1964-12-11 - Perplexing Parcels and Prepossessing Passerines
Summary: When Strange is on the hunt for a rogue parcel, assistance comes in the guise of a hair-dresser - no, wait, crow - wait, it's Reno!
Related: None
Theme Song: None
strange reno 

Slushy, the snow on the eaves and the shadows. The gutters run with a consant if not thin rivulet of water. Folks shuffle around on the streets, weaving in and out of the myriad small shops that dot the stone buildings. If you're looking for it, you can probably find it here! Still, the narrower streets make for traffic congestion now and then. It's a face-off between a delivery truck and a tourist bus having made a wrong turn. Neither can pass without jumping the curb and that means possibly taking out a street light. Parked cars and pedestrians make this more difficult still. It's not quite escalated to a shouting match just yet, but the discussion between the bus and truck drivers seems to be getting more heated by the motions of hands.

Strange observes from his locale, higher than the foot traffic below. Upon a balcony, he's settled, squinting at the truck. Something odd is in its cargo, something tickling at his Mystical attention. A turn of his head towards another twinkle of interest farther down the street proves it to be a familiar face, one he's recently met. He allows himself a moment of amusement.

The crow, the Sorcerer thinks to himself, recognizing the signature of the being as quickly as a fingerprint. A flick of black feathers flashes white scuts and frosted-violet eyes observe Reno.

Reno was bundled up for the weird almost 50* weather that they were having. Seeing the catastrophe his head wobbled back and forth in a figure eight debating if he should or shouldn't get involved. Still the well-coiffed crow man was, at his core, a helper and scuttled over there with hands out like woah, woah folks. Finding someone who who sticks their neck out in New York was unheard of though in the 5 boroughs it was a little different and there still thrived some localized sense of community. "Heeeey hold up buddy I think we can get ya sorted out." "Ma'am, I…Ma'am… LADY! Miss Lady staaaaahp…thank you." Getting this untangled like a puzzle might take a good 2-3 min but with the help of the paper boy ya know something could get done. He finally turned and started heading up the street but…what did…?! Awww man now he forgot why he came over here! His head hung and he sighed before- Huuuullo… His eyes drifted following something unseen with curiosity. WHen he found Stephen he blinked and stared. "Heeeeey I know you man. You're the guy! The guy goin oto teh thing!" At least he was discrete enough. Seems it is possible to be obvious and discrete at the same time.

Strange tilts his head down at the man-nee-crow — or perhaps the other way around? — and flits the long tail feathers of his current form again.

"And here I thought I had a good disguise. Still, in the end, I suppose I'm not terribly surprised. Birds of a feather may flock together, that's the saying…maybe." The magpie drops gracefully from the balcony's iron railing and down to a nearby mailbox not an arm's length from Reno. "Good work with diffusing the situation earlier," says the magpie in the Sorcerer's voice. What clever ventriloquism and a well-trained bird, the passers-bys must think! "That was set to turn to an argument shortly. It might have set off the contents of the truck's shipment and that…would have been a disaster." He settles his wings again and eyes Reno. "…you really do look like a hair-dresser, I'll be damned."

Reno stuck his hand out, blade of his hand turned up for the Surceror Supreme to land on, which with gloves should be safer than last time. Reno squint looking aorund. "Yeaaaah is a bit of a blind corner. I don't mean yo can't see aorund it, I mean people just don't bother lookin. Can't blame any one of em if they's all doin it though." At the compliment he stood up straighter and preened, "Gracias, gracias. You make a pretty good magpie, amigo. Where you off to today anyways?" eeeeh people talk to pigeons and they ain't got nothin to say, he didn't care what people much thought of him now. If they looked he'd likely say it's because he's so damn good lookin, just ask em.

Yep, you're being stared at, oh handsome hair-dresser. A mother walking her child back walks just a little bit faster, ushering the young girl away from the 'pretty bird, mama, why is the man talking to it?' Strange watches her with a brooding, suspicious corvid expression before looking back to Reno.

"Thank you, but I'm content to travel of my own power. I'm not off to elsewhere at the moment. This was my oddity to investigate, the package within that truck." Crouching in place, the bird flits up to a nearby branch and watches the rattling vehicle continue further down the street. "I may need to follow it further. You see, it's…a delicate situation and with emotions running high, I don't need another sudden influx of recently-hatched sylph neonates. Ever try to catch one of those things? Try twenty-one. All at the same time." The magpie glances back at Reno before settling his ruffled feathers. "It's a task."

