Helpful Advice

August 24, 2018:

A creature from another world finds its way to Earth. Billy Kaplan is there to SAVE THE DAY. Illyana offers helpful advice along the way.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

During the busy work week there are days and then there are DAYS.

Whether this particular day falls into the first or second category might be arbitrary because (thankfully) it's now Friday. Blessed Friday. Friday's make *everything* all better.

Friday's make everything more fun.

And Friday means there are /a lot/ of people out and about in the city proper. Some are dressed down, some are dressed up, and some just don't care what they're wearing so long as long as they're with friends and having a good time.

But, because there always is one, trouble can be found nearby and it starts innocently enough with a soft rumble from deep within the ground below. The reverberation is quiet enough that the general noise from the cars, people, and the ambiance of the city easily masks it.

However, for those that have more refined senses there's a shift within the air. A bend in time, a rift in space, a shift beneath the feet of the people that walk the earth this very evening. What once felt solid now rapidly hollows beneath the asphalt and cement, creating an opening that the naked eye has yet to see.


It's hard to free yourself from an idea when you catch one. Like any good — truly insidiously good — disease, an idea will plant itself in your thoughts before you even realized you had it. A little spark. A little itch. And just like that, it's there, spreading like the most aggressive of infections until it is all you can think about.

The itch that won't be denied until its scratched.

All this is to say that when Billy Kaplan gets something in his head, he has an extremely hard time letting it go. And as the fact that his recent and frequent forays out into the wide world outside his window have in large part been frequently dedicated to going to either A) Hell's Kitchen, B) Mutant Town, or C) a library can attest, he's also just has a little bit too much relentless initiative when it comes to these things. I mean, seriously. Who even goes to libraries anymore? The answer is, of course: the truly desperate.

He tells himself that's not how he's feeling, as he wanders down the city streets alone after another long session of volunteer work out in the Kitchen. It rings hollow, as it usually does, drowned out by the sounds of the city and his own quieting self-derision as he weaves his way between the clotting throng of passersby. His head ducked, his hands tucked, young Billy Kaplan chews with mild fret at the inside of his cheek. He knows there's no way he can get answers to the things that are -really- worrying him just poking around the internet helplessly. His head turns up. He looks in the direction of Mutant Town.

"… Maybe one more try-" he begins.

And then reality quivers like jello beneath his feet.

"What-?!"

He's still unused to these powers, these senses — everything about himself. And it shows, in the way he instinctively -grips- onto a passing New Yorker as he feels something -hollow- out beneath them with a choked, "Watch out-!", -yanking- them back…

… only to see nothing. Nothing with the physical eye. People walk on, giving him odd stares. He blinks, wide-eyed. "I… sorry, I'm sorry, I just…"

A shake of his head, a dry gulp, and Billy Kaplan turns his attention towards that… /something/ he feels beneath the cement beyond him. Something wounding open a gape in space. He should call Tommy. Or Kate. Or Tony. Or Bucky, or Captain America, or anyone—

"I want to see," he murmurs beneath his breath, to try to open his eyes up to the senses beyond the physical, and get a better look at just -what- is happening as he approaches. Cautiously.

Instead of anything sensible.


There's an 'old-timey' cartoon out there where the main character grabs a small piece of thread that he finds poking from a sleeve, or a button. He thinks to give it a quick tug to rip it out, only when he tugs at it his whole shirt unravels. Sometimes his pants too! That unravelled stitching seeming to be such a small thing when in reality the consequences of pulling it were clearly great.

When Billy Kaplan opens his senses *that* is the feeling he might perceive. A thread of what keeps the dimensions and other realities separate has frayed and now, from pressure on the 'other side', the fray rapidly widens.

It continues to zip and zig and zag along until finally the hole within is wide enough to let something out.

And by something we mean monster.

The monster's arrival from subterranean to above ground is quite spectacular. That soft rumble from before turns into a sound of crashing thunder. A clash of stone, dirt, asphalt and cement. The rumble is enough to warn those that stand upon that patch of ground that something is wrong and while most of the Native New Yorkers can't quite understand *what* is going on, they at least have the good sense to run. Some run with gasps, some run with screams, but a whole slew run and some run right toward Billy.

