It's Your Moment

March 05, 2018:

Tony, Illyana, Nate and Lorna decide what to do with Zealot

Limbo

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Zealot, Magneto, Nick Fury

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It is 1 pm in Genosha and 4am in New York. The joys of starting fights at the other side of the world. Zealot was defeated three hours ago. The heroes had their chance to patch up, grab a bite, take a power nap or even get drunk. Nate is stopped at the power nap. For now.

They still have a few details to go over. He had asked Stark for a meeting 'in three hours' just as Illyana ported them out of the almost-volcano battlefield. This is now.

Not the school, since Scott would kill him if he brings Iron Man to the X-Bunker. Nate asked Tony and Illyana for a secure location to meet. So it was pretty much Limbo or the Stark Tower. This is a somewhat secret meeting. Although he will probably report something to Cyclops and Xavier afterwards. Still much better if other elements, like Magneto and the Brotherhood, never know. And Magneto possibly has access to clarivoyants, telepaths and the super-tech at Stark level. So better be extra-paranoid, right?

*

Lorna was antsy, mostly because there had been no hard answers for what would happen with Zealot. She was already on edge, already wanting a more permanent solution to the problem the man presented. And she hadn't done it. She'd stepped back. She'd let go.. and she was now practically humming with a need to do otherwise. It was difficult to reign herself back in.

She paced as she stepped into Limbo, her arms crossed and dressed back into her typical tank top and ripped jeans. Her boots clipped against the ground, and she exhaled a huff of a breath. A hand combed through her green hair as she glanced toward Nate and Tony in turn. Her lips pursed into a thin line.

*

Batman arrives from The Sound Stages.

*

Batman heads out to The Sound Stages.

*

Scott probably WOULD kill Nate if he brought Tony to the school. Or at least be very disappointed with him, which is about as close to murder as Scott gets with his alternate-reality children.

What Nate hasn't thought through is how Scott might react to Iron Man knowing that the X-Men frequent a demonic hell-dimension on a regular basis, or the capabilities that gives them. Or what the ruler of said demonic hell-dimension might think of it being used as a conference center.

As a result, when the others materialise within Limbo, it's not looking very hell-dimension-y. It's not even Illyana's throne room, where she brought them before to scry out the location of Zealot. Instead, they will arrive in a large chamber walled and floored in stone, with a high, vaulted roof. At the center of the chamber is a large, circular table of polished stone, with high-backed stone chairs surrounding it. A pentagram is inscribed in the center of the table, and it's lit by a light well from above, illuminating the table with the sickly, reddish daylight of Limbo. Endlessly burning torches stud the walls to add some additional illumination, and cause the shadows in the chamber to jump fitfully.

They might also notice that beyond the light well, the chamber doesn't appear to have an exit, while those of a more technological persuasion might notice the complete lack of any forms of artificial electromagnetic radiation. No cellphone signals, no wifi, no GPS, nothing.

Illyana herself stands with one arm draped across the back of one of those stone chairs, the one with the noticeably higher back. There's no sign of Zealot, which is probably a relief, but the table holds carafes of probably-water and almost-certainly-wine, and appropriately baroque goblets, too.

"Welcome back." Illyana offers as a greeting, pleasantly enough.

*

This is so strange.

…like really. Its just odd. All his systems die. All the network of information he relies on just flickers out and is gone. No technological signals at all. If there is anything truly alien to one Tony Stark, well /that/ is it. The lack, the void, it is what really causes a shiver down his spine.

The rest of it, the decor and all he can get used to. In fact its fairly mundane compared to what he's used too.

But…

That lack. That void. That is anything but mundane.

"Dimentional wifi. Well…I know what I'm going to be working on next." The inventor mutters half to himself as he steps onto this plane of existance and glances towards the ruler of the place. At least she looks like the ruler. Illyana drapeing herself over the big chair and all.

