Demon Bear: The Aenohe's Visit

December 05, 2017:

Rachel Summers visits Black Eagle, Dani's grandfather. Black Eagle wasn't necessarily prepared to be visited by such a being.


NPCs: Black Eagle


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

It's been a frustrating visit for one Rachel Summers.

Pretty much every door that could be slammed in her face was.

Only a few people spoke and much of what they said was the usual thing - hello, goodbye and /goodbye/.

It's only through dogged determination and persistence (and telepathy) that the red-head was given a lead to someone who could help.

A man by the name of Black Eagle.

A shaman.

And Danielle Moonstar's grandfather.

His place of residence is deep in the wooded area, near the mountains. It consists of a small log cabin, with front porch, and smoke puffs cheerily from the chimney. The man himself stands upon the front porch, two mugs in his hands.

First glance shows he's an older man, face lined with many wrinkles and hands arthritic and swollen. Even so, his eyes are bright and intelligent, clear of any age-related fogginess.

This old guy. He lives in the middle of freaking no-where. The woods are no place for anyone to live, and especially no where to live THIS far out. For Rachel Summers, her trek through the woods has been uneventful, though long. She's dressed in good hiking gear, strong boots, double layers of clothing, good fake-fur lined jacket, and even a backpack full of important items. Like water. And food. If it wasn't in the middle of a bunch of thick wooded trees, Rachel might have taken a more direct approach. Like flying. Yet, she's only going on slim memories of people to get here, and flying about would definitely take more time. (It'd also draw unwanted attention.)

So. Hiking. Through the underbrush, and pines, and woods, and did Rachel mention she dislikes such things? Finally; the red-head makes it towards the clearing and - the man she's come to meet is already out there? With two mugs? Was he.. expecting her? With a mental shrug, Rachel offers a cheerful, if somewhat exhausted. "I'm really hoping one of those is for me."

As the man stands there, waiting, a vaguely amused expression might be seen upon his wrinkled features. That same amusement can be felt too emanating from him, with the vague surface thought of 'haven't been this popular in years'.

Though that amusement fades with the next logical thought that follows that one - because of bad news. Because Dani is in danger.

Sobering just a tinge the man continues to wait, until the person that trekked so far and so long arrives in his clearing.

Automatically the man's gaze turns toward the red-head, especially as she calls out in that cheerful tone of hers. His mouth begins to curve upward in greeting, but that's as far as it gets, as suddenly something seems to go quite wrong.

The cups held in his hands are simultaneously dropped as Black Eagle's body stiffens with surprise, pain even, as a vision violently rips through both his mind's eye and the physical.

Flames. Fire. Great gouts of red and orange. It rises up from the dead, dry, cracked earth, striving for the sky. It reaches greedy fingers to the stratosphere and then the exosphere beyond, before the flames enwraps the planet in its burning touch.

That flame lasts for seconds, minutes, days, years - an eternity - before they finally vanish. When the blazing inferno abates the planet is once more revealed, only now it's green. Clouds skid across the sky, oceans meet up with continents, weather flashes across the globe. The heavenly body that was so devoid of life now glitters brightly, both figuratively and metaphorically, as life can be found upon it once again.

What had died now lived and the vaguest cry of a predatory bird echoes within the man's mind.

Then the vision releases Black Eagle and with a harsh gasp the elderly gentleman visibly sways.

The smile and cheerful comment from Rachel fades instantly as the elderly man begins to … spasm? As the cups in his hands begin to fall, they are caught in a telekinetic bubble, the liquid within preserved. (For completely selfish reasons) The cups, themselves are placed upon the ground, neatly there.

It's worry that sends Rachel into the man's thoughts, worry that perhaps something else (or someone else) has followed her, or is attacking the man. Who -knows- what could be happening. For all Rachel knows the sight of a red-head this far out might have given the guy a heart-attack. Which would be bad. She'd have to call Illyana for a quick trip but.. no.. no, it isn't a heart-attack (hopefully). Instead…

Rachel catches sight of the vision the man is having. The images the man has in his mind's eye, it's something Rachel's seen before, or at least felt. "Holy Hell." Who the hell /is/ this guy that he can see such a /vision/? She hasn't been the host to the Phoenix in years, and yet, there it is, in his eyes, life, and fire, and death and rebirth.

She'd already been in motion moving forward, now she does so even quicker, stopping the man from hurting himself as he sways. Eagle will feel a gentle touch upon his form, like hands keeping him up, moving him towards a chair, and helping him sit down.

Rachel's then besides him, kneeling down to reach a hand towards the man's wrist, feeling for a pulse. "I'm sorry. I wouldn't have come out here, if .. well .. it's. I.." She doesn't know what to say. She really doesn't. Instead, the red-head grabs up a cup and places it gently into the man's hand. "My name is Rachel Summers, and I don't mean to be dramatic, but I've come to get your help." The reasons why can wait until the man's color returns and she knows he isn't going to go into a full blown cardiac arrest.

