Monster of the Week: Harpy
The Winchesters (and two kids) hunt a Harpy.
San Francisco Bay
September 21, 2015
It's late night, and that means all the creepy crawlies are out. Over the past two months, four bodies have been discovered on the islands near the bay, seemingly savaged by wild animals... when no wild animals larger than a sparrow are known to exist on the islands. The deaths have been spaced exactly two weeks apart, full moon and half moon, and the reports are lacking just enough information to cause anyone seeking the unknown to want to investigate. And tonight? Tonight happens to fit the pattern for the next part of the pattern perfectly, with a half moon glowing brilliant in the sky.
It's under this moon lit sky that Aster finds herself walking the paths, a small purse crossed over her body, under her open jacket, her ponytail swinging slightly as she walks, seemingly oblivious to her surroundings and possible danger.
Dean has his gun. He has stakes. Holy water. He's carrying half the arsenal in that sturdy beaten-up leather jacket of his, and he moves like it's no big deal. He's done this for years, it's not a problem for him. He's got salt shells in there, even the ritual of the exorcism in a neat little bound book. "Okay, so. Tell me again about what's up."
This is to Sam, whom Dean has dragged out with him. Well, technically it was Sam's idea, since Sam is always finding these cases. Dean would have happily waited a little while to let Sam adjust and recover from his ordeal, but maybe it's best to just get back in the saddle. Walk it off. Work it off. That's what Dean would do.
Lockie Mitchell is just walking as he does, time at home getting increasingly hard as his guilt seems to be at it's worst when he's there and alone, he's avoiding spending much time there to keep himself from being driven insane. Dressed in jeans and a t-shirt the young Firestarter seems unbothered by the sleet, mindlessly walking along he's only a few feet from Dean and Sam.
Sam Winchester is holding a beat-up and repurposed Walkman, which has blinking red lights along one edge and emits an electronic whine now and again: a homemade EMF reader, which Sam waves slowly back and forth as he talks along. "Savage killings that've been happening like clockwork every sixteen years for the past century or so. Last attacks were in 1999, and 1983 before that. The victims are usually male, but there's no apparent connection between them. Different backgrounds, different jobs, though all worked near the water. There've been four more deaths in the last two months." He frowns at the meter, shaking his head. "Sounds like it's right up our alley, right?" He glances over, spotting Lockie, then lowers his voice. "Hey, who's the kid?"
Her heels make the softest of sounds as she walks, but those sounds vanish as Aster steps off the paved path to the grass, which is very clearly marked to be stayed off of. That rebel. The object of her interest? Alcatraz. It's right there, looming up out of the water, and that's where the second to last body was found. The one before that? Angel Island State Park. Glancing around, Aster heads down toward the warf, where several boats are tied up and just waiting to be stolen by a group of meddling kids and their dog, too.
If only Dean had a dog! But all he has is a Sam and an angel and apparently a Lockie, though he doesn't know who the kid is. "I dunno who the hell he is! Like I invited him here?" This is all hissed in whispers that are probably meant to be just between the two of them, but anyone with decent hearing who is close enough can also probably pick them up.
The brief excitement, or even exception, from Dean dies down and he nudges Sam with his elbow. "You should get him to get outta here. This is probably dangerous." Naturally, they've gone down the path they weren't supposed to as well. Like signs ever stopped the Winchesters!
Lockie Mitchell is on autopilot and as such isn't focusing of direction just walking, which is why he ends up following the Winchesters off the beaten path and towards the danger zone, he doesn't hear the two mention him, hell soulless or not he's sixteen, he's good at ignoring adults.
Sam Winchester gives Dean a 'Who, me?' look, then sighs, pocketing the EMF reader before approaching Lockie. "Hey kid, it's a little late to be wandering around in the dark, don't you think?" he calls, trying to sound both authorative and friendly at once.
Oh, joy. Voices. People coming to mess up her carefully planned... plan. Not that she actually had much of one besides 'Go out, figure out what's doing it, use raw mystic might to banish it.' On second thought, that plan is terrible. She'll just spy on these people, and see what they're doing! The girl ducks behind a tree, trying ever so hard to be stealthy... but, well... wedge booties aren't meant for sneaking, and twigs get snapped in the process as she creeps closer. Sneaksneaksnea-SNAP.
