Demon Bear: A Curious Damage

November 03, 2017:

Set right after Demon Bear: A Dangerous Curiosity


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

There is a bond between the Bear and Danielle Moonstar.

Something she doesn't want to admit, but which she knows is true.

That bond (sometimes) allows each to see brief snippets of one another's lives.

This time the flash of insight given isn't from Dani herself, but from the Bear. Or, in this case, the Demon Bear, rather than the smaller Bear known as Robert Berresford.

And while the full story of why the Bear attacked the Shaman isn't known, Dani is certain of one thing - he needs her help, or he might die.

As such, the black-haired woman runs to the stables, hastily grabs the nearest saddle-blanket and tosses it over Brightwind's back. With that impromptu saddle in place, Moonstar pulls herself up. "Hurry, Brightwind!" She urges, and really, that's all that needed to be said. The winged-stallion of Asgard already knows something is wrong and with a toss of his great head, Brightwind bursts from the stables and launches himself into the sky.

If it were anyone else, likely they'd have found themselves tossed off, but thankfully Moonstar is a superb rider and the woman sticks to Brightwind's back like a thistle-burr.

There flight is swift, far faster than a bird's, as such, it won't take long for the Asgardian and the Cheyenne to arrive at Ripclaw's position.

Ripclaw's position is a strange place, Dani and Brightwind will find themselves soaring over New York city and soon Brooklyn, to a spire that stands out along the harbor. A concrete titan that has long been forgotten and looks to sit in disuse. Untrue but outsiders would not know this.

Drawing nearer reveals this to be an old massive grainery and silo of concrete, graffiti covered and open to the air where she can find purchase along the top most levels. It takes a trained eye but one can see signs of living, it is the dead lingering scent of sage, herbs and other resin along with blood are telltale enough. Hidden beyond structure beams and higher up from the layer she would need to land the pegasus upon is an upraised deck, high and in the rising suns rays.

Upon this uplifted 'dais' lies the shaman, curled in the fetal position clutching his stomach; eyes are closed beyond a veil of dark long hair, shirtless torso reveals skin mutant-trait pale that makes it hard to tell if hes not already a corpse. The pool of dark liquid he lies within most obviously his own. A clay bowl with ash in it and the tendrils of what was once smoke are visible, this is obviously the man's sacred spot. A place of relaxation and communion, yet the feeling that persists is of a doorway just closed, a silver thread just drawn back on… no doubt she can feel the Demon Bear's hand at play.

The horse and woman ride high in the sky, a streak of white and black, as they fly to where they need to go.

Out of Westchester County, through New York City and into Brooklyn towards the water.

That grainery is seen, in its disuse and disrepair.

That doesn't stop the two from circling several times, as they consider the structure below. It's only with the help of Brightwind's senses and Moonstar's own skillsets, that Ripclaw's nest is found. Once seen, the two literally plummet down to the building and that raised deck. Their descent is only slowed by the snap of Brightwind's wings and the sound of hooves hitting that deck. Even before Brightwind is at a complete standstill, there's a lighter thump, as Moonstar dismounts. Her gaze takes the room in a quick glance, but really, it's the man that has the majority of her attention. "Dammit." She snarls, even as she hot-foots it over to the fallen man. The pallor to his skin is concerning, but it doesn't stop her from crouching down - one hand going to his neck, to check for a pulse, her other moving to potentially try and shift him to get a better look at the wounds. Much like the paleness to the man's skin, the crimson pool beneath him is seen, but Dani only gives it the briefest of glances.

Instead, focusing on what she can assess of the man's condition.

Brightwind, for his part, simply stands there, his eyes focused upon his rider and the man she attends.

Death hovers over the Shaman, a man in many circles of the occult and Tribal known as the Ghost Warrior, Robert Berresford a Native American mutant and cyborg. Nature and technology. One of this world's protectors of realm between.

Dani is no stranger to such sights clearly and she has known death, this man should from his wounds and having tangled with the Demon Bear be spirit by now but he clings to mortality. The wounds he has suffered are visible, shredded meat, peeled apart but a strange thing is visible, the skin is constantly trying to reknit, muscle tissue and around the bio-synthetic components she can withness this happening yet nothing is working as it should.

A gifted and experienced mind like hers can discern what is transpiring…

The man's unconscious form is heavy, but even so Dani manages to turn him enough to get a good look at the torn and sundered skin.

It's enough to make the woman's expression turn tight, her lips thinning to a flat line.

While she could utter an oath, she doesn't. Not when the image above the man's prone body resolves itself into man and bear. Dani's brown-eyes look up at that ghostly herald and only now, does the woman speak.

She addresses the death spirits, "No - he's not going to die from these wounds." From this mistake, her mistake, because the Bear is her responsibility. This makes it her fault.

"Not today." And with that promise made, Dani's gaze turns to the things around them. While she may not be a Shaman, she's listened to enough stories from her Grandfather, that a particular scent, here in this room, is familiar to her. Familiar enough that the woman hunts for the sage itself, versus the bowl. Some people keep it bundled, while others keep it loose, but whatever state she finds the plant in, Moonstar takes it.

