That Smell!

August 24, 2014 Corvinus takes some 'down-time'. A demon shows up. Funk ensues. Magik saves the day.

Queens, New York City, New York

The borough to the east, Queens is made up of many different flavors and
feels. It's the largest of all the sections of New York in terms of area, and
the second most populous. In addition to business and industry, Queens also
has many residential communities with those who work in the area and others
who commute over one of the bridges and onto the island.

Because it has more space than Manhattan, Queens is home to several of New
York's sports teams and houses cultural institutions such as the New York
Hall of Science and the Kupferberg Center for the Arts.


C'taghn, a plaid-wearing orange demon with a monumentally noteworthy aroma issue
Magik's Hunting Demons

Mood Music:
'That Smell', Lynyrd Skynrd



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C'taghn is one of the dangerous demons in Limbo. Not because of sheer brute force. Not because of amoral nature. Not even because it happened to relish plaid for its color scheme.

No, C'taghn is dangerous because it was a Thinker. It can see the trends, it can identify what happens to those who step out of line and either grossly irritate the Darkchilde or S'ym.

In short, nothing good.

It was one of those wanting Belasco's power, but when the Darkchilde took charge, it quietly acquiesced, accepting its lot within Limbo and plotting for the eventual chance that it would someday be able to overpower the current ruler and seize the realm for itself.

Its plans have been dramatically moved up today.

K'rrrrshnll, a demon of some note and power in one of the other Realms somehow managed to end up in C'taghn's shadowed corner. Suffice to say, when a demon is banished by beings of power, it takes some time for them to recover, even on their home turf. Given the trespass, and being of moderate hunger, well, K'rrrrshnll made for a fine dinner.

And then the most recent memories started to filter into the thinking demon's mind. An archive with epochs of data? A fresh spirit, waiting to be either corrupted or subverted to its will? And it has power, too? Power to resist powerful demons?

If Christmas meant anything to C'taghn, this would be it for the demonic entity! At no extra charge, even, for there was a sympathetic and direct link to the vessel holding such knowledge… a free pass to the lands of the mortals! And what the Darkchilde didn't know, well, it wasn't going to hurt her… much… right?


Jim just got the strangest flash before his eyes as he walked out of his apartment. For a brief instant, he could have *sworn* he'd seen some sort of patch-note about some sort of update in progress. Well, given how weird things have been of late, he brushes it off. Couldn't have been that important.. if it was, Buddha Bird would have screeched in his brain incessantly about it. Right?

Nearby, in a nice lull of space-time, a plaid-wearing orange somewhat humanoid thing crawls out of a shadow.

C'taghn sniffs a bit, as if to verify its location, then realizes that *someone* had actually warded a box of the battered building it is nearby. And… its target just exited that warding box.

As stealthy as someone orange wearing plaid can be, it starts to stalk…


One of Illyana's 'side jobs' is taking care of the demons that slip out through Limbo's naturally occurring stepping disks and into the earth realm. Yes, they've been told not to do it but not all of the demons in Limbo follow Illyana with quite the same fervor as K'nert. And so, some distance away, Illyana steps out of a stepping disk with narrowed eyes and a trio of terrier-sized demons on leashes as she works on tracking down the errant C'taghn.


Unaware of the impending doom of a demon stalking him not for his soul, but the ancient being that resides within him with some bizarre application of ancient laws of the universe, Jim starts to head down to the corner store. Today he's going to pick up a bottle of the hardest liquor he can find, because it's his day off and the Buddha Bird isn't giving him grief about it for once in a very long time.

Well, at least until he starts to pass an alley.

On some level he feels the fear. It's not a fear of the Sun-Devourer. It's not a fear of the Mischief God. It's something… else. Like all of one's phobias triggered at once. Like anyone sane in the Big Apple, when the hairs on the back of one's neck start to rise, one books it.

Of course, being a portly sort of fellow, 'booking it' is somewhat comical. And savvy to some things, the guy doesn't look back.

A shame, really, because something bounding from building to building, sometimes knocking down brick would be quite the sight to see!


Illyana doesn't have the waiting to do that the demon did, and so she moves at a much faster pace. But she's far enough away that she hasn't seen the portly fellow making a break for it. The demonlings grunt and strain pulling on the leashes and despite it being New York, Illyana is getting a few odd looks because those are some ugly dogs.

The blonde is dressed normally, jeans and a slightly too-large T-shirt with heavy-soled boots that come up to her knees and ignores the people that they pass by. Wisely, they scramble out of the way and when the middle 'dog' snarls something that almost sounds like words Illyana snaps the trio loose and breaks into a run behind them.


Something long and serpentine and very orange and plaid lands in front of the trundling fellow. This isn't the cartoons, he doesn't leave skid marks when he comes to a halt, but he does nearly twist an ankle as he pivots and runs down an alleyway.

"yEssSSS. GivEE iTT TooO MeE!"

Okay, C'taghn, really need to work on that breath mint and the English a bit.

The heavy-set guy turns and grabs at something, anything in the alleyway, coming up with… an old battered piece of a fire escape that's all rusty and worn?