Seconds later the ground finally erupts and a great crack runs from one side of the street to the other and from it black smoke boils upward into the air. It takes moments, but eventually that smoke lessens enough for people to see the fissure that now mars the ground and there, right beside the fissure, sits something. It's small, about the size of a medium dog. It's almost cute in a vaguely fuzzy sheep-related way, though it's features aren't necessarily 'sheep'. There's just too many eyes. Although the eyes are quite cute, big, round, doleful and 'it' turns its gaze to the people nearby. Then it shakes itself, its wooly fur floofing upward and only enhancing the 'adorableness' of itself.

From that, a few brave (stupid?) souls drift closer, an almost unspoken 'awwwww' drifting around them. Surely they're not going to pet it? Surely they are.

Elsewhere in a dimension known only as Limbo a blonde young woman pauses in what she's doing. A sense of what's happening on Earth is felt and Illyana Rasputin turns her attention away from a spellbook and toward the faceted crystal that hangs ponderously in the air.


It's a strange sensation, feeling existence unravel and then knowing, knowing without knowing how, that there is something else beneath everything Billy Kaplan has known for most of his life to be real. It's overwhelming, at first, and yet the real confusion comes from how he feels like he's felt similar before, like he knows this.

And the intuitive familiarity, the strange normalcy of it, is what really frightens him to a standstill in that first moment.

His indecision and panic last only exactly as long as it takes for everything to go to hell.

Reality thins and tears and -something- drags itself out of the spaces between space with a thunderclap that snaps Billy back to attention and rings angrily at his ears. He flinches from the sound despite himself; it's almost instinct, the way his clothes bleed away in sapphire twinges of light that reknit fabric like they were remolding clay as he tries his best to force his way through upstream against the panicked fleeing of the crowds, bounced around between fleeing bodies like he was the most helpless of ping pong balls.

At least most New Yorkers have the common sense, by now, to run from something so obviously dangerous. So what does that say about him that he's trying to move -toward- it -through- them at eminent risk of being trampled by the unruly mob? … Probably nothing he really wants to think about for too long.

By the time Billy has managed to stumble his way clear of the crowds his clothes are already reassembled into the cosmic twinkle of his costume, the vivid red of his cloak whipping errantly behind him as he just -barely- stops himself from getting knocked to the ground. He pauses for a moment. Looks up.

"… Oh. Yeah. I could've flown, couldn't I? Ugh."

He's still getting used to all this. Shh.

Brown-eyed attention fixates itself soon enough towards the street as it literally -CRACKS- with great gouts of black smoke. His eyes round with widening concern; instantly, Wiccan is in the air, weaving between plumes of bubbling blackness and trying his best not to breath any of… -whatever- this all is in as he takes in the clearing sight of the imminent threat beneath him. What could it be? A radioactive monster? A werewolf?? A subterranean race of mole people ruled by a vindictive man with vision problems?? A DRAGON (oh god please not a dragon he has such a bad history with dragons). And so is revealed the imminent threat…

… of a small, fluffy, cute…

… many-eyed fuzzy-wuzzy sheep. … Thing.

"…"

For a moment, Billy just floats there, staring. Lips part.

"…… Please tell me I'm not going crazy, please."

Not that he has time to dwell. As people approach, the young man's gaze snaps back down towards them. "Wait!" he shouts, reflexively, and instantly tries to touch down between the sheep and those bystanders, one hand held outward toward them, and the other toward the sheepthing — as if he could really ward off a… whatever this is with a hand gesture.

"Please, stop! We have no idea what this is," but it doesn't come from this world and I SAW IT BREAK THROUGH THE BOUNDARIES OF SPACE AND TIME AND CREATION AND EVERYTHING SENSIBLE "— but I need you all to get out of here as quickly as possible and leave this…"

Brows knot inward just a bit.

"… really suspiciously adorable threat to me. Please."

Don't pet the spacetime aberration don't pet the spacetime aberration don't pet the spacetime aberration

… is his current internal mantra.


