15704/Et tu, Betsy

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Et tu, Betsy
Date of Scene: 13 October 2023
Location: Worthington Manor, Centerport, Long Island, New York
Synopsis: Betsy surprise invites guests to Warren's estate. Sinister, Nick and Lucifer join them for dinner where there's updates on the latest problems, a temperamental chef, and a dangerous game.
Cast of Characters: Archangel, Psylocke, Sinister, Phantasm (Drago), Lucifer

Archangel has posed:
Centerport, historically known as the Gold Coast, has been the ancestral home of the Worthington dynasty for over three hundred years. A hamlet on the North shore of Long Island, it occupied the halfway point in the official boundaries of the town of Huntington. The name Gold Coast had nothing to do with mineral resources, but instead, the traditional wealth and gentility of its residents. And none were wealthier than Warren Kenneth Worthington III.

Worthington Manor occupied a sizable plot of land, with access to the Long Island Sound, having a small marina, okay, any property that can boast its own marina was having a laugh by calling it small.

There was an eighteen hole golf course, tennis courts, plural, swimming pool, servants building, and of course, the main house, which just so happened to be in the center of a lush garden maze. No, wait, we're getting ahead of ourselves. On the property, there existed a sizable garden maze, and within that maze, there was a lake, and within that lake, there was a manor estate. That was Worthington Manor proper.

Some might say it was ostentatious, showy, and they would be right. But this was inherited wealth. The manor had undergone many refurbishments over the year, changes in terms of paint, decor, and the occasional wall being removed or added. But most of that was done before Warren was even born.

This was old money in America. The pinnacle of the elite. Today, the Worthington's owed their vast fortune to Worthington Industries, and its numerous subsidiaries. It was a diverse portfolio, everything from aerospace to wool, though the professional sports teams were what caught most people's eyes.

Today, Warren was entertaining Betsy Braddock, herself the beneficiary of old money, though hers was through her late mother. She had arrived some hours ago, enjoying the last warmth of an unusually warm autumn, swimming in the pool, training in the gymnasium, and settling in for what Warren thought would be a quiet evening at home. How wrong he was...
Psylocke has posed:
People have accused Betsy Braddock of being measured, calculating and at times deceitful. It can certainly seem like that now and then from some perspectives. There are benefits and drawbacks to being a powerful psychic though -- one being you often come to know the thoughts of the ones around you, and you start to respond even to the unspoken.

Like today.

Nathaniel receives a text in the afternoon: /Come by for dinner? Bring your lovely winged angel and that rockstar, if they're free. 7pm./ The address is a place in Long Island. He'll probably recognize it for who owns it if he cares to look it up. He might just /know/.

It doesn't mean Betsy's not genuine, and not trying to do the right thing -- from her perspective, though. X-Force matters. Making sure the team stays together, that they can work well together, is more important than ever. Fate -- through the visions she's had -- has shown her that much is true. So it only seems natural that after a relaxing day spent in Warren's company, when he's at his ease, that he might be more receptive to the presence of Mister Sinister.

Granted, sometimes she's wrong. Very occasionally. "Oh, I invited a few guests for dinner, Warren. I let the cook know."
Sinister has posed:
This does have the capacity to go incredibly wrong, on a vast amount of levels.

Just putting that out there, but Nathaniel Essex, this incarnation of him at least, has been putting in efforts. Some of them have born fruit, in the fact that he in fact CAN come along with his rock-star friend.

Who also got a text, when he landed from his Eurotrip.

'Apparently we have a dinner invite with American royalty. I'll send the car. ~NE~' but unfortunately, today has the Archangel of the light a bit preoccupied, so although there'd be a wonderfully strange evening afoot if he was there also, he is lacking in the present department.

Sinister arrives by air, because sometimes that's just the way things go. It also means moats, potential alligators and the garden maze were not things that were problematic. He is however, dressed absolutely impeccably, in casual Old-money style, polo neck, chinos, perfectly tailored jacket, waistcoat, the works. Also, human-looking at least. The man has grey eyes, the colour of stormclouds, when they're not blood red and glowing. If that's what he originally looked like. A cake box is being floated beside him, which may or may not be a peace offering. "This is almost like the legend of the Heartless Giant. House in a lake, on an island, in a maze... I doubt his heart's hidden in an egg, though." Doorbell. Right.

Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
As the pair come up across the address, Nick quietly observes the scenery. It was mainly quiet due to Sinister taking an alternate route in. But upon the pair meeting outside, he looks over to the one who relayed the invite. "If I didn't know that you and Lucifer purchased castles just a few weeks ago. I'd probably feel inclined to make a comment about the moat."

Well, verbal comment, mentally he's commenting away. Just WHAT was going on in history at the time of this house's creation did someone think a moat was a great idea? Was it initially created as a tourist trap of sorts? Insuring this place must be a nightmare. Maintenance definitely is, and there's probably foundational issues. Do they have to deal with sinking like Venice does?

But he has cleaned up more so than the last time around. The car came by Four Freedoms this time and despite the described SHOEBOX size of the apartment, there apparently was room for a couple decent outfits. While this one may not be red carpet or gala appropriate, it was worlds better than what he wore to the Hellfire Club. The red of the dress shirt pops in contrast to the black jacket above it. But, still no tie. It's almost like he's got a thing against them or something.

As the doorbell is rung, the performer gives a last glance to the scenery.


Nick's hand is suddenly pressed against his neck. Sliding it off, he glances to it, frowning. "Mosquito."
Archangel has posed:
Having spent the day with Betsy had put Warren in a good mood. She had the effect on him. The stresses of the corporate world, of human-mutant relations, of good and evil, it all seemed to drip away when she was nearby, even when he was up to his knees in blood and violence. So a relaxing day at home, he was about as receptive as he was going to get to having say a reformed torturer in his presence. He could probably stomach the company of Hannibal Lecter right now. Or maybe not. Only time would tell.

Turning his head to Betsy, he raised a curious single eyebrow. He wasn't sure which part amused him more, that she invited guests to his home; sure, she was welcome anytime she wanted, still had keys to the place, and was generally loved by the staff, permanent and temporary, but it was still his home; or that she referred to Chef Blackstock as the 'cook'.

With a glance about, as he was no telepath, he finally added, "I wouldn't let Gareth catch you saying that. I'd rather pick a fight with Sabretooth than be on the receiving end of one of his diatribes."

Before a car could arrive at Worthington Manor, it had to pass by security, who had, on Betsy's say so, added Nathaniel Essex, Nick Drago, and a plus one for each, to the approved list of visitors. Once on the property, it was a short fifteen minute drive towards the maze, which had a road through it, on a bridge across the moat, to a diamond shaped parking area.

Arriving by air on the other hand, triggered a drone response, military quality drones, which escorted Nathaniel Essex to the ground, where proper security procedures could be performed. The only true gaps in the security net were tunneling underground, though some of that would appear on seismic scanners, and of course, teleportation, as it was virtually impossible to guard against someone or something that could materialize as if out of thin air.

After being cleared, and no, they didn't check his cake box, Mr. Essex and Mr. Dragp would be greeted at the door, except that one of the micro drones is smacked, falling to the ground, for there were no mosquitos on this property. There were however security drones that appeared to be like insects.

One of the security guards, who had been walking away, back to the maze, where there was presumably some kind of station hidden away, would turn back and glare at Nick. He had gotten an alert on his wrist computer of the damage to the drone. But he said nothing. If Betsy or another telepath were monitoring surface thoughts, Derek was hoping that the cost of the drone wouldn't come out of his salary.

But at the door, a gentleman in traditional butler attire greeted them. Edmund spoke with an English accent, "welcome Mr. Essex and Mr. Drago. May I take your coats?" Another man approached Mr. Essex to take the cake for later. And whether they kept their coats or would allow them to be checked in, Edmund would lead them through the journey to the wing of the mansion where Betsy and Warren had been, one of the many living rooms.
Psylocke has posed:
"I would never say that to him. I love his cooking." Less so his manner, but one puts up with a lot for an excellent cook, as Betsy well knows. "And I had a fun day today. It's been too long since I've just- relaxed." It's not the stressors of the corporate world that have had Betsy on edge lately, but the many juggled balls of threat and doom that weigh heavily on her mind.

Betsy looks utterly relaxed when she rises from her seat at the arrival of the visitors. Her long violet hair is left to spill free over her bared shoulders. She's wearing an emerald shift dress with thin spaghetti straps, matching heels, and no jewelry to speak of. This is Betsy at her relaxed, but still dressing appropriately to dinner.

With a single look at Warren -- maybe to check his reaction, maybe to warn him -- she steps to greet the visitors. "Nathaniel," she says with a genuine warmth, leaning close to air-kiss his cheek. "I'm glad you accepted. Nick," and she'll repeat the gesture -- which might or might not be familiar given his recent European tour. "I'm glad to see you again. Lucifer couldn't make it?"

"Ah. Nick, do you know Warren Worthington? Our delightful host. And please note, I have entirely sprung your presence on him unexpectedly. For which I'm sure he'll forgive me in time," her smile is bright as she glances to Warren. She sounds certain of that.
Sinister has posed:
"It's probably got its own pool attendant," the comment is with a half-grin. But then, Ho-hum, diddly diddly, here we go. The patience to wait for electronic metal detection and other security measures is taken in stride. Essex actually -does- surrender his coat, because it's what one does. Scanning the area with senses keen on various different levels of paranoia, mean that there'd been a wince at the mosquito swat and the subsequent glare that was given. That tiny thing was lifted up, placed in his pocket, utterly fried as it was.

