5157/Stare Into the Orb

From Heroes Assemble MUSH
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Stare Into the Orb
Date of Scene: 13 February 2021
Location: Jennifer Walter's Apartment.
Synopsis: Jennifer invites Dr. Druid over to help figure out what's going on with Katsumi.
Cast of Characters: Jennifer Walters, Katsumi Oshiro, Anthony Druid

Jennifer Walters has posed:
One of the things about being an Avenger, Lawyer, SHEILD consultant, and Fantastic Four family member is that things get busy. She hadn't forgotten her promise to Katsumi that she'd help her figure out what her powers are, it's just that finding people who are in the spiritual know who /also/ have free time is just as rare. Fortunately, she managed to get a hold of her fellow Avenger, Dr. Druid and fill him in on what was going on. Once she got him on board, it was all a just a matter of scheduling then.

She sent a text to Katsumi, telling her when to show up, and that she has a fellow Avenger who will help her out. She also mentions that she'll provide food, so come hungry, so now she waits in her apartment for people to arrive.

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
More superheroes! God, if that isn't intimidating. Katsumi's a bundle of nerves and self-doubt. Spending time with Jennifer, Nessa, and a couple others has helped her with some deep-rooted self-esteem issues, but lifelong problems are hard weeds to pull. And somehow, she always feels like people whose job it is to save the world will always find that underlying evil, that unspoken malignance creeping beneath the surface that she can't help. She hates it. It's also a part of her. 'Erego, it's reasonable to conclude she hates herself, at least in part.

All this to emphasize just how nervous the raven-haired girl is upon arriving at Jen's loft.

"U-um," she begins on the other side of the door, "I'm here!" It's all she can think of to say.

Dressed as modestly (read: nicely) as she can muster with the clothing she brought to America, Katsumi is wearing a breezy white buttonup over a pleated black skirt. Loafers, fingerless gloves, and ever-present choker finish off the ensemble.

Anthony Druid has posed:
Anthony Druid arrives shortly after Katsumi. He has a bottle of wine as a gift for his host, a rather fine vintage, along with a bottle of extremely good Irish whiskey, this for sharing amongst all present. He wears a heather-green turtleneck sweater, glasses perched on his Roman nose and black slacks, his shoes well shined and presentable.

"Ah, I'm pleased to see my arrival is well-timed. Dr. Anthony Ludgate, at your service," he says by way of introduction. "You are Ms. Walters' friend, I presume?"

Jennifer Walters has posed:
Jennifer welcomes Katsumi into her apartment with a hug. "Come in! I've got some fettuccini alfredo ready and some garlic bread, for all your carbohydrate needs. Dr. Druid should be here any minute now." She steps back to let the wrestler in, and wouldn't you know it, there's the man himself, right behind her. She welcomes Anthony into her home with a hug as well, taking the bottle of wine from him with a peck on the cheek and a, "Thanks for helping out."

She lets the two of them get settled in get settled in as she wanders back to the kitchen where she's set out a large bowl of noodles, and enough bread to feed an army. "Please help yourselves," she says, pulling out plates and forks for them.

She nods at Anthony's question and introduces them together, "Anthony, meet Katsumi. I don't know if you watch wrestling, but she's kind of a big deal in Japan. Katsumi, this is Anthony, who knows far more about the mystic arts than I ever will. He should be able to help you out."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro turns, slightly startled by the abrupt appearance of the guy arriving coincidentally at the same time as her. His question gets a nod in confirmation. "Yeah. I'm KatsuMEEP!"

The comparatively tiny grappler is snatched from the hallway into a hug. She squirms a little in the embrace before she's released, and moves to the side to give the other individual Jen didn't seem to notice immediately more room. It gives her plenty chance to beeline to the food. She's starving. She's unapologetic about that at this point.

