15509/A tisket, A tasket, Apophis Stone in a Basket

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A tisket, A tasket, Apophis Stone in a Basket
Date of Scene: 20 August 2023
Location: Lucifer's Penthouse, Melville
Synopsis: Lucifer and Sinister invite a Psylocke to come and take a look at the Apophis Stones.
Cast of Characters: Lucifer, Sinister, Psylocke
Tinyplot: Shadow Prophecy

Lucifer has posed:
There's a sign on the wall that reads 'Testing in Progress'. Funnily enough it's part of the wall that opens into the lab that Lucifer's put in place for Nathaniel when he's got a mind to do science things.

Within the lab is Lucifer who has opened the Very Secret(tm) safe and pulled out the Still Glowing(tm) Apophis stone that's encased in a special jar - one of those designed to keep even the highest of radiation in the jar and not leaked outwards. He's turning it over and over before finally giving a shrug and opening the jar to take the stone out and hold it in his hand.

Outside of the Devil's body, the stone can do no harm to him. He sets the stone down on one of the steralized steel tables and spins it one way and then the other. This, before he takes a knife and pokes his hand enough to let blood drip onto the stone, watching carefully what might happen after. To the stone. Not his hand. His hand heals in a snap of fingers.
Sinister has posed:
Essex gifted X-force with transportation. He also provided communications gear, encoded smartphones that can scramble local signals and an array of ninja-style breaking and entering devices of a variety of shapes and sizes. Special ordered some of it through R&D and generally, offloaded a small slice of inventory from stockpiles to waiting hands.

And then, he returned to New York, took care of his real estate affairs, checked the stocks in his various clinics and signed some executive orders to get things refilled. And then, twenty four hours or so after having given X-force the toys, he called Betsy on one of those encoded phones to offer a careful look at the stone she very much wanted to have a look at, when rummaging with guidance in the mind of the Devil himself.

At no point did he expect to arrive in the penthouse having picked up some light lunch for themselves and guest, to find this. "Miss Braddock is due to arrive any moment, I asked Janice to send her up when she gets here. I got some amuse bouche from Pierre's and ..." hold up, the maglock on the lab is on. He peers that way, pauses and just stares through the toughened glass for a moment or two. Then, rather understated though it is, he knocks on the glass three times slowly, wearing one of those expressions of polite inquiry as he does so.
Psylocke has posed:
Summer is coming to an end in New York, and with it the last changes for summer fashion to be on full display. Betsy Braddock is making the most of it. She's wearing a strappy, open-backed brown top, paired with matching skirt that swirls down to her calves. It leaves part of her midriff bare, and no surprise she's found matching two inch heels to go with it -- along with a Burberry bag.

Standing on the steps of Lux, Betsy wonders briefly whether she should've worn her ninja outfit.

Her heart is beating fast, like something of her is preparing itself for a fight. Last night, she had another of those too-vivid dreams that tipped over into precognitive; she thought she heard a voice whispering to her, but the words were beyond her comprehension. All vestiges of the poor night's sleep are gone from her though, just that uncomfortable feeling of dread that gets her heart beating.

"Here for Mr. Essex," she tells Janice, when she finally stirs herself back into movement.
Lucifer has posed:
Precisely three droplets of blood land on the stone before his hand decides to heal itself completely. The droplets sizzle, letting up reddish-grey smoke and a smell that causes even Lucifer's nose to scrunch. "Fascinating reaction...but is it because it's MY blood..." He asks himself out loud and then leans back up, setting the knife aside and ponder-stares at the stone for a length of time.

Then there's three knocks on the glass.

Looking over, he sees the 'what the hell' expression on Nathaniel's face, grins, and walks over to the door, turns off the magilock and opens the door. "This just in. My blood sizzles on the stone and smells mercilessly pungent. We should try your blood next..." He proffers with a grin. "How are you doing? Want to come in?"

Janice, in all her helpfulness, simply presses the button on the elevator and once the doors open will gesture. "It goes right up to the Penthouse and opens directly inside. You'll find Master Essex and Master Morningstar within."
Sinister has posed:
Bless that woman.

Feelings of impending doom and existential dread are perhaps not uncalled for.

Waiting at the door, Sin looks over his shoulder to the elevator and tilts his head with a sigh, glancing at the stylishly packaged lunch offerings that he spent a good amount on. Those are floated to the kitchen dinette area as he looks back and with the opening of the maglock, sniffs the pungeant unpleasantness with flared nostrils. "So I scent," he leans to the side, arouuuuuund Lucifer's tall self to peer at the uncontained item of magnificently dangerous qualities. "I... well..." vexed by the cheer, Sin blinks a couple of times in rapid fluttered succession. "Doing well, all things considered. Nothing exploded, melted or went insane. I call that a good weekly report. As to coming in," he gestures with a half-nod over his shoulder as the elevator bings. He didn't look, he just knew. "This would be one of those opportune moments, I suspect."
Psylocke has posed:
"Thank you," Betsy gives a nod towards Janice as she steps inside. Her gaze flickers over the lack of other buttons, wondering, no doubt, what lies on the floors between the nightclub and the Penthouse. Consideration for another night, perhaps.

The DING! announces her presence before she steps out, and pauses. She's no stranger to lavishly appointed locales. In fact it might almost be expected. It's the little touches of personality that make the telepath pause: the walls of texts, the piano. The click of her heels carries her to Sinister. "Nathaniel," she greets, extending a hand -- and frowning ever so faintly as she catches the trace of an unusual scent. She doesn't voice anything aloud though: too well bred for that.

