Runes and The Portal Gun

February 28, 2015:

Jericho brings May and Fitz to see Zee about runes and portals

New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Psy tech is all well and good. And Jericho's sure Fitz has done a lot with it. But he's going to need exposure to actual magic to get it calibrated to do anything against occult assaults, and that means getting a willing mage to demonstrate and be helpful. Three guesses why Jericho chose not to ask Illyana. The first two don't count.

Instead Jericho texted Fitz and May (if only to let her know that he was pinging Fitz) and met him down town with tickets to… a stage performing magic show? Featuring a classy young woman with a lot of talent. Who dresses in fishnets.

Hey, he doesn't judge. He hangs out in Limbo. And likes it.

***

Studying the psy tech has certainly been a headache, in most cases literally. Fortunately Simmons had helped to offset the effects of the machine with some concoction of chemicals she's souped up. However, powering his Portal Buster was no longer as much the issue; between the psy tech and a borrowed ARC reactor, the engineer had that covered.

Incorporating the arcane… that's something else.

Dressed well for the evening, Fitz is even wearing a tie beneath the cardigan. He sits back to watch the magic show, while munching on a bag of popcorn and slurping from a soda.

***

Zee works hard for her magic shows, and thoroughly enjoys them. What Fitz and Jericho see is her Stage Magic, not Real Magic, but it's entertaining and professional. Trick after trick, illusion, obfuscation and redirection, Zee amuses and amazes… and then, it's all over.

Taking her final bow and throwing that big stage biz smile to her audience, the young magician leaves the stage and heads for her dressing room. She accepts few, if any, visitors backstage, and tonight she's actually expecting two, maybe three and has arranged for light refreshments to be available.

***

If Simmons and Fitz are here, that means that May is here. Why? Protection duty. She can do that with a shoe-shaped bruise on her jaw. Just don't ask her to smile or anything. You might get punched for it. For the moment, at least, she's just a dour shadow.

***

Jericho stands up when the show is over and waits for the crowd to clear out, then sauters back toward the back stage area. He noted, with some amusement, that Zee's costume included a certain accessory that she's often seen wearing. He himself is dressed normally… which means he's armed with that gunblade, but he's never not. Seriously. He's always got it. Might be something to that.

The hacker knocks on Zee's door to 'shave and a haircut' and then gestures to Fitz. You're on, tech-boy.

***

Fitz follows along without preamble, until they've reached the dressing room, at which point he scratches behind his ear and tries very hard not to think of how ludicrous his life has become.

As soon as he's greeted, Leo offers Zatanna a friendly smile. "Hello, Miss Zatarra. Thanks for, uh, seeing me. Great show, lass, great show."

***

Melinda May simply stands a few feet back from Fitz. She's like a particularly uncool chaperone. With concealed weapons. She glances over at Trent, knowing he's going to ask about the bruise sooner or later. She is kind of almost dreading having to tell him what happened.

***

Zee ushers her guests into her, very well appointed, dressing room. That should speak volumes for how she's regarded in these circles. "Please, take a seat" she gestures to the chairs "and take some refreshment…." and grins at poor Fitz "It's just Zee… and thank you, I practice a lot."

The bruise on Mays cheek gets a raised eyebrow and the raven haired woman cants her head "Agent May, can I offer you some healing for that?" No way is Zee going to ask what happened.

***

Jericho probably will. And then May will probaby ask him about the… actually he gets hurt a lot. She could ask him about quite a few things. If May standing there like an uncool chaparone, then the hacker is an impish cousin. "When you're done with May, Zee, Fitz needs a favor only you can provide."

He'll let Fitz explain.

Yes he did phrase it like that on purpose.

***

Melinda May honestly could not care less about the bruise. But the tooth that's now loose in its socket in her jaw, that she'd really rather not lose. Not that she'd ever mention as much aloud in front of both men currently here. So, after a moment of hesitation, she nods to Zee accepting the offer of a magical heal.

***

Leo accepts a seat and a glass of water. He's had enough soda for the whole week, after all. He cants an eyebrow at the exchange between Zee and May, though he sure isn't gonna be the one to ask about that bruise.

"I've made some progress with that, thing, we discussed," he offers for Zee's benefit. "And I think I may have a working prototype for the, well, the rather particularly hairbrained mechanics behind it. But, I'm afraid my expertise ends at 'runes' and the casting of warding spells."

***

Zee raises an eyebrow at Jericho and smirks. TROLL! However, at Mays nod, the young magician moves to the Agent and holds her hands out and obviously concentrates… "So sorry Agent May, my healing can be a little rough. I apologise for any discomfit."

Fitz gets an absent 'Keep Going' signal "Well runes and warding are fairly specialised, Fitz… I need to know a little more."

***

"Fitz needs to figure out how to counter arcane energies for this thing to work." Jericho supplies helpfully. That's really about as far as he can take it. He's no expert either in magic or super science. Though he's got more in with the first. The hacker glances back to May. Fine. He'll ask. "You okay?"

