10202/You Really Should Lock Your Portals, Buddy

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You Really Should Lock Your Portals, Buddy
Date of Scene: 19 February 2022
Location: Penthouse - Latverian Embassy
Synopsis: Satana and Doom discuss their interests and eat tiny little snacks while doing so.
Cast of Characters: Satana Hellstrom, Victor Von Doom

Satana Hellstrom has posed:
     Seems like someone's been very bad, recently. Or good, depends on how you look at it. But so many portals to hell, one might notice. And in this case, someone does. Really doesn't take much for her to latch onto that little tear in fabric, and she emerges in... huh. A bedroom! She looks around, having decided that going through hell would be best as a horned thing, and thus she is. A pretty woman with a pair of ram horns and a little device in her hand, a sort of GPS that's supposed to show her magical items. But it's been on the fritz, lately.
     Still, this room definitely does seem to have booze and art, what else does she need? It takes her a moment to go from the painting of a family over to the picture of Doctor Doom hugging a little kid.
     "So this is who left a few tears in the fabric of space and time," Satana says, giggling to herself. There's a thrill to it all.

Victor Von Doom has posed:
For several days now the monarch of Latveria has held open multiple gates to the First Circle of Hell, his legions of robotic armies assaulting, capturing and finally holding the Gates to the Underworld itself as he has aided the Justice League in facing down first Neron to acquire power for their looming battle with Felix Faust and his allies. And then of course tricking them into aiding him in stealing a prize from Mephisto himself.

It has been a busy few weeks for Dr. Doom to be sure. They are likely to continue to be busy. And while he no longer needs those portals, it takes time to withdraw thousands of robotic minions, particularly when they are locked in battle with the forces of Hell itself. He is willing to make sacrifices when required. But he has no intention of throwing away a sizable portion of his army if he can help it.

Of course all of this has been done from his embassy in America rather then his fortress in Latveria. It has made it considerably easier to drop in on the League when required. Even for someone with his power -- both magic and technological -- repeated teleportation across half the globe takes it's toll. All of which is to say that when Satana sneaks her way into his embassy, she is not as alone as it might appear at first.

The personal quarters of Victor von Doom are dark and shrouded with shadow. Deserted, it might appear at first, though a small fire sits burning in the hearth of a very large fireplace. And it is from there that the first movement comes, a shadowed figure draped in a dark cloak seeming to rise out of that high backed chair by the fire. "Interesting," comes the quiet, cold words of the armor-clad man. "Has Mephisto sent you?" he asks, Dr. Doom slowly turning, still shrouded in shadow and backlit by the fireplace.

Satana Hellstrom has posed:
     She does initially startle, then pulls it all back in. Very refined, not at all worried, like a cat who has fallen off a ledge and is walking it off. "Well, you and your little buddies did make quite the mess down there, huh? Depending on whose side you're on. I'm on my own side, I'm the only one who sends myself anywhere," the presently independent succubus declares, her hand on her hip, head held high. Not a daddy's girl, no way no how!

     He's not the only one looking a little spooky, what with her ruby red eyes and the curl of the horns. "Go ahead and keep tossing forces at those dummies down below," she says. "I certainly won't get in the way. I'm just a curious cat," she says. For a moment, her shadow behind her curves into something feline, complete with a big grin before it snaps back into the shape of her beautiful demonic self. Doom isn't the only one who likes a visual spectacle from time to time.

     The mention of her former teacher does intrigue her, though. "And out of that curiosity... why would Mephisto be interested in sending someone up to your bedroom? A favor or something less charitable?"

Victor Von Doom has posed:
He might be a megalomaniac who has a tendancy to refer to himself in the third person more often than seems reasonable for a mentally healthy human being, but Victor von Doom certainly does have a sense of style. A way to make an entrance and set a scene as it were.

