Mindless Consequences
Roleplaying Log: Mindless Consequences
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

That whole zombie cult thing? Maybe not so random after all.

Other Characters Referenced: Danielle Moonstar
IC Date: November 22, 2019
IC Location: Limbo
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 23 Nov 2019 00:44
Rating & Warnings: PG13 for language
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It's not the hamster ball.

Instead, when Domino steps through Illyana's portal she'll find herself somewhere that might be becoming familiar: The demoness' throne room, within her citadel. As always, the ceiling of the stone-flagged chamber is lost in darkness, where things half-glimpsed shift in the darkness, red eyes peering down at the goings on below. The same flickering torches line the walls, eternally burning without apparently ever requiring replacement.

The throne room dims when the silver-white glare of the portal winks out behind Domino, and Illyana strides past her guest, a spring in her step as she almost bounces up onto the dais holding her oversized stone chair. Shrugging out of her blood-red uniform jacket, she dumps it over a corner of the high back and flops down onto the throne itself, throwing a leg over one broad stone arm.

Illyana looks far more comfortable than she should in a solid stone chair that's all sharp edges and hard, unyielding surfaces.

"So." Illyana says, an expectant gleam of anticipation in her eyes to join her habitual smirk. "Story time."

***

Yep, it's a familiar room. It's populated by a familiar person with familiar decor and lots and lots of familiar shadows. Yet despite all of the familiarity it also kind of -isn't- so familiar. This might be for the best, Neena doesn't want to be getting TOO comfy down in Limbo.

While Illyana claims her throne and makes herself impossibly comfortable the albino makes a show of looking from one side to the other before bringing her hands up in a 'what gives?' gesture. "Where's mine?"

It's obvious that the throne room is designed to cater to one individual alone and anyone else can deal with the floor but she's seen this mutant/demon conjure furniture right out of the floor already. Hell yeah she's going to say something! If for no other reason than to stall so she doesn't have to talk about what they came here to talk about.

She already has a few more distractions lining up to keep the clock running, too.

***

Illyana's already drumming her fingers on the arm of her throne in a clear 'I'm waiting' message before Neena voices her first complaint, but the look on her face doesn't alter much.

She doesn't mind playing the long game.

"Demanding." Illyana says, not trying very hard to sound convincingly reproving, and waves a hand. She doesn't need to, it's just for effect, but a portal appears on the dais and a chair rises out of it.

It's not like Illyana's throne. It's heavy, age-darkened wood, bound and studded with iron, and it looks like… well, lets just say there are slots for accessories that are currently not present. It looks very much like something Illyana might have cleared out of the room that she set aside as Domino's temporary landing zone.

"Anything else?" She asks, with exaggerated solicitude. A small iron table has appeared from somewhere at the same time, holding a silver jug and two goblets, already filled with a dark red liquid that's Limbo's best effort at wine. Illyana reaches out and snags a goblet, still not deigning to sit up straight.

"We've got plenty of time."

***

Well, she didn't ask for a specific chair and it DOES look more comfortable than whatever Illyana's sitting in but there's a couple of noteworthy details which cause Domino to arch a brow and peer back at the LimboQueen. It may look safe in the moment but considering how things can pop out of nowhere around here…

Screw it. She wanted a chair, she got a chair. However she's going to lean forward with elbows on knees as if the furniture itself might try to take a bite out of her backside or something.

Such apprehension is also given toward the ..is that supposed to be wine? "Funny. I don't recall any mention of Limbo's vineyards in the travel brochure" she stoically remarks.

This naturally transitions into something of a staring contest. 'We've got plenty of time.' If this were a police interrogation Dom would be perfectly content to sit here for the rest of the week and give them absolutely nothing to work with. In a way she would have preferred such an option. For one reason or another she can't hold out on Magik forever. She just..doesn't..see any long-term reason to.

"Remember when you loaned me your fancy sword?" she abruptly breaks the silence. Returning is her Devil may care smile, acting all sweet and innocent while explaining "I maaaay not have actually killed those guys."

So? Does it really matter?

