Temptations from a Trickster

April 20, 2019:

Loki appears at Lorna's rooftop garden and makes her an offer to change the world.

NYC-Mutant Town, Lorna's building

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It was late in the day, the sun setting slowly behind the clouds that had started to become overcast. It had been a pleasant enough day, the sun high and the temperature warm enough to go out with a light jacket or sweatshirt. A rather picturesque Spring day, complete with a nice breeze that swept through hair and jackets alike gently. It had rained the night before and as such, in the city at least, there wasn't all that much pollen to torment those afflicted with such allergies.

As a result, people were out in force, even here in Mutant Town where the population had been decimated attack after attack, hardship after hardship in the past year. Many residents had long since fled to Genosha at Magneto's offer, many of which had found sanctuary temporarily on their way out in his daughter's abode.

The building had beefed up security, all mutant based of course, with cameras and early warning systems put in by the X-men. Particularly after snipers had tried to assassinate Lorna in her own penthouse suite from the building over. The whole structure looked exceedingly classy from the outside. A smooth brick front, polished wrought-iron railings, and decorative latticework of intricate metal work. Beyond, inside was a doorman that doubled as security that either buzzed visitors in with permission from those that lived in the upper floors. It was all brand new and smelled of money poured into what had otherwise been an old, decaying building.

On the rooftop was a garden, and it was a lush affair. Though it was early in the season, flowering plants that would bear fruit absolutely covered the rooftop. A few decorative features light up the area. A metal bench, more ironwork around the sides. A large metal sculpted bird bath and fountain occupied the center, where one Lorna Dane sat shaping another chunk of what had once been scrap metal into some form of artwork and defensive measures to her building.

*

Floating over all of this looking down in an invisible sphere of protection stands Loki with a sour look on his face. He hated having to deal with mortals, but if he wanted to get things done he would have to branch out from his comfort zone so he stood to wait patiently watching the structures for his goal. When he saw Lorna coming outside he decided to make his move the green glowing around him though no-one would see it. Casting his spells to get multiple layers of illusion started. Laying them one on top of the other until he was sure all the senses of those below him did exactly what he wanted them to do in this particular situation.

To Lorna it would look like a tall man that looks like in his late 20's- early 30's stands in the garden alone. His garb looks like he just came out of a medieval fair as he looks down at the flowers with disinterest. The other people in the building, the security, the workers, everyone would go quiet to her as they disappear to sight, then sound, so there once may have been someone there though they are completely gone now.

To everyone else it would just look like a normal day, Lorna would appear just walking around like she usually does, and nothing would seem off at all. They would not see Loki of course, as that is the person standing by the guarded, nor any changes as he gives them all a nice normal view of the complex. None of this would turn off any mutant detection, nor a mental attack as this is all magic, and it was all slowly added so those affected would not notice. The exception, of course, being Lorna, as it would be easy to notice that everyone is gone as Loki wanted her to know something was up.

Loki doesn't turn as ya come in as if he doesn't notice you, of course he does as Lorna is the reason he was here, but for now, he ignores her to let it sink in a little. He smiles to himself in his silence as he knew who she was, and what she could do for it was the reason he came here, to begin with. She could be extremely useful to Loki though darn mortals always had a mind of their own.. so might take a bit of convincing.

*

Out of all the children of Magneto, Lorna was perhaps the one most vulnerable to magic. Oddly enough, it had saved her once or twice in the past, her ignorance of magic had been what allowed her to not completely and utterly panic when Limbo's demons had invaded New York City and she'd been forced to steal Illyana's sword from one of her siblings in a frightful night of chaos and magic. She had no idea how to deal with it, and relied on her instincts and friends to get her through the worst of the more magically complicated situations that seemed to crop up in her life.

Yet for all her ignorance, she'd managed to survive each time.

Even as her day slowly peeled away and all sense of other people faded from her sight, she still felt the beat of life through the magnetic fields around her. She was still in the city, could feel the magnetic spark that meant people were around and live. Her magnetic senses didn't lie to her, even when her eyes and ears did. The strangeness of it all had the green haired woman on edge. Which is when she spotted the young man standing there in the garden amongst the new growth of Spring plants. Her eyebrows furrowed sharply, and her hands curled in the air before her, the metal she'd been sculpted whirling around to sharpen and float threateningly around her.

