(2016-08-23) Grand Central is Not Looking Good
Grand Central is Not Looking Good
Summary: Amanda Sefton tracks a mystical anomaly to Grand Central Terminal where she runs into Pete Wisdom and a dimensional rift in the process of forming.
Date: 2016-08-23
Related: http://marvelreborn.wikidot.com/log:2016-08-09-magic-gone-awry http://marvelreborn.wikidot.com/log:2016-08-15-tracking-down-something-odd-in-hell-s-kitchen
NPCs: Magic Touched Male, Female Courier
Scene Runner: Amanda Sefton
Social/Plot: Plot

One of the big central hubs of Grand Central Terminal was that enormous section that led to some shops and many of the other trains, like some of the Metro North line and there were those staircases to the restaurants. Above it all, on the cieling, was an enormous picture of constellations.

It looked a little something like this

Wisdom was here, watching the thousands of commuters pass by. He had a small box from Dunkin, and a large cardboard coffee cup in hand. He was sitting on a section of staircase, almost deliberately in the way of people as he watched them, enjoying a doughnut and coffee.

Grand Central Station is busy at all hours of the day and today is no different. Moving through the crowds very slowly is Amanda. She's got a mirrored compact out which she is currently using in an attempt to scry out the location of the disturbance she is tracking. For someone who wants a normal life above and beyond magic, she seems to spend a lot of her time tracking down oddities lately. Unfortunately, this does not lend itself to watching where she is going or moving quickly. On the other hand most men stop for a second look even when they're in a hurry so the crowds shift around her as if she was a rock in stream.

From his vantage point on the stairs, even in the sea of people, one can witness the mystic beauty in her focus and intensity. Wisdom was honestly surprised she hadn't had that compact snatched from her, or something. Girl was special. Taking a bite of doughnut, Wisdom then lifted a hand and waved at her. Realizing that might not be the best idea, he closed his doughnut box, set his coffee between his legs, and… texted her.

Ding! From Pete Wisdom: I see you. Stairs behind you, on your left.

Amanda Sefton glances down at her right hip when the phone vibrates in her pocket. She closes the compact and digs her phone out. Reading the message, she slowly turns on the spot until she is facing the stairs then looks up. Pete gets a smile when she sees him and a lifted hand.

Amanda, to her credit, gets a lifted coffee cup in returned greeting. Then Pete took his phone and texted again:

I have doughnuts if you want one or two. Should I come to you, or you willing to put your bum on a stair?

Amanda Sefton chuckles visibly before tucking her phone back in her pocket and walking toward the stairs. At least she's walking with purpose now which pleases the people around her who are in a hurry. Once she's close enough to do so without being loud, she says, "Fancy seeing you here."

Wisdom pat the seat beneath him. "Don't just stand there in the way of folks, luv. At least get comfortable." He then reached into his Dunkin box and handed her a doughnut. "Eh? Ehhh?" he intoned, as though trying to tempt her with the doughy, frosted goodness. A big smile was on. "Was gonna call you when I got out of the station, but as Fate would have it…" he teased.

Amanda Sefton sits down beside him then reaches over to take the offered doughnut. "And was there a reason beyond my being irresistible that you were planning to call me?" She flips open her compact again to glance in it while she takes a bite of the doughnut.

"Actually, yes," Wisdom said, as he took a sip of his coffee. "James." Wisdom's tone was suddenly serious. "Boy's been through quite a lot. I trained him, in younger days. Like a certain eternal youth, I taught him how to fly." Don't ask how. "Good egg. Bad life. He seems quite taken with you."

Amanda Sefton closes the compact then tucks it into a different pocket from her phone. Another bite of her doughnut is savored before she reaches over. Unless he resists she will snag the coffee cup from his hand so she can sip from it. She nods once to his comment without actually speaking yet. Just enjoying her doughnut.

He was surprised, but didn't resist, when she took his coffee cup. Seemed she had to think of a response. And he'd let her, being quiet, allowing her to think. Then he looked inside the box. In there were a variety of doughnuts. A few old-fashioned, some glazed, and a blueberry cake.

Amanda Sefton offers the coffee back to him after a single sip and finally says, "He seems like a very nice man. Was there something in particular you felt the need to say?"

"Well. Just… wondering if he's called you up or anything," Wisdom said. "Not that I'm jealous or anything," he wasn't. "I'm just…" he shrugged. "I'm not entirely sure what I'm trying to say. Just looking out for both of you. In case anything happens."