"And maaaybe one of them might have gotten a good look at my teleporting around and slinging an ethereal blade around like it was no big deal and thought 'hey, I want all of that for myself.' And maaaybe someone connected to that association was recently taking a fancy in the dark arts and knew that if I was given a job by someone I thought I could trust to find their cousin who had been 'wrapped up in some mysterious cult' that I would call in whatever dark forces had helped me before to help me again. All speaking hypothetically, of course," she adds with a half shrug and an upturning of palms.

***

Illyana offers Neena a look of wide-eyed innocence in response to that arched brow. You're so suspicious, the look says. I'm only doing that you asked, the look says. Sit down already so we can get to the punch line, the smirk that really spoils the big innocent eyes says.

Illyana watches Neena as she sits down, noting how she positions herself as if she's ready to spring back out of it at the slightest provocation, and stretches an arm above her head before settling even deeper into her throne. She's not even trying to be subtle about contrasting how comfortable she is with how comfortable Domino really isn't in this place.

"There's a lot you haven't seen yet." Illyana tells her guest and takes a sip of her wine. That might be considered proof that there's nothing untoward in it… but Neena's probably already figured out that Illyana looks human mostly because she wants to. She seems to realise she might not be being all that reassuring and adds, "It won't kill you. Promise."

Reassuring is something else she needs to work on. Her eyes are still on Domino. Waiting.

Illyana's patience is finally rewarded, and she doesn't try to hide the spark of interest in her eyes when Domino begins her tale - or the edge of surprise that enters them when Domino intimates that her revenge on the individuals who locked her in a trunk was less than complete.

"That explains the speech I got earlier." Illyana muses. She's not showing any particular sign of either relief or disappointment. "Tell Dani, you'll probably get a gold star."

So far, so indifferent for the sorceress. That quickly changes when Domino continues. Ice-blue eyes narrow. She doesn't interrupt. She lent a mystical WMD that just happens to be part of her soul to Domino, and the net result wasn't to eliminate Domino's enemies, but to make those enemies HER enemies instead?

Illyana's rethinking her policy on generosity.

"So. What you're telling me. Hypothetically speaking. Is that maaaybe it's all your fault that some idiots started a zombie cult to draw me in?"

The chamber is darker all of a sudden, the torches burning lower, but Illyana's eyes are unnaturally bright in the dimness.

"And hey. Didn't you get really pissed with me about this a little while ago?"

Yeah, she remembers Domino's angry protestations of innocence, all right.

***

It seems to start off fairly well. Dom's still waiting until the end before considering whether the wine is safe for consumption after all. At the moment there's a bigger concern than running the risk of getting sick to her stomach and it's sitting across from her in a solid rock throne.

A gold star. Yeah. Maybe. That's why she didn't kill those people, right? Trying to get in the better graces of the home team?

Everything seems to be going okay until the room seems to get..even darker than a moment ago. In an instant Neena's nerves are wired, tension pushing into her shoulders as she looks about ready to make a run for it. It's another little reminder that what she's dealing with here is nothing which she truly understands.

"Whoa—eeeasy there…" Neena says with some clear notes of hesitation. "Okay, let's..just go through this one step at a time." Before someone loses her pasty white head over it.

"One, I'm trying to turn over a new leaf. Two, you told me several times about the power of blood. I have no idea what would happen if I introduced your blade to someone else's soul, alright? Little intimidating. Three, I didn't know that they were going to back down after cutting on 'em a little. Usually doesn't happen! Four, how the heck was I supposed to know those guys were tied to a freaking -cult?- That's a one in eighty-six thousand three..it doesn't really matter," she waves off the idea.

"Point is, I'm not trying to set you up. Those zombies were probably already there!" she argues with an outward sweep of an arm. "Okay—yeah, I did get pissed at you before. There's a fine line between accidental betrayal and deliberate."

***

Oh, Neena. Exactly where are you going to run?

The torches don't return to their previous brightness, the fires guttering low, on the edge of being extinguished completely. It doesn't look like Illyana's changed position on her throne, still slouched indolently, but it's hard to tell in the semi-darkness. With her jacket off, the sorceress is all in black, just her pale skin, blonde hair and those too-bright blue eyes standing out from the gathering shadows. She seems to have gone very still, and it's a long time since she blinked.

There's no reaction as Domino lists off the reasons why all this isn't really her fault, at least not until she mentions those odds. Torchlight flickers over blonde hair as it falls to one side.

