At The Borders Of The Neverwhere

February 24, 2015:

Zee, Pepper and Jesana meet Fenris on the borders of the Neverwhere

The Neverwhere

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

There is a saying that like calls to like. Magic begets magic. So it is for Fenris as he stands at the Edge of All things… which is a rather dramatic name for the borders of the Neverwhere - that little pocket of forest (okay not so little, you could run through it for days. Weeks even. It's as big as it needs to be) that he uses as his personal refuge. Beyond it? A shimmering shifting plane of colors with no defined up or down or any direction at all. The very formlessness of the place makes it perfect for scrying. And for watching. What Fenris is watching are the Gates of the Old Ones: Ancient Prisons made to keep unutterable entities at bay. They're creaking, groaning under the weight of their prisoners leaning against them.

Stare into the abyss long enough and it stares back. Fenris knows this well enough. Odin got his foresight in such a manner and while Fenris has no intention of giving up an eye, he also has no intention of keeping it to himself. So the wolf, clad in the disguise of a tall, lean, predatory man reaches out to bring others to him. There's a conversation to be had.

***

Pepper Potts is walking back to her office from yet another mostly fruitless meeting when she steps through the doorway and … stumbles through leaf litter. What? Again? Seriously? She turns around until she spots Fenris, then huffs a sigh. "Couldn't you at least give me some kind of warning so I can put on a pair of sneakers or something?" She's not truly angry, just mildly miffed because this is the second time she's here in this forest wearing a very expensive pair of heels that feel like they're sinking into the soil of the forest floor. At least this time she's wearing trousers instead of a pencil skirt.

***

Shadowcrest, sits between dimensions. It has a presence in the physical world, where Zee lives, but it also exists outside that. After their sojourn in Central Park, Zee has taken Jesana to Shadowcrest, so the young woman had somewhere safe and warm to stay at least for the night.

After organising dinner and showering, Zee is now showing Jesana around the mansion, opening doors and showing rooms. They come to a door at the end of a hallway "And this is an annex to the library. In here are the mundane books, not magic stuff." She grins consipiratorilly to Jesana "I used to annoy my Dad by spending hours in here ready 'trashy paperbacks'. Those were his words… but as a kid, I loved them. Far more interesting than books about the mechanics of magic."

Pushing the door open, Zee backs into the room and trips over a tree root nearly landing on her backside. Barely maintaining her balance, she spins around and sees Pepper and Fenris not too far off "Of course, that would be right." she mutters. "Looks like you're going to get to meet some more friends of mine, Jesana. Or can I call you Jes?"

Having recently showered, Zee's hair is still damp and falls down her back in nearly ringlets and she's dressed in leggings, t-shirt and fluffy duckie slippers. "Hello Fenris, Miss Potts."

***

"Sure Jes is.." The young woman cuts off as she enters the doorway and finds herself standing in a forest. Her hair is free and flowing in a straight dark mass down past her hips. She's wearing a faded grey tshirt that has the words "Off the Res" printed across the front and a pair of jean shorts. Her feet are bare. She moves closer to Zee without really thinking about and looks around in confusion, her nostrils flaring repeatedly.

***

This entire place is magic, but the biggest hit of it on Jes' senses comes from the man standing at the edge of the swirling nothing-and-everything. "Hello Pepper, Zatanna." He turns to look at Jesana curiously. There's a sense of wrong to him. A sense that there's something predatory behind the human guise. Which there is. He is a God-Wolf after all. But that doesn't get through to most people.

"Come…" He motions to the three of him. "There's something I mean to show you. All of you." Including Jesana though he himself isn't quite sure why yet. Call it instinct. She was with Zee. It might be important.

***

Pepper Potts looks like she wants to say something exasperation, but instead she just holds the currently useless tablet in her hands a little closer as she approaches Fenris. Whatever it is that makes the tall man so unsettling, Pepper seems either to be immune or perhaps just accustomed to it. Likely the latter.

***

Zee too has overcome the unsettling factor that is Fenris, but she's met him a few times and fought stuff with him. "Jes, this is Fenris and Miss Potts." Noting the young woman moving closer to her, Zee gives her a reassuring smile "Yeah, I'm sorry, this happens sometimes but it generally turns out well." Following along after Fenris, the young magician falls silent.

***

Jes suddenly springs forward to stand in front of Zee, her posture and expression radiating alarm. She hisses, her mismatched eyes glaring at Fenris before darting around to check for any other surprises and maybe for possible weapons. "Zee! Stay back!"

