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New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 14, 2006, 1:57pm

So…the meeting in the previous thread ends with Rogue saying, "Everyone be back here first thing in the mornin', and by first thing, ah mean first light. Ah'm pretty sure our guest will be there by then."

Next morning, conference room, there is a man with the best moustache in the history of moustaches calmly levitating in the lotus position at the head of the table. His eyes are closed and he seems to be concentrating. He's wearing an unusually cut large red and gold robe, and a gold medallion featuring a large closed eye rests on his chest.

Rogue says, "Don't disturb him right now, but that's Dr. Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts. He's the Sorceror Supreme or something, and though ah don't rightly know what that means, ah do know that he's going to be a lot of help to us. Be thankful he's comin' along, because if it weren't for him, we'd be SOL on finding a way to save Wreck."

«Get in, start interacting, it'll probably start up tomorrow in earnest.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Damien Lupe on Dec 14, 2006, 2:04pm

«What's SOL? And better than Tony Stark's? I am impressed.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 14, 2006, 2:05pm

Marisol stared at the hovering wizard carefully, as if she thought her gaze would disturb him somehow. She had never seen a mage before. Even not minding his clothing and obvious supernatural aspect of him SITTING ON THIN AIR, there seemed to be something weird about him. Well, something noticeable, at least. A sort of presence that normal humans didn't have, that wordlessly yelled out that this one was special.

She moved relatively out of everybody's way and began waiting.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Michael "Chi" Placio on Dec 14, 2006, 2:08pm

(Shit out of luck)


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 14, 2006, 2:13pm

So this is Dr. Strange. Huh.

I'd heard some urban legends about him, but I'd always figured they weren't anything more than a couple of guys trying to make some quick cash in one of those lame Discovery Channel specials. But there he is, plain as day, sitting there. Or hovering there. Whatever.

I don't bother him, but I do wave my hand under and over him, making sure there's no wires. None. "Cool."

Just then I spot Marisol standing off to the side, away from the others…as usual. I wave and head her way. "Hey, Marisol." A quick glance over my shoulder as I approach. "Pretty low experience when it comes to magic; not sure if Mr. Moustache is as hot as Rogue says." Speaking of hot, that reminds me of the problem she mentioned earlier. "You're still okay with coming, right?"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 14, 2006, 2:21pm

Marisol was almost ready to reaffirm her stand on the issue. The words that came out weren't quite the planned "of course" though.

"Not really," she revealed to Zephyr, "Wreck and me didn't get along well. He insulted me a lot - not with any outright bad name-calling, just implications and such. He just… didn't like me."

She paused for a moment.

"He probably wouldn't do the same for me if our situations were reversed… But, well, if you're wondering about the danger, then that's not a problem."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 14, 2006, 2:30pm

She's confident, that's good. Extremely good considering where we're going. "Yeah, the danger's what I meant, but if you say it's not a problem, it's not a problem." I'll keep my eye out for any errant flames, just in case. "And look on the bright side: If this works out, you'll have major leverage. Wreck gives you any lip, you can just be all like 'Remember that time I saved you from an eternity in hell?' Bet that'll get him to shut up."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Dillon "Time-Hopper" Drummond on Dec 14, 2006, 2:31pm

Dillan couldn't take his eyes off the levitating Wizard. How was he doing it? Was his "magic" some sort of mutation? The Scarlet Witch did magic and she was a mutant…but he wasn't sure if that was because she was a mutant.

"Hmm…"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Pester/Freaktada on Dec 14, 2006, 2:35pm

Pester knew he had no chance of waking up so early, so he stayed up all night watching old Justice League DVDs and playing Devil May Cry. He stumbled into the room 15 minutes late, shitfaced and exhausted.

"Hey guys… Who's the pimp?"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 14, 2006, 2:35pm

"I really don't think it's that simple," mulled Marisol, "He'd just shrug it off, I'm sure of it. And it would only be an issue if it was actually me that saved him, not if I just hung around somewhere at the same time."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 14, 2006, 2:39pm

Rogue is glancing around a little. "If you don't mind me asking, Marisol, you look about as comfortable as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Is there anything I can do to help you out? I'm sure the Doc will be with us soon, it isn't easy for him to colocate like this."

The Eye of Agamotto on Doctor Strange's chest opens, and gives a piercing stare at each person in the room. Everyone feels like their soul was laid open by the gaze, like it saw every part of their being. It's a little uncomfortable. Rogue actual pales and moves back towards the wall before recovering and putting on a clearly fake smile. Dr. Strange seems to be coming out of the trance.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Dillon "Time-Hopper" Drummond on Dec 14, 2006, 2:41pm

"Dr. Strange." replied Dillan, to the newly arrived Pester. "And you're totally right on that pimp comment. Read online that he totally got it in with Captain Marvel (the chick one)"

Dil stumbles back onto the ground as the Eye of Aggamotto peers into his soul.

"Dude, what the hell." he muttered. "Last time I repeat rumors I heard on the net."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 14, 2006, 2:45pm

I don't have the chance to respond to Marisol, Dr. Strange - or his little trinket, anyway - does this weird little soul-scan on me. In a way it's nice, because it actually confirms that I have a soul, but it's also pretty damn creepy. My feelings for my brother, my feelings for Apocalypse, my feeling for Marisol; all the emotions come out and flash around in my head, mix together, and when it's over I'm not even sure what to feel. But I do know what to believe. "Okay, he's magic. I'm convinced now."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Dillon "Time-Hopper" Drummond on Dec 14, 2006, 3:18pm

"Well, that eye thing is defintely magic."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 14, 2006, 3:32pm

«I don't really understand what Rogue means.»

Marisol sort of wished Strange would TELL her everything he had gleamed in her. She was always confused and conflicted, it would have been perfect if someone could just have told her everything she needed to know about herself. Things she didn't understand… He probably wouldn't, though…

A throught struck her mind: Sorcerors can do magic.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 14, 2006, 3:39pm

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

Mephisto sits on his throne, gazing at a large mirror. The mirror is held in place by a number of wretched and twisted souls forming some sort of frame around it, and the surface itself is black except for the words, "We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please stay tuned."

"I should have known they would get Stephen Strange involved in this situation. Curse him for ruining my reception."

Mephisto's hand waves, and the mirror disappears. "I'm afraid though, my poor little Jason, that I have plans for the Sorceror Supreme of Earth's realm. You see, certain parties that I am acquainted with would pay dearly for the soul of the good Doctor, and I am in a position to offer it. So dearly, in fact, that they have leant support towards combatting him to ensure your continued stay here."

Mephisto considers for a second. "I wonder if Rogue's soul is worth anything. I understand it's no longer a two for one deal, with Carol Danvers' essence back in its initial location, and Carol was the much more interesting part of that equation. Thoughts, Jason?"

The camera pans back, and we see Wreck in a ridiculously complicated and excruciatingly painful cage, with small spikes that impale him in several painful areas.

«And as for understanding Rogue, that was kind of tossed out there so not everybody would understand it. The rocking chairs thing is kind of a stereotypical Southernism.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 14, 2006, 3:46pm

«No, I just thought it was random how she got so worried about Marisol suddenly.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 14, 2006, 3:49pm

«She's not that worried. She's trying to diffuse her own skepticism by trying to make someone else talk about their problems.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Wreck on Dec 14, 2006, 4:00pm

From his position in the horrible device, Wreck manages a twisted smile.

"My….thoughts? I….think….you…..can choke…..on my….."

And his final words are cut off as he screams, a few of the spikes moving and thoroughly perforating him in several nasty locations.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Damien Lupe on Dec 14, 2006, 4:00pm

Sephula doesn't flinch or even express concern when Dr Strange scanned him, but looked him dead in the eyes. He hid his worries and his concern, knowing the trouble that Strange had seen. He wondered if Strange recognised anything or anyone.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Curt "Reflex" Camden on Dec 14, 2006, 4:02pm

Curt walks in…noticeably uncomfortable. "I know you guys didn't think you were going to hell without me…"

«I am the thread killer. As soon as I get into the thread…it stalls…. Le sigh»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 14, 2006, 4:11pm

The Eye of Agamotto opens once more, scanning Reflex as it did the rest of the New Mutants. Strange opens his eyes, and looks around the room slightly.

"Good morning, New Mutants. I am Doctor Stephen Strange, Sorceror Supreme. I understand you have a desire to reach the realm of Mephisto to save a teammate from his clutches. I have, on occasion, tread in Mephisto's realm, and have agreed, with some trepidation, to assist you in this endeavor."

Everyone feels as if Strange is pointedly looking at them when he says,

"Know this, though. The realm of Mephisto is not for the faint of heart. You must absolutely believe in your journey, and not waver in your devotion either to yourself or your teammate. Mephisto is a devious and powerful being, and is not to be taken lightly. Only through the protection of the Vishanti are we able to exist in his realm without repercussions, and if you make any form of bargain with him, you are doomed to an eternity of damnation."

"Now then. Any questions before we go to my Sanctum Sanctorum? There are some who must partake this journey who are not yet present, but they will find us easy to follow."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Curt "Reflex" Camden on Dec 14, 2006, 4:12pm

«oh sure post that now to make me feel better »


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Dillon "Time-Hopper" Drummond on Dec 14, 2006, 4:23pm

"Question." stated Dillan, raising his hand. "Are you really magic?"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 14, 2006, 4:28pm

"I am a mortal human, but I can perform feats of magic," states Dr. Strange with a slight smile.

Rogue shoots Dillan a look that roughly translates to "Please shut up and don't piss off Dr. Strange."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 14, 2006, 4:32pm

"Ah, Doctor," Marisol spoke up with some trepidation, "I have a little problem with fire, and I was wondering if you could… um, cast some kind of protection spell or something like that? Please? I mean, if magic even works that way…"

She was looking pointedly at his moustache.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 14, 2006, 4:36pm

"Of course. The Vishanti will protect us from all harm within Mephisto's realm. You need not fear for your well being in my presence."

