5464/When debts come due

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When debts come due
Date of Scene: 06 March 2021
Location: Amanda's apartment, The Dakota, NYC
Synopsis: Thor and Loki pay a visit to Amanda. Loki's request for payment of a debt? Full access to Amanda's -magic- libraries.
Cast of Characters: Amanda Sefton, Loki, Thor

Amanda Sefton has posed:
Saturday morning. Generally, it's a time of rest and relaxation. Mid-morning and heading on to noon already, Amanda has been up for hours. She has things on her mind. Dark magic things. Things she's trying to stomp out.

She's dressed casually, tank top and hoodie with a pair of yoga pants. But she's got several tomes strewn about the dining room table, and a couple hanging over the table in a convenient levitation spell.

She emerges from her kitchen with a cup of tea, strainer still in it. She swirls it around thoughtfully and then uses one hand to gestures lightly over a tray of black sand in the middle of the table. A small replica of Tribeca appears in it, like a magic sandcastle, complete with little moving figures and cars. Strange, but helpful. With a thoughtful expression on her face, she waves her hand again. The little sandcastle reforms, growing a small section of it to larger size. Her blue eyes study it thoughtfully.

Behind her, in his little Wall-E-meets-Rooba form, the bot Patrick happily picks up some spilled pieces of sand off the rich carpet.

Loki has posed:
After a great deal of consideration (behind closed doors), a decision is made and now, it's set into motion. Loki is evasive, as is his usual, in terms of what he wants as well as when he wants it. Everything in its time, of course.

And now is the time.

In the spirit of keeping things as open as he'd (mostly) promised, Thor has been asked along. After all, most of the previous visits to this abode had been with his brother in an attempt to at least give the mortal the belief that she is, in some way, protected. If not by her own magics, then by the God of Thunder.


Loki is only keeping Thor around because he can later say, 'Did you not accompany me...' or somesuch.

Dressed in a dark suit handsomely tailored, with dark green embellishments in the form of silk tie, and handkerchief in pocket, he has a cane to the side as an accessory. Glancing to Thor as they make their way to the apartment door, his brows first rise before the cane is lifted to rap upon the door.

"She has wards against us," is said with explanation. "It's rude to simply appear."

Thor has posed:
For some, Saturday morning means rest and relaxation. For others: babysitting. It simply won't do to have Loki prancing around all over Manhattan only a couple of years after he nearly destroyed the place. A small part of Thor worries that if he isn't there to watch the god of mischief closely, the candy jar that is Midgard will prove too tempting a target for his brother. A somewhat larger part simply doesn't trust the temperament of the average New Yorker.

It's one thing for //him// to throw an empty Starkbucks cup at Loki to make sure he isn't an illusion. It's something altogether different when it's just a mortal proving to his drinking buddies that he's a tough guy.

So it is that the god of thunder trails his nattily dressed sibling to darken Amanda's doorstep. He looms; it's unavoidable. But he is dressed in an 'incognito' Midgard ensemble: weathered indigo jeans, sturdy boots, a pair of ray-bans... and a bright red midriff shirt with BIG HIMBO ENERGY scrawled on it in a splattery 80s handwriting font. Janet van Dyne has a lot to answer for. And the brothers so clearly go together. Thor also considers his shorter hair and beard part of the disguise. The fact that the makeover has been featured prominently on the covers of People magazine does not deter him from this belief.

"When have you ever known me to simply appear anywhere?" he asks Loki, brows descending in a skeptical look. "I am very polite."

Amanda Sefton has posed:
Amanda raises her head from her contemplation of the little model when the rap sounds a the door. Patrick gives a little burble of curiosity. Amanda looks at her books and such. She makes a gesture in the air, conjuring a look through her wards to see just who's standing there.

"*Scheisse!*" The Asgardian pair are *not* who she wanted to see right now. She lets out a couple more choice expletives and sweeps her hands out in a broad gesture. The books and tomes are swept away, disappearing in various combinations of green witchfire and magenta smoke. The little sandcastle collapses onto its tray, a half doze small white stones and a little bamboo rake appearing on its surface. In a heartbeat, the room looks as if nothing but its appropriate fixtures have ever been here -- her tea mug set neatly on a bamboo placemat.

