1964-01-18 - Threat Assessment
Summary: Forge tracks down Domino and attempts to figure out just how big of a threat she's going to be.
Related: http://marvel1963mush.wikidot.com/log:1963-12-13-them-finished
Theme Song: None
forge domino 

She's returned to the Big Apple not even twenty-four hours ago and was already given a mission from the leader of the Brotherhood. Some might expect that Domino would be out on the job right away. Those people would be wrong. She has business of her own to tend to, starting with some random hole in the wall bar somewhere within the city which happens to serve some manner of alcoholic content.

She finds such a place called the Cigar Factory. She's not about to judge based on the name.

Hour one easily passes, the collection of empty glasses and bottles slowly but steadily growing at her quiet, rickety booth. She left her car parked about a block away on the side of the street, came in alone, and hasn't been social beyond the occasional grunt for something else which she can slowly kill her own liver with.


If there's one thing about Forge, is that he never forgets. Quite literally, given the mnemonic abilities of his mutation. Ever since the incident with Beatrice, he has remembered Domino's unique look and her weaponry. Certain individuals were given this information in the government, although had anything been done with it, he couldn't say. The other thing many do not know about Forge is that he almost never leaves his home. As such, it must be very… lucky. For him to catch pale skin, and have it click into his mind that it is Domino. Surprisingly, he's an adept stalker, however. He's got a military background, and bringing up those ancient memories is almost refreshing to him. He may have lost her a few times in slightly different circumstances however, and he's not confident he can keep this charade up all the way to wherever she might sleep. Hesitant, he pushes into the Cigar Factory. Wearing a large obsfucating jacket and a hat that doesn't fit his style, he heads to the very end of the bar to order a local beer. Eyes shift sidelong towards her. There. A mutant terrorist. He's not entirely sure what to do with this information, only knowing he doesn't want her to slip back into the shadows…!!


For someone who has such strikingly white skin Dom does have a habit of disappearing without a trace. Maybe it has something to do with some sort of mutant ability, or..most likely..she's had some training of her own. Very good training. Training which is apparently largely ignored tonight as she fails to cover tracks, lose potential tails, and all of that other cover ops stuff that anyone in the spy business always needs to be conscious of.

Apathy can do wonders for pulling operators out of the shadows. This albino has the demeanor of someone who just doesn't care at the moment. She has her beer. She has her shots. All will be right in her world just after her tab starts to rival the National Debt in size.

Another shadowy figure emerging through the doors may catch her interest, though only briefly. There's no attempt to study the figure or try to figure out why he's here or what he's searching for. Instead she leans forward and closes her eyes, slowly rubbing at her forehead with the ghostly pale fingertips poking out of fingerless gloves.


Keeping up the sheer amount of paranoia required to maximize exhausting efforts on the very slim chance of a tail has gotten many agents captured across the world. Happens to the best, although one might think a girl like Domino would be lucky on her day off from doing such things. Although the more that Forge is watching the other girl, the more he finds his curiosity bubbling to the top. Ultimately, he has two options here. Try to get to the phone, call in SHIELD, and hope that she doesn't notice until they burst through the door. Alternatively, he motions the bartender over. After a word, Domino will find a shot of quality rum. "Courtesy of the indian." A thumb jerks to Forge. He's hoping that she never directly saw him during the fighting that day… maybe he's the one pulling a gamble, now?


Before the shot is delivered Domino leans back in her seat and slips both of her hands beneath the table. It's a casual motion, innocent enough. Her head never rises to look in the approaching man's direction. She doesn't need to see his expression to know that he's not thrilled about having the weirdly colored freak here in his establishment, either.

While the bartender remains wholly ignorant, someone with training would be able to connect the dots. She knew someone was approaching her table. She went for a weapon. Perhaps she got careless about covering her tracks and all but there's still a guard in play, and likely a very healthy dose of paranoia of her own.

When the drink lands in front of her there's no more time wasted in glancing up across the room, her pale stare locking onto 'the indian' over yonder.

If there's any recognition of the man in her mind it isn't being told through her expression. Instead she flatly calls out "Not interested" before making a point of taking the offered shot and downing it in one go, anyway. A free drink is still a free drink!

The bartender, finding this less amusing and more disturbing, goes back to work with the addition of dark mutterings of personal opinion about 'those abominations of nature.'


