2019-07-25 - Remember Your Promise To The Dead


T'Challa confronts more spirits in the Disaster Zone. This time with friends.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Jul 25 05:45:24 2019
Location: The Disaster Zone

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Theme Song



It's witching hour in the Disaster Zone and all is not well. That by itself is perhaps not surprising, things are often not well in the disaster zone. It borders some of the nastiest parts of New York, such as the Bowery, and hosts all manner of weirdness in addition to crime, deprivation and general hopelessness.

Tonight though, things are especially not well. People have been complaining of ghost lights in the area, and unexplained noises and similar phenomena. Tonight, visible from the western end of the zone near Mutant Town, pale blue green flickers seem to be lighting up the remains of the buildings. Almost as though someone were holding some kind of weird rave or concert. The sounds, though, are anything but. They're weird sorts of trills and groans and there's something about them that chills the very spine. Anyone brave or foolish enough to follow them finds near the center of a ruined tower a large crater, open to the sky and near a hundred feet across. And it is positively swirling with little pale lights, circling, always circling.

Heavensent happened to be in the area. Yes yes, I know everyone makes that excuse, but it's true! He'd been working with a volunteer organisation to help support some of the more rickety buildings, and then he heard tell of some of those noises. So he slipped out to an alleyway…

And a few minutes later, here he is, his skin glowing with its simpler light, and his wings spread as he drifts in closer, investigating these lights.

Mari had told T'Challa she was going go to hunting. She had Rivera's scent and wanted to find the fashion designer. The scent, of course, goes all over town but Mari is tenacious and tonight it brings here - to near Mutant Town and that strange rave like flickering.

The dark skinned woman, dressed in mustard and black leathers, is perched a ledge on that tower watching the 'show'. She's seen something like this before, recently. Not to this extent though. Holding her phone she considers if she'll make the call or not - there's one person she knows who might know what's going on here.

That's when she sees the winged figured, drifting. Interesting.

Avery is one to keep weird hours, and her sense of proprieties is perhaps a bit skewed from that of normal folks - she's the sort to run TOWARDS gunfire, or into a burning building. The weird lights and such, those would be flames to this very not moth-like young lady. Regardless, she is out and about, patrolling this area in particular since she knows the Disaster Zone is often the area of the city that has the most going on, and that the happenings there are frequently of the not nice variety.

Running along the 'thieve's highway', the rooftops, she may not move as swiftly as some, but that's okay - frequently as she goes she will short circuit the continuum as she skips through a portal, walking the space between breaths to appear silently and without fanfare some distance away as she goes.

Glowing angelic guy? Yes, that will draw her eyes. Dressed for a patrol, she's wearing a hoodie, and a mix of various shades of black and grey attire. Recently added - a domino mask! She got it at a pawn shop, it intrigued her.

The swirling seems to slow. As if they were all in some kind of cup that had been stirred. One by one the burning orb like lights become ghostly people. Young, old, men, women, rich, poor. People from all walks of life, all looking disheveled and dirty. All looking like they'd spent their last moments desperately fleeing.

They stand in a circle and wait as an orb larger than the rest descends down from on high. Everyone can see it.

When it lands it becomes a tall man. Seemingly larger than life.

"We are all assembled here near our unmarked graves. The living wish to move on. They wish to forget what we never can, that day that fire and terror rained down from the sky. The day our heroes failed us all. They would forget that failure. They would erase our grave…"

"They cannot remain frozen in place, as you can." A voice interrupts from the edge of the circle. A man, a living man with dark skin holding a pair of glowing short spears strides into the space, flanked by six ghosts, all armed with similar. These ghosts look different. Not dressed in modern garb, they look more tribal, as if they are from a far away land.

"King of the Necropolis. This is not your kingdom." The tall ghost in the center says, even as the spirits standing around him part for the living stranger.

Heavensent likely knows the looks he's getting. That's to be expected, when you're big and glowy and not veiled, but he doesn't let it slow him down. His concern isn't with being seen, but with what he's seeing. Ghosts… ghosts are new, not something he's dealt with before. He stays in the sky, near enough to see, to watch — but for the moment, he just observes. Especially this King of the Necropolis and his entourage. Nothing seems to need intervention quite yet.

