15438/Meeting the Whisperer

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Meeting the Whisperer
Date of Scene: 07 August 2023
Location: The Serpent's Den
Synopsis: Magneto and Sabertooth meet with the Whisperer - to be continued
Cast of Characters: Magneto, Sabretooth, Cyclops, Boom-Boom

Magneto has posed:
As the sun stretches its warm fingers across the horizon, casting long shadows that dance upon the cobbled path, Magneto and Israa stride purposefully back through Old Cairo Market, back to the wooden door of Serpent's Den. The arrangement meticulously hatched from the previous day finds them knocking on the wooden door waiting on the bar's proprietor, Suleiman.

Standing outside of the Serpent's Den, where secrecy reigns, in the shadowy alley way, Magneto had nurtured the expectation of Alice's presence beside him. Yet, the fickle tides of fate have other designs, for the space she should have occupied is instead occupied by a much larger mutant, none other than Victor Creed himself. A man of primal instinct and unyielding resolve, his presence stands sentinel, a reminder of the sturdy pillar of assurance amidst the swirling mists of uncertainty.

Unspoken words linger between Magneto and Israa, a shared understanding that Alice's absence conceals matters of gravity beyond the reach of their knowing. A sense of duty, an unseen responsibility, tugs at her steps in a direction untold.

The Whisperer, a shadowy figure whose unpredictable nature demands vigilance, looms over their thoughts. It is uncertain as to how this man would react to the change in party.

"Victor," Magneto's voice, a steady river coursing through the chamber, captures the room's attention, "do you grasp the significance of our presence in this place?" The words hang in the air, laden with the weight of unspoken truths, each syllable a ripple in the fabric of their shared purpose. As he turns his gaze towards the other mutant, a bond of shared resolve hums in the air, binding them together in the face of what lies ahead.
Sabretooth has posed:
Victor Creed respects only strength and Magneto has represented strength among mutants for quite some time now. Respect might be a strong word. He allies himself with strength. He has no interest in being an underdog. He likes it when the odds are in his favor. He might not be the most idealistic of the Brotherhood, but he remains one of its most effective and feared members. When you absolutely have to inspire terror in your foes, having Sabretooth by your side is always a help.

"Erik," Creed says, one of the few members who can say he's older than the head of the class.

He sniffs the air, wearing his costume for the moment, showing off his mutton-chops and fangs as he moves to take Magneto's right hand.

"Tell me if you want me to make anything dead."
Cyclops has posed:
Speaking of underdogs...

Cyclops was still following from a distance away, tracking Magneto as the powerful mutant made progress in his own search. Cyclops walks back through the Old Cairo Market with his target well in his sights. Jean had been sent around to try and get exits covered, and thankfully, there's trust enough that Cyclops can take care of himself that there's little fuss.

As they approach the Serpent's Den, the smaller form of Alice has been replaced by a much /meaner/ guard to protect the Master of Magnetism: Sabretooth. "Damn." Scott mutters under his breath. Victor Creed is bad news in any context and for once? Cyclops wishes Wolverine was present on this mission.

"Come on...where are you..." Cyclops kept his eyes peeled for the Whisperer and any notion of this Cult of Ascendance.
Magneto has posed:
A fleeting cloud darkens Magneto's countenance, etching a sombre crease onto his features in response to Victor Creed's words. "Our current directive is one of nonviolence," he remarks with a tinge of seriousness, his tone carrying a note of caution. "The path we tread hinges upon a peaceful resolution with this enigmatic figure. Yet, let us not disregard the looming spectre of contingency. Should the tapestry of events unravel unpredictably, the realm of violence may reluctantly claim our allegiance."

Then as if arranged by fate's unseen hand, the heavy door to the Serpent's Den groans open. Through the narrow gap, the innards of the dimly lit bar come into partial view. But the harbinger of the unfolding scene is none other than the very hooded figure Magneto had encountered just a day ago.

"Suleiman," Israa's voice flows like honey warmed by the desert sun, imbued with a touch of familiarity and fondness. Her words, accompanied by the faint lilt of her Arabic heritage, form a gentle embrace of recognition. "It's us. I trust you've managed to sway the Whisperer's inclination towards tonight's meeting?"