***

Fenris looks at Jes rather amusedly, putting his hands into the pockets of his long coat. "Young one, I will not harm you. Come. there is something I wish you to see."

Whether Jes does or not the Old Wolf turns and gestures out at what he was scrying in the expanse. The Gates of the Elders. Ornate and beautiful in a mad way there can be no doubt to anyone, even those untrained in magic, that they are part of a large and complex cage. "They're stirring in their sleep again." He murmurs, letting the others look.

***

Pepper Potts looks in the direction indicated by Fenris, then frowns, rubs her eyes, and looks again with a squint. "Do you want us to sing them a lullaby?" Really, you don't want Pepper singing. Ever. She may be a lot of things, but a good singer will never be one of those things.

***

"It's alright Jes, it's Fenris. One of the good guys." Zee will link her arm with Jes if she'll let her. "The caretaker still missing, Fenris?" Fenris had told the Titans that a being known as caretaker had gone missing a few weeks ago. Peppers question causes Zee to chuckle "I don't think I know any lullaby's, Miss Potts."

***

Jes takes Zee's arm and clutches it protectively. She moves forward but only to keep close to her, not because the man in front of them said to. She's practically bouncing on the balls of her feet, ready to leap forward in front of Zee again if it seems necesary. She leans close to Zee's ear. "That is a werewolf!" Her voice is low, barely a whisper but her eyes remain locked on Fenris's back. She's sure he heard her anyway. She only gives the thing the others are staring at a brief glance. Whatever it is as far as she's concerned its not the most immediate danger.

***

"No Pepper." Fenris chuckles. "And no Zee, he is not. But I wanted to show this to you both so that you might understand the magnitude of what it was that was at stake. And what might be required should it happen again. No one being save the Watcher can possibly keep up and even then…" The old wolf pauses. "We have been too lax. You both have knowledge and contacts. Should this happen again, we shall need a conclave. The last time was far, far too close."

Jesana gets a chuckle. "Zee, I do not believe your friend has met Miss Potts."

***

Pepper Potts watches the disturbing images for a moment, then looks over at the clearly distressed young woman and can't help it. She smiles at Jes reassuringly and says, "He really is one of the good guys, I promise. And hi." She offers Jess a handshake. "Virginia Potts, but please call me Pepper."

***

Zee grins a little at Jes "Not exactly a were wolf… Do you know your Mythology?" Zee will explain later if Fenris doesn't. "His wolf form is really quite magnificent, Jes, if a little scary. Which is good in a fight."

Turning her attention to the images again, she blinks and squints. "A conclave, Fenris? Sure, I know people and stuff, what are you thinking there?"

***

Jes looks at Zee, then at Fenris. He isn't reacting to her presence the way werewolves usually do, it's true. So maybe it's okay. Still wary and ready to move though, Jes reaches out to shake Pepper's hand before finally looking at the.."What the hell is that?" She stares beyond them with confusion. This whole place scents of magic to her. She's never been in a place so strongly magical. Well, aside from Zee's home but that had been different than this. A lot different.

***

Fenris indeed has other things to think about. "That is the Prison of the Elder Gods. Well, the gates of it. I'm scrying them from here." The Old WOlf explains grinning as Pepper introduces herself. The woman has a way with people. And is a very good person to know, generally. "And it is, at present, closed. Well, as closed as it gets. But when the prisoners stir, they crack open sometimes and things come out. It gets worse if mortals pry at the bars. That's what I've been holding under control for the past several months." And it nearly killed him. The next time…

"If the Watcher goes missing again, there have to be people managing what happens next. Things are becoming more and more chaotic. I'm beginning to suspect we're entering the end of an age."

***

Pepper Potts turns her attention back to the gates when Jes does. "That is… honestly disturbing, Fenris. Is there anything we can hep with right now?" And today had been shaping up to be honestly a bit boring. She should have known better.

***

Squeezing Jes' arm, which is still linked through Zee's the young magician peers again "So you need people with different skills, different magical disciplines, management and admin skills, I take it." Peppers question gets a sharp nod "Yes, that… what needs to be done right now, to help?"

***

Jes continues to watch the gate but remains quiet and keeps hold of Zee. She'd always thought she knew more about the world and the creatures living in it than most but she's rapidly discovering that isn't the case at all. This sounds bad. Very bad. And she owes a debt to Zee despite Zee's assurance that Jes doesn't owe anything for saving her life. That sort of thing is taken very seriously where she comes from and she likes Zee and is even starting to trust her inspite of herself.

