2019-04-08 - There Will Be Ten


After leaving the Blue Beetle and the Bug, Koa and Keiko debrief on the Nightfall.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Apr 8 00:00:00 2019
Location: WAND Headquarters

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Theme Song



The Triskelion is a large building with a circular cap and three large towers connected at various points. The landing pad that the Blue Beetle dropped them off on the roof and Koa escorted Keiko into an elevator. From there it was down forty floors and off into a section of office and lab space that honestly seemed little used.

"I know it's around here somewhere. Where is it today…. ah."

Koa opens what looks like a storage closet though on the other side of it is a shimmering field of energy that takes up the entire frame.

"Right then. In we go."

Emerging out the other side the whole space looks like a castle, with stonework and computers seemingly crammed into a number of spaces. A large pentacle takes up the center of the floor. There's Agents - some of them rather odd looking - moving here and there. Watching screens and taking reports and generally monitoring things.

Koa turns right and heads up the stairs. Stairs that should not exist in this three story room given where it was in the building.

"Let's do this in my office, shall we Miss Kurita?"

Keiko's still dark about the mechanical scarab 'chipping' her as Koa leads her through the Triskelion to his … office. The building is impressive enough to have her gazing around but there's still an amount of discomfit to her presence here.

"What do you mean, where is it today?" She mutters, following the Agent into the storage closet and then up the stairs. "Oh, I see…" It's not that she's not impressed, she really is, with the level of magic that hides this place. "Did we transport somewhere, Agent? Or is this a pocket dimension?" Technology might trip her up, but magic she seems more aware of.

"If you think that's the best place to do this, then lead on MacDuff …" she gestures to Koa, keeping up with him easily enough.

"More the second than the first, but not really either. There's a part of the Tri that's enchanted to be larger on the inside than the outside." So they built a castle in it? Could be that the stonework was a particular requirement for something.

One of the agents waves to Koa who waves back as he reaches the top of the stairs and heads into a set of hallways. Down one aisle and three doors is one marked 'Agent Turner'. It's got a comfortable desk at it, a couple of chairs. There's a dip pen and a number of bottles of various fluid. A stack of parchment as well or possibly vellum. That's along with a modern computer, lights and a coffee maker.

"Take a seat. Make yourself comfortable. Coffee or water?"

Koa seats himself behind his desk and moves two small artifacts off to the side as he turns his laptop on.

"Alright. Let me just pull up the reports I was working with… have you had anything else recently that you don't think has been flagged by NYPD?"


It's a TARDIS?" Keiko has picked up an interesting set of knowledge in her time … on the run. Koa might not know how long that is, but he certainly knows her grasp on the english language is … fleeting and technology is a bane for her.

It's funny how such small woman can make herself smaller, but she does as the other agent waves. She's not here, really she's not.

Entering the office, she wanders around it, looking over the articles on Koa's desk, canting her head at the dip pen and the inks. "Interesting collection of ink, Agent. Is it … normal ink?" Agent, she still calls him Agent. Maybe she's just damn stubborn.

Still not sitting, she wanders to the shelves on the side of his office, looking over its contents. "The attack by the combiante the other night. I'm fairly certain that hasn't be flagged by NYPD." she answers quietly. "Well not past it being a disturbance that WAND is handling. Apart from that … I … don't think so."

"Tardis? I suppose so, yes."

Koa taps a bit at his laptop. "The inks? Not all of it. Ocean water. Tears. Tinctures. Blood." Koa looks at a red vial. "Some stuff has to be written in blood. Which is tricky since it coagulates. Gotta keep it in an enchanted vial and have the pen enchanted too. Getting into cartiges for my fountain pen is a pain.

"Alright then lets go over these." Koa pulls up the full set and taps a few keys to put them into groups he's already formatted. Then he lays out two blank scrolls on the table, taps another key and the reports appear on the scrolls. And the enchanted ink drawings seem to be able to be moved and manipulated.

"There we go. So what do we have here. There's fourty three missing children I've got flagged from the NYPD reports, plus a couple from neighboring areas. Of those, twenty two are mutants. Though the numbers keep going up. I'm looking for patterns here beyond age and I'm not really seeing anything. Take a look and see if you can figure anything there."

Keiko squints at Koa. "The TARDIS is real? I thought that was a … story." She means science fiction. It's the inks though that draw her interest, interest that she quickly tries to hide.

The Agent can see her draw back as the reports appear, shaking her head at it all. "You've married the arcane to technology?" That's … strange. Still, she starts to read through them, there's a lot of information there. "You might not see any relation." Her finger runs down the list, frowning a little "What information do you have on Heidi Brescha? I want to know what type of child she was, what her parents and others say. Stubborn, active, intelligent?" Presumably, she'll want that on a few of them.


"Me? Oh no there's a couple of people in the department who enchant our laptops. The AT division. Arcane Technology." Call them up. Seriously. 'Hello, AT have you tried dismissing it and summoning it again?'