And what does he make of the unlikely succubus that has violated the sanctity of his embassy? Well that's difficult to determine. The shadows might not be much of a barrier to his uninvited guest, but that iron faceplate that he wears, that covers his face, is a little more problematic when it comes to determining exactly what it is he is thinking about. For a long moment he stands there, motionless with the fire flickering behind him. Finally however he gives the slight inclination of his head and moves away from that high-backed chair, instead moving to stand to one side of that fireplace, the glow of it at least illuminating half his body, that dark green cloak draped around him, that customary armor in place even here, at the center of his santum in this foreign nation.

"Doom can respect standing apart," he says quietly, those inscrutable features still seeming to study Satana. Does he believe all her words? Difficult to say, though it seems unlikely. Someone like him doesn't reach these sorts of heights of power without being careful... and probably more then a little paranoid as well.

"For good or ill my forces are not longed destined for the lower realms," Victor states flatly. "Doom have what he wants of that place, at least for now," he says. "And as to Mephisto, we are at best old enemies. He had little reason to like me before, and after recent events I suspect he will seek to revenge himself upon me," he adds, sounding surprisingly unconcerned. Few can shrug off the emnity of the Prince of Evil himself. At least if they are entirely sane. Perhaps that's the issue here.

Satana Hellstrom has posed:
     Sanity in hell is not an easy thing to hold on to. This creature may not have all her marbles in that particular basket, but she does think for a moment that she's being ignored. Her temper is a wild thing, and thankfully she's able to keep it from broiling up. Mostly because he eventually does rise from his chair. Distracting enough to keep a tantrum at bay.

     "Well, chatting with me will probably be another reason to add to his list of dislikes... depending on how you treat me," says the demoness. "But I'm not here on a fetch quest. Actually, I was just curious about the source of all those tears, but I have also had a delightful series of Latverian coffee shop visits as of late. I don't suppose you keep some of those little apple cakes hidden away up here in some kind of Doom Pastry Vault, do you?" she teases, leaning forward a little. Mere mortal men might drown in all that cleavage.

Victor Von Doom has posed:
It is a pretty impressive view to be sure.

One would have to think even Victor von Doom might be a little distracted by it all. But there is that damned faceplate once more, concealling away his features. Rumor has it that his features were mangled after an accident. One more reason for his seeming endless hatred for Reed Richards. But when it comes to rumors about the mysterious ruler of Latveria, well, there might be more of those then fish in the sea. And who knows which amongst them are true. He certainly isn't spreading any light on the matter.

Perhaps he is distracted by the view, or perhaps he is just considering her words, the levity, the teasing perhaps foreign to Dr. Doom. Fear or definance tends to be the most common response to him so to find anything else is certainly a change. A refreshing one perhaps?

"Consider your curiousity sated. I am the source of those tears. Hell held some things that Doom needed and so I've taken them," he says. Pretenious? Absolutely. But he also invaded Hell. Successfully. All of that arrogance might very well be deserved.

Either way, he steps away from the fireplace, moving towards the nearby wall. He murmurs a word under his breath and suddenly the darkness of the room is dispelled at once, filled instead with the glow of the overhead chaandaliers that show off the rich, if rather antique, furnishings of the room. The armored figure pauses by a cabinent, pulling open the doors. And there, sitting on a silver latter, are a smattering of those same apple cakes laid out.

Does Dr. Doom have a sweettooth? It might seem hard to credit to some. "Never let it be said that Doom is not a good host. Even to the uninvited."

Satana Hellstrom has posed:
     She's not afraid of much, even her father. Sure, she might be afraid of certain people catching her, of consequences in that arena, but not particularly of people. And to her, as powerful as Doom may be, her demonic heritage does set her apart from him by half a species.

     "Keeps things interesting, when interlopers sneak down and take things. Rather mythological. Were you snatching a precious Persephone from the grips of Hades?" she teases again. She flicks a hand, her attire changing from her modern clothing to rich red robes, her hair up in curls with a little crown fitted on her horns, a little pomegranate in four jewels at the helm. As per her brand, there's some liberty with the outfit and a very high thigh slit.