The sight of the floating young man garners a few gasps, some fingers pointing upward, and the ever present flash and click of cellphones cameras.

But really, the majority of people's attention is on the split that mars the sidewalk and that cute fuzzy sheep-thing.

And while people do hear his warning and MOST listen to his sensible words, there's two young people who don't. A man and a woman. Both look to be in their early twenties and both have their phones out taking pictures of the wooly-coated sheep-thing. It's the woman who reaches the creature first and when she does she reaches out a hand to pet it's fur. "It's so soft!" She exclaims and her words seems to urge the man faster to her side. Once there he too pets the sheep-thing, "It is!" Comes his agreement and dumbly the two continue to pet the creature.

Obviously Billy's silent mantra to not pet the sheeple aberration falls upon deaf ears.

Which is a shame, as in the next instant movement might be seen, or sensed, from within the pit. There's a sudden spike of energy and then a sharp crack as a beast rapidly rises up from the darkness below. First impressions are quite simple, leathery green and gray skin, larger than the tallest man here, and rather rotund. Though perhaps globular is a better word to describe it. It's eyes are tiny and it's mouth is obscenely large and full of sharp and pointed teeth.

And it i s its mouth that the man and woman end up, as it literally snaps forward and gobbles the two up.

Seconds after ingestion a shudder grips the monster's frame and then it grows larger.

Now, at this point, the people in the area are quiet. Shocked silent, but the silence only lasts for a handful of seconds then chaos occurs in the form of shrieks and much stampeding.

Within Limbo Illyana watches the beast eat the people via her crystal, "Morons." Then there's a flash as her soulsword and armor appear and soon enough she calls forth a circular portal. A corresponding portal opens upon the street and from it Illyana steps through.

Back-up has arrived?


He'll never quite get tired of that reaction of gasps and awe. He'd never quite admit it, but there is a tiny part of Billy Kaplan that finds a small bit of joy in that wonder after so long of experiencing the other side of the coin. Inwardly, he can't help the smallest smile, just as much as he can't help the relief when people actually listen to him.

Just as much as he can't help the horror when some don't.

"No! Please, you need to listen to me, that thing is really dangerous-" Wiccan starts to warn. Tries to warn. But they reach out, and touch, and he can -feel- something react, like a predator springing the trap on its bait. Brown eyes widen in terrible realization. His right hand snaps forward, crackling with blue energy that feels his intent before the words even leave his lips —

"Go away go away go aw"

CRUNCH

… still a second too late.

He can hear the crack of bones and tear of flesh and gulp of an unnatural gullet as the thing from beyond devours them. color drains from his face. His blood runs cold. A tiny, choked sound escapes him.

He should have started casting sooner.

He should have gotten them all away.

He should have—

"NO!"

That shout is furious and afraid all in one, and those sentiments are not only directed at the strange, bulbous behemoth lurching forward. Through the screams of people and pound of shoes he can hear — feel — another bend of space as he directs his frustrations over his failings into a wrathful -burst- of electrical discharge towards the growing beast. He can see someone, a blond woman, emerging from that portal, someone a person as hero-obsessed as him rightly would have recognized in any other situation.

"Who-?" This is not any other situation. And he can only afford the briefest glance towards his unexpected calvary before his anger redirects back towards the creature as those brown eyes start to slowly bleed into a brilliant, spiteful blue.


Should have. Would have. Could have.

A litany that often haunts heroes and all of those that try to do the right thing but who always find themselves not quite fast enough. A moment, a second, sometimes a half-a-second, too late.

The energy that Billy flings at the beast hits the creature with a powerful crackle and zap. The beast screams in pain as its skin blackens and turns quite crunchy-crispy. A disgusting stench wafts towards the crowds now and while it's clear the strike hurt the beast, the monster STILL grows. It absorbs the energy behind that attack and its form shudders and ripples as it once gains girth. With the added height and width the critter lurches forward, oozing out from the hole in the street.

Now freed one can truly appreciate the creature's form. There aren't any visible limbs and while that might give the notion that it can't move, one would be quite wrong. Momentum is gained from a rippling along the body parts that touch the ground which allows itself to be propelled forward.

