Data Issues II

January 31, 2019:

After Lorna and Marcus leave, Sage and Magneto have a talk about the Magistrates activities and the technology involved. (Magneto spoofed by Nate)

The Spire, Hammer Bay, Genosha.

Magneto's posh office.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Polaris

Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Magneto has a good poker face, it is difficult to notice his anger for most people. But it is there for the observant ones. The pale blue eyes follow Lorna and Marcos retreat and he still waits, a minute of staring at the door. Then he looks at Sage again.

"I remember you," he starts without preamble. "Standing at Sebastian Shaw's side in one of my video conferences with the man," where usually there were others involved too. But Magneto is an observant man who rarely forgets anything. "Why are you working with the X-Men, Sage? I find hard to believe they are collaborating with the club. Even now."

Sage waited with unfailing patience for the two mutants to depart the room, her expression her usual utterly neutral mien. She seemed, as well, entirely content to wait out Magneto's staring at the closed door, eyes tracking him as he turned from the door to address her, "Yes, I recall the meeting." There was no point in denying a known fact and a better known association, "So far as I know, the X-men are not now, nor have they ever collaborated with the Hellfire Club. I went to Colombia to rescue Polaris. She and I have worked together before. During the demonic invasion of New York City, we collaborated on the defense of Mutant Town."

"I suppose that makes sense," admits Magneto reluctantly, leaning back on the chair and reaching for the tablet with the information snared in Columbia. His hands sweep over the table, revealing advanced circuitry as the glass becomes clear. He seems to take a few seconds linking and unlinking devices, and finally connects a universal data port to the tablet. Holographic screens apart at his right, opposite to the side Sage stands.

"We had identified Magistrate hideouts in Kenya, Madagascar and Somalia. We suspect they have at least two in India. I doubt they are this large," he comments, speed reading through several screens. Slowing down when data on the experiments is found.

Sage settled in to wait, as Magneto went to his desk to upload the data for his own review. She had not edited or filtered the data before she had uploaded it. This was not intended to be a con, but an exchange of information. She scanned the holoscreens that she could see as they were brought online, "Polaris, as well as the X-Men who were involved in the mission all expressed surprise at the sheer scope of the facility, and the amount of information they had managed to salvage from operations, such as the one in Genosha that was disbanded. But, as you can see, the information was not stolen wholecloth. The gaps in their knowledge an experience were directly reflected in the numbers of failed experiments which we encountered within the facility."

Magneto nods slowly, still reading screens at surprising speed. Most people would think he is just searching for something, but Sage can see his eyes moving, he is actually reading everything.

"Genegineer Moreau work was actually based on date brought to Genosha by a monstrous creature called 'the Suggar Man'," he offers. "Most files were destroyed, perhaps stolen, by American commandoes that hit the old Citadel during the revolution. Looks like the renegade Magistrates have some inkling on the procedures, but… this is many years outdated. Crude."

"Most of the work we saw there was. They seemed to have as little knowledge of mutant genetics as they did Sentinel tech, and they were trying to graft one onto the other. That was part of the work. The other half of the work seemed to be in the area of trying to modify or evolve mutants to either refine their abilities or to give them new ones. They seemed to have little to know success that wasn't by happenstance. And there were many mutants whose abilities were removed in the course of the experimentation, but that seemed to be an anomaly they were not able to correct." Sage remained standing, showing no trace of fatigue or weariness.

"Their Sentinel tech was based in Trask's work," comments Magneto. "Very little innovation except for some weapon systems. Genoshan cybernetics were adequate, but not truly superior to American, and not as sophisticated as Gamorran, or Cyberdata's SHOC troops."

Pause. He looks at Sage again. "But the genetic engineering. That is the key. The possibility to fully activate latent mutants, and to uplift the betas to alphas. I have done so in the past, but on a very small scale. It is critical for the future of mutantkind to secure this technology. I am quite sure both Xavier and Shaw would agree with me in this matter."

Sage nodded, looking back to the screens, "That clearly seemed to be the intent of the work, but they had so little knowledge to go on, most of what happened seemed to be accidental. And the few 'successes' they tallied on their register, they don't seem to have been able to replicate. Which could have a few factors at play. Either they were working with bad research and development, old tech. And this is the extent of the Magister information. Or, they were working independent of the other groups which you have already identified, and the other groups might have more complete information." She considered a moment, "The reverse is also true. Such a technology would have the power to depower mutants, and potentially to neuter the race. This sort of technology would be highly valuable on the anti-mutant market. And may be the basis for how they ended up with Trask tech."

"The new inhibitor collars," confirms Magneto, "used Genoshan advances in the technologies. It shows the old regimen had been collaborating in secret with Trask Industries for at last five years. No doubt with the approval of the US Government, as Sentinel technology was considered a strategic asset. Likewise I expect the Mark III sensors are also based in Genoshan tech."

