Primal Force: Hellgate and Leylines

Summary:
March 30, 2015: Zee follows up with Paul about the Hellgates. Primal Force discovers something about the wya they are situated.

Financial District - New York City


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


After the meeting at the Baxter Building, Zee had asked Paul to show her where at least one of the Hell Gates (she thinks that's what he called them) were situated. The Leylines being used to store excess energy across the Tri-Cities, the message from N'astirh and now a connection to a hell plane are just all too coincedental for the young mage.

Agreeing a time and a place, Zee's picked up Jesana on the way and is waiting for Paul to appear.

Wearing figure hugging black leather pants, black denim jacket, a bright yellow crop top underneath and high heel knee high boots with buckles, the only jewellery she sports is the emerald pendulum at her left hip and the diamond encrusted collar.

Glancing over to Jesana, Zee smiles slightly "Agent Manning shouldn't be long now…"


Jes is Coyote today. Her animal senses might serve them better. She wags her tail and gives her friend a big coyote grin. She is ready, its a nice day and she is at her Zee's side.


Jericho's presence in the area is coincidental. That's often the case around Zee. The Hacker is following up on some unusual network traffic originating near but not at the Ground Zero memorial. The memorial itself is a good cover for loitering in the area. So while he hadn't been here to meet Zee, he's not surprised to see her and Jesana. Whom he recognizes. And approaches. "Walking the dog?"


"…I just hope we don't need to go there." Paul is telling Sara as they approach. The SHIELD uniform can pass as clothing so long as the insignia is covered and it is, by a matching but logo-less jacket. "I wandered around here the other day and it's somewhere underground. Which shouldn't affect her figuring out where these ley line things are, if wikipedia is accurate." Spotting the magician in question, he heads in that direction, quirking a brow when he also sees Trent.


"Yeah, well, if anyone has to go there, at least we're pretty well prepared," Sara points out, hands deep in her pockets as she walks beside Paul. "But I'm guessing it's pretty hostile territory, so let's avoid taking that route." When he mentions ley lines, she pulls out her keychain, from which hangs a length of chain with a silvery crystal. "Did I mention I got a new toy?" she grins back at her partner.


"Jericho" Zee sighs "You could say that" Jes is on lead, for display sakes. "What brings you here?" He doesn't strike her as the sight seeing, monument type. As Paul and Sara approach, Zee smiles and nods "That's Agent Manning and Sara, you remember her don't you Jes? I guess it's really Agent Pezinni." Waiting for them to join the group, Zee pulls a sheet of paper out of the bag slung over her shoulder.


Jes turns from eyes Jericho. She lifts a paw and waves at Sara before turning back and trotting close to Jericho, glad he's not standing further away than she can walk. She lifts herself up and her hind feet and braces her front feet on his chest and licks his chin before dropping back to all fours and sitting beside Zee. Yes, she gave him a coyote kiss instead of trying to say, pee on his shoes. Maybe she's decided Jericho isn't so bad after all or maybe its simply some strange new line of attack.


"Ack!" Jericho hadn't been expecting that. He takes a moment to wipe his chin off. "Nice to see you too." He looks up to see the two SHIELD (or is it WAND?) Agents approaching and waves to them as well. "I was hacking something across the street. Needed some place where I could loiter and not be noticed. Looks like you've got a meeting here? Shall I clear on out?"


"I just dont' understand why there's only four gates."Paul says to his partner as they come to a halt by Zee. "Hellgates are all over the world. This doesn't feel right. Afternoon Trent, Ms. Zatara." He frowns consideringly as he studies the coyote. "Your familiar?" he asks Zee. Witches supposedly have familiars so why shouldn't all magic types.


"Yeah, but do they all go to the same hell?" Sara asks. "Maybe this one's less popular. Or maybe, given our usual luck, it's on insane, maximum security lockdown. Somehow, that seems more likely," she admits, scrubbing a hand over her face as she tucks the keychain back into her pocket. "Hey," she tips her chin up toward the others. "We're going to try not to blow anything up, Trent. For what it's worth."


"Jes!" Zee looks mildly stricken and shakes her head "At least Jericho, she's not marking territory…" Coyote gets a look that's a mixture of amusement and exasperation "Guess she might be strating to like you." His question get's a shake of her head "Stay, actually, Agent Manning was going to show me where one of those Hellgates is." she shrugs "Might give you more cover for your hacking attempt, too."

"Agent Manning, this is Jes" Zee smiles brightly "No, she isn't my familiar, she's my friend." Zee's not really a witch… well, she doesn't think of herself that way anyway. " And please, call me Zee… Nice to see you again, Sara. Or should I call you Agent Pezinni?"


