2020-01-28 - An Icy Blast Of Winter


Working late, an undercover Ambrose and Astryd find the thief they're looking for … but lose something much more important.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Jan 28 05:26:37 2020
Location: Asgardian Embassy

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Ambrose and Astryd have had a job to do. Notwithstanding the extremely unpleasant shock of an old friend coming to haunt the English gentleman, they still have something of a long con going on with secret identities at the Asgardian embassy. That has been something of a methodical, tedious slog. Actual real work interspersed with snooping and listening in.

Well tonight they have a break. It's late. Late enough that few people are around and most people aren't awake. Astryd SHOULD have gone home long ago but an opportunity came to do some 'inventory' work in the back with Ambrose and while it's boring, it's a chance to actually be here after hours without needing to sneak everywhere.

And as luck would have it something just opened the door to the secure hallway and closed it again. Or rather, the door appeared to open and close itself.

Mister 'Petur Kronmardh', in his plain cotton button-down from a thrift store and equally well-loved khaki pants (even some fretting at the back hems, as if they'd once been worn by legs too short and caught under heels), continues to peer down at the paper he's been handed by one of the Embassy's archivists. It's to be filed away in the secondary archival room on the more well-guarded second floor. He sniffs and pushes at the bridge of his black-rimmed glasses as he walks towards the stairs leading down to this level.

A reach back to scratch at the nape of his neck is at the tickling of the red-haired wig Ambrose wears (and has worn for many weeks now); this and hazel-hued contacts complete his disguise. He glances up as he reaches the floor and comes to a slow halt.

That door…did it just shut? The master-thief is immediately on-guard and slips to one side of the hallway itself, out of sight of the door, and lets out a whisper in Farsi. A quick glance around hunts for a familiar face. Those glasses?

They get ditched. It's not as if Ambrose needed them anyways, even if 'Petur' did.

Astryd had tried so hard not to stare at Ambrose's disguise. She really had. She'd failed though - fortunately people thought she was just being rude and chided her.

That wig though.

The blonde looks up from the shelf of artifacts she's 'cataloguing' at Ambroses whisper, frowning. The door had certainly open and closed - but there's no one here but themselves. "I think we need to start on the secure room, Mister Kronmardh." The blonde calls out and moves towards that door. Through that door are the … more dangerous and valuable of Asgardian antiquities. Things they wouldn't want just anyone seeing, let alone getting.

"Come along." Opening the door, she steps into the corridor and gestures for the redhead to follow her.

The door opens for their access code and there's no one in sight in the hallway. As they creep down toward the first bend in it, the one that heads toward the outside of the building and the delivery docks in the back of the Embassy, they can hear hushed whispers.

"Just watch where you swing that thing, dummy." One, a male, hisses.

"Sorry." Another male whispers. "I can't see you and I'm really jumpy. Just get it done okay?"

"Relax. I've got it handled. The door to the artifact room is open and our friends should be here in a minute."

Peering around the corner, Astryd and Ambrose can see one Embassy security guard holding a taser baton and standing by the door to the truck docks. It's presently closed. There's a faint rumble outside it. Is there a truck or van there?

Whom he is talking to is not immediately obvious. There isn't anyone else visibly in the hallway. But he is looking toward the center of the hall right next to him. Ish.

Ambrose — er, Petur — peers around the corner to see if the recognized voice is — ah, yes, it's the Valkyr Astryd in her own disguise. He nods curtly and then falls into close place behind her and to her right, as he did for years when acting as Kent's bodyguard in scarlet, bloody Shanghai. The Bane already tickles beneath his skin in foreboding interest at why the Jackal's heart has jumped in speed. Mmm, adrenaline, the best trigger.

Leaning carefully around the corner, the master-thief spots the source of one voice but not the other. His tongue thoughtfully tips his tongue to his upper lip before he pulls back to whisper into Astryd's ear, very close to her person,

"I've the sufficient power to net them both in one go if you've the speed to disarm any weaponry they might turn upon us. I cannot promise immediate death, but they will be very weak." Already, his pupils glow carmine within the fixed lenses of his false-hazel eyes.

