2019-05-27 - Spiders don't make good wizards


Ben dabbles in magic and it spectacularily backfires.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon May 27 21:44:00 2019
Location: Midtown

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These kind of things are sensitive, you know? At least, that's what Ben's been reading. So doing this ritual/spell/bad idea in his own loft? Yeah nah. That's a big nope. What if he got it wrong? What if the incense stuck to the wallpaper and the super held his deposit?! What if he did it -right-? Oh god. So many things to go wrong. Or right. Either way, Ben is doubling down on his decision.

"Candles, check. Broken glass, check." Standing in the cratered rubble of what was once a palm readers townhouse, the old tape long tattered and ripped at the still standing doorway. "Got the burners, check. The chalk and salt… yup." Standing in the middle of a chalk diagram of what could only be described as a simpletons abomination of a summoning circle. Which may work! Sadly, he's trying to make a Beacon Spell. It's not like the city has a Wizard and Warlock Hotline. That he knows of.

Street clothes, grey hood pulled up, Ben lights the candles he has placed around bits of debris. Flickering orange light casting ghastly shadows in this forgotten, decrepit structure. Snapping the paperback book open, he starts to read the incantation. That's when the -pulse- of power wobbles outward. Weak and unsure but felt by those with a sense for the arcane.

The truth is Keiko has no sense for the Arcane beyond the fact that her tattooes resonant with magic if it's within a few meters of her. And then it's not directional.

Leaving the store where she'd just been working - everyone needs a handyman after all - the small asiatic looking woman rubs her arms. That's unusual, there's normally nothing in this area that should do that.

Weak as it is, it's still concerning, Keiko turns in a circle trying to find the source as she takes her collapsable quarter staff from her backpack and extends it.

The fact that the brand on her chest stands to throb dully is not a good sign for the woman either. That means the power is either Nightfall or Cthonic - neither is preferred.

Where is it … it has to be that taped up shop over there, right? That's where she's heading right now…"Hello?" she calls out as she reaches the door.

Indeed, these kind of things are sensitive. Extremely sensitive to the doing it right and really right. Even slight errors in the lines change the meaning of a spell or turn it into gibberish. Or change the target into someone nonexpected. It's not like the Firefox has a particular sense for magic, but to some degree she is a being of magic.

Following a sudden pull, the woman had put on a red hakama and domino mask as she makes a run along the rooftop route, her left hand holding a naginata to help balance out her movements, the blade gleaming in the falling night. But the actual balancing does the flaming tail that swishes behind her, matching the triangular ears parting her hair. She's not the first to reach the shop, Keiko clearly having a minute advantage…

It's clearly BS. That's what he tells himself as he turns a page in the old, dog eared copy of 'Ritual Magic for Dummies' and finds the next line of the incantation. Candles flicker as the spell falters, stutters and lurches forward in hiccup fashion. Dust billows and old support beams creak. Ben pauses, looking around the empty shell of what was once an actually promising mystic turned cheap scam artist. Display cases long shattered and emptied. Tatters of silk and gauze hang in strips from the rafters. Candles hung suspended from webs like a Hogwarts cafeteria.

The pronunciation is off. He's doing -something- but it is NOT what the script implies. Whatever he is doing is meant for a completely different purpose. That or he's just butchering it so badly that it's becoming something else entirely.

Looking up at the sound of a voice, Ben pauses. "Occupied! Find another bathroom!" He shouts back and pauses. That's when the wind picked up. A gust like a downdraft before a storm but… inside a building. Candles spinning. Shards of mirror at his feet vibrating, tinkling and clattering on the dirty tile floor.

"Uhhhh… this can't be good?" Ben questions himself, eyebrow arched as he looks about the blooming chaos.

"Ben?" That was his name, wasn't it? Keiko's grasp on English is weak and she's not sure how his name worked out, so she'll try that. "What the hell do you think you are doing?" The wind, the tinkling of the glass, the candles … have the tattooed woman sighing.

"STOP what you're doing right now!" The quarter staff spins as Keiko tries to find the focus on the spell. She could try to hit the book from his hands. "You're summoning something bad …"

He can see the scars of the brand that peek over her neckline, glowing dully in time with the spell.

Just moments later Junko darts in from the door, the helbard-like weapon seeming to seek the room's most dangerous foe, the eyes behind the domino mask scanning the room. "What… is going on here?" she asks to Keiko, slowly inching sideways to get more space to fight should she need to. "What is he doing?"

"No habla en-" Ben pauses mid quip. "Y-yeah? I mean, nah." He deepens his voice. "Docter Doom. Esquire." Brows furrow, he shakes his head and pinches the bridge of his nose. Doctor Doom likely isn't a lawyer. His ruse is weak. When Keiko rushes in, he looks at her with a shrug, arms spread from his sides. "What?! No way, this is a beacon spell. It says right here." Pointing to the page, the black ink notes in the margins glowing white hot. She doesn't have to swat trhe book from his hands as he drops it.

