2019-10-06 - A Salted


T'Challa has gifts for Mari and Gabrielle. His visit is crashed by vengeful spirit.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Oct 6 01:43:22 2019
Location: Mari's Place

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Gabrielle is a very bright young woman in a number of ways but being bright and having a basic education are two different prospects and Gabby definitely has some holes in her basic education. As Mari has sort of been thrust into the role of surrogate parent, she has been the one who has to remedy this. After all, it does no good if the young woman can't read, sign her name or handle elementary math does it?

Much of that probably takes place at Mari's apartment with a combination of technologically enabled schooling and private tutors for more advanced things. At some point she'll probably have to attend a school but… it's probably best to see if they can get her at least up to a high school education first if nothing else.

T'Challa is just stopping by Mari McCabe's apartment. He's got business of course and he has a present for her. He knows that Gabby is often there, though sometimes she is out and flitting about - quite literally - so it's not a huge surprise to see her there.

With cheese. A different cheese each time he comes, seemingly. He thanks the Panther Goddess that she hasn't seemingly gotten to any of the really pungent ones yet.

Mari was injured the other night and had spent most of the rest of that evening being seen to.

This afternoon, she's taking it easy, her leg propped on the couch, something streaming on Netflix and her laptop set up so she can work.

"Come in, T'Challa, the doors open." She calls out. "Gabrielle, how are you going with that game? And did you like that cheese?"

While Gabrielle didn't know how to read or do math, not to mention not knowing history or even what some everyday items are to most people, she learns some of it fast. Like, really fast. She's out of the starting readers and elementary math. One of the biggest deterrents to her learning at that accelerated rate is that she gets bored with it, and then everything slows to a crawl.

The blonde woman's features are finally starting to not have that pinched, starved look to them. Wearing shorts and a T-shirt, Gabby is sprawled out on another part of the couch, fingers flicking over a tablet. At Mari's question she gives a small cheer, rolling over onto her back. "New high score!" Grinning upside down at Mari she gives the cheese a double thumbs-up. the crackers were really good, too.

T'Challa is, as ever, in a suit. It might seem like that's all he owns, but Mari knows better. It's just that he doesn't often dress down. At least he makes them look good. Easy and relaxed really in a way that few suits ever are. It helps that it's so well tailored.

"Hello Gabrielle." The Wakandan smiles as he comes in and offers a box about half the size of a shoe box to Mari.

"I got a bit carried away. There's something for both of you in there." T'Challa confides to Mari almost conspiratorially.

When opened there's a pair of what appear to be bracelets made of stone beads. A closer examination reveals circuitry traced into the beads. "Recognize. Mari McCabe. Vixen. Recognize. Gabrielle Doe." A voice from one of the bracelets says as T'Challa holds it up.

Gabby gets a notification on her tablet that her 'communicator' wants to link via bluetooth and Mari gets the same on her phone.

The 'game' Gabrielle is playing is a learning game. Assisting with Maths and Science, in this instance. Mari had recognised the younger womans learning … challenges… and devised a way to circumvent then. "Another high score, hmmm?" The injured woman smiles over at the exuberance. "Time for the next level then … but later, T'Challa is here …"

"Would you like a drink, T'Challa? I'll get you on—-" The gift box is taken with a quizzicle look as she moves over to make room for the man to sit.

"What on earth …" Mari examines the bracelets and beads carefully. "They are beautiful, T'Challa … and … did that just link to our phones?"

Gabrielle Doe lifts an arm, waving to T'Challa as he comes in, before rolling over so she can sit up. The box gets a curious look from the blonde as well, setting aside the tablet to leeeean over and then startles a bit when a voice comes from inside.

The blonde looks over at T'Challa. "Are they… pet rocks?" She read about those! "I didn't think pet rocks could talk." A small push from one foot as a white aura surrounds Gabrielle lets her float upwards to get a better look inside the box. "Oooo, pretty."

The small round stones are held together rather like a bracelet and do fit over the arm but there's no 'string'. It's like they're held together by magnetism. "These are something of a pet project and I borrowed a bit of the reverbium weave cloth you had, Mari, to make it. They are very much like tablet devices, but wearable and able to make calls, remember important dates, even adapt and aid with education. It is… sort of like having an iPad and Alexa in a package that also has a personal trainer and a tutor."

