Restoring Hax's Youth

January 09, 2016:

Hax has to face Gaia to restore his lifeforce … but Parasite has other ideas

Stark Towers - New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

It's time to fix Hax. In a manner that is not in the least bit veterinary. The previous night had seen an end to the problems with the local 'veil'. Now Fenris means to, uh, give Hax a chance to get his life force back. Doing that will involve much the same set up as last night, except he'll be the only one channeling. Hax will have to confront the Earth-Spirit itself and wrestle the life he wants from it… and in his state, Fenris is doubtful that he can. So he's going to send Zee, Rain and Pepper, if Pepper's about, in with him. This promises to be fun.

At the moment Fenris is just placing the golden apple in it's place on the make shift 'altar' he's going to use for this ritual casting. It's the focus item. The 'lense' that allows him to do this. Now they just need to fire up the arc reactor and…

Er, let's not talk about that part yet.

Poor Hax. But Rain is familiar with the term. Few witches have an engineering degree, admittedly. But Rain will ride in on her broomstick, with an orange tabby cat in a winter coat on the broostick with her. Rain will land easily nearby, as she's not sure about the leyline business. But she does have her pendulum with her. The witch waves to the others. "Hello. I hope we are not late."

Hax is more loopy and confused than ever before in his recent set of aging transformations. "Blimey! What a set of contraptions!" Hax hobbles back and forth looking at the magical setup inspecting the components. At first it looks like he simnply investigating the magical properties of the ritual but he then exclaims "I say there Sir Wolf, how many parsnips for all of it? NO! I do one better. I will pay FULL in… diamonds!"

Zee's mostly recovered from the last ritual. Make no mistake, the young mage has been expending a lot of magical energy lately and battling demons and it's starting to show - again.

Standing near Fenris, watching Hax, the raven haired mage shakes her head … "The sooner this is done, Fenris, the better." She'll just let Hax do his thing … for now.

Pepper Potts arrives quietly, stopping next to Zee with a worried expression. She's worried for both the currently powerless mage and the elderly looking Normand. She doesn't butt in to say anything, though.

"I have a better idea Normand." Fenris isn't going to waste time with this one. He draws the power up the building, like last time. And it begins to flow to Rain, Zee, Pepper and Normand. Unlike last time, once it does there's a charge of power from the Arc reactor and all of them get zapped…

Into the Ley Line Nexus. Everything around them is blue-white and before them there's an enormous, formless… presence. A part of the world-spirit. Life, primal and unending. This is where they need to be. They need to take life from that to restore it to Hax… which won't hurt it per se, but it's not going to part with it willingly.

Rain pauses, looks to Zee and offers a flask. "Here, this is mana tea. I think you need it more than I do. We've been having to bottle up mana due to the manor's reconstruction work making things a bit weird." Magical construction: Sometimes has hazards. "Let me know if you need the usual or just want a gun."

Rain looks to Fenris, and the others. She goes quiet with that. Deep breath. Rain goes quiet to prepare herself. Captain rests on her shoulders, watching with intent eyes that have narrowed pupils. Alert cat is alert.

And as for Hax, they both give him a confused look. "Ew, parsnips."

Hax for a single moment seems to understand the gravity of the situation. "Heh. You want me to wrestle Gaia for her life is that it?" The darkness around his mind that Zee occasionally sees begins to move with excitement. If she were to take an educated guess based on her previous encounters with the entity, the darkness is most likely Parasite taking a more active role in deciding Hax's choices.

Even if Zee could take the tea, it's too late … the power reaches out, zapping her momentarily and then the world is blue and white around her. Reaching out to snag Hax, holding his 'arm' firmly … deep within the Leyline Nexus … the blue eyed mage speaks quietly "You will wrestle. And you will win." And she has to battle Parasite to give Hax the chance he needs? She'll do it.

Ever so slowly and quietly, she begins to chant, in that backwards speaking way of hers, coaxing life from Gaia - more as a supplicant than a raider. She's asking nicely to begin with …

Pepper Potts feels that surge of magical energy again, and she probably wastes several precious moments resisting the urge to start using it to 'repair' things again like she did previously. And before she gets too caught up in the magic, she steps over toward Hax, though she hasn't brandished that special apple yet. She's not sure WHEN to do so.

