2020-08-07: To Resurrect A Mockinbird


MagikF_icon.jpg ChloeF_icon.jpg

Summary: Magik fills the role of another Avenger

Date: August 7, 2020

To Resurrect a Mockinbird

Rating: PG

The sun is high in the sky, the giant mutant killing robots aren't close to hand and Chloe isn't asleep or out on a mission. Which means she's in search of food. Of course New York isn't an especially good place to find a tasty meal these days and thus the blonde speedster is after less conventional snacks. "Hmmmm a rose bush! Sweet, with subtle undertones of spice," she offers to the bush in question. "A little on the prickly side but a girl can't be picky now can she?"

A mere five feet from Chloe's position, a large disc of energy appears. Rising from it is the Harbinger known as Magik. His armor is demonic in visage, but his hands are up peacefully. "Chloe McMillan." His voice intones as he tilts his head. "There are places you should have been already, and things you should have done." He says simply. "Were others not too caught up in problems, you would be reaching a higher potential by now." Across his back is a sword.

Chloe glances up at Magik, although her hands still dart out to cut away the choice bits of the rose bush. "I would?" she replies, raising an eyebrow. "Your pitch has my attention. Don't be offended if I eat and listen, I need to suppliment my diet or else the kids might not get enough to eat."

"I would recommend packing your… lunch… to go." Magik states with a bit of a chuckle. "As Jake Chambers once said, 'Go then, there are other worlds' than this.' " He would offer a smile, but the effect would be lost, due to the demonic helm. "Why do you work with the Rebellion and the Redemption?" He asks, casually as he waits. "And would you like to see a different world. I promise, I would bring you back in very short order."

Chloe suddenly blurs into motion and denudes the rose bush in short order. Raising up as she turns she answers "Lots of reasons. Because I'd rather die free over living as a slave or perhaps because no-one with any kind of power could see innocent people suffer like they are doing and walk away." She rolls her shoulders in a lazy shrug that probably means yes she, then scoops up her de-activated energy spear. "This other world wouldn't happen to be much nicer than this one would it?"

"Oh, it might be." Magik says. The portal opens again, and he stands within it, offering an outstretched hand for her to pass him by. Of course, when she steps through, it's obviously different. He's made a pair of side-by-side portals, so there's only a brief image of Limbo before she passes into what looks like an idyllic little village in the classic fairytale countryside. The only problem, there's no one around at all to be seen. "But what if you were in a place where you had no powers at all… would you still fight?"

Chloe follows through, her head flicking from side to side once she clears the portal. "If I had no powers at all? I'd still have everything my power has granted me. You could list the people who know more about martial arts than me on your fingers, I went to Xaviers /and/ Barnes. I'd fight even if you dropped me in the Mojave Desert, sprayed me with barbeque sauce and unleashed a hungry T-Rex."

"That's definitely good to know, then." Magik nods softly. The odd things about this world… everything matches Chloe's speed. Nothing is faster or slower than she is. Birds fly at what would appear a natural speed to anyone else, even to her. It's about then that people begin storming out of the village homes, anger and rage in their shouting voices. A few specific phrases can be heard in particular, "Burn the Witchchild" and "The child is possessed. We must kill him!"

"I take it you want me to stop them?" Chloe wonders, already taking a few steps forward and stretching her muscles in preparation. "With or without hurting the villagers…. Stupid question. Without no doubt, would you be a dear and hold this for me?" Without waiting for a reply she tosses the energy spear at Magik and sets off jogging on an intercept course with the gathering crowd.

"I don't want you to do anything." Magik says with a shrug. "I'm simply invisible in this world. This is just another world for you to see." As she gets nearer, one of the people sees her. "What do you want?" He asks, loudly, calling attention to her to the rest of the crowd. And it's no small group. This is an actual angry mob. You could probably call one up by dialing 1-800-angry-mob.

Chloe turns long enough to roll her eyes at Magik. "Very convincing," she teases, before turning her attention to the crowd and smiling. "I want you to calm down. Preferably leave the kid alone until it's actually proven there is anything remotely dangerous about it. Entirely reasonable don't you think? All this angry mob stuff isn't very productive after all."

