Of Magnets and Terror (full scene)

August 08, 2018:

Peggy and Thor discuss the magnet-people and their foe Mega Man.

Peggy and Thor's Upper East Side Apartment

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Atli, Magneto, Carol Danvers, Youngbloods, Mega Man

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Chronologically after BLOWING UP HELLS KITCHEN, End of June

EARLIER

The explosions in Hell’s Kitchen had been truly catastrophic. As the first minutes became the first hours and then the first day volunteers from across the country have begun to arrive in a show of human compassion rarely witnessed outside the of a devastating event.

So unaware of the passage of time Thor could not tell you how long he had stayed at ground zero. Only that when the flames died he began to dig through the rubble searching for survivors and that when the rains he summoned had stopped he assured the temperature in the city had remained an unseasonably cool sixty-degrees. Whether pulling men, women, or children from the twisted wreckage of their own homes or telling a grand tale to the firemen and national guardsman who worked with him the terror of June 29th had given him purpose.

Hours ago, the God of Thunder had nearly come to blows with Colonel Bravo when the leader of the Youngbloods stated that some of the immigrant survivors “got what they deserved”. Hammer spinning, Thor soon found himself squaring off with five of their ranks. It was Vice Mayor Schultz who intervened and apologetically asked Thor to “get some rest” because “things are tense enough” and “despite the trouble they were causing; Team Youngblood wasn’t going anywhere.”

NOW

His temper burned hot for some time but eventually he returned to the apartment. An idle god. His mind turned towards other matters of concern. With the revelation that the “Mini-Man of Magnets” and “Queen Witch of the Jelly Fish” were actually called “Quicksilver” and “the Scarlet Witch” he has resumed his investigation.

The door to Thor’s room is open and he talks to himself. Well, not exactly to himself.

Thor is seated upon his bed an artist pad in his lap and his broad hand sketches furiously with a dark pencil. The figure upon the page is a somewhat nondescript in that the level of detail is only slightly more than a stick figure. Except that the Thunderer is currently putting a lot of labor into capturing the majesty of the figure’s antennae. A pair of powerful tentacles that jut wildly out from his hairline seeking the foes of the magnet-people.

Next to him there is a plastic tub containing colored pencils, crayons, and magic markers.

After a moment he writes below the figure ‘QUICKSILVER’ and turns the pad around to display it to Mjolnir, who lies within a small small wood box its squared head upon a tiny pillow as if resting, “Another clue,” Thor explains and begins tearing the page from his pad, “soon we will have the identity of the Mega Man and then we can put this matter to rest.”

Putting the sketch pad down next to him he walks towards the wall …

The wall is a collage of printed images and sketches connected with strands of colored yarn. At the top written in block letters is the words ‘WHO IS MEGA MAN’. At the center of the wall there is the printed image of what appears to be a young man who is dressed like a blue robot with a canon where his left arm should be.

Above him there is another printed image; a dashing figure in royal crimson who wears a metal helm that also appears a bit robotic. He fires a ‘U-shaped’ magnet at unseen opponents. Below this is written ‘MAN OF MAGNETS’. To the left of this image there is a very poor drawing of the same figure, but smaller, that reads ‘MINI-MAN OF MAGNETS’. Thor approaches the wall and removes this image replacing it with the one he just drew labeled ‘QUICKSILVER’.

Threads connect all of the images and he steps back observing the entire collage which includes things like a jelly-fish wearing a witch’s hat topped with a crown, an angry stick figure with a spear labeled ‘Atli’ whose string has paper hearts clipped to it and now connects to the drawing labeled ‘QUICKSILVER’. A doorway. A horde of what appears to be very large blue ice monsters. And many more.

Thor goes ‘hrm’. In deep thought. “Yes,” he says aloud, “the Scarlet Witch and the resurrection of the child. That /is/ the missing piece.”

*

It is clear that Peggy has most likely not slept since she, Toothgrinder and Thor arrived at the scene in Hell's Kitchen. While they both stuck together through much of the aftermath, they were eventually separated. Peggy gave little worry to what Thor would be doing: he is a hero of Asgard and would generally be doing as a hero would do. She, utilizing the skills she has, was busy organizing on the ground and then dealing with the more political side of matters. Jurisdiction must be dealt with, agencies, governors, secretaries of state.

