1963-07-30 - Fire Giants in Limbo
Summary: Illyana deals with some Fire Giants who are not welcome in her home plane.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
louis illyana 

The dimensions are fragile and each time they are speared or broken by a being transitioning from one state of existence to another it mars them. Tell-tale marks are left that those with the proper sight can observe or sense. Fluctuations of energy, residual echoes, ragged tears at the fabric of reality. It all serves to allow the savvy traveler to examine aspects of such transitions, and to track down small details about them.

At Columbia University, where only hours ago fiery creatures emerged from a pillar of flame, the aftermath is still yet to be cleared. The students who has witnessed it had a very difficult time conveying to the authorities what had happened. Claims of large fire creatures, of armored beings, beautiful magical women, one of the Professors leaping to battle… it was all insane and outlandish. Ultimately it was perhaps written off to bad dosages of The Drugs. Yet that doesn't stop the good Professor King from kneeling there at the fire-blackened craters that were the only physical evidence.

He crouched there with his hand drifting over the charred grass and the blackened rocks, seeking some hint of the goals of those who were here earlier. The resonance is strange, it does not 'feel' like a transition from Muspelheim, does not feel like a direct link was open.

He stands up and moves from point to point, gathering intelligence as he can. The spell connecting the creatures here feels less like a portal and more like a 'corridor' of a sort. A multi-tiered transitionary enchantment that was held for an extended period of time and then allowed to close. No, not linked to Muspelheim.

He frowns and dusts off his hands. Louis King extends one hand and presses against the resistance but is able to make the tear in that same spot, reaching out to the point of origin. There. No, not Muspelheim.

One moment, King is there, the next he is gone. And when he appears again he finds himself not in Midgard, nor Muspelheim… but in Limbo?


Not just in Limbo. Limbo's a big, very abstract place. 'Louis' finds himself standing in an estuary of sorts, a point where one of the many demesnes in Limbo joins to the 'primary' reality of that tortured, abstract void. The three fire giants look a bit stymied, unable to pass furthur into the demiplane.

It seems they're being stymied by a tiny blonde girl, who is small by human standards and positively diminutive by those of the fire giants.

"This is not your concern. We seek Belasco for permission to walk his lands. Fetch your master."

"The only thing Belasco left behind here was three fingers, an eyeball, and one of his testicles. I made him eat the other one," she tells them, her tone blunt and direct.

"So, if you want to pass into /my/ home, you'll treat and tribute with me. Otherwise, I start cutting bits off you until you learn your manners again. You— you're the ugliest." She points at the tallest one, the de facto leader. "I'll start with you."


At times the pomp of courtly dress and cultivated manner is required when conducting negotiations with various rulers of whichever realm an Asgardian comes across. Yet after having heard the tiny blonde girl speak in such a way to the delegates of the fire giants, he decides against the shining armor and regalia of a Prince of Asgard. Instead he approaches the group gathered at that entry point, walking up behind the trio of blazing red-skinned creatures with the flames for hair.

For now he goes unnoticed by them, though the young woman most assuredly sees him. He's tall for a human, angular, sharp of feature. Wearing a grey suit with a green tie he looks rather pointedly mundane though that most likely is deceiving. He seems to take up his place there and awaits to be addressed, letting her conduct her business with the giants to her satisfaction.


The fire giants give each other uneasy looks. Illyana's entirely too tiny. But she absolutely isn't backing down despite the massive height differential, and most unnervingly, she doesn't even have a weapon in hand.

"Muspelhim demands passage into Limbo," the big one snarls, through a mouth full of teeth and tongue that don't lend themselves to human languages. "Belasco was not so tough. I think little girl— EAAAUGH!" he screams. He'd started reaching for Illyana, and the tiny woman's response was to rather calmly rip a fingernail from his huge palm. With her bare hands.

"You seem to be having trouble with concept of 'not your things'," she says, her accent distinctly Slavic. She flings the fingernail back at the giant's face. "Want to try again? I have nothing better to do today."


