2020-06-20: Reunion


MagnetoF_icon.jpg PietroF_icon.jpg

Summary: After being freed, Pietro finds his father. Ends with Jono making an appearance.

Date: 06-20-2020

Log Title Reunion

Rating: PG

The Future

Rebellion Base

The underground has been chaotic for days. First it was the gardens. Magneto helped Jonothon with that, but then even before they could fully finish Jonothon gave the sad news that all non combat personnel were to be evacuated. In as just a few days as well. Jonothon asked for Magneto's help with that too. Where to move people, how best to keep things organized.. Jono is good, but he isn't stupid enough to ignore the advice of a man decades his senior, and a genius to boot. So days of moving plants, then days of relocating people into deeper, safer caverns..
And just when that's done the Rebels teleport in dozens and dozens of mutant prisoners. They broke in and freed everyone they could. So now there's also how to feed these people, on top of the rest, and getting them down into the safer caverns too. It's insane.
Jonothon asked Magneto to rest at one point. If only because he wants to make sure the old man doesn't collapse at some point. Now, whether or not that resting happens, someone seeks Magneto out during this period. Limping heavily on bandaged feet, what appears to be an old man approaches. He holds his head high, but he's filthy, and wearing clothing not his own. It's obvious. Long, hair in pale blond dreadlocks (the blond a trick of the lights and the dirt instead of true color.), and a thick, white beard covers much of his face. Excepting that M over his eye.
Standing there a moment, the man looks at you. Upon closer inspection he's no where near as old as a glance would suggest, even if the years have been unkind. "…Father." His voice is rough from little use, but there's no doubting it. Nor the personal aura wrapped around him. Pietro.

Rest? When there is so much to do, to make, to move, to destroy? Magneto is capable of many things, but 'resting' isn't something he is good at. Which is why when Pietro finds him, he is neck-deep in trash of various sorts, from old newspapers to dead electronics, sorting it, sifting it, selecting bits from here and bits from there, and assembling the pieces he finds into useful items. Salvage is good.
Jono has nothing to complain about. He's *sitting*.
He does look up at the word 'Father'. Others call him that, for one reason or another, but he hadn't thought to hear the word in that voice, not here. Not since years ago. "Pietro!" He abandons his work and stands to grasp one of Pietro's hands in his and clasp the other arm around Pietro's shoulders. "Son. It is good to see you."
He leans back then, eyeing Pietro critically. "You need a bath. There is water available—brackish and undrinkable, which is why it may be washed with."

Knowing when to call something good enough, Jonothon left Magneto 'sitting'. The old man just can't relax, can he?
Pietro finds himself surprised at the reaction, but in good ways. There had been so much between the two over the years that he was never quite sure how his father would react. Being thought dead for years though.. maybe that helps put things in perspective. The speedster doesn't hesitate more than a second before he seeks to hug. A firm clasp that says he too is glad. The contact is very welcome. As the two part, he shakes his head about the bath. "I need a great many things." But the rough voice sounds of laughter. "I.. I only wanted to say that I am sorry. I purposely let everyone believe I died so that I couldn't be used against you." His words aren't terribly steady, but he gets them out stubbornly. Pietro refused to be turned into a hound or made bait to draw people out. It left him quite the miserable existence.

Magneto grunts an acknowledgement to Pietro's comments, though his attention is still on the other man's physical state. He's seen this before… when he was young. It burns him that he sees it again, in his own son. He does look up, though, eyes narrowed as Pietro says his apology. "I do not accept your apology, Pietro, for you did what you thought you must, and we have all benefited from your decision. That is not something to apologize for."
His mouth quirks into a half-smile. "Now, if you had chosen to become a Hound? THAT, I would expect you to grovel over."

Pietro certainly han't shown shame in his demeanor, but he does none the less hold his head that much higher for the idea of being a hound. "I have too much of you in me for that." So wouldn't have happened. He shakes his head at the idea. "I felt you would understand. You, of anyone, would know." It was never something Pietro quite understood until now. "But I needed to say the words anyway."
"As foolish as it is." For once he's not going to care if Magneto insults him. That used to be common practice for the two. "I'll need to endure their telepathic scan, and somehow find clothing I won't run off in seconds, but once I heal you can count on me to fight." Totally not ready right now, especially with his damaged feet, but he's willing.

