Of Magical Artefacts And Coyotes

March 19, 2015: Zee and Jes detect some strong magic and get to visit with Jericho… it gets tense.

Jericho's Safe House - New York City

coyote zatanna aspect

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Magical Disturbances take all kinds of forms. Some are bad. Some are smiply an outgrowth of doing things in a particular way. It's like dropping a rock in a river. Ripples go out in every direction. The bigger the rock, the bigger the ripples.

Jericho took several things from in a raid the other night and while he knows enough of magic to be very respectful of things that are unknown to him, he still wants to get a decent look at them and try to cross reference them for any connections that'll give him a clue as to what the hell HYDRA thinks it's doing, or possibly what they got out of the deal with N'astirh. Knowing what they gave him in return would be a bonus, but not quiiiite so pressing. Besides, he has over lines of investigation to answer that question. Zee saw him pursuing them the other day. The proximity of the artifacts and paraphinalia is making his safehouse pulse with magic. He can feel that. What he doesn't know is that it's also sending ripples up the ley lines not far from his place. It may be hard to locate the disturbance precisely since his place is warded. Which means teleporting directly in is also not an option, but the general area can still be felt.


Jes has just gotten dressed after a shower and grabbed her necklace to put on when it does something weird. It feels like it's pusling. She stares at for a moment. "Well that probably isn't good. ZEEEE! Are you home!!? Zeee?"


Zee is home and she's currently in the kitchen, finishing of a snack when her own innate magical senses tingle… and the emerald pendulum at her hip starts swaying slightly. Looking up at Jes' call, Zee calls back "Kitchen, Jes and we've got a job to do. Ready to travel by Ley Line, again?" Waiting for Jes to join her, Zee rinses her plate and puts it on the side.

Zee's still in street clothes, black leather pants that hug her figure, black denim jacket over a hot pink crop top that displays an amount of midriff, high heel knee high boots complete with buckles, diamond encrusted collar and the emerald pendulum at her hip.

When Jes joins her, they'll travel.


Jericho is sitting at the table out on the deck. It's a nice day, for once, and he's making the most of the fresh air while he works. Working for him always looks a little odd since all of the computer work he does in his head. To the outside observer he's picking up objects, examining them closely and cand of mulling them over. Actually he's creating 3D models of them that he can cross check and manipulate. Touching them also gives him a vague sense of the kind of magic used just from the bleedthough over his HUD. It's not pleasant, so he dpesm


Jericho is sitting at the table out on the deck. It's a nice day, for once, and he's making the most of the fresh air while he works. Working for him always looks a little odd since all of the computer work he does in his head. To the outside observer he's picking up objects, examining them closely and cand of mulling them over. Actually he's creating 3D models of them that he can cross check and manipulate. Touching them also gives him a vague sense of the kind of magic used just from the bleedthough over his HUD. It's not pleasant, so he doesn't touch them long. He's also as yet unaware that he's probably going t oget a knock on his door rather shortly.


Jes easily catches Zee's voice and after a moments thought she hurries back out of her clothing, puts her leather collar on, slips the pendulam necklace around her neck and shifts to coyote. Coyote grabs a newly purchased leash from where its hanging by her door in her mouth and trots down to Zee.


Zee's eyebrow raises as Jes appears in Coyote form but nods, takes the leash. She'll attach it to Jes collar, when they arrive at their destination, if she needs to.

Shadowcrest is warded, to stop people getting in unless they have a passcode, but that doesn't stop Zee and Jes getting out. "Ready Jes?"

Zee focusses on the Emerald pendulum on her hip, breathing slowly and deeply, letting the power of the leylines fill her…. and then she's gone. She knows Jes will follow.


Zee is probably familair with the sensation of hitting a ward. This one is definitely Illyana's spellwork. She could push through it, probably, with enough effort, but there's no telling what's on the other side and there is very likely some kind of alarm attached to it. Or a trap, possibly. Wards can be nasty triggers for all kinds of things. Should she elect to not risk it, what greets her is a hallway in an apartment building. Aside from the fact that it's a fairly nice building, there's not a whole lot more to be garnered from the hallway lined with doors.


Jes sneezes at the magic smell and shakes her head. She wanders up and down the hall after darting through the apartment's door. She growls softly and follows a scent trail stopping in front of a particular door and yipping. She then eyes the door as if considering doing something to it. She's turning and lifting a leg by the time Zee catches up.


