Hypersonic Pegasus Incoming

May 15, 2015:

Captain Marvel intercepts … a hypersonic winged horse and rider. Sir Ystin at your service.

Central Park, New York City

Not known for its tourist trade, Upper Manhattan is generally considered to start at the base of Central Park, along 59th Street, though you're just as likely to hear New Yorkers tell you to look north of 96th Street. It's one of the most affluent areas in the U.S., a center of business and commerce and upscale residences ranging from the mansions of the Upper East Side to the high-end condos and luxury high rises of the Upper West Side. While its most northerly neighborhoods may not quite rival the two sweeping swathes of ritz and power that flank the great park, even traditionally poor Harlem has seen considerable gentrification over the past two or three decades.

Characters

NPCs: Crowd of onlookers

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Anything approaching US airspace at supersonic speeds gets tracked. When tracking finds that difficult because the object is not much larger than a person, and made of not very radar-reflective materials? That gets classified as trouble. And trouble gets escalated. Somewhere, there are some very upset technicians and their bosses.

Not particularly aware of such goings-on, instead Captain Marvel is out flying on her own, /not/ at hypersonic speeds. Doesn't mean she can't hit those, or sustain them. But she doesn't do so inside New York City; she has no desire to cause that level of property damage when it isn't necessary. So when the blonde heroine catches sight of just such a fast-approaching form - let alone its rather unusual and physics-impossible form - she moves rapidly to intercept, an irridescent glow of gold around her body as she starts pouring on the speed to try to head off that figure before the turbulent wake of their speed hits the city full of glass.

Sir Ystin of Camelot awoke only recently. After World War II she went to sleep for quite a while. Not centuries but decades. The world has changed. For years only the names changed but little else did. Cities remained cities, powered by horse and hand. Then she woke in the midst of a world war with flying machines and mechanical behemoths and firearms by the thousands. She fought the good fight, as he always does and then went to sleep once more.

When Sir Ystin woke this time, he headed for America. She had never been, after all. A new experience. A new land. Home of the supermen and mystery women. Already, she can see the world has changed once more. Chrome and glass buildings stretch to the sky like Towers of Babel, daring the gods to strike them down.

Winged Victory flies above Central Park when Ystin catches sight of the glowing figure. A flying woman. How delightful. With a simple press of knees, Ystin draws his mount into a hovering pattern, wings gently flutering to keep them aloft. Hand on sword, Ystin waits to see if the flying woman be friend or foe.

Said glowing woman's intercept course becomes not precisely necessary, as she can see and feel the - this cannot be real! - armored knight figure astride a /freaking flying horse/ slow down before coming ashore. Captain Marvel instead pulls out a bit, and circles the figure as rider and mount instead move slowly to a hover above the biggest bit of greenery in the area. Go figure - horse and Central Park.

Captain Marvel circles once at higher speed, slowing down while still a good two-hundred feet out or so, and then slows down to a hovering halt in front of the rider's left flank - facing the shield, not the sword. Unfamiliar, she is. Stupid, she is not. "Uhm. Hello. Have to admit, I've never seen or even imagined a … a pegasus that could fly at hypersonic speeds. I'm Captain Marvel. Welcome to New York City." With just her luck, this one will speak in French.

"Tis not a pegasus." Sir Ystin explains, with the patience of someone who has said these words more than once, "Pegasus was a singular creature, sired by Poseidon and Medusa. Winged Victory is a child of that mighty being." Ystin pronounces 'Winged' as 'Wing-Ed'. She pats her mount's neck proudly as she speaks these words. "Hail, flying woman. I am Sir Ystin of Camelot, the Shining Knight."

Carol peers close at the armored figure. She thinks, but does not say, 'Wouldn't that be 'Lady Ystin?' Mmm. "OK. If you say so. In modern parlance, 'a pegasus' is the mythological image of a winged horse." 'Pegasus' as a name, mostly the purview of classical scholars, is still the name of a singular being. Carol is not a classical scholar, for all that she is well-read and well educated. "I'll call you 'Sir Ystin' if you can call me Captain Marvel. Fair enough? Would you and … 'Winged Victory', you called him? … would you two like to land down there? It's Central Park, and pretty popular with what horses do actually live and function on Manhattan. That'd be the island, by the way, at the heart of the City."

'Modern parlance is lazy, then.' Ystin says in Welsh. Then she changes back to English. "In the New York. Aye." Ystin says. He peers down at the park. "Good. Winged Victory will be hungry after our flight." She clucks her tongue and Winged Victory descended, spiraling down on broad wings until both mount and rider are safely ensconced on the grass and attracting a small crowd. Phones come out to take video and pictures. Ystin ignores them for the moment. Winged Victory has always attracted admirers. He dismounts while the winged horse begins grazing.

A not-inaccurate observation, Carol would admit, if she could understand Welsh. She cannot. So instead, she floats down to land beside Winged Victory just before Ystin dismounts. She waits to be sure that neither horse nor rider get upset at the approach of the citizens or their cameras, and then strolls around afoot to meet with Ystin. "Welcome to New York, then." She offers her hand to Ystin, herself only vaguely aware of the long history and meaning behind the gesture. "I'm going to assume this is your first visit." Somehow, she's going to bet she'd have heard of it if these two had been here before.

