15604/Mother, Is That You

From United Heroes MUSH
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Mother, Is That You
Date of Scene: 16 September 2023
Location: New York City
Synopsis: The enemy of my enemy is my... something
Cast of Characters: Vampirella, Satana

Vampirella has posed:
There is not a spider outside of the window to Satana's bedroom. You'd be forgiven for thinking there is, though, because it looks just like one, especially from a distance; the kind of critter less than a centimeter in body span--with its eight legs fully extended--that at best deserves a scream and a swat if you saw it skittering across your kitchen counter. Up close, a person might have a couple of reasonable questions, like why it hadn't spun a web in that cozy little corner of cement and brick at the top of the window; or how it survived the near-constant application of pesticide residents of Satana's wealth get; or why it's a uniform black with no coloration or markings at all.

That's if you saw it, though. Eustankhios--Stan to his friends and acquaintances and really just anyone who doesn't want to try to say "Eustankhios" without suffering a four-car pileup of the tongue--is very small and very good at not being seen. He's had since the Fall to practice, after all.

"See?" Stan says, in perfect English, another oddity that might lead an amateur arachnologist to question his species. The question is addressed to a woman perched on her toes on the windowsill, heels of her boots pointing down over the ground below like leather icicles, she somehow impossibly holding her balance as she crouches like a gargoyle faced inward rather than out, staring into the room within with unblinking green eyes. The woman is much larger than Stan, and much younger, but still very good at being unobserved when she wants to be. The woman, whose ears are sharp enough to hear even a spider's tiny voice, flares her nostrils and smells deeply. The window blunts much of the aromas from within, but it is not airtight, and a few particles is all the woman needs.

"So she's a demon," the woman murmurs in an impossible to place accent. Her voice is so low it's almost lost in the casual wind. "What of it? I'm not your assassin, Stan."
Satana has posed:
Inside, Satana is preparing one of her favourite meals. It involves taking an imp that has displeased her, sending its soul screaming back to Hell, and carving its body up into roasts, steaks, stewing meat and other such nice cuts. What she doesn't immediately use, she freezes naturally. But right now she's grilling a steak of her old friend, Grignr, using her soulfire to cook it while she bastes it with sauces and spices. The appetizing (to her) smells of roasting imp flesh start to tease her nostrils when deep down in her cellar, her Wurlitzer selects a record and starts to play.

    The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the waterspout.
    Down came the rain and washed the spider out.

Satana freezes and starts to look around, relaxing when the Wurlitzer stops piping that music into her whole home. To replace it instead with the ancient Judas Priest song: Love Bites.

    When you feel safe. When you feel warm.
    That's when I rise. That's when I crawl.
    Gliding on mist. Hardly a sound.
    Bringing the kiss. Evil abounds.

    In the dead of night Love Bites.

Now looking decidedly alarmed, Satana sets aside her culinary masterpiece and whirls to the door of the kitchen, discarding the chef's apron (the only article of clothing she was wearing, this being her home) and heading to the basement stairs.

Something suggests to Stan and his preternaturally-balanced friend that it may be paramount she not be permitted to reach it.
Vampirella has posed:
"Sure, she's only murdering demons today, but tomorrow it'll be a human. You know humans, right? You love those guys. Go ahead, watch her if you don't believe me," Stan invites. The woman on the window ledge, who had already been doing that, continues to do so, but widens her mental field of focus to keep Stan in her periphery. Whatever Stan or any other demon tells you to do, you should not. Just not.

"Uh-oh," Stan remarks conversationally as Satana bolts. "Or nah, never mind, that's fine. She's not running for anything special. Don't even worry about it."

"Or I could just leave and let you deal with whatever it is," the woman replies, trying to sound casual but not a good enough liar to hide the bite in her voice. "It's not my problem."

But even as she says it, she's thinking. She's never read Dune but is intimately aware of the concept of feints within feints within feints. A demon who tells you to do something could want you to do the thing suggested, or could want you to think you'd be thwarting it by doing the opposite, or could want you to think you'd be thwarting it by doing what it asks. How can she know what Stan wants from her, so she can know what to do instead?

She can't, with no more information than she has. But she can try to get more information.

