Manipulations. . .

Brief Title:

Characters:
Armand, Empath, Enchantress, and Loki

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:
06/05/12 18:24

Location:
Upper East Side - New York

Summary:
Empath attempts to alleviate Armand of his connection with Loki. Things go awry.

Social or Plot:

TS:
No

Log:
It is Tuesday evening and Manuel de la Rocha can be seen exiting the Hellfire Club. Since his return to the city, he has attended to Inner Circle business and realizes he has not checked in with the school or the Hellions. Since bringing Armand into the school, he has opted to meet with the newest Hellion. Since he is aware that the young teen is avid fan of food, Manuel has picked a famous food cart on the Upper East Side, which coincidentally is a few blocks from the club, so leisurely making his way towards the food cart for the meeting, Manuel, dressed in a semi-business casual in brown trousers and a matching brown polo shirt, meanders towards the cart as he looks at his rather expensive watch to note the time and see if Armand has already arrived.

Loki is not in the best of moods. He woke up face down in the snow, three full days after his embarrassing defeat at the hand of Super Adaptoid. In the interest of not having his ass handed to him again, he's a bit incognito. Loki's general wardrobe draws people's attention, and attention is not something he wants at the moment. He is wearing a pair of plain black pants which cover the length of his boots, and a dark green poet's blouse with a thin belt at the waist. No armor, no cape, no leather pants, just a guy walking rather stiffly down the street. Asgardians heal quickly, but he still feels like he's been run over by a herd of elephants driving tanks while banging drums. Regardless, he has to make sure his minion hasn't been killed or anything from the battle in the park, where he dropped to the ground before he saw the adaptoid's final actions.

The little Frenchman got the message and he hasn't attended school...probably since ever but Armand takes time to brush his hair, pull it back neatly, put on a pair of black slacks and a simple white shirt tucked in as he wears a newsboy cap at a jaunty angle, making his way down the street and sighing softly.

While he does notice the man in the green blouse, Manuel simply shakes his head dismissively as he looks around scanning the passing New Yorkers when he finally spots the young Cajun. He smiles, but does a quick emotion scan on the boy as the sigh, catches his attention. Approaching him, “Armand, it’s been sometime, my boy. I thought we could meet up and try some food while discussing how things have been. Thank you for meeting with me.” He gestures to the cart, “They make just about anything that is possible in a cart, I suggest the lamb or chicken with rice.”

There is a swirl of dark green smoke, and Loki as he was seen is gone, replaced with the illusion of a young man in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, following Armand and Empath to stand outside of the restaurant. The illusion looks about Armand's age with long brown hair pulled back into a ponytail and bright green eyes. He lingers back a bit so as not to seem as though he's following.

"Ahh, Monsieur." Armand greets politely with a small bow and he looks around with a thoughtful expression before he nods to the cart. "Oui...chicken with rice is sounding delicious, merci..." Then he squints curiously in the direction of somebody else with silly long hair before shaking his head and turning back to the cart with a deep breath.

Catching sight of the green smoke, Manuel blinks. Fortunately in a world of mutants and Avengers and X-Men and being in New York City, he is used to such sights, but it does catch his attention as he places his order for some lamb and rice from the cart. He places Armand’s order and then asks the teen, “What has been going on? I sense you seem. . .as if something happened?”
Loki keeps his head tilted down a bit as he rounds the corner, shifting again to take the form of a man heading into a nearby store to use the restroom and taking up position next to the wife he just left, which elicts a raised eyebrow from the woman. "I thought you had to use the restroom, honey." she asks, looking at her menu. Loki waves a hand at his side, and the woman won't realize her husband returning from the bathroom and leaving, lost in one of Loki's strange mental tricks. Looking at the cart's menu, he ponders. "What do you recommend?"

