The Brotherhood Connection
Roleplaying Log: The Brotherhood Connection
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Two within the Brotherhood's highest ranks meet up to discuss their current situation.

Other Characters Referenced: Wanda, Charles Xavier, Magneto, Poison Ivy, Rogue, Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost
IC Date: April 04, 2019
IC Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 05 Apr 2019 15:31
Rating & Warnings: PG
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Being alone comes with the territory. The Brotherhood has scattered and gone to ground after the attack on SHIELD. Poison Ivy has been freed from the Raft, gods only know where she's disappeared to since then. Through all of this Mystique has still found opportunities to locate two of her children directly and have something of a face to face with them. There is -always- something to do. Now more than ever with the inclusion of Sentinels and the trouble which has become of District X.

She almost didn't have a choice but to stay behind. Not only can she hide in plain sight but this is a critical time to be gathering intel on the home front. Even she would not have trusted many mutants to handle this delicate operation.

That's not to say she's living in awful conditions. Far from it. She's paid her dues many decades ago, now it's all penthouse suite right in 'lovely' Manhattan. Working the tough angles does have some occasional perks. Despite the posh living conditions she's looking troubled while sitting on the couch flicking between news channels, wearing the guise of a burnette lady in her early forties who's grateful to have a chance to slum around in her home.

***

It has been a very busy few weeks for the Brotherhood, and the denouement after the flurry of action is quite anti-climactic — if not necessarily new. The Brotherhood has always dispersed after major actions like this, though perhaps when Magneto was still at its helm it would still continue strikes here and there, keeping up the pressure.

Those were stronger days for the Brotherhood, however, days when to a large degree they could ride high on Magneto's power and fearsome name. Though Pietro might debate that, now that he and his sister have managed to pull off something their father never did. In his view, the Brotherhood is as strong — possibly has never been stronger. These are dire times which fuel anger in mutant hearts, and that always brings people to the Brotherhood's table sooner or later.

And the Triskelion is in ruins.

An action like that can't be taken without repercussions, however, and the Twins — having shot to the top of numerous Most Wanted lists — have absconded from the state. From the country entirely, even. They didn't leave any specifics about where they have gone, but they were sure to say they would be in touch. The Twins always find a way to be in touch. Such as the way that happens now:

A familiar flicker of scarlet scribes in the air, drawing into a glowing red line that rotates sideways, expanding as it does into something very like a door. Pietro is visible on the other side, standing in what looks like a flat that is not at all in America, looking both very like and very unlike he did the last time she saw him years ago. Back then, he was still a sharp-eyed, ambitious young thing standing in his father's shadow. There is a new arrogance to the lift of his head now.

"Hello, Mystique," he says, a rare and slight warmth coloring his voice. "All went well?" He steps slightly to one side, a tacit invitation to come through.

***

It's been some time since Mystique's seen those scribes drawing themselves into existence, seemingly out of thin air. Barely a beat is skipped as she reaches for a remote and trips the shutter controls, the automatic blinds slowly isolating the suite from the New York skyline. Best not to leave anything to chance, this corner of the globe has way too many fliers and metas with super enhanced vision.

The TV she leaves on, an alibi of sorts. Why no, she -didn't- just happen to take a portal halfway across the globe with America's Most Wanted, don't be silly!

Almost at the same moment Quicksilver is there with the greeting she has herself upright and ready to go, complete with one of the more genuinely pleased smiles which the metamorph is capable of. "Pietro," she quietly greets Magneto's son with a familiar hug. When she steps back there's a wicked glint in her eyes, "Of course." Nevermind that she had been chased by a Sentinel in broad daylight and one of the most public of mutants stepped in to help. She'll never stop being amused by it!

Once through the portal Mysti almost makes a show of languidly stretching, the action also serving to shed the made up persona as her skin bleeds back into the blue. It must be safe on the other side, otherwise he would not have been hiding out here.

"All of this hiding does get a little exhausting, I will admit." One look around the space behind the portal soon has her head canted slightly, turning solid yellow eyes back to Quicksilver. "Wanda is not here. Are you two holding up alright?"

