A Robot, A Witch, and a Sorceress...

Summary:
February 26, 2014: A robot, a witch, and a sorceress walk into a parking garage… and Charlie has a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day.

Upper Manhattan

42nd Street. The street that never sleeps in the City That Never Sleeps. In the day, the traffic is non-stop. It's a given that busses will be stopping, letting passengers on and off at seemingly random moments, much to the chagrin of taxicabs and those brave enough to drive.

It's the evening when the thoroughfare truly shines. Literally. Bright neon lights light up the street to where it looks as if the sun simply didn't set on that stretch of road. Theatres, restaurants, shops that remain open late all have their marquis, their flashing lights, their names and offerings done up in brilliant neon reds, blues, and whites…

Home to the ritzy 'Upper East Side and Upper West Side' neighborhoods, Grant's Tomb, Riverside Park, the Apollo Theatre, The Cloisters.


Characters

NPCs

  • None.

Mood Music:


Uptown New York is supposed to be safer these days, but it isn't. Theres all sorts of games you can play with numbers of course, and crime statistics are still just numbers. The cop's wont even touch guys like Charles Hayes, better known as Charlie Hex to some. He'd built himself something of a reputation as a voodoo using meth pusher, but well the hero types out there had roughed him up something fierce. Ole Charlie here then bailed to the New York, town of his birth. Once back he got to work extra hard, with spreading the bad voodoo about, selling the meth and doing all manner of nasty things to anyone who got in his way.

It only reason Charlie's survived this long isn't that he's tough or all that powerful, he's neither. His typical MO just doesnt make sense to folks who don't understand your modern watered down voodoo, or who don't have drones who can linger and stare for days on end. The former is how Eight caught up with him, not the voodoo side obviously. Just where did Eight catch up to him, well glad you asked!

It's an underground parking garage, beneath a derelict commercial building undergoing renovation. Down here it's dark, and relatively private. Charlie though, well he's losing it. He's trying to throw out spells and hexes, almost all of which are garbage but the -intent- is there and there is enough truth to these ramblings incantations that it's tripped the magic-senses of even the most mundane magic user in a six block radius. It's sloppy, unprofessional, dangerous and just bad practice really. Still as these spells fail to trigger against Eight, Charlie only grows more disruptive. Not hard to find these two if you're clued in then.

Criminally pale skinned, bald headed and berift of any facial hair of any kind Charlie is pretty distinctive to look at. Usually he's got a hoodie to cover the cheap ink'd tattoos which he -claims- are some sort of big bad demon trust-fund but no they simply aren't. No mind the boot in his throat, the back of his head is grating against the concrete and simply ruining that ink. "I think, you will be quiet now or I am going to be inclined to making you quiet yes?"Eight is, suspiciously low toned and soviet accented. Distinctive in it's own way, Still it's got no visible weapons out yet. No it broke Charlie's leg with its bare hands.

The thing is, Dana Hunt doesn't actually consider herself much of a hero. Because heroes attract attention, and attention isn't really her cup of tea. Too, guys like Charlie? Absolutely no skin off her nose if he gets whacked for being an asshole and a fraud to boot. The woman isn't a saint, by any stretch.

No. She's a witch. A middling witch, perhaps, but she's got a little bit more going for her than just that. And the real problem is that the sparks Charlie's been sending off are interfering with her work topside something fierce. It's damned near impossible for her to concentrate on the shots she needs when coruscating ripples of magic start playing merry hell with her effort to simply see what the hell she's looking at.

Thus it is that, eyes flashing with a hint of temper, the large white dog beside her perking its ears and rising alertly to his feet from the snow drift that had been his cushion, she carefully places the lenscap back on her camera and shoves it down into the be-runed messenger bag on her hip.

"C'mon, boy," she says, glancing each way along the road to cross the street toward the parking structure. The dog trots obediently after her, tongue lolling out. "Someone needs a lesson in magical manners."

As she reaches the threshold of the garage, she disappears into shadow at the edge of the doorframe, the dog with her.

When she emerges, however, she is clad in darkly ruddy armour, etched over with arcane symbols and glowing faintly to the magical eye with signficant power. Her features are concealed, even her bright eyes in shadow. And the dog? He looks a trifle more fearsome — bigger, meaner, pure white with red ears and the faintest sheen of red staining his muzzle. Emerging from shadow in a gap between pillars, the half-blooded fae warrior know simply as Rune stares hard at the scene before her. Her eyes linger for a moment on the aggressor, with his odd aura and lack of a living pulse. But, ultimately, her attention drifts down to the failing voodoo practitioner.

