1963-10-18 - Jellybelly vs Angel and The Wonder Twins
Summary: Duke only wants a sample of a local demon, and the Maximoff twins want revenge on the spawn of the Hellmouth. +25 points if Squirrel Girl uses this as an origin story.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: None
duke pietro wanda 

Conservatory Water, midweek at midday, would normally throng with half the city's children. So few apartments come with green space that nannies, mothers, and the odd exhausted au pair descend upon. Autumn brings a particular glory to the area, draping leaves in fading curtains of red and bronze, painting the maples, beeches, and oaks in shades of silvered gray. Normally industrious squirrels run about, stealing nuts and caching them for winter, only to forget where they are buried three seconds after the fact, unleashing the largest heist of the year by metric tonnage and numerical participation. Normally dozens of little boys in stiff coats jump up and down, dumping leaves on the model sailboats parading around the gentle basin, and the big boys set off the radio vessels with their fancy handheld sets that way as much as the average Labrador. They whimsically chase seagulls.

There are no seagulls today. There are no children.

There are squirrels, because no damn squirrel gives a chipmunk's fuzzy parts about demons.

Drifts of tape and scattered bird seed for the native fauna dust about in the wind, a smattering of dirty puddles attesting to the previous night's snowfall. Yes, it snowed a little, at least here, even if the other lobe of the park was probably a toasty 80'F (or 'just damn hot' for the rest of the world using Celsius, thank you). The waters of the lake are a disturbingly peach colour, marked by apricot isles and tan foam bubbled up into quizzically odd sculptures. They might be neat by the seaside, but they are all the more disturbing when those sprout eyes on bubbly stalks, swiveling to try and follow the impossible blur skirting the perimeter of the artificial pond rimmed in concrete stone.

A gelatinous figure in the middle of the tacky substance once made of water is already rising again, thrashing about with a pseudopod limb, unable to find purchase. The other half of that duo is stationed on the torn up grass, kneeling in a crouch, one hand pressed to the earth and a tremulous whisper of clashing syllables on her tongue invoking the powers that be. It wouldn't be concerning except her head is ringed in a full out saint's halo, tinted the shade of a vibrant sunset, the same sparks of light cupped under her palm.


Duke would normally avoid anywhere there are demons but since the damn things keep slopping up on his doorstep, interspersed with the occasional vampire, it seems that avoidance is not working in this day and age. He's hoping to work up a repellant — has been testing them for days — but he's missing something. They keep getting through.

The vampires, he's had better luck with. Having some of Dracula's blood to work with has gone a long way for him. A tiny phylactery gleams in the deepest recesses of his bunker. He's not risking someone taking it. Now, he just needs something similar from the demons.

"Yes, well, I know that getting the blood of an archdemon isn't going to be easy," he says to Coz. The dog is sitting in Tex's driver's seat, Duke perches on the hood, smoking a cigarette laced with things that are definitely not tobacco. "I got lucky with the vampire. But." He can see the demon surging in the pond from here. "That's a big one and someone's already called it out." Surely there's enough blood to go around.

Coz barks at him, puts a paw on Tex's horn for emphasis. The demon-possessed car whoops irritably.

"No, Tex doesn't work for this. I've had him too long. Not sure he even counts as a demon anymore. Can't get blood from a car, anyway." Duke drops his cigarette, crushes it out under his boot. His bow and arrows are ready, he's got his sword at his side, the shotgun is slung across his back, counter to the bow and quiver. His pockets are full of demon-hunting shells. He starts toward the pond. "You two stay here."


Gross ugly creatures are a matter completely different from vampires. Of course, arguments could be made that you can't really kill either of them. One's already dead and the other just gets sent back to Hell. Right..? Right! Also there's no one currently here to protest whatever the Twins may happen to be doing.

For Pietro, it involves distraction. And recon.


The silvery pseudo-mutant darts right up next to one of those animated stalks, leaning toward it with a look of disgust as those eyes slooooooowly part open, the pupils so very far behind in focusing on what's waiting for them in the world beyond.


