1963-07-23 - The Logos of Louis King
Summary: In the aftermath of the Midtown mutant riots, a girl cries out for answers into the night.
Related: Cleverest of All Devils
Theme Song: Chainsmokers - Don't Let Me Down
louis rogue 

Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath
Balm of hurt minds…

What comes to soothe pains, if rest is not permitted to the City That Never Sleeps? How can the body politic recover from the grievous injuries inflicted by its own hands? Albeit those hands were a multitude directed by venomous means, directed by a sickly will out of petulance for her own state.

New York trembles in an hour past the measuring on a clock, when all last traces of daylight evaporate into the coldest and bleakest shadows laid upon the vault of the heavens. Once men feared things in the dark and kept the torches burning throughout the uncertain times to hold terrors without name at bay. They invented stories to quantify, dissect, and classify the unfamiliar.

Now that true night recedes from humanity's great cities, banished by the neon signs and blinking bulbs advertising next week's show or the brand of the moment. Scarlet and cornflower bulbs strobe the wreckage of Midtown in front of the glass skyscrapers and media conglomerates, temples to Mammon. Men no longer worship in churches so much as they do at the altars to an electric angel, bowing before the gospel of the television and the radio.

Heaven weeps in grey lamentation upon scarred concrete, filling gutters with the castoffs of a protest turned vicious. Blood diluted to a mere rusty trace carries along detritus of lives: splinters, hand drawn signs, chip bags, flattened cans and broken glass. Petals by the dozens line one corridor. Bruised white and deep blue blossoms seem to open from the cracks, stamped by fleeing feet and furious combatants. Ozone fills the crushing atmosphere acting as a lid over the pressure cooker.

Tonight is a time of crime and vengeance, despair, and one small candle of hope holding out against the distant shouts or protest songs being penned in the Village nine floors below. Up here, up here she belongs to herself and no other but one.

A piece of Eden flowers in the sky, a sacred circle of planted herbs and staked blooms heavy under rainfall hurling spears at living targets. Dahlias and peonies protected by plastic bags plink with the complicated melodies inspired by nature, whereas stickier evergreens and spikes of delphinium survive. Every last flower has a correspondence, every herb a mystic use, every leaf a medicinal side.

She who cannot touch the living floats among a lush sanctuary, soaked to the very skin, her braids heavy down her back. Under the green hooded cloak, she may appear a wild daughter of the wood transplanted to the wrong place. But no dryad scorns gravity two feet up, forming mudras with long, agile fingers. No sylph tries to crystallize her ethereal thoughts against the maelstrom of violence, desire, harmony, and want. Regular breathing follows techniques perfected two millennia ago by devas, not elves. Wisps of magic still drench her, insidious but unable to breach her impervious mind.

Another crack of lightning briefly illuminates the horizon in a threnody of violet sparks. Autumn's thoughts trace the descending and ascending tempest simultaneously, ringing around a single axis slammed through the faulted core of her being. They will not settle. They have already formed a single chord, a penitent's faith and a supplicant's prayer united by a force older, stronger.

Even hate subsides from its presence. Fear co-exists but cannot control. She has no name for this, only that it is written solely in her being, ringing through every breath that binds her to infinities in a teardrop glistening in time.

In the beginning was the logos,
And the logos was with God,
And the word was Louis King.

Always and always.


The draw of old rites, methods lost to time and tumult, it has been a millennium since he's felt that faint call. It was under a different guise, a different people who wished him to speak with a different voice. There have been many names that he's taken in the past, many guises that he's worn. Yet such names depend on the weight of belief granted to them. The force of the mind behind them. To him the woman in the tower's hidden greenery is Autumn. To her he is Louis King. It is their belief and their knowledge of the other that gives the strength of _knowing_ to those names.

Yet he can feel the new name, and yet something akin to the old rites.

The last time he appeared before a petitioner it was far to the west, the ground was the colour of the sunset, and the sky was pitch. To them he was Coyote. Their words were plaintive. Begging, pleading for aid against what had set against the tribe. The comers new who had left fire and death in their wake. To those who had asked his help them he gave them naught save words… and edged ones at that. He had stood by while the people who claimed to hold him in esteem… while their lives passed and their way of life faded.

What hope did a child have now?

At first there is no answer. How often has a young mind stood in the rain calling out with their thoughts for answers, for help. Only to have it driven home how alone they truly must be.

But then the flutter of wings is heard. A raven spreads its pinions for a moment, then settles upon the ground. It turns its head to the side, affixing her with a green eyed gaze.