Amanda Sefton leans over and brushes a kiss on his cheek. "Of course you're not jealous. You don't think that I belong to you. It's sweet that you are concerned for him and for me. He took me dancing the other night if that's what you were trying to ask."

Pete Wisdom nodded. "He's also a very big, and heavy man," Wisdom said. As she kissed his cheek, he reached down to gently squeeze her hand. "So, uhm. If anything happens, be careful?" he suggested. "I don't want you hurt, and I don't want him guilty of hurting you, because I know he wouldn't mean it."

Amanda Sefton finishes off her doughnut, "He's capable of being very gentle with his strength. I am sure you are aware of that, Pete. I will be careful though. I have more reasons to be careful with him than worry about getting hurt physically. Don't worry so much."

"Amanda, you're telling *me* not to worry," he said, giving a little smirk. "You must know that's like me asking you not to dance the Tiganza, when the feeling comes upon you." He sipped his coffee again. "So. Besides that, how've you been? You looked like you were looking for something, earlier."

Amanda Sefton stops to lick the sugar off her fingers. This is done slowly and possibly for his benefit before she answers quite seriously. "I've not danced the tiganza for anyone since I came of age. No one. Not even Kurt." She pulls her compact back out of her pocket. "I have been trying to track something down for a few days actually between the brief domestic flights I've been working recently."

"Really?" Asked Pete. "What does the… something… seem to be?" May as well focus on the subject of work, even though his eyes were on her saliva-slicked fingers, now.

Amanda Sefton reaches over to tap his lips with one of those fingers. She shakes her head, "It's just an odd trace that I cannot pin down. It keeps slipping away from me. And it's moving around the city."

"I-" then Amanda pressed her fingertip to Pete's lips. Did he blush? Maybe just so. "So something's on the move. Unfortunately for us, city's so damn packed it's hard to pin things down. But we're best off going outside. Or perhaps somewhere you can… access. A place that has a lot of significance." Then he pointed upwards, to the cieling. "The idea of that came about in 1912," he explained. "Was replaced from falling plaster in the 1930s, but it was fully restored in the early 90s," Wisdom explained. "It's astronomical, astrological, and at a central hub where so much *life* happens, you're bound to get a rush if you tap into this place."

Amanda Sefton smiles faintly at the blush. "Well going outside would be counter-productive since the trace is being detected inside at the moment. It would not be good if it formed into something in here. Someone would be bound to get hurt."

"That's why I'm trying to suggest you sort of tap into the latent energies here," Wisdom explained, "to help root out this… whatever it may be."

Amanda Sefton nods, "It might help if I got higher up so I could see the area better without the mirror." She stands and brushes off the back of her jeans. "You seem to know a lot about the history of the building."

"I know a lot about a lot of things," Wisdom said. "I'd be in a realy shit position for my job, if I didn't," he added, as he picked up his box and cup, and rose. "Shall we head up?" Not much further they could really go, though. Just up the stairs to the restaurant section.

Amanda Sefton turns and walks up the stairs ahead of him so that she can find a place to look out over the large open space. "That is a good point. I know less than I would like for obvious reasons. It's not precisely like what I'm used to of course."

Pete Wisdom nearly bumped into her as she stopped, before he maneuvered past some people to end up standing beside her. Another sip of coffee, and he smiled. "Well. Work your magic. I'll shoo away any gawkers."

Amanda Sefton explains as she begins to a series of subtle gestures, "I am going to try and make whatever it is visible to us, preferably without making it visible to everyone down there."

For emphasis, Wisdom took off his sunglasses. Better safe than stupid. Blue eyes looked out to… well, the open air. Amanda may also feel a warm sensation near her backside; only because Wisdom's hand was near there, and he was slowly preparing himself to set up hot-knives, if the need was there.

Amanda Sefton shifts her weight from one foot to the other as the sensation of heat behind her distracts her just a bit. She begins to murmur under her breath. What Pete can hear of it sounds to be in an arcane language but the words aren't loud enough to be distinct to anyone but her, unless someone in the nearby area has very good ears.

Pete Wisdom did not, however, have very good ears. Only average ears. All the same, he kept a very wary eye about. For the locals, and for whatever may be appearing. In his experience, most things could be hurt by his hot-knives. Even demons, Mindless Ones, and especially vampires. Something about him absorbing solar radiation and channeling it through the hot-knives, or something. Or maybe it was because fire was one of the traditional banes of vampires.

Anyway, Pete. Watch the pretty magician work her magic.

As Amanda murmurs, a shimmer begins to form out in front of them above the crowd. That is of course the worst place it could be since it doesn't give either of them easy access. Of course it does seem to be expanding toward Amanda so perhaps that won't be a problem for long.

