Gathering The Ingredients

October 27, 2015:

In the lead up to Zee's benefit, she asks friends to help find ingredients for a recipe that Pepper has

A Forest Somewhere

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Halloween - that magical mystical time of the year where the veils between worlds thins … This year, Zatanna Zatarra has decided to put on a benefit in Shadowcrest … to help the displaced children across the tri-cities. She's reached out to someone, close to her, to help with the organisation (and hopefully a sizeable donation) and … well, been convinced to find ingredients … hard to find ingredients … and well, they've got to harvest them themselves.

It's a big job so Zee's asked for help and has transported the group to a very old forest … and bought with them baskets and cutters and all sorts of accoutrements for harvesting… along with three of the Shadowcrest Staff.

"Here we are!" Zee smiles brightly and looks over to Pepper with a smile "Miss Potts suggested we need certain ingredients and this is the best place to find them." There's several sheets of paper - covered with drawings and writing … seems the Mistress of Magic has come prepared.

Those with magical senses will notice the faint 'thrum' of magic through the area - not malicious, just the place is very, very, old.


Halloween: a time of the year when orange and black is popular.

Tigra: also orange and black, with some white mixed in as well.

It's the perfect time of year for the cat-woman to fit right in without even having to do anything with regard to her coloring, not that it's usually an issue for her in the first place. Regardless, through one way or another she's come to help with the harvesting thing, though she might not know just what it's all for quite yet. Going with the flow, that's her.

At least, the forest itself seems suitably atmospheric, the leatherclad woman making her way around barefoot as usual, striped tail moving lazily behind her, side to side. "What am I supposed to be looking for, again?" she asks nobody in particular, stopping after a moment to sniff at something. A scent, most likely.


Charlie looks around slowly "This seems somewhat familiar." she murmurs thoughtfully and then looks about "So .. yeah um.. Z .. point me in the right direction and I'm game to give you what you want…" she smiles and then looks curious at Tigra.

Jes looks excited. It's a forest and her friends are here and they are going to be helping children which is something that she loves to do. She can't donate money but this, this she can do. Jes has a blanket sling across her chest and it seems quite full. Once they arrive it starts moving and wriggling. Murmuring softly in her native tongue Jes looks around as she drops the back pack she was carrying. It only takes her a minute to set up four wooden sticks in a four by four foot square.

She wraps a string around the square and then gently dumps her pups inside. "There. That'll keep them and it should be safe enough here. I'm so glad you asked me to help Zee." Jes grins at everyone and trots over to look at what they are gathering. "I do this kind of thing at least once a week." She's getting good at recognizing herbs, flowers and mushrooms.


Pepper Potts smiles back at Zee, holding of all things a sheet of paper in her hands. She had been fully prepared to have all of these rare ingredients couriered in from all over eastern Europe, but the prospect of hunting the items down personally sounded like fun. And, well, that means the money saved on the couriers is added to the sum that Pepper had already earmarked to donate. It … doesn't really make THAT big a difference comparatively, but to anyone not used to living at Stark's demographic it would be a choke-worthy sum.

"Okay, here's what we're looking for." She starts pulling StarkPhones out of her bag — they're older models and don't appear to be connected to any phone carrier — and offers them to people. "JARVIS is linked to these phones and can show you pictures of the items we're after. There are mushrooms, leaves of a few sorts, several berries, roots and tubers, and something like six different kinds of gourds." Yeah, she totally pulled this from one of Partisan's recipe books. It's very likely they're somewhere reasonably close to the freedom fighter's mortal-life stomping grounds.


Part of the fun of organising the event is being able to include her friends … who may not be able to donate money, but they've all got unique talents they can use. And besides, getting out and about in the fresh air is totally worth it!

"Simon, Alice and Michelle here," Zee indicates the Shadowcrest Staff "will carry the baskets and ferry what we collect back to the manor." Taking a phone from Pepper, she starts down the path, stopping not too far along at a bush with berries on it, starting to collect them - by hand, not magic! Where's the fun in that?

As the group starts to scatter throughout the forest, the sound of tinkling laughter, like a little bell filters across it…. Are they being watched?


