Maneater
Roleplaying Log: Maneater
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Who's the bigger predator… The wolf or the queen she bows to?

Other Characters Referenced: Captain America, Foggy Nelson, Mary Peterson, Jay Guthrie,
IC Date: January 09, 2020
IC Location: New York City, NY
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 09 Jan 2020 22:03
Rating & Warnings: G
Scene Soundtrack: Maneater by Nelly Furtado
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

The appointment - once Miss Beaumont had been convinced it was genuine - was set at a tiny restaurant in Midtown called Marrakech Alley. The front door is small and unassuming, and Andrea will find that she needs to step high and duck low to pass through it. The lobby is small but lovely, featuring elaborate tile on the floors and wall and a flowing fountain that occupies a third of the space.

But once inside the restaurant proper, the small ceiling soars upwards for two stories and is bedecked in fancy chandeliers that cast elaborate shadows and swathed in gauzy fabric. The main floor - small as it is - is very obviously focused around an even smaller stage - couches and floor pillows and low tables abound. On the perimeter, private booths with intricately carved wooden walls to separate them offer patrons a more secluded experience.

The smell of scented tobacco and honey lies heavy on the air.

It is to one of those booths where Andrea is escorted when she arrives. Emma Frost is already there, of course, relaxing on the comfortable brocade cushions of the low couch as she drinks a dark red wine. She's dressed for the occasion, in palazzo pants, a long tunic shirt, and a jacket with an open front and side slits, all of white chiffon with a sprawling white and gold floral embroidery. Her earrings are simple, long gold chains and her golden hair pulled up away from her face to cascade down the back of her head.

She sips and watches the room with a look of vague boredom.


After stepping high and ducking low, Andrea makes her way into Marrakech Alley with a curious glance about the decor. As usual, her bodyguard, James, follows her, but he takes a seat elsewhere to keep an eye on the door. With her being in the news twice now in as many weeks for extra-curricular run-ins, he has been a bit more vigilant when it comes to the crowds and those who want to vie for her attention.

Dressed in a pair of expensive designer skinny jeans with multiple slashes in the black denim and a baggy color block gray sweater hoodie with sleeves of red, blue and green. She tugs off her pair of shades and tucks them into her back pocket as she approaches the White Queen, sliding in across from her at the table into her own pile of cushions.

"Good afternoon Miss Frost. This is a nice place. Interesting. I heard this is based upon a tourist spot in Morocco. Reviews say it has great lamb shanks."

As she gives a quick glance at the menu as she plucks it up, she says, "Thank you for taking some time to meet with me. How're you doing? I hope I wasn't taking you away from something terribly important."


The pleasant thing about the place is, even with the little oil lamp burning on the table, it's desperately difficult to see inside. And even those who come by will find that the table's occupants don't really look anything like their true selves. A small, unassuming man comes and pours water for a elderly woman with pearls. He sets it in front of Andrea and walks away.

Emma swirls her wine as she works. "No, not particularly," she tells the other female. "You couldn't, really." She shrugs. "I pride myself on my ability to prioritize and stick to the priorities. That's how you get to be worth millions."

She considers Andrea for a long moment, skimming unapologetically through surface thoughts. Looking for signs that there's some ulterior motive to the younger woman's presence here. For undesirable associations that could prove problematic. Traps happen when one is caught unawares, after all. And Emma Frost doesn't like to be caught unawares.

"So, what, really, is it that you would like to discuss, Miss Jackson?"


Across the surface of Andrea's mind is nothing but admiration for the other woman. Excitement. Nervous energy. There is also something in the back of her mind lurking. Something dark. Feral. Snarly. It's also constantly squashed in the background as if the popstar was constantly focusing on shutting it up. One would think it's a voice of doubt or lack of confidence, but this sounds more animalistic.

As she reaches into her purse once a water arrives, she takes out a bottle of pills and taps two into her palm, then knocks them back with a quick gulp. She puts it back and places her purse to the side next to her on the couch.

"Well, I just wanted to know how have you been so good to keep it under wraps about what you are? When my powers happened, I didn't know what to do.. I felt like if I didn't register, it would get out eventually and my entire world would come crashing down." She drums her fingers lightly on the top of the table nervously. "Do you think I did the right thing? Other mutants think I'm a sellout."


Emma's entirely nosy, and quickly moves to suss out the nature of the pills. She doesn't need to look. She has the person with the knowledge sitting in front of her. Thus, all she need do is to look attentive. She is, of course, just not in the superficial way that Andrea will see.

