|Central Park Aftermath|
|What: A few magically-inclined people start investigating the magic-related explosion that happened in Central Park, with Pete ending up on the bad end of some spirit veneration.|
There's yellow police tape all around the scene of the disturbance, and police investigations have ceased; even the surveyors have finished preliminary work, figuring out how much taxpayer money will be getting spent on fixing the mess (much to J Jonah Jameson's glee, damn that Spidey). It's about ten PM on Wednesday night, park closing time, and the crowds have long since gone.
The area in question is just up from the East 86th St entrance to the park, in just far enough that the retaining wall's low and there's forest on the other side of it, close enough to a concrete terrace that the damage managed to reach it, buckling the pavement there as well as on the pedestrian path. There are broken trees, there's fire damage everywhere, there's crumbled and blasted masonry, and there's a well of dirt on the forest side of the broken low wall. More interestingly still, the ground itself is buckled and rippled, surrounding the bottoms of several trees.
"Yeah well it wasn't my fault," a black-haired, overly thin man in a black suit is saying to the woman walking alongside him, as he smokes a cigarette and looks unimpressed with life. They're approaching the scene.
Okay, well. Being New York, a flying broomstick -does- beat a taxi by most means, although she has to be really, really careful around sidescrapers and those godsdamned pigeons. PIGEONS!! They're like tiny, feathery henchmen of some nefarious, otherworldly entity that just really hates flying heroes, clean cars, clean buildings, statues and people eating easily grabbable foods. Evil lurks in the heart of these derpy eyed hate machines. Ahem. Regardless, Rain finds a nice, secluded spot to land and dismiss the Quidditchmobile. Poff! Away goes the broomstick. She adjusts the hat and carefully slinks, like a weasel in a Dick Tracy comic, along towards the scene to investigate. Deep breath. Wait. Does she hear voices? Oh gods. Social contact. She freezes in place to listen, and watch. Mundane investigation first.
She'd been looking forward to a nice, quiet evening--but she'd only recently heard about the disturbance at the Park. Tanya just had to check it out; she'd remembered seeing the bright wash of magic thread through the sky, though she couldn't do anything about it just then. Tonight, though, she's finally free--a few days late, perhaps, but whatever. She stands at the entrance to the Park, and she slips off her sunglasses to slip them into her jacket. At least she dressed for the occasion, she thinks to herself as she studies the broken pavement. It wasn't a creature that did this, that much is blatantly obvious. The explosion did the damage at least this far out.
A glance to either side, making sure no one's paying attention to her, then she shoves her hands into her coat pockets and slips through the entrance, walking not far behind the man and woman, her tennis shoes making soft scruffing sounds. She's not trying to hide from them, but she's not exactly trying to catch them, either. Just another young woman strolling through the Park, that's all.
Some people are just out too late, period. Some people are occasionally night oblivious to things like park closures, personal safety, and common sense. Some people like Alison Blaire, who is -roller skating- in Central Park /at night/ with HEADPHONES ON. Oblivious!
Toe-braking to a stop near the scene of the crime, Ali actually takes her headphones off to stare at the damage. "Woah."
Sue Storm walks alongside the overly thin man, alternating between looking at him and at the damage the park area has suffered. She's actually walking a few inches off of the ground, if anyone bothers to pay attention to that sort of thing, and the smoke from the thin man's cigarette seems to also avoid her, bouncing off of something invisible to the normal human eye. "Who said this WAS your fault?" she asks Pete.
F.A.C.S. Forcefields Against Cigarette Smoke, it's a new thing. Sign up, donate money, and someday your children's children may get their own. Wisdom's eyebrows are up; he puts his smoke-free hand in his trouser pocket and pulls out a flashlight as they get closer. "No one, astonishingly. Unless I'm Spider-Man. Discount the fire damage, though; that's the result of the weaponry we brought to bear against the thing." He pauses and glances at Sue sidelong as he turns the flashlight on and starts to point it at the damage. "Er. The monster, not the Thing. Any road, it--"
This is where the Englishman stops talking and stares at the roller-skater. "What. Blaire? Little late for the rubbernecking, ain't you?" He waves a hand, then points to the well of dirt with the electric torch. "I think it came up out of the ground, that's what it sounded like." He's really just an unimpressive, nondescript skinny guy in a suit. Honest. With a SHIELD badge clipped to his jacket's lapel.
It was a dark night. It was night. The kinda night where you could get into all sorts of trouble. The - okay, so there's not a lot of noir here, but Rain is definitely sneaking along to eavesdrop a bit. Hmmm. Well, regardless, she's doing her best to not stick out like a LARPer at an IHOP. Which is ... probably not happening. Deep breath. Let's see if there's any leylines or magical energy here. Mortal explosives tend to make more shrapnel, don't they? She could've sworn she saw this in a Michael Bay movie, except the birds and bystanders aren't exploding. Regardless, she tips her hat back and stares blankly off at the smoldering crater. She'll do her best to listen, but given magic needs concentration, she's the functional equivalent of an answering machine. Yup. Just a duster coat wearing person staring blankly. Nothing to see here. Really.
