Disturbing Connections

Summary:
March 16 2015: Jericho, Illyana and Zatanna investigate the source of HYDRA's magical knowledge and make a very disturbing discovery.

Yucatan, Mayan Ruins

A trio of step pyramids with some very old, very dark secrets.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[* None]


Jericho has been meaning to come investigate the ritual site that he's fairly sure was the genesis of the HYDRA operation. The question of how they got their hands on the knowledge they got has been gnawing at him. Finally he's made some space to come down to the Yucatan and find out for himself. Of course… he'll need help for it. So he's done the sensible thing and asked.

It's nearing dark when they arrive. There are three stepped pyramids rising out of the jungle. It's into a ruined courtyard, overgrown with greenery that the group appears in. The hacker produces his blade and looks around. "Place is supposed to be empty, but satellite was inconclusive." He nods toward the largest pyramid. "And I think there's definitely something here, if not someone." Call it a hunch. Or maybe the slightest whisper of blood magic at the edges of his HUD.

***

Illyana is dressed in leather and adorned in chains that chime when she moves. She doesn't pull either of her own blades, the more physical two, a sort of short sword sheathed behind one hip. Her nostrils flare, as though she can scent the taste of magic. "Something that's had time to fester." She says grimly, looking around. She lifts one hand, tracing out silvery symbols in the air before breathing on it softly. The circular shape spins slowly and then wafts away, swinging one way, then the other as it seeks out the stongest source of magic like a moth drawn to flame.

***

Zee's following behind the two Limbo dwellers wearing black denim jeans, black denim jacket and a bright yellow tank top underneath. She's swapped the high heeled knee high boots for a pair of hiking boots, still black but with a very solid sole. The only jewellery she wears is the emerald pendulum at her left hip and the diamond encrusted collar.

It's feeling in the air that causes her to pause, shudder and blanch… whatever it is, she's sensing it physically and it's affecting her. Even as Illyana draws the sigils in the air, the emerald pendulum at her hip begins to sway, pulling insistently in a direction. "Over there" her tone indicates she's certain of that, the pendulum… can't lie.

***

Illyana's spell and Zee's pendulum say the same thing. Down. At the base of the biggest pyramid there's a cleft that looks like erosion. On closer inspection, it's a ruined tunnel with a stairwell leading down. Jericho takes the lead, habit and instinct making him put himself in front of Illyana and the unknown. Down, down, down into the darkness the stair goes. Jericho's traces power up to provide some light.

At the bottom of the stair the passage opens up into a two tiered chamber. The lower teir has a dais. There's a pentagram inscribed into it and just in front of it a large obsidian orb, that's glowing faintly.

Illyana and Zee will be familiar with such scying orbs. It's a little known trick that they can be used as mystical answering machines as well.

***

Illyana falls into step with Jericho, easily stepping into the sheltered space that he creates. She still leaves her hands free, only waiting until Jericho gives a nod before stepping back around him to get a better look at the room.

"Well. Hello there." She says in that soft, grim tone. Her head swivels, taking in more than just the markings. Taking in the placement of things. "Feels kinda homey." She admits before looking over to Zee. "You wanna read that thing?"

***

Zee doesn't carry any weapons, doesn't own any - unless you count the sword Kane gave her the other night. Which leaves her following again, sticking close to use the light created by the traces.

Stepping to the other side of Jericho, Zee looks a little ill… whatever is in the air doesn't agree with her at all.

Snorting softly at Illyana's 'homey' comment, Zee focusses on the orb "Not particularly," her tone dry "but one of us has to… " Zees eyes narrow as she peers "Should check it out first, look for traps…" Why Zee is so cautious, who would ever know?

~~ wohS sU sparT, lacigaM rO esiwrehtO, dnA tahT hcihW sI neddiH ~~

A more complex spell than she usually casts but she's not feeling right abou this place.

***

The entire room lights up at Zatanna's spell. Lines of power all about the room. This place is almost literally wired for sound. All of them are focused on the circle and the orb. The orb lights up as well. There's a flickering image there. The message doesn't replay but it's a demon. A demon from that might be familiar to one in the party. A large, winged, arrogant looking horse faced thing. Even resting he looks like he's smirking.

Jericho's seen him too, not that he remembers. But he recoginzes a limbo demon when he sees one. "Damn."

***

Illyana's head turns as the lines of power light up, following them back to the orb. Seeing the familiar demon there her eyes flare white-hot, lips peeling back and flashing short flangs. The illusion of horns hover about her head, like a pipe dream. "N'astirh." She says it like a curse.

The blonde reaches out, her nails longer, almost claw-like as she moves to touch the orb, to trigger the message within.

***

A demon, is a demon, is a demon. Zee's be rereading her notes from Constantine and recognises the form if not the exact demon. Stepping clear of Jericho as Illyana reaches, Zee frowns but holds her tongue casting a questioning look at Jericho at the demons name.

***

Jericho's moved to Illyana's side by this point. He puts a hand on her shoulder as he watches. "That name… sounds vaguely familiar." He half growls. He doesn't get any more out though. Because the demon starts speaking.

"The pact is sealed and executed. Your magi now have everything they need to know to enact your dimensional transposition. All you will need is a power source. I shall provide you with that final key to the puzzle once payment is recieved in full." The demon grins widely. "It has been a pleasure doing business with you."

The message ends there.

***

Illyana's hand closes around the orb and the muscles in her arm stand out. Her whole manner goes tense. Oh. She is so tempted to pick that thing up and throw it across the room and make it shatter into a million pieces.

"N'astirh is from Limbo. He's one of the strongest demons there. It's usually his rebels that hound my gates." Illyana looks over to Jericho, and then further to Zee. "He's behind this." She says, almost spitting. "He's helping them!"