Ah. Mari doesn't have to make the phone call. He's here.

A glowing silhouette of an eagle forms behind her, letting the dark skinned woman glide down to the edge of the pit, not too far from T'Challa but far enough not to be disruption, she hopes.

She's keeping an eye on Heavensent and that form she saw running along the 'thieves highway' as well. They can't miss her - she's not looking to hide. The Eagle disappears and is soon replaced by a lion. She's expecting trouble … and she wants to be prepared.

A jump through a portal puts Avery atop a lightpole near the scene, close enough to view and hear what's going on as she balances effortlessly on her perch. Softly spoken, to herself. "Ghosts, certes an this may be a challenge - hopefully they can be affected by mortal means should they be intent upon malice." Otherwise, yeah, not a lot of options for the girl!

Yes, the large winged people - one with a spirit, one with angel wings, definitely draw Avery's attention, as does the man with the twin spears. Poised, she waits to see what will happen before getting involved - she would hate to take action the precipitates a fight that might have been avoided. Not that it sounds like that is in the offing here, nope.

"An angel. And a spirit caller…" The large ghost says. "You have powerful allies, King of the Dead."

"It is simply a case of you not being very sneaky, I am afraid." The 'King' says with a slight smirk. "And in any case it is rude to talk about them when they are standing right here. Mari, do come closer. And you…" That's to Jimmy.

"I do not believe we have met, but this discussion should be civil enough. For the moment at any rate."

There's a murmur through the ghosts particularly as Jimmy has attention called to her though people seem to be somewhat wary of Mari as well.

Behind Avery another orb floats up silently and materializes behind her. "What are we looking at." A slightly creepy child's voice says none too subtly.

Bak in the circle the leader ghost points angrily at Mari and Jimmy. "You see. The living send champions to disperse us. Rather than remember us, or honor us, they would rather deny our existence or worse, forcibly get rid of us. You've seen the construction equipment marshalled outside! Do you doubt that they plan to pave this place over, to bury the very memory of us and build on it anew?! What have you to say to that, you who live?"

Heavensent pouts. He's only /part/ angel… but that's beside the point. His wings spread, and he drifts down into the broken-open building, coming to a rest on the ground with his hands in front of him. No weapons, no visible preparation of outward force.

For now at least, they're just here to talk. When he speaks, his voice sounds like two men speaking almost at once — one with a deep, booming tone that doesn't suit his appearance. "What Happened Here Is A Tragedy, The Like Of Which Should Never Be Forgotten. But What Would You Have The Living Do? This Place" He waves an arm to indicate the Disaster Zone as a whole. "Has Stood In Such Wreckage For Years. It Is Not A Grave Site, Like The Memorials That List Your Names And Gather The Flowers Of Your Loved Ones. it Is Simply… Wreckage, And Does No Good For The Living Or The Dead. I Ask Again: What Would You Have The Living Do?"

"Maybe this is why the city has done nothing, T'Challa." Mari murmurs as she draws near. "These spirits are unsettled, what would they do to preserve what is here?" Would they be malicious enough to cause upsets that stopped any work? She doesn't know but T'Challa had said the disturbance called to him, half a world away.

"I was your champion too." The woman answers turning to face the big spirit. "And you do not see me trying to disperse you, yet. I would like to help you be remembered though and ensure that the living can continue to live here."

She knows Avery's out there, she saw the figure stop. "Come closer, curious one." She raises her voice a little. Avery should hear that, shouldn't she?

The ghostly child voice does cause Avery to turn to look, "Greetings, youngling-shade." Is she nervous? Yes, yes she is. But as Mari has stated already she is also quite curious. The invitation of the spirit caller spurs Avery to glance over her shoulder at the woman, before offering her visiting shade a frienldy smile. "I beg your pardon, follow if you wish." And then she turns and hops off the pole, waiting for that moment when she's static between leap and starting to fall, and then another portal whisks her to appear right next to Mari. No rush of displaced air, no sound, no telltale signs at all on the material plane, the etheric might have a different tale to tell.

Heavensent's speech comes with a Voice. As if from heaven which seems appropriate enough. T'Challa watches curiously as he speaks. These good points he makes. And he manages - barely - not to let the surprise show on his face when they have yet another arrival.

