Soulscaping

Summary:
July 04 2014: Jericho's mild brooding and contemplation is interrupted by a certain mutant teleporter

Final Rest Graveyard/Limbo

Home of the dead or abode of demons. Either way you're in for an interesting time.


Characters

NPCs

  • Demons. Lots of them.

Mood Music:
[* None]


Jericho doesn't get the chance, often, to just relax. This is, let us be clear, partly because he is a paranoid son of a gun. Also partly because he's gone for so long without relaxing that he's kind of forgotten how to do it. So perhaps it it not surprising that today, while he's waiting on a few traces to run and unable to pursue anything until he gets the information back that he needs, he's out in his 'thinking spot.'

He needs a new one, probably, but this one has several things to recommend it. It's quiet. It's a public place, so no one will question his being there, and but visited by few enough people that it's relatively private. There aren't any bugs around, he checks every time he comes. Usually it's just him and the groundskeeper. Of course it has a few downsides too. The biggest one is that it's a graveyard.

With his grave.

A while back some pompous Hydra ass decided to send a message. They set up a plot for Enrich Jotter, an anagram for Jericho Trent. The implied threat was not exactly subtle. Said Hydra ass is no longer employed with the organization, but the plot still exists and sometimes he comes here when things are quiet and he wants to think, sitting atop his own headstone, sipping at a drink.

*

"Wow. And folks call me creepy and morbid." Illyana's voice comes from behind him. It's more habit than anything else, to pop in where people don't see her arrive directly. He obviously knows about her teleporting now. It also has the upside that he doesn't know how long she's been watching, and head games are Illyana's bread and butter.

The blonde is dressed down today, wearing plain ol' sneakers with jeans and a too-large shirt. It is black with a big ol' skull on it but there's no other jewelry or arcane sigils on her today. She walks around to the front of the plot, and then looks from it to the man sitting there with a brow quirked. "Enrich huh?"

*

That voice is starting to become familiar but the unexpected company does make him jerk a bit as he turns, having to brace himself on the stone to balance as he sees who it is.

"Illyana." He chuckles. "Guess I didn't bore horribly the other night, hrm? Yeah, Enrich Jotter. He died doing the right thing. Or something like that. I should probably have the stone replaced but explaining why you need to change the name is a bit awkward."

He chuckles at her outfit. "Not a leather and chains kind of day, I suppose?"

*

Illyana hitches a shoulder at the question, not the least bit embarrassed at what she might be wearing. Or not, as the case may be.

"I pulled stuff out of my closet instead of just conjuring it up. If you really want, I could probably shear this guy off at the ground level and drop a new one in but doesn't really matter does it?" She jerks her chin towards the headstone. "I'm guessing that it's yours? And you're not dead."

*

"Good guess." He says gesturing with his drink. He pauses and digs around in a book bag… full of alcohol. A beer is tossed mage-ward.

"No I'm not dead. I didn't set it up. It was supposed to be a 'message' to me. We can get you any time kind of thing." He leans back and regards her for a while.

"Hrm. So to what do I owe the pleasure?"

*

"Then it doesn't matter what it says, does it?" Illyana catches the beer, eyeing it a bit before opening and stepping over towards him, walking right over the 'grave' itself.

"What, you didn't pick up on the whole 'easily bored' bit?" She leans against the headstone he's sitting on, with no real regard to personal space and smirks at him.

"Besides. Someone challenged me to break you in." She lifts the bottle to her lips and tilts in back for a long swallow.

*

Jericho laughs and takes another pull at his beer. "Break me in hrm? Nancy was that, perchance? Or something I said?" The hacker shifts a bit to make room for the newly arrived drinking companion.

"What exactly does that mean anyway, break me in?" He says after a swallow. "I don't take well to crating and I'm awful at learning tricks." He says with a wink, though really what he's wondering is what gets a person bored enough to visit a man in a graveyard whose only activity for the past hour has been sipping a beer and occasionally humming a song.

*

Illyana's reply is a slow grin that shows a bit too much teeth, giving it a sinister edge. "Aw, telling you would be cheating." She sing-songs at him before reaching for his hand to drag him off of the headstone.

