Hehe… So I did things in the wrong order and had to scroll the page up past a few comments after resizing the tab, and while I wasn’t actively reading them, I did notice one that was like:

“Oh, a weeping angel.”

End of Buzz 7.9

This was a pretty decent chapter. We didn’t quite reach the Arc boss yet, and by the looks of it it’ll be at least another chapter before we do, but we did finally get to meet a bunch of characters, some of whom were name dropped all the way back in 3.11.

Next up: Flashbang. Except it’s not Flashbang, it’s a flashbang. It’s not even a flashbang thrown by someone on Flashbang’s side, but damn if it won’t flash and bang nonetheless. Flashbang should demand royalties.

Oh yeah, and the rest of the fight against Night and Fog. It most certainly won’t go as smoothly as Taylor’s optimistic plan would suggest, but we’ll see exactly how it works out next time.

See you then!

“Blood loss,” Tattletale intoned.  “Fuck, Grue, pay attention, you’ve-”

Night pulled the pin from the flashbang and threw it high into the air above us.

Damn.

Panacea, this’d be a good time for you to stop by and go by “enemy of my enemy” logic.

“That’s…”

“Not even remotely close to the truth,” Tattletale confessed.  “But it’s the best I can offer you.  Don’t take your eyes off her.”

So basically, that’s not why, but the end result is the same – her power is terrifying but she can only use it when no one’s looking.

“Right.”

I began massing my bugs.  I was going to need to catch Night off guard, debilitate her enough to take her down before she retreated to safety.  Swarm her, swat her down, then we’d figure out how to deal with Fog.

Shame the bugs presumably don’t count against the Weeping Angel thing. Maybe they would if Taylor were to accept visual input from them, but that’s too overwhelming in larger quantities.

A bit optimistic, but it was a plan, anyways.

Night reached into her sleeve and retrieved a canister.  I recognized it immediately.

A flashbang grenade.

…of course. When your power relies on not being seen, you pack something that temporarily blinds everyone present.

“Tattletale?”

“I see it,” she murmured her response.  “Grue, we’re going to need you to cover this shit.”

Yes, good plan. Literally cover this.

I felt a ton of weight suddenly press heavily against my back.

“Grue!” Tattletale shouted.

…shit.

Grue had fallen against me, and he slid from that position to staggered to the ground at my side, landing with his hands and knees on the ground.

Is he still conscious?

A dozen gouges criss-crossed his side, each wider than my handspan.  One of the gouges had even shattered some of the protective bone plating.  Brutus exhaled slowly, shuddering.

Ouch 😦

She’d done that?

I sent my bugs at the woman,

A justified reaction. But yeah, so much for retreat.

but the delay Night had created had bought time for Fog to get close.  His mist blocked the path to Night, reduced the woman to a faint silhouette, and where the cloud passed, my bugs were crushed alive in midair.

Damn. It seems he can really fine-tune the movements of individual molecules in the gas.

The mist swelled forward, and we backed up as best as we were able.

I checked our escape route.  It was blocked by none other than Night herself.  Had she teleported?  Cloned herself?  No, it wasn’t cloning.  I couldn’t see her silhouette anymore.

Hm. Shadow-walking, as in shadow-to-shadow teleportation? Would make sense for that to be an ability of someone called Night.

“What the fuck is this woman?” I asked, “Tattletale?”

“You know how the Manton effect could maybe be a psychological block that comes parceled with our powers?”

Oh no. Are you saying she’s one of the people who got around the effect?

I nodded, once.

“Okay, well, imagine that this woman got powers that let her turn into something so wrong that she’s got some sort of mental block that keeps her from transforming if anyone can see.

Interesting. So kind of like the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who but with transformation instead of movement… I suppose that’s why she has Fog cover up the view when they’re doing things like murdering that cameraman a few chapters ago.

Maybe because she’s so ashamed of being seen like that.  When nobody’s looking, though, she’s a monster.  Lightning fast and all sharp.”

“Retreat,” Tattletale spoke, “Just don’t turn your backs to them.”

Good call.

Fog moved forward, his limbs and legs dissolving into a cloud as he advanced on us.  His pace was slow, only a little faster than we moved walking backward.

Hm. Unfortunately “a little” faster is all he needs unless it allows you to get to somewhere you can speed up or get away in some other way.

Bitch had to whistle twice to get a growling Angelica to retreat.  The dog seemed set on protecting her master, attacking this threat, and was slow to obey. 

Pick your battles, Angelica. Be like Oni.

The fog reached her, and we heard a strangled yelp, an unnatural sound from the throat of an unnatural animal.  I saw Bitch start forward.

No no no no no no

“No!” I caught her shoulder.

I might have argued, told her why she couldn’t or shouldn’t attack, how useless it would be against a man that turned to a sentient gas.  I didn’t get a chance.

Not sure it would’ve helped anyway.

While our attention was on Angelica, Night took the opportunity to blindside Brutus.  He was thrown bodily into our group with enough force to to bowl us and even Judas over.

STRIKE!

Geez, if the dogs are as heavy as I’ve been imagining, that’s some incredible strength there.

Night just stood there, standing straight, heels together, one arm outstretched in front of her.

Did she throw Brutus like that with a simple push?

I hurried to my feet, my legs and knees aching, putting one hand on Brutus’ shoulder to steady myself.  It was then that I saw the damage she’d done to him.