After a few moments, Forge pushes up to his feet, holding only his bottle of nursed beer. What a lightweight, he's hardly gone through it. His other hand remains on the counter, clearly in view as he draws closer to Domino, to settle in a stool a few away. But still, close enough for conversation this time around. "I'm not trying to…" There's a mild hiccup, as if this is not the sort of thing he normally says. "…get in your pants." Yes, that fell down to a whisper. Ugh. Come on, Forge. "But I have to say. He likely hates me as much as you. If that's not a kindred spirit, what is?" Well, if Domino knows her cultures, Cheyenne's have certainly barely been more tolerated than the Mutants. …And already been on the wrong end of a successful genocide.


Only a subtle sidelong glance is cast in Forge's direction as he moves closer. Domino still knows where he is and what he's doing without looking at him directly, more stereotypical spycraft stuff at play. Her next comment is as curt as the first, summing her thoughts into a single word. "Smart."

It doesn't end here. While the Cheyenne continues to speak she slowly draws in a long breath then releases it as an equally gentle, and long-winded, sigh. "Then maybe you can cut to the chase and tell me what you -are- looking for," she borderline demands while passing a cold stare back at the man. "Nobody passes shots like that around unless they're after something."

She's certainly the friendly, sociable sort tonight.


Forge can tell, the moment he has fully settled down, he's completely outside his element. He's not a very assertive man these days, the wild-hearted Army leader having been gone for decades. "I figured that a shot like that… would break the ice…" He glances over towards the phone a few moments, reconsidering his whole plan, then looks back to Domino. "Sorry. Maybe I made a mistake, here… I thought we might have had some stuff in common…" He wriggles, thumping back upright and then slapping down a few more bills. "Some, some more alcohol. Your choice, this time."


What isn't sure to help is that since her sudden departure from this part of the country Domino's only become more cold and abrasive. 'Finding her way' in the world has opened the door to a great many personal demons which had been lying in wait. At first she leaves the poor guy hanging, struggling to turn his thoughts into words. It would be easy enough to not say a word and let him see himself out. Problem solved. No more distractions.

Except that this course of action would leave more questions unanswered than resolved.

Right when Forge turns to leave there'll be a ghostly white hand darting out from the shadows to catch him by the arm like a cobra lashing out at an unsuspecting field mouse, its bite none too gentle.

"No. You don't get to walk away after a stunt like that."

If necessary she's fully prepared to muscle the guy back into his seat. As far as she feels, this conversation is not over. And really, her own feelings are the only ones which matter to her. Tough for him!


There wasn't any real attempt to avoid a grapple. He hadn't expected it in the slightest, which in hindsight is a stupid thing given he's tracked down a dangerous mutant without any sort of backup, or anyone knowing where he is. "Hey—Let go!!" He makes a show of tugging away to break it, but Domino manages to haul him down, thumping heavily into the stool. The bartender may or may not notice. Either way, nothing comes of it. Redfaced, Forge grips the edge of the bar, looking around as if hoping someone might come rescue him from this situation. Ah, those wild eyes, Domino has seen them a lot, most likely. "Is this about buying you a drink?! I wasn't trying to… I didn't mean to offend you!!"


The bartender is given a stare in warning as soon as Forge starts to protest. Dom's not planning on turning this into another crime scene but if the owner wants to push her over the matter then the situation remains perfectly fluid.

Then she grabs another shotglass, one from her own collection which hasn't yet been put out of its misery, and slides it right in front of Forge in all of its amber-hued glory. "Oh quit tripping already. Have a drink and chill the hell out."

It's followed by yet another stare at the owner. Yes, the situation is contained. Yes, the situation is calm. Don't give it any reason to not be either of these things. Also, back off so these two can have some privacy.

When she's fully situated back in her own seat she's leaning forward, one elbow hooked upon the table as she tries to block Forge from escaping even though there's plenty of space left open at his other side. Her stare is fully renewed, fully trained upon the nervous man.

"I'm obviously not an indian and you're obviously not suffering from a lack of pigment, which means if we have something in common it's that we're both not quite human." It's all said as a statement rather than a question. "And you're looking pretty damn normal from where I'm sitting."

Hey, with all of the news about gods, aliens, and whatever the hell going on lately, who knows what this guy might be!


