1964-12-21 - Starfall: Folie a Trois
Summary: The mad, the silent, and the Soul-Thief discuss possibilities and potentialities.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
maximus rogue 


Maximus is seeking her out. Its a message left at the mansion, or a phone call, but basically, he asks to meet her somewhere remote, like the woods, or a stretch of empty beach, which is a show of trust, for him, since he's obviously more powerful when there are innocent people he can threaten.

Word reaches her, eventually. Whether via Jarvis or some tangled thread of bohemians, songbirds, and occasional emigres. All said and done, the roundabout route will bring them to a place not terribly far from New York City. Mind you, the seaside of Long Island past the JFK Airport can be considered the back end of nowhere. The grey sands and strings of kelp tossed up by the waves of the grey Atlantic are beautiful in their way, remote but not entirely unfriendly given the snow won't fall for another week; the weather systems pushing up along the Gulf Stream bring unseasonably gentle weather, at least in terms of balmy climes. Here stands Scarlett, playfully skipping rocks into the water. She has a good sidearm and accuracy to match, once the rhythm conjures any sense. Odd to find someone whose eyes ever turn to the stars in such a youthful, terrestrial mood, but there it is.

If Scarlett is friend to the endless scattering of starlight, then Maximus is friend to the endless deep of the ocean, always probing at the things forgotten and buried, the things outcast to darkness, and left to make their own light. His trench coat flaps in the seaside breeze. He is not so carefree as to brave being barefoot on this stretch of abandoned sand. Pointy shells would hurt. He makes his way to her and then lifts his hand in a faint greeting. "We should talk. I know you can. Just shut out what is there of my brother and turn to someone more…social…that you identify with. Or…we could try a different sort of connection. I have long been connected with him in a particular way. We could explore that."

Starlight on the water, water in the darkness. They balance well in that respect. One of those round pebbles she rolls around in her fingers, and then sweeps her arm in front of her. Scarlett releases the stone at the last moment, flicking her wrist to add a little more force, the trajectory bouncing against the outgoing surf as it springs one over the other. "Do you really wish me to form a mental communion with you, Maximus?" The question comes absent harshness, the underlying honeyed sunshine of the absent summer wreathing every sound to cross the barrier. She looks through the wild profusion of thin braids held unsuccessfully by a dozen elastics, their work doomed before they ever set foot. Pointy shells and barnacles are indeed threatening, more than she is. "I can establish that rapport as you would allow me, though not without your leave. Unless you referred to something else? The last I knew, he was on a mountaintop consulting a monastery for the oldest records preserving information that might be useful for the current travails. "

"Yes…that's where he always is. Away. Hiding. /Avoiding/. He says he's being useful, but I don't SEE HIM HERE!!!" Maximus yells, though not at Rogue. He yells his frustration out into the ocean, then turns his steel eyes back to Rogue. "I would not offer it if I thought there were another way. But…you…are the closest that I am ever going to have to a brother. I need to know what happened with the Kree, and if he will never tell me, then I would like for you to do it in his stead. I am through with ever hoping that he will come to me."

"He walked away." How terrible is compassion when wearing a familiar face? "I cannot right his wrongs. His absence wounds all of us." The pebble in her palm is smooth, worn so by its ageless journey from the seafloor to a mountain peak and back down the slopes into the nurturing waves once more. Sand scoured away the rough edges and beat down the grains to something even, speckles of black among the feldspar. She stoops to put the stone back on the beach, unafraid of her toes becoming wet or carried away. "I remained silent, as appropriate for the Midnight King. Having no voice by choice for months is politic." Oh, how it is, the sweet reply of the courtier, honey cut by the deep vein of frustration. "It also leaves Attilan in danger and us at a crossroads. The hardest part to this is that your brother loves you, deeply. He cares for your people. I better than anyone else know this, for who else holds the depth of his thoughts and emotions on that? I am a trove left in plain sight and told keep quiet. So, this is mine to bear." She steps up into the emptiness, crossing her legs into classic lotus position, though she is three feet in the air. "This takes time. He thinks far, far too much. What happened with the Kree when you called them, or when he stood in the stars, or the others were guests on the ship?"

