5675/Feast of Souls: Red Ink

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Feast of Souls: Red Ink
Date of Scene: 22 March 2021
Location: Shores of Breakstone Lake, NY
Synopsis: Oh no, bad dreams? Whatever could it be? Candygram! Demon-shark!
Cast of Characters: Illyana Rasputina, Julio Richter, James Proudstar, Rahne Sinclair

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
The school stops being quite so loud in the depths of night. After a certain hour, it can be certain most of the residents tuck into bed, finally put their cellphones or laptops or tablets down, and call it a night. Headmistress isn't fond of the entertainment room being occupied by night owls and the kitchens may be open 24/7 but not enough to really justify having the lights on and the radio going. The deepest hours slide into a slippery oblivion where all the good little boys and girls slumber in their beds, assisted by exhaustion or promise or tomorrow or the right medication.

But no happy dawn awaits them all.

The sun is three hours and more from rising, the ground cold and studded still in the last remnants of frost. Clouds slide in front of pitiless stars when a handful of unfortunates find themselves jettisoned from the cottony comforts of a good rest. Some with a start, some with a scream, some with an incandescent pain in the flesh or the bones.

Timing lies suspiciously close together, a knell not to be ignored in the shuddering descent, enough that a flaming circle flashes above the black-watered lake-bed to eject a blonde Russian. She catches the soil with the soles of a boot still forming, catching herself around the midsection. The sword goes point-first into the ground, and the bulk of the house beyond the forest and past the wide lawns is nearly invisible in the dead of night.

They don't have a cool Bat lantern like Gotham. Xaviers is lucky to have a team, let alone any sort of mascot or summons. Subtlety, then, requires a different tack for Illyana. A portal squeezed open in known directions, and one or two others that aren't. When the tiny aperture opens, something is flung through: a dice. D20 for Julio, D4 for the guy from Colorado (mountains!), Rahne with the 8, Ruth with the 6, a few more scatterings just in case. They all shine with an eerie iridescence, not unfamiliar given she's used the dice daemons before.

And when reached for, the daemons can run on spindly legs.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio jerks awake in his bed, whose frame has grown and mutated in fits and starts as his psyche digested the energies of first an eldritch monster, then a demon, then a winter god's priest. His sheets are scratchy with the seeds they've spontaneously generated, but that's not the discomfort that grabs his attention. He scrambles to a sitting position beneath his blanket, then holds up his aching hands, palms up, fingers curled. He stares down at them. The nails look darker than they should, and they hurt like hell from wrists to fingertips.

He is just sliding out from under the covers, bare feet dropping to the carpet, when a scratch in space irises open and throws a dodecahedron at him. "¡Ay!" he snaps as it hits his breastbone with a thunk and then ricochets to the floor. He crouches to peer at the object with its eerie glow, and the digit staring back at him: a 2. Just one face better than a critical fail. He breathes out a sigh, finding that outcome more or less perfectly in line with his expectations. He reaches out to snag the little randomizer, but it grows legs and scuttles away from him.

"Rude," he comments, wondering whether he's still dreaming.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
The little ice-blue d20 rolls over on itself and skitters away on slender, spindly legs far faster than they have any right to be. A slender trail in cool bluish radiance wisps out behind the daemon as it perches, rather expectantly, on one of Julio's shoes. Tiny feet rub together like an eager praying Mr. Burns mantis prepared to throw a botch, and it kneads those sparkling appendages lightly in preparation to groom. Or possibly to throw an even /smaller/ die at Julio.

It cannot speak. It can, at best, glow and leap into the air, landing again on a shoe. Rolling around? That's just rude.

