2020-03-25 - Drink the Kool-aid, Cain!


Cain gets a surprise visitor in Oliver and a petition for him to drink the Kool-aid — er, see the Truth!

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Mar 25 18:07:53 2020
Location: East Village

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Theme Song



Between the witching hour of midnight and about four in the morning, the East Village remains alive in quiet ways. Students are up enjoying their youth and reveling in it before the slog to class in the morning. Artists are their canvas, instrument, or clay as the muse takes them. Night owls sit on stoops and send thoughts to the cloudy night sky above in sighs of smoke.

There is a lull in the rhythm of the Village's life between four and six in the morning and it's now, when certain unfortunate souls are returning home after long and trying hours working to keep other unfortunate souls on the mortal coil. In the peripheral vision, when approaching the front door to the housing building, one might catch a glimmer of green light. It's bright enough to warrant another look, perhaps, and upon a more focused appreciation, it's not nightshine. It's a ping-pong ball sized free-floating gathering of wispy glow. Not light, not fire, not mist, all of this at once, and it bobbles back and forth in place benignly. Then, as if from a distance and in a grand space, a melodious whistle can be heard, sweeter than the dawn calls of meadowlarks. Down and then up it goes, stopping, mimicking the questioning tone humans use with one another.

EMTs work some long hours, and tonight is the last of 3 12s week for Cain, now he gets two days off and next week…well…not written. He's been up a long time, and truly, the job is quite demanding. Still dressed in his work clothes, he has unbuttoned his uniform jacket to reveal the once crisp white button down shirt beneath, over his shoulder is slung a good sized duffel with street clothes he didn't bother to change into before walking home, it is a measure of his fatigue that he took a bus to get close, and walked the last couple blocks rather than run.

With a speedster's senses, no matter how weary, Cain definitely spots the bouncing green Will o'the Wisp, and it sort of even feels fae to him. Curiousity definitely a deep part of his very nature, the man studies it a few moments, and then smiles. "Hello there, little one." He approaches, the bag set down by the foot of the stairs to his building entrance. "Are you okay?" Deep green eyes are a bit brighter, his interest engaged and thus some of his fatigue either banished or ignored.

Upon being recognized, the wee glow-ball bounces back and forth in a gentle arc a few times. Another liquid whistle starts low and rises up, lingering in that querying range again. It hops towards Cain by a foot or two and circles about like a cavorting dog before retreating to its original place again. The next whistle is full of bright cajoling and the fae-fire momentarily puffs up in display of shine.

A single person walking by on the street, maybe a student who works at a cafe part time, glances over and slows a little to see the EMT looking at…something not there. And then he walks on a little faster.

Something makes Cain hesitate, but it is so cute and playful! Instinct wars with nature and nature wins. A soft chuckle at the come hither play, it is like a glowing puppy doing the play with me dance, and Cain simply can't resist. A nod then, and he moves that final few steps to where it bounces and whistles at him, and oooh…it is shiny too! NOTHING could possibly go wrong.

Cain actually does note the passing student, he's seen him before by 9 East, and the odd look tells him this is /clearly/ something Fey, such things are seldom seen by those without magic, the blood or the sight.

Once Cain is close enough to the wee glowing fae-fireball, it does another charming dance in front of him like a dog chasing its tail. Then, it begins to dance around his person. One circle is fairly quick, a brisk rhythmic bounce marking the hours on the clock, and then the speed increases —

— and the fae-fire begins to break apart into copies of itself, one for each hour. Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce…you get the gist: twelve times. On the final stroke of midnight, as it were, there's a quick blinding flash of light. Now within a circle of low-lying phosphorous-green flames that appear to not catch the grass alight, the air will feel warm and close, lulling, comfortable like a blanket recently plucked from the dryer.

And when did the four figures in dark, heavy jackets against the cold suddenly appear? Out of nowhere, apparently, maybe on a blink. The one in front, tall and lean with what a medical practitioner will note to be a kink in one knee by his subtle hitch of step, carries an oil lantern against the lingering pre-dawn shadow. It barely lights his face in the confines of the deep hood and the other three attendees can barely be made out now.

Bemused as the wispling splits and then both of them split, and so on until there's twelve all dancing merrily, the speedster is lulled until that flames wall appears, and too late he flares with crackling purple energy and slams into the barrier. "Ow." He mutters very darkly. That there's now menacing and shadowy figures approaching hardly comes as a surprise, that he didn't see them before /is/ concerning, he can only presume it was magic not of Fey origin, or possible OF Fey origin…he has little in the way of magical acumen, what little he knows the product of trial, and very painful at times errors.

The Lantern Bearer seems a safe bet as the one in charge, so Cain turns a rather flat gaze that one's way. One thing he's learned from talks with Ambrose, if you act like prey you get chased. So…he'll just see what happens. "Good morning." He greets in a level tone quite at odds with the words.