Zee won't try wards like that. So she does set herself down in the hallway. Taking a few moments to reorient herself, Zee looks the pendulum at her hip to see which way it leads her. And then Jes is off and Zee hurries after her.

"Jes!" Zee catches up to the Coyote and glares at her. "I told you, Jes I wouldn't command you, so please don't make it necessary." Looking at the apartment door, back to her pendulum and back again, Zee nods. She suspects where they are based on Jes' reaction. Lifting a hand, she knocks firmly, casting a stern eye at the Coyote.


Snuffling and knocking? Jericho isn't expecting visitors. He grabs the blade case from where it's resting near him and slings it behind him as he makes for the door. Old habits die hard and the fact is that people don't really visit him here (it's a safehouse and so it has to be kind of sort of not common knowledge) so it wouldn't be any surprise to those who know him that he also grabs a silenced .45 and flips the safety off. The door opens a crack, pistol out of sight. "Can I help y- Zee? Why did you… bring your do-, no wait. Don't tell me. That's Jesana."


Jes sighs heavily and looks pleadingly up at Zee. Can't she pee on his doorstep *now*? Dog. He called her a dog. Or had been about to. She turns and gives him a half sneer but otherwise behaves herself.


"It is, Jesana" Zee glances down at the Coyote "No, you may not… whatever it was you were thinking…" Zee might be slightly amused at the moment. "We got ummmm, notified, that there's some strong magic around here and came to investigate. It seems to be coming from in there."


Jericho's eyes narrow and glimmer a little. They had been just flat amber. Then they glow briefly as his suspicion takes hold, and then subside. One can almost follow his train of thought if one knows him well enough. "Sure… come on in." He steps back to let them in. They'll see the gun now as he walks back inside, picking up a thick, heavy book, closing it and locking it inside a case normally intended to house firearms.


Jes bumps Zee's hand with her head. She gives Jericho a coyote grin after watching his expression change. She doesn't react to him putting the gun away, she understands safehouses and security and they did show up unexpected. Jes does stay close to Zee's side and doesn't look as if she's going to misbehave now. She's a guest and where she was raised, guesting rituals are sacred.


Jes bumps Zee's hand with her head. She gives Jericho a coyote grin after watching his expression change. Her head tilts and she seems puzzled by why he's locking a book away instead of the gun. She doesn't like that but she's a guest now and guesting rituals are sacred where she comes from. Unless he moves to hurt Zee and she's pretty sure he won't she'll be on her best behavoir now that they are inside.


Zee gives Jes a quick ruffle as her hand is bumped and then follows Jericho into the apartment. Canting her head, her eyes light with interest, as she watches him put the book away. The gun in his hand gets another raised eyebrow and the Mistress of Magic quirks her lips slightly "No Limbo Cosplay today, that's nice. So what do you have that would call to us?" She's direct today.

Frowing slightly, Zee looks around the apartment, whatever it is that triggered their pendulums she sensing something and her pendulum is swaying in the general direction of the disturbance. Glancing down to Jes, Zee murmurs "Can you sense it through your pendulum, Jes?"


Jericho takes a moment to think about that as puts the safety back on the .45. "Well you don't tend to 'sense' me so… ah I know." He gestures to the artifacts on the table. A small selection of knives, a couple of obsidian orbs and several small, very old and very worn statuettes of… something. Not quite clear what. They're on the table out on the deck. "I took those from HYDRA last night. I was looking them over to see if they'd provide any clues on their next move. They've been 'pulsing' most of the morning."


Jes nods up at Zee. She can feel it. She trots toward the table and stops a few feet away. Her ears flatten and she sneezes a couple times and looks back at the other two.


Zee is a Homo-Magi, she senses magic and Jericho's apartment is setting her teeth on edge. He's right of course, Zee doesn't usually sense Jericho (maybe she's learned to block him out).

Casting Jes a small smile, Zee focusses on the items on the table and reaches out to touch one of the stauettes, arresting her motion just in time "Where did you get these, Jericho?"


"Smugglers connected to HYDRA." The hacker murmurs. "They're all lousy with blood magic." Which is not something he'd ordinarily, having no magical training or talent. He glances over at the other two. "Had the same reaction to them that I did to the Yucatan site." That place had been lousy with blood magic too, among other things.

