Who: Carmilla Black & Magneto What: Scorpion goes and finds out if the rumors she's been hearing are true ones. When:Backdated December 8th Where: NYC Rating: PG-13 because Carmilla has a potty mouth.
It was too late in the year to be this far north. Carmilla should be in Texas by now, soaking up something close to warmth. She had enough money in her pocket to get her ticket if she turned out being wrong. It wasn’t like money was too hard to come by. She made a very good living for a street rat. When you were a talented enough thief, it was easy.
The old man in the park was there everyday. She had heard things, it wouldn’t hurt to see if they were true.
The old man was under some fairly intense scrutiny for an ostensibly private citizen. Direct surveillance from the old man a few benches down, telephoto surveillance from the other side of the park, and a sniper ready to put a bullet in his brain should something untoward happen.
That man was the most-wanted fugitive from American justice, now rendered harmless and kept under observation only.
That man was Magneto. One-time Master of Magnetism, now master of defeating cranky old men at chess in the park.
Most of which she spotted. You didn’t make a living the way she did without learning how to tell when someone was watching you. That, and if the rumors were right, well, she supposed she could understand why everyone would be going a special kind of crazy about it.
It didn’t stop her from walking up to the old man and the chess board, “Playing games today?”
He glanced up at the girl, taking in as much as he could at first glance. Young, arrogant, full of herself. She liked to think she was dangerous. Probably a mutant. And judging by a certain whiff of something, definitely one who preferred sleeping in dumpsters. “Certainly, miss.” he said, gesturing to the chair, which may have even shifted just a bit to better fit under her behind. “Would you prefer white or black?” he asked.
She sat down, “Black,” hey, it was her last name, and she didn’t need the first move. Sure, she was going to try but she’d likely lose regardless so the advantage of the ‘first move’ didn’t really matter as much. She put her hands on the table, the right one was bare, the left one was covered up, with bandages poking through the sleeve.
He glanced over at her arm but said nothing. Inexpert wrapping job, but of a type that spoke of long-familiarity with the process. He set up the board with quick, practiced gestures then moved his first pawn. “So what brings you to the park to play chess, Miss … ?” he asked curiously.
“Black,” she said with a smirk, making her opening move, it had been awhile since she played but she still knew how. She knew enough to have her own style so the opening move wasn’t by-the-book either.
“For an old guy, you sure got a lot of people keeping an eye on you.”
“You noticed them, did you?” he said conversationally as he quirked an eyebrow at her unusual opening gambit. “Well, I wouldn’t be too worried about them, my dear.’ he said in a friendly way as he responded to her gambit by moving one of his own pieces. “They’re just here to keep an eye on things.”
“Some of ‘em are pretty obvious,” she said with a shrug, “There something worth keeping an eye on?” she returned. She was now sure the rumors hadn’t just been the normal crap you heard on the streets. But you couldn’t be too sure. After a couple moments of thought she moved again.
“Perhaps, once.” he said with just the barest hint of bitterness. His powers were returning, slowly, but the process was taking a great deal longer than anticipated. “They say that there is a federal prisoner who plays chess in this park.” he said neutrally. “They watch him closely for they fear what he is. What he represents. What he might say.” he said, still keeping his conversational tone. “A dangerous man.”
“I heard a different story,” Cammie said, “That the man who plays chess in this park is a hero. A prisoner of war,” she said simply, “That’s the better story, I think.”
“Is that what they say?” he asked, clearly amused, as he moved his next piece. Yes, she may have favored an unusual opening gambit but she was predictable. A dozen moves and he’d have her crushed. “Well, perhaps both are true, to one degree or another. That the man in the park could be considered a prisoner of war, watched carefully to ensure that he doesn’t once again stir up … trouble.” he said with a very, very slight smile.
“Yeah, but I think one way or another trouble will get stirred up anyway,” she said, making another move, “And maybe they have it coming.” Her tone made it obvious that there was no maybe about it.
“Oh, I believe you’re probably right.” he said with amusement. “It is merely, as so many things are, a question of timing.” he said, moving another of his piece and setting his trap in motion. “So, Miss Black, are you the sort of young lady who looks for trouble, or who seeks to avoid it?” he asked casually.
“Even if I tried to avoid it, it’d have a way of finding me,” she said with a grin, “So I’ll make as much of it as possible just to spite it,” she said. She was by necessity and a twist of fate a fighter and a damn good one, “After all, when you’re good at something...”
He just smiled. They’d need people like her to fight the war that was invariably going to heat up. Probably soon. “The world needs more young people like you, Miss Black.” he said pleasantly. “Although I would attempt to contain your excitement when the nice people with the white earbuds wait until you are out of eye- and earshot to interrogate you as to our conversation.” he said casually.
“I’d like to see someone try to interrogate me,” she said with a short laugh. Even shooting her would seriously damage them just as much as her. “Anyway, I just told a story, so they can kiss my ass.”
“It would be unfortunate if your life had to come to an abrupt end on such a lovely day.” he said neutrally. “But, assuming that the nice gentleman with the sunglasses lets you go, perhaps we could play chess again tomorrow.” he said. “I believe we will have much to discuss.”
“Yeah, that would suck, but then they’d have to explain why they also killed everyone else in the park,” she said with a shrug, “And I wish I were joking. I’ll come by for chess tomorrow then, and you can refresh me enough that I don’t get totally slaughtered. I haven’t played in years.”
He quirked an eyebrow at that. “Well then. Chess tomorrow, then.” he said. “And if you’re feeling especially generous, a cup of coffee would be nice. I find I don’t get to travel much.” he said with the understatement of the year.
“Sure thing,” she said, “If I’m not buying a bus ticket I have cash for awhile,” Cammie said, standing up, the leather jacket opened enough to revel the top of the screen print on her shirt, Magneto was Right, “And you can’t deny an old man some coffee.”
He chuckled at her unsubtle display. “Well, from an old man, allow me to say thank you for your kindness.” he said. “I shall see you tomorrow, then, Miss Black.” he said. “We will play chess, drink coffee, and chat. I believe we may have something the other may want.”
“Sounds good,” she said, “I’ll even buy the expensive kind, because I’m nice.” She wouldn’t be drinking coffee herself, it didn’t have much of a flavor to it at all, but she had no problems at all providing him with the drink. She’d just bring something more appealing to her in her flask. Generally anti-freeze. But tomorrow she could always be in the mood for something else.