|Two Faces of a Coin|
|What: Magneto invites the lady Amora to Bastion for a bit of... business social.|
The invite to Amora had been sent out in the grandest fashion possible. A dignified letter bearer, specifically tasked to track down the Enchantress Supreme. The letter was written on proper vellum in elegantly wrought gold, acutally inlaid into the vellum instead of being mere gold etching.
It was a formally worded request for her presence at the Genoshan Embassy- an invitation to sup with the soverign ruler of Bastion at her convenience, giving an opportunity for her to RSVP at a time of her own conveience.
Thus, Amora had been invited, and the table in the Embassy was set and staffed by butlers. Magneto waits for Amora's arrival with the studied patience of a man with much preoccupying his mind and not minding the time to sit and /wait/, which is a rare luxury for the man.
"The Lady Amora, Enchantress of Asgard," a serving man announces. Magneto turns, adjusting his formal robes minutely, and stands with his palms indexed together at stomach level, waiting for Amora to be escorted into the den adjoining the formal dining room.
It was not often the Enchantress deigned to suffer the whims of mortals, to be summoned to some place within Midgard for the sake of anything. Much less to dine with them. Yet, she had long been aware of the tumults of Midgard - one of the most prominent of which was the political turmoil in Genosha. And the man behind it all, the man referred to as 'Magneto' had most certainly caught her curiousity. It was not often a mere mortal commanded such power... when they did it was always of interest to those in Asgard...
...And so, she waits... in what to her is this quaint little hall. A lavish hall by mortal standards, certainly. But to her, it was quaint. And one could practically see it in the jade eyes that wandered the room from corner to corner. Dressed in a rather revealing emerald green evening gown of finest silks, as was her fashion, with her long golden tresses hanging to about her mid-back... the Goddess stands nigh motionlessly before the open doorway of the den. She is awaiting the doorman to fetch her, as a proper lady should, but there's a subtle annoyance to her posture that might suggest: he couldn't move fast enough.
...And eventually, the lady herself enters, "...My, my..." A touch of amusement is present in the deep, breathy, tone she speaks in... "...What a lovely little arrangement..."
While not being as grand as Midgard's silvered halls, the eloquence of the decor in the Genoshan Embassy leaves little to be desired. Where Midgard is bronze and steel, all glimmering spires, the Genoshas apparently prefer to echo their ruler's colors. Deep mahogony wood abounds everywhere, with scarlet and cream fabric marking both compliment and contrast the rich wood furnishings and wall panels.
"Lady Amora," Magneto says, warm approval in his tone. He bows slightly to Amora- a gesture that acknowledges her strength without quite submitting himself to it. "On behalf of the island of Genosha, welcome to our Embassy. I am your host, the Imperator of Bastion," Magneto states politely, going through the proper forms of etiquette that are so often lost to other mortals. Then again, there are precious few mortals like Magneto. "May I escort you to the dining hall?" he invites, offering to take her hand in his rawboned fingers.
"I regret we did not have occassion to call upon you sooner," Magneto informs the woman as they move to take their seats at the formal table. The lights glimmer and move overhead, candles suspended on tiny steel dishes that Magneto apparently keeps aloft with a tiny modicum of will. He escorts Amora to her seat, then moves to take his. The table is not so small that the dishes are crowded, but not so large that they must speak loudly to be heard. Invisible, silent butlers stand in attendance, moving quickly to serve the first dish of the night as the Imperator and the Enchantress settle themselves to their meals.
"Asgard's relationship with Midgard is heavily couched by the Lord Thor's personal proclivities," he says with a wry understatement. "It took us some time to realize that there was an Asgardian who visited our world often, who would not be ...biased by personal perspectives," Magneto says, making a minutely disparaging gesture to ameliorate any suggestion that a woman such as Amora would be biased at all.
The invitation to join him is accepted, wordlessly, by an offered hand - a soft, deceptively fragile-seeming, hand with cream-colored, flawless, skin. Though there is great strength to these ancient hands, the eased and canny manner with which she offers this hand would not betray it. She allows the Imperator to escort her to his dining hall, taking in the purview of the dining hall as she enters it.
As he offers her a seat she offers him a brief display of pristine, pearly, white teeth as her emerald green, painted, lips are pulled into a small smile. And then takes the offered seat, allowing her hands to come to rest in her lap beneath the table. There, she sits... patiently waiting, listening, for the crux of his speech. The point as it were. But as with all things formal, it comes mired in subtlety.
"...His proclivities,..." she starts, offering an amused grin, "Yes ...he is a rather strong-minded, yet simple creature... with an inclination toward idealism." She visibly rolls her eyes, as if to communicate she was all too familiar with the matter he speaks of. "He is quite excellent at swinging a hammer, but he really should learn to keep away from... meddling in things he has not the capacity to understand."
"Well. If we ever find ourselves needing someone to occupy a capacity as a carpenter, we know to whom we should go," Magneto says with a wry chuckle. The first dish- scallions and rabbit medallions, with a light gravy, comes served. "May I offer you some wine?" Magneto inquires of the woman, gesturing. "I have a rather excellent Domaine de Couron '87 cabernet souvignon. My sommelier recommended it rather highly," he informs her, gesturing for the butler to bring over the bottle and decork it.