"Jesana have a cold or something?" He looks down at the coyote who can't seem to stop sneezing.


Jes had surged forward when Zee reached to touch one of the artifacts and then nearly collapsed in relief when she stopped short. The coyote pushes and bumps at Zee's front in an effort to urge her away from the dangerous things. She yips, turns and looks at the table and growls and then whines at Zee.


That comment gets an interested look from Zee "Yucatan affected you?" she hadn't really noticed any effect on him. Turning her attention back the table "Please stop it, Jes. We were called here because of these, now we need to find out why." Zee's mildly distracted as she looks at what's there. Back to Jericho "What, cold? Oh no… magic. She sneezes around magic" Zee's managed to put that together, at least.

"I can do some magical detection on them, Jericho but… who knows what my magic combined with theirs will do" The objects get a distateful look as the young magi considers a little longer. "Were they smuggling these or something else?"


"Lots of odds and ends. A lot of it got shot up, a lot of it I destroyed after the fact. These I took because they seemed to have been deliberately packaged together." Jericho glances back at them. "They're a mess too. The knives are norse when they're not mesoamerican. The orbs are definitely Mayan in origin, the statuettes… well not sure on those yet to be honest."


Jes slowly circles the table. Her nostrils are flaring as she tries to sort out all the scents. There is a great deal of magic around here along with everything else. She's about to sit and close her eyes and try to focus when she stops suddenly at the part of the table where the knives rest. Jes edges forward, her hackles raised and tail up. She doesn't stop until her nose touches the table. For a few seconds she just stays that way, but then suddenly scrambles backwards with a pained whine before rising on her hind legs and shifting. Jes stands, utterly naked but for her collar and pendulum necklace and staring at the knives in shock and horror.


Jes shift catches Zee by surprise, and she just looks at her friend for a while. Finally, sighing slightly, Zee waves a hand

~~ ehtolC seJ nI reH sehtolC ~~

If Jes needs to change again, Zee will simply take the clothes with her when she goes.

"What is it Jes?" Jericho's comment gets a wry smile "Nothing about HYDRA and their magic has been tidy, Jericho."


Jericho quirks an eyebrow as Jesana shifts back. "And that, kids, is why we're careful with strange magic." He says dryly as Zee summons clothing for the young woman. This is the place his life has gone to. A year ago he'd never heard of magic. Now it's literally bound up into the core of his being and many aspects of his day to day life.

Not that he's complaining, mind. For as odd and sometimes painful as it can be, he wouldn't change the path his life has taken in the last couple of years.

"That looks like that was unpleasant. What's wrong?"


It wasn't the strange magic that caused Jes to shift, but rather the blood scent on the knives. Only she doesn't seem able to explain it. She doesn't appear to even hear the other two. As she stares at the knives she starts to hyperventilate and shake, looking as if she's having a panic attack. She clutches her penulum and Zee might feel her try to reach for a ley line but then come against the wards. She turns and runs for Jericho's door, desperate to get outside the building.


Zee will use that bond now. "Jes, calm down, come here and talk to us." she speaks quietly and gently, but with authority. Casting a look back at the table "She was looking at the knives, right?"


Jericho watches as Jesana and Zee interact. The young woman struck him as headstrong and yet she's listened to everything Zatanna has said. Which has him wondering. Just speculation though and it's not really anything more than interesting. "Did it hurt you?" He's got no idea what magic does to someone who sneezes at it all the time.


Jes is still shaking and breathing hard. She looks terrified but turns and walks back to Zee, her breath slowing just a bit. "It's theirs. It's theirs. I smell their blood. I have to go Zee, I have to go..have to go home.."


"If you have to home, I'll take you." Zee puts her arm around the younger woman. "But first you're going to explain who's blood it is and why you need to go. In fact…" Zee blows out a breath "tell us all you can about it."

Casting an eye over to Jericho, Zee gives a small shrug and then looks back to the table and the statuettes, there's something bothering her about them.


Jericho looks at Jes and Zee rather seriosuly. "Home? You mean home where the father who wanted to sell you out to HYDRA is? In what world does that sound like a good idea?"


Jes whirls and growls at him. "No. He didn't live there. Just visited. Home where my brothers their wife and the children are. It's their blood on those knifes! I have to go!" She turns back to Zee. "Please, Zee, please. Let me go? I have to see.." She's vibrating with fear and the need to go.


