Impulse's Adventures in Avalon

November 03, 2017:

An accidentally attempted take-down ends up with Darkedge having an unexpected guest when he travels to his home realm. And suddenly, undead army!

New York -> Avalon


NPCs: Necromancer, Morgana



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

The night is dark; a new moon. A low cover of clouds, daring to rain, cover the stars and turn the sky into dark boil of not-quite storm. It really is the perfect lighting for something shadowy.

Tonight, the something shadowy is the figure of a man, nearly six feet tall, in all black leather. And by leather, biker leather is not meant. It's soft mat suede, accented by black stitching along the seams. The curling elegant embroidery smacks of cursive writing, but is in no human script. The cut is distinctive in that it would be more at home at a ren faire or an Assassin's Creed cosplay than the streets of New York City.

And yet, here he is.

Hood drawn up to shadow his face and hide his hair, the man steps from the shadowy doorway of an apartment building whose lights are off and denizens are clearly asleep.

And he does not look like he belonged there as he steps out on the sidewalk and starts across the street… between intersections. Add jaywalking to trespassing.

Right place, wrong time? Or wrong place, right time? Or right place, right time? Or…

Regardless, it's not a question Bart dwells upon for very long. As it so happens, he hadn't meant to dwell very long in the area either. But it's the weekend and even when it's not, the young Speedster tends to spend afternoons and a few nights out of the week, bumming around the Titan's Tower.

There's probably plenty of heroes and vigilantes and what have you to roam around in the darker hours to make sure that evil of some sort doesn't raise its foul head, and Bart Allen isn't about to fight them for rights to patrolling, which is why this right here? Is mostly just for fun. An evening jaunt while he waits his turn for gaming, or something equally trivial of the sort. It's really not a surprise for anyone who knows him.

Of course, on the off chance that there is something afoot, well, it's all the better that he'd gone out in the first place, now, isn't it? In his usual red and white costume, Impulse peers out from around a corner, watching the dark figure who makes his way across the street. People walking around at this time of the night are always subject to suspicion when they're skulking in shadows, and being darkly dressed doesn't really help disperse any thoughts otherwise. Hmm, what's this guy up to..?

Reaching the opposite side of the street, the leather clad figure makes his way to the alley. As he walks, he lifts a hand to open his hand and glance at the ring he has. It is small and sparkly and not his. Can't be, if one considers his manner of dress and the frilly design of the bauble. Long leather clad fingers curl around the piece of jewelry again just as he steps into a shadow…

…and vanishes.

Two blocks down, he steps from another shadow, headed for a non-descript door to what looks like a hole in the wall pub.

For all that Impulse seems to try too hard to be inconspicuous in his tailing attempts, somehow or another he manages to pull it off. In a blur he's made it to the adjacent street, peering down the shadowy alley where the stranger had gone. Oh, he'd saw that ring. Maybe it had been lifted from that apartment? Well, Impulse can take on a-

…thief? Wait, where'd he go? There's a visibly confused look on the teen's face as he finds no one in the alley, which seems impossible since the guy had just been there not a second ago- and that's meant quite literally, given who's doing the measuring!

Frowning hard, Impulse looks around and then speeds off, now all the more intent on finding the guy. There's more to that guy than he'd originally thought.

It doesn't take the speedster long to find him. It would have only taken him a few seconds longer if the leatherclad figure had ended up on the opposite side of the city. Two blocks away isn't really anything. There's no warning as Impulse practically hurls himself down the way after the guy. Of course he could have taken precautions, been more careful about it, but naturally, this is the first idea to spring to mind, and of course it's linked immediately to a follow-through.

Ring pocketed as Darkedge emerged from the shadows, the elf was opening the door to the pub when Impulse ran into him.

Literally, run into.

The elf doesn't make a sound even though it's clear that the impact knocked some of the wind from him. Inwards they fall, off the harsh New York street and into the firelit innards of a medieval fantasy tavern, not unlike Tolkien's Prancing Pony.

Together they fall, but it's not the floor they hit. It's a shadow. Rather, they fall INTO a shadow, for the shadow the two of them create is just thick enough for Darkedge to teleport the pair of them clear across the room.

It's a short step for the dark-loving elf. Nothing drawing, even with a passenger, and for Darkedge nothing at all to trouble himself over. The ride for his passenger, he knows, will be less than pleasant. What with the sudden darkness and absolute chill it brings, which Darkedge's leathers are enchanted to protect him from, he's betting on his assailant not being ready to deal with it so that he can use the momentum of their appearance near a wall to spin them and drive his shoulder into Impulse's chest and into the wall.

…well that wasn't supposed to happen.

Things had been going all according to plan- up until they went through the floor, and he's more than certain that he hadn't accidentally vibrated them through it. For the moment Impulse doesn't even give the unusual decor of the in a second thought since- well, to be fair, he rarely gives second thoughts to anything, but more so in this instance because there are quite a few things happening that hadn't been expected.

Normally, the kid's one to roll with the punches, readjust on the fly. Such is not the case here.

The scenery shifts, the lighting changes. For someone who wasn't attuned to certain speeds due to particular Forces, it would have been downright dizzying! For Impulse, it's just confusing as he notes each change in the breath's span of time that it all occurs.

The shock of cold still hits him hard, given an extra edge for the onslaught of darkness as though he were momentarily blinded. He's more resilient than the average human, but the experience still leaves him discombobulated enough that Darkedge still gets the upperhand. Even the previous cold isn't enough to numb him completely to the pain of getting slammed from the front and against the wall. Um… what was that about not being dizzy earlier? That might have to be rescinded.

Human. Darkedge sneers at the human appearance of his assailant. The few people in the tavern at this hour, recognizing the black leather and now-visible silver hair of the Queen's assassin, back away. Monopolizing on his upperhand, Darkedge presses a razor sharp diamond blade that has somehow appeared in his hand (read: Freakin' Magic, Man!) to the human's throat. Metallic silver eyes narrow and his lips twitch with a heavy desire to sneer. A desire Darkedge very nearly succumbs to.

