15424/The Silent: Ashes to Ashes

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The Silent: Ashes to Ashes
Date of Scene: 04 August 2023
Location: Abdoned hamlet - Somewhere in the deep backwoods of Westchester, New York State
Synopsis: A traumatic event of the past was witnessed, handled and resolved. The X-men and the Devil saved the living from ongoing Trauma and set right a tragic wrong
Cast of Characters: Sinister, Lucifer, Phoenix, Wolverine

Sinister has posed:
New York State is vast -- there are larger states, but of course, the concentration of civilizations tend to be connected by roads and vast woodlands. New England has the same kind of terrain, hamlets grew up in centuries past, but not all of them survived. America, after all, is built in a lot of places, on old bones, sweat, love and loss. The american dream can be hard, used to be a lot harder.

Whether it be because a text message or courier'd letter got sent, or psychic investigation took place, the origin of the recent ghostly amalgum phenomenon, appears to have from the North East, where the woods get deeper toward New Hampshire and Vermont. There are stretches of forest there that at least one X-man woodsman could probably lose himself comfortably for days in.

In a parking lot by the nearest /listed/ road, a pitstop for the weary traveller, Nathaniel Essex checks his phone for the signal he pre-programmed. "I just hope that the priest I spoke to will actually show up. This place isn't all that far, but it's much easier to get there..." he points upward "...than overland. But he did seem to be honest. Getting the records for this place was problematic, apparently, it ONLY existed in church records, they'd not surveyed it at the time when it vanished. Come on..." Only a fool would break into that car.

And so one of the travellers to the thither and yon takes to the skies.

For others, following logging paths and deer trails leads past a couple of old ruins, a few barns and partial stone cottages that fell into disrepair. A few cabins used by hikers also, but the feeling?

Well, if any research WAS done, there were a few records of deaths in the 17th and 18th centuries, but they were not what they are now and as noted, generally were kept in the church registers. Some archived Local HIstorical societies, tell of settlements that vanished in the harsh winters of those times, when the Polar vortex dropped a big blanket of snow upon the ground and alberta clippers and colorado lows froze the land beneath...
Lucifer has posed:
"You know, I would make a joke here about how you're trusting preachers... but at this point in time I am not going to. Especially since we're trying to traverse shit that went down some few centuries ago.." Lucifer says this and then gets out of the car and watches as Essex takes to the skies. He's none too far behind, letting wings expand and flap twice before he's up in the air and aside Nathaniel. "So what are we really expecting the outcome of all this to be in the end?"
Phoenix has posed:
So much research and so little time. But of course Jean had other resources at her disposal, namely, cerebro. It allowed her to cut corners and get to the heart of the problem - specifically the source of those ghostly apparitions which were still presumably out there somewhere.

She had managed to narrow down their location a little, but with such short notice she was unable to accrue a team of Xmen to join her investigation. Fortunately, she had bumped into Logan on her way out and had enlisted his aid, realizing that his experience with the great outdoors as well as all sorts of backroads in the Wildlands of New York would be of great help.

Maybe it would be her second time riding on his bike but this time is an urgent matter of business, and this time lives may be at stake. After giving him the coordinates of their destination, she waits patiently for him to find the place, knowing a good portion of it will likely require some off road travel as well.
Wolverine has posed:
Logan is actually trying to get things prepared for a few days away from everyone. He needs some time. Although there's a small text group ready on the phone. They would get updates as to where he was going, why, and everything like that. Then Logan runs into Jean, who enlists his skills. There's a begrudging acceptance.

"So, what do we do if Sinister turns? He won't be alone, there might be a literal fallen angel wit' him," Logan wants a contingency just in case. Yes, Sinister shared a metaphorical olive branch, but he gave it to Angelica to work on it -off- campus. It's a precaution in case the olive branch also served as a Trojan Horse.

He's not in the uniform, dressed in a worn milk chocolate brown bomber jacket, medium blue jeans and the worn light brown cowboy boots.

