2019-04-09 - In Fear Of Fear


Fear besets the area around the Asgardian Embassy.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Apr 9 00:00:00 2019
Location: Upper East Side

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Theme Song



Fear and darkness.

These are not emotions common to the Upper East side which is well heeled and generally secure. Nor are they especially feelings common to the Asgardian Embassy which is home to creatures that in a past age have actually been worshiped as gods, or at least the stories and ideals of them have. Bright lights and bright steel typically stave off fear and darkness.

But not today. Today there's been sort of a wordless primal dread creeping over a neighborhood near but not very near to the Asgardian Embassy. It's been making people skittish and violent. And it's magical. Anyone with any sense for the arcane can tell that.

The source seems to be a boutique store undergoing rennovation. It's boarded up. Agent Koa Turner of WAND was interrupted in while pursuing another case to come check this out, he being the closest. He's just getting out of his truck and checking his sidearm. There's nothing in the parking lot. NOTHING. Not bugs. Not birds. Definitely not people. And the cute little boarded up store seems oddly menacing for the salmon pink little shop with the brightly colored awning that it is. Somehow, something is making the entire area forboding.

The wind kicks up and is it his imagination, or are there whispers on it?

"Did you hear something, just now?" He says to the woman he brought with him. Someone who was working with him on that other case.

There are really no good reasons for Brunnehilde to be this close to the Asgardian embassy, as drunk as she is. Of course, bad life choices tend to accompany her condition, so she's wandering down the street, roughly towards the embassy to use harsh language and possibly throw things at the walls.

However, as the boozy ex-valkyrie reaches the edge of the odd, dread zone, it penetrates even her buzzed haze as she slows to a stop, reflexes honed by centuries of combat putting her on guard as she frowns.

Then belches.

Welp, punching things will be ALMOST as good as throwing things at the embassy, so she starts sauntering (a bit wobbily) in the direction of the boutique. Koa doesn't really get a second look at first.

Keiko is with Koa, he'd asked her to accompany him - even though she *isn't* his sidekick. The small, tattooed, woman is dressed in long sleeves, jeans and boots, her hair pulled back in a relatively tidy ponytail. Apart from the tattooes, there's nothing remarkable about her.

Rubbing her arms she nods slowly to the Agent, turning about with a frown on her face. "I … think so. I have not heard anything like that since …" whatever she was going to say is bitten off quickly, she hadn't meant to say that.

"There's magic around, though…" she murmurs. Just as the other woman comes into view. "… and her."

Nothing ruins a perfectly good evening of drinking and reading like sensing some rampant scary magic, not to mention a couple other Asgardians, one of which still has his /toy/. Loki is not obvious. He creeps, cloaked by his illusions, nothing but a slight bend in the air, watching those he is related to, but also that WAND duo. So, those that sense magic, sense a little more of it, but its evasive and slippery.

As is starting to become her habit, Sif has taken to strolling away from the Embassy in random directions in this noisy and confusing Midgardian city. Very frequently, she ends up having to request assistance to return, but she was quickly instructed on how to do so by summoning the yellow 'cab' conveyances. Their operators generally have no qualms about returning her to her starting point.

As the Fates have chosen for her, today she is meandering the Upper East Side, looking at everything as a newcomer would be likely to do. Her pace slows as she enters the area of uneasy sensation and she fairly quickly goes from looking around curiously to frowning faintly. This unnerving feeling… She takes a moment to pull her buckler from where she was carrying it like a backpack and settles her sword in her hand.

Not just because she's anticipating battle. She's never admit this to anyone, but the feel of the hilt in her hand is in its way reassuring. As she moves warily closer, she recognizes the Sorcerer Agent and Sorceress Keiko. Well, those two do seem to be very good at locating enemies to dereat.

Others may be sensing magical doings about, but Alexander Aaron is here purely by chance. Or by Fate, depending on what you believe. He's walking along the sidewalk, earphones in his head as he listens to music on his phone, in the general direction of the Embassy, and thus in the direction of the little shop that the centre of the attention. If there's something in the air warning him (and everyone else) away from it, Alex is either oblivious to it, or unaffected. He's accustomed to people giving him a wide berth, and in fact barely notices the fact that there's practically no-one else around until he stops not far from the two WAND agents, in view of the few others who have made their way to this spot.

You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Him. Hod inhales deeply and stiffens in his shadowy corner where the darkness has conviently enfolded about him naturally, obscuring him from view. Sif is here… and-Odin's great swinging cod-that smells like Loki. And another scent, familiar but… Oh no. No no no no. To many Asgardians on this block to begin with /without/ him fucking about around yet ANOTHER Chooser of the Slain.

