Tell Me That's You
Roleplaying Log: Tell Me That's You
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Nothing like having a bad day and then finding out someone you know is really truly an actual freaking demon.

Other Characters Referenced: Danielle Moonstar, Angel
IC Date: November 08, 2019
IC Location: Limbo with a side of Gotham
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 09 Nov 2019 02:13
Rating & Warnings: R for language and gore
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It so often starts out so simply. A safehouse in Gotham. Resources left behind which the owner desires to move. And a shadowy group of individuals who are MOST displeased that SOMEBODY turned down their VERY reasonable contract despite asking SPECIFICALLY for her.

Some people hold a grudge with the best of 'em.

"RRGH!"

The albino doubles over from a well timed fist colliding with her gut, knocking the wind right out of her. Before she can slump to the ground two others are on point, catching the weight and hoisting her back to unstable feet.

The next few seconds are a hazy blur. The world tilts and sways as she's thrown about. The ratcheting of handcuffs seems a thousand miles away in her ears. Something hard smacks into the back of her shoulder before she falls upon a hard surface with short, coarse fabric lining.

Somewhere in there she gets a lucky kick against one of the guys who howls in surprise. Something small lands next to her.

"Dammit—get her legs, too!"

Duct tape. Warm fluid running from the side of her head and across her face. Then full darkness with a definitive *WHUMP* of the sedan's trunk. One after another doors open then close, the car shifting as each new passenger climbs inside. It's over before it had barely had a chance to begin, the car setting into motion for destinations unknown.

Neena wishes she could say this isn't a familiar experience but that would be a bold-faced lie. There's the usual check for anothing broken. The check for available space and mobility. The check for weapons. Those are all missing. At least the ones which she could reach are. Of course she always comes prepared, all she has to do is slip the cuff key from a hidden boot pocket and she'll be out of here in a—

They taped her feet together. Can't reach the pocket.

Well. -Shit.-

Maybe there's something else in here she can use. These guys probably forgot SOMETHING important back here, right? There's gotta be—

Is that a lighter? What the hell can she do with a lighter?

Then it hits her.

Seconds later the ground in Limbo hits her, too. The Vellum went up in a flash, nearly singing her fingertips. With an unceremonious arrival the monochromed form hits the ground with an "Unh! -Dammit!-" There isn't time to lie there and be miserable. With a shuffling of motion she rolls around, blinking the sticky blood out of her eyes. Where'd she wind up this time, and is her 'escape' worse than the prison which she had departed from..?

***

When Domino's arrived in Limbo before, it's usually been onto worked stone. The flagstone floor of Illyana's throne room. The more finely finished conference chamber with no doors. Even the time-worn summoning circle out in the wilds. The one exception was when she arrived lying on the table that had accompanied her on the shift from Earth to Illyana's personal hell dimension.

Not this time. This time Domino is lying on bare, uneven rock, reddish brown in colour. She's a long way from Illyana's Citadel. The sky overhead is more red than usual, too, although there's a haze of black smoke interfering with the view. And a definite smell of burning, too. Wood, and other things that are less identifiable, not to mention less pleasant to smell.

There's the remains of a ramshackle palisade surrounding the area Domino's arrived, smashed flat in some places, burnt in others, and there are a few demons of various appearances in view that seem to be very convincingly dead. Unfortunately, there are more than a few that are still alive, including a pack of reddish, scaly things that resemble nothing so much as a cross between dogs… and frogs. They look up from the corpse of a demon that they've been industriously consuming and scent the air.

Before turning in unison to look at Domino. They seem curious, and draw nearer.

Assuming Domino can drag her attention away from the approaching frog-dogs, the largest construction in the area that looks even semi-intact is a broad, circular tower that seems to have had the top ripped off or blasted away. From within the tower comes a scream. It's inhuman, but it's clearly despairing - and it seems to be getting further away, as if the creature that uttered it is falling down a very deep well…

***

Oh dear lord what is that SMELL?! It's the first of her senses to come online while everything else remains shaken and numb.

..Um. Wait a minute. This doesn't look right. It's still Limbo, that seems obvious. It's even what Neena would have come to expect from the setting, although the sky is looking particularly red and it's pretty likely that isn't because of her blood being where it isn't supposed to be. The detail which she had ALSO expected but is not finding anywhere near?

