What's Hidden is now Found
Roleplaying Log: What's Hidden is now Found
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Dani looks for Illy to help her find the Bear.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: August 31, 2019
IC Location:
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 31 Aug 2019 21:06
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It's been a time of crisis for the X-Men. The Xavier Institute has been besieged by shadows that brought an unseasonal wintriness to the grounds. Several X-Men vanished into those shadows, either in search of Dani Moonstar, or just by misadventure. The mansion's swimming pool has even been destroyed. Surely, if there was ever a time for Xavier's brood to gather, take stock, and plan their response as a team, it's now.

Naturally, Illyana Rasputin is nowhere to be found, either at the Xavier's Institute or the X-Men's less public facilities. She's somewhere quite different.

From the outside, the building looks abandoned, steel shutters over the windows, a heavy metal door across the street level access. And it's not in the best part of town. There aren't a lot of casual passers by. However, if one was to get close enough, they might hear something, or possibly feel it. There's a definite vibration coming through the brickwork.

The place has excellent soundproofing.

Once through that heavy, sliding metal door - and the imposing door staff - the interior opens up. The building's been gutted, and something else lives in its shell now. Below, in what used to be the basement, is the dance floor, while mezzanine floors circle the void in the centre, supporting lights, speakers, bars and their own smaller spaces for dancing. At the very top, Illyana can be found. The place is packed, but somehow she has a table - and a bottle of vodka - entirely to herself. Her feet are up on the table, legs crossed at the ankle, and her chair's positioned so she can look down over the mass of people below, her eyes gleaming in the semi-darkness, even when a strobe doesn't catch them.

And there are a lot of strobes. And a lot of noise. The music is loud, hard, urgent, and the beat moves around and through the space like a coiling serpent.


It's hard to say just how Danielle Moonstar found her friend, but she has.

It just required a bit of footwork and perhaps the use of SHIELD technology to track Illyana Rasputin down. Or so she hopes.

Outside that deceptively docile looking building (in the bad part of town) Moonstar stands, her gaze warily eyeing said building. Eventually one of her hands reaches out to the brickwork and the Cheyenne feels the vibrations from the music within.

It's enough to make the woman sigh, but she really can't find it in herself to feel surprised, or disappointed. This is Yana, after all. It's to be expected.

And whereas others might find it hard to get past the brutes at the front 'gates', Moonstar doesn't. She easily slides inside the building and while she was prepared for music, she wasn't quite prepared for the depth of it.

It's loud.

That loudness is almost like a solid wall and it causes the black-haired woman to pause at the edges of the crowd. She stands there for a few seconds to acclimate, to get her bearings, before her gaze begins to search the crush of people.


It's probably been a while since anyone tried to deny Dani entry to anywhere. It'd be a bad life choice, and, at least in this place, people seem to sense it. Once she's inside, though, she does draw some attention. Possibly because she's the most normally dressed person in the club. It's not so much that there's a theme - there's absolute blackness in leather and lace, and bright silver spikes and chains, and flashes of neon among the dancers - but none of it is really 'smart casual'.

As for Illyana, she's a couple of floors up when Dani gets inside, and between the alternating light and darkness, not to mention the crush of people below, it's absolutely impossible for the blonde sorceress to pick out Dani from everyone else - lack of leather, metal and neon aside. Nevertheless, she's about to take another drink when she pauses, tilting her head to one side almost as if she's heard something - another practical impossibility in this place - and then smirks and throws back the shot. Her feet come off the table, one after another, and she stands up, absolutely steady despite the significant dent she's made in her bottle of vodka. She reaches down to the surface of the table and draws something with a fingertip, and then she's gone - the flash of light from the portal that snaps open and closed lost amongst the strobing white lights.

From behind Dani, where there was absolutely no room for someone to materialise, comes a voice that it should be absolutely impossible to hear, on the basis that the words aren't being yelled directly into her ear. But she hears them clearly enough anyway.

