2020-06-15 - Hipsters Ahoy


Zee and Loki investigate the amulet that was found.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Jun 15 22:11:38 2020
Location: Harlem

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Theme Song




Loki and Zee arrive in Harlam about mid afternoon. The magician is still in her 'street' clothes - leather pants, tank top and a leather jacket over the top, with heavy biker boots to set it all off.

The building in question lays across the street, a quaint building from another era - which might be no surprise. In need of repairs, it houses a mens wear store.

Zee smirks at Loki as she crosses the street "Looks like you're going to go shopping…"

"Oh, dear me, shopping." Loki does the drama-queen act /flawlessly/—neck arching back, hips twisting faintly, one leg arched, the other bent as he brings the back of one hand to his brow, and the other hand extends back behind him, wrist bent nearly ninety degrees and fingers together with thumb outthrust. A wink and a grin then as he resumes walking with Zatanna. "Actually…I remember this store being here during the great depression, it was a haberdashery then…Wellen & Sons, though the man had no wife, and no children."

Clearly not the same shop, but the building is at least that old, maybe older, so there's some history. Eyes of glacier-heart green study the building, seeking any signs of warding spells, defenses, or lurking traps.

See, the question isn't 'Are you paranoid?', it is 'Are you paranoid enough?'.

"I thought you'd respond like that." Zee rolls her eyes as she pushes the door open. A bell jangles happily when she does. There's no wards, defenses or lurking traps to Loki's eye - it is as it seems, a humble shop.

Inside, music is playing - some of the modern stuff that is more a cacophony of sound than anything intelligible. There are suits on display - all very modern, slim legs and oh, the colours! Not the dark, navy blues with subtle pin stripes that Zee prefers. This is a place for the 'modern man' to shop.

Currently there's no other patrons in the shop and the sales assistant, a young woman in her early twenties looks up. "Can I help y'all?" That's a cajun drawl she's got going there as she looks Loki over and then Zee. "Is it you we're going to modernise or does she want something more stylish?"

"What can I say, I'm the *origina* drama-queen." Loki says with great pride as they enter the shop. Hands clasped in the small of his back, he lets Zee get the door, and follows after her, mainly as an excuse to admire the view. Upon entering, he looks around, managing not to wince at the random noise 'music' playing, and the riot of colors.

Old as he is, Loki is not even close to a 'modern man', he /is/, however, adaptable.

A bright smile to the cajun woman behind the counter, his voice warm and vibrant. "Can't it be both?" He says with a bit of a southern drawl to his words, not Cajun, but definitely not New Yorker.

He turns a critical eye on Zatanna, hand gripping the elbow of one arm the free hand cupping his chin. "Crimson, do you think? Scarlet? Something RED."

"Y'all both want new clothes?" She beams at Loki. "Red isn't her colour though. Try something green. You, however, Red is your colour…" Seems she has opinions.

Zee just looks at Loki and mutters "We're here to do a job, remember?"

"Nice place you've got here…" she says with a smile. "… and green is definitely my preferred colour. It was recommended to me by a friend. Said I would find it … magical." That's not so subtle but it's an opening for Loki.

Is it his imagination but does the shop assistant look a little … uneasy?

"Green?" Loki says with a glance over his shoulder at the shop keeper, and then looks Zee up and down again before he nods. "Okay, I could see that. Lincoln green, perhaps, or emerald…" Back to the shopkeeper, he smirks at the muttered comment, a faint nod then. 'No fun' mouthed, before he turns about in a rather eye catching little pirouette. "Ah, so many bright colors, a riot of hues, just lovely."

As he does this he extends his magesight to take in any emanations, any traces.

He softly murmurs a spell, one he /seldom/ employs - one of true seeing before he turns his augmented gaze upon the shopkeep once more.

The sales assistant has the soft emanations of magic around her. More like a residue though than anything ingrained, which might be why Loki hadn't seen it to begin with. What does light up as he twirls is something in the back room, near the change rooms. It's a bit like a beacon really - and masked to the more mundane magical views.

"Emerald for your friend, I'd say. And magical, hmmm? I guess you could say that I perform magic on some." The assistant says as she looks carefully between the two, eyes narrowing as Loki performs a spell. She senses that.

"Emerald, I concur." Loki says with a huge smile, eyes alight with obvious glee.

One of Loki's favorite abilities is his gift of mindspeech, which he employs right now. Politely 'rapping' at the surface of Zee's mind, he'll be easily hedged out if she resists, he is /not/ forcing things. Should she permit the contact, however, he shares what he's seen and sensed with her. «Something of a beacon in the back, I'll try something on while you distract the shopkeeper, or shall I do the distracting and you check out what's in the back?» He's good with either, really.

He moves to look at something on the racks, something in bright green for homself. "Magic comes in many forms." He says with a flash of even white teeth to the shopkeeper.

«I'll distract her, you look …»

"Why don't you try this on, Vincent." Zee thinks quick and gives Loki a completely ridiculous name. It's an Aloha shirt in bright red shades and lots of very large flowers on it. High quality but … garish. When she sees him selecting the green suit from the rack though, Zee hands the god a black silk shirt. "And this …"

"Oh yes, the change rooms are right this way, Sir…" The sales assistant gestures, leading Loki that way. When she has him settled, Zee calls out.