Thankfully, Logan knows where Jean talks about. She would need to act as a map to a navigator so Logan would know where to go. Kind of like a Motorcycle's answer to Siri.
Sinister has posed:
"My darling, I know that what you are could probably help this situation, but it might be entirely unpredictable in its outcome, ALSO because of what you are. Although I don't trust preachers, there's a few, particularly the hispanic order of Santiago that take this sort of thing more seriously. As to outcome?" Sinister sighs as he alters course a little, spotting the zigzag of headlights in the deeper woods on an intercept course to thier destination. There's a fleeting assessment, before he continues exactly as he was flying before. "My hope is that I get this religiosity out of my head and put to rest -- hopefully it will put an end to another of the Traumas that have spawned since Cerebro. I'm still unsure if there's an observable pattern or not. We have company." He gestures toward the ground and bee-lines to land on the beaten track in an intercept by their destination.

There's a nod to the X-men, a calculated observation of disposition, then he's turning attention to the dirt track they're on and a rather peculiar moon-like glow through the trees ahead. A casual eye might put that down to marshlights or will-o-the-wisps, but focusing? There's a village obscured by the trees, no more than a dozen houses, mostly made of wattle and daub, with a single stone on the far side of the clearing. And it doesn't seem to be ghostly at all; rather it seems vibrant, if antiquated. The people are not dressed like modern times, but in the dresses and hessian and hemp cloths of times gone by.

But Lucifer can see their souls. They do not hold any physical components to them. THis is a town of the dead.

And Logan can smell the same: but there's a hint to his nostrils of disease in the air. But bizarrely, there's also the aromas of cooking, of tannery, of sweat and pig muck. It's like the place is remembering being alive.
Sinister has posed:
For Jean Grey specifically: Closer she can clearly feel the minds here, but they're very limited in their psychic echos. This is probably because as a whole, ghosts are tied to the lcoation that they died in, very intrinsically. But they're also a little odd, in that this is a causality loop. There's a day, played over like groundhog day, but it varies. Changes. Is influenced by what happens, it isn't just a static thing. And it seems that some of the people here, remember that it feels familiar...
Phoenix has posed:
"And of course he will, especially after absorbing the soul of that Preacher into him..Or whatever it was that he did.." she frowns softly, her grip tightening around his waist. "That is why I informed the others of our whereabouts and called for backup. Unfortunately you are the only ne who answered but hopefully others will arrive shortly.."

She is not in uniform either, dressed in faded blue jeans, a turquoise summer blouse and leather hiking boots. It doesn't take long to spot the figures in the sky, and then all too soon they are descending upon them, intercepting their path. "I don't need to tell you to be on your guard.." she murmurs, tensing slightly as she eyes the two of them.

"Sinister, Lucifer." she nods to them in greeting, "I suppose you came to the same conclusion then? Some sort of ghost town..?" she glances at Logan and nods. "Their minds are...Not quite right..This place is stuck, repeating over and over again. Like they are trapped." And then there were the clothes. This was the town that time forgot.

"So, now what..?"
Wolverine has posed:
Loan's face doesn't curl into some kind of negative reaction. The odd aromas do catch hs attention, but they're not pleasant. Ocean blue eyes looking how every little detail he can. Leaning toward Jean, Logan will whisper, "Any impression?" Logan's one of the few people, if not the only one, to have any psychic abilities. So, he has to turn to Jean for those answers. Because to him it looks okay for the moment. The location isn't great, but it's looking haunted or anything right now.

A couple of nods go toward the pair, "Essex. Lu (said like Lou)," Logan then looks back to Jean just letting her sus out any psychic energy, residual psychic impressions, etc. To him, Logan knows he's blind so he leans on Jean to act like his senses.
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer lands gracefully next to Nathaniel, side eying the man for a moment before actually looking towards this ghost town. The town that time forgot. He can see them all - every last one - doing this and that with no purpose because they do not exist.

Yet in their deaths, from not passing over, all they know is the mundane. So it becomes a record on repeat. It's been on repeat for a long time.

Other voices soon draw his attention and he lofts a single brow upwards. "Miss Grey. Mister Logan. What a pleasure it is to see you both again. Terrible how we keep meeting in awful circumstances." He considers. "As if they have minds at this point... find the root of it all. Sever the tie. Job done."
Sinister has posed:
"Actually... a few of them do..." Sinister observes to Lucifer's statement. "Some seem to be aware that they're in some kind of purgatory," he glances over the town, caught in a moment as he stares at them. Then there is a very slight wince and he looks back to the X-men. "Miss Grey, it is unfortunately unlikely that I came to the same conclusion as you. THe entity in my head is railing against his confinement -- but he's been quite evocative in his condemnation of the sin that has caused the plague on humanity and he's quite convinced that he is righteous. So..." here he sighs and looks over the township.