After a moment a few other things begin to shimmer as well, a briefcase here, a person there. Amanda frowns worriedly at that.

A shimmer? Like the road on a hot day, or a visibly colorful light? Wisdom's brows furrowed, as he looked here and there. "Residue?" he asked. "Or…" Maybe something else. Especially if it's a whole person, or a briefcase. Sorcerous terrorism? This was right up Wisdom's alley.

The shimmer starts as just that heat shimmer sort of thing then develops a hint of golden light. She stops chanting once the gold forms and says, "We might have more than one thing happening here. I think there's another rift forming and I have no idea what is happening with the man and the case."

"I don't exactly have the jurisdiction, or the holdings, to take him anywhere here in the US," Pete lamented. "Should I call SHIELD?" he asked Amanda. Discretion is, of course, the better part of valor. "Should we… should we wait?"

Amanda Sefton indicates, "Jurisdiction is a problem, yes. If you can get hold of someone who has it, great. If not, snap a picture of him and the case and get them to someone who can track him down. The rift is a bigger problem I think."

As much as she does not like to make a spectacle of herself, Amanda lifts her hand in front of her. A light forms around her hand then shoots out toward the golden shimmer in the air above the crowds in the station.

Getting a picture of the man was easy enough. Done, and done. But as the rift seemed to expand… towards Amanda, this had him worried. Would people not see the rift, but Amanda's own display?

People don't look up a lot, so it takes a moment for people to notice the mystical light streaming from Amanda toward the rift. The first one to look up is the man who was glowing. He stops moving toward the woman carrying the case and turns to move quickly toward an exit. Then the crowd at large begins to notice what's going on. They're looking at where the rift is interacting with the Amanda's magic for now, but that's not likely to last.

Pete Wisdom was sorely tempted to follow the man with the case, while Amanda handled the rift. Wisdom did not doubt Amanda's power. After all, wasn't her incarnation here in the possible running for Sorcerer Supreme? Then again, so was Pixie.

Still. He had faith in Amanda. So Wisdom vaulted down the steps to try to take after the man, and that case. The only thing he had that could possibly protect him was his watch, which had a nanominium, magic-resistant coating on it. It's what Captain Midlands' shield was coated with. But… that could only deflect against direct magical attacks. And it's hard as hell to use a watch as a shield!

Pete Wisdom was sorely tempted to follow the man, while Amanda handled the rift. Wisdom did not doubt Amanda's power. After all, wasn't her incarnation here in the possible running for Sorcerer Supreme? Then again, so was Pixie.

Still. He had faith in Amanda. So Wisdom vaulted down the steps… to try to intercept the woman with the case. Let the man run, it was the case that he was after. The only thing he had that could possibly protect him was his watch, which had a nanominium, magic-resistant coating on it. It's what Captain Midlands' shield was coated with. But… that could only deflect against direct magical attacks. And it's hard as hell to use a watch as a shield!

"Pardon me, madam, but would you look at that!?" Wisdom exclaimed, pointing to the magical display above… well, everybody.

The light display gets bigger as Amanda lifts her other hand to join the first. The light turns golden as Amanda begins to work it into a seal for the forming rift which has now strayed perilously close to the gypsy sorceress as if trying to reach out and engulf her.

The woman with the case stops when Pete intercepts her and looks up at the light show. She exclaims, "We should get out of here. Things like this never work out well for bystanders." She turns to make an attempt to hurry away like the other people in the crowd who aren't gawking.

The big benefit here was crowds. So many. Absolutely thousands of people crowding, pushing. Perhaps even trampling over each other. And Wisdom had the perfect opportunity. A subtle motion, a tiny flash of heat to sever the handle of the case, which would drop into Pete's other arm…

Right as the crowd really started to move. People bumped into Pete. Pete bumped into her, and he fell, taking the case with him. He immediately balled up, and started to roll, as best he could, for one of the walls. Using people as cover, and honestly, getting kicked, stepped on, tripped over, screamed at, it was all a lot of punishment that Pete was enduring over this, to lose the lady and secure the case.

The lady notices the case is missing after only a few steps and turns immediately to try and get back to Pete. But the crowd works in his favor. There's already a wall of bodies between Pete and the woman by the time she turns and they all want to go the other way. She gets carried along with them for a bit even as she tries to push through them. She calls out toward Pete, "HEY! Give that back!" A person or two looks toward Pete when she calls out but they are mostly trying to get away. Well, other than the multiple gawkers with camera phones trained on the light show.