He looks down and around, finds a stick, picks it up and lightly pokes at one of the bigger eyes. Then he's gone, sneakers effortlessly splashing right over the icky surface of what had once been pond water. It's a simple matter to dance between all of the various stalks growing out from beneath the surface. A light tap here, a gentle hip-check there, spinning about on his heel to moonwalk once feet return to ground as he looks back at the monstrosity with a customary grin.

A fist-sized rock is picked up next, hefted slightly as he checks its weight. A shrug follows, then he gives it a friendly toss toward the jelly-like 'core' of the creature.


Pietro is suddenly standing right next to Wanda and dusting his hands as several of those creepy tentacles suddenly jerk away from unseen blows, writhing in agony as one of the eyes snaps shut, way too late to avoid being destroyed by the unseen stick. The gelatinous thing in the center ripples and deforms in a most peculiar fashion as the rock strikes it with tremendous speed, stopping the rock dead where it's left suspended right in the center of the strange being.

"Huh." It's still alive. "Hey, I'm runnin' out of things to throw out there." He then makes a show of tapping his sister in then stands back. About fifteen feet back.


Even sea creatures have dreams. They have nightmares too. Mommy Manatee uses a certain type of story to scare her little manatee babies into compliance, waiting their turn in the warm spring pools in Florida or bobbling around in the sea grass. Their nightmares might have fed the primordial thing, or perhaps it's the greatest hero an octopus could imagine if he had something of a whale fetish.

So imagine a long, rather smooth body thick with blubber or jellied dreams, and probably the blocky underlying musculature of a very large creator. Articulated flipper 'legs' end in articulated claws separated by thick, tacky webbing, and as for the upper 'arms,' they're tentacles that brachiate and split off into all sorts of wiggly protrusions. Each of them ends in barbed hooks or, in some particular case, eyestalks. Pseudopod-erriffic. The head, that's the upsetting part, the merging of an octopus' mantle to a blunt snouted face, full of a double convex beak. Yuck.

It gets up alarmingly fast in that sludgy water and lashes out with a series of thorny projectiles, half energy and half barbed goo, like so many tiny rockets. Flaming sunken boats and sailing vessels, a half-century's worth, come exploding in a wave as far as it can possibly throw them. Thrashing builds up more of that foam, which proves corrosive and effective against mere pokes, jabs, and basically anything solid. Unfortunately they just sink into the depths of the gummy gel, and never come out. Or come out reluctantly.

Eyes swivel towards the fallen messenger. Oh yes, it knows its antithesis. Beaks click and it gurgles an awful, sick greeting. «What a delight, dinner!»


The girl in the merlot coat isn't about to flinch when the monster emerges, standing about the height of a really big porpoise or dolphin, but not quite orca proportions. Nor does she blink when Pietro appears out of the blue, given her focus lies entirely on maintaining her incantation at a rapid beat. Her fingers turn in circles in the grass, a few acorns thrown behind her. One intrepid squirrel sneaks up in hopes of a meal for next week, if only he can recall where he put those nuts. The sparks thrown through her aura halo are growing more interconnected, brimming with nebulous tendrils that link and arc in broken curves. Her fingertips convulse, nails dragging into the earth through the fingerless tips of the gloves.

It would be nice to reassure him, to speak aloud, but that means breaking the chant that fuels the spell intended to do something fairly spectacular. Or maybe it just holds some other kind of purpose. Viewed from above, however, it might be more impressive because the same rim of power around her head appears on the earth, carved in the thinnest line, bounding the Conservatory Pond. More of the circumference fills in, and that alone might hint at her purpose: she's building a ban, warding the thing in. With them. Fun!


"Better not be talking about me." Duke understands it just fine, understands everyone. That's…impressive, that beast. Some part of Duke, deep down, wants to remember these things. He feels as though he should remember this kind of encounter.

He can see the spell that's being bound around the creature, stops at the edge of it, considering it. He recognizes the chant, or at least the form of it. The line grows stronger, brighter, in the arcane spectrum, at least. Outside? Inside?

"Sorry," Duke says, as though Wanda can hear him from here. He steps through the thinnest part of the spell, sliding between words, to end up on the inside. Behind him, Coz is barking angrily. Duke has heard the lecture before. He sidesteps a chunk of a burning dingy as he lights another cigarette. He's thinking about which arrows to use. Something with an explosive payload is the best option. And, there's always grenades in the bag he's got with him. Always. This thing is not going to be easy to stop.


