2010-06-29: Philistine. They must be lilies.

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Magneto_icon.jpg Jono_icon.jpg

Summary: Magneto and Jonothon build as a form of powers practice.

Date: 06-29-2010

Log Title Philistine. They must be lilies.

Rating: PG


Mutant Town


Magneto stands in an empty lot in Mutant Town, looking around. Nearby, several tons of scrap steel lies waiting, along with smaller piles of several other metals. His arms are crossed and his expression is barely patient.

His footsteps herald his arrival, and Jonothon gradually finds his way over. No flying, no fire. Just a skinny buy in black. Head tilts as he looks to the taller man. What he sees there has him briefly looking about to smile before he schools his features. Barely patient seems to make Jono want to laugh. Totally doesn't comment on what he's thinking though and instead asks, «Well?» There's amusement threaded through those words though.

Magneto gives Jono a looks that says, 'I dare you to laugh, which will give me the excuse to flatten you.' Then he waves a hand, indicating the piles, the lot, and Jono himself. "Raw materials, and possibilities. What does this place need, young Starsmore? What should it become?"

Jonothon simply isn't that stupid. To be honest what he was thinking probably wouldn't have gotten him flattened, but that doesn't mean he shares it. Nor is he intimidated by that look. Seen a bit too much of the well known Magneto ire to much care any more. He does look curious at being asked that. Why would someone who always has a plan want his opinion? «Why not housing for those mutants who need it?» If it were anyone but Magnus he would have left that mutant out of there. «I know of quite a few who take shelter in the condemned buildings because they don't feel they have anywhere else to go.»

"Well then, go to it." A majestic wave of his hand, and Magneto takes a step back. "We have been working on your heavy lifting and on your fine control, and here, you get to show me what you've learned." He smiles. "Also, I find your complaints about destruction tedious."

The Brit gives a look back in return. It's not about the fact he doesn't want to do this. «It never occurred to you that I've never built a building before, and have no idea what it takes to make one legal in the United States, did it?» Jonothon eyes the man like he's gone mad for a moment, and shakes his head. «If I didn't know better I'd ask what drugs you'd been doing. Tonight is beginning straaange. «Expecting me to make a building isn't the problem. The fact I've no idea how to make it stable, how to get it wired right, plumbing.. Christ. I don't even know where to begin.» Sorry, never did construction work, much less engineering!

Magneto leans forward, shit-eating grin first. "So. You are quitting without even trying. How… inspirational."

Jonothon's express turns angry. Not even for dropping the semi on him did that happen. Yet, he doesn't snap, he just looks angry for a time as he stares at that grin. «You are bloody mad. No.» And with that he reaches out to prod Magneto's chest with a finger. «I will not put up any structure for people who need one that will drop at the first strong wind. I don't care how bloody insulting you try to be.»

Magneto looks triumphant. "And why are you assuming that I wouldn't critique your efforts mercilessly? Or allow anyone near them until they approach MY standards, let alone those of this benighted backwater of a nation?" He flicks the finger away from his chest. "You are so young, Jonothon Starsmore, and so self-involved. You see no further than what is in front of you… and you are not an expert in that, either."

«Oh no, I know you get off on criticizing me far too much to pass that up.» Said with that same frown. «You love watching me struggle without guidance when it suits your mood.» That he's young there's no doubt. «Nor am I stupid enough to believe that I'd get out of tonight without building every aspect of this structure multiple times because you were getting off in your pants about how I was doing it wrong.. while not giving me help in doing it right. So, again, no. You show me how first and we can get to work.» Jonothon decides to be a bit insulting too.

"Oho, truly? Well then. Keep careful watch." Still with the smug, Magneto turns and raises both hands… and things fly. "Perhaps a touch of nostalgia…" as the steel seems to melt like wax, circling both men. Jono will find himself floating as a metal plate forms under the soles of his boots, lifting him off the ground as that ground opens up under him. Cables snake through the air, metal sheets flap like monstrous moths, and thousands of bits and pieces, each of them on a separate trajectory.

