2020-06-17 - Lack Of Foresight


Oliver comes visiting

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Jun 17 05:10:22 2020
Location: Brooklyn

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Fenris is having lunch at the Brooklyn Bridge Park. His lunch is a ruben, sweet potato fries and a large sugary drink. His lunch is this because Fenris doesn't metabolize the same way that humans do so the calories don't bother him. Only flavors are really important when it comes to human food. And this food is goooood.

Being as Fenris is having lunch, it is lunch time. Traditional lunch time, that is, and not 'whenever Fenris says it is' lunch time. The park isn't crowded but there are people about as well as plenty of traffic on the bridge and the streets behind him. He's got a book laid out in front of him that is in some lost language. Doing research, not really light reading, sadly.

Books with iron spines and leather skins are very rarely light reading.

"I have not seen a book as such before."

It's Ambrose, of course, prone as he is to showing up in these places with little warning but for the frisson of the Bane if he's letting the tendrils of the curse wander — to nibble here and there at the world he's potentially locked into for all eternity. He wears a light jacket today, almost a hoodie but for the leather accents here and there, and jeans tucked into his combat boots. Sunlight gleams in his silvered hair. His eyes, filled with Bane-glow, rise from the book and to Fenris's face. "Kent has told me that he has a biting book — as in, literally, one with teeth. I do not believe him. It makes me wish to test his warning." The Jackal smiles then, dimpling, and of course showing all of his teeth.

Astryd is is sitting next to Fenris, not eating, still looking very, very pale. She's not said much since their encounter with the Rainbow Serpent but simply followed Fenris when he said he needed her today.

"I wouldn't. Books like that normally leave a mark." She says to Ambrose.

Sif arrives just a few moments after Ambrose finds Fenris, and she's carrying her own version of a light lunch, a modest half-brisket and only one domed bread loaf. She's even opted away from the usual mead or ale, and has what looks like a gallon milk jug filled with a brownish beverage in her other hand.

"Books like what?" she can't help but ask as she sets her sack lunch down. One glance at Astryd, and she's pouring tea from the gallon jug into the only cup she brought with her to offer to the Valkyr. "I've never heard of books being dangerous, only the knowledge they contain."

"They were supposedly popular as pranks in Uruk some thousands of years ago." Fenris says absentmindedly as he turns a page. He looks up to find Sif there with her lunch and gestures for everyone who wants a seat to take one. "It's a nice day today, is it not? Been a while since-"

There's a chill in the air suddenly and a sense of being watched. Fenris frowns and shuts the book. "Well it WAS a nice day."

"Ambrose." Comes a voice from behind him. A very familiar voice. Astryd and Sif who have different angles know that Oliver - for that is who it is - just appeared as if out of thin air. No spell effects. No portals. Just *blink* there.

Astryd may now be thinkful that Maeljin is gone.

"Oh, you speak as if you had no sense of adventure, Miss Astryd." With gentle and friendly charm does the Jackal tease her, his smile remaining. "I would not be bitten. A master-thief has a deliberate touch and unspoiled fingers. One wouldn't retain the title if one's fingers were damaged," he notes. Fenris's tidbit of information has the man nodding, clearly amused by the idea of prank-books.

Sif's arrival has him glancing over and giving her a nod of greeting. "Though Milady Sif is more correct, I think. Ideas are more immortal even than written word."

The sudden drop in temperature has the Jackal immediately on alert. The fine hair on his neck rise even as his eyes slide to one side — the Bane immediately orients on the unfortunately-familiar source of the voice. Slowly, with a dangerous deliberation, Ambrose turns to look upon the man.

"Oliver." The last consonant burrs in the back of his throat and in the depths of his chest. How brightly the ember-glow of the Bane in the master-thief's eyes flares.

"Thank you, Sif." Astryd says as she takes the tea from the warrior. The v of her shirt shows newly pink skin - the type you get after a being burned. What's missing is the mark that Sif knows had been placed there when Astryd took that bolt of light from Lugh.