     But new distractions await, and she looks up as the darkness parts. Her pupils contract a bit too much like a wild animal's for most to be comfortable with, adjusting in her red irises. But then there is a cabinet. And there is cake. And having learned nothing from the spirit of the outfit she's wearing, the young demoness purrs, "Oh, and such a good host you are. Will you be snacking with me, or shall I be devouring those morsels unaccompanied?"

     She's ignoring that part about not being invited. To her, any non-barricaded door is an invitation!

Victor Von Doom has posed:
In that, at least they share a similarity. Fear is not something that Doom seems to have in any great supply. Perhaps that is obvious. He literally just lead his armies into Hell itself. He helped the Justice League steal the Candle of Neron. And then he utilized the worlds greatest heroes as a distraction while he proceeded to rob the Prince of Evil himself. That certainly doesn't seem like a man given to an overabundance of fear.

Or again, perhaps he is simply lacking any healthy measure of sanity. That could be the case as well. It might be the more realistic perspective.

When she inquires just what it is that he stoles, the armored figure freeze for a moment. An almost imperceptible glance is flickered back towards that high-backed chair he so recently vacated. There, still resting on the cushion is a rolled up piece of parchment. The sort that one might sign a contract with Mephisto if one were foolish enough -- or desperate enough. But Doom's gaze does not linger, flickering back to her as she makes that quick shift in wardrobe. One wanders if he has similar ability to get into and out of that armor just as quick. "Something like that," he seems to agree, even if the answer is a little evasive.

Perhaps he is still debating on just how trustworthy she is? Perhaps it is a matter close to his heart. Either way, he seems... unwilling to share.

Still, with the light filling his private quarters now Dr. Doom motions towards a table laid out in front of the double doors that lead out onto the balcony, the curtains drawn back to leave the cityscape of a darkened Manhatten visible beyond -- an impressive vista nonetheless. "While Doom has pressing business, there is perhaps time to talk of things. If Doom can find an accord with the Justice League it is not out of the question that I might find common ground with you," he muses, moving towards that waiting table and pulling back one of those gilted chairs, waiting for her to sit in somewhat courtly fashion.

Satana Hellstrom has posed:
     She doesn't make a move or rush to steal anything. She does take note towards the item on the cushion. It's just so... Hell, really. All the fancifulness of the infernal realm, all parchment and quills, blood and souls. But she doesn't comment.
     She does seem like a playful thing, but succubi are often like that until it's time to chow down. At least this one doesn't seem to be in the mind to pull him out of his can of armor to eat him, if that armor can be removed by someone like her. These sorts of beings get weird about free will. As much as they like to control others, scheming seems preferable to force.

     Scheming has gotten her Latverian apple cake and an audience with a powerful sorcerer. "I'm an independent agent, though you may have encountered my brother at some point, Daimon Hellstrom?" she asks, seeing if he'll fill in the blanks or if she really needs to work on her reputation! She sits down in the chair, her red gown moving in swishes as she enjoys the attention.

Victor Von Doom has posed:
It is frequently easy to forget just how capable of a sorcerer Victor von Doom turly is. In another life it is not impossible that he could have taken up the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme, so great is his mystic might. Of course that is also what makes him such a threat -- and perhaps contributes to that truly monstrous-sized ego. His master of technology -- matched by only a few others on the planet -- is just as formidable. And certainly that suit of armor he has constructed, that robotic army that defends Latveria are a much more visible show of power then the magic that he more rarely calls upon.

All of which is to say that it is likely that Doom has a fairly good idea of what Satana is capable of, at least in a general sense. Which means it is equally likely that he is not going to lower his defenses, not completely, no matter how appealling a package that she presents herself as. Still, a certain wariness does not mean they have to find theselves in conflict, right?