Louis' face clenches for a moment as he scrunches one eyeball, sympathetic to the giant's pain as he winces. He shifts his weight to one foot, then back to the other as he looks between the trio. They're not of the nobility, nor the leadership of Muspelheim, definitely not one of their high thinkers, that is for sure.

Keeping silent for now, the traveler from Midgard awaits the attention of the young woman, biding his time until the giants finally give up and beat their retreat. It's only once that's done that the tall man with the well-groomed beard steps forward and clears his throat to attempt to gain Illyana's attention.

Should she deign to look upon him he'll answer the glance with a smile and touch a hand to the center of his chest as he executes a perfect courtly bow with off hand reaching back and behind him, one foot forward with heel down and rocking his weight back upon the other as he bows at the waist.

Straightening up he lifts his voice, "I bid you greetings, madame."


Illyana glances at Loki. "Greetings? Madame?" She looks over her shoulder, then points at her sternum. "Me? Why do you butter me up? You want to come through Limbo, too?"

One of the giants, sensing Illyana's distraction, starts to reach for her again. She snaps her head around and aims a palm at him. That's all. The giant staggers, then screams in pain as he simply /dissolves/ in a cascade of yellow sparkling light. He was no mere creature of flesh, but a fully fledged Surturkin— literally born of magic.

And Illyana disintegrated him with a mere gesture.

The other two giants decided discretion is the better part of valor and beat feet, running into the wild planes of Limbo, and leaving Loki and Illyana alone at the cusp of her home.

"Sorry. What? Who're you again?" Illyana says, kicking a dust pile over with a booted toe.


"I am Loki of Asgard," The tall man rests his hands upon his hips as he addresses her, his eyes level with hers. The green irises there are calm and pleasant, perhaps tinged with laughter not given voice. His mouth is curved into a hint of a smile, but held in check by something akin to propriety.

Turning his head to the side he looks after the direction with which the giants used to depart, then looks back towards her. "I come upon you from the realm of Midgard, crossing through the entry way that the Fire Giants forged in their effort to exert what influence they could upon the denizens there. I tracked their passage back to here, and so I would ask of you much, and in return offer you same."

He finishes those words with a lowering of his eyes and an opening of his palms towards her as if to show he was unarmed.


"What's in it for me?" Illyana's tones are blunt and to the point. There's little regard for propriety or the niceties of fair speech and social etiquette. She's no queen with social graces— she's a tyrant, self appointed and absolutely the ruler of hre little domain. It might set Loki back on his heels a little, with the unreadable stare she levels on him, giving no indication that travel is even up for barter, let alone what the terms would be.


The response does indeed put him on his heels for a moment, though the only sign of such is the incline of a single eyebrow. "The well-wishes of Asgard, the recognition of new dominion, and peace for Midgard." Louis links his hands behind his back as he looks to the young woman, turning his head slightly to the side so he can look upon her askance. He smiles, "Though it does surprise me that they apparently were given free rein to pass through and launch their attack through this corridor."

The college professor makes a small and thoughtful 'hm' to himself as if considering the repercussions of such. He looks back towards her and then his tone shifts just a smidge, "Though if those guys with the burning asses pissed you off, then this would be a good way to stick it to them. And, to be fair, I'd owe you a bit. It's good to have a Prince of Asgard indebted to you. You never know when it could come in useful."


Illyana stares at Loki, thinking, and taking her time to do it. She doesn't seem rushed at all.

"They didn't piss me off," she corrects Loki. "They just pushed a boundary. I don't really care what happens ten feet over there. But they wanted free passage through my home. Belasco had some kind of deal with them, I guess, but I declared all of his contracts null and void on the basis of I Said So."

"So, so far, you're asking for free passage and promising me nyet. Who are you to speak for Asgard, anyway?"


"Oh no," Louis holds up a hand, his smile amiable as he says, "I have no desire for passage. I merely seek positive ties between our two houses. If the Fire Giants of Muspelheim seek to use your realm to attack Midgard and you deny them that… then we are rather pleased of that decision."

He pauses and then again touches his hand to the center of his chest, lowering his eyes in a small bow. "I am Loki Odinson, Prince of Asgard. Myself and my brother stand as envoys to Midgard and so in turn have some concern about the aggression of Surtur's kin upon the mortal realm."


