2019-09-01 - Dream A Dream of Spirits


Koa's torture at the hands of Nightmare continues. What does it do to the Agent to kill one of his friends?

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Sep 1 09:44:06 2019
Location: Dream Realm

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Theme Song



Koa Turner has some problems. One of them is a Splinter Lord that likes to torture him. Each, and every night. Tonight is no different. Well, maybe. Tonight he's not bound in Nightmares throne room with the Splinter Lord reclining in his throne.

Tonight, the dream is almost normal.

He's standing by one of those of pillars they've found. Inspecting and sketching it. He's hungry though - so very, very hungry. Not a mortal hunger, it's the hunger of his beast.

There's agents around along with Keiko Kurita - who is wearing a WAND jacket. She joined the service a few weeks ago and has been actively in cases.

Nearby to him, Bella prowls. Watching the area, her mistress and Koa. He can feel the pull of the spirit wolf on him - it would be so very easy, wouldn't it … just to reach out and snack?

This is a hunger like Koa hasn't had often in his life. He keeps his beast hungry, no question. But it has never before gnawed at him like this. That portion of him is starving. It's making it hard to concentrate on anything but, well, spiritual energy around him.

"Look around and tell me what you see." Koa hears himself saying. It's all very… third person. Like he's watching himself do this rather than doing it himself. Surreal. He shakes his head. So damn hungry. He needs to stop off somewhere soon that he can eat a few wisps. "What do you think, Agent Kurita?"

The ready source of spiritual energy trots past the WAND agent, her eyes glowing red in her demonically canine head. So much spirit there and so strong, it must call to Koa as she does. And that doesn't begin to include to the small peruvian who radiates something that calls to Koa as well.

Agent Kurita starts at her name and looks at the senior agent, still getting to used that form of address. "There's nothing here, Koa. Not in this plane. Bella can track things but they lead to dead ends." She stops to rub her arms "Somethings happeni—-"

The air shimmers with Power, to Koa it might feel like a gong being rung, when the pillar glows. Six Lifeless step through, grabbing the agents near them, breaking their necks and throwing the bodies through the portal behind them. It's so quick - there's no time to react before the creatures turn their attention to Koa and Keiko.

Keiko's quarterstaff twirls and she launches an attack only to be caught and held by two of them.

The others start in on Koa, as three figures step through the portal behind them. Witchfire and the brother and sister that showed up just the other day.

Witchfire takes her blade and approaches the held and struggling Keiko while the other two send arcane bolts of magic flying at Koa.

Koa cannot move fast enough to get anyone to safety. His limbs feel leaden, and the air feels thick - like pushing his way through molasses. He manages to get a shield up to take the magical impacts but finds himself surrounded. His shield dome will keep him safe but he cannot get to Keiko.

"Ananym. Don't do this." He says. So much power around him. The part of him that can feed on it rages to be let out to do so. Koa sweats a little, holding it in.

This. What is this? What does it have to do with Keiko? What is he afraid will happen? It's all got the murky, logic of a dream. The rhythm of a story being told to someone who knows it well and is skipping through to the 'good parts'.

The arcane bolts bounce off the shield that Koa constructs, but they're followed by more and then more.

Bella snaps and snarls at The Lifeless that descend on the Agent, taking one down and then another before being knocked back and tumbling away. She keeps going though and launches another attack. Koa can feel the strength of that spirit - it would feed him and power him like not much else.

"Do what, Koa?" Witchfire answers, slicing Keiko's cheek and letting the blood flow. "Look at that lovely blood, think what I could power with it. But it's not that that I want … Come on Keiko, give it to me." More slices, more blood drips to the ground, Koa can see Keiko's eyes go bright, bright yellow.

He can see her struggle to keep her own demon spirit in check - the black obsidian scales rippling over her shoulders and disappearing. "Give her to me, Keiko. I want the demonness… I want to tame her."

Bella. If he consumed Bella it would give him a lot of power. It might let him take this whole group. But he doesn't want to. Not Bella. And he doesn't have to. Not yet, right?

He's so hungry. He pulls in power from around him. There's not much - strangely - but he doesn't stop to think on it in this nightmare. He throws himself out of his body, projecting but feeling oddly weak. Now fully astral his bestial form slams into one of the Lifeless. Despite the name they do have some energy and he sinks his claws into one to drain it.

That's… crossing a line. That's dangerous. Is this better than eating Bella?

Now he doesn't speak, doesn't respond to Ananym. Instead he snarls as he drains and breaks another lifeless. He should be full to overflowing with power, but he isn't. Why?

"Witchfire!!" He snarls as he drains a third and comes right for her.

Bella launches herself at the Lifeless beside Koa, standing over the body that he's left behind. He can feel her even as he drains the creatures in front of him - hungering and trying to tap their power.

Why can't he? They're called The Lifeless for a reason, aren't they?

It's then that William and Cerise launch another attack on his astral form. It's powerful - here in the dream, enough to hurt him - even as Witchfire keeps making art of Keiko's skin.

The small peruvian struggles, eyes shining yellow, the next slice of the knife does it though. Her demon spirit breaks free, covering the woman from head to toe in glowing scaled armour - the strength of that spirit like a beacon to the weakening SHIELD agent.

Koa flinches as the attack slams into him. He phases into the ground and comes up behind Cerise. Claws capable of rending steel jam into her back and he consumes her power without a second thought. His eyes gleam. Another line crossed. He has never completely consumed a human soul before. And still technically hasn't but in this nightmare, the intent is there, at the very least. And that's significant. Very significant.