Jes ducks her head under Zee's hand after grinning up at her. She'll behave! They have work to do. She finally turns her attention to Agent Pezinni and her partner. She hasn't met him yet but Sara had seemed nice. Jes had not been at her best during their first meeting. She waves her paw at the Agent again. Jes seems more alert and focused and not a sad mournful ball of fur like she'd been last time.


Jericho nods to Paul and Sara as they approach. "Agents." He pauses. "That might take a bit of getting used to." Still, it's only fair. He figures they both earned the title. "I never worry about things blowing up because of you two." Though they might legitimately have some worries in the opposite direction. It's not something he tries to do, but still, it is something that's happened before.

"Following up on those gets, mmm? I have to admit I'm more than a little interested. I wonder if it's the same place that these guys have gotten some of their monsters." In several instances he's fought 'Slenderman' type beasties. They're common enough that he does wonder… actually come to think of it, he thinks Sara was there for one of those instances.

"Well, SHIELD and the magic police, then. This should be interesting." He'll stay, at least, until his presence isn't helpful.


Paul can only shrug at Sara's suggestions. It beats the hell out of him. "No, stay Trent. This concerns you too." Agents, detectives, it's all the same to him really. He's doing more or less the same job. He can just do it better now. "Very well, Zee. Call me Paul unless we're being officious." He takes a moment to study Zee's 'friend' before nodding to the dog. "Jes." He half turns to motion toward the memorial. "As for the gateway, it's under the museum. Seems kind of symbolically fitting if they're looking to destroy the city." Naturally, he's keeping his voice down.


"Sara's fine," Sara smiles faintly to Zee. "Unless we're somewhere official," she echoes her partner. One year and a trip to hell, and the pair of them talk like they've been together for a decade. "Hey, Jes," she nods to the coyote, glancing around the area with an amused look. "People really don't pick up on it, do they? I mean, clearly not a dog. New York," she chuckles before sobering as Paul fills everyone in.


"We are, Jericho. It's bugging me." Zee absently scratches Jes' head as Paul points out the location "Paul and Sara then… and no, Sara, people don't seem to notice Jes." Zees grateful for that. "Under the Museum… that would figure." She unfolds the piece of paper and shows the group.

"Shadowcrest… uhhh my home, has maps of most of the Leylines. These are the ones for New York. Can we go closer, Paul?" The Ley Pendulums that Sara, Jes and herself carry will confirm what the map is showing them.


Jes just grins and stays at Zee's side. People see what they want to see most of the time and the collar, tags and leesh only help in that area. She listens to the others talk. Her pendulum is tucked up under her collar to keep from waving and bouncing when she runs. Idly she touches a paw to it while listening.


Jericho gets a brief, faraway look in his eyes. The one that - for those who know him - signifies that he's looking at something only he can see. Like, you know, the internet. "Building plans say there's a sub basement. There's also a sewer tunnel down there a bit deeper and… it looks like there might have been an exploratory tunnel for a subway route that never went anywhere. Network's kinda sketchy on that. They could be using any of the above." Under the Museum is no good. Well, Jericho's not a magic expert but having a hellgate under an active memorial and business complex certainly seems like bad news.


"No reason why not." Paul answers. "Just try not to act weird and make security suspicious. We don't have any official authority here and flashing our IDs would needlessly alarm people." Not to mention get back to SHIELD and that would means lots of paperwork. He looks at Jes again then adds "They won't let her in unless you can convince them she's a service dog."


"If we've got the careful about flashing our badges, then whoever they are, if they're visiting these gates from our side, must have some sort of cover," Sara points out. "Trent, can you see if they're keeping any kind of public maintenance logs? Cleaning services, sewage inspections. Anything that wouldn't raise any concern going down there on a semi-regular basis."


"I just want to get close enough to feel the Leyline. The map says there's one there, I … just want to be sure." Zee frowns a little "Then we can decide if we really want to go in. If Coyote is a problem, I can call her clothes and she can change." Sara's question has the young magi looking thoughtful "Or is there another access to the tunnels that could be used to avoid detection?" It sounds a bit like a bad movie plot, really.


Jes waves her tail and licks Zee's hand in agreement. She'll shift if necessary but she can pretend to be a guide or guard dog. She's done it before. Coyote cane for Zee! The coyote blinks and then sits and looks up at Zee with an expression of concentration.


"Let me see…" It's nice, being able to run searches like this on the fly. Of course, the main reason he can - special hardware and skills aside - is a lot of work on the back end setting up back doors and such to make this kind of thing easier.