ROLL: Wanda +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 62


Eh. Pietro's used to this. Once Wanda gets lost in her own little world there's nothing getting in or out until she's ready to let her spell do its thing. He doesn't understand that crazy stuff but she hasn't gotten either of them into -too- much trouble. Yet. So whatever. Time to go back to:


In the meantime he goes to stand by one of those thorns the ugly creature just threw their way, eyeing it up close top to bottom as it seems to levitate in the air. He decides to take one of them with him before looking back at Wanda, then the thorns, then at Wanda again. The tip of his tongue edges out from the corner of his mouth as he gauges their trajectory from a fair distance away, lightly nudging a couple of the projectiles off-course to safely pass by Wanda.

Then he's back on patrol, the spray of foam hanging in the air like sickly hued clouds. This critter is seriously nasty looking. And the SMELL! There's the broken remnants of so many ships being flung about like unwanted toys, he stops to read the names off of the hulls and takes some time to consider what era each one might have come from. There's some neat history here! They'll be kind of difficult to stop though, should one of those get flung at his sister.

There's something new in the field. And now there's a Pietro there, too! Standing right in front of Duke, one arm across himself to prop the elbow of the other so his hand can hold onto his chin in thought. "Hi! You're geared up for a fight."

Something else on the man catches Pietro's attention. Duke's bag of tricks. Some glass containers. Some metal. He's not going to ask what their contents are. But he is going to help himself to one of them.

"Thanks, buddy."


Next thing he's standing -just- out of the crush zone of one of those ships as it reaches the ground, set to skid right beside him close enough that he could reach out and trail fingertips across its side in passing. "Never seen anything like this guy. He looks mad."


The gloopy beast's throws are actually fairly accurate, at least when the string of caustic needles are involved. A rainfall of them come crashing down, forming completely irregular patterns and lines. Demon, not precisely the most linear thinker there.

The bolts that Pietro eyeballs have a bit of a physical component to them, but they're also caustic. He will gain a nice burn even for the short time he's in contact with it because they are, naturally, burning masses of devouring power. Fear!

And yes, there's the noxious smell to contend with, an unwholesome combination that bubbles and toils with all the sickening muck brought up from the bottom of the pond, mixed with a fruity blend, and then baked in the sun a few times. In other words, unwholesome, and it whomps out of its pool with none of the restrictions on land that whales or their distant cousins in the last million years suffered. Those legs are strong and fast moving, giving it lots of opportunity to heft its bulk and hurl another shattering wave of corrosion forward. Corrosion, the enemy of belt buckles, metal clips, cars, and arrows! The smell is a warning of its gloopy goo thrown at Duke, Wanda, trees, squirrels, and everything in between.

A squirrel eyes it with hatred in its black little heart.


Wanda utters a sound of near pain, but not enough to interrupt the cadence of her speech. She pinches her fingers together and claps her hands. The sound shouldn't be impressive, but it sets off a shockwave that rises in an incarnadine dome, as brilliant as the ruby light rolling over her eyes, drenching her hands and hair in a shared nimbus. Power jolts up as the binding circle closes, though it's not a perfect dome. She is not restricting access from above, though it still angles up fairly sharply on a central point, like a circus tent. The walls slant to ease the burden and deflect minor nuisances. Gasping for air, she doubles over for a moment, trying to hold out from the chunk of energy ripped out of her.

A knife torn free from its sheath gives her some direction. "Pietro, your turn!"


The cigarette does a lot to mask the smell, oddly enough. It doesn't smell at all like a normal cigarette, nothing from Earth, anyway. Duke gets spattered with goo, his skin boils and blisters where it touches his cheek and his neck, but he doesn't flinch. It has to hurt, but no matter. He pulls an arrow from his quiver, a white one with a small green vial lashed to either side, and fires it into the beast.

Veratrum album and silvered holy water — nerve toxins and sacred substances combined — shatter when the arrow sinks into the demon. The payload is the weapon, not the arrow. Duke just has to find which one works.