When Peggy returns to the apartment, she is bone tired. However, there is also the adrenaline that has yet to leave her system. It's a strange mix. As she makes her way to her own room, she passes by Thor's. Her shadowy figure passes by the doorway and then returns as she looks about his newly decorated room with a cocked head. What is going on here?

The different - very well drawn - pictures cause her to watch with unmistakable curiosity.

"What might you be doing in there, Thor?" she asks. It's impossible to hide her interest in whatever might be going on here.

Thor looks to the doorway and the concentration on his face evaporates to a look of elation as his gaze settles upon Peggy. This joy ebbs somewhat as he then takes in the totality of her form particularly her apparent exhaustion and the direction of her body which makes it appear that she had come to the doorway of his room from her own.

The lines of his face darken with concern, “I am sorry if I disturbed you,” Thor says regretfully his deep voice softer than its norm, “I was trying to solve the mystery of the Mega Man.” He reaches outward then and motions her inward so that she can behold the totality of his labors.

”Months ago, my granddaughter Atli did have cause to behold the Man of Magnets whom you might know as Magnet Man.” He points to the printed cartoon-figure shooting a ‘U’ magnet, “Most recently did she meet another of the magnet people whom we had called the Mini-Man of Magnets,” He taps the image now labeled ‘QUICKSILVER’, “and has fallen into love with him /but/ he is proud and seeks to test Atli before she can court him properly. The Queen Witch of the Jellyfish, whom I now know to be the Scarlet Witch, and who we did see resurrect a child, banished Atli to Jotunheim the land of the giants where she did battle them for nearly a week before their surrender.”

The god of thunder pauses here and looks at Peggy directly, “The affairs of Atli’s heart do not concern me,” explains the Odinson, “but Quicksilver hath told her that his people are imperiled and that a sinister force seeks to eliminate the magnet people. I questioned Atli on this matter but her heart did cloud her head and she did not think to ask him whom their enemy was before being banished to the land of the giants.”

Thor smiles proudly here, “So myself and the Justice League’s Technomancer, Tad Williams, did consult with the electronic oracle Google and discover that the enemy of the Man of Magnets is known as Mega Man.”

Reaching outward then he taps the image of the young man in the blue armor with the cannon on his left arm, “Alas, much of what has been written of Mega Man is steeped in fable and allegory. So I have been piecing all of the clues together,” He makes a sprinkling motion with his fingers over the collage upon the wall, “So many clues speckled all about the world; in order to find this Mega Man and confront him about the violence he brings to the magnet people.”

“In truth I would have liked to have consulted longer with Quicksilver on this matter,” Thor admits, “but so many were imperiled it was not a good time.”

“Perhaps your skills in finding that knowledge which has been hidden allows you to divine something that I cannot?”

*

Despite her exhaustion, there is a genuine smile that she gives to Thor. "Not at all. Were I not curious, I would have left you to your conspiracy board." Unable to help herself, she steps further into the room and studies the board at a closer range.

"The Mega Man?" Peggy, of course, was not around for nineties video games and that was not something she felt the need to get a crash course on. The fact that Mega Man is a video game has completely and utterly passed over her head. It doesn't sound so very different from any other sort of meta or super hero name, so she is more than willing to hear out Thor's theories.

As Thor describes his meetings of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, her lips purse just slightly. Of what Thor knows ends and Peggy lets his last words hold for a few moments as she attempts to parse her own carefully.

"This is…complicated ground, Thor." While Peggy does not wish to be a politician in the matter, she cannot help it. "The people you call the magnets are the son and daughter of a known terrorist named Magneto. While he has tried to make his image in a place called Genosha, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch enact their own will on the United States." She sighs. "Their thought is that the malevolent force is those currently in power across the globe."