The other thing that both Ambrose and Sif may notice, if they're not too distracted by Oliver, is that Astryd is moving carefully. She's been wounded.

There's no more time to respond about the books though as Oliver appears. The Valkyr moves to her feet and takes a stance behind Fenris' shoulder. Oh yes, she's so very glad the maeljin is gone.

Sif nods to Astryd and has just unbagged her lunch when Oliver suddenly appears behind Ambrose. It's a VERY good thing he didn't appear just a second or so earlier and the food is already safely settled on the table. Hel hath no fury like a hungry Sif when food has been wasted. And that's not even counting that she's already pegged Astryd as currently NOT ready for battle.

Just as quickly as Ambrose turns to face his nemesis, Sif has her sword in hand (but there's no time to wrestle her buckler off of her back) and is ready to attack the interloper at the slightest indication from the Jackal.

Oliver looks… wrong. His skin is sallow and papery. His eyes are wide and very, very dark. His fingernails look like they have grown quite a bit. They almost look like claws but not quite. He looks a bit unshaven. But it's definitely Oliver.

"You should all stop. Gurim has taken notice of you all being… determined to stop him. He wanted to send the goon squad. I convinced him to let him send me. Said I could talk to you. So here I am. Talking."

Fenris growls low. That's his answer to this. Why does he look so… off?

Admittedly, at first, all Ambrose is paying attention to is the little voice in the back of his head. It's been very quiet since the end of the second World War, very much goading him to simply attempting to end the other soldier here and now. Then he realizes how the others have arranged themselves and he simply straightens a damning inch taller in place, disdain radiating from every pore of his body. The Bane glows about his person radioactively to anyone with the Sight, draconian in its wish to protect its host.

"Yes, here you are, talking." Such mildness from the master-thief might be more terrifying than the usual sparkling bluster. "You look a little pale, Oliver. Have you not been eating well?"

The verbal slap of a past meeting, with the sallow-faced soldier asking Ambrose the same thing, flies back.

"Or is it that your time spent allied with Gurim is not sitting well with you? What does this make you now, his lackey? His dog? Sent to inspire pity in us with your state and your honey-coated words in our proposed defense?"

"And what is it you're offering to leave your Master alone?" Astryd asks. Sif could be right that she's not ready for action but … she is, regardless. "So very kind of you, to save us the trouble of killing the goon squads. Would you like a bouquet of flowers by way of appreciation?"

The Valkyrie hasn't drawn a weapon and both of the others will notice she's not as … gungho … as she has previously been.

Still poised to attack, Sif speaks in the language of the Vanir instead of Allspeak, so that hopefully Oliver won't understand. "A swift death is too merciful for this one. I am not feeling merciful. But if you desire, I will end him quickly."

And to prove this, she takes a small step to one side as if to have make it more difficult for the man to defend against multiple attacks.

Oliver takes a step back as Sif moves to the side. He seems to… distort a little bit. Warp. His arms a bit too long. His jaw a bit too underbite-y. His eyes a bit too yellow. "If you think that this state is supposed to inspire pity, Ambrose, do think again…"

Now he is changing. Lupine but not a wolf. His form is… chimerical. Wolf's body. Scorpion's tail. Maw that drips darkness and venom. Eyes that seem to be the very abyss staring back.

"I am committed to this path. To undoing the cruel whims of fate and freeing mankind from their tyranny. If you insist upon opposing me then so be it. But this will not go easily for any of us. Please. Just… go back to your lives. If all goes well you will not even notice what has occurred."

Clearly Oliver does not believe that Gurim's plan will end in doom or apocalypse despite Fenris' insistence that it will.

"Do you really trust what that old wolf says? Sif? Ambrose? Astryd? Can he be believed? He was exiled for biting off the hand of justice. He is as much a creature of fate as anyone else. He is only saying this plan will end in fire and death because he CANNOT let go of what his destiny is. And it cannot let go of him. I can end that. I can free him. I can free everyone!"