Her tour guide.

Illyana's nowhere in sight.

Did the portal miss its target? Was she duped? Had this all been some big practical joke or a lesson in not trusting demons?

She can fume and swear at herself over this later. It's those frog-dog critters which soon hold her attention. Sure they might look kind of silly or cute but she's had to fight them before. A whole pack of them. Just like there's a whole pack of them here. Right now. And she's stuck lying on the ground.

It isn't often that the albino starts to look properly worried. This is one such time.

There's rocks around. Might be one with an edge on it. But is there enough -time?- There has to be. She didn't become pals with the Queen of Hell just to come down here and be eaten alive by a pack of bottom-feeder scavengers!

As the pack wanders closer she's staring most intently at them, not making a sound and only moving as much as necessary to search the ground behind her for a way out of this mess. If they get close enough she can still give the first one in range one hell of a double-legged kick but what happens after the first strike? As a combat strategy it will probably see diminishing returns.

***

After that one scream there's a brooding silence from that looming stump of a tower. The only sounds are the crackle of the fires as they consume the palisades - and the corpse-pyre that's mostly hidden in a gully that's not far enough away to cut the stench of charring demon to any noticeable degree - and of course the scrape of the frog-dogs' claws on the rocky ground, and their eager panting. One of them whines and looks to the biggest, and gets a claw-swipe in response. They spread out, into a semi-circle. They're not very clever, but there's some basic predatory instinct at work, clearly.

From behind, there's the sound of wood scraping against stone, as if something is dragging at a heavy door, and then the sound of wood splintering violently. In comparison, the sound of boots crunching through debris and thudding unhurriedly against stone is quiet, almost below the level of hearing.

The frog-dogs have halted, frozen, a couple of them making faint whining noises. The footsteps cease, and for a moment all is still.

And then the frog-dogs bound forward.

Right past Domino.

There's a chorus of odd, demonic yelps that sound oddly happy, and the whole mess of them are capering at the feet of Illyana. Assuming that IS Illyana. She's blonde and female and matches Illyana's general shape, but she has ram's horns curving back from her brow - that somehow don't mess up her laser-cut hair at all - and eyes that are blank gold, lacking pupil or iris, and she's dressed in an outfit of black leather and silver that looks far more suitable for her current surroundings than, say, Earth.

The demonic vision of Illyana smiles, showing sharp teeth and more than a hint of fang. With those eyes it's impossible to be sure what she's looking at, but face it - it's Domino.

"Well." She says. "Someone's having a bad day."

***

That scream from off in the distance? That..might be Domino in the next few seconds. She would have put her money on S'ym or one of the dragons or something rather than the lowest of low. It's really kind of embarrassing. Or it would be if it wasn't so damn unnerving.

Maybe she could find a stick to throw? Dogs like sticks, don't they?

The splintering of wood sure gets her attention but she's almost afraid to look. Turning her back on the frogdoggers seems like an immediate death sentence but what's coming up behind her sounds even WORSE!

Are those..footsteps? Like..TWO feet. Not four. Or six. Or whatever. Heck, maybe it -is- S'ym. He seems like a pretty heavy-footed guy. Whoeveror whateverit is it's got her blood running cold and her breaths reduced to the shallowest of hurried gasps.

Even the froggers have stopped. But not for long.

Here's the wind-up—

—and no target? They all go right on around her and make curiously..happy sounds… What's going on?

When the bloodied albino rolls over to face the new threat her stare immediately grows more hard. It sounds like Magik. It has Magik's sense of humor. But oh sweet jeebus—

"Tell me that's you, Illy."

Domino's voice comes dry and spoken curiously soft despite her trussed up form looking as tense as a piano wire waiting to do -something- explosive in nature…

***

When Domino speaks, soft-voiced as it is, some of the frog-dogs on the periphery of the pack turn back to look in her direction, seeming torn between fawning over their demonic mistress and maybe sneaking back to have a nibble of the unusual prey that's arrived so unexpectedly. One of them goes so far as to lick his lips, ropy spittle dribbling from the corner of his mouth, before a single word - not in any language spoken on Earth mind you - has the lot of them looking up at probably-Illyana again. The biggest one even gets a scratch to the top of his bulbous head by way of acknowledgement, but Illyana's clearly more interested in Domino than her… pets. If that's what they are.

