1963-10-05 - If These Walls Could KILL
Summary: A routine vampire hunt becomes an impromptu demolition when a Hell's Kitchen tenement unveils its horrible new renovations.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
cable logan marie-ange 


Fresh blood from Adair's lips marks a zig-zagging trail through the Kitchen's alleys as he runs for his unlife from the white-capped, silver-limbed— thing that's been on him since 56th. How it found he and his gang, he'll never know; ditto for how it managed to twist Rory's head from his body so quickly. What he does knows is that it's down to just him and it, and it seems to be gaining.

Fortunately for Adair, however, he spots a tenement door lingering open as he rounds a corner. Who— whatever has arbitrarily decided to ruin his night may very well not be fooled by him ducking out of the pursuit, but the shadows on the other side of the door do offer plenty of opportunities for a creature of the night…


As he brushes the last remnants of Adair from his bodysuit and steps into a three-way intersection of halls, Cable furrows his brow upon realizing that all of the apartments he's looking at are ones he's already passed.

The lines only deepen once he glances over his shoulder to see a maintenance room door instead of the way he came.


A crackling, fuschia anaconda explodes from a tenement building's seventh floor and briefly lights the midnight skies over Hell's Kitchen before being muted by the otherworldly gloom shadowing it. Shortly afterwards, a white-haired man lugging a gun as interpreted by a Martian with serious inadequacy issues goes flying out of the hole it created.

Instead of, say, screaming that he's about to die, or perhaps looking for a soft place to land, he twists himself mid-fall, levels the weapon towards the building, and unleashes a second fuschia blast.

Which - given that the building reacts by sprouting a wriggling mass of copper-studded, grasping limbs from its seventh floor wound and using some of those limbs to protect itself with dead trees and abandoned cars - may not have been the worst call. The beam still rakes across its surface, but it leaves scorches rather than a gaping hole.

As the white-haired man crashes into the hood of a spared car, the building's surface bubbles as windows become gnashing mouths and baleful eyes. A low, earthen groan sounds as it hauls itself - foundation and all - from its home, held up by copper limbs and and wounded rage.


Logan had been doing a round of the dive bars, paying off tabs from when he went on his bender last month. A Wolverine can put up quite a tab and most bartenders weren't likely to try'n collect. Logan didn't like owin', it wouldn't sit well on his conscience and he'd managed to track most of the gutters and juke joints down.

He's walking down the street, cigar clenched in his teeth, when Cable makes his sudden impact on the car in front of him. Logan's head cocks and he blows twin-plumes of smoke from his nostrils as he takes in the scene.

"Well. Guessin' you done an' pissed somebody off, silverback," he says. "Question is, you an angel, a devil or just a mutant with a bad landin'?" he says, gazing up and trying to follow the trail of where Cable fell from above.


Marie had just been looking for a nice place to sleep for the night. That's really all there was as to it as far as the why she was here. She was just going to mind her own business, find a place to curl up, and that would be that.

…that was changed very quickly by the way the sky was lit up with something that most definitely was /not/ fireworks. "Mon dieu!" she gasps, going immediately to her cards, flee, or fight. The six of cups was a card of remembrance… so it was a call to her upbringing. For all the turmoil that she went through, they /did/ teach her to help people.

So she's going immediately to the one who looks like he probably was hurt… falling out of a huge building and landing on a car would do that to a person. "Monsieur, are you alright?" she asks of the white-haired man. The hairy fellow gets a brief look, but he doesn't look to be injured, and therefore isn't her focus of the moment.


"Yeah," groans Cable as he painstakingly pulls himself upright, "I wouldn't exactly say I pissed somebody off."

Raising a hand, Cable extends his index finger towards— a French girl! Who his left eye snaps towards a beat later and narrows on.

"I'm— hh— " he grunts while trying to juggle sizing her up with recovering from a seven story fall. His right eye pulses brightly a few times before settling down to a stable intensity. Cradling the side of his head, he looks to either side, then rolls off of the hood so he can collect his gun— which, despite the seven stories, he does with a hurried, if still clearly pained gait rather than, say, an agonized crawl.

"What've you got?" he hisses. "'s gotta be quick— I expect that thing's gonna be getting more ambulatory by the second."

