Welcome to the Hellions, Caliban

Brief Title:
Hope Your Survive the Experience!

Caliban and Empath

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:
01/20/13 02:31

Upper East Side - New York

Empath meets Caliban and recruits him for the Hellions

Social or Plot:


It's late in the evening in the Upper East Side. There are still some residents of the area and visitors out and about, but crouching outside of a building with a cafe on the bottom floor is someone who doesn't belong...

The mutant Caliban is targeting the small group of humans inside with his ability to project emotions, causing intense fear among them. Soon they all find various reasons to leave, some practically running from the cafe. The room is cleared in short order, and Caliban begins pulling on a long coat and oversized hat.

One of the terrified humans rushes right in front of the Hellfire Club, glowing like a beacon to anyone particularly sensitive to the thoughts...or the -emotions- of others.

Fortunately or unfortunately, this late Saturday evening, early Sunday morning. Manuel de la Rocha, Black Rook of the Hellfire Club, finds himself at his ‘home.’ Having spent more time in Massachusetts, than here, he senses a tug on a sort of general broad emotion level. Something is afoot, and so, the Spaniard, who had been up sifting on some brandy with a friend also named Brandy, excuses himself from the lady and makes his way outside. Perhaps, he should have an escort or two of the Hellfire Club security, but he opts not too as he makes his way outside and does a quick scan, visually and emotionally to sense or see what is afoot. Using his emotion powers, he saunters towards the cafe.

Caliban is now somewhat disguised and moves into the cafe just a few moments before Manuel arrives. He shakes his head sternly at the barista who asks Caliban if he's ready to order. The employee gets enough of a look under the hat at Caliban's alien and unfriendly features to drop it.

Caliban huddles in a corner of the Cafe and concentrates, checking for one familiar mutant he expects to be in the area...and blinks in surprise as he realizes an unfamiliar one (Empath) is about to walk in.

Once in the cafe, Empath looks about to see who was causing the stir he felt before. “Now now now. . .who could it be?” He smirks as he is grateful the only patron remaining in the area is Caliban as everyone else was driven out by the mutant Morlock before. Making his way to the barista, Manuel looks over the various caffeine options and then says, “How much is a Cuban coffee?” The barista responds with the hefty New York price. Manuel shakes his head, “No no. You will give it to me for free.” The barista quirks an eyebrow and then suddenly there is a shift in the man’s demeanor and mood. He shakes his head, “Of course, sir.” Manuel smiles as it is prepared and then looks over towards the corner of the café.

Caliban watches the exchange carefully, then fixes his gaze on Manuel. As the other mutant approaches, Caliban straightens up to his full height, towering over Empath (who himself isn't short). "You controlled his mind...?" Caliban guesses, nodding towards the barista without ever taking his eyes off of Empath.

“No, I did not.” Manuel responds. A slight sense of hesitance causes Manuel to stir one moment, but that is quickly diminishes. He looks over his fellow empath, “My you are a big one.” The barista prepares the coffee. The barista seems transfixed on Manuel, almost attracted to him. “You want me to handle this.” He offers affectionately towards Manuel, who waves and dismisses the barista, “No, but feel free to give my friend here whatever he wants free of charge.” The barista looks to Caliban and while he may have been afraid before, he is so enthralled to Empath that it overrides any natural fear he may have.

Caliban does turn his gaze to the Barista to watch the reaction, and his attitude torwards Manuel. Then understanding dawns on the big mutant's face. "His emotions, then..." Caliban says with confidence. And what might be approval. "And more than just fear."

“That’s right, big fella.” Manuel then offers in Spanish, <All muscle. No brains.> Returning to English, “No need to be afraid or hide who you are in here. Or at least, while I am here.” He walks past Caliban and towards a both. Tapping the opposite end of the table, “Join me, friend.” The barista brings Manuel’s Cuban coffee to the table and then looks at Caliban, “And what would you like, sir?”

Caliban stares at the Cuban coffee for a moment, clearly unfamiliar with the beverage. Or with the concept of a menu for that matter. Then he gestures at Manuel's drink. "The same." Once the barista leaves Caliban eyes Manuel again. Then he slowly takes off the hat and sets it down on the side of the table. Up close it's easy to see how battered and worn out the hat is. It's practically falling aprt. "I'm not afraid," Caliban remarks. Which is a half-truth, as an empath of Empath's power level can easily determine. Caliban is wary and hesitant on the inside, despite his cool exterior. "But I know the effect I can have on others. I scare people."

“Goodness. It is rare that I meet someone like myself.” Truly, while he knows other mutants with empathic powers exist, he had yet to encounter one. Especially with the appearance that Caliban has. Manuel cannot help but grimace, but then sips the coffee to hide his reaction. “Well, I can be scary too. It is part of being mutants.” He hmmns a moment, “Be careful with the coffee. Cuban coffee is one of the strongest types there is.” He hmmmns, “I am Manuel de la Rocha. Who are you, friend?”

"I am Caliban, the Hound." Caliban's brow wrinkles in thought. "You think we are alike? I find that hard to believe." He pauses and then adds in a placating tone, "Your power over emotion are more complete then mine. But I also have other powers now. Many others."

“Oh you have more powers?” Manuel’s brow goes up with curiousity. The barista returns with the Cuban coffee, served in a very small cup, as they are usually served. “What else can you do, Caliban, The Hound?” Manuel daintily sips his coffee nad makes an overt effort to show Caliban how. “It is safe to show your powers here. Feel free to use him if you like.” The barista nods, “Yes, use your powers on me, if you want.”

