2019-08-18 - Recruiting Help


Intercepting Hod, Sif shares the current woes and gets an offer of help from an unexpected angle

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Aug 18 00:51:28 2019
Location: New York

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Sif has a couple of problems to deal with. The bio-weapon targetting of Asgardian descendants and the wound to her soul. Which is more important? Hard to say but what she does know is she needs to speak to Hod about both.

Hod, the God of Darkness and Winter, who is fated to kill Baldur and start the Apocalypse. It's perhaps no surprise that the God avoids all being Asgardians - but that doesn't mean they can't find him.

Astryd had divined the strands of Fates and told Sif to join her in this Park in New York at this time. When Sif gets there, it's lateish in the afternoon and the park is relatively empty - there's no sign of Astryd but the blonde is generally punctual - so she can expect her anytime soon.

She might also be getting another guest. Another clever blonde in fact who's been making inquiries about the bio-weapon attacks that have occured.

Arriving in this park perhaps a few minutes early is easy enough for Sif. She'd been given information on how to get here, and with the help of the new StarkPhone device pressed upon her by Loki's assistant Darcy, she arrives and walks toward … that empty bench over there. It's shaded and seems sufficiently out of the most frequented walking paths.

Watching the other pedestrians meandering through the park, she briefly regrets having chosen to not bring her roller skates along. Though it is rather more uncomfortably warm today than the past several days.

How do the Midgardians tolerate this?

Sometimes, easily. Most of the time with less clothing than necessary - Betty was one of those people. It was a hellish thing to deal with - city heat - but you do what you can with what you have. Betty knew of the location and the news about the attacks was troubling. She was a friend now, an ally to the Asgardians on earth, in truth, she was also a convert. With a crunch of her red-heels, the dirty-blonde makes her way closer to the bench. Her attire was fit for the weather, shorts, a loose blouse, sleeveless and pale in hue. Hair up, decorated with a couple of beads, she's set for the weather. Even so, she's already marked with sweat.

"Lady Sif," she greets, panting lightly and offering her a smile. "It's, ah, been awhile." It had been, when the pair last met at Fenris and Astryd's home, sharing life experiences with the touch of a hand. "I-how are you, Lady Sif? Well I hope, with, well…all things considered."

The peace of the park is broken as something crashes from the shadows in the trees not far from the bench. Sif and Betty are both treated to a huge grey wolf with wavy hair leaping … out of nowhere. On its back is a familiar blonde who has her shield and sword out, holding the wolf by her legs only. "I think we've outrun them, Cuan, and the Underway has closed.".

No. That's not Fenris. He's not black to begin with and nowhere big enough.

"And there's Lady Sif!" the blonde gestures with her sword. As the pair draw closer, it's obvious they're covered in frost and judging by the flush to the Valkyrs cheeks, they've been working.

"It is a good thing we did, Astryd." The wolf speaks as he comes to stop by that bench. If anything his tone is censorious. "Lady Sif." The wolf dips a leg in bow to the Warrior. "And you … must be Miss Brant, Grandfather has mentioned you."

"Lady Sif. Betty." Astryd greets the pair, sliding to the ground before the wolf stops. It's a bit of a spectacle and fortunately there aren't many around to see this. "Sorry I'm late, I had a spot of bother in the Underworlds." Cuan snorts and looks sidelongs at the blonde.

"How are you?" There's a meaningful look to Sif and then to Betty. "Hod … should be along soon unless Fate has taken a turn."

And Yes. Astryd is still brandishing her sword and shield.

Sif looks up at Betty as she approaches and says hello and offers a brief hint of a smile. "Ms. Brant, hello. I have been… busy, of late."

She glances across the park a bit distractedly, but then there's that crashing from the trees that has her on her feet with her own sword in hand almost instantly. Seeing that it's Astryd and Cuan has her relaxing somewhat, but her eyebrows furrow together as she watches the Valkyr and her wolf.

Strangely unsubtle of them.

Putting her sword away again, she offers the just arrived pair a brief warrior's bow before offering in a hopefully mild suggestion, "If Hod is to be along soon, perhaps we should not have weapons at the ready when he arrives?"

"I assumed as much. I'm just happy to see you again. I've been meaning to - " Then comes a crash, the bite of snow and the show of a Warrior and her mount. Where as Sif drew her sword, Betty was ready with a Desert Eagle in her grip, leveled up and ready. When noticing who it actually was, the reporter lowers her weapon and flicks on its safety.

"Sis! And Cuan. I've heard of you, too." A brilliant smile on her features, she puts the weapon away and steps foward, offering out her hand toward the wolf for her scent. Should he allow it, she would eagerly brush up and massages at his jaw-joints.

