Fruitless Endeavors

October 09, 2018:

Alex asks Lorna details about why the operations in Mutant Town remain. Questions are raised on whether or not everyone is loyal. Then Alex does what Summers do. Goes off on his own to try to find what is causing the demon invasion.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It had been a few days since Lorna and Alex had had their talk in the remains of the diner in Mutant Town. Lorna had been, as usual, patrolling, or chasing down any rumors that so much as hinted to her brother's where abouts with no luck. Still, she worked at maintaining the base, such as it was. Always adding more scrap metal to the outsides, or running wires and lighting as needed throughout. Supplies were brought in from the X-men as often as they could, but even then, it was limited. As the twilight and mists of the demon invasion continued to hug New York people that remained in Mutant Town ended up drifting to the Community Center as their own private supplies dwindled. Which meant finding or making more furniture and scavenging more necessities.

For now, it was quiet, though a few hours before there had been a small skirmish at the border of Mutant Town. Some demon or other deciding that they'd try to make an in-road into the otherwise well defended section of New York.

Lorna was currently checking over the generators in the center of the building, her lips pursed as she knelt over the batteries that had been modified (as much as they could) to handle her powers and store it. It wasn't the best of jobs, done with scraps and odds and ends. But she'd seen her father do so in Genosha when they'd needed it. It would do, though eventually they'd burn out. Pure electromagnetism was tricky to convert to your standard battery pack.

Her green hair was pulled back from her face as she poked and prodded a wire into place with a screw driver. Her leather jacket creaking with each movement she made.

*

Alex had found purpose in making runs to get much needed foodstuffs in local neighborhoods. He would go with the various scouting patrols and find what they could to bring back. Those days were spent doing that or in silent meditation as he tried to reorient himself to being /back/ in his home reality. He also avoided most interpersonal discussions with anyone. Just keeping his answers simple and on point. He also avoided Lorna because she needed to process all the stuff that they spoke on a few days earlier. He knows that giving space is often the best medicine.

Alex steps into the room where Lorna does her stuff and says in a business like tone, "We're running out of options. Supplies are low. Scavanging is coming up less and less with each run. We need to get these people out of here. We're on the east river. Can't we boat them outta here?" < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_X >

*

A flicker of a glance followed Alex's entrance to the secured center of the Community Center base. A furrow of her brows followed as she finished whatever she was bent over first with a twist of her lips following the blonde's words. If she'd noticed he had been avoiding her, she didn't call him on it. She'd had to deal with Marcos' presence briefly, and then other assorted X-men. She was balancing her work between two very different factions. The Brotherhood, who was truly being led by Frenzy and who the rest saw as a symbolic figure head. And the X-men, who still delivered supplies as they could beyond the military barricades and militarized zones within the city.

She sat up, pushing stray strands of green back from her features with a huff. "They won't go Alex. Those that were willing left with the X-men when this first started. Those that want to leave, leave when the supplies come through. Trust me, my father has been more than willing to take refugees. Exodus could transport them to Genosha in a snap. But they won't go. This is their home, and they won't leave it." She muttered, setting the screw driver aside and standing as she clapped her hands off on her jeans.

*

Alex wears his X jacket over his black unstable molecule uniform. His chest circles have a brighter white glow to them as he's charged up significantly. His boots are dusty.

He looks annoyed with her words as they reveal people that are more stubborn than himself. And he sees the annoyance of stubborn people. "Seriously? Don't they understand that we can't mount an offensive because we're spending valuable resources and personnel on their defense? We are losing this through attrition. They're going to die, and we're going to go down with them."

*

A sigh fell from Lorna's lips as she crossed her arms, her weight shifting from heel to heel. "Don't say that. We don't know where to even mount an offensive if we could. We're still looking for my brother and I won't leave until he's found and we can get him out of here." Of course, trying to trace rumors about a speedster was frustratingly hard. He was fast, faster than the rest of them. Even if Pietro had been in a place, chances were good that by the time the rest of them got there.. he was gone.

