2020-04-29 - Dream A Little Dream


Four people meet in a dream

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Apr 29 04:55:24 2020
Location: A Dream

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Theme Song



Dancing bears, painted wings.
Things I almost remember.
And a song someone sings.
Once upon a December.

Someone holds me safe and warm.
Horses prance through a silver storm.
Figures dancing gracefully.
Across my memory.

Faraway, long ago.
Glowing dim as an emeber
Things my heart used to know.
Things it yearns to remember…

The melody is rather haunting and it flits through an old growth forest shrouded in fog. This is not a place that Ambrose Aetherton or Pepper Potts would normally be found but in dreams many things are possible even if - and sometimes even especially if - they are unlikely. Of course dreams are not usually linked. That requires someone with unusual power.

Nick often IS found in foggy forests, its part of being a wilderness survival instructor, but he's not usually holding an incongruously out of place Victorian lamp as he walks. Yet here he is, walking through mist shrouded woods, lamp clinking as he murmurs to himself.

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and saw I that I could not take both and be one traveler…" Beat. "Wait… why am I quoting poetry and listening to bad songs from B grade movies?" Another beat and a sigh.


What is this song?

He knows this song…or does he?

Ambrose reaches to push aside another dew-dappled branch with a gloved hand as he strides through the knee-high ferns grown in the shadows of the tall, tall trees. He's dated clothing, a set certainly from the 1920s era in Shanghai: loose slacks and worn boots with his torso kept warm by a dark navy-blue traditional linen jacket with Mandarin collar. His hair is still moonsilver-pale, but longer than in present times, to his shoulders in a glossy tangle. At his hips, revolvers paired and about his neck, a ring — but not the cursed ring he so recently claimed — his wedding ring, rose-gold with inset garnets hemming a single diamond.

He sees the bobbling light of the lantern and forges on the faster, absolutely snapping a large twig on his approach. "Hello? Who are — oh, it is you," he says, recognizing Nick from a single past crossing by face if not by name. "What…?" Stepping fully out onto the path, he looks around, unable to see beyond the carpeting of mist. "This…this is — "

He turns as he hears yet another person nearby, brows knitted and hand going immediately to one revolver in caution.

Isis is probably to blame although she's stuck in the dream as well. Wandering the path a little ahead of Nick, in a white, victorian, style dress with a high collar. She's barefooted and her hair falls down over her shoulders, cats ears peaking out through the strands at the top.

"Nick?" The waif like mutant turns to look at the Wolf Man, growling slightly as Ambrose appears and puts his hand on his gun. "I didn't do it."

Pepper's no stranger to seemingly bizarre but highly vivid dreams, music and all. She's learned to take them rather well in stride, especially after Arananet would pop in to 'participate'. Glancing down at her feet as she walks slowly but steadily, she can tell she's at least dressed warmly enough — that's a thing too and no she is NOT elaborating.

Taking a moment to pull her black kidskin gloves a little more securely onto her hands, she pauses as she hears voices and turns to see the bobbing light of what she thinks is actual flame. Since it sounds like they're moving closer, she waits for them to catch up, smiling a bit to herself when she hears Isis' voice very clearly stating she didn't do it.

"I think I can fairly confidently state I didn't do this either," she calls back to Isis, then steps into the circle of the laternlight Nick is offering. "Though I have to admit," she looks around the forest. "It's not the worst dream I could be having."

"Are you sure you didn't do it? Because you're the only one I know of who can do it." Nick says with some amusement in his voice. He blinks at the man with the twin revolvers coming out of the brush. "Yes. Um…" Name. Name. What's his name? "Ambrose?" Ambrose. That sounds vaguely right. He'd been eating with Pepper. It seems like a lifetime ago.

Nick glances down at himself. The cravat he's wearing gets in the way and the wolfman pulls it out with a little bit of irritation. Well he tries to but it's knotted and he ends up slightly choking himself.

