2019-06-13 - A Poppin' and a Rockin'


Doing repair work on a WAND held property, Keiko and Koa discuss a number of things.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Jun 13 05:16:37 2019
Location: Queens

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The ornate oak door opens and sends dust bunnies scurrying everywhere. This place hasn't been lived in for some time that much is obvious. The air is a bit stale and those white dust covers hang over all the furniture, making every room look like its haunted by the ghosts of the decor. Which probably died sometime around the turn of the last century, judging from things.

"Well here we are." Says Koa putting away the keys. "Home sweet slightly unusual home. Or it was for someone once. Hasn't had anyone for a while but it still needs to be kept up so it doesn't become a rats nest on top of being 'haunted'."

The way he says haunted suggests that the place isn't actually haunted, but there must be something wrong with it or WAND wouldn't have had to buy it and lock it up.

Keiko waves her hand to dispel a particularly strong dust swirl, coughing a little from the stale air. "How long ago was this abandoned?" She asks as she steps through the door. Just through enough to enter, but not far enough to disturb much of anything.

She's wearing jean and shirt that leaves her arms bare - displaying the tattooes, healing wounds and collar with the fillagree 'buckle'. In her hand is her toolbox and on her back, backpack - two things she's rarely seen without.

Koa Turner says, "Mmmmmm." Koa has to think about that as he moves through to unlock other doors. The lights work, which is nice. And there are signs the dust has been disturbed, likely by people who make sure the lights DO still work. "Nineteen thirty something was the last time it was inhabited I think. After that it passed into the hands of a couple of societies that predate WAND. My division was actually formed by merging a few of those under the SHIELD's banner so… WAND inherited it."

The Agent opens the door to the kitchen which has probably seen better days.

"How… um, how are you feeling by the way? Sorry about the other night."

"Nineteen thirty something … that's a long time. No ones lived in this place since then?" Keiko eyes the disturbed dust and looks back to Koa. "Has anyone been in here? It looks like someone might have been, maybe a squatter."

"I'm alright. Healing." Koa probably didn't expect any other answer - Keiko's proven to be rather … stoic. He might say stubborn. "You don't say sorry." she chides him "Are you ok now?"

"Oh I'm sure there have been from time to time. But that usually takes care of itself. Sort of the nature of the beast. We have people who come in to make sure it doesn't turn into a fire hazard and make sure the lights still work - important in a place like this - but nothing more." Koa glances down at the disturbed dust and then back up.

"I… am sorry. And I am in good shape at the moment." Which is why he felt okay to go back to work, even if work is coming here to let Keiko in.

If she looks under the sink she'll see a pipe has leaked. That's probably as good a place to start as any.

"Anyway, no one has owned the place since then. Lived in? Well, squatters, likely. For short periods of time." He pauses. "I may have need for someone to put in 20-25 hours in a live in situation soon if you're still open to that."

Keiko's already making the rounds of the kitchen, noting problems as she moves. The door to the pantry needs rehanging. Some of the drawers need new runners. The floor needs attention as well. "You shouldn't apologise. Not to me."

Getting to the sink and opening the cabinet, she sticks her in and wrinkles her nose.

"Sinks leaked. Want me to fix it now? It will be a temporary fix until I get more bits." She's already opening her toolbox. She's got some tape in there that will hold for a while.

"Squatters can cause problems, you know that, right?" At the last question she turns her head up, banging it against the edge of the cabinet. "I am. But I want to know more…"

"Yeah but not as many problems as this place's special feature can cause…" Behind Koa, in the pantry, something has begun glowing orange under the closed door. There's small popping noises, like someone is furtively going to town on a roll of bubble wrap. Koa is ignoring it. So. Hard.

"Please do." She's being paid for her time and it'd be inconvenient if the place were flooded next time he had to visit.

"Well it'll be a place like this. It'll be weird, either haunted or with some kind of dimensional instability. But I've found someone willing to be a caretaker and sit on that particular problem so… yay."

Koa pauses. "It's Illyana. She's going to take one of the places. And maybe get some friends."

He's not sure Keiko will say yes, but he's offering her a nicer place and still enough freedom to go out and pursue other business. So maybe that'll… make up for it.

As the pantry starts to pop, Keiko's attention is drawn to it. "You're ignoring it? Shouldn't we see what it is?" It's mild but her tattooes are itching. She knows what that means.

Given Koa's not paying attention, she busies herself again, tightening the nut that holds the pipe - carefully - before starting to wind the tape about the pipe. "Pass me the u-clamp." She doesn't often say 'please' or 'thankyou' and some find that offputting.

"Will it be dusty like this?" Whether that's a serious question, is a good question. Koa will see the spirit caller tense at the rest of the information.

"I see." She's quiet, working a bit more before adding. "What friends?"

"Do you want to see it?" Koa looks amused. It's clearly something he feels comfortable handling. If it were dangerous he wouldn't have brought her here surely. Or maybe he would have. Koa seems comfortable with putting Kieko in danger. Why is that?