Magneto waves a hand, brushing Pietro's words aside. "If foolish words are what you feel you must say, then say them. You are here and alive and that is enough for now." He beckons Pietro further into his workspace. "You and I should talk about where you have been and what was done there," though he already knows the broad outlines. One never knows, though, when a nugget of gold might be sifted out of a mountain of dross. "Your assistance would be most welcome, once you have healed, yes. But your assistance would be most welcome now, too, if you would help with this." He waves a hand at the piles of trash all around. "Sorting is tedious, when one is forced to maintain a power level below that detectable by the Sentinels. And if not this?" He turns and gives Pietro a steady look. "We have many people to feed and house and maintain, Pietro. Anything you might do for the others here is useful. For instance, do you sew?"

Pietro snorts with wan laughter and says, "I'm done." That's all he wanted to say. Drawn in, he limps carefully into that mess, frowning down at it. The man is so dirty he can't even really feel it any more. Saying nothing for a time, the man lifts his eyes to meet that gaze. The camps couldn't even come close to killing his spirit. Sure he's battered and changed, but Pietro is still whole inside of there. "I never felt the need to tell anyone before, but I can learn to do anything in moments, and I always retain the skill." A shrug as he leans down to pick up a bit of circuit board. The son didn't inherit his father's genius, but he did gain quite a gift regardless. Pietro never lost his ability to learn with the ease of a child. "Whatever you need." No longer quite so proud though.

"Well, then," Magneto says, and he takes Pietro on a tour of his 'supply cupboard'. What is what, where it goes, how to assemble some of the devices needed… like osmotic water purifiers, and lighting elements for the hydroponics, and switchblades. Radio listening devices, passive receive only, for eavesdropping on human police and military units. Tasers, cauterizers, and stethoscopes. Eyeglasses. Orthotics. And, of course, prosthetic limbs.

Right now walking is painful and awkward, so Pietro needs to be somewhere he can sit. During the tour he doesn't move all that much to be honest, and he spends a good deal of his time watching his father. This is surreal for him. So very strange after all these years. This doesn't mean he isn't listening though. Finds a spot to sit soon enough and wraps arms around knees loosely as he listens. "I'm not sure I'm up to building anything quite this complicated today." Most everything listed is complicated today. There's apology to his tone though. Although, he can help sort. If that's what the goal is.

"Pietro." Magneto stops beside his son, laying a hand on his shoulder. "Building is good. Sorting is fine. And listening? You and I haven't had time together in years. Listening is splendid." A ghost of a smile on the old man's face, and then his hand drops away and he's back to giving you a tour. He'll drop a box of eyeglasses next to him, a machine for measuring lens prescriptions, and a grease pencil to mark on each what they are. Oh, and a short lecture on how to use the machine.
But if Pietro just sits and talks and listens? Or just sits where Magneto can see him, when he looks up from his own work? That's fine, too.

There's a smile for that, in spite of himself. "I'm not sure I could have listened before." Pietro isn't shamed of that however. It wasn't his fault he couldn't turn his power off. "Not until I lost my powers at any rate. Before the sentinels." Talking with his father? How strange! But the man does like the idea, and he's quite pleased to just listen. Shifting as he's given a box of eyeglasses, eyebrows arch at the mere idea of it, but there's no protest of it. "Could you have imagined doing this before?" Asked with quite amusement before learning how to do it. And yes, he's content to sit and do that.

"Unfortunately, yes." Magneto looks at the box of glasses. "Pietro, I did this before. Now you know why I have behaved the way I have, why I have chosen the path I did. I am disappointed to find myself here again." He scowls down at the hydroponics warming mat he's working on. "Very disappointed."
And if Pietro was talking about… well, talking, then that went ZING! over Magneto's head. The man has his obsessions, and history, past and present, are a part of them.