"...whereas I suspect the ghost town scenario is aptly shared, I think the root of it might need a bit more work. I did promise I would have this being suitably exorcized and I tend to keep my word, when I give it. So the next of the what in the now, would be to find the priest..."

He looks singularly at Logan, then to Lucifer and walks toward the 'town entrance' being the most beaten path through the wood. When he arrives at the edge of the moonlight 'glow' he appears to momentarily vanish and arrives after a flicker of a second, dressed in, of all things, English army uniform. This causes him to look at himself critically, then shrug it off, glancing over the small hamlet of settlers.

And to freeze in place -- maybe it was the mention of priests. Maybe it was something else entirely, but he stares off toward the one stone structure in the entire place: The small chapel and adjoining land.

Fleetingly, the glow goes dark, showing a few moss-covered edges of a structure that once existed and a cavernous maw of collapsed masonry that the church in reality, became. There is a figure, swinging left and right on a gallow hung from the remains of the small spire. Silence reigns.

THen like the reel on the projector got changed, it resumes being a small chapel with cottage attached.
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer lofts a brow once more, looking around and then tilts his head one way. The other. "Ah. There it is..." As if he had to tune his internal antena or some such. None the less, watching Nathaniel step in beyond a sort of 'threshold' and become something entirely different and yet the same has him giving a sort of "Huh."

A glance is given towards Jean and Logan before he simply moves to take that same beaten path into the township. Once he's across the threshold himself, he takes a few more steps to feel himself a bit more cloth heavy. A glance over himself and he has taken on the appearance of a priest. All the way down to the black hooded robe and rosary around his neck. His hair is a bit longer and his features a little more filling. After looking himself over his eyes go right to the skies. "Really? This is how you want me to... oh for hell's sake...you're lucky I can't come up there!" He shouts, then he looks to Nathaniel.

"He turned me into a priest..."
Phoenix has posed:
Jean Grey nods slowly, grimly in response to Luci's comment. "Seems so, unfortunately.." is all she says to that. Glancing towards the village, she notices the church, peering at it thoughtfully, "Is that what this is all about then?" the gallow sends shivers down her spine, starting to put two and two together.

"Right then, I guess that's what we need to investigate first, but I'm worried about that preacher in your head.." who knows what might happen when he gets closer. But he's already headed that way and wuth a sigh, Jean glances at Logan, tensing slightly.

"Be careful, we don't know what this place might do to us, physically or mentally.." drawing a deep breath she follows after him..And when she crosses the threshold she is dressed in a long sky blue dress with a simple frilly white apron wrapped around her waist, a similar scarf holding her hair back. "Well, at least we will blend in.."
Wolverine has posed:
Logan follows Jean. He doesn't like this at all. Something about this place is unsettling. It doesn't stop him from crossing the Threshold. Going over hm, there's now a pair of gray slacks, dark that can be confused for black or blue, a smple white button up shirt and black suspenders. Everything about the attire is simple. What Logan doesn't see are the other changes. To anyone else, Logan looks young. Normally, he looks to be in his 30s, 40s. Somewhere in that ballpark. Now, it's early to mid-20s. The eyes look unburdened by age, mental abuse and stress.

However, the impression causes a stray phrase to push forward. He doesn't know the meaning of it, but can feel the sorrow. How those simple words are an anchor of sadness. "We lost Rose." That's the quote from a male's voice, someone he suspects is big, friendly with a bit of age.

Ocean blue eyes look around and he spots Jean. At times that blue dress becomes a deep green. Something large, made of fine fabrics that look like silk or satin. All of that red hair tied tightly into a bun.

Logan shakes his head and Jean's attire turns blue. Maybe t's not great to bring someone that lived around this timeframe to hunt ghost in the past. He might have -been- there, metaphorically speaking.
Sinister has posed:
Ahh, history is only a thing on paper and in lecture halls, if you don't happen to have lived it. For those that did, each trial and tribulation, each scent and familiar situation becomes a beacon to memory. Heaven's alone know, this happens all too regularly to the ancient being that is the first of the fallen. But on a more earthy and humane note, it is definitely something that Logan may struggle with in here. Because the past, in the present is cogent and conscious.

And nothing ever quite goes to plan, does it?

