I Am Whole

August 31, 2015:

Zee follows up on the VooDoo Dolls strange behaviour

Moontree Manor


NPCs: Captain



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

One day ago…

The voodoo doll, in Zee's possession, released a horrific scream. It lasted an entire minute, before the cursed thing went silent. Utterly, uncharacteristically silent.


Shift has been asleep in Moontree Manor for more than an entire day. Next to the couch in which he slumbers, there is an empty bottle of George Dickel Barrel Select, some of Kentucky's finest bourbon. His altercation with Poison Ivy in Gotham hadn't gone well; he'd come straight back to the Manor, lost himself in the bottom of that bottle, and went to sleep.

There, upon the couch, he snoozes. It's the most peaceful he's looked since this whole debacle began; since before his mysterious disappearance in France, at the hands of HYDRA, so many months ago.

A far cry from the tortured, incomplete man some of his compatriots have come to know.

Poor Shift. Rain has been duly worried. But she also knows better than to push the man too hard. She lets him drink and rest, and even Steve, the refined head butler gently drapes a blanket over the slumbering man. Rain is concerned, but Captain seems content to curl up at Shift's feet. Sleeping human==warms.

For the part of the manor, it is peaceful. Fall is slowly embracing the place and the wards offer immense protection. Zee is one of the few people who are welcome at the manor and can get around the wards without brute force.

Zee has checked with SHIELD as to Shift's whereabouts and arrives at Rains Manor… the doll held in hand - she's not going to risk another occurence from the other day… she doesn't need her rack commented on again.

Knocking on the door, the teen mage waits for Rain or someone to answer the door.

Captain is um, guarding Shift and not absorbing warms. Yes, that's it. His orange ringed tail (orange tabbies==cute!) flicks around Shift's leg as he naps. Cats are truly the kings of naps. The servants are doing their thing, and so it is Rain who answers the door. "Hey!" She waves to Zee. "Please, come in. How are you? May we get you anything?" She's a good hostess, and seems to take well to manor ownership.

"Hey Rain" Zee enters and shakes her head "No thankyou." Holding the doll out, she nods to it "I think I need to see Shift. Something happened, didn't it?"

Zee's wearing her normal attire, with the addition of a Fox shaped mark (much like a tattoo, but not) showing over the waistband of her trousers.

Kwabena awakens with a start, and a deep gasp of air. He sits bolt upright on the couch, and darts his head toward the sound of people talking. His jaw tenses, and one might expect him to unleash upon the two ladies with a flurry of hungover obscenities.

Instead… after a few moments… a smile forms on his face. A smile of relief.

The blanket is moved, and an apology sent Captain's way. "Sorry about dat, Captain, I hope I didn't stahtle you." Rising to his feet, the African starts off toward Rain and Zatanna, looking at each of them with a bright expression, as if he'd been reborn. "Moontree, Zatara…" His smile brightens. "My… friends."

The whole affair sounds truly genuine.

"Well, there was an odd lady with glowing eyes saying something about a dream prophet and some Yuga Sha. She was homeless, so I let her rest here." And so Rain could keep tabs on things. The witch is quiet for a moment. "He's been oddly peaceful," The witch offers. "I figured here was safe as the safe house," And Rain can again, keep tabs on him.

Rain blinks, as Kwabena wakes up. Her eyes widen. "Hi!" And Captain is indeed a bit startled, hopping down. "It happens," The cat offers. That's sort of the risk you take sleeping on humans. They like to move in their sleep. "… how are you feeling?" Rain asks Shift, curious. She does smile as she's called a friend.

Zee listens as Rain explains, not recognising her description of Reese, "So nothing unusual happened?" but then "Shift? Being peaceful? May I see hi…" and he's there. At his greeting, and approach, she takes a step back "Zee…" the teen mage corrects Kwabena automatically, a frown marring her brow - she and Shift aren't friends. "Did something happen, Shift?"

"Great!" The answer comes quickly, knee jerk, honest. So honest that it takes a moment for reality to come crashing down; for memories to flitter in and shoot him in the arm with a dose of truth.

