2019-03-29 - Sketching


A chance meeting in the park as a God turns up with his horse

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Mar 30 03:37:43 2019
Location: Central Park

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Theme Song



It's late afternoon, getting on towards evening. The sun lowering, the shadows slanting longer. People hurry towards home. The Park's always busy, though, especially at Bethesda Fountain. On the steps of Bethesda Terrace, there's a young man with long brown hair working on a sketch. He's settled down to sit off to the side, but with a good view of the fountain, a roll of colored pencils open beside him. Plainly dressed in jeans and boots and a dark green long-sleeved t-shirt, black leather glove on his left hand.

Turns out one of the last century's most feared assassins has drawing as a hobby, and Buck's overcome his paranoia enough to come out on a nice spring day and indulge it.

Peter Parker, probably the smartest 18-year-old in Manhattan, isn't feeling very smart. The pizza joint told him that he was late for the last time, that they couldn't employ someone so unreliable, etc. And, of course, Peter couldn't tell them of the ten-year-old girl who had been shoved into the van, and how he had stopped the would-be kidnappers. Because Spider-Man did that, not him.

So, here he was, looking at the fountain and wondering how the devil he was going to pay the garbage bill…

Baldur, like most of the people in the park, is enjoying a lazy afternoon. Though he, unlike most of the people in the park, is doing so on horseback. Gisl is his warhorse and looks it though he's not wearing his barding. a light saddle and bitless bridle is all he's equipped with and Baldur sits easily as they slowly wander toward the fountain. Needless to say, they attract some attention but they seem oblivious to it. Baldur's wearing black jeans and boots with a tight, royal purple tee-shirt. Used to cooler climates, the warmer weather is fine for him though still a bit cool to many.

There's a breeze up today and a piece of paper is tossed across the ground towards Bucky feet where he sits. It's followed by a young woman, dusky skinned, the parts of arms that can be seen covered in tattooes. She seems to be chasing it, though it's eluding her right now.

Just as she's about to make a grab for it, she's body blocked (albeit unwittingly) by Peter who's just stepped in her way. "Oof. Sorry Sorry…" she grunts trying to dodge about him and make another grab for the flyer. Bucky can see that now, as it wraps around his boot.

The womans accent is … not clear. It's a heinz variety, one that tends to occur when one has spent time in many different places over time.

Buck doesn't startle. But he does look up from his drawing, blinking bemusedly. Dangerously oblivious, that lack of attention….but even he has to set aside his instincts, now and again. He picks the flyer off his ankle and looks at it, before realizing it's Keiko that's the one chasing it. Buck offers it to her with a mute smile….only to frown when he sees the guy on the horse. What on earth? That's no placid Park carriage horse, but a destrier out of a kids' book of King Arthur. It doesn't seem dangerous so much as ludicrous, but still…

Peter turns and looks to Keiko, also startled out of his reverie. He looks at the paper, realizing a moment before he raises one arm that HE IS NOT SPIDEY RIGHT NOW, and lowers the arm.
He watches it come to rest against the artist's boot, looking relieved that he seems cool and is willing to give it back to her, and…
There's a guy on a horse? And not a cop on horseback, either. Okay…that's happening…

Ian is, in accordance with part of his continuing agreement with SHIELD, trying to be a 'normal 20-year-old'. Except he doesn't have a cellphone in his hand, so he's already wrong. He is right in that he has a grey hoodie on, jeans, plaid shirt poking out from underneath the hoodie, and sneakers. He's /also/ watching the guy on the horse, and he's nearby…just an average-looking male, nothing particularly special about him except for his smallish eyes. WHen he talks though, it is in a Russian accent.

King Arthur wished he had a horse so fine. The horse's reins are held loosely and Baldur doesn't really seem to be directing the horse at all as it meanders among the people. At the small collision, the rider looks over and after a moment says "Hold, Gisl." Obediently, the horse comes to a halt.

The flyer is a notice for a missing kid. A seven year old girl who's been missing from several days now.