"Explain," is all the elf says, in English. His voice is deeper than his frame would hint it being and the tone of his voice his horse, as if he hadn't spoken in months and is only now saying something out loud. There is hardly any force or volume given to it, and it barely crosses the space between himself and Impulse with the distinct sensation of the sound being spat out.

Elf. If the color and cant of his eyes didn't give him away, then the pointed tips of his ears visible in the spider silk strands of silver hair would give it away now that tussle of movement has knocked the hood back and away from the pale elf's face. Darkedge is the kind of pale that has never seen the sun.

Squeezing his eyes shut to try driving back the sensation of everything swimming around him, Impulse finally opens them again to get a good look at the guy he's been tailing. He blinks, those amber eyes behind the yellow tinted goggles of his widening, although to be noted, not at all in fear as one might normally express under the given circumstances.

"…whoa," he breathes, which…doesn't particularly explain anything. Sure, the guy in front of him holding a blade to his neck might be just a really good cosplayer or something, and even if he were, it's still a pretty impressive look.

The blade is pressed closer, edge almost resting on the boy's skin. There is no shake to the elf's hand, no indication that he would be at all upset at slitting the youth's throat here and now before continuing on his way.

Patrons looks on in shock and awe. The human didn't answer and the Blade hasn't gutted him. The Blade must be sick or something!

A feather could be heard falling in the silent inn, a silence broken by a sudden rattle from outside. Like rattlesnakes… in metal full plate. Bone and metal, and coming closer.

Okay, now that's getting uncomfortable. Impulse actually frowns now, head leaning back, however little it can being that he's held against a wall. "Um, okay. Explanation- wait, shouldn't it be obvious? You were the one skulking around all suspicions-like," he says. Hah! Is this a bad guy trick? Reverse psychology? Wait no, that's not how it works. Even so, with an immediate threat posed to him so directly, the teenaged Speedster still doesn't seem very fazed by it.

In fact, he's not even paying attention to Darkedge any longer the moment he picks up the unusual sound. It really doesn't sound like anything one would normally expect in New York, although even that he'll have to admit doesn't mean it wouldn't be completely impossible. His frown turns more thoughtful, his brow scrunching in that sort of puzzle-considering manner.

"…hey, you hear that?"

Sulking around? He's an assassin! Sulking about is what Darkedge does! Frown for frown the elf's eyes narrow as the human youth seems unfazed by the seriousness of his current predicament. Especially as his attention turns away from… Darkedge half-blinks at the sudden feel of a sickly dark uncomfortable fog of magic behind him, outside the tavern.

The assassin lets his hold slacken minutely as he does indeed here the clatter of bone on bone, metal on metal; the rattling shuffle of the undead.

«Confirm that you can hear me,» the elf requests, pressing his thoughts toward the human youth while letting him go in favor of turning toward the still open door. Open, but not open to a New York street. Rather, the open doorway reveals a footpath out to a medieval fantasy village, with trees and horses, but no blacksmith.

Darkedge has encountered humans who could hear his mind's touch, the thoughts he Sends their way. Sending thought is much easier than speaking aloud.

Quieter too.

If he were really considering the situation, he might realize that it might indeed be serious given that the elf's interests seem to shift towards whatever's making their approach. Impulse rubs his throat where only moments before had a blade been held there, more reflex than out of actual pain. Amber eyes blink behind goggles as the elf's voice resounds in his head.

"-loud and clear," he says before clamping a hand over his mouth, if briefly. "Er, wait, am I suppose to think back? Does it work two-way or is it only one-" He trails off as he finally has a chance to look towards the door, gaping open like a hole to some entirely different reality- which in a way, it is, save that they seem to have technically already passed that boundary in coming here. "-whoa where are we???"

Yeah, Impulse? Not so quiet, and not nearly so concerned about what sorts of potential skeletal horrors might be coming this way.

«If you can Send, do so. If you cannot, speak. I care not,» retorts the elf, a blade of diamond oozing from the sleeve of his other arm and into his palm. It's a perfect twin to the other.

« Avalon. Be mindful, human. Your kind is not fully welcome. As for what lays beyond… Smells like death. it would be best that you wait here and do not meddle,» Darkedge states, stepping toward a shadow. Through it and out of a shadow of a tree outside, his mental voice didn't even so much as waver as the elf moved through the darkness.

Given Impulse's speed, he'd have the perception to see Darkedge's body decorporalize, turn into shadow itself, then become part of the shadow he stepped into, and then the process reversing itself at the elf's destination.

"One way, then," Impulse acknowledges, if perhaps slightly disappointed. Well, probably better for Darkedge that way. The elf would otherwise be subjected to some rather colorful mental imagery.

There's nothing short of amazement that shows on his face as the elf informs him of where they are. "Avalon, as in like…King Arthur and stuff?" He's sure he's read/watched/played something involved with something or the other in relation. Just wait until he tells Tim!

It's not often that someone leaves before he can say anything more- usually it's the other way around. He might have been about to object to being told to wait and not meddle, but Darkedge's nifty shadow trick sure manages to distract him. Now that is pretty cool.

Hopefully the elf won't get a heartattack when he finds out that Impulse is suddenly there not at all far from where Darkedge has stepped out from, peering around the tree too eagerly for his own good as he tries to see what's the cause of that strange racket.

Yeah. He's so not sitting this out. Darkedge should just be glad that Impulse hasn't decided to take off and see ALL THE THINGS the moment he'd been told he was in Avalon.

One way. This does not bother the elf. That humans can hear him at all was a surprise. He's not sure he's ready for humans to be able to Send back! The question of King Arthur isn't answered, for Darkedge has no answer and there are more important things to deal with.

Like a horde of skeletons in iron armor. Darkedge sneers when that comes to light. The expression is surprised away when Impulse is suddenly there.

Focus, elf.

«You plan to meddle. If you die, the fault does not lay with me. I told you not to meddle,» the elf notes before peering out from around the tree with Impulse.

