Who Ya Gonna Call? Smoak Busters!

Summary:
December 14, 2014: Elijah Snow and Felicity Smoak head to France for a job.

Chateau a la Rage

Its an old french villa. And it's dirty.


Characters

NPCs

  • Cecille de Ravin
  • Le Fantome de Paris

Mood Music:
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uV7iYytqEt4]


Elijah picked up Felicity from her apartment, having called only a short time ago to pack a bag and be ready to go. He tends to forget other people have lives or interests beyond his own. His argument would be, even if they did, what he was doing was far more interesting. So, really, he was doing her a favor.

Private planes and rented cars eventually take them out into the French countryside, with beautiful, rolling hills and gorgeous foliage. They could almost be headed for a picnic or a romantic wine tour, except for the strange amalgamation of electronics equipment that Elijah put into the boot of the car. When asked its purpose, he would simply smile and say, "Well, we'll see."

At last, just as twilight sets in fully, lining the horizon with blood orange, the car pulls up in front of a large two story building, sprawling with two obvious wings and a Romanesque entrance with columns. Elijah looks at it for a long moment and lights a cigarette, "All right, Felicity. Today, we're going to face something quite common in our line of work - the haunted. This is one of the most haunted locations in the world, but you'll never see it on any ghost hunting show. It doesn't even show up on most maps - anyone who's spent much time here would never willingly lead an innocent soul into its grasp. I can promise that you will come out alive, but your sanity is your own to guard. For three hundred years, through the burning of four buildings and three wholesale culling of the entire population, this place has been the secret shame of French royalty and high society, the pocket where they put their secrets, until finally falling into disuse from raw psychic violence after the Nazis camped here."

"Welcome to Chateau a la rage', Felicity Smoak."

Felicity wasn't missing out on anything really. She had lost her job the first moment she met Elijah Snow, and ventured into parts unknown for an entire week without putting in sick leave. She couldn't even file for unemployment, and as it stood, barely had enough time to file for some type of government assistance. In between her new friend and Elijah Snow? Her life had been busy and filled up, so it was a wonder that when she was asked to pack and heard the itinerary, she thought it would be a welcome vacation from mudane troubles. Not work.

And she treated it that way.

If you were a girl with a love of all things electronic, you'd pack your trusty tablet and laptop too. Alright, it was a 2-in-1, detachable keyboard and all that which makes that totally awesome sound that gives you chills when you connect it. *CLICK!*

Brrrrr!

And what she sees so far? It was wonderful. Beautiful skyline, lights that mesh from orange to purple, trees that you just don't see in New York or.. anywhere unless you're traveling here. It wasn't until he started speaking of work, the entire visage of relaxation and a vacation was totally ruined.. and it draws a frown upon her lips. "Figures."

She jerks as those words spill from her lips, looking totally confused and.. lost and.. just a wee bit embarrassed.

"Oh. Sorry! Haunted. Yes. Sanity, got it. French folks. Yes sir-ree."

She was listening, she really.. really was.

Elijah Snow looks in bemusement at Felicity. He wasn't always sure whether she fully understood the gravity of such things. The modern world seemed to create a certain cynicism, to drive away the horrors that once dwelled in the shadows. Not by exorcism, but by boredom and distraction. They were lost from in the light of a cellphone's unblinking eye.

"The devices here are simple: a variety of recording devices, most notably a spirit phonograph I got from Houdini's widow. Through that they can speak. We'll see if you can record their voices on a variety of more modern media. Cassettes work, yes, but most of the digital recordings I've heard have been questionable, especially given the ridiculous oversaturation of 'ghost hunters'," he says with obvious disdain.

"They think anywhere forlorn is haunted. They don't understand torment. This place knew torment. In this place, psyche warred against psyche, the caged madmen left to scream their pain away. Louis IV's cousin, Phillipe, cut his own eyelids off and ate them raw…I'm told his eyes still float in the dark, staring forever. Charles Vaughn, an English ambassador who raped the daughter of a nobleman in the Sun Court…they threw him into a dungeon, wrapped in a cocoon of barbed wire and force-fed mashed meat, potatoes and water to keep him alive. Even the stroke that took him in the tenth year didn't create death, just an even greater imprisonment, paralysis amidst the pain…"

He realizes he's drifted, lost in the tales and legends that seduced him into the work so long ago. The paranormal, the weird, this Hidden World…it is his life. But Felicity is a newcomer to it.

"Plus, a proton back and a ghost trap," he says, with not a hint of a smile.

As he speaks, it almost appears as if she weren't listening. She was shuffling her carry on bag around, the tablet soon pulled out into the open, a few buttons pressed which blacks out the screen and more shuffling.. the keyboard soon produced and attached with a loud *CLICK*.

Brrrr.