He has to keep moving, though, as this thing rumbles out of the pond.


ROLL: Duke +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 55


Pietro's still not a fan of ouchy-burny-stingy things, like those barbs. It was an idea, trying to keep one. It didn't last. Whatever it's made of it isn't important enough to warrant chemical burns.

The Speedster's in something of a stalemate with the stinky squid-like sicko. It's not fast enough to hit Pietro but Pietro doesn't have a rock big enough to squash the nasty with. Oh, and it's his turn now.

There he stands, hands on hips, looking up at the horrific creature. "Right."


Now he's looking from creature to the glass orb he had borrowed from Duke before. Eh. He winds up and pitches the home-made grenade at the center of the creature. No idea what will happen, but why not find out? Could be pretty cool.

On his way around he picks up one of those tiny sailboat models and gently sets it into a more calm section of the water, giving it a friendly nudge forward.

Then he takes another look around. Limited resources within the ward. Idea! With so much foam and debris twinkling in the air he zips around from car to car until he finds and collects a wrench from a trunk. Then he's popping open so many vehicle hoods on his quest to extract the batteries from each and every one of them.

As bits of bolts and brackets slooooowly rise up into the air from such rapid removal he wires the batteries together, hooks up a pair of jumper cables to the massive pile of batteries, looks at the two live ends within his hands, and grins.

Then he hooks those loose ends to one of those icky looking monster flippers. Do the best you can with what you've got, right? -Right.-

Then he's back at Wanda, crouching down to help get her back on her feet. As an after-thought, he calmly says "Fire in the hole."


One large creature made of sticky goo, at least covered in it, can shoot out an awful lot of muck in Duke's direction. The wave of it slowly erodes away anything naturally made of metal, though cloth is simply impregnated by that awful smell. Flesh is another issue, given the caustic nature, but the slime is more of a hindrance to moving or foul stench attacking the overtaxed nose. It really, really smells awful.

The silvered holy water has something of an affect, the nerve toxin, not so much. It's a demon of a given sort that probably lacks nerves, and the tentacle eyes swivel, the appendages lashing out to constrict whatever they can get ahold of. Pietro, for all his speed. Duke. The squirrel. Wanda. It has a fair reach, being seven feet tall, but those arms are nearly that length themselves, twisting and winding like demented octopi looking for dinner to grab hold of.

But the silver water earns a snarling shriek, defiant, in the infernal tongue amounting to « As if! Boil, will you? »

Demon small talk at its finest.

As rapidly as Pietro moves, the tight confines of Wanda's spell don't let him through without going over it, and the intangible repulsion isn't something one can really run up. The ward merely deflects physical presences back, shunting them away in their tracks. Force used equals force repelled. He could be a pinball if he tried hard enough.

The jumper cables he lines up to the flippers sink in. Then the metal ends start to corrode rapidly, as does the wire holding them. The delicate wire won't last very long at all, maybe a few seconds. Okay, it does notice being shocked and utters a squeal, and the scent of rotten apricots, foul pond water, and dirt gets awfully damn strong. The peach liquid is still every bit as peachy where it fouled things up. A shudder runs through it, but then it simply chooses to barrel at the most compelling thing it can see.

Hi, Duke, incoming manatee nightmare, dead ahead.

The brunette is already assessing, measurements made on the fly filling her thoughts. She starts to scramble away, using Pietro as cover, which is a misnomer given he'll move wherever he wants. She charges up a rather simple hex, eyes narrowed and hurls it at the ground towards the thing's feet. When in doubt, cast the spell (or throw the hex) that make people fall down.


That's not unexpected. Duke is well-accustomed to being charged by demons and his reflexes are well above average. He backs up toward the wall around them, almost until he hits the containment ward, as he draws the shotgun. He fires both barrels into it — white oak, salt, silver, and other purifiers — into the demon, then drops to slide underneath it. It can hit the wall instead.

Duke gets spattered with more ooze, the barrels of his shotgun sizzle, his coat smokes. This is hard on the equipment. He needs this thing to swallow a priest or something.


