2020-07-10 - Chilly Lead


Koa gives his welcome speech and passes information to Steve

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Jul 10 09:04:10 2020
Location: Triskelion

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Theme Song



"A WAND Agent is not an intelligence operative. He is an arcane expert."

Koa's voice rings in the corridors of the fourth floor of the Tri's west tower. There's an auditorium there that WAND uses to induct new agents which they typically do outside of their main office space at is it easier for things like visiting HR and Security and also to avoid piling too much onto new prospects at once because even for the magically aware, WAND is strange.

"Those things that are weird, he makes sense of. Those things that are lost, he finds. And when people are taken by the uncanny, he brings them home." Koa is walking down a line of prospects who are standing at attention and many of them are quite wide eyed at this vaguely drill sergeant approach.

"If he is lucky he will die alone a thousand miles from home closing a rift between worlds because that is the CLOSEST he will ever be to being a hero. Hell, I don't know why anyone would ever want to BE a WAND agent!"

Koa is wrapping this up. He has to meet with some folks. Though those folks can probably hear him in the corridors…

"…'nd I thought General Phillips was a ray of sunshine," comes the murmur, drily amused.

Lingering because indeed, the lifted voice of the senior WAND agent can be heard in the hallway, one Steve Rogers. He's in his returned leather coat and a pair of jeans tucked into his boots against an unusual spate of rainy, cooler weather. Summer can't always been full of muggy heat. He's on his way out for the day at this point, but now his curiosity is piqued — that, and he'd wanted to give Agent Turner a little report about an erstwhile feline. As such, there's the Captain, standing back from the auditorium's doorway just enough to not be a distraction and listen nonetheless.

It was that speech that had convinced Keiko that being a WAND agent was what she wanted she be. Newly arrived back from Limbo, with a child in tow, she'd been struggling to find her place in the world. She'd found it - in WAND.

Not that many would believe that, if they were to look at her now. But she had - it's this and her daughter that has her clinging to humanity.

"Who's General Phillips?" The woman asks quietly, watching Koa as he makes that speech again. She knows how true that it is - that Koa himself is paying that price.

"Now Agents Bayers and Carlson will take you to HR. From there you will go directly to your training officers. DISSMISSED!" The assembly breaks up and is ushered out directly by Keiko and the Captain. There are some looks of course, clearly some of the people recognize Steve's face but no one really has time to greet him aside from the two WAND agents leading the group who offer waves and/or salutes.

And then they're gone and Koa lets out a sigh and pulls himself off the auditorium stage.

"Ah, hello Captain. Keeping Keiko company? I hope you weren't waiting too long." The senior WAND agent has given that speech several times to various incoming groups of agents. WAND keeps a solid recruiting effort up. People who can do the job are scarce and the attrition rate is… well. More than anyone would like.

Nonetheless Koa comes up and offers Steve his hand though both he and Keiko will notice the way something ghostly and bestial leans out from his side to look about, size Steve up and then vanish back into Koa's physical body.

Steve glances over at the far-shorter Keiko. "Army liaison to SHIELD back in the War. Didn't understand why me for Project: Rebirth at first. Called me a lab gerbil once, said I needed a sandwich…thought a needle'd go right through me before Erskine injected the serum." There's a small, vaguely melancholy smile. "Gave us a chance to take the fight to HYDRA in territory no man'd be foolish enough to walk into, much less steer an offensive. Had a hand in making this place the way it is. A good man who did what he could with what he had."

Then the recruits are dismissed. Step or two rolled back, the Captain nods greeting to the two official WAND agents before he then enters the auditorium.

"Not long at all, Agent Turner," he reassures the man. If the sight of Something Odd briefly appearing bothers Steve, he doesn't let it show — simply looks back with the barest sensation of hackles rising on his neck, like a phantom limb of a reaction. Rolling his shoulders subtly makes it all go away.

"Lab Gerbil? Project: Rebirth? I know English isn't my first language but … I thought I was quite fluent in it." But Keiko gets the gist at least. Phillips was SSR, probably.

"He was telling me who General Phillips was. Apparently you're even less a ray of sunshine than he is." Does Koa know who that General is? Keiko isn't sure. When the beast shows itself, Keiko bares fangs at it for a fraction of a section. Koa will see it and probably guess why she did it. "You wanted to see us?"

"The Captain wasn't always the paragon of human fitness you see today." Koa explains obliquely. If there is more to be said it is really Steve's story to tell and Koa isn't going to delve into that if he doesn't want it delved. "Anyway, I hope you didn't find my health warning to the recruits too off putting." Interesting way to phrase that, possibly.

"Anyway, what brings you by Captain?" Koa scratches the side of his neck, itching a series of silvery markings that ring it like a tattoo. "Were you nostalgic for someone with a drill sergeant's tone or did Kieko try to take your jacket again?"

He's teasing. Teasing is a good way not to actually physically growl at Keiko which IS rather tempting for, uh, reasons.

"Mean, if you're gonna put the understanding of the job into recruits, you're not gonna sugar-coat things," Steve adds mildly in self-defense as to the 'ray of sunshine' bit. His broad shoulders shrug shallowly before he glances around the auditorium off-handedly. "'nd no, Agent Turner, not off-putting. Gotta let 'em know how things could be."

Koa's attempt at humor garners him a small smile. The jacket, Steve's wearing at the moment; can't be this. "Wanted to let you know Bezas's managed to eat another trinket that'll let it teleport around. Found it in my apartment last night after I heard Barnes react to it." Steve doesn't elucidate on the extent or volume of the reaction, but know it was borderline spectacular and there's a dent in one wall now.

