Funeral for Goliath

June 14, 2017:

Obadiah meets with Grymalkin again to offer an edge in his quest for Peggy Carter, and something more.

A park in New York City


NPCs: None.

Mentions: agent carter, captain america, thor

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Knowing one can do a thing and doing it are two different things entirely, and that has been the basis of Obadiah's relationship with his genie friend, someone who he has let run wild. Mostly, because he knows Grym will cause plenty enough trouble without direction. Mostly, because he knows it is not how others who have held this power are likely to have treated him.

Obadiah finds far more power in making meaningful relationships, after all.

So Grym will get not so much summoned as driven by his handler, who, for all intent and purpose, has mostly been his driver this whole time, simply taking him wherever he'd like to go.

Except for now. Now, Grym will find himself in central park, near the waning hours of the day, and close to a small pond that has a very visible sign about not feeding the ducks.

So of course, Obadiah is sitting on a bench, feeding said ducks, the loaf of bread over his lap supplying a healthy supply of entertainment as the ducks swim around looking for their next morsel.

If it wasn't for the fact that Grymalkin has been kept on a long leash the Handler's life would have been miserable. Grym had often disappeared for hours at a time, sometimes longer. He very rarely asked to partake of the driving experience, more preferring to walk these paved roads and sidewalks under his own power. The Genie desired to experience New York in all its splendor, big and small.

There has been a great deal to experience. Grymalkin has spent the past several months reacquainting himself with the world and a gigantic amount has changed. He always knew the British Empire would bring about incredible change, but who would have thought the British bastard children, the American Colonies, would be the ones to alter the world forever.

To be sure, Grym has not ditched his handler entirely. If anything they now have something of a loose friendship. The Genie, for all the dire warnings associated with him, seems to be a happy-go-lucky sort to most appearances. Often showing up to the Handler's car and having Shake Shack to go to eat with him and talk about these 'Yankees' everyone roots for.

It is this culturally readjusted Grymalkin that finally greets Obadiah again. "My man!" He announces with his well-dressed sleeves held wide. Strutting ahead of his driver to approach the fatherly fellow with a wide smile and twinkling eyes. The British accent and subtleties to his tone have been mostly removed now, even if his human dress code seems the same as before. Polished black shoes click on the park's path as he brazenly approaches, "How are you doing you lovely old dog? It's been awhile!"

If it was Obadiah's goal to maintain a good relation with this supernormal minion, it seems to have succeeded.

With a raised brow, Obi looks up, casting a long glance over at Grym as he clicks his way down the pavement and towards his almost zen-like place of bird-feeding. There's a little smile at the greeting, and he nods along to it almost immediately, a certain mirth in his eyes. "Oh, well. You know. Hanging in there. How's the world been keeping you? I hope this little.. arrangement has been helpful in getting you up to speed. Make any inroads on that little task I left you with?"

Little task.

He's only speaking of that tiny, minor thing he asked Grym to do: Work his way into Peggy Carter's heart. And not with a knife, either.

More bread hits the water, and Obadiah moves his newspaper from the space beside him, freeing up the rest of the bench. "I call that one there, Goliath, you see. He's onery. Not exactly big, but he acts like it." Obi tosses a piece of bread into the water, and Goliath lives up to his namesake, bullying some of the other ducks out of the way, much to Obi's entertainment.

The Genie's cavalier manner likely draws troubling comparisons to a certain Nordic intruder that Stane endured days ago. Perhaps supernatural creatures of power tend to have a certain like mind when it comes to dealing with 'mundanes'?
He ambles right on over like Obadiah is a long-lost friend. Throwing himself onto the bench at his side, placing his arms along the backrest behind him and crossing one leg over the other with an infectious grin on his face.
"The world has kept me well!" Even his manner of speaking has become more 'modern', markedly so. It seems the Djinn is old hand at adapting mannerisms through the ages. Immersion therapy helps a great deal with that. "You bet. When last I saw the world functional toilets were a great new invention. Now.." He spreads a hand, "The greatest threat facing humanity now is heart disease from eating too God damned much and diseases I've never heard of from living too long. You are a lucky man to have been born when you were, my friend."

