1964-08-06 - Mutiny on the HMS Limbo
Summary: Taking back Limbo from the demon hordes — and Kid Karnevil!
Related: None
Theme Song: None
illyana susie karma nightcrawler peter akihiro sophie-rousseau lamont 

It's a normal Summer evening in the New York area. People are training. People are watching TV (My Favorite Martian at 7:30, followed by The Ed Sullivan Show!, and Bonanza at 9). People are living their lives as normal. Which is why it's probably something of a shock when a brilliant light appears, right as Ray Walston says something terribly funny. The laugh track is interrupted by a shout. "Heroes! I need you!"

Illyana Rasputin steps out of the disk that brought her to the X-Mansion from Limbo. She's clad from toe to throat in glittering silver armor, her soul sword in hand and burning. But despite her obvious defense and offense, in her eyes is something as close to panic as anybody would have seen in her.

From other disks come Illyana's voice, even as she speaks in Westchester. "The demons are marching on the disk fields," she says to anybody who's there, anybody who will listen. "I need help. This guy who's been manipulating them, he's going to drop them on Earth. And I will never be able to track them all down — there will be mayhem everywhere. And everywhen." She would call on certain members of the team if she had time — her brother, for example — but there is no time to track them down. This needs to be dealt with now.

"Anybody who's willing to help, please, into the disk. And thank you."

As for Nightcrawler, a small orange demon appears before him, stepping from another disk. "You," it declares. "Da blue guy. The boss sez, we needs you now. Come to Limbo. Use da disk. Help us, Obi Wan Kenblueguy. You's our on'y hope." Its teeth gleam as it grins. "I added da las' part," it says. "Whaddya t'ink?"

Susie, sitting in her apartment watching My Favorite Martian, is totally caught by surprise by the white disk and, in a blur of motion, is behind her couch for cover! …then the voice asks for help, and indicates the whole planet might be in danger. That mention of 'everywhen' worries her, too, even though she really doesn't have a clue what that really means.

A blur of motion is all that's seen as she superspeedily darts into her room, changes into her Ultragirl costume, and is back in her living room in the space of about a second. Then, she takes a deep breath and… hesitantly, steps into the disk of light.

Xi'an (aka Karma) is, of course, at the X-Mansion. She lives there and all. That means she's there to receive Yana's call in person. There's no hesitation. "You said you had this well under control, mon chou!" she informs the magicky witchy one. There's modest scolding in her tone, but then Karma is off, to suit up. Shouldn't be more than a minute before she's back, and she abandons her books (because surely Karma's too lame for TV) and is at Yana's side. She'll be stepping through the disk whenever Magik does.

Spider-Man is walking down a street in Queens with a dozen eggs in his hands. Well, he was. You see he dropped them as soon as Illyana showed up. "Aw man," he says as he goes down to one knee. "Ole Lady Spider-Lady needed these for a cake. No lie." But as the sparkly blonde lady spins her tale of woe, who is he to disappoint? Afterall, she called him a hero. There are a precious few in this town who believe him to be so. "Anywhen sounds like a long time," he replies as he follows along dutifully.

The last time Kurt let Limbo, he was told to acquire some sort of weapon that could be used in that dimension; like a sword. What good are friends in different organizations if they can't acquire some sort of sword that could be used? It also doesn't tend to look too out of place in the tenement apartment he's been staying in, thanks to the owner of said apartment being none other than Nick Fury. In is absence though, Kurt is there and about to watch television when the orange demon shows up.

Yellow eyes blink at the creature before he gets up from the chair he was curled up in and retrieves said sword. "I think that it needs work, Mein Freund." Because the orange demon must be on Illyana's side, right? "The poetry is not very strong." But he flashes the smaller demon a grin as he steps on the glowing disk.

When the disk appears before Akihiro, the group of men currently stomping his face scatter. Peeling himself off the concrete he straightens coat and nods. "This'll be interesting."


Blood runs down the claws that burst forth from between his knuckles as he enters into the disk. Daken might not be a hero, but it'd be good to get all that pent up agression out on something not as squishy as a person.

