2020-07-12: A Man Of Logic


MagikF_icon.jpg TheoF_icon.jpg

Summary: Another takes up the Mantle of an Avenger

Date: July 12, 2020

A Man of Logic

Rating: PG

After today's discussion with Tony Stark, Magik has another order of business to take care of. His magic has sought and found Theo Fegenbush. He watches through a scrying spell for a few moments, to see where the man is, and what he's doing before he just appears there.

Theo has been out of the tunnels. He was ready to get out of dodge after the raid, so as soon as his scouts located a secure path, he took it. Back in the bunker. It's quiet, it's safe. Nobody knows where he is, not even his allies know where the bunker is. And for that reason, he doesn't have a firearm within reach when Magik appears.

The sodering iron in his hand had been used for piecing some electronics back. He's been trying to rebuild one of his robots a body, which looks far from complete. As Magik appears, Proto's slot eye goes red. "Master!" The deep robotic voice alerts him to the intruder behind him. Hardline leaps up onto his table, holding the hot sodering iron in his hand as his only available weapon. "Who the hell are you!?" he exclaims. The usually calculating technopath is clearly caught off guard by the sudden appearance, and Proto places himself in between the two.

The light circle stepping disc that deposited Magik vanishes. "My name is Magik. You have heard of the Harbingers, yes? I am one of the ones who created them. With the help of Strange, we work to right the wrongs of this country. We see a bright future for you, Theodore Fegenbush. That is, if you're willing to give up a piece of yourself, to accept it." He states. The man is in his full armor. A red-tinted silvery body armor that fits like fine close plate. On his head is a helm shaped like a demon's head.

After a moment a matte black creature, no, another robot, crawls in through a ceiling duct, stuck to the ceiling. It resembles Gyger's alien, except for the barrel of a sniper rifle attached to its back. Another robot appears from the next room, one of the assault units. None of them attack, however, they haven't been given the command.

Hardline laughs, much in the way that someone laughs when they dismiss another. "The third," he adds to such a formal declaration of who he is. "But I haven't been called that in a long time, and you don't know me. How did you get here, and how did you know I was here?" The dark brown eyes study his visitor carefully, his initial alarm quickly becoming replaced by a measured stare.

After a moment a matte black creature, no, another robot, crawls in through a ceiling duct, stuck to the ceiling. It resembles Gyger's alien, except for the barrel of a sniper rifle attached to its back. Another robot appears from the next room, one of the assault units. None of them attack, however, they haven't been given the command. They seem to scan around, as if looking for the target they have been summoned for. The eyes of Theodore Fegenbush dart to the side for a split instant, recognizing that something is wrong. Then, as one unit, all of the robots track instantly to Magik, their weapons at the ready. Apparently the mutant decided to override their AI and control them himself.

Hardline laughs, much in the way that someone laughs when they dismiss another. "The third," he adds to such a formal declaration of who he is. "But I haven't been called that in a long time, and you don't know me. How did you get here, and how did you know I was here?" The dark brown eyes study his visitor carefully, his initial alarm quickly becoming replaced by a measured stare.

"I got here and found you the same way I do everything. Magic." Magik explains. "Turn off your dogs before they get injured." He says, looking around casually. "I've come here to make you an offer. You need to become something more, in order to help with this… massive alteration of our country. But you are the only one that can do something in particular. Something that will make you a living legend. But, to do so, you must give up a piece of yourself." He explains with a shrug. "You may refuse, of course. Though, it wouldn't be wise."

Hardline doesn't answer for only a few seconds, but it may feel like an eternity. The weapons stand down in unison. Theo has been trying for a long time to overturn what has happened, and as much as he doesn't trust the being before him, he only fights when he knows he will win. And he clearly doesn't understand whether he has the advantage before him, nor whether he's teeing off against an enemy.

The mutant continues to study his visitor, and after several more seconds, he speaks. "All right," he says, tilting his head up slightly. "I'm listening."