A slightly trembling hand takes the shotglass in question, before he closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. He pulls back memories of how to act in this situation, dormant ones from a time he long neglects. When his eyes open again, he is less the mewling kitten, and looks more like herself. Someone with some idea how to hold themselves in this situation. He's stabilized his nerves, and kept his mind from self-destructive wandering. "Albino. Indian. Both persecuted minorities." Forge agrees, matter of factly. "Although I'm glad I look normal to you. Tell that to a black man beaten on the streets for stepping out of line. To me, they look pretty normal, too." He drinks from the shotglass, but in a sudden violent swallow. Not a fan of the fire of alcohol, so he gets it over with fast. "I know what you did." he finally murmurs, between just him and Domino. "When Beatrice was taken captive. I was there. …there's only one reason I didn't sic SHIELD and the mundane forces on you the moment I saw you."


Skin tone isn't what this situation is all about though, is it? Domino remains wholly unconvinced as she sits and stares, waiting for the right piece of information to reveal itself to her. It will… It's only a matter of time.

Surprisingly enough, not all that much time. The moment he admits to knowing what she did there's a visible tensing of her expression and body alike, though what isn't known up front is just -what- he knows about. She's caused quite a lot of trouble in just a few months' time.

Mentioning Beatrice brings everything into absolute clarity. He was there, though she hadn't noticed him. It's one of the problems of viewing the world through a tiny round tube full of thin black wires and glass. She had spent most of that evening watching Beatrice through a rifle scope, though when she had made her exit with those giant wasps…

Like a second moon in the night sky.

It's only through her own self-control that she doesn't swear out loud under her next breath. She's already well onto SHIELD's radar after the situation with Barney and Clint. Fortunately she wasn't being blamed for the murder of one of their agents, though she did happen to shoot one of them that night.

"I think it's time that you told me this reason."


Forge is a fairly direct man. He has never been evasive or manipulative, truly. Perhaps Domino can find that sort of mindset to be a nice change of pace. "Beatrice." he replies, once more. "When she was going… /insane./ You shot her necklace, didn't you? Things could have been much, much worse. But you put a stop to it." He lifts his chin then, looking warily towards Domino. "That is what made me curious. Although my curiosity tends to invariably get me into large amounts of trouble."


"Gosh, I can't imagine why," Domino deadpans when Forge mentions his curiosity. Her mind isn't fully focused on the sarcastic retort, not after what else he just admitted to. This guy actually saw the shot, he knew what she was doing. It had been no accident. Despite his rattled nerves, here sits one very astute observer. Considering the magnitude of the conflict taking place that night this would have been no small feat.

Slowly..gradually..the albino's visible bristling lessens as she leans a few inches further away from the Cheyenne. "She was talking a whole lot of shit. What she was doing was no way to be heard."

That Dom might have actually started to care about this other mutant extremist is something she doesn't come out and say.

"I don't know what that thing hanging from her neck was but I never saw it before. For all I know someone else put it there and tried to make her flip out."


"Absolutely right." Forge states, as if he didn't expect Domino to be on the same wavelength. "I am fully on board with the advancements of Mutant rights. Especially after that… that vile show in Mutant Town over the weekend. Friends of Humanity? Tch. Where were they when my people were plagued, murdered, and herded like cows? I know exactly what those people are. The same lynch-mobbing racists who realize they are in a unique climate to do these monstrocities outside the shadows." He starts slamming his fist into the counter as he talks, obviously heated by the topic. Ultimately he just huffs out a breath. "I'm not on the side of the law. I'm not the side of the government. I'm on the side of what's best for humanity. And I've found that those who ignore any specific party line have a better idea of what's going on."


Dom's not expecting this sort of response from Forge, either! The first part isn't a stretch, but when he states not being on the side of the law it opens up a whole new world of grey territory between the two. More questions, as well.

When he starts striking the counter she absently reaches out to place a hand on top of his, urging him to calm down in that regard. The noise and sudden motions will draw attention their way, which as history has proven is never a good thing.

"Not many people know how to keep their eyes open anymore," she states in a voice which has gone curiously soft. Already she's sizing the man up under a whole different light, though he still doesn't strike her as being Brotherhood material. Too..level. At least in how the situation appears for the moment.

"But who's to say what's best for humanity? To care about everyone is to spread yourself too thin. You can't fight everyone else's battles. This isn't going to end with everyone shaking hands and hugging it out. Each side is going to fight up to a stalemate then a line of compromise will be drawn strictly out of necessity. Or..we'll probably all end up killing one another."


"I've kept my eyes open my whole life." Forge states, matter of factly. "But I keep an eye out for the truth." The statement about spreading one's self too thin hits far too true. For decades his efforts to help third world countries has resulted in nothing he feels worthwhile, when he should be capable of much, much more. "I've seen how this goes. I've read history. With the Soviets rising in power, this couldn't have come at a worse time. There's too many philosophical idealations in this problem, and no precident in law. In my opinion, the only way this could end peacefully is for every Mutant to register themselves and live in communities." He grimaces at that. "Just like what they did to my people." He starts drumming his fingers faster and faster. "Are you?" he suddenly asks. "A mutant?"


