1964-08-05 - You Don't Need A Pointy Hat
Summary: Lux discovers she's magical.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
billy harper teddy 

The last place anyone is going to look for a girl raised in a convent orphanage and then a military program is in the midst of the counter-culture. By all rights, Harper ought to hate being surrounded by beatniks and proto-hippies. But when it comes down to it, she's a practical creature - this is the last place anyone would look for her, so this is where she is. Of course, not everyone who disagrees with the forward-thinking lifestyle is as live and let live as she is.

A group of young men in jeans and leather jackets, their hair slicked back, has set up shop by one of the fountains, heckling people as they walk by. "Oh, damn, no wonder they call it free love! You'd have to pay me to get with that!"

All things considered, Teddy is counterculture by default and Billy's not far behind. It all depends on whether being an alien 'beats' being time displaced. Regardless, he not only sympathizes with the movement(s) but approved of them even if he doesn't really identify as any given one. So the park is a natural place to get some fresh air, especially given how close it is. He and Billy are walking across the grass and just taking in the atmosphere when he spots the greasers. "So much for peace and quiet."

Billy has vague notions about what will become of this area and the hippies that will soon arise in it, and all in all he's pretty sure he's in favor of those notions: but they're sort of weird, too. Still. If he has to live anywhere in 1964, the Village is as good a place as any. He strolls along with Teddy, hands in his pockets; he's got a tight green shirt and the closest thing he could find to skinny jeans in this era— meaning they're just not quite his size. He frowns over as he catches sight of the bullies, and sighs long-suffering at Teddy, "You know, one of these days I'll figure out how to make a bully-go-away spell and banish all bullies everywhere into the twisting nether." He says with some fervent hope.

Billy and Teddy make a good target - especially Billy's choice in clothing. "Eh!" one of the greasers calls over, jerking his chin up toward Billy as he stands. "Can you even feel your balls in that, man??"

"Maybe he ain't got any, Jimmy," another one smirks as the group all starts to stand up, circling like a pack of wolves. "I mean, maybe he ain't a man."

It's the motion that catches Harper's attention from where she's seated at the base of a tree, glancing up from her book with a slow frown. She doesn't say anything just yet, but she slowly pushes up, setting the book to the side between a few roots.

"No, don't do that." Teddy says, taking Billy at face value because he probably could exactly what he said. "Stephen wouldn't like it and they have a right to be asshole." Though that right is immediately forfeited when they start targetting Billy. "You really don't want to do this." he tells them, stepping forward and in front of Billy. One nerd and a football jock against a pack. "You really, really don't."

"I was mostly joking." Billy can't help but sigh as he hears the taunts, his expression pinched and long-suffering. But he lets Teddy step in front of him— he doesn't really need protecting but it feels nice for someone to have the instinct to do just that. He does peek out over Teddy's side and tells the pack, "You're going to be at *least* an honorable mention for a Darwin Award if you keep this up, guys."

"Don't wanna do what, blondie?" The ringleader grins, looking back to his friends with another jerk of his chin. "You standing up for…" He leans around Teddy to get a look at Billy. "What, kid brother? Kid sister? You really oughta tell your sister to be careful in a neighborhood like this, wearing pants that tight. Never know what she might be asking for."

There's a gale of ugly laughter from the rest of the pack at that, while one at the back tries to circle in to slap Billy's backside.

Meanwhile, Harper is circling as well, on a wider path than the others - a lion picking out a target from a pack of hyenas.

It's a subtle change. Teddy's just a little taller, a little wider, a little more muscular albeit a lot more dense. And since his clothes are part of him, they just change when he does so they don't strain at the seams. "Don't want to make me angry." he says and, stepping forward, takes a swing at the leader's face.

Billy is not all that strong, but he's quite a bit with the nimble: he sidesteps the attempt to smack his backside, and spins around to go back-to-back with Teddy when circling happens. He narrows his eyes and clenches his jaw a moment, "Do not touch me." he says in a dangerous tone of voice, eyes narrowing even as he flexes one arm and hand, lifting it up with fingers bent like a claw. They may or may not see the quick dance of electricity that arcs from one finger to the next— its not a big display, just a moment of light. "Don't make us hurt you." The 'us' has a clear intonation of yeah-buddy-I'm-gonna-do-some-hurting-too.

"Aw, they're gettin' angry," the ringleader laughs, looking around to his buddies. "I mean, what's there to be mad about, boys? Unless there's something you're not telling us. There something else we should be causing some trouble over?"

"Uh, hey, Jimmy…" The young man closest to Billy, close enough to see that spark of electricity, tries to warn him. But before he can, something else happens.

Billy's the most likely to see it, though technically there's nothing to see. Then again, Teddy's seen similar before. It's what it looks like when someone invisible comes up behind an unknowing would-be gangster, sets a hand on his shoulder, and kicks his feet out from under him.

