2019-08-29 - Good Luck Charm


T'Challa and Mari relax after he moves into his apartment and talk about Mari's latest challenges.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Aug 29 04:03:00 2019
Location: New York

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Theme Song




T'Challa has moved in. Or, rather, he has had people do that for him. It's not like the Wakandan prince had much 'stuff'. He has had some things purchased and set up and his clothing and personal effects moved. There's art on display, the entire place has something of an African theme to it which makes sense given who is living there. But it's not moving, not in the same way that most people do it.

Still, he has moved in and the place feels a little bit more like home. At present he is up on the pool deck, relaxing. And making use of the pool. Because it's late summer, New York is hot and why not? It's got a hell of a view.

With a furnished apartment, there isn't a lot to do really and T'Challa had hired one of the best interior decorators in New York, probably the country if not this hemisphere, to ensure the place looked *just right*. It had certainly met with Mari's approval.

"The artwork is wonderful, T'Challa. Did you choose it yourself?" Mari asks as she reclines on one of the lounges after just leaving the pool. The late afternoon sun is still quite warm and she revels in it. Winter will be on them soon enough.

She'd bought that green gem with her - a pendant really and it's stored somewhere safe. She's been thinking on that a bit since they recovered it. That and Gabrielle.

"Yes, I did." T'Challa smiles. "Much of it is from my personal collection which I had brought over from home. Some of it is more recently acquired but I tend to like to decorate my spaces personally. Well. Some of them."

He relaxes into the water and oh… it's just the right temperature.

"At least where artwork is concerned. The other things I leave to people better educated and more interested in the fine art of manipulating perceptions." The interior decorator he means. He was quite good.

"So, do you want to tell me about your latest jewelry acquisition? Or shall I guess which mysterious suitor gifted it to you."

"Are you staying in there?" The ex-model smirks as the Wakandan leans back against the edge of the pool. It might amuse him that she doesn't use her abilities to swim or hasn't as yet. "Maybe I should come back in."

"You know you're making it difficult for me to choose a suitable housewarming gift. You're eye for art really is outstanding. But … challenge accepted." For all the things she's dealing with, Mari is still quite chipper. "Did I thank you for attending my little thing last night?"

She doesn't move to join T'Challa, just watches as she considers his question. "Would you believe me if I told you a man in a striking panther suit gifted it to me?" Oh she's in fine form but she sobers a little "I think, T'Challa that it's the original Earth Totem that's a partner to my own pendant."

"Should I come out?" The prince laughingly replies. "It's nice and cool in here. Or would you like to go back inside?"

Looking back and rather enjoying the view it must be said he rolls his shoulder as he listens. "Oh? Don't tell me you've taken a chance on breaking the heart of the Black Panther. Why, if he were to become turned to the path of darkness he could be a powerful force for chaos and evil."

That's teasing, of course.

"Oh it was my pleasure to come to your event by the way. Good event. Good company and a very interesting chance meeting."

"Do you want to?" Mari rises again, the white of her bathing a strong contrast to her skin, and makes her way back into the water, smirking all the time at the Wakandan as she does.

"Do you think I could break the Black Panthers heart? He seems very focussed on his work, to me." She knows T'Challa is teasing and she teases him back. "I've not yet turned a man to chaos and evil…"

"Ms Frost, Emma, was very impressed and has asked to talk about partnerships." That's quite an achievement. "I'll have to have you at all of my do's, you're a good luck charm, I think."

Such a way to talk to Wakandan Royalty!

Still, for all Mari's teasing, there's something bothering her about that gem she's bought here.

Well with Mari in the pool now there's really no reason to get out, is there? T'challa settles back down and watches the dark skinned woman from his place in the thankfully cool water. The humidity of this state is a little much sometimes.

"I think you could break anyone's heart if you put your mind to it Mari. I am surprised you do not have a trail of broken hearts behind you, a bit. Many in your position would. It's advantageous to business." Miss Frost might have some comments on that actually.

"Did she now? Interesting. Well, she does have a reputation as someone who is quite shrewd. I'm sure she can see the potential markets waiting to be tapped and knows a savvy potential partner when she sees one. But a good luck charm? Mari I have been called many things but that…"

He chuckles.

"So. What is that jewel you brought. The way you locked it up, I take it that it's more than simply a rather striking emerald."

