Alliances of Aligned Purposes

March 01, 2018:

The Twins agree to meet with an agent that makes them an appealing offer.

Mutant Town

Characters

NPCs: Seneschal

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

The Twins' influence in New York City, and in Mutant Town in particular, has been increasing as of late. At least… it has been in the correct circles. What they began with a series of isolated terrorist attacks has grown into something more sweeping, more ambitious: a campaign of opposition to registration and to the oppression of mutantkind in general. Just enough information about their activities gets leaked out to give the common mutant some inspiration and hope.

Stunts pulled on the Avengers themselves. A hand taken in the volatile politics swirling around the rumored country of Genosha. Most recently, and most immediately pertinent to those operating in NYC… strikes against SHIELD, to force action where the organization has been resting solely on empty words. The Twins had asked for followers from the local Brotherhood cells for this last task… and they had gotten them.

Soon enough, the inevitable rumors started to spread which breathed of their relation to the infamous Magneto. Many scoffed at that, until they saw the Twins for themselves — especially Quicksilver — and then, they were not so sure.

In Mutant Town, at least, it is now possible to seek the Twins via the grapevine of the general populace. It is not easy — the people gatekeep access rather jealously — but the right words said to the right people will eventually filter their way to the right place.

They were heard.

Destitute and unhappy a place as Mutant Town is, it still boasts a small green space nestled amidst its rundown blocks. The Scarlet Witch likes her hints of nature, amidst the concrete. This, a man is told, is where the Twins might be found.

*

Through the grapevine is generally a tried and true way to find most people. And it seems as if the man in the well tailored suit that enters the small green space where he has been told the recent wreckers of havoc can be found is just the sort of person who knows those proper words.

He approaches casually, though appropriately cautious. In fact, as he walks down the alleyway toward this small green park, he purposefully kicks a waylaid beer bottle against the nearest brick wall. The glass shatters in a very noticeable noise, announcing his presence neatly.

Hands reach up toward his head, palms facing forward to prove he is holding no weapon and he is already wearing something of a sheepish smile. "I believe I have a meeting arranged. I don't wish to cause any alarm, however. I'm alone and unarmed. Or, at least, I have no intention of bearing arms against you. I was hoping for a tete a tete…though, I guess that is not proper title for three person meeting. A trois a trois? Bastardized French, of course, but then English has a habit of ruining French things, do they not?" His own accent is firmly British. It is strangely hard to place the region. London, perhaps? Maybe more Northern.

*

In the air, there is a strange, unnatural shimmering, like a veil of living scarlet —

And between steps, the small park changes.

No longer matching with New York's chilly, wet, rainy winter, the deeper he moves in… it's suddenly, startingly summer, with beating warmth, the grass greener, and the flowering trees spreading with bright, living leaves. It is a veritable forced change in the seasons, and no more than a few hundred square feet: like a living, sunshine sanctuary that cannot be touched by the laws of the world beyond it.

There are fears of these mutants, and the miracles they can produce.

At the base of one leafy tree, a woman sits, dark-skinned and dark-haired, sitting primly on a man's coat heaped carefully for her along the grass. She wears a red dress, and strings together in her hands falling white blossoms, her long, nimble fingers braiding them by their stems. She hums a song of faraway — some Eastern European song —

And she looks up. The new, third voice breaks through her attention, and red flickers through the air once more, unsure.

Her head bows slightly, eyes searching, though she seems to know it's not her place to answer first, to engage — the twin brother is near the sister, and she turns a look back on him.

*

The young man attending the woman wears no coat. In his shirtsleeves, he leans against the tree under which she sits, arms folded, apparently content simply to watch her as they wait. His white-haired head is bowed slightly, his blue eyes half-lidded, his pallor a stark contrast to his darker sister.

It is difficult to say which of the Twins notices the new arrival first. The Scarlet Witch always guards their immediate vicinity with those flickering threads of red, and Quicksilver's perceptions run far faster and keener than those of normal humans. What is certain is that both of them look up at once, in unison. Matching blue eyes appraise the well-dressed man, as he braves their seclusion.

Red twitches through the air. The young man touches his sister's shoulder, a soothing gesture.

