Watch the Storm

December 27, 2017:

Nathaniel approaches Witchdoctor to investigate the strange snowstorm that has covered New York.

Central Park, New York


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Scarlet Witch


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Worst winter in 15 years, they say. The snowstorm has been relentless. Two weeks of truly foul weather with few pauses for the merely 'damn cold' days. On one side crime has become scarce, since most people avoid going out. On the other hand there has been plenty of accidents and cold-caused emergencies.

Since Iron Guard has actually been doing 'patrols' he has seen enough to realize a few things:
The weather is not normal. It defies the models and predictions.
New York city hall measures to combat the snowstorms are insufficient, in part this is due to now being able to predict them, but it is also they lack resources.

Whatever it is disrupting normal weather patterns is doing it from the New York area, although affecting a good chunk of the Northeast American coast.

So when a few minutes ago one of the microdrones he has buzzing around the Avengers Mansion spotted Witchdoctor, he decided to leave the cozy building and brave the snow. Nathaniel is wearing his armor configured as a dark suit and a bulky coat, so he is not really freezing. Central Park is mostly empty of people, though. Only a few brave souls are crossing over the area.

The dark haired young man hurries up to intercept Alyse before she leaves the Park. "Miss Alyse," he greets once he is within earshot. "Good afternoon, remember me?"

Alyse hadn't been in New York for a while, save the odd day or two. She'd taken a long time to recover after using more magic than even she could handle, and that combined with a romance coming to a close had left the Witch reverting to some old habbits of travelling, enjoying a little luxury and hiding from the world. Still, there was strangeness afoot in NYC and reports of its nature had managed to alight the curiousity of the blonde woman. She'd come to see for herself.

She hardly looked 'normal' out in the snow, once more wrapped in the 'gown' of her original sorceress attire. She even carried her parasol over her shoulder as she walked through the snow, somehow managing not to accumulate any of the flakes on her clothing nor sleet on her shoes. She'd been walking, slowly, so when Nathanial comes running across the park she's easily enough intercepted. There's a moment to blink before she tilts her head to the side. "Nathaniel." she speaks in recognition. "We met through a chance encounter, then again through mutual friends?"

Nathaniel nods, offering a faint smile. He has barely changed in the past year and a half, appearing unfazed despite the cold and the snow. "That is correct. Spider-Man from your timeline. He has, unfortunately, left the city since. I still remain, and when one of my drones spotted you," he raises a hand, palm up, and a small, flimsy snowflake like thing buzzes over it before a gust of wind apparently carries it away. "I would like to ask you something that falls within your field of expertise." He gestures the woman to keep walking. This is not really a good place to talk even if they can handle the cold.

"I met him again a few months ago, while I was…" the blonde pauses, she too looking almost exactly the same as she had previously right down to the way the bangs of her hair sat. "Resting. I met the sorcerer supreme of this world soon after." The Witch's hand gives the parasol in her grasp a light twirl as she looks the man up and down. "My field medically," Witchdoctor asks lightly, a little hint of amusement on her face, "or mystically? I will endevour to try and answer regardless."

"The second," but before explaining Nathaniel guides the woman towards one of the cafes on the streets around the park. The closest, actually. "I am not sure if you remember the Scarlet Witch," he glances at the woman for confirmation. "She was affected by a reality readjustment in April." No longer an Avenger, although Nathaniel does not know she is a terrorist yet. "The Avengers lost our supernatural specialist."

"Remember…" That blank face mask she likes to portray actually cracks a little as she blinks, a frown given but something…'more' behind it before she exhales a breath. "Wanda doesn't remember me. She doesn't remember our fight to bring her brother back from his time as a horseman." She also didn't remember their relationship, and after years of a rare romance had been suddenly erased? Well…even the Witchdoctor wasn't impervous to the feelings of hurt. "She is here, but she is gone," she says as they walk. "I am sorry that your team has lost such an asset."

"She was my friend, too," replies Nathaniel quietly. Although for him 'friendships' are not usually as deep as for normal humans. He is detached, sociopathic at times. Starfire did hurt with strange intensity. Wanda not so much.

The rest of the walk to the cafe is quiet but for the usual city sounds under the howling of the wind. Once there, she invites the elfin woman to sit down, "do you still like hot cocoa?" He ask casually. And then, "what do you think of this snowstorm?"

"Your memory serves you well," Alyse smiles, closing her parsol after a moment before the object simply vanishes from sight. Continuing her walk as they approach the cafe, her attire is suddenly changed in a muted flair of gold light, that gown replaced with her simple skirt and blazer look she'd worn generally to blend in with the civilian population. Clearly, she still wasn't very good at it, but at least her magic had returned in full. "This snowstorm is not natural," she sates the obvious with a smile. "But it does not appear to be artificial either. There's magic at its core, but it doesn't feel like a spell so much as a…" she trails off after a moment before smiling. "A part of something. This is comes from someone or something with magic inside them, not merely taught to them."

