2019-07-19 - Are You Committed?


Keiko's getting released from med bay. She and Koa catch up and plan.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Jul 19 05:31:30 2019
Location: Triskelion - Medical Bay

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"It's been long enough, Koa. We've been in bed for days and Witchfire has a lead on us." Keiko is dressed, still bandaged a little but she'd been a bit stubborn about that. "We need to be doing something. Either finding those places or finding her."

Stubborn probably isn't the word for how she's being at the moment.

They're on their way to the cafeteria though. Something about getting a decent meal after all the 'hospital food'. Not that it was, but you know.

"And you didn't tell me how you got to the house."

"I walked there, clearly." Koa says as they head toward food. He can smell it from here. Oh. Smells like penne a la arrabiata. He's looking surprisingly spry for a man who has allegedly been stabbed in the heart. In fact he's looking better than he was BEFORE he got stabbed in the heart. His right arm is unbandaged and looking normal.

"And you've been in bed for days. I was out after the second day. Picture of relative health. Sort of. More or less."

That's probably not comforting.

"They wouldn't let me out." Keiko gives Koa a look. She doesn't have accelerated healing like so many others she knows seem to have. "Something about my bloods not being right as well…" That had been a bit of a worry but she's not dwelling on that.

"You walked to the house, from Holland. I believe that…"

No she doesn't.

"What happened." It's not really a request. She wants to know. "And what happened to your neck?"

It does smell good and Keiko breathes in deep as they enter the cafeteria, there aren't many people here at the moment, thankfully.

"Your blood… oh it's not presenting as human anymore, is it?" Yeah that'd make it tricky. That wouldn't have fazed a WAND doctor but it definitely did the standard SHIELD medical staff.

"No I walked to the house from a block or two away. I got teleported in from Holland. Sort of."

He sighs. "Let's get some food and I'll tell you about it. What did the doctor's say about your own injuries?"

Because, you know, stabbed through the chest and cut up, that's got to be pretty bad. Koa gets in line and gets a plate of penne, then moves to collect some salad and find a table.

Keiko's face twists in distaste as Koa works out the problem with her bloods. "Not entirely, no. They want me back for more tests. I'm not inclined to go." Difficult. The damn Doctor kept looking at her like she was a freak.

"You're being difficult." That coming from Keiko is almost laughable "But alright. Let's get food, I'm hungry and I want to know the whole story." She's changed. Not content to just go along for the ride, the small spirit caller might be finding her feet. Again.

Following along, Keiko takes up food as well. Two plates of penne, sans the salad.

When they find a table, she sits down a little more carefully than usually. "They said I was lucky to be alive and not as badly injured as I could be. It missed my lungs but the shoulder is a bit of a mess. I shouldn't be using it for anything too extensive."

But of course she will.

"You still got a through-and-through wound in your chest. I don't think you're gonna be in the condition for anything strenuous any time soon." Koa points out as he sits. He eyes the amount of food on her plate but doesn't comment.

"Ananym was waiting for me in Holland. She'd worked out, somehow, that I'd found out about the Silence. She got close to me as if she had escaped captors and then stabbed me. Her aim was better with me than it was with you. Then she left me for dead."

He leaves that there for a moment as he takes a couple of bites.

"I wasn't down for very long when something was over me. Something… green. Winged. Long face. A demon of some kind, I think. He dragged me somewhere and told me I couldn't die just yet. Then he…"

The Agent's face twists as he tries to find the words. "He did something. It hurt. A lot. I'm not really sure what it was. A ritual, possibly. Then I got shoved through something and next thing I remember is stumbling down a street in New York about a block from the house."

"Doesn't matter. We have work to do and we don't, Piotrs going to try and find her on her own." Keiko answers giving Koa a flat look for the look he gives to her. "I could say I'm eating for two…"

She's not. She's just hungry.

Letting the silence sit between them as Koa tells the tale of his trip to Holland, Keiko eats as well. "Green and winged?" Why does that tickle something in the back on her head. Had she seen something in Limbo, in all the time she'd been there? She's not sure.

"Is that when the shark tooth on your neck filled in?" Had he noticed that yet? "How come you're so recovered, by the way?"

Koa touches the side of his neck. He'd noticed when he looked in a mirror. "Possibly, but I don't know. I didn't notice it until after…" He says quietly. "As for being recovered…"

That's an interesting question and one that kind of disturbs Koa. "I had a wounded arm when she stabbed me and I didn't when I got to New York. Well, it still hurt and was still bandaged but I could sort of use it. Whatever was done to recover my heart wound, must have also recovered my arm."

He sighs… "I remember being asked if I wanted to live…"

There's a long pause there. "I knew when she took my shape, and when I saw that sword, what she would be going after."

That's possibly a bit… disjointed.

Keiko shakes her head. "So when you made it to the House, you're telling me that you had use of your arm? You looked pretty bad and if I hadn't been run through with a sword, I would have come to you. But what I'm getting is whatever was done to you, is involved with whatever is done to you. What did the doctors say about your surgery."

