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Date of Scene: 29 January 2021
Location: Courtyard: Themysciran Embassy
Synopsis: Terry seeks to find a way to fix the hole in his soul. Amanda suggests not ABBA, but a man of wealth and taste as a potential solution.
Cast of Characters: Terry O'Neil, Amanda Sefton, Kian

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    The text had come in earlier in the day, with Terry begging Amanda to come see him at the Themysciran Embassy if her schedule would permit it.  There were things afoot, but he preferred to discuss it in person.  He needed help, badly.
    That was then.  Now that the sunset was drawing near, Terry sits in the garden once again, resting his aches and pains after a very productive, but painful, lesson with Harley Quinn on how to fight dirty, the Gotham Clown way.  It's not that he has a black eye, so much as the fact that his body is going to hate him when he wakes up tomorrow… but that's the sacrifices you make when you lose your powers because you have been a complete idiot.
    "Is there any booze left?" he asks Kian, rubbing his arm, "I might need some more after that.  I swear that woman fights like a cartoon… if I can get down even half of what she tried to teach me, I think it'd confuse him…."
    Terry had left word at the front desk that Amanda was coming, so they could shunt her immediately to where the red-headed human and his friend with the wings were waiting for her.

Amanda Sefton has posed:
    Amanda arrives without fanfare and finds herself directed to where she needs to go.  It's her first visit to the Embassy, the European woman never having any reason to come before now.  Her footsteps are light on the pavers as she approaches. She's dressed simply, but in something a little classier than business casual.  Perhaps she's come straight from work.
    She eventually spies the redhead and his friend.  If the wings on the stranger are a surprise to her, she doesn't show it.  Then again… she's seen much stranger in her life.
    "Mr. O'Neill," she says as he nears them.  "Nice to see you again."

Kian has posed:
    Kían passes the wine bottle over, and then busies himself with kneading Terry's shoulders, sliding into his mind just enough to dull his friend's pain centers slightly.  It doesn't not hurt, but it does hurt a little less.  "An' people haf question why we do not practice violence… c'Rhys'yw, Terry.  You do not need to punish yourse'f for what has happen.  We will get your rhy'thar back."
    At a noise he looks up, and bows slightly in greeting without taking his hands off Terry's shoulders.  "Oh!  Kié… are you the one Terry tavárik'h has bee waitin' for?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "I'm not punishing myself, Kian!" Terry says, arching his back as his muscles are treated by the Akiar's fingers, "I'm just training in case I have to face—
    "Miss Sefton… please just call me Terry.  This is my friend Kian of the Titans.  Kian, this is Miss Amanda Sefton, who knows many things of that discipline that makes your scientific mind sigh in despair," he says, with a slight bit of mischief.
    There is something very wrong about Terry.  For one, he is not setting off the same warning bells as before—there is not a lick of chaos coming out of him.  If anything, there is the slight sensation of a void or a lack of something to him that is slightly disconcerting.  As is the fact that he looks slightly different—his skin is paler, his hair is duller, and his eyes have shifted slightly from green to gray-green.
    He glances at the sorceress and gestures to the opposite bench.  "I'm sorry I gave you such short notice but… I'm in a very bad state, I'm afraid."  His eyes ask the question of whether she can tell or not.

Amanda Sefton has posed:
    Amanda's head cants slightly as her magical senses suggest to her that Terry isn't what he was.  Her ears rise faintly.  "Amanda," she says, as she's introduced.  "Please.  If we're going to be on first name basis, it's only fair."  She gives the Akiar a bit of a more formal nod.  "And I suppose I am who he was waiting for, though I have to admit I'm very curious as to why.  A pleasure to meet you, Kian."  Her accent is English, with a hint of German underneath.
    She glances back to Terry.  "Is there a problem with Ms Lane?"  Not Lois.  The doppleganger, Ms Lane.  "Or is it something else?"
    She regards the young man more closely.  "How are you, Terry?" she asks, pivoting her questions abruptly.  "You've lost considerable vibrancy since we last met."

