The Demonic Tail End Of

July 14, 2014:

Iceman, Gambit an Magik assist Rogue in sealing up a page of the Darkhold.


Soundview Park, NYC


NPCs: Charles Xavier, the Dark Dwarf, Agent Buchanon



Mood Music: No Gods, No Masters by Arch Enemy

Fade In…

Xavier's orders are easy; meet Gambit at Soundview Park- the last known location of Rogue and the Darkhold page. It's there she was left the night before and the Professor has maintained communication with her telepathically on and off throughout the day.

"She is awaiting the both of you. I will be in touch but the brunt of this lies upon your shoulders, Illyana."

No pressure there.

Remy LeBeau is as just about as nervous as he was last time he tried to lead Rune and Mimic after the woman, his arm still in a sling from an unfortunate gunshot wound he waits there patiently smoking a cigarette situated /across/ from the park underneath a lamppost of the car lot. It's not dark but it's close enough, the sun is dipping down over the clear sky horizon in the distance. Great mood for a seance or whatever is about to transpire.

Xavier's orders are easy; meet Gambit at Soundview Park- the last known location of Rogue and the Darkhold page. It's there she was left the night before and the Professor has maintained communication with her telepathically on and off throughout the day.

"She is awaiting the both of you. I will be in touch but the brunt of this lies upon your shoulders, Illyana. Take assistance if you feel it's necessary."

Illyana's mind isn't an easy one for telepaths to deal with. She's been around them long enough that she's able to 'hear' and 'send' thoughts through her shielding but it takes a lot more effort. Both on the part of the telepath and Illyana. Worse for the telepath, there's that back-of-the-mind whispering sort of creepy sensation that makes it… unpleasant.

Because of those reasons, Illyana went up to the Institute to talk to the Professor in person. While she doesn't think most of the X-Men would make great backup against anything magical, having someone to watch her back against a certain thief…

Emerging from the Professor's office, Illyana looks up and down the quiet corridors with a sigh. It's too bad her brother isn't available. Ahh well. Oh! "Hey! Snowcone! I need you." Illyana says as she walks towards him, barely waiting for him to speak, let alone protest before she's teleporting them away and dropping them down on the edge of Soundview Park.

Bobby barely has time to blink before he's shifted abruptly from getting ready to play some guitar to standing in a park. At least he's dressed reasonably. "Um…" He's met Illyana all of three times. Two of them have now involved her teleporting someone away rather abruptly. "Sure…" Is all he gets out as he looks around. Help? What on earth could she need an ice nerds help with?

"So… what's up, Illyana?"

Rogue did not go far, in fact, when the astrally projected company of Xavier dissipated she sat down at the base of a tree where that projected 'river' had flown and watched it disappear like a deserts mirage. Legs were pulled up with bent knees in front of her, one arm draped over one knee clutching a page in a grip that has it crinkled and folded. She had spent most of the day opening it, looking it over, and closing it back up violently - surprisingly the thing is still in one piece.

Beside her the remains of her fish-netted top is discarded like disturbed cobwebs, the only damage to attire as the rest is leather and with held what she had been through, though down fingertips blood is dried to a dark brown and blackened hue and bruises riddle exposed flesh.

Time has been unknown until that page was vomited from her lips, now she knows she has only been sitting here for a day, but she doesn't move… Contemplation evident.

/Exit Ghost/.

"Ah, Sharls sent de scary petite." Gambit's voice chimes not far from Yana and Bobby. The man is already in stride towards them, the cigarette in his lips switching from one side of his mouth to the other as he tucks his good hand in to his jacket pocket.

"She be een dare somewhere." A tip of his head and the Cajun motions towards a small copse of trees just off one of the exit paths from the park's central area. Probably the most secluded portion of the parkland. "Fair warnin' she ain't too happy wid Remy." A grin appears and he gives a sidelong glance at Magik before nodding his head to Bobby in acknowledgement. "She real strong too. If she's angry I be hidin' behind one of you two."