It's in her feel for the psychic temperature of the room. The way she sorts through the things that make the woman in front of her.

"Sometimes, there's not a choice but to look legal. Registration wasn't precisely a thing ten years ago."

Thirteen, but who's counting?

"And my parents weren't… well… Let's just say that they didn't look for things that didn't interest them to begin with. So I had space to figure it out. Still, needless to say, I don't care a great deal for the practice of registration. But we do what we must to survive. If you made the right choice to protect yourself?" Her glass lifts in toast. "Congratulations. You did the right thing."


"I think because I am a celebrity, the government doesn't bother me. It's not as if they check up on me, or if they do it's through my management. I had an interview, they asked me some questions about my powers, made me demostrate it, then sent me on my way." Andrea says as she lifts a shoulder upwards.

As her mind is scanned once more, she can yank out that the medication is for anti-psychotic bi-polarism. A cocktail of Clozapine and Lurasidone. "But I do worry for mutants who aren't in my position. I was assured that it was just for everyone's protection. I don't know if the government plans on rounding us up at some point, using us as weapons against other countries, or experiment on us… you know… I worry about that. I worry about those mutants who can't help themselves."

As she sips her water, it appears she makes a decision on the menu. Lamb Gyro. That sounds interesting. "I just wanted to protect my family. My mother is a Marine. Decorated combat vet. I figure.. if I didn't register also, maybe it'd look bad on her. Maybe they'd put pressure on her." Selfless. She thinks of others before herself. More surface thoughts: Fear of losing everything. Fear her parents will be targeted.

"I was attacked by a mutant terrorist group called Spare Change…they want to fight back. That's… stupid right? To do that?"


"That's a terrible assumption about why the government is staying out of your affairs. They're not in them presently, only because it doesn't suit them to be. They'll make you do the work - the check-ins, the submission of medical records, and so on - until you aren't doing the work anymore. Or if they need more work from you. And then, trust me. They'll come knocking, and it will probably not be so polite."

It's about this time that the server comes, bearing lamb shanks and all manner of dishes and starts setting them out. The gyro is among them. Even though there wasn't really a discussion about it. Tea comes and is set before Andrea. He leaves without conversation. It's likely a little unsettling.

Emma continues on as though it were the most natural thing in the world, continuing to drink. "Resistance isn't stupid. Being stupid about resistance is stupid. They're not going to make much of a difference, I wager. A small splash in a big pond. The ripples will die down eventually."


"Oh." Andrea says softly as she is schooled by the more experienced mutant. She squints her eyes in thought. "I guess that does make sense. I dot every I and I cross every T. I make sure that I do whatever they need from me and it's mostly clirical."

"They attacked me because of who I am. A big name in the mutant world. Figured they could make a name off of me." There are flashes of images in her mind from the attack. A large man made of carbon fiber. Super strength. His name is Miller. Another girl, a violin, Alexis. Lots of fire. Another man with static electricity powers. A scuffle. A werewolf throwing them around with ease. The thoughts become jumbled for a moment, as if a wave of static hits the back of Andrea's mind and there is a low rumbling growl of pleasure and pride.

As she sips her water, she stares into space for a few moments, then gives a light shake of her head as if to ward the memories away. "I am opening a free clinic in mutant town in a few months. I am hoping that it will do those that can't get proper medical care some help. I've had a chance to see the type of poverty that mutants who don't pass like you and I are living in. It's sad." She says with frustration building in her chest. "It's not fair. Especially the children."

"Anyways.." She trails off. "I was wondering if you'd like to help me with that project. I could use some advice on ensuring that I can keep it protected. Is there any legal avenues I can take to ensure that it will be successful?"


Emma's eyes narrow at that, considering. And then she takes another sip as she takes her time. Nothing about her is rushed or worried. Instead, she considers. And then, once she's done considering, she offers her sage advice. "Speak to one Foggy Nelson about that, I think. He's a lawyer from Hell's Kitchen. See what he has to say. And I would highly recommend that you keep my name out of it. Instead, tell him that you heard him on Trish Talk with Mary Peterson and thought he'd be a good place to start with your legal questions."

Setting an empty glass down, the telepath languidly reaches out and elegantly pours out a new measure of wine with a deft hand. The light catches the bottle just so, betraying that she's more than halfway done with it. And she doesn't offer any to her guest. "Once you have more of a plan, I could perhaps be of some assistance. I have a few real estate holdings there, and a conveniently opaque foundation."


