AoA: Meet the Lehnsherrs

September 28, 2017:

Jessica Jones has taken the bulk of the dimensionally-displaced X-Men to New York, and Magneto comes to see them. Much heartache follows. Emits by Nate.

A Spaceship over Manhattan.

Characters

NPCs: AoA Magneto, AoA Quicksilver, AoA Susan Storm, AoA Gwen Stacy

Mentions: Nate Grey, Rachel Summers, Illyana

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

The airship Alias did not land on arrival to New York. Instead it went to dock with a huge alien spaceship that floats over downtown. Just one of the many surprises of the day.

Like knowing William Stryker, the lunatic behind the Purifiers back home is the President of America here. Just America, there are no U.S. anymore. There is no Canada and no Mexico, and pretty much the only place in America that is not too radioactive or just a wasteland between the Artic and the Antarctic is the East Coast of the former U.S. of America.

And Magneto is the vice-president. Apparently those two were great heroes of the war against Apocalypse.

And New York is just a chunk of Manhattan. Just a quarter million people living at both sides of Central Park. The park looks great from the airship. The first really green strip of land they see since they arrived to this half-dead world.

The Statue of Liberty does not look quite as they remembered either. It is larger, and made of steel and not of bronze. 25 years ago Apocalypse destroyed Lady Liberty and replaced it a huge statue of himself. 5 years ago Magneto destroyed Apocalypse statue and replaced it with a new Lady Liberty, twice as tall and made of stainless steel.

The commander of the ship is Susan Storm. A woman in her forties, blonde hair now greying. She welcomed the foreigner X-Men without blinking, apparently used to the strange and unexpected. After a brief welcome, she sent the visiting X-men to her second, Dr. Gwendolyn Stacy, to get some anti-radiation pills and general checkup for injuries. Quick checkup, as there are fifty or so refugees waiting in the Alias.

Then the mutants and Captain Jones are directed to the living areas of the ship. As V.I.P. guests. There are drinks and snacks, a luxury in a city where food has been rationed for five years. Oh, and Jess has a note from Secretary of Security Graydon Creed waiting for her. Apparently he thinks her talent is being wasted hauling refugees into the city and wants to see her tomorrow.


Some people might be flattered by a note saying her talents are wasted. Jessica Jones, taking liberal advantage of the bar, is not so sure. She looks almost offended. Then she looks…exactly offended.

"What are they, chopped liver?" she demands, to nobody in particular. "Normal people aren't important enough for the Secretary of State? Aren't they the reason he god damned exists? Like isn't that the whole fucking point? Good god damn. If his offer doesn't include a fucking fleet of other people carrying my refugees I'm going to shove this note right up his rarified ass."

Another shot goes down her gullet. On board the ship she limited herself to four. She's now on her tenth, here in the VIP quarters. She'd given her crew the evening off to go enjoy whatever they could; she's in here doing the same, somehow swept into the Hallowed Halls because she escorted some X-man's dimensional twins. Oh, and the refugees.

Her face settles into sour lines as she pops a cigarette into her mouth and lights it, right inside, swiping up a little cup that once held a shrimp cocktail to use as her ashtray. She ate that, but it's nearly the only thing she's bothered to eat, opting for a liquid dinner for sure.

"Can you believe that shit?" She asks again, to anyone who might or might not be listening.


Amongst the refugees - amongst the 'alien X-Men' - is a leopard. Cloud pads along almost silently, disembarking with the others and accepting medications quite docilely. Aboard the refugee ship she made herself quite useful by riding herd on and amusing children, essentially acting like a very, very bright pet. But with that stint done, Cloud now cleaves to her teammates, waiting for all of this to become clear. Are they to be stuck here forever, in this irradiated wasteland Hell? She certainly hopes not.


Darcy is listening, drinking a beer with Jess at the bar, finishing up the meal she was given. She doesn't smoke, but dtinking and cursing are right up her alley.

"I'll help hold him down for ya," she quips around her last mouthful. "Once an ass, always as ass." How are we getting home? NO idea.


Lorna had kept to herself since Jean had told her the run down on the world at large. She had had her freak out, and since then, had fallen quiet. She'd kept near the redhead, but now as they were ushered into the V.I.P. suite she had put her attention toward the windows. She peered out at the city, her gaze locked on the steel statue in the distance. Her brows furrowed and pinched as she stared in a heavy silence for several long moments.