Armand watches the orders taking place. "Ahh, been seeing some of the more godly interactions lately how...if you're powerful, if somebody is more powerful anybody is perfectly justified to beat you up..." He shrugs his shoulders and takes a deep breath.
As the orders are placed, Manuel can tell his fellow teammate and student is troubled. “Godly interactions? Oh did you meet the Asgardian?” Manuel pays for the orders and then gestures for Armand to join him at a bench while the food is prepared. “If one is powerful then it takes more power to defeat that person. . .but I am not quite sure what you are referring to? Why don’t you tell me what you mean?”

The wife ends up ordering for both of them, but Loki isn't all that interested in food. He does need to eat, but he has other things on his mind at the moment. He smiles as he pretends to listen to the woman talk about her day at work, catching references to pathetic mortal interests like television and who was seen kissing who at the water cooler. "Oh, that's interesting." he says, his voice not accented as usual, mimicing that of the older gentleman. Reaching into his pocket to pay, he realizes he doesn't /actually/ have a wallet in his illusiory pants and waves a hand instead, which makes the cart cashier believe the woman already paid for their food. The wife laughs and claps a hand on his shoulder, which makes him wince visibly. "Gnnn easy there, darling, I overdid it playing softball at work."

"Yes, an Asgardian...but not a popular one, Monsieur, but I couldn't help but attempting to help him. Not that such a lordly person would need my assistance but...during his time being damaged, I did what I could." Armand explains as he settles down on the bench as the food is being cooked. "But I saw the other day a creature, I believe it is called an Adaptoid, he was powerful enough to knock him out and damage him then...open a portal and send him through." He frowns a bit, fidgeting and examining his nail polish. "Then he claimed to be an /Avenger/...heh, when the Asgardian lord wasn't even doing anything, just attacked out of the blue. How is this heroic?" He shrugs helplessly. Then he peers back towards the cart suspiciously, shaking his head and turning back to Manuel.

“Oh. . .a male Asgardian. I thought you were referring to Amora. . .she is affliated with the school.” Manuel nods and ponders, “An Avenger fought an Asgardian. You must mean Loki then. Legend has it, he was the one who started the Avengers.” Sighing a bit, “So what happened? You befriended Loki and then tried to help him?” Seemingly confused, “Why would an Asgardian god want your help?” Shaking his head, “Nothing against you, but I am surprised is all.”

Loki rolls his eyes at Manuel as he takes a bite of his warm food. He doesn't need Armand's help per se, but the more people you get on your side, the better, and Loki is all about dividing and conquering. Sow the seeds of doubt and delicious discord is soon to follow. He looks over at the woman and smiles as she is /still/ talking about some woman named Harriet and how her house full of cats smells bad. Is this really proper dinner conversation? Who teaches these humans how to behave?

"Something...like that. I do not believe any of us have the place to decide in times of need and such who should or shouldn't be helped or...who is or isn't worth respect. If you see somebody broken or bleeding or unconscious, you are moving them to a safe place until they can get up and off on their own...sometimes when they get up and off they end up in jail, or they go back to doing bad tings but they always reap what they sow...you do not leave them to the dogs to be devoured because you do not like them." Armand speaks softly and shakes his head. "I did not try to help him, I gave him a safe place to regenerate and have read books of history and such. I know as many horrible things he's done as the god of mischief and evil, he's had horrible tings done to him as well...he was giving /evil/ and /mischief/, he was hardly going to be the son who petted puppies and kissed babies! But no! Everybody tinks I am insane or wanted to be his boy lover! They cannot see beyond...the mundane..."

Manuel hmmmns, “Wow, that is a lot to endure and it seems much as has happened to you. I was aware that someone had been with you, but I did not know who or why. I can see you really and genuinely wanted to help Loki.” Manuel looks over to the food cart as the orders are ready. “Armand, I want you to trust me on something. I want you to think about Loki. Think about his character. Think of everything you have heard that he has done and your experiences with him. Have that clear image in your mind of him. Can you do that for me while I get our food?” He smiles as he goes to get the food.

