2019-08-06 - Can't Hide From It


Keiko goes to check in on Koa and give him a few facts of life.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Aug 6 05:17:24 2019
Location: Brooklyn

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Theme Song




Keiko has had it in her mind to look in on Koa Turner. She knows where she lives. She's probably the only person who has broken into his house twice and not been arrested. And that means when she wants to find him - if he isn't answering his phone - she typically can. The only one who can do it faster cheats and uses magic.

When Keiko gets to his rowhouse this time, though, the lights are off. The door is slightly ajar. When she goes inside it's not messy but it isn't exactly clean. It's somewhat cluttered. Things are out of place. And Koa is sitting with his back against a wall, in the dark, knees up and head bowed on them. He does not respond to anything.

Breaking into Koa's place is easy. All Keiko needs is her staff. The glazier absolutely loves her - she's very, very good for his business.

Today though, she's taken an uber and arrives outside his house in a more normal way. The open door is a concern - it's so not like Koa and after what Kalani had shown her, she doesn't hesitate. She just heads right on in.


Cautiously, she moves through the place - when she spies him huddled against the wall, the peruvian kneels beside him and puts a hand on his arm.

"Koa. It's Keiko…."

Koa is breathing but he doesn't look up. He doesn't respond. He doesn't look hurt, and there's no obvious reason around why he should be passed out. No drinks or pills or anything like that. He's just completely unresponsive.

"What are you doing here?" That's Koa's voice. Behind her, his astral form - that bestial, sharklike form - has come down through the ceiling and is hovering. The same shark tooth markings are on his neck as are on Koa's flesh and blood body. And there's a wild gleam in his eyes.

"Koa…" Keiko shakes his arm and reaches for her phone to make a call. Who though? Illyana is the best option, between them they'll work out what to do. She *could* call SHIELD, or WAND rather, but that might cause more problems than not. She can't leave him like this though, she knows that much.

Spinning, the peruvian presses her back to the wall as she looks at Koa's astral form. "Get back in your body. This isn't helping you …" she says quietly. "I came looking for you. I know what happened when you saved us that day. I know what Nightmare is doing to you."

Koa eyes her and it's not the annoyed way he usually eyes her. It's the look a shark gives a potential meal. His astral feet touch the ground and he moves around her, half phasing through his coffee table as he does.

"You did, did you? How did you do that, I wonder?" He knows she doesn't have magic. He knows someone would have had to tell or show her. Illyana? Unlikely. Illyana would have come to box his ears herself.

"I'm just fine at the moment." Is he? He had been struggling against his inner predator and at the moment, right at the moment, it seems a LOT stronger.

Oh right. Keiko had forgotten that she was a tasty morsel to Koa. He'd already taken a bite out of her soul and had tracked her to her room … what was years ago for her.

"Don't come any nearer, Koa." She says quietly, holding the rod that she carries just about everywhere. "Let's say someone who cares about you gave me a vision."

She's not surprised the predator is out. Keiko understands that. It's how she gets when her spirits push at her and in Limbo, she *needed* to be like that.

"Are you hungry?"

Koa stops and gives her a quirk-browed look, which looks odd in this shark-canine form. "You're standing in front of my body." He can't get into it if she doesn't want him to get any closer. He looks hungry. Maybe it's just the way his somewhat serrated maw looks every time he flashes a small grin.

"I am, a bit. I usually am." He tilts his head in an odd, almost canine way. "Are you afraid?" He takes just a half step closer. "Don't lie to me and just say no. I can smell, you know."

Keiko must have moved there unwittingly, the last she remembered was pressing her back against the wall. Must have been a reflex action to protect the downed agent. Even if that was from himself.

She shifts though, putting her back against the wall, leaving the astral form access to his body. "Why ask if you know the question?" That's the answer the peruvian gives. "I would be foolish not to be afraid, Koa but that doesn't mean I will run from you. You're my friend. What will it take to sate your appetite?"

"Maybe because I want to hear the answer…" Koa steps over to his own body and flows into it. Moments later his eyes open and he shakes his head and rubs them. It takes him a moment to stand. He's… stiff. And he can feel the power he pulled for that manifestation burning within him.

"What will it take?" Koa shakes his head and turns to head to his kitchen, motioning for her to follow. "Nothing that you can offer me."

He takes a breath and lets it out. "So. You know about Nightmare?"

"You want to know that you scare me?" The peruvians dark eyes follow the astral form. "You do. You scare me when you're like this. You ate a piece of my soul and you would again, if you wanted to." Would she offer that up to him if it helped? She's not sure.