Keiko doesn't poke her tongue at Koa - it doesn't even occur to her. The woman has no sense of humour to speak of. "I didn't take the jacket. This time." Is all she says "Bezas? I told Koa he could come and live me and Elena but he insists on trying to keep him locked. I don't know why he bothers, the cat just gets out when he wants. Did he take anything, Captain?"

It really shouldn't surprise anyone that Keiko likes the creature. Look at what she's bound to her and is fond of.

As to the discussion about the 'health warning', there's something strangely muted about her. "At least we know those that stay really want to." Koa scratching his neck gets another narrow eyed look. r

"Hopefully not Agent Barnes' arm…" Koa mutters, putting his hand on his face. Just what that cat needs. MORE teleportation ability. It would be bad if it started taking things. Or bringing them. Because dead birds are one thing but what if the bird is from another dimension? And what if it isn't dead?

"Speaking of Barnes, Keiko and I have tracked down someone you and he should meet. Do you know anything about selkies?"

If that is a non-sequitur it is a hell of a non-sequitur.

"Barnes is okay with the cold, right?"

Okay no. THAT is a hell of a non-sequitur. Keiko was the one who had this idea though and she asked that too. And Koa just doesn't know. Though he might assume.

"Didn't take anything that 'm aware of. We've got nothing 'round the place it'd like to take except maybe the goldfish, but 'm not gonna bet against Barnes stopping that from happening." Because nobody touches the goldfish. Nobody. "Arm's still where it should be."

Non-sequiturs indeed. The first has Steve's brows lifting in a quirk. The second has those same brows flattening into an expression almost mask-like. It's not a warning, but it's a stillness of expression still damning in its own way.

"Barnes can decide how he feels 'bout any mission involving cold. Selkies…those're mythical creatures involved in drowning folks. Horses…or something like 'em, convinces you to go into the water. Eyes're always golden, I thought, no matter what form they take," the man muses aloud, glancing between Keiko and Koa.

"You're thinking Kelpie, Captain." Keiko murmurs. "Selkies are seals that turn into people. Sort of. Stories say they shed their skins and turn human. If you destroy their skins, they can't turn back." She shrugs. "Anyway, we've found someone who has information and … well, they're in the Orkneys."

And it's damn cold up there.

"We thought you and Barnes could check it out."

"We specifically thought that because a couple of them mentioned they'd like to talk to you about your shark sightings when we were following up leads. And they also said that 'Winter's Warrior' was an item of interest. I interpreted that to mean you and Bucky but I've been wrong before." If seal people want to talk about sharks then this is possibly an important lead.

"And yes they're in the Orkneys. But they're not in the Orkneys now. Getting you to them is going to involve a small amount of chicanery and it is going to be cold."

Very cold. Very. Very. Very cold.

A glance at Keiko and a nod followed by one more certain in motion. "Right — yeah, that's right, the seals. Mathair'd be rolling in her grave, me mixing those up." His face waggles in a little shake of head at himself, his smile again vaguely melancholy. "'nd the Orkneys…"

Pensive silence follows as he then looks to Koa. Winter's Warrior…? A term he hasn't heard before by the way Steve's attention sharpens; he's rifling through the prodigious volume of memories in subconscious thought even as he replies, "Not adverse to a little chicanery, not if it nets us answers about the shark-god." Bad puns are bad. "I think I can convince Barnes to tag along. Neither of us wants to deal with an instance of JAWS in front of us rather'n on the television."

Keiko has no idea where the Orkneys are or just how cold they truly can be. It's probably a good thing she won't be going along, she'll be swearing a blue streak, otherwise. "One day, someone will explain why Winter's Warrior is Leuitenant Barnes." She grumbles. There's a lot of history she's missed in her upbringing.

"The Selkie colony is very … insular … and we'll need to get in there via their entrance. Which is in the depths of the water, apparently. What was the name of bay, Koa?" Details are something that Keiko really needs to work on.

"To get through though, you'll need to be transformed…"

"Bay of Firth, not that it'll matter. It's in the north sea." Which means brrrr, even in the summer. "We'll get Transport to arrange a ride out there for you."

And that will for the moment be that. Cap and Bucky should be fine. Not real likely the Selkies will be hostile unless someone tries to steal one of their skins.

"Now I'm going for some lunch. Company wouldn't be bad if anyone wants to come."

Steve does catch the grumble. His glance to the shorter woman is friendly if still reserved; that's a terribly tender conversation to have even while seated in his own apartment across from Barnes, and the Captain still offers no answer. It's not his story to tell. He does shift in place idly as he listens to further details about the Selkies' abode, hands slung off his jean pockets by his thumbs, and then pauses in his subtle fidgeting completely. Stock-still. Look at those eyebrows crawl up and up and up and up…

"Transformed?" A look at Koa as if confirmation. Another blink. "Bay of Firth?" Holy…moly, that'll be chilly. A short sigh and rise of hand to rub at the back of his neck. "Well…nothing'll be cold as those last few decades. Count us in. For lunch too," he adds, content to piggyback along on the invitation for food. He'll pay for his own, of course.

Keiko has no tact. It's that simple and human emotions are a … challenge … for her. She didn't expect an answer though, so she doesn't press. "Yes. Transformed. What did they say, Koa? They wanted to see them in their skins …"

Whatever that means.

"Lunch is good. I'm hungry." And she'll take some of Koa's when he's not looking.

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