Of course, it doesn't much help the ringleader to be looking to his buddies when Teddy takes a swing. The hit takes him square in the jaw, leaving him shaking his head and wiping a thumb at the corner of his mouth. "Like that, huh?" he says in an ugly tone of voice.

"Exactly like that." Teddy agrees flatly. "Except the next one is going to break your nose. And if after that you're all still too dumb to run away, you'll all be unconscious." Concentrating on the alpha wolf, he doesn't notice the one Harper is playing with.

There's a … blur and someone falls over. Billy blinks a moment, "I didn't do that." Because it looks an awful lot like he just TK'd a dude, "My TK is not on autopilot." But, still, there are bullies. So as one fell down due, he flings a hand out to grab another by the legs and yank him up into the air, his hand holding out at the fellow to promptly begin shaking him a little it. Not, like, a lot or anything. But he probably will lose anything in his pockets.

It's not Teddy's punch that really scares the gangsters. Punching they understand. It's a way of life for them. But getting beaten up by ghosts, getting picked up and shaken around? That shit just ain't right.

Jimmy's eyes go wide as he looks past Teddy to see another member of his gang in the air and a third get taken down, as the others start to scatter. "You…you freaks!" he shouts, pointing even as he starts to stumble away backwards.

"FREAKS!" he exclaims to the rest of the denizens of the part, who seem much more on the side of the freaks than the bullies.

"Better a freak than an asshole." Teddy tells him, staying where he is as the greasers run away. "And we're not the ones running away scared." Keeping an eye on them, he glances back to make sure Billy is okay.

Billy deposits his goon none-too-gently, but gently enough to not brain him on the ground. Grudgingly. To encourage him to run away— as if that's needed— he sends a little jolt of electricity at his backside. Just enough to … shock him. "I'm fine but something weird happened. There was this … something, and the guy fell down. I didn't do it." Pause, "Uhh, is there a ghost …er… here?"

"The spirit of, uh…" Harper tries to go along with it, but she can't quite pull it off, laughing instead. "No, no ghost." She lets the invisibility fade away, and instead there's a young woman standing in the grass, raising one hand for a small wave. "Sorry. Didn't mean to interrupt, but the numbers didn't really look very fair."

"Invisible?" Teddy asks, looking over Harper. He's back to his normal body and walks over to stand next to Billy. "Have we met? I ran into someone invisible the other day and it's not that common a thing." A pause as his brow furrows. "Then again, how would we know?"

"Oh." Billy looks a little sheepish when it turns out to 'just' be invisibility instead of runaway TK or a ghost, "Interrupting is fine. I mean we can handle a bunch of bullies, but help is never a bad thing. Hi, I'm…" Pause, he eyes Teddy, and there's question in his expression.

"How would you know?" Harper grins to Teddy. "Teddy." She winks, then steps forward to offer a hand to Billy. "You can call me Lux," she introduces herself, which opens up the possibility for something other than names, at least. "For what it's worth, I've heard a fair few things about various gifts, and I don't think invisibility is a common one. Though there are some variations on similar themes in terms of effect. Sort of like there's a range of telepaths."

"I heard some noise coming from an alley and she was beating up a Mafia thug." Teddy explains to Billy. "Except invisibly. It was interesting to watch." Looking back to Lux, he says "So that's what you look like."

Billy gets no help with the questioning look, so sighs and shrugs; they clearly need to work on their signals. To Harper he says, "I'm Billy." He takes the offered hand and shakes it, "I've never seen invisibility before myself, but its not like I am an encyclopedia of powers." he pauses, "Though I think I might be able to mangage it temporarily, in a pinch. Maybe." He grins, dimples flashing, "So do you make a habit of looking for thugs to invisibeat up?" he asks her.

Harper arches a brow at Teddy, a glimmer of amusement in her features. "But is it?" Her eyes are green, then blue, then brown again, hair red, blonde, nose hooked, lips thin, and she's back to her original face. If Billy's paying attention for the feel of magic, though, he might be surprised to sense it with the display of powers. "You know," she laughs to Billy, "The truth is, I don't usually have to look all that hard."

"Oh, cool. That's a useful ability to have." Teddy knows for sure since he has it too in his own way. Not that he mentions it. "Yeah, usually you just need to walk around at night and stick to the shadows. Trouble will find you." At least in some parts of the city. Or most.

Squinting a bit, Billy eyes the woman for a long moment, "There's some math about you." he exclaims with some surprise, but then he pauses and makes a vague wave towards the woman, "Its not like you're a mutant, like I assumed, but like you're mathing— wait." He shakes his head, blinking, as he realizes of course she is not fluent in Billy, "By which I mean its *magic*, not… what it appears to be." He pauses, considering how to explain, and to do so he holds his hand up, and electricity arcs between his fingers, "Like this isn't electrokinesis, it just looks like it. Its me doing *magic*." He nudges Teddy with an elbow, "I've never seen anyone else do something like it."

