Voodoo Magic

August 19, 2015:

The first fragment of Kwabena's soul is reunited with him, but things never exactly go as planned.

The Triskelion - New York City

The Headquarters, Armory and Fortress of the Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics division is, for the most part, an unassailable tower in the midst of the diplomatic sprawl that is Midtown East. The primary intelligence clearing houses and most of SHIELD's senior leadership are all housed hear, along with a veritable army of agents and staff to keep the place running, the world spinning and the weirdness at bay.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: Dance Yrself Clean by LCD Soundsystem


Fade In…

The hour is late. It hasn't been long since the WAND team, consisting of Zatanna Zatara, Winter 'Rain' Moontree, and Agent Sara Pezzini returned from their journey to rural Illinois, in possession of the first soul shard belonging to Kwabena Odame.

Odame, who broke out of prison while they were away, and has been spotted already raising Cain in the city proper.

Fortunately, no deaths or serious injuries have been reported. The Internet is full of eyewitness reports captured at a midtown bar, where Shift had a momentary face-off with The Flash. Since then, he's gone unaccounted for.

WAND has secured the soul shard in FitzSimmons' lab. The duo have graciously offered the use of that space while they work on other assignments, and Jericho Trent is seeing to other matters. Rain has already divined what they've captured; it appears to be Kwabena's capacity for self respect.

Now, they just need to figure out what to do with it…

*

Rain is a hard worker. She is more than a little alarmed at the news that Shift has gone well, AWOL. She appreciates the use of the space. Captain is around, though he's likely just outside the room being pet by a couple of agents. Morale officer is a hard job. Really. His tail is a-wiggle, a beaming smile on his face and he's kneading the carpet. He looks like business cat's suave brother in a business suit with a little cat tie.

Rain herself is in the lab. "Well, even if we track down Shift, capturing him isn't going to be easy," Rain notes. "And his self respect might not make him any more amiable to this." Pause. "Might cut down some of the chaos, but I'm still uncertain on the reattaching." Especially if he's not - willing.

*

"I thought this was supposed to work like a magnet, or a rubber band," Sara says, pacing around the lab. "Get the piece of the soul back to him, it snaps back to where it belongs."

*

Zee is waiting in the lab, having not been onsite due to other engagements, watching the other two women. "I agree with Agent Pezzini, souls or parts of them should just rebound to the owner when free." It's certainly how it happened for herself and Jes.

"Maybe it was disrupted during his escape, Sara… the changes in body composition and all." Zee's no bio-chemist and wasn't there to see what happened. "Perhaps, if we get close enough and set it free, it will do just that…"

*

Melinda May arrives, having been unavailable for a couple of days (don't ask) and then tasked with a milk run (annoying). But, finally. "Give me a sitrep." She says it to the room in general, but really, she's only expecting the actual SHIELD agent here — Sara — to reply. If theothers speak up, bonus. They're learning.

*

Rain has set aside empty tupperware soul bowls in the lab for others to use in case something should happen to the witch or she's busy. They are labeled: "SOULS ONLY." "I MEAN THAT. NO MEATLOAF."

Captain is in the hall, being petpetpetted still. Rain looks to May, then shifts a bit, rubs the back of her head. "Well, we found one shard. His self respect. It should fit back in naturally. But we're missing Shift himself, apparently."

*

"While we were out recovering a piece of Shift's soul, someone fucked up protocol and he managed to break out of containment," Sara summarizes for May, grimacing. "We're looking into figuring out how to reunite the two, and hopefully pick Shift back up before he gets back to the deadzone and we lose all our progress."

*

Melinda May nods slowly at Sara's sum up of the goings on. "Do we have a way to track his movements yet?" She looks like she's about to cross her arms, and then at the last moment she just doesn't. "How long ago did he get out of containment?"

*

Zee nods to May as the Agent enters and lets Rain and Sara explain. "I haven't been here long myself, Agent May, we were just beginning to discuss how to reunite the pieces." On the bench in front of Zee is a small doll, made from wool … itlooks a little Shift.

*

Among Rain's collection of Tupperware, there is one container that holds a ball of white, shimmering energy. Perhaps unexpectedly, it begins to shake and rattle, the ball of energy growing brighter and brighter. The Tupperware moves against the place where it's been set, inching towards that little voodoo doll in an erratic manner.

*

Rain was about to suggest something, and looks over as the Tupperware begins to rattle and inching towards the voodoo doll. "…" Rain's purple eyes go wide as saucers. "Well. It definitely wants to be home. I can try a spell, but I suspect Miss Zee might have more power and range." Rain's magic is concentration based. She'd be spaced out awhile and following her magic GPS. "Or teamwork." Yes, there we go.

"Um." She carefully picks up the tupperware. "I - should I open this…?"

*

Zee's eyes widen as the container starts to rattle and shake and she holds up a hand, drawing a stick of chalk from the waistband of her trousers. Putting the container and the doll on the ground, standing near Rain, Zee draws a circle around them and channels a small amount of power to activate it.