Keiko rights herself as Peter steps out of her way and takes it from Bucky, offering a small, tight, smile. "Thank y—-"

Now she sees the horse and the rider, and recognises the rider. She sighs, wondering if the Asgardian will be attacked again. It doesn't seem so. "Ho, we meet again …" she calls out. That won't startle the horse, surely? It seems well trained.

"Your sister?" Buck wonders of Keiko, looking at her for a moment. But then he's back to peering at the guy on the horse….and teasingly, he whistles a few bars of the Riders of Rohan theme, from the Lord of the Rings movies. Amused, in fact, by the sight. "Meet again?" he asks Keiko, sotto voce. "Who is that? Is there a circus in town?"

Peter is slightly puzzled. Are their horse paths here? He spent so little time on the ground these days…
He gets the feeling the lady with the tattoos and the rider know each other, but doesn't say anything immediately, just listening for now.

Ian glances over at Peter, then towards Bucky for a longer moment, before aggressively shoving his hands into his hoodie. "If its a circus, it is the worst one I have ever seen. He isn't doing any tricks."

"Well met." Baldur greets, dismounting in a single, fluid motion. "I suspected that was you." Absently, he pats Gisl's neck as he moves toward Keiko. "I trust we shall not be attacked here as well though if we are, I am, as always, ready." Not that he looks particularly ready for a fight. "Greetings mortal." he says to Bucky who seems to know the woman, at least well enough to speak with her. He's given a friendly smile that seems sincere even as it's turned on others who appear to be looking at Baldur.

"What?" Keiko's not rude when she asks that question of Bucky, it just takes her by surprise and it shows. Those close to her can see the ink on her forearms - it covers them, the most recognisable forms are a tarantula (a big one) on one arm, a grey wolf on the other. There's more, of course, but the bulk of them seem to be covered by her sleeves.

Realising the question, she shakes her head "No, not my sister. Just another missing child." If people have been paying attention to the news and the social media feeds, there's been an uptick in the number of young children missing in the last few weeks. Rewards are being offered for some, but not all families are that affluent.

"Name? Uh, Baldur, I think … I suppose you could say that I met him outside the Asgardian the other night…" There's another tight smile for the Asgardian that joins them. "Well met and I hope so as well, I've had enough of that with the WAND Agent in the last week."

WAND Agent? That should resonate with Ian and Bucky, at least.

"That is indeed a fine steed, you have there…."

Now it's Ian that's treated to Bucky's scrutiny, the good-natured amusemnt fading from his face, somewhat. Somehow, that kid's familiar….and there are still plenty of lacunae in the former Soldier's memories. But he leaves it be for the moment, after a long stare. "Yeah," he says.

Baldur gets an upnod, though the mortal in question doesn't seem inclined to get up. "Hi there," he says, affably enough. A more grim nod for Keiko - he's making no secret of the fact that he's observing the Asgardian with curiosity.

Peter looks to Keiko, then says, "Hey…can I see that flyer of yours?" He'd heard the occasional stray mention of kids going missing but that sort of thing is usually buried under the "important" conversations about hair, the New Girl and her relationship with Captain America, and how Peter had conned people into thinking she was his girlfriend.
Maybe he needs to dig a little deeper on this…

"Baldur Odinson." he agrees and half turns to smile at Gisl. "Truly. He has bore me upon his back for thousands of years and never disappointed. A finer steed I cannot imagine, nay not even Sleipnir. But what is this of a missing child?" He must not watch the news.

Keiko blinks at Peter when the question comes and hands the flyer over to him, reluctantly - probably fair given she'd just tripped over him to get it.

The girl, Maisie Adams, went missing from Berkeley Heights, eight days ago, from a grocery store. There's a picture of the moppet on the flyer of course.

Bucky's scrutiny of Ian must have scared him off, for the young man in question has turned and is heading away. That earns the SHIELD agent a slightly amused look from the asiatic woman "I think you frightened him away." The coloured pencils and paper by Bucky's side draws her notice and she tries to see what, if anything, has been rendered.

Not being well educated has it drawbacks as evidenced by the blank look that Baldur draws "Slepnir?" She hesitates before anwering his next question "Several children in the last number of weeks, or so it so it seems." To the others, this might be 'just one of those things'.