Only when that is accomplished does she turn to the door, sparing Patrick a glance. "Behave," she warns him. "Unless you find snakes or other conjurings that aren't mine. You can kill those." No shame in that instruction at all.

She strides to the door and pulls it open enough to see just who it is. "Thor," she greets the blonde man warmly. His brother... "Loki," receives a slightly more rserved, slightly warier greeting, if still polite. "To what do I owe the honour?"

Loki has posed:
It is still, after all, an apartment. The movement of this and that can be heard, though muffled, through the door, and as it continues, Loki looks to his brother, a hint of a smile settled upon his face. He's enjoying this, certainly. Thor's words, however, require a response, and turning his attention back to the closed door, he offers it. "You're not. You simply get away with-"

The door opens, mid-statement, and the moment it does, Loki's stopped, and offers up that Cheshire Cat smile, complete with greeting.

"Hello," he begins, "May we come in?" Wards, after all.

"I have something to discuss with you," and a quick, theatric glance is given the hallway before he returns, finishing, "and this is not the most appropriate location to do so." Loki shifts his cane such that it's held in two hands before him, "As a token of good will, I've brought Thor."

Thor has posed:
"Good morning, Miss Sefton!" Thor greets her with his customary cheer and seemingly unavoidable volume. He raises one palm in a jaunty wave. "I'm afraid I'm mostly here looking after my brother. Wouldn't want him getting into any hijinks." For a moment, his blond eyebrows lift clear of the sunglasses' frames. If Amanda is confident in Thor's ability to keep Loki in check, that's at least encouraged by the thunder god's casual way of discussing his troublesome sibling.

He continues, beaming, "If I am not mistaken, he thinks you might be able to assist us with a matter of some importance to me." Then his expression sours for an instant, and instead of looming behind his brother, he leans over his shoulder and protests, "You did not 'bring' me, I insisted on coming." He pauses, jaw working, and then amends, "//Politely// insisted."

Amanda Sefton has posed:
As it would be impolite to leave them standing in the corridor, and since she's hidden the things she does not want them (okay, LOKI) to see, Amanda steps back, giving a polite smile and a welcoming gesture. That the Trickster wants to speak to her, and has apparently brought a neutral party so he may do so, is more than a little unsettling. She's very practiced, however, at not showing it.

She's learned: Thor has good intentions. And he *can* temper Loki... but only when Loki thinks it's in his best interests to be tempered. Or when the Avengers get involved. She'd really rather the Dakota not be the site of the next city-destroying throwdown with the Asgardians.

She's also more convinced than ever that she needs to find a new apartment.

"Can I get you something to drink?" she asks, closing the door behind them. "I'm sure I can find some ale or meade somewhere." Even if she has to conjure it.

Loki has posed:
Loki huffs softly at Thor, particularly at the amending of his statement 'politely insisted'. "If I hadn't mentioned it, you'd never have known," he responds lightly; a riposte regardless. He returns his attention back to Amanda, and steps across the threshold into the apartment proper, once she's gestured for them to do so. There's the little things recognized and known of those who deal with magic; the most grand or subtle of gestures have meaning, and consequences.

Once inside, emerald eyes light upon the little robot, and with a smirk he turns back towards their host, waving away the offer. "No, thank you." See? Polite. "I should like to make this as quick and," there's a pause in his words before, "painless as I can. Time is of the essence."

The cane that Loki is carrying disappears in hand, only to allow him to drop his hands into suit-pants pockets, affecting a more casual air. "I am looking to call in your debt.. to benefit my brother and his cause." See? Dutiful brother!

Thor has posed:
"Do you have coffee?" Thor asks as he sweeps into the apartment after Loki, an energetic contrast to the latter's restraint. Coffee, though -- some bit of affectation, part of the commitment to his Midgard disguise? Seemingly not, as he continues, "A warm, fortifying drink! Very pleasant early in the day. I like to put in lots of sugar and cream." The Asgardian seems to think Amanda might not have heard of the stuff; he describes it with enthusiasm, like a novel he's recommending.

