Date: December 16, 2011
Synopsis: Magneto is trying to discover if Lord Saker's right-hand woman is his own Mystique. Diamond is just looking to stop a shipment of drugs. Their purposes intersect.
Location: A warehouse in the Little Asia district
It's both serendipitous luck and a reminder that there's a powerful telepath in the City when Magneto feels the touch of Charles Xavier on his mind. «Erik, I found her. I don't know how long Saker's shape changer will be there, but I found her presence in Little Asia, near the Buddhist Temple on Song Circle. You might catch her if you hurry. And Erik - be careful.»
Meanwhile, near the Buddhist Temple on Song Circle, in old factory warehouse, groups of men are loading boxes into a grouping of trucks which a woman with brilliant red hair dressed in blue looks on, with a vaguely bored expression on her face. She is beautiful, but cold as well, and she looks like she'd absolutely kill them in the board room. “Check in,” she tells the others, taping a finger at a headset. One by one, the men give their position. Except one. From him, silence.
“Seventeen, check in,” she repeats, and then smiles as if someone just gave her a puppy. “Weapons hot men, we have a guest.” As she walks, the clothing shifts around her, turning into a skintight blue jumpsuit with an S winding its way from shoulder to thigh.
Said guest…is NOT Erik Magnus Lensherr, touching down silently on the warehouse roof. She is in there…she who is probably not Raven, but could be. There's that small chance, that small hope, as sure and certain as he is that HIS Raven would never work with or be a Nazi…he can't escape from that small hope.
Up in the rafters of the old factory, Diamond sighs internally. She'd hoped to take out at least three more of the perimeter guards before anyone noticed, but it seems the woman in charge likes to vary the check in special. Smart. Still cloaked in darkness, Diamond concentrates on the trucks for a moment. If she feels any delight as crystalline growths erupt from the ground around the vehicles, rupturing tires and rendering the vehicles quite incapable of movement, it doesn't show on her face. She has seconds before someone thinks to look up. Diamond steps off the edge of the catwalk and let's herself fall.
Magneto's sense are more than keen enough to pick out the telltale iron-rich blood of the various lifesigns running through the warehouse, and more than keen enough to note when the iron signature of the person closest to him, someone who was almost level with him - vanishes. Completely.
Diamond hits the ground with a booming shockwave, splitting the asphalt pavement in a circle around her. As she stands, blades erupt from her hands - it's a silhouette that Magneto would find eerily reminiscent of another mutant he knows. She hardly looks like a surly Canadian, however - Diamond is a dark blue color, skin polished and translucent as gemstone. “You weren't thinking of leaving, were you?” She says in a low voice.
Shapechanger looks at Diamond and laughs. “What? When the party's just starting to get good? Oh no, darling. I don't know who you are-” She glances back at the trucks. “But you just became the evening's entertainment. Kill her boys.”
Vanishing people…teleportation, transformation, phasing…could be any of the three, and any of the three are enough to attract Magneto's attention. Mystique, of course, could never do that…she can only take on living, organic forms. Then…there's a thud, a thud that shakes the entire building As if something truly heavy just hit the ground. Something is about to go down…and Erik is not the kind of man to not at least WATCH.
Oh, forget watching. His armored form abruptly plunges through the skylight. Of course, right now, he has no clue which side he intends to be on…
The other men have come around with guns and are starting to fire at Diamond. Crystal walls erupt from the ground as Diamond rolls to the side and starts to run for Shapechanger behind the cover. The asphalt cracks underfoot as she runs - whatever she is, she's damn heavy.
Then the glass shatters overhead and Magneto comes plunging down into the large warehouse. And while Diamond doesn't know which side Magneto's on, the men with guns and Shapechanger have no such hesitation - he isn't with them. One almost feels sorry for the poor moogs though, as they turn normal automatic weapons with normal bullets on the Mutant Master of Magnatism…this night isn't going to go well for them.
Shapechanger smiles as she sees the mutant woman heading straight for her. “Pretty,” she says. “Maybe I'll turn you into a ring.” Then she changes form…into a dragon. It's about twice the size of the trucks, a big red Smaug-worthy creature that looks like it means business.
Magneto would show signs of being impressed. Except…he's really not. As the men open fire, he casually deflects the bullets. For right NOW, he's not sending them back at the men, but rather harmlessly into the walls. “I would really suggest ceasing fire. Now.” His tone sounds almost amused. Yes, even at the dragon. He's actually being nice…because he's not sure she isn't Raven, or some version of her. It won't last.
The lead moog curses as he sees his bullets deflect harmlessly. “Unit 3, I need an ID stat. Everyone, switch over to auxiliary weapons.” As one, weapons are dropped or thrown aside and smaller sidearms - considerably more sophisticated looking in technological appearance are drawn and pointed at Magneto. “Fire!” The man orders, and blaster beams of plasma replace where bullets had been a moment before.