Kwabena's mouth hangs open for a moment. His complexion is too dark for a blush to show, but his body language suggests a sudden, and particularly severe, shock of embarrassment. "Uh…." He looks between the two, feeling momentarily shell shocked. "I… yes…?"

How could be describe what's happened to him? He tries to find the words, but they escape him for the moment. "I think… I'm back to normal, and…" He takes a step back, silver eyes drifting to the floorboards. "I think… I have a great deal of apologizing to do."

"Miss Reese, it was, I believe," Rain offers. "I sensed trouble." And then she looks a little puzzled. She kind of blinks at the two. "Really?" Her eyes widen. "Is Miss Reese okay? She left before I could send her lunch with her," She murmurs.

"And erm. Well. Don't sweat apologizing to me," Rain waves a hand. "This comes part of the job."

"Reese? Reese was here?" Things might make a little more sense to Zee. Still watching Shift, maintaining her distance, Zee looks skeptical at best. "Back to normal? How?" she'll make not comment on whether he should apologise, that's all on him … he said and did some nasty things.

"Reese?" Kwabena looks up. "De Prophet? She is well, I believe." He glances away from the two for a moment, then looks back after a hesitation. "We were drawn to de Astral Plane," he explains. A brief pause comes, as he recollects what happened, which, to his perception, was both an eternity in passing, yet but a blink in time.

"Ka'amara, Herald of Our Father, May His Name Be Spoken In Silence. Dat is how he described himself. And… he put me back togedah. I… said… and did… some ugly things. I am…" He looks toward Zee in particular. "… sorry."

"Yes, her eyes glowed and there was this weird burst of power. I can't tell you too much more," Rain admits. The witch is at a bit of a loss, but she sounds concerned. "The whole thing struck me as incredibly odd."

"I see." She furrows her eyebrows. "Well, I am glad you're back together. We might take a look at you to make sure," She offers.

Nodding to Rain, Zee considers Shifts words and the frown deepens if that's possible. "What did you offer in payment for such a service?" Maybe she's cynical, or cautious or both… "That type of power isn't usually freely given, there's always a price to pay - now or later." and sometimes you're willing to pay the price.

"Rains right, we need to check you out, before doing anything further." Poor Shift… "Rain, do you have a circle we can do this in? If something's amiss, it will contain it. If you don't, I can create one…" and Rains people will need to clean the floor when she's done.

An appreciative look is given to Rain, but Zee's lack of an acknowledgement admittedly stings. He glances toward her, feeling a surge of guilt; she was considerably younger than him, and to say such a lewd remark… well. Kwabena may be a bit rough around the edges, but he's not a total scumbag.

The question, however, helps to distract him. He turns away, scratching his head while retreating back to the couch. Feeling himself restored, along with the rush of guilt, has occupied him these last few minutes.

Sitting down, Kwabena reaches for Captain, lifting him up to rest on his lap for letting. There is a long silence, and a grimace forms. "He…" Silver eyes look to his compatriots. "… I rejected his offah, at first. I don't trust easily. But he made me suffah. For what seemed like an eternity. Ovah and ovah, as if I were replaying my denial. Each time he… destroyed me." Fear. In his voice, in his eyes. "Like it was in Mount Sinai, when I touched de Mantle of Elijah. I gave in, and accepted… His Grace. Into my heart. I had no choice. I couldn't…"

His free hand clenches his leg, finding himself angry at his own apparent weakness. He does not like being weak. He never has. "I couldn't say no."

Rain nods. "Yeah…" Rain is concerned, cautious and careful. She couldn't put her finger on what happened, so there's that. Captain hops back onto the couch, watching them. "Yeah, we can make one here. I'll let Steve know to stand by with a couple of others and prepare clean up," She remarks. They are all magic in this house (aside from poor Spear), so the servants are likely used to these shenanigans.

Rain will start gathering materials for a warding circle. "I see. I'm sorry. What did he ask in turn from you? If I may ask?" Rain looks curious. Captain's tail wriggles as he is lifted and set on Kwa's lap. He kind of assumes a loaf form. Ready for petting! Captain takes his job as morale officer seriously. "What materials would help? My aunts use herbs, incense and chalk."

