Things Unremembered

Summary:
October 05 2014: Illyana discovers what happened to Jericho in Limbo

Limbo

Illyana's sanctum and citidel in the heart of Limbo


Characters

NPCs

  • K'Nert

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


Illyana doesn't often teleport Jericho anywhere without his consent. Usually she teleports herself over and both of them out. Admittedly, she might not really give him much of a choice, or time to protest, but it's something. But not today.

A stepping disk appears at his feet and swallows him up in a rush without any consideration for what he was doing and when the disk passes over his head so he can see where he's now at… The floor he's standing on is free of furniture, instead for a fifteen foot radius the stone floor is crawling with arcane sigils carved into the rock. Overall, he can make out the shape of the pentegram (that he's in the center of) but there's so much more to it. He's starting to recognize the symbols, layer upon layer upon layer of protections and others designed to focus mystical energy.

Beyond that are tables stacked with books and candles and bits and bobs out of horror movies. Further are shelves with racks of things floating in jars and others hold more heavy tomes. There are no windows in this room and at the point of the pentegram, facing Jericho, is Illyana. A clearly pissed-off Illyana with K'nert seeming to cower at her feet behind her boots. She's all in black leather and spikes and chains, her blue eyes practically glowing and her hair rising on some wind he can't feel. She has her soulsword in one hand gripped tightly and her mouth is set into a grim line.

-

Jericho hasn't been sleeping well. At all. So far it's averaged about four or five nights a week that he's had his nightmares which is waaaaaaaay up from average. So he's not quite himself when he's yanked from the apartment to Limbo he doesn't realize where he's been pulled to right away. It's enough to send him pulling for his gun. It doesn't clear the holster though before he makes out the pentagram and K'nert and the decour and…

"Illyana?" His voice comes out in a tired rush. He was just getting himself up from recovering from the night (some sleep is better than no sleep) and hadn't had the chance to properly get himself going. Which is also off for him. Normally if he has to he can just… switch on. It takes another moment to take in the blade. He's only seen her use it twice. Both times have been bad. Very bad.

-

"They took you." Illyana says, sptting it out. Jericho can almost feel the walls ripple with the force of her anger. Literally, given that Limbo is a reflection of its ruler. Her emotions are there for anyone to see, if they know how to look. Another reason she keeps herself under tight control most of the time.

"They took you and you don't remember it." She says again in a low growl. Her free hand comes up and fire kindles in the grooves along the floor, licking upwards as if they were filled with oil but he knows they aren't.

-

He might think this familiar… if he could remember what Belasco did. He can't though. Jericho's eyes flash as Illyana's raw emotion stirs the black magic in his own soul and the Limbo magic that's accumulated there. Lacking anything to balance it out (and not knowing it) he starts to feel pangs of sympathetic anger, echoing Illyana as Limbo does. The shock registers on his face, a sudden flash of rage that gives way to confusion. He steadies himself as fire begins to surround him though clearly the suddeness and raw force of what's happening has shaken him a little. "Took me? Who too-" Give he man some credit. He's tired and slow, but not dumb. "The fight in Limbo a week or so back…" He trails off, trying to remember, but can't.

-

Let's admit it. Illyana's bedside manner is crap. Most people would try to explain it, give him details. But Illyana just drops him into her magical circle and starts a spell, obviously on him, without even trying to tell him what it is she's doing.

The language he's been working on learning spills from her lips with a fluency that most never master, handling the precise diction without missing stride. Jericho can feel the magic around him thicken. Feel it take hold of him. And then it lifts him up, pulling his head back and his arms out to either side of him. He might liken it to having hooks in his flesh, but it's not painful. But unlike ropes might be it definitely feels like it's latched onto flesh and bone, or maybe something deeper, than simply wrapped around his limbs. He hangs there, suspended a few feet off the floor, those flames lickinger higher and Illyana's eyes blazing. Finally her chanting ceases and her next words are those he can understand. A whisper that seems to echo from Limbo itself. "Show me."

And then it's like he's being pulled apart in that odd, not-quite-painful way. But there's a sense of being disjointed. Like he's suddenly an axonometric display while still being in once piece.

As Illyana walks the perimeter of the pentagram, looking at him from all angles, he can see… himself in a hazy holographic sort of way that shifts as her attention shifts. Blazing there, loud and obvious he can ss her Mark upon him as well as echos of his traces. His best analogy is likely a magical diagnostic.