"I'm a scary guy," Buck agrees, tone utterly deadpan. There's a betraying gleam of amusement in his pale eyes, however. He looks more like a grad student than an assassin. "Odin's horse. Eight legs," he informs her, lazily.

Peter frowns. With all the stuff he's been doing, he should have picked up on this. This was…

Peter realized he was gripping the flyer tightly, enough to to tear it slightly. "How many…?" he asked quietly. "How many kids?"

"My father's eight-legged horse." Baldur explains, nodding to Bucky as he gets it in one shot. "A magnificent steed, he is." He listens to the explanation of the missing children, looking quite serious. "If it should prove to be a person responsible, you are welcome to call upon me should you need to stage an assault. Preying upon children is the work of the craven and they deserve a dishonorable death."

"I can see this…" Keiko agrees mildly with a quirk of her eyebrow. Does she believe him? Maaaaaybe not. With Peter in possession of that flyer, the tattooed woman takes up the paper Bucky had. "Are you artist then? That scares off young men?" She's teasing. "This is … very good. I would think I was here were this to hang on my wall."

Peters question gets a shrug from the woman "Seven that I've noted so far." That's not a large number is it? Not really. Kids go missing all the time. "Seven, seven and under." OK, that might be more of a concern. If she notes the youths concern, she doesn't show it.

"Does an eight legged horse run as swiftly as one with four legs, or more so? I can't decide if the extra legs are a benefit or not." It's possible she's teasing the Asgardian god, but her expression is still neutral. She nods at the offer though "It is usually a person, is it not? It's not like there's much in the way wildlife that will eat them. At least, not here."

"Not here, no," Bucky agrees, quietly. To Keiko, "….you lose someone? Or you a cop?" What's her stake in this, basically. "I assume the cops are investigating this," he adds, almost as an afterthought.

Peter looks to Keiko, then realizes he is still a stranger. "Uhm…sorry. My name is Peter. Peter Parker. I'm a photographer for the Daily Bugle. I'm just…I'm usually better at seeing this sort of thing. I don't want to trouble you about this, but…do the cops know anything?"

"Sleipnir is the fastest steed in the Nine Realms." Baldur assures Keiko. "That is unfortunately true. For all your improvements with machines, you seem to have made fewer improvements in people over the years. Mayhap, even declined. My people were very far from being like the saints of Christ but they did not prey upon their own as much as I hear about now. You are much more numerous, of course, so perhaps that accounts for it.":

Keiko's dark eyes fix on Bucky for the moment. There's nothing to her. She's just a young woman, mid twenties maybe, slight build and lots of ink. "Not personally, no and I'm not a cop. I'm a handyman." There's something personal about this but she isn't saying much. "You aren't an artist? Or you don't scare young men off? Because it's all evidence to the contrary for the latter." She deflects a little, twisting his agreement to answering her initial questions.

With both he and Peter asking similar questions, Keiko shrugs again "I assume they are, they have alerts out and I assume they are doing what they normally do. I … haven't spoken to them." It's unclear whether she will or not. Peter earns perhaps the first genuine smile from the woman "I'm Keiko. Keiko Kurita." Who's a handyman it seems.

Baldur gets a nod and a considering look. "Thank you for satisfying my curiousity. It is not just humans that prey on other humans though, is it?" Strange question, but one an Asgardian might encompass.

"Art's just a hobby," Buck says, still mildly. "And I don't generally scare young men off, no. Not that I'm tryin'a keep 'em around, either. I'm James," It's easier to go by his given name - the nickname's still too famous, all these years later. "Might wanna talk to New York's Finest," he advises her, as he starts to fit the pencils in the little slots in the sketching roll reserved for them.

Peter gives Keiko a hangdog smile. There may be an Asgardian here, but it's not like he's never met one before. Handsome, perfect, more everything than he is? High school has inadvertantly prepared him for this. But children are being preyed upon, and sorry perfect person, but children in trouble garner more attention. "Listen…I might know somebody willing to help with this."