"You're doing a crap job of brooding." She informs him. "C'mon." There's no asking. No respecting that he might need some quiet and space.

*

It might be because he's not doing anything that he's not very difficult to drag off. Brooding and thinking is good but… oh gods that smile. Now he's a bit worried, though not quite enough for it to showw on his face.

"Uh… where are we going?" Given his experiences with her thus far he's expecting a disk to open up somewhere.

"Wait, crap job of brooding?" He laughs. "I have alcohol and a graveyard. What more do I need to brood?"

*

"You have horse piss and a scenic lawn." Illyana counters. "You want to brood you need something a hell of a long stronger and a place a hell of a lot darker. But. I don't feel like brooding." Which means that, apparently, he doesn't get to indulge himself.

True to form, a stepping disk opens at their feet, sliding upwards without giving him a chance to protest. Where they end up… might be surprising. Because by now he knows she goes from Earth to Limbo. But this doesn't look like the Limbo he's gotten glimpses of. The terrain is mountainous, but the flora is lush. Clear streams run through and tumble down in glistening waterfalls. In the distance, he can see the dark shape of Illyana's citadel, rising amid the peaks. But when he turns around… the landscape beyond is a wasteland. Blasted, twisted. There's a sharp line between the two, where one is overtaking the other. But which is which.

"How are you at gardening?"

*

"Um… depends on what you're talking about. Done a bit of landscaping which… isn't quite the same thing." He looks about, taking in the castle and the unusually not-hellish landscape. Okay, he's only been here three times counting this one but still, this one does not conform to the other two.

"Whyyyyyyy do you ask?" He says, now a bit understandably wary.

This place is… really odd feeling. It's not likely many people but him would notice but there's no network traffic which feels… weird. It's not a case of just being out in the sticks either. Anywhere on earth you can get trace radio signals from satellites or failing that, the sun. Here? Absolutely nothing at all. It's like stepping into a void. Eerie.

*

Illyana picks her way through the rocks and plants, heading towards the almost knife's edge between the two landscapes.

"Well, in some ways that's exactly what I want to do. But the same methods might not work." She admits. "When Belasco held Limbo, he turned it into hell. Not like, the Hell but enough so it was similar to the various hell-realms. Part of that was because that's how he liked it, and part of it was because it was a reflection of his soul. When I took over, a lot of it stayed that way. It's what I was used to and also, it was a reflection of my own corrupted soul. Several years back, there was an uprising that I couldn't put down. Over a year of war, every day. All day. I ended up trying to Unmake Limbo, to make sure no one else got ahold of it and let the demons loose on Earth. It purified it. Reset it back to the paradise it was before Belasco. But I'm still corrupted, and so, so is Limbo."

*

Jeri nods slowly, following her down but staying on the grass as she talks and observing the slightly more familiar hell-scape that he's seen the other times he's been here.

"Okay, I follow you so far. This place is a reflection of it's ruler and circumstances mean that you've had to make some compromises. So this place could be pretty well a paradise, but the fact that it shapes itself to be like you means that it's sort of… divided."

He looks back from the landscape to Illyana. "So what does that have to do with landscaping? Does the link work both ways?"

*

Illyana glances back over her shoulder at Jeri, her smirk not entirely mocking.

"'Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.'" Then she looks forward again, hitching one shoulder up in a half-shrug.

"My soul, at least. And it was a theory my brother had. That if I could heal Limbo, I could heal myself. I don't know that I buy it, but I figure it can't hurt." And maybe, it gives her the slightest glimmer of hope.

*

Oh. Jericho's got a really full plate. Daily routine: Stay hidden, don't get shot, help Nancy, track down awful super weapon. Does he really want to add to that 'Try to help a demon queen heal her soul with landscaping'? The smart thing to say is he doesn't know thing one about magic or hell realms or really, her other than that she's Nancy's friend and sometimes thinks he's not boring. Oh, and fit.

Jericho, though… he doesn't leave these kinds of people behind. So what actually happens rather than any of the above is he gets a wry half smirk on his face, rolls his shoulder and looks about again with a nod.

"How can I help?"

