Awfully Curious

August 12, 2016:

Nathaniel tracks down yet another time traveler.

Greenwich Village, NYC

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Spider-Man 2099

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

A sunny summer afternoon finds Nathaniel wandering through the art galleries and shops of the Village. They are very interesting, but actually he is following the tachyon trail of a time-displaced individual that must be in the area. Not a signature he recognizes, so he is somewhat wary.

Besides his usual clothes (which would be too warm for the weather if they weren’t also his neuro-kinetic outfit) he is wearing shades. Not as much in consideration to the sun, although it is sure bright outside, as to be able to receive his armor sensor feed directly into his vision. That time traveler must be very close.


One man's tachyon trail is another's magical signiture. Alyse was here, drawn by a 'feeling' perhaps. Whatever it was that brought the blonde witch to Greenwich she didn't seem to be in any great hurry. Dressed in the skirt, vest and blazer of her street clothes that still draw less odd looks then her usual 'witch' attire. Not everyone has finely designed S.H.I.E.L.D. gear after all. In her hands, perhaps strangest of all she carries a parasol in this current weather, collapsed fore the time being.

To the untrained eye it would seems she's mearly window-shopping down the street. To those who might guess more? Her magical senses are sweeping for 'something' out of place.


There she is. Not someone he knows. But for Nathaniel that is usually good. Close reading of the temporal signature shows that. Well, it is faint; apparently she has been in the current timeline for a while. Maybe eighty, or a hundred years from now.

“Good afternoon,” he greets, pulling off his shades and pocketing them. “I have been looking for you for a while. Nothing bad, I assure you. It is just I think we have a couple things in common.”


The last time the Witchdoctor had been involved with people from her time, she'd been pursued by an agency she didn't even know existed for a crime she didn't even know was possible, so when that 'odd' signiture draws closer there's a part of her that's quick to jump to cautiousness even if she doesn't know why. In the 'old days' of her time. If some 'sunglasses' type sought you out it tended to mean a job offer or an ambush, in this time? The blonde witch calmly rests the point of the umbrella down on the ground and leans her hands on the handle. "Looking for me?" she says calmly, casually even, while tilting her head to the side. "Why is that? I don't believe we've met before…"


“No, at least not before for me,” admits Nathaniel with a faint smile. “Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Nathaniel Richards, I was born, or rather, I will be born, almost a thousand years from now. I am one of the maybe eight time travelers currently residing in the American East Coast.”


Sorceress or not, that's enough to make Alyse blink. A casual wave of her hand and the air around them seems to grow ever so slightly warmer, heavier while they continue to speak. Should someone draw near? It would appear the pair were speaking some unknown language, perfectly normal but yet always a language the listener beyond the pair wouldn't understand. With her 'babel' charm in place she looks the man over slowly, taking in details to their finest. "So that is what I felt…but how did you know how to find me?" No denial, but then she assumes he must know something to be refering to her as a time-traveler. It's not something someone casually gets called.


Nathaniel blinks briefly and looks around cautiously when the woman casts the spell. Then he looks at her again and hmms. “Was that magic? How interesting. But… yes, I suppose we should seek a better place to talk than in the middle of the street. As for your question, I tracked an abnormal tachyonic signature.” Where to, maybe a cafe, one with booths.


"Yes…" she says rather plainly, although his reaction alone brings a glimmer of curiousity before she lifts the umbrella once more and raises an eyebrow. "So you travelled with technology somehow…not magic? Even I thought that was impossible…" she trails off, glancing sideways and letting her blue eyes seek an appropriate place of discussion. "I find myself very fond of the 'hot cocoa' I've found here. Where I come from? Such luxury is far harder to come by…but keep talking, none shall comprehend us unless I wish it…or they are a skilled magician of some variety."


“Lets not underestimate the locals, this is a Heroic Age,” replies Nathaniel, opening the door of the cafe for the woman. “Yes, I travelled here with technology. Cocoa is hard to come by in your timeline? Ah, so you must come from the end of second Dark Age, when the Megacorps had pretty much completely ruined the environment. Correct?”


"One of…" Alyse says as they step in, frowning a little to herself. "Since coming here I've noticed a few things that are 'wrong'. People and heroes that never existed, events that never happened in my world. It seems there is more then one future, more then one past." Sitting herself down in one of the booths she leans the umbrella against the table and folds her hands, resting them in her lap while she leans forwards. "Of course, all this leads to an obvious question. If you know so much…why are you looking for other time travelers?"


“Yes, there are many parallel timelines,” agrees Nathaniel, settling down himself. “And they can be spitted in critical nexus events. It is a fascinating field of study and even in the far future there is still much to discover.”

