Log:Secret Santa: Cat-22 Collective

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Secret Santa: Cat-22 Collective

Well, that's just fucking great. What the hell are we supposed to do now?


CB Alexander, Ziv Allendale, Haruki, Saulot as ST

10 May, 2018

CB gets an X-Mas card opened by an employee, and a pleasant day turns completely to shit. Part of Secret Santa


Cat-22 Collective

Upstairs at Cat-22 doesn't much change: the fairy lights are on, the daybed is dusty, Coltrane is playing over the hi-fi, and C.B. is sitting on said daybed covered in books and legal pads and papers, glasses on as he scribbles on one of the pads. He pauses every so often to take a sip of beer from the can of Narragansett Lager sitting on the table -- not his first can today, certainly not his last.

Sitting on the armchair in the room is Yossarian, his Hedgebeast Companion. The papery cat watches C.B. when he's not licking himself or sleeping.

Things are going rather smoothly for the day. Customers are happy, music plays pleasantly in the background, and nary a hint of trouble comes. Despite things being relatively warmer a cold draft blows through the building. As it does the faint sound of a child crying can be heard in the distance. As it does and the sound settles down everyone goes completely quiet for a beat. The usual cacophony resumes shortly enough, although there's many a hushed comment about what just happens. The wind blows again, and the sound louder as a lady shouts, "The fuck!?"

C.B. doesn't always listen to what's going on downstairs, but yeah. He hears that wind, and his head jerks up. Yossarian, too, opens his big yellow eyes, staring around. "You hear that?" C.B. asks. The papery cat nods his papery head. C.B. cautiously puts down his fountain pen, but doesn't quite move yet.

CB remains oblivious to it, but his feline companion can easily feel it. The change in the air, and the odd voices. Even weirder was the language from the voice. It's clearly foreign. After the third time the voice called out it became clear that it was French, but even a passing knowledge of the language makes it obvious that things are. Despite the heat likely being on things upstairs are starting to get freezing cold, although a glance to the vents shows obvious signs of air coming out of them. Soon, the fairy lights shatter one after the other, and with each comes a faint hissing sound as glass rains from above.

It's not the first time, and it probably won't be the last, that C.B. doesn't notice something, but Yossarian does. The paper cat stands up straight, ears at attention and eyes wide. Around that time is when the glass starts shattering, causing C.B. to leap off the daybed, scattering papers and books and beer everywhere. "Sonovabitch!" he bellows, protecting his head from the shattered glass. "What the fuck is going on?" He stares expectantly at the Hedgebeast, who usually has a better idea of things than he does...most of the time.

It takes a bit of doing, but the cat is able to understand large parts of it. "Please, help me! I'm cold. I'm hungry. Where are you taking me? Where's mama? Papa said not to leave, and to stay away from strangers. Mama! Mama! Where are you mama!?" As that last cry for a mother comes out all of the power shuts down, and leaves the only brilliance in the building to come from outside. A quick glance out a window reveals that the power's still going strong for the buildings in view, and the bird can deduct that this is a specific, isolated incident of a preternatural nature.

"The ghost of a child," the papery cat intones, yellow eyes gleaming in the darkness as the power goes out. "He or she is looking for their mother." Yossarian turns to stare at C.B. "This is only happening here, in Cat-22. Not elsewhere." C.B. glances out the window, looking at the rest of the power on in the Industrial District, and curses. "Well, that's just fucking great. What the hell are we supposed to do now?"

The whispers soon quiet as the power goes out, and the silence from outside turns to shouting. Queries come about the lights, the power, and, most importantly, how cold the booze will be. None of that matters, however, as the confused shouting heard from below turns to horrified screaming. The sound of scuffling and movement can be heard along with the loud shrieking of a child intertwined with that of a man.

"WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!" Well, that's enough for C.B. He goes galloping down the stairs, glasses askew. Yossarian disappears into one of the cat tubes so he can emerge downstairs as well. C.B., meanwhile, has a hand on the holster of the pistol he /always/ wears. Not withdrawing it yet, but he's ready. So ready.

Down below the source of much of the screaming comes from people rushing out the collective while a few just stare in shock. In the middle of the room a man sits on the ground, wailing about. He bangs his arms on the ground while kicking his legs up and down. He screams and shouts in that old French along with the same voice of what sounds like a little girl. A woman stands off to the side, shouting, "Jesse! Please! Stop!"

"What the fuck is this?!" C.B. exclaims. Well, what it really looks like is a possession, but sometimes C.B. likes to pretend he doesn't believe in such things. Hard to ignore it now, eh? He may not always be brave, but Cat-22 is his domain. Perhaps against his better judgment, he runs over to the man and tries to steady him -- arms, legs, something.

