2010-03-26: Into The Woods


Skyler_icon.jpg Magneto_icon.jpg

Summary: Skyler meets Magneto in the woods after discovering a Sentinel head. Magneto, then, steals his cel-phone.

Date: March 26, 2010

Into the Woods

Rating: PG 13

Xavier Mansion - Woods

Pine, Oak, Birch, and many other trees can be found in these woods. Paths lead all through out them for students to take walks. The occasional bench can be found along the paths. Students shouldn't worry about wandering too deep in these woods as its almost impossible for them to get lost here.

Tonight is a good night to be wandering about. The sky is clear and cloudless, the moon is nearly full and bright, and it isn't particularly cold, not that it would bother Skyler in any case. He's come out to the woods to do a bit of soul searching, to try to order his thoughts, which is why he'd been wandering aimlessly about off any of the trail paths. He stops short when he finds himself face to face with half a Sentinel head half buried in the dirt. Looking at the parallel claw marks he chuckles and muses to himself, "Heh, Logan really did a number on this one."

The head shifts, even as Skyler watches, twisting in the dirt to unbury itself. The things 'eyes' are remarkably unbroken, despite the damage to the rest of the head; they seem to track Skyler as the piece comes upright. Dirt patters off the sides and out of the gaping hole where the other half of the head was, carrying smaller bits of the Sentinel with it, such as wiring and broken struts. Static electricity glimmers along the broken edges, leaping away to the damp earth.

Skyler's fists clench as the head seems to rise by itself and the diamond on his forehead glows with power. But only for a second. Skyler's quick to realize that there's no way this thing could move on it's own and the telltale static electricity clues him into who could be behind it. Unclenching his hands and taking a step back he calls out, "Mr. Lehnsherr?" True, it could also be his daughter, but there aren't rumors going around the school about Lorna digging up old Sentinel bits and pieces.

Magneto was standing off behind the head, out of sight of where Skyler was standing. His own head tips toward the sound of his name, and his eyes narrow. He continues to unearth the head, but takes to the air to get a better idea of who is shouting his name and where they are standing. The static follows him into the air, crackling in his wake. "Ah," he says, spying the boy. His eyes narrow, taking in Skyler's face and the marking on his brow. "You must be one of the students Sinister took as a tool."

Skyler lets out a rueful chuckle at Magneto's observation. "How'd you guess?" he asks rhetorically, looking up at the older gentleman. "Yeah, this was the second time he got a hold of me." His expression darkens a bit at the memories of both abductions. "The first time was bad enough as it was. This time around he turned me into a little clone of him."

Magneto floats overhead, unsmiling, gazing down at the young man with the unfortunate face. He's not wearing his helmet tonight, which means his own expression is clearly visible—what there is of it. Narrowed eyes, a taut mouth; these could mean many things. "A second time." His voice carries tension and notes that might be the leading edges of rage. "You have been taken by Sinister twice. From this campus?" His arms spread wide, indicating the whole of the Institute. The static around him seems to be getting worse…

"No," answers Skyler, moving over to a fallen tree to sit upon. "The first time I was walking back from the Salem Center. He was after Jono, actually, and I just kind of stumbled upon them." His black lips pull into a scowl at the memory. "He was overjoyed when he learned about what I could do." He sighs, and turns his blood red eyes up to Magneto. "He released Jono before the X-Men could come and rescued us, wiped his memory and dumped him somewhere in Kansas. Me and a few others he'd marked." He taps the diamond on the center of his forehead. "This. but on the shoulder. We couldn't remove it. He used it as a kind of tracking device for when he wanted to see if he could create his own Horsemen, but there were others that he didn't touch… until now." He shakes his head. "The second time, yes, was on the campus. But there wasn't really much anybody would have been able to do. He'd planted post-hypnotic commands to basically put ourselves in positions that he could easily come and take us."

The static spits in the darkness as Magneto lowers himself, hovering now only about six feet off the ground. "I think Miss Frost needs a refresher course in being paranoid," he remarks. He flexes his fingers and behind him, the Sentinel head's eyes glow as power runs through shredded circuitry. Some of the random bits that fell off roll back toward it, leaping upward to fit themselves in their proper places. "You do realize, young man, that you likely have as much or more buried in your psyche even now."

Skyler purses his black lips thoughtfully at the man's comments, watching him manipulate the Sentinel's head. "I don't know," he says slowly. "Normally I'd agree with you but

Skyler purses his black lips thoughtfully at the man's comments, watching him manipulate the Sentinel's head. "I don't know," he says slowly. "Normally I'd agree with you but Addison…" He pauses and his brows furrow with worry. "Addison has the Phoenix Force, now. If anybody could yank out any last traces of Sinister it'd be him."

Magneto's eyes half-lid; what he thinks of this boy's faith in the effectiveness of the Phoenix Force remains unsaid. "I can think of several other methods of tampering with you, young man. And if I can, be assured that Nathaniel Essex most certainly has."

Again, a rueful chuckle escapes the teen. "Believe me, I know. I'm reminded of it every time I look in a mirror, now." He turns his gaze from the Master of Magnetism to where the Mansion is, even though it's not visible this deep in the woods. "I'm seriously considering leaving this place. If there's any chance that I could repeat the damage that I've already caused…. I don't want to subject the good people who live here to that kind of thing again." He sighs, his gaze shifting to look at his hands in his lap. "That and I've always had issues with how this place was run."

