2019-06-24 - No More Yielding But A Dream


Koa makes it to Liveworld to rescue Sam and Illyana.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Jun 24 01:04:45 2019
Location: Liveworld and then Limbo

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Theme Song



It's been a grueling few weeks for Sam and Illyana. As Sam observed earlier, thing seem to come in waves, so at least they're not constantly dealing with dreams turned to nightmares. Or… just nightmares.

Sleep has been next to non-existent. Even when it's quiet enough to do so, they just can't quite seem to get there. But while they're constantly tired, they're not having a psychotic break, so something about being in the dream realm must be feeding that part of their brain enough.

They've had friends and families visit them, sometimes to reminisce about old times, but often to meet some grisly end. They've been attacked by old enemies. They've been forced to look into the mirror of themselves, good and bad. To say it has been emotional would be an understatement.

It's daytime, for what it's worth. For as long as it lasts. Sam and Illyana are enjoying one of the lulls in the dream realm's tortures. Sam's got his back to one of the large redwood-like trees and Illyana is sitting in front of him with her back to his, her arms crossed on one of his knees and using that as a pillow as she dozes. They're clothes are a wreck, they've lost weight, they're beat up. You learn to take a moment's quiet where you can get it.

Sam thought he knew what hardship was. He grew up poor, after all, rationing food, rationing money. Making do with what they had. But it wasn't like this. For one, he'd had the comfort, the warmth, the protection of his family. And, while Illyana had no doubt cushioned him a great deal, given him a lifeline, there was only so much she could do to hold back the desperation.

He's done his best not to show it, though. He tried to stay optimistic, to keep working, to be brave. For her, at least. But part of him had begun to despair.

He strokes a hand over Illyana's blonde hair as she sleeps and closes his own eyes, just for a moment. They burn, but he's trying to stay awake. He needs to keep watch. Just in case.

There's a noise off to the side. It sounds like a hissing. Bacon frying. And then a spinning and heaving 'clacking' sound of something metallic and large locking into place. The air shimmers as if with heat and then about six feet off to the side of the tree something happens. It starts with a point of multicolored light and expands rapidly into a portal showing a shifting, writhing field of beams and stars. THAT rapidly resolves into the view of a man standing in a large brickwork room, covered in silvery metal. Behind him, about forty feet behind him, there's an altar with two people on it, one large and dark haired, one small and dark haired. They look pained and exhausted.

But the man, well, he steps through. And it's someone that Sam knows. Someone Illyana knows too. Koa Turner, though Sam has possibly never seen him like this. Eyes glowing bright bright red. Sigils burning in the air above his arm. He stops right over where the other two are sitting.

"You two look like shit."

Sam Guthrie gently shakes Illyana. He knows he should be skeptical and he still is, but there's something…tangible here. Koa's probably not a figure he would've picked out of his subconscious.

"Wake up," he says softly, "All due respect, sir, you look like solid gold, pepperoni pizza and apple pie all rolled up in one to me right now. That is, if you're real. I gotta hope you're real." he says. His voice is cracked. It's clear he's close to his last legs.

The sound might have woken Illyana on its own, but Sam's warning shake has the blonde coming awake with a jerk. She peers over as the gate opens and works on pushing up to her feet where she sways a bit.

There's none of the usual air of amusement about Illyana that she usually affects when she's on Earth. Treating everything as though it's some sort of joke or game. Her features are drawn but at least the pair of them don't look years older than the last time Koa saw them. "Koa?"

Illyana's gaze moves past him, to the room beyond. A room she damned well recognizes and it makes her pale a bit. No one should be in that room. Is this another of her dreams? She shakes her head a bit while Sam voices that hope. She stands there, fixing her attention back on Koa, waiting.

"Yeah. It's me." Koa says. He taps something on his neck. Something that looks like a shark tooth pattern an inch wide drawn in silvery lines all the way around his neck. A closer look reveals that rather than ink of some kind, it's metal. Also the way it 'tink tink tinks' when he taps it.

"I'm real enough. Remember this? Got Sam's message a little bit ago. And then a much louder not too long ago. You guys weren't in the first couple of places I looked."

He at least offers a hand down to Sam to help him up as well. "I don't know how much I'd like a golden pizza apple pie. We get you back to earth you try it and let me know if it's really all that wonderful, Guthrie. And call me Koa, really. It's fine."

There's a short pause as he looks around. "I'd ask where we are but I think the more important question is 'why can't you leave'?" He's also curious HOW they got here but that ones not so hard to puzzle out, so he leaves it for the moment.