CB's attempts to kep the man still takes some doing. He hasn't been swung at, but a few stray punches get him in the shoulders and arms before the man calms down. He looks over CB, tears still streaming down his face all the while. He blinks a few times over, and begins wiping away some of his tears with the back of his hand. "Papa?" the man and the unseen little girl ask as one.

C.B. is kinda used to punches, stray or otherwise, and is able to take them without getting too pissy. He stares into the man's face with his wild blue-silver eyes. "Fuck. This is beyond me. Where's Cerise when you need her?" he mutters to himself, breathing heavily. But he goes back to staring into the face of the man and little girl. "Where did you last see your papa?"

The words from CB only serve to confuse the possessed pair, and leaves the man blinking again. He looks around for a moment, and then turns back to CB. He scoots back a bit as tears well up in his eyes again, and behinds shaking his head fervantly. "Stay away! Bad man! Bad man!" they scream in French. A hand comes up as if it'll stop CB from approaching further as the man's jaw starts quivering anew.

"Me? I mean, I'm kind of a dick, sure, but I'm not that bad -- I'm trying to help you!" Those last words are suddenly yelled by C.B., but he doesn't come any closer. Wiping sweat off his brow, he looks around for Yossarian -- where did that cat go? "Listen, you don't need to freak out. What do you need? Where's Papa?"

The possessed man still moves back with his eyes locked dead on CB. "Bad man!" they scream. He looks around for a beat, and then back to CB. The table he'd tipped over during his tantrum wobbles and shakes, lifting off the ground ever so slightly as he looks CB down. "I want Ange!" they shout. "Ange! Mama! Where is Ange!?"

C.B.'s head jerks over to take in the wobbling, floating table. "Oh, fuck. Put the table down, uh. Would you? What's your name? I'll try and find Ange, okay?" Yet he doesn't dare move, not just yet. The last thing he needs is that table to go flying and hit someone else in the face. If it hits him in the face, well. He's had worse.

The man continues staring CB down for a few long, quiet moments only broken up by his occasional sniffling. "Bad man," he all but growls at the Changeling, and the table goes higher. However, it only gets a few feet off the ground as the ghost's ire rises. "Ange!" they shout again, this time causing the man's voice to crack from all the screaming and shouting. The woman trying to calm him down earlier shouts, "Jesse!" and with that the table goes higher. The few remaining customers remain silent while one slowly, but surely, begins crawling towards the door.

C.B. seems to realize belatedly that there are still customers in here, and he frantically waves them away. "Get the hell out of here!" Some of the other employees take his lead and start to shoo them out the door. One of them, a pink-bearded millennial named Mason, bars the door behid them. Then C.B. looks over to the woman who's also crying out. "Who're you?! What do you know about all this?"

The woman shouts, "That's my husband!" As she shouts that she nears the man, her own tears falling from her cheeks. "We came to this shithole for a burger, and /this/ happened!" she screams while pointing at her still crying husband. Her shouting only makes things worse, and in the next beat she's eating table as the ghost flings it directly at the woman with a wail that further wears out the man's voice.

"Well, that was your first mistake, lady! We don't serve burgers, we're fuckin' vegetarian!" Ahh, customer service. Always C.B.'s strong suit. But he yells as the table gets thrown in her direction, letting go of the man so he can run over to check on her. "Fuck! You alright?"

The woman can't offer a rebuttal at present since she's presently flattened by a table. She's at least slowly able to crawl from under it while trying to push it aside. She shouts to CB, "No!" Her husband begins to stand, hands shaking as he stares at the both of them. "Bad!" the ghost shouts as the man's voice only gets out a rasp whisper. "Bad!" the second shout comes with another table lifted up, and after it another.

Although it seems like Yossarian is /trying/ to help, somehow -- he's certainly staring at the ghost with all his concentration -- he hasn't been successful yet. C.B., meanwhile, tries to tackle the ghost-man again. Barring that? Well, there's always lightning...But he can't manage to do it with his mouth shut. "Leave our windows alone, you goddamn menace! We NEED those!"

The tables go sailing through the windows in a shower of glass. The possessed man doesn't hesitate for a moment, and then takes off. His wife grabs his leg to stop him, crying up, "Jesse! Please!" The only response she gets is from the ghost as the man's voice hasn't come back yet. "No!" and within the next second the table already on her is lifted up, and slammed back down onto her.

Screw lightning -- in the moment, C.B.'s hand goes to his gun again, which he points at the possessed man. Will it do anyone any good? Probably not, but maybe he can at least injure the vessel. "Cut it out, man!" the Wizened screams. "You're gonna fucking kill her!"

