2019-09-28 - Invading Reality


Koa brings news on The Blood In The Machine

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Sep 28 04:59:43 2019
Location: 46 Willow Place

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Theme Song



It's not tooooo often that Koa Turner comes around to the Rasputin-Kurita residence or as it is starting to be known in WAND circles, The Embassy. This is partly because of the number of foreigners living in it, partly because of the presence of an extra-dimensional monarch and partly because WAND agents have horrible senses of humor. At any rate, Koa is knocking on the door. It's late enough that it's a bit past dinnertime but not so late that people are generally well and truly settled in for the evening. Keiko knocked off training a couple of hours ago so she SHOULD in theory be home but given how exciting the Agent-In-Training's life can be that's far from certain.


At least if she's not home others should be, right? In anticipation of this he has gifts. The one thing that always goes over well in this house. Food. Specifically, in this case, a box of goodies from the bakery down the street. Eclairs and bear claws and such.

"Can someone get the door, please?" Koa can hear Keiko yell once he knocks on the door. "No? OK…. HANG ON!!!"

There's the clunking and stomping of someone coming down the stairs.

When the door opens, Keiko's standing there, hair dripping wet and Elena wrapped in a towel on her hip. Koa's come during bath time, clearly. "Come in."

That's the greeting the agent gets. "Did you come to see Illyana? I don't know if she's here or if … she has company." beat "I uh … take a seat. I'll be with you…"

A stepping disk opens against the wall to the side of the door, and Illyana steps through almost in sync with Koa coming through the door and Caden in tow. She pauses, looking at the wet child and soaked Keiko. One brow goes up. She looks over to Koa. And his box of goodies. The other brow goes up. "Crullers?" Important subjects first.

Then Illyana looks back over to Keiko and Elena. "Are you two all done with your bath?" She's smirking a bit, because soaked Keiko with that air of annoyance is amusing to her. When she gets an affirmative from Keiko, Illyana lifts a hand, fingers moving in intricate, twisting motions that seem so easy. A gust of wind starts at the mother and daughter's feet and *wooshes* upwards, leaving them dry.

What were Illyana and Caden up to? Well, it looks like they were in her library. Because Caden is weighed down like a packmule with big heavy tomes. Just what he loves, right? Dead trees.

Admittedly, not all of them have paper for pages…

Tomes upon Tomes upon Tomes carried in Caden's arms in a way that is clear one could imagine him having been following along behind the sorceress and books having been just casually thrown over her shoulder for him to catch in the manner of say Lucille Ball or maybe Danny Kaye, physical comedy except with more grousing as his voice is heard.
"Like really, get a scanner, some thumb drives, easy-peasy." He offers in way of observation, though on some level he likely imagines that you can't really store magical tomes that way. But still.
Must be an easier way.
He sets down the books on a nearby convenient table and then lifts a hand in greeting to Keiko and Elena. And then Koa. "Oh hey, Turner. Did you get that data I sent?" Which was a bit ago, about the particle. Still.

"A couple of them." Koa chuckles, watching Caden come through laden with many very heavy books. He sets the box down and retrieves an azuki bean bun for himself. Whether or not Elena gets one is up to the PTB.

"I did, Caden. Partly what I came over to talk about actually so it's good that you're all here." As Keiko suggested, he finds himself a seat and watches the two Kurita's (Well, the Kurita and the Rasputin-Kurita) get air dried. "Handy that. What's the research for, if I may ask?"

Bun finished, Koa reaches around behind him and produces a small ukulele and starts to pick at it. That sounds a LOT like the beginning to Hotel California.

"Bed time for the munchkin, Keiko?" That's part question and part suggestion. The conversation is going to range he suspects and is probably not entirely for young ears.

"Yes…." Keiko answers and stands as the breeze dries them. Neither her or Elena are surprised by the appearance of the Demon Queen. "… Dark… Illyana."

Elena perks up at the box from the bakery. "No, Elena. It's bed time and I need you to sleep, tonight. I have an early start in the morning." The small peruvian nods to Koa and ducks around Caden. It will take her a few moments to dress Elena and get her to bed. "Uncle Koa needs to talk, Estrella, I'll tell you a story as I change you." The words fade as the bedroom door closes behind her.

By the time she returns, most of the buns are good. There's an azuki bean one left for her though, which she takes and perches on arm of a chair.

The blonde gives Keiko a glance at the aborted name as she leans in to kiss Elena's brow goodnight. "I'll take you for something nice in the morning, if your mother doesn't mind me borrowing you for a bit." It's not quite asking. But Illyana also isn't pulling rank when it comes to Keiko's daughter.

