2019-05-31 - What does the ink say?


People Watching and Ink go together well.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri May 31 05:22:48 2019
Location: Rockefeller Center

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Theme Song




"You are out of your mind Agent Turner. You know that, right?"

It's mid afternoon in the Rockerfeller Center and the iconic destination remains as ever it was a popular destination for foot traffic for both shopping and tourism. Koa at a table just outside one of the cafes. This is a good place to people watch and it's also a good place to catch up on reading. There's a pair of fairly heavy books in front of him, both leather bound and seemingly quite old. Only one of them has a title in English but it says 'Chronicle of the Lords of the Splintered Realms.' God only knows what the other says.

The woman who is talking to Koa is approximately four inches tall and being projected out of a blue stone sitting on the table near his coffee.

"I do, Agent Peters, as should you. You recruited me."

Pandora Peters smiles. "Well, I hear it happens when people get to your age."

Koa sighs. "Anything else, Agent?"

"No, nothing else. Let me know how it goes. Peters out."

And then she's gone. Leaving just Koa, still 21, his coffee and his light reading.

Well. Okay. Heavy reading.

The tread of Illyana's boots doesn't have the commanding ring of a woman in high heels. In a busy place like this, you can't even hear them. So Koa might not notice the blonde woman until she's right near his table. "How what goes?" She asks, leaning over to Bogart his coffee and immediately reaching for the cream and sugar. She remembers he prefers his coffee *shudder* black.

For a change, Illyana looks mostly normal. No dark makeup around her eyes, a pair of jeans (though admittedly pretty distressed) and a too-large hoodie that she has to push the sleeves up on and it hangs down to mid-thigh.

Still the same boots, though. She likes the boots.

Keiko arrives not long after Illyana, dressed in her standard short sleeves and jeans. She's got her backpack and tool kit, so she's probably been working.

Making a bee line for Koa, she stops a distance away when she recognises the blonde. "You wanted to see me, Age—- Koa?"

Koa looks up and momentarily doesn't recognize the blonde sorceress. He's really only seen her 'metal'. This is… well she looks like someone he might walk by on the street. But then she's appropriating his coffee and defiling it with sugar and he knows exactly who it is.

"Hello Illyana. I was just reading and thinking and waiting for…"

And there she is now. "Hey Keiko. Yes, I did. I wanted to test a theory about your tattoo if you don't mind."

That sounds potentially painful. Does it have anything to do with the bottle of ink next to him?

"What brings you out today, Illyana?" She might notice he's got the 'Chronicles' book open to Belasco's chapter. There's an illustration of him, must be an old one because he doesn't look quite so demonic.

The other book? 'The Broken Winged Crane' is clearly written some form of demonic. Not the one native to Limbo, but a close cousin. She'll have seen it in the library, to be sure.

Only after Illyana finishes doctoring up the coffee to her liking and has taken the first sip does she lean back in the chair, drawing her knees up to her chest and hooking her heels on the edge of the seat. "Hey, Keiko. Bring me anything?" She gives the Peruvian a sly smile as she says it.

"Ooo, more experimenting? I like experimenting." Illyana points to the other seat next to Koa. "Sit." She says, leaning forward a bit so she can snag the Chronicles and drag it closer to get a look at. "Where are his horns?" She asks, looking at the image.

"What are the books?" Keiko asks quietly, seeing some of the pictures in them. She might be able some of the one in english, but barely. The demonic one, there's not a chance. "And experiment?" Clearly not a fan of that suggestion.

Even though she doesn't meet Illyana's eyes, a stubborn look crosses her face when she's told to sit. "I was going to get something to eat first…" She hesitates, just long enough for the Demon Queen to think she might disobey before taking the chair indicated. Her stubborness only goes so far.

"Whose horns?"

"You can get a croissant here." Koa points out. The cafe is rather nice. Koa unbottles that ink and it sort of flows out on its own to float in a little black blob just above the stopper.

"Belasco's horns, Keiko. I was reading a bit about him. The first book is a history book, you might say. The second book is about… souls."

And possibly not in a good way. WAND keeps a lot of things on lockdown but agents can read them with a good enough reason. Seems like Koa had one.

