Commandement

September 13, 2018:

Exodus is summoned by Magneto to receive his new orders… some of which concern the Master of Magnetism's three errant children. Magneto written by Pietro.

Hammer Bay, Genosha

Characters

NPCs: Magneto

Mentions: Pietro Maximoff, Wanda Maximoff, Lorna Dane, Frenzy

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Genosha has come a long way in the last few months — and there is yet a long way to go. The eyes of the world remain upon the man they presume has been neutralized in his gilded cage… and Magneto seems determined to give those stares nothing but the sight of a paradise wrought solely by mutant hands.

Much of the oppression and heartache of the island's mutates has sloughed away from the island beneath his guidance, and the once war-torn Hammer Bay has been steadily repaired, streets repaved, gardens replanted, and buildings rebuilt and made livable for the natives and immigrant mutants who have come to populate the island. The embargo has not been lifted, but a convenient loophole allows trade to flow through the partially human-controlled Carrion Cove, and efforts have been undertaken to improve the island's self-sufficiency. Outside the city, fields are planted and made fertile by mutants with the right powers for such tasks.

A lot of logistical problems, in fact, are obviated by the fact most of the workforce is literally superpowered.

In some instances, 'beneath his guidance' is a literal thing. A certain servant of Magneto, summoned and returning, would be informed of where to find the master: start at the Spire's front doors, go up, and keep going up.

Somewhere around the pinnacle of the Spire, high enough the entire sweep of Hammer Bay can be seen below, hovers the Master of Magnetism. No royal cape or heavy battle armor attend him today, despite his lofty position: he is dressed plainly, his expression knit in absent concentration.

He is singlehandedly directing the construction of a new addition to the Spire's top floors. What he is working with is solely the skeleton of it, structual steel moving and reshaping and slotting into place, so it is not immediately evident what it is meant to be.


You will be my weapon. A path to future, one meant only for the strong.

It haunts him in the moon, where he first saw his vision on his fifth night without water. It haunts him in the sun, where he can see the fate of all who might appose the Undying Pharaoh of Akkaba, who spoke those words to him. It haunts him that he believed it, those words that nearly turned him against his own people. But every time it haunts him, he remembers the words of the one who awoken him, and knows he will revere no other.

Here and now, helping a man named Sareem dig water irrigation ditches with the power of his mind, he feels more empowered than he ever did in the thrall of foul Apocalypse. But a question is asked of him. A summons delivered. It happens even as the order is relayed, his mind drifting along the chain of events that would tell him, so far from the spire, that he is needed.

When Magneto calls, the Exodus answers. Drawn from his task on the other side of the island, the Master of Magnetism will know his arrival by the shift in the air. A subtle thing at first, the softest change in the wind, and of the Earth's magnetic field. Reality bends, not with the temper of science, or the finesse of someone skilled at leaping through interdimensional gateways. This is a force of psionic will, white light burgeoning at Magneto's back as a familiar form materializes with a burst of bright light.

For a moment, the spire has that beacon, the otherworldly sound of Bennet's arrival spiking with an eerie echo from the astral plane before fading into nothing. For all it's bluster, it has little environmental effect, less than a slight breeze as that wave of power dissipates. Then, hair and cape billowing, he looks up and around with his pupil-less gaze, caught on every inch of this new structure, enthralled by this display of He who is All crafting something here at the top of the spire.

He loses himself for a moment, until finally his gaze settles on his Lord Liege, Savior to them All.

He should not be gawking as he is at Magneto's works. He knows his place, knows he was summoned for a reason. His very nature demands a certain decor for this, the man who has given him such truth in purpose.

Panic rises in his chest, for he has no place to kneel.

Out of the very air itself, drawn from particulate dust here and there, he forms the smallest of platforms for himself, thin and hardly something someone could walk on, and yet it floats there waiting for him for just such a purpose. One foot touches down, then he takes his knee, his head bowing perhaps a little lower than normal, as if to apologize for his hesitation.

"My Lord, the southern fields hold the pride of every hand that has worked them, and water will flow to feed that which would feed us all, so it was asked of me and so it is done. Tell me.." His voice holds the strain of reverence, but little of his native accent, most of it washed away in the mental sampling of others. Still, the very romance of it remains, haughty, powerful, regal. He asks the only real question that sustains him.

"…what else might I do for you?"


Magneto does not answer immediately.

It is a strange thing to watch tons of steel move through the air in such complete silence and utmost precision. With the slight direction of a hand or the turn of a blue eye, heavy girders and crosswise support beams slot into place with no more than the softest of grinding clanks, building the framework upon which concrete will later be poured. Human construction workers would have had to use unwieldly equipment to accomplish even the crudest facsimile of what the Master of Magnetism accomplishes with thought and will alone.

No — more accurately, human construction workers would have been unable to do this at all. Some things are simply impossible for those of the lesser species. There is a glass ceiling against which the human race knocks its collective head.

