|Lost and Found: Conclusion|
|What: Marc finally gets himself back to normal-- and Genevieve brings a new problem to the table|
Steven rests one hand on a knee and leans a bit to continue skimming the names on the mailboxes for the name from his little book; Genevieve Zavia.
While Michael waits, his eyes trace back to the cafe once more. His stomach growls.
Michael puts his right hand over his abdomen and gives Grant a sheepish half-smile. "I should probably eat something," he explains and nods his head toward the cafe. "C'mon. My treat."
Steven hmms? Then gives a theatrical sigh, and spreads his hands in a smiling shrug. "I'd argue about the bill, but I left without any money, so I'll have to settle for making you the same offer another time. But just a moment, I'll catch up.." he skims the last row, making a satisfied noise when he finally finds Genevieve's name. He finds a call box, and punches in her number, hoping to ask her to join them...but there's no answer.
Steven looks slightly crestfallen when he makes his way over to the cafe. "There is a Genevieve listed here, but she's not answering. I suppose I'll wait and hope she comes back."
As he slowly starts moving in the indicated direction, Michael's eyes narrow in thought and he gives Steven a sidelong glance.
"You said something was wrong... Is Jake's getting lost part of that?" He pauses, but continues walking. "I know something about 'finding my way'," he adds after that momentary pause. "Well, 'following someone else's direction' - trusting it'll take me to where I need to be. Being without that guidance must be...unnerving for you. For all of you." He comes to a halt just outside the cafe, and looks across the menu-boards.
Steven's brow furrows. "I..I still feel my purpose, but it's distant. This, now, needs to be done, but it isn't what I'm for. And the others.. they won't wake up."
After hearing more of the problem that has befallen his friend - or friends, as the case may be - he shakes his head. Pulling out his wallet, he walks up to the counter and orders himself a latte and a baguette. He gives Grant a nod of his head, and steps to the side.
"Order whatever you like, my friend."
After the smile leaves his face, Michael's expression turns pensive, his eyes upon Grant in thought.
Steven nods gratefully, actually having no idea when they last ate.
He orders a sandwich with turkey and brie on it on the basis it sounds interesting, along with some sort of chai tea. He does't seem the least bit troubled by Michael's pensive gaze, though he does look back to him attentively once their order is settled. For having just stated such a problem, he really doesn't seem terribly perturbed.
Michael pays for the order and walks over to a secluded table for two, and pulls out a chair. Sitting down, he waits for Grant to join him - and later for the cafe attendant to bring them their drinks - and draws his chair back in. A moment is taken to say a silent prayer over his meal, and he proceeds to unwrap it.
Steven Grant sets himself in his own chair, and thanks the attendant that brings their order with a warm smile. The expression is then turned on Michael, Grant respectfully waiting to eat himself while Michael prays over the food.
"I can't imagine what that must feel like," he admits to his friend. "How many do emerge now? From the book I'd say: you, and Jake... Are the rest all silent?" He puts the wrapping of his baguette aside and takes a bite out of it, chewing quietly.
Steven unwraps his own sandwich while he replies, "I'm sure Marc knew what he was doing. We just have to find what we lost." he says with assurance. "We're all of us here.." He emphasizes, patting his chest. "But I can't.. reach any of the others. Usually we aren't..cut off so absolutely." he frowns briefly, but then shakes his head, and makes an appreciative noise as he bites into his sandwich, washing it down with the tea. "I can only trust that miss Zavia has some new information."
Steven wonders over his sandwich, "Would you mind if I asked you a question as well..?"
Michael nods once more, dabs at his lips with a napkin, and then reaches for his latte once he has it. "I'm sure you'll find it," he offers as encouragement. Smacking his lips at the taste of the latte - which is delicious - he sets the cup back down again and leans back in his chair. He nods again to Grant.
"Ask away," he replies with a smile. "I'll do my best with the answer."
"How long have -you- known your calling?" Steven wonders curiously. "I..have to say, the impression I had from Marc would have led me to believe your God wasn't interested in champions any more."
Michael offers a slow nod of understanding, and shifts his weight to sit forward a little more before replying.