Harper tilts her head at Billy, curious. "I'm…not sure what you're talking about, but pretty sure it's a mutation. Or else there are a whole lot of scientists who were extremely confused for a number of years. Me," she adds, holding a hand to her chest. "You do you with whatever you do." She pauses, considering. "Magic, huh? You know, from what I've always heard, there's a whole lot more to magic than just waving a hand and making things happen. Mutations are more like the way most people think of magic than actual magic is."

Teddy looks like he isn't sure what Billy's talking about either till he explains it's magic. "If he says it's magic, it's magic." he assures Lux. "He would know. He can also explain it a lot better than I can so I'll let him. But take his word for it."

"Right, see." Billy pauses, considering how to approach explaining this, "There's spells and drawing eldritch power and using words, gestures and stuff to invoke words of power and spells and … stuff." He makes a vaguely magical gesture before him, "My dad does stuff like that; my mom a little bit, too. But then there's me. I can do some spells too, but they work completely different. But… I can do other things." And suddenly he rises up a foot in the air, "I call this…internalized spells, and I have no idea how it works or why it works. One day I was on the roof and I fell off and instead of breaking my neck I could fly. But when I do this, I can see… the magic of it. Its looks like telekinesis like mutants can do, but I can't see the magic of it when mutants use their powers. I can't see anything at all when Teddy does what Teddy does." He leaves that vague, "But I can see it whenever my dad does a spell, even though our magic works by completely different rules." And he floats back to the ground, and waves a hand, "I'm not saying you're a *sorcerer* or a *wizard* but that what you're doing has more to do with *magic* then say, genetics or science. Or I wouldn't be able to see anything but what everyone else can see." He nods his head to Teddy in agreement and support.

Harper looks between Teddy and Billy at the explanation, though she doesn't look convinced. "I hear what you're saying," she begins. "But…I've been doing this for a long time. And it's been studied pretty intensely. And there's the other stuff," she adds, looking around the park, then back to them. "I mean, I'm also strong, and fast. More than just training explains. You're saying that's some sort of magic?"

Teddy just nods at spots during Billy's explanation, more to reinforce what he's saying than because he agrees with it. He has no idea one way or another, after all, but trusts Billy. "If he says he can see magic around you when you do stuff, he can see magic. Do something. Maybe something he can't actually see but that he'll see the magic when you do it."

Billy hesitates, and he shrugs, "I'm saying what you just did there— the changing colors of your eyes, your hair. The illusion. I'm absolutely certain that is at least based in magic, in some fashion, even if its instinctive magic— instinctive magic does happen, I'm proof of that." He considers for a moment, chewing on his lip, "The other stuff I don't know, I haven't seen you do them. But there's another possibility— maybe you're *both* a mutant *and* have a magical inheritance. My mom is both." Pause, "Wait, scientists, studied, someone was studying you? Uhh. From where I come from 'scientists studying you' is a bad thing." That doesn't sound pleasant. Being 'studied', that is. But he does nod to Teddy, with an edge of concern on his voice. "Yeah maybe do something I can't see and maybe I'll see magic or maybe not."

"It was not a good thing," Harper agrees in regards to being studied, smile wry. "But then again, I'm pretty sure they didn't have any…wizards on staff, so. The government frowns on those sorts of things." At the suggestion of a demonstration of a different set of skills, she half-turns, looking around the park for inspiration. "Ah…okay. I'm just gonna…Yeah. Right back."

She holds up a finger, then turns and starts toward the tree where she was leaning earlier at a dead run. She wasn't lying about being fast. It's not speedster fast, but she could keep up with an Olympian. And when she reaches the tree, she manages to take a few running steps up the side before pushing off and grabbing a branch a good ten feet from the ground, pulling herself up with one hand until she's sitting astride it looking down.

"Any math?" she calls over.

"Well, you can see that but…" Teddy shrugs, just watching Lux and waiting for Billy to say one way or another.

The mention of government has Billy's expression visibly darken, "Was there… a project name, that you knew of? These scientists? Governments usually organize these things in projects. Like, Project Citadel." That is not at all what he's thinking, though. Another not entirely dissimilar word haunts his thoughts: mostly because he remembers almost nothing but the word and the manace of that word. "No math, just like, whoa, you're fast. Not anything near as far as my brother but way faster then me." He steps in closer to Teddy, just… to do so, really.

Harper swings back down from the tree, walking back with a wry smile and hands in her pockets. "Like Project Rebirth? They liked to hold that one up. Captain America came out of a program just like this, or he would have if we'd had mutants in my day," she says in a gruff voice that's clearly an impersonation of someone. "Lucky us. These days we don't even have to come up with a super soldier serum. We just collect the super and turn them into soldiers."

Teddy glances over at Billy and shrugs. But the impression makes him frown. "That's not right. Is it still going on? You need to tell people about it so it gets shut down if it is. His father might be able to help."

