2019-03-30 - A Day At The Museum


Hod goes in search of information about the Scarab. Jean acts as his 'assistant'

Log Info:

Storyteller: koa-turner
Date: March 20, 2019
Location: New York Museum of Natural History

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Theme Song



Cities are the bane and the flavor of Hod's entire exsistence. They are to bright, to loud, to busy, to … alive for him to feel ever completely at ease in them as he does alone in a dessert or amid the ocean's swells. That said, they provide the one thing he's always craved but never been able to find, a connection. The bigger the city, the more common the connections one can make, fragile, glass thread brittle, but connections. So for every arid wasteland or lifeless void of nature he's wandered through he's always managed to spend more time in cities by a factor or ten. And New York is one hell of a city.

The silvered can tip clicks occasionally when it strikes the ground, though mostly it rasps as it's metal cap swings back and forth in front of him like a metronomes arm. "So I'm not sure how much you managed to pluck from my noggin while you were putzing about in there, but I should make a few things pretty clear. I try very very very hard not to get involved in the sort of shit I'm about to get involved in. My nature, such as it is, is to respond to a great many situations with violence. Family trait. You are here so that it doesn't come to that… which I should point out is different then stopping it should it occur. Sometimes you just gotta grab a man by the figs and squeeze until truth comes out, my experience? Never takes more then twelve seconds. Except that one time in Mongolia. But I don't talk about that. Those guys were nuts." he pauses, "Heh. Nuts."

The hipstery chic blind man turns and begins to make his way towards the entrace to the museum, effortlessly mounting the stairs as if he /could/ see them. His train of thought monologue hurled Jean's direction coming to a sudden stop when he pauses and cocks his head to the side as if listening for something. "Well. That's both convienent and not. Our fella is over there with those boys." he points with his cane in the sort of general direction of a small knot of chatting yuppy academic types.

'Our Fella' is a rather distinguished looking man with a receding hairline, a tan suit and a bowtie. Everything about him screams 'professor', or possibly researcher. And he is indeed chatting to what appears to be some of his compatriots.

"I am looking forward to your lecture next weekend, Doctor Redfield."

"I'm looking forward to giving it." The Doctor replies with the calm assurance of a man both in his element and at the top of his world. He is not paying attention to anything around him beyond this little circle. Though that's probably about to change.

"I didn't dig," Jean notes, hands in her pockets as she follows along. She has a knack for looking fairly ordinary, or at least girl-next-door, in jeans and a t-shirt with a light jacket to ward off any evening chill. Like maybe she's doing some honor society community service by helping the poor blind man. "It's rude to dig. It's somehow rude to pick things up by accident, even, which is awkward sometimes. To be honest, the level of rude is kind of debatable in comparison to fig-squeezing, but it's certainly more discreet."

She quirks a brow over at her companion, looking between him and the indicated group. "Just out of curiosity, what exactly is it we're getting involved in?"

One of the 'boys' next to Redfield is a small, slender woman. So small and slender, she looks … young. Young enough to be his, or one of the others, daughters perhaps. An effect that's only amplified by the jeans and the T-Shirt she wears and the way her hair is pulled up in a simple pony tail.

"The Doctor will be speaking on the mysteries that were undercovered in the last expedition we mounted to Egypt." she adds. "It's really quite fascinating, what we found there and I'm including that in my Doctorate." No, she's definitely a 'child', despite her stature.

The dark brown eyes look out over the stairs to the man with the cane and the redhead, before letting her gaze slide right on past. Just more visitors to the museum, right?

In the days since assisting the two sorcerers with that creature that seemed to be from Muspelheim, Sif has not been able to shake the feeling that she really needs to do more about it. What did the man call the fiery bird? Ee-jip-shun? That is how it sounded. Without access to Asgard's library and the mages who curate the information held within, she has only one option: Seek out the information she desires here on Midgard.

Her first stop, one of the Midgardians who assist in the embassy to find out what that word even means. When she inquired as to where she could find record of Ee-jip-shun, she was directed to a great edifice called a museum.

Walking slowly and wariliy up the steps, she has yet to recognize the man with the cane and starts to step around him and his red-haired companion to proceed into the building.

Hod shakes his head, "You don't wanna know. You're only here for translational services, if things get dicey, you bolt. Hard. Fast. Take one of the two paths I mapped out for you, you'll be clear and lost in less then a block, no one could follow them." he takes a deep breath, "Some things might happen or be said… try not to judge me to harsly girl. I get enough bad press as it is." and then they're upon the group.

