1964-07-07 - King's Men 1: Midnight Sun
Summary: In the land of the midnight sun, Karnak learns about the trouble in the House of Boltagon.
Related: Plot: King's Men
Theme Song: None
karnak rogue blackagar 

Even in summer, the island that rests in the center of the arctic sea of the North Atlantic howls with a cold fury. The lights of the northern borelis fall to create a dancing array of colors in the early morning as a lone figure upon the island works a fishing pole into the chilly waters while perched on a rock. Blackagar's hair and growth of beard showing the icy crystals of cold that have collected there.


Not much happens in Greenwich Village without the resident bohemienne hearing about it. The other people in her building talk. The musicians and artists talk, and she's part of the counterculture groups that circulate gossip the way ocean currents collect trash. Spending hours meditating on a rooftop garden finally leads to Scarlett heading to ground level for food late in the evening or early in the morning, depending on one's perspective.

Two of her neighbours finished with their set trudge in, and the talk turns to usual matters. Opportunities around town, the raid on Cafe Go-go, that shattered car in the street. Police raiding places over cabaret licenses is old hat. Shattered cars are not. After warning about octopus people on the beach, she heads out at large. It won't take her long to find what they were talking about, just a stroll down memory lane the lane, and there is a pretty little brownstone and a very broken car. One has to question when these things happen, and a touch of the vehicle won't tell her where it is.

Meanwhile, having dealt with demon-possessed gunmen and out-of-control cars, Karnak is not too far away. The green hoodie is drawn over her head as she's been trying to keep somewhat low key. Even though she did, um, punch a car to make it stop. However, for those who know what to look for, Karnak is a fairly easy person to find, as she is… distinct, from most of the people around her.

The circuit made of the vehicle, Scarlett drops down to her knees for a closer inspection with the eye of someone who actually knows a thing or three about vehicle repair. Car engines, motorcycle engines, not sufficiently different to confuse her. The redhead finishes her survey a minute later, and casts her gaze about the street. Whispers of memory dance through her skull, the oubliette of her mind a perfect vault for psychic imprints. Not all live in range of touch, but some certainly do. One that can frame the frost-brindled hair and the markings for what they are, shaken loose with a shock. For a moment, her eyes aren't green at all, but aqua trending glacial. Back to the street, she walks along the sidewalk to Karnak, her pace easy and graceful.

Karnak doesn't move out away from Scarlett, not because the woman hasn't noticed. Rather, it seems that the woman has noticed… something, about the redhead. Particularly as the redhead made an examination of the car that Karnak disabled. So Karnak waits for Scarlett to approach, and when she's close enough to speak with in relative privacy, says simply, "Yes?"

Because Karnak is many things. Verbose and a people person are not two of them.

Verbose applies to the redhead terribly well at times; she's not called a skald among the Asgardians for nothing. Though at times, terseness comes as an advantage. It helps when the ripple of awakened memory might also put the very faintest of echoes in her voice that she'd rather not have. Her sunny smile and inclination of her head to Karnak impose a greeting, a tacit request for conversation spilling around that pointed query. She touches her fingertips to her brow, pushing away the Arctic windflower woven among her braids. "Good morning." A gloss of motion to her throat. "I'm Scarlett. Forgive the interruption but I believe you have a friend direly in need of your assistance."

A single brow arches as Karnak regards Scarlett with a wry expression, "A friend?" She sounds a bit disbelieving, more at the implication that there are those that she would consider friends than anything else. Then she considers who she could possibly conceive of as a friend, then she nods once, understanding the message. Or at least, having an inkling of the one who sent it. "Very well. Is this a message, or is my… friend, nearby?" She says the word like it's some kind of foreign thing.

How terribly English manifests, sometimes. Words are imprecise and imperfect, and the redhead endures the disbelief in absolute, motionless silence. Flitterings of knowledge churn and stir in the restless mindscape before offering up a choice morsel, surveyed from a far distance. It takes her a moment to remember herself in the serene gravity well. "Forgive me, your cousin, Karnak." A gesture is sketched with her hand, a jagged line racing down after four angular diversions. "I speak on his behalf. He stays far to protect everyone here due to instability." Her palm brushes her hip. "Your aid is needed. I have yet to find Ms. Amaquelin. May I take you to him?"