There's that zing and instead of being angry the man looks fond. Magneto hasn't changed a bit. "You are still entirely too focused on that issue." Pietro says it with a smile though. "I meant that we were sitting here together, and not sniping at one another. You haven't called me a single insulting term." Said in a way that says he's glad for that. Very glad. It reminds him of something and he says, "I don't hate you, father. I haven't for a very long time." He too has done things like this sorting thing before. Having been raised by poor Gypsies, he knows very well what it means to scrounge for what one needs.

Magneto raises his head to stare at Pietro, brows drawn into a thoughtful frown. "I said you needed a bath. There was a time when you would have bitten my head off with sarcasm for noticing." Pietro has changed; Magneto isn't displeased with this change, but time will tell. The two have gotten along for short periods of time before.
The part about Pietro not hating him is met with a snort. "Whereas I never hated you, Pietro. Was frustrated by you, was impatient with you, was decrying your words and your actions to any and all who would listen? All of that, and more. But hate? That is the one thing I did not do." A sudden, wolfish grin. "You monopolized that, and so. See? We are not alike."

And changed he certainly has. Doesn't even take offense for the reply. "I haven't had a bath in four years. That was rather stating the obvious more than being insulting." There's that laughter lurking beneath though. It's been so long since he could laugh that he's doing a lot of it now.
The rest? Well, Pietro shakes his head. "I've never understood the focus you give certain things, to the exclusion of all else." Said in a thoughtful manner, and not meaning to insult. "Nor did I want to understand." Looks over to shake his head at that grin. "I wish I could have seen that before." A grin. Done because he could. "We are alike in some ways. We are both entirely too stubborn and set in our ways. And that's a part of what I was saying before. I understood the the basics, but you always drove yourself so hard that you kept missing some important aspects of life. Aspects I always felt were important. That's where most my bitterness stems from. I didn't want to understand, and it left me never quite knowing what to say." A sigh there.

Another snort from the Mutant Master of Magnetism. "Miss things? Of course I missed things, Pietro. Sometimes deliberately, and sometimes because I couldn't squeeze thirty-eight hours out of a twenty-four hour day." He pauses to level yet another stare at the man facing him. "Those things I missed, Pietro—it isn't that I thought they were not important. It is that I felt that what I did instead was more useful, in the long run. You talk of missing things, of not being able to experience things, of connections not made or allowances given. Pietro, that is a road that goes in both directions. I hope you see that now."

"I do, and that's exactly what I'm talking about." Pietro says it with a smile though. He's come to accept certain things about his father. "I know you chose what you've done." His gaze drops so that he can actually get some of the glasses graded and marked with their prescription level. What would have had him snarking totally doesn't now. "I hope you don't take insult at this, but I always wondered at times that you make the choices you do because it's easier than hurting. You're an utterly amazing man who's still sane in spite of all the losses you've endured. And I am very aware that I hardly know them all."

Well. Pietro thinks he's amazing? That's a heartwarming thing… one that Magneto does not let show, on his face, that he appreciates. He's like that. "I have made the choices I've made, Pietro, in pursuit of the goal of no one hurting the way I have hurt. I do not think I have been particularly successful in that pursuit, but I would have thought a great deal less of myself if I had not tried." He finishes the heating mat with a touch to solder the last connection, and set it aside. Now, since heating mats aren't any use without electricity to run them, he reaches for the makings of a generator: a bicycle frame.

Pietro felt it was worth adding. To help soften the edge of his words. Never mind it's true. The answer Magneto gives confirms what he's been thinking. The anger that seems so at large all the time. "I know." Said of that Magneto would have thought less of himself if he hadn't tried. There's a brief quiet and the man offers, "Thank you." No, Pietro doesn't agree with all those choices. He doesn't understand, but he can at least now see the effort involved, and appreciate it. "That you've tried means a good deal to me, in spite of our differences."

Magneto returns to his seat with the frame and the parts to allow it to turn muscle power into electrical power. When finished, it will keep some of the more restless kids usefully busy. "You are unusually forgiving, Pietro. For you, and for anyone, who is fresh from what you have been enduring. It has been my experience that anger — any anger — is far more difficult to put aside than this." He starts to examine the bike frame for cracks. "Consider that, too, when holding me up to sainthood to see how it fits."