*

They arrive at the edge, the soil on the one side parched and thirsty. A hot wind blows in from the desolate landscape, without any trees or grasses to temper it. Illyana stands on that edge, feet on the lush, green grass and toes brushing the gritty, sandy earth on the other side. Hands on her hips she admits, "I don't know." She gives a harsh laugh then.

"I was born on a farm. You'd think that I'd know something." Maybe that's why her brother thought healing the land could help heal her. Because he will always be a farmer at heart. "I know magic, but my magic is corrupt and just helps spread the infection."

On the upside, at least when he's in Limbo he's hidden real good! Also, distinct lack of guns in the hell-realm. Out amidst the jagged rock, Jericho can catch glimpses of things moving in the shadows. Flashes of bright yellow eyes and sharp claws and fangs.

*

The hacker lets out a speculative sigh and looks around. "You're probably right. Getting something like this to take probably isn't like ordinary landscaping…" And it's going to be a lot of very, very physical work. But he has a few advantages there.

"But if you don't mind me trying to figure out what the rules of this place are, yeah, I'll do what I can for it. Heck, maybe the fact that I have no magic will help in this case." Or make life a lot more difficult. At least, yes, he's not likely to find hit teams here.

One of the traits of being a soldier and a hacker is that he doesn't look at problems and see obstacles, but rather puzzles. Sure, not every puzzle is solvable, at least, not by a given person, but a surprising number of them are if you're willing to just keep trying.

"What do you think?"

*

Illyana's eyes have narrowed on the near ridgeline and the shadows that move within shadows there. Her left arm lifts a bit, hand closing as if to make a fist when a gleaming length of metal appears. A sword, sheathed in eldritch fire that glitters more like some precious metal than serviceable steel. Armor climbs up her left arm, from fingertips to shoulder of similar metal with elaborately worked plates and fluting.

"Get behind me." She says, tone suddenly tense.

The creatures, demons, emerge from those shadows, bellies low to the floor and moving in a sinuous manner that bespeaks joints where things shouldn't have joints. Illyana puts herself between them and Jericho, bringing that sword into a two-handed guard position.

"Darkchilde." One of them hisses at her, advancing at an angle while two others slide off the other way to try to force her to split her attention. "Trying to save Limbo? Should know better. No saving Limbo. Or you."

*

Jericho turns at the voice and steps back, behind Illyana and to her right. She's the queen here after all… however this is exactly the kind of thing that pisses him off. A lot. There's a crackle and a hum behind her as a field of energy bursts from his traces, resolving into the form of a seven and a half foot tall glowing blue werewolf-thing made entirely of light. The wolf construct, in which Jeri can barely be made out floting in the middle, crouches down behind Illyana, resting on his haunches with razor claws at his side. He doesn't say anything. This is Illy's realm after all, but if he's gonna landscape here the locals might as well know that he'll back her. And that he'll back himself.

*

Illyana's head only turns minutely back and forth so she can keep an eye on the two groups, her gaze sliding a little further to her right as she hears that crackle and hum so she can get an idea of what's going on with her peripheral vision. She doesn't dare take the time to look at him directly. He can catch the tick in her jaw of surprise but otherwise she doesn't let it show. Not here and now.

The demons twitch back a bit in surprise, an eerily quick movement that scrapes claws through the dry earth and sends small clouds upwards. The one on her left, that's been doing the speaking snaps its jaws at her. "Darkchilde brought us food." And then it laughs, a low sound that curls around the senses like an oil slick.

"Or maybe I'll feed you to him." Illyana snaps back. Her right arm comes up, fingers splayed as a bolt of eldritch energy fires from it with the force of a semi truck. It slams into one of the two on her right, sending it back an easy thirty feet before leaping at the talkative one.

*

Jericho lunges at the one demon that Illyana didn't hit and isn't engaging, the silent snarl on his face mimicked on the muzzle of the werewolf-projection around him. He's… actually notably faster with this engaged. Down sweep the claws on his left hand. Digital claws are pretty impossibly sharp. On Planet Earth he can rend steel, shred concrete and climb buildings with them. How they'll do against demon hide or Limbo rock? He honestly has no idea. One way to find out though.