Nathaniel nods, as Alyse confirms what he suspected. "I have been looking for the cause, but all I could do was discarding all other explanations." He frowns, looking outside. "There has been a few deaths caused by the storm, I would like to find the cause or at least counter the supernatural effect," he pauses when the waitress approaches to take their orders. Cocoa for him, it feels like the day for it. Once the woman leaves, he adds. "I can pay for your assistance, of course."

"The last time I helped the Avengers counter something on this scale…well, arguably larger, it was the Teragan mists. I ripped myself to pieces countering it so directly, it took me months to regain my magic and months more to be at full strength." The Witch places her own order, her sweet-tooth still as strong as ever with her Cocoa order. "I realise I was only with the Avengers as a…consult due to my relationship with Wanda, but I might suggest from personal experience that finding the cause may well be the safer option to a degree. Without one skilled enough in magic, trying to undo all its effects while it continues may well be dangerous to your magician." His offer of payment earns a little chuckle and the fae woman waves a hand. "I haven't really worried about money since the first week I came here. But I appreciate the thought."

"I thought you were in the mercenary business," protests Nathaniel. He has money now; he has been building up his own fortune. "But no, do not hurt or exhaust yourself. If you can find the cause the Avengers will deal with it." He is pretty confident they can, even if the cause is a hostile supernatural creature. "I might be able to bring in an old associate of mine into the board, too. He is a competent sorcerer himself."

"I was…I suppose I do not know what business I am in now," Witchdoctor admits softly, sipping her sweet drink and exhaling a sigh at the taste. "Wealth without purpose is at best a distraction. I'd heard it said to me once by a mentor of mine that boredom was the death of any witch who achieved enough power." His warning earns a nod of her head and she smiles lightly, tracing her fingertips along the surface of the tabletop idly. "If you are in need of further assistance with this problem though and your friends do not mind an outsider, perhaps I can help you myself." It wasn't just aultrism that motivated her of course, a Witch and a Fae both, without a purpose the world was just that little bit dimmer.

"To be honest most of the Avengers probably have not realized the weather is unusual," admits Nathaniel. "It is extreme, but within known parameters. There have been a few worse blizzards hitting New York in the past century. But I am concerned this one will go on for too long. And also it is causing some deaths and injuries that could have been prevented. So yes, please, find the cause. Then I will call in the team and deal with those responsible."

"I will see what I can find," the woman nods, sipping her drink once more before looking at the man. "But what of you? Have you found it easier now as time has passed Nathaniel? Adjusting to this world and making it your home? People are different, time is different and possibility is different. Yet now with things resetting themselves, it makes it a little harder, no? Sometimes I wonder if the universe is simply correcting the changes of those like us."

Nathaniel frowns. "I have been delving into the sociopolitical landscape and developing my own power base, in truth I have not thought too much about adjusting, I just did it as it suits me." He sips from his own mug and shrugs. "The reality shift was unpleasant, but I am shielded from those events. It was… like a warning I should not become too attached to anyone, I suppose. But I am also trying to live more in the present and less in the past or the future."

"Maybe it is in my blood, or merely that so much of my childhood was left closed in, but I could not live so removed from others." Ironically, that was very much what she'd been doing as of late. "My time with Wanda was complicated, but wondrous in its own right. I understand why people seek others in one way or another, against our own judgement or not. I think we'd both agree we've done things in our life others would warn us against. After all…" she smiles, leaning forwards. "You're talking to a 'Witch' right now. Quite a number of stories would call that a bad idea."

Nathaniel didn't know Alyse well enough to judge if she is close or not to others. Even her relationship to Wanda was fairly obscure to him. Friends? More? Not his business, really.

But the 'talking to a witch' comment makes him crack a smile. "Why? Is now my soul doomed to hell? No. I do not believe in those stories. My 'crime' is time-travel, a more serious business. Certainly what most men of science would call a bad idea."

"Well, at the very least it is not a bad idea that you have committed alone, deliberately or otherwise." Alyse chuckles again before placing her drink down. "If you discover the cause, do let me know. I would be willing to lend my assistance unless you and the Avengers prefer solely to use your own 'expert'." Smoothing her hands over her skirt, she continues speaking. "If I discover it myself? I will let you know. My phone number remains unchanged." With that, she bows her head lightly and begins to head for the door. "Be well Nathaniel. I will see you around."

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