Diamond's eyes widen her target changes into something rather larger than a breadbox. What the-Her eyes narrow and she looks more grimly determined than ever. She glances at the image of the newcomer, reflected off one of the gem walls she's created. Whoever he is, he seems to be helping - or at least against them. Diamond's blades retreat back into her hands and a moment later a large gemstone naginata appears in her hands. She runs at the dragon and leaps.
Shapechanger looks over as Magneto stops all the bullets and her eyes narrow. Magnetic control could be a problem - wait, where does she know him from?
There's only one thing for it, at that point. Of course, Magneto has dealt with this kind of thing before. Vulnerable to it he might be. Stupid, he is not. Instead of retreating, which would honestly have turned him into a sitting duck, he drops like a stone. Care to shoot at him now with your boss right behind him and a much larger target. Then…he takes a chance. “Raven. Enough.” If she is some form of Mystique that name, that tone, might be enough. Diamond…she's a concern, but a small one. He does not know her, and given he now has his helmet on, he can't ask Charles… In other words, he'll 'deal' with her later. She is not, at the moment, his enemy.
The men do not, in fact, seem inclined to hit their boss, maybe because she has a bad temper about that sort of thing, maybe because they're just trained better than that. “Fall back, wait on my signal,” the leader tells the others. They start to drift backwards.
Shapechanger is, as far as she knows, the very first and only mutant to have ever evolved on her world. She is also, save perhaps for some Elder Gods best left to slumber, the first sentient being to evolve on her world. Saker may be an unkillable sorcerer arrogant enough to have bound Hell itself to his will, but she is old and wise and very, very clever, which is why it only takes her a moment to identify exactly who she's facing - and who the real threat in the room is. If this man seems familiar, it's because she ran the background check on Charles Xavier for Saker, of course. And what better way to learn about a man than to study his enemies?
“Magne-” The voice is tremulous, almost tender, and it doesn't match the dragon's voice from which it issues. For a second anyway, then it's cut off as Diamond closes the gap and her blade slices into the dragon's neck. There's welling of thick black blood, which splashes against the floor and sizzles as it eats away at the floor, then the dragon snaps out, unbelievable fast, grabs Diamond in a powerful bite that would almost certainly have slices her into two pieces if she were human, shakes and throws her through the wall of the factory. Possibly through the wall beyond that as well. It all happens very fast.
He wants to believe it could be her. He really does…but his Mystique does not do 'tender'. Or even 'almost tender'. Except maybe in private…right before killing something. (Sadly, she also does not do romantic. Or monogamous. But there we go). “So like her,” he notes. “And yet not.” Electromagnetic energy crackles around him. “But perhaps we can still avoid a pitched battle.” Diamond is apparently dismissed from his mind. It appears that all of his attention is on the dragon. Of course, he's also wearing a helmet with a visor. His face, thus, is hidden and unreadable.
Her shape changes again, and this time…well clearly she's either done her homework or…
She looks /exactly/ like Mystique.
“Is this what you were hoping for?” Shapechanger's smile seems to lower the temperature in the room twenty degrees. “How very sentimental. I'll have to tell her how much effort you took to look her up.” She looks him up and down as if assessing him. “It'll make her laugh.”
On the floor of the Buddhist temple, Diamond sits up, then stands, brushing off the crumbs of rubble that cling to her. She bows to the startled monks, and then leaps back outside and starting running for the warehouse.
“Not bad at all,” Magneto compliments, although it's with a temperature fall that at least matches hers, perhaps raises it ten degrees or so. Does she know a Mystique? Or has she simply done her homework in taking on Raven's natural form. “But definite proof that you are not, in fact, her. Which is, in truth, all I wanted to know.” Not rising to her bait. Likely not believing her. He doubts any version of Raven would tolerate this woman - they are entirely too similar to do anything but fight. He remains oblivious to Diamond. Of course, he doubts *that* mutant…or meta…is dead. GAME: Save complete.
Shapechanger smiles. “Oh I'm indeed not her. She was much easier to kill.” The woman looks to the side - over to the hole in the wall that was made when Diamond went smashing through it - and her eyes narrow. She looks back at Magneto. “It's been a lovely treat, but I have a rule about pitched battles. I chose the time and place, always.” She winks at Magneto. “But don't worry, I'm sure I'll see you again.”
With that, the woman changes shape again - this time to a glowing form with angel's wings that's almost too bright to look at it. There's a subsonic keening, almost an eagle's shriek turned up to 11, and a pillar flash of light as the androgynous angelic being shoot up straight through the roof of the building and up into the nighttime sky.
The men were already in active retreat during the conversation, and when Diamond enters the warehouse a second later, it's just the trucks and Magneto - assuming he stays.
Magneto does not pursue her. He glances upwards after her…doubting the last thing she said was any more true than the earlier ones. Of course, Mystique too would lie. Then…the diamond mutant returns. Not even looking towards her, he notes. “That one is dangerous. Fortunately, so am I.” He had no intention, in truth, of fighting her…thus far. His intent was honest, even honorable. But who is this other?