She begins to type, all the while nodding her head, the screen blurring past with green letters, lighting up with a blue background, words and code compiled into something thats all too new and usable for her own sakes. She was coding a few programs right then and there in the car; a listening app that would filter out the white noise, pick up only on the smallest hints of sound. Among other things that the ghost hunters of today would use, all caught with a hand-held tablet of her own creation.

"We don't need proton packs." She states simply, completely missing the joke. She was focused, they were going ghost hunting and it was something that she could drop off her bucket list.. that's if she were to survive.

"Unless.. we're not here to really, really trap ghosts, are we?"

Elijah Snow considers, "I haven't decided yet. I'd say that's up to the ghosts," he says. He hefts the heavier materials in a sack over his shoulder and leads the way. The stairs are weather-worn, wood that's begun to turn to rot with termites and mildew, paint flaking away even with each step, as if little puffs of powdered snow came up around their feet. There are rustles from within as he pushes open the large doors. Rats, surely, and birds, owls and ravens and pigeons nesting in the attic. The clatter echoes through the massive foyer, a long hallway of tiles leading to a round circuler desk at its center. Massive doors lead to each wing, as well as two smaller doors in the back to the doctor's offices and staff areas.

"This version was built in the early 1900s, after the last great fire. Apparently the spirits of the French revolutionaries tossed here didn't get on well with their blue-blooded predecessors. You haven't seen a bitchfight until you've seen a poltergeist bitchfight," he says.

"We'll use the clinician's desk there as our central staging area. Would you prefer to start in the women's wing or the men's wing?"

Felicity follows warily, her own bag slung over her shoulder, carry all case dragged behind on wheels not meant to handle this terrain, and another bag slung along her shoulder. She was weighed down, but managed to keep up almost easily, which was probably due to the fear of the unknown and how in movies.. one look away and back would cause the leader of the two man crew to disappear. Leaving her all on her lonesome. She was going to be smart about this, short of holding his hand throughout like a child.

The inside was reached and marveled at, her mouth dropped open for a time before her lips smack shut, a stern nod given towards the desk as she heads there to drop her items upon the top.

"Lets start with the men's wing. In some of those shows that I watch, women are a lot more… emotionally harsher than the men."

One episode that she remembers, a woman was so distraught about her husband dying and leaving her broke, that she haunted the place until the current owners grew physically ill. The men of the house just pushed and watched people. Goes to show who had more power in the after life.

She begins to unload her equipment, laptops all hooked up to a central router, cameras soon placed around the desk and with a press of a button, everything flares to life. There were no mistakes here, Felicity knows how to set up a rig. A box of wet naps were soon taken out to wipe down the rickety chair that she soon sits in, the napkin tossed to the side upon the desk as she begins to tap away on the keyboard, her bottom lip curling and bitten as a finger occasionally lifts to push her glasses higher upon her nose.

"Bringing up old architectural files now so we can navigate this place much easier. There should be a blueprint of it on here somewhere."

Elijah Snow checks his watch a few times while Felicity's setting up, not impatiently, but as if waiting for something. Which he clearly is, when a pair of headlights pierce the darkness outside, flashing yellow lantern light across the front windows. Moments later, the front doors open and two people arrive. One wears a trenchcoat and fedora straight out of a forties movie, along with a pair of black gloves…which is good, because the only part of his face you can see is an eerie, semi-luminescent mist, shapeless, mostly, although there's a flickered glimpse of a face in the smoke now and again. With him, a woman in a sleeveless tank top and leather pants, her face studded with piercings and tribal plugs in her earlobes. She grunts as she arrived, hefting a case of her own, "Snow," she says, her voice French-accented and harsh, "Who's the bim?"

Snow chuckles and shakes his head, "Felicity, meet our fellow travelers on this adventure. This is Le Fantome de Paris, a superhuman agent who dwells in the Louvre. Since he hasn't solved his own murder yet, he agreed to help me with this little investigation. The disagreeable bitch is Cecille de Ravin, witch and occult weaponologist. Given the number of ghostly heads on her wall, I'm sure they had a fascinating conversation on the way down.

The bursting open of the double doors jostle Felicity. She wasn't expecting anyone but ghosts in these parts, not two supernatural people who walked in willy nilly without so much of a knock or a ring of the doorbell. She tries to not let her fright show with a smile, though the way her face grew red tells a different story all together.

"Wait. What's a bim? I'm not a bim!" She tries to protest, but in looking at those two? She'd surely lose out on any argument or fight that would be had.

Once introductions are given, she gives a slight nod, then tightens her lips as she goes right back to programming. Disagreeable bitch. Hah. She sure looks like one…

Felicity stops typing long enough to glance at the three, just to make sure that she hadn't spoken her thoughts aloud.
Apparently, Felicity kept her pretty mouth shut and nobody's at least actively telepathic enough to pick up snotty comments. The bitch, for her part, has laid out a case and opened it, revealing an array of guns, knives and what appears to be a small hatchet, "Relax, lollypop, I'm just, as you say, yanking your jane," she says, finally assembling a shotgun and attaching it to a strap to sling crosswise, along with a knife in her belt and a pistol in her hand.