"That is, unless you make any form of bargain with Mephisto. He makes the rules of his realm in many ways, and the Vishanti's protection can only go so far if you agree to those rules."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 14, 2006, 4:40pm

The others get to talking, but I'm still worried about the whole 'devotion' bit Dr. Strange was talking about; as near as I can tell, Wreck wasn't exactly Mr. Popular. He seemed nice enough to me, but then, I only knew him for about ten seconds, and after hearing Marisol's description he loses a few points.

For now I'm just keeping quiet, hoping he can do something protect Marisol.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 14, 2006, 4:48pm

Oh. Well, that was simple. She had assumed his earlier comment about protection was just… eh… talk.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 14, 2006, 4:52pm

"So as long as we don't make any deals with this guy, we're straight? Good." I saw the Devil's Advocate, I think I get the deal. "Wait…any clue why Mephisto cares so much about Wreck's soul in the first place? What's the connection, there?"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Dillon "Time-Hopper" Drummond on Dec 14, 2006, 5:01pm

"You're really oversimplfying it Zephyr. I dunno if this guys The Devil himself, but chances are if he offers you something he can make good on that. Not many people would be able to turn that down, damnation or not."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 14, 2006, 5:10pm

"Bah, I bet he offers something weak, like a fiddle made out of gold or some crap." He does have a point, but I don't want to look fazed. "I wouldn't worry too much, DeeDee. Can't be that hard."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Pester/Freaktada on Dec 14, 2006, 5:36pm

"I already sold my soul for these sneakers and half a Yodel. So I'm set."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Sid "Voltage" Lime on Dec 14, 2006, 7:34pm

"So are we going to sit here all day and talk about what we will do or are we going to actually do it? C'mon, folks. It's just the Devil."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Protoman on Dec 14, 2006, 8:24pm

"Lets go guys, the longer we wait the more Wreck is…well I guess we don't exactly know what happens to Wreck as we wait, but you know what I mean."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Alexander "Cadmus" Baptiste on Dec 15, 2006, 12:47am

Nadia was fairly certain that there was nothing that The Devil (a devil? Whatever. Mephisto) could offer her. After all, no matter how great the reward… you had to go hell afterwards. Sort of sours the deal. She briefly wondered, however, if the same could be said about her brother.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 15, 2006, 9:00am

"I wouldn't say that we're necessarily fine if we make no bargains, that would be a drastic oversimplification. I would say that we are protected from physical harm, yet much of the harm Mephisto does is psychological and spiritual. As I have said, he is a powerful and devious entity. As far as the Devil goes…he fancies himself the Devil, but in reality he is merely the ruler of a hell-like dimension. This would seem to be effectively the same thing, and in many ways it is, however, there are other similar entities that exhibit much the same behavior, such as Satannish for example. As for Wreck's soul…that is not something I have been able to determine. I'm afraid that is a hole card that Mephisto is holding for the nonce, and may complicate things in the end."

Strange moves into a standing position, still hovering.

"Now then. Second stop, Mephisto's Realm. First stop, my Sanctum Sanctorum."

He gestures, and the Eye of Agamotto glows as the cape suddenly grows and encircles the assembled group. Everyone finds themselves in a Gothic style house, with numerous arcane artifacts and floating stairways, the whole nine magical yards. Although it seems very alien and unusual, it also seems very peaceful. Everyone appears in the positions they left the mansion in, except Dr. Strange, who is once more levitating in the lotus position some distance away. A second Dr. Strange enters the room by flying through the wall, merges with the one meditating, and then the meditating one opens his eyes.

"It is good to see you in the flesh. Welcome to my Sanctum Sanctorum. Don't touch anything. I have been preparing the spell to transport us to Mephisto's realm while we spoke, and it should be done shortly."

«Also of note, our penciller did a Marc Silvestri tribute cover this month.

Just picture Mephisto in Sinister's place, with the X-Men replaced by New Mutants, specifically Wreck replaces Havok. "Inferno" is replaced by "Guest starring Doctor Strange!" And of course our logo replaces the X-Men one.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Protoman on Dec 15, 2006, 10:27am

Lex is getting impatient. "Lets go!"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 15, 2006, 10:47am

"Patience, young man. The opening of portals to Mephisto's realm is a great and complicated work of magic that requires specific celestial alignments to function properly. This alignment will occur at approximately 11:00 am EST."

Meanwhile…

In Mephisto's dimension, Wreck has been tortured for the entire duration of the meeting. Finally, Mephisto eases up on the pressure.

"In a moment, we will speak again, and I would hope you would have learned some civility by then. After all, I do not wish you to act embarrassing in front of company."

A metal gag thrusts itself between Wreck's lips, and expands to cover the entire lower half of his face.

"Just in case. I'm entertaining an important business client."

The mirror reappears, and a massive firey head appears, speaking in a terrible and frightening voice. A voice that would drive a sane man mad, and a mad man madder. "MEPHISTO. KNOW THAT THE DREAD DORMAMMU'S PATIENCE IS WEARING THIN."

Mephisto makes a noncommital gesture. "Well, patience is a virtue, Dormammu, but neither of is known as a virtuous being. Rest assured, Strange will appear soon. I trust you have already discovered that I have made good on my side of the bargain? Our dimensions will be briefly linked, just long enough for you to detain the Doctor. You can sense it can be so. Just make it quick. I'd rather not be cleaning up after Mindless Ones. They are not the most attractive of servitors."

Dormammu replies, "FOOL! THE DREAD DORMAMMU WILL NOT BE MOCKED BY ONE SUCH AS YOU!"

Mephisto again casually shrugs. "I'm afraid you will be, Dormammu. Because Stephen Strange is valuable enough to you that you are willing to tolerate my perhaps coarse mannerisms. I just want to make sure…the link will be triggered by Strange's presence. I imagine he will be protected against the adversities of my realm, which is precisely why I enable the temporary link. Remove him quickly, and leave the rest to me. Oh, and I expect the price we agreed upon to be paid promptly."

"YOU SHALL HAVE WHAT YOU WISH. IT IS MORE THAN YOU DESERVE."

"Very well. The time for talking is over."

The mirror vanishes, and the gag along with it.

"Oh Jason, your friends are coming over. Aren't you excited? I hope they stay for some time. And they should…as their ride home will be waylaid."

Mephisto cackles over any response, but feel free to make one.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Protoman on Dec 15, 2006, 10:51am

«11….damn. I'll be in my next class by then.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 15, 2006, 10:53am

«Well, if we get enough people on, I happen to know what happens, and will be checking back. If I get a "critical mass" before 11, then the celestial alignment happens early.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Wreck on Dec 15, 2006, 10:56am

Often, Wreck had found himself attempting to pass out, but that didn't seem to be an option in this realm.

So instead, he does what he usually does. He laughs.

"Why….me? Them? Don't…..you……have any…..better…..souls…..to screw with? Business….must…..be….slow…..in the land…..of hasbeen….demonic….moro……"

Again he's cut off by the twirling of the spikes and his own screaming.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 15, 2006, 11:59am

«Well, I guess I'll just move past the Sanctum and straight into Hell, since we've already had our allottment of Strange interaction.»

Everyone feels a gathering swell of energy in the area. Candles spring to life on the walls, and a massive glowing portal begins to open beneath the assembled group. Strange says, "This room is protected against Mephisto coming into our realm, however, I have opened a path for any of your compatriots who did not immediately join us, for plot reasons."

Gotta love the DEM potential of Strange.

Anyway, the portal slowly expands. When it is large enough that it is beneath the entire group, Strange says, "This may be somewhat disconcerting at first." Then, reality feels like it's ripped out from under you, and your spirits move between dimensions to Mephisto's realm. Anyone expecting Hell is sorely disappointed…it looks like you are in a large, well-appointed banquet room. Mephisto is at the head of the table in an oversized chair, with Wreck bound to the wall behind him. Wreck's body is somewhat limp, and held in place by what looks like some sort of barbed wire, but much more painful. He is not currently gagged.

"How splendid that your friends could join us, Jason," intones Mephisto. "I'm afraid I have other company, as well. I believe, Dr. Strange, that you have met the dread Dormammu?"

Suddenly, a large…being…with a firey head appears in the room, attended by a number of beings that look like random lumps of clay in a vaguely human form. "LONG HAVE I AWAITED THIS MOMENT, DOCTOR!" His voice is the single most frightening thing any of you have heard. Strange seems surprised, but quickly moves into a defensive posture…but it does him no good. Dormammu and his servants effectively ambush him and drag him through a portal to another dimension.

"Poor Dr. Strange. Protected himself from the dangers of my dimension, without expecting the possibility of other extradimensional beings. Well, I hope you said your farewells," intones Mephisto.

He seems to ponder a bit before continuing. "As for the lot of you, please, make yourselves comfortable. I believe you've met Jason, yes? Jason, say hello to your friends. They're going to be staying here for a while!"

Then, stereotypical demonic cackling ensues.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Wreck on Dec 15, 2006, 12:05pm

Wearily, Wreck raises his head. Through a blur of double vision, he makes out his teammates.

"…..why….did you….come here?", he slurs. Then his head drops again.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 15, 2006, 12:11pm

"You told us to in your letter," said Marisol quietly. She was staring at Mephisto with a scowl.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Wreck on Dec 15, 2006, 12:15pm

He lets out a small chuckle, though it sounds disturbingly weak.

"Letter….? How…..was I….supposed…..to write….a letter? Post….office…..doesn't…..come this…..far….?"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 15, 2006, 12:15pm

Hm. Somehow, I always imagined that hell would look more like…well, hell. This place looks rather pleasant, honestly; some drapes, a few rugs to match, some air freshener and it'd be downright homey.