"First, we must be away from here." Magik says. And without warning, a light circle stepping disc takes them to Limbo briefly. While there, another spell is cast on Theo and Magik himself. Though, the spell is in words that Theo would never understand. The disc reopens and takes them to an underwater wreckage. But, Theo will find he can breathe and speak just fine. "She was the Symbol of America's freedom. She, and others. She was what brought many people to our shores. She was Liberty. She has fallen into the waters. But, she was the sight of a major fight. Where one hero stood after Barnes Academy was taken down. One hero fought against Sentinels who could not fight back against him, until a Hunter stopped him. Theo? What does it take… to be a hero?"

Though Theo is taken completely by surprise, he tries to remain measured when the disc takes them away. He's without defense now, and he tries not to let it show. Then they find themselves underwater, and he nearly panics. He would have held his breath were he not already in the process of inhaling as they appeared underwater.

He stares at the ancient statue. Theo looks at Magik, and look at the statue again. "In my experience, a hero usually requires a much bigger heart than I have, and a much smaller brain." The catchy statement isn't said with amusement, rather a certain sadness. "But then, I wouldn't be the expert on such things."

"But then, you have a logical mind, as opposed to the broad heart. There have been logical heroes as well. What made them what they are?" Magik asks. "Or the villains what they are? I need to know what makes you tick. What makes you who you are. And whether you're worthy of this honor. If you had the power to be an icon for Americans who cannot fight back, how would you act? What would you do?"

Somewhere inside the Statue, there is a very small pulsing. A technological distress call. But, it is very VERY weak. The actual pieces of the call are so weak it can't even be made out. Just that it's distress.

This distress call… can be felt by Theo for some reason.

Theo's lip curls up on one side, "I can save you the trouble of games," he says, looking back to Magik. "I'm not worthy of any sort of honor. I can't tell you what makes a hero, but I can tell you what makes a villain. It's human nature unchecked." He hears the distress, and turns away from Magik to listen with his senses as continues. "It's hate, revenge. A surrender to yourself and yourself alone… I make a villain." He sounds defeated with his self-assessment. He has no delusions of self-righteousness.

"What is that?" he says, assuming that Magik brought him to hear what he senses.

"Do you? You fought alongside others to bring the people back. You're helping the Rebellion and the Redemption." Magik says, he would be grinning were his face visible. "What is what?" He asks. The path is clear, though. There's a hole in the side of the fallen statue of liberty that they're near. "Is that what you want to be? A villain? Or would you prefer to save the world? To be one of those that they respect and rely upon for their safety?"

"What is that signal?" he clarifies. He points straight to the direction of it. "It's right there." He begins to swim forward toward the statue, clearly the signal is taking his attention. He pauses, and looks back at Magik. "To be honest, I never wanted to be either. I would've been content to live quietly out of everyone's attention. But that's not how it ended up. Do I want people to hate me? No. But they do because of the choices I've made. Do I want them to respect me? I think every man has the need for respect."

He continues speaking, but then starts swimming again, insatiably curious about what this signal could be. It's technology, and he feels drawn like a moth to flame. "But it's not about whether I want to be relied upon. It's about what is needed. I think maybe you're asking the wrong questions. Perhaps it doesn't matter what I want. What President Kelly wanted killed millions. What I wanted would've done the same in a few years. I didn't help because I wanted to. I helped because I was the only one who could. If I hadn't helped the Rebellion they would've starved long before the last raid hit."

"Maybe it's written. Maybe we all have our roles to play that have been laid out before the foundations of the world. Or maybe we are in a giant casino. Either way, there are things that need to be done. I helped them because they needed help. And biproxy, I needed help because they did."

"Or perhaps I'm asking the questions that make you think about it, to determine your own future." Magik says as he shrugs slightly. "The signal?I can't sense it. I only know that this is the last resting place of a hero. A being who saved many lives throughout his time." He explains, moving along behind the man. "He was a symbol, and he was logic incarnate. He had many things in common with you. Villainy was in his history. He overcame it and became something more. Though, he never could become what he truly wanted." Magik explains. "But, by your own definition, you did what needed to be done because you were the only one who COULD do it. Is that not why Captain America did what he did? Or Thor? Or Iron Man?"

It's the last name that causes Theo to pause, but he doesn't add a comment. The Avenger and he had a history. "Who is it that lies here? And what did he want to become?" he asks. He reaches the edge of the statue, and tries to grasp around with his sense to determine what is emitting the distress signal.