"So cute…" That's woman's voice and it comes from near Mari's kitchen. There's a slow clapping sound. The voice is dripping with derision and contempt. Slowly a being fades into view. A woman who looks EXACTLY like Gabrielle but sans the rainbow streak.

Oh and also she's transparent and blue.

"You did, did you…" Mari smiles, still on the couch, watching the delight on Gabrielle's face as she looks at the gifts. "Not rocks, jewellery. Every woman should have at least some in her life. Is this your first piece, Gabrielle?" The ex-model looks up at T'Challa, smiling broadly "Functional and yet beautiful, just the way I like things."

The voice from the kitchen has Mari moving and standing up - wincing as the wound in her leg pulls. "Violet …" she hisses.

"Isn't a lot of jewelry just sparkly rocks?" Gabby asks, looking thoughtful. She's learned enough to know that jewels are expensive, but so far she hasn't figured out *why*. You can't eat them, they don't heal you, you can't even watch music videos on them!

The voice and the clapping has Gabrielle's head jerking up, looking towards Violet. And then she goes very pale. "That's.. me."

"Awwww, she looks so lost. Like a puppy. A puppy in a stolen body that is." Violet gives the two young woman a beatific smile. It's not at all pleasant. She takes a few steps out of the kitchen and looks at Mari. "Aww. Leg hurt. Guess that means you won't be jumping around trying to get me this time."

"Be careful." T'Challa says quietly. "She's a LOT more powerful than last time."

Violet ignores T'Challa and fixes Gabrielle with a glare. "I. Want. My. Body. Back. You STOLE it. It's mine! And you know, and I know, that all I want is my taily-po."

"Sparkly rocks. I suppose it is…" Mari murmurs, standing awkwardly just to the side of Gabrielle. "It's alright, Gabrielle. It's not you, but it's the woman, Violet."

She'll explain more later.

"Don't bet on that, Violet. I can stand a lot of pain and you're threatening those near and dear to me. Ask your boss what I did to his gangs when I finally went to recover my pendant."

Klaue. There's history there.

"Can you command her, again?" That's to T'Challa.

Gabrielle Doe cringes back a bit as Violet speaks to her, sliding a bit behind T'Challa, since he's the biggest there and isn't injured. It's not even that she's really thinking about being hurt, though her halo has slid towards, heh, violet. "I… I didn't steal anything." Gabrielle looks back and forth between Mari and T'Challa. "Right?"

The blonde woman's gaze moves over Violet's translucent form from where she peeks out from around T'Challa, looking Violet over. So much looks similar… And yet not.

"Oh I will. I'm going to be asking a LOT of questions, Vixen. Or do you prefer Mari. It's not going to matter. You can't protect her. Nothing you do will matter, and then I'm going to make you PAY for making me kneel."

The biggest difference is in the faces. They're the same face, well Gabby's is still a bit more angular than Violet's, but the expressions are the big difference. Violet's face is twisted by hate, contempt and anger. So very different than the happy, upbeat Gabrielle.

T'Challa clenches a fist and a short glowing spear made of the same stuff as Violet appears in his hand. "No closer, Violet."

Mari gets a glance. He can try to command Violet but she doesn't have to obey him. He might have to make her.

A crown appears on his head. One seemingly made of ghostly fire. "Do not make me, ghost."

"I intend to make you, King. Soon as I have that puppet out of her meatsuit!"

Violet rises up into the air and rushes forward, turning into a dispersed ethereal mist as she weaves between Mari and T'Challa to head right toward Gabrielle.

"Mari! Salt!" She has some in the kitchen. They're going to need it.

"GIVE ME BACK MY BODY!" The entire room shakes with that roar.

Mari manifests the Wolf Spirit, the creature forming a glowing silhouette behind her. "Either will do, I answer I to both." She tells Violet as spirit claws form on her hands. She knows they work against spirits, how well they'll work against this one - is anyones guess.

"Leave her alone, you witch."

Salt. She can do that. The wolf helps the spirit caller move across the room - she's limping but she's quicker than she should be, sliding to a stop by the pantry - which is opened and a sack of salt pulled forth.

"Dump it on her?"

