February 23, 2018:

The Acolyte Frenzy, sent to the side of Magneto's twin children, finds her two new charges.

Pelham Bay Park, New York City


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Magneto, Lorna

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The notorious twin children of Magneto are not easy to find. This is by design. Highly wanted by any number of authorities, from local police forces up to the likes of SHIELD and the DEO, it is death — or at the least, long imprisonment — for them to be too accessible.

This is if you have no connections, that is.

Frenzy, dispatched by Magneto himself, has a route straight into the Brotherhood cells of New York City, signed and sealed by his approval. Those militant mutants, so guarded and distrustful of any strangers, change their tune immediately when told she is an Acolyte on the business of the Master of Magnetism himself. Though his departure soured some of their ranks, most who remain are as fanatical as ever. Knowing it was Magneto's command she find them, they are willing to connect Frenzy to the Twins, regardless of whether she chooses to tell them her reasons and her business with them.

After all, none of them particularly worry about the Twins — of all people — being able to defend themselves.

The leaders of one particular cell — one serpent-scaled, a second pink-skinned, a third who looks human save for the constant blue burn of energy arcing from her eyes — tell her they can make contact. Not more than a few hours later, they return with word of where the Twins can be found.

A location is given in Pelham Bay Park, at the northeast corner of the Bronx; it is the largest park in the city, and remote from its beating center — Wanda does not like cities, much. Fittingly, that location is the so-called Twin Islands… though it has been decades since they were true islands, the two having long since been joined together into one.

The two wait under a copse of trees, the bare branches overhead reaching into the sky like skeletal fingers.

While it's been some time since she's been to New York City, or within the States, Frenzy has no trouble sliding right back into the swing of things.

Jet-lag has nothing on her. Not when a fellow Acolyte can teleport readily enough.

As such, the woman immediately gets to work. Cells are contacted, people are talked to, and waiting happens. Waiting. The hardest part in any operations, but if there's one thing Frenzy has learned in her many years as a soldier is how to bide her time. Sometimes it's drinking, sometimes it's chatting with fellow mutants, and there are the rare times it's in some form of contemplation. Today it straddles the lines of socialization and contemplation.

Socialization in the sense of seeing how the cell she's visited are really doing and what she finds is surprising - they're all doing pretty damn good.

Thankfully, before they can break out the various beer, wine and booze, word is finally received. With the message given Frenzy is back to business. Dressed simply and innocuously , the woman finds her way to that park and to the two 'islands' that are now one. Her presence is easy enough to see as she steadily strides towards the pre-arranged meeting spot. Her gaze is quite attentive, as she considers the area around herself, and up ahead to the trees, where the twins wait.

Only when she's close enough does Jo's ground eating pace slow.

There is a distinct shimmer to the air as Frenzy approaches the tree, and the twin mutants beneath it.

It happens again and again, catching the light off the low winter sun — what looks like a moving, living web of thin, gossamer-fine threads, all made of living scarlet light.

They are everywhere, so slight they are barely seen — but when noticed, have draped the entire vicinity in an interlocking tangle, existing either as a warning system if one is disturbed, or a knotting defence should someone who dares so close mean untoward things.

As if aware, as if alive, those strands of light move aside for Frenzy, allowing her deeper within their web… and closing behind in a soundless veil.

And at the heart of it sits the source: one of the two twins, the Scarlet Witch, with red in her eyes, red light coiling around her fingertips, waits at her twin brother's side, her chin nestled near his upper arm, one of her hands joined with his.

She says nothing, does nothing; her thumb drifts down the line of his forefinger, and her red eyes remain fixed on Frenzy. No threat from Wanda, only caution, only a guard. Twins who can, and will, defend themselves, if they must.

Close at his sister's side, one of her hands held in his, from a distance the young man known most generally as Quicksilver could easily be mistaken for his infamous father. The height is similar, the proud stance, the distinctive white hair. But drawing closer teases out all the slight and not-so-slight differences, gradually — he is headstrong, young, and lean, where his father is set and solid as an old oak, strong and immovable.

He also, unlike his father, does not stand alone.

The Scarlet Witch weaves her web, knotting countless strands of scarlet light that could — at need — turn lethal in an instant. In these moments, she is the one who stands sentry. It is left to Quicksilver to speak.

He smiles an amiable enough greeting as Frenzy draws close, though the expression does not touch his cold blue eyes in the least. "We met briefly before, didn't we?" His eyes gloss with memory, remembering the circumstances. "Did you tire of babysitting? I don't blame you."