Ystin thrusts forth her sword hand and clasps Carol's forearm. Proving that he wields no weapon nor does she conceal one up her sleeve. "Well met, Captain of Marvels. Thank you for your greeting." She releases the arm and turns, reaching into a saddlebag to draw out a brush. While Winged Victory eats, Ystin begins the process of brushing down his mount. "You are one of the mystery men, then? I have met a few in my time. And before there were mystery men, of course, there were the gifted, the freaks and the miraculous. The fey-touched and the magical. I remember, once, in the land of two crowns… Egypt is what it is called now… there was a man who could summon the power of the gods in the form of thunder from the sky."

Ayep. Captain of Marvels. That's it. Carol finds the hand-clasp a bit unusual - she's used to gripping actual hands, not forearms - but she works it out and nods. Go along with the crazy horse-flying person and figure out what's going on. "Er … Well. I guess we're like they were. They call us 'superheroes' now. No thunder from the sky for me. And I'm no good with magic, though some are." So not volunteering to explain about alien life forms, at least not at this juncture. "If you don't mind my asking, what brings you here, to New York?" Or out of whatever storybook Ystin came from?

"During the Second of the World Wars, I fought the German Nazis in Europe." Ystin explains. She continues to brush down her mount, making sure to keep that shining white coat shining and white. "Often I heard of the Americas, spoken as if this land were a new Camelot. I came to see for myself if such was so. A land of equality, I had heard, so long as your skin was white and your chest flat."

Carol winces a bit. "Well, I can say that the ideals of this country are that equality, beyond even any question of skin color, gender or bodyshape." Still, Captain Marvel is an honest person, and a woman besides. "I can also say that there are definitely times when the reality fails to measure up to the ideals upon which it was founded. That's when it rests with the people - all of the people - to set it to rights." She has to wonder if the knight binds breasts and hides with male titles and names for similar reasons. But she does not ask; it's not her place. "Most who would have known you back then are dead, I'm afraid. A few vets of that era are still around, but even they suffer for their old age."

"Tis always the way." Ystin says, without even a sigh. She has gotten quite used to outliving almost everyone. Perhaps why she cherishes meeting even old enemies. At least they are old, if not as old as she. "The fortunes of immortality rises and falls like the tides." She steps back to critically eye Winged Victory. "The people should uphold the ideas of honor, justice and equality but it is those who lead who should do so by example. If your leaders are not this is no Camelot."

"Some do, some do not. They are human, like everyone else, as capable of good as they are of bad. It's a choice each must make for him- or herself." Clearly, Captain Marvel has chosen good. But she is not blind to the fact that there are those who do not, even - or especially - those in power. "I think this country was a Camelot. I think parts of it are now. And I believe it will be again. That is what we all fight and strive for. To hold back the darkness, and give the people the chance to make the best of the world they live in."

Sir Ystin weighs Carol's words and the conviction behind them. She says nothing as she replaces the brush back into her saddle bag and then draws out a water skin of some age. She takes a long swig of whatever is inside, swallows, and replaces the skin. Only then does she speak. "We shall have to see."

"Guess we will." Carol can't help the tinge of snark to her response; she's not thrilled with Ystin's attitude. People are always looking for and demanding storybooks. The world doesn't work that way. Doesn't mean you give up, damnit. "You have any place to stay, while you're here? Guessing you'll need a place to stable Winged Victory, too." Carol's currently wracking her brains; whom does she know who has their own stables that she'd trust with a 'child of Pegasus' ? Her first thought is Chuck's place; she knows he has stables. But the last thing she wants is to expase Ystin to the existence - and need for - a school for mutants. More thought required on this.

"You think I am naive. That I seek a storybook tale." Ystin says, with a laugh. She has seen that look before. Heard the tone of voice before. "And were I you, perhaps I would think the same thing." He leans against Winged Victory as the horse grazes with joy at tasting a new variety of grass. "But I am old, child. Older still than the storybooks you know. Older than the entire written history of mankind. I have seen it. Once or twice. Perfect lands." Her eyes become haunted as she looks out to the horizon. "For all too brief a time. All too brief. The world does hate valor and justice."

"Maybe all of that is true." Carol offers, honestly. "But I don't live in a storybook. I live in a world full of people." And she has given the rest of that speech already, and has little desire to repeat herself, anymore than the knight has any desire to hear it over again. "So. Like I asked: Do you have a place to stay? Or a stable to put up Winged Victory? Or should I help you, there, at least until you find some place you like better?"

Ystin runs his hand down Victory's back. "My mount needs no stable." She says, firmly. "Winged Victory is not a common horse, to be penned in wooden walls and straw floors. Your offer is appreciated but, at the moment, we will happily sleep under the stars until we find our place in this world."

Captain Marvel shakes her head a bit. "Well, I'm not going to order you around. But I'll warn you, they have laws against that here. They'll roust you out and probably be a bit unpleasant, especially when they see you're armed." Carol considers this a bit longer, and then just sighs. "I'm not really sure how to lead you to the place I have in mind, short of showing it to you. So I'll just say this: Please, don't hurt the police. They're just doing their jobs, which includes trying to keep the people and the city safe. If they give you trouble for sleeping out here, give them my name: Captain Marvel. Or have them call the Themysciran Embassy. One way or the other, that should be enough to keep things peaceful."

That said, though, she's not going to just hover about. Carol walks over and offers her hand to Ystin again. "It was good to meet you. Hopefully, we'll meet again. Good luck. I hope you find some of what you're looking for."

"I am not so uneducated as to try to sleep in the middle of a city. No matter how green this section may be." Ystin says, once more clasping forearms with Carol. "Winged Victory and I will take to the country and make camp in a nice, empty spot far away from any who might object. Worry not, Captain of the Marvels. I have no wish to cause trouble for the guardsman of this or any other city."

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