Not quite sure what I should be doing at the moment, but common sense tells me I should wait a bit, see what the situation is. I fall in beside Marisol, figuring I'll follow her lead on it. "You left a letter back in the mansion, man. Told us to come and save you from…whatever the hell this guy is doing to you." Judging from the looks of things, I could make a few ideas. "So, Mephisto, if you're into the bondage thing, there are a lot of healthier ways to go about it…"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 15, 2006, 12:18pm

"You wrote it beforehand," replied Marisol, not even looking in his direction, "…unless that's how it was supposed to look?" She was still staring at Mephisto.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Wreck on Dec 15, 2006, 12:23pm

Wreck tosses a pained grimace at Mephisto, then shakes his head.

"My….guess. Wouldn't…..have written…..letter. Contrary….to….."

He coughs, violently.

"…..don't…..hate…..you…..that…..much….."

And his eyes close. His last words come out as little more than a rasp.

"…..at all?"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 15, 2006, 12:25pm

"Oh, surely you remember the letter, Jason," says Mephisto.

He proceeds to narrate the letter in a perfect imitation of Wreck's voice.

"I decided it would work better than the standard invitation. And all of you are quite inconsequential really, my main goal was to deliver your friend Stephen to my business partner. However, since you're here, you may as well make the most of it. It's not as if Strange will be able to take you back home."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 15, 2006, 12:30pm

First day with the New Mutants, and I walk straight into a trap. Granted, so did everyone else, but it's still crap luck.

"Soooooo…now that you've, you know, delivered Strange and whatnot, why not just let us go? Take Wreck out of the deathtrap and we'll just be out of your way. I'm sure you've got a busy day ahead; people to torture, souls to damn, stuff like that." Not likely to work, but I figure it can't hurt to ask.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 15, 2006, 12:36pm

"Let you go? What a fascinating idea."

Mephisto gives Zephyr a conspiratorial wink.

"What's in it for me?"

Rogue lays a hand on Zephyr's shoulder. "Hang on now…remember what Strange said."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Wreck on Dec 15, 2006, 12:40pm

Raising his head with some effort, Wreck laughs.

"Not…..going…..to let….me go. Pissed…..him off…..not dying…..when I should…..made fun…..demonically….small……wang….."

Abruptly a lightning bolt seems to strike Wreck from somewhere inside of his brain. His teeth-eyes shift (the closest he has to a roll) and he slumps.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 15, 2006, 12:54pm

"It's all right, Mephisto, we won't tell anyone…"

Dear God, why did she just say that?


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 15, 2006, 12:57pm

"Why would I care? It's not like I'm going out secretly impregnating human females in an effort to free myself from my own dimension or anything. I'm quite happy where I am."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 15, 2006, 1:00pm

Not sure if it was on purpose or not, but Marisol made a funny. Can't help but snicker a little.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Pester/Freaktada on Dec 15, 2006, 1:42pm

Pester does his best to maintain bowel control. At this point, that's the best he can hope for.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Alexander "Cadmus" Baptiste on Dec 15, 2006, 1:51pm

She had expected Hell, even if it was just a hell, to have been far more fire and brimstoney. She was in the midst of that thought When a gang of demons rushed their guide out of the dimension. She didn't even have the words to properly articulate how much the new situation scared her.

They were in hell. With no way back.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 15, 2006, 1:53pm

The silence makes me a bit edgey. "So, hypothetically speaking, if you were to make a hypothetical deal with us, what would would this hypothetical deal hypothetically offer?"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Damien Lupe on Dec 15, 2006, 2:07pm

It just struck Sephula that they were stuck in hell at the same time as he was worrying about whatever Mephisto might offer him. He was sure that Mephisto knew what would appeal to him the most… and he wasn't sure he could turn it down… even if it meant an eternity in a hell.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 15, 2006, 2:11pm

"Well now. A man who wishes to possible make a bargain. Well, I don't believe in bargaining with consortiums. It would have to be individual deals with individuals. After dinner, we can discuss it."

Mephisto waves his hands, and the appearance of the banquet hall becomes much more Dante's Inferno-esque. Platters of food are carried in by bent and twisted souls, laid upon the tables. All of the food seems to look positively delicious, to the level that your mouths water subconsciously just looking at it.

"I believe firmly in wining and dining my clients before negotiating. It helps set people at ease."

Despite the delicious looking food, the room's decor is quite offputting. Large windows show guttering fire outside, and the building has taken a distinct dark reddish cast. The tables appear made of bent and twisted wood, with what looks like faces ingrained within them.

Rogue glares at Mephisto. "If you think we're going to eat in a place like this…or even consider eating food you give us, you are sadly mistaken!"

Mephisto grins. "I promise. You're not Persephone, eating three seeds of pomegranite will not bind you to this dimension. The food is not a trick, and is offered as a freebie. I will be heartbroken if you do not partake."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Alexander "Cadmus" Baptiste on Dec 15, 2006, 2:14pm

"You, know, if you didn't bear so much of a resemblance to a certain Prince of Lies, maybe I would be more inclinced to believe you."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Wreck on Dec 15, 2006, 2:15pm

"Don't make a deal with him. You all need Strange back or you don't have a prayer."

This is what Wreck intends to say. However, it comes out as a string of indecipherable mumbling instead.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 15, 2006, 2:19pm

He's the Devil. Sort of.

But he's got cupcakes.

He's evil. Pure evil.

But he's got cupcakes.

What he's doing to Wreck, he's probably done to countless others.

But, damn it, he's got cupcakes, and they look good.

"Lead us not into temptation, deliver us from evil…" I mumble it more than I say it, snatching a cupcake when nobody's looking and stuffing it in my coat pocket.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 15, 2006, 2:20pm

"Prince of Lies? Damien is the son of a rival of mine, not my own child. I can assure you that I will not tell deliberate falsehoods while negotiating. Isn't that right, Jason?"

The barbed wire constricts around Wreck and causes his head to nod dramatically several times.

"I thought you'd agree."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Alexander "Cadmus" Baptiste on Dec 15, 2006, 2:24pm

"All the same." Nadia pulled out a chair and sat down at Mephisto's table, but with her legs crossed and her arms folded. "Lead us not into temptation and all that. I'm not hungry."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Dillon "Time-Hopper" Drummond on Dec 15, 2006, 2:26pm

Food…so much food. Dillan was barely able to contain himself, but he did…until he took another look over the table.

"Holy crap, oxtail, griot and lumbi?!" he took a whiff. "The way mom used to make it…somone hold me back."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Pester/Freaktada on Dec 15, 2006, 2:28pm

If Pester could operate his mouth, he would have said it vocally, but mentally works too. He specifically aims for his teammates, but no idea whether Mephisto will pick up on it or not seeing as it's his dimension.

"Does anybody see any way out of here? Maybe there's a portal half open, a link with Dr. Strange, a Delorean we can hotwire, anything?"



"Is that pickled herring I see? Mmmmm…"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 15, 2006, 2:30pm

Rogue glares at Dillan.

"Don't tell me you're actually considering sitting down at that table and eating that grub. It probably just looks good, but when you taste it, it'll be all worms and stuff."

Mephisto chuckles, "Suit yourselves, of course. But I assure you, my feast is of the highest quality."

He begins eating, and seems to disregard everyone else for a while.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Damien Lupe on Dec 15, 2006, 2:31pm

I guess we're stuck here for now. Well, hell is for heroes. Though I'm not sure that's what I'd call us…


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Dillon "Time-Hopper" Drummond on Dec 15, 2006, 2:32pm

Dillan returned Rogue's gaze and sat down at the table, preparing himself a plate.

After taking a few bites he paused.

"So mom must've made everything out of worms." he smiled.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 15, 2006, 2:34pm

Not only is he evil, but he's rude. Just eating in front of us and everything.

"Are you going to bring up the deal or should we just skip straight to the part where we kick your ass?"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 15, 2006, 2:36pm

The food did seem delicious, and Marisol found herself wanting to stuff in immediately. That in itself was a clue that something was wrong. She didn't even need sustenance, not on such a level…

She moved closer to the table and looked at the food thoughtfully. Suddenly, she enlarged one of her hands and swept some dishes off the table in a large arc. She proceded to take a seat at the newly-created empty spot.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 15, 2006, 2:38pm

The food is actually better than mom used to make.

Anyway, in response to Zephyr, Mephisto says, "I deal after dinner. I have offered a meal to all of you, that we might dine together. It seems some of your compatriots have snubbed my hospitality, which is their choice, but feel free to eat as much as you see fit. As for the quaint 'kicking my ass' phase…please. Many have tried, but you forget, this is my home dimension, and responds to my whims. We are under a certain amount of protocol right now, which I am obliged to follow, but the moment an aggressive action is taken against my person, I am no longer required to follow that protocol."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 15, 2006, 2:39pm

Nice idea.

I take a cue and blow away a few more dishes, sitting down as well and turning towards Marisol. "Are the bad guys always this weird?"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Damien Lupe on Dec 15, 2006, 2:40pm

Thinking that the best defence against the lure was to inebriate himself, Sephula blocked out his smell and taste senses.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 15, 2006, 2:45pm

"I… er, really don't have much experience on the matter," replied Marisol, "but I guess they all have their knacks. Something's wrong with all of them…"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Pester/Freaktada on Dec 15, 2006, 2:46pm

Pester slowly takes a couple steps toward the table, his eyes glassing over with hunger.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Wreck on Dec 15, 2006, 2:52pm

Wreck drags his head up. His eyes affix on Dillan, appraising him wearily.

Then suddenly he shouts, his voice sounding very odd.

"THE DARK ABOMINATION! I SENSE HIM! BRING HIM TO ME AND I SHALL TEAR THIS PALTRY KINGDOM INTO ASHES!"