Sam takes the hand, giving as firm a grip as he can in his weakened state, pulling himself back up to his feet. "Illyana's powers have been…bound somehow. Some sort o' evil witch or somethin' tricked us here, then chained her up to keep her from usin' her powers to get us outta here. Don't suppose you got any tricks to get those undone, too?" he asks.

He's feeling a little more confident as he kneels down to offer his hands to Illyana, trying to help the golden haired woman to her feet. His clothes are a bit tattered, no doubt, and there are a few marks and scratches on his body from a few conflicts along the way.

As Koa taps the silver about his throat, Illyana's eyes close a moment. Koa will feel the the bloom of magic about his throat but it's little more than a tickle. It's not anywhere near the rush that normally comes from the sorceresses power. Sam will see faint eldritch flames play over the ring for a moment before fading away.

Relief floods through Illyana, and unusually to Koa at least, it's reflected on her face. She reaches out to squeeze one of Koa's hands with her own. "I think he is real." She says, voice strained.

Illyana nods as Sam explains, adding in things she figures are relevant. "We're in a Dream realm. Sam had been having dreams where someone was calling for help, and one of his dreams he managed to come back with a piece of it that let us get here." Lifting her chin, Koa can see it's not shadows or dirt at her own throat, but a matte-black collar with intricate arcane writing. "It's an Anchor. I got it off the Damsel in Distress, but then it turned on me."

"Evil witch huh? I wonder…" Koa's face twists in distaste as he thinks back. "Pale skin. Green hair. Horns? That kind of evil witch, perhaps?" Because there are lots of coincidences in this world but… THAT kind of a coincidence? Those kinds of coincidences don't happen often in Koa's world.

In any case he's definitely getting the picture that people have been trapped for a while. These two not as long as the other two he had to deal with (and fight) but even so it surprises him when the sorceress reaches out to squeeze his hand. Relief, yeah. He gets that. They've been stuck. In a dream realm with things toying with them both. And the fear is he's an illusion.

But he's not. He squeezes back and looks closer at the collar on Illyana's neck.

"Well shit. That's a hell of a thing you've got." He says quietly. "Splinter lord levels at least. I can get this off yeah but it's going to be a bit…"

He trails off and looks from Illyana to Sam. "Your file says that you can put up protective barriers. Can you put it around more than one person?"

Sam Guthrie nods, "If I couldn't, I'm not sure either of us would be alive. Yeah, I can cover most of a room, if I gotta. Tighter the better, the stronger it is, but I ain't afraid of a little cuddlin' if you ain't," he says.

He puts an arm around Illyana's shoulder. "That ain't what she looked like at first, although the green hair matches. But I get the feelin' the version o' her we saw ain't the real her, if you get my drift, sir," he says. He just can't help himself with the sir.

Illyana Rasputina leans into Sam without really thinking about it. They're all they've had to lean on amidst everything that's gone on and she's so. Damned. Tired. She nods with Sam as well. "Yeah, she had green hair at the end. Really pale, like paper." Then she frowns. "We didn't leave our bodies behind so she shouldn't have been able to possess them or anything. How did you know?"

Later. Much later, Illyana will be so very embarrassed about getting caught like this. She's supposed to be the ruler of Limbo and she's little more than a powerless girl here. Oh, how that grates.

"Koa, Guthrie. Call me Koa." The WAND agent says with a shake of his head. Newer agents are often like that and WAND is a bit more relaxed because bureaucratic rank doesn't often correlate to either respect on the outside world or raw magical power.

"We've met." Koa informs the other two rather flatly. "She caused a riot in the Bowry and then took four people to subdue when we finally tracked her down. I've got her stuffed down a very deep, uncomfortable warded hole in one of our containment facilities."

He waves that off for the moment. That had ALSO been deeply unpleasant. It's been like that for a couple of days.

"Alright. Sam I need you to put your barrier over Illyana because when I start this there's gonna be some fireworks." He extends a hand but doesn't quite touch the blonde sorceress' throat just in case Sam's barrier doesn't allow for that. This'll work either way.

"Whenever your ready."

The moment Sam signals that he is, Koa starts. It's instantly noticeable. He simply starts pulling magic in the form of a stream of glowing motes of power from the collar. The process is slow at first, like he has to pry them off, but it rapidly picks up speed. Fortunately the power doesn't seem to interact with Sam's barrier at all.

Sam just nods in agreement with Koa's instructions. He's glad to hear that the witch is in custody and contained, although part of him wishes he'd had a hand in putting her down. He's still ashamed of being tricked by her in the first place and feels like he owes a little payback.

