Flight Insight

Summary:
October 16, 2014: Fenris drags Jim and Babs to an 'undisclosed secure location' to compare notes.

The Primeval Wild

A place that is neither here nor there that ties into the very basic impression of what the wild is and was once upon a time.


Characters

NPCs
None


Mood Music:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luPNc06qb4Q


Illyana isn't the only one who can do the portal beneath the feet trick. It's just that Fenris is generally more polite than to do it. He'd heard of the 'disturbance' in Queens at the apartment belonging to the dual entity that is Jim Reha/Corvinus. The fact that anyone, even a powerful alien being should be hunting on his hunting grounds irritates him. So when he realized that Jim was still moving to and from work (but only to his jobs) he decided it was time to find out just exactly what happened.

Of course the Great Wolf did not know if the advanced AI had been damaged in the incident so it seemed prudent to bring someone he knew was highly technical. There's where Barbara Gordon comes in. She'd most recently seen him in her dreams as a great black wolf, so that's the form he's adopting for this meeting which will take place somewhere he can more or less guarantee her safety. The Primeval Wild. This pseudo-dimension is the place his 'Ways' run through when he opens them. It's less a 'place' and more an 'idea' but magic often makes mockeries of such distinctions.

Not that any of this will matter to Jim or Babs when portals tear open under their feet.

***

Jim's week has been another one of those not quite idyllic strolls through a horrific personal afterlife. He's been threatened with execution — that's a first — and his apartment and most of his worldly possessions have been disposed of by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection. Oh, and he's still being stalked by the entity that threatened to execute him. A flutter of wings out of the corner of the eye, the faint hint of someone's presence in his 'blind spot'… yeah, someone has most assuredly been trying to invoke The Corvinus, who has been exceptionally quiet of late.

Jim can't blame the bird-thing for being paranoid. Heck, HE has grown increasingly paranoid as the time has been passing. About the only respite was a brief step 'elsewhere' into a magus' home wherein he was able to obtain a magnificent scotch and impart to said mage the import of the current situation. Tonight, he's heading back to his temporary residence at Stark Industries with that feeling that yes, he's still being followed. He stops along the way to use the restroom at a station — public transit restrooms are not pretty, but functional — and after the resolution of his business there finds himself 'falling' to the ground in the middle of a primeval woods. He drops to one knee on the landing and goes very quiet, except for one muttered comment.

"Jericho, if this is you, I'm either gonna hug you or punch you. No homo."

***

Babs is yet again in the Clocktower, watching her screens with the video feeds and data streams. Her glasses reflect the flickering screens as she sits and stares at the them.

After a time, minutes or hours (who can be sure) she stirs and raising her arms in the air stretches and sighs as muscle loosen. Stretching complete, she places her hands on the arms of her chair and it turns, heading out of her monitoring room, towards the kitchen - she's hungry and needs to eat. Reaching the door, she passes the portal and arrives…. in a primeval woods. The transition is seamless and smooth. "I'm not sleeping today…." she mutters.

***

The presence of a great black wolf the size of a car may or may not comfort Jim. Fenris is sitting about ten feet away watching curiously. Jim has been the one he has generally interacted with, not the Corvinus, though he's well familiar with Philosophy Bird and his tendences. He nods to the man as he rises. "Hello Jim. Welcome to the Primeval."

So saying he walks on over to Babs. "And hello to you too, little dreamer. My apologise to you both for the abruptness of my 'invitation' but I felt it important that we all talk."

***
The portly middle-aged man blinks a bit as 'that pressure' hits him. It's a different hunter… and one he's actually gotten a sort of 'feel' for. Probably keyed up a few levels because there's no hiding the monster wolf. Given that it is FAHREAKIN HUGE!? Jim stands up and dusts himself off and peers at the divine canine with a bit of an upraised eyebrow, then…

…A lady in a wheelchair arrives? 'Little dreamer'? Okay, things have passed the whole 'surreal' thing and have gone into 'Not-Quite-Nightmare-Land'.

Still, he's being rude. "Good evening, Old Wolf. I hope the 'talk' doesn't involve me running until my heart nearly gives out? Because I just had a REALLY long day at work and it wouldn't be much of a thing for you."