"Ack. Old clothes…" He mutters. "Hello Pepper. Well we're all here and Isis says she didn't do it. So… whose dream is this?"

Not his, he's fairly sure. He likes forests and his dreams tend to feature rather more… sewers. He does not like his dreams.

The mist seems to thicken and it gets a bit cold. "Brrrr." Nick is even cold through his coat AND his coat. "What is going…" AROOOOOOOOOOO. It's distant and muted. But distinctly a howl. Maybe not a wolfish one though.

"Um… Isis?" Is she SURE she's not doing this?

And Pepper was enjoying the dream so much. Well, maybe it's just ambiance.

After a long moment Nick comes to a realization. "Um. Ambrose, yes? What happened to your hair?"

Recognizing the cat-eared young woman, Ambrose simply lets his hand rest on the first gun's grip rather than pulling it entirely from its holster. For Isis's growl, he simply lifts his lips faintly, showcasing canines a little too long to be fully human before he speaks. "Ah, yes, I recognize you as w — "

Whipping around towards Pepper, he again nearly pulls the weapon but for also realizing who it is beneath the taffeta hat. A short sigh. "And Miss Potts, good…evening," he decides after a glance upwards towards a canopy he can't precisely see for light he can't precisely measure.

The mist thickens and so does Ambrose's suspicions that this is indeed some dream shenanigan. The howl certainly makes him draw the revolver in earnest now.

Letting out a slow, whiting sigh in the colder air, he glances over at Nick. "I am Ambrose, yes, and my hair is…" Reaching up to feel at it, he frowns as he pulls the longer silvery lock into view. "Its color is what I last knew, but I have not worn it at this length in…nigh on sixty years. I overstepped in my confidence," he then adds to Nick by way of explanation as to the silvering of the hair, " — and I learned my lesson for the immediate interim. It surely will not stick." His thin smile is sly, almost taunting to the atmosphere growing more oppressive.

Isis picks her way towards to Nick, not seeming to mind the pebbles and twigs on the ground. As she nears, she swats at his hands to stop him tugging at that cravat. "I like the look …" she says, getting close enough to lean against him and rub her ears against his arm.

There's the slightest feel of unease in the air, at least for the moment, until she stills her mind. "Hello Pepper. Ambrose. You look old now." Tact is not Isis' strong suite.

"I'm not doing it, but I can try and change it." The howl has her ears tilting forward, if she had fur it would be standing on end. "Not me. It's weird. This isn't like a normal dream… It's like that time that woman came into mine…"

Pepper starts to smile when she hears Ambrose's voice, but flinches when he reacts on a hair-trigger at her stepping into view. "Lieutenant Atherton," she offers just a little bit mockingly along with the faint curtsey that seems very much in keeping with her current clothing. It's a good way to camouflage (and silently apologize for) her continuing concern for the man.

All of that drops away instantly when she hears the distant howl and notices the fog getting thicker. "I've done my share of lucid dreaming. Let me know if you want me to try anything." She does, though, take pity on Nick and steps right up into his personal space to untie his cravat for him. Yes, it ruins the 'look', but since he's likely to be one of their primary defenders in whatever this is, it just won't do to have him strangling himself on an accessory.

The wolfman looks around, partly to disguise a chuckle when Isis calls Ambrose old. He coughs. "I see. Well hopefully it doesn't grow back in streaks because…" He'll look like a polecat.

Nick draws Isis a bit closer when that howl sounds out. "Maybe we should… can you wake us up Isis? Nice as it is to be talking like this maybe we should all go back to our own dreams." If she's not doing it though that could be hard.

But she might want to try because while Nick is talking to Isis and nodding to Pepper to acknowledges what she said something creeps past Ambrose's sight and then past Peppers. It's glimpsed out of the corner of the eye but it stalks in the mist, on all fours. Quite large and… glowing green.

Nick looks up abruptly, eyes narrowing. "I smell wet dog."

