Night Riders

May 06, 2017:

Wanda and Scott encounter a demon.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

A Westchester night. These are cold and during some seasons downright frigid and unbearable but Scott Summers can't sleep and has decided a ride over dark streets is exactly what he needs. The motorcycle he is on snarls with a life of it's own weaving back and forth along the silent empty road until it sputters, makes a noise it shouldn't and he is coasting it to the curb. It shouldn't do that. The bike is well kept. Scott's a perfectionist in these regards.

A sigh and he walks a small circle around it, inspecting quietly.

The Witching Hour. Not something someone of the Occult nature is unfamiliar with, a certain time of the day when the world veils are supposed to be thinner, a time when slipping between realities is easiest. A time when creatures from beyond our reality are strongest. Scarlet Witch is no stranger to the night beings. The X-Men themselves are actually quite familiar and have been plagued in the past by menaces that Cththon himself conjured up from the Flickering Realms, creatures known as the N'Garai.

Scott is unaware he has become prey. Unaware his bike was shutdown by a creatures powers be they sinister magics or not. No, this is something the Scarlet Witch is more likely to be aware of and this county of Westchester, this dominion is that of the X-Men and all their allies.

Wanda doesn't sleep much to start with but when she feels reality being disrupted so close, then the very idea of rest is no more. Space warps. Reality folds in upon itself. And then a rather unsteady Scarlet Witch is emerging from what looks like think air - albeit with a momentary shimmering red halo around her body. Her boots hit solid ground beneath her and she takes a couple of steadying steps before her eyes open and no more strange, archaic words can be heard from her muttering lips.

But there isn't a hideous creature in front of her but rather it is… "Scott?" There are some who would call him a hideous creature but Wanda's not one of them. She nervously glances around as she slowly walks towards him. Her twitching fingers sparkling with scarlet energy. "Is everything okay?" she asks, still unable to shake that Eastern European accent of hers. Wanda is in 'uniform' - black boots, black leggings, scarlet corset and a scarlet jacket over it all.

Scott is kneeling down right now, his hand hand still probing over the bike as Wanda materializes, "Who? Wanda Maximoff?" Full name. Dossier pops to mind first, brief contact a member of the X-Men he has never really been able to fully meet. Magneto's daughter, a former member of X-Red, now a member of the X-Men proper. Straightening up his ruby red glasses shimmer as his head moves, light reflecting from her sparkling energy. A responsive flare.
"What are you doing out here at this hour?" Pause. "You live at the school right? I think I seen you in the residents list." It is a distance away. She must have teleported or this is a chance encounter.

Scott is no fool. Beyond his distraction of Scarlet he can feel like hes being watched. It's a survival thing. Wanda on the other hand can as well feel it, a familiar foreboding presence, the thing that stalks has recoiled at her presence. It's form hunkering in on itself as it lets out a chitterpop sound like mandibles clicking together, large ones. Wet sounds between them as teeth grind over something. It can taste her magic in the air. She is interrupting a potential meal. It remains hidden, still the hunter despite it's prey growing more dangerous and numerous.

"Sometimes I live a the school, sometimes not" Wanda shrugs absently, her attention more on what is lurking in the darkness. She can feel its presence but these things hide so very well. Though things do hide well when they should not be here. "It is not safe here" she adds, turning her back to him in a protective manner as her eyes dart from one dark hiding spot to another. Wanda is pretty sure she doesn't have to explain alternate dimensions and the dark horrors of the supernatural to Scott, so hopefully that means they can get out of here pretty quickly.

"You need to go" Scarlet Witch almost whispers, her magics glowing brighter around her right hand. "Something has come through from another side." Was that a clicking she heard? She can almost smell its acrid breath. A chill down her spine at being so close to it. "I do not know if eye-beams will hurt it."

"Only sometimes? That sounds like a lot of our X-Men family lately. We should talk sometime, maybe fix that." Scott isn't about to go full Professor on her right now.

"I thought something was off. Do you know what it is or where? We can test that theory." The red glasses brighten with a light of their own, a crimson flare of life sparking outwards.

The N'Garai demon hisses in to the dirt, it's head low, eyes slit and it begins to sway. It is lost in a situation that has it confused, fight or flight. It is always wanting to fight, to eat, to taste, to hurt but something about this went from fun to dangerous. It scampers sideways, shuffling from one bush to straighten up behind a cluster of thin trees.

"Can you lure it out?" Scott questions. It's dark and he cannot hear it nor see it. It is simply pitch black beyond the road. No animal sounds. It's dead. Demons usually inspire such an atmosphere. Nature retreats.

Even partial-professor makes Wanda bristle. "I am not sure what it is" she replies, happy to change the subject. "But it does not belong here." Her lips purse as she thinks a little more. "Perhaps N'Garai. Always hungry. I think it wanted to eat you." A quick nod to the bike. "And it probably did that."