Reno looked over and had NO idea what a silph was. could be a cologne, who knows. The look he gave back to Strange-pie was a sympathetic one far more expressive in person form. Guy wore his heart on his sleeve he did, "Awww sounds important. You need help or… company or somethin? I came down here in a hurry for a thing but I'll be damned if I remember what it was. I swear there's like vampires that feed off memory living in the sewers or something." Totally not how vampires worked. Morbius, somewhere, likely just took exception to that accusation, but it didn't mean that Reno was wrong either. Not entirely.

Strange laughs, the sound taking on the barest hint of a squawk, and glides back down to the mailbox's handle. He's not heavy enough to trigger it to shift open.

"There is a subspecies of the vampire that does feed upon memories. We're lucky enough here, in New York City, to have none currently in residence. They're awful to deal with as well. Imagine — walking into a room, intent on killing the thing, and then standing there, staring at nothing and attempting to remember why you came into the room in the first place." The magpie shakes his head. "I've never been subjected to this, but I've known others who have. It's disturbing."

And there's your ray of sunshine for the day! Short-term memory loss takes on a shadowy aspect now.

"You're welcome to follow along on my last errand if you'd like. I was set to visit the bookstore as well, but…" His beak dips as he considers Reno from the shoes up. "You'd be slow in that form."

Reno just stood there and looked silently moritifed for a whole moment. "Duuuuuude that happens to me all the time what if they're here? What if we forgot they're here? Oh god did I leave the iron on?" He paused and really thought about it "I don't remember if I have an iron or not!" There was a faint whine before he took a deep breath. "Wait… wasn't there something about a truck?" Oh good he remembered how to focus at least. As for anything else he didn't much care who saw whatpeople who didn't want to know things rationalized it away. Those that wanted to know things would find out anyways. Into bird form he folded quick as a bat.

Strange can't help but be impressed with the quickness of the shift. He glances about. Interestingly enough, the various mundanes passing by seem to have missed the transformation entirely.

"That was swift," he comments to Reno. It's startling, the consideration of a crow bigger than himself by a volume and a half, but his magpie form is a sleek thing in the end. "Follow me then — and do keep up. The bookstore has a mind of its own sometimes. I can predict where it may be next if it vanishes by the time we arrive, but that's, frankly, obnoxious."

In a flash of white and black, the tuxedo'd bird takes off for the nearest rooftop and heads in a north-easterly direction at a brisk rate of flight.

Reno could put Lupines to shame that's for certain! It did take him a moment to recombobulate himself and get all pinions facing one direction…there. Better. Witha two step running start the crow was off withthe bi-tinted bird wizard burrito supreme takign this all in. "So like used books? Shoulda told me man we get those alla time. I'll keep you posted. THey even got that Agatha Christie if you want to learn about how old ladies solve crimes. She's like really super good too this wone time- Lamppost!" Less gabbin, more going. Got it.

Strange glances back as he hears Reno approaching and then the two birds are side-by-side, winging across the rooftops of the city. The rush of the air is invigorating to him, dancing along the sensitive flight surfaces, and he can't help but admit a joy found in this shift.

"Devizes is the name of the bookstore. It has used books, yes, if you call rediscovered tomes 'used'. I need to see if the shopkeeper has managed to procure a certain title for me. It's to be a gift for the holidays," he adds, smiling as much as a magpie's beak can manage the expression.

Reno flap flap flapped alonmetilting his head a bit, "Eeeeh I'd say like anything old and dusty enough to be called a 'tome' sounds like it's slightly used even if it was to level a coffee table with. Like ye olde coffee table or whatever." But oh! A gift?? "Awwww man why you not say so? You get that I got a cousin of mine, yeah? She'll gift wrap that thing for you. She's super good at it. Make it look real pretty..or…not… like I dunno if that's for a girl or not. Some dudes like that stuff to man. Lil gift wrap goes a long way to say like I put thought into this and didn't jsut find it on the ground or…you know, under a leg of a coffee table and know you like old stuff." He meant well. He really really did, but if nothing else he was tracking the van without issue.

"If I found you utilizing an old tome to level a coffee table, Reno, we would have words." The magpie gives the crow his best eyebrow. Tomes are for reading and learning, not making up for lost wood length. A sharp veer to the true north brings the wane wintry sunlight to glance off his pinions, showcasing the hidden greens and blues within the black feathers.