"Now, Rain. You can open it now, that should ward us incase something goes wrong." Looking to May and Sara, Zee gives a small shrug. "The circle should contain it if something goes wrong… "

*

May looks from one spellcaster to the other, about to say something, but doesn't when Zee speaks up. She trusts the spell caster enough by now to give her the chance to deal with tumultuous tupperware. "Should I ask what you have in that container? And I'm guessing it's a piece of Odame's soul, but which piece?"

*

Rain's eyes are still wide a moment. She nods. "Okay," Rain trusts Zee and believes in her judgment. She takes a deep breath, and opens the tupperware as instructed. She explains to May as she opens it, "His self respect. It's a shard of his soul. Not the compassion or self restraint were were hoping for, but it's a start." Rain pauses. "The person whom it landed in was a good fellow. Very rustic, but I think the experience healed a lot of hurt for the man. I can tell you more about it in a bit." She's observing the process and being ready to cast if she needs to.

Captain is still performing his duties as Morale Officer and letting agents pet him.

*

The moment that Tupperware is opened, the shard of mysterious energy zaps across the short distance and impacts with the doll, knocking it to the ground.

Meanwhile…

PHILADELPHIA, PA

Having gotten the hell out of dodge after an encounter with The Flash, Shift has arrived in Philadelphia not more than a few hours ago. He's resting in a cheap road motel, smoking a cigarette and steadily going through a pile of stolen phones. He's taking them apart, removing SIM cards one at a time and plugging them into a laptop computer, when out of nowhere, he's thrown right off his bed and onto the floor.

"WHAT IN DE—"

And then, he considers the tone of his voice. It really seems childish to yell that loud. Really, he should have some self respect.

"- … hell… was dat?"

TRISKELION

*

Taken by surprise as the shard impacts the doll, Zee takes a step back, nearly - but not quite - scuffing the circle… recovering herself, she looks down at the doll before bending to pick it up.

She can feel the energy of the shard in the doll "Well, I think that worked… " Now… "I guess we need to go find Shift."

*

Melinda May comes THIS close to pulling a weapon, then watches Zee pick up the doll alertly. "Agreed. Please tell me you can use that doll to track him."

*

Huh. The voodoo doll theory proved more correct than she thought. Rain seems duly impressed. "Well, at least if we get his self restraint or whatever, we can get that in quickly…" Rain takes a deep breath, somehow glad May didn't pull a weapon. "If it is attached to his soul like that, yes," She replies. "But if we do, it's best to be prepared." Because waving a Dyson vacuum at him probably isn't goingto work.

*

What happens next may come as a surprise, for it is not the manner in which a voodoo doll is designed to work.

It speaks.

In a creepy, high pitched tone, like an over-exaggerated impression of a midget, the doll twists it's head in Zee's grasp and looks at her, it's mouth moving. "I can see you. Can you… see me?"

PHILADELPHIA, PA

Kwabena crawls to his feet, when something draws a frown to his face. Its a feeling… as if he were in two places at once. Both here, in Philly… and back in New York City.

In the Triskelion.

"I can see you. Can you… see me?" He looks around the room, silver eyes wide.

"Agent May, what a pleasant surprise."

TRISKELION

The doll's head twists around toward Melinda. "Agent May, what a pleasant sahprise. Shit. Dis is really fucking weird."

*

Zee… drops the doll skipping back again… letting out a slight shriek of surprise. Taking a moment to compose herself, blue eyes wide in total surprise "It's not supposed to work like that… " bending down, again… she picks the doll up. "Hello Shift. What happens if I cover your eyes?"

Placing her hand over the dolls face, being careful to avoid it's mouth (it might bite!) she waits for the string of invective that is likely to follow…..

*

Okay, this time May DOES pull a weapon, even if she winces while doing so. Training her ICER on the doll (like it'd help in any way), she stares at it while Zee's having her mini-freakout over there but then puts the weapon away again when the spellcaster picks the doll up again. "Odame, can you tell us where you are?" And, irrationally, she can't help but wonder HOW a doll made from sticks and wool can see and hear and speak.

*

Rain pauses. "Well, sympathetic magic is a two way street. It's just in most cases, such as voodoo or divination, the window back is rarely opened or useful to the - subject," She explains. "So be careful with it if you're going after another magic user. After all, it is based on our ties to people and things," She notes. Rain is a little surprised, but perhaps not entirely given the nature of sympathy.

"To be entirely frank, I have little experience with Voodoo or its practices." Rain shifts, uncertain. As for how? It's magic, yo. Sometimes it works in mysterious ways.

*

"I STILL KNOW WHERE YOU ARE!" the doll cries out to Zee, "you ignahrant, petulant - uh…" The doll quiets down for a moment, not yet bearing the capacity for apology, but having regained its self respect. "Er… you… funny looking… parson."

May's question is promptly addressed, as if the doll were engaged in some sort of ping-pong match. "And just why de fuck would I tell you dat, May?So you can lock me up again? Give my regahds to Agent Dingus; I quite enjoy his in-attention to detail."

