2019-05-13 - So Very Purple


In the aftermath of Darque. Keiko and Koa catch up.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon May 13 06:22:00 2019
Location: Koa's Office

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Theme Song



It had taken sometime to clean up the sites after the teams had raided but eventually Keiko had found her way to Koa's office. The scrolls, the tablet and the small box that was found - she's not sure where they ended up.

The small tattooed woman can't sit still though and she's mending a door on a cabinet in the office. It had been loose and didn't close well, she'd noticed. And it's something to keep her hands busy.

"From the reports I heard, the Nightfall have pulled in different contractors." she's saying. Koa … had been a little quieter than usual and she's not sure what to make of that.

Koa is in the bathroom in the back portion of his office, washing his face off. He's got some bruises. And some dirt. He peers in the mirror only really half hearing what she's saying. His eyes are purple. Deep purple. And they haven't changed. He knows he took in a lot of power. And it's a rush. It always is. That's what makes doing this dangerous.

He's never tried it on a person before. In his mind he'd built it up. Horrifying. A gross violation of everything he is and stands for. And the truth?

The truth is it was delicious.

"Hrm? Sorry, what was that, Keiko?" He comes out from the back, patting his face with a towel. His jacket is on the chair and he's still in all black.

Keiko is just finishing up that door when Koa walks out. He hadn't let her get a good look at him when she'd arrived. "Are … you alright, Agent Turner?" She puts her tools away and straightens, looking at the agent, catching the colour in his eyes.

Without really thinking on it, the small woman marches over, takes his chin and tilts his head so she can look at him properly. "What did you do?"

She's not seen that effect before, well not to that degree.

"Yes. Yes… sort of no." Koa pulls out the chair at his desk and sits down heavily, rubbing his face and in particular his eyes, not that it changes the color back to normal.

"I took in a lot of magic. And I took it in a way I've never really done before. And the we magic is… more than a little little wrong. It's from Plokta's realm and it TASTES like it's from there. And the way I took it…"

He sighs. "Have you seen how I do it?"

"Sort of no, is no, Agent Turner." Keiko says quietly as he sits, not letting his chin go for the moment. "Don't rub your eyes, it won't help and it will just hurt them." She frowns as he speaks, tilting his chin again getting the light to catch his eyes so she can really see them. "They're very purple…"

"I've seen you take magic in, I think. You seem to use the energia from living things about you, yes?" She'd seen him do something in Limbo too, but hadn't see all of it, she'd been too busy.

"You took in the energy from Plokta's domain. That is not allowed, Agent Turner. Only his most devout can do that…"

"Yes. They're very purple…" Koa says, rubbing them again anyway. He takes a breach and reaches out toward a houseplant he keeps nearby. A single leaf withers and falls off and a mote of green light flows into the WAND agent.

"I power my artifacts with mana. It is, yes, created by life and living things. Spirits. Plants. Bugs. Animals. People. Everything living has this energy. And I can eat it."

Koa stops for a moment and reaches into one of his drawers for a flask and a pair of shot glasses. The liquid inside is a clear amber.

"I didn't take it from Plokta's domain. I took it from inside that mage. Darque. Ate it. Just jammed my claws into him and ripped it out."

That seems to disturb him. "I… I've never done that to a person before."

Keiko had been going to suggest tea to Koa but she doubts he has the tea she'd recommend.

Her fingers slide from his chin as she watches him, dark eyes concerned, and takes a seat on the edge of his desk. The amber coloured liquid gets a glance but nothing more.

"Energia, chi some people call it. Not quite the same as I understand Mana…" The concept might be similar though. She nods slowly as the leaf on the houseplant withers and dies. She cants her head as she realises what's disturbing him.

"You haven't done that in that form, or ever? It bothers you … why?"

He might not be expecting the question.

"You've seen what I look like when I project, yes? Sort of a shark… or a dog… a beast. A predator." Koa pauses and waits for her to confirm. "That's not how I used to look. I became that way over time. Taking magic like that, even from the smallest of plants or creatures, is an act of violence. It makes me just a little bit more a predator. It… alters my nature. Warps my perceptions. All of that…"

Koa glances out his window, down onto the street before returning his eyes to the room and taking a drink.

