2020-05-19 - Weighed, Measured, Found OK


A meeting with the Pesedjet has Ambrose tested.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue May 19 05:00:49 2020
Location: New York

Related Logs


Theme Song



Urban Fantasy writers always imagine meetings of the gods in one of two ways. Either the gods meet up in some vast Olympus like realm full of clouds and fountains and casual powerful magic doing things like propping up the coffee table's wobbly leg and so on, or the gods are all on earth, none of them shaved this morning and they're meeting in a dive bar on the bad end of town because this is what mortals think irony is.

To that Fenris says two things: Firstly, dive bars are vastly overrated and secondly, so is irony.

So no, no dive bars. Fenris has instead asked Bast - who moonlights in New York as middle management for one of the Egyptian Pantheon's owned corporations - and Anubis who moonlights as a grumpy man with a jackal for a head to meet him in a rather well appointed invite only pool hall tucked away in one of the nicer high rises in the Financial District. This is a place where the gods can let their hair down and is why Anubis has the whole jackal head thing going and why Bast is letting her ears show. There's drinks of course, all the classics from Olympian wine to Asgardian Ale, and food. Fenris is currently breaking.

Tap. Clack.

"Good break." Bast nods as she steps around to examine the table.

Sif sits at one of those tall tables nearby, honestly leery of trying her hand at this game with the green-topped table. The staves used to stab at the colorful spheres seem excessively flimsy to her. So, better to simply not participate.

She's nursing her tankard of ale, impressed that they had any to offer, and plucks a triangle of corn from the plate on the table, her eyebrows drawing together in a frown when it droops and drops the pile of meat, cheese, and vegetables back onto the plate. The first few she ate didn't do that.

How Ambrose had never managed to find this place remains a mystery to him.

But now he's here, in this place, a pool hall literally fit for the gods, and he's very gingerly sipping at a small glass of what's apparently called 'ambrosia'. The irony is not lost to him. He's also at the table with Sif, though less inclined to nibble on the nachos than she is — there's literally no spicy aspect to them, boo. His cerulean-blue gaze, still lit internally with the Bane's presence in his moonsilvered state, is unfailing flickering between both Bast and Anubis in incredulity only barely kept in check.

And more than a little bit of fan-like awe.

And a touch of breath-holding that the psychopomp of the Egyptian underworld never took notice of the number of times Ambrose dressed like him over the century and more for All Hallow's Eve fetes.

The Jackal, shy, here and now? Apparently.

Astryd watches as the balls move around the table, her grey eyes assessing the split as she takes a drink. She's fairly quiet, and has been a lot lately, as Bast gives that praise. "Not bad, my heart." Now they just have to sink their chosen 'colour'.

"Perhaps Ambrose will teach you how to play, Sif." The blonde says to the other Asgardian. They'll get to the 'business' part of this visit soon enough…

Anubis is standing not tooooo far from Ambrose and Sif with a pool cue in hand. He watches as Bast sinks a stripe. So. Stripes it is. She nods to Astryd. Her shot.

"So…" The cat goddess says, glancing over at Ambrose, and Sif, then back to Fenris and Astryd. "Not that I don't appreciate a good game of pool but this is a working lunch isn't it?"

"Yes." Fenris nods. "We're dealing with a situation…"

"When aren't you?" Anubis mutters.

Fenris lets it slide and continues. "We know that the Pesedjet had dealings with the Void in the past. We think we're about to deal with them again. Sif, Ambrose and Astryd can elaborate a bit."

THAT gets their attention. Bast's ears swivel and Anubis' perk up. Then he glances back at Ambrose and… yeah. He can kind of see the man fangirling.

Sif just barely manages to get another bite of nacho to her mouth without dropping anything, and THAT'S when Fenris includes her name in people who should be elaborating. Gee. Thanks. Holding one hand to cover her mouth, she hastily chews and swallows and chases the food down with a small swig of her ale.

Not at all sure what she can contribute beyond her own very limited part in this, Sif tries to offer what little she knows. "We believe that those responsible are planning to invade Asgard and make use of the realm's core to fuel their ends. We surmise that they intend to do so by using the Void to break through an unopened Way directly into the heart of Asgard." She considers saying something about the evacuation plan in progress, but doesn't. It's a touchy enough topic that she'll keep it to herself for now.

Astryd's use of his name makes the master-thief glance over at her, the half-involuntary 'hmm?' sound just as soon dismissed as he then nods. "I know it well enough. Should you feel so inclined to learn, Lady Sif, simply let me know," he replies, glancing over at Sif as well before returning his attention to the pool game at hand.

