The Humbling River

June 14, 2014:

After being cursed with the Darkhold page from her encounter with Gambit, Rogue gets help from Charles Xavier in battling against the designs of the Darkhold Dwarf.

The Mindscape

Undisclosed Park, NYC and the Mindscape

From reality to Rogue's own mind and then some.


NPCs: Charles Xavier



Mood Music: The Humbling River by Puscifier

Fade In…

Days? Weeks? Months? Perhaps only seconds. Can a person put a time on madness? Since Rogue's initial encounter with the creature that wore the skin of Remy LeBeau the Brotherhood mutant has been in a state similar to Purgatory. No doubt the Southern Baptist raised girl is having her fun with being the vessel of a dark entity. In that myriad sea of voices and haunting faces trapped with in Anna Marie's own mind scape there now calls forth a black swirling vortex that taints and poisons, corrupting everything around it touches. Rogue over the years has done well by herself in sorting, dealing and managing the personalities she has absorbed until recently, they're no longer familiar. They're dark mockeries of what they were. Even her own thoughts have become obscured by Chthon's mechanisms. A new being has invited itself in to her mental palace, one she never even touched - the Darkhold Dwarf, his grinning, dancing demented little visage is everywhere. From waking eyes to closed he plagues her with beckoning, whispers, taunts, slurs, charm, promises and insults.

"Anna, come out and play. Open your eyes and lets have some fun. The world awaits you, your strength, your particular power. You're the perfect vessel for our lord. He wants you to be his herald. The Cajun was weak, you, you are not. You have promise, might… " The smile of the small man widens, larger and larger, those teeth going sharper the more it stretches. It's night-time, somewhere still in NYC, Rogue should be familiar with that at least. The cool air carries the familiar scents of a hot dog stand not far off; shes been asleep perhaps? Lying upon the cement just out of view of couples passing by, underneath the hanging branches of a shrub overgrown tree in a small park meant for walking animals and residential use. One blink, two, the dwarf appears and disappears with each flicker of eye movement.


Only so much one can take before the mind snaps, or goes into a coma like state. Rogue's green eyes are wide open, but recognition, recollection, or even -seeing- what lies beyond the blackness that trickles into her mind is debatable. She hasn't blinked in hours, and even the dry earth she lays upon is stuck to her cheek from the "slumber" salivation that had long dwindled behind slightly parted lips.

As if she breathes for the first time at the beckoning of the dwarf Rogue sputters, coughs, and her arms enter a flailing state as she suffers her first blink and seeks to rub the burning sensation out with dust covered fists. Nails have dirt embedded beneath from the clawing grip she held upon the earth, whipping outward with hooked fingers and screaming a slur of curses in her southern drawl that likely come out something like Boomhauers… Or in tongues of the odd although her body arched in that display, her own mental fight still going to shut out this disease she took from the Cajun.

On panted breathes.. "I'll kill him."

"Kill? Yes, work with that feeling, embrace it!" The Darkhold Dwarf dances towards her, a left to right foot jig that has his small pointy shod feet kicking up and down with each step until he is standing just beside her, a fingertip coming out to prod her in the forehead, a blackened sharp nail at the end of odd delicate slender fingers. "He wronged you he did. Wrongs you still with neglect after sticking you with this horrible, horrible, yet oh so delightful burden." His words are spotted with downward pouts and sudden smiles.

"Left you alone to rot,like everyone else in your life." A wink and he steps around beside her, a scarf being pulled free and offered out. "Not me though! Not our Master. We care about you, Anna. Care about you like you're one of our own Brood."

The park around her is desolate for the most part - it is later after all, that hotdog stand and it's scents seem to be the only signs of life. Birds fly towards the setting sun a dog barks in the distance amidst the sounds of the soon to be slumbering city.

"Ah'll kill him for touchin' me, if ah didn't already…" Rogue states, leaning back to dodge that pointed nail touch from the dwarf, her upper lip curling in disgust despite the mixture of sadness and longing that burns behind bloodshot eyes. Her other hand seeks to swat away the scarf, looking away simultaneously and down only to see the fishnet top she had been wearing has taken to ruin somewhere, shredded as if…

/Fingers and nails rip through the netting, choking, cloying, feeling trapped in her own skin../

Even the curvature of exposed sides bears red lines embedded into skin, scabbing and caked with dirt and debris.

"Ah fuck… fuck.." Rogue's trying hard to forget this, blockade it as she had been taught long before.. Think happy…

Think hungry, and a meager attempt to forget the dwarf and ignore those whispers - her own longing… Went right out the window with the wafting odor of hot dogs. Pushing up, that is the direction she heads.