"Are you the musician, or Lucifer?" she inquires instead, with a glance to the piano. She hasn't caught sight of Lucifer yet, though the sign does get her attention.
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer is about to say something when there's the ding from the elevator and an eyebrow lofts. "We're having company?" He asks and then shifts to scuttle back to the stone and - at the very least - pop it back into the jar. HE can withstand whatever it's eminating and Nathaniel likely could to. Anyone else tho...and there's no telling. He wouldn't care if the door wasn't open but it is.

Then a familiar voice.

He shifts back over to the door and slenders his way out to let the door shut behind him. "Ah! Miss Braddock. A pleasure to see you again. Nathaniel is lucky to be able to play Chopsticks on the piano....I am the musician... although if you ask him nicely...he might belt out a tune or two.." A grin and then he finds the scent of lunch.

"Oooh. Food. For a moment I almost feared I would have to eat something entirely different..." No. Bad Lucifer. No stone swallowing.
Sinister has posed:
"Yes. I did actually say, but there was a maglock on and then there was you and... well, that's when I knocked." Sinister nods toward the lab space, taking the moment to bow over Psylocke's hand, rolling it this time in his grip, that he can elevate the fingers and their nicely shaped knuckles toward Lucifer. And stares at nothing at all when the devil goes and chatters on, which he's prone to do on occasion when mildly flustered. The rapid return of the stone to the jar explains the why of that. "Darling, that was more innuendo than I know what to do with on a Sunday evening. French. I bought French." He flicks eyes to the kitchen and back. "But as it so happens, miss Braddock was also here to have a safe look at the stones. I'm going to -suggest- that the one she take a look at is not the one that's raw and untreated and full of the essence of /You/ though. It might be too much of a temptation, given the circumstance."

He looks to Betsy there. "He's being kind you know. I don't sing particularly well, either. Not one of the talents in my repetoir. I learned the bagpipes once. It wasn't pretty. Do not ask."
Psylocke has posed:
"Mr. Morningstar," Betsy greets with an easy, genuine warmth. "Ah! I should have guessed. I would dearly love to hear you play, some day." And she means it; the curiosity of how well an immortal Archangel wields such a creative instrument is evident in her regard of him.

She's not so familiar with Lucifer that she can read his last comment as a joke, or not. "Should I ask exactly what testing means?" A beat. "And should that involve me passing on accepting entrees?" An amused look is turned on Sinister.

"I think only the Scottish can truly give the bagpipe its due. So I won't ask."

Betsy doesn't actually say anything, but the temptation of the stone is evident in the way violet gaze goes to that door.
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer raises a brow at Nathaniel for a moment. "You seem a little flustered. I can swap out the stones with no issue. Then we can eat, and then we can show." He offers this in a gentle tone before smiling to Betsy.

"Well, perhaps I will tickle the ivories while you're here tonight, Miss Braddock. Nathaniel always enjoys when I play I think. But really... don't ask about the bagpipes..." He grins then. "Let me finish up in here and I'll be right back out. But I'm telling you... this stone is going to be a key component in something down the line. I can feel it."
Sinister has posed:
"I have a feeling I know vaguely how it might be used..." Sinister murmurs, then bows his head to the devil in a courtly manner, complete with a rich smile and a proprietary look to the lab. His lab. Miiiiiiiine. Ahem.

An open palmed gesture is made toward the dinette. "And there's liquid libation of course, to the tune of absolutely anything you can think of, more than likely. Or a choice from the wall of Whiskey." Literally, the penthouse has its own little bar but behind THAT bar there's nothing BUT whiskey. Lucifer is eccentric.

"Accepting the entrees is encouraged however, even as random testing is not. Raw, the meteorite is incredibly unstable and is currently supersaturated with the Chaos of Lucifer. Add me to that mix and I'm sure something might try and become non-emmissable and that might be dire."

Psylocke has posed:
"Betsy, please," the violet haired woman reminds, before her smile turns glowing. "And that would be a delight, indeed." She's certainly the sort to appreciate good music. Even if she doesn't always have the kind of downtime to allow her to delight in it.

It's really Lucifer's final comment that seems to dim some of her default warmth. "I fear the same," she murmurs. Her brows go upwards when Sinister indicates he has a suspicion about how it will be used. She debates not asking, but- curiosity wins. "Nothing edible, I hope."

The gesture towards the dinette is taken in invitation, and her heels click as Betsy walks in that direction, admiring the wall of liquids available. "I enjoy your tastes, Nathaniel. Perhaps a red wine?" That she doesn't immediately go to liquors is a deliberate choice. As is the smile that follows: "We have enough dire on our plates to worry about, without adding potential offspring borne of an alien meteor to the mix."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer makes quick work of storing Potentially Deadly Apophis Stone, and brings out the Likely Unstable Apophis Stone. Either way, these stones pack punches that no one is ready for, and it could be an interesting time indeed once they actually begin poking and proding at how these stones and the ones who worship them can potentially lead to the end of the world.

But that is saved for a moment in time as he puts the Not Lucifer Charged stone into a bottle and brings the bottle out with him before closing the lab. "Are you really that perturbed that I went into the lab without you? Or without permission?" He asks aloud while turning and heading towards food and wine. "Anyway... this uncharged piece of stone is also very unstable.. but it's in a jar so nothing too harmful should come of it.."
Sinister has posed:
"Only mildly. You don't usually go in there. You must have been inspired," Sinister replies, offhand and with a grin. Now that the safer Sephiroth of stones is out and the diabolical one put back into its mystically enhanced safe, he seems mildly less tense. It's a subtle thing, involving the rigidity of spine.

Amuse bouche are presented in their little packages of beauty and expense, from steak tartare to carefully made truffle gratin and parcels of filo filled with finely cumin spiced and herbed vegetables provincale. There's a lot of options to tickle the palate with, laid out like a buffet by the power of the mind. The plates are black with a gold inlay, the cutlery is modern minimalist and they likely know what a fish fork is actually for, in this household.

