|Finding a killer to find a killer...|
Xue is angry. Is REALLY angry. She stalks fearlessly through the wastes, narrow eyes glowing and ablaze with blue and violet fire so deep it hurts mortal eyes somewhat to look at them. Her mouth is set in a frown, and her left hand grips the sheath of her sword tightly, her right hand slightly twitch, as if she wishes nothing more than to draw the weapon and cut someone down. She currently seems to be radiating enough arcane power to give the creatures here pause, as one approach her, or even allow themselves to be visible. She shouts into the chaos "JOHNNY!? WHERE are you, you son of a bitch! I need answers, and SOMETHING tells me YOU have them!". She glares to the left "Sooner or later the chaos WILL reach you, and i have a LONG time with NOTHING to do!". She glares right "So GET OUT here!". Wisps of power start to 'seep' off her form in her barely contained rage, willpower strong enough to even make the chaos around her turn a soft violet, while the ground beneath her becomes a continuious patch of ice as she walks, freezing as she comes, and vanishing again as she departs.
Before Xue, shadows boil out of the cracked landscape, swirling into a central form - a tall black demonic figure with glowing red eyes. It looks down at Xue and the eyes widen a moment before falling into chuckling slits. The figure itself seems to melt down to something closer to Xue's height, if still taller, and the shadows fade away revealing the form of Senior Diablo. Senior Diablo says, "Well now… furious enough to freeze the very soil of Twisted are we? I dare say I'd LOVE to hear what you feel he's done this time. Care to chat the ear off a demonic soul such as myself?" He chuckles again as he plucks a wineglass out of the air and sips. This is so much more entertaining than dealing with the latest problem which has begun to draw attention to itself...
Xue glares angrily at Senior Diablo, although not angry at him specificly obviously. She does recognize him, however, and is able to identify his arcane 'signature' innately "Few knew Samantha well enough to get her to drop her guard around them. I think HE knows who killed her, and *I* want answers. Even if he DIDN'T do it himself, he may know WHO. I want whoever did it". Her eyes dual-flaming hues pulse for a moment, as if in punctuation with the end of her sentence.
Senior Diablo ahh's as he listens to her explanation. A part of him inwardly frowns that he was not requested to divulge those answers himself, but then watching Johnny get yelled at might actually be almost as much fun. Rolling his eyes as he thinks it over, his eyes stop to the side and then resume focus back to Xue. "Well… I -might- know where he could be found. But one would have to be very specific of a request such as that. I wouldn’t want anyone accusing me of trying to…" He wiggles the fingers on his free hand and waves the glass for emphasis, "…STEAL your soul or any such nonsense." He pauses to let his words sink in and takes another sip from his glass. "Still, you've caught me between moments and I like to think myself a fair 'representation of evil'… what would you have me do, Xue Qian?"
Xue raises an eyebrow, still furious, but not so much that she is blind to not at least considering things "I want you to take me to Nny, then once ive talked to him bring me back here. How much would such a request cost me?".
Darkness seems to blacken the sky as soon as the words leave the woman's icy lips. Within seconds all that is visible are the once again red eyes of the Devil. "…one need only to ask…"
The City of Dis - Judging Yard(#1374R) The Judging Yard is a large plant-less courtyard in the center of the City of Dis. Surrounding it are high walls made of some sort of stone with only one entrance in or out which is usually guarded by massive, armored demons who won't speak to anyone despite how hard you may try. In the center of the courtyard, a large stone platform overlooks a ridiculously tall throne made of bones. It's worth noting that the bones are in fact dammed souls in another obscene form of punishment and are warm to the touch. The throne belongs to the Judge of Retributions, as here the dammed are given their eternal punishments. It is for this reason the Judge is often referred to as the Lord of the Demon Cities as his or her actions also decide the fate of the cities of the dammed scattered across the regions of Hell.
Xue doesn't even blink as all this happens. She calmly eyes the environment around her, more or less aware of WHERE she actually is. One of the perks of being a well-studied Archmage. She centers her focus to wherever Nny might be.....
As light once more fades back into Xue's world she'll find herself standing in the dead courtyard of Hell. To her left, upon a throne made of bones sits Johnny, his feet pulled up to his chest and his arms wrapped around them as he stares vacantly at the otherside of the courtyard…. To her right the statue of Samantha, seemingly pulled from Johnny's cave on Chronos itself. She stands looking more as she did in her youth from the time spent in Metropolis, with a carving of one of the maniac's daggers held tightly in her hand and her sword across her back. Except now the sword doesn't seem to be made of stone. Infact upon closer inspection the statue has a thin pool of drying blood beneath it. Maybe that's something to do with Hell? Diablo, of course, is nowhere to be found. Even still his presence seems to hang in the air ominously as he's probably watching from somewhere unseen.
