Ruinic Stones and Weapons

November 29, 2015:

Calling friends together, Zee explained what happened

Central Park - New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

May, Fenris, Can you meet me in Central Park? I'm there now. No Emergency, I just need to speak with you.

The message, from Zatanna, goes out over the ley lines. Hax gets a similar text message and the Titans get the request over their communicators.

When they get there, they'll find Zee sitting at a bench, a cup of coffee in hand, looking rather worried.

It's possible, that Fenris knows what's wrong already …. although he may not.

Hax wastes no time. Zee's a friend who has been there for him more than once. Moments later a swirling mass of black smoke materializes a few meters away from Zatanna and gradually dissapates. The rune-mage isn't dressed for combat so he is once again confortably seated in his casual business attire and his silver-rimmed spectacles.

"Zee." the mage gives a half-nod of acknowledgement, but it's also more of a way to avoid direct eye contact with the Mistress of Magic.

With a purple glow, reality splits to manifest a Rabbit Hole and deposits a Vorpal onto the next bench, landing in a crouch.

"Just so we're clear- I didn't do it, I wasn't anywhere near it when it happened, I was in the moon. With Gar. Yes." the cheshire puts out his disclaimer, just in case he's in trouble.

He often is.

Melinda May appears via ley line not too far away (but still the closest she could manage) and approaches the others with her usual quiet walk. She's wearing the scarf Howard Stark made for her. (What? It's a good scarf.) "Vorpal, if you have to start with that, then you're guilty of SOMEthing."

Fenris arrives by his usual method. A tear in space and time opens and he steps through. His eyes immediately land on Zee and stay there. The intsneisty of his gaze might actually be… kind of unnerving. "What. Has. Happened." Clearly he KNOWS.

"Nothing that I know of, Vorpal." Zee shakes her head at Vorpal "But May is right, if you start with that, then you've probably done something." Clearly, though, she's not her normal happy self.

"Hello Hax…" If she wasn't so concerned, and now that people are closer maybe it's frightened, she might realise the his avoidance of her eyes isn't because he stammers around her.

Zee meets Fenris' eyes "The Vishanti took my power last night. They wish to test my strength as part of my trials." Yes, the gaze is unnerving… adding to the pit in her stomach.

Letting her gaze rest on the others in the group "My magic is gone for a while…."

Hax ponders the situation "What are the requisites for completing their trial?" Hax has had little to no contact from these mystical, cosmic beings so he does not know what exactly their capable of.

(Parasite is she really powerless at the moment?) the little thought inside his head chimes back (Mhm. It would appear so. She's just as normal as the rest of them. Well, without the incredible body and impressive ra-) (Not now Parasite. Your fascination with the smutty books I let you talk me into buying is becoming somewhat bothersome) The voice gives the impression of a grin without saying a word (I'm just trying to open your mind to new avenues of thought and stimulation).

"The Vishanti…" Vorpal frowns, moving on to the next topic in order to avoid directly incriminating himself in… never you mind. The Fae have heard of the Vishanti- and they're seldom fans. "That sanctimonious trio of meddlesome mystics? Really now?"

The cat sits down on the bench, ears flattened against his skull. "Really, they want to test your strengths. How passive-aggressive of them. They could be, oh, I don't know, preventing eldritch abominations from taking over the world with a wave of their mystical appendages, they are so high and mighty- but no, they sit on their bloated astral asses and force us // to do the dirty work for them. Hoggoth the Hoary… Hoggogh the //lazy more likely. And now they take away…" he growls and clenches his fists, grabbing on to the wood of the bench to claw at something.

He gives Hax a glance, and then one to Melinda and then Fenris. "Cosmic mages are such pussilanimous spineless wastes. Hmph."

Melinda May looks at Zee for a long moment, then pulls her 1911 from a holster under her jacket and offers it to the young woman grip-first. "Time to take some lessons." Yes, the pistol's safety is on.

Fenris looks like he agrees with May. And Vorpal. The old wolf sighs and shakes his head. "Well I knew they were going to test the locals. I didn't realize that would be one of the ways they did it." Hax has drawn the god's attention now and he's kind of staring. Do you have something between your… soul?

"Stay alive?" Zee answers Hax first. She only knows the basics and the tests seem to vary depending on who they are testing "No one really knows. But Fenris is more aware than I am." If she realised what Parasite is saying, she'd be blushing and then some.

Looking to Vorpal, she's not sure she can disagree entirely but … "They're looking for a new Sorcerer Supreme, they want the best." And this is how they've decided to test her. "Being angry at them doesn't change what's been done. I just thought you should know." Strangely, Zee's not been angry, scared certainly, concerned definitely, but she can't find it within herself to be angry.

