The Reaper and the Witch

November 05, 2016:

It begins with a Troll and ends with a handshake.


NPCs: Wendle the Troll



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Side streets off the Naval Yard at night, Brooklyn, it is obviously dark and this time of year cold. Wet hours ago but now that has passed. It is oddly a quiet night which is a positive number as most people right now are hiding out and away from the 'evil green gas' that fell from the sky. The man known as Taskmaster isn't really afraid of such things, so far some people got sick and some feebs died, nothing pandemic worthy. Work must continue. Life goes on.

The click clop of feet ahead says that is exactly where his mark is, Wendle Schmidt a mobster who just lost the trust of his family, several days ago Wendle killed his several members of his crew, why and how? Not sure. How was quite gruesome, metahuman levels of strength had been displayed in what surmounted to several thugs being ripped to pieces. Basically Wendle had become a liability.

"Just want to go home, want to go home. Stupid humans." The brutish big nosed man can be heard saying, his body hunched at the shoulders and massive, he doesn't look like Wendle anymore, he looks like something else all together. A troll. Taskmaster has no clue what that is but Morgana le Fay would and this Troll, was disguised by a glamor until recently. A spell that she is in proximity of feeling wearing off.

Taskmaster is tracking said troll, armored to the teeth with a tactical vest, folding blades, handguns and a shield. Rounded, buckler style. His face looks like that of the grim reaper himself.
"There you are! You don't at all look like your picture anymore… not… at all.. "

Morgana knew the spell was wearing off. Could pinpoint the exact location. Even tell you exactly what kind of spell it was. Just not who it belonged to. Which is why she's decided to pop in and find out.
She opts not to immediately make her presence known. Not by sound, anyhow. Instead, it's easy enough to fly in and settle down nearby to observe. What she sees, however, is a bit of a shock.

She wasn't expecting a troll. Did even realize many still roamed outside of selective areas. Certainly not in cities! Interest piqued, Morgana 'settle down' on the top of a lamp post to watch how it's all going to unfold. Either one of the two below may catch sight of her on her perch. She isn't the slightest bit worried about it.

"Hey, tubby. Your name Wendle?" Taskmaster asks the Troll, what else can a person do in this scenario? He looks nothing like the picture anymore.

"Yes Wendle, go away before I get hungry." Troll-Wendle responds.

Come to think of it the gangsters did have interesting wounds, were those biting and chewing marks? Gross.
"Yeah, okay, Wendle, you know who I am?" Taskmaster insists.

"No, you're just meat." Wendle huffs.

"Taskmaster. I'd say remember it but I have to kill you now."

Never threaten a Troll, it goes badly. The creature just turns and squints one eye at the mercenary, snarls and then stops, looks past him and up, "You… you smell like… "

"What? You crazy jack wagon. What the shit are you looking at?" No matter, Taskmaster takes aim with one of his handguns and fires, the bullet hits the Troll in one eye causing it to scream and flail around, forgetting Morgana. Cheap shot but Taskmaster has things to do. The mercenary not realizing Morgana is what distracted the brute.

Sliding from her perch, Morgana lands lightly on the ground with only the faintest click of her heals. "That was a mistake." Her voice is soft, calm… almost serene. "I don't take kindly to humans killing my people…"

emerald eyes seem to glow golden as she starts forward.

The first step and a si =ngle word is whispered. The second and liquid gold starts to climb her body. It replaces the business dress she had been wearing, encasing her in armor sans the mask. A third and she stops. "Step away from the troll and your death won't be agonizingly slow."

She's already sensing out, trying to see if the 'poor creature' still lives.

"Your people? Lady he looks nothing like you." Taskmaster jabs a gun towards the troll again.
The troll that is now racing towards the both of them, berserk as it is it won't recognize even the likes of the Witch Queen. They're both just meals now.

"Also, doesn't look like he recognizes you… " Now that she is closer to Taskmaster, his voice is odd, electronic distorted. All this thanks to his mask. A swift evade to the left and the hungry troll races past him, spins and begins to flail its tree-trunk sized limbs, clawing at the air where Morgana and Taskmaster are.

"Humans… So small minded."

Morgana sighs and steps forward, pushing out a wave of calm emphatically while mentally trying to calm the troll. "Hush now. Stop. Come here and let me fix that," Morgana offers to the troll.

A glance over shoulder is given, green gaze boring into Taskmaster. "Stay put. While I don't particularly value your life, I do mine and if you antagonize him further, he may kill us both. Trolls can be highly volatile at times."

How did she end up rescuing a human tonight!?

