zahara "Imrama, would you care to assist me until the others have need of you?"
Imrama draws Pentecost and reflexively checks the artifact's precision, rolling the cylinder down his opposite arm. "I would be most happy to, Empress.
zahara A flash of what might possibly be relief crosses Zahara's face before she nods her thanks and turns away, gazing down over the bazaar. "Hmm. Let's go then." She vaults the railing and descends.
Imrama follows Zahara over the rail. "Keep a weather eye on the horizon, Mr. Iggles-Lux."
zahara glances over at Lucien, to see if he seems to know where their opponents might lie
Belladonna The Sunspot Bazaar, thus far, is much as one might expect on a busy, sunny day: packed to almost over-capacity with shoppers, loudly touting merchants, and Sunlands police.
Belladonna The colors of the awnings and their trim signal to the passersby what manner of goods are sold in each stall, that everyone might more easily make their way to the places that they most strongly need to be, and the resultant area is a hodgepodge of brilliant, tropical colors, made even moreso by the colorful garb of the merchants and shoppers.
Belladonna Lucien begins to scan the area, looking for traitors.
Belladonna After a long pause, the demon points a long, crooked finger towards a far corner of the market.
zahara nods and strides across the market towards the indicated corner. "I suppose stealth is not particularly an option at the moment," she comments as the crowds part before her and mill in her wake.
Imrama races overhead towards the same quarry, his anima flaring to brilliant life. "No, I suppose not."
Belladonna As the two push towards the corner of the market indicated by the demon, they see the flare of Essence that signals the first strike of the Broken Suns, and shortly afterwards its effect: a vast cloud of razor-sharp black butterflies, streaking out from behind a nearby tent into the crowds and stalls.
zahara leaps into the air dramatically, speaking a sharp word of command and crossing her arms briefly over her chest before twisting them outwards, hurling the shattering Essence at the spell. "You who would harm my people, reveal yourself!"
Imrama draws the attention of the crowd with his essence. "Run for shelter. Clear the square." Lightning wraps about his shadow as he approaches the origin of the spell.
The Death of Obsidian Butterflies disintegrates into its component Essence at Zahara's deft touch, and her citizens take no chances: at Imrama's commanding word, everyone present begins to flee eagerly, revealing the nearest attacker:
A man, three knotted cords tied across his shirt, his arms weighed down with thin glass vials of Essence-charged liquid, and a tiny flame burning in a pendant hanging around his neck....
Imrama stands before the man and holds out his hands, palm up. "Peace, sir."
The man halts in his advance, momentarily stunned by the force of Imrama's command.
Imrama "You have made a series of critical errors, friend. But all is not lost. Lay down arms and have the chance to see another sunset."
zahara glances at Imrama, changes tactics, and walks towards him. She gently reaches for the vials, "You fight against me and mine, but how can you change the Sunlands by slaughtering innocents? Come with us, and we will discuss your grievances and see if we can address them. I am offering this once and once only. Please do accept my offer."
The man hesitates.
zahara "Please," she repeats, her voice filled with genuine empathy
The man thinks for one long, additional moment, then warily lowers his arms.
zahara "Thank you," she says and smiles, then neatly plucks the vials and cord from his grasp. "Now, shall we go back to the Cascade for some tea?"
A flash in the corner of Zahara's eye signals to her that her erstwhile mad-bomber is apparently not the only one waiting to cause trouble in this bazaar.
Imrama claps the man on the shoulder. "You have chosen wisely, and kindly, Jeksum." His hand conveniently close to the cord, Imrama tugs the flame pendant from around the man's neck.
zahara ::Imrama, to the left.:: She turns to face the new threat as one of the bonds slips loosely around the first man's waist. "And what have we here?"
Imrama wheels around at Zahara's warning.
A bolt of brilliant, boiling light fires closely past Imrama's head and perforates three nearby tents -- originating from a man holding what appears to be a large gold-and-red-jade device of some kind, and with similar vials on his arms.
Imrama ::I am not sure we can talk our way past these zealots indefinitely.::
zahara ::Honestly I'm surprised it worked so well the first time.::
Imrama ::Well, thanks for trying it with me, Empress!:: Imrama holds his hands up once again to the new assailant, but this time, with the market clear, the arms of his electrified shadow swing up to draw his guns and grant the malcontent the martyrdom he craves.
zahara "I extend to you the same offer as I gave to your comp... oh hell with it." Her smile crystallizes into the cold, familiar grin of old. "Someone's got to be an example."
The vials explode in a wide variety of elaborate and quite destructive fashions, though with the market empty there is no one nearby to be hurt, only flimsy stalls to be torn apart by the many-colored Essence bursts.
zahara stands in front of the disarmed zealot, shielding him from the destruction as she deflects the wonderfully varied destruction away.
Imrama lets the thunderous combustion roll over him, sweeping his hair back and bracing him like a strong sea wind.
Lucien, standing some distance from the two Solars, raises his two arms and points in different directions; it seems that the others who came to assault the bazaar have taken to seeking other easy targets in the nearby area instead.
zahara "Lucien, take that one." She points in one of the indicated directions. "Do not inflict any collateral damage on bystanders, but otherwise enjoy yourself."
The demon wordlessly draws his knives and flies over towards the escaping traitor.
Imrama makes haste in the second direction Lucien indicated.
Imrama sees her at a great distance: the mortal is making haste as fast as her legs will carry her towards the edge of the bazaar and the buildings that lie beyond: housing complexes, libraries, bathhouses...
With a tiny motion, she reaches up to -- Imrama would guess -- untie one of the knots on the cords strapped to her chest, and her body splits into a flock of birds, who dive and glide yet more swiftly along the street into the residential area.
zahara glances over at Imrama's target as the essence of a spell catches her attention. "Trade you!" she shouts, and then, timing it just right so that the flock of cultist is high enough to not quite die from the abrupt tug of gravity on her... she speaks the word of power and hurls another seething ball of shredding Essence at the spell that had transformed her.
The woman drops to the ground with loud thump, then begins tentatively to push herself up, to continue her run....
Imrama kneels on the woman's right hand, and places Kilauea's barrel at the back of her head. "The day is lost to you, Ivendra. Lie still and rest until the medics can see to you." With his free hand, Imrama relieves the woman of her magical cords.
The woman, already bleeding and with broken bones, does not offer anything besides the most token resistance.
Imrama leans in further to talk to Ivendra in ever softer tones. "You may not believe me, madam, but I am your friend. I am a servant and protector of Creation. My friends and I have dedicated ourselves to bettering this world, while you have been led astray by those who would destroy it."
Imrama "I would like to learn who the architect of this day of madness was, to avenge the lives taken and destroyed, and to prevent the further loss of life. If there is anything you can tell me now, Ivendra, that might help me, now is the time."
zahara flicks some purple goo from the edge of her daiklave and turns to regard her new friend with a smile. "So, just you and me hmm?"