"Jean," a very soft murmur, but a purposeful thing. "If you believe nothing else I tell you, believe this: When it comes to haveing my mind coerced by enties, I am the ultimate rebel. It is perhaps a factor that drew me to the Fallen one, but I assure you it goes deeper than that. I can feel him in my head, but he will have to pull a grander heist than I believe he is capable of, to fool me..."

And yet, with the tranquility of the village before their eyes, it would be incredibly easy to forget that one lives in a far more complicated world. It might actually be a benefit to all of them, that there is one annoyed archangel griping about his costume in the moments to come...

Because now, one knows that a town hall must be called, that the sick are not recovering and the passes outside of the village are snowed over. How will help come, if the passes are blocked? The influence is on the village. Maybe this newcomer priest and his entourage can end it?

...or maybe the Hanged Man will have words to say.
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer will continue his grumping about looking like a fucking preacher later. For now, there are things to do and a village to...well. There's no 'saving' the village as it were...but helping them to pass on might be a thing. Lucifer looks back to the group, glances over all those now in period perfect clothing and then glances back to the church. "I suppose I should play my part then..."

With this he strides off towards the church itself. Preachers back in this time were usually always at the church from morning until sundown - at the very least. Whether it was to practice their next sermon, offer council, bury the dead - it was all work and no play for a man of the cloth. Though he does glance around to perhaps catch a glimpse of how life flows at the moment. The coming and goings of people, and perhaps to see if anyone else is heading to the church at this same moment.

"Tread careful. We may not have actually traveled back in time, but we also traveled back in time...don't need to go around making marks that are not supposed to be here..."
Phoenix has posed:
Jean Grey pauses to glance back at Logan curiously. "Rose..? Who is she..?" she can't help but wonder if Logan lived through this period as he has many others - he is pretty old Afterall. But right now there are other, bigger things to worry about, and she looks back towards Sinister, frowning softly., nodding slowly.

"I believe you, but I still worry. You are now connected to this timeline and you may be the key to breaking the. ruse on this village..But will you survive the aftermath..?" it seems too late to go back now, however and she focuses on the chapel up ahead, moving in that general direction even as she scans the minds of the ghosts as best as she can.

"So then..It seems some illness befell this town if I'm understanding right? And something about passes..?" she frowns at a thought, "Please don't tell me they decided to sacrifice 'witches' to break the curse..?" wait, are they the entourage to bring about change? Perhaps they can change fate, but how..?(
Wolverine has posed:
Logan doesn't poke the bear when it comes to Lucifer's attire. The ocean blue eyes looking over everythng. He tries to take everything in. Honestly, Logan is unsure if this is time travel or something else. He suspects it's the echo of a memory. An impression left behind given a sense of life due to whatever spectral energy makes it tick.

Sadly, his role is hard to figure out. In his mind, it's just commoner, farmer, miller, the common, but necessary tasks.

So, he'll try to mingle. Get in with the regular folks, figure out what's going on and keep his ear low to the ground.

Jean has a few good questions about Fate. Logan doesn't think it'll change fate, but maybe it'll change something in the now. That's where his head is at.
Sinister has posed:
That's probably a good place for anyone's head to be at, given the circumstance.

"Survival is never entirely guaranteed, miss Grey. But in my case, it's highly probable. I am, it has been noted, comparable to a cockroach in some respects..." Sinister mutters, narrowing his eyes at the narrative flow around them all. "I don't know if they sacrificed witches, the records were never found /for/ the place, only references in other church records nearby. It's as if this place ceased to exist entirely, at a certain point in time." -- and the why of that, is perhaps what will be significant here.

With Lucifer aiming his path toward the church, the flow around them alters a little. They're less going about their general tasks of life in darker times; one by one, the faces look more haggard, tired. People are seen bent over more, coughing. SNow falls, a silent whitewash over this memory but it... actually feels cold on the skin. Men and women and /preciously/ few children are indeed headed to the church, where the only bonfire in the place burns, but the flames don't seem to be chasing away the snow much. Sonorously, the single church bell tolls.

"What do you think he's going to say?" "I don't know. Hurker the Miller fell last night..." "So did our Susan." "...the riders never returned, you think they found the army?"

And so on and so forth.