What they see before them is straight out of Army of Darkness. Yes, skeletons. In rusting armor, shambling toward the tavern and the village beyond. In his hands, the diamond blades shimmer and shift into diamond batons.

«Blunt force is best. Avoid the claws. Don't die. I'd have to have to kill you again.»

A dozen or more game scenarios are going through Bart's mind as he finally sees what's coming. He only glances briefly at Darkedge. "That looks like a lotta baddies out there. I mean, I could be wrong and you can totally take 'em all yourself, but it'd be bad if they spread out and went after other people here, right?"

So yeah, fat chance is he just going to watch. Meddling and hero-ing seem to have but a fine to define one from the other anyway.

"Blunt force, 'kay." Blink. "-hey, what do you mean kill again?"

«Very bad.» confirms the elf. It's dark enough out that he doesn't need his hood up. Undead like the daylight about as much as he does. With the human prepared to help engage in battle, and Darkedge not yet sure what the youth is capable of, Darkedge steps from the tree line and toward the incoming horde.

Really? He wants to know what Darkedge means about kill again? Okay then.

«These were all alive once upon time. So, if they cut you down and you die… I will kill you again when you get back up to attack.» So, don't die.

Understanding shows in the form of slightly widening eyes and the o-shape of his mouth. Impulse nods. "Gotcha," he begrudgingly notes.

With the elf moving out from cover, he sees no reason why he needs to wait either. Waiting really isn't the Speedster's strong point anyway. To his credit, Impulse doesn't immediately attack, but neither is he standing by the tree any longer. He's a blur, zipping easily around trying to find the end of the skeleton horde. It's not really odds he's worried about, and he's not particularly concerned about how fast they can possibly move. But he wants to get a better look at what all he might be dealing with here. Weapons? Any particular details besides watching out for claws? Ah, Red Robin'd be proud of him for thinking to do recon first- albeit it's kind of on the reckless side, and well, the entire situation probably could have been avoided altogether if Bart had stopped to think in the first place.

A blur. A red blur. The white is novel, but the rest… too familiar.

«Another one.» Darkedge lets the thought drift, with a sense of at least now I know sort of what you are capable of. I'll judge the rest of you on how you treat me here after. For now, the elf watches the youth zip away, and through the crowd of undead.

The crowd have assorted weapons, from limbs to rusted swords, this is a horde of numbers more than anything else.

By the tree, Darkedge observes, frowning again when it's completely clear that these skeletons are packing cold iron. Whomever has brought these creatures to Avalon know how the fae react to the metal. Darkedge knows how he reacts, and avoiding even the slightest touch is now his highest priority.

Weapons. Armor. Typical fantasy fare. Or is it faire?

There's perhaps the slightest hitch in his speed at hearing the elf's mental commentary, not nearly noticeable enough to the naked eye. It's the slightest moment of hesitation. He can't exactly question Darkedge right now with an army of skeletons between them.

Oh, right. Bad guy monster things.

Turning his attention towards them, Impulse wastes not a moment longer as he suddenly veers straight into the midst of them, launching a kick at the back of one of them as he comes directly out of his high-speed dash. "Dominoes!"

Four skeletons topple, each one with less damage than the last. The first crumbles, dessicrated bones too dry and too brittle to withstand the high speed impact.

The commotion draws the attention of others, and they turn toward Impulse, moving to attack in a disorganized mess.

Cue elf.

Darkedge appears from Impulse's shadow, right at the boy's feet. The elf is immediately rolling away, bashing at the leg bones of one of the skeletal warriors with those diamond batons.

«We find the necromancer, we find the source. You are faster. Locate him and put a knife to his heart.» Because killing solves everything, right?

That more or less got the effect he was looking for. The mass of skeletons didn't seem to have a very orderly march, after all. He supposes he can only expect so much from a bunch of dead guys. Shaking off his shoes, Impulse gasps as Darkedge surges practically from right beneath his feet to take down another of the undead.

"Nice!" he quips, just before narrowly jerking his head aside to avoid a swing from another skeleton attempting to come up from the side. "Whoop!" He swings his foot up to bicycle kick the thing's head off, and not a second after his feet touch the ground again does he charge right towards and straight through the warrior, leaving it clear to be swung at by a miscalculated strike of another.

"A necromancer? Of course…" the Speedster murmurs, ducking and limbo-dodging the less than graceful efforts of the skeleton crew. He makes a face at the elf's directions. Yeah, that's not how he nor the Titans operate. He'll…figure out something. Maybe. For now, the red and white blur streaks off, faster than the eye can catch.

Now, where would a necromancer be? The range can't be that far, can it?

Skeleton attacks skeleton, and neither seem slowed by this. Both merely turn to track the next living target and continue to press forward.

Darkedge takes down three more in quick succession as Impulse zips away, leaving the elf without shadows near him dark enough for him to use to get clear of the masses. Ah well. The elf assassin is a whirling dervish of lethal destruction.

«Be mindful he doesn't kill you. Your flesh will stay soft for some hours. There is no telling if it will retain your alacrity when he bends your flesh to his will.»

Helpful elf is helpful, and cheerful, and narrowly avoiding the cold iron weaponry.

Range, only several hundred yards, and it doesn't take Impulse long to locate a woman of porcelain skin and thin waxy blonde hair, and eyes so pale blue that they look dead. The dress she wears is barely on this side of falling off her, though it manages to cling to her slim curves so as to hide most things while leaving little to the imagination.

"Talk about encouraging," Impulse mutters. Without being able to return commentary psychically, Darkedge is therefore saved the imagery of his head wreathed with gloomy ol' gray clouds like a puffy sombrero.

There is no special method to tracking people or things when it comes to the young speedster. In his mind, the easiest way to do that is to simply look everywhere, and where most can't afford to do such, Impulse can do so with ease and in record time. While it isn't difficult to find the woman, it actually takes him a second round just because she wasn't what he had expected a necromancer to look like. Part of him's still not quite sure he's found the right person- aren't they supposed to be wearing like, dark robes and have shadowy cowls or big hoods to hide their faces? And lots of bones. Maybe a staff.