Speaking of that thing: it elicits screams from a neighboring apartment when one of its tendrils smashes through a window and prayers from many others in eyeshot of the spectacle. Its many mouths begin to gnash and howl and gibber as its eyes scan around the Kitchen. One of said eyes actually protrudes several feet towards Cable, Logan, and Marie-Ange. Its entire body shudders at the sight of the white-haired man, glass and brick clattering horrendously with rubbery, copper-studded new-flesh.

"RETREAT," one mouth rumbles, "FROM," another continues, "MY. PREY. AND. KNOW. MERCY." The eye bobs and sways and stares, unblinking.



Logan may not have gotten the lay of the land much and he's not one to judge on appearance, but holy shit, that thing definitely don't look like your friendly neighborhood inhumane mutant. That looks like a straight-up, jacked-up, fucked-up motherfucker from the 10th flamin' dimension. Wolvie's willin' to take the chance that, this time, the bad guy's pretty obvious.

"Hey, bub, I'm the top predator around these parts. You want another piece o' whitey here, you're gonna have to go through me," he says, crossing his gleaming claws in front of himself in threat.


Marie's focus was on Cable. The wounded man. Who… is surprisingly mobile for having fallen as far as he did. That's good, he'll be able to get the help he might need, even if not from her (what could she do, really?)

…of course. That's not counting the /thing/ that put him in that condition. The thing that makes itself very much known with a voice that makes her believe a Hell may very well be real. Green eyes go wide. What to do? Eyes to the cards. The Nine of Cups. A good omen for wish furfillment.

So her next move is to spread her cards and choose another, holding it up to herself. The girl's trembling, but she isn't moving from her spot. She's mumbling something to herself — begging saints for this to work, for those with better hearing who might understand the French — and out from the card another creature grows to face the hunter, almost as if being inflated like a balloon. Those of certain faith might consider it — upon completion — a twenty-foot tall representation of the Devil himself, with a horned goat head, wings and cloven feet. In one hand, a torch burns mightily. Fingers of the other hand are clenched like a fist… but for the moment, it does not act.



The Duke's protruding pupil opens into a fanged mouth, because demonic anatomy is one hundred percent awful bullshit. The limb holding it aloft still isn't long enough to reach the Canucklehead, however, so it belches out a stream of burning black water instead. It razes a bubbling line in the pavement, headed straight for Logan!

The Duke continues to belch when the Devil appears in all of his infernal glory, but its(his?) seventh story tentacles halt on their way to undulating towards the feral mutant, thrashing through empty air. The eyes facing the right way focus in on the new arrival as black liquid dribbles from the corners of various maws.

"AND. WHAT," wonders the Duke in its concrete and broken glass voice, "ARE. YOU?"

Eager to sate its curiosity - at the very least - it scrabbles its copper legs up onto the pavement, drawing itself well and truly free of its mooring as those thrashing tentacles find a new target: the Devil.

"Claws, find cover! French girl!" shouts Cable - who has managed to scoop up his gun and drop down beside his landing point for temporary cover, "What else can you make? I think this thing is wounded, but I have no idea how wounded— and obviously, it's not looking to go down easy!" The oversized firearm in his left hand is lowered as he whips a handgun with a bright, blue strip running along its barrel and handel out with his right and squeezes off a few rounds at the tentacles menacing the Devil. This is enough to send a few of them curling away with black blood gushing from them, but he can't tag them all before they reach their target.


Logan leaps and rolls to the side, trying to dodge out of the way of the streaming black ichor heading in his direction, although some splashes on his shoulder, burning and sizzling through his shirt. "Jehosephat!" he yells in irritation, coming back up on his feet.

"I ain't takin' no cover, kid, I'm takin' a piece out o' this thing. This ain't steel, you sumbitch, this is adamantium and ain't a thing made yet it won't cut!" he snarls, diving at the Duke of Oil there and trying to slice through one of those protruding eye-stalks with a claw.


She had hoped that this would be as effective as it was the first time she used it in her own defense; it wasn't. The creature didn't go comatose when faced with the frightening visage of the Devil. She's had practice summoning from her cards before, but not fighting with them. "<I don't know!>" is yelled in French, in response to Cable's question; it's not entirely true, she's well aware of what images are on her cards… but at the same time? Marie's scared. She's scared, but the cards said to proceed, and she obeys their will.

Which is why her movement is limited to backing /away./ Trying to keep herself out of harms way while the Devil takes blows from those tentacles, while focusing more attention on making her creature act — if a car were to come down the street? She'd be in some trouble, because she's in the middle of it.