Moving over to the kitchen, Illyana puts on the kettle and seems to have decided tea goes with late night treats. "Nothing. I just wanted to see how many Caden would carry before whining." She's looking at the tea as she scoops it out, but her lips can't help but curve in a smirk. "And no. No electronics in Limbo for extended periods of time. They have a habit of growing legs and walking off." And not as in stolen.

"That number is five, apparently." Caden offers as rejoinder.
As for Caden he waves off the offer of a bun or donut, smiling as he steps around the room, leaving the tomes to their place of prominence and instead settles in the doorway a bit behind most of them and a little out of the way, as if expecting to no take a prominent point in the conversation. Since, well, magic is still not quite his thing.
He does, however, ask after one particular thing. "I was wondering if you learned anything more about the etymology of the White Devil name, or why they call it that. I had a few ideas about that, but couldn't really dig up more to find out one way or another."

Koa snickers at the 'nothing' answer. Whether that's true or not it's a hell of an answer. The WAND Agent's eyes gleam red briefly before fading back to normal. "Five is a good number. Unless it's right out." Yes. He has a sense of humor, occasionally.

"She's not kidding about that either. The tech." Everything he knows about Limbo - which is admittedly limited to his own personal experiences and what's in the WAND databases, says that tech does really not play well there. Or at least, tech more advanced than from round about the industrial revolution.

Once Keiko returns Koa lays the instrument to one side and sits a bit forward.

"So. White Devil. What I've managed to gather is that White Devil is a project connected to the remnants of an old GRU unit dedicated to studying the occult back in it's communist days. THEY apparently inherited their sample of 'blood of the machine' from the Germans back in the 40's and it's not quite clear where the Germans got it from. As to why it's called White Devil, I'm not clear on that other than it seems to be a reference to a specific person - historical or even real I can't say."

The WAND Agent looks about as he gathers his thoughts. "Anyway, the Russians were studying it for the usual set of cold war purposes. Trying to unlock psychic powers, remote view people and similar. The project is still active, though, or at least our intel intercepts seem to indicate that it is and that it is currently engaged in extra-dimensional research."

Which supports Koa's theory to Keiko that the little black and gold chip is extradimensional in origin.

"From what I can tell, they've attempted to use this stuff to enhance the powers of already powered individuals and while it does seem to have SOME interactions with them, everything I've been able to find says that they abandoned those experiments about twelve years ago and terminated all the subjects."

Which is interesting but not yet especially relevant to why they're finding the stuff on stele related to splinter lord invaders.

Illyana gets a nod from Keiko about taking Elena. "Maybe you could take her to school? With Piotr away, Hanks been helpful but I have to start early and …" Keiko gestures with the bun.

"Wouldn't scanning some of those books make the text 'read' and potentially trigger the spells in them?" Keiko asks. They might think she's been paying attention in WAND class but really, it's a season of Buffy she's thinking of.

"White Devil?" That's new to the junior agent, agent in training, whatever. "You mean the Blood of the Machine? That fragment we got from the Stelae?" beat "Oh. The people who created it. Interesting. Or person."

"We found another pillar network, Illyana, one that I can use. It's keyed to my staff, or the Gossamer in my staff, and is being used by one of your rebel demons. G'rfn." Illyana may not realise that's the demon that led a faction that targetted Keiko whilst she ruled at Piotrs side.

The demon queen mutters under her breath in Russian. It's nothing printable and honestly, could be mistaken for Demonic if those in the room didn't speak Russian. It's definitely unpleasant sounding. Even the translation. "People need to stop playing with things they don't understand."

Keiko's request gets a look of confusion. "She has school tomorrow? Isn't tomorrow Saturday? Did I miss a weekend?" Entirely possible. Probably worse for Caden if they have. Whatever the answer is, Illyana gives dismissive wave, pouring hot water into tea. Apparently everyone is having tea, Damnit. Because there's four cups. "I'll take care of her." Which might or might not involve them getting to school on time. Or at all. Aunt's prerogative.

"And Gossamer means a likely link to Plokta? Or did he source from the True Fae?" The mention of G'rfn gets a scowl from Illyana. "Too many rebels. I need to go cull them again."

From his place leaning against the doorjam, Caden raises his eyebrows in the direction of Keiko, curious if that were the case. She might actually see the gears in his mind starting to turn as he tilts his head one way, then the other as he says back toward her. "If that's so you could automate spell-casting in some ways."
The youth's hazel eyes distance as he considers the possible ramifications, "Could create spell drones, or take a particularly dangerous spell and remote 'detonate'." Of course this line of thought might well… scandalize some of the more experienced spell-casters there, considering how dangerous those things might well prove to be.
But to Caden, a relative noob to such things, it's a rather neat mental exercise.