"The latter. I have no time for the past right now. But, if you wish to know my metal, and the truth that no one bothers to listen to, because they see it as coming from the lips of a madman, then I will show you. If that's what you need…to break your silence." Maximus reaches down to pick up that smooth stone that she left behind on the ground, his own feet firmly planted. He holds it up, that buttery surface reflecting with its wetness. Then he turns it over and the smoothness is marred by a cut in the stone, put there a long time ago, and not yet worn down so far as to erase it. "There are two sides to everything. What would it be like for you, I wonder, to know both sides of a /war/…to know /both brothers/ views…" His lips curl with the thought of what a trial that would be to literally see both sides, and internalize them. "Its probably best, for the moment, that we not find out, don't you think?" His eyes cut in her direction. "Curiosities left unsatisfied for the greater good. I need to know what he did with the Kree."

"My loyalty to your brother held my silence, Maximus, as the counsel he kept in me receives the same seal yours does. I have never been at cross-purposes with your people nor speaking honestly to him when I felt the course was wrong. This retreat from current affairs is not something I ever advised, for all he entrusts me with a clear perspective." That will be an end to the woes spoken between them. Try being the brother without his rock to anchor upon and beat to pieces with a chisel. She draws in the deep brine-lalden air, filling her lungs with that hyperoxygenated atmosphere and releasing. How many times she has done this is revealed only in the easy sloughing off of mortal cares, freefall straight into quiet regard. "Are you inviting me to know, Maximus? For I understand there are as many facets to each situation as minds to perceive it, and sometimes held within the same being." Her fingertips rest easily upon her knees, that distant bell-tone brightness of her voice holding the overtones of Himalayan languages, mostly of the Tibetan family. English, yes, but oh the cadences of Attilan are there. "Curiosities are the greater good. Toy with the stars and everything then becomes about playing with the threads of fate, the turns of the wheel. You do tell the loveliest stories." Her eyes brighten to the point of starry brilliance watching the waves. No odd outpourings of power; he'll be disappointed if he expects fireworks.

A minute or two of thinking, letting him speak, that's all she needs. All she ever did, perhaps. "Lockjaw found him up there. No matter how far he goes, that dog chases him. Symmetries in life. He was bargaining for their non-involvement. He would be the shield for your people, for all of us. Buying for time, suing for it, really."

"He and I really should have a talk sometime. People…think they are so much /larger/ than they are. Blackagar. Jean. So similar. That the entirety of a fate can rest upon /one person/…is folly. All you have to do is to ask aloud…WHO IS THE GUARDIAN OF THIS PLANET?!" Maximus inserts a laugh here, tickled, and possibly half expecting a giant sea monster to answer in a low tone back at them, "to understand. You have sorcerors…Avengers…mutants, Inhumans, Asgardians, Greek Gods, secretive humans in secretive organizations…councils, shamans, clubs, aliens…so many guardians of this planet. Believe me, I think I am fantastic, and even I do not try to speak for the whole planet. So, what did he trade away or threaten, to buy us that time that we have?" He props his hands on his hips, a proud stance, but an earthly one. He's not one with the universe as much as the madman that screams at it.

Scarlett has answers, answers that she refuses to offer, or perhaps cannot. There are limitations on them both. The wind plays with her braids, her gaze veiled while she sinks into the edge of oblivion. "Naturally. Everyone protects their own and sees a need for paternal care over those who cannot. Not all groups serve the whole. Would you trust me to advocate for the least of the Inhumans? A sorcerer cares for different things than a scientific organization devoted to bringing humanity to the singularity. We all have our own battles to consider, I suppose. He did not want the Kree walking upon the earth. As simple as that, he would not have them involved when there were other solutions. He meant for the Inhumans to solve this for themselves, not engaging the Kree Empire."