-

This is uncomfortable, not exactly because of the physical situation but… actually he can't precisey tell you why it's uncomfortable. Something about being exposed. Jericho hangs there, doing his best to tamp down on out of control emotions (mostly anger) as Illyana looks at him. Not the physical form, obviously, but something much deeper. There's a part of Jericho's inner being that beleives with everything it is that only in secrecy is he safe. The trust he's placed in Illyana nothing he's ever reposed in anyone else - not in that total a fashion - but that part of him is cracked and broken, bent by the circumstances of his life. It's squirming like a worm on a hook right now.

It takes actual effort to make himself calm. Not as effortless as he ordinarily makes his trust in her seem. But he does do it. Likely, were it anyone else, he wouldn't be able and wouldn't bother to try but because it is Illyana, he makes himself close his eyes and breathe, trying to let her find whatever it is she's looking for without his metaphorical squirming around. There's a part of him now, that feels… empty. Hollow. He's not at all sure what, though.

-

It is not a short process. It's made mroe difficult by the magically active cyber he's got threaded all through him that makes her think she's found something… only to realize that yes. That's supposed to be there. After the first circut around him she steps through the black-edged silver fire, joining him within the pentagram as she starts to comb deeper. When his eyes are open, he can see her gesturing, caulling things closer, pushing others away. It's not really recognizable as him, these glowing ethereal things that shine and glitter. He can feel the magic pulsing as she does it, like perhaps instead of hooks into him he's plugged into her magic and it draws on him and feeds back in equal measure.

Illyana's anger slowly recedes, set to a back burner while she involves herself in her Work with a frown on her lips and a scowl on her brow.

When she figures it out, it's in a sudden rush. Her hands move and the magical lightshow coaleases about his skin and then swings her hands wide and it 'zooms in', her eyes wide with a sort of shock. "They didn't put a spell on you…" She says in a strangled whisper that denys that that's a Good Thing. Instead she sounds almost sick as she finishes. "They took from you."

-

Jericho's eyes are agleam once more, but this time it's a direct reaction to Illyana's prodding. His traces are glowing too. And while she may not be looking closely at them, there are hints of something… other in the design. The way they're constructed at a base level draws on… well, it kind of looks like a white magic spell. Sort of. Ish. In circuits. It's weird, if not what she's looking for. He looks down now, hearing her closer. When she whispers… his head cants ever so slightly. He can't help it.

"What did they take?"

-

Another time, she might 'open him up' mystically speaking to figure out just what's going on with those traces. But so far they've been benign enough that there's not a rush. Not when there's this.

Illyana gestures with one hand again, and Jericho can feel that tug on something within him that has no physical counterpart, making him feel like a string that's been plucked as she looks at him in a way that other people can't. Peering at secrets he doesn't know that he has.

It's subtle. Over a week now and Illyana didn't really notice. Even looking for it has been long and ardorus. She frowns, seemingly confused. "You haven't been sleeping well, right?" Which… doesn't make sense to her. Why go to all the trouble of kidnapping him, making him forget, and then just making it so he's tired?

-

Jericho nods slowly. "Nightmares… most nights." He usually only has them once a week or so, so that's a lot more than usual. "Haven't been getting much sleep. Just… you know, enough." Enough to keep going. He'll snatch four hours, if he's lucky or doesn't have much going. Those few nights a week he doesn't have nightmares are blessed relief. But they're never enough. He goes right back the next night to seeing old friends killed right in front of him, over and over. Sometimes whatever inner sadist scripts these things changes it up a little. Sometimes he failed to get Nancy back at the hospital.

And sometimes he watches Illyana die…

In short, he's not tired. He's Tired. Partisan's seen him Tired before. She expressed concern that he'd go off the rails and cause some serious trouble. Then she dagged him to a spa.

Well, it's a kind of therapy. Best she knew how.

-

Being someone who sleeps about four hours a week, Illyana doesn't quite grasp how bad that might be. Of course, she lives at close to going off the rails some might argue. "That's it. What they did." K'nert doesn't know who took him, and Jericho was 'wiped clean' of anything that could be used to recreate what happened. "I can see where they made you forget…" Another tug within him as she opens another glowing web that is a part of him. "But it's really go—" She trails off and then physically steps back, going a little pale.

-

Jericho can count on one hand the number of times he's seen Illyana look scared. He can count on the same hand the number of times she's stepped back from him. His tone lowers slightly. It's silly, K'nert will hear them regardless. "What is it?" He looks at the blonde sorceress with some concern. The last time he saw her look that pale, his apartment had been torn apart.