He returns to the holograms, looking for the depowering experiments. He spends a few minutes there, quietly reading. "I can't confirm yet. But I suspect this is nothing more than lobotomy. In many cases mutant powers are controlled from specific areas of the brain. Destroying those prevents power activation. It often cripples the victim in other regards, of course," a hint of anger here. "I agree this is based on older research. But I will put the current genigeneer to work on it, there might be some insights."

"Yes, it would seem so. Most of the depowered mutants that we encountered were barely functional. But as a technology, it stands to reason that anyone who is learning how to turn on a lightbulb is also opening up the possibility of turning it off again. So where as someone in the mutant community might use this tech to empower mutants, someone from, say, Trask Industries might look at it as a way to find a more reliable solution for depowering mutants than using collars." Sage shifted her weight, turning her attention to one of the holograms, "At least two of the experiments I encountered appeared to be a crude attempt to create a organic-sentinel hybrid."

"Reliable solution," growls Magneto, tensing. "Bullets are still cheaper than surgery, Sage. I expect these were attempts to learn how mutant powers work. The data would have been useful for inhibitor collars too, I suppose."

As for the mutant-sentinel hybrids, the older mutant just shrugs. "Are you familiar with the Cyberdata Corporation. Their cybernetic department had some success enhancing mutant powers with integrated technology. On paper they hire mutant mercenaries, and they paid them with implants. I doubt it is as clear and clean as it is advertised, but I never had the time to properly scrutinize the company operations. I had so far more important targets."

"Bullets are final, Prime Minister. A dead mutant is a dead mutant. A mutant you can learn to control, and can direct as easily as you can point a gun, is a potentially devastating tool." Whether Sage saw the tension or not, her tone did not change, nor did she seem put out of sorts by Magneto's tone, "I have read their research, and I can extrapolate the end result, given enough time, money, and determination. A year from now, five, ten…from human-cyborg hybrids to fully human sentinels. Completely undetectable, and capable of infiltrating human and mutant encampments."

"Undetectable cyborgs? That seems unlikely on the short and middle term," comments Magneto. "But I will certainly study this research carefully." He shuts down the holograms displays and leans back. "Now, the exiled Magistrates seem to have far more resources than I expected. It is possible Trask is financing them, but I doubt they can do so for long. The expenses would bleed dry quickly even larger companies. They must have other allies."

Sage nodded, clearly in agreement, "Possibly yes, but I have a feeling," in so much as her voice indicated that she had feelings, "That this may well be the beginning of a long con. And…investment for the future, you might say. Though, given how quickly technology is advancing, that future might be sooner than any of us anticipate." Sage stepped back, as Magneto shut down the holograms, settling back into studying him as he rearranged himself in his seat, "How man rivals does Trask have? That we know of? If I were the one behind the magistrates, I would be looking at ever angle, taking money from Trask and from every other competitor looking to get a leg up in the game."

"Rivals? Not really. Trask has been at the head of weaponized robotic developments in America for over a decade," and outside America, Magneto considers. "Fujikawa, some other Japanese companies. But they have no anti-mutant agenda. Other branches of military technology? Well, too many to count. The most important are based in the United States."

Sage nodded, considering the Prime Minister's words, before she replied, "It may well be that the money is coming from within the United States. However, I don't know that it matters whether or not the organizations which might be funneling money to the Magistrates need to have an anti-mutant agenda. A black-market arms dealer, for example, usually doesn't care whether he's arming the 'right' side of a conflict or the 'wrong' side. What he cares about is the money that ends up in his bank account. For all we know, the funding might not be coming from people who care about mutants one way or the other, but rather, from people who see an opportunity to sell a new technology to whomever is willing to give them the money they're looking for. And Trask has already proved that anti-mutant technology is a high-value enterprise."

"There is a profiteering opportunity in each war," agrees Magneto, again sounding reluctant. The investments seem too much for the benefits, the Magistrates are too blatant and have created too many enemies. Genosha was good for them, but it is no longer true, and the exiles have little to offer. He is running numbers in his head, but he is not sure.

He hrms. "I am afraid my presence is required elsewhere now. And I believe we have reached an impasse and we are voicing possibilities and opinions, and not facts. But I will analyze the information with my staff and share the conclusions through Lorna. As for you now - I have heard the DEO lost several advanced Sentinel models recently. I suspect it is quite important to find who has those machines." He stands up and dons his helmet, "have a pleasant stay in Genosha, Sage. I will call for an Acolyte to be your guide."

Is this a request for Mr. Shaw or does Magneto expect Sage working with someone else? He is not going to clarify before leaving.

"We all have particular skills, Prime Minister. One of mine is probability calculation." She offered a dip of her head at the information he shared, "I will do what I can to track down the missing Sentinels. if I locate them, I will pass the information on to Lorna." The implication, of course, being that she would, in all likelihood pass it on to Magneto. "Thank you for the hospitality." She did not move from where she was standing, nor would she, until the Acolyte he selected arrived to see her out.

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