Presently, Magneto reaches a point at which he seems to see fit to take a pause. His hands lower and he turns in the air to face Exodus.

Clothed as he is, he almost seems a simple man. Yet the gaze that falls on the kneeling Exodus — the way it automatically turns downwards in full expectation to behold an obeisance — plainly shows otherwise. He listens in silence to what the other mutant has to say on the fields, the irrigation systems, the public works which have been completed.

"There is more yet to be done in that respect," he finally says, "but it does not suit to continue to use a fine sword solely to plow the earth. The war here is finished; this island is mine. There are other fronts which require soldiers."

What else might I do for you?

Magneto turns his back, magnetic currents bearing him through the air to come to a light stand on one of the laid-down girders. "Rise, and follow." His tone makes plain it is merely the first instruction.

He is silent for a few moments, looking out over Hammer Bay. The barest hint of Carrion Cove is visible through the haze of distance, a shimmer on the coastline: he regards it with hard eyes. "I am curious, and I have never asked — in your long life, my friend, have you ever fathered children?"


Though he can feel all that happens around him, each girder laid, every piece of this puzzle set to into place with but his extra-ordinary telekinetic ability, it pains him to keep his head bowed. To no longer watch as a master of his craft bends metal to his will. No matter how much he wishes he could lift his head, it is not until he is instructed to rise that he looks up. To see with his own eyes what Magneto has done brings him pause, and it is not until his Lord has turned his back that he feels all the emotion he lacked when he was another's servant.

It wells within him, and he swallows it away, rising to his feet as that platform crumbles away beneath him, sent back to the dust it was made from as he floats to the side of Magneto, his own gaze sweeping out across this land that his Lord has built, that all of them have built, on the domain of their would-be oppressors.

When the question comes, it is hard to answer, for every time Erik refers to him as 'friend', it reminds him of how little he had in his life before. Stricken silent by the simple implication, a casual reference by this man who is everything, Exodus stands straight and tall and proud, cape trailing behind him against the wind that comes with this height.

"Never, my Lord. It was another purpose that drew me from my home, a quest taken in earnest, but a fool's errand. There was someone, once, before I left my home, but she was the daughter of a steward." It is said with the plain determination, no sadness for what could have been. He offers no real explanation, just the implication that his own family's trajectory was one that lay above or beneath such station.

Eventually he brings himself to look to Magneto, his gaze shifting over every subtle shift in his expression, for of all the minds he might casually invade, he would never invade this one. He would know this man only as others would, by what he deems worthy to show him.

"In truth, I do not know how I would feel now, if I had."

Indeed, what dynasty might he have spawned in the hundreds of years that had past, had he a family? No matter. He knows this is a bridge to something, and thinks not of it anymore. Instead, he only looks forward.


There is a precise purpose behind every word Magneto uses. There is a precise purpose behind the ones he uses today, though he betrays no outward indication that he has said anything out of the ordinary or particularly pointed.

He takes note of the effect that they have.

He listens as Exodus answers his question. Magneto is a good listener, when the mood takes him — perhaps people know him better for his great speeches, but leaders are not made from men who can only do one. If he draws any conclusions about Exodus from the answer he is given, he does not speak on them. His expression is calm, as if carved from steel; the sort of indomitable face it is easy to follow with full faith.

Exodus has an unobstructed view of it; Magneto is not wearing his famed helm, despite the great powers of the man beside him. The first step to ruin is the appearance of fear in front of one's subordinates.

Never… and I do not know how I would feel now if I had.

"I seem to have three, now," Magneto says, his voice almost verging on wry. "Perhaps you were the fortunate one, to have never had a single one."

He turns back towards Exodus, his head lifting. "They are young," he says, "and do not have the sense to care for themselves. Nor are they prepared to be what I need them to be. I would have you lend your assistance, so that they may reach the full potential I expect of each of them. I do not have the time to hold their hands. I am needed here." His blue eyes turn back towards Carrion Cove. "Genosha is only a beginning."

There is a brief pause. "Above all, I would have you see them safe."


It is almost to much to process as he stares upon the greatest of them, who has asked him here to call him friend, to ask about his life before, a time when he was so much less. But it strikes him that he would ask at all, for Magneto is a man who must have so very much on his mind. When he finally speaks to give his earlier question more context, there is much to process.

Almost as if afraid to show how overwhelmed he is that he is being asked such an important task, he thinks to look away. It may be the first time that Magneto has ever seen anything approaching doubt on Bennet's face, so often filled with such empowered, unmitigated confidence that the vulnerability of it is as nearly incredible as the rest of his power.

It lasts but a moment.

His gaze returns to his Lord, lit with an inner fire that draws from the very air around him. It is resolved. It is paternal. It is unstoppable.