"Hunger? Not for food, not that kind of food, it'll taste like swill to you." The Dwarf assures her after having dodged back from her swat, his scarf being stuffed back in to his pocket. "Yes, feast and then we bring the page to our Master. He'll grant you power and release all at once."
Gliding after her the imp begins to hum to himself.

A man stands behind the hotdog cart, a ball-cap covering his balding head. He's familiar almost, handsome features yet aged, a large-sh nose, older now than she would remember him but not much. His eyes are the most remarkable thing about him (aside from that smooth, polished dome of a head), wise, caring yet strong eyes. Empathic eyes that speak of an immeasurable strength.
"Hello, Anna." The man at the stand says, his voice is familiar as well. That same quiet strength to it.

The Darkhold minion beside her hisses, "No, this is filthy food. Let us keep moving. It'll twist you and poison you in ways that deny freedom. Come, come come." He black sharp nails wave, trying to divert her from the hotdog stand and it's vendor.

"It's hotdogs, Ah don't expect much more than swill." But Rogue cannot even remember the last time she ate, as well as doesn't recall how long things have been as they are or how she got where she was just moments ago…

Brows furrowed upon her forehead and her hands curl into fists, nails biting into palms as she murmurs. "Have enough power, and most of it Ah don't even want."

Looking from the imp now to the man who greets her at the stand, she pales, recognition taking only a moment, the imp getting a look of confusion as she looks back to that vendor. "Xavier.." She nearly breathes his name.

"He is here to trick you." The Dwarf growls, "To divert you from your own path, to bring you to his way of thinking. Close minded, weak, simple, a sheep amidst wolves. He's sending his people after you right now." A turn and the creature waves his hand in the air and pulls forth a hat, from that hat he draws a rabbit up by the ears and peels it's mouth open, wider and wider and wider until it's skin and fur overlap back to reveal a small black and white TV screen. On this bizarre little screen she can see Gambit, a woman and a winged man in the alley way standing over where she fought, they speak quietly amongst each other then point off in a direction that could only indicate the path Rogue herself had traveled.
"You see?"

"No, Rogue, they're only seeking you to help you. To free you of this demon that now plagues you; they wish to help you like I did so long ago. Did I trick you then when I gave you my aid? My offer then remains today, I will help you my child. I'll give you the experience and knowledge I have so you can better understand your own mutant gifts." Xavier steps away from the cart leaving behind a man in a ball cap and the same outfit, almost like a ghost he drifts towards the park. "Walk with me?" The Professor offers.
"No! Anna, ignore his lies, he's only wishing to suppress you. My Master can teach you about yourself, about power, about freedom. No chains!" The rabbit-tv is thrown aside, discarded to lie there like a dead corpse before it starts to shakily stand on it's feet and grow, second by second it begins to get larger - only stopping once it is the size of a horse.

Rogue stands there and stares at the rabbit display unabashed until she sees the people and -that- man who plagued her with this… with this hunger, one that wracked her entirety in a desire and want that she has never felt before. One to let go and forget, be completely unburdened and without judgement.

.. and then there's Xavier, standing before her now, offering aid that helped her before, years ago, watching him and not yet answering on his offer she speaks to the imp. "He made the voices stop.." Her voice cracks as she looks at the imp, stepping away from him and that /thing/ growing. "I want it to stop…"

"The Master can make your voices stop." The imp says with another of those wide (far too wide) smiles that makes his face stretch and his eyeballs bulge. He almost looks like the deranged rabbit behind him. "Just follow the Darkhold's song." A twirl of that hat and rainbow musical notes filter through the air drifting upwards higher and higher until they vanish over the skyscrapers. "Follow it and become one of us. Stronger, never alone, in control… "

Xavier turns around and looks over his shoulder, offering another of those small smiles, "Remember the river Rogue? Just like the Mississippi back home, when you were a child. The place I told you to walk when the voices became too much. Lets go there."

"She is ours you crippled fool!" The imp snaps and upon his words like a lash that rabbit leaps forward and swipes bear-like claws out to rip the Professor's legs out from underneath him, shredding them in half. Xavier lets out a sound of surprise before he is on the ground, legs as useless as they are in life.

"You see! He is weak, even in his projected state. A feeble, little man who cannot keep you safe, cannot teach you, cannot give you what Lord Chthon can."