"That's more than one question," he says with a slight grin at the corner of his lips. "Or it requires more than one answer. 'How long have I known?' and 'Does the Lord still have champions?'... There are verses in the Scriptures that talk about God looking for champions - to address the second part of what you said, first. In the Old Testament, they were called 'Judges' and 'Prophets' - but not all of them. In the New Testament... 'Apostles', and others. As time has gone on, and the world has become more complicated, the names have changed - and the roles they play. God hasn't given up on us, and I like to think - in some way or another - He has a hand in bringing all these other heroes to the fore... Heroes like you."
He smiles. Genuine. An exhortation.
"The truth is, most of the 'champions' of God have no 'superpowers' save faith... and compassion. Willingness to act. Most of them will never wear a mask or take up a literal sword..." The man suddenly coughs and rubs a hand along his jaw, grinning wryly. "I'm preaching now," he explains with a hint of chagrin. "Sorry. I haven't always known what my calling might be, but I knew it would matter. It's... hard to explain. I don't really see much difference between being a good carpenter, or a good husband and father... and a Knight of the Cross." His eyes take on a 'faraway' expression and he stares at a point in the air just above the table top.
"If I ever had to give up the sword... I would. The calling never really changes - only the tools." He spreads his hands and smiles at Grant. "I... hope that answers your question."
Steven nods slow understanding to this first part, admitting, "Marc knows the Old Testament.. though I don't have the benefit of his input right now."
He listens curiously to Michael's explanation, appearing fascinated. "So to you...all your roles are...really just one. They don't define you."
Michael reaches for his coffee and takes another mouthful of it.
It really is good coffee.
"I suppose so," he replies after a few moments to consider Grant's question. Then his eyes narrow again. "You're more than just a tool in a toolkit, you know," he tells the other man. "You're more than a weapon in an arsenal, Steven Grant - if that is something on your mind. You and all... the others may serve different functions - like hands and feet - but your calling is the same. I'd imagine that would be something like 'to serve Khonshu'..."
Michael has a brief flinch in his features as he says that, but it is gone in an instant.
"...Or 'to protect the weak'. From what you told me before, it seems to me that a new personality forms when a new set of skills is required... But right now..." He lets out a breath and nods his head slowly. "You're missing 'tools'. I completely understand that, come to think of it." His expression turns rueful.
"Now you're being forced to adapt. That sound about right?"
Genevieve Zavia has been out and about, doing her thing. Her thing in this case is getting loaded on coffee which, in her eyes is the biggest taboo there is. Anything to keep from sleeping. Not right now. Not with him waiting to strike. Now though she is entering the Baxter building.
Steven Grant smiles with that same unconcerned expression, eating his sandwich as he listens curiously to Michael...though his attention sobers at what he's told. A brief flicker of uncertainty in his features might hint that Michael hit the nail on the head with his speculation.. and Steven gives a very small nod.
Though he wonders at that slight flinch from Michael..perhaps his god is jealous about casually saying such things? Well. Steven is familiar with that. "Yes.." he agrees to the final part. "It's true I'm not used to...to functioning in this sort of situation. But what do you mean?" he wonders. "Have you lost something also?" for the moment, he hasn't noticed Genevieve, absorbed by the conversation as he is.
"I know what it's like to be short a few tools, with a job left to finish," is Michael's rueful response - that hint of a smirk spreading further across his lips into a wide grin.
Then he frowns.
"I meant that literally..." he explains after a moment's hesitation. "Ah, Harry would have a field day with a comment like that..." The carpenter's voice trails off as he spots someone he recognises - Genevieve Zavia, to be precise - across the lobby as she enters the building. Lifting his baguette to his lips, he motions with his head in her direction, for Grant to take notice. "I think she's here," he remarks.
Then he digs into his meal.
Genevieve Zavia continues through the lobby. Usually she would be able to sense the pair of magic wielding avatar types but right now, she is wired like a 80's hair band's instruments. She idly presses the button for the elevator.
Steven Grant starts to make a smiling reply, but then blinks, turning alertly with his arm resting on the back of his chair when Michael nods to Genevieve. His gaze searches the crowd, not latching onto her in the way one might expect of someone he knew. "Where??"
Michael sets down his food, dabs at his mouth with the napkin again, and stands up.
"Excuse me, Ms. Zavia!" he calls out, having learned her full name from the man seated at the table in front of him. Michael remains standing, his left arm poised to lift further up if it would assist in catching the woman's attention before she disappears. He glances down Grant, and uses his left hand to point toward Zavia.