And then the gaze, the taking in of decor as being handled occurs.

The air-kiss is measured with a purely warm smile, "...delightful as always, Betsy. I am quite pleased to be here, if a little surprised. And alas, no. Lucifer has been otherwise detained. He does send apologies and the petits fours are on him. Fresh from a charming patiserie in the shadow of Montparnass."

Eyes settle upon Warren then, an incline of the head given at a mild, but respectful level. "I didn't bring wine. I felt it would be gauche."
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
Getting the general sense that someone is glaring at him, Nick turns his head to return the expression right back at the guard. Let there be a moral to this. If something like an insect that lands on the neck and feels like an insect, it's PROBABLY getting swatted.

As the jacket is more to be paired with the dress shirt, Nick keeps it on, following Edward to the wing they were to be received in. Nick smiles, allowing for Betsy to perform the gesture. While he wasn't really exposed to it much in England and Ireland, he has spent a substantial amount of time in Italy during previous tours to recognize it for what it was. "A pleasure, Betsy." He greets, with a bit more energy than last time. As she indicates to Warren, Nick turns his head to look to the homeowner. He tilts his head in acknowledgement of the man. Psylocke's question causes for him to try and recall the situation. The actual conversation itself was lost but there was a point they did get seated near each other in an airport restaurant. "I believe we met, years ago. Very briefly. Small talk."

Nick's not even sure where he was heading when they ran into each other. Was it for a tour or for the Call of the Wild miniseries? If it was the latter it could either be Alaska or Canada...

"But good to see you as well."
Archangel has posed:
Warren immediately could hear Gareth going on a rant in his mind's eyes, saying, 'love? LOVE! One does not simply love my cooking, one experiences it, is occasionally transformed by it, and in a personal best, decided to check into a clinical hospital because of it, as the customer in question had tasted perfection, and was forced to live with the knowledge that from now on, all other meals would pale by comparison.' He only smiled though in reaction. "Then I am sure that we are in for a considerable treat."

Rising in unison with her, Warren's wings were, as per usual, well hidden. He wore a black polo shirt, made of some kind of slinky material, which seemed to hang well on his physique. The top button was left open, and his medium length blond hair cascaded over his shoulders. Below, he had on khaki pants, and as the mansion had marble floors with various area rugs, runners, and the like throughout, he had black shoes on. His socks were hidden by the shoe and pant leg, but he probably wore some to go with it. His belt was also black, while there was the faint outline of an unworn watch on his left wrist. Tan lines, what are you going to do?

Warren had no love for Nathaniel Essex, but at Betsy's urging, he was making accommodations, and he wasn't rude per say. He had too much refinement to ever be rude. But there were smiles and there were fake smiles. The one he gave Mr. Essex was more of the later than the former. Hearing that Lucifer couldn't make it, and knowing at least the biblical connotations, Warren had to bite his tongue for making a joke, though the telepaths in the audience might have enjoyed his thoughts about how Lord Voldemort, Sauron, Joffrey Baratheon, or Sheev Palpatine might have been a suitable alternative. For now, all he did was raise a curious eyebrow at the mention of the devil.

A more genuine smile followed, "you're already forgiven, Betsy, but I certainly wouldn't object if you wanted to make it up to me another time." He would follow, offering his hand to each in turn. "Not to worry, I have plenty."

To Nick, Warren asks, "did we?" He knew of Nick Drago, so there was that familiarity of a more prominent and mainstream celebrity. Warren was well known, but it was different as a philanthropist. He didn't get recognized on the street, unless it was Wall Street. He had the good kind of celebrity, where he could walk into a 7-Eleven and no one would think twice. "How are you?" He added, with a more energetic smile than he had given to Nathaniel.
Psylocke has posed:
"Oh, how thoughtful of him. I can't wait to try them." For someone like Betsy, traveling the world merely to locate the appropriate visitor gift doesn't seem outrageous at all. "I believe Chef Blackstock reserves the right to choose wine pairings for his meals, so it was a prudent choice." She is on the train of 'don't annoy Chef Blackstock'.

"I figured it was good to get to know your friend better," Betsy adds to Nathaniel with a smile for Nick, "But also, honestly and a little selfishly, for you and Warren to meet under more casual and less intense circumstances." Trust is built brick by brick. Betsy's going to try and lay an entire row of them tonight.

"Sometimes I think you forgive me too easily, Warren," Betsy says, with a tiny smile. And yet it seems a bared honesty, in the pause that follows. "Nick's across the nightmare dream visitor, my identities, and the visions I've been having. And we all had a lovely visit from Doctor Fate to warn us about that, and other things. So I think we're good not to have any secrets between us all tonight." She glances at one of the servants: they should be offering drinks shortly. She has a feeling it might be needed, regardless of how readily Warren plays the game. She can tell, even if she weren't a telepath, the difference between Warren's genuine and 'for the press' smile.
Sinister has posed:
For Sin, the presence of a fake smile is still better than snarling lips and hate-filled eyes. Though that's the trouble of being a telepath, you can still sense that kind of animosity. Water off a duck's back? Not precisely, but it doesn't phase him. There was a handshake involved after all, which is not insignificant.

"Fate came by again, by the by, this time to have words with Lucifer. And by the by, he isn't what you think, Warren. At least, not any more -- permanent vacation from the Infernal throne, living the high life and actually reconnecting these days, with what he once was and still is. That's a learning curve, by the by." He sniffs the air lightly, twisting lips to the side in a twitch, the smile returning after. Casual, ever-so-faintly amused by the situation and machinations, that smile is. "In a round about way, the lecture and condescention was a way of affirming he's on our side. For the time being. I -still- have to pin down Strange and get him to talk English with me insteady of crazy magician, but that -will- happen."

He glances to Nick and back to the other two, waiting on the host to signal readiness to move. "Nick has talent with the Dream -- it has been quite the lifesaver at times. Also, it seems as if Betsy's mind invader also visited me. There were elements all too familiar."
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
When asked such a question, typically one might respond off the bat with a 'Doing ok' or a 'I'm fine.' But Nick pauses to consider Warren's question. How is he indeed? He should probably set aside some time when he gets home to do a bit more of a personal breakdown. Sort out the events of the trip, the general familial revelations, and the stuff to come. Work, apocalypses, and all.

But hey, if he can last until Thanksgiving he could say it's been a year since the last time someone blew in a wall to try and get to him. So that's good right?

That's more something to deal with later. Better keep things simple.

"It's been a good quarter." Nick replies, "Just finished up filming for a project and getting in a small break before the sound work and promotional stuff kicks in."

Nick glances over to Betty as she explains her reasons for inviting the two of them. When she mentions the information previously shared, he gives a nod in confirmation. The head turns to look to Sin as he provides the additional information regarding the strange doctor that wasn't Strange.

Damn it. Is Fate rubbing off on him? Stop it.

"I am keeping an eye out for anyone who matches your description when I'm in the area," Nick offers, "but aside from the usual nightmares and occasional stray demon, dreams have been quiet."
Archangel has posed:
"And all for the better," Warren chimes in with Betsy's praise for Chef Blackstock. "He once won a cooking competition, in France, with English wine." It was impressive for an English cook to win a French cooking competition, but to do it with English wine was incredible.

It was good to distract him with topics that he took an interest in. It made it harder to think of the torture, the pain, and the anguish. Such memories never truly went away, but they would fade in time. And Betsy Braddock seemed hell bent on shining that sun on them to bleach them some more.

"Very well, I don't forgive you," he added playfully, when she said that he forgave her too easily.

So much for that. Things became far more somber, "no secrets, huh? Perhaps we should adjourn to the dining room. I imagine that dinner will be served presently." He knew that Gareth was nothing if not precise in his cooking.

A guarded look was given to Nathaniel as he went on to explain Lucifer. He had experienced much, he knew of beings that were like gods, Thor, Hela, but it was still strange to hear Lucifer being referred to as if they knew him. "Is anything permanent with immortality?"

Were it coming from someone with fewer issues, he might have been intrigued to ask about Lucifer, and the ramifications of the devil being a resident of New York, Metropolis, Gotham, or wherever he had decided to vacation. Still, he couldn't help but add, "I'd be happy to put him, and you, in touch with a good travel agent," though this one could be taken as a snide remark, there was? warmth? That genuine charm starting to seep out; it was meant as a joke, and not a please leave my home.

Shifting his gaze towards Nick, "and what might this one be about? Vampires in space? A mutant in love with a Friend of Humanity? Or perhaps the next Star Wars, what are they up to these days?"
Psylocke has posed:
"Fate had words with Lucifer?" Betsy's brows go upwards, not bothering to hide her interest. "I bet that was entertaining to be a fly on the wall. Personally -- I'd like to pin the man down and try and get some straight questions. I'll settle for him learning how to use doors, though." Social niceties being a top priority for the aristocrat.

"I was thinking more about that -- the dream invader. I could probably locate him via Cerebro." It's said with an air of distaste. She doesn't like to use the machine. Maybe that's why she adds: "But if he's sticking to trying to frighten people in dreams, and you haven't seen hair nor hide of him Nick, we probably have bigger things to worry about right now. Will you update Warren about your recent work, Nathaniel?"