A beat of quiet tension ensues, almost as if the shadows cast by the hood deepen. A voice, distant yet resonant, emerges from the depths beneath the enigmatic shroud. "And who might he be?" The words tremor with curiosity, as if seeking to unravel the identities of those that stand before him.

Swift and assertive, Magneto interjects before anyone else can speak. "This is Victor Creed," his voice asserts, a note of command stitched into the syllables. "An ally forged in the crucible of shared purpose. The absence of the lady who graced our company yesterday is conspicuous. Yet, in this moment, we stand as three - two mutants, and the stalwart presence of Israa."

Another pause materializes, carrying the weight of unspoken apprehension. "The forthcoming sentiments may not find favour with his inclinations," the voice concedes, the words suffused with an air of resignation. With that, the door closes, temporarily shutting the trio outside of the bar, their thoughts momentarily left to whirl in the eddies of anticipation and uncertainty.
Sabretooth has posed:
Victor Creed keeps his face blank and nonplussed through Magneto's instructions. Nonviolence. Sure. Pull the other one, big guy. But Magneto goes through moods like this. Vic figures he'll be back to trying to drown X-men by Thanksgiving.

"Like I said, you say when. I won't hurt anybody unless you tell me to. Your show," he says.

He moves in behind Magneto as they sink deeper into the shadowed, hidden place, moving along behind cautiously. He shows a fang-toothed smile when introduced.

"What he said."
Cyclops has posed:
Hm. Nobody's fighting.

Victor must've been told to play nice. Though if combat isn't the goal then Magneto is feeling benevolent. Scott's eyes narrow. He has a solid angle, the hood over his head helps protect light from reaching his visor - no red glints today - and allows him clear sight enough to try reading lips.

"Suleiman." Cyclops repeats the name to himself to commit it to memory, even as his eyes stare ahead patiently. But...the door closes.

A window of opportunity forms?

The other X-Men present are establishing a strong perimeter, but he has to find a way to get into that conversation.
Magneto has posed:
A heartbeat later, the Serpent's Den door unveils its interior once more, and yet again, Suleiman stands solitary on the threshold. His presence carries an aura of gravity, his words falling like pebbles into a tranquil pond. "His demeanour remains far from elation," the man's voice bears a simplicity that belies the complexity of the situation. "However, he has opted to entertain your petition for a meeting. It seems he harbours curiosity about the leader of Genosha. Under these circumstances, I doubt he would extend this courtesy to any other."

With a deft motion, Suleiman grants passage, offering a clearer glimpse into the bar beyond. However, the space within seems barren, a testament to an eerie quietness that permeates the air.

Stepping to the cusp of the threshold, Israa's gaze shifts to Magneto, her voice soft but resolute. "I will let you take the lead. After all, you are better suited for protecting yourself if we are walking into an ambush." Magneto gives a nod of agreement.

Then with the mantle of responsibility, Magneto strides into the recesses of the bar. Stepping inside the Serpent's Den unfurls the congregation shrouded in hooded cloaks. He pauses, a momentary hesitation born from the realisation that these cloaked figures wear similar attire to that of the Cult of Ascendance as described to him.

In the charged quietude, a question bursts forth from Magneto's lips like the striking of a match against flint. "Amongst this gathering, who answers to the mantle of the Whisperer?"
Sabretooth has posed:
Victor Creed is a figure rising out of Magneto's shadow, looming over his shoulder, an ogre, a gargoyle. A threat. He can't help but be that, because of who he is, because of the face he wears, because of the hate in his heart. Hate has been Victor Creed's only warmth for a long time.

Still, Erik says they play it cool, he plays it cool. He clasps his hands in front of him and keeps his mouth shut.

But he has other senses. So he inhales deep, getting a whiff of anybody who might be hiding, listening for any heartbeats. They were the ones who mentioned ambush. Could be self conscious. Better safe than sorry. Once he got a five senses lay of the land, he could decide who generally or possibly fucked they might be. Probably not much. Between the two of them, he and Magneto could take care of themselves just fine, the fella was right about that.
Boom-Boom has posed:
Sure there had been some weird stuff happening, well more than normally weird for the X-Men's tastes. Like false flagging Magneto in Madripoor. Now more stuff in Cairo going on.

Which is how Tabby is in amongst the crew of X-Folks getting their snoop on.

