The Benefits

September 13, 2015:

Kate and Zee arrange a Benefit to capture two of Darques Brethren

New York


NPCs: Ulric Kerensky


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

It's taken a few days to get things organised but between Kate and Zee, a benefit had been organised. The idea was to draw out the two Brethren closest to Darque: Ulrich Kerensky and Victoria Day… and use them to locate Darque himself!

In preparation for the event, Zee's been busy, creating tracking charms that can be 'deployed' on the Brethren… and making sure they can be 'delivered' and secured in a number of ways. Some can be affixed to Kates arrows (she might have taken a leaf from The Fox's book there), whilst others need a more personal touch.

Charms distributed to May, Kate and Fenris… venue booked and decked out… it's time to put their plan into action. Zee of course… will be providing some of the entertainment - her name well known enough to pull people in … and it's becoming known that she does a lot of charity performances.

Kate, meanwhile, has been busy organizing most of the details of the benefit itself. It's what she's good at, and she knows all of the right people to call to get everything set up. When it's time for the benefit, she's dressed in a strapless purple dress with a full, tea-length skirt, hair pulled up into a bun. She's been stationed at the door, welcoming people as they come in. And if anyone notices the tiny earpiece in her ear, well. No doubt she has it to help coordinate the staff, right?

Melinda May arrived a bit early and promptly drafted Kate for help with … something. She wouldn't elaborate. They're both gone for several minutes, and when they return, May is wearing an outfit appropriate to the event. Okay, so the knee boots aren't quite seasonal, but try to tell her otherwise. She nods her thanks to Kate then meanders through the room to see who all is about.

Fenris is here and doing his best to hang back and out of the way. This is an 'operation' where people are supposed to be comfortable. His aura of… being inhuman puts people off and that's the last thing they want. Sure, powerful and influential people sometimes put off exactly that kind of feeling but in this case lulling their targets into a false sense of security is definitly a plus.

It should be noted when May arrives… Fenris just kind of stares. He didn't think and wouldn't have guessed that May owned clothing like that. It breaks his brain a bit.

The plan is supposed to be simple - separate the Brethren, put them somewhere safe and use them to find Darque. Zee and Fenris have set up a room in the venue, complete with inscribed circle on the floor and heavily warded, all they need to do is get Kerensky and Day in there… simple right?

Zee has been circulating, pressing the flesh, doing the pretty, waiting for the show to begin. Mays outfit gets an approving look - who knew? Zee didn't, but May has a style of her own.

It's not long before Kerensky arrives, with two /minders/ in tow. Nothing out of the ordinary really, he's a known recluse and could be considered eccentric. A few minutes later, Day arrives with an aide, who is rather well built.

Kate is all too happy to play dress up with May. No matter how daunting the senior agent may be, Kate's just a little too irrepressible to give up on the chance to make sure she's ready for a party. She even looks a little satisfied with herself when she comes back out, just in time for Kerensky to show up for the party. "Mister Kerensky," she greets, completely ignoring the minders with a warm smile. "I'm so glad you could make it."

May doesn't own clothing like this. There is a collection of garments in storage for covert operations as well as a budget for occasions when a new garment is required. The reason she pulled Kate back for help was to pick the best of a selection of those garments out of storage. Because the silver dress fiasco? Never. Again. She saunters to a stop next to Fenris and offers him a not-at-all May-like smile. "Pick your jaw up off of the floor, Jeremiah."

Fenris shakes himself and is all 'business' when Keresky arrives. His role here is to provide knowledge, support and if need be extra arcane oomph. But for the most part Zee and Kate and May have this. It's not likely that Kerensky or Day will approach him directly just because of how he makes people feel.

"Sorry, May." The Wolf-God murmurs. Or should he say Melinda? Probably not. She does look nice though. That being neither here nor there. Kate and Zee look nice as well.

"Looks like our marks are here. Time to go to work."

Looking over to Kate as she greets Kerensky, Zee notes Day entering… and heads over to greet her as well "Ms Day, thank you for coming, it means a lot to us." the teen mage smiles a little at the aide.

Day glances down at Zee "Ms Zatara, thank you for the invitation." She … doesn't look overly impressed at being greeted by Zee - perhaps she knows how closely the young woman works with SHIELD.

Kerensky grunts a little at Kate "Ms Bishop." He's not very personable, at all - perhaps because he's a recluse.

