Logs:Back in the Saddle

From X-Men: rEvolution
Back in the Saddle
Dramatis Personae

B, Dusk, Polaris, Wendy

2019-09-09


"Just to be clear, we're not talking about Twitter anymore, right?"

Location

<PRV> VL 403 {Geekhaus} - East Village


There's kind of a college-dorm feel to this place, chronically untidy and without much thought given to Decor. Entering the apartment finds visitors greeted by the chaos of the living room, a mismatched assortment of couches and chairs (and milk crates) surrounding the wide table in the center. The wall holds a range of posters; some political, some sporty, some from video games, and a string of white lights strung over the kitchen doorway might be a holdover from Christmas. A widescreen television stands against the wall opposite the couch, shelving beside it holding a host of video games from different consoles. More shelving beside the windows on the far wall carries stacks of board games, as well as sourcebooks from various RPGs.

The kitchen adjacent is just as cluttered, its table unfit for eating due to its perpetual covering of books, papers, cereal boxes, projects; the fridge is usually sparsely populated. Ketchup. Beer. Not a lot of food. There are two bedrooms here and one bathroom situated between them, split between the three people who live here.

Halsey is playing quietly through the living room, B's phone currently connected to the apartment's sound system. She's been seated cross-legged on the floor in front of the couch, dressed in a black mesh half-sleeve shirt with a strappy silvery crop top underneath and a flouncy black miniskirt whose lacy layers are made up in a spiderweb motif. A small quadrotor drone sitting on the table beside a plump honeybee-shaped bot. The holographic display glowing in the airspace in front of her likely doesn't mean a whole lot to most people, several terminals open with variably abstruse walls of text filling them up. "-- and this is the first one you've seen, right?"

Polaris sits on a milk crate, one leg crossed beneath yet also propped up on the other. She's wearing a black ribbed tank and black cutoff jean shorts, black cuffs, belt, and boots alike heavily accented with steel. One of her palms is upturned, a cluster of neodymium magnet beads floating a few inches above, slowly rearranging itself into a variety of shapes. With or without comprehension, she has been staring fixedly at B's holographic displays, mesmerized. "Yeah. I mean, I wasn't exactly looking for them, before, but..." She shrugs. "Now I am, and I haven't noticed any others. Is it just a toy someone bought off the Internet, after all?"

"Very fancy toy." Wendy has on a long brown skirt, cream-colored butterfly sleeve blouse. She leans up against the side of Polaris's milk crate, one hand reaching up to bap a slender finger lightly against the magnets at erratic intervals.

Dusk is draped across the couch, shirtless in old cutoff jean shorts tied onto his slim hips with a length of black cord. One wing is crumpled against his back and the other spilling down onto the floor. He lifts a wing, flicks a thumbclaw at a string of numbers in B's display. "Wish it were. It'll take us a bit longer to figure out exactly where this is coming from but these patterns are pretty much the same-ass shit we see every time Prometheus has started snooping on us. This isn't transmitting anything anymore, B killed that, but. Doesn't mean they won't try again."

"I guess that depends on what they wanted." B's ridged brow rumples inward. "Or who they wanted. You were up there with -- Leo? Do you think they'd, um." Her gills flutter, briefly. "I haven't seen him. Much. Do you think they'd -- want him? I mean, more... specifically. It doesn't -- sound like they've been folllowing you, at least."

Tearing her eyes from the holograms, Polaris looks Dusk over, casual but clearly appreciative. "Shit. I really hoped I was just being paranoid." She spreads her fingers wider, and the magnets separate spontaneously to orbit each other in a complex, chaotic pattern. "He's been taking it slow, but..." Here she frowns, glancing at Wendy for confirmation. "I think they probably want him back, yeah."

Wendy follows Polaris's gaze. Flicking towards Dusk -- if briefly -- then back up to the magnets. "Leo? Oh, certainly. He could end the world, I think. If they wanted him in a cage before --" Slowly, her brows pinch together. "Do they? Just -- grab people back? Is that a concern? Is he safe here, are we..." Her teeth press lightly against her lip. She folds her hand slowly around one of the magnets, drawing it downward out of its orbit as her eyes drift to the drones on the table.

Dusk's brows hike upward, a soft growl rumbling low in his chest. "Maaan, letting Trump keep his fuckin' Twitter might end the world." He pushes himself up, propped up on one wing. "Safe? I don't know what safe means in this world. It's not common that they just up and grab us but if they're scared enough --" The wing he isn't supporting his weight on hitches upward. "We look out for each other. S'about the best I can promise. You think we need to look out for him extra?"