"Trust me, it could be worse. I mean, maybe not for you, personally, but as long as they're thinking of using us, they haven't decided to do anything more drastic and permanent." Billy's tone is grave, but he frowns over at Harper, "Yeaaah, if someone is kidnapping mutants still I'm not really okay with that, and by not okay with that I'm super duper tempted to turn the lot of them into frogs." He says that in a tone of voice which is sort blase and 'yes-i-can-do-that', which is maybe unwarrented considering he's never, actually, turned anyone into anything. But he's been thinking about it, oh yes he has.

"I don't honestly know if it's still going on," Harper shakes her head to Teddy. "I broke out about two years ago and I've been on the run since. I haven't seen any of their operatives in…eight months now, but that doesn't mean they don't still exist. It means they trained me to disappear, and I disappeared. Trust me, though," she looks to Billy. "That's not a fight you want to take on alone."

"If it's only been a couple years, or really eight months, then it's probably still around." Teddy states. Sighing, he runs a hand over his hair. "We really need to stop that kind of thing. And we're not alone. We know some people who can look into it and put a stop to it."

Billy hesitated with a sidelong look at Teddy: didn't they sort of agree not to talk about this stuff to strangers? Yet here they are. "Oh, we're not alone." He shakes his head slowly, "We have a team. And if push comes to shove my parents are slightly frightening to anyone who has any sense at all. Especially to someone who might get an idea in their head to want to hurt me or one of my brothers." Pause, "Not that anyone can really hurt Tommy, besides himself getting into trouble."

"A team," Harper echoes, shaking her head slightly. "They have multiple teams, and that's just at that installation. It's not a couple of guys in a basement causing trouble. It's a military operation. Although who knows, maybe they fell through the cracks when the President died. Maybe that's why I haven't seen much of them."

"That's not who I was thinking of." Teddy tells Billy, frowning a bit. "And you didn't need to get more specific than I already did. Anyway, we can mention it to them and see what they say. I still have that number you gave me so if we need more info, I can leave a message for you."

"Oh, right, them." Billy nods his head, frowning, "The … She … okay this conversation has entered into an awkward phase." So he turns his attention to Harper, "Didn't think it was a couple guys in a basement, figured it was a military operation. I know more about this kinda stuff then you may think, Lux." He pauses, and he laughs, admitting, "Though I totally accept I look like some idiot teenager who doesn't know anything about anything."

Harper's lips quirk at Billy's statement. "To be fair, I'm also a teenager," she points out. "Just…one with a decade of experience in this sort of thing, so." She tilts her head, looking between him and Teddy for a long moment. "I'd…be interested in meeting these people who know things about magic. Before I go trying to take down the military. I know how they operate. If I'm actually going to try to beat them, then I'm going to need something they don't know about."

Teddy nods his agreement. "Wouldn't hurt for Stephen to look her over." he says, looking at Billy. "He may be able to tell more about her and what she can do. And why. Isn't it strange to be a mutant and do real magic as well?"

"As far as I'm aware, mom is the only one." replies Billy to Teddy, with a slight shake of his head, "But its important to note how not an expert I am at the magic stuff, especially since my magic stuff just works… on such different rules." He nods to Harper, "I can introduce you to my Dad. He's, uh." hesitate, "Suffice it say he's in charge of the magicalness…. in this dimension for this world."

Harper's brows rise. "In charge?" Clearly not something she cares much for. "In this dimension, for this world." Odd comments, but she's storing them away anyhow, analyzing on the fly. It happens when you're groomed for intelligence work. "Well, that does sound like a reputable source, at least."

Yeah, Teddy still doesn't have a real clue about what exactly Strange does so just stays out of that part. "Can you tell us any more about that government operation? Actually, you said you were with them for a long time? So you probably know a lot more than you can, or should, tell us in the middle of a park. It would help if you write it all down and then we can pass it along to the people we know."

Billy pauses, "Its not, exactly, that he can give any wizards orders, though if he did I'd be surprised if they didn't take it under serious consideration. He's like… the one chosen to make sure eldritch horrors don't invade, and make sure no one does anything astonishingly stupid or against the will of the whatsamacallit. But it also comes with a powerboost and means he knows basically everything." He nods his head slowly to Harper, saying all this like its totally legit and he doesn't doubt it one bit, "Or if he doesn't is likely to have a clue how to find out. Worst case scenario I think he can ask the gods or something." He shrugs, "Or check his books." But then he nods over to Teddy's question, though the 'write it all down' has him blinking.

"Basically everything is a good place to start," Harper nods to Billy, though Teddy's request gets a wry smile. "Thanks, but…I don't think writing it all down is a good idea. You introduce me to your people, we'll see what we can figure out together. But I'm not just going to info-dump everything I know."

Teddy shrugs a shoulder. "It would make everything easier. And you should be used to writing reports." They sure are. "But okay, I'll let them know and see what they want to do. They'll probably want to meet you and then ask you to write a report."

"If I were her, I'd say they can go shove their report up their youknowwhat." Billy snorts and shakes his head, "She has no obligation to do anyone. If they want her story they can ask questions and, like, record it or something." He shrugs, and looks back to Harper, "You seemed to be quoting them about the whole Project Rebirth thing, but did you hear any name they used for their project? You didn't actually say." But he nods, "My dad's a little… preoccupied right now, but I can make an introduction for the Basically Everything thing."