Wine is poured, and Magneto sips the excellent vintage.
"I share your sentiment regarding much of the adventures the 'Avengers' frequently engage in," Magneto says with an airy gesture of his wineglass. "Tony Stark is an incorrigible boozehound and skirt-chaser. The Fantastic Four seem utterly unable to work as a team. Spider-man is as absent as often as present. They seem more a book club with delusions of grandeur than a heroic assembly."
"Tell me, Lady Amora- do you have any designs upon Midgard at the moment?" he says, his tone frankly curious. "My intelligence services do not indicate you've graced us with your presence with any great frequency of late. While I appreciate your acceptance of my offer, I do wonder if you're considering returning to Midgard on a more ... permanent basis?"
"As you well know, ...", she starts, swirling the wine within the fine crystal glass and eyeing it with a touch of curiousity in her features. The movements of that hand are precise, keeping the gesture slow and controlled... with a constant, fluid, motion. After a moment or so, her attentions return to him...
"...I am a denizen of Asgard. And I am far, far, more intricately connected with it than you mortals could ever know." The way she expresses this last bit carries no suggestion of condescending, it was a mere statement of fact. "...I cannot dwell here permanently. Nor would I wish to...", she stops to partake of the wine momentarily before continuing - lifting the glass to her lips, sipping it briefly, before setting it upon the table once more.
"...but, I have a keen interest in things in Midgard. Especially in the power plays of mortals... they amuse me greatly. I especially take an interest in them precisely because we in Asgard have our own squabbles... and it is so very -fun- to make the lives of the other Asgardians more miserable than they already are." She chuckles softly, and brushes a long silken strand of her golden from her eyes. "...It is for this reason, I accepted thine offer to dine. I suspect thou wish to enlist my... services... and I am willing to offer them readily. But, as all things, they do come with a price..."
Magneto tilts his head minutely to the side as Amora speaks, the gesture not unlike a hawk watching a sudden movement in the field it is guarding. He listens quietly to her words, watching her with keen blue eyes that betray nothing, yet seem to take in everything. "Thou art most perceptive, Lady Amora," Magneto says, affecting her mode of speech without a trace of self-consciousness. "Yeah, I prithee parley with thou for thy services. Thou are't known across the Nine Realms as an enchantress of power sublime, and gifts of supple beauty and dangerous wit that leave men mad with desire." He sips his wine, pursing his lips in consideration of his words.
"Hearken to my words, if thou wilst. We are seekers of power both, upon Midgard and Asgard alike. We value well subtle words and suffer fools not lightly. While thy gifts run to enchantment and subtle arts, I am known far and wide as one who leads with wisdom and power. I think perhaps we may stand on profile as faces of a coin- wisdom and wiles, seduction and supremacy. How think you then of alliance, that we may mutually pursue a course that gains us both in our lands of home?"
Her movements are at once halted by the mortal's rather beautiful display of the ancient tongue, lips pursing slightly and gaze softening a touch with her deepened interest. "...I think,..", and she smiles warmly at this, giving the older man an appreciative glance. "...that is a most beautiful proposition. Beautifully worded, and beautifully well-played. Thou hast mine interest, Magneto..." And she leans a bit closer, lowering her tone to almost a whisper, "...and mine is an interest not easily earned. Thou shalt have my favors, and shouldst thou make good on thy promises...", she exhales softly, adding a seductive purr to her next words, "...perhaps, thou shalt have more."
She then slowly leans back again, almost as though it had not even happened, and takes up her wine glass once more. "...As for my perception, one does live for two millennia without being able to... 'read between the lines'... as it were. ... Unless, one's name is Thor Odinson..."
Magneto shows teeth when he smiles at Amora, and there's a hint in there of the apex predator that is systematically wiping humanity off the face of the Earth. It's a cold grin, faint amusement sublimated by a will more resolute than iron, than steel. "Let us keep things 'professional'," Magneto says, the grin fading to an amused twinkle. "Your ... talents at seducing men precede you. I think I should like to retain my faculties a while yet before I am conquered by your loveliness," he informs her with an urbane, complex inflection- simultaneously warning and teasing, while being self-deprecating enough to avoid being insulting. Magneto's talents manifest not just as a series of pretty lights. There are layers and layers of subtext to his words, nuances that only a master seductress would likely appreciate.
"As matters stand at the moment, a... woman's touch would be most useful," he says, probing the inside of his cheek with his tongue. Dishes are exchanged in the moment between words, a serving of rice dolce in a mango sauce. "A vote is being presented soon in the electoral arm of the leadership of an adjoining country. I regrettably lack the sympathy of the voters by a margin sufficient to guarantee the vote leading in my direction. A mutant seducing a human councilor would create a cry of outrage, but if a Goddess deigned to visit a man in his dreams and convince him to vote a certain way... well. That can hardly be blamed on me and mine, no?" he asks, arching his eyebrows over his wineglass.
