2010-01-02: Magic Is Not Just Fantasy


Dante_icon.jpg Ethan_icon.jpg

Summary: Dante and Ethan meet for the first time out of costume.

Date: January 2, 2010

Log Title Magic Is Not Just Fantasy

Rating: PG

NYC - South Sea Port

Located at the mouth of the East River is South Street Seaport. What was once a fishing port is now a mall. Outside, the docks are lined with people and street performers, from contortionists to singers, mimes, and living statues. Large boats are on display for tourists on the side of the docks. If you're lucky and are here at night, a live band might sometimes be performing.

Ethan is overlooking the water, resting his hands on the rail at one of the docks and gazing off over the dark, cold swells. He is wearing a replacement jacket for the coat lost to last night's adventure, this one lighter and much less expensive, but the chill focuses his meditation on the water and the spirits thereof. Only he can see the undines and sprites playing in each wave and ripple, shaping and riding the current. He murmurs to himself, "Why am I am encountering beings that /should/ be under my control but the Wizard has never mentioned?" The water spirits reply to the rhetorical question by slapping the bottom of the dock with a wave that splashes and sprays a bit, getting his shoes and cuffs a bit wet. But then again, 'more water' is generally an undine's solution to every problem. Not helpful.

Not to far rom Ethan is Dante, he's wearing a beat up brown jacket over a pair of jeans with a Hellboy shirt underneath it. He can't help but hear what Ethan says out loud and walks up not to far from him. He's so tempted to mess with the other teen but he resists and takes out a note pad and starts writing in it. Eventually he taps Ethan on the shoulder and hands him the pad, it reads: "What level is this Wizard that you are speaking of?" It's ment in good humour of course since Dante is quite the fantasy nerd.

Ethan blinks, looks at the pad and then arches an eyebrow at Dante. Giving the other young man a closer look, his expression goes a bit questioning, as though he's trying hard to place Dante but can't. But then again, costumes and combat tend to work pretty well for making a person look different in a normal environment. He says, "Ah. It would seem that I was reciting a creative writing project aloud by accident, wouldn't it? Careless of me." Not /quite/ a lie, since it could seem that way. If a hypothetical listener were both gullible and perhaps a bit drunk.

Dante shakes his head and shrugs before writing on the pad again before showing it to Ethan. It reads: "Sorry, I shouldn't have interupted you, I just heard the Wizard comment and couldn't resist." If his Hellboy shirt wasn't enough to show he's a nerd. Then he looks at Ethan curiously for a bit, getting that same, 'do I know him from somewhere' feeling. "Creative Writing?" The note goes on to say "Like DnD?" He doesn't speak once.

Ethan looks curious about communicating by writing but he sighs at the scrawled question. "Certainly not. I truly believe that the half-hearted and ridiculous mish-mash of mythological and fictional influences that pass for 'magic' in popular culture are an absolute insult to a rich and diverse heritage of mystical thought and philosophy. And even if that Vancian and hermetic form of spell-casting was particularly accurate, the very idea of incorporating it into popular fiction is absolutely abhorrent." He starts gesturing as he speaks, warming up to the subject by the end and even then only stopping to take a breath and then sneeze. "Sorry, lost my coat last night. It was a cold flight … ride home."

Dante looks at Ethan for a while and smiles, before scrawling again. "Hey, I happen to enjoy things like Dungeons and Dragons and I as well happen to believe in magic even if I don't know how they work." Being a mute and never having many friends growing up he buried himself into fantasy novels and culture. He then looks at Ethan like somethings dawned on him and a new communication opens up in Ethan's mind. /Sorry to do this, it's the only way I have a voice…flight you say? I thought you looked familar./

Ethan nods and says, "I like fantasy as well, when it's confined to fantasy. But those models are taking over the place as prevailing paradigm in the social consciousness of magic. Magic is fluid. Those perceptions can shape it. And shape what might come from it. A mystical equivalent to the observer effect if you wi…." He stops talking (miraculously) when Dante speaks to him telepathically and then rolls his eyes and looks a little chagrined. "Ah. Um. Yes. I recognize the, um, voice. Hello again."