"Thanks," Nevermind that he doesn't know her. They can hear the smirk behind that armored faceplate. "I hope you didn't redecorate just for me."

*

Nate doesn't think Scott would kill him for bringing Stark to the school, no. But the X-Bunker? Maybe. Shi'ar supertech and so many, many secrets there.

Limbo is whatever Illyana wants other see. Stark probably can't hack anything important there. That she choose this particular chamber, used last time when Valerie Cooper came to talk for the D.E.O. is probably a message to Nate. Which he will pointedly ignore for now.

Instead he flops down on a chair in front of the blonde lady. "Thanks. Iron Man, this is Magik, the X-Men resident magic-type," because he name was not a clue, no. "This place is secured. Maybe even better than your place could be."

Lets see. Carafe thing… "Wine, nice?" Hopefully it is from Earth and not something demon-ish with brimstone aftertaste. "All right. So we did it and no one got injured. Which is great." And unusual. "I think we can pat ourselves in the back for a minute and then move forward. Next step is making this victory a public thing and spin it so Lorna looks great and Magneto looks useless."

*

Lorna grumbled as she stepped back and forth, the room unknown to her. But then she figured there was a whole lotta of Limbo she had no idea existed or could exist. Considering that it was a hell-dimension or something along those lines, she was okay with that. Even if it made her feel annoyed to be separated from the comforting presence of the Earth's magnetic fields.

A huff of a breath followed as she looked to Tony as he muttered about wifi and redecorating. Even as Nate spoke of trying to make her look good while making her father look like a fool. It was hard to separate them in the public eye these days, and she knew whatever publicity she took from this, regardless… he'd spin. And he'd use it. That was what he did.

But she wasn't particularly concerned with that. Let the world think what it wanted.. she had a bone to pick with what was decided in regards to Zealot. She eased back toward the table, her lips twisting as she leaned against it with both hands on the edge. "What about what we're going to do with him? My father's estimate was that he might be safely contained for a year before his powers adjust. What if he's wrong? What if it's less time? Who is going to keep him on lock down? The US government? What government? SHIELD? When can I expect that whoever has him tries to turn him into a weapon to take out Magneto and the island nation of mutants again?"

*

Dimensional wifi? Iron Man might not have meant that for Illyana's ears but she doesn't miss much within her own domain. She gives him a thoughtful look. It probably WOULD be easier than her current solution of just leaving her communicator in a warded room, so she's alerted if anyone wants her… but then she wouldn't have an excuse for ignoring those summons, either.

Although she can't see his face, the lack of concern in Iron Man's voice seems to amuse her, and she smiles faintly. "Not this time." She tells him. "Make yourself at home." She glances in Nate's direction, where he's claimed a chair already. "Everyone else does." Possibly two messages for Nate to pointedly ignore, already.

Coming around her chair as Nate handles the introductions, Illyana seats herself and picks up a carafe of wine, pouring for herself. She should really wait until all her guests have done so, but she's learned that people tend to be hesitant to drink or eat in Limbo unless she goes first. The wine itself is dark red, strong and full bodied, and actually rather nice… even if linking it to a particular vintage might be tricky.

As Nate gets down to business at once, Illyana swirls her wine around her goblet and then takes a sip, waiting until Lorna's offered her reply before she speaks. "Don't worry about Zealot." She says, almost dismissively. "He's… contained, for now." Illyana's lips draw back in a nasty little smile, before she schools her features back into something neutral. "Don't worry, I won't leave any permanent marks on him. He'll be presentable when you want him back… but that needs to be soon, while it's still fresh in people's minds. You need to announce that you removed him as a threat, and you need to tell people what you're going to do with him." Illyana takes another sip of her wine and looks around at the others. "Any ideas?"

*

"So," Stark glances towards Nate for a moment before he shifts slightly in his armor. It unfolds, clam shelling open in a manner so smooth it almost looks like it is magic. Plates folding back against each other in a seamless wave as the man himself steps out of that armor.

