1963-11-19 - All Come Ye All Faithful
Summary: A cult that worships the Blue Angel deserves some looking into. Pity for Jillian it's Wanda Maximoff doing the looking.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: Hyper Dark - Sleigh Bells
wanda jillian 

High teenagers will do just about anything to find an escape from the doldrums of routines. College students want an escape from the news bleating about aliens, and now insidious near riots at City Hall. Give the anything to do and they'll elevate their consciousness by chasing clouds and red herrings.

The whispers start with someone who swears his brother's friend saw the Blue Angel. Add claims she comes when given a proper offering or prayer, which leads to hot debate and research. All of it trickles down — or up — to one pirate radio jockey, and his ex-Army cartographer roommate, and the conspiracy theories grow thick and fast over half-eaten sandwiches and shared fries at a too expensive café on the Lower East Side. Lowest East, if such a thing exists.

A folded map covered in blue scribbles later, the posse of four 'Angel Seekers' ("Dude, that name is weird, can't we have something less girly?") are dispatched near the subway station at Central Park to find her. They come out from a carriage, trying to play it cool. They don't really seem to think much of the girl in a red coat following them, munching on a fry. When they walk up the stairs and stop in front of an annoyed newspaper vendor, she stops a few yards away and laces up her boots. Matching wits with four guys 18 to 26 is not exactly challenging. But if they lead her to trouble? Worth it.


Amongst those four, only two were smart enough to bring a flashlight because -dude- it's dark down here. The rest of the subway crowd dissipates, dissolving into the rest of the city amongst thousands of other wandering souls. The four keep themselves separated, waiting for their moment while hunting for more clues on the sly. One of them nearly cheers when he finds another one of the peculiar blue marks detailed onto one of the grimy off-white tiles.

"Holy shiiiiit, you guys, this might really be real!"

"Dude, keep yer voice down! We're comin.'"

Both of the flashlights confirm it. Just as quickly the four desperately try to play it cool until they can slip free of the designated areas and sneak into the tunnel proper. For the city-folk it's a wild trip just being off of the beaten path within the massive urban environment, now invading upon the dwelling of rats, homeless folk, and the rumored 'really messed up mutie freaks.' This here is a proper adventure. They're actually doing this!

Sneakers scruff across the narrow crumbling concrete walkway perpendicular to the tracks, the two flashlights bobbing and sweeping around then immediately being turned off whenever another subway rolls on by.

"Dude. Dude, check it out. If the Blue Angel really exists? Totally gonna marry her."

"Get real, man. You couldn't even find the nerve to ask Angie to the dance."


Moisture drips off pipes spanning the length of the tunnels, the fault of running subways through a major estuary. Thick, fetid air carries the stains of screeching brakes and electric wires, a charge running through the shadows cloistering the deeper advance. Tracks lit by electricity sweep off into the gloom, and a single kiss is fatal, almost assuredly. Not the sort of place anyone wise ventures, at any rate, not when they can keep it safe on the platforms under tiled signs and illegally posted bills for plays, concerts, and another anti-alien riot.

What? At least the mutants are human. Or earthlings.

The excitement makes it too easy to track where they go, announcements of marriage banns and a flashlight as effective as tying a leash to one of those boys. Of course, there is a leash, invisible outside the sight, a filament of incarnadine light stabbed through the aura of one of those young men.

Now all Wanda has to do is walk, following them at a distance, step for step. She watches the brilliant tile fade into grimy concrete, smeared in the nearly liturgical graffiti chastising a lack of belief in the urban environment. The shrine to the hopeful followers of the Blue Angel, tonight, captivates her a little more than a pigeon sees foil. In short, she scours the walls and floor for sign of any other marks, and lurks behind a pillar. Very subtle, really, while the four men argue among one another and compare their transit map and city map marked up in blue ink.

All they need is string and push pins. An idle thought, unbecoming, as she opens her gaze to the eldritch, cores of her pupils turning raspberry.