Zee looks to Jericho and back to Jesana "I really don't think it's a good idea, Jes. I mean… " the young magi sounds frustrated "it's likely a trap. We do have other ways we can check on them, Jes. And please, don't take this out on Jericho, it isn't his fault." And he might be the one they need to help them.


Jericho doesn't mention that there's an excellent chance if their blood is on these weapons, that her brother and his wife are dead. There doesn't seem to be any reason to belabor that point. She's upset enough as it is right now.


Jes knows, or at least suspects. It's why she's so frantic. She wants to just go, she has the pendulum, she's memorized Zee's maps of the ley lines, were it not for her friend she'd have been gone already. Zee said to stay though and so she must. Jes drops to her knees and then sits at Zee's feet and rests her head against Zee's leg.


Zee looks down as Jes sits and rests her head "There's a way that we can try to find out, Jes…" It's not something that Zee does all that often, she's rather unpracticed at it in fact. Looking to Jericho, a grim look on her face "A bowl of water or reasonable sized mirror, please. Set it in the middle of the table."

Gently disengaging herself from Jes, Zee walks to the table and takes up one of the knives. "I don't do this often" she looks between Jes and Jericho "It might not work or…" a slight swallow "it might wrong, be ready." Waiting till Jericho brings either the bowl of water or mirror, Zee turns her focus inwards.


Jericho comes back with a bowl of water. Not so much on the portable mirrors in this place. It's not like he or Illyana are prone to spending much time in front of them.

The old knife feels wrong. Well, blood magic often does and this blade has drank a lot of it. It seems eager, inasmuch as an inanimate object can.


She's careful not to touch Zee, or get in her way and she keeps quiet but Jes crawls across the deck on her hands and knees and settles by her friend before looking up to watch her. Jes is scared and worried and desperately hoping this isn't putting her friend in danger. She'd rather have ran into a trap than do that, but they've talked about this. They're a team. No running off, no not calling for help. So she sits and waits, hugging her knees and trying to keep calm.


The looks of distaste on Zee's face as she handles the knife, says everything the other two need to know. The knife is horrid.

Jericho gets a smile as he places the bowl from the young Magi, as she looks down at Jes and nods slowly. "Stand up, Jes, you might be able to see what I conjure. You might not like it, though."

Taking a deep breath, Zee closes her eyes, holding the knife in her palms above the bowl, Zee opens her eyes and speaks

~~ wohS eM seJ srehtorB dnA riehT seilimaF ~~

It takes a few minutes for the spell to coalesce but when it does the water in the bowl swirls and clouds. Eventually that swirling stops and the water becomes crystal clear, showing a farm from a great distance.

The scene shifts, zooming into the farm and then onto the house showing destruction everywhere.

Another shift, this appears to be the lounge room and the body of a man lays in the middle…. there's blood everywhere.

The scene moves on to an upstairs bedroom, another man, a woman and three children… all dead.

Finally, the scene fades and Zee sways on the spot as she lets the knife drop to the table.


Jericho sighs and shakes his head. He'd figured. HYDRA doesn't leave these kinds of loose ends loose for long. They must have been part of a ritual, or else victims in their endless campaign to 'adjust' future events. It's the kind of atrocity he's come to expect from them, but it doesn't make it pleasant to see. And he knows it'll shatter Jesana.

"That… was more or less as expected." He says quietly. "I'm sorry."


Jes had stood at Zee's urging. She watches silently, her face an expressionless mask. When Zee drops the knife and sways Jes catches her and then hugs her tightly, hiding her face against Zee's shoulder. She'd known when she caught the scent but hadn't wanted to believe.


Zee wraps Jes in her arms, holding the younger woman tightly. "I'm sorry, Jes" her eyes close as she swallows "But we know now and we're still safe." Looking to Jericho, over Jes' head "Can we get a clean up team sent in? I'll have to take Jes back there… " she does not want to do it alone.


"I can call the authorities, if that's what you mean." An anonymous tip off shouldn't be too hard. Jericho folds his arms. "I'd still be careful. They might still be about and they're looking for the both of you, Kit."


Jes doesn't even growl or snap at him for calling Zee Kit, or give any sign she's heard them speaking since seeing the vision. She just huddles against her friend and focuses on the comfort her scent brings and nothing else. She isn't even shivering anymore.