Astryd moves quietly and peers around the corner as well, frowning at the guard talking to noone. "I have the speed and the strength. They do not know I am of Asgard. Let me take them by surprise before you act." The blonde smiles merrily at Ambrose. She's enjoying this.

He should worry.

Unbuttoning the top two buttons of her blouse and letting her long blonde hair settle about her shoulders, she moves out into the corridor. "Oh, you frightened me." She says to the guard, carefully avoiding looking at that empty spot. "Doing your rounds, I see… " The smile is … ever so sweet and hopefully beguiling.

"Oh, um. Natasha." Blush. Gulp. Straighten up slightly. "Hi. Yes just… checking the back doors here. Can't be too careful." Is he nervous because Astryd undid the top two buttons? Or is it because he's sort of hoping she moves on? Or is it that he's hoping she stays. There's an almost imperceptible scuff sound on the carpet as something moves off to Astryd's left.

Ambrose is going to have to guess at the locations but he can probably make a pretty good guess. It's not like the hallway is all that big.

"What, um, what are you doing back here?"

Ambrose leans back respectfully when the Valkyr turns to whisper back at him. He blinks in surprise and lifts one shoulder in an accepting shrug; it does seem a plan, especially if she can move at speed.

"By all means, my lady, please…at your leisure," he whispers. The pause was in deep respect for the unbuttoning of those buttons. The Jackal yanks his attention back up before it drops too far and instead rolls up his sleeves to his elbows because — because — he's got a curse to throw, damnit!

And maybe a pinch to make himself start paying attention to the important things, like NOT THOSE BUTTONS.

He hears Astryd speak and then the guard's response…and then that barely-audible shift in weight. Baring his teeth in a wicked little smile, the Jackal then drops low to crouch just behind the corner. With Astryd having captured their attention, he knows he can peer around the corner using the blackened screen of his phone. As he does so, he extends his other hand out first in a checked reach, as if he might be grabbing for something. Out the Bane slips and slithers towards that empty section of the hallway, its intent to curl about ankles like mist and begin to nibble at the invisible feet. It's just pins-and-needles from standing too long, no big deal!

Not some ancient Mesopotamian curse…and Ambrose inhales silently when he feels the curse find its target. His lashes flutter as he leans out of sight against the wall and then his closes his eyes to better focus. Now…now he knows the very heartbeat of the invisible one.

The buttons weren't meant to distract Ambrose! Astryd would be most amused if she realised. She's focussed on the guard and what's going on here.

"No, you can't, Geoffrey." The blonde smiles, ignoring the scuff to her left. A finger flicks though in that direction, it could just be a twitch as far as the guard is concerned hopefully Ambrose picks it up. The following up question from Geoffry gets a slow smile "Would you believe I was looking for you?" The blonde angles herself to put her body between that sound to her left, and the guard. That will give Ambrose just one person to deal with.


"Um. O-o-oh? You were looking for me?" Not exactly the picture of confidence is Geoffrey. So much so that he entirely fails to notice the mist curling at their feet. It's a light mist. Easy to miss in any case. Barely there, really, that manifestation of power. No his eyes are somewhere between Astryd's chest and her neck. Sort of trying to pull up and failing.

Ambrose finds what he's looking for. Right there. About a foot and a half from Astryd and moving behind her. She's going to be in a bind in a moment if he does act.

Fortunately, Ambrose seems to be ready to do just that. And not a moment too soon. Is that a soft 'beep' at the door behind them, signaling someone else working the security lock?

Once he notes the stutter, Ambrose marks the guard as 'shit out of luck'. He's fallen for the ploy of the buttons — the poor bastard. His smile deepening, the crouching Jackal then begins to shift his curse's attention more towards sleeking up beyond the ankles, into the calves and into the knees, sure to swiftly follow the femoral artery's bloodline to the heart.