He comes to an abrupt stop some ways nearby, within her peripheral. "Ummm…"

The waffish woman, looking almost the same age as Impulse, who had been walking every so slowly and steadily forward, stops and turns her face to the young hero. To her senses, he just appeared out of no where. Her brows pull up and together, and she brings her hands up looking like she's asking for a hug.

"Save me?" she asks of the speedster. Her voice is a whisper, a rasp from beyond the grave almost.

The request, or perhaps it's the gesture, has him tilt his head, brows furrowing behind his yellow-tinted goggles. There's something weird about this chick, but then again he is in some weird fantasy world with an elf that hops around people's shadows. "From what? The skele-horde's way out that way," Impulse points out, taking a step back as he strokes his chin.

Red Robin might be proud of him! He's actually thinking things out a bit!

"Hey, you haven't by any chance seen a necromancer around, have you?"

…okay never mind.

Skelehorde. This word seems not to make sense to the girl, for she ignores it, and the other question in favor of stepping toward Impulse. Her movements are slow, steady, unrushed.

"Save me," she entreats again.

"Ooookay, that's like, not answering either of the things I asked," Impulse says, frowning. She's moving slow enough that he doesn't bother backpeddling again. "Look, are you okay? It's not safe out that way. Dead things, you know? Speaking of which, I left that elf guy back there- I think he can take care of himself but I'm supposed to be looking for that necromancer."

He glances back in the direction of the village, anxiously.

"Elf? Elves are not any better than demons," says the woman almost to herself, face frowning as she continually nears.

"Come. Take my hand. I will show you the necromancer," she says, not following his gaze back toward the village, toward here Darkedge has managed to get under the shadow of a tree for a bit of extra mobility, but the numbers are too great and all it will take is time before one of them scores a lucky hit with a rusty sword to slow him enough for the rest to take him so their mistress can add him to her army.

Impulse looks back at the young woman then, blinking. "Oh hey, you can speak more than two words!" he says, his grin faltering as he considers what she's just said. "Waaait, wait waitwait- that doesn't make sense. First you were all saying 'save me' and now you're weirdly helpful." Now he takes another step back, eyeing her carefully.

"Also I disagree, elves are pretty cool." Is she on the same side as the undead? Elf-guy had said the necromancer had to be nearby, and she was the only one to stand out by far. Ugh.

He sighs. "I don't suppose I can just ask you to stop all the skeletons, huh?"

Elves are cool? The woman's face distorts into a frown. That Impulse stepped back and away from her is upsetting as well. Magic ripples about her, and her smooth skin seems to wrinkle and decade in a heartbeat. Her hands open and her eyes white out as seven bolts of magic flare to life and zip out at Impulse. He can run. They will give chase, following him, increasing speed as they go.

Magic missile.

Gosh, what's she got against elves? Of course, the fact that her flesh is practically melting before his eyes right then kind of railroads the initial reaction.

Eyes widen and then narrow as he speeds away. Well, this is more like it. The scenery is a blur around him as he tries to keep ahead of the bolts. Stealing a glance behind him, he blinks. Well, they're way more effective than heat-seeking missiles…

Impulse winds his way back around towards the necromancer- probably not having been away for even a minute. "Hey, I think you dropped these," he says all too cheerily as he charges right for her. He's not sure if she can disappear or something but it doesn't look like he's going to stop either- which he isn't. He's going to vibrate right on through. Magic missiles can't do that, can they?

With the boy zipping away, the woman turns back to her steady 'march' on the village, only to stop as Impulse comes racing back, right for her. She doesn't dodge, doesn't try to get out of the way. No. It looks like she wants the boy to touch her.

Only he doesn't. He phases right through her, past her, and she has a split second to realize those bits of magic are now right in her face. She shrieks, a horrible sound, as the seven bolts impact. She doubles over with a hiss.

The speedster skids to a halt some several feet after, turning about on his heel in time to see those bolts connect. "Olé!" he cheers. That's…not quite how it works, Impulse.

Either way he's peering at her anxiously, fist set in preparation for a pump. Game, set? How tough are necromancers? Does that stop all the skeletons? Is she already dead? Oh wait, what's he supposed to do if that's the case?

The woman's head comes up slowly before she straightens and turns back to Impulse. Hate burns in her now all white gaze. The tattered dress has been burned away in several places, offering more skin on display. It's sad that the skin is now no longer flawless, but is the stretched leather of a years old corpse. Black char marks pock her skin.

From the trees behind her, the sound of bones starts becoming louder as a portion of the army turns and starts to return to its master.

"Impure elf-lover. Death will equalize us all," she informs the youth before stretching ahand in his direction and sending a bolt of lightning his way.

"Wow what do you have against elves!" Impulse blurts as he stares, partially out of horror, mostly out of that weird kind of amazement that only a kid who's been raised in a virtual world can have in such situations. He steals a glance towards the nearing sound. Well, that's probably not good.

-and neither is the lightning she flings at him. Except that he already seems to move even before she's released it. He doesn't even dodge very far.

Lightning splatters off another tree behind where Impulse had been. Undetered and upset, the necromancer sneers and steps away from Impulse as the first of the recalled army emerge from the trees. Her eyes flicker, crackle with lightning not unlike his own do. She stretched out her arms, beckoning the army and casting Mass Haste upon her minions.

To Bart's eyes, what looks like the cackle of Speed Force lightning flickers amongst the incoming undead and their pace quickens. It's not the blur of a speedster, but they are certainly faster than any normal human… skeleton…

«Kill it already!» the elf's mind cuts in from the distance. he noticed that some of the army turned around and all but shouted mentally in the direction the army went.

Impulse's eyes go towards the oncoming undead, and he frowns as they begin to move faster. It's not enough for him to even think about being concerned, but then that's kind of the default for most situations he gets himself into, and a big part of the trouble, really.

