6758/Horsing Around

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Horsing Around
Date of Scene: 01 July 2021
Location: Main Room - Titan's Tower
Synopsis: Pol, Kadia and Vorpal conspire on setting a trap for the conspirators who are conspiring to kidnap and or sacrifice Pol.
Cast of Characters: Pol Hevonen, Terry O'Neil, Kaida Connolly

Pol Hevonen has posed:
So, the centaur Sajit Arius (that's the name he gave the cop who came by the frat party where ... well, that's a story in itself) does NOT have a hangover.

This despite the fact that he consumed three pony kegs last night. (haha pony.)
The cheap low-alcohol beer didn't do much for him, other than help him recover from two weeks of deprivation. He couldn't really explain why, but when someone in the frat called it Vitamin Beer it clicked.

Sure. There's a REASON why Centaurs were considered drunkards. Well, besides the whole "drinking to excess" thing -- they don't actually get drunk the way humans do, but they need more calories because not being actually horses, they can't graze and thus don't get enough food ... and they can't eat so much meat that they burst either because that would be too much, so, grains and fruits, fermented. Or dried, then fermented later. It's a bit of lore that one of the grad students at the frat party came up with. But didn't cite sources.

Saj has found four (!) angel-food cake pans and made monkey bread in them. One is made with cinnamon, butter, honey, and almonds. One is made with cheese, a different cheese, and just a hint of finely ground chinese peppercorn. One is made with pineapple, ham, and sun-dried tomato. The last is made with ham, bacon, sausage, criminy mushrooms, and of course olive oil.

This is what you get when someone says "ohgodnomorepizza".

The last pan is half-empty as Saj contemplates the pure, clean, ordinary, boring, un-fermented water in his pitcher. Ah well. It's not completely without its charms.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"God, what smells so good? Vorpal's voice wafts up from the entance, and a few seconds later the Cheshire Cat has made his way into the main room, following his noise, tail curling behind him in an interrogation mark. "Caitlin, are you baki- oh! Saj. I see you're standing over the ruins. Did you feed an army here?"

The cat avails himself of a stool and peers at the remnants of the monkey bread, looking impish. "You're lucky Gar wasn't around. He'd have turned into an actual monkey and devoured this thing..." he glances around, "Or Kori. She might have lathered it in mustard. Or Impulse and Kid Flash would have lapped it up before you could even see it."

Pol Hevonen has posed:
"I will never provide mustard for monkey bread. It's not pretzels," Saj says. "And I made two extras so Irie and other people would be able to have some."

He gestures towards the still un-ravaged four containers... OK, so he took one or two pieces of each, because, well, you gotta make sure it's not poison. But not ravaged. Not spoils of war, surely.

"I was told to stop making pizza," he continues. "Anyway, Sunday's my 20th birthday. My family always throws a party, but ... I'm not sure how I'm gonna be able to attend if I'm hiding from cult wackos. Who haven't tried to come close, even when I snuck out to hang with the people who have beer."

That's not a good excuse, Saj.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Right, I'm not surprised. The cult wouldn't dare get close to this place as long as Raven were around. They might be not terribly bright, but they sure ain't suicidal."
fHe looks at the monkey bread, looking clearly tempted, but he manages to resist the temptation for now, at least.

"Well, I imagine that by now your family knows what kind of... interesting things are happening in your life?" He pauses, "Or are they completely oblivious? I know a little about that- I hid my secret identity for a whole year before I went public."

Pol Hevonen has posed:
Family? What?

"I... no, my family doesn't know. I mean, they know I have my invisible twin brother except right now I don't and it's really weird. And they know I'm a giant because I was 6'7" at 16. But nobody's really said anything about the star map vitiligo. My Brooklyn family thinks I'm weird and probably part troll, but they haven't really said much otherwise." (The star map is still sort of present as a dappling on his coat.)

He looks at the cat person. Logic intrudes.