He smiles to Oracle thinly. "Jim Reha, howyado?" He offers his right hand to the disabled woman politely. Decades of retail experience are enough customer service to allow him to adapt 'on the fly', at least for courtesy's sake.

***

Babs is at first a little stunned, but as the black wolf who is slightly taller than the seated Babs approaches, she relaxes. "So it wasn't really a dream them, Wolf?" she says softly. The approach of the gentleman catches her attention, and turning her chair to face him, she flicks her eyes to the Wolf and then back again. Making a quick decision, she smiles brightly and shakes his hand "Babs. Pleased to meet you Mr Reha."

***

"Not really, no." The wolf responds to Babs, laying down beside her wheelchair. "Now then, allow me to make some introductions. Babs, Jim here is not simply a man working two jobs. He is also host to an ancient alien artificial intelligence, something more in the line of technology than magic. He spoke often, this intelligence, of a world named Thanagar and the people thereof. He feared them, a result of something that had passed between them."

Fenris nods to Babs now. "Babs is very adept with technology. It is for this reason I have brought you both here. I understand, Jim, that your apartment was broken into and you are being hunted by a winged poacher." How Fenris understands this may have something to do with the message he recieved. "I had been concerned that perhaps your other half may need aid I could not provide. And before you ask, I brought you both here because it is safe. This place follows the laws of the wild and there is no creature here that will challenge me. Therefore, I can guarantee your safety."

"Now…" The word has almost a growling quality to it. "What has happened, Jim?"

***

Huh. Babs.

Jim smiles and nods approvingly. Nice firm handshake. Not one of those 'crusher' types. He glances back to Fenris.

"Gonna guess you're not doing an Asgardian version of 'The Dating Game', so what's up? Sorry about the text I dropped on you, had to be very close to the chest. I'm being watched and I don't know necessarily how safe anythi—"

He breaks off at the exposition from Fenris. That made it a lot easier. Maybe he should get a pet Fenris to deal with his new stalker. He facepalms for a second then nods.

"The partner is an entity known as 'The Corvinus'. Or, if you really follow obscure tech circles… 'Ornithologist'. It finds the pun amusing." The portly fellow shakes his head. "You may recall a week or two back I got my ass handed to me over in Gotham by a bunch of guys when I was looking for you? Well, it seems that the Buddha Bird is being really quiet, but I couldn't put a finger on it until I got jumped in my apartment. Shayera Hol, allegedly of Thanagar, came in through my ceiling. Grabbed me by the neck and was threatening to execute me for crimes against her people."

Indeed, he has the fading bruisemarks of someone who nearly had their trachea crushed under great force. He is talking much better than one might expect for that, though.

"I think I managed to persuade her that she wasn't here legally and that she should turn herself in to the authorities. She's been watching me ever since. Even at Stark Industries if I'm in any room with an open window. She's doing a better job at it than when you tracked me down months ago. No offense. As far as Corv…"

Jim gets quiet for a second. "I'm afraid if I let him out, she'll be on me faster than—."

***

"So glad you approve Mr Reha." Babs says, slightly sarcastically as she catches his approving nod.

As the wolf lies next to her chair, she casts it an quizzicle glance and a small smile.

Flushing slighty, but only so, at the reference to the Dating Game, Babs remains silent whilst Jim provides his soliloquy and says nothing more.

***

"Here she cannot find you, so if you feel that he might have something helpful to say, feel free." Also, here Fenris isn't worried about unleashing the full scope of his power so if the Bhudda Bird is frightened enough to be hostile both he and Babs will get a front row seat to exactly why Fenris is the Apocalypse Wolf.

"Is he hurt or malfunctioning? Also…" He pauses, frowning. "Did she turn herself in?" Fenris can't imagine that'd do much good, really.

"You fear that if she sees him, she'll strike again. It would be helpful to know why she thinks you've committed crimes against her people, I think."

***
The Snark is strong with this one. Wonder if that's a trait of all the techies, or just the ones I know.

Jim's eyes furrow slightly. He was trying to be cool, but apparently fails at the 'modern language thing'. There's a slight shrug as he glances to Fenris.

"Give me a second. He's been quiet for weeks except in the after-math of the attack, it wanted to fly away and I vetoed that action — we were on a thread and if it had shown itself — I don't think it would have survived the encounter. I don't think it's hurt, I don't think it's malfunctioning, if I'd wager a guess I'd say it's terrified of this Thanagarian. No, she did not, and yes.. dangit, hang on, this is starting to get freaking annoying. Hold on. Hang on a second. Let me get him for you."