The clay bowl is likewise retrieved. A hasty hand wipe will remove the remnants of the previously burned herbs from within and once it's as clean as it can get, Danielle Moonstar drops the sage within. Then like the girl scout she is, a small lighter is withdrawn from her pocket.

Always be prepared and she always tries to be.

The bite of flame upon the leaves is quick to release the fragrant white smoke. It starts out as one singular slow strand, curling upward, before another leaf and then another begins to smolder in kind. When enough leaves have taken light, Dani with bowl in her hands, takes a moment to close her eyes. To center herself and likewise offer a silent prayer -

'Grandfather -' Is what the prayer entails and with the thought of Black Eagle held firmly in mind, the Cheyenne woman opens her eyes and then bends close to the bowl.

A careful breath is taken and then let out - directing the smoke towards the broken body of Ripclaw. A second puff of breath is is allowed, before the black-haired woman says sharply to what lingers within those wounds of his, "Get out."

Again, for Brightwind, he watches. It's only when Dani bids the darkness to go away that the winged-stallion brings one front-hoof up off the ground; then with a sharp movement he stamps that same hoof back to the ground which creates a small shower of golden sparks.

The ghostly younger man with the short dark hair, hawkish nose and large smile frowns a moment at Dani but then smiles again, wider than before and waves his hand towards the tendrils of sage-smoke that are ascending, as if trying to aid her. A curl of the foggy substance and with a life of it's own it appears to coil down, inhale through Ripclaw's lips and nostrils.

The bear spirit cants its head then releases a muted huff before disappearing. Bored now.

Robert Berresford's body doesn't move beyond the small inhale. His bare pale chest rising and falling with shallow breaths, each arm encased biocorded sinew, fingers elongating in to claws. One twitches. A flick of movement.

That apparition that gave what aid it could to Dani turns and follows the bear. Fading with it yet not without a smile lingering.

The sage continues to burn, to release the smoke and the power held within those leaves. To cleanse away the taint that the Demon Bear pushed forth into this world. Specifically into Robert Berresford's body.

Seeing his shallow breaths and that eventual twitch of hand, causes Dani to carefully set the clay bowl aside. She also moves a hairsbreadth backwards and away.

Even with those movements of hers, her attention stays upon the man, watchful of how he awakens, aware that possibly his return to consciousness might not be all that smooth. Those thoughts are what causes Moonstar to say, "Hey, you with us still?"

And behind the two a quiet whicker might likewise be heard from Brightwind. Perhaps announcing his own presence with that sound of his.

A voice, hardly more than a rasp escapes Ripclaw, one eye - red as the sheet of fluid he is lying in peels lids back so he can hunt for the source of the voice, "I am." Coherency, it's quick thanks to his regeneration flooding through his form. It's not on par with the likes of Wolverine or X-23 but it's enough to jumpstart.

The horse's sound accompanied with another eye opening and the broad Native sits upright, his hands finding his knees as he tries to reorient himself with the world of the mundane and LIFE itself. It takes him several blinks before he can settle his gaze on Dani. "Who?"

Whereas others might immediately help the man sit up, Dani doesn't. Not yet. He's still an unknown to her, as is his reactions, but that doesn't stop her from leaning forward ever-so-slightly ready to offer some assistance should it really be needed.

"The name's Dani." She supplies readily enough, "Yours?" Because in all of what she saw from the Bear, she didn't actually hear anything. It's like that with their shared visions - sight, but no sound, sometimes sound but no sight, and sometimes both.

With the man's words Brightwind's ears swivel forward and the winged-horse turns intelligent eyes upon the man.

Ripclaw's awareness is coming slow to him. The visible knitting of muscles is miraculous but it will due to its very nature and severity still leave scar lines. A wobble of his frame and he actually takes her offered assistance when one surprisingly alien warm robotic hand closes over her own. Stablizing himself.

"Thank you, Dani… " The name practiced by his tongue and lips which are heavily parched, "Robert. I… how did you get up here?" He remembers where he was last, atop the 'Elevator'. "Do I hear a horse?" He is too busy looking at Dani and trying to make her out as more than a blur and a voice before the animal is sought.

Even without the pallor to his skin, or the oddity of his hands, seeing those wounds close like they do, Dani knows the man is different.

Something more than just human.

As it is, however, she doesn't necessarily look too shocked when the wounds begin to close of their own accord. Oh, it earns a look, but nothing so wide-eyed to show surprise.

When his hand takes her own, Moonstar automatically braces herself to help keep the man upright. His name likewise earns a vague nod from the dark-haired woman, even as she begins to state, "I'd say -" But then he continues to speak which causes the woman to fall silent, until, Danielle Moonstar ends with, "A horse. I got up here on a horse. And you do. He's right behind me."

Those words of hers are said with a touch of humor, but that amusement soon fades as she watches him struggle to focus, "You heal pretty fast, but should we get you to a hospital just to be safe?"