"I'm trying..!" he grumbles, finding this one-way mental communication pretty annoying.

But how do you do that? If it's dead already, then killing it again is perfectly fine, right? His foot taps impatiently as he actually forces himself to stay still as he waits for the skeletons to close in. And then he moves, dodging and moving to avoid them. They're the things with the weapons. He just has to get them close enough to make the best use of them.

Hands brush a few skeletons as they pass her, giving them some magic toughness as they pass her by. She watches as Impulse out maneuvers her troops, costing her bodies as her skeletons miss the boy and destroy each other.

The elf has yet to emerge from the tree line. Either he's being sneaky, or he's still fighting… or he's injured.

With skeletons everywhere around him, Impulse kind of has his attention set on not getting hit by these things, and with them moving faster than they had been earlier, it's almost like fighting speed ninjas. He'd seen the woman do…something but he's not sure what. Probably not good though.

Impulse comes out of a dash, stopping right behind the necromancer to try drawing the remaining skeletons in for a good swing.

The skeletons turn to follow Impulse, but move around their mistress as she turns to face the speedster. A flick of a hand for a magical telekinetic shove to send Impulse - she hopes - slamming into a tree to slow him enough for her troops to catch him. She wants this one's body, now that she's seen what he can do, but she's learned that Magic Missile is a bad idea!

That doesn't work as well as Impulse had hoped for. He only seems to remember after the fact that it does leave him a little too close to the woman. When he turns, she's already casting, and this time he's caught off guard.

Trees aren't fun to run into. Solid objects aren't fun to slam into in general, but that's what happens. It effectively knocks the wind out of him, and for a moment he's seeing stars as he tries to work out which side is up.

The skeletons close in, one raising a rusted but still wickedly sharp sword to shove into Bart's chest when out of the shadow of the tree an elf appears and parries with those crystal batons. Blood seems down his side, but he seems to be refusing to slow, for as he holds the sword away he kicks at the skeleton's hips. Unlike before, the skeleton just stumbles backward instead of crumbling.

«She's embued them. Why didn't you kill her?» the elf hisses at Impulse's mind, the pain of the wound turning his thoughts harsh and terse.

«On your feet. There's no time.» he adds, parrying another attack before managing to crack through the upper arm of on skeleton, disarming him.

Literally! XD

"Ugggh," Impulse groans, hand clutching his head as he lifts it, and he finds himself staring at the business-end of a sword. Suddenly it's knocked away, and the elf is shouting in his head again. "I was trying to…!"

He pushes himself back to his feet, even with things still kind of wobbly around the edges. In the next couple of steps he's gone and scooped up the skeleton's sword-arm, bones and all. The next breath has him rushing the necromancer as he pulls the crude weapon back and thrusts it forward.

Darkedge fights off the horde, now the only living thing that the skeletons can track easily until Impulse slows down a fraction. The elf is having a bit more trouble now than before due to injury and the skeletons being faster than him. The necromancer is looking around for Impulse when suddenly there's a sword sprouting from her chest.

The skeletons freeze.

Darkedge beheads two before the army of darkness crumple and fall to the ground.

«Finally.» quips the elf, silver eyes settling on the human as he makes his way over to him to peer down at the not decaying body. The rot on her fades into just old person skin. Her pale blonde hair goes white and stringy, but her eyes stay open.

The baton in the elf's hand transforms smoothly into a cleaver and he hacks the woman's head off without the slightest hesitation.

«Her Majesty will be most vexed as this dark magic and cold iron so near her borders….»

He's staring wide-eyed at the body of the woman he's just buried a sword into. Wait, that's not how it's supposed to work, is it? His fingers prying away from the blade, Impulse takes a step back, staring at the transformation, looking confused and not just a little stunned. And then the woman's head is lobbed off.

"Wh… Wait, what happened?"

«We dispatch the necromancer responsible for the undead horde. It wasn't cleanly done, but it is finished.» the elf says, peering at the stunned looking human.

«Gather the bones onto the corpse. Fire is the only way to ensure there is no repeat from this particular bit of dark magic,» he adds as he tosses the head by the hair onto the body to which it had once been attached.

That doesn't particularly answer his question, but he has a feeling he knows what he'd meant to ask, and it doesn't particularly make him feel any better. It's kind of numbly that he turns to start helping with the bones, something to get his mind off of the worst, not that it's any better, really.

But Impulse keeps as far from the freshly beheaded corpse as he can. It might take a little longer than one would think otherwise with a speedster, but he's actually doing things at normal speed.

Darkedge moves to help, slower than a normal person since things hurt. But he moves without complaint, and when things are in a pile, his hood is drawn up so the enchant on his clothing will protect his vision, and with a kit from a pouch at his hip, the dry and brittle bones are set alight.

The elf steps back from this, waits a moment to make sure the pyre is established, then turns away, wordlessly summoning the human to follow.

Impulse is strangely subdued while he watches the flames catch, but he doesn't need any extra urging to follow after Darkedge. He'd just like to be away from this place as quickly as possible.

Walking through the woods, back toward the inn, Darkedge is moving with slow measured precision. He'd been wounded, but the leather armor no longer looks damaged nor dirty.

Silver eyes flick to Impulse, then away.

«Your first battle?» he inquires, terse edge of pain still flavoring the very edge of his thoughts.

At this point he should have asked the elf if he was all right, or how bad he'd been hurt. Impulse might even think to ask why the guy still insisted on using mindspeak. Instead he still keeps thinking of those last moments as he runs that old woman through with a sword.

"Huh? N-no, not my first," he says, lifting his head at the question that pops up inside of it. He glances over at Darkedge, and then steals a look over his shoulder back where smoke rises from skeleton pyres.

"…she was still alive, wasn't she…" He doesn't want to verify it, but he has to.

«Was. Yes. If she had a phylacrum, she is likely still 'alive' now…. For some more flexible definitions of the word alive,» replies the elf, having nodded to accept that it wasn't the human's first battle. Whether it was his first UNDEAD battle is another question, Darkedge supposes.