Magneto snorts. "Then we have something in common, you and I. This place…" His head goes up and the wind shifts, like a wave passing overhead. "This place is fantasy, a wish on a whim on a dream on a phantasm, ignoring all that is real and all that is so much more likely." He looks again at Skyler. "And youngsters such as yourself pay the price for such airy-fairy foolishness."

Skyler studies Magneto as he speak before smiling softly and shaking his head. "No, you're wrong. The dream is a good dream, and it's the direction where we should go." A look of sadness crosses his face, "However, there's a certain amount of hypocrisy that they partake in that undermines their efforts. The world needs a place where young mutants can come and learn to control their powers so that… I don't want to say 'they're not a danger to themselves or humanity anymore.' That's not quite it." A pause, "Where if they become a danger, it's on their own merits and not because they just can't help it." He sighs, and says, "The world sees the X-Men as mutant terrorists, and to a certain extent they're right. Even though their heart is in the right place, they just don't see that they're taking children, and making sure that they grow up to be good little X-men terrorists by making them all do combat-based danger room sessions in the name of 'training their powers' instead of letting them come up with a path of their own." He winces as he realizes that he's lecturing Magneto. "I'm sorry," he says. "I'm rambling. Thinking out loud."

Magneto shows a great many white teeth in an expression that resembles but is not a smile. "I see that the X-Men have infected you with their foolishness. Their dream — their fabulous fantasy — of peace." The earth erupts as the Sentinel's jaw breaks free of the hold of dirt. "That training is the single most useful thing you do! Without it, without knowing what you *can* do, when those who oppose us, who wish all of mutantkind dead and forgotten, when they come — and they will come! — they will destroy you. At best, you can hope to be a tool as Sinister has made you a tool, a puppet to the whims of someone who is not yourself." The jaw slams onto the head with the sound of breaking steel. "Without combat reflexes, defense *and* offense, young sir, you are VICTIM. And if you choose to be a victim…?" He spits. "That, for your 'dream'."

Skyler takes a moment to think on this, to think about what would have happened if people didn't have the danger room sessions. To think about all that he's been through, the aliens, the AIM attacks and kidnappings. He sighs, and shakes his head. "Maybe you're right," he concludes. "I don't think trying to achieve a peaceful coexistence is a fantasy. I don't /want/ to think that, because if it did it means that I've given up hope." But, clearly, there are seeds of doubt in his voice.

"You will find your final, complete peace in your grave. While you live, however, you must earn the food you eat, the shelter you sleep under… even the air you breathe. We all must. Being a mutant, you will have to fight for what you want, because mutants are few, and those who would see us erased are multitude. THEY will fight — you have no luxury to hope that they will stop and apologize if you just ask them nicely." Contempt rolls off the Master of Magnetism in waves at that last. "Ignore reality if you wish, young man, but be certain that reality is much bigger than you are, and more likely to win."

Skyler's eyes flick to the Sentinel, a testament to exactly how far people will go to prove Magneto right. He fights to give his elder a biting comeback, but angering the man is the last thing he wants to do. He hops off the log and walks up to the floating head of the machine and lays a hand on it thoughtfully. After a moment he looks back the man. "I should go before people get worried that I've been kidnapped again." It's a jest, but his tone indicates that there's some truth to that as well. "You've given me much to think about."

Magneto is in a state of constant anger; one measures this by degrees, not by its presence or absence. "The students of this institution have a remarkable tendency to be out and about at ridiculous hours far too much. I will be speaking to your headmaster about this matter, among other things. The list of names I could have made off with, just in the past three days, would embarass him." Magneto wouldn't be sorry to embarass Scott Summers that way, either. "But one thing before you go, young man… did you bother to bring your emergency beacon with you?"

Skyler smirks at the man's question. "Of course. I don't go anywhere without it these days." He shakes his head and pats the metal head. "I didn't feel it necessary to activate it when I saw you. You've been out and about collecting Sentinel parts for God knows what reason, and if you wanted to have done damage to us you would have done so by now." He sighs, "Besides, you brought Jono back when you didn't have to."

Magneto brought Jonothon Starsmore back for more reasons than one; he doesn't bother stating that. "Give me your beacon."

Skyler hesitates for a moment before pulling out the cel phone that's specially constructed for the students, which is what they use now for their panic beacons. "Here," he says, holding it out to Magneto.

Magneto lifts the cell phone magnetically, floating it into his own hand. He stares at it for a long moment, senses stretching, examining the device with more than just eyes. "Interesting," he murmurs, and he tucks it away in his own belt. "Request another one of your headmaster. I am taking this one." He starts skyward; the head develops legs and rocks to its 'feet'. "And boy…" The smile on his face is equal parts amusement and mirthlessness, "Go directly back. You, of all people, do not want to be caught without a beacon."

Skyler mumbles, "Tell me about it," He shakes his head and takes Magneto's advice and heads back towards the mansion. "God. Scott's going to kill me," he says to himself. "'Skyler, what happened to your phone?' 'Magneto stole it from me…'"

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