There's a snort for that. "A saint you aren't." Not by a long shot. "I don't agree with many of your choices, and I doubt I will agree in the future, but I wanted to at least try to mend some bridges between us and you weren't going to start it." Pietro puts on a pair of those glasses in idle amusement. They look utterly ridiculous on him as well, and are soon removed. Good thing his eye sight is still good. "I had a very long time in which to think. There was little else to do to be honest. I don't have your anger, father. That's one of the largest differences between us. I am emotional, I feel keenly, but that kind of anger would burn me dry so I don't even attempt it. Anger clouds issues and blinds the eye. Not that I see well, mind you. Clouded in other ways." There's that laughter again.

Magneto shoots Pietro a scowling look: it would seem that Pietro has developed a taste both for martyrdom and magnanimous pomposity. Both garner a snort, though no other comment—the younger man is fresh from the camps. Magneto will keep his opinion to himself… for now, anyway. Consider it a gift from father to son.
Instead… "Tell me about the camps, Pietro. Who was in them, who ran them, what you did and who you did it for. Tests, experiments, and disappearances. Who else was liberated, as you were? Who else died?"

Pietro smiles for the snort. Oh yes, that he expected. That there's nothing more says his father thinks he needs time. Heh. Perhaps he does. So very raw right now. All humor drifts off at the question of the camps. There's a slowing of efforts, and he turns a pair of patched glasses over in his hands. "I hid." Said simply, and downwards. It was one of the hardest things for him to do. To put aside pride entirely. "I lied." He wonders if Magneto could have told about the camps. "I didn't die. I'm sorry, father, but I can't put it into clear words yet." Pinches the bridge of his nose and closes his eyes. "The walls had nullifies that covered the whole camp. We were kept working, but they didn't much care about what we did. I…"

Magneto stops working and gives all of his attention to Pietro's words. "There was a time in my life, Pietro, when hiding did not help. When lying did not work. When death itself loomed large in front of me, taking the people around me, filling my own hands. You do not need to apologize, Pietro. Your words are very clear."
He lets that lie for a heartbeat or two, then turns back to his work. "Nullifiers, I expected. I would like to get my hands on a unit, to reverse engineer it and find a frequency that might nullify IT." Said with a certain savage bitterness. "And work… what sort of work, Pietro? Useful, or just keeping idle hands busy?"

Glasses are put aside and the man hunches forward some. The words wash over him, but Pietro doesn't reply immediately. A deep breath and he clears his mind. Forces emotions to the back of his mind. It isn't an easy process. "Idle hands." Said because it's easier that way. "The nullifiers couldn't remove all my adaptations, and most have no idea to everything I'm capable of, so that made it easier for me than others. That and I'd spent years without my powers already."
"I am strong so never saw some of the other work groups. To start they tried productive work details, but that didn't last. It took too much effort to monitor. They lost guards and prisoners were executed as examples because some gained materials. After that it was all grunt work that meant nothing. Keep us tired, keep us too weak to fight. It was easy to hide my hair color with the filth I was covered with every day. Stoop, say nothing, and stay away from others.. I hid."

Magneto nods. Familiar, all of it. The frame hums under his hands and he glares it into silence again. Far, far too familiar. "Yes." A gear is put into place. "Did you hear names, Pietro? Of guards, of commanders, of functionaries? It seems unreasonable that these people kept you uselessly alive. Our enemies, if nothing else, care for the sizes of their wallets." His mouth twists at that. "Spend a penny, whine about it forever after, if there is the least inkling that it wasn't 'spent well'."