Jess' words drew her back, and Lorna, standing in her metal-infused and highly edited X-man uniform (she had made it in High School it wasn't her fault it looked a tad silly). Her arms folding as she looked over Jess.

"Why are we here? I mean, I don't get it.." She mumbled, looking over at Jess. She hesitated for a moment, moving toward the other woman. "Captain Jones.. Something has been bothering me and Jean didn't know the answer to my question. But who's in charge of this world's X-men?"


Not even fifteen minutes in the V.I.P. lounge and the gathered heroes notice two things. One, Jean has sneaked out while the others were getting drinks. Two… well, Lorna notices two first, as someone with a powerful magnetic field approaches. One of the doors opens.

There are two silver-haired gentlemen. One is six feet tall, maybe 40, but still obviously fit and athletic. He wears a light blue suit with red X's at the shoulders. Some might recognize him as Quicksilver. "I am in command of the X-Men," he responds.

The other is maybe ten years older, and wears a dark suit, and sits on a wheelchair. His presence is undeniable. This is Magneto. Jessica forgot to mention he can't walk anymore. "Good afternoon," he greets. His eyes looking for a certain redhead that is no longer here. "I… recognize Ms. Dane and Ms. Lewis," he nods politely. "And of course the redoutable Captain Jones," his smile is sardonic, but genuine. "I believe, ladies, we should talk."


But then Lorna asks both of her questions and she hitches a shoulder. "I super-duper do not know," she says dryly. "I don't normally rub elbows with the jet set. I ferry people around. Vice President Still-Uses-His-Cape-Name used to be, but like I don't exactly have time to watch the news or keep track or whatever. Probably that chick Storm, she's the one who at least sounds the most famous to me."

She drops more ashes into the empty shrimp cocktail glass and adds, "Aaaaand he's right behind me isn't he," a split-second before Magneto speaks. She probably didn't remember he didn't walk, or didn't care, or whatever it was. She turns around and nods to Quicksilver. "Oh well, wrong again," she says, as he announces himself leader of the X-Men. To celebrate two faux pas in one, she pours her 11th drink. Number eleven doesn't seem to be impacting much more than number three, though. Which is to say, not much at all.


Lorna went stock still between one breath and the next, before the door even opened she had sensed the magnetic field that was her father's presence. She paled momentarily, though at the sight of Magneto in a wheel chair. She gasped, "Dad?" Before her hand clapped over her lips and she stared. She's slipped at the shock of it all. Even knowing that the man beore her wasn't technically her father it was all too much.

Her cheeks reddened as she stepped back and grit her teeth together. "I'm sorry, I -erm.. I know you're not.. my father.. I just.." She looked shaken. It was all too much and the stress of the last few hours weighed on her. Unlike Jean and some of the others, she hadn't had a nice little nap out of the Danger Room..


The leopard twines around Lorna's legs supportively, watching the two men who entered. From what little she knows of such things, she was under the impression that Quicksilver was the son of Magneto; a gap of only ten years seems quite unlikely. Nevertheless, it's not as if she can say anything. Cloud just watches and waits.


Darcy grins at Jess, saluting her with her beer, drinking through Lorna's questions and Jessica's attempt at an answer, and then QUicksilver and Magento's entrance. Darcy turns to look, double taking at the sight of the speedster. To her mind, a much older speedster.

Darcy's lips, long since devoid of the red lipstick she normaly coats them with, part. Her beer is set down on the bar top.

"Pietro?" Darcy asks at near the same time Lorna calls Magneto 'Dad'. Darcy flicks a glance at Lorna, only a glance before her green eyes return to Quicksilver. Her brows pull together. This isn't HER Pietro, that same that Mr. Vice-President Wheelchair-Needing-Using-His-Cape-Name is not Lorna's father. She slides from the bar stool she was on, to go stand near Lorna. We're both stressed, sister. Long as we have each other's back, we'll be fine.

Ohmygod, Pietro looks amazing at forty!

Of course, maybe this IS her Pietro? Because he did run off months and months ago to clear his head from having dealt with Apocalypse… and let's not hope for that, given that that particular train of thought is far worse than this just being a different Pietro.


