Fealty Regained

October 26, 2018:

Frenzy is summoned before Magneto. Judgement is had. Magneto emitted by Pietro

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, Lorna Dane

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

They have all been in Genosha only a few days, subsequent to Pietro's harrowing retrieval, but it is already tempting to let the stress and fear and pain of the last few weeks fade away in the warmth and sun of the tropical island.

And why not? New York is a gloomy place at the moment — to put it lightly — lightless and sulfurous with the fires of Hell. Even when it wasn't demon-infested, it was a hard place to be for a mutant, with the fear and hatred of the public mounting against metahumans as registration ground slowly onward in the legislative chambers at Albany. Genosha is as different as can be, from that. Despite all the growing pains that attend any nascent country, at the least mutants can live in the country in full assurance that here finally is a place solely for them.

The reason one does not let oneself relax in Genosha, despite its idyll, is of course due to the new master of the island.

He has not had much to say to his Acolytes, in the past few days. He has seen each of his children, in turn, in brief private audiences, but to the rest of his followers he has not appeared. This wouldn't be unusual, per se — the master has a habit of receding into seclusion at times — but given all that has happened in the past few weeks, this time his silence bears a rather ominous weight.

Finally, on the morning the children are to be sent back out of the island and out of their father's presence, word comes to Frenzy to attend her lord. He awaits her on one of the higher levels of the Spire — upon an open-air balcony that overlooks an inner courtyard of the complex. Cloaked and armored in familiar warlike fashion — though his silver-haired head is bare — he stands gazing down into the garden below.


Wanda and Pietro are safe.

For this, Frenzy is glad.

But, hand in hand, with that safety was tragedy and that has taken a toll on everyone.

Frenzy included.

Her sobriety has taken a hit, but as always she keeps it hidden. She was always good at that. A true functioning alcoholic.

Even during all of her daily tasks and responsibilities, Frenzy waited for the summons. She knew it would eventually come and now it has.

Later than she anticipated, but still knowing it would come.

When the command to attend Magneto is received, Frenzy takes a few minutes to dress appropriately. Scarlet and blue, with highlights of gold. Colors of power in Genosha.

Then, like a dutiful soldier, she climbs the spire. Her arrival is likely heard and felt and when she makes her entrance upon the balcony, her dark brown eyes immediately search out Magneto's form. When she sees him dressed in armor her back automatically stiffens as she pulls herself straighter, taller.

He is her general, after all.

Her, and their, King.

She will not disappoint. Not again.

"I am here, my lord. How may I serve you today?"

And while Frenzy typically waits to be spoken to, today she makes the initial overture, and beneath her solemn words.


"As you do on every other day," is Magneto's answer.

He rests his hands on the balcony railing with a soft clink of metal on metal, leaning forward. "Come," he commands, his head turning enough to indicate a spot directly to his left. Today, she will have the honor to stand at her lord's side.

Once she approaches, she will see what it is Magneto presumably wishes her to see. Below, in the garden, sit Pietro and Wanda, side by side on a bench. Pietro is awake, though unmoving and peaceful; Wanda, leaned against his shoulder, appears to be asleep.

"There is your mission," he says. "It has not changed."

He straightens back up, hands folding before him. "We will not have a repeat of any such incident as precipitated the last few weeks."

His pale gaze turns to her. "Tell me what you will change to ensure that."


'As you do on every other day.'.

There's truth in that statement, and that truth brings Frenzy's head low in acknowledgement of the fact.

It's only when he orders her over, to stand at his side, that her head rises back up. Her gaze flicks to the Master of Magnetism and then she steps over, her expression neutral.

Once at his side her eyes automatically drops to the ground below, where she can see Pietro and Wanda. Looking content, peaceful. Almost it brings a smile to her lips, but if there's one thing Frenzy knows how to do it's how to keep her expression tightly under control.

With that knowledge that the Twins are safely tucked in the garden below, Frenzy shifts her attention back to Magneto, watchful.

Expectant.

And she doesn't have to wait long.

"It has not." She agrees, and when he straightens from the banister she too shifts, angling herself attentively towards him.

It's, however, his next words that pulls a reaction from the Acolyte. There's a twitch to her expression, a small opening, that allows a brief glimpse into what exactly Joanna Cargill is feeling.

Mostly it's guilt and desolation.

Then like a good soldier Frenzy tightly closes that brief window to her soul.

"We will not, Sire." She states formally, her voice a shade hoarse, and while others might grapple with how to answer that last question of Magneto's, Frenzy doesn't. She's gone over that night so many times, tearing the whole thing apart bit by bit and finding every instance she could-should have handled better.

Repeatedly.

Continuously replaying the moment Wanda was shot. Over and over and over again.

It could almost break her, if she were weaker, but she's not.

And so, "I must destroy all threats against your children." She begins rather broadly, then, "Which requires the Brotherhood within the City to be better than what they are. They must be trained as proper Acolytes. There can be no other way. The Twins must be surrounded by the best, and by those that would knowingly give up their lives for theirs."

For myself, I will always make sure to be in front as a proper shield should be." She vows, "I will be the one that takes the brunt of all attacks against them."

And while she was able to meet his gaze for the majority of what she said, at that very last Joanna's gaze drops low from the failure that is still felt from that day.


Magneto watches Frenzy as she looks down upon the twins at rest: as she reacts to his cool, measured statements on what will not happen again. Whatever he does — or does not — see in her face seems to pass muster. He looks away again, without remark.

Presently, he asks her what she will change, for the future. Guilt and self-reproach are not enough; he wishes to hear what actions she shall take.

