2019-08-26 - Something Curry Like


Sif gets a pair of visitors as the Asgardian Embassy.

Log Info:

Storyteller: {$storyteller}
Date: August 26th, 2019
Location: Asgardian Embassy, NYC

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Steve lets out an appreciative sigh as he lingers off to one side in the lobby area of the Asgardian Embassy. He's currently enthralled by a particular piece of artwork showcasing an entire cavalcade of armored women on winged horses bearing down on what appear to be some unfortunate opposing army. Without asking, the Captain hazards these to be the Valkyrie of legend he's heard so much about over the years if only through books and word of mouth. He hasn't had the fortune of meeting such a warrior — yet.

Present on the premise of an errand and check-in upon a particular warrior-woman, Lady Sif, he's not in anything particularly eye-catching. The motorcycle parked off in the side guest-lot is his own and the leather jacket lined at the lapels with fleece. Beneath it, a pale-grey light-weight t-shirt. Jeans and combat boots complete his civilian garb. Still, with his blond hair, build, and chiseled jaw, there's no hiding who he is to anyone with attentive eyes.

"Holy cow…you're Steve Rogers." Comes the voice of a woman near by. Gob-smacked and doe-eyed, Brant lingers and simply stares. She was here for a purpose, surely, but for now that purpose is to stand in awe of, not the art on display, but the icon standing before them. Dressed in a flowing sundress and red pumps, the dirty-blonde with a warm hazel gaze turns pink in the face. It takes her a moment to realize, and catch up, with her impolite display.

"Oh! Oh! God, I'm so sorry, I…wow, I just…Brant! Betty Brant." She greets, offering the man her hand, polished fingers catching the light. "It's such an honor to meet you. See you, in person, I mean. Of course I've seen you before, you're Steven friggin' Rogers, y'know?"

While the two Midgardians are waiting in the lobby, Sif is roused from an unaccustomed nap by the embassy staff and told that there are guests waiting for her. Taking a moment to gather her wits (and her hair), she asks the steward to see them to the study there on the second floor, and perhaps some Midgardian-acceptable beverages as well. Then she moves to change from the training gear she'd fallen asleep in to the more frequently seen Midgardian attire of jeans and a t-shirt. Her hair is carelessly pulled up and secured with a strip of leather, and then she's crossing the hall from her room to the study in low, slipper-like shoes. Norns forbid she have to leave abruptly in these things. They're entirely unsuitable for public wear.

The steward appears in the foyer as the two chitchat, then leads them to the 2nd floor study before disappearing again to get said beverages.

Hearing someone speak up suddenly, Steve turns towards the voice. Recognizing a case of the twitters, he puts on his most mild and understanding smile as she approaches, offering out her hand. "Yes, Captain Rogers. Nice to meet you, Miss Brant," he replies as he returns the handshake with the correct amount of pressure. "First time to the Embassy?"

His line of polite questioning is interrupted by the steward and it occurs to Steve that this Miss Brant is apparently also here to see the Lady Sif. He gestures for Betty to take the lead and then falls into line beside her as they make their way to the second floor's study. Steve, for one, wanders over to the nearest window to look out onto the the Embassy's backyard grounds. "This's a nice place. Gotta find a reason to go look around," he comments idly, glancing over his shoulder back at Betty and then to the door beyond, hearing what sounds to be approaching footsteps. Must be Sif?

"Embassy?" Yes, Betty. Embassy. "Oh! Yes, actually." Star-struck, she parts her lips to say something else only for silence to fall and the pair to follow after the steward. Clearing her throat, she brushes back her hair and glances toward Steve as they walk in step with one another. Only now does she pause to look around their new surroundings. "It is beautiful. I wouldn't think any less for them, either. Something modern but a bit more like home." Following after Steve's gaze, she settles her own on the door and waits.

Taking a deep breath and mentally apologizing in advance for her less than ideal appearance (and the slippers), Sif steps into the study quietly. "Hello, Captain. Ms. Brant. Please, let's sit and share news." She moves to claim one of the chairs and sits on the edge as if expecting to have to stand again at any moment — the posture of one accustomed to battle.

"I have asked for beverages, they should arrive shortly."

