Those Who Look to Him Are Radiant
Roleplaying Log: Those Who Look to Him Are Radiant
IC Details

Warren calls Carol for a meeting which turns somewhat confrontational.

Other Characters Referenced: Jean Grey, Phil Coulson, Sloane Albright, Billy Russo, assorted Brotherhood
IC Date: March 27, 2019
IC Location: Worthington Tower, New York
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 28 Mar 2019 18:55
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Suffice to say that the past few days have been a mess.

Warren's calendar has been primarily taken up with damage control. One of the few public mutants on the X-Men roster, he's taken it upon himself to make appointments with the people who would be obligated to arrest any of the others, trying to smooth matters over and project an image of mutantkind that — well, that isn't what the Brotherhood just showed everyone. Xavier's third student still carries the Dream heavily in his heart.

He's also been extremely concerned about potential violent backlash against hapless people just trying to register at the centers, and so he's hoping that Russo fellow from Anvil can help handle matters.

One of the most pressing people, in his view, to contact after this entire fiasco is Captain Marvel herself. Whatever he may think personally of her and her stance on matters, he's pretty sure there is at least one thing they both need to discuss. Such it was that Carol would have been contacted by him — personally — to discuss a meeting.

"At your convenience," he's saying, on his phone in his office at the top of Worthington Tower. Given his unique needs, it's an office whose windows all open like doors, and which has an expansive skylight beside a landing pad for aerial entry. This may become relevant in a few moments. "We may discuss the particulars — "

He has not the time to finish that sentence as Captain Marvel stands a quarter inch above the aerial landing pad as motionless as cast from solid rock placed on a steel slab. Only the flitting of her golden tresses in the high-rise winds betray the illusion of steely solemnity.
She had only exchanged terse preliminary pleasantries by the time the third Warren had gotten through what is an incredible mess of rerouted calls and dead extensions. The Triskelion was the wellspring from which all SHIELD communications flowed and reestablishing critical communications apparently did not include external channels for even top public Agents.
No statement of agreement or denial, Carol Danvers simply is.

Outwardly, the woman seems fine. Apparently having had enough time to clean herself since the fiasco her famous costume is as bold as ever. Her eyes however..
There is a serene intensity there like eyes of storms.

At another time she would have insisted on greeting him properly. Hell, she would have been thrilled to meet him. She desperately wanted top philanthropists and mutant advocates to at least tepidly agree to Registration and the billionaire would have been perfect.
Apart from being gorgeous the man is also a fellow flier. That alone would have given her a wealth to speak of. Reminiscing about her time as a fighter pilot and how she misses the tactile feedback of wings sometimes. She would have looked forward to it.

Now her hardened cast is the look of a woman who no longer is interested in such things. She humbled herself and pleaded on bended knee - in return dozens if not hundreds of co-workers were murdered in cold blood.

She has just enough civility and understanding to respond to Warren's request. As it so happens she was passing by on an errand. She took the detour with mechanical interest. This.. could be useful to her, to SHIELD. And so she is here.

Her silent eyes wordlessly ask for these particulars.

There is a long pause. Warren considers Carol askance, up through the glass of the skylight that is for once closed, and slowly puts down the phone. The call clicks off.

Rising from his chair, his hand drops to his desk and slips just under its edge. The skylight clicks open with a quiet hum, and the inrush of air from the winds that skirl at this height sifts through his hair and feathers alike. None of the papers fly off his desk, at least; he's got a lot of paperweights, apparently just for this reason.

Turning to face Carol, his wings half-open, white feathers lifting slightly. It is not any kind of human body language, but anyone who has seen a bird before would recognize wariness — a readiness to fly. It is not reflected in his face at all, which still retains on its beautiful features that calm look of comfortable, unflappable aplomb. "Now is good," he says mildly, as if she had not interrupted him mid-call. "I'm fortunately already dressed for another meeting." If the circumstances were different, he might have joked that he was dressed — at all.

This is definitely not the time for such a joke.

"Please come in," he says, armored for the moment in a flawless and practiced sort of courtesy. His left wing sweeps towards a seating area, tastefully appointed, away from his desk. Most people would have used an arm for the gesture; Warren seems to use his wings to express himself as often as his arms. "May I get you something?" He is already turning, himself, towards the indicated seats — notably backless, and arranged around a low coffee table. "It has been a hard few days."