"Oh, so I'm doing you a favor? Good to know," Illyana says, fairly purring. That was quick, for an otherwise human looking person. She radiates strongly of magics, both dark and light, but the overwhelming chaos of Limbo so permeates her every cell that it's hard to get a 'read' on her.

"As a rule I don't let people into my home," she tells Loki. "People in general, and persons in specific. They track dirt and they leave holes in the walls. That said…" she pokes a toe in the dirt, tracing an absent arc in the dust. "They're probably going to come back offering me a good deal. You want to see if you can pre-empt them with a sweeter pot?"


"Assuredly," Louis rests a hand upon his hip as he turns slightly as if trying to gaze upon her from another angle, "I feel it is perhaps best to let you decide for yourself which side you may favor. What they have to offer you…" He lifts a fingertip to scritch at the stubble of his beard, "I do not entirely think it would be to your liking. And attaching yourself to their cause most likely would not be wise."

The tall man withdraws a cigarette from his jacket pocket and snaps open a silvered lighter to produce a bit of fire, then snaps the lighter back to its place in his pocket. He takes a drag on it and then gestures with the smoking ember, "At the best, you may gain a few giants willing to be passingly polite to you as they seek to subvert your rule ultimately if only so they don't have to continually offer such respect."

He ashes the cigarette, letting her thoughts follow along with his as he adds, "At the worst your realm becomes a proxy battleground between the two powers and that would leave it ill-used." A small shrug is given, "But I'll relay your thoughts to the All Father. I doubt, however, he will be amenable."


"At worst, I'll collapse this entire demesne down to nothing and destroy everything and everyone in it," Illyana corrects Loki, mildly. "But, you're already ahead on points by at lest pretending to offer me something, instead of those giant clods /demanding/ passage from me."

"So who's this All Father?" she asks, folding her legs under her knees and floating comfortably in the air. Nevermind gravity, it's an illusion of perception in Limbo. "Aside from the obvious. Is he your king? Your boss?"


This does seem to surprise Loki for some reason as he looks to the young woman floating there before him. But then he seems to rethink his position, eyes lifting upwards for a moment and he makes a small 'hm' to himself before looking back to her. "Odin Borson, the All Father, King of Asgard and its peoples." He says this with an ease as if he had announced the name enough times in the past for other envoys or representatives.

"He is my father," The tall man smiles and then surges even further past the Fire Giants as he withdraws his pack of Newports and offers her one. Should she accept he'll give her one, if she refuses they disappear back into his front jacket pocket.

"You can collapse the entire realm? That is…rather interesting."


"Oh. I've heard of him."

Illyana examines the cigarettes, but neither reaches for one or offers a polite declination. She just stares expectantly at Loki.

"I thought the Prince of Asgard was, y'know." She flexes her skinny arms. "Big. You're kind of small for a god." She rubs her nose with the back of her sleeve, completely disdaining good manners. The question about collapsing the pocket universe doesn't earn any elabouration, either.


For whatever reason he seems fine with withdrawing the pack, symbolic of the meeting of him offering to meet perhaps half way of a sort, but at ease with her not doing the same. He answers her with a small smile, "My brother, Thor. He is a bit taller." For a moment he considers stopping there as explanation, but then puffs up a touch and lifts his arms from his sides as if flexing, "Bigger."

But that is enough of an explanation of he two, "I will convey your well-wishes to him. But for now trust that you enjoy our thanks for denying the Giants a path through which they might attack the mortals." He steps back and lowers his eyes again, as if seeking leave to depart.


"How far is Asgard?" Illyana asks, before Loki can turn away. She drops her feet and stands. It's a bit unnerving, watching her move— she has the same disregard for gravity and physics as native demons, even though she's decidedly quite human in appearance. She meanders closer to Loki. "I've never been to Asgard. I've heard it's lovely. Is it far to reach? Further than other realms?" she says, pressing him for information.