The force of personnality he has is every bit as strong as the armor as he smirks towards Nate. "You called me for a publicity stunt?" He asks, arms crossing before he glances at Lorna. Then back to the X-man. "A stunt for a good cause, he would have buried half the city in lava and all. But still…"

Then the man turns his attention to Lorna a moment, quirking an eyebrow. "If he's linked to Genosha like I think he is, just stuff him in an extradimensional space until you figure it out. If I can't get wifi here, I'm going to guess his powers don't work either."

A pause as his head tilts slightly to one side. "If he goes and can adapt to that you just keep shuffling him to different areas until he he's sick." A frown. "I hope he gets really sick."

Again though he looks towards the woman whose invited them in and gives her a smile. Strolling over he does indeed help himself to the wine, and there is a sence that he totally would have regardless of if she drank first or not.

He just loves a good drink.

"Thanks, I will." A pause. "I'm going to guess your name really isn't /Magik/ though. So what do I call you, or do you want me to make something up like I did for Shamrock over there." He nods towards Lorna with a grin towards her as he sips the wine. "I'm going to guess I don't need to intrudce myself." A glance at Nate. "I mean come on. Tony Stark. Its fine. Everyone knows I'm Tony Stark. Iron Man just sounds so formal."

*

"SHIELD better than any government, particularly the US Government," comments Nate, sipping the wine. They don't want Zealot as a puppet for the D.E.O. "Maybe Moira. if she wants to try to undo whatever was done to him. I don't think it is our problem, though. Cyclops will handle his fate, hmm?" He glances to Illyana, which is the only one that might have something to say to Cyclops.

He offers Illyana a friendly smirk and raises his cup to salute her. Pointedly not ignoring the latest barb. But yes, he used to hang out in here in other times and other lives. How much Illyana would remember of that? Better not to think about it. His own memories of it feel like Swiss cheese nowadays.

As for Tony, he leans back and smiles, "sure I did. You have recorded everything that happened, didn't you?" Like for instance that Zealot was going to bury half Hammer Bay in lava. Which is new for him, and rather sobering. They moved right in time, didn't they?

*

The green haired mutant released an irritated breath, and reached for some water. She could have a glass of wine, but it was rare and not meant to be chugged. So unfair.

"I don't care if he doesn't come back from whatever hole you put him in, Illyana. No one is going to buy that I removed him without the X-men present you know. My ties there are already cemented, despite the fact that's a very bad idea. It means people are going to start wondering things that are not good for the X-men. Not with talk about the Registration Laws." She muttered her voice dripping with frustration.

Lorna scowled at Nate, "No. I'm not putting Moira into that kind of danger and that man is a danger. I owe her, she helped me with my.. situtation. And I'm not just lobbing some mega-powerful, violent asshole at her that had no issues with killing people. And had his own brother beaten." She snapped, pushing off the table and crossing her arms again as she paced.

Her expression only soured further as he continued. "Scott doesn't get to make a call on Zealot, are you kidding me? Zealot is Genosha's problem. Last I remember, Scott didn't want anything to officially do with the rule of Genosha. And Zealot was very much the last major threat left standing besides a few scattered Magistrates. That means the civil war is over."

*

Illyana glances over at Lorna with a smirk and a mouthed 'Shamrock?', complete with raised brows that are lost in her bangs. Even discussing the life and possible death of a threat like Zealot, she can still appreciate needling her team-mates. "Depends." She answers Tony, almost playfully, "If you want to go home or not. Illyana's fine." Scott would probably be giving her the disappointed look if he were here, but… even if Tony had Illyana's first name, and could find her in Russian records, she wouldn't match up very well.

