Pandora's Box

Summary:
August 19 2014: Fenris, Illyana and Doug discuss wards, myths and dating.

DiCosta Building

The incipient headquarters of X-men Red Team


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[* None]


It's been some time since the god-wolf looked in on his ally, the Queen of Limbo. She appears to be somewhere to the east of his home in the Bronx. Ordinarily he doesn't just drop in on people unannounced. There's a protocol to this kind of thing. However the amateur summonings are starting to get out of hand, aside from wishing to make a social call, he needs to know if there's been any progress on that Pandora's Box. And, of course, if he can help.

So it is that the tall, frightening man known as 'Wolfson' straps on his rod, grabs the Moonsilver Shard and casually makes a mockery of time and space, opening up a portal approximately where he senses Illyana's presence.

*

As to where Illyana is today? She's over at the up-and-coming headquarters in the da Costa building. She has the plans of the HQ spread out before her on a table that she leans her palms onto. The conversation earlier with Alex reminded her of the potential for their team, whatever they end up branding it, to become a target. And she'd like to minimize that if at all possible.

*

"Illyana Raspuntina." The words are always spoken with that curious inflection that is a mix of respect and greeting among equals. Well, sort of equals. Fenris doesn't rule anything. He's behind and to her left, just suddenly there as the portal - looking more like a ragged claw-torn tear than a neat stepping disk - closes behind him. "I trust you are well since our last meeting?" She seems well. And he hasn't sensed any hostile demons in her vicinity recently.

There's a moment while the Old Wolf orients himself, taking in the opulent surroundings. "Your home? I hope I'm not overly intruding."

*

Illyana tilts her head to look back over her shoulder at that voice and there's a short chuckle. "Now I know how people feel when I do it to them." She says dryly. She gives a nod, even as she turns her attention back forward. "I'm good, thanks. You were the one that was looking a bit toasty. And no. Not my home. A headquarters, command center to-be though. Which, as you arrival has made blatantly obvious, is missing something very important." There's a beat as her gaze goes over those plans again, looking for the best way to cover this much space effectively. It's going to need more than a bit of blood on walls. Not to mention she doesn't have enough 'juice' to run that indefinitely. "Wards." Her tone is a bit grim. She glances back to him, "What's up?"

*

"Wards?" Fenris is momentarily distracted. One advantage of having two thousand years to study spellcraft is learning that there's more than one way to skin a cat. "Why not simply filligree them into the walls. Warding a place this big in blood would take a lot of energy. But we might be able to set a construct up to handle it. It'd need recharging every now and again…" One of the few things that can sidetrack Fenris is a magical conundrum. Blood is the standard material for wards, but it has to be powered with life - either the caster's or someone else's. So doing a lot of it for a long time is… tricky. There are other methods though. They require a lot of juice to set up. Fenris doesn't have a lot of juice. For a god. For a mortal? He's got quite a bit.

"Mmmmm. Well I might be helpful there if it ends up that it's needed. I digress though. This is mostly a social call but I did come partly to inquire about your progress on the Pandora's Box. Things are getting… mildly out of hand.

*

Illyana tilts a nod over to Fenris. "Agreed." She says of blood. Well, blood is the go-to method for a lot of types of magic. There are undoubtedly some traditions that have other methods. Those aren't traditions that Illyana practices however. "I'm trying to figure out if there's anything with the construction itself that could help make this easier…"

It's a good thing it's just the two of them. They're liable to make a project out of this. The reminder of the Box however has her smacking herself on the forehead. "Spit and Hades. I knew I was forgetting something." She looks around and, not seeing Doug around, she frowns. She gives a snap of her fingers, opening a stepping disk to nab Doug from whatever he might be doing to drop him into a seat at the table.

*

Fenris pulls the Moonsilver Shard off his neck and changes it into a knife. "Something like this might mitigate a lot of it. Ordinarily this is very hard to come by, but it's easy enogh to work with once you have it." He morphs it through additional shapes, these being progressively larger blades. "I might be able to help you find some." By the time Doug arrives it's a full 'gran espee de guerre.' The original Unreasonably Large Sword.

*

Minding his own business and trying to poke at the occasional pasttime of trying to find -more- pictures of the Kryptos Sculpture so he could take a better look at cracking the enigmatic messages, Doug goes from chair to… chair, hands posed to type at a keyboard that, instead, ends up drumming on the table.

There is a brief pause as Doug assesses the situation, first with Illyana over there, then Fenris here, and then the linguist mutant slumps his shoulders. "I'm guessing you're not asking me here to play God of War."

*

Illyana arches a brow. "Why would we want to play with Alexander's dad? That just sounds like a bad idea all around." To take out the sting of his sudden relocation, Illyana leans over to buss his cheek. "I need your help, Dougie-baby." Another stepping disk, this one smaller, and a scroll appears on top of the building plans that she's been looking at in front of Doug. "We need to build something to take care of things like that page that messed with you. My friend here thinks that this could help. If we can read it." She doesn't introduce Fenris because frankly, she forgot his other name.