"I'm not quite sure, Illyana. I take it he had them when you knew him? The illustration is…" Koa checks the bottom right hand corner of the page. "About four hundred years old, so…" There is that, possibly. Belasco becoming that demonic was relatively recent in earth years. Well, relatively recent by splinter lord standards.

The page that Koa is turned to says a lot about how Belasco established his power, dealt with other splinter lords and importantly, his habit of taking apprentices. Illyana does know that he had at least one before her. It's possible there were others through out the years though the book makes a point of saying 'failed' apprentices.

Curious way to put it.

"Our last conversation had me thinking about how Belasco's limbo was. I got curious." He explains. It might be more than that. There's a page a few pages back that's dog eared.

"Alright, Keiko… this is spirit ink. Don't worry. No actual spirits in it. It's used in Japan to inscribe spells but you can also use it kind of like iron filings in a magnet. It shows how magic is 'shaped' around a particular thing. If it's okay I'm going to use it on your back. But it might hurt. Or have other complications. I'm just not quite sure how it will interact with the ink you already have."

Though, you know, Illyana might have thoughts on that.

"I like chocolate in my croissants." Illyana tells them helpfully, and then nods as Koa answers Keiko's questions. "Yeah. Red skin, horns, tail, clawed hands and glowing yellow eyes." She pauses briefly then. "No hooves." She observes, perhaps to herself, before shaking her head as though to dismiss that.

The blonde frowns over at Koa. "How it was?" She flips through the pages, to see what it is he might have found out instead of just asking him.

She glances over while looking through the book, watching Koa and his ink. She chuckles. "You want her to take off her shirt in the cafe?" She teases him. "What are you *hoping* will happen? I'm thinking you turn her into a sumi-e painting."

"Croissants it is, then." Keiko orders them. Only one with chocolate though.

"What did you discover about Belasco's limbo?" she asks as she watches that ink float, eyes narrowing at the explanation that Koa gives her.

"What are you going to do? Try to fill the tattoo in? Trace over it?" Illyana asks a good question but depending what Koa wants to do, there's some of the ink above her neck line, which is easily accessible.

The croissants come without too much delay. Koa thinks about ordering another coffee but doesn't. "Not so much with the shirt removing." Koa gestures and the ink sort of flows. "The should be able to slip down her collar without any trouble. And what I'm hoping they'll do, Keiko is interact with your Tattoo's innate magical field and give me a better idea of what it IS and where it came from." Which will save her dignity… until something starts happening. THEN there might be problems with her dignity.

"How was the reading? Kind of grim. Belasco seems like a bit of a bastard though I doubt you need me to tell you that. It did mention something interesting about him and the other splinter lords, though."

That's the page Koa has dog-eared. When she turns to it there's an illustration of Belasco speaking to a great many beings around some kind of a table. Each of them are certainly implied to be if not his equal then someone worthy of his attention.

"He tried at some point to bargain with them for power and knowledge and did have a few supporters among them. He was very, very interested in something called 'soulsteel' which near as I can tell is… actual souls. Refined into some kind of shapable… stuff."

Probably a metal, the name implies that.

"He thought he could forge a key out of it to unlock the gate but abandoned the project. Book doesn't say why."

It doesn't. But it does mention something about Belasco having an epiphany that soul-steel was too corrupt. He needed to shape an INNOCENT soul to get what he needed.

Illyana Rasputina's mouth presses into a hard line when she gets to the part that Koa was looking at. She looks at him through her lashes but doesn't say anything. Does she need to? "Soulsteel… I've heard of that before, haven't I?" She's musing to herself as much as either of them.

As the ink heads over to Keiko, Illyana brings her attention up to watch. Koa said it might hurt. There might be screaming.

Illyana sips at her coffee and watches with anticipation.

"It's going to stain my shirt, isn't it?" Keiko murmurs. The tank top she wears is a dark colour - it's possible it won't even be noticeable. Still she turns as the ink flows towards her, pulling her pony tail aside so they can see the effects it has.

The only reaction they get when the ink touches her skin is the barest of flinches and the skin turning red. For her to have shown response, it has to have hurt.

The tattoo on Kaylee's back isn't formed yet. It's just an indistinct outline that seems to act like a reservoir. Koa and Illyana will see the line shimmer and writhe, like it's trying to lift from her back.

