It's a ... an Ambush!

January 20, 2017:

Illyana, Nate and X-23 finally confront the Demon Lord.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

A plan has been formed. Watch the demon lord for very short periods (seconds basically) to keep abreast of his whereabouts and should an opportunity present itself attack.

That moment has now come. A brief peak-a-boo by Illyana within in Limbo will have shown the Demon Lord still within human form and asleep. While the room he's within isn't necessarily a bedroom, there's enough couches, antiquated chaise lounges and furniture for anyone to find an appropriate place to rest.

The glimpse within that room also clearly showed the Demon Lord far from alone. The majority of that plush furniture holds a variety of men and women in varying states of dress types. Jeans, shirts, club gear, formal wear and even what's known as business casual. The Demon Lord himself is dressed more in-line with his true self; black leather pants, black boots and a fit silk black shirt.

While Limbo time runs a little funny on Earth, the time is now two in the morning. Most sane people will be asleep, but some are awake; Laura being one of them. The past few days have been an oddity of demon hunting and more personal introspection and currently, the slim assassin is running through the forested areas of the Mansion's grounds.


Nate is not sleeping either. 2 am is the best moment to use the Danger Room, after all. Although the sim he is using is not a very interesting one. It is basically him and the Blackbird, and he is going over a tutorial on maintenance. Technically he doesn't have clearance on access to the real airplane, so he needs the DR for flight practice and this: mechanics.

It is not as fun as piloting it, but they will not let him touch the real thing if he doesn't know how it works. It is only fair, after all, which is why he is waist deep into the mixture of super-high and alien tech, trying to track down a simulated glitch caused by a damaged circuit board. Fortunately all that engine oil is also simulated.


"A library of infinite size and all of eternity to try to fill it up… and there's STILL nothing in here that tells me anything I don't already know. Belasco, you really were a poor excuse for a hell lord. I almost wish you'd come back so I could kick your butt a second time!"

A certain blonde-haired demoness is VERY unhappy. Tossing a particularly dusty crumbling scroll on top of a stack of cobwebbed tomes with a disgusted flick of her wrist, Illyana abandons her research trip to the depths of her library and stalks back to her scrying pool. She makes an imperious gesture and an image swims into focus on the surface of the pool.

Her quarry. The demon who hurt Laura and had the never to talk back to her. Asleep. Surrounded by thralls, of course, but asleep. VULNERABLE.

Illyana suffers an instant mood reversal and is suddenly smiling a downright nasty smile. "Aren't YOU going to have an exciting wake-up call." She breathes, banishing the image of the demon and scrying quickly for Nate and Laura. There's not the slightest attempt to do things politely. Illyana simply turns on her heel and calls up a pair of stepping discs to pull them right into her throne room.


For Laura, she just launched herself into the air to leap over a large, fallen tree trunk. When that portal opens she continues with her forward momentum and sails right through the portal to land with a solid sounding thump within Illyana's throne room. She'll stay crouched a second longer, as the dark-haired girl surveys the area around her, before she rises upward into a standing position. "Illyana." Comes her initial greeting, that one word stated in those flat tones of hers, "Something has changed." And while the question mark isn't quite there, her tone shifts enough to perhaps give that impression.

Already the dark-haired woman is moving closer to Illyana, even as her green-eyed gaze flicks towards the scrying pool. She may not be a magical person like Yana, but it seems she's starting to pick up certain aspects of it.


Not this, not that, wait… is that amber LED normal? Nate is not sure, so he was going to pull out and check the manuals when the stepping disk swallows him. Saved! No more insane avionics for tonight. "Hey, ladies," he greets. "I guess you got a lead, Illy?" Getting teleported like this would usually be annoying, but in this case he feels magnanimously grateful. Or something like that.


Illyana turns smartly to one side as Laura arrives in mid dynamic leap, clearing the area for the young assassin's landing. It's perhaps fortunate that Nate's not busy with anything similarly strenuous, as at least the Russian doesn't need to dodge his arrival, too.

Returning Laura's greeting with precisely inclined nod of her head, Illyana briefly attempts to match her somber expression, before giving up the attempt entirely and allowing a big grin to break through. "Damn right it has." She answers Laura, nods to Nate, and is already heading back towards her scrying pool. There's an almost gleeful lightness to her steps too.