"Dr. Redfield." he says, addressing the air just to the right of the man and extending a calloused hand with faint tattoo's along it's knuckles, "I couldn't help but overhear you collegue call you by name and I admit, it was you I was coming here today to see." he lets that metaphor drop dead there on purpose to make polite people uncomfortable, "Might I steal a moment of your time? I'm told you are the very man who has the answers to my questions about some very specific Egyptological queries." somewhere between his last word to Jean and his first word to the Dr, Hod's accent has become a perfect Oxford posh English without any warning to anyone.

Doctor Mance Redfield turns to look at the person hailing him. Around him the little group of academics chuckles. "Sounds like you have some questions to field. We'll see you later. Always a pleasure Mance. Laura." That second one is apparently to the woman.

Mance himself give Laura a look as if to say 'did we have an appointment today? I don't remember us having an appointment.'

"Well I am one of the formost experts on Egypt and Egyptian things. I don't think I caught your name, Mister.. Miss…?" Yes he caught that Jean is seemingly with him but the relationship between the two is as yet unclear. However his proclamation on being an expert in Egyptians is one that Sif will quite clearly hear…

« For the record, I'm an omega level telekinetic who's been fighting things including giant robots since I was, like, fourteen, » Jean notes to Hod, keeping up the facade of being just a friendly student helper with a polite smile toward the doctor and those around him. « I'm pretty good at handling myself. » Her seven whole years of experience are no doubt very impressive to the Asgardian. She'll let him do the talking for now though, instead carefully lowering some of her shields to start picking up on the ambient thoughts and feelings of those around her.

With eyes focused on the building's entrance, Sif walks right past Hod and Jean. But then she hears someone say the word she's hunting and she stops dead to turn and look at the shrinking knot of people that include the man with the cane.

Eyes narrowing, she walks closer to the academic, the two Midgardian women, and the invalid. Perhaps one of them can help her find out more about Ee-jip-shun. And if not, well, that's what her blades are for.

"Matthew. I'm sure we'll be by your office before we start." Laura responds to the man now departing then shakes her head to the Doctor, her ponytail flipping a little as she does.

"Laura Morrison, Sir…" she steps forward, just a half step in front of Mance - almost protectively - and holds out a hand. Oh, he's blind, right then - his assistant then, the redhead, gets a look from her. "How can Doctor Redfield help you? I'm afraid we've a rather busy schedule to keep to today." She makes room for the dark haired woman to slip by if she wants to.

«Good for you, everyone should have a label these days, very popular. I'm a single hetero white male 'millenial',» there's a tone on the word in his mind that somehow makes it a joke but also not, «who's family tends to play in the sorts of circles that like to show their displeasure by smiting populaces with plagues and natural disasters so measure your lady boner against someone elses yardstick. I'm not what I once was and I can't protect you if shit gets real. It's not your fight. You translate, I get what I want, no one dies, you don't get super herpes, and I'll buy you a giant sundae afterwards. With all the fudge. Promise.» it would sound patronizing but there's real concern in his mental tone. He honestly wants her gone if shit should kick off in any unexpected way.

Hod has not been home in 2 and a half millenia, unlike the others, he's aged a bit, a handful of silver hairs in his beard, his hair, lines on his face that shouldn't be there. He looks at least a decade older then his twin, and he's grown his hair out, affected mortal bodylanguage, affectations, honestly, recognizing him without knowing who he was first would be just shy of a miracle.

He shakes the girl's hand, "Hotherus," the pronunciation on the word is distinctly Scandinavian though his accent still says posh Brit, "fellow historical researcher and possessor of a doctorate from Oxford, I was hoping to question you about a recent find of my own. My expertese lays more in the spread of Viking influence through the world and not Egyptology. However I have made a small discovery who's importance I'm not certain of." bait that hook buddy. Idly, he's betting that Redfield won't remember the very rarely used broken version of his actual name. What are the chances anyone would remember? It's only recorded a single time in all of historical documentation.

The surface thoughts coming from Redfield are not especially pleasant. He's rather dismissive and despite his mild demeanour she can sense that he has already judged this interaction beneath him. There's also a lingering something in his surface thoughts. An occasional breath of the phrase 'hermes trismegistus praesidio'. It comes up every minute or so in his surface thoughts, as if he has trained himself to think on it regularly.

The indication that 'Hotherus' is an academic causes him to relax but that arrogance doesn't relent one bit.

"Ordinarily I like to have an appointment so that I can fully devote my attention to the discovery in question." Sure he does. That's definitely the reason. "However since you're here and you've come all this way, I can certainly give you a bit of my time."