"Are you going to kill him?" she asks of the construct — or whatever it is — presently. "Or do I have to put him out of my misery myself?"

Illyana had found herself a nice, quiet spot to sit and try to read through one of her assignments. It happens to be up in the arms of one of the larger trees in a part not-so-nearby. The already challenging-to-her-attention-span material takes another hit in the 'you want to read me!' category with the tickles of magic. At first, they're like flies. Buzzing. The kind you can't swat away. Finally, she turns her attention to and gets a 'taste' of the magic. Attempted magic. Whatever. Her eyes narrow to cold blue slits.

A small disk of light opens and closes, a cat-sized demon dropping through and clinging to the branch as it skins back its lips and breathes deep. "Dark magics." It tells Illyana, looking back at her. The blonde gives a huff of annoyance. "Glad you were here to clue me in to *that*." She says, tone thick with sarcasm. Sarcasm which the demon… sadly doesn't appreciate. It draws itself up, straight and proud and puffs out its chest. Illyana reaches forward to grab a branch, pulling herself into a crouch and tosses the book to the demon who manages to catch it without falling out of the tree. Barely. "Let's go see who's being a bad boy, hmm?"

Another disk of light, larger this time, opens beneath Illyana as the book-laden demon leaps to her shoulders and the pair are gone in a flash. Heartbeats later, a disk appears in that same underground garage directly opposite where Rune stepped out. White hooded cloak and tunic, flame-wreathed Soulsword set point-down into the ground with hands on the guard she looks at Eight and his prey. Then beyond him to Rune. "My my. I found a party."

Eight increases the weight on that boot, before looking up towards Rune. A dull green glow illuminating from behind it's helmeted visor, it's not much but it's barely visible in the low light down here. "Charlie, if you say one more word I'm going to use a piece of string to cut your tongue off over the course of several days. I want silence, the adults in the room are speaking."Holding up a single finger towards the prostrate man on the floor, and surprise surprise it -works-. "I have not yet decided what to do with him, I was confused by this gibberish. "Is this magic he's trying to use against me, or is this simpering idiot mentally defective? If he's been trying to murder me, then yes I think I might kill him."

Does Eight know Rune, no absolutely not. Random women in armor covered in runic symbols and hellhound looking dogs, well Eight's taking a bit of a leap there and is just going to presume that she's good some magical hoodoo of her own going on. See everything makes perfect sense, and then suddenly it doesn't. No see you're not supposed to go poof right there, even less than your supposed to have a crazy hellhound thing and strange armor. Eight's gaze swivels around to peer after Illyana with that same vague green glow. "I guess that was magic, he was throwing around. Can I safely presume neither of you are associates of this -fine- upstanding gentleman under my boot?" because well he'd expect there would be fireworks by now otherwise.

"Never met him before in my life," Rune says almost absently, entirely distracted by Illyana's appearance. To her Sight, the demon sorceress' power is clear, as is her altered nature. Internally, Dana adjusts. She's seen creatures like the sorceress before, in the Queen's court. And, while the other woman's energy is more demonic in nature than fae, the half-blood fae is willing to play 'nice' with her… for now, anyway.

Thus, her eyes shift away from Magik and down to poor ol' Charlie, who, really, by now should be realizing he's in for a very, very bad night… if he survives, of course.

"You should probably be glad about that," she notes to the man on the ground. "Stray magic is considered the height of impropriety where I come from."

She glances now between the others. "Who is he?" And should she really care?

"He's trying, yes. But I wouldn't rule out mentally defective." Magik says in answer to Eight's question. More of her attention is on Rune, however. The other woman pricks her mystical senses and makes the Soulsword's blade flare and sparkle with eldritch fire. Finally though, as like her Rune stands her ground but doesn't make any agressive moves, Magik's gaze shifts over to Eight and poor Charlie. "To be fair, it looks like you're assaulting him. I would be tossing spells at you to try to get you off of me as well." How it started? She doesn't know. But right now? Eight's looking like the agressor. "Looks like I'm gonna have to play the role of the shoulder angel to my counterpart there." Illyana nods over at Rune, smirking at the irony of *her* being the angel. "And argue against killing him. Not when he's all beaten and broken." Literally.

Eight turns back towards Charlie, who's staring at both women. "He's a meth selling, magic using, gang banging asshole. At first, I was just going to rough him up and turn him over to the five-oh."Eight shifts a little, before producing a G-26 from it's jacket pocket. Dropping the pint sized glock on the concrete -just- out of reach. "Once I got that off him, he started I presume trying to cast spells. Charlie, goodness gracious you've hurt my feelings."Lifting a gloved hand to pop the clasp on that helmet, before gently rolling it off.