"To be honest, Storm has led the X-Men more than a fe…" Quicksilver stops when Lorna calls Magneto 'dad', frowning visibly, and perhaps missing Darcy's question. He glances at Magneto, but the older man has nothing to say to him. "Indeed?" He looks at Lorna somewhat skeptic. The chair slides closer, quietly. "Please sit down," he requests. There are enough chairs, couches and armchairs in the lounge, and he certainly can't stand.

"I hoped Jean Grey would also with you," he comments. "Susan told me she was also with you," he leans back, "it is of critical importance I also talk with her."


"She's taking a nap, dude, she's exhausted from lifting people up with her brainmeats in radioactive territory." Jessica's observation. Please sit down? The Captain shrugs, takes a full bottle of whiskey with her, and sits down. She is not sure she even has a horse in this race, but she'll enjoy the booze and the privileges that come along with at least temporarily looking like she does.

Worth noting: first cigarette complete. Into cocktail. Second cigarette, lit.

Her version of getting comfortable also involves unzipping her flight jacket a tad, revealing a blue tank top beneath.


Lorna stiffened under Quicksliver's gaze, her shoulders held high as she slowly exhaled a breath and moved to sit down. Her hands folded tightly, enough that her knuckles whitened at the edges and she balanced her arms against her legs. But she held her tongue for a long while, listening while he asked after Jean. "She was just here." She murmured, looking around briefly and back. "We were just talking about how to get home.." She hesitated, looking back to Magneto.

"We saw her grave here. Jean was an X-man here, wasn't she? Which means you knew her." She bit her lower lip, and fidgeted in her seat, looking down at the floor.

"In my world, my father confirmed that.. we're related." She continued after a moment's consideration. But she didn't expand upon it, merely glanced side long at Darcy and then back. "But he's a genocidal maniac that's killed a few thousand people. We're not .. close.."


Glanced at, Darcy can be spotted trying not to stare at Quicksilver. She doesn't yet know that Pietro and Magneto are related. It's a thing that hasn't managed to happen yet, so… the only normal human in the group just moves over find a place to sit on the edge of the others who are settling in to talk. It's uncharacteristic for the SHIELD agent to be this speechless. Without a telepath in the area, there's no one to hear the Floyd playing on a loop in Darcy's head. Her expression, her scent (For the Feline), is troubled.


Quicksilver keeps the frown until Lorna mentions Magneto being a genocidal maniac, which makes his expression go serious but controlled. Magneto tsk. "Oh no. I am not related to Lorna Dane here. But your story of coming from another world is not unfamiliar."

He reaches for a bottle, and Quicksilver brings in a glass and ice at blinding speed. He nods in thanks to the younger man. "Do you know a man called Charles Xavier?" He looks at Darcy and Lorna, finding confirmation in their eyes. "He was like a brother to me. When he was dying he asked me to abandon my plans for war and walk a more peaceful path. Fortunately, I listened. Had I given in my anger and regrets I think I would have become and genocidal maniac; just like Apocalypse." He sips his drink. "Five years ago a man from another world called Bishop told me this was what would have happened if Charles had lived."


For this, the Captain of the Alias remains silent. She looks interested, but she mostly occupies herself with swigging the booze right out of the bottle. After all, she's not the one who needs to go home. She's not the one with a zillion questions. She isn't even remotely curious to know who she is in some other world. She's got enough fucking problems in this one, thank you so very frickin' much. And if she's a homicidal maniac somewhere? She doesn't want to know.


For the moment, the leopard is staying close to Lorna, leaning against her legs, being a presence, a source of silent support. She is only one cat, and cannot be in more than one place at a time, but she is aware of others' stress and upset.


Jean had been resting, if only for a little until she was able to make telepathic contact with Nate, and the others who had not been seen since their trip to the Age of Apocalypse. It wasn't too hard for her to find her way to the others, having reached out with her telepathy to locate her comrades, and possibly getting a hint of what had been going on in her absence through some surface readings.

Stepping into the area, looking at least a little refreshed compared to how haggard she felt. She took a moment to look at each person in turn, a second glance given between Quicksilver and Darcy before said, "Sorry for not being here sooner."

Telepathy had its advantages, one of them being nobody needed to get her up to speed on what had been discussed, "I'm Doctor Jean Grey." She stepped towards Quicksilver and extended a hand, "But I think you already know that, Pietro."


