Millennial Visitor

Cast: date: '5 November 2012'
place: 'The City'
participants: 'Cedric, Ash, Crispin, Talbot, Yuki (emits by Wynn) '
synopsis: 'An unexpected visitor out of the Gloom is a little hard to communicate with - but the effort is worth the reward.'
log: "\nIt's a cool, crisp fall evening, clear and still. There is no breeze, but then, there are no trees to be rustled by a breeze. This is the City of London proper. Highrises tower over the street. It is the beating heart of the UK's finances, and a major institution in the world economy in general. This particular block is all towers and very few businesses. There are restaurants, but they are quiet at night. During the day, there are walls of people and the restaurants are packed at lunch. By night, even as early as 9 PM, it is oddly quiet. The large office tower nearby houses HSBC as its major tenant, along with H&M's retail management offices, a few smaller advertising firms and the headquarters of Lamia Industries.\n\n\n It's a risk, coming this way, and well Cedric knows it. There are too many old memories for him here, and too many people who might remember him. At least he looks different. If they find him …. He resolutely shakes the thought away and shifts the beaten grey duffel bag on his shoulder, the wooden shinai attached to it bumping against his leg. His movements are quick and explosive, but without perhaps the normal range of motion he'd usually have. Working back into his routine has been a right arse-on, to be sure, but it's necessary.\n\n The grey hoodie he's wearing over his turtleneck peeks out from the top of his winter jacket, the hood over his head as a concession to the need for anonymity. They probably aren't here, anyway. Not at this time of night. He scans the tall buildings warily, cutting a less than professional figure in jacket, jeans, and Doc Martens, but doesn't seem to be paying particular attention to where he's going so much as what he's looking for. \n\n\nIt's just a treat to be able to wander in a city that won't drive him into amusingly gibbering insanity. Crispin is, therefore, taking himself for walkies. It's some distance from Camden, but it's a cheap fare away and he's somewhat enjoying seeing how the other half lives. The other half… well, it was him once upon a time. His eyes do occasionally follow figures that aren't so much… well, present. Not at the moment, anyway. He hums to himself, though his step does slow somewhat when he sees a fellow carrying a bamboo sword. Well. Some people do, and he'd be the last to judge on weird behaviour or appearances. But who's that over there? Toht from Raiders of the Lost Ark? Crispin squints, hastening his step. Someone looks — feels — familiar.\n\nAnd then there's Talbot. Who is dressed like any other academic - this being museum territory and thus rather often full of free-range nerds and boffins, travelling in herds or scouting solo. However, the old coat and scarf over the good-if-worn suit don't disguise the way he carries himself, the habitual wariness, or the easy stride of someone used to dragging himself and his gear up the Pennines and thus almost uncertain what to do with the blandness of pavement and city streets. The greeting, though it's not to him, is enough to make him turn from the shop window full of tourist tat that e was looking at. Oh, look, his fellow Watchmen. So, over comes the Yorkshireman, as if wholly sure of his welcome.\n\n\n Somewhere behind Cedric, practically out of sight so long as he doesn't stop for too long, Yuki is wandering, head down as she sips at a coffee. She's wearing a baby-blue t-shirt and khaki capris with white sneakers. Nothing too out of the ordinary if the weather were warmer. There's a conspicuous bulge in her left back pocket, a wrapped-up sandwich with the wrapper just barely peaking out. Leftovers to go. Doesn't seem to be any particular reason for her to be out here, just mere chance that she's on this road on this particular night. With so many others.\n\n\nThe night is clear, yes? Which is why the sudden flash of light coming from a thru-way around the side of the HSBC office tower seems…very strange. There is no boom to follow it, and anyway, it's the wrong season for thundershowers. Even when it's the right one, they're rare in London. Everyone Touched nearby suddenly feels a wave of nausea, a feeling of wrongness that permeates to their toes. Something about it is oddly, darkly familiar. It's the feeling of the Gloom. The feeling, if one is to move towards it and not away from it in terror, is just 'round the corner, in a lit, but empty courtyard.\n\n\n It's a good thing for Ash that Cedric knows the voice, because otherwise the IT operative would think he was suddenly thrust into a Spy vs. Spy cartoon or an Indiana Jones flick. He stops, looks Ash up and down, and snorts quiet laughter. \"Evening, Mr. Cohen. Been looking for you. Wha —\" \n\n Anything else he was about to say gets lost in the flash of light and the wave of nausea, and he half-stumbles, coming to a stop while he clears his head. \"Bloody —\" He stops again, and this time he does go for the shinai, eyes searching for the source of that light. He doesn't drop the bag yet, though. \"Uh-oh.