Upon Sif's appearance, the man allows himself a slightly bigger smile. Just a touch of dimples show at each side of his mouth. It's so rare that he sees the Asgardian warrior in anything but her fighting finery.

"Lady Sif," he greets her alongside a wave of his hand. At his ring finger, a band in muted gold. His settling into one of the chairs is more relaxed and he sighs after leaning back into the comfortable seat-back. "Won't say no to a cup of coffee. Please though, ladies first." Betty is given a nod. "My visit's more about check-ins than news." That, and the Captain never lost his line of curiosity to his time in the ice. What news does this Miss Brant bring to the Embassy?

Betty Brant softens, gifting Sif a smile as she enters. There's no judgement in her expression what so ever for the woman's attire. She waits for Sif to sit before seating herself and brushing down the slack fabric of her skirt. "Thank you, it's nice to see you again, Lady Sif." A nod toward Steve, she settles her attention on Sif directly. Her brows knit, head canting, then she speaks once more. "Are you alright, Lady?"

Then to the news. "Oh, um, so I spoke with a few of my contacts regarding the attacks. I was led to a name…" She pauses and digs into her purse, pulling out a well loved, well used, notepad. "Doctor Jemma Simmons? She's a SHIELD agent." A pause, "Also, there's some link between the attacks and Brevity Systems. They link in under Hammer Techology, and are looking for a crystal of Cyttorak?"

Sif nods her hello to Steve, commenting idly, "Coffee is one of the beverages the kitchen excels in. I think perhaps to the influence of the prince, who greatly admires the drink." But then, they're on to news.

She nods to Betty at her initial question, dismissing it with a mild, "I was not doing anything important." She then listens to the journalist's news and recognizes the doctor's name. "I think I have met Dr. Simmons once before. She seemed… brave for a Midgardian not trained for battle." Which honestly is MOST Midgardians.

The name Brevity Systems means nothing to her, as the AllSpeak parses the words individually making even more of a hash of them. The mention of the crystal, however, has her frowning slightly. "I am not familiar with the name, but anything being sought after with a name that is not Midgardian is a concern. I shall have to consult with someone more knowledgeable in the histories." Which likely means having to go speak with Loki… and try to do so without offending the younger Prince. Distressingly easy to do.

With his fingers interlaced across the span of his lap, Steve is the paramount of patient ears. His regard flicks between Betty and Sif as each speaks. The mention of Doctor Simmons, as well as SHIELD in tandem with Hammer Technology is enough to make him slowly inhale and exhale.

Sangfroid, he coaches himself — think like Barnes — be like Barnes — frozen vodka for blood in his veins — don't react too much.

Those eyebrows jump up thoughtfully regardless, especially at the idea of needing to check with the youngest Prince of Asgard. Always a good time, that.

"It's some…gem that's suppose to grant power? A god lives in it, I think or something of the like. It's a powerful deity, linked with magic. I got snippets, but mostly what I read were rumors and nothing else. Myths?" A glance up at the pair, she swallows. "We…know how those go, though, don't we?" A flip through her notes, she gives a gentle shaking of her head. "I'm not too versed on Magic, but I can learn. Otherwise, I can keep looking into the reasons that Hammer Tech is using that metal and destroying locations with your kin. Never cared for Hammer Tech, but I can dig around, pull a few more strings."

A shift in her seat, she looks between Steve, to Sif, and back again. A silent questioning if talking about this was alright. "Lady," she addresses Sif once more. "What I've done for Fenris and Astryd so far, I understand the importance of gathering magical items and keeping them /away/ from certin hands. Perhaps I can ask Hod to help me locate the Crystal?"

Sif glances over at Steve when he reacts to Dr. Simmons' name. She might have to ask him, as she got the impression there was recognition there. And then the topic is back on the gem.

"I would have to agree with Astryd and Fenris in that regard. Items of power tend to be disruptive. If you can convince Hod to assist, he would no doubt be able to locate the item and how to reach it. However, I recommend you not inform him that you spoke with me about it. He… rather rightly has a distrust of everyone and everything Aesir." It pains her to say that, but it's true.