***

"Well if you mean right this very second… then no." Fenris says. "But if you mean soon, then yes. I'd like to talk to Rune, and a few other… mystically inclined sorts. If there's to be a conclave then it's probably important than the major players be… at least acquainted before hand. Same for you, Zee." Jes gets a glance now and an amused one. "It's a vision only. They are not so near as they look." Still… it's impressive. And a bit frighening.

***

Pepper Potts looks at Fenris and nods. "I'll get in contact with Rune and as many others as she or I can reach. I'm guessing Rain also? And…hm." She can't help but wonder if Rune would ask her mother or possibly even Wassea to help. Beyond them, she really doesn't know that many others who are magically inclined.

***

"Illyana" Zee sighs slightly "She rules Limbo, the gateway to the Older Gods. She'd be a good one, I think. Vorpal and if Zac were around, I'ld include him." Casting a glance to Pepper, the raven haired woman winces slightly "Constantine and what about Dr Strange, Fenris?" Seems Zee's been collecting contacts. "And we have just the location for them to meet, don't we Miss Potts?" Looking over to Jes, Zee grins a little "It's never really boring around me."

***

Jes looks askance at her. No, boring isn't a word she'd use to describe her new aquaintence? friend? Perhaps, if she can keep getting past her ingrained mistrust of others. Jes bites her bottom lip and glances at the gate then down to study the forest floor. Finally she looks back up at Zee. "I will help you Zee. If I can."

***

"Rain, yes." Fenris nods. "Strange, I would welcome though his presence is not necessary. The point of the meeting is to discuss what might be done if he ever goes missing again. And as for the numbers, it needn't be many. A few who can spread the word will be just as good and much easier to work with." Hence Pepper and Zee. Both know people. "Rune and Rain and perhaps Illyana. Strange we can meet with separately, if you've not done so already. There's a great deal to consider and realize that not all of the magi will get along with me… or one another."

The Old Wolf's own contacts run darker than most. Hell Queens, exiled demon princes. Speaking of. "Mmmmm. Someone may wish to get into contact with Hellboy or the Witchblade's current bearer. They… are not Magi, but any outbreak of chaos will affect them greatly." Again, Pepper and Zee are the ones who know people.

"Now… as for you young one." Fenris turns his curious gaze on Jes. And it's… well, he stares. He's a wolf, after all. "What are you?"

***

Pepper Potts has never heard the name Hellboy before, but it's distinctive enough that if she does a bit of digging around she should find something. "What is a Witchblade, and do you know the name of the bearer?" It's a shame her tablet would puke all over itself if she tried to use it here, she could use a quick little notepad file right now. But when Fenris turns his attention to Jes, she makes a point of NOT doing the same. She knows only too well how intimidating that can be.

***

Zee has sort of met Hellboy "I know Hellboy, well I sort of met him once. That was interesting. And the Witchblade's bearer will be documented in Shadowcrest, I can give you that information Miss Potts." Looking over to Fenris, Zee frowns "Misfit… I know you're working with her to train her powers. As for Strange, yes we met recently."

As Fenris turns his attention to Jes, Zee tightens her arm reassuringly "It's alright, Jes. Fenris would probably understand better than most, you can tell him and be safe. I swear by my power to that."

***

Jes stands and stares back at him. While she's shown worry and anger she hasn't shown any sign of fear, or intimidation not at him nor at the strange and disturbing vision of the gate. The looks on her face is that of one studying a puzzle. "What are you? You smell like a were but also different. Stronger..More, somehow. And my name is not "young one", unless yours is Aáhsa. It is Jesana." She doesn't actually answer his question though she gives Zee's arm a reassuring gaze to let her know that she believes her. It almost seems like she's testing Fenris.

***

"My names are quite many, but that is not one of them." Fenris smiles. "Though you are, in point of fact, quite young." To be fair, they all are. Two thousand plus years old is hard to beat. "Jes, then? But that isn't your name." Or so he suspects. Names provoke reactions that nicknames do not. "As for me, I am called The Fenris. Though just 'Fenris' will do."

Pepper gets a sideward glance. "I believe you have met. Sara Pezzini is the name of the current balance. Good woman."

***

Sara Pezzi… oh! The police detective. Pepper nods to Fenris. Getting in touch with Detective Pezzini should be simple enough. Now she turns to look at Jes, thinking she recognizes the inflections of the language the name came from, if not the language itself.

***

This is beween Jes and Fenris, Zee shifts her weight slightly to get comfortable, and waits to see how Jes responds. Fluffy duckie slippers aren't the most appropriate footwear for the forest floor and a bit of moving is required.