Charlie takes her starkphone and turns it all around and over "Cool.. what is a Jarvis?" she then heads out with all the others spreading out into the forest to look for things on the list or the phone rather. "Hmmm" whne there is a laugh and a all that she pauses and looks around slowly.


Tigra squints at one of the phones, then Jesana and her bundle - that may have been part of the reason for the sniffing - and after spotting Charlie she gives the woman a hint of a grin, a dip of the head as a sort of greeting. "Whoever that is," she mentions after JARVIS is cited, and she thumbs through the phone's display to see what it's showing, keeping that claw from scratching the screen.

That laughter interrupts Tigra's searching before she gets very far, leading to the feline woman turning toward what she perceives as the sound of it. "Anyone else hear that?"

Jes turns back and eyes her pups. They're content to roll around and wrestle so Jes studies the phone and nods to herself. "This is nice. The books don't always have such detailed pictures." She knows what Jarvis is sortof but only because she recently met Tony Stark and she's heard Pepper use it for various things as well. Familiar with several of the things on the list Jes heads into the forest knowing the most likely spots to find those items. "This is great! I-" Jes cuts off and frowns. "It wasn't the kids." She pauses and turns to scan the area rather than the ground.


"Greetings. I am JARVIS," a genteel British man's voice emits from both Charlie and Tigra's phones in perfect unison. Jesana's and Zee's phones greet them more personally, addressing them by name. "May I have the pleasure of your name?" the former two's devices again simultaneously.

Pepper simply smiles and considers saying hello to Jesana's pups but decides that that can wait until the harvesting is done. She starts off as well, her random searching keeping her more or less equidistant from everyone else. Or maybe that's JARVIS. Her phone is acting as a 'hotspot' for the others, after all. She pauses to consider a plant and compare it to an image on her phone, then kneels down to dig up the plant roots and all. And no, she's not at all bothered by getting dirt on her hands or the jeans and buttonup blouse she's wearing. That's the point.

She straightens briefly and looks around at the giggling, but seems far less perturbed by it than the others. Tucking her phone into a pocket, she rummages in the satchel she has slung crossbody that is far less empty than one would expect from a 'collecting' expedition. After a moment she sets a tiny paper cupcake cup on the ground where she dug up the tuber and stands to move on.


"Hello JARVIS" Zee says happily, picking at the berries as she goes. Hearing the laughter, she raises her blue gaze and frowns just a little. "Probably the faerie."

As Pepper moves off, something lights on the cupcake cup and she may hear the flutter of little wings as she steps away.

Near the coyote pups, something alights on a branch and the little ones all look and start yipping… laughter can be heard.

Tigra and Charlie are both confronted by dancing motes of light that start to fly around them in a dizzying fashion.

"Don't fight them…" Zee calls out "they're just having fun… " hopefully her friends will listen to her and be clever.


Misfit pauses and peers at her phone "Right then.. I'm Misfit." she smiles at the phone and then peers and looks around once more. "Oh… right.. Faeries…" she pauses "Hi I'm Misfit." she edges closer to Tigra now.


Tigra tilts her phone a bit sideways as she's spoken to from it. "Uh, Tigra," comes her response after a couple seconds, squinting at the screen. "So, are you like a special version of Siri or something?" she wonders a beat later. That takes some of her attention away from the laughter, but she begins to search for a few leaves.

In doing so, the striped, furred woman crouches slightly before springing into a leap that sees her land up on a thick tree branch, and from there she walks along it until it begins to thin out further, at which point she plucks a few specimens to drop, happening to be closer to Misfit now that she's nearby. "Incoming!" Not that leaves pose much of a threat to those below, only up about ten feet. "And I'm Tigra."

Shortly after that, the specks of light, or whatever they are, circle her. Eyes dart toward them, and an immediate urge leads to her swiping in the direction of one, then another, missing both times. Balance shifts, but she catches herself thanks to a hand around a branch above her, eyes widening as she tracks the movement, her tail now lashing. "Fun?" she echoes, tone a cross between curious and, it seems, stimulated in a possibly playful way.


