Into the Jaws of Death, Into the Mouth of Hell

October 26 2014: Logan, Kitty, Illyana and Jericho all go into Limbo to confront Belasco and get Jeri's Rest back.

Belasco's Citadel

Beyond the edges of Illyana's domain at Limbo's center, out in the Fringes where the kingdoms of the various rebel demon lords exist is the palace and fortress of her old tormentor…



  • Belasco
  • Cat
  • Skeletor-ine

Mood Music:
[* None]

Illyana has had time to track down where Belasco's holed up in Limbo. He's not exactly hiding. He knows that Illyana is going to come to him, it's just a question of when.

The where? Is beyond the areas of Limbo that Illyana controls. Where reality starts to unravel and the semblance of "real-world" topography and physics crumble. Illyana has teleported them in at the edge of the area Belasco controls, a citadel within a glass-like bubble that broken pieces of rock drift about as though they were adrift in space.

The quartet are standing on one of the larger pieces of rock as it drifts closer and closer. Illyana is wearing armor of leather and plate, a perfectly normal sword sheathed at her back. Her Soulsword is in other hands. "I can't teleport in any closer. He has Wards up. I can make a frontal assault against the magical defenses." She glances at the others.


Jericho is wearing SHIELD issue ceramic and kevlar body armor. Courtesy of Melinda May. It's a vest, mostly, lightweight and fairly sleek. The hacker has a pair of automatic sidearms on his hips, a large grenade launcher on his back and a leather case hanging behind him that seems to be carrying an… oversized… leatherman. His traces, glowing blue when they started on Earth, turn red the moment they hit Limbo. He'd never be able to carry all this without artificially enhancing his strength but so far that's the only thing he's doing.

"He'll be in the citidel, I assume." With wards up, Jericho and Illyana will have to break them in order to get through, else be magically excluded. Jeri's not sure if it'd affect the Soulsword Kitty's carrying but either way a Kitty and a Logan don't seem any more adaquate an assault force alone than a Jericho and an Illyana. Let alone just a Logan.


Logan's lightly armored, as per the norm for the veteran. He's wearing a grey and black sneaksuit with his rather identifiable cowl, eyes shrouded by its crimson lenses. His own armaments are limited to an aged 1911 holstered to one thigh, and a katana secured over the mutant's back. The sword, aged but finely kept, is fitted in crimson and gold on black, and at first consideration might seem entirely superfluous to the feral runt's natural weaponry— of course, the more mystically attuned could likely sense the ancient blessings in the metal, the ceremonial mastery of its foging.

Some say it was a weapon that vanquished an archdemon; others, that it was an alloy forged from the fang of one. Still others, that it attained its power in the hands of a master who single-handedly defending a village against an entire onslaught of devils. One thing is certain: the meteorite iron was masterfully crafted and soundly attuned to ply its craft, physically and spiritually. It's slain no shortage of mystically-guarded beings since it came into Wolverine's hands, and uncountable numbers in the centuries before he held it— the Honor Sword of Clan Yashida. If it's a mystery to anyone why he'd carry it here, it's likely to inspire a profound huff on Wolverine's part, and a shake of his head. He's not particularly talkative on the journey, shadowing Kitty and listening, sensing his surroundings, considering their destination with a tight frown on his mug. "Maybe if we ask real nice, fucker'll take the field." Wolverine observes sarcastically as he tosses a waning cigar off the platform.


Kitty holds Illyana's Soulsword. She doesn't exactly hold it gingerly, but she is being careful with it. It's a strange thing to hold and she knows exactly how important and even weird it is that she can even wield it. Much like Logan, she is not wearing much armor. Her power will hopefully be armor enough. Curly brown hair is pulled back into a tight ponytail, her other clothing otherwise worn for combat mobility.

"Will the sword help?" she asks Illyana, eyes scanning the strange and trippy landscape. They follow the dropped cigar off the rock they're standing and then snap upward: land on the bubbled Citadal about the time that Jericho mentions that will be where Belasco would be. "I'm sure if you put it like that, he won't be able to say no," she grins.


Illyana tilts a nod over at Jericho and smirks at Logan. "He doesn't want a challenge. He wants us to make the journey. This isn't about killing me, or even beating me." Though she doesn't entirely rule out that as being part of his plans. And certainly, killing her friends is only to his advantage.

Illyana looks over at Kitty, and she's thoughtful for a long, long moment. She glances over to Logan and then back to Kitty. "Our objective is Jericho's Rest. I'm fairly sure that Belasco will have it somewhere close to him. Somewhere he can show it off. If you can get close enough, the Soulsword should be able to break the enchantment he's got on it. You know your skills better'n me, Pryde. Think if we buy you time you can get to it?" It would mean her going in alone. Which she's not entirely keen on, but puts out there anyway. She's gotta trust that those around her know their strengths. And their limits.