Just follow the tranquil path to enlightenment… Blue is a calming color, after all. It mellows the mind and promotes deeper thought, much like what these four have come to expect out of their recreational drug use.

"Wait..does this one mean stay going forward or go left?"

Wouldja hold the light still for two seconds, Ben? C'mon, man! Gimme that—"

"Hey! You know I don't like the dark! Shoulda brought your own damn light."

There's a flurry of motion and the report of a crumpled map becoming steadily more disheveled as it trades hands, gets held against the wall, rearranged, and more than occasionally mishandled.

"Moron, it's sayin' ta go straight."

The back and forth progresses along with the small group, only growing more hushed when the sound of another voice is carried upon a distant echo reverberating throughout the tunnels. The approach of another metro completely drowns out all evidence of life until disappearing into the murky distance, a gentle rumble in the ground and a mournful squeal of heavy steel all that remains of its passage.

Then the ethereal voice returns, stealing the voices of the other four as they creep onward with widened eyes.

Candlelight comes next. A side passage split within the subterranean arteries branches outward to an abandoned railyard buried deep beneath the city streets. Various subway cars dating back a generation or more sit rusting in peace upon equally neglected rails, many with their filthy glass windows broken and with graffiti both vintage and fresh marring their badly weathered exteriors.

The newest addition to this forgotten place are the candles, set up in a broad area. The cinderblocks and boards which cover the gaps between tracks. The ratty pieces of furniture, both scavenged and built piecemeal out of raw materials. There's only a few people sitting upon them with one darkened figure standing at the 'center' of what could be perceived as an incredibly poor church, standing behind a makeshift podium wearing a deep blue robe trimmed in sun yellow.

"—must remember, all things may be forgiven, for what we have been shown is that a creature of darkness and damnation may still change her ways and return to the light. The Blue Angel's wisdom guides and supports us all."

Spoken as one the other eight followers mutter a hushed "Thanks be to Lady Jillian."


Not much in the way of access slips through these tunnels, but they are a world unto themselves which inspire all manner of odd stories and rumours. The mutants, the alligators and lizard people, the monsters that lurk under the bed, all with their particular brand of urban myth speak to the American psyche.

It's awfully easy to jump at shadows down here expecting a Roman court of vampires to jump out.

Calculated strides convey the Transian witch along. Her advantage for escape is not theirs, though every so often she looks back over her shoulder to assure the 7 or the uptown train doesn't barrel down the tracks, unaccustomed in its stealth, sneaking up to murder women and men on its tracks.

Hard surfaces reflect sound into shadowy echoes. Footfalls become scraping scuffles. Whispers transform into unintelligible chants and the bump of an elbow against the wall, a crunch of gravel, seem completely alien without any context. Nothing invites welcome.

Wanda bites back a sound propped on her tongue coming onto the vintage carriages arranged in an abandoned antechamber, clearly something known to a very few and forgotten in the bureaucratic shuffle. So many things to explore, so many possibilities to be seen. Mindful, she pulls up her collar and fades even further into the gloom, her gilded face tilted down.

Never feel so alone, so exposed, as those moments without anyone backing you up. A pang of longing stills her, and she flits away under cover towards the nearest car away from the far. Preferably somewhere she can listen and observe without the same happening in return.

Listening a little too long, it would happen, leaves her almost in disbelief. Lady Jillian. Cultists. Fool worshippers. What?

Hopefully the four stumbling in are welcome, the one tethered by her art giving a good view of direction. She shakes her head, bristling. Bad odds. The quartet may have to out themselves before she tests stepping forth to announce herself.


What's easier for the lone witch to discover now that she has decided to follow her own path is a most peculiar sculpture, hewn together with whatever scrap material could be salvaged. While constructed from crude objects within varying states of decay the craftsmanship itself shows an almost obsessive level of detail in the form of a lone woman's figure, about six feet tall, standing on the tips of oddly shaped feet. It's complete with carefully shaped wings, a completely stationary spear-tipped tail, and space within the sculpture's face for two small candles to simulate the glowing yellow hue of their idol's eyes.