As for Warren not forgiving her? "Liar," Betsy says, with a knowing smile, slipping a hand through Warren's elbow to let him escort her towards the dining room. She knows precisely where it is, but there are certain rules of etiquette that just come without thought.

Betsy, too, looks curiously at Nick for what his movie is about, though there's a slight grimace for the suggestion of something to do with the Friends of Humanity. "They need no encouragement," she mutters darkly. "We caught a group of them trying to kidnap a mutant the other night. They won't ever learn differently."
Sinister has posed:
Perhaps the will to have humour behind that remark was salient enough to stick; "You know, what with some of the places we've ended up, having a properly curated trip might just be the best thing since sliced bread..." the dry tone is present, but it's the English kind of dry humour that must at least be familiar, given Warren's associations. He moves when they do, grey eyes turning on the other old-blood aristocrat in the room. "It didn't quite go according to plan on Fate's part, the Morningstar gave him a good tonguelashing and called him on his proverbial cow manure. It seemed to do the trick of breaking the ice though."

A look to Nick because the inquiry on movie stylings is going to be an interesting one. But there's a request for information to be relayed.

Accompanying steps are graceful and measured, because dignity is a watchword strangely omnipresent with Sinister most of the time. "Short short version: I've created an infinite improbability drive, that allows the viewing of alternate timelines and quantum divergence. It's what brought Fate knocking, as it's powered by the awakened primary feather of the Archangel Uriel, patron saint of Wisdom, foresight and insight among other things." Just dropped out there, nice and precise as you please.

He gives Warren a sidelong glance here, but continues "I am now working on the interface, that will allow the drive to be properly housed and properly used to greater effect. Except that my brain is second guessing itself and I -cannot- go to my usual, which is another of me, to get a second insight. That's not a good place for me to be at, but I'm blessedly short of genius engineers that will give me the time of day and -won't- try to pull the rug out from under me. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Uriel -gave- me the feather. If that fell into the wrong hands, even one with all the heroism of the entire bloody Iliad, the road to /actual/ hell is paved with good intentions."
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
There's a quirk to the lip to the suggestion of vampires. While it's not the subject matter of the current project. There was that movie adaptation of a teen novel he was part of years ago that turned out to last longer than he expected. He still gets requests to show up to horror conventions for that.

Hmm. He'll have to cut back on accepting those. If they sit him next to his costars, people are GOING to notice he hasn't aged. Last thing he needs is a misguided fan bringing stakes to one of the Q&A sessions.

"It's a movie adaptation of the book 'From the Ashes'." Nick answers, "It's more...fiction with a historical backdrop of one of the events of Catholic Emancipation in Ireland."

He leaves it at that. That film was created with a very specific group in mind. If they're part of that group, they already know. If they're not, they probably don't care.

When Psylocke brings up the near kidnapping of a mutant, the performer frowns. Why can't people leave other people alone? "Is the victim okay?" Sure, the implication is that the FoH persons were stopped. But there are different points where the stopping could have occurred. A few seconds can be the difference between just having to make a statement or having to ride to the ER.

Nick glances over to Sinister to the mention of the feather falling into the wrong hands. It's actually impressive if his spell is still running through it. Depending on the usage, Raphael's Flask usually just lasts a couple of days when used on others. It was never meant to be a permanent thing. Just bought time to help people get their shit together.
Archangel has posed:
It was amusing to hear Betsy Braddock, also known as Psylocke, talk about someone learning to use doors. She could teleport through the shadows, which pretty much meant she could get through Warren's security, and anyone else's, at whim. He did his best to hide and stiffen a chuckle.

He was already beginning to move towards her, sensing her discomfort at even the thought of using Cerebro, but she was soon slipping her hand into his arm, which he extended for her. It was funny how well they knew each other, adjusting and anticipating such movements.

"Lie? Me," he said putting his free hand to his chest, "I'll have you know that I have a halo, or at least I'm pretty sure that I could order one and have it be here by tomorrow morning."

Some days were simple. Some days Remy was playing basketball with Logan. Ororo was going for a swim with Jubilee. Hank was reading a book. And then there were days where you heard about angel feathers powering alternate timeline television sets, or whatever it was that Essex was talking about. Warren took it in stride. He blinked several times. Tried to process it, and simply nodded. Because what more could he say to that?

And then the penny drops. "So, you want me to be Kennedy to your von Braun, is that it?" A pause, "I could face worse comparisons."

Heading into the dining room, servants would pull out chairs for Nick, Warren, and Nathaniel, though Warren made a point of pulling one out for Betsy, allowing her to be seated before he would take his.

"From the Ashes," he repeated, not being familiar with the book, but he knew the history of Ireland reasonably well, and far better than most of his countrymen. "That should be exhilarating. Will you be filming it locally?"
Psylocke has posed:
Betsy genuinely looks both delighted and disappointed at Sinister's recounting of that particular meeting with Lucifer. "Oh, now, Nathaniel, I /really/ regret not being present. Though I get the distinct feeling that Fate -- the part of him that's Other -- wouldn't really comprehend nor take offense."

"There is going to be some safeguards," Betsy adds to Warren, as Sinister explains his machine. "The feather is dangerous in and of itself. It can't fall into other hands. As for running the machine itself... it's not enough just to lock it to Nathaniel's DNA given there are others. I think we were talking about two people minimum? A... kind of check and balance, if you will. All that being said, if he can get it working... it can help us avoid some missteps."

That is, admittedly, a lot of caveats. But as Betsy lets Warren settles into her seat there's a determination in her gaze.

Just because Betsy /can/ leap through the shadows and invade Warren's house, it doesn't mean she /does/ it as a matter of course. Especially not meeting new people -- unless terror is the intended outcome. When Warren talks of having a halo, there's a sketch of a smile, and she says, "I really wish for Lucifer and you to meet. You'll arrange something, Nathaniel?" she asks.

Judging by Betsy's blank look, she doesn't recognize the book Nick refers to. She picks up some of the gist from his thoughts, though. "If you need some faces for a premiere in New York I'm sure we could indulge."

"Yes, the mutant the Friends of Humanity were after is safe. He took some convincing," the little smile Betsy gives, Warren will just /know/ she gave the poor kid a mental nudge for his own good, "But he's staying with like-minded people, now. And those that tried to take him learned their lesson." Meaning she didn't kill. So it must have been with the X-Men; Betsy's not by default so restrained when it comes to protecting their kind.
Sinister has posed:
"That is an interesting way of putting it, Warren... but yes, I could use several sets of practically and technically gifted eyes on the problem," and he intends to get some assistance from a neurosurgeon and a robotics designer for integrated overall design, too. There's a grimace though for a moment. "ANd I may actually have to have a word with Stark, too. His electrical engineering and knowledge of power source integration may be necessary. Depends on how good I truly am, really doesn't it?"

Taking his seat is exceptionally old school. You can tell when someone's been properly 'educated' in that kind of etiquette, as the posture ends up being BANG on the money and inexplicably rigid.

To Betsy he inclines his head then and glances to Warren, back to her and across to Nick, before his hands become quite facinating in the checking of his fingernails and impeccable manicure. "I'm rather intrigued to have that happen also, honestly. Some of my research of late has been interesting. The sources of Mutation are quite varied and in some cases, perplexing. Non human DNA is definitely one of them and given the prevalence of winged mutants of all stripes, well..." he looks up at Warren then, beneath brows. His eyes are sparkling as he speaks "...it practically -screams- a proper meeting, doesn't it?"

The safety of the mutant being mentioned gets an idle ear, but he seems to be having a thought, prompted by the gaze at Warren. It ends up with his expression glazing over, his smile fading like a deflating balloon and he raises a hand, pointing a finger upward and gesturing with it toward Nick. "Nick... you may want to think about Azrael a little bit. She's the last Kindness anyone ever gets. And she brings about the Ending of things."

Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
"We just finished with the principal shooting." Nick indirectly answers as he finds his seat. The chair pushed in does help introduce his back to the chair's but he soon shifts forward a bit to where his hands fold upon the table.

"We used Ireland and England locations. But, any sound mixing I'm part of will likely be with local studios."

To the confirmation that the victim is apparently safe physically. Nick nods, giving a cautionary smile to the news. While he can't speak for the person he doesn't know, he is aware of how he felt. Different group though. Either way he wouldn't wish that feeling on anyone.

"...If you are curious about the film or the after party, just let me know and I'll arrange for some tickets." He states to Betsy.

Let's be honest. Not everyone who goes to those parties actually watch the movie that the party is for.

Hearing his name, pale eyes shift, looking over to Sinister for a few moments as he makes his suggestion. The last time around led to Uriel's song, and if he were to be betting, probably that uncomfortable meeting with Michael. But- Hmm...

Azrael, Angel of death, scythe or sword...all the better to cut things with. The cutting off... the guiding of souls.

Tricky material indeed. It may take a bit longer than a night to properly phrase it. But-

That would make for an interesting kill switch for other spells if it can be done.
Archangel has posed:
"I would certainly hope so," Warren remarked to Betsy, "unless we want to put it in a big wooden box, in the middle of a warehouse, and leave it to be studied by... Top Men," which of course was a reference to some old Steven Spielberg adventure film from the 1980's. The classics truly never die.