Just as quickly as it came, the spell seems to leave Wreck. Abruptly looking downright frightened, he glances about quickly and lowers his head again.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Dillon "Time-Hopper" Drummond on Dec 15, 2006, 2:55pm

"Man, your time here has really screwed you up." laughed Dillan, eating more of the delicious food.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 15, 2006, 2:59pm

I don't know what's weirder: the stuff Wreck said or the way DeeDee reacted to it. Come to think of it, DeeDee's been weird ever since Doc Strange showed up; yesterday he was all intense and seemed like he even hated the thought of coming along, now he seems…at peace with it, somehow. Taking the situation a lot better than I thought he would.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 15, 2006, 3:02pm

Mephisto casually reaches back and thrusts a large apple into Wreck's mouth, far enough that he cannot easily remove it or bite down on it.

"Really, I had hoped Jason could provide worthwhile dinner entertainment, but he refuses to behave, even for his friends."

Mephisto shakes his head sadly.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 15, 2006, 3:10pm

Marisol soundly ignored Mephisto. Or tried to, anyway… she couldn't help but be worried by his presence, even with the mockingly polite commentry. And she didn't like the food.

"Are you sure you should eat, Dillan?" she asked, "Maybe you should stop, just in case…"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Dillon "Time-Hopper" Drummond on Dec 15, 2006, 3:10pm

"Yeah, he's a pip ain't he." he laughed at the demon's comments before turning Marisol.

"Maybe you should shut up."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 15, 2006, 3:16pm

That's it.

I blow Dillan's food away and take a stand, staring at him from across the table. "You shut up! All I've seen out of you is crap from the moment we've started, and you're still spouting crap right now. You like this guy's food so much, maybe you can stay here."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Dillon "Time-Hopper" Drummond on Dec 15, 2006, 3:18pm

Dillan howled with laughter.

"Sit down ya windbag!" he bellowed through the chuckles.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 15, 2006, 3:18pm

That… stung.

She reached out and placed a hand on Zephyr's shoulder.
"Don't," she warned him.

It was just… difficult. She had her suspicions about the food, but it might as well been Dillan acting like himself.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 15, 2006, 3:19pm

Mephisto stands up.

"THERE WILL BE NO AGGRESSIVE ACTIONS IN MY HOME AGAINST ONE OF MY GUESTS!"

Suddenly, four walls spring out of the floor around Zephyr, invisible but impenetrable. A ceiling forms above them, and the entire mini-room moves, with Zephyr in it, into a corner.

"You, young man, are in time out."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 15, 2006, 3:21pm

"What the hell!" I pound on the walls, no luck; I try and blast my way out on, no luck. "Bastard! Red, ugly, tacky-dressed bastard!"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Dillon "Time-Hopper" Drummond on Dec 15, 2006, 3:24pm

"Oh c'mon now Devilman, is that really the best you could do? A cage? Let's see some spikes and monkeys!" Dil shouted, taking a swig of whatever was in his goblet.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 15, 2006, 3:25pm

Marisol stood up and hastily followed the invisible chamber.
"Zephyr?" she asked with no small amount of worry, while scanning the walls with her palms. It seemed flat, hard and… airtight?

She twirled around, now more angry than fearful.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Dillon "Time-Hopper" Drummond on Dec 15, 2006, 3:26pm

«be back later guys, got a debate club meeting thing and a bus ride ahead of me »


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 15, 2006, 3:29pm

"I'm fine, I'm fine." I give the walls one more punch and sit down cross-legged, calling it off for the moment. "Remind me to beat the crap out of Dillan when this is over, okay?" I add in, whispering. "And if things get rough, stay away from him. Something's dicey, here."

[Got to go myself and probably won't be back for the day; my little brother's school play is tonight. Had fun, though]


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 15, 2006, 3:30pm

"At present, guests, even guests that TRY MY PATIENCE," Mephisto glares at Zephyr, "are given certain accords due to protocol. However, I should mention that eventually, he will probably find himself beyond the limits of protocol, at which point the, as you say, spikes and monkeys come into play."

Rogue flies in front of Mephisto, hovering slightly over the table.

"Ah figure ah've put up with this long enough. One way or the other, we're leaving here, big, red, and ugly. You stop with the mind control food, and stop throwing my charges in boxes, or so help me, ah'll…"

"You'll what, my dear?" Mephisto replies. "Remember, I am the absolute master here. However, I admire your pluck."

The ceiling opens above Rogue, and a strong gust of wind seems to sweep her into the hole, which closes after her. The barbed wire holding Wreck starts to creep up the wall, when it gets to the ceiling, the ceiling opens and lets him in too.

"Do not worry about your Georgia Peach," says Mephisto. "I intend to discuss matters more fully with her after our repast. She is currently entirely safe."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 15, 2006, 3:36pm

«You know, I'm an idiot.»

Marisol was gritting her teeth now. She hated this… how none of them was able to do anything, try ANYTHING. They could just stand around and be manhandled… or act like idiots. And she couldn't even piss him off back.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Alexander "Cadmus" Baptiste on Dec 15, 2006, 3:52pm

Nadia kept her stolid position from before. Every now and then she flashed a malice filled glare towards Mephisto or Dillan who, frankly, was proving to be more irritating than the big red demon in the room. Who knew?

But she kept silent. All she kept coming back to was that they appeared to be at Mephisto's mercy. And as far as she new, it was the Other Guy who had all the mercy.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Damien Lupe on Dec 15, 2006, 4:15pm

"So, what are we here for? Is there going to be a party, or what? If not, I’m disappointed for it. I mean, I wore my best shirt and all. And you’re dressed for it.” Sephula rose and looked Mephisto in the eyes. “I’m assuming you’re the entertainment? Act: Big Red Clown? Come on already.” He sat back down. “Show us your cards. I have a few that you’d be interested to see. Assuming you don’t already know.” He smirked. “Then again, you aren’t THE devil. No idea if it’s true, but from what I hear, you’re just a mage playing devil. And how much can one mage know? Not all of it, I can guarantee that,” he said, tapping his temple. “Isn’t it against the rules for you to keep us here against our will, if we haven’t made a deal, anyway? You wouldn’t want to play against the rules, now, would you?”


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 15, 2006, 4:34pm

Mephisto seems amused by Sephula's display.

"Well, be I devil or no, which I choose to leave as an exercise for the reader, I have to inform you that you came here under your own free will. In fact, you came here under your will, and without my permission. Due to the protocol in force, in such a situation, I am under no obligation to allow you to leave, whether or not you choose to leave. However, as an entity of a certain refined nature that some lack," again, he glances at Zephyr, "I will follow many of the standard protocols."

He considers for a moment.

"If you wish cards, I will show some cards. Currently, as physical beings, there are certain limits to what I can do to you. These limits do not apply to your friend Jason, what you see of him is purely soul, not a physical body. Now, these limits still allow me a great deal of lassitude, but, frankly, physical bodies are not my stock in trade. It's somewhat of an annoyance having them about, but I am also annoyed greatly by trespassers. Therefore, I will tolerate the physical existence, and when it is terminated, your souls will become much more malleable to me. Now, I cannot hasten that termination of the physical form, that would be bad sportsmanship. So, essentially, I will offer each of you the means to return to Earth in your physical form, in exchange for your spirit to return later."

The dining hall disappears, and each New Mutant finds themselves in a separate blank room.

«I probably won't be on much over the weekend, but feel free to PM me if there's anything you think Mephisto would know that you would want that I wouldn't (and blackmore has shared most of your plots with me). Think of it like a Christmas list, but not.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Damien Lupe on Dec 15, 2006, 4:39pm

«Crap. I shouldn't have had him say all that, should I? And if Bm's shared my plot, then you pretty much know most of what Mephisto should know about me. There's probably plenty he'll have to work with there .)


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 15, 2006, 4:42pm

«No problems far as I'm concerned. I have details and suspicions with Sephula, we'll see how it works.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Damien Lupe on Dec 15, 2006, 4:45pm

«Details and suspicions? I'm not sure what you mean… Though if it's something you can tell me, but is too specific to the character, could you PM me about it?»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 15, 2006, 4:51pm

«I have like three sentences about it, so if you want to PM me something in more detail, please do. Otherwise, I can shoot from the hip.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 15, 2006, 4:51pm

«I have no idea what Mephisto is talking about.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Wreck on Dec 15, 2006, 4:57pm

<He can't affect you while you're alive, so he wants you to sell your soul to him. You would then get a free trip out of Hell (along with whatever other perks he thinks you desire), on the grounds that he gets to keep your soul whenever you die>


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 15, 2006, 4:58pm

«Yeah, yeah, but why send us off like he did?»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Damien Lupe on Dec 15, 2006, 5:01pm

«So that it's easier to manipulate you. For example, if you were with Zephyr, chances are either one would save the other from consenting to a deal, and he wouldn't get your souls. Storywise, obviously.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Sid "Voltage" Lime on Dec 15, 2006, 7:10pm

Sid had been silent most of the time. He had been raised in a strict Christian household, so all those thoughts of burning down in this place for all eternity had come strolling back.

Though he was now a full blown agnostic, the ideas were still there, prodding at his mind. With his hood up, and his headphones blaring some Joy Division, Sid tried to talk to any machines in the area.

Was there a single machine to talk to in the area? This was surely hell for him.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Protoman on Dec 15, 2006, 10:19pm

"Where am I? What the hell…" Lex stares at the wall, waiting for Mephisto to inevitably show himself.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Curt "Reflex" Camden on Dec 17, 2006, 11:48am

Curt had maintained his composure so far. He hadn't been scared shitless when Strange was kidnapped, hadn't lost his nerve when he saw how bad off Wreck was, and he hadn't been tempted by the food, and hadn't lost his temper when Dill turned into King A-hole…but now…now he was alone. Due to his injuries his powers were operating no where near his peak. He tried to comfort himself by the fact that he, that all of the team had been in situations like this before and always come out on top…well mostly.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Alexander "Cadmus" Baptiste on Dec 18, 2006, 8:48am

Briefly surprised by the change of scenery, Nadia decides to steel herself against repeating that reaction: this is a place where anything can happen. Examining the blank room, she dreads what's coming next.