The World Spirit doesn't react to a point. But as that trickle of life becomes a flow the glow around them all intensifies and an avatar appears, as a woman whose eyes contain waterfals, whose voice is the mountain winds and whose hair is the forests of the lush world. "Mortals! You overreach. Those who would wrest life from the earth must prove themselves worthy." And then she lashes out. A mental wave of pain washes out over them all.

Captain hisses in pain, and Rain winces. She is just a normal git. This pain is just alarming, but Rain has to endure and tries to meditate.

Hax laughs as the pain washes over his body seemingly unaffected. Parasite must be bolstering his mental ability to resist his natural instinct to flinch and fear pain. With a augmented voice partially mixed in with Parasite's "I OVERREACH!?" and a chilling laughter fills the air as Hax's physical form begins to manifest black veins of dark energy "I TAKE what I want! I am the darkest desire, the tireless hunter, the ultimate POWER!" Para-Hax flashes an all too animalistic grin towards the avatar of Gaia.

"Fear me for I have devoured heroes, gods and worlds alike. AND. I. HUNGER!"

Nearly driven to her knees by the wave of pain, Zee winces as tears form in her eyes. That really hurts - of everything she's had to endure … the worst was a necromancer, and then this…

"Oh no…" she breathes as Para-Hax manifests "Hax." her voice starts to gain some strength … the pain nearly forgotten as this new threat takes precedent "fight this. Pepper, don't let him get the Apple."

Reaching into the messenger bag that came with her, Zee pulls out a flask of oil, unstoppers it and splashes it on Hax - holy oil … to start with.

Pepper Potts steps back from Normand at Zee's words, and … really hopes this works. Again reaching for the magical energies she's only seen once before, she starts tracing bindings to hold the man in place and keep him from doing anything untoward.

While Pepper is no mage this is a special circumstance. She's immeresed in a place of psychreactive energies and they are, well, psychreacting. Magic twirls in toward Hax's limbs to bind him as he's splashed in the face with oil. Okay, new plan. Suppress the parasite and then cure Hax. And do it quick because Gaia is not pleased.

Hax does not scream or show dramatic emotion to the application of the holy water but it does considerably make him uncomfortable. As the bindings begin to lash out and take hold of Para-Hax's limbs he snarls at Zee "Meddlesome little bitch! Your mage is mine!" and swings a supernaturally forceful back hand at Zee's face.

Zee's already chanting as Peppers bindings take hold, the spell an abduration - she'll banish Parasite once and for all.

Just as her chant finishes, the last words spilling from her lips, her arm comes up to block the blow. There's a 'crack' as his hand hits her forearm … and she cries out in pain. The momentum of the hit has likely broken the arm and sends her sprawling.

But her spell is out … combined with the oil, can Parasite fight?

Rolling to her knees, favouring her arm, the young mage rises and starts to try to channel the power of Gaia - should Hax be healed… she's ready to channel it. Right now, she's expecting to battle the Earth Spirit.

Pepper Potts keeps adding bindings, particularly catching that hand that just swatted Zee rather forcefully. She doesn't dare speak, worrying that saying anything would make the possessed man even more violent. Though, she IS tempted to slap a tendril of magic over his mouth to shut him up. Just for now, mind you.

Gaia isn't helping matters. As Hax is assaulted by his companions she redoubles her attack on all of them. Lightening flashes across the glowing space they occupy but doesn't strike them. No what hits them instead is the thunder, loud enough to burst eardrums were they on Earth (good thing they're not) and painful to hear, with the promise of more pain to come. The voice of an incensed goddess.

Para-Hax screams an absolute banshee like sound as Zee's spells takes affect. The dark mist surrounding Hax's head writhes and twists in agony as something from Hax's chest, the mark of the Dark Force, begins to be ripped away from his soul. "I WILL NOT BE DENIED!" Para-Hax before the banishment spell takes hold of it's being throws a punch towards Gaia but instead of connecting with the avatar the fist launches a dark anchor like chain into Gaia's being. "YOUR LIFE FORCE IS MINE!"

Zee hopes that Pepper knows when to use that Apple. This is one totally pissed off Earth Goddess they're dealing with. Hair standing out, forming a nimbus around her face, thanks to the energy created, the young mage takes one of the runestones that Hax gave her all those weeks ago and scratches it… before stepping between him, the dark anchor and Gaia… "No, it is not… now begone…"

Hax's magic had better be good, that was a shield spell she just activated.