Mari lets the water surround her and smiles over to T'Challa as he looks. "I didn't say I didn't have a trail of broken hearts behind me, T'Challa. Just that I'd not turned a man to evil and chaos. Does Mari? There's enough written about her being seen with men through her career - but nothing permanent. Nothing that had the gossip columns speculating. Maybe she's just discrete.

"You don't want to be my good luck charm?"

His question has her laughing "Were you distracted, T'Challa? I just told you… " beat "If you were distracted by me, I'll forgive you though. The gem is, I think, the Earth Totem that's a partner to my own pendant. Not a replica, mind, the real one. Or at least … I think it is."

T'Challa may have been a bit distracted. He's certainly got plenty of reason to be and offers Mari a sheepish smile in return. "Apologies. I do not mind being your good luck charm no. Just let me know what my social calendar is."

He feigns an overly relaxed pose, head back, looking up at the sky. Not a care in the world. As if. Mari knows that people at this level have all too many cares. More than they can count, often.

"What was it doing here, you think? Those totems are african as I recall. You found yours in Africa, did you not?"

"I'll keep you busy, then." Mari moves to lean against the wall of the pool as well, not relaxing like T'Challa but gazing out at the view. "If you're serious, that is, I would be honoured to have you as my escort and perhaps I might return the favour."

Stealing a glance at the Prince, Mari wonders just how many concerns he does have. A very private man, he doesn't share much with her … though he's made her feel very welcome here.

"Yes and no? The pendant that is. It was given to me by my Mother before she died. She had been given it by her mother and so on back through the ages. The story, I was told was the pendant was given to one of my ancestors by the Spider God, Anasasi, in a time of great need. But that wasn't the only pendant or totem that was gifted, there were five others gifted to the worthy in other tribes."

Falling silent for a moment, touching the pendant at her neck "There's more to the story but I can't remember it, I was a little girl when I heard it and my mother died not long after that." Shaking herself, Mari continues "In my early teens, the pendant was stolen and my father killed when he tried to stop the theft. That's when I fled to America. It wasn't safe for me in Mohannda and well, I've told you the rest, haven't I?"

"The only reason a totem would be here would be because the bearer was here as well. There's something else bothering me aswell …"

"I would be pleased to." Insofar as he can. He has business to attend to and so does she. But they both have to keep up a social calendar. It's expected of people at this level after all. The prince sits back up and watches Mari again, listening to her story.

"You did indeed tell me the rest of that story. A remarkable if somewhat sad story." Sad, after all, that she lost her parents. T'Challa cants his head slightly.

"What is it that is bothering you exactly?"

Turning to face T'Challa, Mari's … pensive. Thoughtful as her eyes meet his. "Two things, really. Remember that spirit crow that manifested after my pendant burned the other day? It appeared the moment I entered the Disaster Zone yesterday and tried to get to me to follow it. Not to where we ended up, either."

After a slight pause, Mari lets out a slow breath. "Since the Black Panther and I found the Earth Totem, there's been faint whispers in the back of my head. Somethings happening, related to the my pendant, I … think. That or I'm going mad."

"The set of totems in the legend. Were they ever meant to be used together?" T'Challa is not as familiar with the fine details of this particular legend as he is with ones closer to home. Even though Mohannda is just next door, regionally speaking.

"I do not believe you are going mad. But as you know there are many unexplained things in this world. If you really have recovered a thousands year old totem that is somehow related to yours, it is possible I would think that something has been awakened. Though I am but a student of such things myself and no master."

The look of frustration that crosses Mari's face at that question might answer the question for T'Challa. "I wish I could remember but possibly? There's a lot of stories about things similar to them on the Internet, I checked last night but it's like all the stories of the totems have been wiped away or perhaps were never recorded. Is that possible do you think?"

Maybe it is. Mohannda is really quite regional and self contained.

"I did find though that there's a visiting lecturer from the area coming to the University in a couple of weeks. She specialises in Ancient Tribal Customs of Africa. I thought I might see if I could get a meeting with her."

"What do you think?"

"Hrm. Well there must be a place we can find…" Ah. Mari has already thought of that. Yes. T'Challa could send home and ask if the archives have anything related to totems originating in Mohannda but if the story is that old it's likely to be little more than legend and folklore.

"I can ask around myself. I think it might be worth your while to follow this up. We already know that your totem is very unusual to say the least. If there are others in the set it stands to reason that they would be to. We need to know what their properties might be. Hopefully it is only in one in New York. When such sets start assembling themselves, stories often say that trouble follows."