Illyana turns her head to narrow her eyes at Remy. "Illyana's not too happy with Remy either." She notes coldly, but doesn't point at him and point out it's all his fault. Instead she looks to Bobby. "Keep your eye on him. And if he tries to run off… I dunno. Do whatever you do." Which means Illyana doesn't really know what Bobby does. And if he fails to stop the thief from disappearing before she's ready to let him go… Bobby might be wishing he spent more time practicing his powers and less time with his guitar.

Illyana turns to face in the direction that Gambit pointed and her eyes close a moment while she reaches out with her magical senses. It's not hard to pick up, the Darkhold's evil is like a stench overlaying the whole damned place. "This way." She says, starting forward in the direction she feels the strongest concentration. "Rogue? The professor sent me." She calls out, not trying to startle the other woman and hoping they're not going to have to run her down.

Bobby is now getting the sense that this is a 'situation' and that he's here primarily to be cool. Which is good, because he's got less than zero clues what's going on. He nods to Remy politely. "Nice to meet you." He murmurs… regardless of whether or not it is. "Just let me know what you need 'kay Illyana?" He walks forward as she does, hanging back and taking his cues from the only person here that he knows. Ish. Sort of. She seems nice, right?

The voice makes her still, although her overall posture had been so unmoving it is quite possible most of her body is asleep, at least from the ass down. The han that holds the Page moves with the voice of Illyana, tightening like the coils of a beaten serpent and making that *crinkling* noise of breaking 'bones' in the process as the artifact takes on more damage.

Both feet brace into the ground and push her back against the tree, her other hand reaching above the crown of auburn and white locks to sink nails and fingers into the bark, aiding in pulling her upright to her feet… Which yep, asleep! Knees buckling like a broken marionette but she catches herself on the tree and remains aloft, green eyes keenly snapping in the direction the voice came from.

"About damn time…" Though those words were said more like a conversation to herself then to the others, though loud enough to be caught.

"You too, mon ami. An If you be smart homme, you just run wid me once I get movin'." Gambit grins at Bobby but follows along, pausing only long enough to scratch at his sling.
The Darkhold page responds to Illyana's presence with an increase in the 'eldritch pressure' that permeates around it. Rogue and Gambit have both suffered from the page recently yet were either saved or rejected it in alternate ways, which grants them a form of resistance to it, Illyana being a Demon Queen of Limbo is almost cut from the same fiber it can be felt but she's used to dealing with otherworldly evil. Drake on the other hand has never come in contact with one of the Darkhold pages, being a powerful mutant he is also a prime candidate to be one of it's wielders, as a matter of fact he can see the little man that delivers the page, the Dark Dwarf himself off to their left all three feet tall of him wearing a red and black zoot suit swinging back and forth on the set, a wide (too wide) Joker smile stretched across his warped little features.

Illyana makes an annoyed sound. "Time is time." She says, rather obscurely. "Alright. Let's see what we can do. Someone help her out here where it's clear." Nice a crutch as the tree is, Illyana needs space to cast a Circle. She summons her Soulsword, left hand closing about a hilt that's just suddenly there, the blade lit up with black-edged silver fire from the presence of such strong magic. "Now. Everyone stay in the circle." She says, her tone a sharp one of command. And then she starts to chant.

Illyana's eyes close and after a moment she starts to glow, until light of purest white rises off of her like the flames on her sword. Her eyes open then, all white and burning with the power around her. The arm holding the sword snaps out to the side and silvery energy leaps from the tip to a point on the ground. When it hits, it splits. And then splits again. And again. Slowly, an intricate pentagram starts to build around the quartet in a silver so pure it seems to shimmer like diamonds. As it finishes, there's the sense of a *SNAP*, and the pressure seems to intensify as Illyana closes the Circle.

