Log:Hedgend Maze

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Hedgend Maze
Characters  •   Devereux Jaden Marchant  •  Spear Thistle  •  Star Thistle  •  Georgina "George" Lester  •  Amy Lester  •  Cash Freeland  •  Silver Luna Thistle  •  Ashley Freeland  •  Jonny Lester  •
Location  •  Hedge Maze
Date  •  2019-10-01
Summary  •  Fran bribes the Families to enter the Hedgemaze using Arthur as bait.

Down by the other entrance to the Village is the hedge maze, and the gates to the parking lot, large and wrought iron, are locked. Not that it stops vampires from flying over them.

The maze itself is a bit more creepy tonight than usual as things are darkened here, not rally a part of grad night activities. The wind picking up and the moon getting swallowed by clouds that weren't there thirty minutes ago don't help.

Twenty foot high walls of thick oleander - which is poisonous, because it was made in the days of natural selection, AKA the 60's - form the maze, the path paved with sidewalk. On any other night it wouldn't be a difficult journey - they grew up running this maze and know it well - but Fran is actively fucking with their perception and it looks quite alien now.

The towering hedges rustle and sway ominously in the breeze.


Spear looks at the maze, firmly, and he puts his hands on his hips. Then he says brightly "Let's split up!"


Even as a child, Ashley never thought the hedge walls were //that// high. But now, in the gloom, with it being an obvious trap, they seem like cold mountains mocking them all. She stares at Spear's comment. "Seriously? There's only one entrance for a start. We stick together." A quick hug of Amy to steel herself before Ashley heads inside - hot pants and exposed legs are not the best idea.


Silver approaches the maze all the while muttering and focusing on something else entirely. Specifically naming all the names of Fran and crews victims that she can remember. It isn't midnight. It isn't any other special time. It's a long shot, but it is part of her plan. The muttering is soft and almost inaudible. It sure sounds like she is muttering darkly to anyone who passes her by. But still someone might hear her saying, "If any of you want to prevent these fucks from doing more harm, please help us tonight. I give you permission to go full poltergeist on their asses, this night. Just help us please."

The serious and fierce Silver turns to look at her brother with a raised brow. "That's a horrible idea. No," She says simply as she pulls off her dark hoodie and pulls it on. The colorful shirt fades away and she blends much better into the hedge. The floral design leggings only help. "I'll move ahead with whoever else can be quiet, find the right way, and we move as a group."


Johnny doesn't know who Fran is. He doesn't know his perceptions are being fucked with. He doesn't know vampires can fly, or where they might be tonight. What he does know is, he's heading into the maze. "I don't know why you guys are so fuckin' scared of this stupid maze tonight but now you kinda got me jumpy too," he complains as he steps inside the hedges of oleander, blinking in the dim light as his eyes begin to slowly adjust to the reduced ambience. He takes a long swig from the can of Jolt Cola whose bright label loudly reminds everyone that it contains all the sugar and twice the caffeine, swishing it around over his teeth before he gulps it down.

The air inside feels pestilent and fetor, a sense that Jonny communicates as "Did something fuckin' die in here?" His large nose wrinkles. Luckily, he's dressed for the journey, in the graduation gown and nothing else.


Jade casually and lovingly closes his hand over Spear's mouth and says, "Has anyone ever actually done this maze before? Did anyone here ever get to the center?" He looks around. "I've never gotten to the center." To Silver, he says, "I really don't want any of us to get out of sight of the others. You could get turned around and then be lost and alone."


George rubs her eyes as she looks around the hedge, wondering whether it's Fran or party favours that are messing her up. She hung out here enough as a kid that she knows the way, and yet... "I can be pretty sneaky when I want to be. And I'm thinking I want to be right now..."


"Never split the party." Cash grumbles. "Safety in numbers." He looks up the hedge walls. "Were they always this tall? I could have sworn I could put someone on my shoulders but..." He trails off. "There is a trick...the blind can make it through a maze with this trick. Left hand to the wall. Follow it. Never leave the wall." He nods a little. "It works. Slowly...but it works."


Hector eyes his Brother, "Amy and Silver are right. Let's not. This is dangerous enouggh without travelling in a smaller group." He eyes the maze, "My favorite flowers." He straightens his hat and steals himself for what's ahead. Still he gives cash and Felicity reassurring smiles before they enter. "No one gets left behind." He calls to the ghosts, "If one of you might show us the way, I'd really appreciate it?"


"-If canf bef fneaky," says Spear in a low voice from behind Jade's hand "I ufed to haf to hife from Amyf." He demonstrates by changing the way he walks, now hitting heel first and rolling his foot forward on the edges of his sneakers. It works.


Silver raises a hand at Jade's question and turns to look at him with a faint smile. "Yes. I did. Of course I did. Numerous times...but it looks different." She wrinkles her nose.


"Like, when I was a kid," Amy remarks on when she's done the maze before, glancing up. "But I don't remember the walls being so ..." she just trails off there, shrugging. "There's only one way through the maze anyway, isn't there? Splitting up is just going to lead people to dead ends. Come on." She's not so sneaky. She's just going to go the way she kind of remembers.


Jade drops his hand away from Spear's mouth and replaces it with a kiss. "Very sneaky," he murmurs. He walks along with Jade, unarmed but confident in the way Marchants tend to be. There's something regal in his gait, but that's nothing new. "They're already expecting us, so let's just go." He follows Amy.


"Yeah, something is definitely fucked up with this maze," George agrees, putting a hand on the wall but just sort of stroking it, rather than following Cash's advise. She slips the flask of holy water into the pocket of her jacket, and glances around one last time before falling into step behind Amy. "Do we have any sort of plan other than just... not dying?"


"It smells different, too," Jonny repeats, tying the honors ribbon around his shoulders now around his mouth and nose. He didn't have an honors ribbon at graduation. "I'm not waiting, I'm going in. You losers can follow me if you want to, but frankly I don't give a damn." With that, he's going in, pushing past anyone in his way, a flash of his pale hairy leg sticking out from under the gown showing his usual Chucks and socks, wooden drumsticks shoved into the ringspun cotton. There's that mystery solved. No hands are kept on the walls, they're still full of sodas.


Silver glances at George as they walk. She moves to try and take the lead, doing her best to lead the way on quiet feet. "Jonny, don't!" She says with a frown, shooting to grab his arm. "This is a bad idea to begin with. Don't be stupid too. Stay together. You can walk with me if you must, but just...don't be an idiot," And she lets out an irritated huff. "We talk. And we keep talking until help arrives from older and hopefully better sources. If not then hopefully the ghosts help us recover whoever it is..."


"I had one. But..." Cash begins. "I mean, not literally hand on the wall. Just follow the left or right wall." His voice gets quieter with every word, eyes down. He half-whispers to Hector, "This is how they treated me Pre-K through Twelfth. I only have a voice when I say something stupid."


As they enter the maze, they all can hear laughter now from deep within, and it feels like the hedges grow even taller and he path narrows. It's all trickery, of course, like the severed head Fran brandished at Cash in the cemetary.

"Come and find me, little doves! Maybe I'll give your friend back. If he wants to go back."


Ashley sticks close to Amy as they go deeper into the hedge. "I did this easy as a child..." Of course she did. "But this is not the same. This is...creepy." Her hand looks for Amy's in the dim light. "Talk to who, Silver? The Painkillers? Not sure they're the talking type. We fing out who they have or whether this is all a trick and then we deal with it." A roll of her eyes at the laughter. "She really likes the sound of her own voice." A beat. "At least we know it's a 'he'."


Hector trusts the locals to know where they are going, trusting Silver to manage Jonny. He keeps looking up, head moving in case of sneak attack from the sky. He touches Cash's wrist, "It's a good idea, Cashew." He growwls angrily at the taunting. "I hate these vampires so much."


"I listened, I'm not splitting up, Cash," says Spear, in a low voice, but then Jonny is heading on out, and Spear is suddenly having to think about the fact that he _might_ be naked under that robe. His face goes a bit puzzled. But by now he is excited and he starts to follow. One hand drifts towards the hedge, and Spear glances back at Jade over his shoulder, before he says "Yeah, doubt it." under his breath "Ok, we grab Art and then we run and run. If it's Art. OK? Running is a super power." He sneaks along low, lips held in the 'concentrating hard' position.


