2019-12-26 - Patience is a Virtue


Christmas Evening at the Rasputin/Kurita house. Koa and Keiko talk plans forward.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Dec 26 02:33:05 2019
Location: 46 Willow Place

Related Logs


Theme Song



Christmas Day in the Rasputin/Kurita house is interesting.

Keiko doesn't have any traditions, it's not something she was ever aware of till she ran. The morning had been spent with Elena, there'd been lunch and now, in the early evening, the small spirit caller us in the backyard with her remaining spirits out.

They look like they're frolicking - Bella, Conner and Onyxia.

Keiko herself is watching, drinking a glass of vodka and throwing a ball. Conner and Bella are racing to retrieve it.

A guest had been invited to spend the day but nothing concrete had been decided on.

Koa unlocks the door and steps through it, shutting it behind him. He glances around. He looks tired and well he might. He's been burning the candle on both ends dealing with things, looking for people and generally doing his bit to hold the world together. His bit is rather more than most people's bits, it must be said. But that's life at WAND.

"Hello Keiko. Nice quiet Christmas, I take it?"

"Depends on what you mean by quiet." Keiko looks up at the silver eyed WAND agent and moves to the side, patting the step next to her for him to sit down. Bella immediately loses interest in the game she's been playing with Conner and bounds up to Koa, sticking her giant shaggy head under his hand.

"Elena was far from quiet and she was encouraged in that…" the spirit caller snorts "… but I wasn't called for work, so there's that. It looks like you were."

Onyxia fans her wings and beats them down, sending the light dusting of snow swirling about the yard. "She's not used to snow and she seems to be enjoying it."

Conner picks up the ball that Bella abandoned and brings it to drop at Koa's feet. "Traitor…"

Koa kneels down to scratch Bella's ears and then picks up the ball to bounce it off the wall and into the kitchen. That'll send him scrabbling he has no doubt but that's part of the entertainment so far as he is concerned.

"We try not to call people for the holidays who aren't otherwise scheduled unless the world is immanently ending, which I am happy to say it is not." The silver eyed WAND agent waits for the hound to bring the ball back and then throws it again.

"No trouble from Belasco etcetera, I take it?"

"There's a whole yard to play with him, cold as it is, and you have to send him into the kitchen?" The others will complain, no doubt, but Keiko might find it amusing - as amusing as she finds anything.

Conner does scrabble over the tiles, his backend slipping as he tries to get the ball. There's clunking and banging - him hitting cabinets no doubt. Then more scrabbling as he heads back to Koa.

Bella pushes her head against the WAND agent, insisting he pet her more, head canting so he can her ears better. "They're both traitors." Keiko mutters. Her arms completely devoid of tattooes at the moment.

"Did you get called?" He didn't actually respond to that non-question before, so Keiko goes the direct route. "Belasco? Not directly, no. Not since you and Piotr saw the cultists in the Disaster Zone though but there was this …"

Keiko hands over a folded piece of … what looks like paper but isn't. It's … hide … of some sort. There's a sigil inscribed on it. One that both of them recognise from Illyana's library. Belasco's. "It was left at the door last night."

"I was scheduled. Given the case I'm working are we really surprised? Apocalypses don't take holidays." Koa throws the ball again, ignoring the kitchen comment and scratches Bella a little bit more behind the ears before he takes a look at the paper.

"Someone's been watching too much Hook." He comments, peering at it. "Well the good news is that neither the sigil nor the paper are enchanted. I take it the security cameras didn't see anything?" There's a short pause. "Do you even HAVE security cameras here? Tried getting Cullen to scent it and all?"

"You should have called me, I would have come in." Keiko would have, Koa knows that. "I don't like you doing this to yourself, Koa." She knows what Pandora has told her about Koa and the spirit caller doesn't like it. She'll do what she can to save him from it - even take his fate if she has to.

"No security camera's, they keep fritzing with the anomaly downstairs and Illyana's wards." Conner takes off again, just as enthusiatically and bumping into everything again. That earns Koa a patented Keiko flat look.

Bella stretches out and puts her head in Koa's lap, looking up the man with a dopey canine look. Keiko siiiiighs and hands over the bottle of vodka and a glass.

