The Paradox Lesson

February 02 2015:** Fenris intends to teach Kate how to keep her mind. He ends up grabbing Melinda May as well, sort of by accident.

Fenris' House

Fenris' house, in Brooklyn, is a nice, low profile affair not too far from the zoo.



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Fenris generally keeps his promises. It's good to do so, it's habit and he's mostly not a bad guy provided you don't piss him off. So when Kate asked for help resisting mental coercion (one of two people so far who've asked him for training of some kind) he naturally said yes. It took him a bit of time to set it up so it'd be safe but still helpful and then he reached with a portal to bring the young archer to his place in New York. A nice house, bit big for just one guy. More of a family dwelling but oddly absent the family.

There was a sliiiight hiccup on the way though. Someone touched with a shadow of dark power. Something kind of, sort of in the way of the portal. Rather than go around, he just grabbed what or whomever that was too so he could look at it.

Kate is not in great shape. Her Hawaii trip ended up with some fun nitrogen poisoning as a side effect. She's not dying, but it's pretty much hit her like a nasty flu. Which…Well. Given the choice between flying the long way back to New York or hitching a ride with Fenris? Yeah, she'll take a ride, sure. Even if she's coughing on her way out of the portal.

"Nice place," she says, hand over her mouth, before promptly finding the nearest couch and flinging herself down on it.

Melinda May has spent the past several days concealing a couple of inconvenient wounds. The one on her hip is healing pretty much like normal, but the one on her arm… She was in the process of re-bandaging it when her entire existence abruptly lurched sideways and dumped her rather abruptly onto a floor. At least it's not some filthy concrete floor in a warehouse or something.

But, the unexpected disorientation means she doesn't get up again immediately. And, for whatever reason, it's set her arm and her hip to complaining. Loudly. Damn. It.

"You… don't look so good." Fenris notes of the young archer as she rather dramatically lands on his couch. Then the dark thing he reached for, Melinda May, is dumped on his living room carpet. "And you look even worse." At least the Old Wolf knows who she is and isn't likely to assume that the dark taint is from any kind of wrongdoing on her part. He kneels down to have a look at the agent. "And I smell blood. Which of you is hurt?" Well, both seem to be. Lesson might be delayed a moment or three.

"Nitrogen poisoning," Kate summarizes. "Because Hill wouldn't let me call in the favor from the dryad, so instead we had to find out the hard way that the trees have been weaponizing themselves." She curls up on her side, reaching for a pillow to stuff it under her head as she looks toward May. "Seriously. There were explosions. I'm not bleeding, though." She peers at the agent, brows furrowing. May bleeds? Actual blood?

Great. Just great. May picks herself up off of the floor, but only far enough to sit with her back against the couch that Bishop has claimed. She's got a half-falling off bandage on her left arm up near the shoulder, mostly concealing a wound that looks like it might be considering becoming infected. Without saying anything, she's just about oozing 'do not touch me' vibes.

Fenris stands up. "I see… Agent May hello. That's no ordinary wound you have there." It was made by something magical, though he hardly needs to say that. "Both you two wait here. I'll start some tea and get a couple of things."

It's odd to see the sun eater doing… ordinary things. Like putting a kettle on. Or getting a couple of vials out of the kitchen that seem to be lined with gold. Okay, that's not so ordinary. He returns and sets the vials on the end table near May. They're empty.

"Alright Kate, you first." His hands begin to glow green and a phantom breeze disturbs his hair and clothing before light begins to pour into the young archer. Though not a particularly potent mage by Asgardian standards he does have access to a lot of power and an innate command of life energies. It lasts for about thirty seconds, pouring life into Kate, before it fades and Fenris picks up the vials.

"You, Agent, have been infected. I'll need to draw the ichor out. It will hurt. May I proceed? Kate, I might need a hand."

Kate resists the urge to poke May. Just barely. She is right there. And that wound looks like an interesting one. On the other hand, May. Luckily, she's not really feeling well enough to be too much trouble. Damn tree farts. Instead, she watches what she can of Fenris' preparations, stifling a cough every now and then.

"Me first what?" she starts to ask when he comes back. The answer, though, is in that green light. When it's over, she draws her first full breath in the last couple of days, letting it out on a relieved sigh. "So, what kind of services does the church of Fenris hold?" she grins at the wolf. "Because I'm starting to feel like I might be finding some religion." Enough, at least, to sit up and look down at May. "What tagged you?"

Melinda May actually doesn't bother to try and watch Fenris bustling about, instead trying to resituate the bandage on her arm which, without the rest of her medkit that got left behind, is really rather pointless. She does look over her shoulder briefly at Kate when that green light starts up, but then he's got a vial in hand and he's explaining what he wants to do. That's more courtesy than that druid person in Gotham gave her, so after giving the sun eater a few seconds of hard stare, she relents and nods.

"Hold her Kate, please." Fenris says to the archeress. "And don't let her hit you. Or smear what's going to come out onto you."

That light grows again, this time concentrating on the wounds on May's arm and hip. The hip acts normally but the cuts begin to ooze copious amounts of boiling black sludge which drip into the vial's Fenris holds under her arm. One fills, then the other nearly halfway again before it finally stops. The process is… rather agonizing.


Kate looks like Fenris has more faith in her ability to hold May to anything than she does herself. Generally speaking, that's just asking for trouble. "You realize that's actually a tall order, right?" But then he's starting, and it sounds like letting something bad happen probably is't super helpful either, so with a yelp, she throws herself forward to put her hands on May's shoulders. Right where she can shrug it off if restraint isn't needed. Or get a better hold if it is.