Kids like Sam! At least, Dean is going to stick with this story because he doesn't want to have to be the one to deal with Lockie! He's pretty sure kids don't like him. Especially boys. They like Sam, though! Maybe it's because he's dorky and clean-cut. Dean's going to just believe that. But soon his attention is drawn away, as his keen ears pick up the snapping. A hand slides into his jacket.
Dean doesn't want to have to draw while there's a kid close enough to see, but he's definitely not going to be the next statistic in this case either. And Sam's certainly not going to be put in danger, not when he just got him back!
Lockie Mitchell stops for a moment and looks Sam in the eye, "I disagree", yeah calling him a kid isn't the best way to get in his good book, pre-curse he'd have considered doing someserious damage to Sam for that, instead he just stands there keeping eye contact, a look he knows tends to make people uncomfortable.
Sam Winchester crosses his arms over his chest. "Ya know, there've been some deaths out here lately," he says, still trying to sound both 'adult' and 'casual' at once. "Probably not the safest place to be after dark. Wouldn't you rather be off somewhere with your friends?"
Oh, hell. "Lockie. Turn around and go home now, before you get hurt again." The voice is authoritative, angry, and distinctly feminine. Aster steps out from behind the trees, looking for all the world like she could be in the same class Lockie's in. Why are there kids running around at this hour? Don't they have bedtimes, curfews... wild drunken high school parties that will change their lives forever to attend? And why does this teenager think she can boss the other one around? "And you two. Go home before you get yourselves killed." She's now addressing Sam and Dean with that same authority, looking for all the world like she expects to be heeded.
Dean's surprised at both Lockie and the woman. His hand comes out of the jacket, and he steps back, a little closer to Sam. "We ain't goin' anywhere, lady. So you know kidster over there? Grab him and hit the road. We're gonna take care of this." He's not going to explain much more, though he'll feel better once he gets within arm's length of Sam.
Ahh. There. Dean edges close enough to yank Sam back and out of harm's way, if anything weird happens. It's definitely not normal for these other two to be out here, and they're definitely not hunters. Or if they are, they're really, seriously underequipped.
Lockie Mitchell continues giving Sam that look, "I don't have friends", he looks round and vaguely remembers the girl from the other day, he was pretty concussed at the time though, there was magic involved, either way she isn't heeded. "If you all want me to go home, take it up with my parents, name's Mitchell, get a decent medium".
Sam Winchester takes half a step back, drawing closer to Dean, as his eyes move between Lockie and Aster. "You don't have to go home," he says, keeping his voice calm. "But you can't stay here either. Seriously, let the grown-ups take care of this. So just run along now, okay?" He glances to Dean, frowning. What the heck are these kids even doing out here?
Aster Vildrym doesn't bristle, to her credit, but she does draw herself to her full, unimpressive 5'7 and lock eyes first with Dean, then with Sam, having already taken in the bag, the possible gun, and the typical Hunter attitudes. "I know why you're here, and you're all in danger if you don't leave, right now." the young woman insists, her voice raising just a little, tone slightly pleading. "Just... go home, order a pizza and drink a few beers and forget you were ever here. I can take care of this, and by morning... no more bodies."
"Listen, sweetheart," Dean gestures, talking with his hands. His tone is at least tinged with some of that patented Winchester charm. When you want to WINchester. He tried to play it off as clever to Sam once, but he just got a weird look. Whatever, he knows it's witty! It wouldn't sound right to say "when you want to DEAN" though he's pretty sure Sam could make a verb out of that too.
Probably not a nice one.
"I ain't here to babysit. If you think you can do it, fine. But you're takin' care of Drew Barrymore over there, and stay outta the way. Time's wastin'." Dean pats Sam between the shoulders. "Let's get moving."
Lockie Mitchell follows behind the Winchesters more because they told him not to than anything else, the possible danger not really bothering him, any trouble and he can just fade out, always an easy exit. Sam Winchester scowls at both Lockie and Aster, shaking his head in a Disappointed Parent sort of way, then turns and begins walking with Dean again, taking a video camera from another jacket pocket and flipping it open. "Okay, nightvision's working. So far, I'm not seeing anything unusual. What works on a sixteen year cycle anyway? Wendigo, maybe? They hibernate for a decade or so, then gorge themselves, right?"
