Hackles Raised

September 23, 2018:

Wolfsbane is out and about in demon country. She's not sure whether Enchantress is in the plot or minus column.

Somewhere in NYC

On a street, with a dead demon body.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Despite the best efforts of law enforcement, the military, vigilantes, mutants and heroes, the demons continue to descend, and the bodies of the fallen, those of this plane, as well as those of limbo dust the streets like confetti. Some effort, at least, has been made to clear the human remains, but no, one is really all that keen on approaching the demonic forms. Those have been left for the 'authorities' to deal with. Not that there has not been curiosity, people coming to see what the could make of the creatures which seem to have brought what might very well be the end of days.

Enchantress, through all of the violence, darkness, fear, had simply carried on as though nothing had changed. When she encountered demons, she dealt with them. When she encountered humans who thought she was the demon, she dealt with them too. It was, in a very real sense, as though the witch did not make any sort of distinction between them.

Except perhaps in one way. She had not spent any time considering the human corpses. Those of the demons, however, had proved far more interesting. And so, she studied, as she was studying now, the body of something that might have charitably been called a monkey-demon laid out at her feet, and she leaned over it, appearing to be carving pieces, or perhaps intricate patterns into its mottled, blue flesh. Out in the middle of the sidewalk, in front of God (Ha!) and everybody.

-

Wolfsbane spent some time away from this back at Xavier's, but a call for help led to her responding, rendering assistance in the form of getting some people to relatively safer places. Nothing was safe in here, and a time or two she had to fend off a demon that took too much of an interest in her. Nothing too bad, thanks to her abilities, but the heart was beating rapidly, adrenaline high, her emotions a mixture of fear and fight, both feeding into each other.

Taking a side path through an alley led to her finding signs of more battle, along with foul smells that caused her to cough into a hand, covering her mouth with some of the leather of her costume. At least that smelled better. It put her in the vicinity of Enchantress.

-

It was likely not entirely fresh smelling in Enchantress' vicinity either, as the witch continued her work, carving down into the demon's chest, its skin peeled back like the petals of a flower and its ribs cracked as she seemed to be seeking for the demon's heart. Though it was not carrion one might smell. Instead, the air around her seemed scented with the smell of slightly too ripe fruit, or the scent of hothouse flowers at the height of their bloom. One of the witch's hands still held the dagger, the other had disappeared to the wrist in the demon's chest.

-

Wolfsbane's nose wrinkled. She could smell..something. Whatever it was, it just seemed rotten to her. Whether it was or not, that's what the taint came off as. She coughed again, perhaps an unintended way of drawing attention to herself, but as sensitive as she was to that right now she wasn't about to let the wolfen side go away. She might need it. Then, she ended up stopping and staring at the grisly scene before her. "Och.." The hand was dipped into that demon's chest cavity!

-

"There is no need to hide in the shadows, child. I can see you." Despite the fact that Enchantress was not, in actuality, looking in the young woman's direction, she spoke with utter conviction. She also did not stop what she was doing, the sight of it both grisly and unintentionally humorous, looking in that moment, very much as if she were a woman who was rooting around in the bottom of her purse looking for her keys. Her hand sand in nearly to above her wrist before it stopped, and she pulled it back, a mass of black blood and flesh grasped in her clenched fist.

-

"I'm no' hiding anywhere," Wolfsbane retorts, though it's not entirely true. She certainly isn't trying to be obvious about being here. "An' I'm no' a child." Not any more. She's of age. She's matured. "I..nae. I dinnae want tae know why ye're doing tha'." She /almost/ asked, though in an indirect way she actually did. "Who..or whit /are/ ye?" comes the question, finally, as she frowns at the sight before her.

-

"All mortals are children in my eyes." There was no derision on her voice, only honesty. As Enchantress lifted the mass of flesh from the demon's chest, the body simply dissolved, crumbling into dust that the breeze seemed to scatter in moments, until nothing remained of what had been there a moment before, save that thing in her hand. She lifted her eyes, studying the young woman, seeming not to notice the gore that covered her to the wrist, which seems to be disappearing from, or perhaps into her flesh, as water might be absorbed into a cloth, until only the meat remained, still held between her fingers. "I have been called many things over the millennia. Goddess, demon, witch, death, mother of evil." She paused for a beat, "That one was creative, though not entirely true."

-

"I am." There was a slight quirk of her lips, at that. For had not another god once spoken those same words when he own follower had asked a question very similar to this one? "And what are you, young human?" Hey, it was better than child.
There is a moment where Wolfsbane doesn't know what to do after witnessing the disappearance of the body, then most of whatever was clinging to the woman's wrist and hand. That was no parlor trick. It was magic, and clear enough to her to be certain of it. It led to a half-step back. Some of the names given cause her to keep a safer distance at first. Judging by the woman's appearance and actions so far, it wouldn't be hard imagining most, if not all of them, fit the bill.

