2019-06-25 - The Once And Future Queen


Walking back from the diner, Illyana, Keiko and Elena are confronted by a body of spirits.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Jun 25 06:21:05 2019
Location: RP Room 2

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Theme Song



Awkward breakfasts are awkward, especially when they devolve into shouting matches. What's even more awkward than that though is the thought of someone with a small child get lost in New York because they have no sense of direction. Especially when that smile child is a relative and the mother of that small child is…

… well.

The trio is on the way back from the awkward breakfast. New York is as it always was. A crush of people going every which way. The morning rush has died down though and as they come to a park there aren't very many people. Which is fine. Most give Illyana a wide berth anyway and the that goes triple today with the semi-feral Peruvian and the child.

However just because there are no PEOPLE doesn't mean that they're alone. There is a tingle of magic in the air even for those who can't see it. Keiko can feel her tattoos going off like crazy. Whatever it is, its building around them as they move through the park. Which may seem odd but not quite as odd as the fact that Kilkenny is sitting in the middle of the path about a hundred feet ahead.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6 doesn't get boats in anymore, having been converted into a fairly extensive park. It's very close to the house where Illyana's moved in and she made a detour this way so that Keiko would know where it is. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to teleport to where they want to go.

And while Illyana could have just teleported them back, it wouldn't let Keiko know how to get to the diner later if she wanted to and sometimes? You just need to walk. After the confrontation with Piotr, Illyana's needed that time. It *has* been something of a quiet, awkward stroll, though. Hands shoved into pockets, it takes a bit before Illyana picks up on the magic, lifting her head as she slows to a stop and looks around with eyes narrowing. Spotting Killkenny is slightly reassuring. She knows the troublesome fox spirit in passing, at least. She gestures the other two to stick with her as she heads over his way.

"Are you getting into trouble again, fox?" The blonde asks, her manner casual but lacking some of her usual mocking.

Keiko has let Elena walk at least of the walk. The small peruvian is strong and fit but even she can't carry a five year old all that distance. She's kept her counsel since Piotr walked out, only responding to Illyana when addressed directly. Which means it's likely been a very quiet walk.

Even Elena's natural chatter that occurs when she's with Piotr is subdued. That's probably a lot to do with Keiko that anything. The woman isn't exactly maternal but she isn't cruel either. Just stern and distant.

"Pequena, hush now… and stay close. Just like we did in the citadel." she says as her tattooes start to sting. "There is something about." That's to Illyana as Keiko starts to glance about. It's second nature by now for her to call Bella, she touches the tattoo as she frowns at Kilkenny.

A few seconds later the huge demonic grey wolf appears to the side of the child. That's possibly a shock for Illyana. Bella is definitely a demon … not just a spirit.

"Kilkenny the hell is all this about?" That voice is Koa's and he's coming the other way. He'd been at the water end of this place and blinks as he sees the other three. "Illyana. Keiko. Elena."

His eyes narrow and he looks at the fox as if to say 'What's this?'

The Fox looks back at him and grins. Koa hates that grin. It means 'you'll see in a moment.'

"Me getting into trouble? Well. No. Not today I don't think. But there's been a lot of trouble recently. In important places. With important people… So…"

As the fox spirit trails off spirits begin appearing everywhere. Dog. Cat. Bird. Spirits of particular places in the city and spirits of wilder animals from further out, in the state parks and even from the river and ocean. A lot of them look like glowing animals but a fair number of them are humanoid or take even stranger forms.

"So we thought it was high time to settle the trouble. Especially since it involves the little girl."

These are spirits, not demons, but Keiko might be forgiven for interpreting that as a threat.

Illyana Rasputina gives Koa a nod as he appears, not particularly suspicious on *that* front. He's sort of like a bad penny. If a bad penny also shows up to save you. Seeing the spirits start to appear though, that's somewhat more worrisome. She's never had a problem with spirits, really but her nature *is* demonic, which some think is unnatural and then Kilkenny mentions Elena.

Illyana steps in front of the little girl, her staff appearing in one hand as she tilts her head forward and gives the fox a stern look. "Careful there." She warns the spirit.

"Agent Turner …" Keiko touches Elena's head gently as the spirits appear. "Just like we did at the Citadel." The girl nods, looking terribly serious. She moves a little, giving her mother room to move if needed, but not far. Bella positions herself in a guarding position to complement Illyana.