"The bookshop has shifted across the plane again," Strange reports and sighs. He slips into a rolling flight pattern, indicative of the species. "Damn thing. Did the van pull off to the side of the last street we flew over?" he asks of Reno.

Reno flew silently for a while and it was highly unlikely he would do such a thing. Still he couldn't help but muse at the magpie, "What if it was a magicl coffee table?" The crow focused for a moemnt and took a deep breatha nd didn't answer but inexplicably altered course. "This way. I dunno how I know these things. It's like… a hunch. There's… I dunno. Let's just find this thing. Can't we just talk to em and have them pull over? Wouldn't that be easier?"

Angling his wings, the Sorcerer cuts a smart turn and catches up to Reno once more. He has to flap a number of more times per the crow's rhythm, but he gamely presses on.

"I would speak with them, yes, but they are mundane. Normal folk. They don't know of the parcel and I'd prefer not to let on to it. I rarely dabble in the magics of the mind due to the delicacy of the material itself and revealing the contents to the driver would require erasing his memory. While I could do this handily, still…a modicum of care is required."

The van in question pulls off to one side of the street and out pops the driver, heading to the back to open the door and begin looking for the next box to deliver. Strange lands on a nearby rooftop, clinging to the edge of the gutter. "Here, rest for a minute. I need to see if he handles the package." Bright frosted-violet eyes glint as he watches.

Reno pulled up to a pause on the building's ledge. He nudged closer out of habit nad for want of warmth. Brown eyes locked on the vehicle and he kept his voice down as he could, "You uhhh try just talkin to em? Things is fallin off the backs of trucks all the time man. You'd be surprised." he leaned forward heedless of calling off the building. They were more than 8' up. What danger was it to him? "Oooooh there they are man. Looklooklook. We can distract em or somethin. I saw that in a movie once."

Strange shakes his head, whispering back even as the van driver is still inside the back of the truck,

"No, not yet. We should wait until the parcel is left on the doorstep and the driver has moved on." It's basically a heist sanctioned by the Sorcerer Supreme. The magpie suddenly draws up tall, his pupils shrinking sharply. "There, that's the parcel."

It's a nondescript thing, about the size of a shoe box, wrapped in butcher-paper and twine, and labeled in black marker with a delivery address and nothing by way of return. At this height, they can't hear the man muttering to himself, but he rings the doorbell after depositing the box on the doorstep. "Hold!" Strange hisses, wings half-mantled. Sparks of light shown by way of magic glitter faintly around him now, possibly tickling at Reno, as close as he is. The truck starts up again and as the vehicle begins to pull away, the Sorcerer drops from the gutter and down atop the package. "It's…heavy!" Flapping madly, he just doesn't have the wing strength to lift the thing more than a half-inch from the ground!

Reno watched this and landed next to the box and shook his head. "You loooove to overcomplicate things don't you 'omes. Go around oto the kitchen window and just tap on it with your beak or something if you must. Hang on." He turned into a guy and set the box off the porch under the shrub a moment. Becuase people donet see what they don't want to and he even stood there retying his shoelace waiting a moment for someone to come to the door where in he was prepared to jsut ask them if they'd seen a lost cat. For a scaredy bird he really could just melt into the scenery like he belonged there. And waited a moment… and a moment longer…

Luckily, no one's home. Strange, paused and waiting with bated breath on one of the hand-railings along the home's steps, finally blows a sigh that seems far too big for his avian lungs.

"Excellent. Take up the package and follow me." Flitting his tail, the magpie then takes off back down the street. At various points, he lands and glances back, making certain that Reno can easily see him where he perches: atop a stop sign, a bench, the low-hanging leaf-less branch of a tree, and then finally, he darts into a side-alley.

Reno picked up teh parcel like he was the one there to drop it off and even pulled a pen lit of his back pocket like he was going to have the guy sign for it. Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? No…really? And without any great loitering the bird-man turned on heel committing what he was certain was a federal offense while he was on parole. GLorious. Robbie was going to be so proud of him. Sigh. Still he followed and finally, clear of others he said truthfully, Hey, if the post office comes askin I wasn't here okay?"

Upon entering the side alley, the magpie can be seen midway down it, beyond a dumpster and perched upon a spigot that sticks out far from the bricked wall of one of the buildings. When Reno draws near, he flits across the way to the stairs of a fire escape, at eye level with the young man.

