A Blade's Soul

Summary:
October 04 2014: Illyana and Jericho discuss weaponry and training.

Unit 24F

An apartment in Hell's Kitchen with a view of the Hudson


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[* None]


Some things require privacy. Jericho's safe house has a lot of that. Some of those things additionally require a fair bit of space. Jericho's safe house is an apartment in Manhattan. Privacy check. Space? Well a lot for New York, anyway. Fortunately Jericho has other options. He can run his polymorpher at low power, such that the fields are barely more than holographs and he's forced it to approximate something large and vaguely sword shaped. It doesn't do him any good to get used to the weight, but that can wait until he can make time to get out some place properly isolated. He already has the blade. Two, in fact. The one is nearly as big as he is and sized for someone a foot and a half taller with bigger hands. The other… well, it's slimmer and more reasonably sized. The holo-blade he's practicing with, just to get the feel of whiping something shaped like that around him, is of the larger variety.

-

When Illyana steps out of her room, she's brought up rather short by the sight of Jericho and his holosabre. Now he just needs it ot make the cool 'woom, woom!' noises. She lingers at her door so as not to get in the way, amusement lighting her cool eyes. "What are you doing?" She asks around a grin. She's just up from a nap, where she actually got some uninterrupted sleep. She's in yoga pants and cropped tank top and her hair is a bit mussed up.

-

"Getting used to having a sixty five inch blade hanging off my arm." Jericho chuckles nodding at the larger of the two swords resting against the wall as the rather etherial construct waves about the room in the slow methodical movements of a beginner's drill. "When I go out somewhere to practice with real steel at full speed, I'd rather not bash myself in the head. I have enough people looking to do that without helping them."

The blades Jericho had made the other night, after sifting through dozens of historical databases, images and some proprietary information belonging to people who still make this kind of thing. Then he'd gone down and hijacked some computer controlled fabrication machinery at a plant in Gotham late at night and pattern forged himself a blade out of… er, well lets just say 'steel alloy'. An actual sword smith would probably say it's got 'no soul.' Jericho just wants it to cut and smash things though.

-

Illyana squints over at the big ol' thing. "That's… really big." She notes before glancing over to Jericho. "Not to mention, damned hard to take anywhere without freaking people out." Illyana has the perk of her sword disappearing when she doesn't need it. Of course, it doesn't cut normal people, who are the ones most commonly freaked out by it. "So why are you looking to tote around that thing? And where did you get it?"

-

"I made it. In Gotham. At the GM plant there. They make tanks, y'know. The big one's only for when I know trouble's coming. You'll note it's sized for someone about a foot and a half bigger than me? It's for Wolfed Out me. Or at leasted Traced Out me. I can't swing that thing around without using my traces at least a little. The lack of, er, portability is why I made the smaller one." Which is slightly different too. Curved like a saber, basked hilted and clearly meant to be used one handed. It's also a lot like a big version of the knives Jericho's used to using with the military fighting style he was taught.

-

Illyana's brows go up at that. "Practicing a bit of B&E were you?" She notes, tone dry and then wrinkles her nose. "That's not a sword. It's a piece of metal." Clearly, the person whose soul was literally forged out of her soul, takes exception to calling that thing a sword. "Did you look up sword construction online?" She demands, sounding almost offended. At least she's not as tired as she was earlier. She is admittedly, getting like three times the sleep she's used to.

-

Jericho chuckles. "Construction? No. Blade geometry, yes. It's not like I have the facilities or expertise to forge a blade using the traditional methods. Nor to I particularly know where you can get things like this on the quiet. And the point of it is rather that folks should not know I have it." He's fairly set on the size of the blade's he's going to need relative to his own size(es) but not married to any particular type of construction.

"It may well horrify Kitty too, so, you know, odds are I'll end up with something a bit more her style."

Jericho finishes the warmup and dismisses the oversized holomockup from his hand. The workaround for the virus in his traces won't let him manifest the blade at anything more than absolute minimum power, so it's still animal features only for the polymorpher.

-

"You still haven't told me why." Illyana points out, not having missed that he didn't get around to answering that. His bringing up Kitty though? That gives her a bit of an idea what direction his answer might go in. "A sword is more than metal forced into a shape." She points out, still eyeing the long blade dubiously.

-

"Two reasons, really. The first is that claws are nice, particularly claws as sharp as mine, but sometimes I need something with a bit more reach and leverage. That's the practical reason. The other is that sometimes - either here or in Limbo - I really need to make a statement." And nothing says 'you've made a terrible mistake' like an angry Jericho coming at you with a five foot blade in his hand. Hell, even a more reasonable thirty inch blade (like the one Illyana's currently eying dubiously) is something people stop and notice. He learned that lesson in Afghanistan. In that part of the world, no one bats an eye at a rifle, but the sword is the weapon of executions. Break out a sword and people start worrying and sweating. A

Oh, also, if they do go through with that Queensguard idea (and Jericho thinks it's a good one) then making an impression will be important. Hail to the Queen, baby.