You'll have to kill me…

She kneels. She prays.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 10:05am

«If you aren't in the first batch, don't complain. This is taking me a while to toss together, so you may or may not be on here for right now. Busy weekend, and now a sinus infection. I think it goes without saying…more to come.»

Osmosis Lass

Mephisto appears in your room, suddenly, while you are still praying. The stench of brimstone brings you out of your reverie, and when you turn, he says, "Don't let me stop you. Not that you would." He patiently waits for a few minutes, then one of the walls becomes a massive view screen. Geforce and his current buddies appear on the screen, but we (the readers) don't see what's going on. Imagine, if you will, a highly edited clip of all the worst things that are happening with Greg and the Marauders. You know, like how they edit reality TV to make the rivalries seem more intense.

"Runs with somewhat of a bad crowd these days, doesn't he? Well, I'm sure Greg knows what's best."

Mephisto smiles briefly. "Of course, you know, there's still hope for salvation with him. I'm convinced that one such as yourself could help your brother regain the path of righteousness. Sort of hard to do that locked up here, don't you think?"

Reflex

Mephisto appears in your room, takes one look at you, and shakes his head in a mockery of sympathy. "Oh, my dear boy, it's such a shame what has happened to you at the hands of Apocalypse. Of course, the damage is beyond the abilities of humans to repair, even those as skilled as Dr. McCoy. On the other hand…"

For a brief moment, you feel your bones knit and your body act as it once did. Then the moment passes.

"I am able to assist you, Mr. Camden. And the price is something you'll barely miss."

Dillan

Mephisto shows up with a tray of leftovers, the stuff you enjoyed the most, and conjures a chair and small table. "I apologize for ending the dinner early, but some of your friends are quite uncouth. If you are ready, allow me to show you something."

One of the walls turns into a screen, a screen showing Rose Heights, New York, and Current's sacrifice. "If I'm not mistaken, you led the New Mutants at this time, and have since second guessed your reactions in the situation, leading to Almond Quimby's demise. This has caused you to spiral into a form of insanity, paranoid schizophrenia I believe it is called. You believe you've been speaking to a future version of yourself, and believe that Cable is somehow trying to kill or at the very least stop you. I give you the chance of salvation. The opportunity to have Almond Quimby back, alive and well, which should help you regain your sanity and the respect of your team. The chance to undo what you see as your greatest mistake."

Marisol

When Mephisto appears, he seems somewhat confused. "My dear sweet child, what to offer you? I'm positive you're not even sure what to ask. Your life lacks direction, lacks purpose, and overall, lacks clarity. Sure, you may find moments of pleasure in your romantic engagement with Zephyr, but who is he really? A horseman of Apocalypse until a few weeks ago, if I'm mistaken. A creation of Apocalypse. Probably even more unsure of himself than you."

He paces for a moment. "You desire what many desire…a clarity of purpose, self-confidence. This is within my power to grant. If you want to see the real you, the you that you could become, the massive promise inside you, I can show you that. That and more."

Heatwave

Mephisto appears in your room. "Strangely silent today, my tempestuous young friend. Perhaps you already realize the conversation we are to have."

One wall changes to a screen, showing Jubilee, fretting about where Lex is. "The young lady is pregnant with your child, and it is very difficult to support her from your present location. With all of the enemies the X-Men have, vengeful enemies, do you imagine her to be safe on the grounds of the ruined mansion, with you here in my realm? I assure you, she is not. Jubilation has been the target of the Mandarin, the Brood, the Reavers. None of them have a desire to let adversaries live. I'm sure the situation would be drastically improved if you were able to help her, unfortunately, you're stuck here for the nonce."

Mephisto looks slightly sad, then acts as if struck by an idea. "But wait! You could leave any time. Any time you desired to pay the price…your soul upon your death."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 18, 2006, 10:25am

You know, Apocalypse was a whiz at a lot of things, but I never really saw him mess with magic. I used to wonder why that was, but now it makes perfect sense.

Magic is annoying.

I don't know where I am, don't know how I got here, just know that pointy-eared freak Mephisto is the one who's responsible. Not 100% sure what he's got in mind, either; he said something before we left, but he talked in Lame-O villain speech - which you'd think I'd be fluent in from Pooky - so it's hard to say.

But, anyway, unless his plan is to bore me to death - and he was doing a good job at that before he even dumped me here - he's probably got something in mind. So I sit. So I wait.

[Sinus infections suck. Probably be getting my annual one any day now.]


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Curt "Reflex" Camden on Dec 18, 2006, 10:54am

"Spare me the monologue…I'm not making any deals with you" Reflex sounds much more confident than he actually is. For that brief moment he was whole….he hadn't felt that good in some time. Mephisto's mistake was only giving him a brief "taste" of it. Would he have been as confident if Mephisto had left him whole…then asked for a deal? He wasn't so sure he would have been….

«I had a sinus infection once…and it sucked royally. Hope you get better soon»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Alexander "Cadmus" Baptiste on Dec 18, 2006, 11:03am

Had she not already been on her knees, she would have fallen to them in short order. Her eyes were glued to the screen. It had seemed like a million years had passed since she last saw her brother. She once thought about him all the time… but since The Calamity she forced herself to stop. Thinking about him forced her to own up to the possibility that he didn't survive. Well… if what Mephisto was showing her was true, then he had definitely survived. But as a result of some of the things on the screen, relief wasn't exactly what she was feeling. More along the lines of… disappointment.

"Oh Gregory, you fool, what have you gotten yourself into…"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 11:03am

Zephyr

When Mephisto makes his appearance, he begins to pace and consider for a moment before speaking. "What are you, anyway? I'm not even sure your soul has any value to me. It's really nowhere near as developed as the rest of your group here. Initially, I was going to offer a trade for you: that you and Marisol could go free, in exchange for your soul later, but I'm afraid that's a very one sided bargain in your favor. However, your soul, despite its overall weakness, intrigues me in some small fashion. Therefore, I will make you another offer. I will not reveal the bleakness of your past activities to your teammates, in exchange for your soul after you die. Consider."

One of the walls becomes a screen that's blocked to the viewer. The panel just shows Zephyr and Mephisto looking towards it, Mephisto has a large and complicated remote in his hand.

"Would you like them to see this?"

"How about that?"

"Oh, I'm sure Marisol would get a kick out of this one."

Sephula

Mephisto appears, holding something behind his back. "Greetings, Sephula. I'm afraid I have to ask you a brief question before we proceed."

His hand emerges, holding a statue of Apocalypse. "What does this man mean to you?"

He waves off any explanation. "Oh, I know you can give a surface reason, a brief summation of the activities of two weeks and some change previous, but what does he REALLY mean to you? There's much more to the story than you know."

The statue disappears. "But I have to mention, not much more to the story than I know. I could tell you about the voice that haunts you, what it means, what it is. Why your feelings about Apocalypse are conflicted and erratic. It all makes perfect sense, when you know the full story. And don't we all want life to make sense?"

Voltage

Mephisto appears, smiling fiendishly. "You know, boy, just because you don't believe in me, doesn't mean I don't believe in you." He grins widely.

"You don't believe in the typical hierarchy, maybe this is all smoke and mirrors. You don't believe in souls, not in any tangible way. And because of that, really, what do you have to lose? A free ticket out of here in exchange for essentially nothing, right? Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch? Time to put your belief, or lack thereof, to the test."

Pester

Suddenly, the room you are in becomes a lavish penthouse suite, with Mephisto standing behind a bar. "Hell comes in many shapes and sizes, dear boy. I believe it was the existential philosopher Jean Paul Sartre who said the hell was other people. In some ways, I suppose, you prove him right. Isn't it embarrassing when you get a Britney Spears song that you overheard during a television commercial stuck in your head and the whole house has to here it? What of your night terrors? No one wants to share a room with you now, do you think any woman will want to share your bed? More than once, that is."

He moves towards you with a mixed drink. "I can help you realize finer control, the ability to isolate yourself from others so that you don't feel like such a…social pariah. The terms are relatively simple…just the soul, after death."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 18, 2006, 11:23am

Marisol stared at Mephisto for a while, unsure of what to say. It was amazing how innocuous the demon managed to look, despite his monsterous looks. He was all bright smiles and slick talk, yet his eyes seemed to be mocking her…

She hated it. She hated how perfectly he seemed to be able to look straight through her, and understand her better than she did herself. Everything he said cut painfully into her being. She wanted so many things, but she'd murder for… just feeling well about herself. Confidence…

She noticed that she was staring at the ground now.

This felt wrong. Not just selling her soul, but GIVING IN. Letting the demon play with her, and letting him win. She was certain the others would stand firm, and she couldn't bear the thought of being the only one to break. Maybe… maybe one day, she'd… manage it on her own, to grow beyond herself.
Perhaps. But not like this…

But then what would she do? She couldn't fight Mephisto - none of them could. They were the puppets here, and he was the puppeteer. He was God. It was maddening…

She sighed quietly.
"No," she said, not half as firmly as she would have liked.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 11:31am

Reflex

"Are you sure? Perhaps another free sample?"

Mephisto heals Reflex completely, then gestures, pushing him back into the wall with great force. The field operates, and Reflex feels the ability to move like he once did. After three steps, the feeling fades, and he is back to being crippled.

"I mean, it's up to you if you want to continue in such a fashion."

Mephisto begins to turn away.

Osmosis Lass

"It is tragic, isn't it? However, I'm quite sure he could be convinced of the error of his ways. He sent you away because he knew you were the only one that could talk sense into him…just as he talked sense into you. He prevented you from a rampage across New York, wouldn't you like to prevent him from a much more nebulous rampage? You can, you know."

Marisol

"Oh, my dear, if you only realized the things you could be if you allowed yourself to. There's so much untapped potential going to waste there. We both know it. So I ask you: are you sure?"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 18, 2006, 11:34am

"What could I be?" wondered Marisol, "All I want is… to stop being unhappy, and I can manage that without you. I'm certain."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 18, 2006, 11:35am

Damn, does this guy have tiny cameras all over the place or something?

