A Hostile Parlay
Roleplaying Log: A Hostile Parlay
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

The Kingpin puts in a call to the Maximoff twins.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: August 16, 2019
IC Location: The Astral Plane
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 17 Aug 2019 04:37
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

The guy who puts in the astral call to the Scarlet Witch looks and sounds like a smartass in every way. The fact that he's making the call at all is unusual; Gino Agnetti was put on the Raft three years ago, and presumably he's spent all three of those years wearing one of the weird psychic dampeners or magic dampeners or whatever-dampeners is necessary to keep him from using those powers for all three years. One doesn't run a prison for metahumans without having some sort of way to keep them from using their powers, or at least vastly weakening them.

But there he is, a smirking dude with dark curly hair and legs like a stork, sending what is the equivalent of a telephone call ping via the higher planes to one Scarlet Witch. And he even makes it sound like a collect call. He makes sort of the old-school scratchy phone line sound and imitates an operator.

"You have a…psychic call from…Fisque, Wilson G. from the Raft Facility. Would you like to accept?"

Collect calls aren't exactly a thing done via this method, after all. And it's Agnetti getting paid, not the twins. So he couldn't exactly carry that sort of joke along.

Granted, making that sort of outreach to the Scarlet Witch and treating it like a big lark is maybe a ballsy move to begin with, but Agnetti seems the sort that is constantly laughing at a joke nobody else is privy to, and takes exactly nothing seriously, not even his own self-preservation.

* * *

It is not often that unfamiliar psychics make calls to the Scarlet Witch.

Not that she is particularly proficient in that art — or even gives off an astral signature as breath-stoppingly powerful as the Phoenixes — but that the witch operates on an otherwordly set of rules. No one wants something like her as an astral tapeworm, slithering for entrance at the belly of one's mind.

It is less often that when a psychic has purpose to call her — one does so like this.

States away, still deep in hiding after the fall of the Triskelion, Wanda Maximoff lies tiredly in a bed in some unmarked room — until something triggers her eyes to open. Their blue irises flicker red.

Wilson Fisk, she remembers, with no small amount of venom.

With a stray throught to her twin brother, the witch turns her head to her pillow, half-shutters her eyes, and sighs a breath steeped with her crimson. With a hex, she accepts the call, and giving invitation for Pietro to join, feels this world narrow away to the next.

The Maximoff twins have come to congress. The female half of the two is her shape — small, lean, fragile, and femimine — only made of a moving, currenting, formless black, so dark little light escapes. No face. No nothing, save for the outlines of limbs: crossing her legs and folding her hands.

"We accept."

* * *

Wanda's eyes open. One moment later, in the next room over, Pietro's eyes open too.

What she feels, he feels.

At her thought, he's instantly by her side, sitting on the edge of her bed. He takes her hand, and his head leans against the wall as he follows his twin into the currents of the astral plane.

The sister of the Maximoff twins is the first to appear, leading the way in these arcane realms just as her brother tends to lead in the physical realms, but he is only a breath behind her. They are as unlike in the astral plane as they are in the material world. The Scarlet Witch is a feminine shape of utter darkness, a black hole from which no light can escape; Quicksilver here is a masculine figure of raw argent light, a brilliance that spills outwards from the heavy armor that sheathes his entire form, wrought in a scarlet so deep as to verge on deep purple at the joints.

He is standing behind her seated form, but in a posture that can't be mistaken for anything but one of guard.

We accept, says the Witch. "And he should count himself fortunate we even came this far," says her brother.

* * *

"As a rule, I count myself fortunate for all manner of reasons."

Agnatti is gone, apparently having returned to his body for the task of getting Fisk out of his. And, maybe, because Agnatti has a great sense of self-preservation, and doesn't want to be caught between any of the people involved in this conversation. Doesn't really want to draw too much attention to himself.

The astral form that joins this shadowy femininity and her shining twin is enormous. In real life, Fisk is probably 500 lbs if he's a gram. In the astral plane, he is easily 10 times that. Mt. Rainier given form, a hulking hunch of white-suited person with a head stuck somewhere in the middle, easily capable of filling half a room, were he real. Strangely, nothing about him looks ungainly, not even the position of his head. Such is his confidence, such is his self-perception, that even in this form he carries himself with total comfort. As if all the other people in the world were the wrong size. Puny and not substantial enough. As if his were the only size worth having.

"Nevertheless, I do appreciate you taking my…call. We have important matters to discuss. And yes, I know you wish to kill me."

A slight smile touches his lips.

"You can rest assured that fact has more than a little bearing on this conversation."

* * *

There are no visible eyes on the Scarlet Witch to give any sort of tell — like a flicker as Wilson Fisk's impressing, towering bulk owns this astral space.

A spirit made of rigid conceit and unyielding faith of self: arrogance given time and space. The Scarlet Witch has no lip to curl, disapproving, but her black-ichor outline flickers at the edges, webbing darkness spidering out before it braids back into her solid shape. The light of her brother behind her seems to hold her whole in check.

"Mr. Fisk," says Miss Maximoff, with all her old world courtesy, ground into her by ten years of an overbearing father — whom, as her elder, demanded no less than an exacting respect.

Her voice flanges: her own, reminiscent of the world with her soft-spoken, dulcet tones, but braided with something else — a low, otherworldly hum like a spinning gyre.

"Lovely to see you again, and well. You have been missed. I promise, it is not our intent to simply kill you." The darkness shifts. "You did not show such mercy to our brothers and sisters."