Koa just stares at Caden. For a long, long moment. And then he looks at Illyana. "Do you want to tell him why that's a bad idea or should I?" Not the automating spell casting per se. THAT is just another manner of doing somethign that's done dozens of different ways anyway. No, it's automating spell casting by leaving machines with demonic times in them to soak in Limbo…

"We took a visit to the Nightfall archives in Peru, Illyana. From what we were able to, ahem, figure out after a little bit of roundabout spelunking the Nightfall was a long con to begin with. Siffror had a bunch of his people defect hundreds of years ago and they formed a cult within a cult. Once they had what they wanted, and Plokta was weak enough, they revolted and took it back to Siffror."

Which means that Illyana, Koa and Keiko are all indirectly responsible for this. Not that they had a choice. Or at least, a good choice. It's often the case that they have a buffet of bad ones, though.

"As Keiko says though, the stelea seem to be some kind of network and I THINK that this 'blood of the machine' is the key to it. Siffror is using it to anchor the spells that hold it together. But here's the fun part from what Caden sent me…"

Koa grins now and leans forward a bit more. "It's programmable. As in, like a computer. Which means it's possible to hack. Which means we now have an operator…" He points to Keiko. "And potentially, a hacker…" To Caden.

"The bad news is that, yes, one of your ex-servants is operating it on Siffror's behalf. He seems to have been… infected by the lifeless realm? Which I didn't know was possible. Swiping a demon from Limbo."

"There's an excursion somewhere. It's on the calendar and it might be something that Hank arranged with Piotr before he left." Keiko answers. Illyana can decide if she wants to take Elena, Keiko wouldn't have agreed to work otherwise.

Keiko STARES at Caden. "You haven't seen that season, have you?" Definitely thinking of Buffy. "The machines become sentiment." She means sentient. "And go on a rampage. It is *such* a bad idea. Not to mention what happens to anything corrupted by Limbo."

Keiko nods as Koa explains and adds to the explanation. "G'rfn fled Limbo when I found him the first time. K'nert, the little imp, came to tell us about it. When I saw him again, the next time we accessed a pillar, he was so very, very pale and lifeless. It's like … his change of allegiance has allowed Siffror to corrupt him. I … suppose that makes sense, in a way."

As Illyana brings the tea to the table, she pins Caden with a Look and nods to the table. Quit lingering in doorways, young man! It's *rude*. It's a honey rooibos tea, and it smells awesome.

"He doesn't need to know *why* it's a bad idea, I'm saying it's a bad idea. Also, refer back to 'people need to stop playing with things they don't understand'." Her tone is mild, so she's not really put out at Caden's suggestion. She knows he tends to Wonder things. It's like a disease!

Regarding G'rfn, Illyana shrugs. "Time will tell if he shows back up in Limbo back to normal or not." Because that's a Thing with demons and Limbo. "Limbo can be influenced by outside forces, and so can it's denizens. See for example the huge *tree* near my citadel. But it doesn't always stick."

"Well, I mean," Caden looks at Koa, and then Keiko, his eyes a little wide and his smile a little defensive. "With the right precautions right…" And it was through this, that the lovely magical corps of WAND and the X-Men learned that there is something… something in the way of the Mad Scientist to how Caden's mind works.
He clears his throat and holds up his hands, "Don't mind me, just a thought." A horrible one, assuredly, but still just a thought.
That having been said he follows along in Illyana's wake, swept further into the room and taking up a place in one of the comfy chairs, dropping into it and sitting up straight, crossing one sneaker over the knee of his eans and folding his arms over his chest.

"Oh yeah. Speaking of that tree, that thing's got more power around it than anything I've seen in Limbo except you, Illyana. The Lifeless attacked it briefly and tried to drain it." Koa and Keiko felt that and showed up to deal with the issue. "Also it's Keiko's fault."

Sort of. She probably received it. She did mention she looked for things that fell into Limbo.

"Anyway back to White Devil. If we can figure out how to make this stuff do what we want, we might be able to take this stelae network apart before it reaches critical mass. Unfortunately, to do that I'm going to need all of your help - especially you Caden - and it's going to be a bit danger-"

A BRIGHT multicolored light shows through the windows, like someone is lighting up fireworks outside. Koa frowns and rises from his seat to go check.

"Oh… hell…"

There's a big colored 'smear' in the sky fading slowly in a curved shape. Then there's a bright light and another 'smear' appears. And another. It doesn't take long for the lights to sort of sketch out a small portion of a a very large dome above New York. Koa and Keiko's phones both buzz with the same alert.

"Siffror's trying to breach the barrier again. It's holding but… it's very strained."

Another smear appears in the sky, brighter than the others, and much larger and slower to fade.

"It's not my fault." Keiko rejoinds quickly enough. "The seed for that was *in* Limbo, I found it." And it germinated. *She* didn't know it would do that. Nothing grows in Limbo as far as she knows. "We fought the Lifeless off. They don't like the Gossamer in my staff or my demon." Her eyes flash yellow for a moment.