Jericho unslings that grenade launcher and racks it. As much as this is probably about the journey and whatever endgame scenario Belasco has set up, he's quite certain that Belasco's demons will respond in force to the intrusion. Well, as certain as one can ever be. Certainly if they don't it'll be an indication that something is wrong.

"I'm sure we can make a pretty good distraction…" The hacker murmurs. "Especially if Belasco's focused on Illyana." Given, though, what he knows about the history between Belasco and… a certain Cat, he's a bit concerned.


A smirk is thrown back towards Kitty, lingering in half a grin despite the situation they're in as he eyes the phaser sidelong. There's no laughter or further quip forthcoming, the joke between them shared in silence— particularly once Illyana outlines just what the reality of the situation is. Not that Logan had any doubts before that point; the old mutant just nods. He knows a vendetta when he sees one, orchestration to break someone down, strip their will and resources. He may have been a target of such an effort /once or twice/.

"Cat can drag me in behind." Wolverine offers, slightly modifying Illyana's proposal. "Assuming he ain't already watchin' us, he might crack a smug smile and figure the two of you came alone." Understaffed, unwilling to risk said resources that are so personally valuable. Besides, he made a certain promise about this trip. "Let us slip right in the back." Take the fight to Trent's missing sleepytime. It's actually Kitty, rather than Illyana, that Logan looks to for confirmation of his compromise.


As Illyana explains, Kitty nods thoughtfully, eyes still on the Citadel before them. "I can make it." It's said after only a short pause, but she seems pretty confident on that matter. "I can keep myself to the shadows and stay as cloaked as possible. Not sure how his own powers work here, but if most of his attention is on you guys, he may overlook me." She has no reservations of her own about Belasco. She knows very little of Limbo Cat - Illyana's only sparingly mentioned that there even was one. She raises an eyebrow at the grenade launcher and grins. "Yeah, I'm sure you guys can handle that."

At Logan's modified proposal, the young mutant frowns for a moment, thinking it through then gives a quick shake of her head. "I'm not sure how well my ability to keep myself hidden will work here. The more trouble that's made up front, the less likely he'll be on the lookout for me." It's not that she's overestimating her own abilities, just trying to give it the best chance she can.


"He shouldn't be aware of us yet." Illyana assures Logan. Belasco's not the only one that can cloak folks, and she's got a much smaller area to deal with. She reaches over towards Logan, one finger outstreched to trace a mark against his forehead if he doesn't pull away. Jericho she can sense. The same with her Soulsword and thus Kitty. Logan's the only one she doesn't have some kind of bond of connection to here and so she'll make do with a temporary Mark. One day she'll learn to ask first, too.

"We do have his Pride working in our favor. In a sense, he doesn't think he can loose." Illyana will let Logan and Cat work out if he's going with her or not, but since they're set on this course… "Don't go in until I tear down the outer Wards. That'll give you the best chance of sneaking in." She nods to the side even as the rock they're on starts to move towards the front gates. "Go."


Jericho's not holding his breath for that day. 'Course, being Jericho, he wouldn't have it any other way. A two pronged attack is probably the best they've got given the time and resources available. It Belasco thinks Illyana only brought him with her so much the better, Logan's right about that. "Good luck you two. Have fun storming the castle."

Turning his attention back to the front of the citidel, Jericho falls in behind and slightly to Illyana's left.

"Think it'll work?" He murmurs half serious and half in jest.


In truth, Logan might not be looking to either of the women for confirmation, at the end of the day. Judging from the more stubborn set to his jaw that comes as the first answer to Kitty's response, "Yea, and if you hit too much resistance, you'll never get the job done." It's not so much derisive as it is matter-of-fact, "They're the assault he's expectin', and if your abilities falter, you're gonna need my help. I don't need to phase to keep out of sight." The confident assertion is one supported by -ample- field testing, even if he's not as adept at sensing or countering magic… but neither is Kitty.

There's the slightest, reflexive weave as Illyana's hand comes in, but it's suppressed— and the mark is made. "Guess we'll have to prove him wrong." Wolverine notes.. the alternative is not pretty. One strong arm reaches out to draw Pryde closer, and a fierce if momentary kiss is offered; purely for luck, of course. "I'm comin'. I made your friend a promise." And her, for that matter; and himself. He'll shadow her movement in the flanking approach, darting from cover to cover, patient and agile. The Wolverine has his own ways of keeping to the shadows, moving in tandem with Shadowcat.


Kitty glances at the mark Illyana puts on Logan's forehead, wondering just how the Canadian will take the unasked gesture. However, that lasts only a moment before she's looking for the way in she can best take to sneak in to the Citadel. She only turns back to Logan at his argument, "The whole point is that I shouldn't be running into any resistance. I'm trying to skirt all that." She's the sneaky part - they're the frontal assault.

With a frustrated sigh, she shakes her head. "Logan, j—" However, it's right at that moment that he pulls her in for the fierce kiss. She stiffens, surprised by the gesture before she relaxes as much as one does before sneaking into a deadly palace. When she pulls away, she gives a half hearted scowl to Logan: not for the kiss but for stopping the argument. "Fine then." Like they all lamented when she insisted on coming along - she's stubborn.