As luck would have it, Sophie was on her way down for an after-dinner workout, and so was already in costume and a bit amped. Now, it seems she's going to be getting a workout of a different sort. And with higher stakes than keeping up her average in Danger Room scoring. But it's 'Yana. Anything for a friend. Especially one who she can't remember ever seeing frightened to that extent before. "I am here," the slender blonde says, trying to sound reassuring.

There's an irony - Illyana's summons gets the Shadow just as he's suiting up for a busy evening's work. Which means he's already in hat, cloak, and scarf…standing before what can only be some sort of altar. There are various strange implements arranged upon it….and one of these is what he snatches up in haste, before stepping into the disk. It's what looks like some sort of bronze dart.

The heroes (and Daken) who choose to step through the portal, including Illyana, exit into a dark hellscape. The skies are a violent shade of violet, not a star to be seen. The ground is barren as the surface of Mars, with orange and yellow rocks jutting from the ground here and there. The portals open in a line, each separated by no more than a few feet. To the backs of the assembled is a field of shining disks, just like the ones they stepped through. They fill the landscape, stretching back as far as they eye can see. Given that these disks will take a person to any point in time, any point in space, there are uncountably infinite stepping disks arrayed behind them.

Ahead of them, however, are demons. The number of demons is large, though far from infinite — though, considering any finite number is far from infinite, it is unlikely that this is much in the way of comfort. There are a lot of demons, is the point we're trying to get across here. Slavering demons with large teeth and sharp claws, looking evil and hungry in more or less equal parts.

And at the lead of these demons is a large green one. It looks as though somebody cut up a lot of demons and sewed them back together. A Frankensteinian monstrosity, to be sure. Sitting upon its shoulders is%<ud60a62> a human boy with shaggy blond hair. He's no more than eighteen, clad in what looks something like a Boy Scout uniform — beige cloth short-sleeved shirt and shorts, a blood red ascot about his neck, and a black domino mask.

"Get out of the way, Magik!" calls the kid. "Your old pets are hungry! You haven't been feeding them right!"

To be fair, the demons are not all on the boy's side. There are several clustered around the heroes (and Daken). Most notably the orange one that summoned Nightcrawler and a giant purple one in a leather vest and a newsie's cap. Smoking a stogie. More demons are lined up to protect the disk field, but their lines seem terribly thin compared to those opposing.

"You will reach these disks over my cold, dead body, Karne!" Illyana replies, though she doesn't shout. She knows the nature of Limbo. The enemy will hear her words if she wants him to. To her allies she says, "Thank you. I hope we all live so I can offer more thanks later. The demons can be torn apart without killing them — and if you have to kill them, I won't weep over them. The boy%<ud60a62> is pure evil."

The boy smirks atop his monster steed. "Well then! If that's what I have to do! CHARRRRGE!" And the army of demons starts running forward.

Ultragirl (aka Susie), flits up into the air as soon as she find herself… in the hellish landscape in which she finds herself. The two battlelines catch her attention, and she listens to the words being traded. Then, the boy on the demon sounds the charge.

Mind made up, Ultragirl darts forward through the air as fast as she's able to fly, given her 'comfort-based' limitationson that speed. She's aiming straight for the one Illyana called 'Karne', one fist cocked back as if ready to throw a punch when she gets to him.

Karma steps on through, and then there's a moment of wonder. She's been here before, sure, but it's still so far out of her reality that it gives her pause. But then there's yelling. And then there's an Ultragirl taking off. Xi'an stares in wonder for a moment, before she sweeps her gaze back to the others gathered. "Sophie!" she says, with a flash of smile. "Attention, ch%<233>rie?" she asks. A needless warning to the other X-men. The Asian woman then focuses on her friend. "Yana… can I affect his mind?" she asks. Since this is Limbo, Karma is going to ask before she tries. Because otherwise… well. Who knows what manner of horrors she might dive into.

