Bubble Tea

August 15, 2015:

Astryd, Magdalena, May and Fenris meet up in New York and … May buys bubble tea

New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

There's a crowd gathered on a New York street, around the collapsed form of a woman in her early 50's. Crouched beside the woman, is another woman in her late 20's with long strawberry blonde hair and hard planes to her face - the visage of a warrior, really.

The strawberry blonde's head is bowed and she's murmuring words in a long forgotten language… even as another man tries to resuscitate the fallen fifty-something year old.


"What happened?" asks a faintly Italian accented voice that belongs to a woman dressed in crucifix adorned armour and a cloak - only in New York. "Has anybody called an ambulance?" She is heavily armed but makes no move to draw a weapon. Sometimes things like this have nothing to do with Satan…or supervillains…or villains. It could just be the Will of God that the woman's time is done.

But Magdalena will have to make sure which it is.


Ever since that one incident, WAND has been keeping an eye out for the individual known as Magdalena. Today they got a ping, and May promptly goes out to 'observe'. She arrives a block or so away via ley line (SO much faster than public transit or a car and far more subtle than a quinjet) and approaches the gathering crowd. This looks distressingly familiar. As she gets nearer, May can't help but sigh very faintly to herself. The blond woman, Astrid? Something like that. She's here again. People are going to start blaming her for deaths if she keeps showing up like that.

Pausing briefly to call in to HQ to make sure paramedics are already on the way, she stays at the fringes of the crowding people.


The man looks up at Magdalen and shrugs a little "They clutched their right arm and fell…" He's still adminstering CPR "I've called the EMT's and this woman" he indicates Astryd "came to give aid."

With Astryd present the crowd doesn't press quite so closely and finally the EMT's appear. All the while, Astryd has her hand on the womans forehead and is speaking in Norse - it sounds like a prayer. Raising grey eyes to Magdalena, the strawberry blonde takes in the weapons and is amused "I do what I can to aid them…" aid them in /what/, exactly? And her eyes cut through the fringes of the crowd to May "Daughter of Dragons, it is good to see you again."

The EMTs arrive and break through the crowd with a gurney, relieving the man conducting CPR "We have her now, miss…" one of the uniformed women murmurs before disappearing into the van and away.


Magdalena could have cured the woman of course, she has the blood of Jesus running through her veins, but today she leaves it to God's will. "I am sure you both did your best" she notes to the man and Astryd. "It is in God's hands now" she adds before the 'Daughter of a Carpenter' is glancing around for this 'Daughter of Dragons'. She too spots May and offers her a bow of recognition.


Melinda May watches the paramedics take over, and steps forward as the crowd finally starts to disperse. Her eyes flick back and forth between the two women, and then they're graced with a rather Spock-like quirked eyebrow.


The crowd thins and dissipates and Astryd stands, flexing her back before giving Magdalena a faintly amused look. "I did as I must."

Mays quirked brow receives a slightly deferential bow "The God-Wolf trusts you, Daughter of Dragons, well met, this day. What brings you out?" Astryd's tone is mildy amused, matching the look she gives Magdalena…. Looking back to the weaponed woman "I am Astryd" holding her hand out, either to shake or grip in a warriors grip.


"A pretty name" offers Magdalena before taking Astryd's hand in the warrior's grip. "Though you do sound a bit 'Shakespeare in the Park'" she adds with a smile. Thankfully Magdalena usually keeps her Latin to herself. "You know the 'Daughter of Dragons' then?" They weren't really introduced last time they saw each other but she is pretty sure that is not May's actual name. "Do you think she wants to talk to us?"


May's expression goes from unemotional to truly flat at Magdalena's words. "Agent Melinda May. SHIELD." Still in terse mode, apparently. She does give Astryd a somewhat significant look after glancing toward the departing ambulance. "You're going to have to start being careful, Valkyrie. People will start thinking you're causing these deaths."


"When one has 300 years on this rock, one might sound a little 'Shakespeare'" Astryd raises her shoulder at Magdalena "And you are?" the woman hasn't given her name yet. "We've met, briefly." her head inclines towards May.