"Look out." The voice says, drolly. "Unregistered mutant." Just the hint that the owner of the voice is enjoying herself immensely comes through as she adds, "I hope you brought your handcuffs."


Does Dani stick out like a sore thumb? You bet!

Does she currently care? No.

She instead looks at those nearest, searching for a familiar face, a familiar flash of blonde hair. It's going to be slow, but Moonstar is on a mission. Up until the person she's looking for finds her. It almost causes her to sigh, because really it should be expected.

Moonstar turns around to eye her friend and with the slightest of smirks, she replies, "No, I didn't. Not for you at least. You'd enjoy that *far* too much." Then her expression turns serious and the woman gives the blonde demoness a quick one over. Sure, she knows she's okay from her tangle with the Bear, but she can't quite stop herself from making certain Yana is hail and hearty.

Seeing the demoness the Cheyenne flicks a look around the room, "Are you planning on staying much longer?" She asks (or shouts if need be), "I could use a hand if you're terribly bored with this particular scene."


For once Illyana's eyes are about level with Dani's when the other woman turns around, courtesy of the heels the blonde is wearing. She's still wearing that smirk of her own, but her blue eyes gaze searchingly at Dani, her bangs hiding the faintest of frowns. It's like she's looking at - or possibly for - something beyond Dani's physical form.

After a moment it seems like she either finds - or doesn't find - what she was looking for, and her eyes narrow a little further. A blink later and the frown is gone, and that smirk becomes an evil grin when Dani replies to her in kind. "You're a terrible SHIELD agent." She says, sniffily. And since there's not a single glance from the clubbers around them when she says it, the demoness must have done something to ensure their conversation is a private one. "I should report you to your bosses." She folds her arms for emphasis, but the mischievous glint in her eyes probably gives her away. "But I'm still glad you're back." She adds that quickly, as if someone might overhear her saying something nice. Ish.

The guarded, or possibly indifferent, mask is back in place as soon as Dani gets down to business. "Because I know I'm not going to be able to convince you to just stay here and have some fun…" Illyana says, as if Dani's making some great imposition on her. "…then no." The evil grin flashes across her face again. "But when this is all over, then we're coming back. Or no deal."

There's a flash of light, and they're somewhere else.

Somewhere Dani is equally improperly dressed for.

The floor is stone, the walls too, the ceiling lost in the shifting darkness from flaring torches that light the room, burning but never being consumed. The air is hotter, drier. Things chitter in the shadows. And a large stone throne sits empty on a dais. Limbo. "Where to?" Illyana asks into the comparative silence.


Whether Dani realizes just what Illyana is doing is hard to say. Probably she does, but when the demoness searches (or not) for whatever, Moonstar simply looks back at her friend.

Then she allows that slight smirk to appear again. "Go ahead and tell them. Pretty sure they wouldn't believe you."

It comes to business though, mainly from Dani and Dani's expression settles into those severe lines for a moment. Almost absently she says, "I promise we'll come back.", and then the two disappear. She knows where they're going, but that doesn't stop her from automatically looking around.

There's both curiousness and wariness in her gaze.

The question of where brings Moonstar's gaze over to Yana, "Here." Which is saying a lot, since here is Limbo. "I need your help in locating the Bear and then once we locate him destroying him." There's a finality with her words and with them comes a creeping cold from the Cheyenne. It pushes against the dry hot air.


Illyana, of course, doesn't take her eyes off Dani during the transition to Limbo. Mostly because she gets some slightly twisted enjoyment from watching the reaction of people - even friends - when they arrive in her personal, private hell dimension.

But mostly because of that chill emanating from Dani. In case whatever her friend is carrying along with her objected to where it suddenly finds itself. Illyana's left arm hangs casually by her side, but her fingers are slightly curled, as if they're wrapped around an imaginary sword hilt. They relax when nothing untoward comes out to play.