A rich merlot is poured for the meal, with hint of earth tones and a dash of blackberry and blackcurrant notes.

"So... I believe we noted that the stones act as an energy battery of life force. Raw, they don't appear to have an upper limit to the amount that they can absorb, but at some point, the molecular integrity of the rock itself, becomes unstable and unfortunately, I've not been able to accurately guage just how high that has to be before it goes boom. Now, presumably, the energy stored in them can be extracted with the correct apparatus, or mystical mojo -- I suspect it's a little of both, given the ancients and aliens that left their legacy on this planet had a tenancy to jumble them up." Sinister settles, sniffing his wine at first, before indulging a mouthful after that speech. "We only have the -one- stone that was crafted and properly harnessed. I do not know how they did that, but it's one of the things I'm keen to find out. All the rest that we possess, was taken out of the meteor itself, by his shininess over there." Winking at Lucifer.
Psylocke has posed:
A supremely dangerous stone of extra-terrestrial origin contained by... a jar. It's totally fine! The way Betsy looks at it says a lot, though. Curiosity, sure. Wariness, absolutely. But also a want, tempered only slightly by the wariness, eyes tracking Lucifer as he brings it close.

Almost like she's working to distract herself, Betsy reaches for the glass with a murmured thanks. It's a perfect pairing for the meal, and she picks through the entrees without hesitation, tasting at least one of everything. Turns out she's particularly partial to the truffle.

Betsy, however, is listening carefully to Sinister's words. "Extracted?" she echoes. "Or drained." Because they are two very subtly different things. "How much does energy inside of the stone get changed? You seemed... particularly worried about the one that interacted with Lucifer. Does it become a byproduct of the energy it absorbs?"

"So," her manicured fingernails touch the napkin as she pauses to consider. "Dig up an ancient ritual probably lost to time. Or go back in time somehow." Not unfeasible, but: "I don't know any time travelers, and that's generally a poor life choice for... everyone."
Lucifer has posed:
"It's a shame Stephen has gone dark on us again..." Lucifer offers this much while also sampling most of the items on offer. Partial to some sort of potato au gratin that's been made into an amuse bouche of sorts. He also sips at his wine. "He's one of the only time travelers I know..."

There's a pause then and a tapping of fingers against the counter a moment. "I mean... I suppose in all technicality... I could travel back in time. Dad wouldn't like it...cause you're likely talking about going back and changing something. In my world, that's not something we're really allowed to do... because if dad's plan is proven to be anything but perfectly time lined... if he's proven infallible... his whole show falls apart..." There's a shrug then. "Suppose it's fine if others do it..."

Then he looks to the stone again and shakes his head. Anything dealing with getting stuff from the stone is Nathaniel's territory. He was just the idiot who swallowed a stone once. Never again. He even shudders at the thought of it.
Sinister has posed:
Sinister seems to be a fan of the vegetable provincale parcels. He had two of them! "I should probably have said drained. Extracted implies a single usage and they don't appear to be single use items." He looks between the two of them though, then at the jar and its contents with a bettle of his brows, "...worried is.. ahhh... probably the least complicated emotion to ascribe to that. True immortality is exceptionally rare in the world. Nature and reality really don't like a thing that never ends, so much that they put expiry dates into everything from beetles to mountains. The entropic energy that occupies that rock like electrons occupy all other matter, isn't usually capable of sampling immortal life energy. It never ends. That's the point of immortality. So, in the simplest of terms, had I not extracted that stone from the devil, it would have continued to absorb living energies until it exploded very violently. But... it's acquired resonance now, of him. Celestial infernal resonance -- if I were to give it my own blood, nothing at all might happen, or my own energy might react like throwing sodium on water. We just don't know." He gazes a while longer, then offers a thought.

"We do know a time traveller, but he's less than reliable and tends to be being eccentric, peculiar and busy. I do have a kind of idea though, on how it might be possible to go and look at the original cult of apophis, though it might be particularly uncomfortable. Both the Astral and the Dream planes contain the fundaments of inspiration and ideas, though both are extremely difficult to navigate without anchorage and time in and of itself, is a construct of the mind. Really, what exists is perpetuity and persistance in matter. In theory, you can travel back along an object's past, through the dream or the astral realms, provided you have a stopping point in someone that persisted. We do have Lucifer. There are others, but there's that. It would be better though, to have perpetuity supplied by someone like Isis, or another of the egyptian deities, they would be geographically concordant with the original cult."

At this point, he looks between the two of them again, just to check that he's not lost anyone along the way.

"There's also the possibility of psychometry and/or psychical gestahlt between psi gifted individuals. Because as noted, Steven is notoriously bad at vanishing. In that he does it /far/ too often. Hardly a very reliable sorceror supreme, really."

Pause. "And there's the Scarlet Witch."
Psylocke has posed:
It takes a second for that to register. Betsy Braddock isn't religious. And yet... it is fairly unsettling when casual mention of God is made. She masters herself through the age-old tradition of sipping her wine.

"The intent wouldn't be to change anything. Just to learn how they did it and bring that information forward. Does that still break... the rules?" Are there rules?

The purple-haired telepath stills during Nathaniel's explanation. "Locate an ancient egyptian god to serve as a focal point to a dangerous jaunt back in time, or undertake a dangerous gestalt of psi powers. You do raise the most delightful conundrums, Nathaniel."

/We just don't know,/ Sinister says, and Betsy sighs. That's a term she's heard all too often of late.