The diminutive gets Zee narrowing her eyes at the hacker before she sighs "Whatever you think needs to be done, Jericho. If it's the authorities, then it's the authorities." Giving Jes a gentle squeeze, Zee shakes her head sadly "I know we have to be careful, but she has to go home." Zee would want to go home if it were her. "I'll take people with us" Zee shrugs "Bodyguards if you like. You can come if you want to… it might give us some insight." Another squeeze for Jes and Zee speaks to her friend quietly "Jes, I know this is hard for you but were there any that got away?"

Finally, Zees eyes turn back to the table. "Those three items together, knife, orb and statue, I've read about them being used in rituals… Do you think, Jericho… " the young magi can't bring herself to finish the question…


"Seems like." Jericho answers for her. "I'm not sure why right now, but my theory is that they were priming these for something." Sighs and leans back on the wall to think.

"If you can detect them when they're brought together like this… maybe you can catch them when they're doing whatever it is they're doing with these. Ritual paraphanalia can be for a lot of different things as I understand it."

He glances down to Jesana. "I'll come if I can spare the time. Got a few irons in the fire right now unfortunately." He glances down at the Pendulums on Zee and Jesana. "Though you're not the first people I've seen wearing those recently. Perhaps others might be able to help."


At least some of that seems to have filtered through to her, or maybe its really starting to hit her, but Jes let's go of Zee and steps back in sudden movement. She reaches for and grabs the knife Zee held and turns again in one swift movement, her back to Zee so her friend can't see what she's about to do.


Zee doesn't need to know what Jes is about to do, it doesn't matter "Stop Now, Jes!" she speaks sharply to the Coyote. It's an instinctive response and as soon as the command leaves her mouth, Zee looks horrified "Please stop, Jes, please. Speak to me, please."

Giving Jericho a speaking look, Zee nods slowly "I want to get a better feel for them before we leave, but I believe you are right." A small shrug and a louder sigh "We can contact the others, and I have the Titans. The invitation is there if you want to join us. We'll go as soon as I can get people together."


Jericho responds to the sudden grabbing of a dangerous magical knife as might be expected. The safety clicks off the gun he's got and it comes up to a low ready. It's not pointed at anyone yet but it can be. Very very quickly. His eyes flash. "That's a very, very bad thing you've got there. I don't recommend really touch it more than you have to." Or trying to leave wit hit but he doesn't say that.

"If I can shake myself loose I'll go. We'll see how things develop tonight. When are you leaving, assuming Jesana isn't about to do something ill advised?"


Jes stiffens and stops at Zee's command. She turns back toward her, the tip of the knife pressed against her body at an angle to slide between her ribs in a fatal strike. Her hand is shaking and she gasps. "Gone. All gone. I left them and now they're gone. Its my fault. All alone now. I want to go..want to find them." She speaks in a halting broken voice that sounds more animal than human. She's really only managing it because Zee asked it of her.


Taking the knife from Jes, a flash of anger crosses Zees face. "And how does that solve anything." Dropping the knife back to the table, Zee pulls Jes into another hug. The rest of Jes' statement will ignored for now. "I'll let you know when we're going, Jericho. I don't know yet, but soon, I guess." Eyeing the gun, Zee raises an eyebrow in mute appeal.


Jericho lowers his weapon and looks the two young women over. "I'll be inside." Is all he says as he steps past them back into the apartment proper. Cleaerly he's giving them some space to work whatever just happened out.


Jes whimpers softly after he goes inside and snuggles into Zee's embrace. She isn't thinking clearly, if at all. It just hurts. It hurts so much and she just wants it to stop. Not to hurt her friend, or upset her. "Tell me what to do, Zee? please. I don't know what to do. It hurts too much."


"We're going home." Zee sighs "Then we'll contact the other Primal Force members and go the farm. And then Jes…" Zee's eyes and tone hardens "We're going to get these bastards out."

Leading the Coyote back into Jericho's apartment and out the front door. She's going to leyline them home again…


Jes holds her hand and follows at Zee's side. Her tone and determination and her mention of home, seems to have helped. She isn't all alone, she has Zee and her god, Fenris. If just focuses on that and taking another step forward and another then right now she can manage. Just keep walking. Listening to Zee breathing, hearing her hearbeat, a continuous reminder she's not alone.

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