"Black ops units don't write a whole lot of reports," Harper points out to Teddy with a wry smile, shaking her head. "And yeah. I know the format. But I don't work for you. Pretty sure you couldn't afford that." Which explains why she seems comfortable here, and doesn't look like she's been living on the streets. "Weapon X," she finally answers Billy. "That's what was on the paperwork."

Teddy glances over at Billy but looks back at Lux. "Name doesn't ring any bells." Not that he expected it to. "They might have heard of it though. And if you want them shut down, I'd think you'd want to give them as much info as you have."

The only reaction that Billy shows to Weapon X is relief. Stark relief, in fact. He nods along and slips his thumbs into his pockets— his whole hands don't quite fit. "Do you know where their base is? I assume you do. I don't mean to suggest I'd go there, I was thinking more scrying. I am deeply dubious that a government agency would have defenses against magic, and if on the off chance they did— if I scry from Dad's house with his wards, I can't imagine being dangerous." Pause, "Though I'd ask him first."

"I'd give you all the info I had if I believed you were really capable of bringing them down," Harper clarifies to Teddy. "But if I give you everything, you get in over your heads, and you get caught, then that leads them right back to me. And I'm not going back there. So while I appreciate the offer for help, I hope you'll understand if I don't one hundred percent trust you the first and second time we've met."

Teddy thinks about Lux's statement then nods. "Okay, I see your point. You don't know yet that you can trust us completely. And you don't know who we're talking about so don't know that they could definitely bring down a government agency. That's fair. It can wait till the third meeting." He sounds mostly serious. Mostly.

"Of course. Trust is earned." Billy hesitates a moment, and he flashes a dimpled grin, wrinkling his nose, "To be entirely honest I don't entirely trust these friends either: not entirely. I trust their motives individually, but… There's a lot out there that's dangerous, and a certain healthy dose of not trusting anyone implicitly until you *know* them is just… smart. Then again Teddy says I'm too trusting despite that."

"Third. Sure," Harper smirks back at Teddy, brushing her hands off on her pants. "I'm interested in hearing more about the magic. That's something they don't know anything about, as far as I'm aware. That's a new piece on the board. And if it's a piece I can do something with? Then I want to know how."

Teddy nods to Billy. "Except for your bias against a certain group which you automatically distrust." But that's an old issue so he looks back at Lux. "I could say it goes both ways except that his dad could turn you into a frog if he decided you couldn't be trusted so I'm not really worried about it."

"Actually I think forced-transforming people is against the rules." Billy says idly to Teddy, considering, "That's what the Mirror Dimension is for." At Harper's question on magic, he considers, "Okay, so you saw this." he lifts his hands, and an arc of lightning dances from one hand to the other, "But like I said, I've *seen* mutants with electrokinesis so there's no reason anyone would believe me that's anything but a mutation. I can't really show you the kind of magic my Dad does— I can explain a little, but only in general terms. For me, its like.. Look, I need a drink." He glances at Teddy, "Okay if I take us home so we can get some drinks and talk magic?"

Harper gives Teddy a long, speculative look, but the girl grew up in New Orleans. The idea that magic can do some crazy things? Yeah, that's in her blood too. Though the logistics of it are a little bit fuzzier. "If you're going to turn me into something, at least make it a cat," she notes to Billy, since he's presumably the one making the transformation decisions. "I could work with that."

Teddy glances at Billy then considers Lux speculatively. "She could still be working for them." he muses. "Pretending to have escaped, beating up some thugs in order to meet others with powers and then have this Weapon X swoop in and kidnap them. You don't have a truth spell yet, do you?" It must be rhetorical as he continues. "Not home, I don't think. How about a beach and just bring the drinks to us."

Billy sighs, lifting up a hand, "Just a second. I don't want to conjure, so I'll head home and grab a cooler. Back in a jippy." There's a look of concentration and… he vanishes.

Harper doesn't actually seem offended by the implication. In fact, she nods approvingly when Teddy brings up the possibility that she could be planning on betraying them. Billy's disappearing act gets a blink, but it's not just a surprised blink. It seems more like she's…switching gears as she searches.

Teddy nods to Billy and looks unsurprised when he disappears. "He's not invisible." he explains. "He teleported home to get some booze. When he gets back, we'll go somewhere we can talk privately. You like beaches? We could do a forest or mountain top instead if you like."

It doesn't take long before Billy blinks back into place, carrying a small cooler. He hands this unceremoniously over to Teddy, and closes his eyes, spreading his free hands out, "Sanctuary by the sea." His face tenses and he concentrates, "Sanctuary by the sea." Its like his whole body tenses, "Sanctuarybytheseasanctuarybythe/SEA/." Throughout all of this, nothing happens until the last moment. And then the whole world around them blurs slightly, as if everything but them loses resolution. The surroundings spin as if they are caught in a vortex— but they themselves don't move. All the details become indistinct for a moment, and then shapes and things appear. Indistinct as well, over the moments the resolution focuses and… they are on a beach. Only its a couple hours past morning. They're obviously on the other side of the planet. "No military is going to look for you here." He sounds a bit weary.