Scarlet Witch spots the movement of the creature from the corner of her eye - the best way to see demons. Though Scott's question does get a curious look from her. "Lure?" What does he think she is? A deep breath at the coldness of the world around them. Reality is not what it used to be. "I can try" she decides with a little huff before she starts muttering strange, ancient words under her breath. She is doing her best to distort them to the creature's senses. Where once it saw…maybe even felt…two beings that could be dangerous, now she changes that perception to one being. And a being…prey…that is no threat to the N'Garai. At least she hopes that it will have that effect.

"N'Garai? Thats a word I haven't heard in a long time. They're like cockroaches up here." Dangerous six to nine feet tall ones. The X-Men had encountered them in the past, a cairn that is a portal actually exists on Institute grounds. There is rumored to be several more around Westchester, placed there long ago to keep them out. The X-Men never found all of them and Cyclops isn't about to say it was him who busted the original by accident. The one that lead them to actually getting to know the N'Garai.

"I'll follow your lead." Scott offers with a slight smile as he remains just behind Wanda's shoulder.

The N'Garai now sniffs the air, confused at the lack of two where there are two smells. It is a soldier though, a hunter, its job is to bring back information not process and strategize. It snarls now, there is a rush of wind and it is leaping at the creature that was two beings but now only one, a lone target, this odd smelling mutant-human.
It's visible now, definitely an N'Garai a tall skinny beast of teeth, fangs, golden blazing eyes and rough lumpy grey skin. It's target is the WandaScott Hybrid. An object to kill, chew upon and drag back to the others.
"I think I lured it out" Wanda whispers to Scott as the nightmare creature leaps at her…them…or at least the strange form she has created near them. She winces at how ugly it is but, to be fair, she's seen worse. "Try your beam!" No point trying to hide their presence now. Scarlet's fingers twitching and contorting as her magic explodes from her hands. But rather than smash the monster to atoms, it actually creates a reality cage around them all. The beast is not getting away now. Not in this world at least. A lattice of magical energy around, above and under them all. "I hope it is flesh and blood…ish."

"They were flesh and blood enough to hurt last time!" Scott shouts before an optic beam lances out. A red flash of light that rips through the creature. It is surprisingly tough, despite the force and impact only half of it is peeled away, one arm, a portion of it's torso still remain and it claws widely, it's reach allowing it to hit the spot where both Wanda and Scott are. Reaper's talons splayed wide on that singular remaining hand. Another shot or a wider one would have atomized it. It is contained though, it won't be running away or going anywhere as Wanda ensnares them. They're trapped with it and it with them.
"Look out!" The creature is faster than him and Wanda is closer to it, he won't be able to grab her in any heroic fashion at best he can make the attempt, try to snare her jacket or anything and yank. A demons speed exceeds that of mortal man unfortunately.
Thankfully, it is not quicker than thought. The words from her mouth change as the Scarlet Witch's magic redirects to manipulate the reality around the half a creature that still comes at them. Time slows. The N'Garai slows. Its claw sweeping down towards Wanda…but moving slower and slower. Sweat pouring from the Witch's skin as she focuses…and girds herself for impact. Though the demon is slowed, Scott is not, and he is able to pull her out of the way of those hideous claws…just.

Drawing Wanda away from the N'Garai's thrashing assault Scott releases another unrelenting blast, this time it isn't just one but several and maintained. What remains of that demon becomes little more than a puddle of ash.
As if he was holding his breath until it was done Scott exhales, his jaw unclenching in a display that makes muscle underneath his cheek move.

"Well done." He manages in to the silence. "If there is one there are probably more. We'll have to assemble a team later… " A quick look down at Wanda , "Are you all right?"
"I am fine" Wanda manages to reply, though she is breathing heavy and struggling to find her footing again. Changing reality is a tiring business. A wipe of the sweat from her forehead before she is looking over the pile of ash with a frown. "More of them?" She looks at the darkness around them and nods. "Da, I think we could do with the help. Do you think they are around here? I should do something to keep people away."

"He was alone so likely just a scout. Not one of the thinkers. Guessing from the time until sun up I imagine his cairn is within two miles." Scott estimates. "We'll tell the others and canvas this area during the daylight. Maybe this will be easy and isn't a fullscale invasion." A thoughtful hand extends out to steady Wanda's elbow while she reorients herself, "Can you manage something to keep them away from this area for now? Until we can come back with reinforcements?"

Wanda nods to Scott's request as she takes in a deep breath. "I will try." She closes her eyes and starts to mumble once more. Her hands projecting a scarlet glow on the world around them. After about thirty seconds she goes quiet and her arms lower once more. "That should do it. I hope it will make anyone…anything…uneasy to come near here. At least for a little while." Wanda nods to the bike. "Is it working now? Shall we ride or take the faster route?"
"Lets hope."