Clearing his throat, and completely unable to help himself in light of his viewing of what's clearly a difficult situation, Steve volunteers,

"Dunno about any crystal, but don't let anybody handle it without the proper mitts — magical mits," he clarifies. "Bunch of magical stuff cropping up around this city lately." Another sigh, this one shorter as he straightens in his chair, popping thumbs off his belt buckle in a beat to a song only he can hear. "If you need to get word to Doctor Simmons, I can always help. I know a few people."

Understatement of the century, Captain.

"Excuse me a moment." Then and there, Betty pulls out her phone and dials a number. She can be heard giving her name, where she met Hod, what he needs to look for, and to find her if need be. She also gives the god her number. Closing off the call, she slips the flat-faced screen away and looks between the pair. "I think that would be a good idea, but you don't have to trouble yourself if you're too busy, Mr. Rogers." Pause, "Speaking with the Doctor could help us understand the property of th metal being used in the attacks. If, y'know, she understands otherwordly ores and their destructive, vibration frequencies."

A brush back of her hair, she murmurs toward Sif. "How are you doing, Lady? You never answered me. Do you need me to research the targets for you? They're of…Fandral, right?"

Sif stays quiet as Betty brandishes her phone device, then looks over at Steve when he offers to carry word to Dr. Simmons. "That would be helpful, Captain. I suspect that arriving at her place of work and shouting at that walls that I would speak with her would be … less than helpful. And the metal has been mentioned with increasing frequency. Reverbium," she says the last word with a noticeable accent, likely denoting that she didn't use AllSpeak for it. Likely, it doesn't translate.

Then Betty's asking after her again, and Sif looks honestly annoyed for about half a second before she takes a deep breath and looks away. When she replies, her voice is very carefully neutral. "I am physically fine, Ms. Brant. And I would greatly appreciate your assistance in researching the Midgardians affected. It seems anymore that one cannot simply ask in the Hall of Records for information. Everything is either online," another accented word, "or paper."

While Betty is doing her phone calling, the Captain subtly slips his own from its mooring in his jean pocket. With an innocent expression, he sends a text winging off to someone and then clicks at the bottom-most of two buttons along its side to turn the sound to vibrate rather than chime. The response is fast and makes him smile to himself before he puts it away again.

Again, his eyebrows break his cool exterior and flick up at hearing of Reverbium in particular. "Know exactly your frustration," he offers quietly to Sif. "Used to be easy enough to dig up a file. Now it's all gigabytes and password-protected. Still…Reverbium's my wheelhouse. I'll be certain to have Simmons reach out to you." The lack of proper titlement might give away a familiarity with the young woman.

Betty Brant waves her hand dismissively. "I can get you files and information. Maybe, sometime when it's not so dire of a situation, maybe we can sit down and I can help you learn how to use gizmos, too?" She offers Sif tenderly. "It's not too hard, I promise. Just takes some time. I told Fenris and Astryd I'd help all of you that I could, and since I'm kinda…converted now, I mean it all the more." Smiling, she settles back in her seat and smoothly crosses one leg over the other. "I'll look into the families, and if you have digging into the metal covered, we have some head-way to solving this problem." A look to Steve, she smiles once more, "Thank you for your assistance, Mr. Rogers. I'm, god, still geeking out a bit over this."

"Thank you, Captain. I do appreciate your assistance." Another stormy expression crosses Sif's face at Betty's friendly generosity and she quashes it just as quickly. "I think the files and information will be a wonderful amount of help, Ms. Brant." She somewhat pointedly sidesteps the offer of help with Midgardian technology, and latches onto the other thing that Betty mentions.

"Converted? I'm not sure what you mean by this." It's likely a weak and obvious attempt at deflection, but it is what it is.

"Not a problem, Lady Sif." The Captain nods to her. His eyes shift to the doorway of the sitting room, likely in wonderment about the arrival of coffee at any moment. Betty speaking up garners his attention and she's given another mild smile. "Happy to be of assistance. Ran into this Reverbium before on the street, don't want to find it out there again. Unsafe, to say the least." The tone he takes suggests he knows at least one of the women present are aware of how dangerous the metal can be.