His hand with fingers gently curled suddenly slams shut into a white-knuckled fist and the Bane sinks recurved teeth into the life-force of the invisible person. As usual, for the Jackal, it's like a hit of purest drug and coming up for air after nearly drowning and the perfect stretch right after waking up after a long night's sleep.

Unfortunately, the 'red-head' doesn't catch the sound of the door's beep. The beat of his own heart is too loud in his ears.

"Well, yes. Why wouldn't I be?" Astryd almost purrs. Three thousand years has given her lots of time to practice. She notices the mist though and moves closer to the guard, keeping him distracted.

She can't hear the beat of Ambroses heart but she does hear the beep of the door. Grey eyes widen in innocent shock "Are you expecting someone else?" She's so close, it would be easy to grab him if she needed.

"Um well. It's just so unexpect-" Geoffrey doesn't get any further than that. Ambrose's Bane sinks into the invisible man and he SUDDENLY becomes visible with a pained cry. He stumbles forward, dropping a golden ring on the floor. Geoffrey stares dumbfounded. His brain has just about shut down trying to process everything. He has NO idea how to respond.

And then the door behind (well, to the right of) Ambrose opens and about fifty feet away the two people just gape.


When Ambrose looks there's a man pointing a large box at him. A large ornate heavy looking box.

From which blasts suddenly a two foot wide beam of pure cold. The iciest, coldest cold ever to be.

God, it's delicious, the purity of the energy he's siphoning off with every frightened thud of his victim's heart. Ambrose's smile is now definitely a snarl of pleasure and he doesn't hesitate to appear around the corner like some demented villain in a horror film. Geoffrey will definitely catch the bright red spark of inhumanity aimed at him even before the Jackal's gaze falls to the small and gleaming golden ring on the carpeted floor.

His upheld fist falls as his attention is suddenly torn: kill the infuriating source of this breach in security or make a mad snatch at the relic he was tantalizingly clued into by the Finder those weeks back?

A third priority comes into play when the startled shouts make him wheel in place, all the fine hairs on his neck standing on end. Ambrose's eyes go wide and he literally yelps as he throws himself out of the path of the crackling beam of sub-arctic cold. He can hear the very air snapping behind him even as he rolls — the Bane's hold is ripped from the now-visible victim. Then launching off his back foot in a move fain to be replicated by anyone but a professional parkour master, the Jackal dives for that golden ring.

Another roll and he has it in his palm, still warm from where it sat on another's finger — and quickly as he can, he attempts to slide it on his own! On it goes and with a half-turn twist, he feels the world suddenly…shift.

Astryd is quick. Her reflexes honed over countless battles and even more training. The blonde grabs Geoffrey as the door opens and whispers "I'm sorry…" in his ear, before throwing him at the person coming through the door.

Right into the path of that icy blast.

"Cask of Winter." The Valkyrie snarls. Pulling the pin from her hair. It transforms into a sword and shield and she launches herself at the newcomer. Intent on slicing the mans wrists off.

Ambrose vanishes and indeed the world looks like it's being viewed through a thick coating of grey glass. But he can still make out locations, people. He can still hear clearly and he can smell when Geoffrey gets iced. Literally. The man is just frozen stiff. He miiiight survive if promptly unfrozen but that's not a concern right now. What IS a concern is that as Astryd launches herself the man points the box at her and lets it go again.

He's got a cask of ancient winters and he is NOT afraid to use it.

The man that Ambrose Bane'd manages to barely hit the switch that opens the truck door and… there's a truck waiting. With armed men.

Who start shooting. So now Astryd and Ambrose are getting it from both ends.

|ROLL| Ambrose +rolls 1d20 for: 12

|ROLL| Ambrose +rolls 1d10 for: 2

In shock and awe that he actually managed to successfully seat the ring on his hand, Ambrose stumbles back against the wall. With palms and spine pressed flat to it, he watches in dumb and owlish chiaroscuro daze as Astryd throws herself at the man wielding an Asgardian relic as if she had no semblance of self-preservation whatsoever.