Once again, she lets the others speak before chipping in herself. "If Cyclops had a good idea what to do with him, he didn't share it with me." Illyana says, frankly, before switching her attention to Lorna. "And I'm sure you don't want him back, but I don't want him here forever. Because it would be forever, unless someone makes a decision." Illyana hasn't moved from her seat while Lorna's been pacing, she still seems completely calm. "Zealot is Genosha's problem, and as of right now, all he's done is vanish. It doesn't matter if people believe you removed him with or without anyone's help. In fact, it might even work better if you admitted you put a team together to take him down. Unity and all that." She waves a hand vaguely to accompany that thought, as if showing what she really thinks of it. "But everyone needs to know that you called the shots." Illyana smirks. "Even if you didn't. But bluntly? No one's seen the body. If you want the civil war to be over in everyone's minds, you need to show that you've brought down the last threat."

*

"I'd like to say that I never needle the rulers of their own pocket dimentions but the last time I met one I kinda shot him in the face and helped stab him though the heart with some kind of obsidian knife." Stark shrugs slightly at that. "Aztecs."

Refilling his glass though he smirks. "Illyana it is then. Long as you call me Tony. He adds towards her before he draws a deep breath.

"Right so, yes. I did record it. I'm not sure I really want to use it, cause the last time I did anything public in Genosha King Magnet." Yes thats what he calls Magneto. "Decided to run an entire add campaign against me that I'm still cleaning up. Literally in come cases. Purifiers cause messes." But he sighs. "However he was going to blow up the entire city so stopping that is at least something anyone but an idiot can agree with. And I'm only occasionally an idiot."

A sip of wine before glancing back towards Lorna. "Give him to SHIELD. Publicly. Then he isn't your problem anymore, you look like you're playing nice with the big leagues, you look better than your dad who /also/ is a mega-powerful violent asshole who has no issues killing people, and you don't have to deal with this Zealot guy again." A pause. "I totally said that last bit twice." A longer pause. "Must be good wine."

*

Despite what Lorna thinks taking down Zealot was a X-Men operation lead by the blonde currently presiding the table with her presidential (or queenly) larger armchair. Scott will probably voice his opinion. Although he can't object too much to giving the mad mutate to SHIELD, can he?

"See. I gotta agree with Tony here," decides Nate. "Besides, he has been in the hero biz longer than any of us," except maybe Cyclops. Nate is not sure. "I tend to trust SHIELD myself," he looks at Lorna, apologetic, "or at least I do trust Nick Fury."

*

Lorna's nose wrinkled as Illyana mouthed 'Shamrock', it was clear she didn't like the nickname, but much like 'Princess' it had stuck it would seem. Wonderful. Her humor at that didn't last and she could only pause in her pacing to glare stonily at Tony and Nate in turn. But she found little to argue with in regards to Illyana

*

Lorna's nose wrinkled as Illyana mouthed 'Shamrock', it was clear she didn't like the nickname, but much like 'Princess' it had stuck it would seem. Wonderful. Her humor at that didn't last and she could only pause in her pacing to glare stonily at Tony and Nate in turn. But she found little to argue with in regards to Illyana's words at least. She could see the logic in it. Much like Rome parading the captured through the streets.. It would send a clear message to Zealot's followers at least.

Then of course came the further pressure to turn Zealot over to SHIELD and was back to scowling. "No. I don't give a shit about SHIELD. Just like they didn't give a shit about Genosha. They would have rather left the people there to die and starve and without proper medical attention for months. They claim a pro-mutant stance, anti-registration, but they have done jack all to help. They didn't so much as lift a finger to stop the slavery here. And when it was stopped, they stayed out of it. Complicity in the face of evil is just as bad." She hissed. Her eyebrow twitching at Tony's mention of her father.

"Looking better than Magneto is a real low bar. Most criminals manage it by not murdering a few thousand people." She growled. Her temper hot on her cheeks.

*

Illyana raises her goblet to Tony in silent acknowledgement that they're on a first-name basis now. "You might want to edit that recording before you let anyone see it." She suggests, her tone deceptively mild. "M was pretty much naked… and I'm not sure I want to have to explain just what I did to poison his link to Genosha." She snorts quietly to herself. It's a coin-flip on whether anyone would actually believe it, but it wouldn't cast them all in the best light either way.