\" There's the beginnings of a snarl beneath the rough baritone. \n\n\nAsh remains out of beat down range for a moment longer before he steps closer. He starts to say something all light and businesslike and never gets that far. He comes over a bit more sickly looking, presses the knuckles of his gloved fist to his lips. Deep breath. \"Right, then. It's that way,\" he says with a nod toward Cedric. Talbot gets a glance, a once over. \"Hmm,\" is how he greets the man before he takes a slooow step toward the source of the gut-wrenching terror. And he gives a little 'come along' nod. You can take the half-crazed agent out of the field, but…\n\n\nSay, isn't that Ash? That is! Snazzy hat on that guy. Crispin's never yet been one to worry too much about his welcome, so he's heading over to the small clutch of people beginning to gather when he suddenly stops, groans, and clutches his stomach. Either the Chinese at the Camden Market stalls has gone critical or… no. No, this is something far, far worse. Screw your courage to the sticking-place. Crispin strides forward, flicking up the collar on his leather jacket. It's about hip-length and goes fairly well with the tight black jeans and dark green V-neck he wears under them.\n\n\nTalbot does not stop or doubleover. But he does lose several shades of color, beneath that built in tan….and his pistol appears in his hand with the alacrity of a magician's trick. He's at Ash's side without thinking about it, covering the ground in a few long strides. Something's up.\n\n\n Yuki stumbles as that wave of nausea runs through her. A feeling she hasn't, to her recollection, felt in a long time. Her pace slows briefly, her grip on her coffee tightening as the liquid inside freezes over. When the initial feeling passes, she starts running towards what seems to be the source, keeping a hold on her drink. The look on her face is one of worry, even fear, mixed with a touch of confusion. Why is she running for it? Maybe someone needs help. Maybe she's being stupid, but aren't those figures up there people? She barely pays any mind as she approaches some of the others moving in on the courtyard, though seeing them around does cause her to slow down. Safety in numbers, right? One can only hope.\n\n\nThe first of them rounds a corner just in time to see a murky black spot hovering a few feet over the ground. The light flashes again, and a shape drops from the hole. A human shape. An unconscious, dead, or at least unmoving shape. It falls and land behind a fountain. The black spot hovers a moment, undulates, then flashes again, leaving the sky as it was before. From behind the fountain, there is a low moan. Human, again. It seems as if someone's hopped off the Gloom Express. But that wave of nausea, the look of that hole - that isn't precisely ordinary. A far stronger and stranger effect than a usual return to the mortal world.\n\n\n Whatever this is, it's changed Cedric's demeanor completely. The usually quiet but friendly young man has gone silent, dark, and reserved, his rough baritone holding a hint of a snarl beneath it. \"Hold it, you lot,\" he murmurs quietly. Yep, there's a definite edge there. Someone is Not Happy™. \"Rozzers patrol this area like flies on shit, and if that's what I think it is, don't want them knowing we know they even exist. Stay quiet, stay cool, and for fuck's sake keep that gun out of sight.\" He glances over at the faces he doesn't know - and the ones he does - suddenly gathering around him, withdrawing even further, his expression closed.\n\n If no one else takes the lead, he will, but he leaves the shinai attached to the bag, and his movements are quick, explosive, and tense. \"The fuck is that?\" he mutters to himself, so low that only those closest will be able to hear. He stops at the entrance to the courtyard, and fishes his iPad from beneath his clothing; with a few quick taps and a code, he pulls up a website, waiting for it to load.\n\n\nAsh regards Crispin for a moment, and bites the inside of his lip as he thinks. Finally, he says very quietly, \"If I tell you to run, get down, hide — do it.\" The others get a once over. Watch, Watch, Watch. He keeps on top of this stuff. Makes it so he doesn't /have/ to cheat and go digging into the brain pan. Talbot gets a small, tight smile. \"I believe you outrank me, Mr. Richardson. I cede the responsibility for near certain death to you. Welcome to London.\"\n\n\nSane, reasonable, rational people move in the opposite direction when unlikely things suddenly appear from thin air and drop into the middle of the thoroughfare. Crispin moves swiftly toward it, glancing at the Watchmen. He doesn't know most of them, but Ash is a familiar face. He hustles forward, pausing as Ash speaks to him and blinking once: \"All right,\" he says, \"but believe me, if it's going to go boom, I might have advance warning.\" He turns then, walking slowly toward the crumpled figure and peering closely at him.