Faraway Storms [Closed]

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Magnetar
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Faraway Storms [Closed]

Post by Magnetar » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:59 pm


It was silly that such a trivial thing might be so difficult. In London, Rust had been lent a weapon by Capacitor; as he'd transformed with it on, he had unknowingly kept it, only noticing it once he returned to mortal form. That meant he was left with something that wasn't his- something both fragile and expensive. Besides, it'd only feel right to return it in person.

He'd used e-mail again, the same as he had before. Teja had probably flagged his address somehow to prioritize his messages (he liked to think so, at least). Just a simple request that he be able to drop it off without a hassle. He was Magnetar, of course. Rust wasn't for special engagements.

The glove itself was held in one massive palm, never fired. He'd thought of experimenting with it a little but had then decided against it (wasn't his). At this point he didn't even know it it were still charged. Magnetar turned it over in his hand, inspecting it with distant Cerulean eyes. Such a little thing, compared to his hammer. But it was hers.

Weltgeist had long resigned himself to silence when it came to matters involving Teja. He was less than thrilled with the fact that they were running an errand. A task of lesser import, he'd said. But that was all he said. Rust and him hadn't talked quite as much. They just understood each other.

Again atop a building. He knew he was being watched, by drones most likely. Magnetar had half a mind to just strike them all out of the sky. They weren't his to break, though, and he got people being scared of him. But he was still bothered. Why was that? It was all perfectly reasonable for them to keep an eye out. Perfectly good. And still he was irritated.

Maybe it was all just wearing him down.



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Re: Faraway Storms [Closed]

Post by illirica » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:02 am

It would have been untrue to say she hadn't been waiting for the message. There was, of course, the professional angle to consider - he had her weapon, which was government property. Retrieval was required. Captain Docesznic had already heard quite a lot from the Powers That Be about that particular subject. She was fairly certain that the only reason she'd escaped that debriefing relatively unscathed was because of the names she'd been able to provide. It had been judged worth it. She'd done what she needed to build the trust required to acquire a name. The weapon could be recovered at a later date.

It was a sensible way to look at it. Very professional. That was for the best. She'd learned that she had to be professional, with Magnetar. The alternative was unthinkable.

No. That was also untrue. There was no alternative.

Some of her superiors had thought she ought to pursue the retrieval of the gauntlet a little more directly, but Docesznic had judged otherwise. She'd counseled patience. Magnetar would return it, in his own time. She'd counseled trust. She was willing to put her trust in him, and despite all the debates about the subject, it had been agreed to follow her lead. He would contact her, when he was ready. She didn't pressure him. It was a matter of trust, and a matter of professionalism.

That was also untrue. She hadn't been ready, either.

Sometimes, though, duty was more important than readiness. From a sense of one or the other, he'd contacted her and she'd responded. Flybys had caught him atop a building, where he said he'd be. She could have requested an escort, but she'd refused, opting to go alone. There would be someone watching through cameras, of course, for security purposes, but if she couldn't offer him privacy, she wanted to offer him as much of a semblance of it as was possible.

Current surged through her, cycling, electrons shifting and creating fields. Magnetism. It was so simple, and yet she'd never tried it before. She'd thought she had lacked the power, but perhaps she had just lacked the courage. Or perhaps it was something else she had lacked. Capacitor had always seen such overt displays of power as ostentatious. Why try to fly, when a jet or a transport could do the same? Rely on others for that - show them that they, too, had a place in this world of heroes. Let everyone play their own part. To be a part of something larger than oneself, never alone.

Tonight, she was alone. She touched down lightly on top of the building, the whisper of static announcing her presence as she let the charges within return to their natural paths. Docesznic walked forward to meet him, stopping a couple yards short. Distance. Always distance, now. She smiled, when she thought he wasn't looking. There was nothing in it but sadness, and she only let it linger half a moment before returning to neutrality. As she must.

She spoke, softly, as if the silence were all that held the fragile moment together, and a word might break them both. "Magnetar."

Maybe it was the wrong word. A different one whispered within. Rust. She didn't say it aloud. There wasn't a world quiet enough for that word to be the one to be the one that deserved to break the silence.

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Re: Faraway Storms [Closed]

Post by Magnetar » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:35 am


Teja.

"Captain."

He didn't know she could fly. He noticed her hair fall back down to her shoulders, the strands previously suspended ever so slightly by virtue of her electromagnetic powers. That was what he felt - the lightning, curling off of her. Her curls were green again, not the brown she'd worn to Mitchell Stervos' funeral. He'd not talked to her then. It would have been inappropriate. Maybe it still was.

"Your weapon."

Tentatively, he held it out for her to take. Would it be better for this to be over with quickly? Why was he still here? Maybe if he hadn't wanted to see her, he'd have just left it someplace with a note on it - "Thanks" - and been on his way.

He wanted to sigh, but Magnetar did not sigh. He just held out the glove, steady-like.