Once they're inside, Loki vanishes his cane and Thor doffs his Ray-Bans, revealing twinkling blue eyes that immediately narrow at his brother. "I know lots of things," he grunts. "I know about coffee." He crosses his arms over the absurd slogan on his chest and juts his chin toward their host. "I know that as far as I'm concerned, any debt Miss Sefton might have owed me has been settled. I would of course appreciate her help, but it is hardly an obligation."

Amanda Sefton has posed:
"The favour I owe you," Amanda says, her eyes narrowing at the Trickster. "I see." She straightens, shoulders squaring, even though she glances briefly to Thor as she does. He was there. He witnessed their bargain. She's honourable enough, she wouldn't try to deny it, in any case. But there is a subtle reassurance that Thor is there. Because he should remember the terms of the deal: She will not kill for Loki, and she will not go against her own ethics, either. Other than that?

There's a lot of scope there.

Patrick makes a wary little whirring sound, coming to stand between Amanda and Loki. There's this odd, mechanical shimmering sound -- like something off an 80's cartoon, almost. He rises up out of the Wall-E-Bot form and into something that looks like a mechanical knight, all reds and golds and a little bit of blue. An Iron Man-meets-Optimus Prime look, but complete with sword and shield. His blue glowing eyes narrow and he juxtaposes himself between the sorceress and the snake conjurer.

"Patrick," Amanda says gently, reaching down to put a hand on the little sentinel's shoulder. "it's fine."

She gives Thor a tight smile. "I am always glad to help you, Thor," she assures the Avenger. "You need only ask." As for Loki? She regards the dark haired trickster directly. "What is it you wish, Loki?"

Loki has posed:
A sidelong glance is given to his elder brother, complete with the exhaled sigh. It's almost apologetic in nature; there are times when the man is embarrassing. 'Adopted', while not 'public', public information, it does give him just a little inner peace when it comes to this. Still, it is what it is, right?

"A debt is still owed," Loki offers pleasantly, "and I'm uncertain why you're arguing when it truly benefits you."

Loki turns fully around, now ignoring Thor for the display happening directly before him, as the little robot interposes itself between them. "Oh.. Stark." Of //course// Loki recognizes the color scheme, if nothing else. "Impressive." He doesn't look terribly concerned; if anything, there is most decidedly a touch of amusement that tinges his earlier words of 'recognition'.

It's not a heartbeat, however, when his manner and mien change; he's getting to the reason for the visit. "I want full access to your libraries." Green eyes look directly at her own, and that earlier smile simply doesn't have the oomph to reach those eyes. Not anymore. There's a seriousness to his words that sounds a Princely tone; he'll not be disuaded or refused.

"All of them."

Every magic user has libraries dotted around; there is never just one. Ever.

"Then, I will call the debt paid."

Thor has posed:
What Amanda apprehends immediately seems to have taken Thor by surprise. When he heard Loki call in a debt to benefit him, he assumed he meant a debt owed to him. It hadn't occurred to the thunderer that Loki would burn his own favor on Thor's behalf. Of course, the brothers' relationship being what it is, Thor finds himself warily trying to identify some angle, some ulterior motive to such an act. But he can't think of one, and he's certainly not going to complain about it.

And //especially// not after Amanda's little automaton transforms into a knightly guardian. Thor's blue eyes widen in awe and he steps forward with a giddy grin. He holds up placating hands, saying, "Peace, little warrior," then if the crimson knight makes no objection, inspects it minutely. "What a marvelous invention!" he says, circling around it with open admiration. "Do they make these on Midgard? I would buy one -- as a gift." The tacked-on clarification is perhaps not entirely convincing. At the very least, it seems like Thor might get it as one of those 'honey I got you a playstation (and also the playstation game I've been wanting to play)' gifts.