Smirking as he brushes his bangs back from his mismatched eyes he adds, "Oooooh Peggy. Yoooou bet. I figured she was going to be difficult to court. But I had no idea how difficult until I realized she should be dead by all accounts. Or at least an ancient crone." Chuckling as he turns his attentions to the ducks then, "And it got even harder when I found out what a hard ass she is. AND.. And.." Holding a finger aloft, "Apparently she's dating the Captain of America himself."
His eyes sliding over to Obadiah at that revelation, "I suppose it's unsurprising given what appears to be something of a shared history in the second World War. But I have to admit getting her to dump the single most desired man in this country for me is.. It is very certainly a Challenge with a capital C." Chortling then, far from dismayed at how problematic the situation is. He then ventures further, "Why do you want to break them up anyway? Have something against SHIELD or the Avengers, do we?"

He then takes stock of this Goliath as he offers an 'oooooh' at the revelation, leaning a bit closer and grinning as the animals play out their simple rules of dominion.

Stane retains his small smile, mostly when his luck is mentioned, then he pushes the bag of bread aside, somewhere between them, and he leans forward as if to scrutinize the behavior of the animals he was just feeding.

"Oh I'm sure you'll find the old challenges. Murder and mayhem. Disagreements and tribalism. Conquest, but at different levels, not so much at the point of a sword anymore, or the tip of a cannon. Well, at least not in this part of the world. And Gods. Gods walk the Earth in the form of individuals with nearly unlimited power." He looks over at Grym then, and there's nothing pleasant about his smile. "Or so they'd like us to think. Instead I know the truth. They are all as flawed as I am. And that is why they are dangerous. Some, even more so. Especially those who dive in, much like me, to play in the deep end with these sharks among men."

When Obi leans back again, Goliath, the little duck that could, is quite dead. "Powering through the world without fear of those bigger than you makes you eager and dangerous or both. And Peggy Carter is the most dangerous of all. To capture her attention, you'll have to draw cracks in an unbreakable exterior. To capture her heart, upend her entire world. If you can do that, bring doubt to her world, then what I have planned will no longer have an obstacle. Unlike Goliath here, people value martyrs, so we do this one the hard way." His hand finds Grym's shoulder, and he leans in, a finger brought up between them. "That's why I need you. Someone beyond human. Someone magical. I know you can get this done for me, and something's happened that should give you the in you need. Assuming she doesn't already know you in some way."

Grymalkin listens intently, a pleased social expression as he's fully relaxed in Stane's presence. His expression does not change much as his elderly benefactor grows displeased at the revelation of the Gods among them. Something that is hardly a revelation for Grymalkin, but the Djinn is very curious at how Stane seems to process this.

Not very well by the bobbing of the slain Duck.

He remains curious, drawn in towards Obadiah's request as he confides in the Servant a better perspective of the true nature of his Challenge. Oh, it doesn't answer the question but it does give more insight into Obadiah's world. Something that's burning Grymalkin with curiosity since he began to realize how extensive this Peggy Carter's history is.
"Well." He begins, as he reaches over for the bag set between them, "I have not officially met her but yes, if you really want me to do this a 'in' would be helpful." His smile widens a fraction more as he ever so casually tosses a small handful of breadcrumbs into his mouth, chewing them thoughtlessly as if they were popcorn, "Making a wish would be better of course. I can't actually use most of my 'magic' without one, you know." Eyes glinting a fraction, "And it's starting to sound like your real goals have some .. Divine problems. I can help you with those, I've crossed a few Gods in my time. Defeated a handful here and there. Of course it largely depends on their rank."
Leaning back as he tosses another handful into his mouth, crumbs spilling past his lips as he explains, "A God of Wheat isn't much compared to Zeus, for example." He considers a moment, "Isn't Thor in New York these days?"

The mention of Thor sets Obadiah's gaze back on the duck, which begins floating in a swirling circle in the pond. Obi leans back, drops his hand, and considers Grym's invitation for a wish again.

"I'm afraid wishing for anything would change the nature of our relationship. I only ever wanted to make a friend. Help out an old soul. Break your curse, if I can. Friends are more valuable than fleeting desires, at least to me." Friends, and maybe favors. but friends most of all.

He side-eyes Grym as he eats the bread, finally rising to straighten out his jacket. "You'll know me now as Mr. Stane. You can tell other people that name, now, but never the context of these conversations. At least not if you want to keep this good thing going that we have. I imagine as far as people go, I'm far and away the least offensive that has held your statue. I hope to keep it that way until I can free you."

