Demon Battle in Limbo

Summary:
March 18, 2015: Jericho is pitted in battle in Limbo against rebel demon forces, thinks of Zee and she appears…

Limbo


Characters

NPCs

  • K'Nert

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


Limbo is an extention of Illyana. Well really, it's an extention of anyone who rules it, but Illyana is the current ruler (to the extent that such things make sense in a place where time is something that can be manipulated) so there it is. Jericho is, himself, an extention of Illyana to a degree and that means that Limbo acts… oddly, around him. Frequently without him meaning for it to. Well, always without it meaning for him to. Today it's about to be particularly odd and interesting. Jericho's musing before a fight. He does that sometimes. He's musing about the information that he and Illyana and Zee uncovered recently and wondering what the mageling is up to at this moment as he prepares for a literal battle.


Zees been working out at Shadowcrest, dressed in a black croptop, leggings and joggers. Today has been about stretching and flexibility with a bit of cardio thrown in. The cardio includes of a run around the block and Zee's currently about to enter the mansion from the street, a towel draped around her neck. She's still wearing the diamond encrusted collar and the emerald Primal Force pendulum is attached to the waist of the leggings, hanging at her left hip.

Just before she can step through the portal to Shadowcrest, the world spins around her and she finds herself face to face with Jericho. After a few long moments, placing her hands on hips, she cants her head "Sympathetic connection, Jericho?"


Jericho quirks an eyebrow at Zee's sudden appearance. "Perhaps." He says softly. "Nice outfit." It may take her a moment to realize that she's surrounded by demons. A few of them are looking at her but most of them are facing forward. There's… thirty? Forty? All arranged in a loose line. Opposite them are a hundred, maybe a hundred fifty demons in a less ordered mob.

Jericho himself (and now Zee) are standing on a small rise in the center of a loose 'formation'. The hacker himself is… er… well he's dressed unusually, that's for sure. Mesh shirt. Leather pants. Open long coat with the sleeves rolled back with spiked cuffs (not quite long enough to be bracers) on both wrists. Heavy combat boots that come up to the calf. Yeah, he never looks like this.


Giving Jericho a thorough once over, Zee might be distracted from noticing the demons for a few minutes "Well, at least I can see what Illyana might be attracted to." She smirks a little, that's retaliation for the 'nice outfit' comment, until she realises where they are and what's surrounding them. "You're dressed for battle?"

Stepping up beside Jericho, Zee suddenly feels incredibly underdressed, almost like getting caught wrapped in a towel on the way from bathroom to bedroom, and looks out over the vista. She goes very, very pale.


"I'm here for battle." Jericho replies, his tone low so as not to be heard by (many) of the demons around them. "Illyana magicked up the clothes to 'make a statement'. This tends to be the kind of thing Limbo picks for me. I can explain it later." The gist, though, is that Illyana doesn't really (at least consciously) choose what either she or he wears when she uses magic to conjure up clothes. Which is why she never conjures up sleepwear, she's told him. "But yes, about to be a fight. If you're staying, follow my lead and whatever you do, don't show doubt."

He reaches behind him to the one piece of leather on him that isn't black and unfolds his sword. As he does, silvery metal flows from what look like metallic scars in his forearms (different from his traces) and cover them and those spiked cuffs. "I'll give you a moment before I signal the charge, if you need it."


"I can't very well get home on my own, can I" Zee looks around for K-Nert, knowing that the imp is the only way Jericho himself has to address that. Not seeing the imp, readily… hey, Hensen might be hiding, Zee sighs. "I'll stay, but I'm not fighting dressed like this…" too much exposed flesh and no magical accoutrements. "And of course, I'll follow your lead. I'm not stupid." she's resigned to the fact that she's going to do this, like it or not.

~~ gnikroW sehtolC ~~


Jericho watches as Zee's clothes turn into her usual swallow tail coat and stocking'ed outfit. Though… the coat seems to be red. A lighter shade, once that seems to compliment her collar. "Mmmmm…" Is all he says about that, wondering if the color was her choice or not. "I'll keep 'em off Don't be afraid to kill. I suspect you'll need to."

Jericho raises his voice. "Forward!"

The line of demons begins to trudge forward. The mob about two football fields away watches as they approach, the formation bowing slightly where Jericho moves to the front, forming a shallow V. There isn't that far to walk. Two hundred yards. One fifty. At one hundred the rebel demons break ranks and begin to run toward them in a mass.

"Hold!" The hacker snarls to the demons around him. Not yet. Just a moment longer…


Zee looks at the colour of her coat, a tiny frown crossing her face, the collar and pendulum still in place. She's not saying anything about the change in her jacket colour, striding forward as she follows Jericho.

As the rabble charges, Zee stands behind and to the left of Jericho, holding herself tense and waiting….


At twenty five yards Jericho lifts his sword above his head. "CHARGE!" He breaks into a run, his traces starting to glow blue and then in a moment his form has been obscured by a demonic werewolf made of blue light and his sword gets commensurately more massive. The demons charge happily, needing no incitement to violence. It seems to be their natural state.