For all that interest, though, Domino's question still hangs in the air, unanswered, through all the antics of the frog-dogs. It's only once they've been quieted that Illyana finally replies. "What if I'm not?" She lets it hang in the air again, before, finally, that damned, familiar smirk creeps across her lips.

"You don't recognise me?" She asks, as she tilts her head to one side in an exaggeratedly questioning manner. "I'm hurt." She's clearly nothing of the sort.

She takes a step forward, stopping just before the point she judges would trigger an immediate and violent response, and crouches down, blank gold eyes still locked onto Domino's. She seems to blink a bit less in this form, too. "This is the Red Pill, Neena. You asked me to prepare you. Too late to back out now." The tone is right - someone having far too much fun at a friend's expense.

But there is a hint of tightness at the corners of those inhuman eyes. "Good enough? Or do you want to sit there and bleed a bit longer while you think about it?"

***

It's never a good sign when something is staring at you and visibly drooling. The offending critter is given a wary glance before the voice in a strange language calms it back down. At a time like this a little breathing room goes a long way. Where Neena would normally have a snarky response to snipe at the lesser demon with, she is for once surprisingly quiet.

Then it's back to those eerie, unblinking solid golden eyes. 'What if I'm not?'

"Then I'd have to dislocate my thumb and that shit really hurts."

What would normally be a strong voice full of conviction seems a little hollow and dry, spoken a little more quickly than usual. It betrays the albino, exposing the truth that she is indeed in over her head and out of options.

At the 'I'm hurt' Dom doesn't skip a beat, "And I'm screwed."

The Red Pill. It isn't until Magik says the two words that the pieces fall into place. Holy hell. It -really is- Illyana.

'You asked me to prepare you.' "I had a somewhat different approach in mind at the time." Still cautious. Still on edge. The voice rarely lies, even when she tries to regain some of her composure with "Your report never mentioned that you came with handlebars. Way to hold out on all of us."

Tension falls into her jaw as she tries to twist herself into a sitting position with a pained grunt. Only then does she give a reluctant nod to Illy's question of 'good enough?' but she's looking off to the side throughout the motion. "Just..keep your pets off of me." She's still intent to get herself out of the mess of steel and tape.

It doesn't go well.

***

There's an argument that, for all Illyana's shown her - Limbo, S'ym, N'Garai, all of it - Domino hasn't taken any of it seriously. Hasn't appreciated just how dangerous the things that scratch at the edges of mundane reality really are. Hasn't understood how close that place, just past the corner of her eye, where the dark thinks lurk really is.

And most importantly, that despite having been told more of the truth than all but a handful of people know, she hasn't understood - or believed - what Illyana really is.

There's an argument that this was necessary, so that Domino would know exactly what she'd asked to be involved in.

But there's a dark part of Illyana where a decent chunk of her soul used to be that hears the slightly breathless note in Domino's defiant words and enjoys it. That part of her doesn't need those arguments, those rationalisations. And it's that part of Illyana that inclines her head in a slow nod when Domino says 'And I'm screwed'.

But it's not all of Illyana. Not any more. And not ever again if she can help it.

"I bet you did, but who doesn't like a surprise?" Illyana asks, even though the answer is almost certainly 'Domino, right now'. "And what do you mean 'all of us?'" Oh yeah. Dani's seen her like this. Didn't she tell you, Dom? "Besides." Illyana's openly grinning now. "Demon. I'm sure I mentioned that."

Even the demon queen of Limbo has her limits when it comes to tormenting a friend who's clearly not been having a lot of fun before running into Illyana, and watching a beaten up Domino struggle finally hits them. Without taking her eyes off Domino, Illyana raises her voice and says something in that strange language she used before, sending the frog-dogs loping off, probably to scavenge. But out of the immediate vicinity, at least.

"Are you really going to insist on doing that without my help?" Illyana asks, in a tone that suggests she knows the answer. "Hold still." She says, a knife suddenly in her hand. "The cuffs are nice but the tape just looks cheap."

