Forget The Rubber Gloves

August 8, 2014: Illyana decides to find out what Paul wanted.

Paul's apartment



Mood Music:

For a change, Paul's at home and relaxing during dinner hours. His paperwork is all caught up, he's not out tracking down any sorcerers and there's nothing to talk to SHIELD about. Fresh out of the shower, he's still damp and in just a pair of gym shorts as he lounges on the couch with a beer and a pizza as he flips through the tv channels. It's a comfortable night so the windows are open instead of the AC.

When Illyana's meeting new people, or fairly new and so unknown quantity folks, she likes to pick times when her risk is low. Hence Jericho getting visited in the shower once. There's also the perk of it making folks squirm. Always a bonus. But Paul asked to meet her, so she isn't quite that bad. But she's still picked a time and place where she can be fairly sure of her safety.

Her entrance is anything but subtle, a circle of light starting as a spark and then widening in a flash. A moment later it's already gone, leaving Illyana sitting in a chair on the opposite side of the room. She's got on those knee-high boots with worn jeans and an old, faded AD/DC shirt. Arms resting on those of the chair like it's her throne in Limbo she gives Paul a smirk hello. "I heard you were looking for me."

Paul looks over as the light starts and his hold on the beer bottle shifts to one where he can throw it. But then there's Illyana before he can do much else and he just shakes his head and takes another bite of pizza. She can wait while he chews and studies her. "Care for a slice?" is his answer.

Illyana purses her lips, looking pensive. Finally she asks, "Is there pineapple?" Her tone implies this would be a Bad Thing (tm). While waiting for his answer she looks him over because one, he's worth the look and two, she can see the Rapture now with her eyes and not just the blinding glare of it to her magical senses. Other than that she's content to sit and wait to see what Paul wanted, instead of asking questions.

"God no. Hawaiian pizza should not exist." Paul answers. The slice he's holding is blessedly free of pineapple but not pepperoni. Of that it has an abundance. "There's beer in the fridge, assuming you're old enough. So are sorcerers contractually bound to not call ahead and just appear out of the blue?" Seems like a thing with them.

Well. In that case. Illyana pushes herself up to her feet and heads into the kitchen to get pizza and beer. She's not usually much of a beer drinker but eh. "Actually. Funny story there." Illyana notes from the kitchen. She does keep an eye on him though, since she doesn't know him well enough to trust him not to go and grab his gun for… whatever reason. It pays to be cautious. "Magic and tech, generally, don't get along terribly well. Meaning a sorcerer's phone is probably broken, on the fritz, or has a dead battery for *no* reason whatsoever often enough that it tends to be something of a last resort. For me, add to it that it outright doesn't *work* where I am half the time and… yeah." She comes back over, setting her plate on the coffee table and her napkin in her lap. She even finds a coaster if there is one, for her beer. "And if you could get the drop on someone you were unsure of, wouldn't you?" She asks with one arched brow.

"Always." Paul agrees. There are no coasters; he's using a napkin. "That does make sense. So I'm guessing Trent passed along my message. Thank you for showing up. At the bar, you said something about you keeping the Elder Gods from getting free. Tell me about them."

Illyana chews a bit, taking her time as she peers at him. "You really are new to this, huh?" In her line of work, if you can call it that, the Elder Gods are pretty basic math. "You want what, the whole history lesson? Because you're gonna need a lot more time for that. I could teach a whole damned course on it." She jokes. Mostly because she's a student. With a degree in religion. So she knows just what kinds of things they get away with feeling are 'classes'. It's laughable, really.

"Yes, I really am new to this. And yes, I want the whole history lesson. Because this…" And Paul reaches up to tap the Rapture with the mouth of his beer bottle, "Has pretty much pushed me into the middle of things I know nothing about and I'm told someone or something is trying to free the Elder Gods. Everyone pretty much agrees that would be bad therefore I need to know about it so I can do something about it."

"It's not one someone, or one something you know. It's legions of demons, and sorcerers and fanatic cultists." Illyana explains. "Now. Some of them have better chances than others. The Elder Gods themselves have had a hand in a few plans and usually involve an artifact they've created or enchanted or whatever that's steeped in their power. Those tend to be the things to pay attention to." More chewing and long scrutiny. "You know, it's not like no one has ever thought 'hey, we should stop people from letting them out!' before you came along, you know. It's been a danger since the dawn of mankind. And people have been keeping it from happening. So it's not like the problem isn't being address and you need to ride in to the rescue."

"And would you just sit back and assume everything is going to turn out fine if you do nothing?" Paul asks, pretty much knowing the answer. "I'm sure people are working on it. In fact, I know they are. I also know people can fail. So I need to learn about these things in case there's something I can do to help make sure that doesn't happen. It's my job."

Illyana gives Paul a low chuckle. "I'm supposed to be one of the people that lets them out." Illyana says, her grin more feral than humorous, flashing even white teeth at him. "But no. I'm not one to sit back. I just wanted to make sure you're coming in all Junior level here. Most of us have been at it a lot longer than you have." Says the girl who looks in her early twenties, tops. "Your job, hmm?" She doesn't look like she's buying it. "If this gig paid, I'd have an actual bank account."

"I'm a cop." Paul reminds Illyana. "It's my job to keep people safe. Now that I have this toy and know there's stuff out there not covered by the manual, it's still my job and it doesn't matter if it's from gangs or Elder Gods though I'm pretty sure the former is a lot easier. We didn't ask tog et involved in this crap but now we are." Though technically Sara already was.