His phone vibrates in his pocket and he pulls it out again to look at it, frowning; after all, the buzzing doesn't denote WHO is texting him this time. Another slant of a smile and he gets to keying in a response to the person.

"Well," Betty stalls for a moment. She offers another smile and straightens her posture. "I'm one your team now, forever. If you need anything, you or your kin, any within your pantheon, please, ask me and I'll do what I can." A glance toward Steve, she frowns and shifts. "Is everything alright, Mr. Rogers?"

As if summoned by Steve's gaze, the attendant returns with a rolling cart that is carrying both a proper English teaset and a coffee service. The drinks are offered around, and for her own part Sif only reluctantly accepts a cup of tea.

"I am grateful for your assistance, Ms. Brant. My apologies that I do not seem to express that as clearly as most Midgardians expect."

"Hmm? Oh, no, not a problem, just figuring out dinner this evening. Turns out I've got to pick up some ingredients not around the house," the Captain explains of the text he's finishing out. "Gotta be the go-for sometimes." The arrival of the drinks is something to bring a relieved light to his eyes. He happily accepts a mug of coffee, black with no cream or sugar, and sips at it.

"Good blend," Steve murmurs under his breath and then sets the mug on the side-table tucked to his chair. With a shifting, he brings his ankle up to settle on his knee and looks between the two women again. "'m curious, Miss Brant: how'd you end up mixed up in all this?" A circular drawing of hand dictates the scenario involving Reverbium, Asgardians, and magical gemstones.

"Don't worry about it, Lady. I grew up in Philly, and then New York. No one's asking you to be grateful. I don't give to be thanked, I give because it's what you should do. Help others, y'know?" With cart at the ready, Betty also accepts coffee. However, her mixture is sweet and pale tan by the end. Giving a cautious blow across its top, she sips and smiles. It seems she's in agreement with Steve.

"Hmm? Oh, um, well…I was studying and odd story of sorts. People who kept repeating in pictures through ages. I found them here and boom - I'm linked in. I help they, they helped me when I needed it most, so I'm here for good now."

Sif drains her cup in a few largish swallows and doesn't immediately reach for more. "If it would help, Captain, one of the embassy porters can go to the corner market and retrieve the items you need. Apparently the embassy is given a special pricing due to the volume of food stuffs purchased." Just like the barbecue place on the opposite corner. They've practically gained a niche due to offering Asgard-adjacent meat and side dish preparations. Sif still wishes they'd offer /proper/ bread.

"So you recognized Astryd and Fenris from Midgardian historical texts?" She sounds just the smallest bit amused by this thought. "They area aware of this, yes?"

By the flick of Steve's eyebrows, Miss Brant's hobby could be one he takes up himself out of idle curiosity — it would be interesting as hell to find Lady Sif in a photograph from decades back if not more, even a century. After all, the Captain has the rare gift of knowing folks across the span of many, many years, from both during and beyond the second World War.

Sif's offer earns her a big smile, the first uninhibited one since Steve's arrival. "Thank you, Lady Sif, but the cook is pretty fussy about what I bring in. I've learned that I need my own eyes to determine what's right and what's not going to work. 'sides, it's not a thing of a rush."

However…Fenris and Astryd…? Those names don't ring a bell. The Captain takes up his mug to sip at his coffee again and looks to Betty, expecting somewhat of a story.

"Well, in a way? I just noticed their faces repeating through articles. Different names and reasons, but it was them. I followed it up and found them." Chuckling, she nods. "Yes, yes, they know. They invited me to dinner and we talked about it. I, well, they were very kind to me. Scared me to death when I saw Fenris' form, but it was awe-inspiring."

Another smile, she sips at her drink and eyes Steve gently. "Joel's down the street has some nice produce if you're looking for something fresh. But you're a local, too, right Mr. Rogers? I don't need to tell you where to go." A pause in thought, she eyes the pair and parts her lips. "Y'know, after we solve this and take down whoever is behind it - would you two be opposed to an interview, perhaps? I'm trying to allow New York to see its heroes clearly, and perhaps build support for the DZ and Mutant Town. Places that need people who are different to help stand up for them."

