Lesson Two

August 04 2014: Melinda May takes Darcey Lewis out for some more training. And happens upon a mystical disturbance

Flushing Meadows Park

The fourth largest park in New York city. Not nearly so grand as the first, nor so well known



  • Hot Dog Vendor
  • Cora the Hyena Girl

Mood Music:

Flushing Meadows Park isn't nearly as grand or, frankly, nice, as Central Park. Partly this is because it's much smaller. Partly, this is because it's in Queens. That hasn't stopped it from being the site of some mystical hijinks, though. This wasn't the usual amateur demon summoning though. It was something different. Something got loose here and didn't immediately start causing carnage. Something that was smart enough to cover its tracks. Fenris wants to know what it is so he can figure out if he has to send it back.

With a sword.

At the moment though, dire magical combat seems far away and all others can see is a tall man who seems somehow frightening and predatory crouching over some odd chalk markings on a currently unused concrete pad that sometimes doubles as a basketball court. There's not a whole lot of foot traffic here. In fact the nearest person is the hot dog vendor about thirty yards away and that's about as close as the man seems to want to get. He hasn't even bothered calling over to hawk his wares.


Flushing Meadows Park is nifty for many reasons, including that it has on the very north end, the remains of the first airport serving New York — although that airport is in fact mostly a couple decrepit old buildings and two quonsets, in a swampy/marshy area… Hard to believe that for a while this was where the Air Force trained its pilots… well, the Army Air Corps, and only some of them. A motorcycle is speeding down the road from that park following some sort of signal, magnetic anomaly or perhaps electrical charge — whatever it was, it made all the iron in the area SCREAM. And being partly made of iron, Mike Drakos also screamed. And now he wants to find what did that and make it not do that again. Or else.


Sometimes the young man Alexander is gifted with visions. They're usually small things, glimpses into the future hurled from the Fates as if taunting him with their almost casual pullings of his strings. The few times he's ignored them there'd been horrible things that had happened, a train derailment once, a sunk ferry. It wasn't until he started taking him seriously that he let them guide him at times… and all the while hearing Clotho's laughter.

Such a vision caused him to take the subway to Queens, to get off at the park station and make his way down the sidewalk. He travelled easily enough, ESU backpack over his shoulder, hoodie drawn up over his head, hands deep in his pockets. It's as he turns around from getting a pair of hot dogs from that ubiquitous vendor that he espies Fenris from some small distance. He walks in the man's direction.

Once he's close enough he offers the dog to the wolf and cocks an eyebrow. "What's the word?"


Individual-focused training for new recruits, day two. Melinda May is getting to hate this more and more, and she's becoming more and more certain that Hill is doing this specifically to punish her. She's driving a SHIELD-issued black sedan toward the old airport to test Recruit Lewis in basic field tactics. Lots of open space here, HOPEFULLY nothing for the young woman to get in trouble with. Right? Right?

Eyes flicking briefly toward aforementioned recruit in the passenger's seat, May states flatly, "We're nearly there, and while we're on the ground, your phone will stay in this car. Understood?"


On the job training, Day Two. Waitressing had a steeper learning curve. Not quite as lethal, though. Darcy was tapping away on her phone while May drove. Facebook games all caught up, Twitter feed checked (OMG, @Conzilla puts up the BEST bruise pics ever. #RollerRashQueens), and email emptied, Darcy almost misses May's statement. Almost.

"Wait. what? Aaawww… Agent May. That's cruel and unusual," Darcy complains… while updating her instagram with a selfie she took before May picked her up. (@TheDarce: Another day, another dollar… to Uncle Sam for Loans! #CollegeProblems)


The city of New York has been at least marginally hospitable to the downsized retail worker in Jim Reha. He's been pounding the pavement all over the city in the quest to find gainful employment, along with a notable side-trip to another place entirely that he's not entirely sure was real. Once again he's taking a break from his hunt, this time wandering near the station as he looks for 'Help Wanted' signs.

It's also been a bit discouraging, too-either he has 'too much experience' for what folks are looking for, or he doesn't have a degree in anything. He takes a few moments to check his surroundings warily. Last thing he needs is to get jumped-God knows what would happen then. Probably nothing good…


Inara didn't mean to be coming to this park while Fenris was working here. She just didn't know. She has Cora by the hand who is tugging her along the walk as Inara does her best to walk at the slow and steady pace she wants to. Remember, as the parent, you are in charge. Inara thinks she wants to meet the person who wrote that parenting book and stuff it down his sanctimonious throat. Mind you, there are no books for parenting a hyena werechild. Maybe she should write one.