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Re: Faraway Storms [Closed]

Post by illirica » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:35 am

Docesznic closed the distance, because there was no other choice. She was careful about it, though, making sure that she was entirely under control. This wasn't London, though, and there was no error of time to cause her to misjudge the action. She stopped before him, taking a moment to roll up her sleeve before cautiously taking it back from him. She was careful to avoid contact with him, of course.

She'd hurt him once, after all. She slipped it back over her arm, tightening the straps and feeling the residual charge left in the device. Not too much; it was designed to bleed out slowly over time, and it had been... a time. They'd both needed time. More of it, or maybe less. But something about time. There wasn't too much charge left in the device, and she calculated her limitations - well within bounds. Enough to pull the remainder of the charge back into herself, neutralizing the weapon.

Neutralizing the gauntlet, anyway. Docesznic was as much a weapon as it was, in her own way. Maybe even more dangerous. She rolled her sleeve back down. That could have been all. She could have just said "Thank you," and been on her way. She didn't, though. She stayed where she was, denying the distance, pretending that it wasn't required. She could be professional, at any distance. She would be professional. "Thank you," she said, calmly. As she should.

She didn't leave, though. It would have been the right thing to do, and at the same time, the wrong thing to do. Sometimes, none of the answers were easy. She stayed, because it was the harder thing to do. If right and wrong didn't give an answer, someone had to do the difficult thing. She'd accepted that position before, she would accept it again. Not quite like this, though.

"I'm sorry," she said, instead. "I... misjudged you, somewhat." I thought that I couldn't hurt you. That, also, was untrue.

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Re: Faraway Storms [Closed]

Post by Magnetar » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:15 pm


"It's okay."

Sorry for what? What did that mean? Did it even matter? He frowned, thinking quietly to himself. There was no flying away from this one. Putting off problems wouldn't get them anywhere. Even though Weltgeist wanted to leave, there was just...it just wasn't the right choice. Staying was the right choice. It was what he wanted.

Had to be soft. Couldn't be invincible all the time.

"Alright, I can't do this." He brought one hand to his other, fingers locking around an invisible ring. It wasn't truly there; only the gesture mattered. With his thumb and forefinger he pulled off the ghostly band, and it materialized in his grasp. Lightning sparked up from the ground as if sucked back into him, the opposite of how it'd seemed when he transformed in London.

In Magnetar's place was Rust, wearing his usual attire. Sunglasses rested in the neck of his shirt, a Harry Elkton tee. On his legs were regular work jeans. He stood a solid head shorter than Magnetar, putting him more around Teja's height.

"I can't be that way around you no more. Feels like I'm just puffing my chest out twenty-four seven," he said with a small, self-aware smile. At least he hoped it seemed self-aware. "The big guy's not great for talking. He prefers the quiet."

Funny how that worked out. Rust used tobe the one that hated people, but Magnetar was so above it all, it felt like his human side had grown more amiable to compensate.

It felt weird being on a rooftop now.

"I know you're busy 'n all. But I think we need to settle some things. You want to go, uh, grab a drink or something?"


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Re: Faraway Storms [Closed]

Post by illirica » Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:04 pm

Capacitor watched him, watched the way he twisted his hand, pulled at nothingness and suddenly there was a ring, and Rust. She'd seen him put the ring on, in London, but it had been quick, and she'd been distracted. This, though... there wasn't any distraction this time. There wasn't any excuse not to report it.

The big guy. Was that how he thought of the World-Forge? And what had the previous owner thought of him as? And what did the 'big guy' think about his current chosen associate? She looked at Rust for a moment, silent. He prefers the quiet. She understood.

"The big guy's probably smarter than you," she pointed out, rationally. The big guy wouldn't drop his power in front of a known government agent. The big guy wouldn't... wouldn't do a lot of things. Teja inclined her head briefly, respect to absent companions, and extended the admission: "The big guy's probably smarter than both of us."

If she were smarter, she'd just leave. The government didn't owe Magnetar - or Rust - anything, and Captain Docesznic was an agent of the government. There was nothing that required her to stay. Disengage. She could hear the word just as clearly as if she'd been wearing her headset. There was a part of her, though, that said that maybe Teja owed him something. There was something between them that just didn't feel right. He was right. They needed to settle some things. Maybe he needed to guard his secrets a little more carefully, but maybe she could stand to be a little less closed-circuit.

"Rust." She'd meant to keep going, but paused after the word. Just a word, but it meant... more than it should have. No. It was just a name. Distance. Distance, but also truth. "I thought you'd be immune, you know." Once she'd started, it was somehow easier to continue. "With all the lightning you were throwing around. DC. New York. I figured something like that wouldn't hurt you. I was wrong about that, and you got hurt because of it. That's not something I want." She stared off into the distance, before returning her gaze to him. "I don't want to hurt you on accident again. I don't want to hurt you on purpose, either, but I also know that if I'm ordered to do that, I will do it." Capacitor was a government hero, and the government came first. She'd do what her country asked of her. No matter what it asked of her.

