2019-09-02 - Few Coincidences


Returning from the Necropolis, T'Challa finally lets Mari ask questions.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Sep 2 05:44:51 2019
Location: Sky Apartments - Apt 6803

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With a prayer and a flash of light T'Challa and Mari were returned from the Necropolis. It truly was a massive and in many ways breathtaking city. It spirals down deep into the bowls of the earth. It's been there for thousands of years, ever since the first Wakandans buried their dead in a cave near where the entrance is now.

And now they're back. There and back again in an eye blink. It took less than a day. And now they're in T'Challa's apartment and it's getting on to the evening.

"Would you like something to drink, Mari?"

"A stiff one, please…" Mari breathes as she looks around T'Challa's apartment now their back. "I … I … thank you getting M'Kada to speak to me." She decides to go with that as she puts her bag by the door and removes the linen jacket she's wearing.

Taking the distraction of hanging the jacket neatly over the back of a chair, Mari uses that time to gather her thoughts.

She's sure T'Challa is having a good chuckle to himself about managing to get her speechless.

T'Challa moves over to the sidebar and takes out a bottle of amber liquid. He pours a few fingers into two small glasses and brings one over to her. He is perhaps smiling just a little.

"You are quite welcome. I imagine you may have a few questions after that experience. Most would, after all."

Most would indeed. Teleporting princes? Kingdoms full of ghosts? Ancient monarchs answering questions to totem bearers?

All most odd

"More than a few, but I wonder if you'll answer them." Mari is slightly amused as she takes the glass from T'Challa.

With a glance to the outside, perhaps Mari is considering suggesting they retire out there but instead the ex-model leans against the counter and looks at T'Challa carefully.

"I'm not sure where to start, really. Except, tell me all of it. When you said you were King of the Dead, you meant that literally. I'm … still processing that. Let me piece together what I know and you can correct me."

Taking a sip of the liquid, Mari lets the drink burn the back of her throat - it's a nice feeling not a painful one. "You were called by your Goddess, who I'm not sure but might be Bast, to abdicate as King of Wakanda and rule in her … temple? That seems to have conveyed several gifts to you, not the least of which is the ability to traverse the best part of the world in a blink of an eye. How, are doing so far?"

"I will answer those that I can. Remember that I am myself rather new to this business and I may not know everything…"

T'Challa takes a drink and listens. There's a lot she COULD cover after all. She starts of course in a sensible place.

"Gifts is one way to put it. I was called upon to serve as the custodian of the dead after another deity began to make trouble in the Necropolis. It was deemed that the dead needed a living guardian to see to them. As the Champion of the Panther Goddess - a position I held already as king - Bast selected me to do so."

"Another deity was causing problems… well that answers my next question. Why!" Mari sighs and starts to walk about the apartment before looking down at her feet. Lowering herself into a chair she starts to remove the boots she's wearing. The ex-model intends to make herself comfortable at least.

"If not gifts, what would you call them?" That's an honest question as she looks at T'Challa. "So you … teleported us around the world and commanded your subjects … to speak to me. Would they have spoken to me if I didn't bear the pendant?"

"You would have to ask the deity in question. I could not begin to fathom the motives of the gods. What I do know is that he was attempting to suborn and command the dead of Wakanda and that they were attacking the city above."

What Mari knows about Wakanda is that it is quite poor. An attack by the dead would have been a terrible thing and beyond their means to deal with.

"They would have but the pendant gives your words extra weight and I did not have to rely so heavily on my own authority. Make no mistake, I am their king. But it was fitting that they speak to a guest so dignified."

"No, T'Challa, not why were they intefering. Why was the post offered or given or … however you want to say it. From what I'm picking up, The King of Dead isn't a post that's filled constantly? So something had to have anticipated it." With the boots removed, she puts them neatly by the sofa and curls her feet up and leans back.

"Will you join me? Or are you going to stand there looking regal… I miss your crown already." She's teasing a bit.

She's thoughtful about the dead attacking the city "I suppose if I can mimick spirits, why couldn't someone command your dead. Still, it's weird in a way." beat "You command them, you are their King that much was obvious. I am, by the way, relieved I did not embarrass you. And yet, you are here and not there."

T'Challa smiles and walks over to sit down next to Mari. He looks so normal there, very different from the man she saw sitting on a stone throne in a hall full of ghosts and looking like he was completely in charge of the situation.