\n\n\n\"Possibly. And thank you,\" concedes Talbot in his deep voice. The Northern accent is still strong - no concessions to the tender ears of the Home Counties and the Estuary, there. And then, after sidestepping into a patch of convenient shadow, he fades out like a Cheshire Cat, though it isn't a mocking smile that's the last thing left lingering, but the gimlet gleam of the blue eyes. So, that's why they brought *that* one here, apparently. Still here, though, one presumes. Also approaching whatever just fell out of the Gloom.\n\n\n Yuki hears the words of the others, even recognizes Cedric, \"H'lo,\" she casts to the lot, though her voice is hurried, not pleasant at all. If anything, there's a light touch of panic to it. She steps into the courtyard herself, quickly crouching down, holding her arm out to the side, keeping her coffee ready to throw in a worst-case scenario as she speedily moved up to the fountain. She peeks over it, watching for any movement as she moves her free hand into the fountain, making several unseen motions before drawing her hand back out with a ball of solid ice clutched tight. Her eyes do not leave the area the figure landed, she's about as close as she seems willing to move for the moment.\n\n\nThe shape moans lowly again. When the Scooby Gang get in-view of their quarry, they'll see a pile of furs shaped like a man. Furs and a helmet, and a shock of red hair. The figure then suddenly leaps to his feet and stares, mad-eyed up at the people surrounding him. He pulls an axe from his hip and drops into a low battle stance. \n\nThis man is either wearing an excellent costume (complete with authentic smell) or he is very, very displaced in time. There is no horned helm or braided beard, but he gives off the impression that he is, in fact, a viking. His clothing shows signs of wear and stain (some blood.) His hands show signs of scarring. His shield is splintered, but remains intact. He drops to a low battle crouch, then starts to gibber. Gibber in…a language that hasn't been heard in a very, very long time. It sounds vaguely Scandanavian, but so ancient that it doesn't parse. He does not attack any of them, but he stands at the ready, wild-eyed and very possibly half-mad.\n\n\n As it happens, Cedric is the last one in, not the first, and as Yuki hurries past him, he looks up and starts to say something — far too late. Instead, he simply stops, at the back of the group, and tucks the iPad into his bag instead of into the back of his pants, letting the bag slide quietly to the ground — inside the courtyard. He maintains that reserve, and outwardly seems content to let others take the lead in approaching the apparent Viking. No, he's not viking this at all, and his eyes are dark, his jaw set, his expression intent and closed as he observes, not just the Viking himself, but the area around all of them.\n\n\nAsh inclines his head to Crispin and says with a small smile, \"Knock yourself out.\" Take heart, Cedric, he's more than happy to hang back for the moment. He sidles over to cover the other side of the entrance into the courtyard. He gives the street in both directions a glance every once in awhile in case some clueless bastard wanders too near.\n\n\n\"So this isn't where you tell me to get down and be careful?\" Crispin says out of the corner of his mouth. He's smiling, but his eyes are carefully on the crazy guy with the axe. Raising his hands, he splays his fingers widely and takes a step back. Another. \"I don't suppose anyone here speaks… ah, whatever he does?\" he inquires. Moistening his lips, he adds: \"All I know is a touch of Scots and enough German to shout at death metal concerts.\"\n\n\nTalbot fades back in, and his expression is a study in bemusement. What on earth? Though he doesn't ask this aloud. HE just peers at the Viking (!?) with a cat-eyed narrow look. Presumably that's a pistol in his pocket, because he's got his hand in his coat….and he doesn't look happy to see Leif Erickson there one bit.\n\n\n Alright, that's a new one on Yuki. Her reading never quite got around to covering Vikings, but she can tell clear enough that the raised axe is trouble. Cautiously she reaches over, setting her cup down in the fountain, her eyes staying on tall, dark, and needs-a-shower. With a gentle push, she sends the cup of frozen coffee floating towards him, keeping herself back and, hopefully, out of swinging distance, her arm all-too-conspicuously remaining down in the fountain, submerged beneath the water as it slowly begins to form ice crystals in the growing cold. Not that it's freezing yet, but she's bringing it close.\n\n\nThe viking looks at their faces, watching their mouths as they speak a tongue as alien to him as his is to them. He is panicked, in shock, and, even though he looks to be a warrior - afraid. He looks at all of them, then focuses on Talbot. He's the oldest, and in his world, the most likely to be of some authority. He points a finger at him and keeps his axe hand back. He murmurs a string of words, panicked and spilling out. There is a word in there that does translate. 'i-am-i-ah.' The word comes up several times as he speaks.