Jes had watched Pepper with a puzzled expression but it clears once she realizes. Beyond sneezing and listening for a moment to make sure the pups are fine, she lets the tiny faeries be. "Cute." Jes smiles and kneels next to a moss coated log and scoops the soil and leaves away from some mushrooms before deftly plucking the fungi and tucking it into the sling she's still wearing. "Jeremiah is smart enough to not try to eat them and if John tries she'll stop him. Or well.. wait to see what happens to him." Jes isn't worried. He's nowhere near adept enough to catch one of the little fae unless it lets him.


Misfit's and Tigra's phones each greet them again with their names, and Tigra's phone goes on to add, "Only in the very loosest of terms, Miss Tigra. My primary functions are centered around Stark Tower and Mr. Stark himself. Peripheral duties such as this are likely to be more similar to the Siri application simply due to the limited processing capability of the device in your hand."

Pepper does hear the tiny wings as she steps away from where the collected the tubers but she doesn't stop and she doesn't look back. The fae that used to inhabit Stark Tower at the very least seemed more content when she didn't try to acknowledge their existence. She circles around a tree, then kneels to dig up another tuber, her satchel left open at her hip.


Pepper might just feel that satchel moving … once … twice … three times… and the bag starts 'wriggling'.

The motes circling Tigra, continue to do so, she'll her little giggles as her swipes are avoided. And then, much like a laser pointer … the motes dance up tree branches and across the littered forest floor… Are they teasing the playful looking Tigra?

The motes that had been circling Misfit, join Tigras … poor woman … and Misfit is confronted by a little Fae male, riding a largish dragon fly. It's helmet askew, it levels it's 'spear' (which sort of looks a bit like a disposable fork) "Halt, none shall pass without my permission…" it squeaks at the chaos muppet.

Sitting atop one of the fungi that Jes is about to harvest, is rather hideous looking toadlike being "Fun, heh?" it croaks… and 'thumps' it foot on the toadstool, emitting a cloud of rather intoxicating spores….


Well Charlie absolutely leaks Faerie and Chaos at the little Fey. Sure it is mostly hidden under some serious gem magic but it is still there all the same especially to little critters of pure faerie. "Really? Well okay…. can I have your permission then?"


The words from JARVIS go unanswered from Tigra, who by now is more obviously distracted by the bits of light flying around, darting to and fro, stealing more of the cat's attention. It's not that this always works on her, but today? It is. "Come back here.." she says in a lower tone of voice, letting go of the branch to leap down after a few of them. The chase, it would appear, is on. She goes right by Misfit, close enough that Charlie might even feel a brush of fur in passing.


*Sneezesneezesneeze* Jes shakes her head and frowns at the little toadperson. "You're lucky I have a natural resistance to stuff like this now, buddy. It's nice except for when I wanna get drunk. Kindly move your ass off of that mushroom please. I need it." Jes think a moment. "Actually nevermind. People are usually more picky than I am what they put in their mouth. I'm pretty sure toadass mushroom isn't something appetizing." Jes gives the little being an amused look before rising and moving on to the plant she's spotted several feet away. At least part of her amusement is from listening to Charlie and Tigra and Jarvis. "I'll bring you all a basket of honey nextime if you let us get this done." Jes offers. She's not nearly so easily distracted from her task though she does seem to be a bit focused inwards as she monitors herself for any reaction to those spores. She's resistant, not immune to drugs and poisons.


Pepper Potts suspects she is correct in thinking that there is 'someone' helping themselves to the honey she brought, and really, that's why she brought it. So she lets the 'thievery' occur undisturbed while she digs up the second tuber, then makes a point of sitting back on her heels to brush some soil off of the tuber before moving to stand. Have to give the little thieves a chance to get clear, after all. Then she's circling back toward the others to get some berries she thinks she saw along the way. "Okay, I have enough of these, JARVIS, if you could remove them from the list."


The little thieves in Peppers bag don't get clear … she'll hear giggling … are they intoxicated? The redheaded CEO may need to resort to other measures. (Who'd have thought they'd be lightweights?)

The toad considers Jes … eyes narrowing as it croaks. "Add Pizza to the honey and you've got a deal." Seriously? Where are the fae learning these things?

