Title: Can You Help Me Unravel My Latest Mistake?
Description: [p] for Pietro
Siryn - March 16, 2012 01:03 AM (GMT)
It hadn't been an easy decision. Or a quick one. Or even the obvious one. At the end of the day, Terry picked up the battered, stained piece of paper bearing the number given to her so many months ago and only dialled it because she was desperate.
Why was the normally so independent redhead so desperate? Well, because in recent times, she'd been taught not to be so self-sufficient. First there had been Carm, then Wade, then her father. And, in quick succession, it seemed as if her world had emptied all at once. She hadn't seen Carm since New Year and Wade was both a mysterious and erratic presence in her life, like a will-o-the-wisp that she could never hold onto with her own hands, could only trust that he would come back one day.
Then there was her father, Tom Cassidy, and the fact that he had disappeared on her. Just when Terry had been getting used to the blissful complacency that he was here to stay, he was gone and that was breaking her heart in a way she never thought she'd have to experience again.
The facts were thus: Terry was alone again. Or close to. And while that had been okay once, when she'd forgotten what it was like to have camaraderie be a part of her life, it was terrifying now that she'd become used to living a certain way. It was that - the loneliness and the emptiness and yet another mutant attack reported in the news - which drove her to pick up her phone and make the call.
She huddled on her bed in the largest sweatshirt she owned, bony knees drawn up to her chest and her copper hair falling around her like a shroud. In her ear, the rings seemed to go on forever and Terry was practically gnawing her fingers down to the bone as she waited for someone to answer.
How pathetic was it that, after all these months, this number was all she had?
Quicksilver - March 20, 2012 01:26 PM (GMT)
It wasn't often that Pietro received a phone call, even less often that it was from an unrecognizable number. He was skeptical about giving out the phone number for this particular piece of equipment - it was purchased Richmond, Virginia, used most frequently in New York, New York, but registered to an elderly man in Sacramento, California. There were no such things as "untraceable" phones, Pietro knew, so the best he could do (outside of discovering some new kind of alien technology) was make it difficult for the bastards who might be interested in triangulating the call.
So, as the first tones of the ring met the air, Pietro reacted. He didn't trust the Brotherhood, but it was a bad time of the day to attempt to go elsewhere without attracting a lot of attention. The only good option he had was the rooftop, and it was in a few moments before he was on the rooftop, his ascent slowed by doors and doors alone. There was a momentary glance at the number on the display of his phone, as Pietro mentally sorted through any recognizable digits and failed to return with a conclusion.
This was truly an unknown number, then, and fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on the circumstance, this spiked Pietro's curiosity. He simply did not dole out this number to the unworthy - whoever was awarded with the honor of this number was a deserving mutant, and nothing else. And now, Pietro was curious. This mutant was somebody he would have wanted to recruit to the Brotherhood, or at least somebody Pietro thought would be a good contact or perhaps was a character who might be useful in the future. There was no telling right now, however, there was one way to know.
Answer the phone, obviously. And so, Pietro did, flipping open the device (because touch screens were too delicate for the speedster to keep for very long) and holding it up to his ear. "Quicksilver."
Siryn - March 20, 2012 03:13 PM (GMT)
Terry bit too hard at a hangnail and winced at the sharp, immediate pain, the way red bloomed on her skin at the tear she herself had inflicted. It was insane how so small a wound could hurt quite so much and she stuck her finger in her mouth, tasting iron and life, and cursing herself quietly for not being able to leave well enough alone.
Of course, as soon as her mouth was occupied, that was when the other person picked up. She almost hadn't been expecting him to pick up - with the way her luck had been lately, she wouldn't have been surprised if it was some elaborate hoax to get her hopes up. But no, there was a distinctly masculine and familiarly accented voice on the other end of the phone and she had her finger in her mouth.
Startled, she removed the digit and cradled the phone more securely in two hands. Her green eyes were wide and a little surprised in her face because--. "Quicksilver?" she repeated with a question in her voice before she remembered that, no, that wasn't how phone conversations went. He said his name and she said hers...except he'd gone and changed it on her first, hadn't he? "Uh, West?" Terry licked her lips and pulled her jumper more securely around her bony frame. "It was West, wasn't it? This is, um, East. I do nae know if ye remember me, but ye approached me in a bar several months ago and..."