Jonothon rolls his eyes expressively. «Uh-huh. Let me see.» Determined here. That means he wants to link and watch the thought processes going on too. The boy is at least a polite telepath. Never enters without asking. Or in this case demanding. It's these kinds of nights that the Brit hates the most. When Magneto is playful, for that means that the man is also at his most cruel. As for himself, lifted off the ground, Jono wraps himself in fire, but doesn't gesture. He spreads his awareness just in case that link is denied, and 'watches' on a level that doesn't require eyes. In as much as he doesn't get in the way, his telekinetic touch is all over the grounds, experiencing this first hand.

Magneto allows the link, for all he doesn't actually say 'yes'. He just smiles that smile Jono hates so much. He also expands his range, reaching through the building next door and demolishing it, casually. There wasn't anyone inside, but Jono wouldn't have known that. The structure he is building expands into the next lot, forming a wall lined with windows to either side of a central door… even as he destroys the building on the other side of the lot, too. Empty again… he's a bit more whimsical than usual, yes.

Link made, Jonothon watches for a goodly while, then sneaks in stray thoughts here and there just to see what happens. He's being whimsical too. 'Of course that post needs etched daisies on it.' Etc. It's kind of like speaking random numbers while someone is counting, just to see if they mess up. Nothing he does risks the building, but he thinks it fair game for the insults and shocks he's gotten tonight because of taking down empty buildings.

"Philistine. They must be lilies." Magneto expands the scope of his 'making', taking over the rest of the block. Metal arches over the alley, a lacework of iron that rises like an arbor over the entire length of the alleyway, even as flowers — yes, the lilies — bloom at the capitals of the false columns holding the lintels of the front door and windows. Interior walls are beginning to appear, thin posts anchoring wide sheets of shining metal. Mechanical devices — electric cabling, plumbing, transmitting nodes — appear along the way, self-assembling, then disappearing as flooring or walls complete themselves over them.

That actually earns laughter from Jonothon. Lilies. Of course. As he gains a true feel for the crafting, he lends his aid. Not that Magneto truly needs much, but he can shape materials the other can not. Like a two stage wave, he follows behind, adding in tiny details. The caulk in necessary places, the padding for wiring, even the insulation for some of the pipes. Also does a great deal in keeping dust to a minimum. Construction is messy even with this means. That dust is put to better use than clogging the air. it totally wasn't that he was unwilling. He simply didn't know how, and wasn't about to begin when he didn't even know where to start. Calling him names wash over him like water off a duck as well. One of the biggest reasons he's able to handle this training at all. That he's called names really doesn't phase him much.

… Not to mention weatherstripping on doors, glass for those windows (Jono will have to reconstitute it from shards, and bulletproof it; he'll find the instructions in Magneto's mind, if he does any looking). He'll catch glimpses of Magneto's personal image of the place, completed, with rugs on the floors, paintings on the walls, and furniture. A reception palace, this: the Genoshan Embassy in New York, if he has any say in the matter at all. —And a deep, glowing ecstasy as he builds, making at a level he seldom strives for because he's so damn busy so much of the time…

So long as there are guidelines for how, Jonothon has no problem with adding those finishing touches. Also can't help but feed off that glow, linked as they are. Means that by the time he's done, and exhausted, he's not aware of how tired he is until his knees give way. Got just as caught up in it as Magneto was. «Christ.» Said quietly as he finds himself sitting on a carpet he made. There are some differences in the man that won't last, but they are easily noticed. Like how his hair has paled to light blond. Would have been white if this had taken longer. And how his features not quite Jono anymore. Got a bit too caught up indeed. His sense of self is too strong for this to last, but for a time he clearly came to echo those emotions he was feeding off of.

Magneto is exhausted, too, though he won't let himself fall. Too stubborn, and too proud. He looks around at the grand entry of the 'embassy', the sweeping staircase at his back, the faux wood panelling so finely detailed that you'd have to scratch it to know that it was metal. Jonothon's carpet is scarlet, of course — the same shade of red as in Magneto's uniform. "I believe the New York authorities will want to inspect this and comment about plumbing and electricity and fire alarms," he says. "They may even insist on it all coming down again." A shrug. "I believe we can deal with that."

Of course the building is metal. What else would Magneto have as an embassy. Jonothon doesn't correct him on the we part. Just chalks it up to the royal We as his hair does a gradual return to dark auburn and his features take on their proper cast. In as much as he's wrapped in fire, the man doesn't even realize he's altered himself. «I think they'd have a fight on their hands they can't win with that one.» Smirking as he shifts to a more comfortable position. Young enough not to care about dignity at this point. «You keep thinking embassy. I assume Genosha…» Not quite a question, yet it is just the same. Never having been there, much less after the destruction, he wonders how there could be an embassy for a nation like that.

