FANDOM


A Parliament of Parliaments
Rplog-icon Who: Kilroy Capital Conneticut, Victor von Doom
Animal Man, Poison Ivy, Swamp Thing, Solomon Grundy
Where: Central Park
When: 2014.06.30
Tone: Gritty
What: Kilroy is given a warning and a stricture.

{{{logtext}}}


Pale blue light approaches Central Park on a rapid descent, filling the air above it with the low, droning hum of gravimetric propulsion. Rather than jets, the descending craft - which seems to resemble a stealth bomber in all other respects, with its roughly triangular body and broad wingspan - casts that eerie, persistent light across the ground beneath itself. Most of its wings, as well as its nose and parts of its tail are dark green; the rest is gunmetal gray, with black or green accents here or there; there is no discernible cockpit.

Despite the loud, shiny spectacle of it all, though, its arrival in Manhattan is unlikely to draw much attention, due to the Ubiquity Engine incorporated into its design; mystically sensitive souls in the vicinity might experience a bad dream or two tonight, but otherwise, one would need to have already been looking for the craft to recognize it as anything particularly out of the ordinary--or else have the arcane resources and know-how to peel away the illusions wrapped around it.

Those below probably fall into one or both categories; fortunately, Doom wants them to know that he's coming. Rather touch down, though - the Engine can't do a thing to cover up the evidence of a landing - the craft stops about ten feet off of the ground, its glowing underbelly fading as its propulsion system is set to idle. A segment near the front slides back along barely visible seams, and after climbing outside, the Lord of Latveria makes the rest of the descent himself with his arms folded over his chest and his cape fluttering around his body. The cold blue light shining from the soles of his boots is identical to the one gently bathing him as he nears the ground.

Attend a mystical council and speak for their Parliament, the spirits begged. Be their voice, they pleaded; when it came down to it, he agreed not for the favors they swore to offer him in turn, but for the opportunity to learn things that he imagines few mortals have. Ultimately, while he's here on behalf of the Steel, it's Doom that he represents--just as always.

The veil parts and before Doom is a cacophony of spirits, some giant as the trees, some small wisps that tilt in among the needles of pines. There are all manner of spirits here, for such an event occurs but once in a thousand years, and they most of them do not like each other. Air spirits near fire spirits, the green and the red, animal spirits near tree spirits. All of them avoid the Time Spirits, those who enforce the peace here, no combat of any kind. They are nervous and excited. Deals are made and broken here. Alliances are shifted and some are simply thrilled to be here. There are not any spirits of Steel here, since many are affiliated with a force that is designed to destroy and kill them. They hate technology and are cowed by Doom. They know who he is. Almost all spirits had some tapping into certain channels of information and Doom was known. Quite well. They still seemed to be waiting for someone. And there was another class of spirits not at all here this evening....but Doom wouldn't immediately know that looking about.

As the lone representative of 'his' Parliament, Doctor Doom's first action upon arrival is setting his systems to scan for familiar - whether from personal experience or study - presences and cross-reference them with his database so that he can be fed relevant bits of information about them as necessary. Once that's seen to, he commences mingling.

Of course, what Doctor Doom might consider 'mingling', others might consider 'eavesdropping' or 'strategic meddling'. It really amounts to taking a lap of the congregation while remaining as unobtrusive as his--unique--presence will allow him to, unless/until he spots an opportunity to into slip into some conversation with a carefully chosen words of support, or pick off an unoccupied being to offer greetings or advice. He maintains an icy ambivalence all the while, allowing his fearsome reputation to set the tone for his interactions without resorting to implications of violence.

Unlike the other attendees, he doesn't ignore the Time Spirits, even if they aren't his first destination; instead, he waits until he's completed most of a circuit through the gathering before approaching one of them with a firm, respectful nod. His sensor array draws a number of reticles over its form as he offers, "I have dedicated years - subjectively, of course - to studying the--unique mysteries of your ilk," and tries to take some prelimary readings for later. "It has made for an illuminating distraction from the day to day challenges of rulership."