*

While demon hide is tougher than flesh and bone, it's not steel. The demon snarls at Jericho as he leaps and hen hisses as those claws tear into him. Black ichor, thicker than blood drips to the ground as the thing swings a backfist aimed for the wolf's head.

The talkative demon rises up on its back legs as Illyana leaps, wings unfolding and spreading wide. It swings its own claws at the blonde and she ducks unner and slashes with her blade. Black-edged white fire flares bright as it tears open the demon as if he were paper. She spins away, blade still held up to guard.

"You know you can't win. Not with just the three of you."

The demon snarls, black blood staining its teeth as it grins wide. "Didn't come alone, Darkchilde." And then other forms start to crawl over the rocks, some bursting up from the parched earth.

*

Slap The fist impacts against Jeri's muzzle.

Field Strength at 99 percent

Ow. The feedback on that was distinctly not pleasant. In fact, the fact that there was feedback is something to worry about, but not just now. So, these guys probably could swarm him and down his field eventually… So noted.

Just a moment ago Jericho had felt like maybe taking this one alive. You know just to figure out the 'Whiskey Tango Foxtrot' of the whole matter. Now? Well… not so much. He sizes his current victim by the leg and spins in a half circle, chucking him at the stupid talking one. Even if he misses maybe it'll get the damn thing to shut up!

Okay, lots more demon things. Jericho crouches down and shakes the blood off his claws, claring an azure eyed glare at them as he sizes them up. Wings. Horns. Claws. Tails. Let's hope none of them can, say, hurl fireballs.

*

The thrown demon impacts the talker, slamming into him and sending them skidding back towards the rising tide behind them. The demons range in size from housecat to nine-foot-tall colossus. A dozen, a few dozen, a hundred…

Illyana's expression sets in a grim line. "You think you're ready to try to take me on?"

She laughs, the sound dark and it shifts into a lower octave even as she does it. Her eyes start to burn white, until there's nothing of the blue left and they just bleed power.

"I don't even know your name." She scoffs, lips peeled back to flash her fangs. "Come then." She says as behind her portals open like a string of pearls, doorways to somewhere. Illyana steps forward, and instead of her tennis shoe it's cloven-hooved. Dark, coarse hair covers her lower legs which know seem to bend in unnatural ways. For humans at least. Her clothes have shifted, silvery armor covering the upper portion of her body with a paneled skirt below. A spade-tipped tail lashes behind her and a pair of horns curl upwards from her head. When she speaks, the very ground beneath the feet seems to echo with it.

"Come taste oblivion." And then figures arrive at her back through those portals. More demons. Amidst them the large purple one that Jericho saw before.

*

This just went from skirmish to battle. Which was not what Jericho had planned for today but he has enough experience albeit… not usually with demons on both sides. He steals a glance over at Illy. The transformation is actually pretty startling though through the power field it's difficult to see it on his face, undisguised as it may be. That's what she meant by not wanting her to 'show him hers.' Though to be fair he really hadn't shown her his until just now. And he may have to pull other tricks out of the bag. Right now he just tries to keep an eye on the large crowd of hostile demons while he watches Illyana for some hint of what she's going to do next.

*

What Illyana does next may not be what he was expecting. Illyana has pestered him and teased him, but nothing she's done has indicated she's prone to hostility. But there is no hesitation as she moves forward with that bright, blazing sword. The demons on both sides rush forward, crashing together and then it's chaos. Modern warfare involves guns, explosions, bombs. This, it’s tooth and claw save for that one bright sword.

It's messy, and bloody. There is no honor or warfare etiquette. As Illyana moves forward, the ground rises up beneath her feet, taking her higher and higher. She leaves off using that sword now, instead gathering power around her hands and firing bolts into the sea of demons below.

*

Jericho decides that there's perhaps a point to be made. Well, actually Illyana's making it quite nicely, but perhaps another to be made. The blue wolfen power field around him fades and as Illy advances, large feathered, amber wings sprout from his shoulders and he leaps skyward. Angling to make sure that he's seen by the other side as he dives, emptying his sidearm into the crowd as he does. The wings flare just before he hits the ground and he rabbit kicks a demon to the ground. Then, in a move so smooth it seems he probably has done it before, a lot, he tucks them in and uses his momentum to roll forward into the crowd. Moments later he explodes to his feet, his wings snapping outward once more as he spins and striking out at everything around him, hard.