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar wakes naked in a pile of kindling, he is shaking trembling, tears on his face the pain of generations, the pain of those like him and trying desperately to move away form hands from forms, from the damage he does. But his nose is filled with familiar scents, the room, the school, the fire. James doesn't sleep most night he knows this time well and it comforts him even as there is a start and he looks again, at the rubble looks in fear and despair, and finds nothing, no trace of...
     He has reached a calm state back in the world when the portal open and the pyrimidal die arcs through. He snatches it without thinking and places it on his shoulder, letting it perch their on wander as is the nature of such things. Sitting on his shoulder the die in the same state it landed flashes with a 4 at its three vertices. James extricate himself from the bed, hoping this is a dream and knowing that it isn't, he sighs, not really wanting to have this conversation again. He manages a laugh and pulls on some shorts. He doesn't even seem to notice the result.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Xavier's is mostly quiet. Given it's somewhere around 3:45 in the morning, few of the students shamble down the hallways or take from the dormitories. Even if they did, bleary eyes are unlikely to take note of a jet cube bouncing along and hiding behind a table. Nor is there bound to be much opinion about a red jasper d4 tilting on its side and trying to find its way upright. Hard when someone is constructed mostly of vertices, but to its credit, the little mountain-peak daemon prods at the wall with a pointed toe. Satisfied that the inhabitant of said room has noticed it, it scrambles to run through the door.

Oops. Door jambs are tricky. After shaking itself free from being stuck, it turns itself over a few times and squidges itself out into the hall, where it waits and then skitters off. A trail of carnelian sparks follows in its wake, not much to see.

Julio Richter has posed:
Working by feel in the dark, Julio pulls on a pair of warm joggers and the new parka that replaced the one he got torched. The new acquisition is a very dramatic garment whose fabric grades abruptly from black to ice-white about midway up his torso, but it still has that puffy fur around the hood that he likes so much. He doesn't yet know he's getting flecks of blood on his clothes, just that it hurts a bit to manipulate them, but he'll learn soon enough.

He eyes the die warily, then slips his foot into the shoe it's resting on: appropriately, a dark-colored, practical Ugg. It can stay aboard for the ride if it wants, or he can follow it out of the room if it scuttles away. He's getting a ping on his mystical radar regardless, and suspects he knows where they're headed. Soon enough, he joins Illyana and James down at the lake. In the moonlight, he's staring at his fingers anew. "I am bleeding," he informs the others, sounding more puzzled than alarmed. "This better not be a Catholic thing."

He looks first toward Illyana, but halfway to the horizon, his gaze is inexorably drawn to the large, muscular, nearly naked form of Jimmy. If Julio IS dreaming this, it's going to make things extremely awkward tomorrow morning. He stares for probably a solid second before his sense of decorum catches up to his fatigue-addled brain; at that point, he willfully shuts his eyes, gives his head a little shake, and refocuses on Illyana. "You rang?" he asks her.

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar pulls on the running shorts plain black and shoes the simplest ones he could find and heads out into the hall. He follows the dies easily, his senses making night like day and his long experience of the floors here letting him slip ghostlike past the other rooms and parkour silently down the stairs, he races the little dies across the back yard, through the woods and comes skidding to a stop on the gravel of the 'beach." He eyes fall on Yana, and the tension in his jaw fades, he nods, "I see you." in Apache is the sole greeting. Tension fades form his form at least a little.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Ugh, an Ugg. The daemon truly has terrible taste in its shimmering pallor. It chases ahead of him, drunkenly swerving out to a bush to rattle its leaves, and bounces excitedly down the muddy slope to find the Queen of Limbo. Or, in its eyes, the d1000. Big die! Sparks quibble as it flashes, the inner fire making the 18 particularly illuminated. Julio's delivery wins a prize of a slim hand offered, and the bounce leaves the daemon earning a scritch courtesy of Illyana. Ignore all those legs happily twitching airborne like some demented magical puppy.

She is dressed, habitually in black from the waist down. From the waist up, a black t-shirt with a blue-and-silver trifork is graced by THE SUPREME! in scrawled font destroys the whole going to battle thing. Sleep is missing from her eyes, but so are her pupils, so the whole matter is relative. "Do you frequently bleed at a full moon?" she asks Julio without preamble. Yes, he really is bleeding. Following the line of his gaze in turn offers an opportunity for a line to impress itself briefly between her pinched pale brows. Whatever she was about to say, a question, will have to wait.