It can be inspiring, what just a small number of individuals can accomplish with proper time and motivation. Spiritual belief is perhaps the strongest motivator of all.

The four stoners continue to lurk at the far end, taking in all that there is to see. It's one thing to chase down an urban myth, but to find out that it's real, and that others have come before them and believed so firmly in it as to devote themselves to the very myth they had chased down?

The man in the 'front' of the congregation gracefully draws his palms apart and holds them out to the sides, smiling upon the small group. "It is with my absolute greatest pleasure to announce a surprise for our faithful today, for our Lady has blessed us all. I have seen our Blue Angel with my own eyes, I have spoken to her and earned her trust. Today, let any of your doubts be cast into the abyss, for our Lady has come home to us."

He turns to the side and takes a slow step back, motioning onward into the shadows behind him.

Shadows which now have two glowing yellow eyes piercing through the inky black.

Muttered gasps of awe take over the believers of the room.

From the far back one of the stoners gasps quite a lot more loudly. "This shit's real, I'm outta here! Oh, Jeezus!" He nearly drops his light as he spins about and Scooby-Doo's it right the hell out of there.

The 'pastor' only smiles further, calling out in a louder voice "It would appear that we are further blessed this day. Have you ..three gentlemen come to join us?"

Then 'The Lady' speaks out, a low-pitched but eerily soothing voice like icy yet familiar fingertips gracing along one's spine. "And one more." With the declaration Jillian is now staring -right- at where Wanda hides, whether she's immediately visible or not.


Oh yes, she's caught out alone from behind the various barriers, where she can take in the whole of the tunnel at her leisure. Standing apart gives the unquestionable designation that she does not stand with those four guys — now three. Nope, she comes by her own accord, thank you very kindly.

Pastor and congregation may understand the need to hang back to the shadows, the doubt, the potential criticism. Whatever they wear on their faces, her expression is one resolved to the cloistered, quiet mask common to young people everywhere. What with the talk of aliens in the air, this could just be another thing to cause her to approach slowly, stepping out from the shadows. Her hands remain squarely in the pockets of her coat, whatever adjustments necessary to give no indication of anything awry.

"Hi." Yep. That's the most they're getting out of her. She gives a nod. The men she followed in are probably falling all over themselves and she looks completely nonplussed. The rest of them can choose to speak or not, but she breezes towards the congregation, the woman addressing her earning clear regard. Here's someone who will meet her golden eye to yellow eye.


One of the stoners elbows another in the ribs, muttering "Gonna go propose to her or what?"

The other jumps slightly and shoves his pal back. "Dude, get off my case already!"

The 'pastor' guy seems to have all of the patience in the world, and a friendly enough demeanor. Like a big brother, except that he won't trip you in the soccer field or give you a noogie no matter how much 'out of affection' it might happen to be labeled as. "Please, join us. There is always room for more."

One of the three stoners actually starts to step forward until a buddy snaps out and grabs his arm, causing another momentary scuffle of hissed whispers before he yanks his arm free and continues to approach.

Jillian's attention remains solely upon the one new lady of the room. She can sense the power of magic close at hand, with a touch of familiarity… It holds the energy of a man whom had threatened to cast her back into the abyss (and later came back to apologize for, but that's beside the point.)

"As you were," she quietly informs the pastor while stepping around him, placing herself on a direct course for where Wanda approaches. There are matters to tend to with this one. Curiosities which must be dealt with.

"Why have you come here? Has the word of your mentor given me an unfavorable image?" she inquires with a clear note of sarcasm.


Proposals have been waiting for hours, after all. One mustn't stand in the way of wedding a demon with a perky smile. Wanda waits for that to pass, and the fellow considering his future as Ms. Jillian Angel might consider 'Blue' as a good surname. Mr. and Mrs. Blue, enter stage left.