And so, the pair are walking like this, Cora acting in her own unique way of sniffing around as she's walking, when the girl stops and points at Fenris. "Miah!"


Constantine wanders into the park, smoking a cigarette that dangles from his lower lip, hands jammed into the pockets of his overcoat. He seems to be enjoying the sunshine, face turned upwards, and wanders along rather blithely past Melinda and the texting teen Darcy, looking like he hasn't a care in the world.


Fenris stands as he hears someone approach. Ah, Alexander. The Greek deity gets a small smile. "Fancy meeting you here. The word, I believe, is magic. Of an unusual variety. I'm still trying to suss it out."

With a curious look he gestures at the circle. It ripples in response to a tiny hint of magic as the god-wolf tries to divine what the unusual looking runes do. They're not Nordic, no. Nor Egyptian, nor Greek or Latin. That rules out all the common sigils and words used for this kind of thing. No… this is something else. It sends a ripple out, one that unbeknownst to Fenris is identical, if weaker, to the thing that made all the iron scream.

"Odd. I think-" Fenris is cut off by Cora's voice. What in the name of Odin's Ale-Soaked Beard? Aaaaaah. His daughter. "Cora, Inara!" He waves the two over.

"Alexander, meet my family."


The itchy feeling in the magnetosphere is … that way. The motorcycle pulls up to the curb and instead of parking, shifts around in a ridiculous-looking swirl of movement to result in a robot - armor and all - standing where it used to be. The visor on the head retracts, similarly to one of those impossible 'much larger expanded than its tiny form' face-masks you see on all your current SF movies, revealing a gold-skinned human-looking face, except with chrome-blue hair and eyes. Yes, actual gold and actual blue. The robot walks across the grass (somehow not crushing it) to the sidewalk and stops at the pattern. Its left arm opens up into a series of antennae and other sensors, feeling around the air.

"Well, there's still something wrong with spacetime here, but the perp is missing," the gold-skinned person says. "You didn't happen to see something weird go by just about fifteen minutes ago, did you?"


Still holding a spare hot dog, Alexander swallows long enough to offer a nod towards the approach of Inara and Cora. He lifts the extra fleshy packet of nitrates in greeting, then looks curiously at the sigils that Fenris points out. "I should probably warn you," He kneels beside the magical runes and considers them, "I was sent her by a vision, so most likely something strange is going to happen." He then takes another chomping bite of his relish-laden hot dog and chews for a time, nodding solemnly as only the prophetic can, with that slight smugness that you always figure is there but they'd clearly deny.

Then Alex looks up at the golden skinned robot sort and gestures as he says, "Voila."


Melinda May stops the car at a stop sign just outside the park, and watches the unusually casual man (Constantine) stroll on past. She makes sure he's well on his way along the sidewalk before starting the car forward again, and pulling into the first parking space she finds. "We're here. Phone in the glove compartment."

Cutting the car's engine and climbing out without waiting for Darcy, May moves to the car's truck and opens it to take out a pair of obsolete-tech (for SHIELD) comm units, like walkie-talkies with earpieces attached.


"What? Wait. You're seri-" Darcy twists in her chair as May just leaves the vehicle. Her green eyes follow the Agent before they roll in grumpy annoyance. But! Darcy does as told and drops her phone in the glove box. All the while, grumbling under her breath. She clambers out of the car, tosses the door shut behind her and moves to join May by the trunk. OOH! High-tech walkies! These things are So Cool (TM).


"Oh f… me." It's a simple enough statement from the heavy-set middle-aged fellow as his eyes alight upon Constantine. Why the heck does he keep running into that guy? Is it a curse? Some off-kilter blessing? At any rate, with that person running around things are gonna get hinky here in no time flat, based on the previous encounter with the overcoated fellow.

Some sort of family gathering happening over… sonuva— the Fenris guy is here too? Jim glances to the heavens. "Just… really? Seriously? What the f-" It takes him a moment to realize that he might be calling attention to himself and he quiets down, bringing his glance back down to peer through the area. Just because they are out to get one, does not mean one is paranoid. Of course, his shirt probably brings more attention to him than any amount of nonsense he's uttering.