Rogue's voice sounds like a demand bordering on a plea, but before any further harm can come to Xavier, her hand snaps out and is attempting to grab that imp by his attires 'scruff' and hold him in front of her like a scolded puppy, just at eye level.

"Let's get one thing straight honey, I don't take kindly to my friends being harmed for me…" A surprise, one that she did not expect to have after the first appearance of Xavier, and then the injury in his projected form. Something's not right..

Like a pitcher for the pro's Rogue winds up and throws that imp in the direction the musical notes filter, looking down and nearly defeated as she glances back at Xavier. "Ah hope ya understand suga'."

That being said Rogue closes her eyes and heads in that direction as well, slowly opening doors to allow the hisses begin to filter through.

"Rogue, if you go with him everything you have strived for will be lost. You will be swallowed in darkness… I will not be able to help you." There is strain in the Professor's voice as he seems to hover and right himself on his arms. "Do you remember how you felt when your powers manifested? What you did to that young man? Imagine the pain you will cause the world if you embrace the Darkhold. It is an otherworldly thing of pure evil. You're not evil, Rogue. Please, make the right choice." Xavier's words get quieter and he appears to fade a little as the sky darkens further.
The Imp's body hits the cement and makes a sickening thump squelch sound before tumbling and rolling, limbs flopping every which direction before it pauses and lies there. The rabbit-beast it's head cranes then it vanishes, swallowing in on itself.A moment of silence follows before an insect-like pop-crackle sound is audible, the Dwarf's limp form beginning to snap back in opposite directions, relocating it's bones before it jerks upright like a puppet drawn by strings, it's head hanging limply off to it's side. "Oh,oh,oh,nurse!" a laugh escapes it before it's hands both pop up and roughly snap it's own head on it's shoulders from left, to right then down and up. "Much better. You've the touch of a Goddess, sweet, sweet Anna."

"Can you even help me now? He crippled a form not even truly crippled.." Rogue stops, the hunch in her shoulders looks like a tense defeat, one she isn't exactly sure of just yet. Wisps of that white hair fall downward around her face as the whites of eyes have the creeping darkness at up-tilted corners, something she is blinking into existence by allowing it.

Xavier's mention of Cody is a blow that hurts, one that causes her fingers to curl once more into her palms, her arms shaking with the force of her own grip. "I don't wanna hurt no one, I don't wanna hurt…But I'm so /hungry/."

Her mind is like an old school television that's antennae have caught cross channels, the screen scrolling and scratching mixed images as she opening and slamming doors. Staring at the realigned imp now her breaths are slowly becoming harsher. "Stay away…"
"You have to be strong and make your own choices, Rogue." Xavier says. Behind him she can see the river he once showed her towards when she came to him before, that place where the voices go away and she can find herself. Like he'd shown her all those years ago.

The Dwarf chuckles, "Shes right. You're nothing to the power of our Lord. A pathetic old man with dreams he'll never attain. Look how easily I alone exploited your weakness."
The Professor smiles, "Did you, though?" His light eyes drift from the Darkhold's herald back towards Rogue.
Huh? (Type "help" for help.)

Rogue's hands shoot out at both of them, like she is calling traffic to a stop, her palms are bleeding from the crescent indents made by nails, ungloved (those lost long ago), while her head rolls completely downward, limp for a heartbeat before her figure tenses.

Finally one hand comes inward, touching her lips where Gambit had kissed her to pass that curse onto her, wretching quickly following after a shuddering breath, a painful thing it seems as her eyes clench shut and a small tear cascades from one corner.

It felt like it had fish-hooks anchoring it into her insides, barbed tentacles into her bloodstream that are slowly reversing, but not without a fight. Jaw nearly becoming unhinged she purges herself of nothing… An emptiness that explains the one hunger, though from within a page is produced, sliding between the fingers that rest upon her lips, coughing and falling to her knees, facing Xavier and that humbling river, holding it up and out.

"No one is my master, but me." Rogue states between panted breaths and bouts of shakes that wrack her frame.

"You'll regret this." The Dwarf rasps, his voice coming out in a drawn out hiss. "Mutant trash." It snips before fading away, like a mirage he just ceases to exist.

Xavier stands, or at least the projection of him does and reaches out to take Rogue's hand with a smile, walking towards the river with her, along it. "It's been a while, Rogue."
The hot dog vendor stares, dumbfounded having watched a woman talk to herself for sometime now. As she walks off back in to the park he shakes his head then fixes his ball cap, "The pretty ones are always batshit crazy." Turning his back to the dark pathway in to the park Rogue just walked down he starts to whistle a little tune, cleaning up for the night.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License