2020-01-12 - Ley Lines or Speed Lines?


Cain speeds too close to a ley line and not only draws both Pepper and Ambrose in, but dumps them all in the Bar With No Doors. It's a civil affair…mostly.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Jan 12 08:45:01 2020
Location: The Bar With No Doors

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Theme Song



Cain LOVES this weather - just under sixty, but cloudy and blustery, enough to let you enjoy it without being too cold or too warm. Perfect running weather.

Eyes of green glint with sparks of purple as he runs along, just fast enough that it is hard to see him for anyone without super senses - or the ability to sense magic. He's dressed in jeans, a jean jacket with a wolf's head painted on the back, sturdy boots and a goldenrod button down shirt.

Running and enjoying himself very much he once more gets hit with a bit of 'strange luck' - he just happens on a convergence - himself, Pepper Potts and Ambrose (not Bierce). Of course /that/ isn't enough for his luck, nope, he /also/ hits a leyline.

Eyes of green go wide with fright as he sees Ambrose, and he jinks hard left INTO the leyline, and it creates a shimmery purple and gold cloud of distortion that flickers to encompass both Pepper and Ambrose, and then they all three…are in a bar.

The hell?!?

Idle hands are the devil's playthings — and so is free time when it comes to a demi-immortal's much-beloved curiosity streak. It's been absolutely FUN seeing if he can track this…mysterious streak of magical presence (read as: Cain) around the city for the last week or so. Ambrose doesn't need to sleep, so he's been roaming at all hours, only retreating when he's gotten too cold or wet to continue on comfortably.

Trench foot is real, folks, and to be avoided.

This evening, in his dark longcoat and an equally dark stocking cap pulled down over his ears, he's walking at a fairly brisk pace in the general direction of this presence. It's a bit like a cat knowing they last saw the red laser pointer's dot in that vicinity. The wind ruffles at the tassels of his thrice-looped black scarf about his neck. His boots leave a steady tattoo on the pavement.

Rounding the corner, he blinks and catches sight of the EXACT being he's been hunting. While green eyes might go wide, the Jackal's pupils flicker red, flashing like a coyote's glance in pre-dawn gloom. "Well, hello," he breathes as he feels the Bane prickle up beneath his skin with avid interest in the speedster.

But then things are topsy-turvy-swirly and he's stepping sideways into the back of a bar booth. Ambrose grabs at it to catch his balance and blinks, looking around blankly. "…what the ruddy hell?!"

It truly WAS lovely weather, for January. Pepper had taken advantage of it to leave Stark Tower to run some errands. She was just leaving a small boutique-like shop when she saw Ambrose round the corner, and before she could even lift a hand to offer a hello, there's a VERY unnerving topsy-turvy-swirly sensation and the disorientation causes her to stumble and lose her balance, ending up on the floor quite gracelessly.

The small bag she'd had in one hand followed her to the floor with a wet and glass-like crunch, and there's a slowly spreading puddle of red by her leg. Possibly more worrying, she doesn't promptly try to get back to her feet.

"Oh hell." Cain says when he realizes…they're somewhere else. And yeah, for HIM it was even a weirder feeling than for them. For Cain there was a /surge/ of power that shivered through him, and for a moment he KNOWS he was breaking the sound barrier /several/ times over, but only in a short burst.

And then he sees even SCARIER beings to either side as he jinks, and then all that power ripples out, and — bar.

Seeing the fallen Pepper, he looks more than a little vexed, going to one knee to make sure she's okay. "Miss, are you alright?" His voice is a little rough, his senses still reeling in the wake of that transition to another reality. And yes, he's a bit ashamed for having -not- caught the woman before she broke her wine.

Also, no trench foot here. He is trying very very hard not to freak out, so he focuses on the non-scary person!

Ambrose is still boggled by the sudden shift of his surroundings and continues to cling to the back of the booth. Thank god it's not occupied, otherwise he might have had reason to apologize — and he hates doing that. His chest slows as his panting evens out into calmness and acceptance of his surroundings. Rest assured he's immediately reaching along the kythe towards Kent, if only to let the man know where he's gone and that there's no immediate danger.

The entire place around them appears to be…otherworldly. He knows through experience that this place is rife with mystical influence. And the…barkeep is a floating head in a jar. Ambrose blinks at this.