"And the X-men still have plenty of teams that can act without us. Just because we're not getting reports doesn't necessarily mean that people aren't getting shit done.." She continued, her voice dry and tired. She'd had the same arguments before with others. She still didn't get the need people had to stay and fight for a city that hated them and wanted them gone.

*

Alex states in retrospect, "When I fought this war, it all came out of the White House in Washington, D.C. where Madelyne operated. But that was a global invasion. However, since this is just New York City… Then we need to start thinking some place like the Empire State Building or somewhere that's luxurious and dcadent. Demons, demon queens, evil shit. They love corrupting and tainting the really pretty areas. Upper East Side, fancy places. Mansions. Maybe the Hellfire Club. Which would be fitting themewise. Even though it's already corrupted."

he continues, "Now, Pietro. You know he'll be found when he wants to be found. You sure he's not off on a mission for Magneto?"

*

Lorna turned part of her focus to the hall beyond, half distracted as she kept her magnetic powers cycling through the whole of the building. She was on constant watch in a way, constantly checking who came and who went. Where people lingered. Who might over hear. When the whole of the building, inside and out was coated in steel, it was by far easier. Green eyes flickered back to Alex as she leaned against the wall opposite of him.

"Well, that would be great and all, but we've canvassed what we can without breaking into the militarized zones. They'd shoot us as soon as a demon and no would argue against them." She murmured, "But I'm not in charge here Alex. Not really. The Brotherhood has its own ranks and I'm only playing figure head."

A scowl pulled at her expression as Alex tried to frame that Pietro being missing was a mission for her father. "No. He's not. Wanda was found half way around the world and almost dead. She's.. mentally unstable to the point that my father has locked her away in Genosha. I was contacted by members of the Brotherhood when he and Wanda went missing. No. My father wants Pietro back, and he's rather enraged that someone dared to.. to do whatever it is that's happened to him. Taken. Kidnapped.. Whatever. He would never willingly leave Wanda's side."

*

"So you think Pietro is here in the city?" Alex questions with a calm voice. Non confrontational and trying to gather information regarding to where Pietro may be and why she's even still here. His thumbs move into the side pockets of his black cargo pants in a casual stance while still a few feet from her.

*

A sigh and Lorna's shoulders slumped, a nod following. "Yeah, we do. Exodus was able to trace his mind some where here in the city. Beyond that, he was worried that it would damage Pietro's mind if he pushed. Something is blocking the details. We're not sure who or what, but it's assumed that since it happened with a day or two of the invasion that it's connected. And Wanda hasn't been.. aware enough to tell us exactly what happened." She pursed her lips, looking down at her feet.

"I came to help out here, to help those that remained. And until at least, my brother is found. I'm staying." Never mind that Magneto had told her to stay where his people in the Brotherhood were. Watching her every movement.

*

A few seconds will pass as Alex processes her words and becomes frustrated with the situation. "How long has this been going on? This whole invasion? When was Pietro last seen? Rather, when did the incident happen? And we still have no solid intel on what's causing this invasion? No demon lord or Arch Devil claiming responsibility for their actions and making demands for some virgin sacrifice?"

*

A slow shake of her head followed, "First report I saw?" She reached into her jacket pocket, drawing out her phone and tapping away on it. She brought up the X-men comms, and there was a text from Rachel. "September 19th. Bad demons invaded limbo to attack Yana's. Something grabbed her. Last time I heard from Rachel. Scott sent out a message the day after saying that the X-men were on relief efforts until we figured out what was going on. I've heard or seen Nate, the Cuckoos, Rogue, Marcos, and Sage. That's about it." She clicked the phone off and tucked it away into her jacket pocket.

"I've been in contact with my father since Pietro and Wanda vanished about the same time as those reports. It took two days for the Brotherhood to find me and ask me for help. Since then I've been to Genosha, and back. Been working to find my brother since."

*

Like running into a brick wall, Alex notes, "That's a long time without any headway or breakthrough. We need intel and actionable information. I'm sorry, but it seems we're spinning here wheels here. Are you sure there's no internal hendrances?" He asks the question without clarification and then details, "We ran into a lot of brick walls. A lot of internal corruption and betrayal. There were several of us whom we thought loyal to the cause turned out to be traitors. Do you know anyone in our internal structure that could be working to limit us and keep us from learning beneficial tactical information? Maybe someone working against us from the inside?"