The man glares at Chloe. "You don't know. That child causes fire, has horns, and red skin. It's not a child, it's a demon." He glares. The rest of the folks? Already moving in their direction. They're not stopping. They're following a long, winding path up a massive cliff. Up at the top, a small house. The other side of the cliff looks over the village. As the villagers begin moving, one of the houses below starts to burn.

"And if that's true you'll only upset him and get people hurt. /Brilliant plan/," Chloe replies with a sigh. "Slow them down and let me try talk to the kid. Unless you fancy digging a lot of graves this evening?" Without waiting for a reply she begins dashing off ahead and while she's not faster than the villagers she is in exceptional condition and unconcerned about keeping with the group for safety.

There are other ways up top as well. The cliff for example. It has a lot of nice, firm looking handholds and solid small trestles here and there from small mining excursions. The people are actually moving quite quickly as a group, moving around the path. Up at the cliff, if one listens closely, there's a small crying sound. The man down below laughs. "You don't know what you're talking about. We kill him, he can't bother us."

"Honestly it never ceases to amaze me how naive people can be," Chloe laments, shifting course towards the base of the cliff. "If /everyone/ spent a school term at Xaviers they'd know the dead come back to bother people all the bloody time!" As she reaches the cliff face Chloe doesn't even break stride, freerunning her way up as far as she can before switching to her finely honed freeclimbing skills. With a dash of gymnastic leaping, swinging and twirling from trestle to trestle whenever the oppertunities present themselves.

The crying child looks as the people described him. About eight or nine years old. Next to him is an old woman trying to calm him, speaking softly. "Shhh… Fate will provide if it is not your time." However, she looks resigned. The mob is a distance away when Chloe gets up there.

It's quite a sight that meets the woman and child. As Chloe pulls herself over the cliff edge with a mouthfull of roses, clambers to her feet and waves. "He doesn't look very evil," she says with a sigh. "Is there another way down apart from the path and climbing down?"

The old woman shakes her head quickly. "No, there's not." She looks at Chloe, noticing how readily she takes to the whole situation. "You're used to oddities." She states. It's not a question. "Please, you should leave while you can. They'll kill all of us. I've lived my life, but Joseph… he has only just started to live." She states, holding the child in her lap and rocking him back and forth. "They already took his parents last week, to try to get him to stop." She's stroking his hair like one of her own children… or grandchildren.

"Stop doing what?" Chloe wonders, her hands idly moving to check her stuff is all still where it normally is. "And they can /try/ and kill me but I assure you it's not an especially easy task. Many dissatisfied assailants would agree." She glances around. "I could probably climb down with him if you had some rope handy, but without somewhere safe to take him that might not be a long term solution."

"There's nowhere safe in this world. He's changed physically of late, but he's still the same loving child on the inside. He's just not able to control the fire that wants to come out. He's not evil. He still prays to the deities nightly. Who could do that and be wrong?" The old woman says. "There… there is the rope at the well." She points to the side. "His… his mother was taken. By a demon." The way she says taken, it's obviously not kidnapped. "She made a prayer to the gods to save her child, and to make sure the child wasn't a demon, but her chosen deity wasn't strong enough, so she was given a choice. A demon's form and a human spirit… or a human form and a demon spirit." She pauses again. "Can you take him with you and hide him?" She asks. "If so, I will delay them… until I cannot anymore." She doesn't say as much, but it's obvious that she plans on sacrificing herself so that he can escape.

Chloe tilts her head. "How about /I/ delay them?" she suggests, pulling out the side handle extendable baton from her assorted selection of weapons. "A stranger would only scare the poor kid. And that would mean fire and would draw attention. If you both vanish and head somewhere safe without any obvious jets of fire you can settle somewhere far from here." With a deft flick of the wrist she snaps the baton to it's full length.

"No. You have no place in this fight. And there are WAY too many of them. You may take a few, but they would kill you within a bit." The old woman says as she lifts Joseph's head and points it at Chloe. "Joseph? Would you go with this lady? Away from all this pain, if she'd take you?"

Joseph looks up. "She glows…" He says with a nod and a sniffle as he wipes his eyes. "She's good." He states with a nod as he looks towards the path. As he raises his head, a shout comes from the villagers. They're getting closer. They're just at the small stone fence around the front.