The jasper die is either less certain on its legs or eager for someone to step on it, as it eagerly comes scrambling through the grass and spends most of its time trying to bounce off its face to reach them. Excited blue isn't concerned about the D4 until the little daimon gets stuck in the muck and requires a rescue from its sorry sideways position. It can't squeak. But it /should/.

Help the little daemon. It is pathetic.

By the time the Apache is upon them, she inclines her head slightly. A brief glance after the other summoned dice takes a few moments. "Mm. Not the only ones. How bad was it?"

Julio Richter has posed:
Grimacing, Julio holds his hands out, fingers splayed, looking for something to wipe the blood onto. "No, this is a first," he answers Illyana's question. Then, unselfconsciously: "Was that a period joke?" His brain catches up to his mouth as soon as the words have tumbled out of it, and he looks mortified, but the question has already escaped into the open air. He rushes past it by answering her other question as quickly as he can.

"The dream, you mean? It was bad. A sandstorm, and I couldn't connect to the Earth right. Like it was broken, or stolen, or lost, or something." He winces, clearly unsatisfied by the explanation. "I mean... you know that thing where you have a really bad dream, and you try to explain it, and suddenly it sounds a lot less scary, but you know that when you were having it, it was the worst thing ever? Yeah. That."

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar collects the little die caught in the spray of his arrival, unburies him. Then carries him to the shore and stoops to wash him in the water, cooing softly in the manner of small animals.

    He's quiet when you ask, he listens to Julio and then nods, his voice is strong but quiet as he picks the little daemon up and carries it over to Illyana. "Yes, like that. Everything was closing in, getting so close I couldn't move and the there were people grasping and taking getting closer and I couldn't move away, couldn't get away. It stank of blood and violence, like the reservation, that day. Trail of tears, they had us in cages, and taking from us, taking... something important, something critical."

    He sighs and manages to look bemused as he says, "I broke the bed again." He offers Illyana the die daemon.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
"Catholic mysteries have a higher incidence at full moons, Eastern Rite and Orthodox at new moons." Trust a Russian to know the strange facts, diverging off a concept penned thoughtfully in the thinning of her lips. Mortified as he may be, she merely allows, "It could be, though." Let Julio stew in that or try to crawl underneath the lake. Giving him a pointed look, the hint of a smirk dances on lips black in the darkness of night. "Is a sandstorm not frightening?" A creature of Siberia natively might not know. She leaves off on that, patting her pockets in hopes that something might be in there. Alas not. "Keep your hands elevated, maybe the bleeding will stop, da?"

The blue d20 is busy rolling around on Illyana's palm, content to be petted. The jasper caltrop of a D4 is now wet and clean, glowing a curious deep red shade, and totally not looking like blood. It shivers off its legs once clean and points all three of them at Illyana. As if Jim hasn't figured his way down to the right point. Right, not the brightest, dice daemons. She takes it to sit beside the other one, where the two of them immediately smack together with a curious hail of sparks.

"Mmm. Not the same, then." Observation made, she circles her hand. "If we asked Gabby or Ruth, I would expect they have a tale of their own."

Julio Richter has posed:
James going to the lake to wash the diemon gives Julio another idea what to do with his bleeding fingers. He moves in the Apache's wake, then crouches by the lakeside like a furtive raccoon and starts to wash. The cold water has a numbing effect that slowly deadens the pain of the inexplicable wounds. "I need to learn a healing spell," he mutters. But the icy water has a restorative effect of its own: as its touch draws him further into wakefulness, more details of his dream reemerge.