Loki frowns, making sure his mental barriers are in place. He doesn't want to be found out just yet, content on listening. The trickster has been /trying/ to go against his nature, but hasn't quite succeeded. Unfortunately, the wife is a fast eater and finishes her food way ahead of schedule. "Oh, you go ahead back to the car, dear, and I'll meet you there. I have to uhh, use the facilities again." and he disappears inside one of the shops, holding the door open as a young teenager exits, one with a green flannel shirt and a pair of raggedy jeans. The woman sits in the car, tapping her fingers on the window edge impatiently. Did he fall in, or what?

Armand just stares at Empath for a moment and he sighs, closing his eyes for a moment and he does think about Loki...for some reason however, he thinks of him in pajamas wearing glow in the dark slippers and eating ice cream. He just chuckles to himself and takes a deep breath.

As he goes to get the food, Empath uses his emotion control on Armand. He senses that Armand has sincere feelings towards the Asgardian god of mischief. Nodding his head as he smiles at the vendor and picks up two plates, Manuel makes a bold move. Armand is a genuinely good kid, but his world has been thrown in flux because of his relationship with Loki. Being who he is, Manuel decides to fix this. As Armand think of Loki and chuckles, he will suddenly begin to feel fear, resentment, and hate towards the god. Emotions are his blank canvas to paint however he chooses and by the time he reaches Armand, he attempts to sway Armand to the point of wanting to completely disavow Loki.

Loki watches, uncertain as to what Empath is doing. He can project telepathically but cannot receive, so he doesn't know exactly why Armand is laughing. He stands closer to them, stuffing his hands in his pockets and leaning against a wall. He is not in his armor or other version of his costume, so he lets the illusion drop. Being behind Empath, he most likely would not see him, but Armand might. Loki feels uncomfortable, suddenly, as if someone is trying to play him at his own game.

Armand was just sitting on his bench trying to think of what would've happened if he had introduced Loki to My Little Pony but...then things get weird for him. He is feeling is normal feelings of amusement and grudging respect...along with that type of pity for folks who have had a hard like and of course the wariness of tending to a wounded snake but then its like somebody reaches into the connection between his heart and his mind and begins to twist. Being young and not having any training in resisting mental stuff, he can only just start to frown as his own feelings and such twist into darker more shadowy place and he takes a deep breath and then another deep breath as he catches a glimpse of the center of attention at the moment and his reaction is just to start trembling. Hard.

And with that done, Manuel returns with the food. The emotional switch is complete and no more influence. With Armand, unaware of what has really happened and no more influence, Manuel smiles as he hands him the plate. “Here you go. They are renown for their food. They are the best food vendor carts in New York City.”

Loki frowns, watching from the back, arms folded over his chest. Tilting his head to the side, he gets the impression that something isn't quite right here and his long legs are bringing him forward to close the gap between Manuel and Armand. A slender hand reaches out to clap onto Manuel's shoulder as his pleasantly accented baritone asks: "What exactly are you doing to my friend Armand?" in a tone that indicates that god of mischief is not pleased with Manuel's actions. "I suggest you reverse whatever it is that you've done to him." if his hand was able to land on his shoulder, his bony fingers would tighten rather significantly. If not, then his that hand is clenching into a fist along with the other. He may not be a receptive telepath, but he recognizes the signs of someone influencing someone else.

Armand blinks blearily and has no idea what just happened just where he had my little pony feelings, he now has goosebumps feelings and that book series was awful...really. He accepts the plate as he trembles a bit and takes a deep breath.
"Merci...I..." Then he looks back to where he saw/sees Loki and his eyes widen as he quickly jumps to his feet, looking around as if seeking a place to run. "Non! D-Don't hurt him...s'il vous plaît! D-Don't hurt us, it is okay...we'll, we have to go. We have to go now." And yes, he shoves some food into his mouth and chews quickly.