"Man, you know what the worst part about being in hell is?" Spider-Man says as he flitses around, almost whining. "There aren't any big buildings to swing from." His arms shoot out in front of him and, depressing the super secret and totally awesomely designed triggers, two spray streams of webbing shoot out towards the ground way out in front of him. Using the webs as a catapult, he flings himself at high speeds right into the chest of one of the demons! Wowza!

"This is not Hell, Mein Freund," Nightcrawler offers to Spider-Man at the commentary. He also looks at the line of demons and unsheaths his sword. He doesn't attack immediately, but instead, he watches what the others seem to be doing before his eyes land on Karne and his monster. There's a head-tilt before he gives a nod to the orange demon and the purple one and just disappears in a puff of brimstone-laced smoke.

"Hey. Fuck you." Akihiro offers the masked teen a one fingered salute. When the demons start running, he does too. Unlike his previous fights there was no moral twang here, these things weren't human so he could fight however he pleased.

Pouncing the pugnacious punk in a patchword coat crumples a crimson demon on the front lines, throwing himself into the advancing horde. A small grin tugs at the corner of his mouth as the melee really begins, his adamantium claws eviscerating everything within his reach. At least until a two-handed hammer falls at his feet.

Claws retracting the new toy is taken up and promptly put to use, dislocating another demon's jaw and snapping a horn from another's head. It's almost unnerving, the way he throws himself into attacks with no regard for his own well being. But that's relatively easy when practically every injury sustained closes within moments.

As soon as she is safely through the stepping disk (for values of 'safely' appropriate to stepping onto a field full of demons), Sophie — or 'Mistral', now that her X-uniform's mask/headpiece is in place — shifts into her airy form, a swirl of mist obscuring her for maybe half a second, leaving her 'ghostly' self hovering with her feet an inch or two above the hellish ground.

With a reflexive motion of her legs as if she's kicking off the surface, the young Frenchwoman rises quickly to a better vantage point, maybe 20 feet in the air. Picking an angle for maximum effectiveness — all those hours spent training with Scott being brought to bear — she looses a hurricane-blast of wind, cutting a swath through the enemy lines, bowling over demons large and small and sending them flying.

He's more accustomed to fighting the demons that are foolish enough to make their way into his world. But that doesn't mean the Shadow won't welcome the opportunity to deal with things at their source. To the native New Yorkers, Lamont's a ghost from the past - complete with that maniacal laughter and black cloak.He sounds rather like a certain nemesis of the Bat's, truth be told. Though rather than his accustomed pair of Colts, he's only got one of the pistols in his right hand. The other holds the dart - and each time he strikes with the latter, the demon seems to implode in puff of green light, harsh enough to hurt the eyes.

Susie's attack on Karne seems right on target, right up until the moment when she'd hit — and then he leaps off the monster's shoulders, spins in the air, and comes back down facing Susie's retreating form. Thumbs go into his ears, fingers wiggle, and he blows a raspberry after her.

"I don't think you'll have much trouble with the demons," Illyana tells Karma, "but I don't know about Karne. I'm not sure exactly what he is. Just that he's not a demon. Feel free to try." She's busy herself, opening portals in front of charging demons with speed. It won't take them completely out of the fight, but Limbo is not a small dimension, and by sending these demons as far away as she can, scattered and away from their leader, she is diminishing the ranks of the damned army.

Of course, the others are doing their parts as well. The demons may be fearsome, but they are not precisely sturdy. The one that Spider-Man flies into falls back, taking several ranks down behind it in a domino effect. Akihiro's attacks bring down demon after demon, not killing them — it takes more than claws and hammers to destroy the hordes of Limbo — but dismembering is good enough for the time being. Mistral's winds scatter those on the edges of the mob, sending them flying out of order. They may come back, but not if the fight is won quickly. And of course, the Shadow's dart dispels the monsters as effectively as anything. The demons that side with Illyana are mostly hanging back, both to avoid being confused with the enemy and to protect the field of stepping disks should any demons break through the heroes' (and Daken's) lines.

Ultragirl whips through the space where Karne was at, and then flits up into the air and spins around, hovering… and looks back at her target, who's giving her a bronx cheer. Then her eyes widen, and she calls out, with her hands around her mouth as if to help project her voice, "He's… not really here! He's, like, just an aura… no body!"