It leaves the wolfen mutant more wary than before, guarded in her stance, in her response. "I'm just a mutant," she says, keeping any names to herself for the time being. Just the thought alone of the other woman being evil, a witch, death..it's enough of a reason to keep from getting too close. "Whit do ye want?"

-

"Very few beings, human, mutant, or otherwise are ever 'just anything'. Anyone who says that, is either pretending to modesty, or has simply not been given the freedom to explore their true potential." Enchantress looked away from the young woman, studying the lump of flesh in her hand, before she took the knife she had used to carve into the demon, and began to peel the ball of meat, as though it were an apple that needed its skin removed.

-

"Which of those are you, young human?" She glanced back at the young woman, her hand working without her needing to look at them, as if this were an act well-practiced, "Those who know me. Those who wish they did not know me call me 'Enchantress'."
It might be both in Wolfsbane's case. She's often modest, and there's no question some things have held her back in the past, hindered her potential. She's only just been starting to awaken some of that. By the time the woman returns her gaze to her, Rahne's rubbing the back of her neck and looking down at the ground rather than watch her working on the piece of flesh. She just doesn't need to see that part.

-

Then she admits what the woman may have already begun to suspect, confirming it. "Sometimes..both, I suppose," she says with reluctance, only starting to glance back over before thinking better of it. "Enchantress? Ye..enchant things?" she asks, likely sounding ignorant about it. "I'm..Wolfsbane."

-

"That is one of the things that I can do, yes." The more Enchantress whittled, if Wolfsbane did bother to look again, the less like meat the thing in her hand appeared to be, becoming smoother, rounder, less like flesh and more like stone. Enchantress paused, as she pealed a small sliver away, holding it between thumb and knife blade edge as she brought it to her lips, as though it were nothing more than a piece of fruit, some strange alien apple. "An odd name for one who's beast rides so close beneath their skin. Does the animal within you frighten you so much?"

-

So, clearly magic. It was already what Rahne thought, but now it's more confirmed than even before. She crosses her arms, rubbing at a bicep slowly, a self-conscious bit of body language. No, she's still very much not looking at whatever's being done to what had been part of the demon. It's not something she wishes to think about. "It did a' one time," she allows, taking a defensive tone to go with her stance.

-

Enchantress continued her whittling, still crouched in the sidewalk, studying Wolfsbane as she hugged herself, though no trace of emotion touched that feral face, no trace of humour or derision. She simply watched, eyes quick as a snake, "Then why do you continue to use a name which does not suit you? Should your name not reflect who you are now?" Enchantress rose to her feet at that, and at standing, she was well on a four or so inches taller than the younger woman, though the hair and diadem, of sorts added some height there.

-

"Will ye let me know when ye're done wi'..tha'?" Wolfsbane cuts a hand toward Enchantress, a sharp gesture, indicating the whittling. It's certain she doesn't want to watch it, and a hint of irritation creeps into her words whether she means it to or not. "An' it's just a name. It does no' define who I am." A codename, to be more precise, though she leaves out the reasons behind those, or what they even are.

-

"A name plays no small part in how people see you. Did you not assume that I enchanted things because of my name?" Enchantress looked down at the thing which now looked like a round dark stone in her palm, no longer flesh, but something solid, with a deep, rich lustre. "A name…is like a promise that you make, especially when you choose the name you wish for others to know you by. Or a name is chosen for you." She was silent a moment, as she tucked away the knife, well…somewhere, "I am finished."

-

"It was chosen for me," the wolfen woman remarks, only beginning to hazard a glance back toward the odd-looking woman. At least, odd in the sense of what she wears and how dirty she seems to be. "Maybe a' th' time it was more fitting, but I've never thought about changing it. It helps me remember how important control is." Yes, she did assume what she did about Enchantress after getting her name, so she's at least caught in that logic trap.

-

"Ah. A reminder of what you were, and where you do not wish to go again?" Enchantress nodded her head, as she closed her hand around the stone, lowering the arm to her side. "A fitting use for a name, for a mutant such as yourself. So many of your kind come into your power with no control over yourselves and must learn it over time. Or not at all." She lifted her head, tracking a dark shape that flew, for a moment, across the light of the moon that was actually managing to fight its way through the clouds that swirled around the portal, "You will need that control now more than ever."

