A Brush With Death

October 19, 2016:

A ninja has a brush with Death. He proves surprisingly chatty.

New York City

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Golemancer

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The crimson flash illuminates more than just the sidewalk beneath the man. In the dark, a smaller but similarly black silhouette shines blood red along its edges and folds as Death Himself interrupts her walk. Orange cat-eyes study him warily and with puzzlement from beneath a black hood and as the light fades, there's almost no other color on her to speak of - from the right angle she's one with the surrounding shadows.

Reaching her hand up to scratch at her cheek, the ninja makes her presence known, only a few strides away, at the corner of a small alley. "Vau, tonight it rains men too," she murmurs in surprise, betraying a pronounced Russian accent. "You don't look well…"

Pietro's last memories are a vague recollection of a bloody fight on Attilan, the Inhuman city. A fight that lasted for many hours, or even days, in which many of its defenders futilely offered their lives to ultimately die in the hands of the Horseman. Some of them, though, were given the chance to live another day. In chains. Perhaps it would have been better for them to follow their comrades to the afterlife.

But, where is he now?

He had to escape. He was wounded. Someone was asking for help. There was a portal… No. He was not escaping. He was chasing… hunting. Whatever the case, the portal in the sky disappears, as abruptly as it opened.

The fallen speedster looks up, to the source of a new voice, and promptly smirks. "I am not precisely a man." His voice is as distorted and evil as before and, somehow, he manages to stay on his feet for a prolonged period of time. "I am good. It's just, uh, halloween makeup." Death's voice carries an accent, too, and it is European as well. Transian, to be more precise. The silver gaze inspects the girl, and if he wasn't so badly injured, he would be speaking less and killing more. "I thought you were dressed for the occasion as well." He chuckles faintly.

"So, if I were this place, what would be my name?"

Not even under Apocalypse's control, Pietro can ask a simple question in a non-weird manner, that's for sure!

If she'd noticed his face when he first landed, the ninja might have kept further back. Too late to regret that now though. "Are you another other-world creature Dyed will have to kill?" She asks back with surprising calm, and a touch of exasperation.

A thunder crosses the sky. More drops of rain fall.

"Wait, what? Do you even think you could kill me, girl?" Quicksilver forces a laugh, that soon becomes a cough, and blood touches his lips. "Crap." He mutters to himself, noticing he is in a worse shape than he anticipated. "No, I just… Didn't want to take the metro and a taxi would be too expensive, so I decided to travel some other way…" The mutant jests, pointing upwards to where the portal was before disappearing again, leaving no trace. A few steps are taken, and he leans heavily against a wall.

He is not dying tonight. Not again. But he will have to let his fast healing ability work a bit more before dashing and disappearing.

"So, I think I didn't catch your answer. What is this place? Looks… weirdly familiar… Do you have a name, anyway?"

The ninja's eyes stare back, two shining orange orbs on a black canvas. She doesn't answer at first and with a facemask up, it's hard to tell her expression. Her shoulders sink a little, relaxing, and a hand sets itself smartly against her hip while fine drops of water *plip* against her hood.

"If you are as good as you are lost, then I'm Lex Luthor. Are you sure you're not about to die?"

Death grins silently, with a bit of amusement. Well, he can always steal a phone and know where he is. But where is the fun in that?

"I'm not dying, trust me. I've had worse. I /may/ kill you when we are done talking, because that's what I do, and my boss would be pleased," He rambles, talking rushed as usual for a speedster like himself, "But if you are entertaining enough, I /may/ decide it was enough blood for tonight and forget about you." Pietro, even now being a monster, might find it hard to kill someone right now. Even less a ninja. But he is outspoken like that. "So, little Miss Luthor, where is the cost party?" He inspects her a bit more with a hint of honest curiosity.

"Kill me with what? You seem to 'ave trouble with swords," the ninja notes as her gaze drops to Death's chest. Then her head turns side to side, making sure the demon's arrival hasn't drawn too much of a crowd yet. "And maybe you have a reason I should help you, instead of running for my life?" she hints off-hand.