Names have power. The human mind orders creation by giving identity, and by identity, purpose and organization to an essentially unknowable vastness. Greeks said Prometheus stole fire for mankind, but what if the fire was knowledge? Heroes seize slivers of insight and carry back the words written on their brows, in their blood, around the double helix. The one god gave two innocent beings the wisdom of all things, that they might be master over creation rather than its subject.

A girl with a name forgotten cries out into the void, throwing the full and concentrated weight of her belief in the identity behind the mask.

In the transmission of yoga asanas and meditation, the guru didn't give physical lessons. He taught her about the illusions of existence. That all facets are a single gem, and two gems, male to female, are one.

At some level she seeks peace while the rain scours away the toxic brew of sweat and hate from the oppressive summer air, and finds no release but memory inscribed like stolen words on her milky flesh. Autumn's roads don't lead to Rome, but a city of golden spires and Euclidean geometry. The city isn't more than a glimpse in the essence tasted once. Once, but not forgotten.

The raven might taste that distant echo of power on her, like she plunged into a tainted pool. Familiar, naturally, reinforced by the Asgardian wyrd of Nornheim. She, however, is slow to raise those muted leaf-green eyes from contemplation of emptiness full of stars, and the intrusion of vignettes playing over her mind, a silent film the likes of which Cannes will never stage.

Water glistens in pools, gurgling through the gutters of the building. Leaves toss and flowers bend, but she is curiously still. He tips his avian head, and she cant hers opposite a moment. Who speaks to birds? Lips part.

Thunder grumbles overhead, the inner bellies of the clouds a foundry for sparks for hyper charged plasma. Too far gone for irritation, she waits for the interruption to pass. "Only me up here. Not much for your parliament, I fear."


The bird turns its head to the side and spears her with its skew-eyed gaze, not moving for a time as it considers her. The rain continues to come down around them, falling into small puddles and sending ripples outwards. The avian takes a half hop towards her and then lifts its head upwards. For a moment its beak opens, lizard-like tongue sticking out as it hisses at her. Then suddenly it takes wing.

Two sharp flaps of its wings lead it upwards and as if he had always been there it finds purchase on the shoulder of a man in a grey suit. Louis King stands there in the middle of the storm, the rain continuing to patter with that steady rhythm, washing the dust of the day away, yet not seeming to find purchase upon his tall thin silhouette.

His arms are folded, brow furrowed as he seems to float there over the edge of the building, the clouds glowing with a flash of lightning that is too far for the thunder to truly roll. Those dark green eyes are grim and his fingers press into the fabric of his sleeves. The raven caws once, as if mocking the supplicant, and for now it is ignored by the man.

"You risk much, Autumn. Such rites, such wishes, such efforts are rife with danger. A price shall be extracted from you for such hubris." He says this with a frown, telling her such as if it was simply how the world must work. No, he will not extract the cost from her… but fate very well might.


Mock then, raven. Those instruments of threefold fate know already your awful price paid, for memory forgets no failure and thought can ever contemplate terrible outcomes and awful ends. Sleep, brother to death, can be a welcome tincture of bliss that stays the deep wounds imparted from the hanging tree, the sheer existence of being.

Autumn should startle under the circumstances, sudden appearances being out of keeping even with her surreal existence. Water drips from her knees and catches under her crossed legs, a torrent striking the rooftop paved in blocks of stone and wooden squares common to Japanese meditation gardens. More runs down her braids, captured in a cobweb of shining diamonds laid over the fire of long distant dawn.

Red sky at night, sailors delight;
Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.

Surprise betokens another blow to the simmering disquiet, laying wrack to the shreds of serenity dishevelled around her. Louis sets off a cascade of reactions too fast to disentangle from one another at a glance, at least for her. Any critical point she reached long ago. Blue and white petals corresponding to the peace offerings shunned in a moment of fear speckle her cloak in a constellation, the only jewels she wears but those in her hair. Those in her face, lambent green of a nebula made ghostly and intense.

"Everything has its cost." Her soft voice comes out unusually even, if reflective, underlined by acceptance. The price will come. She will pay or it will destroy her, perhaps both. So be it. Water and the grey veil of heat spin around them.


"Tell me what has passed," The tall man takes a step forward upon surface invisible or intangible. As he crosses that threshold, from seemingly floating in the middle of the air over the side of the building so high above, and steps foot light upon the rooftop… he seems to become all the more real. The rain touches him, droplets darkening his shoulders, his sleeves, the wind finally pushes the locks of his hair about in reckless abandon. Were a passerby look upon him now there would be little of remark save perhaps his lack of common sense in failing to come in out of the rain.

