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[Immediately follows this.]

After talking to Jono and Karla, Tara went up to her room to find some salt and a candle. They'd relocated to Anakin's office for a little privacy in discussing what they had to do.

She quickly cast a circle on the ground, feeling oddly spurred in her haste by Raven's gold rings glowing on her thumb. Somehow, she felt deeply that this was right.

"Guys?" she called, waving her arms a bit to attract everyone's attention. "We ... I think we need to do a seance."


Jono
Jono was still leaning against the wall where Tara had left him when she returned, and he glanced up at the waving of her arms.

This was his cue, wasn't it?

He didn't bother with words. Words were just another time-waster, they took focus that he couldn't spare. He simply nodded, pushed off the wall with one foot, and walked over to join her, crouching down slightly, looking at the circle thoughtfully.

Tara
"Take my hand, Jono," Tara told him in a voice that was much calmer than it should have been, as she held out that appendage. "You're her heart. You can help make the connection to her soul. Karla, on my other side. Professor Skywalker ... please light the candle and then join us. Everyone else, hold hands and sit around the circle."

Karla
This was no Craft that she recognized, but a ritual was a ritual and Tara had Karla's backing for whatever she needed. She crossed to Tara's side, clasping her hand, willing this to work.

"Darkness, have mercy," she whispered. "Please, let us find her."

Anakin
Anakin lit the candle quickly and settled himself down onto the floor, holding his hands out to the nearest students. "This will work," he said stoutly. "Tara is quite talented."

After all, some version of her had resouled Angelus.

Kennedy
"Damn right she is." Kennedy couldn't pass up an opportunity like that to voice her opinion, despite the momentary hesitation at the mention of a seance (thanks, upbringing) that had her a little slow to join the circle. But she sat down and reached out to take Anakin's hand, looking at the circle with some confusion.

"So... now what? We hold hands and chant Kumbaya or something?"

She wasn't trying to be flippant, much; she was just in way over her head here.

Emma
"'Red rover, red rover, send Raven right over?'" Emma quipped, moving to interlace her fingers with Kennedy's. "With this group, it might even work."

Bobby
Bobby had, naturally, grabbed Sookie's hand on one side. He didn't even hesitate grabbing Emma's with his other hand. "Just so long as we don't bring her mental hitchhiker back with us."

Sookie
Sookie quietly laced her fingers with Bobby's and Warren's, subdued as she watched Tara.

"Do what you need, honey," she said softly. "We'll get her back."

Silently, though, she started to pray. Which felt kind of weird at a seance, but she figured that God probably would understand.

Warren
Warren nodded his agreement to that. He really didn't know anything about this Trigon guy, but he owed Raven one, and she meant so much to Karla...

He held out his hand toward Sookie.

"This'll work," he decided, his attempt at a reassuring smile falling a little short. He really had no reason to believe that, except for the requisite 'it had to.'

Max
Max eyed Anakin's hand doubtfully.

Okay, that wasn't really accurate. It would be more accurate to say that Max eyed Anakin's hand like he was contemplating chopping it off.

But only for a moment. After all, Raven needed help. He could always do the dismembering thing after she was safe!

So he reached out and smiled ever so slightly at how much bigger his was than Anakin's.

Dinah
It was something to do, and Tara had always been an honest, steady presence during Reserves, so Dinah was immediately grabbing Max's hand and turning back take Jono's, hopeful as well as desperate, ready to drop her shields and do whatever was needed.

"Is there anything we should think, or not think, or..? just say what to do. We'll do it."

Tara
Tara smiled slightly at Anakin and Kennedy -- [[No kumbaya, honey]] -- before she squeezed Karla and Jono's hands again for luck and out of nerves and shut her eyes. "Em-empty your minds," she began softly -- and then, suddenly, the nerves were gone, and the incantation started to glow in her mind.

"Empty your minds," she repeated. "Empty your thoughts.Let my mind guide you on our journey. I see darkness. Thick. Black. Immutable."

In the center of the circle, the candle sputtered as its flame grew.

"Now I see a pinprick of light. It-- it's growing. The light is taking on form."

The flame burned faster, higher, brighter, throwing off much more light than any ordinary wax candle should have been able to provide.