As the animal spirits start appearing, they can feel a tug on their consciousnesses.

"You will not touch my daughter." It's all she says. Even without her staff, she's prepared to defend.

Perhaps disconcertingly, her slitted eyes start to turn yellow.

"Touch your daughter?" A spirit off to the left grunts. It's a bear. Or maybe a moose. Moosebear?

"No we wouldn't dream of it." Kilkenny says as he takes a couple steps forward and then bends down, extending one foot while curling the other to make him bow to Illyana. All around the others follow suit, bowing to the Darkchild.

Koa's eyes widen at the sight. He's never seen the like. And then they narrow again. He gets it.

"Limbo's changed rulers a lot in the past little bit and spirits and splinter lords don't usually think on those time scales." He explains. "It'd be like waking up to find we had a new president. And then a week later another, and then a couple days after that, another."

"Limbo needs stability." Kilkenny says, still bowed. "And we recognize Illyana Rasptunia as the rightful ruler and do now pay homage to her."

There's another short pause and then from off in the crowd.

"Is the child her heir? Shall we recognize her too? What of the consort of the Pretender?"

That too could be interpreted as a threat. It isn't. But they're looking to Keiko and Illyana to clarify the power structure here. Limbo is important in the realms of dimensions around earth. And because of that it's important that the ruler - whomever it is - has a solid grip.

Koa starts to fold his arms and then stops. His right arm is in a sling, so that doesn't really work.

"It's alright Keiko, they're not going to hurt you or Elena."

It startles Illyana as well. You can force demons to bow, and they'll often grovel, but rarely do they 'pay homage'. There is, for at least a moment, an uncertainty as she looks around at the group.

Without taking her eyes off of them, she leaaaaans in a bit towards Keiko. "Why do I feel like I'm supposed to lift Elena up and have a lot more fur?" While the words are joking, she still hasn't recovered that in her tone. But she does relax as, clearly, they're not here for a fight.

Wrapping both hands around her staff, she leans a shoulder into it as she ponders the group arrayed about her. "I uh, appreciate the recognition." Because 'thank you' is still kind of off the table for her. Especially outside her 'inner circle'. She glances over to Koa with a raised brow, as though to ask what he might know about this when the questions arise.

"He wasn't a pretender." She says, looking back to them, voice raised with a sharp edge. "He held true to the belief that I would return. He held it for me as Regent and was welcome to whatever title helped him do so." Illyana is spinning it a bit, but it's based in truth. Piotr held Limbo, but he was never its true ruler.

Getting into Elena being Illyana's heir, that's getting into some sticky territory she'd rather be able to talk to Keiko and Piotr about. And Keiko herself? After the argument with her brother, making a claim to Keiko like that feels like twisting the knife, even if he's not here.

"I suppose I really am a Queen if you all want me to appoint an heir, hmm?" Illyana's tone finally has that sarcastic mocking she so often affects. "My brother will continue to serve. Regent if I am absent, and heir if I am gone." And hopefully he doesn't hate her for that.

Bella growls lowly as Kilkenny gets close. "Steady, Bella." Keiko growls, her eyes nearly entirely yellow again. Her eyes cut to Koa when he tries to assure her.

Please excuse her if she believe easily.

The Fox bows and Keiko understands what that means. "Bella, bow." The wolf turns to face Illyana and bows just like Kilkenny.

Just as Keiko herself goes down on one knee, Illyana leans in with that quip. "They aren't playing the right music." she says flatly as she descends.

Was that a joke?

Then she touches Elena's shoulder gently, the girl glancing at mother and the animals.

The peruvian is just a soldier. Not born or trained to rule. This is easy, this is almost natural, to do this. That thought should truly shock her.

Elena follows the prompt, taking a knee alongside her mother.

A statement. The Consort that was, recognises the Queens return and … willingly. As does the Heir to the now Heir.

Koa also drops to a knee when Keiko and Elena do and that leaves, for just a moment, Illyana the only one standing. Lets just make it unanimous, shall we?

Then he glances around. "Alright. I'm sure the Queen has noted your recognition and support." Hint hint. Break it up. Because this is a public park and people are going to start noticing.

By ones and twos the spirits start to disappear, still bowing. Koa can see them depart after they vanish from human sight. Soon, only Kilkenny, Bella and the non-spirits remain.

