Crepes and Colossus

Summary:
October 30 2014: Jericho has news for Piotr

The Crepe Bistro

A small restaurant with a few tables, outside seating and delicious crepes.


Characters

NPCs

  • K'nert

Mood Music:
[* None]


Jericho's search had yielded Fruit… of the red kind. And the kind that's ever so slightly mysterious. The kind that always seems to go down better with food. Accordingly, when the hacker came back today from whatever his activities were (he won't burden the heavily muscled artist unless he asks) he invites him out to a little crepe bistro tucked away in a corner a couple of blocks from the apartment. All kinds of crepes are availabe. Sweet ones. Savory ones. Jericho likes the chicken florentine, which he is currently enjoying.

"So, I got some results back on Mikhail…"

-

Crepes are a novelty for someone who just left an apocalypse. Piotr opted for something called Thai Chicken, and so far it hasn't disappointed. Of course, it's incredibly hard to talk and eat when snacking on something extremely delicious and unusual. But he focuses as best he can regardless. He takes a few large bites of the crepe and then around it (whilst chewing), he responds, "Oh?" He chews a few of the bigger bites and then tilts his head, "Anyfin intewestin — " talking around his food is met with a small shake of his head. He swallows his mouthful and then tries again, "Anything interesting?"

-

Jericho chuckles. The other thing crepes are is relatively inexpensive which means that despite the fact that the both of them will probably need more than one, no one need be worried about it.

"Yes… and I kind of want to know how you want to proceed here…"

Jericho scolls his dossier internally, over his HUD. No giving himself away by using the holographic emitters, especially this close to his apartment. "Right then. Mikhail 'Misha' Nikolaievitch Rasputin, born 1981… usual biographical information. Place of birth, parents. Joined the Red Army and had a rather distinguished career. Order of Zhukov, Order of Courage, Merit of the Fatherland. Pretty long list of tours and decorations, well what of it hasn't been tampered with. I'm showing some fairly extensive evidence of redacting and internal back and forth. His file lists him as a mutant who underwent genetic classification and a couple rounds of gene therapy, though what for isn't mentioned."

There's a moment of silence as he scans more. "He joined the space program, had several launches. Then in 2004 there was an accident. Shuttle crash." Jericho glances up to meet Piotr's eyes, his own glimmering with sympathy. "He's listed as Killed in Action. But… before he was, he was also listed as assigned to something called Operation Black Valley. No information, just a code name."

He leans back in his seat a little, watching the reaction. "Russian civil networks confirm his status as dead, but before he went it certainly does seem like he got pulled into some very secret things. Don't know how much it had to do with the accident. I can keep digging if you want… Might get… weird. I'm fine with weird if you are though."

-

Piotr keeps eating his crepe and then nods at Jericho's words. He stops eating, however, at the notion of the distinguished career, his time with the red army, and his apparent commendations. These are already big differences from the Mikhail he knew. He swallows hard and allows his face to pinch into a near-scowl. There's a thoughtfulness in his expression as he considers. "So." He lifts a single finger as he sets the crepe on the table, "All you know about this project is its name? That seems kind of… odd, doesn't it?"

His eyes squint and he allows his head to lull to the side. His blue eyes narrow and he emits a soft breath. He takes another bite of the crepe, and leans back in his seat, contemplating all of this information. And as he chews, he considers everything Jericho has shared with him.

The tension in his expression dissipates and he nods. "I'm fine with weird. And there already seems to be hints of weird through what you've already found." His eyebrows arch upwards, "Is there a way to dig deeper? I'm not a hacker I don't," his head shakes, "but if there's a way to find more information, to find out what any of these secret operations were, maybe I can get a beat on this world a little better."

-

"Extremely." Jericho confirms for the big mutant, sipping at a ginger ale. "The more so since when I looked there were no references on the military servers. So it's a black operation. Black as they get. Seems your brother was quite the patriotic hero though, at any rate. And yes, there are ways to get more on this though it'll take some time and I may have to involve some friends. I have a few contacts that might be interested on the Russian angle of this. Though if you'd prefer I keep it quiet and do the digging solo I'll do that for you, since this is your brother's career and death we're talking about."

Jericho pauses for another bite of crepe. Mmmm. Chicken. "There's one other matter. I don't know how much of this Illyana knows, but someone should probably tell her. It's her brother too." Beat. "More to the point, I don't know how much I'll be able to keep from her for long. Long story, that one, one that is probably best to hear from her, but I don't have any secrets from her save the ones she doesn't ask about." That's been by choice thus far. Jericho's trust of Illyana knows no bounds. However given that she can sense him now, being her Familiar and all, it's possible she'll pick up on what he's found anyway. He's not sure how deep that sense goes.