The power wrapped around Wanda is, if nothing else, a cousin to the threatening figure and a very, intensely embedded shard. Though there are other flavours there, ones that do not immediately make themselves apparent on first taste or sight. More astute analysis might be needed, and even then, her cooperation is essential to mine that information.

The witch's hooded gaze looks almost satisfied, in a sense, or unwilling to dare with the bright light. Shoulders tip in a shrug when the pastor and his flock grapple with matrimonial rules, and the game played between two others is all the more distinct.

"I have my own mind." Take of that what she will, Jillian isn't left with much more to go on. The edge of a smirk, perhaps, a hard look indeed. "You call that unfavorable?" A gesture to the statue. "You even have clothes."


Jillian doesn't need to glance at the statue to know that's what Wanda is referring to. "Not an idol of my design," she remarks while keeping her voice pitched low so as not to disrupt the proceedings, or be overheard.

It's probably for the best that the would-be Mister Blue has cold feet once again. It's one of the others from the small group whom approaches, one who may actually be looking for a new direction in life. He also might just be as high as a kite and seeing a whole lot more than there is to see in all of this. Moths to the flame.

As for the hooded lady, the demon continues to look down upon her (because of height, not superiority) with solid golden-hued eyes. "If you come seeking answers, you may ask. All are welcome here," she states in what may very well be a note of irritation. Or disapproval. "Though I will caution you not to bring any harm to these people. It would seem their guardian is on duty." Referring to herself, again with perhaps a note of irritation.

It's quite possible that the blue Neyaphem is feeling a bit uncomfortable in her newfound position within this reality.


"The problem with art," Wanda agrees. Her accent is decidedly European, somewhere in the central marches or the eastern lands, but it blurs enough to leave things uncertain. The cornerstone of a conversational point touched on, she drags her hair off her shoulder with a shake of her head. The dark locks tinged auburn in the light skim along her back, held back by the lacy headband that might as well be considered her uniform. Her hood doesn't keep her from freeing some of those strands from gathering at the back of her neck, anyways, and she is thankful for it.

The honeyed cocoa of her eyes narrows a fraction, and she considers the deluded folks who think it's a great idea to worship underground in a forgotten train tunnel, like Christians in their Roman catacombs. "Why would I?" It's a pointed question, thrown back upon the Neyaphem; she gives not an iota of glazing to sweeten the pot. Someone wants to accuse her of doing harm, she is going to throw it back in their face.

One of the boys might be considering his job in life, and another his determination to maybe get a date, and they are merely fluttering silhouettes in the background.


"Because the sorcerer you reek of has already done so," Jillian coolly replies with a slight narrowing of her eyes. "Regardless if you have your own mind, you will understand if I am not one to unquestioningly trust those of his following. Unlike the others whom find this place, you are more than another unknown." Wanda is also a potential threat.

The pastor guy's busy trying to help acclimate the three new guys so long as they're still hanging around and the rest of his speech had been interrupted. The other followers have divided attention between the new people, the 'interruption,' and that their bizarre yet beloved creature of night is standing right here amongst them all, even if her attention remains focused upon some other shadowy sort. It might be rude of Jillian, but she -is- still a demon! They can deal with the disappointment.

"Which returns us to my previous question," she presses. "Why are you here?"


"Charming. I will not say what you reek of," Wanda answers in kind, the dull tone of her voice and averted look towards to the others trying to determine if their real conspiracy is, in fact, something worth delving into. Surely they need to experience a bit? One of them argues on that front, and his peers are more likely settling down somewhat. The conversation isn't really loud enough to be sure.

"They are known? Everyone who walks into the subways is a known? No. I think not always. But you make me more than I am."

That could be true. That could be an outright lie. She isn't there to satisfy Jillian's curiosity about how the world does operate, versus her understanding of how it should. She holds still, the glimmering light on the statue and the various train carriages enough to make her consider a moment.