"What do you think happens if I try to kill people with it. Take their magic. Tear it right out of them and consume it. Use it to power myself. What does that make me? I don't know the answer myself but what I've done has already warped me. And that's on top of the magic itself being… probably unhealthy for me."

"I have yes." Keiko acknowledges, watching Koa take a drink. "What were you like before? Was it … you … that projected? Here, drink this, you look like you need it."

There's a flash of understanding that shows in Keiko's eyes as Koa explains. "It is changing your energia, your … esp%<237>ritu. You think your esp%<237>ritu is reflecting your acts." beat "Do you think it matters what type of people you try to kill? You said it was the Darque wizard you went against … yes?"

He can see her thinking, processing his concerns. "I'd say it makes you someone willing to protect the innocent at some cost to yourself …"


"Espiritu, yes. Spirit. Before it just looked like me. Maybe a bit… idealized. Now…" Well, Keiko has seen it now.

"The one who calls himself Darque yes." Koa says quietly. "I'm not saying it necessarily makes me a bad person… but with magic there are lines you cannot cross without consequences. I have already defined myself as someone who will take what he needs by violence and my perceptions, my soul-form, my very nature has started to warp itself to match that. Defining myself as someone who will kill and eat his own?"

That's a terrible line to cross. There are many, many stories told of what becomes of those who consume their own. None of them are good.

"Maybe it's admirable. But the magic doesn't care why I do it, or who I do it to. Just that I do it."

Koa takes that drink that she offers and stares at his desk for a moment before bringing his eyes back up.

"They say when we take our spirits, it changes us …" Keiko says quietly. "When our Magi face their own rituals and our fighters their own trials, they are changed to. They tell us, it is the blessing of Lord Plokta that comes upon us …" Koa might see her starting to question that.

She watches the WAND agent quietly as he takes the drink from her, worrying her bottom lip as she thinks. "You don't think it has anything to do with how you see yourself for doing such things?" There's something detached about the woman when she speaks on it. It's not academic but something like that?

"You could just stop doing it. There's been damage done but if the magic responds to acts, don't give it any to respond to…" As his eyes come back up, the spirit caller puts her fingers under his chin to hold his gaze.

Koa seems to know a great many magical people who don't really do personal space. But he doesn't move. His eyes are so very violet. Deep purple. There's hardly any white. No discernable iris. Just… violet. Shimmering. Watching him watch her with such a seemingly blank gaze has to be somewhat disconcerting.

"Can I stop, though? As long as I stay in WAND I will need to fight. Maybe I'll never have to try to… do that to a person again. But I'm going to keep getting exposed to magic like this."

Can he walk away? Right now… Koa doesn't think he can. It'd be healthier for him, certainly, to pretend like none of this exists or that it doesn't concern him. But can he?

"Could you? Could you just… stop?"

Keiko doesn't even think about personal space as she sits there. It's not something she ever really had when she grew up. She cants her though, looking at the violet, not overly phased by the blank gaze. "How long does it normally take to return to normal? The purple is very pretty …" She's wondering if she might help him and how.

She's not sure she can though.

"You could leave WAND. Become a … um what's the word … profesor, yes? You could do that, you wouldn't be exposed to the magic or what you do now."

His question has her shaking her head. "I tried but the spirits… they grow restless."

"A few hours at most. Usually a lot faster than that." Koa says quietly. "I took in a lot, and it was very, very potent." And a rush, but he doesn't say that. He very, very much enjoyed tearing it out of Darque. And part of him wants more.

"I could do that. Become a professor. But I would have the same problem you do. Driven to act, pushed on by… something within me." What he's not sure. Some spark within him, the part of him that craves magic. He could be a tomb raider too, and a quite wealthy one. But this way, at least, he does someone somewhere some good.

"It felt good too, didn't it…" Keiko's observant, her thumb stroking Koa's cheek just below his eye socket. "A rush that you had to master or be mastered by it. It makes you want more." She's speaking from experience, surely, but she can also read the Agents face.

"Is it the taking the energia that does it? Can … we … empty some of this from you, make the effects not last as long."

Keiko takes Koa's glass and sips from it before giving it back. That's the first drink she's taken since she's been here. "Can you make peace with what's happening to you, Agent Turner?"

"It does. Did. It always does. The temptation to take magic is always there." And it's awful. Even taking a little bit is tempting, but doing that repeatedly in the same spot would damage that spot. And of course… it hurts him. His body wasn't made to handle magic. It just… can't. Doesn't do well with it at all. Hence the bruising and burns.