***

Just how does one get through to someone who has all of the luck in the world? Someone who can push and push and defy the odds at every corner and never seem to 'hit the wall?' In a strange twist this entire run of circumstances may have been a part of how her power works. A 'carefully' orchestrated safeguard so that she can realize just what she's dealing with -before- any one situation gets so out of hand as to catch her completely by surprise.

In a sense, this is a lesson on survival. One which she wouldn't have openly agreed to if given such an opportunity, but one which desperately needed to happen while there was still time to.

Sometimes it's hard for Neena to accept the reality of a situation. It's happened with the X-Men. It's happened well before she returned to this country. Most recently, it happened in Limbo. She even claimed to understand the whole 'demon' twist to this other mutant. Thought she could handle whatever might be thrown her way. Heck, maybe she still holds onto that possibility even now. Buuut… Queen of Limbo. Pack of frog dogs. Handcuffs. Not very good odds of survival, even by her standards.

There's much more introspection taking place than follow-up sarcasm until Illyana reaches the question of 'without my help?' Arctic blue eyes return to solid gold eyes and remain there for a slow count, perhaps asking herself whether she still has any trust in the seriously warped image of who SHOULD be an ally.

The knife which leaps into her hand doesn't make the decision much easier.

"My sincerest apologies for not being appropriately dressed for the encounter," she utters with a lingering eyeroll. "Fine. Yes. Do the thing. Then lend me that fancy sword of yours and two mintes back on Earth. I need to take care of something."

Today's sin is Pride, followed with a side order of Wrath.

***

Illyana still has ram's horns, and blank gold eyes, and nasty big pointy teeth - but she's acting a lot more… human than she was when she first walked out of that ruined tower and called her frog-dogs off Domino.

There's the Illyana that rules Limbo, and the Illyana that hangs around with the X-Men, and in some ways they're different people. Domino's presence is reminding Illyana that in other ways, they're not.

Maybe it's for the best that Domino hasn't asked what the hell(!) Illyana was up to when she arrived. Or maybe she's already figured it out for herself.

"You get points for effort." Illyana replies to Domino's 'apology', and reaches out to take hold of the other woman's boot. The knife, the blade inscribed with symbols that seem to run across the metal like water, goes suddenly still as Domino continues speaking, Illyana's eyes narrowing.

A moment later and she unfreezes, a snap decision made, and the knife slices cleanly through the tape. Illyana even obliges by ripping off the remainder. Then she reaches out to grab Domino by the upper arms and haul her to her feet, despite Domino being a good three inches taller than her. She's stronger than she should be, in this form. And, as it turns out, she has a tail to help her balance. Four or so feet of it, with a spade tip. Just like a real demon.

"You can't go back looking like that." Illyana tells her, one hand reaching up to the bloody cut on her head. She hesitates before touching. "This will hurt." Illyana tells her, and there might be a hint of apology in her tone. Before the black magic of Limbo runs through Domino. Every cut, every bruise, is gone.

But it hurts.

Illyana drops her hand and steps back, before drawing the Soulsword from her body. "I can send you where you want to go." She tells Domino, and reverses the sword, hilt toward Domino.

Behind her back, the handcuffs click open, and then a silver white portal opens.

***

Those same physical alterations in Illyana's person remain points of interest in Domino's mind. She can't look away from them. Not for long. Mutants come in all varieties. The thing is, only a few of them can regularly change from something so normal to something so …-not.- It's the same person but it also kind of isn't. The solid hue of Magik's eyes may make it impossible to tell were exactly she's looking but they cannot hide everything. Not from the albino.

There's something more, some-one- more hiding in there. A darkness to the other mutant. An evil unlike anything Neena had ever witnessed before. The Demon Bear had been close but she never had a chance to look it straight in the eyes. So quickly Neena's life had gone from 'another day in paradise' to 'everything you know is wrong.'

And then there's the dagger. And a tail! But the former is way more pressing. She's seen swirling writing like that before. Back when Dani nearly cut her throat open. A long breath is claimed as her stare shifts from the side of the blade to its owner and the narrowed eyes behind it. All that's left is to hold still and trust that it is, indeed, still Illyana Rasputin at the helm. Otherwise she may never see the altar before the next sacrifice is made.

It's over fast. The shorter woman has the albino upright with an alarming lack of effort. It's an uncomfortable reminder of having been handled by the thugs only minutes earlier.