Noo, don’t hurt the doggos 😦

We reached the alley, Angelica found footing on the wall, and then made her way safely to the ground.

As we landed heavily, I fell from Angelica’s back.  My hands were stiff from the deathgrip I’d just maintained, and my legs were a wreck.

Still, hard to complain.

Heh. Yeah, could’ve gone a lot worse.

“You okay?” Tattletale called out.

“Yeah.  You guys?”

“Not so hot,” Grue replied.

Well, at least he admits it now.

He was leaning against a wall, with Tattletale at his side.  Darkness radiated from every part of his body but his chest, and I could see how  he’d unzipped his jacket to investigate the damage.  He was bleeding from the cuts on his chest.

Ouch. :/

“Fuck, I knew you weren’t good to go!” I struggled to my feet and rushed to his side.  “You pull your stitches already?” 

“Other things to worry about!” Regent called out.  “Incoming.”

Rune again?

I looked, and sure enough, Night and Fog were striding into the alleyway.

Ahh. Shit.

Night sported high heeled boots that clicked as she walked, and there was the gender difference, but the two were otherwise very similar.

Fighting in high heels strikes me as impractical, but her choice.

Cloaks, cowls, no logos or other decoration.  Gray for him and black for her.

Hm. That’s what Rune was wearing, too. We haven’t heard anything about an E88 uniform. Is Rune their daughter?

But we had another option.  If I could only convince Angelica.

“Go!” I shouted at her, kicking my legs.

Running straight off, to maintain better control than if you were to fall?

She pushed forward, and the movement only accelerated the decay of the fractured rooftop beneath her paws, prompting it to slide and tilt.

Hm, that’s not good.

Angelica ran toward the building to our right.  To the right of the alley.  She clearly intended to leap to the building face, use her claws to dig into position there… and there would be nowhere to go from there.

Hrm.

Even if she could hang there indefinitely, or scale the wall back to the street, Rune would scrape us off the wall with a levitated piece of rubble.

And hanging there indefinitely is kind of useless to begin with.

I grabbed a horn at the side of her head and hauled on it, pulling her left.  She resisted, hauled right, but I tugged again.

“Go!” I shouted at her.

I’m sure having read that book on dog psychology could’ve come in handy here.

Maybe you have to whistle?

She lunged straight for the floating piece of debris.  Her claws latched on it, and for a moment, we hung there, Angelica in an undignified pose with her upper body hanging onto the thing, back legs dangling.

Hm. Not a bad move, but now Rune just needs a vertical surface to slam you against, and there’s certainly some of those here.

Wait. Can Rune even move this now? It seems like the Manton effect should at least limit it. Though I guess if Taylor and Angelica being there cut the power off entirely from this piece of debris, it should fall.

Also, Rune was moving herself with a piece of debris and she’s presumably alive. I suppose it’d just be that she can’t use the power directly on people.

It drifted downward, slow at first, then faster, as though Rune couldn’t support the weight of us and the chunk of building.

…Angelica weighs a ton or more all on her own, doesn’t she.

I generally visualize the hellhounds as roughly the size and mass of a big car.

Angelica scrabbled for a grip, pulled her body up and forward, and found the footing to leap.

Nice.

Brutus pulled clear easily enough, but the continued drifting of the piece of debris forced Bitch to direct him down toward the alley, off the rooftop.

Well, at least he shouldn’t have much trouble getting back up.

The rest of us had a harder call to make.  We were sliding off a precipice, and it was a good ten story drop to the street.

…I keep forgetting that buildings in this city are more than 2-3 stories tall, even in the Docks.

The nearest and only available rooftop to leap to was the one we’d just left, which was in ruins.

Well, that kinda puts some limits on the awesome rooftop chase, now doesn’t it. Hm.

Judas, I saw, managed to clutch the edge of the sliding raft of rooftop and get the leverage for a jump.

Ooh. But where to?

Brian, Tattletale and Judas reached the alley, where they could rebound off the walls until they reached relative safety.

Nice.

I was about to urge Angelica to do the same, when that drifting debris of Rune’s shifted position to block off the alleyway.

Dammit, Rune learns.

Another of Rune’s pieces of building approached from her direction, promising to smash us if through some miracle, the section of roof Angelica and I were standing on didn’t break free.

The roof breaking free is probably the better outcome here, especially if Angelica can manage to land on her feet. Maybe.

We were already kicking the dogs into motion, leaping to the neighboring rooftop, when the debris struck with a series of crashes that suggested the debris had punched through the roof and even the one or two floors below it.

Well, that’s another building to cross off the list.

Crusader was apparently too occupied covering for Rune’s sudden absence to come after us.  That meant that all we had to worry about was keeping from being crushed by Sabrina the teenage nazi.

Hah!

Note to self:  I apparently wasn’t one of those capes that was good at the repartee, banter or name calling.

Ahahaha

Fair enough, better leave that to Spiderman.

One piece of debris soared over our heads, then plunged to stab downward through the roof in front of us.  The dogs were agile enough to leap out of the way.

In the heat of the moment, we didn’t anticipate it rising again.

Whoops.

The debris thrust up through the edge of the building’s roof, and the dogs had to skid to a halt to avoid treading on crumbling rooftop.  With the damage the building had sustained, our footing grew unstable.

Aw, shit.

The ground sloped, Angelica scrabbled for a grip, and then the section of roof beneath us began to slide down toward the street.

Honestly, going back down there would be kinda inconvenient.