"Doom does indeed know of Hellstrom," he agrees. Mystic circles do tend to be relatively small, all things considered and it is always a good idea to know the players. Just as she knows of him, despite his fame -- or infamy -- being much greater in other circles. "Independent agents are frequently useful, particularly given that my own visibility does not always allow me great freedom to act as necessary. At least not without consequence. As I said, there is perhaps ways that we can be of use to one another if you are of a mind."

Satana Hellstrom has posed:
     Titles may interest the boys more than they interest her. Strange and others might duke it out for that sort of name, and by all means, let them. Satana likes to be a little more grassroots. Besides, Hell is being run in a way she doesn't particularly care for, and like most young children of dictators, she's pretty sure she can do better. But that doesn't mean she can't learn while she's here on Earth.

     "Exactly. My goals are simple. A good life for me and those I enjoy, and a better underworld. It's so boring and cliche down there. The players are old, set in their ways. While I agree with portions of their plans, I do want my own little plot of Hell to do with as I please. As long as you are not seeking to stop me from this, I would be happy to hear out any needs you may have. " She leans forward a bit. "So if you know of my brother..." she says that word with a little hint of annoyance. "Do you know who *I* am?"

Victor Von Doom has posed:
Of course Doom has little reason to love Hell and his hatred of Mephisto is intensely personal. Would he, could he support a... reorganization that would put someone more... acceptable in charge. It's difficult to say. There is little doubt that Doom does not view himself as evil. Few villains do. He just maintains the absolutely belief that the world would be far better off unless his guiding, benevolent hand.

Still, on the surface it would seem that there might be room for a common ground to be reached. There might be room for bargains and exchanges, for something approaching -- if not truly -- trust to exist. Maybe. Either way, once she has taken her seat he tucks her in at the table before circling around to take his own. That silver tray of treats remains resting between them -- a buffer of Latverian treats to tempt and perhaps keep unwanted hostilities at bay.

"Understandable desires. I would see Mephisto overthrown and brought low, but otherwise I have no interest in the designs or ordering of Hell. If it leaves Doom alone, I am content to do the same," he points out casually before pausing once more, that masked gaze seeming to take her in. "Doom does indeed know of you Satana Hellstrom," he offers up quietly. "I know of your feud with your father, know of your reputation. Hence my willingness to speak with you."

Satana Hellstrom has posed:
     Those treats tempt, and the call is answered. She takes one of the little apple cakes and seems to delight in it. She is a lover of decadence and some excess, and this room and even this conversation partner definitely tick those boxes.

     "Feud is such a strong yet accurate word to describe our relationship," she says. "But children and their parents often go such different directions. I want mine to be better. Of course, the worst of the worst will always have their torments after their deaths, but there's so much nuance and variation that exists between that and not being deemed good enough to go upstairs," she says with a sigh.

     Her tiny cake gone, she leans closer, chest just brushing the table as the young demoness selects another bit of imported goodness.

     'I'm not arrogant enough to think that I know everything, I don't. But your country seems rather well-protected, and I think you even have universal education, if I remember the brochure correctly," she chuckles. "I want to know how to run things. Be qualified. Not just the daughter of the boss making a bid for power."

Victor Von Doom has posed:
By some standards Latveria does have much to offer. To be sure the people are protected, robotic armies insuring that a nation that once was regularly occupied and oppressed by outsiders need not fear that under Doom's watch. And his advanced technology insures that the standard of living of the average Latverian has improved immeasurably since he took over his homeland and declared himself monarch.

Certainly that is likely the view that Victor would take of things. Unsurprisingly. The counter of course would be that the people of Latveria are free only so long as they do not oppose Doom, do not speak ill of Doom. They are also subject to his occasional wimbs and frequently end up embroiled in his conflicts. Those might not be lessons that she should want to learn.

Still, it is an intriguing notion, isn't it? An intern ruler? It just might be the sort of brash notion that appeals to the King of Latveria, despite some lingering reasons for mistrust to fester. And if the task of ssubjugating and ruling Hell is an immensely more complex and thorny problem that seizing and ruling a small European nation, it is unlikely that Doom will see it that way.