Death slides on the wall he is leaning against, dropping and remaining sitting for the time being. He catches his breath and laughs with a touch of evil mischief in his lips. "I don't like weapons, no. But I heal fast. And, if we talk long enough, I may show you my ability. It's pretty impressive… It's awesome… to die for?" He laughs to his own words, shaking a hand covered in blood.

"There are plenty of reasons. For one, I'm adorable. Also, I'd bet you are not from around here, and perhaps we are even from the same place." Transia was part of the Soviet block for many years, after all. "But, my real question is… Why would a seemingly dangerous Luthor girl with a ninja mask keep me alive and don't finish what many others have tried so far? Maybe, just maybe, you are a good person. And good people are helpful."

The ninja pauses at 'dangerous' and looks down at herself, then cocks her head quizzically at Death. "Not all of us *like* being covered in blood," the ninja comments. "But I'll pass on the demonstration."

"If you stay long enough you may also meet politsiya," she adds with a sing-song lilt before ducking out of sight into the alley.

"We all like being covered in blood. We just need a good reason." Death murmurs, reincorporating himself, standing again with little difficulty. The wounds from before have healed fast. Insanely fast. He is far from good shape, still, but not as far as before.

He limps, however, as he walks following Nerina, just a few steps. Electricity flows through his right arm. He would kill her. But he is not ready. And he is still tired from the battle. The electricity disappears.

"Police means we are still in the civilized world. Could be worse. I could have appeared in the middle of the desert. Or the middle of the ocean. Or beside a ninja girl." He shrugs and follows in the shadows.

"You did," the ninja shoots back as she leads the limping demon through the dark, walking quietly around boxes and debris with a smoothness born of familiarity. The rain's begun to truly fall now and the jacket that makes up her outfit starts to turn a darker, slicker black.

Death nods. If Nerina can see it or not, now in the shadows, doesn't bother him so much. He tries to navigate through the place without crashing into something, which should not be a problem for him under regular circumstances. But he is trapped, now even knowing where he is. So, where could he go? "Ninjas are everywhere, indeed. But they usually don't talk much. So your kind is still absolutely new to me… Luthor girl." He sighs sadly, remembering he has not yet gotten any real answer from her. "You speak English, but you wouldn't if you could. You are like me. You come from somewhere else… Now… Why did you come to whatever-this-place-is? Actually, why don't you just tell me where are we? Are you really enjoying this life-threatening conversation so much that you won't want to let me go?" He laughs that maniac laughter he has developed in the recent days.

"I'm just waiting to see if Dyed will make you dead. If not, you're safe enough," the ninja shrugs, ignoring that laugh as best she can, but the young woman frowns beneath her mask. "(If you speak Russian we're using that - if not then it's English,)" she adds, giving Death a full taste of her native tongue.

"Who is this old man you keep talking abo" The speedster backs up, showing the shock of a powerful and stinging pain in the wound on his chest. For a moment, the silver fire of his eyes disappears, revealing blue ones beneath. His right hand presses the wound, and an instant later, the pain seems to be gone. "I'm good with either… I've not been a huge Transian fan for a while… I mean, I miss my family, friends, food… mostly food… but last time I checked, the government wanted me dead, so" A pause. Who was it? That didn't sound like Death. It was… The silver fire reappears, now burning brighter than ever, and the Horseman frowns to himself.

The ninja pauses and one eye enlarges beside the other; Nerina's raised an eyebrow. "(Don't tell me there are two of you in there,)" she grumbles as she hauls herself up onto a crate and sits. It's not true solitude, but the ninja's stopped at a short dead-end. Meanwhile the rain continues to fall, rising enough to add its voice as a cool splatter that fills the gaps between words.

"Hah! Do I look like a crazy person? Of course not. I already killed the other in me." Death answers naturally, with a hint of a shrug, coldly but with that tone of entertainment he uses to cast. As soon as the ninja takes seat, he mimics the action on a nearby one. The heavy jacket, full of blood and scratches, falls to the floor. It's useless now, even in the rain. Bowie's name can be read on his shirt, between scratches and red marks.

"(You talked about killing me earier,)" Neri reminds, settling into her preferred language. "What are you, anyway?"