How gracious. "Who is your… friend? Assistant?" That means Jean.

No, Redfield doesn't seem to make note of any connections to the name but then… he actually knows someone who is a lot more studied than he in some areas. SHE very well might…

Sif gets a backward glance as if to say 'yessssss?' but he doesn't actually say anything. Not yet.

« Gods are douches, noted. » Jean's response is somewhat distracted, as is her smile toward Laura. Lowering her shields means opening herself up to…Well, New York is a city of over eight million people, and even with blocks in place on her telepathy, there are still quite a few minds in her immediate vicinity. It's something like trying to decide which conversation to listen to in a stadium full of people…if you could also clearly hear every single one of them.

"I do apologize, I know schedules are very tricky," she murmurs to the other girl. "It's just so hard to get him out sometimes, so many extra levels of arranging transportation and the like, you know? I'm Annie," she answers Redfield politely. "I'm just the professor's mobility assistant, really." She carefully dials in not only on Redfield, but also on his assistant and the approaching woman.

Laura frowns slightly at the name that Hod gives, shaking his hand firmly before retracting hers. "Hotherus. Don't tell me your discovery was a spear made of mistletoe." It's a slight barb and Jean can sense the … need … from the young woman to prove herself.

Her mind is far from the arrogance of Redfield. It's diligent and loyal and incredibly organised.

Glancing back to Redfield, Laura makes decision "I think we can squeeze a few minutes, right now, Doctor Redfield." back to 'Annie', as she holds out her hand "It's a pleasure to meet you and don't be sorry, I know what it's like." Wrangling 'older' men, that is.

As for Sif, Laura gives her another glance to make sure the interruption isn't about to be interrupted.

Sif is about to take the bit of space Laura made for her to pass by so she can stop again somewhere within easy hearing distance, but the the invalid introduces himself and she hesitates. Why does the name sound almost Aesir? Mentally resolving to stick to her eavesdropping, she is just a step or two past the small group — letting Jean get a glimpse of an odd, intricately embossed metal-shell backpack on her back with what could pass for a sword handle peeking over the top of it — when the Ee-jip-shun expert's handmaiden says something completely unmistakeable.

She stops again and looks at the back of Laura's head with an expression of deep suspicion. How in the Nines does this infant of a Midgardian know about that prophesy? She is very sorely tempted to draw her sword and ask. Perhaps less than politely.

Hod taps his cane on the step they all share, "I'm blind, but I have /excellent/ hearing I promise you." he says in a wry tone to Laura and 'Annie' both, making a smirk of the expression to show he's just messing with them. "Actually that is a common bit of misinformation. Hotherus' spear was not made of mistletoe, though the prophecy certainly makes it sound that way. If only more of the original writings had survived we'd know more." if only he'd not spent nearly a century in a rage fueled burning frenzy involving every copy of them that he could discover after uncovering their exsistence on Midgard. That'd be a more accurate lament. He manages to hide his pain and anger at the mention of the spear from anyone who can't read minds, to those who can, the dropping of that detail gets a distinct reaction from inside the fallen god.

"Please, lead the way, it's likely best that I do not attempt to find a place on my own, heaven only knows where we'd end up in that case." he offers Laura a knowing smile as he assumes the 'learned' girl would clearly have gotten the little academic joke he made there. You know. Keeping in the theme of pretending he's some fake god from ages back or whatever.

"If it is…" Mance Redfield chuckles. "Then your expertise is needed more than mine, Laura. My focus is quite narrow compared to yours."

She does know a LOT of things. But then, she is a 'Lorekeeper' or at least that's what Jean will get from his head as she focuses in. Lorekeeper. And an expert in abjurations. Seventh Degree Initiate in the secrets of Hermes Trisegistus.

Why do these NOT sound like scholarly disciplines?

While Laura is paying attention to Jean at least somewhat Mance has again dismissed her. 'Just' an assistant. Well, he IS something of a jerk. This is something that even he seems aware of on some level though… not enough to change it.

"The tale is that of the death of Baldur, yes? Sun god, as I recall." That's more to Laura than anyone else though Jean or Hod (or Sif) might answer. Sif knows that this is indeed the gist of that prophesy. That Hod - a name indeed somwhat like the one given - will begin the events that lead to Ragnarok.

Rather than lead them back to an office - which is fairly deep and would take more time than he really wants, Doctor Redfield takes the group just inside and off to one side. There's some tables for sitting down and he avails himself of one. Not so far though that they can't be, oh, heard.