His attention is finally, barely torn away from Patrick when he hears the fullness of Loki's request. "God of dust jackets," he mutters under his breath. //Relatively.// Thor-quiet is like Odin-sleep. Not exactly in line with others' standards. Canting his eyes toward Amanda, his expression tinged with a tiny bit of concern, he says in a more usual tone, "Make your decision with care." He obviously won't judge if she refuses.

Amanda Sefton has posed:
Amanda's brows rise in true surprise at the request. "My--" The instinctive reaction of most magic users to such a request is a very obvious HELL, NO! In her case, however, it is tempered with the import of the Trickster's words, one mage to another. Thus, almost an instant after her eyes grow wide and her brows high, they narrow, brows knotting. "For what purpose?" she demands. It's that whole caveat that she won't betray her ethics.

Thor's not the only one looking for Loki's uterior motives. Amanda *knows* there's more to this. "Let's sit," she tells them, gesturing to the living room. "I need to hear more about what's going on before I agree to this."

And she's already considering counter-terms.

Patrick allows Thor's scrutiny, but won't leave Amanda's side. Not for as long as Loki stands there staring her down.

"Tony made him," Amanda tells Thor. "I merely agumented him." She purses her lips faintly. "Sit," she bids again. "I'll fetch the coffee and we'll talk." She retreats to the kitchen to change tea water into a rich Colombian dark roast. Patrick stands guard between the kitchen and the living room until she finally reemerges with a tray. She picks up her own tea on the way, returning to join the men. Yes, it's a clear ploy to buy herself time to think, but it would hardly be unexpected.

"Why my libraries, Loki? Surely yours are far more extensive?"

Loki has posed:
Loki doesn't take his gaze off of her as the import of the request filters down. He catches Thor's words floating around him, and once again, he sighs, the shoulders dropping slightly, though he does resist the urge to look back at him. Instead, he briefly rolls his eyes at the actions of his brother before his attention back to Amanda, awaiting the decision. The little robot may hold fascination for Thor, but there is only so much time that he can spend on this. Time is of the essence, after all.

"'To what purpose?'" Loki *tsks* softly. "I require reason? I don't recall that as being part of our deal. I'm not asking you to kill anyone, nor am I doing anything that might impinge upon your morality."

Talk? Discussion on something so.. clear. Loki turns to Thor, brows rising, "I did speak clearly, did I not?" He returns to Amanda, his head canted slightly, "It is what I wish in return."

Still, the Trickster will follow Amanda to the living room, settling in as he leans back upon the cushions. The coffee, once more, is waved away, instead, he's holding her with his full attention. "We really have no time for negotiation. Each hour means there is a soul further from our reach," and a glance is cast at Thor before it's returned fully. His tones are level, even, and hold a tenor of expectation. If he's not granted this?


Thor has posed:
Thor sits on the side of the table nearest Patrick, and keeps sneaking little peeks at him, for a given value of 'sneak.' After one particularly long, beard-stroking look, he leans toward Loki and says, "She should give him a hammer." Because of course he'd say that.

When Amanda returns, he accepts his mug with a brightly animated grin, takes a long, slurping sip, and then sets it down gently on the tabletop. "I know not what specific thing Loki hopes to find, but I can speak of our general interests. We are presented with twin mysteries: first, a woman whose soul has gone missing, we know not where." Thor rocks back and forth in his seat as he confirms this fact, looking uncomfortable. He's aware that this is establishing a bit of a pattern: coming to Amanda with some intractable problem involving a mortal woman. Loki has certainly taunted him enough about it.

He moves on to the second mystery quickly, as a result. "The other is what seems to be a twin to Mjolnir," he explains. "Not simply made of the same stuff and given a similarly potent enchantment, which would be hard enough to believe, but made of literally the same completely unique piece of metal: one our father used to capture the power of a once-in-all-eternity tempest before the dawn of history."

He's not just lingering on that second point out of embarrassment; he's quite consciously elaborating on the part of the story Loki isn't mentioning. Thor is distractible, impatient, and sometimes a bit of an oaf, but he's not a fool. He wants Amanda to have a complete picture in case those details will be significant to her choice.