A freakin' robot-that isn't 'Eight', is it?-approaching Fenris? If it'd do any good he'd be just about to holler for a check and getting the heck outta Dodge. But given how things have been rolling lately, that'd probably get the city nuked or unleash who-knows-what from another dimension.

A couple of women getting out of a car and doing something by the trunk? Compared to some of the known and very potentially hazardous folks already present, they get a gloss-over. Not out of disrespect, but because they don't appear to be the same level of reality-rending *bad* that some of the other folks present are.


Inara looks over when Cora claims her SO is in the park. Really? She chuckles as she is pulled by the girl, much like a person holding a husky by a leash would be. She looks to Fenris and smiles, finally letting go of Cora so the girl can tackle her father and sniff about the magic circle, rubbing at her elbow to ease the pain of being dragged around by a hyena girl that is much stronger then she looks.

Inara finally arrives to join the others and nods in greeting to the stranger. "Good day," she says and then looks at the circle. Frowning, she squints as she tries to make out the words. "Someone's arabic needs some work. I can barely make sense of this. What is it?"


"Weird?" Constantine saunters into the conversation like he'd just wandered off for a drink a second ago, trailing cigarette smoke behind him. "Weird is my bread and butter, don't you know. Hey!" he says, "Old Wolf!" the sallow-face Brit snap-points at Fenris and smiles cheekily. "Hello, everyone, yes, oh my, this is interesting," he says, looking at the sigils on the ground. He whistles low. John stoops way over, still walking, until he's bent nearly double, then lays flat on his belly for a second, putting an ear to the earth.

He produces from the inside pocket of his duster a large magnifying glass, with which he examines several of the sigils and a few pairs of toes. "Interesting, very interesting. Hold this?" he asks Alexander, passing off the magnifying glass and fishing in his pockets. A snow globe gets rattled and squinted at, then he produces a few die and casts them into his palm.

"Hmm. Interesting," the man repeats. "This is unusual. Does anyone have Tolvin's Guide to Sigils and Relics handy?" Constantine asks of the group, jamming his hands back into his pockets for a second. He produces a candied apple from nowhere and digs into it, crunching into the caramel goodness with delicious abandon.

When Inara walks up, he offers the girl a bite. "Candied apple?" He waves it at the group. "Anyone?"


"Constantine…" Fenris peers as the strange man who either brings or follows strangeness with him arrives. "Hello." The god-wolf finally relieves Alexander of the spare hot dog with a murmured thank you and takes a bite as he scoops up Cora. "Cora, this is Alexander. He's a bit like 'Miah in some ways." 'Miah being what Cora has shortened his assumed name of Jeremiah to when they first met.

Mikes question and Constantine's arrival get a chuckle. "Seen anything strange? As though I am not seeing strange things…" The rest of the sentence never gets finished as the wind carries a familiar scent to Jeremaih's nose. Jim suddenly finds himself the subject of a very intense, very predatory stare. Is he what came through the veil just a short while back, perhaps? And does he need to be… dealt with?


"That's not in my library of ebooks," the robot guy says, drily. "Nor do I see a copy of anything with that name - except a steamy romance - on any of the regular online stores."

He starts scanning the ground around the sigil, although all the stompy people have probably scrambled any traces left, thermal or otherwise. Hm. Maybe the hot dog vendor?

"Any of you asked the hot dog vendor if he saw anything? Also, Mr. Oldwolf, what is that sword made of? It's got an odd dialect and it's growling at me."


With his burden of hot dogs lifted, Alexander accepts Constantinte's spy glass. "Sure," He says and casually slides it into the front pocket of his hoodie. The next moment he gives a small waggle of fingertips in Cora's direction. "A bit." That having been said he starts to step around the gathering crowd of curious on-lookers, noting Fenris' heightened sense of alert.


Melinda May is as of yet unaware of the growing collection of … unusual people, so she proceeds as if the park were empty. After handing the comm unit over to Darcy and establishing the frequency they're on (and of course locking up the car), she leads them onward and inward. "Lewis. I need you to run a perimeter check on this area. Report anything you find as you go, including a threat assessment level." In other words, take a walk, chat back about it, and squeak if anything seems particularly dangerous.


"Ma'am, yes ma'am," Darcy replies on a sloppy salute. She turns crisply and wihtout grace on her heel and starts walking THAT-a-way! Because that-a-way has the hotdog vendor and maybe, just maybe, SHIELD'll take the receipt as a business expense. In any case, if they don't, streetdogs ain't super expensive. She can totally afford one. With EVERYTHING on it. Kitchen sink too, please. KTHXBAI.