That she's taken her attention off the fight, even for that little bit, comes back to haunt her, as the demon on which her previous target is riding reaches its every-so-long arm up and back… and swats her out of the air! Ultragirl slams into the ground, thankfully behind friendly lines, leaving a furrow in her wake.

As Mistral takes off without a word, Karma can't help but frown. Oh, how she frets over her fellow X-men. Especially the ones she watched graduate. Still, it's not a time for fretting. Not, at least, that sort of fretting. She has a horde of demons charging at her to worry about it. Still, she's not going to focus on them. Her powers are better angled towards the man riding the big nasty demon. Karma gives a nod to Yana, and without leaving her current position, she focuses on Karne. Let's see if the young man(?)'s mind can't be taken over.

Or, well, if the… projection's mind can't be taken over? Ultragirl's news hits Karma and the woman is left just a touch confused. Still, he has to have a mental link to this false image of himself, doesn't she? Karma will stay back all the same, and attempt to figure out what exactly it is up there, riding that demon.

The burst of woo that comes from Spider-Man echoes out as he starts getting down to business. Once he lands he must take care of the immediate concern, a demon right up in his grill. THWIP! The webbing congeals all over the dark lord (or whatever particular title this one has). "I swear it washes off in the shower." With the little bit of time he has he once again webs towards the rocky ground, but this time at some large boulders. With a heavy yank he pulls them both towards him, only to flip at the last second, hoping to take out some demons in a cross. It's like a real life crossword puzzle. In not-hell. "No one is here," Spider-Man calls out. "In an existential way, I mean."

Nightcrawler reappears in another puff of brimstone right behind Karne, the tip of his sword aimed to press against the teen's back. "Call them off und stop this." He doesn't Monologue for too long as he prepares for some sort of counter-attack. Surely it can't be this easy. His spaded tail whips back and forth, keeping his balance on a dime in case he has to move quickly.

The fun usually has to end at some point, and for Akihiro it's when his hammer makes contact with the face of a much larger demon. There's not much of an impact, in fact the creature picks Daken up with one hand, and uses another to try and rip his arm off. He isn't quite sucessful, and instead peels the skin off. Assuming that's the end of things the teen is tossed back towards the friendly demon line.

Growling in pain the teen holds his metal arm as the skin starts to regrow.

"At least the winds here obey me. I was worried that they might not," Mistral calls down to her companions. That might explain her tight-lipped silence and look of concentration as she launched herself moments ago. Seeing that her first strike was effective, the elemental mutant lines up another, and looses another cone of hurricane force, to similar results. It's not as if the demons in her winds' path could do much to avoid them, given their massed lines.

A projection. Lamont leaves off his efforts for the moment, having retreated enough to count on cover from the allies who've also come through. The Colt he holsters, but he's still gripping that bronze blade in his left hand, hard enough that there's a little runnel of blood dripping from his palm. Something of a boost to whatever entity or power inhabits it - and he's focussing in. Trying to figure out where the real power behind the image of the Kid might be. Where is the source? Not as good at reading auras and tracing lines of power as his mentor, but…..

"Iiiiiiiiii ain't got no boooooooo-dee!" sings Karne, laughing as Ultragirl is swatted from the sky, and then stops laughing suddenly, going still, freezing in place. Even Nightcrawler's blade poking into his back draws no reaction. Not yet anyway. His head slowly, so slowly turns to stare at Karma. And it slowly shakes, as his grin grows still more broad.

No body? Illyana continues to summon portals, continues to send demons away. She knows he's there, physically, which answers the question for her. He's all aura. He's solid in Limbo. "He's dead," she says. "He's just a soul."

Demons continue to fall — on both sides. The little orange guy who brought Nightcrawler is among the first to go down on the side of%<ud60a62> well, light may be too strong a word where Illyana's involved. Call it tarnished silver. He's caught up by a larger demon on the opposing side and swallowed whole, only for S'ym (the purple guy) to pick up this demon in turn and bite its head off before casting it aside. Demons are a violent species.