Amanda Sefton has posed:
"It most certainly was part of our deal," Amanda counters. "The *reason* behind all this is precisely the crux of the matter, if I am to determine whether or not my morality is in jeopardy." Isn't it fun when mages start negotiating?

She turns her attention to Thor, listening to the details. She frowns at the news. "Is this woman a friend of yours, then? Elektra?" She'd be surprised to hear that relationship survived, but stranger things have happened. And certainly, the news about Mjolnir is a surprise. "Mysteries, indeed," she agrees.

Her attention returns to the imperious Trickster. "Speak plainly, then. What's your angle in this -- beyond aiding your brother. Soul-stealing? Cloning a weapon made and weilded by a god? Those are heady tricks to learn, are they not? I can't think where in my books there may be someting related to that." Though, knowing her mother... okay, yeah, there may be something there. She grimaces. "Again... your libraries are not enough? The libraries of Asgard, presumably where the hammer was forged? That's... interesting."

Loki has posed:
"What? And have that little thing show you up? Really."

'And yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...'

Loki sits stock still as Thor lays things out on the table before Amanda, however, giving the witch a great deal more information than he believes she needs, or deserves. In the moment that he finishes, he rises, annoyance plain upon his countenance. Veiled accusations, motives that, while briefly considered, that have no merit (that he'd admit to, anyway!). Of course, once heard, there is no doubt that Thor may rise to that level of mistrust, which will make his path just that much more difficult.

With a wave of his hand, more for show that required, the apartment fades away, and there is cold, and black.. the darkness is oppressive, the cold is one that chills to the core. With the change of scenery may come a little disorientation, which is all part of his show. There is no manner in which warmth can be gained in this inky 'realm' of shadow.

Indeed, it is unrecognizable as one of the Nine for Thor, and upon the ground? Stepping stones, coated with slick, icy rage, lead beyond, disappearing into the dark.

"This is where I seek to go, with or without your aid," Loki's voice is calm, deathly so. "If you do not grant me my request?"

In the next heartbeat, the apartment wraps about them once more; warm and relatively safe. "Then I will seek another path." Exactly what he'd do for the favor unreturned, however, remains unspoken.

Thor has posed:
"Not Elektra... not anymore." Quite a story, told in quite few words. Eat your heart out, Hemingway. "But a friend, yes," Thor answers reluctantly, setting his mug down once again. It's no fair to be all full-disclosure one minute and then clam up the next, so he continues, "We were involved, before that. Her name is Jane Foster. She is a scientist of some renown -- you might have heard of her?"

He lifts his sunglasses from where he hooked them through the collar of his midriff tank top, and fidgets with them for a few seconds, unfolding and refolding the temples, rotating them through his hands. He's lost in thought until a point comes up that he feels the need to clarify.

"Mjolnir was forged by the dwarves of Nidavellir, not by Asgard herself," he announces. "The same must be true for the hammer's cousin. That is our next stop, once we have learned all we can here and in Asgard. But we have to be very sure of our facts before we casually ask the greatest smiths in all the realms whether they happen to recall, oh, perhaps defrauding the Allfather regarding his most precious commission of all time?"

Then Loki speaks, and the world itself is swept out from under the trio. Thor rises from his invisible chair with an expression of restrained fury. "You would lecture me about manners, brother?" he shouts. Two grand strides bring him to Loki's side, and even after the illusion is dispelled, a mitt of a hand darts out toward the trickster's throat. Not to do harm, mind: Thor aims to grip him by the tie and shirtfront and haul him up off the ground. "I would gladly brave the winds of Jotunheim in a bathing suit just for the chance to crack frost giant skulls" -- Loki's not the only one who can veil a threat -- "but our host deserves a chance to bundle up before you start indulging in your dramatics."