"My name is Aster, you chauvanistic jacka-... Ahem." For a second, that temper fired up... but it's gone, and she's once more a proper young lady... on the hunt for something nasty. "As for Lockie, he's more likely to come out of this alive than either of you." she turns her attention back toward the water, responding when Sam speaks. "Er... aren't Wendigo more... northern...? Assuming they're even real." She opens her purse, drawing out a small, hand bound notebook. Each page is covered in cramped writing... and she's somehow reading in the dark, apparently, oblivious to the humans for a moment.
"Good to meet you, Aster. I'm Dean. This is Sam. And we've been doin' this for longer than you or Traci Lords over there have probably been alive." Dean's not really that affected by her temper; after all, if that bothered him, he'd never hang out in bars or anything. He's probably been called a chauvinist more times than he can remember.
The young-looking woman's naivete about the wendigo reality just drives this home a little bit more, at least to Dean. He's pretty convinced he was right to call it, and that now they're saddled with two kids who are just going to get in the way. But even if he can come off kind of assy sometimes, he genuinely cares, deep down, for the welfare of these two innocents and knows that, above everything else, he's got to make sure neither of them gets hurt. And Sam too, of course. Can't let Sam get hurt, above all.
"Crash course, Aster: wendigo? Real. Anything that goes bump in the night they tell stories about to scare kids? Real. Not always the way you hear in the story or see in a movie, but it's pretty much either real or something like something else." Dean takes out his gun and loads the rock salt shells. Most of the things they've encountered will at least be slowed down by that.
Lockie Mitchell rolls his eyes as he walks, "Wendigo, once a human who while lost in a certain area of wasteland resorted to canabalism, now an immortal creature who hungers for human flesh", he's not just some kid, he's got a solid knowedge of the things that go bump in the night, "Though the method of transformation and species does differ".
Sam Winchester casts another scowl toward the 'kids', then goes back to sweeping the area with the nightvision camera. "I blame HBO," he mutters to Dean. "All that stupid, late-night, supernatural erotica. Every kid who's seen Real Blood thinks he's an expert on the paranormal." He turns to Lockie and Aster again, raising his voice. "Well, I've got news for you. In the real world, werewolves don't tear off their shirts and flex their pecs and abs before seducing you. They just rip your limbs off."
Depends on the area you're in. Aster's heard rumors about Forks and Beacon Hills! "I'm very much aware that there are certain things that are very real. I'm also very much aware that whatever is out there, it's hunting men. And unless you're passing really well, none of you are drag kings." The gun coming out does cause Aster to take a half step back, eyes narrowing ever so slightly, but she's not going to be deterred from this. "I'm hardly in the mood to be seduced by anyone, believe me. My aunt has gone missing, and while looking into that, I found this. Now. Islands, water, wild animals? Do either of you have a boat?" She looks between Sam and Dean, ponytail swinging and emphasizing exactly how much she DOES NOT BELONG in this scenario.
"That's kinda why we're here. We draw it out...we kill it, end of story." Dean walks along, training the gun -- carefully! -- around them. "Don't need one. There's a bunch of 'em just ahead. We can borrow one and even have it back all in one piece by morning." He flashes one of his patented Dean Winchester charm grins back at Aster. But his brother's little rant about prime-time TV just about makes him stumble. Time for a subject change! "Sammy, you pickin' up anything on your...stuff?"
Lockie Mitchell shrugs as the two adults seem to have made up their minds about what the teens could possibly know, walking ahead he reaches the shore and hops into one of the boats.
Sam Winchester shakes his head to Dean, frowning still. "Nothing. And if we're gonna do this...." He casts a scowl in Lockie's direction as he selects a boat at random. "I suggest we all stick together. If this is a Wendigo, it'll try and trick us, calling out for help, possibly in a voice you recognize. Don't fall for it." With another glance to Dean, he climbs into the boat as well, taking up a position at the front, so he can keep an eye on the camera.
... She doesn't bother to mention that her aunt's boat is docked just a little bit further down. Still, when in Rome... Aster hops into the boat with ease, moving to stand behind Sam, glancing over her shoulder at Lockie, then Dean. Leaning close to Lockie, the young woman whispers something to the boy, before turning her attention back to the island in the distance. "So we have a boat... where are we going?" Aster asks, pluckily.