"What's tha——" the peruvian picks up her phone and flicks through the messages. "I, uh, need to go. I'll call Hank and see if he can sit for me…"

When Caden sits down she hands him some tea, and then sits on the arm of the large chair with him, stroking his hair before taking up her own cup of tea. "I don't know enough about your electronics to put the right percautions in and you don't know enough about magic. So let's not."

When the bright streaks light sky, Illyana puts her teacup down with a soft clink against the saucer and stands, moving to the back door to look out the sliding glass doors there. The blonde looks over to Keiko, and then over to Koa. "Is there anything to be done right now?" Because some things require a response. And others just cue the spooky music.

At Koa's mention, Caden bobs his head and offers his support as he says, "Sure. So long as it doesn't interfere with the playoffs." He smiles a little, since really… he's not exactly a bit sports dude. As most anyone who's known him for a bit can likely tell.
But then that myriad of colours can be seen outside the window and he frowns, sitting up in his chair, then gaining his feet as others head towards the window. "Who is doing what now?" He asks, since Siffror… doesn't sound entirely familiar.
He gives Illyana a small touch on the shoulder, then strolls over towards the windows to get an eyeball on what a mystical assault looks like in person. He'll likely just need a few seconds or so to realize it might be best to not be at the window while that's going on.

"So everything I've been telling you about…" Koa says glancing back at Caden and Illyana, watching their interactions for a moment. "… involves someone like Illyana, but older and more powerful and one hundred percent less human attempting to invade our reality and merge it with his, squishing Limbo in the process and making all of us not long for this world." It's bad. Very bad.

"What he needs to do that starts here in New York and it's being protected by very OLD magic. Which he's trying to break through. Right. Now. And Illyana… if that barrier falls, then yes. There will be something to be done right now. Break out the 'break glass in case of emergencies' tools."

The last of the colored blobs appears on that invisible dome and after there are no more for a good thirty seconds Koa breathes a sigh of relief.

"Okay. It held. For now. I don't know how many more of those it CAN hold though. Siffror's been doing that off and on for a few weeks now but this is the first time he's pumped enough power in it to make it visible."

Glancing over at Keiko with her phone, calling Hank, Koa frowns. "Keiko, go where? Your boss is standing right here." And there's nothing for her to do at the moment anyway.

"The playoffs?" Keiko doesn't watch the sports channels and she's already moving to the door to get her pack. "Siffror's trying to breach the magic barrier the pillars form over New York." Koa's got the explanation.

Koa's firm tone has the spirit caller stopping and turning, in a way that others rarely achieve. "We need to check the network, see what can be repaired and buffed, because if he tries again and we don't, they might well fail." It's quite logical really.

And … well, yes. Her boss is standing right there. He gets a look that says. Are we going?

Frustratingly stubborn. She wears that label as badge of honour.

Illyana Rasputina's mouth has set into a thin, hard line and as Keiko's gearing up to go out and check on things Illyana looks to Koa. "I should check on Limbo." Because it's the one between a rock and a hard place. "If you two need to go, I'll get Elena to someone that can watch her."

Illyana waves a hand towards Caden, changing his clothes from his casual attire to a copy of the costume he used to wear when she last saw him. Only. With Limbo's 'twist' on it. Because Limbo is a brat like that. Apparently, Caden is coming with her.

Caden's taken several steps away from the window, footsteps quiet as he moves to set up and stand with the others. He looks between Koa and Keiko for now, figuring they're going to be likely to break into action, though he does look across the way toward Illyana and quirks an eyebrow. Hard to gauge who might be the first to act if they deem it especially important.
Then his clothes change into the uniform he used a year ago with its black armored panels, mask, and the hood. Though now there's a hint of a flame motif to it and a hint of smouldering to the edges of it. He takes a moment to gauge the gauntlets, then looks across the way at her. "I thought I had lost this."
Or perhaps he had hoped.

Koa smirks slightly at the costume change. "Neither of us are enchanters and YOU need some sleep. As do I. I'm going to check in with Control while Illyana and Caden check out Limbo. And then presuming they tell me they're on top of it, I'm going home and going to bed." To sleep without nightmares.

Well. To sleep without SUPERNATURAL nightmares. Months of sadistic psychological torture at the hands of an immortal fear lord will leave a body with plenty of nightmares of the regular kind and these Koa does indeed have in spades.

"You two stay safe. Feel free come find me if anything is amiss." He doesn't say 'no matter what time it is' because he figures that Illyana won't especially know or care what time it is if she decides to yank him to her.

And with that Koa flips out his phone and steps off to the side. All is well for now.

But they're running out of time.

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