With Doom's gear, assessing the spirits isn't impossible. Having said that there are some spirits that seem harder to nail down on the first pass, which doesn't mean that the suit isn't still trying of course. The more powerful spirits seem to be Swamp Thing in the Green, a giant Orange spirit of some kind he doesn't know the name of, a Black whispering thing and a fairy of some kind. He's got all kinds of possibilities here and his instincts tell him that there are literally worlds of possibilities.

Chronar, the time spirit, is surprised at Dooms approach and nods respectfully, "I am Chronar. I am a spirit of time. Mortals are studied by us just as much if not more so. Rulership is a challenge. What do you find more important...fear...or success?"

"Fear is a catalyst," Doom muses as he crosses his arms over his chest again, "for those strong enough to overcome it, it is the fire that drives great men - great leaders - forever forward, towards a better future for their people; what could a ruler who has never known the fear of losing that with is most important to them ever hope to achieve? What is use is success if all that it brings is an endless procession of mediocrity? Separately, they are ideas with little, if any value; it is the will and determination of a leader willing to forge his fears into glorious triumph that lends either of them any importance to speak of."

After answering, the Doctor allows himself a small smile beneath the grill of his mask, and as he cants his head curiously to one side, he tacks on, "But then, you've had the luxury of being able to study all of the great leaders who have, or ever will be; I doubt that these are new revelations for you." Turning aside from Chronar to look out over some of the rest of the gathering, he then wonders, "These others--they represent the underlying forces and ideals of existence, just as your kind do. But you aren't like them: perhaps the others have cause to debate and discuss their place in the universe, but what would any of the others be without the framework that your kind provides? What keeps you here among them, rather than above them?"

"Some of them exist outside of time. Time is a framework, but it is not the only frame work. Your answer is an acceptable one. We applaud your insight." Chronar seems amused and intrigued by Doom's forthrightness. "Four questions of your future you may ask. You have solved the riddle well." Doom can recall in his studies that among spirits, riddles, even open questions can be a game, if not the only game, that interests them. Time Spirits aren't mentioned a lot, but Doom's instincts that they're hideously powerful is the right one.

The veil pierces again, and a guy dressed up in armor made up of dollar bills, paper currency and coins walks in. Conversation stops and there are some whispers among the time spirits, but the more powerful spirits don't seem as concerned. No one seems to be speaking to the newcomer.

"Of course," Doom replies as if he earns favors from chronal spirits on a daily basis. "Once our business here is concluded, we will speak again."

The Doctor turns his attention towards the currency-clad newcomer, and after subjecting him to the same round of scanning his database for info, then scanning him for data as the other attendees, he unfurls his arms and leaves Chronar to approach the latest arrival himself, since nobody else is.

"This last decade must have been an--interesting one for you," he muses. "Soaring victories and bitter failures, rising fortunes and broken dreams; I never had the opportunity to know your predecessor, but I studied him. You must be proud, coming into your power in an era nearly as tumultuous as his."

"Of course," Doom replies as if he earns favors from chronal spirits on a daily basis. "Once our business here is concluded, we will speak again."

The Doctor turns his attention towards the currency-clad newcomer, and after subjecting him to the same round of scanning his database for info, then scanning him for data as the other attendees, he unfurls his arms and leaves Chronus to approach the latest arrival himself, since nobody else is.

"This last decade must have been an--interesting one for you," he muses. "Soaring victories and bitter failures, rising fortunes and broken dreams; I never had the opportunity to know your predecessor, but I studied him. You must be proud, coming into your power in an era nearly as tumultuous as his."

Kilroy is, of course, overwhelmed by the whole thing. He's a Shepard of spirits among other things, so when they beg with him, plead with him, to attend some event he's never even heard of before, he's not going to refuse, but it seems like there are hundreds, maybe thousands of spirits here, and none of them wants anything to do with him. He recognizes Solomon Grundy and Poison Ivy. Animal Man and Swamp Thing are unknown to him but he SURE knows Doctor Doom.