"They speak truly. What would you have the living do? They remember you already."

"These are our GRAVES!" The Ghost challenges the part angel. "In another age, these lands would be called hollowed ground. In another time they would have spoken on how the world can never forget what happened here. And yet…"

He gestures. "And yet they as you see only wreckage. You. Young one. Tell me. What do the living owe the dead?"

That's to Avery. Why does it feel like he's looking for something specific.

T'Challa shakes his head asides to Mari. "I do not know. It is unusual. They are consumed with anger. Well, some of them are. Others are here mostly so that they can feel again. Even rage is feeling something."

"I would have the living look their failures in the eye. I would have their heroes bow their heads in shame at what they permitted to happen. And then… prepare to join us. For all must. And all the world shall."

He is angry, this one. It's not clear if there is any reasoning with him. But other ghosts in the crowd might well be placated. The ones on the edges already look like they're largely in agreement with Jimmy and Mari. It's the ones near the center who seem near maddened.

Heavensent makes a show of casting his gaze around the ruined street. "This, A Grave? What Makes A Grave, Spirit? Is It The Presence Of Vacant Bodies, Or Is It Memory? The Rubble Of This Place Bears What Had Been Your Flesh, But Bears Not Your Names. This City, These People, Do Remember. I Was There During The Catastrophe." Some of the ghosts may even remember him; the first time he shone this light, the first time he grew those wings. I Was There During The Speeches Made After, As Those Who Survived Did Their Best To Put Words To Feelings Which Cannot Be Expressed, The Unspeakable Depths Of Regret. I Can Show You Where Your Names Are Remembered. What Do The Living Owe The Dead More Than Memory?" He looks to Avery as he asks the question. Does she have further ideas?

But something T'Challa says picks at his memory. Just so they can feel again. So he closes his eyes, and he /feels/ as much as he can. The eyes of his mind pass over the three others gathered, and settle mostly on Avery. Nervous thrill, wonderment, sorrow at lives lost. He adds his own to that, his regrets of not having done /more/ on that day.

When his eyes open, he /pushes/, sharing those emotions outwards. It's a soft push, little more than damping the mood — not nearly as intense as if he focused — but he shares those feelings with the ghosts. "The Living Remember." And he turns his focus more onto each ghost's face, to see if there are any he might recognise. Even though those memories will only be painful.

Mari blinks as Avery appears. "You really need to be careful doing that. It might get hit or skewered." She tells the young woman. "I'm Vixen by the way." Around her neck, the dark skinned woman wears a fox headed pendant that has a definite tribal look to it.

"Do you see it, T'Challa?" She says to the man she's standing beside. "The ones in the centre are angry, visibly so. The ones up there …" she gestures subtly "… do not appear to be. Is there something affecting them down there? Shall I go and look or is it not safe?" That she's asking says that she thinks she can at least.

"You will be remembered, the City will have a memorial for you but would you deny the living, room to live?" It doesn't make sense to the spirit caller that they would fixate on this but then, she's 'living'. What might it be like if she passed beyond the veil.

"The living owe it to the dead to learn from their mistakes, and to make good on the promise and hope that be life, spirit." Avery doesn't even hesitate, it seems crystal clear. "Life is a miracle, and aye, twas rudely rent away from you and all who feel in this great catastrophe. Memory is important, grave respect, and the fortitude to carry on in the face of sorrow." Standing at her full height the girl's surety towers within her answering the ghost, answering the Celestial. "The living owe the dead - hope."

And then with Maya's advice she has the grace to look a bit sheepish. "Apologies, I…you invited me." The last in a rush.

"It is important to remember that you have received all the time that anyone in this world revives. It is the only promise we are ever made when we are born. You get, you got I should say, one lifetime." It sounds like the King of the Dead has said that before.

Now the murmur from the ghosts seems to support Mari and Jimmy and the Avery. The ones closest to the inner circle look around sourly, clearly hearing Mari. T'Challa does too. He nods to her.

"We will not forget, you who live. Do not forget us either, lest we return to remind you." And with that the closest ones turn back into orbs and fly away. But the ones who had been on the outside now press in.