Reaching the pool, Illyana circles around the other side of it, still grinning. "Get ready. I'm going to give you a quick glimpse. After that…" She shifts her gaze from one to the other. "If you two are both in, we go. This is the best chance we've had and I don't want to waste it." She draws her hand across the surface of the pool again, questing for the demon once more.


When Nate arrives, stoic green eyes will flick towards him for a moment, before Laura's attention is back upon Illyana. At the other woman's rather gleeful expression, the slim assassin can't help but scent the air with a faint flare of her nostrils. When illyana beckons them over with her words, Laura will continue to follow the demoness to the scrying pool. Her gaze will drop to the waters, as X-23 now waits, to see what it'll show.

And what it shows is very similar to what Illyana previously saw. A large room (someplace in New York) with a variety of furniture within and upon the furniture and the floor even, are people. The focus for all of those sleeping bodies seems to be one man - who's currently asleep on a rather large and sturdy chaise lounge. The man is clearly the demon they spoke to before and he still maintains that human guise previously seen.

X-23 will gaze at that image for a few seconds, her eyes trying to memorize the layout of the room, and to look beyond just what the scrying pool shows. "Can this show the full room." Asks the assassin, as she strives to formulate a plan that has the least chance of failing.


"Demons sleep?" Asks Nate. He tries to remember if he has seen any of them sleeping. Illyana doesn't count. "I am in, of course. Just remember, this could be a trap. Unless he is a complete idiot he must be aware you could catch him sleeping."

Laura request to be shown the whole room gets a grunt of assent, although not a very loud one because getting caught is also a concern. Last time he remembers this demon managed to block the scrying and even see them through it.


"I sleep." Illyana reminds Nate with a small smile, but then she shrugs. "I wasn't able to find out much about this particular hellspawn. My… mentor… slacked off his homework." She seems genuinely annoyed by that, but doesn't have time to dwell on it. "Some demons need rest, if not true sleep. Particularly if they've been exerting themselves on a material plane like Earth." Illyana shrugs. "He's certainly been doing THAT. We saw how many thralls he's turned."

Since the longer they observe him the greater the chance their scrutiny will be detected, Illyana acts swiftly on Laura's request. "I can." She says, hovering a hand above the pool and then drawing it back toward her, just as if she was pulling back a camera from a close up shot. Illyana looks almost disappointed by what she sees. "Well, it's a room. No torture implements on the wall, or Legions of Terror waiting to jump us on the way in. How pedestrian." She glances from Nate to Laura again. "Are we doing this?"


The room is quite pedestrian and unassuming. As Illyana stated nothing risque or odd, just a large room with one exit and littered with people and one demon.

A furrow has appeared near X-23's eyebrows, as she considers the room and even Nate's words. "It is likely a trap." Comes X-23's agreement, even as she turns her attention to Illyana and Nate, "But we must try. He is a danger to those he touches." Again, her words are quite flat even as she speaks. "Let us go."

And to make sure she is ready, Laura will deploy the claws housed within her hands with a familiar *SNIKT*. "I am ready."


Nate shrugs. Walking into a trap is no big deal for him. They don't work very well when the supposed victims know about it. "I am ready," he notes, taking a second to reinforce his psychic shields and forming a forcefield around his body. "The main goal is getting you into position so you can stab him, right?" He still likes simple plans.


Illyana grimaces. "If we assume it's a trap and it's a trap, we're no worse off than we would be at any other time. If we assume it's a trap and it's NOT a trap, we win. I'll take those odds." She glances toward Laura as if she's been reminded of something, and quickly adds, "Right. Yeah. We don't want him spreading himself around any more. Definitely." After all, they're the good guys. Well reminded, Laura.

Her eyes flicking to meet Nate's, some of Illyana's earlier evil good humour returns her expression. "Pin him down, keep the thralls away… preferably without hurting them… and I stab him. I guarantee he's not going to like it much." Illyana flashes a quick grin, and then her sword is in her hand and armour is covering her shoulder and arm. "Here we go!" She tells them brightly, and a stepping disc swallows them.


A look is given to both Nate and Illyana, unreadable at this point from X-23, as the assassin simply waits for the inevitable teleport.

When that stepping disc arrives, X-23 will fall into a simple crouch, her weight shifting slightly, so she can move at a moments notice.

The waters within Illyana's scrying pool begin to dim and as they turn back to their typical reflective nature the image within shifts ever so slightly. It's the demon's face. While his eyes remain asleep, his mouth curves ever so slightly upward.