As they get to the scene of the--incident--Tanya has a chance to actually look at the couple, thanks to the lamps lining the pedestrian path. She has to smile when she realizes that she knows the blonde; not many woman hover a few inches off the ground, after all. She smiles to herself, then looks beyond to the trail of magic that leads out of the sky. It's dissipating, but it's enough to let her trace it to--the woman she met in the strange Bar last night. Well. This morning, technically.
That's the direction she heads, skirting around the couple by a good few yards; she's still not exactly trying to hide. Sure, she's wearing dark clothing, but the pink hair does kind of stick out, especially with those very lamps. If she can get Sue's attention, she'll give the other woman a small wave and a smile. Her leg is doing a lot better, which she demonstrates with a small skip. She's just also being polite and letting the couple be for the moment. When she gets to Rain, she's about to say something--but pauses, mouth open. She recalls the woman saying something about having to concentrate for her magic to work. So she lets her be, crouching by a nearby tree and running her fingertips along the trunk. It's the mildly-active magic in the trees that gets her attention. The rest seems--dormant, in comparison.
"Mole Man?" Dazzler baffles when 'came up out of the ground' is mentioned, otherwise mostly just giving Pete a weird look. "Listen, I didn't come to stare I just happened by, all right." She shifts on her skates, maintaining her balance with ease and looking out over the damage again. "I take it you don't have any leads?"
Sue Storm frowns slightly at Pete's words, not entirely making sense of his kind of rambling explanation. Especially when he interrupts himself to address the rollerskater. So, not really knowing the woman beyond the tabloids and news reports, she doesn't speak up. Silent regular schmegular looking woman standing over here is silent. She does, however, glance back the way they came and notices the girl in the trench coat standing there ... staring.
"No, it was--" The words come out of Pete's face like they're burning his mouth with acid. "--a rock troll. Or sommat. And a legion of combat pixies with tiny fucking arrows. Some kid had a crystal, and was mumbling something about a gate key he traded all his Pokemon cards for, bitching and moaning that it was gone. Well it was gone all right, Hawkeye shot it to dust. But what we don't know is why; the kid's not talking. What we also don't know is how, or where the crystal thing came from-- if someone's trading them for Pokemon cards there's an issue. Also don't know if there's going to be lingering trouble, or if we're looking at possible retaliation. The monster was saying something about reclaiming the city."
Hmmm. Rain pauses. Iiiiiinteresting. She blinks, as if finally coming out of a daydream. Ah hah. She starts to move towards some of the pedestrian walk when- "Eep!" There's a pink haired lady RIGHT THERE. Rain flails for a moment, then remembers. "Ooh... hey, sorry. I'm gonna see some of that -" Pause. "Shoot, no vials. Oh well, I guess a glove'll do," Rain pulls a black glove from her pocket. Rain's in nerd mode. All brain cells engage. Except the ones needed for social interaction apparently. "..." Wait. Roller skates. Tanya. And people. Finally, the world comes into focus. She looks slowly around. "Oh wow. Hi. How are you?" She asks quietly. Mostly to Tanya, but there's a lady with a guy in a suit and Dazzler and ... "Huh." Troll? Wait. "Oh. Fae magic," Chintap. She's moving to get some of that dust, then.
Wait. Crap. There's people here. She's going to have to interact. Rain freezes. If they don't see you, they can't talk to you! Wait. That's manatees, and furthermore, none of them are manatees and ... She looks stunned. "Um." Rain's trying to use her words, but she's dropped them like trousers. Lookin' like a fool with your vocabulary on the ground.
This is an odd sort of magic. Odd in that Tanya usually comes across the disruptive, destructive sort. She rubs the tip of her chin thoughtfully, then pats the tree trunk and stands up once more. Slipping her hand back into her pocket, she studies the tree a moment longer, then looks back to Rain as the woman comes out of her trance. Giving her a smile, she says, "Hi. Didn't mean to startle you. Just didn't want to interrupt." She looks a bit embarrassed, there; the vagaries of what's polite and what isn't are always so difficult to understand when magic's involved, given how differently people access it and use it. Um, fae magic, you say?" She's trying to not overtly react to the way she apparently made the other young woman nervous. "That's a little out of my league," she says, looking back to the tree, a thoughtful look coming over her. Her area of expertise mainly focuses around spirits and such.
Sue Storm blinks, her attention back on Pete at his mention of a rock troll. It's a bit too much like a description of Ben, but he's already reassured her that it has nothing to do with her friend. No, wait, he's making even less sense than before. She shrugs slightly as she continues to have nothing to contribute, but as she turns toward the trench-coated girl again, NOW she notices Tanya. And a small, possibly relieved smile crosses her face. She's NOT stuck here alone with a group of people are are making zero sense. Thank goodness.
Dazzler opens her mouth to say one thing, ends up closing it again. Magic. Ok, magic she's seen and dealt with a time or two but she doesn't actually KNOW anything about it. "Oooooo... kay. Trolls and fairies and taking back the park leads to scorched earth?"