"Will you? Will you show us?" They ask. "Will you show us those who remember? Their words? Not, not tonight, but will you return? Will you show us hope that we might have peace?"

Heavensent watches Avery, glowing eyes on her face. When she finishes, he gives her a few slow, thoughtful nods. "Good Answer." He turns forwards again, looking to the spirits. "I Will. I Will Find The Best Of The Memorials. Some Still Come To Them Every Day." He dips his head low, somewhere between a deep nod and a light bow. "I Will Return, And I Will Show You." It seems like the encounter is calming, and he hadn't even had cause to draw his sword.

"You were." Mari murmurs to the young woman beside her. "It was the manner of your joining me that I was cautioning." There's a smile to soften the caution. The glowing silhouette of the lion is joined by a rhinocerous as the spirit caller makes her way towards the pit.

As to showing those who remember, the other two seem to be doing a good job. She'll think on it though and consider. Maybe there could be space within the rebuilt area that does that as well.

Avery is in a lot of ways a very simple person, the faux-world she was raised in was one with clear cut good, sharply defined evil. She was raised to be a heroine, she was trained to respect the past, respect her elders and always do the right thing regardless of the cost. To do otherwise would be utterly unthinkable, completely repugnant. Yes, this is a simplistic outlook, but there's a purity to it as well. She really believes that hope and faith and fidelity CAN change the world, how many people can say that and -truly- mean it?

"I am new to this city of New York, indeed, this whole world be a strange and wonders filled place, beautiful and terrible." She smiles to the Celestial, to the angry ghost who seems a bit grumpy, to the king of the necropolis, her domino mask offering little concealment to her features. "I promise, spirit, I pledge my troth that I will not forget. I will learn the names of the fallen, I will strive to honor their memories in deed and thoughts, it is the best I can do, I am no great magus, no sage, just myself." A nod, for her - being herself - yeah, that's enough.

She grins, then, impishly to the Caller. "But…so much /fun/."

"Do not send us away before then, King of the Dead…" They implore T'Challa.

"I will not." The ebon man replies. "But for now you all must rest. They will return, and they will show you that the living still remember. Now, go, and go in peace."

The ghosts start to disperse and the King of the Necropolis nods to those living still present.

"Well, that could have gone badly. I should depart this place myself, but should you ever need my assistance, my name is T'Challa of Wakanda, and I will be watching this place closely."

With a motion to his ghostly honor guard, T'Challa of Wakanda turns to go.

"And a word of advice? Do not break promises to the dead. They have long memories."

Heavensent nods to Avery. "I Will Show You. Tell You All I Can." And that wil give the dead another to remember them, another to offer them hope. He's already thinking over the memorials he already knows about, and which ones to bring the ghosts to first. And how many of them would 'get it' if he showed them those memorial web pages. Does that count? Well, it would certainly make a nice bonus…

Hearing T'Challa's voice brings him back to the present. He lifts his chin, nodding to the man. "I'll Keep This Promise. I Am Heavensent." He intones it like it's a name rather than a declaration. He turns to peer at Mari. "Of McCabe Industries, Correct?" He knows a little bit now, what with Recent Events.

"Vixen." Mari introduces herself again. "Or Mari. Of McCabe Industries. Yes. You can find me in the Fashion District if you're looking."

It's an invitation of sorts.

She's wondering though about why the ones in the centre were so angry. She'll speak to T'Challa about that. Later.

"Heavensent. And you?" That's to Avery. The little teleporter.

Avery blinks at T'Challa, his reminder actually narrows her eyes, well meant or not. "I do not break my promises, T'Challa of Wakanda." And then she sighs, shaking her head as if to shed the brief moment of vexation. "Apologies, you did not deserve my ire, sir." She offers a half-smile. "I will remember you as well, sir."

Avery cannot help but smile at Heavensent's offer - she really had little idea how to GET the names, but with his help? Such a relief!

And then to Vixen, she nods. "Vixen, or Mari." She files that away for future reference, and then is put on the spot. OMG! A name, a super name! Like these folks seem to have…the pressure! "Zeal." She blurts out, not even sure WHY! But…having done so, she nods, and smiles after her momentary panic attack. "Zeal." She repeats more calmly, owning it.

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