2020-07-01 - Cait Sidhe


What's in the bag Pepper

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Jul 1 05:05:30 2020
Location: Central Park

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It's a little late on Tuesday afternoon in Central Park and the sun is starting it's decent towards the horizon. The usual crowds of parents with children are traversing the ways, but on one of the corners, a crowd is gathering.

Zatanna Zatara is putting on an impromptu show - pulling rabbits out of hats and all that stuff - children are laughing and the applause from the crowd is sure draw more attention. It's a nice atmosphere on this sunny afternoon.

Pepper Potts has found she's had to detour through the park - and is somewhere near that crowd.

For those with the senses, there's a strong feeling of magic in the air. First here, now there, and now there … Does it seem to be following Pepper on her travels?

Ah, crowds. Once, Ambrose might have detested them. These days? It makes it easier to feed the Bane given its power spreads rather than concentrates; less damage over all, feeding completed. He's already ridden the subway today and, as such, is meandering the Park in his usual manner of wanting to check his territory.

Yes, his territory, at least in his mind — it sprawls the whole city as it stands.

In a light-weight hoodie overtop a white t-shirt and with jeans tucked into his boots, he might look as just another young professional out on a walk. The silvered temples, remnants of his time bereft of some life-force and curse, remain yet and age him a touch. His steps meander him over out of idle curiosity to see Zatanna and, in the back of the crowd, he watches, smiling to himself. Rabbits out of hats…always a trick, that one. No glow to his pupils anymore. He appears so innocuous now.

Rapid-fire texting as she walks, Pepper is conveying instructions to her assistant back in Stark Tower, having NOT needed this delay. Not today. But, as ever, she's doing the best she can with what she's got, even if it means walking several blocks in heels much too tall and sharp to be meant for more than looking intimidating.

She is, as is par for the course, completely and utterly unaware of that feeling of magic. Either someone has put a particularly strong ward around her making her the equivalent of a congested person in a brick oven bakery, or she's just that engrossed in what's on her phone's screen, or she's just that much of a Muggle. Maybe some combination of the three.

Fenris is patrolling HIS territory thank you very much and that patrol actually has him tailing Pepper at a bit of a distance. He has felt something following Pepper on her travels not that he has yet cottoned onto the fact that t his IS indeed Pepper. They're draying near Zatanna's show and her he does recognize. Well. She's hard not to recognize.

"Mmmm. What is it, what is it, what is it?" He murmurs mostly to himself.

Zatanna's show lets up and the Magician offers smiles and bows, there's flyers advertising her new club at The Alhambre. Those are directed at the parents of course - Zee is a small marketing machine it seems.

As Pepper draws near, the 'blink' of power has her looking - magic detection for her is usually an active skill but that was … strong.

Not recognising the hoodie man at the back of the crowd immediately, the raven haired woman is distracted by a fan …

Which is when Fenris and Ambrose will see it.

The purple eyed, black cat with a white 'star' on its chest, that appears out of nowhere and lands on the bag on Peppers shouder. Of course, Pepper will notice *that* and also notice when it tries to dig around in said bag.

Crowd gathered, steering around while typing another text. This is all completely autopilot for Pepper. She even deftly steps around the plush toy a small child drops at the edge of the crowd. But a cat, landing on her shoulder out nowhere and trying to get something out of her bag?

"What the…HEY. No, bad— stop that!" She keeps her elbow pressed tightly against her shoulder bag in an attempt to keep the cat out of it while using her other phone-free hand to try and scruff the creature. She's stopped dead in the middle of the sidewalk to have her odd little scuffle with the feline. No, she hasn't noticed anything odd about the cat yet, though the purple eyes will likely clue her in quickly enough. When she can see them, that is.

This cat doesn't FEEL like a stray. If it doesn't have its rabies vaccine up to date, she's going to be extremely annoyed with the feline's pet human.

The blink of magic is strong enough to even register with the Bane-based gut-sense Ambrose has learned never to ignore. He immediately turns in place, hands appearing from the single pocket across the front of his hoodie, to see not only Pepper, but also the feline with the shockingly violaceous eyes.

