind a nearby gravestone. The Skinner she targets is so skinny that the bullet aimed at its chest misses, zinging by with a brush of air. The second bullet hits home, though, and the Other's flat face explodes with a splattering of blackish goo and, perhaps oddly, ashy powder. The struck Other topples from its perch atop one of the taller stone crosses and crumples in a pile of skin, bone and wing. The shrieking stops into dead silence on the part of the Skinners.\n \nNot even stopping to contemplate that maybe the mausoleum is just filled with dried bones and cobwebs, the Render smashes its skull in a hard headbutt against the stone. Doesn't even seem to be phased by the impact. It does seem to notice, however, when Jack arrives in a puff of writhing shadows and just as Mattie's bullet rips through the skull of the Skinner. The Render fixes its one good eye in Jack's direction, snorting and sniffing through its own bitter body odor (the source of that smell from earlier) to evaluate the shadow-manipulator's smaller mass.\n \nRory's arrival echoes his earlier presence; whereas Mattie and Jack were stealthy, Rory's entrance is heralded with hard running footsteps and the loud bangs of his handgun firing towards a second Skinner, which also has its wing shredded by the bullet that shatters the wingbones and taut dry skin to leave it like a ripped flag flapping loosely off a pole.\n \nThe noise attracts all the attention onto the loudest of the three. Several sets of red eyes and one black one turn upon him.\n\nWith the attention of all the Others on Rory, Mattie takes the opportunity to level her weapon again, leaning out from behind her tombstone for a clear shot, and again pulsing her finger twice on the trigger, hopping at least one of the two shots makes its mark. Then, turning invisible, she prepares to move if and when the creatures do — if they round on Rory, she'll move back to try to take them out from behind with a sneak attack.\n\nJack may be small, but it's definitely a case of how you use it. Along the way, those shadow arms have sneakily snuck up under the jacket and found their knives, coiling about the handles contentedly and now, as they drift about, the blades hang on the end like the 'hands' of a preying mantis. Although in this case, one made of black jello.\n\nReaper gets Jack's best smile, \"That's right. Eat that one.\" his head tips toward Rory. Who is now bait. It's the last thing he says before the two pistols clatter out their subsonic rounds at the Skinners, click click click click. He's not standing still though, already darting forward and making parkour look easy; mostly because he's cheating. The jumps are just a distraction to give the impression of moving one way, before popping into existence again on the mausoleum behind Manbearpig and letting the shadow tentacles go nuts, stabbing time is their favouritest of times.\n\nAnd since they're all staring at him, Rory slowly stands up from behind his gravestone and stares back for just a moment. While the others move forward, Rory takes a few steps backward, gun still pointed toward the group and firing occasionally to keep their attention his way. But only up until the moment when he absolutely has to run to avoid getting eaten. As tasty as he may be.\n\nTaking advantage of Rory's (purposeful?) mishap appears to be a sound strategy, as two bullets from Mattie's gun find their marks in another Skinner, bringing her tally to two. The Skinners take flight once Rory and Jack fire away as well, bullets taking out a couple more of them. The single Skinner that makes it out of the crossfire divebombs Rory in a half-leap, half-lunge off a gravestone and claws a nasty gash from the side of his neck to his collar bone. Sharp fangs from its wide maw show in snaggled formation, enveloping Rory's vision with just a view of teeth and nothing more.\n \nMultiple knives stab into the Render from Jack's shadow arms, and though they bury to the hilt, the hide of the Render is thick and tough. Enraged by the injuries, the Render turns on Jack and rears up onto its back legs. The height of the creature extends up and nearly over the mausoleum's height, and it jabs a forelimb to knock him off his perch. The creature's faster than its size suggests, for sure. The hit sends Jack toppling off the stone tomb into space, with impact against just-as-hard tombstones imminent.\n\nSlightly winded, and falling backwards isn't an ideal position to be in. The only thing that hits the tomstones is the wash of shadow stuff that flows over them like a black avalanche before disappating into the night air. Jack appears again about thirty foot up in the air, rolling as he plummets downwards once more; once appropriately aligned however, he's gone again.\n\nNext time he shows up adjacent to Rory. Sort of. Shifting the momentum of the fall, he seems to fly out sideways with a shadow tentacle wrapping around the cherubic face of a stone child to direct the motion and turn about, \"Go for the eyes.\" he suggests as he wheees past, the other tendril whipping out and aiming to slap Rory's assailant out of the air. Of course, being suddenly out of reach of Render is likely to make him angry. Fortunately for Jack, he doesn't seem to be sticking around in one place for very long.