Toward The Sunrise

November 21, 2018:

Doctor Strange and Vivienne intercept Lorna Dane on her way back into hell on earth. Follows As the Sun Sets. Finale: Inferno's End.

Hell's Kitchen

Hell's Kitchen, within viewing distance of Stark Tower.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Magik, Darkedge

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

When Illyana summons her teleporting portal Doctor Strange is ready. The Orb of Agamotto goes dark as he stops scrying, but he looks thoughtful for a few seconds. "Darkedge will seek Illyana's soul, Vivienne, but we should talk to this green-haired woman. She just received an… unusual authorization. She can now find the Soulsword and touch it, something most mortals couldn't do."

He hurries out of the room. "Come, to Mutant To… wait, no." He pauses, momentarily confused. "She went to Hell's Kitchen. Unexpected. I assumed the Brotherhood would operate from the other side of Manhattan. Ah well, it won't take long to travel there, and a few concealment spells…" he grabs his cloak and begins muttering spells. The Chamber of the Orb is deep under the Sanctum, so it will take a few minutes to reach the door. No teleporting tonight, it seems.

-

"If I were to touch the sword, would I destroy it?" These are the sorts of things even much diluted divine beings probably need to know, especially ones who can destroy demons with their blood. "Or you? I would hate to run the risk of causing the mission to fail before we were even able to make the attempt." Not that the question stopped Vivienne from turning in to follow Strange up and out of the chamber. She did not put the spear back in its holster. That was just asking for more trouble than they were currently wanting to deal with.

-

The portals that Illyana used typically sent Lorna somewhere that she was expecting. Demonic Illyana however, hadn't been kind enough to give her a heads up as she'd stepped through. Shocker that. Still, it was a moment's confusion as the planet's magnetic fields clicked back into being in her mind's eye and she knew roughly where she was. That was good. Of course, she had spent the past few weeks in Mutant Town and she knew that part of the city very well by now. This.. wasn't Mutant Town. She frowned, but continued on the move she had a job to do after all.

Stealing a sword, that while she had no idea why it was important or the details about it.. she knew would stand out.

After what felt like ages later, several hair raising moments, and a few moments when she swore her heart stopped.. Lorna had the sword. It was.. well it was a sword and it was glowy and that was important right? How many other swords did that in demon-infested New York City. Of course, that wasn't the true question. The magnokinetic carefully wrapped it in the fabric of her coat, all lined with molecularly forged ions of metal as she stifled a shiver. It was colder than she'd like, but she'd live. She hoped.

Of course now that she had the thing, what did she do with it? Returning it to Illyana felt like a very bad idea, but what else was she supposed to do? It wasn't like Lorna knew ancient magic rules or how any of this worked. Some day, she hoped she'd run into a problem when her physics degree would be more valuable than it had been in recent months. A sigh pulled from her lips as she caught her breath against a crumbling brick building, her senses on high alert for anything that might come after her as she leaned against the wall, breathing hard.

-

"No, it might be intangible to you," explained Strange while they traveled to Hell's Kitchen. "I might be able to wield it with some spellcrafting involved, but Illyana would almost assuredly know what I am doing. The more it takes her to find out I am getting involved in her business, the best." There is a longer explanation about things like promethean metal, creation magic and permanently empowering an artifact by sheer willpower. It all sounds pretty complicated and quite into 'stuff wizards can do maybe once in their whole lives' as well as 'actually no one is completely sure how and why it happens'.

Maybe that is why Strange does not have a glowing sword.

They are in a hurry, but not too much of a hurry, as picking a fight with the Scarlet Witch right now is something they better not consider. Also, they need to give Polaris some time to retrieve the sword. It all involves synchronicity magics, and Strange is good with those. Which explains why Magdalena and the Doctor appear in front of Lorna just when she thought she could relax.

"Ms. Dane, I would have a world with you," greets Strange. "I think we have a friend in common we need to help."

-

Vivienne, all things considered, was quite happy to allow Strange to lead. Not only because he was the one handling their travel arrangements, but, well, even with her own cloak over her shoulders, she did not look like the most inoffensive of people. Armor that seemed to screams 'Lookit, I work for the people who organized the Crusades' doesn't tend to end well in New York City. Demons or no demons. "I will do my best not to alert her to your involvement." Because that worked so well with Lilith. Of course, she was dead, so, pota-toe, po-tatoe. Alas, all of Vivienne's best efforts are for naught, when they pop up like the Spanish Inquisition. Vivienne, however, tries a different tack, her french-accented voice calm, and unthreatening, "We are not here to hurt or attack you, Ms. Dane, is it? I am Vivienne Benoit, this is Doctor Strange."

-

A sharp swear erupted from Lorna as she scrambled to stand, bundle o' sword clutched against her chest as she reflexively flung pout an electromagnetic burst around her and established her force fields in a thick and dizzing display of magnetic power. One arm held out stretched in front of her as her heart hammered in her chest. She wasn't expecting pursuit but it had been a possibility. Genosha with the Magistrates had taught her that much.

But she didn't outright move to attack, instead confusion flit over her expression as she stared at the strange guy in a red cape that.. that knew her name?

"What the hell?" She muttered, her brows furrowing, though she had yet to lower her magnetic fields, even as some strange woman in… armor?

Yep that was armor. It wasn't an every day occurance that she met someone else encased in metal that wasn't related to her.

"Who the hell are you? How do you know my name? Who are you people?"