"What…?" breathes the Jackal as he turns to walk briskly towards the red-head. "Miss Potts?" In his crisp British accent, the name carries.

In the process, he spot Fenris and his concern only doubles (if not triples). So soon again, the Dread Wolf, nearby during a sudden mysterious magical event? And Zatanna nearby? Ambrose's suspicions go practically nuclear now.

"And me without my spritz bottle." Fenris says as he ambles up, perfectly content to watch Pepper struggle and Ambrose maybe possibly assist? He of course can see on a number of levels that this is no ordinary cat. Of course you can't SAY that to a cat. Because no cat believes that they are just any cat. And any cat told that they are immediately becomes either sullen, prickly or both.

"Oh most glorious and beautiful maiden of magic, Zatanna Zatara, if we might humbly beseech thine aid in this our most dire hour of need."

It amuses Fenris to needle Zee. Also it will focus her attention on CAT.

"Hello Ambrose. Pepper. Mind that thing's claws."

Zee manages to extract herself from her fans as she hears Pepper exclaim and Fenris' rather flowery speech. "What on earth …" she says as she observes the Cat hanging off Peppers bag. "… is a Cait Sidhe doing here…"

Tearing holes in Peppers bag that what its doing. The damn thing is mostly inside it now, it's butt wiggling as it tries to get to the bottom.

"What have you got in there, Miss Potts? Some magical catnip." Zee asks. "Ah, Leuitenant Atherton, I didn't recognise you." There's a glow of arcane blue as Zee speaks the words of spell and the Cat is hung magicall in the air.

Determined little beast. Even pulling on its scruff, Pepper can't get it to stop shredding her bag. "Oh for… are you just going to stand there and stare, Ambrose?" She doesn't realize Fenris has arrived as well until he's speaking up and managed to get Zatanna to make the cat stop being a pest.

"Nothing weird, really. I mean, other than a few odds and ends." Cold iron hair stick, sandalwood comb, hand painted silk scarf likely now ruined by that punk feline, granola bar likely also ruined, pens, pencils, phone battery pack and charger cable, the little decorative bell she won in an estate auction and was just coming back from picking up…

She looks at her bag — what's left of it — and sighs. She takes a moment to hastily finish the interrupted text to her assistant, then pulls a tightly furled bundle of fabric from her bag that turns out to be another bag. Because her current one won't exactly hold things safely anymore. And it was an authentic Yves Saint Laurent, too. More than a decade old, but she'd taken obsessively good care of it. Until now. Bad cat. Bad.

"Yes, well, I did not intend to reach for the cat willy-nilly," replies the Jackal to Fenris and Pepper both with a dry little smile. He's within scruffing distance himself, but the purple eyes (and manner of Pepper's own attempting to remove the cat) has him simply with a hand lifted and readied before his chest rather than attempting to snatch out since…

Ancient Mesopotamian curse and all, which is, admittedly ever so very interested in that Fae cat. It knows the taste of Fae life-force and rather liked it. There is a distanted shadow in Ambrose's face for it, a quieting he takes on for just a moment —

— until Zee speaks. A glance over at the magician flashes those pupils crimson in an odd slant of light. "Miss Zatanna. It is understandable to not have recognized me, I have changed a great deal in the last week or two. I think the temples…dignified," he shares with a coy grin and flick of brows at her. The cat, now successfully removed from its rooting about Pepper's ruined bag, is given a lingering and contemplative look. Hmm. The Bane hisses in continued soft interest to his ears alone.

Fenris freezes in place. "Where did you get that? Do not make any sudden movements and do not let that bell ring. Where did you find that thing?" That's a hell of a reaction. Clearly he has recognized it but exactly what it is? Well it just looks like a little hand bell. Little silver thing. There's really nothing to it. It's not even very decorative. Might look nice on a lace doily.

But that's about it.

The poor Cat hangs in the air, supported by a 'bubble' of Zee's magic. She's not stupid enough to try and get near, particularly when it's yowling and carrying on like that.