He exchanges an amused look with his sister, before his eyes return to Frenzy. "We are flattered you came all this way. Does our father care for our safety so much?" His eyes glint, caught somewhere between faint interest and disdain.

The shimmer upon the air is noticed by the Acolyte and while it brings a thoughtful look to her expression, it doesn't seem to hinder her approach.

What does cause her steps to pause is when the curtain of red pulls aside to allow her entrance. That brings a bit of side-eye from the tall woman, but still that doesn't Jo from stepping inside. Automatically her eyes sweep the interior, an assessing look, before she focuses upon the twins. Then both are given a similar look, a measured look, as Frenzy thoughtfully considers the pair before her.

Brother and Sister.

Then a nod of greeting is given to both, even as her gaze focuses on Pietro when he speaks first. His first question prompts an answer, "We did. Most call me Frenzy and some call me Jo." Frenzy states, both of her names offered to the pair, then it's to the next set of questions from Pietro.

That brings a sharp rise of her eyebrows and perhaps a glint to her eyes, but the majority of her expression stays fairly neutral. Carefully now, Frenzy answers, "You are his children. You must be protected." She looks to Wanda as Jo adds, "Lorna has all of Genosha to protect her, here you two don't. I'm here to fill in the gaps."

The red still burns off the irises of Wanda's shuttered eyes.

Near to Frenzy, the witch looks like a sliver of a woman — small and breakable, where the taller Cargill stands impressive and powerful. Like to look at her taller brother, Wanda must tip back her head to meet Frenzy's eyes.

But even small, she is not intimidated; only watchful, still not yet decided her feelings on this. Not decided what to feel about any sort of "gifts" that come from the man who is supposed to be their blood father. Their lineage still grates on her, most days.

The only thing that takes her gaze away is Wanda meeting Pietro's glance, his humour softening the look on her face. She settles closer to him, their hands comfortably twined.

She is content to allow her twin brother to speak for both of them, say the first words, as she indulges in pensive silence. Only Frenzy's returned words stir her deeper curiousities.

"Jo," answers Wanda, choosing the preferred name she will use in private for now on. "I am Wanda. This is my brother, Pietro. We answer to Maximoff as our blood name, and no other."

Her red eyes search. "And is that so? Before we knew him, we were survivors. Before he turned his regard our way, we were revolutionaries. We are far more than one mutant's children."

The Twins stand together with the comfort of two individuals who have lived many long years with no interaction, save one another. Necessity forced them together, and stitched them into one entity to give them the strength to survive such a hostile world. As Wanda hangs back, guarded and watchful, Pietro comes forward to speak and greet the Acolyte. Once he is finished, and Frenzy makes her replies, he casts a glance to his sister, and seamlessly defers as she takes her turn to speak.

It is imperceptible, but as she does, he eases his perceptions into his higher rates of speed, watching Frenzy with a gaze that absorbs information hundreds of times more quickly than a human.

They trade turns to speak and stand watch, like the tide coming in and out.

Jo, Wanda selects, of the names Frenzy gives. Pietro chooses it too, though for now he doesn't use it immediately. "We're fairly self-sufficient," he observes dryly. "While I appreciate being cherished so deeply, we do not need bodyguards." His blue eyes gleam with malicious amusement. "Or minders. If you would help us… now, that we can discuss. Of course, we will want to interview you, first…"

In his blue eyes flickers a few threads of scarlet… a polite request for Wanda to have a look.

"What is he to you," Pietro wonders, "that you would come to guard us just because we are his children?" And whatever that is… does it preclude the Twins from ever holding any of her true allegiance?

Those eyes of Wanda's aren't lost upon Frenzy, but Jo has lived with many mutants over the years, so for now, that reddened gaze is accept with no more than a look.

The offer of both of their names earns a nod of thanks from Frenzy, and while the last name causes the Bruiser's eyebrows to tick upward, her mouth stays resolutely closed against any of the thoughts rapidly cycling through her head.

If there's one thing Frenzy has learned in the court of Magneto it's when and how to hold her tongue.

And how she holds it now. Especially as Wanda asks her questions and speaks those thoughts of hers. Once more the tall woman considers her answers before she speaks it. "You'll find a lot of survivors in the Acolytes, A lot who want to be revolutionaries and all who are someone's mutant children." Is Jo's response to all of what Wanda has said, and purposely the last part is changed ever so slightly by Frenzy.
Her expression continues to hold that slightly guarded cast, especially as Pietro now takes the thread of conversation up. Shifting her attention away from Wanda, Jo looks to the speedster as he speaks. She doesn't miss the sardonic tone to his words, and that's enough to cause a vague wince from the woman.