A trap indeed.

The portal will drop the trio within the middle of the ballroom - because that's what it is, a ballroom taken over by the demon. As soon as the stepping disc is dismissed, it'll be Illyana and X-23's senses that will alert them to the trap.

For Illyana, her magical senses will suddenly SING with the spells that are rolling towards the trio. For X-23, it's her sense of smell, as a pungent scent of some type can be found upon the air. In fact, as she automatically pulls more of that smell within her, she'll find a dizziness starting to occur. The others will likely feel the effects faster, as the incense upon the air is a powerful hallucinogenic compound that's been dispersed throughout the whole room.

As to the spells, they're a simple stop and then freeze set. Intending to immobilize the trio where they stand.

X-23, for her part bares her teeth when that dizziness begins, but already, her healing factor begins to compensate and it's enough that the black haired girl snaps for her team's benefit, "Poison."


Nate lands in a crouch, expecting to be shoot or pounced right away. No? Ah, but Laura finds out the trap right away. He hold his breath. «Right, what kind of poison? I am going to change the battlefield anyway and maybe get us some fresh air.» Hopefully it will also disrupt spells and mechanical traps.

He punch against the floor, releasing a massive telekinetic shockwave around the trio, shattering the floor and sending a wave of debris in all directions. If there are windows, they shatter violently. If they are not in the ground floor, well… he will hold the floor stable for the women for a few seconds. Unless the poison gets him first.


Limbo brings out the worst in Illyana. Her demonic side. The part of her that's arrogant, vengeful, and thinks it always knows best.

Maybe if she hadn't been spending so much time in Limbo, fruitlessly searching through Belasco's library between peeks at her foe - each of which just left her blood boiling a little more - she might have been clear headed enough - human enough - to think better of this plan.

No such luck.

Illyana feels the roiling winds of magic around her even before the stepping disc has fully vanished, and she snarls a curse, bringing the Soulsword up in a guard stance. Trap or not, she still holds a weapon that can break any enchantment in her hands. Trap or not, she's going to make the demon regret… wait, poison?

The part of Illyana that's not the snarling demon reacts, and she spins in a graceful circle, sword outstretched to cleave through Nate and Laura. It's as insubstantial to them as mist, or even less so, but if what they're inhaling has any basis in magic, they should be safe.

Of course, no good deed ever goes unpunished, and Illyana's left wide open for a few crucial seconds.


« Psychotropic.» Is Laura's prompt mental reply, even as she gives her head a hard shake, trying to dispel that sense of vertigo.

At that point, words even mental ones, are muted as Nate releases that powerful shock of telekinetic energy. Thankfully, the trio, is on the ground floor and while the floor shatters and quakes, no one disappears within a gaping hole. Even the walls reverberate from that attack, as the shockwaves rolls outward.

At this point, the thralls and the demon 'awaken' - or really, they simply stop pretending they're asleep. The majority of the thralls rise up, angered already, thanks to the shrapnel that Nate has sent in all directions and while it took a quarter of their army downward, there is still many thralls left.

"Wait, my pets." Comes that sing-song voice of the demon, as he rises from his lounger. "Let us greet them first, as proper." And now, the demon's eyes will turn towards the trio. Ethereal light shines within those eyes of his as the demon now speaks. "Ladies, Gentleman, you didn't have to crash our party. I'd have issued individual invitations for each of you, if asked." And with a smile now, the Demon Lord will look specifically at Laura and Illyana, "Especially you both."

Illyana's soulsword will ghost neatly through Nate and X-23, but the poison isn't magical, it's completely mundane and so for the poison there is no spell to break. That still as a statue spell, however, will skip right past X-23 and Nate, however, thanks to the soulsword's touch. The only one that will be brought down by it, is Illyana, as the spell gracefully wraps around the demoness holding her tight; though she has access to all her senses.

When it seems all is going his way the Demon Lord will turn his attention from Nate, to X-23, as he favors each with a smile. His words, however, are only for X-23, "Little Death - I think you might be my favorite, but for now, sleep."

And before Laura can even pounce upon a thrall, or demon, or even offer a rebuttal, her eyes roll upward and the slim assassin drops bonelessly to the floor. Should Illyana stretch out her senses, she'll find no real spell associated with the Demon's words, but if one were to probe deeper, they would find something more insidious. The faintest mystical links between Laura and the demon, dormant until he spoke.