"Oh that's a nice scarf, Miss Potts… " Or at least, it was. Zee winces as she sees the rents in the fabric.

That and the other items are all fairly mundane, until that bell is produced. The Cat goes mad - scratching at the inside of the magic bubble and yowling ever so loudly.

Ambrose's bane reacts strongly as well.

"Is that … what I think it is, Fenris? That's the Bell of Ikonn, isn't it?" Whatever that is.

"I… won it in an estate auction this past weekend. I was on my way back from picking it up." Pepper looks from Fenris to Zee to Ambrose with a growing expression of concern. "Why?"

Having pulled it out of her bag, she realizes that the padded velvet box it had been in must have fallen open inside her bag. She tucks the little bell back into the velvet padding and closes the box again, more concerned about damaging the delicate little antique than, than whatever has Fenris and Zee both acting like it's a raw trilithium crystal or something truly rare and dangerous.

Fenris's warning is about all the Jackal gets before the Bane goes electrically alive in his veins. Ambrose takes a gasp and a step back, his uplifted hand shallowly reaching almost unconsciously at it before he catches himself. Back his hand goes, curled into a tight fist against his sternum.

Zatanna, with her magical heritage, might see how the ancient curse sleeks up into his aura, wending through it like shredded liquid garnet-gemstone. "Whatever it is, it is…unusual," the master-thief manages with a dusty dry undertone, his eyes upon it.

The cat in its bubble does get a Bane-hungry glance briefly.

Fenris might comment on Peppers nerdery if he could read minds. Alas that was not one of the giftings given to him. "It's an magical artifact. Odin's Halitosis only knows what it was doing at an estate sale. Ringing it opens a portal to a very specific, sliiiightly unpleasant deity and makes it stronger. I do not recommend ringing it."

There is a short pause and Fenris nods to Zee and then glances to Ambrose. Then he STARES at the Cat.

"And you were trying to steal it, weren't you?"

He pokes the bubble making it sway. He's tempted suddenly to take up croquet. Where's a flamingo when one needs one?

"Is everything alright, Leuitenant?" Zee asks, giving him a concerned look and then remembering. "And yes, the silver is rather distinguished. Reminds of Dad a little." Oh, the gentleman thief really wanted to hear that, didn't he?

"An Estate auction, Miss Potts? I hate to do this to you, but I need to know who's it was. It might be that was the only artifact in it, but rather doubt it."

The Cat hisses and slashes at the bubble when Fenris makes it sway. "Want it. Calls to Szazz. Szazz take bell." It speaks! In a lilting irish accent.

The cat replying to Fenris makes Pepper stop and stare, and yeah. NOW she sees the purple eyes, and she promptly takes a step away from the bubble-trapped cat, promptly digging a dark-colored metal hair stick out of her ruined bag. She's stared down things far scarier, but a talking CAT makes her that uneasy?

Then she mentally rewinds Zee's words to her and with a breath dismisses the uncanny valley feline and tells Zee the name of the estate and the company in charge of the auction. "But I don't remember there being anything else in the auction that wasn't, well, chintzy."

Admittedly, Ambrose's attention is so much on that magical bubble being bobbled about that he misses most of what Zatanna says to him. The Bane wants to pet that kitty very badly…that, and its host has a deep loathing of all things Fae at heart.

The Wild Hunt will do that to people.

"You want this bell so you can ring it..?" he manages to ask of this Szazz the Cat.

"Ughcaitsitharetheworst…" Fenrism utters low, but not so low that Zee, Pepper and Ambrose won't hear it. There are forms to dealings with beings like this. Ancient procedures that are recorded in slightly simplified form in human folktales. It is not quite usual, or quite kosher, for a cat to simply try to take something it wants. Not like this. So Szazz must be either quite young or he must REALLY want the bell.

And then. "Mew." "Mew."

There's cat on AMBROSE's shoulder. Except when the Bane touches this one it actually tastes WRONG. That's probably the first thing he'll notice. Not the fact that it has two heads. Which Pepper WILL notice. Especially when its starts pawing at her, clambering half down Ambrose as it ALSO tries to get the box.

