2019-11-17 - Set a thief


Plans are made to catch a spy

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Nov 17 03:10:29 2019
Location: Cover Story - Living Area

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As Sif had requested the meeting and Loki (Sigyn more likely) insisted upon hosting, Sif also took on the duty of extending the invitation to Fenris and Astryd, then accompanying them to meet at the sorcerer's home.

She remembered to bring a guest gift, even, carrying a small (10 gallon) cask of Asgardian mead for the group as well as a finely wrought pair of goblets for Sigyn and Loki. They're of Midgardian make, but clearly not some generic, mass-produced containers.

Knocking at the door to announce their arrival, she looks at Fenris and Astryd. "I honestly hope that Loki agrees to assist us. Otherwise, we might have to bring the actual item from Asgard, and…" she shakes her head. "The risks are just too high to all of Midgard."

It is the Lord of the Household himself who answers the door, and his smile is bright enough to challenge the dawn. "Lady Sif, Lady Astryd, Eldest Son, welcome all." Knowing that the conversation is going to be a serious one, Loki is (of course) dressed pretty casually in a black silk shirt, black slacks, and black shoes, with more black in the form of a leather belt. He opens the door wide and motions the gathering of god and goddesses to enter.

Once all are inside. "My lady wife awaits us upstairs." He leads the way to the backroom and then up the spiral stair to the apartment up top. Inside, he waits until the door seals, and then activates every wardspell and defense he has - it takes about a minute to activate so many layered set spells. He knows Sigyn will deal with the courtesies as he deals with the defensive weavings.

"Hello Loki." Fenris says as he makes his way inside. He's not at all sure what Sif had wanted speaking to him much less to him and Astryd and Loki and Sigyn all at the same time. But here they are.

Such a gathering as this has not been seen in some time. Were he a more paranoid man he might be thinking that the All Father or Those Who Sit Above might take the opportunity to erase some thorny problems. And… he is thinking that, yes, actually he is that paranoid.

Sigyn enjoys playing hostess. There is coffee and tea services set out, along with a bottle of whiskey and a cask of Asgardian mead. There is also a tray artistically stacked high with various finger sandwiches and two trays sporting carefully arranged pyramids of cookies. Over all, the effect is a compromise between Midgardian light snacks for visitors, and the size of Asgardian apettites. She's wearing a green and black silk blouse, but otherwise her outfit is similar to Loki's. Black slacks, black heels, black belt. Her only jewelry at the moment is her wedding ring.

"Be welcome in our home. Please, have a seat…" Sigyn divides up two sandwiches and two cookies to each of five plates, then lets the others take plates before taking whatever is left and nibbling at the food. It is only paranoia when people aren't out to get you, and everyone in this room has enemies, but somehow Sigyn manages to be warm and welcoming while arranging things to try to soothe the nerves of those present.

Astryd isn't worried about attending the house. Loki has, after all, been a guest in their house on a number of occassions.

The tall, steel eyed, Valkyrie follows the others in. She's dressed simply - a tunic top and jeans today.

"Our thanks for the welcome." the blonde answers Sigyn. "I trust you are settling in well after your sojourn." The one that had the Goddess consigned to Hel for a while.

Sif looks around curiously, but makes sure she's not in Loki's way when he starts activating the wards. She's seen him do similar before, but not with this level of complexity. It's … honestly a little reassuring.

Sword and buckler left near the entrance and cask of mead set with the one Sigyn already had prepared, she settles with her plate of little cookies and … bits of bread with things in between? Oh. Sandwich. Just smaller than she's seen before. Is it at least a decent, hearty bread? Or the overly weak and pale fare that Midgardians mistakenly think is superior? She pokes at one little sandwich before taking a healthy bite.

"Thank you for hosting," she says in sincere appreciation to Sigyn. "If only our reason for visiting were less … potentially dire." She glances to Fenris and Astryd. "It came to our attention recently that there is a Midgardian spy in the Embassy, from a evil coven known as Hydra. We have thought to lure the spy out by fabricating a situation that will be irresistible." She hesitates, then adds, "We want the spy to think that we have brought the Casket of Ancient Winters to Midgard."

