The World, Reversed


magnes_icon.gif raith_icon.gif

Scene Title The World, Reversed
Synopsis Magnes and Raith meet. Magnes shares information. Raith shares his business card. Watch out for the Meat Man.
Date September 7, 2009

Staten Island Boat Graveyard

Exactly where land gives way to water at this point of the island's edge is uncertain — first because of the saltgrass growing everywhere, both on dry earth and in the shallows, giving the illusion of solidarity; second for the structures visible in the distance, drawing the eye away from the deceptive ground, suggesting its reach extends beyond its grasp. Even if the structures are still recognizable as ships, and nothing that ever belonged on land.

There are a multitude of them, abandoned hulls of salt-stained wood and rust-pitted steel, dying slow and ungraceful deaths as wind and water claim their dues. Some still appear to rest upright, braced upon the debris of older, lost relics below; others list to one side, canted at an odd angle like someone who just struggled to the surface in search of a desperate breath. There are no hands to pull these hulks from the water, no ropes to save them from drowning; each has been surrendered to the sea, left to the ravages of unmerciful time.

At low tide, some of the closer ships can be reached — not without getting soaked, but such is the price of daring. Never mind that the rotting metal and splintered wood are the stuff of nightmares for any germophobe, definite hazards to the unwary. The more distant ships are distant indeed, beyond the reach of all but the most bold — and are all but submerged besides.

It's still late, but Magnes urgently wants to see Raith. He called the first person he could think of, though he may tell others later, he coudn't think of much of a reason to see Raith again until now. He's wearing all black, with two glock holsters on the sides of his belt, landing hard on the ground directly in front of Raith, leaving little cracks around his feet.

Making an entrance is important.

He doesn't have his mask and collar on, though his hands are still gloved. "I need to talk to you, about a few things. I've been thinking about your offer, and, well, let's talk first?"

If there's one thing that's always impressed Raith, or at least given him pause more than once, it's Magnes' ability to really make himself known. It's something he's really good at. Maybe too good at. Like Magnes, Raith is armed, although apparently only with his standard fare: a suppressed MP5. Nothing fancy. He doesn't need fancy; just effective. "So talk," is Raith's flat answer. He didn't have to make a special trip just to meet with Magnes, but that doesn't change the fact that things in New York are in flux, and Raith wants to stay on top of them. But hey, if there's one other thing Magnes is good at, it's probably finding out what's going on in New York, and that's definitely something Raith is interested in.

"I just saw Danko a few minutes ago. You seem like someone who's 'in the loop', so you probably know that he has something to do with Humanis First. Him and some other guy were grabbing a briefcase from a car on the Staten Island Coast. I dropped a dumpster and sunk their boat before they could get away, then I left them a message in an attempt to make them paranoid of their own members." Magnes explains, wanting to get that out of the way. Hopefully new information makes someone more willing to give it themselves. "Next thing is, I'm interested in what you're doing. What do you want me for? And do you care about what China is doing right now?"

Raith closes his eyes and raises up one finger, signaling Magnes to 'just wait a moment' while he works out all of that in his head. Four years now, and he's still getting used to this comic book kind of stuff. "You dropped a dumpster on their boat," he says, repeating what he's pretty sure he heard. "Okay, sure, I can work with that." He's not really so sure that he can. "What I want for you to do right now is, yes, tell me what China is up to. I try to keep abreast of everything that's happening in my city."

"They're drafting their Evolved into the Chinese army, every single one. No one else seems to be concerned. I mean, I know they're trying to focus on the city, but we're screwed if China decides to start a war and we've got our heads in the sand." Magnes holds up one of his black-gloved hands, opening and closing it. "I'm working on a secret weapon, one that might turn me into a weapon, for the worst case scenario that something has to be done. I don't want to do it, but if China attacks… I don't want us to be defenseless and unprepared."

Raith nods in reply. "Yeah, that, uh, that would be bad. Real terrible stuff." Really, it would be terrible stuff, especially since the fact remains that if China did draft every able-bodied Evolved in their country and did attack, they still wouldn't have enough force to take on the entire Western world. Real tragic stuff. "There's not really anything I can do about that right now, but I'll start working on something, in case we end up repelling invaders. Listen, I don't know how much you know about what China's up to, but you seem to have pretty good info, so one thing I want you to do is stay on top of that.

"I mean, let's face it, this is one of those things that can go from bad to downright fucking terrible in a real hurry, and I can't keep my eyes everywhere at once. I'm not quite that good. You follow me?"

"Yeah, I get it, but before I start giving you information, I need to know who you are, what you're about, who you're with other than Eileen? what's your goal at least?" Magnes looks left and right, suddenly realizing where they are. "And I can't really say why, but if you're Evolved, you should really stay away from this boat graveyard."

"You're a strange, head-turning little man, friend. And while we're on the topic of staying away from this boat graveyard, do you think flying through the air is really the sneakiest way to get around?" Because, Raith will happily tell him, it's not. But all the same, he doesn't. "I'm the King of Swords," he says, starting to answer at least some of Magnes' questions, "And aside from her, the only one you need to worry about for now is the Knight of Swords. If you run into him, you'll know who he is. Try not to piss him off. As for what we do, what we're about…."

Slow enough to show he's not intending harm, Raith reaches into his jacket and, after feeling around for a moment, withdraws a small - playing card? - and passes it to Magnes. Not a playing card, at least not in the usual sense, but an artistic redition of a partially clothed woman dancing in the sky, a gold rod in each hand, encircled by a wreath of leaves. At the top, the Roman numeral for 21. At the bottom, the words, "The World." "Take that to a tarot reader," Raith says, "Deliberately turn it upside down, and ask what it means. It'll tell you everything that you need to know about us."

"I'll keep that in mind, about this Knight guy, but I really mean it, the guy who comes around here, uh, well if you insist on using an ability, don't let him see and you should be fine." Magnes stares at the card, tilting his head, then looks back up at Raith with a mixture of slight surprise and a bit of confusion. "I think I just entered some sort of spy movie, but I'll see a tarot reader as soon as I find one. I'm sure my girlfriend knows one, girls like that stuff, I think…"

He just shakes his head, pocketing the card. "I've been through a lot since the last time we met, I've had a lot of training, and I'm in far better control of my ability. Except maybe the people who taught me, there's no one in the world who knows everything I can do, so, I'm always willing to help if it has anything to do with saving people. As for my flying, well, I try my best to stay stealthy, but it really is the easiest way to get around, and I fly really high…"

Oxygen deprivation. Sure, okay, Raith will go with that one. It explains away Magnes' eccentric behavior, at least. Explains it and then some. "Just keep a low profile," he cautions, "You might fly pretty high and pretty fast, but all it takes to ruin your day is one Stinger hitting you at mach 2, so be careful. You'd be dead before you heard them fire it." Raith's turn to look left and right, this time. "I think it's time we split. If some guy is stalking around here, I'd rather be some place else when he swings by, you dig?"

"I never really thought about that… I should learn a little more about aircraft." Magnes decides, since he's in the air so much, already starting to float off the ground. "He's got bushy eyebrows and a large nose, if you ever see him around here. Not a bad guy, just dangerous to some people. Thanks for your time, oh, and if you hear anything about Refrain, you have my number. I still have a lot of things to update you on, when I can trust you."

"I'll keep my eyes opened," Raith answers, "Good luck with your jet studies, and watch out for the Meat Man." As Magnes floats into the air, Raith floats towards the shadows, and while he has no special power of his own, that doesn't stop him from blending into them like a ghost. Why bother with an ability, when you can just be really, really good at what you do?

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