Zee… well. Zee may or may not have seen this thing before. But if not she's in for quite a surprise. She can instantly tell that it has DIGESTED a teleportation charm somehow.

"Marcus and Marcus? That's a reputable firm. I don't doubt that the rest of the items did look chintzy, but better to be safe than sorry. Would you mind organising me an introduction?" Zee says.

"I want it." Szass says to Ambrose. If anything, it doesn't really seem to know what it was going to do when it found it. So probably the latter - it just *really* wanted the bell. It seems to settle a bit as the bell is put in the velvet box. At least it's stopped yowling, right?

"If I let you go, will you …" Zee blinks as the two headed cat appears. "What in the stars …" She's heard the rumours of the cat in the WAND offices but never had the pleasure.

The Cait Sidhe for the moment, is forgotten. Still suspended in the bubble of magic.

"That should be no trouble at all," Pepper tells Zee when an introduction is requested. She can just text her assistant to get Edward Marcus on the phone for h—

The additional meows have Pepper turning to look toward Ambrose and recoiling yet AGAIN, this time from the two-headed cat that just smells WRONG. Like… like high school biology class wrong. "Madre de Dios," she breathes in unpleasant shock. And it trying to get at her, or more specifically the bell, is even more disconcerting than anything else. "What's next? A displacer beast?" She'd… actually not mind seeing one of those for real. But safely, from, like, yards away. And behind a protective glass or something.

"I do not think you should have it," replies Ambrose to the be-bubbled Fae-cat. He narrows his eyes in what must be an excellent approximation to what he aims at his step-son, Sterling, when the young man tries to start trouble. The Dad Look(TM), behold — though he does add, in echoed agreement to Fenris, "Cait Sith are the worst."

Then there's a sudden weight on his shoulders and everyone gets to see Ambrose attempt to clear the ground by several feet, squirm away from Bezas like a weasel from a trap, and grab at the two-headed cat now attempting to use him as some stepping stool — all at once. It'd be graceful if it wasn't so ludicrous.

"NO GET OFF BLOODY FUCK GET IT OFF I DID NOT INVITE THIS!" The Bane is, of course, both radioactive and infuriated because this being tastes like licking the underside of a tank tread.

Nobody ask why its host knows this information.

"MeWewEwEWeW…" The cat ululates from both heads as it is shaken, clambering in that way only street cats can to try to avoid Ambrose's grip AND still get the box in Pepper's hand. Bat bat bat! Oh crap! Ambrose gets ahold of it and BLINK, it's gone… and in the bubble with the Cait Sith. It turns, looks at the Cait Sith and then 'rapid fire punches' its nose with its forepaw. Battabattabattabat!

"Um. What in all of the many, many hells?" Fenris has NEVER seen anything like that and it's even more annoying than the Cait Sith. But now it's contained so…

"Why did IT want that bell?" No question about whether it should get it though. The answer is no. "If you're getting this much attention just on the way home, as much as I hate to say so Pepper but maybe someone should keep that safe for you."

"Szass wants it. Szass takes its…" The purple eyes look a little crazed as they fix on the velvet box. "Pixies are the worst." Yes, it heard that. And then there's a long feline growl when Bezas appears. "Can't have it. that belongs Szass…" it grumbles.

When the other cat appears beside it, the yowl starts up again. The bat bat bat is rewarded with a clawed swipe - which makes the bubble wobble precariously in the air.

"What are you doing in there, get out." Zatanna says in surprise. "Szass, I'm sending you home. I don't want to see you here again …" That won't be very fruitful but it will buy her a bit of time. Though, Pepper might find she gets a visitor again at some point.

With Fenris asking the sensible questions, Zee looks to Pepper for an answer.

Pepper watches the cat-induced chaos with wide eyes, especially when both felines end up slap-fighting inside that bubble. "Ambrose, are you okay?" Because of the horror-fascination, it takes her a moment to parse Fenris' words about the bell. But when she does, she turns and offers the bell box and all to Zee almost instantly.