More seriously, she looks back to Illyana, a worried and fond expression on he face for her best friend. "Be careful." The worried expression extends to Jericho, but it quickly fades into a raised eyebrow and a smirk at his quip. Putting on a very New York old woman accent, she asks, "Do you think it'll work?" Then, the eldritch armor blinks into place over her and she starts to move off, fading into a shimmer in the distance.


Illyana can't help but smirk at Jericho's words and Kitty's echo. She fills in the other half of the quote. "'It'll take a Miracle.'" Then she sobers. She doesn't bother with goodbyes or good lucks, proving once again that the words matter little with Illyana. She's putting her faith and trust in them, and to her that speaks much larger volumes.

There might be some teasing later, if they all live through this. And here she gets ribbed for Jericho being old.

Illyana waits until the pair are a good distance away before she draws the blade at her back. It's weight is heavy in her hand. It doesn't resonate with her the way she's used to holding. Jericho can feel the slight ripple as Illyana drops the Wards around the pair of them. "BELASCO!" She calls out, raising a hand to the skies above, muted shadow and blood. Light swirls, coalaces, and then it's like meteors start to rain down on the bubble surrounding Belasco's stronghold. Like glass, it shivers and as Illyana brings another barrage, it starts to crack.

The demon sorcerer himself appears above, on the battlements. He rests one hand on the parapet and looks down at them, grinning. "I've been waiting, apprentice."

"Then why don't you just let me in?" Illyana calls back up to him.

"Of course! So long as you let me bind your magics." Belasco grins like a wolf, all teeth. "Or, you could keep hitting my shields… My battery may not enjoy it though." He sweeps a hand and rock pulls back like a living thing to reveal a form half-merged with the citadel itself. Eyes wide but unseeing, mouth open in an unending, mute cry is Piotr.

Illyana goes deathly pale, and only Jericho hears her whisper of denial. "No…"

"Give yourself up to me apprentice, and I will let him go." Belasco bargains.


Jericho frowns, rifle at the low ready. "Illyana…" He murmurs quietly. There's an excellent chance that it ''isn't'' Piotr they're looking at and even if it is there's no gaurentee that it's ''her'' Piotr. Not that the distinction may make much to her, the mere sight is probably pretty horrifying. The hacker steps up next to her and scans the battlements before his eyes cut back to the sorceress. He doesn't say anything louder though. He's going to let Belasco draw whatever conclusions he will about him. For now.

Boy would he like to wipe that grin off his face.


"Keep low, darlin'." Wolverine may or may not be sure exactly who the bound battery is— he knows dark magic of the blood and soul when he smells it, and he can read Illyana's reacton well enough. The whisper is barely audible even to Kitty, and he nods further down their approach, ducking behind a craggy outcropping in the nightmarish hellscape, "Way out is through." He also recognizes something meant to demoralize and delay them. It's not a trick he's falling for— it only steels the Wolverine's resolve.

"Goes for /all/ of us." And anyone else held in reserve, in that hell fortress. Plus, he suspects he knows more or less what the blonde sorceress' response is going to be to this particular leverage: she has a certain fire about her. His own primary focus is keeping out of sight, on the fringes, away from the angles of vision provided by the citadel's parapets and balistraria. Won't do them any favors to get ornery and lash out now: contrary to popular belief Logan can (often) be patient, when he needs to be.


Already sneaking down and through, Kitty moves forward, crouching and moving along by Wolverine as they go. However, she stops immediately in her tracks when she sees Piotr merged with the Citadel. Phased as she is, it would be hard to read the expression on her face, but Logan's advanced hearing should notice that she isn't walking with him any more. The Shadowcat looks quickly back to Illyana and then back to Piotr.

Even with Logan's encouragement, it takes a little while before she can will herself to move forward again. Even when she does start walking again, it's on unsteady legs. One hand grips into a fist, knuckles turning white under the pressure even as she uses it to guide her way through the strange landscape and rocky terrain, crouching into place by the Wards - waiting for Illyana to break them before continuing onward.


Illyana's jaw sets and her eyes flash to white at Jericho's soft murmur. Yes, it could be an illusion. But it could also very well be her brother. She raises a hand and fires an eldritch bolt at the bubble with the force of a Mac truck, and there's only the slight flinch about her eyes as the figure bound to the citadel writhes in sympathetic pain.

Illyana's jaw sets. "Then I guess we don't punch through." She says, mostly to herself. Her hands come forward, fingers crooked like hooks and the feel of her magic is heavy about her, something Jericho can see in a hazy, shimmery way as she 'grabs' hold of the shield and starts to twist the 'flavor' of her magic. On one hand, she gets confirmation that the figure is indeed her brother, their link as being blood-siblings allowing her to key into the power of the outer Wards and with a loud cry, Unmake them from within. The amount of her own personal power it takes is pretty crippling though, dropping her to her knees even as Belasco cries out in anger and frustration. He waves his single arm forward and demons that had been lurking in the nooks and crannies of the structure start to stream out towards where Illyana and Jericho stand near the front gates. Another angry gesture and the castle swallows up the slumped form of Piotr and he disappears.