*

Fenris quirks an eyebrow. The Unreasonably Large Sword in his hand again becomes a small necklace which he replaces on his neck. "Doug, is it? Jeremiah. I'm pleased to meet you." The Old Wolf doesn't make a habit of introducing himself by his right name unless circumstances dictate. So far, they have not. Illyana gets an amused smile as the tall, and… oddly threatening seeming man folds his arms and watches.

*

Running a hand through his hair, Doug nods slowly. "All right," the mutant says, picking up the page and regarding it curiously, pausing to arch an eyebrow in turn at Illyana. "You want me to read a page -like- the one that turned me into some gibbering… Eldritch horror?"

There was a pause as he considers this, before Doug sighs. "Fine, if you'll help me with something afterwards…" He tilts his head at Fenris, before offering a hand. "Hi, Jeremiah. Uh… I'd ask how you met Illy, but I have a feeling that this…" He holds up the scroll. "… would explain why."

"No, I definitely do not want you reading a page like that again. This is something else." Illyana assures Doug, her manner serious instead of her usual mocking. "I need the information on that page to construct something to keep things like that page safely tucked away." She moves away to go find Doug a pen and a pad of paper. Because she's still stuck in an analog world. "Yeah, Jeremiah actually dug that up for me." She can't help but smirk. Because you know. Dogs. Digging.

*

"Woof." 'Jeremiah' says deadpan. "I met Illyana because we're both from the same end of the block, as it were. I keep an eye out for talents like hers. Mostly for the ones that are using it to cause trouble. She surprised me rather pleasantly by not doing so." He folds his arms, curious as to how exactly this guy is going to read the as yet untranslated Linear A on the scroll. Fenris can because he learned it. Doug? Doug he doesn't know. Illyana seems confident though.

*

"Oh good, I think," Doug regards the scroll with a sigh, before unfurling the manuscript. Taking the pen and paper, Doug glances at it, before quickly and efficiently writing down the translation. "Talent like hers," Doug notes as he keeps writing, "is pretty unique. So either you're working in limbo, you're working with the Russians, or you're working as her new major domo."

*

Illyana slides into a seat, her assessment of the building plans left off for now. Despite Doug's being busy, she slides her booted feet into his lap and folds her hands behind her head. "Doug's known me for years." Illyana says with an idle shrug, letting Fenris know that she doesn't care what he says about her. She has few skeletons in her closet that Doug doesn't know about. And if he doesn't know about them, Fenris isn't likely to either.

The suggestion of Fenris being her new major domo gets a single snort of amusement. "I wish." She drawls. "No, I'm still stuck with purple-and-surly."

*

"Shall I eat him?" Fenris is half joking. He's sure if Illyana wanted a staffing change, she'd arrange it herself. Or ask. Exchanging favors is not at all unheard of magical people on their level. The fact that the Queen of Limbo seems at ease around Doug makes Fenris himself a bit less guarded. No reason to play close to the vest if he can keep secrets like that

"No, not working with the Russians either, nor Limbo save to visit sometimes. I prefer it here. And most talents like hers are unique. That's what makes checking in on them so necessary."

*

That Illy propped her feet on his lap like that usually indicated one of two things, and a quick look at her body language indicates she's not demanding footrubs right now (at least, not while Doug had his hands occupied). So the blonde can keep writing.

"Oh? What do you do around here? I'm guessing magic, then, if it's not Russia or Limbo."

*

Illyana shakes her head at Fenris. "You only get to eat him if you take his place, and you didn't seem like you were in the market for a new job." Taking orders from a 22 year old girl, no less. "Getting rid of him isn't the problem. Finding someone to do his job is."

Illyana may be inclined to impose herself into his personal space, but she doesn't seem interested in distracting Doug from his job. Really, it's an unconscious gesture to both remind Doug that she's the dominant one between them and also to assure him that he's important enough to her to remind him in addition to the no-too-subtle 'mine' it sends Fenris' way. Not because she thinks he'd try to take him or hurt him, but because that's how predators communicate.

*

Fenris chuckles. "I keep the place clear of trouble, for the most part. I've had my hands rather full of that lately though. It's a housekeeping thing more than a civic one. I live here, after all. Magical creatures tend to be troublesome and short sighted, present company excepted. Most can be kept in line, some few like your friend here are helpful and, dare I say, even neighborly."

'Jeremiah' is, most certainly, a predator. And he understands that body language very well. The look he gives Illyana is equal parts acquiescence and amusement. What the hell would he do with Doug anyway were he to take him?

*

Illyana was Illyana. It was an alpha female gesture, and Doug was used to it. The one thing that he was absolutely certain of, though, was that Illyana would defend her friends to the last. Tradeoff, apparently.

Finishing up the translation, Doug twirls the notepad and pen around, towards Illyana and Fenris. "So… you guys are going to try and reconstruct Pandora's box, is that it?" Doug asks, frowning. "How'd you get ahold of an old legend of Hephaestus? I swear Bobby found this scroll involving Hera too, and now this…? Are the Greek Gods dropping scrolls everywhere now?"