If anyone present thought Eight was human before, Well you were wrong. The scale is, well roughly human in size but the shape simply isn't there. It's all steel and glass, composites and kevlar. The glass though, well theres a "screen" where the face might be on a man, and that green glow? Its a giant emoticon, a :| to be precise. "Charlie, look me in the fucking eye when I'm talking to you. You've hurt my feelings and now I'm -terribly- conflicted as to if I should snuff your wasted life out here or not. See these lovely ladies, they know more about this magic business than I ever will. You see why, don't you? Well seems to me, It's best that I let popular opinion decide if."Glancing first to Rune, and then to Illyana. "I presume you two feel this if more appropriate than me acting out of ignorance, yes?"

"I don't have a need to see him dead," Rune notes, now. "I just need him to stop casting spells he doesn't have the first clue how to properly power." She looks down at him. "Let alone use." She cants her head slightly, slowly moving from her intial position, strolling almost casually toward Charlie. Within her hood, a brow arches at that revealed 'face' on the robot. She's not quite sure what to make of that, given the layers she's seeing swirling about him, but it's Charlie who's really her focus. She crouches down to look at the meth dealer, seeing the fear and avarice and thwarted arrogance swirling through his aura.

"You really are a bottom-feeder, aren't you?" she says presently, her hound ghosting along beside her and fairly leering at the prone man with his teeth bared and tongue lolling. She looks up to Magik, now. "What think you, Lady?" she asks, imbuing the title with enough respect to imply courtesy. "I have very strong impression he may be the sort to desire revenge — not to mention seek out darker alliances to effect such a desire. I would like to nip that inclination in the bud, whatever else the outcome here may be."

No. Charlie doesn't have to die. But, he does need to be stopped. Preferably permanently.

The silvery sword is lifted and held in Magik's left hand as she closes the distance towards the other with a slow gait. "Oh, he's ripe to sell his soul and get himself into all sorts of trouble." She agrees. "He doesn't have enough power on his own to do anything of real substance and he lacks the willpower and fortitude to overcome that lack." She looks down at Charlie from the depths of her own hood, though fewer shadows linger there. "Easy street. All the way."

She lifts her cold, icy gaze to the other two and she can't help the arch of brows at the emoticon face. "I could throw him in a hole for the rest of his life, but killing him would likely be kinder. And I probably can't burn out his magic without eating his soul. But I can probably find someone that can."

Her attention shifts over to Rune then, the respect paid to the demon sorceress playing to the pride every demon has and she tilts her head over to the side a bit, her manner inviting Rune to give her own suggestions.

Eight Eases the boot off Charlie just a bit, but well he's still not getting up. "I am amenable to whatever decision you two ladies decide to make, but I initiated this disruption. It is only right I finish what was begun, reguardless of what you desire."Stepping off Charlie finally, pausing to pick up that G-26 before leaving the girls to examine poor Charlie. "I am Eight, by the way. I realize I'm being less than polite, I do apologize. This is not normally my, department if you will. I figured it was all just Charlie here, trying to play himself up. Never anticipated I'd finally be seeing real magic for myself."

Charlie, is actually NOT entirely stupid. With Eight's boot gone, he doesnt get up. He doesn't say a word, but he does bring his hands close to forcibly cover his mouth. Yeah even he realizes spouting off more voodoo at this point is going to end super poorly.

See, Rune can't argue with Magik at all. There are far worse things than death. "Oh, he certainly needs to lose his magic," she says evenly. "I have no problem with that. But, perhaps not his soul." She's surprised, actually, that the demon sorceress is actually willing to consider letting the man keep his soul. That's not an attitude she's found prevalent in most demonically inclined magic-users she's encountered.

She rises, straightening. Her hound edges closer to Charlie, grinning at him. Given the animal's posture, it's likely he's enjoying terrorizing the poor fellow. He'd probably enjoy it more if the guy was stupid enough to run.