"As a cop I believe you've got a set territory." Illyana reminds in the same tone. "So it's less your 'job' and more your calling I suppose." She's not arguing his right, or him doing it. More semantics. But she is a demon. Semantics are a thing with her. "So. What are you looking to learn here? Yes, there are big nasties out there. Yes, they're trying to get out. But there's not a single way to stop them. They're not a crime you can solve. They're an ongoing thing. Like crime itself. You don't stop it. You just try to manage it."

Paul's not going to worry about semantics. It won't be the first time he leaves his jurisdiction because something needed it. "Tell me about them. Tell me about the ones who want to set them free. Why? They're going to destroy everything right? So it's not for power; everything will be gone. Are they just insane?"

Illyana arches a brow in reply as if to say 'duh'. But she relents. "Destroy everything as you know it. Not the complete cessation of being. More like making it Hell on Earth. And you know what they say about serving and Hell." Better to reign in the latter than serve in Heaven. "Those who want to set them free want power, and the freedom that power gives them. Usually to indulge in things frowned on by civilized society."

"Which, from what I understand, is just what the demons want." Paul says. "But everyone is putting these Elder Gods on another level. Why?"

"Would you put say, Superman on a different level from Joe Blow on the street?" Illyana asks, head tilting over to the side a bit.

"Does Joe Blow have his finger on a trigger to blow up the world?" Paul returns. "The end result will be the same, no?" Assuming, of course, Superman were evil and wanting to destroy the world.

"No." Illyana says, making it not the same at all. "Joe Blow needs to do make something, find something, have something given to him. Superman could just wake up and say '… Metropolis. All of it goes today.' That's the difference. The Elder Gods are to demons what Superman is to any man on the street. By the way? If he has his finger on a trigger? He's not Joe Blow. He's Joe Somebody." She chides him.

"But the end result is the same." Paul points out again. "I get your ooint about the power level though. So you're saying that there will be no stopping the Elder Gods if they get out while we might be able to if it were the demons. And the ones working to free them are hoping for power in the new reality. That pretty much it?"

Illyana rolls her eyes upwards thoughtfully, head tilting side to side before finally nodding. "I suppose that's the nickle version of it, sure." It really is complicated and dense, so she doesn't try to give all the exceptions and whatnot.

"Ok." So Paul's got the basics now. "Now what do you know about these pages from the Book of Sins that are supposedly floating about?"

"Well, I'm not sure I know anything about a Book of Sins yet. It might, or might not be what I'm familiar with as The Darkhold. I'd need to see the pages to know without someone being able to confirm for me that they're the same. Even then, I don't know much about it. From my understanding it's another gambit for freedom. But most of my education was on how I would let them out." Illyana says with a mild shrug. Belasco didn't care about the plots of other beings. He wanted his to succeed.

"Let's assume for the moment that it is what you know." Paul suggests. "How exactly does spreading them around get them out?" His last wizard was less forthcoming on details. "And, assuming I ever get my hands on a page, what do I do with it?"

"First. Don't get your hands on it." Illyana tells him emphatically. "As in, don't touch it. Period. Maybe your shiny there gives you some resistance but still. Don't. Bad idea. I'm working on trying to construct some boxes to put dangerous things like that in. I'm not sure if bringing the pages together is the trick? Or just general corruption or…." She shakes her head. "Not my area of expertise."

"Someone is thinking they might all need to be brought together." Paul tells Illyana. "But I'm not sure of his reasoning or if he's certain of it. In any case, let's say I find one in the possession of someone wanting to use it. I stop them. If I can't touch it, what do I do with it? I'm going to guess here than rubber gloves won't make much difference. What will happen if I do?"

Illyana gives a short snort of amusement. "No." She agrees. "They're not. If you're gonna hunt the things down you want the tools to do it. That includes Warded containers. They won't last long with the kind of evil that the pages put out, but it'll work until you can hand it over to someone with a better solution."

Illyana gives a shake of her head. "Don't know." She admits. "I really didn't want to take my Soulsword to it. Theoretically? Anything can be destroyed. In reality?" She hitches a shoulder. "You need to find someone that specializes in this book." A pause. "That hasn't gone insane." Her tone says 'good luck with that'.

Well, Constantine isn't insane. That Paul knows of. Though he might not be an expert either. "Ok, continuing the assumption that they're what you know… What are they? What exactly is the Book of Sins?"

Illyana gives Paul a long. Hard. Look. "I'm beginning to think you're hard of hearing. I. Don't. Know. I hadn't even heard about it until a few months ago when some idiot thief got a hold of a piece of it and it began corrupting people. I've felt it, so I know it's bad news and to be careful with it."

Paul makes a small give me patience glance upwards. "We're assuming it's the thing you know. You called it the Darkhold? You didn't mention you only just learned about it recently. Ok, then. And you don't have a way to contain it yet. I'd appreciate one when you come up with something." Here his lips quirk slightly. "One of those special bags like they had on Warehouse 13 would be nice. Or two so Sara can have one as well."

The mention of the television show just gets a blank look from Illyana. She doesn't watch television. That would require being on time. Or being able to reliably use a DVR or something. She shakes her head dismissively before she goes on. "Well, we'll see how hard they are to construct. I'm thinking that mass production is likely right out for what I'm working on." It's reputedly the recipie used for Pandora's Box, after all. "I'm still figuring out what all I need. Keeping demonic energies contained is sort of against my teachings/" She notes.

"Well, if you can come up with something, I'm sure it'll be useful." Paul says and stands up. "Thank you for the information. I"m sure I'll have other questions in the future. Do you have a stone, charm, gem or some other small doo-dad that would let me get a message to you or let you know I'm looking for you?"

Illyana stands up, shaking her head and wrinkling her nose. "Not really. I haven't had people want to get a hold of me so much." Her tone is dry. "Just call Jericho. He'll let me know." With that, one of her gates opens, to his eyes and that other sense, teleporting her away.

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