These are things I’d hoped would never come to my face again, things I didn’t want to share with any of them. I’ve never lied about where I came from or what I am…but I’ve never told the whole truth, either. The truth about there being more experiments than just me and Poseidon. The truth about what happened to them. The truth about what we had to do to prove we were ‘worthy’ of being alive.

I did a few things I’m not particularly proud of. They were long ago, and I thought I’d gotten over them, but as I feel my body tremble and my hands shake, it becomes obvious I haven’t.

What would they think if they knew? What would Marisol think? She told me secrets, trusted me, but I haven’t returned the favor, not completely. It’s almost like, deep down, I wanted to pretend it didn’t happen.

It could’ve never happened. They’d never have to know…

No. Calm down. Calm down and think.

I don’t know what Marisol would say if she were here right now, but I do know she didn’t trust this guy in the least. She’d be telling me to tell him to screw off…well, she probably wouldn’t use those exact words, but that’d be the gist of it. I have problems, yeah, but I also have someone who I can talk to about those problems. Better or worse, they all have a right to know. They’ve let me on the team, they’ve let themselves trust me enough to call me a New Mutant. They should know. She should know.

Besides, spending an eternity working for a jackass like Mephisto is probably worse than anything they could do to me if they found out.

I straighten out my collar and stand up, turning towards him. “You know, I’ve got to say, I’m really disappointed in this whole act.” Trying to sound a lot cockier than I feel; if this pisses him off even a little bit, I can die a happy man. “I mean, I thought you’d offer me something, you know…good. Like a Porsche or an all-expense paid trip to Atlantis or the Millennium Falcon or something. But, I mean, this isn’t even an offer, this is blackmail. That’s the best you can come up with?” I sigh, stepping back. “And while I’m thinking about it, I’ve got a question: Do you ever catch any flak about wearing a skirt like that? Have any problems with stray winds?”


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 11:42am

«Marisol is officially past the temptation stage, and Mephisto leaves.»

Zephyr

"Very well then, I'll go ahead and send the entire sequence of clips to all of them, right now, and let them judge you on your own."

His finger hovers above a button on a remote.

"As for offering you something good…if there's one thing the Bible got right, it's that you don't toss pearls before swine."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 18, 2006, 11:51am

I don't have any doubt he'll do it, either, and for a second I consider giving in; my smile downgrades to a smirk, shoulders sag, breath quickens…but, no. I think…no, I'm sure that, wherever Marisol's right now, she's resisting this. I've talked to her, I've seen her, she's stronger than the team thinks, than he thinks, than even she thinks, and she wouldn't give in to this crap. Maybe I'm naive for believing that, but, still, it's what I believe.

And if she won't give in, I won't, either. "Bite me."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 12:01pm

Zephyr

Mephisto presses the button on the remote. And nothing happens.

"I really do need to get this thing looked at."

He tosses the remote aside, and it disappears.

"The truth of the matter, Zephyr, is that all you see here is a function of your subconscious. These are things you personally are considering, weighing in your head. While I could show it to the other members of your group, the effect would not be the same as showing it to you personally. Context and situations would be confused, and your rampant daydreams of Pamela Anderson would become annoyingly interspersed. The editing work necessary to make it presentable would be much more than your minor soul McNugget is worth to me, in the end. However, rest assured that I will make well on my word. They will know, and I will ensure that they know. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of…whatever you are? I know."

Mephisto leaves, and the temptation round is over for Zephyr too.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Protoman on Dec 18, 2006, 12:02pm

I can't let her get hurt…but I can't just give up, can I?

Lex looks up at Mephisto. "Jubilee can handle herself." He doesn't seem as certain as he would have liked.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 12:07pm

Heatwave

"Are you sure?" Mephisto mimics a look of concern. "After all, a group of minorly powered adolescents managed to kill her in a simulation by dropping a roof on her, of all things. In the current world order, it's not as if Wolverine would be able to drop what he's doing to come to her aid, or the other X-Men for that matter. The X-Men have many enemies…enemies who thrive on the chaotic situation the world finds itself in."

He considers for a moment.

"However, with all this in mind, perhaps you alone are not well-equipped enough to save Jubilee. Perhaps you feel she needs additional protection. I can offer that. I have abilities that allow me to influence events on your sphere, enough that I can ensure that she remains hidden from those who would do her harm. Are you familiar with a man named Donald Pierce?" Footage of the Reavers destroying Muir Island, killing members of Freedom Force and Morlocks, nearly killing Banshee, appears on the screen. "Donald Pierce was denied the one thing he truly wanted by Jubilee freeing Wolverine from his imprisonment. I am sure that if he was aware of her current condition, he would waste no time in dispatching her. Men like Donald Pierce find a way, Lex."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 18, 2006, 12:10pm

Bastard. Bet he's a Beatles fan.

I shrug and look around; figured that after that this whole thing would sort of…disappear or somesuch. Doesn't look like that's happening, so I make the most out of the situation and start tinkering with the TV, wondering if there's anything good on.

I also put the nice echo effect around here to good use. "Well I remember…I remember, don't worry worry, worry…How could I forget, it's the first time…the last time, we ever met met, met… But I know the reason why you keep me silenced up…you just don't see me…Cause the hurt doesn't show, but the pain still rolls, the dangers for you and me! DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO! I can feel it calling in the air, tonight…"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Protoman on Dec 18, 2006, 12:13pm

Lex is silent for a few minutes, thinking about what Mephisto has said.

I can't just give him my soul, but if he can keep her safe. It's my responsibility to make sure she doesn't get hurt…

"You can do that? You can keep her safe?"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 12:23pm

Heatwave

"I can keep her protected. Through her pregnancy, and then her and the baby until the baby is aged…let's say two years. That's nearly three years of absolute protection for Jubilation and your unborn child. Not only from the enemies of the X-Men, but from such things as childbirth, random accidents…of course, you cannot inform her of this, or you will be in violation of your end of the bargain. I can influence events in the mortal sphere, but if you inform her of her limited invulnerability and she chooses to use it to slap Magneto, well, let's just say that won't end well. Do we have a deal?"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Protoman on Dec 18, 2006, 12:25pm

Lex looks down at the floor.

"Yes."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 12:34pm

Heatwave
"Excellent! It is a pleasure doing business with you, of course."

A document appears, written on an old scroll, looking very much like a bad movie prop, and a quill. "Now, if you prefer, I could give you the Office Max style document to sign, but I do so prefer a certain ceremony."

The basics of the document: Lex is sent back to Earth immediately, but unable to discuss anything regarding Mephisto's realm. Mephisto will protect Jubilation Lee and the unborn child for a period from now until the baby is two years of age, with the exception of times when Lee and/or the baby does something egregiously dangerous, such as choosing (under her own free will) to seek out a confrontation with an enemy who seeks to do her bodily harm. There is also a confidentiality clause, that Lex cannot discuss the existence of the agreement or the terms of the agreement with anyone. If this happens, he forfeits his end of the bargain, but Mephisto still retains rights to the soul. There is also a method of addressing grievances, in which case the Sorceror Supreme of the Earth realm is tasked with representing Lex and will receive a copy of the document. After Lex dies a natural death, which Mephisto can do nothing directly to hasten, his soul will return to Mephisto's realm.

"Heart's Blood is required for the signature. Don't worry…it won't kill you."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Protoman on Dec 18, 2006, 12:37pm

Lex is about to sign the paper then stops.

"Wait, what about Wreck?"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 12:41pm

Heatwave

"Oh, Jason? You wish his return to the earthly coil? Very well."

Mephisto gestures, and the words, "Jason (Wreck) will be returned to the earthly coil within three business days," are added to his section of the bargain.

"I'm nothing if not accomodating. Oh, and…"

The words "Business days are defined as Monday through Friday, excepting federal holidays of the United States of America" appear as fine print at the bottom of the document.

"Also, fear not. Once you sign, the document ceases to be malleable."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Protoman on Dec 18, 2006, 12:45pm

Lex looks at the paper, reading and rereading it.

"Ok, I'll sign it."

He picks up the quill, pricks his finger then hesitates. After a minute, he signs it.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 18, 2006, 12:46pm

[ <_<

…DUN DUN DUN!!!]


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 12:46pm

«Alright, so Heatwave goes into the "on hold" status. For the record, the screen in Zephyr's room can only show the memories of Zephyr…and only the "bad" ones of those. You can change the channel from one to another, but that's all it will show.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 18, 2006, 12:57pm

That time I chipped my tooth in the training room…that time I tried to talk those weird Cuckoo girls and got totally dissed…that time Apocalypse told me about the birds and the bees…ugh.

"Nothing good on." I form the wind around my hand like miniature tornado, small and powerful, and drive it through the screen. Goes right through, sparks flying all over the place. Felt good.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Protoman on Dec 18, 2006, 1:01pm

«Just out of curiousity, how long am I on hold?»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 1:03pm

«There's a side event going via Private Messages, and at a certain level of participation, things will move forward. So it depends on how quickly people move through this. It doesn't need to be everyone, though. We'll see.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Protoman on Dec 18, 2006, 1:03pm

«Ok.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Michael "Chi" Placio on Dec 18, 2006, 1:12pm

«finally got to read through the topic all the way through. Really good stuff here!»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Alexander "Cadmus" Baptiste on Dec 18, 2006, 1:13pm

Something about his smugness snaps her out of it. She gets up off of her knees. She isn't nearly tall enough to stare at him eye to eye as she would like to but she could always imagine that she did later on when she had flashbacks of this. Nadia never really took to others trying to impose their authority on her… she wasn't about to start now.

"Omniscient or not, you really ought not to speak on thinks you don't understand. Don't you tell me why he sent me away. I can't imagine what led Greg to… that. But the reason he sent me away was keep me safe. Both from more mundane dangers, and I'd imagine, things like you. Handing over my soul to you for the rest of eternity seems to me as antithetical to the reason he left me behind in the first place.