The creepy dwarf immediately sets Bobby on the defensive… Hands come up and the temperature starts to drop. "Um… so what's the deal with the creepy dwarf?" He moves around toward Illyana's right to put a bit more space between he and said zoot suited dwarf. "And what's that.. yikes!" Magical circles are not a common thing in Bobby's experience and the only thing that keeps him from trying to get out of it is Illyana's rather firm command to stay inside it. "What's going on here?"

Rogue might be strong, but no one can deny the loathing of the stabbing tingles that spread out and hold no prisoners when the limbs start to re-awaken. "Tss, tha sting.." Though when Rogue is pushing off the tree to try and 'walk it off' she hears Illyana's orders. "Don't touch me, Ah can do this well and on my own." Though as she says as much in that southern drawl it only sharpens on the edges as she simultaneously spots Remy and hears of the dwarf's presence (though she cannot see him).

"Don't you /dare/ touch me!" The scrutinizing exclamation is made as her hand clutching that wrinkled page points accusingly at Remy with the narrowed glare following along its crinkled edge.

"What in seven hells is he doing here?!" And all the while that other hand is curling into a fist, resuming the clench of defense that is a reminder of forgotten damage.

"He 'ere? I dun see the lil imp." Thats a good sign the thief figures. Unfortunate for Bobby but good for Remy. "Ju's ignore him. He nothing but bad."

Gambit follows along with Illyana's instructions up until Rogue snaps off at him, "S'okay, chere. Sharls sent us to help you - just do as she says." His voice lowers, "She awful angry. I know dis my responsibility an' all but may not have been the bes' idea.

The Dark Dwarf is standing now or well, he's closer. There was no actual action of him standing or trying to move closer - he is just near. "Soulsword… stupid Devil slut, you'll only enrage Chthon with this. You of all people should be helping us." The small man's voice is deep, a rasp that sounds like gasoline over gravel, his teeth are sharp, his tongue black as his eyes. "Your power isn't strong enough in this realm to contain the Darkhold. What do you possibly think you're doing?" Weakness. It's all about preying on weakness and making one doubt itself. His head suddenly turns, neck craning almost avian-like to look upon Iceman, "Step out of the circle, boy. Take up the page and join me. I'll give you more power, wealth, fame and bitches than you could ever dream of." He cut it short, no selling it right now, there isn't time. There is a form of supernatural influence and empathic manipulation being projected, whether it breaks through Illyana's circle or Bobby's will is to be seen, however.

With the Circle in place, Illyana's head turns to narrow those glowing-white eyes at the Dwarf. "Careful, or I'll cut out that squirming tongue of yours." Her tone is dead serious, not bluff or bluster. Her hold on the Sword shifts. She was going to give a go at destroying it but the imp's words give her a better clue as to what she's dealing with.

Illyana's blazing gaze shifts between the other three. She can feel the press of the Dwarf's influence against her Wards, and even with the Soulsword she's not sure how much it will hold against a servant of Chthon. It's built from her own soul, and she has so little of that left.

The blonde stretches out a hand, opening a stepping disk in the center of the circle to leave behind a large, ornate box. It's covered in carving and inlay, arcane symbols layered upon arcane symbols. "Bobby, open the box. Rogue, can you put the page inside?"

Creepy dwarf is talking now. And oddly making sense despite 'bitches' and 'fame' holding not a whole lot of appeal. Fortunately, he called Illyana a 'devil slut' and say what you will about the often leather clad, somewhat intimidating girl, that's just rude. Seems like he'll have to try harder… though he could probably get it to work. "Someone…" He says, manifesting a nasty looking icy club, "… needs to take a chill pill…"

His indignation is somewhat… abruptly interrupted though. "Um. Sure." Box. Open the bos. Cant' be hard right? He kneels down, having to set the morning-star of chill down to get the box open.

"Ah should shove it right back down ya throat." Rogues voice holds a hammer much like the frost laden one Bobby pulls free, but as she seems to be glancing between the three and edging along that circle like a suspicious stray things click and she starts to slowly, calm herself… Slowly.