"Across the water. Right over...there." Dean answers, climbing in too and making quick work of getting them unmoored. They can leave now. He's good with boats, good with cars...good with anything as long as they're on land or water. "Somethin' else to remember is that those stories ain't exaggerated. They wanna eat you. And it doesn't take much time for that, so stick together." The boat starts a plucky pace out towards the abandoned island. "So. Aster. If you wanna give us the info, maybe we can help you find your aunt."
Lockie Mitchell sits down and waits for them to make it to the island, he is slightly amused that Aster is under the impression that he wouldn't just save himself, looking up at Alcatraz he frowns, even from here he can tell it is a dark place.
Sam Winchester settles in for the ride, alternating his attention between the camera's display and scanning the water ahead. Glancing over his shoulder, he mutters, "This is such a bad idea."
"I sincerely doubt you can help find her, no offense. I've tried scrying, divination, tarot and Google." Aster bites her lower lip, looking down to the water before reaching into her purse and drawing out a small decorative hair comb, pinning it firmly into place along one side to keep her long bangs out of her face. The comb is decorated with black pearls, three black swan feathers, and a single small peacock feather behind them. "But, on the off chance you see her... You'll recognize her. Think me, but a bit older, a bit... more... womanly..." She makes a vague gesture toward her almost non-existant bust, "And a good bit paler. Like... Christina Ricci locked in there for ten years." She gestures toward the prison, which is looming closer. At Sam's comment, Aster shakes her head softly. "Tell me about it."
The water gets choppier the closer the boat gets to the island, and the drizzle becomes colder, more stinging. And... there's the faintest sound, like someone singing very softly to themselves.
"C'mon Sammy, it's gonna be just fine. W--" Suddenly Dean stops speaking, and it seems like it's to listen to Aster. But he doesn't say anything after she stops, for a while, and his eyes narrow. "You guys hear that?" He's always trained himself to pick up on the faintest noises, the slightest disturbances of the world around him. It's part of his training. If he didn't do that, he knows he wouldn't last very long.
Lockie Mitchell frowns at the sound of the singing, "A siren? What would a siren be doing here?" he seems to be speaking to himself more than anything else, "Don't touch the water", he warns just in case. He considers fading out right there.
Sam Winchester frowns also, sweeping the camera toward the apparent source of the singing. "Siren?" he says skeptically, brows drawing together. "Dean, you know anything about sirens?" Like maybe how to kill them? Keeping the camera in one hand, he pulls out the EMF meter again, sweeping it as well.
There, on the rocks, not too very far away, is a young woman, with beautiful long hair, big blue eyes and bigger... tracts of land. She's also completely nude, her lower body partially obscured by the rocks she's sitting on, upper body kept modest by her perfectly kempt blonde hair, which she's brushing as she sings, smiling at the boys in the boat. The group still isn't close enough to hear the words, but her voice is compelling, almost hypnotic.
"NOW do you want to go back?" Aster growls to herself, looking between the various men in the group. This is it, this is how her world ends. Not with a bang, but with three idiots on a boat.
Dean nods to Lockie and looks to Sam. "Yeah, the kid's right. Don't touch the water. Try not to listen to the singing. Whatever you hear, whatever you see, it ain't real unless you can back it up on your video camera there." He would glare at Aster, but that's something he does either when it doesn't matter, or when it matters the most. Not quite there yet at the moment. "Aster. Buckle down. You're the only chick in the group, this thing targets men. That ain't sayin' it's gonna get any of us, but we need to be ready. Can you use a gun?"
Lockie Mitchell stands up, "Go back to the other side of the shore and don't come back", he looks from the siren to the water and back, it's seen them so an escape is not gonna be easy, especially with those two are steering the thing, "I'm so going to regret this", making sure the siren is looking at him he dives into the water.
Sam Winchester drops the EMF reader onto the deck, though he manages to keep hold of the camera. "Kid, wait!" he shouts, pushing partway to his feet. But it's too late, Lockie is already overboard, and Sam shoots a panicked look toward Dean. "Now what?" he asks, looking at the small screen again. "That thing's going to tear him to shreds!"
"As a matter of fact, I can't. I'm allergic to iron." Aster snarks, clinging to the side of the boat... and then Lockie's overboard, and Aster is screaming at him to come back, leaning over the side and reaching toward him, almost going over, herself, overbalancing, backward, and into Dean. "Turn the boat around, I'm going after him." She sounds so very sure of herself, rushing to the edge, to climb over and jump.
