The Stone Throne Room
The posse implores to speak directly with the queen. “Let her decide our fate.”
The Golden Knight objects. “I am the voice of the crown, and I shall act on her behalf.” He waves a hand, ushering in a multitude of guards and combatants. The hall quickly fills with twisted shadow-versions of people the posse has met.
Hammond steps forward. “Then I issue a challenge. A duel, for the queen’s honor. Just you, and me.” He points, calling out the Incubus to a one-on-one fight.
The Incubus pauses, as if in consideration. "Agreed. " He waves his hand again. A puff of smoke envelopes Hammond, and in an instant he is gone.
“Take care of these two, I will return.” The Incubus states with a hint of hubris, before disappearing into a cloud of smoke himself.
Ben and Nigel turn back to back to face the oncoming swarm. Before them rushes a cast of characters, both friends and foe, all with the look of disdain on their faces. They decide it best to try and scale the stairs, in an effort to reach queen Marilyn.
Hammond blinks, opening his eyes to a small platform floating within a deep nothingness. The lack of surroundings is disorienting. Seconds later the Incubus arrives before him.
The Golden Knight produces a flaming sword, and a whip. It gestures mockingly at Hammond. They rush at each other and begin their duel.
The barrage of fire coming from the crowd creates a dangerous landscape for Nigel and Ben.
Nigel takes a few shots to the limbs, leaving him rather vulnerable for a few moments. Ben utilizes his force-field to make a dash up the imposing staircase to the throne.
At the top of the steps, from behind the throne, step three more familiar faces. The Incubus’s cohorts- The Crimson Sorceress, The Pumpkin King, and the Man in Black. Ben uses his powers to blast at them.
Nigel fires up at the guards on the stairs, taking down a few. He then turns to find he is being assaulted by a group of fighters, including the intimidating Norman they met near Globe.
Hammond kick-jumps off of the Incubus, calling forth the blessing of El Gato. They engage in a vicious battle. Hammond lands a hard blow on the armor of the Incubus, sending it staggering back.
The waves of assault quicken. More enemies keep emerging from the wings. Ben and Nigel make a mad dash up the stairs, knowing that their only chance is to reach Marilyn.
Ben uses the spell of light to cast at the 3 fiends. The blast severely damages the Pumpkin King. Nigel manages to get a few shots in on the Sorceress.
The Man in Black stands stoic, awaiting their arrival at the top. He was successful in tossing these two around before, so he waits.
Busting through the ground near the stairs, a Mohave rattler emerges. It’s large body casts a shadow down on Ben and Nigel. They realize that they are definitely out-manned and out gunned. They need help.
The two quickly devise that they may be able to will things in to the world, much as the Incubus has done – and not unlike how they willed the Black Widow to them. They have some trouble figuring out who to summon.
Finally Ben wishes for John Prophet. A sparking black portal appears nearby, and when it dissipates, John Prophet stands in its place. He looks to the two heroes, then at the hoards around, then he spots Marilyn. He instantly realizes what is happening and begins fighting along with Nigel and Ben.
The fight between the Golden Knight and Hammond rages fast and furious, though with little to show from either side. It seems that, at least for now, they are squaring off equally. Each successfully avoiding the attacks of the other.
Having John Prophet on their side does help to hold off the tide. He deftly dispatches many of the underlings while Nigel and Ben handle the 3 cohorts at the top. They manage to make quick work of The Crimson Sorceress and the Pumpkin King.
Nigel uses his will to attempt to pull Soria in to help.
In the midst of the battle, There is a puff of magical energy. The Incubus stop, grabs at it’s chest, and grunts “No!”. The Golden Knight disappears into the smoke. Hammond is confused.
The angered Incubus appears right next to Nigel. (Thus confirming that Soria’s body is being used as the host.) “I’m going to deal with you personally.” It shouts, and grabs Nigel by the chest. In another poof, Nigel disappears.
Another flash of magical energy occurs. This time, Nigel appears in front of Hammond. The two glance at each other, bewildered. Seconds later the Incubus also appears. Its gaze fixed on Nigel, until it again recalls that Hammond is there.
It waves a hand and Hammond disappears into the smoke.
Nigel does his best to defend against the Incubus’s attacks.
Hammond appears next to Ben. He quickly surveys the scene “What the hell is goin’ on?”
Ben dos his best 5 second explanation. The Mohave Rattler looms overhead, waiting to strike. Ben also points out to Hammond how they had been able to summon things through will.
Hammond tries to “summon” Marilyn. The psychic pull actually briefly pulls her out of the trance. She is dazed, and discombobulated. But for a brief moment, she sees Ben and Hammond.
They call out to her, they need to break the bond. She is confused, but seems to acknowledge. Crashing through the stained glass ceiling, the Black Widow drops to the center of the room. It’s gun turret opens up, laying waste the a large chunk of the Incubus’s mindless horde.
All around them the world begins to crack and split. The cracks are small, but they can see the empty black void beginning to show through. The illusion is wearing down. Then Marilyn falls back into the trance.
They hardly have a chance to breathe. The Man in Black leaps forward, coming down with a death punch directed at Hammond’s face.
At the last second, John Prophet leaps in front, taking the death blow to his chest. With his dying breath he reveals the truth to the Man in Black. Prophet pushes his energy IN to the MiB. “You are free now.”
The Man in Black’s body morphs and changes to reflect this surge in power. He barely looks recognizable, having shifted to a more powerful spirit. He realizes out loud “yes, I am free.”
He whips his head towards Hammond and extends his hand. “Quickly, we can still defeat it, but we haven’t got much time.” Left with few other options, Hammond grabs the Hand of the Man in Black. MiB hoists him back to his feet.
Hammond and Ben move up toward the Throne. The Man in Black leaps down to the center of the room and smashes his fist to the ground. A massive magical shock wave emanates from his fist. From the point of impact, the entire false reality begins to shatter. The dream is breaking.