Peggy looks back from the board to Thor. "They operate an organization recognized as a terrorist group named the Brotherhood." There's a pause. "I have no doubt that they did not have any hand in Hell's Kitchen, due to what we saw, but I do also know that they are dangerous. Perhaps not at this juncture, but they were present at the unsolved murder of Agent Coulson. I do not believe they can be trusted, or that they have anyone's interests but their own at heart."

Curious, she gestures at one of the pictures. "Tell me what you know of the Mega Man."

*

As Peggy enters the room Thor steps a pace to one side giving up his position at the center of the ‘conspiracy board’. He stands silent for her preliminary examination the Thunderer’s brow the picture of concentration as he inspects from afar the portions she studies up close as if unconsciously trying to mimic her investigative methodology.

‘Complicated ground..’

His gaze relaxes and he looks at her with a clear unspoken question weighing on his mind. A question she addresses without him needing to ask the obvious. When she speaks his countenance becomes troubled as his questions surrounding the Mega Man become steeped in the complex geo-politics of Earth’s many people thus reminding him of what Carol Danvers had alluded to in that ‘Midgard’ and ‘Humans’ may not be as simple as ‘Alfheim’ and ‘Elves’; or at least his presence here makes the nuance of culture more prevalent to his stewardship of the realm.

“And so, you are saying the Man of Magnets is known as Magnet-o?” Thor asks her without levity, gaze going over her shoulder to his web upon the wall, “And the magnet people believe that there are forces upon the world who seek their extinction?” The hangs a moment and then he looks to Peggy.

“Are they wrong?” Thor asks her his tone becoming one of grave importance, “Do those in power wish to lay unjust burden upon their people?”

“I know the Son of Coul to be an honorable man,” The god of thunder then says, “deserving of justice,” he voice becomes grim,”And so it vexes me greatly that this ‘Brotherhood of Magnets’ may have a hand in his death.”

Lips press and tighten into a line, “and yet I have seen the Scarlet Witch possess both the charity and power necessary to return a child to life. This is, as you say, complicated ground”

Turning then to his bed he roots through the plastic tub and produces a black sharpie. He walks to the wall then striking through ‘Man of Magnets’ and writing ‘Magnet-O.” Eyes move about the web of clues. He will need question marks. To add the Son of Coul.

..what about, Mega Man?

“Mega Man,” Thor says, “Is an enemy of Magnet Man. Now known to be Magnet-o.” He taps the print out with the capped sharpie, “He brings war to the many people of Midgard, The wood people, the wind people, the stone people,” then explaining, “All of the people who embody the elements of the old world and the new. He hunts them to extinction and takes their power to make it his own so that he might be the sole ruler of this world.”

“Midgard has recorded what would be his legacy in electronic games. Tad Williams did show me one. Allowed me to witness the Mega Man as he charged through a city attacking helpless citizens whose meager self-defense was no match for his arm-turned-cannon.”

*

As Thor upgrades Man of Magnet's title to Magnet-o, Peggy takes a step back to take in the full board again. It gives her a moment to think about her answer to the question as to whether the children of Magneto are wrong in thinking there are those that wish to harm them. "There are, yes. There are some that believe that people born with the powers that mutants and metas have are dangerous and therefore they must be controlled or monitored. They see a woman who can bring a child back to life and worry what else she might do with that incredible amount of power. There are many who are blaming the mutants and the Brotherhood for the attack on Hell's Kitchen. That fear can breed hatred."

Her eyes land on the jellyfish with the witches hat. While it's an amusing image, she doesn't smile. "However, that doesn't mean that everyone in power wishes harm to them. It's all steeped in politics." There's a wrinkle of her nose there. She understands the need for politics, but that doesn't mean she likes to get mired in them.

The political thought train, however, derails slightly as she listens to Thor explain who Mega Man is. A head tilts slightly to the side and her eyebrows narrow in confusion. "The wood people?" That certainly doesn't sound at all familiar, nor does any of the other people that he lists off, however his manner of speaking tends more toward the poetic than the literal. "Do you mean people who live in a forest?" None of this is sounding familiar to either present or historical events, but she might have missed this particular villain in her study of what happened in the time she skipped. "Did this happen awhile ago?"

Electronic games? The head tilts just a bit farther. "Do you mean a video game?"

