Magic Tricks (Language)

Summary:
June 20 2014: Jericho and Partisan do a bit of wilderness training and run into evidence of old arguments along the way.

Hudson Highlands State Park

Hiking trails and lots of wilderness. About what you'd expect from a state park.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[*]


Jericho knows - knows for a stone cold fact - that he's gonna be sore in the morning. Right now though he's doing okay. Not all of Parti's demonstrations can be done in her Hangar though, so they've relocated outside the city proper. Central Park is all nice and wilderness-y, parts of it, but it's in the middle of a city of eight million people. Somewhat less than ideal in all ways. So out to a nearby rather empty state park it is. No people to come along and interrupt. Or worse, ask to join.

*

It's been, unorthodox training for the entire day. It's the way she moves really, finding paths through the underbrush through apparently intuition alone. Her footfalls as silent as death, and well she hasn't even be breathing hard during the hiking phase of things. Its a class on the little things, all twelve trillion of them apparently. How to use a machete better and quieter, How to use a length of 550 cord tied in a loop as an inverted bipod, how to descend truly steep terrain in a hurry without falling or twisting an angle, how to climb right back up without slipping, Where to cache arms and equipment, Why the only two tools necessary are a suitable machete and a 3" fixed blade knife, which trees will stop which calibers and of course more in depth technical discussion. What guns for proper long term woodland subsistence fighting, a skill whose genesis was born in the second world war primarily it seems. How to make acorns edible, how to disguise field camps from thermal observation, it's a lot've talking and pointing and correcting really.

"And that is why lever action rifles and a sturdy revolver are a much wiser choice for this sort've shit than an AK or anything more modern, a properly good American invention really."

She pauses to rest her thumbs in the shoulder straps in her pack. Half turning to wait for Jericho to catch up as she lights a cigarette, Jesus she's not even sweating! It's not fucking fair!

*

He's been working hard, for certain. Perhaps in fact because of the fact that Partisan knows he's trained and conditioned better than most people she's taught. May be she feels less need to wait up or slow down. That'd be his guess anyway. He's sweating but he's no stranger either to sweat or fieldwork. Or hydration. Which is what he's doing now as he approaches.

"Fairly sure I don't have a Winchester laying around, though perhaps I should invest. Revolvers… those are easy enough to get, should I need one. Whew…"

Unlike the stereotypical macho SF type, Jericho both a) Get's tired and B) has no problem admitting it. He does his best not to let it slow him down (it does, but he's better about it than most) but hey, he's only human. Ish. Augmented, though he's explicitly not been using it today. The markings on his legs and arms though are clearly visible through the sweat, since he's wearing shorts and a tee for this.

It's about this point he notices that they're about as far from anywhere as they can get on short notice. He frowns, looking around…

*

"Winchester hasn't made any since they discontinued the 94, when FN bought them out. Marlin does ok, just make sure it's in .44 mag and it's stainless. Longer barrels are desirable, as these have larger magazines, longer sight radius, better balance and better ballistics. It's important that you're efficient and precise, No resupply in the scrub so every round needs to count but the dedicated rifle rounds lack pistol ammo commonality." Part puffs casually away, before rolling her neck slowly. "Also, you need to get militant about always having a shemagh on your person. What you need to do is relearn the skills of your forefathers, American frontiersmen were amazing men."

*

His version of taking notes involves a lot less paper than most, but he is taking notes. Bad luck though the rock formation he's on is a bit on the crumbly side and as he moves up toward Parti his greater weight causes the edge to collapse, sending him down a solid ten feet and onto his back. Ooof. Worse luck, at the same time he goes down, a trip line breaks and sprays the entire area with tiny silver shards. Booby trap and a fairly old one too, speaking of frontiersmen. Sadly, this park has seen its share of… unusual action. How long that one had just sat there, who knows. Jeri's abrupt downward descent spares him the discomfort of a silver splinter. But also blocks his view as he gets back up.

*

Silver, well that's unexpected now isn't it? She whirls back, and it's mighty fast but it's not -quite- fast enough to escape injury.

"Jesus fucking Christ."