Business begins with Fenris explaining the reasoning for their presence and the Jackal sits up in his chair. The glass of ambrosia is drink set upon the table. Tonight's fashion is a simple button-down of grey-green and charcoal-dark slacks; he takes a moment to wipe his palms on the latter as surreptitiously as he can manage.

A clearing of his throat and he then adds, "And in addition to this, it has become apparent to us that we are in need of additional wisdom, yes. I am in possession of pages from an exceedingly ancient tome from the Egyptian dynasty who last dealt with these Void creatures. If…if either of you were to know how to better utilize…"

Ambrose can't help the grimaced smile, struggling to think of how to explain it. He slips briefly into ancient Mesopotamian. "«A Bane of Eternal Thirst and Restlessness» in combination with its…not antithesis, but a reluctant counterpart in curse against these beings, I would be eternally grateful."

The weight of the golden ring is absolutely present in his slacks pocket, not yet on his finger.

Astryd is very serious about this game - unsurprisingly as she's quite competitive really. Smalls for them, then. Taking her position at the table, bending to line the cue up, she listens as Fenris and the others explain.

"At least someone is, Imeut. We all know the Middle Realm is key to many things and ignoring on the machinations of others is just a recipe for disaster."


The orange ball moves across the table, off the cushion and slowly rolls in the pocket.

"What these two are dancing around is the fact that 'those responsible' are Fenris' children, some of his sons at least, from Luna. Gurim-Ur has become involved with the Void - how far? I can not say."

Anubis takes a look at the board then he moves to a ball and hits it. Into the pocket it goes. He nods to Fenris who goes to take a position, rolling his eyes ever so slightly at Astryd. That does get a look from Bast though.

"Oh? And here I thought our children would be the troublemakers."

That is both a joke and a tease and Astryd knows full well that Bast has never had children with Fenris. Sif and Ambrose, though, do not know that and it is entirely possible that the cat goddess is saying that to see if those two react.

"So." Anubis says, watching as Fenris sinks a ball and it becomes Basts' turn. "Some of Fenris' children are invoking the void to invade Asgard to do horrible things and your plan is to use a not-quite mortal with an ancient sin-curse to stop them."

And Sif and Astryd's swords, yes. If you know someone with an axe and a bow that'd be wonderful." Fenris says dryly.

"Hrm. Well no I don't but… I may be able to help with your curse. Help you figure out how to meld them and use them. But to do so I will need to weigh your heart. And for that, I will need a feather. I lift Truth and Justice with Kebechet."

Kebechet is Anubis' daughter. Sweet goddess. She does have a cobra's head though.

Well there's only one source of Feathers here and Anubis is looking right at her.

"Has anyone, oh say, told Odin about this?" Bast asks, mostly looking at Sif as she does.

Bast's teasing certainly catches Sif out. She sits up straighter and her eyes flick between Bast and Fenris. Cats and dogs, living together? Wouldn't that be mass hysteria? That's what she's heard, anyway. She doesn't interrupt the game in prograss to ask about it, though as the topic moves on quickly enough.

Again, a comment is made that has her almost speaking up. This time about axes and bows. She knows plenty of Aesir and Vanir that would fill both of those criteria nicely. In fact, Loki DOES have his bow back… But, like before, the topic moves on (thankfully) before she can make any offers, and Bast is asking if Odin has been informed. "I am scheduled to leave soon to speak with the Allfather about it." She's really REALLY hoping to have Sigyn or Thor or both accompany her.

Ambrose is taken by the joke. His brows meet and he looks between Fenris and Bast with the clear wonderment at what on earth these offspring would look and act like. His vague amusement only barely curling the corners of his lips speaks to a fascinating mental image, at the very least. He does look to Astryd, the better to confirm this likely falsehood.

But wait, heart? Weighing his heart? Ambrose swallows very carefully, some color draining from his face. He certainly knows enough about the pantheon present to recognize well the myth of the process as well as assistant in the matter.

"…you mean at this very moment?" he asks of Anubis in a voice studiously forced to calm.

"So did I." Astryd says to Bast, trying hard to be amused - she might fail and Bast is likely to see that. "But no, these ones should have been drowned at birth, I think." It's no secret that Astryd isn't fond of most of that brood - though Junior and Hathis may be winning her over.

"There's not many of us who can speak to the Allfather, Bast. The way to Asgard is still barred to me, as you know." But Sif will handle it, won't she?

Is it a falsehood that Bast is speaking? Can they tell from Astryds response?

"A feather, Imeut? And how do you suppose you're going to get one? Not even Fenris can pluck me …. " The look is bland but she's teasing.

"And I think he does mean, at this very moment, Ambrose…" Astryd concentrates for a moment, the svelte blonde figure morphing to a Raven that perches on Fenris' … arm.