"Conner could trace it to the walk and then it disappeared." the peruvian shakes her head "A portal probably or a teleport. We could try to scry it, but I think you know where it will lead. He really wants to get to Piotr, doesn't he?"

"Yeah. He probably does." Koa is going to keep throwing it into the kitchen. Well, maybe he'll throw it at the stairs. The bouncy ball will probably go every which way. Flat looks, he's immune. Bella gets more scratches. Her breath is awful.

"The question is why. Belasco, from everything I've read about him, plays a long game. He's usually thinking three or four moves ahead. I wish Illyana were here, frankly. She'd have a lot more of use to say. But we can assume that whatever he's after, he thinks there's a decent chance he can push Piotr into giving it to him. He seems to want the big guy angry. I'm not sure what that gets him, but… clearly he thinks it gets him something."

It's almost like Bella reads Koa mind, as she huffs on the man - giving a good a dose of that breath. That's just before the terrifying, demonic, wolf rolls on her back like a puppy - looking for belly rubs no doubt.

Conner seems to be indefatiguable and the pair hear him clatter up the stairs. Keiko might have some mending to do when this game is over.

"It's something to do with him being Rasputin, I think. They keep mentioning him as the King of Limbo, not the Heir. Is there nothing in the books we have that give us clues?"

Keiko sighs and pours herself another vodka, as well as one for Koa. "I wish Illyana were here, but she's not. And despite our people getting a hit on her, they've not been able to tell us how to get her."

"What does it give him to have Piotr angry? Piotr can be very … impulsive … when he is. We've seen that. Is that … it?"

"No, not really. Limbo's history is a pretty big mystery to WAND and Belasco wasn't very talkative during his tenure there. He is also, from everything I understand, trapped there. So it's not like he gets out much."

Koa makes a face and gives Bella a playful push before leaning forward to scratch her belly. Only after this is done does he take some of that drink.

"At least we know she's alive." Koa says quietly and his silvery eyes glint briefly. He winces slightly and puts a hand on his chest, over his heart. "Ow." The WAND Agent holds up a hand to ward off questions. "That's been happening over the past couple of days. My heart rate is speeding up, a little bit. The folks in the dimensional office think that whatever happened to Limbo is stabilizing and is affecting my heart."

Right. Moving on. "It might just be the act of being angry. Emotions can have powerful consequences in Limbo. I'm sorry Keiko but there isn't any good way to guess what he wants. Only that he's several steps ahead in this game and Piotr needs to tread very carefully."

"It's a mystery to everyone." Keiko grumbles "I'm not sure even Illyana would know. She'd know *more* I grant you but …" there's a shake of her head as Onyxia prances over and screeches in Keiko's face for pets. The peruvian scratches a wing distractedly.

Koa's wince get a look, a mix of worry and displeasure. "Your heart … does it beat in time with Limbo, then?"

"Piotr wants to go after him. I think we should let him, prepare him and let Belasco think that he's done this." It's a crap plan right at the moment, but sometimes taking the advantage is all that's left.

Bella whines, tongue lolling as Koa scratches her. Keiko watches for a moment, pensive … "Koa. Would you take her?"

"You mean as a tattoo?" Koa says, scritching the demon wolf a bit more. "No. For the same reasons I haven't taken any of your tattoos already. If I get too hungry, there's an excellent chance that I will eat her." And that would make Koa sad. And Keiko sad. Also it might kill Koa since he would take harm from the act of consuming the spirit.

"It'd be like hanging a steak around a wild dog's neck. You don't really expect the steak to make it through the experience."

Koa is quiet for long enough to get another drink before he starts again. "Letting Piotr go after Belasco is probably going to be necessary since other wise he'll find a way to push Piotr to it and that is probably not something we want. As for Limbo…" Koa shrugs. "I don't know what the damn heart does. So far as I can tell this hasn't happened to anyone… ever."

"She's so good with you …" Keiko sighs, looking at the animals as they talk. Conner returns and flops down between them - the ball getting dropped as he finishes the game. "Do I need to send them away, now, for you?"

No, Keiko wouldn't like it if Koa ate her spirits.

"When we can get back into Limbo, we should go and see what we can find in relation to your heart. It's likely it's never happened before but maybe the proximity will tell us … *something*."