The demon being ridden by the enemy leader, the Big Green one, roars as it charges forward at the line of friendlies, raising one big, meaty fist… aiming to bring it down into the ranks of friendly demons that will certainly not withstand the assault! The big fist comes down… … and with a loud WHAM… stops about ten feet off the ground…?

Ultragirl, with bits of rock and dirt still falling off her shoulders and out of her hair from having dug herself out of the furrow her body plowed into the ground, is under the fist, having caught it with an upward punch of her own, stopping it cold. With another upward punch, she sends the big fist flying up, back, and away — the big green demon thrown a bit off-balance.
"Okay, big fella", Ultragirl says, as she floats up to eye level with Big Green, "… I'm ready for you, now. Wanna try me again?" Just in case the big demon doesn't understand English, she makes a classic 'come get some' gesture with one hand.

The big green demon roars, apparently accepting the challenge presented it… and starts trading blows with the flying girl who, though being so much smaller than it is, is clearly holding her own against it. More importantly… she's got the enemy 'big gun' completely occupied and, for the time being, unable to do more than focus its attention on her!

"Oh, mon Dieu!" Karma gasps out. For anyone paying attention to the young Asian woman that's decided to stay back, away from the front lines as far as she can be without bumping into disks, she looks wholly troubled. Her gaze is unfocused and far off, and she's brought both hands up to rub at her forehead. She's still a long moment, then her eyes flick open again. She stares across the battlefield, at the man atop the big green monster. It's almost like she can't even see Ultragirl or the rest of the heros (and Daken) doing battle. Just two people here… Karma and Karne. And after locking eyes, after jumping into a mind that she really, really ought not have done, she issues an order. Stand down. Order all the demons to stand down.

Oh man. As all of this stuff with the Karne Kid is going on, Spider-Man is literally prancing across the field of view atop the heads of demons. As they bat at him and snarl, they often flail or, at best, crash into each other. For being in a terrible predicament, he seems to be having a pretty good time. Provided he doesn't run out of web juice.

Dead or not, Kurt can't bring himself to run the sword through the teen. He couldn't kill. But what he can do is reach forward with his off-hand and grab the solid-yet-not-alive soul that is Karne and disappear once more with a *BAMF*. He and Karne reappear for only a moment over one of the disks on the 'tarnished silver' side before they blip through the portal.

Flesh wraps around metal until Akihiro's arm is whole once more. At that moment his expression changes to a snarl and another roar rips through limbo, this one clearly human.

Charging back into the fray Daken starts cutting his way through the horde with a single-minded determination. With one swipe he cuts the head off of one demon, with another he spills innards out onto the ground. Kicking off of a fat demon he wraps around a taller lanky one, bringing him to the ground and snapping his neck. Not one to take chances he puts his claws through the downed demons eye-sockets.

Go Team Tarnished Silver.

Partway along the swath of Sophie's last attack, a burlier, lower-built-to-the-ground demon in a particularly vile shade of mauve stood up against her winds markedly better than his fellows. And so Mistral changes things up, just for him. Air compressed to near-solidity, streaking through the surrounding ordinary air at just below the speed of sound, makes an uncanny tearing shriek of a sound that's been called, among other things, 'unholy'. And so, it fits right in, here. Said semi-solid bolts of air also strike with something like the impact of a full-on haymaker from the likes of Captain America. Said demon's nose is notably less durable than the good Captain's shield. He goes down, out cold.

It might be startling, the way there's suddenly a third presence in that mental battle, Karne against Karma. This one's old, bitter, dark, and very, very good at imposing its own will. But it's not some demon come to assisst his leader. No, the newcomer throws his metaphorical weight behind her efforts, trying to force the mind of the Kid to submit and do their will. No need to distinguish her from him - the Shadow distinguishes the reek of evil very well indeed.