"I'm not all that picky," Harper starts to answer Teddy, then Billy is back, words are spoken, and suddenly…they're somewhere else. "I'm not sure anyone's going to look for anyone here," she says as she turns in a slow circle, taking in all the details. Where the sun sits in the sky. The smell of the air. "That's one hell of a magic trick."

"Beach it is." Teddy says as Billy returns and immediately starts casting. He takes the cooler then just waits till they arrive on the beach. "He can make you a swimsuit if you want." he notes, setting the cooler down and opening it to see what was brought.

"As far as Dad is concerned, its not *really* magic." admits Billy, with a shrug, "Though for the life of me I can't tell the difference. I think he might be a little stuck up on this point about the whole need-magic-words-and-finger-wagging thing. But he says I'm a reality manipulator. I think real hard and change the world to match what I want it to be." He plops himself down and heaves a sigh. The cooler has a six pack of beer and the makings of daiquiri's. To Harper he remarks, "I can do… a lot of weird things. But I mostly provide transportation."

"I'm good, I don't need a swimsuit," Harper assures Teddy, though she does still pace a few steps along the beach, checking the place out before she returns to the others. "So you're saying," she continues to Billy, "That you didn't move us, you moved the world to put us in the place that you wanted us to be?" That's something she has to mull over. "I feel like that's a lot to be careful with."

"I don't think it's moving it so much as changing what is." Teddy suggests, pulling out a beer then lowering himself down onto the sand to sit cross legged. We were there. He just changed that so that we're here instead."

"Not…exactly." Billy is hesitant though, "I made the two places the same for a brief moment, and then made them different again. In that brief moment we were in both places and when then we were here." He nods to Teddy in agreement: he's starting to learn about magic! "Though that's really one way of looking at it. Another is that I focused on us and didn't so much move us, but … changed our coordinates. We didn't 'move' so much as the location of where we were changed. Moving implies… movement. Motion. I more bent space so two places which were far apart touched, then told the world we were on the other one." None of this may make sense. or it might make sense. He does add, "It is a lot to be careful with. Magic is incredibly dangerous: that's *why* the gods named a Sorcerer Supreme to make sure no one breaks reality. Believe me I don't get special privileges and get plenty of lectures about what to or not to do."

Harper nods slowly to Billy's explanation, either understanding or simply accepting the explanation. "Okay," she says eventually, though there's something else she latches onto, quirking a brow. "Gods?" she prompts.

Yeah, that one Teddy's staying out of.

"The… Voshonti?" Billy sounds… dubious about the pronounciation of that. He shakes his head, "Something like that." He heaves himself up, and goes over to start making himself a daiquiri, "You want a daiquiri or beer, Lux?" He offers, then goes on to explain, "I don't know anything specific about them, only that they're the ones behind the whole Sorcerer Supreme thing. He answers to them, they empower him. I can't really say more: I'm trying to be a halfway decent Jew through all of this 'my life is weird' thing."

"So we're talking gods in more the sense of…source of power that's a lot higher than can be explained by normal means," Harper nods, apparently sufficiently mollified by that. "Catholic," she adds with a gesture to herself. "I grew up in an orphanage run by nuns before the powers started and the program took me in instead." She shakes her head to the offer of a drink, but she does sit down, getting a little more comfortable. "Do you think it's an accident that a reality bending mage just happens to be the kid of the person whose job it is to protect reality?"

"I honestly am having difficulty precisely coming to grips with the cosmology of the universe having met my Dad— what, months ago?— and heard him tell me these things; I know he's telling the truth but I don't know exactly what that truth means." Billy shakes his head slowly, "He calls them gods; but what is a god? There's how many religions on this planet? What about the Asgardians who went public— I don't even nkow what the word means anymore." That said, Billy nods his head slowly, "But… that's a good supposition. I mean it makes perfect sense of a thing to arch an eyebrow over, but the other half of the family tree is… more telling. My mom is a reality bending mage whose twin brother is a white-haired speedster. My twin brother is a white-haired speedster. Both my Magic-Parents don't think they've ever seen anyone who had a power like hers but me." That said, he nods to Harper, "But you… so you can do illusions and have increased physical, is there anything like your illusions you can otherwise do? The illusions are clearly in some part magical, the physicality is not."

"It must be nice, having all that family around." Harper is quiet for a moment, running her fingers through the sand as she considers the question. "So far as I understood until a few minutes ago, everything I did was a mutation. Largely related to light manipulation. I mean, the physical abilities were always an outlier, but they were useful, so no one really thought much about it. I can see into various spectrums. I can see when I'm invisible, which scientifically I shouldn't be able to, since I'm causing the light to pass through me, so there's nothing bouncing off my retina."