The woman outside the window suppresses the urge to squash Stan--meaningless, since he'd just come back in a new form--and allows the nail of her right forefinger to lengthen, thicken, and sharpen to a hawk-talon point. She slips that point into the space between window and sill, and flicks gently, almost negligently: the sound of the lock snapping is so quiet it's lost under the quiet but still hair-raising sound of her nail scraping the stone she's sitting on. Nails on chalkboard times thirteen. With that same seemingly indestructible claw, the woman on the windowsill raises the glass pane and slips into the bedroom, landing without a sound despite her ridiculous boots. No easy trick, that, but she makes it look effortless. She listens carefully for the sound of an alarm, audible or silent--"silent" is relative, to her--and strolls through the apartment toward where the demon fled.

As an afterthought, she allows her claw to retract. Always meet a new woman with your fingernails respectably trimmed: that's a rule the woman once at the window lives by.
Satana has posed:
The Wurlitzer once more goes silent and the house briefly doesn't have music playing all through it. Then it starts playing a far more modern piece of music. The record scratches past the first verse after a few syllables to hit the chorus

    Invader nearby!
    Invader is nigh!

Satana curses and changes course, away from the basement and toward the library, using home ground advantage to keep mobile while the invader(s) she's been warned of achieve ingress. In the library she goes straight to a podium and opens up an enormous tome, then flicking a few pages in.

The words are unfamiliar, but Vampirella can recognize a particularly unpleasant circle of protection being raised. The kind that once up is invisible, but will tend to exsanguinate any who try to cross its barrier. She can get to the library at about the same time as the closing syllables if she rushes; perhaps time enough to impeded its casting.

Or time enough to be caught up in its boundary.

Risks vs. benefits.
Vampirella has posed:
The woman once at the window takes no offense at her host's failure to be properly hospitable. It's pretty reasonable, all told. She just strolls silently to the library and walks through the door confidently, pausing at the entryway with her hands at her sides and unclasped, nothing within them. The gesture is probably not comforting to a demon, especially if she knows the woman's reputation, but it's worth an effort.

She waits for the demon to finish its incantation and then politely asks, "A demon sent me to kill you. I can't tell if he's being serious or using reverse-psychology on me, so I thought I'd ask you a little about yourself so I can decide how to do the thing he doesn't want me to do.

"Good evening, by the way," she adds, remembering her manners a bit too late. Probably quite a bit too late, what with the BnE.
Satana has posed:
Circle up, and ensconced in her secondary lair, Satana is now quite a bit more ready to face her visitor. She tilts her head and regards Vampirella, scanning from ankle to face, then back down, then back up. Being obvious both about the scan and where the eyes stray along the path.

Data point.

"The thought of ringing the doorbell and waiting to be invited in didn't occur to you then, did it?" she asks, politely, but with a hint of vitriol in the voice. She pauses, a look of puzzlement on her face. "What are you? You're not demonic. You're not one of these adorable mortal witches. None of the angels have bodies like yours; or if they do they don't flaunt them like you do." And she appears to not be able to help herself. "I approve fully, incidentally." Voice husky and a mildly predatory smile on her face.

Data point.

"So what is it you wish to know, and how, precisely, do you think you're going to be able to, and I quote, 'kill you'?"

She smiles archly. "If a demon sent you, they know both who and what I am, who and what I'm affiliated with, and, here's the key point, that I can't be killed."


"Oh, where are my manners? Hellstrom. Satana Hellstrom. Of the Boston Hellstroms." A fact which is obvious given that the pair are talking in the old Hellstrom Manor House. In Boston.

Satana waves her hand dismissively. "A few other titles and appelations of course, but nothing of importance."

She's lying now.
Vampirella has posed:

What is she this time? A vampire? A nephilim? No, still an alien. This time. Never mind.

"--complicated," the woman in a tiny bit of red finishes placidly. "My name is Vampirella." She observes the check-out without comment; she's very used to it. She ignores most of the other questions and returns only to the first one, answering, "No, I wasn't going to ring the doorbell. There was still the chance I'd have to kill you. I don't like to announce myself before I do it." It endangers her and makes her prey suffer needless fear before the end: a good death is one so quick the victim is more confused than in pain when she dies.