-

"Belasco." Illyana says, the word said like a curse. Has a programmer, he can probably get it. Sometimes, you can just recognize someone's code. The same is true of magic. Especially when it's the person who taught you magic. Her blue eyes jerk upwards to his. "Belasco did this to you."

-

That is a name Jericho's heard before. If he could remember what was taken from him, he'd probably have a similar reaction. As it is…

"The one who took you originally, right? The one who wanted to sacrifice your soul to free the elder gods." He frowns, thinking. "Why would have take something from me and set me loose? That doesn't make any sense unless…" Jericho isn't important in the grand scheme of Limbo except that Illyana values him. So harm to him is harm to Illyana. It could be counting coup, except if it were Belasco would want everyone to know he'd done it. Instead he took steps to hide it from everyone but the one person who was sure to recognize. That means…

"Do you think he means to use me against you somehow?" The very thought makes him sick and he doesn't like voicing it, but it's one of the few things that makes sense here.

-

"Not like you're probably thinking." Illyana says, getting some mental equilibrium back. "There's no spell on you. Nothing to break, nothing to take control of you. It's like… he didn't handcuff you, he cut off your hands. The only fix is to get it back and restore it to you." And hopefully it's not as messy or as often-permanent as real amputation.

"It could be just to hurt me or thorw me off. But it could be a trap. He has it, and to get it back, I have to go to him."

-

He nods. It has all the makings of a trap certainly. Take something valuable and dangle it. Even knowing that it likely is a trap doesn't make the trap any less dangerous. "Is this something I can help with?"

Jericho would ordinarily phrase that 'how can I help' or 'what do you want me to do' but he senses that this situation may be a bit more delicate. It doesn't change the fact that he wants to help, but putting her in greater danger for the sake of his helping is simply not an option here.

-

Illyana worries her lower lip with her teeth, looking at him but not really seeing him for a long moment. Then her gaze clears, looking up to him. "I… I'm not sure." Where does she even start? Ride out like a Crusade until she finds Belasco to take back what's hers?

"I should do something though, in the interim." Her brow furrows almost painfully as she silently considers options. All the while, he's still hanging there, arms out to either side like some sort of butterfly on an invisible pin.

-

Which is starting to get physically… awkward. Not painful, per se, but being pinned back like a frog on a dissection table isn't a natural position for the human body. Jericho can't particularly do anything about it and at least it's not like his weight is on anything, otherwise this would hurt quite a bit indeed. So instead he looks down at K'nert, eyeing the little imp for a long moment before he glances back to Illyana, waiting patiently for her to come to a decision. Something in him tells him that's the natural thing to do, anyway.

-

Illyana's hand comes to rest on the center of his chest, calling his attention over to her. "I can try to help with what White magic I have. I can probably be your crutch, link your rest to mine." So essentially she'd be sleeping for the pair of them. "My only other real option is to feed you power to try to 'make up the difference'. But that's using my Black magic." And that runs the risk of tainting her intentions.

-

Jericho's traces flare immediately, even without the skin to skin contact. Something, probably, about already having her magic linked to him. "Both will drain you, won't they?" He knows using whate magic exhausts her, though it may not be a constant expenditure if she's just forging a link. Using her black magic will exhaust her lest, but aside from the potential cost to him, there's a cost to her. It eats away at the humanity she's worked so hard to maintain. Maybe this was Belasco's intent. Force that kind of choice on her and make her weaker one way or another.

Or maybe it's just a 'happy' side effect of whatever game he's playing. "Which do you think best?" He's not particularly worried about her pouring black magic into him at this point, other than it's effect on her. Though perhaps he should be. Then again, he's a bit crazy as Illyana's already observed.

-

"The White magic will drain me more." Illyana admits. "But the Black magic might do something a lot worse than make me tired." Illyana points out, as if he needed the reminder. As if she hasn't warned him time and time again. "And don't just shrug it off." She tells him in a sharp tone, knowing he'll take it all in stride. "Tying something like that into a fundamental part of you… It could have very real consequences. It can twist your soul, but also your mind and body." Like, oh, those glowy eyes.

-

Speaking of, they flash again at the reprimand, though whether in sympathy with his emotions or hers, who can say now? Jericho nods as best he can, still hanging up looking crucified without a cross. It's a pity Jericho doesn't know how right she is already, how the signs are already there if he knew where to look. But he doesn't.