Thor takes a step backward along the wall to provide clear view of his work as Peggy begins assessing the wall once more. Movements at his knuckles spin the sharpie between his fingers absently moving it downward from pointer to pinky and then back up. He looks ahead staring at the board as she does but obviously not really focused upon it as thinks upon what she has told him.

After a time, the Odinson gives a discontented snort, “Politics,” he says with firm derision, “A game of lies and appeasement suitable for my brother.” Then his gaze focuses upon the wall and then upon Peggy once more, “At times I look upon what the it hath done to the All-Father and I sometimes hope that Ragnarok will come before I must waste my days upon the throne of Asgard.” He sighs there and the movement of the marker across his knuckles stops as it goes into his grip allowing him to point it at the stick-figured labeled ‘Atli’, “Though my granddaughter says I shall not be so fortunate.”

“I can understand their fear,” he says lowering his hand, “For the Witch’s actions amazed even I - who hath traveled the cosmos upon a rainbow bridge and battled elder gods.” His brows tense, “I suppose if an Asgardian gained power beyond the Odinforce and used it without restraint we too would seek to make sense of what it meant to our people.”

“Some would fight. Some would fear. Some would flee,” his empty hand strokes the short blonde beard that covers his jaw and then he decides, “I should speak with the Magnet people and with Atli. To let them know that if they are to court one another it cannot be so that Asgard takes a side in man’s struggle to understand itself.”

‘..do you mean a video game?’

Thor’s blue eyes flash in recognition, “Yes, that is it!” He says pointing at her with the marker, “A video game /is an electronic game/,” he Thor-splains to her, “which oftentimes tells a story.” He seems to consider how to explain this, “Tis like a Lifetime movie where many of the details are crafted to make the perils seem more captivating but which are ‘based upon true events’.” He nods at that seemingly a bit smug as if very pleased with the way he has explained it.

“And so,” Thor now admits, “I do not know the kernel of truth of the Mega Man. Nor am I certain where the wood people dwell /although/,” he says to Peggy, “The wood elves dwell within the forests of Alfheim and so it seems to me that this might also be true of Midgard. Alas, so many forests have fallen to make room for..” he gives a wide gesture, “..great cities I do not know where they might be or if even Mega Man hath already slain them and consumed their power. Verily, this would explain why we do not know where they dwell.”

“Perhaps Quicksilver and Magnet-o can also aid me in this when I visit with them to explain that Asgard cannot take part in a quarrel driven by the politics of man.”

Thor seems very appreciative then, “Peggy, I should have spoken with you about this sooner. Mjolnir and the Goat-Lords are fair company but for their enchantment and majesty they are unskilled at solving the mysteries of this realm.” He laments.

Thor's tone toward politics is heard and met with a rueful sort of grin. It's not that Peggy feels the need to argue the point, but she also knows that politics matter. Generally she will ignore them if she feels the need - to get Steve a plane to rescue James, ignoring protocol to prove Howard's innocence, releasing a known Russian Spy in order to avert greater harm - but she also knows that ignoring it entirely brings entirely other repercussions.

"I don't disagree." The tone is wry. "But politics can also be helpful. I was starting a path in that direction back before I came here. Starting SHIELD, helping helm it…it dealt with quite a bit of politics."

Mentioning his father is met with a questioning look. It's not often that Peggy pries into Thor's past. She respects the privacy of her roommate and that if he wishes to talk, he will. However, she can't help but ask, "What did it do to him?" His desire to avoid the politics of ruling is no mystery to her, however, the mention of Atli again is met with another question…it looks like there will be quite a few in this conversation. He's mentioned his granddaughter a few times and knowing how old Thor is, the fact that he might have a granddaughter did not strike her as odd. However, this granddaughter knowing of his future is a new angle. "Why would Atli know your future?"

An eyebrow raises. Court. "And why is she interested in courting Quicksilver? Is this some sort of royal wedding alliance situation?" She's British, she knows how that goes.