One valkyrie is one two many, and fuck him with Gungnir if he's gonna move a single inch until everyone has left. And then Hod is gonna move fast. Very fast. Towards the nearest subway station or manhole cover, or in a pinch, gypsy cab. Because sneaking suspicion in the back of his mind that something was rotten in the state of 5th Ave or not, he is NOT going in the spooky building. Fuck the Norns. Fuck the tapestry. Fuck all of that. Nope. He isn't dying today, no siree. He's fleeing like an alive scared teeny little girl. For now, he tries really hard not to breath audibly or move even a widdle bit.

Loki is, of course, utterly invisible to Agent Turner. His focus is initially on the somewhat drunk woman moving in toward the creepy boutique. He's about to call out to her when Sif show's up and… someone else. Someone he doesn't recognize but then there are lots of people Koa doesn't recognize.

"On your guard Keiko. Hello there Lady Sif. You felt this too, I take it?"

"Miss? Sir?" That's to Brunhilde and Alex. He's about to ask them what they're up to here when Brunhilde reaches the Boutique and… well the boards aren't gonna keep her out if she really wants in.

The moment she gets there though the fear flares up and there's a blast of icy-chill wind and is it Koa's imagination or is there a voice whispering in it?

There's not. It says a number of things. They all seem to be names. It's hard to pick out. Apep. Achlys. Ahriman. The last thing it says, relatively more distinctly than the others is… Hodr.

"That name again." Koa mutters as he hurries forward. Independent of anything anyone else is doing the boards on one of the windows bursts outwards and a gout of black mists curls up into the sky before dispersing. Inside, on a countertop that used to have the register there's some kind of device that's KIND of like an orrery… spinning.

Valkyrie really does just walk RIGHT past the WAND agents without really pausing to note them. The good thing is this means she also doesn't notice her old rival Sif, which would have set off some sparks by itself. Instead, the tall redhead walks up to the boards, sizing them up.

And then the window blows out as the cloud of dark mist flows out and away.

She squints carefully at what's inside. She knows what this is!

…a…snowcone maker. Maybe.

"To Hel with it…" the tall woman mutters as she reaches behind her back, closing her hands around something…then draws, a gleaming golden sword pulling free of its invisible sheath, the metal singing, before she "knocks" on the door.

She brought her own door knocker.

Most likely the boards, and the door, don't really survive the experience, at which point she's walking in through the wreckage.

It's easy to miss Keiko, she sort of does that - fade into the background, that is. And she's not WAND - if someone was to say that to her, she'd kick Koa for making it seem that way.

That could be amusing.

"Lady Sif." The dark skinned woman rolls her sleeves up before drawing a short rod from her backpack and shakes it out. It forms a metal staff that she twirls once, expertly "I am always, Agent Turner, on my guard." She watches as Valkyrie knocks on the door … and smiles.

"A woman after my own heart." she smirks.

As Alex draws near, he can see the tattooes on her arms. Intricate and very, very, lifelike animals cover the skin.

Fear. Alexander can almost taste it in the air. His eyes flash white for the briefest of moments as he picks up the scent of it, and he glances toward the dark corner where Hod is trying to stay out of sight, and then toward Koa. "Just out for a walk," he says to the agent. "That's still allowed, right?" Purposely inflammatory. And then the boards break open and that black smoke bursts out. "That can't be normal," he mutters, taking a step back. He resists the urge to reach for the sword on his back, because it's usually bad enough that he walks around with it, but drawing it in public for.. smoke? That seems like a quick way to get the police involved. Still, there are people breaking into a boarded up shop, so maybe a katana in the open wouldn't be the worst thing. He doesn't immediately charge in, either, hanging back a moment to better assess the situation. Let the hotheads take point.

Sif is by no means sensitive enough to pick up any skilled magic users or otherwise that might be lurking or hiding nearby. But, creepy feelings notwithstanding, she approaches Koa and Keiko when the former greets her. "Why does this edifice f—-"

Her question is interrupted by the sudden gout of black mist and the inebriated woman pulling a sword, which of course makes Sif promptly step in front of the sorcerers as if to defend them. "Drunkard," she calls toward Hilde, but then the woman's 'knocking' has opened a way into the weirdly cheerful and creeptastic boutique.

What in Hel is going on here?

Hod doesn't know anything about black smoke. All he knows is someone just knocked in a door and that's about all the sounds he needed to hear to… to… did that fucking out just say his name?! DID IT JUST SAY HIS NAME!? Oh he is gonna /murder/ someone over this frame job! Hod's fear is quickly turning towards something more stabby in nature. He is just about done with some asshole spreading his name all over town with these cheesy FX.

