|In pursuit of Knowledge and Power; Dr. N. Essex (livingnsin) wrote in age_of_miracles,|
@ 2008-01-23 22:39:00
|Entry tags:||exodus, mr. sinister|
Who: Dr. Nathaniel Essex and Bennet DuParis
When: Night Jan 23rd
Where: One of the hundreds of laboratories that Sinister has had over the years.
What: Sinister sent for Exodus. Exodus comes as requested. The conversation covers Avalon and a certain mutual acquaintance. TBCinC.
The summons had been specific enough to be understood by the person in question, but still so very vague to anyone uninitiated. Dr. Essex had no illusions about the fact that the person in question would come. After all, few people ignored summons when they came from those who could do great harm to others considered quite important. Exodus considered Mirror quite important to him and it was through that chain of importance that Nathaniel Essex had dragged Exodus back to the beginning. All the way back to the days of him being kept little better than an animal in a facility designed to help him further his potential as a mutant. Such a pity that he had not turned out so well then and the project had been pretty well scrapped. There were other things upon which his attention could be spent to much greater personal benefit.
He had been incorrect. Apparently it had taken a great deal of time, but Exodus was beginning to live up to his initial estimates of potential. If Essex hadn't been otherwise occupied, he would have probably looked in on the situation long before now. He clasped his hands behind his back, standing at a barred window looking at nothing. There was nothing to see, the facility was underground, probably why Exodus felt as at home as he did in the Lair. Surrounded by metal and artificial lighting. It gave the illusion that there was no time. Leaving would give a kind of surreal feeling, walking out into sunshine after god only knew how many days in Hell. There had been long stretches in which the good doctor had never left, nor did the passage of time mean much to him. Test subjects came and went. Lab results were poured over and then discarded. So many plans started and found to be unworkable. No one could accuse Mr. Sinister of being a less than patient man when it came to science. When it came to people was an entirely separate matter.
For the moment, he wore a human face, the same human face that Bennet had seen before though he had never really know what he was looking at. It didn't matter then, it certainly didn't matter now. It wasn't the face that was important, but rather the thoughts behind it. The thoughts that could turn the person closest to him into a corpse or see them protected, all to satisfy his whims. A test was going to be given, there was a good likelihood that a life could hang in the balance, but whether it did or not was entirely up to Exodus.
In the last couple of weeks, Bennet had grown increasingly tired of summons, tired of games and control schemes. Increasingly, he had grown tired of a great many things, pouring himself more and more into Avalon, its concepts, its dreams. More and more, it became a world different than the current. More and more, it became an escape for mutantkind from the persecutions that would certainly be visited upon them in the current world. He answered this one now only because he knew that Mirror could be in danger simply for knowing him. Part of him had always feared that this could happen. It was part of the reason he remained so distant from everyone, even if he always slipped and grew attached. It happened with Mirror, and even with Jamie's duplicate. What to make of it though, was anyone's guess. So he had come, back to the beginning, back to his own nightmare. He knew that was what he wanted, to break him down and make him uncomfortable, weak. He had no choice but to follow through though. He had no choice but to answer, for Mirror's sake. After navigating the halls he'd rather forget, he finally stood in that room, cleaned and sanitized from his own outbursts years in the past. After all those years, he finally looked at the back of the man that had in part destroyed him, and in part had made him whole. He didn't know how he should react, honestly.
"I must admit, you turned out well." That was the beginning of a conversation with far too many implications. "Apparently interaction was what you were missing. I shall have to make note of that for later. Socialization, at least on the basic level, appears to be necessary." Mr. Sinister didn't socialize, he commanded and currently it seemed as if he were unguardedly thinking out loud. When he turned, it was without any kind of hostile intention. After all, Bennet was no danger to him and he wanted to see what the young man had turned into in the flesh. "I trust you know who I am?" He would know the name of the face that the dead man was wearing, but hardly the man behind it. It was never his style to show his real face to his lab rats. That was reserved for those who excelled, usually right before he killed them. Such a pity that he might have to kill Bennet who was, so far, showing himself to be worth the effort put into him.
"I know who you are." Bennet sneered the words, practically spitting them at Sinister. "I know what you did, you monster!" His rage billowed in his body, pushing telekinetic force about him in a focused hurricane, stirring up small traces of debris. "Why did you call me here? Where is Mirror?" His voice, cold in the beginning, grew and swelled to hot rage. He wanted to strike the other man down right there, but memories flooded back. Memories of needles and chemicals, of powers flaring out of control and Sinister unfazed by them. Bennet wondered if the other man could even be injured. If anything, he could try. If anything, he could vent his aggression and destroy the property, at least. That would be therapeutic... destroying the lab that he was partially created in.