"OK they have to suspect SOMETHING because I was kidnapped and then I had this way cool tattoo the next day. To be honest I think one of my aunties is a noita, but I can't say for sure."

He offers the last piece of savory-with-mushrooms to Vorpal.

"Is there any kind of plan for what happens? I've been sort of stuck in holding. At some point I'll start to be old fish and a plague on your skyscraper and you won't want me around, or you'll decide I need to go do heroish stuff."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"A 'Noita?' I don't believe I'm familiar with the term. Care to explain?" He could google it, but it's better to let the guy explain his own terms! "Thanks!" he begins to bite on the offered food, and adds:

"Well... we're kind of trying to figure things out... but we first need to find out how you feel about this. /Would/ you want your family to find out? Or at least certain members? In your present state, you can't exactly /hide/ it..."

Pol Hevonen has posed:
"Noita is Finnish for a witch, basically a person who can interact with the spirit world. Not a medium, more of a mediator." Saj frowns for a moment. "Normally I can do that, but for some reason I'm stuck, can barely see the nearby magic stuff. You're very sparkly and you leave glitter everywhere, but I can't see why that's the case. Normally I could, sort of."

He's read Alice in both journeys, annotated, while he's been stuck here. But the whole concept of chaos based in math puns is weird.

"So... I suppose if I don't get unstuck from this, I'll have to tell my family, but until I absolutely have to I don't want to. So my birthday is the deadline I guess, if nothing happens by then, I have to tell them."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"I take it something tends to happen on your birthday, intuitied from past experience?" the Cheshire finishes his piece and leans on the counter, arms crossed, "So we'll wait to see if something happens on Sunday, then. Don't mention the glitter bit around here, though, I think Donna is still flossing out glitter from that one time Bizarro attacked..."

"About these cultists. Can you think of any details at all that might help us investigate? While they might not approach the tower, we can't exactly keep you here forever. Even if you do decide to join the team. People need lives outside of the tights."

Pol Hevonen has posed:
Details. The previous ones were stalkers from school who got slightly brainwashed by some "Dark Presence" cliche' ... these ones were just punks who were possessed, but the "Dark Presence" cliche's were much more present and Cas was able to see one of them pretty well.

"They're all pawns. I think it takes the Dark Cliche's some time to prepare them. And, yeah, I started having growth spurts the day after my birthday back when I turned 13, I picked up two or three inches in a month. Geez, growth pains like crazy every year since I turned 13, I guess you can get used to anything huh? I slowed down the amount I grew a bit at 16. Oh, and I also got more than just taller."

He flexes his left bicep, letting it do that obnoxious "pop" thing that some of the jock types do. But then he laughs at it.

"I mean, the puberty fairy was very kind in some respects, but honestly, I can't buy off the shelf any more, even in human form."

After a pause to break open the ham-and-pineapple-and-sun-dried-tomato bread, and to swig down half his pitcher of water, he sighs.

"I need to get a bow. I can MAKE a bow but it's stupidly magical, by which ... wait I haven't showed you that trick have I?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Not to mention that you have to upkeep that body. Your family must spend a small fortune keeping the fridge stocked even when you aren't a centaur," Vorpal chuckles, swiveling on his stool, "The way I see it, the only way we're goin gto get anywhere with the cult....s... trick?"

Saj said the magic word, alright. All at once, the cat is leaning forward on the counter, a focused and intense stare already forming. "Magi trick? Okay, show me! As far as bows go... eh, later. I demand to see this magic trick!"

Pol Hevonen has posed:
Saj smiles, ears swiveling forward. He touches his left shoulder then extends his left arm forward, rotating the right human of his human torso backwards while drawing his right arm in "pulling a bowstring" fashion. The concept of a bow begins to appear, quickly solidifying into a faintly glowing translucent crystalline arc of perfect energy-in-torsion, with a meter-long crystalline rod with fletching on one end, nocked into place. Two other arrows dangle loosely from the fingers and thumb of his right hand. He holds the Draw and Aim so Vorpal can examine it.