"No one saw us, have no fear. Besides, the one supposed to receive this package can't file any form of report with the police. There's a matter of disbelief in play. No office would believe the claim that someone stole nearly two dozen sylph neonates — and no member of the Mystical community would make that claim to anyone else but…" And drumroll, please. Ratatatat. "Me." Oh, the smuggery. "In which case, I get to say, 'Oh, these? What were your intentions with them?' And invariably, their house of clever cards will fold and I will have my answer, one way or another." Clever birb. He preens a shoulder feather back into place before flicking his tail once.

"If you would place the package down beneath the steps, that will keep it safe for now. I've got a handful of minutes left to this shifting and then I will take them back to safekeeping." A bright eye considers Reno. "Any further questions?"

Reno joggged over to where the Magpie was, half tripped, and stumbled but nope! We're good!, walk it off. We;re cool. Noooo one saw a thing. Okay then. Withthe box under his armCuervo nodded slowly and his eyes got a little bit big. "Oh? Oooooh!" Carefully (very carefully) he lifted the parcel and whispered, "Lo siento, pequenos amigos!" Oooh yeah shaking that box would be…well bad. "Sooo people aren't supposed to have em cause yous like the authority on this wiggly finger stuff aaaand so then like why you got em? That's messed up man. Lil bit." He held a thumb and finger out and shrugged but did as bade. "It's okay man, I know the role; stitches for snitches and all that. We cool." He slid the box under the steps and had a sit down and thought about it. Any further questions. Well he was assured he wasn't going to get in trouble. His brow finally furrowed and he looked concerned asking with some heartfelt worry, "No one's gonna get hurt right? Like, the lil guys gonna be okay? You alright?"

"Kind of you to inquire as to my wellbeing. Of course, Reno. I'll be perfectly fine." The magpie tilts his head, light glinting from beak and eyes alike. "No one will be hurt. I doubt that I will even be approached about the missing package, so all's well that will end well. The sylph neonates will be unharmed as well." Leaning out from his perch allows the Sorcerer to take another gander at the carefully-stashed box. "They're well-contained inside the cardboard; looks can be deceiving." Says the man masquerading as bird. "Once I return to my abode, I will take them into their proper dimension and release them. Were they to have been released here, it would have been chaos. They mean well, in their beguiling and assistance, but the average person on the street has no understanding of the Fae and the potential dangers of agreements with them."

A couple walks by the far end of the alley, but otherwise, they're the only beings in this section of the neighborhood not holed up in the cooler weather. "I have to hazard that the one who intended to receive the package knew of the risk. Otherwise, there's the consideration of naive idiocy and I'm not certain of which is worse." That's the annoyed voice there.

Reno took a while to process that. He understood the constructs of consequence better than he'd like to even if the wiggly finger parts were well over his feathered head. A slow nod followed. "Yeah, they should be able to go home. I used to live with a bunch of folks that didn't get to do that. It'll make a guy act out. It's a good thing you're doin But… good. Glad that's working out. Hey you have to deal with a lot of this like, um, judicial stuff right? Being the president of the magic club or whatever?" Hey he went for the closest construct he could relate it to. "Can I ask you a question bout something been buggin me?"

"Yes, I act as the…Mystical Fish and Game service every now and then, always for the good of this reality and its inhabitants. Loose griffins are not fun." The magpie turns about, careful not to bump his tail on the railing, and faces Reno entirely. "If you raise your hand, Reno, I'm going to laugh. Ask, of course."

Reno started pulling his hand down. oooo he wasn't doing that. He was trying to be like, respectful and stuff. The sometimes hairdresser considered and leaned forward resting elbos on knees and rubbing his palms together letting difficult thought take form. "If like there's someone, could be like anyone right? and they want to do somethin about bad people like they KNOW know are doing like some seriously terrible things, how far can they go to stop them before they're like… becoming a bad person too?" Reno might apologize to spiders after shrieking like a housewife, standing on one foot atop a chair and smashing it 80 times. The visual may not be far fetched. Probably feel poorly about it too thus the liklihood isn't generally about him. "Some reeeeally bad dudes out there sometimes. Just… I worry about some of those people on teh front lines ya know?"

"Ah. A heavy question," he murmurs in agreement with the air of gravity about the young man. The magpie is silent, mulling over his own answer in turn. Beyond, a taxi honks at a bicycle darting across traffic. Steam rises from the vents in the sidewalk and a window is opened briefly before shutting sharply again. All the sounds of a usual day in a neighborhood.