She hits the ground on her side that burnt bronze CZ-75 already drawn as she looks about the area in a careful study. Making a concerted effort to ignore the throbbing pain running up her leg for a moment, before finally shrugging out've her bag.

"Auugh, Fucking -silver- fuck me."

It's not even a cry, as she strips out her multi tool and gives the three shards in her left leg a careful study. "Fucking silver flechettes you have got to be fucking kidding me, what the fuck is wrong with this entire fucking state jesus christ. This whole cuntnuggety fucking state, I should have settled my stupid ass down in Wyoming. Ain't no fucking -random silver traps- up there." So yes, it would seem when in pain she just gets more…partisan…y..I guess?

*

Well shit. He can hear her swearing up a storm up there and that's usually not a really great sign. Also, there's no foot path back up. Thank you, nature. "Wolf out."

He jumps up, digging his digital claws in to haul his now somewhat bulkier ass back up onto the rock formation. Fortunately, digital claws are really, really sharp. Digging into rock? No problem. "Parti?" He doesn't turn off the armor yet, especially when he sees her digging at her leg with her tool. "Hey you okay?"

The device that sprayed the damn things everywhere is in plain sight now. Jeri picks it up and looks at it with a frown. It's clockwork and springs. Damn, this thing is ancient Hundred fifty years, easy. Also there's a liquid on the inside and odd runes he can't identify that burn his vision when he looks at them.

Rising he turns back to his companion.

*

Out comes a sliver with a -HISS-, red hot and sizzling as the blood evaporates away. Oh -fuck-, that shit's incendiary to her! She immediately starts working on the other, before flinging it away "So, fuck. So, that's the wolf huh?"

Trying to make small talk as the discarded needles set the leaves they fall on to a gentle smolder. There’s, -alot- of blood and, and not just for Part who never seems to bleed all that much. There’s blood like a fucking gunshot wound.

*

He stares for a moment, processing just how much those hurt her for how tiny they are. "Uh…" He shakes his head and kneels down beside her. She can see him, if she concentrates, in the middle of the glowing construct, floating about a foot off the ground. He's about seven and a half feet tall like this and commensurately bulkier. He also doesn't look precisely either like her when wolfed out or like the virus activated meth-wolf she killed a bit back. Different, but still undeniably lupine.

"Yeah, yeah this is it. Not my most subtle tool."

*

Partisan peels that last shard out with a visible shudder, shit she's got -goosebumps-. "FUCK!" Comes immediately after, before slumping back against her backpack.

"Looks better than those stupid wings." Lifting a hand to experimentally poke at the wolf's muzzle, testing how solid the construct is and well likely trying to distract herself.

*

It's quite solid, actually and even textured a bit. It's slightly odd how the construct's muzzle moves when his mouth does. The movements look a bit odd just because, well, wolf muzzles aren't made to talk the way a human mouth is, but the words come out all the same. "Glad you approve. You going to be able to walk?"

He sets down the spent booby trap next to her, mostly to free his other hand, but it does set it in easy range to be examined as well. "Silver, huh? To be honest I never would have guessed that. Seems to Hollywood."

*

Partisan drops her hand away, curiosity sated. "Yeah, I'll heal but not immediately. We're gonna be here for a little while, I'd say fuck it but now we have to presume that there are more than one of these stupid fucking things."

Snagging the device for a careful study with a wince, "The original Bodarks, had their spells bound to moon cycles. They'd force the wolf out by drawing on the purity of the moon light, lots of energy there magically speaking. As I'm more wolf than anything, it affects me more like a traditional werewolf."

Twirling the device in her fingertips, "I haven't seen anything like this since uhh, fuck. Lyon, no Gevaudan where that serial killer hyena went nuts. Set one off coming back from Normandy, got my ass good."

*

He shouldn't be that surprised that she's run into stuff like this before, but he kind of us. "As in the 'Beast of Gevaudan'? People were using these back the- well, actually I guess that thing does look pretty old. I'm just surprised to find one way the hell out here. I'm guessing this is what happens when people find out about people like you? Or at least used to happen? Lynch mobs, torches, silver booby traps? The hell is that writing in there anyway?"