As she makes her way over, Lewis notes all the people in the park, and so brings up the walkie talkie.

"Krrsh, Lewis to May. We've got a dude in a hoodie, Doctor the Ten, some chick with a little girl, and….. some other guys. I think one of them is a borg…. or cosplaying Mr. Data. No idea what they are up to. But they are totally up to no good. I mean, Who and Trek? In one place? It's gonna come to blows, no doubt. …And you made me leave my phone in the car. That shit's YouTube gold." Pause… "Krrsh, over."


Is that kid sniffing the air? What kind of… He pauses for a moment to… wait, John's doing that Doctor thing again. Just when you thought it was safe to walk through the city, even. With a bit of a muttered curse he closes the distance to the rest of the group, but approaches at a respectful pace, stopping a goodly few feet away so as not to interrupt any shenanigans going on. Disrupted shenanigans are bad shenanigans.

He reaches up and waves to Fenris politely but a bit restrained. He may be having rotten luck but he's not stupid. No pissing off the Devouring Wolf if this is that Fenris. And yeah, this situation is freaking him out a bit. Especially getting the predator stare. Though, in all honesty, anyone seeing this concentration of folks would probably be a bit un-nerved.


"Do we all need to be standing out here in the open like this? I mean, seriously, I'm not a spec-ops type or anything but if folks were taking pictures or whatnot we'd all be going into files somewhere, right?" Yes, especially with his shirt.

"And ah, Jim Reha. Lookin' for legit work, nothin' illegal though. Say, interesting design you got here?" Changing the subject, yes, that's good, right?


In Fenris' arms, Cora leans forward to sniff at Alexander. She then leans back, frowning at Alex. "He feels sorta like you, but he doesn't smell like you. His animal is missing. Why?" She then looks to Alexander and addresses him in that blunt manner of hers. "Why is your animal missing?"

Inara is still trying to make sense of the words, shaking her head and rubbing her temples. "It's like someone took arabic and something else and made a mess of them both when trying to mash them together. It's giving me a headache just trying to read this." Then there is a candy apple suddenly in her face. She raises a hand and smiles politely, or tries to. Glancing to Fenris, her eyes ask him if this is some human custom that she's not getting or if this is as weird as it seems.

"No thank you," she starts to reply. The apple is grabbed out of Constantine's hand though by the hyena girl with the serious lack of manners, ignoring the stick and just holding it in her palm and eating it as though she needs to get to the center of it now or all will perish as she remains cuddled in her dad's arms.

"Cora! No!" says Inara, but the girl ignores her mother to point right at Jim, continuing the conversation from before. "He brought his."


Constantine yelps as the child snaps the candy from his fingers. "All yours," he tells the little wolfling. When no one volunteers their services re: a book, he nods sharply. "All right, I'll be right back."

He turns and opens a door. Where the hell did the door come from? It wasn't there a moment ago, that's for sure. He disappears, the door swings shut, then opens again almost immediately. Constantine comes out with rumpled hair and looking even more disheveled than before, as if he hadn't slept in a day or so. He holds a heavy tome under his arm. "All righty, that only took me a day to find. The bookworms were a lot friendlier this time," he tells Fenris, the door vanishing behind him as it swings into infinity.

Constantine whips the book open and starts thumbing through it, then stops and examines a page. "…ah, found it. Enochian," he declares. "I thought it was, but in the right lunar cycle, Enochian can look like Ancient Atlantean or the Gnostic Font. Also doesn't help if you're thinking of a prime number while you're looking at it. So! Who's summoning what, anyway?" he asks, turning his eyes back to the book. "And why are you doing it in Enochian?"

When no one volunteers, his eyes get a bit darker and a bit wider. "…no one here wrote these sigils, did they," he states flatly, looking around the group.


"No one." Fenris confirms. "It was here when I arrived to investigate. Enochian, hrm?

Fenris seems to think about that as he sets Inara down. "Perhaps he did not come through. Very well, let's see what this thing does shall we?"

Turning, Fenris draws on his divinity and floods the circle with magic. The circle lights up and there's a keening. A wild, sorrowful, painful sound. It sounds like death and despair and… There's not time to get a full sense of it before he slams the portal shut. Damn it. Something came through here. From there. Wherever there is. Fenris is starting to suspect he knows.