Never mind that, too. "So, Satana, do you know Eustankhios? Malegenii. Prince of Icheosium, if you believe him." She doesn't know if Stan heard that last, but she hopes he did. The thought puts a smile on her crimson lips.
Satana has posed:
Satana smacks her forehead melodramatically. "So that's what the first song was about," she says. "I thought it was malfunctioning until your song came on."

She steps out from around the podium to approach the edge of her protective circle, checking Vampirella out again, visibly, while leaving literally everything to be checked out in return since she hasn't bothered yet manifesting any clothing.

"So it was ... Stan is what he goes by now, right? ... who put you up to this. I wonder if this was intended to be an experiment or if he intended me to end *your* life."

Feints within feints indeed. And now Vampirella has to sift through the lies, half-truths, and truths of not one but two demons.

"Tell me, then, he told you, I'm guessing, that I'm a demon. Did he tell you anything else about me? Like, say, who my father is? Or ..." She does a quick swaying side-to-side motion half-way between a high-quality stripper and a cobra ready to strike. "... perhaps what my domain is?" She leans in close, keeping eye contact. (Vampirella can feel a powerful mental force driven by a powerful personality trying to get her to yield, submit, and surrender.) "Did he perhaps tell you why my old teacher wants me dead?"

A cruel smile, and the demoness doesn't even bother waiting for the answer. "I didn't think so."
Vampirella has posed:
Vampirella is not immune to mesmerism, but she is familiar with it, having used it herself plenty of times and fallen prey to it more than once. She is silent for a moment, taking the time to center herself in her body, to take in all the detail her infernally keen senses can detect--imperceptible scents coming from the all around, the sound of Satana's heartbeat and the crackling buzz of electricity running through the wires, the feel of the tiny hairs on her body rustling in the same direction from the movement of the air; all things a skilled enough mesmerist could replicate, but only if their own senses were sharp enough to know those feelings too. No: despite the pressure demanding submission, she is still she.

Her claws extend, not entirely voluntarily, not entirely involuntarily. Her finger joints pop audibly as bones and ligaments extend and thicken to support their weight. Her vision changes, becomes more abstract in nature, the details of the inanimate fading while her sight homes in on the pulse and flutter of elan in her adversary: Satana can observe Vampirella's eyes flooding with red, losing all other color.

"Maybe he thought you'd try to get inside my head and make me mad enough to kill you whether it serves his purposes or not. Don't do that again."
Satana has posed:
The pressure vanishes like a flicked light switch.

Satana shrugs. "Sorry." (Narrator voiceover: she's not sorry.) "It was worth a try. I was behind the circle, and, as I said, at best you can inconvenience me for a few months or years as I build up another mortal vessel to take me in. And my-oh-my, if I had one like you as a quisling the fun I could have!"

She licks her lips, staring Vampirella straight in her inhuman eyes.

"I think I like you a bit better this way, even. So exotic."

She snaps her fingers and steps to one side. "Please do come in. I've dropped the circle. I think we have some talking to do and perhaps a little bit of tempter ass to kick. I do so like Stan. He's quite a good lover and he taught me so much about manipulation, but his obsession with me has crossed over into the unhealthy."

She gestures to a set of poet's chairs that are scattered in one corner of the library. "Those are the most comfortable chairs. Or you can wait until I sit and use me as your chair."

Her eyes flick to her guest with little pinpricks of fire deep in their pupils.

"I'd rather enjoy that I think. Especially if you keep this form."

As she stands and talks, clothing coalesces about her: more than Vampirella wears yet somehow ... just as eye-catching and prone to teasing libido.

"Tell me, do you prefer feminine form or masculine? I can supply both, though this is my favoured, default form. I can even supply both at once if that's your preference. More exotic structures will take a bit of spell casting."
Vampirella has posed:
So Stan wants Satana dead because she's a threat to him, or at least to his plans, even if his plan might be nothing more grand than 'maintain my egotistical need to feel like I'm the temptiest of tempters.' That revelation is so obvious as to be useless: Vampirella had already gotten that far. Feeding her that intel could be a ruse to hide crucial details, or it could be a ruse to hide that she's in league with Stan, keeping up the deception of antagonism to further manipulate her.