The door to the church is partially ajar, likely to try and keep in the warmth. More of the townsfolk are there, most looking visibly sick and a couple of them... well, history is a brutal mistress and the records of some diseases are very well documented. Consumption has come to this town. There's blood on handkerchiefs... on the grey-whites of sleeves...
Lucifer has posed:
People huddled over a fire make for a perfect target. They're trying to get warm, stay warm, and likely won't be moving for quite some time. It only takes Lucifer a look, a side glance, and as he takes further steps towards the church he hunches over a bit before he stands and slips through the ajar door.

He's taken on the looks of one of the men who were huddled over that fire. As people greet him, he simply gives silent nods here and there, trying to look like his sickliness is making it hard for him to converse. Unfortunately, he cannot take on the memories of the one he's mimicked, so it's going to take a bit of craftiness to further himself in.

"Martha...as I still live...what are you doing here my dear? You should be home resting..." Hopefully that name spawns a head pop so he can shift towards the woman he's apparently talking to. "Have you seen the preacher? Is he here? I've got some news for him..."
Phoenix has posed:
Jean Grey pauses near the bonfire, feeling the sudden shift in weather, noticing the snowfall. It's all starting to make some sense, and she really doesn't like where this is all going to lead. But maybe they can still change things, they just need to know more about what happened here..What's about to happen. She peers expectantly towards the door, but another thought hits her, glancing over at Sinister.

"Wait..Aren't *you* the preacher? They're probably waiting for you to make a big speech.."
Sinister has posed:
The illusion of another man's face does make the devil blend in more, no longer at least for now, an outsider. The lucky stab at a name draws an older woman to looking up, her eyes red-rimmed and her demeanor careworn. "And who would tend the sick, if not me?" she murmurs a reply. "Honestly, Daniel... there is noone else." She shakes her head, looks sadly at the pulpit and purses lips well lined with age and worry as with smiles in happier times. "He's meeting with the town elders and the notary in the vestibule..." she informs, nodding toward the back of the small stone building.

And with Jean's inquiry, the Army cavalier that Sin resembles reaches a hand to his forehead, wincing and closing his eyes as he pinches his temples. "...I..." --

And he vanishes from where he was stood, striding forth from the back of the church in sombre and puritanical dress, black on black, with a black hat with wide brim, the 'forked' white of his collar against his chest. But the face is his, as he steps forth toward the podium.

"Brothers and Sisters... grim are the tidings of this season. The elder Jacob has passed away, his last will to bestow the church and its grounds to the people of this holy congregation. We have seen too many graves dug in our yard... but we must pray, for the salvation of all comes from Him. He tests us, brothers and sisters! He tests us with the wind and the white, the failure of the crops and this pestilence..." He breathes deep "...but he has spoken to me!" Oh no. That's the look of zealotry that is.
Lucifer has posed:
"Oh Martha. You're a saint, my dear, a true saint. May the heavens bless you truly when it is your time to go..." 'Daniel' says this and then something stirs within. As soon as the preacher comes out and begins to give his spiel, his eyes turn towards the pulpit, and then they narrow.

Then they burn.

He tries to blink the fire away while also making as best of a b-line towards that podium. "And where has prayer gotten us so far, preacher? Our wives and our children are now dying. We've got nothin' thats gonna keep us fed all winter long. Hurker's dead! The riders ain't returned. You stand there and tell us god has spoken to you... what makes you so special?" Then, as soon as eyes catch, he will Grin(tm) and his eyes will flicker with hellfire once more.

<<You need to give him back to me. Now. Or I will make sure you BURN once I have your soul.>>
Phoenix has posed:
Jean Grey blinks as Sinister fully becomes the Preacher, watching, no hearing Lucifer's reaction, frowning softly. This could unfold in many different ways, and given Lucifer's growing anger, things might end even worse than they began. She shoots him a look.

<<Calm down, we need to learn more about what happened here before we act..>> glancing at Logan, she nods to him as well. <<Get ready for anything..>>

Jade eyes turn towards the Preacher, fearing how he might react to Lucifer's words. He could easily turn the mob on them..Or worse..
Wolverine has posed:
Logan looks to Jean when she begins to speak in his mind. The eyes drift back to the preacher. A singular thought runs through his mind for Jean only, <"Why are we keepin' those two from dukin' it out? Kinda solves a problem if we do. We can take down the aftermath,"> he thinks. cean blue eyes take a look at everythng. Logan's not sure if they should save Sinister. In his mind this kind of eliminates a problem, or possibly bottles it away.