"And they'd kill /you/ much much faster. Seriously I wasn't making a polite suggestion," Chloe says, one hand on her hip and the other twirling the baton. "Besides I had a plan in mind. They're pretty pious folk right? I'll challenge them to divine combat. If the gods are on their side they'll surely win. Anyway quit talking and get moving already!" She gestures at the path and begins walking towards the mob. "A couple of CS gas grenades would have been /soooo/ handy about now but I had to travel light. Serves me right for wanting weapons that won't clash with my outfit."

"And they'll accuse you of being a demon simply for siding with him. There is no need for fairness when battling demons. Sometimes, escaping is the more prudent course. And the best laid plans of men are waylaid by fools." Axes start ripping at the gate. The boy looks towards them, and the trees around the people light on fire. But not close enough to hurt them.

"Look, another witchchild has come to help them. She couldn't have gotten up here without magic! Kill them all!"

"And I'll win anyway. This isn't the first angry mob I've fought and not /one/ of them is over seven foot tall. All things considered this'll be a walk in the park. Now GET MOVING!" Chloe demands, prowling towards the burning gate. Raising her voice to shout back at the mob she calls out "I'd love to see you /try/ and kill me! I've seen new born babies swing an axe better than that."

One of the angry mob looks up and shoots an arrow with deadly accuracy at the old woman, around Chloe. The old woman falls, and the child screams. "Get out of the way if you know what's good for you. He's next!" One of them calls. "I never miss." He gives a dark sneer before nocking another arrow and aiming for the child. "You'll run if you know what's good for you."

The chopping pauses after that, though one man in the back laughs.

"Wow. Then I better throw down my weapons huh?" Chloe asks, the calm of combat training kicking in. "Don't shoot and I'll ditch my weapons." She undoes the bandoleer most of her equipment is hooked too, stepping into the line of fire as she undoes it. "See I'm throwing down my things. Don't shoot!" And with that she throws it into the fire. Or most of it. Three grenade pins stay with her for good luck….

As the explosions rock nearby, A man shouts, "She's a blaster!" He doesn't recognize the type of explosions, but just knows it's something. They duck for cover for a moment, until there's nothing left to run from. A few did get caught in the explosion, but some were just too fast… even compared to normal Chloe.

The woman pants softly as she lays there. "I tell you, I have seen this day coming. I am a seer. I see what will be. Weeks ago, a man spoke to me in a demon mask, much like his and told me that he would do what he could to aid Joseph. But he has not come yet." Her wound is in a crucial area, near a lung. "No healer will help me now. Everyone… has a gift here. That may be used a limited amount. Joseph's is done for the day. Two fires. He can create no more. He is helpless." She winces, coughing up a little blood.

"No more Bangs. She might be tapped! Just like a woman! One angry yell and she's done!" They start laughing.

The blast itself wasn't especially important compared wth the distraction it caused. For the second the flashes of light and shrapnel scythed the air Chloe was turning and sprinting first towards the well and the attached rope & bucket, then towards Joseph. "He's the one who sent me," she offers the dying woman. "I'll do my best to get the kid to safety. If those deities of yours ever get pro-active about things now might be a good time to ask them for a few favors on our behalf. Joseph! Stand next to the cliff edge, we're leaving via the express route."

She coughs again. "They are proactive. We're given the gifts we need… to survive." Fortunately, she's on the other side of the small cottage, so what happens to her won't be visible to either Chloe or Joseph. The young boy nods quickly and moves towards the edge where specified.

It's about then that the actual gate hacking starts again, with VERY loud splintering sounds. This time, it sounds like someone with some REAL strength has gotten up there.

"Come through this magic portal he says," Chloe mutters, powering forward in a sprint that pushes the limits of her endurance. "Joseph hold on tight and try not to hurl," she yells, snatching the bucket from besides the well and looping the rope around herself. "Praying might be an idea too." And with that she snatches the boy in her other arm and throws herself off the cliff.