Scuffed and marred up boots form the past…Days? Weeks? Months? of bearing this burden come to toe the edge of the circle and to Illyana's threat towards the unseen dwarf Rogue gives the woman bearing a sword a half cocked grin. "Ah could pick you a better weapon for that, but depends on who you intend to lay a beatin' on."

One final biting glance to Remy at that point and one foot steps over the ring of the circle followed by the other though her hand stll maintains that clench upon the page, waiting for even the -slightest- show of something going foul. That's been her luck lately.

"Lies, everything, lies. He could never give ya what ya really desire." Rogue says to all of them - her tone holding a bit of sadness, though by Bobby's reaction she knew, and her emerald eyes rest upon him as he goes to open the box.

"Step up and try." The Dwarf mocks Illyana before looking back at Bobby, a probing stare, one a cat gives a mouse, a mouse this cat has decided is too big to try and fit in to it's mouth. "That is okay, many others will carry the page for the Master if none of you will." He does a two step dancing hop backwards then motions on down the pathway, a horde of what looks like men and women from the park and surrounding area are stumbling, shambling and climbing over each other towards the four mutants. It's like a scene out of Walking Dead (only they don't look like decaying corpses).

An apologetic smile is all Gambit can offer Rogue before his fingers coil around that cigarette and it begins to glow a magenta hue. "Eh, des people, they all innocent." He murmurs.
Illyana moves so she's on one side of the box that Rogue's now in front of. She glances back towards the shambling hoard that's headed their way and her lips press into a thin line. "Drop the page!" She growls at Rogue.

"The Circle should hold them back, but not for long." Illyana says, her tone tight as she answers Gambit. "But I can't deal with them until the page is contained."

Bobby has the box open by this point, odd box, and picks the chill-stick back up. There's a moment when he considers just trying to ice the creepy dwarf with no fashion sense but with Illyana just defending, he doesn't want to do anything that might break the circle… also that's probably a good sign that the dwarf is a lot more powerful than he looks. He's ready to kick the damn box shut the moment that page goes in. Come on… come on… put it dowwn..

Rogue manages to pass Illyana a look with a perked brow that looked like it could verge on a cross exchange of biting words, though none escaped as she parted lips and Remy's words cut her off, directing her attention to the mass of enthralled people coming their way.

"Id say ask nicer…" Rogue holds her hand over the opened box and then finally uncurls aching finger sfrom around the page, dropping it within.. "But you magic sorts seem to fail where manners are concerned."

Page shed of her stiff grip she is starting to head towards the circle, not knowing anything about this magical stuff, nor caring for it after this little meeting, and if no one stops her, heading for that pack of be-spelled 'zombies'.

"Dammit." The Dwarf snarls, his face contorts a moment and skin begins to stretch, horns sprout - he begins to enlarge.

Gambit flicks that cigarette butt out sending to land a few feet before the 'Zombie' mass which results in an explosion of concussive force that knocks the front row down (none of them will be greatly harmed). "Should buy a second or two."

A howl escapes the Dark imp and he looks about ready to rip free of his flesh.
"Oh well."It says suddenly, hands rise up and slick back it's own hair, patting it down.

"Tis but one page. I have others and a very long memory." Straightening upright from his half-hunch the small man begins to preen himself as the Darkhold page gets deposited in to the box. "We'll be in touch." Doing a quick twist and slide-step backwards the smile re-appears and the Darkhold Dwarf vanishes in to a swirl of black and red that *pops* out of existence.
The Zombie mob all at once begin to blink and look around in confusion, those on the ground look the most startled. Unsure why they're sprawled around like discarded bowling pins.

"Whats going on?" Remy asks, puzzled at the swarm's sudden change of attitude. Not seeing the Dward himself this entire exchange is a little bizarre.

As Bobby quickly closes the box, the potent emmenations of evil from the page are cut off and even for those without magical senses it's like moving from a screaming concert to a silent room. There's that palpable sense that something has disappeared, but it's hard to pin down just what it is.