Genevieve Zavia blinks a few times and looks over. Step one, make sure she hasn't fallen asleep. She quickly pinches herself and is definitely awake. Step two, go find out who knows her name and step three find out the why. Quickly she moves over and recognizes Michael and then Steven which... she'd recognize the face, not the name. Quickly she moves over to them. "Hello. How can I help you both?"
Steven Grant stands up as well, offering her his hand in introduction as he says enthusiastically, "So happy to meet you, Ms. Zavia. And.. I was hoping you might have something I need. It's possible I gave it to you?"
Michael quickly reaches over with his left hand to snag a chair from an empty table, and sets it next to his (and Steven's) for Zavia, should she desire to sit down. Then he nods toward Grant as the man speaks.
Michael gives it a few moments, and then says, "It's good to see you looking well." Quietly, he takes his own chair once more, sitting down. "I hope Minoke and..." He frowns. "Mr. Banner? Are doing well, also. Mr. Grant here... could use your help. I think I'll let him explain."
Genevieve Zavia nods and takes a seat. "Minoke is well as is my fiance." She smiles softly but a look in her eyes shows that not everything is well. She glances at Steven and nods, "Yes. I have it up in my flat. You told me to hold it for you. Would you both like to come up?"
Steven Grant nearly sags with relief, answering, "Yes, please, I would very much appreciate that." though he pauses, finally picking up on her tension. "..Are -you- alright, Ms. Zavia..?"
Michael wraps up the uneaten half of his baguette - drains the last of his latte - and nods toward Grant as he again rises to his feet.
"That's very kind of you," he tells Genevieve - noting the profound relief in his friend, Steven, with a muted expression of sympathy. "Lead on. We'll follow."
Genevieve Zavia nods. "Alright. I will explain on the way." She leads the way over to the elevator. Pressing the button again, It's already down and in she walks. "What do you know about the Greek god Morpheus?"
Steven Grant follows her into the elevator readily, tilting his head at her question. "He's the god of dreams." he answers promptly. "He changes his form, and can walk between dreams and control them, if I recall correctly."
"False god," Michael replies without thinking - as if it were a reflex action. Then he gives Grant a rueful half-smile, accompanied by a muted shrug of his shoulders, and follows both Grant and Zavia into the elevator.
More seriously, he asks: "Is there a connection between Morpheus and Khonshu? They're of two different pantheons..." He stops in the corner of the elevator, one hand folded across his chest, the elbow of the other resting upon it.
Genevieve Zavia shrugs, "I don't know. I do know this. The events at the church and my involvement therein has raised the attention of Morpheus. False or not, he can be a pain in the ass and he wants to test me. If I pass his little tests he will back off and leave me be. If I fail... Well I will be forced to be his servant for the rest of eternity. Sound like a fair deal?" She laughs. *ding* The door opens and she leads them to her door. "Please mind the mess. I've been busy practicing. But um, Make yourself at home." She idly goes to another room and retrieves Moon Knight's item.
Steven stares in surprise at Michael's knee-jerk pronouncement, but unlike some of his fellows, he's more amused by it than anything. "..Well, they both thrive in the night, and there is some overlap between dreams and lunacy." he answers after a pause. But upon hearing Genevieve's explanation his brow furrows. "..He's chosen you?" he steps out into the apartment carefully when the door opens, though he seems untroubled by the mess. His eyes skim around curiously, taking in where she lives, though his gaze might end up gravitating in the direction she ends up going to retrieve the item in question, even before she heads that way.
"That's terrible!" Michael exclaims at Zavia's words, his words fuelled with both righteous fervour and genuine concern for her well-being. Michael's mood darkens a fraction as he walks into Zavia's apartment - stewing over the revelation of Morpheus' plans (as opposed to whatever mess might be lying about). "That cannot be allowed..." he mutters a moment later - speaking the words to himself as much to Zavia or Grant.
"I interrupted," he confesses next, rubbing at his jaw and then dropping his hands to his side. "Please, go on."
Genevieve Zavia returns and gives Steven the amulet. "Here you go. Same condition as you gave it to me. No harm done at all." She looks at Michael. "Well... if memory serves, Morpheus is a real dick. He will do anything within his power to get what he wants. a spoiled brat really. So anyone around me is in danger of him messing with their dreams. Things could get really crazy in the near future. I am worried for Bruce and Minoke. Minoke because... I don't wanna think of what he would put her through to get to me. Bruce...Well his dark side could be triggered and we definitely don't want that."