"Not just humans, no." Baldur agrees. "The svartalfar are not known for their compassion toward each other nor the Jotun. Though by 'my people' I meant the ones you call the Norse. While there is competition in Asgard, it is mostly good natured and friendly." At least where Baldur's involved. "Sometimes tempers get heated but it's rare that ill feelings last long after a good fight followed by lots of drink." Peter's comments gets his attention and he turns to listen. "Help in finding the one responsible?"

Keiko holds on to the paper that she snagged from Bucky, not handing it back as he starts to pack up. "It's probably good that you don't scare young men off too often." beat "Or young people in general. It is nice to meet you, James. I might speak to New Yorks Finest at some time. Maybe they will find the children in question." Somehow Keiko doubts that and that comes through in her statement.

Peters hangdog look earns him another gentle smile, the admission has her canting her head. "If you know someone who might be able to find them … Perhaps they could speak to the police as well." If only she knew! Still, she hands her card over anyway. Perhaps Keiko might have an unexpected visitor at some time.

"I saw the way you and your brothers fought…" she says to the Asgardian. Clearly she thinks they were all related. Is she truly that uneducated? "Ah yes, but it's more than just humans that prey on humans, isn't it?" That's a strange thing to say, really. "I take it, despite the WAND agent having trouble, you've not been bothered by pesky Egyptian creatures, again?"

Buck's folded up his pad and pencils, but he's making no move to go. Still listening with that curiosity, a little line graven between his brows. "But you don't think they will," he says to her. Not really a question. A look at Peter, that pale stare turned on the spiderling. "Yeah? Who do you know?"

Peter nods. "The cops are currently after him, but he's a good person. He lets me take pictures of his crimefighting stuff. His name is Spider-Man. And he looks out for people. If I tell him about this, maybe he can help."
He hates having to walk around the truth like this. But small lies when the truth could get him killed? He can do that.

"Fandral is not my brother. Loki is my step brother." Baldur explains. The comment gets a curious look. "No, hardly. There are many things that prey on humans. Part of what we did was protect our people from them."Shaking his head, he answers. "No, that was the lone time though I am prepared for them now. I expect Loki will arrive at some answers and then we shall go see to it that the one responsible does not bother us again." A nod to Peter. "I have heard tales of that one. They seem to be mostly hysterics by the bigots among you who still have the ones with abilities beyond the norm. Envy and jealousy I would think."

"Spiderman …" Keiko says the name like she's testing. "The one in the papers, yes? The paper that you work for doesn't often have good things to say about him." She frowns a little, clearly wondering about it. "You should be careful with who's company you keep." That's a not a 'no' by any means, but the woman is being careful.

"So not all family then, Baldur and yet, you all seem close." That might be something Keiko can relate to. "It is good you are ready though." As to Bucky, she shakes her head "The general statistics on finding missing children aren't great in general. At least, not alive. But in this, I'm not sure but I fear not, no."

As the tone on her phone sounds, she takes it from her pocket and tries to open the screen to read it. There's a small amount of cursing under her breath as she has trouble - and not just because she's still holding Bucky's drawing. Eventually she does "I have an emergency to tend to … Do you want to keep that flyer, Peter?"

"What, he goes to your same high school?" If Cap knows Pete's secret identity, he has not yet let Buck in on the secret. Bucky's tone is only gently teasing, though. Not real mockery. He gives Keiko another of those matter of fact little nods. "Spiderkid seems like a good guy, though. So yeah, let him know. Me, I'mma tell Captain America." He is not, apparently, joking.

Peter nodded quickly. "Yeah. I'll make sure he gets it." Technically, not a lie. "I met him awhile ago. He saved my bacon. It's something of a trade off. I give him tech support, he clues me in on when he's doing his crimefighting and I get there in time to take pictures." He looked back to Keiko. "Is there a number he can reach you at, Keiko?"

"As I said, it is rare that ill feelings last beyond a good fight followed by a night or four of food and drink and merriment." Baldur tells Keiko before saying to Peter "Tell your Spider-Man that he may reach me at the embassy should he find out who is responsible." He sounds a little surprise when he asks Bucky "You know Steven?"