She's worried and probably with good reason.

The mention of the sword gets her eyes narrowed. "That sword. It was Piotrs. Do you have any idea where she got it?" Talk about disjointed. It's probably good the two of them know each so well.

"I felt something, by the way, through our collars. Either when she stabbed you or … after."

"Not really. But I don't think it was burned at that point and whatever happened to me was working it's way through the arm…" Whatever the reason his arm work and doesn't hurt anymore. Mostly. He still has a sleep problem and… other problems.

"It could be that I was stabbed or you could have felt what else happened to me yes. I'm… sorry you had to. It can't have been pleasant. Both of those hurt. Quite a bit."

He takes a breath and focuses. "Mmmm. I'm not quite sure how she got ahold of it. It was snatched up by a demon last I saw. Clearly it made it's way elsewhere. Limbo isn't hard to get to. She might have just come on it though that seems unlikely. Perhaps it was brought to her."

That's a disturbing thought.

"Don't be sorry. We are bonded, Koa and I wouldn't have it otherwise." That might cause problems with others though. "What did you say when you were asked if you wanted to live?"

She's assuming the answer is 'yes' and yet the small woman asks anyway.

"You know there are nine sharks teeth about your neck, don't you?" Nine. It's a magical, or demonic, number she's coming to discover.

Keiko takes some time to eat from the plate in front of her letting the Agent have time to answer.

Despite that answer, she raises her cat slitted eyes to him. "Can we use that to track her? It is linked to Piotr after all, and it nearly killed me."


Koa gives Keiko a long, quiet look. "I said yes, of course. After weighing things." That's kind of a dodge and Keiko should know it. She's used to that. He gave an answer that is technically correct but probably not quite the information she was looking for. Still… he said yes right?

"Yeah, I do. And that's a worrying number considering what we saw in the heart chamber in Limbo." He says quietly. His mind wanders for a moment and his gaze goes a bit distant before he pulls himself back.

"In theory yes, but I've been trying to track her magically for some time and she just doesn't show up. She's probably using magic to conceal herself. We might be able to overpower it, but given that we don't know who or what cast the concealment, that might take a lot."

"What things did you weigh?" The small tattoo woman responds with. She's used to his dodges and normally she would let it slide but not today. Maybe she'll be more … assertive again. Maybe.

"And what we've learned from Illyana and myself. Nine is a number that means something, Koa. I don't want to lose you, you're my friend." She can see his mind wander, the way his eyes look into the distance and waits for a moment for him to return.

"Have you tried the sword itself, though? Or just her? Piotr must have a … sympathetic link - I think that's right - with it. And Cullen should be able to locate her."

"Is this related to The Silence?"

"The people who would need me. The harm that Witchfire might do if left to run around." Witchfire probably could have killed Sam and Keiko that night. Definitely Sam, she'd come very close to doing it in one stroke to begin with. And that would have been bad.

"I'm still here." For the moment. Koa doesn't say that but it hangs in the air all the same. "I don't know what it means. I'll probably have to get someone to look at me."

Illyana perhaps. Or someone in WAND. He's not especially eager to bring this up to WAND for perfectly understandable reasons though.

"I have not tried that yet no. I'd need a piece of Piotr to do it and I don't have one. It's a good thought. If she's smart she's concealed that too but it's worth trying. This… probably is related to the Silence. I'm operating on that assumption so we do still need to check out those sites. Though I will admit I don't have any evidence."

Keiko watches Koa as he makes that admission. It's the sort of decision she'd make herself, so she gets it. But still. "I know you are. Talk to Illyana, at the least. Maybe she'll know." Telling Keiko isn't talking about speaking to anyone for herself.

"I'm not sure she'll think on that, Koa. She didn't seem … all with it, if you know what I mean." That he'll need something of Piotr gets a short nod from the spirit caller. "Hair or a personal item? I will ask before taking but you'll get it."

"You have those books we found on the Silence, yes? And the stuff you found in Wand? Piotr wants to help, was going to chase her alone. Maybe he could assist by looking through those."

Piotr hadn't gone looking, so what had happened?

"Yeah. Parts of the body would work best, but a sock or something will do in a pinch. Clean sock, if you please." Koa smiles slightly before it fades with the seriousness of the conversation. It's actually… Keiko may or may not notice how seldom Koa smiles. Smirks yes. Half smiles. But smiles? Almost never. And never for long.

"He could and he could also help by taking you to some of those sites and opening them up. There may be nothing in them but they might be dangerous too. I really need to know if there are fragments of pillars in them like there were in the one we found. And if any of them are still intact."

That barrier spell. If it's still operational they need to analyze it. Pronto.

"Hair then. You'll get it." Of course Keiko will ask first. Well, tell Piotr in that way of hers. As for smiles. She can't the last time she did. Certainly not since Limbo.

What a pair they are.

"And he can go with you too." Keiko adds, already agreeing in her mind that she'll do that. "Give me a list of the sites and we'll divide them up. I'll start tomorrow. Tonight I think we're settling into a new place."