More information is needed. So Vampirella releases her bloodrage (as she thinks of her killing form) and answers dryly, "I'm not the type to lose my mind over the sight of a nipple." Her hand twitches almost imperceptibly, arrested a split second too late from her urge to sweep it down herself in presentation. She turns on her heels and walks over to the indicated chair, sitting on it: it's comfortable enough, even to her refined sense of touch. Soft enough it will slow her noticeably if she has to rise in a hurry, which is what she expected and a risk she decided to take. Her fingers shrink back to their normal state, as not to rip the upholstry, and she asks, "So how long have you known Stan?"
Satana has posed:
"I was twelve or so when my father took me to his realm," Satana says, again skirting the whole question of who and/or what she actually is. "I was first given tutelage in demonology and other branches of magic, but when my ... talents and proclivities, shall we call them? ... became noticeable I was placed under the good Prince's loving, tender care. That would have been about ... 16 or 17 years old. So ... I've known him for 14 or 15 years I guess."

Satana takes a seat in one of the poet chairs facing Vampirella's, as a courtesy: it's just as likely to slow her rise down as well.

"Stan didn't like having a trainee that outranked him. I mean not while I was his trainee, obviously, but ... you may have noticed he's somewhat of a control freak. He didn't like having a trainee who, upon graduation, would be his superior: socially, and in ability both. I don't bear him any grudge personally; but he is becoming tiresome with his vendetta against me."

She tilts her head, regarding Vampirella with frank curiosity. "Have you partaken of his services? If not, I do recommend it. He's VERY good. He'll find every nerve that sets your brain on fire with pleasure; find ways to take you to ecstasy and back twenty times before twenty minutes has passed. He's my slight better in that regard."

Was that a humblebrag?

"Anyway, the issue is the information that he hasn't told you. My father is Marduk Kurios. You may know him by his title. Satan."

She pauses to let that sink in, checking if Vampirella recognizes the implications.

"I am, yes, literally the daughter of Satan," she continues with an amused smile. "The Devil's Daughter. A bona fide Hell Lord, complete with her own domain she rules over. And the destined Queen of Hell should my darling father..." Her voice goes dry like toast with those two words. "...ever suffer an unfortunate, ignoble defeat and vacate his throne. So you see, I was out of Stan's reach once I graduated. In every sense of the term."
Vampirella has posed:
Vampirella does catch the implications, but takes them impassively. Maybe she's unimpressed, maybe she's unconvinced, or maybe Christianity forms no part of her worldview so she only knows "Satan" from vaguely understood pop culture references. Maybe a combination. She's not telling.

But it does add an interesting new option to the list of possibilities: Stan wants her to succeed because if she does, she will incur a vengeance that will make the victory pyrrhic at best. Data point.

And yet--

"So you think Stan sent me against you, knowing who your father is and the retaliation he'd suffer if his treachery was found out?"
Satana has posed:
"I think he sent you against me in the hopes that I would erase you from existence, honestly," Satana says. She looks Vampirella over again, though unlike before this is more assessing, not carnal, in focus. "I'm stronger and tougher than I look, but I suspect the same is true of you. You have the bearing and the attitude of a scrapper. A hand to hand fighter. I'm a lover, not a fighter."

And now it's back to carnality with that languid wink.

"But that doesn't mean you'd win, even in a straight-up, hands-down brawl. Because naturally I have a lot more about me than my physical nature. I have servitors. Spells. Magical devices."

And she has the nuclear option, but that's not something she's going to bring up in casual conversation.

"You would ... vex me. But I doubt you would kill me. And I'm not sure you'd survive me. If you do win, I'm sent screaming back to my domain to nurse a bruised ego and to then plan all the hard work it takes to manifest once more in the mortal sphere."

Satana's eyes roll at this. "SO much work. And all of it tedious and easy to have disrupted. And while I'm doing it I have to listen to my father's megalomania and his vision of my place in his plans. My father's revenge won't be an issue because he'll be happy I'm in his reach and in his earshot."

Satana's face turns cruel with an almost feral smile.

"And if, as I suspect, I have the victory ... then I've done Stan's work for him. Whatever he has against you I've avenged. And I've been manipulated into being his agent. That will be good for his ego and for whatever purpose he has in trying to erase you."

Satana purses her lips and narrows her eyes as she studies the ceiling.