Fortunately, with that route of getting away, they are safe and easy to escape. Magik is even waiting at the base, with a spell-active slowing spell to prevent them from splatting too hard. He nods softly as they make it down. "Good. I can take him with me. He'll fit in just fine in my home." He states. "Sometimes… discretion and a strategic retreat are effective." He nods simply, letting them pass through. However, where they come out is like a cave… but palatial. Nice rugs, a clean bed, a few places to store clothing and other things. Nothing electric however. "Joseph, would you mind waiting here for a little bit while I take care of Ms. Chloe? And I promise, if you like, you can see her again from time to time." The boy nods and his eyes boggle at the room.

Chloe rubs at her shoulder. "I hope by take care of you mean 'offer some painkillers'," she remarks with a wry grin. "And before we go.. Kid how'd you like to hold onto my baton for me? It's /not/ a toy and you have to promise to respect it. But if a bad person tries to hurt you it's okay to bop 'em with it."

There's a laugh from Magik at that offer that was made. Joseph simply nods suddenly, with JUST a touch of adoration in his eyes to the woman who saved him. "Come." He says to Chloe, moving into a side room. Once she arrives, chairs appear. Very comfortable chairs. And… a demon carrying a tray of tea and sandwiches. When you can't get much fresh, even a GOOD sandwich is worth it. Of course, here… speed is back to normal. "So… batons? Interesting choice for one with your speed." He runs a hand over the mask, the lower half melting away, and there's a smile there. His chin… if anything… would show that he's obviously not very old.

Chloe follows Magik into the other room, grinning at Joseph as she goes. "My friend Heather was turned into a Hound. A baton is far less lethal than my butterfly swords," she answers, rubbing at her shoulder. "And I haven't given up on saving her, even if I have to club her unconscious to do it. Besides I didn't especially want to kill those people until the point they started with the arrows. I don't even like killing the people sent to hunt us unless I /must/. Letting someone live makes them doubt what they've been told about us."

There's another nod, accompanied by an enigmatic smile. "Feel free to eat. You won't be trapped here. This is limbo, not Hades. I rule here, my rules." Magik offers. "Tell me, Chloe. Have you noticed… the Avengers rising in your world? Awakening? Returning to help the people in their hour of need?" He pauses for effect. "While they're not the same ones they were years ago, they carry the torch and the face. So far, Iron Man… Vision… Thor… Captain America… Hawkeye… have come back. Do you believe now is the time for them? That the world has a need for them? Or do you feel it is past their time?" He asks, casually.

Chloe blinks, then reaches for the platter of sandwiches and begins snacking. Occasionally pausing to cram some mistreated rose petals into a sandwhich or three. "Years? Ahh yes in slow world it hasn't been that long has it," she says with a frown. "Honestly? The world has /always/ needed people willing to try and make things better. I can't say if the new Avengers will be up to the task, but even if they aren't as capable as the people they follow I don't intend to turn down the help. As was recently proved, if a bucket is all you have to hand then you just have to make do with a bucket."

"You have an ideology similar to one of the original Avengers." Magik says with a nod. "I barely knew her like I knew some of them. And a few of the new Avengers ARE old Avengers. Iron Man is still the same underneath the mask and the armor." He explains. "But, anyway… she was a woman with no powers. But she was an exceptionally skilled gymnast. When she went into battle, her weapon of choice was her own unique form of baton. She gave her life defending those who couldn't defend themselves. And then she returned, only to die again a few years later. Such is the life of any with an A on their belt… or with an X." Magik muses for a moment. "If offered the opportunity… would you stand in the spotlight with the Avengers as one of them?" He asks, raising an eyebrow. "To stand for the ideals and needs of the people, rather than just yourself?" It's a silly question, he knows, but he has to ask it. He waves a hand as a tall wardrobe appears beside where they sit. "I believe you have it within you."

"If you're making the offer I think you're offering I have to make sure you understand one thing," Chloe says seriously, putting down the latest sandwich to have come within easy reach. "I would gladly take up the role of an Avenger, but I would follow my own sense of right and wrong. And if it turned out those who wished me to take the role had less than honourable intentions…."

There's a pause, and then a firm, resounding laugh from his throat. "Spoken like Bobbi. Her husband was also an Avenger, who occasionally took the wrong path. At which point, she would beat him senseless. Well, more senseless than he already was." Magik can't help but keep chuckling as he waves a hand to the wardrobe nearby. "Feel… *snrk*… Free to open. Everything is within that you will need. And then, seek out Stark."

