2020-07-01 - Was There A Disk?


There's a visitor to the Rasputin home …. well, a resident returns. Maybe.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Jul 1 06:20:54 2020
Location: 46 Willow Place

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Theme Song



It isn't that the house is haunted. Not really. It's just that the house is… special. Dimensionally weak. That's how it actually wound up in the care of one Rasputina, care that it is still technically in according to the paperwork. It helps of course that it still has residents. Keiko and her daughter. Care must be taken by all to make sure that no one slips into a portal to God only knows where but so long as certain doors are shut and locked that's easily managed.

It's easy to THINK the house is haunted though. It is later at night and Koa had been over to bring some parts that Keiko needed to keep the place in good repair. That had been an hour and a glass of vodka ago and now he is in the living room reading a rather lengthy dossier on beings whose names are mostly vowel sounds.

And then the lights fritz and flicker and then die.

"Ugh." Is all Koa says at first. "Keiko the power has gone ag-" Oh wait. There are the lights coming back up now.

Keiko had put Elena to bed several hours ago when the tap in the laundry had just fallen off. Of course, she needed something near the age of the one that had failed, which is why Koa had got a rather terse text message from her.

As the lights flicker, Keiko enters the living room wiping her hands on a rag. "The taps replaced. The power does that about this time of night. You get used to it." She says. Taking Koa's vodka and drinking it.

There's been a dearth of Rasputins for a while now. Hopefully there will never be a Darth Rasputin.

When Illyana took her staff up again, she sent Keiko and Koa back to Earth and hasn't been heard from. Given how Limbo works though, that could mean nothing. Or everything. Limbo's been quiet, though so… looking pretty good?

"I thought that was my trick." The voice might startle the pair of them, no matter how familiar the dry tone is, or the way they can feel her presence the way you can tell someone is near you in a dark room, even if you can't see them.

The stepping disk that heralds Illyana's arrival is like a herald that walks before her, but this time, there was no flare of light. But there's definitely a blonde perched on the kitchen counter, leaning her weight onto palms that rest on the counter while her legs dangle down, heavy boots crossed at the ankles.

The blonde hair is longer than the pixie cut they say her with last, but not quite so long as they're used to. All the black leather is familiar, though. The dark makeup about her eyes and glints of silver jewelry set with tiny skulls and crystal matrices.

"Don't try to demon me you little…" Koa is is in the process of annoyedly reclaiming his vodka from Keiko knowing EXACTLY what she's doing when she takes it from him. She might have gotten kicked in the shin, possibly. His magical senses inform him late of the stepping disk herald to Illyana's arrival and thus both she and Keiko are treated to the sight of him starting when she speaks.

When he turns to look, well. There's that familiar flare of magical aura again. The one she'd been missing when she 'reset' herself. "… you're back." He finally manages. "Welcome home."

Home. Is this home for her? Is it in fact home for Keiko? Koa doesn't know that he could say either way.

The dossier that Koa had sort of tossed to the table when the lights went out is open to a picture of exaggerated, grimacing statue and there is a wooden 'knife' on the table. Well, there is a large, flat, wedge shaped piece of hard wood that's studded with sharks teeth. So… for some definition of knife.

"Did you get the time you needed? Keiko wanted to have something prepared for your return but…" But they didn't know WHEN she would return so there was no way have anything ready. He glances to the Peruvian to see how she is reacting.

"The leather is an improvement." He adds.

Keiko nearly spills the vodka that she's managed to shield from Koa fairly successfully. Even when he kicks her. That will bruise but that's nothing new.

Keiko's tattooes tingle as the portal opens though She starts at the voice, drawing the rod she always carries now but not quite extending it when she realises who that is.

"Are you back to stay?" It's a very controlled question and there's no emotion on her face. She hasn't kneeled, though she wants to - Illyana had told her not too, after all.

"Is it?" Illyana stretches her legs out a bit, and then pushes herself forward enough to slip off from her perch and onto the floor. The thick soles of her shoes hit with a *thud*. "And there's never enough Time, Koa. You should know that."

Illyana strolls over to the other two, glancing down at Keiko, given that the Peruvian is so short. One corner of her mouth quirks up, just a bit, perhaps seeing how Keiko wants to take that knee. As for staying? "You know what they say. Nothing is forever." That hint of a smile slips away, leaving nothing to warm the chilly blue eyes. "I was never supposed to be here, you know."