"Shut up," grumbles Pete at Dazzler, then glances up at Sue, swapping his cigarette and the torch, then flicking ash to the ground. "Sorry," he says to the Invisible Woman, grumpily. "That look on your face? That's how I felt on Sunday. I thought I left this shit behind in the UK."
Stepping away from her and closer to the shallow pit, Wisdom points the flashlight down into to hole, stepping around the two strange women. "If you two," he says absently to them, "have any way of checking this shit, or if you've got Magical Geiger Counters or sparkle girl juju, I'll buy a couple rounds at the local for the info."
Oh boy. Wait. What? Rain's actually - oh boy. Oh no. Oh gods no. Rain is blue screening. She winces, rubs her eyes. Use your /words/, Rain. "Um. Okay. Normally, I like - keep this stuff to myself, but this seems a bit bigger than things that normally pop up." She's clearly an introvert. Deep breath. "Okay." Finger wriggle. She looks to Tanya. "And that's um, fine. I just... speaking isn't my strong point. But." She's gotta. Awkward. She gathers herself. "Let's start from the start. I get the feeling this is fairy magic. Also known as fae magic. Over the centuries, humanity often encountered them. Back then, though... it was a lot rougher. Let's just leave it at they weren't called 'fair folk' for being /nice/. Gods help the poor bastard who hacked down one of their trees or something," Hand wave. "So likely, civilization tends to piss 'em off. Kinda. There is also a realm for them, but I don't really know if that's true or not... Make sense so far? Mind, I'm not an expert but um..."
She freezes up again. "... anyway. Like..." Words, Rain. She bites her lower lip. "Long story short, this looks like fairy magic. You said someone had a stone...?" A peer at Wisdom. But then she stops again. "Sorry."
Arching a brow, Tanya looks at Rain for a moment, then steps to the edge of the crater and crouches, then looks past it to the couple beyond to see Sue looking at her. The blonde gets a grin and a wave; she'd offer more, but it's not like they're in the local bar or something, perhaps unfortunately. "You know," she says loudly enough to be heard by all as she looks back down into the crater, "the only thing with that is why the whatever-it-was didn't go bug-fuck nuts on the city. I mean, we're not that far from the edge of the park, so seeing skyscrapers and realizing that all of this is effectively /fake/, a mockery of actual 'nature' and shit--if I were a nature spirit, having a fake-ass park in the middle of a city would piss /me/ off." She looks up to Pete, then, "How soon was this troll-thingy put down?" she asks him. He looks like he'd know. The S.H.I.E.L.D. badge kind of helps with that perception, though, too.
Sue Storm gets the impression that there's a whole lot of not much she can honestly contribute at this point other than starting cleanup. So, that's what she resolves to do. "Mr. Wisdom, I think I'd be better able to help by cleaning up around the area. Let me know if you need anything." Presumably she means anything of the force field variety, but she doesn't explicitly say that. Instead, she offers the three other ladies a polite smile as she steps around toward the closest pile of rubble to start pushing the stuff around with her force fields.
"Huh," Ali says, basically over everyone's shoulders. Well, to hell with flashlights - SHE can handle that better than a stupid flashlight. A few bright lights manifest in and around the perimeter of the search area, lighting up the place for a proper look. "The park's been here for ages. It's the realest it gets here, if they want real woods there's plenty upstate, or across the river in Jersey."
"Will do, Miss Storm," Pete calls back to the Girl With The Forcefield, "thank you." He picks his way over the rubble where the wall's broken and into what's left of the underbrush, torch illuminating the ground so he doesn't step in a hole and kill his foot or something. "Otherworld," he says to Rain, apparently not noticing her difficulty with interaction. "Encompassing Avalon, Annwfn, Momur, the various Tirs-- the realm bit's true enough. And they are also /all pains in the arse/. Nothing to apologize for, love." And then FIAT LUX. "Ta, Blaire." He shuts off his flashlight and pockets it, then straightens up and gets out of the way of the girls who look like they know what they're doing. A second later and he's finishing his cigarette, flicking it with unerring accuracy at the closest bin. He leans against a tree, watching.
"So, yes: someone had a stone. Bloke about seventeen, eighteen; he had ink on the palms of his hands, sigils of some sort. And this crystal thing. It was glowing, and when the troll thing was starting to bleed out, the light from the thing was pulsing like a heartbeat. When Hawkeye shot it, the troll and the nasty little buggers all got sucked into-- a gate, I s'pose, it was right where that crater is now. As for how long? Mmf..."
Rubbing the bridge of his nose and squeezing his eyes shut, the SHIELD agent thinks. "Five minutes, all told? Maybe a little more. No longer than ten minutes after the debacle began."
Rain waves politely to the woman departing. "Be well. Have a good night," She smiles faintly at Ali and Tanya. "Maybe. They tend to be creatures of whim and chaos, mostly." Rain smiles faintly and is looking for that magic dust near the pedestrian walk. "I think there's some dust here that might be useful. If ... um, anyone had a vial - otherwise..." She'll use this glove. She looks thoughtful to Tanya's theory. "Could be. I suspect it's more a 'humanity lost its fear and worship and kinda bulldozed most of nature' thing. That's a pretty good theory though," She considers. SHe looks to Ali, and considers it. "Um... well. See. Some places have more power, energy, significance. Even if they aren't strategically important... a lot of sentient beings tend to have pride." Deep breath. She considers Pete's account.