As the bubble bursts, Kitty and Logan are able to slip through the walls, into the citadel itself. The corridors are dark and wet, filled with the scent of rotting things and mold. Bodies lie randomly in the hallway, some recognizably human, and others more demonic. The torches that line the walls give flickering, smoky light.


Jericho had expected the demons to start at some point. He'd hoped that Illyana would be on her feet when it happened but he'll work with this. Explosions sound in the air and against the citidel walls, sending hot shrapnel into demons but there's always more, always another to take the place. In a shockingly short span of time his ammunition on the primary weapon runs dry. It clatters to the ground and the pistols come up. Ordinarily Jericho would be giving ground and buying himself space by this point. He doesn't move, remaining standing over Illyana. The pistols run dry shortly thereafter. Demons lay wounded and dead all about but they're still coming.

Jericho reaches behind him and flicks that 'multitool'. One section of it turns out to be a handle with grip. He pulls out it out as the device unfolds into a blade. Silver rings on his forearm liquify and flow until he appears to be wearing bracers.

"If you want her, come get her." Jericho snaps as the blade comes up into a high guard.


Logan slows his pace to keep near Kitty, but he doesn't stop, doesn't linger, doesn't cast any sympathetic glances towards the bound Colossus past the initial surveyance. They have a mission, one that's intrinsically tied to his survival, their own… possibly the fate of an entire realm; even if it does seem to be kind of full of demons. Wolverine doesn't judge— at least, not without really good, evident reasons. When the opportunity is taken to cut in towards the walls, he nods once to Pryde, for timing and confirmation, and starts off swift and low.

It doesn't take him long to close to the fortification, and while he might be able to work his way through it in chunks of rock and ample elbow grease, her way is just smarter at the moment; not to mention quicker. A hand is held out to intercept Kitty's own approach, intent on following her through into the charnel house. "Guess we ain't in Kansas anymore, darlin'." The snark is safeguard against the scents and sounds assailing his senses within the horrific palace, but Logan wastes no time in taking point. Silent footfalls take him to the end of each hallway, scent and sound searching for active patrols, living lurkers. Avoidance is his priority, holding up a hand signal to pause they've used many a time at any point he detects another— plan B? It involves tearing of throats and decapitation, and the Wolverine's alarmingly fast on the draw with that sword he's carrying.


Though Kitty knew this would be a difficult mission, seeing the pain that both Piotr and Illyana in is enough to twist her heart. But, they all have parts to play and if she doesn't do hers, what Illyana and her brother are going through will be for nothing. Steeling herself, as soon as the wards are down, she is swiftly through it. Despite her instincts to go back and to help Illyana and Jericho, she turns her back on them and takes Logan's outstretched hand.

For Logan, she'll pop back into view once they are linked by held hands. The expression she wears is determined, masking a lot of churning emotions. She doesn't have his advanced senses, so she can only imagine how horrible it must be for him as she even starts to breathe her mouth so she doesn't retch at the stench. "Yeah, don't think so." Her own voice is soft, pitched to not carry beyond the short distance it should take for him to hear her. "I've got a bad feeling about this."

Despite that feeling, however, she keeps herself and Logan phased, attempting to blend them in to the background. She still attempts to move around what she thinks are dead bodies and keeping toward the walls as she presses forward into the Citadel.


Bodies fall in the wake of Jericho's assault, tumbling down, down, down into nothingness. But it doesn't stop more coming. What was Illyana's line? 'Crunch all you want. I've got more.' Looks like Belasco does too.

It buys Illyana time though, to pull herself back together. Her personal magic is still all but tapped, but it's not something she generally uses anyway. Her hand slides up beneath Jericho's armor and shirt, palm resting against the skin of his lower back and he feels her tap the resivoir within him. She doesn't have the time to refill what she's lost without hurting him, but enough to get her on her feet so she can use the rest of her arsenal? Yeah. She can manage that.

The demons land on the rock Illyana and Jericho are on, reaching for the sword-weidling hacker with tooth and claw while Belasco heads deeper within the citadel. While Jericho cuts down the first ranks, Illyana steps up beside him and blasts them back with another eldrtich bolt. The rock they're in hits the gate and with a twist of a hand she wrenches that open. "Let's get inside."

With the focus being outside, it isn't too hard for the pair of sneaky sorts to work their way through the bowels of the citadel and in towards the main throne room. Its layout is slightly familiar to Kitty, who has spent time in Illyana's. Which was Belasco's before that. The room is huge, but surprisingly empty. Next to the throne is a stand and on it, a glowing ball of blue-white energy. Despite being sneaky though, as they reach the edge of that room a voice calls out to the pair.