"Would you?" Mari moves in the water as she turns more fully to the Wakandan. "I … was wondering whether … I might not have this right. But your spirits? Would they, they know something or someone?" It's clear that Mari isn't comfortable asking this. Is that because it's a personal favour or is it because she's not sure exactly what she's asking?

"She's got a public lecture when she's here, the lecturer. I'm going to go and listen. I'm sure it will be fascinating anyway. If you're not busy, maybe you'd like to come?" Mari shifts, sending gentle eddies of water towards T'Challa as she does. "It's strange don't you think? That there's been attempts on my collection and now this…"

Mari doesn't believe in coincidences.

"Hmmm…" T'Challa actually has to think about that. "Possibly. The dead of the necropolis are quite old, some of them. If there is information to be found it is possible that they remember it. We can ask them. That involves us taking a trip to Wakanda but that can be arranged." He doesn't think it'll be much of an issue to go there clearly. But it'll still be a hell of a flight won't it?

"It is indeed almost as if someone were trying to collect the entire set. It is possible that they did not know there was another totem in the city. But… then again it is also possible that they did." Whatever the case, T'Challa is sure that letting anyone else get their hands on these things is a BAD idea.

"You can do that?" Mari watches T'Challa carefully. She's not asked him a lot about his abilities. "Perhaps you'll tell me of this necropolis of yours." It's not clear to her what its like or how he does it but then, Mari can summon the spirits the animals. "Oh. No, that's ok. I wouldn't want to take you away from your duties here, T'Challa. A trip will take too long for something personal. I appreciate you considering it."

International travel, whilst not difficult, still requires planning. Doesn't it?

"I'm going to ask the Black Panther if he'll follow the crow with me. If it appears again, that is. Maybe it was trying to point to the Earth Totem but I don't think so. " Mari's in agreement though, letting someone get their hands on *any* of the totems is a bad idea and she'll stop it if she can.

"It is an area under the capital city of Wakanda where the honored dead are interred. Over our history - which is quite extensive - there have been a lot of honored dead. The necropolis is a labyrinthine warren of tunnels, rooms and boulevards. A city of the dead, quite literally. And that… is my kingdom."

Mari knows that he rules over the dead of Wakanda. Interesting that they have a specific resting place.

"It is possible." T'Challa insists. "Come tomorrow. I will show you how." A private jet perhaps? Something that T'Challa could use on short notice? Whatever the case he seems unfazed by the possibility of a cross continental journey.

"Do let me know what he says. Though I cannot imagine him turning you down. It sounds important."

"You mean where the tombs and sarcophagi and crypts are, yes?" Surely he doesn't mean the spirits reside there. Or does T'Challa? He certainly talks like they do. Poor Mari can't quite wrap her mind around the concept he's espousing.

She's so very curious and he's making the offer nearly irresistible. "How long will be away? So I know what to pack." She'll bring her passport as well. "And will I need a visa?" Sounds like she'll be there and expects it to take a few days. Wakanda probably has a private jet - well the royal family probably does.

"I will, of course. And I'll tell you if I manage to break his heart…" The ex-model smiles, though it's distracted. "Thank you, T'Challa. It means a lot …"

"Packing will not be necessary. If you happen to have any needs we can see to them in the city of the living. I AM a prince after all. Though that may get me some questions from the queen mother. However I do not believe we will be gone long enough to require it."

Okay, NOW he's just being mysterious. "Going through the proper paperwork would be difficult. However you'll be travelling with me, so all will be well." Especially if they stick to the Necropolis which he plans to. The city of the dead is HIS kingdom. Immigration there works how he says it does.

"Yes that is where the crypts are. Though I should point out that it IS an actual city. A very quiet one most of the time but a city all the same."

"How about I bring a small bag with essentials?" Mari negotiates like she would at the boardroom table, though it's a little lighter. "We wouldn't want to give your Mother any ideas now, would we?" T'Challa must mean the Necropolis is an old city. Perhaps the new city is built on top on it and it's the caretakers of the tombs that live there.

He must mean that, right?

"Come swim with me, T'Challa." The ex-model flashes him a bright smile, the white of her teeth such a contrast against her skin. "And then I'll let you cook me dinner…"

T'Challa will let her think that for the moment. "A small bag could not hurt." He says as he kicks off the end of the pool he's on to Join Mari in the middle of it. They can swim and enjoy the benefits of the wealth they have built. All too soon the problems that come with it will need attending to. But for now…

They have the New York skyline all to themselves.

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