Bag of Wassea

February 01, 2016:

Pepper offers Ryden assistance with the The Total Codex

Stark Tower - New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Of all the strange things to happen around her over the past year or two, getting a phone call from an Asgardian god-wolf asking to meet is so low on the scale it doesn't even register. She made arrangements with Fenris quickly enough, and at the apponted time — on a chilly Sunday evening — she's waiting in the lobby of Stark Tower. She asked Fenris to not just appear in her office, because it makes JARVIS … twitchy.

As Fenris and those with him arrive, she moves to greet them promptly. "Hi, welcome. Please, come in where it's warm."


Fenris has to, apparently, collect someone. A couple of someones. And since it makes Pepper's servitor spirit twitchy when he simply pops in they'll take a cab over to Stark Industries. Which at least gives Ryden a chance to contemplate all the horrible things Fenris might be preparing to do to him. Why, honestly, are they go- oh wait. It's to meet Pepper. Maybe not so horrible then.


Ryden is having a little trouble remembering.. well, a lot of things at the moment. He's pretty much got zero focus for anything other than resisting the Codex's call. He can't remember if he's met Pepper but Damnyou either remembers, or knows that Pepper is one of Zee's friends and so the goose has pecked, gajoled, and squawked Ryden into a shower, clean jeans and flip flop sandals. He even manages to get the man to put on a shirt. It's a purple sequined shirt but, its a shirt. And of course his travel pack and a blue velvet cloak.

Damnyou has a blue version of his goose socks on and a pink and white diamond harness. The goose knows its silly but he loves the shiny thing anyway. Ryden might be contemplating those things if he weren't so busy fighting the codex. Or wishing death and misfortune on the Vishaniti. Which the damned book could probably tell him how to do if he'd just.. the magi sighs hopelessly.


Zee has been quiet on the journey over to Stark Tower. Fenris had called and asked her to be available, so she was. She knew they were going to Pepper, but she's not let on to Ryden… she might like seeing the slightly older mage squirm.

As Pepper greets them, she smiles warmly to the redheaded CEO and gives her a hug. "Miss Potts, it's a pleasure to see you again."


Pepper Potts returns Zee's hug readily, then smiles and offers Ryden a handshake, not even close to batting an eyelash at his attire. Or Damnyou's presence attire, for that matter. "Hello, please, call me Pepper. If you'll…" she hesitates, the Codex's whispers starting to insinuate themselves into her brain. Blinking quickly, she takes a step back from Ryden whether he shook her hand or not, then looks at Fenris with an expression of clear concern. "I think maybe we should take this to my office."

Luckily, getting there at this time of evening on a Sunday takes almost no time at all, and Pepper is already starting to fix a pot of tea almost the moment she steps into the well-appointed room.


Fenris actually glares at the book. Actually seriously shoots the book a look. It's very hard to suppress it outside of his home though and he's not going to waste energy trying. If Zee and Ryden can handle it, Pepper can handle it's temptations… but he knows it won't be easy for the woman. The book knows exactly where and how to push. The God-Wolf follows silently until they reach the office and closes the door behind them. "You mentioned, Pepper, you might be able to help with Ryden's… problem?"


Hearing voices that don't seem to be in his mind, Ryden looks around and spots Zee. He replays his vague awareness of the past several minutes over and frowns then glances down and eyes his cloak. Nope, not the invisibility cloak. Oh shit. What did he do? He must've done something again. He'll have to ask Damnyou later and then listen to some longass lecture on ..whatever it was he did. And then buy goose treats. And Zee treats.

Ryden focuses more and smiles brightly at Pepper, reaching out to shake her hand and is clearly startled when she suddenly steps back. He follows without asking but also glances down at himself again. "Nope. Not naked either. Whew." Shit, did he say that out loud? Maybe no one heard.


Zee casts Ryden an amused look as he asks that question "No Ryden, you're not naked." yep, she totally heard it and she won't comment on his mode of dress. Whilst Fenris might glare at the book, Zee will studiously ignore it.