Someone speaking up draws his attention over and to his left, about a dozen feet out. Oh, that's the morsel — er, person he was hunting! And that's Miss Potts?!

"Ruddy fucking hell," the Jackal mutters in a low growl. He stands upright and brushes at his coat before he begins to meander over. As he travels, he continues eyeing the entire Bar. No one appears to be bothered by their sudden appearance. Yet. "Whatever you managed to do, sirrah, I request you undo it immediately." This, curt and crisply British, is directed at Cain — and yes, the master-thief's pupils continue to glow with a hellish candleflame's light deep within. The Bane is admittedly intrigued by Cain's aura.

The dropped bag is too small to hold wine, and the liquid beginning to spread not enough quantity and too dark and viscous to be wine. For her own part, Pepper stays still trying to mentally catalog what just happened. Left the store, saw Ambrose, something WEIRD, then…

She blinks up at the young man asking if she's okay and she replies a bit hesitantly. "I'm okay I th—" She puts her hands on the floor to try and stand, landing one palm in the deep red liquid and gasping in surprise as she recoils.

The red liquid is not viscous enough to be blood, either. It doesn't smell metallic.

Looking from her hand to the puddle to the little bag, she stares for about a second before saying quietly, "Damn." And then she registers Ambrose's voice and turns to look up at him too. "That was the last one in the entirety of Manhattan."

Cain can almost feel the 'morsel' that was unsaid, but then again being a living mana battery and having been on the receiving end of far too many attempts to have that mana /eaten/ by various and sundry entities, he can perhaps be forgiven. Of course then Ambrose is getting all growly and demanding, and for a moment the instinctive fear reaction is replaced by something a bit hotter. "What /I/ did? I didn't do anything! I thought YOU did something!"

Rising, he looks about ready to duke it out with the Brit with the red eyes, but them comes the gasp, and he turns back to Pepper, helping her up. "I am so sorry, when we get out of here I'll replace whatever it is from wherever you need it from. Is that…ink?"

And then he blinks at the jar holding a head…behind the bar, and his eyes go wide as saucers as he sees the clientele.

On top of all that…he can /feel/ how magical this place is, he's literally thrumming with the power, and a bit amped up.

More than a little hyper, in fact. A frown. "I…where…where the hell are we?" His question so lost sounding that it would be hard to doubt its sincerity. Maybe the young man didn't actually do this?

Ambrose jams his hands harder into the pockets of his coat. Thank god they're gloved; it'll save anyone an immediate nip if he needs to reach out and touch anyone.

"We shall replace whatever you have lost, Miss Potts. I assure you, there is nothing I cannot find." The unspoken threat towards Cain is more leveled with the continued Rikki-Tikki gleam of red pupils. "And I have done nothing to engender this incident. It is all upon your head, sirrah. However…"

His growl bleeds thoughtful. He turns to consider the bartender in his impossible state of being. "I have heard of this place. I know it is a bar and it is a place where one does not come to fisticuffs. The Sorcerer Supreme holds sway here and will not allow it." Kent warned him long, long ago about this locale, and especially not to be drunken-brawling because, frankly, the Jackal would not win.

Pepper blinks up at the young man then at Ambrose when start snipping at each other. Perhaps she IS still a little discombobulated, as it takes the young man finally asking where they are for her to realize there's no other pedestrian traffic, there are no car noises, no exhaust smells, no sky…

"Oh, are we in the restaurant at the end of the universe?"

She accepts Cain's help to regain her feet while being extra mindful of her inky hand, and yes it does occur to her to wonder why Ambrose didn't offer to help considering all of the rest of his old school manners. "It's fine, Ambrose. I'll just order a new bottle directly from the manufacturer." And wait a few months for Visconti to bother to formulate and create the new batch. Stingy, snobbish Italians.

She tests her ankles gingerly and grimaces when the left one twinges. No heels for at least a week or two. Note to self: Hoopy froods do NOT list Manolos amongst ideal Hitchhiker footwear.

"Sorcerer Supreme? Is that like a burrito supreme from Taco Bell?" Cain asks a bit snarkily still, yeah, Ambrose is just—well, he's scary, since flight is not an option, that leaves fight, but apparently that's not on the menu either. "So…quick question…does fisticuffs include things like consuming someone's mana?"