*

Lorna blinked, arching a brow as she slowly shook her head. "No. Everyone generally thinks that I'm in charge, but my father gave other orders. I'm just a figurehead, a symbol, here, Alex. The Brotherhood was commanded to protect me and make sure they supported helping me search for Pietro. Besides Exodus, Nate and the Cuckoos were here and they'd pick up a demonic presence if someone was really on their side." She pursed her lips, looking troubled by the thought. She'd considered it and dismissed it.

"It's possible that our intel is shit because of the demonic presence outside. That they're manipulating what we see or hear. We don't know what's possible or not. We've had everything from vanishing demons, to well, that taxi, and malicious shadows."

*

Alex questions, "So Nate and the Cuckoos can sense evil and demons? I thought they were just telepaths. Or are they constantly scanning people's minds for nefarious thoughts? Because one doesn't have to be tainted by a demon to be evil. Reed was a complete jackass and he sacrificed his entire team to work with Madelyne just for personal gain. Out of just being evil himself. He didn't have to be tainted by the evil. There are a lot of people here. I'd hate to think that we're compromised. Normally we have a good handle on a target. Sure, it may take us a while to get to it. But good intel normally reveals a target pretty quickly. Especially with all the resources we have. Exodus, Nate, Cuckoos… those are some serious telepaths. They should know something by now. Especially about the /big bad/ and clues for Pietro…"

He pauses, he realized his tone was getting darker and more annoyed. He reflects into his own personal past, "I really thought crap like this was over. I'm sorry Lorna."

*

A grimace of frustration followed Alex's words and she shook her head. "When on patrol Nate was constantly looking for minds that were wrong. I can sense most synapses and nervous systems that I'm vaguely familiar with. Human. Mutant.. It feels different compared to the demons. But I haven't really had chance to try to sense what that difference is. My senses take focus. Nate's?" She shrugged, and exhaled a rough sigh.

"I can't say that they're scanning everyone's minds for traitorous thoughts.. but I've been working with people that have proven their loyalty time and again. If there's someone in the Brotherhood that's compromised? They're not calling the shots and enough people here are loyal to Pietro and Wanda. If not my father. It shouldn't leave that much of an impact on our intel. Someone or something was blocking us from finding my brother using telepathy. It's possible they're pulling more strings." She shrugged, reaching up to rub at her temples. Alex's apology earned a faint twist of a smile.

"No, you're bringing up good points. But I don't have the answers. I wish I did."

*

After a brief pause of looking down at the floor and over at a few things on the walls, Alex finally states, "I'm gonna head out. I'm not any good here. I need to do something. Take action. Find the /big bad/. Something." His eyes look back up to hers for confirmation.

*

A look crossed Lorna's features as she remained standing, arms crossed. Her gaze lifting from the floor back to Alex, her smile dropping. "I can't stop you. Though having you here means a lot." Her lips pursed into a thin line. She dropped her gaze again, her hands curling into fists, her arms still crossed.

"I can get you a group if you want one. At least some that have scouted beyond the borders of Mutant Town. They know where the military patrols stick to. They can get you around." She hesitated, her weight shifting back onto her heels. "I can't go. People will follow me, and without a clear picture of where that is, I can't risk lives. I won't risk their lives unless I have a direction to take them. Check in, would you? So I know you're not dead." This time. Went unsaid.

*

So many options she presented. A team. No, they'll never be the Six and he'll spend weeks trying to train whoever goes with him how to move tactically with him. If anything, he needs Elektra back with him. They were an excellent duo.

Alex shakes his head. "I'll be fine on my own. I've been running these streets for a week before I found you. And we need allies that aren't mutants. People who can help us. Plus, you're needed here. You and Marco need to do whatever it is you're doing. And whatever else is gonna happen here, just needs to happen. Good luck Lorna… I'll try to check in when I can."

He turns on his heel and heads out. Making for the border of Mutant Town and beyond.

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