5623/Intimidation Factor

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Intimidation Factor
Date of Scene: 17 March 2021
Location: Forest Hills Apartments
Synopsis: A haunted apartment draws Lucifer and Amanda.
Cast of Characters: Lucifer, Amanda Sefton

Lucifer has posed:
The first message comes in the form of a pleasant text in the mid-afternoon, complete with a few emojis, of a little man shrugging and then a person with a halo.

<< Hello! Interested at all in helping a lost soul? I seem to have terrified it; another hand would be useful. Minor poltergeist. Are you free? >>

Amanda Sefton has posed:
Amanda checks her phone and has to chuckle at the emojis. <<Sure. Where?>> comes the reply.

Shortly thereafter, a portal opens in a discretely sheltered corner, allowing the sorceress to emerge easily from halfway across the city. (It seriously beats public transit... and traffic.) She steps away from the portal as it winks out, glancing about to find the man who summoned her. After a quick greeting -- a European hug/kiss combination -- her smile grows curious. "So... a minor poltergiest?"

Lucifer has posed:
The response had been an address for an apartment complex -- and a suggestion that if she decided to magic herself over, he'd meet her on the roof. When Amanda arrives in the sheltered corner to the side of the roof area, amid some various laundry ropes strung near the door, Lucifer is there to one side, RIGHT by the ledge, smoking.

Below them in the alley are a few police officers, who are talking to one of the tenants, and Lucifer seems mostly to just be ignoring it and having a good smoke. He spots Amanda immediately as the portal came in, though, but gives her a chance to sort out her location and approach him.

"Mmmm, /hello/," Lucifer teases as the kiss combo is part of it: making it only lightly 'weird': on purpose, as if teasingly suggesting she flirted, when of course he does know otherwise. "Yes. Glad you're here - mostly to talk to someone that believes I know what I'm talking about without undo convincing," Lucifer laughs. He looks over her perceptively, then turns and gestures roughly below them. "A very minor haunting here. Her name was Phillis Kanon... in life, a nun. I think she was bound by a dark energy here - she herself does not mean harm. If I 'handle' it forceably, she'd be going to a place she doesn't deserve."

There's a pause, and a put-upon SIGH. "And she can sense what I am, and won't be agreeing to other kinder guidance I offer, that much is very clear..."

Amanda Sefton has posed:
"Ah," Amanda says knowingly. "Yes. I can see the challenge." She spares a glance for the police below, but smiles to Lucifer. "I'd be happy to try to talk to her. At the very least, I'm familiar with her faith." Kurt, after all, has been religious since he was a child, which means she was subjected to the same influences. She's just a lot less one-true-way than he.

"Tell me about the dark energy, then? I can assume it wasn't necessarily her fault she got trapped by, perhaps?" Perhaps not. Stranger things have happened. But the woman's faith suggests, if it was her fault, it was probably one of those trying-to-fight-the-devil moments that went awry. As the so often do.

Lucifer has posed:
"So am I," Lucifer says with a sleek little grin. Devilish, perhaps? But not without a backdrop of some sort of dismay or sadness: an old place that does not often actually shine through the sexualized surface of snark that is most of what Lucifer projects. "I can dispel and contain the dark energy without issue. Just while she's connected to it, she'll see that as more reason to think I'm taking her to hell in a handbasket."

Lucifer takes another deep draw of his cigarette, then pauses, and offers Amanda a toke on it, should she wish. He's in a sharing mood. "Police were originally called due to the poltergeist quality. I sometimes /advise/ on cases, and this one was a bit fun. She's haunting her naughty sister, seems. At any rate, we have the place to ourselves right now. Or rather, you do: I'm not sure my presence will make her trusting of you."

Amanda Sefton has posed:
"Likely not," Amanda agrees. She chuckles dryly. Naughty sister... of course. "Okay," she says with a smile. "Point me in the right direction and I'll go knock on the door." One way or another.

Thus, some short minutes later, she finds herself approaching the site of this haunting, casually dressed and as non-threatening as she can hope to appear. Her magical senses are open, to see just what the poltergeist is up to, what the dark energy is doing... and what the still-living sister may be hiding. Or not. You never know.

Lucifer has posed:
The apartment looks... pristine, really, at first entry. There is no one home at the moment - the occupant must be out with the cops outside. There was an officer near the door, which is where Lucifer ended up, to gain access for Amanda. She's a special spectral ghostbusting consultant, according to Lucifer, and an amused wink to the Sorceress.

Once inside, though, there's more impact - the dishes are in disarray, all over the floor but not broken, even if the cupboards are all closed. There 'negative' space on the floor - where the dishes aren't - shows a cross sign across the center of the room under the kitchen table.

As for magical senses, yes, there is a spirit nearby, with an angry, passionate energy.