He reaches into his jacket then, producing a pair of cigars and offering one up to Grym, even as the other finds his mouth. "In the meantime, I'm having credentials created for you. Congratulations. You're now consulting for me on the matter of interdimensional beings. Specifically, a group called The Agency. They've taken an interest in encroaching on my territory. I can handle them, of course. But this will give you the perfect excuse to work with Miss Carter."

Obadiah finds his lighter then, and will offer to light Grym's cigar before putting a slow burn on the end of his own. "There's some risk in something so brazen, but a good working relationship can open up all kinds of avenues. Especially if you can paint the picture of someone not so married to their work. You know, show that you can actually make the time for a life, and don't have to go off saving the world every five minutes."

"Ooooh you are smart my friend. Your quest to get on my good side has thus far succeeded." Grymalkin mentions with cheer as he places the bag back down, dusting off his gloved hands and looking actually somewhat disappointed that all the crumbs weren't actually poisoned. It's been awhile since he last tested human poisons. For the best he supposes, they're having a meaningful discussion right now and interrupting that would be a bother.

"To be honest I was wondering what would happen first. Desperation finally gets you to draw my power or you die of old age." He grins then. Of the mention of 'breaking his curse' Grymalkin does not reply. It's a matter that isn't on the table for a reason Obadiah may not suspect.

As names have finally come into the equation Grymalkin responds, "Aaaaah. Mister Stane is it? Or have you another title? Doctor? President? Most with your wealth and ambition have a title. I would tell you my real name if I honestly remembered it." Chuckling then as he throws up his shoulders helplessly.
Uncrossing his legs as he sets his gloved hands on his knees, getting down to deeper business as he adds, "You, sir, have given me more freedom than my last several masters." Accepting the cigar with a sweep of his hand and setting it on his lips. Lighting it with a flick of his thumb and nothing else, offering to do the same for Stane in turn.
A few hearty puffs and perfect rings sail forth from his lips, "I'll do you a good turn and warn you to stop whatever it is you think you're going to do with these 'Interdimensional Beings'." Rather abruptly raining on the parade as he puffs a few more times on the cigar, holding it aloft as he examines it's make.
"Since your kind stole fire from them, you've sought to kill the Gods with it. The best weapon you have against them is just forgetting they exist." Tapping the cigar as the rings begin to dance in odd sweeping layers, "This .. Agency? Do they have any other name? What people worshiped them, I may have heard of them before.."
As for the opportunity to work closer with Carter, well that just broadens his smile.

It's tempting in times of great frustration for Obadiah to throw his weight around. His temptation is not drawing him towards making some wish, but instead, showing Grym his biggest, most dangerous card. The thought enters and leaves quickly. For now, he'll just have to settle for the duck.

Still, it does not show, not to much. A student of human behavior like Grym will see it though, see him mull over the words, and give them mostly disregard. "No one worshiped them." He leans back after Grym takes up the task of lighting both cigars, putting his own lighter away. Smoke billows into the air, and he casts a subtle glare some thousand yards away, at a passing beat cop who sees the smoke, but also seems to know who is the source of it.

The officer continues on his way, and Obadiah tracks him until he's out of sight. Finally he glances back at the genie, his eyes narrowing. "I doubt anyone worships them. As far as I can tell, they worship something else. Something from far beyond. Something that calls itself The Machine God."

The Machine God. Born to the future, where it can draw it's power from followers untold, it casts it's influence backwards, across the entire multiverse. It is a blight, even upon the divine. It is a destroyer of whole realities, entropy given purpose. As Gods go, it is an odd duck. As Gods go, Decimux, the Infiniplex, is not to be trifled with.

And somehow his followers have happened upon Obadiah's radar. "In any case, like I said. They aren't your concern. They're only nibbling around the edges, for now. But they're a useful paradigm for you to share with Ms. Carter. In the course of doing your new 'job', I'll make sure you have all the briefings. Of course, if you do happen upon any members of this Agency, feel to neutralize them as you see fit. If you succeed in your mission, I'll make you one further promise."

His gaze sweeps back towards the Genie, and his brows lift in unison. "If you succeed in your mission, I'll make sure you get certain introductions. A voice at the table so to speak, if that sort of thing appeals to you. Someone like you, with your knowledge, your power.. always bound to serve? What a waste. I think it's your turn to move pieces on the board."

Grymalkin pays no heed to the cop in eyesight. While Grymalkin has no influence to deter the officer from his duties as Obadiah has, he's reactive. He would have made a game of getting away with it, as he so often does. As is, Stane's method is far more merciful to those without courage.