"Agent Melinda May, then." Astryd offers a small smile "If you know that I'm a Valkyrie, you'll know that that already happens…" Glancing around the street, the woman gestures "Shall we move on?"


"Oh…my apologies. Magdalena is my name." She offers a polite bow to Astryd before the same for May. "Agent of SHIELD? I'm honoured to make your acquaintance but I assure you we work on the same side. You are a Valkyrie, Astryd? How interesting. That must be interesting work." A nod to the blonde. "Yes, perhaps we should move on. I am hardly inconspicuous."


Melinda May nods to Astryd and gestures for them to follow her. She'll lead the way to a nearby coffee… shop… maybe? The signs aren't in English. And the beverage containers patrons are carrying mostly aren't designed for hot beverages but for cold. And one young woman passing by the other way just had a luridly pink beverage with black eyeballs floating in it. Okay, maybe not eyeballs, but spheres of SOME sort.


"Magdalena" Astryd smiles as she follows May along, eyeing the signs as they enter. The pink beverage gets raised eyebrows. "A Valkyrie, Magdalena. It is more a calling than work." Looking at the womans weaponry, Astryd raises an eyebrow "What of yourself?"

Turning to May, waiting for direction on how to proceed, Astryd continues "I have heard of SHIELD in my wanderings, not … all of what is said is good…"


"I suppose I am answering a calling too" Magdalena smiles to Astryd as she removes her cloak - they're hell to sit in. The drink with eyes gets an eyebrow quirk in return but they're not real eyeballs. Are they? "The blood of mankind's saviour runs through my veins and He calls on my to bring justice to the world." She holds up a hand and offers a warm smile to the Valkyrie. "Let's not get into a conversation about Gods though. I already spend too much time talking to a Hellenic 'deity'. "What is this place, Agent May?"


"Bubble tea. An Asian convention. Typically, it's green tea or fruit juice with tapioca spheres added for texture. They also have decent hot teas and food items if you prefer." And an added benefit for May, at least: most of the patrons that don't just purchase beverages and leave are not speaking English. The place is enough white noise to drown out their conversation.


Astryds grey eyes dance a little at Magdalena's comments. "It might surprise you to know that I escort souls to many deities realms." a slight shake of her head, sends the blonde/reddish locks falling around her shoulders "I've no wish to debate on the matter, either."

"Bubble tea? I've heard of this… although not experienced it myself. Please, Melinda May, order as you think you appropriate." Astryd can understand the spoken conversations around them, but reading the menu is beyond her.


Magdalena would say something about the Valkyrie's trips but since they agreed on no debates, she lets it slide. "Bubble tea? Hmm…okay. Not sure why you would put bubbles in tea but I'm willing to try. Shall I find us a booth?"

Wrapping her cloak around on arm…though that does show off more weapons than are probably needed in a tea shop…Magdalena tries to find them somewhere out of the way to sit. It is perhaps unsurprising that her armed appearance does encourage people to move away.


Melinda May nods to Astryd and lets Magdalena go booth hunting while she steps toward the counter. It's a quick conversation with the employees behind the counter and then she's returning with two of the tapioca-laden drinks. Both are nearly transparent with a greenish cast, and the tapioca spheres are more of a toast color than black. Apparently, she got the same for both women, so they could sample and decide if they care for the unusual beverage or not.


People move for Magdalena's armed presence and cast furtive gazes at the grey eyed woman who's presence is simply alien and then May joins them. The three women together present a formidable force to be reckoned with.

Waiting whilst Magdalena finds a booth, Astryd surveys the cafe and watches as May returns with the beverages before slipping into a seat and looking over "Do you always go armed in New York?" If her turning up when people die will raise questions, how does Magdelana's clothing pan out.


"Not always, only when I am on patrol" replies Magdalena to Astryd before looking around the cafe. "I understand that having so many weapons can disturb people" she admits, "But that also works on those who are not innocent and who require justice." A sly smile. "Though if I /know/ I will be having bubble tea beforehand, I am usually not dressed like this."