Zee winces, she'd been focussed on Shifts admission and hadn't acknowledged the apology. That's not Zee-like at all. "You weren't entirely yourself, when you said and did those things. It's alright." She finally acknowledges.

"I just need chalk, Rain." and a little bit of blood… With a murmur, Zee conjours some chalk and draws the circle on the floor. "Stand in there, please, Shift and I'll activate it and then we can see what they did."

His explanation of how he was enticed to accept the service has the young mage wincing. She could really use Fenris' advise…. but maybe there's someone else who could help too.

Agent May. It's Zee, I'm a Rains. Somethings happened to Shift and I need to do a magical checkup. Are you able to come and assist?

May will know that Zee doesn't ask for help lightly…

Stepping off of the quinjet she just landed at a SHIELD base in Cheyenne, Wyoming, May psuses mid-step, then resumes walking as if nothing happened. Hopefully no one noticed. Knowing only too well that the teen magician wouldn't be asking if she didn't NEED the help, she sends a mental reply to Zee while checking in with the base personnel.

Can you give me about fifteen?

That usually means she has to find her way away from personnel that would neither understand nor appreciate her scooting off with little to no warning.

Looking back up to Zee, Kwabena smiles. "Thank you." It's entirely possible that Rain and Zee are witnessing the most vulnerable he's ever been, or perhaps ever will be. May will have just missed it.

Sighing lightly, he sets Captain aside and stands, moving into the circle. "If dis makes me lose my hair, dere'll be hell to pay."

Given his bald head, it would seem that his singular wit is also intact. It comes with a good natured smirk, albeit a tired one. No rest for the wicked.

Drawing her sgian dubh from boot, Zee pricks her and watches the blood well before touching it to the circles ends, murmuring words to activate the circle and build wards that will keep just about anything in there.

It's not bad work either - Zee's had practice at building wards against big and nasty - in a hurry - lately.

Glancing at Shifts bald head, the teen mage smirks a little "Put a woman at a disadvantage to begin with, why don't you?" beat "Make yourself comfortable, you might be there for awhile… and I have someone incoming to assist me."

I can wait, Agent May.

The only message she sends back as she begins to review the spells in her head.

Rain nods, and she'll bring some chalk for Zee. Rain is duly respectful of the intimacy and vulnerability of the moment. She will help as needed, the servants turning up behind her. A woman in a roller derby shirt, the refined butler and a serene seeming man built like two NFL quarterbacks taped together. That would be the golem. "And um, we can give you back your hair if needed," She promises with a wry smile.

"Any last requests before we start the spell? Pillows? Beverages?" And let me know how I can help," Rain offers.

It takes the entire fifteen minutes for May to sign in to the base, arrange for off-base sleeping quarters, sign out of the base, get a ride to the hotel with her reservation, get checked in to the hotel, stow her less worrisome belongings in the hotel room, and then finally find the nearest ley line and get to Moontree Manor. Yeesh.

But, arrive she does, and she steps into the room in the wake of a two-quarterback-wide golem. (Would that make him a halfback-wide golem?)

"I could use some whisk-" Kwabena starts, then pauses, frowning. Silver eyes drift to the empty bottle of bourbon, and he corrects himself. "Watah. Dat would be nice, thank you."

He's understandably nervous. The experience is all still fresh in his mind, and while he's become strangely comfortable with matters of the arcane, it still raises the hair on the back of his head. He settles in, remaining on the couch while the magicians get to work on their preparations.

As her wards are built and the circle is ready to activate, Zee looks over to May as she arrives. "Thank you, Agent May." and she quickly explains what Shift has told her and Rain. May doesn't need to be told the 'nothing for nothing' rule… and should understand Zee's concern and caution. "If something goes south, I'd like some backup." Meaning that Zee trusts May to protect her physically whilst she's casting.