A small laugh is offered at the suggestion of her attempting to control him, accompanied by a subtle swaying of her golden locks about her lovely face as she shakes her head. "...If I had a mind to steal your faculties, rest assured... they would be mine." She counters his comment with yet another statement of - as she sees it - fact. There are few mortal men who could resist her advances and, in her mind,... no matter how resolute this man may be... he would be much the same. This sheer confidence in her abilities, tempered by thousands of years of experience, she communicates quite plainly with every nuance of her speech and bearing.
"...Old habits, however, ...", she smiles again with feigned demureness, "...They do die hard." And she then turns her attention to the newly arrived meal, giving an appraising look but listening to his words nevertheless with keen interest.
And it is when he finishes speaking, that a rather mischievous smile creeps into her lovely features. "...My, but a job catered to mine abilities... and an easy one at that. Well..." She feigns a sigh of disappointment, as though she really ever tired of manipulating people. "...that I canst certainly do."
"Excellent. Let us begin our relationship with a small test, then," Magneto says, scraping up a delicate bite of the rice. "And in the meanwhile, in return, allow me to offer you the accomodations of the Embassy," he says, gesturing with a gestalten gesture at the building. "Certain areas I would ask you- politely, of course- to avoid. I can force you nothing," he smiles. "I'm well aware that my security is no match for your talents. Call it a simple request for a respect to my privacy," he solicits. He chews his food thoughtfully. "I must confess, I had been feeling some concern of late regarding my assembly's magical prowess. We have some very low-level mutant magicians with barely manifesting powers, but no one of real... depth, shall we say," he hedges. "Having you working alongside us ameliorates a rather troubling weakness in our 'team roster'."
Jade eyes move slowly to cross the gap of space between the Imperator and his embassy. They fall upon it, but she says nothing particularly about it for the duration of his speech. She merely regards it, briefly, with the same unexpressive demeanor with which she regarded the previous halls. She then shifts her gaze back toward the Imperator himself, whilst partaking politely of the offered food.
It is upon lifting her wine glass for yet another paltry sip, that his words fall to silence and she allows the silence to remain for a few pleasant moments in time. Once the drink is taken, she sets the crystal glass down gently upon the dining table once more and offers him a reply. "...I shall respect this request. I have little to no interest in invading thy privacy nor marring our little business relationship before it shouldst ever leave the lowly ground." Another soft chuckle passes the woman's jade lips, glistening with the wetness of wine. "...Yes, I could use this." She leans back in her chair a bit, relaxing... yet visibly thinking. "...A place removed from the eyes and ears of Asgard. I can fortify this place for you indeed, t'would serve mine purposes immensely..."
"My understanding of magic is fairly limited," Magneto admits freely to his dining companion. "I can percieve the effects it manifests in my own way. As a harpist may admire and harmonize with the violinist, I can... harmonize with the warp and weft of magical weavings. I have no idea how you /do/ what you do, of course, but there it is." Magneto turns to the last course as it's brought in- a sweet, tangy fruit drizzled in honey and cream. "However, you'll find this building has been reinforced with a molyvanadium alloy of my own devising. It effectively scrambles a wide variety of energies, ranging from dimensional shunts to simple radio waves. Barring some heretofore unknown level of physics that escapes me entirely, I believe you would find the accomodations here more than adequate to your personal security levels." He chews the fruit solicitously. "Of course, feel free to educate me on the matter if you notice any deficiencies I've failed to address. We have most of the amenities you'd need here- entertainment, food, a salon. My staff socializes here frequently as well, both the operational and support crews. Some of the operational staff members are a bit... rough around the edges." He swallows some wine. "Avoid the ones that look dangerous, if you will accept some unsolicited advise. The ones with sallow complexions and large spines are inadvertently very dangerous."
"...There is little to understand. But much to know.", she starts, with regards to his mentioning of magic, "...Sorcery is a thing which defies explanation by its very nature. It is something which one experiences, its nature is ever changing much like the flow of the planet's magnetic currents." She attempts to explain magic using an analogy he might understand. "...Just as you might not be able to readily explain /how/ it is you do that which you do... so it is also quite difficult to explain magic to one who has not felt it in their very blood." She emphasizes this last bit, alluding to what follows, "...It is, by its very nature, reality responding to the commands of a living will. And it taketh a mighty will to subject all that is to one's desires."
Her eyes lift then, toward the ceiling, as if staring /through/ it for a moment. "....I shall take the advice thou hast so freely given me." she says, after a few moments more, before placing her silverware down upon the table with an intention to depart. "But, though I do so hate to depart swiftly such an elaborate and generous fete... I am afraid I must depart for a time. ... May we see one another again soon, Magneto... Imperator of Bastion."
Magneto rises and bows to Amora. "Another time, Enchantress. I look forward to seeing you around the Embassy in the coming days. I think we have much to offer one another," he informs her. With a courtly bow, he waits for the woman to take her leave and be escorted off, before resuming his seat to finish his meal.