AoA: The Quest for Colossus

October 02, 2017:

Illyana and Rachel talk with (AoA) Magneto and receive a mission.

AoA Triskelion


NPCs: AoA Magneto

Mentions: Kitty Pryde

Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

It is a well-known fact Nate Grey can't keep his head down. He slept (or at least rested) in Rachel's hideout, but as soon as it was dawning, he left. Saying Emma Frost had contacted him the previous evening and that he wanted to look for Jean, too. A few minutes late, still not fully out of the Tunnels, he sent to Rachel that Jean was in Manhattan and wanted the girls to rejoin the X-Men soon as possible.

But about an hour later, he had been kidnapping by Horseman War, a man that claimed to be his uncle Gabriel Summers. There was much WTF involved. They spent the rest of the morning and part of the afternoon at the local X-Men HQ, which is under this reality Triskelion.

And then, discreetly, Magneto asked to meet with them. Just Illyana and Rachel. He sent a powerfully built Asian man, the Silver Samurai, to lead the girls to an underground war room.

Assuming he survives meeting the family, Nate Grey will still have to suffer the wrath of Illyana Rasputina. She (and incidentally several other X-Men) have been dragged to an alternate reality, stripped of her powers, and the only person who has any clue about how to survive, or even get home, goes out without any backup and, despite being the mutant equivalent of a thermonuclear warhead, gets himself kidnapped.

Illyana is not in a good mood, and Rachel probably had to endure some complaining about the shortcomings of her sort-of brother.

The trip to the Triskelion gave her some time to cool down, but even that just underlined how useless she is without her ability to teleport. At least the summons to the war room is a welcome distraction. Illyana follows the Silver Samurai into the room, takes a look around, and finds herself a chair from which she can watch the exits.

Is it bad that Rachel continuously just thinks; there's no place like home, in the vain hopes that some how, some way, by chanting that she'll magically return home? It's a thought - at the very least. She's even tried clicking her heels together three times, when no one was watching at least.

It didn't work. Maybe Rachel shouldn't have watched 'The Wizard Of Oz' just before the danger room incident that lead to all this.

At any rate, at least there is some hope in that it would seem there are people here in the same trouble as Rachel, Jean for one, and that gives her some hope that this isn't going to remain their permanent address for any length of time.

Unfortunately, Rachel is also completely ignorant on what the hell is going on right now, and Illyana's displeasure about Nate is echoed by Rachel. Illyana doesn't have to complain to a defending sister, no. Rachel's right there with her in her annoyance at this entire scenario. Brothers!!

And now they're being summoned by Magneto and lead by The Silver Samurai, of all people, to meet with him. Just Rachel and Illyana. The redhead is beyond suspicious, but Illyana's mind is so far closed off to pyschic contact, that Rachel doesn't even try to express her displeasure and doubt over this to her psionically. So, instead, Rachel slides into the room casts her gaze about and tries to find at least two exit points she can blast her way through -before- she sits down in a chair next to Yana.

All the Triskelion is shielded by telepathic bafflers. Rachel is strong enough to push past them, but with limited range and maybe tripping alarms. It feels somewhat oppressive for telepaths like Rachel.

The war room gets double power anti-telepathic measures.

Magneto is waiting. But he is maybe not the kind of Magneto the girls were expecting. He looks older, he sits on a wheel chair, and instead of the red and purple armor he wears a dark suite with a loosened tie around the neck. Also, he keeps his hair long.

"Good afternoon, he greets," looking at the young women with interest. "Well… you look so much like Jean," he says to Rachel. "Amazing. And you, Illyana Raspuntina, all grown up! Your stories must be fascinating, and I hope to hear them after this crisis is over. Unfortunately I have no time for small talk. I need your help."