«But flame should cleanse her, destroy enough of her that should she have a phylacrum, some time will pass before she is able to reform and then further until she is capable of gathering the power to regain corporal form. Plenty of time to inform this kingdom's Lord and submit a report to my Queen,» Darkedge adds, completely unfazed by the cold blooded murder of someone, of possibly burning them alive.

That's a frustratingly confusing response that doesn't really help Impulse feel any better about things for the fact that he's still trying to figure out exactly what it means. And when it's hinted that she might not have even really died despite having a sword run through her gut and her head lobbed off, he's not sure what to feel about the whole thing.

Maybe he's just overthinking things. He tends to do that sometimes. And then his head starts to hurt. It's getting there now. Maybe he should stick back to thinking in terms of what he knows from fictional undead. That…makes a little better sense to him, but he still can't forget the banishing decay, the normal looking hair, the look on her face and those eyes still staring… Closing his own eyes, he shakes his head as though to dislodge the image from his mind.

"…and then what? Where'd she come from? They're not supposed to be here, right?"

«No. They are not, thus your question is a valid one. One for which I have no answers at this time. Nor am I likely to have any for some time. I shall send to my Queen, press into her mind what I have seen, and if she recalls me from the Human Realm to hunt this I shall do so,» replies the elf, almost smoothly. He is still bleeding under his no mended armor. Getting to a place where he can strip the top off and try to get the iron-caused wound to stop bleeding is a priority. The woman may not turn into a lich, and if she does, it will be at least a year before she's anything like a threat again. Darkedge is unworried.

«For the moment, getting you back to your realm is of importance, for you should not be here either.»

"Oh. Right." He kind of forgot about that part. Of course, what Darkedge had said only brings up lots of questions. Well, lots more questions.

"…guess I should apologize for tackling you earlier," the speedster mumbles, scratching the back of his head as he looks awkwardly towards the ground. All things considered, he can't ever see him not doing it again. The guy just looked way too suspicious, and Impulse just happened to be right there.

«Apology accepted, though not required. Were you slower, I would have stabbed you,» the elf replies simply, rolling a shoulder. The motion catches halfway through, and Darkedge's smooth breathing slows to something forcibly calm and even and shallow. His lips press into a line and his eyes tense.

Impulse frowns a bit. "Yeah, about that. You seemed familiar with Speedsters. Who else have you seen?"

The abrupt pause and the following reaction from the elf has him move around in front of the guy. "Hey, you all right? Dude, you're hurt- is there somewhere I can take you to get yourself looked at? Healer or a priest or something? Those… those are a thing here, right?" What kind of stuff do you have in Avalon? Aside from elves and necromancers and undead skeleton hordes.

«No name was given,» rpelies the elf. But with mindspeak, names are not needed. Not when memory can be offered. Memory and what was seen and experienced. And so, the elf shares, offering the memory of their meeting with Flash. Late twenty something, early thirty something Flash. Their first meeting was in Central Park, where Flash accused the elf's female companion, another elf, of murdering some humans. The red Flash was rude and it didn't sit well with Darkedge. Their next meeting, Darkedge was drunk, and seeing Flash vibrating in a ridiculous attempt to hide himself, amused the elf. Flash seemed so sure that Darkedge couldn't catch him. Darkedge was too drunk to really care if he could or not, nor to care that Flash was insistent about neither elf being cleared for the murder of some SHIELD agents. SHIELD agents he didn't kill, but no one bothered to listen to that until it was far too late. It was annoying how when the memories of what really happened were offered, the offer was refused.

Humans are stupid. And Darkedge's assessment of Flash, whom he has not seen again since that moment, was Coward.

«Injured, but it can wait until you are back in the Human World. My armor is pressing the wound for the moment. And yes, there are healers here, but only one whom I trust, one whose annoyance I attempt to avoid.»

The young Speedster's mouth opens, and he stops altogether as his mind is swept through with the memories. "…grampa..?" he quietly whispers. It's not the best impression to ever be given of the Flash, but it was only one side to the story. Still, it's obvious of Darkedge's opinion of the man.

When the images fade, Impulse's sullen mood is renewed, and he's not sure towards who.

At Darkedge's insistence, he nods. "If you're sure…"

«Grampa…» Darkedge repeats this word, seems to mull over it a moment before nodding to indicate his understanding of the familial relation.

«One only has control of their actions, not of the circumstance of their birth,» he states, sounding very much like he's quoting someone. He turns to continue walking, moving his arms and torso as little as he can manage.

«Certain that it is important for you to return to the Human Realm quickly? Yes. Very certain. My Queen has little tolerance for your kind,if I am to be fully honest with you. Injured as I am, seeing you gone is likely for the best.»

He can't help but feel that he's been insulted even though Darkedge's ire is clearly towards the Flash. And Impulse hadn't realized he'd said what he did, aloud, but it's too late to retract it now. Well, not that it seems to matter anyway. No one seems to know where his grandfather's gone.

"Well, I guess that answers the question of if I can ever get a tour of the place," he says, shrugging, although at the moment he's only half-interested and half-serious in that.

Walking is tiring, but Darkedge presses onward. His thoughts remain tense and tight in his effort to keep the pain from leaking through.

«If you believe it does,» Darkedge replies noncommitally, eyes forward. Now that the memory is shared, Darkedge has moved on. After all, the youth seems not to have the elder's rudeness. As it was, the elf had been curious of the speedster, of how he moved as he did. Until Flash proved to be not worth the effort. This boy.

«You fought well, all things considered.» An olive branch.

With Darkedge being wounded, Impulse can't help but be a little anxious in wanting to just pick the guy up and hurry them onward. He lifts his head, peering at the elf given that such hadn't been the response he'd expected, not after all that.

It's a welcome change in attitude, especially given the bit of an awkward first impression the young Speedster had made. He's still not sure what to make of Darkedge's experiences with his grandfather, but he has a feeling he'd rather not ask the guy anything more regarding the Flash. But as the elf mindspeaks again, Impulse smiles a little.