"So, what IS this discovery you have made and why do you think I can help you with its significance?"

Hopefully this is not yet interrupted by sword wielding Sif.

Jean picks up on the spike of reaction from Sif to Laura's words, passing both that and a mental image of the backpack and sword hilt along to Hod. She's not quite sure what part the other woman plays, but she doesn't seem to be an idle passer-by. "Whichever senses are working, they'd have no need for us if it weren't for the ones that don't," she empathizes with a wry smile of her own, taking Laura's hand in a brief, polite grip before she moves to stand at Hod's elbow once more. Just in case he needs 'guidance.'

« What's a Hermes Trismegistrus? » she asks Hod as she helps him into a chair. « I mean, I know who Hermes is, but I didn't take enough Latin for the other part. Either these people are serious hard-core gamers, or they're…actual mages of some sort? »

Quietly, cautiously, she begins to insert the suggestion that Sif isn't present to both Redfield and Laura. Hod can keep seeing the woman, but if she's an ally of the other two, they don't need to be able to count on her, and if she's not, it would be better if she didn't spook them.

"Then we shall…" Laura gives Hod a look that he can't see, Annie will - the small smirk that says she knows the game he's playing. "And it is indeed a shame that few of the writings actually exist. You know I heard a story that Hotherus himself came to Midgard and tried to destroy them so he wouldn't be made to harm his brother on accident."

Is she just making that up? Annie can tell it's true that she heard that story, but not that she believes it.

She gestures for Annie and Hod to precede her as they make their way inside. "I'm interested in what it is you require the Doctors expertise for."

Sif's attention is pulled to the invalid when he quips right back at Laura, her eyebrows drawing together in a faint frown as she tries to figure out why he seems familiar. She's still trying to puzzle it out when the Ee-jip-shun expert and his handmaiden move to enter the building and she has to step quickly to get otu of their way. It's almost as if…

She hastily looks down at herself. No illusion of invisibility, so why did they? Then she rushes to catch up with the group and slip after them through the open doorway.

She sticks close behind the red-haired woman and the invalid to try and make it look like she's part of their group even if the other two are acting like she's no longer there, breathing an invective near-silently to herself in Vanir.

«It's not about Hermes like you think. We're entering the realm of insetuous nameing. Man have I got some cousins with some names… I could tell you /stories/ girl.» there's a literal mental whistle in his head. Not a wolf whistle, more like the sound of a bomb dropping. «Hermetic magician, which frankly, fits some of what we're here to learn abo… I'm sorry. Rewind. Show me the sword hilt again. Now!» under her fingers Hod has physically tensed, a thing that could easily be mistaken for a blind man trying to sit on a chair he can't see.

As he takes his seat, Hod takes a deep breath through his nose, beginning to filter out all the scents of New York and trying to pick up on anything nearby that shouldn't be there. He's already doing mental risk reward analysis on another Asgardian being nearby at /this/ exact moment. «We are in trouble. We are about to be in more trouble. This could go /very/ poorly. Remember what I said, I drop the word, you leave me behind.» The scent of fresh grown wheat on a warm spring day wafts past Hod and he swallows once. Well. Fuck.

He hessitates for a long moment, trying to think of a way out of this… and comes up with nothing. But he still needs to /know/ things! "I have questions about a golden scarab recently discovered as part of an exsisting collection, though it's provinence seems to be missing entirely. It's as if it showed up out of nowhere." he sounds sheepish, but mostly he's trying not to freak out that Sif is at his back and waaaaaaay to close for his comfort.

Jean sends the image of the backpack and hilt to Hod again, sharpening the image. « I'm hiding her from them right now. Should I be hiding you from her? I'm just saying, I could probably be more helpful if I had half a clue about what's going on. » She makes sure Hod is in his chair, then idly paces a half a step behind him, as if distracted by another display. Although it does put her conveniently between him and Sif.

Sif is indeed seemingly no longer there so far as Mance is concerned. She could in fact, stand right behind him pulling faces and he would placidly continue as though nothing out of the ordinary were happening.

"Scarabs. Those were popular little baubles at various points in history. I don't suppose you have it with you do you? The symbology on them is quite interesting or can be. I've studied a number of them here. In fact I've recently examined some for the museum here. They're often associated with death and shadows and the underworld in their role as devourers of flesh. Sometimes that's seen as almost a positive thing but often not. The Egyptians were very interested in keeping their dead intact."

Hod is blind of course but Jean and Sif will both notice as Mace takes out a small pad of paper and traces part of pattern on it before quietly moving it over to Laura so she can complete it.