Gabrielle Doe gives a small shriek of surprise, because ghostly attacks? That's certainly not something that's come up before. She doesn't even really know much about that ghosts are and aren't supposed to do and when Violet comes for her Gabby brings up both hands and fires off a concussive blast at her.

Mari might be a bit annoyed about the damage to her apartment later…

"Getaway!" Gabrielle drifts up and backwards as she tries to avoid the ghost woman.

"Yes!" T'Challa calls to Mari as he swings his spear through the mist to absolutely no effect. The good news is that Gabrielle's concussion blast does affect Violet. The bad news is that it slams her into the floor and leaves a dent.

The stunning effect is enough for T'Challa to smack her with that spear, hard, which sends her further away from Gabby, but Violet just pulls herself back together - literally - and zooms up to try to get to Gabrielle again.

"Pour a line on the floor! She won't be able to cross it. We can contain her and then salt her!" Liberally. Like a fresh steak.

"Gabby don't let her touch you!"

Possibly easier said than done.

The insurance company is sure going to be upset by this - after Madam Masques attack, the apartment hadn't done too well either. Not that Mari says anything - Gabrielle's safety is paramount. "I said … "

Mari leaps across the space, tearing the sack of salt open and dumping part of the contents into the mist "Get away from her, you bitch."

She doesn't stop, skirting the mist and wincing as her leg pulls, but puts herself between Gabby and that cloud.

You don't have to tell Gabby twice! She can move pretty quickly when she's flying, but she still has to be mindful of things like lamps. And walls.

That Gabrielle's concussive blasts have some effect on Violet helps Gabby to focus a bit. If Violet gets too close, Gabby can shove her back again. "Mari!" Gabrielle cries out as the darker woman leaps towards the ghost, even if Mari does have the salt as a weapon. Gabrielle knows that Mari's hurt and Violet is obviously a danger.

Violet IS a danger. As Mari turns Violet solidifies and her fingers lengthen into needle like claws as she reaches for the darker woman. She tears at her arms and legs, anything she can reach really. Then the salt is all over her and she shrieks in pain. Everyone can smell something burning.

T'Challa comes in and slams his spear down on the ghost which drives it to the floor, but she still tries to rise. Gabby is forgotten. The injured Mari is the target now.

"You're MINE!" The ghost says, trying to dissolve and flow into Mari's nose and mouth. That would… not be good if she did. Good thing Mari has salt and Gabby is here.

Mari growls, low in her throat. This happens sometimes when she channels a lot or too strongly. The creatures nature affects her. The dark skinned woman is too slow to channel the rhino with it's tough skin and takes several vicious swipes to her arms.

Blood oozes as the rhino appears about the wolf, Mari grunting in pain as it does. "I am wielder of the foxhead pendant and you will yield to me, Violet." The last of words come as the spirit dissolves again - Mari has to hold her breath.

Hopefully Gabrielle's good with her timing.

More salt is thrown into the middle of the mist.

As Violet slashes at Mari, Gabrielle cries out. "No!" Space is getting tight, and Gabrielle pushes up to the high ceiling so she can put herself *above* the trio on the floor. Curling a hand into a fist, she punches down and a beam of force shoots out at the ghostly outline of Violet.

Gabrielle brings both hands forward then, projecting a violet dome around Violet as best she can around the others, trying to trap the ghost within.

The blast from Gabrielle's powers actually knocks Mari back but it keeps the ghost from getting too near to her. Mari's Rhino spirit prevents her from taking damage that is too serious, though she's bleeding already and may require some medical attention.

"The salt. Put it around the dome Gabrielle has formed!" T'Challa calls out. Once the circle is in place, Violet is trapped and they can just salt her until she's discorporated.

That's already starting to happen. What Mari already dumped on her has the spirit forming and dissipating in cycles. Burning. Writhing. Shrieking. It's altogether terrible.

"GIVE ME MY BODY YOU THEIF!" This time, without the ability to lunge at anyone and hurt them the wail is almost pathetic.

"I WON'T BOW TO YOU, SPIRIT WITCH!" She may not bow, but she's also not going to be here for long. The salt is dissolving her corpus and soon all that will be left is the bodiless will that inhabits it, to escape and reform later.

"Well done…" Mari growls again, stalking towards the dome and laying a circle of salt. "You'll do as replacement, Dean, T'Challa." Neither of those two are likely to get that joke. Mari thought it was funny though.