"The upshot is, you might want to tell her."

-

"Involve your friends then," Piotr affirms. "Sincerely. Dig deeper and see what you can learn. Please. I might not know this version of him and Yana may have never met him, but… I want to know. He still is our brother. It might seem trivial or unrealistic to you, but he still is my family. I'd like to know what happened to him." Piotr's eyebrows draw together. "Please."

His jaw tightens at the notion of telling Yana. "Right. I have no problem speaking to her about what you've learned, but to be honest, I'm not sure I could relay all of those details to her." She emits a quiet sigh. "Besides his presumed heroism and, perhaps that there's sketchy things in his past that are hard to understand, I can't really pass on the specifics. Or… are you saying that I should tell her I've asked you to look into this? I'll tell her regardless. Like you said, he's her brother too."

-

"I'll speak to her as well, if you'd like. It's a fair point that it might be easier for me to relay the details." Now Jericho smiles. Small and subdued, barely the ghost of one, but still. "But you're her brother and she loves you, even if you're not the one she grew up with. Even if I tell her, I think it's a matter you should both discuss." He cants his head slightly. "Not that I seem to need to tell you that."

"And I'll dig. I'll contact my friends soon as I can and we'll start looking into it. I'll keep you updated. Heck if you're not busy it's possible I might need your help, or Illyana's depending on what I find. And it doesn't seem trivial to me. My own family I've… essenitally lost now. But even so, if something were to happen to them, even if I found out years too late, I'd want to know. I'll do everything for you that I'd do for my own. You have my word."

-

"Good," Piotr confirms. "I'll try to speak to her about it sooner than later." His cheeks hue a pale pink at the nation of her loving him, "I've gathered. And it's reassuring. A lot is different for me. A lot has changed. And while Yana herself may be different, it's nice to have some stabilizing forces here." Even if they are different than the ones he's used to.

"And thank you. Please let me know if I can repay the favour. I know you're Yana's man-friend, but I also know you don't know me. I really appreciate your help. I feel a little lost here. Still navigating. And this feels like it'll bring me a sense of peace."

-

Jericho chuckles a bit again at the 'man-friend.' He's probably going to have that name for a bit. "Illyana trusts you, and she doesn't trust many, so that goes a long way with me. Hell I was ready to meet other you and help erase his past before she found another way to swing it. All the same, you're quite welcome and I'll keep your offer in mind."

He cants his head slightly as the big Russian blushes. Interesting reaction. "I noticed you had a lot of art material about. Some of it's pretty darn good. Ever thought of making a career out of it? Or heck, teaching?"

-

"It's strange," Piotr observes, "to be trusted by someone despite being so different from the version of you they knew." There's a flicker of a smile, "It's nice not have a record just the same. I mean, I didn't have one before. I. I mean I never had one," his eyes turn upwards. "But then here I would have, and… this gets very confusing quickly."

The mention of his art causes a change in the Russian's demeanour, "I did teach it, actually. Not for long, but I did teach. And I've had a few exhibits. Different ones. Some portraits. Some thematic. Of course, there wasn't a lot of time before the world changed and no one wanted art anymore. It's weird in a way, art seems like a reason to save things. It's not mechanical. Not useful. But it's value is so much broader than money or function. It's purpose brings people together. It helps people understand one another. But then, I suppose, the Sentinels weren't people. They couldn't understand a message in any form besides logic. And probably binary."

-

"It's not the logical machines I'm worried about on this end." Jericho murmurs, glancing down at his sleeves. Piotr may have already picked up on the fact that he only ever has his arms (and traces) uncovered in the apartment. Whenever he leaves he always has a jacket or long sleeved shirt.

"Well this world still likes it's art and I understand that the X-Men have a school." He understands a bit more than that, but not a whole lot. Illyana's been very respectful of their secrecy and he hasn't pried that much.

"Perhaps you can teach again." The hacker sips his soda and sets it down again. "Mmmm, speaking of you're more than welcome to stay with us for as long as you'd like. I don't know where you'll ultimately feel the most comfortable but you don't need to feel in a rush to decide anything. And if you decide you're most comfortable with us, I'm pretty sure Illyana won't object."

-

"A possibility for sure," Piotr agrees. "Painting soothes me. It's like writing in a journal without needing to use words. And it's a sort of living documentation of things that happen." His lips twitch into a tight smile. "The series I'm working on now isn't really meant to go together, not in a traditional sense anyways. Just… trying to get it out of my head. The pictures are a way to release what's happened. To… absolve me of it, I guess." His smile eases. "And thank you. For the welcome and the hospitality. The Professor, I met with him earlier today, said I'm welcome at the school as well."

"But as I said, stabilizing forces are useful. And… while she's different, Yana is still my sister. It's everything that seems to have changed."