\n\nMen in peril on either side of her, Mattie chooses to help the rookie first; she re-appears behind the creature attacking Rory — the angle's not good for shooting without putting Rory in danger, too. Hoping stealth is on her side, she slices at the creature's neck, hoping the sharp slash and pain will get it to release Rory — and then she can shoot it in its ugly flat face. \n\nPinned against the ground and ripped open is not a fun way to spend an evening. But panic and pain lends itself to quick thinking, adrenaline helping things along as that face full of fang is met with a large bone spike ramming it's way out of Rory's exposed collar bone and up through the Other. He doesn't seem to notice the other two coming to help him, not right off. His hand comes up to cover the wound, trying to slow the blood loss.\n\nRory’s quick thinking initially, literally, forms the barrier that keeps his head from becoming the hungry Skinner’s next meal. The bone spike angles straight out of the young man’s skin, through his clothing and into the Skinner from its jaw and out the side of its mouth. Though this momentarily and abruptly stops the Other, it doesn’t meet its end until Jack and Mattie suddenly appear to aid the rookie Watch member. Mattie’s stealth tactics spare no ethical battleground and her knife opens up a gash of its own in the Skinner’s neck - an arterial wound effect blasts black blood-goo and an ashy powder substance in Rory’s face as a result, and Jack’s shadow tentacle does the rest in slapping the creature off the bony rookie much the same way the Render had just done to him from atop the mausoleum seconds ago.\n\nThe last Skinner strikes a moss-covered stone cross with an unceremonious thump, the sounds of its own inner bones cracking inside and an unearthly shriek fading into a gurgle on its dying lips.\n\nThe Render might not have expected Jack to be able to teleport away. Unsatisfied by the lack of a bone-crunching thud or pained groan from the East Ender, the giant man-bear-pig-Other wheels around to face the trio with one black eye blazing in mounting anger. It’s practically slick with black blood bleeding from all the stab wounds Jack made in it (a certain new meaning to ‘stuck pig’ comes to mind at the sight of it) and its previous wounds don’t seem to be healing too well either. But as any animal person can tell, a wounded, cornered animal is the most dangerous of them all.\n\nAnd this wounded Render is quite dangerously charging headfirst towards the three in the next moment, long forelimbs flailing out and swiping at them with its shovel-claws and dagger-like tusks bared. A piercing, alien scream roars from its throat that echoes throughout the immediate area of the abandoned cemetery; so that is what “I KILL YOU” sounds like in the language this Other. The three have only a split second to react before the monster tramples them all underfoot.\n\nWasting no time at all, Jack’s practiced at not staying still — particularly since the moment he loiters in one place for too long the shadows will come and take their due — and so once the Skinner is taken care of, there’s that silent black explosion as he turns to dust again and reappears back and up ontop of one of the other statues. Best stay out of knife range now, he takes a second and uses the advantage of being some distance away to aim before beginning to open fire; these shots are all aimed at the head and hopefully the remaining good eye. Because the only thing better than a wounded, cornered animal with incredible strength is a blind wounded, cornered animal with incredible strength.\n\nTwo more shots from each pistol, then it’ll be time for a new vantage point. With only half a mag left in each, it’s going to be reloading time before too long; the knives go away and the tentacles begin burrowing through pockets like the trunks of curious elephants, finding replacements to be ready. There’s one, there’s the other. Then a little pat on the shoulder, confidence booster from the cthulhu limbs as he keeps up the run and gun.\n\n“Is that a bone spike or are you just happy to see me?” Mattie mutters, wincing at the splatter of goo that lands on poor Rory. “Sorry about the mess.” But there’s no more time for pleasantries as the Render is barreling toward them — the easiest and (selfish) thing for Mattie to do would be to “go ghostbusters” but there’s a bleeding rookie to worry about. \n\nShe grabs him by the collar with one hand, then shoves him hard to the side, hoping to get him out of the path of the creature. The other hand grabs her gun, discarded knife skittering across the top of a tombstone — no time to organize her weapons right now! — and aims between the creature’s eyes. Or what would be between the eyes if all were present and accounted for, anyway. Once her finger pulls the trigger, she’ll ghost out again — hopefully she’s gauged the time wisely. \n\n\"Why not both, luv,\" Rory says, crooked smile coming through blood and goop and the telltale shiver of someone recently scared to very near death. He has to laugh a little, awkwardly timed, but better than screaming or sobbing in his book. And it would be lovely to be able to call that the end of it.\n\nBut of course it isn't.