"I....er...uh..." He considers how to respond to this, "I...have had a lot of cleaning up to do yes. Er...your Excellence? I'm terribly sorry I don't know your title." Etiquette is important, especially at a place like this. He still doesn't know the reason he's here though. Ivy he could maybe understand. Grundy? But Doom has him floored. He didn't even know the guy knew magic.

"Doctor," he supplies after letting Kilroy fumble for it. "Though 'Excellence' is acceptable." And accurate, he comes just short of actually saying; the implication is there in his tone, though. "I have spared Latveria from the worst of the rest of the world's greed, but even she must contend with the strictures that it has imposed--for now. You've a challenging campaign ahead of you, if you really wish to change things elsewhere, though; I fear that the other leaders of the world lack my capacity for foresight."

Animal Man, Ivy, and Grundy's presences were noted early on, but trying to probe the other, more exotic attendees seemed a little more important than trying to make small talk with heroes and villains. Or Solomon Grundy; just about anything would seem more important than that. He did find an opportunity to mention Latveria's progressive environmental programs in Swamp Thing's presence, though, even if he didn't make much of an effort to sustain a conversation with the elemental beyond that. Kilroy might not register either, if it wasn't for his newness; that alone is unique enough to merit some attention, though.

"Speaking of fear," he adds, taking another step towards Kilroy so that he can lean in and lower his voice, "it is a wholly appropriate response to my presence, but you will want to contain yourself, if you are at all capable of it: you are surrounded by beings utterly unlike you, with no particular motivation to sympathize with newcomers of any kind, much less mortal ones. Do not show weakness; you are not what you were before crossing the veil, but the embodiment of something far greater."

It's odd really, but of all the people who could have spoken to Kilroy at that point in time, Doom's advice is perhaps the right one. Kilroy is an intuitive man, and nods, "You know what Doctor? You are right." Kilroy calms himself. He might not be that much himself, but his ally can be a counter to anyone here. "There is too much greed in the world Doctor, but I unlike many do know you care for your people, better than most. I can sense the ebb and flow, and especially given your choices of defense and administration, your people are fed, and secure. Indeed, I find it laughably ironic that the least of your people is better in many ways than more so called 'progressive' nations..." Doom would note that there...perceptive as he is, that Kilroy is not his grandfather and while no friend of tyranny, the note of Greed hit home. Strongly.

He looks at Chonar and says,"The Gold is arrived."

A staff is struck into the ground and everyone, even the powerful go silent. "The Parliament of Parliaments is called to order. We are here because of the Surge. Once in a thousand years, a magical surge comes, disrupting the natural order. Last it was the Red affixed the plague, and before it was the Black with death coming and going as it would. And before that it was the white, and before that the Green with the coming of the Grey."

Solomon Grundy and some fungi spirits frown, no one speaks to them or cares."

"You are here to hear witness. Council and instructions from your betters New Jersey." Connecticut, but Kilroy understands how a spirit might miss that. "You are here. You are being summoned and are summoned and will be summoned. Are there any who would speak?"

Doom smiles to himself when Kilroy finally announces his arrival, but he respects the sanctity of the gathering by staying quiet when it's called to order. Mostly, he preferred not to see one of the only other humans in attendance make himself vulnerable with his uncertainty--at least, not to anyone but him; now that that's settled, he's perfectly content to listen and observe.

That is, until the floor is opened. Once it is, he wastes little time in noting, "Without knowing what it is that has befallen - or will befall - the Gold, how can we advise its representative? I am sure that the eldest among you have countless millennium of wisdom to share with him, but all of it is for naught without knowing what this Surge means, in context."

