Like A Mad Max Extra

October 22, 2018:

Nate returns to Xavier after weeks in New York, demon-fighting. Meets Amara, who doesn't remembers him, but is happy to get information out of him in exchange of lunch.

Xavier School

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Magik, Cyclops

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Nate has been absent from the school for a long time. Losing his telekinetic powers just as the Inferno started has limited his ability to travel quite a bit. There was too much to do in Mutant Town to leave for the many hours that would require traveling back here.

X-Men kept coming to help, but leaving soon after. But he stayed. His vast telepathic powers had been useful to respond quickly to demon incursions, and to deceive demons with illusions and compulsions into no-win confrontations. Using so much telepathy probably delayed the return of his telekinesis, but Nate is not a patient man.

Things have stabilized some, in good measure thanks to the Brotherhood (how irritating) and he finally felt safe enough to leave New York to return. Sneaking out of Manhattan, then borrowing transport, and walking the last few miles. He looks tired, dirty and grumpy. Like a soldier coming back from the frontlines. Which is pretty much how he feels. At least the mansion systems still recognize him and let him into the grounds.


Someone else has also recently returned to the Xavier Institute after several days stuck in New York fighting demons… and before that, quite a lot longer spent in South America. But since she's been back, Amara Aquilla has had the benefit of a shower, a decent night's sleep and a change of clothes.

After arriving back at the Institute on the back of Cyclops' motorcycle apparently wearing not a lot more than his coat, it's the last of those three that's gone furthest to making her feel like she's back in control of her life.

The blonde young woman steps out of the main doors of the Institute, closing them behind her and shading her eyes against the sun. It's not all that warm, but the sky's pretty clear and the low sun shines right into her eyes. It takes a moment for her to catch sight of the man approaching down the driveway, and although she doesn't recognise him, his haggard appearance is all she needs to send her jogging toward him. "Are you all right?" She asks, concerned but not at all worried by his presence - if he wasn't supposed to be here, he wouldn't have gotten in, and it's not like she can't defend herself if she has to. Although it might cost her another set of clothes.

Speaking of clothes, she's wearing nothing more imposing than a pair of old jeans, a faded sweater and sneakers. None of which seem to quite fit her.


Nate pauses, eyes squinting at the blonde. For half a second he thought she was a different blonde. But Amara hair color is different, and… "Amara?" He remembers, vaguely. "I'm fine. Kinda hungry." Which is quite normal for Nate.

His clothes are worn, definitely dirty, stained with blood, grime and weirder things. Black jeans, combat boots and a tactical vest with a few holes, a leather jacket that has been torn (and not artistically) by falls and claws. He even carries a shotgun in a back scabbard.

"I have been in the city for a time, things have been interesting," he notes, as if wasn't obvious. "Who is around? I guess most of the teams are on the field, yeah?"


Amara's taken aback when the man, who up close looks even more like he's been chewed up and spit out than he did from a distance, greets her with her own name. She looks up at him - he's significantly taller than she is - searchingly, but recognition doesn't spark. "Yes? Have we met?" Considering Cyclops didn't immediately recognise her, she doubts she's in anyone's ex-X-Men spotting guide, but proper introductions can wait.

The man's statement that he's fine gets a dubious look that Amara doesn't even try to hide, and she presses her lips together rather than give her opinion on that. "We should see about getting you some food, then." She suggests, sticking to safer topics and turning back toward the Institute.

If nothing else, the man seems to have a gift for understatement. A quick laugh is accompanied by a nod of agreement. "Interesting is a good word. I only got out of there, and back here, yesterday myself. Scott, I think, is still around." She's not had much time to get back up to speed, herself.


"We met a few years ago," comments Nate. "In passing, really. I had just gotten here myself," he follows Amara into the building. "I am Nate Grey, codename Scion. Sometimes X-Man, but that is mostly in New York." When not in a -team- of X-Men, obviously.

Why or when did they start calling him 'X-Man' he doesn't even remembers. Never made much sense to Nate.

"Gotta talk with him. Or Xavier if he is back," he adds. "About Illyana, the Brotherhood and Mutant Town in general."


Amara takes Nate at his word that they've bumped into one another before. The Gods know enough mutants have come through Xavier's gates that losing track of one or two probably shouldn't be that surprising, particularly when she's spent the last couple of years living a very different life. "Then I'm pleased to meet you again, Nate." She's nothing if not studiously polite.

She leads the way confidently through the Institute toward the kitchen - that, at least, she's visited already today - and keeps up the conversation, casting occasional looks back over her shoulder as she does so. Perhaps she's expecting him to wander off if she doesn't keep an eye on him. "The Professor is not back." Amara says, with finality. "If we was, perhaps he'd have opened his mail." She says the last bit under her breath, but the snide comment is unworthy of her and she straightens up unconsciously. The comment about Illyana draws a sharp look, even as she's ushering Nate into the kitchen.