Doing her best to look like a tourist, because blonde and freckled kind of stands out enough you might as well lean into it. Well not too garishly, she'd rather dress for the weather but but for the locale it's slightly safer to dress down. An old oversized tan work shirt half tucked into some dark bluejeans. Some comfy hiking boots with a wedge heel in brown along with a matching belt. Ray bans with reddish tints in the prescription lenses and a little elastic hair tie keeping a ponytail as neat as it can while a mass of blonde hair still drapes down one side of her face.

Over a pair of wireless earbuds Tabby at least do the hiding in plain sight thing, along with some of her past life training doing private black ops. Benefits of being sort of the new girl to the team. Possibly unfamiliar smells. Even if maybe she might get recognized by Magneto at least.
Cyclops has posed:
They're going inside.

"Tabitha, rendezvous with me. We need an entrance into that bar...one that doesn't involve an explosion. Want to work your magic?" Is Scott trying to set up a distraction? Absolutely. They need eyes on that meeting by whatever means possible.

Suleiman grants passage...maybe they can take his outfit as a disguise? More than likely this 'whisperer' is well-protected by homo-sapien and superior alike...perhaps there's a way in that he hasn't considered?
Magneto has posed:
In the wake of Magneto's inquiry, a hooded figure seated at a table lifts a hand, its emergence a silent response suffused with gravity. Simultaneously, Israa's presence materialises within the bar, her footsteps trailing just behind Victor Creed.

Magneto's gaze shifts towards Victor, and in hushed tones, his voice a mere breath, he imparts a command "Stay on guard." With a steadiness befitting his stature, he proceeds to advance towards the table, his frame settling opposite the hooded figure who had raised his hand. Meanwhile, Israa chooses to maintain a measured distance, positioned steadfastly behind Victor.

The words ripple like a secret shared between them. "You are known as the 'Whisperer,' am I correct?" Magneto's question hangs poised in the air, infused with both curiosity and scepticism. "Forgive my frankness, but I lack the means to corroborate your identity."

A murmur, a ghostly echo of sound, slips forth from beneath the shroud of the hood. "Yes, I am the one you seek," the voice, a fragile whisper, dances across the table's expanse, barely brushing the air with its presence. "Pose your question."

Leaning into the intrigue, Magneto unveils his query, his words like breadcrumbs scattered across the table's surface. "I've been led to believe that your knowledge of Cairo's undercurrents is vast. Could you, perhaps, illuminate on who is of the Cult of Ascendance?"

Once again, the enigmatic voice flits forth, its cadence a mere wisp. "That is not the correct question. The essence of who they are is inconsequential."

A furrow etches itself upon Magneto's brow, the furrowed lines a testament to his contemplation. "Then what, pray tell, is the right question to pierce the veil?"

A glimmer of challenge seems to dance within the obscured depths. "Think about it," the response wafts like a breeze through the air.

In the suspended silence, thoughts swirl like leaves carried by a breeze. "What aspirations fuel the Cult of Ascendance?" Magneto's words, laden with intention, unravel the tension, like a key slotting into a lock.

The Whisperer's response unfolds like an unveiling tapestry, his hand, gnarled by time's embrace, ascending in declaration. "Ah, yes. That is indeed the correct question. The Clan seeks an artefact, the Sceptre of Eternity, whispered to house unparalleled power. This sceptre, fashioned eons past by a civilisation that worshipped a deity of great and uncharted might, was fractured into four fragments."
Sabretooth has posed:
Victor Creed cocks his head at one scent he catches on the wind and gets close enough to tip his head in to whisper to Magneto, "Summers is here."

You could wonder which one, but c'mon, you know, you're just being polite. Poor Alex.

Still, the X-man's presence didn't necessarily mean anything bad. He didn't know what Magneto was up to and he'd been standing here the whole time. Truth be told, he didn't care that much about the big picture. That shit tended to work itself out, in his experience. It's the little pleasures that make a long, long life worthwhile.

But one of his favorites, bleeding an X-man, was off-limits at the moment. Non-violence and all.

"Nuts," Creed mutters to himself but keeps his peace for now as Magneto confers with the Whisperer.
Boom-Boom has posed:
It doesn't take too long to meet back up where Scott is is. The blonde maybe kind of had to disentangle herself from some local street hawkers. Probably for the best. Some of those kebabs looked pretty feral.

