2010-12-18: What Cannot Be Unseen

Players: Connor and Magneto

Connor_icon.jpg Magneto_icon.jpg

Summary: In the wan hours of the morning, in the aftermath of the Game, a lone and weary Connor is given the truth and the scope of the conflict he was dragged into, and the innocence that cannot ever be regained.

Date: December 18, 2010

Log Title: What Cannot Be Unseen

Rating: PG-13

Mutant Town Condo Association

Even though Mutant Town Condominium Association is one of the bigger and wider buildings in Mutant Town extending ten stories. The building is a square with a whole in the middle that is home to a pool, tennis court and nice grassy area for the residents. Each Apartment. This isn't a place where you go to rent a place but purchase. It's one of the nicer places in Mutant Town, as you have to be a resident to enter it's locked building. In side the lobby are a few elevators that lead up to each floor.

Once the reporters have cleared out from the initial interview and statements, and have moved off to get their human interest pieces and their panning shots of the chaos, Connor moves up close by to get close to Magneto. With the coat in place, there's little sign that he's battered and bloody in spots, but otherwise sound enough to be walking. Flopping down in a chair next to The Master Of Magnetism unceremoniously, there's a tired exhale from the young man before he says, "Part of me wants to ask you if you're happy with this… but I don't think you are. But I am going to say this. You gambled on people's lives… you gambled them on your own skill and power, and the people who you could manipulate into place. I wouldn't think so… but I saw the double. I heard it spouting pro-mutant dogma at the crowd. So tell me why I shouldn't open my mouth and destroy all your supposed good-will."

Magneto has a few bumps and bruises of his own, most of which are now bandaged, thanks to someone showing up from the Embassy to do so. (On camera, that was.) He tilts his head to look Connor up and down, and the little pasuses he makes in that review should say that he does not miss Connor's wounds.

When he finishes, his eyes rise to meet Connor's gaze. "Come with me," he says, and he gets up to stride into the Embassy's back corridors. He doesn't look back.

Magneto leads the way into what can only be a top-end board room. He flicks fingers and the lights dim. Shutters fold back from the walls, revealing a mass of computer screens. They flicker to life, each bearing the coat of arms of Genosha and an entry box containing a blinking cursor. "Activate: Operation Insecticide. Code Magneto."

Light returns. All around are pages of text, maps of Mutant Town and other places, lists of names and dates, and charts of all types and sizes. Magneto crosses his arms. "What do you think this all is, Mr. Blake?"

Connor shrugs the coat off and drapes it on one of those meeting room chairs, and then takes off the uniform jacket from his training uniform, the patter-roll of three pieces of buckshot finally pop free and make their way off into corners. Walking forwards, it makes the rounds that almost took him more obvious, especially the lines of kinetic scarring on his forearms, enough to see that twenty or more rounds must have been caught on those planes of force he generates. Looking up at the board, and then back at Magneto, he replies, "Incidents and responses… looks almost like a serial killer profiling… like from Law and Order."

"Similar, perhaps. What you're looking at is the number and seriousness of the incidents that our sources have identified as defintely part of the Game we just ended." Magneto walks across the room to tap a finger on one list. "This is the dead… for the state of Texas alone." It is several dozen names long. "Most of these people aren't mutants. Most of them are just relatives of one mutant… and the in-laws of those relatives."

"And so I've just painted a big target on my back too, huh? Glad I was wearing the glasses and uniform then…" Looking down at himself, and wincing once where a rifle butt bruised his ribs, "Along with my family…" There's a pause as Connor gives a wan grin, "Pardon the moment of selfishness… I'm only human after all. So this has been going on a while. And they've been working their way up the food chain. All you've done is bloody the nose of the players… what about the rule-makers."

Magneto crosses his arms again. "The rule makers. I've outed one. Mr. Charles MacBeth was financing this round; he will never do so again. But the others… Some of them are not actually anti-mutant — did you know that? We have among our hosts for this event the man known as the Kingpin. Current word on the street claims him to be one Wilson Fisk, but other names are on offer, too. Another is the daughter of a major Nazi criminal. And yet another is a masked figure whose name I have not yet been able to determine. These people, they are not our enemy, for all that they are the instruments behind this particular incident."

Connor growls out with a sudden ferocity that seems to surprise even him, "You're wrong." And he moves towards Magnus until he's almost chest to chest, looking up at the older man, "No matter what, the people who pass out the guns are just as responsible as the people who fire them… and the people who decide to give them the excuse to shoot… give them the reason." The finger that almost pokes you in the chest then points back out towards the door, "How many people out there were victims because of this… on EITHER side… who got duped into playing because of lies, and bigotry, and the simple excuse that they thought it was fun! Who got turned into cannon fodder for the ones who were here because of their real hates and prejudices!"

And it continues without him barely leaving a breath between, "I came along to see what was happening, to watch out for Theo… instead I got turned into a soldier of a war I wanted nothing to do with! And don't you dare pony out that I'm a mutant. I don't need you to tell me that. I just need to go to sleep, take a damn nap to know that one… I'm not one of your mutant freedom fighters. Neither is Ms. Von Ragenlief, and neither was Chloe. But you KNEW. You had every opportunity to protect us… to work with the lawful authorities of THIS NATION… and you decided it was better to play England with the Cipher instead of doing what YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE."

Magneto listens calmly to this tirade, all the way to the end. "You could be right, Mr. Blake, but do hear me out on this.

"First, the authorities did know of this festival, and of its likelihood of being targeted by untoward forces. They'd be fools not to know. SHIELD was on-site from the beginning, and to all appearances, it acquitted itself well enough. There's one of your points down."