Must be referencing the guard who accidentally let him escape.

"Let's try dis one on for size," the doll continues. "I'll tell you where I am, if you show me where de rest of 'me' is. I'm pahfectly capable of hunting down my own pahts, don't need yah help."

*

"How would you get the shards out, Shift?" Zee's eyes go from wide to narrow and normal again as the doll speak.

Shaking her head slightly at May, and then Rain, "I would happily work with you, Shift, to retrieve the shards" Rains welcome to join them as well! "but soul magic… it can be tricky and… " well, he might hurt someone accidently.

*

Melinda May frowns at the doll. "I want to know where you are so we can protect you from Darque. Again." She adds a few choice words in Mandarin, because this level of weird tries her patience faster than anything else. "Really, all we'd have to do is lock this doll down and you'd be effectively trapped. The fact that we haven't done that yet should tell you we're trying to help."

*

Rain is quiet for a moment. "I would be glad to help, too. I was the one who exorcised the shard from its former host," She explains. "Well, the host after you, anyway." She peers at the doll. "At least we're making progress…" She offers quietly. Rain'll take anything, really. The bar is so low the line got painted on.

*

"Darque," the doll hisses. "You actually think -"

PHILADELPHIA, PA

Kwabena goes chillingly silent. There are any number of things that simply don't compute. They are showing him friendship, mercy, caring for him… all aspects of his being that are trapped in other people, still unknown to WAND, much less himself. The actions are like flies, bouncing off a window. And yet, self-preservation is very real. He doesn't want to be locked up again, either in fact or in theory, nor does he want to be under Darque's control again, as he was immediately following his resurrection. He may feel no guilt over all the damage he's done, the deaths that came at his hand… how could he? But self preservation… that computes.

Reaching for one of the cell phones, he taps in a short message. Its an address, to his hotel.

TRISKELION

May's phone chirps to life with an incoming SMS message;an address in Philadelphia, PA.

The doll stares up at Zee, as dead as it should be; silent.

*

"Yes, Darque" Zee stares down at the doll as it goes quiet and then hands it to Rain. "Can you keep this safe here, please." She could take it with her, but WAND has a taskforce looking for these shards… it makes sense that they hold it.

*

Melinda May pulls her phone and looks at it, then nods to Rain and Zee before turning to a nearby computer and starting to access information on it quickly. It's likely incomprehensible code to the non-computer-savvy, which means to Rain it likely looks like a database search, and the series of numbers might resemble map coordinates.

If she can find a suitable safehouse near Odame's current location, maybe she can convince him to hide out there while they continue tracking down the still missing soul shards. "Odame, will you accept relocation to a SHIELD safehouse of my choosing?"

*

Rain pauses. She nods at Zee. "Yeah, seriously. And did you want some of the uh, soul tupperware in case you find a shard and I'm doing - witch stuff?" Rain asks. After all, Rain is not omnipresent. Rain might glance over at the computer, but she also knows better than to look over May's shoulder, even if she's likely the tallest in the room at the moment. She doesn't have much to offer outside of that, while Captain is being pet happily in the hallway by some doting agents.

*

The doll remains silent for a moment, before it shudders in Rain's grasp and twists around to face May. "If you promise me smokes and bourbon, den yes."

The doll then twists it's head around to stare lifelessly up at Rain, all creepy-like.

*

Zee nods to Rain "Yes, I would." It's entirely possible she'll find something in her travels. "Of course, he'd want smokes and bourbon." the teen mage sighs. At least he didn't ask for anything else.

*

Melinda May is as not thrilled by Shift's request as Zee, but she at least keeps her thoughts to herself. She reserves a safehouse — advantage of ley line travel is she can pick just about any location — then looks at the others. "Keep that doll safe, and keep me informed. Odame, I can be there in ten minutes." No, she doesn't explain how. She just can.

*

"… I can fetch some good bourbon, yes. I'll throw in another drink of your choice. That is no problem," She offers. And these bottles won't even be haunted by profane skeleton ghosts. Plus, Shift won't have to sing shanties or belch rainbows. Nice, expensive bourbon probably, given her aunt's proclivities.

"Sure thing," And Rain can give Zee one of the stacks of the tupperware, though she's carefully keeping Shift-doll safely in a hand. "And I'll keep the doll safe," She promises.

*

Gratitude still escapes him, so the doll offers no thanks. Which shouldn't be too surprising by now. "No funny business, May."

PHILADELPHIA, PA

Kwabena may not trust Melinda, but that's because the capacity for it has been removed from him. Yet now, in all the absence of his good parts, there is self-respect… and a good, self-respecting man doesn't turn down an offer for help. Upon the rooftop of a road motel in one of Philly's run-down, industrial quarters, Shift waits in silence, watching for the arrival of an old friend.

… another concept that needs to be restored, and quickly, before something triggers his unchecked bad side, again.

*

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