"Can't let you do that." Taskmaster states, that gun exposed and pointed at the troll. "He has a hit on his head - human, mutant, alien, whatever he still killed several of Monetti's men and that guy doesn't play around. If I don't kill him, he sends guys after me, I have to kill them, I lose a client… it is a whole mess. So kindly, step aside."
The empathic calming works only to the extent of slowing it down the troll does not give over its hand instead it bares its tusks and roars at the both of them, that one eye beginning to seal over due to it's fast regeneration.

"Thats something, I may have to chop this one up in to bits. Ahem, anyways, hotness, c'mon, to the left so I can put this beasty down before he kills both of us."

"Little man… I will end you in the slowest and most painful way possible if you do not put that thing away."

Morgana's attention goes back to the troll. "That is enough. You know who I am… I can send you anywhere you wish to go. Including to Avalon. You bust behave however. Do you want your vision restored?"

Over her shoulder, she arches a brow. "Were you never taught how to properly address a Lady? There are people, even in this day and age, they teach such things."
"Feisty, I like the second part of that. Not the first so much. Starters, not a little anything, momma Taskmaster didn't raise no tiny fella, and are you nuts, lady? How about this… I don't know where you came from or whatever weird assed Wiccan beliefs you're harboring but go ahead, be my guest. Get eaten." He waves, the skull masked mercenary motions Morgana towards the Troll, "Eat up fella. Day and age makes you sound old as balls also, just sayin'."

The troll nods its head, though not of Avalon exactly that would be more than close enough to make it happy. It actually lowers to a bow before Morgana.

"It's a trap!" Taskmaster taunts. "This is not going to end pretty, you get close and Wendle there is going to bite you in half and thats gonna be one big waste, I mean, you're cute for a crazy bird."

Morgana smiles. It's a rare sight only because it's genuine. "Better," is said gently to the troll. Without hesitation, she steps up and reaches out to lay a hand over his eye. Gold light emits from under it, warming sensation accompanying the softly chanted words of the healing spell.

When she's done, she steps back, murmurs a few more words and lets the mist that accompanies her teleportation spell encapsulate the troll to take him to Avalon. It's then that she rounds on Taskmaster.

"First, Wiccans are a joke. A diluted branch of a true path who want to make believe they have power. Second, my name is Morgana le Fay and he was a troll. A being of magical origin and therefore falls under my protection. Especially from humans like you." The entire time, she's slowly advancing towards him. "Now… lets see if you can beg, human."
"I agree, absolute joke." Taskmaster doesn't back down as she strides closer to him. Drawing near he actually tilts his head enough to keep eye level with her, beyond that skull mask's darkened sockets she can see the amused brown eyes of the mercenary. "Morgana le Fay? Like the Arthurian stories?" A chuckle rolls out of him. "That is just hilarious. I knew you were nuts… wait, hold up, what did you just do with Wendle!?" A look past her and back. "You just screwed me over, lady." No guns pointed at her but they haven't left his hands.

"I sent him to Avalon where he belongs," Morgana states simply, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

Her right hand is held out, woven words whispered and she's holding a fireball in it. "Of course your kind would refer to the tales of my time as such."
Something about this one… "There's no fear in you. Intriguing. Most humans are instinctively afraid of me. Why aren't you?"
"I'm the Taskmaster. I've fought the Justice League, Deathstroke is my drinking buddy, I've worked for the Red Skull, the Baroness, tangled with giant robots, been to Limbo, trained some of the most badass individuals this side of the border and survived being Harley Quinn's boyfriend for more than a month. Gonna take more than some troll whispering and a fireball to put the fear of… what did you say it was? Avalon? Avalon in me. I ain't no run of the mill gun-for-hire." He tips his head forward now, looking down at her, that grin on his mask looks like it could almost be growing wider, "So, if you're about to roll some D20 and throw spells at me, best be ready, 'cause I always am."
"Also I think your left nip is slipping."

"Roll… I have no idea what you're referring to. Thwre was a time humans spoke far more clearly."

He's too close for comfort. That is /her/ personal space, thank you! A step back is taken.

"Limbo is nothing. A walk in the park… However, for a human…" The fireball is extinguished. She doesn't even acknowledge the last bit of that. Especially since she knows better. "You could be useful… I cost you your bounty this evening… How much were you going to get for him?"