"WAND should have your place warded by Sunday afternoon for what it's worth so you shouldn't have to be gone long." They've got people working on it now. Four layers of wards done by experts. They'll be effective that's for sure. Pandora had been serious when she had mentioned not wanting Witchfire to get her hands on that anomaly.

"But yes. We can stop by my office and get the list. Are you sure you're able to do this though? I'm fully recovered. More or less. You got pinned to the ground like a butterfly."

Granted, Koa nearly got killed. Again. But at least this time he doesn't have to live with the lingering effects for weeks.

He doesn't, does he?

"That's good. We still need to get Elena settled. She's had a lot of change lately." Keiko nods though. Being able to be back in her house is welcome. She had just been getting used to having space.

"Are you?" It's a blunt question that she levels to the Agent. "We don't have a choice, do we? There's only so many of use who can do this work and … what was that speech you were giving your recruits the other day? Do you think it's any different for me?"

Whether she's up for this or not, the clock is ticking.

"Continuity is important for kids I hear. And anyway we still need that house sat on." And if the Rasputins disperse it will make them harder to protect if need be. That's probably not on their minds. They all have powers. Sam does too and Keiko in her own way. But Koa is the only one who swore to lay himself down if need be. And he takes that very sersiously.

"I am fine yes. Physically. Mentally? I'm still dealing with the aftereffects of… everything that's happened recently." Which includes, yes, getting stabbed through the heart.

"A speech I give every set of recruits, really. It's important to remind them of what this work CAN call for. It's different for you, yes. You never volunteered for this."

"Stability and we'll move back to the house when it's warded. I'm not putting my family at risk though. Me, it's different. Piotr and Elena, they didn't sign up for any of this."

"What do you mean, I didn't volunteer? I came to you and asked you for help. I could have given it to you, walked away and lived my life. You would have still solved the problem, without me."

"Are you getting help for the after effects?" Keiko so isn't qualified to do that. "I can listen if it helps."

"I mean this, Keiko." Koa gestures around them. "SHIELD, WAND, all of it. The uniforms aren't just for looks you know. They come with a promise. 'I am the shield that guards the realms of men.' That's part of the oath we take in WAND. That we will do whatever is necessary to bring people home when they are set upon by supernatural forces. And that we will hold the torch up against the night that closes in around us."

He takes a breath, calming a little. "I am… trying. The nightmares just aren't going away. And the other, the… well, the addictive nature of magic. There's psychological therapy but its the worst kind of situation. I have to take in magic to do what I do. I can't do my job without it. Not all the time but often enough."

He never gets a proper break. He can never just 'go off' magic. He needs it too often.

"Then sign me up." Keiko gives Koa a flat look. It doesn't matter to her that she didn't swear the SHIELD oath. She's here and she means it. "I've never had anything that I really believe in, Koa. The Nightfall was something I was raised to. When I ran, all I wanted to do was not get caught again. It wasn't that I be free, I don't think I knew what that was."

"Then Illyana, Sifror and Limbo happened. In a way I just went along with all that. The only thing that drove me was that others would never be where I had been."

Sign her up or accept that she's in this for the long run. This, this is something she can actually believe in.

"The nightmares aren't normal. I told you that, the night I came to you." She shakes her head. "You're killing yourself, you know that, don't you?"

"I don't think I really have an alternative." Koa says quietly. "And I know they're not normal. They are very, very not normal." He leaves that there though. Maybe she'll think that they're just magical nightmares. And not him being tortured by a splinter lord level being. Which… he is.

Most nights.

"You have a family Keiko. You have people who depend on you. You have a daughter. You have to think about them."

In some ways it gives her license to be selfish. Because if she's gone… what happens to them?

"But… if you're committed to this I'd be stupid to turn down the help." Can she be, though? He wonders.

Why couldn't she be? Committed that is? And not in a straight jacket sort of way.

"I have a daughter who needs to know that she has choices in this life, Koa. What sort of example would be I setting her if I did nothing?" What she doesn't say, though he might know it eats at her, is that for the best part of the week, Elena is out of her reach - leaving the small spirit caller quite … alone.

She'll just work hard not to be gone as he puts it.

"Then I'm in. Let's go get that information and I'll get Piotr and I started tomorrow." Tonight though, that's for her family.

"You have friends, Koa. We might not be able to help you directly, but you can lean on us. I'll always be here for you to do that."

Koa's smile is somewhat wan. Can he lean on them? Piotr had expressed similar. He doesn't doubt that the sentiment is sincere. But can he? Piotr's priority must be his family, as must Keiko's. Illyana has to prioritize the stability of Limbo, and after that, Sam. And Sam, well the big lunk is over the moon for the blonde sorceress that much is plain to anyone with eyes.

And Koa? What can he count on there? When push comes to shove, he suspects the answer is 'very little'.

"Mmm. Let's go get that info. After I have some soft serve. I haven't had any since I got burned." Because, you know, need two hands for that.

Mmmm. Ice cream.

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