Le Fantome says nothing. He just floats in silence.

Elijah has pulled a pair of chains from his pockets, handing one to Felicity as he drapes the other around his neck. The symbol of a flame appears at the center, encircled by a ring of markings in gold. "Mosaic shield. Keeps things that belong on the outside on the outside. Nobody's going to be reaching into your chest and plucking out your heart on my watch," he says, "Won't make that mistake again…" he says, as he gets an old fashioned lantern out of his bag, an eerie green light springing to life within it and leads the group towards the Men's wing.

"Lollypop?" Felicity murmurs, then beams. She actually kind of likes that name. "Lollipops good. I think I'll keep it. I mean, it's not like Bim or bib or something whatever you said before.. cause.. lollypop is cute.." She was rambling.

Once everything was settled upon her side, she detaches her tablet and tucks it beneath her arm, her eyes gone to the chains that were soon given to her and wrapped around her neck not once, but twice just to keep them in place. His words? She pales just a little, her shoulders slumping as a soft whimper draws her from her lips.

She totally was going to call Barry when she got back; she's gonna take that job at STAR Labs. Even though Elijah pays very, very well? She needed to do something that science can explain that can offset the crazy.

Cause this was going to be nuts.

With the tablet untucked from her arm, she begins to press buttons, following along at the back of the crew with her head down and silent.

The Ghost of the 20th Century leads the way, shoving open the heavy doors. The air seems to almost steam inside, even though the French winter beyond the windows had already begun to frost the panes with the onset of night. The lantern in Elijah's hands cast a wide circle of limelight, sending a few insects and rodents scurrying from the main hallways, the rats grown fat on gods knew what.

Elijah's voice is softly measured, hushed but not fearful, keeping his tone even and unemotional. "The less fear you can manage, the less they'll be attracted to you. Which is partially why you're here as well, Felicity - the rest of us, quite simply, aren't very exciting for a vengeful spirit. They can't frighten us away with theatrics or tearing their faces off or…"

There's a series of booms as, on either side of the hallway, the cell doors slammed open, wood cracking against stone, right down the line all the way the length of the wing.

"…or slamming doors," he says. "Feel free to scream. Keep your recording equipment on. And remember - you will not come to any harm. The thre of us can handle anything this place has to offer. No matter how frightened you become, do not leave our company, do you understand?" he says.

In other words, yes, Felicity had work to do, but she was also a big fat worm on the end of a hook, dropped down into a sea of the unquiet dead.

The white noise app played and recorded in the background; all the while the video kept moving with different windows that showed infrared and violet lights to pick up heat signatures and any other thing that they've managed to miss with the naked eye. Hearing Elijah's words? They brought out an anger at feeling duped and.. well, it was something that she was /not/ happy with. She was scared all right, but locked it up tight behind the camera and things that she could feel. Her tablet was a focal point for her to keep her in the here and now.

"So you're using me as bait. Greaaaat job." She stated, the slamming of the doors bringing out a little shriek and a jump.

She looks left and right, still in her spot, her legs feeling slightly faint as she continues to move, her grip white knuckling against the edges of the tablet, the camera growing shaky within her hands. "I understand.." She says quietly, tears wanting to build within her eyes. This was a good point in her life to cry about something, yet fear was not allowing her to do that.. just yet.

Elijah Snow would feel guilty about using Felicity, but…he just didn't. This was part of the work, and the work always came first. She'd have to have her wits scared out of her a few times if she were going to get anywhere, so it might as well be under protection in…well, not controlled, but relatively secured circumstances.

And, if she had a problem, she could say so. Elijah didn't object to being reprimanded for being a jerk. She had every right to beel duped and betrayed. How she reacted to that would also answer questions for the detective.

At first, things are quiet, the unnaturally warm air making clothes sticky, except close to Snow, of course. That's why he never bothered to watch for cold spots while ghost hunting. He -was- a cold spot. Suddenly, the video feed seems to go mad, streaking emergies passing to and fro in front of the quartet, like asteroids spinning through an Atari console towards a lone and desperate spaceship. As they circled around behind as well, herding them deeper into the wing, one might begin to feel an equal desire to spin.

Cecille's eyes had seemed to cloud over with a rosy opalescence, but clearly she could see what they faced, "Merde, how many bedamned haunts dwell here, Snow? Just what do you expect me to do, shoot zem all?!" she says, then punctuates it by firing an old looking revolver into seemingly empty air, only for a sudden fog to develop and burst like a popped bubble.

"We are going to have a /long/ talk about this when this is over." Felicity meant it. She could be as menacing as a mouse when she tried, and mice could be mean little suckers if provoked. Felicity was one of them, but she would usually do it through tears. This was no exception, for she was close to it.