For her part, the Siren simply thinks her song is working, leaning forward slightly and gesturing toward Lockie to come to her, a salacious smile curving the corners of her lips. On the camera, those lips have parted to reveal quite lovely fangs... and the leaning forward reveals something unseen to the human eye... Wings. She rises, the wind catching her long hair and whipping it away as she stands atop the rocks, her lower body revealed on camera as something horrifying, some fowl cross of woman and vulture, with claws as long as knives at the ends of four toed bird feet. Her wings flap in anticipation, waiting eagerly for Lockie to come to her.
Dean's quick and decisive. First he hauls Aster back onto the boat, then he swerves the boat around in the direction of the siren, but not exactly in Lockie's wake because he doesn't want to run him down and drown him. It's dark, and a motorboat hitting a swimmer isn't exactly a great strategy. "Allergic to iron...great. Here." Fishing in his jacket, he produces a small bottle of clear liquid with a cap on it, and a short length of some sort of cloth, a thin muslin. "Make a molotov. Light it when we're close enough and pitch it on the bitch. Sammy! Don't listen to the song! Take the gun." He disarms himself to give the loaded sawed-off shotgun to his brother, and then he shrugs off the jacket, storing it where it won't get too wet from the sleet and taking a hunting knife for himself, sheath and all, which he straps to his thigh. "Don't crash the boat. I'm gonna save the Littlest Hunter there. You two can take out Celine Dion over there." He is very free with the nicknames tonight.
Once Lockie is sure the siren is ready to attack him he simply fades out of existance and then theres a large fireball coming at the siren from behind, fired but a wet and shirtless Lockie, his shirt seemingly left behind in the water. Even before it makes any contact he's forming another fireball, "I told you to leave!".
Sam Winchester scrambles to dig earbuds from his jacket, cramming them into his ears before taking the gun from his brother. "Dean!" he shouts, tightening his grip on the shotgun. "Get you ass back here!" He casts a quick glance at Aster to make sure she's all right and staying put, then cocks the weapon and aims it at the siren...just as the fireball appears behind her. "What the--? Dean, look out!"
Fireball? Not today, Bro! With preternatural speed, the beast leaps into the air, barely avoiding the burst of heat that was rushing toward her only a moment before. The Harpy, for that's what she truly is, turns in midair and lets out an inhuman shriek, the ground in front of her simply... shredding, for lack of a better term, as she focuses her voice toward the young Firestarting Witch, ignoring the people aboard the boat for the moment.
Aster freezes when Dean puts hands on her, looking terrified for half a moment... and then she's holding a Molotov... Huh. She looks between Sam and Dean... "That... is not a siren. Why didn't I see this thi- DUCK!" And then she's diving for cover as the fireball flies toward the boat.
Dean was so about to dive in and save Lockie, but apparently the little punk saved himself. Of all the...and here Dean was going to be all selfless and get all wet and his clothes would've been clingy and all the girls would've totally swooned, but after he made all those preparations, here comes a fireball. "Sonofabitch!" He's quick to hit the deck too, aiming to take Sammy down with him, because he has zero intention of letting his little brother be toasted by that. "Yeah," he grunts, from the floor. Honestly, with all the sleet that's collected and water that's splashed in, he may get that clingy outfit anyway. "Harpy. We can feel bad about it later. Over drinks. And pizza. Nice, hot pizza." He could just about cry thinking of it right now. He's chilled to the bone.
Lockie Mitchell curses as his attack is avoided and narrowly avoids being shredded by putting up a telekinetic shield, still he is knocked back slamming into the rocks behind him. "Tr...cough try flyin...cough try flying in this", pushing back with his shield Lockie steps forward,
"Waves to toss with violent motion,
Squall upon a tranquil ocean.
Clouds and rain, thunder and lightning,
Give me a storm that's truly frightening".
Sam Winchester was just about to stand up and fire the shotgun, but suddenly he's dragged to the deck by Dean. "Harpy?" he asks, shaking his head. Fortunately, the weapon didn't go off, and he manges to keep hold of it, as he scrambles upright again. "This is getting ridiculous. It's like the Odyssey out here. What do we have to take out a harpy?"