Somewhere, Steve Rogers is proud.

And the Jackal is suddenly staring at the appearance of four gunmen who aren't afraid to open their weapons upon the hallway. His gaze falls to the sluggishly-moving former ring-bearer and goes afire. One of the gunmen is probably going to notice when this poor bastard suddenly gets lifted clear off the floor by the back of his neck and has time to choke before his heart finally gives out — and then he's flung bodily (and dead) at the shooters.


A splatter of blood from seemingly nowhere, however, can still be seen in the middle of the carpeted floor.

Somewhere, Steve Rogers is proud and Fenris is facepalming *hard*. The Valkyrie drops to the ground as the Casket is aimed at her, below the freezing beam of energy, and her shield flashes out like a disk - sweeping the mans ankles to knock him down.

She's not gentle. She's determined to maim if not kill. Maim would be better, she wants to *talk* to him later.

The shield comes up to give *some* protection against the bullets - scant that it is. She can't spare the time to deal with them at the moment. Getting that casket is the most important thing here.

Ambrose's throw hits the front two gunmen and then the two of them tumble from the truck in a heap. Which is a bit of a drop and might hurt a little bit. Astryd manages to trip the man who has the box and the box goes tumbling. But an agile woman behind him rolls over Astryd, picks up the cask and chucks it toward the truck.

Where it lands with a heavy thunk.

Then she throws herself in that direction as the truck begins to pull away though as luck would have it that's going to take her RIGHT PAST Ambrose. Close enough to reach out and touch with… basically no effort at all.

And the man by Astryd choses that singularly bad moment to pull a pistol and try to bring it to bear in the Asgardian's face.

Ambrose… probably wants to finish dealing with the two he's tumbled with.

And there's Ambrose's hand to slap hard on the woman's arm like some avenging ghost. It manacles down with stern force and is swiftly followed by the bite of the Bane. He lifts her too by her neck and tosses her back down the hallway, towards Astryd and the pistol-bearing man who probably doesn't have long to live in this world.

Another bullet buzzes his ear like an angry wasp and with a swift lunge, the Jackal removes himself from the immediate area of the gun shots — suddenly levitation and tossing surely drew attention yet again. The other two who fell from the truck are his next targets.

As he throws a strong headlock around one gunman's neck, his free hand is gestured palm-out towards the second. The Bane flies to strike again in a splash of what feels like thousands of ant-bites and the sudden urge to just…sit down and never get up again.

Ambrose has no interest in the fleeing truck now, not when he's got another two heartbeats in his hands with all the zealous and draconian delight that the Bane reflects in him.

Astryd swears in fluent Asgardian as the woman tumbles over her. The shield frisbee's out, down the hallway towards the woman. She probably won't get her, but she'll try.

And now … there's a pistol being raised at her face. "Really? Really?" she says to the man. Her free hand grabbing his and twisting violently so the bones snap as the pommel of her sword comes down on his head. "Go to sleep. I'm bored with you."

The snap has the Astryd's victim sent off into the sweet release of unconsciousness. Astryd does indeed miss the woman and her shield gets stuck in the door post by the truck bay, but Ambrose invisibly arrests the woman and then Banes her.

And even though she's still conscious, she's definitely out of the fight.

That just leaves the two who fell off the truck dock. They still have guns but that doesn't help them against the INVISIBLE JACKAL, hero of justice or something sort of like that. As quickly as the others, they're rendered unable to fight and the guns tumble from their fingers. Astryd might want to just check and make sure that Ambrose isn't going to… you know. Eat them.

The truck speeds onto the street and in it the Cask of Winters. That is most certainly going to come back to bite them later.