It might look a bit like some kind of charm. Which might match with the muttered latin 'cognitionis secretum praesidio…' Is what Jean can hear in Mance's mind, repeated over and over and over like a mantra.

These two are defintely not normal scholars. Perhaps uber DnD nerds at best but that seems… unlikely given the circumstances.

Sif indeed can't be seen by Laura and the woman has quite forgotten about her. There's enough people in and out of the museum that it doesn't seem to bother her the woman is no longer around.

"Did you say Scarab?" She falls silent as Redfield hands the pad to her and she completes the sigil easily enough, adding her own mutters to the proceedings. Jean, gets the glimpse of "a cone" surrounding them. Something to enforce their privacy perhaps?

"It's interesting, Sir, that you found a Golden Scarab in a collection. As Doctor Redfield says, we had the privilege of hosting some here recently." There's suspicion in her mind. Jean gets the image of a collection in the museum and one slot empty. Stolen? Yes, that's the flavour she's getting.

Sif takes a small step back as 'Annie' interposes herself as if to shield the invalid. And yet, the other two continue to behave as if she is hidden by an illusion, making odd marks on paper even. Giving the redhead a brief glare, she walks around the table to stand behind Mace and Laura, mostly so she can resume scrutinizing the invalid claiming to be Hotherus.

If there's one thing she learned and learned well from her many adventures with Thor, his sorcerer sibling, and others, it's that the quickest way to destroy an invisibility illusion is to speak aloud.

She's just still trying to puzzle out who cast it, and why the two seated at the table seem to be the only ones affected.

Hod is ignoring the shit out of Sif!! See!? SEE HOW HARD HES IGNORING HER!? He hasn't looked at her even once. Ahem. "Then it is a good thing I chose to come here and speak with you inparticular." Hod says, perking up a bit as if having heard good news. "Sadly I do not have it with me, as it could not leave the lab, but I have brought a photograph… assuming my intern did not think it hilarious to once more take a picture of something uncoth and pass it off to me as what I asked for." he pulls a photo from inside his jacket and slides it across the table. "Scarab, yes?" he sounds hopeful. Being blind is a real pain occasionally.

«Be careful. Unless I'm wrong, and dollars to doughnuts I'm not, that's one of my cousins now, and she's um… remember my comment about violent tendancies running in the family? That. She's that.»

There is a wave of worry that passes from Mance and he looks over at Laura with an expression that says 'uh oh'.

"Yes, Scarab. Um. This is an interesting specimen. Fine workmanship. Second dynasty if I'm not mistaken which places it at somewhere between five thousand and forty seven hundred years old. Remarkably well preserved…" He's pointing quietly to markings on the scarab itself, indicating them to Laura. Yeah. Those look like symbols similar to the ones that Jean and Sif (though they don't know she's there) just saw. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure that they might ALSO be magic, if there is indeed actual magic at play here.

And there's a marking on the shell that Mance really hopes Jean doesn't notice that indicates it's the property of the museum.

So… stolen? Was it really?

"No provenance though. If you were to bring it back I'm sure we could figure something out." So very nervous. Those markings? Yeah Laura knows they don't mean anything good.

« Please don't. » Jean's voice echoes quietly in Sif's mind as she reads the other woman. « Hi. Redhead speaking. I'm not one hundred percent sure what the hell is going on here, but it seems like those two are some sort of mages who may or may not be friendly. I'm cloaking you from them in case things go sideways. You seem like the sort of person I'd rather be hitting them than me. » In the background, she keeps a quiet link going to Hod, sharing what she's picking up from the mages.

Thoth Laura can't keep the name from her mind as she looks at the Scarab. The images they just drew and the one on the Scarab float through her mind. This really isn't very good. Not at all. There's images of other people that start to coalesce in her mind - though Jean can't get a clear of picture right away.

"The Museum would certainly like to take a look and we might even pay you handsomely for it, if we can authenticate and you wished to part with it." She's smooth, nervous but smooth. And if the bauble truly was stolen, as the markings might indicate, why on earth is she offering to buy it back?

"Was there something in particular you wished to know about it?"

The sheer unexpected shock of a foreign voice inside her mind has Sif reaching to pull her sword. Thankfully, the redhead seems to have anticipated that reaction by identifying herself, and Sif pauses, though her hand remains on the sword's hilt. « Norns. So you are the sorceress here. I was advised to seek out this building to find information on Ee-jip-sun. »

Her eyes flick toward Hod then back to Jean. « Who is the invalid? » She's still bothered by the fact that he seems so familiar to her.