"Here?" Illyana echoes, tilting her head to one side again. Her long blonde hair falls past her shoulder, straight and perfect again - even though there's been no time for the ragged slice of the bear's claws to grow out, or for her to have gotten a haircut. "No one wants to come here." She adds lightly, but her faintly teasing tone vanishes when Dani gets to the point.

"Are you sure that's what all of you wants?" Illyana is, of course, an expert on having her soul pulled in different directions. "Because it'd make me happy, but the part of you that's bringing air conditioning to Limbo won't like it."


Nothing untoward happens with Dani, but elsewhere that little blob of shadow stirs. If it had a face it would raise it upward and scent the air, but it doesn't, so instead a ripple just goes through the shadow.

Then slowly it stretches out filaments of thin black. Those tendrils stretch out towards whatever spells and sigils encircle it. Delicately it probes, pushing against the warded boundaries.

For Dani, she seems quite unaware of what Illyana still holds. Perhaps she's too focused on what she needs or wants from the Demoness, or perhaps she's just too 'noseblind' without being truly part of the Demon Bear, but whatever the case is the woman looks as normal as can be.

Well, as normal as one can be when they're pushing cold air out like an A/C.

"It's what I want." States the Cheyenne, "I don't care what the Bear wants or doesn't. It's not going to pop its head up a third time with me." And here her tone turns harsh and sharp, her emotions obviously rising, "It dies or I do."

--

Not much goes on in Limbo without Illyana knowing about it. When it's something as inimical to her realm as the scrap of the Demon Bear's shadow that she's been probing, studying and… basically torturing… it's even less likely to pass unnoticed.

Still, nothing shows on the demoness' expression as the shadow reaches out, so subtly, so tentatively… until it touches the wards surrounding it. They flare angrily into life, and it's not with the pure, silver-white light that usually accompanies Illyana's conjurings. No, this flame is red, shot through with black. The natural magic of Limbo, bent to its mistress' will.

Back in the throne room, Illyana smiles. "Well, I think we can guarantee one of those things is going to happen." As Dani's turned harsh, Illyana's turned almost cheerful. If, perhaps, less than reassuring. "Come with me." She says, abruptly, and turns away, crossing to a tightly winding spiral staircase. She leads the way down, and down, her heels clicking on the stone steps.

Eventually the staircase opens onto a passageway that seems rougher, older, and somehow less finished than the throne room far above. Suffering is never far away in Limbo, but here it seems to seep from the very stones. Illyana crosses to a door, and presses her palm against it. The gnarled wood, blackened with age, seems to fade away, revealing a roaring inferno, sigils that hurt the eye and the mind burning with demonic flame as they strive to push an amorphous ball of very familiar shadow back into the very centre of the oubliette that Illyana's fashioned for it.

Illyana sneaks a sideways glance at Dani. "Shall we begin?"


When the wards flare with that red and black energy the little shadow blob immediately shrinks in on itself. It becomes a tight mote of blackness, as it tries to avoid any sort of painful repercussions.

It's already felt enough pain to last it a lifetime.

"Good." Comes Dani's answer to Yana's more cheerful tone and guarantee of death. While the come with me might be abrupt it doesn't seem to phase Dani too much, as the woman follows after her friend.

Whereas Yana's footfalls click, Moonstar's own footfalls are almost silent. Just that ever present shadow of cold that lingers behind Illyana.

As the two enter the more … archiac portions of the castle, Dani can't quite stop herself from looking at everything. Sure, being friends with Illyana means she's seen Limbo likely more than most, but that doesn't mean she's seen everything.

Especially the scarier parts. Like this one.

But, she doesn't say too much on what she sees. She just follows silently behind the blonde Demoness.

Upon entering the room Moonstar's eyes narrow as she squints at the flame and powerful sigils, the kind that tear at mortal and non-mortal senses. The Cheyenne brings a hand up slightly to block the brightness from that demonic flamethat corrals the little blob.