"Last I checked." Koa calls back to Alex with a small smile. "But you know how New York is. Might change any day." He really did just want to know if he'd shown up FOR this. And he's happy to engage in a bit of banter rather than getting upset.

The interior of the room bare, all of the moveable furnishings moved out. The walls, though, are far from bare. They're scrawled along the top, near the roof, with writings from ancient languages, and not the SAME ancient language either. Some egyptian, some greek, some sanskrit. It's a mishmash.

Koa blinks as the door is smashed in and Sif acts protectively. That he appreciates. He's squishy, most of the time. There is no threat forthcoming though, thank god.

Goddess. Whatever.

The orrery - it's not quite an orrery but it is an arrangement of rotating sphers around a central axis - is plugged into an outlet. There's a switch at the base. Koa approaches it and flicks the switch and like THAT the sensation of fear dies.

"What the actual hell…" The agent says looking around.

"They're prayers. The same phrases repeated over and over in a dozen different dead languages." He frowns. "All gods of death or darkenss or fear or something similar. Apep. Phobos. Scotus. Erebus… that's a bit redundant. Kali. Hodr…" Which he pronounces 'Hodor'. Why wouldn't he. That's the most correct ponunciation…

The agent glances over to Brunhilde. "You've got a hell of a right hook there."

Keiko might recognize the Moon-eclipsing-Sun motief on several of the spheres of the device, if she looks.

Valkyrie is fully about to enter, and then…well, Sif tosses off the accusation. It's true, mind…but more importantly, even Hilde's slightly pickled brain notes the voice. It takes a moment, as the tall ex-valkyrie sloooooowly turns back towards the voice, her brow furrowing it, until she finally places it, her eyes widening slightly. "Sif! Ha! Have you drawn that stick out of your ass yet? Or better yet had a boyfriend do it for you?" she snaps back, resting Dragonfang on her shoulder casually. Yeeeeah. Great friends.

Also totally distracting her from the mist. That may be a measure of how much much she wants to rag on Sif, or that she's never been that concerned about it in the first place in pure arrogance. Or just she's a little distracted in general.

Either way, she doesn't stop Koa from walking past her, though she does glance over briefly, her eyes flicking over to Keiko next. Well, to be honest, more the tattoos than the woman herself at first, because they're impressively detailed.

"…these with you?" she says to Sif, her eyes glancing to Phobos, before she tchs.

Alex grins a bit at Koa's response. See, he's not entirely a jerk. As the others make their way inside, he still hangs back. There's still something out here giving off vibes. White eyes again flick toward where Hod stands, though he can't directly see him. Brows furrow, and he mutters. "I know you're there somewhere, dude." But finally, he steps inside, against better judgement, just in time to hear Koa say his name in the list of those gods mentioned in the prayers. Not his human name, of course, but Phobos. Almost without thinking, he blurts out, "I'm not 'with' anybody. Why the fuck did it say my name?" There's an edge in his voice now. He was -trying- to keep a low profile, but that's secondary to some weird black smoke machine mentioning him specifically.

The tattooes are impressively detailed. Valkyrie can make out a wolf and a dragon, at least. On the other arm, a huge black dog with glowing red eyes - she might be familiar with the motif. No, not Fenrir wolf - it's definitely a dog. And the eyes of all those creatures seem to follow the viewer.

The small dark woman snickers a little as Valkyrie snarks at the dark haired Asgardian. "No, I am not here with Lady Sif." she says as she enters the building, still grasping her staff. "It said your name?" That's to Alex as he passes, but she's quickly distracted by the device. "Agent Turner …" Keiko has no idea that Hod is around, there's enough magic here though that her tattooes feel like they are crawling up her skin. "… this iconography …"

She clearly isn't happy by what she's found.

Hod would smack the taste out of Koa's mouth if he could hear that thought. That is /not/ how his name is pronou-you know what? Fuck it. And fuck that HBO dragon show for doing this to him. He's gonna find some time, to infest that Martin's guy's house with bed bugs one day. He /can/ however hear Koa's words and he's frowning already as he notes one name inparticular missing from the list Koa said. Hrm.

Then some kid is talking in his direction and seems… okay, walking away. Walking away is good. His name!? Okay, so sure, eavedropping has long been a skill of his, but this conversation is havoc on his nerves. Will they just say the answers to all the questions he has already so he can run away from this place before Thor The Mighty Fuckstick shows up and pounds him into Aesir colored pudding or something?