"I want to touch it," Betsy admits, finally, still exercising restraint in not looking at the stone. "Like very much so. I don't believe it's entirely my own curious sentiment that makes me want to do it. I wanted to do the same, when you shared that memory of when the other stone was in Lucifer."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer listens. Does he understand most of what Nathaniel said? No. But he can catch the jist of it. "If we don't change anything then no rules are broken. He probably still won't like it, but then again I'm the epitome of things God doesn't like." Offering that much with a chuckle before he grabs the bottle and pops it open.

THIS is the part where Lucifer is thinking What's the worst that could happen. With him and Nathaniel in the room, not too much can go wrong, right? So he spills the stone onto the table and then gestures. "Go ahead. Pick it up. It won't harm you." At least, he doesn't think it will. "Just don't swallow it, or push it through any open wounds. Or otherwise inter it into your body."
Sinister has posed:
"Have at it, except with that caveat. And please, be careful. I believe with myself and Lucifer, we can prevent between us, anything disasterous from occurring, if things go sideways --" so reassuring, right? But Nathaniel sounds genuine and confident in the capabilities of the power couple whose penthouse this is.

"And I do try to challenge the mind to work out how to do the impossible. I've made a career and lifeswork on doing what others said I couldn't do." He grins, wry. "And a good amount of things I suspect I -shouldn't- do," the wry smile is turned on the Devil then, and back to miss Braddock. His hand though, extends to Lucifer's and lays digits atop the other's hand. Physical contact, increases the bond they have. Just in case they have to dive in to rescue.
Psylocke has posed:
Betsy isn't used to people simply encouraging her reckless sentiment. It gets Lucifer a startled look from the purple-haired woman, and then a laugh. "Sure. What's the worst that could happen." She's joking. At first. But she's also not kidding about that temptation, as he spills the stone onto the table and her hand, wrapped loosely around the glass of wine, tightens abruptly enough to turn white.

"That is a little less reassuring after the reminders you gave not to trust you, Nathaniel," Betsy says.

Still, it probably says a lot that she reaches out towards the stone, almost immediately after. She /wants/, and it's so easy just to give into that urge. She cups it between her hands and... nothing happens.

Nothing outwardly, anyway.

Psychically, she's still an absolute dead-zone, but it's the physicality that reflect better what might be going on: the rigidity in her posture, the stillness that is too uncanny. At least until the slight tremor of her hands, locked tightly around the stone, becomes apparent.
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer watches for a moment, seeing the desire in Betsy's eyes while she white-finger grips the wine glass. Then, after perhaps the blink of an eye, she's got her hand around the stone...

And then....

....nothing happens. Nothing that can be seen. But Lucifer has eyes for more than the physical and there's something about her body language, about the way her grip tightens around the stone itself. Something is shifting, and he actually doesn't quite like what he's seeing.

The touch is gentle, his hand over her own, with a warmth that isn't jarring but is definitely unnatural. The devil just runs hot. He attempts to lock eyes with her and - if successful - will utter two words. "Show me."
Sinister has posed:
Show them. Because Sinister is in physical contact with the Devil. But oddly out of the two, it is the Lightbringer that is the gentler soul, most of the time. And that knowledge of desire is a powerful thing.
Psylocke has posed:
/Show me,/ he bids. And her violet eyes snap open.

The telepath says something. And it's language, but not one they know, not /human/, and yet Lucifer can decipher the words, somehow. He is here, he is being spoken to, while Sinister is merely a shadow touching his shoulder. Watching the moment.

"All of you have such short lives. Even you are nothing-"

the words are jumbled here, Archangel of Death? Sleeper? Lightbringer? Darkfinder? But Lucifer understands the sentiment refers to him.

"-I may swallow you whole, too. But I need not. We may grow powerful together. The one you call Father does not seek to stop me, because he cannot. I am inevitable. Become, with me." The entity is endless. Everywhere. Part of everything. Death. Despair. Destruction. Inevitable as the rise and fall of the universe. This they know. "I shall show you delights and desires even your mind has never dreamed of."

Everything around them is dying, decaying as they talk. The world is crumbling away. But they stand, untouched, as the offer is extended, as it waits for the answer.

...an answer that cannot be given yet. Because it's not now, it's a moment in the future. And yet the moment is without end. Waiting. The telepath waits, too. She can't do anything but.
Lucifer has posed:
"He doesn't seek to stop you because he knows there are others who will stop you for him. It's not only his followers that you're messing with." Lucifer answers at first, lofting an eyebrow upwards. They are in the current time, and in a time of the future. Does he notice all the crumbling and decay around him? Perhaps. But that's not his focus.

There's a tilt of his head too, just a touch, as the being talking through the psychic is making an offer that cannot be considered yet. "You're talking a lot for a being that can't really begin making offers just yet. I don't think you're really as powerful as you're making yourself out to be..."

There's a gentle squeeze to Betsy's hand and then he tries to pry the stone from her fingers. "You better let the woman go... and know that there is no place in the entire universe you could hide that I won't find you. I know you now. Your very essence. And I will rip you asunder."
Sinister has posed:
Somewhere in the speech, in the interaction of destruction, decay and despair, Sinister got up from his seat at the dinette. This is evidenced by the fact that as Lucifer tries to gently pry the stone from Betsy's hand, he has draped arms around the devil's shoulders from behind -- there'd been a trace of contact, from hand up along arm, until he leaned behind. His chin rests upon Lucifer's shoulder, his cheek against the Devil's own and his eyes are closed.

But he saw everything.

And holds an archangel in his arms in a way that bespeaks all the feeling he shouldn't be capable of having any more. But then the Devil has his Sin and that is about as synergistic as it can be, even if it's hard to really wrap the brain around.
Psylocke has posed:
"You look at him with shades over your eyes. Your excuses for his inaction should be laughable after all this time. But you do not see, because he has declared it so. And his power will always rule over yours... unless you break your fate from his."