The Devil, meanwhile, responds to those blows in kind, howling out unnaturally and reaching out with his empty hand to try and /grab/ a bunch of the tentacles, before the other hand tries to drive the torch directly into the Duke. Curiousity has a way of finding things out; those blows from the Duke will learn that the Devil is very real, and if the attack is successful? That fire is very hot.



Cable doesn't even have time for a double-take - the Duke and the Devil are not only having a wrestling match, they're having it entirely too close for his comfort - but his brow is definitely furrowed in bemusement as he does a brisk hobble down the street, firing a couple more sidearm-slugs behind himself. One bores a grapefruit-sized hole through the tentacle that is, by now, wedged into the screaming apartment's window, causing it to thrash about and send shooting through the surrounding brickwork before finally - inevitably - flopping free and dragging most of a room out with it.

Between it and the one that Wolverine manages to lop off - if it isn't already, 'freaky-ass demon flesh' can safely be added to the list of things that Adamantium can cut through - the Duke is not having a great tentacle day— and they're only the beginning. Wounded and robbed of prey, the Duke's Devil-fighting tentacles eagerly grapple his infernal prey's limbs, intent on trying to immobilize the infernal construct while the rest of his meal is brought to heel.

The fire rather complicates things, of course.

Copper studs grow increasingly bright as the flesh surrounding them blisters. They glow until they are no longer studs, but molten rain splashing the streets below indiscriminately as the tentacles fight to jerk themselves free of the Devil's grasp. One of the droplets splashes near Cable, causing him to do a hard detour through a deli's window so he can wait out the rest of it.


Cable's second bullet collapsed one of maybe a dozen limbs. Thanks to the simultaneous injuries inflicted by the three mutants, the Duke's structure lets out a pained groan as it lists to one side for several precarious seconds before finally, sloooowly righting itself, shuddering loudly all the way.

"YOUR— " the mouth hacks a glass-rattling cough. "NEW " KOFF "HOME " KOFF KOFF


Six of its mouths cough out a swirling cloud of asbestos that sweeps down the street, shredding pavement and flora and non-demonic flesh alike as the Duke tries to buy itself some respite from the Devil's flames.

"French girl!" shouts Cable from the deli. He doesn't know that she doesn't know what, exactly, she's doing, just yet; that would take more thought than he can spare just now. A metal arm sticks out of the broken window, beckoning for a few moments before jerking clear. "Claws! Cover!"


Logan isn't exactly being the height of subtlety here. For once, he has an enemy that's obviously inhuman, notably evil and, well, pretty damn gross and tough. For Logan, that just means he gets to party hearty as he can. He starts to slash and trash, snarling and driving his claws in with hard punches and razored cuts, quickly getting more ichor on him from the destruction they're all inflicting, since he's doing it in close quarters.

Not that he seems to mind, even when its blood sizzles on his skin. Logan's having fun.

Cable's callout does punch through the fog, though, and he ducks down, leaping and rolling to try and get behind the damn thing as the big soldier does…whatever it is he's gonna do.


Remember the part about Marie being in the streets? Yeah, it looks like cars weren't going to be the problem this time around. Cable's warning comes too late as the girl's focus on the fight has her too distracted to dodge the rain of fire, and instead she's grazed by one of the molten drops, causing a sharp yelp in pain that's mirrored by the Devil in kind. As her focus suddenly changes to getting /away,/ the Devil returns to stillness without Marie's direction, and soon vanishes into mist as the Duke's continued onslaught find purchase again and again.

As for what cover she chooses? Clutching the cards against her body with one arm, while the other folds over that and tries to attend to the wound — she's protecting said cards over herself, one might notice — she runs to crawl her way /under/ a truck that's parked on the street. It's not much, but it /does/ provide a shield from the melting rain, at least!

Still, looks like the guys are on their own without a giant tarot monster for the moment, at least.


Cable doesn't have much of a plan beyond 'vaguely try to prevent impromptu squad from being shredded by asbestos and/or burned by molten metal', and he's looking at a 50% success rate there, so far.

The storm abates in a matter of seconds, though: once the Devil disappears, the threat of burning isn't quite so imminent, so the Duke doesn't produce a second cloud of asbestos and there aren't any more spines to melt. What's left of the seared tentacles hangs down from the demon's eastern face in a twitching, fetid mass carpeting the street.