*

It's war like you see in movies of times long, long ago. Chaos. Bloody, messy chaos. Bodies pile up on the ground, the parched earth drinking deep of the spilled blood. Some of the demons try to climb that rise towards where the demonic blonde stands, but those that aren't pulled back down into the seething mass of claws and fangs are cut down or blasted back by the girl herself.

It seems to go on forever, any timepiece he has not helpful as time seems to run backwards and forwards, claiming days lost, hours gained. Jericho's muscles will start to burn before the tide starts to push the attackers back. They'll start to scream before their forces are finally shattered. Illyana stands there on her rise, letting her forces chase after the stragglers. She's decorated in blood, some her own and some that of those she's killed, standing amidst what seems like miles of bodies.

*

And they do. Jeri spends most of it in the scrum, fighting literally tooth and claw. Turns out that, yes, that construct does have fangs and functional jaws and no, Jericho is not afraid to use them. Somehow, during the fighting he'd wound up on the left flank, so by the time the pursuit is well under way he's got a few hundred yards to walk. He's not entirely sure she's paying attention to him, but he doesn't want her swinging that blade on him. Even if his power fields did deflect it, and he's not sure they would to be perfectly honest, he's really pretty exhausted and the effort of blocking the strike might just put him on his tail.

"Switch off." The wolfen field fades, dropping him a good foot onto the ground. He has to take a moment to steady himself before he resumes his slow approach. Evidence of feedback bruises are all over his arms and, probably his chest if anyone were to look.

*

The Darkchilde's head turns towards Jericho, the horns exaggerating the movement. She raises a hand, palm-down and the rise she's on starts to sink back into the earth. She walks forward, hooved feet churning earth gone muddy from all the blood. The tilt of her head is what signals she's looking him over, eyes still all-white. "Glad to see you're still alive."

*

Jericho folds his arms with a weary sigh. He's a bit banged up but well, he's done a lot worse to… he's actually lost count how many demons. Some were a lot tougher than others.

"Still. I have a talent for that. It irritates some people. Glad it doesn't irritate you." He's still got a somewhat wry smile on his face, tempered by bone weariness and feedback burns.

"Glad to see you are as well."

It's a lot easier to see that he's looking her over. This is, in some ways much tamer than Partisan's transformation, which he has seen. There's less of a primal horror to her. In other ways though, it's a lot more intimidating. She seems less wild and more in very precise control of her power and having witnessed what she can do with some of it, it does give one pause. Not enough for him to not come walking right up to her though.

*

"Takes a bit more than that. You'd think they'd get by now it takes more than brute force."

The demonic figure reaches out with her right hand, sword still held in her left. He can see she has claws of her own, the nails long and thick and pointed. She reaches for his jaw, touch light but still firm as she tilts his head to the side. Maybe inspecting those burns or looking to see if he's cut.

She doesn't have the sense of wild and primal about her, but the evil in her soul is a bit more tangible and those all-white eyes are empty of any soft sort of feeling like mercy, or compassion, or even friendship.

*

There's a primal hindbrain part of his mind that tells him to run. Fast. Jericho is, for various reasons, used to ignoring it. He does look curious though. No one other than Illyana has really evinced any interest in touching him. Well, unless you count people who have been either hitting him or handcuffing him. He doesn't count either, so… no not really.

The burns are odd. Surface burns from power field feedback caused by being hit particularly hard. The bruises are from the same source, and his arms have several. His jaw has a good burn too and there's a large bruise - it's actually several bruises merged together - on his left cheek. He lets her manipulate his head so she can inspect him, not quite sure what she's looking at. The curiosity is actually quite evident in his eyes which, like hers are hard from the recent fighting. Unlike hers there's still a muted spark of humor in them, and perhaps something that might be compassion though it's hard to see through the physical exhaustion.