At least a few of the demons — those guarding the disk field, that is — are tremendously amused at Spider-Man's antics. They leave the defensive lines and leap to the tops of the enemy demons' heads. One starts doing a can-can dance, kicking other demons in the head as it trots along. Another pair start singing 'Puttin' on the Ritz' in off-key, gravelly voices. None of this is terribly effective, save for Spider-Man's distractions and the demons knocking each other out in their attempts to get at him, but it is amusing.

Of course, it's also left a gap or two in the defensive lines, as noted, and a few of the enemies are quick to capitalize on these gaps. A few demons slip through, leaping through stepping disks at random. Not many. Just a few.

"No, no," says Karne, even as he's being teleported away by Nightcrawler, into a stepping disk — which only serves to take the pair to the top of one of the rock formations. Close enough that it doesn't stop Karma's connection. But the kid is refusing her commands. Wherever Nightcrawler takes him, his eyes remain on Karma's. "I don't think we'll have them stand down." He's not yelling new commands to the demons, but he's out of their sight. Then, though, the Shadow is in there as well, sharing his head-space, such as it is. Karma and Shadow are working together to control one of the darkest souls either will have seen before.

With Karne out of their sight, the demons' charge starts to slow, and some of them look around, growing confused. "Where boss go?" one says, scratching its lumpy head before Spider-Man dances over it and the demon to its side pounds its head an instant too late, sending it to the ground.

"The Boss is right here," Illyana announces to the demons. She strides forward, stepping disks forgotten for the time being. The others are handily stopping all but a very few demons from escaping. "And the next demon who moves forward so much as an inch is going to die. Not merely be dismembered. Die." She levels her sword at the lot of them, glaring. "You are all in SO much trouble."

Ultragirl intercepts yet another of Big Green's punches with a punch of her own, the sound of the two fists colliding sounding like a muffled thunderclap. The big demon comes around with its other arm… and Ultragirl isn't there, anymore! In a blur of motion, she shifted her position so that she's standing on the ground right in front of the big demon. Bending her knees, she launches herself upwards, combining the strength of her legs and her ability to fly to land an uppercut against the demon's jaw, which again sounds like a muffled thunderclap!

Big Green, just catching its balance after whiffing its roundhouse punch, is caught a bit by surprise when the flying girl comes up from right at its feet. The uppercut with which it's caught actually lifts its front foot off the ground… and sends it reeling and stumbling backwards. Big Green's stumbling back ends when the heel of one foot finds a big rock, and the big demon falls backwards, squashing several others underneath its body when it lands — out cold.

Karma barely notices when Karne simply ceases to be. Or, well, disappears? Or… whatever it is that happened. It's only a few moments before her eyes catch up with her mind. He never left, best her mind tells her. Yet she suddenly jerks and looks over, to the top of that mountain, to where Nightcrawler has taken the foul man-spirit-thing. Karma makes eye contact again, and all the while she's grimacing. "You will not…" she starts, and then what follows is a smatter of French. All the curse words, if one happens to speak French! There's a sudden gasp, as her mental battle shifts. Another mind…? She's looking around, physically, trying to take a guess where that might be coming from, though it's all secondary to her mental struggle. She does, however, seem to notice that demons are getting very, very close to her. "Keep them away from me!" she shouts, to no one in particular. A desperate cry. She'd rather not think what might happen were a demon to get ahold of her with so much of her concentration dedicated to subverting Karne's mind.

Spider-Man leaps onto plain ground and holds his hand out in Illyana's direction. "Boom! She sure told you guys! Looks like the substitute is gone and the teacher is here. School's back in session, hornheads!"

"No? I think ja…" Nightcrawler starts, but he then notices that Karne doesn't seem to be talking to him…or even focused on him. There's a glance back towards the battlefield but then he looks to Karne, his hands still gripping the teen's shoulder. He's not going to get away easily and certainly not without Kurt knowing! At least, that's his intent. He's just going to try and keep him away from the battle.

As the enemies around Daken start to stand out, the teen takes a moment to catch his breath and get a look at the demons he's been fighting. If they're done, he's done too. But his claws don't retract just yet.