When the drunken woman turns around, Sif's eyes widen in almost prefect synchonicity with Hilde's. Of course, then the woman's mouth just keeps on spewing out rudeness and she looks very annoyed.

Then, Koa turns off the fear machine. Which, really, that just further cements in her mind that the man is a Midgardian sorcerer.

"The sorcerers are under my protection, yes," she replies to Valkyrie in contradiction to Keiko's words, sounding a bit offended and a lot annoyed. But, proving she might dislike the other Aesir woman but she's mature enough to not bring it to blows, she turns toward Koa and Keiko. "What can you determine about that artifact and these inscriptions, Sorcerer Agent?"

"You know her?" That's to Sif and Brunhilde at the same time. They seem to have some history together. He's just leaning down to peer at the odd device when Alex blurts out… that hs's somehow involved.

That gets a slow look from the partially bent over Agent toward the young man.

"Which one is your name?" His brow is quirked. He's curious.

Either way there's some cogent questions to answer.

"All of the names here are being invoked to 'drown the light in darkness and terror'. There's some… deity specific words in there. Phobos, Scotus and Erebus are all implored to begin the Titanomachy. Hodr and Nott are asked to slay Baldur and bring forth Ragnarok. But I think the inscriptions were amplifying the effects of this device."

When Keiko points out the symbology his face twists. "Nightfall…" The way he says it, it has to be a name. And the way he looks at Keiko when he says it, she knows what it means.

"If I had to guess, Lady Sif, someone set this up here and left it running to make sure the design works."

And boy howdy does it.

Valkyrie snorts. "Oh, how honored, under the protection of /great/ Lady Sif…" the dusky woman says derisively. She shrugs idly at the blurted out question from Alex, though it at least turns Hilde's attention away from her…rival? Though she isn't actively hostile as of yet. "Yes. Though thankfully it's been a very long time since I've seen her." From her tone, she was just fine with that, pretty much. Maybe? There may be a slight hint of wistfulness in her voice.

Either way, she turns back at the explanation, frowning. "…a machine that breathes out terror?" she says slowly. "To panic those around it?"

"Phobos," Alex says with a certain firmness in his voice. Guess it wasn't purely random chance that his walk brought him in this direction. Damnit. "I have no intention to restart any wars between the gods though," he continues. Frankly, that sounds like an awful idea. He already almost started one war between pantheons, and is not in a rush to repeat it. "Only one god I know who's really into starting wars, and I haven't seen him in.. well, it's been a while." He watches those gathered a moment, and then motions outside. "Oh, by the way, there's a man cowering in the shadows outside. Couldn't see him, but he's there. Afraid of being found. Afraid of you folks," he says, motioning to the warrior-women of Asgard. Sorry Hod.

"It said your name?" Keiko turns from the device to peer at Alexander, suddenly a little concerned, her staff gripped tightly. "And who are you talking to? Is there someone else here?" Ah, so there is apparently.

"Show yourself, coward …" she says as she faces the corner. "Why would the Nightfall be tied up in this?" She asks Koa off handely, not making the connections in the names.

Oh for fucks sake.

That's about all the eavesdropping he feels he's capable of tonight as Phobos, god of gossip and snitching like someone looking for a better plea deal (it's wordy, he'll work on shortening it later), outs him to the room full of ASGARDIANS WHO WANNA MANGLE HIM. Yup. Fuck 5th Ave. tonight. He's headed to Harlem… maybe the Bronx, get /real/ distance in there. By the time he's had this thought he's a full block down the street, running flat out in a way he's not done since Leningrad. He really needs to stretch more, he's gonna pull a hammy at this rate.

"Unfortunately," Sif replies to Koa. "So this is where you've chosen to hide in your disgrace, Brunnhilde." There's no polite way to phrase it. She is very much looking down her nose at the darker-skinned Aesir woman. And yet she's still keeping herself between Hilde and the two sorcerers.

Alex's arrival, revelation that he's one of the names included in the inscriptions along with Hodr, and mention of someone lurking outside has her looking at the unfamilir Midgardian with a small frown. Too many coincidences.

And then she hears what sounds to her like someone fleeing, and without any explanation to the others, she bolts out of the boutique and after the fleeing footsteps as fast as she can run.

She'll refuse to admit later that whoever it was was quite clearly able to run faster than she could.

Koa's arm snaps out and a branch on a tree outside withers and dies. Green motes of light fly into the agent and a second later a gigantic asp rears up over his left arm. It snaps out at the departing shadow but misses by a hairs breadth. And then Sif is off in pursuit.

"Damn it." Koa has to secure this scene too so he can't go haring off in pursuit.

The snake disappears back into the sorcerer(?)'s left arm.