"What did you pull the magic from to do that, this time?" Keiko is quiet as Koa stretches. "Are you sure it's nothing I can offer you? You've come after me before."

"I know about Nightmare, yes." Keiko follows Koa to the kitchen, gesturing to a chair for him to take. She'll find his vodka and the glasses and pour him a big one. "I also know what happened the day Witchfire ran a blade through your heart." beat "How long were you like that, by the way? And why?"

"Magic is all around us. I ate a few spirits…" Koa glances back. "Yum yum."

He hesitates a moment before turning to sit down, hitting the light switch on the way and bringing light back to the house. It is, yes, a bit cluttered. Looks like he's been too busy - or maybe too pained and exhausted - to put everything back in its place. His vodka is where he always keeps it. And it's cold, which is nice.

"I don't think there's anything you can offer me that I should take, no." The Agent shakes his head, recovering himself a little bit. He rubs the side of his neck.

"These teeth. Whatever they're doing they make the other side of me stronger, I think." He's not entirely certain but it feels like that's the case.

"How long was I what? Dying?" He shakes his head. "I don't know. Felt like an eternity. I think I SHOULD have died but…" Limbo and time.

Keiko shivers at Koa's words. "Don't say that… that's not you." she answers quietly eyeing the clutter. "Catatonic like you were when I found you just now… If I was to guess, you're like that a lot lately. Look at this place."

Once she's sorted the vodka out, Keiko busies herself - tidying the place as best she can.

"I would think so." She agrees about the teeth. She's guessing but she knows what Kalani showed her. "You know how many teeth there are there, don't you?"

"You did die, Koa. You were bought back but you're not completely, yourself."

"Two. There's two. I saw it in the mirror a little while ago. I didn't realize there had been a second." He's not sure when it got added but if Koa had to guess it would be when he projected in R'lyeh. That's the only time he can't feel things being done to his body.

"Ah, how long was I like this? Ten, twenty minutes? I can't hold these projections for very long. If I stay out of my body too long I snap back to it." He shrugs a little bit, takes the vodka and drinks.

"I died. What makes you say that?"

"Not just the filled in ones. All in total - there's nine, isn't there? Does that number mean anything to you?" She keeps herself busy as she sorts, stacks and tidies. Dishes are moved to the kitchen, ready to wash. "And there are two filled in, yes. I saw when the first was. The second one, I didn't see, but I suspect when it happened."

"I was shown a green demon replacing your heart, Koa. A horsefaced demon, in Limbo, on the altar there." Keiko shakes her head. "Your heart was shredded by Witchblades sword. You couldn't have survived. When he replaced your heart and performed a ritual, that first tooth completed."

"Nine…" Koa sighs and takes another drink of vodka. "Nine is one of those numbers that can have a lot of significance in magical circles. I can't prove what it means in this case but I suspect… nine locks on the Heart Gate in Limbo. Nine black virtues. The number seems to come up a lot there."

So… it is possibly something else that has come up because of his connection to the Rasputins. Another price to pay.

"I… don't remember that. A lot of pain yes but…" He looks down.

"That would explain why the WAND doctors were so squirrelly… AND why I recovered so quickly. I knew it was too much to hope that he'd simply used some kind of healing magic…"

A demon's heart. What will that do to him?

Keiko hadn't said demon's heart but she'd implied it heavily. She stops what she's doing and looks over to Koa. "Yes. Nine. Nine black virtues. Nine locks on the Heart. And now teeth on your neck that are being filled when things happen. The first was when your heart was replaced …"

She can't recall exactly what he did in Ry'leh but it would have been something.

"Do you feel different, Koa?" It's hard to ask that question. With Nightmare tormenting him, the answer should be yes. "And yes, I know of Nightmare and how he tortures you each night and that you haven't told us because you think you're protecting us."

"Different? A little, perhaps. Like I said my other side feels stronger. But… maybe that's not it…" Koa takes another drink. The liquid stings on the way down but in a good way. Or at least a way he very much appreciates right now.

"There's… something that's shifting. Or shifted. It's affecting my balance and I'm not sure I can put my finger on it yet." That it has something to do with those teeth filling in he's sure, but beyond that? Little to no ideas.

"I am protecting you. Nightmare is a splinter lord. The only thing involving you is going to do is give him more victims. I don't even have a good way to keep him out of my own dreams let alone anyone else's."