The main wound, he one on Death's chest is now smaller than before. Perhaps it is enough. He can run, take a phone or look around and get an idea of where he is. When he finds he is in New York, he may crawl back to his apartment, or what the original Pietro considered his apartment, until he has fully recovered. He has strength enough, but there will be no killing attempt. The speedster feels some strange gratitude towards the ninja.

"What am I? Well, I've been called many names. But there is one I've been called through many lives and many bodies." The silver fire intensifies. "Death."

The mutant's feet touch the ground and he stands up comfortably. He walks a step towards Nerina, glances her closely and smiles softly.

"You had an unique opportunity. You could have done what many have tried, and failed, even when they have given their lives to achieve. You could have killed me today. And, in all honestly," he shrugs, "That would have been better. You could have saved incontable people, many of them, even innocent. But you didn't. And I respect that." Pietro steps backwards again, tilting his head to a side.

"It was nice to meet you, though it is probably better if we don't cross paths again. Because, most of the times, it happens to people whose time in this world has expired already. But, still, it was an honor. And I'm grateful." Death nods gently, waiting for enough time to hear an answer if it is casted, and then his image blurs and fades into the night.

The ninja doesn't flinch under the burning silver gaze even as it casts its curious, flickering shadow on the painted black of her skin, pushing back the concealing shadow beneath her hood. Her slitted eyes look back up, too withdrawn for the youthful softness of her features or the lyrical timber of her voice. She kicks her feet idly as the water running down her legs dampens them.

"(''Death''… that's pretentious,) she murmurs to herself, forgetting for a moment what her audience can understand.

"(Wait,)" she calls as Death turns to leave. Raising a hand, she curls a finger to draw him back while pulling back her hood. A fine stream of coal-black hair spills out from underneath and as she shakes her head it's flung haphazardly around her shoulders and neck, forming errant bangs that pass well down to her chest.

The ninja pulls her hair back enough to properly expose her face, a portrait of coal, oil, and smoke except for the stark white and orange of her eyes, but now more recognizable. "(If you're Death - what's my name?)"

Death stops, turns, and examines her closely.

He disappears from his spot, blurring and reappearing behind her. Then by her side. Then the other side, even closer. And, finally, returning to his spot. He is a speedster, but his abilities have grown so powerful under Apocalypse, that following the movements between his pauses would be impossible for the naked eye.

"We've not met in this life. Which is good for you." He murmurs warmly. It's not threatening, nor aggressive. He is curious, wondering about the story behind her. "Have you met any of me other selves before?"

Nerina doesn't even bother trying to keep up after the second disappearance and waits patiently while she's studied, suddenly feeling like a patient at a medical exam. She crosses her legs.

"(So much for proof,)" the ninja mumbles again as she pulls her hair up and fiddles with it to get it stuffed back under her hood. "(Nothing you need to worry about then)" a splash of water soaks her face when she pulls the hood up, forcing the ninja to pause. "(''Death''. Maybe you can visit later and I'll tell you - but not for free. Even death loses its sting with company, but I've heard you're a bad bedfellow.)"

"Not many wish a second visit from me." Death answers with a slight head shake, his bright eyes narrowing and thoughtful. "Not for free?" He asks, leaning back and glancing at the jacket that is now on the floor. Most of the blood on him has been washed by the rain, and all his wounds are closed by now. The sky, from where the scarlet portal that brought him appeared, steals another long look from the Horseman. "It's ironic, don't you think?" His laugher, the evil one, is heard from everywhere at the same time. "It's ironic that it would be a Transian who would put an old Russian proverb to a test." His accent marked heavily on purpose.

The ninja's last words just make him laugh louder. "Then I'm sure your sources and mine are not the same. But I can't speak for every Death incarnation, so I give you that." Death shrugs.

"(A powerful person can give powerful favors,)" Nerina reasons simply. "(I'm not interested in testing that too fast. I don't want to catch anything,)" she adds after the loud, disorienting laugh. It set the hairs on the back of her neck on edge but as she pulls her facemask back into place, her expression finds its hiding place again out of sight.

"(Think about it. Otherwise we won't meet again for a long, long time.)"

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