A horse couldn't get uphere. Ripclaw seriously hopes he is awake. Her lack of surprise and familiarity with what he is not shared by the man on seeing the mythological beast. Stories is all he's ever dealt with on this particular new entry.
"I… wings. I see. I am fairly certain I am alive, you… don't exactly look like one of my ancestors and angels don't ride horses, do they?" His sense of self goes inward, he almost wants to give himself a pat down but he doesn't. No, he very much lives. "I do heal fast, yes. A hospital isn't necessary just some time and… Dani, how and why are you up here? This is a private location that… I suppose the how is answered." Actual winged horse. Pretty obvious 'how' even for a half-dead man.

Amusement wars with the seriousness of the situation here with Ripclaw. Amusement when he spots Brightwind for what he is; a winged horse. Seriousness for the mention of ancestors and angels, the fact that he nearly died.

Automatically her gaze flicks upward again, to just above his head, but when she sees the space free of any omens, the woman returns her dark-brown eyes back to the man's face.

Likewise, once he proves stable enough, she'll retract that hand of hers. "I won't lie -" She begins, her tone of voice solemn, "It was pretty close, but yes, you're alive."

That last question and statement of his pulls forth another nod from the Cheyenne. "Brightwind -" She tilts her head toward the winged-stallion, "He helped get me here." As to the why, the black-haired woman answers with, "You were bleeding out. We came to make sure you didn't."

"Though I'm sure that's not really the answer you're looking for."

"The name, that I appreciate you giving me." Ripclaw regards the winged animal, "Hello, Brightwind. Nice meeting you and my thanks." Then his hand free of Dani's rubs over his chest, checking the wound manually as if to assure himself then it drops away. Satisfied.

"But, no, that does not really answer me. I should be dead and no one should be able to just 'find' me here. If you are no messenger of death or here to carry me to the clouds then you must have some reason to be here. You smell blood like a shark?" He is joking, the glint in his eyes though faint says as much. The similarities in their heritage do not go overlooked. She has the tone he should possess in skin if it was not for his mutant affliction. The features are all telling though for both.

Brightwind dips his head when Ripclaw gives those thanks. The gesture is clearly purposely done and might show the horse's intelligence is far more than typical.

As Ripclaw checks his wounds, Dani takes the time to rise from her seated position, and once back upon two feet the woman steps over to Brightwind. Her hand goes to the horse's neck as Robert Berresford continues his questions. The mention of scenting for blood quirks a corner of her mouth upward, though the humor is more sardonic than happy. "No, not a shark." But a messenger of death, possibly, since she didn't refute that particular claim.

"You fought a bear -" She finally admits, her gaze sharp, her tone equally so, "A bear that I know. It was through him that I was able to see you needed help."

A dark brow arches at Brightwing's display of understanding but the Iroqoius doesn't question it. Not right now at least. It is one of those things you just accept until it comes up again. Welcome to the world of 626.
"I did. If it is to be called a bear. I lost to it as well… I see. You are connected somehow? This creature is like nothing I have ever seen and I believe there is stories surrounding it, folklore I should have paid more attention to. Tell me more." The man insists. Perhaps he should consult Doctor Strange and the others very soon.

Is she connected to it - that brings a sour look to her features. Anger too.

"Yes, there's a bond there." Moonstar agrees, her voice holding a a clear note of anger to it and while more could be said, it's not.

Not when Robert Berresford asks for more information about the demonic presence he fought. Her expression closes off then and the woman vaults lightly to Brightwind's blanket covered back. "No." She states, once she's settled comfortably, "The Bear is my problem, not yours. I'll handle it from here on out." She states resolutely and while those words are said just so, Brightwind turns his neck slightly to look at his rider in silent communication.

Disapproval perhaps seen in those equine eyes.

"I am the Ghost Warrior. Such things are my problem." Ripclaw counters, surprised by her sudden change and response, he remains calm though. He is too weak for anything else. "This threat is too much for one person alone and I have a… working knowledge of such things. It almost killed me. I am bound to deal with this perhaps… not in a manner in which you are but." A claw splays out on the wound upon his chest, the right side still quite flayed and ugly despite his mutant gift.

"I also now owe a debt to you. You saved my life."
"Dani." As if to sink it in further, tug a string by use of her name. Ensure she knows he is a person also.

She listens to his words, her expression tight, almost distant.

His mention of Ghost Warrior brings a rise of her eyebrows, but beyond that the woman simply shakes her head.

"I did." Save your life, she means, and she avoids the talk of the Bear and its threat, as well as death.

"And you can repay that debt another time." She continues with, even as she nudges Brightwind lightly with her empathic senses. Heeding her request, Brightwind turns slightly, his wings unfurling from his sides. It's only when her name is spoken that she pauses momentarily, "This isn't your fight." She stresses again, "Rest. Heal. Stay away from the bear."

And with those words Brightwind launches himself (and Dani) upward with a powerful downstroke of his feathered wings.

"I am not seeking your permission in this. This /is/ a fight I am to be involved in and you will not be alone in it." Ripclaw says after her. A frown etched across his brow once again.

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