ROLL: Silver rolls spirit +1 for: [1]: x3 (Set) [2]: x1 [5]: x1 -- Match Value: 3 (Raw: 2 1 5 1 1 -- d6)


"Jonny, slow the fuck down," Amy calls out after her cousin as she moves, speeding up a little herself to keep him in sight. "I don't give a fuck what you think is going on but we're still talking about the fucking Painkillers here okay."


"Well that's fucking reassuring," George mutters to the laughter. "God, Jonny, chill," she adds, with a touch of annoyance as she trods along, back up, eyes open. "Find and deal." She's underwhelmed by this plan, but just sighs and rolls her eyes. She's in the shit now, anyway.


"Maybe some of us can distract her," Jade tells Spear, coming up right behind him. "Slow her down, so the rest of you can get Art out. Then we'll run like hell, too. If you get him, just go. Don't look back, okay? I'll be right behind you." There's a Greek myth that goes something like this.


"No, fuck you," Jonny protests when Silver grabs at his arm, pulling the lanky appendage away and spilling a bunch of Jolt in the process. "You're all on some kind of shrooms having a bad trip and I'm not getting arrested on my first night of being not a punkass kid in school." He perks up when Amy mentions the Painkillers, eyes suddenly bright behind his glasses. "Perfect, I've been wanting to see those posers since that day at the auto shop." The back of his hand shoves the glasses further up his nose, leaving some Jolt in its wake.

The ominous laughter sends a jolt through /him/, though. "Little doves. That must be you losers," he decides, pouring the rest of the Jolt can into the cup of Mountain Dew to free up one of his hands, leaving the spent container behind as litter. "That chick can project like a motherfucker. I want her in my band." He tromps onward despite the precautions of the others.


Silver closes her eyes and draws in another deep breath. Calming herself as the others start taking care of Jonny. Tuning them out she once again begins the mental litany of names of the victims. Willing them to come to her, to listen, to help. They are going to take others and one way or another, they'll need help at least to escape. But more than anything? Silver realizes she is angry. Very angry. And she wants the ghosts to hurt Fran and her crew. "Ghosts of the wronged I have called, I give your permission to seek vengeance on those who stole your life, help us rescue who she took." She talks and her voice is a low rumble, some could say dangerous.


The path will only allow two side by side as they go, so the group essentially has to form a line as they walk to their impending doom. Star and Sean are near the back, covering the rear. It twists and winds in ways they don't remember it doing before.

Soon more laughter, no longer just Fran's, bt severaal male voices as well.


ROLL: Silver rolls brawn for: [1]: x2 (Pair) [4]: x2 (Pair) -- Match Value: 2 (Raw: 4 1 4 1 -- d10)


ROLL: Jonny rolls brawn for: [3]: x2 (Pair) [4]: x1 [6]: x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 6 3 4 3 -- d6)


ROLL: Jonny rolls 1d6 for: [6]: x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 6 -- d6)


"Yeah, you go up and tell the violent criminal motorcycle gang that they're posers, see how that fucking works out for you," Amy mutters from behind Jonny, shaking her head. "Don't be a cunt." She commands him. Really, she should be in front but now everything's changed. She frowns a little at the further laughter, glancing back behind them carefully before looking ahead again.


Hands shoot out of the hedge, low, and grab at Jonny and Silver's ankle, but neither can grab on strong enough to hold on.


James arrives from Lake Havasu - English Village.


Zane arrives from Lake Havasu - English Village.


Thea arrives from Lake Havasu - English Village.


Mona arrives from Lake Havasu - English Village.


Sean remains close to Star as they move into the maze. This seems like a distinctly bad idea, but part of him hopes that he will see Nora and Bee, and that maybe that might help. Suddenly eating that pretzel that fast doesn't seem like it was as good an idea with his stomach tied up in knots. But he follows along close, "I don't.. remember this going this way before."


Down by the other entrance to the Village is the hedge maze, and the gates to the parking lot, large and wrought iron, are locked. Not that it stops vampires from flying over them.

The maze itself is a bit more creepy tonight than usual as things are darkened here, not rally a part of grad night activities. The wind picking up and the moon getting swallowed by clouds that weren't there thirty minutes ago don't help.

Twenty foot high walls of thick oleander - which is poisonous, because it was made in the days of natural selection, AKA the 60's - form the maze, the path paved with sidewalk. On any other night it wouldn't be a difficult journey - they grew up running this maze and know it well - but Fran is actively fucking with their perception and it looks quite alien now.

The towering hedges rustle and sway ominously in the breeze. When the rest of the group arrives, their friends are already somewhere inside.


Silver does make a little shrill squeek as she dances away from those grabbing hands. "Fuck!" She croaks as her eyes scan the hedges, hand fumbling into her bag and pulling out a stake. Sharpened and slipped into the bottom of the bag. It could pass as a normal tent stake and, well, she is a Thistle. Her grip on it is tight and her eyes are wide. "Be careful, they're close. Now would be a great time to pull some poltergeist shit, folks," And she is clearly not talking to the living group.


"You are what you eat," Jonny smirks to Amy, turning around and walking backwards to do so and in the process altering his gait enough that the hand that slithers out from the hedge can't quite get a grip on him.

Scares the shit out of him though.

"What the /fuck!/" He half-jumps, half-trips away, gathering his gown up like a skirt and peering down at his white-socked ankles with naked fright, his cup of soda-blend dropped in the panic of the moment. Fumbling hands tug the drumsticks out of the sock and he brandishes one in either hand, yelling, "Come out of there and I'll beat your ass! STACCATO!"


"Jonny, you're such a blowhard, God," George chimes in, rolling her eyes again. "You're not gonna get arrested, you'll get yourself //killed//." And that would, perhaps, be a bad thing. The laughter, though, brings her out of family squabbles and back to the matter at hand. As Jonny and Silver shout and jump, she can't help but jump in response to it. "Right. Okay. How are we doing on the 'don't die' part of the plan?" She tries to squeeze in closer towards the middle of the path, away from the walls.


More laughter, and those arriving at the entrance hear it as well, Fran and others. The wind picks up a bit more.


Landon arrives from Lake Havasu - English Village.


Esme arrives from Lake Havasu - English Village.


Lucas arrives from Lake Havasu - English Village.


Theodore arrives from Lake Havasu - English Village.


"Yeah like you've had any pussy in forever," Amy says with a roll of her eyes, though she does jump back a slight bit too when those hands come for Jonny and Silver. "Fucking, see? Don't fuck around Jonny." She says quietly afterwards, shaking her head slightly, and while Jonny's maybe shouting at the hedge wall, she'll stry to slip on past him to take the front.


Jade startles when the others jump, and he looks around his feet, not that he can really see anything. "Well, fuck that," he says, and he steps a bit more gingerly. Still manages to look regal doing it, though. Or arrogant. "Remember, baby. Jab, twist, yank. Sever tendons if you can." A pause, then, "Theirs, not ours."


Ashley joins the cacophony of screams at the appearance of the hands. Jumping around in place like she is standing on hot coals. "It's not funny, bitch!" she yells at the laughter. Amy's going forward? Ashley is following.


Spear goes up on tip toes, trying to work out what people ahead are freaking out at, and then he pauses "Jonny's okay," he decides, and he swallows. He pulls out the knife and holds it in his hand "Yes, yes, I know, erm. I. I will be very stabbity." Rear guard action.


While Lesters are bickering, more hands reach out, this time grabbing Ashley and Spear by the collars quite firmly and pulling them in towards the hedges. They're about to be yanked into the brush.


"NO!" Silver yells, having turned around to the group, as a hand grabs at Spear. Her hand slipping on his hands, slick with sweat from her fear. "SPEAR!" Her voice is shrill and terrified.


Hector starts at Jonnoy nd Silver's alarm, but keeps alerts for a second grab attempt, either from above or below, eyes flicking quickly. Then he's yelling "No" as he grabs for Spear. Too, too slow.


