|Scene Title||Sturm und Drang|
|Synopsis||A chance meeting between Scrivner and Kamala turns into a discussion about the impending end of the world.|
Sultry notes of Jazz waft through the air, along with the fine aroma of over fifty different types off coffee. Ranging from the esoteric (and delicious) Jamaican Blue Mountain to the almost mundane flavor of amaretto, the Java House carries them all. The interior, while somewhat drab compared to Starbucks, is almost entirely in neutral earth tones. The Java House is less like a house than a long hallway, one lined with a variety of trendy peices of art.
The noise from all the shoes of the customers in here treading on the hard wood floors sometimes drowns out the music, but it still produces a rhythm all it's own. The vibration from the tunes, and from the many feet walking on the wooden floor, almost fills the room with a subtle buzz, one that only complements the excellent coffee here.
After the lunch hour, the rush of patrons usually slows down to a more comfortable crawl. The relaxed atmosphere returns, and notes of jazz music drift lazily as an undercurrent to conversation. The weather's been pleasant lately, and the streets of New York are as blessedly quiet as they'll ever be. Of course, that's not saying much. There's always shouting, honking cars or blaring radios. So much noise. Most of it gets left at the door, thankfully enough.
Amidst the motley selection of patrons there's a businessman sitting at a small table by his lonesome. Not that he looks all that lonesome… Rufus Scrivner has draped his black trenchcoat over the back of his chair, wearing a three piece suit beneath it in shades of navy blue. Unusual in that he has a cup of tea rather than coffee, he's paying more attention to the screen of his laptop as he types, killing time on his lunchbreak with… more work.
Kamala, who chose to come to this place instead of the campus cafeteria, is a student and thus has the privilege of extending her lunch break as long as she wants. Nevertheless, over in her corner of the shop, she's got a huge hard-cover book open in front of her, and a notepad that she's scribbling on in a fast, messy scrawl. She's not paying attention to the two gossiping teens in the other corner, or to the way that the clerk behind the counter keeps on sneaking peeks at her. For all intents and purposes, her mind is a million mines away, likely somewhere around the Horsehead Nebula.
Eventually the scribbling hand stills, and she looks up to press at her neck, trying to ease the burn there. With a firm-lipped sigh, she stands to approach the counter and quietly orders another cup of coffee, arm motions vigorous as she describes the amount of hazelnut syrup and sugar to be added. The first sip is so sublime that she presses her eyes shut even as she turns, and when she opens them she's staring at Scrivner. She gives a few steps back to her table before curiosity prompts her to turn towards his seat, and the next few moments are spent navigating her way over. "Pardon me," she says in slightly-accented English. "I … saw you at the zoo the other day, did I not?" She's searching his features, trying to imagine him sans laptop and with sword.
Sans laptop and coated in blood and gore, don't forget. Rufus is certainly a great deal cleaner this afternoon, smelling not of Nemean Snakes but of some brisk aftershave. His fingers still over the keys of the computer, and icy blue eyes flicker up to the face of the young woman standing beside his table. He blinks just once before leaning back and then standing up, pushing back his chair with a quiet scrape of the legs across the wooden floor. "Indeed, you did," he says, his own words given an English accent. "You were with the man named Jacob, weren't you?" Here he offers his hand for a shake and smiles politely. "Fancy meeting you here, though I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised. Fate tends to draw us all together."
Unbound, her hair is easily long enough to tickle at the small of her back, and coloured a vibrant shade of black that shimmers blue in the light. There's a small bit of curl to it, enough to make the thick locks wavy. For the moment, she's braided the sections around her face to prevent it from flying in her eyes, but the rest falls free and clear. Genetics has seen fit to give her a skin tone just slightly darker than good honey, and there are no freckles or blemishes on it, just the shine of good health and youth. Her eyes' colour seems to be mutable, shifting between light blue and green at the drop of a hat, depending on the light falling across her face and the clothes she's wearing. Her lips, pink and full, are most often pulled into a wide smile.
Her body is elegantly shaped, comprised of flat, wiry muscles rather than bulk, and with enough definition to hint at a rather active lifestyle. It suits her 5'8" frame beautifully, and the sensual grace she uses in moving adds to her rather startling beauty. She's clad in a vivid tank top and pair of pants, with cute sneakers serving as shoes. The tank top is fitted tightly and stops just short of baring her midriff, although occasional movements reveal tight and toned skin, along with a teasing glimpse of something bright and metallic. Her cargo pants sit low on her hips, with pockets on the hips, sides and thighs.
"I believe it has little to do with fate, and much more with the coffee they serve here," Kamala points out as she shakes her hand, her own grip warm and brief. "Except, of course, that you seem to be drinking tea. Mr. Chen and I are friends, yes. I am sorry to have left so early the other day, but there were people that needed help, you lot seemed to have everything in mind, and I went." She essays a brief, hesitant smile. "Would it be possible to join you at your table? I am attempting to study; though I am trying hard, it irritates me when they look so. It might be better with a man at the table. If you do not mind me interrupting you, that is. You seem to be working as well."
His own hand is warm to the touch, his grip solid, the shake kept just as brief. Rufus pulls back his hand and, tilting his head, arches his eyebrows in some surprise. "You may, absolutely," he says quickly. "It would be a pleasure to have some company. I wasn't working on anything so important that it cannot wait for awhile." He gestures with his right hand towards the seat opposite his, then he bends in order to save his programmes, close them up, and go through shutting down his laptop. Once he's closed it, he hoists it up and bends to slip it gently into the case resting on the floor beside his chair. "I must admit," he goes on to say, "that I never did develop an obsessive fondness for coffee like most of the Yanks here. Tea is my first love." He remains standing, waiting for the lady to seat herself before he sinks down again.
Kamala makes for her own table to collect her things as he shuts down his laptop. When she joins him, she puts the book - an astrophysics tome - down on a third chair with her bag, and seats herself with a murmured 'Thank you'. The tense line of her shoulders relax a little when she sits, and she curls her hands around her styrofoam cup with a happy sigh. "You sound like an Englishman - they never did relax even in India," she laughs. "I think it would take more to get you off that tea than most are prepared for. Speaking of things that I definitely was not prepared for though, I also wanted to apologise for the other day. I wasn't much help." Nemean anacondas are tough; even so, her efforts didn't mean that much. "Would it be terribly impolite of me to suggest that you do not, er, look the type to do such things now?" One finger lifts momentarily from the cup to gesture at his three-piece suit. "Bespoke tailoring … Saville Row?"
The smirk that tugs at the corners of his mouth is distinctly pleased. "Yes, I am, and yes, it is. You've a very sharp and perceptive eye, Miss," Rufus answers with a nod of his head, his own gaze flickering to her astrophysics books, then he glances over her attire and her face. Calmly, he reaches for his teacup and takes a sip, and after setting it back down upon the table, he murmurs, "There's no need to apologise for your perceived lack of helpfulness at the zoo. Not everyone is suited to combat. Some heal; some are more intellectual. What matters is that we came out alive, and the spawn was destroyed." His smirk broadens, deepening crinkles at the corners of his eyes. "I go to quite some effort not to come across as too rash and wild on a day to day business. My chosen profession isn't too tolerant of it." Here is where he reaches into an inner breast pocket of his suit jacket, pulling out a slim business card from a case. He offers it across the table. "My name is Rufus Scrivner." There's contact information on there for his law firm, complete with email address, office phone, address, and the other sorts of things one would expect.
