Blood Search

January 11, 2017:

Illyana, Nate and Laura are able to scry out the escaped Demon Lord that has caused so much trouble.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Time passes as its wont to do and as such, X-23, eventually wakes.

Her peaceful slumber disappears with an abrupt jerk as she raises upward. Her gaze will quickly flick around her room, as she ascertains just where she's at; which happens to be her room, within the School, versus the bunker.

That causes her to relax slightly, but not much more than that, as the dark-haired assassin swings her legs over the edge of the bed. Once her feet are upon the floor she'll turn her eyes to her arm, the one that was previously injured, and idly she'll flex her hand as she stares at the unblemished skin. When it seems all is in working order Laura will rise to her feet and stride for her door. She needs to find both Nate and Illyana, and she needs to find them quickly. She'll use both her sense of smell and hearing, to try and locate them quickly. For now, her purposeful steps are taking her down the dorm hallway and eventually to the main staircase within the School building. Those steps of hers only pause slightly when the faintest of whiffs is smelled -

- Illyana. Back-tracing somewhat, Laura will find her way back into that hallway that holds the door to her room, but instead of hers, she goes for another. The door she stands outside of is the guest room, well, one of the various guest rooms the school has. A hand raises upward and Laura will knock upon the door three times. Then she waits.

Time flies when you're having fun… or what passes for it in Illyana's world.

The blonde sorceress has quite lost track of how long she's been poking, prodding, and generally dissecting the sample of demon's blood that she obtained from Laura, but the sense of someone knocking against the warded door to her room draws her attention at once. "I'm not finished with you." She tells the drop of blood, oddly still liquid after all this time, and now held suspended in a magical field within her library. Turning away, she walks briskly over to a tall mirror. The surface is cloudy and the reflections indistinct, but at a wave of Illyana's hand the silvered surface ripples like water. When the ripples have stilled, it's not Illyana that's reflected, but Laura. "She's eager." Illyana remarks to herself with a little grudging admiration, but she decides not to keep her visitor waiting. A flash of light, and Illyana's gone from Limbo.

A moment later, the door to her room swings open, and the demoness looks Laura up and down. "You're looking better." She says, by way of greeting.

When Illyana opens the door, she will indeed, find Laura still standing there. In fact, she's standing there at what's often called parade rest. Laura would likely do well in the military.

Well, physically she'd do well, mentally? That's another story.

Either way, when that door opens, Laura's gaze will sharpen as Illyana finally makes her presence known. That statement of the demoness' is heard and then answered, as the slim assassin says, "Yes." She's just full of words today, isn't she.

After that singular word is spoken there's a heartbeat of silence from Laura before she finally manages to add, "Thank you." One could likely assume she means for helping her, but that last bit is left unspoken. Silence now reigns from Laura, as she stands there.

Illyana would not do well in the military. The fact that she's already slouched up against her door frame is the least of the reasons why.

When Laura makes her one-word comment, Illyana doesn't reply, or prompt - at least beyond raising her eyebrows slightly to present an encouraging expression. She senses that Laura isn't quite finished, and she turns out to be right. Score one point to Illyana in the ongoing game of 'figure out the taciturn assassin'. The eyebrows rise a fraction more when she gets an actual expression of gratitude. "Any time. Letting you get possessed by a demon would make me look bad… and you probably wouldn't have enjoyed it either." Illyana says lightly, with a grin.

Shifting away from the door frame, Illyana takes a step backwards, a silent invitation for Laura to move inside. "I've been busy while you've been sleeping it off." She says by way of explanation. "Would you like to see what I found? I'm guessing you're not about to let bygones be bygones."

When the invitation is offered Laura will accept. Stepping into the room the green-eyed assassin will automatically assess everything held within the room. It's an automatic gesture on her part, something so ingrained, she doesn't even realize she's doing it. Once inside, Laura will take a step or two away from the door, before falling back to that straight-backed, arms at her side, stance. Pivoting upon her heel lightly, the young woman will turn to keep Illyana in her sights, even as she scents (automatically) the air about the two.

The blonde's question and then statement earns a singular nod from the dark-haired girl, as she states in that ever present monotone voice of hers. "Yes." She would like to know what Illyana's learned and no, there aren't any bygones be bygones with Laura.

Illyana mentally awards herself another point when Laura steps inside her room. She wasn't sure that she would, but Illyana likes that Laura doesn't seem at all rattled by her previous trip to Limbo. As a result, Illyana decides to give her another choice.