The two lines clash with an ear splitting screech. Jericho's force is outnumbered something on the order of three to one but he doesn't hesitate, carving a wide and bloody path through the rebel lines with his gunblade. Zee may notice that Jericho doesn't fence. He fights. There's skill to his swordplay, but every move is aimed at the destruction of the enemy before him rather than anyhing else. Makes sense. He learned his blade play from Illyana, who uses her own regularly in battle.

Three brutes bar Jericho's way now, slowing his progress and while several demons followed in his wake with Zee, there's enemy all around.


Zee isn't a fighter, she's not trained for it and she's certainly not trained for this. It's horrifying and overwhelming, the sound, the smell, the feeling in the air. The young magi is horrified at what she's seeing, but knows that she has to press on.

Zees' magic works because she has a strict way of understanding how it should work… to create bindings, she needs something she see's as being able to bind. To create fire, she needs something she see's as being able to create fire. The truth is, as Homo Magi, Zee has the power to completely remake reality, if she wishes.

Seeing the three brutes in front of them, slowing Jericho, Zee closes her eyes. A quiet supplication to an unknown deity, perhaps? Opening her eyes again, Zee focusses on the three brutes ahead, she isn't quite sure how to help Jericho… but she flings her hands up, palms facing towards the brutes in front and speaks

~~ yortseD ehT snomeD daehA fO sU, raelC ruO htaP ~~

Unconsciously, Zee draws on her own innate ability… and channels her power towards the three, at least, in front of them.


People don't fight like this anymore. And even when they did, it was never like this. This is war. War at it's most basic, most brutish and most brutal. Zee may have known Jericho as a hacker and a soldier. Whether or not she truely understood what the latter meant before today is an open question. But regardless she's getting an education now as demons slaughter one another around her.

Zee's will forms in the air, a wave of palpable force as she unleashes her need to keep moving forward. Sigils swirl in the air about her victims, burning as lances of light spear through them and cook them from the inside out in seconds.

Jericho spares a glance behind him, nods, and then takes the next group of attackers. His plan is simple. Split the enemy line and destroy it from the inside out. A group of flyers comes at him with claws and talons, shrieking. Two are shot from the sky, a third relieves of it's left wing and left for the loyal demons in his wake, a fourth messily splatterd on the claws of his free hand. "Keep moving." He says to the mage. "Don't let up."


Jericho's instruction receives no verbal acknowledgement, instead Zee maintains the focus on her spell. Using her will, she widens the force of effect, not just three now, whatever her power will take.

A magi, doesn't have an unending well of power. That well, is like magical muscle, it needs building up and stamina developed. Zees expending a lot of her stores in smiting these demons, the strain starting to show on her face. But still… the nineteen year old maintains pace with Jericho, sending her power forth to clear their path.


Mintues in a fight feel like hours when every second brings a new threat to life and limb. Jericho has chosen a path through the thickest section of the mob, where the largest, nastiest demons have gathered for a reason. As the soldier and the mage gut the formation, the line begins to buckle. After what seems like an eternity the rebel demons break and run. With a cry Jericho sends the remaining loyalists after them.

The pursuit rolls away but he doesn't feel the need to supervise it. He'll be hunting for answers to some rather burning questions later. And there might be some interrogating to do. For now though, it's just he and Zee amind the wreck and carnage of the battlefield.


It takes a long moment for Zee to let her power fade, she's fairly focussed on burning a way through. When it does, she looks around at the carnage, covering her nose at the smell and blanching. Faint lines of stress appear around her eyes and she's breathing hard. Magic, takes its toll…

Raising her eyes to Jericho, Zee looks grim and a little shocked. "Do we follow?" She's not sure if she wants to.


Jericho flicks black blood off his blade and wipes it down as he lets his traces power down, revealing the man behind the power fields once more. He's burnt from feedback but it's not too bad. "No." He shakes his head. "They can handle the pursuit."

He glances around. "First time in a fight like this?" He wouldn't be surprised. How many people, even heroes, have ever been to war?


Zee raises an eyebrow at the burns "Want me to heal those… you know I can and I have something left to do it." she sighs as she looks around at the carnage "I would like to heal, pull on that side of my nature." The kind and nurturing side, the side that encourages growth and doesn't destroy.

The question, gets an amused and resigned look "Yes, first time." Not many nineteen year olds in this day age get to fight a full on battle, with demons no less.


Well not many no. Though Zee might be a little surprised how very young the US Military can be. When he got out, a few years back, Jericho was an Old Man there. And he's only thirty one now. "Save what you have for now. K'nert's not back and we're not quite out of danger." Mostly out of danger. Danger is unlikely, but the hacker doesn't assume anything.

"How are you feeling?"


Zee clenches her jaw at the instruction, she wants.. needs… to feel something positive from her power. But she simply nods to Jericho.

"I… I don't know how I feel. That…. " she gestures around them "I've… never done anything like that before. I don't know how I did it, really." Turning her back to Jericho, Zee takes a long deep breath and lets it out slowly "I don't like what I did, Jericho. I did it, because I trust you and you said it as needed… but I don't like it."