"Members of my family wear suits like that. I suppose that I developed the eye in self-defense." Lordy, the card's even got a web address on it. Kamala takes the card hesitantly, reading over the information before she grimaces. "I'm sorry, I don't have a card to return to you. Hm." As she thinks, her eyes fall on her notepad and she brightens. She tears a corner off and scribbles her phone number on it. "My name is Kamala Jadeja," she says as she writes it both in Devanagari and English. "It's not nearly as elegant as your card though." The piece of paper is placed next to one of his hands, edges curling up a little from the force she used to rip it out. "Have you been doing that kind of thing for a long time, Mr. Scrivner? I once had the opportunity to pick up a flexible sword at kalari practice, but since I nearly sliced my hand open I decided not to risk it again. Perhaps, if things go as they seem to be going, it would not be an unwise idea to try once again." Her mouth twitches into a wide, happy smile. "I do not suppose you give lessons?"
"Nonsense. There's no need to apologise." Reaching out, he plucks up the little scrap of paper, flipping it about so he can read it and memorise the name and number. Then he slips both paper and card case back into the pocket of his suit jacket, looking up from the table to the young lady's face again. As Scrivner leans back in his seat, he takes up his teacup, but he foregoes a sip as he answers, "For quite some time, yes. I studied fencing as a boy, and I had the good fortune of having a mate who wanted to join the Royal Shakespeare Company. They actually do study swordsmanship for their performances, and I made a very convenient sparring partner." A few seconds pass by in silence while he takes his drink, watching her contemplatively. When he lowers his cup again, he muses, "I've never actually given lessons, but it's often occurred to me that I /should./ It's certainly something I'm amenable to doing."
Kamala hides a laugh behind her cup at that. "You started off learning how to stage-fence?" she asks, more taken with the notion than she ought to be. "What a singularly strange start to things - I had expected some intricate tale about ancestors from Scotland, and barbarous plunders to and fro over the border between the two countries." The lady has an active imagination; that, or she's been reading too many historical romance novels. "Be that as it may, if you ever do decide that you wish to have a student, would you allow me to put my name in the hat? Even a little tuition would be handy. I'm primarily a distance specialist, as it were, and things start getting hairy up close." The marvellous smile twists off her mouth as she grimaces. "Or I freeze, like I did the other day. It's a good thing Mr. Chen was there - he is a good man too, and a better shot than I had thought."
He sets his cup gently back upon the table, then he spreads his hands and smirks in a rather self-deprecating fashion. "I'm afraid my beginnings were a trifle less glorious, yes." At least on the mortal side of things. Scrivner folds his hands across his lap and leans back again, gently crossing his legs beneath the table by resting an ankle over the opposite knee. "Mr. Chen did seem like a very competent and polite young man, yes. It was a pleasure making his acquaintance." He draws in a breath and exhales it quietly, "Hmmmm…" On the one hand, he is a very busy man. On the other, he does consider it his duty to help and guide, if at all possible. "I think lessons could be arranged, actually," he says. "Please understand, however, that I work a great good deal, and I may be able to give you only a handful of hours every week. But if I can help, I will. There is only going to be greater dangers facing us in the very near future. I would hate to see you unprepared to face them."
Vette has arrived.
Taking the last sip of her coffee, the young woman opposite him merely shrugs. "I have a heavy study load as well, Mr. Scrivner. I would be the first to admit that I don't have all the time in the world. In fact … that's part and parcel of what's worrying me. For two decades, I thought I was normal, and I developed my own goals and dreams. You have a lawyer's firm. How do we balance what we are with what we've always wanted to be? I realise that this is a great honour, but I don't want a job." Her nose wrinkles. "I'd be dreadful at it anyway. Thank you, however. I do appreciate the willingness to assist."
With the lunch rush over and the dinner rush not yet started, the Java House is blissfully cozy and quiet, with only the sound of jazz music and soft conversation breaking the serenity of the place. To one side of the small establishment, a young woman and an older man are talking. The young woman is dressed in the jeans and sweater that any student might wear, with a large textbook and voluminous bag on another chair close to her, and the gentleman is dressed in a sharp three-piece suit.
"I believe that Mr. Chen might want to do so as well, or at least would not mind escorting me to the practices. Perhaps I'll be able to use him for a sparring partner when you have no time, and that way we'll be able to make the best of what little time we do have available. How much would you require as a tuition fee, and what equipment should we bring with?"
It's a lucky man who has a secure woman for a girl. When Vette sees Scrivner at the coffee shop talking to a beautiful woman, her first thought is: she's a client. She waves to him and smiles but doesn't approach right away. Instead, she goes over to get herself some coffee. She's got her battered old bookbag over her shoulder. The world may be going to hell in a handbasket, but finals are still coming up.
"You're quite welcome," Rufus murmurs, inclining his head to the lady. For a few seconds, he has not yet noticed Vette's entrance. His eyes rest on Kamala, studying her, but with the typical, aloof politeness with which he regards most people. "To be honest, Miss Jadeja, I'm not particularly interested in being paid. I've certainly no need of money, being … comfortably established. I much prefer the thought that if I should find myself in need of help, you would be willing to assist me with whatever it might be. It seems a fair trade, my teaching and my help for your help. Mr. Chen, likewise, is welcome to join us. Working with two students shouldn't be too great of a burden either, but if he prefers only to escort you, then so be it." Then he /does/ catch sight of movement, and his eyes flicker up, then brighten. "Ah, Miss Adams…" He stands up from his chair, then he reaches around behind him to pull over a fourth so Vette may join. "My dear, please come and join us?"
Kamala barely manages to contain the impish snicker. "Mr. Chen would not mind assisting, I am sure, if I ask him nicely. He is a reasoned, logical man and will surely see the benefit in it." Translation: she'll bat her eyelashes and whine him into it. "I think that is an admirable idea and… oh!" She breaks off as Scrivner invites Miss Adams over to their table; smiling happily, she tilts her head as she peeks over her shoulder. "That is the lady that was with you at the zoo, is that not so? The one that admired … the pram." That's all she's going to say on the subject of babies. Child-adoration is good and well, but in small doses. "Yes, please do?" she calls out in welcome, already moving her textbooks away to make space for another cup on the small table. "Pardon me, let me just clean up here." The book and notepad go into her bag, and she gives it a shake to get everything settled down, resulting in a cheery, metallic jingle.
With the lunch rush over and the dinner rush not yet started, the Java House is blissfully cozy and quiet, with only the sound of jazz music and soft conversation breaking the serenity of the place. To one side of the small establishment, a young woman and an older man are talking. The young woman is dressed in the jeans and sweater that any student might wear, with a large textbook and voluminous bag on another chair close to her, and the gentleman is dressed in a sharp three-piece suit. Currently, they seem to be cajoling another lady at the counter to join them, this one with a battered bookbag over her shoulder.
Vette smiles. "Thank you." She slides into the seat. "Hi there!" Yes, she admired the pram, but at least she doesn't seem to want babies of her own. Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. She tilts her head at Kamala and says, "Oh, the zoo. Yes. I remember you I think. You were wearing a red hat?" Kamala wasn't, but Vette sometimes remembers everyone in a red hat thanks to a particular pay-attention exercise that Rufus Scrivner keeps putting her through.
Rufus' breath of relief is deeper than most. The five babies did not impress him. They rather frightened him, in that sort of 'If I touch them, I may get cursed with my own someday too soon' sort of way. He steps around behind Vette, hands on the back of her chair, to push it in for her once she's seated. Then he steps back to sink down into his own, glancing at the redhead with an arched eyebrow. He gets what she's referring to, and he smirks in quiet amusement. Then with a quiet clearing of his throat, he says, "Vette, this is Miss Kamala Jadeja, who has the honour of being my first official student in swordsmanship. Miss Jadeja, this is Miss Vette Adams, a very talented dancer and a student of the sciences at NYU."
Speak of the devil….Stepping in off the street like a pebble plunked into the peaceful atmosphere of the Java House comes Jacob Chen, caught at the tail end of a phone conversation he very much would've liked to have concluded long ago.