Hod stiffens a little bit, though at who's words is a question for philosophers and priests at this point, "And this is where we devolve into a bit of a sticky wicket." he says, his tone sacren and appologetic in the extreme as he juggles two conversations at the same time. "I told you my personal expertise, so imagine my shock when an embassy opened up lately… I took a satelite possition with them. And thus my confusion when this was located on the grounds. You see my predicament?" walk that razor wire buddy, walk it hard.

"Perhaps someone in that embassy collects memorabilia?" Mance ventures, now eyeing Hod, not that Hod will know, and then Jean. He's starting to become ever so slightly suspicious, that much is clear to the redheaded telepath.

"I see. You and your… mobility assistant? Well I can tell you that this particular piece is fairly dire. All about consuming the light and there are markings on it that invoke Apep. Ra's enemy."

He turns to look at Laura. "Come to think of it, Ra is kind of like Baldur from that story you were mentioning. Only he doesn't die by mistletoe."

"Anyway the inscription is fairly dire but I'm sure it's nothing to worry about."

He's going to try that line but Laura (and Jean) will know that he's starting to suspect it won't work.

The inscription of the Scarab is really quite bad and Laura can't hide her disquiet from Jean. "This is correct, Ra and Baldur are Lords of Light in the different Pantheons." she seizes upon that explanation "And we haven't, as yet, been able to authenticate the rest of the collection."

Rubbish. They have and Jean gets that well and truly.

"Was the scarab placed there as decoration, in the Embassy I mean? Perhaps it was meant as a gift?"

"Well, I mean, it's just stories, right?" Jean turns a wry smile on the mages, turning back toward them. "I mean, sure, there were reasons why people back then believed in that sort of thing, but it was probably just because of an eclipse or something. It's not like some old piece of jewelry is going to actually start…I don't know, eating the sun or something, is it?" As if that's just the silliest thing she's ever heard. Silly stupid ancient people who figured out how to build pyramids without machines. "I mean, that's some ancient aliens level stuff," she chuckles, setting a hand to Hod's shoulder.

"Authenticate, you mentioned," she continues to Laura. "And the…rest of the collection? So it wouldn't be a unique find, then?"

In the background, she half answers Sif. « To be honest, he didn't give me a name, but that's not unusual in the whole capes and masks crowd. Why are you looking for information on Egyptian things? Did the embassy send you because of this thing? »

« This thing? » Sif looks at the redhead a bit confusedly, then looks down at the photo the two academics have been studying and ohs aloud very faintly.

« No. I was not sent here because of a bauble. I was in the Park in the Center, and a great fiery bird was wreaking havoc, sending smaller flame spawn to set things ablaze. I assisted two other sorcerers in vanquishing the beast, and there was mention of it being Ee-jip-shun. » Without really intending to, a mental image of the flame bird and its chicken-like smaller iterations crosses Sif's mind, along with a glowing blue dragon-like shape, two Midgardians standing on the ground nearby, and a third Midgardian FLYING with flames at her back.

« The Sorcerer Agent mentioned Baldur in conjunction, so I thought it prudent to learn what I can. » She doesn't have Aesir scholars to rely on currently after all. R

Hod lets out a long slow sigh and reaches up to push the glasses that cover his eyes back up on his face, keeping them from slipping down, "Well then." he says before his accent drops away and he speaks with unaccented American, his voice dropping from a friendly unthreatening reedy academic to something darker and deeper, "This is getting us nowhere and I am tired of playing games." «She may make a move for me, if she does, flee. We're done at that point, but I am out of patience.»

Hod reaches out with a fingertip and presses it to the tabletop, "Point of clarification, Hodr did not commit himself to exile because of the protestations of some old biddie loon, but rather was hurtled from Asgard by his father, the righteous prick that he is." he says to Laura before turning his attention onto Mance, "Point of clarification, Hodr, a god of darkness and hidden things, loves his twin brother and would never harm him, prohecies be damned." he leans closer and the picture of the scarab who's corner is currently pinned to the table by his fingertip suddenly grows an impressive coating of frost, then the color's desaturate, then it cracks, then crumbles away into snowflakes or small piles of frozen ash, "Point of clarification, someone used Hodr's own realm to attack his brother in his own home, making it a personal affront on multiple levels. So." he puffs his cheeks out, sending the small pile of ash dusting in the direction of the two magicians, "Hodr now has a bone to pick with Thoth and his acolytes, and wouldn't you know it," blind man or not, he seems to be staring right at the pair, one, then the other, "he's found one of the two now." he lets out a sigh, "You know, I used to be so much more patient, I was renown for it. Calm. Stoic even. I have no idea where all that went. I blame social media personally." So. That happened.