Steven laughs in relief as she passes it over to him. "Thank you for looking after it." he says, slipping it over his head. He closes his eyes, the amulet held in one hand while he bows his head in thought or possibly even prayer, and one might wonder if he was even hearing Genevieve's following words..that question might be resolved when he suddenly exclaims in incredulous outrage, "What the HELL Spector?! Don't you ever -ever- do that again!!"
Michael glances between both Zavia and Grant - his brow furrowed enough to mimic the Grand Canyon above his eyebrows and below his hair line - and then he glowers, his lips drawn into a tight, thin line.
"Christ Preserve..." he murmurs under his breath as he starts to pace back and forth, his head bowed slightly. At Grant's outburst, he shoots the man a sidelong look. Curiosity - at least at first. Then reproach. "Language please, Steven," he tells his friend - motioning with his chin toward Genevieve. If the prayer itself bothered him at all, he does not show it in the slightest, and as the moments tick by his expression again shifts more towards worry and concern, rather than offense or indignation. "Please. Explain..."
Genevieve Zavia first gets the kettle going for tea. That is after all the British thing to do. Then she takes a seat. "Imagine if someone had control of your dreams. If they used them to promote fear, or anger, or malice, or hate. We can be manipulated by our dreams. Now imagine that with someone who quite literally is triggered by their anger. This thing could trigger the Hulk. You've seen him first hand. We don't want him turned loose on the city by some lunitic hellbent on turning anyone into a slave."
"Steven" groans, an irritated sound. "It's not like I exactly -planned- it that way." comes a weary voice. "I wasn't expecting to get their attention for another day at least. I didn't have any time to--" his voice raises in frantic energy, "You can't gamble with something like that! We needed that! There was a fight and I couldn't--!" he shakes his head gesturing impatiently, "It had to be something with a strong connection to us. Sometimes you don't -have- to fight to save someone, you just have to show other people the way.." he pauses, looking uncertainly to Genevieve. "..Except since I'm here...I'm..wondering if that even happened.. where's Kilroy?" he notices Michael, adding, "You got him, right..? And what's this about dream warping?"
Michael gives Zavia a solemn nod - he definitely understands.
But as for Steven...
The Knight of the Cross watches his friend switch personalities, his eyes wide despite the fact that he already knows - to some small degree - what is going on. When Marc finally quietens down, Michael motions with a hand toward the amulet and then back to the man himself.
"You gave the amulet away for a time," he remarks - making more of a statement, than asking a question. "It helps manage the personalities..." and his voice trails off for a bit. After a few heartbeats, Michael offers his hand toward Marc, and smiles.
"It's good to see you again," he says wryly. "Tell Steven not to worry. We will sort this all out."
Genevieve Zavia smiles, "To my knowledge, Kilroy has been found." She states then looks at him curiously. "Shortened version Morpheus wants to make me his bitch. He is going to test me. If I pass his tests I am free. If I fail I will be his bitch for eternity. Sound fun?" She shakes her head. "Would you both like some tea?" The pot whistles loudly signifying that it's ready.
Marc(?) shakes his head, abruptly rueful when he fully realizes the scene he was making. "Steven doesn't really swear." he mutters, not wanting the businessman taking the blame for someone else elbowing him aside. He brushes a hand through his hair absently, mussing up the attempt that had been made to put it in order. "It keeps us in touch, but it was necessary." he answers shortly, uncomfortable in the way of one who is trying to sound more assured than they are about something.. especially when the last thing he remembers is being electrocuted for his trouble. He does take Michael's offered hand somewhat sheepishly though, shaking it. "..Good to see you again too."
To Genevieve's comment, his first reaction is a wave of relief. Thank goodness.. but nothing ever stays resolved for long, does it? One thing leads to another, and it's pretty clear that now Genevieve is in trouble. "Wait, wait, Morpheus? Like the god of dreams?" he looks distant for a moment, and nods a little.. his own expression deepening into a frown. "Testing you? What the hell--" he erks, glancing to Michael. "What brought -that- on?" he says instead. A somewhat hopeful tone adds, "Tea sounds wonderful."
"Thank you, yes," Michael tells Zavia with a smile even as he releases Marc's hand.