"Yeowch!" Grabbing his hand, the web shooter exposed on his wrist as the sleeve pulls back. Startled, he jumps back a step when Firefox arrives. He's out of the circle now. Maybe good? Maybe bad? "I think I summoned you two. I mean, the ears and tail thing… yeah, I can see that. Keiko? Kind of surprised to see you here. Hey, is anybody else having to yell to hear their own voice or is it just me?!"

Wind howling, debris starts to scrape across the floor as it's dragged along the circle in a slow but building spiral of trash and fine rubble.

"Now may be the time to mention that I'm new at this!"

That's really probably not a 'dummies' book. Heavens know where Ben might have found it. At least he's dropped it now and can't intone anymore of that spell.

"Don't make me find Illyana, neither of us will like that." She tells the man. He saw the way that Keiko responded to the Hell Queen. "No you didn't summon me, I was working here …" she's so very literal but Junko gets a look from the woman. She doesn't answer though - she's trying to decide - friend or foe. She didn't come through the circle after all.

"Break the Circle." She's had to do this before. She spins, twirling the quarterstaff with expert ease, bringing the Gossamer forged shaft down on the lines he's inscribed.

Gossamer forged - so much stronger than normal metal. It should react with the circle - either scratching the lines to break them. Or cracking the floor and destroying the lines anyway.

The Firefox glares at the young male that is clearly dabbling in magic there, her hands guiding the shaft of her polearm. "You have no idea what you are doing there, do you?" she asks, pointing at the poorly drawn sigils on the ground, just as Keiko calls for its destruction.

A moment she seems to hesitate, then she spins, the blade on the end of the weapon jumps through the air, drawing a silver sheen. The arcs of silver intermingle in a crazy web before they come down on a different part of the floor, right in front of Ben. It's mundane steel, but it is forged in the traditional way.

It absolutely was not a 'dummies' book but this brilliant idiot sure seemed to find it regardless. A plant, most likely. Placed by someone with terrible intent and not a whole lot of moral fiber. When Illyana is used as a threat, Ben rapidly shakes his head. A quick wave of refusal. "Yeah, let's not get my ear ripped off and added to a necklace or mantle centerpiece." Ben scoffs. "Well, I summoned -her- at least." The semi-retired Scarlet Spider gestures to Junko. Who glares back at him. "Yeah, science and one liners is more my bag, magic is more a hobby as of tonight. Rookie mistake? WHOA!"

As Keiko swings her staff at the circle and Junko flings sharp steel at Ben, things escalate. Don't they always with these Spider-People? Ephemeral arms, large as pillars and scorched black like burned iron, reach up from the floor inside the circle. Wickedly clawed hands grasping at the walls, toward the three gathered.

Ben leaps back, lightning fast and agile as can be. A quick, mid-air splits and he's instinctively shooting webbing at Junko. THWIP! Impact webbing. Fun stuff. "SORRY" Light flares as the floor cracks under the circle in two points. Where Keiko and Junko both struck. The circle flares like white phosphorus. Searing cracks racing up the colossal arms that reached out from some strange void. Pulled back, everything starts to tug toward the closing of this strange hole in reality.

"You are coming home with me, when we're done…" Keiko mutters, driving the heel of her foot through the circle to destroy it. "And explaining just exactly what you thought you were doing."

That should cause the summoning to stop, at least. Then she's spinning again, nowhere near as agilely as the Scarlet Spider but fluidly enough - she's been trained to fight and that much is obvious.

"Hold on …" she calls out as she hooks her quarter staff through the door frame, using it as an anchor while the spell burns out.

There's no way that could possibly go wrong.

The firefox shook the head at the claim of Ben having summoned her before having to retreat several steps from the emerging demon arms and stuff. Let the other woman do the talking, she took the impact webbing to her arm with a wince before she spun the blade to try to drive the emerging abomination back.

"You really have no idea what you're doing, boy?" she bellows back as Keiko calls to hold tight. Wincing again, she started to brace the naginata's blunt end against the ground to prevent the pull to get her.

"That's very forward of you and I appreciate the courage that took!" Ben fires back at Keiko without a second thought. There's probably a case study in the making out there with the focus on Ben Reilly and the verbal tidal wave he spews. "I was -TRYING- to use a metaphysical pager! This isn't exactly rocket science, you know!" Defending his stance on almost destroying a city block with shadow golems, Ben has to anchor himself as well. One hand, palm flat to the wall. Clothes flapping and snapping wildly as the void demands more of them.