"Who are you? And what do you want?" Called the youngest child of Magneto. Polaris stood from her sitting position, her bare feet brushing lightly against the gravel of the filled in path of her garden beneath her. She stood tall, long green hair curling about her face, and wearing a pair of ripped up jeans and a soft lavender blouse with grey jacket casually thrown over it.

It was clear that up here, she'd expected some modicum of privacy and safety.

*

The man turned slowly, and looked at her with a 'oh its you' look before turning to look back at he flowers. He doesn't say anything for a moment reaching forward he plucks one of the flowers and holds in his hand taking a smell from it. One might get angry at him for killing one of the flowers, but if that person looks closely it would seem that the flower is still there, and in his hand at the same time. "I know it is fake yet I can still smell every fragrance. If I poke myself with the thorns I still bleed. I can make it as near as real as I please, but." the flower dies in his hand the life fading from it till it breaks away into dust falling away. "I will always know it isn't real." and chuckles to himself wiping his hands together to knock off the excess.

He finally turns to look at her his eyes focused, and his face showing a grim determination. "You seem to be enjoying yours. The illusion of freedom, and control." he pauses taking a slow step forward. "I am not here to hurt you, child.. If I were." a voice of Loki whispers right into your ear like he is right there though his body doesn't move. "You would be." The actual Loki just smiles and holds up his hands in front of him in a surrendering gesture so you don't think he was trying to attack.

*

The metal liquified under Lorna's will, though she didn't budge from her defensive posture as she stared at the intruding presence of the stranger who had yet to introduce himself. She glared, and slowly as he plucked a flower and it withered in his grip she took a small step backward. Her fingers curled slowly and she wove her magnetic senses throughout the building below her. After the sniper attack that had nearly killed her, she'd gone through the whole of the building. It was steel and iron all the way through. A weapon from top to bottom, and a defensive shield all at once for the magnokinetic. She was prepared to flee through a tunnel of steel to the sub-basement she'd installed at a moment's notice as she exhaled through her nose and inhaled sharply as he called her child, and promised to not harm her… all while making rather threatening promises.

"Who the hell are you and what do you want? I don't have the time nor patience for games. Particularly not from someone that shows up uninvited to my house making cryptic statements."

*

The man takes another step closer and is quietly listening to her talk to him. "I get you are scared, and you are right to be mortal. Relax your arms as I am here to offer you a chance at something you would not be able to achieve on your own." He slowly lowers one arm putting the fingers together he only smiles before he snaps one time as the world changes around you once again. The whole complex changes and looks like a palace right in the middle of New York City down to the buildings. To one in the middle of it, the whole place would have changed almost like warping to another place altogether, and Loki chuckles to himself, "I am sure you can tell we have not moved so be calm, this is what I want."

He points 'down' from the palace to the streets of New York. There are mutants just walking around one has a tail, the other is green as Loki just made them as examples.. "No gilded cage for your or your friends, the government knows its place, and you no longer need to worry about these stupid normal people trying to kill you all the time." he makes his offer, and snaps his fingers to turn it all back to normal, or at least the normal it was before the change. "As far to who I am, I am the ultimate liberator… I have liberated the Ice Giants from Odin, Surfer from my brother… I am Loki." he adds with a simple bow.

*

There wasn't an immediate change to Lorna's stance or posture as the strange man told her to more or less relax. She kept up her defensive posture, unrelenting in the stance or in lowering her grip on the tons of metal below her feet. Not until with a snap of his fingers the world changed. Not to her magnetic senses, those rang true. Even as her eyes lied to her on what was all around her. She moved slowly, her grip on the floating liquified metal loosened and she dropped it as she inched to look out beyond the edge of the building to stare at the illusion that the man had painted before her.

Incredulously, Lorna ripped her gaze back as he continued to speak of what he wanted for her.. for her people. His promises of freedom and safety were tempting and a few months ago, Lorna might have laughed in his face. But now? Now with the threats that lurked beyond her reach, beyond her ability to fight and protect mutants with looming threats from the future.. She shivered, feeling a chill climb up her spine as the stranger finally introduced himself. She squinted, eyes narrowing as her focus returned to him.

"Why would some Norse 'God'," She used the term loosely, she didn't believe for an instant that Thor nor his brother Loki were actual Gods but she certainly wasn't sure what else to dub them. "Want to help me? What do you get out of it? Why bother? Don't you have more important things to do?" She struggled to remember what she'd heard of Loki from Mythology—and only came up with the vague recollection that he was supposed to bring about the end of the world and liked to mess with people.

