Demons Pick The Nicest Places

May 22, 2017:

Illyana finally gets around to dealing with the N'Garai problem that Cyclops delegated to her. Kitty, Nate and Rogue join her hunting party.

X-Men HQ - New York City

Secured, warded, monitored and highly, highly secret, this is the operational base for the X-Men, containing most of the high tech monitoring equipment the organization possesses along with relevant specialized gear for individual X-Men and mission ops.

The facilities themselves include living and sleeping quarters for the team and guests, a medical facility, storage for supplies and of course the hangar for the Blackbird.


NPCs: A handful of N'Garai

Mentions: Ravager, Beast


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Monday afternoon finds Nate again in the X-bunker. But at least this time is not for missing log stud… research! Research is like 10% less bad than studying.

Instead he is looking for one of the other X-Men, a woman he doesn't know all that well, but he knows about. Danger Room. No. Hangar? Nope. Medlab? Nopetopus. Computer lab? There is definitely someone at the computer lab and it is not Doug's mind, so he heads that way.

The former Computer Science teacher at Xavier's School is, indeed, in the computer lab. Despite being on a leave of absence from teaching, she hasn't given up her X-Membership and she can't help but still return to the place she generally considers home. That's not specifically the computer lab, but she does like to see what upgrades Doug has installed.

The woman also known as Shadowcat is scanning through the computer idly, looking through code and programs installed. After this, she'll head to the Mansion to try and catch up with whoever she can find for a little while, but it's nice to be in a place surrounded by gleaming technology rather than gloomy mystical items.

Illyana… is not in the computer lab. She's in the woods on the Xavier Estate, looking at the overgrown shape of a stone cairn, inscribed with disturbing-looking runes. She's picked her way through the undergrowth in a perfect circle around it, and her black outfit is looking a little more green and brown than usual. Even though no-one's watching, she still raises her arms theatrically, keeping her eyes fixed on the cairn, and a circle of silver-white light flares into existence around the cairn, tracking the path she took as she orbited it. For a moment, Illyana just stares at it, waiting, her face lit eerily from below, then lets her arms flop down to her sides. "Rats." She says, as the light from her spell fades away. "Dead. Wherever they're getting in, it's not here. That would just be TOO easy." She sighs, scuffing at the dirt with the toe of her boot. "Time to round up a search party." A flash of light, and Illyana's gone.

Reappearing in the depths of the X-Men's base, the blonde Russian gives a moment's thought to where she might find Nate, probably not-studying, and sticks her head experimentally into the computer lab. The smile that arrives on her face when she sees who's inside is rare in that it's absolutely genuine. "Kitty!" Illyana says, stepping quickly inside. "I need a hand, and you've got experience."

There is she! "Shadowcat? Hello!" Greets Nate, "I was looking for you, I had a question that…" oh look, Illy actually didn't teleport on top of someone. Mark the day in the calendar. "Oh well, looks like your time is in high demand. I guess it can wait, or I can tag along? It better not be another shopping trip."

Rogue is in the danger room, the large door to the room is rolled back and open to the hallway outside… but inside the danger room Rogue is in a black uniform with a hooded cape. She's got a program pulled up that is a Manhattan-style street loaded with cars and trucks parked along the sidewalks. She's walking from one car to the next, picking it up and throwing it down the street where it crashes into buildings or other vehicles. The noises are muffled before leaving the danger room's threshold, but still audible… as she was creating a lot of simulated-damage.

At the face peering around the door of the Computer Lab, Kitty peeks her own head around the computer screen and grins to see Illyana there. "Hey Illy!" she tells the blonde with a grin. "I certainly have experience with having hands. In fact, I've had them my entire life." She can't help but tease her blonde friend. With a few keystrokes, she shuts down the programs and code she was looking through and clicks off the monitor. Then, she stands. She's not wearing her X-Men gear at the moment - instead dressed in a pair of jeans and a top. Nate's greeting is met with a raised eyebrow. She's popular today! "Hi! Uh, sure! You can certainly ask. Maybe while on route to what Illy needs help with? She needs a hand and you know what they say about many hands."

The rumbling and simulated damage coming from the Danger Room was - previously - lost in the general atmosphere of the X-HQ. People tend to train with their powers and break things in a safe environment. "Sounds like there's another person or two that might be able to help in the Danger Room, depending on how many people you need!" she offers.