Astryd speaks up and with the nearness of comrades, the Jackal risks another glance at her. He'd caught the scarring on her chest earlier, framed by her shirt's collar, and he notes with a flicker of a squint at how she hasn't drawn sword or shield. It's a low knell of alarm in his mind even as he looks back to Oliver again. His hands have subtly slid out of his light coat-pockets now and fingers flex almost like a large cat testing the grip of nails in earth. Sif's shift in placement has him retaining the cold expression of contempt aimed at Oliver.

An Oliver now stretching beneath his skin as if it weren't enough to keep the warping bones and tendons within. A hissed curse in Farsi as the Jackal gracefully retreats a few steps; in his hand, as quick as a magic trick, the silver wave-bladed kris knife, long and gleaming. His other hand is readied, fingers half-curled in some Far Eastern fighting influence and sporting the golden ring of invisibility not yet engaged.

"An acolyte of Fate does not believe you and that is enough for me." This being Kent, trained to sense the nebulous strands in Shambhala. "Stand down, soldier." Ambrose's teeth flash as he snarls this.

"Of course we won't notice - the new existence your Master ushers in will become the standard for our existence." Astryd shakes her head and takes the hair pin from her locks. The sword and shield manifest, as she steps in front of Fenris.

"I believe my Lord more than I do his rotten offspring. Shall I end you now or will you withdraw and take this message to your master?"

"These Midgardians have a saying. 'I will choose free will.' You and Gurim-Ur are NOT freeing them from Fate, you are taking away their freedom to choose for themselves, regardless of what Fenris or even the Allfather has to say. You used to be one of these Midgardians, have your forgotten your own free will so quickly?"

His morphing into a creature nearly as hideous as a bilgesnipe really only has her becoming even more mentally prepare for the that is undoubtedly about to happen.

Let it happen. She's not had a proper battle in too long.

"Then perhaps it is fated. If so… it will be the last thing to have been so." Oliver… lunges. The chimerical creature stabs at Ambrose with that scorpion's tail at the same time as it tries to bowl Sif and Astryd over. Fenris begins to change himself and this park is about to become a bit crowded. Someone screams, which… makes sense. It's daylight. There are people out here and there is a monster about.

A wave of darkness goes out from the corrupted soldier. It burns and leaves jibbering voices in the ears of those it passes over. And a sense that nameless things are scratching at the fabric of reality, begging to be let in.

Quick as a cat, Ambrose inverts the setting of his ring on his hand to engage its magics. A hiss of the ancient Persian words summons up the torus of the Banes within his aura. Flash — his kris-knife parries at the tail with a collission of sparks and then comes the wave of darkness. Dancing back and away, even agilely, only works so well.

The Banes snarl defiance against the voices wishing to impart madness and the Jackal shakes his head hard a few times, palm to his temple, before he readies himself to defend against another blow. "«OLIVER! OLIVER, THIS IS NOT YOU! RETURN TO YOURSELF!!!»" Ambrose tries for a stentorian yell at full parade-grounds volume in Farsi overtop the scrum. He gets most of his volume; what is lacking comes from the sensation of rats in the walls of reality, as it were, and the sheer cold heebie-jeebies that attend with them.

Astryd's blade flashes as the wolfs body aims for her and Sif. It's a glancing blow that will still slice the flesh of the creature. The Valkyrie throws herself into a tumble, wincing as her abused body protests, and roles to her feet, thrusting her sword out this time, intent on driving the blade through Olivers chest.

Not even for Ambrose can she stop that - she can feel the ooze of the void and hear those voices. This must be stopped now …

Battling considerably larger creatures — like bilgesnipe — is something of a specialty for Sif, so when the Oliver-chimera tries to take her and Astryd down, she steps INTO the charge and meets it square on mostly to keep it from getting anywhere near Astryd.

While the Valkyr strikes, tumbles clear and then goes for a stab, she shoulder checks the beast closer to its hip than its chest, slicing at the hamstrings on the closer of the two back legs to take away Oliver-chimera's mobility as swiftly as possible.