"Oh, now someone's been very, very bad." The voice sounds familiar to both of them, maybe moreso to Logan as a figure steps out from behind the throne. Wearing blue-black leather that covers her torso and down to her fingertips while leaving her legs bare, a wide mask covers most of her face, the 'wings' almost reminescent of Logan's distinctive sweep of hair. She has pirate-like boots and shuriken along the arms of our outfit and a katana in-hand. "You were supposed to knock!" Cat says, her smile showing off upper and lower fangs.


"Right behind you." Jericho says, blade coming down to sever a wing and then snapping across his body to ward off another blow before he delivers a savage kick and another taste of his blade. Though his training is limited this seems a lot easier to use even than the knives that he's used to.

"Is it me or is this a bit… on the normal side?" Well… okay, it's not. Jericho knows this as he and Illyana pound through the castle gate. Piotr was a shock and he's positive it's not Belasco's last trick. He was just kind of expecting more of them by this point.


The path to the throne room is familiar to Kitty, and second nature to Wolverine. That they're unobstructed, avoiding the demons until that point is a blessing— a small thing but one he'll certainly count, in this circumstance. Even if the voice is familiar to Logan, it hits after the tidbits of scent. The realization that Pryde's been through here— but not. It's subtle, but it's wrong. Dopplegangers, even alternate reality copies, they have something of a problem with the Wolverine's nose; it helps a lot when it's a scent he's grown rather familiar with, at that. There's not so much as a glance back to Kitty when the course leads them to their destination, and he snaps his hand from her grip, striding out into the throne room readily.

With no time to let Shadowcat in on her plan, the Canucklehead can only trust her to wing it, to do what she brought that Soulsword here to do— before, well, 'she' kills him. Fighting a Kitty who knows little about his own abilities and /wasn't/ thoroughly trained by him was rough enough, after all. It doesn't dull Wolverine's readiness to engage, however. He paces out towards the center of the room, flanking around not-his-Cat, eyes fixed on her… in the hopes of keeping her eyes fixed on him, in turn. "Heard it said." Wolverine admits, without a great deal of apparent shame. He even manages a wolfish grin for the sorceror's apprentice. "Don't suppose you're just waitin' in here for a timely rescue?" It's a bit rhetorical. Or at least, the dual *SNIKT* leaves Logan rather ready for the alternative.


Kitty leads Logan through Belasco's citadel. It takes a little bit of working out, but she's able to use her knowledge of Illyana's limbo to figure out how to get to the throne room. Once there, she almost lets the veil down. However, Wolverine pulls out of her grasp and the woman that is her Limbo equivalent speaks. It's strange for Kitty to look at someone who is similar to her and even sounds like her, but isn't. This is who Illyana knew in Limbo and part of her hopes that she is there to help. But, the fanged Cat is in Belasco's empty throne room. It doesn't look good.

With a look shot to Logan, she keeps herself phased, moving around the edge of the room as softly and slowly as she can. An eye is kept on the other occupants of the room, but it shifts to the glowing sphere of energy that must be Jericho's Rest as she sneaks toward it.


"I see you found a way to keep him safe from me, apprentice." Belasco's voice rings out as Jericho and Illyana fight their way forward with sword and magic. "And didn't it feel good, to take him? Own him? Know that you can make him do anything you want?" The demon sorcerer's tone turns coaxing. Seductive. The walls seem to echo his words, whisper them back so there's no way to avoid them. "You could do that with them all. No more worry over acceptance. They'll fall to their knees to do anything you desire." His voice pitches down to a whisper. "Just like your Jericho will now."

Illyana's expression remains set. Grim. She doesn't answer Jericho or look back at him as they keep moving forward.

"Oh, kitty cat. You think you can sneak by me?" Cat's gaze cuts away from Wolverine and over to where Kitty is, the lash of the tail behind her drawing attention. As might the clawed-tips of those gloves. Briefly, she tips a feral grin back to Wolverine and then she charges for Kitty as Cat phases as well. With both of them phased, Cat should be able to attack Kitty as if they were both solid.

Illyana pauses as they make it to the top step. The doors ahead lead to the throne room where Kitty and Wolverine are already squaring off with Cat but Illyana tilts her head back. Looking at the ceiling. She glances back to Jericho. "He still has Piotr." And then she heads to the side and the stairs that coil upwards. Away from Kitty, Logan, and Jericho's Rest.


Family trumps everything.

For a man who hasn't had one for two years until he found a certain stray gothling, that's something he eminently gets.

Also, why do demon lords have to Talk? This is the real world. Er, the real Limbo. He's monologing. Though given that he's trying to get to Illyana the technique certainly has some merit.

Turning himself Jericho follows Illyana, covering her back. If he goes down that's one thing. The whole point of this is Illyana, though. That's what Belasco wants. He'll have to trust Logan and Kitty can handle themselves. He's not letting Illy go alone.

