2020-02-24 - There Is No Darkchilde


K'nert reveals disturbing information

Log Info:

Storyteller: {$storyteller}
Date: February 24, 2020
Location: New York

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It's after work at WAND and as late as Koa and Keiko work, they do have to eat and sleep at some point. Koa suggested today that they pick up dinner at a noodle place a couple of blocks away before going their separate ways home to rest so that they can do this all again tomorrow.

At this point both Agents are carrying quick teleport charms that let them get into Limbo at a moment's notice, that being the only solution for needing to be there at a moments notice if something trips the wards. The noodle house is quiet this evening. There aren't many people here and the staff is mostly in back cleaning up. Koa is working his way very laboriously through a bowl of udon. He is using chopsticks at least, and not a fork.

It's late enough that Keiko had rung and spoken to Elena a few hours ago. The child would be in bed sound asleep by now. "I'm going to have to find someone who can sit with her, Koa. I can't keep relying on Hank to look after her each day."

Piotr … doesn't seem to be around much anymore.

The small peruvian is eating something that resembles Pho, using chopsticks and adding extra chilli to it.

She looks tired. Koa looks even more so. "They want to do an evaluation of me next me…" She finally says.

"They being who now? WAND or someone else?" Koa says. He does indeed look tired. Physically tired this time, because it has of course been a long day but that spiritual exhaustion hasn't lessened. It has if anything it has increased.

Something moves near them and Koa sits up a little bit then he lunches to his right, reaching under the table and comes up with… K'nert.

By the tail. Upside down.

"You!" He hisses.

"WAND. Something about probation and training and stuff. I wasn't really listening when they called." Keiko admits. It's just in her calendar now. Hopefully she doesn't traumatise them too much.

Watching Koa get so tired, Keiko is dreading that the day Pandora told her about is close.

"K'nert. Why aren't you in Limbo where I left you?" The demonic-spirit caller gives Koa a look as he hisses. "And why were you under our table?"

"I decided to take a walk…" K'nert says in demonic. At this point Koa understands him as well as Keiko does. "I didn't mean to come out under your table but it was useful to listen to you and the Predator."

Koa's eyes narrow as he hauls the imp up to the table and pins him on it rather roughly. "We need to have WORDS about why you didn't tell us where the Darkchilde was and about the fact that she doesn't remember anything."

"There is no Darkchilde." K'nert says flatly.

Keiko can't help the look she gives Koa when K'nert calls him the Predator. It's apt. She's still the 'false consort' - which is something she's likely to always be.

The question Koa asks is a good one, the answer K'nert gives even better. "So she isn't the Darkchilde anymore. What happened?" She's unsurprised by the answer, just very confused.

"The Darkchilde's power returned to Limbo." K'nert says. How he knows that he does not explain. It's possible he just… knows. "It waits for the Darkchilde to take it up again, but until then there is no Darkchilde."

That explains a few things. While it doesn't actually explain Illyana's amnesia it does explain why they had such a hard time locating her and ALSO it explains why the staff is so powerful and why people seem so interested in claiming it. If they can do that, they gain the power of the Darkchilde and rulership of Limbo. The second is valuable. The first is invaluable.

"Belasco is back." K'nert just drops that casually at the end of his explanation which gets a grimace and low growl from Koa.

"Well that explains that…" Keiko growls, stabbing at the noodles in her bowl - her appetite suddenly gone. This is something they've wrestled with - do they drag Illyana back, or let her go on living her new life?

With the power in the staff - maybe they could absolutely -

That last piece of news gets a deeper growl from Keiko, the spirit callers eyes flashing yellow. "Where."

Maybe it's a good thing that Piotr isn't around much …

"In Limbo. He cannot leave and he did not die." K'nert says, still pinned by Koa and starting to squirm with discomfort at the senior agent's grip. "He knows about the staff. All of Limbo knows about the staff. Well, all of what is left of Limbo." Which isn't much. Largely the demons that Keiko has dumped back there, but a few more might have sprung up.

"He will want it." Koa and K'nert say that at near exactly the same time. K'nert nods to Koa.

"Yes, Predator. He will want to reclaim the power of his former apprentice. And perhaps after that… his former apprentice."

Even if Keiko and Koa did want to leave Illyana in the life she has… that just WON'T do.

"Where in Limbo, you snivelling rat." Keiko growls, her fingers twitching to tear at the demon. "He must be uncomfortable given how Limbo is. Keiko hopes it's very uncomfortable.

"Of course he will want it, just like Sifror does. And as word leaks out, so will others." Keiko actually sighs. She's less … emotionless than she has been previously but she's still not great at emoting.

"He can't have Illyana and if he tries, I will kill him, myself." She knows that's not an answer but she doesn't have many tools in her kitbag.

"He can't have Illyana." Koa agrees. Killing is definitely not a solution to Belasco but options for dealing with him are very, very limited. The senior agent is already running through mental scenarios. He doesn't really like any of them.

"Limbo." K'nert says, looking a bit confused. Limbo doesn't have a whole lot in the way of landmarks. The landscape shifts a lot, distance and time are not consistent and really only the mountain in the center - where probably the Citadel sat - seems fixed. Asking where in Limbo is like asking him when in Limbo. He doesn't really seem to understand the question.

"With no Darkchilde ruling it, he'll get bold fast. There isn't anyone restricting his movements." It's a good thing Koa has wards up but he wonders how much time they're really going to have to react when Belasco inevitably makes a play for the staff.