This conversation is opening up verbal land-minds and Frenzy is quite aware of that.

Neutrally the woman says, "I have sworn to aid you both in whatever endeavors you may need help with; to make certain your plans come to fruition." Those words of hers are said with a formality to them, a promise, as she shifts her gaze between brother and sister.

Then comes that last question and perhaps (to Jo) the most important one. "He saved me. Showed me that there is more to life than the drudgery I was in. That there's more than just hiding and accepting the limitations of what the *humans* give to us. That we have a place in this world too. Not as second class citizens or even equals -" And here is where the light of fanaticism can be seen, "- but as something above. A next step." She continues with, and while the extremist light fades it doesn't completely leave her expression.

"That is what he is to me." She says, "A leader. And you both are the future. The future must be protected."

Back and forth the twins switch, seamless in the counterbalance of their roles: a natural, symbiotic transaction of two souls forged by their lives to work as one.

Wanda does not miss Frenzy's reaction to their insistence: they choose the name of their upbringing, their experiences — their human roots — over the grand title bestowed by the Messiah among mutants.

Fascination and curiousity both quirk in her, and she tilts her head, red eyes tilted up on her brother. She seems to communicate something to him, something that transcends any need for spoken words. Perhaps brother and sister with every moment spent together have a language of their own in small looks and brief touches. Knowing them, perhaps something far more. The witch who can open minds — tear some of them violently open like she did their half-sister — can also knot same together. Link and bind them to share every last thought.

She takes one of her brother's fingertips delicately between two of her fingers, running her nail over the nerves in its pad, a thoughtless habit as the witch tilts her head, listens, and studies. Frenzy's careful words are well-met, and Wanda does not look put-off, critical, or close to threat. But she is still leery.

What does an extension of their father want stateside? Truly, to protect them? Or to keep track of the Brotherhood and report home? To spy? To provoke their authority? Is Genosha no longer big enough for the King, that he must turn an eye back here?

Pietro asks the questions, and Wanda listens. Frenzy's answers — direct, straight-forward, devout — bear her silent. She looks up at Pietro, her red eyes transmitting something silently.

He transmits back a request.

"That is where we agree," confirms Wanda, voice gentle. "We are all the next step. But before we do anything more… I need to take a look inside. I want to see your truth for myself. It need not hurt, what I do… but it also will not be comfortable. I will make it quick, out of respect to you."

Her eyes shine red, red as the light that flickers off her fingers. She extends one hand, palm up, as those scarlet threads shimmer closer to Frenzy. There is a pressure behind the eyes, between the ears — the witch inviting herself to trespass into her mind, to show both twins truly why she is here.

Pietro listens in weighing silence as Frenzy makes her responses, head lifted and eyes narrowed. His quickened perceptions read her every expression. Without knowing it, he mirrors his father; the slight cant of his head is the same way Magneto holds it, when deep in thought. Though the Twins seem scornful of their blood father and his status as some Messiah of Mutants, and remain dubious of what relationship — if any — they even want with him… Pietro, at the least, seems to have taken naturally to the sort of authority befitting a young man who is the son of an anointed mutant god.

Or maybe it's just always been his nature. He's certainly always been arrogant enough.

He takes in everything she says… takes in, too, what she doesn't say. Her reaction to their refusal of their father's surname. Her vow to aid them. Most importantly… he takes in what she says Magneto means to her. How she sees the man, that she would willingly come to watch over two strangers simply for sharing his blood. Wanda takes his hand more delicately in her own as they listen, toying the pad of his index finger with a nail; he tolerates her playing for a few permissive seconds, before his hand turns again, asserting over hers and quelling her fingers into his palm.

Ultimately, what he hears from Frenzy softens the cold command of his expression… but not for his father. For the woman before him now. If nothing else, her motivations — should she speak true — are of a one with their own. He glances briefly at his sister, red light flickering in his eyes as they trade their silent words. This is a waste to leave in Genosha, sister. We can use this. Carefully. I have no doubt father is watching.

Wanda explains that she must look inside. "You understand why we must," Pietro says to Frenzy, and it is not a question. "We must be sure. Once we are sure, however… we may begin. There is a lot of work ahead of us, if we're to make the future."

The byplay between the Twins is seen and watched.

Her expression remains the polite mask of a professional as she waits to see how the Twins react to her words.

When it's Wanda who speaks first Frenzy focuses her attention upon the other woman. The agreement pulls a nod from Frenzy and a flash of approval, maybe even a flicker of a smile, but those next words of Wanda -

Well, that just shuts Frenzy's expression down tightly. A tension can be seen in the line of her shoulders, her hands, even with the compression of her lips into a thin line. Psychic powers are great, yes, but not when they're used on you.