***

Jes blinks at Pepper's look and smiles slightly. "It is a name with several meanings but in that instance it meant Grandfather." She's eyeing Fenrir with obvious interest now. He's nothing like the wolves she's used to. "I am Coyote." For a single moment that quickly passes her eyes and expression switch from that of a young woman to that of one of timeless and ancient wisdom.

***

Fenris cants his head. Aaaaaah. That explains much. "I see. Then it is not an accident that you arrived here, at the edge of my forest." That seems to close the matter for the Destroyer and he turns back to look out into the swirling nothing beyond Neverwhere. "I hope, rather sincerely that I'm wrong… but all the same, some precautious seem wise, do you not agree?"

***

Wait, what? "Coyote?" Pepper pronounces the name with Spanish inflections. "As in the Native American trickster god?" She looks far less surprised than she probably should, but that can probably be chalked up to having some of the most unusual employees this side of the Titans group and even more friends who really stretch the boundaries of the concept of diversity. "Wow."

***

"I know, right?" Zee sort of bubbles with excitement "She showed me yesterday. It was awesome." She's not going to mention the getting nekid in Central Park. "See Jes, I told you they were good people."

***

"Mm not quite. I met him once though. On my vision quest. As far as I know he doesn't appear on the plane our world resides often anymore, if at all. And I have been told that I am perhaps the last of my kind. We were hunted once. Hunted until none were left. Jes can't help but look at Zee and smile a little at her excitement.

***

"There are stories." Fenris confirms. "But they were old when I came to the world then called 'New'." And that was a long, long time ago as Pepper and Zee will well know. "I did not know your kind still walked the earth. But I cannot say I am surprised to see you here in this time."

***

Pepper Potts ahhs as she understands the distinction. Not THE Coyote, but A coyote. "This place and time does seem to be a convergence point, Fenris. Though, I'm not sure if that's entirely a good thing." For example, the communications problems lately …

***

Zee had been asking Jes all sorts of questions when she changed but as a coyote she couldn't really answer them. Zee is happy to listen as the story unfolds.

***

My father and his partner rescued me when I was an infant. He was surprised but not shocked when I turned into a coyote cub in his arms. His partner is a werewolf. An older one which is how he had an idea of what I might be. My fathers, they are both soldiers. So they brought me to his sons to raise. Their people are the blackfeet and I was brought up on the reservation. I lived there all my life until about a month ago, when I came here." Her lips quirk into an amused grin. "It's not at all been what I expected."

***

"No, I imagine not." Fenris says, finally turning away from the edge and taking a few steps back into Neverwhere. "But few things are. Regardless, you are here now and I do believe things are about to get… mmmm, what's a good word?" He looks between the Zee and Pepper. "Interesting… yes. About to get interesting for you."

***

Pepper Potts can only nod in agreement with Fenris. "Have you been doing well since you arrived? Did you find a decent place to stay? And, are you here as a student, or…?" Oh boy, here we go. Pepper's interested now.

***

Jes blinks a little at the torrent of questions. She's not accustomed to speaking to strangers but she's beginning to find it less strange already. "Um. I'm with Zee. I haven't really settled anywhere. I've kept to myself since I entered the city. At least I had been. Then Zee and her friend saved me and she took me home. Now we are here. I came to the city to..to try living in a city with people. Where I could be amongst many yet still able to blend in and hide what I am. I don't need to change during the full moon, or anything like that. In fact I don't need to do it at all if I don't want. I spent my whole life on the reservation. My first day here I saw more people than I'd known in that entire time." She shakes her head a little. Of all the things she'd expected, hired thugs sent to capture or kill her, and mages and strange magic metal scented men had not been on the list.

***

"Exciting too…" Zee grins across to Jes "Like Fenris says… Jericho and I met her, saving her from HYDRA hired contractors… and then again the next day. She can stay at Shadowcrest with me for now, I'm hoping she'll want to meet the Titans soon and take up residence there." Zee has taken to staying at Titan base to be near other people "But, all in it's own time. Shadowcrest is, at least, safe."

***

Fenris seems content to sit and watch the women work it out. What needed to be done has been. He'll send them back when they're ready.

***

Pepper Potts smiles and nods to Zee. "That sounds excellent. If either of you need anything, you'll get in touch with me, right?" She turns to say something to Fenris, and abruptly disappears. Back in her office, Pepper looks around and sighs. At least she made it back without losing a shoe.

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