\n\n\n For his part, Cedric seems to be settling down a little as he manages to remain in the background. \"Yuki,\" he calls quietly. \"C'mere.\" He seems content to let Talbot handle the Viking. \"Any ideas, Ash?\" Some of the edgy snarl is gone from his voice. but he's not moving. In fact, he's not looking at the Viking - but at the stones he's standing on. \n\nAsh gives Crispin a small pat on the shoulder before he steps away, \"Oh no, not until the screaming and dying.\" He eyes the Viking like the mysterious fellow and his obscure heathen tongue with an entirely unhealthy eagerness. He takes a deep breath, lets it out, and his shoulders sag a bit as he tells Cedric, \"If I had to venture a guess, he wants to know what in blazes is going on. Can't give you more, I'm afraid. I'm on orders: give it a rest or else.\"\n\n\n\"I heard Ritter was going to restrict you from desserts for a week, yeah,\" Crispin replies with his usual gentle tact. \"Well, we don't even know if anyone in the world could actually understand him, but we do know someone who could read his thoughts. It's just a question of, you know, getting Wynn down here. And possibly convincing Beardy here to trust him.\" His hands are still raised and he's crouching slightly, making those tall lanky limbs a little less threatening. On a whim, he tries some Gaelic. All he remembers, anyway: \"Two beers, on me?\"\n\n\nHell, Tal might even be a relative. With that hair and that build, from up North? This might be a zillion times great-grandpa. He lifts his hands in that ancient gesture of peaceable intent. \"I am I ah?\" he parrots back, slowly. \"I don't understand. Do you understand me?\" Why can't this guy speak Arabic?\n\n\n Yuki draws her hand back out of the fountain when Cedric calls her back, bringing with it a second ball of ice. She keeps low, scooting backwards towards Cedric, her eyes remaining on the Viking and Talbot, at least until she reasons to be close enough to Cedric to safely look away, turning to give him an out-of-place smile, \"Need somethin' then?\" she asks, keeping her voice low, so as not to interrupt the intercultural pow-wow going on in the courtyard.\n\n\nSeeing as these people have not made any threatening moves towards him, the viking straightens up a little. He looks from Talbot, over to Crispin. He seems to recognize the sound of Gaelic - more than modern English, in any event. He squints, shifts, then says, \"Warning,\" in heavily accented Gaelic. \"Prophecy.\" He wrinkles his nose, snarls, and looks mad-eyed for a moment. \"Small Gael.\" That is to say, he doesn't speak very much Gaelic. He looks up for the first time at the towering skyscrapers of the financial heart of London. He stares, wide-eyed. And for a moment, he looks like he might pass out.\n\n\n That much, Cedric appears to understand, and he gives a short, sharp nod - and a long look to Ash. \"Right,\" he acknowledges. That settles that. When Yuki comes over, he tells her, \"Steady on, Yuki. Don't want to be rowing here. Last thing we want is the rozzer showing up.\" This is said in a low voice with plenty of tension beneath it. \n\n Then Crispin seems to find common ground, and he blinks, then shakes his head and simply listens, more than content to watch.\n\n\nAsh eyes Crispin and says blandly, \"Oh, thank God you're here.\" That Crispin seems to find common ground with the Viking seems to surprise him as much as anyone. He frowns, glances around, and his attention finally settles on Talbot. \"Shall I get the telepath?\"\n\n\nIt seems to surprise Crispin as much as it does anyone else — he blinks in surprise and smiles with care, nodding his head slowly. \"Prophecy?\" he mutters under his breath. Better and better. \"I think Wynn would probably prefer to not have a Viking in his safehouse, but there's others in town, yeah? Nearer here? Safehouses that wouldn't involve taking Hagar the Horrible here on the tube? We could get him to meet us there; hang on, let me see if I can remember any more Gaelic than 'the axe of my grandfather is in your skull.'\" He clears his throat, and as the Viking looks just a bit overwhelmed at his surroundings Crispin takes the chance: he moves forward, resting a hand on the man's shoulder. \"Friends,\" he says. \"Safe house. We help you. Hear prophecy.\"\n\n\nTal remains that little distance away. Just in case the Viking decides to really flip out. He still has an axe, after all. \"I can get my car. It's not far,\" he says, quietly. \"If you think you can convince him to get *in* it when I get it.\"\n\n\n Yuki casts a look back at the others, then to Cedric, sighing and lowering her arms, though keeping a hold on the ice balls for now, \"I'll keep ready f'r th' worst, a'right? But I think this might be a touch out of my element…\" she admits, turning back to watch the scene unfolding, and trying not to look particularly threatening for the time being.\n\n\nThe touch makes the viking flinch and stumble back out of Crispin's reach. The axe is raised. He meets the other man's gaze though, and tries to focus. They've all seen that mad look before - either on each other, or in the mirror. The mad look of one too close to the Gloom. \"Friends?