It was impressive. Well, it would be impressive if it were done to anyone other than Sinister. He had seen it all over the years and this child was his child. He had created Bennet, taken what nature had given him and made it better. It had taken more years than he had initially planned, but it had occurred much as he had originally intended. "I'm sure that you've already assured yourself that she is not here." It was quite calmly said, as though the information presented was not at all important. If Mirror wasn't there, then there was no way Sinister had her at hand to do anything to her. Then again, there was no telling what had already been done since she had gone missing. "I will, however, take it that we can dispense with the pleasantries. I called you here quite simply to make contact." Too easy for him really. "After all, we are family."
Forcing his anger in check, Bennet heaved a large breath and exhaled before speaking. He certainly would gain no information as to why Sinister summoned him back now if he was to continue being hotheaded. It was strange, really, how the last couple months had began crafting him into a conniving, manipulative man. All in the defense of Avalon. All in the defense of his dream.
"We are," he said simply, loosing telekinetic strength and walking the length of the room toward Sinister. "I trust you have been well?" It wasn't as if he expected Sinister to just unleash all of his plans, but he rather hoped that the other man could say something that he might find useful, even if it was minor or simply a slip. In this venture though, he wasn't about to push the line of pretending to be happy to see him, trying to remain placid instead, red rage of anger skirting beneath his skin.
The change in behavior and tone were good, not enough to throw off the master of manipulation, but worthy of applaud really. His level of control had increased admirably. "Quite, and I see you've been lying quite an ambitious plan together." Sinister knew about Avalon, after all the project was Exodus's brainchild. Quite an interesting thought really. One that Sinister might or might not bend to his own devices, but first he needed to sound out the leader. Find out what state of mind he was in and what it was worth to him. Was his dream worth more than the one person that he had chosen to pin his hopes on. Though why anyone would pick a murderess to pin their hopes on was questionable. "How is that going for you?"
Exodus wasn't about to reveal anything significant about Avalon... not to Sinister. "I have made significant progress." It was a simple enough answer. Of course, he was sure it wouldn't suffice, but he was also sure that, given his lack of committing anything concrete about the project to computers, that Sinister didn't know too much about it, such as its prospective location. Of course, now that he had established a sense of interest, Bennet would have to redouble his efforts to keep the bulk of the Avalon Project's inner workings secret. He couldn't allow Sinister to gain a stranglehold on his dream. Beset from all sides by those that would use his altruistic goals for their own nefarious ends, Bennet realized that the one thing he needed more than anything was allies. Allies that could be trusted. "It wouldn't really be anything that I could see you being interested in though. I mean, it's got nothing to do with science really. It's just a simple project."
"There is nothing truly devoid of scientific significance," or at least that was his thinking in the world. Of course, that very same thinking allowed him to manipulate all other creatures in the name of scientific advancement. Something with which Exodus was undoubtedly quite familiar. "Though I can certainly understand how you could see a safe haven for mutants hardly of interest to me." That same bland expression, the same semi-interested tone of voice. "However, I would disagree as the perfection of mutants is my primary goal in life." The fact that he had already lived several lifetimes and had more information than most could ever hope to garner went unmentioned as it always did. Few knew exactly how old Sinister truly was and he preferred to keep that information out of the mainstream. It wouldn't stop the desperate from seeking him out, but it was simply things he would prefer not to see become common knowledge. A man, even one such as he, could have a little bit of vanity now and again. "When I asked my guest about it, she said it would be best if I discussed things with you, as it is your project and she is only assisting you where you assign her to."
Bennet tensed. He despised the thought of Sinister even having any knowledge of Avalon, but the man did, and now Exodus had to find a way to defuse his interest. "So is this the real reason you've summoned me? To discuss a project that is only the whim and dream of a man thought insane by the majority of his associates?" Of course, he wasn't even about to discuss the fact the he had already secured two different, virtually unlimited pools of resources with which to construct Avalon. He also wasn't about to reveal his new position within Magneto's regime, though he was reasonably sure that Sinister would already know that bit of information already.
Sinister of course knew everything that interested him about Magneto's regime, which given the fact that he refused to be surprised meant he knew just about everything. "She doesn't think you're insane and I would think she would know a great deal about that particular state of being." A seemingly off-hand remark that said he knew a great deal more about Mirror than one would find out from casual observation. "Actually, as I stated previously, I simply wanted to make contact with you, my son. And even to congratulate you on the progress that you've made. I'm extremely pleased." Not that Exodus truly was hoping or trying to impress Mr. Sinister. Then again, he wasn't impressed, simply pleased. "Now if only I could get your dear lady to reach her full potential." The man stepped away from the false window that he had been standing near. "I'm certain that with some time, she'll live up to my expectations, but I apologize she's going to have to remain in isolation for the duration. It's nearly impossible to reproduce results under uncontrolled circumstances." He kept moving as if to leave the room.