"Good morning. I ask your pardon of the wisp's actions, but you were observed to be a quick sort, old chap. Twitchy too," the speaker notes. His voice is crisp and clear, as British as a cuppa Earl Grey, and the cadence as well as more archaic word choice begs comparison to a certain arcanovore indeed. The fire within the oil lamp flutters as a cold breeze rushes by; it flirts with the hems of Cain's clothing and might feel as the snuffling interest of a large, large beast for a heart-stopping second.

"I presume you are…" Holding the oil lamp briefly in one hand, the speaker plucks a piece of paper from his outer coat pocket. It's definitely a piece of mail. Oooh, federal offense! "Mister Cain McCormick?" The others don't move, still dark presences with hands tucked into the sleeves of their coats rather than pockets.

"Oh, well, a simple note could have sufficed. I'm not /that/ twitchy." Cain says without even a hint of warmth. He does twitch when that breeze seems to snuffle at him, but it is a very brief thing, and the warmth inside the barrier helps him suppress the urge to run. He's a speedster, for cripes sakes, that's what they /do/.

Cain quirks a brow as the man with the arcanovore's accent and cadence looks at the note, and a nod answers the question. "So…I assume you're not here for tea and cucumber sandwiches." Which, ironically, Cain /does/ have prepared in the fridge at home - he always takes a cuppa when he gets home. "And based on language usage, and your accent, I'll take a stab and guess you're either friends or enemies with a certain Lieutenant."

At least the speedster isn't dumb! That might seem a bit hopeful. Of course, the complete lack of warmth is still a tad offputting, though under the circumstances…he might be forgiven a bit of chill.

Away goes the piece of mail. The speaker pulls back his hood to reveal his face. He's dark of hair, this kept short in a military manner, and his face is weathered, sunken in places as if he wasn't a habitually good eater. His smile is kind, almost monk-like, upon Cain in his fire-fenced enclosure.

"It is kind of you to offer, Master Cain, but we have recently supped. Perhaps you might bring your cucumber sandwiches to tea in the near future. A pleasure to meet you even if circumstances require certain measures." Lamplight catches in his pale hazel eyes. "You are perceptive, old chap — either that, or you have been lied to, which is a shame. I am not Lieutenant Atherton's enemy, no. I am a friend. Have you seen him lately? I need to speak with him again. It is of great importance," he said, tone eloquent with an empathetic urgency still mild.

See, that smile just sets Cain /more/ on edge, Atherton has a slick smile too, for all he knows this guy is another arcanovore and he -still- regrets the gift of lifeforce he gave the man. He offered in good faith and it seemed that Atherton was going to break faith, that's a hard hurdle to cross.

"Ah, a pity, perhaps another time." Cain allows, again, no warming to the man's expression or tones. Just…flat. And really, considering their past interactions, Cain isn't really surprised to be ambushed, again, and trapped, again by a so-called friend of the Lieutenant. "No, I'm afraid I have not, mister…?" He will continue whether a name is provided or not. "…haven't seen Master Atherton in some few weeks." A faint frown as the name calls to mind some dreams, odd ones of some place foreign and very cold. He smiles. "Well, I have been up for nigh twenty-two hours now, and it has been a busy day, if there's nothing else, please release me and I'll let you get back to your day."

Unfortunately, those pale hazel eyes catch the subtle twitch of Cain's brows. The speaker's expression doesn't change despite this observation. Instead, he nods thoughtfully.

"I see. Sergeant Oliver Wright," the man adds, nodding towards the young Speedster without dropping their shared gaze. "Good show: it is impressive that you have been awake for so long. Please, I ask but a little more of your time." His hand gestures fluidly between them as if to accent his request. "Would you be interested in helping me locate the good Lieutenant? You see, we were able to locate you by the very scarring you wear from his touch. What you experienced? That curse? It is my wish to save him from it. I have attempted to speak to him before, but it blinds him to the ancient wisdom I have as healing — as balm for his agonies. He knows not himself anymore. He is not the man I once knew. I wish to save him, Master Cain." Such a noble, imploring little dialogue!

"I honestly don't have any real notion where he might be, Sergeant Wright. Believe me, I don't really -want- to know where you friend is. I don't -want- anything to do with him, good, bad, I'm indifferent to his fate. I applaud your desire to help a friend, but neither of you are friends of mine, though I'm not unsympathetic to your desire to help him." Cain remembers all too clearly the hideous clawing pain of the Bane's bite. It sends a shudder through him. "Fortunately I was able to elude being…discomfited too badly." His form starts to shimmer a bit, and purple energies crackle over his form. "Now…I've said as much as I am willing, I swear to you on my mother's sainted soul…" Not that he ever knew her."…that I have no real idea of where your friend is." He moves to the very edge of the field, ghostly green and flickering purple warring across strong features. "Now…are you going to free me, or are we going to have to see which is stronger - your ward or my speed?"