Illyana breathes a sigh of relief, her hold on the sword relaxing a bit. She really didn't want to *make* Rogue drop the page. Her gaze shifts over towards the Dwarf as it's form twists and distorts, the demon pushing free and this time she wipes her brow with the back of her free hand as it disappears and the 'zombies' start to come back to themselves. "Stop!" Illyana calls over to Rogue, a small flare of panic making her voice crack with authority again. "Did you miss the part about *don't break the circle? Give me a moment to take it down." Her tone is hot. Angry. Why though, isn't terribly clear. She begins to do just that, the silvery lines starting to uncurl and dissapate as she explains to Remy, "The Dwarf is gone. He was controlling them."

Having kicked the box shut Bobby was about to ice the 'zombies' when Illyana's sharp command brings him up short. "Um… right. So they won't go all 'braaaaaaaains' on us when the circle comes down?" He's gonna have to ask how this all works later because this magic is all… well… magic to him. He might as well get used to it since Illyana seems to like Nancy so much.

"Don't recall hearin' ya say anything of the sort." Rogue says as she stops just at the line, her glare now upon the silver strand as if she could send her very desire through it to it's source. "Step it up suga' before I feel the urge to adjust the way and manner you speak to me."

Rogue doesn't need a page to prod on the spark of anger she had already had on seeing Remy, getting spoken to like she oly had on oar in the water was not helping it along.

"Oh." Gambit says, as if that explains everything. "Well, guess I be goin' then." The rogue (not Rogue) starts to walk away, back the direction he had come - responsibility taken care of, no point in sticking around a grip of people he's wronged.

<Bobby inform Illyana to return to the mansion, bring Gambit and Rogue with you. Leave the box and the page, people better suited than us are on their way to retrieve it. They should be arriving any moment… there they are..>

The Professor's telepathic voice and presence is clear and confident as usual.

It's while the psychic mutant is speaking to Iceman that three SUVs pull up and men in suits pile out, one of them recognizable as the Interpol Agent Sam Buchanon. His glasses covered faces scan the treeline until he catches visible recognition of Remy, "Right there! Stop! Remy LeBeau, you're under arrest!"

The Cajun spins right around on his heel and stomps back over to the X-Men, "So, guess I be stayin' with all you then, no place like home, non?" He continues to avoid eye contact with Rogue as he looks at Illyana as if he's about to call her Dorothy or something. Or he is just pleading to be taken away from here.

When she gets the relay from the Professor, Illyana just sort of blinks at Bobby. "Seriously?" She demands, before making a frustrated sound. Still, she has years and years of listening to the professor and trusting him and so, expression set in a grim line she doesn't argue beyond that.

"Yeah, you and what army?" Illyana scoffs over at Rogue. She's in a piss poor mood and that makes even the semblance of being friendly go out the window. Seeing the SUVs and the rushing agents, Illyana raises her hand with the Soulsword. "Marines, we are *leaving*." Stepping disks open at the feet of the mutants, sliding upwards and stealing them away from the poor Agent that just can't manage to catch Remy.

There's the brief glimpse of Limbo as Illyana hops them right back to the Mansion. Blasted, rocky landscape with twisted, demonic figures that leer at the four as they're there and gone again, touching down back at the mansion.

"I… woah… that takes some getting used to." Bobby looks around. Oh. Back at the school. Well it's safe here. Ish.

Right? "Sorry I wasn't a whole lot of help there Illyana."

"I don't need one but I'll use that… " Just as she is thumbing at the people coming at Remy: As the old saying goes 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend'… Those stepping disks open and swallow her as well as the other three, giving her a mere -glimpse- of Hell and then a mansion Rogue just blinks.

"I don't know what kinda games ya'll are playin' but Ah'm out." Rogue doesn't know any of them. Not the Ice Hammer wielder, the poison gift giver, or the sword weilding mage woman from hell, but all of them made her skin crawl in one form or another. One plague down, a few more to shed… As soon as she can find her way out…

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