She sounded like a fool even as her voice trailed off and Terry had to resist the nervous impulse to chew on a nail again. But this was no time to be timid, not when her back was to the wall and it felt like this was the last option she had right then. Now or never... "Ye told me to give ye a call if I ever changed my mind about what we talked about last time we spoke."
She hoped he remembered, prayed she remembered...
Quicksilver - March 20, 2012 04:51 PM (GMT)
As the woman on the other line restated the Pietro's codename, he merely blinked and an irritated look replaced the neutral one he had been wearing before his arrogance got a hold of him. She had paused far too long in Pietro's eyes, after that tentative question of "Quicksilver?", a question whose intent the speedster was not going to less pass without comment. "Yes, t'eht is what I said, unless-" His arrogant retort was cut off as the female voice caught up to his pace, offerring a better explanation for Pietro than the simple "idiot with the wrong number".
Ah, he remembered now, and as the girl kept speaking the accent became more and more familiar, and the memory Pietro had recalled was brought back to the forefront of his mind with a clarity blurred by time. West, yes, that was the name he'd suggested for the girl to call him. With a hard line passing across his mouth, Pietro made a slight noise of disapproval, holding the phone away so that the girl wouldn't hear. Why couldn't he have just made things simple and gave her the name "Quicksilver" instead of playing games? Regardless, it seemed that relinquishing the phone number to the woman with a very convincing ability had been his best idea of the night.
"Yes, I remember you, East." Pietro said, without hesitation at the nickname he was quickly growing less and less amused with. There was a few moments pause at the woman's next statement, and Pietro had to take those moments to think, to go back into his memory and remember what had been said. He had caught her using her mutation in public, and as far as Pietro could tell, it was a sort of "seduction" ability or at least a type of muted telepathy. They'd played a little game of hinting at an "I'll show you mine, if you show me yours" situation for their mutations, but neither had truly laid the facts bare for the other. And why would they, for a stranger? However, Pietro remembered very clearly what he had begun to see where this woman stood on the debate of mutant superiority, however, he'd been called away by the Brotherhood, and nothing had been answered.
"Am I to ehssume t'eht you hehve changed your mind? " You know, whatever she was talking about. He had to think that perhaps the woman had considered his shrouded and vague offers at a - how had she insulted it? - a "happy band of pro-mutants". Pietro paused, thinking to himself, before venturing to say his thoughts aloud. "T'e better question is why hehve you changed your mind?"
Siryn - March 20, 2012 05:13 PM (GMT)
Oh how the mighty had fallen.
When she'd last spoken to him, Terry had been all sardonic hauteur and distinctly honest suspicion. She'd made no secret that, whichever parts of her were intrigued by his veiled, cryptic talk of a group of mutants, she felt she didn't need him or anything he was offering in such an irritatingly roundabout way.
But things changed. That was the nature of life. And it pained the normally proud young woman to be doing the verbal equivalent of slinking back for forgiveness when she'd had no intentions of ever calling him...but those were the way the cards were dealt. Chance had been a bitch to Theresa Cassidy and with her father disappeared again, with Carm occupied elsewhere, with Wade the Saints only knew where...this was it. This was her last option. Well, that and going back to being a lonely soul in a crowded city and things had changed since then. Terry wasn't sure she could bear it again just when she'd started to remember what having people on her side felt like.
And if she didn't have a side now...well, she could sure as hell find one.
Terry bit her lip when he confirmed that he remembered her and, okay, that was one barrier overcome. But there were still many more and she laced her free fingers tightly in the hem of her sweater. "Less 'changed my mind', I guess, and more that I've finally given what ye said to me the attention it deserves." She felt that was important to clarify, didn't want to make this sound like the last-resort that it was. She took a breath. "Things change, West. Or Quicksilver. Whichever ye like, really, I do nae care. But things change and situations change." Terry fiddled with the phone cord because she was possibly the last person in New York City not to have heard of a wireless connection yet. "When we last spoke, my situation was such that I dinnae quite understand what ye were talking about, I reckon. My situation now..."
Terry paused and asked herself if this was what she wanted? And it wasn't. But was it what she felt she needed? Damn straight. "I'm all ears," she said and that at least was honest.