In possession of both his arms again, he plants them on his hips and continues pacing a little, nodding to Marc's explanation of the amulet and its function. "An enemy that can enter one's dreams is..." his lip curls. "Insidious. We are - generally speaking - very vulnerable in that state. Harry is the one to ask... As he and I understand it, each person who dreams touches the spiritual realm - or realms - which is why we fall prey to various demons when we're asleep."
He goes silent again for a few moments, and stop pacing.
"It makes sense. How can I help? There are blessings - " he looks at Marc. " - or... incantations - to shield the mind and soul. It's not a solution. Morpheus, I think, needs to be confronted directly - but I have no idea how..." As he goes quiet again, he resumes pacing - this time praying quietly at the same time.
Genevieve Zavia sighs, "When I opened the portal so we could get Jack back, I basically told the entire spirit world that I am alive and well. Those sorts of entities, gods, devils, angels, the dead... and whatever else is in that realm are often drawn to my species. I'm a homo-magi. Magic easily flows in us. I know there are a few of us but not many." She goes and pours some tea for everyone before returning with the cups. "British Rule. Everything stops for tea." she states with a wink. "Anyhoo I have an idea. If I make it more then that I will blow it though. I need to find a way to tell you without telling you. An idea is just that until it's put into motion."
"Zatara used that word..you're like him?" Marc asks, though he chuckles dryly as he accepts the tea. He tilts his head though at her curious remark. "Something you need to keep uncertain?" he guesses, pausing to drink some of the tea with a grateful noise. It's grounding to him.. just doing normal things now and again. But that doesn't stop the significance of the matter at hand. He glances to Michael, gesturing with his chin; "Like he says, there are ways.." he agrees. "As it happens, protecting travelers at night is part of my mission statement; I'm told that includes dreamers, though I've got no idea how that's put into action yet."
Michael is nodding - and he accepts the cup of tea with a smile and a nod of his head. Holding onto the cup just under his chin, as wisps of steam rise up in front of his face and past his nose, he purses his lips - thinking.
"Homo Magi," he repeats softly. "I understand." He says that with complete certainty.
Then he sips his tea.
"I don't need to know all the details - only that I'm supposed to be there, and there's good work to be done. If I can't be there, I'll still be praying - and there's more to that than just the power of positive thinking." He lowers the cup slightly and inhales through his nostrils.
"I'll fight for you, however I can."
Genevieve Zavia hmms, "I don't know any Zataras. Then again I don't know many people in this time. remember I am from the past. The only thing keeping me from going crazy is Minoke, Bruce and some tea! Minoke reminds me of home, Bruce is my love, and tea is... Well tea!" She giggles. "But yes Homo-Magi. If I can figure out a way to pass on the information without it being able to be gleened by him then I will."
Marc Spector supplies, "He was the one who was helping you with the portal." though it was pretty hectic... Marc hadn't really caught Genevieve's name himself; Jack had to point him her way. He chuckles at her expressed priorities, and wonders, "Don't suppose writing it down would work any better?"
"The Lord knows," Michael says emphatically, although without the usual pomposity one might generally inject into such an exclamation. His facial features are quite calm - assured, even - and he gives Zavia a nod of his head whilst cradling his tea-cup in two hands. "He'll tell me what I need - or Uriel - you won't need to worry on my account..." His voice trails off and he lifts the cup to his lips for another sip.
To Marc's question he adds, "I think not, unless you know of a mystic script that demons, or gods, or... other creatures of that ilk cannot decipher. There are such scripts... But I'm not an expert on just how many beings there are - like Morpheus - or their capabilities. I don't think I - or we - can risk guessing. I could ask Harry, perhaps... He has wards against his dreams." He turns to Zavia and gives her an apologetic look. "I'm more soldier than priest - or philosopher - I go where I'm sent."
He looks up.
"Oh. How is Minoke?"
Genevieve Zavia takes a moment to think. "Maybe writing it down would work. I could allude to it in my diary. Someone would have to steal it, disenchant it, and then translate it. But why would I ever do such a thing as that? I mean who would really steal a mage's diary right? Someone would have to be a nutter to try and then have to know someone who could disenchant it then translate it. It's not like I would write in english in something so secure." She takes another sip of her tea. "That is of course if I did anything like that. Who would try to fool a dream god like that anyway?"
Marc Spector ....doesn't say a word, but his eyebrows very slowly raise where he's sat himself down on the arm of one of her armchairs with his tea. "...Well, sounds like we're in agreement there. That's an entirely terrible idea."