"The English have a habit of ruining all sorts of things," says Quicksilver, speaking up even as the Witch recedes. "Not merely the French. It's remarkable how much damage can be done by a group of people convinced of their own rights over the savage and godless." His eyes linger, obviously hearing the accent. "But I imagine you know your history."

That is about all the time Quicksilver has to spend on niceties: such as they are. "We are not alarmed," he says, amusement at the very idea haunting the proud lines of his face. "What do you have to say?"

*

The suited man steps forward from the chill New York air into the warmth of this pocket garden. With an expression of appreciative joy, his fingers reach up to touch the trees to see if they are real. Absently, he also plucks a white blossom from one of the branches.

The man in front of them wears a dark blue suit that is well tailored to him, practically black in its navy. The collared shirt beneath is a dark maroon, also well fitted. His tie matches the suit. He has a neat beard, somewhere between goatee and five o'clock shadow. His short hair is properly groomed, almost as if it was styled this morning. His skin is darker than Wanda's, his eyes a deep brown.

"You need not tell me about how the English ruin things," he tells the brother with a smirk. "I may have the accent, however I also have a different history entirely."

As Quicksilver gets to the point, he smiles. His answer as to what he has to say is an offering of his hand to Wanda to bow over. "A pleasure to meet you." Then to Quicksilver, another offering of his hand. "And you as well. I come to ask of an alliance. I believe I have information that could be useful to you and you have certainly done actions that are beneficial to my cause."

*

The tree feels as real as any other under his fingers, and the blossom plucks free. Where the rest of late-February New York stands cold and skeletal, a localized summer exists true and strong, right here.

And of it, a mutant who can tell the world to heed her word any way she wishes.

Wanda calms immediately and palpably under Pietro's touch, and for those intervening moments, returns back to hand-weaving her necklace of flowers. It is only her brother's voice that bears her back, like some deep, conditioned reflex to listen intently to any and every so word he speaks. She looks up on him with quiet love.

The well-dressed stranger, in his genteel show of a parlay, comes closer, and offers his own hand. The witch pauses, but does not accept, instead turning a glance again up on Pietro; perhaps it is his decision, ultimately, who is and is not permitted to touch her. Whatever it is, she seems reliant on him for a hundred minute decisions she does not know how to make for herself.

It leads her to rise, however, with a whisper of her red dress, standing not-so-tall at Pietro's side, her blue eyes flickering red as her attention rivets back on their guest.

A presence leeches out of her: touching at the mind, daring even to try to brush his surface thoughts. "You wish to help us?" asks Wanda, speaking finally, her voice dusted with the same faraway accent as her brother. "Do you have a name?"

*

Pietro studies the man who has come before them as he examines the tree and its blossoms. His brows lift briefly as the man speaks of 'a different history entirely,' but he does not pry. If he wishes to know, there are ways to know far stronger and more reliable than mere verbal interrogation.

Instead he watches, very closely, as the man approaches to make proper greetings to the both of them. He makes to bow over Wanda's hand first — a gentleman salutes a lady first, after all — and the sister looks to the brother for confirmation. There is a pause, and his head tilts infinitesimally. He will permit it.

Nonetheless, when it comes his turn to be greeted, his step forward to accept the handshake places him subtly between Wanda and this stranger.

The man's offer of an alliance draws no immediate reaction from Pietro save an askance glance at his sister. His mind twines with hers as she makes her first essay to glance through this other man's head. Do you have a name? she asks, and his gaze returns to the stranger, awaiting the answer to that.

"The niceties are not necessary," he adds, as blunt and restless as he was rumored to be. Years in America have not entirely banished his accent. "Tell us your cause and what you offer, and we will decide on any alliances."

*

"Niceties are never necessary, Mr. Maximoff." If offended by the pause that Wanda offers before permission is given by Pietro, he makes absolutely no motion to show it. If the implications of such permission and give and take are also garnered, either it is accepted or no emotion is given toward it.

Instead a smile is given, again. Despite threats or perceived threats, he does not seem to mind or fear. Wanda's movement is tracked, it's hard not to see that he is thorough in making sure she is not going to disappear and magically realize a knife in his back. "I do. I have many. But, what I know myself as is Seneschal."

