S'ymple Hospitality

August 16 2014: A landscaping incursion into Limbo occasions a talk with one of the more powerful denizens


On the edge between paradise and hellscape is where Jericho does his work.



  • S'ym (emitted by Magik)
  • K'nert

Mood Music:
[* None]

Jericho, as usual, can't tell if it's early or late here. The day/night cycle in Limbo, what passes for it, is kind of foreign to him. All he can say for certain is when he left Earth and to be honest really the only time that matters is when he gets back so he can tell how long it's been. He long ago gave up on trying to find any consistency or pattern in the passage of time between here and there. If there is any, he can't figure it out.

He's… thinking he's close to done landscaping for today though. There's been a lot of progress since he first started though as usual the ever shifting landscape prevents him from quantifying that. It's more a feeling. There's a… fresher sense, at least, to where he's standing. It feels less desolate, blasted and forsaken. It's actually kind of a nice feeling. He had a bit of an audience today. A few demons wandered by but were rather quickly convinced that this was not something they wanted to mess with. K'nert seem to enjoy Jericho's idea of convincing them too. Petty as he can be, seemed that he liked watching those larger than him get a comeuppance.


Even though Jericho feels like he's heading to the same spot, it never looks the same when he gets there. But waterways have started to claw their way out into the blasted landscape, green poking up at the edges of it and new-planted saplings taking root. It's not much to look at, but it definitely feels like he's making progress.

It’s while Jericho's surveying his handiwork when he feels that spot between his shoulder blades twitch, a sure sign that someone's watching. Sprawled out on a rock, K'nert can see behind Jericho and his eyes go big for a moment before he ducks behind the rock he was on.

Behind Jericho is that eight foot tall, impossibly wide purple-skinned demon. A single horn rises from it's brow, a black leather vest and briefs all it wears. Sharp teeth, thick tail, clawed fingers and toes and a cigar clamped between his teeth. Glowing eyes watch Jericho from a good dozen or more feet away as S'ym takes a drag on that smoldering cigar.


K'nert scrambling away is usually a good sign that something's at least moderately amiss. Things here have a really twitchy fight or flight instinct though and it usually leans toward the former. So Jericho turns around slowly to see…

Ah. S'ym. The second in command here. It hadn't occured to the hacker that the demons would take any but hostile interest in this project when he first started but he's sinced realized that the politics of this place are infinitely more complex than he first guessed.

And, infinitely more dangerous.

Sighing, he drives the shovel bit into the ground and folds his arms, watching the big purple demon and remembering Illyana's warning to try, very hard, to avoid a physical fight with him. The guy looks pretty impressive now that Jeri has a moment to take him in and based on how Illyana was talking about him, he is.


S'ym's sharp teeth worry the end of that cigar as he and Jericho stand there. Watching each other for long moments. Finally, the purple-skinned demon reaches up and pulls the cigar from his lips, spitting off to the side. "Looks like y'r makin' headway." He remarks in that low rumble.


"Mmmmm. Does, doesn't it?" The cigar is the thing that catches Jericho's eye the most. It's an odd affectation… and he's gotta wonder where the hell S'ym gets the damn things. That thought is pushed aside for later though. At the moment Jericho is more concerned with trying to read the demon. Any engaging of any of Illyana's demons carries certain undertones with it. They view him as hers, so actions he takes reflect on her. It means he has to choose his words and deeds rather carefully. Especially when dealing with the likes of S'ym.

He cants his head slightly, indicating a mild curiosity about S'ym's presence.


Despite the lack of iris or pupil, Jericho can tell that S'ym's attention moves past him to eye the spreading green. The large creature tips a chin that way, and with it to the blasted wasteland beyond. "What do y' see?" He asks, taking the time to draw another puff from the cigar. His manner doesn't seem hostile, but demons are hard to read. And like dragons, quick to anger.


Jericho allows himself a small smile and turns half a step so he can glance toward the blasted landscape he'd been working with and keep one eye on S'ym at the same time. "Change." It's like a contest. Who can be more laconic? Who can give away the least. Jericho's quite happy to be chatty with Illyana… er, well, as chatty as he ever gets.

He's actually kind of impressed. He'd have expected threats or intimidation by this point. As it is, he's still not entirely sure what S'ym wants.


"An' boytoy thinks that's f'r th' best, huh?" S'ym says, taking a few steps forward. He's big enough that each step makes the ground tremble a bit beneath his feet. Plants seem to droop a bit in his passing.