The Firefox catches one of the giants hands, lopping off a finger that fades into wisps of shadow before it even hits the floor. The howling vortex consumes more and more as it shrinks…. until it is done. The silence is deafening. So is Ben still yelling. So helpful.

"Not really, no!" Digging a free pinkie into his ear, he squints and wrosk his jaw. Trying to pop his ears and get hearing back. "But it kind of worked, so. It's not like magical people have a hotline, you know. There's no Wizard Signal. Wait. Is there a Wizard Signal?!"

"It didn't take courage…" Keiko growls at the quipping Spider. She's beginning to understand why Illyana grabbed the mans ear the other day. "You were trying to … " She blinks at Ben in utter disbelief, her arms straining as the vortex threatens to claim her.

Then it's silent. Mercifully so … well, not quite. "You can stop yelling now…" she yells herself, cracking her jaw to clear her ears.

"A Wizard Signal? Why on earth would you want to do that? Did you even think that trying to get someones attention magically might have called exactly the people you didn't want finding you? Like Plokta?"

She's not pulling any punches in her remonstrations.

Junko flails as she almost looses her footing to the vortex, only managing to stay out by inches. The vulpine ears swivel as she tries to reorient in the sudden silence, her eyes darting between the two.

"You know each other? And who's Plotka?" she asked, carefully glacing at the blade of her Naginata as she repositions it, a thumb running along it. "What exactly were you thinking? Wait, no, I don't want to know that answer. Whatever you did here, you clearly were not thinking at all."

Rubbing his fingers together and flicking the plaster dust from his digits, Ben steps away from the wall he used as an anchor mere moments ago. Stepping up and over a toppled table, Ben toe taps what was the circle before. The floor doesn't collapse so he stands on it once more. "Ah. Yeah, that was calculated but I assumed proximity-wise, I'd dget somebody more local before I got… you know… -him-." Ben clearly doesn't like even saying Plotka's name. He even winced a little at the mention. Shaking it off, he pulls his sleeve down over the webshooter. A decidedly different design from most.

"We met once. Over pizza." Ben smiles wide and toothy, a smarmy and somehow punchably charming grin. Then Plotka is said again, the smile fades. He rubs at the back of his neck, working out the tension. "Plotka is like an interdimensional genie that's also an impressive jerk. What I was doooooiiiiing was trying to get somebody that might know some, like… shielding spells or magic bug-a-boos on the cheap. Essential oils just weren't doing the trick and I can't just google 'Wizard Stuff' and expect results. I mean, I did but as you can see? Wait." Ben squints, upnodding to The Firefox. "I didn't summon you? You're not my spirit animal?"

"Him or any of the other Splinter Lords. Or how about just a mage that followed him?" Keiko shakes her head as she collapses her staff, putting the now short rod back into her backpack. Seeing the webshooter and realising what she'd seen just now, her eyes narrow.

"You said you weren't Spider-Man!" she accuses.

"Why on earth didn't you just contact Miss Rasputina and ask her for help, if that's what you wanted?" The hapless Spider isn't getting out of this easily.

"I am certainly not a spirit animal, as you call it, and most certainly not your's either," the redhead anwered, the blade turning a bit in her hands before she let its shaft rest on her shoulder.

"Actually, it's rather rude to call someone an animal. Or would you call Tigra an animal?" That's when Keiko calls the guy Spider-Man. "Hmmm… are you sure? Looks kinda short… but then again the camera angle could lie… But I would have expected the costume…."

"In the words of famed American author Mark Twain: Hol' up." Ben says with both hands up in defense. Elbows bent, that web shooter exxposed again from a loose sleeve. "There are -more- of him? Oh, come on! That's just not fair!"

Eyes widen, he's quick to jerk that sleeve back down and cross his arms. Hiding said jewelry(even if he JUST minutes ago used the darn thing), Ben gives a bashful, half hearted chuckle. "Hey, I'm not-Hold on, now-I can ex… I WAS Spider-Man. Not here. Not the real one, I mean I was for a year and then-" Ben squints his eyes closed and waves his hands rapidly. Defensive Jazz Hands Technique. "I'm retired and I'm not this dimensions Spider-Man. I'm just Ben." Like that's going to last.

Eyes widen, he laughs and waggles a finger at Junko. "Got a point there. I don't deal well with claws. Bad history there. Look, I'm Ben. Proper introduction covered, going to go ahead and say I'm sorry. To both of you. The guy I bought the book from looked honest. He had a dog. What was I supposed to do?"

"At least three that I know of…" Keiko nods "Belasco was one … Sifror another and Plokta but I think there are more." If Belasco was one that means … she doesn't say it, but Ben might be able to draw the conclusion.

Taking a moment to retrieve the book that he had bought, the tattooed woman examines the cover. "You, of all people, should know how badly magic can go wrong … " She doesn't offer it back to him either, just stuffs into her backpack as well.