"Tech support?" Keiko's head snaps up at that and she peers at the youth "Do you consult to others?" Oh dear she doesn't seem to be kidding either. "This phone … is going to be the death of me." It's just a standard smart-phone, what could be so difficult? Handing him her card, she nods to it. "That's my number, it's best to try that." Otherwise, Spiderman might be able to find her around, she works about the city, anyway.

"So I should take you word for it, James?" The slight amusement is back as she addresses the SHIELD agent "It seems I'm in exalted company. A God and two men that know people." Maybe Cap and Bucky will be able to help where the police can not.

As to Baldur, Keiko nods "Speaking of drink and merriment, Lord of Light, your step brother extended such courtesy of your Embassy. If that's still on offer, I might indeed take you up on it." Not Asgardian ale, no, but something slightly less potent. With a nod those gathered, Keiko turns to go. "Someones stuck in a bathroom it seems. I am needed to free them."

Maybe that's her superpower.

"Pfffft. Do I know Steven? I *live* with Steven," Still apparently serious. Either this guy has an amazing deadpan…or at least he believes it. Bucky nods, solemnly. Ignore the gleam of mischief in his eyes.

Peter nods as he takes the card. "I do a little consulting, but I'm still in high school, so…well, make of that what you will. But I have a knack for a lot of things." He waves to Keiko as she turns away. Maybe he can do something about this.

Peter turns to Baldur, then says, "I can try…but I think the New York Police will want to try him for his crimes and punish him under the law. We have to trust the system to work…or it's a slide into anarchy."

"We fought side by side." Sort of. "You are welcome there." Baldur assures Keiko. "There are spare rooms in which you may sleep should you desire to try our mead." He considers Bucky a moment then nods. "I was not aware Steven had a shieldmate. I am pleased to meet one important to him." Peter gets a nod. "It is true that the dead can not pay recompense to the ones they have wronged." Which isn't exactly support of the justice system but close enough.

Shieldmate. The twinkle at that term….Buck nods, approvingly. "That's exactly what I am," he says, clearly pleased that Balder understands. "Have been for years. I'm gonna start introducing myself that way." Peter….Buck seems inclined to take him a little more seriously at that. "So, this mead. Is it for sale or trade here? I mean, I don't imagine that we've got a lot that Asgardians would value, but….asking for a friend." A friend with a liver of steel.

"I didn't get in your way, you mean?" Or that dragon Keiko summoned didn't flambe them. "I'll bear that in mind." Bucky may notice that she makes off with that drawing and he might find one of his pencils is missing as well. The gleam in his eye gets a look of amusement as she passes him on her way out.

"And Peter, I just need help unlocking my phone from time to time." OK it's more than that.

"I'll bear that in mind Baldur. Thank you all, for your advice."

With a wave, she makes to the pushbike locked up not far away. She's … a bit strange, really. But then, many are.

"For sale? No. But being the companion of Steven, you are welcome to come drink with us. In fact, as some of us are members of the Avengers, we should hold a feast for them and their mates that you are welcome to attend." Baldur decides. "We shall hunt a boar for the feast. The cook will be pleased as she hasn't had a boar to prepare in many months."

Peter nodded, then folded the flyer and stuck it in his pocket. "I should get going. Spider-Man needs to know about this, right now…" He nodded to Bucky and Baldur, then said, "I'm sorry…I need to get going."

That makes James's brows climb for his hairline. "Wow, really?" Hs is visibly impressed. "Thanks. I'll let Steven know. He's a busy guy, but I know he can fit an invite from the Embassy in. He's very diplomatic."

Peter gets a sidelong look. "I wish you luck, kid. It can be damned tough, being a superhero's friend."

"Gisl." Baldur says and the horse who had wandered over to the grass to nibble on it, looks up and then walks over. "Fare well, friends. I am pleased to have met you both. If you have need, you may call upon me." Giving them a smile, he mounts and says "We shall return home." seemingly to the horse who then turns and starts walking in the direction of the embassy.

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