"It will likely be dusty. It will definitely need repairs. And once people start living in it, it will need repairs to keep it up. Something about a lot of these places keeps them structurally sound but tends to be hell on the amenities. Don't ask me why I haven't figured out that one myself."

The question about what friends has him shaking his head. "Don't know. Doubt it's her brother though it might be. Possibly that Sam Guthrie guy we both met. Beyond that?" Koa doesn't really know what kind of friends Illyana has.

Why wouldn't Koa be comfortable putting Keiko in danger? She's competent, a trained fighter and she doesn't get too overconfident, most times.

"I don't know, do I?" She's curious though and pulls her head from the cupboard, looking to the pantry again.

"We can clean it I suppose." That doesn't really bother her. Koa's seen where she lives. Repairs - well, that's what she'll be paid for isn't it? "I don't know, Koa … I don't know Sam and … " Keiko shakes her head finishing the taping of the pipe as she sits there.

From all that he's seen of her, she's rather solitary. Making friends doesn't seem to be a priority. But there's probably more, isn't there?

Koa walks over to the pantry and dramatically tugs it open. There is what can only be described as a sucking portal inside. It's opening and shutting erratically and that's what's making the popping noise. When the door opens a sort of vacuum effect starts, pulling loose dust and such toward the portal. It's not strong enough to affect tools or people but if it were open longer it might well be.

"Before you ask, I don't really know where it goes. Some place with a lot of energy is all I can really say for sure. It's never stayed open for more than a few seconds that we're aware of but that's more than enough time for someone to fall into it if they're overly curious."

Which is why he was saying squatters tend to take care of themselves.

"Fortunately it only ever appears behind closed doors, so all you have to do to not get sucked in, is not open the door while it's going. UNFORTUNATELY we can't make it stop. Which is why we ended up owning the building."

Koa ppers at it for another moment. "Kinda pretty, though."

There's another minute or so of silence. "I know you're uncomfortable around HER. But I honestly hand on heart don't think she really means you harm. Not real harm." Annoyance perhaps. Little things like appropriating someone's coffee. Still.

"Even if you don't want to I still need this work done and I'll keep you in mind if we find another care taker." But Koa thinks its a good opportunity for her.

Keiko's eyes widen as she watches the portal, watching bits of debris get sucked in. "Oh wow. That's some security system. And I wasn't going to ask, but if I ever missing, you might want to start looking here." She's joking of course.

It is very pretty, though Keiko barely registers it, she's still thinking about Koa's offer.

"I am, yes. Uncomfortable. Of course she means me real harm if means protecting others. Ill Illyana has said so several times. She'd been perfectly to kill me to stop Plokta, you heard that at least once." She sighs. If Koa gave it some thought he might realise that Keiko could well be resenting her situation. She'd fled one master, the Nightfall, offered her assistance to defeat them and been taken by another. Or, at least, shackled for the duration.

Keiko's eyes widen as she watches the portal, watching bits of debris get sucked in. "Oh wow. That's some security system. And I wasn't going to ask, but if I ever missing, you might want to start looking here." She's joking of course.

It is very pretty, though Keiko barely registers it, she's still thinking about Koa's offer.

"I am, yes. Uncomfortable. Of course she means me real harm if means protecting others. Ill Illyana has said so several times. She'd been perfectly to kill me to stop Plokta, you heard that at least once." She sighs. If Koa gave it some thought he might realise that Keiko could well be resenting her situation. She'd fled one master, the Nightfall, offered her assistance to defeat them and been taken by another. Or, at least, shackled for the duration.

If it wasn't for the fact that finding somewhere else was proving so damn difficult, Keiko might have said no 'outright'.

"It is." Koa says, finally shutting the door. The popping sound continues behind it. "Not all of the houses have problems that easy to contain. Some are actually haunted by real ghosts, others have other kinds of instabilities. They're all livable or we wouldn't let anyone live in them at all but…" He trails off. They're weird. They've got issues. He's sure she gets it.

"Is it that you're afraid of her? Or that you… feel like you're trading one master for another?"

Koa as it turns out HAD given that some thought. Also she'd spoken to him about this a little bit. And honestly it's not hard to see. Keiko is stubborn to a fault. Koa is fairly sure it's a survival skill. But she's probably also not wrong in feeling a bit sore about things.

Most normal people would, after all. It's just unfortunate that Keiko isn't normal, and neither are her circumstances.

"And the place that you're offering me?" Keiko gets it. Each place has a different problem. They're going to have to work out how she can work in them without needing to have Koa present all the time. He's got other things to do, after all.

There's a stoney silence and sullen glare, as Koa asks that question. He can see her weighing her answer. Weighing him. "I'd be a fool not to be scared of her. She's powerful and she's taken me apart without so much of a 'by your leave'. But I was just getting my feet under me, I was free. No one to answer to, not like the Nightfall. Then I offered to help and this … "

She touches the collar and the healing wounds on her arms.

"The worst thing, Koa? I would do it all again. What I did was right but there's price and I hadn't calculated correctly."