"Would you have this suit in my size, do you think?"

"Let me look at what we've got over here…"

That will keep the woman busy for a while. Which is a good thing, Loki can sense the magic now he's closer. It's a small, gilded box on the break table he can see.

"Thank, Tara, I will." Hey, two can play the bad names game! He takes the suit, the black shirt -and- the Aloha shirt in hand, carefully - almost reverently - folding them over one arm as the shop keeper offers to guide him to the changing rooms. "Oh no, I'm not a knight, just call me Vinnie, mm?" He says with a charming smile and a bit thicker drawl as he's escorted to the changing room.

Once Zee has the woman's attention engaged he hangs the clothes up, and then slips out carefully, the woman sensed his spell casting, he'll rely on actual stealth rather than magic for the time being. Truth be told - the uncertainty makes things more fun!

Carefully positioning himself so he's got cover from the main room, Loki first looks at the box's aura, and then checks for any more mundane tricks, traps or alarms before he even considers touching it.

Tara just smile at Vincent and waits for the assistant to return. Loki, or rather Vincent, can hear them talking in the background. At least he knows he's a bit of time.

The boxes aura suggests that the it's magic field is inverted - reflecting any emanations from what's held within back inside. A clever way to mute things and avoid generic magic detection spells. Not so effective at close up inspection though.

There's a clasp on the lid, that isn't secured - and Loki can't detect any tricks, traps or alarms. With the way clear, he should be able to open it.

«Tara, my sweet, small gilded box with mystical inversion active. Unsecured, I'm about to open it.» Even Loki's mind voice smirks! He can't resist the urge to open the box, it is a Shiny Red Button writ large, and Loki is nothing if not curious. He isn't /completely/ stupid, however, just a bit impulse driven. Okay, a LOT impulse driven. Regardless, when he opens the box he does so with it it angled away from him, facing one of the mirrors in the changing area before he examines the contents head on.

There's no response from Zee but Loki can still hear her talking in the front room.

The lid of the box swings open and whilst Loki's not blinded by the magic it's containing, he gets an eyeful now. Same sort of signature as the amulet they found - when he can see more clearly, there's three more amulets there. Under the box, he can a slip of paper that seems to have addresses on it …

"What the hell are you doing in here?" The door to the alleyway outside closes with a bang and a tall, blonde, fellow with a man bun confronts him. Oh my - a hipster - he must work here.

Closing the lid of the box, he turns to face the hipster hiding what he's doing with his body as he takes the address list and tucks it into his back pocket after that turn. As he's challenged, he looks concerned. "Actually, I was looking for the little boy's room, I don't suppose you can point the way?" He does a very convincing 'pee-pee' dance as he says this. "I apologize, but I really /really/ need the water closet."

Pride? What pride? Sell it!

The hipster eyes Loki carefully. Eyes flicking from between the box and the god. This guy, Loki gets strong emanations from him and no, not just because he's a hipster. This is a practioner and whilst not overly strong, strong enough.

"You …" it's clear he's nervous about Loki being in here and moves towards the table to get a better look at it. Loki *is* blocking of course and it's difficult to get by him. "… the water closet? Oh bathroom … you'll have to go down to the public ones." His eyes narrow again, but this time he's judging if he'll have to clean the floor.

"Actually…I /did/ have one question." He waits until the man is looking down to see the floor, and then opens the box again using the burst of magic mask a spell of his own as he copies the note. "Where DID you get this box?" He puts the original back where it was as he steps out of the way and points to the opened box.

And then he groans very faintly. "And the second thing…gods, where is the nearest public then? My bladder is about to /burst/."

He makes no sign of having noticed the flare of magic from the box, of course.

Zee must be doing at keeping the sales assistant busy, she's not been out to check on 'Vinnie' but it's only a matter of time.

Mister Hipster blinks as the magic flares and Loki directs attention to the box. "Uh…. It was a gift from a friend …." He reaches forward and slams the lid down, trying to slide the box from the table and into his hands. AWAY from the man who is … well, Mister Hipster isn't sure what this gentleman wants. The bathroom or does he want the box? "What's it to you?"

'Vinnie' jumps at the slam, and he his face works with the effort to control his recalcitrant bladder. "Oh, I'm an art dealer, it caught my eye. Vincent Mancuso, of Mancuso and Martinelli, based out of Atlanta." A long suffering sigh. "I apologize if I crossed any lines, it was in all innocence, my friend." His smile is very genuine. "So…if you'll point the way to the nearest restroom I can use, I'll get out of your hair. Oh, and I'll take this shirt as well. I assume cash is accepted?"

Mister Hipster is almost hugging that box to his chest just as Miss Shop Assistant pokes her head out the back. "Oh, there you are Vinnie. What are y'all doin' out here…."

"Down the street and take a left …" Mister Hipster grunts, eyeing Vincent Mancuso suspiciously.

