2019-08-21 - Fish and Chips


Keiko and Koa discuss how to address some of their problems.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Aug 21 04:29:07 2019
Location: Park

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Theme Song



"Every time I look in the mirror, all these lines on my face getting clearer."
"The past is gone. It went by like dusk to dawn."
"Isn't that the way? Everybody's got their dues in life to pay."
"I know nobody knows where it comes and where it goes."
"I know everybody's sin. You've got to lose to know how to win."

The song and music drift out over a park near Koa's house. The music isn't from a radio though, nor is it guitar. It's higher pitched than that. A… ukulele? Certainly an odd choice of instrument but whomever is playing it is doing so well.

It's Koa. Koa Turner is playing it and Koa Turner is the one singing two. The minor key of the progression is perhaps… suited to him right now. Or maybe he just likes the song.

"Sing with me, sing for the years."
"Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears."
"Sing with me, just for today. Maybe tomorrow the good Lord will take you away."
"Dream on, dream on, dream on. Dream until your dreams come true!"

Keiko has made a habit of checking in on Koa regularly - almost daily regularly. Today she's on her bike, having taken the subway to near his house. She's felt in the need for the air and the time to clear her own mind.

They sort of need to catch up after their trip to Peru as well.

It's the music that catches her attention to begin with, then the voice. Meaning she doesn't go to his house, but to the park instead. When she gets there, the bike is secured before she draws near - making sure he can see her but not saying anything.

Koa is just finishing up the song - Dream on is not a terribly long song - and picking at his instrument by the time he sees Keiko. He's sitting on a bench in the park, near one of the paths through it. It's a nice park, well put together. Well maintained. And it's still daytime which means it's not very full and he doesn't have much of an audience.

The Agent gives her a questioning look but doesn't stop strumming and finger-picking at his uke. She's here. Again. As she often is these days.

"I bought food." Keiko says without preamble, sliding the pack from her back and taking the butchers wrapped package from it. Now she's nearer he can get the scent of take away fries and fish. "I felt like something a little more ordinary and I figured you weren't eating like you should."

It's battered fish and fish. Keiko has no idea if Koa eats that sort of thing but she does.

"You play well. I didn't know you could." It's conversation, that's all. "And I came to check on you, like I said I would."

"Most of the time you've known me I've only had the use of one hand." Koa says, flexing his right hand for a moment before he lays the small stringed instrument aside. Fish and chips. "Where on earth did you get that?"

Probably from the pub of the street now that he thinks about it. Their fish and ships is good.

"Well, thank you. And yes, I see you're here to check on me. I'm still alive, as you can see." Alive. He's been ALIVE of course this whole time. But that doesn't mean he's well and she knows that.

"Some of the time I've known you, you've only had one hand but we aren't exactly friendly, are we?" Keiko mutters "The pub on the way here. It smelt good." Where on earth she'd got a taste for fish and chips, is anyone's guess.

"Alive, I can see that. Barely living, is another way to put it. Are you going to be ornery everytime I drop by?" It's bad enough living with it at times.

"It is good. I've been there a couple of times. Did they give you malt vinegar?" Because that's the only proper way to have fish and chips. Though Worchestershire Sauce will do in a pinch.

"I don't know. How many times are you going to break my window to see me?" On the one hand, she's only done it twice. On the other hand she's done it twice.

Koa takes a bite of the food and offers some to Keiko. "I'd tell you I'm fine. That everything will be alright. That I'm bearing up and that you don't need to worry about me. But I imagine that you're getting that from other quarters. So…" Koa shrugs.

"Yeah, I'm kind of in a bad way. But I'm still here."

For the moment.

"What? Oh… yeah. Hang on." Keiko reaches into her pack and pulls out a bag with some small containers. Both Vinegar and Worchestershire Sauce. "You gave me a key, remember? I don't have to break any more windows and I only did it once. The second time you left the door open." So you know, he's being grumpy unfairly.

"I know it's not and I know we can't help you, yet. I spoke to Illyana though. I expect you'll be seeing her." beat "You can lean on me though, Koa, as you can. I'm strong. I won't break. Limbo didn't break me, the Nightfall didn't break me. You'd have to try pretty hard to."

She's silent for a bit as she eats the food she bought. It's delicious and well worth the time to do so. "You were going to let me leave you behind, weren't you?"