Shaking her head as the 1911 is offered over "N—-" but it's the look from Fenris that has her taking it, gingerly. "I don't like guns… The Fox is helping me learn how to fight with weapons." Most will know that means Swords… "and I still have you sash whip, Agent May." Fenris gets a quick look "I guess they want to see how I am without access to my power. I'm going to need to work on my ritual magic."

Hax doesn't lock eyes with Fenris. Not in a million years. "Oh, no I flossed my soul this morning. You know; cavities and such." Hax retorts. He's not directly answering the Wolf God's question. Too dangerous. Besides Zee's here and this is not exactly a conversation Hax is looking forward to having with her…ever.

Turning his attention back to Zee "Stay alive, huh? Weeeell(in his best David Tennant impression), um, I can't imagine your trials are going to be a walk in the park if they felt the need to remove your magic." Hax reaches into his messenger bag and pulls out a ziplock bag filled with small rocks of varying sizes, shapes and colors. "Although having a little magic at your finger-tips certainly is welcome. These stones don't require magic input to activate the spell."Hax pulls out a rock and places his finger on a set of circular runic words (thing the symbols on the One Ring but all over the stone) "Scratch any of these symbols on the stone to disrupt the magic containment field and the spell will release." Hax hands over the bag to Zee

"Just… be careful Zee." The rune-mage looks down at his shoes "Your one of the few friends I have and I don't want to see that list shortened."

"Don't count on me for ritual magic. My mere presence is enough to bring about a great chance of a miscast," Vorpal grumbles. Being a chaos node meant that the finer manipulations of magic were barred to him, being as he was a massive outpouring of very blunt chaos. He glances at Hax as he peddles with pebbles. He doesn't express agreement with Hax's sentiment for the simple reason that he is furious, and a furious feline is a focused feline. His head snaps back to Zee.

"So they want you to be the very best like no-one ever was?" he asks, getting off the bench and pacing. "So they're looking for the next Sorcerer Supreme. I've got to ask you a question…. did you actually accept this nomination voluntarily?" he asks. "Who are the other candidates?"

The offer of her pistol to Zee wasn't entirely literal. It was her way of offering to teach Zee any combat skills she felt she might need. Though at the mention of the sash whip … "That isn't a beginner's weapon, though I can help you work up to it if you want." She looks at the rocks that Hax offers to Zee and then at Hax consideringly. She might have to speak with him at a later time. This avoiding people's eyes makes her a bit wary, though. And then Vorpal is voicing some very valid questions and concerns. She makes a mental note to refer Zee to Rain, as the timid-seeming witch apparently has access to a very interesting array of resources.

"Zatanna, a mutant woman named Wanda, Hax here, another Magus named Ryden, a witch named Rain." There may be a few others. Why does Fenris know that? Don't ask the old wolf too many questions. He may just choose to answer.

"I'm unclear on this entire thing being voluntary to begin with. The mantle may be. The testing… certainly doesn't seem to be." Then again maybe Zee just gets it because she didn't say no. Who can say how these things work? He can't.

"I do, Agent May. Hand to hand too. I've relied on my magic and others to protect me physically and now … " she snorts a little "I'm not going to stop doing what I did. I'll just have to learn to do it differently." Taking the bag of ruinic stones from Hax, she smiles a little "I don't intend on dying, Hax" The Davind Tennant impression worked, it seems, "And I'll be as careful as I can be." which isn't the same as being careful, really.

"I know ritual magic, Vorpal. I just don't use it much. I just need to practice it more now." And not just speak backwards and concentrate to change things around her.

Fenris' musings get a shake of her of head "No, Fenris, they didn't ask. The emissary stopped me, just after I dealt with a young Vampire, and just … took it." Of course, it's not clear whether they /took/ her magic or simply locked it away - it doesn't matter, the effects are the same.

Zee's words comfort Hax significantly as his naive, boyish smile beams across his face. Hax may not live for many things. But people like Zee; that's what makes his life worth living. "Glad I can help, Zee." spotting a street food vendor Hax notices that his stomach is somewhat rumbly and his mouth a bit parched. "Oh, lemonade. I'll be right back." and Hax walks off with AI materializing beside him. It says a couple of short sentences that are inaudible but it de-materialzes as quickly as it appeared.

"Of course. The Great Vishanti wouldn't stoop to anything so considerate as to ask," the cheshire cat spits the words out. "They just take what they want, when they want it, and we are supposed to assume they are the good guys even though they treat the humans they allegedly care about no better than pawns in their great cosmic game. They need a Sorcerer Supreme, so they just force it on some poor sap who may or may not get killed for it regardless of whether he wants the position or not. Brilliant!"

Vorpal turns his face to the sky, "Hey, geniuses, maybe if you got people who wanted the job, you might actually be able to keep a Sorcerer Supreme."

