bailiwick • prismatic
we come from all these
horrid places

He supposed he knew it best: There were frightening things to be found in the dark.

Maligned entities made of overactive imaginations who gave them such misshapen forms as the ones he wove out of the shadows, ghosts echoing the last of their death rattles in the presence of haunting silence only the breeze across the island and crash of waves broke, creatures with names unknown that were thought to birth the evils of the universe as they waited for their time to rise from the depths of darkness they laid dormant in; and Henry knew plenty of them, cast out and thrown into the dark, forgotten once they were out of sight thanks to the magics, the warlocks and witches and the sorcerer supremes that had trapped them there to rut around in the name of survival.

They were just like her in a way - cast out, left out, and forgotten; hunted when all they wanted to do was survive; and given little chance to be anything other than what nature their predetermined formula of creation dictated. If they were to be monsters, if they were to be treated like monsters, then let them be monsters; and there was no time like the present, no opportune moment greater than this, to show everyone just how monstrous they could actually be against monsters of another ilk.

Because humans - humans, homo sapien or homo superior as they may have been, could be monsters just as much as the creatures which all but staggered out of the portals he had conjured, eyes set in permanent darkness adjusting to an every dwindling light while clouds born of shadow started to block out the very sun assaulting their senses. Some leap outright like giant dogs come to play, galloping through the Krakoan wilderness towards no target in particular, while others insectoid in appearance scuttled through the tall grasses in clandestine fashion. Those who could fly - the banshees heralding the arrival of such Hell-born darkness with their screams as the beating of Nightgaunt wings pounded through the air - did like vultures through the sky while others tunneled through the ground under his feet, an ever-growing tremor shaking its way towards the Carousel until the burrowers sprung up from the floor, chomping their way through the celebratory bonfires in their weighty dives.

And behind them, he followed to watch the destruction that had been sent on its way and the efforts of the mutants - distracted from their intention - and the island itself to defend that which had been built upon it. It stood to reason they would defend themselves, but for every eye taken off of their true intentions, every mutant power taken away from stopping them in an effort to stop a perceived greater threat, every spider that had wrapped up a Krakoan citizen in thick web and Nightgaunt that had ripped them from the ground, it was just another point in their favor - a well-laid distraction tactic of absolute madness to take them off the real threat.

The Carousel hadn’t been his intended target though as the goblins about his feet had directed, as much of a help to keep him on track in such a foreign land as Krakoa had been as they were a menace to those who had dared catch their sights, aid from the Goblin Queen herself who was wearing her own tale of terror among the pocket dimension’s citizens.

”Lead the way,” he said to one such creature, motioning the troop forward as they bounced and scurried up a staircase that, as with many things he had witnessed in his terror tour of Krakoa so far, led oddly enough into a grand tree that easily towered over The Horror and casting down upon him such shadow he found well to use in his favor -

- until there was a flash, something bright that had all but popped his senses in a wash of bright and blinding light.

If there had been one thing that could push back darkness, it had always been the light, two opposing, but symbiotic forces that couldn’t exist without the other - light always casting a shadow while the dark sought to block it out in a fundamental back and forth; and in one brilliant pop, he had seen such a bright spectrum against darkened eyes, blocking out the landscape of Krakoa before him in the aftereffect that lingered.

But that was why they called her Dazzler.

There was a stumble back away from the stairs even as he listened to the sounds of chaos around him - the screams, both determined and terrified and ghostly, from those who had found themselves caught in comeback in the Carousel; the guttural and inhuman sounds of the creatures that had been called to this place by his own hands; and the sudden spring to action of the goblins who, movements still spurred forward, found a new, temporary target in Alison Blaire.

Still, it helped not with the imbalance, with the change in equilibrium that had come of the strobe lighting radiating off her body as goblins were shot off one-by-one with lasers constructed solely from the prismatic electrons her body transmuted like a bio-electric symphony of sound, and the near-nausea that settled in his stomach with the onslaught of sparkling lights in a popping cascade that all but assaulted his vision further.

Hand to his face, the closest thing he had to a shield in that moment, he sought out some balance against the staircase as the armor of living abyss he had kept around his body to shield it gained fluidity - just enough to shift and allow the portals beneath to open up and the evils within to expand, to stretch, to gather their bearings in this new place so unlike San Francisco, and tear it apart. They all but shot out of his torso in different directions, knocking over goblins in their way and making a quick grab for the photon-manipulating mutant to snatch her out of the sky even as that sound-born light found further manipulation within her hands in an attempt to evade, perhaps escape, what further atrocities had just risen.

And they squeezed.

“You are not going to stop me,” he assured through gritted teeth, the eldritch limb still squeezing as he dug his fingers into the ground. As they squeezed, so did the creature, ever-tightening around the mutant despite Krakoa’s reaction in kind to such an attack, vines tearing up from the ground in an attempt to hit, wrap, or other remove The Horror from this place; but much like the ghost he had been, the results were unfounded as they passed right through.

And then it came - a galloping rumble felt through the ground as a towering beast of gnashing teeth and twisted horns, jutting from its head and shoulders like some sort of otherworldly armor of its own, came changing into view, trampling over whatever might have been in its way as it headed for the tree with wanton disregard for anything around - even Henry who, with one strong cast from the limb protruding from his stomach, tossed Dazzler aside and made quick work of rolling out of the way before he found himself on the underside of its foot. Against the tree it rammed, head tucked down to let the naturally-born armor do the damage, shaking up what had been inside as it swung its massive head side to side to all but tear through what might have very well been the mutant tree of life.

He couldn’t be certain how long he had stayed there after the smoke of destruction cleared and the dust surrounding the assault on Arbor Magna had settled, eyes cast up towards a clearing sky until a shadow had darkened the light that managed to filter through the skin of heavy eyelids.

There was a tune, too, which came with the oblong egg shape that had come into view, Henry canting his head to the side as he stared up at the wide goggles and painted lips of what was a rather peculiar robot. It was a tune he recognized, hummed by whoever might have been inside and a curious choice to say the least he put words to the melody.

“Rock-a-bye baby... in the treetop.”

“When the wind blows... the cradle will rock.”

“When the bough breaks... the cradle will fall!”

It seemed all at once the ground had opened up beneath him, caught off guard in that moment as he seemed particularly entranced by the long-stare focused on him and unable to throw his intangibility back into action before, it seemed, Krakoa had swallowed him whole.