*

"We could ask Phobos what his family is up to." Illyana says dryly as she takes the notepad and reads it over. One of the perks to having Doug translate things is that he gets all the nuances right. He doesn't end up with ten possible translations to one sentance, all meaning vastly different things. "Hopefully, a number of them. Pandorai?" Illyana shakes her head, still reading over the translation, flipping a page over. "Things like the Darkhold, that page you started to read, are too dangerous for me to just take into Limbo. I need something that can contain things that dangerous."

*

"That? I had it squirreled away in Mongolia. It took some remembering to recall where I'd put it. At the time it wasn't something I wanted falling into the wrong hands. Now it's just useful."

Fenris looks over Illyana's shoulder and looks it over. "Ah, I see why Illyana wanted you to look at it. That's a much clearer translation than I could have managed. You have quite a good eye for this Doug. Let's see… Wood from the Trees of Victory, lined with metal indestructible as the aegis, lock and key in the crystalized essence of magic from the realm whose shores touch all others…"

The god-wolf sighs. "Greeks. Why must they couch everything in riddle. At least it's a place to start." Fenris pauses… "Wait. Scrolls? Involving Hera?" Doug gets a very direct, very intense stare. Animal stare, one of the habits Fenris never broke himself of. "Involving an apple perhaps?"

*

Illyana snickers to herself, imagining the big bad Fenris wolf with a big ol' squirrel tail and guarding a mountain of nuts like a dragon would gold. "Well, probably because if they gave us names they knew things by they'd be useless by now."

She's taken the pen she had given Doug and gnaws absently on the cap. "Why couldn't it be like, oak and iron and virgin's tears? Eeeh. I was hoping it would be something we could create a small collection of. Too many damned evil artifacts."

*

"Hera, yes…" Doug tilts his head. "Involving Golden Apples… although it seems like somewhere along the way, Greek became Norse, and Hera's golden apples became Idun's." Reaching for his smartphone, Doug calls up the pictures of the scrolls. "I've got them here…"

As he turns to offer the smartphone, Doug arches an eyebrow. "And where are you going to find a virgin in this day and age?"

*

That makes Fenris grin sharply. "Do you remember what I told you about this box being such that what is placed in it effectively ceases to exist?" That's why it's useful to isolate things. "That applies to the space it takes up too. You won't need more than one… unless you really want one for some reason."

Golden apples… mmmmmm? "Are you comfortable with the police? I'm willing to bet one Detective Sara Pezzini would be interested in that kind of information." Fenris is sure of this mostly because he remembers talking to her about it, though she wouldn't rightly remember him. Idun's apples. Again… interesting.

The question of where Illyana might be able to find a virgin earns Doug a stare. The Old Wolf glances to Illyana briefly than cuts back to Doug, his meaning clear.

*

Illyana just tilts her head to the side and Looks at Doug. One brow slowly arches upwards. Really, he doesn't need to be a linguist to get the 'I have one right here' vibe she's pinning him with.

*

Eyerolling, Doug puts a hand to his chin, returning the stare. "Try again."

*

"Leaving out the question of having to make you cry for the construction of this box…" Fenris can tease a bit, apparently. He's smiling a rather wolfish smile. "The list of things we need here is probably mundane enough, though decoding the riddles seems like it may take some time. Odd habit that. Others would have just plopped a monster down to guard the necessary items and had done with it."

*

Illyana narrows her eyes a bit at him, considering. "Really? You know your computer doesn't count right? No matter how big it's hard drive is or if it talks back to you." She pulls her feet from his lap so she can lean in and give him a quick hug to let him know she's just yanking his chain before standing. "Besides, it's irrelevant. We need trees of victory and stuff."

*

"Oh for… you don't know -everything- I've been up to, Illy," Doug grumbles, as he glances at the notepad again, tucking his smartphone back in his pocket. "Although I -could- use your help asking Amara out. Anyway, back to the riddles… let's see… what riddles can we solve right now?"

*

"Trees of Victory…" Fenris sighs and thinks. "Traditionally, Laurels, I beleive. So Laurel Wood, perhaps? The other two…" Fenris runs through the list of magical materials he knows mentally. "I don't know what the second is, but might not the Realm whose Shores Touch All Others be Limbo?"

*

Illyana's brows shoot up at that. "You want to ask out Amara?" Well. She didn't see that coming. "And you want my help?" Illyana, she who has never had a boyfriend or gone on a date that Doug is aware of, evar.

Fenris' guess gets a slight nod. "Could be. It definitely fits the bill."

*

Amara… where does Fenris know that na- Ah yes. Illyana's companion from that night in the mist. "Well, I shall leave you two to discuss the vagaries of getting a date. For what it's worth Doug, I think that's a good choice. She seems rather nice. And looks very fetching in a little white dress." Raising his hand Fenris tears a hole in space. Illyana can feel the pulse of magic go out from him. "I shall look in on you again, soon, if it is not an inconvenience, Illyana Rasputina. Until then, you and yours be well." Then he steps through and is gone.


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