"Alright," Cable calls once he's sure that the street is (relatively) clear, "it's definitely wounded, but— "


"— not entirely subdued." Cable keeps right on talking over the Duke's defiance while bringing the oversized, rifle-ish thing at his left to his shoulder. "I can handle a collapse, but"

The Duke interrupts Cable's brisk strategizing by thrashing through several apartments with its remaining limbs. Thanks to all the bellowing and the violence, furniture is all that comes bellowing from most of the holes, but one of the tentacles comes out with a half-terrified, half-pissed off, all-exhausted man in his 40s straining and pushing and cursing in Italian as he is drawn towards one of the mouths. Another grips a frantically barking dog.

Give me something else, echoes in Marie-Ange's head in Frech. We need it. Anything. ASAP.

A beat later, Cable shouts, "Claws! Hostages!" and unleashes an undulating blue bolt that blinds several of the Duke's eyes and leaves the grabby tentacles wholly untouched. This buys the man and the dog a brief second of horible respite as the demonic architecture twists its upper half to and fro on some impossible pivot, shaking all about in his agitation.


Logan isn't much for taking orders from strangers, bu can't deny he's the best equipped to chop free the bystanders. He leaps, showing sharp reflexes as he lashes out, severing the tentacles and tendrils that try to drag in the innocent.

"Blow it's slimy ass brains out a'ready, bub!" he shouts, getting the dog loose and getting bitten himself for his troubles, even as the old man continues to curse in Italian, getting a string of the same back from Wolverine, "And your mama, too!" he shouts, spitting, "Clear!"


Mind you, Marie's still in panic mode. She doesn't know what's going to go happen, but the cards said it would end positively. It /hurts,/ but, they wouldn't lie to her, would they? These are the thoughts that are running through her head as Cable's voice interrupts — and stuns her out of it. For a moment, the pain, the worry, everything is forgotten. She simply acts.

Three cards are pulled at random and set on the ground — The Empress. the Eight of Pentacles. The Queen of Wands. She forces her concentration into it — it's the most she's been able to do.

Moments later? In front of the truck stand a woman in a long, flowing dress wielding a sceptre, and another of equally royal stature holding a large wooden staff. In front of them? Eight plate-sized discs with pentacles engraven on them, floating as if little shields. The two women charge forward with weapons at the ready, trying to assault the Duke and his tentacles with everything they can — while the discs try to intercept attacks; disappearing when hit, but also stopping the blows. Marie? She tries to coordinate everything, but she's at her limit and trying to hold on.


Two more tentacles gone. The dog barks at Logan until she's put down, at which point she will continue to bark at him for several more seconds, then scamper around in a drunken circle for several more before finally darting towards its home building; the man puffs out his cheeks and momentarily looks ready to headbutt Logan before slowly exhaling through his nostrils and sullenly accepting his good fortune. Unlike the dog, he wastes no time whatsoever in getting back to his apartment once he's on the ground again.

Black sprays slice across the pavement as the tentacles fall, and neither Empress nor Queen are deterred. Fearless behind their eightfold aegis, they trust in it to protect them while they pour their lordly efforts into conquering the fell creature before them. The Queen and her staff are a blur as they dance across the Duke's faces, leaving blind eyes wherever they happen to touch down. Each brightly clanging blow from the Empress' scepter causes the Duke to weave a bit more as she dutifully hammers his legs into fragile angles.

Cable spares a moment to watch Marie's constructs work with raised brows before glancing in Logan's direction, barking back, "Right," and sprinting Duke-wards. Along the way, he pulls grenades from some of the pouches lining his waist, flicking each one towards the Duke as it's freed. Not one breaches the building despite hurtling towards its floors at Koufax-speeds. In fact, they actually seem to get slower, the closer they get to the Duke; for a moment, it's almost as if they've stopped entirely, orbiting the entirety of the demonic architecture— and then an electric bolt from Cable's rifle leaps to the closest grenade and proceeds to chain through the lot of them, setting off a string of blinding, electric flares all around the demon.

The light never quite fades, but once it subsides enough to see through, the Duke can be seen suspended amidst massive field of blue electricity.

"Hh— " Cable exhales, swiping a hand across his nose before turning towards Logan and Marie. "Good. I'm going to have to sit on it for a while, but it shouldn't be eating anyone any time soon." He sniffs loudly, then adds, "Thanks. Thing caught me off-guard— no idea what the hell it was. Neighborhood isn't what it used to be."

Sirens wail in the distance, because the local station's phones are a bonafide nightmare by this point.

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