"There's a lot of things about myself I can't change. Or won't change. And I can't make your decisions for you, but I don't want you to make a mistake, like I did. I don't want you to think I'm something I'm not."

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Re: Faraway Storms [Closed]

Post by Magnetar » Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:35 pm


He could see she was sad about something, or serious. Getting hurt in London? That little spark? It was nothing. He wanted to tell her that, but she was on a roll now, very personal. She hadn't taken him up on his offer. What was this about hurting him on purpose? It didn't sound like a threat. More of a promise. Weren't they both on the same side here?

Rust shook his head, eyes narrowed a little. He couldn't be mad at her, no way. Had he done something wrong?

"I don't understand what it is you mean. You couldn't hurt me," he said slowly, trying to maintain a smile. That could make things less tense, let her know he wasn't perturbed or anything. What was the big problem?

Something clicked. The gears in his head were spinning. She was just being anxious about things, maybe. He sighed.

"C'mon. You're pretty good, Teja. Don't overthink things now."


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Re: Faraway Storms [Closed]

Post by illirica » Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:49 pm

"You couldn't hurt me." She could though. Did. Not much, to be sure, but it was the principle of the thing - and that had been Weltgeist, in full regalia. How much worse would it be for Rust, who was - as far as she knew - a civilian? He didn't seem to want to talk about it, though. That was... fine. Neither did she.

"Don't overthink things, now." That one prompted a smile, wry amusement. "I'm an engineer," Teja said, pointedly. "Overthinking things is what I do." That had been... easy, almost. Some of the tension had drained away. It was still there, lurking under the surface, but enough of it had been lanced that the rest could wait for another time. Another place. Or maybe never.

Maybe she was overthinking things, but she still didn't think he was thinking quite enough. "Listen to the big guy, Rust," she advised. "He's been around a while. He probably knows what he's talking about." The question was still there, though, unanswered. It should have been a simple question, but it wasn't. She let her thoughts drift back. 'No' was an easy answer, but easy wasn't always right. "You don't know what you're asking, you know. Let's say I go with you. I'm a public figure. What do you want me to tell the media when they ask me who you are? What are you going to tell them when the adventurous ones show up at your door looking for a story? Even if you didn't have an alias that you were trying to hide, that's a lot of pressure. Have you thought about that?"

And for that matter, had she thought about that? It happened all the time, of course, with any other superhero or public figure that she ever so much as talked to. There had been all sorts of questions, about Magnetar, Weltgeist, Atom, Terminus - name someone she'd interacted with, there was an idiot reporter asking if he was... well, fill in the blank. That would only get worse if she actually started interacting with someone on a regular basis.

Then again, he hadn't asked her to do anything on a regular basis, he'd asked her to go get a drink, once.

Then again, they were already meeting on a regular basis. Sooner or later, the questions would come up. It would be so much easier if the answers were curt. Functional. Professional.

It would be so much easier if she weren't actually considering it.

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Re: Faraway Storms [Closed]

Post by Magnetar » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:55 pm


These were big city worries. The pressure from the press, the concern for what others thought of you...none of that seemed to phase Rust. Maybe it was just his upbringing. He knit his brow. Weltgeist was talking too, something about how she was correct. It seemed he liked it when she agreed with him that they should leave. He and Rust weren't meant to argue. They were a partnership. But something about it all didn't click.

"Who cares what the talking heads think?" he asked, his brow knit. He almost smiled at the dual meaning, but this seemed too serious for that. "Not everything has to be a mission. We could just chat. It's not like it'd be a date or nothin'," he said, shaking his head. "I just wanted to talk to you, I mean. Not what you're representing. Just person to person. No chain of command."

He looked down at the rooftop. "Forget it," he could say, and it'd all come to an end. But that wasn't what he wanted to say. Not even sure if he could if he had to.


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Re: Faraway Storms [Closed]

Post by illirica » Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:26 pm

"It's been... a long time since I did anything like that," Teja said, not sure if that was an admission or an offer. It wasn't just the media, or her chain of command. The media would be annoying, but her chain of command wasn't going to bother her about her personal life. In fact, her CO had been more bothersome about her complete lack thereof. Off the record, of course, but - well, he wasn't the only one who'd noticed that she had an active work life, an active hero life, and absolutely no personal life.

She'd told herself it was for the best, of course. There was always... distance. She was Capacitor, the government's special forces superhero. Not the sort of person that went and got drinks with the guys from the barracks. It wasn't professional. Professionalism mattered much more than personal interactions. She became what they needed her to be, and didn't develop beyond that. Everything in neat little compartments, like an engineer's desk. It had always suited her. She'd decided she preferred things that way.

Somehow, though, times had changed. "Not a date or nothin'." It occurred to her that, whatever Magnetar might be, Rust was a lot more nervous about her than he was about her entire chain of command. For some reason, that amused her. "All right. Fine. This isn't going to get any less awkward if we just keep meeting on the rooftop like this. Unless you want to bring drinks next time or something." Maybe that wasn't a half-bad idea.

Terribly unprofessional, though.

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