Rain is quiet for a long moment. "Sigils. Well. I'm not really sure I could've read them. Probably a summoning stone or something. It um, well. Some objects hold power. It's often easiest to move between planes or realms with them. Honestly, I'm not really an expert," She holds up her palms, hands out. "The family just knew a bit about fae because mom would leave stuff out for them and -" Deep breath. Hmm. She looks to Tanya. She is trying to remember her words. "He wouldn't tell you where he got it, I guess? Wait. I wonder if..." She's trying to remember the rules of divination. "Did you find any of the bits of the thing? Or is the dust ... Man. I'm terrible at detectivery." Sadface. "..." She's talked. Freeze up. Like a bad copy of Windows ME.
Rubbing her cheek thoughtfully, Tanya arches that brow again and looks up to Pete, then Rain. "Actually, the Park was never a natural thing. It was designed from day one, and has been rebuilt a few times as Manhattan's grown." Someone paid attention in history class, apparently. "But that's mostly pedantry at this point. Anyway, could you write down those sigils? If I don't know them, I've got some ideas on who to go to for it. If they're strictly fae-related, I probably couldn't help, but if not..." A shrug of one shoulder. Couldn't hurt to try.
"In the meantime, though, I do have one idea. The spirits around here saw what happened, and spirits, now that's my thing. I don't have vials, I don't do potions or brews or any of that. Spirits, on the other hand, I'm your girl. Now, just give me a moment..."
Closing her eyes for just a beat, she starts concentrating--then her eyes and hands glow with a throbbing pink light. As well, the flame "sleeve" on her right leg can just faintly be seen, glowing through the jeans with a matching throbbing pink light. Another mere beat, and that pink theme will continue as what almost looks like a ghostly, ephemeral, collection of boulders in a vaguely humanoid shape can be seen by everyone else, shimmering into existence. Welcome to he kind of crap she sees every minute of the day.
"I can do that," Ali says quietly, though for the most part she just stands and listens and continues to provide light to see by.
And that is where Pete offers poor Ali his pack of cigarettes, wordlessly. But his attention is focused on Tanya and Rain, most certainly. "Yeah, the dust-- any of it's still there? Good-oh. It's what's left of the stone, yeah," he says to the girl with her words on the ground, and then he's patting his pockets down, digging in his jacket. "No phials, petal, but--" he slides the plastic off the bottom half of his cigarette pack, then steps forward to offer /that/ to /Rain/. As opposed to the cigarettes themselves and Dazzler. To Tanya, he adds, "I can draw you the sigils, I'm just-- are you sure that's a good idea? Drawing them. Isn't that shit viral or someth--"
Ghost Rock Troll. Wisdom shuts up, eyes widening. There is an expression like 'oh fucking shit oh shit fuck fuck fuck' on his pale, thin face. "You didn't say," he hisses to Tanya, "you were calling its fabulous cousin. It's going to fucking kill me."
The big pink ephemeral bolder-collection straightens up, creaking and groaning, and runs its hands through the trees closest to itself. Dribbles of equally ephemeral green light ooze from the places the rock-spirit's hands pass through the trunk, and it makes a shhh sound like sand pouring down a fissure. Finally, it slowly bends down to peer at Tanya, 'face' close enough that it's more or less nose-to-nose with her, staring. Staring like '...yes?'
Rain smiles politely to Ali, too. "Um... if you have any questions... I feel bad ... talking lots ..." Wince. Really. But she goes quiet as Pete offers the plastic. Her eyes widen a bit. "Thanks! ANd um, well. It depends. Some sigils activate simply on being created, others require will or incantation. Generally, unless you know or are ready..." She notes. "Though, maybe he needed the stone, too..." She considers. She'll gather the dust, but she blinks at the troll spirit fellow. "... it's like the 80s all over ..." Coooool.
Ah, now this is more Tanya's speed. Considering the spirits living within her, actually conversing with one that's /outside/ her own body is something of a treat. She looks up when the thing bends down, not all that perturbed by the spirit's lack of etiquette regarding personal space. That's something she's had to get used to a long time ago.
"We're sorry for pulling you from your rest," she tells it sincerely, keeping the magic going so everyone can see and hear it. This means she can't keep it up forever, but as long as she remembers to control the flow, to regulate everything carefully, she shouldn't pass out. Hopefully.
"We need to know what happened here, how your cousin was called from across the realms." A grin, there, for the creature. "If you ask around, you'll see I'm very good about venerating those spirits who help me." Of course, the last spirit who helped her--well, that's the last time she'll look at leiderhosen and camels without shuddering.
"Welcome. And that's something of a relief," the SHIELD agent says aside to Rain, eyes still locked on the big pink rock ghost thing. "The will and incantation shit, I mean..." And he moves to actively edge behind Tanya, now that she's asking Telling Questions and he's really wishing he were elsewhere. "Shit shit shit. Don't let it see me," he half-whispers, ducking a little.