That is perhaps the one loss from her previous, amnesiac state. Even when she was boiling mad those eyes looked a lot more… human. But losing that is often the price for playing in the game that the three of them are playing. Koa lets it go without comment and takes advantage of Keiko's distraction and resisted desire to take a knee to finish recovering his glass. Demonic and predatory instincts he understand but damned if she's going to apply them to him.

There is something different about Koa's own aura. Keiko has of course had lots of time to get used to it. She was there when it happened. But the Beast part of him is much closer to the surface. And a light more tightly bound into his flesh. And the collar has five filled teeth now so… there's also that.

"Over the punk rocker attire? Yeah, a bit." It's a lot more her. It had honestly thrown him the first time he'd seen it. Well, the first time he'd seen it and realized who he was looking at. He even glances to Keiko as if for confirmation. Improvement, no?

"Here? Or 'here'?" The location or 'here at all'. Both are probably true on some level.

"Where, or what, were you supposed to be?"

This is possibly a sliiiiightly unwise question to ask but both women well know at this point that slightly unwise is kind of how he is.

"Do they?" Keiko asks without inflection. The answer is 'no' then - that's how she interprets that. Koa manages to slip the glass from her hand and she turns her lizard eyed stare on him for a moment before heading to the kitchen for two more tumblers and the extra bottle of vodka she's got in the habit of keeping in the freezer.

"It's you." The peruvian means the look "And it suits you better than the other." Direct as usual. Perhaps more so. "Did you get lost on your stepping disk?" She asks as she returns.

Meaning - did Illyana not mean to come to this house tonight.

"Just as a Sorceress is neither early nor late, she's always where she means to be." The blonde paraphrases at Keiko's question of her Stepping Disks having gone awry. Then she's easing down to perch on the arm of the couch instead of taking what might arguably by a more comfortable position on the couch.

"Here." She makes a vague gesture, as though to say 'all of this'. "Earth. Splinter Lords stay in their realms." That pale blue gaze is slid Koa's way, as he knows that better than most. It's not too hard to follow the logic. If she'd stayed in her realm, she wouldn't have ended up a shadow of herself. Or… is she the Shadow now?

A huff of amusement come sat Keiko's observation of her attire. "I could rock a pink ballgown if I wanted." She gives a slow wink to the smaller woman without ever cracking a smile.

It doesn't take much for Koa to follow that logic, no. Splinter Lords shape their realms but they are shaped by them. Eventually the two become singular in nature. The realm is as the Lord and the Lord is as the realm. Changing the one changes the other but change comes slowly if at all to both. After all, one cannot simply alter the nature of a dimension. Or a godling.

They do this mostly because of the power and safety their realms afford them. But few, if any, have ever been human. It has not escaped Koa, nor will it have escaped Keiko that in the weeks that Illyana has been gone, a great deal more time could have passed for her. Keiko spent seven years there during the course of a hundful of days.

So is she that Shadow now?

"Rules like that are slightly overrated. Limbo doesn't have Starbucks." The fact that Illyana CAN wink like that, make a joke, says that perhaps she isn't that Shadow. Or not entirely anyway.

"Did you happen to run into Belasco while you were in there? He was highly interested in… slightly too many things last time we saw him." Keiko gets a sidelong glance. One of those things had been her and that Promethium tattoo. And ah. She's back with more Vodka. He does, after she has filled other glasses, hold out his again.

"It's good to see you again." Keiko can't say that. Won't say that. She's making some progress back toward being human with a LOT of shoving from Koa but there. He said it. For both of them. "At least this time the world isn't coming apart." Beat. "That I know of." It's not, is it?

Koa's beast finally leans out, peeking, snuffling. Keiko knows it does that a lot more than it used to.

"Pink isn't your colour." Keiko answers. "Purple though or emerald green." There's no wink in return and certainly no smile - maybe that was a joke in return though.

Handing Illyana a tumbler with Vodka and ice, Keiko pours a large one for herself and looks like she's going to set the bottle down, despite Koa holding his glass out. There's a long moment that she ignores that in - long enough that he might think she actually will ignore him - before she pours a half measure for the other WAND agent.