/I have a friend named Wiccan, he uses magic and knows some stuff about it, I know what fantasy and reality are./ Dante says nodding and as he speaks in Ethan's mind his hands move signing the words he's saying. That way Ethan doesn't look weird speaking only half of the conversation. /You said flight and lost your coat, I realized you were at Salem Center last night. That and you look a bit familar. I'm Dante by the way./

Ethan nods and smiles. "I've seen him. I'm terribly curious about his methods and influences. He seems impressively well-versed. And, um, yes. I was there. I'm Ethan." He lowers his voice, "I go by Primal in the field. You're, um, I'm sorry, I'm not sure which of them you were. There were a lot of us and things were pretty complex."

Dante nods but doesn't say, think, anything about Billy's methods as he knows even Billy is unsure about them himself at times. /I go by Silent Image in the field. I'm the one who caught the smack to the chest by the water thing, I'm not good in physical combat./ His hands move rapidly as his signs as Dante is a bit excited to be meeting another teen hero that isn't one of the Young Avengers. /Yeah, things were pretty crazy last night and I only know who Wave was. I don't even fully know what happened out there just that something was attacking that Angel Woman./

Ethan winces faintly, "Ah, yes. Sorry about that. I rather forced that elemental duel and I'm afraid that you were the one who suffered for it." He grins and says, "I don't do physical combat. I keep in shape, of course, if for no other reason than it is pro forma for the sociological construct of a costumed hero. But the spirits generally look after me." He nods at the summary of the evening and his own eyes twinkle with excitement. "It was my first, um, team-up, I suppose. Actually my first actual …adventure? Situation? They really should coin a technical vocabulary for this sort of thing. It was exciting. Though rather unfortunate at the end."

Dante shakes his head. /No Ethan, it was me, I mentally attacked it with all I had. And apparently it didn't like that./ No big surprise there. /My fault was not mentally linking everyone so they knew what I was doing and could use teamwork better. Me and physical combat..I'm a skinny nerd. You heard me with my fantasy before. And first venture out as a superhero always works. And things always tend to work out differently than expected, espeically with us Young Avengers./

Ethan smiles at the absolution and shrugs. "Well, you got the creature's attention, I'll give you that." There is a hint of dry amusement in his voice, teasing rather than mocking. "And your abilities seem most impressive. As for the rest, well, that will come in time, I expect. You have half the battle won already. I mean, a Young Avenger? That's pretty impressive."

/I don't even remember how I met Bi…Wiccan and Hulkling, I think it was something to do with comics and it came out that I had powers and one thing lead to another and I became Silent Image./ Dante explains to the impressive comment. /Well I was using the codename before that but it became offical I guess? I'm good with powers in the mind, I'm a telepath and I can create illusions. What about yourself, you said something about flying and spirits and magics?/

Ethan nods. "I, ah, control elemental magics. Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Life. Well, in so far as 'plants' can be considered 'life'. I can't seem to get a grasp on animals. Their own unique, individual spirits displace the more general nature spirits that permeate everything else." He pauses a moment and says, "Well I control /most/ of those spirits. I'm learning that there are some that apparently blend free will and intelligence with elemental incarnations. Quite surprising. And annoying. The one I met absolutely refused to listen." He sounds mildly scandalized by that.

Dante nods and even though he doesn't fully understand what Ethan is talking about he gets the general idea. /So did someone teach you magic or is it kind of something you just decided to learn one day? I know Wiccan is more of a broad range of magics kind of Dr. Strange I guess you can say. I've never met the guy so I don't fully know./ Dante can't really picture Dr. Strange going 'iwannaflyiwannaflyiwannafly' to achieve his spell's intention.

Ethan smiles and crosses his arms over his chest, leaning on the rail. "A bit of both. I mean, I've always /seen/ spirits. I thought everybody did until I was seven or eight. My parents are anthropologists who specialize in sites of ritual significance. I suspect I was exposed to some kind of mystical energy while still in utero. But I couldn't do anything with that sight for the longest time. Then I acquired a tutor." He pauses and says, "Wiccan certainly seems versatile and powerful. Who was his teacher? And for that matter, what about you? How did you gain your abilities?"