Because that is DEFINITELY relevant.

A sigh. "I…am sort of new to this whole 'powers' thing, I mean, not new new but, still learning. I guess I /might/ have accidentally got us here, somehow. I take it we can't just call for an uber?"

Cellphone reception not the best in alternate dimensional spaces.

Once Pepper is standing and stable, he notes the twinge. "I'm an EMT, miss, if you'd like me to look at the ankle…oh, I'm Cain, by the way." Aimed at Pepper, of course, but not like Ambrose is deaf…which is probably why he only gave one name!

"Very good, Miss Potts," Ambrose replies as to the future batch. The Jackal's lips thin to see the woman in distress, but when Cain identifies himself as an EMT, he sighs and visibly relaxes. Good. There won't be any need for the Bane's healing touch, painful as that is with the physical damage on full reverse and at full intensity of agony.

Now the Jackal takes up a lazy observational circling around behind Pepper and into view again of both of them. "You must be a fledgling if you've no idea who the Sorcerer Supreme is within this world. He is more powerful than any of us may dream to be. I do not wish to twit his nose and draw his attention," he explains to Cain. "Insofar as your…mana, you called it?"

A slow smile appears on the Jackal's face, just a little too toothy to reach his eyes. "Of course. You would make a fine aperitif." He then chuckles, the sound curling up behind his teeth.

"I tease, of course…" he lies.

"I would see to Miss Pott's ankle before we consider exiting this location. So far, no one has offered us harm. I am rather curious as to a drink." A beat. "Of liquor. Would anyone like one? It is a bar, after all." His expression is mild as milk now as he glances between Cain and Pepper, the sheep's mask pulled over the Jackal's face.

"It's fine," Pepper huffs again, though this time at Ambrose's saying her ankle should be seen to. "I just need to switch out to a pair of flats for now." Because yes, she's wearing heels of a height that would impress even someone like Lady Gaga, though they are still sophisticated. She steps over and claims the nearest seat, putting her shoulder bag in her lap and starting to pull things out of it.

First: a microfiber cloth that she promptly wipes her hands on without apparently caring that she's staining the cloth very likely permanently. Her hand is still very much ink-stained regardless. Second: a piece of cloth that when unfolded turns out to be a drawstring bag wrapped around what looks like a largish zippered pencil case.

It's the matter of just a few moments, and she's tucked her towering heels into the drawstring bag and replaced with a simple and lightweight pair of ballet flats.

"No formal training." In magic, Cain replies with a hand to the back of his neck. He knows very little save what he's been able to divine by trial and copious amounts of error. Oh yeah, frequently punctuated by attempts on his life. Trusting of arcanovores? NOPE!

The casual mention of snacking on him…does not sit well. Cain is an EMT, but he knows how to fight, only the head in a jar and Ambrose's warning keep Cain from seeing how often he can punch that smug face. And then he sighs, letting the ire drain away. "Okay, look, if this is my fault, I am sorry and we'll figure something out. If nothing else maybe one of the…trolls…" A blink, yeah, actually troll seems to fit. "..by the door might be able to get us a way out. Right? I mean, people have to get her on accident from time to time."

He looks then to Pepper as she declines assistance, and he notes the calm manner as she gets things sorted. The speedster then takes a moment…literally…to clean up the mess on the floor with a borrowed bar towel or three in a burst of purple lightning, and displaced air.

Yeah, he really is a bit on the fast side, especially in a high mana zone like this place!

"Oh, assuredly," Ambrose agrees as to the rather burly bodyguards by the door. He grimaces slightly when he looks in their direction; no one's going through the trolls without feeling it. Wearing an air of confident sangfroid yet, he glances back to Pepper now seated and nods to himself.

A quick step back from the sudden cleanliness on display along with its accompanying light show has Cain earning himself a more considering look now. "Slippery thing, you are," the master-thief comments mildly. He has merits to weigh now that he's seen just what the speedster can do.

"Are we wishing for a drink at all or to leave the vicinity? I am not afraid to speak to the bodyguards at the door. It may be as simple as walking through the portal. Surely not everyone who attends upon this place arrives as abruptly as we did."

