2020-04-19 - Samples from the Abyss


Hank gets something other than words to work with regarding the hellcat situation.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Apr 19 20:31:03 2020
Location: RESCUE Parking Lot

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There's something about a fast evening bike ride, a pass with a mutant healer, and a trip down memory lane to help put one's existence into focus. All the same there's always something more to do, though where Domino might have dreaded much of the former encounters she might..actually..be kinda looking forward to this task.

It promises to let her tap into her core being, a little tribute to the Latin origin of her codename.

This encounter is hers to control. She's holding all of the cards.

She's also holding Hank's car hostage.

Whether he knows how long she's been camped out in the front passenger seat or not doesn't matter. She's got the seat partly reclined, her aggressively treaded combat boots crossed and propped on the edge of the dash, and a smartpad draped across her legs while she idly pokes about the screen.

All of the time in the fucking world.

It's not enough for Hank to open the door and see her making herself at home, however. Oh no. The first thing he's likely to get hit upside the heightened senses with is a smell so wholly out of this world as to immediately trigger an overbearing sense of xenophobia in most sane individuals. It won't be like anything Hank had ever experienced before. Anywhere.

And Neena brought it into his goddamn car.


Hank can't help but smell that effluvium of putrid - demonblood, rotting berry and sulfur? His senses are plenty keen enough and Bessy is not hermetically sealed. Eyes of yellow narrow, and as he approaches he slips his nose filters in, and sets them to max. Not nearly enough, but better. Rather than sit down in the car, he goes around it and opens the doors, a hand reaching in to grab Domino by the front of her shirt and pluck her out of the vehicle to be set on the ground, not gently, but not nearly as hard as he could have.

"Yes. I get it. You're angry."

By the looks of it, the clenched fist, and the eyes that nearly glow…so is he. Like a lot.

Be thankful - his first instinct was to fling her a few dozen yards!


As soon as the doors start to open Neena casually states "Ah, my five o'clock has arrived—whup!" Just like that she's pulled from Hank's car and set..on the -ground.-

Acting with -painful- nonchalance she stretches a little then flicks the screen of her pad off, not even bothering to stand. Like she is perfectly comfortable right where she is. She doesn't need a height advantage to feel like she has a winning hand! Hell, she's taken on nastier beasts.

"'Angry' may not be the word I'd go with" she answers without so much as a hint of malice in her tone. "See, I confided in you. You betrayed my trust. I've killed people for less. But, I get it. You're just too pure of heart to want to keep potentially dangerous information to yourself even if that royally fucks up someone else who is already desperately clinging to an already unbalanced situation. Now I know."

The albino reaches back to rest the pad on the Ford's hood before coming to stand, still not appearing to be concerned about being stuck between two immovable objects.

Hands fall to her hips as she stares back at Hank, gleaming metal-like eyes unblinking. "I can live with the consequences. Can you?"


"I betrayed your trust because I had no other choice." A sigh, clawed hand pinching the bridge of his nose. "Posse had already figured it out, you know. She's very smooth, she managed to in very small stages worry the truth from me. I'll repeat the entire conversation for you if you like." Because EVERYONE remembers entire conversations and can repeat them days later verbatim, right?

He sighs, shoulders slumping a bit. "I am not happy that I betrayed your trust, I am not happy I broke my given word, but…YES. Morally and ethically I could not fail to answer her questions, and that made it a thing—a mission parameter relating to you rescue and recovery. It was not then and is not now and has not EVER been my intent to cause you distress, discomfort or trouble, Neena."

And then he shrugs, clearly unhappy, but calmer. "I cannot change the past, but I will not keep secrets that risk the lives of my friends and colleagues. I should have never sworn that oath…for that you have my sincere apologies, and I AM still determined that we find you a solution for your hitchhiker."


"Oh please. You -always- have a choice, Hank. Just like you chose to spill the beans while I was camping out inside of a concrete cube" Neena presses..then relents as Hank continues on. Without anger. -With- regret.

She still doesn't look so convinced but the long-winded explanation and apology does at the very least still her tongue from adding further venom.

"Maybe that'll be easier now that our chief of security is playing with a full deck. Now it's your turn."

From inside of that slick black thermal hoodie layer which Hank had made for her comes the source of that horrifically powerful offending scent.

A beat up polymer rifle magazine..?

It has a molded cover clipped to the top of it..for what little it might do to seal in the scent. Why would -bullets- smell like warmed over ass, anyway?

With a neat flick of a hand the top of the magazine thumps against Hank's sternum in offering but the mercenary doesn't immediately relinquish possession of it.

"This contains the only samples I have left of wherever Thea and I ended up. Mud, some manner of ground up berries, and blood taken straight from one of the more common nasties on the other side. I used to bathe in this shit, threw their senses off and made them easier to hunt." Yes, Thea and Dom actually ATE whatever had bled for this infernal camouflage.

"Go science the hell out of this stuff when you aren't busy telling everyone about my personal life."


