Checks and Balances

Brief Title:

Empath and Firestar

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:
01/14/13 08:00

Honors Student Lounge - Massachusetts Academy

Empath invites Firestar to the new Massachusetts Academy and makes an offer.

Social or Plot:


Early Monday morning and the semester has started for 2013. Campus is abuzz with students returning from their holiday break. For his part, no longer a student and now an administrator, Manuel de la Rocha is in the Hellions complex. Dressed in a variation of Hellfire Club attire and his old Hellions uniform, the Spaniard sits in the lounge at a corner table with a laptop. Some of the newer Hellions are wandering about greeting each other and discussing their break. He looks up with an annoyed glance at the students as he awaits the arrival of a former student/puppet.

Angelica Jones looks very awkward as she walks about the familiar yet unfamiliar rebuilt Massachusetts Academy. It's good to see it whole again, after the destruction she saw last time she ventued here to fight Smiley Faces and survey the ruins, but at the same time there's just too much pain attached to the place. Sure there were some happy memories too, but those for the most part were mostly orchestrated to manipulate her. She blends in rather well with the other students and doesn't stand out as she walks towards the meeting spot with an old fri...well...enemy. Really, Manuel has never been anyone's friend but himself. Closest is probably Jenny, and in that case their relationship was positive only because they both enjoyed tormenting others about the same. When Angel finally reaches the rebuilt Hellion Complex, she looks alert, "I'm here, Manuel, you said you needed help...what is this all about? And powers? I'm warning you, if I feel like I'm being manipulated, I'll try and put a stop to it in a very violent way."

When she enters the lounge of the Hellions complex, the newer Hellions look about and whisper to each other. Uncertain of who she is, but garnering some guesses, Manuel rises as the redhead enters. A smile on his face. Angelica has always had a special place in his heart, whether that is a good or bad thing, no one really knows. “Welcome, Angelica.” He bows his head and the students suddenly stand up and salute Angelica in a rather formal almost militaristic way. “Yes, I am happy you came.” He moves away from the table and attempts to greet in her in the formal royal Spaniard way. A gentle kiss ot the hand, if allowed. The Hellions remain standing at ease.

Angelica keeps a wary eye on Manuel, she knows he's slick, and she's had her share of moments dancing for him while he was pulling her strings, she's alert and ready for anything. What she's not expecting, however, is the formal salute she gets from the other students, causing her to look around awkwardly, looking a bit confused. "There's really no need..." she mutters more to herself, though intended for the saluting students. Her eyes shift back to Manuel, "I hope it's only because you truly needed my help, and not because I just let myself walk into a trap." It's very easy to tell where one stands with Angelica, whereas Empath is a master manipulator, she's always wore her heart on her sleeve. When Empath reaches to greet her in a gallant royal fashion, Angelica wrests her hand away from him, "if you don't mind, I have bad memories of what usually follows when you turn the charm on, Manuel."

Nodding his head as she pulls her hand away, “I seem to remember otherwise.” Manuel whispers as he pulls out a seat for Angelica at his table. Turning to the Hellions, he waves his hand dismissively, “That will be all, Hellions. Go about your business, but do some outside of the lounge and do so quietly.” He walks towards his seat, “As you can see the school has been rebuilt as has the Hellions. There is a new generation of young mutants who need molding the way you did. The way the Hellions did. I was hoping you would become a part of that.”

"Is that so...?" Firestar asks, and at this point she wonders if he intends that he liked what happened following his putting on the charm on her in the past, or simply, that he denies it ever happened. She's not sure which of the alternatives infuriates her more. With her seat pulled for her, Angelica sits down and murmurs a polite, "thank you," to Manuel, her awkwardness readable without the need for empathic powers. "I noticed, it's good to see, that destruction was a terrible sight." She doesn't react as fondly to news of the Hellions being reinstated, "I see, so what are you now, a field leader of sorts? A mentor?" The room becomes notably hot when Manuel mentions young mutants who need molding the way she did, sparks of flame flicker in and out of existence along her body as she absolutely glares at Manuel, "you have the nerve to say that to my face?"

Lifting his hand up, not in fear, but more in peace. “Phrasing aside, Angelica, you know it’s true. After what the Right did, you know the next generation of mutants needs assistance. They need to trained and learn how to survive. Regardless of whether it is Xavier’s methods or mine.” Manuel loudly sighs as he looks at a hanging picture of the former students of which he and Angelica are included in the picture. “Clearly the way Emma ran things did not work.” He stands and walks towards the photo looking at it the entire time he speaks. “The same with Selene. While you may not agree with how the Hellfire Club does things, they offer an opportunity that most mutant cannot receive elsewhere. Emma is headmistress in name. This is her school. But I have more direct contact with this new batch of Hellions. Since you don’t like me and fear how I may influence these students, I thought you would want to keep an eye on me, while take part in teaching the next generation.”