And next, Vorpal speaks in a language that might sound very familiar to Fenris, accompanied with a gesture that is not obscene on Earth, but it is elsewhere.

"Llie n'vanima ar' lle atara lanneina."

Fenris might have heard the expression used before by the inhabitants of Svartfalheim. Some people- at least, those who have been able to hear the Unseelie and the Svartálfar speak and who are most emphatically NOT dead from those encounters (a relatively minuscule number of people at that) often remark upon the similarities of the languages. There are theories that this could mean that the dark elves and the Unseelie perhaps share a common ancestor… or perhaps that the two traded at some point in the unwritten past. Or tried to kill each other. Regardless of the actual truth of it, the words might ring familiar to Fenris, and they deal with (unsurprisingly) with very wild speculation concerning how the subjects in question (the Vishanti) were conceived.

Looking down again, he huffs and looks at Fenris. "Wait. Rain too? That's two Titans stripped of their powers. What the hell?"

The cheshire cat narrows his eyes. "… you know, at this point I'm rooting for the Lords of Chaos in this. At least they are honest in using people as pawns. These hypocritical mo- … assholes do it while flapping about their magnanimity and saying it's all for the Greater Good." He rubs his forehead, "Zee, take the gun. You're a mage. You're squishy. A bullet between a monster's eyes a few feet away gives you more chances to survive than trying to swashbuckle in close quarters when you haven't been trained for it."

He gives Fenris a very narrow glance. "And how much do you have to do with them?"

Melinda May stays quiet for the moment, as there's not much more she can offer Zee at the moment. But, she does stick around to put the smack down on anyone that tries to get in Zee's face while she's still trying to make sense of what just happened to her.

"I don't believe anyone else has been… tested in that manner." Fenris clarifies. "Though you'd have to ask Rain. She certainly had her powers when I last saw her. The tests are different for everyone. As for me? I talk to them, sometimes. If talk is the right word for it. They can't act directly here on earth for the most part so they go through intermediaries. Who are generally not me. I'm too surley for their tastes."

Moving to stand next to May, Zee blinks at Vorpals diatribe "I'm not /some poor sap/, Vorpal." she speaks quietly, but there's a tinge of pride in her bearing. She /was/ powerful and growing moreso, and hadn't been tempted by 'offers'. It's not surprising, now that she's calming down, that they chose this manner of testing.

"Your anger does no good. What's done is done and now I have to survive this" And she'll want her friends by her side. "I won't take the gun, but I will take the offer of training from one of the best fighters I've seen." Between May and Fox, she might stand a chance.

Watching Hax as he walks off, for a moment, she then looks at the group "Vorpal, we'll need to work out new strategies to use me. Fenris, will help with polishing my ritual magic? Hax's ruinic stones will go a long way too."

The cheshire cat actually smirks, crossing his arms. "How does that Robbie Burns go? The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men gang aft agley. This isn't our three-ring circus, luv, it's theirs." The cheshire cat points a finger skywards. "They want to test you. Oh, we'll draft strategies, but you mark my words: there will come a moment where you'll find yourself alone and without any of the backup you've come to rely on. They do so love their tests. I can't plan against contingencies that are essentially so-called 'benevolent' cosmic bullies. Outside of inciting trouble against them," a quick look at Fenris, "And I have the nagging sensation that it wouldn't be tolerated."

Melinda May accepts her pistol back from Zee and stows it away again. She won't say it out loud, but Vorpal does make a point. Which is why she immediately offered to help Zee train in mundane combat skills. And she has every intention of making good on that offer. Though she'll probably start the woman with staves or some such first.

If only May knew the boot camp one of her other friends has in mind for her. She'll probably be grateful for the training. "I don't suggest that Vorpal, but you know, if you want to try… and can get to where they are." He shrugs. If the Cheshire Cat wants to poke three elder level beings in the eye, on his own head be it. "Give me a call, Zee, if you need anything. At all." He won't say more.

And with that he's turning to open a Way and head off to wherever he came from.

"You leave my trials to me, Vorpal." Zee shakes her head. "We still have to work to do whilst this is going on." Does she expect to be left without backup as part of the trial? Maybe. What she's expecting, is something totally unexpected from the Vishanti.

"I will Fenris." she calls after the God-Wolf and then looks to May "When can we get started?" Like … right now or real soon … would be good.

"And while you do that," Vorpal says, opening a Rabbit Hole, "I'm going to go and send the alert to the team that we're being toyed with by the self-appointed guardians of the galaxy. Awful people, them."

The cheshire shakes his head and walks through the Rabbit Hole, "I'll see you at the castle. We'll be able to strategize better when I have the full roster of members open before me." This was going to take some coordination…

"Now works." May nods to Zee, ready to lead the way back to the ley line so they can travel to either the Triskelion or (more likely) Shadowcrest. "Take care of yourself, Vorpal."

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