The entity is unmoved by Lucifer's response. It has no ego to wound, it merely is.

"I know you, too. That all you touch turns to ashes. It is inevitable. That all you love," a flicker of attention to Sinister, "Will be destroyed. Come and find me," again, that name that-is-not-a-name, "And we shall see what unfolds."

It is not a taunt. Merely a statement of fact. Another inevitability.

Betsy's fingers are gripped far too tightly around the stone to be natural; she hasn't any kind of supernatural strength. Lucifer does, though, and he is able to win the stone free from her.

The moment he does, she collapses, her entire body shivering, curling up on itself like the sudden onset of hyperthermia.
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer will deal with deciphering all that babble nonsense from whatever just spoke thru Betsy in a moment. For now, as soon as he has the stone free from her and she collapses, he shoves the stone away and moves to pick the woman up threshold style.

"Start a fire in the fireplace will you, love?" Lucifer asks this gently of Nathaniel while carrying Betsy over to the L-shaped couch that has been a bed several times over. "I'd say we got a few answers, but also a lot more questions... I can explain what the being said..." Cause he knows the language being spoken in that moment wasn't anything Nathaniel or Betsy would have understood. "But lets get her at least warm and conscious again... and please spare me the lecture or the I told you so..."
Sinister has posed:
Sinister's arms come free as soon as Lucifer moves and shrugs them aside. Sinister glances to the shivering one and to Lucifer afterwards without saying a single word. Oh, no, not a dicky bird from him!

A glance at the fireplace and telekinesis takes care of the rest, pressing buttons on the gas flame over the wood and coal. A glance to the kitchen has a pan coming from the cupboard to the hob, milk poured into it and set to heat. Another glance has a large mug floating over, a gesture of the hand to the wall of whiskey has an opened bottle of irish floating over and last but not least...

The damned stone is back in its jar and is floating over to meet Sinister at the doors to the lab. He'll just go and put this away right now, whilst the milk boils on the induction hob.

By the time everything is settled properly, he's adding chocolate and marshmallows and a healthy shot of whiskey to boot. Warms the core nicely. Good against shock.
Psylocke has posed:
Betsy is unresponsive as she's carried over to the couch and laid out.

She does not fit inside her own body.

That's the first thought that occurs to Betsy as she struggles back to consciousness. It's not a new one, though, so it's easier dealt with. She felt the same, for years after her body swap with Kwannon, but she grew to adjust. This is that, on steroids, but the concept is familiar enough that it doesn't entirely cause her to freak out.

Her body's still shivering with reaction, though the extra warmth in the room is no doubt helping. Her eyes crack briefly. Things that assure her she's here, that here is /now/. The material she's lying on. The spill of heat from the fireplace. Lucifer and Sinister moving around.

Her voice is a croaking noise, "That was fine."

It definitely wasn't. Every time she tries to reach for what happened, her mind shies away. Protecting her. "What..?"
Lucifer has posed:
"Ah. Back with us... a bit faster than I thought would happen. This is good..." Lucifer says as he shifts to sit himself at the piano. Though he doesn't start playing just yet.

"Long story short, the stone used your abilities to send whatever being is tied to the Apophis stone to speak to me. It made some threats, some offers... bit too big for it's pants in my opinion."

Then there's trilling keys, a soft melody being played. "It's definitely not of this world, and it may not be of this universe... if I remember... there's something about the Apophis astroid in space that shifts it between some universes. Ours and at least one or two others..." The playing continues, something light but slow.

"Isn't there someone who works for S.H.I.E.L.D that works in quantam mechanics?" Lucifer directs this question towards Nathaniel.
Sinister has posed:
"Likely," Sinister replies. He comes to sit on the edge of the L shaped couch now, holding out the hot chocolate with Irish in it to Betsy. "Doorway. You make a good doorway to something that's been connected to your precognition for a while. And that stone has been where /it/ is coming from, is my assessment."

He looks askance a moment, squinting eyes. "The Blue lantern corps might help, at least keeping an eye on things. They're a cheerful sort." He looks out of the window with that and up, for some reason, then back, exchanging his attention between the devil and Psylocke.

"But yes. The path of the Apophis meteor is due to arrive in our solar system sometime in the next couple of years and it will pass close by. Its parabola dips into subspace several times and it vanishes from regular sensors during that time. It goes someplace."
Psylocke has posed:
Back, but maybe not entirely coherent yet.

Betsy pushes herself up, and it's a weird feeling. Limbs work but they don't feel entirely real, because she wasn't- she was- her mind slips away from the thought again, and another shudder goes through her. She takes the offered mug from Nathaniel with a grateful smile, sipping.

Her eyes go towards Lucifer, but she's not really looking at him; she's instead listening to the notes.

"Right." Doorway. "I think I'd like to not do that again." She cups her hands around the mug, shivering. Or maybe shuddering, this time.
Lucifer has posed:
"That's okay. You're not going to do that again. Even if you beg for it. It's going to be a hard no from me." Lucifer says this and then shakes his head some. "I'm sorry. I didn't think it would do anything that intense. We shouldn't have let you touch it to begin with. Just look. Though it's not the prettiest object to look at..."

He finally stands from his spot on the couch and walks over to the balcony windows, pushing open the one window that can actually open. They're designed to look like they can't open at all, mind. He lights a cigarette, only for himself, and stares out into the night sky while his mind wanders over the conversation had.