"The two key requirement is a favorite among the film industry, with three for added measure." He could swear that he remembered once seeing a gymnastic thief turn a key on either side of the door, one with her toes, the other with her hands, only to realize that a third key had to be turned above the doorway.

"I'm certain that our paths will cross at some point," referring to how much Betsy would like Warren Worthington, also known as Angel, to meet Lucifer Moringstar, also known as the devil.

A nod in agreement at the offer of showing up for Nick's premiere, "I'm sure something can be arranged there."

He knew and understood that little smile regarding the outcome of an encounter with a Friend of Humanity. Nothing was said, but he did give Betsy a simple nod, followed by a slightly surprised look at a lesson being learnt. She didn't usually show that much restrain when on her own.

Moving around to take his own seat, which was pushed in by a member of the dining staff, he looked to Nathaniel, "Remind me to set this little endeavor away from any of my other resources. It helps with the insurance rates." Somehow, he had a feeling that Nathaniel was going to blow up a small to sizeable portion of the Earth, no matter where he did this research.

That look after going on about the differences between mutants and humans was unnerving, and Warren hid it well. Those who knew him best, would see right through it. It was his version of having his skin crawling. To most others, it was a slight shift of posture, a tweak of the neck, the faintest hint of a facial contortion, all the subtle signs that could easily be dismissed as natural movement of the course of a conversation.

A glance to Betsy when she was offered tickets to the film or after party, and that smile, so genuine, suggested that he was giving her a version of puppy dog eyes, wishing to be her plus one, especially in light of the fact that he wasn't offered tickets.
Psylocke has posed:
It's clear from Betsy's blank look to Warren she doesn't get the movie reference. Though his statement of three has her frowning in consideration. "Interesting, though maybe impractical. Still. A triumverate all in agreement of need does feel a safer endeavor than a single mind."

There are a few surprises in Sinister's words, for Betsy. That he is actively seeking help in his endeavor is one; that he's openly admitting it is another. These things certainty don't align with the X-Men's notes on the man -- and yes, she's learned much more in the last few months of how much the man differs from the legend, but there's still little moments like this where it catches her off guard.

She smiles at Nathaniel. It's a pleased, warm expression, outwardly at least seeming to be prompted by nothing. Then again, it could very well be for his posture and the unthinking etiquette he displays: she does appreciate that very much.

A meeting of Winged folk makes her laugh. "Please do take photos for me. For a private collection." She miiight just be partial to winged folk. Who could have guessed that? Sinister talking of mutations and specifics isn't new to her. It's only because Warren shows any discomfort that she seeks to distract with a smile to the dining staff. "Please let the chef know we're ready for the first course and wine."

It's possible that Betsy is somewhat distracted for a moment by the direction of Nick's thoughts. The look she gives him is thoughtful, but with that same, effortless warmth that she seems to have. "That would be lovely. I would very much like to see your work, Nick." She is, no doubt, aware of Warren's sentiment. She doesn't offer, at least not in this moment. A conversation for later, perhaps.
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
Lets see. talks of time lasting. Things having run their course. The need for it to end. Of course make SURE that the subject couldn't possibly be mistaken for a living being... That'd just be way too much...

Warren's description of a warehouse ends up being indirectly envisioned in Nick's thoughts as the song consideration gets moved from the forefront. But, there are a few details a bit different than what Warren may remember. The attire isn't of the world war two variety but much more current. More true to form. Natasha and a scientist type are consulting a listing, leading Nick down one of the many corridors of boxes before they stop to begin the process of prying open one large box. It seems almost...real.

Nick's observation of Warren, causes for him to consider the matter of invites. "The offer is of course extended to you as well, Mr. Worthington. I had assumed that you two would be together. And as I've more recently met Betsy, she seemed the one to make the initial offer to."
Sinister has posed:
There's a smile for Nick, encouraging and his gaze drifts over toward Betsy a moment, when she seems caught by the novelty. Well, when your only encounters are 'face to face' or through documentation, reality can leave things rather lacking, or more engaged than you ever thought possible. "Anyway, I'm partial to the Leicester Square premiers, it feels a little like opening night at the theatre," he comments, settling back in his seat to regard the Mutant 'couple' with a level gaze and a thorough lack of comment regarding dinner.

"Be this as it may, I would feel obliged to note that my current studies are observations and historical data points. I know what the records show, but I genuinely don't spend all my time poking things in their spleens." This may have been gauche, but it's said with a wry expression. "I have a distinct dislike of abbhorrent mutagens, they cause anomalies and physiological detriment. Darwin did not care. I actually do. But again..." he gestures with a broad hand in a sweep to the side and bows his head.

"Duly noted however, that we will be doing any insights away from holdings. Although creating a frankenstein effect is really not horribly dangerous, it's a matter of making sure that the significant parts all talk to one another." Sniff. "And I'm not doing three keys. It would be counterproductive."
Lucifer has posed:
There might be someone, somewhere in a penthouse at the top of a club in New York who could swear that his ears are burning. Course, they likely don't burn for long as a interesting conversation is had between minds. It doesn't matter the distance - especially when you're conntected to one of the most powerful mind readers in the world - as they can have a full fledged mental conversation and Nathaniel can still pay attention to everything in his physical surroundings.

They're a bit fancy like that.

Many people in the world debate which came first. The chicken or the egg. (It was the egg, obviously, because dinosaurs laid them and then evolved into chickens) The question that precedes Lucifer's special arrival is always what comes first? The scent of sulfur or the spillage of smoke? It's likely that the nose catches first before the eyes take on the appearance of that smokey plume. It curls around like some nefarious summoning of a diabolical creature most foul. Then the smoke begins to billow away and what's left in it's stenchful place is...

A very immaculately dressed Lucifer Morningstar. Three piece suit of hellfire red with a black shirt and black handkerchief tucked neatly into his left breast pocket. Stunning blue eyes, slicked back black hair and a Grin(tm) that would make a nun blush.

He pauses, takes in the crowd, and then his eyes settle on Nathaniel specically. "How dare you allow the party to start without me...tsk tsk. But all is now right in the world, I'm here."
Archangel has posed:
Catching that look of confusion at his movie reference, Warren files it away for later. "Well, it's debatable whether it worked for Rome, short or long term," he added at the mention of the triumvirate, "one of them did produce Caesar Augustus, but it wasn't long before Caligula and Nero came along."

A brief inclination of his head to Nick in thanks, before he turned his head, as a series of wait staff came in, carrying wine, while another set appeared with the starters, each covered with a silver cloche.

A gentleman came out last, after each person seated had a plate set in front them, still covered, and their wine poured, unless they objected in any way.

Dressed in chef white's, complete with the tall hat, he had to duck as he came through the door. "Hello, my name is Gareth Blackstock," the head chef and owner of the three Michelin star Le Chateau Anglais, which was also in Huntginton, New York. People often drove from as far away as Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington for his meals.

He began explaining the dishes as the cloches were lifted up, "Tonight I have prepared a first course of bite," he brought his thumb and forefinger together, emphasizing the size, "sized crab wantons, nicely sauteed with freshly chopped herbs, sourced directly from the gardens on premises, my compliments, and delicately resting within the crab meat, to be served with freshly baked garlic?"

The stench of Lucifer's arrival, the smoke, the effect such aromas and fragrencies might have on time honored cooking, the tone of voice on the man's face fell flat, and he completed his sentence, "? bread." His left eye began to twitch subtly. There was an inner rage within him kept in check only by his respect and friendship with the host, or more accurately, with a frequent guest of the host.

A gesture to one of the waiters, "Cecil?" his intent clear. The man would head to the kitchen, ensuring that none of the staff ate any leftovers, waste, in case some of it can be salvaged on a last minute bases. With sarcasm practically dripping from his face, Chef Blackstock said, "if you'll please excuse me," and he marched as softly and gently, holding it in, until he was through the doors. Anyone would superior hearing would hear swift and savage profanity the likes of which are rarely seen.
Psylocke has posed:
Assumptions are voiced about Betsy and Warren's status. The violet-haired woman is used to it. She neither confirms nor denies said assumptions. The offer is extended to Warren, and her eyes are somewhere over Nick's shoulder. Rollercoaster. Everything she hears makes her curious, but she doesn't press. "I think we should make it a rule to table talk of mutagens at the dinner table. It makes some of us uncomfortable, still." Her included, truthfully, though she shows it much less than Warren does.

"/You/ can be very persuasive, Nathaniel." It is a compliment, but that's not why Betsy says it. "And other /yous/ could prove very insistent. If one of the keys is you, then there should be three."

That is one way to make an entrance. Tension wreathes the ninja as the scent of smoke reaches her nostrils, but by the time she's stood the familiar figure of the fallen angel is apparent. She can't even be mad. It's an appropriately dramatic entrance and really, he's just so handsome it's pretty impossible to be mad. "Lucifer, you are as gorgeous as ever. I'm glad you joined us. You have perfect timing." Or terrible timing, if you're the chef. "Do join us. Warren Worthington, meet Lucifer Morningstar."

Betsy retakes her seat, like she never stood. "You are delightful as always, Gareth. It smells delicious." Sure, some of the scent of it was altered by Lucifer's arrival, but it's no less true. Betsy immediately lifts the glass of wine that was poured in front of her. "To new acquaintances."
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
Sure Lucifer may have different titles and if one were to go with stereotype, they may even be wary of such a meeting. But upon the club owner making his appearance, the already somewhat content feeling musician seems to have a bit of an added boost to the mood.