-

"I imagine it has, the world you come from sounds different. Darker." Jericho looks out the window. They may be headed into some dark times themselves. "Hopefully ours will avoid that. But we'll see. My world feels on the edge often but that's… just kind of the world I live in. If I can help stabilize for you, or just make it easier for the people who can, I'm happy to do that."

Jericho cants his head again. "Forgive me for prying but… what is he like, this Professor? I've heard things but never met. I'm not properly welcome myself for… security reasons. Understandable ones I suppose. The X-Men do have enemies, as has been recently demonstrated."

-

"My world was very different. At least in the recent past. The last five years changed everything." Piotr's palm runs over his chin. "Maybe we were too secretive. Even when registration came, the school tried to be a protective, nearly stabilizing force. But it wasn't enough. Not when the world thought they had something to fear. Sometimes secrets promote that. But, I guess, one school hardly accounts for all of that change. Fear is crippling for people. That's why the Sentinels were created."

Despite himself the mention of the Professor warrants a grin, "It's not prying. Professor Xavier is something of a legend, I think. At least to us he is." Piotr's eyes tick back to the window thoughtfully, "He's kind. Protective. Perhaps a little guarded. He's a gentle mentor of sorts. And he's wildly understanding of people. Which makes him good at what he does."

-

"People fear the unknown more than almost anything else. I've used that as a weapon on occasion, but you're right. One school is hardly a logical reason. Then again…" Jericho sighs. "Scared people are rarely logical."

He listens, the glimmer in his eyes betraying interest. "Mmmm… sounds like quite the man. He's similar, then, from what you can see? To the Professor that you would have known?"

-

"Incredibly so," Piotr muses. "But, to be honest, some of that is expectation. Whether or not I'd like to admit it, I think everyone wants to believe they're right in their assumptions. There's differences, more since things turned bad… the burden the Professor I knew… it was heavy. We didn't see the assault on the school coming. None of us. And we definitely couldn't keep all of the children safe." His jaw tightens.

"I think the Professor I knew couldn't help but blame himself. To be honest, I think we all did. Blame ourselves. Unproductive as it is, it's hard not to. We were the protectors and we lost many of those we aimed to protect."

-

"It's hard yes… I know I'd move heaven and earth and burn the world to protect those I've set myself to." And he's failed before. Piotr, if he knows soldiers at all, may know the briefly haunted look in Jericho's eyes. The reason he has nightmares sometimes is because he failed to protect people close to him. It's the reason he doesn't really smile like he used to.

"I hope in some way, that the ones you left behind are safe or at peace. And I hope you can find some here as well. Maybe digging into your brother's past can help that, mmm? Just like you said."

-

"I have no idea," Piotr admits as he runs a hand through his hair. "It's possible we all died and only through whatever brought me here I was spared. Strangely I feel comforted that they could exist somewhere else. Don't get me wrong, I knew before all of this that alternate realities were a theoretic possibility. I'd just never experienced one firsthand."

"Maybe in existing somewhere else they're kind of eternally protected. Not always the same at the core, but still the same somewhere."

-

"That is a comforting thought, if a distant one." Jericho murmurs. "Are there any other questions I can answer for you? About this world or myself or the people we both know?" Clearly he can't answer questions about the people he doesn't but Jericho has a way of getting around. He has a lot of contacts.

One of them crawls out the shadow, a lizard like imp to perch on his shoulder and peeeeeer at Piotr.

-

"Right now, to be honest, I mostly don't know what I don't know," the thought is followed up by a cluck of Piotr's tongue. "Just think about it. I don't know who I should even ask about." He frowns just a stitch. "Ororo had… alluded that perhaps Piotr from here had a relationship with Magneto. Is there any way for you to know whether that's true? It seems like the kind of thing I should probably have a head's up on. I can't imagine everyone will be pleased that I'm not the me they knew from before…"

And then there's a lizard-like creature on Jericho's shoulder. "Uh… " his blue eyes rest on the creature. "…friend of yours?"

-

"He did. Unfortunately. It was pretty high profile, though the details are a bit sketchy." Jericho glances over at the imp on his shoulder. "K'nert…" He says in a warning tone knowing the creature came out not only to get a look at Piotr but also to test his reaction to demons in general.

"This is K'nert. He's… mine. Well he's Illyana's, one of her demons. She assigned him to me to make sure I don't get into trouble I can't get back out of."

-

"Well. That's got potential to make things awkward," Piotr murmurs quietly as his lips twist to the side thoughtfully. He scratches the back of his neck. "At least I know now." He shoots Jericho a grin. And the demon is met with a raise of Piotr's eyebrows. "Right. Well. Hello K'nert." There's a pause. "Are all of the friends you referred to demons? Just… worth knowing if they are. Not that it actually changes anything, just nice to know."