Kian has posed:
    Again, Kían is at a loss as to how much of the story to tell, and ultimately leaves it to Terry, as the tale is his (even if the tail no longer is).  "Kié, Am-an-da," the birdman says, sounding out the unfamiliar name.  He does not break the shoulder massage; certainly Terry seems to need that.
    He sighs heavily, kneading the back of Terry's neck.  "There are many thin's that are prob-lems now," he adds, by way of lack of explanation.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "Lots of problems.  Me being the cause of not a small amount of them," Terry says with a slight smirk.  "Vibrancy is a good way of putting it.  I haven't heard anything wrong about Ms. Lois so far… but it's worse.  I found my own Doppelganger.  And he stole half of my powers.
    "Half of… well.  I was born with two souls, so to speak… my own, and the essence that belonged to my father.  The Cheshire Cat."
    He shakes his head and closes his eyes.  "God, that sounds absolutely fucking nuts, doesn't it?"  Funny, it sounded perfectly ordinary when he was the cat.  "And there's only one Cheshire Cat in the universe.  Ever.  But apparently two of me means that part of my soul could split like a kit-kat bar, 'cause all of a sudden we each got half."
    And then he hides his face in his hands.  "I need to be able to see my own eyes and say The Words.  That's how the cat comes out.  My double was holding me at gunpoint so I couldn't whip my mirror out and I thought 'Hey, his eyes… it's practically looking into a mirror….'"
    He lifts his head and peeks at Amanda.  "…it seemed like a good idea at the time."

Amanda Sefton has posed:
    Amanda shakes her head, her eyes closing briefly in the way an experienced mage will do when their apprentice does something foolish.  Not that Terry is even remotely her apprentice.  This is the second time she's ever seen the fellow.  Still, yes. It's a foolish mistake.  "Mm. I trust you've learned that lesson, then," she says.  "Eyes are the windows to the soul.  Mirrors are merely a reflection.  The distinction matters."
    She studies him for a moment.  "Is there anything I can do to help?"  Because, aside from that—if there's no issue with Lois Lane's doppleganger—she's not sure why she's been invited here this evening.

Kian has posed:
    Kían gives Terry a look, because he knows perfectly well that's not the whole story.  "An'…?" he prompts, giving Terry's shoulders a squeeze.  He looks up helplessly at Amanda.  "There iss more.  This iss not easy."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    The face goes back into the hands.  "…he kidnapped my mom.  I confronted him.  I tried it again… now he has all of my powers.  All of the soul.  I'm… completely bereft.  Empty."
    He exhales, and hazards a look through his fingers.
    "I… need to get my soul back.  That part of my soul back.  He can't be on the loose with those powers… and I'm sort of diminishing.  I know nothing of magic… I'm magical, I've never had to study that stuff, so I had no idea what I was doing.  Nothing of this sort had ever happened in Wonderland…."
    He sighs, and emerges from his hands.  No, he's not hiding his face behind his hands, he was making a teepee for his shame.  That's it.  "You're the only magical expert I know."
    He pauses.  "Aside from Raven.  But she's…."  He waves his hands, and looks at Kian, then back at Amanda.
    "You're the only magical expert I know who wouldn't eat my soul if I came to you for help."

Amanda Sefton has posed:
    Amanda's brows rise as Terry explains his problem.  And at his final pronouncement, she blinks.  "Oh dear," she says mildly.  "You really are in a pickle, aren't you?"  Hey, compared to the monsters she's been fighting in Tribeca, this is not the strangest thing she's been asked to help with.
    She settles into a nearby chair, brows knitting faintly as she begins to consider the problem.  "Soul stealing is not the easiest art to accomplish," she says after a few moments of thought.  "If he's anything like you, I suspect your doppleganger pulled the trick off more by instinct and strength of personality—intention, really—than anything else.  This may mean that, if we can strengthen your intention, we can reverse it just as instinctively.  But I don't like to count on that."
    She gives him a serious look.  "I know a man who may be able to help.  He's never steered me wrong before now, but I won't say dealing with him is without risk.  While I'm confident it won't cost you your soul—actually, I'm reasonably confident it won't cost either of us a thing, given that we'd be presenting him with a particularly tantalizing puzzle—it's still not without risk.  Nothing in the magical realms is without risk."
    She glances to Kian.  "You're a scientist, I take it?"  There are times science and magic can mix quite well.  She's not sure this will be one of them.  "There are rules to magic, too," she tells him, offering a reassuring smile.

Kian has posed:
    Kían hugs Terry from behind, radiating support and confidence.  He knows this is hard to talk about, and he's not going to allow Terry to slide down the hole of turning grey.
    He looks up inquisitively at Amanda.  "Yis, I haf studied much physics.  Because of my rhy'thar.  I haf been tol' before that magic has rules, but they are not rules I under-stan'.  We haf no tradition of magic on my worl'."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry tilts his head, looking a little more like himself in his energetic response as a possibility is brought up.  "You do?  He hasn't?  Who is he?  How can I find him?  I… have to admit I don't really know much about the magical community up here."
    He pauses.  "I mean on Earth.  Not.  Wonderland.  I sort of manifested and fell in with the Titans.  I didn't… really seek out magical kin because…."  He pauses.
    "I got preoccupied.  With someone.  And things."  Yes, that is a nice way to put it.  Very decorous.  Not embarrassing at all and it does not convey the completely awkward pas-de-deux that occurred between him and Garfield Logan.  And that's without counting three months stranded in a pocket universe.  "It's been busy…."