The anti-telepathic measures are also causing Rachel a huge headache. The oppressive nature of the environment has Rachel's already suspicious and uneasy mood swinging into a high degree of hostility. She's not feeling very cordial right now. So, Magneto's compliment is given a raised eyebrow, although Rachel bites back her initial response and instead grinds her teeth down. She's seriously going to have to go to the dentist after this, as much as she's gritted her chompers together over the past few days.

Pushing back every aggressive and snippy comment, Rachel offers a cool. "Thank you, sir." Politeness. Politeness. Be Polite. "What is it that you want?" Calm. Collected. Try not to sound too snippy. Rachel can do this. "As you can imagine, we are worried over my brother, Nate's capture, as well as our desire to find a way back to our own home. You'll excuse my annoyance at having a task asked of us, given our current situation."

Illyana's eyes slide sideways to Rachel as she takes a seat behind her. The redhead's been on edge since she met up with her and Nate, and being in this room seems to be ratcheting things up another notch. She'll have to keep an eye on her… though with a barely-visible smirk at Rachel's careful politeness, Illyana turns her attention to their host.

This version of Magneto looks relatively harmless, but Illyana - the blonde, blue-eyed demon - knows better than to trust to appearances. "Of course." Illyana says, if not 'good cop' then certainly 'more casual cop', "If what you want us to do helps with any of that I'm sure we could be persuaded." She shrugs, as if the next words don't grate. "You're not exactly catching us at our best, right now."

Magneto arches an eyebrow at hearing Rachel call Nate her 'brother'. "Indeed. Are you in pain, Ms. Summers? The telepathic bafflers sometimes have that effect," he glances to a console and the bafflers are shut down. The Samurai looks grumpy at this. But Magneto tilts his head and the large man leaves quietly.

"Better now? We need the defenses in the case the Shadow Thief tries some long range scanning, but if you wish I can arrange for you to stay in a safehouse. Although not now," he looks at Illyana. "You came in a bad moment for us, too. A few days ago we lost all contact with Washington. It was-is the second most important city in current America, home of a hundred thousand humans and mutants that were working hard in rebuilding the former capital. Anyone we send to investigate is telepathically attacked. We now believe Apocalypse followers have taken the city and the telepathic ghost called the Shadow Thief is with them, perhaps leads them. We have tracked the end of the portal that took your teammate back to the city, too."

He pauses, to let the information to be processed. "I will make all information available for your team, if you wish to know the details. But the core of the problem is that an undetermined number of enemies, some of which we might never have seen before, like this Gabriel Summers," inquiring glance to Rachel, "are holding the city and we are planning to take it back. And rescue Nate Grey, of course. For this I need you two to find and bring back one of the most powerful of the X-Men, a man that abandoned the X-Men almost five years ago. Piotr Rasputin, Colossus.

Surprise. Surprise does register on Rachel's face as Magneto shuts down the defenses. It soothes her headache and as the last of the oppressive feelings subsides, so does some of Rachel's anger. The deeply rooted scowl to her features subsides, and her teeth cease their constant grinding, for the moment at least. Instead, Rachel listens with far more attention and focus than she had previously. "The Shadow Thief?" The name is mulled over, a telepath of incredible power? That sounds a hell of a lot like the Shadow King. Well, isn't that just nifty!

What is an X-Man if they are not there for those that are in trouble. Blast it all. This is just exactly what the X-Men are for. Even if it means they never return home, helping those that are suffering is what Rachel fights for, and damn Magneto for bringing that out. She would much rather sulk.

The fire in her gaze ignites ever so slightly, and when the full brunt of the task is asked of Illyana and Rachel, the redhead now knows exactly why he brought them here. Piotr Rasputin. Illyana's brother and Kitty's former fascination.

Rachel's gaze flickers towards Illyana, before turning her gaze back to Magneto. "Sir. Thank you for that." She taps her head a moment, before continuing. "Where was Piotr last seen?" She doesn't say 'we'll go help', because that all depends upon the blonde sorceress next to her.