Lorna draped a hand down toward the feline, her fingers trailing mindlessly over it at the offered comfort. The swift dismissal of her alternative self's relation made her stomach twist and she felt an unbearable sadness for that woman who was her and was not. The one time that Magneto was a good man, a hero? She wasn't related to him. It seemed some terrible joke. And her mind was quick to snap that at her.

And then the conversation was shifting and she blinked at the tale. Of how Magneto came to lead the X-men. She leaned forward, her brows furrowing.

"I saw the grave." She whispered, "So you took up the leadership of the team.. because the Professor died?" She exhaled a breath, and leaned back in her chair, unable to stay still for long.

She rose after a moment, wringing her hands. "I'm sorry. I need a minute. This is.. my first time being launched into an alternative world. And being told that the man I thought of as my father is a hero.. and learning that in this world I'm not even.. I don't even get the comfort of knowing that I'm not doomed to turn into a psycho when my powers go to my head." She exhaled a gusty breath, dragged her hand through her hair and glanced up as Jean entered. Her eyes were damp.

"Excuse me. I just.. I need.." She made to leave through the door Jean had entered.


Darcy glanced up at Jean's arrival, but looked away before catching where her gaze lingered. Lorna's growing unease drew the human's attention and Darcy once more looked concerned. It helped her press down her own spiraling discontent when Lorna turned to walk away. Darcy sat for a moment, looking after her, debating following and following suit.


Magneto watches Lorna leave, a concern in his eyes where the 'other' Magneto would have only coldness. "No, the X-Men came later, named after the x-factor of Charles' theories. Most of which were correct," he shakes his head. But then Jean arrives.

Pietro does indeed know Jean. Quick reflexes and metabolism means he barely reacts to the redheaded telepath arrival. Contrarily to Magneto, who pales visibly and looks about to cry for a second. "Jean… and you look so young," he breathes, getting hold of himself. "My apologies, Doctor Grey. Our Jean Grey was very dear to all the X-Men."


Captain Jessica Jones, self-proclaimed shithead, sometimes gives a damn. Sometimes more than one. They tend to creep up on her black, crusty heart.

Lorna says she needs a minute and takes off, and she stands. "I'm thinking she can use an ear from someone she doesn't think should be someone else," she says. An ear, a drink, it's all about the same. And so she goes, snagging another bottle. "This one's for her," she promises, as if everyone in creation needs or wants to drink straight out of them like she does. There's no staggering or anything as she strides out, with all the decorum she might use for leaving a baseball game instead of removing herself from the presence of both the Vice President of Whatever is Left and the Leader of the X-Men.

As 'getting people home' goes she's thinking she's probably going to be pretty useless, to boot. Liquid comfort, material support? She can do that shit. She's done it for her crew enough times. She's held refugees while they cried, too.


"And you look older, I suppose it balances out." Jean replied with a smile, gripping Pietro's hand warmly before releasing it and looking towards Magneto. As much as she wanted to make sure Lorna was ok, she was sure Captain Jones would manage.

Taking a few steps towards Magneto, she offered her hand again, not wanting to offer any disrespect to one of the leaders of this world even if he was a genocidal maniac in her own!

"Mister Vice President, I'm grateful you've taken the time to meet with us. I don't think it's the sort of greeting travelers from another reality would receive from the government where we come from."

Jean glanced over towards Darci and Jhiao to make sure they were ok, giving a little mental reassurance with her telepathy, letting them know, <Nate, Illyana, and Rachel are ok. I was speaking with them.>


The leopard reenters the room quietly and pads over to lay down at Jean's feet, having left the room with Lorna to keep her company and make sure that she would be alright. She only returned when she was sure Lorna would not need her. She settles quietly, watching and listening but - as always - not interrupting.


Jessica went after Lorna, and so Darcy's 'out' is gone. She turns her head toward Jean, hearing the telepathic voice in her head.

Yeah. Glad to hear it. Darcy's mind grumps faintly as her eyes return to Quicksilver who appears to be all but ignoring her. It's hard to deal with, and so after another moment, Darcy pushes herself up to go to the bar to finish her beer. It lets her put her back to the room, to not-her-Pietro, and the suddenly unsettled feeling it gives her. Shoulders tense and the want to turn on her phone, shove her ear buds into her ears and tell the world to fuck off is strong in this one.