-

"Doctor Strange," replies the older man calmly. "I am with the Justice League and I am an accomplished sorcerer," and he is wearing a rather tough tunic and the cloak of levitation because given the estate of the city wearing a suit is not practical. And really, remaining New Yorkers have become used to weird. "Vivienne is a holy warrior and wielder of a powerful artifact weapon, she has been helping to combat the demon incursion from the beginning." A pause. Then he adds, "as it happens Illyana is one of my students. I was trying to teach her more natural magics than those she learned among demons," he explains. "But then… this happened," he adds. "Which is quite the story, and I don't know all the facts. But I know enough and I have a good idea how to restore her to normal. And her sword might be an important part of it."

-

Thankfully, Vivienne, though she is holding the Spear still, has the weapon held point down. So no stab for you, Lorna Dane. "I am called The Magdalena, though that name is rarely familiar to those who do not have knowledge of Church lore. I am charged with protecting the world from the blight of demons and other supernatural beings. And if it is possible for us to end this blight together, I would ask you to consider working with us. Strange believes his student can be saved. And I have worked with him long enough, and trust him enough to offer him whatever aid I can. For the sake of the city and it's people, I ask you to trust us. But if you need some confirmation of our good intentions, then name it, and I will do what I can to provide it."

The tense line of her shoulders unfurled with a sigh as Lorna slowly lowered her hand to her side as she eyed the two strangers in front of her with a slight frown. "Right. Okay.. Illyana told me to get this thing or she'd kill my brother who really wants to kill her.. along with my sister. So. If you both are up for trying to save my friend," She stressed the word. Illyana had been one of her bridesmaids. One of the few X-men that hadn't refused to come because of her father..

She squeezed her eyes shut briefly, "I don't get how you know my name or whatever, but sure. If you think we can save Illyana. Sure." She swallowed a lump that formed at the back of her throat, green eyes flickering between the two of them.

"I'll work with you both, but trust is another thing entirely. How is this sword supposed to help?"

-

"You are well known in certain circles, Polaris," replies Strange, letting the green-haired woman ponder it. "And you have been defending Mutant Town for weeks. I have been watching and helping the whole time." He looks towards Stark Tower, thoughtfully. "It will be dawn soon. An auspicious time." Then he turns to Lorna again. "The Soulsword was created by Illyana and carries a sliver of her true self. She has separated herself from her soul to work some of the terrible magics that brought the demons here. In doing so she has protected Earth from complete destruction, but she has forgotten herself, and almost destroyed New York."

-

"It is our belief that if we can reunite the pieces of herself that she traded away for the power to do what has been done to the city, that we may be able to afford her a chance to redeem herself, and to put right what has gone wrong here." Vivienne glanced towards the tower as Strange did, before she returned her attention to Lorna, "She has sacrificed the lives of many, in her apparent quest to save the world. There have been enough sacrifices. If she can be saved, we will do everything that we can to ensure that she has the opportunity to make that choice." As for trust, "Trust is something born, more often than not, of right action, and not blind faith. If we win through to the end we hope for, perhaps that will be the reward."

A arch of a brow followed Strange's words. "I'm 'known'? Oh joy, must be the watch list for 'might-turn-into-a-criminal' list." She drawled, and rolled her eyes skyward. Still, she lowered her magnetic fields fully and glanced down at the sword she'd bundled up in her coat, feeling awkward about the idea of some weapon holding a part of her friend. The 'soul' part in sword had apparently been quite literal.

"Okay. So.. where to then?"

"We need you to come with us," requests Strange. "She gave you the task to find the sword, and therefore the authority to carry it, which neither Vivienne or I have. We need to reach the Tower at dawn, and hopefully another of our allies has been able to find her soul."

Yes, the soul part is quite literal. Indeed.

"Once there I… there are a number things we can try even if Darkedge has failed to locate Illyana's soul." He sighs, "but we are confronting some very dark magic. There is hope, but there is also much risk involved."

-

Vivienne looked back to the Tower, her eyes marking the length of it, "It may be worthwhile to split our resources, depending on how difficult it will be to get into the tower. I would imagine that you would not have any trouble, Ms. Dane, given that you both have her permission and are the current wielder of the sword of the woman who commands these demons. Strange, you would not have a difficult time of it, I am sure. I will, however, stand out like a spotlight, if I attempt to use any of my own gifts to assist us in entering her current domain."

-

A head tilt followed Strange's words, but Lorna didn't push for more details. Pietro had been Illyana's minion. Then he wasn't. Now she had willingly grabbed the thing with the blonde's permission and… well, what would happen if Illyana revoked that permission? Lorna shifted her grip on the sword bundle and nodded. "Alright, lead on I guess. It's not like I have any plans in particular here other than saving my friend if at all possible. You say you were her teacher? Then I guess… onwards." She muttered, a glance spared for the woman that suggested splitting up.

"I assume that if I stroll in there, the point will be to not give the sword over to her, yeah?"

-

"Er… actually that is part of the plan," comments Strange with a lopsided smile. Now, giving the sword back to Illyana goes together with the part where Illyana does not kill them all with the sword. So, it is going to be tricky. "In its due time, of course," just to clarify.

And now they have some walking to do. And demons to dodge. Strange needs to contact Darkedge too, which is what he is going to attempt right now, so he will let Vivienne do the rest of the talking.

-

Vivienne fell into step with the other two, her attention shifting from the pair that made up the team, as it were, towards the city at large. She was never not looking for danger, in the wasteland that New York had become, and with Lorna now carrying the sword, it made it eve more important to ensure they made it to whatever endgame Strange had planned. As for his plan, Vivienne lifted her shoulders in a shrug, "I rarely know what he plans to do before he does it. I try to have faith that he will not lead us astray."

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