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr comes from somewhere out in the mists.

"Dignified, please, Miss Isis. Dignified," replies the Jackal to her observation in a half-distracted manner. His ears are still attempting to catch any further extrapolation of the howl heard earlier. "The silvering is but temporary." By his tone, he firmly believes this; it helps that his face remains youthful despite the lighter hair-color.

His gliding steps have brought him closer to the grouping as a whole now. "I have not dreamed in over a century. Meditated, yes, but not dreamed, no. I will attempt to aid as I can," he says, words clipped as he continues scanning their surroundings.

A sudden whipping turn brings the wedding ring on his necklace to gleam as the second revolver comes out and Ambrose pulls the triggers at the green creature: CRACK-CRACK. It at least sounds like the guns fired even if the mist seems to have not responded to the sudden displacement of bullet air-channels.

"We have confirmed company," he spits afterwards, still hugging close to the group as he scans the mist for further proof of the apparition triggering his…hair-trigger tendencies.

Isis nods to Nick, blue eyes so very, very blue "If you're lucid dreamers, and I know Nick is not, just focus on leaving this dream." She says quietly, sheltering under Nicks arm when he draws her close.

She doesn't acknowledge Ambrose as she starts to concentrate, her nostrils flaring when Nick speaks. "Not wet dog but something similar … I … can't quite place it."

"No! Don't shoot …" She warns Ambrose. "Dreams are difficult and whoever has pulled us here can manipulate it …" Leaving the others to keep her safe, Isis turns her concentration inward, attempting to change the dream.

Untying the cravat is the work of only a moment even with the gloves on her hands, but the flash of something in Pepper's peripheral vision has her gasping in surprise and unintentionally whipping the small scarf off of Nick's neck abruptly.

Looking toward where she thought she saw something, she steps away from her wolfy friend and drops the cravat to start trying to take off her hat.

The hat pins are real silver. The hat pins are real silver. She's positive that nearly ten inch long and wickedly sharp pins holding the hat on her head are made from real silver. She pulls two beaded pins from the hat and drops the concoction of taffeta, silk ribbon, tulle, and millinery wire to the ground alongside the cravat.

There's a growl again in the mist as Nick turns, focusing on keeping between Isis and whatever it is. Ambrose and Pepper he trusts to handle things while he focuses more directly on their safety. He feels bad even silently asking Pepper to do so but she seems well capable of it and has had no shortage of pluck in the past…

The landscape twists in unpredictable and slightly disturbing ways as Isis encounters a will behind the dream. A strong one. It's fighting her trying to change it. But change it she does. Now instead of a foggy forest they're in a foggy Victorian city square. At night. Slight improvement but not much of one.

There's that flash of green again. There, in the mist. It looks like a… dog? A dog yes. Like a doberman but absolutely massive. It glows green and fixes eyes first on Ambrose and then on Pepper.

"Where. Is. Toooooooooooonnnnnnnny…" Is that the dog? It didn't appear to speak but the whispered, hissed words float out of the mist from that general direction all the same.

"Keep trying Isis." Nick says, knowing she's got to be fighting now if the dream hasn't changed already. He suspects that the moment she gets close the beast will try to stop her.

"Do not shoot? Then what, shall I swat it with a newspaper?" Still, trusting in the person speaking the most sense, he lowers his guns. He has a knife — he has a knife, right? Quickly, even as Pepper arms herself with an awe-inspiring pair of hat pins, he's carefully feeling at his linen suit-jacket as if patting down for his wallet.

Ah, there's the knife, just in time to be swapped out for one of the revolvers. It's a confection of lethality, the silvery kris knife with its waved blade, and he turns himself to better face this glowing canine. When the mists ask about someone named Tony…?

Ambrose dares to glance over at Pepper in particular. He knows of a man associated with her who shares this name, has met him only the once in passing as a cursed kit. As he does this, he recognizes the change in scenery. Whoa: familiar in a very eerie way to him, like the cold touch of memory down his spine.