But that is not the issue now. “I am looking for time travelers for a variety of reasons. Curiosity and research are two of them. May I know you name?” He gestures for a waitress, too. But he is going to let Alyse to request the drinks, since she scrambled his speech so only she can understand him.


A small tracing of her fingertips on the table vaguely in a half-circle and the warbling air takes a lull while she turns to look at the waitress. "A hot cocoa please," she asks before gesturing for Nathaniel to speak his own and then making a sweeping forward gesture with her finger as their service departs to resume the spell. "My name is Alyse, although where I come from I was called Witchdoctor, or 'Doc' for short."


“Frappe coffee for me, please,” requests the young man. Once the waitress is gone, he addresses Alyse again. “Pleased to meet you, Alyse. Did you come to this time by accident or design? And are you trying to return to your timeline?”


"You're awfully curious, aren't you?" The witch chuckles softly before shrugging her shoulders. "A little of both I think. But I have found it to my liking. Attempting to go back to my time is not something I have done, nor intend to try just yet. Such magics could be more dangerous then even I would wish to toy with." Leaning back in the booth, Alyse's fingers idly toy with the hem of her skirt. "And you Nathaniel? Did you mean to end up here?"


“Of course I am curious, I am a scientist,” replies Nathaniel with a cocky grin. “As for me, yes. I came here by design. And I am now unable to leave due to the actions of my enemies. But I am comfortable here myself. This is a glorious time for humankind and I am quite happy to be able to be part of it.”


"That it is…" Alyse agrees with a chuckle and sipping her drink. "I cannot say that I miss my 'home', but then I'm not sure I could even work out how to get back anyway."

Shrugging her shoulders she smiles. "So here we both are…and what have you done with yourself since coming here?"


"But your 'home' is coming," notes Nathaniel. "Soon, the events that brought upon the corporate takeover will begin. In fact, it might have already begin. The Heroic Age is about to end in violence and genocide." He leans back, "I can't advice you to try to return to your time, however. I also know how the Dark Age ends and, well, there is not much left of Earth or humankind at the beginning of the Twenty Second Century. It presents me with quite a dilemma. By the Thirty Century I was born Earth is quite a Utopia. But the next century is Hell."


"This heroic age isn't the same one from my history," Alyse comments. "Too much has changed, things that never were. Cities and people that never existed are here. Even if the age comes, it'll be different." Rubbing a thumb over her lips the witch looks back at the man. "So what do you plan to do with your dilemma then Nathaniel?"


Nathaniel shakes his head, sipping iced coffee, "details do not matter. The social and political situation is virtually identical and psycho-historical predictions lead to the same conclusion. The psycho-social inertia is quite overwhelming."

"But," he announces, "I am going to fight for the present. This is the world where I have to live so I am going to make it the best possible world. There is a small chance to alter the course of history. It will lead to an unlikely timeline, but not a paradoxical one. So continuity can be preserved and the parallels wouldn't really be altered. I might be able to return home some day."


"To the individual? Details are everything. The people we knew, the people we were? We don't know if they will exist this time around." Trailing off with a shake of her head the Witch gestures with her hand. "So you fight? With those like the Justice League? Or are you to tell me you're some sort of industrial terrorist?"


"Not for me," admits Nathaniel. "But I come from a distant point into the future. I am more detached, I suppose," he offers a wry smile. "Oh, who is the curious one this time? Should I reveal you all my plans and secrets, hmm?" He shakes his head, "in truth teams of super-humans like the Justice League are going to be very important at its due time, but changing the future requires changing society, not just smashing the corporate assassins when they attack. Although that might be necessary, too."


"I'm a Witch," Alyse says lazily. "Knowing things that most don't is sort of my thing." Smirking a little she sips once more at her drink and then closes her eyes to inhale. "But if you do not wish to share? I'm sure we'll cross paths again none the less."


"Fair enough," Nathaniel considers for a few seconds, then continues. "Before I reveal more I would like to know about your plans and activities here. But I can tell you I am working with another traveler from the end of the century. The future Spider-Man. Do you know him?"


"Know of him," Alyse says with a shrug. "We met once, I've seen him in passing, but I can't call him an intimate friend. Even I don't know who lurks beneath his mask." Nathaniel's question makes her laugh and gesture with her hands. "I do what I will, try to do a little good here and there. So far I have simply sated my curiosity, gathered magical objects that were unsafe in most hands and helped out people where I could. There is no 'grand plan' for this witch."


The young man nods, "for most people there are not grand plans in life. Nothing wrong with it." Just not his style, Nathaniel thinks big. "But sorcery is a useful skill, if you are interested in improving the future, I am sure I can find a few tasks for you. We will be in touch, for sure."

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