B collapses the displays with a quick swipe of one webbed hand. "End the world?" Her gills flutter again. "Oh, um. That's." Her nose wrinkles, she shakes her head quickly. "No, Dusk is right. I don't think any of us are really safe, but safer? On a daily basis we're probably mostly okay, unless -- I guess unless someone thinks you might end the world. Um. He's staying with Ryan, right? That's --" She gets to her feet, scooping both the bots into her arms. "That's a lot of. Of target in one place, I should -- I'm going to see if they're home."

Polaris arches one of her slender dark green eyebrows. "I'm not sure if that means I should get back on Twitter stat, or swear it off forever." Her eyes stray back to Dusk as he levers himself up by. The magnets snap back together--excepting the one Wendy has captured. "Looking out for each other is a pretty fucking good promise, but yeah, I think we maybe need to look out for him. More." Her gaze also returns to the inert Prometheus drone. "Sure seems like they will, anyway."

"I don't think," Wendy says slowly, fingers unfurling again to leave her lone magnet freed on her palm, "that he's very used. To having -- this type of community." Her eyes fix on the drones, snapping away from them only as B gathers them up. "Please. If you take one good thing from the years of torture --" A small flick of her wrist sends her tiny magnet up towards the others. "Let it be freeing you from Twitter's grasp." The tug at the corner of her mouth is small. "Watching Laura Ingraham trying to drink a steak through a straw on there isn't worth the -- rest of the nazis."

"Prometheus is a shit introduction to it but," The soft rumble hasn't left Dusk's voice, still buried low and now just rumbling in quiet undercurrent beneath his words. "Unfortunately it's where a crap ton of us start out so we do what we can." He pushes himself up the rest of the way, moving to sit on the arm of the couch so that he can let his wings hang behind him. "There's nothing good on Twitter except for Not A Wolf. You should pretty much just follow -- wait, watching her try to what?" He's plucking his phone from his pocket with a slightly incredulous lift of brows.

"See ya, B!" Polaris calls after her. "Man, I was all about mutant solidarity as an edgy teen punk, and it still took ending up in those labs to find more of it than this one." She pats Wendy on the shoulder. The lone magnetic ball whizzes back to join the others, the whole mass slowly shifting into a cubical formation. "You see, I'd tried to quit Twitter before, but then someone would say some shit like that, and..." She cranes her neck to peer at the screen of Dusk's phone. "...Next thing you know I'm ranting at someone about non-hierarchical decision-making in 140 characters or less." Her eyes skip from the phone to its owner's face. "So! You live here? With Flicker?"

Wendy huffs out a soft laugh as Dusk reaches for his phone. She bonks her cheek lightly against the backs of Polaris's fingers, and gets to her feet. Drifts over to study the packed games shelves, head shaking slightly. "Looks like with Flicker." She trails her fingers lightly down over the side of a game, drawing a fingertip over the lettering on the box -- King of New York. "It could be so much worse. We could get out of the labs and not have you. I forgot to mention," she adds, tilting her head to the side to read more game titles, "there were light bulbs in the steak. I don't think one hundred forty characters could fit enough wtf."

Dusk flicks a thumbclaw towards the closed bedroom door at one side of the apartment and then the other in succession. "Flicker and Hive share that room. Mine's --" He tips his phone so that Polaris can see it as well, his eyes wider and his growl subsiding as he just stares blankly at the screen. His 'wtf' is mouthed silently. "I don't know if I feel triggered so much as --" He shakes his head, his wings shivering behind him. Offhandedly, "Tweets can be two eighty characters now. Still not enough what the actual fuck though. Little better for talking about anarchy, though." His smile is quick, crooked and unconcerned with hiding his long sharp fangs. "At least a back and forth in two-eighty characters has gotta be less tedious than most any general assembly meeting I've been to."

"Surprised I haven't seen you around more." Polaris's expression goes slack as Dusk brings up the tweet in question. "When you said drink a steak I really thought a blender was gonna be involved somehow. No amount of letters is enough for this." Her head tilts hard to one side. "Wait. They doubled it?" She stares at Dusk in stark amazement. "Well, shit." Her pulse speeds at the flash of fangs, but she doesn't back away. The cube of magnetic balls drops into her palm. "Don't suppose you'd like to help me get back in the saddle?" She quirks her eyebrows. "Just to see what it's like."