"Bloody hell…!" comes the whisper even he looks back to the dog and visibly readies himself for dealing with any form of attack. Now…now his pupils light from within with the Bane's glow.

It hurts … trying to change the dream. Nicks Kitten's claws dig into arm as she concentrates. Ambroses words draw her out of it for a moment "It's a *dream* use your minds. Shape it to suit your needs … " She's hoping the combined effect of them all will open a chink in that will.

"Strong, Nick. And quick." She mutters, turning her talent and determination back on the dream. Victorian city square - it's a pity she's so uneducated … but … she concentrates, trying to get a dog catcher to appear beside them.

If there's one thing Pepper likely has MORE mental access to than anyone here, it's esoteric fictional knowledge. And this sudden shift from forest to cobblestone square has her thinking Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. What she wouldn't give for the Baskervilles she's met in person to show up about now.

The eerily whispered question throws her for a moment. Tony? Why are…no. This thing wants Tony? She'll give them a Tony. Of course, having a different Tony originally in mind steers her decision rather heavily. She's still for a moment before she starts humming a song, thinking it as loudly as she can. She's NOT musically inclined, and anyone who isn't instantly familiar with old Black Sabbath may not recognize it.

You want some Tony Iommi guitar riffs, you whispering bastard? Have some Paranoid.

Nick has a thought and it's an odd one. The Hound of Baskin Robins. So sue him that's the first thing that comes to his mind. And he thinks on it. Hard. And it works… for about half a second. For that half a second the hound is made of brownies and mint chocolate chip ice cream. Aaaaand then it's back to being menacing again.

With Guitar. Lots of Guitar. Doing sick riffs. The Hound does not seem amused.

"Give me the sinnnnnner TONY!" The whisper comes again and then it lunges right for Ambrose, him being slightly closer than Pepper. Though a second head does briefly form out of it's shoulder to snap at Pepper. The shape and size of it shifts with protean dream logic though it is always large and always a hound.

But Ambrose and Peppers wills are potent things, especially with Isis fighting and distracting the will behind this dream. So it is VERY possible that they can make it bleed. Or worse.

Well. There is a knife and silver hairpins in play after all.

"Keep trying Isis…" Nick says, not daring to move too far from her, even to help Ambrose and Pepper. Because if that thing somehow gets ahold of Isis getting out of here will be VERY difficult.

"What bloody hell music is this?!"

No time to wonder, the glowing hound is now leaping in an arc at him and Pepper slightly behind at his side. Even as he slides to one side, he again fires the revolver (against Isis's suggestion, oops), but now it kicks with the force of a saw-off shotgun. Blinding, its blast towards the glowing hound, and Ambrose continues bringing the kris blade around in his torero-like sliding step, the blade aimed for the creature's torso.

"«Begone, damned dog!!!»" It's Akkadian, it's angry, and it's hissed as he tries to drive the blade home.

Damn. Paranoid is too short a song. She's got another one already mentally queued, and it's even more obvious than the last. When that wolf thing goes full-on Zaphod Beeblebrox to snap at her, she retaliates by swiping at its nose with the silver hatpins — hopefully not too close to Ambrose himself — and thinking 'I am Iron Man' in Ozzy Osbourne's voice as loudly as she can.

No, she has no idea what that's going to actually manifest, but it can only help, right?

%RIsis yowls when the music starts playing. That hurts worse than the dream will she's fighting. It makes Nick job that much harder as she buries her head against his back. Everything falters as the mutant smells the icecream and cookies though … the will getting just a bit toehold until the hound appears again.

Go.Away. The stubborn feline growls to the Will and and launches her attack. It's not pain or anguish she uses though. It's rainbow and sunshine she sends against the will.

The hound snarls and yelps as it is stabbed AND shot, first by Ambrose and then by the hairpins. All of it clearly works. It's bleeding but it's bleeding some kind of green gooey tar like substance because, well, dream logic. It's clearly hurt though. It backs away, snarling still and looking for an opening. Now will be the time to press their advantage.