With her shoes sorted and — oh! — the ink cleaned up, Pepper looks up at Ambrose. "If we're not trying to leave immediately, then please sit down. You're making me twitchy." She doesn't even attempt to reach for the man, as the hands tucked deeply into his coat pockets is a fairly clear 'hands off' gesture if she's ever seen one.

"Cain, thank you," she says before looking toward the bar and blinking at the head in a jar. Okay then. "Do you think they serve tea here?" That isn't, like, from some alien grub's bladder or something disgusting."

Then something occurs to her and she puts a hand over her left forearm, inwardly really glad that Arananet has yet to react to this whole mess.

"You have no idea." Cain murmurs to the Jackal in Sheep's clothing. "I…honestly, I could use a drink. Ice wine sounds good about now."

He looks to the guards at the - not quite a door, the portal? Arch? There's no door. "There's no DOOR. The hell…I wonder if I just phased us through the wall…" Okay, now Ambrose knows that Cain can apparently walk through walls too, yup, in fact so would Pepper!

Speaking of which, he smiles to the woman, and nod. "My pleasure, Miss Potts." After all, Ambrose had mentioned her names. He opted for the more formal one. A soft smile. "Yes, the head in a jar is concerning, isn't it?"

He looks then to Ambrose. "So…how shall I call you?"

"Now, now, Miss Potts, no need to be twitchy. I mean no one any harm," Ambrose reminds her in a light tone still rife with some form of dark amusement found in matters. His faint smile is as harmless as he can manage. "I shall sit when I feel inclined — and I agree, a drink does sound good."

He eyes Cain again with measured intrigue. To phase through a wall is no small feat. This morsel — er, young man keeps getting more and more fascinating by each minute. His smile deepens to show a sliver of teeth at the questioning.

A click of his boots and with gloved hand fisted to his chest, he offers a shallow bow, his eyes never leaving Cain's face. "Lieutenant Atherton, please," he veritably purrs, " - of Her Majesty's Army. I would shake your hand, but that might be troublesome." Still, he claps said gloved hands before his chest. "Drinks then: tea for the lovely Miss Potts, gin and tonic for myself, and…for you? Cain, was it?" A hand furls out fingers to invite an answer.

Pepper smiles up at Ambrose, though if Tony were here he'd know it as the 'your BS isn't flying with me' smile. "Thank you, Lieutenant Atherton," she says with the same pronunciation of his title that he used, inwardly glad to see that he's at least using a veneer of civility with Cain.

Then, to the already twitchy young man she offers, "Please, have a seat." She doesn't say aloud that his nervousness is successfully making her as twitchy as she just accused Ambrose of doing.

"Lieutenant Atherton, Ambrose." Cain nods, and then slowly sits opposite from Ambrose, definitely this morsel is not going to get too close to the man! If that ends up with him next to Pepper, well, that's fine. If she permits. "Ice wine, please and thank you." At least Cain has some manners, you know, when not freaking out.

"I…apologize, I'm not normally so surly." He admits, and Ambrose DOES seem to be making an effort not to be horrifying. So, he'll make an effort not to be surly!

"Of course…young master Cain." Smiling to himself as if a joke slept behind his teeth, Ambrose, still standing, then turns to go speak to the bartender — the floating head in a jar. He even makes to lean on the counter, jocular and charming as is his wont when he feels as such, though it seems to make no dent in the head's expression.

Presto: as fast as magic can concoct the drinks, there they are, and Ambrose delivers them himself. For Pepper, a tea to her liking — for Cain, a glass bulb on stem of ice-wine, condensation quickly clinging to the glass itself — and for himself, a gin and tonic on the rocks, rather heavy on the gin.

Ambrose snags a chair and pulls it up against the outside angle of the table backwards. He straddles the seat as one might a horse and kills half of his drink in one fell swallow. "…not terrible," he murmurs as he then sets it down. "I too will apologize. I am not normally so absorbed in my desires, but if we are being entirely honest with ourselves, you reek of life-force and act as prey. If you did not run, you would be far less enticing." Ambrose gives Cain a level, glinting look as he says this.

Pepper smiles her thanks as Ambrose brings her the tea and she finds it to be surprisingly pleasant. No gall bladders anywhere. She can only nod as Ambrose apologises as well, then brings up the topic they've all been skirting around.