Shifting a bit to find a more comfortable slouch in her chair, Illyana shoots a glance at Nate when he agrees with Tony. If the tension was a little less thick, she'd be needling him right now for taking the less chaotic path. It's not his style at all. But for now she satisfies herself by letting an incredulous look show on her face, before a blink-and-you'll-miss-it grin.

Putting her goblet down on the table with deliberate care, Illyana looks toward Lorna, waiting until her angry green gaze meets the cold blue of Illyana's. "It's not Magneto's image that anyone at this table cares about. It's yours, and Genosha's, because you've made them both the same. Do you want Genosha to be a nation that's independent and isolationist, somewhere that deals with its problems the way it wants, and the rest of the world can burn? Or do you want your Genosha to be open to the world, and play by the world's rules, even when they don't apply them to your nation?" Illyana's smirk has returned. "I don't care what you do. This place?" She spreads her arms, and Nate and Lorna at least know she doesn't mean just this room, or even the whole citadel. "All mine, and so are the rules. That's my choice, this is yours."

*

Just raising his eyebrows towards Lorna for a moment Stark snorts softly. "Look kid, you asked for my advice. I gave it. You don't want to take it that's on you. SHIELD is your best bet. Public execution is not really a card for winning a bunch of support worldwide. Since you know, its what Magneto would do and all."

A shrug again of his shoulders, leaning against one of the chairs inn a stance that just screams casual the inventor just looks towards the green haired woman. "Maybe they just didn't want to assist you know, a person that has murdered a few thousand people. Therefor loosing credibility, their funding, ability to protect people in the rest of the world. You know just little things."

A glance back at Nate though and there is a grin from the Avenger. "And man, never fully trust Fury. That man's secrets have secrets. But whatever he's decided to do, you can usually trust that its the best of a bunch of bad situations. But…man. The man is a spies spy. Its what he does."

There is a glance though towards Illyana as she speaks and there inventor nods right there. "She said it better. But yes, that. This is a definting moment here, Shamrock. Mine was when I build this…" And he clicks a knuckle against the rick that shows though the fabric of his shirt. The light that keeps him alive. "…this one is yours."

*

"SHIELD is not into aid-relief or even peace keeping, they are counter-terrorism," mentions Nate, finishing his cup of wine. No, there are other UN agencies for aid-relief and peace keeping. AND THEY DID NOTHING. But that is a different battle. The UN indecisiveness is infamous and has been since it was founded.

Sure. They did embargo Genosha when it was ruled by slavers and fascists. Which was better than doing nothing. (Slightly!). It looks like they don't drop the embargo now because half the national governments of the world are blatantly anti-mutant and most the rest are also anti-mutant, just not so blatantly.

But they will have to if they want Genosha to work as mutant drop-point. And if they don't want Magneto just invading Kenya to take what he needs. "SHIELD has not been allowed to operate in Genosha for a long time. I don't see Mags inviting them over, even though the rebel Magistrates should be considered terrorists. But that is not important now. Look, Magneto is the only important political leader Genosha has left. The only guy the mutates have to look up. We need to give them options. You," he points at Lorna.

And then he points at Tony. "And you. The only internationally famous hero that has stepped in to fight in Genosha. And a human, too!" He smirks at Tony. "So you gotta watch what you say now, because you are someone Genoshans might look up to. And Genoshan humans also need some heroes."

*

Lorna exhaled a harsh breath, shuddering as she unfolded her arms. Her rage was still there just simmering beneath the green eyes that closed briefly as she heaved a sigh. "Fine."

*

Browbeating people into doing the Right Thing isn't really Illyana's modus operandi, and it probably shows. The feeling of utter hypocrisy compelled her to undercut most of her own argument by mentioning her basically tyrannical rule of Limbo, but Tony and, incredibly, Nate are there to pick up the slack.