Right into the crowd. Where it can eat more people.

Which it does. One person to the left of it, another to the right of it, and third in front of it. With each gobble and crunch the blobby-fish-demon's girth swiftly increases.

For Illyana the question of just who might she be is skipped neatly over. Her own greeting to Billy is quite simply, "Smooth move, Sherlock. Tell me you have other tricks in that fancy cape of yours?"


He can smell the putrid stench of… whatever this thing is made of, assaulting his nostrils as if the smell were a monster all its own. The lightning clearly makes its mark, ionizing plasma scorching that almost gelatinous body. It should have had some effect. And it does.

It makes it larger.

How? Where did this thing come from? Billy Kaplan would be shocked, if he could truly afford that second's hesitation. As it is, for a limbless glob of flesh and fat and teeth, the beast moves fast. As it topples towards the crowd with intent to snack, Wiccan's face wrenches in determination and rage; his thoughts fly swiftly, even as he lashes out his arms to either side of him, cerulean pooling at his fingertips. Direct attacks are obviously feeding it, making it -grow-. If the same applies for everything it eats—

"Restrain restrain restrain restrain"

For a moment, the very ground beneath the demonic thing seems to soften and granulate like quicksand, to deny it the traction it needs for its frenetic lunges. Cars and lamp posts start to break apart, spooling into ribbons of steel and glass and plastic to try to wrap around the thing and -bind- it down into that pooling ground, to at least give those bystanders enough time to start running.

Enough time for him to /think./

He needs to think, focus, focus, focus

Smooth move, Sherlock.

He winces, internally. He reflexively tries to rebuke that casual insult, but he doesn't. Because he knows he deserves it.

"You're not helping." Which doesn't stop him from pointing out the obvious. "You're literally not helping. And you just stepped out of a portal through space and time to do that!" Yeah, he can tell. Which is weird. How can he tell? Any of this? And if this were any other situation he might be internally gushing on how cool that is plus also he wants to try to make a replica of that sword and armor for a LARP someday—

"If you have helpful suggestions, then tell me! Otherwise-"

But, again, not any other situation.

"-I'll stop this thing myself!"

It's bravado, really. He doesn't know if he can stop it. He just tells himself he can, he has to, as he takes off into the air towards the hopefully restrained beast, to try to land between it and the crowd like a lone, small barrier to its growing presence. What other tricks does he have in that fancy cape?

He honestly has no idea, any more than he does if he's going to make it out of this alive.


The ground beneath the creature turns gritty, soft, making it harder for the thing to find purchase to move forward. While it doesn't necessarily have the largest brain in the world it is aware enough to realize something has changed. That it's stuck, mired. It lashes out with gelatinous blobs of flesh, smacking at the ground and withering, as it tries to roll its body to firmer ground.

The filaments of plastic and metal, glass and steel, enwrap the creature and for a handful of seconds it seems to work. Its forward momentum is stopped, the body of the creature bound, but eventually the bindings fail. They don't break or shatter, or crack, instead the creature simply ABSORBS it right into itself.

And guess what? That's right, it grows yet again.

At this rate it'll soon be the size of a four story building in no time.

"Who said I came here to help?" She inquires sweetly, a grin tugging the corners of her mouth upward, "Maybe I just came to watch the show." What he says next, however, causes any further words from Illyana to pause as she considers the young man in a new light.

Finally, the young woman says, "Well, aren't you /interesting/.", and while she could offer some helpful suggestions to Billy Kaplan, Yana doesn't. Not after he vows with such fervor that he'll stop this thing all. by. himself.

"Oh, please, be my guest." She replies, her tone holding a clear edge of mockery to it. Then the woman makes a show of stepping aside and as she steps there's a flare of light in her left hand, as her soulsword appears from the ether it typically is housed within. The point of that sword is 'buried' into the ground and the woman props herself up with said sword, as she continues to act nonplussed with this whole situation at hand.

"I'd hurry though." She advises, "The people inside are still alive, but eventually the beast will digest them."