"Sandstorms will absolutely kill you, si. And it's not a pretty way to die. But I think I also saw Itztlacoliuhqui fighting Cipactli," he says, the complex Aztec polysyllables tripping effortlessly off his tongue. "And It was like the Earth wasn't my ally anymore; it had been turned against me." Illyana seems content to let him soak in his embarrassment for another little while, so he does, going silent as he lifts his hands out of the water and elevates them. He'll be shivering, for sure, as the evaporation chills him even further.

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar smiles at Julio and raises a finger as he heads to the forest near by, he gathers some leaves and moss. He searches out some small yellow flowers and picks them, mashing all the ingredients in his hands and then it's back to the water, just a little, enough to make a paste. He walks up to Julio and motions for the smaller man to place his hands in JImmy's paste covered palms. "This should stave off infection and help with the pain, when they warm up." He meets Julio's eyes and nods.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Wrong person to ask; Julio might want healing spells but he's dealing with an Apache warrior better at dealing wounds and a young woman torn between the blackest magic and the brightest. "I can let you touch the sword," she offers quite blandly, as though somehow this proffers comfort. Chilly water that might shrivel the resolve of any student to leap in before June at least helps clean the cuts. So many little cuts, in perfect hemispheres, like something came along and paper-pressed his cuticles. Nothing to be worried about there, surely. They'll weep for a bit when circulation restores.

Two dice daemons make their silent renewed greetings by pouting on the girl's palm, taking up space as a ring for the icy D20 and the D4 dimpling her palm by trying to roll itself over. Jimmy's solutions may be more pragmatic than her own, a point in everyone's favour. "You were done with winter, were you not? It still stains your aura but not like before." Her gaze sharpens, but that's a selling point only in that her eyes are shocked blue, still glowing. "Taking things from you," she nods to Jimmy, "and turning something against you. The stolen and the conquered. Or betrayed, da? Is that right?"

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
There is a soft noise in the night, the sound of footfalls but not those of anyone large. Perhaps a child, perhaps a cat or something else of similar size. It takes a short time to see anything, the night still mostly quiet, occluding and protecting those insane enough to be out in it.

A small golden, or amber dice appears then. It seems happy, it seems content. It seems to have led its charge, though it took longer than the others. The happiness of small children, animals, and fools.

All of which make sense when the undersized redhead stumbles through a bush, following the dice. She trips over the bush and ends up face-down in the dusty ground. But she gets up again, her face dark and exhausted. It appears she too was one of those to 'have a dream'. If you can call it that.

Julio Richter has posed:
By the time Jimmy returns with the poultice, Julio is shivering pretty fiercely, which is a little extra layer of embarrassment. As he realizes what James intends, he takes control of the shake, injecting a bit of his mutant power into it with an audible buzz. This shakes off the last of the lakewater and warms him much more effectively than the involuntary quaking mundane humans are capable of. With that bit of effort finished, his hands are fairly steady as he holds them out to let James give his own solution a try.

He eyes Illyana skeptically as the herbs do their work. Touching the sword seems... not great. But her question is easy enough to answer: "Si, that seems right. Earth mixed with air, choking and blinding me. Images of guilt. So, yeah: Catholic."

Speaking of which, Rahne arrives less than gracefully, and Julio winces sympathetically. He turns back to James to give him a quick nod and a "Gracias," then moves -- likely alongside the other man -- to help the Scottish girl back to her feet. "You OK?" he asks her. "I think we're all in the same sinking boat."

Which makes him think of something, his brow furrowing as he turns to Illyana. "You, me, James, and Rahne. We've only done a few things together..."

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar smiles and nods as Rictor does his mojo. He takes Rictor's fingers and spread the poultice on each gently coating the wound. James' hands are warm to the touch despite the water and he moves gently softly. It's east to forget his can shatter marble as he works the poultice deftly, He listens as he works, then he looks over nods to Illyana, "Right, just that." acknowledgment of her expertise.

    He moves with Rictor to assist Rahne and retrieve the die daemon. Once Rahne is one her feet he offers the die to Illyana.