***

Mystique's smile is half-returned, which for Pietro is quite a lot, all told. The fact he returns her embrace is even more unusual for him, and a mark of just how long the metamorph has been in his life. That she was the one who helped him find Wanda, nearly four years ago now, is a debt he will always remember as well. "Would never expect any less of you," he says, when she reports that all did, in fact, go well.

The portal snaps soundlessly closed after Mystique comes through, a corresponding red glow fading from Pietro's hand as the ring fitted there deactivates. A little gift from his twin, it seems, who — as Mystique observes — is nowhere in sight. "She is resting," he says. "What we did to the Triskelion took a great deal out of her. She has been asleep much of the time, since we came here."

Here, to Mystique's experienced eye, seems to be Saint Petersburg, in Russia. The flat itself holds no candle to the expensive penthouse from which Mystique came — the Twins came from humble beginnings and still prefer humble abodes, for the most part — but it is comfortable by any standards, and on a high enough floor for privacy and quiet. The view out the window is still snowy even in early April, and looks out over a quiet square with a park nearby. There must be some other hex cloaking the place, but it is an invisible one if there is one.

"I hate the hiding, myself," Pietro says, turning to face Mystique as she reverts to her natural form, "but with Wanda as drained as she is, better safe than sorry, I suppose. We showed the world what they needed to know; now we will see if they do the rest." A pause. "I doubt it," he assesses, sardonic.

He nods towards the sparse seating, an invitation to sit. "Wanda and I have been following the news, even from here. It looks as though they want to go public with the Sentinels, use them in the open now."

***

It does stand to reason that Wanda would still be recovering. "It was a most spectacular show," Mystique thinks aloud while recalling what it had been like at ground zero. "I do not believe anyone could have predicted how far her power would reach."

In fact, she had felt a passing concern that day as to what might happen if Wanda ever -wasn't- one hundred percent on board with what they are trying to accomplish. If she ever got a misplaced idea in her mind would they have any hope of standing against her?

Not that Pietro needs to know any of this.

It isn't long before she wanders toward the window overlooking the peaceful snowy landscape. It's as pretty as a postcard, as well as being nostalgic enough to bring a hazy smile to the blue woman's face. "It has been far too long since I have wandered through the Mosaic Yard," she reminisces.

At the offer to sit Raven easily settles in, leaning back and crossing legs with the air of someone who may as well own the place. "Oh good, you have been keeping up with current events." That will save her a little time explaining their Big Apple situation.

"You are correct. Bell triggered a riot, it was quite cunning truth be told. He created just the sort of excuse he needed to reveal his hand, and it was a strong one. This is a time which will separate the weak from the strong. Since then I have already begun selecting new recruits to join our cause. Add in the public outcry of these machines of war and we will soon have every excuse of our own to fight back without concern, and a stronger roster to retaliate directly against the humans."

"SHIELD has effectively fallen off of the grid but I would not rule them out completely. They are a tenacious bunch, no doubt they are gathering their remaining resources and licking their wounds. While we are dancing with the Sentinels they will have ample opportunity to regroup. We should keep some of our better scouts on top of this matter so they do not blindside us."

"Oh, yes, and I do have one more trick up my sleeve," she says while morphing into Amon Bell, voice and all, with a wicked smirk coming to the chairman's face. "You never know when he might become useful."

***

"I could," Pietro says softly, of predicting how far Wanda would rise. "I always knew. All she ever needed was a little bit of — support." And what their father gave to her… could that really ever have been called 'support?'

Of course, Pietro himself never wonders what might happen if Wanda — in all her power — suddenly developed some independent thoughts that run contrary to the organization as a whole. He knows all of his twin's thoughts, and he knows first and foremost that they will never deviate from his own. She will always want what he wants. He has no cause for concern.

Not that the same can be said for everyone else.

He does not sit when Raven does, though that's typical enough for him; he doesn't seem to quite know what to do with himself if he's not pacing, flitting back and forth with the sort of restless energy his father always despaired of whipping out of him. "Of course," he says, of keeping up with current events. "We could not do otherwise. We had to know the next steps that would be taken after what we did. Revealing the nature of Terrigen was a risk in and of itself; there's always going to be people out there ready to use it against us. But our people needed to know — and that knowledge will draw more to us, I think." He glances at Mystique. "As you've no doubt already noticed. Them bringing out the Sentinels is only going to help us in the long run, too, I think. People have a hard time reconciling being hunted by machines of war."