Of course Belasco is missing one rather fine point. Jericho would have done what Illyana wanted without that.


There's a grimace as not-his-Cat calls Logan's bluff, and charges for the 'real' Pryde. A look with the concern masked by the crimson lenses of his mask is shot to Shadowcat, and for a moment, it looks like Wolverine might break immediately for the conflict, throw himself into the fray in defense of his partner. One thing's for sure: the old mutant is /sorely/ tempted to do just that, his instincts scream at him, both the protective and the warrior's.. the one that reads the years of experience and malice in this almost-stranger's stance and motion.

In the end Logan just breathes a silent hope for Kitty's own skill holding for those first exchanges, and instead of sprinting after not-his-Cat… the Wolverine /charges/ full bore, with alarming acceleration for a man his size, straight down on the sphere of trapped energy. Really, the situation can only get better with all the allies /whole/, right? And regardless of their fate… that would make the basic mission successful. It's sometimes easy to see how much the feral veteran has worked with Fury. The Soulsword was presented as likely to slice through the mystic glass, and so Wolverine puts his faith in the spiritual rather than the physics of the adamantium on his fists: his initial assault is a swift, overhead chop, drawing and slicing with the meteorite blade on his back, intent on enacting the exact plan they rushed in here with… if decidedly inverted. Illyana's blade may just have to earn its keep protecting Pryde… or letting Kitty kill herself? This shit is confusing.


As soon as the jig is up, Kitty brings the Soulsword in front of her, the two phased mutants clashing against each other. "Well," she says through gritted teeth. "One can hope." As the more cat like Cat charges against her, she steps backwards as well, letting the motion absorb the energy spent in attempting to attack her.

Though her attention is very focused on holding her own against someone who fights very similarly to her own skills, she can see the blur of motion that is Logan moving to attack the ball of energy. "Logan!" she calls out. Just like he is, she's unsure that his gamble will pay off and the magic and energy of Limbo can work against just about anyone with a misstep. Shoving back, she makes a quick sweep of the Soulsword against Cat, going on the offensive.


Again Belasco's voice seems to come from everywhere, as if the place were wired for sound. "Ah, blood will tell will it not? The lover or the brother, the choice is made." The mocking lilt to his tone is familiar. Illyana's holds it sometimes when she's being especially cruel.

"And her friends. Left to fend for themselves." Belasco's voice is real this time, not that echo from the walls as the sorcerer appears in the throne room even as the pair of women face off. Logan's blade comes down, and the moment before it would hit the ball flies through the air, caught in Belasco's free hand as he gives Logan a fanged grin. "Now you… you are unexpected. But don't worry. I had something collected from the Darkchilde's citadel that's just perfect for you."

There is the rattleclink of metal hitting metal and a pile of bones in the corner rises up like an animated skeleton. Only this skeleton is made of metal, three familiar claws on one hand, two on the other with the third raggedly broken off. "Oh. Let me guess. She didn't tell you she had pieces of you tucked away in her castle." The skeleton launches itself at Wolverine while Belasco's attention turns to Kitty. "Just like I had to Raise my poor Cat… I was planning to let Illyana kill her again but I suppose that will have to wait until after she kills you."

Belasco's laughter echoes through the whole of the citadel, very Vincent Price.

Kitty and Cat clash in an eerie display. When both are physical, they can hit each other. When both are phased, they can hit each other. So the trick is to phase out when the other is solid. Or go solid when the other is phase. It's a dizzying display, even Kitty's impressive skills pushed by her doppleganger.

Up, up, up Illyana and Jericho go until they finally burst in on a room with windows overlooking the nothingness around. In the center is Piotr, his eyes closed and massive body slumped, still half-merged with the stone he rests on. And Illyana without her Soulsword to break enchantments. The stone connected to him pulses and glows with runes that Jericho's become familiar with, Dark Workings to keep the big man tethered to the fortress. Illyana sizes up the situation and blows out a long breath. "Kitty and Logan are still alive, but we're running out of time." Certainly not enough for them to get Kitty up here with the Soulsword to cut Piotr free. "Give me your hand." She says, holding it out for Jericho's, and holding the simple blade in her other hand in a reversed grip, point at the base of the crawling runes. She looks over to Jericho, locks her gaze with his. "Tell Kitty she can control the Stepping Disks with the sword. The Wards against teleporting witll come down." There's a pause. "And I'm sorry." That's offered right before she pulls on the magic stored in Jericho in a rush. Much faster than she ever normally would, knowing how it will hurt but hopefully given he's attuned to her now, it will hurt less. She channels it from Jericho into the sword, and then drives it down into the spellwork. White light meets red and the stone explodes, freeing Piotr. A stepping disk appears beneath them, dropping them into the throne room with the others from a good six feet above the ground. Illyana and Piotr hit hard and don't move.