*

Loki eyed her as he stood back up, he waved his hand at her questions turning back now that he had shown her what he wanted to smell the flowers as they were one of the few things he liked about Midgard. "Why you? That is a question I get from you mortals, why me.. why!" he imitates, and shakes his head, "The thing you should be asking is how." he adds holding a finger up as in a lesson. "I know of your father, he would say he joined up cooperate till he got what he wanted then try to swoop in and take control. His power almost rivals his own greed though you.. you are different." he chuckles a bit, "You want power but not for yourself, it seems, at last, you find it a hassle, and yet you still have the power. You have the ability, and while you come with your own baggage not near as much as him."

He gives a shrug, "As to why… well let's just say there is another Asgardian here on Midgard and he finds this status quo very appealing." he makes a fist in front of him. "I wish to take away that comfort, and I can do that working with you. That and while I fully plan on letting you do with America what you will I will take the rest."

He notes it like nothing, but he is offering you this country, though what he is saying is that he is going to use that to take over the rest of the world. "Come.. Don't you want all of this to stop? Do whatever it takes to get the job done? I know you have it in you I just want to know if your willing to let it out to get what you want for your fellow mutants."

*

It was very nightmare and dream come to life. Lorna had always had power, and neglected it when she could… While at the same time, had found a heady rush when presented with it. The Brotherhood had looked to her in the absence of her father and siblings. On Genosha, though she rebuffed attempts to call her 'Princess'.. she'd still taken to the role. She'd flown high on the path ways of power her father had offered her, a taste of an increase of power she might some day achieve.. It had been frightening. The vision from Dani over a year ago though always tilled her hand. A land ripped free of metal, her friends slaughtered by her own hands..

The green haired mutant closed her eyes briefly as she swallowed a dryness that appeared at the back of her throat as Loki's promises settled more firmly in her mind's eye. She exhaled slowly, her gaze landing back on the Asgardian near her. "Everyone knows of my father. He's a bit infamous. Nor does he like the idea of sharing power with anyone." She murmured, tilting her head as she considered Loki again, her lips pursed into a thin line of thought.

"Much less would he want to work with someone he doesn't think he can control." She added, her arms crossing as she spoke her thoughts out loud. Then Loki mentioned why… the final bit clicked into place as he mentioned another Asgardian that liked the 'status quo'. She arched a brow upward at that. Darcy liked Thor, considered herself friends with the man.. God… Asgardian. The blonde had visited her on Genosha briefly and thought her a green haired witch for a brief moment before Darcy had stepped in… and considering the man before her, she wasn't too sure that it was paranoia on Thor's behalf that had him thinking that of her now.

"And Genosha? You said that I would 'have America' and you'd take the rest." She needed details, information, but she had a feeling that she'd be getting little of that in particular.

*

Loki nods as she talks about her father, and smiles. "My father is the same way. Odin thinks all of you are below us not to be worked with discussed, or even considered unless it is a threat." he shakes his head. "I hope I don't need to point out who exactly he thinks is a threat right?" glancing at her, as he would not be here if she was not smart enough to figure it out. "Fathers are from another time, and just have never moved on.. Figure that is something we have in common. You know I call your mortals, as you live and you die, and a child because after two thousand years.. that is what you are to me. Do you know what they call you in Asgard? Witch, cursed one, stain.." and gives a short laugh at that. "How long before you think they will act against you?"

He is quiet for a moment before he continues slowly almost if talking to himself, "They say if you put a wild animal in a zoo long enough they lose the ability to hunt, to fight until they become so depressed they finally die." he sighs, "I have seen that happen to us as our father preaches peace in the nine realms, and I would hate to see it happen again here.. Though I wonder at what stage are you at?" he smiles looking back at her. "Have you lost your teeth child, or are you able to stand up and do what needs to be done?"

*

Loki's words nearly had her interested, but the way he jumped from topic to topic.. rarely answering her direct questions set a red flag in her mind's eye. Her father might be paranoid, but was it truly paranoia if they were really after you? She'd been shown time and again that to trust others was a folly. Marcos had left her… her baby was hidden away, beyond her reach. She'd vowed to change the world for her daughter, to make it a place where she could live and grow.. freely. Yet what had she done toward that? She'd seen Genosha safe.. and then avoided it. She'd cooped up here in Mutant Town, playing protector to a small slice of mutants in the city.