Karnak regards Scarlett with a patient expression, then simply says, "Yes." Nothing more elaborate than that, as she tilts her head, asking as a clarification more than anything else, "I have some things to tell him as well, regarding his brother." Since Scarlett knows enough, it's not a great leap to figure out who she's acting for, and as she mentions Maximus the monk bristles a bit, as if remembering what he did recently.

"I would rather have approached this over a proper cup of tea in a garden, but expediency never cared much for niceties." Scarlett's faint smile acknowledges the nature of the world while breaking the wheel of it by sheer hope. She gestures. "I may be the most direct form of transportation." Minus a dog with a tuning fork, but that remains so much in Crystal's bailiwick. Her eyes remain grave. "He is in the high Arctic at present. Do you have any objections to me taking you to him? I give you my sworn oath I mean no ill-will or mischief."

Karnak nods, "Very well. Then let us proceed with haste. If I am being summoned, then we should not dally longer than necessary." She then looks at Scarlett, tilting her head curiously as she simply asks, "You are the most effective manner of transportation?" Not necessarily disbelieving so much as not quite understanding.

The young woman rises off the ground until her feet definitively clear the cement, boots left with no more than an inch of clearance as she remains in place. "Fast enough to reach the islands in reasonable time. I've supplies for the cold where we land, but will you be well if we leave now?"

Karnak nods, "The cold will not be a concern. Let's go now, then." She looks at the now-hovering woman, then shrugs, "From my understanding, it is not wise to keep the King waiting." Sure, he might not be technically the king, but to Karnak he is. Moreso than his brother at any rate.

Some silent mirth touches Scarlett's lips. Laughter might seek its way free of a prison but experience stifling such sounds assures only the proof lies in her countenance. Scarlett gestures to the alley behind the building where the broken car is of more interest than a pair of women zipping up into the cloudy sky. "Thank you. For going to him." Sincerity gilds every word.

In the Present

Svalbard's long day stretches across the entire clock. The sun veers around the sky but does not sink below the horizon, bringing the brief summer to a spectacular height. The fjord wracked archipelago flowers in all its searing ferocity, a welcoming patchwork of violet, magenta, gold, and fiery oranges after the endless grey-slate wastes of the Atlantic. Scarlett generally moves at hypersonic speeds, rotated to keep any passengers securely protected from the jarring force, but ever since charting an arc over the white ice of Greenland, it's slower. They bypass the main settlement at Longyearbyen and instead land on an islet among seven sticking out of the chilly Arctic Ocean, tortoises come to sun themselves. Wildflowers are everywhere the soil supports them, however. The permafrost has its moments of beauty. She'll pause to give Karnak her bearings. "He is on Nordsaustlandet. From here, we find him."

Karnak nods, looking around as the winds of the travel to this place blew her hood back, exposing her features. She doesn't seem affected by the chill, or if she is, she doesn't display such as she looks at Scarlett, "Good. I expect that he will want to hear what I have to say."

The arrival does not go unnoticed by Blackagar, from his island separate from the others in the string his eyes lift up and he spots the flight arrival of Scarlett and another. Uncertainty spreads over his eyes and with several steps he builds up speed to launch himself into the air with a mighty jump; leaving the ocean beneath his feet before he lands with a thud upon the outcroppings where Karnak and Rogue have arrived.

Stepping forward, he brushes back the hood of his robed cloak from his features, showing the ice worn look that cracks into a small smile amongst the unshaven beard as he approaches the two women.

The redhead spends a few minutes surveying the coastline. White-flecked water runs between their island and the main body of Nordaustlandet, currents dragging at the rocky shoreline. Bare rock and sweeping glaciers run down the mountainside to the sea, forming high white cliffs and icy waterfalls. All that serene glory of untouched nature, save for the polar bears.

None of it quite matters. She might be gauging the proper place to land when Blackagar is already on the mental wavelength. His running leap brings her attention immediately up, guided by a pang of intuition she'll never explain. Her expression holds volumes, hands touched together as she bows her head. «I brought her. Forgive me for leaving my watch. And you.»

The verbal is much simpler: "Hello."

Karnak regards Black Bolt as he approaches, and she actually bows towards him, a respectful gesture that she wouldn't show anyone else. Then she straightens and looks at Black Bolt, regarding him with a curious expression, "What can I do for you?" Her tone is also respectful, though she tilts her head, unused to seeing her cousin quite like this perhaps.