??????
A whirlwind of pale blue lightning began to form above them, howling and spinning around the boundary of the linked hands below as if it were trying to escape. Blue energies splattered like rain around them as the candlelight flared higher, arcing into the whirlwind.

Anakin
"That's different," Anakin said quietly, preparing to release hands with Kennedy (and Max, and really there was eventually going to be a limit to which he would help Raven out) in order to deflect the lightning should it decide to crash down among them.

Kennedy
"That's..." A less pleasant kind of new and unexpected than getting used to hearing Tara's voice in her head was; so much for that moment of aww. "Not looking so much like of the good?"

Amateur assessment here. Take it or leave it.

Karla
No, this was definitely not her type of Craft, but it was familiar enough from webs and rituals back home.

"Don't let go!" Karla said quickly, glancing over at Anakin's hands. "We're holding the energy in. If we break the circle, it could get loose in the dorms! Hold tight, everyone, until we know what the Hell is going on!"

Jono
Jonothon's grip tightened on Dinah and Tara's hands, and his eyes widened a little, going pale at the barrage of not-so-pleasant energy that he was picking up from this.

//With th'way this is resonating, th'last thing we want is this energy getting loose in th'dorms.//

It was the sort of energy that half made him want to run and hide.

Not to mention the fact that it would spoil their chance at contacting Raven.

Dinah
Dinah's hand tightened back on Jono's, and Max's, and she concentrated now on not emptying her mind, but on keeping her connection to everyone else. "I think we better brace ourselves-- that reminds me an awful lot of a tornado--"

Tara
"Keep holding on!" Tara's voice held a sharp, desperate edge as she echoed Karla, and she hadn't opened her eyes to see the lightening form. When she opened them, they shone black and empty with power for a moment before a blink sent them blue again. "The light -- it's a false light. It's dark, evil ... So evil. And it wants us. It's coming for us. It's moving through my mind, it's getting closer. I taste the blood, but --"

Raven's rings dug into her hands as she gripped Jono and Karla tighter yet.

"No matter what's next. Don't let go. Don't break the chain!"

Raven
Lightning shot down from the whirlwind above, scorching the floor in the middle of the circle. Then a shadowy image of Raven emerged from the spiraling energies, her face obscured by darkness, arms stretched out to her sides as she looked down at them.

"Are you people mad?" she shouted. Her voice was almost unrecognizable, dark and harsh, all of its usual gentleness gone. "Stay away from me or I swear that you all shall die!"

Kennedy
Watching intently from her spot in the circle, Kennedy caught the flash of black in Tara's eyes, and for the few seconds before Raven's image appeared she was torn between oh, wow, that's kinda cool and oh, SHIT.

Anyway, it shook her, but it was over and they had bigger things to worry about right now. Like Raven, who didn't sound anything like herself.

"Call us crazy," she yelled back over the contained maelstrom, not realizing her knuckles were white from her grip on Anakin and Emma's hands, "but you know, kinda worried about you here."

Raven
"I do not care," Raven said scornfully. "I have no use for your concern. And I will only give you this one warning."

Jono
//Please, Sunshine,// Jonothon was begging before he'd even realized that he'd found his voice. //Let us help you! Let us bring you back.//

She was alive. She was there and speaking to them. She was alive.

She just... didn't feel all that much like Raven, just then.

Raven
Raven turned her head to Jono, but between the shadows and the energy and the hood of her cloak, her face remained unseen. "I do not need your help!" she snarled. "I do not want your help! I am Trigon's daughter! His power is mine!"

Karla
"Is that so, Trigon's Daughter?" Karla challenged, glaring up at Raven. Even if she wasn't always inclined towards anger when the choice was between that or tears, she wouldn't let this...projection...see how vulnerable she felt. "You might as well kill us now, then. Because we're never going to stop trying to get you back."

Sorry, guys. Karla was used to dealing with Eyriens who had no problem sauntering onto a battlefield and dragging everyone else with them.

Raven
"Do not be so foolish as to force my hand," Raven threatened coldly, looking to Karla now. If there was any trace of the Raven that Karla loved in her, it was nowhere to be seen.

Anakin
"I've taught you better than this," Anakin replied, answering Raven's coldness with a voice just as icy. "You're stronger than being just a vessel for Trigon."