Magneto catches a hint of Jonothon's doubt. "Genosha is a nation in trouble, and such a nation needs to reach out, to establish itself as a fellow, even in its time of travail. It must have a point of contact, where mutants can go for information and refuge, and for its own forces to contact the outside world, for purposes of mutual benefit." He looks toward a 'painting', a metal etching coated with a molecules-thick layer of colored 'dust', so that the whole appears to be a rendering of Hammer Bay, pre-problems. "A beautiful country. It needs our support." He lifts a hand to indicate the building around them. "A beginning."

He tilts his head as he listens, watching the man. «A target.» Although there's a little approval in that. Jonothon is thinking of the attacks on Mutant Town. This is a shiny lure to be sure. A fortified one just the same. His thoughts shift back to Genosha however. «Then why are you here? I get the whole reaching out aspect, but you already know my concerns about America.» How they seem to hate mutants. «What do you expect to gain?» Why in a nation that obviously is trying to quietly kill mutants when there are nations who would be more willing. Possibly. Not every nation hates mutants. England doesn't have the same issues. (No, they have different ones.)

"Why." He looks around the foyer, as if already seeing the people who will come here. "I come here, to America, because it is a world leader. As goes America, so go a great many other nations, even those which put up a public front of disagreement. The United States has said, loudly and often obnoxiously, that all men are created equal, and has imposed that ideal on other nations, all the while supporting the imposition of second-class citizen… nay, second-class *person* on whole swaths of their own population, let alone the populations of others."
He gives Jono a scathing glare. "If I can make this nation live up to its own ideals, the rest of the world will be simpler. The reverse case is not true."

The glare has him entirely unphased, and his return look is tired and flat. Unimpressed right now. «Uh-huh.» Jonothon says, if only to annoy. He's in a good mood thanks to the build, even as his hair settles firmly into its normal dark auburn shade. «I know better than most that America has multiple faces, and you are notoriously impatient when it comes to duplicity. Just how are you going to go about this? You've been threatening them for years, trying to kill, how are you going to over come that?» The man makes no pretenses in knowing the intricacies of government and politics, so he doesn't come off as knowing or smug. No, he's honestly curious.

"Trying to kill? Jonothon Starsmore, if I was 'trying' to kill, I would have killed, in far greater numbers than I have." Magneto snorts his disdain. "The reactionary elements in your society have far too much power. They dictate policy and enact law. Look at this 'Mutant Registration' nonsense. You would think, with this country's ties to Israel, they would know better." He jerks his chin, indicating the new-made embassy. "This is a reminder that they have had their time as bullies, picking on the weak and lonely. It is time to grow up!"

Jonothon's expression says he sniggers for that, but of course no sound emerges and he spares Magneto the mental feel of it. Really? What about all those defeats from the X-men? Doesn't ask that though. «My society?» Is what he asks instead. «England doesn't have this mutant hate-mongering going on, thank you.» And it doesn't. Of course it's dealing with demons and what not, but that isn't a war against mutants. «I'm not an American citizen.» For all he's been here for years.

As for knowing better, that finally has his features falling. «They forget.» Not meaning to excuse. «It was a lifetime ago, and they don't care to remember. If they did they wouldn't have made Neverland.» Speaking of growing up. Or not doing so. «I kind of think you are aiming at the wrong people.» Offered quietly. «..Maybe I don't know any better, but I've been among one of those groups. They didn't care who was in charge of America. Their hierarchy was separate. I remember that very well.» Isn't looking at you as he speaks, and tired as he is his appearance morphs as emotions begin to drop. A rougher appearance. Harder. Unkind and without mercy.

Magneto regards Jono as he speaks, his expression stony. "Chamber. You live here. You do not get to say, 'Not me', just because you are not a citizen. That is a coward's way out, an excuse, a rhetorical masque to absolve yourself of well-deserved guilt. If you do not oppose injustice, you support it."
He lifts his head. "I target who I can see, and in a way so that those who think they are alone, who think they deserve the abuse they receive… they can see that no, there is at least one who stands against the bigotry aimed against them. It doesn't matter how many times I fall, either—when they see me get back up, when they see me try again, that is a lesson they do not forget. That even you do not forget."