"You intrigue me," the masked tyrant says. His own cakes go untouched, at least for the moment -- the mask does not appear to have been designed with eating in mind it seems. "It sounds that there might be an arrangement to be made," he admits.

Satana Hellstrom has posed:
     With Satana's heritage and personality, it seems that her own denizens may likely be under similar rule. Enjoy hell- don't get on the mistress's bad side, or there are definitely levels that aren't Valhalla meets Vegas. Fair? No, but if you don't like it, you can go talk to the former management, if you can hear their screams.

     "How fortunate that this is where I ended up on my little hunt through Hell," she says. "And... do you want me to give you a little privacy to eat? I won't be all dramatic and do the whole creepy eyeless demon thing, but I can put on a blindfold or turn around if you want to have something," she says. It would be a sign of trust, but hopefully not an insult. "The cakes are very good, but I'm sure you're well aware. The fare we have down in Hell... well, depends on who you are, and what position you're in, but some fantastic chefs are down there," she says, as if she's talking about the food downtown, not DOWN down town.

Victor Von Doom has posed:
It is possible that they are of a mind on a number of different topics. Though each no doubt hold their secrets, each have goals that perhaps are not quite so freely discussed. Still, it seems that a beginning has been sewn here.

For a moment Doom regards her, oh so inscrutable behind that iron mask. But then it would appear that the man reaches a decision and he reaches up, fiddling beneath that green hood for just a moment. There is a quiet click and a soft hiss and then, perhaps surprisingly, Victor von Doom removes that mask.

Rumor might say that Dr. Doom's face is a wreck, ruined, scarred and burnt beneath that iron covering. But such is not in evidence now. A single scar does mark one side of his face -- evidence that something once damaged his features -- but whether through magic or technology any such damage has been repaired. Nor, as a contemportary of Reed Richards, does he look anywhere near his age. Given his biography -- at least what is known of it -- he should be a man in his sixties but those strong features and curly black hair make him appear to be in his thirties at the latest. Vanity? Or something else entirely.

"Few get to gaze of the vissage of Doom. Consider it a gesture. An acknowledge that we might just find areas of... cooperation."

Satana Hellstrom has posed:
     Usually reading men comes easy. But oftentimes, she barely has to. How many boorish idiots tried to corner in a dark alley only to have her laughing and throwing them to the ground like they were nothing at all. And the subsequent feeding. She was the one hiding things, and delighting in every step as her would-be hunters ended up as dried out husks post-feeding.
     But even when Doom has his mask off, he's still hard to figure out. Still, he is handsome, and she leans forward, resting her hand in her palm like a girl on a prom date.
     "I do, I do," she says. "You look pretty good for a guy who's around human retirement age. But something more than human going on, I imagine," she says, not prying further. "Should I take something off, too? In the name of cooperation?" she asks. It is simply in her nature. "Or are we keeping it clothes-on professional?" asks the horned woman.

     Given her time in hell and the creatures that she grew up with, perhaps one wonders if she would have been alarmed at any state of his face, from handsome to robotic to a near-bare skull.

Victor Von Doom has posed:
It is certainly unlikely that any damage done to his features could be more grotesque then some of the more disturbing monsters that she must be familiar with, admittedly. Humans might have cause to judgem but maybe there are some small ways that even infernal creatures are better than them. Perhaps Doom could even acknowledge that despite his clear hostility for a certain Devil Prince.

Reaching for that tray at the center of the table, Victor claims one of those delightful apple treats, lifting it and taking a bite without ever letting his eyes slip from her. Not wary like an animal, alert for any hint of danger even as they take a much needed sip of water. No, that dark-eyed gaze remains assessing. And yes, just as inscrutable as when he had that mask on. "The gifts that one can access when one has both the powers of magic and technology at one's disposal are considerable indeed," he says simply.