Illyana doesn't look over at Rachel when Magneto makes things a little more comfortable, but she does slouch down in her chair a little more with a small smile. Small concessions, to put them in Magneto's debt. It's a tactic she might have used herself.

The mention of the 'Shadow Thief' does make Illyana's ears prick up, and this time she does glance in Rachel's direction. "Has to be." She agrees with the redhead's unspoken conclusion. "Can you take him?" She asks, almost bluntly. Whatever Magneto is about to try to sell them, Illyana doesn't intend to sign up for a suicide mission, not even for Nate.

Of the two X-Men present, she's the one with the altruism bypass.

Illyana was waiting for it. She knew that if she was in this room, then Magneto had to have a carrot for her, too. But she still stiffens a little when her brother's name is mentioned. She's grateful to Rachel for covering her moment of hesitation, but she keeps her eyes on Magneto. Slowly, she sits up straight in her chair and folds her arms. "And why did he leave in the first place?" Illyana asks, before narrowing her eyes. "And why do you think he can help? If this Gabriel Summers…" Illyana shoots a quick, curious look Rachel's way, "Took down Nate, then I don't think punching him in the face is going to do the trick."

Magneto nods to Rachel, "Canada. The Northwestern territories. There have been stories of a giant made of metal helping refugees. I'll give you a mutant scanner attuned to his genetic signature."

Then he turns to Illyana. "Tragedy upon tragedy has struck Piotr since he was a young man. Mikhail and Piotr were the great heroes of the Soviet Uninion, but Mikhail betrayed the motherland to become one of Apocalypse Horsemen, and in the massacre of Kiev he thought his little sister had been killed. When Russia was destroyed, he came to me and asked for a place in the X-Men. He served with bravery, and found love in the arms of one of my students, which became Shadowcat upon graduation. But his wounds were too deep and one day… he broke." Magneto hesitates. "Well, eventually Colossus and Shadowcat were put in charge of training the next generation of X-Men, a group of teenagers. And then, in the final days of the war, we learned Illyana was still alive and a slave in the Portland energy core. Illyana was identified as a chrono-variant, a mutant able of time travel, and accidentally spared by Apocalypse purges, which called for the killing of all mutants able to manipulate time. Colossus and his students infiltrated the Portland Core to rescue Illyana. They succeeded, but only Piotr survived. To add to his pain in the final battle with Apocalypse, Shadowcat was killed too."

Another pause, Magneto seems old and tired; the pain of Kitty's death fills him with obvious sorrow. "Piotr was seriously injured. On recovering he made me promise I would protect Illyana and left. Well, Illyana is protected, away. But you are here. And Colossus can fight Gabriel Summers because his abilities are purely physical. Psychics like Jean Grey or energy manipulators like Polaris and me would stand no chance."

Can Rachel take down the Shadow King!? Rachel's laugh is hardly amused. "If I was one with Phoenix, then there would be no contest. As I am not, even my cocky nature knows my limits. I know I can hide from him, I can shield people from him and his abilities, but there isn't any way I can beat him." At least she's honest, with herself and others. Then Illyana asks an important question, one that Rachel inclines her head in agreeance with.

Rachel has to agree with Illyana on this one. From all she's heard, this mysterious uncle of hers is freaking unstoppable. Then again, everyone has a weakness, maybe Piotr's abilities factor into those in some way. Or maybe Magneto is just using this instance to bring back one of his own into the fold. Thus, Rachel is behind Illyana - always - but especially right now, as Illyana asks a very important question.

Rachel's emerald eyes turn to gaze at Magneto, listening for his response. The history lesson is one that blanches even Rachel's features. "WHAT!?" Kitty's dead!? And Kitty and Piotr got married here? Well, Rachel isn't surprised by the last, but still. Kitty's dead!? She hates this universe. She hates this alternate dimension. Her face does not hide her rage nor anger, and all Rachel can do is close her eyes a moment, grind her teeth once more, and then swear that no matter what happens, she's getting everyone home. She doesn't care if it means her death, she's getting everyone home. Their home. The home where Kitty ISN'T dead.