"Do they? Where is that written? Who says that they do?" the peruvian challenges. "As far as I know, there's never been a Splinter Lord like you - so who says what the rules are?"

As the beasts head pokes out, Keiko rolls her eyes and gives Koa a very pointed look. "You're insides are showing."

"Well Belasco never did, but then he also didn't have much of a choice." Illyana accepts the glass and takes a slow swallow before going on. "Eventually, I don't think they can. There's no point at which the realm ends and they begin, it's all one and the same. That's why you'll hear about one being 'killed', and they just show up again. It's just a reflection of them that was destroyed." She frowns a bit. "A shadow."

It's sort of like Belasco as well, the way he always seems to come back. Perhaps in his time as ruler, he became part of Limbo which Illyana is now joined to.

Koa's comment about the End Of The World As We Know it gets another soft huff. "Well. If *you* don't know about it, things must be safe. For now."

The Beast gets a frown, blue eyes narrowing slightly. An expression both are familiar with. Less annoyance and more thinking. A moment and then her gaze refocuses from the Beast to Koa's eyes, a brow winging upwards a bit in silent query.

Koa doesn't respond right away, either to her explanation to Keiko or to the silent question. He's… thinking. She's not wrong. Eventually the rulers of the Splintered Realms become fixed in their roles and no longer people. Most of them have been that way for so long that no one remembers whether or not they ever were anything else.

"There are paths you can travel, Keiko, that can't be easily untravelled. If at all. Go far enough down them and what comes out the other side is just… echoes of what went in. Faded leaves on the autumn wind. Memories of summer." That's imagery that the Peruvian should get and it's relevant here. He had been talking to her very recently about needing to be human before she simply could not be anymore. Before she was just… a shadow.

Absently he pokes at the astral muzzle protruding from the side of his head and the Beast whuffles impatiently. It, or he, wants to see. "It's a bit more woven into me now. Courtesy of your former teacher." And Koa's own stubbornness but really Koa's stubbornness is the source of many - mostly painful - things. The head leans out a bit further and the ghostly 'tether' that connects the two can be seen before the whole thing disappears back into Koa's human(ish) form.

The WAND Agent holds up a hand to Keiko. "Don't even think it." She named it. He was not amused.

"Well, if I don't know about it I can at least pretend that things are okay for the moment." There's a short pause. "You came back though. So that separation is still there." And she is still… herself. In some capacity. Another pause and then… "What was it like?"

To be out of the game. To be, in some sense, free?

Keiko actually looks confused for a fraction of a moment before her face resolves to that passive mask she wears. "You don't know for certain though and they weren't like you." Keiko is well aware that for Illyana was cold and distant, she had tried to hold onto her humanity.

It's why she had such a strong connection to her brother.

"What are you saying though? That you can't stay here?" For all that Koa has tried, Keiko is still just as direct and there's something lacking in her interactions.

"It is him, I think…" She means about the beast.

"Because they never really come out the other side at all." Illyana's comment to Koa's poetic description is a soft murmur.

As Koa explains the Beast, there's a slight narrowing of Illyana's eyes, as though she's considering something. Smart men would worry about that look. But she doesn't say anything more on the astral projection, even as Koa and Keiko offer commentary. A topic for another time, it seems.

A thin smile follows the observation. "Did I? Maybe I'm not really here after all." They didn't see the flash of a Stepping Disk. How *did* she get in?

That icy gaze turns to Keiko then. "Do we know for certain that none of them were like me? And I feel like admitting to 'can't' goes against my nature." There's that slight upturn of one corner of her mouth again, like she's reaching for some of her usual humor.

Koa is worried. A bit. He should be worried more but well. No one has ever accused him of being overly smart. Overly determined, possibly. Overly stoic, a bit. But not overly smart. Still he is sure this will probably come later. For a moment he just looks over at Illyana, adding silent agreement to her comment.

And yes, actually comes to that… how DID she get in?

"I think there's some mint chocolate chip in the freezer." He says after a moment. "You two should talk at some point." Beat. "And we should talk at some point."

He moves for the door. It's late. A third of the house is already sleeping and he should head home before he drinks too much more. "Good night Keiko. And Illyana… glad you're back."

The door shuts behind him and moments later even his shadow is gone.

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