"Good. I suspect that if he were not told about this he might be cross." Bast says as Fenris looks at Ambrose and mouths 'we don't have kids.' It would be amusing to let him keep on going but, no. No they don't.

"What else can we do to help you then? Are you concerned about the Embassy here?" The Cat goddess asks Sif. "Or do you need introductions or…" Pause. "Thoth. You should come meat Thoth. If I can pry him loose from his library."

Thoth… ah yes. Thoth was NOT pleased with them the last time they met but… that should have blown over right?

In the meantime Anubis looks at Ambrose. "Yes, now. I have appointments for the next long period of time. Take off your shirt if you please, no one will mind. It might hurt a tad."

Ahem. Astryd gets a snort for herself. "Perhaps he can't but I am possibly slightly cleverer. Now, if you please…"

At Bast's offer of further help, particularly naming the Embassy, Sif stands and offers the cat-eared woman a respectful bow. "I have been concerned that the wards and protections on the Embassy may not be sufficient. They are renewed regularly, but perhaps they could use a bit more still? At least until this entire situation is resolved?"

Wait, what? They're going to weigh Ambrose's soul right here and now? Is that even allowed? She looks at Ambrose, then at Fenris and Astryd-Raven in clear concern. "Is… this wise?" If Ambrose choose to nope out, she'll use whatever means necessary to give him a chance to flee.

Cue another careful swallow. Ambrose then slips down off his tall bar stool with an air similar of one summarily sentenced to execution. He licks at his lips, eyes downcast, as he gets to undoing each button of the dress shirt with fumbling fingers. No smooth master-thief at the moment, he normally svelte of wrist and quick to trick with sleight of hand. Beneath the long-sleeved shirt, a white t-shirt in honor of propriety long since lost in this modern society.

Now coloring at his ears a touch, he plucks the hem of the undershirt to pull it up over his head. He might have gone silver due to Oliver's attack, but the honed athleticism of Shanghai has never been lost. Both garments are draped over the back of his chair. It shows that around his neck on a steel strand is another ring, this one red-gold with two garnets and one diamond flat-inset, clearly a wedding ring.

"I have felt worse," he claims hoarsely. "It may not be wise, but when is most wisdom at first glance?" Sif gets a weak smile. "All will be well." He then inhales and fists his hands at his sides, chin lifted as he looks back at Anubis.

"Thoth may not be copacetic about speaking with us." Astryd says dryly. "It would be good though, if he would speak with us … or Sif, at least." The words are cawed as the raven preens a bit.

Pecking at Fenris' cheek, the raven hops to the table and turns her glossy back to the Egyptian God. "Does he make a habit of plucking a girls feathers, Bast?"

"I'll convince him." Bast waves airily. She IS rather convincing and she probably has dirt on everyone but with Thoth? She'll probably just start knocking jugs of water over on his papyrus scrolls. "And no… not that I know of Astryd. He may like you. Maybe you can work out a timeshare arran-"

"Bast…" Fenris reproves with a chuckle.

Anubis snorts. "I'm married anyway." And then he plucks Astryd. But it's not quite that simple. He covers her with death and detaches a feather and her awareness goes with it when he breaks out his scales. But that is nothing compared to what he does to Ambrose. He just sticks his hand in the man's chest and pulls out a red 'gem' ala Regina from Once Upon a Time.

Well, where do you think Disney got the idea?

"I'll come help if you like, Sif. I know quite a bit of magic. Tell me, have you enlisted the Liesmith? It occurs to me that he might help as well." Beat. "Er, wise? Well…… I mean… when is anything Fenris wants to do ever strictly speaking 'wise'."

The feather and the heart go on the scales and Ambrose's life LITERALLY flashes before both he AND Astryd's eyes. They can FEEL the weight of Anubis judgement. Judgieness. Judgementalism. Whatever it is, it's heavy.

Sif watches Ambrose with concern. Yes, he's told her it'll be okay, but she is clearly still uncertain. Perhaps it's a good thing then that Bast distracts her. "Oh. Prince Loki is already assisting me with the evacuation plans. I did not want to impose on his good will overmuch. Your assistance with the Embassy wards would be greatly appreciated."

She is fully aware that that would put her at the very least into debt with the goddess, but she's more than willing to accept that to keep her fellow Aesir safe, whether they are here on Midgard or still at home on Asgard.

Ambrose's gaze falls to the reaching hand of Anubis and then there's —

He blinks a few times, looking both shocked and…somehow insulted. It's like that time when Kent sniped him off the balcony of the cafe and into the river in Shanghai. The pain becomes a whorl as he stares without understanding at the gleaming red glow of his own goddamn heart outside of his body.