"We're ready, Shift. Drink the water first and then enter the circle, please. You can't take it in with you." Zee wants only Shift in the circle…

Rain nods. She'll fetch him some nice, cool water while Captain watches from the couch. Rain is fairly quick about it, offering the glass over. The servants stand ready, and one might note Steve fights with enchanted strands as a weapon, silver strings dangling gently from his fingers.

"We've got your guys' back," Rain promises. "I have an old book in case of possession. Uncle Carl used to screw up his summonings all the time."

Dammit, Carl.

Melinda May nods a hello to Zee and Rain and moves to stand next to Zee, either as a bodyguard or to lend her link to the ley lines. Or more likely, both. She gives Shift a long look, though there's no accusation or disappointment there. Just a silent evaluation, to see if he's more himself.

With May's arrival, Kwabena looks to her for a long moment. There's something decidedly different about him; no hostility, and a sense of subdued remorse. He doesn't say a word, and isn't even able to manage a nod of greeting. He's… ashamed… and dammit, if it doesn't suck to show it.

With a sigh, he takes the water with a nod of gratitude and drinks. He doesn't down it. Nobody needs him wetting himself, and he doesn't need the whole glass. Not yet, at least. He drinks while Zatanna explains what happened, thankful that he isn't forced to relive it yet again.

"Okay." He sets the glass down and rises. "Let's get dis shit ovah with." Pensively, he steps over the circle, then looks toward Zee and Rain with an haunted expression.

Pricking her finger with the sgian dubh, Zee touches the blood to the chalk circle and murmurs the words to a spell. Anyone who can will feel the wards spring into existence.

"Rain, I could use your insight here. Please, have a look with me?" Rain is more than welcome to examine Shift herself, between the two spell casters they may well find something. "Right now, I'm going to look for tag alongs or marks that Shift may be carrying." she explains as her eyes glow even bluer

~~ wohS sU fI tfihS saH ynA sgnolA gaT rO skraM ~~

The spell snakes out and settles over Shift - it doesn't hurt, it's gentle, finessed - Zee is good at this - but it does search him, his soul and his body … looking for anything that might be hidden.

The world is a lot more vivid and vibrant since Rain sprouted magic powers. It's given her a new appreciation on things. It's done nothing for her inferiority complex and her cowardice, though. Rain nods. She has to concentrate to make her magic work, so it's a little slower to deploy. Her face and expression look serene and distant, as if she'd just drifted into the stratosphere.

Rain will use more of an aurasight, peering outward in. Captain is watching because he is a cat.

May is the Muggle here. She can neither see nor feel what Zee is doing, other than perhaps a faint shiver across her skin indicating the use of arcane power. So while she's ALSO watching Shift closely, it's because she's ready for him to exhibit more non-Shift-like behavior, and she can and will stop him very decisively if he does do so. Other than that, she remains still and quiet and lets the two mages do their work.

The Ghanaian's eyes widen somewhat. The spell is watched as it floats over and settles upon him, snaking around Kwabena's body from head to toe. After it inspects him, the energies pierce his heart and his forehead, delving in to search for what has been done.

To Rain and May, the entire ordeal is exposed. Kwabena's foray into the timeless Astral Plane. His defiant denial of the figure's offer - an admirable thing, considering his state - and the creature's destruction of his essence, over and over again.

When Shift finally bent, his soul was restored. Not with its original pieces, but a facsimile of them, so intricately accurate that it's almost as if his soul were cloned, down to the most intricate detail.

The price? Accepting the creature's 'Grace', and that… is where the magic's power is suddenly blocked, forced out by some unseen force.

Zee winces as the magic is blocked and forced out - the sympathetic link sending something like a shock back to the teen mage. "Crap." Zee… doesn't swear… or at least not often, but this is one of those of times. And yes, that's swearing for Zee!

Looking between May and Rain, she lets out a deep sigh before looking back to Kwabena "Do you remember the exact words that were used when you were offered this 'grace'?" It's important… Either Shift has been tricked or he willingly entered this farce - and farce it is… and … he's still not whole, and potentially even more dangerous.