"I'm well enough, but I've heard some horrible things happening to your kin. I want to help." Pause, "Hod? Are we working to change his destiny, too? Like Fenris?"

Incredibly unsubtle of Astryd. So very unsubtle. The look Cuan bends on Sif says just as much. "Lady Sif has a point, Astryd." the wolf says in a low growly voice. "Put your weapons away, if you will. I never thought I'd live to see the day I was telling you to be cautious."

Clearly the wolf isn't happy about all this.

Astryd looks every inch the warrior with her weapons but she nods and slowly the shield transform to a 'basket' of a hair clip, the sword to the pin. It take a few moments for the blonde to fix that in her hair - Betty will recognise clip, probably.

"Change Hod's destiny? If we can. Fenris and I work to avert Ragnarok. That means stopping Hod killing Baldur, which works in with the Winter Gods desires as well. So much so, Betty, that Sif and I both have incurred injury to do that." Sif can answer the rest.

Honestly, Hod had every intention of NOT going throught he park. It's not that he could smell them, they were downwind of him as he was cutting through the park after all, but it's the /noise/ of them. Hell, to him, they may as well have been announcing their presence with trumpets and some sort of speaker system stolen off the back of a truck bound for a shitty EDM festival in Bruges. But then they started talking about changing destiny, and stopping Ragnarok, and all other manner of stupid. "You can't stop Ragnarok." he says, his voice coming from where he's been standing, unnoticed, for the better part of a full minute.

Hod's really good at not being noticed and that's when he's not even trying, when he puts his back into it he may as well be scenery. He stands in the dappled sunlight passing through the leaves of the elm overhead. "Trying to stop it is a fools errand." Sif's been around him a few times, and usually Hod's quippy, snarky, a little whimsical with his grumpy old man schtick, but none of that is on display here. Instead he's serious, quiet, and he looks old. Older even. Something in the way he stands, leaning a bit to much on the cane maybe, or stooped shouldered. He uses a fingertip to push the glasses further up his nose.

Sif looks over at Betty as the woman greets Astryd, and can't help but wonder about the term 'sis'. Isn't that a Medgardian term of familiarity? But she dismisses that mental question to focus on the Valkyr's words.

"Yes. I have b—" With a surprised blink, she turns to look at Hod who snuck up on them rather handily. She can't ever claim to be most observant Aesir, but she can at least pick up on others sneaking about.

Clearly not this time. At least she didn't draw her sword again.

"I believe we all have news to share. I can begin." And so she does. "I am seeking information on who would benefit from creating and spreading an illness that affects Aesir and Midgardians with Aesir ancestry. They seem to be using a 'singing metal' as part of the…" she hesitates, trying to remember the terminology she heard used. "…delivery system."

"I…don't understand. Isn't that easy enough to stop? Keep him away from Loki and mistletoe and you should be fine? I mean, I know the stories I know aren't exactly right to what's happened or going to happen, but that's the tale I know. Archery gone amiss because a Trickster God was jealous of the love Baldur has." Finishing her brushes and adoring scritches to Cuan, she steps back and jumps in place at the sudden show of Hod.

Turning to face him, she offers him a kind enough smile. "Perhaps not," she glances to the other woman, and wolf, in attendance, "but I know I have people worth trying for." Falling silent as Sif speaks, Betty nods. "I've heard of that, too. Well, that it was happening. That's why I was wanting to speak with you. I can dig into it for you, help you figure out what's going on and how to stop it. Also, perhaps go through some family trees? See if we can find who might be targetted next?" Pause, "Singing metal? Like, a type used for an instrument or that vibrates at a certain level?" A tap of her nails to her chin, Brant ponders. "Oh, forgive me. It's a pleasure to meet you, Hod. My name's Betty. I'm here to help."

With the clip in place, Astryd steps forward to give Betty a hug. "You are well, little sister?" She asks giving the woman a good look over. What she might see there, who knows.

Cuan in return for the scritches moves to lean against Betty leg, pressing his huge shaggy into her palm. He's enormous and the way his fur looks like the wind is moving through it is interesting.

"That is one way, yes, Betty. It is why Hod chose to exile himself from Asgard and refuses to have anything much to do with us. But remember what Fenris said about Those Who Sit Above In Shadow, they nudge things here and there, trying to bring Fate to pass."

Hods appearance has the blonde turning to look at the old man. "Lord Hod. It is a pleasure to finally meet you." He might remember the tall haughty blonde as the raven that took Lughs blast of light that was aimed at himself or Baldur. As the blonde that fought by the others side.