She might want to be magically stronger than Fenris, but if is comes to that sort of power, it will on her own merits and not because … ok, she looks at the book - what would it ask of her?

Fenris' question pulls her back to the moment and she casts Pepper a curious look.


Pepper sets the teapot on the table to steep, then looks from Fenris to Ryden to Zee. Then to the goose. A goose. Right. "Let me guess. You need a way to make that book shut up." She nods to herself, then steps over to her desk and opens a drawer to pull out a honest to god piece of handmade paper with what looks like Spencerian script on it.

"Please, make yourselves at home. This may take a few minutes." She then gives the goose an evaluating look, shakes her head slightly, and places a phone call.


Fenris sits down with a smile and takes a cup of tea when it's offered. "Even a way to mute it a bit would be welcome. That grates even on me and I know Ryden has been enduring it for days now. Worse, when it gets around others… well you can hear it now I'm sure. Others are not as strong willed as you. It's… problematic."


Ryden gives Pepper a startled look and then immediately apologizes. "I'm sorry. I've tried everything I can think of almost to shut it up." He sighs and gently sets Damnyou on the floor. The goose starts waddling around Pepper's office, tilting his head this way and that as he examines things. The plants get a slightly longer look than other stuff but he doesn't try to taste them. Eating one of Ryden's plants has resulted in a desire to stay far away from unfamiliar plant life. Damnyou does not want to spend another night or day feeling as if he's flying when he's only walking. Or in his case, waddling. Ryden sheepishly scratches the back of his neck and glances at his familiar. "Dude, it was an honest mistake. Are you ever gonna let it go?" he mutters.


"We do, Pepper." Zee looks a little strained. Even a few minutes in the books presence is enough. Taking a seat and crossing her ankles she watches as Damnyou does a waddling inspection…

Zee might be a little partial to the Goose. Don't ask why.

As Pepper starts to the make the call, Zee gives Ryden a good once over "How are you holding up, Ryden?"


After hearing Fenris and Ryden's explanations and watching Damnyou wisely leave her potted plants alone, she turns to begin discussing something with the person who answered the phone. It sounds like a negotiation, and by the end of it, she seems to have bartered a few bottles of what Fenris at least will know are extremely high end liquors in exchange for … a sack of some sort?

Setting her phone aside, Pepper moves to fill a few teacups with what smells like chamomile and lavender, offering them to Zee and Ryden before returning to her bar to carefully fish out the bottle of brandy stashed in the back of the credenza. Clearly, she remembers Fenris' preferences.


Fenris smiles and pours a couple of fingers from it. Mmmmmm. He does like good brandy. Even better, from his point of view that he can't get drunk. "That was an interesting call, Pepper. You have a plan I take it?" He looks at Zee and Ryden to make sure they're… holding up okay.


Ryden settles in a chair and listens somewhat absently. He takes note of Fenris and the Brandy and mentally tells Damnyou to remember whatever Pepper just lost. He's already forgotten, damn this Codex! "Be careful what you wish for." The magi snorts. "I wanted to find this damn thing and now that I have I just wish it didn't exist." He sighs. He's still here. Still resisting it. The assholes don't have it. That's about as good as he can manage at the moment. He eyes Zee. It's got to be worse for her, he at least is old enough to have some experience with resisting… yeah okay, nothing like this. In all of his years. It's just so awesome that he finds a new experience and it sucks so bad it's not even remotely funny.


It's impolite to listen to phone calls, Zee knows this but still she tries to listen carefully as Pepper conducts her negotiations. The slight tightening around her eyes indicates it's a strain to concentrate, but still, she gets enough of the conversation to have an eyebrow raising.

Fenris' look gets a smile from the teen, she's managing … she … always does.