The thought of 'looking like that' is misinterpreted. "I have a key in my —hey" she cuts off while instinctively ducking her head away from Illyana's hand with a look of concern. What did she say time and again about fresh blood..? There's notes of proper worry in her voice. "Hold on, what are you doing?"

Keeping the cuffs on for a little while longer might have been a good idea. With a *Chnk!* the chain goes as rigid as an iron bar behind her, eyes pinching shut and head tilting back for one proper, glorious howl of anguish. Inscribing a note upon a piece of Vellum is nothing like having black magic coarsing through her very body, mending damage and righting wrongs.

As the ex-mercenary comes to her senses the soulsword is being presented..and the cuffs are no more. Like they simply chose to let go all on their own. Domino returns that wide, wary stare back to Illyana as if waiting for the next shoe to drop. When a hand comes forward to latch onto the hilt it shows just how rigid her entire form has become.

"Find the car. Take me back to them."

She has some issues to work out.

And then she's gone. Gone but for two minutes.

When she comes back there's even more blood than before. This time none of it seems to be her own. She's breathing steady and deep with the sword in one hand and a black bag tightly gripped in the other. It would seem that someone had a -very- good time…

More eye contact. More staring down a demon. Neena's head inclines slightly. Then..she holds the sword back to its owner.

***

When Domino flinched away from her hand, Illyana simply reached out with the other and took hold of Domino's upper arm again. Illyana wasn't rough. She didn't clamp her hand in place hard enough to bruise. But like the unnatural strength she displayed when pulling Domino to her feet, it's pretty clear that the other woman would have had to put a lot of effort into shaking her off. Cuffs or no cuffs.

And as soon as Illyana's brand of healing commences, it's a good bet Domino has other things on her mind.

As for what's going through Illyana's mind? That's a much more difficult question to answer. Never trust a demon, she told Domino. And she seems to be going out of her way to prove that a demon is exactly what she is. She could have lied. She didn't need to show Neena any of this.

What's in it for the sorceress?

And after making Domino scream in agony, why is she willingly handing over the weapon she forged from part of her own soul?

She doesn't offer any answers, just indicates the glowing portal with a sweep of one arm and a sharp-toothed smile. "They're all yours." She waits until Domino's on the very threshold of the portal before adding, "Don't lose my sword." Her tone is light, as if she's making a joke, but on some level it's clear that she's… not. But she doesn't stop Domino leaving.

Two minutes Earth time can be considerably longer in Limbo. At least this time it's minutes, not weeks. When Domino returns through the portal, she'll find that the portal isn't where she left it. Instead, she'll step out onto the highest remaining floor of that broken tower. From what's left it looks like a cross between a library and an insane alchemical workshop.

But Illyana is waiting for her. Gold eyes lock with blue for an extended moment, until the nod. Illyana answers with a smile. She doesn't reach out expectantly, just waits for the sword to be returned. And once it's back in her grasp, it fades away. Back to wherever it lives when it's not required.

That moment of ceremony over, Illyana asks, "Better?" Before her inhuman eyes sweep over Domino. "When I told you what happened at the Institute." She says, drolly. "I wasn't trying to start a competition. Try not to drip on the manuscripts." To add just a final note of incongruity, she's idly spinning those handcuffs Domino was wearing earlier around the index finger of one hand.

***

'They're all yours.'

Domino is so glad that this has nothing to do with official X-Men business. She can't promise there won't be some murders involved, and it's particularly unsettling hearing those three words being spoken by an Infernal right before the act.

Not that it changes the fate of the others back on Earth. It's more than making a point. They tried to take advantage of her. Force her to do their bidding. Such acts -never- go over well with Thurman.

With the sword returned only for it to vanish there's plenty more around them to take in. The setting has gone from nightmarish to incredible. Beautiful..ly nightmarish. Like something out of a demented fairytale. But it's difficult to stop and admire the view because Neena is stopping to admire ..a completely different view.

One who seems to really be enjoying those cuffs.

"Keep 'em," she offers with a twitch of her head. "I can always get more." It isn't the subject which she wants to focus on, anyway.

A few cautious steps are taken, bringing her closer to where Illyana stands. Then comes the question. "Is this the real you? Are there any more surprises I should know about?"