"If trying to stop Ragnarok is a fools errand, then I am fool. I will not let my own Lord fall to such a Fate if I can at all avoid." Her … own Lord. Isn't she one of Odins?

Sif will be able to speak more of the 'singing metal'. Astryd knows very little of it.

Looking back at the Valkyr and the Midgardian woman from Hod, again Sif's eyebrows furrow in confusion. She's going to have to ask Astryd about that. Later.

"The singing metal. The Midgardians have given it an odd name, but it … yes, vibrates at a certain level. And its reaction to those certain levels is highly dangerous, to the point that it has been used to collapse a building."

She looks over at Hod again, taking in the fact that he seems more tired even than when she last saw him, and perhaps it's this that causes her to practically wilt and sink back to sitting on the park bench even though that puts her back to Astryd, Cuan, and Betty.

Hod snorts and says a word that does not translate into English and isn't spoken in impolite company, much less the polite kind. "Exiled. Myself." each word drips venom almost viscous enough in the air to taste on one's tongue. "Funny. That's not how I remember it. I remember my father stripping me naked before the court, ripping the birth right of Asgardian power from my cells, then kicking me bodily into the Bifost with force enough that my landing cratered the field of battle he saw fit to drop his blind unarmed son into."

Impotent rage has taken the bend from his shoulders and wiped the weariness from his features. "Yeah. Sounds like the sort of shit I'd do to myself. If I was that much a masochist I'd prolly stick around, see what other lies you'd like to spread about me." so the venom just keeps coming. Drip. Drip. Drip. Someone's hit a nerve. "You're all lucky I love my brother, or I'd kick this apocalypse off just to us all our of our misery." and just like that the rage is spent and he looks weary again. Bringing up the party line as it concerns Hod's history is clearly a sore spot.

Betty Brant embraces Astryd adoringly. "I'm alright. Well enough, anyway. I hope you're doing well, too." She nods, offering the blonde a smile before pulling back and resting her hand atop the wolf's dome. Eyeing Sif, she listens, her head canting at the information provided. "Singing metal, could collapse a building…" Brant repeats, nibbling at her lower lip in thought.

Her fingers continue working at the wolf's pelt, digging at its undercoat as her warm gaze settles on Hod. She frowns and thins her lips, considering her words as her expression shifts from sorry, to anger, and a mingling between the two. "Lord Hod," she begins gently. "I'm sorry for what's happened to you. I, well, if you want to talk about shitty relations, I can step up to the plate. I-I think, dispite what's being said, or misunderstood, we're here to help. I at least want to help you. And Lady Sif, and Astryd and, well, all of you. What happened then is then, we should focus on keeping the future, well, a possible future."

"Lady Sif? Are you alright?"

Astryd sighs as Hod starts in. "You were exiled from Asgard, my words were poorly chosen. You weren't exiled from associating with your fellows on Midgard though and yet, you make it difficult for anyone to find or interact with you. At least that's how its seemed. Perhaps I was mistaken in that as well." beat "But accept my words of apology and let us be friends. One exile to another."

She's an exile as well, after all.

Cuan gives Betty one last nudge and stands. "I'm going to visit Grandfather, Astryd. Call me when I'm needed." Astryd ruffles his head and nods as the wolf takes to the skies. Yes. A Flying Wolf.

"I believe the metal in question is called … Reverbium, yes Lady Sif?" She'd told Astryd that at one point. Something for Betty to investigate perhaps.

Hod's rant would seem like it just passes over Sif, except that about halfway through it she scrubs her hands over her face as if trying to wake up or similar. "Yes, Hod, the Allfather treating you in such a manner is a perfect reason to treat all Aesir as if we spit anytime someone speaks your name." She sounds almost as weary as Hod looks.

"It's nothing you can help, Ms. Brant. Do not concern yourself." She tries to dismiss the Midgardian woman's concern, and focuses on the topic of the Reverbium in her attempt. "Yes, that is the word. Reverbium. There was an attempted attack on a building known to be frequented by young children, and a chance occurrence involving some Midgardian music prevented it." She stops scrubbing at her face only to grasp a handful of her hair and tug at it harshly. "The perpetrators targeted the building because I was there at the time."

SHE could have been the cause of many Midgardian deaths. It's been keeping her from sleeping at night.