"Oh yeah? So if I write 'Swarovksi' on a turd you'd buy that? I've got a brand name for you: Husqvarna! Look it up-" He snaps his phone shut and scowls, muttering under his breath as he slows to a stop and looks around at the place, rather more sparsely populated than he expected it to be. He checks his watch, skews his jaw to one side, and yields to comprehension. It's later than he thought. Right.
He spots Kamala first, and then notes two other familiar faces. His expression brightens into a smile and then relaxes into a mildly pleasant smirk as he meanders over. It's almost as if he heard his name or something. "Hail the conquering heroes," he greets the table.
Richard arrives from Soho - Tribeca - New York City.
Richard has arrived.
Dhatri has arrived.
"No, I didn't wear a red hat," Kamala grins. "I was the woman near the monkey cage, with Mr. Chen. Miss Adams, it's a pleasure to meet you." She extends her hand for a moment, offering a handshake. "I'm a student at the university too. Physics, with an intention to do post-graduate work in astronomy. I dimly recall seeing you in the building once or twice?" One shoulder lifts as if in apology. "Mr. Scrivner was so kind as to agree to straighten out my woeful lack of … well, you know. Also, do, /do/ excuse me, I think I need another coffee to stop babbling and start making polite conversation." She stands to leave the two of them alone for a polite few moments, and makes her way towards the counter to repeat her coffee and hazelnut syrup experiment.
Naturally, that's when Jacob Chen makes his way into the shop - he seems oddly unsuited to anything but his full name - and she waits, grinning, as he approaches the table. "Mr. Chen, we were just talking about you. Will you join us?" Another chair joins the fray, hooked there by a quick, agile ankle-theft from another table, and she pats it. "I'll go and get you some coffee." With that she's off, humming her way towards the counter.
Vette shakes Kamala's hand and beams. "What a pleasure to meet you! Wow, another physics student, that's awesome." They can bond over physics! She does not admit to noticing Kamala in the building. Then again, Kamala might have noticed her ramming right into a pole once by accident, just walking right on because she was muttering the day's problem under her breath. Then she'd sat down hard on her butt and announced happily, "I solved it!" even as the bruise faded into nothingness. One might get the impression that paying attention is a supreme act of will for her.
In the quiet of the java house, a word like 'turd' rings out like a clarion bell. It gets Rufus lifting his head and blinking, focusing past the ladies for a few seconds to study Jacob's entrance. He recognises the younger man, and after a couple of blinks, he stands up briefly as Kamala makes her exit from the table. "Ah… Hello again, Mr. Chen. Indeed, do join us." He frowns, then he looks around. Perhaps he should have gotten a larger table. Ah well. Reaching down, he very carefully sweeps aside his gear so that more room is made, though his gear consists of only a laptop bag and the slim, long carrying case for his sword.
As the door swings back closed slowly once more, it's caught by the flat of Richard's hand. The black crocodile-skin jacket he's wearing brushes to the door's edge as he walks past it and into the shop, his collar popped up to the sides of his neck and his manner overly confident on the side of obnoxiously arrogant. He heads, of course, for the counter. He's not exactly here for the ambiance!
Jacob doesn't get a whole lot of time to actually respond to Kamala's invitation given the way she breezes past to get coffees for both of them as if it were a matter of course. He follows her momentary departure with a grin and then shrugs as he consults the others at the table for a go-ahead. As Scrivner gives it, he dips his head and settles into the chair that's been dragged over for him. "Talking about me?" he inquires, wearing a smug look of piqued curiosity. "I'm flattered."
"Two cups of the Jamaican, please, one with a measure of hazelnut syrup and a packet of sugar, one without," Kamala orders at the counter. She digs into her back pocket despite the young clerk's insinuations that she could get them on the house in exchange for her phone number; counting off crisp bills, she puts them down on the counter and takes the coffees, giving him a big smile. As she returns and approaches Richard, she stands aside for a moment to let him pass before she continues on to the table, eventually squeezing in between Vette and Jacob. The coffee without sugar goes in front of Jacob - there are plenty of packets of sugar on the table - and she pleases herself with a few sips before she even contemplates speaking. Bliss!
"The only thing larger than Mr. Chen's ego is his skill with a gun, I think," she mock-flatters, bumping shoulders with the poor man. "I do have some news to tell you though, Mr. Chen, the most amazing thing happened, but later, perhaps? For now, I've volunteered you to assist me with sword lessons with Mr. Scrivner here - he was so kind as to accept. You /will/ help, please?" She levers an outrageously sparkly smile on him, all pretty eyes and good cheer. "Perhaps Miss Adams will be joining us as well?"
Not long after Richard and Kamala head to the counter, so does Dhatri; having just entered the building as part of his lunch break. He recognises both the leather wearing adolescent and his younger sister fairly and greets them both with, "Good afternoon, Kamala, Richard." He is dressed pretty much as usual, and has a faint smell of hospital disinfectant about him.
"You know, I've been thinking that I should learn more weapons," Vette says. She smiles at Jacob too, a generally friendly chick all around. "More than just a gun. After all, sometimes people are in the way of those." She tilts her head at Rufus. "But I kept forgetting to mention it."
Although he doesn't recognise one of the newcomers, he does recognise the other one. Scrivner's eyes briefly come to focus upon Richard, remembering him quite well. That's the kid who spotted him flying around. One eyebrow arches speculatively, but he brings himself back to the conversation at his table with a reserved, polite smile. He reaches out his hand to sweep up his cup of tea, though there are only a couple of swallows of milky Earl Grey left. "Well, my dear, now seems a perfect time to pick it up… what with what is to come very soon." That last is spoken very quietly, and the reminder of it darkens his eyes slightly with a cloud of troubled concern.
Huh, what, was that his name? Richard looks up from where he'd been ordering his coffee - slash - flirting with the cute barista, a brow arching up on his face until he recognizes Dhatri. "Oh, hey, Doc. What's up?" The coffee's acquired, the short window in which flirting's possible used up now since there's more people in line, and he steps out of the way. Oh, hey, it's the British guy. He looks over to the table that Rufus is sitting at, checking out the man's table neighbors.
"There are other things," Jacob appends to Kamala's backhanded compliment with a throwaway quip from over the rim of his cup before he tilts it back. He hoods his eyes to savor the moment, only to crack one open and glance toward Kamala as she explains what she's gotten him into. The shoulder-bump gets him grinning, and he sets down his cup. "I can make time," he assures, feigning immunity to the big sparkly smile unconvincingly.
He looks toward Scrivner, clearly intrigued. "Sensing a disturbance in the Force or something there, chief?"
Kamala's just about to reply to the companions at her table when Dhatri speaks. Her head turns so that she can peer over her shoulder, and the big, sparkly smile mutes a bit into something a lot more genuine. "Mr. Karmali!" she calls out, waving one hand to get him to come closer. "How agreeable it is to see you again. This is the surprise that I was talking about, Mr. Chen - meet Dhatri Karmali, whom I found out only recently is my brother." She leaves off the 'of sorts'; to her it is as valid a relationship as that she has with her uncle and aunt, thus the happy smile.
Her gaze flicks from Dhatri back to her companions, and she gives a rueful smile. "We might want to get a bigger table. Oh! In the meantime, Miss Adams, do you have Westenby's physics test for next Monday as well? I admit I wasn't paying much attention in the class when he outlined the chapters we're supposed to study for the test, I don't suppose you have an outline of them somewhere? If so, I direly need to see them."
Vette looks grim as Scrivner starts to trail off, then she starts at Kamala's question. "Yes, I do, please hang on." In spite of the fact that she seems a little out of it, she pays close attention to what she /tries/ to pay attention to. A three ring binder comes out of her bookbag. Each page is tabbed and color coded for each class. She has 7 of those for the semester. She opens it up to the appropriate tab, turns to the appropriate date, and takes out the appropriate pages. She has it all written in extremely neat, precise handwriting, the kind of handwriting that they make penmanship books out of.