Holding back her outburst further, Rachel turns and addresses Illyana. Be damned Magneto right now. "If you want to do this, Yana, I'll be there to help you the entire way." And this, Rachel's tone is firm. "The choice is yours."

There's a bit of a gleam in Illyana's eye when Rachel laughs in her face over the Shadow King that suggests Rachel reacted in just the way that the blonde demoness wanted. She wasn't sure whether Magneto wanted to use the two of them against the Shadow King, but hopefully they've just buried that option.

Unfortunately, the task that Magneto does want them for turns out to be no more palatable. As the old man turns to her and begins to recite the Piotr of this world's story, Illyana keeps a creditable poker face in place, her eyes going cold and guarded, although she allows some small reactions. A nod, when Mikhail's betrayal is mentioned. Some things don't change. A quiet snort when it's revealed that 'she' was thought to be dead. Evidently she can't catch a break in any reality. Even what might be a slight smile when Kitty is mentioned.

All these small signs that she's listening vanish when Magneto says Piotr 'broke'. If possible, her eyes go colder, her posture more still, until Kitty's fate is mentioned. Not for Illyana the hot outburst of Rachel. Instead, her eyes narrow, as if she's feeling a stab of pain from deep inside. She seems about to speak, but Rachel's words seem to startle her.

The redhead gets a look of surprise, but there's gratitude lurking in Illyana's eyes too. "Thanks, make it MY fault when we both get killed." Illyana puts a sour tone in her voice, but the grateful look is still there as she holds Rachel's gaze for an extra second. Turning back to Magneto, Illyana regards the old man for a few moments. "Tell me how she died. I need to know, if you want Piotr back. Tell me that, find us a way into Canada, and we'll get him for you."

@emit Yes. Because the devil is in the details. Magneto has to wonder if Illyana asked because something that happen in her own world. “Piotr killed her,” he says simply. “It was an accident, but he couldn’t forgive himself. He left to live as a hermit the rest of his life. But he needs redemption; I don’t believe he will find peace otherwise.” Pause, “I can offer you a qunjet and a pilot,” he adds.

There's a sharply indrawn hiss of breath from Illyana as the truth comes out. "I knew you were holding out on me, old man." She tells him. There's a flicker of fire, of anger, behind those icy blue eyes, but there's also the faintest hint of an approving smile, too. "Telling me was a good choice, now I don't have to ask Ray to do something undiplomatic." Her smile's wider now, and there's a light in her eyes that doesn't care about the Silver Samurai, doesn't care that she's in Magneto's stronghold, doesn't care that she's without her own powers.

She pushes her chair back from the table and stands up. "We'll take the Quinjet and the pilot." She tells Magneto, suddenly brisk. "We'll bring him back. I'll even help him find peace." Illyana's smile is something utterly without humour - or mercy - now. "Gabriel should take care of that, at least."

She pauses at the door, waiting for Rachel to join her - or maybe just wanting to get a parting shot in. "But then we're getting Nate back. I need to tell him how much his world sucks, and I need him alive for that."

A nonchalant shrug of Rachel's shoulders is offered to Illyana, followed by a far too chipper, "Better you than me." Rachel -does- catch the gratitude, she just prefers to jab a bit at Illyana. Again, the question Illyana asks is a good one, and Rachel does need to know as well. She's just in too much in shock to ask it. When the response is given as to what happened … well, Rachel's about ready to state let the Russian die a lonely existence and in hell, but Illyana beats her to the punch (sort to speak).

And Illyana does it in a way that Rachel has to admit is freaking impressive. "We don't need the pilot, nor babysitter." Rachel states, rising up, herself, to follow Illyana out. It is Illyana that does get the last word in, however, as Rachel lets the blonde express everything Rachel is feeling as well. Thus, Illyana's words echo Rachel's thoughts, as the red-head makes her way out as well.

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