With plate already made and contently settled, Katsumi tries the introduction again. "Katsumi Oshiro," she presents in the western fashion. "I don't know what we can hope to figure out here. But, hey, also, the powers flared up again when I was tangling with someone else. So blue eyes don't seem to be a factor. But blonde opponents might be!"

Anthony Druid has posed:
Anthony Druid is more used to the handshake and cheek kiss varieties of greeting, but he isn't fool enough to turn down a hug from the Sensational She-Hulk! Greetings made, he sets the two bottles carefully aside as he takes in the information.

"I confess, my knowledge of grappling doesn't go much beyond Andre the Giant, but I understand it's an industry that requires great personal dedication and skill. If you are successful within it, then, you must be an impressive individual indeed."

"Jennifer wasn't entirely specific as to your dilemma, beyond mentioning that your newfound powers might have a supernatural origin. If so, I can perhaps at least identify some of the energies drawn upon and do some research to find out more. Tell me about these manifestations."

Jennifer Walters has posed:
Jennifer takes the bottles and whisks them into the kitchen, popping open the bottle of wine and pouring a glass for each of them. She brings each their glass and explains a little. "Super strength, super speed, but we don't know what the trigger is. We also don't know the extent of her powers, but I figure that once we've got a handle on what turns them on and off, then we can get a handle on how hard she can hit."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro opens her mouth, pauses, then nods at Jen. "Yeah. That, basically." At least, that's what she's figured out so far.

The wine isn't refused, but Katsumi regards it warily. She's not a drinker, and the few times she's partaken, it's had some debilitating effects in a hurry. Not every Asian struggles with the genetic predisposition to a low alcohol tolerance, but Katsumi is definitely one of them. But here, she feels like she's going to need a little liquid courage to work through the stressful evening. "I haven't figured out what exactly does it. Just... blonde. That's the only consistency so far. I've tried to be really careful with it."

Anthony Druid has posed:
Anthony Druid arches an eyebrow, "Just blonde? That's a very specific and unusual trigger. I'm reminded of the geas, an ancient Celtic curses that bound behaviors and forced adherence to specific cultural rules, lest something terrible happen. But those are usually punishments held at bay, not powers gifted in specific circumstances," he says.

"If I may, I'd like to examine you at the astral and spiritual level. It won't hurt, I assure you, but it's easier with your permission. May I?" he asks, approaching and intending to place his fingers on either side of Katsumi's brow.

Jennifer Walters has posed:
Jennifer pulls out a dining room chair to sit in with a plate full of food for herself. "You've been doing good. You were off to a rocky start, but you're hanging in there just fine." She scootches her chair back to make sure she's out of the way to let Anthony do his thing.

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
It's moving so fast!

Katsumi's eyes widen in concern, and only widen further as Anthony approaches. She quickly sets the plate aside, but takes a deep swig of the wine before joining it. She sits up a little straighter, her oddly-colored gaze affixed to Anthony's face. He said it's not going to hurt, but this is extremely new territory, and she isn't even capable of hiding how badly it freaks her out.

When that contact is made, the ethereal world can be pierced - and with it, bizarre and strange insights may be reached. The girl sitting on that chair may seem unassuming, but there is a profound amount of inhuman divine magic radiating from her on a spiritual level. Her soul, as it may appear to those experienced at looking through an astral lense, may appear to have the normal human 'casing', so to speak. But it's volatile, churning, practically pulsating, discolored in sharp and vibrant reds and magentas. It might be difficult to determine whether she's genuinely human, or just a human-shaped vehicle for something as potent and terrifying as it is majestic and otherworldly.

Anthony Druid has posed:
Anthony Druid keeps himself steady, even as his spirit is buffeted by the chaotic winds coming off the strange entity that seems to find embodiment in Katsumi. The energies are unfamiliar, marking it as from a spiritual realm and origin that is beyond his usual experience. The low pulsations of it cause him to hum softly to himself, a throat-singing noise that sounds deep and primal."