Jim backs up, panting heavily, waving the pointy metal at the thing in front of him.

Orange, serpentine, oily, and… a hint of corporate middle-management. Wearing plaid as if it is the only color the focus groups could agree on, proudly.


It's New York. Folks keep well and out of the way of the dogs and the woman who must be nuts chasing after them. Walking dogs some days, the dogs walk you?

They definitely have the scent.


They've gotten close enough now that Illyana can feel the demon. Small stepping disks open, one after another like little mouths of light that slurp up the three 'dogs' leaving just Illyana's heavy soles pounding the pavement. As she rounds the corner, like some sort of lightsabre a sword sheathed in eldritch fire manifests in her hand and the blonde levels it towards C'taghn. "Stand dow—ohgaaah." Illyana makes a wretching sound. "What is that smell?"


C'taghn doesn't register the rather vicious and brutal attack on its personal hygiene habits. The thing reeks worse than an unbathed gamer at a five-day convention. To it, the bouquet is normal.

To Jim, it's exceptionally offensive, too, but his many years of working retail have inadvertently prepared him to weather some of the brunt of the nigh-unto-chemical weapon attack. His eyes water and he starts to gag a bit even as he pokes almost blindly in front of him, hoping to maybe land a blow on the whatever the heck it is somewhere.

Of course, Buddha Bird would take this time to let him 'get Enlightenment'. On his own. What the heck.

The snake-like multi-limbed thing LEAPS at Jim and starts to wrap itself around the hapless mortal, murmuring to itself happily. First its going to get all the knowledge. Then its going to eat the mortal. Then its going to go home and… uh-oh.

It starts to constrict around the guy, which does induce wheezing… and also, fortune shining.

Somehow the mortal morsel managed to jam the metal piece into the body. Didn't seem to do much, though.


Illyana steels herself against the stench and moves forward with a grim stride, despite the imminent danger that said mortal happens to be in. Her arm flexes, wrist twists, and the blade spins about in the grip of her palm to settle more comfortably. She doesn't bother to warn it, she just starts to count. "One…" The heavy soles of her boots grind against the pavement and the detritus accumulated in the alleyway. "Two…" She lifts that blazing length, the light throwing her face into harsh relief and casting light on those cold, cold blue eyes. "Three!" And if that damned (literally) thing hasn't backed down, she's about to try to separate its head from its body.


Demons do as demons are wont to do. In this case, the snaky stanky entity from Limbo has a claim upon this sweetmeat! However, that right there is the Darkchilde. And she did unto Belasco. And technically, C'taghn is supposed to be subservient to her.

So with all the oily skill that one could expect from someone in middle management it throws on the best winning smile it can muster!

"MiISSTressS! C'TagHN foUnD somEtHINg fOR YOu!"

It's a very bad hand it has right now. It was honestly hoping to be done with the whole eating the knowledge and the mortal before this happened. This is crashing and burning and it really wants its golden parachute right now.

Well, grovelling is worth a shot, right?

It flops down into the gunk and junk of the alley, dragging down the hapless fellow with.

PLEasE No HURt!"

It just needs a few moments, a few heartbeats to chomp on the head!


The blade whirls and Illyana brings it point-down on that appendage that's working on dragging Jim along after it. "You found me a sweaty New Yorker. Congratulations." Illyana remarks in a dry tone, not even a bit of remorse at maiming the creature that calls her Mistress.

A demon's love is a cruel, cruel thing. Those empty, compassion-less eyes slide over to Jim. "You still alive?" Not 'are you OK'. Only a crazy person says they're OK when they've got a demon trying to make off with them.


C'taghn whimpers a bit at the damaged limb. It can totally sell this. It just needs a moment to get the message through to the Darkchilde!

"hEE haS knoWlEDgE!"


Jim coughs and thankfully hasn't had anything to eat today, so there's no further contributions to the alley. He gives the strange woman a 'thumb's up', then an 'ok' sign. He tilts his head towards the strange thing, giving it a meaningful glance. The kind of glance of "Kill him three times." He's trying his level best to not gag further so he doesn't respond vocally.

Buddha Bird would be so disappointed in him.


"And. Let me guess. You're going to suck it out of his head." Illyana says, nudging the maimed appendage further away as she puts herself more or less between C'taghn and Jim. She doesn't give him her back though, because he's rather an unknown quantity. He does get the benefit of the doubt as the victim though.

Either that or he looks pathetic enough at the moment what could he possibly do??

Illyana walks towards C'taghn at a slow pace, looking to force the thing to move further away from Jim to backpedal away from the Darkchilde herself. "I don't care what he knows. You broke my law. MINE." There's a hint of fangs as she snarls at the odoriferous demon. "Who. Do you. Obey?" She demands of it.

"And GivE It tO yOu, mISStreSS!" Okay, Paradigm Suck Up is Go!

It cowers and slithers back some more. Its not stupid. It got caught. It can save this. Yes. Just a little bit more time. Yes.

"MissTRess DarkCHiLDe!"