The messenger bag is pulled off his shoulder and he gives it a lazy toss toward them. It's not a grenade, nor is it a weapon. Instead, it is a bunch of paper. Files: flight logs, secret bases, SHIELD members. "You've got inside information? I have one better. You have someone who flipped in the past few months. I have someone who's been mine for years. I'm willing to share if you are. I hate how SHIELD monitors, tries to be better than everyone. They're know nothing assholes and I want to show them that they're exactly that."

*

Ever twins in complete unison, Wanda meets Pietro's glance, and her red eyes bear for him her psychic yield.

It isn't much. Uncertainty flickers through her mind into his, though it's more a question that suspicion, and with it a hesitation to try to dig further. It is a painful, agonizing thing for the Scarlet Witch to pull apart a mind, and to attempt to do so now on their guest would be no different than some act of war.

She holds back, and that touch inside Seneschal's mind disappears just as easily. The rest of Wanda remains politely in sight, close to her brother with him slightly in front, easing comfortably close to his side. She watches, face partially hidden by his taller shoulder.

THe messenger bag, tossed amiaably their way, is of no concern for her: Pietro's speed will have it in his possession before Wanda's mind even has time to parse it in the air.

But with that gift comes a proposal, and it tilts her head. "They see us only as terrorists," says the witch. "Consorting with us is a highest treason. What do you wish us to do to help you?"

*

If Pietro seems surprised or troubled by the stranger's usage of his given name, he in turn betrays no indication of it. He only watches carefully, with equal wariness as the man — as Seneschal — gives them both. Wanda's upswell of uncertainty earns a brief glance, his eyes reflecting her scarlet light as she shares her findings. Not much. His mouth thins, a wordless caution that they had better not progress further — for now.

He tenses slightly as the man begins a larger movement, but realizes swiftly the nature of it. The messenger bag is tossed, reaches the apex of is arc — and Quicksilver flickers slightly. The bag vanishes into that blur of white. There is a distinct rustling, as something too fast to see transpires.

A few moments later, he is back at Wanda's side, returning the last of the read-through files back to its place. SHIELD has done nothing despite nominally throwing support in our favor, sister, he observes. So far, their promises have meant nothing. If this information is good, it will serve for leverage, should we choose to force matters.

His eyes turn to Seneschal. "Thorough," he observes aloud. "On this, we agree — they are sanctimonious meddlers who fail to act on the things which matter, when it matters."

Almost as soon as he finishes speaking, his sister takes up. What does this man want, in exchange for all this information?

*

The bag divested from his shoulder, the man rolls his shoulders slightly and then clasps his hands in front of him. Despite being in the presence of two very dangerous mutants, he seems at ease, unworried and without fear. Feeling the probe on his mind, there is a slow blink of his eyes. For a moment, his head tilts to the side. The smile fades, his face creases.

He takes a slow intake of his breath, then he looks back up to Wanda and Pietro. His expression is blank and then the smile eases back. He says nothing about the light probe. Instead, he continues the conversation as if nothing happened. "They do. SHIELD wishes to catalogue, to pin butterflies to boards. Label them with a pretentious Latin name and move on. They care little for the specimens pinned there."

As for what he wants? He shrugs his shoulders. "I wish for you to do what it is I have heard you do best: take out threats. The only thing I want in exchange is information and perhaps a cut of the spoils that you take. I'd like to know what you find and maybe some of what you actually found. I can give you targets, I can give you intel. There is a warehouse. It houses their most dangerous artifacts and I wish to infiltrate it. I'd like help in locating its exact location and a few items inside. Everything else? Yours."

*

True to his name, Quicksilver winks through the air — blurs through all that provided intelligence in the time Wanda takes a simple blink of her red eyes.

She does not otherwise flutter her lashes, even as her brother blinks back to place with the brush of wind through her dark hair: well and truly used to him moving at this speed. His thoughts come, almost immediately in her far more delayed perception of time, and she listens, leaning her chin momentarily to the bone of his shoulder.

Inaction. As has always been. As will always be. We are all overdue for change, murmurs her voice through her twin's head.

Seneschel earns her red eyes, watchful and fascinated, as the witch slips her hand into her brother's, seamlessly twining their fingers shut. Pietro will feel his sister's mind twinge with interest the more this guest speaks, proposes — promises.