The wash of darkness and the itching, crawling jibbering voices are REALLY unnerving, but so long as she's still in physical contact with this creature she will keep shoving and hacking at it no matter how disturbing her surroundings seem to get.

The strikes land home. Sif hamstrings the thing causing the rear legs to give out and Astryd plunges her blade into its chest. Where the heart was? Well, questionable. Does he have a heart in this form? Either way Oliver collapses and begins oozing. He looks up at Ambrose and takes a shuddering breath. "Sorry old chum. Needed a sacrifice. Had to be me again." He shudders and then his voice changes. Deeper. Rougher. Not Oliver.

"Death is only the beginning."

And then he implodes. All of him seems to disappear into a single point and suddenly Fenris, Sif, Astrytd and Ambrose are fighting a powerful sucking sensation toward the same place, all while they hear the cackles and howls of things that must not be echoing from a solitary, almost miniscule, point of darkness.

Better hold onto something.

Oops. There goes Sif's lunch.

He can't look away.

The Valkyrie's blade gleams like a falling star even as Ambrose is reaching out in some unconscious thread of absolute denial — no, this can't be happening — not Oliver, not his sharpest set of eyes, not his most trusted soldier — not the one he lost —

But it's far too late. The Jackal, having drawn not a single drop of blood, can only stare at the thing speaking in Oliver's voice. He goes parchment-white to hear the words which follow.

"NO!" Pure panicked English there. Dropping the silver kris knife (and more than likely losing it to the sudden howling point of the singularity), he crouches as low as he can in balance while throwing up his hands. On the pane of reality in front of him, the vein-like tendrils of the polarized Banes blossom. At hyperspeed, bolstered by the Jackal's willpower, they engulf the point like a net thrown about a target. With saurian ferocity, uncaring power, the shielding intends to force the collapse of the point upon itself.

It takes all of Ambrose's strength and focus, to the point where the world around him melts to watercolors in the rain.

"Fuck…" Too late, Astryd recognises the trap that has been set. The trap that she has tripped. She may be clear of the maeljin, but …. later she'll wonder how she couldn't see it.

Intuiting Ambroses intent, the Valkyr struggles to keep them from being sucked in - if the Jackal needs a source of energy, she's right there … though it had fed quite well on the Rainbow Serpent.

"Sif, make sure the innocents aren't harmed…"

The beast falls and Sif readies for another attack, just to have the thing shrink away and the resulting portal drawing its surroundings like the gravity pull of a singularity. She immediately stabs her sword into the ground to try and keep her place, right up until Astryd directs her to protect the innocent Midgardians around.

With only a nod to acknowledge the Valkyr, she yanks her sword clear again and forces herself into a run away from the group, heading for the closest civilians she sees. If she has to, she'll bodily carry them away, even if would be much faster if they moved under their own power.

It's a good thing Sif does that because there are civilians in the line of fire. Fortunately Ambrose gets the damn thing closed a few seconds later - though it probably feels like an eternity. The only real casualty is Sif and Fenris' lunch, and Ambrose's kris. The Old Wolf also dug a big furrow in the grass with his claws hanging on. When the noise and rushing of air subside Fenris sits there panting for a long moment before finally he says the only thing that can adequately sum up how things have gone.


Thank god for having supped on the Rainbow Serpent's life-force. It saves Ambrose from being burnt by this endeavor; instead, he ends up merely crisped around the edges, as it were. The howling silences and Ambrose can feel the finality of it disappearing upon itself like a key turning in a rusty lock. The spell he's cast with the polarized Banes collapses into nonexistence.

The caster too simply falls onto one hip, his silvered hair and clothing gone almost lank with clammy sweat. Down his head hangs as he heaves for air, as if he'd forgotten to breathe while focusing so intently on his task. His locked arm keeps up aright, the other half-bent, both with hands splayed on the ground.

"…Ollie…?" the master-thief breathes as he looks up upon the empty space. Empty air, empty grass, nothing — and he lets his head hang again, face hidden away.

And he very quietly begins to weep.

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