Aaand there go the jumper cables. "Gave it my b-gyuh!" he starts to say then quickly recoils and covers his nose. He could avoid it better before. With the ward in place their territory is getting quite a bit smaller, and with less things getting in or out it also means that the odors are getting ramped up in a serious way.

"I don't suppose you can conjure up a salt shaker?" he asks his twin, expression set in a deep scowl. This is just getting nasty way fast. By normal standards. Physical contact with the beast, or the foam, or the projectiles, is acidic. They're sealed within a dome. Pietro's only good at moving quickly.

And suddenly he's out of places to go. Short of throwing the squirrel at the creature, he's rather at a loss.

"I think we need to talk about your strategy later, Sis," he 'suggests' while flinging the wrench at one of those incoming tendrils. Back, back foul beast!

Then the other guy's shooting at it. Maybe not Pietro's first course of action, given that it'd be like shooting at pudding, but hey. Who knows? Anything's fair game at this point!


ROLL: Wanda +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 90


Salt shot from an ugly shotgun is just the thing to pepper a big jellied body. The galloping demon trails the dead leads from its injured flipper and goes to give Duke a hug, right as the splinters and various other projectiles burrow into its gooey carapace. Some simply hold in place. Others cause it to scream a garbled series of inflections and gnash its quad form beak close to where the ex-angel was. If he isn't moving out of the way any faster, those tentacles will deliver a deadly slap full of pointy ends at him. The other eyes just glare around, focusing on the swishes of motion.

The wrench whacks a tentacle, deflecting off it, and several more appendages go after it.

Pietro might worry about the demon gaining a wrench as a weapon now, right? Especially if its slippery bulk is suddenly buckling, repulsed as it falls back from the ward in a squeal of rage and demonic wrath.

Cosmic banana peel 1, demon 0.


Duke gets a slap on the leg but he gets under the demon and rolls out the other side before it buckles. He's covered in disgusting goop but that's the point. Goop is good! Can't reverse engineer demon repellant without goop. The slap leaves his leg numb and oozing and bloody. Standing is overrated anyway, at least until his healing factor kicks in.

His fingers are blistered and burnt but he manages to pull a couple shotgun shells out of his pocket. He loads up, fires again while the demon is still reeling. These shells are great — he's going to make more, or get Domino to do it. She knows guns.


With the demon-thing eroding any metal it comes into contact with Pietro's not too concerned about the wrench. Besides, what's the beast going to do, throw it back? It'd be child's play to catch it out of the air!

The hunter dude's shotgun, now -that- did the trick. The silvery guy can see the shot in slow motion, watching as those salt crystals bite into jelly and start to work their magic. It's actually really neat to watch.

That is until he has to grab Wanda and whisk the pair a few feet off to another side to avoid flailing eyelimbs.

Then he gets another idea, watching Duke work at it.


Now Pietro is standing near Duke, dodging the same attacks he has to dodge. The difference is that he's holding like ..all of Duke's spare shotgun shells. He can just hand them to the shooter, or even reload the gun for him for a never-ending shooting spree. "Just keep doing what you're doing, I've got your back."


"I hate these ones," murmurs Wanda in her native Trasnian, which sounds close enough to Russian to be suspicious for the average person. This is not average, not by half. She doesn't linger, scrambling away to avoid getting her boots trapped in the muck, and swings the knife at a harassing tentacle. It can go take a dive, snapping back when the blade swipes too near. The edge and finish on the knife will never be the same, but that's not the point.

The point is to open up enough space by setting up a rapidly forming telekinetic shield to try and guard them from the nasty monster that just felt over and is flailing around trying to get up.

Jelly monster shrieks all the louder as the oak wood splinters cut into it, and the salt helps to open the wounds further. It lunges and snaps, happy to take people out at the knees if it can't flop its way back up to its feet. Demons are sometimes bipedal but having tentacle arms doesn't help here. On the other hand, the soil is scorched, the grass covered in more of that foamy goo, and there's one eyestalk staring at Pietro.