Morrison pulls up at the English Village, having received Hector's call that something was going down. He comes right in through the gates and makes his way back toward the maze where he was told to meet them. He moves with a very purposeful and swift stride and a look at anyone who might think about questioning why he's there and where he's going that discourages interaction of any kind.


Cash is tired of the bickering and he's annoyed and scared but then he looks to see Ashley being pulled in. Cash has never moved so fast in his life and still, it's not fast enough to save his sister.


Ashley screams once more as she is now grabbed. Damn Nirvana t-shirt! Why did it have such strong collars? She fumbles the holy water in her hand and they fall to the path. Her other hand grapsing for her King. "Amy!!" It is like she is sucked into the hedge. Her grasping hand the last thing to be seen before she disappears from view.


In the middle of the pack, George isn't close enough to grab for Spear or Ashley, and starts for one, then the other, causing her to make no real progress towards either. "What the fuck!" she cries out, grabbing at a few random branches in a last-ditch attempt... that does nothing except scratch up her hands. "Amy..." she breathes, pressing forward to reach her cousin before she can do something stupid. Or at least be at her side when she does it.


ROLL: Esme rolls spirit for: [1]: x1 [2]: x1 [4]: x1 [5]: x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 4 2 5 1 -- d6)


Reluctantly moving towards the hedge maze, hand-in-hand with Thea, James clutches a bookbag to his shoulder in gradual approach, chewing on his lip with worry. It isn't until he hears his sister's shrill shrieking of his brother's name that the color drains from his face and he bolts in.


Blink. "Spear!" Star lunges forward but can't get close enough to reach him. Bothe he and Ashley are, essentially, swallowed by the hedges, and when inspected up close there's nowhere for them to have gone to. There's simply no way to go in.


Of course the first thing he has to hear on entering the hedge maze is someone shrieking at the top of their lungs. Justin quickly grabs on to Lucas' hand, not for comfort but to make sure nothing can happen to him without Justin possibly being dragged in, too. "Stick close." He whispers, perhaps a bit harshly.


Spear's reaction to having his collar grabbed is to start biting at the hand that has him, but he is shortly gone in a flurry of leaves and...uh. Hopefully that black stuff is leaking soda, not blood, right? He does love his pepsi.


ROLL: Cash rolls spirit-1 for: [2]: x1 [5]: x1 [6]: x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 2 5 6 -- d6)


After having made a few phone calls, Landon, Lucas, Esme and Justin trail behind the other Marchants and Zane who already ventured into the maze. Clasped within Landon's hand is a knife, looks like it came from Big Ben's of all places. While he's no expert knife wielder, it's held up and pointed out, taking a more defensive stance.

The tall hedges looked unfriendly, perhaps it's because it's night or maybe the fact that they were already riled up, their lives being threatened by this vampire cult. Either way, he takes slow cautious steps; steps which pause briefly at the shouts and then Silver's scream. Turning to one side, his eyes fall on Esme in the darkness, he then turns to the other to regard Lucas with this tense gaze in his eyes, catching sight of Justin in the process. After taking in this moment to breathe, he begins creeping forward once more following behind the others.


"Spear!" Jade lunges in time to get handfuls of oleander. "No, no, no, no, no. SPEAR!" He looks down at his (hopefully) Pepsi-drenched hands. Then he's trying to paw through the hedge again, looking for any sign of the Thistle lad. It takes him a little while to realize there's no more Spear. He sinks down to his knees. "He's gone."


"Spear!!" Sean shouts when Spear suddenly disappears into the hedges and he's right after Star, reaching out to try and grab his best friend before he vanishes. He shoves his hands into the bushes but there's nowhere to go, no hole for them to have slipped through, no way for him to push through the wall of the hedge. "What the everloving fuck?" He stares in shock.


Fuck. And Ash was in the midst of trying to push past Jonny. Instead she's backing up to try and get ahold of Ashley when she hears that next scream, and she's reaching out a hand to get a hold of Ashley and yank her back out of the hedge.

She's too slow. And as she watches Ashley Freeland get dragged into the hedge and out of sight, the colour drains from her face. She's just ... kind of staring at hedge wall stupidly, failing to process what she just witnessed. She doesn't say a word.


Hector tears at the hedge alongside Jade, bellowing for Spear over and over, utterly furious. The boy has some lungs on him.


Fran laughs in delight. "You're almost there, my lovelies! Come see me. We need to have a chat."


Silver paws at the hedge with her hands, lips peeled back, making little whimpering noises. Those green eyes are wide as she scratches her hands to shit trying, somehow, to get at her brother. "I-I couldn't get a hold of h-h-him," She stutters at Star, shaking all over. But she looks pissed more than anything and her lips curl. "I'm...I'm gonna..." And she turns to glare towards the deeper part of the maze. Before starting to stalk that way with fury in every step.


Naturally, when James charges in at the sound of his sister's screeching, Thea's right on his heels. She isn't entirely sure what they'll find, or what they'll do about it in any case, but she sure as hell isn't leaving the Thistle boy who took her to prom to rush alone into a creeptastic and obviously dangerous maze.


Esme enters the maze with the guys and she's good at moving with caution and not plowing ahead, but after a moment, she rubs one of her eyes and looks around, trying to source where to go with echoes of noise she's trying to use through the disorientation that Fran has caused in what's usually a familiar run through. In fact, she seems to think it's just her for a moment, so she doesn't say anything initially, but after a time, she murmurs, "... everything is all weird.

But then Ashley screams and Esme isn't close enough at this point to see, of course, but that's her cousin who NEVER sounds like that, who fights through and rarely panics for the sake of the game and succeeding at the things life does. And boy does she take off like a shot, immediately breaking her calm she's had all the while to yell with her own panic reflex, "ASH!" They used to be closer growing up, she didn't even drink, she shouldn't even be here, according to Esme's brain. She tries to follow where the screams are more than what she remembers of the maze, but eventually has to stop with a helpless look around to curse, "Shit!" She's not a huge potty mouth, so she's clearly frustrated about being behind.


George attempts to link arms with Amy, in moral support but also to prevent either of them getting yanked away without the other. "Fuck you!" she shouts back to Fran. Why bother being quiet when the vampires clearly know right where they are. "Give them back and //then// we'll talk!" She's not exactly bargaining from a position of power, but... she can't see she has much to lose either.


"Shit!" Jonny yells as the other two are pulled into the hedge. "That could have been me!" He's doing his best now to stand in the middle of the path, more occupied with this than any efforts to save the other two that have just been spirited away. "Thank fuck for that." The voice calling on the breeze is chilling, and a shiver runs down his spine, visibly registering as a reflexive convulsion of his wide, bony shoulders. "Who is that? That's the Painkiller chick? You all don't want to hear this right now but none of you should have followed me in here. I'm not part of this, I'd have been fine without you!" he fumes loudly at the others, pointing at the nearest person with one of his sticks, maybe George. "Shut up! When has that ever worked?!"


"Ashley..." Cash stops short of the hedge wall. He stares, in a similar way that Amy does. Like he doesn't process it. Hector is screaming and he comes to his senses but it's not going to do him any good. He drops to his knees. His breathing is shallow, color gone. He reaches for Hector, blindly clawing at his legs. "Stop. Stop." His voice is devoid of emotion. "They're gone. My sister. My /twin/ sister. What do I do now?" When Fran is heard, it pushes him over. He gets up and begins marching further into the maze. "I'm coming, you glorified cunt rag."


Lucas follos Landon and asks, jaw tight, "Why are we-" He lets the rest of the question hang. Landon knows what is rolling around in his head. He doesn't have to finish it. He sighs keeping up the pace kinda grateful for 6 years on track. "God this is mice running into a damn trap where she gets to do all teh damn negotiating. They fly. Why are we going in blind? There someway around this-" and he stops hearing //her//. The side of his hand extends to teh other side like he's on the court trying to keep track of other players in his blind spot which is exactly what's happening. Justin's still on his right? cool.