Magdalena eyes off the drink and offers an 'enthusiastic' smile to the others. "Salute" Then she tries it…and doesn't die immediately. This is a good start. "But even out of 'uniform', I usually carry a couple of weapons." New York's most dangerous librarian.


Melinda May chooses to also reply to Astryd's question even though it was aimed at Magdalena. "I have a concealed carry license." And then why she arrived at the table without a beverage of her own becomes clear when one of the servers brings over a teapot and cup along with a plate of bite-sized pastries. "Have you found employment yet, Astryd?"


"I see." Astryd, of course, carries hers in the form of the jewellery she wears but she's not going to share that just yet. Seeing Magdalena try the tea, Astryd follows suit "Skal" she uses the Norse term and tastes from the cup that is set in front of her. "Interesting flavour and texture…" she'll leave it at that for a moment.

"I have not found employment yet, Melinda May." The Valkyrie shifts a little uncomfortably "Normally I find a position, quickly, but not this time…" Looking to Magdalena, she smiles just a little "Apart from patrolling New York streets, Magdalena, what else is it you do?"


Magdalena is sipping from her drink…slowly. She does almost choke when she encounters her first bubble but some coughing and water will cure that. "I am a librarian" she finally manages to answer Astryd. "I work for the Vatican…the Roman Catholic Church." They also raised her and trained her to be a killer but that will not be mentioned. "I have been researching some flooded catcombs under the cathedral. Very interesting…but I won't bore you both now."


Melinda May raises her tea cup wordlessly as the other two 'toast' with their beverages, then thinks that this little pow wow could really do with a fourth. And she knows exactly who. She sends a message along the ley lines to Fenris, informing him of their location including who is here and that it's not any sort of emergency. Simply individuals breaking bread (NOT furniture!) and sharing news. This time, she doesn't offer any information, as SHIELD is pretty self-explanatory on top of the fact that she's concentrating on sending the message to Fenris.


There's a pause in the conversation around them. Fenris approaches. That aura of dread, of predatory advance preceeds him. May and Astryd are familair with it already but most folks chill a bit, their conversation falters as he comes. "Ladies." He murmurs.


Astryd shivers, just a little, as Fenris enters turning her head in his direction just before he speaks "Chasing me, God-Wolf?" There's a slight teasing tone to her words. Another glance to May, she'd seen them together before, before looking back to Fenris. "Will you join us? This is Magdalena…"

"Researching catacombs could be very interesting" Astryd turns her attention to Magdalena again "Another time, I might wish to be bored…" an invitation to meet again and discuss things further. "And what of you, Melinda May? What is it you do for SHIELD?"


Magdalena tenses at the incoming 'God' but thankfully doesn't go for her weapons. A faint smile at the introduction from Astryd. "We've met…sort of. I came across him battling some Angelus and Darques. I'm still not entirely sure whose side he is on." She offers him a polite bow before adding, "Have some bubble tea…though the bubbles are quite dangerous." A smile for Astryd's interest. "Come to the cathedral anytime then. I am usually there during the day."


Melinda May appears to be the only one completely unaffected by Fenris' arrival. In reality, she gets that same shiver up her spine as every one else every time, but she's got enough training — and enough time around the god-wolf — to be able to conceal that reaction. That, and she's the one that asked him to meet them. She was expecting it.

May glances up and nods to Fenris, then looks toward the counter at the server there and taps at her teacup. "Fenris is on the side of making sure no innocents are caught in the crossfire of the various powers vying for control of this realm."


"We've met." Fenris nods to the Magalena as he pulls up a seat. "You know, you three are spooking the herd here." He observes wryly as he gives Astryd an amused, level look. "Not quite Raven of Odin. Agent May asked me to meet you here. I presume, though I don't know, that she wishes to talk about our recent findings along the deadzone."


Magdalena gets a nod of acknowledgement "I might just do that, thank you." The bubbles in the tea get a strange look, the texture not exactly agreeing with her tastes.