"We won't just be *letting* Piotr go, Koa. We'll be helping him. If there's a way, giving him the means to call us to him if he needs … back up. What do we need to prepare this? I'm assuming that Sigil might useful …"

"The sigil, I think, is just that. A signifier. Like a note pinned to the door. Like I said when you showed it to me, it doesn't look magical, and the paper doesn't either." Koa puts the drink down and shakes his head. The spirits are fine where they are right now.

"I'd like to take a look, yes, but at the moment Belasco is probably more pressing. And there's not much I can give you in the way of preparation. Like I said, Belasco is a mystery. Most of what WAND has on him you've already seen. And it's probably a mistake to think you can be 'prepared' for Belasco in any conventional sense. Again, Illyana would be helpful here. She knows the man better than anyone alive. But since we don't have her we are probably going to have to fly blind."

"Perhaps. But that's not normal hide and I doubt the ink is either. There's no ink in Limbo, Koa. Not like we think of it. Or do you think it's not worth having someone look at?" Peters had told Keiko to learn all she could from the Agent. She's trying, dammit.

"Does WAND have any devices that can be used to call people to you? At the least, we could give him a teleport wafer, right?" For all that Keiko doesn't show her affection for the big man, she does care and would grieve if anything happened to him.

"Not *for* Belasco, perse. But … am I making sense at all?"

Then there's the issue of actually getting Piotr there …

"Not much no. But that's common after as much vodka as you have had." Koa says as he passes the hide back to Keiko. "You can have the leather analyzed. I suspect you'll find that it's demon hide but if it's something else that could at the very least be interesting. Beyond that I'm not sure what you think the sigil is going to do in terms of being useful to us." It might be but that's not obvious to Koa.

"We could give him a teleport wafer. I wouldn't give him anything to call people to him, because I can think of about a billion ways that could go wrong. But we might be able to give him a way to call for help which is just about as good."

If Limbo is stabilizing then they should be able to get there but Koa will have to check in with the teleport group for that. That is among the many innate abilities that he does not have.

That earns Koa another flat look. "I haven't had *that* much …" to be honest though, she's been drinking fairly steadily all day. That might not be so unusual though. "I don't know, Koa, I'm not a mage and I have not magic for myself. All I have is my tattooes and my staff - everything else is sheer determination."

Meaning she's stubborn.

"You don't think that whatever made this mark will have a sympathetic link? That's what it's called isn't it? Why would Belasco have this left here, if not … look, he wants Piotr to find him - what better way than this?"

By not making it so easy, it doesn't look quite as suspicious either.

"Piotr hasn't seen this, by the way. I was going to show him tonight." There's a face at that - that will cause a 'discussion' between them - *again*.

"Calling for help is good." There's no smile, but there could be one. "This is why I need you around. To keep me on track."

"I'll be in the office on Friday, we can talk to the teleport group, then, about Limbo. I want this … bought to a head, Koa. I can't, I don't want to, live with this over us. Any of us."

"I do because that's the nature of sympathetic links. But no one with more than a passing schooling in magic hands a functional sympathetic link to people who may want to hurt them. That's like giving an enemy a loaded gun. Not many people are that dumb and Belasco certainly isn't. If there is a working link on that thing, Belasco will expect us to find it." But Koa is thinking that it will have been scrubbed. There are ways to do that, and it's the sort of thing a paranoid man does.

"Then we'll do what we can. But Keiko, Belasco isn't something that's going away. He can't be killed, from everything I understand. Much like demons, he's linked to Limbo. It will just generate another him to torment us. The best we can hope for is diffusing this temporarily."

"He wanted us to see that, Koa. He's been tormenting Piotr for months now." Keiko notes. Maybe it's been scrubbed, maybe Koa is right to be paranoid - OK, he's right to be paranoid - but this was left here for a reason.

"I don't expect to get rid of him but if we get an idea of what he wants from Piotr, then it may very well give us a way forward." Keiko's spirits shift restlessly as the peruvian talks - probably in response to her mood.

Onyxia trills at the small woman while Cullen lays his massive head in her lap. Bella just bats and paws at Koa to keep scratching.