Even though May appears to have braced herself for whatever it was that Fenris planned on doing, when the nasty black sludge starts to ooze out of the gashes on her arm (that really do look like claw marks) she gasps and turns her head away, grasping at Kate's wrist on her other shoulder and gripping TIGHTLY while squeezing her eyes closed. She's as tense as a bowstring the entire time and other than starting to shiver, is still and silent.

When the last of the ichor is gone from the wound, she practically crumples like a marionette with its strings cut and pants as if out of breath. Then she starts faintly mutters curses. In Mandarin.

"There. It's out." Fenris voice is rather quiet as he goes back to his kitchen and puts the vials of sludge… somewhere. THey're gone when he returns. "Those should recover normally now. Sadly magic would only… not make them worse precisely but you'd not want me to do it. At all. And well done Kate." He smiles faintly.

"In answer to your question, our services are short. Very short. Been a long time since anyone venerated me in that way." He pulls a small vase down from the shelf and sets it on the floor, getting out a few vials of powder. "Now, I believe I owe you some mind control resistance training. This'll… have to be a regular thing for a bit. Agent May… based on what just came out of your arm, you're welcome to sit in. You may need it."

Kate stares at the ichor coming out of the wound in horror. Anything that does that to May? Not something she wants to tangle with. "What did that, and how do I get away from it?" she asks, looking back up at Fenris. At least she knows the right question to ask about those sorts of things. Once it's done, she sits back in the couch again, surreptitiously giving her arm a shake. "It does mind control, too?!" There might b a little bit of a squeak at the last.

Melinda May is still recovering from whatever Fenris just did, so the only answer she can offer Kate about what hit her is, "Ask Trent". She's seriously debating evicting the kid from the couch and laying down for a bit instead of participating in whatever the Old WOlf is talking about. She's not tracking so well at the moment.

"Shadowfiends? No not so much." Fenris says as he mixes the powders in the vase, waits a few moments and then drops a match in. They light up to produce a flame that shifts from green to blue to purple and back again. "Right, that'll do. No, shadowfiends don't do mind control. They do corruption. I merely meant that Agent May seems to be running into some serious magic and if so, she may apprecate having her mind stay her mind. Speaking of which…" Fenris looks over at Kate as he sits down. "We're going to take this slow. The first step is to realize when someone's inside your mind. Mental invasions can be very, very subtle. Actually that tends to be the hardest part, realizing you're under attack. Once you do, evicting your enemy can be rather simple. Isn't always, but I know a few tricks. Now…" He looks intently at Kate who may feel a subtle influence creeping over her. Fenris won't actually make her do anything. He just wants her to get used to what the warning signs are that someone is trying to mind whammy you. "Not everyone is this… gentle. The ones that aren't though, you won't tend to have a problem realizing what's going on. Are you sure you don't want to practice May?"

Kate is still watching May, and closely enough to recognize a need to rest when she sees it. "You should maybe lie down," she suggests, slipping off the couch to sit on the ground in front of it as Fenris begins the lesson. Kate may be a lot of things, but one thing she's not is unaware of herself. Whether it's a natural awareness or just years of therapy, she knows how her mind works, and she knows whatever is pushing there…isn't it. She squints, tilting her head a bit at Fenris. "That is squirmy feeling."

Melinda May nods to Kate as the archer vacates the couch for her and she shakily pushes herself up to sit then all but fall over sideways onto the cushions. "Next time," she says to Fenris, and after a few moments of watching the two, actually lets her eyes close. If she's not safe with these two, she's not safe anywhere.

Fenris watches May and his hand glows briefly… but then he thinks better of it. She'd probably appreciate not becoming an elf or a werewolf or an actual wolf. Those wounds will eat magic until they're healed. "It is… and if I do this…" Fenris 'moves around' a bit in Kate's mind, pokes at her arm (wihtout poking at it) and then leaves her mind. "Now, brace yourself, becuase this is the other way it happens."

It's only the fact that he's fairly sure Kate won't run or try to attack him that lets him do this. He unleashes the full presence of his divinity. There's sneaking into a mind, and then there's kicking the front door down. It can hurt quite a bit, though he's not trying to make it do that. It's definitely sudden and startling and the ones who do this usually mean to break their targets completely to ensure a lack of resistance.

"Oh, hey!" Kate protests at the psychic poke, looking down at her arm and poking at it herself. "That is really weird." She's desperately resisting the urge to swat at where she feels the wolf in her head. She sobers somewhat when he warns her next, taking a deep breath and steeling herself for…

That was a bit more than she was prepared for. Kate is strong-willing, strong-minded, but she's no god. And that? That's very new. He may catch a glimpse of something in her mind, if he's paying attention. Something small, and scared, buried deep in a memory of darkness and helplessness. As soon as the attack registers, though, it's as though an entire troop of practical, logical thoughts are deployed through her mind, scrambling to restructure and make sense of it.

Fenris chuckles and stops. "Sorry." He did feel that scared, helpless bit and he does feel bad about that. He likes Kate, after all. "Alright. Now here's the part we're going to practice. I'm going to teach you some simple magic." He draws some symbols on a sheet of paper. They're… really hard to look at. Odd. Mathemetically impossible shaps that writhe and squirm. "We're going to get you to memorize these and practice holding them in your mind. They're abjurations and they will evict unwelcome visitors. They take some work to get used to using though. Hence the practice." Basically, Kate'll be shoving paradoxes down the deepest parts of her inturder's hindbrains until they either disconnect or fry their psyches.

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