Gauging personal boundaries is somewhat more awkward. Reaching for the tail didn't seem right. She's definitely not going to reach any part of herself toward the fangs. But the horns… One hand is brought up, fingertips seeking the unusual yet all too appropriate addition to the LimboQueen's forehead. Like she needs to verify that they're real.

"I've spent some years of my youth living in a church. Never bought into that religious stuff, though Boschelli sure did. When I worked for Angel I started to wonder if there was something more to it. After a while I realized that I just didn't care. I never did. And if this," she tries to lightly tap the side of that horn, "is really you? I'm okay with that. But there's still a lot of bridges to cover."

The bag in her other hand is lightly tossed to the side before she looks back to that blank golden stare, her own expression setting firm.

"I should be mad at you. I probably should have walked a long time ago. At no point should I be -trusting- you. Yet something has me breaking my own rules. Now I want to think that you're really okay in there. Dani seems to have vouched for you. But if I find out that you're manipulating me…"

***

There's a clink of metal on metal as Illyana deftly fields the spinning handcuffs when Domino makes a gift of them to her. "Are you sure?" She asks, voice full of mock-concern. "You had to get locked in a trunk to get this pair. It seems like a lot of work." She weighs them in her hand, as if she's waiting for Domino to change her mind, and then makes them vanish.

She knew Domino had something else on her mind, but she couldn't resist.

Illyana holds her ground as Domino approaches, the other woman's tentative manner a new development that she's not sure she likes. Or to be more specific, that the untainted part of her isn't sure that she likes. Domino was becoming… what? A friend? She's not even sure she's qualified to judge. The question… isn't exactly unexpected.

"Of course there are." Surprises, that is. "Are you going to tell me I know all your secrets?"

If Illyana's eyes weren't blank, faintly glowing gold, Domino would be able to see them track her hand as it reaches toward her. She's darkly amused to find not flinching away is as hard for her as it likely was for Domino, but she gives it her best shot. She still shifts slightly, but Domino's fingers will find that the horns are indeed real, ridged but smooth between the ridges.

"It hasn't rubbed off on you." Illyana says, a touch sardonic, just possibly covering the slightly uncomfortable feeling of someone touching her horns. It's not exactly something that happens often. Still, it's true. There's no holiness in Domino that the Demon Queen of Limbo can detect. But that's not really what all this is about. The tapping on her horn gets an all too human wrinkling of her nose, but she still answers the important question.

"It's always the 'real me'. Peter's Snowflake. This." She smiles. "And worse. I'm all of them, but not one of them is all of me."

That's probably a really unhelpful answer. But how else can a demon created from the memories of a dead girl and imbued with a fragment of her soul answer such a question? There's not one simple answer.

There's a thud as Domino's bag hits the floor, and Illyana's eyes divert in that direction for a second or two. She looks back sharply at 'mad at you', but doesn't interrupt until Domino's moved on to the threats. And then she makes a quiet snort of suppressed laughter.

"Manipulating you? Into asking to come here? Into asking to come back here? Into choosing to come here on your own, and learning a way in? Into making me tell you the truth of this place? Of me?" Illyana sounds amused as hell. "Damn. I must be good."

Illyana shakes her head.

"No, Neena. If you have rules, you're breaking them. Not me. Don't put this on Dani. You're making your own decisions. If you want to walk, I've never stopped you." And I so could. It's not said, but surely it doesn't need to be.

Despite her laughter of a moment before, Illyana's tone turns serious as she points out just who has been making Domino's choices. But then she grins, her demeanour changing in a heartbeat.

"Besides." She says, in an almost sly tone. "You already said you were going to make sure I was good. Still think you're up to it?"

***

At the 'are you sure?' classic Neena returns to the scene, giving Illyana a dead-set look. No words are needed. If the circumstances were different she might drop some jokes or tease the other mutant about it, but this time? It's just The Look.

Magik's response leaves much to be desired. She effectively bypasses all of the points Neena was trying to reach. At least the horns provide some tangible feedback. They're real. It's an appreciably straightforward answer in another conversation which seems to be running circles around itself.

The moment doesn't last long, soon replaced with 'I'm all of them.' Because that doesn't complicate the situation AT ALL.

