Bear With Me Here
Roleplaying Log: Bear With Me Here
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Domino interrupts some 'quality' Worthington family time with Alison to talk about Moonstar's troubles.

Other Characters Referenced: Danielle Moonstar, Emery, Owen Mercer
IC Date: August 07, 2019
IC Location: Some Worthington office
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 08 Aug 2019 21:43
Rating & Warnings: R for language
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Neena Thurman, being on the payroll (buried somewhere in paperwork, and listed in a very nondescript way, as contractors tend to be), has some amount of clearance to Worthington Tower, especially for emergencies. That is to say, if she gives her name at the desk and asks to see Warren, she will be told where he is, and allowed to go up into the Tower proper, without needing sign-ins or escorts or any such bothersome protocols.

While it wasn't stated out loud explicitly, the assumption was that these emergencies would be X-Men related emergencies, because there should not be a lot of other emergencies that would warrant a lady of her particular description and nature running the risks involved in 'walking into Worthington Tower.'

Now, it's her choice how to make her approach — whether up front, or in some other way — but if she's seeking Warren Worthington on this particular day, he is presently in a corner conference room on the seventy-second floor, suffering out the last minutes of a meeting which he did not particularly want to have.

***

It's a good time to invoke executive privilege as far as Neena is concerned. She has a critical task at hand, it is absolutely dealing with X-Men business, and she's already lost two days trying to figure out where the Wonderbirb has flown off to. Tracking him down is the first victory.

Crashing his meeting will be the second.

The ONLY consideration is that she raps knuckles on the door -before- pushing it open. Then comes the game of trying to figure out who looks more surprised, everyone else sitting in the room or the monochromed mercenary who is now staring back at them all.

Thank goodness this is an actual meeting and not some euphenism for 'having a little fun.' She wouldn't put it past someone like Warren. She also wouldn't judge.

With so many other faces present she doesn't dive straight into the sales pitch, a decision which clearly weighs heavily upon her mind. Warren can probably tell that she sorely wanted to divebomb the team leader with some silly one-liner then expect him to understand exactly what she's referring to without having to go into further detail.

Instead she hooks one brow upward then hooks a thumb over the back of her shoulder. 'Either you go or they go.' If absolutely necessary she can help to accelerate this process.

***

Maybe five years ago the 'meeting' would have been a euphemism for Warren putting the 'play' in 'billionaire playboy.' Not anymore, and certainly not today.

The door opens easily enough after Domino's courtesy knock, revealing… perhaps not as many people as she might have expected. Nor as large of a meeting room as she might have anticipated. The long conference table is three-quarters empty, and the seats which are occupied seem to be taken up mostly by dour lawyers who are looking at Dom with as much frank bafflement as if a leopard suddenly fell into the meeting.

Among them are two people who, at a guess, are probably who the lawyers are with — one of them an older woman, still beautiful even in her sixties, and the other a young man about Warren's age who looks quite a lot like Warren himself, albeit with hazel eyes instead of blue, and with a distinctly different air to his features. Though physically he's nearly as attractive as Warren is, the look of him is not as rarefied or high-souled. There is something earthier about his aspect — and not just because of the lack of beatific angel wings — and the set of his eyes and the curve of his mouth are more cruel.

He is looking at Neena much like one might expect someone of Warren's social status would look at the lowborn classes, with an expression of derisive surprise. The lady beside him does not even look at Neena at all.

She is looking at Warren, who is seated at the head of the conference table with Ali close by, and who is now looking up at Neena with a frank surprise which is rapidly replacing his earlier expression of deep irritation. The surprise lasts only a moment, before he adapts smoothly and turns to the woman. "My four o'clock is here, Cecilia," he says calmly. "I told you this was running over. We'll continue this next week."

"Next week?" The incredulous statement is blurted out by the young man, who takes his eyes off Neena to eyeball Warren. "Why so long? You have more freaks to meet with who're more important than your — "

"Next week, Hunter," Warren says, his feathers lifting.

The woman rises with unruffled grace, though her eyes haven't once varied from their coldness, and places a hand on the young man's shoulder. "Your cousin has his pastimes," is all she says, her voice gentle as a rocked cradle. "We'll be in touch, Warren."

She glides out without a look back. The entourage sweeps out past Neena in her wake, though Hunter gives Neena another deeply insolent once-over before he is gone.