"I thought luck was your thing?"

The question is asked mildly, even innocently, but after a moment it's accompanied by the quiet sounds of Illyana shifting on her throne. The leg she'd carelessly slung over the arm of the chair slides around so she's sitting upright.

"And yet." Illyana stands up. "Whichever side of that line you end up on." She crosses over to where Domino sits. "The results are the same." She leans forward, placing her hands on the arms of Domino's chair, one flesh, one sheathed in a silver gauntlet, boxing in the other woman despite Illyana's smaller stature. She stares into Domino's eyes for a long moment before she speaks again.

"If you're 'accidentally' an interplanetary ninja assassin sleeper agent waiting to cut me apart… now's the time to take your shot."

Her tone is absolutely level, and again she holds Domino's gaze.

But unless it's a trick of the inconstant, dancing firelight, one corner of her lips is twitching upwards.

***

Where might she run? Away from the questionable looking chair to start! She'd figure it out from there. Maybe. Probably not before going very far. Nothing ventured nothing gained, right?

Not that she's moving at the moment. Here it's more a gathering of the storm than the crack of a gunshot. Domino can see her window slowly drawing closed but she doesn't need to spring up and make a run for it, does she… Illyana's first question only gets a slight rise of both brows in response as if to confirm that, yes, luck kind of is her thing. Not that it would seem like it given the moment!

Then the window is fully closed. Despite previously having leaned forward the albino now has to sink allll the way back into the chair as Illy closes off her primary escape route.

"Funny how that works out," she flatly replies about the results always being the same. "And yet I'm still alive."

Now's the time to take her shot? Granted, she probably could have had a pistol or knife leveled square at Magik's abdomen somewhere during the other woman's approach but her hands remain free of weapons. Instead she's staring right the hell back.

Armed with nothing more than a thin smirk of her own.

The pitch of her voice lowers, the level of volume kept between the two. The moment of amusement isn't limited to her expression.

"You do intimidation -so- well."

***

The chances were eighty-six thousand three hundred and some to one… and the bad guys Illyana helped Domino with were STILL linked to a cult with an unhealthy interest in the Queen of Limbo. Domino's luck might help her out, but it doesn't seem to do a lot for her friends and allies!

…always assuming that Domino wasn't actually trying to get rid of Illyana, consciously or not. Just how does her power over probability go about removing potential threats, anyway?

If Domino really knew Illyana, the simple fact that they're still talking might have tipped her off that Illyana doesn't truly believe that Domino betrayed her. But Domino doesn't know her that well, not yet, and the sorceress is going to enjoy her guest's moment of uncertainty while it lasts.

"Not well enough." Illyana replies, not even trying to hide a grin now. "But you should see me when I'm really trying."

She pushes off with her hands to straighten up and moves back to her throne, the torches flaring up again as she does, returning the chamber to its previous level of illumination. Reclaiming her goblet, Illyana perches on one broad stone arm of her throne rather than draping herself over it this time, and gestures at Domino with the goblet.

"Don't think you're completely off the hook." She says it lightly, in an almost teasing tone, but that look hasn't faded from her eyes yet. "I save you from being kidnapped, I lend you my sword, and now I have more problems than I started with?"

Illyana takes a sip of the wine, then looks down into the goblet while she swirls the remnants around. She seems to come to a decision, somewhere in the depths, and looks up again. "I think you owe me one, Neena." She sounds oddly satisfied with that conclusion.

"First, we make sure your zombie-cult friends realise just how big a mistake they've made, but then… you owe me one."

Illyana fixes Domino with an expectant look.

"Deal?"

***

It is kind of a messed up deal, isn't it? Domino's seen a lot of friends get caught up in the crossfire over the years, some of whom hadn't survived the encounter. Such is a story for another day and after having copious amounts of drinks, however. It's one of those subjects she'd rather shoot herself over than to sit down and discuss.

With the grin and the response from Illyana there's a subtle easing of tension from her shoulders, an act which might make for a familiar sight down in Limbo. It's confirmation that the situation isn't volatile, that whatever comes next can probably be handled with words rather than probability.

"Maybe next time" she airily teases back.

