Long-Distance Call Intercepted

February 25, 2018:

M'Baku reaches out to his god for aid. Someone else (Witchdoctor) answers the call.

Central Park

A shadowy area in Central Park at night.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Late night in Central Park:

Not far from the park's zoo, a large man is hunched over in a shadowy clutch of bushes. He draws some relatively simple set of glyphs into the grassy dirt.

"Ghekre," the man intones in a deep voice that sounds almost like a growl. "Ghekre, guide me. I am in this accursed place, tracing the scent of my prey. Do not abandon me now, great gorilla."

As he speaks, the man's voice shifts in tone from a growl to a plea. He beats on the ground and bows his head. "It is so hard to hear you on this ugly island where so many groan for relief…"

Alyse was not a gorilla, that much she knew despite how complicated her linage was. The Witch however was rather sensitive to mystic fluctuations. Resting at the rooftop of her hotel by the pool regardless of the late hour, the 'ping' on her radar was enough to have her curious. She'd not felt this particular practice before.

As much as the invoking was unexpected, the result? It was likely moreso. The sudden rush of lights filling the air, little flittering 'butterflies' of gold appearing from nothing and swarming together until they disappeared and revealed the sorceress, dressed once more in her usual gown-like 'Witch' outfit. A blonde, white woman in formal wear was almost certianly not what he'd invoked.

As the figure suddenly appears before him, the hunched-over man stumbles backwards in surprise. His eyes grow wide and his mouth hangs open for a long moment before he finally speaks.

"Who … what … are you?" The man's voice is deep, and his form seems to tense as he finishes his question. "You are /not/ the gorilla." He pauses for a beat and then his eyes narrow just slightly. "Not that I am complaining…" the man slowly adds.

The glyphs all about on the ground seem African in origin, although the specific culture and region may not be easily recognizable. A few figures are clear enough: sharp teeth, an ape-like head, a spear or blade.

"I am not," the woman agrees, turning lightly and bending to a kneel so she can look at the glyphs a little closer without making too much of a mess of her skirts. She'd met T'challa, but it was only in passing and what the woman knew of Wakanda was as limited as the rest of the world's knowledge had been. "I am a sorceress… a Witch."

Turning her gaze now to the man, her eyes look the far taller and more imposing figure up and down. "What are these?" she asks after a moment, "and what are their purpose? They are new to me." Given her rather impressive 'library' of the mystic? Finding something unknown was a rare enough occurance.

At the mention of sorcery and witchcraft, the man's eyes narrow further. "I see," he says, quietly and calmly. "Then perhaps you were sent to me. I am not abandoned after all."

The man stands, straightening his legs and back. "Those are the icons needed for the hunt. I called to great Ghekre. Can you not read them?" Even as he asks, the man shakes his head and waves a hand in dismissal. "Never mind. Of course a different place would have different language, even for magic. But all the same - perhaps you can help me."

The man takes a single step toward the woman. "Are you a tracker? A hunter? I seek powerful prey, and I will find it. If you can help me do so more swiftly, I - and my people - will be grateful for the aid."

"I have not heard of this 'Ghekre'," the blonde woman muses, tilting her head to the side. "Is it a demon, or some sort of deity?" Witch she my be, but she was still of the scientific or studious mentality.

Answered or not, when the man steps closer she's forced to crane her gaze upwards a little before folding her hands. "I don't consider myself a hunter, but there is plenty of things I am. I am capable of tracking some things down, however I make no promises when I don't know who you are, what you seek or why."

Exhaling a long breath through his nose, the man looks down at the woman. "I am M'Baku," he says calmly. "I have been anointed in the rites of the great gorilla god."

M'Baku points to the glyphs. "I am looking for someone. Something. A man, but not a man. A gorilla man. 'Hale,' his name is supposed to be. I need … him," he says with a nod. "Is that enough knowledge for your witchery to work?"

"A name is a start," the woman comments folding her arms in front of her. "Impressions are alright, possessions or blood is best." His introduction of himself gets a nod, polite if not cautious. By size alone if not presence, M'Baku invited a sense of caution being required. It was probably something for a warrior to be proud of.

"But what is it you seek him for that has you performing almost sorc-…rites to look for him. Does he not wish to be found?"

