|Tell Me Your Secrets|
Further out from the center of Twisted street and the wavering stablity lie the Wastelands. Dry and overcast, the Wastelands are a maelstrom of chaos. Sane people won't venture out this far from the axis of the world, due to the unstability equating to suicide. A desert and a dead land, they mirror the Wastelands of Hell, broken trees and expired brush lightly specking the view.
Xue steps confidently among the ash and dry ground, a scarf wrapped around her mouth and neck. Most fear this area of chaos. She feels right at home in it. Theres a strange peace to the place, when you spend enough time there. The barbed wire and strange shifting of the terrain, along with the floating island of Deimos high above, make this also a prime ground to study. Gazing up at the island from below, she is reminded of the floating temple Nny and Samantha faught on back in Metropolis, when Benedict was a problem. She flashes back as well to when, at the battles conclusion, she lost control..... "Don't think about it....." she says sharply to herself. "Focus on the research". She does wonder where Sam has been since their fateful reunion some time ago. The thought quickly leaves her mind as she kneels down to inspect the phasing terrain "Looks like dimensional overlay..... but from what dimension, i wonder.... what dimension produces barbed wire.... ?"
The smell of sulfer drifts in from somewhere unseen. There's deffinetly something here and a heavy aura hangs in the air much like the chunks of random rock - like something that's very real but not supposed to be here in any form. Upon closer inspection some of the barbed wire actually snakes around like it's alive, retreating from any physical contact. Strange...
Xue watches the wire, before slowly approaching a bit of it, without touching it, and kneeling down "Interesting.... can you understand me... ? I mean no harm". One never knows, and having seen inanimate objects given will before, its worth a try.
As if in response to her question a raspy voice calls out from behind her. "I wouldn't do that if I where you..." The voice comes from Senior Diablo, of course, not that Xue may be familar with his voice. "I was hoping to put off coming out here, but you kinda forced my hand by snooping around. Is there something I can help you with Xue Qian?"
Xue quickly stands, hand going to her sword, although not drawing it, as she gazes sharply at the newcomer. Her eyes soften somewhat as sizes him up. "I was simply exploring. The materials and content of Twisteds road isn't the most conducive to research and study ALL of the time. Mister....
Senior Diablo bows as he begins his introduction, "My proper, distinguished title is Senior Diablo, Lord of the Lower Depths of Hell, Master of it's Archives, and one-seventh of the Council of Hell, and currently the new founder of the Council of Twisted." The demon smiles, "A bit long-winded but effective." He guestures towards the razorwire 'growing' everywhere. "Those are remnants of Alessa's rage. I've been watching them from a distance for awhile trying to see if they would dissapate. I'm rather curious as to why they haven't seeing as how her title has been passed..."
Xue remembers now "You were there when, parden the expression, all hell was breaking loose in the street awhile back". She looks at the wire again "Maybe its a simple case of whoever her title passed to didnt turn them off. If i buy a house, and the prior owner left a fan on, the fan will keep going until i turn it off. It may mean their bound to her title rather than to her.... ?"
Senior Diablo chuckles, "Yes, and it was." He gives his response a moment to sink in before continuing, "An intresting theory, but one that we can't exactly prove or disprove. I doubt the maniac would care to come and clean up Alessa's mess. ...of course if he did he'd only try to duplicate the effect himself and I think the dammed are suffering enough from his antics as it where."
Xue sighs, hand on her head as if a sudden migrane had come on "You mean to tell me Johnny is in charge of tormenting those in hell in an official sense? Thats so ironicly fitting im not sure how to respond to it, other than that i almost feel sorry for those suffering". She shakes her head "Yea.... Nny isnt the type to clean up messes when theres opportunity to make them instead.....". Theres no one else she knows or has ever known called simply 'the maniac', so shes making an educated guess.
Senior Diablo nods his head solomely. "Yes, sometimes I feel bad for them myself, although the death metal concert for the choir-singing rapist I'm told was quite moving." He's got to be kidding, right? ...why isn't he laughing? "But he does his job well and seems quite happy with it. Who am I to complain?" The freaking devil, that's who.
Xue smirks slightly "Yes, i imagine he does quite well.... he definately had enough experience on his resume in that area.....". She isnt gonna ask about the concert.... she wouldnt put it by Nny at all. She gives Diablo a solid gaze "So your a part of the infamous 'hells council'. I dont suppose you would be willing to supply information on it and its doings and practices? Such knowledge is almost nonexistant around here. No one seems to live to tell of it once they learn it"
Senior Diablo smiles wickedly, "My dear, one of my hobbies is telling people the secrets of existance just to watch the looks on their faces when they think they understand exactly how things work in the universe. Ask me anything..."
Xue asks, "Bah...... the only reason to ask questions is with the INTENT to understand things. If someone thought they understood, they wouldnt ask, but more than likely simply speak". She looks around "To start with, whats causing this dimensional disturbance? An overactive gate? A thinning of a dimensional wall? Some sort of 'taint'? Optical illusion from excess magic?"
Smirking at the question, Diablo begins to pace around the woman, explaining as he goes. "You where mostly right on the third point. Your not looking at a neighboring dimension, however. If you haven't guessed yet your peering into a part of Hell. Alessa anchored it here so she could disperse her minions en masse. The razor wire and everything else that wasn't native to this rather chaotic region of the street was simply an outcome of that. I could probably correct it, but as I said I'm rather facinated by it..."