The direction of the beacon is the head of the statue. It won't take long to get there. "A family. He was married, but his wife… she wasn't sane or normal. They had children, but the children were taken away." Magik explains. "The children grew, but without the love of either mother or father. They were put into the adoption circuit. One got a good, happy family. The other, well… he ended up moving from family to family." He rubs the bridge of his nose as he moves towards the beacon with Theo. Once the reach the head, the beacon is beneath a piece of fallen metal. The metal is large, but it can be shifted by two. Whoever is beneath it would have no chance to do so, because of the angles.

"I think you need to work on your selling points," the technopath answers sarcasticly. "Help me move this." He grabs the edge of the metal, and begins to push. "So you're saying that he was a great symbol to everybody, except his own family."

"I didn't say that, precisely. I said he was not able to be with his family. His wife went insane. His children… were lost souls." Magik does so, moving along with Theo. It takes pressure and movement, but eventually, a body is lying there, face down. Green and red are the only visible colors. Theo will be able to sense a lot from the body. For one, he IS a technological creation. A synthezoid. If he moves the body over, he will be face to face with The Vision. But inside, there is no life. Just what made him up. His mind… the programming… the mental patternings that made him Victor Shade, or later Jonas… are gone. He is but a shell.

Theo arches his brow as he turns over The Vision, and stares at him for a long moment. They never met personally, which was never much surprise to him, given his particular powerset, but he knew of the Vision. "Aren't we all," he says soberly. He pulls himself down to the image before him, and begins to wipe away ages of dirt that have caked on the form. The dirt floats off into the ocean as a cloud. After the face is clear, he looks back up at Magik. "What is it that you want with me?" he asks again, desiring a more specific request from Magik.

"The country needs Avengers. It needs symbols it recognizes, even if wielded by different individuals. Iron Man is on the rise. Tony Stark is NOT dead. Thor has been reborn in another's body, when the man once known as Vulcan lifted Mjolnir. With their rallying cry, the American People will stand behind them and gain the strength to break away from this world. I believe you can be the man of logic within them. I believe you can carry on the Vision's legacy. However, it will cost a lot of yourself." Magik explains, no longer mincing words. "It can be a chance for you to be what you haven't been."

"Do you really think they will want me? Many of them have fought against me, feel betrayed by me." He pulls the body up to a standing position, not a difficult task, given that it is underwater. More dirt clouds up, obscuring the lower half of the former hero.

"I am a man of logic," he concedes. "But I can't think of any part of me worth holding onto." Theo slowly drifts backward, still staring down the lifeless shell of The Vision.

"You can repair him with your powers. But your mind will inhabit his body permanently. And… you will lose much of your natural ability. However, you will gain his and retain your knowledge. That… is the cost. As for the other questions?" Magik says, looking up towards Theo. "Vision's wife. Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch. She was a member of the Brotherhood of Mutants. So was her brother, Quicksilver. Vision was a creation of Ultron, who fought the Avengers. Hawkeye was a thief. Scott Lang stole Henry Pym's Pym Particles amongst many other things. Redemption is a part of the Avengers History." He pauses.

"Are you willing to take that step? To become virtually invulnerable? But to be a beacon of logic amongst the coming storm?" Magik asks, voice intoning his desire to see Theo accept this. "Will you stand tall and become a foundation of human protection and strength?"

For a long moment Theo doesn't answer, he just gives the metal shell a pained look until the currents of the ocean knock the body into the cloud of, hiding it from view. He stares at the dust as if he could will it to leave, and then looks back at Magik. "Redemption," he echoes, letting the silence of the sea fill the darkness.

Suddenly he lets out a chuckle, breaking the tone. "My powers," he says. "That's it?" He shakes his head, though in a way that says that perhaps he thinks Magik really doesn't get what he feels about his powers. "I've never been attached to my powers, to be honest," he confesses. "I know most mutants rely on some sense of superiority because of their powers, but it was never my power that I was willing to allow define me. It was my resourcefulness, my wit that I craved attention for."

The technopath looks back to Magik, studying his face for a long period. "But redemption. For that I'd become a blathering idiot on the side of the road." An indirect affirmative, but there is reservation behind his words.