"Ready," he finally says and there's a soft roar that erupts as his blast field generates, wrapping around him and Illyana with a cyclonic chaos, kinetic energy swirling and building as he nods and whispers in Illyana's ear. The word is simple


Illyana Rasputina gives a sharp nod as Koa says that WAND has her. The blonde will be interested in paying a little visit herself.

Koa's instructions, without any details on his *plan* has her looking at him with narrow-eyed consideration. And then Sam is putting his field up around her, and Koa is starting to pull magic from the thing and she's left… standing there. Needing their help. It's something she's really not used to and is likely to keep niggling at her long after the problem is fixed.

Seeing Koa starting to draw magic from the thing, Illyana sets her mouth in a hard line. She knows how much magic is invested in this artifact. She can *feel* the magic that he's drawing. And she knows how that can affect him. But if she stops him, that 'Home' that Sam's whispering to her remains an elusive dream. And so she lets Koa help her, knowing it's costing him.

Koa eats magic. It's as simple as that. He doesn't eat this much of it, well… ever. And if Illyana has some idea of what this will cost him, then it's possibly a good thing that Sam doesn't. Either way the calculus of this situation isn't changed by what it takes. The fact of the matter is if the collar doesn't come off then at best only Sam is getting out of here. Assuming Sam WOULD leave without Illyana.

Which Koa is betting he wouldn't.

So Koa pulls and pulls and pulls and it very quickly becomes plain WHY he wanted Sam to put that barrier up. The whole process is generating force, and heat. There's a whipping, shearing wind now dancing around the thaumivore and the arm that's extended starts to glimmer, then glow. After a solid minute of pulling it's glowing almost bright white from within, shadowed by the outline of muscle and sinew. Sort of the way a bar of iron looks when it's heated and near molten.

The other two might smell cooking meat.

"Keep that shield up Guthrie." Koa grunts. "This is the dangerous part."

He's got the stream going good and fast now. The magic is coming out so quickly that the individual motes can't be picked out. It's just one solid beam of magic flowing into Koa's arm.

"This might sting, Illyana…" He says and then turns the pull into a YANK. There's so much magic here he's not sure he can contain it all. But he CAN pull it out and put it into the space in front of them. Though there is a very real possibility of… BOOM.

Hence the shield.

Sam isn't that directly connected to his field thankfully. WHile he can feel the stress on it, it doesn't cause him pain necessarily. However, he can feel the strain in his mind, having to hold his concentration to buttress the field against the chaos and the power being expended against it. He has rarely had to hold it at this level, as if he were pushing the very limits of his rocket power, going up into the red. He's sweating and gripping hard at Illyana, gritting his teeth. The roar of the field is enormous, like a jumbo jet engine blasting around them as he does his best to hold it together and keep them from getting ripped apart.

Illyana Rasputina's hands are over Sam's where they rest on her, gripping back hard. But her pale blue gaze stays on Koa has he draws harder and harder on the magic. Her nostrils pinch at the smell of meat cooking and she knows where it's coming from. But she doesn't tell him to stop. Like Illyana's doppelganger alluded to earlier: She'll do a lot of things to ensure her own survival.

With Koa's YANK also comes a CRACK as the collar that's been around Illyana's throat for weeks falls away. It would be easy to miss that though, as Koa shoves the excess energy into the ground and the world *detonates*. Not like the normal boom of an explosion, but the fabric of the realm itself seems to blow apart, leaving the three of them floating in space with the gate a short distance away. They're the only 'solid' things left. The world around them twists and spins in a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes with dreams and nightmares occasionally pushing out of the chaos and into being, only to be spun apart a few moments later.

The explosion probably strains Sam's mental capacity even more but thankfully it's the last little bit. After that boom the draw stops. There's nothing left for Koa to pull. Also he's been flung several feet toward what was a very large rock but thankfully isn't when he gets there, since the rock and everything else have sort of dissolved into writhing multicolored energy. He hangs there in the air, dazed for a good minute or so before shaking himself and hissing in pain, though the latter is quiet enough that the others might not hear.

"Ow." He has a gift for understatement. "Tell me that worked."

He hopes it did because if so their only problem will be actually getting to that gate.

Sam Guthrie almost slumps, barely finding the wherewithal to keep on his feet as the strain finally breaks and, once he stops feeling the pressure, Sam allows the whining howl of his blast field to dissolve, stumbling down to one knee a little bit but keeping his hold on Illyana as best he can.

"I ain't got the first clue, but at least…we're somewhere…" he says, looking up at Magik. She's the real test after all - if she can step again, where they are now doesn't really matter.

With the gate still open, Illyana doesn't need to try to open a stepping disk. Which is good, given how much it messes with her. She turns so she can hook an arm around Sam and nods over to where Koa's floating. "Can you pick him up on a flyby and get us through the gate?" She looks around at the boiling mess around them. "I get the feeling we broke something."