As she talks, she starts to walk a circle around him, inspecting and assessing.
"It isn't about what I was making its about finishing the job." Taskmaster considers, "He ain't ever coming back though is he? 'cause if he is gone for good. Well, mission accomplished." A turn of his head is all he uses to follow her movements, she is stalking around him like shes a shark and hes a piece of meat both entertaining and unsettling, "You're the real deal, huh? An actual hocus pocus sort like that Doctor Strange?" No mention on his prices. They vary and he is still a professional.

"No, he will not be returning." Morgana stops in front of him, releases the spell that summoned her armor, letting it and the illusion she was original holding to disappear. It leaves her standing there, ankle length purple hair and bright green eyes visible. "If you know Strange… Ask him about me. He'll tell you I'm exactly who I said I was."

An9ther moment of consideration and she sighs. "You could be useful, I suppose. I can always kill you when you stop being so…" A glass of wine and a chair is summoned. What? She likes her comforts. "What, is it exactly, that you do? Aside from murder."

"Don't exactly know him, more like hes another mark in the list along with the rest of his crew." Taskmaster grunts, "Your sale's pitch needs some work, your marketing, the look, the flashy Arthurian thing, it could work, works for the Walking Dead right now but threatening my life, heck nah." The pistol is holstered at least, clipping it in place. "Aside from murder? More murder. Train people who can afford me. Long walks on the beach. Watch Survivor…" He is teasing on those last ones, likely she won't have a clue. "I get it, Halloween just passed, some sort of Witchcraft convention going on?" As she studies him he is openly studying her. It is one of his gigs. He could if he wanted quiet easily mimick her every motion but he doesn't. Not yet.

Morgana sighs, pinching the bridge of her nose. "Samhain has become…" She shakes her head. "You definitely have plenty of uses…." We're going to just skip over what she isn't quote grasping. It's all business right now.

"You kill for pay… Very well. I could make use of that. However, I'd need you at my disposal as I see fit. Price, of course, is not an issue. Although, what I expect may be a little outside of your normal job."

"Outside of the norm is my usual job." Taskmaster cants his head again, "What exactly are you proposing? You sound like you have some plans which if you do, I'm game, I love ambitious people they keep me occupied. Price of course is always there." His gloved hands rest upon his hips now. "I'm just mildly confused at when this became a job interview, not that I mind, I just, yanno what, whatever, I'll be your huckleberry."
"Though, to be on the safe side lets elaborate, because we may have different ideas of what normal is… " His hands now lift and wave over her archaic garb. "'cause lady, that ain't normal." NOT that he is one to talk. His usual outfit is caped, chainmail, grim reaper mask, swords, bows, shields… right now he is more tactical, more modernized.

"Of course, I have plans. Those, however, are my own. For now, at least. Price, as I said, will not be a problem. Silver, jewels, gold… whichever you choose."

"What I require is someone in this realm that is at my beck and call. You're clearly skilled and I have a very long list of enemies that I don't need getting in my way."

She takes a moment, considers and then, "Perhaps we can adjourn to somewhere a little more comfortable to discuss the details?"
"Gold, silver, jewels… I suppose I have a guy who can convert all that to actual currency." A thoughtful sound escapes Taskmaster, "This realm? Shit. That sounds… fuck it, lead the way. You got me all kinds of curious now. Besides, I'm a little worried this green mist that Apocalypse released is going to do something weird to my skin." A motion with one gloved hand indicates she should lead the way, they are after all just standing on the streets at night and he has to admit, its a bit chilly. He almost wants to quip about her catching cold but he is no stranger to 'god-beings' and megapowers who pay no mind to such things. Maybe she is one?

Morgana considers a moment. "The Realm of Avalon is off limits… The Isle, perhaps, but if you threaten any of those there…" It's a clear warning.

She steps closer to him, dismissing the chair before inhaling and murmuring the words needed to transport them to the castle she keeps on an Isle that most thought just a myth or lost to time.

The castle is warm. The scent what most would consider pleasant. There's a hum that's almost more felt than heard and while not necessarily easy to see, there are definitely people in the castle.

"Welcome to Avalon."

"Just like that? No TSA? Fancy." Taskmaster inhales, no memories attached here. Avalon is a place he has never been let alone one he imagined he would ever be. "This is where you live? Why on would you leave here… you're like, well, aside from functional toilets, Wi-Fi, television access… " A grunt escapes the Man with a Thousand Moves and he looks from side to side, studying the castle itself. "This is all very… posh, a man could get used to this. Even the Baroness would have been happy with this set up." Another crazy violent powerful ex, Taskmaster definitely has a type.

"Many things are 'just like that'. And yes, this is my home on this Realm." She smirks faintly, walking over to the doors of the sitting room she moved them into and pushes them open, sending for food and drink.