Hod smirks, "My fellows. Yes. This would be my tormentors of a half millenia?" he shakes his head at Sif, "Don't pretend you were kind or generous of spirit either cousin. Five hundred years you and my brothers were top shelf asshats. I fought by your side, I shed blood with you, all of you, and when Odin saw fit to banish me the only one of you who had the spine to stand up for me was Bald-" he shakes his head firmly like a dog wearing at a bone, "Gah!" the butt of the cane strikes the ground hard as he slams it down in frustration. More with himself then anyone else. He thought he was passed all this shit, but it seems some things lurk.

"Sorry lady, old wounds on old people." He says in passing to Betty while reaching up to rub at the bridge of his nose with the heel of his hand. After a pause he turns to Astryd, "I kept track of you and the wolf." he says off handedly after he takes a moment to gather himself. "Not exactly personally, though sometimes. But enough to know where not to be. I figured live and let live." he shrugs, it's not an appology so much as just a statement of fact. "But." but she did help out when they needed it, and while he's less concerned with his own fate, the blow she took could have harmed others he cares for… so he owes her. "But I owe you. So why are you looking for me? If it's to find a noisey metal I'm not sure how I can help." Unless they want some found, or to get into a place where it's kept without being seen? Or maybe an imprompty blackout to aid in sneaking? Or… yeah. Okay. Me /might/ be useful to some people.

Astryd touches Sifs shoulder in a rare show of affection, grey eyes fixing on Hod for a moment. "It's funny the stories we tell ourselves when times are darkest. Let me start anew with then Lord Hod. I extend guest right to Fenris and my home to you. You are always welcome there." Sifs said all that needs to be said there.

"Lady Sif was asking about your whereabouts because she needs your assistance. On two things I believe. Let me start with one at least - she has taken metaphysical injury for her part in removing the Geas that Lugh placed on me. It is a mark on her soul but we know what effects it will have … I don't know if you can help her, but …"

That might not be clear to either of the other two.

"As to the second, she'll have to explain. I'm not across that at all."

"Reverbium." Betty echoes, pulling her hand away from the wolf as it goes off toward his kin. Digging into her side bag, Betty pulls out a notepad and pen. She scribbles down the word, then the news of what happened with Sif. "Do you know the name of the building, Lady Sif?" The rub of the woman's face, the pull of her hair - it gives the mortal pause. Frowning, she glances Astryd's direction before slipping forward and taking a seat beside the warrior woman. "Hey, you know that's not your fault, don't you? Someone being a target is never their fault. Someone trying to attack you is the blame, and they're all the more cowardly if they attacked you when you were surrounded by children." A glance up, she looks back to Sif, hesitant at first and then rests her hand on the woman's shoulder.

"We'll put an end to it."

Sif huffs out a sigh as Astryd and then Betty both offer her reassurances. "That is thin reassurance when Midgardians are still being injured or killed by whomever seems to want to…"

Her voice trails off as she remembers something, and she looks up at Hod. "Syndr. We determined that the reverbium can be traced back to Syndr."

Hod goes still for a moment, "As in princess of Muspelheim." he says flatly. If he could stare flatly he'd do that too, but he's all mirrored shades and blank expression. "Yeah. Yeah so someone's fucked." he drops in the same flat tone. "I can't help. Winter and I… we don't speak so much anymore." it costs him something to admit that aloud in this company.

"Even Gods can't be everywhere at once. It's a big world out there and people are assholes." Betty mutters, pulling her hand away after a soft squeeze to Sif's shoulder. "Muspelheim? The…fire world, isn't it? So it comes from another world? This metal?" Blinking, she sits up and shifts, allowing herself to try and see all three Asgardians at in turn. "Who would bring it here if that's the case? Do you know who would make a weapon from it?"

"From what I understand of what Lady Sif has told me the attack is aimed at descendants of Asgard" Astryd adds, squeezing Sifs shoulder and giving Betty a grateful look for her support. "Sindr. The daughter of Surtur and yes, Little Sister, the fire realm. Surtur has long been an enemy of Asgard. His daughter no different."

"That's a good question, Betty and not one I can answer. Perhaps Lady Sif knows more of this though." Astryd is there, after all, to provide support for the Aesir warrioress. At the least, Sif might have people she can speak with.

"Winter and you might not speak, Lord Hod, but it sounds like Lady Sif might need some assistance. You are one who can find things that are hidden, are you not? I'm sure that's something that is useful. Will you work with your Cousin?"

Sif shakes her head no at all of Betty's questions. "I do not know if it originates from Muspelheim, or who would bring it here or why. That is what I have been tasked with determining. Not that I even know where to begin."

Despite Astryd's words, she is not at all expecting any help whatsoever from Hod. He's already made his opinion on matters VERY clear.