Can't tell why they were kept. Not for certain. That so much was spent to keep hated mutants? The man doesn't know. Names.. he can list names and does so. That memory of his is quite good, even after all this. A guard with roan hair, a girl hunter with strange eyes, the sentinel pilot who loved to leer at the mutants 'safe' behind the walls… It goes on for a goodly ways, for he's years worth of names. Pietro can't manage it all though. Not quite hearing you, he gets to one name and falters over it. "He.." Can't finish the description of the man as he has done with so many others. "The tests.. the tests.." Arms lift to protect himself. Rather pointless as it's memory he wants to be protected from. "The tests.. the tests.."

Magneto sighs and puts his work down again. "Pietro." And when Pietro doesn't react, he gets up and goes over. "Pietro." Hand on his shoulder, voice lowered another register, the sound designed to cut through memory like a heavy blade. "You are tired, Pietro. You should rest. Here, use the cot I have in here. I'll watch you while you sleep, Pietro, and when you wake? We will talk again."

His head jerks up as that voice cuts through, and the man is trembling for the touch of that hand. It sure helps though, and was much needed. Pietro's expression manages to settle on something that isn't horror, but his eyes are a little glazed. "…I couldn't save them all." Said quite out of no where. "I'm not fast enough." More like he burned through two sets of clothing and two pairs of shoes, and cut his feet badly in the trying. Yet the idea of sleep is a good one. He is very tired, body and soul. Leads to a numb looking nod as he rises to his feet. "All right." For the cot, and for sleep. Doesn't say more. Too shaken to try to do more than he has. Pietro seeks that cot and curls on his side on it. If he weren't this exhausted he'd have trouble sleeping, but for now he sleeps quickly.

Magneto settles a blanket over the huddled form on the cot, then returns to his seat and his work. But he looks up, now and again, to look at his son, to drink in the reality of him. This is something the two of them have never shared: the son, asleep, his father, on watch. It is a moment Magneto never thought to see.
Under the circumstances, he isn't certain if he wants this moment even now. To have Pietro back: yes. To have him back from such horror… The man called Magneto bows his head over the bicycle and does not pursue that last thought. Power signatures, you know. Don't bring the Sentinels down on them, no matter how much righteous fury is brewing in the soul of a father.

«You holding on?» Asked quietly in Magneto's mind because he doesn't want to wake Pietro. Jonothon came down to check, and now he's kind of glad that he did in seen Magneto bowed over that cycle frame. The pain there, the anger, was only too clear. Come on, be distracted, if only a little. The Brit has a three gallon jug filled with non drinking water, and a small plastic tub with some various odds and ends. Not to mention a meal for Magneto. «Sorry to interrupt. I brought you some coffee if you like.» Coffee which is very rare these days. There was a successful raid on a warehouse mere hours after the prisoner freeing, so they have some coffee to spare. Dark eyes are on the sleeping form though, and he doesn't leave the doorway. Not sure he's welcome yet.

Magneto straightens and glares at Jono. "Coffee would be welcome," he says, and he waves the man in. He reaches over and picks up the heating mat and sets it where Jono can reach it. "For the gardens," he says. "This is for you, too, to keep the kids out of your hair." He waves at the bicycle frame, which has acquired most of the necessary generator parts. "I'll work on batteries next." He pauses and scowls at his visitor. "What else did you want? You aren't the sort, Starsmore, to play maidservant, not even to me."

Good thing he didn't expect a warm welcome, huh? Placing the jug down, he uses his now free hand to offer the mug of coffee that was in among the things in that tub. "For him." A nod to Pietro as the Jonothon puts the tub on the water jug. "Volk and some others pulled off a raid that netted us an impressive three weeks worth of food, and a great many medical supplies." The Brit keeps his voice low as he accepts both pad and bike. There's a dubious look for the bike. This is suppose to help? Yet, he doesn't protest.

"You're my friend." Said simply. No matter how Magneto may feel about it. "You've given me so much over the years that I would be a poor one in return if I didn't at least try and see how you were now." Jono brought down some basic medical supplies, like bandages, iodine, and antibiotic creme, as well as some shaving means. Scissors, wash cloth.. the stuff Pietro could use to clean up a little.