"Then join your mind with the body and you will become the new Vision. You already know of the Rebellion and Redemption. They can guide you to Mr. Stark." Magik says with a nod, beginning a soft mutter as his hands begin to glow with eldritch energies. "If you are willing." He adds, holding the spell. "You are the only one that can make this decision. And the only one that can take up this mantle."

He holds, waiting for Theo's definitive. "I, for one, believe in you. That is why I have offered you this opportunity."

"No," Theo contests, "I'm not the only one who has to make the decision," his fears moving back to the surface. "Thor would have to accept me. Pietro would have to accept me. Magneto would have to accept me… Tony would have to accept me." His fear is not for his willingness, but the character of others.

"How can I ask for their forgiveness. Shall I just inhabit a husk and parade as a new man? Who trusts a golden heart to one that stands in tarnished armor? And who looks for new romances in the broken hearted masses? I will not become a new person by your magic spells. And there are many broken hearted among the Redemption and Rebellion… I am willing to try. But I cannot promise that they will do the same, and I can't fault them if they don't."

"Honesty is how you become what people look up to. Be who you think is right." Magik states. "And you are wrong. They may choose not to accept you. Thor. Or Iron Man. But will that stop you from acting as you should? From becoming the new Vision?" He asks. He would raise an eyebrow, but the point would be moot beneath the armor. "As for how do you ask for forgiveness? I have always found it easiest, yet hardest at the same time, to simply swallow my pride and say, 'I'm sorry. I want to be something more. Will you forgive me?' You'd be surprised at how powerful that can be. All armor is tarnished. Sometimes, the tarnish isn't visible." But then he pauses. "No, my spells aren't what will link you to the Vision. You'll do that yourself. Mine will be to preserve your physical self. Only your mind can join the Vision. However, your mind inside will prevent it from being taken over by other technomancers and technokinetics. As for the others? We do not know what Pietro will do. His feet are not what they use

d to be. Tony needs help. Why not accept it from a source he knows? As for Thor? Thor just stepped into the role. He was previously a Hunter. Yes. One of the feared ones. He killed his best friend while under their command. But, he is that man no more. He has been freed of their control. You… have been freed of your previous mentality by your own desire. You have chosen a new life. Take the new life in all ways. Repudiate the old. Sometimes, that's the only way to a clean slate."

The dust has started to settle. "Then I have a lot of work to do," Theo says, the statement carrying a range of meanings. "I've done a lot of things with machines, but I think putting my brain into a computer is gonna be a first. But I think that'll be the easier of the tasks before me."

"Your powers and the ability of the body of the synthezoid will do it all on it's own, because of your mutant abilities. It most likely won't even hurt." Magik says with a bit of a chuckle. "However, the process will be irreversible…" He adds on. "If you are going to do this, then I will leave you, so that you may rise on your own, as you learn your new body." He offers. "Seek the Rebellion. Then seek Tony Stark. Only a few know where he is. One of their leaders can get you in touch with him, I'm sure." He nods, finalizing the spell to hold things static.

The one known as Hardline gives a slow nod to Magik. "You can call me Theodore," he says, giving a notably different perspective than at the beginning of their conversation.

Theodore Fegenbush III pulls the figure of the Vision up in front of him once more. He stares deep into the lifeless eyes. He glances at Magik one last time, and then holds the hands of the synthezoid, closing his own eyes. His senses begin creeping into the arms. It's a refreshing sensation almost, as the damaged connections in the arms begin to right themselves with Theo's knowledge. The shoulders are next, followed by the torso. The synthetic heart lets out a violent beat, heard through the water, The legs twitch as new life pulses through them, Theo feeding the body with his own energy.

The eyes snap open simultanteously with The Vision's, bright light illuminating the two in the darkness of the deep. The dark brown eyes do not break the gaze. The technopath's heart is racing, realizing the finality of the moment fast approaching. In the last sixty seconds he's prepared himself a new body, which will change him forever.

"Truly, this is a beautiful contradiction."

The young man's body surges violently as he invades the circuitry. It's like drawing his soul through a straw, possessing every fiber of the new being. Legs move, arms move. The crystal on The Vision's forehead bursts into light and suddenly, Theodore finds himself face to face with himself. His own body floating before him, an empty stare looking back. The hands slip free, and the old body begins to float away into the darkness. It is done.

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