Now they got the full set.

Nick can't help but to return the grin Lucifer flashes in response. "Glad you could make it." Nick responds.

As the chef comes in to explain what is being served. Nick quiets himself...vocaly. The mind itself is still going on its wild track. But as the ride starts climbing another hill, it allows him time focus on the description of the food.

It is rather impressive just how much marketing is involved for the higher priced restaurants where a Spaghetti at a lower priced location could taste just as good but because they didn't call tomato sauce 'salsa di pomodoro', they could only mark up the dish 400% instead of the full 1000% for a fourth of the portion..

As for the chef's description of what is prepared in person. Well, it's showmanship. And as a performer as well, he has to respect it.

That doesn't mean he's going to go to that restaurant on a regular basis when he can go to Fred's Diner and watch the cook light the grill with his fire breath for a much lower cost.


Actually come to think of it, they replaced the grill with one that functions. That's why it went up a letter on the grade.

Still. Good food.

"It sounds good. I look forward to trying it." He adds on to Psylocke's compliment.

Yes, it probably does taste good but he's probably going to be hungry after this meal.

To the prompt that they are toasting, Nick sets his hand upon the glass poured in front of him to follow suit.
Sinister has posed:
There is no surprise on Sinister's face at the sudden arrival of the Lord of Hell. As noted: telepathy and there's a long established bond. But a thought away, but he does seem pleased that the prior engagement on Lucifer's part has been handled. "There's only so much you can stall my dear, when I didn't have a time-frame. Speaking of Romans, I'm sure they might have made a party last for days, but I think the chef might have had an aneurism if that had been in the offing."

And he can't help but stifle a laugh at the inner monologue of the one named Nick Drago.

Rollercoaster indeed. "Upbringing," he comments "when you have more money than sense, you pay for the performance, the ambience, silver service, personalized tastes and to burn a hole in your wallet. It's weird considering the morbidly rich often end up being hopelessly penny pinching in other regards."

He does not so much rise to pull a chair out for Lucifer, so much as he gestures and the chair helpfully moves itself back.

"And duly noted on table topics. It's worth considering though, as a good deal of what is faced can be understood by origin. I -do- hope the chef doesn't throw everything away, mystical sulphur doesn't linger much."

And a moment then, when he looks at Betsy with his head tilted a fraction, birdlike as he sometimes is. "What makes you think a key would not be a physical key, or a specific marker on DNA? I can in fact, make sure that any machine lock is coded only to -specific MRNA, DNA, RNA, or even extra-cellular chemicals unique to an individual. But again, that's probably not dinner talk. Or would you rather there's a big honking bit of metal to turn in a lock? I could do that too, but it does seem old school. And you can lose them."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer pauses a moment as the chef is delivering food only to be wholly offended by his own arrival. A single brow lofts upwards as the chef makes a hasty exit followed by a slur of profanity. "I think I upset the man." He offers. Though is it a stray comment, or a form of apology?

It's likely none will ever know.

He smiles to Betsy and then places a hand upon his chest before offering a half bow. "And you are as radiant as ever, my dear. It is surely a pleasure to see you again." His grin remains, all trademarked in that devillishly handsome fashion. Even if he is spoken for, there is always a part of him that will be the forever flirtful one. It just never goes anywhere.

Attention is turned, then, to Warren Worthington upon the introduction. "Your reputation precedes you, Mister Worthington. I thank you for the invite to your home, and it is a pleasure to meet you." This offered and then, finally, he shifts to make his way to the seat indicated - and telepathically pulled out for him - next to Nathaniel. A slight dip to offer his better half a chaste kiss to the cheek before he does settle into his seat, finally.

Most of the other topics are still a bit lost on him, but he does try to follow along just a bit. Though he does go a bit quiet to let conversations settle around him while glancing at the food which was served.
Archangel has posed:
Warren immediately rose from his seat when Betsy did, having been taught that it was rude to remain seated while a lady was standing. It was a habit that worked well in these circumstances, and was very confusing for people in a Burger King or the like.

Moving from his seat, Warren strode towards the new arrival, entirely on Betsy's vouching, for someone materializing in his home without forewarning was not to be tolerated under any other circumstances, and that included Kurt Wagner. "I suppose you are in the details," he said, unable to make a devil joke to a man who claimed to be Lucifer Morningstar, presumably Samael, the devil, the King of Hell, and any other titles he's used over the years.

A few moments later, a waiter would come with a cloche for Lucifer, with the same food, having been salvaged, either from remnants, leftovers, or whipped up in a hurry. Somehow, Gareth had managed to get it done. As the door opened, there was more angry shouting at someone or something called Everton.

Warren lifted his glasses, repeating Betsy's toast, "to new acquaintances."

There certainly were restaurants that overcharged for greed or an inflated view of one's culinary skill. If anything, Gareth Blackstock undercharged for his services, as the rockstar would soon discover. Spaghetti was always spaghetti, except when it was not. And while spaghetti wasn't part of the first course, had it been, this would be the latter case.
Psylocke has posed:
In that respect, Betsy and Lucifer are a lot alike. There's something about her warm presence that can easily be perceived as flirtatious, though is rarely intentionally so. The way she smiles at Lucifer at his compliment is just delight at the words, and a genuine welcome for his presence.

"Theatrics aside, his meals are renowned and he's well worth what Warren pays to keep him on staff." And what is put up with in terms of his mood. Artists are meant to be tortured souls, after all. Just listen to Nick's thoughts! "And he's excellent at choosing the best wines." Betsy sips from her glass, visibly savoring it, before she lifts a fork once Lucifer is seated.

The Archangel feather is, as has always been, troubling to Betsy. As much for the possibilities of its misuse as her own internal awareness of her own /want/ to use it. "Are you different enough from your others to make that distinction? Different enough that they couldn't alter their own DNA, or someone else's to match?" Her fork pauses, mid-air. "No, you're right. This isn't a discussion for the dinner table."
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
Nick looks over as Sinister provides his view of the expenditure taken for such meals. If the general preference for such meals are due to upbringing, it would explain a lot for why Nick generally doesn't care for these things. Save for fundraiser dinners where he has to make nice to encourage the donations, he does prefer the less involved approaches to meals.

Thoughts of the dining hall at New Hope Shelter come to mind, this time with the wall intact. Hanging out with the other volunteers after a meal service gone well. Each of them getting a plate of the food they made as a much deserved reward.

He wasn't really raised with an excessive amount of money. Well, he apparently had some but he wasn't aware of it until it was time to move out of his aunt's place.

To the mention of the wine, the curious performer takes a sip. "There should be enough time after dinner to discuss that." Nick agrees. Talking of apocalypses might spoil the meal.
Sinister has posed:
Leaning in to the kiss to his cheek, a graceful touch of fingers to the back of Lucifer's hand is returned, a genteel gesture that's frankly a little effeminate. However, Essex is fully capable of rocking hyper masculine, metrosexual or pansexual in his mannerisms, as long as they're refined. Grey eyes regard the devil with warmth, taking his napkin and lightly laying it upon his lap as is correct.

The correct fork is taken also, at the display of very small amuse bouche of crab and garlic toast. For some reason, he smiles lightly to himself and catches Lucifer up a little. "We've been working out what topics are faux pas at the dinner table. I suspect most of them are in my ballcourt though..." but he does look from Luci to Betsy once again, fork poised. "I have inhuman DNA that can come from precisely one source only. If anyone could replicate it, I'd be amazed."

And then, because there IS wine, he takes his own up. "To new aquaintences and Auld Lang saine," with a sip and a surprised nod at the notes. Apperatif and appetizers shall be truly appreciated it seems.
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer inclines his head as a cloched plate is placed in front of thim. "Tell your chef that it is alright if he didn't plan for an extra guest. This will suit me fine and he doesn't need to worry about giving me anything more." Because Lucifer feels like this might just be a multi-course dinner. Since he doesn't need to eat, he won't put the chef out any if that's what has the man so upset.

There is a brief glance to Warren and a grin is given. "Guilty as charged. Though I never really understood that turn of phrase. Why -am- I in the details? It always seems the details I'm in aren't nice ones either. It paints a very bad image of me.." He says, gives a shrug and then lifts up his wine to toast, but he says nothing.

As Nathaniel fills him in on the topic(s) of conversation, he gives a little facial expression of understanding. "Likely not the best topics at the dinner table, at least in mixed company and minds.." He offers silently enough to his other half and then turns to the plate of food he's been offered.

"Well if it tastes half as good as it smells, I think you all are in good hands." Lifting up the proper utensil to give himself a little taste of what's on the plate.
Archangel has posed:
Warren though, would offer up, "have you considered hiring a public relations team? That might help mitigate the negative connotations of the devil," he was speaking more in concept. Leaning back, he said, "a devil for a new generation? What can hell do you for? A devil of good advice. Though, these are entirely off the cuff, and I am no marketer, but I'm sure your team could come up with something for the focus groups to reject, rip apart, or approve of."

Soon, the second course would be introduced by a younger English chef, looking more nervous than the head chef, and he spoke with an English accent, but a different type of one, a more low class accent for those in the know. "Hello, my name is Everton, and Chef Blackstock had allowed me to unveil the second course, which is my take on an American classic, yeah."