"Magical Bow. Not For Use On Living Things, apparently."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Oh, that is /cool/!" the Cheshire cat leans forward and reaches over to touch the arrow with a fingertip, stopping suddenly an inch away from the shaft. "Wait... are you drawing some sort of celestial energy? Might be better no to touch after all..." he steps back, grinning. "The last time I touched anything that was celestial or godly, it was Wonder Woman's lasso, and I tripped balls for hours. It's a very specific allergy."

He stretches out a hand, and a red-purple chaos construct comes to life, a bow appears. "I can do that trick somewhat, but right now I can only create one thing at a time. So, no arrows. It also probably doesn't have the magical modifiers that come from whatever it is you're tapping from- mine's just chaos balled into a shape."

Pol Hevonen has posed:
When the chaos construct appears, Saj semi-flinches back from it.

"Chaos. That's really weird. I'm not sure what I draw on, but it's formed by the myth attached to the star-pattern. Saggita is an arrow, with an implied bow, and I'm Saggitarius the Archer. It's pretty straightforward mythopoeic manifestation."

Straightforward for SOME people maybe. Saj makes the bow go away so he can get at more monkey bread. Having not eaten for six hours, with a good two hours of that time being the wait for the bread to rise. It's a good thing this kitchen is so very expansive. Saj appears to have taken over one of the prep counters, covering it with jars of ... fermenting ... things. Some of them are quite large, and smell like berries and alcohol. Others smell like cabbage and radish and death pepper.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Well... as I was saying... what do you think about setting up a trap for your cultists? They can see you leave the tower... go about your business. We also get you fitted with a GoPro to broadcast where you are to me at all times, and as soon as they strike... wham!" he claps his hands, "We open a Rabbit Hole, the team steps through, and we proceed to punch, kick, and get answers. Probably in that order. "

Pol Hevonen has posed:
"Uh. That'd be very weird. Are you thinking, 'Hey, these guys are mind-controlled by some random dudes, they won't notice the big-ass camera that horse-guy is wearing and, like, wreck it from a distance' because sure, if you've got a go-Pro you don't mind losing to cult curses or whatever, I'm up for it."

The cinnamon/butter/honey/almond monkey bread is next. It would be a tautism (and untrue) to say that Saj eats like a horse; he's eating a lot of food though.

"You sure you don't want any of this? It's not bad."

Kaida Connolly has posed:
Cue a long E followed by a short F. Then another long E followed by a F. A long pause followed by another E and F. Then an E and F quickly together. Soon the E and F start to become faster and closer together even as the conversation between Saj and Terry continue. Part way through a sharp F heightens as the E and F are beating like a panic'd heart. Suddenly a small being leaps up from near where one of the pans of Monkey Bread are and lands in the empty space caused by one slice already having been taken and the pan shakes in a wild manner as monkey bread is sliced away at and flies up only to be leap attacked by same said creature that goes back over the side following it.

That poor Monkey Bread.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Oh no, I've had my fill- I'd rather still be able to fit in my uniform, and I don't have the metabolism of a centaur, speedster or a Beast Boy..." he trails off, though, as the sound of impending culinary doom approaches. He leans back some and gestures to the bread, "But I am sure Kaida will take care of it- have you met her yet? She's our rsident small arms specialist."

He is going to pay for that joke.

Pol Hevonen has posed:
Have we mentioned that Saj is a bit skittish? Well, he is. If he were a cat he would have climbed Vorpal with claws in full attach-mode, but as it is, he's just jumped vertically about five feet and sideways about seven feet, to the other end of the table, and he's looking wide-eyed at the place where a pan of innocent monkey bread USED to be.

"The F..." he half-yells at Vorpal. "This place is infested wit' ghost sharks! I coulda lost a arm!"