It only took a thought for Bennet's body to transpose itself between Sinister and the door, his teleportation honed by his rage. He didn't even move around the table, but rather through it, a feat impossible under normal circumstances. He narrowed his eyes, the bright blue light flaring through them. As a conduit for unused mutanagenic energies, being around Sinister for even such a short time had filled him to the brim with the other powerful mutant's essence. So much was intoxicating, as strong as any drug available. Stronger, perhaps. He could almost be lost in it, if it hadn't been for Mirror and her being trapped. Even with Mirror in captivity, it was decidedly hard to resist the pull. All he'd have to do is stay around Sinister and he would never lose this feeling.
"You don't need her. Not her." It wasn't a begging tone, but nor was it threatening. It was placid, eerily calm against the visual maelstrom that was Bennet's shimmering, pulsating eyes.
There was a smile there, just a curling at the edge of the old man's lips. He seemed amused by the display more than the least bit perturbed. "You are correct, I do not need her." So very calm in the face of what could be possible destruction were he a lesser creature. "But she is flawed. At the level you possess, she cannot be flawed. Very simple. You do not pair perfection with its lesser, only with its equal." To Sinister, it made perfect sense. His son was reaching for his pinnacle. How could he possibly do that carrying another? Certainly it would be easier if he had someone who was his equal at his side. Not to mention, his time spent with his guest had given him an interesting thought he wished to pursue.
"I'll kill you." Bennet replied simply, refusing to answer any of the unspoken questions posed by Sinister. If he actually thought that was impossible, he didn't show it in his features. His hand stretched to the metal of the door frame, his fingertips brushing against it and pulling it away like quicksilver, the sharp sliver of pliable steel curling and slithering around his legs like a viper ready to strike.
This time he did finally laugh, not just chuckle but laugh at the thought. "I suppose it is true, you cannot help who you fall in love with." Whether he meant love in the romantic or simply the friendly sense was something to guess at. "Though I think if you truly thought it was possible, you'd have done so the moment you realized that her life was in danger. So, do try if you like. All of my children try at one time or another." He was making no attempt to defend himself, but then he didn't truly think it was necessary. Exodus couldn't hurt him really. That was the truth of the situation.
Reaching out through the complex, Bennet strained for any psionic sense of Mirror's presence. Feeling nothing, his power waned a bit, the metal at his feet sagging for only an instant before whipping around again. If she was not there, there would be no way of finding her. Sinister could hide in the plain day if he wished, and none would be the wiser. It was one of the scarier aspects of the man. It was the aspect that still gave Bennet nightmares. But if he fought Sinister, he could die and then he would be of no use to anyone, especially Mirror. The metal at his feet folded itself neatly into a coil before dropping from his fingertips, clanging onto the ground. He knew what Mirror would tell him to do. She had already told him once, and he had refused. He had to leave her. If he left her, he would remain alive, and could reclaim her, help her heal from whatever Sinister did to her. They could heal. He had healed, to a degree. If he didn't leave her, he would die and that would be the end of him, of her, and of Avalon. For any dream, there had to be sacrifices. Mirror would understand. He felt that she would have it no other way.
"If you damage her, I will destroy you. And not kill you, but destroy you. If you damage her, I will scourge the earth until I have rooted out all of your hiding holds. I will press through the land, uprooting your experiments and destroying your labs. But I will not fight you here. That is what you want. I will be cold and logical, and I will defeat you soundly, should you damage her."
Sinister had rooted through many of the memories in Mirror's mind, flipped through them as one would a photo album. The things in her mind had given him a few insights into the person that his son had become. How compassionate. It was through her memories that he realized how much Exodus cared about Mirror, even more so than anyone had originally supposed. It had not surprised him really, but that was because he had seen the depth of Exodus's abilities when he was still under his 'care' so many years ago. So of course he would have a gauge of his emotional capability. That also meant he heard the threat that Exodus put forth and knew that to the best of his ability, Exodus would indeed carry through on it. Unfortunately, the best of his ability wouldn't be enough to destroy Sinister. He was nearly immortal, no one had found a way to kill him and many had tried over the years. "Exodus, my son. I only intend to improve on nature, just as I did with you." He made it sound like some kind of philanthropic endeavor. "Though I suppose, in light of your feelings toward her, I could be persuaded to allow it to wait until you are more prepared to be separated from her?"