The kernel of truth in Mega-Man from a video game. It is true that she has seen quite a few video games take place during the war she lived through. Premises and events are somewhat true, but skewed for greater dramatic effect. Just because she has never heard of Mega Man doesn't mean that he might not be based on someone from their history that has been re-skinned into a different tale.

"He would have to be incredibly old to still be around today," Peggy agrees. "It seems likely we are looking for someone more from your neck of the woods. Let me do a little research, see what might be in the SHIELD archives. We've done quite a bit of research into things like this."

Seeing that she seems to have helped him, she smiles. "I'm glad if I helped at all. If you need any other assistance, I'm glad to talk it through with you. It oftentimes helps to talk to others in order to get a new perspective on matters."

“It made him old,” Thor replies darkly for the All-Father’s condition, “It is said that when he was a young king he was a peerless warrior whom commanded the nine realms not with words and appeasement,” he hammers his fist into his palm, “but with action. Now he oftentimes seems so tired …,” the Son of Odin laments voice deepening a bit, “but when I peer into his eye I can still see the smoldering flame. I have witnessed it stoked to life when he must confront Surtur. The talk and appeasement wear upon him. He longs for conquest but denies himself this pleasure for the sake of the realms he protects.”

The Thunderer’s face brightens as Peggy asks after Atli. The worry for his father dissipating as he reflects upon the Girl of Thunder and the knowledge of his future.

“Atli is my granddaughter,” Thor says, “but I have no child. She has come to me from the days that lie ahead.” He reaches to touch the drawing of the angry stick figure, “At first I refused to believe her words thinking that, perhaps, this were a game of my brother whom I think she admires; as is natural for he is her great uncle.”

“But, I have seen too much of passion to doubt that her spirit is born of my own.” Thor then says, “She tells me that some day I shall lose both my eye and my arm and that I shall rule Asgard becoming both gray and boring.” He lifts one arm wiggling his fingers, “But, I shall have a metal arm like James Barnes. Though it will surely be much more impressive.”

“As to Atli’s heart, she witnessed Magnet-O in battle and became enamored with both his command of the magnet power and also the firm definition of stomach.”

“Upon meeting Quicksilver it occurred to her that he possessed the same regal bearing and firm backside as his father. What’s more, he was youthful and did not live upon an island far away. So she began to court his interest and so the Scarlet Witch did deem to test her and expelled her to Jotunheim.” Thor points to the drawing of the ice monsters, “But she has returned with the skull of their leader to prove she is worthy of the Prince of Magnets.”

“Which is why I must talk with them both so that it does not become ‘some sort of royal wedding alliance’.”

“Peggy, where would I find Quicksilver?” He asks her, “And what proper gift when speaking with a magnet-prince in this realm? If they should be married I had thought to give him an enchanted blade such that when he kills a foe his life will be extended. A few thousand more years of youth within him would bring Atli joy, I should think.”

“But I do not think this is a gift for a first meeting.”

And finally, on Mega Man.

“Hrm,” Thor says to the assertion that this foe maybe from his realm, “Perhaps,” he agrees, “The electronic games doth tell that he is a robot and Midgard robots doth seem to only sweep floors and entertain children.” Thor thinks on that, “Even the robot of Tony Stark is but a crude arm.”

The talk of Odin are met with a brief pursing of Peggy's lips. Some might have said the same for the Peggy who was killed by the mysterious man who gave her black roses. She was a spy, an agent of action and then became a woman who helped found a spy agency and instead of being out in the field, needed to run it.

"There's wisdom in staying one's hand," is Peggy's diplomatic reply. "You've seen far more wars than I have, Thor, however I certainly remember the years after the one I served in. I longed for the battlefield again. I longed for a sense of purpose, of righteousness, of knowing exactly what my fight was and what I served. Returning home, I found people who thought my proclivity for the field not only an oddity but something of a deformity. I longed to be back where I was valued for my actions and not looked at with disdain and asked to fetch coffee. However, my time as a leader from behind a desk rather than from behind a gun was fruitful, I believe. Though I certainly can understand how attempting to see things from all points of view can make one old beyond your years."