Above him, Pete can see the rift beginning to split open even as Amanda attempts to seal it shut. It is about to get really bad in here.

Now, however, the crowd wasn't working to Pete's favor. He was forced up against a big, marble housing for a plant, where he remained crouched, clutching the case. This was as bad as it was good for him, as it gave him a few precious moments of respite for his world to stop spinning.

But that's when the pain started. All the stomps, kicks, everything. He felt like the turf of a rugby match. He was even bleeding slightly, from a small cut at his lip, and one above an eyebrow. He's had worse, however. Still, the very mortal Pete just needed a few moment's time to breathe and get his bearings. Hopefully the wall of people will prevent her from finding him.

Tendrils of green start to come out of the opening rift. That's when the woman stops trying to get to Pete and turns to flee along with the rest of the crowd Fortunately the rift is closer to the ceiling than the floor so nobody gets grabbed yet. Nobody except the gypsy that is. Amanda fights to focus on her working as a tendril starts to drag her forward over the open air.

What is it with Amanda, rifts, and grabby tentacles? Clutching the case in the crook of an arm, Wisdom pushed himself up. His muscles were screaming. He already felt himself bruising. But he had to help Amanda. He flung his free hand out, a volley of hot-knives launching towards the grabby-grabby appendage with intent to sever it. Hopefully before it drags Amanda off the edge!

The hot-knives flash through the tendril as easily as through butter and Amanda falls. She's fallen before but this time there's no Kurt to catch her. One arm manages to grasp the railing as she drops and catch herself. Her other hand seems to punch forward and the mystic light flares to almost sun bright brilliance As the rift begins to close with agonizing slowness.

Other tendrils reach out toward the dangling gypsy while yet more of them stretch toward the floor and the people who haven't yet managed to escape the area.

Wisdom pushed himself up onto the big marble thing that held the plant… and he got a good step and leaped! Over people, before landing hard on the tile floor and rolling, sliding into another dropped backpack, but he pushed himself up again. Still holding the briefcase, he used his other arm to vault himself over the rail of the stairs, and hurried up them, to try to grab Amanda's hand.

"Got you!" Pete exclaimed, his free hand clasping at her wrist. He was hoarse, beaten, his body in so much pain, but showing a determination worthy of his station.

As Pete grabs Amanda's wrist, another tendril that was about to grab her wraps around his wrist instead. Her hand closes around the wrist of the hand grabbing his and holds on tightly as she punches another burst of magic toward the rift. She grunts a little as one of the wandering tendrils manages to grab a bystander and lift him from the floor.

Well, this isn't good. With her holding him, and him holding her, and a tendril also holding him, and a tendril holding another man… there was a joke here, somewhere. Pete knew it. "Sorry luv. But please hold on tight!" He let go of her wrist, hoping she'd still be holding on, to then grasp the tendril… and sprout five hot-knives right through it, and twist. "Leggo of me, you creepy bastard!"

Amanda Sefton's weight tugs Pete down a little as the hot-knives cut through the tendril. She's strong but a one-handed grip is not a very good grip. He can feel her grip begin to slip when her other hand twists through the final sealing gesture. She swings with the force of the motion. She can feel herself slipping and cries out as she tries in vain to hold onto her grip. Falling without a net is not fun.

Luckily Pete severed that tendril… and swung the bit of it that was in his hand down for her to grab. "Hold on!" he yelled. "Hold on! Slide… down… slowly. Won't be much of a drop after!" he reassured. "There!" he said, but was unable to gesture or anything. "Big suitcase. Try to land on it. Probably full of clothes!" Or drugs. Hopefully not books.

Amanda Sefton grabs the gooey tendril with her now free hand as the rift finally snaps shut. She doesn't have much choice to slide down it as the green goo that gets on her hands lubricates her way down quite efficiently. She tosses herself off and tumbles through the air to avoid picking up too much speed and successfully lands on the indicated suitcase.

The closing of the rift severs the tendrils that were sticking out of it and the drop messily to the floor. The man who had been picked up lands with a crunch that surely indicates a broken bone or two. Amanda lands a little harder than she would like and the breath wooshes out of her before she lays there trying not to groan.

Once it was closed. Once all that was done, Wisdom was staring down at Amanda, laying over the case himself. He called down to her, "Are you all right?" He didn't want to move. "Permission to call us an extraction?" he asked.

It seems at first that Amanda isn't going to answer, but finally her voice calls back, "Granted." She doesn't particularly want to move herself just now.

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