* * *

When Wilson Fisk makes his towering appearance, the sum total of Quicksilver's reaction is to tilt back his cowled head. His face is as awash in light as his sister's is in shadow, but unlike with hers, there are occasional features to be picked out amidst the glare: most prominently two glowing points of pure blue light.

They are fixed on Fisk, in readiness for anything the Kingpin might try to pull.

The brief exchange of initial "pleasantries" between Fisk and his twin visibly grinds his patience, though he does not do his sister the discourtesy of interrupting her low, polite voice. She promises it is not their intent to simply kill him swiftly and be done, for he showed no such mercy to their kin…

"Speak to your point," he says, curt and impetuous as ever. The hex-blade suddenly resting in his right hand glows with a hungry scarlet light. "Before we simply decide to get started on that."

* * *

"One cannot show what one does not have," Fisk says, with a spread of his massive hands.

But he chuckles softly as Quicksilver draws his blade.

"Oh, well. You do not want to do that now, or ever. That is the reason for this conversation. But allow me to be as succinct as possible."

The names he begins to speak are spoken like the resonate verbal notes of an oration, things that have a music of their own, even if they aren't sung.

"Jason Wynguard," he says mildly. He rattles off an address, and adds: "What is it you call him? Mastermind? Quaint."

And another name: "Telford Porter."

Another address, and then: "Apparently not so good at Vanishing that I cannot find him."

And more names. Byron Calley. Eileen Harshaw. Calvin Rankin.

The names of brotherhood members, the address of safehouses that should have been completely secure. He pauses and says,

"Should I go on? I can go on, but I don't want to bore either of you."

* * *

That first name brings a deathly, sepulchre-like silence to the Scarlet Witch. There is a hush to her like someone's last, stolen breath forced into a vacuum void of nothingness—

Then another name. And another. And another. And another…

She does not move. Her pitch black ichor does not even twitch at its corners, the way a body would when holding-in, restraining, a building, terrible rage.

That low hum begins to build in intensity.

All at once, liquid blackness spreads from her like a thousand reedy vines, barbed and hook sharp, filling this astral space in a million interlocking webs — save two points. One for her twin brother.

And one for their enemy.

The Witch's shape flickers, going between small, thin-limbed woman to Something Else, contorting and amorphous.

Wanda is beyond rage, and barely restraining herself from a strike. It is on Pietro to stop this.

* * *

The Witch spins her web in an instant. Barbed darkness flares out from her, filling the entire astral space around them, carving apart the void except for two single points.

Her brother, standing in one of those points, considers the situation, even as fury flares him to the brightness of a white-hot star. His right hand starts to lift, the scarlet blade humming brighter, hotter…

…and then it lowers. One armored hand settles on his sister's shoulder(?). He seems fully confident that simple touch will be enough to stop the torrent of black eldritch rage.

The twins trade demeanors in a heartbeat, as if between them they only have one reservoir of patience to share. Pietro Maximoff is many things, but not one to gamble with the lives of his people. The Brotherhood does not burn its own people on the pyre. Their father never did. Pietro will not either — though his reasons may be different from his father's.

Still, his voice is flanged with pure rage when he speaks.

"You think this petty blackmail is going to save you forever? You will leave the Raft one day, and we will be waiting."

* * *

"I will leave the Raft very soon, in fact," Kingpin says, and if he is at all perturbed by the fact that he nearly died right here, it doesn't make even a flicker in his astral form to show it. "And if you kill me, all of the information I have will be released to all sorts of parties. DPS. SHIELD. The X-Men, the Avengers, my lawyer's Aunt Marge…anyone I can think of really. And it will be up to date, so don't think moving everyone tomorrow will do you any good."

He tilts his strange head to one side and says, "Stay out of my way, leave me be, and you will never have to worry that I will interfere with your affairs. Touch me, and I may die, but I will bring your little organization down to my grave with me. The dying gasps of your Brotherhood will sing me to sleep in whatever afterlife I find myself in."

* * *

Those countless growing, spreading tendrils, bringing only the distant, astral taste of formless cold — like a taste of the disparate Nothing before the universe willed its first Something —

— all stop, leashed on command, by the gentle weight of her twin brother's hand on her shoulder. The nothingness what makes her moves like liquid through his armored fingers, discontent, before it solidifies back to a frail woman's shape.

Brother controls sister even here, and his authority holds absolute. Those reedy shadow lengths retreat all at once, and their webbing haunt is gone, pulled back into the quiet nebula of the Scarlet Witch.

She still has no face here to properly express her rage… but the astral realm seethes its ephemeral space around her. No face is needed.

One dark-made hand lifts to touch over the armored phlanges of Pietro's hand. Facing Fisk, Wanda's shape radiates with her clipped words: "I promise you will never know the afterlife."

But the Witch does nothing. Held by Fisk's promise, inert, inactive. So be there a truce, if one can call it that.

* * *

That hand on Wanda's shoulder rests there until her shape has resumed some quiet semblance of stability. Afterwards, Pietro's light bows down towards her, soothing her darkness with a kiss to her crown.

She answers with the touch of her hand over his own. His armored fingers tighten in a mute apology for restraining her… and a promise that one day there will be no restraint at all.

That searing, white-light face turns back up towards Fisk. Blue eyes fix on the towering figure.

If you kill me…

"As we said," is Quicksilver's reply, "it is not our intent to simply kill you."

He hands his sister up from her ephemeral seat afterwards, and turns his back to lead her away.

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