***

"There seems to be part of the story I'm missing" Zee, speaks quietly as she folds her arms over her chest. There's a number of questions she wants to ask "I take it then, that the payment is likely to help him in this rebellion…" She can only imagine what a Limbo demon might demand in payment.

***

"Not every demon in Limbo accepts Illyana's rule." Jericho says quietly. "The ones on the fringes fight with her and eachother a lot. When you came in with Jesana that one time, I'd been clearing them out." His eyes narrow and blaze. "Something expect I'll be doing quite a bit of tonight." He needs to know what they recieved in payment. Either from Hydra or N'astirh's people themselves. He'll get his answers. Eventually. Doesn't matter who he has to go through.

"Well, now we know where HYDRA got it's magic training from."

***

"So HYDRA has the magic they need and a source to power it. And N'astirh has whatever it is he wants." Illyana's lips press into a thin line for a long moment. "If you think of S'ym as the strongest physically of Limbo's demons, N'astirh is the strongest mage. The strongest thinker and planner." She blows out a quiet sigh. "So we have twice the problem. And our timetable is getting short." She taps the orb lightly, trying to gauge how old the message is.

***

Zee has at least seen S'ym and the thought that there could be a demon magi that strong has Zee's eyes widening. "So a group of Limbo rebels have teamed up HYDRA to develop dimensional portals. Lovely." Seeing Illyana's tapping the Orb, Zee looks at her questioningly "What are you thinking now?"

***

The message is close to two weeks old. The orb itself has been in constant use for almost six months before that. Easy to tell. The hacker watches as Illyana manipulates it. "One of the more powerful ones. There are several." If N'astirh is what Illyana says he is, and Jericho has no reason to doubt, then this is trouble, put possibly not immediate trouble. "They haven't moved on their plan yet. We might have time. On your side of things anyway. But you're right. If HYDRA has what they need now it's only a question of them moving assets into place." He takes a deep breath. He's going back to Limbo and to sort out some answers but for now… "What's a Dimensional Transposition?"

***

"Nearly two weeks since they recieved the message." Illyana says, looking to Jericho. "A puzzle… I wonder if he means that literally." She muses. Demons like puzzles. They like word games. They like fulfilling their part of the bargin and still making the other side pay.

"Transposition is like… swapping." The blonde's level look is getting to be all too familiar. Grim. "That's one hell of a bad idea. Swapping a piece of one dimension for another." She's not really sure she has words to adequately describe how bad that sounds to her.

***

Zee is replaying the message in her head, assessing it as she does. "I'm not sure… it sounds to me by the phrasing that they already were given the puzzle and have been working it out." she shrugs, it's all conjecture anyway.

Illyana's explanation has her thinking "Take part of the Triskelian, transpose it to Limbo… chaos ensues and you have what you want. Whatever was in that part of the building and people unprepared in defending against it. And you two tied up defending Illyana's turf." Not to mention the effects that will have on the natural balance of things.

***

"I don't think it's going to be the Triskelion…" Jericho says rather grimly himself. "I'm fairly sure they haven't gone to all this trouble for one building. They tried to blow it up, remember? No… they've got a bigger endgame in mind." His jaw sets. "I have suspicions but nothing more than that."

There's a long, long pause while he works through the worst of them before he grips Illyana's shoulder a little tighter. "I may need some help." This to both women.

***

"I don't think it's going to be the Triskelion…" Jericho says rather grimly himself. "I'm fairly sure they haven't gone to all this trouble for one building. They tried to blow it up, remember? No… they've got a bigger endgame in mind." His jaw sets. "Doubt they have Limbo in mind either. Illyana's domain. Too easy for her to interfere… I have suspicions but nothing more than that."

There's a long, long pause while he works through the worst of them before he grips Illyana's shoulder a little tighter. "I may need some help." This to both women.

***

Illyana shakes her head at Zee, agreeing with Jericho. "No… They're not working towards the same goals. They're helping each other towards different ones. N'astirh might have something in mind for Limbo. Definitely a plan to garner more power somehow." Limbo isn't the only avenue for a crafty demon. "HYDRA is going for something else. Something big. The stuff before this was the lead-up. The testing. What is it they're after." She muses, her tone strained as her eyes narrow in thought. "Or maybe a better question, is where." What dimension they're planning to target.

***

"Good questions." Jericho glances about. There's a… kind of a change in the cast of his features. His eyes are simmering with palpable rage and the shadows it casts on his face give him a decidedly feral look. Angry. Dangerous. "If you can find them here, I'll wait. Otherwise let's take what we need, wreck the site and get out of here. If they've not used the site for two weeks it's probably abandoned but I'd hate to take that chance." Beat. "Besides, I've a feeling I'm going to be busy." Knocking over snake holes and turning rebel camps inside out. Along with their inhabitants.

Oh, and gardening. Though he might want to wait till he's less angery to do that.

***

Illyana pulls the orb loose from its moorings, and passes it over to Jericho. She'd pass it over to Zee but honestly, she's worried the dark energies in there might harm the homo magi. Jericho's already plugged into her/, so he should be safe enough.

Then the blonde reaches for her sword. Not the one sheathed behind her, but the one that blazes with eldritch fire. She bears her tetth in something that's not even close to a smile. "This won't take but a moment." The orb she might have a use for. But the site? They'll need to start again from scratch by the time the Soulsword is done with it.

***

Jericho watches as Illyana dismantles the enchantments holding the site of power together. Her blade unmakes magic. Well that one does. Not so good on people. That's what the other one is for. He glances over to Zee. He's still upset, it's quite visible. And he probably will be for a bit. He can talk and explain later. For now it's enough that they have this scrying sphere and this place is useless. For the time being. Once done he leads the other three out so that they can get back to Gotham and Limbo respectively and hopes that the night remains quiet.


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