Xue nods "One is blending over the edges of the other, a kind of 'Event Horizon' effect, so she could move her forces more quickly over distance, while at the same time both environments are still 'seperate', confoundingly enough. Interesting effect. The arcana needed to do such a thing must have been massive...."
Senior Diablo shrugs his shoulders as he pauses a moment to reflect, "Yes. I believe your probably right. To be fair I never spent the time to guage the Goddess's power, but she certaintly had an ample supply of it. Merging realities and creating monstrosities of the flesh may as well have been her trademark."
Xue says, "I hope she didnt do this on a prime plane. Here, there is no real ecosystem to disrupt, but a prime plane being linked to such things could be an outright catastrophy". She knows well how thin the walls between worlds is in this place
The demon begins to laugh manically, "You realize whom your talking about, don't you? The Goddess Alessa was born to clense the worlds in pain. Burn out the other realities and then from the ashes, create some sort of paradise. Do you really think it would have bothered her in the slightest if she had done more serious damage to this or any other location?" Diablo shakes his head and leans towards the woman's face. "You give the dammed too much credit..."
Xue raises an eyebrow "Im simply stating a fact. Dont think i ever really met her, so wouldnt know her agenda myself."
Senior Diablo stands tall once again, smiling, "Then consider yourself lucky." He glances around the landscape again, guesturing to a piece of it, "My turn to ask a question, child.. why ask questions about people you don't know about? Wouldn't it be better to learn whom they are before trying to understand their nature?"
Xue shrugs "I didnt think about her nature. I simply expressed my sincere hope she hadnt done such on a prime plane. Although i agree, better to know the individual first. Once that is known, the rest comes more easily based on that."
Senior Diablo crosses his arms, taking this new person in a little more. "Facinating... You'll have to forgive me, I've grown accustomed to dealing with idiots. Very rare do I find myself conversing with someone with more braincells than teeth..."
Xue rolls her eyes in amusement "contrary to popular belief, we DO exist in places. Usually the darkest, dankest libraries, museums, ancient crypts, or mad science lab".
Senior Diablo laughs, "Or chained to the wall, screaming profanities."
Xue snerks "That tends to be more philosophers than base intellectuals, although i guess it would depend on regional customs and manners involving guests, resident maniacs not included"
Senior Diablo grins, "Well, that was whom I was talking about specifically." The demon dusts off his robes and shakes his head again. "I like you. I'll give you two choices, one... I can leave you be until I have more time to spare to converse with you or, two... I can give you the means to travel to Hell and learn it's secrets for yourself. I can't promise safe passage, but I'm sure if you used it here it'd be enough."
Xue s eyebrows go up at this one..... she ponders a moment "That sounds absolutely fascinating..... at the moment, i have a student im tutoring and training in the arcane arts. I promised i would see that through, and i dont like breaking my promises. Once i finish training her, however, i would be more than happy to take you up on the offer to explore and investigate hell. Im staying at the Usual if you ever need to talk to me"
Senior Diablo smiles as he nods. "Very well, but... I can't leave you without some small bit of... temptation." From out of his robes the demon plucks a heavy gold-enlayed cube. Upon each side, intricate details and symbols make up each face. "Ever gazed upon one of these?"
Xue again looks intrigued "A Lament Configuration. Ive heard of them, but never seen one. There was a movie involving them i saw once back in Metropolis, as well. Disturbing things, even moreso when you solved them". She gives an amused smile "Am i right?"
Senior Diablo nods his head, "Well, the proper term for one of these boxes is a Lemarchand box. Most of them where originally created by Philip Lamarchand, thus the name, as a device to open a schism between worlds. We of the Council of Hell primarily use Lament Configurations, the name of the specific etchings on this box, to open gateways to Hell. In some cases they can be abused... yes... which is why I warned you about where you open it." He guestures around the landscape once again. "Where Hell is weak, it should simply open a portal... but anywhere else and you might have to deal with Xipe Totec and his Cenobites. I won't lie, they even make the Council nervous. I don't recomend even bringing up their names unless you have to."
Xue takes all this in, pondering "Ill have to do it here, but it would be a wonderful thing to study, maybe even improve upon....." aaaand shes off, her mind pondering possable uses and advantages to such experiments.....
Senior Diablo smiles once again and offers the box over should she take it. "I do have to warn you, the round surface at the top is a dial which begins the process of opening the box. These have a way of forcing your hand when you study them. Make sure your here when you study it or you may end up with more than you bargened for." Assuming Xue takes the box, Diablo will cross his hands again. "You're also likely to get hooks in the face if you stand too close when it opens. Not much I can do about that..." Diablo pauses long enough to smirk. "The symbols should add to your studies, though. But if you want safe passage your better off just calling my name. I tend to keep an ear open for such a thing..."
Xue does indeed take it, already analyzing it visually, planning on giving it a magical examination later "Illl definately be sure to keep that in mind. On both counts". Great. He just gave an intensly interesting arcane device to a bookworm archmage with enough curiosity to kill several dozen cats well beyond their 9 lives.....
Senior Diablo grins that 'mission accomplished' grin and nods. "Excelent! Then I'll be off for now. I'm still busy trying to recruit for the Twisted Street's new Council to replace the failed one. If you'll excuse me it's something I do need to get back to."
Xue nods "Ok. See you later". She turns to look back at the small device in her hands, lists of experiments and tests running through her mind all the while....
Senior Diablo bows and vanishes in a cloud of black smoke. He's been doing that a lot lately. The demon is always in such a better mood when things go according to plan.