Amanda Sefton has posed:
    "Preoccupied.  Yes.  I understand."  Amanda, politely, makes no mention of the revelation of the diamond studded banana hammock during their first encounter.  She considers how much to tell him.  Finally, she decides he is—or was—chaotic enough that he's unlikely to have the reaction some of her more staid acquaintances do to her friend.  "He goes by the name Luci," she says, smiling wryly as she remembers how Nessa introduced the fellow to her that way.  "He's the proprietor of Lux, a nightclub in Midtown.  I'd be happy to take you to meet him, of you'd like."
    She chuckles softly, remembering her first meeting with him.  "You'd probably like him.  And I'm sure he'd find your situation interesting."
    She cants her head to Kian, curious.  "Where are you from.  May I ask?"  At least she can guess, since he said 'world', he's not from around here.  Which means Lucifer likely won't freak him out.

Kian has posed:
    Kían brings his wings forward a little, as if to shield Terry, still giving him a mental undercurrent of support and as much confidence as he can muster.
    "What iss a night-cl—" he begins to ask, and then he's asked something he can answer.  Well, sort of.  "My worl' iss call Kyshán.  I am Akiár.  I… do not know where it iss from here."  Through the light mental link Kían is maintaining, Terry may notice that statement doesn't carry quite the pain that it once did.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry smiles a little at Kian's feelings—the satisfaction of knowing that, at least in some way, he's helped him feel a little bit at home here.  "Luci.  Who sometimes takes souls…."  He ponders this.  A cunning eye look is turned on Amanda.  "The Silver Banshee did mention that Lucifer was in town.  I didn't realize he'd have a nightclub—but of course, he would have a nightclub.  Decorated in subdued but exquisite decor, I imagine."
    Terry O'Neil grew up going to a Catholic school.  It was torture for most of his teenage years, as a closeted gay teen.  Then, when he grew up, he became friends with a demi-goddess, a Bean Sidhe of myth, and found out he was the Cheshire Cat.  His perspective on things is probably one that Sister Mary Ignatius would vehemently disapprove of, and that suited him just fine.
    "All right, I would love to meet Old Scratch himself and see if he can make horns or tail of this problem.  But Kian…."
    He turns to the bird-man.  "You can't possibly tell Caitlin about this.  I mean it.  She is devoutly Catholic and she essentially believes Lucifer is the source of all evil in the world.  She might get a little upset about that."
    And then he seems to think of something and brings his phone out.  "Siri, make a note: Give Kian a copy of Milton's Paradise Lost."
    And his very sophisticated assistant writes down: 'Give IKEA a copy of mildew pans, rice and pots.'

Amanda Sefton has posed:
    Amanda grew up in a gypsy caravan with a foster brother who looked like a demon and a mother who was an openly practicing witch.  Needless to say, she's not had the best experiences with organized religions.  Or mainstream society, for that matter.  Add to it her own magical nature and, well… yeah, there's not much that makes her blush.  And Lucifer?  So not who everyone thinks he is.
    "Do me a favour," the sorceress says dryly to the pair.  "Don't call him Old Scratch, the Devil, or anything like that when you meet him.  While I'm fairly certain he'll roll with it… he's really not what your average Catholic nun considers him to be."  She chuckles, however, blue eyes dancing just a little.  "But, yes.  The club is lovely and has several different areas—some more discreet than others.  We'll probably go during off-hours, however.  I find it's easier to have a proper conversation then."

Kian has posed:
    Kían looks down at the top of Terry's head.  "You remem-ber when I said I coul' only under-stan' a thir' of what you an' Har-lee were sayin'?  That's down to a fourt' now.  I do not know what Catholic iss, what Luci-fer iss, what night-club iss.  Can you jus' slow down a little for my sake, tavárik'h?"
    He shakes his head at Amanda.  "Ol' Scratch?  I thought you said his name iss Lu-si… nnh.  This planet iss weird," he says with feeling.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "I'll be perfectly respectful.  Do you think he'd take offense if I ask him to sign my copy of Milton?  I mean, it must tickle him a little that he set out to make Lucifer the villain but people though the was the dreamiest anti-hero.  With, you know, all of a sudden causing a profusion of very unsettlingly sexy statues to perturb the faithful."
    Oh, if Caitlin could hear this.  He looks up at Kian and smiles.  "Okay… feel free to read it off my mind.  It's… a little complicated."  Lucifer.  Not the Nightclub bit.  Okay, maybe that, too.
    "I'm game.  Kian will come, of course… I'm not supposed to go out by myself without a team-mate present."  He looks embarrassed by this notion, but he says, "Troia and Beast Boy both pretty much have said it's for my own safety."  And so he doesn't do something stupid.  "…Beast Boy is alive, but we're keeping that a secret to keep the Doppelganger from knowing.  He's staying with me… over there."  He points to a pair of windows.  "A few Titans are.  Because the tower isn't safe with the doppelgangers around."
    And where else would they be safer than surrounded by Amazons?  Nobody would take them by surprise here.  Or, well, nobody who wouldn't immediately regret it.
    "So… how do we arrange this?  And what should I wear?"