"You're letting your other side be stronger, I think." Keiko isn't sure that's entirely true. "I don't know, Koa. I only know what was shown to me and that we're worried. You need a friend and I'm here to try and be that." Flawed as the peruvian is. "I think you feel more powerful like that, in your Astral form. I think it takes away some of the pain."

If she could feed it, help him sate its hunger she would, but she's not made of magic … though she wonders what might happen if she let the demon out.

"I haven't spoken to anyone else, but you know I will speak to Illyana, right? What do you think she'll do when she finds out that one of hers is being hurt by another Splinter Lord?"

Reflexively, Keiko touches her collar whilst looking at Koas. Both of them, belong to the Demon Queen.

Koa almost tells her not to speak to Illyana. Almost. But odds are good the demon queen will find out one way or another and Koa has never yet once lied to her, even by omission.

"You probably should." He sighs. "She may have more insight on what's going on." And it may have some bearing on her but for the life of him Koa can't think how.

"Of course it makes me feel powerful. And it keeps me from feeling the physical pain, if only for a little while."

What would Illyana do? That's a good question. "I don't know. But she might feel compelled to try to protect me from a rival and while ordinarily I would be very happy for that… does she really need to be fighting TWO splinter lords at the same time?" That was his thought anyway. Still, she probably deserves to know. Deserves to be allowed the opportunity to make that decision.

It's not like Keiko would listen if Koa told her not to, either. It might put her at odds with the WAND agent but for their safety and his health, she thinks it best. "I know, Koa. Do you remember what the Pillar in Ry'leh said to us? I think … you might be part of the key to that, but I can't work out how."

"That's a trap, by the way. Using your astral form like that, but I suspect you know that. When I came back from Limbo, for so long, I locked everything away. It's all that I'd known - to be strong, to not show fear or any emotion. It doesn't make any stronger if I do that, though, does it?"

As to Illyana, Keiko snorts softly "Firstly, you can't make that decision for her. She's a smart woman and will work it out - we might have to convince her to let us help her, but that's not the same as deciding for her, is it?"

"And secondly, you are hers. Another Splinter Lord is messing you, do you think not letting her know that is helping at all?"

Koa takes another drink and sets his cup down, empty. That was a fair amount of alcohol he just took in but you wouldn't really know it to look at him.

"I just want to not hurt anymore, Keiko. Just for a little bit." He doesn't elaborate on that, but she knows that it hurts to use his magic. And she has to guess that the last several weeks have been both physical and psychological agony for him. Is it any wonder he's in a state like that?

"I don't know if it helps or not, to be honest. It was the only thing I could think to do. Minimize the damage. Right now Nightmare only has me and I might still find a way to lock him out. If we involve others he WILL start tormenting them. If he can."

Illyana is a special case given that she's 'on his level'. But Keiko? Piotr? Sam? Mikhail? All easily fair game.

"I know you don't, Koa. I *saw* what Nightmare was doing to you and I want to help you make it not hurt but I don't think I can." Keiko tops his cup up, not thinking on the quantity. She lives Rasputins, that says an awful lot. "I don't think letting your beast out is helping, though."

"Lean on me, if you can. I know now and if he comes after me, I'll fight as best I can." Will Nightmare come after her?

"I hear an awful lot of 'ifs' in your statements. The only thing you're sure of, is that there's nothing you're sure of. I know now. We'll tell Illyana together and maybe we won't say a word to the others."

That's not likely to go down well with Piotr, but Keiko will deal with that. Later.

"Tell Illyana the first chance you get. Even if I'm not there. If this boils out in some way I don't anticipate she shouldn't be blindsided by it and other than me she will be the one most affected."

Well, possibly other than Keiko. That link might yet prove troublesome. So far though all it's done is alert the both of them to trouble. If there's one grace here it's that Keiko's corruption doesn't seem to travel through it. Nor does whatever is happening to Koa travel to her.

"At least this time you didn't break my window."

Keiko goes back to cleaning as Koa sits there. "I was going to. You're probably lucky I didn't see her before I left the house." beat "I'll make you something to eat when I'm done here. It won't be much, but it will be tasty." Does he trust her?

Doesn't what happens to one, affect the other? Or is it just too early to tell?

"Give me a key to your house that way I won't have to break your window again."

"Ugh. You're the worst." Koa says getting up to go find a spare key. This has not come up before, really. The only OTHER person who comes to the house regularly can get in just fine WITHOUT a key. Does Koa trust Keiko to cook?

No, but he doesn't have a choice does he?

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