Warren scrubs a hand over his face. "What's the emergency? I'd say I'm relieved you saved me from that, but I don't think you would come here if you weren't going to tell me something much worse."

***

Wow, did Neena just ..barge in on a Worthington family meeting? Boy does she know when to drop by! Though following the surprise and confusion and Warren's incredible verbal defusing of the situation it's that arrogant young man who has to go and make things ugly.

'You have more freaks to meet—'

"-Hey.- Starting to get a -little- personal there, Slick."

Now Domino has enough information. These people are indeed relatives. They're complete bigots. And they're about as troublesome to the pale lady as the blood caked in the treads of her boots. As the individuals start to step past her she 'grandly' sweeps her hands down the hallway while doing her very best to not have her arms be capped with extended middle fingers. Her message should still be clear enough.

As for Hunter, he gets a level stare which could have stopped briskly moving traffic.

Some time is left to silence as she watches the relatives depart the scene. She's also gathered enough information to know that she -does not- trust the lot of 'em. But possibly out of respect to Warren (yeah right) she doesn't immediately turn around and drill into such personal matters. They've been down that road before. It's not worth the effort.

Once stepping inside she neatly pushes the door closed with the toe of a boot then comes to lean forward on the edge of the desk. Alison gets a proper look of acknowledgement along the way, she may be quiet but Neena knows she's always quite attentive. She can respect an introvert.

Then comes Warren's question..and Neena finally gets to toss her face card onto the table.

"We have a serious bear problem."

Okaaaay, she can't just leave it at THAAAT…

A quick sigh, then "It's Dani. She's in trouble."

***

Probably that patented Neena Thurman luck at work… or not at work, as the case may be. Warren would certainly not call it 'luck' to wind up in a situation where one has to be stuck encountering certain of his family members.

Warren keeps his aplomb, at the least, as he has been trained to do since he was a kid. It's a similar memo as his Aunt Cecilia seems to have gotten, because she doesn't seem ruffled by the interruption in the least, but his cousin Hunter seems to have missed class on the day 'completely ignoring that which is not convenient' was taught in Blue-Blood WASP School. He looks pretty outraged when Neena actually talks back to him, because in his life experience no one has ever dared to talk back to him no matter how shitty he's gotten.

But between his cousin, his cousin's flared white wings, and his mother, Hunter is forced to let it go — though not without a rather venomous returned glance at the pale lady as they all take their leave.

Warren looks a little drained in their wake, as one might expect. His wings droop a little, the long primaries trailing their tips along the ground. He gestures Neena to a seat if she wants to take one, though he isn't surprised when she doesn't.

What she says makes his wings stiffen right back up.

"The Bear again?" He's sitting up real straight in his seat now, giving Alison a rather tense askance look. "Where is Dani now? Has it already taken her?"

***

One of these things is not like the other.

Admist a table full of Mayflower-bred, blue-blooded Worthingtons and LeFraks, there is a lone Alison Blaire in the midst. Long stepped down off the stage, she cuts a different figure: pantsuited in white, manicured in head-to-toe professionalism, and, ever so contrary to the spirited, passionate performances of the Dazzler — sits with the sort of poker face that'd leave even God guessing.

If the entire world did not already know her face, one could easily mistake her as part of the legal team.

Scrawling notes down onto her own pad of paper — and there are profuse notes, testment of a very engaged Alison now interestingly taking part in a Worthington-only meeting — she only grants a cursory look up at Neena's arrival. As expected, it ends the meeting promptly, though not without a few choice, parting remarks from Warren's unmistakable aunt and cousin.

Especially those from the cousin.

They garner responses —

— but not from Alison. She acts as if heard nothing, impassively writing along, barely even imparting the man a look… much less any last remark from her end. Her reaction is if they barely exist at all.

When the three mutants are left to their privacy, Alison relaxes some of her reserve — well, not considerably, but enough. Her attention properly turned on Neena, she listens, meeting Warren's glance. She stays quiet; he's said all the important questions.

***

Huh. Alright, Domino now gets why Dani wanted Warren to know. He's been through this before. So this means he knows what to do, riiight?