Only once the weavings are finished does Loki join the rest, Sigyn would know he spared /no/ effort in the defensive weaving, and with his magic that's saying a fair bit indeed. "There. At this point it would take concerted effort by both the All-Father /and/ Heimdall to scry us, and I know of no mortal agency capable of breaching our security. I /also/ added a new warding in case of technological spying, I think you will find your mobile phones - if you have any - will not function, fear not, they are but suppressed, not vanquished."

He smiles to Sif as she sets the cask of mead down, and will accept the cups as well. "Many thanks." Not even a drip of sardonic at the moment. Actually, she'd find that he's been VERY polite to her of late.

He grips his son's shoulder en route to the table, and smiles to Lady Astryd as well, clearly they're both very much welcome here, in fact there's a resonance to the wards that shows they recognize the Valkyr and the Wolf.

Settling, he dips himself a horn of the mead, it is essentially mother's milk to a prince of Asgard. "So…this HYDRA - I assume they named themselves for their proclivity to have many heads." And then she speaks of a trick, and he GRINS. "OH, you mean /this/ cask?" He motions to the side, and a VERY nice replica appears. "Or…" He grins even more. "We could use THIS one…" And morphs into the thing, which is very odd looking in his seat!

%fenris pats Loki's hand when he does so and finally takes a seat when they are in a spot to do so. He's quiet as Sif lays out what she has called them together for. Ah yes. This.

"Yes. That very cask. These people seem to have some notion of the artifacts in Odin's vaults and at the very least are aware that they are powerful and worth possessing. If we wish the spy to reveal himself we're going to need to give them something worth blowing their cover for. Of course, there is no evidence that this is a midgardian. It could, unfortunately, easily be a corrupted asgardian."

Sigyn bakes her own bread, thank you very much. Some modern varieties fascinate her, others horrify her, but she'd not serve anything but her best to guests. She's far too proud of her skills for that. The news of a spy in the Embassy makes her frown darkly, in a way more suited to her husband perhaps. "So this spy has broken the oaths he took when he entered the Embassy's employ. Must we had him over to the Midgardian authorities, or may we deal with him according to our customs for an oathbreaker?"

Then Fenris points out it could be a corrupted Asgardian, and unlike many Sigyn doesn't protest that such betrayal is impossible. She simply nods, "If it is an Asgardian, then that will make catching them harder, but simplify dealing with them."

Sigyn looks over at Loki, "Please do shift back, darling. While I'm sure the copy is accurate, resembling a poorly made jewelry box is not your best look. I would much rather see you smile." Or smirk. And then a faint frown crosses her lips. "And I do not care for the idea of you possibly putting yourself in a rogue Asgardian's hands…"

"I know Sif believes a facsimile will be sufficient." Astryd inclines her head towards Loki's shifted form. "However, I am not. The infiltrator has avoided all detection so far. We only discovered them because we were told where to find an artifact by The Finder."

Sigyn and Loki may be unfamiliar with The Finder. Astryd however, is not.

"If the infiltrator is indeed a citizen of Midgard, Lady Sigyn, they will want to police their own. If they are not though …" A small feral smile crosses the blondes face as she takes a seat next to Fenris. "… I feel like doing some hunting."

Okay, the Loki-Casket is not an angle she'd considered and she's doing so now, though Sif turns to blink at Fenris then Astryd as they voice the possibility that it could be a rogue Aesir. That had clearly not occurred to her. But, Sigyn's question is very much a valid one, and she nods in agreement with Astryd's assessment.

"Wait," she says to Astryd, perhaps a Midgardian custom she has actually picked up, "you do not think a facsimile of the Casket will suffice? Even if Thor goes to Asgard and returns with it?" That does make this baiting a trap idea of hers a fair bit more problematic. "What do you suggest, then? Especially if the AllFather is not willing to allow the Casket to be brought here?"

"Oh, simple enough, I steal it and leave a copy in its place." Loki is not one for seeking permission when action is needed. He does resume his natural form when chided by his wife. "Oh, well, Jotuns are not exactly legendary for their craftsmanship." He observes with all the sardonic in the world, possibly two or three of the nine realms!