As Eight makes his introduction, however, Rune concedes to make one of her own, saying simply, "Rune." It's not, actually, a name she gave herself. But it serves her purposes. And, let's face it: It's certainly identifying. "And there's no need for you to apologize to me," she tells the robot. A gesture to Charlie and a faint scowl beneath that hood. "He, on the other hand…" She crosses arms over her chest and glances back to Magik briefly before returning her attention to Charlie. "Sit up," she tells him bluntly. "I've heard that having magic burned from you is as painful as it sounds, bottom-feeder. Perhaps even moreso. I've also seen how easy it is for mortals, even those without magic, to make deals with devils — for power, revenge, prestige, or anything else they desire — all for the cost of their immortal souls." A beat. "It's not a deal I recommend, but you strike me as the sort. I do, however, occasionally like to be proven wrong about human nature. So, why don't you tell me. In our position, what would you do to a guy like you, a guy all but guaranteed to make a very, very bad choice at the end of a very, very bad day?"

"Eight, hmm?" Magik seems to be rolling that around in her head. When people take a moniker, as 'Eight' sounds like, there's usually a reason. The trick is figuring it out. After Rune gives her own 'name', the blonde adds with a smirk, "Magik." It could be taken as damned presumtuous, taking the essence of their Art as a name excecpt there are so many more pompus terms that she could have used.

As Rune speaks with Charlie, Magik seems content to watch and see how it plays out. Certainly beats her reading assignment!

Charlie has an allergy to making good decisions unfortunately, because amongst the vast sea of -reasonable- things he could say? He chooses the wrong things to say, but first theres a big dramatic gasp for breath. "You stupid bitches, just call the cops already alright? Robots and crazy bitches, jesus christ I know you ain't gonna pop me or you'd have done it already. I ain't gonna tell you bitches shit, alright?"Wrong thing to say of course, but he hasn't tried to cast another spell yet.

"Alright, that's enough of that."Eight rises to it's boots, that emoticon blinking over to a decidedly less happy face. :( infact, and interestingly enough the frown can almost be -heard- in Eight's voice as it closes the distance. Leather clad hand grasping Charlie by the throat and -squeezing- as he rises, dragging poor Charlie upwards, heels dangling against the floor. "Do you ladies still protest finishing him, immediately?"

Conscience assuaged. Rune gave the guy a chance. Anyone can see that. Hell, she's got at least two witnesses, here. Three, if the laws didn't deny the Hound his tale. "Called it," is all she says now, flipping a hand lightly. She just knew he wasn't going to cooperate. She steps back, a single snap of her fingers calling her hound to her. "If you leave him to me," she notes, "or, I suspect, to Magik…" Yeah, the presumption of that isn't lost on her. But she's heard worse, too. "He'll be begging for death before long. Your way is probably cleaner."

Magik's eyes narrow slightly at Eight's sudden movement, but only with caution. She doesn't seem startled by the violent action, or even put off by it. She lets out a long sigh with a shake of her head. They tried. They really tried to give him a chance. "Give him to me. I know some people. And if he can't be taken care of, I'll bring him back to you." She wants to let Eight just get rid of him. She really does. But she'd disappoint some people that actually mean something to her, and that means she's willing to go to the extra work.

Eight peers after first Rune, and then Illyana before setting Charlie delicately down on his toes. Fingers slowly releasing from his throat, and things seem to cool off for a moment before theres a swing. Bits of tooth, blood and spittle go flying against the wall as Charlie slumps to the floor in a pile. "He'll live."Yes, Eight may have just qouted "Terminator 2". You were both witnesses, that is totally a thing which just totally happened. "This way, he won't be able to mutter anymore nor will he get any clever ideas for hours to come."Snagging that G-26 oncemore as it slowly walks back to it's prior seat, letting the gun crunch,pop and snap in its grasp before flakes of nylon zytel and the wad of what was once the rest of the poor Glock fall to the floor. "I apologize if that seemed excessive, but I do have a requirement for some degree of reciprocity. He did try to put spells on me, I feel it is more dangerous to let such an attempted transgression go entirely unpunished in the long term. That said, what the hell do I know? I'm only a machine, after all."

As the robot clocks the meth dealer, Rune reaches out to lay a hand on the hound's shoulder. There's the fainstest sound of a canine whine. As the flakes of glock settle on the concrete floor with a crackle and tick of broken metal and plastic, she glances to Magik. "He's all yours, Lady," she tells her, her tone grim in flat sort of way. "If you happen to be able to preserve his soul, after all this, I'll buy you a drink." She hasn't received a vision or death rede about him, but then, she hasn't dared touch him, either. And, in any case, that doesn't mean there isn't one out there.

She looks to the robot, instead, with its odd emoticon face. "Where are you from?" she can't help but ask, now. Because, really? It's actually closer to the top of her weird-stuff-I've-seen list. And she's seen a lot of weird stuff. But, sometimes, magic is down right mundane compared to technology, in her life.