Mance's hand curls into something that roughly approximates 'throwing horns' as that frost starts to form. Does he look worried. Yes. He looks worried. And, Jean will note, he feels so much less arrogant. That might actually be a nice feeling for her.

"And would you be Hodor or his representative?" He doesn't mean the fictional character though damned if the names aren't kind of similar.

Though that probably means the bag is seriously devoid of cats when it comes to Sif.

Mance glances at Laura. "Alright. We had the scarab. It was part of a collection of artifacts we aquired for the museum. Three days later it went missing from the museum's collection though no one seemed to really notice. It was an easy thing to miss to be fair if you don't know exactly what you're looking for." Beat. "We didn't have anything to do with the attack, if that's what you're implying."

Now… so far as Jean can tell that's true. But that's not the ENITRE truth. There's a rush of nevousness there that goes beyond the words spoken.

Laura's mouth forms a silent 'oh' as Hod reveals his true nature. "Well now my Lord, no one really knows the reason for your … leaving Asgard. I guess now, I do, though." She's a little less rattled than Mance, but only a little. There is an academic interest to be sure.

"There were other things in the collection, Annie. The scarab may indeed be unique. I didn't get long enough to find out though." Vances look gets a sigh as he starts to spill the truth "The only people who had access were the Doctor, myself and five others. All members of our … order."

The fear now is real as it radiates out from her. Oh, yes, she just admitted that it was stolen by a member of their order.

It's probably for the best that Hod has dropped the charade, because when Sif shares the images of the Phoenix, there's a wave of terror off of Jean that echoes in all of their minds, accompanied by a sudden burst of telekinetic energy in a circle out from her that's enough to rattle the table and chairs. Suddenly having the subject of a lifetime of nightmares front and center in your waking mind will do that to a girl.

The cloak over Sif falters for a moment, though in a breath she's locked down the panic and restored it. Perhaps since the warrior is behind the mages, they won't notice. And maybe, if she's lucky, they'll think the terror and the wave of force were on purpose.

"So would you like to tell us which one stole it before he gets any more mad?" she asks Mance, arching a brow. He does look like he's going to be the first one to fold.

Sif let go of her sword when she moved to look at the scarab picture, so seems to have calmed a bit. But when Hod stops playing nice and reveals who he is, she's too shocked to do more than stare wide-eyed at the blind man. "Hodr? How are you still alive? Heimdall could not find you, we all thought you de—."

The abrupt telekinetic wave from Jean startles Sif again (this Midgard is a FAR less predictable place than she was told) and she again reaches for her sword. She lets it go again almost as quickly, though, as the two academic mages begin to relate what they know, and the rehead prods them for further information. If they can perhaps explain who would have dared to attack Baldur and why, she's more than willing to help Hod and his Midgardian with gleaning the information from this pair.

To that end, if either of them so much as shift their weight in their respective chairs, she'll drop a hand on one shoulder of each of them, to encourage further honesty and cooperation.

Hod rocks a bit in his chair and he flails in an almost undignified manner. When the blind guy gets shoved by unseen forces it's a little harder to orient himself. He turns to glare at Jean for a moment before turning back to the others, "Twenty-five hundred years," he says in his native tongue, only Sif will understand, "not a whisper from any of you, now two in one week. This Realm is going to shit." then he's back to English again, 'gaze' setteling on the pair of magi heavily. "Thoth? Please. That guy is such a nerd it's frankly disheartening. Don't get me wrong, as far as us darkness gods go he's prolly best case senerio, most of them are all… you should read up on your Japanese pantheon and invenst in adult diapers. You'll need 'em." he conjures an image in his head for Jean to see, a man with a receding hair line partaking in a ritual involving blood letting and pentagrams, "This is an image of the man who imbued the scarab with power. I need information on him, where the ritual took place, and the names of the other members of your … what are you calling it? A cabal? Coven? Quilting circle? Whatever." he snaps his fingers, "Book club. It's book club, isn't it?"

"Now, now, name-calling isn't really necessary," Jean drawls, a faint smirk tugging at one corner of her lips when Hod goes off. Apparently she finds his ire much more amusing when it's directed at someone else. As he speaks, she shares the image to the others, watching and listening for their reactions.

The flicker in Sif's aura of 'don't notice me' doesn't reveal her to Mance though it almsot does as her voice starts. And then goes. The nice thing about that kind of illusion is that while Jean's concentration holds, Sif could play swing music and Mance wouldn't notice.