The rush of magic exiting him does indeed hurt. Quite a bit, but because it's Illyana and because he's not fighting her like he was the sorcerer in Greenland it doesn't immediately floor him. Only almost so. "Illyana!" Jericho's voice echoes in the upper chambers as she collapses.

Which leaves him with a problem once he's shaken his vision clear of the spots and demonic characters. Two unconscious people, one of them very heavy, and only one him. The blade folds away and Jericho stores it back in it's scabbard. There's a flash of blue light and his wolf-field appears around him, only a bit more… well, it's changed. Instead of a vaguely were-wolf like form, it's become rather demonic. Still upine but with spines along the arm and a long tail trailing behind it. Jericho glances back in consternation. That's not right. No time to figure it now though. He picks up Piotr and secures him over his shoulder before bending down to pick up Illyana very, very gently.

The hacker looks about at the combat taking place around him. Anything getting too close will- Yep just like that one. Jericho lashes out one handed and Logan may have time to note a demonic body flying over him.


"Yea well." If Wolverine is bothered by Illyana keeping his skeletal remains a secret? It sure doesn't show in the tone, the words, or the feral mutant's unflinching motions, "Don't make the best icebreaker." The Canuck rolls clear, letting said skeleton clatter out of its lunge in the space he just occupied. He doesn't bother trying to cut it, just evade.. likely for obvious reasons. "Hell of a conversation piece though, bub." He uses the skeleton's next, predictably aggressive lunge to vault off and over it, coming in from on high in a sudden, powerful arc down on Belasco. The razor tip of his katana leads, anticipating defenses around the demonic sorceror, and clearly intending to try his luck at abruptly popping -that- bubble. Take away his targets at your own risk!!

The Canuck's remarkable weight is behind the stroke, fully committed to dropping down right on or beside a mage who can probably provide an encore to the show that cost him his flesh in the first place, fearlessly. As he lands in a crouch, assuming he's not repulsed outright, his target is the orb of Jericho's recuperative energy— or rather, the arm that it's connected to, a swift second slice coming up before (one hopes) Belasco can right himself to the sudden appearance of the Wolverine he wanted occupied fighting… what's left of the other one. Again: CONFUSING. "Watch out for fuckin' Master Cleanse Wolverine." he hollers to his compatriots, "Skinny little prick is pissed."


Moving in a blur of phasing and solid forms, Kitty clashes with Cat time and again, pushing and spinning against her doppleganger. "Jesus H," she phases, "Roosevelt Christ," she becomes solid and clashes with Cat. After a few more pushes, attempting to fight Cat backward toward the ball of energy that is Jericho's Rest, she gives the creature a weary smirk. "Does that guy ever get tired of his own voice?"

As Illyana, Jericho and Piotr come falling through the ceiling on a stepping disk, she's distracted for a brief moment, leaving herself just open enough to let the clawed creature swipe at her. Or, maybe it's the accusation that Illyana killed this version of Cat. Either way, she steels her expession and presses onward, moving closer and closer to the orb even as Wolverine makes a diving tackle for it and the energy.


The Rasputins are unmoving, and so Illyana misses out on seeing the Wolverine's fast reactions cleave Belasco's remaining arm from his body, sending it spinning in a splash of blood.

The glowing energy ball flies free, arcing across the high-ceilinged room. Kitty forces Cat back and then turns to leap upward, a sweep of the Souslword cleaving the orb in half. Energy detonates through the room with a shockwave, tossing everyone backwards.

Belasco howls, in pain and rage and the citadal around them shakes with it. Cracks start to appear in the stone, and then chunks of the castle start to break off and tumble down. The adamantium skeleton drops into a heap and Cat breaks off, running for Belasco to collect his severed arm and then the sorcerer himself and they drop through the floor thanks to Cat's phasing power.


"Kitty!" Jericho shouts out. The wolf armor fades, leaving him almost comically managing Piotr's bulk on a much smaller shoulder as he hangs onto Illyana, still traced out to manage the weight. Why drop the wolf armor? That becomes apparent as batlike wings sprout from his shoulders and then raise above him, arcing to ward off bits of falling masonry.

"Kitty! The Soulsword! Illyana said it could control the stepping disks!" Hopefully he doesn't need to elaborate on why that might be necessary right now. This place is about to collapse.


A falling, jagged hunk of rock bounces off Logan's back, shattering to dust and debris and he grunts profoundly, falling to one knee. It doesn't stick, though the blow might have KO'ed or killed most men, and the bloodied mutant pushes back to his feet, eyeing the disappearance of their foes, snapping to his injured partner, and then back to their compatriots— he doesn't need an outline to see the writing on the wall. His bellow is an encouraging, "Let's get the fuck out of here!" as his own injuries fade. Support is offered to Kitty as he joins her in a rush back towards the other three, trusting in the way out that's implied— largely because they're rather out of options. Only so many of them he and Kitty can successfully handle by leaping out a window, after all. "Hope you know how to drive that thing." he can't help but snark her way.