Magneto shakes Jean's hand, still seeming a bit stunned at her presence. "Well, it is because I am an old man," admits the wheelchair-bound man with a self-deprecating half-grin. "As for greeting you, I suppose in an America of 200 million a handful of people claiming to come from another world would barely matter. But here and now I am the vice-president of a small coalition of ruined cities and refugees camps. Less than two million humans and mutants survive in America, and this is most likely half the population of the world."

He lets his words soak in, then continue. "Moreover, you bring a good deal of power into a rather volatile situation. President Stryker is very concerned and must be wondering if this is related to the events at the south. We have lost all contact with Washington and it is believed it means the return of the Shadow Thief. A bodyless monster that served Apocalypse and murdered almost all the telepaths in the world."


Cloud chuffs, a leopard equivalent of a mrowl of concern, at this news.


Jean paled a little, wondering if all of the static on the Astral Plane was connected to the murder of most of the telepaths in this world, "The Shadow Thief? I don't think I'm familiar with him, but that's troubling."

She thought back to the mansion and all of the graves, "I'll admit, my priority was seeing that we get home, as quickly as possible, but if there is something we can do, we will do it. We're the X-Men and we won't turn our backs on this world, just because we don't call it home."

She would have to warn Nate, and Rachel. If a fiend that targeted telepaths was roaming this world, they would be at risk as much as she would.

She looked to Cloud near her feet and Darci near the bar, hoping the pair would support her affirmation of help to Magneto.


Even though she's not looking, Darcy is listening in. Jean has the right of it. Darcy's not about to turn her back on the world the way she's turned her back on the angtsy feeling of looking at a person she fell for completely while he seems not to even recognize her. And while, she's not an X-Man herself, it is because of her feelings for the silver-haired mercurial speedster that Darcy cares so very deeply for the group, and so she will help as she can.

She's only human, but she has no shits to give when it comes to protecting that which she cares for, and is more than willing to stand against forces far beyond her abilities to do so.


Magneto nods to Jean, then adds. "Our Jean was the one telepath strong enough to successfully fend him off. So your help is very welcomed. Besides, I suspect the Shadow Thief is not alone. For years those mutants and mutates still loyal to Apocalypse's vision have been pushed west, to the Atrocity zones, where I am afraid many did not die. And too many of the X-Men died in the last days of the war. Others are away, in important missions. Quicksliver team is just Nightcrawler, Storm, Silver Samurai, Wolfsbane and Sunfire." He looks at Jean, to see if the names are familiar. "Rogue could join them, and Psylocke is coming from New Japan. But we were almost thirty last time we faced a threat of this magnitude." A pause, "who else came with you?"

"Miss Lewis, is anything troubling you," Pietro asks, keeping his voice low. Somehow he joined Darcy and Cloud at the bar. Sneaky and quick.


"Aside from those you met, we have a few others, telepaths among them. It's doubtful you'd know of any of them other than Illyana. Rachel Summers, and Nate Grey have made contact with me though and I'll make sure to let them know of the present danger. Hopefully they'll possess the means to make it to us. We'll be at your disposal, but I have to ask something of you as well."

Jean moved to take a seat near Magneto, used to finding ways of bringing herself to the same eye-level as the Professor, "The Mansion, it had a danger room, we saw the wreckage of it. Have any others been constructed by the X-Men, on this world? It's important that I know this."


It had been too long since anyone zipped up next to her, too long since Darcy's peripherial went from empty to someone there in less than a heartbeat. Already having to resettled herself, this put that extra hint of strain on her fraying emotions.

"A number of things, yeah," she replies, refusing to turn to look at Pietro. She takes another swig from her beer instead.

"You?"


Magneto has a good poker face when he is not utterly shocked, so he does not immediately react to those names. "We moved the so-called Danger Room to the Triskelion, along with the equipment in Xavier's estate and almost all the other safehouses, Wundagore included," comments the old man. He pauses. "Summers, hmm? I knew some mutants called Summers. And I did know a Nathaniel Grey too. If only briefly."

Meanwhile Quicksilver nods to Darcy slowly, glancing at Jean. "Seeing Jean. Gods. She was like a second sister to me. We were sixteen when we met, back at Wundagore."