"Empty it into what? One of my artifacts. That might work but it also means I have to endlessly draw wards or swing a death-asp around for a little while…"

He shakes his head.

"Peace… I don't know. It's not just something that's happening to me. If I snap… a lot of people could get hurt."

"I know when the Magi performed their rituals on me … it was painful and horrifying but I … craved more. They told us that was part of the trial, but … I wonder …" Keiko shakes her head and lets Koa's chin go, finally.

"Into … me. Maybe? We know that I tried to absorb the spirit bound to that cretan bull…" She blinks as Koa uses words she's unsure of "Death-asp? You want to swing a snake around?"

"It is something that's happening to you. Changing you. It's not changing me or your environment, after all. I … think, if you can find a way to … be at one with this, it might go easier. You are worried and worried people, make mistakes."

"I can't discharge it like that." Koa says, shaking his head. "I'm not a mage. I can take it in. I can use it to fortify myself. But I can't push it into spells or force it into other people. I can use it to power artifacts, which are designed to take it. Almost hungry to take it really. But pushing it into you?"

He shakes his head. "I appreciate the offer though." It's a good idea perhaps. But it's… beyond his ability.

"Uh. The snake on my wrist. That I can also manifest to hit people." Koa falls silent again, thinking.

"Maybe. But it's hard to… it's hard to not worry knowing some of the things I know. You've heard of Wendigo, haven't you?"

"Wendigo? Skin walker, yes? There were stories told by our magi of ones who became this." To Keiko these aren't mythological beings. They are very much real.

"Maybe Miss Rasputina can help, then? She … " Keiko sighs and shakes her head. "On second thoughts no. She seemed to … almost enjoy … taking me apart." Her eyes drop to the bracer on Koa's arm. Or where the bracer is, at any rate. Oh, that makes sense now.

"What does the wendigo have to do with you?"

"Not quite the same thing no. It's an old legend that when a man eats the flesh of another man, he transforms into a beast who craves it forever more. The legend may or may not be true, but the story is based on principles that seem real." Reality or at least magical reality, reserves a special fate for those that consume their own kind.

Koa grimaces slightly. "Help? She possibly could though I'm sure she'd want to dig into me and see what it was doing." That might hurt. But would it be worse than what is happening now? Koa isn't sure it would be. So maybe he'll contact her.

Or, maybe she'll turn up on her own.

Keiko frowns, watching Koa's face very solemnly. He might feel a bit like an insect under a microscope. "And you think you are this? A magical Wendigo because you took the energia of another? You should worry about taking the energia from the Dark Dimension. Your actions today, saved others and drove him away." She's not making light of it but to her, Koa … has something about him.

Something that might protect him and slow the process.

"No, I do not know if it is worth the cost. It hurt, a lot. It's not something I would repeat or recommend you do." Does he remember how he found her there? On her knees and cowed by the Limbo Queen.

"I didn't kill him, so no, I don't think I've crossed that line yet. But I came close and… that's a risk." What does taking from a sentient being do to him? What would killing a sentient being no matter how evil do to him?

Koa doesn't want to find out.

"I don't know either but if I've learned a long time ago never to discount anything out of hand." He takes a breath. "Besides, I might not get much of a choice."

That's said with some attempt at humor.

"Everything is a risk, Agent Turner." Keiko answers. "You could walk outside and get hit by a car. Being aware of it, is a good thing but worrying on it, I think will make things worse. Try to find your centre, in all of this. I will … meditate with you, if you think it might help." What must she have seen in her life.

"Miss Rasputina does have a way … of getting her own way." The brunette nods, taking Koa's glass and finishing it for him. She pours him another though and looks at the Agent. "Do you wish me to leave now?"

The door on his cupboard is fixed, after all.

"No… no. Not unless you have somewhere to be." Koa says. He leans forward and rubs his face again. His eyes are still violet. They'll probably change back but the amount of time it's taking is by itself worrisome. It means his body - and soul - is processing the power very slowly and that in turn means it has a lot of time to do… whatever it's going to do.

"I'm going to take something for this headache. And then get something to eat. I'll buy you pizza. Least I can do since you're still missing out on work for this stuff."

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