Diamond looks at Magneto calmly. There's not a hint of recognition in her eyes - unlike Shapechanger, she has no idea who the man is, or his reputation. “Everyone's dangerous,” she tells him. “We're in the City.” She takes a moment to look at him. Bright colors, flamboyant costume. A man who demands to be noticed - and from the power he wears like cologne, capable of delivering on the risk that engenders. “You weren't after the cargo, so it must have been the woman. Do you know who she is?”
While she waits for him to respond, Diamond grows blades from her hand as she heads over to the back of the truck. There's a *snickt* *snickt* sound as she cuts open the boxes, and their contents falls to the ground. Small little baggies filled with a greenish-gold powder tumble to a pile.
“I do not know her name, but she works for a man named Saker. From what I know, he is a Nazi and extremely dangerous.” Apparently, from the tone, 'Nazi' is the worst insult this man could deliver. Maybe imagine. “I had both hoped and feared her to be a counterpart of somebody I know.” He turns to study the cargo. “Drugs. How…tacky.”
“Many wars are financed with drugs. Even wars that have not officially been declared.” Diamond reaches a hand out towards the boxes of drugs, towards the truck and seems to concentrate. Slowly, a layer of gem moves to engulf the entire truck - no, not engulf. The truck, the wheels, the boxes in the back: all these things are being *transformed* – turned into crystal. Magneto can actually feel the metal in the trucks vanishing as it's transformed into an entirely different atomic composition. She pauses and seems to take a moment to recover her strength, then looks at Magneto with that same grim, determined expression she has worn the whole time. “I have heard of Saker. I have heard what you say of him as well.”
“That, I suppose, is one way to dispose of the drugs.” This woman could be a dangerous one too, especially if she can transform others, perhaps killing them with a touch. Far from being afraid, he is intrigued. “Perhaps we have heard of him from a similar source, although from what I have seen today, I would say he is dangerous - for such a woman would only work with a dangerous man.” Entirely familiar with the type, it seems.
“Pardon me a moment. If it pleases you, you may wish to step away from the truck.” She tilts her body towards Magneto in what is very nearly a bow and in doing gives away as much as any other action so far that she probably is a local and of Asian heritage. She walks over to the side of the truck, studies it for a moment, and then jumps up and does a spinning kick. Her foot connects with the side of the crystal vehicle, finds the fracturing fault lines - and the truck shatters. As she lands, she says, “That is one way to dispose of the drugs, yes.” Then she walks over to the other truck, clearly intending to repeat the process.
Which is when the sound of sirens can be heard. Diamond sneers, but the sharp manner in which she looks up betrays that she is now a woman who sticks around to explain matters to police. “I have also heard that Saker is on the City Council,” Diamond volunteers. “That means the City Police answer to him.”
Magneto nods. And does indeed start to move back, before frowning. “Perhaps, then, we should deal with that and make our retreat. How heavy are you?” A personal question, but quite a legitimate one given he DID fly in through the skylight…that wasn't a fall.
“6.4 metric tons,” Diamond answers. “Can you lift that much?” She ponders the truck, obviously wondering if she has enough time to transform the contents before the police arrive. The dark woman turns back to Magneto. “Otherwise I should leave now.” It's presented as a simple statement of fact. She seems a very practical sort, this one, if not precisely perky.
A moment of hesitation. “There are complications, but I have a better idea. Get in the truck…and I will have us clear in no time.” It might seem an odd request…but Diamond has also heard stranger, no doubt, in her life.
Diamond narrows her eyes at him, clearly wondering if he is to be trusted. Meanwhile the sirens are getting louder and finally she nods once and walks over to the truck before tearing the door off (she doesn't have the keys) and climbing inside - something the truck does not like one bit. She doesn't as yet seem to be falling through the floor, so that's good.
Calmly, confidently, Magneto wraps electromagnetic force around the truck. Fortunately, it WILL fit through the skylight…and Diamond will find herself lifted along with it. Of course, he COULD have suggested she change back, but that would tip a hand. It is also more trust than HE would give, so why would he ask for it?
Almost as soon as they're through the skylight, police arrive with the usual sirens and rushing cars. They'll find a very perplexing mound of fragmented quartz crystal and several discarded, stolen automatic weapons. Diamond sits in the front of the truck, nearly rigid, telling herself that it's fine - just fine - that a strange man she has only just met is taking her - someplace. Taylor's always saying she should try to meet new people…and this new person seems like he has the potential to be useful.
In a tower in the Churchyards, an older, distinguished looking gentleman is enjoying a glass of wine while he sits by the fireplace. There's a chess board in front of him, and his parlor looks comfortable and richly appointed. He looks up when a raven flies to the window, but does not seem particularly concerned.
The raven transformed into a lithe redhead wearing blue, who sways as she walks over and kisses Saker on the cheek. “You will never believe who I ran into tonight, my dear,” she tells him. He takes her hand, and kisses it. “An old friend?”
“Better,” Shapechanger says. “A new enemy. Magneto has come to the City.”
Saker ponders that for a moment before he smiles. “You're right, my love. That's very good news indeed.”