Not many things tend to vex the Devil. This one apparently has.
Sinister has posed:
"I think for the time being, you simply need to regain your marbles, as that was quite..." -- Sinister stares at Psylocke for a moment, then looks over at the door to the mini-lab wherein lies that safe. And over at Lucifer as the devil goes to be vexed with some fresh air. He looks back to the space vaguely occupied by the recovering x-woman and rises, fingers drumming on his thighs a moment, chin tipped and looking now into the middle distance. It's hard to tell, but there's rapid eye movement, hinted at by slight shifts in the eyelids about those red glowing orbs.

Aaaand abruptly. "Well, now." And off to the lab without a second word, punching in the code and stepping inside it. A kinetic storm of equipment moving around and chorus of 'no, no. No. Why do I even keep that here? nope.' can be heard from inside.
Psylocke has posed:
Holding a mug of hot chocolate might not be the best idea with how much her body's still reacting to what just happened; it takes Betsy a couple of tries before she gets the rim safely to her mouth to sip and lower the liquid level enough that she's unlikely to spill it.

"I'm good with that." Lucifer giving a hard no to her trying that again. It's a relief, actually, since, in some ways, the telepath doesn't trust herself. Or rather than instinct she voiced, to want to touch the stone. "Thank you."

It's fair, really, that she's unsettled. Despite being only half-human, it's obvious something like this entity is too much -- too big, too incomprehensible, too OTHER -- for her brain to cope with. The devil himself being unsettled though? That's a whole new world of disquiet, and Betsy's violet eyes track Lucifer as he goes to the balcony.

"Yes." Even though Sinister doesn't finish the sentence, that he doesn't, because there are no words? That's the part Betsy's agreeing to. It should be noted that, unlike normal, her habitual shield that prevents her even being sensed by another psychic is gone. The sense of "her" is sharp and present in the air. But familiar, since they've shared psychic space before.
Lucifer has posed:
"Asking it for a name wouldn't have been beneficial. Likely would have given some riff-raff half assed ramble of I am all and nothing...blah blah..." Lucifer laments, taking a drag off his cigarette, letting the smoke billow out the window. "Make -me- an offer. The hell he thought he was talking to? I wouldn't...never..."

Then he glances back towards the lab, the sounds of stormy lab destruction filling his ears and he sighs. "I guess we're all going a little bat shit crazy tonight..." Offering this as he turns and begins to walk towards the lab and steps through the open door.

"I'm fairly certain we only need one person going crazy here tonight, and since Betsy's already a little off her rocker and I'm the one who got an offer that I refused as well as a threat to end all threats, I'm pretty sure you can save whatever kinetic hell you're unleashing on your lab...for later." He says this, hands on hips, staring at the man in the midst of the storm.
Sinister has posed:
"Oh, likely so. Although I'm not sure why I'm copping attitude my love, I haven't destroyed anything yet, I just... can't..." -- Sin snatches something from the air and stares at it, turning it over in his hands -- "This might do the trick. Oh, I hope so. I have... Oh, now, where is -that- when it's at home? I hate it when I get struck by a cosmic ray, it scrambles my sense of orderliness." Opening draws, he stops, takes a deep breath and checks the one by the lab computer, pulling several things out. "Yes. Ok."

And as quickly as the storm began, things are flying back to their homes and storing themselves as he grabs a tool set, connectors, some spare wiring and the portable scanner, ALONG with the contents of the safe and marches on out, to settle at the coffee table in the living room.

This does give everyone a very clear view of him going to town on mechanical engineering on the fly. Psylocke has seen Forge at work. Lucifer's likely taken a peek into Da Vinci's workshop at all his drawings, but Essex' ability to know his machines and /invent/ is something else. Everything is exceptionally precise, but he works with haste on top of that, apparently knowing exactly what he's doing.

"I had a realization just now, so thank you for that. Doors. Connections. But now I -must- know if my suspicion is correct. Do either of you know about the little known observation of particle physics that covers molecular harmonics?"
Psylocke has posed:
It doesn't register immediately. Betsy's not at the top of her game. She notices Lucifer walking towards the lab to talk to Sinister and the devil's words linger. /Some threats, some offers,/ he said. And now the telepath looks uncomfortable. What does a galactic entity offer the Devil that he can't already have or get?

Something to consider later. When she can actually think.

It's a measure of how Betsy Braddock is feeling that she slips off her heels and brings her bare feet up underneath her onto the couch. It's not that she's relaxed -- quite the opposite. But she's attempting the mimicry of it, in an effort for self-soothing. It lets her balance the mug on her thigh, too, as she watches the maelstrom that is Sinister with an Idea.

If she had a better presence of mind, she'd probably be worried. "Assume that in addition to just having had my brain scrambled by an alien entity, I never took physics." Betsy's dry tones are full of haughty English accent.
Lucifer has posed:
"I only know as much as you have ever taught me... and even then only a part of that has been remotely retained to where I can recall it at the drop of a hat." Lucifer offers. Pausing.

"I'm magic. You're science. That's why we work so well together."

Well, it's one of their many excuses anyway.

"Are these particles some sort of way to open a door to the other plane of existence the stone is at?"
Sinister has posed:
"No, it's part of quantum," Sinister looks up, gazes briefly, but notably into Psylocke's gaze at the tone, then drops his attention back to what he's doing, recalibrating a sensor with additional diodes, setting it down, plugging it in, programming via the laptop. His fingers fly over the keys, streams of information being uploaded to get it to do what he wants it to do. "They've done research on this in Switzerland at the institute there. They began observing that sometimes, particles that come from the same source, respond to stimuli. No big deal, right? Except occasionally, they observed that they could have a particle from the same element /source/ and would find that the other particles from that particular sample /also/ reacted, despite not being the one experimented on. It just occured to me, that the best use for a door, is to allow entry -- but what if the door is an energy and what if the energy is connected and what if thusly, the connected energy /reacts/ universally, because it's essentially all the -same- energy."