Magneto grunts and accepts the mug of coffee. He sips it carefully. "You're just nosy, Jonothon Starsmore." Said with perhaps more edge than needed, but then, his temper is a bit higher than usual. Even for him. He sips more of the coffee. "Thank you for the supplies. I'll see that Pietro uses them, even if I have to knock him cold and use them on him myself." Which won't be necessary, but there's that temper he's fighting—statements like that are a way for him to let off some of the pressure. "He's looking for durable clothing. He'll need unstable molecules."

"I have a lot of bad traits." Said entirely without taking offense. Jonothon looks to that sleeping form, remembering how the speedster looked when he arrived. It wasn't pretty, but then none of the prisoners are in good condition. "He looks unconscious to me." But there's a smirk, he doesn't mean it. Normally this would be where the Brit leaves, but he feels Magneto needs someone to snark at more than he needs to try not to be angry. Dropping into a crouch, the durable clothing has Jono frowning. "We don't have those laying around."

The last comment gets Magneto scowling even harder at Jono. "I know they aren't common, Starsmore. But if he's going to be of any use — and admit it, Quicksilver could be damn useful — he'll need appropriate clothing. Normal clothes fall apart on him with distressing rapidity." Avoiding other subjects for this one? Maybe….

Jonothon doesn't mind if other topics are avoided. That's the whole point. Be grumpy at him! Just don't use powers against him, please. Calm in the face of that scowl, the Brit watches Magneto in a level manner. "And he's your son." Never mind that Quicksilver would totally be useful in the right conditions. "He can have mine." After Jono acquires a new set of clothing anyway. So not stripping down and handing it over right now.

Magneto makes grumpy noises. He wants to be mad right now, and it's too damn dangerous to cut loose the way he wants to. "I'll let you tell him." Because there are so many ways to make that go wrong if he does it himself. "He'll be a while healing his feet and … recovering." He meets Jonothon's stare with one of his own. "Has the camp been destroyed, or merely emptied?"

He understands. So many times he's wanted to lash out too, and has been denied. Jonothon longs for the days where they could go out and try and kill one another. You know, powers practice. Never thought he'd miss that. A nod about his telling Pietro, which can wait. For now the Brit shakes his head. "The impression I got was that the walls were brought down and the camp emptied, but I don't have full details. You'd have to ask Rashmi. This is the first spare moment I've had in fifteen hours." And Jono is going to sleep after this, just like Pietro is now. "I know not all the prisoners were freed." Been in among the prisoners all day, having to deal with the separation of families. "I think the number was around eighty percent saved, but not all."

Magneto's eyes narrow. Not all saved? There's something to consider, both for Pietro's sake and his own. He sets that aside for the moment for later study. "I see." He doesn't look in Pietro's direction, but he gives the impression that he does. "Are there plans to finish the job? If so, who is in charge of that? The redoubtabl Miss Franklin?"

"Miss Eep." Jonothon says fondly. At least he's hoping that he remembers that right. "I don't know anything like that. Sorry." Doesn't have any idea who's plans are in the works, or if anyone's are at all. "I think we lost the Rebellion leader, but I just haven't had time to prod people for what's going on. Rashmi is who I always go to. She knows." Rashmi always seems to know. Jono has been so busy he's had to fight to even have time to sleep. Gardens, people, now freed prisoners. It's been a frightfully busy week for the man.

The smile that results is very thin. "I should remember to call her that. An effective codename, if one somewhat lacking in dignity." Which, given that it's Rashmi, may be part of the appeal. He still recalls her fiery defense of liberal idealism, although he still thinks it more wooly-headed than anything else. "I'll see if I can free up my schedule to spend ten minutes catching up with her."

Rising slowly to his feet, Jonothon smiles and nods. Ten minutes. Heh. "See if you can free up a few hours to sleep too. You need it as much as your son." Not that Jono has any illusions as to that happening, but tries just the same. "I'm going to go do the sleep thing myself. After that I'll see if I can't find something to wear so Quicksilver can have this old uniform of mine." That looks like his normal, black attire. There's a pause as the man looks down at the much older Magneto. "Don't give in to those urges." It's more of asked than ordered. "Cheers." So going to crash and sleep. Whether or not anyone else does around here.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License