The table is lifted up, and then slammed down again. "No!" the ghost shrieks. It lifts the table up again, slamming it down again and again and again. It screams its defiance with each time. His wife slipped unconscious after the second blow, and now simply flops with each attack.

C.B.'s hands are shaking, but it manages to steady them enough to pull the trigger and shoot the possessed dude, he hopes, in the shoulder. Something to distract him. Hell, maybe he'll start throwing tables at C.B. instead, who always carries blushberries and...well. Whatever he does to him, it can't be half as bad as it'll end up being to this poor woman.

The woman was likely not to wake up under the assault, but it eventually comes to an end when CB shoots him. The ghost shrieks, although likely not in pain. No, the possessed man slowly turns to CB. Tears run down his face as the ghost screams at CB, and the table's soon lifted up to be aimed in CB's direction. "Bad!" the ghost screams as the man's own hoarse voice can't keep up.

Haruki's off to his favourite cafe, carrying a bag of books(?). Gun shots? Smashed window? Door closed? French? What's going on? Haruki is confused and should he be running right now? Or going for help but he's no idea who he'd even ask for help? And is there anything he can do from outside? It's not drawing a crowd is it? Can people see in?

C.B. stands there, still holding the gun, white as a sheet (apart from the bright red in his cheeks), electricity crackling nervously around him, teeth clenched. But this was his aim: to get the ghost to stop attacking the woman and attack him instead. His jaw sets and he aims for the man's leg instead. "Don't make you shoot you again. I'll keep doing it until you stop."

Someone else had been happening by, who might be a familiar sight to Haruki - but not one he's seen recently. It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a ... bat. And not Batman, but rather a scrawny little black Beast of a bat, peering through one of the shattered windows where the tables had come through. She's biting her lower lip, then she suddenly backs up and takes a running leap up through the window, skirt billowing out behind her. It would probably be a more dramatic entrance if she weren't... well... her. Haruki's about to ask Ziv what's going on, as if she'd have a better clue. In fact he does get out a "what's?" before she's leaping, and Haruki decides, in his infinite wisdom, to just follow her. If she jumped off a cliff maybe he'd copy her doing that too.

On the next full moon the ghost will suffer unbearable pain. Whether wearing flesh or otherwise it be brought before the moonlight, and made to bleed as the only way a host would. Its death will serve to empower a strange, tall man - willowy in build and quite mad in nature. The end result will be the bringing about of a three-headed dog.

"Shit!" That's not for the tables flying -- that's for the sirens. "Shit!" C.B. exclaims, staring around wildly. He sees Ziv...and Haruki. Both friends of his, allegedly. "I -- I gotta get out of here," he tells them both, panicking. C.B. Alexander, panicking before the pigs? Well, yeah. He just shot a guy! At least he didn't kill him...

Yossarian, meanwhile, is standing up, eyes bulging, staring right at the ghost. What does the papery cat see? He must see something...

It's possible that Haruki careens into Ziv's back after leaping through the window - if so she staggers forward with a surprised squeak, but maintains her footing. To those with fae sight, her ears orient towards C.B. and she nods grimly to him, asking, "Can you get out through the back? Or do you need help?" Her dark eyes, however, are turning towards the man who's speaking in the voice of a little girl. Briefly, her fangs come down to her lower lip, then she glances at C.B. and Haruki. "You two should probably get out of here."

Turning towards the ghost then, she begins to speak in a sing-song tone, "-You're- being bad. Very bad, bad, bad." It's a sort of staccato thing, as if Ziv's trying to make it up on the spot. It's not, perhaps, the best little melody.

Haruki looks around the room. What witnesses are there? He nods at CB. Leaving's such a good idea. What is happening. Wait is Ziv taking charge? Telling them what to do. He nods. "Out the back way?" he asks CB. "What's this? Possession? I can't 'the power of christ compels you' because I don't believe that. And I can't remember all the latin words. Unresolved business?" he asks.

The ghost shouts out again. CB did have its attention, but then Ziv starts singing. It fully draws her attention away as the ghost's voice softens. "Mama," she whimpers before Ziv's words fully reach the man's ears. "Bad!" she screams. "Bad! Bad!" she keeps screaming as she charges at the baw-woman with both hands raised.

Yeah, right. Like C.B. is going to just leave Ziv there to get attacked while he escapes. It's just not in his character. He whirls around as she moves off towards the possessed man and the man charges her. Casting a wild look at Haruki, this time he dashes over to try and, well, maybe not shoot the guy again -- but perhaps he can knock him out, from behind, using the grip of his gun.