"Why hasn't he tried for it already?"

K'nert shrugs. "Maybe he wants to watch and see if others try and fail first. Maybe he is afraid. I don't know." Afraid. That's a bit of an insult from K'nert, but then K'nert can make that insult. Belasco isn't here.

Keiko knows killing Belasco isn't an option but she's not a mage. "We need to bind him so he can't get near it." She's thinking aloud. "Chains would do it. I wonder what would hold him. Not Iron. Promethium, maybe?"

"He was already bold." The small woman corrects "Now he'll be very dangerous." She's thinking though, putting puzzle pieces into place.

"He can't take it … It's the only reason that makes sense. Remind me what we know of him. How did he take Limbo the first time?"

"We don't know how to get more promethium so that's probably out." Koa says. "Maybe chains but he's magical and I have to imagine he'd find his way out of them eventually. Still, maybe that'd buy us some time."

What none of them are talking about is what they're going to ultimately do. SOMEONE has to be the ruler of Limbo, having it completely unclaimed is not tenable long term. And that really, very strongly argues for them to try to get Illyana back into it.

But if they care anything about her - and both do - do they really want to do that to her?

"I don't think there was anyone there the first time." Koa murmurs, this time answering instead of K'nert. Though the demon does add a bit.

"He was told to do something and can't leave until he does. He spent a lot of time learning magic, gathering power." K'nert rather admires that but clearly he isn't the destined ruler. The Darkchilde is.

"Sleep with your weapons near you, Keiko." Koa says. "I'm going to have to try to think of some other way to secure that staff. Do you want to start bringing Elena in to WAND? We have some day school she can use to keep up on things and it might be safer for the time being."

Keiko is already sending a message to the sitter, telling her to not leave Elena alone. She's worried - because of the handprint and the fact that things … can happen.

"Was he ever really ruler of Limbo?" Keiko knows what she's been read about Belasco and the little that Illyana has told her. "He's going to go after her, bring her back there. Who is working for him?"

Belasco can't leave Limbo, but his demons can. They'll need to be watched carefully.

"Yes. Starting tomorrow. I … she will stay close as much as she can." The lessons aren't important, at least not to Keiko but keeping a six year old entertained will be interesting.

"Once, yes. Once he ruled unquestioned." K'nert says. When? K'nert doesn't say. Can't say. He doesn't really understand the passage of time. There was 'then' and there is 'now' and there is 'not yet'. And that's really the extent of his knowledge of the topic.

"Belasco we think was from earth but we're not sure. There's not a lot on him. If he was, it was hundreds of years ago." He'd ask Illyana but frankly if Illyana were here and able to answer that question this wouldn't be a problem now would it?

K'nert shakes his head at Keiko. "Some demons, maybe. No one talks anymore. Not enough left. If he has demons it won't be like he did before." That means he won't be as much a threat as in the past but he still kidnapped Illyana using nothing but a protal spell so he is clearly not to be underrated.

"Watch them. Follow them. Tell me and the Predator immediately." Keiko says. She knows damn well that K'nert telling them will be in 'his time' but it's the best they can do.

If Belasco was ruler of Limbo, then he should be able to take the staff. "That handprint, Koa. It's got something to do with this. We need to take Elena on that field trip."

"Tomorrow. If we can." Koa nods. "Alright K'nert. Off with you." Koa lets go of the imp who immediately gets off the table and into the shadows. Then he's gone.

"How DOES he do that…" The archeologist mutters mostly to himself. "You and I are going into the archives first thing tomorrow and getting some things to help us. There's a section in the back where we keep relics and artifacts. We may need some of them." Belasco may not be ruler of Limbo now, but he is definitely still a VERY powerful sorcerer and there is no shortage of power in Limbo.

Keiko raises a brow as K'nert responds to Koa. "And remember - you are to follow Belasco's agents and tell us immediately." She says as the creature scampers off.

"We need something to counter Belasco. With the Darkchilde gone, he's even more dangerous. I want my animals back, Koa. I'm a good fighter but … they help." She truly misses them, too.

She looks even more tired now and worried. It's an indication of how worried she is, that it shows.

"We'll work on it. But there isn't time just now. If we wind up having a few days we can probably get them all back but right now we just need to prepare as best we can. It could happen tonight for all we know." And if it does they are going to be REALLY under the gun.

But they can only do so much. Even discussing and planning is wearing at them, so exhausted are they both. Keiko might now understand how this job can chew people up and spit them out. Why WAND loses people every year to it.

It is wearing at them. Not to forget the other things that are happening to them both. And Keiko hasn't mentioned what's happening with Piotr in the longest of time.

"I'm not hungry. I think we should go. Will … will you stay the evening, Koa? We've a spare room or two." Right now, it's just her and Elena at home.

Koa nods a little tiredly. "Sure. I'll stay up a bit too." If they sleep in shifts at least at that point someone is always awake. Tomorrow they can arrange WAND security measures for Elena, since she is very likely to be a target in all this and since losing her would set them back considerably in their efforts to understand it.

"Let's get these packed up and go. The sooner we both get to rest, the better."

Because they have to do this all over again tomorrow.

That makes Keiko a little more comfortable. Not a lot, but having another adult who can protect her daughter around is good.

"Let's go. I don't want to leave her alone …" When it comes to Elena, Keiko is definitely a momma bear.

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