"Hector!" Morrison shouts from the entrance of the maze as he heads inside, since Hector was the one who had called him, and he's not sure where the rest of them are. He can hear familiar voices echoing from within the maze and it deepens the scowl that has overtaken his features. Tense, uncertain what is going on, and not at all expecting any of it to be good.


Amy is just standing there, and then she's glaring at Jonny, but she doesn't say a word. She doesn't say anything at all to anyone, actually. Just a kind of death glare for Jonny, and then she's shifting to stomp on after Cash. They're moving onwards.


Even as Esme darts off ahead, perhaps finding one of the many shrieks coming from the darkness familiar, Landon continues along more cautiously. He doesn't like this, not one bit, that they were trapped in here and-- Another look is given Lucas. While this wasn't a small confined space, it was a maze where the walls could very well feel as if they were closing down on you. That's when he hears the tension in his twin's voice, his own jaw tightening as he adds in exactly what Lucas was thinking, "...listening to Mr. Chen instead of Theodore, again?"

Careful to lower his nice, even if the hand clutching it tightens, Landon reaches out to place a firm free hand on Lucas' shoulder, an attempt to keep him calmed and even give him some strength. That's when Morrison's voice is heard somewhere... behind them? Was this a trap too? Another cautious look is shot over at Lucas. If his brother wants to answer that call as well, he's free to do so.


The others soon catch up, and the entire group makes it to the center, which is nothing like the one they know.

They're in the cemetary.

Fran stands before them, and Sly, Roo and Never float about fifteen feet up, each holding an unconscious person - Arthur, Ashley and Spear respectively, well out of reach.

"Hello, lovelies," Fran greets with that too-big grin full of white teeth. "Glad you could make it. I seem to be misding a Lester and a Marchant, and I really want the whole set. So here's my offer - I'll give back the two I just took if one of you from each family - one that's drank twice - comes to me by the next full moon. It doesn't need to be all of you, just one from each of the other families. I have my Bloomquist, as you see. He wanted to join us. So you lot work it out between yourselves, come to me at the full moon, and you get Spear and Ashley back. Try to attack us or pull something clever, they die."


Cash's reaction is what silences Hector. He strokes the back of the red head's neck when he goes on one knee. Then he's sttorming forward with his husband. He calls to Morrison in his best athletic field bellow, "They got Spear and Ashley! Hurry! We're heading for the center. They can grab through the hedge!"

And then they are bursting into the center. He hisses, "Another fucking illusion." Then he's growling, "Fuck no!"


"Shut //up// Jonny," George growls at him, reaching to swipe at that drumstick in frustration. "Clearly //nothing// is working!" She might have continued, but now Cash and Amy are surging forward, and she's scrambling to catch up. "Jesus, we are all gonna die..." She stops short, looking around as she finds herself in the cemetery. She listens to Fran's offer, eyes widening in disbelief. "Fuck no."


Silver's jaw is trembling and her eyes are pale green fury as she stares at Fran. Her breathing is slow and deep. "And what does Bubba think of this plan of yours, Fran?" Silver says with a voice shaking, but not quite stuttering. It almost sounds like she's singing the words than anything else. "Don't you -dare- hurt them!"


ROLL: Silver rolls finesse -1 for: [1]: x2 (Pair) [3]: x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 3 1 1 -- d8)


Cash speaks up in a hurry. "Take me!" He probably spoke before he gave it much thought. He looks to Hector, stricken and back to Fran. "You can catch me up. I only took one drink, yes, but how hard will it be to bring me up to speed. Please? For Ashley...please? Please don't hurt my sister. I will do anything."


Once they reach the heart of the maze, and the surreal tableau spreads out before them, Mona stares. She listens, eyes narrowing as her jaw slowly sets. Her grip on Zane's hand is suddenly as strong as he's likely ever felt it. Deep breath. She slowly turns her head to look at him, bracing for what she suspects she's likely to see. Somehow, she doesn't imagine he saw this coming.


Jade grows calm on his way toward the center. Time to swallow all those emotions down, tamp them nice and firm and deep. Now, standing before Fran for the first time, he sizes her up, his jaw clenched tightly. He holds himself proud as ever. It's reflex.


Justin tries to interpose himself between Lucas and the floating vampires, but his eyes are fixed on one in particular. "Sly!" He doesn't know why he's trying to pull his brother's attention to him, maybe just hoping he can see some of the pleading on his face, or his confusion. He doesn't even know how much of a connection he still has to his brother, but he feels the need to call out to him at least once. Then he looks back over his shoulder at Lucas, then back to the floating Sly. "Don't do this.. please."


Jonny follows along mostly by inertia at this point, stumbling into the center/graveyard with the others, taken aback by the sudden juxtaposition of what is here versus what should have been here. "...I'm mostly okay with this," he decides in what is for once a quiet voice upon seeing the vampiric minions on the wing. "Uh. Yeah, keep them. That's- I'm having a bad trip and I didn't even hit anything. God dammit."


In a blink Fran goes the ten or so feet from where she stands to right in front of Silver, who just barely manages to step back in time. Such inhuman speed!

"Hold your tongue child!" she hisses, face contorting into that of a monster with glowing gold eyes like a serpent, all of her features sharpened and feral. "What did I just say about being clever?"

Then she looks to Cash. "No. I'm not wasting any more time. The next full moon they drink the third. Want Ashley back? Convince Esme to come to me."


Zane hurries through the maze as much as it allows him, looking as ready to attack something as he ever has, the worry gaining more anger as it becomes clear that two more of them were just grabbed. And then suddenly they're in the center, and there they are. The taken and the takers both. He stops short, staring up at them, the grip on both Mona's hand and the knife tight.

"Then why is he unconscious?" he demands of Fran, "Give my brother back! Give them all back, they're not yours! Why are you doing this?"


Sean just stares at the vampires. His sister isn't there, and that gives him some small relief, but that is until he sees Spear hanging there limply, and he clenches his fists at his sides. He's not a fighter, and he also can't fly, so there's not a whole lot he can do other than shake with rage.

Morrison follows the sound of the voices and stumbles through the maze which has grown increasingly more confusing, and suddenly comes out upon the sight of Fran and three... floating... people. He just stares at them for a moment, and then at Fran, and then at the other kids. Then he's moving toward Fran, "Listen you psychotic bitch. How about you stop picking on children." And then she's suddenly in front of Silver and her face goes all monstrous and it actually brings him up short. "What the holy fucking shit is that?"


Steven's - or Sly's - jaw tightens when Justin addresses him, but he looks away and says nothing.


One look at that proud expression etched starkly onto Jade's features is more than enough for Thea to discern the torment lurking just below the surface. Her fingers twitch within James's grasp a heartbeat before her hand starts to tug itself free; the Marchant girl is stepping forward. "Let them go now, and I'll come with you tonight," she declares in a clear, strong voice. "They mean nothing to you beyond leverage to get more of us who've drunk.. well, you know I've drunk twice. So let them go, and you can have me."


ROLL: Morrison rolls spirit for: [1]: x2 (Pair) [2]: x1 [3]: x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 2 1 3 1 -- d8)


"Shut up, Cash. All of you, stop negotiating." Amy says in a quiet tone. Amy Lester knows anger, but she's never known anger -- and fear -- like this before. And when Fran zips forward and gets in Silver's face, Amy, taking a step towards the Thistle girl. "Back off, bitch," she practically growls, that anger bubbling up within her. "Just let them go. Let them all go. Or I will fucking kill you myself."


Silver takes a step back and though her jaw trembles she stares into that horrific face. There is the faintest nod of her head to the woman. "I can't help it. I pick things up," She says as cooly as she can. Trying to borrow a page from the Marchant handbook. "Don't hurt them or I'll...I'll..." She fumbles for the words or maybe it's another stutter, "I'll sick all the ghosts in Lake Havasu on you." The waver of her voice gives away uncertainty and though she is angry she is also clearly terrified.


Esme stops and looks over her shoulder to make sure there's no commotion coming back from where she ran ahead of the boys, at least, after being brought to frustrated standstill with helplessness and cluelessness as to what happened to Ashley. But she knows she doesn't //hear// her anymore and she keeps hearing Fran no matter where she is, hand grabbing through her hair. In fact, she may even hear what's been done, but processing is a different matter. She plows onward with determination like a Freeland to get to where she heard her cousin scream, she thinks, and eventually, she gets there.