Usually Captain Danvers is cognizant of how intimidating she could be to some. She understands how to be disarming, much as other powerful heroes have mastered before such as Superman among others.
Right now Carol is so numb she cannot remember why she cared about that so much. Her thoughts are straightforward and clear while she keeps a ruthless grip on her emotions.
Especially her temper.
As the skylight opens, Carol moves forward and lowers as if on an invisible platform. So unlike Warren's own natural means of flight, the Half-Kree defies physics with a slow grace that seems uncanny. Not once during transit do her eyes move from Warren. While the man may be used to female attention not so without an errant glance about his den of wealth and prestige. Her focus is singular and needle sharp.
It is likely that the SHIELD Agent hears Warren's courtesies but she does not observe the niceties of a proper guest to their host. Even as Angelic a host as this one may be. She feels a twinge of something approaching emotion as he speaks the words 'hard few days'. Without stepping towards the offered seating area she speaks up in close to a rush. As if trying to head off something monstrous five steps behind her.

"I need to know. Warren." Carol speaks in clear and crystal english, "If you knew anything about what The Brotherhood was planning."

As direct as a bullet. No coaching in guile or subterfuge. It is both an accusation and a means of absolution for Worthington and the mutants he represents. Both officially and unofficially. Her capacity for bullshit sits somewhere between nugatory and oblivion.

Warren pauses in his stride.

The courtesy of his demeanor freezes in place, no longer running all through him now so much as simply a brittle shell, glossed over something else flickering beneath. Carol would be familiar enough with what it is. The same thing is running through her right now.

She might not have expected to find white-hot rage to be something so easily found or provoked in Warren Worthington, though.

His wings widen slightly in their spread, feathers lifting and rustling. When he turns back to face her, his hands are shoved into his pockets, his head lifted, held slightly at a tilt.

"No," is his answer. "If I had, I would have been there putting my life on the line to head it off, as I have since I was eighteen."

His expression is cool. "Shall we discuss a more productive topic?"

That steel Kree stare is there to receive Warren as he turns to face that fury. If there was a distraction at all, it was for what avian tells those wings may have divulged. As is, Captain Marvel is pleased to have blasted away all of the pomp and circumstance to glare eye to eye with a fellow soldier hiding underneath it all. The warrior Angel within the guise of a playboy tycoon.
The unseen rage resonates between them. The wavelength somehow subdues the Military Captain far more than promises of comfort and ease could. In that moment she decides to trust him.

"Now.." Carol responds slowly, only now does her eyes break contact and walks - actually walks in his domain for the first time since he spoke a word to her, "We can."
She spies the previously offered seat, turning and availing herself at the closest. As formal a seating as a West Point graduate at a Presidential speech if she attended that august institution. Knees together, gloved hands folded.
For now she's decided he isn't an enemy. In Afghanistan she'd seen far too many of that kind of fiend. The rich and powerful offering platitudes and welcoming her and her soldiers while secretly slipping allied warlords intel on where to ambush them in a week or two.
As is she is settled, quietly letting Warren regain the initiative as she listens. Storm-weary eyes moving elsewhere for now.

Warren Worthington III was rarely ever in the papers except as a spoiled heir, a gossip mag trashfire, and then — only more recently — as a reformed 'playboy socialite' finally turning his eye towards sedate philanthropy in his old, monied age. One would never expect any sort of militancy from him, beneath his outward presentation and reputation. Most barely even expect a spine. Yet it only takes that one pointed, offensive accusation to strip back all those layers and expose something else entirely. Something that has been secret until very recently.

The customary mask of the gracious socialite drops — no, not just drops, is thrown. Beneath is a slighted warrior, furious at the suggestion he might have colluded with — or even enabled — a group an ideology he has dedicated most of his life to opposing. He has seen friends die along the way.

The mask stays off, afterwards, changed out for something else. Platitudes are plainly not the armor for this engagement; better to wear something much closer to the face of an executive at the board, or the face of Angel in active combat. Warren changes demeanor seamlessly, though not all of his courtesy as a host disappears. That stuff is ingrained in his blood. He waits for the lady to take a seat before he does himself, his wings folding behind him as he takes his spot opposite her. The feathers sleek back down, but his eyes remain pointed and watchful.

"Speaking as someone who has opposed them since their inception," he says bluntly, "they have, as usual, made everything exponentially worse. I had hoped the extremism would lessen with Magneto gone. It has not. I did not ask you here to discuss the particulars of how they should be fought, or what should be done about registration as a whole. My stance is obvious to anyone who makes even the most cursory skim of the news."