The non verbal forms of communication, refined over the years come out as Blackagar starts to 'speak' as it were. Those of the Inhuman circle used enough to it to pick up through gestures and subtle empathic impressions that which he means. His eyes, brilliant blue, cast towards the ocean and then Scarlett before settling on Karnak. «I have lost control. As I have been training to grow my strength it has begun to overwhelm me.» Patting his chest, Blackagar shakes his head, «I am unable to control my power on my own anymore.»

Supposing anyone requires the verbal components, Scarlett is more than willing to speak to that end. She may not be utterly fluent, but her eye for nuance matters. She steps to the side, giving more of a forum between advisor and once-and-future king, the diplomat's art cast broadly. She brushes her fingers against her side, a simple expression of support.

There's a bit of a sigh from Karnak at that, which could mean almost anything. If it pains her to see Blackagar in this state, she doesn't verbalize it, as she says, "And that is why you are here. And why Maximus is running loose." She frowns at the mention of Maximus, even more than she normally frowns when mentioning his name. Clearly something has happened, even as she continues, "What do you require of me?" And she'll provide it, regardless of the cost.

Blackagar's own brow furrows at the mention of Maximus. The timing of his own issues with news of his foolhearted brother does not bode well. For a moment he is silent then Blackagar looks to Scarlett. «I have been trying to think of something. A solution to this. I am in need of something to focus my energy into, to direct it into an object to control it.» His eyes lift then to Karnak. «The what, I am uncertain of. I cannot believe that our makers, the Kree, did not prepare for this. It would stand to reason that somewhere amongst their ruins or within Attilan itself is such an object. Something that I could direct my strength and gain the control needed.»

Falling silent, he then takes a moment to focus, for little aid it provides as the island underfoot shudders and shakes; driven by the energy from the Inhuman. As his eyes open again he looks squarely at Karnak. «Speak of Maximus.»

Those vibrations cause Scarlett instinctively to go to her toes. The general geological stability of Svalbard makes it an ideal platform for trying to stay calm, rather than opening faultlines and disturbing submarine volcanoes to steaming again. Her initial rise to her toes leads to landing back on her heels a moment or two later. The other instinctive response — reaching for Blackagar's hand wordlessly — is squashed, albeit the compassion and momentary effort are clear enough to read. She otherwise is silent, musing.

Karnak nods slightly, "Maximus is attempting to… convince the Genetic Council that he should be made King once again. He apparently also took some Terrigen crystals, and used them to invoke Terrigenesis on at least one Inhuman without her knowledge nor consent." She scowls at that, actually showing an expression as her own views on such things are fairly well known. "He seems to be up to a great many schemes, though I have not ferretted out all of them. He is most devious, as you know." She absently tugs at her braided hair, "However, the Inhuman he triggered, I have started to train her so that she may properly control her powers."

Blackagar's brow furrows, it comes in conjunction with yet again a shuddering through the island before he nods to Scarlett, doing so with a softening of his expression. «Cousin. Whatever his plans are, they are not limited to just our people. He has been loosed upon the world at large, that will be at the least the minimum of his goals. However, until I can be in control, to confront him would not be wise; for myself.»

The man's eyes look past, thinking as he does so until he comes back to look at Karnak. «He will seek me, for no reason other than to gloat. No matter how much he achieves until I acknowledge it, it means nothing to him. That is who he is seeking to defeat. As long as we keep him from this, he will continue to stretch and expose more of his plans. This is what we must do. Continue to goad him into action that can be contained while I attempt to find some way to come to control.»

Karnak smiles and nods a bit, "I believe I can keep him distracted into revealing his plans, yes." There's a reason she's the strategist, after all, "His ego won't allow him to do anything else. He is desperate to prove himself your superior, and that will be his undoing." Of course she studied him for weaknesses, even as she adds, "I admit to having goaded him a bit in our last meeting. By hitting him in the face." She doesn't grin at that, but there's an oozing sense of satisfaction coming from the monk as she relays THAT information.

Blackagar's lips curl into a grin, his chest lifts, it is the way he laughs and he seems rather pleased as he nods at Karnak. «Good. Strike him in the face again if need be. Always remember, despite what Maximus says or intends, /I/ intend for the power of the Inhumans to be with the council and not with a royal family. In my eyes, we are no different than any other Inhuman, and if a good ass kicking is what is needed, than it is what is given.» Stepping forward, he extends his arm towards Karnak, well worn from his time surviving on the island. «What have you heard of our others in the world?»