I Am Iron Man sounds. The song begins to play. A familiar looking image of a man in golden and red armor descends from on high, hovering and then dropping to land next to Pepper. This can only help, right?

Then the face plate opens and Peppers' boss looks at her, grins and says… "So, what are you doing for dinner tonight because I figured maybe you and I…"

Pepper's got a wonderful imagination. But… she knows her boss. And when she tries to conjure up help what did she REALLY think her mind was going to put into place?

Anyway, this might be a good time for Ambrose and Pepper to press the advantage before the armored man presses his.

Nick brings Isis around to support her. The dream is starting to flicker. They're winning. It's fading. They just have to hold out a few moments longer and they'll be free of it. Don't get eaten by the ice cream dog, kay?

The kris blade's gooped in glowing green gunk, but Ambrose still menaces the dog with it, the revolver aimed dead at the creature. He can see where both of his attacks landed, but the thing still stands —

— still stands.

A squint and a hesitant smirk. "Let us see how you fare against…"

He pauses to stare at the vision in red and gold off to one side and then peers at Pepper. A perplexed 'hmph' before he returns his attention to the glowing dog. Using the tip of his blade, he then etches upon his view of the cobblestone ground beneath the dog's feet in a broad circle…and wills the appearance of a Looney Toons sudden Black Hole Drop.

With the addition of a rapidly-falling ACME anvil aimed at the creature's shoulders to boot.

Thank you, Kent, and your fascination with the cartoons.

Isis is tiring, Nick can feel that. He knows that Dreaming (yes, with a capital D) wears her out. If he hadn't grabbed her just then, she would have fallen - as it is, she's not going to be doing much when this is done.

"I have … a hole. Just a little bit more, Alpha…" The feline speaks softly, her eyes bright. They can all see the tear as it starts to appear in the scene, a jagged thing that slowly gets larger - it's barely large enough to let one as slim as Isis through … but with the damage the others have done, that might be enough.

Pepper is almost unbearably relieved to see dream-Tony arrive in armor, right up until he opens his mouth. Then she wastes a full 1.5 seconds gaping at him in shock before she shakes her head forcefully enough to knock some of her hair out of the oh so Victorian piles of curls it's currently in.

"Be quiet, Tony, and go help protect Isis." Okay, that was a spectacularly bad idea. Time to change tactics.

Not really paying any attention to what Ambrose is doing and such a shame that she isn't, Pepper once again mentally delves for…ah. That'll do. She starts thinking about a song from YouTube sent to her by an overseas colleague recently that has become embedded in her brain from repeated listenings. It's one of those positive feelings songs sung incredibly well, and it was so sorely needed when she first heard it.

If this doesn't work, she'll stab HERSELF with her hatpins to force herself to wake up.

Isis is pretty for a woman as young as she is. Pepper knows this. And Absolutely-Not-The-Real-Tony gives Pepper a salute and then flies on over to Isis. "Here let me help you." He says taking Isis arm. "I was thinking we should go out for coffee afterwards. I know a great little place, quiet, good ambiance, crumble cake to die for."

Nick looks at Pepper as if to ask 'is… that really your boss? Or is the dream twisting it somehow?'

A song begins being song by a young brown suited asian boy who appears apropos of nothing as Ambrose literally flattens the hound with an oversized comedy anvil. All of that combined is enough to cause the hole Isis is opening to abruptly unravel the dream. This has two effects, one positive and one less so. The first effect is that everyone immediately wakes up in their own beds (or wherever it is that they fell asleep.)

The second is that they all have rather significant headaches, and a mashup of Enter Sandman and Weird Al's 'Tacky' playing in their heads. And for Isis, Ambrose and Pepper a final, echoing mental whisper of 'Tonyyyyyyyyyyyyy' before the other presence is gone entirely.

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