Once he's down, Lockie is suddenly face to face with a very pretty, feral beast. Only his shield keeps him from being shredded instantly, though it doesn't stop the odor of death from seeping through. Her breath is pure carrion eater, and those long talons scrabble at Lockie's shield, trying to find purchase, to find a way to get to the delicious food in the jar... But that storm Lockie's conjured? It's sudden, and a doozie. One of the Harpy's outstretched wings bends at a horrible angle with a sickening SNAP, causing her to shriek in pain. As for the folks aboard the Good Ship Why Me? The waters and wind taking over steering the ship... And frankly, the new helmsman SUCKS.
For her part, Aster crawls close to Dean and Sam, "Do you trust me?" She asks, having to almost shout to be heard over the sudden gale. She doesn't wait for an answer, physically climbing atop the piled boys, slender arms extended to vaguely encircle both. There's a sudden lurch, a loud crunching noise, and everyone... and the boat, are suddenly on the rocks... With the boat almost upside down, and missing the entirety of the outboard motor. Aster falls first, slamming into the shoreline bonelessly, the sheer power it took to teleport something so large, and with so much iron? A bit too much.
"Are you seriously asking that?!" Dean shouts back at Aster, if only because he can't be heard otherwise. Yeah, he's pretty sure that kid was bad news, and he's going to definitely sock him when he sees him again. But then they're on the shore, Aster's out like a sack of potatoes, and Dean, being the shining knight he is, moves to help haul her up and out of harm's way. "Sammy! Let her have it with both barrels! I'll back you up! Get that stupid kid outta there!"
'That kid' is starting to run out of juice, he's not really much of a spell caster usually and even then that spell was pretty advanced for his level, feeling his vison start to go a little blurry he focuses on giving his telekinetic shield one good hard outwards push.
Sam Winchester was about to open fire, but then Aster was climbing all over him, and the next thing he knew, the boat had capsized...not in the water, but on shore. How was that even possible? Shoving the boat as hard as he can, he scrambles to his feet, then up onto the hull, aiming the shotgun at the injured harpy. Taking a quick breath, he unloads both barrels, then cracks open the breech, fumbling for more shells in his pocket.
The boat is easily shoved. And the Harpy? Oh, she's huuuungry. Her claws begin scrambling at the shield again, her song forgotten entirely, becoming a weird chirruping noise, like a cat that can't quite get to its prey... And then she's pushed backward, right into the path of Sam's double barreled blast, which shreds her other wing quite a bit and causes her to crumple in pain onto her side, looking up at Sam pathetically. Sensing her end is near, she reaches out, impossibly fast, trying to snag hold of Sammy.
Aster, for her part, is playing an absolutely beautiful sack of potatoes in Dean's arms, but then she has to go and ruin an Oscar winning performance by waking up... and instantly flailing to be let go. "I'm fine, I'm FINE!" People fighting for their lives have struggled less, but more effectively, than the young dancer. She's about as strong as a newborn kitten that just went five rounds with Ronda Roussey.
Dean sort of dumps Aster with a pat to her shoulder. Can't be too delicate when things are at stake and Sammy's here and Sammy's in danger and-- "Sammy!!" He calls out, scrambling around to find his jacket. At least that came along, even if the motor didn't make it to shore. If it hadn't, he'd have had to spend the rest of the night diving to retrieve it.
Fortunately, he had another of those mini-molotovs ready. Bottle uncapped. Cloth added. Nice, sturdy lighter applied to it, and then...he lobs it at the harpy with expert precision that would make any pitcher green with envy.
Or if they were in the same boat as Dean's been, they'd probably already be green and puking all over the shore.
Lockie Mitchell is a little dizzy, he tries to throw more fire but it kinda just sputters out in his hand, "Well, that can't be good", he watches as the Harpy falls out of the sky from Sam's shotgun blast and the flaming molotov heads its wat, "Did I do that?"
Sam Winchester catches the harpy's lunge from the corner of his eye, diving out of the way even as he unloads another two rounds into the beast. Then as Sam lands on his belly, skidding across the ground, Dean's missile is flying that way, and Sam has just enough time to perform the classic duck-and-cover, wrapping arms over his head and curling his body up to present as small a target as possible to the blast.
