Coercivity

July 01, 2018:

After four months of service with the Maximoff Twins, the Acolyte Frenzy is summoned to Genosha to answer to Magneto on her observations — and for other things. Magneto run by Pietro and Wanda.

Hammer Bay, Genosha

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, Lorna Dane

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It has now been over four months since the Acolyte Frenzy was dispatched to Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch — ostensibly to guard them — and in that time she has been left to protect the Twins as she will. The lack of contact might not have been surprising at first — the Master of Magnetism is not one for excessive micromanagement — but once her heart began to stray, the silence became strange.

Surely He knows all? Surely He would know, even from such a great distance, if she started to question?

Yet the days pass into weeks, into months, and she's left to make acquaintance with his twin children. Children who are both like and unlike their father. Children she was set to guard — and to watch. Sometimes they burn with a similar rage, a similar fire, but other times they show mercy their father would not. Other times, they approach her almost on the level, as if they were equals, as if she were someone with thoughts and emotions of her own…

Hell's Kitchen burns, and yet again the Twins show a sort of mercy. And this time, Frenzy is summoned.

Not by Him. He almost never calls directly. It is the familiar visage of Scanner which appears to Frenzy in the days after, in one of the few quiet moments when the Acolyte is not actively at the side of her young charges. The tall blonde is guarded, succinct — and transparent. She is present only as her astral form, and only to deliver a message.

He requires her presence in Genosha without delay. A portal will be made available.

One is provided, as promised… a portal that delivers her to the heart of the rebuilt Spire, in Hammer Bay. She is not shown where to go. She should know on her own where to find the old mutant she ostensibly serves: buried in his office, absorbed in work. An office which doubles as a reception chamber.


Hell's Kitchen burns. Fire and destruction have razed the buildings and its people. The loss of life is staggering, even more so when it comes to the mutant population. Mutants, after all, aren't as prolific as humans.

From this, Frenzy's heart likewise burns. All she feels now is rage. Rage to find those responsible and make them suffer in the most painful way possible.

But, much like Hell's Kitchen, time is against Joanna Cargill and that time is now up as Scanner makes her appearance to deliver that message. A summons really. She's being summoned back home.

Home.

That thought brings a furrow to the Bruiser's brow for a moment and then Frenzy prepares. She returns to her quarters and pulls out the large duffel bag she brought with her fourth months ago. It takes only seconds to unzip the bag and reveal the contents within. It consists mostly of a suit of red and blue, with a splash of gold in the form of bracers. She gazes at her Acolyte uniform silently for several seconds - then she dresses.

When the portal opens the woman is ready and with a last glance around the room Joanna Cargill steps through.

Her appearance within the heart of the Spire isn't surprising, nor is the lack of guidance or direction. After all, she does know where to go. Magneto doesn't suffer fools or stupidity lightly.

While her steps aren't necessarily hurried, her length of stride is such that she makes her way quickly enough to those reception chambers. It's only as she approaches that a heaviness begins to settle upon her, around her. It causes a stiffening to her shoulders, a straightening of her back and a subtle tug at her uniform. Then she approaches the door and judgement.


The door slips open with no sound but the barest hiss of pneumatics. Genoshan technology… so advanced, yet for the most part, up until now, only bent towards terrible ends.

Within awaits, ostensibly, an empty room — or at least, a still one, with none of the frenetic activity that might be expected of a man in preparation for elections. The central table hums softly with its embedded holographic emitter, which for now lies dormant. The wide windows admit the sweeping light of sunset over the nearby sea, radiance drowning the room and forcing the eyes to squint to adjust.

There is a serene sort of silence.

Then, finally, there is a slight movement from the desk placed at the far side of the room. Magneto, seated there in a high-backed chair, raises his helmless head. The old mutant, so typically overpowering in his presence — impossible to miss — for once managed to go unnoticed, due to the sunset rays flooding in the windows at his back. His features are completely lost in shadow.

"Welcome home, Frenzy," he says. He is nothing but a black shape in the cradle of that carved chair. "Tell me how my children fare."


The door slides open and Frenzy steps within.

Her eyes automatically circle the room and while Frenzy knows this room like the back of her hand, almost her eyes skip over the form of Magneto. It's only with the slight movement of him lifting his head that Joanna Cargill finds what, or in this case who, she seeks.