The previous plates would be removed after consumed, as each course was small, so as not to overwhelm anyone's stomach. Water was also provided, and new drinks when it would suit the meal. Everton went on, "I'm proud to present my version of Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches."

When lifted, the cloches would reveal fresh pastries, looking similar to cinnamon buns, with a type of jelly or jam in the spirals, and the peanut butter was baked into the pastry crust itself. They were lightly coated with icing sugar, while they were garnished with sliced strawberries, blueberries, and the plates these were served on were white with peanut butter brown colored accents. "Please enjoy."
Psylocke has posed:
"I expect many of my topics of expertise are also on the list, so you shouldn't feel singled out, Nathaniel," Betsy says, with an easy laugh. "My days of having plenty of amusing stories of the mishaps of various models and shows are well behind me. I suspect most of my present focuses are best left for after dinner." Given almost all of her focus has been on apocalypses, she's agreeing with Nick's unspoken sentiment.

"Have you been to Lucifer's club, Warren? If not, you should make some time to go. It's quite the experience." And Betsy has been to many clubs, a great deal of them exclusive, all over the world, so it's a considerable compliment.

Lucifer's speculation on the phrase that involves him gets a quick smile. "Are you ever tempted to just... show up when someone calls your name? I don't think I'd be able to resist the urge. Some poor pastor in a tiny church describing how awful you are, and you just stroll up with your lovely self and charm everyone in the congregation?" /Now/ who is the devil in the room? She makes a faint noise, stifled laugh, at Warren's suggestion. "His idea is much better. A PR team is invaluable. Annoying, but invaluable."

Betsy's fork is set down so she can greet the second chef with an easy smile. It's probably a good thing she's so well practiced at concealing her expression because when he says 'peanut butter and jelly', she almost double takes. Still, when they're revealed, she does look at least impressed by the presentation. "This is definitely an American thing. I never understood PB and J," she confesses. But she's too well brought up to do anything but try it, starting with the fruits.
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
Nick tilts his head curiously to Lucifer's statement. Wasn't Lucifer included on the initial invite? It was a somewhat short notice invitation so there wasn't really time for RSVPs.

The wine glass lifts in kind to Sinister's toast as well. Another sip, and the glass is down, leaving Nick to eat the tiny morsel of the first course.


It does taste good.

Too bad it's done with now.

The discussion of phrases involving the mention of devil being less than flattering ends up getting Nick's attention. Looking over to Lucifer and then to Warren as he lists potential new slogans, the musician cracks a slight smile.

At least he has the foresight to finish chewing before speaking up. "...On the bright side, you DO get the phrase 'Handsome devil' already. "

As the next course is set down before him, Nick looks down to the newly revealed foodstuff. As for Betsy's ponderings regarding Americans like it, he considers. "There's a bit of a nostalgia factor in that most American kids, except for the ones deathly allergic to peanut butter had them made by a parent or guardian at some point." Nick replies, "Peanut Butter is cheap, provides protein and when combined with jelly has a bit of a sweet and salty flavor combination. It's also reasonably quick to make which is good when most parents are being worked to death trying to earn enough money to support their families."

In what is probably the most Nick has said since coming here, the musician picks up his fork and proceeds to cut into the roll with the side of his fork. He wonders if the next course will follow theme and turn out to be a reimagined grilled cheese and tomato soup pairing.
Sinister has posed:
"I think it has something to do with Contract law, my dearest. How binding or loophole free a thing is. But your version is more amusing," Nathaniel offers that, indulging in each course as they're brought out. There's a moderately more empathetic look given to Everton, until the reveal of the peanut butter and jelly pastry. He can't seem to help himself when the smile becomes vaguely fixed in place, glancing to Nick first, then back to the plate. "Neither can I, although I will counter this with a distinct culinary tradition of weird names and frankly, incandescently dangerous cooking techniques. Because toad in the hole, when done right, is an absolute hazard to the eyebrows." Catch point lard, pan so hot that it can immediately set that catchpoint to sizzling and THEN you put in the yorkshire pudding mix and hope not to lose all facial hair? But he too, will try it and find it appropriately tasty, if peculiar to the tastebuds.

The waning of appetite brings about a greater indulgence in the vino, eschewing the water.

"Lux is unique and has been in ever era it has existed in, if I remember correctly from the flashpoint trip across memory history," he considers, sitting back in his chair once the vittles are summarily appreciated. "Once upon a time, PR teams weren't exactly necessary. But..." he ponders this, chewing on his cheek "...then you'd end up with spin doctors. Not a good thing, given Truth and perspectives on it. But that would be me waxing philosophical." He looks to Lucifer's profile, smiles at the man. "To many, the truth is irrelevant, they'll believe exactly what they want to, anyway."

He finishes his wine, holds the glass out for a refill. "And in true capitalist style, what was once the cheapest cut and thus what the poor could afford, is now toted as the finest in cuisine. A hundred years ago, you'd only find a dockworker or a factory hand eating an oyster, or indulging lobster dinners. Now you can't get enough of them and they've become elite. Trendsetting at its very finest. Aaaaaaaand now I feel old." He chuckles to himself.

"To a bit of business though, a mite less raw on the nerves..." he looks about to EVERY face now "...do we have any contingency when /our/ plans are discovered? IF they are discovered? I cannot imagine that becoming an opposing force to the oncoming storm, is going to go wholely unnoticed."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer shifts his eyes to Betsy for a moment and cannot help but let them flicker with hellfire for a lingering moment that those who look upon him can see. "Nathaniel and I once went to the Vatican. I strolled up and right on in to the Catholic church and stuck my finger in the basin with their holy water. Sadly, nothing happened. I think Father was feeling a bit humorous that day..." He tells this story and then thinks for a moment.

"I could recall many stories of times that I have decided to stroll into a church or cathedral and stir a little crazy around... but those are surely -not- dinner table conversations." He grins a little and then the fire in his eyes fizzles out and they go back to their stunning blue shade.

"Well then. Now that Lux has been given a few shining reviews, I will bestow upon you, Mister Worthington, the same I do to all my friends and friends of friends. Come to Lux anytime, and you will be given the VIP treatment. Which, in istself, is something wholly entertaining. We also have a casino, should you wish to sink a percentage of your fortune into it.." He grins then, taking up his glass to drain half the wine within.

The topic of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is mostly lost on him so he just enjoys listening to the tale.

At the last thing that Nathaniel mentions, Lucifer lofts a single brow. "Right now, my dear, that is a very big IF... for a variety of reasons that I am not particularly going to indulge discussion upon in..." He pauses. "Dare I say...mixed company..."
Archangel has posed:
"Oh, the way you tell them Betsy, even stories from long ago, are altogether captivating in your words." Who among us couldn't appreciate an anecdote from modeling and events? "Lucifer's Club," he asked, for the moment under the impression that it was called that. "No, I don't believe I have."

Turning to the man in question, "I'll ask for a business card before you go," a pause, "which I expect to be complimentary, and not in exchange for my everlasting soul. I'm afraid I promised that to another some time ago."

"And devilishly handsome," Warren chimed in, after Nick had mentioned the phrase 'handsome devil'. Warren was raised in an Anglican household, but he was largely agnostic, which of course would be put to the test if he had some kind of proof of Lucifer's legitimacy. With the number of mutants, metahumans, and so-called gods, impressing him was a herculean task. Even Hercules hadn't been able to accomplish that.

Listening to Nathaniel go on about Lux and its history, Warren took a forkful of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, even if it looked nothing like the ones he had seen and heard of at Xavier's. Truthfully, this was his first taste of one. He nodded along at the description of Toad in the Hole, which despite its appearances, could be quite lovely.

At Lucifer's invitation, and explanation, Warren lifted his glass, "I'm sure that your accountant will thank me for it."

Unfortunately for Nick, the third course in a five course meal meant a salad. Fortunately, Gareth Blackstock's team liked to put convention on its head. A mousy looking little woman came out with the next course, introducing herself, "hello, my name is Lucinda, and Chef Blackstock had permitted me to present your third course, which is supposed to be a salad, but I have chosen to give it an American flourish."

Looking deceptively simple, the dishes being unveiled by the raised cloches resembled a blooming and vibrant garden, rather than a pizza. Leaf radicchio, long salad leaves, and colorful radishes were used to create an organic, natural effect. The aubergine, or eggplant, sat, thinly sliced, on a moss-like wafer, enhancing the wild garden image, and adding yet another dimension to the breath-taking concoction. It was a beautiful vegetarian dish if there ever was one, and clearly showing off the skills of a multi Michelin-starred kitchen.
Psylocke has posed:
Betsy's interested gaze is on Nick as he explains the concept of peanut butter and jelly. "Hm. My Governess would bake a Yorkshire Pudding for comfort food. Occasionally a Toad in the Hole, which is the same but with sausages." Which might sound just as horrific as PB&J does to her, granted. "Admittedly," with a laugh at Sinister's words, "I never considered the potential hazard. Perhaps that's why she so rarely made it." She's careful in her consumption of the wine. She has enough to get the proper paring of the food, finding the pastry surprisingly flaky and pleasant, but she doesn't request a refill for herself. It might be for who is at the table; it might just be her habit borne of upbringing.