"You've done enough and we're not far from the mansion. We can ride." Scott assumes at least, if the bike starts up with the N'Garai gone. Seating himself he fires it up and the familiar growl of it's engine rumbles forth, "Answers that. Hop on." He offers her the only helmet available. "Besides, that thing interupted me, I may as well get the return trip."
Wanda takes the helmet and slips it on. "Weren't you going somewhere?" she asks as she gets on the back of the seat and wraps her arms around his waist. "You asked me what I was doing out so late. Should I ask you the same question?" She'll have to yell a bit over the sound of the bike - he may not like her talking in his head.

"No. I was just out. Taking a breather from all of it." Scott recalls his conversation with the Professor, their discussion about how he hasn't taken a beat for himself since his return. He is trying to find a balance. As Wanda gets comfortable on the bike behind him he pushes off and they take a U turn, he road back towards the institute being taken. "Couldn't sleep. I've been unable to lately so I was up. Your turn."'
"I do not sleep much. And when I do I am a light sleeper" explains Wanda. "It is what happens when you have lived on the street and expect everyone wants to hurt you any moment. So I was reading when I felt the reality shift. The door that opened to let that thing into ours. I came to see if I could help." A pause. "Though I am sure you could have handled it alone."
"I don't know. It was fast and I wasn't entirely aware it was there. Survival instincts only cover so much, it probably would have waited." Scott leans to the side, the bike with it as they take a sharp turn, street signs sweeping past quickly. "So I owe you one." The speed they're traveling demands she holds on tight, its obvious Captain Serious of the X-Men is a bit of a speed junkie. Fortunately he has been riding this stretch of concrete since he was seventeen. "You know no one at the mansion wants to hurt you right? You're one of us. You're as safe as can be."

"My family did not want to hurt me either and they promised we would be safe. But we were not" Wanda deadpans in reply. "Sometimes it is not up to you, Scott. You can promise all you want but that does not make it so." She is clinging on tight - not as much of a speed junkie as the driver. "I have met people who have come from the future or different timelines. Sometimes the same people I have met here. And they are frightened of me. You may say that no one wants to hurt me at the mansion, and I believe that, but that is only /now/. One day they may want to hurt me a lot."

A series of left and right swoops and they're slowing down as headlights begin to pass. Eased up enough Scott isn't shouting over his shoulder at her, "Then you realize too you're not the only one. If you have even a taste of all those different realities you're aware of what the rest of us, the others, have suffered or are suffering. Unity. It is fairly important word for us. And you think me saying it doesn't make it so? Clearly we need to get to know one another more." The X-Men's former leader grins, it's not a face encompasing grin but it is enough to twist his lips. "You'll just have to try and come to terms with the idea that not everyone is out to hurt you. At least not with us. Just give a hard squeeze or jab if you want me to slow down. There is some hills ahead… we're taking them fast." Luckily for her it is the last stretch before they're at the mansion's road.
"My brother is Quicksilver. I may not like speed but I am used to it" Wanda deadpans…though she hands on a little tighter. "People change, Scott. Reality changes. I should know. You cannot be sure that a person will react the same way forever. There are too many threads being woven to be certain where they lead. Though I would not have it any other way. Chaos is life, Scott. I do not think /everyone/ is out to hurt me but I /know/ some people are. So I have to be wary."

"Wary is fine. Fearful? Not so much. Can't live gripped by it." Scott counters, the hills are no joke, not many but enough to pick up some serious speed, he is careful though he does have a passenger and hes not going full tilt like he would alone. Maybe just enough to make her spook here and there, spark some life, tighten up and hold on. Even a guy like him has the occasional tug of humor.

"Your brother, right, the speedster." Scott says this as casually and indifferent as possible. They're soon slowing to a crawl, the mansion's outer walls before them, the gates opening automatically, Wanda can feel Illyana's aged wards pass over her and the Shi'ar to future tech security systems flicker. Recognition of Scott and Wanda is there. "And we're home." The garage is approached, the bike finally stopping as he walks it to a complete halt. Not getting up and off of it until she has.

Scott is the only one laughing after such a ride. "Da, the speedster" Wanda confirms once she has finished clenching her eyes shut and relaxed her teeth grinding. She gets off the bike with a bit of a wobble. "Thank you for the lift." It's the polite thing to say. "One of my homes" she notes as she stretches out. "I also stay with the Avengers. And with Witchdoctor if she is around. She is new to this world."

"Yeah, thats what I said. Home, one of your homes." Scott doesn't persist with it. He finally feels like he can sleep. "Anytime. It was a nice change of pace to finally get to meet you for real not just in passing." He has to update files for her later, the X-Men have nothing about her and Witchdoctor. The Avengers? Likely. They're allies of a sort. Both share the same end goal.

"Don't be a stranger, Wanda. Might want to sleep as well, I'm going to call on who I can to deal with this possible N'Garai outbreak today." Hopefully its nothing massive, a fluke at best. They'll see.

"Nice to meet you properly too" Wanda smiles before glancing up at the mansion. "Home was X-Red but that is no more. And now I live where my brother used to…wherever he has gone. Let me know what you find out about the demons. I will let you know if I feel them again. Good night, Scott. Sleep well." With that she heads of the interior of the mansion and one of her homes.

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