Stepping further inside the room, Illyana gives Laura her space, and if her scrutiny bothers her at all, she's good at not showing it. The room itself is extremely spartan, there aren't any personal touches of Illyana to be found in it at all. It still manages to appear slightly unkempt, even though there's very little to actually /be/ out of place. No, Illyana definitely wouldn't do well in the military.

"Good." Illyana says, approvingly. Revenge is important, after all. "Come on, then." She says, and opens a portal to Limbo. This time she doesn't just shanghai the assassin along with her. Instead, the portal she opens stands vertically in the room, and Illyana walks through it unhesitatingly. Her X-Communicator sails back through the portal to bounce once on her bed, followed by Illyana's voice, echoing oddly. "Close the door after you!"

When the portal opens Laura can't help but turn that assessing gaze towards the circular disc. She'll consider it and its owner for a long moment, but, eventually, Laura will offer a singular nod again. It seems she trusts Illyana to some extent now. Or at the very least she isn't considered an enemy or an unknown.

Silent footfalls will take Laura to Illyana's door, which she shuts obediently, before she turns back to the portal at hand. Those same soft steps take her through the room and finally to the portal.

"We should bring Nate, as well." Comes the monotone voice of Laura, those flat tones of hers likewise taking on an echoing quality, as she exits (briefly) between two worlds. A second step brings her completely into Limbo and out of the Earthen realm she's so used to. "I believe we will require his help."

When Laura steps through Illyana's portal, it'll close behind her, leaving her in an area of Limbo she's not seen before, although she'll probably guess that it's located within the same structure that she arrived in last time. A large, stone room with a high, vaulted ceiling, it's filled almost to capacity with tall shelves that seem almost to creak under the weight of the multitude of books, tomes, scrolls, inscribed tablets, and other articles for recording the written word. Apparently all the shelves aren't enough storage either, because there are several large, wooden tables piled high with more of the same. Except for one. Everything's been cleared off the surface of that one table, and something that it's hard to focus on has been inscribed on its surface. About a foot above the table, within a glowing sphere of light, the black demonic blood is suspended.

Illyana's already walking towards that table when Laura makes her suggestion. Illyana turns on her heel, gnawing at her bottom lip for a moment, then shrugs. "OK. I'm sure he can make himself useful." A glowing circle appears on the floor, larger than the portal that Illyana used to bring herself and Laura here. It's about, oh, bed-sized…

…and a moment later, when it fades away, there's a bed in that spot. Containing Nate.

Nate did say 'evening' didn't he? Because he had been awake nearly 48 hours and needed to crash hard. But noooo. Little Ms. Regeneration had to recover early and go bother Ms. EvilBlonde.

And so Nate's bed (from a guest room) thuds against the stone floor of the library, and Nate wakes up with a start. Sits up. Bleary glare. Falls back to bed and grumbles, "it is too early for Limbo. And the coffee here sucks."

Pause. He crawls off the bed and rubs his eyes. Then forms a look-alike of his uniform telekinetically, using molecules from the bed sheets. Because it would be a Big Mistake to ask Illyana for clothes when in Limbo (or possibly when outside, too). "Anyway. What did you got?" He yawns.

The books, shelves and tables are all looked at and while others might remark about what they see, Laura doesn't. Instead she simply follows after the demoness, even as she scents the air around the two. The faintest wrinkle to her nose might be seen, as she catches the scent of old books, old blood, brimstone and most importantly, demons.

Arriving at the only table with some space upon it, Laura will turn her gaze to it, as well as the glowing sphere. She'll cast an almost baleful look towards that black blood, but for the most part, her expression is still very difficult to read. It's only when Nate arrives that Laura will finally turn her gaze away from that sphere of power. Again others might giggle at Illyana bringing the full bed forth, but Laura doesn't, instead she turns a look towards the demoness. One has to wonder just how large a portal Illyana could effectively open.

As for the blood, as if sensing people are near, or perhaps Laura, it suddenly moves. It tries to slither up the side of the sphere and while it can't quite escape, it is slowly pulling itself upward.

Illyana winks at Laura when Nate's bed appears, before leaning against a handy bookcase and folding her arms. She's clearly hoping this will be good.

The look of disappointment on her face is clear when Nate barely reacts to waking up in her private hell dimension. Her predecessor has clearly had too much fun at Nate's expense already, more's the pity! "It's never too early for Limbo. Or too late. We're a 24 hour business, Nate." She wrinkles her nose. "You might be right about the coffee, though." She adds, offering a rare concession. While Nate sorts himself out, Illyana pushes away from her comfortable bookcase and walks over to the table where the blood is suspended. "Quite a lot." She answers Nate's question airily, but then frowns, leaning over the table, palms down on the scarred wooden surface as she watches the blood try to climb her mystical sphere. "And I'm still leaning more." She says quietly, eyes flicking up toward Laura. "It seems you made a friend who wants to get back in touch." She tells the assassin. "Isn't that interesting?"