Her answer meets a long, weighing silence. Magneto's blue eyes are contemplative, as he turns her words over and over in his mind with the slow calculating care which has brought him so far in his life. "Yes," he finally determines. "A fair beginning. The ranks have grown weak in my absence." His gaze turns down to his children. "There are as yet many things these two do not know. They cannot make the followers they will need. They do not know yet what makes a true Acolyte." His eyes return to Frenzy. "You do."

He nods once the instruction is given, a conclusory gesture. "Of course, they have their own responsibilities to ensure this does not repeat," he says. "I have impressed that upon them. I have spoken to them of their respective weaknesses. Wanda made plain to me that you prevented her from indulging in her own, upon that mountainside."

He meets her eyes briefly. "That was well done."

Magneto turns away afterwards, leaving the balcony — leaving behind the sight of his children. He expects her to follow. "I will share with you a rare thing, Frenzy," he finally says, as they return to the dimness of the Spire's halls. "My intentions."

The halls are quite empty, the Spire as lonely a place as its master prefers it to be. Genosha does not boast a large body of governance — not anymore. The few who do pass them by regard Magneto with an awed sort of silence, and look curiously at Frenzy: his chosen company for this day.

"What I require of the twins is that they abandon their persistent weakness, and their cringing from necessity," he speaks on. "My son in particular. I have a mind to make something of him, as he will make nothing of himself if left to his own devices. They have both taken harsh and useful lessons from this incident; I expect that you will reinforce those lessons.

"Lorna is to spend more time in Mutant Town once this business with the city is concluded. It will be easier for you to keep watch and curtail her tendency to make a vapid spectacle of herself. Bear in mind that if she is to retain any useful connections to the X-Men, or any usable gloss of palatability in the public eye as a representative of this country, she cannot be seen to interact too deeply with her siblings, with the Brotherhood, or with you."

His pale eyes rest on her. "They will all have their parts to play, in time. I expect them to be ready when that time arrives."


That heavy silence brings with it a prickle of anxiety from Frenzy.

She understands what it means to receive both approval and censure from the man next to her.

And censure is never something an Acolyte wants to risk.

Especially not from Magneto himself.

When her response passes muster the only emotion she feels for a solid second is dizzying relief. Her answers were acceptable; which in turn means she's acceptable. Accepted.

How easily this could have ended in some form of displeasure, or ire, and then punishment. She could have easily been cast aside, cast out, for failing at her responsibilities. It could have easily merited it. Then she would be abandoned. A fate far worse than death itself.

She can't dwell too long on that relief she feels, not as Magneto continues to speak. Her attention is forcefully brought back to the conversation at hand, and when he eludes to her understanding of what it takes to be an Acolyte, the woman nods.

She could possibly say 'I do', but any response stills at Magneto's next words.

At his praise.

For Frenzy it's as if a bolt of lightning strikes her, as a powerful surge of emotions sweeps throughout her body. For a brief moment, as their eyes meet, intense devotion shines from within.

Then Magneto turns away, leaving the balcony, and while the moment (for Frenzy) seemingly ends, the Acolyte follows. She steps after Magneto and when he speaks again her attention is once more upon him. Perhaps she was expecting to be dismissed with some final bit of instruction, but it becomes clear that's not the case.

Not when Magneto reveals his objectives for his children.

Steadfastly Frenzy walks by her Lord's side and she listens to what he has to say. There's a flicker of emotion within her eyes at the mention of Pietro and his apparent lack of drive, but otherwise she says nothing until the mention of reinforcing. "Of course, sire. There can be no further compassion for the enemy. When we strike we must strike with all that we are." And all that they have.

His directives concerning Lorna merits another nod from the tall Acolyte, "I will make certain she is not seen to be too deeply enmeshed with the Brotherhood."

It's only when he looks over at her that Joanna looks to him, ignoring any and all they pass at this point, as he states those final words. When he finishes speaking Frenzy dips her head low again, almost bowing with how deep she genuflects. "I understand, my lord. I will see that all you envision comes to fruition."

And much like moments before that faithfulness was seen within her eyes, it can now be heard quite clearly within her voice.

Obedience. Commitment. Fealty.


It is something that attends all men with great presence and charisma, and the power to sway others; that instinct of when to speak, and when to stay silent. When to push, and when to hold back. When to approve, and when to disapprove.

In his Acolytes, Magneto knows he has men and women who would live and die by his word alone. Control over such a group is maintained by a mixture of fear and love… a mixture of carefully building them up, and tearing them back down. In his long silence, Magneto can practically feel the anxiety and desire to please mounting in the woman beside him; he lets it stretch on, lets it reach a critical point… and then, he gives her a reprieve.

She will not be cast out. She will not be sent from the side of the man who has given her life purpose — not today.

A moment later, perhaps perceiving the time is right for it, he even offers her a sliver of faint praise. He walks away afterwards, without even turning an eye to the electrifying effect that small reinforcement has upon her. Her renewed devotion is simply to be expected; the response he is owed for his beneficent regard.

He is even generous enough, afterwards, to reveal to her the shape of his desires for his various brood. The emotion that crosses her gaze when he speaks of Pietro draws his eye, but he says nothing of it — for now.

Magneto merely weighs her final words visibly, studying the faith in her eyes — in her voice. He seems to find it good; after a moment, he nods once, a gesture both of acceptance and of dismissal.

"Then see to your tasks, Acolyte," he says. "My children will depart in an hour, and you will be at their side."

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