Cocking an eyebrow, Louis turns back towards her and smiles a bit, though his smile is tinged with a curiousity to it now. "Well as someone so gifted, you must be aware that each realm is but a moment form another in some ways. Yet depends on the effort expended." He ashes his cigarette and then punches out the faint ember, making sure it is sufficiently extinguished before his fingers flicker with a hint of eldritch energy that causes the butt to implode with a faint 'pop'.

"Are you aware of the 9 realms that all share a dimensional barrier separating them from the others?" He asks her quietly as he does not draw back, perhaps feeling it is a sufficient act of diplomacy to make himself and these answers available to an individual of this realm.


"How do you think I get between Limbo and Earth?" Illyana says, with an upticked brow to match his. "I know it's not a literal walk," she says. "But some places are a longer hop than others."

"Clearly, you've got the magic to go wherever you like," she tells Loki, pursing her lips. "So either there are ways that only Asgard knows, or you've got ways— or power— no one else has," she points out to him. "Can this technique for reaching Asgard be taught? Or is it a power inherent to Princes of Odin?"


Tilting his head to the side, Louis looks upon her with a measure of consideration as if looking for her 'angle'. But then he murmurs, "Each realm has its defenses against unwelcome entry. Asgard is no different." He once again links his hands behind his back. But then his smile broadens as he murmurs, "If you wish to visit Asgard I am sure something can be arranged. Though it might not be entirely to your liking." For a moment he looks like he was about to say something else, but he does not.

Instead he uncurls a hand, "A first step to open such diplomatic ties, however, might be if I knew how I would present you to the court if you arrived on my arm."


"Illyana," the woman tells Loki. "Sorceress Supreme of Limbo."

Were it anyone else making such a claim, Loki might think it outrageous. But there's the way she casually obliterated a fire giant with a flick of her fingers— literally undoing it with willpower alone. No spells or sorcery, just raw focus and attunement.

"I rule Limbo. …more or less," she concedes. "We're basically a high-functioning anarchy, and I'm queen bee. That's why I'm picky about letting people go rambling around."


"Ah," Louis smiles to her and for a moment she might get the impression he would step towards her. But instead he takes a breath and offers her with an open tone of voice, "I have been looking for a sorcerer supreme for some time. A pity when I come upon one that they dwell in a realm that is not one of the nine."

As he says that he straightens up, folding his arms over his chest with those emerald eyes gauging her anew. She is so powerful, so assured in some ways. Yet there is something about her that to him whispers of unease. He opens a hand towards her and murmurs, "Illyana, have you ruled Limbo for a long time? You seem as if… this role did not fully sit well with you. Or if you are in some way coming to terms with what has passed."

He stops for a moment, then tells her, "I say this not in a way to advance my goals, for in truth I do not hold your realm in any plans I have made. Yet you seem to be an individual in a unique position."


Illyana stares at his hand rather pointedly until it's withdrawn, making no effort to shake it. She's not a toucher, it seems. "There's not really a calendar here. I'm in charge of Limbo— so, as far as Limbo's concerned, I'm neither the next person nor the jerk who lost the chair most recently. It makes adaptability a lot easier to pull off when the universe literally turns on my every heartbeat."

She scratches her wrist, absently, her eyes going thoughtful. "Well, the only other Sorceror Supreme I know is Dr. Strange. He's on Earth. I guess that's Midgard for you?" she says, wrinkling her pert nose. "Anyway, Earth is his territory. He keeps an eye on things there, like I do, here. Making sure people don't go around knocking down the walls, tearing up the furniture."


"Dr. Strange?" The man in grey smiles openly, "Do you know aught more about him?" Louis shifts his weight to the other foot as he takes a step back. "It would be good for me to contact him and perhaps coordinate our efforts."

Though as he says this he frowns to himself and looks to the side, eyes distancing for an instant as if hearing a distant voice. He looks back towards her, "Forgive me, Illyana. I am afraid I must cut my time here short. If you transition to Earth, you may find me under my alias of Louis King at Columbia University."

Once that's said he lowers his eyes slightly then steps back to depart, his stride carrying him to that faint ripple of reality that was barely there upon his arrival.


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