-

Illyana tilts her head over a bit, considering as her gaze rests on him. He's used to the chilly Siberian wastes that unnerve so many. Finally she gives a slight nod. "Granted." She knows all about apperances. Just because something is easier or more efficient one way doesn't mean it should be done that way. There are often secondary goals to consider. "You've never done swordwork before, have you?"

-

"Can you tell?" It's quite obvious, sadly. Jericho may be an expert hand to hand combatant, but not with any blade longer than ten inches or so. "Knife work was covered in the Combatives cirriculum, but swords?" He'd never even considered it before a few weeks ago. It'd been percolating since Greenland.

"That's one reason I need a good teacher." Like Illyana, or Kitty or (if the man can be found and isn't batshit insane) Diarmuid. In some ways he'll be easier to train for knowing some of he basics like how to take a hit, do footwork and actually fighting with knives will probably be helpful on some levels. But on others? He's as green as a twelve year old at a ren faire.

-

Illyana just smirks a bit in reply to Jericho. She comes into the room now that he's done swinging the holosabre around, her bare feet a soft suress against the flooring. "I started with a sword. My teacher would use a knife against me. When I got better, she'd keep the sword. Make me come at her with the knife." She wrinkles her nose a bit. "After running all damned day. I suppose I can blame her being sadistic on Limbo."

-

"Bit late to make me start with a knife." Jericho grins, turning to face Illyana. "That'd put me in my comfort zone and I think at this point I probably need to be out of it. Your teacher sounds like a regular drill sergeant." Honestly, it sounds like special forces school. For a twelve year old girl. He can't be sorry that it made Illyana into someone who could survive Limbo and all it's dangers and temptations, but there's still a part of him that wishes she didn't have to go through all that.

-

Illyana was actually seven a the time. By twelve she was already with Belasco who didn't have swordplay as part of her curriculum. He made her his apprentice and Cat his pet. "Yah, and no matter how flash you are with 'em, knives really don't tend to evoke the same fear as a good blade." She steps up into his personal space, hooking her fingers in his belt loops. "You want me to teach you? Or try at least. I haven't played teacher for anything, really." If she'd have the patience for anyone though, he would probably be it.

-

His arms snake about her and settle about her waist. Jericho's under no illusions what kind of teacher Illyana would probably be. But he's dealt with instructors who believe in harsh training before. "If you have time." He says softly. Time was one reason he hadn't asked her already. Between Limbo, X-Men and School she already has a lot on her plate and he's nearly as jealous of her downtime as she is.

-

Illyana's chin lifts, because he's taller than her and this close she has to look up at him. "I always have time for you. Besides…" She smirks at him. "Talk about an excuse to leave bruises on you." Illyana doesn't fence. She didn't learn to use a sword as a sport. She learned it to take life and defend her own and there's nothing pretty about it."But I'm finding you a real sword." She points out.

If her comment about using a sword versus a knife is true, fighting against a wolfed-out Jericho might not be all that far out of her realm of expertise.

-

"Like you need one," Jericho winks. She's left bruises on him before with far less excuse and he's never complained. Illyana's sword fighting is a lot like Jericho's martial arts. It was learned and employed to fight and kill and survive. He's aware her style of fighting has as much in common with studio fencing as his does with dojo martial arts. Which only means that anything she teaches him will be actually useful.

"Whatever tool you think is best suited." Jericho can convert the titanium alloy in the current blade into other… rather entertaining toys. Like rifle barrels. Or extra knives. He left his last set in Greenland after his life force got ripped out of him. Or near enough.

-

"Besides, if you want something to deal with Limbo it needs to have Presence. Which you don't get from manufactured toys." Illyana notes. In this case, a sword having a 'soul' is actually important. Because Limbo is so mutable and driven by Intent.

She lets go of one of his beltloops to pinch his waist. Hard.

-

Jericho jumps, slightly, grinning a bit. See previous note about Illyana not needing an excuse. "Got it.. So presince is important. Do I have to make it myself?" He's still not sure about how all the rules work. He does know that the gardening probably would't if he weren't doing it himself.

-

"Nah. We'd need way more time for that." Illyana says dryly. "I could help you create one bound to your self/soul/essence, but then you'd want to be a bit careful with it. Since it'd be a sympathetic link to you if someone got ahold of it. It's more potent, magically speaking but it's got its downside." She says with a slight shrug.

-

Jericho will be the first person to tell you that he's got the magical aptitude of a particularly dim house plant. So the notion of having a weapon that is linked o him meets with a curious gaze. "Mmmmm. Would that be wise? Soldiers always kind of view their weapons as linked to them. Hell I slept with my rifle right next to me for years. But something that could be linked back to me…" He pauses, as something occurs to him. "Could it be linked back to you as well? Since you marked me and all?"