"Sounds like White Magic, then…" He says softly. "Though you'll forgive me if I want to stay nearby in that case. Drained, you'd be an eaiser target… and something's already come for you once…" He doesn't want to dredge up the memories more than he has to. The doppleganger upset her far, far more than a simple enemy and while he got some of the story he knows there's more she didn't tell him. He doesn't have to know, really, save that it's another enemy out there to be considered. And then there's S'ym. Weakness on Illyana's part might bring whatever issue is simmering away with him right to a boil and if the Queen of Limbo weren't able to deal with it…

Well, there'd be limited options for doing so. One, that Jericho's considered though he doesn't mention. He's fairly sure she won't like the idea.

-

Illyana gives a short, sharp nod as he makes the choice. Or was it ever really on the table? Illyana moves now, still staying in the center of that pentagram with him but shifting so she's facing the point she'd stood at earlier. The flames that burn on the floor seem to shift, their color going from black-edged white to blue-edged with a radiance that has K'nert hissing and scampering back from the edge he was at. This puts her at Jericho's back now, so he can't see her work. Can't see what she's doing with that big sword of hers. It's almost hard to feel the magic she gathers to her as well, given the thickness of it in the room as it is. Like he's soaking in it.

He feels the bonds that have been plugged into him pop free and it's the rush of a differentn, cleaner magic that keeps him buyoed upwards now, freeing him as he floats and giving him a chance to stretch his arms.

The sensation of Illyana's magic connecting to him is like having the wind knocked out of you, but not physical. One of those hard-to-quantify sensations as a conduit is forged and her power flows into him in a warm rush."

-

K'nert might see, though Illyana won't, the way his eyes suddenly blaze. The power flows into him, though his traces greedily snatch at what they can and squirrel it away. He turns cranes his neck to see what Illyana's doing. It's ironic and touching perhaps that they both worry about the same thing: Each worry that the one will go too far in the name of taking care of the other. The sensation's are both familiar and alien: The usual feeling of his tech sucking down magic and the feeling of the magic connecting somewhere he's never felt it before. Well… that he remembers.

It takes him a moment to realize that his traces have some how latched onto the flow and are sipping as if through a straw… that's… odd. And potentially not good…

-

At last most of that outpouring of magic makes it to him though, the rush taking off the edge of his exhaustion. With the link forged his feet finally come to rest lightly on the ground again and the flames burn down. There's the soft sound of a *thud* behind him though, along with the *tink* of metal against stone as Illyana hits the floor on one knee, her sword resting the tip against the hard stone as she uses it to keep from hitting the floor completely.

-

Jericho moves over to her side in an instant, still feeling a small inflow of magic. It could just be the last trickles of the spell in the air about him. Hopefully it is. He shoots a glance over to K'nert… but figures this probably qualifies as being supportive and recognizing his place in the demon's mind as he kneels down next to Illyana and puts an arm under her shoulders to support her.

"Feels a lot better…" He murmurs quietly. "You okay?"

If K'nert has a problem with this, the two of them can talk later. At length. With his wings.

-

Illyana's sword disappears as Jericho moves to support her, letting her curl that arm around him and letting him take her weight. "Yeah.. yeah. I'll just… Need to rest." That thing that he can't do at the moment. And she doesn't normally do a lot of. She also hasn't noticed that it's taking more of her power than it should to 'support' him, having never done this before. Her eyes drift closed as she leans into him murmuring, "Just.. need a nap…"

K'nert just sort of dances at the edge of the room with agitation, but doesn't seem particularly upset at Jericho himself.

-

Jericho's eyes swing in that direction. There's a part of him that's glad to see the little guy up on his feet. And a part of him that took it to heart when Illyana said K'nert could be his (which justifies the first part). Most of him though is focused on Illyana and he's already gathering her up, tugging her in tight so he can support her as he rises.

"What?" He says flatly as he gets up, taking Illyana with him. Hope K'nert's good at charades or something.

-

Illyana curls in against Jericho, knees coming up a bit and her nose pressed in agianst his neck as she draws in the scent of him. He can feel her mostly limp in his arms.

K'nert hops up, wings pumping as he flies over to Jericho, landing on the shoulder opposite the one Illyana's leaning her head on and looks down at Illyana's bowed head with something one might almost think was concern.

-

Jericho follows his gaze for a moment and then sighs. "Yeah, I'm worried too. Maybe I should have told her to use the black magic…" He murmurs, half to himself. "Get us out of here. Back to my place, or close as you can manage. It won't do for anyone else to see her like this." Like S'ym. He'd like to put off problems with the big, purple chain smoker for as long as he can. They've got worries enough for now with Belasco lurking on the fringes somewhere.


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