"You are a sort of...avatar, I believe. I do not know the entity which has...attached itself to you. Nothing familiar, but powerful, quite powerful. I do not sense any animosity or evil, nothing unholy. On the contrary, I would say that this power has the taste of some sort of...deity," he says. "As a cleric of ancient gods myself, I can relate, although your connection seems to be far more...direct," he says. "You are this god's...hand perhaps? An intercessor in the world of men, bearing its purpose and its power."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
And back in the normal, physical world, the rough and tumble wrestler just wilts under this information. "W-what?," she asks, her voice quietly pitchy and risking panic. "A-attached itself to me? Like- like a parasite?" The potholes of this information are quickly filled with fear-based asphalt. "What does that mean? C-can I get rid of it? I don't want to be a puppet!"

Her fretful gaze darts to Jen. Jen do good punching, but matters of a mystical origin, a more rational Katsumi would realize she couldn't help. But still, she's the one who took her away from a very dark place recently. She can do something, right?

Anthony Druid has posed:
Anthony Druid frowns, "I would not say a parasite, no, it's not feeding on you, merely giving something of itself to you. It has found you worthy, in the same way that Thor's hammer measures his worth in the eyes of his father, Odin. I sense no malevolence, no evil here, merely connection. The power flows to you the way water flows from an icecap mountain, down the slopes to the cooling pools below. Sometimes it may feel like a rushing waterfall, yes, overwhelming and frightening, but, if you can maneuver those waters, you may find peace and tranquility at the end. You are touched by the divine, my dear, a state of being that mystics and oracles for generations past have sought, often failing in the attempt. You have been...chosen."

"As for what purpose? That, I do not know. I do not believe this god of yours will talk to me. I am already pledged to others and, as such, they might regard me as hostile. But you can. That is something I can help you with. Meditating. Opening yourself. Finding a channel to communicate with this great power that watches over you. And find out what it wants."

Jennifer Walters has posed:
Jennifer reaches across the table, and takes up one of Katsumi's hands in her own, to give it a reassuring squeeze. "This is a lot to take in, I know," she says, "But I'm here to help if I can."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro's hand is a tense little ball, but she lets Jennifer take it. As Anthony continues talking, her eyes flit back to him.

He wants her to talk to a god? She barely even visited the shrines! She's so brazenly atypical the proper penitent, she couldn't imagine how such a situation has fallen on her. "I- I- I don't know if I w-want that," admits the increasingly frightened Katsumi. At this point, her mind is awhirl with dread. Not only is the mystical world real, but a /god/ is focusing on /her/. That means every little sound, every shift in lighting, every twinge, could be something - anything - from this supernatural realm. If the heater kicks on at an inopportune time right now, it's likely to elicit a startled cry from her.

Anthony Druid has posed:
Anthony Druid always assumes the world is like that. He has since he first touched the power of magic, when he was just a boy. Every moment, every atom, weighted with meaning and significance. "It usually helps to be intoxicated. There's a reason hallucinogens and liquor and drugs have long had a place in visionary spiritual experiences. This is, I am more than aware, some heavy shit. My apologies," he says.

He steps over and pours a glass of whiskey for himself, more than happy to do the same for anyone else who wants one, "Gods generally have very little interest in what we want, I have found. If you reject this contact, out of hand, the deity may see it as a slight, as disrespect. Better to approach it with a mind full of wonder and an open heart. You might even find the relationship quite fulfilling."

Jennifer Walters has posed:
Jennifer nods in agreement with Anthony. "Yeah. The divine can be like that." She shakes her head, "It's not something that I have a whole of experience with, unless you count getting drunk with Thor." She squeezes the Japanese woman's hand again, "You should make contact, find out what wants, first, before you go rejecting it."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
"B-but..," stammers Katsumi. "I've been drug-free forever! I-I'm an athlete, I can't start taking sh**!" She winces. "Stuff! I mean stuff." The individual before her is a superhero, she is shortly reminded. Her stress levels are pushing her defenses low. "And I don't even know what deity it is! Do you? Is there a directory I can call? An operator? I pick up the cosmophone and go 'Hey, operator, connect me to the Big Chungus who wants to use me as a meat puppet?"