"I'm not a doctor yet," Dhatri points out drily. "A darjeeling with no milk or sugar and a tuna mayonnaise sandwich please," he requests of the Barrista before turning his attention to the two people in here that he's actually met. "I told you; you should call me Dhatri," he says to his sister, before turning to Mr. Chen. "A pleasure to meet you."
"Indeed, Mr. Chen. You could say there is a very great disturbance." When the lady calls out to the two gentlemen by the counter, Rufus knows it is indeed time to pack up and move. "I agree," he very calmly says. Of course, he'll wait for Vette to finish. In the meanwhile he downs the rest of his tea. Then he gathers up his laptop bag and his sword case, preparing to move to another table. Then, as he stands, he offers a polite nod of his head to Dhatri, smiling faintly. "If you would care to join us, Mr. Karmali, then it would be my pleasure to make your acquaintance." His eyes again drift to Richard, searching out the younger man's gaze, again speculative as he steps away in order to go hunt down the largest table in the Java House. He has a feeling they're going to need it. And as he walks to it, he comes walking by Richard, and he quietly says, "Hello again, young man. Good to see you again."
"Whatever, Doc," Richard dismisses the dry objection from Dhatri, bringing the hot cup of coffee up to his lips to take a sip thereof; a brow lifting up a bit as he notices the passage of Rufus through the room. At the greeting, he brings his head up in a slight nod, "'Ey, English. What's the word? Havin' a little pow-pow with your friends over there?"
Much of Jacob's internal monologue is tied up in trying to decide whether he should tell people to call him by his first name or enjoy how important they make 'Mr. Chen' sound. It's for this reason that he looks surprised with Kamala calls his attention to Dhatri, and why his first reaction, rather than to greet the man, is to skeptically ask "Only just now?" He takes a moment, and then catches on. "Oh! Right. A pleasure." He extends a hand to the doctor as he gets up from his chair, following the others in acquiring a bigger table. He looks over at Scrivner as if debating a question, but thinks better of presing until everyone has more or less settled.
"Thank you, you have no idea how much this means to me," Kamala says as she quickly copies off Vette's notes. Her own handwriting is scrawled all over the page, a sort of informal short-hand that might suit well as a doctor's handwriting. She passes the folder back with all due reverence, wrinkling her nose to Dhatri's words. It's as she gets up prepatory to the move that the cellphone in her pocket goes off. The tune sounds hip and Indian, contrasting to the groan she gives as she looks at it. "My family here. Give me a moment." She steps to one side and a spate of Hindi follows, quick as automated gunfire, before she clicks it closed and comes back to the table. "I'm sorry … apparently there's some sort of family do that I've forgotten about for tonight. Mr. Chen, could I possible impose on you to give me a lift back home? I don't have my car today." Besides, his Beemer makes a much more convenient taxi!
Dhatri shakes Jacob's hand, then collects a tray containing a sandwich and a fair sized cup of tea, balancing the tray in one hand. "Already?" he asks Kamala. "Ah well, no doubt I'll see you around," he continues as he heads over to the new, bigger table. He offers Scrivner a handshake as well before sitting down.
Pulling around a chair at this larger, more comfortable table, Rufus pauses in the midst of setting down his long carrying case and his laptop bag. "You might say that," he says, sounding only a little bewildered by Richard's greeting. They are /not/ speaking the same language. That is /not/ English coming out of that young man's mouth. "Though I do believe the word is pow-wow, not pow-pow. Isn't it?" Then he glances over at Dhatri, smiling and reaching over to shake the man's hand. "Rufus Scrivner. Pleasure, Mr. Karmali." Before he seats himself, though, he glances between Jacob and Kamala, brow furrowing. "If you have to go, then we'll have to speak and have our first lesson very soon. I'll call you later this evening to arrange for a date and time."
"Do I look like an indian? I dont fuckin' know…" There's no rancor to it, it just seems to be the way that Richard talks… which apparently is on an entirely different wavelength from Scrivner. The young man promptly demonstrates his entire lack of 'tact' and 'subtlety' as he steps along over after him, inviting himself casually to their table, "Mind if I sit, English?"
A vague suspicion of what's coming up next prevents Jacob from taking a seat at the new table, and he watches Kamala as she steps away. His hand rests on the back of a chair tentatively as he listens to the others, but he steps away to answer the woman. "Yeah, sure. I wasn't going to be able to stick around long anyway." He inclines his head slightly to the others at the table, and specifically to Scrivner. "Yeah, we can get caught up later." After that he turns to Kamala, offering his arm with a smirk. "Lead on, m'lady."
It takes Vette a few minutes to realize everything's shifting. "Oh! New table." Clean cup clean cup move down move down! "See you in class!" she calls to Kamala. She plops down next to Rufus. "I wonder if pow wow is actually an authentic word or if it is a Hollywoodism. I'll have to look that up…"
Jacob pages: Sorry to show up and then bail, but the timing worked out pretty well. I've just been reminded that I have to start cleaning up the house soon.
"Goodbye, Mr. Scrivner, Miss Adams, goodbye, Dhatri!" Kamala calls over her shoulder as she slips her arm through Jacob's, smiling her thanks in his direction. "I'll wait for the call tonight, Mr. Scrivner." There she goes, happily chatting to her poor taxi-driver.
"Later, Kamala," Dhatri replies before taking a sip of his tea. "Funnily enough, you don't look like an Indian. Most native Americans don't look like Indians either," he adds drily. His accent is, naturally, fairly similar to Kamala's accent. "A pleasure, Mr. Scrivner. Please, call me Dhatri."
Once the couple are gone and Rufus has settled into his chair, he smoothes down his suit jacket and draws in a deep breath. A hand is lifted and waved at the departing, and then he turns his icy blue eyes to the two younger gents left in his company. It's a brief moment of awkward that falls over him, leaving him looking at the pair, before he calmly smiles and says, "If you like. Though please, call me Rufus or Mr. Scrivner, unless you'd like me to return the favour and start calling you Yank. You never /did/ tell me your name. Perhaps I should dub you Mystery Yank instead." His eyes drift back to Dhatri, and his smile turns a touch wry. "Miss Jadeja is certainly a very charming young woman, isn't she? Would I be mistaken in believing that you… ahh… share the very dynamic and unusual aspects of her heritage?"
A chair's pulled out from the table and twisted around before Richard drops himself down into it backwards, arms folding on the back of the seat once he's set his coffee down on the table's surface. "Mystery Yank?" A dubious look's given to Scrivner, before he shrugs one shoulder, "Richard. Richard Masri. Don't mind the Doc, he's just kind've stiff." A vague smile's flashed over to Vette, "Hey. How's your weird math stuff going?" Maybe he's not that good with small talk. He's trying to be polite!
"Quite good! I solved the problem in an even more excellent fashion than I thought!" Beam from Vette. Then she double takes at Dhatri. "You weren't the guy sitting here before. Hi, I'm Vette." She holds out her hand, smiling. "I thought you were still Jason Chen. Or are you? I know a few people who—well nevermind that. Hi!"
Dhatri chuckles. "I'm not that stiff; English is just a third language," he says drily. "No, Rufus, you wouldn't be mistaken. We were raised in different parts of India, but we share the same parents, though I take more after my father. I certainly like her."
Dhatri turns to Vette. "Mr. Chen just left; he's giving Kamala a lift back home. I'm Dhatri," he introduces himself, shaking the offered hand.
"Stiffness is relative," is all that Rufus has to say on that matter. Dhatri seems relaxed and cheerful to him. To Richard? Yes, he can see easily how the other gent might come across so. He falls quiet for a second or two, the same, troubled pensiveness furrowing his brow with a scowl. "Hmmm. How… up to date are you with current events, Dhatri? There is a matter of some delicacy which I've been charged with discussing openly with our sort, to warn them of what lies ahead." His eyes drift now to Richard, weighing and measuring. "Are you really sure you want to continue sitting with us, Richard? I know you're aware of the truth of our existence, but I wouldn't want to worry you unnecessarily."