Scott is actually in the Danger Room's Control Room, he was watching Rogue unleash for a few before peeling open a panel and seeing to several repairs inside, mostly it is just diagnostics at the moment. The sheer power of some of Rogue's hits actually vibrate the mirrored very durable window. Each time a tremble hits he has to grin just a little. Probably some mutant pride mingled in to that smile.

Its the sudden ALERT of a teleportation that has him shoot his head up and *SLAM* it on the lip of the console he is under. That smart sharp pain lancing through his head, "Ouch, damnit, ow!" Fingers lace through dark brown hair and he straightens up to check the security feed. Just… Magik.

Scottscowl. The intercom button is depressed and there is some irritation in his voice, "You know we have doors for a reason right?"

Not only does she find Kitty right off the bat, but now Nate turns up on cue? Things are going suspiciously Illyana's way and she's not sure she trusts it. "Hands will definitely be useful." She tells Kitty, with an enigmatic smirk, then spins around to face Nate. "You didn't like our last shopping trip? I'm hurt. Really." Illyana doesn't sound remotely hurt. More ominously cheerful. "You're safe, anyway. No shopping trip. But come along anyway, I might need you to lift something heavy."

Illyana's teasing of Nate is interrupted by the grumpy voice from the intercom. Illyana looks briefly surprised, then glances at the other two with a conspiratorial look and mimes sneaking toward the door. Tilting her head to one side in a silent 'no?', she instead reaches out and touches the intercom. "Sorry Scott." She says, not sounding any more sorry than she sounded hurt earlier. "I'll remember that when I'm not rounding up a demon-hunting party." She looks up at Kitty and smiles innocently. "Do you and whoever sounds like they're remodelling the base want in?"

Nate smirks. No, he didn't dislike the shopping trip per se, as he is easily amused, but he feels like poking fun at Illyana's frequent shopping trips. Everyone should do it. The evil-ish blonde deserves all the poking they can get.

"I think it is Rogue in the Danger Room," he offers. "Invite her, she mentioned to be a little bored the other day. Apparently she is an action girl despite having a genuine teaching degree." Mind-boggling that, isn't it?

Rogue had a terrible temper, thankfully she kept it closed-in most of the time. It took a special set of circumstances to unleash her anger and when she was upset she'd come down here and do this sort of exercise.

Like slamming a giant compenstation-Truck through the side of a city bus! Then pick the wrecked truck up and slam it against the bus repeatedly like a giant metal and fiberglass club!

Eventually she'd come to exhausation and just crumple down in the middle of the simulated street, with her black cape pooled around her. A moment later and she fell backward and laid there on her back… surrounded by destruction and carnage… satisfying carnage.

The offer to go demon hunting is met with a smirk. "I'm always in for a good party that involves a search for demons, you know that. Am I good to go in this, or do you want me to change?" Being bored while being a teacher at Xavier is a thing that she can imagine happening, grading papers all day can be a bit of a drag. However, this isn't her hunt and she allows Illyana to take the lead on who gets the invite.

Instead, she peeks her head into the destruction that Rogue was wrought in the Danger Room and raises her eyebrows. "I'd say she'd definitely be useful if she's not tuckered out from going all Godzilla on that fake-city street." The amount of destruction is really quite impressive. A grin and a nod is given to Scott as she sees him in the control room. Luckily, she didn't phase through the walls, though she was very tempted to do it to give Scott a second scare. "Doors? Who needs doors?" she asks innocently.

Scott's finger doesn't leave the com button soon enough and actual cursing can be heard before the *CLICK* of release. Within a minute of Kitty's nod the eldest Summers is walking down the hall, he is wearing the snug navy blue combat suit of the X-Men, his hooded cowl crumbled around his neck.

"I thought you already took care of the demons?" Illyana gets awarded yet another scowl. This time she can see it. Kind of. Those visors are a bit of a blocker for several expressive gestures. "Fortunately for all of us there hasn't been any sightings on school grounds. I can't say the same for the rest of Westchester." Scott really hasn't looked and beyond missing persons or odd sightings wouldn't know how to track or hunt a demon which is why this is the sort of thing Magik is deferred to over.

"Illyana, Nate, Kitty… "A look in to the Danger Room at Rogue, "If you're giving her the opportunity to break something do you really think she will tell you no?"