The spirit's face splits across the middle horizontally, and it makes something at Tanya that looks like it could be a smile with a bit of carefully applied suspension of disbelief and inherent creativity. //It is well, little one,// the rock-ghost rumbles, its voice vibrating through the earth and hissing through the breeze. //A mortal child spent blood and dreams to open the gate to Magh Mor. The vanguard were blackthorn and holly, the archers and infantry followed closely and nearly slew the mortals who came to interfere. The oak and ash lifted their roots to make way, the maple spread her arms and died in the effort. It all came to naught; the battle was lost and the chains still bind the earth, tame the green; fire and steel were their fate.//
"Sure. Do you um, want this after I - try something? I dunno if evidence is a big deal or not." Then a pause as Pete ducks. Rain smiles faintly and waves a hand. "Don't worry, as long as he didn't instantly splatter you, I think I could fix it... granted, I'm not Doctor House but..." A shrug. Rain's sense of mortality seems a bit ... off sometimes. "... this one seems more friendly," She offers quietly. For now, she lets Tanya do her thing and quietly gathers dust. Like a boss.
...and once more, Tanya is reminded of the downside of talking to these guys. They can never just say anything plainly. "Mortal child spent--okay, so he cast a spell to rip open the wall between the worlds. Then--some others came to stop him, and--umm--this is where it's starting to break down." She's trying to translate for everyone else, but it's not like these guys come with a handy-dandy translation guide. "Who waged the battle?" she asks the earth spirit. "Were the vanguard and infantry attempting to protect the mortal?" Sounds about right, but it's too obscure for her to be sure.
Mutely, from behind Tanya, Pete shakes his head at Rain: you keep the pixie dust or whatever, is the clear message. "I don't want to tempt fate," he adds in a whisper a second after, "he might splatter me yet. I'm just going to stay here. Because. Running would be terrible. Never run from immortals."
Since the scene is so not her scene, and since Tanya's got the lighting situation seen to, this is also the point at which Dazzler gets bored and skates off; Pete looks mildly betrayed. But: he signed up for this shit, more's the pity, and Alison Blaire did not.
Starting to trundle around, not actually disturbing any of the foliage, the enormous ephemeral rock spirit begins a survey much like a slow motion overstatement of Humperdinck following the footsteps of Inigo and the Man in Black. //Battle was waged between my cousin and his troops, and those he was told were his jailers. The child held the door; the infantry closed ranks around my cousin and moved to keep his entry safe from interference. They failed in their task.//
Rain smiles faintly and nods. "Yeah. That's pretty wise." She'll listen for awhile and quietly drift along to figure out wtf to do with this dust and maybe hit up the LokiLibrary. Or something. Pretty neat to watch the ephemeral rock, at any rate.
"Okay," says Tanya, turning to look at--why is the guy with the /S.H.I.E.L.D. badge/ hiding behind /her/? She gives the man a smirk, but decides to ignore commenting on it--mostly because she can't keep this up forever. "So a spell-caster was trying to bring this troll of yours across, and someone decided to come in and start blasting." The proverbial light bulb clicks on over her head. Sometimes, she'd have to admit, things click later than others. "You were there, right? That's why you're /frightened/ of this one." Without giving him a chance to answer, she looks back to the spirit. "The man behind me was there, wasn't he? He fought against the vanguard and infantry, right? The question is why--what was this troll doing when it was attacked?" Plenty of people get scared when they see spirits--but she really can't think of another reason why a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent would be, unless that agent had pissed one off, or at least thought they did.
Gnnngh is the sound Pete makes from behind Tanya, before he makes a grimace of massive grimacey irritation and straightens up, stepping out from behind her. He starts to glance in the direction he last saw Sue and her amazing forcefield, then decides against it-- instead, he takes out a pair of sunglasses and slips them over his eyes like he's one of the Blues Brothers, then lights a cigarette. "The fucking pixies attacked first," he mutters around the cancer stick, glow of the lighter against his face remaining as an afterimage-- and then not dissipating, entirely. Well. It does, but it doesn't look like it for a second, because the outlines of solid eye-shapes are visible behind the black lenses. His body language is that of a dead man walking who's being very British about it.
//Peter Wisdom was of the mortal ranks--//
"Oi! If by 'ranks' you mean /three people/, you git--"
//--that joined in battle against the infantry and the van, and finally, against my cousin. It was he--//
"--hang on, how the fuck do you know my name?"
//--who dealt the killing blow, as his fellows stole the child away and moved to destroy the gate. His fate is sealed. My cousin only answered the call to break the bonds of this tamed place, called forth from his slumber in Magh Mor by one of the blood who learned the Old Ways through the Earth. Little one, your strength wanes. Perform your veneration that I do not sleep hungry.//
"...you idiot!" exclaims Tanya at the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. "Shit like this happens, and the first thing you guys do is start /blasting it/ and stealing the caster? You do realize that someone who can do /this/ has powerful friends, right? And I don't mean the governmental sort of powerful who can threaten to cut funding--I mean the sort of bastards who can rip up entire city blocks." Argh. Sometimes dealing with the mundane can be such a pain in the ass--especially the ones who who technically know /about/ this sort of crap.