With a sigh, she shrugs her shoulders. "I feel the value lies in between. Action is often needed to quell injustice, however diplomacy can save the lives of many warriors that can then set their sights on other battles. I find it the mark of a good leader that they will curb their own desires in order to ensure their people are well looked after." A compliment for Odin, at the very least.

The explanation of Atli is met with a few eyebrows raised. She, of all people, has little to say in the thought of time travel being implausible, however the thought that she might a ploy of Loki - the brother she has been warned about - is something she files away for later. Her courtship first of Magneto and then of Quicksilver is met with an amused expression. "I see." There's a lot to unpack in that statement. "If she has truly set her eyes on Quicksilver as a potential partner, I would tell her that she should look elsewhere. There are other strong Midgardians if that is what she seeks for a husband.."

A gift for Quicksilver? That takes quite a long pause for her to both process that and to even consider an answer. "I would not even know what to give Quicksilver as a gift. Nor do I truly know how to get in contact with him in a reliable manner. However, if you or she is able, I would certainly wish to know the means in which it happened."

As she speaks of her time in the war and what occurred after Thor’s mein becomes introspective. What do his people think of him each time he returns to them? Do they seem him as a would-be King who thirsts to settle all matters with his enchanted hammer? A god of war who is too impatient to settle down and to find a purpose in leading others and so sacrifices the lives of his soldiers simply because it’s the way he thinks conflicts are best settled?

The Asgardian gives a slow sigh clearing his mind of such thoughts and then reaches to place a hand upon Peggy’s shoulder, “You would have made a fine goddess, Peggy Carter.” He speaks with endearment to her both her grit and her wisdom. The armor of the Valkyrior would have been most fitting.

Releasing he steps backward and then sits upon the side of his bed. The tub of markers rattles from the impact as he looks to Mjolnir who still rests in its tiny box and then back to the wall. Peggy’s dislike of Quicksilver is driven home. He is a terrorist who may have killed her companion, the Son of Coul.

Blonde brows draw together and his face darkens. The corners of his mouth tighten.

He is a terrorist who may seek to court the royal line of Asgard.

And Peggy Carter, the woman who invited Thor into her home, would not even consider giving him a gift.

And then it clicks …

Looking to Peggy once more he suddenly stands from the bed and declares, “Then he shall receive no gift,” Thor affirms and says, “but he and I shall /have words/,” such that the dread tone of his voice does not make it sound as if it will be an altogether pleasant conversation.

“I have kept you awake long enough,” he says then, “I shall go out for a while so that you can slumber in peace. Mjolnir and I have a matter to attend to.” He lifts his chin there, jaw set, “While I am out, is there anything that you need from the market?”

'You would have made a fine goddess,' Thor tells her.

The compliment brings a bit of a smirk to Peggy's lips. That's high praise, indeed. The hand on her shoulder is heavy - but also a welcome weight. She reaches up with the arm that hand is resting on and pats his affectionately. Their friendship is one she was certainly not anticipating, however like many things in her life it is the unexpected that has truly shaped some of the many joys she has experienced.

"Thank you, Thor. I know when the time comes, you will lead your people with both wisdom and do what needed to be done to protect them. You'll be the type of leader that would make me proud to proclaim myself a subject of your realm."

When Thor steps backward, her own arm drops back to her side. Eyes drift along the board and then back over to Mjolnir, laying in his carefully tended bed. He mulls over her words and the shift is made against Quicksilver. He shall receive no gift. A nod is given there, though she raises an eyebrow at his mention of words that will be said. "If you're able to gather information about him, I would be glad of it. The Hell's Kitchen bombings are the first I saw of the pair since their attack on SHIELD. And we have not seen them since."

As the conversation seems to be winding down, Peggy gives Thor a bit of a thankful smile. The circles around her eyes are still dark, but talking to her roommate certainly seems to have put her in better spirits. "It's always good speaking to you, but, yes, I do think some rest would do me good. It's best to get it when I can."

The question about the market is met with a pause. She thought for a moment that he was going to confront Quicksilver presently. However, she takes the question seriously. "We're almost out of bread and on the last of the milk." There's a smile as she moves to the door. "Thank you. Luck on the matter to which you must attended."

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