The man is in such a state that Rachel aptly gets him to one of the chairs that sit upon the front porch.

When she puts one of the mugs back in his hands he automatically grasps it.

His eyes have cleared enough that they're now focusing and they swivel to take in the kneeling women's own features now. His pulse is strong, if a bit fluttery, but it's there and it still beats. And while his skin has a pallid cast to it, the color is starting to return.

"Child -" He begins, even though he understands deep within himself that this is no mere child, "You - you are -"

Can he even finish that sentence? 'You are life and death and destruction all rolled into one. You are a danger, our savior, a destroyer, a creator.'

No, not yet. Those thoughts can't be said. He just silently stares at Rachel Summers for several seconds, before her name prompts him to collect himself, to bring himself back to the present. "Yes, the town - several people called ahead. You are the second person to visit me in so many days. The second cup that was for you." Which causes his gaze to drop to his own cup and then the second.

"Please sit." He nods to the chair next to his own. "This is about Dani." He states, versus questions.

"I think what I am, or was, can be addressed another time." Rachel states in a very matter-of-fact voice, her hand leaving the wrist, confident the man isn't going into a full blown heart-attack. Who ever this person is, he has a great deal of power, and Rachel's fairly damn well impressed already. Rising upwards, Rachel shrugs out of her backpack, setting it upon the ground as she draws towards the indicated chair. At the statement from Eagle about being 'the second person', Rachel's eyebrows shoot upwards.

"Sorry, second person?" She inquires, perhaps it isn't important, or maybe it is. Regardless, Rachel would like to know who, and thus, the casual inquiry into who else has visited Eagle.

Collecting the second cup, Rachel does take a sip as she settles into the chair. "Aah. This tastes great after that hike, thank you." It was mighty considerate of the man, really. Finally, after beating around the bush long enough to make sure the elderly shaman is okay that Rachel finally clears her throat.

"Yes. Dani. She and I go to the same school, or did. She's, I think she's in a lot of trouble, and this trouble I feel has a source that perhaps you know of, or maybe, heard of." Rachel takes another sip, she had this all planned out what she was going to say, and now she's left trying to not be so With a breath, Rachel just spits it out. "I need to know what a Demon Bear is, why it .. why it has attached itself to Dani, and more than that, sir. I am hoping you know how to help us stop it and save Dani." There.

Rachel's words brings forth a hint of a smile from the old man. His cup is raised, shakily, towards her wise words of dealing with what and who she is at a more opportune time.

"Yes." And with that response of his the elderly man pushes aside his astonishment and his questions. Now he turns to the true reason Rachel Summers is here.

Her question of second earns a twitch of an eyebrow. "Yes, a man by the name of Stephen Strange visited some days before you. He asked many of the same questions. I told him what I could and I shall tell you much the same things."

Her appreciation of his coffee earns a tilt of his head in thanks, even as he too finally manages a sip.

"The Demon Bear is a corrupted beast. When it first appeared here some years ago Danielle's parents were the ones to initially look into it. They were able to banish the bear, though in doing so they were trapped within the Bear's itself. Danielle believed them dead and I did not dissuade that notion from her. She was too young to deal with the knowledge that her parents lived - in a fashion.""

His voice turns grim then, an old sadness lurking behind his words, and perhaps guilt too. "The banishment has failed. A second time, I might add. And now the Demon Bear holds my granddaughters soul within itself."

And while Black Eagle played much of this knowledge close to his chest for Strange's visit, with Rachel the Shaman is quite forthcoming. Perhaps from that vision that has so affected him.

"The Doctor feared that this bear was one of ancestors who was-is a Mockwamosa, a Bear-Changer, Bear-shifter, but for our lineage that is not the case." His head cants to the side now, a twinkle in his eye, but then that note of humor disappears as he continues with, "The Bear searched for Dani because of those held within it. Some of who they were -" Dani's parents he means, "- still exerts some will upon the Bear. This is why it chases her."

Here he pauses for Rachel to absorb all of what he just said.

One hand runs through Rachel's short locks of red, listening intently to everything that Black Eagle has to say. Stephen Strange? Doctor Strange!? Huh. It makes sense, she supposes. This is all paranormal and occult, and he's all about magic and mysticism. Right? Yet, Rachel has little desire to go talk to Dr. Strange, not unless it comes down to it. This is personal. This is family. While Rachel doesn't know Dani as well as she should, Dani's still an X-Man, which makes her family, and she's still a friend.

Lowering her hand down to the mug, Rachel takes another sip, just letting everything that Black Eagle has to say sink in. Dani's parents banished this thing. It was banished, and now it has returned. Twice? Wait? Twice? "You mentioned it was banished and been returned twice? Has this happened before Dani's parents, or after?"