Koa gets up. Ordinarily he might stay down but he suspects that Illyana doesn't want people gathering around and asking questions or taking pictures. "Where the hell did you learn that?" He demands of the fox spirit.

"I'm eight hundred years old, Koa. You think I haven't watched human politics? It's the only interesting thing you people do besides se-"

"Aaand that's enough." The WAND Agent cuts him off and sighs, running his good hand through his hair. His eyes won't seem to settle on a color and it's only worse when his mind is racing.

"I mean for what it's worth I agree with them." Koa says to Illyana and Keiko. "Having seen how things were when I got there, I think you're the better of the two Rasputins to be ruling there. And there's the matter of the duel."

The matter of Koa publically handing Keiko and Piotr their asses, that is.

"Though I didn't know they were planning this. Makes sense though. It's statement. One that you just added to, Keiko."

Yeah, Koa recognized that.

"I doubt the other Splinter Lords observe human forms, but they would recognize instability and isolation when they see it. And apparently Kilkenny and the locals think that anyone making a power play at this point would be bad for everyone."

"It really would…" Kilkenny says. "That was bravely done, Lass." He echoes Koa's thanks to Keiko.

Illyana Rasputina's gaze settles on Keiko, as she kneels, and then Koa as well. A very faint smile that seems more sad than anything touches her expression as Elena joins her mother.

The acknowledged queen does relax as the spirits start to disperse, giving them nods as they go. Acknowledgement, yes. But also a measure of thanks, even if she can't be seen to give it. She gestures to Keiko and Elena to rise as Koa does so and as the Agent chats with Kilkenny, Illyana's attention is on Bella. She'd noticed the change in the spirit earlier, but it wasn't the time to show it. She looks back over to Keiko. "It goes deep, doesn't it?" The corruption. The changes.

Elena rises before Keiko, but only a little. "Better than sex?" She asks Koa and Kilkenny.

If Keiko had a sense of humour, she'd probably laugh. Because out of the mouths of babes and all that.

There's a long exhale as the animals leave "It was right. Piotr only held Limbo on Illyana's return. It was all that we fought for." Was it brave really? To acknowledge the thing that they had strove for? She doesn't think so. But who would understand the sort of sick, twisted loyalty that is Keikos?

Bella dissipates on another touch to her tattoo and those slitted yellow eyes look back at Illyana. "Yes." a simple answer. "More since I completed the ritual. I can … taste it."

"Well I don't know about better. I'm not sure which might be more interesting but se-"

Koa kicks the fox spirit. "Hush you. Stop corrupting the youth." She's got enough of a head start on that already, he does not say.

Koa's eyes also cut to the wolf before it vanishes. The spirit that used to come beg for ear scratches and belly rubs. Limbo's touch lingers and for those who have lingered in Limbo yes it cuts deep.

"Seven years…" He murmurs. "It's a long time to have to hold out." But then… both women know that.

"Were you able to get the place back in order?" That's to Illyana though it might be of interest to Keiko. He's not completely sure that she went back to deal with the chaos that must have resulted from the 'rescue' effort but that's what he would have done in her stead.

And it sounded like the demons were quite… fractious.

"Speaking of the big guy, where is he?"

Koa may regret asking that.

Illyana Rasputina arches a brow at Elena and then looks to Keiko before holding up a hand. "Not my kid, I don't want to know." She starts to speak again, and then pauses, looking around and frowning. "Screw it. On me." And then she raises a hand, summoning a stepping disk to take them all back to the house. The park was like, two blocks away. She can just point it out to Keiko later.

Koa's question as to the State of Limbo, Illyana gives a nod. "I'll need to spend a lot of time there for a while to beat it in to everyone's heads that yes, I'm back and yes, they'd best fall in line, but for the most part, yeah." She looks over to Keiko. "It helps that the strongest faction was comprised of those that were 'loyalists'. Setting up Piotr as King in my absence was how they expressed being true to me."

"As I'm sure you're well aware of, ruling Limbo isn't much of a 'win' to most people." To the power hungry? Sure. But to many, it's more a cross to bear. Illyana looks down to Elena. "So I don't want to name you my heir. Not without talking to your folks first." And even if both of them were OK with saddling Elena with that potential burden, it'd be best if she had a Regent until she was older anyhow.

Illyana's mouth tightens at Koa's question, not answering. Guess that's gonna fall to his 'wife'.