Kaida Connolly has posed:
"An arm." A small but rather carrying voice calls out from somewhere below the table and then up leaps a rather small 'shark' with a piece of that monkey bread still attached to the end of a small sword (well, sword like object). She struts rather casually across the table toward Terry and bites off a hunk of that bread before pointing a finger at him.

"Now you listen here, Kitty Cat. You only get about 4 or 5 more of those small jokes." She snickers and then turns to look toward Saj, "For such a big thing you're rather jumpy!" She nods her head, "I mean, getting scared of a mouse." She giggles, "Rather silly if you ask me."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"He's part horse, of course he's going to be skittish around mice, Kaida." The cheshire crosses his arms and chuckles, glancing at Pol. "You know, I wish I had captured the look on your face--- wait, I did!"

He snaps his fingers and an illusory, poster-sized Polaroid appears in midair, showing Pol's very startled face.

"Don't feel bad, though, we Titans are an odd bunch. And you haven't even met Raven yet- now /that/ is going to be interesting... wouldn't you say, Kaida?"

Pol Hevonen has posed:
Saj is now grateful that he's black. Because if he were the Irish or Scandinavian shade that some of the people he grew up with ... he'd be a color of red that only occurs in stop signs and older fire trucks. As it is, he's still visibly flushed. He breathes, and forces himself not to freak out that there is a fully functioning and real Gadget Hackwrench standing on the table eating monkey bread.

"Reflex and instinct," he says to the person who is literally the size of his thumb. "Same reason Elephants freak out. Also, Jaws theme was literally playing."

Then Vorpal displays more evil chaos magic. Saj squint-glares at the photo.

"Dude, Not Funny. I want two copies please."

He took the last of the pan with the pork products and mushrooms, when he leapt to safety. He bends down to where he can see better, and pulls out the last bit, offering it to the mouse-girl.

"What do you think, should I open a food cart with this?"

Kaida Connolly has posed:
"Pfft, more likee boring!" She states and rolls her eyes, "It's all 'blah blah I'm busy' and 'blah blah go away' and 'blah blah I'll send you to another dimension where demons will eat your soul' and such with her." She rolls her eyes and hand at the same time, "I'm sure someone might find it interesting but not me." She may have made up some of those lines but the idea is there. She shrugs and looks at the horse man person thing and takes the offered food and states, "I'd eat there." And she consumes it rather easily with a smile, "Of course, I often don't pay so you might want other customers." She giggles and shrugs.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal snaps his fingers, "Food cart. You could do a food cart for charity. Do something along the lines for your fraternity or whatever. I can be a volunteer-in-disguise. Within an hour you'll have people posting on instagram that there's a centaur doling out food, and your cult buddies would come a-knocking. And we'd be there, undercover! It's brilliant!"

And then he lowers his voice, "Kaida, shhh! She might year you!"

Pol Hevonen has posed:
"Have you offered to pay before?" Saj asks.

He looks for the pan that went flying, and finds it, unnaturally, bottom-down rather than spilled across the floor. Huh. Cool. He retrieves it, and to avoid any new surprise jumping events, lowers himself so he's in approximate cat-loaf pose, with the horse half anyway.

"So, you're saying that this Raven person is a goth... I always thought that Hot Topic thing was a bad joke, but my cousin Ani dragged me into one when I got here and they really sell posters of Raven. That was a few years back too."

"Fraternity? That's not _my_ frat" ... waaaiiiiit... Saj grins wide. It's summer and y'know Metropolis University does have a few good programs ...

"OK, I'll talk ta Tony and see if they want to do anythin' like that in summer. It's almost the 4th, we c'd do it at the firework show. An' it'll probly be done with after that anyway, if it's like las' time."