Koa shakes his head slowly as he eats. "I could tell you about it sure, but there isn't actually a way to share any of this. Not unless you want to come get tortured by Nightmare WITH me." Which he will flatly not allow.

"No I was not going to let you leave me behind. Firstly, I had an extraction wafer, so I COULD have gotten out anyway. Secondly, and more importantly we might have been able to kill that thing so it wasn't a foregone conclusion."

Koa shakes his head. "I'm not an IDIOT. I calculate my risks and my losses carefully. It's just that I don't hesitate when I think something needs to be done."

Like taking Nightmare's torture and not mentioning it. Or nearly cooking his own arm.

"I'd take your place if I thought it would help, but it won't and I'm not stupid. I keep telling you that, Koa." There's an awful lot of things the men in Keiko's life won't allow. "Good, because I wasn't going to leave you and you neglected to tell me that you had a contingency. Maybe you should lead with that in the future."

"I didn't say you were an IDIOT either. I just think that you you don't value your worth highly enough and will let yourself be injured to save others and don't give us a chance."

Like letting Nightmare torture him and cooking his own arm.

"I'm expendable." Koa says in between bites of food.

"Look I'm not a big fan of the concept but let's be honest. Between you, me, Piotr, Sam and Illyana who can we most afford to have take a big hit? I mean Piotr, sure, he can take BIG hits. Bigger than I can take. But he's Illyana's brother and Elena's father and believe me that's more important than it might seem in the cosmic scheme of things. If Piotr is taken out, what do you think Illyana does? Same deal for Sam. If Sam is laid low, what do you think Illyana does? If you're taken out what do you think Piotr AND Illyana do?"

It's a good question. Piotr is a powerhouse and Illyana literally has the resources of a dimension at her disposal. If she's pushed further along the path she's on it's bad. And if Piotr is pushed ONTO that path at all, it's bad. And it's bad not just for their little circle, but for everyone.

"It's not math I like, Keiko. But come on. If it comes to choosing between WAND losing an agent and the Rasputins going mad with rage or grief, what do you think the best play is?"

"No, you aren't." Keiko shakes her head. She'd like to beat Koa about the ears with her quarterstaff. How the hell did she end up with two *stubborn* men in her life? "And when losing you causes as much grief, Koa? What then? Look …"

The little peruvian gets up and starts to pace.

"… you're making decisions for me, for Illyana, for all of us and taking the decision from us. I lived like that Koa for twenty one years in the Nightfall. I had no choice. I had more choice in Limbo but now, I have family and a friend who mean everything to me. I can make a difference or at least try to - and if something was to happen to you and I hadn't tried … I'd want to die."

Koa sighs. He isn't quite as stubborn as some. And he really doesn't LIKE being in as much pain as he has been but that's been kind of a thing in his life. "I'm not talking about throwing myself blindly at danger, Keiko. Just about being honest about what's important when dealing with sadistic splinter lords."

Or other things. Certainly he doesn't seem reckless. Just… certain. In some ways that's worse. A reckless person isn't thinking. A certain person is dead sure that he's doing the right thing.

"And anyway I'm not going anywhere… for a bit, it seems."

He glances down at his own chest. He… really needs to do some investigation of his own. The last time he'd spoken to Keiko she'd told him some VERY disturbing things about how he'd wound up recovering from what should have been a fatal stab wound.

Keiko knows stubborn so she knows when she's seeing it. "Don't value yourself so lowly and let us chose our fate. Or me. Let me help, as I can."

That's all she's asking.

Seeing the glance at his chest, Keiko sighs. "No, you're not and we need to work that out too." Taking a seat again, the peruvian chews on the food without tasting it. "I haven't seen or heard from Nalani since that night but the horsefaced demon, I have. He's harrassing Piotr."

That should be news to Koa.

"The green faced one?" If it has a name, Koa has not caught it. But it's very distinctive. Most Limbo demons are red or red-brown. The emerald green demon with the wings and the long face stands out, in his memory if nothing else.

"What does he want with Piotr?"

It might be unconnected but that seems like a stretch. Having the same demon involved in two places speaks to some kind of more thought out and coordinated plan.

Which is bad news. It's very, very bad news.