He stops abruptly, as quick in his cessation of motion as in his movement. "Your advice is always good, 'tusa," he says, a little dryly, using the Romanian endearment for 'aunt' which he uses only with her. "I trust you to keep up on the recruitment, and the intel on SHIELD. Wanda and I will dance with them a little ourselves, I think — show ourselves here and there, keep them chasing our shadows abroad while our people regroup and strengthen at home."

And then? Mystique's display of their new trump card puts a matching smile on Pietro's face. "For now he's doing a good enough job of making a convincing argument for people to join the Brotherhood, all on his own," he says dryly. "The moment his usefulness is expended, I think, is when we will have you become him."

He lapses back into a pace, back and forth. "And the people in Mutant Town?" he asks. "They're holding up, after the raids?"

***

Ah, the customary Pietro Pace. Mystique has long since learned to not pay it any mind. She'll find anything else to hold her interest while she speaks. Trying to keep eye contact with the speedster is a sure-fire way to give anyone a headache.

"It's not a particularly comforting thought," she seconds his notion of being hunted by the machines.

When Quicksilver suddenly ceases his pacing, -that- is what catches her attention and returns her gaze to the man. Soon there's another thin smile, she always has appreciated receiving such recognition from the Twins. "Of course," she airily replies. The subject of recruitment is never finished. Only evolving, much like their own kind.

Hearing of his intention to 'dance' with SHIELD does have her falling into the old habit of looking sincere when she says "Do take care of yourselves, Quicksilver." Not that she has any reason to believe they will back themselves into a corner, but..well, she cares about them. It's no more complex than that.

With the Bell Morph come and gone the metamorph brings her fingertips together, arms forming a pyramid atop of the armrests. "Rattled, understandably. Many have fled, or have attempted such. Our numbers have dwindled but more than enough remain to give anyone pause before another brazen assault is conducted. They will not be so easily caught off guard a second time."

"I am doing what I can to bring our community back together, though my work has been ..hindered.. somewhat. As much as I wish to assist I must be certain to remain off of their various radars. It would not be good if I was discovered still at ground zero. As it is one of their machines singled me out in the crowd during Sunday's little stunt."

***

It is indeed wisest not to try to follow Pietro with the eyes when he starts pacing. He usually does it slowly (by his standards), which translates to 'fast but bearable' for normal people, but sometimes he forgets and goes whatever speed is comfortable for him, and that's when it starts feeling like trying to track a ping-pong game sped up about a hundred times.

It's the times that he stops moving that are more notable, all told… because usually he has just enough self-awareness to stay still when there's something important to be said. He learned that one, transparently, from his father, who was a master of powerful stillness and short, impactful statements. For the decade Mystique has watched the twins with Magneto, she's been able to observe Pietro following at his father's heels, trying to emulate him, make him proud… anything, in order to get some attention from the man who both attracted and repelled him in equal measure.

Now that Magneto is gone, Pietro is obviously trying to be what his father always effortlessly was. He has the dominant command down, the hard-edged decisiveness, and certainly the streak of black-and-white zealotry… though the confidence Magneto wore easily has not come to his son yet. Pietro cloaks himself in a distinct arrogance, which is not quite the same thing. There is something lingeringly brittle about the proud lift of his head. "We'll be fine," he says, though he does not reject the implicit care that lies under Mystique's admonition to be careful. For a moment, a flashing smirk crosses his features, a hint of the young and cocky Quicksilver from years past showing through. "If there's anyone equipped to outrun pursuit, it's me."

The smile is quick to evaporate back into seriousness. "Your first priority is not to get caught," he agrees. "The Sentinels are a problem for your abilities. We can handle falling back to hit-and-run for a little while, let the other metahumans in the area cause some trouble. You are too valuable to lose." A pause. "Only you could have gotten this 'Poison Ivy' out of the Raft. We'll have to see what uses she can be put to."