He glances over at Babs.

"Try not to be too freaked out?"

The portly fellow moves over to have plenty of space between him and the wolf and the woman in the wheelchair, then takes a knee even as limbs slowly extend out of his back… a lot slower than Fenris may seem to recall the bird being in the past encounters, almost like the guy is 'coaxing' the thing out. After a few moments it stands up and goes through a very clearly mechanical process of checking every single moving limb and joint before tilting its head at Oracle and Fenris.

"This one keeps things from the partner because the partner is not ready for them. This may have saved our existence. Stand by."

It bows to Oracle. "Greetings, this one is Corvinus, or The Corvinus, Extrapolated Intelligence charged with bringing Enlightenment to the Client-People of Thanagar."

***

Babs has grown up in the 'bat world'. Don't be freaked out? c'mon.

Inclining her head to the …?creature?…. Babs smiles "Greetings Corvinus. It is, indeed, a great pleasure to meet you. I believe," and she glances at the wolf "I have been brought here to ensure that you are ok however, before I proceed, let's see what the wolf says hmmmm?"

***

Truth be told, Fenris also brought Babs because A) He rather likes her and B) He thought these two might get along. If she can get through the enlightenment talk.

***

"Ah, hello there Corvinus." Fenris rumbles. He's not surprised to learn that the Bhudda Bird kept things from Jim. The question is how important. "So, would you care to 'enlighten' us about your present situation? Why does this 'Thanagarian' believe that you've committed crimes against her people strongly enough to be willing to kill you on sight, mmmm?"

***
The candor of the sitting woman catches the avianoid a bit off-guard. It is used to a far more adverse reaction, though perhaps it may be the 'average' reaction, rather than the 'adept' reaction. "This one has been attempting to remain in an isolated state as much as possible from partner's psyche on the off-chance that there is a psionic component to the pursuer's hunting capability. Wait one."
It stares off into the distance, then slumps a bit. Not as if struck, but as if it REALLY doesn't want to talk about something, yet is feeling compelled to do so.
"This one was charged with — wait one, partner terms updating — 'uplifting' the Thanagarians by this one's creators, the Archaeopean people. This one did as one asked, and brought wisdom and knowledge and education to Thanagar. This one taught logic and reasoning and careful consideration of all factors in one's environment as one would come to a decision. This happened for many orbits of their world.
Then one day this one was — wait one, partner term — 'shanked in the back by ungrateful bastards' slash 'respectfully told to depart'. This one departed first out of concern that this one had not given the Thanagarians proper distance and time to attain Enlightenment. Over epochs over evaluation and consideration of other races, this one came to the conclusion that they were not interested in Enlightenment, but in Conquest. And this one was 'in their way'."

***

"How fascinating… " Babs says, a small smile on her face. Pushing her glasses back up the bridge of her nose, she narrows her eyes as The Corvinus speaks. Accepting the wolfs directive before following her own impetus to assess and test, Babs presses "So why would this Thanagarian be prepared to execute you for 'crimes against her people'?
Babs knows that a methodical approach is more likely to be successful here. Think like a machine, apply the squishy stuff later.

***

"What precipitated their change in opinion of you?" Fenris asks quietly. This is the first time Corvinus has been willing to talk openly about the events that led to its arrival on this world and subesequent entangling with a retail worker named Jim Reha.

"It sounds like there must have been a philisophical or political shift." Privately, Fenris is amazed that Corvinus could teach on a planetary scale. It's pretty philisophically er… enthusiastic. He can see it attracting a following, perhaps a large one, but this is kind of news to him.

Then again, the god-wolf is Norse…

***
The bird thing places its right palm over its beak, then brings it down.
"This one apologizes. This one currently is operating on the consideration that the time passage may have focused the client-people to this one's eradication as some method of racial accomplishment. If one needs not fear one's alleged betters, then one is more powerful than one's betters. Perhaps not singularly, but as a people. This one does not see what crime this one could have performed that would have lasted over the ages to produce this reaction. Wait one. Partner Historical Reference: Missionaries in the colonial era attempted to spread their religions via a similar method. This was not always looked on fondly by local authorities. End Historical Reference. This one is not in full possession of knowledge this one once had, due to damage this one has sustained in the past."
It considers the Old Wolf's question about change in opinion.
"This one could not say. However, this one was attacked with weapons containing a transuranic 'iron' that existed in the 'island of stability', to use a physics term. This one was able to adapt some of the properties of that materiel into this one's composition. This one did not see such a thing as proprietary, given that one was attacked with the materiel?"