Is it possible for demons to put begging in their tone and sound completely legit? Well, C'taghn seems to have the right amount of oily in there.


Jim fumbles around very slowly, taking a very slow motion to pick up… a broken booze bottle, and shifts grip to the neck of it so it can be used as a weapon if need be.


"You can't give me anything." Illyana says with a sneer, her tone cold and empty and shivering with hints of true Evil. "Because anything you have is mine." The blonde raises her free hand and a stepping disk opens beneath the demon, causing it to fall through to some unknown fate. A moment later the opaque disk of light winks out and the blonde turns around to look at Jim.

Icy blue eyes slide down over his form, the muck of the alley and the stink of C'taghn all over him and her nose wrinkles a bit. The broken bottle is ignored as she takes a few steps back over towards him. "You look like crap." She informs him. In case his missed that.


The disposal of the demon makes the former retailer raise his eyebrows and sit up a bit straighter. If a hole can be made under slimy scuzzy middle-management demons, it can be made just as easily under witnesses that need to disappear and never be heard from again. DESPITE that realization, the portly fellow is actually rather… tranquil about his prospects.

"Smell worse. Think I need a clean room."

He doesn't ask about the demon, which may or may not be a bit of a curious thing. Nor does he completely freak out at the eye-thing. Heck. In comparison to a lot of the stuff he's been running into lately, this woman is actually rather… tame.

If only he knew.

"Y'wouldn't happen to have a line on one of those, do you? And.. maybe a laundry… fu… yeah… the clothes are gonna need to be burnt."


Illyana just stands there for a moment, because really. Someone asking the queen of Limbo about a laundry? She gives a short snort of laughter. Yeah. That's damned funny.

"I could drop you off, but you probably wouldn't enjoy the trip. You do really need a bath." She agrees. "You'll pardon me if I don't help you up." Because that would require touching him, and right now he's like a walking Bog Of Eternal Stench. And she doesn't want any part of that.

The blonde squints at him now, curious. "So. Why did my pet think you were worth its life to eat?"


Jim chuckles a bit. Laughter is good. Yes. Best Medicine.

He uses a dumpster to pull himself up and makes a really disgusted face as he glances. "T'be honest, I think I need ten baths and three showers. Heck, I think I could swim in the *Hudson* right now and get cleaner."

That's… not too much of an exaggeration.

"Don't blame you in the least bit. If I saw me down there I'd let myself get up."

Then the hard question comes out.

"If I told you it was really complicated and I'd need a bath before I could tell it fully, would you buy that?"

It's worth a shot.


Illyana tilts her head to the side, looking thoughtful. Finally she shrugs. "I've got time." If only he knew.

"How about you go off and get the stink off, and I'll come find you later so you can answer my questions and I can see if my pet was right." Which means what. She might decide to eat his brains herself?


The guy nods thoughtfully. "There's also the prospect that the explanation could get a bit easier, too. No, not trying to play you, honest, saw how well that worked out for Snake and Stank over there."

He motions to where the demon disappeared.

"That sounds like a fair enough deal. Hope you're good with just taking my word on it? Because I don't feel comfortable shaking your hand right now given how… Okay. Seriously. If that's your pet you really need to take him to a vet. Because that really ain't right."

The guy is smiling. At least he's smiling despite the circumstances and it's not the smarmy smile of someone who knows something but the genuine smile of 'Thank God I'm Alive and everything is Hunky Dory" smile.


"Eh. I have too many of them to keep track of." Illyana says with a hitch of one shoulder, the firey sword winking out like it never was. There's still that piece of demon that had been holding onto Jim on the ground, and it sort of twitches about like a chicken with its head cut off.

Illyana stands there for a moment, hands resting on hips as she looks at him. Patiently. Waiting.

OK, not so patiently.

"Alright, give me your name so I can get going and you can go bathe."


Yeah, the guy's getting kinda antsy too. Yet the sword disappearing doesn't seem to phase him in the least. What's going through his mind right now on the stench is how many diseases might have been buried in the filth. He's not a hypochondriac, but bleh. He may need to duck under a sprinkler or something before he gets back to his apartment so they don't evict him on the spot. The limb gets a bit of a glance then a negating shake of the head. No, he's not going to go anywhere near that fetid thing.

"Jim. Jim Reha. Want my cell number, or is that all you need?"

She can do it with portals, for all he knows that's all she needs.


And indeed, the angelic-looking blonde flashes him a grin that's all teeth with a hint of fangs and feral intent, eyes flashing all-white a moment. "Oh trust me. I'll come find you." She promises. She raises a hand up over her head and another portal opens at her feet, spreading wide enough that he'll want to back up a few inches or risk his toes getting caught. It rises upwards in a slow spin and then winks out about six feet above the smelly alley floor leaving Jim alone. With his stink.


Jim is perfectly fine for that. Sure, it means he's not going to get a bottle today, but, hey, he's alive, he's managed to deflect another inquiry into his situation for the moment, and… he's going to need to go shopping. Again. "Look forward to it, have a great day, miss."

Well, at least he's polite enough. And now, onto the Cleansing!


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