Tigra, bounding past Charlie, distracts the little male fae … so he misses Charlies answer … he's a young fae, easily distracted. She might need to bribe him …

Tigra's motes start to circle, she should be starting to turn in circles and start feeling a couple of little feet starting to dance on her back… they are loving that she's chasing them….


Charlie swirls around there and looks after Tigra "Hey… we were making a deal….oh great." she grins though "Cat in the fey house.. this won't end well…" and well they are distracted so she starts foraging again while she can.


If nothing else, Tigra is drawing a fair amount of attention as she hops, skips, and jumps after a few more of the little motes of light, landing in a full crouch on all fours before springing in another direction. Then she stops and reaches behind her, a hand passing over where the sensation of something tickling fur above the leather registers. She's not growling, so it doesn't seem like there's danger around the corner, but she has let go of the JARVIS phone as a result of her activity level picking up. Must be something about the place that just triggered this. "Got you!" She snatches at something, cupping it in both hands to bring it around front…only to find nothing there when she parts them. "Feh!"


Jes snorts but grins. Pizza. Well, who doesn't like pizza? She nods her agreement and moves on her way, using her supernatural speed to collect now. Charlie and Tigra are helping, but.. Jes doesn't want them to be short. If she can manage it she'll drop some of her gathered things into theirs when she passes them, hopefully without notice. Always she keeps one ear on her pups and is careful not to move out of hearing range, which for her is fortunately alot further than a human's.


Pepper Potts has to refrain from laughing at the little honey-drunk giggles coming out of her bag. She doesn't want to give away that she's totally aware of them there. Handing off the tubers to one of Zee's Shadowcrest staff, then steps over toward Charlie while reaching into her bag past the tiny forms there, and pulls out oneo of those snack-size ziplock bags with probably a tablespoon of honey in it. "Here. This might help." She then tilts her head toward her giggling satchel and winks before moving on toward a stand of bushes with some gourd vines hidden underneath.


Looking up as Tigra hops, skips and jumps, Pepper has a giggling bag, Misfit ignores the little knight and Jes goes bounding around… Zee just sighs. She's not realised that wreaths have been braided into her hair and there's little fae sitting in the middle of them.

Pepper giving out honey does the trick for those nearest Charlie… and Zee looks to Alice "Put out the milk, honey and liquor…. " the Shadowcrest staff start to move purposefully and just like Pepper, put out saucers of soured milk, honey and acohol.

Tigras' tormentors swarm away … she'll hear the little giggles … and the glen (is it a glen in eastern Europe?) falls silent.

Jes had better remember that she's promised Pizza to the Toad … he'll collect one way or the other.

With the Fae distracted for the moment, the group can complete their gatherings … in peace.


Jes won't forget. She intends to ask Zee later just where they are to make sure she can find this place again. She won't gather from here again so soon, things need a chance to recover but she will bring pizza and honey and maybe explore further afield. This place is interesting and meeting fae who aren't trying to set her on fire is nice too. Deciding she's probably collected enough, Jes heads back to corral her pups and chuckles softly to find them curled around each other and sleeping. "Thank you faerie people."


Pepper Potts gathers up the last gourd needed to complete the recipe, and very gingerly removes the last of the honey and the clearly inebriated little fae from her bag to rest under the leaves of the vine. Then she's headed back toward Zee and the others. "Thank you all for your help. I promise I won't recruit you to help me cook all of this up."


Just like that, whatever had Tigra's sole focus is…gone. No more dancing lights, no more tiny little feet or hands or whatever felt behind her, and though her tail continues to lash to and fro, the moment begins to pass as she once again becomes aware of the others out there with her. "Nobody saw any of that," she sniffs, attempting a more..regal stance or something along those lines. If there was any question about her that went beyond the catlike appearance…

Given that Misfit is still relatively close, she's the first one Tigra nears as she moves back to rejoin the group. "Weren't we here to collect some stuff?" Sniff, sniff. "Is that honey?"


Charlie is pleased and gives Pepper a grin that she can collect in relative peace. She then looks to Tigra. "Yeah… and yeah we bribed them with honey… so your done chasing faeries?"


"…is that what they were?" Tigra asks Misfit, her head angling toward one side. "I thought they were these little balls of light and I had to get them." Or, try to get them.

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