2020-01-31 - One Man's Demo0n


NAdia and Nico discuss their feelings, time travel, dragons, and the accuracy of the term 'demon'.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Jan 31 12:15:15 2020
Location: GIRL Laboratory

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Theme Song



Sitting just far enough outside New York for the science and retail parks but within walking distance for the train the G.I.R.L building looks fairly unremarkable from the outside. Moderately sized the building has the insect winged logo above double glass doors that lead into a little reception area that's currently empty and has a single sturdy looking double internal door leading out.

The outer reception door is unlocked to allow walk in visiters to get inside the building. Although there's obvious security cameras in place to discourage anyone from trying to steal anything or causing trouble.

The inside is perhaps unlike any science lab most people typically imagine. Two floors of open plan space with the logo proudly painted on the far back wall. Each side wall is lined with college dorm style bedrooms. The nearby corners have a break area with couches and a big tv plus a little kitchen that has an empty box that used to contain donuts and a hastily cobbled together coffee machine made almost entirely out of things from a chemistry lab.

But it's the middle that looks the most impressive. A huge scifi doorway dominates the middle of the room. While a dozen workbenches are covered in various projects ranging from biotech to robotics.

There's a lot of bustle as people move around working on their assorted personal projects. Nadia's room has the faint sound of classical music playing and a faint chemical smell. Occasionally there's a whooshing noise and an intense smell of burning.

"Hey. I just kind of let myself in. Hope you don't mind." There's Nico, the door making a soft thump as the application of too much force causes it to bounce against the wall. The young goth is on the other side, adjusting her black gloves as she settles into view.

"A little birdie told me you haven't stopped researching for more than like twenty minutes at a time in, like… Ever." There's a wry amusement to Nico's voice as she comments. SHe slowly shakes her head.

"Hope you can back up whatever you're doing. If you stay on my good side I'll give you two minutes."

As Nico bursts in there is a, thankfully very controlled, jet of flame inside a clear tube that fills the room with a blinding flash of light and a whoosing roar as Nadia combusts some prototype rocket fuel. It's inside a specially built blast tube but that probably won't help much with the shock factor. Nor does it entirely protect against the wave of almost uncomfortable heat that fills the room.

"I'll be just a sec," Nadia calls out somewhat belatedly. "I'm just…. Uh…. Hey Nico. I wasn't really expecting company." She's wearing a lab coat over some pink PJs and bunny slippers and surrounded by stacks of paper with scribbled notes on. "Just been working on a little project…"

"…Whoa! Jesus." Nico gapes for a second, lifting an arm to shield her eyes for a second. As the heat dies dow nshe shakes her head and stuffs those same hands into her pockets. "Nevermind. …Fine. I guess. Just don't be too long." Doing her best to appear nonplussed Nico still can't help stare at the flames for a long moment after she finishes speaking.

"If I didn't just drop in like this I'd never see you at all. You completely lose track of time, don't you?"

Nadia Van Dyne looks up with a faintly guilty expression and just as she's opening her mouth to speak her stomach gurgles, as if she's forgotten to eat for hours if not days. "It's perfectly safe," she assures rather belatedly. "I made sure this stuff wouldn't combust too explosively before I started testing in my room." She shrugs. "I'll just move things to one side…. While I do maybe you could see if there are any snacks in the break area? We usually have baked goods or pizza… Perhaps even some kind of chicken salad in the refridgerator. Depending on which day it is…"

"And it's not so much that I lose track of time it's just… Time is very tricky when it comes to perception. Did you know if you shrink down for an extended period your personal time seems to pass faster, so you can get more done, without actually impacting the speed at which the rest of the universe runs? It's a really interesting phenomena I've been meaning to document when I get chance.."

"Like… Is time impacted by your personal gravity? In the same sense that time can be said to slow down near a black hole? That would be a weird thought." A scientist Nico is not, so rather than dwell on this further she simly gives a couple quick nods and turns slowly to glance out toward the lobby. "I smell pizza," she confides thoughtfully. "On it."

For a moment, Nadia is alone. Still, it will not be overly long before Nico returnes with her ams filled with piled up snacks and a handful of pizza boxes, resting firmly against her chest to keep the entire procession stable.

"Someone ordered… Butter chicken pizza? I don't know. Smells interesting. Ready to eat?"

"I don't know exactly why," Nadia replies, talking to an empty door as she does a very quick and dirty tidy up session. Which mostly consists of shoving everything into a pile so her unslept in bed can become a couch instead of a storage space for papers and, with much more care, moving her rocketry work onto her desk and carefully sealing anything that might explode in specially designed containers. "It could be an interaction between the pym particles and whatever dimension I'm shifting mass between. Or it could simply be a trick of the mind."