Slowly, a smile unravels across her mouth, bringing with it a fierce, wicked light that is a sunrise to her entire face.

"Artifacts, you say?" asks Wanda, curious, eager.

*

Pietro contemplates Seneschal's words as he speaks of SHIELD's habit of cataloguing and collecting — and their ultimate indifference to the actual specimens which wind up pinned. If he draws any conclusions from what the man says, he keeps them between himself and his sister.

If he had to guess, he would smell some form of a personal vendetta here. At the very least, the shape of this man's cause seems similar enough to their own. It can be used.

Finally, however, the man speaks bluntly of what he wishes in exchange. The relief in Pietro's eyes is briefly palpable, to at long last reach the heart of the matter. Artifacts, intel, information, all in trade for a continuation of what it is he and his sister already do: targeting and taking out threats? Interesting. Yet he does wish to know exactly what this man's ultimate purpose is. He is confident he can tease it out, over time.

"Threats to whom, I wonder?" he muses, along those lines. They are not simple hired mercenaries, to be bought and pointed like common weapons in some petty fight that is not their own. Still — there's that look on Wanda's face, the smile that lights her features and brightens her eyes. There's no price too steep to pay, he thinks, to see her smile like that. "Nonetheless, I think we can come to an arrangement. I tire of SHIELD sitting idle on their empty words."

*

The suited man's eyes track Wanda's hand that twines its fingers with Pietro. He is not subtle about it. Again, however, nothing is said.

"Yes." A side quirk of his lips. "They call many of them 0-8-4s: alien technology they deem dangerous, unable to catalogue and pin."

His eyes shift to Pietro. "Threats to all," he says. It's not exactly an answer, but it is at the same time. Perhaps getting the meaning of his question, he adds, "I'm not here to hire hitmen. I came here because I admire your work and what I think you do what you do. You have an ethos. I think we might work well together. I also have an ethos."

A tilt of his head is given at Pietro's hesitant agreement and then he smiles. This one is a bit warmer. "Excellent. I feel similarly."

A hand is unclasped and he gestures at the bag. "A burner is in the outside pocket. It's got my number programmed in it. Only use that phone to contact. Any other number? I'll take that as an unkindness. Is there an easier way to contact you other than word of mouth and strange alley gardens?"

*

Alien technology.

Wanda's red eyes peek up at Pietro, their irises burning bright. There are few things of this world she asks for, or even cedes an a longing or interest. Few concrete things to stay her mind, transient between worlds, and the strange plane the Scarlet Witch occupies. It is a rarity when a passion overtakes her.

It overtakes her now.

"Neither are we hitmen," Wanda agrees politely. "We are revolutionaries. But if my brother so wills it, we may also have a partnership."

She does not make any decisions of her own, for him, for them, aloud; though the witch may have her influence running deep with their closely-tied blood bonds, in the end, it is the twin brother who takes the dominant role between them. And the twin sister who obeys.

When asked for a means of contact, she slips Pietro up another glance. This, Wanda can fix.

"There is little safety in ease," is all she says, with some humour, as scarlet light leeches out from the glow in her eyes, fanning along her fingers. They curl, and flick, an outward hex passing like a moving light through the air.

Wanda's eyes gentle back to normal. "There. That flower you took. Remove one petal and let it go to the ground. We will know where you are, and that you wish to speak."

*

Pietro notices the look the man slants their twined hands. Brother only tightens his grasp on his sister's slighter fingers in response, something that might pass for amusement flickering in his features.

Alien technology, Seneschal explains further, and Pietro's blue eyes spark with interest. Wanda peeks up at him, and he glances back. In the hands of the disenfranchised, what might such things be able to do? What problems might such things be able to solve for their unfortunate race? It bears investigation, even in the face of the continued vagueness that the man proffers in place of straight answers. Threats to all, indeed. The young man barely restrains himself from rolling his eyes.

"Let's hope your ethos and ours are compatible," he says instead.

He holds his silence as a means of communication is hashed out — this is his sister's purview, not his own — though he resumes his assertiveness afterwards. "We'll have a partnership, so long as it suits us to have it. May it benefit us both before it ends."

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