"I'm good," Richard replies with aplomb, lifting his cup once more as a smirk just-twitches to his lips at Rufus's words, bringing it up to take a careful sip thereof, "'Sides, if there's some shit coming, easier to just let me sit in so I don't have to bother somebody later about it."
"Nice to meet you Dhatri." Oh boy. Rufus is really intent on talking about this. Well she knows he was told to. She looks thoughtfully at Richard. "Hmm," she says. And that's all she has to say about that as she lifts her coffee and takes a sip. It isn't cold! She'd feared it would be.
"I've heard a little, but not a great deal. I only met my birth parents very recently," he explains. "It's nice to meet you too, Vette," he then says to the apparently absent minded young woman next to him.
Rufus is busy watching Richard for a moment or two longer, still just as speculative as before. He inclines his head at last, then he leans back in his own chair. Getting comfortable, he crosses his legs by propping his ankle over his opposite knee, and he folds his fingers across his belly. "I was visited by my father," he begins to explain. "He is the Norse god of justice, Tyr, and he told me that he believes Fimbulwinter is on its way. Fimbulwinter is the great winter, the one that lasts for three years solid without any break in the seasons, and it precedes Ragnarok, the end of the world." He lets that hang for a moment, then draws in a breath and sighs. "Apparently," he says, "someone has disturbed Jormangundr, the World Serpent, who bites his own tail as he sleeps. When he wakes, the world will end. The branches of Yggdrasil, the world tree, have been cracked, and my uncle Thor has been stripped of his power."
That's news that lifts Richard's brows upwards; maybe he doesn't understand every little bit of it, but he's seen enough of those 'end of the world' specials on the Discovery channel to at least get the gist. The coffee cup is lowered a bit from his lips, which purse in a frown, "Well. That's not good. I guess I should withdraw those applications to college."
"Actually," Vette muses, "you know, you might want to keep them. We should be trying to develop rooftop hydroponics to feed people. It occurs to me," as if this is a brand new revelation, "that crops don't grow in the winter." Other than root crops, which do more or less grow in the winter. Potatos, etc.
Dhatri also raises an eyebrow. "I see. Is there anything that can be done to prevent this?" he asks Rufus between bites of his lunch. Well, it's not as though he can do anything immediately…
Rufus glances at Richard, smiling rather wryly. He'd say the kid is taking it well, but it might not have sunk in too deeply. "There is nothing that we can do personally that I know of. Father said that we should prepare ourselves to deal with the backlash that will soon be hitting Midgard, the earth realm. Our realm," he says in answer to Dhatri, but he's soon looking at Richard again. "And mortals, Richard, who ahh… well, are rather innocently caught up in the middle of this, should not attempt to engage in combat with anything that comes rising up out of the abyss. You do still have my number, don't you? In case you do see something?"
"There isn't any such thing as innocence in this world, English, don't you watch the news?" Richard gives his head a tight little shake, before leaning in a bit—the coffee cup set down firmly on the table, the golden feather pendant he's wearing dangling a bit with his push forward over the back of the chair, brows raising, "…and if any misbegotten spawn of the Titans tear themselves out of the abyss, Harlem, or motherfucking Jersey near me and I'll kick its ass back down there." A lean back, and he says more quietly as he snatches up his coffee, "The order of things needs to be maintained."
"I really don't think he's a mortal at all," Vette muses thoughtfully. "You never mentioned the word Titans before, Rufus. Besides, he's taking it far too well. Most Mortals would be buying guns and getting down in the root cellar by now. Stocking up on food and gas…"
Tybalt arrives from Soho - Tribeca - New York City.
Tybalt has arrived.
"I've mentioned Titans around him," Dhatri points out. "Still, caution is probably a good idea; it's better to pick the fights you know you can win and maybe accomplish something than to die and accomplish nothing."
Rufus opens his mouth to speak, but Dhatri solves that little issue, and he closes it again. Still, there's suspicion in the Englishman's eyes as he studies Richard. The four are seated at the largest table the Java House has to offer. His own tea's long been drunk, and he probably should have gotten back to the office as it's long past the lunch hour, but there he sits in his sharp three-piece suit. Low notes of jazz music filter through the coffee house, lulling along to the rise and fall of conversations. The man's eyes flicker to the gold of the kid's feather pendant, and one eyebrow arches. He's seen golden feathers before. So whatever suspicions are roused by the sight of it he keeps to himself. "There is a prophecy circulating," he eventually says. "Have either of you heard it? It begins with the line of 'A dark wind blows in these cold and snowy streets.'" Yes, he's read it so much he's memorised it.
The speculation spills over Richard like rain off a duck's back; unnoticed, and not commented upon. He cracks his neck to one side then the other as he straightens from his posture seated in a chair turned backwards at the table where Rufus and the others are seated, admitting with a raise of one brow, "Can't say that I have…"
Vette drains her coffee and puts the cup down, letting Rufus talk about the warning. She in fact pulls out a cookie. She takes a bite of said cookie. Like Dhatri—today there are cookies. Tomorrow is the end of the world. Or something like that.
Dhatri frowns. "No, I haven't," he says as he finishes the first triangular half of his sandwich and moves onto the second. "I assume it sheds at least a little light onto what's happening?"
"It's a prophecy," Rufus says with another wry smile. "These things never shed light upon anything. They only raise more questions and leave behind vague answers, as far as I'm concerned. Vette, if I may…" He leans over in his chair to reach for her pack and her three-ring binder, carefully removing a ball-point pen and a couple of sheets of paper. Quickly, he begins writing out two copies of the prophecy from memory. "I wish I could shed more light on what the prophecy means, but I cannot. Quite frankly, I haven't tried very hard with this. Prophecies and fortunes and the like have always left me uneasy, and I do not trust them."
As one of the copies is handed to him, Richard scoots it in a circle on the table to turn it right-way up so he can read it; picking up his coffee again, brow furrowing a little. A sip of the warm java's taken as he reads, before commenting, "Well, uh, I saw one of those movies where 'Liesmith' meant Loki, right? And I guess that's the serpent you were talking about. And I guess some witch has bewitched some guys to wake him up?"
"What's a Vanir get anyway? Maybe someone can just—unensnare them. I mean how many Vanirget could there be?" Vette muses. "I wonder who got lied to, as well. Or are those the Vanir get?" She shakes her head. "Riddles are all fine and well, but it seems a prophecy would be most useful if it could be solved."
"It could be referring to three children of a being called Vanir," Dhatri points out. "If we knew who Vanir was, we might be able to work out what exactly we're up against."
"The Vanir are the… Well, they're a race of gods who blended their bloodlines with those of the Aesir," Rufus quietly explains, glancing from one face to another. "The Aesir are rather a race of mutts, you might say. They have married giants and Vanir, as well as this and that from here and there. The All-Father of the Vanir is a god named Delling. Some say that the god Freyr was once a Vanir himself, as were several other gods and goddesses. When they say Vanir get, they mean the children of the Vanir race."
"So you need to get a list of what gods those are," Richard ventures, glancing up with both brows furrowed, "And check on their kids in the city, I guess, see who's been wrapped around this crone's finger or whatever?" He slants a look at the others, questioningly. Hey, he's new at this, he barely knows who /his/ father is.
Vette shakes her head. "Seems like as reasonable a course of action as any," she says. "If the problem grows to big after that we can always pass it higher up the food chain." They know one or two people higher up the food chain—don't they? She's sure they do, but she can't remember whom right now.
"It's the only thing I can think of, even if it is far easier said than done," Dhatri says. "If nothing else, we can always pass the information on to our parents, so they can see that something is done should we fail."