"So, Cain. You didn't realize that you have the ability to travel to places like this? What did you do differently today from any other day?"

Cain does relax a bit as Ambrose is away. Eyes of green track the Pale Jackal, and then he looks to Pepper a moment, studying her features a moment. "Are yo usure you don't want to let me take a look at your ankle? I really am an EMT."

And then Ambrose returns, and he tenses a bit again. "I…just haven't had a lot of positive experiences with people who find me enticing as prey." He says levelly. "I mean, I /am/ a Speedster, so, running away from a fight it a very legitimate strategem." And then he bares teeth. "Of course, I fight pretty well too since I can hit you a couple hundred times a second."

Turning to Pepper, he shakes his head. "I…never did anything like this. And I got a burst of speed just before as well, it was strange, the /air/ felt more…real."

A helpless shrug. "And then we moved sideways, and were here. I can't really explain, I'm sorry, Miss Potts."

"…if you can move at all," the Jackal murmurs tartly to the rim of his drink before he sips at it again. Still, he lets the topic of conversation go in lieu of their current circumstances and the mystery of their arrival — all the better to let his presence lull into something less threatening…and all the better to continue observing as a leopard might a distant impala, all idle interest.

"If I may: I have encountered some incidents similar to this in my long years. I would call it, in layman's terms, a portaling accident. The 'why' is beyond my expertise. Since you did not die, you might try it again another time, in the name of…science or something," he muses, a slight hiss on the consonants in question.

With a look of consideration, Pepper seems to be actually considering Cain's explanation of the sensations he experienced just before they all ended up here. But then Ambrose's suggestion has her looking at him. "But perhaps at a time of day when there won't be other people around. I don't know that most other passersby would handle this kind of situation nearly as well."

She thinks she might have to go back through those old books she thought were complete ridiculousness, because something of the young man's explanation is catching on something she can't exactly recall at the moment.

"I move very well, thanks." Cain says with a bit of a grin. And then he considers the tone, and smiles less, and then nods seriously. He is mindful He blinks. "You've been bounced into a mystical bar by accident before?" And then he grins.

Pepper's thoughtful plan, gets a nod from the man. "Trial and error…is…" He ponders, then nods and shrugs. "…Trying."

He ponders some more. "It was really weird, there was like a path…of sorts, but…it was…not normal. Not /here/, nor -there-." A sigh. "I suck as this stuff, my explanation is horrid."

Ambrose negligently flips his free hand from its perch on the back of the inversed chair. "The young man has been made very aware of the penchant for his particular practice to draw in bystanders against their druthers."

Clearly, this is the guy who encourages any and all chaos to assuage his own boredom.

"We are the result of it. Young master Cain, your explanation is merely untutored. We all begin as novices at one point; some of us survive to become masters." The Jackal curls another self-pleased smile not too unlike a Cheshire Cat.

He finishes his gin and tonic and returns the glass to its condensation ring left upon the table. "So be mindful of your movements. Tripping must be difficult for you at that speed," he postulates delicately.

Pepper tilts her head as Cain again tries to explain, almost as if she were trying to place something about his words. "I'm not so sure, Ambrose." She looks at Cain intently for a moment then offers, "Your description is reminding me of something, but I'm having trouble remembering exactly what."
She looks at Ambrose again. "What would you call a magical pathway?" She's gesturing somewhat vaguely as she tries to explain. "Something that exists but Muggles wouldn't ever even realize exists?"

Cain looks oddly at Ambrose as he makes his declaration, brow furrowed he offers a half hearted sigh. "I apologize, I truly did not intend any ill."

Cain? Generally pretty easily engaged, conversation, music, food, drink, dancing - he's very much a social creature and seldom bored. Also…EMT. NOT a lot of free time sometimes.

"Tripping actually is pretty hard for me, Lieutenant." And then Cain laughs softly. "Of course when I manage it, yes, it can be painful."

Pepper's interest and questions, have HIM interested. "Really? I wonder what it could be." He follows her gaze over to Ambrose, and only /then/ does he pick up his ice wine, and sips at it.

