Demon Bear: An Astral Visitation

November 17, 2017:

This takes place after log:, Demon Bear: The Fall: Scott and Illyana. Illyana's astral form visits Rachel, as Ray begins her own investigation on what the Demon Bear is.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Moonstar Cyclops


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Late afternoon is turning into early evening, the last light of the sun quickly fading from the sky. It was only just before lunch that the Xavier Mansion was attacked by a building sized bear composed of demonic shadow.

For Illyana Rasputina, it feels like its been a lot longer.

She probably should be helping with the clean-up, or comparing notes with the others who suffered the bear's attack, but she's not. Instead, she's in the room that she's claimed, and even sometimes occupies, upstairs in the mansion. The room, at least, has survived the bear's attack mostly unscathed. It still has four walls, at least. The door is locked in the mundane sense and also warded.

Illyana does not want company.

She sits on the floor, the only light in the room coming from a pentagram of silver-white fire that the sorceress sits in the centre of, her features lit eerily from below. Satisfied with her preparations, Illyana closes her eyes and pushes her spirit free from her physical body.

On the astral plane, Illyana's spirit form opens its eyes. Stretching out her perceptions, she searches for one specific individual in the sea of human thoughts and emotions that surround her. Illyana's no telepath, but the one she's seeking tends to leave a powerful impression in this arena… and there's still the faintest stain of Limbo upon her, from her most recent visit. Illyana lets that taint draw her away from the mansion and towards her target.

All this could be achieve more easily from Limbo. A moment to step from the mundane world to her own dimension, a few more to scry for the one she seeks, another to step back to Earth right where she needs to be. Illyana has her own reasons for not wanting to return to her private hellscape quite yet.

Drawing near the object of her search, Illyana allows her astral form to coalesce into a state that Rachel Summers' impressive senses can't fail to notice. "Decided to get away from it all?" Her familiar voice asks, but the mocking tone sounds a little forced, this time.

Really. Rachel's not that difficult to find via the Astral Plane. She stands out like an enormous beacon to any telepath in the area, or for that matter, anyone that can view the Astral Plane regardless. She's bright and shiny and filled with power and rage and anger. At least. She is right now. The rage and anger part. A few seconds before Illyana appeared to Rachel, the red-head was stomping into her motel room, slamming the door, and cursing under her breath.

"Stupid, fearful, prejudice, closed minded.." Rachel /is/ talking to herself, or so she believes she's talking to herself. She's just spent the entire day with Dani's tribe. Suspicious. Rude. Completely uncooperative people that refused to talk to Rachel, an outsider, and absolutely refused to even give a proper 'hello'. It was all, 'go away', 'get out', and other forms of ever so unpopular statements.

Not that Rachel really listened. The more people told her to get lost, the deeper she delved, and the more she used her telepathy in ways that, well, frankly no one would really approve of. The deeper she delved, the more she realized just why Dani's file states she had a 'chip' on her shoulder for a time, or well, at least, stated she had difficulty adjusting and disliked 'white people'. Why is it always an 'us' versus 'them' scenario? White. Black. Brown. Native American. American. Human. Mutant. Don't they realize just how precious the freedom to actually live is?

As the door slams shut, Rachel's still muttering to herself, pausing only a moment in her speech to cast a gaze at the Astral form of Illyana that suddenly appeared before her. The red-head's response is to offer a casual. "I'd invite you to have some of the liquor I'm about to pour, but I think it'd go right through you."

"Very funny." Illyana replies, pulling a face at Rachel's sense of humour. Her apparition is gaining some definition. Instead of the vaguely Illyana shaped shadow topped with a glow that suggested blonde hair, she's rapidly resolving into the demon sorceress that Rachel knows and at least tolerates. There is one difference, though. This time the gleaming silver armour that habitually appears around her left arm instead covers her entire body from the neck down.

Illyana herself doesn't seem aware of this as the blue eyes of her astral form give Rachel's current outfit a quick once-over. "Let me guess." Illyana says, deadpan. "You went for a job interview you didn't get it?" The outfit is very not-Rachel, after all. Illyana smiles, but again there's the sense she's doing it for form's sake alone. "The anger made you easy to find." She adds, in case an explanation is needed.

"And I needed to find you." The last is added almost unwillingly.

As Illyana begins to materialize, Rachel's doing exactly as she said. A glass of soda is poured, followed by a good, over flowing jigger of some vile whiskey she bought at the local liquor store. A few bits of ice later, and Rachel's flopping down in the only chair the room has. It's seen better days, the stuffing is all but gone, the fabric torn and faded, and even with Rachel's slim form it creaks in a dangerous manner. Yet, it's better than the mattress of the bed.

"Kind of." Rachel states to begin with. "If you consider a job interview attempting to gain information from Dani's tribe, then yeah. Interview. And yes. I failed. ..sort of." By this time, Rachel's taken great notice of several things. For one, Illyana's covered in armor. For second, the 'needed' part causes the plastic cup Rachel's using for her drink to be set down. "What's going on, Illy? Do I need to get back there?" Her voice turns worried, a frown furrowing her brows, lips set into a thin line. "And unless you normally go around in full armor, something's going on?"