The finer points of diplomacy are concealing one's motives and remaining quiet during a relatively private conversation. The notion of maintaining confidentially even in earshot finds Scarlett averting her gaze, a clandestine gesture. Her thoughts upon the matter are washed out by anyone looking in her direction, given she keeps watch for the pervasive threat of polar bears and the omnipresent Arctic mist holding threats concealed from them. A rogue weather balloon or whaling ship could portend Maximus' involvement even now. Clearly not perfectly though, because she stifles a hand behind her hand.

Karnak actually smiles back slightly towards Black Bolt, reaching out and taking the offered arm with her grip. She then does something few people have ever seen her do. Namely relax, as she looks at Blackagar, "I thought you would like that news. I have not met others, though I heard that Gorgon is there, and Crystal of course. She seems to be living in an enclave for mutants or something, from my limited understanding." Her eyes flicker towards Scarlett, then she looks back to Black Bolt with a nod, "I understand your desires, and I respect them, but to many of us you will always be our King. Even if you don't particularly want that title."

Blackagar nods his head slowly towards the words Karnak speaks. «Crystal is… as she is. Impuslive as her sister.» At the mention of him being King, Blackagar actually blushes a bit but shakes his head, «Perhaps in another time, or in another set of circumstances. But for now — the true course must be to hinder Maximus.» He looks towards Scarlett then and offers her a smile, «My friend will be able to take you back to the mainland. Reach out to who you can of the Inhumans. Let them know I am alive, I am aware, and I am in waiting. As soon as I am able to return without threatening the world itself, I will.»

"Crystal teaches metahuman students. She has been widely involved politically, to some degree, most notably with a group of heroes called the Fantastic Four very briefly, and for a longer time with a team called the Avengers. They protect against extraterrestrial threats, notably the Kree and Skrulls at this point, though the broader threats apply." Her shoulders straighten as she sloughs off the act of mute audience to knowledge spinner. "The Avengers have some connections to the government, but operate independently. I'm one as well, and Steve Rogers — Captain America — leads the group. Should you wish me to arrange a meeting in time, I will gladly do so." Her fingers flicker in motion, accentuating certain facts with simple emphasis. "I also rescued Crystal's sister, at one time, though she left their company some time ago. At the time, she was trying to convince others she was a mutant. There are others who have come and gone, but Ms. Amaquelin has the highest profile. Maximus is known to the Avengers and others, generally recognized as a serious risk. Crystal's companion is one of the more recognizable members of the mutants, but he has kept something of a lower profile in recent weeks."

Karnak nods slightly, "Then my course is clear. I will need to meet with Crystal as soon as it is possible." She glances over towards Scarlett, "If you are able to arrange that, I would be grateful." She gives Black Bolt's arm a squeeze, then releases him as she nods, "I will tell our people that you are waiting, and spread rumors of your pending return." She smiles a touch at that, "Even if you do need some control for your powers yet, Maximus doesn't need to know that. Hints of your pending return can goad him into making a mistake." Yes, there's a reason she's the chief strategist.

Blackagar nods, both to Karnak and Scarlett. «Thank you. Both. Even when I push myself into seclusion I am never short of allies.» The smile on his lips, sincere as he nods to both. «I will continue to work to gain control myself, even if more is needed… I may not be able to wait.»

"I shall gladly do so." Scarlett nods to the request of the female Inhuman, taking that moment to smile faintly at the strategist. "I believe I know someone who may be of use to you in the ongoing efforts. We can discuss it in Longyearbyen before heading back, if you like. Breakfast might not be a bad idea." Eating seal meat or polar bear meat is not anyone's idea of fun, honestly. She checks her gloves and the fall of her green coat, then wordlessly approaches Blackagar once he is free. Restraint can only go so far, all things said and done. Presuming he doesn't bar her from doing so, she brings her hand to his shoulder, not quite an embrace. «Blackagar..» Volumes there, her face upturned to him is a whole illuminated manuscript. «Help comes. I will be here for you.» Her lower lip ends up caught between her teeth, brief hesitation rendered. «Soon. I believe in you.»

Karnak does arch a brow at Scarlett, then smiles slightly, "Yes, breakfast. I suppose that would be a good thing. And if you can assist me with getting in touch with Crystal, so much the better. She can help me with my current plans." Because while she doesn't scheme for her own interest… scheming for Blackagar? That's perfectly fine. And even more satisfying when it's thwarting Maximus.

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