"Again?" she asks in surprise before physically waving it off. "Yeah. Again. I think so. Look, I'm in way over my head here but I somehow wound up in a version of Manhattan that was filled with snow and dead people and Dani told me to shoot her in the heart so I did then she said that I should find you, Owen and Emery before teleporting me through a void to the front of the Institute and I've been looking for you ever since and whatever the hell I just went through gave me the -fucking creeps.-"

Aaaand -breathe.-

Neena takes that offered seat now, arms tightly folding together as she continues the forward lean onto the table. "What do we do. How do we get Moonstar back and punch the snot out of this demon bear thing. Before you ask, no, I don't have psychic bullets. Also, why the -frickin' hell- can't we keep our battles to the physical realm?"

Blank stare. Palms held upward. "Not even the damn Project could prepare me for this level of engagement."

Is..Neena somehow blaming herself for any of this..? Maybe she's just irritated that they're now facing yet another problem which cannot be solved by shooting it a couple of times. It's hard to tell with her.

This bewildered expression soon shifts toward Alison. "Have -you- dealt with any of this before? Am I just late to the party? What the hell."

***

"Yes," is Warren's initial reaction. "It's a pretty creepy thing."

He glances askance, distractedly, at Alison's notes. He doesn't seem surprised by them; he got over his surprise at the Dazzler being a fantastic head for legal matters a long time ago. "The Bear's an old demonic spirit with a particular grudge against Dani. I don't really know the specifics, but my impression is it's a family matter. It's a nasty piece of work — gets ahold of people and steals their souls, and converts them into servants. 'Heralds,' I think it calls them. It always takes Dani for one. Sometimes it takes others in addition to her, if it can."

He pulls absently at his feathers, smoothing them out. A worried habit. "There was a severe winter in New York, last year. That was the Bear's doing. Though to my understanding, it made a poor choice of Heralds that time, found itself betrayed, and got banished. Clearly it's back…"

Why can't we keep our battles to the physical realm? Neena complains. Warren grimaces a little at Alison in preemptive sympathy. "I think Ali would commiserate with you on that point," he says dryly. "But unfortunately, we can't with this one. We'll probably have to engage on the astral plane, whenever we find out where it's taken root and is ripping holes in reality, and all that. This is a spiritual combat, not physical."

A long pause. "It's weird, but…" He cants his head at Alison in an inclusive gesture. "We've honestly seen weirder." Welcome to the X-Men.

***

The explanation out of Warren Worthington comes ill met by the half-shutter of Alison's lashes, listening patiently, even if she doesn't enjoy the particulars of this story. There's a blandness to her expression that suggests she's heard this one before — has long ago had her own moment of 'are you kidding me, a god damned bear?'

"Not this, in particular," she answers Domino truthfully. Unspoken, a guilty something alleyed in those words: she should have dealt with this, and she would have, had she been around. "But similar things."

Personally, for her, more space and less astral plane (and usually far more populated with Beyonders rather than Bears), but Warren speaks true: become an X-Men, and get ready for shit to get weird.

"Don't let the verbiage confuse you, either. A spiritual combat is still combat, perhaps even more so than we're prepared — it's not so easy to train for these sorts of things. Either way, the bear was supposed to have been beaten. Eliminated, or exorcised, or — whatever you do with those things. The fact that it's back, and is somehow strong enough to take someone as psychically powerful as Dani is alarming." Alison thinks a moment. "Was Brightwind with her? The pegasus. They're bonded spiritually. If anyone would be able to find her, or at least point us her way — he would."

***

'Sometimes it takes others in addition to her…'

Just how fortunate had Domino been to have gotten out of that nightmare?

The thought sends a cold shiver up her spine, thinking right back to how cold that psychic winter had been. It's enough to have her slumping back into her seat, both arms remaining tightly folded together. Now it's a matter of perceived warmth.

So the winter was real. She must have missed any mention of that while being elsewhere in the world. Heck, at the time she probably would have thought 'let the whole continent freeze over, it's not my problem.' In some ways Neena hasn't changed a whole lot.

"Uh. Yeah. It's pretty freaking back."

With Warren's glance to Alison so, too, does the pale lady. Did Ali get caught up in this struggle the last time around? Nope, not quite.

As Warren states that they'll have to engage on the astral plane Neena rolls her head back with an audible groan. 'Spiritual' combat. Whatever the fuck that's supposed to mean. Alison's attempt to explain it doesn't help a whole lot.

"Huh. And here when I came looking for you guys all I was concerned about was mass extermination. Way to keep an open mind."