The squeeze on her hand serves as a distraction. Katsumi looks to it, then Jen, and a forced, struggling smile finds its way to her face.

Anthony Druid has posed:
Anthony Druid radiates soothing vibes, not quite mesmerizing Katsumi, but using his force of will and astral power to create a mellowing effect, just to keep nerves from getting jangled and overwhelmed. "I don't think it's robbing you of your free will in any way. You're no one's puppet. You're more their...representative. And no, I do not know this god. Not surprising, there are as many as there are cultures, as there are languages, here on Earth. And that only counts Earth. I'm sure many of the alien worlds out there among the stars have gods of their own," he says. "We can do without the medication, then. Meditation, focus, prayer. You must make a channel between you and this being, in order to understand it."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:

Good vibes, brooohhhh~. There does seem to be a calming effect taking place, and Katsumi's rising tension begins to recede. With it, her escalating energy mellows, and her gaze lowers to the untouched pasta.

"How would I even do that? And what if I'm.. scared.. to do that?"

Anthony Druid has posed:
Anthony Druid nods, "I imagine you've been scared before. You're a performer, an athlete, a fighter. All of those are frightening, yet you've overcome it. I think you're probably quite brave, you just feel insecure about your own courage. Perhaps because others have taken it for granted or because you have been disrespected by others for reasons having nothing to do with your own worth and everything to do with their prejudices."

"Come, sit with me for a moment," he says. A flick of his fingers causes pillows to float from Jen's sofa onto the floor, the flexible yogi settling easily on top of them, legs folding into an intricate variation on the lotus position, "You need not imitate my form. I'm rather advanced."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
"Ah-," the surprised noise catches in Katsumi's throat when cushions float past her. This is still not normal for her!

"Okay, when I'm fighting, or performing, it's with humans. People! People like me! We're talking about a, a god. That's a whole other situation. I mean, is it listening now? Is it watching?"

She's stalling. She knows he knows she's stalling.

With trepidation, she lightl squeezes Jen's hand (with a little more strength than one might expect, but only a little!) before going to slide her digits free. Ultimately, she'll sit on one of the cushions in traditional seiza.

Anthony Druid has posed:
Druid opens his spiritual senses, the chakra at his temple unfolding and allowing his astral self to enter the void. He connects his spirit to Katsumi's and slowly speaks through his body and her mind at once, although Jennifer will only hear the physical voice, not the psychic echo that reverbrates in Katsumi's head.

"Breathe deeply. Empty your mind. As when you are fighting. When you let your training take over. Release your cares, your thoughts, your fears. Open yourself up. Questions can wait. For now, contact is all we shall seek. Just the first contact, spirit to spirit, seeker to deity..."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro is severely uncomfortable with this. It's requiring a tremendous level of trust that does not come native to Oshiro-san. But they're heroes, right? They wouldn't do anything bad to her, would they?

It's strange, hearing someone talk as much as /feeling/ it. That's all she could use to describe this. But she focuses on nothing and lets her mind wander. Cares and fears are difficult to release - she has the weight of her toppling, crumbling life pressing down on her, yelling at her, downright raging to do something and make it right, to hold onto what she feels herself losing. Her expression grows troubled, and she squeezes her eyes shut, struggling to not think about it.

Anthony Druid has posed:
Druid, in return, offers strength, support. He is a stranger, yes, but he is a student of the Ancient One and, as such, he has tremendous compassion, his duty to the world and to the universe opened in him by that most revered of teachers. He offers himself without fear or hesitation, letting the cocoon of his own spiritual insight provide a safety net for Katsumi.

The metaphor of it works for the astral projection he makes, with her walls crumbling open and leaving her clinging in the net, "Climb," he murmurs in her ear, "Up. Towards the light. Seek it. As it has sought you."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
To her credit, Katsumi is trying! Whether literal or metaphorical, the net is felt, and per his guidance, she begins to ascend.