And what had come of it?

Nothing. The same nothing that had father had had to show for decades.

Loki's comment about her being a child, about her being simply too young in comparison.. and mortal. It caught a spark of annoyance in her. The annoyance that came with the unknown. She had no idea how long she might live… and given how old her father was, who could even predict it? The comments about Asgard even considering Mutants particularly as a threat to them had her arching a green eyebrow upward. She didn't even know where Asgard was, how the hell could she be a threat to it?

Still, despite these thoughts, Lorna stepped toward the edge of her rooftop, her hands curling against the wrought iron railing she'd created some time ago as she peered down at the crumbling street below.

"You're awfully chatty and very bad at answering direct questions. What would happen to Genosha in your so carefully crafted new world? It's not part of America and holds one of the largest concentrations of mutants in the world. And what exactly are you offering me in all this? Power? Intel? Or are you just asking me to act? For all my father's faults, I share his need to know details. You see, it's why he's still alive. The details."

*

Loki actually chuckles to himself and walks up to stand next to her on the edge to look down with her. "I have a lot to say, and a lot to ask to make sure you are up to the task. I know it is a matter of time before it is too late to act at all so excuse me if I seem a bit rushed." he just keeps staring down as he talks. "I care nothing about Genosha if that is what it takes to get you involved then so be it." he waves a hand in agreement. "I am in an agreeable mood for now, and things like a city of mutants while useful is not needed for progression so that is why I am able to overlook it," he explains as he knows as paranoid as she is that giving up a power base might tick as another red flag. He just smiles and lets the silence sink in for a moment thinking about how much to tell her about he details themselves as they are extremely complicated so might do more to talk her out of the plan then into it.

Instead, he takes a deep breath, "What I am offering is what you want, you want to run this country from your own throne.. so be it I do not care what you do with it after it is yours. I would suggest not giving it back to the normal mortals though as that would kind of defeat the purpose." and shrugs, "As far as what I want you to do is really easy.. I need someone who can talk to the mutants. I am an outsider so they will not believe that I am trying to help them so will fight against me. With your help though someone with strength, and one of the group you can get further than I can. You can talk to them, and get them to help or stay out of the way."

He puts a foot out over the edge and holds it there balancing himself.. "I will get you the targets, and influence the ones in power that are needed. Gather the intel, and make sure the goal is being achieved." he glances at her, "I do not expect for you to follow blindly, nor am I asking you to. I am sure you have had enough of that, and if you plan to lead you should know what is going on.. Though I only want to explain to you not all of them that might be working towards this goal so putting you up as the figurehead to the mutants has multiple purposes."

*

Lorna withdrew her grip from the wrought iron railing to peer back at Loki as the Asgardian approached her to peer down as well. She crossed her arms, shifting her weight upon her heels as she watched him beneath her eyelashes. She had to stifle a snort and keep from rolling her eyes as he spoke of a throne. "I don't want a throne. I have no interest in acting as 'Queen of the Mutants'." She smiled, and it was a bitter twist of her lips.

"I'm not looking for that. I've read enough history to know how that ends. I'd really rather not." She waited for a beat, two, inhaling deeply as she rocked her weight back onto her heels and gazed back out of the crumbling buildings of Mutant Town. Sirens echoed in the distance along with the usual hubbub of the city beyond.

"But just to clarify, you want me to play the part of a go-between. Rally the Mutants to the cause and basically, gather you an army of Mutants. Angry people with powers determined to fight back and rebel against the system that oppresses them. It's a solid enough idea. Between my connections to the X-men and the Brotherhood.. along with my family ties. Well, I can see why you're asking me rather than someone else. There are plenty of others more powerful than me out there." She offered, glancing back toward him with an arch of her eyebrow.

"Stop me if I'm wrong there. You'd use me as the front man, while you played behind the scenes. Probably give me enough details to feel like I know what's going on, but really.. what does it matter to you? Low risk with your magic, right?" She tilted her head to the side.

"You want most of the world. Sparing Genosha, a small island and America. You'd set yourself up as what… King of the rest of it?"