Illyana glances quickly over what Kitty's wearing, and shrugs. "Spandex is optional." She offers, and certainly isn't wearing any herself. She's more into a black and skulls motif right now.

At the muffled cursing that carries from the speaker, Illyana upgrades her smile to a grin, although she's managed to get her expression under control by the time she's confronted by the scowling Scott. "I'm working on it." She tells him, his dirty look seeming to slide off her like water from a duck's back. "The old cairn on the grounds is inactive. The N'Garai you ran into didn't get in that way." See? She's not been totally idle! A thought strikes Illyana, and her eyes narrow a bit as she directs a thoughtful look toward Scott. "How close did you get to the last one?" She asks, then adds, "Hold that thought."
Poking her head into the Danger Room beside Kitty, Illyana calls out, "Rogue? Coming with us?"

Turning smartly back to face Scott, almost at parade rest, Illyana asks brightly, "Ready to go? Or do you want me to use the door on the way out?"

"Remind me to tell you some day about Rogue in my world," mentions Nate. Preferably when the skunk-haired girl is within hearing range. Because it will be hilarious. Outrageous for Rogue, true… but still fun.

Listening to Illyana's words he hrms, and waits until she is back from calling Rogue to add. "So they activated a new place to… hmm, come in? Where are they from anyway?"

Rogue wasn't exhausted, she was just laying there happily panting and relishing in the carnage she created. But when she heard voices and one of them call out to her to join them she suddenly lifted up off the ground without the assistances of hands or feet and she twirled around in the air to face them, floating there a handful of feet off the ground.

Silently floating toward them, Rogue would come to look at the others with her green-eyed gaze, her eyes surrounded by black eyeliner. "Ya'll got somethin' for me to smash?" She asked them. "Lets do it." No questions asked.

Given the okay to go with her 'normal' clothes, Kitty grins and then just pulls her long brown hair into a high ponytail. It only takes her a moment. "Now I wish I would have brought Lockheed on this visit, but he's couldn't be dragged away from Groot watching Chopped. That dragon loves his cooking shows."

Rogue's floating over is met with a grin from Kitty. "Hey Rogue!" she greets the other woman with a wave. "We're going demon hunting! Come with us. Might not be much to punch, but there's a potential!" As they prepare for either a walk or a teleport, Kitty grins a Nate and then asks, "So, before we run, there was something you wanted to ask me about?"

"The old cairn isn't? Good. I looked at it but just looking only works so well with… supernatural stuff. " It takes a special 6th sense or vision Scott doesn't possess after all. Scott offers a small smile to Kitty and a look to Nate, "A Rogue in any reality is still likely a Rogue." That flat delivery. So monotone.

Speak of the devil, Rogue gets an open appraising look from Scott and then he looks to those gathered, "I will stay behind and monitor over the X-comms and security feeds, as far as they will go. I imagine you can all handle this with your lead Magik." The others combined intellect, psi-power and brawn. They should be all set. All are very experienced and capable heroes.

"Originally, from here." Illyana replies to Nate in a conversational tone, but that ominous smile is quick to make a reappearance. "They'd like to move back in. So far it hasn't gone that well for them. Just ask Kitty." The sorceress nods over to where Kitty is filling Rogue in on the situation.

There's actually a flicker of surprise in Illyana's eyes when Scott ducks out of the mission. "I'd better make sure no-one gets eaten, now you've said that." She tells Scott, but she's looking at him intently, almost… seeming to look inside him. "Looks like you got close enough…" She says, under her breath, then adds in a more normal voice. "Hold still a second. This would be easier if we were in Limbo." The last is added in a slightly surly tone, as she raises a hand and makes a complicated gesture, speaking quietly and rapidly as she does so.

A faint white glow seems to suffuse Scott, marred by a few small patches of angry red. Illyana smiles, makes a grasping gesture, and the red patches disappear, quickly followed by the glow itself. "You had a bit of demon crud left on you, boss." She tells him. "All gone now."

Stepping back from Scott, she swings around to the others. "Ready to go?" She asks, but before anyone has time to answer (or possibly back out) a stepping disc sweeps them all up and deposits them in her throne room - in Limbo.

"Oh yeah," admits Nate, glancing back to Kitty. "Lets say hypothetically someone has been inserted a small bomb somewhere in their bodies. Maybe the neck or even the skull, can you phase and just grab it and pull it out? Or even better, phase the person body but not the bomb."