For the blob, as soon as Dani steps into the room it immediately reacts. Whereas seconds before it was shrinking away from the wards now it pushes outward again. It stretches outward, finding power in the presence of Dani. It lashes out with tendrils of shadow and ice. So much coldness in its touch and it tries to dampen down the flame and seals. It strives to push through all that confines it.

And while it ultimately lacks the power to do so, it still tries. Clearly it's ready to begin.

While Dani spies that little blob of darkness, she doesn't acknowledge it. Instead her gaze moves back to Yana, "Yes. Tell me what you need me to do."

Faith and trust in those last words of hers.


It's a funny thing about the walls, down here. The firelight sends shadows chasing across the rough stone, and the play of those shadows make patterns for the eye to interpret. Not so unusual. But down here, the patterns that draw the eye look like demonic faces. All of them. Snarling, roaring, screaming in agony… blink and it's just rough stone. Blink again, and the faces are back, cast once more in immobile stone… and yet the expressions have changed. And the eyes, blind unseeing rock, are all looking one way.

And it's not toward the Queen of Limbo, but her companion.

Better to blink again, and tell yourself the firelight is playing tricks on you.

Illyana herself isn't looking at the walls, she's not even looking at the fragment of shadow that she bit off in her last confrontation with the Demon Bear. She's looking at Dani, watchfully. Seeing if the Cheyenne reaches for the shadow the way the shadow's reaching for her. Judging just how deep the bear's claws are still hooked in her friend.

Satisfied, and without looking at the shadow, she reaches up an arm now sheathed in silver steel and slams her fist into the wall beside the door, hard. "That's enough." She tells the shadow as it recoils. She's about to make a crack about the shadow being hard to house train, but…

She sees the trust in Dani's eyes, hears it in her voice. It's… somehow uncomfortable. Not least because she wants to be worthy of it, and what she's going to have to do might strain that trust. "Just… don't move." She tells Dani, and begins.

Illyana makes a complex series of gestures, and a wind blows up. The dusty floor of the chamber is swept clean, revealing that Dani stands in the centre of a series of concentric circles, with cardinal directions marked with more of those disturbing runes. Where everything else here is rough and old, these are precise, and somehow new. As if Illyana just brought them into being around her.

Illyana hesitates. "I can't promise this'll be fun." She says, and silver white light burns up from the carving. Inside the oubliette, a similar set of sigils appears around the shadow fragment, though these don't glow with the white magic reserved for Dani. Black magic is the order of the day there.

And just like that, Dani will find that she can't move. At least physically. Spiritually… that's a different matter. It'll feel like the sigil is pulling her spirit in all directions, and it's the same for the shadow fragment, forcing like to call to like… the circles flare as the shadow reaches for Dani, forcing it to reach elsewhere. Illyana's eyes are shining now, lit from within, somehow, and her own shadow looks less like a young woman than it did. "Yes…" She breathes. "Go home."

A particular rune on both sigils flares, and the whole construct shifts around. A book is now in Illyana's hands, and she leafs quickly through the pages. Another rune flares, another shift. And another. And another…

And finally the light from the sigils dies, and Illyana steps forward to catch Dani, if she needs it. "Dani?" A voice asks, made a little strange by the fangs. "Still with me?" It's hard to show concern when your eyes are blank gold, but Illyana manages it - despite the ram's horns curling back from her brow.


The shadows that play across the walls definitely require a second and third look, but when it comes down to business Moonstar (thankfully) tears her gaze away from it all. There's only a quirk of brown when Illyana punches the wall, to settle the blackness down.

When the dust blows away to reveal the circles within circles within circles, Dani can't quite stop her eyes from widening. Those circles are a frightening sight to Moonstar's somewhat educated gaze. She knows some of what those shapes and cardinal points mean.

Enough to allow fear to grip around her heart momentarily, but if there's one thing Moonstar is it's brave.

She's overcome a lot and with a steadying breath the Cheyenne pulls her gaze away from the sigils upon the ground and focuses her attention back on Yana. The Demoness' words bring a small smile to her lips, "Most things worthwhile are never fun." Dani says ruefully, "So, yes, I suppose I'm ready."