Privacy for most people is something hard to give up. Frenzy is no different. Worse perhaps. Her life is her own. Her mind is her own. And now Wanda wishes entrance.

Demands entrance.

It's a testament to the loyalty Frenzy holds for the House of Magneto, as she says to both Twins, "Of course. I understand." Which is truth, but that doesn't make it any easier when that filaments of red shimmers to life or when they draw closer to the Bruiser of the Acolytes. The pressure behind her eyes is felt and for a moment, the woman resists. It's an automatic gesture, one instinctively sought against this breach. As such, Frenzy struggles briefly against Wanda's touch, which causes pain to flare.

That's enough to pull her lips away from her teeth in a silent grimace, but thankfully common sense eventually asserts itself. The fight to keep her mind away from the touch of that red lessens and the Acolyte's mind suddenly opens.

A perusal through her mind will find that she speaks the truth. They are Magneto's children - heirs to his Empire, leaders to the Mutant race. They must be protected at all costs. Even her own life.

That strand of loyalty only broadens as it spirals toward the thought of Magneto. She believes him to be their Savior. The mutant race's savior.

He stands upon a pedestal within her mind.

The last memory of Magneto that readily jumps up within Frenzy's mind is a glimpse of their father giving Jo this mission. To protect Pietro and Wanda. The Acolyte, so dressed in the uniform of their sect, is bent upon one knee, her cloak a nimbus of scarlet around her. With head bowed, Frenzy states simply, "I will protect them with my life."

And while she doesn't say 'my lord' it hangs heavily there within her mind.

The memory finishes out, showing the woman rising and then leaving.

The truth will set you free.

In these moments, Wanda is the medium — the open circuit — that reaches powerfully into Frenzy's mind, pulls memory free, and lays it delicately on a platter in offering for Pietro's consumption.

She absorbs it, as well, for her own. The memory is clear and powerful, and the images and words rhyme seamlessly with what this newcomer has told them. But even beyond that, it gives the Maximoff twins a picture of the woman who has been sent to them.

Not a minder. Not a babysitter. Not even a spy. But a gift. How many can attest to such a clear and single-minded faith? How many can look up to another and sing silent salaams in one look? How many are so brave they give themselves so freely to an ideal — a landed, graven God — to lead them to some promise of paradise?

In just one look, Wanda knows Joanna Cargill will die for her, die for Pietro, if just for the blood that runs their veins. It's almost beyond belief, to come face-to-face with such fanatic devotion —

But here it is.

Eventually, mercifully, that pressure relents from Frenzy's mind. As much as Wanda would like to go deeper, push harder, root out the underlying memories for why Frenzy is this way — there are some things worth waiting, some things not quickly forced. And true to her own promise, this ordeal is brief. A matter of seconds.

And then the scarlet is gone, letting go from Cargill's mind, and taking no more than to confirm away caution.

Wanda, silent, bows her head once to communicate a thank-you to the woman before her. Her red eyes rivet over and up on Pietro. Her playing on his fingers gets silenced in a single turn of his hand, commanding, possessing, and she bows her head to him too, deferring, stepping into his body to nestle her cheek to his arm.

The decision is his to take. She looks on, bright slips of red — her watchful eyes — slanted up on Frenzy.

Pietro, so impatient on so many other occasions, waits on Wanda and her work without complaint or hurry. He bides with the half-lidded eyes of a waiting judge, standing in abeyance as his sister pares free slices of memory for him to peruse.

He can practically taste the faith off the mind of Joanna Cargill, almost before the images are conveyed to his head. His eyes never quite close — he will not let himself be so incautious while his sister stands unguarded in the midst of a psychic tunneling — but they fall to a focused half-mast, barring out most of the physical world so he can more clearly see the mental images presented.

The full picture of Frenzy takes shape in their joined minds. A woman with a conviction so strong she has sworn her life to an ideal… and all that proceeds from the following of such an ideal.

Pietro looks upon that fanatic devotion, and finds it quite good.

His eyes flicker back open as Wanda recedes, and he looks down at her — his gaze softening — as she leans into him and defers. She has drawn out the facts, but as always, the final decision is his.

The fact he took his eyes off Frenzy for such an extended period of time, honestly, probably states his decision before he even says it aloud.

"Our father was generous to send someone like you to us," he finally says, his blue eyes lifting back to Frenzy, a sardonic smile crossing his features as if to make light of his own words. "We're honored for your protection. Come with us. We will tell you what we've planned next."

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