*

Loki chuckles, and shrugs. "Be whatever you want it matters not.. If you want to appoint someone as your charge I can hardly blame you for it." he gives a half-smile, "The point is you, can change or keep things how you want I know you have been held down for so long I would hope you did not forget what true freedom is" he looks up closing his eyes listening to the siren. "Sounds like you lost another one.. I wonder how many more times that alarm has to go off how many more has to die before your willing to take that step." falling to silence again as he just listens to it. "But to not change the subject." he interjects before you can get on him about switching topics yet again as he has often enough, "What happends when you have control if you use it to make history, or are just stomped away and forgotten is up to you.. It is not on me beyond that point so I do not think this part of the discussion is viable."

He pauses taking a deep breath again and continues, "You are only a go-between if that is the effort you put into it. I am not looking for a yes-man, or in this case woman, nor someone to just deliver a message." he turns to look at her, "I am looking for a leader with no army, someone who can take this and make it their own. You ask me why I don't go to the others, and that is because I think you are the right choice for this position. Outside all their little groups that have been doing the same thing for years, and years. Willing to look at it in a way that the elders of your society are not willing to so here I am."

With a laugh, and another shrug, "Or maybe it is that you are able to see what is going on when others would just dismiss he idea. Though low risk is a bit much as I am going to need to be the one that is there to bail you out of the fire when it gets bad, or in the thick of normal mortals just to learn where to strike next." he sighs a bit.. "If you could do this on your own you would of already. Your fathers failures cause you hesitation? I only ask because something must." he glances at her then back at the road, "Maybe it is because you think I am only using you? Well I am.. in a way.. though I am giving you the option of using me as well." he adds finally not answering what he would do with the rest of the world as those plans are his own.

*

Silence met his words, as Lorna fell silent for the whole of his reply to her questions. It was all too much, an offer from some God-like being to reach out and change the world. Why was she hesitating still? She had no real reason to. Wasn't she just yelling at Nate a few weeks ago for the inaction of the X-men? How they'd been forced to be reactive rather than active. How many mutants had to die before things changed?

Loki wasn't wrong on that train of thought. Nor was he wrong in terms of part of what held her back…

The larger part was the fear that had always held her back. A mental block she herself carried and implemented. She had never wanted to be like her father. A villain hated and despised…. yet his actions had won mutant kind an island. His actions, his abandonment.. she'd long ago forgiven. She had long since taken the first steps down the path that Magneto himself had taken decades before her. Only she'd made those choices so much earlier in life.

The wind whistled between Loki and Lorna for a brief moment, and her lips pursed together into a thin line of thought. She eyed him in a deepening silence, not responding for a long time as she merely stood there. Her bare feet chilled against the gravel path of her rooftop garden and her arms still crossed as the wind whipped through her green curls.

"I don't trust you. I don't trust that you're doing this out of any concern for me or my kind. And if things go south I highly doubt you'll be there to have my back. As you said, you're a few thousand years old. Why bother with a mortal like me?" She snorted, and arched a brow upward and actually rolled her eyes then.

"But it doesn't mean you're wrong about the state of things either." She muttered, her voice dry. "You're not the first person to try to use me for their own ends. My father has been doing so for a lot longer, by the way. He's also more subtle at it." She shrugged. Then paused for a beat, exhaling once as she came to a decision.

"I'll work with you."

*

Loki only smiles to himself, as she says she doesn't trust him, and as well as she wouldn't but she was wrong in some of her assumptions so he would have to use that against her at a later point. Of course, this was for his plans not for any mortals as he cared nothing for mutants, or nonmutants they were all the same lower being to him. In his mind none of them were worth saving, and for the ones that helped his brother all of this would only hurt them. He is quiet feeling the wind as he listens to her finish he doesn't push the issue though as she agrees to work with him.

Loki bows to her in acceptance of her acceptance, "Very well.. My brother always says trust must be earned, and even a broken clock can be correct thrice in one passing of your sun." he glances at her not sure if he got that one right, but the point should get through. Turning he starts to walk back to the garden seeming to ignore her though he continues talking. "I will contact you with the mission, and any information that you need with it. I would suggest you get some other mutants to do your work soon as I have found it beneficial to deliberate so might you." he offers as a bit of free advice that she might have already picked up on.

He sniffs the flowers one more time, and you could swear he is becoming more see-through as he adds his voice starting to fade a bit as well. "Work quickly young one.. for I will have a mission very soon, and if your father shows up to get in your way alert me and I will take care of it." he chuckles, "And I do not mean kill him… Unless that is what you want of course?" by this time you can see the flowers through him as he just looks at it almost like a ghost though the others haven't came back yet.

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