Then Glydrils wing seems rise from her shoulder and Keiko hisses in pain. This isn't like Illyana pulling the spirit from her, this is reacting with the bond the spirits have with her.

Some of the ink comes THROUGH the shirt and spirals out in a three dimensional pattern of droplets. Koa watches as they shift and shimmer and huhs. That is not at ALL what he expected.

"So I'll be honest this was mostly to confirm that your tattoos are linked to the Dark Domain. But they're not. They're linked to some kind of dream domain. Not one I am familiar with either…"

There are several dream domains, not all of them nice places to be. Dreams can as easily be nightmares as fantasies, something that the sorceress knows only too well. He cants his head slightly and pokes one of the droplets.

Nearer to Illyana it gets even more interesting. The magical field is warping or appears to be so, near her It is as if the sorceress is projecting something of her own that throws the pattern off. Which she may well be, given what she is after all.

"I can't say I've heard of it. Soulsteel that is. Hence they, uh… second book here."

The one written by a demon. About souls. This is possibly not something Koa should be reading but he's been at it anyway.

Illyana Rasputina leans back in her chair, the book about Belasco pushed back to the center of the table. When the croissants come she takes her tribute and tears off a bit to nibble on as she watches. "Nightfall gets around, hmm? Dark Domain, Otherworld, a Dream domain…"

When Koa brings her attention to the other book, she drags that one over, looking at it and then frowning over at him. "You've heard of things man was not meant to know, right?"

"What do you mean? Dream Dimension?" Glydrils tattoo shimmers and moves on her shoulder. It's hard to ignore the way it moves - even with the fabric of her shirt covering it.

"What are you doing …" Keiko felt that - Koa's touch on that ink but she's more interested in the way the way the field is warping about Illyana.

"Why's it doing that? It's not doing it near you …"

"Mmhmm, and don't forget elder god themed artifacts in their collection. Im' starting to get the distinct feeling that collecting power was a powerful motivation for them. They didn't seem to care about where it came from, connection to their 'god' or not."

Which does beg the question 'how many fingers are in this pie?'. Is it just that they've found things? Or are they pawns in one of the influence games higher beings seem to love so much?

"Just trying to figure out what this thing on your back is…"

He peers at Illyana, and then looks at Keiko, and then looks back at Illyana. Shaking the ink bottle a little he adds more so that more droplets come out and…

"Illyana is it just me or are they forming kind of an outline?

It might be Koa's imagination. But they look KIND of like shackles suspended from some kind of invisible ceiling.

Chains. Keiko's tattoos have the resonance of something meant to constrict and control.

"Things man was not meant to know?" Koa looks back up from his peering and smiles slightly. It looks… well, a bit more roguish when he's 21 than when he's 30.

"I'm familiar with the concept. I've spent a good chunk of my life ignoring it, though."

Not always, or even often, to his benefit it must be admitted.

"Well, considering I don't think that they're really all that devout…" Illyana notes. "I'm not too surprised." She sucks chocolate off of her fingers and tilts her head sideways as Koa adds more ink.

"Reminds me of my dungeon." The blonde opines. As though everyone has a dungeon. "The tattoo's meant to bind a spirit, right? I wouldn't be surprised if it had control magics bound into it."

Illyana eyes the ink that floats near her, narrowing her eyes at it. "Shoo." Glancing over to Keiko she shakes her head. "I dunno. I'm not familiar with the ink." She admits.

Illyana has the right of it. Keiko's tattooes bind the spirits to her. Or her to them. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.

"A dungeon?" Yeah, she's not going to touch that. She might be obstinate but she's not stupid. "I don't think any of us know what we're looking at Agent Turner." Telling for a hungry woman that she's not touched the food she's ordered.

"Your dungeon?" Having not been to Limbo, Koa is not familiar with the setup she's got there. Though it probably should not surprise him that she has a dungeon.

"Yeah but these… kind of look like they're meant to restrain her…" Koa stares a bit more at it and then waves a hand. The ink all goes back into the bottle. See? No stains.

"Well that at least gives me some place to do further reading. You don't have regular nightmares do you Keiko? Actually don't answer that. Thank you for putting up with it, though."

Koa rises and glances down at the table. "I'm going to order some actual food and another round of drinks. Don't suppose anyone wants some?"

It still is a good place for people watching. And Koa still has some thinking to do.

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