Xue looks at Nny. She then looks at the statue, walks over to it, around it. After a few moments inspection, she slowly turns her head, the flames in her eyes now present again, simply in raw fury, as she glares at Nny, although not yet accusingly. She speaks only two words. "What happened?". Her arcane nature causes her words to fill the room, albeit not as much as it would due to the nature of the location. She knows his volitile nature, and decides it best to be 'civil' until she has the full story.
Johnny's eyes move to follow Xue, but only when she finally address him. He seems to be almost deliberately hiding his face. His eyes tell volumes, however, as he stares vacantly as if from the depths of the ocean. The spheres vacant and hollow. "She…. She's gone. I.. I couldn't do anything. She just… died." Okay, not the best summary ever. Maaaybe missing a few details. At least he's coherent.
Xue looks back to the statue, and frowns. Healing is unfortunately not something she is all that adept at. Her voice is lower, less angry, on hearing and seeing Nny in response to this. However, her words still maintain their power despite being almost a whisper "Why.... and by whom?".
Fear. Genuine fear fills the maniac's eyes in response to the question. "Ta-um… she-aaaah… um.. No one. N-no one. It just happened. H-how are you Xue? Nice day isn't it?" His eyes stare back at the statue as reason seems to leave him. It doesn't take a psychiatrist to know he doesn't want to talk about this.
Xue raises an eyebrow, an odd thing for one whos eyes are alight with violet and blue flame "It seems we've both been better". She ignores his comment on the weather, and looks at his chest, not his eyes. She doesn't want to piss him off currently, or make him any more afraid than he already is "Nny, i NEED to know who did this". She fingers the grip of her sword, and her eyes pulse "I KNOW you know. The bracelet i gave Sam detected you as being one of those nearby when she was killed. It detected someone else as well. Since you obviously didn't do this, i want to know who did".
Johnny shakes his head behind his knees like a small child not wanting to admit they broke their mother's prized possession. "I-I can't! I can't tell you! It's all that's left of her! Y-you can't kill her! She's too important!!" His face rises up as he yells revealing very uncharacteristic tears running down his cheeks. "WHY CAN'T YOU JUST LEAVE THINGS ALONE!?! Everything was finally back to normal again!! Why does everyone have to ruin that?!?" His face is quickly buried again as he stops yelling. This might be why he doesn't open up to anyone…
Xue glares in frustration "Then explain. Unlike some you've had dealings with in the past, i can actually be reasoned with. If there's more going on, i need to know, and right now, i have the feeling i'm the closest thing to a friend or ally in this that you've got. I actually gave a damn about her too".
Johnny wipes his eyes on the back of his sleeve and leaps to his feet, screaming as he slowly descends the steps down. "Oh shut the FUCK up!! NO ONE FUCKING CARED! No one fucking bothered to find her! I DID! SHE WaS iN mY CArE!! I bOuNd HeR tO mE!" The pupils in his eyes returning to red slits as they had most of his life prior to arriving in Neo Tokyo as his voice shifts into that growly demon-like voice he picked up after meeting Benedict. "It WaS mY joB to WaTCh oVeR hER aND I fAilED, BuT WHaT do YoU CarE? WhERe wheRE yoU?" He reaches the bottom of the steps as he finishes his sentence. His voice lowers to a bile-filled whisper. "…all you need to know is she's dead, and I can't do anything to bring her back." Without hesitating he turns his back to the woman and gestures into the air, "Just get the fuck back where you came from and leave me the Hell alone."
Xue s eyes narrow, and she slowly walks towards him. Her arms remain limp at her sides, and no offensive actions are performed or intended as she slowly steps up the pile of bones to his chair. All 5'1 of her gets close enough to look him in the eyes, despite hers being alight, as she says in a tone so cold it could freeze hellfire "I cared enough to start dimension hopping looking for her. I cared enough to make a beeline to Twisted when Cale came to me and said he had a lead". Her eyes pulse again "I CARE enough to come asking, to HELL of all places". She turns away, looking back over her shoulder "If none of that constitutes caring, then i damn well can't imagine what does. You want me to go, fine. It's too bad YOU don't seem to care enough to help the only other person either of us know of that DOES give a damn". She turns and starts to walk back down the pile of bones.
