A Speck in the Eye

September 20, 2018:

Piotr searches for his lost sister and finds her within Stark Tower. Only it's not quite Illyana that he speaks with.

'Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.'


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The world, or at least New York, is now a mesh of Earth and Limbo. The familiar and the not.

It's likewise chock-full-of-demons.

The skies weep a steady influx of demonic woe. They drop to the ground in ones and twos and threes and fours. Roving bands of various sized demons can be find. Some small, some large, and some terribly frightening.

Daylight is no more and the city seems to be in a permanent state of dusk, thanks to the multihued skies. Reds and oranges and sickly greens and yellows. All of it blots the majority of the sunlight from the grounds below.

Already New York looks like war has come marching through, with the more metropolitan areas looking especially battle torn. East Side seems to have the worst of it, however. Specifically Stark Towers. It is, after all, the epicenter of all this crazy activity.

It's where a dragon sits encircled around the multi-storied skyscraper and where a young woman once known as Illyana Rasputina now holds court, protecting the world as only the Darkchilde can.

With violence and death.

For Piotr, there's likely enough shaky-handed cellphone footage to show glimpses of Stark Tower and even if there's not the sword he carries tugs at him.

It whispers 'go this way'. Go this way to find the owner of this sword.

Piotr was flung like a plaything from the claw of the dragon. His landing was hard but it didn't matter. The demonic dust still burned his lungs and tore at steel form. But none of that mattered. Illyana was taken.

While the others needed to recover, to pull themselves together and regroup Piotr was having none of that. He didn't stop. He didn't talk to anyone. He simply opened the door and started walking. At first he didn't know how he knew. Was it Illyana? Was it some deep bond? Only a the hint of a smile crosses his face when he realizes that of course it is her sword that leads him. The scabbard now secured on his back, the sword directs him south.

The demons over running the city are not his concern. He barely stops mid stride to punch one straight through a building. There are other heroes that will help. His mission is singular. His focus is complete.

"Illyana. I am here."

Standing on the street, disregarding the chaos of both demonic activity and less supernatural but still evil and chaotic, the traffic, he takes in the building and the dragon atop it.

Piotr finds himself at the Citadel and as he regards it he may notice the yellow eyes that turn towards him.

They peep around garbage and litter, around the generalized debris, the wrecked cars and chunks of cement. They watch the man who stands before the house of their Mistress.

It doesn't take long for the whispers to start, though the chitters and chatters sound nothing like English. Instead they speak within their own demonic tongue.

Then like an invitation extended to the sentinel of a man the way clears. The havoc upon the street quiets and the entranceway to the building becomes clear. The door itself is open and the silent message is there -

Come inside. The soulsword hears that message and tugs harder now.

Go. Find her. Save her.

The climb to Illyana's throne room is long. It's a spiraling walk upwards within Stark Tower, until finally at the top the floor segues from technalogical skyscraper to gothic citadel. The room itself opens up into Illyana's familiar throne room; immense flagstones, stone pillars and vaulted ceilings. In the center of the room sits an even more well known throne made of the deepest obsidian.

Upon it sits a figure, perfectly shadowed to obscure face and form, only allowing a generalized shape to be seen.

Well aware of the eyes on him, Piotr ignores them. They are of no consequence. Only one thing matters and that is getting his sister back safely.

When the doors open and the way becomes clear, Piotr doesn't hesitate. He's aware that there is the likelihood of this being a trap. He doesn't care. He takes the steps meant for average sized men and women three at a time. His feet occasionally cracking the material beneath his weight, his footsteps heavy with determined anger.

Coming into the throne room, he pauses. Why does this look so familiar? He .. knows this place.

"Ill- .. yana?"

His once booming voice is now hesitant, filled with confusion. But then his face sets itself. Of course, this must be some demonic trickery meant to throw him off his game. His hand reaches back for the sword and rests there on it's hilt.

"Where is my sister?"

His voice booms again with righteous certainty and fierce brotherly protection.

His question booms within the room with such ferociousness the room vibrates with it.

And where is his sister? Where is Illyana Rasputin.

Surely she must be a prisoner her. A prisoner of the dragon and the Elder Gods.