"After we've helped with The Shadow Thief, I'd like to request that we be allowed unrestricted access to the Danger Room." There was an inner-conflict between trusting Magneto and not trusting him, she could hardly fault him for the actions of another man on another world, so she with a heavy heart revealed why they would need it, "It's likely our key to returning home, so it would mean quite a bit to us."

"I hope that will be alright." Jean reached up to brush a few strands of hair that had come loose from her ponytail before asking, "Would you care to talk about your Nathaniel Grey?" She wondered if this could this have been Nate's real home.


It's hard to keep up the refusal to look at Pietro, as so as he glances at Jean, Darcy turns to look at him again. He nodded slowly, she comments to herself mentally.

"…. Must be nice. Seeing an old friend again," she says softly. Everything she's said to him has been softly, refusing to speak loud enough to interrupt the conversation going on behind her. Speaking with Pietro makes it harder to listen in to it anyway.

IN her mind, she's comparing this man to the one she knew, and with each passing moment and word spoken, Darcy grows more and more certain that this is someone completely different. It's like losing him all over again. Another swig of beer helps keep the burn in her eyes from making her vision hazy.


Magneto looks skeptic about the idea of the Danger Room being the key to return their home Earth. "I was going to suggest the M'Kraan Crystal, but you can access the new training room, of course. This very afternoon if you wish."

Then he sighs. "Nathaniel was a young teen that somehow escaped the Breeding Pits and was found my one of my X-Men, Forge. He was genetically a child of our Jean. The boy had vast psychic powers and we had kept him hidden from the Shadow Thief. So Forge gathered a few men and headed the Mid-West to keep low profile while he trained the kid. At the end… Forge was killed, and most of his cell. But Nathaniel came to help us at the last battle. He fought both Apocalypse and the horseman Holocaust. He is missing since. This was five years ago."

Pietro looks at Darcy and frowns. "It is strange. It is her, yet not. And the heart aches reminiscing. You, on the other hand… Well, our Darcy Lewis is alive, so it is easier." Yes, this Pietro seems a quite serious, almost solemn man.


"I'm here?" Darcy blurts out, back straightening, tone loud. She seems to realize and her eyes flickto Jean. Rare as it is, Darcy blushes faintly at herself, before chugging the last of her beer and turning to Pietro.

"We've got a you where we're from…. The heart aches," she comments as she pushes to her feet.

"I've gotta take a piss." and wrap my mind around possibly meeting myself and a serious Pietro. Serious Pietro was what he was turning into post-Apocalypse. It aches, and Darcy doesn't like it. Rather, she doesn't like her own reaction to it, and she moves toward the bathroom.


"Oh." Jean laughed at the convenient solution to their problem that was being offered up, "Well, that would be much easier than trying to recreate a one of a kind circumstance in the danger room, definitely. I think I'd much rather try the crystal once we've dealt with The Shadow Thief and made sure that nobody else will suffer his predations." She reached over to give Magneto a reassuring and friendly pat on the hand, the man who was her enemy in another world, reminding her very much of the Professor in this one.

She looked over to Darcy, hoping she would be okay, "<If you want to talk after I'm done here, we can. I know this must be hard for you.>"

"Our Nathaniel hasn't quite been with us for five years, but I suppose you may have the chance to find out if he is one and the same soon enough." A twinge of regret was felt by Jean, wondering if Nate would choose to remain here, if it was indeed his home.

"She just needs time to adjust." Jean said to Pietro, "We're all happy to see you, even if you're different, it's nice to know you're still out there, somewhere. Even if that somewhere, is here."


Magneto glances at Darcy's leaving and then nods at Jean. "I look forward to meet him. And all the others, as a matter of fact. Please come with us, we can settle you at the Triskelion too, and you need to gather all your team. Pietro will answer all your questions. I have to meet with President Stryker. There is much to do. A hundred thousand people lived in Washington and probably need to be rescued as soon as possible."


"I'll get everyone ready and get them up to date on what's happened. As you can tell, it's been a bit to adjust to for some of them, understandably. It was a shock, seeing my own grave, so I can relate." Jean stood up and nodded to Pietro and Magneto before taking her leave to go see about the rest of the X-Men.

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