«No.» The word is icy as he looks back and eyes shift to red. «It stopped being me when they mind wiped me and put me in the camp.» Jonothon stays only because he has no where else to go. «I stay because you are teaching me, and because I can help some at the school, but I lost what love I could have for this nation long before what they did to me.» When he lost his friends to it too. «You're living here too, don't forget. And don't give me some bollocks about being a coward. I was trying to gain information to put an end to it. Now they won't let me try again because I've been compromised.» Bitter about that on many levels. «If I didn't want to fight I would have let people die here in Mutant Town. I wouldn't be dealing with your idea of training. Wouldn't be putting up with your bollocks all the time.»

Magneto shakes his head. "Listen to yourself. You've 'lost your love' for this country? And yet you live here… hating it, scorning it, even as you deign to help a few people in it." He bows to Jono, mockery in every line of him. "How generous you are, how noble, to stretch out your hand and give of yourself, when you'd much rather be watching cricket over kippers." His lips pull away from his teeth, baring canines. They're sharp and white, though only human. "If I asked any man on the street, who is Chamber? He would look at me and shrug. If you were to ask any man on the street, who is Magneto? You would get a much different reaction. I would get nothing, because you are a nothing, to everyone out there. You would get all things, because I am not a nothing. I matter, far beyond my personal circle. Do you?"

«I've worked very hard to be a nothing.» He says after a brief silence. «You can mock all you like to make yourself feel better about your situation, but the truth is, I don't need your approval.» Jonothon shrugs. «That's why I can put up with the non stop insults constantly spew when we're together. The meaningless belittling. Because I don't care what you think of me, or how I see life.» Finally a smile stretches over lips. «So carry on.» Motions a hand. «If it makes you feel better to insult me some more. Really though, I can't believe how stupid you are sometimes.»

Magneto crosses his arms. "Chamber. I would believe you far more about 'not caring' what I say to you if you did not feel the need to remind me that you don't care so very, tediously often." A flicker of a brow, contempt in miniature. "You persist in not seeing. Even Summers isn't that dense. He just disagrees."

«I just get tired of hearing the broken record is all.» Jonothon sits himself a little straighter and loosely wraps arms around knees. Not huddled, but more of a relaxed pose. «Can't say it's that I don't see. It's more of you can't see anything else. You don't know most of how I truly feel as I don't tell you. If Xavier and Scott can't change your mind, I'm not going to. After all, I'm a nothing.» Which he finds amusing. «I don't agree with you either. From everything I've seen of you, giving my opinion would be just as pointless as attempting a reputation. You've already decided my opinion is worthless.»

Magneto eyes Jonothon keenly. "So. Because you 'know' you cannot change my mind for me, and you 'know' that all attempts to do so are fated to fail, and you 'know' that you cannot possibly succeed when your betters did not, all of these things are good reason for you to sit in your corner and sulk? To complain and snark, and bewail the foolishness of others? Jonothon Starsmore, know this: at the end of your life, you will regret far more those things you did not try to do, than those things that you did try to do. Whatever the outcome."

Feet shift to change his balance and the Brit rocks a little. A sign of laughter, and nothing else. «No, I've been sitting in your corner listening to you complain and snark.» Jonothon claims. «And so far that's all I've heard. You snark and I listen while learning what you can teach me about my powers.» He shrugs a little for that. «And again here you go telling me how my life is laid out. All determined by you. Honestly, you talk so much that I'm positive you couldn't listen anymore.» Rolls his eyes at that. «You're too busy putting me down. Which of course will somehow be my fault.»

Magneto shakes his head. "It isn't all about you, Starsmore, whatever you may think. No more than it is all about me. And your definition of 'listen' is sadly deficient. If all you are hearing is 'snark'…" He shakes his head again.

«Of course it isn't.» All about him. Jonothon doesn't believe that anymore. «That's kind of your default when dealing with me. That's why I coined it a broken record. The majority of what I hear from you is negative. The way you talk I should have gone out and killed myself years ago. It's a good thing I don't need your opinion to believe in myself.» He smirks there. «You do on occasion say something of worth, and I listen. Whether or not I show it. I've learned a great deal from you these weeks, and far more than merely power use. I dunno. Would you be happier if I bragged about it? That's not how I am. I'm trying to prepare myself for what's coming, and the less they know about me the better. I don't want to be world famous. Feared.» Jono shrugs about that. «For all I know that's the default setting.» Fear.