"I do, and I made the wrong one when I ever allowed you to convince me to stay silent, against my better judgement." Hank admits, freely accepting his failures. Say what you will, Hank McCoy is not one to shirk responsibilities. And that sense of duty compelled him to answer Ava, and…there you go.

He quirks a brow. "My turn?"

He catches the the mag, once again showing that for a big guy he is /fast/, nothing wrong with this guy's reflexes, he's powerfully built but FAR from musclebound. He can't help but shudder, and the disgust on his face? Yeah, that's ample payback. Especially since he'll probably have to reupholster his car entirely to get the stink out. Hell, he might have to replace the whole car - Hellstink might not be removable.

Regardless, he accepts the final rebuke, and nods once, curtly. "Will do. With this I might be able to find enough genetic markers to be able to model what we need to remove, if we can, to separate you and the Hellkitty." Or eliminate it entirely.


At length Neena lets go of the mag but she still holds fast in the face of the Beast.

"Let me make one thing -perfectly- clear, McCoy. Ava's on the same page so don't think this is some big secret. Your contribution here is not to find ways to -remove- the hellcat. This is not an extraction nor an extermination mission."

Not yet, anyway…

"If you want to find a productive way to assist then try to figure out some way we can keep the kitty nourished which both does not rely on feeding it souls and does not happen to make it stronger. First priority is to stabilize. Keep it happy without over-reaching for power."

"And then…" she continues while leaning a -little- closer and narrowing her eyes a -little- further, "I want you to consider the ramifications of trying to separate something which has bonded itself to -my- soul, and whether -I- would want the severance. For all we know trying to remove it could kill me. I want some options which don't happen to involve taking a scalpel to my eternal persona. Call it being territorial if you want."


Hank is silent a long time, a *really* long time. "Neena, it is a /demon/. I have some limited experience with them…" Thanks Illyana! "…and they are without exception creatures of pure malice, soulless monsters that are inherently and essentially vile, malignant, and treacherous." There's zero doubts there, and his certainty is pretty compelling. "I find it hard to believe that Posse would even consider any other option than removal…"

And then Dom goes on, and he sighs, once more rubbing the bridge of his nose. "However…yes, you raise some good points. I have no experience with souls, and am not a mage or priest. I would have been sure, /absolutely/ certain that it would have had no biological risks attached before any separation plan was enacted, AND I would have apprised you of any risks, and potentialities. I'm not a monster, nor am I a hack."

That hand is lowered from his brow. "Very well, I'll see if I can fashion you some sort of 'HellKitty Kibble'".


Neena slowly folds her arms and holds Hank's stare, challenging the bigger and unarguably much more educated mutant.

"What is a 'demon,' Hank" she simply asks before continuing. "A convenient label, that's what. I can tell you right now this critter isn't some angel that fell from heaven. It's real easy to call it a demon but it turns out there's a lot of dimensions that -all look like Hell,- the ONLY thing we know about it is that it isn't of this realm. We don't have any proof of its origins or classification, and let's not forget that -this- one -saved- Thea and I. 'Pure malice' my pasty white ass."

Maybe she's reaching a bit but some of her points are valid!

"If all it took to be slapped with the 'Big D' label were fangs and funky eyes then you'd be right there with me."

Excessive ribbing and theological debates aside, Hank relents and Neena lets out a quick breath. "Yes. That. Do that" she encourages while reaching back for her pad. "And bear in mind that you aren't treating an infection. You're helping a friend."

With this last part said she reaches a fingertip up to poke -directly- at a tiny, nearly invisible scar which she knows damn well still exists at Hank's throat as she moves to walk past him.


"Have you asked it?" Hank asks in a reasonable tone. "You can communicate with it, right…or have you not tried to do so?" Not like Hank knows. "I am sure you're aware of techniques for playing an asset, right? Perhaps you should consider what the creature's agenda is before you rule out malice, you might have just been a bus ride out of Hell, and after all, you want to bus to get to the destination, right?"

Hank is pretty smart, after all. He doesn't /know/ anything, but what he says -is- reasonable and probably tracks pretty well with many things Neena has experienced. And done.

Hank nods then at Neena's direction to make the Kibble for HellKitty. "I will do what I can, with the soil I should get a feel for the needs of the plants, which the plants will help me confirm, and the fauna blood I /might/ be able to come up with something." A firm nod. "I will do my best, Neena."

A beefy hand catches Domino's poking finger, and he looks her right in the eyes. "This HellKitty is no friend of mine, nor do I think ultimately it is a friend of /yours/. But…for *your* sake, I will do this thing, if it CAN be done, it -will- be."

He releases her hand then, and sighs as he looks at poor Bessy, pondering if he can ever hope to get that stink out.


Neena stops short as a large chunk of her forearm disappears within Hank's furry grasp, pulling her those few inches away from her retreat to look back at the other mutant.

This time she really cannot argue with the points which he raises.

"Maybe it isn't a friend, but it is me. This'd be a lot easier if I could throw its shit on the curb and change the locks."

When her hand is freed she again moves to walk away, now with a heavier weight to her steps.


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