Wrapped in chains and bound, helpless to free herself and helpless to escape.

And while there may be some verity to those thoughts, the truth is possibly far more startling -

"I'm here, Brother." Comes a familiar voice from the shadows and with those words said the Darkchilde leans forward and into the line. "Right here." The Darkchilde says.

Curved horns form a heavy crown upon her brow, reddened eyes cast a sinister glow to her features, a spade-tipped tail and cloven hooves complete her now demonic form.

She's dressed for battle, her form seamlessly covered with silver Eldritch Armor and languidly, the woman motions for Piotr Rasputin to come closer.

"I'm happy to see the dragon didn't kill you." She speaks, her tone conversational with those words of hers. "It would have saddened me greatly if he did."

The answer sends a cold shiver down Piotr's spine. He should rejoice.. right? But instead his silver brow furrows. He takes a hesitant step closer but his hand remains firmly on the grip of the sword.

"Illyana … I do not understand."

He vacillates between not understanding and not believing. There are demons about, liars and deceivers to their core. His opaque steel orbs narrow as if trying to discern with his limited vision if that creature is indeed his sister.

"Why is your throne here? Why are you…"

He continues to take small steps forward, but the hand on his sword remains.

"No." She says, "You wouldn't."

"No one will." She rises from her throne and with a step she comes down from the raised dais. Beside her stone throne sits her scrying crystal, the faceted surface cloudy and opaque as it sits dormant.

When she passes it her hand reaches out to idly touch the surface and with that touch a sliver comes away. Carefully the shard is hidden within her palm.

"Not that it matters." She continues, "All that really does is knowing that you are safe. All of you are safe now. The Dark Gods cannot find their way onto Earth, their path is blocked. Limbo is the wall that holds them back and I its keeper. I will make sure it never falls and that they can never become a threat to our life again."

His smaller more tentative steps are matched by Illyana's own. With each of her steps the soft sound of clip and clop can be heard, that noise announcing and declaring with each step her allegiance to her demonic heritage.

"But how? How are you here? And the dragon..?" Piotr's face is still deeply scowling despite the 'explanation'. Not that he has ever gotten much of a satisfactory explanation from Illyana ever since her first return from Limbo.

"But we can not leave Limbo in New York. And what is stopping the dragon from doing whatever it wishes? We were less than effective in stopping it in Limbo." He carefully understates just how thoroughly it whupped them.

His hand now slides off the sword. This is not a trick. At least, this is Illyana, he can't deny that now. But there is still a lot that he doesn't understand. He came with a sole purpose to rescue her.

He should have known better.

"The dragon saw the error of its ways." Declares the Darkchilde with a smile, "It's now on our side."

Rather her side and only until it doesn't suit the dragon or Illyana.

The mention of removing Limbo from New York brings a sternness to Illyana's voice and a scowl to her lips. "Piotr." She snaps, "Limbo stays right where it is. It's the only thing that's keeping The Elder gods away. Without it we'd all be their slaves and I their plaything."

"I would rather give up everything."

Even her soul it seems.

When she's within arms-length of her brother the Demoness extends a hand towards him. "Will you stand with me, Brother?" Or against is how that sentence silent completes.

"Will you be my Paladin against all who will try to stop me? To make certain the Dark Ones are never able to free themselves."

"Our side."

It's not a question. It's a statement. But it's a very unsure statement as if trying out a new phrase in an unfamiliar tongue. What does that mean? Is it really their side?

At the rebuke, Piotr head tilts and says patiently. "Illyana. This can not be the only way. We will find a way to push them back and to regain the city. We can not allow demons to run freely through the streets."

And then she's asking things that cause his lips to tighten.

"Illyana. You know I would do anything for you…"

His head shakes slowly.

"But what are you asking? Who is trying to stop you? And what are they trying to stop you from doing?"

Yea, that's definitely not a yes.

He doesn't take her hand.

Nor does he add his allegiance to her.

Hurt flashes across her features for a brief moment and then her hand drops.

It's his last words, however, that cause her to change the most. Perhaps startlingly so.

What warmth that was in her expression leeches from her face and is replaced by icy fury. Indignation and displeasure rings within her voice as she hisses, "Everyone."