/I really don't know who Wicacan's teacher was./ Dante knows a bit about the self help books but doesn't say anything. /That's kind of neat, about your parents. I bet you've seen some cool things, well you see spirits and that's pretty cool. I'm a mutant, my powers manifested when my mother and I got into a pointless arguement. She gets tired from working long hours and next thing I knew, what I was signing I was saying in her head. It was always my Mom and me./

Ethan nods thoughtfully. "I'd imagine that a mage like that would want to remain hidden and undistracted." The thought of somebody being an instinctive mage is beyond him at the moment. "And most remarkable. Mutation is astounding and exciting. It's like seeing us get more wonderful and diverse as a species." Apparently, he doesn't see a difference between baseline humans and mutants.

Dante nods with a bit of a shrug. /Well all of us Young Avengers are kind of quiet about things I mean we're an actual superhero group so we need some kind of peace and such./ Though Dante thinks having a secret base is beyond awesome. /I guess, I'm just happy I got superpowers cause it makes me more than just someone with…well…a birth defect. It gave me a voice./

Ethan looks a little wistful at that. "Having a social group like that must be …nice." He shakes his head at the second part and says, "You would have found another way to gain a voice. Not literally, probably, but something. Art. Music. Self-expression is the only human constant across cultures, from what I can see. But then again, telepathy is, well, a bit cooler than making really good paper swans." His smile at that last is a combination of whimsical and sly.

/Video games actually, it was nice being able to talk to people over a computer./ Dante was quite the MMO player for a while but he just doesn't have time for it anymore. /I have an idea…how about sometime I can see if I can get Wiccan and you to meet since your both magic users./ He doesn't say that it might be good for both of them as he doesn't want to crush Wiccan's image. /And I can make a mean paperswan…actually, I can't./

Ethan nods at the first sentence and then his eyebrows go up. He smiles very broadly and that ultra-precise diction and stilted speech disappear entirely for a moment as he says, "Really? Seriously? That would be /awesome!" After a moment, he clears his throat and tugs straight his jacket. "I think I'd enjoy that. And perhaps we could compare notes. There is no such thing as too much knowledge and too many different perspectives on mystical matters."

Dante lets out a silent laugh and nods. /Yeah…here's my information./ He says scrawling his name and phone number down on a piece of paper and handing to Ethan. /Just, text that number since I won't be able to talk to you. Unless you understand morse code, which I don't so we're both s.o.l. there./ He says running a hand over his tied back hair before adjusting his glasses. Yup, it's the Clark Kent thing, glasses when doing everyday stuff, contacts when out crime fighting. Well it's more glasses when he doesn't feel like dealing with contacts. /Yeah, I'll talk to Bi…Wiccan when I get back to the base./

Ethan takes the information and pulls out his own pad and a silver pen. He scrawls out his own contact information and gives it Dante. "You can reach me any time." He watches Dante put on the glasses and the cultural referent does indeed amuse him. He nods again, "I would very much appreciate that. It would certainly be a highlight of my week. Perhaps even my month." He's trying to play it cool, as though he hadn't just blown that.

/Cool, like I said, it will probably be via text./ Dante takes the peice of paper and shoves it into his back pocket giving the impression that he's not the most orangized of people. In fact books and computer parts cover his room. /Wiccan is a really nice guy so I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem. Do you go to school or anything, so I know when is a good time?/ Dante's finishing his senior year of high school.

Ethan sighs and nods, "Final year at an entirely annoying prep school. I rather wanted to skip ahead to college but my parents decided that I needed the socialization. Which is patently ridiculous. I'm perfectly well socialized. And text is fine." He checks his watch and says, "Speaking of which, I'm getting close to curfew. I suppose I should get back to my room. It was quite pleasant meeting you outside the context of an emergency. Do feel free to email or text or what have you."

Dante nods and puts his hand out for Ethan. /It was great meeting you Ethan. And yeah, me and school and socalizing usually means me getting beat up, or picked on…or…yeah…/ He accidentally thinks over the word swirly without even realizing it. /I will definately be keeping in touch. Have a safe trip back to your school, I'm gonna go home cause it's cold out here./

Ethan takes Dante's hand and shakes it firmly and enthusiastically. He smiles ruefully, "Believe me, I know the feeling. It is rather comforting to imagine that someday soon, I may save the planet and thus the entire lacrosse team, whether they deserve it or not, from certain death. Rather puts wedgies in perspective." He lets go and waves, "Good evening." With that, he turns to head back to school himself, whistling cheerfully.

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