But he will stand at the ready for now. Logan will follow Jean's lead, even if it means saving Sinister.
Sinister has posed:
"Oh, but now we see the plague amongst us!" Is the retort from the Preacher on the podium. "We must unite! We are strong!" -- something in the way he speaks, well, it wouldn't sway the X-men and not Lucifer either, but in the dark days when these people were desperate, it worked wonders. "Come! Gather! Cast out these demons we face!" His hands outstretch...

And in that instant, looking right at Lucifer dead in the eye, the door behind them all creaks open just enough for the people that had been at the fire to toss things into the church. Buckets of pitch. On fire.

The door is slammed behind them as the burning hot, sticky tar splatters the congregation enmasse.

And mercifully, this is where the audio and the olifactory senses cut off. The scene plays out transluscently around them.

The preacher stood in the midst of all this, his people being cleansed by fire. The pews alight, the modest drapings alight, the timbers above catching, for they were soaked in pine pitch also.

But then where they /are/ comes back vividly to mind. They're witnessing what happened, but they're stood in the midst of where it transpired. All around them are the husked, burned remains of the people that the preacher purged with 'holy flame' and they begin to move, creakily getting dessicated and burned leathery skin to cooperate. THe dead rise up -- and they are many. The church was full, when it was torched.

This is an imminent problem, but so is the fact that the preacher still stands in the midst of all this, grinning like a mad fool-- as Sinister. That is until there's a hiss and an ejection; the ghost of the -real- preacher floats in the midst of them, hovering in parallel to the hanged man that can now be seen; another dry as a bone, but the clothing is the same.

Somehow, he survived the inferno of his flock. But that did not stop him from meeting an end. "You don't understand! I did it to -save- them! This was the only way!" the gaunt priest tells them all, even as his undead flock rise up.
Lucifer has posed:
"Then you talked to a false god! You know this to be true! Otherwise why would you have hanged yourself out of guilt?" Lucifer says this, his visage as 'Daniel' gone so he stands as his normal 'mortal' shell. However, he is taking to his role - as he has for the test of time - of the judge. Many - if any - do not know this role. How he weighs the souls of all who followed the path of the one true God. His father. No matter how much he's rebelled or what visage he gives to people to think he still hates his father.

And in many ways he does, but in some ways he never can.

"You were caught up in something. I get it. More than you might think I do. You saw your people suffering. Dying all around you. What else could you have done? You thought you were showing them mercy. And perhaps in a way you were...but it marks you, dear Preacher." A pause, a tilt of his head. "Father Riley Winston. Let your flock go. Let them rest. Let yourself rest. It is all over. And you know it..."
Phoenix has posed:
Jean Grey glances at Logan grimly, <<Because..We came here to save the spirits of the damned, not put one enemy against another, besides, even Sinister is a victim in this circumstance..>> she seems about to say more but, events happen too quickly.


Instinctively she reaches out with her telekinesis, tendrils of glowing pink energy that attempt to remove the pitch from the victims - and it is worse than she thought, not just select 'witches' brought to sacrifice themselves for the masses, but the entire village?!


She screams, feeling their anguish, their pain, their hopelessness..Her own helplessness to do anything. A pain that is even more amplified for an empath such as herself. "Monster.." she sinks to her knees, and the flames of the Phoenix echo her anguish, Soft jade eyes lighting up in golden flames, a subtle gold red aura surrounding her like licking flames, ready to punish the unjust..

"You fool.." flaming eyes narrow upon the preacher, ignoring the undead for now as they rise around her, subtle wingtips surrounding her arms as she spreads them out. "You have damned yourself and this entire village! And now, you are trapped here along with them...Unless you admit your guilt and repent.." she is no longer in disguise, now clothed in her green and gold costume - thankfully not the red one - not yet anyway.

She nods to Lucifer, trying to keep her rage under control. "Yes..Let them go, and let yourself be free too..Seek their forgiveness and you can all be free!"
Wolverine has posed:
Logan stands there and then he speaks, "Did you? 'Cause they should be seein' the bright lights 'n whatever happens next. Right now, all I see is them starin' at me, Preacher." Before the Preacher can say more, Logan is quick t keep talking. He does give a pause to let that sink in, but he's not letting the religious man speak until done, "Yu could. All ya gotta do is let yer flock go. Let em' leave this place n' go to whatever happens next," his gaze goes to the gaunt man. "Isn't that the purpose of a Preacher, help guide their flock to the Kingdom of Heaven?"