"I suppose it boils down to what benefits the rest of the world. Thinking beyond oneself, weighing the outcome in terms of other lives." He sidles along the step a bit before turning about to face Reno again. "If you save an entire schoolbus of children from someone wielding a gun by killing said gunman, you have murdered, yes. The world would accept the gunman's death as a necessary sin. Did you do it selfishly? Was there another way to end the stand-off that did not involve death? If so, you've granted mercy as well as safety. Mercy is a lasting punishment far more bitter than swift death." And isn't that a viewpoint to consider.

Reno folded his fingers together taking some comfrot from the words though it left a bigger question. The birdman chewed on his lower lip and didn't know why he was telling he Wizard; it was possible he thought he had Santa powers to know all this anyways. "I was in a bad place for a while. Was with some, um, bad people ya know? Sorta happened. My primo though? My cousin is one of those people that puts on a suit to head out and fight bad guys… He says he 'knows'like the bad things people have done and I just… I trust em, bu I wanna make sure he's okay too ya know? I gotta believe maybe some people get better. Some won't, I know, but I try to reason with em sometimes but… it's hard. I don't want him to make the mistakes I did. I don't want his soul to get damned cause he become the thing he hates to save others. Sometimes I jsut dunno if… if that's the right thing to do." He looked down at his shoes and laughed with a half grin, "Sounds kinda stupid when I say it out loud but, ya know, I turn into a bird so there's crazier things I guess."

"We just took a cardboard box full of juvenile air-elementals from a stoop. I assure you, Reno, you rate as normal in my personal spectrum and there's nothing wrong with this in the least," the magpie reassures him.

"As to your cousin, I can't speak to his actions. If he has the gift of prescience in terms of the human soul, it's a heavy one, full of responsibility. I presume he doesn't abuse it. Are you concerned for his soul then?"

Reno cracked a wry grin and looked back at teh box. "This si true, man. This is very true. But, yeah. I am. He's lookin out for everyone else. Someone's gotta look out for him too. Anyone can get carried away in things. I just… I dunno man, I worry." About everything, but it was a little better than being completely jaded one might presume. "There was a time I didn't say nothin and people… people got hurt. Not by my primo but by some people. I don't want him to have to go through that

"If you can act as his council, do so. Offer checks to the logic of his choices. Everyone has their own brand of wisdom. Lingering in the past — ah, one moment. The spell is about to wear off." With a bob of his head, the bird glides down to the alleyway's concrete. It looks to the sky, hops once, and at the hang of the arc, with wings spread wide, a sudden cyclone of brilliant light surrounds him. The air blown out smells of petrichor and high-altitude wind and there, landing lightly in his place, is Strange, back to his normal 6'2" self. Clearing his throat, he brushes off the front of his storm-blue battle-leathers and tugs at the tunic to straighten it.

"As I was saying, lingering in the past is only useful to find solutions to current issues. Dwelling on mistakes overmuch doesn't solve much of anything. Believe me…I'd know," and the Sorcerer gives Reno a half-smile.

Reno says, "Maaaan you got the fancy pajamas in person and everything. You really are the real deal, amigo!" Hey he was impressed by the little things. Still he considered the council and nodded grateful for some sort of perspective on that. It wasn't often a guy could find someone doing this sort of things for a while. "Hey, I appreciate it. One more thing, you siad you don't get hungry but I do. Think we can swing by that place at 33rd and Park on teh way back?"

Strange flicks a brow high in passing. "Never had them called 'pajamas' before, but there's a first time for everything, I suppose." He picks another speck from the crisscross of his left forearm's wrappings and flicks it away. "And wait until you see me in action." Spike of ego there, whoops. "Actually…let's hope that you don't have a reason." He sighs. That would entail an intrusive tear of the veils of reality here. Something to avoid!

The package is collected and carefully tucked beneath his arm. Reno asks and the Sorcerer shall deliver. "I believe I know that place. Simple." Off to one side, he gestures in a small circle. At his behest, the sparkling aperture upon reality opens up, limned by sparkling lightning chasing its own tail. It's the exit to another alley, right by 33rd and Park. "Go on, step through. I've got other errands to run. Enjoy the food. And Reno — thank you for your assistance this afternoon. I appreciate it."

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