Raven
"Your teachings are meaningless, as are you," Raven said, the whirlwind of energy beginning to spin faster now. "You made me weak. Trigon has shown me my true strength."

Dinah
"This isn't strength. It's force." Dinah stared up at her, and send the same feelings she'd sent when they were arguing in Kaeleer. "Raven. You're possessed. This isn't you, it's your dad. Fight him. Remember who you are."

Raven
"This is who I am!" Raven said, hollow laughter echoing above them. "I am not possessed, I am finally free. I am the daughter of Trigon the Terrible. I am his servant and heir. And all shall bow before him or face his wrath."

Emma
"'Servant?' 'Heir?' Daddy issues much?" Emma's voice was practically dripping with scorn. "Please. You may be a neurotic people-pleaser on a good day, but you are no one's servant. Are you even listening to yourself?"

Not impressed, Raven. If you're going to go nuts, Emma prefer you find something more original.

Raven
A bolt of lightning shot out of the whirlwind, striking dangerously close to Emma. "The Raven you knew is gone," she snapped. "And you know nothing of me. If you value your lives, you will stay away from me."

Max
Last time Raven had been out of control, Max had snapped her out of it by reminding her of what the vampire version of him had done to her in that other Fandom.

...

For some reason he suspected that he shouldn't do that this time. Just a hunch, really.

So instead he settled for a much calmer (and calming), "What in the world are you talking about?"

Raven
That would have been a very bad plan, Max.

"This world will fall before my father's might," Raven said, the whirlwind that contained her still fighting against the boundaries of the circle. "Trigon has destroyed worlds far greater than this one. The power of his death-stare is without limit. You will submit and serve him, or you will perish. Resistance is futile."

Somewhere, the Borg were filing a copyright infringement suit.

Anakin
Anakin rolled his eyes. "Come on," he said. "You know we're going to resist."

Raven
"Then you will die," Raven said simply. "Any act of resistance shall be answered with sweet yet painful death."

Karla
Karla was going to make a face at that. "When we get you back, the memory of what you just said will be its own punishment," she muttered. Then louder, she added. "Consider this the first act of resistance, then. Because we're going to get you back and send Trigon howling back to Hell."

Kennedy
"For starters," Kennedy spoke up, her jaw set. "And a better speechwriter, because seriously."

Tara
Tara barely heard what anyone had said as the power to hold Raven there swirled around and through her. the rings were all but cutting into her flesh.

"Raven..." she managed, in a small voice. "Don't do this to us. You aren't -- what you're saying you are. Stay."

Raven
Raven turned to Tara, staring at her without speaking for a moment. Fighting against her father? Confusion about something she sensed? It was impossible to say.

"You have no idea what I am," she finally said. "I have embraced my destiny. What I was is gone!"

Kennedy
"Bullshit, Raven," snapped Kennedy, never one for delicate phrasing. "You're better than this, and you damn well ought to know it by now."

Raven
Raven ignored Kennedy, still struggling furiously against the power that had summoned her there. "I must rejoin him at his side!" she shouted. "I cannot save you! Save yourselves!" The whirlwind rose upward, expanding to fill the border of the circle, then abruptly shrank and vanished, taking Raven's form with it.

Raven's rings, still on Tara's fingers, began to glow, the golden gems shining with an unearthly yellow light. A soft voice came from the rings, not Raven's voice, but one that evoked the quiet peace she often spoke with. "You are needed," the voice said. "Come to us. Azarath has fallen. Do not forsake her."

The air above them suddenly shimmered with a swirling, coruscating swath of flame. A circle of golden light fell around them, bright and blinding, until the walls vanished around them and they were pulled away from Fandom.



[Preplayed with [livejournal.com profile] blondecanary, [livejournal.com profile] brat_intraining, [livejournal.com profile] furious_maximus, [livejournal.com profile] furnaceface, [livejournal.com profile] glacial_witch, [livejournal.com profile] icecoldfrost, [livejournal.com profile] justwantsquiet, [livejournal.com profile] longislandiceme, [livejournal.com profile] not_a_parakeet, [livejournal.com profile] sith_happened, and [livejournal.com profile] trigons_child. NFI and NFB as it's after radio, but OOC, as always, is welcome.]

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life_inshadow

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