-

In truth, Wolfsbane is very much on edge right now. She's heard of the demons, now seen some, and more could be right around a corner. With Enchantress saying she's been called one as well, can she even be trusted? It shouldn't be hard to see why she isn't getting too close yet. "Something like tha', aye," she confirms, the accent Scottish if the woman is familiar with it. "I used tae be afraid o' whit I was an' whit I could do, but no' any more. I'm comfortable th' way I am noo." Then, the elephant in the room comes up. "It's verra bad oot here."

-

Enchantress remained silent, as Wolfsbane spoke, her body swaying slightly, as though she could not quite keep still. Or perhaps it was simply the strange air that seemed to flow around her, rustling the strands of black that seemed attached to her clothes, what there was of it, or the embers of firefly light that swirled around her like a cloud. But she was not moving from her place on the sidewalk, nor attempting to approach Wolfsbane, "Hold on to that, Wolfsbane," using a name for the young woman, now that she had been given one, "For the world is changed, and an outer darkness which should not be here is pressing closer."

-

"I know, an' I can feel it. Everything is wrong," Wolfsbane murmurs, shaking her head slowly. It's notably discomforting, enough that a closer look could even reveal some of that fur standing out, just a bit, mainly along the forearms. It's part of her version of hackles. "Muh friends are doing whit they can tae fight this."

-

"It has been interesting to watch the way in which the humans respond to this threat. In a time of crisis, some have become the heroes they claim to be. Others…are using the chaos which has overtaken the city to their benefit." There was a tiny hint a smirk there, her fingers rolling the stone she still held in her hand "Others have proven themselves less than what they claimed to be."

-

Wolfsbane's lips are thin. She runs a hand over the fur that's trying to stand up, aware of it doing so. "People react differently tae different things," she notes, distracted by a cry or scream from two or three away, then the sound of laughter. It's followed up by a burst of gunfire and more shouting. "I think tha' was a demon. I hope it was a demon," she murmurs more to herself than anyone else, and so far this area has been left unbothered since Enchantress did her thing with the body. Wolfsbane keeps a wall behind her, something solid for better protection of her blind side.

-

In truth, Enchantress did not seem at all bothered by the strangeness, the darkness, or the threat of demons. Even the gunfire received only a brief tilt of her head, "A demon indeed. Small, and already weak, injured, but not dead. A momentary victory only." Again, that accessing look at Wolfsbane, "They do. Quite often in the way that is natural to them, rather than in the way they would when they wear a mask to conceal their true faces." A brief beat of silence, "And you? Wolfsbane? What has brought you out in this night of demons?"

-

Wolfsbane really doesn't look that reassured even as it's verified to be a demon that's been killed off. "How did ye know?" she wonders, asking before any better judgment causes her to reconsider. As far as masks go, it may have her considering what, if anything, has been her mask, evidenced by a somewhat thoughtful expression that comes and goes. "Honestly, probably because I'm stupid. Demons scare me, an' I dinna want tae even be around them. But others needed help."

-

Enchantress shrugged, a bare lift of her shoulders, as the question was posed to her. "Magic." Again, that flat honesty, "It is not difficult to see what happens when one has the ability to see what is around you. And to feel the ebb and flow of life, both of this realm and of the other." She seemed to take Wolfsbane's answer at face value, "Stupidity and bravery, from the outside, often look like very similar things. Especially in a world where there are very many things to be afraid of."
"I have tae rely on muh senses," the wolfen one says, though hers are far and away better than most. One would have to be 'gifted' with animalistic traits in the first place. Magic goes to another plane, as well. "So why are ye here, then?" she questions, turning it back around on the strange woman. She's still smoothing out a bit of that fur.

-

"There is no shame in that. Though there are many mutants who carry shame with them. Though I would say the shame would lie in not using what powers have been given to you." A snort of sound then, "Though humans have a habit of fearing those with power when they do not have power of their own." The question posed her brought that rolling of the stone in her palm, "I am gathering trophies, I suppose you could say. Collecting bits of power, pieces of the things which interest me."

-

Wolfsbane is left just shaking her head at the mention of trophies and power. It's beyond her. This whole situation is beyond her. "I've.." She struggles to put to words what she's trying to say, but she's given an 'out' as a hand goes up to an ear, where a small device is set into it. "I have tae go. I'm needed elsewhere." Couldn't have come at a better time, really, the excuse to split. She ducks back into the alley and runs, off to do what she can to fight against this hell in the city.

-

"Of course." Thankfully, Enchantress did not move to stop the younger woman from departing, only watching her leave, something in her gaze like that of a wolf, and there was irony in that, allowing a deer to gain a head start. Once Wolfsbane had disappeared from her line of sight Enchantress turned, walking back down along the street on silent, bare feet, moving towards the sound of demons and not away. The stone in her hand disappearing as nearly as the knife her a few moments before.

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