\n\nWhen the creature charges, Rory spends those vital seconds staring with wide eyes. Chances are he would have (possibly) remembered to get out of the way in time, but thanks to Mattie, he doesn't have to. There's a pained, strangled noise when she grabs him and gives him a much needed shove, and Rory scrambles behind a stone gravemarker while the other two handle the shooting. He'll get better at this some day, but at the moment, he'll just be over here. Bleeding. \n\nGunfire erupts in the already disturbed hallowed ground, bright flashes accompanying suppressed pops of pistols barking their bullets out from two directions. Jack’s triple shot does not go unrewarded for his canny use of more ammunition - the first bullet strikes the fleshy portion of the Render’s massive head, the second follows just a little further from its mark, but the third hits home and bursts the boar-ish eye in black blood similar to that of the ghoulish Skinners. The injury elicits another enraged, pained cry from the Render who then charges completely blind and headlong through some of the brittle gravemarkers and destroys them under mass.\n\nMattie is really who saves Rory from being crushed, although with Jack’s well-aimed shot to aid in turning the Render. The creature strikes a few tombstones, stumbling over the debris and slowing it down just enough that with careful time, aim, and some nerve, the Watch agent puts her shot at just the right angle so that the projectile pierces through the thickness of the skull - a matter of collision forces - and perhaps scrambles what brains reside within the huge monster’s head. The stumble turns into a trip, and the trip turns into a crashing fall. Her timing is good; the Render’s mass passes through her and heavily crunches over ground and into the stone side of the Crumbling Angel mausoleum. Bertha tips precariously… but somehow manages to stay perched atop with hands spread outward almost as if to balance her out.\n\nEventually, the noise and circumstances settle. The night’s orchestra dares a tuning chirrup from crickets, and then come the more natural, normal sounds of an eerie forested grounds. This section of the Tower Hamlets Cemetery will probably look pretty ugly come daylight, but for now, the troubles of graves being dug and destroyed has finally been resolved with several bangs and some screams and some whispers.\n\nHaving living objects pass through her insubstantial state is not one of Mattie’s favorite things in life, and she grows solid once more with a shudder and a shake of her head, something like a dog shaking off water. “Check that it’s not just passed out?” she says to Jack, voice lilting up so it’s less than an order and more of a request. \n\nHer feet carry her quickly over to where Rory crouches to check that he isn’t bleeding out. “At least we’re close to headquarters. Regal will be ecstatic to have a patient and some new autopsy fodder,” she says lightly. “Put pressure on that,” is an order as she pulls out her cell phone to call for the clean-up crew. \n\nHappy to oblige, Jack again displaces himself in a way that really should have an awesome sound effect; looking at it, it’s possible to imagine one at least. In a heartbeat, he’s next to the fallen creature and the last of his magazines get emptied into the skull at close range.\n\nThis time he remains there, paling a touch as the shadows seep up from the ground to clutch at his feet, preventing him from take off in a way that appears to be more than just a little uncomfortable. The tendril arms, having reloaded the now empty pistols, take out their knives again and get to work at severing that head. Just to be certain. It’s messy business, and the cockney turns away and lets them have their ‘fun’. Perhaps if sated on this violence, they’ll be less obnoxious about being put back in the box. “Hope they didn’t eat Boo.” he murmurs, glumly, giving the dead Others the evil eye, which works much better with his particular optics.\n\nRory lets out a long breath when things settle, probably having been holding it for a little while. Helpfully. He peels off a sleeve of his jacket to have something other than his hand to apply pressure with, even if it isn't an altogether comfortable task. He doesn't look so good, but manages a hint of a crooked smile in Mattie's direction. \n\n\"Just make sure the doc knows I'm not the autopsy fodder,\" he says, not matching his usual joviality, but it's a step.\n\nThe last few bullets bark out of Jack’s gun barrel into the skull of the Render beast. There is that distinctly uneasy sort of sound of bullets biting into flesh, but getting… not far when it comes to the thick skull of the creature. Luckily, the back of the skull where its flesh is adjoined to the heavy neck muscles is more easily pierced and the dirty work begins in the form of severing the head - a gruesome task that leaves much gooey textured black blood staining Jack on the areas of contact. \n\nAll the Gloom creatures are, at least, looking quite deathly in their morbid stillness.\n\nEventually, Rory’s bleeding is slowed. The damage of the sharp teeth from the Skinners is quite visible - like pirahna teeth, the bite is more shallow and tearing, not meant for deep penetrating or crushing power but for tearing at thin flesh and wearing away dry and brittle bones. The ghoulish smaller Others lie scattered about where they’d been dispatched.\n\nThe clean up process will go well into the night, particularly in the removal of the Render and evidence of Others. Can’t be too careful in these things after all. Henry’s companion, Boo, does not appear in this time however. The longer the clean up goes on, the more it appears that the dog is gone. Henry simply excuses himself from the presence of the company when they return to the office, and heads into a dark room by himself.\n\nThe door shuts quietly behind him."

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