Her eyes flick up towards Lucifer just in time to catch that flicker of hellfire in them. For a moment, she's mesmerized. Really, who can blame her? "Oh, you are definitely the devil," she says, but her smile seems to be approving. "Perhaps you can share more another evening. And you really must take Lucifer up on that offer, Warren. He can find a drink even you have never tasted before which will delight your palate."

"It depends on who discovers our plans," Betsy says, with ease. "There will be many who will be on the fence, or reluctant if not entirely opposed. Some of the X-Men may be among them, but I believe I will have that handled. Angelica is our in to the Justice League, and I've been to a fundraiser or two with Tony Stark. If you mean the cultists..." she glances at Warren, then back. "It would be prudent if you have people not in the loop who might be vulnerable to make contingencies for them to go somewhere safe." She does not have that problem. As far as she knows, both her brothers are offworld, and while she is friendly to many, the number of close confidants she has is a very small number who are already across what's happening. "It would seem beneficial to withdraw from our usual places. Here, the Lux... anywhere you're normally known. I would likely take a sabbatical from Xavier's just to protect them from any splashback. X-Force have a base which, while not quite up to this level of luxury, would serve as a well-protected place when needed."

Betsy doesn't have any reservations about sharing her intent or vocalizing her concerns. She also doesn't quite get through all of the previous course before the next one emerges. It's beautiful, if likely not particularly filling given how small the serving is. But this, she's used to, also.
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
To the discussion about possibly being discovered, the musician cocks his head to the side, reminiscent of his more commonly used avian form. "Are you talking about the device or something else?" Nick asks. Because, Betsy knows about that... And based from the club discussion and the fact they're dining with the devil right this very moment, the very concept of angels has been touched upon as well.

Uncertain of the pending topic, the musician focuses more on eating the food instead of chatting.
Sinister has posed:
With Lucifer's words, Sinister narrows his eyes a little at his partner. Not in a malicious way, but in a guage of what he might mean. This relaxes after a couple of moments, to consider the pizza of salad. "My compliments..." he offers the woman, and with an approving tone, to boot. She withdraws, he folds leaves with his fork reversed, that the curve is down.

"I think I shall take one or two more proactive steps myself. I don't like being interfered with at the best of times." ANd honestly, that's best left alone really. The less they know, the better they are for it.

"I have a castle or two laying about, being castles. You'd be amazed at the going rate for them -- I had intended to modernize and equip a couple of them, but I believe I shall also invest resource in multiple bases of operation. I already have a global infrastructure and astronomical defense system." Confessions? Yes. Like they didn't know, or didn't summise.

"I believe though, when it comes down to it there will at least be a little assistance regarding the cult, from the Egyptians."

And though it might seem tangential: "I have a few books by the by. We do." A gesture with his fork to Lucifer "...Some of which are loaned from the Library of the Magisterium curated by Strange. But we also have some texts from the great library of Alexandria. My Heiroglyphics are so-so, but my ancient greek is superlative. But there's just been the two of us looking into things and there's considerably more material to sift through, than I've had hours of the day to devote. We did find some observations on the meteor's arrival in the accounting of Days from a scholar in Romania, circa 1200 AD." He glances to Lucifer a moment, then back to the mutants.

"And my initial investigations found the originally trafficked stone came out of Pakistan. There's a black market trade in goods from the Sikh Raj, from the time of the Empire."
Lucifer has posed:
When Nathaniel's worry seems to ebb after a moment, Lucifer appears satisfied. He listens to most of the things offered around the table. Though his attention does go to Warren and he reaches into the inner pocket of his suit jacket to pull out a single card. It's black on one side, white on the other, and the only thing is has is a near invisdible embossment of his last name. This is offered to Warren. "Just present that. They'll know."

His secret weapons will remain such. As much as he thinks he can trust some at the table, ones that he just met and he knows are skeptical of him are another story. It's not Warren's fault. There's plenty who have seen him do all sorts of things and still insist it's all somehow a trick of the mind. That he isn't the Devil.

He just mentally shrugs it off and waits.

That aside, and with little more to offer, Lucifer shifts his closer hand, beneath the table, to rest on Nathaniel's leg and proceeds to eat in silence for the time being.
Archangel has posed:
"Your club does appear to come, highly recommended, Lucifer," Warren stated, between sips of his wine. A glance to Betsy, who just sang his virtues, and there was a gentle shake of his head, which had his long blond hair swishing softly against his back, or at least his polo shirt.

He wasn't one to necessarily talk shop at the dinner table, but he did listen. Plus, he knew very little of the details, being behind the times on this device and their plans for it.

He appreciated Betsy's warning, but he had to jokingly answer it, "oh, I can't see someone going after me through Edmund or one of the other long time staff." Edmund had been the man who greeted each of them at the door this evening, well, those who entered through the door anyway.

Though at the mention of the state of their base, Warren offered up, "oh, it is a heavy burden, but I think that in its current state, the aforementioned base might be able to accommodate a reasonably number of people, indefinitely I would say." He flashed a sly and knowing grin towards Betsy. "Contractors, am I right?"

The card wasn't picked up by Warren, as he was several seats away right now, but waiters were coming and going periodically, so it was easy for Lucifer to hand it to one with the direction to bring it over to Warren.

When Gareth Blackstock returned, it was obvious that this was considered a more important part of the meal. "I trust that you have all enjoyed your meals thus far," noting with satisfaction at how little had been left on the plates as they were returned to the kitchen.

"I now present to you roast saddle of Dornoch lamb accompanied by wild garlic broccoli pappardelle. Please enjoy with my compliments." As this was a five course meal, each was small enough so as not to sate one's appetite, and each flavor had been crafted to compliment the one that came before and after, as well as the wine.
Psylocke has posed:
"Few of us do." Like being interfered with. "And yet we are actively stirring the hornet's nest." For which Betsy is not, in any way apologising. The weight of her look towards Nathaniel suggests a clear interest in what his 'proactive measures' might be, but he doesn't offer, and she doesn't press. Instead, she works through the 'salad'.

There's a pause, in which Betsy sets down her folk to look at Warren with due seriousness. "They have been in your lives for long enough that they matter, Warren. I know you. You would come if they were threatened. Which means there will be a time in which you should furnish them with a nice, paid vacation, somewhere out of the country, ideally." It could be worse. She could suggest firing them.

But she really likes the Chef. And the rest of the staff. She has such little family ties that for her, the staff are almost like a distant family.

"You are a true genius, Gareth." Betsy lifts her glass in minute salute to the Chef, clearing the way for the water and the final glass paired with the lamb. It gets an approving look from her. She waits for the Chef to depart, before she says, "So, Pakistan? Did anything ever come of your attempts to locate an Egyptian expert?"
Sinister has posed:
Lamb is highly appreciated and vastly under-rated. It earns a kiss of fingertips at one point and perhaps a noise that should probably be reserved for privacy, from Sin. The english and their sheep, right?

No jokes, thankyouverymuch.

"I only actually managed to get a hold of the one. By accident. And that was a while ago, a very odd situation and it did end well, more or less." Sin waves a hand negligently "There was an offer of honey and grain, which came over as chocolate chip cookies because we didn't have any honey and the invocation of hospitality, which was odd. Deities. They're just not what you expect them to be sometimes -- but then I tend to expect them to be what they actually are, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised."

He nods though. "Pakistan. Dark web."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer has remained mostly quiet during conversation. Focusing on the very delicious meal and letting Nathaniel handle most of the conversation. Though, at one point, he looks up and side-eyes Nathaniel. "They know about the fresh sample of the meteor that we acquired in more recent times, yes?" Asking him before looking back to his meal.

"Your chef and his team are excellent at their job, Warren. This meal has been exquisite. I feel almost spoiled..." He offers this as a side bar topic and then reaches to lift his wine glass for another sip. Wine isn't the highest thing on his list of alcohols to drink. Representation and all that, but he will not complain. It's not in him to do so.

"I am glad that Lux's reputation proceeds itself, but I encourage you to come witness it for yourself. Sometimes words cannot do it justice.." Tacking that on at the end.
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
The brief talk to withdraw from the usual hangouts doesn't get much comment from Nick. As far as that's concerned, he's well ahead of the group. Although, it figures... When he thinks things have settled to where he can go back home something else pops up. Well. At least the building security at the last second apartment is pretty good due to the even more prominent neighbors. Also there's now that place at the Lux. And the school in a pinch. Thoughts of a very extensive music wing of some old style school comes to mind. Definitely not Xavier's but... not quite recognizable. Likely private. Could go back to Ireland. Maybe spend time in Italy. He does regret the cancelled tour there. The people there are very welcoming.

As talk of the stone comes up again, Nick gets a bit of a smile to his face. If the chef here knew of the things Lucifer has eaten, just out of curiousity, he'd probably have a fit. Who eats a rock on purpose?

As the roast lamb is set out. Nick glances down to the dish. He does have to admit that the food smells great. He just wishes there was more of it.

Considering the amount of various locations being spoken about, Nick has trouble keeping track of which one is being discussed at the moment. What base is THE base? He somehow doubts they're talking about the Trisk. Is the Trisk a base? For him it was more of a forced vacation.

Hmm... Wonder what Bucky's doing now. He's been quiet recently so he's assuming an assignment elsewhere.

Hope he's okay.