If the wardrobe is opened, the very center front contains a display holding a pair of batons. They are made of an interesting white metal. There are a number of small buttons on the side of each, but are also very light for their size, though amazingly durable. Behind them… a row of costumes, since the original Avenger had several. The uniforms of Mockingbird.

"If this contains a cocktail dress and you're suggesting I hit every bar remaining in the states…." Chloe retorts, waving her finger sternly and then reclaiming her sandwich and opening the wardrobe. "Nice. I do hope you've used a spell to correctly size them. I have to wonder though, batons against a giant robot?"

"We don't know what the metal they're made of IS, but it's used in the hulls of Shi'Ar spacecraft. It's nigh indestructible. The only things that compare to it are Vibranium and Adamantium in durability. But Adamantium is still much stronger. Vibranium about on par. They expand, and can combine. They can take ANYTHING you can dish out, and not be scratched." Magik explains. "And of course they're your size. I saw this coming weeks ago." He holds up a card. It looks like a double-sided tarot card. On one side is Chloe, labelled 'Star', running across a field. It's drawn in a very sketchy form, but still obvious who it is. The other side, as it turns, has a picture of a pair of crossed batons and mockingbird's classic mask.

He holds up another. On one side, it says Mother, and shows a picture in a similar vein, of Star, holding Emmory. On the other, a bow, an arrow, and Hawkeye's classic mask. "We've been testing and watching for a long time. These batons are also capable of emitting a few stunshocks each day, before needing recharge time. They store as small batons like you see. They expand to make them more battle available. And they combine into a single unit for when necessary." He explains.

Chloe sighs. "It's a shame they don't do the lottery. You could make a fortune," she laments with mock dismay. "As you've gone to such trouble in fitting all this to my size it would be rather cruel to reject your offer. And I do find myself short on melee weapons after that little adventure you sent me on, which I'm still a little unhappy about. Did you really have to let someone die to test me?"

"I didn't have a choice, Chloe. She was a seer. She KNEW she was going to die and that there was nothign she could do about it. If they hadn't killed her, she'd have fallen off a cliff. If she hadn't fallen, she would have stepped on a rusty nail. If she hadn't done that… she knew her time was over. And… near people there, with the exception of Joseph, my powers don't work that well. My natural self… changes in their world. So, I had to stay far away." Magik says with a shrug. "She could not change her destiny. But she saw several outcomes for Joseph, and wanted the best one. So, he'll live here in Limbo with me and train. Between him and my other students, I've got a full plate of future protectors to prevent things like that in the future."

"It wasn't a let happenstance… as a destined one. That world weighs heavily on destiny. She would have made herself die somehow. If I had brought her here, she wouldn't have eaten." He adds on. "I didn't want her to, but… you saw how many of the people there are."

"Destiny is something you make. Not something you're assigned," Chloe mutters, polishing off another sandwich and then scooping up the batons. "Make sure Joseph doesn't grow up thinking he's shackled to things which haven't happened yet. No-one should live like that. And that's the voice of experience speaking on that one."

"It's just their world. Different world. Different rules. Different physics. They're raised on it. It's ingrained in their mentality. Trust me, I spoke to psychologists enough as a child to understand how that works. And no, Joseph will be fine." Magik nods as he creates another stepping disc. "He'll have friends who won't be angered by his appearance. A teacher who understands what it's like to be young and have magic at your disposal. And… peers of his own age." Magik nods. "Whenever you wish to return, feel free to step through. Oh, and take this…" He reaches behind the wardrobe and pulls out a large box containing… of all things… toiletries. "I happened to find this recently, and I know how hard some of it is to come by. A shipment of new clothing is coming through Strange." He offers.

Chloe shrugs, then slings a couple of matching uniforms over her shoulder and scoops up the toiletries. "Some worlds are just plain crappy and speaking of which I probably better head back. No doubt the boss lady will want me to go out on a run or fetch some medicine from Mexico," she says with a smile. "But if this bag contains anything worth having she might have to wait while I find somewhere I can take a shower."

"Go, then. And with my blessing. Seek out Stark, in costume. And then, you'll probably be led to the others." Magik nods and offers a casual wave. "And someday, when I can remove my mask at leisure, I'll reveal myself and perhaps join the Avengers again."

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