Quicksilver - March 22, 2012 02:33 PM (GMT)
Once again, he listened, his mind darting here and there as she spoke, considering new opportunities, considering where things were going. He paused his thought processes when the woman finished speaking, following the end of her lilting cadence to introduce his own timbre and twist the tune and make it his own. "West was t'e name I chose for t'eht night, but I believe Quicksilver is more suitehble now." The arrogant tone from before had been replaced by a quiet, questioning air, a feeling that slowly warped into a definitive anticipation as Pietro continued. "I do feel t'ere are eh few... uncertainties we left open last time t'eht need to be suhrted out." There wasn't a question in his voice now, it was more of a command that left him, the promise that if she wanted to hear what he had to say, it was going to be give and take, not just a little show-and-tell from his side.
"Do you remember my question ehbout which side you were eventually going to hehve to choose?" Pietro paused, and had he been a more theatrical man and a little less drawn into the conversation, he would have examined his fingernails as the pause made its point. "Now is t'e time, East. You can choose to side wit' t'e humans ehnd t'eir dying legacy, or you can choose t'e mutants ehnd become part of somet'ing greater t'eht is evolving far beyond ehnyt'ing you can imagine."
If she chose the latter, Pietro would continue the conversation, and he might just be speaking to the newest recruit to the Brotherhood. If she chose the former, Pietro would give his arrogant opinion once again, and then she'd be left to live out her own pathetic life as she wished. Hopefully, mutantkind would have a new crusader to join its forces. Pietro would be simply devastated to have another mutant join the idiocy of the X-Men and their flower-child ways. Peace only solved problems between those who could be eye-to-eye and equals. Mutants were above that.
Siryn - March 22, 2012 05:09 PM (GMT)
The problem with all of this was that it was blatantly clear that terry had no power here. When she'd been lackadaisical and uninterested and secure in the merry manner in which she was living her life, he'd been alternately amusing and irritating. The point of it had been that she hadn't needed Mister West or Quicksilver or whatever and therefore he'd had nothing on her.
Now she did. And they both knew it, to varying degrees.
Terry stared blankly down at where her ripped hangnail was threatening to bleed all over her sheets, missed her father - acutely, sharply, painfully missed Tom Cassidy wherever he had gone to - and made the decision to sell her soul to the devil.
...okay, fine, to a man she'd met in a bar. But, really, Terry had been doing that in some way, shape or form for most of her adult life, so maybe it wasn't even that big a step?
The redhead licked her lips and nodded absently, even if he couldn't see it. "Quicksilver, then." Her voice lilted automatically on the consonants, making her sound perhaps more insouciant than she actually was, but her eyes were ultimately serious. Completely so.
...she did pause though. Of course she did. This was not ideal and, no, she doubted she was every going to be completely, one hundred percent certain that she was comfortable with the path her life was going down. But there was a difference between wanting to do something because it was fight and feeling that you needed to because what other option did you have?
So she paused. And she felt a twinge of guilt within her heart. But her father was gone and, apparently, Terry Cassidy was no longer someone who wanted to face life on her own. "I want ta be with people like me," she said and that, at least, was honest. It had been the appeal of Carm. "I do nae want ta hide any more." Her hangnail stung as her hand clenched automatically into a fist, but she ignored it. "And I think ye can help me with that."
Quicksilver - April 4, 2012 04:20 PM (GMT)
East, on the other line, paused after she had accepted Pietro's invitations to use the name Quicksilver. It was a simple pause - even the speedster could tell that. It was a thoughtful pause, during which Pietro let the girl think while he perused the buildings of New York, contemplating the hard lines and reflected light off glass windows as time ticked by. Though time may pass with a fleeting certainty for Pietro, he knew that others required moments, minutes, hours, days to think over a decision rather than the usually instantaneous decision-making Pietro relied upon. He understood it, but it still plagued him, and even though he waited for the woman to make her decision, there was a sense of impatience in his eyes and the tapping of his fingers against his leg.
Finally, there was an answer, and it was a smile that crept across Pietro's face to replace the impatience. By itself, the smile was simply contented, but matched with the cold heat and satisfaction in the man's eyes, it was dangerous. Smug and smirk and dangerous and hidden behind the safety of a phone call rather than a face-to-face meeting. The constant arrogance that Pietro wore leaked it's way into his voice as he spoke to mix with that cold warmth of persuasion. "Of course I can help you wit' t'eht."