"Cleaning company is, er, clean so far as I can tell… sewer line maintenance looks… ah, red flag on the building inspector. He's been on my 'suspicious' list for a while. Brock Reynolds. Also the place has been 'flagged' for OSHA violations several times in the last five months but there's none of the supporting paperwork so we may have a security breach there." He pauses. "Mmmmm… the they are logging pretty regular maintenance down in the sub basement now that I look at it, so there may be something there too." Three possibilities. Running them down would take some legwork but it's pretty apparent that there could be leaks. Of course, where there are leaks, there's cover. Getting down there with a little planted evidence wouldn't be hard. "I'm logging another OSHA complaint now for the lower levels…" He takes off his coat and drops it on Jesana. Knowing Zee, she can magic it into a dog vest that looks official. Drug sniffing dog? No too official. But, er, gas leak detector? They'll think of something. Paul and Sara were cops, they know what'll work.


"It depends on where the gate is." Paul says thinks a moment. "It's deep. Probably not in the sub basement though there might be a way to it through the sub basement. There's also a way to it through the subways since I want to go there when I think about getting to it. But just to check out the leyline, you shouldn't need to find it right?"


"I'd think we could check the ley lines from here," Sara agrees, unclipping the stone from her keychain and spinning the chain around one finger. "Aside from the fact that we're going to look like a new age prayer group." She looks around, trying to find a quieter spot for that particular investigation.


"With three of us, we should be able to." Zee looks to Paul "I just wanted to get a bit closer to the Leyline for now. But if we can check out the gate, that's likely going to be helpful… although we may need a bit more preparation for that." Scooping Jericho's coat from Jes' back, Zee smiles gratefully to the hacker "We might not need it, just yet."

Seeing Sara looking, Zee nods to a sheltered corner "If we stand over there, we won't look too conspicuous." Touching the pendulum at her hip, not that she needs to but she thinks she does, Zee will head that way if Sara and Jes agree.


Jes stands and shakes to settle her fur. Great, now she smells like hacker. She nods up at Zee and follows at her side. She's practiced enough to do this in coyote or human form and for now she prefers coyote unless Zee requires otherwise.


Paul looks at Sara's keychain as they walk over to a spot more out of the way. "You got a new toy and didn't get me one? I got you a Loki detecting flower. I brought the plant with me, by the way, in case we need to use it again."


"There's a limit to how much jewelry a man should wear, Paul, before he starts looking like some Jersey shore guido," Sara smirks over at her partner, though she holds out the crystal to give him a chance to get a look at it. "I'm still working out the details on how it works. The 'blade doesn't seem to object too much so far, though." She follows Jes and Zee toward the sheltered spot, already letting her mind brush against the crystal.


When they reach the sheltered spot, Zee is smirking a little at the banter between Paul and Sara. Jes gets a small smile and Zee draws in a breath "Well, I think if we just all focus on the pendulums, they'll do the rest for us. But…" she smiles deprecatingly "there's power in symbols, so lets form a triangle." With that Zee takes up position and lets her fingers rest lightly on the emerald pendulum at her hip. A far away look comes into her eyes and those around her with the sense will feel something…


Jes sits across from Zee, leaving Sara to take point. She closes her eyes and focuses. She doesn't need to touch the pendulum when its resting against her neck. Jes opens her mind to the power of the pendulum and lets it connect her with Zee. Zee will lead and she'll follow, as it should be.


"I don't w…" Paul starts to retort but then pauses. Oh, yeah. He doesn't really think of it as jewelry. "Fine. But you look silly too." he says. Hah, take that. Letting them play with their rocks, he turns to watch the street and make sure no one's coming toward them.


Sara chuckles at Paul, settling into the triangle with Zee and Jes. Whether it's because it's never occurred to her that she should need to, or some skill that comes from her partnership with the Witchblade, she doesn't touch the crystal itself, instead letting it dangle from its chain around her fingers like a rosary as she bows her head. She's not particularly familiar with magic or circles, but she's shared her mind with the Witchblade for almost seven years now. In a similar manner, she opens her mind to the circle. It should be interesting to see if anyone picks up on the things already connected to her.


As the three women focus on their pendulums, they feel the power of the Leyline as expected but there's something different about it. Zee gets a feeling for Sara and Jes but it's what she's feeling through the Leyline that worries her the most.

Holding out a hand, she'll connect Paul in if he wants to feel what they're feeling, she's fairly certain she can do that.


Beyond a sort of 'Hi, I'm here.' Mental pat, Jes doesn't bother Sara. She remembers their first meeting and Sara's unamused reaction to Fenris mind calling her. It had been the only bright point in Coyote's day, watching Sara chastise the God-Wolf. She follows Zee's gaze instead and looks out towards the Ley line. A soft growl at the dark energy flooding out through the line escapes her throat. That is not right, not how it should be at all.


Paul glances at Zee's hand, a quirked eyebrow questioning her before he reaches out to clasp it. As soon as he does, he stiffens and turns to look back to the memorial while still holding onto Zee's hand. Probably too tightly for her comfort. "Shit. That can't be good." Why didn't he feel that before? Answer: he's not normally attuned to magic.


