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Old 09-28-2017, 08:57 PM   #194
tshiggins
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Denver, Colorado
Default Re: Campaign: Facets

(...continued)

That proved a wise precaution. Sunmi and Aurelia triggered the spells, and found themselves in the projection of the church building, in Yetzirah. Sunmi looked down at herself, and found that her astral avatar resembled a considerably sexier version of herself, dressed in a clothing similar to what she wore normally, but (somehow) much more attractive.

Somewhat flabbergasted, the normally reserved Korean-American science-geek girl expressed confusion at her appearance. Aurelia replied that the more seductive avatar almost certainly had to do with the fact that the voudou loa, Erzulie Dahomey, had agreed to use Sunmi’s physical body as a cheval.

Aurelia found herself even less pleased with the appearance of her own avatar. The art teacher with the questionable background had anticipated her astral form would appear as a shadowy figure with red hair, but with black clothing and a face lost in darkness. What she got was a red haired figure with a blurry face, alright, but it glowed with neon color that strongly resembled a tie-dyed body-suit beneath a UV light.

Deeply annoyed by the obvious result of Sunmi’s flawed spell, Aurelia declared she had no intention of stepping outside while glowing in such a way, and said she and Sunmi should practice inside the Yetzirah version of the church.

So, the two ladies squared off and got ready to engage in a bit of sparring – Aurelia as a street-brawler and Sunmi with her karate skills -- just as the doors behind Sunmi, which led to restrooms in the really-real world, burst open. Seven parasitical spirits that vaguely resembled shadowy black rats charged out of the darkness and attacked – a much more serious consequence of the flawed spell-casting.

Deeply alarmed, and realizing they had no way back into their bodies until the 10 minutes had passed to end the ritual’s duration, Sunmi and Aurelia found themselves swarmed and fighting for their lives (or, at least, their souls).

Restricted to hand-to-hand combat (no Stasis Boxes meant no astrally-projected weapons, and nobody in the group had studied combat magics, yet), the two ladies tried to parry the “rats” that tried to jump on their faces and heads. Aurelia did reasonably well, but Sunmi found herself in dire straits as the parasite spirits began to tear away and consume chunks of her astral form.

At one point, Sunmi had a parasite spirit clinging to the back of her head while she tried to bash one on her arm into the floor of the church. Aurelia found herself losing chunks of legs and ankles, mostly, as well as a few bits from her arms.

Eventually, the two astral visitors prevailed, and Sunmi recalled that, should they return to their bodies with wounded souls, it could result in permanent psychological damage. Accordingly, the two triggered their healing spells, and saw the wounds partially heal up, but both avatars still looked pretty tattered and chewed up.

Realizing they had only a few minutes left, Aurelia and Sunmi staggered out into the misty, but bright, light of Yetzirah Denver and, thinking quickly, stumbled toward the nearby hospital district at East 19th Avenue and Franklin Street. Behind them, they heard the squawking of bats from the belfry of the church (another consequence of Sunmi’s spell casting).

Half-panicked, the two young women covered the few blocks to the hospitals surprisingly quickly, and went into the Emergency Room entrance of the astral St. Joseph’s hospital.

In place for more than a century, the building closely resembled the original brick structure rather than the modern glass and steel building in place, now. The two mages figured that, as originally a religious institution, it had the greatest chance of offering them help.

As they stumbled through the door, nurses and doctors dressed in a wide range of uniforms from different eras rushed to assist them. The two explained they’d been attacked, and the nurses quickly rolled out IV racks with clear bags of some viscous fluid that strongly resembled ectoplasm.

The doctors poked and prodded them, listened with stethoscopes and said “Hmm,” a lot, in exactly the way living doctors did in the material world. Surprisingly, between the ministrations of the doctors and the IVs full of ectoplasm, they found themselves recovering quickly. Soon, all signs of the attack had disappeared and, a few minutes later, they woke in their own bodies.

A.J. noted they’d certainly seemed to rest peacefully, during the trip, and Sunmi and Aurelia promptly delivered loud and lengthy reports of what they’d actually gone through.

Rather unnerved, Henrietta decided she’d pass on this trip, herself, which left Beatrice and A.J. as the rather-less-than-enthusiastic next voyagers. However, they figured the combination of healing spells and the clever decision to visit the astral hospitals meant they’d likely survive the experience.

unmi cast the spells on them, and Henritta took a second peek into Yetzirah (“Looks clear…”). A.J. and Beatrice laid down and triggered their spells, and found themselves in the large, clear sanctuary space with the bright but misty outside light beaming through the stained-glass windows.

The two immediately prepared themselves for a fight, but after a few moments without attacks by parasite spirits, started to relax. A.J. looked at Beatrice and saw her avatar resembled an Amazon warrior, complete with armor and helmet (which he suspected wouldn’t actually protect her, but certainly looked impressive).

She also had both legs, completely intact.

For her part, Beatrice saw a younger version of A.J., perhaps 25 years old, or so, dressed in a flight jacket with NASA mission patches – the vision of the young astronaut candidate he’d once been; the patches from missions he never got to fly.

After looking each other up and down, the two got ready to spar. Beatrice took the first swing and, rather than parry, A.J. dodged – only to find himself moving much faster than expected. Shocked, he had Beatrice take another poke at him, only to dodge her effortlessly, once again.

A.J. returned the favor, only to see Beatrice dodge him, too, with nearly equal facility. The former astronaut theorized that, since they had no physical bodies, the speed of their astral forms must rely somehow on the speed of thought. The lack of physical constraints meant they “ran” or “dodged” or otherwise moved much faster than they could, in their physical bodies.

Beatrice decided to put the theory to the test, gave a shout, and charged at the wall. She jumped up on it the way Keanu Reeves had done in the sparring program in The Matrix, only to fall flat on her back.

Apparently, skill mattered, too.

A.J. decided to try something much less ambitious, and took a running jump at the eight-foot high platform that normally held the pulpit (no podium, on this one), He effortlessly soared through the air, stuck the landing, and said, “Cool!” Beatrice jumped up beside him, landing not quite so elegantly, and A.J. leapt for the choir-loft, two stories up and to the right.

He managed to grab the handrail of the choir loft, 16 feet up and 15 feet over from the platform. Beatrice jumped up beside him and managed to grab on, as well, and the two scrambled over into the loft, proper.

From there, they jumped back down to the floor of the sanctuary, landing with no difficulty, decided to take the show on the road. They went outside, dashed around a bit, and then A.J. decided to go vertical. With some difficulty, but less than expected, he scrambled up the brick wall of the church and soon found himself on the roof, and Beatrice followed right behind.

(continued...)
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