Oliver lets out a long, slow sigh. His eyes, fallen to the edge of the shimmering fae-fire circle, rise. The green werelight seems mirrored briefly in them before he lifts his chin and the impression disappears.

"Yes, Master Cain, I will free you. Just…one last thing and a touch more patience, old chap, that is all we ask of you. You have power. It is apparent to us, how it reaches beyond that of human understanding and into the realms of the supernatural. Would you join our bold cause to free the world from its shackles?" His free hand lightly fists now, upheld before his chest. "There are forces beyond the veil of our sight which influence us, which hold us chained and we know it not. You travel to your work daily and remain unaware of how you are forced upon your path by uncaring powers beyond the stars. Help us free the world of Fate's hold upon it. You would be putting your powers towards a virtuous cause, Master Cain." Now there's a touch of a madman's fervor in those pale hazel eyes.

Eyes of deep green crackle with violet lightning, and despite his fatigue Cain /is/ ready to fight, if he must. A sound of irritation, and he taps his foot, little jolts of purple sparks forming.

"Sergeant Wright, do you think I could possibly be unaware that we live in a world of hidden malevolence? I sometimes /see/ other worlds, glimpses of shadowy *things* peering at me with hatred, with hunger, or just apathy. The veil between realities is thinner than people think."

Pacing he starts to move, spinning if he must, running in very tight circle if he can, the ward filling with countless purple streaks and lightning flares grounding out on the ward, climbing up or down or sideways until they attenuate. And then he throws a punch…the fist sheathed like a purple comet and impacting with sufficient force to move a hundred TON locomotive a foot.

All of that force focused onto an area the size of his fist.

The shield even if unbroken shimmers, weakens and just that fast, literally faster than an eye can perceive, he's across the boundary.

"I am sure you are quite earnest in your offer. I am willing, perhaps, *at a later date*…to hear you out…but I will *not* be making a snap decision without any more than what you've said."

And then, just like that, in a crackling snap of movement, their quarry is beyond the boundaries of the fae-fire circle. Oliver takes a few sharp steps back and behind him, the other three acolytes do the same, jostling at one another without losing track of their deep hoods hiding their identity. The soldier can be seen to swallow and tense his jaw for a second before his face once more assumes that eerie benevolence.

"That you are open-minded is to your benefit, old chap. You have already seen the peekings of what wisdom I have been shown. You will weather it well enough when you are shown the truth."

Foreboding much?

"We shall return at a later date to speak with you again then. If you have your cucumber sandwiches and tea still, we will gladly partake of them." Oliver smiles on, a conniving gleam in his washed-out eyes. "Everything will make much more sense to you after you have Seen the Truth behind Everything, Master Cain. You will Understand."

Definitely grade-A cultish fervor there now.

Standing there a moment with legs and arms akimbo, Cain's body shimmers and crackles, then the sparks fade.

"I try to keep an open mind, Sergeant." Cain more than most really does understand that reality is really a lot less /real/ than people think. Which is a pretty sobering thing on the whole, any wonder he's a lot less trusting than he used to be?

He also tries to keep an un-'drank the Kool-aid' mind. Still, good manners are good manners. "Day after tomorrow is good, But I really need some rest." He rubs at the bridge of his nose and then nods. "But yes, of course, do come in and have some tea, I have a number to choose from - I'm betting you'd like some Earl Grey, though I have an herbal tea I adore, Celestial Seasonings of all brands, 'Bengal Spice' that I think you'll enjoy…"

Oliver inclines his head in a courtly manner towards Cain. The young Speedster has absolutely seen Ambrose do this before. "We look forward to joining you in the near future for a cup of this Bengal Spice then, Master Cain. If there is anything we are able to bring along with the Truth, we shall. I appreciate you granting us your time, old chap. Your day is yours now to do with what you wish, despite the fact that your Fate is beyond your grasp."

And on the oily reminder, the Sergeant then opens one of the panes of the oil lamp. He reaches in and without any semblance of discomfort, snuffs the candle flame with his bare fingers. On the next blink, all of the hooded figures are gone. The lurid green fae-fire has evaporated and left no proof of burn marks on the grass beneath Cain's feet. The sounds of the world seem to seep back in now. A robin sings in a nearby tree as the sun begins to rise beyond the backdrop of the city's buildings.

"Well…bugger." Cain says as they vanish even to *his* senses. Exhausted, should they still be watching they'd see the speedster's shoulders slump with pitiful fatigue, and then he moves to shoulder his bag with a grunt, and enters his home with heavy, plodding steps. "I'd move if this place wasn't so perfect for me…and rent controlled…"

Yes, Muttery Cain is Muttery. A lot.

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