***

Rough. Great. Though really, it can't be any worse than what that fox-masked guy in Gotham did. And, either she's got a serious poker face or some hardcore pain tolerance, because her only visible reaction to what Zee's doing is faint increase in the tension around her eyes. She briefly debates telling the next person that offers a magical heal and THEN says, 'oh, it's gonna hurt' to take their magic and shove it where the sun doesn't shine.

***

"Well, Simmons has—" Fitz pauses. "My, ah, research partner — has discovered that this power source creates a field of 'psychic energy'. I've fabricated a delivery method that will channel this energy through a filtering system. Now, the filtering system is constructed of nanoprobes which, I hope, can be imprinted with the necessary runic symbols. If I can construct a sensor array that will read what type of arcane energy is being used to create these portals, then, I can cause the filtering system to choose the appropriate runic symbols. All automatic, a bit of artificial intelligence involves, but that's just pea soup."

He pauses to drink some water.

"I believe the psychic energy can actually power the portal blocking field. Operating in the same principle that the human brain operates when casting a spell, I guess. But… where I'm stuck is… well, the runes. The warding symbols. How does it work? If I can understand that, then I can build it synthetically."

***

Hey! Zee at least told May it might hurt! "Sorry Agent May, healing isn't really my first line strength." the mage can heal certainly, but it's not her focus. A few minutes or more, May feels the sting of Zees healing through her body, and the bruise and loose tooth disappears.

Zee has not met Fitz's "research partner" (good description, right?) but nods as he explains. As he explains further, the young magician props her feet on the bench in front of her… "We discussed some time ago, Fitz. You'll need an algorithm… and that will change as the practioners experiences develop." Zee twists her lips a little "I can tell you what type of runes I use for different wardings… but my experience isn't extensive."

***

Jericho leans back against a wall as the mage and scientist talk. "He wouldn't need to know how every system worked. Just the principles." He's willing to bet that making something that's effective all the time will be near impossible. But if they can get a decent success rate… "After all, it works for you guys to just know one system and the basics." That's all most magi seem to know anyway.

May gets another glance. Really. You okay?

***

Melinda May sits completely still as Zee works, and when she's done the agent simply nods to her. "Thank you." And then she's going to let the magician and the scientist talk. Moving to lean against the wall next to Trent and then gives him a nod as well. Better now.

***

"Please," Fitz agrees to learning the basics. "We're talking about nanoprobes here. Microscopic little buggers. The amount of information I can theoretically build into it is virtually limitless, so, as time goes on… well, I suppose you could say my machine will develop an anticipatory mind of its own."

There's a disturbing thought.

***

Zee nods to May as Jericho and Fitz speak… and scrubs her face, in a gesture that indicates frustration. "As Jericho, suggests" Zee speaks slowly "start with one system. I can give you some idea about how my magic works." The truth is… Zee isn't quite sure, she just knows if she envisage it, she can blend reality…. Maybe Fitz can help her with that.

"My pleasure, Agent May. Rain does better at healing, than I… but the results work out the same, none the less."

***

"Fitz with your experience with the psybertech, is it possible you can calibrate something to detect arcane energy wavelengths? You may get a better idea of what's happening if you can get her to demonstrate for you and record the data." It's one suggestion. Jericho has no idea if it'll work but it may be a more effective way of teaching them both.

"How's things back at HQ?" Jericho asks in a lower voice.

***

"The same," May offers to Jericho quietly. She really doesn't want to distract Fitz from learning anything he can from Zatanna. It could be crucially important. "Might want you to meet me to talk with Romanoff at some point soon, though."

***

"That's a good idea," says Fitz to Jericho. "Zee, I do have clearance to show you my lab, but you'll need to be under guard at all times. Perhaps you have some time in the morning?"

After all, if he's gonna have visitors, a few things need to be 'hidden' first.

***

The young magician simply can't help herself "You can have permission to show me the things that you must hide… under guard no less!" Zee grins wickedly at Fitz "What should a woman think about that?" She does become serious however, and nods "All joking aside, if you can work out the 'bandwidth' my magic operates on, I can teach… maybe it's show … you the wards."

The discussion between May and Jericho, gets some passing attention, perhaps names are mentioned, or perhaps not.

***

"You're good at shows, aren't you Zee?" It's helpful advice and trolling at the same time! Will wonders never cease.

"Talk to you and Natahsa?" Jericho's only met the Black Widow a few times but most of them were neutral to good. So he's willing to do it. "Sure. Can you tell me what about?"

***

"The Winter Soldier," is all May tells Jericho. She returns her attention to Fitz as it sounds like he's planning a follow up meeting with Zee back at the Triskelion.

***

Zee is very good at shows and she enjoys teasing people she likes. "Sure Fitz, if you need help, I'll come along… see what you can find out about how my magic works." A big bright smile is offered up… "Did you want to go now?" she could so totally teleport all of them, to somwhere near the Triskellion. She doesn't even really need to change, that's done with a murmur of a word.

***

"You three run on ahead. Less I'm seen running around the Tri the better." Jericho may indeed be an official SHIELD asset (perhaps the least known, least catalogued asset in existance but that's how Fury wanted it so that's how it is), but he doesn't like to actually show up on their grounds unless it's needed. He works best through May. "I'll catch up with you soon May." The hacker waves and shows himself out, leaving the mage, the tech and the agent to work it all out.

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