Scott would know this is not hypothetical. Rose Wilson had one of those bombs in her head when she got to the mansion first time, courtesy of a mysterious government organization that also attempted to blow up Jean shortly afterwards.
Unless that never happened. One never knows after the reality warp.

And Scott's combo with Illyana makes him smirk. "Oh, now he really -made- you the boss. For -once- you are not just doing your bossy taking over thing. Jump away, your queenhood."

Rogue glided up in time to hear the bit about her in other realities from Scott and she smiled flirtatiously at him. "A Rogue in any reality is also a Rogue smitten with you, sugah." She said in an equally flirtatious tone at Summers boy.

Rogue then turned her head to look at the others as they were talking about what sounded like serious stuff. She was completely lost throughout all of it and it made her wonder just what kind of weird-ass stuff do the others around this mansion get themselves involved in while she's just sitting around watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix.

"What the hell is a 'cairn'?" Rogue finally asks while looking at Illyana. Then she's suddenly SWEPT UP by a fancy magik disc and deposited in someplace new. "Fancy…" Rogue uttered in an impressed way.

"Demon crud?" Scott grunts, "Gee, thanks so much. I just love being… whatever that was'd." The tall mutant folds his arms over his chest and watches as they all depart. A slow headshake is being given during this process but he can't help but quirk his lips in a small, very faint ghost of a smile. Maybe he is just picturing N'Garai chewing on them.

Once gone he sighs low, "Why do we even have doors? Seriously. X-Men these days."

From her place nearby Illyana, Kitty gives Scott a surprised look when he says that he won't be joining them. However, she says nothing, just nodding at him when he says he'll be on the comms as they head back to Limbo to go demon hunting. The question of whether she's ready is met with another nod of her head. "Ready whenever you are!" The sudden change of plane of existence is one that she's actually used to - having been friends with Illyana for long enough to have been to Limbo before.

Despite being used to it, she takes a few steps to acclimate and as she does she, she gives Nate a bit of a questioning look at his hypothetical situation. "Hypothetical, huh?" She sounds skeptical about that thought. "Well, I could technically phase just my hand and then phase out a bomb, however my powers tend to make technological things short circuit. That means, I'm not sure if that would mean that the bomb would go off once I start to phase it with me." So, it seems that her answer is 'It's possible, but it's also possible I would make a depressing mess.'

Then, as it seems she likes answer questions, she tells Rogue, "Generally, it's a stack of stones used as a landmark."

"I'm always the Queen, Nate. Some people just don't notice." She's grinning as she says it, though.

As soon as the stepping disc fades, Illyana's already striding across to her scrying pool, one hand still clenched tight. Sitting down on the rim of the pool, Illyana's other hand brushes across the surface of the water, which turns silvery under her touch. Whatever she's about to do, she hesitates when she hears the words 'depressing mess' and looks up with interest. "Sounds exciting." Her eyes flicker to Nate, and she doesn't seem quite so flippant for a moment. "But I'm guessing you'd like better odds?" She's not completely heartless, after all.

Switching her attention to Rogue, Illyana picks up on Kitty's explanation. "And in this case, it's a landmark for particularly unpleasant demons who want to move in. Scott ran into one…" Illyana smiles and raises her clenched fist, giving it a bit of a shake. "And it left a little something on him. It's how I'm going to find them." Turning back to her pool, Illyana extends her arm over the silvery waters and opens her hand. Nothing seems to fall from her fingers, but the waters turn choppy and darken, before resolving into a dim image. Illyana leans out over the pool and frowns. "Not exactly what I was hoping for." She says to herself, with a grimace, then pulls back and stands up.
"Found them." She announces. "And I'm not paying anyone's dry cleaning bills." She adds, cryptically. "Shall we?"

Rogue listened ato the explanations of a cairn and she slowly nodded her head. "Oh." She replied in-short to them. "Guess… I'll tryin' remember that." She'll forget within 24 hours for sure. Rogue watched Illyana at the pool and she felt a bit reluctant about all of this. "Somethin' feel kinda off here, ya'll." She added while remaining floating off of the ground, she didn't want to be off her guard incase something tried to spring a trap on them.

Nate rolls his eyes at Illyana 'royalty'. Royal pain, mostly. But Kitty's words have killed his mood for more verbal sparring. Phasing the explosives sounded like a good idea, but looks like it is not going to be so easy.