Amanda Sefton has posed:
    Amanda regards Kian and his frustration.  There's a part of her that wishes she could make it easier for him.  There's a part of her that finds him terribly interesting.  She doesn't interact with aliens—to her knowledge—terribly often.  "It is," she agrees with the birdlike alien man.  "I'd like to tell you it gets easier, but I'm sure I don't have your perspective.  If it helps, though, America is very different to the country where I grew up."
    She returns her attention to Terry and glances towards the windows he indicates.  "Your friends are wise," she tells Terry.  "We're lucky, I suspect, there isn't an army of Amazon dopplegangers running around."  And she's been fortunate not to encounter anyone claiming to be her.  Maybe she should actually be concerned about that.
    "Let me call Luci," she tells them, finally.  "I'll set up a time to meet and let you know when and where."  A beat.  "Well.  I'm fairly certain the where will be Lux.  But when, anyway, is up for debate."

Kian has posed:
    Kían pulls the necessary information from the surface of Terry's mind; they've been talking about them, so the basic info is right there.  Not that it's all that clarifying.  "So he iss one of the bad gods you tol' me about earlier?" he asks aloud, then glances up at Amanda.
    He shakes his head.  "If Cait-lin ask me, I mus' tell her.  I can not lie.  But unask, I will not say.  I do not thin' she will ask me if I haf met any Luci-fers lately.  I can do that."
    He shakes his head again.  "I do not under-stan' holdin' back infor-mation.  We can not do that.  I know you can here, but this worl' is differen'."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry gives Amanda a smile.  "Telepath Planet," he says as if that would explain everything.  Of course, that might just give Amanda the impression that Kian's planet was populated entirely by Lwaxana Trois… but there were worse impressions you could give.
    "I really appreciate this, Amanda.  You know… I can't exactly leave here unless it's necessary—say, for our rendez-vous when it happens—but would you like to go inside for some coffee and… Themysciran things?  They do these things with honey that are to die for…."  He trails off.
    "Actually, right now might not be a good time.  Someone has been injured seriously and the staff is on edge… but we can rain check.  When all of this dies down, we can go to Lalo's with the real Lois this time."

Amanda Sefton has posed:
    Telepath planet.  Well, alrighty then.  "I don't envy you," Amanda tells Kian.  "I'm not a telepath, but given the secrets I know people keep… I'm surprised you don't walk around with a permanent migraine."
    Still, she smiles at Terry's rescinded invitation.  "Now probably isn't the right time," she agrees.  "But I may take you up on that some day."  She laughs, though, at the idea of the Lois she met at the Moveable Feast chilling with a latte at Lalo's.  "I can't say I've ever met the real Lois outside of far less mundane circumstances.  I was surprised to see her at the cafe even when it wasn't her."

Kian has posed:
    "We do not liff in numbers like you do on Eart'," the birdman explains, "an' I mus' haf physical contac' to reach the min' of a non-telepath.  It was hard gettin' use to the quiet up here."  Kían taps his temple, and shrugs.  "That is what I woul' not haf thought possible, not sensin' my frien's an' family, or even the simple min'-port of the house system.  I haf been sur-prise what I haf been able to get use to."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "The next lesson is going to be on how to successfully clean your room," Terry teases.  "He's like a teenager from outer space.  Apparently they have robots to do everything for them."  Giving Kian a gentle pat on the cheek, he stands up.  "Let me walk you out… you know, I've been thinking.  I'm… well, magical, when I'm magical.  But I don't know much about magic.  Things work very differently in Wonderland than they do here…."
    He starts leading them through the gardens, towards the building.  "Do you think that, with some study, I might be able to… well.  We can talk about that some other time.  We first have to get my soul back… there's no need to put Descartes before the horse, since he's not very good at pulling the plough.  Poor dear."