Billy winces a bit on 'all that family', shaking his head, "Oh sure, its nice sometimes, but its bloody complicated. I have two sets of parents— my Muggle-Parents also have two other younger sons, but none of them know anything about this part of my life. And they don't know anything about my Magic-Parents or Magic-Family." He then nods his head slowly, "See, yeah. I can't prove it absolutely but my running theory is not that the physical stuff is the outlier— I bet that is the mutation. Listen tow hat you just said: you can see while you're invisible, which you shouldn't be able to. You can because magic works on an entirely different set of laws then physics."

"I don't think science allows for several sorts of mutations, really," Harper wrinkles her nose. "That's why they spend so much time trying to figure it out. But. I grew up in a convent, practically speaking. In New Orleans, sure," so that's where the hint of an accent comes from, "But there's nowhere i would have just…started doing magic. I was ten. How many ten-year-olds do you know just reaching out and doing magic? Wouldn't I just have…I don't know, conjured myself a unicorn or something?" A pause. "Also, what's a muggle?"

"Uhh, long story, short version: mundane." Billy then shakes his head, "The first power I ever developed was electrokinesis. I was being beat up— severely. I was fourteen. And then the guy who beat me up went flying when lightning struck him. Not all magic is spells and incantations, not all magic is about knowledge. Some of it is innate. There's some beings that are magical and have fundamentally innate magical abilities— I'm not saying you are, I'm saying 'magic' just doesn't mean what you seem to be defining it as. Its not… anything you awnt. And its not wishing. And its not all spellwork. Magic is the tapping into extradimensional energy and using it in this world. I think you are hearing magic and thinking sorcerer: the old man with the pointy hat reading from a magic book. Magic is a category of power not a way to use power. Mutantation is another category." Pause, "Aliens is another."

"Technically I'm not sure mutants or aliens are tapping into anything," Harper points out. "I mean, that's science. Things are different, and so they interact differently with the world. Just maybe sometimes in ways we don't understand yet. Aliens especially. Magic, on the other hand…" She trails off, shaking her head. "Sorry. I know, I'm not much of an expert on the topic. It just strikes me as odd that it could be something I've been doing - and doing purposefully, with intention, with control, training in - without knowing that's what it was."

"*Magic* is about tapping into something— not all power is." counters Billy by way of explanation, "Mutation is a class of power, but a very different one. The power is internal and doesn't tap into forces beyond the plane like magic does." he pauses, "Aliens, I don't know. The Skrull are an alien race capable of shapeshifting— I know because of past experience. But…" he lets his voice trail off and shakes his head, shrugging. He waves a hand, and all around them the sand rises up and begins spinning around them in a controlled cyclone without any wind at all. "This is magic. It looks like telekinesis, but its not. I first learned how to do it when I fell and missed the ground: my first application of it was flight. A lot of what I do with it is on instinct, but I have trained and learned control. I don't need to know the source of the power to become trained in *using* the power." And the sand falls into stillness, "On the other hand, the spells I cast which are more obviously magic, those I barely understand and so the effects are… sometimes unpredictable. Both magic: one I use with deep and intuitive skill as if it were an ability inbred in me, one I am practicing and studying and learning about. One seems like its internal, like a mutation, but I know for a fact its not: it is an instinctual application of the same power I tap into when I cast spells like the one that teleported us here. I just don't understand, at all, how that can be possible."

"I feel like if you have the ability to alter reality using magic, you should probably not use it if you don't understand what you're doing," Harper says slowly, giving Billy a long look. "Not judging or anything, I'm just saying I wouldn't hand over a loaded gun to someone who didn't know how to use it and how all the pieces worked. And that's only going to erase one life."

"And how can I understand?" asks Billy softly, giving a slow shrug of his shoulders, "Me knowing I can alter reality, cast spells, is recent. Up until a few months ago I entertained the polite fiction I was the grandson of Zeus or something. I could fly, I could cast lightning, I could command the wind. All this I did on instinct. Recently I've learned of the spells, but the thing is: there is no one to teach me. I have to be as careful as possible and yet, I have to learn. I have to understand— because the day willcome when I have to save people witht he power. If I don't have experience using it, I won't know how to do so." He hesitates a moment, "For what its worth, I know for a fact that I will learn to be much more skilled in the use of the spells. I'll come to understand it. But. You won't hand a loaded gun to someone who didn't know how to use it, you said: but how do you teach them? You can't teach them to use a gun by any amount of explanation alone. Sooner or later you have to put a gun in their hand and have them *practice*."

"Fair enough. But if one misfire could end the world, I think we'd probably spend a good, solid amount of time on just how the gun works." Harper considers for another moment, pensive. "Although, on the other hand, isn't all magic…sort of altering reality? For certain definitions of reality, at least. I mean, if the laws of physics are reality, then technically I'm altering reality by being able to see while I'm invisible, aren't I? Is altering reality even a meaningful distinction, or is it just one of scale?"