And the 'beast' for its part starts to pull itself up and out of that magical pitfall Billy has created for it. Simply put it's ingesting the loose sand and gravel as it moves.


Who said I came here to help?

And Billy Kaplan's face screws up like he just drank the world's most curdled milk.

He could sermonize, or lecture, and if the circumstances weren't so dire, he very likely would. Instead, he just tries not to fixate on how frustrating his newfound friend is as he stares down the wobbly maw of the infernal beast that seems to be absorbing literally -anything- that touches it. His scrunched expression settles into a muted frown of highly-internalized vexation, the stars of his outfit shifting across a nebulous cosmos as his eyes narrow.

"… … Fine," is all he says. At which point she flashily manifests her very own magical sword.

He really can't help the frustrated sigh that heaves from his lips after that, nor the words he mutters under his breath:

"… why are the people with the coolest equipment the biggest jerks…??"

But Wiccan doesn't really have time to dwell; the demon's current struggle is a temporary reprieve that'll buy him minutes at best. At worst… much, much less. It absorbs his bindings, growing even larger than before. It likely absorbed the woven reality that went into them, too. It eats everything, growing bigger and stronger. Eats everything, like on impulse. Eats everything…

Through the haze of his wildly working thoughts, he hears the pressure that Illyana so helpfully places on his shoulders as if she were trying to be the feather that broke the camel's back. The people in there are alive-? Brown eyes widen. And then he can feel them. Life, inside the monstrosity.

But eventually…

"… No. I won't let that happen. I won't. You want a show? Then just watch."

Confidence is not Billy Kaplan's strong suit. It's a consequence of questioning your every waking moment, wondering if you've done too much or too little for the world any given day of your life. Wondering if you're a failure, if the world might be better off without you. But in circumstances like this? Where he doesn't have the luxury of indulging in his self-doubts, when everything revolves around a split second decision, when real and present danger is right at his doorstep?

Well, let it not be said adrenaline doesn't give even the meek a chance to shine.

"You want my power?"

Eyes start to bleed into a pure, solid block of cerulean. The creature eats -everything- that contacts it, as if it can't help itself. Some of Billy's power is already in there, probably being digested like everything else. He floats into the air before that growing, oblong devil as cerulean will-o-wisps dance at his arms. He strains. A small part of him isn't sure he can do this. But he forces himself to believe he can. He has to.

"You don't deserve it!"

And just like that, reality starts to reassemble itself in subtle twitches of probability and causality. The devil eats everything it touches. But what if something it ate didn't agree with it?

And that is exactly what Billy Kaplan seeks to find out, changing the beast so that its body rejects the metaphysical energies that empower his would-be spells. Like an extreme, allergic reaction. Like the unfortunate consequences of food poisoning, en masse.

A food that Billy is currently funneling into the demon in truly generous servings to power the very spell that makes it reject it.


If that mutter was heard likely Illyana would say something along the lines of 'because we can be'.

Because that's the truth. Most people that have all the cool toys are the types that aren't best with things like sharing, playing nice, or being overtly friendly.

Illyana is no different and possibly worse in some respects if she's completely honest with herself.

Thank god she's not really honest with herself.

His words about power bring an expectant look to Yana's features, as she watches him with both normal vision and the not-quite-so-normal vision. It allows her to see him as well as the power that surrounds him and the energies involved with the demon itself. Her blue eyes stare transfixed upon the young man for several heartbeats, then she moves her eyes to the Beast, interested to see how this all plays out.

For the Beast it greedily accepts the energy Billy sends into its globular form. It eats and eats and eats, up until the point where its body and brain begins to realize something isn't quite right. Then it tries to close itself off, but it's already too late. Too late to stop the chain reaction occurring within itself and too late to stop the power that it's being force fed. With that the creature grows and grows, bloating to a size most would find incredible. Only as it grows the skin upon the demon begins to change, boils, hives, blisters and pustules suddenly appear. Those wounds continue grow until the blemishes merge into giant cracks and fissures and then suddenly - because it's always suddenly - the creature shudders like a wibbly-wobbly bubble and *POPS*.

And much like a balloon full of water all the contents within the creature's body expel outward in a projectile-vomit like wave.