"Three immediately come to mind…" Rufus scowls. Family trees can be confusing. "The gods who are said to be Vanir are Njord, Freyr and Freyja. Who their children are… I cannot begin to imagine. If I ever see my father, however, I will be certain to ask him more about our family bloodlines." He draws in a deep breath, looks around, then faintly smiles. "I do believe that is all the Sturm und Drang I had for you."
"Well…" Richard scratches under his chin, gaze hooding thoughtfully, "…we could, like, put up an ad on craigslist looking for them." A pause, "I mean, the whole divinity shit has gotten out into the media already. Maybe someone would respond."
You know there, is a saying about speaking about the devil makes him appear. Supposedly the same could be said for the Children of the Vanir. Not but a few moments after the conversation of the Vanir is had, Tybalt walks in the door and makes his way over to the counter to place an order for a vegan chai…which he happens to love more than his own father. None the less, he is here and waiting for his drink, idly turning his attention towards Vette and Scrivner and company before his eyes shift to Richard and he smirks a little bit and turns the moment his Chai appears on the counter behind him.
"You're not serious," Vette tells Richard. An ad on Craigslist? Seeking corrupted children of Vanir. Your photo gets mine. You need not apply unless you intend to wake up the serpent and cause the end of the world.
Dhatri frowns. "Three Vanir get… do you suppose the prophecy could be referring to one child of each of the three Vanir gods?" he suggests. "I mean, the prophecy isn't exactly specific, but there are likely details in there that people have missed."
Ty makes his way over to the table and takes a long sip from his chai. "Yall need a child of the Vanir?" He asks curiously. He pronounces the word as if a native scandenavian might. Of course, he has been well versed in northern eurpoean literature in his many years of school at Harvard. And since his visitation, it's sort of become a career to know about where he comes from and such. "If so, ya got me."
"I don't know. Like I said… it raises more questions than it answers," Rufus says with a shrug of his shoulders and a spread of his hands. Feeling eyes upon him, he briefly turns his head to study Ty as he approaches, and then he goes quite, quite still at the man's words. The Englishman looks him up and down, then looks around at his companions with a quiet murmur, "I thought Fate was supposed to be more subtle than this." Then he clears his throat, and he stands, again looking Tybalt up and down. He then offers his hand, "Rufus Scrivner. With whom do we have the pleasure of speaking?"
"Why not? You should use the resources you've got, I mean, otherwise…" Richard trails off as the table's approached, and he turns towards the man who's just approached the table, brow furrowing. Well, that's convenient. The coffee cup's finished off, and he leans back, reaching to toss the emptied paper vessel in a nearby garbage can before leaning back forward again, letting Rufus lead this discussion.
"It saves us a Craigslist ad," Vette mutters, looing up to study Tybalt. "Vette Adams," she says, but she seems content to let Rufus do the talking. It's kind of his thing, the talking.
"Indeed," Dhatri says. "Fate does seem to be a little heavy handed these days. Maybe it's getting desperate to keep things running smoothly?" he suggests drily, with a sip of tea. "Dhatri Karmali," he then introduces himself to the newcomer.
"I find…" Starts Tybalt, looking at the group in a distant sort of way, as he takes a simple moment to pull his lips back and suck in a breath through his teeth as if tasting something, '"…that the longer you play the game, the less subtle Fate plays with you. Hell get enough of us that have been doin' this for more than a year together and we are sure to tempt the fates to bring down Godzilla, or Cthulu or Jorgnmundor or the freakin' Cloverfield monster for that matter. We are all in the stream of life. The choices we make, that is us choosing which current to ride, but after the ride, we end up in the same place." He takes a sip of his Vegan Chai and sets it down before pulling off his hat and nodding to the group. "Leonard Tybalt Odeman, Ty, the Prince of Cats…son of Freyja. At yer service of course." The blonde grins a bit, his smile is the -slightest- bit feline.
Pulling back his hand, Rufus reseats himself at the table and smoothes down his dark suit jacket. He also tugs at his waistcoat in the classic Picard manoeuvre. "Fate grows lazy then? Hmph." Without a word he reaches over to take another sheet of paper from Vette's three-ring notebinder, and with the ballpoint pen, he begins to write again, copying out the prophecy for the third time. But every so often, he glances up at Tybalt, watching him fairly closely, studying him. "A Scion of Freyja," he echoes, quietly. "That would make us cousins, wouldn't it? My father is Tyr."
"It may be more a function of inertia than laziness," Vette muses, content to trip down this path. "Force. So many Scions in one place creates a large 'mass' from which to create a greater force, which gets harder and harder to act on. The force being Fate, it doesn't /have/ to get indirect anymore, because it doesn't have to work as hardit's a large enough force to simply pull everything in its wake instead of tugging on stringsoh look, those really good reubans are half off today."
"Richard." The introduction's offered with a raise of Richard's head in a chin-nod up in the direction of the Prince of Cats, curt greeting to the other man. Then, with his signature lack of tact, he asks, "So seen any evil crones lately, man?"
"Speaking of Jorgnmundor - that's the giant serpent, right? - it seems someone's trying to wake him up early," Dhatri says drily.
Ty seems distant for his part, watching this that and the other, taking the occasional scents of people by breathing in, in that strange manner. He seems half concerned with what is being written, and half concerned with Richard's presence and what this might mean. He smiles a little bit brighter when Vette speaks, simply nodding an approval at the theory and then continues to focus on richard. "Old crones? Not recently…I take it the Ghost led to the angels and the angels led to your divinity?" He asks with a sense of knowing to his voice. However, the words of Dhatri cause a slight hiss to come from him. "Say that again?"
Once he's finished writing, Rufus pushes the sheet of notebook paper across the table to Tybalt, watching his face very closely. "A short while ago," he says, "My father Tyr came to visit me and told me that he believes Fimbulwinter is coming very soon. Someone has disturbed Jormangundr, several of the branches of Yggdrasil are cracked, and Thor has been stripped of his power. Tyr is warning us to be prepared to deal with the backlash that will fall upon Midgard."
"What?" Richard's question is sharp, leaning back just a bit as he regards Tybalt with a scowl twisting his features, "What the hell do you know about me, man— I've never met you in my life…" One hand slides down off the back of the chair he's straddling, sliding down the black-dyed crocodile skin of his jacket, fingers vanishing into a pocket.
"I'm a little unsure what Thor being stripped of his power really has to do with anything—but I never claimed to understand cosmology," Vette muses. The reubans have apparently lost her attention again, or they perhaps never truly had them. She makes kind of an art of being vague.
"Calm down, Richard," Dhatri says to the teen. "Perhaps some of us can see things others can't. It certainly wouldn't surprise me…"
Tybalt is no longer paying attention to or rather, playing with Richard. He scratches the back of his head and thinks for a moment. He reads and re-reads for a few moments. "This is from the Norns…." He says as he looks up. "Vengeful Crone? Crone and poison. Son of Liesmith. Are we dealing with Sigyn? Or her revenge?" He asks curiously. "She has alot to be angry about….death of her two sons, spending half an eternity tending to Loki's wounds and keeping the venom of the serpent off him…."
His own eyes flicker to the younger man, and after a second of sitting very still, Rufus very quietly states, "Do not think to do anything rash, Richard. It would be regrettable. Miss Adams and I have been suspecting for some time, and that fetching necklace you're wearing…" He inclines his head towards the feather. "… is something I recognise, and Dhatri is right. Some children of the gods see more clearly than others." He turns his eyes back to Tybalt, smiling grimly. "I wish I could say for certain what is going on here. Father didn't give me any answers. We ourselves were wondering who the Vanir get are, and it was proposed we find all of the children of the Vanir to warn them."
The hand slid into Richard's jacket draws back free, dropping to the back of the chair again; his gaze lingers suspiciously on Tybalt nonetheless, pointing out rather darkly, "Of course, if they have turned to the Titans, I doubt they'd be willing to tell us."