As soon as her eyes fall upon the Master of Magnetism, Frenzy moves once again. Not forward, or to the side, or even backwards, instead Frenzy drops to one knee, the thick red cape flaring out behind her like a pool of blood.

Then she waits with head bowed low. It won't be long for him to speak, it never is.

His welcome is heard, but not overtly reacted to. Instead Frenzy answers the question about Wanda and Pietro. "They fare well, my lord." She says in a steady voice, her still fixated upon the floor, "They strive to strengthen the network of mutants within the Brotherhood. They work to make the lives of our people within the States better. To make our people stronger and able to fight back against all that would oppress us."

And while some Acolytes would continue to chatter, to try and fill the air with more noise, more words, to mask their trepidition, Frenzy doesn't. She simply falls silent and waits again. A breath almost held, but not quite.


It is impossible to see Magneto's expression. The flooding light leaves all his features in shadow. Even his white hair seems pale and washed out. The sole indication of his mood is the slight tilt of his head when Frenzy drops to a knee before him, her Acolyte uniform spreading about her like spilled blood.

He asks her a question. And she answers.

"Do they?" is his sole initial response. "I would grant you one of those. Perhaps two. The third…"

His right hand, heretofore braced at the line of his jaw, finally lowers to the desk surface. "Tell me why you believe I sent you to them," he invites.


Frenzy learned from a young age to hide what she feels. The more you show the more people can hurt you with it. As such, she's perfected a mask of politeness, a stony facade that doesn't allow for questions to be asked of her, or for her emotional state to be ascertained.

It's no different here. She keeps a blank expression upon her features as he speaks, up until Magneto moves. That's enough to bring forth a micro-expression to Frenzy's features, a slight tightness around her eyes.

Her micro-expression tics up hair with the Master of Magnetism's final declaration. Tell him why -

An immediate denial rises to the back of her throat, something that skirts the lines of 'my lord it's not for me to say', and while Frenzy should say that, should offer that appeasement, she doesn't. No, instead she answers. She must. In this instance it's expected of her.

And in this instance the man within that high-backed chair reminds Joanna terribly of her father.

"To protect them from danger. To aid them in their quest. To make sure they do nothing to jeopardize what you have already accomplished." Comes the flat response from Frenzy.


"What I have accomplished?" Magneto replies. His tone of voice conveys the way his brows have lifted. For a moment, he almost sounds kind. "What we have accomplished. You have been by my side many years now. It is why you were selected for this task. My children, Frenzy. I did not assign you to this lightly."

His head lowers again, contemplating the surface of the desk. The other shoe is about to drop.

"Yes… I sent you to them for their protection. But also to guide them in the proper way to conduct the Brotherhood," he says thinly. "Instead, it seems all three of you have lost your way. My son smiths pretty enough words, but when the opportunity comes, he fails to do what must be done. He folds before the anger of humans. I expect more of him. Particularly if his sister is to simply follow him about in everything he does."

He does not rise from his seat, nor move appreciably. His features remain obscured, but his eyes can be felt boring into her bowed form.

"I sent you to watch them. I did not send you to them for their friendship. You forget yourself, Frenzy, and I do not remind more than once."

There is a long silence from him, broken only by a slight and eventual exhale. "These children are all I have left to me that is my own," he says, almost to himself. "They all wander so astray."

His attention returns to Frenzy. "What have they told you of their past?"


For a minute Frenzy's heart rises when Magneto offers those initial words of his. To be certain she did help him build his empire, but rarely has she ever allowed herself to think he'd say such words to her.

So, in that moment pride fills her and her fervor fans high once more. Only to be dashed seconds later by the cold waters of reality with his next words.

The shock is great enough - when he speaks of them all losing their way - that Frenzy can't stop the rise of her head, or her dark gaze that looks for his own. And while her expression has yet to reveal much, likely that movement in itself reveals all. Shock. Dismay. Distress.

And then shame. Shame that, in his eyes, she's failed. It's enough to drop Frenzy's head back down, her expression to the floor again. If she were weaker she'd physically cringe, especially as his unseen gaze sears straight into her bowed form.

It only worsens for Frenzy, that shame, that failure, when he speaks of friendships and her own forgetfulness. Her response is hoarse as she says quietly, "Yes, my lord. I will be mindful."