*

The tip of one of those nails traces along his cheekbone, outlining the bruising there before slipping down and letting them scratch lightly against either side of his throat. She shifts her attention from where she's touching him, back to his face. Seeing the softer emotions lurking in his eyes has her frowning a bit and then her hand pulls away, fingers splaying wide as she notices the nails. Remembers what that means. Her eyes close a moment, and the trappings of the demon melts away in eldritch sparkles. When she re-opens them, they're the familiar blue.

"You didn't need to get involved." It's as though she can't quite bring herself to say something as simple as 'thank you'.

*

Jericho shrugs with a chuckle. "I know." He says. He doesn't say 'you're welcome' though she is of course. He lets out a sigh and he looks around at the carnage of the battlefield and the paradise-like landscape behind them.

"This a frequent thing?" He asks, wondering exactly how long it'll take for whatever passes for carrion to clean this place up… well, more or less.

Turning back to her he gives her a small smile. "If I'm to be working here, it'd be good to know how much I need to keep an eye out."

Subtext: His offer to help still stands. In fact it doubly stands now. He doesn't take people, or demons as the case may be, trying to trap people like Illyana in situations like this lightly.

*

Illyana gives a faint smile at his reply. The question has her looking back over towards the greenery and gives a faint sigh. "Sadly, yes. The further out from my citadel, the less loyal the demons are." She admits.

"The tend to be pretty disorganized though." Her sword disappeared as well and she starts to walk towards the slice of paradise while glancing back at him. "I wasn't planning on this being a high-danger adventure." She notes with dry humor.

*

"Mmmm. So I'll pack a few things." Jericho chuckles as he turns with her and falls in a half step behind her and to her right. "Well, does anyone ever plan on an adventure? I'm fairly sure I never planned on most of mine." He stops to examine the border between the two landscapes. It's going to take a bit to figure out the rules of this place, what he can do if anything (he's going to be optimistic here and assume that there is something he can do) to affect the landscape and of course, if doing so will help Illyana - this being the point of the exercise.

Seems he may have to do some demon swatting while he's at it. It's a good thing the Polymorpher works here, and that they're not immune to digital claws. Makes things much simpler.

*

Illyana glances at him and chuckles, shaking her head. "You're a glass-half-full type aren't you?" She's teasing him, but she's smiling as well.

"Don't worry, I didn't have plans to just drop you out here to fend for yourself. You'll have to let me know what to do though, if you want me to help. So far I've killed any plants I've dealt much with."

Most notably Ororo's oak, though that was admittedly because she used its power to survive when Belasco tossed her out into a Limbo winter without any of her powers.

*

"I'll keep you in the loop, though I'm going to have to figure it out myself, what the rules of this place are. You're probably quite correct when you mentioned that the usual landscaping methods won't work. Probably not as simple as aerating the soil, extending the watercourse and transplanting some of the grass. I'll figure it out though. I'm rather irritatingly stubborn like that. Just ask Hydra."

A wry grin spreads across his face when she 'accuses' him of being an optimist. "I like to think of myself as a positive realist. No one gets anything done by taking situations at face value. Especially the impossible or improbable ones."

*

"Just remember that Limbo is based in magic, not science. There are rules, but not like you'd tend to think of them. A lot of it is about intent." Illyana says, turning towards him as they come to the edge of one of the small streams and motions for him to sit down as she crouches down, wetting a cloth in the crystal waters. "Let me see about patching you up some."

*

"I'll keep that in mind," The now obviously not-simply-a-hacker nods. Since his intent is to help her, he's hoping that will go some distance, but the fact is he simply doesn't know right now and until he figures out what the rules of the place are and how to make them work in his favor it's gonna be… interesting. But hey, interesting is good right? He does interesting. It's pretty much all he's done the last thirteen months.

Jericho sits down when she motions for him to do so, finding a nice flat rock just to her right.

"Thanks. This…" He gestures to the burns and bruises. "Isn't supposed to happen… it started cropping up a couple of months ago. I think it's a side effect from having my polymorpher for so long."

He watches Illyana, curious about what she's doing and the transformation she underwent though now doesn't seem to be the time to ask.