While the younger Winchester is fast enough to avoid being caught by the talons, the front of his shirt IS shredded by that manicure from Hell... and his earbuds are caught, and yanked from his ears in the process. In a last ditch effort, the Harpy's song begins again, conjuring... an entirely different young blonde woman, lying on the ground in a white nighty, her long hair pooled around her. Beautiful blue eyes stare up at Sam with sheer terror, and it's Jessica's voice that escapes, "Sam?" And it's Jessica's voice that screams in agony as the last of Sam's rounds tear into her delicate flesh, causing her to writhe in pain once more, over onto her back, blood pooling from the wounds to her torso... And then she's up in flames, just like Sam's seen so many times before, but she's screaming, able to move, writhing in pain. By the time the illusion fades, the Harpy is a blackened corpse anyway, unrecognizable as woman or beast, save for the odd feet... and the wings.
Aster, once dumped, lands with surprising grace and ease, and is on her feet just in time to see the Harpy go up in flames... in illusion. She looks between Sam and Dean in plain confusion, before moving toward the body, which has now stopped burning thanks to the torrential downpour, and shakes her head. "Harpies, in San Francisco?" She mutters, moving to check on Lockie.
Dean hurries to Sam's side, just like Aster to Lockie. "Sammy!" He calls out, voice rough. And he's pretty much drenched, just like the rest. It's like a wet t-shirt contest, except everything's wet, soaked and chilled to the bone. Ugh. At least Dean has his jacket though. "Sammy!" That's a nasty scratch. He's going to have to clean that out right away once they're back to the car.
"NO!" Sam screams in horror over the howling winds, as he watches his own shotgun blast shred his beloved Jessica. Dropping the weapon, he starts crawling toward the flaming, writhing mass, shaking wet, icy hair from his eyes. Is that rain pouring down his face, or tears? "No, Jess, no!"
Okay, the teenage prettyboy is shirtless, the slightly older pretty boy is having a breakdown, and the hunk is... in a very wet, cold, see through-ish t-shirt. Not looking at anyone too closely! Taking in everything, now that Lockie's okay, Aster rushes forward, placing herself between Sam and the body, physically, placing both hands on his shoulders. "Whoever that was, Sam, it wasn't her." Aster's voice is forceful, and she is doing her best to lock eyes with Sam, to try and reinforce that. "That was the harpy, trying to save itself and failing horribly." Of course, it's not like she's terribly strong. If Sam wants to get to the charred corpse... he's going to get to it.
He's not getting to it, because Dean bodily hauls him back. Sure, Sam may be comparatively hulkish, but Dean's no slouch in the raw strength department. "SAMMY! I told you! Don't believe it! It's that harpy messin' with your mind! That wasn't Jess!" He's getting all up in his brother's face, shaking him by the shoulders. He doesn't want to have to, but he will slap him if necessary. Just in case.
Lockie Mitchell gestures with his hands in an attempt to telekineticly push the corpse into the water but he's pretty darn magiced out, all he succeeds in doing is putting himself off balance and then falling on back on the ground, "Ow".
Sam Winchester is easily stopped by Aster, all the fight having drained out of him. And then Dean's manhandling him, and Sam just collapses against his brother, burying his face in Dean's shoulder and sobbing silently. That's when the shivering begins as well. Somewhere in the back of his mind, Sam is wondering if he wouldn't have been better off staying in the coma for another day or two.
Abruptly, in the middle of it all, the plain, grizzled, forever-rumpled form of Castiel appears standing there, an expression somewhere between concern and consternation on his normally impassive features. He's standing, more or less, beside Dean. "Dean," he says, voice slightly more tense than the monotone he normally uses, "Are you all right?" He raises his eyebrows slightly at the struggle between the brothers, frowns, and then apparently becomes frustrated. Because things suddenly get very, very bright.
There's a pulse of warm, golden light, and the vision of any mortal eyes fades to white. Silhouetted against that light for a moment, just as that light fades, is the suggestion of a shadow, a shadow cast by massive, invisible wings extending from the man in the trench coat. It's sort of hard to ignore.
Taking advantage of his (hopefully effective) diversion tactic, Castiel reaches out to plant a forefinger right in the center of Sam's mind, commanding in a deep and gravelly voice, "See." It's the subtlest of compulsions, simply willing Sam Winchester's mind to push past its confusion and perceive the truth--at least, the truth such as Castiel is able to reveal.