Doom smiles to himself when Kilroy finally announces his arrival, but he respects the sanctity of the gathering by staying quiet when it's called to order. Mostly, he preferred not to see one of the only other humans in attendance make himself vulnerable with his uncertainty--at least, not to anyone but him; now that that's settled, he's perfectly content to listen and observe.

That is, until the floor is opened. Once it is, he wastes little time in noting, "Without knowing what it is that has befallen - or will befall - the Gold, how can we advise its representative? I am sure that the eldest among you have countless millennia of wisdom to share with him, but all of it is for naught without knowing what this Surge means, in context."

The silence that emits for several moments is finally stops with Chronar looking at Doom and then looking at Kilroy, "The Surge is always manifested in a different form. None of us knows what it will be. It will seem like a gift of tremendous power but will come at tremendous cost. Before we understood it, the poorest choices among us would receive it. Now, we let each parliament take their turn with the burden and opportunity and choose their representative. There can be no preparation but the experiences of others."

"In that case," the Doctor says, turning in place to face the other members of the gathering as he speaks, "my advice is simple: when this curse wrapped in a blessing comes, embrace it--whatever it may one day cost you." He eventually comes to face Kilroy again, now with intently narrowed eyes visible through the slits in his mask.

"Glean all that you can from it and whatever follows," he continues, the electric rumble of his voice filling the clearing, "so that if you manage to survive your tribulation, you will be stronger for it. There is no value, no nobility in survival merely for the sake of it; let the coming storm wash over you and strip away that which is unworthy. If anything at all remains when it has passed, then your suffering will not have been in vain. If not... well. You are not the first of your line; surely, you will not be the last."

Animal Man, being a hero, speaks for the Red. "The Plague was bad business. I'd say skip this thing but you can't do that. So I'd say...use it as little as you can. Pretty much the opposite of what Doom here says. It might not seem like it but it's bad business."

"The last time the barriers of death were lessened, the world was turned upside down and a cancer was unleashed upon the world that swept all belief in the fantastic to the darkest corners of the world. The gift in this case was unconscious and could not be controlled. We sympathize with you, but offer no council."

The White speaks and says, "We consider enough of a blessing. The one called 'doom' is right. Embrace the gift.'

Poison Ivy looks at Swamp Thing and then at Grundy, "The Green has nothing to say."

Chronar looks annoyed at this but shrugs. "The strictures are simple. Keep it from affecting us. Mankind may be swamped but good or ill the effects are your own. If you breach this protocol, there will be consequences, do you understand?"

Kilroy still has a million questions. But the desire to avoid a face of fear makes him reconsider. "Yeah I understand." Not the most noble of words but he's not feeling thrilled about this. He wished they'd told him more. He would have words with a few of them later. A lot of words.

"Then we are done." And with that, just that quickly, the once in a thousand year event begins to unravel. Some spirits leave immediately, some linger for a bit in curious or cunning conversation.

Doom manages to resist the urge to shoot Animal Man a baleful look when he's called out; instead, he makes a barely perceptible gesture with his right ring finger that creates a file named 'ANIMAL MAN', which then begins collecting relevant references to the hero from Latveria's databanks, for later use.

It won't do anything about being slighted in the moment, but there's nothing wrong with laying the groundwork for a potential revenge scheme early.

When the gathering concludes, he turns fully towards Kilroy once more and offers, "When the time comes - when you have received your gift - find me," keeping his voice low enough that the Spirit of Capitalism should be the only one able to hear it. "Your burden will ultimately be yours to shoulder, but perhaps I'll be able to offer some guidance on how best to hold it; tonight was not the best night for advice, but I heard no rules forbidding you from receiving more."

Kilroy's not even sure WHAT to say to that, except, "Thank you Doctor. If I know what it is and its mobile, I'll let you know. There don't seem to be a lot of rules but if the Steel doesn't object to it, then I'll potentially take you up on that offer."

As the spirits vanish into the night one by one, Kilroy nods to Doom, "I shall consider doing that..."

And with that...the night is still.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.