He looks thoughtfully to Fenris. "I wonder /how/ they got that information, after all, /I/ have lived in the Palace…it speaks of the traitor being very highly ranked indeed." And then a frown. "It concerns me that these people would likely sense me as false, even were I to layer illusions?"

"So…who is 'The Finder'?"

"A fey spirit of my acquaintance." Fenris nods to the Liesmith. "She is exactly what she sounds like. She finds things, or information, and trades it. It is in her nature always to make fair trades so I have made use of her services in the past. She's quite amiable, generally."

And why shouldn't she be? Everyone who comes to her gets a fair deal and her services are too valuable for anyone to risk killing or imprisoning her.

"Sometimes she gives little… extras by way of an aside."

Astryd is silent as the talk flows around her. "There are ways to get things from the All Father…" she murmurs, grey eyes settling on Loki as she smirks at his answer. "That is … the most expedient way, for certain."

"And no I don't, Sif. This spy has proven adapt at avoiding all of Asgards safeguards on the Embassy so far. You will have one chance to use the casket. In fact, one chance to smoke them out. Once you take action, if you fail, they will know you are onto them."

"Is it worth, then, messing around with a facsimile? Or do we assume that the spy is perhaps cleverer than us?"

Sigyn makes a small moue of distaste. "Politics. If it is an Asgardian traitor and he is highborn, bringing him to Asgard for justice will involve politics." She looks over at Loki, and that glance would be hard for others to read, but for Loki it is clear. Sometimes it is better if things aren't brought to light, and that is the kind of decision he is better qualified to make.

"As for a reason to bring the casket to Midgard, I heard a mention of something called Global Warming worrying the Midgardians?" Sigyn looks at Sif and Loki, "The two of you can ask someone at the Embassy about it, and then my husband could cut off what will no doubt be a tedious explanation by saying that magic could solve their problems easier."

Sif is quiet for a few moments, considering what the others have said about the Casket and the potential intelligence and/or the effectiveness of the spy. "Bringing the Casket itself we may be able to arrange. I cannot help but worry, though. If we do fail at capturing this spy, then what? What would we need to do for The Finder to locate the ring in the spy's possession a second time?" She can't help but think that a second task would be more difficult than the first one was.

And it would delay them capturing the spy as well.

"How certain are we that my illusions and shifting would not be sufficient unto the day to fool this spy?" Clearly it vexes Loki to be unable to trick someone. Like…a lot. He looks to Fenris. "Alfar - svart or otherwise, or Fey as per other realms than the nine?" He frowns. "Truly, the Finder sounds like Hodr, in the aspect she has…at least to finding things." He smiles. "I would like to meet her sometime. One can never have too many friends, allies or potential persons of power to parlay with after all."

A bow of his head to Astryd. "A mortal saying I rather like 'It is easier to ask forgiveness than permission', said by a lady Rear Admiral in the US Military some few decades past." Plus - Odin is the All-Dick as far as Loki is concerned. He DEFINITELY frowns at the mention of the spy being more clever.

He smirks at Sigyn's dislike of politics and her suggestion of global warming. "Well, the Cask's power is pretty extreme, I don't know if they'd really want to trade an ice age for their warming." A nod. "Still, it is one option." A shrug. "I'd just as soon steal it."

Sif's musing draws his attention then. "I concur, the real item is always the best lure." Unspoken…and the risks make things much more fun!

Fenris says, "We're not. A midgardian it should fool no matter what unless they are versed in magic but if the traitor is one of our own they may very well have ways to see through your illusions." It's a thorny problem and not one they have an answer for just now.

"The midgardians may or may not know that, so telling them that IS an option."

Fenris looks to Astryd concerned. "Hopefully you'll be able to hunt subtly while you're there. It'll do no good to spook the spy. They'll either flee or borrow so deep that we won't find them."

Sigyn smiles at Loki, "Oh, I'm not saying don't steal it. I'm just suggesting a reason to steal it. If I was a spy, a dangerous artifact stolen and brought to Midgard, in my reach for no apparent reason, no, no apparent -gain- for the thief? I'd be suspicious. Given your… reputation, recklessly stealing a dangerous artifact thinking you can control it to tackle a problem you don't understand? Someone foolish enough to think they could spy under your nose and not get caught would likely believe such of you." She shrugs, "Or maybe I am over thinking things, and being around you has me trying to be more devious than needed."