Ambrose is definitely going to eat these two gentlemen unless stopped, given their guns have clattered uselessly to the ground and one's fallen to his knees. His face continues to go steadily more slack as the seconds go by. He stares in horror at his friend being steadily choked out by some invisible force neither can see.

And all the while, the Bane is taking its jolly good time siphoning their life-forces away like the spill of blood. As usual, it's a high unlike none other and…

…unfortunately, Kent is nowhere within New York City to mentally slap some sense upside the Jackal's head. Who cares if the world has gone grey? Ambrose is pleased — and the bullet wound in his thigh is closing rapidly, thank-you-very-much.

Astryd swears very imaginatively as the casket is lost in that van. She's so very, very tempted to take after it - call Cuan and just fly. But … Fenris would be disappointed if she did. Fenris The blonde sends up a prayer to the God Wolf. She knows he'll hear it and respond.

Her brows furrow though as the other two men seem to be in trouble. "AMBROSE!!!" her voice cuts through the hall like … well ice. "Where are you?"

Raven? Fenris replies to Astryd, having heard her prayer. The thieves are all down for the count even if conscious, only able to look on in dazed horror at what's happening. This was the wrong job for sure.

Like an ice cube down his neck, Astryd's sharp call of his name jolts the Jackal from his task at hand. The jitter and consequential fall of his outstretched arm towards the kneeling thief breaks the focus needed for the Bane to work at draining the man. The gunman slumps to one side and unconsciousness takes him to leave him a lump on the winter-cold pavement of the Embassy's back dock.

"Yeeeeeeeeeesssssssss, Milady Astryd?" The Valkyr's heard that dusty, sly melody weaving through the master-thief's voice before, when he was drunk on a fellow psychopomp's own god-like essence. Still, in a showing of good faith (and probably more like self-preservation in the face of the blonde who took down armed men as if they were papier mache), he drops his chokehold on the second gunman. This guy falls to his hip and grabs at his throat, wheezing for air, at least until Ambrose picks up a gun and cold-clocks him across the temple. THUD: two thieves, ready for pick-up.

Astryd will hear the light-footed leap up onto the docking entrance and then, in a shimmering of mirage-like magic dropping like a fallen cloak, there's Ambrose with a wetted blood-splotch on his thigh and no wound to prove it. He eyes the golden ring held up before his face with a smile dripping in self-satisfaction before he pockets it. More humanity fluxes in to return his voice to nearly normal in its crisp delivery.

"I daresay we should let the Asgardian know they will need to interrogate a few unfortunate souls…" He still lets his eyes wander even as he saunters towards Astryd. Each step is easy and languid, and he glows nearly nuclear with glutted Bane to anyone with the Sight. "I can assist if they require it, of course."

Which…while handy with Ambrose's ability to Suggest they tell the truth, would…probably be a bad idea in the immediate interim.

They have the Casket. Astryd tells Fenris. We stopped several of them, but they got it anyway.

If he arrives, he arrives. If not, she'll brief him later.

"I've called Fenris already, let me summon the others." Those cold grey eyes land on Ambrose when he appears, dropping to his thigh and back up again. "You did well. Thank you." She's not going to take him to task for what was done. "Come now, let us get you settled as we call the others in. And you can assure me you are well."

Oh yes. She heard The Jackal and it worries her. A little bit.

Ambrose lifts his dark brows as he stops an arm's length from the Valkyr. A quick glance down at his thigh is followed by another shrug, this one far more insouciant than seen before the fighting broke out.

"I shall do a better job of dodging next time…if they are even able to see their target in the first place." Again, he offers a smile as reassurance, and this time, it's purely Ambrose's brand of coy delight, dimples and all. "I believe a cup of tea will settle me well enough after the others collect their bounty."

He glances at the bodies strewn about and sighs. "And to think, this portion of our endeavors is complete. I was just becoming fond of this wig. Such a color, don't you think?"

And Astryd gets a blatant wink as the master-thief then saunters by to see about finding something to bind wrists. No one is allowed to sneak off after this mess!

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