*

Partisan shrugs. "That shit went down like, two hundred years before I was born jerry. I mean sure shit I'm old but c'mon, give me a break will you?"

She winces, sitting upright before unzipping her pack and peeling out the essentials. insulated ground tarp for sitting, canteen, teapot and camp stove? Check.

"There’s about twenty ways to do it, maybe eight or nine different kinds of wolves alone. Then bears, jaguars, Lions, Tigers, you name it."

Wincing a little, as she gets the stove hooked up. "Back then though, no. Not in Bulgaria anyway, Bodarks are a well-known institution there even know. You can't learn the song, unless you have the right things in your heart. We look different too, the glowing eyes mainly. Far as I know only the Balkans and the Russians have a good history of were-anythings’ shy of the Colombian natives. When dudes fucked around in the jungle, they'd turn into this living shadow in the shape of a nine foot tall black jaguar. Fuck shit up, bullets would pass right through. Not even silver does the trick there."

*

Parti seems to be settling in so Jeri decides he probably won't have to carry her out. And that it might not be welcome. "Switch off."

The construct around him fades and he takes a seat. "I hear rumors about that kind of thing on the 'net, sometimes, when I'm in the right places. Doesn't usually mean a whole lot to me and I'll be honest, I don't have the experience to sort the real stuff from the conspiracy theory BS, but there's enough of it out there that I figured something like that had to be real. I know people have stories. Shapeshifters connected to beasts stretching back thousands of years. Japan, China, Philippines, Americas. Most cultures, most places in history. Sometimes the beasts turn into men rather than the other way around, but it's all remarkably consistent in a general way."

*

Partisan just smirks. "You think I'm the only werewolf, or werething that's lived an unnaturally long time?"

Rubbing gently after her leg, as she stashes that device in her pack for later study. "When I was in Rhodesia, Met this Englishman I won’t name. Anyway he was on my level, so I took notice. Turns out he'd been cursed, but the curse hadn't gone off quite right and the result was pretty beneficial. Lot like me, except he kept his face and he was a tiger not a wolf. Much faster, much tougher, much more powerful, much stealthier. He was a beautiful killer, made absolute poetry of it. Made me feel like a puppy, Well he didn't give his age but I'd reckon he was about four hundred years old. Maybe older, not sure. He was a mother fucking force of nature, watched him during the end. Maybe three hundred, three fifty? All of them solo, I don't think they ever got a single bullet into him. Never seen anything so fucking magnificent in all my life, lord knows where he is these days."

*

Jeri shakes his head with a wry laugh. "Just what I needed, feeling even more out of my depth." He teases.

"If you're curious, I didn't pick the wolf-form because I like werewolves. Well, I mean, I do now, but that's a recent development. This damn polymorpher was messed with by Hydra. They put a virus in it that prevents it from projecting anything not animal in some way. It was supposed to make it useless as a weapon when they came to nab me. Got lucky and found it before they did. I manage to bypass the code that was strangling the power output, but the virus is really cleverly written. Couldn't get around the animal lockout. So… yeah."

*

Partisan smirks. "Well unless you get a sensory boost, or an endurance boost I'd ditch it and go cat. Cats win by fighting, wolves win by giving opponents heart attacks. We're trackers and chasers, not brawlers like the big cats or even the bears are."

She pulls the kettle away to pour, green tea served in squishy bowls. "And silver doesn't hurt most of them from what I'm told, gold does and that's harder to weaponize. Like that matters."

*

For an answer Jeri starts powering up the wolf-preset line by line. The first thing Parti sees is the circuit traces on him all go blue. The wings are amber and the cat-thing he was using when Chainsaw came after her was crimson. Huh. Then electronic runes - there's no better way to describe them - appear behind his ears and on either side of his nose. His eyes glow blue as well.

"Yeah, strength boost, endurance boost, bit of a jump distance boost. Superior sense of smell and hearing. All that in addition to the light-suit. Still unsubtle as all get out so I really only use it when something comes at me that I have to fight and doesn't respond to guns. Done it a few times in Hydra-affiliated facilities that had metahuman protectors. One had a suit that was pretty nasty. Also it's the only field I have that works as armor, so… unsubtle beats getting shot, sometimes."