"HELP?!?" That got his attention. He turns and glares at her again, his body now pitch black leaving only pupiless red eyes to convey his anger and his white shark-like teeth as he screams. "SHE'S DEAD! WHAT IS THERE TO HELP WITH?!?" He leaps down to the bottom of the steps as he tries to close the distance that's already grown between the two of them. "IF THERE WAS ANYONE TO GO AFTER IT'D BE ME! IT'S MY FAULT! I KILLED HER!! I CREATED TA-…" He trails off, closing his eyes a moment before continuing. "…her. I stood there and watched as she plundged MY blade into Sammy's stomach and twisted it, spilling her open in the process.. Is that what you want to hear? DO YOU WANT TO HEAR ABOUT HOW MUCH BLOOD SPILLED OUT AS I STOOD THERE UNABLE TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT?!?" He wipes his mouth on the back of his arm a second to keep from spitting on Xue. "…or maybe you want me to tell you how there isn't a damn thing anyone can do about it? I won't let anyone hurt her, not that anyone could do anything to her anyways… she's gone. It's over." His form shimmers and as his emotion shifts and once more he is the broken form he was a moment before. "…she… she's gone…" He drops down onto the steps and buries his face once more in his lap.
Xue stops, turning around. She crosses her arms, blazing eyes finally slowly simmering, until they no longer burn. They DO still glow an eerie violet, however. The gears are turning, however. "You created something. Beings are either material or immaterial. Which means you either created a physical golem of some kind, or created a figment using that shadow power i've seen you use in the past. I remember Benedict. I helped FIGHT him way back when. If it was that power, and you didn't want it to do what it did, then it likely gained a will of it's own, or something to that effect". She glances at Nny expectantly "Which leaves the question of where 'she' is now. A figment is still only a construct of it's creators will. Meaning your right. Only you, or a mage of arcane ability greater than it's creator, could harm it". She shakes her head, looking at the statue ".... and thus the story ends, i suppose....". She glances back at Nny "Tell me something, Nny. Serious question. Have you ever been on a battlefield, leading troops?"
Johnny shakes his head 'no' at the question. He says nothing else long enough for Xue to probably begin talking before he interrupts his own silence, "…she's not a figment. She's alive." He doesn't say anything else or do anything besides stare vacantly at Xue as if that sentence explains the nature of the universe. As if to say, 'End of conversation.'
Xue s eyes narrow in annoyance. Her words reflect this, but have a finality of their own "Is she a threat to anyone else in the foreseeable future?".
Johnny shrugs his shoulders. "Dunno. It was the first time I saw her after I locked her off of Twisted." At least he doesn't seem like he's trying to be cryptic anymore. There might still be a chance to get information out of him. His eyes shift towards the ground a second as his mind tries to formulate words properly again. "…she does have my other dagger, though… I just wanted her to be safe..."
Xue ponders "Is it possible that possession of that dagger is what is giving her the ability to run amok? Or is this a case of madness by being isolated too long, if you say she's alive, and she got aggressive as a result?".
Johnny blinks at her words. That was quite a mouthful, after all. "…isolation. Huh. I didn't think of it that way. What was it she said when we found her…?" His mind replays the event for the hundredth time. "…did you stop to see where I threw her when…? Yeah. She was pretty pissed about it. " He wipes his eyes as they begin to water yet again. "..but I apologized. She… she just wanted to come with us. She didn't want us to leave her behind, but when we got to Twisted she… she…" His eyes betray him once more and the maniac looks to the 'sky' trying to will the tears to stop. "SHIT. Why are you asking about all this?? Why can't you just let it go?"
Xue nods "She did what she did, more than likely as payback, or spite, or simply because she could.....". She crosses her arms "I'm asking because the very thing your so upset about i've had to endure several times, or worse. I swore in this case not to let it happen again, or if it did to see it through to the end. I owed her... " Xue points at the statue "....that much, and yes, for your information, isolation has been proven to cause insanity sooner or later. If 'she' is in Twisted, it means not just Sam being killed, but who knows who else in the future. My concern has been first finding out what and who killed Sam. My objective now is to find out if there's an insane killer loose in Twisted with one of your daggers".