Trapped on a beach with three men and no easy way to get them free. Because technically, they're the only ones trapped. Sam's sobbing onto Dean's shoulder, leaving Aster to just sort of... hover, with concern plainly written on her face. And suddenly there's a freaking Solar Flare of power right next to her, and Aster flinches away, her own, much weaker power flaring up briefly in response, an aura of black feathers flaring protectively around her to those with mystic vision. Castiel isn't the only one with wings, here, though Aster's are definitely not the same type. She is distinctly Not Looking at Castiel, however, rushing up to Lockie and pulling his head down to her chest to shield him from seeing something he is Not Allowed To See. And possibly ending up on some registry later, as a result.
Dean...is taken by surprise, but it's Sammy. It's his brother. So it's time for one of those rare Winchester hugs. He wraps his arms around his baby brother and hugs, squeezes, just lets him get it all out.
But before he can hardly do anything, there's Castiel. "You got a great sense of timing, Cas. You got here right after we ended the monster. You gottAAAH!!" And then he's blinded by the light. Revved up like a, yeah whatever, he's trying to find some way to make out what's going on, but it's all overwhelming to him. "Cas! You have got to stop doing this kinda shit!"
Theres a bright light and then Lockie's head is in someone's chest, in between his chattering teeth and shaking from the cold he's able to ask, "The f**k was that?".
Fortunately, Sam's eyes are closed by the time the light starts blinding people. The unfamiliar touch to his forehead causes him to tense at first, but a moment later, he's overtaken by an overwhelming calm, and if not for the fact that Dean is holding him up now, he'd likely fall to his knees again. "Wha--?" he sniffles, pulling away from Dean and blinking his eyes in confusion. "Where...Who the hell is that?" He squints in Castiel's direction, nose wrinkling as he tries to put a name to the face. Then something clicks in his head, and he cries, "The kids! Are the kids okay?"
"A moment," says Castiel's voice, and then everything goes all glowy again, and those with sensitive stomachs may feel an uncomfortable lurching...
And they're standing in the lobby of a hotel room, where the clerk sprawls dozing in his chair. It's quiet but for the buzz of cheap lighting and the distant sound of the ice machine rumbling away. "May I suggest," Castiel says, placid and monotonous once more, "that we obtain rooms for the night, and I see to everyone's condition? You don't all look terribly good at present."
"We're fine, and we're not ki-" And then everything goes all vomity. Not literally, but Aster finds herself stumbling and leaning, heavily, on Dean. She somehow manages to have the powers of a cat at that moment, too, and be Heavier Than She Should Be. She swallows hard, finding her balance, and takes in the new surroundings. "That... sounds like an amazing idea." She says at last, rubbing at her stomach in an absent gesture, wincing slightly. Yep, that's a bruise. So's that. And that.
Dean supports Aster and looks over Sammy's way, once he can see again. "Oh, him? That's Cas. Sam, meet Cas." He's feeling good that he didn't indulge in a particularly large meal before this whole affair. But now that they're back, he's totally ordering pizza. Maybe he can get Cas to pop out for booze.
Lockie Mitchell jerks from the lurches caused by their journey, he was pretty dizzy anyway so manages to keep his lunch down ok, "And the f**k was that?", theres a theme of confusion now apparently with the young witch, still shaking from cold he pulls off his jeans and socks before crawling towards a heater and sitting next to that, "No need for room, good here", still he won't fight when eventually moved.
"I need a hot bath, a nap and an entire pizza." Aster mutters to herself, absently reaching up and unpinning her hair back with her decorative hair comb, which is placed carefully back into her purse. How that thing stayed across her torso the whole time is anyone's guess, but it's sturdy. She pushes her long bangs back out of her face to prevent looking like that creepy girl in the well. "You're going to need to rest, Lockie. You dove in the bay. We're all going to be lucky if we make it out of this with no pneumonia... We're lucky our new friend got us out when we did. It would have been either a hike up the hill, or we'd have had to huddle together under the boat until our power came back..."
A short while later, they're all huddled in a motel room with the heater cranked way up, wrapped in robes and blankets, with pizza boxes scattered around them and a mixture of cocoa and beer distributed between them. Only Castiel stands to one side, dressed in his trench coat and looking rumpled as ever. He holds a beer in one hand, looking at it with a puzzled expression. "I can't say that I entirely understand your choice of beverage, Dean," the angel remarks, "but at least you didn't request spirits. Under the circumstances, I feel that would have been grossly inappropriate."