He gives one more glance to his inks and… things that are like inks but not and then focuses back on the task at hand.

"Well I don't. But there has to be SOME relation yes? They're not just taking kids at random are they?" If they are this is going to be really, really ticky…

"Uh let's see. Parent's interview. Intelligent. Going to an exclusive education program. Artistically inclined. Somewhat precocious. Often ahead of her peers in development." That's what he's got. It's always tricky to get honest assessments of a child out of a parent even on the best of days.


"There will be, I'm sure…" Keiko murmurs, frowning faintly at Koa's joke - totally not getting it - and reviewing the extra information that Koa has provided. "And Matthew here was highly intelligent but not particularly outgoing. Sarah was physically developed and quite athletic. That's what you're looking for, Agent. Children that are exceptional in particular areas." It shouldn't take Koa long to filter the lists.

Some of the missing children will be filtered out, but he'll find a number that match what Keiko is looking for.

"I've never seen them taken in such numbers."

"New York is a big city. And bigger if you count the areas outside the city. Less than fifty kids? It's a drop in the bucket I'm sorry to say. No one would have noticed really if you hadn't pointed it out."

Koa frowns and peers at the reports a little bit more. "Alright lets see. That brings the list down to just… eight kids." He pulls all the reports up and displays them. "Mmmm. They're all from within the same five mile radius too. That's the catchment area of one of the local schools, I'm pretty sure."

Keiko glances at Koa. He's not asking many questions about the whys of this. Maybe he's picked up on her reticence previously and doesn't want to be snarked at, again.

"If there's only eight on that list, there'll be two more taken, soon. The Nightfall takes in groups of ten. Or at least, they did …" Something seems to have changed though.

"Which school? That might mean there's an agent there, yes? Someone who will know what they're looking for and make the reports." It's not likely to be a Nightfall agent but Keiko had said to Peter they often work with others in the towns they targetted.

""Bayard Taylor. Upper east side." Koa taps it on his laptop screen. "Nice school. Nice neighborhood. Makes sense, these were nice kids…"

And kids from nice families. The upper east side has always been kind of rich…

"Two more, you're sure? I'll check the records but if they're all from this catchment area then yes you're right, I think it's a good bet that they're using the school to screen for targets. Which means we'll want to look into the staff and faculty, down to the janitors and security guards."

Koa doubts the screener is doing the actual 'work' here. That'd be risky and this cult seems well organized.

"Why in tens?"

"Upper East Side. That's a … what's the word? People have money there, yes? Or they aren't poor, more correctly. Comfortable… " Keiko's grasp on the english language seems reasonable but there's some holes in it, clearly. "Oh, is that what you mean by nice?"

She's quiet for a moment, reviewing the list.

"Their family life looked to be happy, if I'm reading this correctly. The parents don't seem to have to records and interviews with the neighbours don't indicate that there was anything wrong."

"In Tens?" That gets her looking at Koa again. "I'm not sure. But not all the children made it. The sibkos I was aware of, ended up with seven in them." What happened to the three? And the number seven has mystical qualities.

"Oh well behaved, studious or charmingly rambunctious depending on the child. The sort of thing you'd expect from well adjusted kids." Koa says as he examines the scrolls, frowning as he tries to pull in details.

"What's a sibko? I'm surprised it's ten and not like, six. Or seven. Or thirteen. All numbers with more mystical significance. Maybe ten is to make sure they get to seven?" Koa muses.

"Do you know what happened to the other children? The ones who don't make the cut?"

"I meant the neighbourhood.You said it was … 'nice'." Keiko waves her hand and sits on Koas desk as they talk. Clearly thinking nothing of doing so.

"A Sibko. That's what called the group we were with. We were put in them when we were taken. We lived together, trained together." The dark skinned woman shrugs a bit. "We never knew what happened to the others. They just never came back after testing …"

"Odd name." Koa says mildly. "Ah the neighborhood? It's secure. Well lit. Well taken care of. It's nice."

The fact that some of the kids disappeared after 'testing' does not especially bode well.

"How long do you think it will take them before they move to grab the other three? And how long do you think they'll remain operating in the area before… departing to wherever they take these children to? Do we have a window to get them back? Or is it already too late?"


Keiko nods about the neighbourhood but peers around Koa's office. Taking in the decor and what he might have on the shelves and walls.

"When we were being trained, we were told we would have six weeks to achieve our … recoveries." The tattooed woman turns to watch the Agents reaction to that. "Six weeks to locate all ten and bring them to the collection point. When did the first child go missing?"

That will tell them how long they *might* have.

"Two weeks ago, give or take acouple of days. So we have about four weeks, give or take. Unless they get everyone they're after before that." In which case these guys will vanish and any hope of getting the children back will be vanishingly small.

Not a good thing. Better to find them now, definitely.