"Yes, that one. I don't know his name, but I recognised him when he came to the park the other day. Had one of his demons try and take me. Made threats to Piotr about me … I didn't understand all of it but he called me Little Demon and said his master would enjoy me."

Koa might understand why it make Keiko pale.

"Whatever it's doing, Koa, it's got a plan and … you're part of it. I can't let you do this alone. You're critical."

"Unfortunately for us whatever it's plan IS involves having me alive." Which means just by BEING alive Koa is participating in his plan. He's not about to off himself just to spite this demon but the bastard has arranged things perfectly. And that's worrisome. Demons that are that smart are rare.

"I suppose the only question is who he's really working for. Belasco? Himself? Ananym?" Witchfire that is. Koa still knows her name and calls her by it. Partly because he doesn't want to attract attention by saying the one she clearly prefers.

"Little Demon, though… that… has to be related to your transformation." Koa knew that would be bad news. But there wasn't anything he could do about it. Limbo takes what it takes. There's little bargaining with it.

"At the moment. Alive. And something to do with the Heart. Don't forget I know you took that energy in, Koa." Keiko fixes the Agent with a flat look.

"Belasco, I think. Not that Piotr is saying. Man won't say boo about it just he's got it handled. But I'm not sure. Maybe he's playing multiple masters off against each other. I saw similar with the Factions in Limbo." Not masters but Koa will get it, she's sure.

"He laughed when with armour appeared. Called me delicious." And there's nothing they can do about that except make sure she uses as least as possible.

"I can't imagine calling a demon to alter your very form is really that good for you." Koa notes dryly. He's not really one to talk but Keiko does have other options. "Nor is the fact that you have promethium infused into your tattoos but there's nothing to be done about that at the moment."

The WAND agent sighs and picks his uke back up. "Yes, I did take in quite a bit." But the thing that has him concerned the most right now other than Nightmare is actually on his neck. Because he doesn't know what's causing it and he especially doesn't know what it's doing to him. He's not dumb enough, however, to think ti's doing nothing.

"So what's your plan to deal with all this?" He means mostly the things affecting him. She wants him to share the burden. And he just isn't sure he can.

"It is what is. The Nightfall had something planned for me. At least for the moment, I'm free." Keiko answers. The thing on his neck is likely tied to the Heart but Keiko doesn't know he's thinking that. It's all such a mess.

"I don't know, Koa. I'm a soldier and I'm trying. Illyana is thinking on it and will do some research but I think … we need to find out what happened to you."

Research. "Would Ry'leh have answers? I'll pay the price to ask the questions…" If not. WAND? The library in Limbo.

"The obelisk in R'lyeh can answer anything." Koa affirms. "But the price isn't worth it. Not for something like this. Trust me. That leaves us looking elsewhere. WAND knows what it found when I was taken into medical but they don't want to show me, so they're out. The Library in Limbo might give us something but I think we're going to need Illyana for at least part of it. Still…"

He thinks. "The Heart of Limbo isn't something that a lot of people know about. Whatever is happening has to be connected to it. We need someone who knows a lot of secrets. Might be we have to hit up some gods. That is, IF we have time. Right now at least for me, the Silence has to take priority. And I don't know how much more time we have on that before it starts being a BIG problem."

"There's that Strange person." Keiko points out when Koa he says others. "Gods? You're kidding right?" She believes in Splinter Lords but not Gods? She's a strange one.

"The Silence is the most important but so is this. I can ask in the Bar Without Doors about contacts?" Keiko wants to do something. Take action, at least feel like they're moving forward. "Has WAND deciphered that information we bought back?"

"Sort of gods. Powerful mystical beings. God is as good a name as any for them." Koa says as he continues to pick.

"Yes, some of it. I'll get the full transcript when I am back at the office. Some things don't go well on E-mail. No character set for them. Or they turn your phone evil."

That might be a joke. But knowing WAND and Koa, it's probably not.

"Alright. Well, since you're here and you want to help me so badly… did you manage to pick up any bread pudding?"

"Check my pack." There's bread pudding and sticky date pudding. Keiko likes her food, Koa might remember that.

She eyes him when he talks about the email. "I'll come in and talk to your recruiting person then and we can look at it. Tomorrow?" Bossy little thing she is. Either way, there's dessert and she wants to to him play.

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