Brave New World

October 27 2014: Jericho tries to give Piotr the basics on the new world he finds himself in.

Unit 24F

Jericho and Illyana's apartment, a rather comfortable three bedroom apartment overlooking the Hudson.



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Illyana popped out via her usual method soon as they got back. Jericho told Poitr to make himself at home and showed him the spare room while he got some food going. A quick glance of what was in the 'fridge said it was going to be stir fry. Chicken and shrimp those being both quick and easy. It takes about ten minutes which does give Piotr some time to look around. The apartment has three bedrooms, aside from the main living area, dining area and kitchen. And it's got a terrace that overlooks the Hudson from up about… twenty plus floors high. On the baseboard about the exterior walls are arcane sigils. Wards, of Illyana's make, Jericho explains if asked. Something for added privacy and to prevent someone from just teleporting in without some warning. Also prevents scrying which makes this a good location to hide from Belasco as well, if he's still in play. Jericho seems convinced that he is or will be at any rate.

Soon enough the food is ready and Jericho takes it out to the terrace along with Vodka. Yes, there's not only vodka here but good vodka and Jericho himself seems quite used to drinking it. In that time Jericho has also dumped his body armor in favor of more comfortable clothes, including short sleeves that reveal again those odd circuit like traces.

"So, dig in. There's plenty." Is how he starts the meal. He gives the larger man a chance to eat while he considers that he'll probably need to find a reinforced bed frame for him. Fortunately, that's doable.


The food and vodka are regarded with a small arch of Piotr's eyebrows and a nod. "Spasiba," he says only to then correct himself, "thank you." Even without an accent and life in Russia, some words are ingrained in a person's psyche. He carefully forks some of the stir fry only to stir it several times over while he watches his bowl. The myriad of colours and smells is enough to prompt a small dimpled smile as he does so.

Finally, after a thorough admiration of the colours of the stir-fry, Piotr shovels a forkful into his mouth, and can't, for at least a moment, remember the last time he ate. But then, in his armoured form food wasn't necessary. There's simple pleasure, however, in the act of putting food in ones' mouth. Of chewing it and letting it roll over ones' tongue. Of letting flavours rest and satisfy, and, ultimately, delight.

He swallows, another simple pleasure for those that have experienced death, and a more contented smile tugs his lips upwards. There's pleasure in food. Undoubtedly.

"How long have you been living with my sister?" he finally asks. This may or may not be a question Jericho expected, but it's the one Piotr asks. "I know I'm not the brother she knew, but Yana is beyond special."


Jericho chuckles a bit at the armored man's enjoyment of food. He can identify. Years at war made him appreciate home cooked meals and while Jeri's no chef, so long as the food in question isn't too fancy he's a pretty decent cook.

"Mmmmm…" It helps that the question isn't asked with any Venom. "Let's see." August 15th was when she moved in, his HUD tells him. His memory tells him the story of how she put up the wards, and how he knew that it meant that this place was, at least at present, her home. "Two and a half months, about." Almost exactly, actually.

"And yes." He agrees quietly. "She is beyond special." He expects, really, Piotr to be curious about these kinds of things. And rather relieved that it isn't a more… er… brotherly conversation taking place.


There's a silent nod at the calculation as Piotr takes another long-enjoyed bite of his food. He sets the fork down and watches Jericho as he remembers the length.

And for a few moments it seems like Rasputin debates something with himself. Finally he speaks: "Just remember how special she is. In any reality." There's another pause as Piotr's eyebrows draw together. "And let me be clear. I'm mostly a pacifist. I paint. I sculpt. I write poetry. But if you make my sister cry, I will not hesitate to make you cry."


"I'll take that under advisement." Jericho says, his odd amber eyes actually glimmering in amusement. "Though in seriousness I'd sooner cut my arm off than make her cry." And Jericho has a better than anyone who isn't named Piotr or Kitty, probably, what it'd take to make her cry. He doubts he'd be able to live with himself if he went that far.