***

Babs smiles at The Corvinus, "I should be apologizing to you as much as you to me. Let's dispense with that and find a common ground hmmmm?" A glance at The Wolf, Babs murmurs "Easy to sway popular opinion when there is only 1 of something versus a lot of other voices?"

***
Fenris nods, thoughtful. "Yes, that is true. And the different or unusual are easier to cast out or cast in a poor light. However…" He frowns. "The bit about the 'iron'… in many cultures there are locations or materials that are considered sacred. I wonder if it's possible they considered the Corvinus to have somehow defiled something important or otherwise offered a serious enough insult to the people or their gods… Perhaps if you would permit Babs to examine you more closely?" Fenris' faculty with technology is limited.

***
The slump lessens a bit as Corvinus nods at Babs. "This would be acceptable and within operational parameters. One would seem to have a particular insight on the matter. This would seem to be the case, with additional partner caveat 'Prodigal Son applies'."

***
It tilts its head thoughtfully, then glances to Fenris. "With no disrespect intended to Babs, this one would not see the resources needed to perform such an examination at this time. This one is, however, willing to allow a qualitative analysis of this one's current positioning and posture."
It strides forward then folds a wing down so Babs can see it.
"This one should warn, though, that this one's time is exceptionally short, and this one's partner should be returned to the place that the partner came from, so as to conceal the capability to move vast distances in a short time away from the pursuer."

***

The Corvinus has hit to the nail on the head, so to speak. Babs is pretty cool with technology but new tech requires careful examination before just 'plugging' stuff into it. Tilting her head to the side as she examines the wing presented, Babs nods. In a firm tone she states "Ok Corvinus, you must have basic self diagnostics, initiate please and report." To the wolf she murmurs "I need him in one of my labs for a full work out. I don't him in my personal lab, just yet, I need a day to arrange something."

***

"Make a day trip down to Stark Industries. I'll give you an introduction to Pepper Potts if you like." Yes, Fenris knows Pepper. Jim knows this though it may come as a surprise to Babs. "Once you explain the situation I'm sure she'll be happy to allow you access to the labs at the tower. Or I should hope so at any rate. Now, I shall return you home, Jim. Babs, do you wish to remain and speak further? I'm happy to return you as well if you wish. Or do so later. Your choice."

***
"Unit Corvinus is operating within acceptable operating parameters. Unit Corvinus is missing prime data modules two hundred eleven through five hundred seventy-one inclusive. Unit Corvinus wishes one a most enlightening and educational day."

After that ritualistic recital it bows to Babs, takes a step back, and 'lets Jim back out'. The guy cracks his neck and nods. "Pepper's been polite and not pushed the issue. If you tell her that you're coming on my behalf, you should be able to get in okay. And I really need to get back to the portal spot I came from. If you send me somewhere other than where I got here from, that will tip off the tracker. We have to keep this capability secret as long as possible, we don't know if it will be needed in the future."

***

Pulling a tablet from the arm of her chair, Bab makes notes on The Corvinus' report. Looking at the wolf she says "I would like to stay longer, if you can spare the time" but there is a frown as considers whether time is, entirely, at play here.

Focusing on the portly man in front of her, Babs says "A pleasure Mr Reha" and Babs inclines her head "Thank you for your trust. I will make the necessary arrangements with Ms Potts and I will beg yours and The Corvinus' indulgence. It has been an honour." Babs holds out her right hand to the man in front of her.

***

Jim will take the hand and shake it. No approving nod this time, but he does smile. "I'll drop a message to the boss when I get in, and you're probably the first person that's asked to examine it at length. It is actually rather… pleased at the prospect. This is confusing me. I've stopped trying to figure it out." He shrugs helplessly. "It could be a lot worse…"
Jim will hopefully be deposited at the transit station, a little less worn for the experience, and with a bit more hopeful smile than he's experienced in a while.


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