She grunts to herself and looks back up to he spirit. Right. Need to get this dealt with. Eventually she might realize how tactically unsound it is to bitch out a member of such a powerful organization. Eventually. "Okay--so, where is the mortal child now, and what do you want for veneration?" She really hopes it's not going to involve another hunt through a Goodwill Dumpster again. Once was quite enough.
"Shut it," Wisdom says with quick, sharp acidity. "It were me and a bloke what's never dealt with magic before /ever/, and *I* was trying to /talk it down/. While its little fucking friends were trying to kill us. It wasn't /interested/ in fucking /talking/, was it! No! It was interested in turning this fucking city where you can't bloody SMOKE anywhere into the fucking CONGO." He flicks ash to the ground, expression-- haunted, almost. But the look fades quickly, layered over with sourness. "And we didn't know the kid was the caster; he was unconscious and the troll was holding him pretty high up. And, you know, we were being attacked. So you just-- shut your fucking mouth. You weren't there. If you want to help me figure out what the shit the kid was up to, I'm not going to turn down help. But ripping into me off the say-so of some spirit who ALSO wasn't there is kind of a shit way to do business."
While the Englishman's busy working up a head of steam, the big pink rock spirit's lumbering back toward him and Tanya. It stops Right Behind Pete, and looms over him, looking down past him at Tanya. //Burn him,// it says with a ponderous satisfaction. //It is a fitting end for one who burned an immortal, who turned a denizen of Magh Mor to a blackened and hissing pile of glass and slag. Burn him and I will be fed by the balance.//
And right there? Right there, Pete's spine stiffens, and he looks down at Tanya, too, face blank. He takes off his sunglasses, and his eyes are flat, solid light, glowing yellow in the dark. And all he does? Is nod at her.
Another grunt, then Tanya gets to her feet--or tries to, at least. She's about halfway there when the wooziness hits. She collapses to her knees with a grimace, then makes a second attempt. This one is successful, and she looks between man and spirit for a moment. "Dumb-ass," she mutters, though without venom. "Thank you," she says to the spirit, letting the glows fade from eyes, hands, and leg at last. When it fades completely, she brings a hand to her hand to massage her temple.
"He's still here," she tells the agent, "and I'm sorry for this--but you don't fuck with the spirits, not unless you really want your day ruined in ways you can't even imagine."
The glows start up again, though instead of her leg, it's an outline of what almost looks like a curved lightning bolt over her left bicep, seen just barely through the jacket. A hand reaches out to the nearest lamp post, which explodes as she pulls electricity from it and with a thrust of her hand, directs it at the agent. He /should/ live through it, by her reckoning. She'll probably have to get him to a hospital, but if people can survive lightning strikes... Of course, that will come later. After "throwing" the electricity at the man, she falls to the ground, first to her knees, then to her side, collapsing into a heap.
Oh he thinks it's gonna be fire. That's cute. He's shaking her head at Tanya's apology, is Pete; he lifts a hand and is about to mouth something when the shape of the mark becomes clear, and she lurches toward the lamp post. That's when his not-eyes (actually somewhat like Nightcrawler's not-eyes, right now!) widen, and he moves to lunge after her, crying out. "NO! No, wait--"
The arc of electricity fries the air, brings with it the searing scent of char and ozone, and connects with Wisdom. His back arches and he spasms, mouth clenched shut; he's upright for a second longer as the electricity dissipates, then collapses himself. There's an extraordinarily unpleasant smell of charred person, now, and the man's smoking. But not the cigarette kind. It's probably just his clothes. Or maybe his hair. Or maybe the man's got a wicked burn where the zap hit. Or maybe he's dead. Hard to say; he's not moving.
At least the spirit's lumbered off.
At least she's not unconscious. Small favors. And at least the veneration worked--though as a matter of whether it worked /too well/ or not... Tanya grunts and plants a hand into the ground, fighting the urge to just lay down and sleep.
"No, he--should've--survived..." she murmurs as she pushes herself up, planting her other hand on the ground to gt to her hands and knees. "No, that--well, maybe..." It takes her a moment of looking around to see the charred hopefully-not-a-corpse.
"Shit," she mutters as she gets to her feet and half-stumbles over to him to kneel next to him. "Come on, you should be alive, hopefully..." Though how /happy/ he is will be a different matter, she's sure. Still, better than outright killing him, she likes to think.
Magical lightning. Normally the man would be immune to the most painful part of electrocution: the water in one's cells boiling. The heat. But this isn't normal electricity. This is as bad as bioelectricity, as bad as X-gene electricity, as bad as -- as bad as magic. The man's on the ground twisted up, but yes he's alive. By the time Tanya makes her way over there, it's all shallow breaths and the rigidity of a seizure--
--semiconscious. His eyes are open, his heart's beating. But he's not looking at anything just yet, and he's gonna need a hospital, he's bleeding from the nose and ears and eyes.