He extends a hand towards her, as if offering to help her down, to let her come back to earth, allowing the touch of her gloved hand to his. Should she accept he will hold her hand gently before him, fingertips giving a subtle squeeze before he steps past and moves into what shelter can be claimed from the storm and the night's faint chill.

"Your disquiet is telling. And such tension ill uses your form." Those green eyes focus upon her fully as his gaze narrows. He knows something must have affected her powerfully for her to be so before him.


Truth is writ in a single word, a short one, that stares out her eyes. The lips tell another story, bruised by an indentation corresponding to her teeth pressed into the deceptively fragile flesh. A bystander in the middle of scribbling lyrics to a song memorializing humanity's brutality might have far more to say about two souls in a garden meeting by a moonless night, or stare through the rain speckled glass in a vague air of wonder.

He crosses a threshold by a commitment, and when he does, the girl breaks her lotus position as though she were there a few minutes in a warm room rather than chilled for hours trying to recover the equilibrium critical to her existence. Two feet up and the air supports her, gravitational bonds utterly ignored for sake of clasping slender fingers around his hand, two pressed parallel to a pulse point. A gesture, of itself, might be telling.

This, too, is real.

The difference balances itself in a heartbeat; she drops to the ground, the cloak slithering away in a puddle of sylvan moss and moonlight, rippled folds drinking up the rainwater. Not a mark hints at injury, but then innocent youth conceals an outstanding durability to hurts of a physical nature. Her boots scrape faintly in their gait in bringing her with him.

"Another civil rights rally gathered in Midtown. I distributed flowers, trying to separate the most volatile elements." Facts carved from a block of them come easily. "A blonde woman stirred them up. She targeted a man, and if he wasn't going to tear her clothes off, he was going to tear through someone. Everyone else was like that." A pause. "Except me. Less. I won't… I didn't want her. Not like that. He shook her off and she did not like it. Unclear how, but it was obvious she was surprised by it. I distracted him from her right before it turned into a full scale mob. She retreated, he broke one of the main aggressors, and then dragged me out of there."


The way the shadows hang between them, the greenery giving such a feel of the wild, the rain sluicing down the curves and angles of each figure… it all seems to offer some semblance… some hint at nature despite them being surrounded with metal and concrete. It's as if this small refuge was her offering of peace to what the world must have surrendered for a city of millions to manifest in what was once that wild. There is power in that connection, and if she were a more studied student of the arcane she might be able to sense him draw upon that power.

Turning his head to the side he seems to whisper a few quiet words to the corvus as it cocks its head as if listening intently. It's a short one-sided exchange that leads in the creature flaring its wings and then leaping off into the air… only to disappear as its wings flap three short times.

Having assigned that task, the man known as Louis King turns back towards Rogue and lifts his chin as he regards her. "What occurred then? The mob, did it maintain or was its ire spent?"


Oh! What Autumn would say of the rites she knew once, if they were still embedded somewhere in the broken terrain of memory. Could she speak to the mystics, the dreamers, the collective renaissance convulsions the country's fringes even now? She can speak of counterculture, but not the direct source, stifled by a delicate finger of unyielding force denying all of what, who, and who. The mother, the father, the aunt. The manifest dance with the Otherworld, all of it blotted out.

But this is refuge is very much her creation, her hand in every placement of a pot and planting of a flower, the crown of starry blooms she wears harvested here. It breathes of her in a small way, like a lonely forgotten room at the Institute never does, and reflects more than the apartment strewn in art's musings and a muse's arts. He has a place here, not one wedged in, nor borrowed or assumed. Simply the place exists with him as part of it. The redhead tilts her head up, eyes narrowed towards the staggered points of monuments known to half of America.

"They ran riot until the police intervened, and the authorities were overwhelmed. Spillover into East Village dispersed some of the violence, but they were trying to attack one another. Imagine someone threw a switch, and most succumbed to the Jekyll and Hyde effect." Her words churn around the seething core, some reflection shattering. A shiver runs through her but the cold has nothing to do with it, not when she dances on cloud tops in the early morning.

"I am unsure of the duration. I wasn't there, by that point. We found shelter, and then I made my way here until you came." She floated on that spot above the chaos, a seed of it in her breast, then. Her gaze is limitless, when it finds his face and drinks his image down into the abyss.


Turning back to her, Louis' gaze falls heavily upon her. His brow is furrowed, the sternness in his eyes severe. She can detect the tension there, the roil of a whip crack that threatens to burst forth. It's that moment of utter tension the instant right before the snarl of leather uncurls and causes the sound barrier to be shattered, the way such a sundering causes most to wince before even the sound is heard. She can see all of that there in his manner, his expression. It is not aimed at her, yet she can feel those faint primal whispers that come forth from the survivor's corner of her mind, ancient memories that would be telling her to run to hide.