"You don't have to now, we have you. I owe you for betraying us to Klaue, by the way. You didn't do as I commanded."

"How do we get rid of her, T'Challa? Gabrielle…" Mari looks for the young women to draw her near. "You did well.."

Maybe Gabby has things to say to or ask of Violet.

Gabrielle Doe keeps the dome up, but as Violet starts to melt and shriek, Gabrielle flinches and her hands tremble a bit.

The glowing blonde woman doesn't figure Violet is likely to answer many questions while she's being burned alive, or whatever the ghostly equivalent is. So instead she looks to T'Challa and Mari. "Why does she look like me? Did I steal her body?" Her bright blue eyes are large and pleading.

"She's dissolving now. She isn't going to be here for very long. The salt is eating away at her." T'Challa says stepping forward. "You can lower the dome now, Gabrielle."

"She died, Gabrielle. She died and for some reason, you were born. That's why you don't remember anything before that. It's because there was no you before that."

"Everyone else died there too!" Violet snaps. "Why couldn't you have been born in one of them?! That's MY Body. Give it back!"

"You lived your life, Violet. Now it's time for you to pass on. Don't worry about what happened to Gabrielle. She isn't you anymore and she isn't yours."

Violet stares balefully at T'Challa and then at Gabrielle. Then she looks to Mari.

"And you're just going along with this aren't you?"

Mari wonders how to answer that for Gabrielle. Technically, the answer is yes but it's more nuanced than that. Instead, T'Challa starts answering and Mari wraps an arm about the womans shoulder. "As T'Challa says, she died and you were born in her place."

T'Challa gets a grateful look from the ex-model for that.

"No, not just going along with it. Supporting it, wholeheartedly. If you keep it up, I'll salt you again. Because I can." The darkskinned woman shakes her head "You're dead, Violet. Pass over and find peace. If you can."

The violet aura and dome flickers and dies away. Gabrielle turns her hands palms upward, looking down at them. "I'm.. dead? Was dead?" Her brow furrows at that, looking from Violet to Mari and T'Challa. "What was I born *from*?" She doesn't really expect them to know, but the question comes out, anyhow.

As Mari puts an arm around her, Gabrielle turns into the other woman and hugs her tightly. At least with her world being turned on her ear, she has Mari and T'Challa to lean on. Literally, in this case.

"That we do not know. But we will find answers." T'Challa says gently. "I promise you this, Gabrielle. You are no thief, and you do not need to apologize for how you came to be."

The Prince and King gives Mari a small smile as Gabrielle leans in to physically draw support from her.

"You people make me sick." Violet sneers even through her pain. "It's a good thing that I'm dissolving." And she is. Now she's visually fading and less than a minute later she's completely gone.

The King of the Dead takes a deep breath and lets it out.

"You're not dead, no. You're very much alive." Mari consoles "Violet is dead as you can see. The good thing is, you can be sure you *aren't* Violet and just not remembering. The second good thing? We have a mystery to investigate." Gabrielle's not the only one who can see the sunny side to things and Mari hugs the younger woman to assure her.

"And we'll find out." No promise is made because it's possible they'll never really know.

"If we make you sick, we never want to see you again." Mari doesn't think that's a wish she'll be getting.

When the spirit is gone, the spirit caller looks to T'Challa. "We've not seen the last of her, have we?"

Gabrielle Doe gives Mari a somewhat tremulous smile. "I don't like this mystery." She says, trying to be wry. "Starting with a dead body… ew." And Gabrielle body certainly isn't dead *now*. She's got pulse, respiration, the whole nine yards!

As Mari looks over to T'Challa, Gabrielle does as well. "Soooo, what was with the glowy spear?"

"Probably not." T'Challa sighs, and smiles a little as Gabrielle's irrepressible spirit manifests once again.

"Well, let me get a broom and a vacuum for all this salt and while we're cleaning and Mari is getting her cuts bandaged…" Mari gets a pointed look.

"…I suppose I can tell you a bit about how I am a King of the Dead." And Mari can chime in. And laugh at him. Because as sure as anything THIS is going to generate a LOT of questions.

But that's okay. Questions are good when they're coming from people who are safe, alive and at least at the moment, happy.

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