It's like Fran tries to convince Cash with barter and Esme shows up right afterwards. And seeing Amy and him and no Ashley, her fear is confirmed in full no matter what hopeful denial she was working on up top in that pretty head of hers, "Oh god. Where is she?"


Hector grabs hold of Cash Hard. He hisses, "You are not fucking going, Cash. You are not leaving me." He steps up with the angry Lesters, wih nothing more substantial than a water pistol and the white hot furious turning his face still and his expression stoney.


The sudden agreement from Thea takes James off-guard, and when her hand yanks free, he turns towards her, startled, then tries to grab her by the shoulders and bodily haul her back and away from the vampires. "No. Thea, no. We have time. Don't do anything rash, we'll figure this out." He looks up and grimaces. "Spear's going to be okay. They're all going to be okay."


Lucas steadies when Landon's hand finds his shoulder and the slight shaking that's Lucas' nerves pulled tigher than a drum. And then? Morrison's voice. He calls out, "HERE, BRO." That's their people and one of which, their future boss and POTUS. THe others? A scattering of family already flipped. He looks to Justin stepping forward and speaking up and then to the face he's met before. Fingers fall to the back of his shirt and makes a fist on the fabric in case. Fingers tighten around the knife. The maze is starting to feel smaller and the family tension... and oh fuck they are asking for their sister? Well probably they'll do but there's a smattering of Marchant with poor life choices and one Lennon. Looking up he boggles at Fran and says, "No, you can't have our sister. Turn into a bat and fuck off." Maybe it's a seed to back Justin's play here to work on Sly but he shakes his head, "You don't get we're not here to barter our siblings."


"No, we're not //trading// people," George replies, before looking around at the others. "Right?" It's more suggestion than question. She's with Amy on this one. She's got her back. But, like, from back over here. "Vampires," George replies simply, to Morrison. "Glad you've caught up."


Cash looks for Esme and when he sees her, he just shakes his head. "Fr--Queen--your Majesty." Cash swallows hard. "There must be another way. I'm a Freeland too. That is my twin. Esme is...innocent. Sweet. I'm a bag of dick on my best day.--" Amy cuts him off and he counters. "No need to lose you both, Amy!" Back to Fran. "Please, Fran. So what you must be let me take her place." Then Hector grabs him and move up with the Lesters. Cash grabs Hector right back. "You aren't leaving me either. Stand down."


Fran laughs, musical and hypnotic, turning that monster's vissage to Amy. "Just so we're clear, you're threatening me? I give them all back, or you'll kill me?" She spreads her arms. "Come and try, little dove. Beat me, you can have them back."

To Morrison, "This doesn't concern you. Walk away while you can."


Jade looks to his sister. "Thea, no. We have no guarantee they're even alive. We'll figure this out, and by next full moon we'll be drinking chablis over this bitch's ashes. You go with her, we might lose you, and I--" His voice breaks, and he swallows. "I can't lose anyone else tonight."


Thea's offer has Mona's eyes flashing suddenly wide. "Thea, no!" Still clutching Zane's hand, she lunges toward Thea to help hold her back with James, as though one side of her body isn't sure what the other is doing.


Jonny Lester, the voice of reason, points a drumstick now at the vampires floating in the air. "Are you not fucking seeing this? You're not gonna kill a flying demon-lady with your bare hands, you fuck!" he yells at Amy, then turns his ire on Thea. "Why the actual fuck would they trade all of them for one of you? I don't even know what the shit is going on but even I can tell that's a bad trade."

His graduation gown flutters dramatically around his ankles in the breeze. "Look bat-lady, you're weird as hell and it's kind of hot, but if you don't back off you're about to have to kill half these dumb shits and ruin your little deal in the process. Personally, I'm cool with it, but fuck! Fuck!" He's out of other words.


Silver turns to quickly glance at Amy, not really wanting to take her eyes off of Fran. There is relief that the Lester is stepping forward and being intimidating. It never was her strong suit. A soft breath escapes and she finally turns her eyes to her brother in the sky, being held. "Spear, you just sit tight all right? Star and I are here." Her hand around the stake in one hand tightens. For once she clearly doesn't know what to do.


Justin doesn't take his eyes off of Sly, instead trying to bore into him with his gaze, practically willing him to make eye contact with him. So many people around him with so many siblings, and he only has one. One that is one of those causing all these problems and splitting friends and families up. "Steve.." It's softer, but still pleading. He's doing his best to ignore Fran, which is hard with all her bluster, but obviously she needs her back up, too, to hold her captives.


The smile the curls Morrison's lips is wolfish. "Oh, it very much concerns me. And I'm not walking away." Did he even hear George? Maybe. But that doesn't stop him from moving toward Fran where she stands by Silver.


Once they finally reach the others in what should be the center of a maze that most of them were already familiar with, Landon's eyes narrow at the hovering vampires, hearing out their demands. "That's crazy, right there." Others seem to agree with him, voicing their own opinions on the matter. "We'll get them back some other way." He murmurs quietly to any of the other kids around him, "But we're not negotiating with you." He says this despite Thea's speaking up. "How many days til the next full moon?" He's trying to figure out just how much time they have left to sort this out.

Morrison's arrival, if anything, brings him some relief. First, it was an adult. Second, it was Morrison and he was always a beast. After Cash volunteered himself, Landon already knew that they wouldn't want him, and in his mind he came to the conclusion on who they did want. The only other Freeland blooded who drank. "We are not negotiating with you."


"I am threatening you," Amy says in a low tone. "And maybe I can't beat you here and now tonight, but I'm gonna try. Because someone has to fuckin' stop you." She steps back then, making a bit of space as she eyes Fran. She glances briefly at Jonny, frowning at him before returning her gaze Fran. "Bring it on you crazy bitch."


Thea finds herself with not only James, but apparently Mona trying to wrassle her back into submission as well. "I'm one of the ones you want!" she calls out to Fran, undeterred and still capable of speech, even if she's being physically held. "And my offer stands. Damn it, I know what I'm doing," she hisses at the people trying to shush her.


ROLL: Esme rolls spirit for: [2]: x1 [4]: x1 [5]: x1 [6]: x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 4 5 2 6 -- d6)


"Don't give her anything before you have to," James shushes Thea, barely holding onto her until Mona comes in with support and assists him with restraining the thrashing Marchant. "And if you go, I go," he adds, though the narrowing of his brows and the flush on his face betray irritation that verges into actual anger. "And if you make me go early, I will bite the fuck out of you," he tacks on, while trying to drag Thea further away from the prospect of a brawl.


"You can have first swing," Fran tells Amy. "Make it count."


Esme starts to open her mouth to try and stop Amy, or even speak to Cash as he starts to barter, but the sheer shock of Ashley //not// at either one of their sides isn't okay with her. All that calm composure that might have her trying to talk them down any other time, it's gone. She even looks at Thea and her offers and argument with James, and she... tries to get a convincing word in, but it's lame and just her name, "Thea..."

Then she bares her teeth as it seems to line up that Amy actually IS going to fight Fran and that it's not just anger and bluster, but it's not like she could do much about that under the best circumstances on the best Esme zen day. One of her hands comes up to hold at some of her hair and she does the same reflex lame attempt she did with Thea, at least, but probably far too late and unheard, for Amy, "Amy, she's..."


Lucas glances just briefly to Landona nd listens to his brother, runs the math. Yup. Not negotiating those pieces. Any. Pieces. His hand tightens on the back of Justin's tanktop not that it does much but this is a lot to take in and the first time he's seen his brother in forever, and... like this. Well shit. He's pretty ruthless and often times selfish for survival but brothers mean something to him. Looing back to Morrison and Amy his jaw tightens.


