Rituale Romanum

April 28, 2015:

Jericho and May catch up about the HYDRA threat and Shift

New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Jericho… has some questions for May. And he's sure the reverse is true. More than that, he has news for May since theyve been back from Bahrain and he's been pouring through the copies of the documents they recovered (copies, he turned the originals over to the SHIELD intel secion). And by copies we mostly mean holographic projections from his cybernetically enhanced memory. Some days it's the best trick in the world.

Anyway, he'd been worried. He'd left her in the care of SHIELD medical and gone home. Hadn't heard from her in a bit so just a few minutes ago he rang her up and invited her over to the safe house. There's Thai, if it helps.


Melinda May has been busy since Medical cleared her. Surprise, surprise. But, when she gets Jericho's invitation, she makes a point of clocking out and heading over to see what's going on. She didn't bring any ice cream this time, though. Didn't have time to stop off somewhere. As it was, she used her pendulum to avoid the even more hideous than normal traffic.

She walks up to the apartment door and knocks very lightly. It's more a formality for any neighbors might pay attention, she knows that the hacker has likely been following her movements since she stepped into this city block.


He has though he appreciates it. He's been safe here, but barging in on him gets that twitch to go for a gun that's hard to shake. As it is, when he opens the door K'nert is reclining on the counter watching everything through half lidded eyes and the small of thai food is wafting out. "Hey May." The hacker says quietly, opening the door. "Come on in."

He goes to the fridge and opens it. "Help your self to the food. Something to drink?" Peering back he looks her over. "How are you feeling?"


Melinda May closes the door behind herself after Jericho lets her in, then follows him toward the kitchen. "Better. And water, please." She moves to serve up two helpings of the Thai, having noticed that the hacker had not already started eating. "How are you doing?" She figures it must have been at least really disconcerting to get dragged along like that.


Jericho brings that water and has a seat, dishing out some food for himself now. And rice. Mmmm rice. "I'm okay. My systems got a little jumbled with that jump…" He peers at May curiously. "Which was a good trick by the way. Saved our asses." And a lot of mess. "Seemed to take a lot out of you though. How long you been doing that?"


Melinda May has a seat as well, though before reaching for the water she takes a moment to reveal her pendulum and remove it from around her neck in case Trent wants to look at it more closely. "Not long enough, apparently. It's a … side project."


Jericho reaches out to touch it and examine it. Sure enough when he does his traces start flushing with light. White light in this case. "Well it's magic alright. I didn't know you were… into that kind of thing." He smiles. "Though I'm damn glad you had it. Okay, so you're not… taxed or drained or… missing part of you yeah? Good. I was worried for a bit."


Melinda May shakes her head slightly. "It's supposed to work along ley lines. We were more than a mile from the closest one, that's what caused the side effects. It was like…" She hesitates, then seems to completely switch topics all of a sudden. "Have you ever met an individual named Fenris?"


"Can't say that I have…" Could be anyone really. Wolf-God but a common enough code name throughout history. He does a quick search but nothing comes up for it that's solid. "Is he… related to your necklace?" Wait, dowsing pendulum… ugh, whatever.


Melinda May nods. "He is. Often goes by the pseudonym Jeremiah Wolfson." She wraps the pendulum chain back around her neck and hides the whole thing under her shirt collar again. "He's asked several people to help protect the ley lines in this area. I think the things HYDRA's been doing got bad enough for him to outsource for extra help."


Jericho considers that with a throughtful gaze as he chews on his food and swallows. "And SHIELD is okay with that? I mean, don't get me wrong, I think it's a great idea based on what I understand about the whole thing, but…" Do they know? DId May tell them?


They don't know. May finally takes a bite of the food before offering, "I did call it a side project." Kind of like when she was moonlighting for Oracle more often than not. "I'll tell Fury after this whole Hydra thing settles out some."


Jericho nods. "Well they won't find out from me. Promise." As if he has to say that. She's a friend and she's kept his secrets well enough. Returning the favor is the least he can do. "Got it. Well, probably a useful ace in the hole to have all things considered." He takes a deep breath. "Okay, well, so I've been going through the documents we recoverd and I've made some corellations. There's a really good chance, say, 90 that HYDRA is going to move on Metropolis and it's going to be in the next few days. Four… five at the outside. Not much more. Looks like this is it."