It's purely instinct. One of those moments where reality slows down as the arm arcs towards her and Kitty knows exactly what to do. With a leap, she slices and cleaves right through the orb, flying backward while in the air and crashing against the wall in a heap. Clutching the Soulsword, she's grateful for Logan's help up as she attempts to untangle herself and push off the floor. Racing back toward Illyana, Piotr and Jericho, she leaps for the stepping disk, pulling Logan along with her.

"I don't think anyone's going to yell at me if I leave the blinker on," she replies just as snarkily. Once they are all on, she looks at the Soulsword and at the disk. "Uuuhh…" she doubts it works like a joystick. It's magic. Narrowing her eyes, she concentrates on the sword, trying to get it to bring them out of the crumbling palace as best she can. "There's no place like home!" When in doubt, think Dorothy.


A stepping disk blooms beneath the small, huddled group of them and rushes upwards even as the castle comes apart in bigger and bigger chunks and moments after they wink out the whole of it seems to drift apart, unraveling into the chaos that is Limbo beyond Illyana's reach.

Kitty's 'aim' is a bit off, the disk opening several feet above the ground and dropping all of them onto the floor of Kitty's room at Xavier's in a crash. Illyana and Piotr don't even groan, but their vitals seems steady when checked on.


Jericho picks himself slowly up off the ground. "Ugh… Illyana?" He looks a little releived when they turn out to be stable. Well, physically anyway. He looks over at Kitty and Logan speculatively, knowing he's probably a little less than welcome here and knowing Piotr's rather questionable status as well, though the large mutant is probably a bit safer here than he is.

"Thanks Kitty… Logan…" He says, catching his breath as he tries to think. "I'm…" He's not really quite sure what to do save that he doesn't want to separate the two. "I'll get them back to my place. They'll need rest. Hopefully they'll be okay. If not…" He has a couple people he can call, but neither of them are really welcome here either so…

Jericho pulls a communicator, an odd looking device from his pocket. "K'tten. I need a site to site for three. Mmmhmm. Yeah, my place. On my signal."

He looks over to the other two, just to make sure they're not going to protest or have better ideas.


Logan lands with a groan, partly because he twists to land /first/, cushioning the fall of… well, Kitty is his priority, but with the jumbled mess, he may get crushed a couple times over, here. He's skilled enough at extricating himself that one may suspect he's been in such a predicament /more than twice/, and the first thing he does when he finds a knee is to help check said vitals, yanking the cowl back off from his features to hang behind him. Really, his hair looks little more wild than /normal/. Convinced that Illyana and Piotr are -alive- and stable, Kitty's cut is given a concerned lookover next, eyes seeking out hers when he decides it's not life-threatening, a hand reaching up to lightly tousle and then brush back the hair that's escaped her ponytail in the struggle.

There's even a small smile; hell, they skipped out on a hell of a toll. Man can feel good about that. The Canucklehead just nods to Jericho, by way of accepting the thanks. "Take care of 'em." It's a large amount of trust, for Wolverine— at this point he has little doubt where the operative's heart is. Not that he's going to stop watching to be sure, any time soon. That's the world they live in.


Kitty, for the most part, lands on the solidly built Logan. While it's certainly a cushion as opposed to the floor, the man does house a skeleton of adamantium. Wincing and scrambling upward, she moves to Illyana and Piotr just about as Wolverine does. A look to him tells her that they're hopefully out of danger. For now, at least, and she sighs and sits back on the floor, leaning against the frame of her bed.


Looking from Jericho to Illyana and to Piotr, she frowns, knowing what others might say. But, she is not them and she would think the Professor would help other mutants no matter their allegiances. And Jericho has earned a place to at least stay by Illyana's side in medical as far as she's concerned. There's a wrinkled nose and fond look thrown Logan's way before she looks back to Jericho for the more serious conversation. "We've got pretty good doctor's here," she tells him. "We can move them downstairs. I'm sure you can stay wtih her, just as long as you don't disturb the students. Or, you know, teach them how to hack into the CIA or anything. That's my job. We can clear it with the Professor once they're settled."


Jericho looks down at Illyana and Piotr again (okay, mostly Illyana) and then back up, weighing the words. Kitty's her best friend and he's fairly sure amongst other things that she'd like to be able to - you know - check up on her just like he would. He also knows that he has a kind of… rocky relationship with some of the X-Men. Which is to say, it might have come close to coming to blows on occasion.

Still… this is her family. And he won't take that away from her. Or them. "Alright." He says quietly. "I just don't want any trouble. I'll stay in medical, promise, won't try to give myself a walking tour or bother anyone." He'll want to be there when she wakes up anyway, so no worries there. The mansion can keep it's secrets so far as he's concerned.

"K'tten, cancel that. I'll give you a ring if we need to come up and see Deplo, though." Or if he needs to call Angelo.

"Well in that case, help me move them?" Without waiting for a response he picks up Illyana again, waiting for the lead to medical.

They won, right?

He just hopes the two Rasputins are okay…

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