Illyana's happy to let them do it. She only speaks up when Nate's delivered his closing remarks. "You'd better not be about to point at me." She tells him, mock-sternly. "I don't want my name on anything. I like being able to make all this someone else's problem." She offers him a too-sweet smile.

Really, Illyana is only killing time until Lorna makes her decision. And she wasn't setting up a moral dilemma before. She really doesn't care what Lorna does with Zealot - as long as it's Lorna that does it.

"Great." Illyana says, when that decision is finally made. "Let me know when you want him back for the handover." She smiles. "I'll even deliver. Anywhere they want him, no extra charge." She sounds oddly cheerful, but then she got what she wanted.

Rid of Zealot, and her own hands clean.

*

"I'll take it," Though the roll of the eyes at the mention of him being a hero is obvious. Tony Stark never has thought of himself as a hero. He's a hypocrite, and a warmonger. In his mind he has more blood on his hands than the Magistrates. Since. You know. In a way he helped them.

The curse of always wondering if you /can/ instead of wondering if you /should/.

He still does it though. He can't help himself, already thinking of ways to design interdimentional wifi systems.

"Urgh. First off I never watch what I say, second off Steve was here too. And he doesn't like being infront of a camera. Which means he's usually better at it. He's also got that whole 'earnest' thing goinng for him which I never have mastered."

A pause. "I have more of a jaded asshole thing going for me," A glannce at Illyana. "Right?"

A grin, bright, sharp, and amused is flashed at the ruler of Limbo as Lorna gives what sounds like agreement.

He'll take it.

"Well, now that its done…think you could drop me off close to New York?" A look towards the ruler of Limbo. "And thanks for the wine. Drop by my place some time, I'll return the favor."

*

Lorna arrives from The Sound Stages.

*

Nate leans back, winking an eye to Illyana in the middle of her smugness and 'not me' protestations. No, she is not going to have to murder Zealot, sheesh. Nate would do it before letting her walk that path. There are no major metaphysical consequences for Nate when he kills someone (or so he likes to think).

"We will go together to bring Zealot to the Triskelion. Not you, Illy, relax. We call the press if needed. Make a small statement and stuff. Maybe make it pass as joint Genosha Resistance/X-Men/Avenger operation. I don't know. You have people for this, Tony?" He shrugs, standing up, offering a hand and a smile to the gloomy Lorna. "Lets go somewhere to celebrate," he concludes.

*

It's not the murdering of Zealot that's giving Illyana pause. She's not squeamish. But she's on thin ice with Cyclops, and she likes having the run of the school. The alternative is not something she wants to explore quite yet.

But she's happy to let Nate think he's saving her from moral corruption.

The corners of Illyana's mouth quirk up at Tony's question, and she makes a great play of considering her answer, tilting her head to one side with a thoughtful look, before saying, "I'm not sure about jaded." She flashes him an evil grin, too.

"Be careful, I might take you up on that." She warns Tony, but Nate's suggestion makes her look faintly pained, as she casts a quick glance at Lorna. Arm twisted into agreement, unable to drink, and Nate wants to take her to celebrate. Not thoughtful, Nate. "Pass." She tells him. "But have fun." She waves a hand, and two portals flare into existence.

"New York or home, Lorna." Not Princess. Illyana, thoughtful? Never. "Take your pick."

Once her guests have gone, Illyana sits alone for a moment, drumming her fingers on the table. "No permanent marks leaves a lot of options." She decides, and then a portal spirits her away, too.

*

Lorna rolled her eyes, still unhappy, still miserable and filled with tension running through her shoulders. She hated everything about the entire situtation. And it would take a good long while before she dragged herself out of it. If she managed. That was up in the air.

"No. Take me home Illyana. I don't feel like celebrating. I feel like shoving a knife through the next person that suggests it." She snarled, and stepped toward the blonde.

Yep, logical had won out. But it didn't make her feel any better.

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