"The key to solving this problem is to figure out what Stan may have against you. If he has something against you--it's a given he has something against me--then the best possible outcome is that we ally and ... erase him."


"Well, we can't do that for the same inconvenient reason why he can't erase me. But we can set him back. Make him lose face and standing in Hell."

A chortle escapes her lips.

"Or we could drive him mad by becoming good friends. Lovers, even better. Not because it would be more effective but because I would LOVE to partake of you, explore you, and find what makes you scream in ecstasy." *sigh* Thirsty succubus is thirsty. "But if we're friends--or, better, lovers--he will have the Sword of Damocles hanging over his head, never knowing when that single hair will snap. If it ever does."
Vampirella has posed:
Vampirella flips a hand. The bracelets on her wrist tinkle together, more delicately than their thickness would suggest. "I've killed him, I've stood against him and his masters, I've defied my mother. All reasons to hate me." She regards Satana steadily, still thinking. Is this the trap, the outcome sought? Satana needn't even be in alliance with Stan, just familiar enough with her turn of mind--and Vampirella's--to predict this response.

She brushes it aside. No point thinking yourself into a hole. Maybe the way forward is to jump in the hole and get back out: after all, Vampirella has wings.

Even now, even after it's been explicitly pointed out to her twice, Vampirella does not consider the possibility of her own failure. It is unthinkable to her.

"Let's hold off on being lovers until we've both had our tests," she suggests wryly. "Do you think you can kill Stan? Whatever that word means to you."
Satana has posed:
"I can send him back to Hell. There is nothing he can do in a direct conflict that would let him win. It's why he relies on indirect."

There's a certain bravado to everything Satana does and says, but the vibes from this statement don't come across as bravado so much as simple confidence.

"He knows this too, no matter how much he would like to bluster. My father values me more than he does some Principality. I am his blood and, wilful and obstinate as I may be in his eyes, he knows that I honour him in my own way; that I am the only one he can trust to never betray him. So ... I have ... defenses. Things that Stan cannot circumvent."

Satana shifts in her seat, hanging one leg off the chair arm and resting her head against the wraparound wing on the opposite side.

"No, Stan will have to come at me crabwise. Or send minions against me in the hopes that one of them is powerful enough to send me back to my domain unwillingly. Then he's free to act on the mortal plane without my interference for months, possibly years."

Her face takes on an expression fo grudging respect.

"It's what I would do. He has a fine manipulative mind. I really do like him; I only wish he'd stop with these tedious attempts to have me removed."
Vampirella has posed:
Vampirella's lips quirk slightly at the word 'crabwise', but aside from that little twitch of the lips remains focused. Feints within feints within feints. She wonders aloud, sounding idle (and actually being idle: it's all a ruse to buy her time to think), "Do you think he likes you too?"
Satana has posed:
"You mean like in some grade school way where the boy likes the girl and shows it by being a horrible shit toward her?" Satana laughs. "No, I don't think he likes me. I think he resents me. I mean ... when we bedded down back home he enjoyed it, but that's not the same as liking, now, is it? I've had great sex with loads of people I didn't like. And he has ... a knack, shall we say? ... for getting reactions out of people. Even in bed. (I say 'bed' here metaphorically. I'm pretty sure we never actually used one.) I admire his skill and his drive. He resents me as a ... what do the kiddies say today? Premie-baby? No, that's wrong. Ah... Nepo-baby."
Vampirella has posed:
Vampirella does her best to stop her eyebrow from cynically rising at that 'what do the kiddies say' comment, and just replies in that same airy, passing-the-time tone of voice, "Just wondering. Murder is a way to express liking, to some demons.

She becomes aware that she's been sitting perfectly still in the chair for far too long. It would make the average person uncomfortable; make them think of a snake, ready to strike. Vampirella can't quite bring herself to waste the effort of shifting her position. She'll masquerade in front of humans if she must, but not for Satana.
Satana has posed:
For her part, Satana is always in motion, the inner chaos that is the demonic half of her insisting upon it. (The nature of said half informs, naturally, the style of motion; it's all subtly directed at her sensuality.) "I think if Stan could get over the fact that Father has plans for me that involve putting me over other demons that Stan and I could get along fine. But..." She shrugs helplessly. "...he is what he is. Direct him at the right tasks and he's very effective. Unfortunately he tends to direct himself at quixotic things like trying to get ..."