Turning to see the trickster god, Empath blinks a moment as a tighteningly firm grip is placed on his shoulders. As he sees the man touching him, Manuel utters in disgust, “I do not know who you are, but you had best unhand me for you have no idea who I am.” Noting Armand’s reaction, Manuel seems to have an idea of who the man is now. “Yes, we must depart.” Manuel attempts to stand up if allowed.

Loki leans down to be closer to eyelevel. "Oh, you know who I am. Loki Laufeyson." he says, those emerald green eyes burning into Manuel's. When he attempts to stand, Loki firmly tightens his grip, which is like trying to struggle against a steel bar. "I think not, good sir." looking to Armand, he smiles. "Armand, my friend. What has this man done to you?" if Armand is looking at his face, Loki is trying to extend his influence back to Armand to try and undo what Manuel has done.

Manuel is then the focus of that ever burning green flame behind those eyes and that disarming smile. "Why don't you tell our friend Armand what you were just trying to do, hmm?"

Armand takes a step forward and takes a deep breath. "Come Monsieur, w-we must go...it is Lord Loki, he will destroy us and have chipmunks tap-dance on our nuts! Just for the ironicness of it all!" Then he looks back to Loki, obviously a bit torn now as he has to drop the plate he's holding which obviously shows he's quite...shaken up, hands moving to his head as he takes a deep breath and then another deep breath, his cap falling off as his hair fades into shades of green and jet black, growing longer...past his waist and kinda...spreading out like tendrils and being held out, grasping air or whatever's within his grip and he grits his teeth. "W-we must go, we must go, we must go..."

“What?”

Loki's expression turns to absolute confusion as Armand goes off his rocker and looks at him as if the boy had gone totally mad, providing an opening for Manuel to stand if he can manage it before Loki's attention is returned to him.
Given the momentary release, Manuel is up and he notes what Armand is doing. “He is correct, Loki. We must depart.” He rises up and goes to move past Armand and if allowed attempts to place his hands on the chaetokinetic, “Let us depart, Armand. You do not want to be here and we should depart.”

Loki scowls and disappears in a cloud of green smoke. The effect is purely for dramatic effect as he disappears and reappears in front of Manuel, and behind him, and on either side of him, and suddenly there are half a dozen copies of Loki closing in on him, each with that vicious, devious smile, head tilted down and looking over the bridge of his nose at the young man. "Oh, I think you won't get away quite that easily. You have now found yourself on the wrong side of the god of mischief." the head Loki says, sauntering toward him casually, though a bit stiffly from having two Mjiolnir shaped bruises and a giant footprint on him. "The question is- what are you going to do about it? Do you /really/ want to be on the bad side of a god, or would you rather find in him an ally that won't destroy you in a blaze of hellfire like the pathetic mortal insect that you are?" he says all of this with that perfect smile.

"Well. Well. Well. Loki Laufeyson." Where did Amora, the Enchantress come from? Who knows. She is there now, however, dressed in her trademark green outfit. Those boots are classic. "So many of you to have fun with just one mortal? I think your wife would be jealous. If you didn't trick her into marrying you in the first place. Stand down, please. This one belongs to me and I can't have you toying with him."

The hair does fall limp after a moment, hands buried in the thick locks as Armand falls to his knees over --> there and he nods slowly, taking deep breaths and trying to contain himself. Don't mind him, his eyeliner does run a bit cuz his eyes tear up and note his hair is long enough to fall over his shoulders to his waist.

Empath is nearly about to run away for his life or at least run to the Hellfire Club, but with the arrival of Amora the Enchantress, things are different. Though still very apprehensive of the multiple Lokii that have suddenly appeared, he proclaims with stuttering, “See, here, Lo-Loki. I am pro-protected by a true go-goddess.” He attempts to maintain an outward bravado, but that quickly diminishes when he finally finds himself fleeing away from the god and towards the goddess.