The forms have been observed. She has made her prayer. She has made her offering. She has agreed to pay the price that fate shall draw. He owes her these words and in them are what answers he can give.

"Then if you care for those of you and yours who have drawn the lots to bear the benefits and the consequences of holding power in their hands beyond that of their peers… then you must go to those that you swear fealty to. To those that would lead you. There is that which now rallies against you, a power both petty and yet vast. These matters happen now. They will continue to happen. Minds will be taken, will removed and rendered a memory if she shall have her way. The key is the woman. You must find her. Yet she can be anyone. You must defeat her, yet she is stronger than those you hold as unassailable."

A small smile is seen then, slowly given as if some geas had fallen away from him. Those words offered as payment for the rite performed. These now have a different tone as he says quietly to her, and her alone. "She will underestimate all of you. And therein lies your strength. I cannot draw blade nor lift angered hand against her for she acts with the will of the All Father. But there are ways I can perhaps aid the outcome. We shall see."


Ancient memories scream to run. Fresh ones bubble with the horrors of the chair and the piercing electricity vibrating through a bound body. Voices rise in a melody, a ring of gunsmoke and a crackle of parting flesh after joints snap, bone breaks in multiple places. The inquisitor's cantata skips over her jarred pulse, inhibiting a steady breath into a throat closed. Is this the price, if it is, she solidifies her stance into a taller posture, feet rotating on puddles cobbles, to take the axe blow. Her fingers do not open from their encircling position, and though narrowed in trepidation, her gaze does not flinch.

Rage she understands, having swum in the riptide of her own accord at some point before sundown. Disappointment can be gathered, and wrath peaked to a smoldering gust must be stared in full. Louis can leave all in wrack and ruin, and if circumstances are balmy, she will still be there.

"I won't put you at odds with your father," she murmurs under her breath when the rain falls, still steaming close to the asphalt corner of the building where day's heat is grudgingly released. "My vow holds to vouchsafe you nonetheless. You have the right to your future."

Somewhere gears turn and tick. The circuitry may flare slower, the pace accelerating, but she spins up to a speed breaking the sound barrier through ideas and possibilities. The blighted shadow, whispering in her ear in her own voice, speaks up from the very deepest dark of a vendetta couched as justice, hope on a cutting edge. Green eyes shut a moment, and she might just tip into Louis' wet shirt if he's not careful. "It would not be Thursday without another complication. Friday smiles a little brighter, at least."


He does not draw back, at least not yet. And should she stumble he'll catch her, hands at her elbows and his head turned to the side so he can still look upon her. A small smile is there at the corner of his mouth as he murmurs quietly. "I am not against offering some small part of my future. I have more than my fair share of it." With that faint tone he steps closer and then whether or not she's fallen into his embrace he'll remove the choice from her at least in part. Strong arms will slide into place at her back, under her knees, hefting her effortlessly as he starts to move across the rooftop.

"Come, let us get you out of the rain." And as he says that he moves towards the stairwell, most likely intent on making sure she is situated before leaving her alone… and tending to other matters.


Reap the damn whirlwind. Restraint is for morning, not for the hours overseen by Frigga and her myriad counterparts. Truth it's the far side of the moon for the daughter of the Wandervogel and her traveling quests bring her to the only place truly she needs to be in this moment of many.

Wet, but clothed, arms loop around the Asgardian's neck and she buries her face into the shelter where his shoulder and neck meet. Lifting her is nigh effortless given she's not a burden not even to a fairly healthy, normal person. Slick boots string forward when she gives a fraction of assistance to position her just so, but Autumn has not an ounce of living memory of being carried. Carrying, yes. But never this.

Though Louis might have his own distractions finding his way down the stairs, two flights bending around to the ninth floor access. The apartment in question is one of four, tucked into the corner with a definitive sensibility of the natural blended to cultural decor so modern it practically defines "today" around eclectic touches a thousand years old. A photo of Stonehenge. A Japanese painted screen. An incomplete painting, the beginnings of the starry void sketched out with an abstract understanding of the inchoate—these are her dreams.

Autumn's thoughts still to the infinite calm but for the shocked will-o-the-wisp illuminating the quietest, deepest recesses. Light holds the cold at bay in its warmth, however fragile.

He won't even make it through the living room before the girl surrenders to sleep.

Ah, now soft blushes tinge her cheeks,
And mantle o'er her neck of snow;
Ah, now she murmurs, now she speaks
What most I wish—and fear to know!

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