His face twitches into rictus as he forces out, "Ffffffuck…!" And then hits the pool hall floor like a sack of potatoes.

Ambrose is born. He's young, a toddler - a child - a teenager - a human being in all manner of growth and cheek.

A young adult in the military forces - a cursed being turning his back on family to save them death at his own hands and disappearing to the four winds.

A thief in Shanghai, playing his own rules and not killing unless he must — a very slippery 'must' — there's Kent, so young, colder and more murderous yet than Ambrose — Ambrose dies — and dies again — and returns, his life given for others both times.

India is a blur of grief and blood.

Northern Africa in the War is further blood and vengeance.

Europe is fleeing, hiding, finding sanity again.

New York brings them to the present — there's Kent — there's his daughter, his son-in-law — an abrupt jamming halt to the NOW — and no bloodshed but for absolute necessity in honor of Kent's love.

"Maybe we should talk, Bast." The Raven caws, casting Fenris a beady eye look. "Hey!" That's to Anubis as the cloak of death settles over her.

"Oh wow … I hadn't expected that …." This is far more information than she ever wanted to know about Ambrose. This …. it's a good thing he calls her a friend.

When the vision comes to screeching halt, the Raven actually wobbles on the pool table. "What is your judgement, Imeut?"

The scale dips and sways, tilting one way and then the next. In the old stories if a heart was pure then it would be lighter than the feather. Ambrose is a very good man. Actually all things considered Ambrose is a VERY good man. But pure? Totally pure?

The scales come to rest… exactly balanced.

"Hmmm." Anubis briefly sounds like someone else with white hair. "That isn't something you see every day. But it is enough." There's a touch on the heart and both Ambrose and Astryd feel the balancer of souls DO something to Ambrose's internal equation. What floods his mind is not so much knowledge as intuition. He can see the loops and whirls he needs to use to make the Bane into a shield against the void, and to use the essence of life and death itself to use those very concepts as weapons against the creatures of unreality. He'll need some practice but he understands on at least a basic level what he needs to do. Like learning how to walk. It seems so simple now that he knows.

And then Anubis walks back and shoves Ambrose's heart back into his chest.

Bast coughs. "I'll order some more drinks for us." Because after that everyone is going to need it.

"Well." Fenris says. "Everyone alright? Sif how long do you think you need to get the Embassy fully warded?" Because they should start on that soon. But first… drinks. And food.

The instant Ambrose collapses she reacts, keeping him from just going splat, but for lack of anything better she lays him carefully on the floor, not at all caring if the Bane tries to take a chunk out of her. It's not like she's planning on hanging on to the man, she knows better. Thank goodness this place is as hoity toity as it is, the floors are immaculately clean. But still, she stays within arm's reach, just in case.

Anubis gets a wary stare from her when he steps back over and shoves that red gem-looking thing back into Ambrose's chest and she again stays right there to help the man in whatever manner possible though she knows he'll likely refuse assistance.

How long to shore up the wards? She looks up at Fenris, clearly trying to do some mental calculations. "I … am not certain on the time frame, Fenris. I am not a spellcaster. The renewal usual takes a day or two, but I don't know that that would be similar enough to use as a reference."

The sack of potatoes doesn't make a peep — not a huff, sniff, twitch — at least until his heart is jammed back into chest. It's like hitting play on a paused movie, stillness bursting into life.

An enormous rasping inhale precedes a spate of coughing and Ambrose pats frantically at his chest multiple times, wide-eyed and half curled-up upon himself on the pool hall floor. He then stares at Anubis for a long second or two before simply flumping back to the floor again.

"Thank you," he wheezes, still keeping his hands pressed to his chest at odd angles overtop his heart. It's beating! It's there! "Thank you, you are…" Gulp. "…too kind."

He'll appreciate a hand up, temporarily nippy Bane be damned, and retrieve his shirts, upright despite shaking like a leaf. "Yes, drinks, please," agrees the Jackal, yanking his clothing on and mussing up his hair all to hell.

Somebody's getting dropped off at home drunk enough to be wrung out when this is all said and done, apparently.

Astryd collapses against Fenris' arm letting out the softest of caws as she does. "Intense…." She's quiet for the longest of times as her mind clears.

"From what I recall of the records, the renewal takes three day for the whole embassy." She manages to say. "Ambrose, I knew you would pass. Drink deep."

"I bet I can do it in two." Bast grins. "I'll come over first thing in the morning Sif."

More drinks arrive and Anubis raises a glass toward Ambrose. "To you, my Jackal friend. The okayest man I know."

Yes. The judge of the dead made a joke. There's drinks and more pool. Ambrose will be trashed when this is over. The Asgardians won't. And Bast will have fun because… when doesn't she?

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License