The entity grasps the man's feet from underneath. Steadying itself, it pulls itself up. Through the legs, slithering up the spine. The man jolts, startled but now unable to move as the ghostly hands somehow hold him firm. The spirit pulls itself upright, staring at the back of the man's head, the mess of spikes. Reaches forward. As casually as opening a pair of curtains, the spirit pulls open the man's mind and steps inside...
It had been half Maya's idea, half his. She, wanting to show him the wonders of Kurain again, adamant that he needed to do more training. Him, just wanting to see her, missing her energy and friendship. And that was how, now, he found himself standing under a freezing waterfall with her once more, muttering the same chants over and over.
It doesn't matter, he thinks with amused exasperation, that it won't work for him. He isn't a Fey, isn't gifted with the ability to channel the dead and won't be, no matter how long they try. She doesn't see it that way, of course.
"You've got to at least try, Nick," she'd admonished him, eyes shining with determination. "You never know. Maybe you'll be able to channel dead lawyers and they can help you with cases. You could be Ace Attorney channeller!"
And maybe pigs will fly and his clients will pay him once in a while, he thinks but doesn't say aloud. He's content just to spend time with her, even if he does think he's going to catch pneumonia.
He risks cracking his eyes open, just a touch, to see how she is doing. Head angled down, hands clasped together, she mutters with a speed that jumbles all the words together. It's obviously not harming her performance though, as a faint green haze surrounds her, making her appear more indistinct and yet sharper at the same time. He can't quite explain it other than it's like seeing a light in a fog, bright and unwavering, yet blurred.
"Piercing-a-veil-between-worlds-Nick-shut-your-eyes-we-call-you," she gabbles without pause.
Phoenix grins. Turning back, he closes his eyes again and tries to remember where in the chant he's got up to. After the piercing the veil bit? Or before?
Something grabs his feet. Something cold. Colder than the water currently thundering down on his head. Something...not quite...right. He gasps at the touch, trying not to let Maya hear and risks another glance, this time down. He can't see anything except the vague chilly purple of his sandalled feet.
He frowns, closes his eyes, tries to ignore the fact he can still feel something there.
"Piercing the veil between worlds," he starts again, slowly. "We..."
The thing is moving up his legs. He stops, suddenly unsure, feeling it stroke its way up his calves, grabbing at his knees. He looks again, more frantically this time, pulling the ceremonial robes up to stare at his own hairy legs. Nothing there but he can feel it. Cold and sure and grasping at him.
He looks through the torrent of water, trying to see Maya again, wondering whether to say something or if he's just going mad from cold when the thing clutches at his spine, jerking him backwards then holding him still. His eyes widen, his own chills running frantically down his spine as the thing moves up.
"May..." he starts.
Suddenly, the thing dives forward into both his arms, filling them and bringing one hand up to abruptly clamp across his own mouth. It squeezes, digging his fingers into his cheeks. He chokes.
He can't move at all, the thing preposterously inhabiting most of his body. He flicks his eyes desperately across to where Maya still stands, chanting and chanting, lost in her own trance and unable to see what's happening to him.
For one moment, his left arm is free, the thing pulling out of it suddenly and leaving it dangling. Seeing his chance, he grabs at his other hand, pulling at it, trying to tug it away from his mouth. His right hand squeezes further, nails cutting into his skin. His heart's racing, his breath charging out of his nose furiously. He can see, in his minds eye, just how ridiculous he must look, wrestling with himself and for a moment, considers stopping. He must have gone mad. All he has to do is let go, he tells himself.
Then, the thing gently runs a finger across the back of his skull and he whimpers against the skin of his own hand. He realises, suddenly, what it's going to do and tears, with renewed fervour, at the fingers holding his mouth. If he can just call Maya, if he can just make her look, make her see...
It pulls at the back of his mind, opening it up and pushing him aside. The arm is reclaimed, falling back by his side with steely arrogance. Phoenix's eyes go wide just once, rolling back then closing.
When they open again, von Karma is staring out of them.