"Ah," M'Baku replies quietly. "Hale … he, ah, he will not wish to meet me. What prey is happy to see its predator?" The man scratches at the top of his head with a finger. "But he will meet me nonetheless. It is just that - in such a large country as this one, so packed with cities like this one, full of servants to electronic devices …"

M'Baku shakes his head. "The scent is a difficult one to track. I had hoped for aid, as a faithful servant of the gorilla."

"This man," the Witch speaks now, inclining her head while her eyes search M'Baku's face. Perhaps she were attempting to divine his purpose but could not read the man's mind. Who knows what magic was capable of or what it was doing merely by their own eyes? She'd have to make her own judgement. "He has wronged you in the past? Harmed you or your people you spoke of?" Her face is blank, no frown nor smile. "Or do you hunt him because it a challenge?"

"He has something I need," M'Baku replies, folding his arms across his chest. He shifts so that his weight rests more on his right leg than his left. "It is a challenge, of a sort. It concerns my people and their livelihood - something we will need much more than he does."

M'Baku continues, tilting his head at an angle. "You ask many questions for a sorcerer. Can you help me or not? If his blood is no easier for you to locate than it is for me, then I am wasting my time. There is no shame in saying as much." The man exhales loudly through his nose again.

The woman laughs, clear amusement in her soft tones before she shakes her head. "Magic is possibility made real," Witchdoctor speaks, raising and waving her fingers. As she makes the gesture, a small silver coin seems to appear between her fingertips, smooth and without indentation. It could very well be a parlour trick, sleight of hand or the like. Perhaps M'Baku would have to decide for himself if he thought she were a fraud, but he'd seen her arrival well enough.

"You give me little to work with, like trying to cook a meal without knowing all the ingredients. It will get you closer, but it is not complete." She offers the coin out to the man. "If the survival of your people depends on it, then take this coin and scratch the man's name into its surface. It will grow warmer as you draw near the one you seek. The name will fade, but as long as you are on the right path it will grow deeper until the coin is split in two."

It was a simple enough charm, but without more knowledge the enchantment was the most she could offer the man who'd called for a god and instead found a sorceress. "If you find more, perhaps I can do more if there is reason. Otherwise, this is all the aid I can offer."

Reaching out his hand, M'Baku takes the coin and looks at it, silent as the witch explains its use. "I will scratch his name on its surface." The man closes his hand around the coin. "And then I will find him … and kill him." He offers a thin, tight-lipped smile.

"Thank you for the assistance. When I bathe in his blood, I will ask the great goriilla to share his blessing with you." M'Baku inclines his head. "No more need be done. But gods tend to be fickle, and I will not guess whether he will actually provide it to … someone like you," M'Baku says, raising an eyebrow. "Still. Thank you."

Well…crap. Yet even with this confession, the Witch remains blank faced. "To seek someone so hard you would beg gods and seek sorcerers, this man's death must be something you desire greatly. I wonder if his desire to live will be greater. Gods are fickle, so too is fate after all." The Witch had been more a 'hero' of late than a villain, but she had been a neutral party in the past. There was more to this, but even so. "We each make our own blessings, and our own curses M'Baku." She steps back now from the man, a small bite of her lip before she raises a finger and the wind itself seems to whirl around them. "Know this, should you shed the blood of another, claim a life other than that of the man you seek? The coin will burn to ash." Even as she speaks, a faint glow alights her eyes. Perhaps she was adding this 'clause' even if the enchantment of seeking could not be undone, a faint echo reverberates beneath her voice as she speaks. "Claim your blood if you can hunter, but shed none of the innocent or see my gift revoked."

A much broader, toothier smile creeps across M'Baku's face. "Yes. Yes, I think his will to live will be strong. That is good - otherwise it would not be a worthy challenge." He chuckles from deep in his gut. "Much more than the challenge of your coin-curse, since I know that bloodshed will be inevitable. It is the way of the hunt."

Taking a step back, M'Baku inclines his head again and even bows somewhat. "Thank you, sorcerer, for your aid. And thank you, Ghekre," he adds, looking up to the night sky, "for putting her before me." Then, he turns and begins moving through the brush further into Central Park.

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