2019-09-09 - Heart of the Matter


Illyana attempts to figure out exactly what the hell is going on.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Sep 9 00:00:00 2019
Location: {$location}

Related Logs


Theme Song



Illyana is the Darkchilde, and the Darkchilde is Illyana, but to say they are the same wouldn't be entirely accurate. And when that darksoul has emerged, little of the human niceties Illyana spends so much time abiding by are forgotten.

Like now.

The horned figure stretches out an arm, fingers tipped in razored claws instead of trimmed nails and Koa feels himself jerked forward, into the air and towards that open hand that closes about his throat and lifts, holding him aloft with a single straight arm.

"The Heart has been meddled with, and is clearly tied to *you*." The Darkchilde's hand opens, dropping Koa to a heap in her foot and she eases down into a crouch, reaching out to trace a clawtip against his throat, and it clinks softly as it slides over the teeth. "The last time this room was compromised, you were in it." She points out.

Her fingertip comes to below his chin, tilting his face up so he looks at her. So she can look into his eyes. "Tell me. That you didn't do this, pet."

Koa is still trying to recover from the searing pain of that mark being etched into his neck but even if he hadn't been there'd be little he could do about it right now. Illyana - or the Darkchilde - is all but a goddess here in Limbo.

He gasps for breath once when his throat is closed off in her taloned hand and again in pain when he's dropped in a heap. His eyes gleam red as he coughs and tries to find the breath to speak.

"I didn't do it." He manages to croak out, biting back a cough as his eyes are tilted up. Koa Turner has never lied to Illyana before. And this is definitely not a good time to start.

"I wouldn't do it…" Does she know that? Does she trust that? He's had plenty of chances to mess something up here.

Swallowing, he does his best to hold her gaze, but it's so bright and the aura of power flaring around her right now is almost overwhelming.

There's a humm in the air. A rumble that seems to shake the foundations. And then Koa will realize, it's the Darkchilde's growl that the realm has taken up like a banner of war.

It slowly fades away and that clawed hand moves to caress Koa's cheek. He feels a sting and then something wet slips down his cheek and one of her claws comes away bloody. Rising back up to her feet, she flicks her claw, and the drop of blood there flies out… and then stops, hanging suspending in the air. A gesture and it seems to explode outward, the red separating from the black.

"Do you know what that is, pet?" That she's calling him that instead of his name is telling of where her headspace is at at the moment.

Koa bleeds a little down his own cheek when her hand leaves him. Blood with an oily black mixed into it, like water and oil. He finally catches his breath and steadies himself but perhaps wisely doesn't move from where he is other than to pull himself into something more akin to a kneel than a heap.

"No." He answers honestly. "No I do not, Darkchild…" The capitalization, and the deference, are audible in the title. He's not sure if demons might be watching with the door open but he won't chance it. Though honestly with Illyana in the mood she's in that's probably the least of the things he ought be concerned with.

He glances up for a moment at that shifting, burning aura that surrounds Illyana. It is, from this angle at least, actually hard to see her through the radiance of her own power.

"Demon blood had been my thought but I couldn't confirm that." It makes sense to him that a demon heart - which he now has thanks to a certain green faced monster - would pump demon blood into his system. Whether or not it might eventually replace his own blood had been a question he didn't want to ask right away. Or consider answering.

"I meant behind me." The Darkchilde says, her tone a dry chastisement for him not inferring what she meant. "But as to this… Well. Not exactly." Her lips pull down into a frown, eyes narrowing as she gestures and the black, oily portion of Koa's blood swims towards her and the red portion falls to the ground in tiny spatters.

"What did you research tell you about the Nine Dark Virtues? Because I know you've looked into it. Looked into me. Information is your weapon." Bringing both hands up, fingers splayed, the tiny amount of 'blood' spreads out like ink, taking forms as though the blonde were drawing in air with it.

Koa glances behind him. Oh. That. Ahem, yes. "It's the lock on a prison. Beyond it lies the place where the Elder Gods are kept in chains." Metaphorical chains possibly. Or maybe enchanted ones. Either way they're barred from coming here and by extension, to earth.

That oily blood seems to respond quite readily to magic. Is it her magic or just magic in general. Either way it moves easily as iron to a magnet. Simple to manipulate, as if it were made for that.

One eye still on what she's doing with that 'blood' Koa thinks back to what he studied. "I know that they're related to Dante, that he was the first one to experience them and that the tale of a journey into hell might be more literal than many think. I know that it's related to a path that the practitioners of the time called 'Dancing the Spiral.' And because it's here I know that it is related to that gate, and to the elder gods. Beyond that, what Belasco's interest in it would have been…"

Well, Koa knows what Illyana told him of what was done to her.

"And I know that what's beyond that gate is… hungry." That last is quiet. Koa knows. He knows because he's seen. It was a split second, but that was all it needed to make an indelible impression on him.

Burning white eyes shift from the 'blood' she's playing with to Koa at that last bit. "Know it, do you?" Her tone is flat as she says it. Something Koa is likely unused to hearing.

"It is a lock. One that takes nine keys. It's a lock that Belasco bound me to. In a letteral sort of way, it is my soul. And each time I step closer to corruption, letting darkness take me, another key can be set into the lock, releasing that portion of it."