"Great." Loki groans. "Hello, Amora..." he says in the same kind of sing-song voice school kids use to greet their teacher. "Tell this one to undo whatever it is he did to Armand or he will quickly discover how unpleasant being on my bad side can be. I do not need your grief, Amora. Today I do not have time for idle mischief. I am in no mood, as someone has attempted to slay me, and you, my dear, dear Amora, could be next." he continues to back Empath toward Amora, glaring at him. "I will respect Amora's domination over you, pathetic worm, but know that if you attempt to influence or otherwise lay hand on any of my allies, I will not hesitate to turn you into an insect and watch as you burn."

Amora is all smiles. She lays a hand on Empath's shoulder. "Be a good boy, Manuel, and undo whatever it is you did to Loki's little friend here. He really can turn you into an insect. You wouldn't enjoy it at all." She draws the smartphone from her clevage and snaps a picture of Armand. "For my scrapbook."

Words are heard and not fully comprehended, Armand may complain one day when his green and black hair and running eyeliner is seen by others due to that picture being seen but for now he dabs at his eyes with a handkerchief and struggles to his feet, taking a deep breath and shaking like a leaf. "Something has happened in my head...its okay, I...I think I'd just like some ice cream now...and a sharp spear."

“Very well, my goddess.” Close enough to Amora that he gets a false sense of confidence and looks to Armand. And like a puppet cutting the strings off his puppet, the earlier manipulation of Armand is undone. Manuel ahems as he looks to Amora and bows his head, “Done. Or undone as it were.”

Loki waves a hand in front of his face, his frown turning into a grin as he leans down to Manuel's eye level. The illusiory Loki copies disappear with a green flash and Loki stands to his full height, stiffly. Just for absolute kicks, he does stomp a foot forward, throwing his hands up and yells 'BOOO!' at Manuel, just to see what he does, then disappears in a puff of forest green and black smoke, moving a whole ten feet to the left, but still, one must maintain theatricality.

"Odin's left testicle." Amora mutters to herself, as Loki makes his overly dramatic, five year oldish exit. "You." She says to Armand. "Go. Do something. Go about your life and all of that." She turns to Manuel. "There, there. See? All better."

Then more messing about with his emotions and such and Armand just closes his eyes, turning quickly after nodding to Amora and he stares at Manuel and Loki with some confusion, picks up his hat, and walks off, quietly and quickly.

Almost ready to squeal in fear, Manuel lets out a loud sigh of relief after Loki exits and as Armand walks off. “Much. Thank you, goddess. . .though the boy. Armand. He is one of us. One of the Hellions, fallen prey to the mischief maker. I had only sought to alleviate him of his regard for the god. . .a lesson. . .I have learned. Do not interfere in the ways of Asgard. . .or its inhabitants.” Trying his best to regain even a semblance of his usual confident self, though it is all but gone.

Loki can't help it, he's just laughing, smacking a hand down on the food cart's surface as he crosses one ankle over the other and leans on the hand. "Oh, that was too much fun. I must really do that more often. It would have been more fun if he had required a change of pants. Let that be a lesson to you, mortal child!"

"Do not." Amora looks into Manuel's eyes. "Do not interfere with Loki. His schemes? They take on physical form and dream of more schemes. He has plots within plots that give birth to more plots and they always, ALWAYS blow up in his face and anyone unfortunate enough to be standing near him when that happens? Is in danger of finding themselves at the wrong end of Odin's spear." She shakes her head. "Still. He is on Midgard for a reason and responsible for something." She pauses. "Let the boy spend time with Loki. Inform the Kings and Queens. Subtle observation might give us more details. Whatever Loki's plot, we should at least be aware of it."

Nodding his head and heeding Amora’s warning, “Very well. Thank you for your timely intervention. And now, I should return to the Club. This meeting has gone awry and I wish to end this dreadful day.” With that he begins to make his way back to the Hellfire Club.

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