"I was not complaining in the least, young master Cain. I am growing fond of this place. They serve an excellent gin and tonic, and I do believe there is an extra ingredient to give it…depth," he decides, considering his empty glass. Cain does get a small smirk nonetheless for his agreement to the subtle snark of tripping.

Sitting further upright before a lithe quarter-twist at the waist in his chair allows a few vertebrae to crackle. The master-thief sighs in contentment. Then, to Pepper, he responds: "An excellent, excellent trick." Ambrose can't help the puckish purl of his lips or the twitch of his shoulders in a stifled laugh. He then tilts his head briefly. "I have heard it called a 'Way' before, or a 'Gate'. I do not use them myself."

Pepper shakes her head no at Ambrose, her eyebrows drawn together. Clearly, she's the sort that is bothered by not knowing the name of something. "No, not a way or a gate. Like a, a road, or something." She's gesturing randomly again."

"It links places of power the way roads go from city to city." She then remembers her tea and finishes it, still frowning a bit. Not being able to /remember/ this is gettign to her.

"It is definitely interesting." If Cain sounds a bit dubious, well, he can be forgiven, perhaps. He definitely does not want to even consider what the extra ingredient might be, that's a bit disturbing — after all — the 'tender is a FREAKING HEAD IN A JAR!

The discussion of 'Ways' or 'Gates' and magical pathways definitely engages Cain's interest. "Yes! Like that, it felt like I could run forever!"

Gloved palms appear and are turned up in a shrug. "I've not the term you search for, Miss Potts. It may be that my other half knows better than I do, but…" Ambrose then glances to one side, his eyes gone half-lidded in concentration. His murmur is distant. "…he is presently occupied. I dare not interrupt his task." A languid blink erases all detachment from him and he's keenly present again. He glances over at Cain, brows lifted.

"But run forever? That you drew from this source for energy? Fascinating." There goes the dull glow of the Bane in the backs of his pupils; to hold his gaze as he leans his chin on a hand is to begin to count one's heartbeat in time with the sullen flicker of the werelights — mesmerizing if one's not careful.

If she were the sort to do it, she'd swat Ambrose on the arm for staring at Cain all swoony-eyed. She knows WHY he's fascinated by the young man, but that doesn't mean that OTHER passersby won't see it as the Jackal making a 'come hither' face.

"Well, perhaps it's time for us to try and get back?" She pauses then as something occurs to her, and looks toward Ambrose. "Please tell me time travels at the same rate here as at home."

"Well…yeah, it was a massive power rush, not unlike being in here. There's a lot of mana here, and very little cold iron." Okay, oops, Cain is CLEARLY no expert on mystical matters, because Cold Iron is a pretty specific concern. He looks between Ambrose and Pepper, thoughtfully. "I mean…I /could/ try to phase us all out through the wall." He looks between them both. "If you'd be willing to try…?" Should they be so, Cain rises and offers each a hand, yes, even Ambrose. "It will feel weird…sort of like when you lick the end of a battery, you've done that, right? Well…like that…only everywhere at once."

Once he has their answers, he acts on 'em.

Bother: the young man didn't even flinch. Sensing that his fun is ended for the moment, the Jackal too rises to his feet without further fuss or subtle predatory tease, a cat finally leaving a mouse to scurry away for another day's chase. Duly noted, however, the mention of cold iron and he averts his gaze briefly to his coat as he smooths it down rather than let the gleam of interest betray him.

For Ambrose knows well why someone might be concerned about specifically 'cold iron'.

"I have felt worse," he replies to Cain even as he drags his gaze from the offered hand up to the young man's face. "Let us depart then. I've research to do — and fear not, Miss Potts, time will not have passed at any abnormal rate in our absence."

The last thing Ambrose feels inclined to contribute is a coy, "Tally-ho then."

Pepper actually raises an eyebrow at Cain's mention of cold iron. THAT is something she knows about from her reading of fiction as well as myths and legends. She doesn't comment aloud, though. She instead busies herself with tucking her heels in their drawstring bag into her purse and then standing. Yeah, she'll definitely need to ice her ankle when she gets home, but it's not nearly as bad as it could have been.

"What if we try asking those men at that archway first, in case they know a simple way back?"

"Oh…sure…if you want to take all the fun out of it." Cain murmurs en route to the presumed exit.

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