"I was toying with this idea of using quantum entangled pairs to make a time machine. But according to my theoretical models it would be very…. messy. Depending on which particular theory is actually right that is. It could do anything from jump someone forward in time to creating a brand new doppelganger of the subject exactly as they were at the targetted point. Or worst case it would evenly distribute the molecules of the subject over the entire area they hypothetically could have reached within the time period."

Whatever train of thought she was on immediately comes to a half when Nico returns with the food. "Ooooooo something smells good. But then I'm so hungry I could eat anything right now. How've you been lately? Got up to any exciting mystical adventures?"

Nico holds up a hand as if to forestall furrther comment. She shoves the pile of food down on the nearest open surface and reaches into a pizza box to come out with what is indeed a slice of pizza topped with butter chicken. She eyes her food for a moment before giving a satisfied nod. Finally, Nico addresses Nadia once more.

"I could tell you about my aventures but I'd have to kill you." A beat. "Actually, I'm not sure about the rules specifically. I'm not sure if I'd need a virgin sacrifice or if I'd just have to let the demons sort it out. You know." Nico lets that settle in for a moment while she eats her first slice of pizza, taking the time to chew carefully and savour each bite.

"Honestly, I've been pretty busy with just… Mundane htings. Feels weird to be completely normal, you know/"

"I don't know if I believe in demons," Nadia ponders, reaching for her own slice of pizza. "Extra-dimensional entities who are willing or able to treat us like a food stuff on the other hand…. Still I don't think I'd find such a creature worrying. It should be possible to generate a field that forces them out of our reality or at least weakens them enough they could be killed via more conventional means." She shrugs. "Have you run into that sort of thing a lot?"

"Is there actually a relevant difference between 'demon' and 'extradimensional entinties willing to treat us like a foodstuff'?" Nico forms finger quotes in the air as she speaks. "Anyway. That's not the point. I've met a few things like that. I get a bit tired of having to deal with them. Whatever the relationship of magic is to science these 'things'-" Nico looks up from her food to shoot a glance at Nadia, "- are drawn to magic at times. But they can be dealt with. Like with the aforementioned virgin sacrifice. I can still sign you up for one if you're interested in learning more."

"Demon implies there is some sort of mythical or unnatural nature. It suggests it's beyond our understanding or the will of some nebulous 'god' figure…. And… You know if you keep suggesting that you want to sacrifice me I'm going to get the impression that you're mad at me for something!" Nadia replies with a grin. "Or is this some kind of sorceress flirting? A way to get me dressed in something skimpy and chain me to a rock." She sticks her tongue out. "I /do/ want to know more about how your magic works, but I think I'd rather be doing the testing rather than getting stabbed."

She takes a huge but unladylike bite of her pizza slice. "That's also another thing which doesn't make sense to me. Why should sexual activity matter for the purposes of a sacrifice? Surely someone who has brought life into the world would have more power as an offering than someone who hasn't? It all sounds like superstition used to justify female oppression rather than anything magical."

"Why would I ever be upset with you for anything? You don't call, you don't write…" Nico pauses for a second. I'm starting to sound like my grandmother. Okay!" She gives a long suffering sigh, but does manage to sneak in a bit of a grin

"You *would* need to change your outfit, now that you mention it. And as far as sorceress flirting this is better than the love potion option," Nico continues, sotto voce. This prompts a moment surveying Nadia critically from head to toe while the other lays out her concerns. "It's definitely all about guys trying to have control over women. I wrote an essay about it in school. Probably just leads into the world's worst pickup line. 'Oh look, a dragon is coming. If you get undressed I'll make sure it won't eat you!'" She rolls her eyes.

"As for tests… Okay. What would you want to do?"

"But PJs are comfortable /and/ warm," Nadia mock whines, her hand held up to her face theatrically. "You know I could probably mix up a far better love potion than any spell book. Although that sort of drug tends to be very unethical and not suited for long term attraction." She shrugs. "As for tests nothing weird. Like… When I ran tests on the alien I met basically everything was going to be unusual. In your case I'm thinking brain scans while you do spells. That sort of stuff. Oh and for an MRI and you'd need to change into something with no metal. Still there's nothing really invasive I can think of which would help. Maybe a few blood samples just to be on the safe side…? You're not afraid of needles are you?"

"You know a dragon is probably a lot sexier than a car."

"I'll level with you. I love PJs," Nico replies in a low tone, glancing down toward the table as she does. sHe retrieves another slice of pizza, splaying her fingers and lifting it carefully from the box as she listens to Nadia rattle off her requests. Then it comes to needles. Nico freezes, tensing slightly. "Afraid of needles? Um. No…" A weak laugh somewhat undercuts that defense. DO you really need blood samples, though…?"

Thankfully, talk quickly shifts to dragons. Nico pauses. "I'd definitely have to go for the dragon over a… Car? Where did that come from?"