There is an ever so slight up-curving of the corners of his mouth. It is not quite a smile, not really, though not a sneer either, contemptuous and bitter. But there is no real humor there either. "Do not mistake me for one of the masses, succubi," he says quietly, taking another bite of that apple treat before laying it down in front of himself. "You are not without your considerable charms," he comments, one hand reaching out, a pair of fingers finding one of those horns that mark her, running down it before drawing back. "But be wary what games you try to play with me. You may find Doom an ally. We may find common cause. But it will be a cold day in Hell indeed if you think to claim my soul. Know that the chains I will bind you in on that day with contain even devil spawn," he says, that faint, half-smile never so much as fading from those darkly handsome features.

Satana Hellstrom has posed:
     It is a bit like two wolves sniffing at one another, trying to feel each other out lest one have a change of heart. And this one doesn't mind the petting. She leans gently into it, perhaps not used to contact that's reserved.
     "I'm not playing a game. I think people believe that we actually are more carnal than we are," she says, thoughtfully. "The appearance, certainly, that helps to lure in prey. And some of my cousins might enjoy taking things a few steps farther, even to the bedroom before they dine. I have no need," she says. "The worst of sinners come on to me. They follow me and think I'm the one they're trapping. They need not a word from *me* before they act. They tell me what they think I want. And they are so very, very wrong." She grabs another little apple treat and takes a bite, like Eve herself sampling the fruit of the tree of knowledge- but with not a single regret. These are all simple facts.

     "So if I ever offer pleasure, it's not to attempt to steal a soul. It's because I think I might enjoy it. As fun as mortals can be, most are terrible lays," she says with a big sigh. "But if you want to bring out chains, let's try to keep them from doing more than adding a little spice to the evening."

Victor Von Doom has posed:
As far as defenses go it is a pretty good one, a compelling once that might even convince the ever-paranoid Doctor, despite his well-founded suspicions about the minions of Hell. It comes off as sincere to be sure and while Doom is unlikely to lower his defenses anytime soon, it might at least keep him from making further threats -- veiled or otherwise.

"Your words make some sense," the Master of Latveria conceeds, not even grudgingly. But there is no apology for misjudging her, or for threatening her for that matter. That is a bridge too far it would seem, a concession that ego will not allow. He was not wrong! There just might be more layers to the situation then initially recognized. Who knows. Perhaps the King of Latveria might even feel the need to prove just how much he differs from the inferior masses.

It would surely not be the only time his ego has lead him astray.

"I will be departing for Latveria in the near future. One way or another my business in this country," he begins, his lip curling in distaste now, "is done. You are welcome to visit my nation as you choose. Your knowledge of the lower planes may be of value to me. But be warned. Make a friend of Doom and you may make enemies of some not insignificant powers. The Prince of Evil and the other Lords of Hell might even be the lesser of foes that Doom shall have to face in the coming days," he cautions. See? He's even giving her fair warning. But then the enmity of Felix Faust and the forces he has assembled is nothing to sneeze at these days.

Though surely he will be too preoccupied with the Justice League to revenge himself on Doom. Surely.

Satana Hellstrom has posed:
     She at least stays clothed for the moment. Not pushy when she's sated.

     "I'm not the most popular girl down in hell for... reasons. I might need more treats to divulge them," she says. "But treat me well and I'll return the favor. Honestly, I have no idea why those morons down below think their dumb little betrayal games will get them anything but headaches with each other. They've had enough time to figure it out, but they never change," she grumbles.

     Which is clearly why she should be in charge. There's a lot of over-inflated self-esteem in this room, but only one of them is talking in third person. Maybe that's her first lesson as intern.

     "I assume Latveria has some burial grounds. It's easy enough for me to get just about anywhere on a whim, but those help. I should probably let you pack for your trip back, unless you want me lounging recumbent whilst you do so," she says, "I do look fantastic on a chaise lounge watching servants move things from place to place," the succubus says.