Genuine focused anger rages across Johnny's face as he rises to his feet once again. "You stay the FUCK away from her." He draws his dagger and grips it tightly in one hand as his other hovers over the empty holster it's mate belongs in. "I MADE HER in -HER- IMAGE!! She's all that's left!! YOU TOUCH HER AND I'LL KILL YOU MYSELF!!"
Xue glares, hand at her weapons grip to draw if she needs, but not yet "Do you honestly think Sam would want someone killing in her name? Not that killing is the only way EVERYONE handles dealing with incapacitation of another. If 'she' is out there killing with Sams name and looks, either i deal with it with any means required to stop her, death being the last resort, or YOU deal with her in a way you find more suitable instead of sitting here being a pitypot. Do remember Frankenstien was responsible for the lives his monster claimed".
There is an audible CRACK in the air as Johnny's conflicted mind tries to pull itself in two different directions. He screams sharply as he nearly falls onto the ground, collapsing in a sitting position. Holding his head, his dagger falls onto the broken soil - it's blade vibrating violently as it feeds off the emotions pouring forth from him. In a voice that almost sounds like two people speaking at once, he demands weakly, "Jus-just go. Let it go. We CaN'T dO aNYtHinG NoW…"
Xue s eyes narrow again "There is ALWAYS something you can do. It just is rarely what you WANT to do". She points up, for lack of knowing where else to point to where Twisted might be "Either YOU deal with the monster you've created, by accident or not, or I will deal with it not only in defense of Sams very memory and honor, but in defense of those who may be killed. THEY, unlike either of us, may actually have something to lose if i don't". She waits to see his reaction.....
Johnny looks up at Xue once again with a strange mix of tears and blood draining from his eyes. His eyes as well seem broken as his left eye is nothing but an orb full of blood with an odd scar across his forehead. "I cAn'T HeLp yOu…" As if in response Senior Diablo reappears, shaking his head as he walks towards Xue from somewhere behind her. It's of course possible that he was there the whole time, much like the demon guards watching in confusion from the entrances to the courtyard, but it's not exactly like everyone's had a clear head this whole time. "I think… I think it may be time to escort you home, Xue Qian. I don't think our dear little maniac is going to be much good to you as he is now." He scowls down at Johnny as he says this, his face full of disappointment. Johnny says nothing more, lowering his head both in shame and regret.
Xue gives Nny a last glare before turning to leave. She says, with her back turned, clearly to Nny "You know where to find me if you change your mind, Johnny". She nods to Senior, ready to go. One investigation done, another beginning.
Extending an arm out as if to place it around Xue's shoulder, Diablo guides her away from the broken maniac and into the blackness again. As before it fades away, revealing the Wastelands once again. "You should know Sun had a hand in this girl's birth as well," he suddenly blurts out as soon as the world returns around them. "Part of him, part of her, part of Samantha, all bound together by the energies bestowed upon Johnny from Benedict." Diablo raises an eyebrow and shakes his head slightly. "You could have asked me you realize. But I suppose it's sometimes better to hear things from the horse's mouth directly."
Xue nods "I admit i can be singleminded like that about things..... thank you for the information, and the meeting. I know Sams arcane signature, i know Nnys, and i know Suns. If i can split those powers apart, they may be more managable, but knowing what to look for makes coming up with a method that much easier. Unless you have any ideas......?" She eyes him curiously
In response, Senior Diablo smiles, "You should know I can't hand her over to you on a silver platter. Where's the fun of that? Besides, the world just doesn't work that way." The demon's head tilts to the side as his smile fades. "…she's not on the Twisted Street at the moment anyways." He straightens out again as his gaze seems to fall out onto the horizon. "Seems she's gone off-world. Probably seeking whatever she feels she needs for whatever vengeance she's decided she needs to bring down upon those she feels has wronged her, so… that buys you some time.
Xue nods. Other ideas and theories come to mind, but she doesn't voice them. All she can say is "Then i suppose i best put that time to good use. If it's benedicts power, Suns power, Nnys power, and Sams power, all mixed in, i can throw together a sensor to tell me when something appears with one or all of those signatures. After that, i start doing the hard research....."
Nodding his head understandingly, Senior Diablo states, "Feel free to ask me anything, but choose your words carefully. We all have our own reputations to uphold." He vanishes the second Xue looks away leaving her alone to her own devices. For someone who loves explaining things he can be rather cryptic sometimes.
Xue eyes where he had been, and nods. She will keep that in mind, as she walks back to the UR to begin her work anew......