With the notion of every mutant registering Domino flatly mutters "And -that's- not happening…" The political climate at large is something she makes a point to stay out of. It gets really ugly and complicated really quickly, life is so much easier when one mob family is paying stupid amounts of cash to have another guy from a neighboring mob family taken out.

When the next question is asked it delves into personal territory, somewhere which she never likes to lurk. There's a renewal of tension flowing through various muscles just in being put on the spot like this, though it also proves that he didn't know about her x-gene before…

"According to popular theory," she cryptically replies. "I thought that was what we 'had in common' that brought you over here in the first place?"


"I assumed you were, since you were working for Beatrice." Forge murmurs to himself. "But I was comparing our mundane flaws. Like I said. Indian and Albino. …How lucky would you have to get to roll the 'society hates you' lottery twice, and also end up a mutant?" He hasn't actually stated whether he is one or not. But given his age, that makes it far less likely, if she cared about statistics. People past early thirties are considered thorough exceptions, and may or may not have very potent gifts. The science is still iffy and new, after all. "What brought me over here was not that, though. It was to understand you. The other side of this issue. I could have called SHIELD and went on my way. But that's just turning my back to it. That won't solve anything, even if you were caught. Only understanding can."


With that said Domino sort of dips her head sideways in reluctant acceptance of his response. It's a fair assumption to make. She still doesn't confirm the matter one way or another, though.

"It's going to take more than a chance meeting and a couple of shots to understand me, but I can tell you about my motivation that night. She wanted help watching over her, keeping her safe. That's exactly what I did. If I didn't take the shot she probably wouldn't have lived through the night. There's nothing more to it."

At least not that she's going to openly discuss!

That said she reaches out and snags another drink, promptly chugging a healthy amount of it. "Listen, if that satisfies your curiosity then I'm outta here. Nothing personal but if you've got a hotline to SHIELD then I'm not sticking around. I don't enjoy sitting under the crosshairs with someone else's finger on the trigger."


Forge taps his fingers together, before suddenly shifting out of his chair. "Not quite yet." He runs his gloved hand through his hair, looking towards Domino warily. "The other reason I didn't want SHIELD right off the bat was to figure out if you were truly a dangerous terrorist or not. And I already feel that, if a war came, you'd definitely be taking part. I can understand that… but if you are doing things to /spur/ that war…!"


Ah, of course. Domino should have just gotten up and walked out rather than declaring her intentions beforehand. She could have seen this coming, the writing was on the wall for some time now. Even while Forge is speaking she's back on her feet and extracting the appropriate amount of cash to cover her drinks, and not a penny more. So long as she can still drink here then the bartender can have whatever views and opinions he desires. It doesn't mean that she has to like it, however.

"Standing on the sidelines is just a sure-fire way to get yourself killed," she states with a thin smirk, turning back to look at the Cheyenne. "Am I dangerous..probably. Am I a terrorist? That all depends on which end of the prism you're looking through, doesn't it."

No further explanation is offered. She simply casts an entirely sarcastic salute his way then starts walking to the door.


"I said STOP!" Forge states, apparently not content enough with just letting Domino know. From everything he's seen and read, it's outside his paybook. She's not interested in him figuring out the other side of the magic mirror, and certainly isn't going to help the mutant problem! He then lifts his hand towards her, and there's the sound of energy building. HmmmMMMMM*CRACK*!! Suddenly black smoke erupts from his left hand, glove catching on fire. "Wh-what the…!!" There was an astronomically low chance of his focusing prism shattering at that wavelength!! Did he rev it up too quickly?!


Considering the nervousness and stammering beforehand Domino isn't considering this guy to be really high up on the threat scale. Hell, his spotty confidence makes her feel like he wouldn't know which end of a gun to hold if one was given to him! When he barks out the demand she stops short and pivots on a heel, now looking downright pissed off.

Then he raises his hand…

..and her eyes grow wide…

..and a plume of dark smoke rushes out from the arm to fill the room.

The safest option for her is probably the final solution, grab her guns and start emptying the magazines. There's a mental trigger urging her to do this, stop thinking just -do it already!- And yet…

She's still not wasting any time to think it over or question her actions. Whether it's the right move or the wrong one, she leaves without ever drawing a weapon.

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