At this point Satana stops, looking over Vampirella with pursed lips.

"... whatever it is you are to destroy my mortal vessel."


"What are you, precisely?" Her lips curve into an inviting, wicked smile. "I mean aside from absolutely delicious. Stan does know me enough to know that you could very well have been the kind of distraction needed to put me off my guard. Just not enough to know that I have defences that would thwart that."
Vampirella has posed:
The question is enough to make Vampirella subtly stiffen; though it would take a very perceptive person to notice the momentary, minute flex of her fingers into the chair's armrests on more than a subconscious level. The woman in the chair is silent for a long moment, probably thinking about whether it would be more useful to lie or to tell the truth, before she says, "Stan owes my mother favors. Possibly fealty. I don't keep up with her relationships. He sometimes shows up to manipulate me on her behalf, sometimes shows up to kill me on her behalf. Depends where her schemes are at the moment."
Satana has posed:
"Oh, that question bothers you." For all her whimsical behaviour and flighty demeanour, Satana seems to be perceptive. Perhaps a tad too perceptive. "Terribly sorry." She's not sorry. She does pause a moment, however, to consider. "It seems we both have parents, however, that interfere with our lives and switch between rage and adoration. How fascinating."

Curling up in her chair, catlike, Satana leans a bit forward. "Cards on the table time, for me. You can choose to follow or not as you wish. You provide information either way."

Is that her stiffening her spine? As if in pride?

"My father is Marduk Kurios, a.k.a. Satan. The Enemy." She chuckles, breaking that regal demeanour she was forming. "That makes me, yes, the literal Devil's Daughter. You can call me DD if you like. It's descriptive in more ways than one after all."
Vampirella has posed:
Vampirella is thinking fast, weighing the benefits and costs of telling the truth versus evading. She's gotten better at it over the years. Ultimately, she decides, "My mother is Lilith. The one you're thinking of." This both true and a lie; a conditional fact which has been accurate in other realities she's experienced, at least. "She tried to conquer a world very far from here and failed, so she made deals with demons that ended up losing her daughter. She made me as a sacrifice to get that daughter back, but it hasn't worked out for her yet. Stan works for her when he's not doing his own thing. This seems like something she'd set up as part of one of her schemes."

All that, delivered flatly, factually, as if reciting nothing more fantastic than how coffee is doing in the stock market.

You really can get used to anything.
Satana has posed:
"Huh." Satana pauses a while. "I've not had the pleasure of meeting Adam's first wife. She's ... considered pretty distant. Considers herself better than the Fallen and FAR superior to the likes of me, the Hellspawn."

Spoken like it's discussing the bad habits of someone in a PTA.

"So she's trying to sacrifice you. Do you know the form of sacrifice she's attempting? Or is it just that you have to die, because if that's the one, Stan picked a fairly good target." She smiles tightly. "I look harmless, vapid, flighty. But Father Dearest has plans for me and my dissolution would interfere with those plans, so I have ... let's call it a dead man's trigger and leave it at that. Those who manage to kill my vessel because they think it will solve a problem will find themselves with a far larger problem. So while I wail and gnash my teeth in Hell and start the tiresome process of finding another vessel and inhabiting her, those who killed my vessel ... Well, they may have remnants that can be identified. But likely not."

She tilts her head and regards Vampirella. "So Stan sent you in to kill my mortal shell in the hopes that I would kill you in the process so your mother can get her daughter back? I'd like to say that's fucked up, but seriously? That's a wonderfully twisted plan. I quite enjoy it. I trust you're not going through with it?"
Vampirella has posed:
A grimace passes over Vampirella's face like a spasm. "Killing me isn't enough, or she would have done it already. There are a dozen reasons Mother made me. I'm supposed to be my sister's perfect duplicate so I could be swapped for my sister; I'm supposed to be her perfect duplicate so Mother's magic can use me to find her daughter on whatever reality she's in; I'm supposed to fight evil because that might draw out the one demon who knows which reality my sister is stranded on..." Vampirella shrugs and rises from the chair, easily, to pace slightly. "Could be the plan is to have me kill you, piss off your dad enough that your dad demands answers, finds out why I was sent after you, decides to make Belial show himself to answer for his part in starting Mother down this path..."