Amanda Sefton has posed:
Amanda moves slowly about the space, reaching out with her senses, but also observing what is there both to be seen... and not seen. Sometimes the missing details are as importants as the ones that show up. In this case, though, she takes a peek in a cupboard or two to see just how much they really have been emptied. Then, she steps gingerly around the dishes, examining the cross.

Finally, she turns toward where she senses the spirit. "So," she says softly. "Do you want to talk about it? I get the feeling your sister isn't listening so well." She's trying to keep a neutral, non-hostile presence about herself... hoping dishes won't start flying at her.

Lucifer has posed:
A vision of something ghostly flits across the reflective surfaces of the shiny metal on the floor; one of the silver serving platters shows a briefly humanoid presence, cloaked in something purple and misty, and then twists away. To supernatural senses, Amanda is being examined, perhaps: and the room has an electrical, gritty scent and tremble to the air. While this spirit itself may not be potent, whatever has latched onto it is giving it a lot of presence.

Amanda Sefton has posed:
Amanda breathes slowly and deeply. Her aura, since it's likely being tested, projects a sense of calm, though the sense of her power will always be a clear current within it. Still, she is a healer and a helper at heart. So, her aura is brighter than many. And if it's not the pristine of a woman of purest faith, it's certainly no minion of darkness.

"It's Phillis, isn't it?" she asks after she's endured several moments of scrutiny. "I'm Amanda." She's leaving it open, still. Trying not to force her way in. But, eventually, she'll start pushing... depending on how the nun responds.

Lucifer has posed:
There's a distance in the room -- the presence is there, but may or may not actually be able to break through to communicate. Or it doesn't wish to? There isn't any change, only a mild wind across the items, and silence.

Amanda Sefton has posed:
The wind is answer enough. It's not thrown dishes, see, which means the desire to communicate is there. Amanda studies the dark energy as well as she can for a moment before she closes her eyes and sketches a gesture in the air with her hands. Trails of golden light appear briefly in the air, fading quickly but allowing her to sort of... straddle the astral and physical planes. Enough, at any rate, that she should be able to hear the poor soul.

Of course, it might leave her a little more exposed to the dark energy, but that's just the hazard of the job. Her normal meditations can do that.

"Let's try this again," she says, eyes glowing faintly with power, her voice reverberating to her ears -- though it would likely be gently muted to human ears and perfectly clear to the spirit. "Care to talk about it?"

Lucifer has posed:
There's some impatience out of view from Lucifer - he's gotten bored, and wandered out away from the apartment to flirt with one of the police officers out down the hallway. He's still in the vicinty - but interestingly, Amanda may feel his presence move away. That might help, too: the devil may or may not even be aware of how deep his presence flows into the area near him, how it impacts those nearby.

It does change the tone inside the apartment. The wind is less angry.

On the shiny, reflective plate, the faint soul finds a spot to be visible, that same reflection. It looks out at her, slowly turning into visibility, and shows a 'shhhh' motion of finger to lips. It sits there, staring from blank eyes. Perhaps it doesn't want to talk...?

Or it just takes a few more minutes. "My sister must repent. I cannot protect her any longer," whispers the walls.

Amanda Sefton has posed:
"Protect her what what?" Amanda asks, eying the darkness more than the nun. She attempts to trace the weaving of energy between one entity and another, where the nun is caught and where the darkness may be coming from. "What has she been doing that she needs to repent?"

She moves slowly about the space, still, tracing a loose circle that encompasses much of the energies she senses. A faint trail of protective magic lays down with each step, the subtle start of a casting circle. "Did it call the thing clinging to you?"

Lucifer has posed:
"//Everything//," decides the ghostly voice, and the room rattles, the dishes starting to tremble, and a few finally shatter under the strain of it. The sister should repent everything. The view of the ghost may be skewed by whatever the dark thing is, they are both entwined: one desiring to stay, the other using it to linger: the darkness using the will of the nun like an anchor.

"Hell comes for her this day," the spirit adds. Lucifer's presence might have impacted things. A little.

Amanda Sefton has posed:
Amanda grimaces faintly at the last statement, intuiting what that means. "Mm. Well, we can keep him at bay a little while longer, I think." He'll get bored and poke his head in eventually, she's sure. But for now... Well, he's probably off flirting somewhere. And that's okay.

"Let's pretend for a moment Hell's not standing on the threshold. There must be something more specific, hmm?" Truthfully, she's just trying to keep the soul talking, focussed on her. She closes her protective circle with a footstep, stepping just inside of it, but leaving it dormant a moment or two longer as she determines just how 'sentient' the darkness is -- whether it's just energy or something more purposeful.

