Unholy Sanctum

Summary:
February 23 2015: Illyana and Jericho discuss matters on earth-side and Limbo-side

Limbo, Throne Room

Illyana's throne room is not a thing people are apt to forget… or feel comfortable in. Jericho finds himself quite at home there.


Characters

NPCs

  • K'nert

Mood Music:
[* None]


One advantage of being at home in Limbo, and in the particular position that Jericho is, is the ability to be able to 'take some time out' to get important things done. In many cases that's tending the Limbo Green, which the hacker does quite regularly. That's been done today though (was it today?) and at the moment he's examining a shattered forearm guard from a third rate hard suit as he lounges in the throne room, leaning against one of the pillars in the back as he sits.

The guard itself and the tech behind it isn't particularly interesting. By itself it's vastly inferior to his traces, much less some real armor. Stark could design better than this in his sleep… while drunk… and occupied by a bedmate. What's interesting is the arcane scribblings on the inside of the armor, a weird mix of demonic and symbology he's unfamiliar with. And the demonic is… mangled. Almost a really bastardized pidgin. The last time he'd seen these things they'd been host to bound demons animating them. How HYDRA learned to do that and where they're getting the demons is a good question and one he hasn't answered yet.

His traces are glowing red with Limbo's magic, and K'nert is curled up nearby watching him through half lidded eyes. A half dozen other small demons are watching him as well, though from a considerably greater distance.

While the circle of light opening in Jericho's field of vision is a dead giveaway, it's that transition from sensing Illyana 'elsewhere' to 'here, close' that lets the hacker know she's arrived. The blonde is in those agressive boots that make any outfit look just a little bit metal, along with low-riding leather pants and a cropped T-shirt. She also has what smells like takeout in a bag that dangles from her fingertips.

Now you're as bad as my demons." She teases. "Lurking around the throne room." She walks over to him, settling down on the floor beside him and putting the bag in his lap. Smells like Italian. She nods over to the piece of armor he has and then, as she catches sight of some of the writing, frowns and reaches out to take it from him. "What's this?"

Jericho chuckles a little. "Comfy here." And, honestly, a bit safer to just sit down and examine this kind of thing. Other than their safehouse/apartment which is warded there aren't many secure locations and he couldn't be sure that there wasn't some kind of trace on the thing.

K'nert creeps a bit closer while Jericho opens the bag to see what's in it. Smells delicious, honestly and he'd not eaten after gardening today, having elected instead to sit dow nand try and puzzle the armor piece over. "Something I ran into a few nights ago. HYDRA was using bound demons or spirits of some kind to animate hardsuits. Spat hellfire, enhanced strenght, whole works. Not real tough but I suspect the demons weren't that powerful based on the number there were."

The hacker hands the piece over without thinking about it. She's the expert. Also she wants it. So clearly…

Whatever Illyana wants, Illyana gets, right? She leaves Jericho to pull out the dishes, not having any problem with eating on the floor right here in the throne room, while she peers at the armor. "Spirits don't usually have access to hellfire, but are usually easier and safer to wran—." She breaks off, tilting the piece just so and her eyes narrow. "Or you know, you could run a live wire of demonic power through a spirit." She says in a grim tone that seems to speak the opposite. She traces a finger over a line of the writing. "At a guess? It was a bound spirit of some flavor that they plugged into a hell dimension to supercharge it. I mean, it would corrupt and probably destroy the spirit fairly quickly but I doubt they care."

"Probably not." Jericho notes as he divides up the food, finds the plastic forks and hands Illyana a plate. "Guess that leaves the question of which hell dimension and whether or not they're tresspassing…" He trails off considering then shrugs a shoulder. Good question but not sure the answer makes a difference right now. If he can deal with them on earth by shutting down the 'production' lines the question is rather moot. Granted, summoning a spirit probably doesn't require a factory but making the hard suits does. So there's that.

"Shock troops. Expendable shock troops." Means they're planning something that they expect to take a lot of casualties with. Which means its big and aggressive. Which is, of course, bad.

"We should really take a look at some of their power sites soon and see if that tells us anything." He sighs and glances over, that small smile lighting his features. "How are things with you?"

"They are using a lot of dimension-spanning magic." Illyana says grimly. "Messy. Dangerous." And dangerous is something that Illyana understands. She accepts her plate and takes a few bites as she listens to his assessment, nodding. "Sounds like, yeah. Also, I'd guess whatever it is they're planning, it'll be soon. And they'll need some space. You wouldn't want to overclock these things until you were pretty much ready to go."

Illyana leans her shoulder against his, giving him a small smile. "I'm alright. You know, you make my job seem boring." She says, giving him a teasing wink.

K'nert gets close enough now that Jericho glances down to give the imp a warning look. Behave you. Seems to be something that he undertands because he draws up short, electing now to go around Jericho rather than right over his lap (and through his food) to get to Illyana. The change in course gets a smirk from the hacker. "That's only because most people don't really understand what it is you do." More than a college student, more than a mutant teleporter with a complicated past. Illyana has a more complex and challenging life than anyone Jericho's ever known.