Pepper Potts nods to Fenris. "Do you remember that horrid book that Constantine foisted off on me a while back?" She then considers for a moment before pulling down a bowl that Fenris would reconize as one she's used in the past to serve him brandy while he was trapped in his wolf-form and rinsing it out before filling it with cool water to offer to Damnyou. It's … probably a good thing that she doesn't actually know the goose's proper name. Wait. He's a male goose. That makes him a gander. "I just bartered with Wassea from the Silver Oak to borrow it. I suppose you could say I rented it. Someone is on their way now to drop it off. JARVIS?"

"Yes, Miss Potts."

"Could you please have Dmitri pull the appropriate bottles from stock and have them ready at the front desk?"

"At once, Miss Potts."

"Thank you." She looks back over toward Zee and Ryden. "Now, this isn't going to shut the thing up completely, but hopefully it'll be like, well, like turning down the volume some. Maybe enough to give you a chance to sleep." Because yes, Pepper can instantly recognize someone that is suffering from severe sleep deprivation. She's worked for Tony for well over a decade now. "In the meantime, can I get anyone anything else?"


"The Book of Sins. Yes, I remember." That had, as Fenris recalls, gotten Constantine punched. "You did find a way to deal with it… I was unware you'd bartered with the Fae for it." The look on Fenris' face is a mixture of admiration and concern. Fae are… rarely safe. That Pepper could barter with them speaks well for her. But it's a risk as well.


Ryden frowns. "The book of what now? This guy gave you a dangerous book and just left you with it?" He looks upset by the thought. He's not the best at telling but he's pretty sure Pepper isn't of the magical persausion, though she seems pretty damn formidable as she is. Damnyou looks at Pepper when she gives him the water with his beak hanging open. She thought of him? To give him water? He makes happy goose noises and dances in place a little before tucking into the drink. He likes this Lady!


Zee snorts at the story. "That's so … John. It just is…" Her experience of John and the Book Of Sins hadn't ended so well either…

Hearing Pepper had bartered with the Fae though, has Zee sitting forward and looking at her carefully. She's met Wassae from the Silveroak but … ultimately, the woman is Fae. "I … I … thank you, Pepper." The womans actions just reaffirms why Zee likes her.


Pepper Potts shakes her head. "I didn't last time. My friend Dana Maddox borrowed it on my behalf. She's a very close friend of Wassea's." Possibly family. She is only too aware of the risks involved in dealing with the Fae, but to make the insidious whispering stop, she's willing to take that risk. And she's NOT about to tell them that she had honestly been worrying that Wassea would tell her a flat no and hang up.

There's a moment of possibly uncomfortable silence before Pepper stands. She's a bit jittery from that whispering she can still hear, and she can only possibly imagine how bad it must be for Ryden. "I think some light snacks are in order." She goes back to her desk, and this time instead of using her phone, she wakes her computer and has a quick typed conversation with JARVIS on the screen. She can type just as fast while standing up as she can when seated in a chair.


Fenris aaahs. He remembers Miss Maddox vaguely. Decent woman. Very likely also a faerie herself but that's neither here nor there. "Well we'll see how your solution does, though anything provided by Wassea…" There's a pause and a look of concern flashes across his face.

"She's not coming herself to drop it of is she?" Because on the list of people that Ryden should not be allowed to meet and offend…


Ryden looks between them all with a lost expression. He shrugs a bit and puts it up to not having slept in… he doesn't even know. And the stupid freaking codex that won't shut up. He looks at Damnyou with the water and manages a smile. "I think you just made a friend. My familiar says to tell you "Thank you"." The little bird looks up at Pepper and nods before waddling over to nuzzle Zee's ankles. If the moment weren't so serious, he'd maybe go mess with Fenris. Just to show him he isn't afraid. Now really isn't the time to annoy the Sun Eater though. He's not nearly as crazy as his pet human. "Gee, thanks buddy." Ryden mutters.