But she's really not. Not when the spell reaches out and Dani finds herself frozen. That causes her adrenaline to spike and were she able to she'd fist her hands, but she cannot. As worrisome as that is the next part is even worse -

Her spirit, her soul, is grabbed and the magic pulls. This way. That way. Every which way.

The bit of stolen shadow is no different. It finds itself stretched thin, but that doesn't seem to stop the blob from trying to lash out as it becomes prickly like a hedgehog. With its little spikes it tries to stab at the magic that enwraps it.

Not that it matters.

Go home.

That command causes both to shiver and both resist; the shadow out of loyalty to the Bear and Dani out of principal - grant it's a subconscious sort of thing, that part of her that's intertwined with the Bear. It pushes at her to hold out against the Darkchilde's black magics..

Again, it won't matter. Not as Illyana calls upon the runes interlaced within those sigils -

The first rune flares to life.

The second.

A third and then a fourth.

A fifth and finally a sixth!

That's all it takes. Silver threads rise up from Dani and the snippet of shadow and those threads intertwine with another before they path becomes clear. They need to go west.

Definitely west.

When the fire in those sigils die Moonstar does collapse, like a puppet with its strings cut. A low moan of pain might be heard from the Cheyenne and while she does fall she doesn't quite hit the floor. Not when Illyana steps forward and catches her, and for a few seconds Dani just stays limp.

It's only at the sound of her name that she manages to open her eyes. Manages to flex muscles that are now free.

"I'm still here." She croaks, "I'm ok."

And only after she gets a look at her friend does she ask, "Are you?"

The little globule of shadow is upon the ground, mostly imitating a puddle right now.


Illyana's a good three inches shorter than Dani but she still manages to support her friend's entire weight - until she learns how to use her body again - without seeming to strain. If the eyes, the fangs and the horns weren't enough, it's another clue that Illyana isn't quite the woman she appears to be. Not any more.

But she's still human enough that her hands squeeze a bit tighter in relief when Dani finally speaks, and she doesn't relax her support until she's sure the Cheyenne has her feet under her once more.

The shadow doesn't get a single glance, of course. Illyana's mercy doesn't stretch anywhere near that far.

"I did say it wouldn't be fun." It's an Illyana version of an apology, but it's something, and those golden eyes narrow a bit at Dani's concern, faintly confused. A hand reaches up, to follow the curve of one horn, and Illyana grimaces. "I had to… let go, a little." She says. Not ashamed. Not embarrassed. But she still closes those faintly glowing golden eyes, concentrates… and when she opens them again, they're icy blue once more, as human as the rest of her.

"But it was worth it." Bright white light flares beneath their feet, and they're in the throne room again. With two additions. One is a huge block of stone, the surface carved into a relief map of the area Illyana's magic traced the bear's corruption to. The other… a baroque iron table, with Illyana's vodka bottle on it. And two glasses. Illyana pours a generous measure and hands it to Dani.

"I couldn't nail down the location. Not precisely. Someone had put a lot of work into stopping someone like me doing something like that. But…" She smiles. "I had you." There's a glass in her own hand now, too, and she sketches a toast toward Dani. "So when do we kill it?"


Even when the golden eyes and the horns disperse Moonstar's concern is there for a few more seconds, until it's not.

Tucked away just so.

"We all have at times." Let go, a little, Moonstar means, grimly she continues on, "Sometimes it's the only way to win."

Then the woman stands upon her own two feet under her strength and with each passing moment, Dani gets herself sorted out.

Once back in the throne room Dani's gaze turns to that large black stone, with the map carved upon it. Dani stares at the terrain mapped out and her attention only shifts when Illyana hands her a glass. She takes it and while she doesn't yet drink, she likewise raises it upward. "As soon as we get the gang rounded up."

A promise in her tone.

Only after she drinks does she add quietly, "Thanks, Yana. I knew you'd be able to help."

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