    "Gabby and Ruth? ... that makes it quite a bit smaller, in fact, is their more than one? Oh and apropos of nothing Gabby told Hank and Hank told the rest of Staff. I couldn't get in front of it but did get it their heads to speak with you, Illyana."

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Hence comes Rahne, padding along, on light feet or light paws. Tripping is enough to snag Illyana's attention from whatever dark thoughts she harbours, her head snapping to the direction of the gleeful amber die. The daemon quivers and runs around on slender limbs in front of the Scottish girl, refusing to advance much forward. If it could whine, it would, shuffling back and forth in front of the redhead until she rises. "The ground is slippery here too." She offers her free hand if Julio doesn't, for obvious pasty reasons, the other filled by the pair of daemons who might be pouting or about to fight again.

"Some things without a great horrible bear." Because that asshole bear is never going to be forgotten by the blonde girl with the big blue-white flaming sword. "Da. I dreamt." A brief pause cuts like a knife through the statement, separating it from the subsequent statement. "Gardeners were cutting plants for fancy people to hand out in a party, a dance." She doesn't smile. Smiling would be a waste. "Like the meat markets of old Europe where mamas sold their children."

She might have to connect those antique memories of a pre-Bolshevik heritage which her nation used as bogeymen for their children, but it still works somewhat. A sharp tilt of her head follows when Hank and Gabby are mentioned. She nods, though her eyes narrow, thinning out. "She is very young. Anything that must be done, perhaps best to spare her from it. Still a child, da?"

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne, her D8 heading on ahead, takes whatever help the guys offer her. When her face comes up, the dark circles under her eyes are almost bruises, they are visible from a distance. For all her innocence, it appears that her own nightmare took a while to stop kicking her in the teeth.

Either that or she had one of Cyclops' Danger room sessions last night.

She's wearing her pajamas, which apparently have a pony on the front and the bottom, and a cross that hangs around her neck, obvious and true. If her hair could be messy it'd be awful, but with it shaved so close to her head you'd be hard pressed to ruffle it, even in a good fashion.

She pulls herself together within reason, pulling back a little bit while at the same time seeming to want company. She listens, then a frown dishes itself onto her features with huge servings. "Ah always hae bad dreams," she says, if softly. "Es normal." But her eyes are on the D8. NOT NORMAL, that, her eyes say. And they travel around to the other dice in turn.

So, given that, she offers, "Did ye all hae as well? Wae thaur beatin's en thae nightmares?" Oddly it sounds like she's being hesitant, telling only the smallest. To save YOU all from the worst of things.

Good kid, but if these kinds of dreams register as 'normal' she badly needs therapy.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio's hands are feeling a lot better now; he gives James a grateful smile as they help Rahne up. "We should check on them, too, in case it's what I'm thinking," he answers with a short sigh. Then, to clarify for Illyana what he IS thinking: "Not bears. Rockodiles." Still kind of an asshole, though. And, come to think of it, he's not sure he was there for bears. He was there for goats!

This group might have too many animal-themed misadventures.

He turns a puzzled look on Jimmy, then. "Staff want to get involved? I mean, if they can help, it's fine, but I don't know what they'd do that we couldn't. They weren't even there in the first place, so it's not like they even know where we'd be going. And if this is magic stuff, our heavy hitter is already here." He pokes a thumb over his shoulder at the Limbo Queen.

Turning to Rahne with an unhappy look, he stays close, and moves to give her a gentle, reassuring pat on the shoulder. "We all had different dreams, but all very, very bad. Mine left me bleeding from my fingers." He holds them up and waggles them, and there's a bit of greenish paste just visible in the moonlight, pushed into the bases of each fingernail. Most of the blood has been washed off. "So they were definitely not normal dreams. Not at all."