"I do not know who took it. I have my suspicions but seeing, my Lord, as how you're rather upset by this I'd rather not offer up a fellow Hermetic to be a sacrifice to your wintery wrath. Not without being sure. Thoth, as you name him, has not seen fit to grant us this knowledge as yet. If you're in a greater hurry than that, perhaps you'd care to take the matter up with him yourself."

So not quite a name but it does seem that he's telling the truth. He doesn't know. He's fairly sure it's not Laura, but it could in theory be any of the other five.

He does shift his weight slightly and then… no. He'd rather stay here. The presence of Hod and his assistant is an almost oppressive physical weight on his shoulder.

Because, you know, he doesn't know Sif is there.

"If you're Hod then are you Idunn?" That's to Jean. "I was unaware she had such… intimidating abilities." He deduced that the fear and wave came from her. Though not why. He does assume that yes that was on purpose.

"That… I do not know that man. The place he is in though, that is our meeting place. It's under an apartment tower in Hell's Kitchen. Our Sanctum, if you will. Though… it does not have a pentagram." Beat. "Or did not last I looked. Laura, have we had a pentagram installed?"

Vance might be the one to cave first. Laura certainly seems more intrigued than frightened. Well, she is frightened but not as much as her 'supervisor'. Is the redhead Idunn? She's not sure, but she might be.

The woman starts when the warrioress places her hand on her shoulder. Jean will get imagery she'd probably rather not.

"We don't kno—-" She blinks as the image of the redheaded man with a receding hairline appears in her mind. She looks at Mance and then at the angry, impatient, God "That's not one of ours, I'm almost certain. But the Doctor is correct it is our temple and no, we do not have a pentagram. What on earth would need one of those for?"

"Perhaps it has more to do with the Embassy established in this city," Sif replies to Hod in the same language he used. She keeps her hands on the shoulders of the pair while they continute to reveal what they know, though she can't help the stray thought that crosses her mind.

What in Hel is a 'pentagram'?

"Hod, you know that your brother is also here on Midgard, yes? And that someone attacked him recently?" That's what started HER on this path, it's got to be why Hod is suddenly here as well.

Hod hangs his head, "Of course I know." he says simply before turning his attention back onto the devotees of Thoth, "Well the good news is now I know where you little lair thingie is, so I'm going to drop by, attempt to maybe find out something useful. If you hear anything," he stands and the shadows in the room seem to swell slightly as he does so, "anything at all, please feel free to call." he glances, "Annie, would you care to give them my business card?" he asks, smirking a bit. «You are /super/ useful to have around. I'm doubling your sundae allowance. Imma need to buy a bananna farm at this rate.»

"I'll arrange for Laura to make sure that someone is there to assist you." Mance says rising. Or trying to. He eventually settles for sliding off the side of his chair awkwardly and THEN rising.

"Laura see to it. Perhaps if you two would like to arrange a personal conversation with our Lord… Laura can arrange that later. In the meantime…"

He looks around. "It was nice to meet you. Let's not do this again though. Not quite like this, anyway." And then - still not seeing Sif, he heads off, deeper into the Museum.

Jean quirks a brow at Redfield's question, another flicker of amusement crossing her features as she declines to answer that particular question. Probably best to let them wonder. She does produce a pair of cards, passing one to each of the mages. "No hard feelings, I hope," she adds in an undertone to Laura, smile faint. "You know how they get."

« I'll settle for a sundae with a side of explanation,» she adds to Hod. « Because there has got to be so much more to all of that. »

Sif lets go of Laura after Redfield sidles out from under her hand, and lets the two mages leave. She then looks from Hod to Jean and back, her sword having never been pulled, and finally settles on unwittingly saying almost the exact same thing as the redhead.

"I feel that an explanation is in order, Hodr."

Hod stands and lifts the cane from the table, letting it roll through his fingers once, "Learn to live with disappointment Sif," he says simply, and when the cane comes down into contact with the floor, there's a hollow 'boom' that seems to reverbirate and the cane grows of it's own accord into a tall spear of ebony and silver, "like I have." and then the lights dim to bare flickers.

When they come back up, a thing that takes only a handful of seconds, Hod is gone. A single $100 rests on the table beneath a coupon for a dessert of choice from Baskin Robbins. It's a whole 10% off!

Jean looks to the money. Looks to Sif. Does a quick scan for Hod…Then shrugs and pockets money and coupons. Take what you can get!

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