There are other options to explore. But not here, not now. "What are you waiting for, blondie?" He asks, cracking his knuckles.

"If you knew what kind of bomb was implanted in the body, we could attempt to recreate it and see if it would detonate while being phased," Kitty tells Nate, her voice a bit softer as she offers a few other suggestions. "I'd try to phase just her, but there'd need to be someone else holding that bomb. If it's touching the person's body, everything tends to come with me into incorporealness unless it's held down. I'm not at the point yet where I can decide what comes and goes unless it's my own body. You'd need another" A thought occurs to her and she pauses. "Ihm. I might actually have an idea. If this is not something that's so hypothetical."

As Illyana makes with her magic to find the demons they're hopefully going to be hunting, she spends that time talking to Nate, waiting to hear the direction they'll be going. Limbo is a bit creepy, but she's also somewhat used to it by now. "Dry cleaning bills?" She looks at Illyana with a sigh. "I should have worn my suit. The Squad's responsible for those cleaning bills." Is that true? Who knows, but she'll offer it.

Grinning, Kitty tells Rogue, "Just think of it like a medieval signpost and this one says 'Demon Ave'." The sudden reluctance of the other mutant is met with a reach out of her hand to place on her clothed shoulder. "That's Limbo. There's a lot of magic around here. But, we've taken on some of these demons before. Everything should be alright."

If Illyana wasn't… well, Illyana, she'd probably feel bad about dragging Nate along on a demon hunt when he has other priorities. But she needs him and she needs Kitty. So he can't have Kitty until Illyana's finished with her, and that's that!

"I'm not really selling it, am I?" She asks Kitty, wry smirk twisting her lips.
As for what the blonde demoness is waiting for? Given the appraising look she's directing in Rogue's direction, she's probably waiting to see if she's going to back out now. Fortunately, Kitty's there with the reassurance. She's a lot better at that than Illyana is. "You won't have to put up with it much longer." And because she can't resist, "Can't promise we're going somewhere better, though!"

There's another flash of light, and they're somewhere else. Somewhere damp, underground, wet, and reeking. The soft glow emanating from the rune-inscribed cairn barely reaches the walls of the man-made tunnel they find themselves in, but it's enough to confirm their worst fears.

That's right, they're in a sewer.

And in the darkness around them there's the sound of heavy bodies shifting, shapes moving in the shadows.

"Hmm, that might actually be possible, Kitty," as Nate is pretty sure McCoy would have taken notes on the bomb nature and working before the surgery. Although it was three years ago or so. Hopefully they have not upgraded them much.

But that is for later, since here comes the stepping disk and they are… sewer. Nice. "They always pick the nicest places," grumbles the young man. "If I was trying to invade a different planet I would start by sunny beaches and maybe art galleries, not sewers. Stupid demons." He grunts, and his left eye glows bright golden, his telekinesis forming a forcefield around his body. His telepathy searching for nearby minds, readable or not.

Rogue looked to Kitty from beneath her black hood and she gently nodded her head. "I'm fine." She told the other in a soft voice. "This shit is just weird t'me… ya know?" She showed a faint smirk then and exhaled as she shifted her eyes over toward Illyana just in time to see their scenery change into that of a sewer which made the southern girl with the two-toned hair lift her fingers up to her nose to pinch it shut. "Nasty." She said with a closed-nose voice. Rogue definitely did NOT land on the ground in a sewer as she didn't want anything in here to get stuck onto her and her fancy new X-Men suit…

With a smirk, Kitty shakes her head at the blonde Russian and tells her in a similar tone, "Not in the slightest." The expression softens, though when she adds, "But, we're here for demons, not running on hilltops Sound of Music style. So, let's get these clothes ruined." And despite the warning, she totally might make Illyana pay for either new clothes or for them to be cleaned.

In a flash of light, they're in a sewer and Kitty groans, plugging her nose. "Ugh, I preferred the Hell Dimension," she mutters. Phasing her feet, however, she manages to make it so that she won't get too much muck on them. It also makes it easier for her to walk through anything with which they might come in contact.

Nate, despite the wrinkled nose of now being in a very unpleasant sounding place, is given a bob of her head. "If Hank still has the schematics, we can try that first. Otherwise, it might get more complicated." Her chin tilts up toward Rogue and she grins, "I guess I'm just sorta more used to magic by now." Also Magik. It's what happens when you're friends with a Queen of a Hell Dimension. "Hang with Illy enough and I'm sure you'll be hopping and skipping between Hell Dimensions in no time."