*

Partisan huhs, offering that tea over as she sips herself. "Well I appreciate the solidarity, for whatever that counts for. You've got a pretty flexible power, and I don't just say that for saying it. It'd be lovely to ignore silver, and all the lines of salt and shit. Fucking pain in the ass."

*

He pours himself a cup looking thoughtful. "I've avoided asking about that kind of thing out of respect, but maybe you should teach me the basics. If nothing else it'd let me know what to look for in the event we ever run up against people that actually know what to do when dealing with a Bodark. If they've been around for that long I'm sure there's at least a few folks out there who do."

*

Partisan smirks. "All werewolves have the same four basic weaknesses, they just vary by severity. We're magically not human anymore is a big one, so even if I had the gift for magic I couldn't use it anymore. Like weapons fire, when we shift too and fro theres a signature that magic users can pick up on. Silver hurts, some can't heal it ever no matter what. Others heal instantly the moment it's removed, I heal human fast with those injuries. Lastly vulnerability or at least inaction whilst the doorway opens. I have about, thirty seconds where I'm not in this world and not really conscious. It takes time for the wolf to cross the plane from spiritual, to physical but I'm ready to rock the moment it's over. Others have weaknesses to fire, or wood like a wooden spear? All of us though, are no more susceptible to magic than anyone else until what we are becomes known. Then they can tailor magic to bar us entry into structures, or similar stupid shit."

Waving a hand dismissively, "Someone -real- powerful and -real- smart could, theoretically unwind the magic binding my soul together in which case I'd become a human with about 40 percent of my soul. Comatose, human vulnerable yadda yadda."

*

"Hrm, Some of that I guess I could look out for. Silver bullets and the like. The magic crap… well I've got no more defense against that than you. Maybe we should find a friend who does at some point." Not that he has any idea who that could be. Discovering that Partisan was werewolf was literally the closest to magic he's ever gotten… if you don't count that time she pulled him out of a hot firefight while wolfed out and bandaged him up. That might be it, now that he thinks about it.

*

Partisan shrugs a little "I tend to freak alot've magic users out, apparently when I shift over it's very loud and the whole bodark thing is controversial. They classify it as like, a spell made exclusively for murder. Which sure, it is in a way I suppose. The spell is part of me, so they look at me as a reflection of a bad art. Also, most are used to the whole werewolf bullshit but the -other- kind who go crazy rampage everywhere."

*

Jericho nods. "Like our Methwolf friend a few days back. He didn't seem like he was particularly with it when he changed. And you did say, I guess, that there hasn't been a new one of you in a long time, right? Do you run into magic types a lot? I'm guessing they tend to be hidden but hell, they can't be that common."

*

Partisan shakes her head. "They can sniff me coming, and they don't want much to do with me. They think we're all rabid animals, and I've killed enough folks to populate New York. So I mean I outwardly look exactly like they don't want any fucking thing to do with."

Then a pause as she digs around for her cigarettes. "Like our methwolf friend yes, -most- are like uncommonly smart regular wolves in a more dangerous format. Sometimes, I can just alpha bitch them into line. I tried that, but he wasn't pure enough for the basic instincts to be present I guess. As for Bodarks, no. The song was lost sometime around the fall of Rome, and it continued in oral tradition until oh maybe the sixteen hundreds at -most-? I don't even know the song, so I can't exactly share it, when I reached over and made my deal with the devil they sung it through me and so cast the spell. As far as I know, I'm the one and only Bodark in like four maybe five hundred years."

*

Part of Jericho thinks that's probably for the best really. Mankind's tendencies haven't changed any in two thousand years and someone is sure to have tried to weaponize it at some point. There were always those odd rumors of Hitler doing occult things and making bargains with strange powers. He's glad Hydra went the science route cause Fascist werewolves are not something he wants to deal with now or ever. He's really kind of relieved that the only Bodark in four or so hundred years is on the side of freedom.

"Well, we'll cross that bridge if it ever comes up. You've dealt with this long enough so I'll assume that you generally know what you're doing." He winks. Cheeky.

"That seems to be a reasonably safe assumption just in general."


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