-

Illyana's face scrunches up a bit at that question in a thoughtful sort of grimace. "Theoretically? Yes. But… that would be some doing. Technically my Mark on you can be traced back to me but again. More theory than practice. Sort of the way if you look at a dog's tags you get the name and number of their owner." Did… Did Illyana just compare Jericho to a pet? It kinda sounds like that. "But it would have an active sympathetic link with you. Currently we have an active link between you and me, but that's a temporary thing." That one where she's feeding him power to substitute for his missing Rest.

-

The 'pet' reference might get more of a questioning look if he could remember being taken by Belasco's lackies though as it is he's heard it from demons often enough. Mostly, he figures, it's the demonic mindset that anyone who would allow themselves to be so marked must be something like that. A mindset Illyana shares to some degree, he's aware. He doesn't really have pride to rankle in that regard though, though he looks fairly amused.

-

"Mmmm, well if it wouldn't be a risk to you then I guess there's just the other risks to consider…" To wit, is whatever the weapon would gain by being linked to him worth the risk of, well, it being linked to him.

"What would that even do? I gather you don't just ''get'' blades like yours, so I'm assuming it wouldn't be like that."

-

Illyana shakes her head. "Not like mine, no." Illyana takes a few steps back so she can sit on the arm of the couch, dragging him along with her by the finger still hooked in his beltloop. "Mine was…" He can see her searching for something to liken it to. And not having a ton of success. "It was my Masterwork. The culmination of my skill and my power. A manifestation of who and what I am. My first teacher, the one that taught me White magic," Whom she doesn't mention by name. It's one Jericho would recognize. "She was always very in-tune with nature. After she'd won herself free of Belasco she created a single perfect acorn. It grew into this mighty oak that actually kept Limbo's corruption at bay. Kept her little corner of Limbo safe and pure. I tried, when Belasco cast me out to teach me a lesson. But every time, no matter how hard I tried. No matter how perfect it looked on the outside, it was rotten within. Corrupt." Just like her.

Eventually I realized here I was, trying to create Life. But that's not me. I didn't want protection and safety. I wanted revenge. And then, everything clicked. It was easy."

-

"So, a sword. A weapon." Swords mean many things in many places, Jericho knows. In the Middle East and Central Asia, they're a tool of death and punishment. But in the far east, Japan, China and the like, they're a warriors strength, shield and honor all bound up in one. And in the West? The blade is weapon of champions and a symbol of authority and power. What it means to Illyana? He could make a guess, but not yet say for certain. He wonders, idly, if it were him in her place what his Masterwork would have been. He's not sure… and not sure he wants an answer.

Illyana gives a short nod. "A weapon. It focuses my magic, and it can disrupt or break any spell or enchantment. It's also deadly to magical creatures." Like demons. Or, likely, Jericho, given the way his traces are magically active. "With you, it'd be more using your essence as the power source to generate the sword, rather than it being the manifestation of your magic." Since he's not normally magical.

-

So, likely it'd just be a sword since he has no magic to speak of. Jericho can work with that, especially if it give him an 'edge' - no pun intended - over any demonic opposition he has. "Mmmmm. Alright. Well if you think it's a good idea, or rather, not a horribly bad one, I think I can work with that. I'd still need to learn how to use the damn thing of course." But then, Illyana's just offered to try to teach him. This will, if nothing else, be quiet interesting.

"How did you sleep?" He asks quietly, giving the sorceress a gentle squeeze as he changes subjects.

-

"I didn't wake up screaming." Illyana says with a wan smile, an admission she'd probably only make to him. She tugs him a bit closer, her sitting on the arm of the couch and him standing between her spread knees. She pushes up his shirt enough that she can place a light nip against one hip just above his jeans. "And I'm not feeling like I'm going to pass out any moment. So I'd put a check in the 'win' column."

As for the blade? "I think you'll be alright. Just keep in mind it's a link to you and don't just leave it lying around. I figure you'll take more care with it than you do your hair trimmings anyhow."

-

The time she'd found out he wasn't 'properly disposing' of his hair and nail clippings had been… very educational. Illyana had not been shy about giving Jericho little hints about what could be done with them. Of course, she found it terribly amusing which did help. "You know me. If it's a weapon I'll take good care of it." But regular blade or linked one, that'd be the case. This just means he'll have to be extra careful who gets ahold of it.

He shivers at the nip and smiles down at her, placing a kiss on top of her head and then a light nip on her ear. "I think that's a win yes. I wish there were something that… mmmm, some way for me to help keep those nightmares a bay…" It's a murmured thought, but a quite sincere one.

-

"Ditto." Illyana replies, all too aware of his own nightmares. "But we do what we can, hmm?" She keeps his shirt pulled back, the nip leading into a long, slow lick as though she enjoys the taste of his skin. Her mouth closes over him then in a sucking kiss with the press of teeth before she noses a bit higher. "Gimmie a few days to get things together and we'll forge your blade, hmm?"


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