Astryd gives Fenris a serene look. "I may be reckless, Fenris, but I am trustworthy. I know the roll I am to play in the Embassy." Taking his hand in hers, the blonde offers a small smile. "However, once we flush them out, if they are one of ours … I think a hunt will be in order."

It doesn't sound like she's suggesting they return the miscreant to Asgard, does it?

"As my Lord says, we're not sure, Loki. Not on any of this. The only thing we are sure of is there is a spy. A resourceful one, that we would be remiss in underestimating." Beat "You have a good idea though, Lady Sigyn. Some pomp and circumstance about the arrival of the casket. What it might do for Midgard, is likely in order."

Sif nods as the others agree on bringing the real Casket to Midgard as bait, and possibly hopefully something more. "I think we might be best off preparing for the worst, that the spy is a Aesir and not a Midgardian. Let me — or better, Thor — try asking the AllFather for permission to bring the Casket here first, Loki. The … Global? warming might be reason enough for him to grant its temporary use. But if he refuses, then I suppose the Midgardian saying about forgiveness will have to apply."

It HAD occurred to her to ask Hod to pinpoint the ring, but considering how much he very rightly despises everything to do with Asgard, she finds herself hoping to save that as a last resort only request.

"Well, fair enough. Though most oft one needs to know /to/ look for the illusions." Loki nods then, allowing. "Of course I'm rather well known for such." A faint smile. "Oh, this is a fun little conundrum." Definitely this challenge is one he relishes. "Well, so, we bait the trap with the real thing, Fenris." A firm nod. "Better overkill than taking risks that spoil the mission."

He reaches over to briefly cup Sigyn's cheek, there's definite affection there, real fondness. Even when he isn't in the mood to be around her, or having a bad decade, for twelve centuries he's kept coming home. That means something. "Not overthinking at all all, your suggestion has merit."

That Astryd agrees only underscores that as true. A nod. "Oh, if we cannot be SURE of the trick - though that's a lot more fun - the stakes are high enough to sacrifice fun for the sake of the task at hand."

"Oh yes, send my dear brother, he /likes/ dealing with father." A pause. "Do we have any idea who the spy might be or might be working with, if so we can stage the discussion about the Cask where one or more of them might hear."

"The real thing is the surest bet, yes. But that has risks of its own. Now instead of the trap being discovered for a ruse we have to worry about the trap not working and the mouse getting away with a cheese that can start an ice age a hundred times over." Stretching the metaphor a little there, Fenris is.

"Were it me I would not consult Odin on this but I don't know if that's an option. Thor at least, might appreciate knowing and I think he should. He was after all being rather helpful during that meeting we had, Sif."

There's a short pause and Fenris glances to Astryd. "If the traitor is an Asgardian we may have no choice but to hunt them. Though perhaps there is use to being a bit devious at the moment."

He pauses and drums his fingers. "Of course… Loki is well known for being… a controversial figure in Asgard. If, perhaps with Sigyn, Sif and Thor's assistance, a spy could be convinced that Loki would help hand such an artifact OVER…"

When Loki cups her cheek, Sigyn looks up into his eyes, and there's real love on her side as well. Despite him tricking her into the marriage, Sigyn has come to love Loki for himself. When they suggest her playing a role in this, Sigyn nods. "I will be glad to lend my aid to this." She shrugs, "I know I am thought foolish by many Asgardians for my devotion to my husband. And if the spy is a Midgardian, well, they think little of a woman who dedicates herself to hearth and home. Either way, they are not likely to look for deception from a simple creature such as myself." She smiles wryly, more amused than annoyed by her reputation.

"When the time comes, Old Wolf, I will have my sword and shield. Until then, I am as you see me, a pretty blonde with the ability to organise anything." Suuuuure Astryd is.

The blonde chuckles though "Oh, now that is nice bait for the trap. Loki, you are known for your more … controversial … actions. It might not be difficult to put it about that you are seeking to … rehome … the casket but with the scrutiny you are getting for your peers."

Those grey eyes fix on Sif and Sigyn "A public disagreement at the Embassy should help with that. Forbid Loki to display it or something. Make it seem he's on the out again."