Max can tell that she is holding out on him, and he arches his brow as she silently refuses to answer his questions. "So, what did he offer them? Do you understand that this is of use to know…to your /new/ leader, Jean, that you seem to serve so diligently? You ask if I trust you…but you seem to have /so many allegiences/ and /so many secrets/…its hard to build trust on that."

"Then the best response for Kree would be to retreat from the situation and leave it to my people. Earth need not concern the Kree any further." Words tumble out of memory, jarred free with the right approach of shakes and mental stirrings. There is reason she is quiet so long, distracted to the point of vanishing through the annals. In future times, any computer programmer would be able to suggest just how much data a single girl has to crunch through in order to find whatever she is looking for, except she's being lifetimes, reviewing memories, spilled through the stratosphere of herself, and selves. "He told them as much. Come to a conclusion with the Inhumans to find the Skrulls. Stay outside the earth and, at such time they discovered a Skrull, the news would be relayed on high. He felt it would be suitable to prevent the earth from falling under Kree interests. He would manage this business and obtain knowledge of the Skrull, relaying this immediately. An act of trust. Trust that would be built upon the foundation of information provided to them, with the caveat the Kree would not interfere with the Inhumans and the Inhumans would not interfere with the Kree."

"Except that now…he has been playing on a mountainside, instead of being a part of things, which he told no one, so…the Kree are on the Earth, and now Jean has picked up the mantle of this. I see. Next time, it would be more prudent to…recruit the brother that gets things done." There's an air of teasing about him and he rubs his chin with his fingers. "You know…" He takes a step closer to her hovering self, "you are, I can see, running very close to what I would call a madness of your own. Would you like to know who you /really/ are…for a little while? A harmless exercise that should leave you feeling much better…"

"They came before he withdrew," Scarlett murmurs in that terribly familiar cadence of solid thought and even activity. She is certainly hearing, turning over what the Mad brother says, reflecting before speaking. Sifting through the noise for the diamonds and sorting everything into a relative chronological order is hard when the ongoing conversation dances around her. No hint of a blue aura around her, here, no fire-trailed lines. She floats of her own accord. "The Kree stayed back for some time. They waited, as they said they would to him. An uneasy trust to go both ways, do you think?" Her back straightens a little.

"I heard the Supreme Accuser say the treat was broken, as you did. What aspect? They would not investigate directly," she says slowly, "in exchange for information provided to them. They were to remain off-planet and the Inhumans would maintain secrecy about them and keep open lines of communication. So, then, this suggests a violation in terms. Are not the Kree explicit on the letter of the law? Ask yourself the condition that was broken, see if that was not the obvious source. Who denied them information? Who silenced the connection? Who revealed them? Perhaps in doing so, in suggesting that other entities were going to be involved in the hunt for a Skrull, the security risk was too great to remain at odds. Or perhaps something was found and it was never spoken of."

Answers he's going to to have to supply himself, unless the chorus in her head is trending otherwise. "He bartered in good faith, your brother. I feel that to my bones. He was not out to burn the city to the ground. As far as he was concerned the Inhumans — you, Maximus, and he, together — were trustworthy, competent, and capable of preventing a war from the stars and the danger of any of those sites from awakening." Her gaze slowly, slowly treks back towards Maximus and the brilliant edge of her smile rises like the rings of Saturn seen not edge on but from a dramatically elevated angle for their full glory to be displayed. Clarity in revelation, that utmost serenity. She's not gone mad, the furthest thing from it; the anchorage she has is more durable than stars.

"So…you are possessive of those you have collected? How interesting. I would have thought you would have wished to be free. To start over. So…the deal my brother made does not matter. The bargain struck was violated somehow, and the fault of /that/ does not matter /truly/, at the moment." Maximus tipped his chin down and then sighed. "Excepting that it could have been whoever told the government there was a /city/ at the bottom of the ocean." He shakes his head slowly. "What a mess."

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