Illyana, in contrast, only moves to keep Rachel in her field of vision as she pours herself a drink and takes a seat. Otherwise she remains standing, her body held in tension, her back ramrod straight. Her expression gets progressively darker as Rachel relates what she's been up to, and she's raising an imperious finger and preparing to start talking over the top of Rachel when the redhead mentions her armour.

Illyana goes still, again, before deliberately turning her head to look at her upraised hand, the armour sheathing them so close-fitting and precise that all of her fingers but her index are curled into her palm. She hadn't even realised. "Damn." She says under her breath.

Illyana's eyes flicker back to Rachel, the expression of building annoyance gone from her face. "Let me start again." She says, sounding tired, and her form shimmers. The armour is replaced with tight, ripped black jeans and a black tank top with a prominent skull motif. Or at least mostly, her left arm remains protected but Illyana doesn't pay it any mind.

Crossing to the bed, Illyana moves to sit cross-legged upon it. She's not really there, so the bargain basement mattress doesn't deform, but Illyana's astral avatar is polite enough not to wear her boots on the bed.

"The Institute was attacked." Illyana says, shortly. "The bear came back, bigger than the mansion, and tore it up." Illyana smirks darkly. "I'd warded the school. Didn't help. It hit us with hundreds of those crows you liked so much. Shattered my wards and then…" Illyana shakes her head, a disgusted look on her face. "Dani was there. It's got its claws in her, deep. Even if I could kill it, I'm not sure what that would do to her." There's more, but Illyana goes silent for a moment.

"You're in the right place, Ray." It's clearly not what she'd intended to say. "We need to know what this thing is if we're going to beat it." Illyana's eyes go hard. "If asking politely isn't working, you're going to have to start looking inside their heads."

Remaining silent for a good, long time, Rachel's gaze remains upon Illyana's astral form, watching and listening as Illyana weaves her tail of woe and suffering. The last bit is met with a snarl of Rachel's upper lip, her nose wrinkling with the emotion. "Dammit." The drink is some how gone by this point, emptied and only ice remaining, leaving Rachel to sigh at the plastic cup, and set it back down. (Before she manages to squish it and be without any means to have more later on.)

Rubbing the bridge of her nose, Rachel's gaze flickers towards Illyana again. "Is anyone hurt?" She inquires, needing to know that more than anything else right now.

Yet, before Illyana can respond, Rachel's talking in a rush. "I went through surface thoughts and then a lot deeper - already. Everyone is suspicious of Dani, remembering the past when she made nightmares come to life - the beginnings of her mutant powers. All that, though, can be gained through her files, so far I haven't learned anything else important at all." This is spoken with, again, a snarl of her upper lip, as Rachel's fingers remove from pinching the bridge of her nose, and instead fall into her lap.

Her gaze returns to Illyana, afterwards, "No one knows anything else about her, nor this demon bear. I have directions to someone named Black Eagle, that I'll be taking tomorrow. He has some connection to Dani, but I'm not sure what."

There's a part of Illyana that's darkly amused that she's calmed down and now Rachel's enraged. It's a part of her that she had the opportunity to be rid of forever, but chose to keep. Still she pushes it away, focusing on what can still be done rather than recriminations.

"Physically? Nothing permanent." Illyana says the words almost dismissively. "Mentally? It chewed some of us up and spit us back out. It was /playing/ with us, Ray." Illyana's voice is tight, anger seething below the surface but held in check. "It took Scott. He's fine, I got him back out, but…" Illyana slams the door on that sentence before she can go any further. "I don't know what the others saw. I'm sure it wasn't pleasant."

Illyana broods over that as Rachel offers her own, rather disheartening update. She's about to make a probably unhelpful comment of her own when Rachel offers, at the last, a possible glimmer of hope. Her spectre leans forward, leaning her arms on her knees, a little light entering her eyes. "Black Eagle is Dani's grandfather. She used to live with him. If anyone's going to know anything…" Illyana smiles, the expression not looking forced for the first time since she arrived. "Don't come back until you find him, Ray, and get everything he knows. We'll be OK until you get back." The smile becomes a smirk. "More or less."

Illyana's eyes go distant for a moment, as if she's listening to something only she can hear. "I need to go." She says, then adds with a wave. "Good hunting." And then Rachel's alone in the motel room once more.

Alone with her thoughts, Rachel sits there for some time, thinking over what Illyana had to say. About Scott, about everyone's inner demons being brought to life - like Rachel's was the first time they encountered the Demon Bear. It couldn't have been easy, and yet, Rachel's at least prepared now. No amount of temptations, or hauntings are going to break her as easily as it did that last time. She knows her demons, she knows her monsters, she knows what can be used against her, and she's quite prepared to handle it - should that happen. She's very prepared to laugh in its face, just as Illyana asked of her. Yet, before any further battles happen, Rachel needs to know what it is they're facing, and perhaps, what to do to defeat it.

Dani's grandfather. That's who Black Eagle is. If anyone would know what to do next, at least along this line of inquiry, it would be him. The bear seemed as though it was something Dani's either fought before, or had some familiarity to. Right? Well, Rachel will find out soon enough.

Rachel just hopes she can find him, and in the meantime, she hopes everyone stays safe at home while she's gone.

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