It takes Sif a moment or three to catch up with what the others are saying, as devious misdirection has never been her way of doing things. But, that would make any manner of disagreement she airs publicly with Loki seem all the more convincing no matter how false, yes? "I will certainly try my best. And there is the butcher's tavern just down the street from the Embassy that is frequented by all Aesir as well, if we wish to make this falsified disagreement a truly public spectacle. So long as we don't cause any property damage, I do greatly enjoy their brisket."

There's no doubt that Loki is more than aware of how terrible a liar she is, but if he plays it to anger her…

"Well, there's always risks in such things, Fenris." Loki grins. "Ice Ages pass. Sure, the worst case would be fairly rough on the mortals, but they're tougher than people give them credit. He laughs at Fenris suggesting that Odin be left out of the loop. "That would be my preference as well." He admits, but — yeah, Loki and Odin, rather like oil and water. Truly Loki is a Nerd in a culture of Jocks to the Nth degree.

Loki /laughs/ loud and full. "Oh, indeed, the Liesmith, Lord of Evil, the Trickster on the outs? That's more often the case than otherwise, may as well use my rep to further our ends." Nope, not upset at all about that. The TRICK is the important part.

He nods to Astryd. "Indeed. 'Rehome', I like that, and I /am/ a Jotun, mayhaps I might want it to assert my rule of Jotunheim, I am after all the blooded offspring of the king and queen of yore, the cask would be the perfect means to do so."

Loki is still chuckling when Sigyn mentions her 'simple' nature, and that causes even more robust laughter. "Simple. Yes, so very simple."

Wiping tears from his eyes, Loki nods to Sif. "I do love a good brisket."

"Then someone needs to tell Thor. After that it should be simple. Have a public falling out. Make it as messy as you like. Create the impression of an 'opportunity'. And then wait and see if the spy makes a move." If not they'll need a new plan but this one is at least low risk in the beginning.

"I think between the five of you…" Astryd, Sif, Thor, Loki and Sigyn. "… you can have a good sized shouting match."

The Old Wolf nods. This seems well. "We should still prepare for the Cask though. We'll need it or a reasonable facsimile either way."

Sigyn smiles at Loki's amusement, knowing that as long as this entertains him, he will give it his all. "Very well then, it seems we are agreed. Would anyone care for another drink?" She'll urge more food on people as well, keeping cups and plates filled.

"Not I, my Lord. I am a lowly Midgardian in the eyes of the Embassy staff. Most from Asgard have forgotten me or did not know me before I left." Astryd responds.

Her job will be to keep her ears and eyes open. The others will be the bait for this trap.

"I would, thank you Lady Sigyn." Those grey eyes turn to Fenris in question "Are we in a hurry to leave? I know I said I wanted to go tracking this evening, we should still have time, shouldn't we?"

Plan fairly well in place, Sif nods to the others. "I will speak with Thor as soon as I can, then, and inform him of our plans." If she doesn't get a chance, she'll just have to drag him to the butcher's tavern unawares, and his reactions to Loki will be all the more genuine. She can clarify for him afterwards.

Inwardly, she is very glad that Loki seems so fully willing to assist with this. She knows it's because of the chance to have a good laugh at the expense of others, but still, he is helping. And she is duly grateful for it.

"Yes, please," she says to Sigyn. Those little sandwiches are delightful, none of the odd and wholly unpleasant burn that so many Midgardians seem to prefer.

Plans laid in, his interest fully engaged, yes, Loki is onboard with this. Truly, it bids fair to be an EPIC prank and one that is also a needed service. Perhaps the All-Father will see the merit of their actions, perhaps he won't, either way the deed needs doing. He's definitely going to goad the hell out of Sif in their argument - hopefully she won't stab him, at least not mortally, anyway. He's willing to be cut fairly deeply - with his malleable form and magic he's fairly tough to actually kill.

When folks debate whether or not there's a rush, he grins. "Oh, please, you /must/ all stay for dinner, Sigyn's cooking is not to be missed. I would take it as grave insult if our hospitality was refused after such a wonderful night of planning. Stay! Drink! Eat! Let us savor this unity of purpose, this shared cause and howl our defiance to the heavens!"

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