He takes another sip of his drink and looks over at Mari. "I was confident you would not embarrass me. As to why Bast felt the need, I do not know. I have not asked and she did not feel the need to explain, but if I had to guess it would be because humanity has free will. Her champion could not so easily be compelled by another deity. And yes, here I am. I find the company of the living preferable. I do often have to go back and see to the kingdom but…"

But he doesn't want to LIVE in a tomb.

"Besides which, the Goddess asked me to come here. There are matters that need attending."

As T'Challa joins her, Mari smiles as well, waiting for the Prince to sit before stretching her legs out and putting her feet on his lap. The look in her eyes dares him to say something.

"I'm glad you had such faith in me. A little warning would have allowed me to prepare - it's a good thing I'm used to thinking on my feet." She's amused *now* about the whole thing. Then? Not so much.

"You often go back … is that the glow that I've seen from your windows from time to time?" She's been wondering about that. "And you've said there are matters that need attending. To do with the Disaster Zone, yes? You said you had felt that from Wakanda."

"Yes but a little warning would have left you asking a lot of questions that you are only asking now." T'Challa points out with something of a smile. "I often go back yes and… have you been watching my windows?"

That gets a quirk of the brow and another smile. "Yes, if indeed yo uhave been seeing a glow, it is probably that. And yes, the death that occurred here and the things that have happened recently have significantly unbalanced the separation between living and dead. The Goddess is very concerned. Concerned enough to have sent her champion here."

Or is it just she needs someone to handle things while she snarks at Fenris? It's a good thing T'Challa doesn't know.

"Oh now, you're trying to make me sound like a stalker!" Mari teases, wriggling her feet in T'Challa's lap. "It's a bit hard not to notice the greenish blue that comes from your windows when you're approaching your hotel, you know. But if you'd like to think that I forlornly stand in the street with a boombox on my shoulder, waiting for you to appear - then I'll entertain that."

At least Mari is laughing "So you thought that not preparing was a way to save yourself unnecessary question. Did you ever think to ask me to trust you?" Clearly she does. Would Mari not have asked questions till he told her she could?

"Things that have happened recently, T'Challa?"

T'Challa chuckles and reaches down to… massage Mari's feat. What? She put them there. She can take them back any time she likes. And anyway when was the last time Mari had a king do that for her?

"Well if you do then just know that I do not especially like rap or hip hop, so… pick some good music."

The Wakandan prince laughs a bit at his own joke.

"I knew you trusted me. But I also know that you are a curious and somewhat irrepressible woman."

Her question about things that have happened recently gets her a slightly sidelong look. "Yes. I do not fully understand myself but from what the Goddess has seen fit to reveal to me, someone attempted to end the world here, recently." And it sounded like they'd come close.

Someone has to laugh at T'Challa's jokes, so it might as well be him. Mari sighs when the King starts to rub her feet though and takes another sip of her drink. The answer as to the last time a king had rubbed her feet? Right now.

"What do you take me for? Some type of heathen? I'll choose good old 80's hair rock." She's so teasing. "I hope you like irrepressible … I'm afraid I don't know any other way to be."

"End the world? I … there were a lot of disturbances just before you arrived, yes. Reports that the Asgardians were under attack from other pantheons - at least, that's what some of the sensationalist media was saying."

Well that explains why he's here but T'Challa can see Mari thinking. "It's all … so coincidental, don't you think? All those events and the Zambesi Totems appearing…."

"Well, that will be interesting then. I take it I should attempt to grow a mullet?" T'Challa will do no such thing. Mullets were - and are - hideous and an affront to nature and all that is good and just. It's a good thing they've largely died out.

"In my experience there are very few things that are truly coincidence, Mari. Most things are intereconnected even if we do not understand the ways in which they are. A disruption in one system very easily causes problems in another. So no, I do not think it is coincidence."

"Oh, oh, yes. Please. Do that." Mari manages to keep a straight face for the moment before dissolving into laughter. "I can just imagine you. Mullet, open shirt … you'll be a hit." She wouldn't be surprised if T'Challa took retribution for the teasing.

"But promise me. When I do stand out in the street with the music blaring, boombox on my shoulder, you'll stand on your balcony and look suitably smitten."

She sobers though, when the King responds to her next statement. "That is my experience, too, T'Challa. There's too much happening that is related, even inconsequentially to ignore it. At least we know something more of the totems than we did. Tell me though, were you aware of the ties between your people and mine?"

"I would be a hit alright but I am concerned about where the hit would be. In my face I rather suspect." T'Challa laughs. "But yes. If you go to the trouble of standing out on the street with a boombox that I can hear all the way up here, I shall come out to the balcony and look smitten. I might be smitten by your choice of music, depending, but smitten I shall be."