Pepper Potts winces as conditions around them worsen, and she's got Normand stilled as much as she can so… maybe now is the time for the apple? "Gaia, we offer you a gift, to help you defend against the evil attacking you." She hasn't revealed near Parasite what that gift actually is, and she tries to dislodge that chain thing from her first. Please let this work. Please let this work.

As Gaia lashes out again that asgardian apple comes inbetween Normand and the world spirit. It's like a lense. A conduit. Focusing and amplifying. Fenris said the life force of the earth would have to be… altered in order to be of any use to Hax. Not the parasite perhaps… but Hax. That alteration takes place, purity and primal life flowing toward the mage as Zee moves to cut off his attack and the shield springs into being.

Para-Hax's attack begins to drain something out of Gaia but before his attack takes any noticeable affect Zee's banishment rips Parasite away from Hax and the dark shroud around Hax's mind lifts.

Hax re-emerged from the fog of his own mind. "I'm sorry goddess. I truly am… but I will be needing that." Hax's feathery eyebrow glare at the spirit with great intensity as the old man rises steadily to his feet and grabs hold of the anchor Parasite left behind. Focusing his power through the apple the darkness of the chain is forcefully obliterated as Hax's true magic comes to the surface. The chain becomes ethereal with a light blue glowing power and the something once again begins to pulse through the chain towards Hax.

"Better…" Zee murmurs. Relieved that Hax's magic really did work as it should. Stepping to Pepper's side, the drained and injured woman watches as Hax uses the focus to take the magic into him.

This is his battle and hopefully, her part is done … well nearly. When Hax is restored, Zee fully intends to apologise to the Goddess…

Pepper Potts stays where she is, realizing the apple is doing its intended job and unsure if she can safely move until it's done. One thing's for sure, that nastiness that was surrounding Normand has lifted, and she works toward keeping that darkness contained and releasing the man. It's kind of like trying to pull a child's sweatshirt up off of them without interrupting their XBOX game. It can be done, but how successfully?

It's a good question. Either way with Zatanna and Pepper helping to 'focus' what the apple is providing, life is flowing back into Normand and the results… well those should be evident shortly. Sensing the change in the nexus, Fenris cuts back on the power and brings everyone out of it. Hopefully, the God-Wolf thinks, everything has worked itself out.

Hax absorbtion of life energy abruptly stops as his entire body begins to glow with a radiant light. Something is definitely happening to his body. The light slowly begins to build in intensity and without warning a thunderous explosion of light and heat occurs with the sound of a Hax screaming in agony. As the light fades Hax is on his hands and knees with wisps of smoke coming off of his slightly burnt clothes. The man slowly gets himself back on his feet and looks at his hands. Then touches his face. As he comes to the realization tears of joy stream down his cheeks. Hax is whole once more.

Zee has to filter out Hax's scream to keep her focus on channeling that power. As Fenris pulls them out of the nexus, she's even more drawn than she was when she went in there. Arm hanging loosely at her side, it hurts that's for sure, the raven haired mage checks first on Hax and then Pepper.

"Ddid it work?"

Pepper Potts blinks rapidly a few times when the swirling eddies of magic disappear from her view. And, okay, this is new. She's got the whole ran up all the stairs in the building sensation again, but on top of that she now feels like she's got the WORST case of jet lag. Ever. And then Zee speaks up and she shakes her head slightly so she can focus on Normand. IS he okay?

Hax turns to see Zee with her broken arm. "Z-z-zee…" Hax can barely compose himself, "I-I'm so-o…" Hax trails off incapable of finishing his sentence. He looks like the same age he once was, albeit his hair has gotten away from him and he could most certainly do with a good hot bath. He takes a step forward and Hax immediately stops when he hears the sound of creaking glass, the remnants of his beloved now shattered silver glasses.

"He-heh. I-I'm afraid I ca-can't see very well."

A bath and a hair cut are easy. "Well that would be because you just stepped on your glasses." Zee murmurs. Seeing Hax is fairly much ok, not paying attention to his first sentence, she looks for Fenris.

"Fenris? Are you ok? That was a hell of a fight. And not against Gaia." She asks, letting Pepper lean against her if she wants. "Is there anything else we need to do here? Because we all need a good lie down, I think."

Pepper Potts takes a moment to respond. "Yeah. I think we all do." She moves to rescue Hax's glasses (They should be easy enough to repair… tomorrow, then reaches for Zee's uninjured arm before gesturing to Fenris and Hax. "Come on, let's all go inside." She has every intention of making them all stay here overnight. THey all need some serious rest.

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