Stepping back from the table, Illyana paces around it, surveying the blood from all angles, then looks back at Laura once more. "Is this the charming individual you met yesterday?" She asks, making a complicated gesture with one hand as she speaks. The light in the library seems to darken slightly, and a form made of shadows appears next to the table. It's a little translucent, and not quite sharply defined, but with any luck Laura will recognise it.

There has been a few Limbo Queens in Nate's past, so he is kinda used to deal with them. 'Don't let them see you flinch' and 'Don't eat Limbo food' are high in his list of stuff not to do. (Yes, of course he is hungry. They just woke him up).

But he is also curious, so the young man comes closer to see the image of their target. "Not one of yours, I reckon?" He guesses. He has never seen that demon either, but he is no expert, all demons look the same. "Is that guy still in the New York area?"

When the blood seems so keen on getting closer to Laura, the slim assassin's gaze will turn wary, and that emotion is strong enough to be seen clearly upon her features. Obviously the blood made quite the impression upon the young woman.

"I do not want to be its friend." Comes her monotone words, as she stands statue-still. Thankfully, Laura doesn't have to say much more as Illyana makes that magical gesture of hers and continues to speak.

When the shadows coalesce together a being can be seen. It looks tall and demonic, though overall humanoid, if one were to assign a sex to it, it looks male, but with demons .. It's hard to say if it really is. Large horns sprout from its brows and its eyes are opaque pools of color with no discernible pupils.

When the image of the Demon Lord appears, Laura will automatically turn her gaze towards it. A faint curl of her lip might be seen, as X-23 nods once. "Yes. That is the demon." Her nostrils flare slightly, as she subconsciously tries to take the scent of the demon in. Nate's question about it being one of Illyana's Demons earns a look from X-23 now, to Illyana.

As far as Illyana's concerned, Nate's refusal to flinch on cue just means that she'll have to up her game. There could be interesting times in his future.

Illyana looks at the image she's summoned of the demon that owns the blood that she's been poking and prodding with professional interest, before tearing her gaze away to watch Laura's reaction. Or rather, her expected lack of reaction. The lip curl draws a look of surprise from the blonde sorceress. She had to work hard to get anything like that reaction from the young assassin. Illyana can't really blame her for disliking the demon so intensely, but it's still an interesting note to file away for later.

Illyana grimaces at Nate's question, immediately feeling the weight of Laura's eyes on her. "Nate?" She says, "Stop helping." But she favours him with a glance and a smirk to prove she doesn't really mean it.

"It's not one of mine." Illyana tells Laura, firmly, maintaining eye contact as she does so, before adding, "And I don't blame you for not wanting to be it's friend." Perching on the table, between the blood and the image of the demon beside it, Illyana picks up on Nate's second question. "Well, now we've identified the prime suspect, let's see if we can track him down."

There's a flare of light, and a large, free-standing mirror arrives in the library, the wooden frame carved with baroque and disturbing images. Illyana slips down from her table and walks across to it, brushing a hand across its surface, sending it rippling like mercury. "Let's see if he's good enough to hide himself from me." She says, with an air of smugness that suggests she's betting on 'no'.

Awww. Nate's life is always more interesting when Illyana decides she needs to mess up with him. But that is part of this weird friendship thing, isn't it? He has too many stabby friends. "Just checking," he notes, smirking back to the blonde. He vaguely seems to remember a couple cases of demons sneaking out of Limbo. Other times and other worlds, his memory gets blurry.

"Okay. So where is he from and… no, actually, just how do we kill him?" He asks, trying to be practical about it. Since the critter survived a fight with Laura he suspects cutting is not going to work.

When Illyana makes eye contact with X-23, she likewise holds the demoness' gaze whereas others might flinch. When Illyana admits it not being one of hers, Laura will offer the vaguest nod of her head. The answer for X-23 is acceptable.

When the mirror arrives, green eyes will move towards the monstrosity of a thing. Muted curiosity might be seen within Laura's eyes, as she takes a step, possibly two, closer to the reflective glass and metal construct.

And even as the mirror begins to flicker, blurry at first, X-23 will turn her gaze back to Nate. "Yes. How do we kill it." She states, or rather questions, as her voice rises ever so subtly at the end there.