"I'm not going to enjoy hunting this thing, am I?" The raw flow of magic has disrupted his illusion of humanity a bit. His form flickers and he appears in the moments between moments to be alternately seven and a half feet tall and covered with fur, or an enormous, slavering wolf-creature. It's a long minute before he stabilizes again.


Over the radio, a male voice says, "Ksssh Data? No, I look more like Toji Suzuhara from Neon Genesis Evangelion. … Ksssh."

When Constantine does his 'in and out of the castles of Air" trick, the robot guy immediately directs the left-hand scanners at the place that Constantine opened and closed the door to Mystery or Secrets. One eyebrow rises.

"That's ALMOST the same thing as the hole over this summoning circle, except that it isn't leaky," the robot says. "Annnd you're a werewolf now.

He looks up at Fenris. "No wonder your sword was growling at me. Oh, and it says it's the Sword of Omens. Don't believe that."

The robot guy looks around, "Does anyone else think this is impossibly crazy?"


As the gateway portal slams shut, Alexander casually kneels down so he can address Cora with that calm and steady manner of his. The words are given gently and his eyes only gleam with a faint hint of red as he tells Fenris' daughter the answer to her question, "Some of us, such as your father do have a beast connected with them. Others of us, little Cora, have our words or roles that define us."

He opens his hand as he gestures towards her, palm open as he murmurs quietly. "My father had many roles, one was representing the harvest and its growth. As for me, I am responsible for when you must stand up against that which would scare you. Such are our 'beasts', or our burdens." Perhaps it's not /entirely/ the truth, but for a young girl it might help her understand somewhat.


"Speaking of impossible, I think I left my teakettle on. I'll return presently," Constantine assures everyone. With that, he opens a door that again appears from nowhere, walks through nothing, and vanishes, like a particularly good magic trick.


Melinda May sighs and resists the urge to put one hand to her face at Darcy's 'reporting', though really she can't have expected much else so early in the recruit's training. She does have to give the woman credit, though. For as whimsical as her report was, it gave May a pretty good idea of who all is out there. Luckily, she knows another sci-fi nerd so can follow the references. "Acknowledged. Do not engage. And stop mimicking the walkie-talkie noises."


"Holy shit. The Doctor just opened a door," Darcy whispers… stage whispers into her walkie talkie. A moment of stunned silence lapses before she turns on the walkie talkie again and sounds somewhat normal.

"I think he's got his chameleon circuit working, May. Which is completely cool and kinda scar-" And then there's a guy's voice over her com and Darcy shrieks, then cuts herself off by slapping a hand over her mouth. She looks at her com, then over at Mr. Data then back at her com, then back at Mr. Data.

"First, you totally look like Data. Toji's way too girlie. Not that I mind girls. They're lovely too. But you are totally… distracting me. How'd you Dunham my walkie talkie?" Darcy asks, into her com unit… and LOOK MAY! No sound effects!


The heavier set salt-and-pepper'd hair fellow was about to ask if he could glance at the thing giving Inara a headache when suddenly there's a *yoink*ing of a caramel apple followed by a girl pointing at him and calling him out, for lack of a better term. Cue Operation: Facepalm. He removes the hand from his face and looks at the child.

"Hey, kid, don'tcha know it's rude to point at people?" Activate: Social Deflection Option.

"Well, at least you didn't ask us to go with you this time to get the paperwork." Jim mutters to John as he looks at the circle. Yeah, that might be a summoning circle. Maybe.

"Heck no. Especially not after the other day. Any ideas of doing anything stupid like that are really long gone now. Seriously, that's a whole level of wrong. And this is a whole level of wrong. Folks might want t—oh Lords an' Ladies."

When Fenris goes flicker-wolf-god-giant-wolf the downsized fellah makes a quick hand motion with his right hand in warding. Folks familiar with it would recognize the hand motion as making a pentagram with one point up. "Ffff——" Well, at least Alexander will be dining well tonight if fear is his meat and potatoes.

Then Constantine bugs out. "Sonuvab—" The middle-aged man checks his profanity with the child present, but only just so. "If you just closed something ah, Mister ah, Big Bad Wolf, ah, we might need t' be ready for it comin' back to check out why it's cut off, right?"


Inara stares at the door as it appears. She has adapted marvelously well to being the love interest of a god, but that's just weird. She raises a hand to her temple as Constantine comes out and starts explaining and not making things any clearer for doing so.