His gaze is quite level. "My concern is the safety of the people who are caught in between, who are trying to register, and who will likely be targeted. Backlash is guaranteed."

Captain Danvers knows very little about the man seated across from her. SHIELD does have extensive intel on the occupants of 1407 Graymalkin Lane but even their best operatives have to shrug at what goes on in the deeper cloisters of that house of mystery. And what intel they do have, Danvers herself isn't cleared for all of it. At least not yet.
For a long time she looked most favorably upon mutant rights and saw no reason to invest herself in further intrigue in that arena. She has always had plenty of overt and public foes to grapple with and she left espionage to Agents far more capable than she. The esteemed Coulson and - she hoped - his protege Albright.

Now the Brotherhood has reemerged in a way not seen since Magneto first declared Mutant Superiority with threatened fire and fury. They have placed themselves in the crosshairs of the world's greatest heroes and Captain Marvel has an extremely personal, vested interest in the matter now. She has a lot to catch up on and Worthington is as good a starting point as any.
Now that the afforementioned Agents are no longer on speaking terms with her.

"All I care about right now are the particulars of how they should be fought." Carol picks up the thread that Worthington discarded off-handedly, "There is no safety for anyone until those responsible are brought to justice." Digging into this point like a territorial pitbull, "We do not know if the Brotherhood are in a position to strike again. The Triskelion was one of the most secure locations in the world. Until we can prove otherwise we need to assume they can do the same to the White House or the Pentagon next. We.. Are at War."

She lets word sink in a moment. Not lightly spoken, not lightly meant.
"This was an act of War by a terrorist group. Innocent people have already been murdered and our first priority is to find them and end them."

"I did not ask you here to discuss those particulars," Warren says calmly, "because I assumed them to be a foregone conclusion. The Brotherhood will be opposed, as it has always been opposed. How you and SHIELD and whoever else gets on board choose to do that is no business of either me, or mine."

There is no further hint of the polite, careless patrician about him. He speaks curtly, as he was trained to do, by a life that revolved around the idea he would succeed his father someday both in leadership of the family, and the 150-year corporation their family has built. "…Until it affects our people. I care about the retaliation against innocent mutants, standing in registration lines, which has already happened — and will only happen more now, after this. I have already made myself available to Mr. Russo, in terms of his efforts in keeping the peace at registration centers. I called you for a similar reason."

His blue eyes narrow slightly. "This is an offer I am presenting to you, Danvers, not a contest of wills or a battle. Our goals are reasonably aligned in these two respects. This is an offer of a reasonable degree of cooperation to see that no further lives are lost because of this."

There is a hint of rising as Warren again dismisses what seems to be her singular issue. There is a burning temptation to say not another word and walk away from the table that at first brush seems to offer nothing of interest.
She hesitates as a very soft internal voice mentions that childish tantrums will get her nowhere. Her righteous fury is not quelled but she must not be an idiot. This man is the best lead she's gotten on getting at the Brotherhood since the Triskelion fell and she is not so over-fed on intel to throw away crumbs.
The moment passes as she audibly breathes, forcing herself to allow for his concerns as well as her own. She knows they are not without merit. She took a wild guess as to what Worthington's concerns would be the moment he identified himself on the phone and is not disappointed.
"Anvil is in charge of the safety of registrants and registration personnel. It sounds like you took care of that angle immediately. Good idea. I'll send Russo a message that he can count on me for assistance if there's an emergency. Is that what you wanted?" In a wrestled tone, forced into a contortion of cordial that deeply desires to be an impatient snap.

It is not hard to guess what the concerns of a mutant like Warren Worthington might be, especially given what is known about his disposition and his public acts. The safety of the average mutant is paramount to him.

He watches Carol Danvers carefully as that moment comes and goes. Her restrained remark, at the end of it all, draws a nod. "Close enough to it," he says.

Little of it shows on his face, but his wings relax by increments. The white feathers smooth down, and his blue eyes blink half-closed under long lashes, deceptively placid now that one step has been made. He, too, can understand the driving motive behind Carol Danvers that makes her own top priority here so different from his own. He didn't take Jean's death well. How many more did Carol lose?

"I've fought the Brotherhood since its inception," he finally begins. Of course it wasn't just him, but he avoids 'we' and has avoided it throughout this entire conversation, for a reason that is likely not hard to guess. "Mostly under Magneto's leadership. It has been different under the Twins — but from what I can see, not different by very much. They are," his voice is very dry, "very heavily influenced by their father."