Vette folds her hands beneath her chin and regards Richard in pleasant fashion, seeming completely unfussed. "I'm sure there's ways to tell."
You sense Vette nudges you with her foot. You have a way to tell.'
Vette senses "Scrivner looks back at Vette and nods, just baaaarely perceptibly."
"Other than children of the Vanir gods; I'm fairly sure that part is a given, since 'get' generally means 'bastard child'," Dhatri says. "No offence intended of course. The prophecy implies enchantment, so whatever they're doing likely isn't of their own volition. Maybe if the crone can be stopped, the three 'Vanir get' will no longer be under her influence."
Tybalt shrugs a little. "Far as I know, I'm the only child of Freyja in the city. But that is as far as I know." Outside a cat appears at the window and paws a little at the group. Tybalt narrows his eyes to the little white cat and simply gives it a flick of the head and it quickly bounds down and heads towards the entrance where it comes in with the next customer and darts over and up onto Tybalt's shoulder where it purrs softly and bumps into his ear. "Perhaps. If I start acting out of sorts, I expect one of you to take my ass down." He says rather seriously to Vette and Scrivner. "I don't know of a way to contact my mother, but I will see what I can find out…I've got plenty of books on Northern European Prophecy…maybe I can turn something up."
Something that hints very much at unease creeps across Scrivner's face at Tybalt's words, and he clears his throat roughly. "You can be assured, Cousin, that if something of the sort were to ever happen, I would do everything in my power to intervene," he states in answer, quietly. "But please do. Any and all help is appreciated. I would also ask you each to spread the word of what I've said. I cannot reach every godchild in this city…" And again he turns his eyes back to Richard, arching his eyebrows. "If you think craigslist is an …. efficient means of spreading the word, then can I trust you to put up the advertisement?"
Richard's head tilts slightly to regard Vette at her words, and he shrugs; a bit uneasily, perhaps, but accepting her words for what they are. The question from Scrivner brings a slightly crooked smile, and he admits, "Can do, man. I don't know how to really confirm that someone's one've the Vanir's kids, though, so I hope you do. Probably'll be a few cranks that'll answer."
Tybalt looks at the Prophecy for a few moments and eventually looks to the cat on his shoulder. "Go see if you can locate my mother. Tell her I badly need to speak with her. And that it's important. Spread the word to the others and see if you can locate her and pass that along." The cat simply flicks a tail and is out the door in a heart beat. Tybalt looks back to Scrivner. "Maybe you should tell me -everything- your father told you. I don't want to look bad in front of my momma for not bein' brushed up."
"Then ask for proof of some description; ask them to name their divine parent; I doubt the average person would even know what a Vanir is; I certainly didn't until today," Dhatri suggests.
"I believe I will be able to handle sifting the charlatans from the genuine children," Scrivner muses. "Though Dhatri's suggestion is an excellent one. That should dam some of the floodtide of stupidity that might come rolling in. Thank you, Richard." Leaning back in his chair, he crosses his legs by propping an ankle over his knee, and he smiles rather wryly at Tybalt. "Aside from Jormangundr being disturbed, Yggdrasil's branches cracking and Thor's… unfortunate circumstances, Father told me that it's a very long and complicated story, but there are two bands operating here in New York. One of the bands has our cousin Haldor, a son of Thor, working with it. In his attempts to kill a god who was spreading havoc in Asgard, he cracked some of the branches. The other band in operation he mentioned are responsible for that havoc in all of the Overworlds, and right now, Father believes they are trying to find the Japanese goddess Amaterasu in Takamagahara. We are charged with containing the damage that is going to fall upon us. Destruction of the Midgard Serpent is fated to fall into Thor's hands. He is still biting his tail, but there are signs of his rousing, found in the increased earthquake activity in the Philippines and the volcanic activity around the Ring of Fire."
"Wait, wait…" Richard lifts one hand a little, "You said that Thor's going to kill this… giant snake, right? Didn't one of you just mention that Thor was, uh, indisposed at the moment? That's— bad, right?"
"/Volcanic activity/," Vette says, suddenly connecting a dot and sitting up straight. "Aw jeez. No wonder." But does she explain herself? Well—no. That doesn't seem to be her MO exactly.
Shaking his head, Tybalt simply looks a little uneasy. His hair almost seems to have stood on end for a moment and he continues to shake his head. "If the Branches of Yggdrasil are broken, that is a risk of some of the other worlds being thrown into the underworld. And if Thor even so much as -sees- the Midgard Serpent….that's it. The game is over and we are all fucked. Ragnorok starts."
"Fairly bad, unless someone else manages to do it for him," Dhatri answers Richard. "My knowledge of Norse mythology is extremely limited; until recently I thought Thor was a blond; but I think it's safe to say that unless someone can keep the serpent from being woken up, we're all fucked."
Rufus clears his throat and refrains from dropping an f-bomb. He glances briefly at Vette, then back at the three gents, and then he goes still as well as a revelation hits him. Volcanic activity. He glances at Vette again, nodding his head once, then he draws in a breath and sighs, "Yes, well. Prophecy says he will destroy the snake. I should hope, by that point, he has regained the full measure of his power. But, in short, the Overworld is in chaos. If what you say is true, Tybalt, then I have already seen evidence of some of the worlds starting to crash into each other. There is a goddess named Chantico currently making a mess of matters in Japan, for example. I fear it's only going to get worse from here."
Tybalt narrows his eyes a little as he looks between Rufus and Vette and makes a soft 'tsssk' noise. "No keeping secrets when the end of the world is on us, friends." He says as he remembers he has a chai waiting on him. He picks it up and starts to drink again. "What do the volcanic activities have to do with anything?" What are you not saying?"
"Oh, I wasn't keeping secrets. Chantico is a Mexican volcanic goddess. She ate the wrong food at a party and ended up a dog goddess of treasures, but I don't know that she lost the volcanic thing. Mmmm. Earth and fire." Vette shakes that off. She'd love to see a volcano go up if nobody got hurt in the process. "And someone's trying to pull Amere—whateverhername is down right? Japan? All fits."
Richard's fingers rub back over the side of his neck as he listens to the world-shaking revelations and discussions of the others; perhaps over his head for the most part, but he's picking up as much as he can. After a moment, he asks carefully, "— have any of you ever heard of someone named Shamash?"
"I haven't, no," Dhatri replies. He then turns to Vette, and asks, "You mean, you think someone's successfully taking down the gods one at a time?"
"Nor was I. We were getting around to it," Rufus calmly retorts, looking Tybalt in the eyes. His smile is again faintly wry. "There is only so much rambling that I can before I have to draw a breath." He clears his throat, glancing at Vette, but he'll let her answer Dhatri as he shakes his head at Richard. "I can't say that I have. Why do you ask? Have you encountered someone of this name?"
Tybalt thinks for a moment or two. "It's a Babylonian word meaning Sun. Closer to Hebrew Shemesh or Arabic Sham. He was the offspring of Nannar, the Moon. He was associated with Justice. He who brings wrongs and injustice to light. Which is typical for most sun gods. Regarded as he who frees people from the grasp of Demons…I mean, you can look over alot of Mesopotamian Cylinders or some of the Seals in the Louvre and find pictures of him, but the easiest and most recent literary record of him was in the epic of Gilgamesh."
"No, I think the tightening of the serpent is messing with volcanoes and the messing with the Japanese Gods helps us make sense of why a Mexican goddess is driving Kappa out of Japan," Vette says, blinking faintly.
"Yeah. Glowing baby," Richard replies with a tight shake of his head, "Apparently belongs to this bitch called the Holy Maiden, who bosses around those crazy assholes at the Order. Hah— frees people from the grasp of demons? Guess that works, with their whole 'the gods who claim to be your parents are demons' shtick they've got going." He rubs a hand against his jaw, frowning, "Just another kind've angel, I guess."