"Don't even try that on me, Empath," Angelica sounds quite adamant as she brushes aside Manuel's attempt to point out the benefits of her training, "I was groomed as an assassin to destroy the Black Queen, Selene, I didn't matter, I was a discardable weapon and it showed in my time at this Academy, so don't pretend like I was the same as the rest of the Hellions, you had normal lives." Angelica crosses her arms and leaves back in her seat, as if trying to put more distance between herself and Manuel. "Yes, they do, Manuel, but what Ms. Frost and the Hellfire Club did here is exactly what got those people who created The Right so spooked." Glancing at the same class photo that Manuel is looking at, Angelica doesn't seem to reflect on pleasant memories at all. Only two people were ever nice to her from that class, Catseye who was an innocent soul, and for a limited time, Manuel, when he needed to use her. No, no sweet memories of her alma mater. "Oh? Emma is still Headmistress?" Angelica seems surprised to her that, but nods at the news. "Really? You welcome me back into the spider web after I narrowly escaped? Do you honestly believe I am so stupid as to think you want me here to teach against the Hellfire Club's ways? Why should I believe you won't shape me as you like within minutes of my accepting this offer?"

“Because of this." Manuel turns from the picture to face Angelica. His eyes are aglow. It is one of those rare moments where he shows he is using his power. It also signifies he is using them at near maximum level, or so it would appear anyway. It would appear as if he is trying to use his powers on Firestar. She would feel the old sensation of his previous manipulations coming back at her. Those old feelings of loss of control, though with them the awareness that it is happening. Something she may not have felt before. Slowly, his will is becoming hers until he says, "Flare up, Firestar" He shields his eye sin preparation as he gives her a command/warning. Should she follow his command, she will note his powers will wane on her. "You, are one of the few people, who can resist my manipulations. You could keep me in check."

"Because of what?" Angelica asks but it is getting too late at that point, Empath's powers work fast, particularly on ane motive person like Angelica, who immediately calms down as he looks into her eyes and doesn't even attempt to mask the use of his powers. "Manuel...don't..." she pleads before completely calming down as she sits peacefully and looks at Manuel intently. Just waiting for him to ask for anything. Helpless to resist his every request, Firestar completely flares up when he asks her, but unlike past times, she can feel the strong compulsion to do his bidding subside. It's still there, just not as powerful, this disruption of sort helps her resisting, as she snaps, "when did you find out about this? How come Ms. Frost never told me!? Did she want me to get bullied by you!?" She's distraught, emotional, and not too sure what to think of this strange offer she got from Empath. She knows the Hellfire Club is after her for destroying the Hellions' training facilities in the past, and doesn't know if this is the gateway to the payback.

“No, I did not know either. And Emma may not have known either. I had a glimmer of an idea when I would use my powers on you. You have always been different from anyone else when I use my abilities. It could be something with the microwaves that you emit or control. I’m not the scientist type. This was really just a test, but I surmised correctly.” His eyes lose their glow and he takes a seat, a bit feint from using his powers as such. “I’ve also had some issues with my powers recently.” He does not divulge anymore. “I do not expect you to answer today. Think about it. If you are concerned that my intentions are questionable or that I would manipulate the children, then you can see by using your powers, you can keep me in check. Checks and balances, if you care about the next generation and hope to prevent the massacre of our peers, then think it over.” With that an alarm goes off, “Well, it’s time for the next training session. Stay on the campus if you like, Take a tour and see the improvements.” With that he rises and bows his head, “If you will excuse me.”

"A glimmer of an idea?" Firestar shuts down the flames around her as she glowers at Manuel, "you were willing to manipulate me all over again for a glimmer of an idea? That's just perfect, Manuel," Angel doesn't seem pleased one bit at this revelation, even if it is nice to know she has a means to fend herself against Empath, though he did kinda have to command her to do it in the first place. Maybe she can hone it, get better. It is certainly better than nothing. "You're not putting that massacre on me, Manuel, that's dirty. I came here trying to help as soon as I heard, and this place ruined me, so don't try guilt tripping me!" Getting up from her seat, Angelica starts to walk outside the room herself, "maybe you should check this with the Hellfire Club mafia, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't want me around their 'prospects', I'll be a good influence, and that's not the goal here, is it? Maybe I'll think about it. Later, Manuel."

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