Zee's met Dana at least once, at a meeting of Magical folks in relation to the HYDRA threat. That seems like … a lifetime ago to the young mage. "Please be careful, Pepper. And if you need assistance…" Zee will do what she can but deals struck with the Fae are … interesting.

As Damnyou nuzzles at her ankles, she bends down and scoops him up, settling him on her lap as she pets him. It's an absent gesture, but it settles her against the whispering of that damn book.


Pepper Potts chuckles softly and shakes her head no. "She said she was 'sending it over', so I would take that to mean someone else is actually carrying it." She smiles as Ryden tells her thank you for.. wait, what? Familiar? She blinks a couple of times, looking from Ryden to the gander and back. "Is that, like, the one young lady and her cat that wears a trenchcoat?" She looks about to say more when her phone pings. She picks it up and can't help but comment to herself, "Wow, that was fast. The courier is already downstairs, but he's only allowed to give the item to me personally." She starts toward the door. "I'll be back as quick as I can."


Fenris is increasingly convinced that Damnyou is one, the more intelligent of the duo and two some kind of bird deity. He'll have to ask later. Maybe… well probably not Horus. Horus likes falcons. Geese… Geese… Mother G-… no, probably not her either, though she's out there to be sure.

"Rain? I suppose so though I've never thrown Damnyou at a bunch of fire elementals. Or was it pollution elementals… one of those." And Fenris has use Captain like a big furry missile.

And then Pepper's on her way out. "Well, hopefully this'll ease your burden. We still need to find a way to separate it from you Ryden. No luck on not needing or wanting it I suppose?"f


"Uh. I'm not sure who that is but some witches and wizards and people like me and Zee have familiars, yeah. Usually it's a cat or some kind of spiritbeing or creature from another plane. He's just.." Ryden shrugs. A goose that started following him and he couldn't get rid of no matter what he tried. He's also long since stopped trying. The damn goose is really the only friend he has most of the time but Ryden's not gonna admit that. "Well. I don't want it anymore. I can tell you that much. I guess I still think I need it though. If only to protect it. It's kinda ingrained in me. I'm trying… but so far it's just, I'm not there yet." He looks at the floor. It's a hard admission.


"I've not taken a familiar, yet." Zee says quietly. She's not felt the need and nothing has attached itself to her. She recalls the time that Fenris used Captain to fight the water elementals … and the response of those around them. But still, Rain and Captain hadn't complained.

Rydens admission about The Codex have her looking at him "You need to master it, so you no longer feel the need for it…." That's what she got from one of their recent discussions.


It's only a few minutes before Pepper returns, carrying a rather mundane looking shipping box. She promptly opens it and pulls a largish sack out of the box. The sack itself looks to be made of a leather of some sort, but so soft and supple it drapes like silk. And there are symbols all over its surface, but Pepper seems to rather pointedly not pay any attention to them. "Okay, let's shut that thing up. Where is it?"


Without hesitation Fenris points to Ryden. He doesn't know exactly where it is. He doesn't have to know. It's going to be somewhere around that poor and rather put upon magus. If he hasn't jammed it up Damnyou's butt by now.


Ryden blinks as he tries to read the symbols but he can't quite make them out. He shakes his head and reaches into the pack at his feet and pulls the Codex out with a sigh. He's wrapped it in a pink sweater so he doesn't have to touch it directly. Honestly he isn't expecting this to work although it'd be really really effing awesome if it did and he could sleep some before he ends up in the dead room again anyway. "I've sent it to the Vatican. I've sent it to the bottom of the bloody Bermuda Triangle into a place warded and magicked and hidden every way I know and a lot I don't. And it just keeps coming back. It never shuts up for a freaking second!" He growls and glares at the Codex.


Zee eyes the Codex as it comes it out. Good thing she's petting Damnyou, really… she might have been tempted to pounce on the thing. "That's it … please … " it's getting to her more than she imagined.