"Ya want that shirt? Come on then, your friend is waiting for you." There's not a lot of trust from the pair of them and they're *very* eager to get Loki out from the back room.

"Cash is fine."

By the time Loki gets back to the showroom, Zee is waiting. "Have trouble getting things to fit?" She asks. "Or did some little bauble catch your eye and you got distracted?" Making it seem like this happens all the time.

"Hello sunshine." Vinnie greets Miss Shop Assistant 2020. Hands wide, he smiles. "Here I am." The Liesmith smiles to the hipster. "Thank you, very much, you've been splendid."

A nod to the sales rep. "I love it, so many /flowers/." He says, walking with exaggerated care as he digs out a money clip, and a fairly impressive wad of cash inside.

"Good! I dislike credit cards with a passion, I'm rather old school."

"Not at all, the shirt you picked? Perfect, Tara. You know me /so/ well." He says, and then blushes a hit. "I did, but it was apparently a gift, ah well." He pays for the shirt, and then moves to get the door to the street for Tara, since she got it on the way in. "Shall we?"

"Thank you …" Zee flashes a big smile to the pair in the shop and turns to follow Loki out. Mister Hipster and Miss Shop Assistant are a little … confounded.

What just happened? They've still got the box and the note isn't missing. Maybe Vinnie was just a nosey parker.

As the door swings shut behind them, Zee gives Loki a sidelong look "Well? Mister Hipster didn't look too happy to see you …"

Staying in character, Loki speed walks (awkwardly) towards the public restroom just in case the two in the shop are watching. "Mister Hipster was talented, not overly strong, no sorcerer or magus, but strong enough to weave some spells and the woman clearly felt me casting, they're both initiated into The Craft."

A sly smile as he fishes the duplicated note out of his pocket. "I found three more amulets in the box, this note under it, don't worry…it is a copy." He offers it up to Zee. "He was most definitely protective of the box, and vexed by my presence."

"Human though, yes?" Zee asks as she follows Loki, frowning at that awkward gait of his. She'd missed that memo, clearly. "Initiated but not well schooled or powerful? What do you think, are they doing this themselves or … ?"

Taking the note, her mouth closes quickly on the chiding she's about to give the trickster God. "Hmmmm. These are all galleries or museums and look here, the gallery that was attacked the other day has been crossed out." It's the last crossed off item on the list and those businesses mentioned are boutique or private collections. Nothing on a large scale at all.

"Oh, without question, both of them were talented mortals. Midgardians." Once they're out of sight, Loki walks normally again. "No way are they doing this themselves, the magic to /slice/ a dimensional rift like that is beyond them. They could *trigger* an item, but not fashion them." A shake of his head as he turns to face Zee, leaning against the wall of a building. "No, I'd say that Mister Hipster was speaking truly when he said the box was a gift. Possibly from Malekith or one of his cronies would be my guess."

He smirks as she bites back her chiding.

At the news that they were all art galleries, he looks thoughtful. "Any of them near nodes, or ley lines?"

"I would agree. Pulled into something with the promise of … something. What do you think we should do about them? My feeling is watch them for now - we don't want to tip our hand but … " Zee might be rash but she normally plans.

"I'd need to look at map to be certain but at least three of these aren't. And this one …." Zee points to one of the galleries four lines down "… is due to take a shipment of new artifacts next week."

"What are you thinking?"

"Oh of course, watch them, see if they are part of a cult or group of some sort." Loki says with a smile. "Possibly see if their group can be infiltrated, that's the long game." Loki is also prone to both planning and being rash. Running in headlong is often quite invigorating!

At the mention of a shipment incoming, Loki smiles. "I think we should see about that upcoming shipment. My gut is telling me it might be the next target. That's our short game." Interest fully engaged, Loki beams at Zatanna. "This is /quite/ fun, Zatanna Zatara. And at the end of the day we might just get a chance to shorten a wild huntsman a foot or so, that would be the perfect end, don't you think?"

Zee chuckles. "Dad always enjoyed the thrill of the investigation. It's certainly where I get my love for it." Loki might remember that not only is Zee a Stage Magician, she's a passable investigator as well. "Then that's what we'll do. I'll forward you the flyer I got about the new exhibit. You … do know how to use EMail, don't you?"


"The perfect end will be stop them trying to use Midgard as a staging ground or leverage. The bonus will be the wild hunt and Malekith." Different focuses.

"Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a show to prepare for."

"Oh, indeed. I rather enjoy poking at things." As stated - different focuses, still, similar destinations. He definitely enjoys the games, the setup, the challenge of thinking on his feet to get the job done. Sure, he COULD have just bopped Mister Hipster on the head but where's the fun in that? Where's the elegance? He's not a crude hack!

A soft chuckle at her trolling. "Oh, email, I think that's a recent invention, yes? Ether Mail? Something like that…?" His expression is vacuous, but his eyes filled with mirth.

"Mm? Oh, sure, that too." He agrees, and confirms their differing areas of focus. Still, better to have Loki on your side, even so, right? When she begs his pardon, he bows over hand, kissing the back of it if permitted. "Of course, Zee. We wouldn't want you to be unprepared for the show, after all, The Show Must Go On!"

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