"Mmmm… well, feel free to check up on how I'm doing about that. Big brother's privilage right?" And Illyana worships her big brother, even though her big brother was in this life a terrorist and a few other things as well.

"Okay… first things first." The hacker raises his left arm and the circuit traces on it glow blue. There's a flicker above it and then Piotr can see a projection resolve into being. It's a dossier, scolling text, his picture scowling. Some short grainy videos of explosions and other acts of violence.

"On this world you were a known associate of the Brotherhood of Mutants and the Russian Mob. They started out as a mutants rights group, but got pretty extreme pretty fast. I don't know the details but there was a rift between them and the X-Men and I'm pretty sure the two have clashed several times. Your face is known to them as an enemy, I think I mentioned that, and up until recently you were also on a number of international watchlists. That's since been quietly cleaned up. Most of it, anyway. You can thank Illyana for that one. She was trying to give other-you a clean start."


The journey through It's A Wonderful Life has Piotr's lips parting wordlessly and then pressing together. And then parting. And pressing together. The life of other-him isn't exactly one he could ever envision for himself. "Wait. I ended up tied to the Brotherhood?" he squints, trying to discern if this is a joke. "Mikhail did that where I'm from. Ultimately we all ended up working for the same side against the Sentinels."

He squints at the thought of working for anyone but the X-Men, "I suppose my life isn't the life lived by my alter-self. I grew up with the X-Men. I taught art and poetry. Was a paramedic. The thought of getting in with the Russian mob," he shrugs. "We left Russia and didn't look back. Not after what the government did to us."

His head turns to the side. "So. How worried do I have to be that here-Piotr's contacts are going to have expectations of me?"


"Depends on which contacts. Piotr here was in pretty deep. I'm not sure what his projects were recently but I do know his name had come up in connection with some black market arms deals. If the connections are true he may have been working on any number of things."

Jericho frowns as he thinks. "Brotherhoods been inactive lately but they're still out there, If Magneto were to see you I'm positive he would have expectations,"


"So basically," Piotr begins, "I can't assume anyone important to me was remotely important to here-Piotr. I can't assume I'm not going to be pursued by unsavouries looking for arms hookups. This sounds like a great place to land." He shovels another forkful of food into his mouth. "So the Brotherhood is around but inactive. The Russian mob probably has something they're holding over Piotrnate(?)," he tries the word on and shakes his head. Nope, don't like it.

"Alright. Anything else important for me to know? Seems i have some associates I'd rather not keep." He smiles tightly.


"Having never met the guy myself, I couldnt say. Its possible he was in of his own accord. That the Brotherhood might have ties to organized crime doesn't surprise me. Most terrorist organizations do." Jericho spoons another bit of stir fry into his mouth and washes it down with vodka,

"I can tell you," he continues more quietly, "That. Illyana thought the world of her brother even knowing all that, so I was personally inclined to give him the benefit of a doubt. Anyway…" He trails off thinking.

The display shifts to illustrate with dossiers, faces, names and maps as he talks. "The X-Men here are fairly secret. Illyana belongs to a branch that recently went public but mostly they still operate in the black. The school is public, the fact that mutants are there is generally not known though. And they're on alert. Hydra recently stayed several attacks worldwide using an anti mutagenic virus. Killed a lot of people. Two attacks took place here in New York, one of which was at the school. Fortunately, we did manage to shut that cell down for good, the ones making the virus, but it is still a concern."


There's a long pause as Piotr stares at Jericho. "Hydra. So. Basically there are hate crimes against mutants here?" he asks, trying to get a beat on the reality of this world. He inhales a sharp breath, "And the X-Men manage to operate in secret just the same? That's interesting. It's good for the students, I guess. Gives them a chance for something normal."

"Not much of that where we were. Not since registration. It was impossible to stay off lists, even if you were careful. That's when the Brotherhood got… violent in my world." He frowns. "Mikhail, our older brother, joined them." His arms cross over his chest. "Do you know anything about him here?"