He considers, before a certain recollection makes his eyes roll. Thinking about Sebastian Shaw has that effect. "Another thing… the Hellfire Club should know very well why we can't be showing up for the latest pointless fetes, but if our White Queen grows cross, I am certain you can smooth some feathers without tipping too much of your hand as to who you are."

***

Through all of this Mystique is reading Quicksilver. There's always something new to discover despite the ultimate points remaining the same old Pietro Maximoff. Now that he is standing still she gracefully stands away from the chair and approaches the silver-accented mutant once more.

"Ivy has already proven capable of deception and trickery. The night of the raid on District X she had been present and delivered ..something of a riddle sounding against registration, as well as a stealthy attack of her own. I did not put her up to this. It will be interesting to see what else she does without our immediate guidance."

As for the White Queen and the Hellfire Club Raven pauses long enough to roll her eyes. "Oh. Yes. That lot. You know that I will avail myself..if it is necessary," she says with a note of distaste. "Though let's try to avoid reaching such a point, yes?"

The question is left to linger as she comes to stand before Pietro, one hand lifting upward to brush fingertips across the side of the speedster's face. "Now, Pietro. We have claimed a decisive victory against the humans but do not let your confidence overtake you. This is not the time for arrogance. We must be more vigilant now than ever before."

Of COURSE she can see his arrogance, she'd have to be blind and deaf to miss it! They've gotten themselves into a solid position on the battlefield and she doesn't want to see him risk it all because he went off half-cocked!

As her hand returns to her side she remains standing close to the son of Magnus. They hadn't really had a chance to catch up with everything that has been going on. Here her voice pitches lower, her tones soft and gentle as a show of genuine compassion.

"You should know something else. While I was away these last few years, I had been searching for any signs of your father. And Xavier, by proxy." It stands to reason where one might show up the other wouldn't be far off. If Pietro continues to stand still then her hands will find their way onto his shoulders. "More than three years of searching..I am afraid they have been for naught. There has been no trace of either."

***

Pietro listens with interest as Mystique relates what Ivy did on the evening of the raid. That was something that couldn't be picked up easily just from news broadcasts. "Yes," he concurs. "She serves fairly well as a chaos agent for the time being. We can determine when and if to turn her to more guided actions."

As for the Hellfire Club? "I don't like them either," Pietro says, and there's more than a little disdain — even anger — in his voice. The subtleties and politics of that place are much more his sister's domain than his; while he is the one that wears the White King mantle, it is Wanda who is the real White King. Pietro's temperament is not suited to it at all, and the taunts from Shaw on how it was his father who was the one truly wanted for the Inner Circle grate on him to no end. "But they have their uses — or so Wanda reminds me."

He falls quiet when Mystique comes forward and brushes a gentle touch along his face, however. He wouldn't have tolerated it from anyone else in the Brotherhood, and even from Mystique he would not tolerate it public. In private, though? He quiets palpably to the touch, though his eyes flicker with that familiar impatience she knows so well. The anger in them isn't directed at her. "I won't take risks," he says hotly. "Not with Wanda in such a condition. I — " He bristles a little more… before he deflates. "I will be careful. They will never know of more than rumors and shadows."

Throughout all this — their first meeting face-to-face in years, and their first since Pietro picked up his father's dropped crown and, together with his twin, wrangled the Brotherhood back into some semblance of coherency — Mystique has seen Pietro speak as Quicksilver: in commands, in requests for information, in plans. Once she comes forward, though, closer and more compassionate, more and more of the old Pietro starts to peek through.

It is especially noticeable with Mystique. Mystique, who was there with them in the earliest days of the Brotherhood. Mystique, who was a sort of mother figure to them all… even if some others of the children (Rogue) have run off.

What she tells him about his father and Xavier averts his eyes. His shoulders are tense under her hands. "I want him back," he admits, "…and I do not want him back. At this point, I don't think he is coming back… but he always had a way of defying whatever I expected and — and surprising me." Often with a punishment for one of Pietro's defiant acts or another.

Pietro looks markedly uncomfortable a moment, as he always does thinking about his father, before he shakes his head as if to clear it. "Rogue still insists on her baffling choice?"