Zane's jaw tightens when Fran ignores him. And then people are volunteering, and he looks around, taking a deep breath, and looks up at the vampires holding his twin and friends. "So, hey," he calls to them, in a friendlier tone, pushing the anger back somewhere. "This isn't really what you guys signed up to do, is it? I mean the flying looks really cool but the stealing people is pretty lame. You've got brothers and sisters and stuff, right? Why not just let them go and find a better way to do stuff?" It's not a great argument, true. Not really his forte. But it's worth a try, right? He puts all the persuasiveness and charm he can muster into the effort, glancing sidelong at the imminent fight and clearly faintly torn.


George is torn between wanting to stop her family, help her family and... no, that's about it. But Lester blood runs hot, and she knows it as well as anyone, and trying to talk Amy out of it would only risk distracting her cousin at a vital moment. She's also no damn fighter herself, and that's on her. "Give her hell, Amy!" she calls out in support, breath caught in her throat.


Cash steps up. "Amy! Listen to me. Past the rage! They have Ash. We love Ash. Please give her someone to come home to. Please, god." And then Cash starts rushing towards Amy, his intent to handle her, bodily, if he must.


"Ame, you're a fucking lunatic. You're the dumbest person alive. God damn, I'm proud of you," Jonny enthuses from the sideline, embracing the fever-dream he's found himself in. "Show this flying freak what a Lester can fucking do." He's all amped up on Jolt, clacking his drumsticks together like an ancient warrior would clash weapons on a shield at a duel.


Hector tenses and tarts to lift the nean purpe water pistol, but then Cash is rushing towards Amy, and he lunges between her and his husband, trying to grab him.


Silver is taking slow and deep breaths as she takes everything in. She doesn't move to stop the Lesters from advancing on Fran. The chance to get her brother back is there and she clings to it. Just as she can't seem to quite look away from his limp form.


ROLL: Zane rolls spirit+2 for: [1]: x2 (Pair) [4]: x1 [5]: x1 [6]: x2 (Pair) -- Match Value: 2 (Raw: 6 1 1 6 5 4 -- d6)


"And give them who, Cash? We can't fucking ... I can't just let them take Ashley. I can't." Though when Cash starts coming towards her, she sighs and readies herself to take him on. Like Cash is going to be able to stop her. And Hector of course, is getting in the way to make it all happen. She's sidestepping out of the way, coming up near Morrison. "She's fast and strong," she says with obvious experience there. "Like really fast and really strong." That's all the advice she really has before she's advancing forward to take that opening swing as offered by Fran herself.


ROLL: Amy rolls brawn+1 for: [1]: x1 [2]: x1 [3]: x1 [5]: x2 (Pair) -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 2 5 1 3 5 -- d6)


The three floating above glower down at Zane when he makes his speech. Is it having an impact? Hard to say. So far they aren't handing anyone over.


[SPEND] Jade has spent 1 GP for reason: Let me speak to your manager!


ROLL: Jade rolls spirit+1 for: [2]: x2 (Pair) [5]: x2 (Pair) [6]: x1 -- Match Value: 2 (Raw: 5 6 5 2 2 -- d6)


[SPEND] Zane has spent 1 GP for reason: C'mon, guys! It doesn't have to be this way!


SCENE: Star has reset everyone's Survival Points.


Hector stops Cash cold. A look. The gesture. Something. He just backs down. He turns, takes a few steps and just crumples on the ground. He rolls over into a ball and covers his ears. Soon, Cash begins humming, tunelessly, like a radio flicking through stations.


SCENE Star has modified Amy's SP by 1 bring them to a total of 2.


ROLL: Amy rolls finesse for: [3]: x1 [4]: x2 (Pair) [5]: x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 5 4 3 4 -- d6)


Jade comes to stand beside Zane, and he's calm. He's a train wreck inside, but his exterior exudes confidence. He lifts his chin and speaks with authority that runs strong in his thin blood. "Listen to him," he says, "and do what he says." Simple words, but it's all in the delivery. This is in their best interest. Truly. Jade knows. Never mind how. He just knows, and this is for their own good.


Fran doesn't just stand there and take it, and tries to lean back out of the way, but still gets caught by Amy's punch. It could have been worse, though. She works her mouth and jaw a bit, looking impressed. "Now I kinda wish it was you that drank. You got potential."

And then she throws a punch faster than anyone present has ever seen, but Amy just avoids it.


Up above, the other three vampires look down at Jade, then at each other, but still say and do nothing more.


"Jesus fuck!" Jonny breathes when Fran throws that mean haymaker, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose again. "I wish it was /me/ that drank, holy hell that was fast."


Morrison nods to Amy when she says that she's fast and strong, and he lets Amy go up to take her shot, but this isn't one of those fighting flicks where people fight one at a time, and so he rolls up on Fran as well, throwing his own punch.


ROLL: Morrison rolls brawn for: [1]: x1 [2]: x1 [3]: x1 [5]: x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 2 3 1 5 -- d6)


ROLL: Morrison rolls finesse for: [1]: x1 [3]: x1 [5]: x1 [8]: x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 1 5 3 8 -- d8)


If it were just Amy, Landon would've called her crazy and possibly told her to stop. But like Silver with her devil-may-care attitude, he knows well enough that Amy (or any Lester) would do their own thing when consumed by rage. He's seen it many times before. The only thing that he can do is watch uneasily, his features like a mask. With Amy launching herself at Fran and knowing full well that Morrison was here too, he already knows what's going to happen. It wasn't the full moon, so they wouldn't be at full strength. His mind is calculating all of these things, including taking a head count of everyone else here. As a group, could they really take all of these vampires? The urge to tell everyone to slaughter the shit out of those vampires is great if an opening presented itself, but what would that mean for the hostages?

Another look is then given to Lucas, before he scans the crowd to spot Esme. She was all the way down there near the action. With a shake of his head, he has this sinking feeling that if he goes down there to drag her back, Lucas will follow, so he's hesitant to do so. "Stay here." He doesn't even need to look at his brother for Lucas to know that Landon's talking to him. His eyes shifting from Esme as he makes his way towards her, lifting warily to observe the vampires, he makes sure to say, "Stand back, Esme. I don't trust them to not strike out at the rest of us." Accidental or not.


Without even looking at him, Fran catches Morrison's punch like it's nothing, then launches him twenty feet back against a mausoleum wall. "Stay out of this, old man," she says, gaze focussed on Amy still.


ROLL: Amy rolls brawn + 1 for: [1]: x1 [3]: x3 (Set) [4]: x1 -- Match Value: 3 (Raw: 3 3 1 3 4 -- d6)


Thea lets out a soft sound that hovers somewhere between a whimper and a growl, but quiets as combat ensues, remaining tense but relatively still within James's restraining arms.


ROLL: Amy rolls finesse for: [1]: x2 (Pair) [4]: x1 [6]: x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 6 1 4 1 -- d6)


Jade holds the vampires floating above him in his gaze for a moment, then looks away. He's said his piece, and he looks confident his point has been made, even though they don't really respond. He glances at Zane, gives him a small nod, then watches the fight. No attempt to interfere from him.


The Perk works nicely here.


Hector squats by Cash and strokes his back, "Amy has to do what she hs to do, Love. I'm sorry." He is watching the fight. So very tempted to join it. His expresion is grim as Amy goes for it. He winces as fran catches Morrison's fist.


For once, Amy is working with her anger instead of letting it control her. She's pissed off. More pissed off than she's ever been before in her life. But it's a righteous sort of cause. Rather than picking on people -- she's trying to save a life. And somehow she just finds her moment. The dodge that comes from Fran's punch isn't about reactions, really. You can't react to someone that fast. But she's anticipated where Fran's going to go for, and she's dodging before she can even see it coming. She guessed right.

As Fran's throwing Morrison aside, Amy uses that brief distraction. She sidesteps, comes in low, and turns her momentum into a sudden uppercut with a whole lot of force behind it, coming right there at Fran's chin. She doesn't know how it'll go on the vampire, but it's the sort of punch like to break a normal person's jaw. "Let. Them. Go." She growls with that barely contained anger.


Zane watches the vampires a little hopefully, but alas, they do not instantly see the merit of his points. He glances to Jade when he moves up beside him, and the backup brightens him just slightly, even if they don't seem quite convinced yet. "Please," he adds, and gives Jade a slight smile afterward, with a tiny nod back. He can't not watch the fight, and still looks uncomfortable about it, but stays back, periodically looking back to the hostages and their direct captors.