And then there's silence from him and Jo understands it's not for her to break it. All she can do is wait for him to speak again, even as something close to nausea ripples within her gut.

"Very little." She allows, her voice continuing to hold that rough note to it.


The sun has nearly set by now. The dying light fades some of its glare from the room, and the features of the Master of Magnetism finally come more clearly into view. Blue eyes are watching Frenzy, the same shade as the eyes of the twins to whom she has dedicated the last four months of her life. As well they might be the same shade. The man before Frenzy originated the shade.

They watch Frenzy as she is transported to the greatest heights of pride… and then dashed back down to the depths of cold shame. They never once evince any pity or regret. Such things were burned out of him long ago.

Yes, my lord, she finally says. For a long time, Magneto lets Frenzy think over what she is pledging.

Finally, eventually, he changes the topic. Frenzy admits she knows very little about his children and their past, and his expression dares very close to something like displeasure.

"Nothing after all this time," he repeats. "You will rectify this. Lorna I understand," Magneto muses. "These twins, I do not. Not yet. They have not come to me as she has."

He considers Frenzy where she kneels. Not once has he invited her to rise, and his eyes are penetrating when he asks, "Why do you think that is? Surely you know them well now, after these four months. Tell me what they are like, if you cannot tell me their past."


The words 'yes, my lord' almost escape Frenzy's mouth again, but truth be told both of them already know her answer to his demand to learn more about the Twins' background. So, for now she maintains her safety with silence.

Thankfully she doesn't have to wait long as Magneto speaks again - about Lorna, the easiest one to understand, whereas the Twins aren't as transparent.

His last words finally stirs Frenzy back to life. Her head tilts up slightly, her gaze straying to him for a quick second before she looks back to the ground. "They are private, sire." She addresses that first question of his, about why she thinks that is. "Much like you." She continues with and as she speaks the hand that rests upon her upturned knee tightens. She grips it hard enough that hours later bruises will darken her skin further, thanks to the strength behind it.

It's the only signal of the internal strife she's currently feeling, especially with her next words. "Both remind me of you in a great many ways." She knows what she says is dangerous in of itself, but Frenzy strives to speak the truth. "Your son is brave, passionate and a natural leader. Your daughter is similar, though more quiet, subdued. They are a balance for each other. Your son is sometimes rash, but your daughter offers a balance to allow for a more thoughtful approach to prevail. The two care deeply for mutants and their plight and also for one another. I can promise that they will do whatever it takes to make certain our people have a future in this world."

And here she shifts slightly, "However they are both young, but with time and further experience that won't hinder them for much longer."


Most fathers would know their children through time spent. Through questions asked of them personally. Through interest in their well-being, and love and support. Most would not be inquiring through the proxy of his sworn soldiers in what amounts to a private army.

Then again, Magneto's motivations for knowing his children are not always like the motivations of other fathers.

Both remind me of you, Frenzy answers his question presently, and his head lifts, his eyes narrowing. Less canny men might be tempted to be flattered by that — by the complimentary words she has to say about his flesh and blood, and how that reflects back on him — but not Magneto. Not this old mutant, with his world-weary shrewdness. He merely accepts what she has to say for the data it is. Thoughts circulate behind his blue eyes, as he places pieces slowly on a mental chessboard.

"You can promise that they will do whatever it takes from here on out," Magneto eventually says aloud, his voice low. "I have yet to see it."

Her final statement narrows his eyes. For a long moment, he stares directly into hers.

Then his gaze turns away in clear dismissal. "You may go. Return to them, and resume your post. And it is a post, Frenzy."

The red light of the setting sun limns his profile. "You would do well to recall that."


Promises. They're heavy things.

And it causes the woman's nostrils to flare with emotion, then that emotion is tamped down when Magneto meets her eyes.

Most of the Acolytes try not to hold his stare for long, or ever, and at this point Frenzy is in a similar boat, but once met the black-haired woman doesn't look away until he does. And when he offers that dismissal of his relief wells within her. A familiar feeling and one she hasn't felt in four long months. Almost she forgot how it is to be in Magneto's presence. Almost.

Automatically with his dismissal Frenzy rises to her feet, saying as she straightens, "I shall remember, sire."

Then the woman known simply as Frenzy bows sharply, before she turns stiffly and exits.

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