"I have a plan that I could email to you if you wish. My management team that I put together has a deck built, a number of potential locations narrowed down and we have interviewed a few members of staff. I'm hoping to have the clinic ran by qualified mutants." Andrea says softly as she tucks some dark hair back behind her ear. "I wouldn't want mutants to feel uncomfortable going in and speaking to humans. They couldn't relate.. you know what I mean? They aren't like /us/."

"But I will reach out to Mister Nelson and leave your name out of it of course. I think I've seen the name on a billboard or TV at one point. It sounds familiar. With a name like Foggy, it's hard to forget." As she tucks into her food, there is a low, primal rumble in the back of her mind again, a shifting of movements amongst the shadows in the back of her skull. Starved wolf. Yellow eyes. Blood. Not enough blood. Too cooked. Stupid flesh bags. This is not a real meal. Shut up. This is what normal people eat. I'm normal. You are not real. YES I AM. I AM ALPHA. I AM RAGE. No, you are not. Stupid pills. Kick in and shut her up.

She takes the first bite. "Oh, this is super good. You come here often?" She asks as she licks her lips, stabbing her fork a bit too harshly into some meat, then swirls it about some sauce.


"Not often, no," Emma replies, smirking. "But I'm glad you enjoy it."

Fortunately for Andrea, it's much harder than that to shock Frost. She continues drinking, listening to the conversation… in all of its dimensions. "I don't handle that sort of business by email. A print copy, if you please. You may have it couriered to my member's box at the Rex XIII Club." Because, of course, she would have a box to receive correspondence… at a snooty cigar bar.


As she eats, Andrea listens to her attentively, giving a nod of her head. "I can do that, sure. I appreciate it. It does mean a lot to speak with someone like you, who's just like me. Feel like maybe I'd get .. more honest feedback from one of my own kind." She breathes out as the angry voice slowly but surely goes to 'sleep'. There's no more snarls and the popstar looks to relax more visibly. No more itchy skin.

"You smoke?" She asks curiously. She knows the club. A socialite of her status would, even if she doesn't frequent there. "One of my executives goes there." Max Sterling. The name flashes across her mind. Jerk. Real 'handsy' with her. Makes her uncomfortable. "He enjoys the place from what he's told me. He's been trying to get me to join him there, but it's not my type of scene."

"When it suits me," Frost again offers, tone a little cryptic. Then, in the spirit of sharing, she offers just a little more. "It's less about the cigars and more about the networking and optics."

Yes. Networking and optics. Let's call it that. Of course, it's not entirely far from the truth. She's the CEO of a luxury brand with offices abroad and employees who must surely come to New York on occasion. There are partnerships and investors. Plenty of need to make the lofty membership dues worthwhile.

"And for what it's worth, I understand. About the humans. The humans are… well, they're usually problematic. Getting involved in things that don't really concern them, and doing it in all the wrong ways. Trying to weigh down their betters so that they can rise above us." A scornful clicking of the tongue follows the sentiment. "They should know that it won't work."


Nodding her head, Andrea says, "They are, yes. Very selfish. I wish more were like my parents. Accepting, understanding and loving." She idolizes her mother. Her hero. Champion for the country. Three overseas tours. The thoughts race across her mind for a moment, causing her to straighten up with pride.

"I have heightened senses. I can hear what people are whispering across the room about me. I can smell the fear. I can taste the air. I know when someone is bullshitting me and it's frustrating at times. Especially when I think an interview is going well and I may catch something in the air. It's like my ears prick. Just kills the mood, puts me on guard. I hate having to always smile and pose and pretend that I live in this perfect celebrity bubble. I get called all types of names, spit at, threats online, threats against my parents. I know other celebrities do as well, but at times it feels a lot more real."

"You're lucky that you're able to… live the life that you have. You seem very much in control. Top of the world. Just reading up on you on the web makes you look like you could run for president." She chuckles softly. "I'd vote for you, knowing that you're just like me. It makes me admire you even more knowing that we're the same. That maybe one day I can be like you. In control. Not worried."


Emma's smile becomes a little more strained as Andrea draws a painting of similarity a little closer than she would like. "And the reason why I look that way, dear, is because I have absolutely no intention of running for president. That invites people to poke and dig. Strategy is everything."