The Darkchilde closes her hand around the web of oily darkness like one might gather up a knitting project and steps down next to him so she can turn and they can gaze upon the gate together. "But the keys need to be turned, and so a ritual is performed here for that, and another piece locks into place." She turns then, and reaches out to trace a clawtip against the latest filled-in tooth. "And now… there is a second set of places for keys to go. And they're being turned."

"Saw it." Koa glances down for a moment, the memory coming back. That had been, all in all, a rather bad day for him. When he looks back up the usual hunger is coming back into his eyes. She knows that he's very sensitive to magic when it is performed around him. And that he can probably feel what she's doing with that bit of 'blood' even though the effort is minor.

And she feels him shiver - slightly - when she touches his neck.

"Five times. The ritual was performed five times on you. But when we got here, the room was empty."

It goes without saying that KOA wasn't present for whatever 'ritual' was done to turn this latest key. But no one was here in the heart room either.

"Does that put you in danger?" Koa may have agreed to stop prioritizing the pain and well being of others above his own, but that doesn't mean that he isn't concerned by that possibility.

Especially if this is in some way his fault.

"Those steps were taken before I took over." Illyana explains. "Before I had the power to say 'no'. It was my *intent* that none of the rest be activated." She looks down to him. "And now there's a secondary piece in play. The question is, does it need both sets to unlock? Or just one?"

"One of the reasons I locked the room was so that the ritual couldn't be performed. Even if I didn't manage to fight the darkness and became more corrupt, at least the ritual couldn't be performed and the lock couldn't be opened."

There's a snort of amusement at the question of it putting her in danger. "I think you should be more concerned about the danger it puts Earth in than me."

"Can I be both?" The phrasing is very deliberate. Not 'I can be both, can't I?' Not 'Can I not be both?' Almost as if he is asking permission rather than making a counter point. That is partly his experience at dealing with demonic hierarchies at play, and partly his inner beast recognizing how to address a superior predator. And she is, in this place, THE superior predator.

The question though, the big question, has him looking back at the lock. "Would be hard to know, I think, until I got past five." Then they'd see if the teeth on the gate were unlocking properly or if it clearly needed her as well.

Koa sighs and looks down. "You locked it so that it couldn't be used. I unlocked it… well. I let someone else unlock it." Piotr did that. "And rewired it to turn it into a portal." Which had to be fair worked…

"The question is… why me? I wasn't the one ON that altar that day." Piotr and Keiko were.

He growls a little and when his lips pull back, fangs are evident. There's a sense of 'pulling' from him and for a few moments his astral form can be seen overlaid on his human one. There's a reddish tinge to it's 'skin'.

The question gets a mildly amused glance from the demon queen. "Maybe."

She closes her eyes then, and draws in a deep breath and gives herself a bit of a shake. The horns and tail and other trappings of the Darkchilde fade, leaving 'just' Illyana. The Darkchilde tends to come with elevated emotions, and all the talking and *thinking* help Illyana to regain a bit of control.

"Maybe because you were the one to affect its nature." She purses her lips and shakes her head. "Too many variables." That comes with a small growl of annoyance.

When it's echoed by Koa, she looks over to him again, focus shifting as his astral form overlays him and she arches a brow. "What is it?"

The astral form's hand moves without Koa's. It comes up to curl into a cup. A point of violet light manifests and shudders, as if held there unwillingly. There's a chill about it. A sense of the cold void, spaces beyond the stars where things that were not meant for this universe lurk. The shark-beast's form looks up to meet Illyana's eyes and then the entire thing collapses back into Koa's body and that point of light dives into his chest.

Koa gasps as though he'd just been hit by cold water, seemingly unaware of what a part of him just did.

He looks back up, noting the change back to a more human form and starts to rise.

"I…" He shakes his head as if to clear it. "I had something but it's gotten away from me."

Illyana's gaze sharpens on Koa as his astral form continues to stay manifest, watching as it makes that movement that offers that spark of the beyond and then it all fades away.

When Koa comes back to himself, he'll find Illyana's hand on the center of his chest, a frown on her lips. Her pale gaze shifts upwards to Koa and she shakes her head. "I don't think it's a demon's heart."

Her head turns to look over her shoulder at the gleaming silver circle behind that eldritch energies crackle and dance over, with the iris that keeps that gate closed but that pulses, that throb so very familiar as it moves in time with that beneath the queen of Limbo's hand.

Koa blinks and takes in a breath a little. He can't sense the beat of the lock behind Illyana, but the beat of his own heart - or rather the one that is now in his chest - fills his ears. They are indeed in perfect synch.

"What is it then?" He asks very quietly. The skin beneath her hand gleams as if lit by a spark from within, but only for a moment. It's enough for Koa to suck in a breath. He felt that, whatever it was and his eyes widen and he lets out that breath in a sigh.

"What do you feel, Illyana?" It's almost a whisper, as though saying anything any louder would break or disturb something.

Because right now he feels like he's being rung like a bell.

"I think it's part of the Heart." Illyana says, bluntly, like dropping a bomb in the room.

She looks down as Koa's skin luminesces under her touch and her expression sets into a hard line. "We should leave." She gets the impression having Koa near the Heart isn't going to help anything.

A circle of light appears to take them away, leaving the chamber empty. But not silent, as the Heart continues to beat.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License