Lucifer has posed:
The dark sense feels vague - like a mindless virus, eating away at emotions, but intelligent - less so. Driven, though, and attracted by whatever the massive issue is between the two women: one living, one dead, but not yet passed.

"Darkness surrounds her. She must be saved. She does not listen!" the spirit answers, and the dark sense feeds hungrily off of the situation, pushing back on Amanda's wards.

Amanda Sefton has posed:
Amanda breathes a quiet word or two in Romani, a purposeful flick of her fingers igniting the circle she traced with her steps. A white curtain of energy flares for a moment and then recedes, the space within it filling with a certain modicum of calm.

Poltergeists, she knows from experience, tend to be motivated by strong emotion. Sometimes, controlling them -- separating them from the animating force that compells them -- requires giving them the spiritual equivalent to a valium.

"I'd like to help save her," she tells Phillis. "But I need to know more. You need to be a little more specific..." Which is dangerous, she knows. Specificity will doubtlessly breed frustration and rage as the spirit confronts their inability to effect the change they've lingered to complete. Hence, the circle of valium.

Lucifer has posed:
"She... does not listen!"

Across the room, an old record player suddenly kicks on loudly, full blast, sharp enough to be very startling.


The lights flutter with the impact, and the spirit's frustration grows more intense and real. The spirit starts to shatter and reduces, back into the walls, the floor, or the objects around, infusing them with the mix of presence and that dark quality.

A text comes in promptly from Lucifer: << Holding a dance party up there? >>

Amanda Sefton has posed:
Amanda's head turns sharply at the sound of the record player. Her phone vibrates and she snirks when the message reveals itself. Crouching, she thumbs back <<Yeah. But, somehow, the nun isn't interested in sampling the good stuff. Go figure.>>

Yeah, some of the dance parties Amanda has been to in her time have been... lively affairs with any number of interesting samples to enjoy. Not that she wasn't picky about what she may or may not have chosen to try. But she knows how to tell the difference between the good and the bad. She's healed enough of it in others to know, whatever she may have experienced herself.

As for Phillis... The Sorceress isn't unwilling to force the issue. She flexes her fingers and starts pulling the energy of her circle towards her, like pulling on the reins of a runaway horse. She channels further energy through the lines she's woven, weaving its white light through each surface she feels the poltergeist's energy infuse. "Not helpful, Sister," she says chidingly, seeking to pull the nun's form back into some coherency. "Not listening seems to be a family trait. Do you want help for your sister? Because the only thing keeping Hell at bay, right now, is me." White lie? Maybe.

Lucifer has posed:
That dark lens works in two directions - it modifies the scope of what the sister can see and understand, as well as what she appears to be, in the dark shapes and forms, this thread of darkened threat overlaying the spirit - which Lucifer detailed before: that this soul is not an evil one, and should not go to hell. From all appearances, it should, though, in what Amanda can sense easily. Which could, in fact, be the design of it all: this feeding, corruptive force is drowning both women, turning them to something it can eat.

The spirit seems to have disconnected from communication, and rattles through from the kitchen inside the walls, fighting against the threads Amanda is trying to weave. But some of the threads of Amanda's then catch hold, and pull the nun back into the front, away from some of that dark. "I won't leave her while she needs me."

Amanda Sefton has posed:
Amanda reaches out physically and mystically toward the nun's soul when she catches threads of it. "There you are," she purrs, smiling. "I won't make you leave her before she's safe. But what say you we keep the darkness from turning both of you into entres, yes?" It's a calculated risk, within the protective circle she's cast, but as she pulls the nun towards her, she extends part of her own astral self to help the nun's soul solidify and -- perhaps -- gain enough strength to unwind further from the darkness. She'll take all of the nun's soul into herself, if that's what it takes, knowing Lucifer can dispatch the darkness is the soul is safe and that there are ways she can release the possessed spirit from within herself afterward.

It's a risky conjuring, to be sure. Especially if the darkness decides she's a tastier snack -- which it very well may do. But, then, if that distracts it from the nun and frees her? Amanda will deal with the consequences of that as they come, too. It's what she does.

Lucifer has posed:
There's hesitation here: the nun does not want to go. She's staying, and that is a major part of her current agenda. The resistance is there, and the dark force is also turning to stare more critically at Amanda as well.

Still, the nun spirit herself is not powerful: the power is coming from the dark presence, and she slips quickly towards Amanda's request.

Amanda Sefton has posed:
Amanda pulls the nun towards her own light, not The Light. As the spirit of the woman fills her, Amanda takes her in astral arms, saying, "We'll get your sister sorted if it's at all possible to do so. But the darkness has to go, first, or neither of you have a chance." That reassurance is all she can give, however, before she's thumbing the speech-to-text icon on her phone's kb screen and saying into it. "Luci, be a dear and collect the garbage for me, would you?" The words get translated into type (probably with the spelling 'Lucy', but that's to be expected), and she presses send, still holding on to her magic circle with her free hand.