Felicity curls up around the other side of Cash from Hector, likewise comforting him quietly.


Spear still seems unconscious up there. If only he knew he was floating in a vampire's hands. The goth points would be indescribable.


There is a momentary look of shock on Morrison's face when Fran actually grabs a hold of his fist and hurls him backward. He crashes into the mausoleum and lands on the ground, pulling himself back up. And when he does, the low growl that comes out of his throat is only more pissed off. The temper that he's so often held in check boils over and he hurls himself at Fran again.


Fran throws another punch at Amy that the Lester girl barely avoids, clearly getting a bit frustrated that she's even still in this fight at all. Fran is not used to missing, or being hit. That leaves her exposed, and Amy pounces with ferocity, clocking the vampire good and hard and spinning her like a top. She spins and stumbles, crashing into a tombstone face first. As she gets to her feet, she has to pop her jaw back into place with an audible pop. She turns and snarls at Amy, but the Lester girl can see a hint of something in those golden eyes.

Uncertainty. Maybe even fear.

"You have until the full moon," she says, launching up into the air before Morrison can get to her. As all four vampires and their hostages fly away, the group finds themself standing at the entrance of the maze again, like they never even went in.


Lucas of course doesn't listen to Landon. Yes he's going to try to follow him when he moves over there, and he shouldn't be taken aback when he's pre-emptivly told 'no don't follow'. Morrison's fighting Vamperella and now Landon's moving over there. He makes for the scramble to follow when he's grabbed by Justin leaving him flailing, but not running into the melee.


Silver is watching the fight with wide-eyed tension. Hands clenched into fists she stands braced as if ready to run at any second. When they start to fly away she lets out a strangled scream of her brother's name and finds herself staggering forward, once again outside the maze. For a moment she sways and then turns to look at Star. Eye glassy with unshed tears. "I-I-I'm s-s-sorry," She stutters weakly at her sister.


George blinks in disbelief as she finds herself back at the entrance of the maze, no hostages in sight. "Cheater!" she shrieks to the sky, offended at the unfairness of it all. She's glad her family is okay, but... "Filthy fucking cheater!" Huffing angrily, she moves towards Morrison, giving him a quick once-over. "Amy has a, uh, way with them..." She isn't going to ask if he's okay, not wanting to hurt his pride more than necessary.


Justin snags onto Lucas before he can go running off into the melee. "OH no you don't, listen to your.." And then in a blink they are all back outside of the maze. the poor guy just looks confused as he spins around, looking for where no only the graveyard went, but the three vampires. "That's.. totally not cool."


Only once she's reasonably certain Thea is secure in James' hands, and her boyfriend and her brother have completed their negotiations, does Mona turn back toward Zane. She won't, for whatever reason, look up at Arthur, as if the sight inspired too much vertigo. Most of whatever she says is likely lost on the rest of the crowd. She's quiet. All that can really be made out is a simple: "We will get him back," that comes with an disquieting sort of determination.

The shift of scenery kicks in that sense of falling again, of the earth twisting beneath her before the mundane entrance to the maze snaps into focus. She looks to Thea, first, then Jade. Then Lucas and Landon. It's slow, it's careful, and she takes a silent accounting of them: not bleeding, in one piece, alive. And then she throws her arms around Zane's ribs, burying her face in his shirt, to muffle the sound of a choked sob. "I am so sorry. So, so sorry."


Esme widens her eyes and starts to backpedal toward where Landon is approaching when he speaks to her to stand back, not able to turn away from the melee of uncanniness that's happening between Amy, Morrison, and a whole frickin' vampire. When Cash drops to cope, she looks to make sure that Hector is with him while backing up, but finally, not wanting Landon all the way up where she is, she turns enough to run a few quick steps to him (and Lucas) back out of the way.

"... she just..." Yes, Esme, they were fighting a vampire. And it worked! Well, kind of. That's inspiring, right? There's a spark of something like hope in her blue eyes as she looks up at Landon with a grabbing hold onto his wrist, but it's just a moment where maybe things don't seem impossible or hopeless to her. Afterwards, her eyes rise to follow where the flying announcement and departure is being made and her face remembers to fill with dread over them having Ashley. (And Spear, but she didn't see, ok!)


Amy spies that uncertainty. That fear. It causes her to grin, that wolf-like expression, feral and eager. But it falters at those words from Fran and as she starts to fly off the Lester girl is calling out, "You get the fuck back here, bitch! We had a deal, get the fuck back!" She's shouting at the sky, at the entrance to the hedge maze. "Come back," she says in quieter tone, falling to her knees now. "Come back," she says again, striking the dirt with a fist. "Fuck fuck fuck!" The cursing becomes a general scream of frustration.


Morrison doesn't even make it back to Fran before she launches into the air, and he snarls under his breath as they fly off. Then he looks over at Amy and gives her a clasp on the shoulder. "Nice shot," he tells her. "You weren't kidding. She is fast.. and strong." He rolls a shoulder, which makes a popping noise. That might have been dislocated when he hit the mausoleum. He looks over at George and says, "Uh huh."


Cash only uncurls from his little ball when she hears Silver scream, despite his best efforts to block all of that sorrowful noise. He looks around, realizes where they are and gets to his feet. "Ashley...what do I tell Mom and Dad?" And with that, he bursts into sobs. Real, painful, ugly, soul draining sobs.


Still restraining Thea by her arms, James stares with awe when Amy gets the better of Fran -- for the moment -- and brings the conflict to a close. It takes him a few seconds to unslack his jaw and return his attention to the Marchant, to whom he wonders, whether in threat or promise, "Do I need to tie you up?"


Now that it's all over, and they're standing at the mouth of the maze as if it didn't even happen, Jade's veneer of calm fractures ever so slightly. He staggers to catch his footing. He sucks in a breath, then starts to shake a little. He looks to Mona, and he just looks lost. Like, what happens now? What can he possibly do?


Felicity wraps Cash tightly into her arms. "We'll figure that out, okay? We'll...figure something out. And we'll get hem back. I promised her I'd tell her later, so... she'll just have to come back." She gives Hector a slightly helpless, lost look.


"This isn't the time for kinky stuff," Thea replies to James, her eyes narrowed all kinds of dangerously. She's irritated. With people, for holding her back. And with Fran, for not only ignoring her offer, but making off with the hostages despite saying she'd let them go if Amy won. Even so, only a beat or so passes before she adds in a mutter, "But yes."


"Really thought I was gonna wake up in bed, not out here with you idiots," Jonny says, crossing his arms over his chest. "What a trip. Unless it was real, then what the fuck, Amy." Eloquent as ever, he begins wandering off towards town, the graduation gown still hanging loosely over his thin, gangly frame. "I gotta go see a man about a horse."


Amy stares kind of blankly at Morrison, like she barely even recognizes him. "They've got Ashley," she says thickly after a moment, shaking her head. "And Spear Thistle. And Arthur Bloomquist." She glances up then, rounding on Jonny. "Fuck you, Jonny Lester. If I wasn't too busy trying to fucking save your life because you were being a cunt maybe I'd have been able to save Ashley!"


And then they're gone. Zane stares where they were, or-- should have been? Would ha-- okay apparent teleportation makes things weird. "What do we..." There's too much going on at once here, but he knows what to do with hugs, and wraps his arms around Mona in return before catching sight of Jade and reaching out to try to pull him in too. He's silent for a fair little bit before he says quietly, "You did really good, Amy. And. Thanks, Jade." He looks up and around to the others, adding, "...thanks. And. Sorry."


Silver turns suddenly on Jonny at those words and glares. "SHut up," She says so unhelpfully. There's a frustrated sound and then she takes off running back towards the festivities. Easily losing herself among the rest of the crowd and finding a dark and private place to hide. And probably think.


Hector curses quietly, monotonously, in two languages. Finally he stands and gazes at Morrison with the grief for his stolen brother and Cash's sister already creeping into his face, "I'm sorry I couldn't tell you the whole of it, but most people have to see to believe. Thank you for trying. I mean that." And then he's looking away to hide tears just starting to form. He wraps his arms around Cash and Felicity.