*

Illyana straightens and then steps in near him. She swipes at Jericho's face a bit, looking down at him as she cleans his face, turning his face upwards. Setting the cloth aside, she places her hands on either side of his face and then her eyes drift close. Her lips move, but the words are a mere whisper in no language that Jericho knows or would find reference to.

Her form starts to glow with silver white light that sparks and kindles into flame that runs along her forearms and down to her hands, spilling down over Jericho like water. It's warm and soothing, healing some of the burns and bruises he's suffered.

*

Jericho has a great ability to deal with pain, but that doesn't mean he likes it, or that it doesn't take a toll. The silvery flare of light causes him to close his eyes, but at this point he trusts she won't do anything actively dangerous to him, so he doesn't flinch. When he opens his eyes again he seems rather pleasantly surprised.

"Wow." He says, a bit quieter than usual. "Thanks."

They're not all gone but everything that really hurts is. Now he just feels a bit sore from the exertion and not battered and bruised like he did literally seconds ago. The burn under his jaw and the bruise on his cheek are both gone now.

"That's really somethin' else." He says after a moment of reveling in not hurting. "Magic?" He asks at length.

*

When the fire fades and Illyana's eyes reopen, she lets out a sigh. Exhaustion is etched into her features now, like they weren't earlier.

"No, party tricks." She replies in that impersonal sort of mocking that's her standby. "Yes, magic. I do know a little bit of White magic."

Which implies that most of it is Black. She stifles a yawn. "I just… need to rest a while." For some reason the mention of resting brings a bit of a grimace. "I'll take you home, so you don't wind up stuck here when I pass out." Since she doesn't have a place on Earth at the moment so sleeping in Limbo it is.

*

The grimace doesn't go unnoticed by Jericho.

"Something wrong with resting here."

He says as he, a bit slowly, levers himself into a standing position. He can easily understand it being a bit unpleasant but he figured for someone who claimed the place as home that wasn't quite the expression he expected to see. He leaves off for the moment the question of getting stuck here, mostly because since he'll be taking up a project in Limbo that seems likely to happen at some point, even if only for a few hours of relative time.

*

Illyana's hands rise upwards, palms down and a stepping disk opens to take them back to the place he's been staying at instead of the graveyard she popped in on him.

"It's less about the resting there as just resting. I don't sleep much."

As in, about once a week. When she's run herself into the ground and can't manage to stay awake anymore. Being in Limbo, she can draw on its energies to stave off sleeping. Which really doesn't help the situation, but you can't seem to convince her of that.

*

Jericho glances over at the clock the moment they alive.

"Resting as in relaxing and not doing anything? Well, fair enough. I can imagine that place isn't super conducive to that."

He closes his eyes for a moment as all his connections come back in a flood and he has to shut down a number of alarms and put the digital noise back to a manageable level. It's a little akin to stepping out of a soundproofed library and right into a Metallica concert.

"Well… you can feel free to rest here, if you like. You can even use the bed I normally use if you need some privacy and quiet. I've got a few things that need checking, so I won't be resting for a while."

Jericho glances over to Illy as he makes the offer and then ponders the kitchen and maybe something to eat. He's starving after that fight.

*

Illyana gives Jericho a short smile and shakes her head. "Thanks for the offer, but I'll be OK." She has a habit of waking up screaming, part of the reason she avoids sleeping, so doing it around an audience isn't her thing.

His internal chronometer might tell him it's been the better part of a day, his body telling him it's been more than one, but the clock on the wall says it's been less than an hour.

*

Ugh. He's actually going to need to sleep soon, even if only a catnap. Food though… and checking on those data traces, then sleep. And maybe… see if he can't begin to put together some searches on someone or something that might be able to help tell him what to do with Limbo. If he didn't have to learn this all by trial and error that'd be great.

"Alright…" He nods back as she declines. He hadn't expected her to accept but that's no reason to make the offer.

"Well get some rest then. You know how to find me when you need me."

*

Illyana just chuckles at that, smirking his way. Yes. Yes she does. Perhaps to his frustration. A stepping disk appears and just like that she's gone, leaving him alone again. The question is, for how long?


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