Beasts might not be the brightest of Changelings, but they're pretty good at thinking on their feet. Ziv shoots a look after C.B., about to warn him not to - but there he goes. And of course, the Wizened is damnably hard to stop when he gets going. Instead of retreating, though, she braces herself as the possessed man comes onwards. But there's where the wits come in - after catching that softened voice from the possessed man, and she switches tactics. Instead of the scolding, challenging tone she slips into something more reminiscient of a lullaby in her haunting soprano voice. The words, however, don't seem to be in English.

"Don't," Haruki says as CB goes on the attack again. He tries to step in the way, or grab his arm, or just run interference. "Let Ziv do the sing thing. Frere Jacques Lullaby it to sleep." And then to the ghost. "Don't hurt Mama."

Despite the fact she's wearing the body of a fully grown man as a meatsuit a child is still a child. The ghost brings down its fists on Ziv, but the most that it amounts to is the simple thudding on her shoulders as she wails for her mother. The ghost's screaming is soon drowned out by the police sirens, and even they eventually end with the sound of two car doors slamming shut.

Haruki /does/ prevent C.B. from knocking out the ghost, though he does end up shooting a hole in the ceiling. "FUCKING GODDAMN SONOFABITCH!" And now the cops are here? Okay, with Ziv not imminently in danger, C.B. takes one last look around and heads out the back, holstering his gun again. Yossarian leaps off the cat tower to follow him, pausing in front of Haruki and Ziv. "I have learned some things," the cat says quietly, not wishing to advertise that he speaks, perhaps. "I shall tell you at a later time." He then ducks after C.B.

Ziv gets a light pounding from the ghost-possessed man, seeming a little takenaback. For a brief moment her lips curl back - and those that can see through glamours would note the myriad of needle-sharp teeth in her mouth. It's quickly subdued, however, as she steadies herself. Another, quick darting look is given to C.B. as he goes to make his mistake, and she looks at Haruki as well as if to quickly gauge what's going on.

But her actual action? She lifts up her wings to wrap around the possessed man in front of her, perhaps putting faith either in the coppers or herself, and wraps them in what to most others might appear delicate human arms. Still keeping up the sing-song tone she murmurs out, "Shhhh. Hush now."

Haruki startles as there's more gunfire right next to him and was CB trying to shoot him? And so close and panicpanicpanicpanic dive for cover, hide. Hidehidehide. And there's yelling and fighting and Haruki is of no help at all.

It didn't take long for the police to run right in. After looking at the mess outside two patrol officers come to the windows with their pistols raised. The ghost was calming down, sniffling as the police approached. "Get down!" they shout to both Ziv and the possessed man. "Down on the ground, no!"

C.B. and Yossarian escape, presumably, though no doubt C.B. will later regret leaving Ziv and Haruki behind. On the other hand, staying there might mean he ends up in jail for...a long, long time. Even if no one ended up dead.

"It's okay! Just let me calm him down!" Ziv calls out to the police officers, tersely, squeezing her arms a little more tightly around the possessed man. She doesn't know a lot about ghosts - but knows enough about C.B. and the staff to know they probably didn't overturn the tables. A quick, frantic look is given over to Haruki... Or... where Haruki was. He's gone.

Haruki's gone, yes gone. No one here at all where he's trembling and hiding and trying not to think of the guns and wishing he was anywhere else. Yeah he's no help at all.

One officer keeps his pistol trained on the possessed man while the other has his lowered as he moves to step through the window. "Ma'am, you need to leave. Now. This man is dangerous and has already assaulted-" he stops, gaze slowly going to the man's knocked out wife.

"You might... want to be careful. I don't think he's in his right mind," Ziv warns the police officers, quietly. Though they might have a hard time actually hearing her, depending on what else is going on. She continues to pat the possessed man on the back, and croon softly to him.

The other officer comes in soon after the first as he nods to Ziv's. They both slowly make their way to the man, and one moves to circle behind the suspected criminal. The one remaining in front slowly holsiters his pistol, moving his hand to his stun gun afterward. As the one behind goes to cuff him he reaches for the possessed man's wrist slowly but surely, but it sets off the ghost again. The ghost and the man both scream bloody murder, but before things can get out of hand again the officer fazing the ghost immediately pulls out his stun gun and tazes the man. Each shock sets the man off, and he hits the floor as the ghost continues to scream.

At that point, Ziv backs out of the way, her hands clasping up to her ears. Unless the officers stop her, she makes a beeline for the back.

the screaming goes on and on until the man eventually passes out. When he does so the cops immediately cuff him after checking to make sure he's not gonna get back up and go crazy on them. The freezing cold that once grasped the collective now leaves and the lights turn back on (those that haven't been destroyed at least).