"He gave his room away." Wendy pauses again, plucks a copy of Merchants & Marauders off the shelf. Examines it curiously for a moment, then tucks it under an arm. When she looks up, her eyes are wide. "They changed Twitter?" She hugs the box tightly against her chest, her tone a little breathless with horror. "That goes against the whole point." Her brows wrinkle. "... I could do a lot in two eighty characters." She gives only a brief glance to Polaris and Dusk as she hurries out of the apartment.

"Yeah, that guy Jamie's kind of staying in my room so --" Dusk's wings have tightened just a little, his shoulders a tiny bit stiffer for a fraction of a second before he relaxes them. "Kinda just been crashing around. My girlfriend's place, safehouse, wherever." He watches with only mild bemusement as Wendy walks off with one of their games, scuffing his knuckles against one cheek. When he turns back toward Polaris it's with a tilt of his head, a curious flick of eyes. He slips his phone back into his pocket, drops one hand to his knee, the other elbow propped on the back of the sofa. His smile curls a little wider. "Just to be clear, we're not talking about Twitter anymore, right?"

"Don't start the revolution without me!" Polaris sounds very casual about this. To Dusk, also casually, "She'll bring it back. Probably." Her pale skin tints just a little pink at his question. "What can I say? You're fucking hot and I've been deprived. But!" She holds up her hands, the cube of magnetic balls floating free again. "I respect you and your girlfriend's situation, whatever that is."

A very soft rumble vibrates in Dusk's chest again with Polaris's blush -- only quick before it stops short. "I wouldn't cheat on her. We're open, she'll be fine." He plucks the cube of magnets out of the air, idly breaks off one flat layer before letting the rest of the cube go again. "I just want to sure you'll be, too. I mean, I've been there, you know? I know when I got out, all I wanted was whoever would get me out of my head for a bit. Shut my --" His fingers flex beside his temple, "thoughts down, wake my body up. And that was great --" The twitch of his smile is a liiiittle crooked, again. He wraps some of the little beads around one fingertip. "Sometimes. For me. Maybe for you, if that's what you want. I just -- know it's chaotic, too, and sometimes I was making decisions that were less --" He rolls the beads lightly between his fingers, his wings curling in around his shoulders. "Don't get me wrong, you're rad, and gorgeous, and I'm so very down to fuck if that's what you want. I just -- don't want to be one more awful thing you've got to work past tomorrow."

Polaris stares at Dusk again, her expression more amazed at this even than at the earth-shattering revelation about Twitter's character limit. "Wow. Okay so, two things." She holds up her index finger. The rectangular prism of magnets unspools in the air to form a long chain of beads, which wind around her wrist like a bracelet. "Number--" Her eyes skip to the room Dusk had indicated as his own, though temporarily on loan. "--first of all, yeah, that's kinda where I am, and probably will be for a while. Not saying awful can't come out of it, but I mean--sex is one of the ways I cope." She raises the middle finger beside it. "Second, I am like so much more into you now than I was thirty seconds ago, and I was pretty into you then. Three..." She raises the ring finger, as well, pulling in a deep breath. "Oh God yes, please, I want you to fuck me senseless but also I control electromagnetism and there's a chance I may um--break things. Especially electronics."

Dusk leaves his smaller cache of magnets looped around his index finger, which, at the moment, is quietly ticking up to follow along with Polaris's counting. Then his middle finger, then his thumb; when he gets to three a quick amused tug pulls at his mouth. He stands up; one of his wings unfurls, one velvet-sheathed fingerbone brushing lightly against the side of Polaris's arm. "You been by the safehouse? Got space there and -- not a lot of delicate gadgets. It's not far. Quicker if you don't mind me giving you a lift." One thumbclaw twitches toward the window. "I'll be glad to help you take leave of your senses for a while."

Polaris is already rising, herself, trailing Dusk by a bare instant as if physically drawn along. She lifts her arm and ghosts her fingers over the soft fuzz of Dusk's wing. "Oh!" Her eyes are still wide. "Um. No, I haven't." Her smile is quick and sharp. "I've cooked for them, but you delivered." She still hesitates before stepping into the circle of Dusk's wing, but when she does it brings a new flush of animation--her breath quickens, her hands go to his sides, sliding back to circle his waist. "I wouldn't mind at all." She clasps him tight. "Lift away, please."