"A pin badge for you, Ms Day. As a supporter of the benefit." The pin… is one of Zee's charms, with any luck, Day will put it on.

She doesn't, but she does hold it in her hand.

"We have a tour arranged before the show begins, Ms Bishop will be starting that in just a minute, now that you've arrived." It's going to be up to Kate to get the two to the warded room.

Not very personable? Challenge accepted! Kate smiles easily back at her target, stepping up to take his arm. "We've got the tour scheduled shortly, Mister Kerensky. And an exclusive opportunity for our high-end donors to see some interesting relics recovered from the area affected by the phenomenon." Should she get a chance, she'll slip the tracker into his sleeve as she walks, leading the way toward Zee and the others.

Melinda May doesn't immediately turn when Fenris tells her their marks are here. Instead she nods and waits a second before moving toward the warded room a bit indirectly. She has to be careful, though. An eye-catching dress is likely still not enough to keep Ms. Day from recognizing her. She turns to catch a passing waiter and politely claims a glass of champagne, then continues on her way.

Fenris actually takes May's arm and nods toward Kerensky. Let's herd them into that room, shall we? "Come on, and roll with me."

"Mister Kerensky isn't it? I'm Jeremiah Wolfson of Wolfson Holding's limited. There's something that I'd like to discuss with you. A… philanthropic measure. Perhaps you could meet us with Miss Bishop in a few minutes in the back room? I think it'll interest her too."

Then he strolls off, with May. He's going to trust that Zee can wrangle Day into the same room.

Once in the room he immediately pulls up the rug and starts making a circle while tossing May a few crystals. "Put one in each wall. Just push them in."

Zee nods to Kate to follow Fenris with Kerensky. "Shall we…" she murmurs to Day. Not waiting for an answer, Zee makes sure Day follows her and they follow Kate and Kerensky.

Day goes to protest, but lets Zee lead her - it is a benefit after all and there are people watching. Kerensky grunts again and gives Fenris a curious look, then follows with Kate "Philanthropic?" the word isn't nicely delivered but he seems to expect someone trying to tap his waller.

The aide and minders follow along…

As they get near the room, Zee drops back, letting Kate and the other two enter. She'll disable the minders as the others enter the room… a simple sleep spell should see to that.

"The price of doing business, Mister Kerensky," Kate laughs. "You know how these things go. But," she continues, taking note of his stature, "You should see what's planned for the dinner. We've got a beef wellington planned that is absolutely to die for, with some truffled potatoes to go with it. Even the spinach salad should be excellent." That's right, distract the man with food talk as you walk him to the slaughter.

Melinda May sets her champagne glass aside the moment she can Fenris are inside the back room, and she catches the crystals tossed her way. Push the crystals into the walls. Ooooh-kay.

Walking probably too briskly for the formal gown she's wearing, She goes from one wall to the next in the room, pressing the crystals against (and into?) them like putting coins into vending machine slots.

The moment that May pushes the crystals into the walls concentric circles of runic symbols appear and then vanish, fading into the drywall. Wards. Temporary, but very powerful. They have ten minutes from this point but at least nothing will bother them.

The food seems to work. Kerensky is quite distracted both by Kate and by the food. And thus he doesn't realize anything's wrong when they walk into the room.

Fenris waits for Day to arrive and then shuts the door. This is May, Kate and Zee's show now.

Timing is everything, or so they say.. and Zee has to time her spell to disable the minders and aide so she doesn't tip off Day as they enter. With Day ahead of her, that's a little easier and as they enter the room, she murmurs the words to her sleep spell - minders and aide slump to the floor… they won't be trying to enter the room behind Zee.

With the door shut and the room warded, it's just a few steps to put Day and Kerensky into the circle. Fenris can activate the circle, Kate and May can start the questioning… Zee and Fenris will watch for magic and start tracking it.

"We want to know about Master Darque…" With only 10 minutes to spare, there's no time to mess around - straight to the point.

Day looks at Kerensky, Kerensky looks at Day… both start blustering and denying any knowledge. If Kate and May look carefully, they may be able to make out the tops of the Vedes on their necks - no matter how high the collars they wear.

Zee looks to Kate and May… ask your questions…

Kate doesn't really waste time arguing. Instead, she steps up to Kerensky to reach over and tug down his collar just a bit, giving him a dry look. "Let's skip the part where we pretend we're all ignorant, please," she says, that friendly, polite smile unwavering. "Like I said, dinner's really going to be excellent, and I wouldn't want the quality to suffer because we were stuck here discussing things. You really don't want to reheat beef wellington in the microwave."