Green and black slime splatters upon the street and buildings and people. Well, most people. Not Illyana. She raises her free hand upward in a timely fashion and erects a personal shield before her. The slime and guts of the creature splat ferociously against it before dripping to the ground.

The people that were eaten by the creature find themselves upon the ground, within the ditch the creature and Billy Kaplan created with their battle.

"There you go." The blonde demoness says as she casts a critical eye upon the newly freed people and then Billy, "That wasn't so hard, was it?"


It's not magic. Not quite, anyway. Enough trappings of it that superficially anyone might just assume it is and probably lose nothing for the assumption. But there's more nuance to it, to someone like Illyana who can see the underpinnings. Something more raw about the forces that Billy Kaplan is currently tapping into, and even more primal. Like he was circumventing the often-nebulous laws that govern what magic is and what it can do, and the costs involved. It's like hacking reality, with cheat codes, on easy mode.

And to anyone who's ever seen a certain, scarlet witch in action, it's also woefully familiar.

But hacking reality, with cheat codes, on easy mode is apparently still a taxing process, and in this much anyone can see just how inexperienced Billy Kaplan really is. Sweat beads at his brow, his skin color paling just slightly as he bends the way the world works around his finger until it lives up to his expectations. His breathing comes out in a labored thing that he cannot hide no matter how much he might try to — and right now, he simply doesn't have enough pride to risk his concentration trying. He maintains the power of his words for as long as he possibly can, his soul burning bright like a swelling star even as the meat and muscle of his body start to flag. Maintains that funnel of power as the Beast looms over him like a jiggling tower of gelatinous dread.

Maintains it for as long as it takes for that pustule-peppered body to pop like the world's angriest pimple.

All over him. Brown eyes widen in the seconds before the inevitable.

"Oh crap I didn't think this through-"

SPLOOSH

And it also demonstrates Wiccan's inexperience that, unlike Illyana, he doesn't even think to shield himself before he's swept off in a tidal wave of infernal bodily fluids, plucked from his skyward perch and driven down into the ground in a torrent of viscous slime and guts and things he really doesn't want to be thinking about and oh god did it get into his mouth is HE GOING TO TURN INTO A DEMON IF IT GETS IN HIS MOUTH

or maybe some kind of tiefling no Billy this is not a good situation to start nerd fantasizing about

And so in the aftermath Illyana turns her cutting commentary onto a sputtering Billy Kaplan currently doing his best to try to spit demon funk out of his mouth, dripping thick droplets of ectoplasm he doesn't even begin to try to guess the nature of despite his kneejerk curiosity. Just kind of. Lurched over on his hands and knees. Splashing and spitting.

Great, now she's going to think you're an even bigger idiot.

"… y-yeah," he mutters, voice cracked with fatigue. "So… easy. Thanks for… all the moral support." His gaze, instinctively, tracks to the people who were trapped within the monster, to make sure they're alright.

He feels relief, for a brief moment writ large on his expression. Then reality snaps back into focus because god he feels SO GROSS—

"I guess… you're not going to bother telling me what that was either?"


The familiarity of his powers bring a speculative look to her gaze. Also the fact that his powers aren't necessarily truly magic. There's something more to it and it's something Illyana senses even with the young man's obvious newbishness with them.

As for the beast and all the puddles and splats that it created it's definitely gross. People are just going to have to burn their clothes, there's just no way around it.

"Oh, you're welcome." Illyana says to his thanks for her support, "It's the least I could do." She continues with, her expression clearly amused by this conversation. Carefully now, the young woman strategically steps around the puddles of goo and guts, even as people struggle with keeping the contents of their stomach within themselves.

Billy's look to the people that were trapped reveals them all alive, though 'well' might be pushing it. They all have varying degrees of disgust and horror upon their features as they struggle to rise to their feet. At least they're physically uninjured. That's saying something.

As long as he doesn't run away, or try to scurry away, he'll find Illyana settling a couple feet away from him. "Oh something from another dimension." She says blithely enough, "I suppose you could categorize it as a demon, though does it really matter? It's pretty much dead now and the rift it came through is nearly healed."