Her emerald eyes scan Black Eagle, watching him intently. This is a lot to process, and is so completely out of Rachel's knowledge - she wishes Illyana was here. A lot.

"It has a darkness to it that defies anything I have ever come across before. It knows everything about you, as though it possesses its own form of telepathy. If the banishments haven't been working, do you know of how one might destroy it forever? Or .. would harming it, harm Dani?" So many questions, Rachel's left to sigh. "I'm sorry. I don't want to do anything that would harm Dani, but right now everyone is scattering around, unorganized and lost on what to do. If we're going to defeat this, we need to know what the past taught us, and more important than that, how to get Dani -back-."

"Twice, yes. There was a resurgence of the Bear after Danielle's parents fell." He states, "And while I cannot say what occurred, I can tell you it was once again banished to another realm. It was during the trial where she gained her friend, Brightwind." The assumption there that Rachel knows of the winged pegasus.

The rest of her questions causes the man to quiet now, intently listening to each and everyone. He nods at a point or two, but holds his answers until she's finished speaking.

"It reaches for what you fear the most. What hurts you the most." He comments, his expression shifting again to grim lines, "To find the strength to fight against such images - " He shakes his head, "It is hard. But all trials of the spirit are, otherwise we would not learn from them."

"To destroy it would only hurt the creature's soul. Dani, her parents, those that linger in there that are not of the Bear would be freed if you sunder the Bear's soul from itself. Before you can do such a thing, however, you must reduce its power which it gains from the number of souls that reside within it. The less it has the weaker it becomes."

"So freeing souls." Rachel's thinking Illyana here, "Will make it less powerful." Her thoughts are said aloud as the red-head finishes her cup of coffee and sets the mug down. "How do you get _to_ the souls, though? I have a friend, Illyana. She has a powerful sword that is, in a sense, an extension of her very soul. With it, she has been able to stop demons, it is a bane to anything paranormal. She's been able to restore a soul that was lost to a demonic possession with it. Would just using that on the possessed bodies work, or do you need access to where the creature stores their souls?" Rachel inquires, her hands gesturing as she talks, moving from side to side, 'talking' with her. (Now that the mug is no longer holding them down, of course.)

"And I have, sadly, experienced that pain all too real a few weeks ago." Rachel comments, her head shaking to and fro as she does. "Learning from it, though, has made me strong. It is not going to hurt me again with that pain. I will laugh in its face." And she will.

Though, back to other things.. Rachel lets out a quiet sigh and settles back in the chair. "What would you suggest, sir. There are many powerful people that would do anything for Dani."

The old man address Rachel's last point first, "It is good to know Dani has such friends such as yourself, who would help her in such a terrible time."

Then he mulls over her other questions. "Your friend's sword - I believe it could work with just their bodies, but I am only guessing. If that doesn't work then she will need to go within the Bear itself and find the heart of the beast. I caution that it will be protected, quite strongly so. You must take great care if that is the course you must take."

Her comment about laughing in the face of the the fear allows a faint smile from Black Eagle. "This is good. We're all set upon this earth to learn from those things that hurt us most. It's only when we ignore those lessons at hand that we continue the cycle of pain."

His hands spread then, "I wish I had something else of value to offer you. A weapon, a spell, but I am only a guide in this story. A guide who wishes with all his heart to see his granddaughter safely back from this." And the rest of his family too, but that's left unsaid for now.

Rising upwards, Rachel begins to collect her backpack. "You've been more helpful than you can ever know, sir. I thank you - from the bottom of my heart for your help, and guidance." It's more than she had for some time, and it's a lot to go on. A lot. As the backpack is slung about her back, Rachel offers a quiet. "I owe you an explanation, now."

Turning to face Black Eagle, Rachel's voice remains quiet. "A few years ago, I was the vessel for what we refer to as, The Phoenix. Like the mythical creature of old, fire, and life, death and rebirth. It is and was a cosmic entity that could do just as you saw, bring forth great destruction, but also return it to life. I foolishly took it as my birthright, but thankfully it has left me now, and I have no desire to ever have to deal with it again."

"I hope the next time someone visits, it'll be your granddaughter, well and whole." And Rachel means it. With that, she turns and heads off down the trail, it's a long hike back to civilization, where she's going to head straight home afterwards.

His head dips at her thanks, his braided gray hair shifting with that movement of his.

Her explanation brings his gaze back to her face and his expression turns attentive once again. He listens to all she has to say and perhaps some of what she doesn't, and again he nods.

"Beings such as that - it is good to see so little of them. Respect them for what they are and what they can do, then let them go. It is good that you've found your path with concerns to that Great Bird."

And when she turns and begins her trek back to a more civilized world, the man offers his farewell. "Take care, Aenohe, and may you find the path you seek."

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