"We still have to follow the leads we found in your 'vision' too. And place these three in safe keeping." It's telling she's got them got them out. Koa rarely gets to see them, unless Keiko has called them to help.

"We also need to finish putting your spirits in safe keeping. Only then will it be safe to try to unravel the knot Siffror has tied." Koa knows where to strike for that. It'd ALSO be good if they could find Illyana but Koa knows there's little that either of them can do about that. The best they can do is be ready to move when they have something actionable.

"Your wolf is an attention hound." Koa mutters. "He wants you to play his game. If we had an option I'd say don't play it but we don't have that option. The only thing to do is for Piotr to play the game and see what the game is. I don't doubt it's something we won't like." At all. The question is whether or not they'll be able to outwit him once the game has begun.

"I just said that…." Keiko sighs, scritching Onyxia's wing and then Conners ear. "And yes, Bella is. With you." There's a pang in Keiko's voice as she says that. For a woman who doesn't show much emotion, she gets a little … funny … about her spirits.

"Playing someones game doesn't mean we have to play by their rules exactly. For the moment we *have* to, I agree. I'm not happy it's Piotr we're gambling with, I would rather it be me, but this is the dice we've rolled."

"Are you going to tell me that Patience is a Virtue, Koa? Cause right now, it's not one that I have."

"Let Piotr make that decision. I suspect the big guy will want to charge in head first but that is his way, generally. But this affects him and he has a right to decide how to handle it." So long as he knows that no matter what they do this is likely to be rigged fairly heavily against them. Because demon lords - especially ones as old as Blasco - do not play fair.

"Patience is a virtue. But I don't expect you to be very patient. I'm quite familiar with your… tendencies." Koa takes another drink of his drink. "And I know you don't like games. I don't either but this is how it goes."

"I'll ask Piotr." Keiko murmurs, settling against Conner as he leans against her. "You know he'll agree and it will be all I can do to keep him waiting till we're ready, though. When do you think? See the teleporters on Friday and … maybe then?"

There's a glance back into the house, Keiko's mind wandering for a moment before snapping back to Koa.

"What do you mean, my tendencies?" The small peruvian gives Koa a narrowed eyed look. "And I don't mind games, some of them are … entertaining."

Koa chuckles. "You tend to smash problems. In that you're not unlike Piotr. And you have even less patience for mind games than he does." Another drink and Koa sets down his cup and scratches Bella behind the ears.

"I think we're ready, by the way. I don't see anything that waiting at this point is going to get us. We can draw some things from the talisman room in the morning and Piotr will be able to call for help, or escape, if he gets in too deep. Otherwise…"

Koa shakes his head a little bit. "Otherwise I'm afraid we're going to be poking Belasco with a stick and seeing what he does."

"I'm not clever or educated like either of you." Keiko shrugs. "Any of you. I can barely read and I was taught to take orders. It's what I do. Sometimes things just need to be smashed." For a moment the spirit callers jaw tightens.

Learn all you can from Koa That's what Pandora had said. Keiko doesn't think she can learn even the basics.

"We'll do that then. He should be around soon, if you're here, you can talk to him with me. Be ready for his temper though. He doesn't think he's doing enough to help us." Koa knows that.

"Sometimes sticks do the job well enough, Koa. Particularly if you know that's all you have." Holding the vodka bottle, Keiko gestures to Koa's glass in question. "Stick around for a bit, you look like you need it."

"You're not educated like we are. You are plenty clever." It's just that sometimes Keiko doesn't know what she knows, or doesn't think outside the box because she's used to being given instructions and confronting enemies directly. She is a soldier and she's been trained as that. But that isn't her potential. That's just what she was made.

"I will." At the moment it doesn't look like Bella is going to let him get up. He offers out his cup for more drink. He's going to want it to drown out the dog breath if nothing else.

Don't tell Bella she has bad breath, she'll just breath more the WAND agent.

"We'll agree to disagree on that." Keiko murmurs picking the ball and throwing for Onyxia. The harpy eagle hop skips over the yard, stirring up snow as she goes.

It's interesting that Keiko seems to have found some solace with her spirits that she wouldn't allow herself before.

"Good. I like your company."

They'll be here for a while.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License