"Take it." Duke hands off the gun to Pietro since that's the best course of action here. He pulls his sword instead. It's not his best skill but it is silvered and he can always forge a new one. He's definitely not human, the way he goes at those tentacles — he's fast and very strong, already back on his feet after that leg injury. The sword cuts into the demon like a hot knife into butter, for as long as the blade lasts. His blood is pretty damn tempting, too. If anything is going to make a demon like this focus on one thing, it's angelic blood. Don't ask Duke to explain it, he doesn't — can't — know why it works. All he cares about is that it does.


Oh heeeey, fancy new toy! Pietro looks at the offered scattergun and simply -drops- all of those shells he had been holding to take the gun proper. Shotguns are simple. He knows how to work this beast.


He's standing closer to the creature now, the shotgun leveled at the one eye which had been staring at him. (It's creepy, darnit!)

There is no felt recoil when he pulls the trigger. Slowly, gradually, there's a feather-light push back into his hand which is so very easy to compensate for.


Then there's the hull. And the shot. The smoke. The fire. The wadding from the shell barely escapes the muzzle before ZIPS back and grabs some of the ammo he had dropped right out of the air, never having had a chance to hit the dirt. Then he's standing somewhere else, weapon reloaded and ready to fire again. He actually has to slow himself -down- so he doesn't over-fire the gun!

He zips back, grabs a few more of the falling shells, zips over to another side of the creature, and repeats the process. Trigger pulled. Foot tapping impatiently on the ground…


An empty shell gets chucked up into the air, so slow and graceful as it turns end over end while disgorging small black flecks of carbon and hazy greyish-hued smoke. Pietro smirks thinly as he reaches up and flicks the metal base of the shell, changing its course of direction.



This critter's going to discover what it feels like to get pelted from every direction at once. It probably isn't going to be happy about it.


Oh, it works: Duke giving it a taste of blood so to speak, and that sword takes a battering as it snaps beastly beak bits at leg and arm. If they contact, and they may well, it's a nasty tear and that certainly hurt for time to come. A snappy nip, a hard slap, the rough love of demon to once and future celestial.

The thing can, however, manage to rise just to take into account a blast of shotgun shells at its torso. The shell casing doesn't do much or the bits of metal shrapnel. Salt, wood, these are not the things of happiness. Holes open that jelly pours out from, or cannot close. It staggers back. It lurches forwards, back and forth and back and forth and…

An explosion of apricot ooze blows up over them all.


Oh look. Demon goo. Just what Duke always wanted. GLORP. He spits demon goo — it really does get everywhere — so he can speak.

"Excellent." He's plastered with this crap and he's pleased. He pulls some vials out of his soggy bag of tricks, then slops into the heart of the heap to get at the good stuff.

Mm. Entrails. There's a lot of half-digested goodies in here — for some value of "goodies". Duke goes about collecting what he needs, seemingly oblivious to the fact that his clothes are rapidly disappearing and his skin is blistering under them.


Goo, goo, all the way through!

No entrails: it's solid slime with extra bits, fading somewhat.


At least Duke doesn't… no, he actually does taste it. Again. On purpose. That's just — not right. Duke looks thoughtful. Then he does it again.

"Hm," he mutters, slogging toward Pietro to get what's left of his gun back. "That's how it works." Well, this has been an edifying afternoon.


Oh crap.


Pietro drops -everything- and ZOOMS back over to Wanda as the creature suddenly explodes within their little sphere of energy.


The ward is solid to the touch. The top of the ward..is open. With so much glop flying everywhere he eyes up the proverbial playing field, sucks in a quick breath, and goes for it.

A split-second later the Maximoff Twins are standing right outside of the ward, one of Pietro's arms around the back of Wanda's shoulders, protectively keeping her close as the exact physical dimensions of her ward instantly become that much more obvious as they get plastered with so much demongoo.

All in all it makes for a -very- entertaining sound.

Duke will find his gun there, at least. Currently abandoned. Smoking a fair amount.

"Wow. That was a little close." He turns and smiles at the Chaos Witch. "Nice job."

The other guy's left inside, but he just seemed so -happy- to be at ground zero… Quicksilver's asking no questions. Not even one. He can enjoy it. ALL of it.

"I'm gonna grab a shower."

He's gone, then back a heartbeat later. "Hey, you might wanna let that other guy out of there before you go."


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