The astral beast flings Cerise's lifeless body away as soon as she's drained and picks up Willaim to hurl him at Witchfire. Stop ignoring me, the message seems to be. "Bella! Sic!"

It's best if she does. Another minute or so and he'll be draining the demon wolf as well. That's if he doesn't get his hands on a tastier treat. And there are two. Right over there.

Cerise bows and screams as Koa's claws dig into her back. Soon, it's nothing more than a husk that the Agent is holding, her soul utterly consumed. There's no fight in the woman now.

William levels another blast at the Agent as Cerises body is dropped to the ground. The shot goes wide, slicing into Keiko's armour, as the other mage is thrown. Witchfire laughs, turning so the Keiko takes the brunt of hit. "There, there, my pretty. Go and get him…" Whatever has happened in those intervening moments, Koa just can't know - it's a dream though, so maybe it's nothing. Bella leaps at Witchfire, snapping snarling and keeping herself in between Koa and the witch. Keiko's staff twirls as she shapes up to Koa. Utterly the demon now … is she even in there?

"Keiko, stop that!" Koa dodges out of the way, not fast enough and the staff connects to send him tumbling. That probably shouldn't happen, probably wouldn't happen. Koa is unnaturally swift in this form and when he's immaterial the staff shouldn't bite on him gossamer or not. But here, now, in this place it's a potent weapon. As he rises she's there again and he has to desperately dodge a second time.

He takes up to the skies, into the air above Bella and Witchfire. But she has wings, Keiko does. She can follow him.

Keiko doesn't respond but Witchfire laughs as she shoves William from her. The quarterstaff moves lightning quick, Koa has duelled Keiko before and knows her abilities.

Well trained, the little peruvian moves fluidly and it's no different whilst she's in this armour. If anything, there's something more deadly about it.

As he rises, the wings on her back manifest - glowing leathery bat wings that hang from her shoulders until they flex, lifting her after him - her eyes nearly luminescent as she rises above him and drops like as stone on Koa's astral form.

He can feel, in the dream, the strength of the spirit that she's summoned and the others that are raging to get out.

Koa is struck by that fall and driven into the ground. He raises both arms to ward off the next blow. He can feel his own spirit form - already unusually weak - weakening further. "Keiko! Don't!"

Keiko. Ananym. Both people he tried to help. Both people he is about to fail…

The thaumivore sets his jaw and endures the blows. But as he weakens he feels his inner beast start to rage. It doesn't want to resign itself to death. And it won't.

It snaps. Koa's eyes blaze and he catches the staff the next time it comes down. His hand reaches out and he starts to pull power from her. He starts to consume her.

The demonness that once was Keiko growls as they impact, rolling to her feet ever so easily. There's nothing left of the woman that Koa knew - does he feel despair at that, she's become the demon they were trying to stop.

Another strike and then another, she's not going to stop till he's … what? Dead? Tamed? Controlled? It doesn't matter, she's still going.

When her staff is caught, Keiko tugs and tugs on it before stepping closer and going to hand to hand with Koa's astral form. That's when he starts to pull the power from her, her yellow eyes fixing on his as she growls again.

It feels so good. The power she has. That demon spirit is strong and it feeds him. But it's not just that one … it's all the others he can sense, just a little bit more and it all his.

He might not see it, not at first. The flicker in her yellow eyes and the way the armour starts to dim.

It isn't that Koa 'isn't there' anymore. It's that the part of him that is there is the part of him that is most like a predator. A dangerous, cornered predator. He rises, floating - still gripping her staff as she weakens. He pulls more power from her. He can win. All he has to do is drain her enough and he can put an end to Ananym.

Actually… where did she go? Where did Willaim go? He hasn't seen either of them and he hasn't been looking. He's been focused on Keiko. Surviving her. And now… consuming her.

It feels good. Finally he starts to feel fed. He just needs a little bit more and everything will be alright.

Keiko holds on to her staff, still trying to fight, letting Koa drag her into her air as he drains her. The armour sloughs from her, leaving the dusky tattooed woman who's too stubborn to know when to give up. Then her tattooes start to fade, the brilliant ink fading to a shade of what they normally are, her skin starting to sallow.

He can feel all of them - all of her spirits and then her own as they flow into him. She is so very, very potent …. and he can do anything.

But … William and Ananym … are nowhere to be found.

"No…" Koa's eyes blaze and he drops Keiko. He stop pulling on her as he lands down next to her. "No!"

He yells that up to the sky. "I'm not going to do it, do you hear me Nightmare?! Let her kill me, I don't care. I'm not playing your game!" But he was. He was until just a moment ago when he decided this was a line too far. But he was close. So close. So hungry. He's hungry now. He can feel it chewing on his resolve.

Keiko falls like a ragdoll, nearly lifelessly to the ground, not trying to get up when Koa lands beside her.

The sky above Koa rumbles and the dream shifts. He finds himself bound again, in that throne room with Nightmare nonchalantly sitting on that throne. "All of your friends and those you wish to protect. You'll kill them all … and I'm going to show again and again …"

This isn't over for the evening, Koa can be sure of that. In fact, it's only just begun. Who or what will Nightmare torment him with next?

"Just because you show it doesn't make it true." Koa says defiantly. But he knows that he's got none of the leverage here. Nightmare can subject him to whatever he can - ahem - dream up. Koa has to endure it and unlike the Splinter Lord, his endurance is limited. It is human, really. And humans break eventually. You just have to find the right place to push.

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