Jericho shrugs. "Matters more what she thinks, doesn't it." It's phrased as a question, even though it isn't one. And anyway, to him, it does. If Illyana asked him to stop tomorrow, he would. Agree or disagree these sorts of decisions are hers to make. And he'll back them. He'd rather not back them in a fist fight with S'ym if he can avoid it. Crap this thing is big up close.

Jericho's good at handling fear though, so he keeps his arms crossed and keeps giving S'ym that ever so slightly mild look. Still not sure what he's doing here… though he's starting to think he can guess.


"Boss-babe thinks it's a bad thing. Seein' Limbo like that. Sometimes she's too human." S'ym keeps walking, until he's standing even with Jericho but looking out over the wasteland. "Can't see it for what it is." He chomps on his cigar a bit and a hot, dry wind blows in from the outer reaches of Limbo.


"Human or not, her call to make." Jericho agrees, of course, especially considering the possible link between Limbo and Illyana's soul. But his agreement is not at issue here. Er… at least, he's fairly sure it's not. Eyeing the expanse of blasted Limbo, he takes a few moments to consider. If it were just a desert, that might be one thing. Life thrives in deserts. The lack of green doesn't indicate a lack of life. Hell Limbo though… feels hostile. There may be some kind of 'life' there, but Jericho's sense of it has always been that it's inimical to anything he'd consider worthwhile.

Again, a frightening thought when you apply the concept to Illyana's soul.

"What do you see?"


S'ym looks over, and there's a slow, toothy grin that shows off a predator's teeth. "Somethin'… pristine. Perfect. Deadly. She grew up out there y'know. Until she came t' us. Honed her like that sword she's got. Then Belasco put on th' edge. All this?" He swings his head around to look back at the lush greenery. "It's soft. Waitin' t' die. That out there?" He nods back towards the wasteland. "Can't kill that. But it'll eat ya alive. An' our Darkchilde. She's a survivor."


'Their Darkchilde.' He's given to understand that a lot of people think of Illyana as not the Darkchilde. That in a lot of people's minds the two are separate, Illyana being a human girl and the Darkchilde being a demon queen that's honestly kind of terrifying. Which, to be fair, she is. Jericho doesn't make that distinction. Perhaps it has something to do with the way there were introduced, but in his mind the human sorceress and the demon queen are the same person. It's an odd thought to be sure, but that's how it is in his mind anyway. He glances back over his shoulder, indicating the green. "She is. That's why this isn't out of place. Couldn't kill it. Had ten years before I came along. It's still here. And it's only because she wants it growing that it is."

A survivor indeed. One who values what's left of her soul and her humanity. If Jericho's agreement or disagreement isn't at issue here, then neither, really, is S'ym's.


S'ym eyes Jericho, chewing on that cigar again. The green's only been there the past four years but he doesn't feel that's a point that needs argued. It is, after all, here as he said.

Eventually, S'ym spits off to the side again. As though that spittle were acid, the grass it lands on starts to wither and die. "You play th' game good, boy. Hit as hard as y' need, support th' boss. Don't think I buy that y'r hers though." It's a statement, or maybe a warning. No musing question.


That draws one of those wry half smirks from Jericho. Point, match. A salute to a worthy opponent. Well, okay, not that last one. He gets the feeling that S'ym isn't going to end up being someone he particularly respects as being anything other than smart and dangerous, but the hacker knows enough to know that such things are best acknowledged. "Matters more what she thinks." He repeats, picking the shovel back up.


"An' that's why I know." S'ym says, puffing. He gives a nod to the greenery around them. "'Long as this is here, I know no matter what she says, it ain't true. It's all f'r show."


The look that S'ym gets is a wary one, the hitch of his shoulders more a shrugging off of the words than a gesture of uncertainty. Parsing demonese takes a particular mindset and as well as he understands them there are certain things he can only guess at the meaning of. This one seems fairly clear: Not really Illyana's despite the mark because she refuses to take that as far as a demon would. Which misses half the point, he rather things.

How far would Jericho go?


S'ym gives a raspy laugh, like metal scraping on metal at Jericho's wary look. A gesture towards the citdel with his chin. "Go'wan. She didn't mark ya to keep me from hurtin' ya." There's a sudden malicious glint to his glowing gaze. "I'll wait until it matters more."


Jericho shakes his head and picks up his things. "Be seeing you, S'ym." He's sure he will. He'll have to put some definite thought into that.

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