Magneto looks over to the wall. "However, the authorities have been rather lax about all this." A hand sweeps out to encompass lists and maps. "This Game has been played out against us for months, and all that has happened is that a man is arrested here, or a small group is neutralized there. Meanwhile, our people, and the people they love, are being cut down in swathes."

He looks back to Connor. "Once upon a time, a minority people trusted their government to deal with the discrimination aimed against them. They had been through pogroms before. They expected to survive the new one. And six million of them were wrong."

"We are not six million strong, Mr. Blake. We cannot afford those kinds of losses."

Connor honestly looks ready to hit the man, to just lash out in violence… but then the young man just turns and then goes to a chair which he kicks out and sits down, "You know what… I am really trying hard to keep my faith him humanity… in ANYTHING right now… ANYTHING…" And his hands slam to the table a moment, "I fired guns at people, I dropped grenades at their feet, I broke more bones than are in my own body today…" Eyes wincing shut, and then he mumbles to himself, "This is Christmas… people should be better than this. We ALL should."

Magneto just watches Connor. "Since the first word of this party went out, attacks in other places went down. The total percentage as of yesterday, was just over sixty percent down, meaning that sixty percent of the targets who would have died over the past several months did not, because the teams who would have been doing the killing were too busy getting ready for this." He looks up at the screens. "A conservative estimate is 2.3 people for every day of the last four months. 120 times 2.3 is a decent number, in my opinion."


A glare comes from him as his yell turns into a pained growl, "Where was your goddamn smug confidence when I thought I was dead, and the only thing I could do was try and take as many of them with me as I could."

"You want to know where my 'smug confidence' was, boy? Let me show you." Magneto's voice is very soft. "Activate: photos. Display all." And all around, the screens swap to crime scene photos, of men and women and children in the throes of death. Sudden death — open eyes, surprised faces. Terrified death — mouths open in last screams, wounds in backs. A child transfixed by a harpoon, still in her mother's arms. Horrible death — body parts. Posed bodies. And bodies posed with other parts, other bodies.

Magneto's attention is not on the photos. It's on Connor, laser centered. "My 'smug confidence' was with these people, Mr. Blake. With the Rojos," he points, still not looking, at a family group, lined up against a wall, sitting or lying, their blood streaking down it from where the bullets hit. "It was with Kae-see Lee." Point to a child pinned to a chain link fence, pink pinafore soaked in blood and bowel fluids. "It was with Martin Obenchain." An old man, head perched in a white ceramic bowl. "These were people who didn't deserve to die, and who couldn't defend themselves against what came against them. And THEIR GOVERNMENT DIDN"T DEFEND THEM, EITHER." His voice didn't rise; it intensified. "These are the deaths from last WEEK!"

Connor looks away by the photo of the old man, some of that finally piercing through his shock, but that still doesn't stop him from looking back, but not at the pictures… back at the man. His face looks grim, but his reply is, "You had all of this… and you chose to act on your own. You chose to act in distrust… you could have told Miss Frost… and she could have taken it to Tony Stark, or to someone from SHIELD. You could have talked to people who have the influence to help." Looking back at the images a moment, he then slides his eyes away once more, a shiver taking his spine, "I can't unsee what I saw… I can't take that innocence back. I can't take back every deliberate move I made in those moments… and I can't bring them back. So… you tell me… why should I -LET- you capitalize on something you obviously knew was coming. You made a choice. And you can't begrudge me the same right… even if it's counter to your agenda."

Magneto snorts. "You're an idiot, Connor Blake. Go to SHIELD with these pictures, this information? Who do you think I got most of them from?" He turns his back on the boy. "I acted as I saw fit, hoping that I would not have to go further than to walk a robot onto a stage and make a speech with it. I was prepared to do that and only that. The rest…" He looks around at the pictures. "If someone shoots at me, I will shoot back. I am prepared to shoot back. And I want the whole world to know that I will HIT what I AIM at."

"And that's the problem…" Connor replies as he stands up and walks back towards his things, limping slightly, "It's EASY to shoot back. Hell… I just proved that to myself. And I -CAN- shoot back… but that doesn't make it any more correct than the people who shot at me in the first place." Picking up the jacket with the X-man symbol on it, and touching it once before looking back at the back of the man there, "I'm not an idiot… I'm ignorant… and there's a big difference." Sliding the coat over his shoulders with a wince and a groan, "You walked a robot on stage. What makes the difference between you and me right now? You expect the worst, and I hope for the best. And I well prefer being disappointed to your being correct."

"That's where we differ, Mr. Blake. You prefer being wrong. I prefer being not dead." Magneto gestures and the screens go blank, save for the Genosha symbol. "I believe you can find your own way out."

Connor picks up the coat, "No I can't. But we're not talking about the same things, now are we…" Turning to face Magneto as he pulls the winter overcoat on, before holding up a glow blue-green ball of light in one hand, "Was it worth it? Will it ever BE worth it?"

Magneto does look at Connor. "I've been fighting this fight for most of my life, young Connor. Yes. Every moment is worth it. Every victory. And even the defeats. For I have seen far worse… and we are not there. Not yet." His eyes almost light up. "And never, so long as I live."

Connor turns sideways, so that when he creates the portal, it casts it's glow over half of him, catching his face in shadows as he asks finally and softly, "How long did it take before you realized there's no place in the world you want to make for the rest of us?"

Magneto snorts, almost amused. "Go make your own place, boy."

Connor stuffs his hands in his pockets, and turns his back on the Master of Magnetism, "Leave me a world to make it in, old man." And with a half-step he's through his portal and gone…

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