"You know what's happened to Illyana?" She asks, pulling out a chair and expecting him to sit in it, clear curiosity in her eyes. "No-one has told me how all this started, but the city IS knee-deep in Limbo demons, so…" She leaves that hanging, even as she bustles about the kitchen. A large plate is located. Bread is sliced and buttered. The fridge is opened, Amara looks inside, then back at Nate, and then doubles the amount of sliced meat she'd been about to bring back from her raid. Cheese is also located. Sandwitches are efficiently prepared, cheese is sliced into blocks and added to the plate. A hard green apple is located as she passes and the plate is deposited in front of Nate. "Eat. I'll find Scott for you afterwards."


Nate peers over Amara's shoulder for food to devour quickly. Food has been scarce in Mutant Town and Nate let the 'civilians' have most of it. He has lost a few pounds the last month.

And now he is back to 'civilized territory'. So food. And no weapons on sight of kids, he guesses. So he was leaving the shotgun on the counter when Amara asks the question. "What? Of course I do." He turns to Amara, frowning. "Why do you ask? Rachel, Piotr and Kitty where there too, so they must have reported back already. In fact I got back from Limbo well after them." Although since Amara said she had just returned to the school recently. Maybe no one told her?

"Another group of demons invaded Limbo," he explains quickly. "Illy thought we were going to lose the fight and teleported everyone out. Then, I assume, she really lost the fight. And this happened."


The sudden frown, not to mention the defensive answer, gets Amara's back up. She folds her arms, the look in her blue eyes hardening a bit. "I'm asking because something has obviously happened to a friend of mine and so far no-one has told me what that is. I haven't seen Rachel, Kitty, Piotr or just about anyone else, so…" Deep breaths, Amara. Just because a guy who claims to know you, and who incidentally looks like a Mad Max extra, and who you've just made lunch for is being difficult is no reason to lose your temper.

Wait, maybe it is. But it won't help so Amara just waits for Nate to explain.

The explanation is not reassuring. "Illyana expected to lose?" There's some honest shock in Amara's tone. That's not something she'd expected to hear. Ever. "Where is she? And who rules Limbo now?"


Nate didn't expect any level of… confusion here. He was convinced the X-men knew what was going on, after all the other X-Men involved in the fight was formed by people with more seniority than him. And if they didn't, they knew where to find him and could have asked him in Mutant Town, where he has been for weeks. "I guess maybe for some reason you have been left out of the loop? We gotta talk with Scott, I suppose."

There is really little he can do now besides getting some decent food, okay? Except it is worrisome if Illyana is still missing. Some kind of rescue attempt should have been mounted by now. It is not as if there are not dozens of magic-using heroes able to reach Limbo.


It seems that Nate, too, is disinclined to answer her questions. Amara throws her hands up in frustration. "Yes, I've been left out of the loop. Because no-one was expecting me to turn up and Scott didn't have time to explain everything when he brought me back here." And she needed to actually find some clothes first, but she's NOT going to mention that to Nate.

Amara had thought, ever since she barbecued her first demon at the airport, if she could just get back to the Institute things would start making sense. It's not turning out that way. "Just tell me one thing: When you last saw Illyana, was she alive?" Scott implied that she was, but Amara's starting to wonder if that's the reason she can't get a straight answer out of anyone.


Nate nods. He found some leftover turkey to wolf down, so a few seconds before he can speak. "She was… also trying to fight a building sized dragon, though. I think it was the invader's leader." And it had taken over Stark's Tower, apparently. So Nate figures the Avengers were beaten too, but heard nothing through the grapevine. Not that most mutants care much about the Avengers.

As for Nate, he had been waiting for his telekinesis to return to have a second round with Mr. Demon-Dragon. But it has been very slow at returning. "You know, I am not entirely sure the invaders are Limbo demons. I mean, some might be, but I have not seen anyone I know. Admittedly it is hard to keep track of those ugly fuckers, but some of them are quite distinctive."


Amara's eyebrows go up expectantly when Nate nods. She's dealt with enough uncertainty and evasiveness, she wants to actually hear the answer. When she finally gets it, she lets out a breath and sags in relief, leaning against the fridge as she gets her emotions under control. It's been a rough few days. "I'd have bet on her against the dragon." She says after a moment, quietly, almost as if she's forgotten Nate's there for a moment, but then she looks back over at him. "Thank you for telling me that much, at least."

"Whichever hell they're from, there seems to be an unending supply." Amara straightens up. "You were right, I need to talk to Scott. I'll send him to you when I find him." She's already halfway to the door, but she does pause, one hand on the doorframe, to look back for just a moment. "Enjoy your lunch." She adds, maybe feeling the need to be polite to apologise for nearly losing her temper earlier.


Nate would agree, except the dragon made it to Earth, which means Illyana didn't kill or otherwise stop it. Also, Nate has learned to respect the Russian witch opinions about the chances to win a fight. Sometimes he has even listened when she advised caution.

"Thanks for the lunch," he fires back. Definitely not concerned about Amara losing her temper. He does… or at least did often. "I'll join you in a few," first lunch, then to find clean clothes. And also mind-scan for known people. "I am going back tomorrow, by the way." He offers.

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