"Well hey, couldn't just do nothing, you know?"

«You could have.» the elf starts, words flat and emotionless, terse and tense. He reaches up slowly to press back his hood, unshielding his eyes now that some distance has been placed between himself and the too-bright flames.

«Done nothing. This is not your realm. It is often as unwelcoming of your kind as yours is of mine. Yet, you acted and are not the worse off for it.»

It's almost as if the elf were saying thank you.

Impulse shakes his head. "Maybe. But sitting back and letting a bunch of skeletons run rampant while people could get hurt just didn't really seem like an acceptable option to me." Sure, it wasn't his realm or whatever, but he hadn't been brought up to stand by if other people needed help. If he knows he's able to do something, then he'll do it. The Titans didn't just limit their helping people to one city or country, just as the Justice League or the Avengers.

This bit of altruism seems odd and novel to the elf, for he turns his face to peer at Impulse a moment, one brow quirked. So many thoughts does the elf have, that for a long moment, several steps worth, he regards the human at his side.

«Some would see it as meddlesome,» Darkedge notes before he turns his gaze away. His eyes scan the clearing they are approaching, the last one before the tavern at the edge of the small city is reached. Darkedge ponders stopping to try to catch his breath, force himself not to feel dizzy. The weapon was cold iron, and rusting. Some of it must have stayed in the wound. He'll have to scrub at it… or go to his Queen sooner than he wanted.

«I shall ensure the manner of your meddlesome nature is brought to my Queen's attention.» is promised, send terse and tighter than before.

"Well. Yeah, I guess. But I didn't see anyone else out there helping you." He shrugs off his earlier admission, simple as that.

Behind his yellow-tinted goggles, Impulse's eyes narrow, brow furrowing in concern. "Sure you're going to be all right? I can give you a lift somewhere if it'll get your wound looked at quicker."

«Lift?» The elf repeats the word, as if it were used in a foreign context. It's the ching the armor, that slight turn of head, that reveals the microexpression that only the very observant or the very quick of mind can detect: the elf is pushing past pain.

Impulse just takes that as a bad sign. He's pretty sure the idea was clear enough, but he pantomimes it anyway, scooping upwards with both arms to show the elf what he means. "Where do you need to go. Show me or tell me- do that head thingy trick you did earlier and I'll find it and take you there," he says, not at all doubting his ability to do so. Unless it took special powers or something to see or access, he could find anything.

«You mean to carry me?» Darkedge asks, as its made clear. Darkedge rarely gets carried anywhere as he is usually the one doing the carrying. Add this to the fact that he doesn't really know HOW to get there while running. He teleports.

«Meddlesome,» he accuses again, the tone softening ever to slightly in that way the injured have as fatigue sets in.

«So be it. Let Her see the manner of your intrusions. If she magics you into a creature you dislike, I refuse to take the blame,» he relents as he feels himself reaching the end of his reserves. A dark shadow near by calls to him and he holds out a hand to Impulse.

«I don't know how to explain where to go, and so will have to Shadow Step.» which isn't going to be pleasant for either of them, but oh well.

"Well. Yeah…" It's not like he had a car to do it. Impulse doesn't think anyone would trust him behind the wheel anyway.

The elf gets a crooked sort of smile and a shrug. The Speedster had already pled the fifth on that, so there really is nothing more to say. It's the words Darkedge says next that puzzle him, but he reaches over to take the hand held out to him.

"Wait, so what about the lift part-"

«I'll not be carried,» is all the elf says in reply as his long fingers close around Impulse's hand. A physical step into the shadow and Darkedge tugs the human into the utter Frozen Nothingness of Shadow. It's the cold of the Void, of a realm devoid of the warmth of Light. In the darkness, Darkedge knows where to go, moving them as quickly as he can to the shadow kept utterly dark and deep in an alcove of his private quarters in the Royal Wing of the Palace of Morgana, Queen of Avalon.

No sooner does Darkedge pull them from the Darkness and into the dark of his very dimly lit room, then he sags and reaches for a wall.

The Queen will no doubt have sensed his return, and the addition of another. She will be here soon.

What's the point, then, Impulse is about to ask, but he's distracted by Darkedge's ability to slip into shadow, and then once again finds himself also pulled through. It's no more nor less pleasant than it had been the first time, at least until it ends up being longer than before. And of course it's still not fast enough for Impulse, but he doubts he can really help things along in this space. Despite the disturbing atmosphere it doesn't put a dent in his curiosity as he tries, probably in vain, to look around and see anything more than the darkness around them.

Suddenly he can make things out, and gravity seems to return as he feels his feet touch solid ground. Seeing Darkedge begin to fall, Impulse is there to catch him and ease him to sit or lie down. There's a bed or something in here, right?

Soft indirect light eminates from bioluminescent glow moss that grows along the walls and on the ceiling. It's barely enough for a human to see by as it is meant to imitate the lighting found in the deepest of caves. A bed is not far away and it is nothing for the speedster to flit them to it and settle the elf down. Darkedge is sitting before he can draw a loud-for-him tight inhale through his nose. it's a subtle hiss of pain at Impulse having to grab at his side to keep him from falling.

Just as Darkedge's mind is opening to try to find a retort, there is the sense of someone else suddenly in the room.

"You brought a human here, My Blade." Her voice is low, sensual, powerful, coy. In the low light, her alabaster skin is radiant and her emerald eyes gleam brightly. A finely arched black brow pulls up a fraction of an inch as the elf struggles to push himself from where Impulse put him and then down gracefully to a knee.

«Lack of options. Here, to a secure location, or out near the Tavern at the far village, Your Majesty.»

He would have been more careful if he'd known what part of the elf was hurting, but then there weren't many other options when it came to helping the guy to sit over letting him collapse.

The voice that speaks up neither belongs to him nor the elf, and the extra presence is sudden enough that the Speedster can't quite stop the gasp in surprise. His amber eyes widen as he sees the woman there. Her appearance even in the dim lighting warrants more than just 'pretty' as a descriptor, but even just speaking, Impulse can tell there's…something, there.