Lifting up her glass, she studies it as she swirls it round and round. "Stop hating the game. Enjoy the unfair advantages, the easy wins, and the domination as best you can. It's really the only way to get through, sometimes." She looks to Andrea. "How terrible a thing it is to be lovely, intelligent, wealthy, and the next step of evolution."


"I don't know if I can… I don't feel like I have an advantage, being a registered mutant. Especially with a power that essentially makes me into a monster. It's hard. PR wise. To sell me as a safe mutant, when I can throw small cars around and gut a cow as if it was made of paper. Monsters is what kids are afraid of under the bed and in their closet. It's why you rarely, if ever, hear about my powers in the news. I don't use them. There is no need to unless it's self defense." Andrea says softly.

"You though, you have the real power. You can control, shift the balance, obfuscate, manipulate. You can be whatever you let the crowd see. Me? I'm the cute Disney pop princess, but watch out, she may eat your cat, or chase you in the woods. What big eyes I have."

"Someone actually asked me if I'd be willing to play the wolf in a Riding Hood adaptation one time. I was so insulted. That would murder my career. How stupid." She says with a mild huff under her breath, taking one of the last few bites of her meal. She's wolfed it down during the conversation. Quick eater.

"I just don't know how to get to your level of comfort. I will never wish to not be a mutant, but I wish .. I didn't have to share it with the world."


Another shrug. "It's all about spin, darling. Maybe you should talk to your registration liaison. See about using your abilities to 'help humanity'. I hear they have some sort of metahuman team that they're using. Captain America leads them valiantly into battle. Join. Bide your time. If they're going to make you a poster child whether you like it or not… You should definitely look to control the layout of the thing, at least."

Emma looks back to her swirling glass of wine, as she mocks, "Everyone just looooves a hero."


"The only costumes I want to wear are on the stage when I preform. Besides, I'd be outclassed. I'm not my mother. She's a real warrior. I can fight, she's trained me to fight, but I don't want to.. I don't want to hurt people.. not like this." Andrea says as she holds up her hands, fingers curling inwards. Though, there is that tickle in the back of her head. Yellow eyes. Rage. Primal. There is a part of her that wants to fight. To run wild. To tear her clothes off, grow fur, revel. The thoughts are alien to Andrea's, as if there was a second personality warring with hers. Always fighting. Without the pills, what would she be?

"And I don't think the incredible Captain America will want a celebrity gimmick on his team. A PR stunt. He strikes me as the type of hero that doesn't want that type of attention." She says with a soft laugh, shoulders slumping a bit. "Besides, there is no way my boyfriend would let me do that. He'd wig out, get scared." Jay. The thought of him is like a warm sun. Her heart races. Her lips twitching just a bit. Love. She loves him. An image of him flashing through her mind. Country boy. Red hair. Large red wings. Mutant.

"I want to be a hero through my charity. I have a suicide prevention line for mutants. I've personally reached out and helped a few. I find them shelters. Food. Clothing. Medicine. It's why the clinic is my next step. After hearing their stories over the phone. Hearing them crying to me. Hearing what they say.." She says, her voice tightening, her body growing rigid. "Hearing how their parents throw them out, how they're bullied at school. I want to save them. No one else will. No one else cares about them."


Ugh, love. Ugh, young love. Even worse.

If Emma weren't who she is, the urge to make a terrible face at the thought would be overwhelming. She drinks more instead, and it all works out. It looks as though she's emotional over the thought of young mutants on the street.

She's far too drunk for that, fortunately, although it doesn't really show.

"Well. I think we covered that humanity is absolutely terrible. But, it sounds like you have a plan. So, finish fleshing it out… And then send me a copy. I promise to give you my very genuine thoughts on it."


"I will, promise. It means a lot to me that you're willing to devote some of your time to it. It really does." Andrea says as optimism rises. Nudging the plate to the side, she gives a lick of her lips, then reaches for her purse to pull out her expensive wallet and take out a solid black metal card from it. It's automatic that she feels she needs to pay. With her friends, she always pays, always carrying them.

"I should get going before James chews his arm off. He is on overtime right now and I feel bad to keep him away from his family. His daughter is cute." The large man in the suit in his 40's is keeping to himself, constantly staring at the door, then the exits, his head on a slow swivel.

"I look forward to talking to you again. New album drops in a month. It's going to be a real banger. Got a track on there you may actually enjoy. It's going to make people uncomfortable." There is a wolfish grin upon her face as she rises upwards, looking to hand the card to the waitress.

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