"Enochian?" says the Persian woman. "Then why does it look like poorly written Arabic?"

Cora sniffs towards the door, looking at it like a door appearing out of nowhere is perfectly fine. Alex talks to her and she listens, just absorbing the information. Either she gets it and is blase about it, or she has no clue and is just being bland.

But then there is that ringing, filling the air with a sound that resembles a mournful wail. Inara holds her head and Cora lets out a scream at the circle. She gnashes her teeth at it, her own form of a little girl falling by the wayside to be replaced by a 9 foot hyena-man-thing. She drops to all fours and then starts to run, following the flow of magic, pounding the ground as she starts her hyena laughter, barrelling right towards Lewis and Clark…. er May.


"Possibly. Such things are normally open and closed on this end, but this one was left open. Odd, considering I do not see any corpses about. And my apologies sir… Machine, I was lost in thought. The blade is made of Moonsilver. It is… somewhat difficult to describe unless you have an interest in arcane metallurgy. Very protean, which is why I have it. Also very hard to come by. If you'd like I could sh-CORA!!!" Fenris' explanation of things mystical is… very interrupted.


On the Radio, the robot guy says, "It's a declassified 1970s-era treasury-band walkie-talkie unit, it wasn't hard. And you were told not to engage with us. Talking is engaging."

Smirking slightly, he lets the sensors in his left arm retract.

"Nothing I'm carrying works with the energies you're … WOAH!" The robot leaps after the sudden hyena, or rather, scoots along on sudden skate wheels in the direction of the person on the other end of the walkie-talkie conversation and it might be a good thing NOT to let her get there first — you never know when biting might ensue with a were-hyena child. He whirls to a graceful stop, arms out, in front of the human, facing the oncoming mass of teeth.


Rising to his feet as the youngster gains a ton of mass and a lot of height, Alexander takes a step back to let her go about her business. He does look over at Fenris curiously, some unasked question on his lips though its existence given evidence by the small quirk of an eyebrow. As folks mobilize in pursuit… Alex brings up the rear with a more casual gait.


Damnit. Another training opportunity ruined. The moment Lewis's voice cuts off into a scream, May is running to catch up with her, one hand pulling what looks like a narrow silk sash out of her pocket as she goes. She gets close just in time to see the hyena-thing charging toward the recruit with — yeah, have to go with Data — catching up quickly.

Using a more Old West cowboy than Asian martial arts looking move, she sets the black silk sash whirling over her head then sends it shooting out toward Cora-hyena, aiming to entangle the creature's back feet.


"You hacked our conversation, pal. I'm just trying to OHMYFUCKINGGODWOLFMANGOTNARDS!" Darcy's voice, having started out calm and even, turned highpitched, loud, and the words a tumble and a rush as Cora-wolfman charges her. And Data charges her, and then stands in front of her with his arms held out.

Her first thought is: Seriously? You're going to take a full body check with your knees locked and your arms out? Dude! You nuts.

Her second thought is: Wolfman don't have nards. This wolfman was a girl.

Her third thought is: EFFING RUN DARCY!

And she turns to run for …the hot dog cart. Because maybe dirty water weenies will distract it from eating her FACE!


"Seriously? What th' hell?" The portly fellow trundles off after the girl-now-hyena-thing. "No. NOT NOW." That last bit is shouted into the air at nothing in particular. He starts to pant a bit—but doubles down to try and catch up to the transformed child. Jim's getting a gut feeling she's been possessed, which is ten kinds of Not Good.

He lowers his shoulder and extends his arm as he launches himself to attempt a tackle of the truly wild child. Why is he doing this without the help of the Corvinus, again? Oh, right, because there's way too many witnesses out here and too many people know already. Take the hit now, suck it up, recover later. Yeah, that'll work, right?

He doesn't see the blur of motion from May's angle nor the apparent target move, as big canine back grows in front of him…


As Cora takes the form of her warrior side, Inara panics. She tries to calm the child, but it's too late. She's already running pell mell towards innocent people. Somehow, Inara doubts apologizing to these women will be as simple as 'I'm sorry. My daughter is a were-hyena who was abandoned by her real parents and raised by dogs till just a couple of months ago.'

Lewis and May are not the target that Cora is running for. Her unusual hopping like run ignores them and makes for a copse of trees. Or would if not for her hind legs being caught up in a silken sash. The large beast looks to May and starts to cackle and then growl.