"EVERYONE will try to stop me. Kitty, Rachel, Scott, Jean, the world -" And then her reddened gaze snaps back to Piotr's face and what stares at him is nothing more than just a shell of who she normally is.

What looks back at him is wholly demon and it speaks with an incandescent rage.

The predator that is the Darkchilde lashes outward, her movements all refined speed, and like a coiled snake waiting to strike Illyana's hand reaches for his wrist and latches onto it. "- and /you/." With that accusation said, Illyana pulls upon the magic that surrounds her and finishes with one simple command.


Because this is how it has to be. The Demon that is his sister can only perceive him as a threat and he must be neutralized.

Her other hand touches the strap of the scabbard that holds the soulsword to his back. As soon as her fingertips meet the leather the world for both siblings staggers to a halt -

Like a great bell struck a single note of sound rings within their heads.

It offers a moment of control, of clarity and the insanity within Illyana resides for a heartbeat.

Enough that her eyes drain of crimson color and shine blue again. Enough that when she looks upon her brother's face she can't help but say his name again, her voice filled with such grief, "Piotr."

Piotr's uncertainty melts away when it becomes more clear what he is dealing with. The hissing sure, but most especially naming Kitty and Rachel as this things opponents. His bearded jaw sets.

And then she has ahold of his wrist and is forcing him down with magic. But he's not an easily moved object. He struggles to keep his feet, not fighting back against her yet, but fighting back against kneeling to it.

"No. Demon. I do not think so."

Because now it's clear that Illyana did not bring the dragon around to her way of thinking. No, the dragon has brought Illyana's demonic part around to it's way. Pieces start to fall into place for Piotr but then she touches the strap. And suddenly he is once again looking into the face of his sister.

"Illyana. You must fight this."

He reaches out with his free hand to put it on her shoulder.

Piotr's hand lays heavily upon her shoulder and it helps to ground.

It keeps her connected to what she is and who she is.

With what she knows and what must be done.

It's what causes her to bring her hand up to his face with the lightest of touches. "Oh, Brother." She says softly, her voice pitched low and unhappy. "If only it were that easy. If only you hadn't come looking for me."

And much like before, when she knew what she had to do, Illyana once again makes her decision.

A decision that haunts her now and likely forever more, but one that must be made.

The sliver of scrying crystal is brought forth and while it normally wouldn't hurt Piotr in his metallic form this shard is special. It's already sipped upon Piotr's blood and now Illyana uses that to her advantage. Just as she begins to pull her hand away from his face the splinter is produced and ruthlessly she stabs Piotr in the eye.

His blood within the crystal sings a brief song to circumvent his superhuman durability and when it hits Piotr will find his sight disappearing with a brief flash of light.

The smile on his broad metallic face is pained. He knows this moment is unlikely to last. If only he knew exactly how short it was and what would bring it to an end.

"Illyana. It can be. You can fight this."

And then she's bringing her hand up to his face. His smile falters into a face of concern. Concern of course not for himself but for his sister who so rarely would engage in such a tender gesture.

The pain is immense. In only a few hours time he finds himself once again not as invulnerable as he likes to imagine himself, but this time all the worse for who his assailant is. He cries out and staggers back but then spins slightly, disorientated by the darkness.


He yells as if she is miles away, not mere feet. He thrusts his hands out trying to find something to orientate himself with.

"What have you done?!"

The connection to her brother and her soulsword is lost.

It's both a blessing and a curse as it helps enshroud her heart in coldness. It blunts the pain she feels at her betrayal.

It's what allows her expression to slide back to disdain. Disgust. Her opaque red eyes look upon her brother's blinded face and upon his reaching hands.

"I've done what I needed to do." She states with so much hostility. "I've protected myself."

And with those words the demoness turns her back upon her brother and takes a step away. The sound of her hooves hitting the floor can easily be used to keep track of her and when she speaks again her words are directed to others. "Get rid of him. He's of no use to me."

Her command prompts two large demons to step forward. They take hold of the blinded man and with rough movements they jerk Piotr towards a waiting portal. There's the general feeling of being tossed and then Piotr (once more) finds himself falling into the depths of a stepping disc.

Banished away from the Darkchilde and her Citadel.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License