"Limbo: Better than a sewer." Illyana says, pretending to sound miffed. "If I ever Airbnb my place, Kitty, you are NOT writing the advert." When Kitty continues trying to reassure Rogue, Illyana can't help but snort. "There's something to look forward to." Even so, she sounds a little tense. She knows they're not alone down here.

Illyana slowly and deliberately reaches up and pulls the Soulsword from within her body. As her fingers close around the hilt that's suddenly just… there, polished silver armour appears around her left arm and shoulder. As Illyana raises the sword, it glows with a silver-white light, reflecting from three pairs of distinctly non-human eyes that look back at the little group from the darkness surrounding them.

"Now I know why Scott wanted to stay home." Illyana says in an even tone. "I can seal the cairn, cut off their access to Earth, but I can't do it with a N'Garai chewing on me. Think you can keep them off me while I do it?" Illyana doesn't sound quite as cheerfully flippant as she did previously. She takes a step backward, toward the cairn, dirty water swirling around her boots, and the eyes move closer. Illyana takes a breath. "Here we go." She takes another step toward the cairn…

…and three N'Garai demons, full size and utterly hideous, lunge in to the attack.

And Nate tackles the first one, aiming a telekinetically-charged punch to his ugly head before he (it?) gets to the blonde witch. "Guess we can," he grunts. Also, ow. That was like punching a brick wall even with the forcefield. Or maybe that is some kind of demon-magic skin.

Stepping back, he blasts the demon with a full force TK blast, this time sending him back and rolling through muck and concrete.

"We can certainly try," Kitty tells Illyana with a smile. A katana sword is brought up - while she didn't change her clothes, she certainly brought a weapon. She knows how things generally go when she leaves from X-HQ. Flinging herself forward, Kitty ducks and weaves her way though the demons. For the time being she does not phase, meeting the large and hideous demon creatures in an effort to keep them off of Illyana so she can seal the cairn. "Scott owes us a beer after this," she yells out.

Rogue was about to respond to the others when she saw Nate go for an attack on the demons in the dark. "Figures." She said then in her thickly accented voice. With aheavy exhale, Rogue crouched down and jammed her hands into the sewer floor beneath her… a moment later and she was tearoing a massive chunk of rock and filthy up into the air front of her.

Rogue could see Kitty phasing about, but she didn't want to hurt her either way, so with a shout of "Heads up!" Rogue starts charging forward at the Demons that Nate wasn't battling, intending to slam right into them with that makeshift-wall of rock and sewer filth!

An evil grin flickers across Illyana's lips as the other X-Men go to work. The N'Garai aren't going to know what's hit them. Kitty's lethal when she wants to be, Nate's an atom bomb when he remembers to be, and Rogue… Rogue's just a powerhouse all the time.

Case in point, a pair of demons vanish beneath Rogue's frankly disgusting onslaught! They're not finished, but they'll be stunned for a moment or two before they can even think about digging themselves out. It's a perfect opening.

Illyana whirls around and runs for the cairn, boots splashing through the water, skidding to a halt just before it. She can hear the sounds of battle behind her - Nate is never subtle - but she doesn't look over her shoulder to see how things are going. "Those lessons better have been worth it, Stephen." She raises her arms calls out dark words that echo strangely from the walls of the sewer, and a pentagram flares into existence around the cairn. Illyana looks briefly surprised by how well that worked. "I'd take you to Limbo but I don't want you comparing notes with my critters." She tells the cairn casually, and resumes her incantation.

After a few moments, a wind lifts her hair, blowing /towards/ the cairn. A wind that anyone without a shred of demon within them won't even feel, but which drags at the N'Garai like a howling gale, sucking them back toward the cairn. Illyana smiles spitefully, and turns toward the others. She opens her mouth to call out - and a claw closes around her throat. Impossibly, even as the other N'Garai are being drawn toward the cairn, a scaled, demonic arm is reaching out from the stone, and trying to drag Illyana in with them.

Silver armour forms between her flesh and the demon, protecting her from having the life choked out of her, but the Soulsword drops from her fingers as she clamps both of her hands around the arm and braces herself… but her boots are already sliding in the muck underfoot.