The outside world grows silent and still.

What lies at the top of this netting but a strange, cosmic space, a dark horizon specked in colorful stars and celestial bodies. There is no up - there is only lowering down along that netting, glimpsing through that horizon, or beholding nothing but an intense blackness directly before her. There are no stars in that pool, but it's not vacant; her own reflection stares back at her. To the furthest reaches of this void, a deeply reddish-purple corona rings, fluctutes, rolls, all at once steady but formless, imperceptibly spanning the furthest reaches of her mind's eye.

Between the net and the void, endless potential. But that void, somehow bottomless yet physically present, presents her only with herself - and potentially Anthony, should his own manifestation be present. Yet it's her reflection that seems almost manic in its representation, human and natural when in focus, yet just at the peripherals distorted and twisting.

There is a great and sudden movement. Instantaneously, the cosmos sweep into existence around the void before receding back, as though nothing had changed.

All at once, she's filled with the terrible realization that she is staring into an eye; one against which she's less than a speck, yet excruciatingly aware that she has its focus. They've ventured past the domain of humanity and garnered the attention of the ascended.

She is hurtling back down the net.

With a hard gasp, Katsumi's eyes open and she rushes back from the couch until her back smacks into the solid, smooth surface of a wall, her knees tucked against her chest and her arms hooked around her shins. Shaken is not a strong enough word.

Anthony Druid has posed:
Druid quickly wraps her in his power, his mesmeric consciousness soothing once again, this time more directly, overwhelming the panic and fear but letting her experience the wonder and the dimension and the profundity of the moment. He can almost weep for her, for he knows the power of such moments, how they changed him from a selfish young man into someone with a purpose, albeit a purpose that now sometimes appears on syndicated television at three p.m. (2 p.m Central) in most major television markets.

"You are safe. You are found. You are fine. We are here. You are not alone. Just breathe. Breathe and be."

Jennifer Walters has posed:
Jennifer all but leaps up over the table to be next to Katsumi after she backs up to the wall, concern spread across her features. "Are you alright? I'm here." She reaches out a tentative hand for her to take should she need some physical support.

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro doesn't have words yet, but she does have tremors. Anthony's words help ground her and bring her to the present, but the grappler squirms to tuck herself against Jennifer in some primal recognition of two simple thoughts: Is big. Can protect. It doesn't matter if it's rational, nor if measured against the scope of what she saw - or didn't see? - whether or not Jennifer would be able to punch out such a thing. It didn't matter. She's here, she's physical, she's stronger than her.

Amidst the shuddering, she finally shakes her head. "N-n-no more of that," she says. This time, Anthony's supernaturally good vibes are taking a little longer to help calm her. It's probably for obvious reason. "Can we stop..? For now? I- I-.." She'll be fortunate to sleep tonight.

Anthony Druid has posed:
Anthony Druid nods, "Of course," He says gently. He's a therapist as well. He makes no attempt to interpose himself with Jennifer and Katsumi, letting the emerald giantess handle the physical comfort. "It is a great deal to take in. I perhaps should have prepared you better. I'm sorry for that. But there can be only so much preparation to do. You are dealing with something profound and holy," he says softly.

He rises and walks over to the bar, pouring himself some more whiskey and taking a long drink. "It is a terrible thing, to realize how small and unimportant one is. For enlightenment to come, ego must be destroyed. It is a process. It will not always be a smooth one or a painless one. But if you wish to understand your powers, to have control - even if it is only to stifle them or lay them aside - you will need to communicate with this god."

Jennifer Walters has posed:
Jennifer wraps her arms around Katsumi and brings her in for a comforting hug. "It's oaky," she murmurs softly. "We can stop. You did good." She holds Katsumi and rocks a little bit, trying to soothe frayed nerves. "When you feel like it," she says, "There's still food and wine."