Greg's in a dark place. A place I would like to help him out of. But making a deal with you is not what he would want. And it's not what I want. My answer, demon, is no."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 1:19pm

Osmosis Lass

"Well now, I admire your spunk. However, dear Nadia, and I had hoped to avoid this, but I don't think our friend Greg would necessarily resist the selling of one's soul. I'd wager that there's quite a bit about your brother you don't know."

Now the screen shows the end part of the agreement between Sinister and Greg.

"Sort of goes a little quickly there, doesn't it? I do so wish I had gotten to him first…perhaps a candy bar would have sufficed. Are you absolutely positive that he does not need your assistance right now, before things get worse? I can arrange it, of course. Final offer."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Michael "Chi" Placio on Dec 18, 2006, 1:21pm

«For some reason, I keep getting this image in my head of Jubilee as the sleepwalking guy from Gyromite.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Alexander "Cadmus" Baptiste on Dec 18, 2006, 1:34pm

"Fine. I'm in. But my price is my sister. She does not belong to you, regardless of what claim you say you have over me. Go near Nadia… disturb a hair on her body… we're done. We will be done… and you will be crushed into a fucking singularity. She doesn't need those memories back either. Are we clear?"

"Pick better clips Mephisto. All that this does is further convince me that I'm right. Whatever else Greg bartered for, my safety was the sticking point. Subjecting myself to this place until time stops makes all of that pointless. You can't sway me. I repeat, my answer is no."

She said this with more confidence than she said anything since she first arrived at the mansion with. But regardless of what she was saying, all she was thinking about was What memories?


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 1:37pm

Osmosis Lass

"Very well. I hope you enjoy your accomodations."

Mephisto disappears, and the room becomes a blank cell once more. Mephisto thinks he probably should have reread the fanfiction in question before he made his offer, but that's neither here nor there.

«And…Osmosis Lass is also on hold.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Curt "Reflex" Camden on Dec 18, 2006, 1:44pm

"OK, OK. But can you make me more powerful?"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Alexander "Cadmus" Baptiste on Dec 18, 2006, 1:48pm

Breathing out a sigh of relief, Nadia sits down on the floor in the middle of the room.

"You better be able to handle yourself Greg, because I just may be here for the rest of my natural life… but at least I get to go elsewhere afterwards. I wonder if God gives you bonus points for directly resisting demons. That's gotta be worth something."

Irreverent quips did little to lighten her mood. She wondered if everybody else held out but her thoughts always strayed back to the question of What memories?


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 1:59pm

Reflex

"Of course I can make you more powerful. That's pretty much the most popular request I get."

Mephisto creates a contract out of thin air, old parchment in a long scroll.

The basics: Reflex is healed of his injuries by Mephisto, and is made more powerful. At the time of his eventual demise, his soul goes to Mephisto. There is a confidentiality clause: if Curt discusses the deal with anyone, he forfeits his end of the bargain. Grievances are to be addressed through the Sorceror Supreme of the Earth realm, who will receive a copy of the contract.

A quill appears.

"You'll pardon me for a touch of theatrical excess, but the rules are quite clear that you must sign in blood."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Curt "Reflex" Camden on Dec 18, 2006, 2:03pm

"Would I be powerful enough to say…..kick your ass? If not…then you might as well kiss mine now. NO DEAL. So get on with torturing me or whatever the hell it is you do."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 2:08pm

Reflex

Mephisto laughs. "Ah, what excellent negotiating techniques. Very well. We'll see how you feel after a few months of no medical attention."

He disappears, and the contract with him.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Curt "Reflex" Camden on Dec 18, 2006, 2:10pm

Reflex slumps. He's in a great deal of pain. It's probably more mental than physical. He didn't let on how much he wanted to say yes. But he had already made one deal with another devil…he wasn't about to repeat that mistake.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 2:13pm

Reflex

Sitting in the room, suddenly Curt realizes that the contract didn't disappear. It and the quill are just sort of sitting there in the corner, looking inoccuous. Oh, for the record? It's impervious to harm.

«Unless something more happens, Curt is also waiting. But the contract's there. Just staring you in the face.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Damien Lupe on Dec 18, 2006, 2:15pm

"Apocalypse…"

Sephula was tempted and worried. Mephisto had offered him exactly what he wanted… what heralded the coming of Apocalypse… Mepshisto offered him revelations. And then he heard the voice.

You wish for answers? You will not possess this mind long enough to enjoy them!

Then Sephula realised that the voice would not have been hounding him for so long if it didn't need him, and didn't need something of him. He could get his revelations without Mephisto's help.

"No deal Mephisto. I don't need you for that."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Curt "Reflex" Camden on Dec 18, 2006, 2:15pm

Curt picks up the paper. Reads it intently for a few minutes…….

then starts folding it into a paper airplane…


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Damien Lupe on Dec 18, 2006, 2:16pm

"… Would you be willing to consider a renegotiation, Mephisto?"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 2:19pm

Sephula

"Of course. Merely inform me of what you desire, and I'll see what I can do. Within the limits of what your soul would be worth, that is. No Miss America wishes, and immortality is straight out."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Damien Lupe on Dec 18, 2006, 2:25pm

The entire time since Sephula declined Mephisto's offer, the voice had been talking to him after Sephula had applied a little… pressure to it.

"Okay, first off, I would make a kickass Miss America. Secondly, I'm beginning to get a few ideas of what I am… nowhere near understanding them, and I have a feeling that I may never know anywhere near the whole story… and as much as I would like to, it's not worth my eternal soul. But it is giving me a clue as to what my soul might be worth. However… what about you giving everyone here a free ticket out, including Wreck. You promise to leave them - all of them - and me untouched, giving as a completely clear path out and never placing threat before us again. Then take my soul once I come to my eternal rest."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Damien Lupe on Dec 18, 2006, 2:28pm

"And it's just occurred to me that you may have been talking about a relationship with a Miss America… which I so could do too. Just so you know."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 2:32pm

Sephula

"Very well."

Mephisto gestures, and a document appears. Old style scroll, and a quill.

The basics of the contract: The following persons will leave Mephisto's realm within three business days, after which Mephisto will agree to not tender new agreements or otherwise waylay said people. Agreements made previous to said persons leaving the realm of Mephisto will be enforced. Individuals named: Sepula ("Apath"), Nadia ("Osmosis Lass"), Lex ("Heatwave"), Rogue, Curt ("Reflex"), Sid ("Voltage"), Zephyr, Marisol ("Solidity"), Dillan Drummond ("Whatever the Hell He Calls Himself"), and Pester. Their full names are listed, I'm just being brief for brevity's sake. Additionally, the soul of Jason ("Wreck") will be reincarnated into Earth's realm. In return, Sephula agrees that his soul, upon his next physical death, will go to the realm/possession of Mephisto.

"Is it to your liking? Your blood will be your bond."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Michael "Chi" Placio on Dec 18, 2006, 2:32pm

«I think he was more referring to Miss America speeches where people say things like, "All I want is world peace."

Or to quote Steve Martin, "If I had one wish that I could wish this holiday season, it would be that all the children to join hands and sing together in the spirit of harmony and peace.

If I had two wishes I could make this holiday season, the first would be for all the children of the world to join hands and sing in the spirit of harmony and peace. And the second would be for 30 million dollars a month to be given to me, tax-free in a Swiss bank account.

You know, if I had three wishes I could make this holiday season, the first, of course, would be for all the children of the world to get together and sing, the second would be for the 30 million dollars every month to me, and the third would be for encompassing power over every living being in the entire universe.

And if I had four wishes that I could make this holiday season, the first would be the crap about the kids definitely, the second would be for the 30 million, the third would be for all the power, and the fourth would be to set aside one month each year to have an extended 31-day orgasm, to be brought out slowly by Rosanna Arquette and that model Paulina-somebody, I can't think of her name. Of course my lovely wife can come too and she's behind me one hundred percent here, I guarantee it.

Wait a minute, maybe the sex thing should be the first wish, so if I made that the first wish, because it could all go boom tomorrow, then what do you got, y'know? No, no, the kids, the kids singing would be great, that would be nice. But wait a minute, who am I kidding? They're not going to be able to get all those kids together. I mean, the logistics of the thing is impossible, more trouble than it's worth!

So — we reorganize! Here we go. First, the sex thing. We go with that. Second, the money. No, we got with the power second, then the money. And then the kids.

Oh wait, oh jeez, I forgot about revenge against my enemies! Okay, I need revenge against all my enemies, they should die like pigs in hell! That would be my fourth wish. And, of course, my fifth wish would be for all the children of the world to join hands and sing together in the spirit of harmony and peace. Thank you everybody and Merry Christmas." »


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Damien Lupe on Dec 18, 2006, 2:36pm

«Crap! I was hoping for that loophole - but I think Hav saw that coming and blocked it.

And to Bm… funny speech, funny man. But he ruins dreams. Go here and see http://chugworth.com/comic.php?id=360


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Damien Lupe on Dec 18, 2006, 2:40pm

Sephula looks over the contract, and sees that it doesn't have any problems that he can spot. He thinks. And has an idea.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 2:47pm

Sephula

"Is it to your liking?"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Damien Lupe on Dec 18, 2006, 2:49pm

«I need you to answer the PM first.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Damien Lupe on Dec 18, 2006, 2:56pm

Sephula hesitates, looking up at Mephisto, back down at the contract, and then up at Mephisto again.

"Yes."

He cut himself, and signed the contract with the quill.

Stupid boy.

"How long are you going to keep us here?"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 2:59pm

Sephula

"Not more than three business days. However, time is somewhat flexible within the outer realms…"

The contract rolls up, and it and Mephisto vanish, with the room only filled with the sound of his laughter.

«Time stop for Sephula too.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Damien Lupe on Dec 18, 2006, 3:01pm

«Just before the time stop.»