"Yeah, though what I was talking about was a bit different." Jericho says, putting his spoon down. "HYDRA had intended to force the world's mutant population into open revolt against the established authorities by making it appear as if said authorities had initiated a program to wipe them out. They'd lash out, the authorities would crack down and HYDRA would swoop in as the 'protector of mutant kind'. It was clever. Ruthless, but clever."

He frowns at the mention of Registration. "That's been kicked around Congress a couple of times but so far it doesn't have any support. Well, almost none. As for Mikhail, Illyana's never talked about him to me and I've never dug. I could look into it for you if you'd like." Jericho is fairly good at finding things out.


Piotr's eyebrows arch upwards. "Registration was the start of everything for us. Maybe it'd be better here but," his head shakes. "It's not really fair, is it? I mean, if a person wants to, that seems fine, but how many people want their private life aired out for the public to see? I'd say not many."

His hand runs over his chin at the thought of Mikhail and he nods. "Please do. it'd be good to know what Mikhail is up to these days. Or if he's even alive. I'd hate to bring him up to Yana if…" he frowns. "I don't want any discomfort for her if I can help it."


Jericho nods. There's a short pause as he starts a couple of basic traces and reaches over to refill Piotr's tumbler of vodka. "Sure, I can do that. Just Mikhail Rasputin?"

"Mmm, well I certainly do understand that. No, I'd say most people just want to be left to live their lives." Jericho gets that. Quite a bit. It's all he'd wanted until Hydra had come gunning for him. And then he discovered that his implants could never be removed. It'd been crushing. He can only imagine how it was for Piotr and the rest of mutantkind. "So, they created machines to keep you in line, but the machines themselves went nuts?" He shakes his head. "Who watches the watchers, mmm?"


"Mikhail Nikolaievitch Rasputin," Piotr replies as he nods at the vodka. "He's the eldest of the three of us. Might make him the hardest to track down. Although, admittedly, if your version of me was a criminal," he shrugs. "Theoretically harder to find than most."

He takes a sip of his vodka before discussing the Sentinels further only to down the entire glass in one go, prompting his lips to turn downwards as it burns. Finally, he nods. "Basically. The machines were intended to enforce registration. Then they upped the ante to annihilation should anyone resist. Ultimately that changed and they annihilated everything and everyone. Not good. For anyone."


"No, doesn't sound like it." Jericho's voice is quieter as he once again refills Piotr's glass. "Well, lesson to watch out for. I'll dig into Mikhail. People leave all kinds of records and traces if you know where to look and I'm better at it than most…"

He takes a sip of his own vodka and swirls his glass a bit before continuing. "Speaking of which, I should put out there right now that I'm not regarded as an upstanding citizen. Depending on what day you ask, I may be a wanted criminal. Hydra's been after me for nearly two years now and they do their best to turn the law enforcement systems against me. I'm winning that arguement at present, but they're always trying to alter and lock down things like terrorist watch lists." Better Piotr find this out from him, given whom Jericho is with, than later from someone else. "A lot of things are said about me that aren't true. And a lot of things aren't said about me that are. I'm most decidedly not a pacifist. I used to be a soldier and I've had no problems employing those skills against Hydra or the people they send to kill me."


"Well at least you're forthright about it," Piotr notes as he looks down at the now-full glass again. "To be honest, I come from a place where everyone is considered a criminal." He stares at Jericho and sips the vodka again. "I don't trust governments to evaluate character. Not the way I once did."

His tongue rolls over his lips in silent contemplation. "But peace should still be an option if it can be." His head turns back into the apartment. "We'll see where all of this takes us." He sighs quietly before shifting from his seat. "I think I need to rest. Thank you for dinner. Truly."


"Sleep well Piotr. If you need anything just let me know. Or Illyana when she gets back." Jericho waves. He stays out on the terrace for a long time to think before he goes in to clean up.

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