He glances between the two awkwardly before dropping to his knee where he stands. Something tells him this woman might be a bit more demanding than the king of Inhumans. "Sorry for the intrusion, your majesty," he apologizes. Was he supposed to speak? Darkedge hadn't told him not to, but then there hadn't been much time for that… "He was hurt and I wanted to make sure he got that taken care of…"

Emerald eyes had not left Impulse to watch Darkedge subjugate himself. The small gems studded into the nightfall of her raven locks glitter gently and the hem of her dress whispers against the stone floor. Her steps punctuate the silence she leaves hanging between them as she draws near.

«Remove the armor,» is commanded of the elf as she regards the human in her realm.

"You hurt him and them seek to have the wound tended to?" she asks. Her voice coils, a snake preparing to strike.

"What?!" Impulse blurts, staring up at her like she'd grown snakes out of her head. Even upon her sudden appearance he hadn't been frightened, and looking up at her now, he frowns.

"Why would I do that? He got hurt fighting off those skeleton things back at the village. I don't know how bad, though. He'd sent me off to find the necromancer controlling the things." He's not sure whether it would have made a difference if he'd stayed behind, but at the time he hadn't even thought about it. What Darkedge had proposed then had made sense, and it had seemed like the elf could handle himself at the time. Now Impulse just hopes he hadn't gotten too badly injured.

Ordered, Darkedge forced himself up to his feet and starts peeling off the black leather armor.

What's immediately apparent is that the elf is thin. Toned, not malnourished, just lithe. What's also apparent is that the bruises are the least of his problems as his side is slashed open from the back toward the front. The armor is whole and clean on the outside,but as the pressure it was putting on the wound is let up it starts bleeding once more and Darkedge fights the wave of vertigo.

All as Impulse is mouthing off to the Avalon Queen. Her brows lift as his words, turning to look at Darkedge's wounds. Her eyes widen and the cold, calculating distrust is replaced with sudden worry and concern for one of her own.

«Lay down.» she orders, emotions drifting in and converting the harsh words into something like a mother's fear-filled tones.

"I'm listening to your story, human," she adds while moving toward the bed, having a mind to help ease Darkedge down so she can begin healing the wound that looks as fresh now as it did when he first got it sometime after he'd ordered Bart away and the necromancer recalled her army.

How to properly behave in the presence of royalty hadn't exactly been part of Max's training regimen. And while it's quite possible that Bart might have managed all right given his familiarity to such is probably all fantasy-based anyway, he's not taking the blame for some ridiculous accusations. Any heat to his words is sapped away as he gets a good look at Darkedge's wound right then, and he's nearly on his feet to help steady the guy when he sees the elf wavering. Instead it's the queen who's helping Darkedge to lie down, and Impulse swallows, hoping it's not nearly as bad as it looks.

"Huh? O-oh," he says, scratching the back of his head at the lady's prompting. "That's…most of it, really. He didn't mean to bring me to your world- that was an accident. It wasn't long after we arrived at the tavern that we heard something outside and saw an army of skeleton warriors tromping into town."

He glances at Darkedge as he moves to sit cross-legged on the floor, forgetting for the moment any expected protocol. "He told me to stay back while he went to deal with them, but I figured I could help out since I was there. After we bashed up a few skeletons, he told me to go find the necromancer since I was faster. She…wasn't what I was expecting," he admits, ducking his head a little. "It was kind of weird. But she summoned some of her undead army back to help her, and that's when he caught up and we took her down."

Putting the bed between herself and Impulse, the Queen settles down to magically heal the elf. A fine line appears between her brows as the cold iron flecks in the wound resist her magic, but she 'muscles' past it to get Darkedge repaired.

"This realm is not your concern, human. What do you want, now that you feel you've saved a village?" …and my top assassin?

"Yeah, he told me as much," Impulse mutters. "I told him I couldn't just watch when I could at least try and help." He almost frowns again, but the Queen's question throws him off. The Speedster blinks. "What do I want? I wasn't doing it for any reward." Then comes the frown. Maybe it was a trick question. "I just wanted to make sure he's okay. He was going to drop me back home but I didn't think he looked like he was doing okay."

The wound is slow to heal and the elf's blood a sickly grey tinge that's hard to see in the shadowy rooms.

"You sought to help the realm of the fae? Without thought of repayment?" Morgana asks, glancing up once. Her lips frown lightly, and she blinks once, before she returns her attention to the task at hand.

It's long quiet moments as the wound painstakingly knits itself back together and Morgana settles back to catch her breath.

"Food and drink will be sent. You both will rest then you will be returned to the human realm," she says finally in a voice much softer than before. IT is almost as if a dreamy quality has entered it as she now regards Impulse more openly.

"…I guess? Does it make a difference?" Impulse asks, looking back at her, his expression just as guileless as the tone of his inquiry. He has no idea why people seem to make things out as so much more complicated.

His attention drifts back towards Darkedge, and he holds his breath as he watches the wound slowly shrink with the Queen's efforts. When it seems she's done, Impulse sighs in relief. The change in her demeanor is a little surprising, but he figures healing a wound that big isn't an easy one. Realizing he's sitting, he scrambles to a knee again. "Oh! Um…thank you, your majesty," he says. He's never one to turn down food, and he supposes rest would be good, at least for the elf.

«As you wish, my Queen,» is the elf's reply. The feel of his mind is softer, a gentle brush of thought, a delicate breeze of emotion: fatigue, relief, contriteness. It heralds the faint smirk playing on the Queen's lips just before she pushes herself up gracefully from a chair that had not been there before she moved to settle by the elf's bed.

Of course it makes a difference that the human didn't demand repayment, tht the youth's guileless innocence makes it plain to the fae-queen that nothing of the sort has crossed his mind. The earlier agitation of HUMAN has faded in the face of 'took care of my elf' and 'innocent youth' that for the moment something calm and accepting settles about her.

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