Sophie can't recall ever hearing some of those words come from her former teacher's lips before this. (From her own mother's, yes, but not from Xi'an's.) Still, the stream of French profanities pulled her attention in that direction, and so, in an eyeblink — in airy form, little things like air resistance cease to be a bother for her — she's at the more senior X-Man's side, and blasting back any demons that try to advance on her. "Je suis la," the 'ghostly' young blonde says to her mentor. ("I am here.")

Now, that's a demand he did not foresee - protecting Karma's body while his mind lends hers its strength. But his reflexes might be enough. Monty's working his way through the horde to stand by Karma. That must be who it is, the sorcerer assissting her. If it's tiring to try and do both, the psychic and the physical at once, the strain doesn't show. Save perhaps for the deepening of the lines around his eyes, all of his face that's visible above the crimson silk. He ends up literally back to back with her….and that's somehow enough to up the power he's lending her just that fraction more. «I'm here,» he says, as if she might have any doubt who her new brother in arms is.

Karne is not trying to get away from Nightcrawler, though under any other circumstances he'd be happy to fight the blue mutant. And see what colors lie beneath the blue skin. But he's away from the demons, and his attention is on the battle within him. Now he's trying to force out two people who would possess him. He could likely have handled Karma alone, and even with the Shadow pressing the attack, he can still move, if slowly, without their influence. But he could not take Nightcrawler in this state. Even moving fast enough to escape his clutches is impossible.

One of the demons in the second ranks shoves one ahead of him forward, perhaps to test Illyana's mettle. And when he catches her glaring directly at him he points at another demon, this one rather goat-like, beside him. "He did it."

The soulsword flicks out in a sweeping attack that brings its edge, glowing like white fire, through all three demons involved in the event. They do not even have time to shriek. They collapse to ash.

The rest of the demons begin to back up, to scatter from the back, off into Limbo.

"Bring him here, Nightcrawler," Illyana calls out as the demons retreat. "In Limbo, we know what to do with souls!"

Ultragirl flits over to hover above the fallen Big Green, her hands still balled in fists. She's ready to keep fighting, but after a few moments realizes that her opponent's KO'd. Turning about in the air, she sees that the rest of the battle's done and over with, so she floats down to land on Big Green's chest… just in case, so that she can tell if this one starts to get back up, again. Meanwhile, she's watching and listening to what else is going on.

Karma is only ever so vaguely aware of her surroundings. Unlike Shadow, her ability to multi-task is nearly nonexistant. Not when it's this big of a struggle. The French words, however, seem to cut through the pain she's apparently in. Her eyes flick skyward. "Merci, cherie," she says. Sophie can surely hear the pain in her former teacher's voice.

And then Shadow is beside her? If he means for this to be some back-to-back fighting plan, the man is poorly mistaken. No, Karma half-turns to grab hold of one of his arms, and lean on him. She might collapse to the ground, otherwise.

"Yana…" Karma gasps out. "I don't know how much longer…" she says, in a voice that is, hopefully, faint enough that the whole demon army (and Karne) cannot hear her.

"Holy sh…shnikies. What just happened?!" Spider-Man exclaims as Illyana just cleaves through three of those beasties in one thing. "Wait are they dead now? If you die in hell where do you go?" He looks to Nightcrawler, "Right, right. Not hell."

Nightcrawler glances out at his name and raises his sword in acknowledgement. While it didn't do much in the fight it at least seemed impressive. He grips Karne's shoulder in his three-fingered hand and teleports away, appearing back beside Illyana with another puff of Brimstone-smoke. The teen is still held and he prepares to 'bamf' him away if he starts getting uppity. "I am sorry, but I thought if he was away, then I could knock him out."

"Well.. Fuck." Akihiro's claws retract and he dusts his hands off. "So, uh, any of you demons have a spare shirt?" Daken's t-shirt is a mess of holes and blood. Because this isn't the third shirt he's ruined this week.

Not quite trusting the fight to be as over as it seems, Mistral remains where she is, ready to repel any demons who attempt to move toward Karma.

Fair enough. Without missing a beat, Lamont's got an arm around Karma, supporting if not quite carrying her. Then he's trying to get her behind the friendly lines, so to speak - knocking demons down with bullets, mostly. His mental presence doesn't waver, though - the support's as much mental as physical.