"Keiko." That's her introduction to Junko, but Bens drawn her attention again. "You're not the real Spider-Man?" She considers him carefully "Just Ben, not the real Spider-Man. So just one of the many who are about now?"

Keiko's certainly seem a few of them.

"Firefox." Junko answers to the introductions, eying Ben and KEiko's exchange. "If you have no idea of magic, why do you try it? Isn't it obvious from the rarity of mages that magic is quite hard to master and dangerous?!"

"Belasco. But then that would mean…?" Oh. Ooooh. The realization dawns visibly upon the not so Scarlet Spider. Conclusion drawn and it's a bit to wrap around his brain. "You're right, Keiko. You're right. It was a dumb move. I just, I'm not used to asking for help. Clearly, my therapist is dropping the ball. Sure, it's the Vietnamese guy who stuffs menus under my door but he's a good listener." His rambling halted, Ben considered the question carefully. Running tongue over teeth, he mulls it over before a nod. "Yeah, that's a pretty good grasp of it. There sure are a few of them here. I… haven't gone looking for them."

Ben snap-points to Firefox and reaches down to pluck half a crystal ball off the floor. Offering it to her, taking it back to hurriedly dust it off and offer it once again. "Everybody starts somewhere, right? You could say I have a history with it but not using it. Chemistry is hard to master and dangerous, I rock and roll that with no problems. Aaaaaand now I see where I'm the jerk here. Crap."

"Yes … apparently does." Keiko answers watching as realization dawns on the Scarlet Spider. "You should try the chinese delivery, he's much better as a therapist. His couch is better too." She's poking fun at him, he can sure of that.

"You should call Miss Rasputina. She's not going to let you go easily anyway and if she finds out what you've been trying …" There's an implication there that Keiko isn't going to go out of her way to tell her, despite the earlier threat.

"You're from another dimension? What was it like?" She just nods at his last statement "Yeah, you really were. Not to mention the danger you put this whole area in."

Firefox lifts the hand to decline the broken crystal ball, shaking her head in unison with it. "You should probably have read the article a couple times and then made sure to get instruction on it."

"Ok, you are a dimension traveler? You ought to be even more careful then… who knows what rule difference you encountered?!"

"I'll check out his Yelp reviews and give him a call." Ben banters easily. It's pretty much 45 percent of his genetic makeup. The rest is spider stuff and awkward nerdery. Maybe a dash of some paranoia and rage issues. A little smidgen. "I know. I'll call her. I just, heh… man, she's gotta be so mad at me." A nervous chuckle and he scuff-kicks the floor with a worn out Adidas. "Ahhhhhh, gotta face the music, don't I?"

"Ahhh, yeah. It was a lot like this one, I think? It's hard to remember now but the little differences are the most jarring. Still wake up half expecting to be somewhere else most mornings." When Junko declines the broken crystal ball, he simply hucks it over shoulder to break against a broken segment of wall. "My previously admitted arrogance is probably to blame for me jumping in with both feet and half a brain." That said, Ben hops up and sits down on what remains of a counter of some kind. Wires snapped and dangling from it where a register once sat.

"Not a -willing- dimension traveler." He corrects. "Biiiiig difference there."

"Look up Ng Deliveries down in Brooklyn…" Keiko deadpans. It's hard to tell if she's serious or not. "Are you sure you have a half brain? There's not many I know who would willingly risk Miss Rasputina scorn or contempt." Keiko is mostly confident and yet Ben saw how she deferred to the Limbo Queen.

"If it helps, I'll go with you to see her." Maybe having someone else there will keep Illyana's attention off her a bit.

"How did you get into Limbo to begin with?" That's a question she's wondered since meeting him. "I mean. Did you go to Limbo from your dimension or was it something else? Is anyone really a willing dimensional traveller?"

Ben, now unsure if Keiko was screwing with him or not, cast her a squinty side eye before apprehensively nodding. Yeah. Ng Deliveries. His distrust soon forgotten in favor of agreement. "Yeah, I have a knack for tempting wrath, let me tell you."

Raking a hand back through his hair, he shakes his head. "Gotta face my own music eventually. I owe Illyana an explaination anyway. Ugh. She's gonna stab me, I can feel it."

"Yeah, that's a funny story. There were these kidnappings, I went to investigate. Nightfall. They tossed me into Limbo. No clue how." Said as he glances up. Sudden. Quick. "Spent like, a year being hunted by Belasco and-HEY WHAT'S THAT?!" He shouts and points. Whether they look or not, Ben Reilly shoots a webline straight above his head through the broken drop ceilling. Then ZIP! Straight up and gone! Like some kind of reverse Santa Claus. This guy and his exits. Yeesh.

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