"Doesn't surprise me. After all day in a corset anything casual must feel like heaven!" Nadia teases, giving Nico a wink. "I don't /need/ a blood sample but it's one of those things that are easy enough to check. You wouldn't even notice it trust me. I've got some super thin needles that I've treated with pym particles, they're so thin you wouldn't be able to see the mark without a microscope." She shrugs. "And the dragon thing was because you said about pick up lines. Remember? Hey look a dragon is coming. I think it'd be better than someone talking about how nice their car is."

"Oh! Right. I get it. I mean… I guess I can see the appeal." Nico seems to be deep in thought for a moment before asking absently, "Why, would you like to take a ride on my dragon?" She seems to be half mumbling to herself, if anything. She adds somewhat absently, "If I didn't feel it I guess it wouldn't matter…?"

Nadia Van Dyne blinks a few times. "Wait is a dragon also the name for something…. You know…." She blushes. "Erm… Kinky? That's the word right. Or do you actually have a dragon?" Her head tilts. "Because if you do I have no idea where you'd be keeping it in your apartment. Or how you'd fit enough food in your house to feed something that large." Her head tilts. "You wouldn't feel it or be able to tell it'd even happened. I could even take the sample discreetly if you'd feel better that way, I've been trained by the Red Room in how to inject someone with poison without them seeing it coming. Same skills apply."

When Nadia asks about what is indicated by the term 'dragon' Nico is in the midst of eating another slice of pizza. As a result she starts to choke when the question is posited, her eyes bulging slightly as she turns red. A couple coughs later and Nico manages, "I mean, there's always Bad Dra—— No. No! I meant, like, a real dragon. I don't just have one sitting around but I could probably manage…" By this point Nico is babbling slightly and after a second she is quick to add "Okay? Cool. Discrete sampling. Sure. That's fine. I-….

"THe thing about your assassination skills isn't making me feel better, you know."

"You know I'm just going to look that up once I have a moment," Nadia points out solemnly. "And it's not like I've never seen naked people before. You don't have to act like I'm all pure and innocent! I was doing autopsies about the same time you would have been thinking about holding hands with someone." She sticks her tongue out. "We probably shouldn't summon any dragons into existance.. Not when there is a weird dome covering all of Staten Island right now. Wouldn't want people mixing us up with whatever was behind that."

"I don't have to take any blood samples if the idea makes you uncomfortable you know… Besides not all the assassin skills are bad. I know all sorts of things about pressure points that can be used to help someone relax and the discreet injections thing well.. Kind of helpful if I need to deal with someone who is immune to physical attacks!"

"If they're immune to physical attacks what makes you think you can puncture them with a needle?" Nico points out. "You'll just have to ask me for help if that happenb," the girl eventually decides, taking a deep breath. "Okay, go ahead and look it up. I warned you. It's all I can do, right?" There's that smile again, working around the corners of her lips. "In the mean time, we'll table the dragon idea and get bck to it when we have a plan worked out. So that leaves us with…"

"It's a /really/ fine needle. It can slip between the gaps in cells without damaging them," Nadia assures, confidently. "And if that fails I can always shrink down, go inside their ear and apply extreme soundwaves directly into their inner ear until the pain causes them to black out." She takes another bite of pizza. "Trust me there is nothing on the internet which could gross me out. From what you've said it's just going to be adult toys."

"Think we should try figure out what this dome thing even is? Or do we assume that the other heroes of New York have got the situation covered? I'm not really sure what I can do other than study it from the outside. Seems more magical than technological." She blinks a few times. "Or do you just mean what do we talk about now? I bet I could /create/ a dragon. Genetically engineer a suitable lizard and then size shift it with technology. Still not sure that'd be a good use of time. Not when there are all sorts of other more useful projects I could spend time on! Like… all sorts really."

"A dragon would be cool. Who cares if it's the most usseful thing you can do? Not everything has to be useful right when you do it," Nico replies. "Anyway, that aside. We migthj as well take al ook at the dome, right? More eyes can't hurt. And maybe we'll even get somewhere. But right now is- what I meant. …Yeah. Is it just me or is it really hot in here?"

"It would cost a fortune to feed," Nadia points out sadly. "Besides it'd be a little bit cruel making intelligent life purely for my own amusement.. After reading the various reports people have posted online I worry that if I go into this dome I might lose my scientific objectivity and render the whole trip pointless. How will I know what to look for if something changes who I am so I no longer know what is important?" She glances at the remains of the rocket fuel experiments. "Uhm. Well the temperature in here is a little higher than usual. Although not enough to bother me, but I did dress appropriately for the work." She tilts her head. "You're kind of confusing you know that right? I'm not really very good at picking up what people are feeling, but sometimes it's almost like you're so frisky you might pounce me and then moments later you're blushing at the slighest mention of inanimate objects. Or are you blushing because you actually own one of those items and you're worried I might think you're weird when I find out?"