But /as she's prodding at him/, as she's impatiently telling him he should be alive, he closes his eyes and starts ignoring her, focusing on gathering himself enough to /make/ himself relax. Make his body calm down, his nervous system. First sign he's heading for 'possibly going to be okay' is him flipping her off with the hand closest.
"Well, you're off to a good start," says Tanya, smiling a little as she moves to sit on the ground and cross her legs. "Now here's that--no, I'm pretty sure I didn't--how would you know? Ah, here it is." She pulls out her trusty sPhone and looks down to Pete. "Sorry I had to do that to you, but it was either that or actually try and kill you, so..." Lesser of the evils? Maybe he'll forgive her later. She doubts it, but.
She dials the authorities then brings the phone up. "Umm, yeah, I--happened to be walking along Central Park, right, where that whatever-it-was happened near the Eighty-Sixth Street entrance, right, and--umm, there was kind of an explosion? Anyway, there's a guy here who's hurt /bad/. Looks like he got fried--huh? No, I mean that literally. Like he got run through by a lightning bolt or something. Umm--no, I don't know his name, but he seems conscious. Well, in a lot of pain and bleeding everywhere, but conscious. Okay. Yeah, thanks."
She puts the phone away again, then tells the man, "Well, the ambulance should be here soon. Umm--sorry again." She's not sure what else to say, really.
"--useless cow--" croaks the Briton. "SHIELD. Not-- the bloody-- hospital. I'm-- a /mutant/." Then he's hissing in a breath, trying to keep his inhalations and exhalations even, regular. He starts to say something else, then just keeps breathing for a long moment.
After that long moment, he grates out, "Pissed off... spirit. It... got me. Not. You."
"And let me guess, you've got some insane healing thingy or something," replies Tanya, clucking her tongue once. "If I'd known that, I would have offered to help, myself. I can't, like, make you all better with the snap of my fingers, but really all I do is speed up your natural healy-bits. Which--would hurt even more than it does now, since you'd need the special care a hospital can provide."
She draws her knees up and wraps her arms around them, looking into the park. "I, uh--at least you don't have to worry about the spirits for a while. Doing that--you paid your debt to them, so they might be more inclined to help, now." That might be a small consolation, but it's hopefully /a/ consolation. And at least she's being nice enough to sit with him while waiting for the ambulance, though she's pretty sure that may not be the most welcome thing.
"Nuh," mutters the Briton, basically laying there /hating life/ and /hating Tanya/ and /hating/-- he wants a cigarette. He wants a bloody /drink/. He has cigarettes and a hip flask, and they are probably /neither/ of them any good for anything. "Don't. Trust. Hospital," he half-whispers after a very long strength-gathering moment, since it takes less energy. "SHIELD. Please. Or you."
"Hey, try and save your strength, man," says Tanya, reaching out to him--then pulling back at the last minute. Someone burned to a crisp generally shouldn't be touched. "Look, I could help you, but /all/ I can do is speed up your natural healing. You need specialized creams, and--and bandages to keep the skin safe, and--possibly even grafts. I can't do that. But, umm, I can see about maybe calling S.H.I.E.L.D., if this badge of yours is readable and has a phone number on it." She gingerly reaches over him to try and lift just the badge itself, without putting any pressure on him. She also supposes she can call emergency again and see if they can patch her through or something, though it'd be quicker if there's a number on the badge itself, even a generic "if badge is found, contact this phone number" sort of thing.
Surprisingly, the badge is okay. More surprisingly, most of the damage is showing up as bruises, a couple of steam burns, and those wretched cardiopulmonary and central nervous disruptions. Odds are pretty good his wallet's okay, too. He doesn't flinch from any of the touching, or any of the near-touching; his eyes are dark from vitreous hemorrhaging, so maybe he's just having some trouble seeing. There is, however, a number on the badge. (Hell, the cigarettes might even be okay. Wisdom has no idea. He thinks he's on fire and fire shouldn't burn like this.)
"Next time," he whispers, "just fucking use fire."
That elicits a chuckle from Tanya as she retrieves her sPhone again. "'Next time'. Cute. Like you're really going to make a habit of pissing spirits off, eh? Now hush and let me see about getting you some help." A beat as she dials the number, then brings the phone to her ear. "Umm--hi, I kind of need to be transferred, but I'm not sure who to. I sort of found an agent of yours, a--'Peter Wisdom', says the name on the badge. Yeah. He's kind of a Crispy Critter. We're at--oh, okay." She clicks off with a somewhat amused look. "Your friends didn't need me to tell them the location. Does that mean my phone is bugged, now? I can't exactly get a new one, you know. Anyway, fine, next time you piss off the spirits that I have to talk to to get some help, I'll just burn you to a crisp with fire, if that's really so much better." There's really not a lot else she can do, so she's hoping a little bit of humor might help. And if he stays annoyed at /her/, maybe it will help get the mind off what he has to be going through.