That's not an uncommon reaction. Zee has had no training in this kind of thing, not that any kind of training ever prepares you for battle but there is at least, for a soldier, the mental acknowledgement that battle is a possibility that has to be faced. "These are demons that defy the rule of the one person who keeps them from running amok on our world and support someone who has sold dangerous arcane knowledge to HYDRA. I promise you, if your conscience is bothering you, this was in the cards whether you came or not."


"I know Jericho, but I don't need to like it to know it was necessary. I… " she hugs herself and rubs her arms "worry that it becomes to easy to do… that each time I loose more of myself" Shaking her head, Zee looks at her jacket and focusses her will on it, turning it from red to black. "I just want to be… me."


"And what is that, to your mind?" Jericho's turned and folded his blade away. There's the spiked leather cuffs again, as the silvery metal receedes into those odd scars on his forearms.


"Someone who cares about taking a life, any life." Zee turns to watch the fading silver "Remember, when I met you… I stood up to John, told him I thought there was good in you." It had caused John to flounce off in a huff and get rather stern with her on another occassion. "This…" she looks around "Was too easy to do. Whether it was necessary or not, I drew on power I didn't know I had and I just used it. Didn't think twice."


"I don't know if anything I can tell you will be a comfort." Jericho says quietly. "This was war. It gets easier in some ways. But I won't say that it doesn't change you. It does. Ask any soldier."


"Life changes you, Jericho." Zee's realistic enough to know that. "I'll work it out… " and she'll have to be careful in the future… "I also need to work out what that was I actually cast… it felt like my magic, not changed by here… but I'm not sure." The scars on Jericho's arms get a look "Going to tell me about those?"


Jericho glances down. Both his forearms have bands of that silvery metal circiling from just above the wrist to just below the elbow. They look like scars from some kind of incision, but they're a silvery metal instead of scar tissue.

"So, you may have figured that my blade isn't a normal sword." Or a normal gun for that matter. "It was forged here in Limbo and it's… linked to me somehow. Illyana warned me that it could be used as a channel for magic to me." Which is why he's never without it. Though Zee knows that'd have to be a very close link.

"Part of the ritual for getting it involved me bleeding, quite a bit, then sticking my hands into a crucible full of molten silvery metal and drawing it out. Something about it's form being shaped by my essence." He reaches behind him and unfolds the blade. As he does the silvery metal flows out of the scars and covers his arms completely smooth, like bracers of mercury. "When I unfold it, they do that."


"I guess. You're so different, I hadn't really given the sword much thought. It just is." Zee watches as the metal flows over his arms. Zees' heard of the crafting practice but hasn't seen it or the results of it.

There's an academic interest in her eyes as she considers "That makes sense, any item that closely linked to a person requires something of them. Blood is often the easiest to work with." Nodding slowly "Illyana's correct, of course she is, if someone works out how closely that's linked with you." she shakes her head at the thought. "Notwithstanding that it would have hurt when they were created, do they hurt now?" Narrowing her eyes slightly, she inspects Jericho's face "Either you're used to the pain or they don't." Overall, it's a pretty nice piece of spellwork and Zee looks impressed.


Jericho chuckles. "I'm different in a lot of ways." He's not sure which one she means but that's a generally true statement about him. "I am used to pain. And fear. And a few other things. Comes of being a soldier. But no, these don't hurt anymore." He glances down at them again. "I do wonder though, at the similarities between these and the armor Illyana displays sometimes when she draws her Soulsword."

"Mmmm…" Jericho grunts after a moment of thought. "Either way, there you have it. Speaking of distinguishing marks, I noticed your coat was red."


"Illyana performed the crafting ritual" Zee shrugs and smiles a little "A practioner typically uses what they know. You're tied her, pretty closely from what I've seen, why wouldn't she use similar materials? I get the feeling you're important to her."

Glancing at her jacket, now black "It was." shrugging, the smile fades leaving a rather solemn Zee in place as she looks up to Jericho "Just something else that's different, I suppose."


"Makes sense." Jericho murmurs. There's other reasons that it might play out like that too. Like the fact that Limbo recognizes him as part of her. As indeed, do many of her demons. Which is why they'd allow him to lead them in a fight. To a fight would be easy. In a fight is another story.

"Lots of things change, as you said." There's a skittering sound nearby as K'nert approaches, hissing and growling. Jericho responds in demonic. "Well, looks like your ride is here."


Zee looks over to Hensen. "Did you have fun, K'Nert?" she's sure the little imp did, even if she didn't. With a murmur of her own, Zee transforms her clothes back, although she might be focussing a little more than usual on what is, to her, a rote spell

~~ teertS sehtolC ~~

"Ready, Jericho." Casting another look around, the young magi looks back to the Hacker "Call, or think of me" she smirks a little "if you need help, alright?"


The rather unusually dressed Jericho smirks back and nods. To K'nert he speaks again in demonic, directing the imp to see Zatanna back and then come on back here for some interrogation. Which is demonic for 'fun'. Then he turns to go see to the other demons, the long coat flaring behind him as he strides away.


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