Which is the truth, the rift beneath the ground that leads between the two worlds is nearly closed. The touch of Illyana's own power surrounds it, perhaps attesting to how she really did help during this situation at hand.

"So, what's your name?"


You're welcome, she says, as if she were the key to this great victory. Billy Kaplan's sputtering stops exactly long enough for him to squint incredulously at her.

"I wasn't really…" he begins, before his brows just knot up with consternation. As he collects himself, he just slumps to the ground in a sitting position, and exhales a masterfully put upon sigh that, by all accounts, has to have been so perfected by years of experience.

"Ugh. Nevermind." The young man rubs one ichor-slick hand at the back of his neck, expression flattening both thanks to remembering how gross he feels right now, and —

It's the least I could do.

"… At least we can agree on that much." Normally, he'd just bottle a remark like that up and soldier on. But, well…

This day is already officially the worst, so he can make exceptions. Illyana clearly just brings out the best in people.

It's no small relief, at least, to find the people the creature devoured in its rampage are all, at least, breathing. He'll have to tell Tony about this — maybe see about keeping an eye on them, to make sure nothing strange happens to them. To him. That's still a pressing worry at the back of his mind, swallowed down to the depths of his subconscious as he affixes a skeptical stare upon Illyana's dismissive explanation.

"What? Of course it matters! I just — I just felt that thing open up some kind of hole beneath reality, or something! Things like that don't just happen. How did it do that? Why? What if it's not over? What if there's more of them? What if…"

Slowly, his words trail as he realizes, with some degree of self-conscious, self-berating frustration, that he likely might as well be talking to a wall, for how apathetic his newfound companion-slash-critic seems to be. He shuts his eyes, and takes in a slow, steadying breath.

"It matters. It always matters."

It has to.

She asks for his name. He hesitates. He should just blow her off, he thinks. Think of something suitably snide to say and then go find Tony and figure out just what, exactly, happened here. Give her a taste of her own medicine.

"… Billy Kaplan. Wiccan. Call me Wiccan."

He doesn't, of course.

Because that's just not who he is.

"Who are you supposed to be? … And what's with that sword-?"

(because it seriously looks cool and he's super jealous)


Perhaps Illyana takes pity upon the young man, or perhaps she's just amusing herself, but whatever the case may be the blonde flicks her fingers at Wiccan. With that movement a small spell that screams 'go away' leaps towards him. It's not to make him go away, but rather for the goop upon him to be repelled off of skin and clothes, and a good sized circle around the two.

"Wiccan?" She echoes, a grin once more ticking the corners of her mouth upward, "Did you pick that? How cute." Not that she has /any/ right to make fun of his name what with hers being Magik, but as the saying goes what one doesn't know won't hurt them.

"You can just call me Illyana." The question of her sword is completely ignored and stays unanswered as the demoness lobs a question of her own back to him. "How new are you to this 'world'? Cause right now, I have to say, you're screaming 'I'm a total newb' with those questions you just asked." And while she was just about to continue with her questions (or is that insults) something causes the woman's blue eyes to monetarily unfocus.

When Illyana's attention returns to the present a frown immediately bends her lips downward, "Looks like I have to get going. Now that you know what it feels like when reality rips I'd advise keeping an eye out for it. The veil that separates worlds has grown thin and weak. What you saw here is only the beginning. More will be coming through unless we can figure out a way to strengthen the dimensional walls."

"But that lengthy conversation is really for another day. Now I have things to do, people to see." Her words might seem flippant, which they are, but beneath them there's a grimness to them. Something is clearly wrong. "Chat later, I'm sure and try hard not to get more demon guts on you. It really is disgusting and sometimes it can react like acid too. Not pretty, not pretty at all."

The area lights up with silver and gold light, as a circular portal flares to life right beneath Illyana's feet. She offers a jaunty little wave, before the portal beneath her feet rises upward and engulfs her. Then with another wink of light the woman, her sword and her portal disappear.

The demon and its guts do not, however. One surely has to feel sorry for the poor people who have to clean *that* mess up.

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