He does go with what Lucifer mentions. However, he tries to take the edge out of it. Tries to be less accusatory. Trying to compel to whatever humanity the Preacher might have left. For once, Logan's tryng to use his head instead of the claws.

The the Phoenix's flames lick at Jean's psyche. "Stop," Logan speaks and tries to get the emotions in control.

"It's like the Good Book says, stay true to yer values. Develop a strong moral compass, stick wit' it' n' people will take notice," Logan says, forgetting the verse. However, there is reason for that. Logan paraphrased Bushido when he was trying to quote The Bible. This may have an unforseen circumstance.
Sinister has posed:
The dead move, they advance, they claw and tug and rake at those that do the enviable task of /living/. But truth is? There's very little any of them can do to inflict actual harm. And maybe that's what decides it -- for the dead claw at Lucifer and do no harm.

They claw at Logan and do no harm.

They claw at the phoenix and do no harm.

And they even claw at Sinister and do no harm. "Stop," that singular command came not from any living soul, but from the preacher. He hangs there, named, face turned downward and shoulders dropped, as the dessicated zombies claw at the mortals and immortals in their midst. ANd there was power there once and that power remains, for just as they were bundled in with his psyche when the energy escaped and rolled over the county, so they are bound now. Each turns toward thier 'saviour' making groans, moans and inquisitory sounds.

"Hush, my flock, they are right. Please... forgive me. Please know..." -- Riley Winston turns toward Sinister and just looks at the villain -- And that is enough for Sin to glower at him and turn away, rooting in the back of the church where the primative tabernacle was housed. A flick of the hand and the will of the man makes the top of it levitate off and a book floats free, floating toward Jean and Logan.

The preacher continues to talk "...five lived. The three that helped me do what had to be done. They were not sick. I sent them to the nearby towns. The two scouts sent to try and get the army to help... their names, their families, they're in my record. Please. Take it. Do what I could not."

Above the hanged man sways.

A brief vignette shows to them all, of the aftermath. He knew he should have died, he can be seen standing up, badly burned, beneath a beam that miraculously didn't catch in the middle where his torso was. He looked about at all he wrought and slowly took himself outside, stared at the sky with one remaining eye then found hemp rope. The rest as they say, is history.
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer is silent for a long moment as the others say their peace, but it reflects the same words he used. So that makes him happy in some small way. Then, he lets his wings out and hops up so he can move to where the hanged man sways, cradling the dead and gently removing the noose from around the neck.

He'll look down, give a single nod to the others and then flies off a ways. Spend some time to bury the dead, give last rites, and open the gate for the town to walk through. It's nothing a mortal or meta-human or whatever should witness. Not until their death. Thems the rules.

He'll make it back to Nathaniel eventually and the man knows this.
Phoenix has posed:
The Phoenix levitates several feet into the air, ready to strike the Preacher in all her rage and pain should he put up a fight. The moaning clawing undead that stir at her feet do not affect her, cannot affect her, and she pays the poor creatures little heed. They are mere husks, hapless prisoners, wilted away to nothing because of this..Monster..

And then that one word hits her, from Logan of all people, surprising her nice more..Normally he would pop the claws and probably try and gut The Preacher, or the undead flock..Either way, it gives her pause and she blinks a couple of times, a tear or two rolling down her cheek. If there is one thing she cannot forgive, it is watching the suffering of others, especially the helpless.

Thankfully the Preacher makes the right decision, and the flames around her fade, nodding to him with a sad smile and nod as he offers them the book. "We will make sure their names are not forgotten.."

The flames gone she is once again Jean Grey, looking tired, worn out from the psychic anguish and pain she experienced. Lucifer is eyed as he buries the body and opens the way for the trapped souls. "May they Rest In Peace.." she murmurs.
Wolverine has posed:
Logan will just lowr hs head and speak Japanese. It's the closest thing to a prayer he goes over. Just talk of safe passage. No one really knws what happens when a spirit goes to wherever it goes. And so, Logan hopes the trapped souls have a good journey to the next step.
Sinister has posed:
And therefore, what remains is an empty church.

A buried past.
A silent record in a book held in hand.
A quiet justice for the innocent.
A judgement for the guilty.
A potential redemption.

And the names of people in a church record that can now actively be noted as having lived and died, in history. And their relatives of those that survived and those that died, who may be a step closer to history because of it.