For Nate, now, the demon will focus upon him. "You have to breathe sometime, my friend. Why not now?" His words, his tones, they change and as they become more melodious, perhaps Nate might find him wishing to breathe before he's actually ready to. It's the faintest of coercion spells, just wafting out towards the telepath and without Illyana there to stop it, it'll curl its little claws within Nate.

Take a breath. It'll be okay. Nothing to harm you here.


Nate seems the right person for a magical mental suggestion, as he has no magic and as far the demon knows he lacks Laura's invulnerability. But actually he is not a good target, even although his psychic defenses are not prepared for a mystical suggestion, he quickly notices someone tampering with his head and shakes it off.

But colors are starting to look way too bright, which means he must have breathed some of the stuff when he arrived, or maybe it gets through the skin. Whatever, not good. He looks at the brunette, and then to the paralyzed sorceress and grumbles. Now… he is going to have to fix this, and later he is not going to be able to punch that demon's smile out of his face.

«Laura. Wake up!» He 'shouts' into the girl's mind, pretty much stabbing her hypothalamus with psychic energy and making it a very strong mental command. He wouldn't try this with a normal human, but he figures Laura will just have a headache for twenty seconds or so. He needs her awake, since he probably can rely on her senses. Maybe.

Then he grabs Illyana's sword arm and forces it to bend over, stabbing the blonde witch through her chest. That dispels spells, right? If she starts bleeding he is going to be very embarrassed, but chances are he will get killed if it doesn't work, so it should be a brief embarrassment.


Illyana feels the magic curl around her, and an instant later she's frozen in place, unable to move a muscle, Soulsword held uselessly before her, halfway back to her defensive stance. Part of her mind is screaming recriminations at her, demanding to know why she chose to protect Nate and Laura instead of herself, but it's too late now. With an effort, Illyana shoves down that selfish part of herself. Her mind's all she has left, she needs to be clear.

Despite her situation, Illyana keeps her eyes locked defiantly on the demon. She might be at his mercy but she'll be even more damned if she shows him any fear!

Laura's swift fall almost makes Illyana reconsider that decision, but anger over the treatment of the young assassin wins out. Instinctively, uselessly, she struggles against the spell holding her in its grip. She can FEEL what's been done to Laura, what the demon no doubt intends to do to the rest of them, and she knows where it leads.

And it's her fault, for dropping them into this. Time to stop moping about it.

Illyana doesn't speak - she doesn't trust her lips to be any less frozen than the rest of her, and she refuses to attempt a defiant mumble - and instead takes the only action left open to her. She tries to open a large and impressive-looking stepping disc beneath her. She's betting he's expecting the move, so she makes it as big and bright as possible. Or at least she tries. It's hard. It doesn't want to work, and she bends her full will toward it. Keep looking my way, hellspawn… she thinks malevolently at him, at the same time she tries to force open a portal behind him. She can't exactly scry for just what she needs right now, so the other end opens to a nest of Limbo-spawn she knows well. They're mostly tentacles and teeth, but they have the advantage of being as aggressive as they are stupid.

They're distraction two.

Illyana feels like her brain is being squeezed by the effort of trying to get past whatever's blocking her mutant gifts, but she tries once more. Something small. Maybe beneath notice. A small portal beneath Laura, barely big enough for her body to slip through? That's the goal.

She's not expecting that the moment she acts, Nate is going to grab HER. Considering the psychotropics in the air are beginning to affect HER, she has no idea what Nate is seeing when he looks at her, and she tries to dodge… which of course she can't. Being stabbed with her own sword is barely more insulting than being posed like an action figure, and injury is added when Nate forces her muscles to move when the spell is telling them not to…

But since the spell DOES break, Illyana will forgive him this time. Even if she's sent staggering back, off-balance, and drops to one knee.


The brightness is off. As is the sound. For those feeling the effects of the hallucinogens, the demon's words alternate from far too loud, to much too soft, but his expression easily allows everyone awake to figure out what he's saying.

It's a look of success. Of triumph.

But like everything there are always chinks in the plan. As Illyana, Laura and Nate are finding out. So too will the demon soon learn this, as well.