"Fear is a default setting." Magneto latches onto that, because as far as he's concerned, that's the only thing Jono has said that moves the conversation forward. The rest is, as Jono himself said, so much broken record. "Unthinking, unreasoning fear. Of the other, of the strange, of whatever is not exactly and completely understood. Of course humanity fears mutants! And they should." He snaps his head around to glare at Jono. "But blindly striking out at all mutants is as useless and ultimately pointless as tilting at a windmill."

Jonothon lifts a hand and motions blathering. There's that record again. «You should give up your horse and lance then.» Said of pointlessly tilting at windmills. «You do much the same thing. That's what I've never gotten about it all. You grandstand too much to seem to want to care about honestly stopping the issue. This..» A hand motioned to the building so newly made. «is window dressing. The people out there killing mutants right now won't care about this embassy. They gave you Genosha in hopes that it would keep you distracted.»

Magneto says, "I didn't build this place for the killers, Chamber." As if he had to point that out…! "And it is far more than window dressing. Power is as much in how you present yourself as in what you are presenting, and if I were to give a tour of Mutant Town, today, absent this place, even the most tolerant of humans would look down upon us all, in pity if not contempt. But with this place, they cannot look down too low, lest they be seen to be bowing before us.""

«And we made it a target.» Said with a shake of his head. «I suggested a place people could go, but they won't come here. Not the ones who truly need the help. No matter how much fun it was to build.» Jonothon has to admit that. He pauses and smirks, «It's funny too. What name you call me by entirely depends on how much I am agreeing with you.» That's just a little thing however. «The only people who will come here are those wanting to be seen and the killers. The woman who turns into rats? She'll stay in the sewers. The blind bloke with the open sores who catches glimpses of the future? He'll stay in his filthy, moldering room. They're too afraid to live in such a grand place.»

"Then I give you this task, young Starsmore." Yes, Magneto is ignoring Jono's complaints about his name. More broken record-ism, in his opinion. "I task you to designing an adequate back door. You may place it wherever you like… in front, back, to either side; in the entrance bays, where the alley once was, or you may place it underground. Or on the roof, if that is your preference. You may design it to whatever spec you please… and don't tell me you don't know how NOW."

Jonothon isn't a bit surprised really. «It'll take more then merely a back door.» Said with wry laughter. He thinks Magneto has forgotten what it meant to have so little. Even if it's one of those situations where he's trying not to remember. «Give me the back west wing.» Which was built for those who needed it, just a bit too polished really. And no, no complaints about not knowing now. Jono won't be able to remember everything, but he won't need it all. His mind isn't at the same level as Magneto's. Really though, he's grateful for that.

Magneto nods to the request for the back west wing. "If you would prefer a place off-site, that can also be arranged." Think outside the box, Starsmore. "If you need assistance, let me know. I am willing, although…" and here he grins, "I will never go easy on you."

He rolls his eyes at the last part. «Not being treated like complete bollocks would be nice once and a while, but whatever.» Jonothon climbs to his feet, so tired he's not even surrounded by psy-fire. «You are truly lousy with people. Hire someone who won't make people want to bite you to run this place.» Otherwise it's going to fail miserably, «And if they tell you something, bloody well listen to them.» So never going to happen.

"I shall be sure to keep you off the front desk, then," amused. Magneto smirks for Jono's hiring advice. He paces to the back of the room and lays a hand on the banister of the stairs, looking up. "Do your best, Jonothon Starsmore. This is a gift to our people, and every inch must be worth it to them."

«If only everyone did me such favors.» No, keeping Jonothon off the front desk is best for everyone, and he agrees. «Of course I will, but you won't like the end results.» Do his best. «These people need somewhere they can sleep without feeling like they are going to ruin everything. The rooms are going to have to be dressed down considerably.» And no, he's not apologizing. «But not tonight. I'm sleeping for a week after this.» Doesn't even bother to say good night as he heads towards the back. To that west wing with its wealth of prepared beds. He should know, he helped make them.

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