"There is one task I have been remiss in, though more because I do not know where to start." She glances up at Astryd. "A fair number of the first Midgardians affected by this were employed by the Embassy, and more than a couple bore some resemblance to Fandral."

Hod sighs heavily, "Seriously, drop that Lord shit. Havn't been royalty in two and a half millenia." it seems to make him exceptionally uncomfortable, "Not sure what help you want me to be though. Finding something nebulous is possible, but time consuming. I'm not what I once was." he reminds them, and he manages it without openly twitching, "Asking me to find a metal is problematic, I'll just end up walking in circles finding every bit of it spread through out the Realms." he shrugs. "If it's Fandral's wandering dick you're looking for me to find, wrong Aesir. I suggest asking Bragi." he smirks slightly. "More his area."

Betty Brant blinks, brows knitting as she starts scribbling down more information. Names, locations, Fandral? With question mark set beside the name, she looks up to the trio and then looks down at her notes. "Does…prayer offer you power?" She asks then, another look up and focusing on Hod. "Something given as an offering? If it can aid you, and in turn aid Lady Sif and other Asgardians, well…" Pressing up and off the bench, she strides closer to Hod but is sure to stay out of his personal bubble. "Besides looking into names and information, I can't exactly look into things as deeply as you can L-Hod. Maybe we can investigate together."

"Fandral? One of the Warriors three. You're suggesting, Lady Sif, that there is some common ancestor to all the victims? Is there someone who may know more of this metal that others might speak to? It sounds like Betty here is offering to help." Astryd looks to Sif. The Aesir does have contacts that might be of use.

"Alright. Shall I call you a pain in the neck then instead, Hod?" There's the faintest hint of a smile as she looks at the Exiled God. "Not metal and certainly not the progeny of our brethren. But perhaps … you can locate other things as they come to hand. Writings? Research? People perhaps? Your power might not be what it once was, but maybe there's some still something to it."

Still if Hod declines to help, there's nothing for it.

Sifs look to Astryd has the blonde sighing "You need access to Asgard, yes, Lady Sif? The healers may know how to determine progeny or provide what the people of science require here? We should speak to Fenris, if that's the case. But it *will* be dangerous for us all."

They're not welcome in Asgard on threat of death.

"Betty, if you could help with the research, perhaps speak with those that Lady Sif has, you might put things together. Your mind works in clever ways."

Since arriving on Midgard, Sif has only ever tried to not treat Hod the way she and so many other did as youngsters. But still he holds it against her and everyone else. She's clearly giving up on him offering assistance.

"There are, of course, others who will know more than I about this reverbium." She can't help but think of the one Midgardian scientist."

At the Valkyr's question about going to Asgard, she answers with a small shrug. "I might, Astryd. I am not sure yet. But if I do, I hope to leave it as an action of last resort." She shakes her head slightly.

"How may I share information with you more quickly, Ms. Brant?" She thinks about the phone device that Darcy insisted she carry, but still can only employ it for the most rudimentary tasks at best. But, maybe this is one. She pulls the phone from her jeans pocket. "Perhaps with this device?" She offers it to Betty — a top of the line StarkPhone with a case that appears to be designed to withstand extreme abuse.

Hod's lips twist up a bit as if he tasted something bitter, "I owe you. Both." he says as if that explains why he's still standing here. He has miles of mixed feelings for the Aesir and their world. Avoiding them has always been his prefered method of dealing with said feelings. "I can get you in and out of Asgard without anyone seeing." he says with a sort of benign confidence that's a bit unnerving. "And yeah, you give me something specific to hunt, so long as it's hidden, I can find it. Eventually." he doesn't look Betty's way, but acknolwedges her with a head tilt, "The funny one with the jokes about looking into things might prove useful. Especailly if you send me after anything written down." Cause the BLIND GOD CANT READ of course, and he might come back with a take out menu and not some ancient tablet of world saving. "Look, if you wanna reach me," he pulls a business card from a pocket, "leave a message with this answering service, I check it regularly." the card is entirely in braille, which means someone will have to actually translate it. Just annoying enough to be irritating, but also understandable. Basically, the card is so very Hod.

"Then we have a plan of action." Astryd straightens and looks at the group. "You know where to find us, Betty and Sif. Hod, you do as well, I take it. I won't tell you we're in the phone book under Kerensky but we are. Come by, I'll cook you dinner, you look like you need a good one. Guest right applies."

"Sif, I will walk with you a while." In all honesty, Astryd is concerned for the Warrioress and she feels very responsible. "Betty, you too. You can tell me what's new in your world."

With those last words she waits for the Aesir to join her and starts walking away.

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