As Illyana struggles to open those portals, the demon will click his tongue against his teeth. "Struggle all you want m'dear, you're still going to lose. All of you." A flash of even white teeth can be seen as the demon smiles. When that first portal opens the Demon Lording will flick a dismissive look at it. The second portal that opens behind him is finally given attention to. The things within garner a smile from him, "Cute." A motion of his fingers can be seen now and the first dozen of thralls nearest him turn around and attack. Apparently he has no qualms about using humans as a shield.

Not long after those portals open, Nate's shout finally causes X-23 to move. It starts as a sluggish twitch of her hands, before suddenly, X-23 lurches upward. A shout leaves her lips, as she staggers upright and then to the side, as her mind and body literally reel about for several seconds of confusion.

For Illyana, that mind controlled stab may be embarrassing, but it does free her. And even as her portals snap shut, thanks to Nate's movements, she is free from the spell that so ensnared her so. Now all she has to worry about is the drugs floating upon the air.

While the demon doesn't necessarily show fear upon his features, there is consternation. He hadn't expected the three to fight back so valiantly. It's enough that he'll show his teeth once more. Instead of those straight even teeth from before, his teeth are now sharp. "Get them." He intones, towards his thralls, and with that command a chunk of thralls throw themselves at the trio.


Nate is running out of air. This breathing thing is bothersome, maybe the X-Men should give utility belts like the Batpeople have. Colors are off, and now sounds too, and his sense of balance is not feeling right either, so he falls into a crouch and closes his eyes. Because if he loses control of his telepathy the whole city is going to hallucinate. There is a reason why Nate avoids drugs, or even getting drunk, fun as it is.

Fortunately Laura (he hopes) won't be too affected by the air, so he taps on her senses and reinforces his telekinetic force-field. Then he 'grabs' with telekinesis the closest thrall Laura can sense, and tosses him (or her) against a second one, sending both to crash against a wall.


Yes, as soon as the Soulsword pierced Illyana, those portals she spent so much effort on opening snap shut. Having a spell that's been placed upon you violently broken is bad for one's concentration. As a result, a number of demonic tentacles are suddenly sliced off their owners and fall to the ground, leaking copious amounts of black blood all over the floor. Even if Nate hadn't already redecorated, the bill for cleaning this place would be horrendous.

As for the sorceress herself, it takes Illyana a second to realise that her body's back under her control, but then she surges back to her feet. Or at least, that's the intention. The floor seems to lurch beneath her, and for the blink of an eye it feels like she's standing on the steeply-canted deck of a rolling ship. The lights are too bright, and she staggers to one side, almost colliding with Nate as she does so. She puts out an arm to catch herself, and the jolt of pain from abused muscles and tendons snaps her back to a semblance of lucidity. She looks around. Nate's still with her… kind of… and Laura's awake. "Stay or go, guys!" She calls out, not that she's certain she can actually get them out of the place, but then the decision's taken from them by the surging wave of thralls that charges their way.

"Never mind!" Illyana calls, and rushes forward to meet the thralls half way. The Soulsword is a silver blur in her hand as she hacks and slashes her way through the thralls, aiming for their master.


Much like Illyana, Laura is finding herself more sure-footed, as she loses the stagger to her gait. As soon as she's once more steady upon her feet, the slim assassin will turn an angry look towards the demons and thralls. She's not quite sure how the demon put her to sleep, but she knows she doesn't like it.

Immediately, her claws are brought upward and with a kick-off, X-23 aims herself at the nearest thrall. Unlike others, she's not trying to save these people. She's simply going for the quickest way to get them down. The first thrall is dealt a nasty wound to his legs, the second her gut, the third similar to the first. It's going to be a bloodbath.

For X-23, that is. Illyana's method of madness is much cleaner, as once the soulsword passes through the thralls they simply collapse. There's still the seed planted within them, but the seed's control is no longer viable.

Nate will find his attacks are pretty sound as well, but all of them (excluding X-23) will soon find themselves experiencing more than just dizziness and auditory hallucinations. Now the vision of Nate and Illyana will be impaired.

Laura's healing factor is keeping the majority of it down, albeit for slight dizziness.

The demon lord, at this point, is simply watching. That pleased look is upon his features again, as he says, "I love pitched battles, don't you all? The thrill of thinking you're winning when in fact you're losing." Comes his taunting tones and should anyone look at him there's the vaguest outlines to his form. The super-imposed imagery is of a larger man, or rather, demon, with horns, leathery skin and the back-bent legs that most animals have.


