Deal With The Devil
|Deal With The Devil|
|Dates run:||December 16, 2013|
|Read the logs:||Deal With The Devil|
"Be careful what you wish for, fairy-girl," mocked one, taller than the others. "Or the Master will grant your wish!" At his - its - gesture, hands reached out to grab her.
It's deja-vu all over again when a demon hoard attacks the mansion.
Lorna Dane, Angelica Jones, Topaz, Susan Storm, Laurie Collins, Sooraya Qadir, Kyle Gibney, Tabitha Smith, Johnny Gallo, Matt Murdock, Rachel Kinross-Dayspring, Molly Hayes, Tandy Bowen, Jean Grey, Kurt Sefton, Scott Summers
As X-Force is flying back from Madripoor, Amanda senses something disrupting the magical wards on the school. She can't teleport back - they're flying over the Pacific and she doesn't have a city to teleport from. So they have to wait until they land to find out what's up.
What is up is an old-fashioned demon invasion, as hasn't been seen since 2005. The mansion is under attack from a horde of demons, vaguely familiar to anyone who had anything to do with Limbo back in the day, but what is odd is that while it's possible to kill them, only some of them leave behind a corpse. The rest leave behind smears of ectoplasmic goo. The attack is fought off, but it's discovered over time that the whole thing was a diversion - a number of residents are missing.
The group who were taken find themselves in a desolate world - lots of craggy rocks and red dirt, lava wells and searing heat. Everything dead and skeletal. They're guarded by demons and are being forced towards a row of cells cut into a cliff face. They overpower their guards and flee into the wilderness, looking for a way home. The problem is, demonic dimensions, even small ones, have influence over people, and the longer they stay, the more of the darker side of their natures comes through. It starts as irritability and short-tempers, but after a while, things take a darker turn.
When X-Force arrives at the mansion, they discover what happened and Amanda deduces that Belasco wants a trade - Illyana's retrieved bloodstones for the kidnapped people. Amanda agrees to the deal and to act as the go-between, and travels to Belasco's realm. It turns out it's a mini-Limbo, a side dimension he carved out after being usurped by N'astirth. His demons are those who remained loyal to him (or really hated N'astirth) and went with him - not many compared to the legions left behind in Limbo, however, which is why they had to use magical illusionary stand-ins during the mansion attack.
Amanda agrees to the deal, Except, as she's about to hand the bag containing the bloodstones over, she's stabbed from behind by a soul dagger, which shorts out all of her magic. As she collapses, she realises it's Pixie, and Belasco gloats that he doesn't need the bloodstones - he's got a new source right here.
Trivia and Meta
This was the first demon invasion of the school since 2005.
For the mansion reactions, Rossi organised Random Logging Pairs, the first in a while.
The events of this plot still occurred in Phase 2, but specifics, such as which characters were involved, remain fuzzy for the purposes of not breaking the world. ;)