The response time is... well. It's impressive, is what it is. It's only a couple of minutes before an ambulance just... rolls up to the scene. Two EMTs pile out the back with a stretcher in tow, followed in short order by a young man in a suit, who looks quite worried. Doug hurries on ahead of the EMTs while they get situated, glancing from Tanya to the pile o' Pete with raised eyebrows. His question is highly professional: "...do I even want to ask?"
"Magic," whispers Pete, finally managing to pull himself a little straighter from the full-body seizure's waning influence. He's by now got two black eyes, dark eyes from vitreous hemorrhage, smells mildly crispy, and has angry red welts under scorched clothes-- in addition to the dried blood from his nose and ears. "...lightning. Monster. Pissed... it off. Spirit."
Well then. Tanya's brows lift in surprise as the response is damned near instantaneous. "Umm. Hi," she says, sitting on the ground next to the electrocuted man, who looks surprisingly better, with her knees drawn up. "What he said. It was really quite--something." She gives the new agent a smile, and does her best to seem in no way at fault for the situation or in any other way had a hand in it. She does, though, go to get to her feet--slowly, of course. She doesn't exactly have a mistrust of agents or other people in suits, but she doesn't want to give them a reason to distrust /her/, either.
The EMTs converge on poor, sizzling Pete to make sure that he is slightly further from death than he looks. Not that he ever looks /good/, but... right now, it's more apparent than usual. Once they're satisfied he isn't about to keel over dead, they work on getting him safely moved onto the stretcher.
Doug looks between Pete and Tanya with a thoughtful frown. She, perhaps unfortunately, seems to have said something to get his attention. "You saw what happened, then?" he asks, one hand going for his phone. He is at least far enough in his training to know what words come next, thanks to ride-alongs with Coulson: "We're going to need to debrief you." ...and he is also new enough that he knows most people need a translation of what the heck 'debrief' means. "That's fancy agency speak for, 'ask you what you saw, for the record.' Won't take but a moment."
And it's Doug there, Doug's taking care of shit, Doug knows shit-- Pete now feels free to pass out from 'OW GOD OH FUCKING GOD DAMN SHIT SHIT FUCK OWWWW'.
"...shit," mutters Tanya, though she tries to keep the smile up as she dusts off the seat of her jeans. Her and her big mouth. "I know what it means. I've watched 'Law and Order' before. I, umm, didn't actually see much, you know. Just--passing on, chilling, saw the damage from whatever it was, thought I'd take a look, and I found mister crispy, there." A nod to the passing-out Pete. She's just a civic-minded gal, that's all, certainly not anything like a /witness/, and certainly not right in the middle of it all. Of course not.
Out comes the phone and Doug clicks a button to turn on a voice recorder, though he doesn't quite catch the muttered expletive. Just as well. As she speaks, his brow slowly furrows. The cognitive dissonance from what she's saying and what her body language is making his head /suspect/ is... significant. Still. He glances after Pete, thinking for a long moment, before he simply nods and offers her a smile. "Thank you," he says, clicking the recorder back off. "Every little bit helps. If you remember anything else, you know how to get ahold of us."
"You're welcome. And if nothing else, I'm sure you guys bugged my phone from trying to call you," replies Tanya, smiling a bit more. Humor never hurts, so what the hell. Probably true, too. "If it helps, I can be found at my job, if you really need anything more." She pulls out a business card from her pocket, to offer it to Doug. "Mack and Co. Automotive Repair", the address and phone number and so on, then "Tanya Li", then beneath that, "Restoration Specialist". See, she's not trying to hide from law enforcement. She /likes/ law enforcement.
The phone goes back into Doug's jacket and his hand comes back with a business card of his own. It's largely white, save for the simple text identifying him as Doug Ramsey, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. There's even a phone number. How useful! He trades it across for Tanya's with a broad smile. "Can neither confirm nor deny, etcetera, etcetera. ...seriously, though, I have no idea."
Taking the card, Tanya looks at it for a moment, then slips it into an inner pocket of her jacket, where it'll be protected until she can transfer it to her wallet. "Yuh-huh, I'll just bet you can neither confirm nor deny, Agent Ramsey," she says, the smile widening into a grin. A suit who knows how to smile and go with some humor. Will wonders never cease. "So, am I free to go, or do you need anything more...?" she asks, starting to slip her hands into her jacket pockets--but then she thinks better of it and lets her hands hang at her sides. Law enforcement-types rarely like someone's hands where they can't see them, after all.
"You're good," Doug replies with a sunny grin, lifting a hand in a lazy approximation of a salute. "Thank you for calling this in. I don't know about the others, but I kind of like having him around," he confesses, before he turns to return to the street. The ambulance is already gone -- it went down the street, turned off the main street and then went whisking back up to the Helicarrier to get Pete /proper/ medical care -- but he seems just as happy for it. "I hope the rest of your night is a little less eventful."
"So do I," replies Tanya, eyes widening a touch in the memory of the previous "events". "Well, hope Agent Wisdom feels better soon," she says, then gives the agent a wave before starting to head back down the path to the exit. Something tells her this isn't the last she's seen of this whole--mess.