He looks up then, beams at them both, pleased as punch. It's a very charismatic smile, but at the moment it rather does make him look like a deranged genius.

"Energy touched, by whatever touched it, resonating and forming a connection between all other parts of that energy?" He points at Lucifer. And then at Betsy. And then at the samples in the jars he took back -out-.
Psylocke has posed:
Betsy sucks in a breath so sharply she very nearly spills hot chocolate all over her. "No," she says, emphatically, at Lucifer's suggestion Sinister might be creating a door. It's not a /no/, he can't do it, more of a /no, please don't/.

Her mouth parts, as Sinister explains. She's smart, but this level of knowledge is way beyond her experience. It's not until he points, at her, at Lucifer, at the samples, that she shivers. Her fingers whiten around the mug.

"So you think we're connected on some kind of cosmic scale?" it's not that Betsy's discounting the theory, but she's working it through, slowly. It's a possible explanation for her visions. She's just not yet entirely convinced it's /the/ explanation. "If it's true... is there any way to de-entangle us?"
Lucifer has posed:
"Okay. Let's pretend that I'm five years old and have the brain the size of a walnut..." Lucifer begins. "You wanna put that into simple terms?" Which is all he manages because trying to untangle just the VERBAGE that Nathaniel was using is making his brain hurt.
Sinister has posed:
Sinister continues to work on the device for a bit longer, seemingly ignoring the request whilst his brain is honed in on the moment. But it doesn't last long. After all, he simply had to make a particle scanner modification that would pick up the particular energy he was talking about and actually be able to record differences. The fact that Cerne has it as a massive machine and he's got it in the palm of his hand is neither here nor there.

NOW he looks up, blinks once. "Oh, sorry. Imagine it like the magical twin phenomenon, if you like. Scientifically, certain particles act like they've got the twin phenomenon -- one feels what the other feels. Knows what it knows. Can tell where it's at." He then takes the scanner and calibrates it, opens the jar of Non-Lucifered rock and gently takes it out, setting it gently on a bunsen mat (like that's really going to help anything if it goes boom) "Well, here goes..." with his left hand, he gazes at his fingertips, which lengthen and sharpen, becoming metallic and sharp as scalpels -- with it, he slices his own palm and drops blood upon the 'clean' rock, angling the sensor to take readings of it whilst he does so. His blood glows mildly ruby and does sink into the surface. He then slowly points the scanner at the Luci-rock.

Then Lucifer himself.

THen Betsy.

His gaze though, is on the laptop screen, as information is processed...
Psylocke has posed:
Betsy doesn't know Sinister well enough -- or at all, really -- to know if this is unusual or typical behavior. For that, she looks to Lucifer, who is likewise asking for an ELI5. It catches her off guard, and she gives a little smile. It's clear she kind of just expected that an immortal archangel would know /everything/.

The concept is sound. Betsy gets it. If there's some kind of link it's definitely too big for her brain to handle, as evidenced by the way she practically shut down until that connection was severed.

The violet-haired woman watches, unsure what's supposed to happen. There's nothing visible, anyway: but her aura, normally masked beneath a tight shield, is still present and vibrant, and it shimmers, just a little, in reaction; the woman herself seems completely oblivious.
Lucifer has posed:
"So it's kinda like...attunement? Like if I have this thing attuned to 20 megahurtz, and I strike this other thing tuned to the same reading, the other will sing..." Lucifer offers.

He knows stuff. Just not -everything-.

That's dad's job.

But boy howdy when the blood hits the rock and then that tuning thingie gets pointed at the Luci-rock and then Lucifer himself, he shudders a bit. "Oh. Oh that... that kinda tickled..." He says this, then lets out a forced chuckle. "Uhm... I feel a little... Sinful."
Sinister has posed:
Sinister stops the flow of blood at this juncture, the wound healing as if it were never there in moments. That's a phenomenon for Betsy to file away, no doubt. He considers the screen, neatly and tidily switching the scanner off and allowing processing to occur. The rock he just bled on? Put safely away again.

"Did you now? Can you describe the quality? For Science, of course..." Sin looks over at the archangel, winks at him "...kidding." -- and eases back onto his heels, practically -willing- the computer to compute faster by giving it the hairy eyeball.

When it dings, he's practically pouncing on the data, not using anything but touch to scroll through it. "Well... that... is intriguing. It measured entanglement potential on the rocks themselves, but also -did- measure an applicable bioelectric field reaction in the both of you. That -could- be attributed to the Observer effect, but similar reactions in both observable scans... hmm." He sighs. "... Could still be coincidence. Could be your bio-electric fields reacting to the -scanner-. Blast. Still..."

He looks thoroughly thoughtful. "THe meteorite /is/ entangled. Which means that all other portions of the Apophis meteorite are also entangled. Which does give a partial answer to what purpose they might serve, doesn't it?"
Psylocke has posed:
Betsy's mouth parts as she glances at Lucifer as he seems to react. It's not until Sinister voices aloud the results that she exhales. It's obvious she doesn't like the conclusion, however true Sinister's hastily cobbled-together experiment might be.

But she also senses it's the truth.

"We know how it happened with Lucifer. He swallowed the stone," Betsy says, slowly. "But I never-" a pause, "-I don't think I had any kind of interaction with it, until tonight. Yet I felt something, before I even touched it, just being near it." She looks troubled by this. "Is it possible I came into contact with one, a fragment of one, years ago? That it's the source of my visions?"

Her gaze refocuses on Sinister, brow still furrowed. "Exactly what purpose do you think they serve?"
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer shakes his head. "Like I could feel myself resonating with the stones...but like Betsy said... it's likely just because I'm tied to one of them. Literally." Given the fact that he did, indeed, swallow the stone.