Caliban's eyes widen slightly, and he looks at the barista to see if he heard correctly. "I am invulnerable," he says as casually as if describing the color of his coat. "I have the strength to crush steel with my bare hands, and I can make myself grow stronger still when I desire." Then he pauses. "But my greatest ability is that of a mutant tracker. That is why I am called the Hound. I can feel the presence of every mutant in the city. That is how I know you are a mutant," he adds. "And how I know how great your own power is."

“Wow. What a broad spectrum of abilities.” Manuel offers as he dismisses the barista. “Strength, tracking, and empathy. That is amazing.” Manuel finishes his coffee as he looks over Caliban’s appearance. “I bet people treat you badly. They are afraid and never try to be your friend. You could have hurt him and you did not. That is. . .quaint. It’s too bad, you are not around people like me. Friends who know how to treat one like you.”

Caliban gives Empath a cool look. "It's true that I don't have friends. Not any more. That is a weakness. And Caliban only believes--" he cuts himself off with a wince, then tries again. "And -I- only believe in strength now. But our kind has never been treated well. You said it yourself," he points out. "Any who know us for a mutant would look at us with fear or hatred."

“That’s right. They will fear and hate us. So it is better to be together. Be protected. Help and teach those who are younger. I work at a place like that. I was trained to protect myself and now I teach and protect others like us.” Manuel smiles and then sighs a bit, “You are all alone, huh, Caliban. No friends. No one to help you and for you to help, huh. That is sad. Very sad.”

Caliban returns the smile with a toothy grin of his own. "By choice," he assures Manuel. "I am alone by choice. This...place, where you work. Where mutants are trained. Protected. Where is it? Not Xavier's school? I've never sensed you there before. There are so many mutants on the ground it is hard to pick out any one in particular...but I've had a lot of practice."

“You know Xaviers? You’ve been there and yet choose to be alone.” Manuel finds this very interesting. Empath has to play this right and without the use of his powers, but that has never stopped him before, “I know Xaviers as well. I have been there. But actually, I work at another school. Xaviers is fine, but a lot of people know it and bad things happen there. This other school is better protected.” Before he continues, Manuel asks, “Why do you choose to be alone?”

Caliban looks at Manuel for a long time. "Because those who know me best, don't know me at all. Not any more. I've changed so much. Become so much stronger. But to be around my old friends...they still see me as Caliban, the weak and helpless. Not as the Hellhound." He seems to be telling the truth...at least part of it.

“Then they are not your friends. If they cannot accept the changes that have made you, this Hellhound. Then clearly they do not want to be your friends. Or you do not want them as friends.” Empath hmmns a moment, “Perhaps, this is getting to close to a therapy session. I cannot speak for your former friends. I can only speak for myself. We’ve just met and already we are friends. Maybe since you have changed. You need new friends and new allies. People who don’t know the old weak and helpless Caliban. But can see the powerful Hellhound. Don’t you agree with me that it would be better to start over? I mean since you have changed and all.”

Caliban considers that. "Well said...friend." The slight hesitation before he says the word indicates maybe he's not completely sure of that part yet. But he does seem in agreement. "Your school - where is it? How many of our kind train there?"

“The school is safe and far enough from New York City that the dangers and crime that ravage this city do not affect us at the Massachusetts Academy. There are a number of students, but 16 of them are specifically being trained right now. But it is always growing.” Manuel shrugs, “It’s too bad, you don’t come up with me there now to see for yourself and to help them. I mean, you want to protect and help our kind, and we can help you. I am sure I or one of the other teachers could show you to improve your powers. While you have impressive selection of powers, I wonder how many of those powers you use well, or could use better.”

Caliban smiles knowingly now. "No doubt you are right." His expression grows serious again. "And what does your school require in return for protection and teachings."

“Well. . .it is a school. When you are being taught and protected, we would expect what any teacher or protector expects of their students. Obedience and loyalty. We would expect you to do what we ask because we are doing it for your benefit. It may not always appear that way, but we really are.” Manuel shrugs and then places his hand gently but carefully on Caliban’s, “We look after our own, Caliban. And yet we would not treat you like your namesake from the Tempest. You would not be our slave. You can come and go as you please. We just ask that you do what we tell you when training you and protecting you. And of course, you are expected to protect and work with the other students as well.”

Caliban nods slowly. "That seems reasonable. More than reasonable." His eyes shift to one side and then the other, and he lowers his voice just a bit. "Especially if they can teach me to use my powers as you do. To make humans pleased or helpful...to control them."

Suddenly surprised by Caliban’s last comment, “You want to control humans?” His eyes almost light up, “Tell me, Caliban. What is your story? How did you go from weak and to powerful? You mentioned you had been to Xaviers. I am curious why your old friends are not your friends anymore and what has happened to you to make you the Hellhound?” Empath gestures for the barista, “It seems I’ll be here longer than I thought. I’ll have some scones and some for Caliban as well.”

Caliban follows the gesture, then settles his eyes on Empath once again. "I've always been able to detect mutants. And I have the power to share my fears with others. And to feed off of that fear to increase my own power. But I was remade...by Apocalypse. You know of the X-Men's Angel? Apocalypse did much the same for me. Now I am stronger, nigh-invulnerable. Now I make others fear without feeling it myself." He pauses, then admits, "But it is not enough. Terror is a clumsy tool, useful only when an enemy must be overcome by force. But if you rely only on force, you always find one that can bring even more force to bear. That was Apocalypse's mistake. It won't be mine."

His cellphone goes off and Empath picks it up, “Excuse me, Caliban.” Empath speaks in Spanish and looks over out the window towards the Hellfire Club. “I have to go.” He gives Caliban a card, “This is the address to the school. And here is your first test. See if you can get there on your own. My contact information is also there, so if you need help, then contact me.” Empath heard everything that Caliban has said and will be sure to address it.

Caliban takes the card and then nods slowly. "I will see you there, Manuel."

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