Melinda May nods. "That sounds like the final showdown all right. What resources can you bring to the table?" She's already mentally tallying who she can tap for assistance that isn't directly SHIELD related. Their assistance is likely already a given. "I can ask probably," she does a quick mental count, "six or seven to the table at best." She touches her shirt's neckline over the pendulum, indicating she means allies with similar affiliations.


"Well, Illyana will come I hope. And the X-Men if they're not chasing smooth when it happens. I'll be sure to tell them what we've found since it may bear on their investigations. I'll tap my allies. And I may have some… other things to bring to bear. If it gets bad enough." Though he's not sure bringing limbo demons into that kind of a situation would really help and he'd want Illyana's advice and approval on the matter before trying. Leading them in Limbo is one thing. Leading them to earth is another. Especially to fight.

"Part'll be ready to go, I know that. Your own resources…" He considers. "JL:A if they're not too busy answering to congress." He snorts there. "It's going to get bad, I'm afraid."

The hacker mutters, half to himself. "Now if only we could find where Shift went…"


Melinda May straightens up a bit at that. "Shift. Kwabena Odame."


"Yeah. Guy who was with us on the first mission you and I ran together." What a mess that had been. Jericho's eyes narrow. "Wait. You know something don't you. Has SHIELD figured out where he went?" Jericho ahs not in his wildest dreams suspected that SHIELD has actually caught the guy.


Melinda May very carefully puts her utensils down. "I know where he is. Rogers and Carter were able to capture him with help, and he's currently in a secure SHIELD facility. He's having personality problems currently. Simmons and a geneticist named McCoy are working on figuring out how to safely separate the invading personality from his."


"Invad…" Jericho's eyes narrow and the thinks. "The documents referred to it as a 'scion of the serpent.' It's a spirit of some kind. And I think it can probably be abjured… or at least…" He starts to smirk. And then grin. "Oh… I have an idea… but I doubt SHIELD will like it. I know for a fact Shift won't. But it should work."


Melinda May raises her eyebrows questioningly. "I was considering trying the Rituale Romanum. Well, asking Romanoff to try it," she says with a shrug of one shoulder. "Her Latin is far better than mine. What's your idea?"


"Rather the opposite of that. You know that I speak another language right? One I had to be very careful learning because Words Are Power? At least in that particular language…" He taps his chin. "When we jumped, well when you jumped, I saw… something on you. Your necklace now, I realize but it blazed with power. I think wherever you took us might reveal magical things. If we can pull Shift into that place either you or I… preferably I but I could teach you the words - carefully - can probably order the thing to leave. I… represent a fairly significant power and that seems to carry weight. Or…" He sighs. "We could pull him into Limbo…" Where Jericho's authority is greater… SHIELD might not like that thought.


Melinda May considers that, her eyes narrowing slightly. "I don't like the sound of that at all. Let's save it for a last resort." Though, if it did come down to that, would that 'scion of the serpent' be a soul that K'nert could claim?


"Last resort it is." Jericho nods. He figured that might be the case. "Mmmm. Failing that though I can show you the wards Illyana uses to keep things out of this place." It's demonic magic, but it was done in blood and with the right… help, May or Nat might be able to replicate it.

"Oh… one other thought… doesn't the King of Bureaucratic Hell owe you one?"


Melinda May has to stop and think about that for… "Oh. That's right. Though, the people are already having enough trouble reconciling what they've seen. I can't say that bringing another third party element might not be the straw that broke the camel's back." Even if the camel IS blue-furred and prone to complaining.


"Whatever gets the job done, right?" Mostly Jericho's thinking May's talking about Fitz. He doesn't know about the other guy. "All options. I can have K'nert send a message if you really need." Saves her having to, though apparently she's Ley-May now and… he's not entirely certain she doesn't in fact have superpowers. Certainly she was scary enough without them. "So… how is it? Magic, I mean?"


"It's not as different as I was expecting. It is a discipline like many others I've learned." She goes back to picking at her food. "Of course, the effects are a bit more showy than I'm used to, but…" She shrugs. "It's proven useful so far."


Jericho chuckles. It's an interesting turn of his life, being exposed to so much magic - and having it flood his being - that he can't really use any. Magical energy is essential to his internal balance and possibly other other things but he doens't wield it's power so much as soak it up. "Well if it helps, I can't think of a SHIELD agent I trust more with power of really any kind."


Melinda May almost looks amused by that. Almost. "You've never really met Coulson, have you?"

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