Another cat appears at the window and Tybalt puts his hat back on after a moment and tips it to the group. "I'll be in touch." With that, he heads for the door.
Tybalt goes to Soho - Tribeca - New York City.
Tybalt has left.
"Be careful," Rufus quietly says in farewell to the departing man, watching him till he's gone from sight. Then he draws in a breath and settles the entirety of his attention upon Richard again, gaze narrowing. "He could be… It certainly sounds along the lines of what I've picked up about the angels. There are some who say Jehovah is nothing more than an ancient Titan who's somehow managed to dupe masses of people into believing he's the only god, with all others being nothing more than demons. What Order are you speaking of? Are you in trouble, Richard?"
"The Order of Divine Glory," Dhatri explains. "They're apparently trying to forcibly convert the children of the gods to Christianity, and they've been sending angels, or something that looks the part at least, to do it."
"What he said," Richard says, tilting his head to Dhatri, "Pretty much."
"Wellll that explains a few things," Vette says, blinking a few times. "That explains a lot, actually." She suddenly rubs the heel of her hand against her forehead, as if overwhelmed by just how /much/ is going on.
"I see," Scrivner murmurs, eyes narrowing to thin slits. "It does explain some things, yes. And these … cultists… have been harassing you, trying to kill you, I take it." His eyes again flicker down to the golden feather Richard wears around his neck, then back up. "Is anyone helping you to deal with this?"
"They've approached a few've my mates to try and convert them, started off with their 'the gods are demons' line and asking for anything that they got given— any gifts from the gods," Richard admits reluctantly, one hand scratching at the curve of his jaw, voice kept fairly quiet, "The holy bitch tried to kill me because I wouldn't repent. She took Hopper, too, and we're gonna hunt the bitch down and get him back."
Dhatri shrugs. "I've offered to help where I can; it seems a pre-emptive strike is probably a better solution than simply letting them come to us, but first we need to know where to strike."
"Does it seem to anybody else that we have all been doing an awful lot of putting out fires and we're all missing the stuff that would actually—bring some of this to an end?" Vette asks quietly. "What we need to do is get coordinated."
He hesitates for a second or two, then he nods his head. "Good," Rufus says, glancing at Dhatri when he says he's offered to help. "You may also call upon me if I can be of any help, Richard. I can, at least, help you to destroy any angels that come after you." He falls quiet a second or two, then he adds, "I am also willing to teach you how to fight with a weapon, if you or your friends would be interested in such a thing. All well and good that we come to fight for you. It is even better you learn to fight for yourself. The challenges will only grow more difficult to face from here on out." He glances at Vette, then he tilts his head, listening and interested.
"I'm sure… well, Neon could use some lessons, at least," Richard admits reluctantly, his head dipping in a slight nod to Scrivner; perhaps not wanting to admit they could use any help, but he's not entirely unrealistic. The words from Vette bring a look over, one brow lifting, "Local Scion's Union 215?"
"Yes, that's true enough, but even coordinated, unless we have a solid target to strike at, all we can do is put out fires," Dhatri says to Vette. "In the meantime, maybe in the course of putting out some of the fires we'll find some clues as to who's been lighting them."
Vette nods her head to Dhatri. "Yes. That has been the problem to date," she admits. "And it /is/ difficult to get coordinated. We can't help but stop and put out a fire." She smirks faintly at Richard's comment and says, "Maybe. I don't know. I know that Rufus and I have been juggling three problems with some help from our band and you've each been juggling our own. Maybe a big meeting. We everybody put all of our clues together and we start taking on some tasks that get us to the next solutions. Rufus and I virtually /have/ to go into Japan—sooner rather than later if the rest of those who really should be there don't get ready soon enough."
"Another thing you may be interested to hear about was an encounter I had at a Catholic run High School for badly behaved kids," Dhatri says. "The doctor there was a titanspawn in the shape of a lizard, and he was using mind control to make the kids abstain from junk food, alcohol and sex. Wouldn't be so bad if he weren't using mind control to achieve it."
Dhatri adds, "I wouldn't mention it, but he said that he had friends doing the same in other schools."
"Some coordination would not go amiss indeed, and I am not adverse to meetings," Rufus muses. "It seems to me that uniting against the dangers to come is going to be crucial to our survival. One does not act alone but usually within a Band, but a unification of the Bands … or at the very least, a loose alliance. Perhaps we should have some sort of … forum? Online?"
"Probably do-able," says Richard thoughtfully, scratching under his chin, brow furrowing a little, "I could ask that computer chick about it. I know she's clued into stuff. Erasma?" He glances up at Rufus and Vette, brows lifting as he searches for any signs of recognition there.
Dhatri chuckles slightly. "Why am I not surprised?" he asks with an amused tone. "She's working on some kind of project of her own, but I'll be meeting her later on. I can always ask her then."
Vette's head swings around to Richard. She says, mildly, "I like you, but if you're interested in my baby sister you better not hurt her or I'm going to lay down a smack down. Don't think that I won't." She still manages to sound friendly as she says it—but she's utterly serious too.
Rufus takes a long look at Richard as well, and his lips purse with a smirk. "Do forgive Miss Adams," he says, clearly amused. "It's quite a novel experience for the both of us, having siblings. Please, do ask Miss Menous about it. It would be immensely useful in communicating with each other when we're not able to meet."
"Oh, you are? That'd— " Blink. Blink. Did math chick just threaten him? "You're her sister?" Richard's head cocks to one side in Vette's direction, a smirk curling up at one side of his lips as he holds up a hand, "Whoa, whoa, hey, she just works at my school, okay? She already threatened to kill me if I called her 'babe' again, so, I think you're safe there. She's just the only computer person I know that's not being held hostage by evil Jesus freaks."
"Don't worry; I'm sure she'd find a way to get even if he ever did hurt her," Dhatri says with a chuckle. "I never expected siblings either, so you can imagine when I found out I had one yesterday…"
Vette smirks at Richard's revelations and tips an imaginary hat at him. She smiles at Dhatri—she knows the feeling. She says, "I think for me what was the most amazing was feeling so connected so fast."
Rufus is not about to go on about any squidgy things like /feelings/ for his own sibling. He only refolds his hands across his lap and regards the other three at his table with some mild curiosity.
Richard lets out a burst of breath as he leans back, his head shaking a little. "My father told me that he had more kids somewhere, but I don't think I've ever met any. Any— " A frown, glancing back over to Vette, brow furrowed with a hint of sullen offense, "Do I look like I'd be that bad a boyfriend or something?"
Dhatri just smiles, and makes no comment on the matter. "So yes, when I meet up with her, I'll ask her about setting up a forum for us."
Vette's lips twitch into a smile. "No," she says. "If I thought /that/ I'd have said something far less cordial. It's simply my sibling's duty to provide the warning." Her eyes are twinkling with amusement now, though.
Rufus decides to refrain from ganging up on Richard, though he's smirking again. His eyes drift back to Dhatri, and he nods his head. After one last look about the Java House, he reaches down to gather up his laptop bag and the slim, heavy carrying case that holds his sword inside. Remembering something, he reaches into the inner breast pocket of his suit jacket, fishing out a business card that he passes to Dhatri. "Here, I don't believe you received one of these. It's time for me to return to work, but if either of you should need me for anything, call my cell phone." His eyes turn back to Richard, and he adds, "I meant what I said about offering to teach you and your friends. I can't say that I'm the most experienced godling in New York, but I do know how to fight, and all I ask in return is help if I should need it. No money."
"What d'you have to do in this city to get some respect, swear t'god," Richard mutters under his breath, hands bracing on the back of the seat as he pushes himself up to his feet, "Anyway, I'll be in touch, English."
Dhatri nods. "Very well, Rufus, no doubt I'll see you around," he says. "I'll call you when I've spoken with Erasma."
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