"Come Pequena…" Keiko holds out a hand to Elena, not understanding the reaction the girls words get from the other two. There's not much privacy in Limbo after all.

"Many factions." she agrees as Illyana speaks, a hint of something flashing across her face at that thought. Elena gazes up at Illyana with pale blue eyes, not quite as cold and icy as the Demon Queens. "Papa is your heir…" it's said happily enough. Maybe Piotrs influence had been sufficient for her.

Keiko sighs at the last question but doesn't get to answer. "Papa got mad when Tia Illyana told him that Mama was hers. He went for a walk and will be home soon. Maybe he'll bring icecream with him."

And there it is.

Kilkenny scurries in when Illyana starts her disk. And then they're back where it all started again. That's going to leave an interesting resonance in this house, he suspects. He'll… have to drop by more frequently to make sure the weak sport is still under control. Which is fine. His case load at the moment is a lot of investigation so he's got time.

"Oh…" Koa says looking between Illyana and Keiko. And it's less 'oh' and more 'Ooooooooooohhhhhhh…' As if by stretching the word out he can disperse some of the impact that moment must have delivered. Koa can absolutely see Piotr not taking that well.

"He never… he didn't know how you looked at things." It's sort of a question but not much of one. An invitation for elaboration not that he thinks either will want to elaborate.

"He'll come around. He loves you. Both."

The interaction between Elena and Illyana is… very interesting. The child seems older than her years. Maybe that's the Limbo or maybe it's the fact that she might not be entirely human. He can't be sure on that unless and until someone takes a closer look at the kid.

"She'll be staying here then? Or…" Somewhere else? Somewhere more secure. Koa lets that hang in the air before looking at Keiko meaningfully and saying…

"She's got your eyes, Illyana." Not the color of them now, he means. The way they went white in Limbo when she started speaking to the demons.

Illyana Rasputina gives a slight grimace as Elena tells Koa what happened, but she doesn't chastise the child. It's the truth.

Looking over to Koa as he makes his observation she dips her head in a short nod. "I.. never told him much. About Limbo. About any of it." She admits. "He already blamed himself so much for not saving me. What's done is done, and I figured knowing all of it would only hurt him more. He had the expected modern reaction of 'you can't own people'."

When he asks about 'her', she peers at him. "Who, Keiko? Or Elena?" She gestures into the house. "If Elena stays is up to Piotr and Keiko. If Keiko and Piotr stay," She looks over to Keiko. "Is their decision. I never meant my claim to be stifling." But there would be no getting out of it being onerous at times.

Illyana looks back down at Elena when Koa mentions their eyes, and then smirks at the girl. "Then she should give them back."

It's a tender moment when Keiko smooths Elena's hair back. "I'm sure he'll bring something, pequena." There's no smiles and the affection doesn't touch Keiko's eyes. "Piotr will decided what to do with Elena. I just want her to be safe."

As to the rest. "I am staying. I have work here and I don't have to return to that room, except to clear it out." beat "Piotr can stay, if that's what he wants." But not 'together' as everyone seems to expect. At least, not yet.

Elena squeals in delight at Illyana's teasing and covers her eyes with her hands. "You have your eyes. Papa says they're like yours though. He told me stories about you when you were younger than me and he'd read to you…" Because of course Piotr would.

"Can't own people? People do that all the time. They just use different words…" Koa shakes his head.

He smiles for a moment as he watches that, though it's possible no one will see it. There are plenty of stories that do not end will in his world. Plenty of times when the monsters win, or when the rescue comes too late and people are just too hurt to ever be themselves again. This time, maybe, that did not happen. This time maybe everything works out.

"Where the hell did Kilkenny go?" The fox spirit has wandered off. Koa's about to go looking for him when his phone buzzes. He winces a bit fishing it out of his pocket and looks at the message.

"Work calls. I'll check in on you guys later though." Possibly not as a group but definitely individually and he'll definitely be by the house to make sure things are going well.

"There's some stuff with the clothes about some counseling and therapy WAND will provide if you think you need it. Comes standard with what you've all been through but it's optional." Well, except for Sam probably who is gonna get an eval anyway courtesy of SHIELD.

"Tell the big guy I said hi. Oh, and I need to talk to you later about what to do with her." Koa works the door open - life is a bit tricky with only one good hand - and heads on down to the street looking a lot more normal - and healthy - than he feels. Predators don't let on.


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