AoA: Talking in the Dark

September 28, 2017:

AoA Emma Frost, still getting used to her restored telepathy, feels the return of Nate Grey to his native reality.

Department of Education HQ - New York


NPCs: None.

Mentions: AoA Magneto

Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

A few hours after the meeting with the President and a few members of the cabinet find Emma still in her office in the Department of Education building. Just a few city blocks south the Stark's Mansion and with a magnificent view of the oasis that is Central Park. The park, under the care of Ororo Munroe, is both a garden and an orchard that has weathered the nuclear winter much better than the areas outside New York.

Just a metric ton of business pending, she was away almost six weeks, after all. On top of the possible return of the Shadow Thief.

Maybe without Apocalypse around to leash him that vile telepathic ghost would have enough with conquering half of rest of America and leave her alone.

Yeah, right.

So the sudden apparition of a powerful psychic presence just at the edges of her perception might be startling. But it (maybe) doesn't feel like the Shadow Thief. On the other hand Emma's telepathic skills are rusty from being psi-blind since her early 20s.

It's like relearning to walk after a horrific motor vehicle accident. Emma has perhaps deceived herself that she's like she was before the crippling procedure that spared her a culling, but she's not. Not really.

The pull against her senses seizes her for a moment and draws a long inhalation and tight closing of her eyelids. It is followed by a dark, sinking feeling in her gut. That is not unfamiliar or rusty from disuse at all. That? Is fear.

It ebbs, however, as she convinces herself for good or for ill that it is not the menacing presence of Apocalypse's pet. Not that she's really know, probably. She was blind for nearly the whole of his enabled, empowered reign of terror across the astral plane.

So, that being thought, she eases her hand out of the death-grip upon her tablet and then—hesitantly—stretches her mind out. «Who are you?» she thinks into the world, towards where she thinks that outrageously powerful mind was. The blonde tries not to be concerned that it sounds like the feeble warble of a fledgling bird by comparison.

She also tries to locate it, but that's an even harder trick.

Emma scans… southwards, Brooklyn. Easy to find even for Emma's rusty abilities, whoever he is, hiding is not one of his skills. A young man, not the mysterious redhead Creed mentioned in the morning.

He reacts by shielding, wary and belligerent. Emma realizes he was also expecting the Shadow Thief. « Who? Who are you? Jean? No. Emma! » Someone recognized her. There is a few seconds pause. « My name is Grey. Nate Grey. Where are you? In the city?»

How did…?

«I am. Near Central Park,» Emma offers back, clinging to that presence in the void with a desperation that might bleed a little across the telepathic wires between them. A relief. God, to be heard. It's nearly euphoric.

She should be more wary. More cautious. Her pleasure to be known, however, momentarily robs her of good sense.

…Even if she's not sure who's on the other side, even after he flat-out tells her. It's not the Shadow Thief. That's all she needs to know for know.

«Where… Where are you?»

Because she's already moved to a cabinet on the periphery of the room, slipping out of her heeled pumps and pulling on knee-high black boots. She has every intention to slip free of the building and go on expedition.

There is some hesitation at the other side of the telepathic link, as well as the impression the other telepath is moving quickly, almost running. « Going to a… hideout where I am out of sight » Which means he must be aware how 'visible' he is. « Listen. I have been away for years. REALLY away. Like off-world, completely. Last I knew was the X-Men attack on Apocalypse's Citadel. So I need to catch up before anything else. Is Magneto still alive? »

To a hideout? There's disappointment. Poorly masked disappointment. And the blonde stops her preparations. In the solitude of her office, the woman turns her back to lean it against the cabinet and slides to the floor with a sigh.

Really away, indeed. Emma gives the facts he requests of her easily, for he could just as easily find them anywhere else. «Lehnsherr is,» she confirms, «And Vice President.»

« WHAT? » That was 'loud'. Looks like Nate does not have a great control over his powers - or temper. « Damn. Or maybe… good news after all. I gotta see him as soon as possible. So… much has happened. I am here with others. Most of them powerful mutants. They came with me from another… place. It is complicated! And dangerous. Several telepaths and the Shadow Thief was a serious concern back then. »

Emma's head simply sinks into the cross of her arms as she closes her eyes, wincing at the word resonating in her brain. « Back then? Still. » She offers, but not much more than that. It's a professional courtesy, from one mutant desiring life to another who presumably desires the same. The enemy of my enemy, after all, is my friend. « I… can talk to Erik, » she offers after a long moment, quiet and even to that volatile reaction. « As soon as I see him next. » When he's back in country. When he has yet another telepath in hand, to help draw a murderer of telepaths north.

« He is, uh? Pity no one has nailed him yet. Good about Magneto. » He sounds more distant now, dampening. Emma might realize he is going underground, to the tunnels under Manhattan where the strange geological properties of New York’s granite bedrock greatly impair telepathy. A good place to hide for such a very visible psion. « I have to explore a bit, but I’d love to see you in person tomorrow morning. I will try to bring with me a couple friends. »

« Just… keep my name quiet, hm? » Although it sounds like it's no one she knows anyway. Emma doesn't care. The desire for self-preservation is king of all, and everything is too coincidental. Too quick. …Or maybe she just feels that way because everything in her psychic world is new again.

« But yes. Let's try to meet. »

That secrecy amuses Nate. Emma keeps secrets, as usual Emma. Now he thinks about it, he had no idea Emma Frost had survived the cullings, the Shadow Thief and the whole war. But then again, Nate knows Emma is far tougher than she looks. At least the versions of Emma he knew. Fading, fading. Next message is weak. « Alright. I'll go upside in the morning. Good day… » link breaks.

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