"On it, save the big booms for like the getaway! Shame this ain't like Lowtown. Undoing a couple buttons on my shirt isn't going to have the same effect on thge bouncers here. " she says just enough volume carrying to the earpiece on a busy street. For every over eager vendor trying to sell her something there'd be just as many sending murderous looks at the woman. And she's not even wearing makeup. At least she's used to those looks.

Sneaking in via backdoor probably won't go down well so she just starts heading right into the front. "So if like I don't come out and nothing explodes I probably got roofied and getting trafficked. Not my first shady bar after all." she says over comms while she goes to get a drink. And probably a spot to eaves drop with minimal harassment. Getting through the door might mean waiting for those ahead of her and weaving amongst anyone exiting as well.

The things one does when putting out feelers amongst the wheelers and dealers.
Cyclops has posed:
As soon as Tabitha comes around the corner, Scott turns his head to regard her. Good hustle. "You're not getting trafficked." Not while Scott has anything to say about it. Everyone comes home or no one does. Nonetheless, Cyclops narrows his eyes and he starts to approach the bar.

<<Jean, where are you...>>

Slowly coming after Tabitha, Cyclops tries to walk in through the front door. No point in going through the back - but most likely he'll run into Suleiman or some other guardsman. He didn't need to speak with the Whisperer...he just needed to be in the same room.
Magneto has posed:
Clyops enters the bar and find himself standing behind Victor Creed, and Israa Al-Masri.

"The four components are believed to symbolise the god's most formidable warriors."

Magneto, perpetually inquisitive, can't resist interjecting. "The god necessitated an armed force?"

A soft ripple of sound emerges from beneath the hood. "Indeed, his following was extensive, and some amongst his adherents engaged in battle on his behalf. This deity adhered to the primal creed of 'Survival of the Fittest.' Thus, he handpicked four champions, the pinnacle of his warriors. To each, he bestowed not just a name, but a mantle: Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death. Together, they formed a collective known as the Horsemen of Apocalypse."

An air of mystery weaves through the room as the Whisperer's words unfold. Each syllable carries the weight of an age-old saga, the threads of history woven through the eons. "These Horsemen were graced with unique abilities, gifts birthed from the god's favour. In his vision, humanity's strength was to be tempered through the culling of the weak. Thus, Apocalypse embarked on a mission to forge a mightier race, achieved by ridding the world of its frailties."

A veil of intrigue shrouds Magneto's expression, his thoughts like ripples in a deep pool. "And the Cult of Ascension, or Clan Akkaba, seeks to resurrect this very god by reuniting the fragments of the Sceptre of Eternity," he summarises, the words painting a vivid tapestry.
Sabretooth has posed:
Victor Creed feels the tension of the moment. He may not fully grasp the import of what was said, but anybody who has his own cult probably isn't somebody to be messed with.

"Fanatics ain't always interested in bein' peaceful," he says. He's seen enough maniacs in enough cults and armies around the world. Violent men always find their way to the surface. Victor knew the type.
Boom-Boom has posed:
To be honest, if someone tried to drug Boom-Boom. The bar would probably not be standing and Cyclops kinda wanted to avoid that for the most part. But she still kind of needed to put up with other things like being a blonde woman in a seedy bar filled with folks maybe on the more misogynistic and dodgy side of conservative.

Booze is ordered, amazingly and after a few sniffs and a swish of te first sip in her mouth for anything that might resemble a mickey she hangs onto the drink and looks for somewhere near where she might hear things.

At least while no one is starting anything with Cyclops, yet so there's probably some restraint being required on the Brotherhood side.

Tabby might have to break some hands eventually though. It's kinda hard to pretend to be cheerful and vapid sometimes.
Cyclops has posed:
A God?

Scott arrives just in time behind Israa and Victor, just enough to overhear that an ancient God is sought for resurrection by a staff representing a piece of his four greatest warriors. Horsemen...

This God must not be revived....

"They never are." Cyclops tells Victor as he begins to move around the brute, his eyes looking towards Tabitha for a moment, his hand leveled flat. No need to act until this goes sour.

Yet, still he listens.