"Thank you, Nightcrawler," Illyana says, her attention focused fully on Karne. "And Karma, and Shadow. You may release him now. Thank you, Mistral and Spider-Man. Do not weep for the demons, Spider-Man — they were not truly alive to begin with, and in time they will return, filthy beings that they are. Akihiro and Ultragirl. Thank you all.

"Jeremy Karne," she continues. "Kid Karnevil. It took me some time to figure out who you were, and the last pieces came together only when Ultragirl realized you were -all- aura. You were evil. You died. You went to hell. And they kicked you out. So you found your way here. Coming to Limbo was a very bad move."

She displays her soulsword to the kid. "This is a shard of my soul, forged into a weapon. We have much use for souls in Limbo. Thank you for coming in this form. Your soul will never truly die — but it can be used."

Illyana places her hand on the boy's head, glaring into the eyes of his domino mask. From where her hand touches him, Karne begins to change from flesh (well, spirit) to jet black metal. And soon a statue remains in his place.

Karma leans against Shadow, not giving another thought to who the man is. He's the one keeping her from hitting the dirt, and that's all that matters! And then, Kerne is there! So very close! Karma's eyes go wide. Her panic is real, for just a moment. Until Yana gives order to release him. There's a huge sigh of relief, and Karma does just that. She releases the man, with a gasp. And then, oh, the aftermath. Her eyes pinch shut tight and she keeps leaning on Shadow. She'll miss the show, regretably. And instead just let out a few more horrible French curses. Oh, that's a new way to curse!

Spider-Man approaches the brand new statue with a bit of trepidation. He reaches his hand up to touch the black, really big paper weight, before looking over his shoulder. "And him?" he asks to Illyana, who had put his heart to rest a little earlier with her comment.

Nightcrawler steps back as Illyana approaches Karne but frowns as she seems to turn him into a statue. "What will happen to him?" He looks to the others that were gathered, noticing the others and how they've fared. "Can you just…lay him to peace?" He nods to Peter as he approaches the statue, "Will he stay that way?" At least he wouldn't be causing trouble even if the soul hasn't been redeemed.

"So, who else needs a drink?" Akihiro asks, not really seeming to mind the black statue too much. "Because seriously, damn." He brushes his hands off and looks around. "Nice place you've got here, Illyana. Explains that fire."

Even if she weren't still in airy, desolid form, Sophie's voice would be breathily quiet now. "Mon Dieu…," she nearly whispers, eyes wide, not quite certain how to interpret what she just saw, but feeling more glad than usual that she'd gone into the city to attend Mass with her parents this morning. Still, she's thinking that it's probably best for all concerned that not a word of this little adventure makes its way into her next confession. If there's anything here that even should. Surely fighting demons is not a transgression. Though she's somewhat more uncertain about the implications of participating in the capture of an already-damned soul. This may be 'tied up in committee' in her mind for some time to come.

There's not a lot left on earth that shocks Lamont. But….well, they aren't on earth, are they? The gray eyes narrow above the swath of crimson silk that serves him as a mask, and now that regard focusses on Illyana. But…there is no evil there. Not of the type karma (little K, there) compels him to address. In fluent Parisian French, he notes, turning to Karma, «Your command of the vernacular is most impressive. Are you a native?….and are you well?»

"Perhaps I will find a use for his soul metal. Maybe I'll just leave him as a reminder to my minions of what happens to those who defy me." Illyana wrinkles her nose as she says this, knowing how awful it sounds. "For now, he's gone. My soulsword doesn't seem to erode. Karne won't either. For at least that long, I imagine.
"I'll spring for drinks," she adds. "S'ym, give Akihiro your vest, please. Spider-Man, I believe I owe you a dozen eggs." A series of stepping disks are summoned to bring everyone home — to the Mansion, or the Bronx, or some bar or other. After tonight, she could use a drink, too. "Nightcrawler, you should come meet the X-Men," she notes. "I'm sure you'd fit right in."

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