Knowing that all attention will likely be on Kate at the moment, May 'sneaks' around toward Ms. Day. And yes, she IS capable of moving nearly silently in that green gown and the high heeled knee boots. Let's see the woman try to escape now. These boots aren't for show, not at all.

Kerensky and Day snarl at Kate "Our Master won't let anything happen to us." They're pretty much right - out of all of the Brethren and Runners the group has trapped so far - these two are a /big/ investment for Darque. "And you're too late… far, far, too late. His plan is in action and it won't be long now…" Day hasn't noticed May sneaking yet.

"Vedes…" Zee looks at the tattooes on Kerensky's neck and the glances to Day. May will find the same tattooes on the woman. "I'm going to trace the spell back… I'll need you to…" Well Kate and May will know what to do. This is dangerous for Zee, even with Fenris holding the wards. Eyes glowing bright blue, Zee focusses her intent and directs her power into the spell - the spell that will use the sympathetic link back to Darque.

~~ esU yaD dnA yksnereK, wohS sU erehW euqraD sediH ~~

Zee's spell wraps out and around them … May might feel it through her pendulum… and as before, a relief map appears in front of them … an abandoned airbase… but where? Zee tweaks the spell a little and the image zooms out…

Maybe May or Kate will recognise it… if not Fenris, might.

"Is there a manual for hackneyed minion things to say?" Kate asks, looking back over her shoulder toward anyone else for an opinion. "Like, do they hand them out when you sign up for it?" Zee has the magic part of things - she's there to make sure they can't make a break for it. Which she seems to be doing with distraction. "Besides, maybe we want to have a chat with your master anyhow. Also, don't you find it awkward to call someone your master? I never quite got that. I mean, I figure most people get into the sycophant business for power, but then you've got to be absolutely obedient to someone. How's that figure?"

Oh, May knows that place all right. She's been there multiple times over the years she's worked for SHIELD. Again with the stealthy, she pulls a pair of telescoping taser batons from inside her boots. "That's all we need. These two are of no more value." She snaps the two batons to their full extensions, causing their tasers to crackle for a brief second.

Go on, old man. Pee yourself. You know you want to.

Kerensky blusters more at Kate… and then blanches as the batons are brandished. Day simply glares at May. "He… He won't let you hurt us." Kerensky stammers "No he won't." Day agrees. Zee smiles "Well… he won't let us kill you… easily." Fortunately, Kate and Zee tend to prefer non-lethal means.

Just as she's dropping the spell, a wave of necromantic energy floods the room, targetting Zee primarily and anyone else nearby if it can.

Zee stumbles backwards, wincing … in a lot of pain … struggling to close the connection. It takes a moment or two, but she does. "May, Kate, Fenris?" she looks around at the other three, as she rubs at a place on her shoulder where the start of a mark is visible.

Kate has, for some time now, carried around a charm she got from John Constantine. It's not much - a bit of steel wool wrapped up in copper wire - but it's meant to do damage to anyone trying to use a portal or dimensional means to attack her. When she's planning on going into the deep end on this sort of thing, she tends to keep it on her. There's a wave of nausea when Darque lashes out, but she seems to keep her feet well enough. Then again, she's not attaching to any sort of magical openings, either. "Oh, relax, magic-pants," she says, looking around as if Darque's going to appear. "No one's going to break your toys."

Melinda May gets pushed back by the wave of energy as well, though it doesn't affect her as severely as it did Zee. Whether that's because of her Pendulum or because she's a Muggle, it's difficult to say. She does recover more quickly than the spellcaster, and proves she's done playing by promptly stepping forward to zap both Kerensky and Day with the batons. She's sorely tempted to say something particularly snarky right this moment, and ultimately decides against it.

"It's down, he's not coming, Kate." Zee rolls her shoulder. She's going to need help removing that. "Thank you, Agent May."

As Kerensky and Day drop to the group, Zee looks to Fenris. "Agent May knows where that is. Would you like to take charge of these two." Darque will want them, Darque will also know who it is that compromised them… maybe May and Kate avoided detection. Time will tell.

"Let's get their minders and aide, clean up and then go enjoy this benefit we've organised…." Zee, can be an optimist when she wants.

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