Grymalkin is a victim of his own anachronism as this 'Machine God' rings no bells. The Djinn is a creature of the past, not the future. "Yeah, can't say I've heard of that name precisely." Mulling that over quietly, he eyes Obadiah in turn as the gentleman quietly dismisses his warning. His smile mostly evaporated as his expression makes it clear he was not kidding. But rather than press his suggestion he merely lifts his eyebrows and closes his eyes, enjoying the cigar further.
He nods to this position with himself and Miss Carter. Yes, this is the perfect opportunity he was looking for. Of course this raises the question of why Stane did not just introduce him to Peggy in the first place but.. Honestly Grymalkin could not care less. It's given him the opportunity to explore New York unhindered for months and that's all he wanted. Perhaps this is a subtle 'get on with it' from the boss, but not an unwelcome nudge. No, he looks forward to this.

Even if Grymalkin is afraid Obadiah may be getting himself killed or worse and then he goes back to the usual Quality Master Roulette.

Ahwell, it's not like the old man has much time left on this planet anyway. Might as well live it up while he can.

As Stane offers a seat at this grand table he suggests, Grymalkin smiles wanly. His gaze returns to Goliath, still floating lifelessly on the pond.
"You know, I was a King once?" He snaps his fingers yet again, a curious trick considering he's wearing those gloves, and the Duck corpse alights in flame. Not explosively, a simple Viking funeral in the middle of the park. "A very long time ago I had everything you hope for. A kingdom. Power to challenge the Gods. An immortal legacy. All that."
He watches the slender trail of smoke rise from the floating pyre, filling the air with burning feathers and charring meat - terrible and sweet all at once, "Moving pieces seems like fun.."
Goliath's ashen remains finally sinks beneath the pond's surface, disappearing from sight, ".. Until the game's over."
Looking then back to Obadiah he laces his fingers together now, a plain smile returning as he furthers, "Tell you what. You continue to give me freedom and I'll do my best to make sure you live long enough to see your ambitions realized. I am deeply curious to see if they work out better than mine."

The sudden duck-ignition sends Obadiah's gaze sidelong with a bit of a start, and then he lifts his cigar for a long pull, perhaps in tribute to the fallen Goliath. "It might be comparing apples and oranges. Or in our case, Kings and patriots. I'm not interested in a crown or wearing it, but I do need an immortal legacy." He looks back to Grym with a stare that could cut through steel, the resolve that no mere mortal should ever display, and a conviction that calls to the Godhood he seems disenfranchised with.

"You see, these so-called Gods, the ones you think we should forget about are not so keen on forgetting about us. They meddle and twist the world, pinching at it's seams, all for some power they can't truly possess, or some cause they believe is not simply their own rhetorical purpose. Captain America? A fool stuck in a past that will never be, blindly following some truth he's so certain of he'd die for it. Thor? A child with power inherited, not earned. Where his footsteps fall, the world trembles, people die. They are calamity, you see. And I am not so foolish as to try and stand my ground against a hurricane, but someone should make sure that they, with all their power, do not get to rule the world with it. As long as you understand what my goal is, how I wish to preserve this world that is and has been your playground, I think you'll have a better chance at keeping me alive."

And that, it seems, is something he very much wants. While not fearful of death, he does fear failing in his mission, one he has been for ages feeding into the minds closest to him.

He would build a suit of armor around the world.

Grym will find his hand extended, perhaps to renew their deal of friendship. It might not be the wish that Grym had bet Obadiah's life against in his mind's eye, but it's something.

Oh, Grymalkin has seen that stare before. Very, very rarely. It is not often men have the temerity to stare down the Gods and challenge them at their own game. This time Grym is not giving the old man his mirth, but his clear attention. Measuring the intensity of that stare with an unflinching surveillance. The Djinn knew the old man had it in him, it was hiding in there behind the smiles and fatherly nature - but here it is laid bare to his witness.
Sure, Grymalkin could offer further cautionary tales or tidbits of wisdom but in truth he agrees with the wisdom Obadiah reveals. There is little hesitation as he reaches out to accept the hand. His glove disappearing enroute flesh meets flesh. The Djinn's skin feels far warmer to the touch than a human being should, but not quite uncomfortable. Grymalkin is a creature of wind and fire as much as Obadiah is one of earth and water.
"You are going to die." Grymalkin states what is not news to either of them.
"But I want to see how many Gods you crush on the way out. I'm your man."

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