"Other things come down here. Dangerous things." It's as much of an explanation as she is going to get. "The rest, I want to see the truth. You are alive, I would not stand in the open if I meant bad things on you. Yes?" At least Wanda smiles faintly.


"If 'charming' is what you sought you would not have dragged yourself upon my doorstep," Jillian counters. "I have no time for honeyed words and manipulations."

This time she does pass a glance back to the others in the room then returns her focus upon Wanda, one of those eyes notably smaller than the other. "You would place yourself amongst the likes of these people?" she asks in a challenging note. "They are but ..commoners," she struggles to find a word that isn't purely derogative such as 'fodder' or 'lambs.' "-They- do not follow the arcane. The only threat they may bring to me comes in the form of cold steel. Compared to one such as you they are predictable to a fault."

The next question from the scarlet lady earns what passes as a rolling of eyes for Jillian. Despite the orbs having no definition beyond one solid color the motions, and expression, are still easy to translate. In her case it also comes with the sweeping of a wing as she turns to begin a lazy pace.

"Oh please. Your 'Strange' would not know how to stay hidden if his life depended upon it. He would stand within an empty field and yell out his intentions. In fact," she hesitates in both voice and step with a thin-lined smirk, "he has done just that. Just as I have crept upon him from the shadows only to speak to him in turn, not stab him in the back. Only a fool assumes motivation based solely upon approach."

She comes to stand beside Wanda now, looking onward to the room with her head angled slightly to one side, dipping in Wanda's direction. "The 'truth' of it is that these people have seen something within me they deem worthy of forgiveness. They believe I have earned my redemption. Whether this is true or not no longer applies. It has become a matter of faith, which easily transcends all truths in favor of turning a blind eye toward the heavens. Or perhaps in this case..toward the abyss. It is not my place to tell them if they are in the wrong. Only they may decide this for themselves."


Insults and offending words are nothing new. She's been subjected to everything under the sun: Russian, German, Soviet, traitor, Jewish, Roma, Indian, and all their less than friendly epithets. She's been called a white woman in a very non-Caucasian world, and accused of being impure where they want to be lily white. All this rolls off Wanda as if Jillian's words are inaudible, fizzed out by white noise, something she cannot possibly hear.

The truth is, at some level? She plain doesn't care. Jillian is given the fullness of her attention to listen, though she's still paying attention to the body language of the humans who gather among other humans to worship a demon. A creature of the pit, and abruptly at one point, she holds up her hand and says flatly, "Stop."

Evidently there is a very real difference in patience and diplomacy when practiced by the good Doctor and his protégé. Her actual title won't come up here.

"They," the barest nod under the hood makes mostly for moving shadows over Wanda's face, "look for what they need. Maybe you are it. Maybe this is a loss. Their own path to walk. I do not care."

A beat follows for the information to sink in, and the Witch silently tests the air as her gaze fills with the enriched depths of magic, sensitive to the very inkling of power possibly manifested or seized. "You gave me what was wanted. In too many words." She shrugs. Jillian is what she is. "Talk less. Look more. Learn, and maybe the loud ones will not kick you across an empty field. They have no manners here."


Here Jillian turns and mocks looking embarrassed, placing a three-fingered hand against her sternum. "My sin-cerest- of apologies. I was under the impression that you had come here seeking conversation."

The act is dropped just as quickly as it had been adopted. The creature's head turns and eyes narrow once more in a none-too-kind manner as she stares back at Wanda, walking directly in front of her on her way past.

If Wanda wanted anything else from the Neyaphem then she'll have to track Jillian down, herself. The demon's limited hospitality has run dry.


A stare is met with a stare as murky and depthless as fog. Then the demon hunter gives a petite smile and strides off into the tunnel, the darkness churning around her as she sinks into the promised shadows. It's not hard to follow the abandoned side rails.

Jillian is left with her hopefuls and her people seeking a leader, a life, ideals that blind them to reality.

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