He will see this done

"That you would ask me to look after your flesh and blood, born from your loins as great gifts to this world, I am unworthy of this task. And yet, I will rise to meet this challenge, and see them rise to your expectations!"

His fist curls at his side, as if he were speaking of some battle yet to come, and what wrath he might unleash upon his enemies. In following that manner, he asks Magneto for what intelligence he might have. "Tell me, my Lord. Tell me in a father's words what each of them means to you, so that I might understand them. Tell mewhere I should find them now, for I shall show them the way forward, and hold their hands as you cannot, with a grip so fierce as to command your will to their side.

Perhaps he could turn his conviction down a notch.

He does not.

"On my life, on my pride, and all that we have built, I shall let no harm come to them, these the Children of Magnus. This, I swear."


How much of Magneto is genuine, and how much a manipulation?

How much of him truly cares for the past of Exodus, once Bennet du Paris — and how much simply knows that a servant's fires of fervor are sometimes stoked much more fiercely by a little show of interest and faith from the master?

Magneto is a complex man. The answer, as is usual with him, is closest to 'a little of both.' Love and control are inextricably intertwined for him. His children are already beginning to learn this.

Perhaps this ostensible show of deep trust is another kind of snare with which he more firmly captures the allegiance of this immensely powerful being. To be assigned to work with the children of a man whose entire life trajectory was decided from having to watch his daughter die in flames? It is an honor, and Exodus would know that well. The great responsibility almost threatens to shadow him with doubt, if only for a minute. Magneto glances at him, a little sharply.

"I do not select the unworthy for any task," Magneto says, his voice low. He is capable of roaring the most impassioned speeches, but it is when his voice gets quiet that the wise take especial note. "You are capable of it, and you will see it done." It is a direct command as much as it is a statement of confidence.

Exodus requests information, with which to begin the discharge of his task. Magneto's hands fold before him, his stance settling unconsciously into something substantially similar to parade rest. Whether or not Magneto ever truly served as a soldier in any armies, his life has been a militant one nonetheless.

In a father's words," he repeats, passing amusement shadowing his voice. "The answer is simple, Exodus. They are the future, which all of this — all my works — have been for. I have given each of them in turn their own tasks, trajectories meant to challenge them and teach them what I feel best for them to know, but — children stray."

His head lifts, his blue eyes considering the horizon. "My older son and daughter are in New York. I gave them the Brotherhood to teach them to stop running — to teach them the importance of a cause. If my sources serve me, they have already learned a hard lesson quite recently, that will make your task easier. Lend your strength to their activities. Frenzy is already with them; she will help you.

"My youngest was raised by Charles, at his Institute. She came here to me, for a time, and I taught her as much as I could then… but her heart is still split. She is unrefined potential, and her harsh edges must be ground down to fine points. Her temper controls her; she does not know which way to turn. She must be taught to set one course, and choose. She cannot straddle two worlds forever."

He looks at Exodus. "Go and protect my daughters. Make of my son something worth bearing my blood. I wish you to serve them, Exodus." His blue eyes are cold as machinery. "And do you know how we serve our children? We know what is best for them when they are weak."


For all the power contained in this man, born from another time, his expression is yet one most human, lips parting as he listens to Magneto speak of his children in terms broad and specific. Such a mundane thing, to hear a father talk of his children, but spoken by a man who is anything but. Exodus listens in silent rapture, and thinks backwards to the man who was his father. Quiet. Tired. Small.

Nothing like this.

And in each moment, as Magneto pulls back the veil around his children a little, Exodus finds inspiration. To hear himself called worthy for this task, to know that Magneto would never ask someone lesser, sounds his soul soaring.

Now his eyes burn in a different way, a simmering, shifting flame of white light flickering where their should be pupils. In that moment, so empowered by the trust instilled in him, he can feel every unshielded mind on the planet. Does he know their whims or thoughts? No, but he knows which are not the Children of Magneto, and it tell him where he is needed by an impossible process of elimination.

"Yes, my Lord. I shall seek them out at once, and bring them together under the banner of your expectation. They shall know me as their bastion, as their teacher, and as their protector in your name! And when they are weak…"

His cape billows as he lifts from the girder, and before his Lord it begins again, a shimmering cascade of light that draws upon inexplicable power. "…I shall be their strength!"

There is a sundering of reality, exploding outward in a cascade of that energy, passing harmlessly through Magneto, through the spire, and lighting up the sky for miles around with the brilliance of Exodus Unleashed, teleporting to the place where his mission shall begin, a mission he cannot fail.


Exodus declares his purpose with fanatic zeal, fervor shining in his eyes. Magneto looks upon it, and his response comes as one might expect:

"Good."

There is no more said. The servant has been given his commands.

Light flares and reality splits as Exodus takes his leave. Magneto watches him go, contemplative.

Then his attention returns to his interrupted work. His hands lift, and Magneto resumes the construction of what will, in time, become a garden.

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