"I'm pretty sure I can get something nearly identical and completely harmless from that wacky mystic lady and her overly-patchouli-smelling shop down near Highline Park." She's only ever been in there once before, and she's pretty sure that that wasn't only patchouli incense in the shop that gave her a headache for the rest of the day.

The master-thief's quick fingers suddenly collapse upon nothing and he blinks at the empty air he holds, flabbergasted. Then comes the sound of the sparring cats within the confines of the magical bubble and he turns to stare, now daring to straighten our of his harried crouch.

"Bloody fucking hells," he mutters. A quick touch-over of himself finds no skin broken though a good number of curly threads pulled free of his hoodie's weaving by Bezas claws now dangle. More loudly, he replies to the red-head. "I am fine, thank you, Miss Pepper…merely startled. Wise of you," he adds as he watches the bell box be offered towards Zatanna. A smart tug of his sweatshirt puts it back into place and now the Jackal appears only minorly inconvenienced by the whole affair.

Fenris glances to Zatanna and worries at his lower lip for a moment. Bezas is now the soul occupant of the bubble and sits down to groom itself. One head grooms the body, the other head grooms the first head. Ahem.

"Can we really have something like that at Shadowcrest?" Sure the places is warded but there is also a LOT of attention on it. If they discover that the Bell of Ikonn is there that might be enough to push someone into daring the wards. And they just do not have the resources to fend off attacks while pursuing what they need to pursue right now.

Or at least he doesn't think so.

"Are you going to take it Fenris?" Zee sighs. "I don't know of anywhere *else* that might be safe." There might be someone, who has an interest in artifacts and collecting, that could take it. But Zee hasn't heard that about them.

Not yet.

"I could find some old contacts of Dads and ask them to take it. But I'd rather it be kept with someone we're more familiar with." Ambrose gets a look from Zatanna and she frowns a little. "Didn't you say the last time we spoke, you had an interest in magical artifacts?"

Pepper gets a smile, though Zee doesn't quite take the box yet "I'm sure I can find something just as nice, and not as dangerous, for you, Miss Potts."

Pepper looks between Zee and Fenris uncertainly. "Would it be better if I took it to Loki and, I don't know, had him drop it into the lava on Muspelheim or stuff it into a pocket dimension oubliette or something?" She's kind of regretting having even considered bidding for the thing now.

And her phone pings. Twice. Three times. And she sighs and looks at it to see what emergency she has to deal with NOW.

With hands now tucked away into his hoodie's pocket, the Jackal listens to the conversation at hand. One eyebrow dares to lift out of his curious frown and then both as he's personally addressed.

"Myself? I have an interest in artifacts, yes, magical or not, though admittedly…this bell is not within my usual purview." A beat and a more coy note enters Ambrose's entire air. "You wish me to hide such a thing? It would not be difficult. I do not have a lava pit or any pocket dimension, but I have other tricks up my sleeves." He's sure to add, however, "It would not be kept on the property of my own home. Never have I done this with artifacts and nor shall I start."

"Uh no. I am not keeping something that is basically a 'press here to start the end of the world' button. That seems like a bad idea." The Old Wolf says to Zee. "And no…" To Pepper. "Dropping it down a hole just means that someone ELSE finds the button that ruins everything so that's sadly not an option. If it were someone would have done it a long time ago and let some primordial elder fish eat it or something."

Ambrose… now there's an idea. "Wise of you not to. But if you have a place to take it… given that you are not being closely watched… yet…" This seems ideal.

Bezas is purring now. It has curled up in Zee's bubble and is starting to take a nap. All the bubble are all belong to Bezas.

"That cat …" Zee just shakes her head and pulls her phone out to send a text to a certain WAND agent to come and get his cat. Of course, by the time he gets there, the cat might be gone again.

"If you would Leuitenant Atherton. Once we have an idea on why it was here and why the Cait Sidhe was so interested, we'll … work out what to do."

Fenris gets a smirk "I didn't think you would." Not that she would have let him take it anyway.

With Peppers phone binging like that, it's time to go. "Shall I give you a lift back to Stark Tower, Miss Potts?" Of course, Fenris could that too. She'll just teleport the two of them away ….

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