Fenris waits for Jim and May and Mike to respectively block, entangle and tackle Cora. Once the girl is still-ish enough that he can risk it, his rod comes out and Cora gets lifted off the ground far enough that she won't be able to do more than flail ineffectually until Inara can calm her down. "Thank you gentlemen." He says as he comes running up to see…

"May?" He grins. "Did I not tell you we should meet again on the field? The Norns have a sense of humor, they do."


The impact never comes, and Mike calculates line of flight and vectors and realizes that the little girl was heading for the trees, not for the two radio-contacts.

"Hey. She was heading for whatever is in that copse of trees. Maybe whatever came through that hole in the air."


As the crowd rushes off, Alexander's walk after them slows to a bit of a halt. He tilts his head to the side considering that perhaps now… isn't a good time. They seem to have it reasonably well in hand, and so he turns and heads off in another direction, departing from the situation at hand and making his way back.


"LEWIS." May's doing that drill sergeant voice thing again. Keeping one hand holding the sash around the were-hyena's feet taut, her other hand fishes the car keys out of a pocket to toss at Darcy. "Get back to the car. Now." She keeps her eyes very much on the chuckling and growling creature, ready to continue dealing with her if need be.


Without needing being told twice, Darcy cuts to a stop, puts back, snatches the keys with a hand and books it for the car. HOLY Wolfballs Batman.


The heavy-set fellow pants hard. That's probably the biggest workout he's had in… years. He moves to stand up and winces a bit as his shoulder spasms a bit. "Ow, f—". He works his hand a little bit and rolls the arm some to try and work out the burner. "Bunch of *gasp* *wheeze* over *gasp?" He stumbles a bit and looks as the crowd starts to dissipate. When he's caught a bit more of his breath, he murmurs "When we hit the treeline. Sure."

Whatever or whoever he's talking to doesn't seem to be one of the folks visibly present. "I'ma okay. Let's poke at this?"


The hyena-thing is twisting in the air, trying to get some purchase. She's angry, snapping at the air. The woman that seems to be her mother approaches, her hands up. She starts speaking to her out loud, her tone soft and calming. "I know. I know. But we can't deal with it when we're worried about you. I need you to be my *little* girl again. You're too big for me to hold you like this." Inara walks right over and touches the girl who begrudgingly starts to shift back, crumpling into her mother's arms. Inara sighs with relief and looks over to Fenris. "She makes a good point though. Has anyone else noticed that there are no animals here? None have come to me and I've been here for a while. That's not normal."


"There's a rather foul air about this place. That's what drew me to it in the first place. Something passed through here…" Noting Mike's comment he eyes the copes of trees. "And vanished there, yes. Good intuition. Where it went, I cannot say, save that it spilt no blood and is no longer here."

Fenris sighs expansively. "I hate the smart ones."


"Is there anything in specific I should be looking for? Other than a lack of wildlife sounds?" The robot guy does another left-hand scan, different scanners appearing this time. Foul air, so possibly traces of sulphur compounds, and fresh hemo oxides, spilled blood. Sniff sniff sniff… he launches a series of one-inch spheres into the air around, which unfold into wasps.

"Sending scouter units…"


Melinda May shakes the sash free of the were-hyena's back feet the moment she's lifted to the point that she can't really affect anything, and reels the length of fabric back in as she walks toward… whoa. She stops dead as the creature shrinks back into the form of a LITTLE GIRL. That's, very disconcerting. She looks over at Fenris, then at the woman and child again. "I so do not want to have to write a report about this."


"Honestly, I was more worried about animals of the two-legged variety, wasn't even thinking about fauna." And hot dogs don't count. "Well, sometimes to catch someone who thinks they're smart you need to play dumb to their smart? Maybe it is using some sort of trick to make it seem like it isn't there, maybe? That'd be really smart, and would send us all over creation looking for it while it stayed right here all comfy?" Okay, Jim's babbling a bit, but it seems to make a bit of sense?

He glances to May. "A bunch of roleplayers got carried away and made a bit of something out of nothing. It seemed a lot worse than it was, and it was a very valuable lesson to your partner?"


Inara holds Cora, just rocking her back and forth. The girl is about 7… or maybe 5. She's at a stage that it's hard to tell. Apparently, turning into a hyena is exhausting as the girl starts to fall asleep right then and there. "I am sorry if she scared you. She is still so very feral."