She can't miss that look on Jade's face. Mona's hand snaps out to grab the fabric of his shirt to tug him toward the hug along with Zane. They're both completely lacking in physical strength, so this is going to have to do. She doesn't seem willing to let go of Zane, either, like she's terrified he might fall over if she's not physically propping him up. Her eyes flick back to Thea and James as well, and she tilts her head toward what she seems to hope is a growing conglomeration of near and dear.

"Everybody back to the house. If you want to come." Her voice is quiet. She's still mostly talking into a shirt. "Or. Stay near a phone. If you want your own place. If it's more-" Pause. "If it's less-" Not that either. Maybe both.


When Amy devolves into a scream, Morrison crouches down next to her and places a hand on her back, studying her face as she stares blankly at him. He's still wound tight with adrenaline that has nowhere to go, but for the moment, his attention focuses in on Amy. He wraps an arm around her shoulder and gives her a tight squeeze. "Come on. Come back with the twins and I." His voice is calm and steady, though anyone knows him knows that he still needs very badly to hit something, and he's managing not to do it for the moment because his focus is on Amy. He says in a low voice to Hector, "I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it. It's not your fault."


Landon has his knife out in case that Fran or any of the other vampires try to swoop down at them while he's talking with Esme at the sidelines. They were an important commodity to Fran, so while he didn't expect the vampires to kill them, they could easily be taken. "If they wanted us to bad, they could've taken us instead. Right now, they are only playing games." As he says this, he continues to monitor the skies as Amy does her best against the Queen. All the while, he tries to lead her back to where he assumes is safety.

Then it's over and they find themselves outside of the Maze gates and some of them still holding those knives and other weaponry. To this the knife is quickly lowered, trying to hide it from the view. Feeling a touch disoriented, he immediately searches the area to locate Lucas, breathing out a sigh of relief when he notices his twin and then the commotion brought about by Amy's scream, but Morrison was there to-- Morrison had seen it all. "We should go." He tells Esme, return these knives from wherever you got them and just.. try to figure something out." His eyes are settled on Morrison once more, "Morrison knows. He might have ideas... or we find Chen."


Jade hugs his sister, hiding his face in her hair. He's still dry-eyed, though. Must keep it together in public, inasmuch as he can. "Yeah," he says hoarsely. "Let's go home. He left his coat in my room. The cool one." The one he's going to be curled up in tonight and every night thereafter.


"She's not gone-gone yet, Amy," George points out, uncharacteristically quietly. "And that was a fucking dirty trick, that dumb bitch cheating like that," she adds, more characteristically. She steps back a step and gives a nod to Morrison. "I think I need to go get all kinds of fucked up for awhile." That was too much of a trip to take mostly sober, on that much Jonny is right. "We'll figure something out, Ames," she adds. "Next time, you're gonna kill the bitch."


Sean fights back the stinging in his eyes as they take off with Spear and he stands there next to Star, shaking a bit. "We're going to get him back," he says quietly to her, though his voice is shaky, and it's very clear that he has /no/ idea how they're going to get him back. But he has to believe that they will. "Nora.. and Bee weren't here.. maybe they.. maybe they can help find out where they're being held."


Lucas is clever, not strong, and gives up his fight, and leans back against the arms wrangling him after his siblings are safe. It's the rapid fire way to watch him lost his faculties: just watch Landon be in the line of fire. "Theo said... we need to, um, to get everyone back to the house." Looking to Landon his eyes flare, "Yeah well Chen said to come here and he'd help so where the HELL is Chen?" Looking to Justin he says with a murmur trying not to be jsut pissed at the whole fucking world right now. "...Thanks. C'mon we're going to the house." Not home, but the House.


Breathing heavily, Amy just sort of nods vaguely at Morrison. She's shaking now, but she manages to get back up to her feet. "I'll go ... with you, yeah. I don't know what to do." She stares at George there, "I didn't really expect her to --- to you know, just give them up for the sake of this." She says quietly. "But ... we have to get them back."


Morrison reaches over and gives George's shoulder a squeeze and says, "Find Squid, alright? Make sure he's okay. Before you get fucked up." Not that he tells her /not/ to get fucked up, mind. He has no doubt that she will do just that. He has a mind to, himself, after all, after that. He then begins to move toward the twins, "Come on. We're going to the house. I need to talk to Theo." Not Theodore. Just Theo.


ROLL: Esme rolls spirit for: [1]: x1 [2]: x2 (Pair) [3]: x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 2 3 2 1 -- d6)


Hector gives Morrison a crooked smile, "Thanks." He doesn't say the rest, but the weight of it is in his eyes. He says to the group in general, "Do we know Chen's human? Has anyone clever checked records to make sure he hasn't been here with... other names longer than is natural?"


It's not out of the question that Zane might fall over, but hugging Mona and Jade helps. It's a pretty fierce hug, the knife abandoned for the moment. He's just very quiet for a bit. "...what do I tell our parents?" he asks the pair of them, which is the point at which his voice breaks, and he bites his lower lip, brow furrowed as he tries not to cry yet. There's a nod for leaving, though on the way, he'll at least make sure Esme gets her knife back.


Star leaves back to Lake Havasu - English Village


Felicity is trying to hold it together, or at least to hold Cash together, and maybe Hector as well as the exact implications of who was taken process for her.


Esme has to blink a few times to realize she's not in the maze just like everyone else when they're ejected to the start, and after a look around, then at the boys again, she drops her eyes with a long moment of thick and quiet stillness. Eventually, Landon's words get to her and she unslings her purse from cross-securing to open it up for him and Lucas to drop the knives into so they don't look crazy with knives now, "I... I'll take them back when I work tomorrow. Just drop... in here." She's largely avoiding eye contact while trying to process and not cry. But eventually she steals a glance to Amy with Morrison, then him passing to wrangle the twins for the house. And girly girl that Esme is, all hippie attuned to her feels, lo and behold, she refuses to cry.

When she looks up again between the Marchant twins, finally, her eyes are dry, "She didn't even drink and might pay the price...there has to be something we can do. There has to." And once a Reed/Freeland has said something has to exist, well, they're going to damn well try to make it be a thing, and she sounds like that right now.

But hell if she can brain something right this second, "Can I go with you?"


Lucas sticks near his wrangler elect and nods to Morrison. Tired he says to George, "Please page me a 55 when you find him." Squid tha is. Looking to Esme he blinks, "Well you're not staying here." Usully that would come out nicer, and no he's not letting go of that damn knife either. "Amy... that was insane and beautiful." Looking up to Morrison he gives him a look and says nothing. THe expression reads: We told you teh best we knew how. "So... we're in a little bit of trouble with some hobo wine." And now they want heads. And... no.


When Lucas reminds him that Chen was supposed to be here, Landon's annoyance continues to grow, "We should've done what Theodore said and gathered everyone up and gone home. Now there's more people missing and besides luring us to them, these are people that they can't use. Unless they force them to drink as well." Which is a possibility. When Esme points down at her designer purse, telling them to deposit their sharp weapons in there, Landon keeps a steady gaze on her for a brief moment before very carefully setting his knife down into this makeshift bag of weaponry. "No one, and I mean no one is giving themselves up openly to the vamps."

However, when Hector questions just who this Mr. Chen is, Landon still quietly fuming about that, shakes his head, "No one has any clue and if he really wanted to help us, he wouldn't be holding back information the way he did when he asked us to come back to him after that one full moon, if we did not drink that time."

To Esme, he nods slowly, "Of course you can come with us. We were supposed to gather everyone and take them back home before even setting foot into that maze. But we thought we could handle it ourselves." Not /him/ exactly, but them as a group. "Right now, we need to think of what to do. How to get them back without sacrificing anyone else. If that's even possible." Following along with Lucas and Morrison, his arm wrapped around Esme's back with care, because they're all frazzled this evening. He has a lot of ideas in his mind, some darker than others, but he's just glad that Morrison was witness to all of this. They had an adult to talk to.


Mona leaves back to Lake Havasu - English Village