"Planning on staying a bit?" He nods to the leather ensamble she's wearing as he starts to eat. "Another storm blew through, not a bad one though." He'd almost think the place was trolling him really. Seems to often be after he gets into fights.

Illyana frowns around her food, her foot tilting out to bump K'nert in a mostly affectionate way as he comes around. "Really? It happen while you were here?" She's gotten reports from her critters, but she has had yet to see them herself. And the destruction it leaves in its wake doesn't seem to touch the badlands beyond. Though that's hard to tell. "I wonder if it's some residual magic…" Of the weather-witch that taught her White Magic and died here. At Illyana's hand. "Before the Green, just about the only green growing place was her garden. It used to have this huge Oak tree."

As for her staying, she nods. "Especially if there was a recent storm, I should check on things. Also, smack down some of the groups on the fringes." Before they work themselves up the courage to make an actual assault.

Jericho shakes his head. "Day or so ago." Which means less than a day or so on Earth but he's long since given up trying to make corallations. Time runs faster here is about the best he can do and he's okay with that at this point. "I really do wish I could see when they actually come through." Fortunately this one hadn't been bad but he often has to clear away branches and occasionally replace trees. Oddly, none of the 'imported' trees from the grove have been hit yet. It could be residual magic from Illyana's old mentor, but she would know better than he why it'dbe acting up now.

"Show of presence?" He says to Illyana's comment about the fringe kingdoms and demon clans. They used to do that kind of thing in Iraq and Afghanistan. Make sure that the others know you're still there and still capable of kicking their ass. "Want some company for it?" He is, thankfully not injured today, having recovered from his latest round ofburns. Which were thankfully not that serious. "Have they been giving you trouble or is this just… premptive."

Illyana gives a nod, tilting him amused look since y'know, he gets it. "Premptive. Especially since time tends to move faster here, if I'm not careful I end up having a small army deciding the Darkchilde's gone, or the Darkchilde's gone soft or just that their ass is that bad. Most of them aren't… I guess 'aren't that smart' would be the best choice of words. They don't do a lot of higher thinking and you get enough of them together to reach mob-mind levels…" She shrugs her shoulders. "Gets messy." Of course, what she does to 'show presence' is… often pretty messy. Lacking complex emotions and higher thinking, just being there and making threats doesn't work so well. There's a reason she spent a lot of her high school years ignoring Limbo. Ignoring her responsibilities as its ruler. It's not terribly… humane.

And that would be why she ended up with a war that lasted a year and ended up with her thinking she was suiciding at the end. As for company? That gets him a long, considering look. Normally, she'd tell people no. It's not a side of her that they want to see. It's not something that they usually can even understand. But after a bit she nods. "Sure."

Jericho understands war in all its inhumanity. And he understands demons… kind of frighteningly well, actually. Sometimes a little bit of fighting is what it takes to avoid a lot of fighting. And the lower level demons seem to need near constant reminders of why they are lower level demons. Sadly, lower level doesn't necessarily mean small or weak. K'nert is a fair piece more dangerous than some of the much larger guardians around the Citadel excatly because he's so devious.

Also, it's Illyana. Fighting for her is an easy decision to make, at least on his part. "Then I'm at your disposal." He flashes a grin. "As always I am."

The Hacker scoots over a bit closer, making it easier for Illyana to lean and also easier for him to slip an arm around her shoulders while he eats. "Any trouble from him?" Belasco disappeared after their last confrontation, along with demon-Kitty, and Jericho knows they'll probably run into him again.

Illyana wrinkles her nose and shakes her head. "No. Which, on the one hand is like 'yay!' on the other hand it's like waiting for the other shoe to drop." Because Belasco's a fanatic. He's not going to give up until he's dead. And he knows that if he surrenders and Illyana kills him anyway, it will be her undoing. Odd, how a human can do terrible things, and keep their soul, but when you're touched by the demonic, seemingly 'small' things like killing someone like Belasco can loose you what little you have left of your soul. It makes Illyana consider her actions a lot more than most people do.

Jericho voicing his open offer gets a small smile and she leans in to kiss his cheek, a 'soft' action that she wouldn't have done in full view of her demons before. "Thanks."

It's not clear that Jericho could get away with such a thing anymore either. The exposure to Limbo and magic has made him a lot more mindful of his actions as well though often less considering what they might do to him and more what they might do to her. What the exact state of his soul might be is rather a mystery to him and while he'll probably want to find out at some point, it's lower on the list than a lot of things going right now. Odd how that works out.

"Any time." Jericho murmurs, that subdued smile returning. He means it too, and suspects that she knows. That the other demons are watching he doesn't really care, though he knows that the audience has grown a little since Illyana arrived. Anything she does is a matter of intense interest to them. And, of course, some will have heard that there may be a fight in the offing. Fights and Ice Cream and Illyana. Three sure fire ways to get their attention.