And as Laura's words end the mirror will finally snap into focus, beneath Illyana's fingertips. The image is focused upon a man, a very beautiful man, long black hair, flawless skin and the bluest of eyes. It's the eyes, however, that give him away. There's a light within that isn't natural, both to mystic and non-mystic senses. The scene seems pretty bland with the man at some type of party. Champagne flows, little edibles are floated around by the wait staff and the guests abound.

And the man-demon circulates. Wherever he goes people follow, both men and women, and when he touches a person that person's expression falters for just a second. A blankness can be seen in that millisecond, before the person quickly reanimates.

Illyana keeps walking for a couple of steps after she touches the mirror, getting out of the way so that Laura can see what's revealed, and coincidentally fetching up next to Nate, who gets a shrug. "Not sure where he's from. This isn't the only hell dimension. I have competition." She seems at once amused and slightly annoyed by that fact. It doesn't seem like she's going to answer the question that he's really interested in for a moment, but then Laura repeats it. Illyana hesitates, then shrugs again. "I have a couple of ideas." She says, and somehow the Soulsword is in her hand again, having seemingly appeared from nowhere. "Mostly involving this." She swishes the blade back and forth in front of herself a couple of times in a desultory fashion, before banishing it back to wherever it lurks when she doesn't need it.

Turning her attention to the show on the mirror, Illyana's lips twitch into a smile. "For a demon, he cleans up well." She says in an appraising tone, but then the expression on her face turns hard and closed, her eyes narrowing as she sees just what he's up to. "Oh no. I don't think so." Illyana says, shaking her head and directing another glare toward the oblivious demon in the mirror, before glancing between Nate and Laura. "OK, I'm in. We need to shut him down."

"What is he up to?" Nate squints eyes, but of course not even his telepathy can reach another dimension. It looks pretty bad, and then he remembers those clawed, possessed humans that attacked them. "Can you port us there right now? I can hold him down and you can stab him in the face," he offers.

Not a master tactician, no. There are other Summerses for that.

The demon in man's clothing continues to mingle. Continues to turn those unsuspecting people into sleeper Thralls. Continues to slowly coalesce his-its power base. All unknowing that he's being observed -

- Or so it seems.

Nate's words will bring the slim assassin around and the rogue telepath will be given a long look. "That is a bad plan." She states in her monotone way, "It will fail." And while the man within the mirror continues to rub elbows with the elite, his movements pause ever so slightly.

At first, he'll look over his shoulder, but soon enough his gaze will lift upward towards the 'mirror's' surface. "How quaint -" He says, his voice easily echoing through the mirror, "- you found me, Little Demon." And his words are cloyingly sweet, almost hypnotic in their tones, "Is Little Killer with you?". The people continues to move around him, but for now, they don't seem to see the demon near them. Or hear him.

"Tempting." Illyana offers, thoughtfully, but defers to Laura on matters of stabbing. "She's got a point, Nate." Illyana adds, more than a hint of regret in her voice. "The ones he's turned will turn on US, or on the ones he HASN'T turned, and…" She shrugs. "It'll get bloody." And that's a bad thing, right?

Still unhappy with the delay, Illyana crosses her arms and continues to watch the demon as he circulates among the partygoers, turning over ideas in her mind and discarding them, until the demon oh so casually looks over his shoulder. Then she stiffens as if an electrical current has been passed through her.

The shock passes quickly, replaced by a silent snarl of outrage that the demon's able to turn her scrying back on her, and she jerks forward a step, threat in her posture. "It wasn't hard." Illyana tells him, honing her tone into a fine edge of contempt. "If you don't want to be found, try not leaving your bodily fluids lying around. It's unhygienic, and SO unattractive."

Since the demon asked, Illyana decides not to answer his question. "If you'd like some other tips on what not to do in polite company, I could pick you up and teach you a lesson?" Illyana's words are light, but there's something dark and ugly lurking in her tone. She glances toward the others speculatively. She could try to grab him with a stepping disc, right now…

"What is wrong with my idea?" Nate prefers to keep it simple, really. He is not taking the minions or the humans very seriously, because, really, Illyana has her own army. When the demon turns the scrying device back on us, he gives the blonde a surprised glance and tsks. "Whatever. Lets kill him."

Like Illyana, when the demon addresses them, X-23 will turn back to the mirror. Her lip curls back in a silent snarl and there's the sound of *SNIKT* as she releases the claws within her hand.

The mirror is safe, however, as she just stands there, almost vibrating with the need to stab.

"Was I hiding?" He mocks, his sing-song voice elevating slightly with its amusement. "For you, Little Demon, I will try to hide better. Next time it will be a challenge. For you." It states, a promise beneath those words words of his.