"She can take you a part without so much as a word in edgewise, yes. But you're still here. So am I." Koa leaves off the question of Illyana herself to answer the others, though, since they are indeed just as important.

"I don't know the place yet. She's agreed to be a caretaker but hasn't told me what problem she wants to take on. I wanted to see if you were interested given our… history."

So, no place just yet but Koa seems to be thinking quite soon.

"The fact that you would do it again means that even knowing the cost… you think what you bought was worth more." And to be honest… he agrees.

Keiko being here … she'll give Illyana her due. She's not sure what the Limbo Queen had done but it had helped the spirit caller bear the trial. "I suppose you're right. If she hadn't linked us like she had, shared my pain with you, I don't know if I would have survived."

She sighs. "I'm still working with you, for you, aren't I? I said that I would take on the extra work." Sullen, sullen woman. "If she'll accept me as a housemate, I will do it. Finding somewhere is isn't easy."

"Of course it was worth more. Those children and many more won't live the life I have."

"I don't know if any of us would have survived." Despite the dire nature of the situation, Koa had not been willing to throw them into a solution that involved one of them dying for sure. But that's not to say that it couldn't have gone wrong and ALL of them might have died. That could have easily happened. This is the price paid for meddling with godlike powers.

"I think she will, and when she has a place, I'll give you a call and let you know where." Koa had only said 20-25 hours after all so he expects that she'll want to continue to work outside of WAND's employ.

And she might want to get out of the house, occasionally…

"Yes, those children will never know your name, but you saved them. All of them."

"Maybe. I don't know. I only know what I experienced and I've never experienced anything like it." She's not spoken much about it. What she experienced. "All of my creatures tried to get out. They fought me. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have been able to to contain them."

So maybe none of them would have survived.

Finishing the taping, she collects her tools. "I'm about done here and I didn't save ALL of them, did I? There are still thirteen missing."

"We'll find them. It wasn't the Nightfall that took them. Of that my people are fairly certain." Which just leaves the question 'who did'. Koa doesn't like questions like that. Or rather, he doesn't like not having answers to questions like that. Mysteries like these don't usually lay quietly. In fact it usually indicates someone is moving unseen.

Which is never a good sign.

"Maybe… just maybe we can help that. Maybe your creatures will in time not WANT to fight you." Or maybe they will, forever. Koa doesn't know. But he hopes. And hope is a powerful thing in the world of magic.

"They used whatever the Nightfall was doing to do it, though…" Keiko points out but she nods as she rises to her feet and picks up her toolkit. "Did you want me to do more while I'm here? There's a couple of hours work to be done. I might be able to do it without you here."

If he thinks she can be trusted.

"I know you think it can be changed. My spirits that is." She doesn't say anything more. He'd told her to play with them. Let them out to romp. She's not entirely sure how to do that.

"Yes. Did you want me to stay?" It's not that Koa doesn't trust her, it's that places like this are not a bit spooky and very unpredictable and he's prepared to sit with her if she'd feel better to have someone around who can put up barriers if need be.

"I do. I deal a lot with spirits. I don't know everything about them but I know a lot. They're very simple, elemental creatures, really. Embrace their nature and they will adore you. Oppose it, or control it, and they will resent you." The higher level ones are more intelligent but the basic rule applies. Spirits are creatures of their nature and beholden to it.

"You don't have to, if all I have to do is not open doors, or close one quickly if … one of those things opens." Keiko isn't scared of the spooky or unpredictable - it might be her downfall at one point.

"If it would make you feel better, I'll summon Bella and have her with me. She can only be active for half an hour at a time, but I can resummon her." That's information that Koa hasn't had previously. "You think they resent me?"

"I don't know." Koa admits. "It's a theory but I've seen how they react to other people. They want pets and loving. But they don't ask you. I had thought a reasonable explanation to be 'they don't think you'll give it to them.'"

Do they resent her? Koa is guessing here but it's a good guess, he thinks. Her relationship with her spirits was like the Cult's relationship to her. Not a particularly happy one, he thinks.

"That's probably a good idea though. Lassie can come tell me if you've fallen down the well." Will she get Lassie? Should he have said Flipper? Skippy?

"I used to play with Bella …" Keiko says quietly. She'd said she'd been young when she taken the Wolf. "But they stopped that. Maybe she hates me because of that." It's almost sad but the tattooed woman shakes herself and looks around. "Will you come back and get me?"

A couple of hours, that's what Keiko had said it would take.

"Lassie. I suppose she can…" she got the reference but she would have also got Skippy. That show had been popular in South America.

"Sure. Two hours. I'll bring food." Because aside from paying her, giving her decent meals seems like a good way of saying thank you. He's seen what she eats.

"Maybe she misses it." Koa suggests gently. "Maybe she hopes you'll try again one day. It's gotta be lonely, being bound like that. And it has to be lonely, well, being alone."

Maybe that's one reason he thought of her for the 'weird house'. Even if it's Illyana and her friends, at least she won't be alone.

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