Of course he could, and he would. Quicksilver would do anything to be helpful to new recruits with potentially useful powers. Quick-thinking wasn't very useful for recruiting if you didn't have the silver-tongue and [temporarily] helpful demeanor to match. Plus, it was the rare occasion that Pietro found someone interesting and it seemed that this particular girl could be easily swayed with the right bait and a little patience - unlike a few of the other Brotherhood members. "You made t'e right decision, East." Any decision that Pietro approved of was right. He paused for the brief moment of time he needed, before continuing to speak. "I believe, t'ough, East, t'eht we need to sort eh few t'ings out. Your name, for instance. I go by Quicksilver, ehnd t'eht is my name."
Siryn - April 4, 2012 05:52 PM (GMT)
It was an odd sense of relief. Not one that was warm or comforting, nothing as soft or as pleasant or as certain as that. But Terry sagged a little when, down the other end of a phoneline, she heard an arrogant voice say that he would help.
It was not perhaps relief, but it was an option. A door that hadn't been slammed in her face. (Yet.) It was a lifeline - the kind of deal you made on crossroads with a masked stranger and possibly some sort of violin involved, but those were the kind you only made when you were out of alternatives anyway.
And as far as Terry was concerned, she was.
"Thank you," she breathed, honest gratitude in her voice, and maybe that alone was enough to prove that she was perhaps not suited to the world she was about to enter. But the girl was making a life-changing decision on very little evidence, just the vague words of a man she'd met in a bar and turned down all of those months ago. No one would claim that she was operating rationally here, merely out of fear. She knew nothing of what would be expected of her. Of what she was getting into. And yet the sense of a weight having been lifted off her slender shoulders was palpable in her voice and there was no doubt, now, about where the balance of power hung between them.
She'd expected the name thing, she really had - even though he couldn't see her, Terry's head was nodding slightly in a way that set crimson hair to rippling around her face. And she almost, almost initially introduced herself as Theresa Cassidy.
She would, in the end, for there was no point in keeping it a secret anymore. But something in her gut, something that didn't come from education or logic or anything other than a slightly uncanny sort of awareness she got every now and then made her realise that that wasn't the name he was looking for.
"Siryn," she told Quicksilver, green eyes focussed on nothing much of anything even as, in the incongruous setting of her bedroom, rumpled sheets and all, she sold her soul. "I go by Siryn."
Quicksilver - April 9, 2012 02:45 PM (GMT)
Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on which side you take, Pietro was more intrigued than ever with the sound of a genuinely grateful 'thank you' on the end of the line. She was thanking him, this Siryn, but for what? For not hanging up the phone? For forcing her to choose between mankind and mutantkind? For being his everyday arrogant self? Pietro made an involuntary noise after these thoughts raced through his head, the gratitude barely settling into silence before that noise of annoyance and indifference replaced it. "You're welcome." He returned the gesture anyways, unsure of the whys or hows or whatfors, but continuing onwards regardless.
"Siryn. Eh name I have to ehssume comes from your mutehtion? T'eht lovely little ehbility you 'showed' me." Pietro barely attempted to hide the amusement in his voice at the memory, that he'd caught Siryn and that was the reason why she'd even met the speedster. The amusement was not just at his blackmail, however. It was also at the name the other mutant had chosen.
It was typical of almost all mutants who had the need for codenames to christen themselves after their abilities in one way or another. Magneto, Master of Magnetism. Mystique, enigmatic shapeshifter. Catseye, animal in a woman's body. Genome, walking DNA machine. Though Pietro admitted that this wasn't always the case, it was fairly common. So, the name "Siryn" bore more than just the five letters of a name. It was a tiny hint at the woman's abilities, a mutation Pietro would very much like to pick apart and use.
And he would do his best to make that happen.
"Your mutehtion is my top concern, Siryn, however," Pietro paused, another moment to add to the drama and seriousness of the statement, even though Pietro was looking idly over the skyline once again. "I t'ink it would be prudent for this conversation to continue in person, ehs what I need from you is easier shown t'an explained, and I would ra'her not risk exposure on t'e phone for my side of the.. hrm, ehgreement." Pietro tapped his fingers against the side of his pants leg as he thought, fingers drumming out each passing idea before he settled on one in particular.