With some reluctance the albino stands, not because she's wanting to stay seated so much as being wary of following after Illyana and getting to experience the 'taste of Limbo' in whatever fills the awaiting goblet.

Before reaching for it a gentle sigh is released into the wild, giving Illy a dead level look. "For all we know these new 'problems' of yours are all part of a bigger bomb defusal. You have to consider the long term here."

In case this statement isn't throwing enough caution into the wind she takes a drink without giving it any further thought. Just shut up and go. It ..well… It doesn't taste like yesterday's blood so that's a definite start.

The first part of Illy's plan sounds fine. Neena's expecting to have to clean up her own mess. This isn't the first time it's come about. But then…

"Seriously, Ils? Mopping up this lunacy -is- giving you one. If you want to tag along that's fine but there is no owing you beyond it."

It could be the mercenary speaking, attempting to cut a better deal. It could be spiritually motivated, fearing owing a demon anything at all. It could also be born of pride, admitting that she still owes Illyana one proves that she screwed up.

Or… Perhaps she's avoiding the idea that this new lifestyle which she had been struggling to make work just..isn't..for her. Old habits would have completely avoided this conversation. Maybe she's been kidding herself thinking that she can change her ways.

***

There's a flicker in Illyana's eyes at Domino's so very carefree response. Maybe, just for a moment, she regrets letting Neena off quite so easily. When all's said and done, she did betray her, after all…

Too late now. Besides, Domino isn't the only one trying to find a different way. And who knows, maybe there will be a next time.

"So now you're trying to pin all this on me?"

Illyana sounds amused, this time, rather than accusing. There's something about Domino's determination to keep pushing her luck that's… insane, given where she is and who she's dealing with… but which Illyana can't quite seem to keep herself from reacting to. It's possible that Domino isn't the only one testing her limits right now.

The wine is… wine. Or at least near enough. It's dark, full bodied, with a smoky flavour and it's definitely alcoholic, or laced with something with equally intoxicating. It doesn't try to avoid being drunk, burn on the way down, try to fight its way back out, or any of the other things Domino might have been half expecting it to do - and which might have been the case with other beverages found within Illyana's domain.

The demoness hasn't exposed Domino to any real danger on any of her visits. Maybe she's actually trying to be a good hostess?

But then Domino has to throw all that into question once more, when she rejects Illyana's generous offer out of hand.

"Is that how this works?" Illyana asks, making a vaguely expansive gesture with her goblet to encompass whatever nebulous understanding that might exist between the two of them. "I'm on call whenever you get into trouble, or you need my help, or you just get bored, but that's as far as this goes?"

Illyana's boot heel taps rhythmically against the side of her throne, a series of soft thumps in the silence before she speaks again.

"But when I want something, that's too much? All I've done just buys me a chance to tag along with you?"

There's a quiet snort.

"Tell me more about this new leaf you're trying to turn over."

***

Trying to pin all of it on Illyana? "I would never do that" Domino replies with a smile. It turns what should be an ordinary and straightforward response into something much more questionable and more like a hollow promise.

Hmmh. So it -is- wine. A thoughtful expression momentarily passes over monochromed features as she takes a moment to smell the fluid then try a little more. She's never been a huge wine drinker but she can get into this one for the novelty of it, alone. Maybe Limbo DOES have a vineyard somewhere…

God she hopes so. Otherwise she'll never stop wondering what this wine is made out of!

Dom may have been lucky enough to reach this point with Illyana, surviving with all of her parts intact and not having had to sign on any dotted lines, but the situation isn't all in the clear. At the 'I'm on call' she tries to interject with "That's not what I meant, Ils—"

A nerve has been struck. Luck pushed just a -little- too far. It's one matter to hammer out a contract with someone she doesn't care about. Hearing the upset tone coming from someone more than the writer of a check hits far closer to home. It's a tone which she's heard before. Not that long ago and from more than one person. It's part of what had led her in this direction, all Limbo-bound. And now it's all happening again.

Neena's eyes widen in what might be surprise. Her mouth starts to open but soon closes again in silence. Crap, what the heck is she supposed to do NOW?

Fold. It's time to fold.

Her head dips forward while the goblet is gently returned to the iron table. "Should I start with 'it's been a disaster' or fast forward to 'nobody trusts me?' Because I'm -pretty sure- that I've managed to let everyone down at least once."