What the hell is that supposed to mean? Crap. What've I done? Buyer's remorse already… or in my case, seller's remorse.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 3:06pm

«Quick count:

Denied the deal:
Reflex
Marisol
Zephyr
Osmosis Lass

Took it:
Heatwave
Sephula

Still out there:
Pester
Voltage
Dillan»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Damien Lupe on Dec 18, 2006, 3:09pm

«Going off for a while - I'll check back in about an hour and a half.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Pester/Freaktada on Dec 18, 2006, 3:19pm

«Pardon my horrifying lateness.»

Pester sits and listens politely to Mephisto's deal. He considers faking a sneeze, just to see what Mephisto would say, but he wisely denies the impulse.

"So just to clarify, your big offer is to refine an already useless power? I mean no offense, it would be a great idea if I were "TurnIntoPuddingMan," or "ImplodeUponOrgasmMan," but this really doesn't do much for me. Yeah, it's a little annoying, but it has it's perks. For one thing, I don't have to have a roommate. For another, it doesn't really bother me, just everybody else. And I'm pretty sure it's the only thing keeping those psychics out of my head. Sorry pal, but hey, I'll look you up if I ever run for office."

Pester denies the offer. Not because he's noble or anything, he just doesn't go for it.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Curt "Reflex" Camden on Dec 18, 2006, 3:19pm

Bored, Reflex unfolds the contract then looks at it again.

"Hey Mephisto!" He yells.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 3:23pm

Pester

Mephisto chuckles slightly. "I see. There's something you would desire more."

He considers for a second. "Ever stop to think that your power is, by far, the least useful on your team? Even Jubilee has a better power. That's, frankly, pathetic. Want to be able to expand into more psychic power? Become something more than a laughing stock? I can do that too."

Reflex

A voice says, "We're sorry, but Mephisto isn't available right now. Please hold for the next available representative."

Then a horrible muzak version of "The Girl From Ipanema" blares loudly through the room, occasionally interrupted by "To speed response time, please sign where indicated."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Pester/Freaktada on Dec 18, 2006, 3:29pm

"I've seen all the movies. Moron makes a deal with Satan, Satan screws him, moron is happy for awhile then sees he's been screwed, then finds out the meaning of Christmas. And personally, I like to think I'm not a moron."

Pester sits contemplating. It couldn't hurt to just… I dunno… entertain the thought… right?

"So assuming I was a moron, what would you offer?"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Pester/Freaktada on Dec 18, 2006, 3:34pm

«Just out of curiosity, what would you do if Pester would only sell his soul if Mephisto took the souls of everyone else on the team? Because that would be hilarious»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Curt "Reflex" Camden on Dec 18, 2006, 3:38pm

"Well since you're so busy…..I was just gonna tell you I've decided to use the contract. Watch!"

With that, Curt takes the contract and wipes his ass then laughs uncontrollably.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 3:38pm

Pester

"Really, that's partially up to you. And I have to say that I have been rather unfairly represented in said movies. I have no interest in anyone ever learning the true meaning of Christmas. Not even I am that cruel. Anyway, the ball is in your court. What would you want? Telepathic powers to rival Xavier's? Brute strength? Something else? Most people go power, money, or chicks, and for my money power is by far the best deal of the three. Money and chicks tend to be much more…short term wishes. As for how much power and of what type…you tell me what you want, I'll tell you what I can do."

«As for the second option, Mephisto would be unable to make that deal.»

Reflex

Picture the roughest toilet paper you've ever encountered in some crappy truck stop that you stopped at because you absolutely needed to take a dump. Now magnify that by about a thousand. It actually rips your anus, and blood begins to drip onto the contract…


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Curt "Reflex" Camden on Dec 18, 2006, 3:42pm

«I didn't mean that I put it inside my pants…somehow I knew you'd do something like that lol»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Marisol "Solidity" Morales on Dec 18, 2006, 3:43pm

«Eeeeeeeeeeeeew.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Alexander "Cadmus" Baptiste on Dec 18, 2006, 3:45pm

«If Reflex ends up losing his soul due to anal rippage, it will be the New Mutant's most awesome moment yet.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Pester/Freaktada on Dec 18, 2006, 3:46pm

«I'd love to make Pester a selfish dick and have him sell his soul for something short sighted like better powers, but I also don't want him to be an idiot. Cursed dilemma.»

"You know what, I'm done entertaining this. The simple fact of the matter is that you wouldn't be offering me something if you weren't getting the better deal. Whatever you can offer me, my soul and my well being after death is far more important. And honestly, you remind me of every used car salesman I've ever met. No dice."

Pester refuses the deal.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Michael "Chi" Placio on Dec 18, 2006, 3:48pm

«LOL! There has to be some kind of rule against that kind of thing. He didn't exactly enter into that contract willingly »


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 3:49pm

«Yeah, I was mostly being silly there. Doesn't count as a signature.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Michael "Chi" Placio on Dec 18, 2006, 3:53pm

«That would have been hilarious though. Even funnier when Heat drives over to your house and beats the tar out of you. I am fortunate that he does… not….know….my address. Shit.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Curt "Reflex" Camden on Dec 18, 2006, 4:05pm

«As tempting as that sounds…I couldn't do that. He just gave err lent me a gold mine in books.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Dillon "Time-Hopper" Drummond on Dec 18, 2006, 4:25pm

"I-I-I——I dunno what to say." whimpered Dillan as the deal was explained to him. Had Almond's death really driven him insane? No, that couldn't be it. He really did travel into the future and Cable did threaten him…at least he believed so.

"Prove to me that I'm really insane!" he shouted.

« Heh, just a random tidbit. When I was taking my permit test the other day, the Rolling Stones Time is on my side was playing over the speaker system. Still get a chuckle out of that »


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Curt "Reflex" Camden on Dec 18, 2006, 4:47pm

«Everytime I hear that song I think of John Goodman singing it in Fallen»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Protoman on Dec 18, 2006, 5:45pm

«Wow, you guys so should have accepted. Lex is back on Earth and you guys are still stuck in empty rooms. But Lex is going to lose his soul….CURSES!!!»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Damien Lupe on Dec 18, 2006, 5:49pm

«Well… if my deal's honoured without Mephisto being a git and doing something else, then everyone should get back to earth.»


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Gerald Stryker on Dec 18, 2006, 7:06pm

«Ah, but Lex is already back, while the rest of you have three business days of hell.»

Dillan

"Proof?!? You claim to have visited yourself in the far future and returned, yet said future self told you you could never reveal it. Meanwhile, you believe Cable has a vendetta against you for no readily apparent reason, since he has mucked up the timestream far more than you could ever hope to, meanwhile, a random ally of yours that was never mentioned or thought of until she conveniently was no longer able to help you appears. Are you familiar with the definition of paranoid schizophrenia? Your fantasy world seems very real to you, I'm sure."

Mephisto gestures, and a psychological text appears. "I'm afraid it's somewhat dry, but you can browse the definition at your leisure."


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 18, 2006, 7:37pm

"Bored…bored…bored…bored…bored."

Just to be clear, I am utterly bored.

Got to say, my first day on the team is going a lot differently than I thought it would. Figured I'd be pulling out some Buffy the Vampire Slayer antics right about now, not sitting around idle…wherever this is. Don't think this is official hell. Hell is dark, yeah, but this is a lot cooler than I thought it would be; not that I'm complaining on that front.

Wonder how Marisol's doing. Wonder if he offered her anything good. I'm sure she denied it, but still…can't help be curious. What does Marisol want? Really want? It was kind of weird, but I got the impression that she wasn't really interested in much of anything. At least nothing I could buy or find. Ought to be a real pain when Christmas comes around.

What the hell was up with DeeDee, anyway? Being a major jerk, that one was. Got to make a note to slap some sense into him when this is all over; don't mind him making cracks my way, but Marisol meant well and he just threw it back in her face. Ass.

Wonder if that little kids okay; she had moxie, I like that. Got to get to know the others better; I'm happy hanging with Marisol, but that doesn't mean I can't branch out a little. Should know my team.

What was that little girl's name, anyway? Nevia? Something that started with an 'N'.

I have to pee.


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Dec 18, 2006, 7:57pm

[Hm…it just occured to me to ask, but what happened to Rogue? I assume she got the usual 'I'll let you touch people without killing them' deal?]


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Sid "Voltage" Lime on Dec 18, 2006, 8:20pm

Sid stares back at the demon, while the Stone's Sympathy For The Devil blares on his headphones. After analyzing the situation, Volt's iPod thought it would be humourous to play the tune during this moment. That little runt had always loved to rub songs in his face at the wrong time.

"Souls, huh? That's your racket?," Sid spoke towards Mephisto. "Is that like the underworld's crack or something? Do you have a bunch of demon soul fiends who line up on the corner every Friday while your dealers named Lil' Mikey and Snotty Boogz hustle them for chump change?"

He leaned back in his chair, taking out a cigarette, chewing on it lazily. "Besides, I'm suprised you couldn't tell yet. I thought you could sense souls or something, since your such a whore for them. If you wave your hands over me or do any voodo bullshit, you can tell I haven't got any soul to give you."

He placed his feet on the table.

"Got a light?"


Re: New Mutants 110 - Handbasket Express
Post by Dillon "Time-Hopper" Drummond on Dec 18, 2006, 9:31pm

Heh. Dillan wasn't an idiot, but he would've kicked himself if he could've for being so foolish. He had only now begun to compeltely comprehend the situation he was in. Browsing through the psych text book made everything so clear.

"You're me!" he shouted, poiting a finger directly at Mephisto. "It all makes sense now, it really does. The trip to "hell," and the vague offers you're making us. You're just a future version of me playing a part in this gigantic illusion, probably so Cable can't harass you about changing the time stream."

Dillan looks down at the contract.

"Things must be pretty bad in your time for you to have resorted to something this drastic, but it's what needs to be done fine. I'll agree to your deal under the simple condition that when Almond comes back, he doesn't have anymore of that rapid aged crap, oh and I want a katana like future Hiro."


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