"Since you started this conversehtion, I t'ink it's my prerogative, or rat'er duty to set up the next, hrm?" A quiet little grin passed across Pietro's face on his end of the line, coloring his features with arrogance and contentment. Thankfully, Siryn could not see this, or else she might have reconsidered. "Central park, east side, at 5th and 73rd. Public. T'e time is yours to pick, since I'm ehssuming t'eht you work." Pietro's voice was clipped and straightforward, commanding in the sense that he was taking control, but that hint of interest still lingered at the edge of his voice. "T'ings will go eh little smoother following t'eht." Assuming that Siryn passed any other hidden tests Pietro could think up, things would be easier once he explained the Brotherhood to her. Easier for him, anyways.
Siryn - April 10, 2012 06:15 PM (GMT)
It had been so long since Terry had used her powers for anyone other than herself.
As a child, really, ever since she'd run away from boarding school to be with her father, she had used her powers at Black Tom's bidding. She had been a tool, a loved tool, but an instrument nonetheless in his criminal ventures. But she'd felt useful, felt needed.
In New York? She didn't scream. She barely flew. And she only used the hypnotic qualities of her voice to sustain herself, to gain the money she needed to live. It had been the isolation that had driven her to doing so, the desperation of a sixteen year old trapped in a city that was not her own. And she'd done what she'd needed to do to survive.
Now, though, there was more than survival. There was the need to be the part of a group once more, as she had been with her father and his crew. So if Quicksilver thought her mutation was the best part about her, she wasn't about to argue. "Ye assume right. My father named me " Her green gaze fell down to her bare feet, but her gaze was distant. All of her attention was for the man on the other end of the phone and she actively tensed when finally there it was, the request to see her in person. This was her chance, the opportunity she needed to make it so that she wasn't so damn alone anymore.
This was why she'd called.
Her mind raced, attacking her schedule with a desperate sort of ferocity. She was almost tempted to blow off work to go and see him today...but, in a rare move for Terry, she demonstrated some restraint. If worst came to worst and she was somehow...unacceptable to this man and his group, she'd still need a group. And, more than that, it was probably sensible to give herself some time to prepare for this meeting.
"Tomorrow, at noon?" she hazarded, annoyed at herself for sounding so hesitant. "I work nights, mostly, as ye know, so..." She took a breath, firmed her resolve, tried to show the steel she normally had in her backbone. "And then I'll show ye what I can really do." Even in public. Even in the middle of the day. Even in front of so many humans, if necessary.
Whatever it took.
Quicksilver - April 10, 2012 07:01 PM (GMT)
It was a bit sad that Pietro used people, well, mutants, as he did. He understood what he was doing, that his attempts at manipulation were solely to serve whatever cause he was supporting at the time. He understood that it had the potential to hurt, to damage. What he didn't think about was that the person being damaged didn't have to be the victim necessarily. When had Pietro started this? Was it the Brotherhood, taking after their leader and trying to fend for himself and his sister in a world of wolves? That must have been it. Of course, in Pietro's mind, he was doing what was right, what was necessary. What Wanda saw, the change from then to now, was something Pietro didn't notice. Years of looking at the same face in the mirror day after day allowed anybody to simply pass over the changes, good or bad.
And so there was no recognition that he was hurting yet another person and that he continued to corrupt himself, only a spoken acknowledgement and another quiet smile that never met Pietro's eyes. "I'm sure you will." And she would, if she ever planned to become anything, to make anything of herself. That note of desperation in her voice, the quiet 'thank you' as if Pietro had somehow given her a second chance at existing - that tidbit of information was stored away in Pietro's mind to use later. As to why Siryn has reached out to him, well, that was something Pietro could find out tomorrow. You didn't just wake up one day and decide to call the white-haired mutant you'd met months before. There were catalysts. At least one. Something to remind Siryn of what she was doing with her life, wasting her time trying to fit in with the humans.
Hm, who would want to waste time doing that?
Pietro was done with the conversation, having said all that he needed to, so the phone was closed, the discussion ended. Tomorrow, noon. Central park. A new recruit or another failure. Hopefully, this recruit wouldn't turn out to be like a few of the last ones, staying for a while then abandoning the Brotherhood for a fresh new goal. Those mutants usually didn't stay alive for very long. It wasn't that they couldn't survive in the real world, but having intimate knowledge of the Brotherhood tended to put a bullseye on your back and a few bloodthirsty former-friends on your tail. If you were allowed to live, you were sure to be stalked by Mystique in disguise or otherwise tracked.
However, Pietro had a feeling that this particular venture was going to work itself out. Siryn seemed to need something, and the Brotherhood was sure to help a lovely new recruit with interesting powers.