"We should focus on this area unless we get a solid lead elsewhere. I'll get some extra WAND resources on this. Too many missing people for me to follow up on by myself. But if we can catch one of them in the act we MIGHT be able to take a stab at where they're hiding and how many there are."

And what kind of resources they're pulling from the local criminal community.

"It's not long, but it's something, isn't it." Keiko answers. "How do we go about 'focussing' on the area? I'm assuming that just walking into the school and asking to see the person who's responsible for this, won't work."

There's the faintest of smiles that says she knows she's joking. Well about barging in at least.

"We normally had contacts in the city, Agent Turner. People who would do the work for us. People like myself were only required when something more was needed and our magi, to mark the children that were taken."

What the hell does she mean by that.

"No, but I've got ways of canvassing the school for paranormal influence. And we start investigating everyone associated with it, and see who throws up red flags. Unless they're really good at placing people in years ahead of time, there'll be someone there who is new. Well probably a few someones. We need to figure out who their inside guy is."

He takes a breath and lets it out. His shelves, as she looks, are lined with books and small artifacts. There's a horn mounted on the wall behind her and what looks like a closed tryptch atop one of the filing cabinets.

"Mark. What kind of mark, now? I take it since we've seen at least one of your Cult that this is a special circumstance."


"The fixer might not have powers, Agent. Most of the agents we used were just street level thugs." Keiko says quietly but Koa addresses the other ways he can do this.

"What do you mean by special circumstance? And by mark, I mean like this." Keiko pulls her sleeve up to her armpit, turning her arm to show the inside of the upper part. "This, right here." The skin there isn't inked like the rest of her arm, but there's a small circular, faded, symbol. A moon eclipsing a sun - monocolor.

Hoisting herself off his desk, she wanders to that cabinet, to get a closer look at the tryptich. "This is interesting. I've not seen anything like it." She reaches out, not quite touching it - but Koa doesn't know she's not going to.

"The fact that we saw one of your cult means this isn't normal, right?" Koa explains patiently. He's gonna have to get a spanish translation spell at this rate to let him speak more cleanly to the woman.

Koa leans over, looking at more of the text of the report and frowning before he realizes what she's doing.

"I'd be careful there. If you open it up there is a small chance you'll see something you don't like. Won't hurt you but it might disturb you or give you a scare."

"Oh the combatiant? It's not usual for one of her kind to be around, no. Usually, when we harvest, it's a magi and tattoo bearer." Keiko answers, fascinated by the cabinet even more once Koa speaks. "The magi is needed to do the markings, so they can claim children for the Nightfall."

"Will it really? I've seen some pretty disturbing things in my time, Agent." her hand hovers for a moment before it falls. "I'm not sure I can see more that will scare me."

"But you're right, if the combatiant is here, there is something special about it. I've been thinking on it, since we saw her …"

"You can. Trust me. There's a reason it's in my office and not in the Church in Barcelona where I found it." Barcelona. In Spain. Seems like Koa gets around a bit.

The agent leans back in his chair and cracks his neck. "And what have you come up with?" That she's been thinking on, he means.


"Barcelona." Keiko turns to peer at Koa. "It's a pretty city, but there are things there that shouldn't see the light of day. If that's so dangerous though, shouldn't it be locked up somewhere safer? I mean, anyone could walk in and open it."

Couldn't they?

"Not a lot, I'm afraid." Keiko returns to Koa's desk and sits on it. "For a combatiant to be here, likely means they're expecting trouble. I … " the tattooed woman gestures futilely "We never came to big cities, Agent. We avoided them. Too much technology, too much law enforcement. It's too hard to take children and not get caught."

"Something has changed that has made the Nightfall do this."


"It's not dangerous. Just disturbing. And I'm still working on cataloging it."

Koa turns his attention back to the scrolls on his desk.

"If that's the case we really need to catch one of your former compatriots and figure out what's changed." Or find something that will tell them.

"Keep an eye out for me, will you? And give me a call if you think of anything that might help."

The Agent turns to his laptop now and punches up a new program.

"Now, I need to collect some information on you. I'm going to register you as a local arcanist so WAND is aware that you're a 'friendly'." Which will make her life easier if she meets any other WAND agents or has to interact with SHIELD in general.

"You've got, like, another hour right?"

"Disturbing, dangerous. Both start with 'D'" Keiko mutters.

"Why wouldn't I keep an eye out, Agent?" Still Agent, never Koa. "I came to you for help, remember?" Keiko had been the one who noticed the pattern. "But I'll call you."

"You … what?" The small dark woman looks ready to get off his desk and head out the door. "I just want to keep my down, Agent Turner. Be a handyman and live my life. I ran from the Nightfall and I've avoided them so far." beat "This doesn't mean that you're going to call me your sidekick, does it?"

Does she have an hour? She can't get out of here, till he takes her - so the answer is … yes.

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