"I mean, I—- wait a second. I'm confusing? I couldn't even tell if you'd noticed me or not until you actually said something two seconds ago! You disappear for weeks without saying a word. What are you trying to figure out? Preparing a scientific study of the mating habits of teenaged lesbians?" She manages to sstop sort of flailing, evne if her voice does rise slightly in both pitch and volume.

Nadia Van Dyne pouts. "You know all the stuff you think is normal is weird for me right?" she points out. "Where I grew up if you tried to make friends with someone you might wind up dead or get them killed. Probably both. I've never held hands with someone let alone kissed them or slept with them." She glances down awkardly. "I disappear for weeks at a time because I'm working and that's how I am. Once I'm interested in a project I lose track of everything else.. It doesn't mean those things stop being important or that I don't enjoy spending time with you."

"Mating habits? Does that mean you want us to… You know? Because it'll take me a while to build up to something like that. Maybe months… I dunno. I know I'm not ready now at least." She scratches her head and her brow furrows. "And if you wanted mating that results in kids I would need several years to research how to make that happen. It is possible though, animal testing has shown two females can produce viable offspring."

"If I wanted mating that results in—- wait, what?" Nico's eyes bulge slightly and her cheeks go from their traditional pale to a flaming red that defies both aloof attitude and the heavy application of makeup to disguise. It's a long moment before she speaks again.

"…I don't want anything from you. Except mabe more of your time. It's… Really hard to keep pushing so hard to get your attention. I know that's how you are but I'm not even completely sure you /want/ me here bothering you like this. Or of… Anything, really." Nico reaches up to brush a stray tress away from her eyess. "You don't have to do or give me anything. Okay?"

"I plan years ahead," Nadia points out. "With everything. I… don't find you being here a bother at all?" She bites her lip. "I'm really sorry if that's how I've made you feel. I know I'm always thinking about a lot of things, but that doesn't mean I don't think about you too." Her slippers scuff against the floor. "I must be even worse at showing it than I thought though."

"You don't have to show me anything , I guess. Just don't be surprised if I kick down your door and drag you away from your projects kicking and screaming. At least once a week." Nico manages to force smile and then reaches out abruptly to take Nadia's left hand into her own. She pauses for a second. "So what ARE you thinking about ll of this? … Out loud this time."

Nadia Van Dyne gets up off her chair, tips a few more things off the bed-couch to make room and sits down next to Nico. "I'm thinking I should probably put a sign on my door warning you if I'm doing anything dangerous," she says solemnly. "Because there was a moment after you opened the door when the flames went whoosh that I thought you might pee a little." She sticks her tongue out. "All of this… Well I guess we've hit the holding hands stage and it's not as scary as I thought. So long as we move slowly and… don't be afraid to tell me stuff out loud rather than wondering… Or assuming that I'm on the same page as you."

"I /do/ notice lots of stuff, probably more than a normal person would, but I don't really have the context to know what it means." She shrugs. "And… well… sometimes when I do bring things up you turn bright red and change the topic. So some things I notice I keep quiet about because I don't want to upset you."

"That… Doesn't mean I'm upsset. I'm just a little embarrassed. It's not the same thing. And part of that is I guess I wasn't sure you were really interested. YOur questions seemed pretty… Innocent, and that makes what I've been thInking to myself feel pretty- awkward." Nico squeezes Nadia's hand, as if to reconfirm the sentiment, and shifts her weight a little closer to the young woman sitting beside her. "We'll figure something out. We're both human, we just kind of- think differently. And signs would be appreciated. Because I'm not going to bother asking for permission. Getting your attention is impossible." She makes a face, but it mostly serves to halfway cover up a grin.

"I'm mostly Human. There is a portion of my DNA which is totally unnatural," Nadia casually digresses. "I think a lot of my questions are innocent… My upbringing certainly didn't leave me with the same taboos that you will have. Natural biological functions don't really have any shock factor for me, if that makes any sense?" She shrugs. "Sex, nudity and all that sort of thing. They're just natural things that happen, but I bet you'd turn bright red if I admitted to knowing your intimate measurements or asked you what the things you were thinking to yourself actually are. I'm also seventy percent certain you do your corset up tighter now than when we first met."

She coughs "You can probably tell I never was any good at the tact part of spy school."

"…Stop that. You're too observaNT, it's not fair,"Nico mutters, glowering at Nadia from their place sitting close on the couch. She takes a deep breath and then slowly exhales, letting that glare sit for a few long seconds. "That all… MAkes a lot of sense. I'm not entirely human either, in a way. I don't mind at alll. Just- we need to start getting stuff out in the open. This was, um. A good start."

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