Amanda Sefton has posed:
Amanda knows, as the illusion wraps around them, that it *is* an illusion. "Peace," she tells Thor. "It's not real." Cold enough, yes, but passing. Illusions were some of the first magics she learned to cast. And if her skill isn't quite on the same level of a 1500-year-old godling, it's still enough that she knows they have not literally been transported somewhere else. Nor has the apartment been somehow transformed.

"What place is that?" she asks. "What does it hold for you?" What will he unleash from it that could come back to bite her on the ass.

She knows his patience won't last forever. So, she makes a concession, of sorts. "I'm not saying no to you, Loki," she says. "Not yet. But you would not let another mage blithely walk into your libraries, even in payment for a debt, without question. Why should I be any different?" Especially since the 'because you're just a mortal' argument doesn't remotely wash with her. She glances to Thor. "If this will lead to freeing a lost and innocent soul, of course, I'll help. But there will be a limit. You hid the artifact for three months. If I agree to this, your access will not extend longer than that."

As Thor tells his story, she nods. "The Astrophysicist? I've heard of her." They've never met. "Is the dark place where her soul is?"

Loki has posed:
As Thor explains the bit about the Uru forged in tempest storms, and perhaps going behind the Allfather's back in doing so, Loki waits. What the younger Prince doesn't actually expect is the fact that Thor grabs him by the throat and lifts him into the air, his feet plainly off the ground. Green eyes turn to his brother's blues, and there's a look of grievous insult there that plays, not to mention annoyance as his own hands seek to pry those fingers off of him and set him upon the floor once more.

In front of a mortal?


When Amanda speaks, then, it's plain she understood the illusion, the expression therein. Much easier to show than to describe. This, this was what he'd gained from his 'magical nap', so named by his distinctly *unmagical* brother.

"Beyond is where his friend lies," Loki manages with a somewhat strained voice before Thor even considers setting him down.

As for the other bits? Well, that will be concluded once feet are upon the ground once more.. assuming he's not through a wall, that is. (Which is also possible!)

Thor has posed:
"An interesting question," Thor answers Amanda casually, over his shoulder. He turns back to Loki, whom he's still hoisting by his dickey (I hear you sniggering in the back). "This is the first I've heard of it. When last we spoke, we still didn't know where she had gone."

He peers at Loki for a second, blue eyes icy, then lowers his brother deliberately to his feet and casually brushes the lapels of his blazer smooth again. "That //was// peace," he says, answering Amanda's order with a distinct edge just for Loki's ears. Insulted, the trickster has every right to be, but uninjured he remains.

"I think Miss Sefton's restriction more than fair, don't you, brother?" Thor asks airily, as though nothing untoward just happened. "That deal struck, perhaps we should not intrude on her hospitality any further."

Amanda Sefton has posed:
Amanda looks between the two of them. Patrick, lucky bot that he is, can't perceive illusions. He fully supports Thor's efforts to throttle his brother, however. The bot has a long memory about some very long, very annoying snakes. Thus, he's back at Amanda's side, glowering electrically.

She settles her gaze on Thor for a moment, smiling at his words. Then, her expression turns serious and she turns to Loki. "Three months," she tells him, "and nothing but you ever leaves the libraries when you depart. No book, no object, nothing that was there before you walked into it." Her eyes narrow. "Which includes items I may choose to add over the course of those three months. And in whatever manner you enter or leave it."

She straightens. "With that, my debt will be repaid."

Loki has posed:
Once Loki is set back down upon his own two feet, he glances down as Thor brushes his lapels, ostensibly straightening out any wrinkles in the suit. His own hands rise to reposition his jacket so it sits properly once more before he looks between Thor and Amanda. There is an attempt to regain a touch of dignity, though it is with a great deal of difficulty.

"Three months, unfettered access. I will not remove anything." That's it in a nutshell, yes?

Loki brushes off his sleeves after, very much like a cat licking its fur after an 'issue', he clears his throat, and nods.

"With that, your debt will be paid."

Loki steps back and begins to make his way to the door. The conversation, as far as he's concerned, is at an end. "I will expect to begin this evening," is given over his shoulder. That means he'll need the permissions, the wards.. all set up for his use for those three months.