At the request of an interview, Sif looks hesitant, turning the cup around in her hands a few times. "I… am not sure that that would be appropriate. I am simply a warrior, I cannot speak for all of Asgard. You might be better served by speaking with one of the princes." Though she suspects that doing so will give Betty wildly different viewpoints about the realm.

"Haven't been to Joel's in a while, so it merits a visit. Might have the specific kind of pepper the cook's looking for. Guess he's doing something like a curry…?" Steve eyes his phone again at the short list of ingredients. "Yeah, prolly a curry." Away the cell phone goes. Betty gets a considering look for her question, and the Captain waits for Sif to give her answer before he chimes in with his own.

"Don't mind an interview as long as it's for a good reason. If you intend to do it to raise awareness of those affected nearby to the Disaster Zone, 'm not gonna say no — about time the city was aware of how much more they could be doing to help out."

"Why say that?" She asks Sif directly. "I'm not asking for you to speak for everyone, I'm asking you to speak for you. If you'd rather I speak with the Princes, I'd be honored to. If I'm going to serve you all, knowing you and understanding how would be greatly appreciated by me." Tender in expression, she holds it for Sif and offers her a nod. Another sip, she looks toward Steve and giggles. "Well, sounds like you'll be having a fun dinner. For me, it's probably pizza again." Another nod and a draining of her cup, she sets it aside and sighs contently. "Yes. I'm trying to raise more awareness. I'm one voice, but if I can get louder ones speaking, it'll help."

Sif still seems unsure, but Steve's reason for agreeing to an interview seem quite honorable. Could it really do much harm? She can only hope not. "Very well, then. If it will help others, it would be remiss of me to say no."

Then, as something occurs to her, she looks over at Steve. "Your shield brother, is he the cook you are tasked with collecting ingredients for?" She mentally berates herself for having not visited them by now, and mentally resolves to do so at her first opportunity. And maybe take some mead with her, as they seem to be the only ones able to enjoy it as she does, even if they still fall into their cups much more quickly than the average Aesir.

Sif is extremely perceptive. The Captain glances up from a new text, an addition to the list as 'coconut milk' and laughs quietly once.

"How could you tell? He let on about my lack of ability in the kitchen? He needs coconut milk too at this point. He'll probably make enough for leftovers, if you're interested? Can drop some off. It'll be hot though — spicy," he amends for the Asgardian. He glances over at Betty and adds with a small smirk, "Cook likes to see if he can make me sneeze."

Betty Brant can only smile at the pair and the comment about sneezing. "Rude." She muses, winking and then slipping away her notebook. "I should be getting back to the office. Jonah's going to flip and I need to grab him his sub. If you two need anything, let e know, ok? I'll be in touch." Standing, she offers Steve a business card, along with another almost childish glimmer in her eyes. "Wow…Captain America." She exhales.

To Sif, she continues, "We should get something to eat sometime, I think. We shared a moment, Sif, we should talk about it. Or, well, more friends is always good." With a wave, her phone goes off. Pulling it from her bag, she answers and nods as she speaks, "On my way, Boss. No I didn't forget. Have you taken your medicine for…"

Sif nods to Betty as she takes her leave, then looks at Steve again. "Thank you, but I have already learned that I do not handle spicy food well. There is nothing of the sort on Asgard, so I suppose I never developed the tolerance for it." She can't help but think on that mustard that Ambrose had her try.

Steve takes the business card from Betty and lifts it towards her almost in salute. "I'll let you know," he confirms for her. His smile smoothes out and becomes mild yet again in the face of the excitement, as if he'd mollify the young woman by being completely comfortable in the face of it. Another sip of his coffee as he watches her leave and then he pockets the business card inside his motorcycle jacket.

A glance up at Sif is followed by an understanding shrug. "It's not for everyone, how Buck spices the curry, so I don't blame you for not wanting to try it. I'll bring over something without heat or spice to it next time. 'bout time we shared some stories over some mead, I think." His smile is slightly bashful — he does remember the last time he and Barnes attended over mead and the consequences of it, but it was all amusing in the end.

Steve elects to linger for a while longer to be certain he gets any remaining pertinent information from the Asgardian warrior about the Reverbium before he too excuses himself for his grocery run. It would bode badly to keep the cook waiting!

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