K'nert has made his way around and laid his muzzle on Illyana's knee, watching the pair of them as they eat. He even manages not to beg. Yet. But anything dropped isn't likely to hit the floor. "So how'd Z like my presents?" She asks then, smirking mostly to herself.

"She's enjoyed them, and I think enjoyed trolling her fellow Titans with them. Though I'm not sure she quite understans everything." Which itself amuses Jericho. He may have, or be developing a slightly impish sense of humor. Illyana rubbing off on him or just something he never got a chance to show people?

He finishes off his plate, not bothering to clean off the scraps and very deliberately sets it aside, making a show of being done with it. K'nert eyes him for a moment and then reaches a hand over without taking his muzzle off Illyana's knee so that he can drag the plate closer. He'll deal with it later.

"I'm sure she'd appreciate a visit at some point." Appreciate here being a somewhat relative term, especially when Illyana decides the manner of the visit. This… also amuses Jericho.

Illyana chuckles quietly. "Probably not, no. She's not a demon and I don't think she has the particular mindset to understand them the way some people do." She slides her gaze very pointedly over at Jericho. He may have learned a lot along the way, but he also had a pretty good understanding of them to begin with. "And I should let her know, so she can squirm a bit as she realizes, rather too late, what she's gotten herself into." Though Illyana isn't likely to do anything actually *terrible* to the younger sorceress, she's not above some object lessons.

Illyana grins then, watching him. "You're terribly amused." She notes.

"Yes, I am." Jericho returns the grin, that pointed look only making him grin more. Why he understood some things better than most people he doesn't know. The concepts… just made sense to him. "People are amusing, what can I say?" He does a pretty good impression of her knowing smirk that passes for a smile to most people. The ones who never get to see her really smile. He's started to get that a bit of the reason that she smirks like she knows something others don't so much is because… she knows things others don't.

He's also not particularly worried that Illyana will do anything horribly untoward to Zee. His endless trust of her extends to that as well. She hasn't - at least to his mind - harmed him since he's known her. And if one must bargain poorly with something like a demon, Illyana is one of the more fortunate people to do it with. "Perhaps we can drop by after dealing with the hinterlands." Or before. Or she can do it to amuse herself when he's otherwise occupied.

"If you get bored and need to let off steam, by the way, feel free to make yourself known in the badlands." Illyana trusts that he can gauge the fights he should take and those he shouldn't. He is after all, a survivor. She reaches down and scritches K'nert's chin. "Take some of the critters if you like." Because it's very unlikely that, even between the pair of them, they'd ever put in too much presence when it comes to the demons. "After is good. Then I won't feel like I have to duck off anywhere if things get interesting."

Letting off steam… that's something he might occasionally have to do. Jericho's life does sometimes get to the point where that might be necessary. Usually he takes it out on HYDRA but that's only when he's found them to take it out on. The rebels in the badlands would work just as well and anyway a more regular 'presence' would save a bit of headache. While humans may or may not work according to the Machiavelli's tennents it's definitely the case with demons that a little fear goes a long way. The offer to take some of the critters out gets a chuckle and a nod. How many other people would she trust that with? And how many others would be comfortable doing it?

"Sure, I'll do that." He watches as K'nert closes his eyes… well… slits them. He seems to enjoy the attention. It's one of the few times he ever sees Illyana's critters display an emotion other than fear, spite or bravado. "After then." Which means the two of them will be taking a trip reasonably soon, he imagines, though time does run rather widdershins here. "Anyone in particular deserve a bit of a spanking?"

"Is that on your favored methods of punishment? I'll have to warn Zee." Illyana jokes, setting her own plate aside and curling up a bit more comfortably against the hacker. It might be a sweet scene… except for the setting.

A number of demons have slunk in closer now that Illyana's here, her presence pulling at them for a variety of reasons. Jericho can feel the brush of scales against one arm as one fairly large demon settles on the floor mostly behind the column they're leaning at, it's large body curling around. Another, all limbs and ears uses the larger as a perch.

"There's a group to the south that's gotten large."

It's a testament probably to how much Limbo has become home that when Jericho looks back at the big scaley one behind them the look says 'really?' and not 'ick!'. They seem to do this a lot though. Mostly with Illyana but he's experienced a (lesser) version of it when he plays. They want to be close, so they don't generally bite or claw (sometimes) though shoving and josseling isn't out of the question. He doubts any of them would actually dare do that to her though, and he seems to be right. He gives Illyana a gentle squeeze and looks up at the red sky through the window at the far end of the throne room before glancing back.

"Depends on who I'm punishing and why." He grins and then leans his head atop hers. "South it is then."

There's a short pause and then he adds with a grin. "This seems to be a popular spot." He knows quite well why. Hell, in their place, he'd be trying to get closer. Albiet… probably for slightly different reasons.

Illyana sits there for a long moment more and then makes a growlfing sound. She smacks the demons lightly that have gotten in close. "Move, I gotta get up. Before I fall into a food coma and you guys start licking my face or something." She remarks dryly as she works on getting up to her feet. "C'mon, flyboy. You can be my ride."


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