"There is a difference between a Baroness and a Queen. I am the latter. Food and drink will be here shortly. Please," she motions towards a seat. Morgana is, if nothing else, polite. She may be dark, occasionally insane and bent of ruling the world but… there is etiquette to be observed!

"Now… About my proposition…"
Taskmaster rubs a fingertip across one of her vases in passing only to drop in to the mentioned seat, no light descent but an actual sprawl of an armored and geared man. Only pausing long enough to remove two collapsed weapons across his back and that shield. They'll park right up against his leg. "I suppose you're right." The skull always looks to be smiling, even when his eyes say otherwise, "About that proposition, what do you want of me? I could give you a link to my website, an Unternet link up, let you read my resume but it's pretty much not important, end result, things get taken care of."

Morgana watches him make himself comfortable.

"As I was saying," is said as a pale, translucent winged sprite flits into the room carrying a tray with two glasses and a bottle of wine of it. "My Queen," is murmured with a bow before the sprite disappears.

Morgana carries on as if nothing happened. "I have a very long list of enemies in this realm that I would rather not get to me before I can do what I came to do. It would be your job to keep them away. Granted, it's more of a protection than a hunt… You could, of course, continue your hunting if you choose… Just be aware that should I summon… I expect you to answer."

"Ah whoah! No bug nets in here!?" Taskmaster exclaims, it is hard to tell if he is joking or not. "Just kidding.. I mean damn, Tinker Bell is real huh?" Adjusting in his seat he places one booted foot atop the other. "Enemies in this realm would be magical like you, right? I can't combat much of that, I have learned those, massive amounts of damage will stop just about anything even a God. I almost took out Wonder Woman with a bomb strapped to her ass. She didn't like that… broke my arm." He taps the left elbow. "You pay me, I'll answer whenever. It is that easy, I got a counter proposition for you too, maybe we can work out an arrangement. I want to see whats what first though, I got some things in the works and if they pan out right and you are exactly what you're showing me to be and this isn't some Acid Trip… well, we're gonna have a lot of fun, toots. A lot."

"Not all are magical, no. Most but not all." In this, Morgana is completely honest. "It sounds liken you can handle it, however. And I will, of course, help provide you with the weapons and such that will help with that."

Morgana reaches out, taking glass of wine as a tall, dark skinned and white haired elf brings in a tray laden with food of all sorts. The elf bows and immediately turns around and leaves.

"I will give you an enchanted piece that will let you come to me when I call, of course. As for what you have planned… Let us hope that our plans do not conflict."

Another sip of her wine is taken before she stands and walks over to a small desk, a drawstring pouch about the size of his fist being pulled from it. It taoen over and held out to be dropped in his hand. "Will this suffice?" Inside are pieces of solid gold.

He is trying not to look too surprised by anything else transpiring such as elves and bows appearing. "I seen this movie, I think it involves Dwarves too… " A tease, it's just what he does. She is no doubt aware he is watching her every movement, not just because she can zap things in and out of existence. "So, this trinket will allow you to summon me? Maybe we should consider just setting up time and places, I'm not down for being just whisked to and fro. Sort of a loss of control thing, ya get me?"
Taskmaster's fingers unfurl and he accepts the pouch, bouncing it once before opening it. "We'll call this a retainer. I'll be on call, we can meet up and only, ONLY in dire situations should you ever do this…" A hand flips around in example, "This teleportation thing on me. But this, yeah, we got a deal, this is a suitable retainer and I gotta admit, I'm curious to see how and where this goes."
Morgana smirks, settling back into her seat. A sip of her wine is taken before she leans forward and plucks a cherry from the tray. "Help yourself. As for the summon… It would not simply whisk you away. You would have to make the conscious choice to answer it. And then it would bring you to me. If this is going to work, I will make a few necessary compromises."

She smirks. "The dwarves prefer to work in the gardens, by the way."
"Deal then. No signing required." Taskmaster pushes to his feet, "So, you gonna toss me back to my home or there some winged butlers lurking around here somewhere that can show me to a room? It's midnight back home, I'm an early riser." The fruit isn't taken and he doesn't pretend to know squat about dwarves. Sleep is what this mortal needs though.

Morgana grins. "I will send you, yes. We will talk more once you're rested." She /should/ offer him a room… She will not have a human sleeping in her home.

Pushing up, she steps close and murmurs a few words quietly, a single, subtle twitch to the left with her right hand. Smoke starts to envelope him and then encases him to take him back to the exact spot she took him from.

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