When she looks back to Illy there's an off-center and emotionless smile about her. "Let's not draw this out. It hasn't been working up there. Thought maybe I could play nice and pretend to have a normal life but that just isn't going to happen. The proof's right here."

"It isn't too much to ask, Illy. But you have to appreciate the concern that comes from the Devil saying you owe them a favor."

Because why get in touch with her deeper feelings and say a lot more than she's comfortable with when a little injection of humor can sum up one of the key points?

***

Illyana's eyes flash with something sharp and dangerous when Neena tries to cut in. That's not going to happen. Illyana not going to be told what she thinks, or what she feels. Attempting to take advantage of her is a chancy prospect at the best of times. But here? Right here? When she's sitting on a throne she's won and kept by the blood of demons? In a place where weakness can be a death sentence?

No, she's not going to be interrupted.

Her voice is tightly controlled. That any emotion - except anger - gets through is a mark that she's been cut. Nothing gets to Illyana. Nothing gets close enough. But this time she opened her hand.

Depending on what Domino says next, Illyana might not be the only one to regret it. The walls are up behind her cold blue eyes as they meet Domino's surprised look, and there's a slight curl of her lip at the idea she wouldn't bite back.

She's not expecting Domino to look away first, but at least the other woman doesn't see any surprise that flits across Illyana's face. It's enough to buy Neena time to say her piece, and for Illyana to listen.

"'Up there'." Illyana says, with added emphasis. "This isn't the hell you're thinking of. I don't collect damned souls. Anyone who comes here…" Her eyes are fixed on Domino. "…wants to be here. Are you really that out of options, Neena?"

Some of the anger has gone from her voice, but her eyes are still guarded.

"You're not. You never have to come back here. I do. You think you're the only one they don't trust?"

It's not really a question, but Illyana shakes her head anyway. The attempt at levity makes her pause, and then smile. But it still doesn't reach her eyes.

"What were you expecting me to ask for? Your soul? Your firstborn?"

Yes, humour is much easier.

***

In the fairly short amount of time that Domino's known this other woman she's still learning much about her. Still getting a feel for where everything lies. And as is the case right here, learning about boundaries and what is considered an over-reach of them. Not many people can cut off the albino's words with nothing more than a look but the blonde hovering around the throne to her very kingdom earns Neena's silence.

She thought that she had this under control. That it would be sorted through easily enough. It's another reminder of why she never gets close to anyone. Being a jerk works best when you can walk away from the other party and never have to deal with them again. It might seem that Dom has some difficulty fully understanding what Illyana's life is like around here, that she -can't- be seen as weak. In this realm the pale one is the outsider. Anything which could come across as a challenge could be …

Crap.

Out of options? She makes eye contact and slowly shakes her head, not ready to bring her voice back into the discussion. For a change she waits her turn and this time Illy's smile and crack of humor is seen more as a mask than a suggestion that everything's back to being cool.

Don't screw this one up too, Thurman.

Arms aimlessly rise a few degrees then drop back to her sides. "I don't know. There's a lot to learn about this operation and as I am constantly discovering there is very little that I know. If this place was nothing more than an escape then I'd be content to sit in the ball. You aren't my 'last hope.' I'm here because I want to be."

God, but she still really hates having these talks…

"You've helped me out more than once and I've been an ass about it. I owe you one."

***

Some of what Domino's telling her has the ring of truth. But the idea that she'd ever be content to sit inside that summoning circle, the hamster ball as she calls it? That's gets a look of outright disbelief. And maybe just the smallest amount of genuine amusement, for the first time in a little while.

It helps.

Enough that when Domino's finished, and after a long, measuring look from Illyana, the sorceress nods.

"You have, and you do."

As answers go, it's blunt, but at least there's something beyond anger in her voice now. Illyana's made a decision.

"But don't pretend you'd last ten minutes in the ball before you started trying to dig your way out, and if you really do want to be here?" Illyana shakes her head. "There's no help for you."

The smirk is back, and whether Domino actually wants more wine or not, Illyana refills first her goblet, and then her own.

"Now." She says, looking at Domino over the rim of her goblet. "About your soul…"

The grin is evil, but not remotely serious.

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