Kitty continues to hound the N'Garai with the katana. She's not really doing much damage, but she doesn't have to kill them as long as Illyana can shut down the cairn. Every once in awhile, she glances behind her to check on her friend's status. She sees the scaled arm reach up and grab her, but there's nothing she can do about it, harried by the demon in front of her. If she phases through the demon, it will go after Nate or Illyana. If she keeps at it, she can't help her friend. "Illy!" she shouts.

When Rogue's rubble slam manuever had landed and crushed two of the demons into the ground she used the rocky wall in her hands to smash them repeatedly like she had done with the truck-on-the-bus back in the Danger Room. Again and again she screamed and slammed the rock wall into them until it broke apart in her hands and she was left hovering there above them, panting heavily with an angry snarl on her face.

The southern belle spins around when she hears shouting from Kitty and she spots Illyana in trouble down the wet and slimey corridor. Rogue lifts up and shoots forward at near super-sonic speed within the sewer, sending a wave of filthy water and sludge in her wake! (Looks out Kity!)

Magik's Soulsword is unwittingly grabbed before it even hits the ground and Rogue sweeps around in a wide arch to send the sword's blade in a baseball-bat-like swing for the Demon's neck, intending to behead the creature that is threatening their teammate and friend!

Illyana hears Kitty's shout but there's no way she can respond. She's barely getting any air and she's not going to be able to stop herself being pulled into the cairn - and into the N'Garai's dimension - for more than a few more seconds…

But she doesn't need to, because Rogue has her covered. She might not get many points for style (because seriously, that swing?) but it's hard to argue with success! The Soulsword does what it was created to do, and slays the demon. Illyana goes tumbling back into the muck as the claw around her neck jerks open with the creature's death spasm, and the ethereal wind drawing the N'Garai back to the cairn reaches hurricane force.

For a moment, the N'Garai look almost comical, like mimes pushing against an insubstantial wind, but then they're ripped from their feet and sent tumbling toward the cairn, vanishing into its stone surface one after another. There's a flare of light from Illyana's pentagram, then darkness and silence.

The silence is broken by Illyana's voice, sounding hoarse from the abuse her throat has taken. "Everyone still alive? Kitty? Great. This was fun. Let's go home. Scott definitely owes us beer." A pause. "Rogue, I owe you one. But…" The sword in Rogue's hand blazes with light again as Illyana reaches out a hand. "…giving you my hell dimension to rule would be a horrible way to say thank you." She looks over at Kitty with a smirk. "If Scott thinks I'm using the door covered in THIS, he's going to be disappointed."

After beheading the demon, Rogue finally touched down onto the cold and disgusting sewer floor. She was no swordswoman, so her swing hadn't been fancy and she didn't hold the sword likely how its supposed to be held… but she did reach over and offer it back to Illyana. "Not my style." She said with a smile at the other. "I'm more of a hair pullin' and fingernail clawin' type… but hey, it worked." Rogue wasn't aware of any negative ill-effects (illy-effects?) of using that sword, that may or may-not soon befall her. Rogue reached up to push her hood off the back of her head then and she looked over to see where Nate or Kitty were.

With one last swing of the katana, Kitty fends back the N'Gorai until they are sent back into the cairn. Once that is done, she quickly moves forward to her friend's side. "Illy, are you okay?" That's her first thought; she can't help if it is selfish. A hand reaches out and the katana is held loosely in her hands. It's not magic, she'll sheathe it normally once she finds out that everyone is okay. Giving Rogue a grin, she says a bit tiredly, "Well, for not knowing how to deal with this sort of stuff, I think you did pretty well, there."

"I'm fine." Illyana replies to Kitty - then clears her throat painfully in an attempt to sound more like herself. "Really." She's not usually one for touching but it's Kitty, she'll make an exception. "Thanks for being worried." She adds, with a slightly odd smile.

Illyana takes the Soulsword back from Rogue with good grace - rather than snatching it back like a child with a favourite toy, as might have been expected. "The demon's dead. When it comes to beheadings, that's all that matters." The smile that accompanies Illyana's words probably isn't as reassuring as it's intended to be.

Digging out her communicator, she flicks something unpleasantly unidentifiable off of the casing. "Scott? Our demon problem is dealt with." She clicks it off. "Let's get out of here. I need to shower and then burn my clothes."

A flash of light, and the X-Men are gone.

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