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar slides a look from Rictor to Illyana, then deadpans, "Yes, the teachers said we should all go back to bed, they have this well in hand." He brushes a hand overs his face only to realize it still has paste on it. and sigh, "They want to help, but they know about as much about magic as I do. Hank was mentioning the Scarlet witch but I don't think that's an option. James casually and gently checks Rahne for wounds, there is a bit of poultice left on his hands. "Beaten, thrown in cages, yeah, it was a lot." James remembers and hands Illyana the amber die, then asks Rahne, "Did they take something?"

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Misadventures of the goats, the llamas, and problems with pyjamas! It's a New Mutants weekend of issues, isn't it? Troubles descend; the Russian heeds what the others say, though she has a more immediate problem of a daemon scampering up her arm and sitting firmly atop her head while clutching at the pale wheat strands with its long, skinny legs. The amber D8 sits flat and unhappy on her palm, pointing a forlorn limb in Rahne's direction. See, it points. Pointing is rude but it is, naturally, a creature of doubtful ambitions.

"Fine. Go." With permission, it wiggles and leaps off her wrist, falling short of Rahne by a meter, but determined if nothing else to scramble up to her jammy leg and point again. At least it's consistent in glowing and wobbling a hopeful 3 at her. "No beatings. But then my abuse was meant to be imaginative. A point of pride." Her teeth aren't bared, a statement of fact drenching any good mood into the bottom of Baikal. "The teachers said what is well in hand, James? Gabby's recovery? Julian? There is not much they can do for him he did not already do himself, and his parents," the word is edged in contempt, "have not strayed from their bargain with me. The donations you made for him were not permanent. We never crafted a bloodstone, we created a facsimile. The damage is healed by now, unless you have decided a life of black magic appeals to you."

Dare the smile. Dare it.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
The littlest redhead takes a step away from the men. It doesn't take too much thought to realize that she's not at her best, and that the dreams might have brought up some old memories. "M'father," she says into her pony shirt, her lack of cleavage making that a challenge but easier than talking to people.

When she's asked about something being taken though, she looks up with a bit of confusion. "Nae," she says, "A'least ah dinnae think so." She wraps her arms about herself, holding onto her shoulders, and a sound something like a wolf howls in the distance. A wolf, in this part of the country? Unlikely, but given who we are nothing is impossible.

It seems to give her energy though. Because she does talk, a bit more. "Was mos'ly chaos, like dreams are. Naethin' easy tae define. Father beatin' me agin," she says it like it's commonplace, not even wincing. "Then mebbe a church? Then...uh...dust. An' wind. An..blonde pigtails?"

She seems distracted though, the little amber D8 getting her attention again, as she hunches down towards it. She glances to Illyana, then back to the dice. "Wot be et?" she asks, uncertain if she should reach out and pet the thing, or have it exorcised.

Or both.

Julio Richter has posed:
"I almost have my GED," Julio grumbles. He's reminded that he's the only one here still subject to concepts like 'teachers,' and even so, not in a million years would he stand aside and let them call the shots here. In contrast to Illyana, he's just assuming the statement was a joke. No school staffer would be dumb enough to try to convince students at //this// school to sit tight while adults handled the situation. ANY situation.

He turns a half-frown on Illyana. "I didn't think my magic was black magic," he says, a hint of exhaustion creeping into his tone, "but lately I am less sure. I mean, it looks pretty green to me." Little verdant thorns crystallize around him, bathing his face in nice dramatic lightsaber hues. "But all this stuff with the demons and the heart eating has been messing with me. I don't really know if there's a line, or where it is, or when I might step over it."

He gives Rahne a sympathetic look, wincing at her story. "Jesucristo. We've got some real great examples of bad parenting around this school, don't we?" he says, sounding like he can empathize. Then, glancing around the group, he adds, "Which brings us back to Julian. If this is connected, what do we need to do? I wouldn't mind doing some real damage to just about anyone we had to deal with in that whole mess."

James Proudstar has posed:
James Proudstar shakes his head and he smiles softly, "No, they never said... it was a joke." In retrospect of course the deadpan was lost on the Russian woman.