When Nate speaks, the demon will turn his burning gaze upon the telepath. "And who is this? A friend?" It asks, if the group were long-lost friends. "I do so like meeting new people - and please, do come. We must meet. I believe you hurt several of my pets earlier." And with his gaze turning back to Illyana, the demon continues with, "And as Little Demon said, lessons must be taught."

For X, her gaze is solely upon the demon for what he says and it's only with Nate's last words that the slim assassin will turn. "It is a trap. We cannot go to him." And the demon, he just laughs, a cruel and echoing sound, "Oh Little Death - yes LIttle Death - you are a true spoil sport. I must take my leave, my friends, later we shall meet. I promise." With that said, the demon simply vanishes from the mirror's sight.

Illyana unobtrusively turns the palm of one hand toward Laura as she hears the claws come out. The demoness still isn't sure whether the demon can really see them, or is running a good bluff.

It's the sort of thing she'd do in his position, after all.

"You didn't leave your number with the girl you impregnated." Illyana shoots back scornfully. "Sounds like hiding from your responsibilities to me." She snorts at his hubris, and replies with some of her own. "Give it a try. Find the deepest rat-hole you can and I'll still dig you out. I won't even have to get dirt under my nails." Ah, demons. So much pride.

Irritation flickers across Illyana's face as the demon reveals that he's NOT bluffing and he CAN see them by addressing Nate directly. She needs to work on her wards, she must've gotten sloppy. "Responsible owners don't let their pets stray." She tells him, tartly, her hands balling into fists. She's close to going back on her earlier decision not to just jump right in. Laura's voice pulls her a little way back from the edge. And that's a good thing, because if she hadn't, the demon's laughter would have sent her plunging right over it.

And then the mirror is inert once more, and Illyana curses venomously. "Yeah, talk smack then run away. Real impressive." She glares at the mirror for a moment longer, then spins around to face the other two. "I'm going to find him, and the minute we can get him alone, he's going to wish he never crawled out of hell." Illyana is five feet five inches of Not Happy. She raises her hands to rub at her forehead and is a little surprised to discover she hasn't sprouted horns.

"I am bad at lessons," replies Nate. Then he glances the blonde, "I insist in private tutoring with this clown," growls Nate. Oh, and Illyana is in a roll. That makes him smirk. Only the mirror goes blank and he balks.

"Can you port us somewhere close so we are there 10 minutes before this conversation?" See? He can do tactics, and abuse Illyana time-warping teleportation in ways that… shouldn't probably be abused.

Laura watches both Nate and Illyana discuss the finer points of what to do. It's only when there's a lull within the conversation that X-23 will say, "We cannot be foolish with this demon." And beneath her words are the vaguest of bites, "He nearly captured me -" Or rather turned, but Laura is going to stay with capture, "- think what would happen if he was able to capture all of us." And while others would probably sound impassioned by now, Laura still sounds quite monotone, as she states those words of hers.

Her claws slowly retract even as she turns away from the mirror completely now. "We must plan." She echoes again, her hard gaze upon both Illyana and Nate. The hot-heads in this particular scenario.

"Sure. After me." Illyana tells Nate in a surly tone. She has first dibs on uppity demons!

Nate's question causes her to grimace. "Close, easy. Time-shifting… Isn't so accurate. We could miss, by a LONG way. We're better off chasing him down the old fashioned way." She sounds utterly disgusted to have to admit that. She LIKED Nate's plan, and she hates admitting any shortcomings at the best of times.

Once again it's left to Laura to be the voice of reason. Go figure. "He won't capture ME." Illyana says, vehemently, and with something close to a warning note in her tone, but then she first grits her teeth, then forces herself to take a deep breath. "He won't capture ANY of us." Illyana says, in a more normal tone. "Because we're going to play this smart, like Laura says. I'll see if I can find out exactly WHAT he is, and then we stomp all over him." It's less of a plan and more a statement of intention, but it's a start.

What, she can't? This should teach him to assume. Nate is pretty sure other-Illyana was pretty precise with her time-shifts. But there are usually variables. But it could be worse, the ladies could be dealing with -Cable- instead of with him.

"Psa, if he is so dangerous we can ask more X-Men to help." He points out. "But if he was so strong he would have let us jump in, hmm? I think he was also taken by surprise and a little worried. Next time it might be a trap, though. So we better plan a few extra surprises."

"Agreed.". Comes Laura's words, to both Nate and Illyana, "We must be on guard for when we do find him.". And with that said, Laura will glance once more at the mirror and the blood within the sphere, before saying< "Let us return to the Mansion."

And like that, the trio is once again on more even footing (as much as the three of them can be) and return back to Earth.

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