She packed fear a mile wide but held that outer shell as if her life depended on it.

As the video wigs out on her, she stops in her place, eyes squintint as she looks up and down, first towards the feed and then to the front of them, and back.. spinning around to put the group behind her as she takes her steps backwards.

"Snow.. what's going on…" She mumbles out.. and then there was a shot fired, which caused her to jerk, jump and squeal from the sound. She couldn't deal with this. Her heart beating a mile a minute as her bottom lip trembles. She was ready to tap out at any second.

"I.. I think I should go back to the foyer.. to.. monitor stuff.."

Elijah Snow reached out and put a hand on Felicity's shoulder and his voice became soothing, almost like honey dripped in her ear, helping her to calm, "It's all right. We're past that point anyway," he says. It works somehow, seeming to calm her nerves almost immediately. Suspiciously quickly, one might think. If she were able to think about it. Which she isn't. For some reason.

And then there's a gasp from Cecille as the seeming tornado of spirits spears into Le Fantome, the group of spirits and the ghost detective wrestling with one another in the air, the screaming faces of the mad seemingly melted together.

"They've gone gestalt!" Cecille cries, then spoke in an unknown tongue, enunciating quickly and unleashing a blast of mystic energy, forming a shield around the three of them, "I couldn't get Fantome!!" she cries.

Elijah nods, "He'll be fine," he says, his blue eyes gleaming…almost as if in anticipation.

elicity frowns, she was not only calm, but for just a little.. she felt fearless. At least as fearless as Felicity could feel. She still shook, camera still held, the chill of the hand upon her shoulder melding in with the warmth of her own skin giving her a tiniest hint of comfort. This was a battle that she was determined to get on tape, the actions of Cecille something she herself wouldn't have believed if she hadn't seen it, and Le Fantome's on grueling duel caught with absolute stillness and little shrieks of fright from Felicity.

"Oh my god." She mutters to herself, the camera.. if everything was seen from it's view, whipping left and right almost frantically as she tries to catch everything that she possibly could. "We have to help him!" Felicity implores but..

Somewhere, in the inner recesses of her mind? She realizes that Le Fantome was beyond help and already dead. Nevermind!

The vaporous emanations outside have actually become visible even to the naked eye, a swirling maelstrom of screaming faces, bones, chains. A face presses hard against the witch's shield, lips cut off, tongue split like a snake. Shaved heads, spikee with icepicks. Starved, gaunt children, their ribs tearing through flaps of spectral skin. An old man stabbing himself in the throat over and over again, locked in an eternal memory of his own suicide. They were all going runny at the edges, combining.

And then Elijah steps forward, a soft whine coming from something strapped to his back as he lifts up a long metal wand, metal tubing lined with plastic, electricity crackling at the tip.

"FANTOME!! DROP THE TRAP!!!" he calls, and the trenhcoat and hat pull themselves free of the spectral storm, floating above it and then releasing from its depths a metal box that opens at the top, releasing a gleaming white light.

"Cecille, drop the shield. Felicity, get this shit on camera. It's time to bust some ghosts!"

And then, as the shield drops, a blast of crimson energy flies from the proton thrower in Elijah's hands and hits the storm of ghostly turbulence, drawing a massive, choral scream of agony as the energy conduits through it all…

Was this Snow getting excited, she captured everything she possibly could with her laptop, their reactions, the magic that Cecille produced (which could be sussed out later once she applies the proper filtering to the video that she's created), the flashes of light and the whirlwind battle that Le Fantome is currently engaged in. Everything was taken in, focused upon, attempted to capture bit by bit even as she ignores the way she breathed through it all. Because it was fast.

The strain that was put upon her in that moment caused her to hyperventilate, but yet she was too focused by the calming presense of Snow to even realize and regulate the fact. The screams, the shouts of the order, her focusing with bleary eyes to get everything on camera.. and..

By the gods, she did. She did. Every movement, zoomed in and out of perfectly, every little detail that she managed to catch, caught and would be evaluated at a safe location for their eyes only. And probably more.

She got that shit on camera, yo!

But once the shield drops and Elijah manages to capture the being with the proton energy beam.. Felicity takes a leaping step clear and out of the way to catch it all on camera. Slowly backing away to get the entire maddening scene in view.. her knees wobbling so bad that she crumbles to her knees, her sight slowly waning yet smart enough to snap the cover into kickstand view. A slow wobble to the left, and then to the right… her eyes flutter and she collapses upon the ground, glasses flown one way, tablet the other.

And if one were watching this live? They'd see that the rest of the scene was caught from the ground up. Thank Felicity for landing upon a passed out heap and dropping her laptop perfectly so that they wouldn't have missed a thing. Even if they did look like little people dancing with lights.


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