And someone made that collar, and might have felt it break.

This is possibly a much better option than any Koa has for getting back to the gate since all of his options involve drawing more power and he really doesn't want to do that right now. When he looks up at the other two his eyes have gone from glowing red to a swirling chaotic rainbow that shifts in a way that is somehow… disturbing.

"Yeah, more than one thing got broken during this…" He says, keeping his arm in tight at his side. He's keeping most of the pain off his face but he hurts in more than one way and the others can probably tell.

Though they MIGHT be a bit distracted from that because when he says something else might have broken he nods toward the portal. And… well. The two people still on the other side of it. One of them MIGHT just be a tad familiar to Sam and Illyana. And the other a tad familiar to just Illyana.

Sam Guthrie wipes sweat from his brow but nods, "I got enough juice to get us to friggin' California if it means we're finally out of that place," he says. He's not sure what's going on with Koa or those others he can only vaguely see. Frankly, he can't give himself time to worry about it right now. Not until they were free and clear.

So he pulls Illyana under one arm and fires off, starting to blast, swooping low and scooping up Koa in the other arm as he charges towards the portal…

Having been here for so long, it's easy to think that something will happen at the portal. Something will pop up, keep them from getting across. But no, they cross that event horizon without a problem and there's a World around them again. One with rules that make sense. Well, mostly. They definitely make sense to *Illyana*.

As they land, Illyana looks around, taking in Piotr and Keiko passed out at the altar. The OPEN HEART and then looks over at Koa and just stares at him slack-jawed. "ARE YOU INSANE?!" Then she scrambles to close the thing down.

Well that's gratitude for you.

Koa just sinks onto the ground and props himself up against a wall when they finally land. He does have the strength to stand but he really, really doesn't want to. Instead he starts to rip a strip of his shirt off - which is tricky one handed - and tie it into a make shift sling.

It's a reasonable question that Illyana asks really and as the still chromatic eyed thaumivore looks up to her when she shouts it at him he has perfectly reasonable answer.


Sam Guthrie has no idea what any of that means, although he's obviously concerned seeing Piotr laid out, "Are they gonna be okay?" he asks, nodding towards the two unconscious figures. He has nothing to say about the magick stuff. He might as well try to advise Reed Richards on rocket science. Actually, he's probably more qualified for that, given his powerset.

He's sure they did something ridiculous to get them back. He also knows that Piotr is Illyana's brother - and knows he'd risk anything if his sister had been in a similar situation.

Koa's answer as Illyana just staring at him for a long moment before finally shaking her head.

The gate is shut down, and then Illyana moves over to check on Keiko and Piotr. Her mouth sets into a hard line and she looks back to Sam. "They're breathing." As to if they're going to be OK? That remains to be seen.

Rising up to her feet, Illyana raises her arms and opens a stepping disk at her feet. "Let's get everyone back to Earth and see if we can sort out this mess, hmm?" Koa might need a little help getting over there from Sam.

Illyana has no idea she might be missing someone.

Koa would very much like help from Sam yes. If one stands to close to him, he smells like a barbecue and that's really not a good thing. Worse, not that most people here know it, is the fact that he's got so much magic in him that it's probably going to keep burning - albeit in a different way - for a while.

"They're gonna need…" Koa's face twists again. "… help. Being stuck here… well…"

He doesn't say more. He doesn't have to. If Sam doesn't know he is sure Illyana will give him an education. He might be sliiiiightly disappointed at the state of his garden when he gets back to it.

"Don't forget the kid." Koa says nodding over to where the strangely quiet child is.

Leaving her would be bad. But yes he's ready to leave.

Sam Guthrie gets his shoulder up underneath Koa's arm, offering his support. He ain't in great shape himself, but he owes the agent for coming to their rescue. When he realizes there's an actual kid involved, he frowns. He wouldn't want a child endangered on his behalf, no m atter what.

But what's done is done. And for now, they have to get out of here. So he shuts his trap, nods to Illyana and does as he's told.

Illyana Rasputina's expression is grim as Koa points that out. She just nods. None of it is going to be help that can be fixed with the proverbial magic bullet. It's likely to be something that takes time.

And then he's pointing out the child and she blinks. What the devil is a child doing in Limbo?? "Riiiiiight." She gestures for the child to join them. Even if the kid balks, Illyana will just come back to get her. She can afford to make two trips if need be. Then she turns her face towards the ceiling and stretches her arms out to either side. The large stepping disk rises upwards and swallows them all way and back to Earth, where it all started.

Illyana's earning her damned free rent on this place.

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