\" the viking parrots, then slowly raises the axe-hand. \"You the lookings?\" Lost in translation. \"The lookings take prophecy.\" \n\nDown the street, a patrol car passes. It slows, but keeps on moving. They are an /odd/ gathering of people in an odd spot at an odd time of night. They've got only til the patrol makes its rounds again to disperse.\n\n\n A car goes by and slows, and only when it's gone does Cedric peer out after it. \"Fuck,\" he swears quietly, the snarl returning to the edge in his voice. \"The bobbies. Whatever you want to do, best do it sharpish. What's he saying?\" This time, he asks Crispin, even as he casts a last glance at the building next to them and picks up his bag again. \n\n\nAsh sucks in a breath when the Viking raises his axe, no doubt to start in about the running and the ducking. He even comes closer, reaching out to take hold of Crispin's arm. The Viking lowers the axe though, and Ash let's go. \"Well done,\" he mutters at Crispin. Even bets on if he's being sincere or not. Before he can say anything else, he catches sight of something on the Viking's cloak. \"Hold on.\" Then, \"Er, no, I mean let's get out of here, but I want to take a look at that later.\"\n\n\nCrispin's brow wrinkles as he tries to understand the words of the crazed Viking and he pulls back, raising his hands again in a peaceable gesture. \"The lookings,\" he mutters. \"What — \" When realization dawns, his face seems to almost open and he smiles, nodding: \"The Watch!\" He quickly translates: \"The Watch. They. You. I. We go. Watch-House. In. Er. Our… chariot.\" Glancing back to the others, he explains: \"I think he's saying the Watch need to hear this prophecy.\"\n\n\nChariot. Which proves to be a Land Rover, much worn. Talbot may be dignified and middle-aged, but he's got some serious hustle when he exerts himself….and now he's exerting himself. Oh, yes, he is. The Rover pulls up as close as he can get it, and he all but kicks the doors open.\n\n\n Yuki follows what seems to be everyone else's gaze, or attention otherwise, as the cop goes by, and she starts to take a step back once it's out of sight, looking up at Cedric, \"That our cue t' be on our ways, then? Between axes an' bobbies, I'd jus' as soon not be arrested again,\" she says. Still holding to the balls of ice, just in case, but it's doubtful she'll hold them if it comes to running-time.\n\n\nThe viking man grunts a few times and nods his head at Crispin. He even reaches out to clap Crispin on the shoulder. He does it hard enough to leave a bruise. When Talbot comes roaring up in the er, 'chariot,' the viking's eyes widen. He grips tighter on his axe, then mutters, \"No horse. No horse.\" But then, some strength comes to him, comes to his face and bearing. He almost visibly tamps down the madness and shock. A strong man. \"We go to lookings.\" He hesitates, then, \"Watch.\" The viking notices the ice in Yuki's hand for the first time - distracted as he was by the big buildings and the strange language. He narrows his eyes and huffs, but he does not move towards her. Besides, his 'chariot' awaits.\n\n\n Quickly, Cedric fishes his iPad out again and taps something into it. He waits a minute, then looks up at Ash. \"Bevan says S514A is open.\" He taps another key on top, and the screen goes blank. \"Let me know what he says. I've got something else to look up, I'll find you when I'm done, right?\" He looks between Ash and Yuki. \"Yuki, you can come with me or go with them, up to you.\" \n\n\nAsh nods quickly to Cedric. \"Got it. Thank you, Mr. Moseley. You've got my number, I believe. Ms. Winerbourne, will you be joining us?\" He takes his phone from his pockets while the other wrangle a technophobic Viking. He does not, no matter how strong the urge becomes, learn just enough ancient Viking to say, 'It's a dragon!' Instead, he busies himself with a texted message.\n\n\n\"You're getting Wynn?\" Crispin assumes, glancing Ash's way. He nods his approval and agreement, moving alongside the northman — \"Oof!\" He rubs his shoulder and grins, restraining himself from giving as good as he gets. Maybe the Viking would take it as a brotherly shove. Maybe Crispin would lose a hand. He likes his hands. His horror at the chariot… yeah, Crispin should have seen that coming. \"There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are easily feasible by your average Viking warrior.\" He leads the man to the Range Rover, opening the door and climbing in before offering a hand to the Viking.\n\n\n Yuki nods to Cedric, leaning in and giving him a half-hug of sorts before turning to the others and stepping quickly towards the car, pausing just briefly at the fountain to deposit the two balls of ice and to retrieve her still-frozen coffee she'd left floating in there. She turns to wave to Cedric again before finding a door next to an unoccupied seat and, after taking a moment to figure out that car door handles work a bit differently than home door knobs, she climbs in and pulls the door closed.\n"

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