Nate gasps as he draws breath again. He had to or he was going to pass out. Now the drugged air is going to hit him far harder, so he needs this to end fast. "You think you are winning? You are an idiot," he growls. With Illyana and Laura dropping thralls left and right, he figures he doesn't need to defend himself much, so instead he raises his arms. Mostly for focus, but also dramatic effect.

The whole warehouse trembles as if shaken by a giant hand. Then crumbles inwards as if it was made of cardboard. "Win this, 'little demon'," adds the young man, forcing tens of tons of concrete and plaster on top of the monster.

Thanks for your eyes, Laura. It is neat how you see everything so clear and sharp.


The pain in Illyana's arms has gone from sharp and immediate to a dull, leaden throb, and that's a bad thing. The pain was giving her clarity and focus, the dull discomfort is giving her neither. Worse, her arms are getting heavy, and her body is starting to slow down. She knows she's not so out of condition for that to be natural, which means she's still human enough that the drugs in the air are starting to do a number on her.

That should be reassuring, but right now it really… isn't. And nor is the seductive thought that the darker side of her soul might be better equipped to fight this battle, if she'd only let it out, just a little.

A flash of light off metal to one side, and Illyana risks a glance. Laura is certainly very efficient. The Russian has a vague feeling that she should be trying to stop Laura being quite so efficient, but for the life of her she can't remember why that should be important.

A thrall barges into her, and Illyana twists in its clumsy grip, bringing the Soulsword into play once more and kicking the suddenly boneless thrall off her as its strings are abruptly cut. A shadow passes across her vision, and Illyana wipes a hand across her eyes. It doesn't help. She looks toward the demon that's taunting them, and experiences a wrenching double vision - before Nate brings the roof down. "Dig yourself out and we'll dance." She growls, but she's fighting shadows now, and it's so hard to remember why they need to win.


The walls tremble. For those so affected it might seem like the world trembles.

Even as the thralls continue to throw themselves at the trio, the building begins to come down around them. The Demon Lord looks quite amused at it all. His gaze has turned towards X-23, Nate and Illy, and while the plaster and cement rain downward, he just smiles at them. It's full of promise. Especially for those that taunt him.

When the building begins to collapse, Laura will pause. Her bright green gaze will turn towards Nate, then Illyana and finally the demon. She'll offer a baring of teeth and a hasty snarl, but she knows they've lost this particular round. Sheathing her claws, the slim assassin will dash towards Illyana. "Move." She shouts, a small albeit strong hand moving to grip the demoness arm.

Then, the dark-haired young woman will drag (if need be) the sorceress over to the half-crazed future-clone aka Nate. "We must leave." She'll shout at him and like Illyana, Laura will reach for his arm, as well.

As for that demon, all that can be seen as the building falls upon him, is that mockery of a friendly expression.

And should the trio look for him once the walls are down they'll simply find the thralls within, not the demon.


Nate grunts when Laura drags him away, "did I kill him?" He is trying to scan for minds and detecting several hundred flickering in and out, even his telepathic senses are going haywire, great. He focuses on Laura's senses, and probably sends a good deal of confusion into her head, although he keeps his eyes closed, so at least she can see.

"I can fly," no, he can't. Bad idea. Fortunately he crashes down before he can get up more than ten feet. A long string of curses follow. A thrall that gets close gets crushed into pulp by a TK blast.


Illyana's so lost to the tainted air that when she feels a hand like a small steel clamp close around her arm, she reacts in instinctive shock. She turns and… the Soulsword is buried almost to its hilt in Laura's chest, the blade sticking out a good distance behind her. Illyana blinks, forcing the younger woman into focus. Then looks down at her sword, then back up at Laura. "Ooops." She says. It's completely inappropriate to the situation, but it's all she can manage right now. A smirk starts to pull at the corners of Illyana's mouth.

…and then she's nearly pulled off her feet by Laura's insistent dragging. "Hey!" Illyana manages, outrage making an attempt to penetrate the fog surrounding her. "We're winning!" At least, she thinks they are. She's not quite sure what they're fighting or why they're fighting it any more, but it'll come back to her she's sure.

She screws up her face when she sees what Nate does to the thrall. "Nate!" She says, reaching across with her free arm to poke at him. "That's disgusting! You're supposed to be the NICE one!" At least she's not resisting Laura's attempt to drag her outside.

And hopefully into the fresh air. She really needs that right now.