-

Jericho chuckles. "The ones I was going to have help out? No. K'nert is one of only two demons I commonly associate with, and despite what some may call her, Illyana isn't one of them." S'ym he's a lot more careful with. "I'd say K'nert's harmless but that's not true. More like he's less likely to be dangerous than others. And he knows not to piss your sister off. No the friends I referred to are spies. Who may or may not actually trust me. We'll see how it goes."

-

"So you have non-demon friends too. Good to know. Seems like you have a pretty accessible information network. Useful, I guessing." Piotr finishes the rest of his crepe and then asks, "Who's the other demon? Are they helpful? What kind sod things do they even do?"

-

"The other demon is Illyana's majordomo. S'ym. He's cagey, and dangerous. Hope you never have to meet him yourself, though you probably will. He has an… interest in me." Jericho shakes his head and then looks up, smiling a somewhat wry smile.

"Information is kind of what I do. It's how I stay alive, see previous note about folks wanting me dead and being willing to make me out to be an awful criminal to do it."

-

"Well, it's a useful thing to do. And probably an effective way to stay alive." Piotr frowns just a stitch. "Let me know if you need help dealing with the folks who want you dead. Please. I can't obviously find information on them, but Yana likes you and you've been helpful to me. I may spend time painting, but I was…" there's a twitch of a smile "…formidable when I had to be." He's also huge and can be armoured at will.

-

Jericho's smile grows a little bit more real at that. "Thank you, Piotr, that's very kind of you. And I will, if ever it comes to it. Mostly we dance about in the digital shadows but every once in a while…" His eyes narrow. "If ever I can find them and put a stop to it, I'll need help. And there may be other things… like the virus attack I mentioned when we talked last."

He stretches out a bit. "Anyway, if you end up deciding to stay at the mansion, I'll leave you contact information. If I'm in Limbo which I sometimes am it can be a bit before I answer but I always do."

-

"Yeah… that virus attack. Is there more? From what you'd said, I was under the impression it was resolved?" Piotr's eyes narrow. "I'd thought HYDRA's efforts to unite mutant kind against humanity had failed?" His eyebrows draw together.

"And if you do stand off against them, I have physical presence." Pause. "Or if you need first aid I can provide that too." He manages a dimpled grin, evidently his paramedic life is humorous to him. "And thank you. I'm not sure where I plan on living. Admittedly there's something simultaneously disconcerting and comforting about the school. Disconcerting because I saw it levelled. Comforting because I spent most of my life in a building like it."

-

"Ish. The cell producing the virus was destroyed and most of the people involved were killed or taken in by SHIELD. However before they were taken down they managed to squirrel a lot of it around the world near various mutant enclaves. It could surface again, though we've tried to get as much of it as we could."

"As to your living situation, as I said, take your time and go where you feel comfortable. Just know that you're welcome where you are." Jericho stretches a bit, thinking…

"I don't know if HYDRA was a force on your world. They're quite the force on this one. So I'd keep an eye out. They may try again."

-

Piotr hmms. "Well I'll keep my ears and eyes open then. Not that anyone would just bring it up to me." He rubs the back of his neck and then pauses. "Or would they?" It's a strange thought. With the last Piotr so ingrained in the seedier side of the world, his connections could extend to things Piotr would never have given consideration.

"I've heard of HYDRA, but to be honest, their influence only stirred fear. But it was SHIELD that instituted the Sentinels," he deadpans.

-

"Perhaps. Depends on who and why." Jericho grins. "I would, but I have trust issues. You, Nancy, Illyana and a single agent of SHIELD, and a woman named Partisan whom you've not met." Nor are likely to in the near future.

"SHIELD did that?" Jericho sighs and shakes his head. "Why am I not surprised. I don't particularly trust the institution myself, to be clear. There are a couple of Agents though that I think are good people. They've been willing to keep things off the books for me before, and call in the cavalry when it was merited."

-

"Well, I don't trust SHIELD," Piotr states blandly. "They may be well intentioned, but the practice of stopping things before their threats only creates threats." He rolls his eyes. "And fear-mongering which makes them more vulnerable to HYDRA. Not less."

With a heavy sigh he nods. "Well. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help take down this virus. I'm willing to help. But I'm not really networked here. Not even a little."

-

"I get the feeling that's a short term thing only." Jericho chuckles softly. "But I will, and I'll keep your name away from anyone I can't trust. I do that anyway. Fought tooth and nail to keep them from learning about Illyana. Was a bit moot when she went public but at least that was her choice." He agrees really about SHIELD as a group. Which is why he largely only works with May.


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