***

Siiigh! "Of course," Mystique concedes with an errant flip of a white gloved hand regarding the Hellfire Club. It would be foolish to write-off such a potential asset, though much like Quicksilver she much prefers -action- rather than sitting around and -talking- while pretending to be so important. Pietro must go out of his mind should he have to sit in on one of their meetings!

Handling the matter of Magneto is never easy. Raven knows what Pietro's father means to him, and at the same time she completely understands his felt reluctance in having such a powerful figure back in his life. It isn't an easy situation for either of them. Then there's poor Wanda, Erik had her put away because of her very powers! And yet… None of what the three share would exist without the Master of Magnetism. They at least deserve to know what really happened to him.

Maybe some day.

With Pietro in this state she's mindful not to take advantage of his vulnerability. Rather, she's right here to keep him protected. "All we can do is push forward," she gently reminds the speedster.

The matter of Rogue causes Mystique's fingertips to lightly drum across his shoulders once before her hands depart. This time she is the one who turns and starts (much more leisurely) pacing. "We had spoken the other day. It is important to understand that she has not -left- us. She is going through a particularly difficult time and sees herself as a liability in the field. I cannot say that I disagree with her assessment. She is in need of help of which neither of us are able to provide."

She's not about to suggest Wanda for this, either. With the kind of power that his sister possesses all it would take is one minor slip and Mystique might lose her beloved daughter forever. The situation is not yet so dire as to suggest the proverbial nuclear option.

"Rogue does remain within reach should we need her, though her contact info has changed. Can you believe that girl had been using the same number for the last five years?" she pointedly asks while turning to stare at Quicksilver in disbelief. "I swear there are times where I wonder if she was paying attention to my lessons."

***

Wanda is certainly the most patient of all of them — she got their father's glacial, chess-game cunning, where Pietro was the recipient of his decisive anger — and so Pietro leaves most of the slow, patient machinations which the Inner Circle requires to his twin. It is frankly a miracle that Pietro manages to survive through any of the meetings. He's probably zoned out for the entire time.

Though to speak of Magneto… the conflict that stirs immediately in Pietro at the very mention of his father is obvious. He always wanted at least one acknowledgement from Magneto, some indication that his father was ever proud of him, that he was ever thought of as worthy in the man's eyes… but at the same time, he hated the man for what he did to his twin. He hated him for what he did to them both. He hated him for never truly seeming to care about either of them — at the least, not as his first, second, or even third priority. Children always know when their parents love other things far more than they do them.

And truth be told — on some level, Pietro does not want Magneto back. He had not realized what an oppressive force his father was in his life until he was gone. And he — he has the Brotherhood now, and he could make of it so much more than his father did… and then that'd show him, that'd show them all —

He looks up out of his thoughts, a little startled, at Mystique's gentle prompt. He seems to realize his own vulnerability, and his expression closes up again. Even around Mystique, one of the few people to ever see it, it never lasts too long. "Yes," he says. "I never saw any use in looking back. It's always been better to just — press forward. On to the next thing." It is an outlook which rhymes with his powers.

As if to wipe away that moment of 'weakness,' he switches topic. It's Pietro turn to consider Mystique as she paces. "I'm not sure," he says, rather bluntly, when Mystique insists Rogue has not left and is simply in a period of conflict. "Every minute of help she receives from the X-Men takes her farther from us." His head lowers, his mouth thinning at the remark on Rogue using 'the same number for five years.' "She is a liability," he says. "While she's with them, she can't be thought of as one of us. If you can change that, then you can do more than Wanda or I could."

His head lifts again. "I am glad to have seen you," he says simply. "But we should not be speaking in one place too long. We can return you easily to New York."

***

Where Quicksilver had difficulty sitting through the matters of his family, Mystique is getting a turn of her own with this discomfort. Her pacing ceases as she, too, steels herself against Pietro's words regarding her daughter. Nothing is said up until he suggests returning her to New York, a consideration which has her nodding once while effortlessly stepping back into her initial guise.

There is one more matter to put to rest before she steps out, however.

A firmness edges into her tone when she says "Do not concern yourself with Rogue's allegiance. Should there be any deviation in her compass I will be there to correct it."

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