She shrugs again. "Or could be he's mad you friendzoned him and just wants me to teach you a lesson. Demons have a lot of reasons for what they do. None of their reasons have ever been good for me."
Satana has posed:
"That sounds like an interesting case, finding your sister. I have some talents in that field. It could be an interesting research project." Satana's voice is going distant, along with her gaze, as she talks. "Finding her would give leverage over Lilith, which is something not many have..."

Then a word registers.

"Did you say Belial? The Crooked Serpent? Lord of Lies? Ruler of the Bottomless Pit?" she asks in astonishment. "Oh, no. I'm not getting involved with *that* psycho. I could probably handle him, but Leviathan's tits would I come out of that worse for the wear. What did your mother do to piss in his Cheerios?"
Vampirella has posed:
Vampirella observes this reluctance (she can't quite call it fear; Satana isn't exuding the harsh chemical stink of fear) with some surprise, some amusement, some cynicism. "She made a deal. He taught her magic to conquer my world in exchange for being his brood mare. She gave birth to my sister, and he took that as a sign Mother had been cheating on him. He took the girl as punishment and cursed Mother to never find her."
Satana has posed:
"I'd love to help, darling." Satana is lying. "But going up against Belial will require a price I don't think you could afford. I'm not sure I even know what that price would be yet. I'd have to think on it."

Yeah. She's not sorry.

"However... The fact that you've been sent to destroy me makes me involved; helping you is helping me (within reason). At the very least Stan needs to be slapped in the face hard enough to leave a mark for this, and perhaps, your mother might need a lesson in dealing with her betters."

No, not even slightly arrogant at all, this little princess.

"Having a mere Immortal thinking she can toy with a Hell Lord is a teachable moment, don't you think?"
Vampirella has posed:
Vampirella stops her pacing (it's interesting and perhaps upsetting to know that even in her agitation, she still walks silently in those ridiculously pointy-heeled boots) and turns to face Satana again. "I'm not going against Belial. He and Mother can have each other. I just want her out of my life." Vampirella is not lying. "And if you want to teach her a lesson, that's fine with me. But you should know who you're dealing with."

Vampirella stares at Satana with the flat, emotionless eyes of a serpent as she ticks off a list of accomplishments, flicking out a finger from her closed left fist for every one. Thumb: "She deceived Belial with the sorcery he taught her and lured her into a trap, cutting off his hand and stealing the ring he uses to travel between worlds. Or dimensions, I'm not sure." Forefinger: "While trying to whittle down realities Draculina might be in, she destroyed one by managing to corrupt one of the supposedly incorruptible Tzadikim Nistarim." Middle finger: "On some realities, she gave birth to every monster of human legend." Ring finger, accompanied by a slight, self-conscious shrug: "She survives reality-hopping with her sanity about as intact as mine." Pinky finger: "She's so good at manipulating people that she can arrange for--no, never mind, it would take too long for the story to make any sense.

"I'm not trying to talk you out of it. I'm trying to make sure you take it seriously. Because I've killed her before, and she came back." Vampirella pauses, then admits, "Same with me."
Satana has posed:
"I take everything seriously," Satana says with a laugh. "Don't let the demeanour fool you."

She gestures broadly, taking in the home she's inside.

"Having Stan get you to attack me here, for example, fell afoul of ... preparations. I knew you were spying on me. I knew when you entered. And there's enough defences in this house to make a fellow Hell Lord think twice about tangling with me." She stares into Vampirella's eyes, and flame-filled eyes stare back at the serpent's. "I just need to make this abundantly clear. I am a Lord of Hell. I am not some imp to be squashed. I am not even some fiend to be embattled. I'm not a mere Duke or even Principality. I am a Queen of a Domain, and daughter of the most powerful demon currently actually acting the part." She snorts. "Lucifer has become a introspective recluse. Such a disappoitnment."

Now it's her turn to pace though she doesn't do so silently. Indeed her motions cause ripples in spaces that most beings can't feel, but Vampirella likely could. Mana swirls around her like eddies in a river.

"So I will be taking it seriously. And when the time comes I will teach her why she chose the wrong one. Belial is just violence. I'm infinitely worse."