"I had observed, Fenris." Astryd returns the amused look. 300 years of walking Midgard and the reactions haven't really changed. "And that might be pity." still teasing until the mention of the Deadzone. Grey eyes flatten and the tone drops "That is related to the theft of the souls, is it not?"


"Souls?" That word piques Magdalena's interest. "If you have something to share then I am all ears, Fenris." No way is she going to call him 'god' anything. "I have been tracking some demons who are stealing souls but I doubt they are related. Probably two sources of evil that decided to have the same idea at the same time. Lucky us."


Melinda May looks at Fenris, but then glances up as the server sets a tea cup in front of the god-wolf. She takes a moment to pour some of her crysanthamum tea into his cup, then answers both Astryd and Magdalena. "Soul thefts, everything going on at the deadzone, they're all related somehow. And they need to be stopped before the balance is tipped to far and everything is lost."


"Darque and his minions have devised a new way to steal life and increase their power, one that relies on the ley line network." Fenris explains for May who wasn't there when the discovery was made. "They taint and reverse the flow of a small portion of the ley line network, drawing all life through it. In order to prevent that we need to completely cut off the Deadzone's ley lines. Fortunately there are only a couple dozen and most of them are quite small, but we'll have to watch and maintain the blocks, to ensure no one else tries to unstop them whether on Darque's behalf or for some misguided concern for the damage that it will inevitably cause."


"This is true" Astryd tries the 'bubble tea' again, eyeing the cup as she does. "I went to a location yesterday… I was called… and the souls were simply gone." Grey eyes glance around the table, a small nod to Magdalena, "There was one there called Lynwen, she seemed to think she could do what Fenris is suggesting."


"Lynwen? I know her" Magdalena nods before smiling wryly, "The one who married her teacher? Well…it is not my place to comment on morality. She is a nice person. Him…not so much. But the leylines I know nothing about. But if you think I can help in any way then of course I will do so."


Melinda May eyes Magdalena visible weaponry. "You can definitely help. Magic wielders like Lynwen rarely have the physical ability to defend themselves, especially when casting. Actively defending them seems the most effective." She glances at Astryd, then swaps beverages with her. Maybe the hot tea will prove more palatable to the Valkyrie.


"Just so." The group Fenris has charged with helping out with such things has a number of people specifically around to do just that. Casters need people who are experienced in fighting the arcane to defend them. It's a bit trite, but often true. Magic takes concentration whatever its form. Complex magic takes a lot of concentration. "We'll want to move on that quickly."


"The best assistance I can offer is to be on hand to usher the released souls to their destination" May gets a grateful nod, regular tea is more to the blondes liking. "otherwise it might get a little fraught."

Magdalena gets a small shrug "I met the woman for a few moments yesterday, we didn't really get to exchange pleasantries."


Magdalena nods to the suggestions offered. "Very well. If one of your witches needs protection then I shall gladly provide it. You will have to tell me where, of course, and I am unable to travel leylines under my own…power…as it were. But the defense of the innocent and those who help them is something I can definitely do."


Melinda May studies Magdalena for a moment, then turns to nod to Fenris. "Do you have a way for us to contact you?" She's totally okay with a cell phone number, but some people prefer less … mundane methods of communication.


"Let me know what it is, May." Fenris nods to the woman and to Astryd and stands. "I'd best be looking in on the others. There's some things to be done and rather urgently." Like track down a way to find and confront Darque before this gets well and truly out of hand. He's also wondering how the decoding is coming. "See you all soon." And then he's striding away.


Watching Fenris walk off, Astryd sips her tea. She's in no hurry to be anywhere, just yet, so she's savouring the moments she has. "Fenris knows how to find me." she murmurs.

Seems like Astryd is going to be here a while.


"The phone will be fine" Magdalena notes to May and even hands her a business card. "But I should get back on patrol. I am at work after all. It was lovely to meet you all and I look forward to working with you in the future. God go with you." She rises, puts back on her cloak, and makes her way back out onto the street.

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