Brightwind? Neena has to stop and really think over the question. A whole lot had happened in a very short period of time. There may or may not have also been cocaine dust fogging up the air at the time. "No," she slowly shakes her head. "I don't remember seeing him anywhere. Do you have a pegasus beacon you can shine up at the sky to call him?"

She might be spending a little too much time in Gotham.

***

Warren's gaze attains a slight gloss of concern as Neena slumps back in the chair. He can guess at what she's recalling, when she hangs onto herself so tightly. He really ought to remember that the weirdnesses which the X-Men face are not so pedestrian to other people as they have become to him over the many years he's been on and off the team.

"Well," he eventually says, his voice kinder, "I'm glad you got away. That Dani's still got enough of herself intact that she managed to send you away is a good sign."

A wan smile does cross his features at the quip about mass extermination versus weird astral jaunts. "It's always either one or the other, with us," he says. "Fight back against human bigotry, or fight back against demonic invasions, or both at the same time. You haven't even gotten to the space aliens part yet. That's my least favorite, to be honest."

What kind of team did Neena get herself into??

At any rate, astral combat can be easier in some ways than physical," he attempts to reassure. "If your mind is strong enough, the laws of physics are rewriteable for you. The only problem is, the same goes for the other side." This primer is probably not helping.

Warren shakes his head, after a moment. "But the important thing is to find Dani as quickly as possible. The Bear likes to target things important to Dani, we should check the school…" But Alison has a suggestion, too, which he frankly didn't even think of. It might be related to his rivalry with the winged horse. "Oh — Brightwind would know, if he hasn't been caught too. Ali, do you still have your lyre lying around?"

What.

***

"It's a very good sign," Alison wastes little opportunity to agree with Warren. One of the few, enduring traits of the Dazzler still dogs her: optimistic to a fault. "Maybe that — bear —" it's still hard to say it out loud, even if it is real, "is still weakened enough that we have a sure shot. But it's Dani. She's as strong as they come — strong enough to fight it back once, despite all it did to her. She'll buy us time to come for her."

But despite her own little knowledge of the astral realm, Alison at least attempts something of a game plan. Dani's a Valkyrie, and Valkyries are psychically attuned to her pegasus. If they can at least have a guide in to retrieve her —

And Warren rolls with the plan. In fact, he rolls with it so well that he suggests something that makes Alison freeze for a beat, surprised, her cobalt-blue eyes turned sloooooooowly on him.

Do you have your lyre lying around?

Alison's lips thin into so thin a line that for a moment, she looks like she's in the running for Best Emma Frost Impression. Then, one eyebrow twitches, and she briefly bows her head to clasp the bridge of her nose.

"Yes," she answers, with great burden. "Of course I do. You know I do. You are not suggesting I…"

God damn it.

Alison lets her hand go, and opens her eyes. She glances at Neena, certain the woman must be lost. "We might have a beacon. I have an, ah, Asgardian… artifact. It might work to summon Brightwind. It's at least a shot. Warren, you'll have to empty the Institute of everyone. We can all regroup, and try this."

***

Space aliens.

"Oh my -god-," Neena groans anew. "At this point I would -welcome- another romp with the Sentinels."

'If your mind is strong enough.' "That..can be kind of a dicey situation with me, Warren," she goes back to explaining in a perfectly casual voice. He's seen her lose it a couple of times, he knows what she's talking about. "I mean it might be all fine and good for me until something happens to slip."

Then it's likely to be a total wash.

With the shift toward Brightwind Dom takes a turn to be the quiet introvert, attention bouncing from Warren to Alison and back as necessary. This is, as the expression goes, beyond Neena's paygrade. Summoning magical flying ponies is so not her forte.

Frankly she doesn't think that it should be -anyone's- schtik. This world is so friggin' strange.

When Alison looks her way she looks right back and yes, it is abundantly clear that Neena is completely lost. At least she understands what a beacon is. Progress! But this is weighing quite heavily on Ali's mind which means it can't be anything good.

It's also going to require evacuating the Institute.

"So. This sounds groovy."

It also involves a rather harsh biting of a black-stained lip. Dealing with mind games is among Dom's very least favorite activities, buuut..she can't just wash her hands of the problem and leave Dani to fend for herself…

God damn it, indeed.

Another quick sigh sounds out from her end of the table while ducking her head and massaging the bridge of her nose. "Yeah… I'm in."

GOD DAMN IT.

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