His wings finally fold up at his back, no longer held half-open. "If you're hoping for me to know where they are, I don't. They would as soon kill me as look at me for being, in their view, a species traitor. What I can tell you is that you likely won't find them localized anywhere — not after a major move like this. They always scatter geographically. It's made it difficult to end them completely, over the years — you stop a few, here and there, but more always come. Their creed is an especial draw for angry, oppressed mutants." There is a definite pointedness to that comment in particular.

He pauses, before adding slowly, "There is the possibility of trading information if anything is learned." There is a moment's hesitation, a remembrance for those few occasions the two groups did fight alongside one another. It passes. "They need to be stopped."

The morsel of information is accepted with the faintest shift of her head. Of course Carol knows the basics of the Brotherhood's current situation, but Warren's confirmation is good to hear. She had wondered if Magneto himself played a hand in this, though he was not completely obvious as yet. She supposes he did in a way, if the motive of these Twins are to be believed. To the best of her knowledge no one has seen Magneto in the flesh in some time. Nor the owner of 1407 Graymalkin Lane for that matter.
A coincidence that has had a few wondering.

The globalized cell structure also makes sense to Carol, she saw enough of that herself in both the Air Force and with SHIELD. As does his profession that they'd as soon kill him as talk to him. Memories of Sloane in the hospital is evidence enough of that.

The pointedness of the word 'oppressed' draws Carol's eyes to him directly once more. There is another matter on the table that has remained unspoken. There is an Action planned for the weekend but the details are not publicly known and she does not know how much Worthington knows.
Bell has promised retribution for the attacks on the Triskelion and even she now at her darkest is fearing what may come to pass. There is a silent calculation in her gaze, not responding immediately to the insisted olive branch.

"I've been to Fallujah." Carol suddenly seems to switch topics.. Except really not. She mentions the city that was largely destroyed by the American Military in the name of rooting out Terrorists and Insurgents, "I do not want to see that kind of suffering ever again. I will do what I can to avoid it."

Carol rises to her feet then, "But now.. The gloves are off, Warren. I swore an oath to destroy enemies foreign and domestic. I've been in two theatres of war and I can't say I don't have blood on my hands. Maybe not as much as some.. But enough. If I have to add a little more to see this thing done.. Well." Captain Danvers leaves that comment to lay where it is.
At that she turns from him, "Now excuse me. I have a third funeral to prep for." Notably she does not say it's the last one for the week. Or the next. She does pause then, half turning as she mentions off-handedly, "Agent Holt. She was my commtech for the last four years. She was my rock when I was pulling shifts for days straight pulling bodies out of Hell's Kitchen. I went to her daughter's graduation ceremony VirginiaTech." A pause, "They found most of her body. Seems she shot herself in the head in the end." Shakes her head slowly, eyes distant, "Maybe to stop the pain? No idea."
She looks to Warren once more with eyes that look past him, perhaps to his wings? "Her family was lucky. They may never find all the bodies."

If Warren knows anything, it does not show on his face. That is a particular skill of his. His father taught him very early on that even the barest flicker of uncertainty on his features could falter investor confidence for weeks to come, and after nearly fifteen years of binding his wings he has grown used to keeping pain out of his face. He knows how to control his expressions.

It's to his benefit in situations like this, where a great deal is left unsaid — but close enough to the surface to be guessed. An optimistic hope for cooperation was a large part of what brought him to attempt to make this connection, to be sure — above all, the Professor taught them to reach across the aisle whenever possible — but more pragmatic reasons were behind it as well. That Carol is not immediately responsive to the effort is pertinent data in and of itself.

What she ultimately says lifts his golden head, his blue eyes meeting hers. She will do what she can to avoid that destruction, but if she has to

"We will do what we must to prevent it," he says. It is his first usage of the word 'we.'

He rises as she does, an instinctive courtesy. He is silent to her story of someone she lost, but his wings open slightly in a slow and unconscious fan, framing features which briefly consider being angry — but lapse into a pensive weariness instead. "Those who look to him are radiant," he relates from memory, "and their faces shall never be ashamed. I am sorry for your loss." His gaze draws back down to earth, to meet her eyes. "It's more death that we should seek to prevent."

Warren inclines his head, wearing that mask of courtesy again, his wings sheathing. "Thank you for your time."

To those words of solace Carol's steel eyes glint for the first time since she arrived. Possibly for the first time since she arrived from the firmament to a burning helicarrier.
She supposes, inwardly, maybe she did need more Angel than warrior.
Without another word she ascends through the aperture to the skyline beyond.

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