Billy nods his head, "On the other hand— that's why me and dad get into confusion. But, really… I think I overstated my power. I can't end the world." He finds the entire idea alarming a conversation piece, "I can't change *anything*. I can't make *any change*. I have to understand what it is I'm doing. I have to understand *how* i'm doing it." He pauses a moment, "Technically, sorcery— again using 'magic' is a bit of a misnomer as its a category not a thing— operates on rules. These rules are the underpinings of reality, as I understand it: what we understand of physics actually arises from these deeper rules most poeple aren't aware of. Reality manipulation… uhh." He shrugs, "Does not abide by those rules. So yes. Its fundamentally more dangerous. I am fully aware of this. But as the gods are against this reality getting screwed over, I think I'm supposed to be able to do this. I just have to try to be wise about it, but I think I can do it because I need to be able to do it. Or, will need to be able to. Its not that I'm super important, its not that I'm special. Its that i'm the person who was in the right place-and-time— but even that was not quite right, so now I *am* in the right place and time."

Harper nods slowly. "Sounds…not impossible," she muses. "So. Mutants. Aliens. Magical creatures. People who do magic. It makes sense that there would be higher powers, there are plenty of magic things that are based on appeals to that." She reaches up to push a hand through her hair, staring down at the sand as she thinks. "I mean. I don't know…anything about my parents, I guess. If magic runs in families and isn't just a random thing."

"Oh, yeah, there's absolutely higher powers. If there are… like… *highest* powers? That's a matter of faith and I won't try to dissuade or convince you either way on that." Billy shakes his head quickly, "For me, I'm not so much a religious Jew as I am a cultural Jew. I don't know if there's a God capital-G. But there are higher powers— both good and bad." Billy shivers and shakes his head, "There's also… SIdeways powers. Other dimensions, with their own— different— rules. And in some of those are powers both great and terrible. I know some of those powers want a bite out of us: that's what Dad's job is about. But people call to them, like you say." He nods slowly, "And yeah, magic isn't always hereditary, but I know it can be. But I don't think its *ever* a random thing. I … I can't say for absolute certain but I think there's something 'more' behind magic. You inherit it, you're imbued with it… Somehow you touch something more then this plane. I don't think that happens randomally… but I'm not at all an expert."

"I'd like to know more." Harper pauses, brows furrowing as she examines her own response. "I…need to know more. For almost as long as I can remember, I was defined by the idea that I was a mutant. And because of that, they trained me one way. They taught me to use that, to avoid that, to…how to live under all of those assumptions. If something about that isn't true? All of the math changes, so to speak. Everything is different. And not knowing means I'm vulnerable."

Nodding his head, Billy's expression shows clear agreement, "Absolutely. I know you are not only a mutant, but of course you have no reason to trust me. You just met me. But knowing? Sometimes its hard— heck its usually hard— but not knowing is always worse. It makes you weaker." He takes a long, slow breath and lets it out, "I'll talk to Dad. Do note that the last time I made an introduction to Dad on some random odd magical person they ended up being my magic-brother."

Harper's smile quirks. "Well, I can think of worse things. It sounds like you've at least got an interesting family." She runs her fingers through the sand, drawing idle patterns. "I appreciate the help, Billy," she adds, looking up from the sand. "Not quite what I was expecting today, but…Useful all the same."

"The word you're looking for is complicated." Billy says long-sufferingly, "I have two Magic-Brothers, to Muggle-Brothers, and those two sides of the four are in no way related to eachother." He rises up, nods to Teddy as they gather stuff up, "I'll teleport us back where we were. Uh, we know how to contact you right?"

"Teddy's got my card," Harper nods, smile wry. "If he hasn't lost it." She reaches into a pocket, pulling out a fresh one between two fingers and offering it over. It's simple, black with gold lettering that says only 'LUX' and a number. When called, it actually reaches an answering service. Paranoid, then. And with at least some money.

Teddy prolly has it, but Billy takes one too. He pauses a moment, holds out a hand, murmurs, "Billybeaconbillybeaconbillybeaconbillybeacon." A business card appears. ChemoDyne. Billy Kaplan. Number. He hands it to Harper. If she looks into it? The company exists and doesn't. All records indicating its existance are there, there's a number, there's a receptionist. She'll take messages for any number of people who ostensibly exist in the company paperwork. But if someone asks for the Chemical Engineering Intern, Billy Kaplan, that message will be delivered. Any deep attempts at identifying it would be difficult, as the company doesn't really exist and is a SHIELD front with exactly one employee: a receptionist, who is receptionist to many such fronts. He hands it over to her, "In case you need to contact me, too."

"If I run into a flock of escaped rabbits and doves, yours will be the first number I call," Harper promises as she tucks away the card, smile crooked.

And Billy transports them back, and hands are lifted in waves, though Billy and Teddy fly up into the sky by way of departing. Mostly to disguise the fact they live right over there.

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