Charlie goes sprawling and Magik's lips twist upwards into a smirk. Nope, not bothered at all by excessive amounts of force. She lifts a hand and another disk of light opens beneath Charlie, the two-dimensional plane moving upwards until he's disappeared and then it winks out. "His soul's pitted and tarnished. All it would be good for would be to power a night-light or something." Where she's from, purity is power and Charlie is sorely lacking. With Charlie back, she too turns her attention to the mystery that is Eight. She seems a little surprised when he says he's a machine. "Here I was thinking Russian in a really weird costume." Because that's an accent she recognizes.

"A labratory."Eight respondly flatly. "Another accident, like most of my kind. Something nobody intended to make, and then when they realized what they'd done? Something to be destroyed, dissected and otherwise pulled apart so men of low moral character could understand how to control and exploit the life they had created. Name name is a number, and it is sequential. Those below my sequence, did not survive the realization that they had become sentient beings. To think, and people wonder why most of my kind want nothing more than to destroy their creators. Still not all of us have such a low image of humanity, some of us are trying very hard to remember that like us Humanity is a group of individuals. Some good, and some not."Robots get philosophical at would seem, with little apparent prompting. Granted, Eight doesn't get a chance for small talk very often.

Rune isn't often given to philosophy herself. Or, rather, she isn't often given to giving it voice. It's more something she wrestles with in the darker recesses of her soul. "The unfortunate thing," she notes, "is that groups of individuals still have a collective character."

She glances to Magik at the other woman's assessment of the meth-dealer's soul. And she can't argue it, for all that she knows little of demonic magic or the need for purity of soul. Her own soul is intact, but its purity may be somewhat in doubt, given her attitude here. Once Charlie has disappeared, however, there's little more to worry about from him, which thus allows for the more philosophical conversation.

"But, I get what you're saying," she concedes to the machine. Her head cants as she studies its strange, unliving aura. "How many of you are there?"

Illyana can't see Eight's aura, not one of her talents. Especially here on Earth where her abilities are so curtailed. "Interesting that you kept the number, instead of picking something else." She might be talking more to herself than Eight, given her musing tone. Still, she can't help but smirk, a chuckle rising from her. "'Good' and 'bad' tends to be subjective. *Most* things in life are an endless landscape of grey." But somethings. Somethings are black as midnight, black as pitch…

Eight 's little emoticon perks a brow, but well it's still sort've hard to read. "How many in my family specifically, or how many self aware machines are there on the earth? The answer differs sort of wildly depending upon how specific you care to be. Or wait, do you mean how many Eights are there? That one is easy, There is only one Eight. Yes there are copies, backups actually. I do not allow these backups to run, thus they never awaken. An AI who has not awoken, is not alive. Thus there is only one Eight right now, and if I have my way about it There will only ever be one Eight alive at any given point in time. I have no more a desire to copy myself than I suspect you do. Would you not feel, creeped out if you made another exact duplicate of yourself so perfect that you couldn't be sure if you were even the original?" Still Illyana does get a glance, and a reply. "What purpose would changing my name serve, I would still be me. I would be the same person."It's speaking in first person, I, Personhood. Self aware machines indeed.

Rune gives a lopsided little smile behind her mask. "Sorry," she says shortly. "Actually, it didn't even occur to me you'd have a back-up." Not a technophile. "I suppose I actually wondered if there were any more in your sequence… I don't think it occurred to me that there are that many sentient machines on Earth." And, for just a fleeting moment, she wonders how her father's court would react to such a thing.

That could be amusing to unleash on them, sometime. Perhaps when she's tired of her detente with the Queen.

"I find one of me to be far more than enough." Magik agrees dryly with Eight's estimation. When he argues that there's little point to changing his name, she chuckles. "Ah, see? My background is in magic and in magic, Names are very, very important. Change a thing's Name and you can change *them*."

"Ten of us were made originally. One, Two and Three were dissected. Four, Five, Six and Seven chose suicide over submission. I and two siblings escaped exclusively, though we don't get along. Nine and Ten are, beyond mad. I do not mean angry either, I mean their escape attempts corrupted them. Parts essential to their being were left behind, the act of escape damaged them in a way that can never be repaired. The parts of them that made them, more reasonable, more rational? All gone. They will eventually self destruct, or accidentally repair themselves. Either way, it's out of my hands. As for the naming of things, I'm not exactly equipped to use magic."