Kaida Connolly has posed:
There's not much in the way of any monkey bread left in the poor defeated pan and it's strange enough given the mouse girl is barely six inches tall and can't weigh as much as that whole pan and yet. No bread survived. Kaida looks over at Terry as Saj investigates and she smirks, "And if she does? What then?! Send me to a place where I get to fight demons?! Sounds awesome!" She laughs and places a hand on the hilt of her sword which is now sheathed. She then glances Saj's way and laughs.

"Yeah, she's goth, I guess. What's this about a cult?" She asks and tilts her head before looking to Terry, "Is there a cult after the centaur guy? If so, I'll infiltrate!" She nods before she blinks at Saj, "And of course I have tried to pay! Most just scream 'Rat!' and then attack instead. Rude times two given I'm a mouse!"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"She's kiiiiiind of more than a goth, Saj. She's the daughter of one of the greatest demon lords in the multiniverse, a conqueror of universes. She's the only one standing between us and complete obliteration by his armies." He reaches over and takes a crumb and pops it into his mouth. "So be nice to her."

"Actually, Kaida, infiltration is not a bad idea. If they do attack Pol, and any of them manage to get away, you could piggyback on their clothes all stealthy and whatnot and we can use your T-Comm signal to track wherever their headquarters may be. Or at least a safe house. What do you think?"

He glances at both Pol and Kaida.

Pol Hevonen has posed:
Ignoring Vorpal's plan for a fast minute so he can let his more-than-usually active subconscious mind(s?) grind on it, the centaur turns his attention to the mouse-girl.

"Y'r pretty tall fer a moouse," Saj says, letting his accent drift back to Minnesota. "But yeah, it's obvious you ain't a rat. You got the bigger, rounder ears and you ain't got a naked tail."

He doesn't pursue the notion that Raven, allegedly the more protective more-adult member of the Titans, would be casually sending people off to hell dimensions like some sort of OP comic book mutant sorceress-sue type of fiction. No, Raven's public profile, what there is of it, says she's more of a protector type. Even though the social media has ... other ... opinions. Gross icky disgusting opinions that clearly are either written by 33 year old basement-dwelling perma-virgins (for the sake of the species) or by 12 year old pre-highschoolers.

And none of that touches on the mythical demon-daddy, who doesn't even have a representation in the last 6000 years of culture and myth, except for a few hints that got suppressed. Pol looked it up, and Cas talked to the dream pixy tarantuals about it a few years back, when they were all pretending to have four eyes. Fortunately the nightmares went away. No reason to blurt about that to the chaos cat either.

So... pretend to think while eating the last of the monkey breads. Nomf.

"So, yeah... what happens if they don' show up? I mean, if the Dark Dorques ain't got enough juju left ta grab more idiots an' mess up their brains?"

Kaida Connolly has posed:
"Yeah! And once they lead me back to their evil later I'll give 'em the ol'," And she suddenly is at the end of the table with an incredibly fast kick followed by a zip back with a punch. If you've ever seen a normal mouse zip across a room. That's around six to eight mph. Kaida kicks that up to over fifty mph. She then spins around and nods to Terry before looking to Pol.

"Uh, if they don't show up, I get food and so does everyone else. Everyone is happy!"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"What the fastest blade in the west said," Terry smirks, "But I don't they'd miss out on it. It's too good of an opportunity for them... and they have been /desperate/. We don't know why they want to sacrifice you, so the sooner we get one of them to interrogate. Or for Raven to interrogate..." he grins "... the better."

Pol Hevonen has posed:
Slow pause as Saj considers all this. He unconsciously traces the pattern of ink on his left arm, tapping at the different colored spots, though it doesn't seem to do anything.

"Yeah, that sounds good. I'll need to rent a cart, get ten or twelve big plastic rubbermaid tubs, a couple industrial-size bags of flour, ... yeah a buncha stuff. I'll make a list."

Plan in mind, Saj is about to head for the ... wait. Can't go to the corner store because (1) not the right corner, and (2) is a centaur.

"Anyone want to help me shop?"