Sara feels it. Though how much she feels through her pendulum and how much she feels through the Witchblade is up for grabs. The Witchblade is also known as the Balance, and…what she's feeling from both of them is anything but. As the others link in, they may sense something of a ripple of Sara's end of things. It's hot. Rage-filled. And it doesn't like the darkness spilling into the ley lines.


Pauls gripping Zee's hand hurts a little and the raven haired magi winces. Shaking herself, Zee lets her focus drop and glances at her companions, her look grim. "Not at all, Paul. But that answers part of my question… and raises even more." Like why? Sara gets a closer look "Are you OK, Sara?" what Zee felt through that bond, wasn't nice.


Jes's hackles are on edge and her fur standing on end as she turns to eye Sara. She looks reading to spring, but infront of Zee, not at Sara. She's pretty sure that rage is focused on whatever is causing the dark energy flooding the line but Zee is to be protected at all costs and so she's ready to leap in front of any danger.


Paul lets go of Zatanna's hand but the damage, so to speak, has been done. Both he and the Rapture are aware of the abyssal energy spreading through the ley lines and it's like an itch he can't scratch. Or kill. "According to wikipedia, ley lines are all connected and are all over the world. So this demonic energy is being spread to all corners of the globe?"


"Uh huh." It's probably not the most convincing thing Sara could have said. She still has her eyes closed, focusing on her connection with the 'blade. Tendrils of metal are already curling around the fingers of her white hand, glowing as though white hot. "It's okay. I've got this." Sort of. It's like pushing back a tsunami with a pool noodle. Whatever else is in Sara's mind, it wants to flood the lines in return, and damn the consequences. It takes a few minutes, but eventually the heat fades, as does the light around her hand, and she lets out a shaking breath. "Sorry, guys. Wasn't expecting that."


Zee reaches down and lays a calming hand on Jes. "It's alright, Jes." Zee hasn't taken her eyes off of Sara. "Neither was I, Sara. But it's not the first time I've seen something similar done either." She's worried, very worried. Pauls words get a look and a slight shrug of her shoulders as she holds out the map of Leylines in New York. "That's a good question, Paul. It would take a lot of power to infect the whole Leyline network." She's just not sure… "Another question is why pump power from the grids into the network and then overlay with demonic power?"


Jes sits and settles, looking up at Zee and whining softly. This is bad. That energy..was dark, foul and muddying up the clear clean power of the line. If it spread it would not be a good thing. She knows that much at least.


"Maybe they want to make things more like home before they decide to invade." Paul suggests. "Maybe whatever lives on the other side doesn't need to be summoned like other demons. Or maybe some already have been and are doing this as some sort of ritual to summon more." He turns to look at Zatanna. "You do magic. Are you able to see if this stuff is spreading to other countries?"


"Unless they're feeding the corruption from the grids," Sara points out, tucking the crystal away and rubbing at her arms as she tries to shake off the influence of the 'blade. "Or using the extra power as an amplifier for what they're already putting in from the other side. Frequencies, maybe." She trails off, shaking her head. "I hate to say it, but as bad as the 'blade wants to try to balance that, you'd need something on the range of the Angelus itself to clear those lines."


"Or the Spear?" Paul asks.


"I could…." Zee thinks and thinks some more "but it's not straight forward and I'd need to prepare." and be somewhere safe. The amount of concentration that will take will leave her vulnerable. "But even if I did… It's like waterways, right? Dump something into New York Harbour and then look for changes in India… How long would the effect take to be seen?"

Shaking her head "Cleaning the lines should start with closing those gates. I'm assuming that can be done?" She looks to Paul for confirmation "BUT… closing the gates, tips our hand." another shrug "I'm not really sure whether we want to do that or not."


Jes waves her tail and bumps Zee's hand with her nose. She'll do whatever Zee thinks is best of course. She knows next to nothing about this sort of thing.


"Sure, maybe something like the spear," Sara grimaces to Paul's question. "If it was being used the way it's supposed to be, by someone who's meant to be using it. Used the wrong way might be worse than nothing at all." She takes a deep breath, letting it out slowly. "Let's keep working it. I'm going to spend some time…thinking on this. Sleep on it. That's usually when the 'blade tells me what it wants me to know."


"Sounds like a plan to me, Sara." Zee needs to think and speak things out. Sleep wouldn't be a bad idea either. "Thank you both, for meeting me here. It's been helpful." Jericho gets a small smile before Zee looks to Jes "Let's go home, hmmmm?" She and Jes can Leyline, all the way into Shadowcrest, Zee's finally modified the wards to let them do that.


Jes waves a paw at Sara, bounds over and jumps up to lick Jericho's chin again and then travels back with Zee. A very well behaved coyote today. Mostly.


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