"Course, I also went and took a piece from the actual meteor...but does that now mean I'm attuned to the meteor itself?" Which, in the end, may not bode well if it's now using Lucifer as a homing device - which will bring it right to New York on a direct collision type course.

That's certainly apocolypse worthy.
Sinister has posed:
Answering Psylocke first, Sinister waves a hand in a rolling gesture. "All stones are the one stone, the energy its infected with is entropic, coming from wherever it goes -- if positive energy is fed to negative energy and that energy crosses the dimensional subspace barrier, it runs the risk of destabilizing that barrier. Feed the stones enough energy and bingo, you rip open a hole through which the meteor has been travelling and drag whatever was in its slipstream through with it."

Oh. Just that. Oh dear.

And that thought from Lucifer is also an oh-dear moment. "You're connected to it, your life fed the stone, the stone is probably connected to your life force now. So it's entirely possible, my love."
Psylocke has posed:
That Lucifer might be functioning as some kind of homing beacon is a surprise, terrifying thought that Betsy probably didn't need. The way she lifts a hand to press at her forehead might suggest a headache -- even more of one than she had from that unpleasant hijacking of earlier.

"How would you feel about a holiday on a remote rocky asteroid in, oh, one or two years time?" Betsy's only half serious.

Some questions, Betsy Braddock is learning swiftly around Sinister, are not worth asking. It's not what she asked and the answer is even more unsettling.

"So just... track them all down, jettison them out into deep space, and..." Betsy's gaze settles on Lucifer. Well, there's still /him/. And /her/, possibly, too. "...hope for the best."
Lucifer has posed:
"Well. I'm planning to go to Dublin in a couple days to meet up with someone that we know who can dream walk. In a sense. And as he's an expert in that area... we can ask him his thoughts on doing just that. But to use it as a vessel to travel to the past and get information..."

He thinks on this for a moment and then shakes his head. "I think we all might need to take the rest of the evening to...rest up. Collect thoughts. Settle minds. If everything is all still a jumble then it'll be hard to come up with proper conclusions..." That and he might want to try a little something else but with one less psychic in the room.
Sinister has posed:
Sinister sighs a long breath out. "Finish your hot chocolate, Betsy. It helps. Endorphines, sugar hit, alcohol..." because now he's thinking about the potential of all of this exploding like a bomb and somehow... "...you know... nobody would believe this, five years ago. That this would be a conversation being had. Or that I'd care." He rubs at his third eye, for a different reason to Betsy, no doubt.

"Ireland may also just be a good excuse to empty the mind and recalibrate. I also want to see a man about a horse or two, when I'm there."

He looks to the devil, seems to straighten up and get a little more stiff-upper-lipped, offering a wry smile, then a look to Betsy. "Less existentially discombobulated now?"
Psylocke has posed:
When Lucifer casually speaks of traveling into the past via dream, it certainly gets Betsy's attention. Whatever she thinks about that isn't voiced, particularly when he continues. She doesn't need to be a psychic to read between the lines, and she's never been one to overstay her welcome.

Dutifully, Betsy finishes the rest of the hot chocolate, and sets the mug down, before she rises. The shivering seems to be under control, and she has no trouble standing in two inch heels, a feat in itself.

"I'll survive." That's English for no, but unwilling to openly admit it.

Betsy smiles a second later. "Thank you for the company, and the aperitifs." Maybe not so much for the unearthly visitations. "I am going to open a bottle of /very/ old whiskey, have a bath, and lie down. Maybe not in that order."
Lucifer has posed:
"Lie down, in the bath, with an open bottle of...actually..." Lucifer holds up a finger, turns on his heels and marches over to the 'whiskey bar'. It's a bar. But the only thing stocked behind THIS particular bar is whiskey. Save for one special bottle of cognac for when Nathaniel is drinking. He wiggles fingers, looks through the stash, considers, pulls out one bottle then decides against it. Hmmmm

Ha! Yes. THIS one. He pulls out a bottle. It's not a very big bottle, but it looks...old. "This. You should drink this. A gift from me to you, no strings attached. Devil's honor. But this is 80 year old Glinlivet Scotch Whiskey from the MacPhail generations of Scottich brewing. Save your own bottle for something You worthy... drink this because it's mostly my fault your mind got assaulted by an ethereal dummy."

Once the bottle is handed over he then says, "And when you leave, there will be a car outside waiting for you. My driver will take you home, so we can ensure you get home safe and sound. Thank you for coming, Betsy Braddock. We'll keep in touch."
Sinister has posed:
Sinister idly ferries the empty mug to the sink, to be rinsed and put in the dishwasher later. "I'd say you were quite welcome, but in this particular situation, I think the apologetic whiskey is probably a good buffer. Good to know you're just peachy keen," -- all three are English or English-adjacent, it's simple enough to read the undertones.

"We will also strive to find avenues to persue, in order to try preventing unmittigated disaster. We will be Cassandras together, until someone listens."
Psylocke has posed:
Betsy Braddock is an English aristocrat. Of course she recognizes an expensive bottle of alcohol when she sees it. It's doubtful she knows the exact price, because cost really doesn't matter to someone like her, but she recognizes the gift for what it is.

As Lucifer hands the bottle over to her, her face is alight with warmth. "Thank you, Lucifer. An excellent choice." And she'll go up onto her toes to try and kiss his cheek in thanks. "It was probably going to happen sooner or later. Thank you both for keeping guard of me."

Don't trust them, everyone else says. It's something even Sinister says himself. Yet, she kind of does, even as she recognizes how dangerous that is.

Still, it makes her, "Be careful," to the pair of them seem full of genuine sentiment and concern for what they might try next, as she departs.