Oh he's a tease. And he tickles. Retribution.

"I was aware that Mohannda and Wakanda had a long history together but no, I was not aware of ties in that manner. I am not especially surprised by them but that was not a story i had heard."

"You wouldn't have to worry about someone hitting you, T'Challa. I'll protect you … put myself between anyone and yourself, if you like." From what he knows of her, Mari's reckless enough to do that, isn't she? She thinks though as he mention hearing the music and smirks just a little…

"Then I'll have to fly and hover outside your window. Serenade you with Bon Jovi or the like."

There's a shriek as he tickles her, the glass making it to the floor before Mari spills it. "You… beast." she's laughing as she tries to liberate the foot he's tickling.

"It's not a story I'd heard either. Then again, a lot has changed since then."

"Bon Jovie would show excellent taste in music." T'Challa smiles. He finally lays his own drink aside so he can massage with both hands. And yes, she is reckless enough to do that. He thinks it's amusing but can't tell her why. Not yet.

"I shall trust you judgement then. You are, however, the superhero." Yes, he is a beast. A grinning beast looking like the cat who ate the canary.

"So, hopefully you do not think less of me now that you know I can zip across the globe at a moment's notice and have seen the kingdom I rule."

"Do you think so? You don't it's bad medicine?" Mari looks at T'Challa and tries not to laugh. That's a terrible pun and she knows it.

When Mari works out the other part of T'Challa's secret, she's going to look back on this moment and blush. But she'll stand by the comment anyway. "Yes, I am. The superhero. Just don't tell my board that…"

"You're looking awfully pleased with yourself, oh King of the Dead." The ex-model teases some more but stops fighting when he starts to massage her feet again.

"Think less of you? How could I do that? I am extremely honoured you trusted me with that secret. One day, I would like to see the rest of your kingdom." She pauses, meeting T'Challa's eye cheekily "When it won't give the Queen Mother kittens."

Now T'Challa is tickling her because of the bad puns and everyone knows she deserves it. He has more than one reason to look pleased with himself right now. After all how many people can claim that they got revenge on Mari McCabe for making awful puns.

"The rest of Wakanda you mean. Only the Necropolis is my kingdom. But one day I am sure we will be able to show it to you. Give me a chance to introduce the Queen Mother to the idea though. If we do it wrong there will be celebrations and ceremonies across the land and walking those back will be somewhat awkward."

"T'Challa …." Mari wriggles trying to free her foot from the wakandan who is taking merciless revenge on her. She doesn't say stop though, just manages to move, throwing herself at the man beside her. "I'll have to take measures to respond …"

Tickle fight?

"You're still a Prince, T'Challa. It is still your land, still your kingdom, even if you don't rule it." She smirks a little at the last part of comment "It wouldn't do to have your people think your … involved with a model, would it?"

"Ack!" T'Challa laughs and it takes a moment to restore propriety. Or, well, some semblance of normality. It might have been necessary, though, really. Mari had just been shown a lot. While her worldview might not have been radically altered the man that she thought she knew has turned out to be a lot more complicated.

"It would not do to have them prematurely celebrating a marriage, is what would not do." The dark skinned prince grins. "Because if the wrong thing comes out of the palace that is EXACTLY what they will do. And in any case it also would not do to have you suddenly become a major figure of interest to our national political leaders for no good reason." Because that would ALSO happen.

As T'Challa manages to restore some semblance of order, Mari returns to sit on the couch by his side. She's still chuckling though and things seem to be ok between them, so maybe her view isn't all that changed?

"No, neither of those things are preferably, T'Challa and I leave it to you to decide, when and if I can visit your country. I would like to though, very much. I want to know more about you, the man. Not the Prince and not the King of the Dead."

For now though, they've got their got their hands full here in New York.

"What were you going to do for dinner?"

"I had not really considered it. There is a fully stocked pantry here. I could cook. Ben then this is New York and has some of the world's finest dining…"

T'challa straightens himself up and recovers his drink. "Yet another thing it has to recommend it over the necropolis. Would you perhaps say yes to some… pizza?"

A prince he may be. Able to get into the finest, most exclusive restaurants he may be. A snob… he is not. Good food is good food. And it very frequently isn't all that expensive.

"Only if we get to picnic by your pool when we eat… " Mari is quick to accept the offer. It won't be 'pizza' in the way many think of it but it will be good.

"And then, T'Challa, you owe me a movie …" He always owes her a movie, it seems.

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