    "They only know the small portion Gabby told them, that several of us gave up a piece of our souls to pay his debt."James listens and nods, "Yeah, neither of us remembered that, might have helped if we had. Maybe not, Hank was being protective of Gabby. The whole group was parenting, or trying to... it left a bad taste." James frowns.

    James does visually scan Rahne for any wounds but respects her space. "I'm very sorry you went through that, Red." And that's when James' fluffy white wolf dog Flurry springs forth from the brush and shakes herself before padding up to the group. She sits next to Rahne and pants looking about like this might be a good place for snacks, and it's great to see everyone, there is rarely anyone but Jim to play with this late.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
One bouncy little amber dice daemon wiggles hopefully. The blue one sulks and the jasper one has apparently decided the tense atmosphere calls for a nap. On Illyana's sleeve, anyway, which is the way to go. "They show the way," she explains. "Simpler than a phone, better than a compass. That one is best to calculate damage or hitpoints with." Right, hopefully that isn't too lost on Rahne given the abundance of video game systems and computers around the mansion. Even Illyana knows the ins-and-outs of the systems, though she's no Kitty on that front. But caught for a moment, she gestures, "You can watch out for it? It needs very little." Compatibility between a daemon in a die shape isn't so odd; Yana has a briar-thorn daemon as a cat, though it spends more time in Limbo when not wishfully haunting Julio's vines. At least it's a happier topic than addressing the midnight horror in the forests. When the thorns shimmer into being, the blue daemon flashes a parade of sparks from atop her head to show it, too, can do something. Or it's speaking in semaphore, somehow. "I know the balance of souls," she almost huffs a sigh, because it's one of those days. "You want the full report privately?" Some things are more baring than short-shorts or gym shorts, really. Though in her defense, she wears boots and pants. No abundant display of skin.

Also in her defense, jokes are a cultural touchstone typically lost when jumped from the other hemisphere, about ten timezones, and ekeing out survival from the fallen remains of the Soviet Union and its kleptocrat successors in eastern Siberia. So no, she takes things at face value sometimes. Being as it may, she shrugs her shoulders. "They do their best in unfamiliar situations, then. This they cannot parent or solve for, for the autonomy of decisions rests with us. Even with me. If this is related, we either have been targeted by demons or the coin was broken, sold, or exchanged. Our contributions were not destroyed."

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne misses most of what is said. Not from lack of attention, but from lack of having the proper reference points to be able to relate to them. She grew up differently, and sometimes it shows.

She glances up as she's pitied, her eyes changing not at all, but a moment of looking at her might give away something important. This is her, it's always been her. Seeing her differently is a change in your eyes, not the girl being seen.

Then she's sniffing at a wolf that comes up to her, nose to nose. She glances at the dice, uncertain, but nods. Words seem to have missed their place in her, and she simply changes. Then two wolves play, while a yellow dice chases after.

And while there may be pain in the past, now is a time for yapping and woof, and for seeing who can run fastest.

Hint, it is not the D8.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio nods at Jimmy's explanation with a wan look. "That sounds about right," he says of the staff's attempt to parent. "But we're all adults except Gabby, and she has gone through a lot worse. We handled it the first time without them, and I think we'll do OK now, too."

Illyana gets a curious look when she asks about the balance of souls. "You mean, my soul?" he asks, eyes searching. It seems like a response to his question about black magic, but he still finds the whole topic a little alien. "I didn't even really believe souls were real until the thing with Julian's," he says. "So I don't think I have any secrets to keep about it."

Still, he'll trust to the Russian's lead if she thinks it wise to keep it more private, just as he'll follow her direction on how to respond to these strange night visions. Besides, there are other things to pay attention to: zipping his green sparks toward his die's blue ones so that they can dance, and watching the similar interaction between Rahne and the white wolf-dog. Those more pleasant feelings of home and found family help to at least temporarily dispel the fear the night's terrors have put into his heart. There will be time to face them later.