"So you're… Phobos. Well someone might be trying to draw on your… power? Or at least coopt your name. This isn't the first time I've seen something like this." He pulls out a card, presuming Alex doesn't run off immediately. "Koa Turner. Give me a call if you want to discuss it."

He doesn't TELL Alex to do so. One does not tell gods or demigods to DO things.

"Better than being a bitch lapping at Odin's boots. I have no reason to hide from /you/, or anyone else." Valkyrie shoots back at the other female Asgardian, her gaze hardening now. She might say more but…well, then suddenly Hod is brought to everyone's attention….annnd she reflexively is bolting right after Sif towards the the fleeing man as he (wisely) takes off running. "COME BACK HERE, YOU COWARD!" she roars. Still brandishing her sword.

Yeaaaah, this is probably not condusive to Hod wanting to stop.

Luckily for him, her coordination is just a BIT off after the amount she's had to drink, and one hole in an alley later, Valkyrie is picking herself up from the rubble, scowling and having lost track of the pursuer.

And Sif. But she doesn't feel nearly as broken up about that.

Also, that wall totally jumped her and it had nothing to do with both Hod and Sif running faster than her or, more importantly, cornering better than her.

Keiko jumps as the man starts to run. She doesn't get a good look at him as he takes off. Which might be a good thing for him. Still, very carefully, she touches the tattoo of the blackdog on her arm and mutters something, hissing a few seconds later when a glowing creature that matches the tattoo appears beside her.

A Barghest.

At the same time that damn snake darts out by her ear and she jumps again. "What the hell …" the Barghest nudges her and she gestures "Get his scent, Conner. We might want to follow, later." If the other Asgardians don't find him.

As the dog pads off to where Hod had been hiding, the tattooed woman turns to Alexander. "Phobos of which pantheon?" No, no introduction - at the moment.

Hod is not the god of pride. He can hear Hilde shouting in the distance, and the slap of Sif's feet behind him, but he's better they're both wearing Asgardian approved footwear and clothing, which has it's uses. Good for cavalry charges, protect you fairly well from small arms fire or maybe a dull blade, certainly make people think you're either fashion forward or super behind… But it doesn't corner like sneakrs, and it doesn't blend into a crowd like normal clothing does. And no one blends in like Hod. "I'm moving to Prauge." he mutters unconvincingly to himself as he vanishes into a crowd of people, fading away like smoke on the breeze. Metaphorically speaking of course.

Hod runs away. Sif runs away. Valkyrie runs away. Alex looks between those who remain, and shrugs. Yeah, that's about par for the course. People running away from him. He looks remarkably unfazed, even as the dog-creature appears beside Keiko. He takes the card from Koa with a curt nod, before he responds to Keiko. "Not up on your greek mythology, huh? Phobos, Olympian god of fear and dread." Zeus is his grand-daddy. That'll be the title of his rap album, if he ever gets around to recording it. And develops a talent for rhyming verse. "Not sure I'm supposed to be making it public knowledge, but hell, plenty of uncles and cousins haven't been shy about it in the past," he says with a shrug.

Aaaaaand then they're all gone.

We'll keep it on the downlow if you'd like." Koa says as he eyes Keiko's tracker. "If they're invoking your name for this I expect I'll run into it again. Someone thinks they're being clever… OR thinks they have the actual favor of… well, beings like Hod or yourself." The Agent sighs. "Let me know if you find anything, Keiko."

"I have to secure this scene, Phobos. You're welcome to stay while I do but it's gonna involve…" He sighs. "Paperwork…"

And Phobos may well wish to follow up on this on his own terms.

"Never had anyone looking for my favour before," Phobos smirks at that. Granted, in the grand scheme of divine things, he's pretty new to this whole 'god of fear' thing. Probably they were looking for the previous incarnation of the God of Fear. Like in a cosmic sense, Phobos got a new phone and this blond kid got the old number. "Yeah, I'd appreciate that. I'll be in touch," he says, giving a nod to both agents before making his way toward the exit, through the kicked-in door. "Wonder what the rent is like for a place like this," he wonders aloud. And then he's gone.

"Greek what?" Keiko says genuinely. "No, I'm not. I never received an … education. It wasn't important where I grew up."

The Barghest pads around, sniffing the ground and the air where the old man had been. "Conner will not follow unless I bid him, Agent Turner. And with the others giving chase, it might not be wise to do so … yet. Should we need it though, he will know what who we're looking for."

"My apologies for not recognising you, Lord Phobos." She says quietly as the god slips away.

That leaves her and Koa to clean up here. And for her to wonder what the Nightfall has to do with all of this.

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