Murmuring to May and Rain "If we go about this indirectly, I may be able to get the name of the being that did this - but I won't do it here, it's too dangerous."

Huh. Poor guy. She frowns, and winces as the aurasight is pushed back. Yikes. Rain whispers to Zee and May, "I heard the woman and Kwabena call it some things," She offers. "I brought them here because I was suspicious of it," And there's some sadness she couldn't keep him safe. "I will still work on fetching his original bits," She murmurs.

"I'm - sorry." She murmurs to Shift. "This is difficult for you."

Melinda May of course didn't feel the rebuff, but she does look at Zee and Rain sharply when they both recoil from it. She nods at Zee's and Rain's murmured words, then studies Shift again. "Can you tell us anything else about the being that helped you?" Of course, she did miss the whole beginning of the conversation.

Kwabena gives Zee a very long look, one that is eventually broken with a downward turn of his eyes and a beleaguered sigh. "I… don't." He hates admitting it, for it is a sign of weakness, but he has the wherewithal to realize that they may need to understand why. "Wasn't… thinking clearly."

His discomforted studying of the circle is broken by Rain's compassion, something he recognizes with a renewed freshness, now that such a thing has been 'reborn' inside of him. "… Thanks."

Thankfully, May asks him some direct questions. Something he can relate to. "Homeless. Or at least she presented hahself dat way. Goes by de name of 'Reese'. She was shown to me in some kind of dream, so I…" He pauses, another uncharacteristic measure, as he recollects the vicious nature in which he found her. Memories of his soulless, animalistic savagery are a becoming a bit torturous. He was never a 'kind' man, but the things he's done since his resurrection were beyond horrible. Looking back upon them with a clear mind now, is a horrible, guilt-ridden mind-fuck. "… tracked her down and confronted her."

Rain is quiet for a moment. She does her best to be compassionate, she really does. Even if she's shy and awkward. "I see," That explains it. She and Captain settle quiet. "You're welcome. We're here for you." The two stay to watch as questions are applied.

"That's not who Agent May meant." Zee murmurs and explains the situation to May… about Reese and the being that they met on the Astral Plane. She knows Reese and she's going to have to search her out - that or let Fenris know there may be an issue. "And it's ok. I had to ask, Shift." She doubts he was thinking clearly, those types of experiences have that effect. "I'll need to do some more divining, Shift… but I would like somewhere more secure… would you mind meeting with me later? I might be able to find out more."

Melinda May makes a mental note of the name and nods. But then Zee speaks up and she looks at the spellcaster. Now, she could very easily contradict Zatara, but there's no reason to at this moment. They're trying to glean information from Kwabena, and this might help make something surface from whatever memories he has.

"Sure," Kwabena answers Zee. Hesitantly, he takes a step out of the circle and reclaims his spot on the couch. It's only a matter of time before the shell shock wears off, but it's going to take a while.

Still, a touch of his 'normal' self begins to bleed out when he quips, "Far as not being victim to any more of dese oddahworldly attacks, I'm all ears."

"Well, this place is pretty secure, but I'm not offended," Rain remarks quietly, amused. "I thought something was odd about Reese. She was channeling an alarming amount of a strange power. Which was part of why I wanted to check in on her here," She admits. Captain looks over to Kwa, and his water is waiting for him. "But we're here if you need a place to rest or work."

"I'm sure it is Rain." Zee looks apologetic to the other Witch "If you'd rather do the divination here…" Zee's happy to leave it to Rain to sort out, but if she's going to do it, it will be better in her own stronghold. Looking over to Shift, Zee shrugs a little "Whatever did this, Shift, it has wards against magic… we can't investigate it directly. Rain or I maybe able to summons someone or something else that's related and investigate in a less direct manner." A crooked smile "It will take a little longer and frustrating but I think it will be more effective."

"Magic isn't the only way to get things done. We'll figure it out." And, perhaps to prove something to the man, May steps around past the two younger women, picks up the glass of water and offers it to Kwabena. "Just make sure to let us know if you remember anything. No matter how insignificant it seems."

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