"That was my fault." Fenris says quietly, standing next to Inara. "I did not consider what effect the circle might have on her. My apologies, May, for frightening your associate." A hero of legend Darcy is not. Well, yet. Pity Fenris doesn't know about the taser thing. He'd want to buy her a drink.

"If I am correct in what I think it is, you should attempt to detect extremely low frequency sonic disturbances. They tend to unsettle people, but ordinary humans cannot normally hear them."

Jim gets an odd, penetrating look from the god-wolf. "What are you?"


The wasps circle the area, starting in the copse of trees, making a sonar map and comparing it to the thermal and lidar maps. They have detectors for blood compounds and for sulphur compounds. Meanwhile Mike nods and begins scanning for ELF Sonic … and there are a few natural sources, especially the New York Times printing plant across the old railroad tracks… but in the 4 and 7 hz ranges, that's the ones that cause the most fun…


Melinda May looks from Cora to Inara to Fenris to Jim and back. "I didn't injure her, did I?" She's still a bit leery of getting any closer to the woman and child, but this Jim guy seems rather oddly harmless. His suggestion about 'creatively phrasing' her report goes unanswered becsuse it's not like her to fake reports like that. Of course, if she takes Fenris's reaction into account, maybe Jim is the one here to worry the MOST about. Him or Data with the blue hair over there.


Jim does not envy the woman the hard task she will have teaching a child that was raised feral. It wasn't so much the child going big and scary as what it appeared the child was having go on inside. But since that seems to be resolved he's gotten over that fear from earlier and returns the penetrating look.

"I really can't talk about that. It's… classified." And yet, there's a look in those eyes. Despite the returned hardness, there's also deep within them a story wanting to be told in the right time and place. And absent most others that don't know more of the situation.

Of course Jim's harmless. He's just a guy who's trying to get a legit job. Nothing to see here, move along. Yes. Yes…


Inara closes her eyes and gets a serene look on her face. Standing there, holding the sleeping girl, she does nothing for a few moments. She opens her eyes and looks around and looks to Fenris. "Nothing will even come to me when I call. That's… unsettling." She then looks to Joe and smiles. She is giving him a look like she knows something, but unlike her daughter is polite enough not to say it. "Jeremiah," she says in an admonishing tone when he asks outright what Joe is.

Inara looks over at the ankles of her daughter and shakes her head. "She seems fine. She heals incredibly fast. It's just hard sometimes. I think about her real parents just… leaving her to die and I want to…. Well, I want to do something that isn't very nice.


If Fen were a child of the last century, and not a child of twenty centuries ago (ish) He might do the 'eyes on you' thing. As it is he simply inclines his head to Inara. "Of course. Forgive me."

"Thank you for your concern, Miss May, but Cora will not be seriously injured. I am glad your protégé was not. She seemed rather… excitable." Fenris pauses, thinking of something complimentary to say. "She runs well, though."

"Hrm. I do believe it is time to take this hunt elsewhere. Should you or your… drones, encounter this creature, your best bet is salt. There are properties about it that are caustic to these kinds of things."


"And that will fix the geometrical bend this thing is putting in the shape of spacetime that's been making iron scream?" Mike says. "Salt it is."

He nods to May, and hands Jim a business card made of plastic. "Call me at this number tomorrow. If I still exist, we can discuss a job opening I have."

He heads for the hot dog vendor. Salt? That man is certain to have salt. Bags of it.


Melinda May nods to Fenris, and is good enough to not let is show how relieved she feels that she didn't do the child any lasting harm. And then Data returns and she nods to him as well. "I'm going to go check on the recruit. Good day, everyone."


The downsized retail worker's expression changes a bit at Inara's comment about Cora's parents. "That you can identify these thoughts and emotions is a step to enlightenment. Only by identifying that which degrades rational thought can one evolve to a higher level of rationality." He blinks for a moment and shakes it off. "Sorry about that. I go into these fugues sometimes… I didn't say something insulting, did I?"

He nods to Fenris, blinking a few times. "There is no forgiveness necessary when one seeks knowledge and wisdom." He takes the plastic card and holds it up to the light, looking for circuitry or the like in the card before stowing it in his shirt pocket, patting it once to make sure that the location is settled so it doesn't fly out of his pocket.

"I'll do that, thank you."

May gets a bit of a polite nod.

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