The moment that pink sweater covered book is revealed, Pepper's expression goes from neutral to very carefully blank. Too blank. But even so, she steps over and holds the sack open so Ryden can drop the Codex inside. It looks like it should fit easily enough, even with the sweater still included. "I really hope this works." This book is even more annoying than the Vices one was, and that's saying something.


The voices do not cut off but their whisperings do drop dramatically. To the point that you could probably ignore them with some white noise. Fenris looks impressed. "That is no small artifact you've bargained for, Pepper." He murmurs.


Ryden and Damnyou both stare at the sack with their mouth, and beak, respectively hanging open. "What? How? Who?…," The magi just stares like an idiot for a long moment then looks at Pepper, Zee and Fenris. Damnyou waddles over and peck Ryden hard around his ankle. "Ow! Sonofabitch! That freaking hurt! What the hell is the…oh. Hey!" He grins suddenly. "It's not a dream. Holy shit. And I thought I hated everything Faerie…" He squints at the bag. "Uh. What the hell kinda thing is that, that it's actually helping?" It's a little disturbing thinking about that kind of power not only in Fae hands, but here in this realm. "Oh I owe you. You have no idea. This might give me the time I need to rest, and relax enough to finish convincing myself I don't need to protect that. It needs to just.. die. Or whatever."


Zee looks at the sack as the Codex is deposited inside, sighing nearly inaudibly as the pressure lessens greatly. "I've heard of these, from my father." her blue eyes look up to Pepper, then to Fenris and then to Ryden "They are very, very rare. Even amongst the Fae."

What /had/ Pepper bargained for?


Pepper Potts offers Fenris a smile. "I know. Here's the only real catch. I'm not allowed to let this sack leave my presence, and Wassea will know if it does." She folds the top of the sack over so the book is completely closed inside, then sets it on the floor next to Ryden's pack.

"How about you lie down and try to take a nap? I chose this sofa specifically because it's comfortable, and believe me, you are not the first person to get some sleep here." She moves to give the exhausted mage room to lie down and while doing so looks up at one corner of the room and then at the TV set mounted on the wall. A moment later the TV powers on quietly, and begins playing soothing music.


"Well, looks like you're sleeping here Ryden." Because that book will follow him. But if Pepper doesn't mind well… Ryden can sleep on her couch.

"Thank you for your help. And do let me know if there's anything I can do to help repay Wassea…"


Ryden looks worried by that. It has to stay with her? Then he has to stay with her. Because otherwise it'll just.. and there are things looking for it and now this amazing Lady is in danger and he needs.. he needs.. "I've got…to..got.." Ryden's eyes close and he slumps back on the sofa. "Gotta..lady..help.." The magis lashes flutter. "…" Damnyou shakes his head and sighs. His pet human is not doing so well. He's right though. He'll stay awake and guard Pepper. The goose struts importantly towards the door and takes up a watchful stance.


"Pepper…" Zee sighs at the catch. There's /always/ a catch or a price to be paid. You just sometimes don't realise the cost till after you've agreed to pay it …

Well, at least Ryden will be cared in the next little while. And perhaps Pepper will be able to help him realise how to conquer the ways to conquer…. or something like that, anyway. "Thank you, Pepper. Sleep well, Ryden."

Rising, the teen mage looks to Fenris "If you've time, God-Wolf, I'd like to explore my challenge further…"


Pepper Potts just smiles and pulls a blanket from one of the side chairs. "Wassea collects recipes, Fenris. If you know any really good ones, share them with her." She disappears into the washroom attached to her office and returns a moment later carrying a stack of pillows and blankets. "You should try to get some sleep also, Zatanna, you look nearly as peaked as your friend does. I know I'm going to sleep while I can." She can't help but smile at the gander taking up a guard post by the door, then takes a few moments to make sure Ryden is properly pillowed and blanketed.


"After you rest, Zee. Pepper's advice is good." Fenris rises and moves toward the door. "Sleep well all of you. I'd join you… but there's no rest for the wicked. Or the wolves." And then he's out the door and on his way.

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