A sword in her? While it causes the vaguest of twitches from Laura, she doesn't otherwise react to it. Simply because it's intangible for her. Still, no one likes to be stabbed, even with a ghost-sword.
The youngest, at least in mental age, gives Nate and Illyana looks of amazement. Or as close as her often shuttered expression can show. Shaking her head several times now, Laura will state, "No. You cannot." That's to Nate, at his mention of flying them out of here. "We will leave this way." She states firmly and with both of them in hand, the small force of nature that is Laura, pulls them towards the half fallen wall. Already fresh air can be felt flowing towards them, as the slim assassin pulls the two with her.

There's only another pause when Nate smooshes that thrall. While Laura isn't necessarily disgusted by the sight (like Illy is), she will turn an unfathomable look towards him. Then it's back to the job at hand. Getting the two high-as-a-kite-people outside.

Nate will be the first one shoved through the crack that was once an unblemished wall. Once Nate's through, Illy will be next.


Nate stumbles out, coughing. He runs a hand over his face and it comes up bloody. But it might be an hallucination. Or maybe he overloaded when bringing down the warehouse on the demon. "What do you mean I can't? I have beaten bigger than him," he protests. He tries to stand up, and falls down hard. Crap.


Illyana looks dubiously at the crack in the wall. The fact that Nate fitted through it doesn't seem to convince her that going through it is a good idea. She raises a finger to object, takes a breath to speak…

…and is pushed through by Laura before she can say a word.

"Hey!" Illyana protests, when she's outside. "Rude." She complains, blinking a bit as she looks around. Spying Nate as he slumps to the floor, Illyana says in a tone of smug superiority, "Down boy. Right now you can't even beat gravity!"

Taking a lungful of - comparatively - clean air causes her to go lightheaded, and lights to swim in front of her eyes. "Ow." She says plaintively, reaching up to massage her temples. "OK, that could have gone better." She says, with a curl of her lip. She so hates to lose, and boy did they this time. "Let's get out of here before someone asks me to explain this mess."


Now that the crisis (mostly) has been averted, Laura will turn inward for a moment. The run off of emotions from Nate is enough to cause the slim assassin to clam up tightly for several minutes.

It doesn't matter how silly both Nate and Illy are being, Laura will simply stand mute for several of those minutes.

Finally, however, the young woman will pull her focus back outward. Then it's to Nate since she can only assume it's him inside her head. "Stop it." Her words are edgy, the growl reverberating in that monotone voice of hers.

Then her gaze swings to Illyana, "Yes. Let's move." Are her stern words at the two and once more, Laura turns her gaze to Nate.


"I am fine," protests Nate, blinking quickly because he is still watching the world in bright colors and shapes. And Laura can see those bright colors and shapes, although not very well defined compared with what her senses tell her, so she probably can differentiate reality from illusion.

Contrarily to the tens of thousands of humans that are also receiving unreal sensory output. Nate telepathy can affect a whole city, and it is out of control. Illyana is lucky she has shields. She would be double as drugged as she is if she wasn't.

He tries to stand up again, and more or less manages to. "Going where? We had a mission, didn't we?"


Illyana snorts, loudly and pointedly. Nate is clearly Not Fine, and his protestations to the contrary aren't doing anything to dispel that impression. Illyana's just about to tell him that the first step toward dealing with a problem is admitting you have one, when he actually says something that pierces the dispersing clouds of fog in her brain.

Illyana's eyes narrow dangerously. "We did. Which means we need to find that THING again, preferably while he's still laughing his ass off, and catch him unawares. Come on." Calling the Soulsword into existence and raising it on high with a flourish is /probably/ unnecessary to the process of teleporting to Limbo, but evidently Illyana feels the need. One flash of light later, and a stepping disc scoops them all up.


"The mission has failed." States Laura harshly, as she splits her attention between the two drugged up X-Men. She'd have said more but then that portal opens and scoops the trio up and then shunts them to another reality.

"I do not think we should attack him again. Not without aid." States Laura in a very hard voice once the trio is through the portal. "The demon is too dangerous."

She'll wait a heartbeat and then add, "And you two need to heal."


Nate is going to argue about that assessment, at least while he is drugged. But at least in Limbo he won't have the thoughts of half New York in his head, the minds of the demons are (evil) gibberish to him.

But arguing will have to wait. Because it is more interesting to deal with the consequences of a doped-up Illyana in the Limbo landscape. Hopefully no one will die too much.

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