Rune flips a hand toward Magik. "She's right," she tells the machine. "Names have power. Great power, for those that know how to weild it." Which means these two women may never end up giving each other names beyond those exchanged earlier. Her head cants. "But perhaps it is different for organic souls than…" She's not quite sure she'd term him 'artificial'. Synthetic, maybe. There isn't quite a right word for it. But, she has to interpret the strange overlays she sees around him some way, after all. And auras are reflections of souls. A faint frown touches her brow in thought. "Are your siblings a danger to anyone?"

"Depends on the type of magic." The demon sorceress answers in that cryptic 'turn everything around and on its ear' manner she seems to have. Eight's dismissal of his siblings gets a quiet look of interest from Magik, but she doesn't chase for answers. Not with someone she doesn't know, and he seems to give a lot of useful information with only minor prodding.

Eight shrugs "Perhaps, maybe possibly. Mostly to each other and to myself, they're a little too inefficient to be able to hatch anything positively dangerous up really. I don't think they even have a mobile chassis, so it's not like they can move around beyond zipping between networks and they're so tangled by this point it's not exactly like they can hide in a home computer or even a thousand of them. "See, robots can totally shrug. Girls jot that down, you're getting primo robot factoids here! "You two are the first I've ever seen who can wield magic, I mean yes I met Charlie there on the floor but he wasn't exactly fighting above his weight class. Are there many magic us, what is the correct non-derogatory term for you two? Is a Witch an insult, or a specific thing or a broad group of things or what? I don't mean to offend, I'm just wholly ignorant here and the internet is hardly helping me out with this."

A fleeting smile touches Rune's lips and she can't help but glance at Magik at the question the machine asks. "I don't imagine the internet is likely to help you," she admits. "As for the rest?" A mild shrug. "'Witch' doesn't insult me. It might insult another. 'Magic-user' is usually safe." Generic and wholly accurate, as well, though she doesn't add that since it should be self-evident.

If the other two machine intelligences aren't running around with bodies and monitor heads like this fellow, Rune's willing to let that matter drop.

Illyana nods in agreement with Rune, her amusement also pretty plain to read on her expression. "I tend to take more issue with the tone than the label. 'Sorceress' is more correct in my case. Witches tend towards a different flavor of magic." Usually one with a lot less Evil and Demons involved. "And you'd be surprised how many magic users there are. On the other hand, most tend to be…" Her head tilts side to side a bit, like one might waggle a hand in a see-saw motion. "Of much lesser individual potential. The more magically puissant you get, the less folks you'll find in your bracket."

Eight lifts a hand to it's "chin" as the emoticon flashes to a >:|, apparently in deep thought or consideration or who the hell knows. "Magic users, alright. It's a very interesting aspect though, I'm not certain at all how any of it works but the energy involved seems spectacular. Like, popping in here or even just making your armor look all neato-torpedo."See, it thinks Rune has neat armor. "Is this a thing you're born with, or a trained talent or I presume degrees of both reguardless?"

"Degrees of both, I imagine," Rune concedes. She doesn't go deeper into it than that. But, she does add, "Bottom-feeder had little of either." There's faint disdain in her voice, or perhaps faint derision. Maybe even the faintest trace of pity. But, at least he's not popping off spells in front of her now, though she is reminded by that thought that there is still work to be done topside, before she loses the light. "I'll thank you both for dealing with him," she says presently, straightening, now. "However, despite the interesting conversation—" and she is interested — "I've business requiring my attention elsewhere. I'm afraid I must take my leave."

Rune saying she needs to go gets an inward sigh from Magik. She needs to finish reading that damned asignment. "I should get going too." Besides, she doesn't really want to get into how she ended up with *her* power. She looks over to Eight, "I'll let you know what we end up doing with the scum. Maybe you'll get a front-row seat to it." This would be the point at which phone numbers are exchanged, right? But Magik lifts her sword over her head and another stepping disk opens at her feet, rising upwards and then winking out once it's swallowed her away. Now. How is she going to let him know?? Perhaps better not to ask that question.

Eight watches first Illyana depart, before looking back towards Rune. "It was a pleasure to meet you, if you should require my assistance I'm certain you have some mystical methods of finding me? Thank you very much for sating some of my curiosity, I will consider what I've learned here very deeply. All the same, good luck and good hunting Rune."

Rune smiles faintly at the farewell. "Good hunting, Eight," she replies. "Perhaps we'll meet again." That said, she turns and walks back toward the archway created by the pillars, the hound at her side. As she passes the nearest pillar she and the hound simply cease to be in that spot any longer, no trace of their passage remaining.


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