Nothing is ever simple in Dom's life. So little of it makes any sense. So much of what she's lived through has involved pulling the trigger first and stopping to think about it later, if ever. Every step of this descent into Limbo has felt like another personal challenge, an endless string of 'aren't you gonna pull that trigger and think about it later?'

No.

Any sane person would be able to tell her this is way wrong. Even -she- feels that the whole ordeal is wrong, though when nothing ever seems to be right what options does she have left?

Stand back. Gather intel. Approach this while properly armed. Neena still has questions and she's not likely going to get any straight answers talking to the demon.

Every minute of this encounter may have had the albino at the clear disadvantage. Every step of the way she was scrambling about for ground to stand on, for a means of defending herself. It might seem kind of odd when Illyana grins and presses her question of 'Still think you're up to it?' that she replies "Yeah. I do," in a smooth but cool tone. "And I'm not blaming anyone. I'm only playing by the local theme."

Don't. Trust. A demon.

This is stupid. This is lunacy. Neena turns and swipes the bag up off of the floor, putting some distance between the two as she goes to get a proper look of the landscape. Motions become purely automatic as she retrieves a handgun from the pack and flicks it about in one hand to check to make sure it's still chambered. Just as swiftly it disappears, tucked into a holster at the small of her back.

"Your way of healing is way more interesting than the alternatives."

Is that supposed to be a 'thank you?'

***

Illyana watches Domino close off and shut down, first at the answers she gives to the pale lady's questions - all true, and all, it would seem, either wrong or at least unhelpful - and then even more when Illyana dismantles Domino's accusation that the sorceress has manipulated her into her current situation, without ever directly denying it.

After all, Illyana prefers not to lie when evasion will work just as well.

Still. There is disappointment, though not genuine surprise, that Domino found the truth not to her liking. The cool tone that answers her challenge proves that the other woman's defences are back in place, but the taunt that accompanies it draws a thin smile from the demoness.

"Good luck." It actually sounds honest. "At least you're finally listening to me." She's given Domino fair warning. The fact she's acting on it shouldn't disappoint her. Right?

As Domino backs off Illyana gives her the space, selecting a mouldering manuscript seemingly at random, scanning it with those golden eyes and snorting quietly to herself before tossing it on top of a pile of other works while Domino arms herself. Unsurprising. Things are coming to an end, for now at least.

The not quite thank you hangs in the air for a second before Illyana responds, another manuscript in her hand, unlooked at.

"It's not pleasant." She says at length. Something of an understatement. "But I didn't like that someone had beaten the stuffing out of you." There's a darkness in her tone. "I wanted you to go back without a mark on you. I wanted to see the looks on their faces." She shrugs. "I didn't look. I said they were all yours and I meant it. But it was enough to imagine it."

As if she's said too much, Illyana adds, more briskly. "You still need a shower and I'm pretty sure you don't want to do that here." It's not really a question.

"Where do you want to go?"

***

For a long time Domino simply keeps quiet, thoughts left unvoiced as she falls into familiar old Neena territory. Cold and clinical with a side of sarcasm to 'keep it real.'

She can't be too upset about the situation. Anyone on the outside would expect there to be lots of turbulence involved. Being caught in the center just happens to make it more personal.

What brings the albino back around, retreating slightly from that spiky protective shell, is the Rasputin's truthful sounding comment about her arriving in an injured state. Dom pauses then turns to look back to the other woman, offering something of a smile. "Felt pretty good when you stopped, though."

Somehow this immediately leads into further surprise. 'I wanted to see the looks on their faces.' Is that Infernal talk for wanting to feed off of someone else's pain and torment? Or had she honestly been rooting for the albino's vengeance?

A black-lined smile lingers as she gently dips her head. Once more, what else can she say? 'Thanks for enjoying the thought of me slaughtering a couple of idiots?' Eh. Somehow it's still a good feeling. Validating..in a way.

"Midtown rail station in Goth—" Oh yeah. Blood. Shower. "Maybe a quiet parking garage'll do. I still have to take care of some things."

She can't leave it like this. It doesn't seem right.

"Look. I appreciate the help. I get the feeling this is all going to cost me sooner or later, but for what it's worth..I'll be back." The healthy punch of reality isn't going to make her turn tail and run from Limbo.

Though she might be better armed going forward.

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