She watches the darkness, waiting for it to spring, preparing a shield spell... just in case.

Lucifer has posed:
The reply of 'I am not a garbage collector' does come first. And then after a relent, a second message, of 'Well, I guess in a manner of looking at it, that is what I do'. Lucifer, downstairs, gives way with a stretch of languid body, and strolls back up towards the apartment, rolling his palm up the bannister.

The nun starts to panic as she senses Lucifer, but can't escape Amanda's wish. Her fearful, fluttering little spirit is like a terrified little dove, held in gently now by Amanda, as Lucifer prowls up and knocks while opening the door. He scans around, clearly taking in the information of the place: reading between the floor plates, as it were.

And then at Amanda. "Aw, friends now?" He's charmed, light.

Amanda Sefton has posed:
"Easy," Amanda says gently to the nun. "He's not interested in you." She steps away from Lucifer for Phillis' sake. Then, giving Lucifer a flash of a smile, she replies, "Seems like. I've still got to sort out the unfinished business, mind. But that'll be easier without the shadows trying to eat us."

And sort out the unfinished business, she fully in tends to do. She's not really much of a ghost whisperer, but she can get the job done. When the shadows aren't trying to eat her, especially. "I imagine I'll be needing to speak to the other sister before this is done."

Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer looks around at the room, the wall, and slowly wanders along the kitchen, running fingers down the edge of the counter, with a sort of light hum in his throat, as he looks around. He passes out of the kitchen to the second bedroom, and lightly adjusts his tone.

There's a weird, odd shrill quality to it, like a bell being struck of a very strange, otherwordly type, and the dark presence shrivels and shatters at the impact of it on it's core. The plates lift and rattle....

And Lucifer wanders back in, pleasant in smile. "That should easily be enough damage for it. Just keep her safe for about.... half an hour, or so. I don't want to crush this place: a scapel, not a flamethrower," teases Lucifer. He's very aware of his impact on things, and would rather the darkness shrivel slowly than to cause other issues there.

"Don't get possessed, now. I wouldn't be able to stand you Phillis," Lucifer teases.

Amanda Sefton has posed:
Amanda chuckles softly in reply. "No, I'm rather fond of myself as myself," she says. Still, she nods in response to his recommendation. "A scalpel is better, yes. I can wait. Phillis and I can chat, in the meantime. She can tell me what her poor sister's done to so upset her and maybe we can start putting things to rights."

Of course, at the end of the day, Amanda could have a bit of a challenge on her hands, if the sister decides she doesn't want to be 'saved' by her Sister of a sister... but the sorceress will cross that bridge when she comes to it. If the universe is kind, today, Phillis will see The Light before sunset and her sister... well, even if she doesn't repent, at least the darkness will be gone. And if Phillis ends up sticking around a little longer? Well... it's not the worst thing Amanda's been saddled with. She is, after all, the Guardian of the Winding Way. Such twists and turns are to be expected.

Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer watches Amanda with his sort of penetrating way, brows up, smile sly... but still something back behind that. A quality of standing separate, that he's had from the start of this. "If she's interested in realizing that He isn't quite so amazing, I've got some good arguments prepared, too," Lucifer says with a click of tongue and then a deep laugh.

"Corruption /aside/, I do want to hear what happens after. Do send me a text? I'm going to go inform the police that we've exorcised the demons here." Lucifer moves towards her, with a playful attempt to touch shoulder or upper arm with his palm - friendly, mildly flirty, but not in a purposeful way.

Amanda Sefton has posed:
Amanda feels Phillis shrink away. She turns slightly away, giving Lucifer a roll of her eyes over her shoulder. So, even though the man may brush that shoulder, there's still the sense that she's creating a barrier between him and her temporary rider. True, it's entirely a fiction. If the Greater Power wanted the Nun, the Sorceress wouldn't be much of an obstacle, really. But she knows there's no real threat. "If she ever cares to listen, I'll let you know," she says.

"Now, scoot. I'll text you, later." Maybe meet him for drinks again, when this is over. Much to the nun's chagrin, no doubt.

Lucifer has posed:
There's something about Lucifer and his lingering close, his amusement, that little glow there with him -- that he wants to poke at the nun. The purposefulness to his touch to Amanda wasn't maybe for HER, but to toy at the nun. Lucifer's relationship with the very devout is certainly a thing of legend: and here it is, right in front of her, his wish to cause such people to /question/, to stop being what he sees as blind.

Which, she may read that Lucifer did consider making more of a move on her, but for whatever reason, doesn't do it. He is not without self-control.

"Beautiful. Bye now, ladies," Lucifer bids, with an elusive look, and strides off to the stairs.