Hmm. Now a talk regarding Egyptian experts. The glowing Ankh entrance of Dr. Fate comes to mind. A very Egyptian symbol. "...Would Doctor Fate count as an Egyptian expert?"
Archangel has posed:
"I would have thought that was your favorite past time, Betts," Warren said when she spoke of stirring a hornet's nest. Warren was a little taken aback at Betsy's retort about his staff. They were exceptionally well paid, as Warren was anything but a miser. His staff was so well paid that they could afford to eat in Gareth's restaurant.

Gareth gave Betsy a kind nod, "you are too kind, Lady Braddock."

After Gareth and the rest of staff had left for a moment, he added, "I in no way wanted to suggest that they do not matter. And you are right, if they were threatened, than the one making the threat would surely learn the error of their ways, and swiftly. But if you insist, I can send them tonight? or tomorrow, if you don't want to interrupt our lovely dinner, and risk Gareth's wrath? His is far worse than either of ours."

Warren nodded his head along with Nathaniel's story, but having nothing to contribute to it. When Lucifer mentioned a meteor, he raised a curious brow, not having heard this story. "I'm sure Chef Blackstock would appreciate that, it's not every day one's work is praised from the... hereafter."

The main entree was given a bit more time than previous courses, as it was slightly larger than the rest, but the whole point was each was small, just enough to sate the taste buds, and leave one wanting for more. It was to be experienced in its totality.

When the fifth and final course emerged, Gareth, Everton, Lucinda, and the rest of the kitchen staff filed in, it wasn't that large of a brigade, but they did fill in around Gareth, who was flanked by his sous chefs. "And now, our fifth and final course, I am proud to present a salted caramel porcini milkshake, with fried enoki."

The dessert being revealed as the cloches lifted up appeared to be a miniature cup shaped watermelon, the fruit inside spilling out over the 'top', which appeared to be also made and colored like sliced watermelon top. There was a straw stuck into them, red and white, and at the side, there was what looked like thinly cut French fries.

Drinking from the straw would provide a liquid drink, not unlike a milkshake, while the straw, the container, and the fry-like items, were all edible as well. "Thank you," and then entire brigade took a slight bow, "with our compliments."
Psylocke has posed:
"An accidental meeting?" Of course Betsy would be suspicious of such, timed as it is to happen just when they need someone of that skillset. But Sinister surely thought of that. "Hm. How strange. Well, next time you meet them, perhaps you should have Chef cater." A bright smile: who can be disappointed with the meal then? She has no complaints and she's eaten at the best restaurants in the world. The lamb is perfection.

Her brow goes upwards at Lucifer's question of Nathaniel. "Fresh? As in newer than the one you showed me?" She glances between the two. "How did that happen?"

The purple-haired telepath has started to learn that trying to closely follow Nick's thoughts is too distracting when endeavoring to keep up an easy conversation, so his suggestion of talking to Doctor Fate does actually come as a surprise. "...not a bad idea. Though if he gives the same non-answers as last time he might not be so helpful. Worth a try, though."

"And I do like stirring up a hornet's nest, Warren -- though I'm less fond of it when the nest is intent on obliteration. That tends to take the fun out of things." Betsy's expression is delighted approval at the final course. "Oh, excellent," comes the woman's approval. "You and your team always outdo my expectations, Gareth." She gives a thankful nod their way before she tries the liquid, violet eyes approving.
Sinister has posed:
"No, not again, since the last time. It's off the radar. Although, that in and of itself would be a dire adventure. I have a feeling the atmosphere of the underneath would probably challenge even the pair of us," nodding to Lucifer there by way of explanation, the final course has Sinister staring again. It's partially an illusion desert, of course. And it was NOT what he was expecting. "My word," his wine is lifted, the glass held in the direction of the kitchen staff with an incline of the head oh-so-precisely given.

"Concerning Fate, I would expect his answers to be less than helpful, but..." he shrugs a shoulder, trying some of the fried enoki which has a very delicate crisp to it. The milkshake carries on with its surprises, which is a pleasant afternote.

"Luci, you might want to fill in Warren on the last meteor encounter, though. It has a quality when you tell it." Innocent. INNOCENT.
Lucifer has posed:
The lamb was delicious, this much truth. It also has it's connections with references he'd rather not get into. Likely because it's no one's concern but his own and it seems trivial when it all boils down to nothing.

As the final course is revealed, he looks at it for a moment and gives his own nod of approval. "This looks nothing like I've ever seen...which is saying something." He offers in his own way of compliment and then side eyes Nathaniel once more. Innocent his ass, but he just gives a smile of KNOWING.

"Ah, yes. The fresh stone from the actual meteor itself. I transported to it, knocked a chunk of it off and brought it back so Nathaniel could analyze it..." He begins in explanation. "Course, before I let him analyze it, I swallowed it. For science. To see how such a stone would impact an immortal like myself." Continuing that in a manner of conversation like he doesn't really mind what he did. "It didn't go very well...I actually got a bit sick..."
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
The general acceptance, yet non-acceptance of the suggestion is noted. Fair enough. Fate is not the most forthcoming. But there is his better half and with the exception of when he was upsetting Sinister at the Lux, he seemed pretty agreeable the other times he met him. "Well maybe not talk to Fate directly. But more someone who had to put up with him for awhile. They may have picked up on something, and they likely would get an easier time getting the necessary answers."

Nick looks to the dessert, head tilting a bit to get a closer look at it. Considering the base of the 'cup' it seems more like a molded object than actual watermelon. It doesn't take much knowledge to understand that lot of prep time would be needed for that alone. Another moment is taken to consider the 'fries' served along with it. He's not a stranger to the concept of people dipping fries into a milkshake but with the made lid upon the milkshake, it does not give off an invitation to dip the fries in.


This is WAY too much thinking over the presentation of a dessert.

Nick shakes his head and starts sipping the shake. The fries are tried, separately.

Nick glances over to Sinister as he suggests Lucifer share the story. Why does he get the feeling he just wants Lucifer to talk about swallowing the stone?

Nick looks over to Lucifer as he tells the story, detailing the acquisition of the stone. Sure enough. Lucifer does not disappoint.

"Considering what you did, that would not be surprising at all." Nick comments.
Archangel has posed:
"Less fond," Warren repeats, with a grin, noting that implies she enjoys stirring up a hornet's nest somewhat when the next is intent on obliteration. He shook his head smiling, and thought to himself, 'never change, Betsy, never change.'

Gareth, who clearly seemed fonder of Betsy than Warren, replied to her compliment with, "it is our pleasure to cook for you and your guests, my lady."

Warren inclined his head towards Nathaniel, curious about this quality that Lucifer brought to storytelling, and looked to the other guest, expectantly. And then when he heard it, he wasn't really sure how to react. He blinked, he seemed to hover, unable to decide whether to nod or shake his head. It was more of a wobble. "I see."
Psylocke has posed:
It makes Betsy smile when Sinister volunteers Lucifer to tell the story instead. Her gaze only brightens when Lucifer tells it. She remembers the memory because they shared it with her, and as traumatizing as it might have been for Lucifer, it's the way he retells it that makes her smile. "A bit, he says. I think you are underselling it."

"The meteor is tied, we believe, to the visions I've had. It doesn't always exist in our plane of existence and it can't always be tracked," Betsy explains to Warren. "But Nathaniel estimates it's due to arrive within a few years, certainly. The stones themselves seem to... react?" she glances at Sinister, because he's better at explaining this part, "Or have a shared reaction to those have encountered it before. Lucifer, because he ate the stone," a smile towards the angel, "And I, too. Which leads me to believe I had an encounter with a shard of the meteor at some point. It might even be what prompted the visions. I have no memory of such, though."

Betsy's methodical about eating the dessert. There's no hesitation from her, really: she's tried very many strange looking creations. The trick is to try a bit of everything. "There's someone who has an easier time comprehending Fate?" Betsy asks Nick, and she catches a sense of his thoughts -- of speaking to the other half of Fate. It's not really a surprise; she already sensed the two distinct personalities. But that he can be directly conversed to over the other -- that's useful for her to know.
Sinister has posed:
"In other words, yes. Understatement of the century, which leads me to observations that those that are invulnerable to regular harm, are exceptionally difficult to treat medically, when they HAVE managed to harm themselves. It took concerted effort --" Sinister finishes his treat, a little of everything, and an appreciation of the efforts. He's used to extraordinary efforts and to their fruits. It brings him a smile when he can set his fork down for the last time. "Bravo," to the staff.

And then, to a different explanation. He looks to Warren with it. "The meteor is one of the unusual elements in the universe that displays quantum entanglement -- all parts are parts of the entire and what is experienced by one, or one that has been in contact with the energy of the whole, is experienced by all. The meteor itself is saturated with a negative plane energy source, because it acts as a sponge I would guess, when it dips into subspace. It's likely -that- that has the quantum entanglement attached to it. And thusly, Lucifer now resonates, as does Betsy, by design or accident of happenstance. The energy itself is cannibalistic, it drains life. The fragments of the meteor, the last fracture of which occurred some thousands of years before christ, was brought about by the heros of ancient Egypt with the assistance of their gods. That shard deflected the incoming strike of the Apophis meteor and impacted into the middle of Ethyopian and Egyptian badlands, where now... it constantly creates a furiously hostile environment to life. But some got mined, some got turned into artifacts and when used... they drain life and -store- it."
Lucifer has posed:
"Which means it does terribly wonderful things when it's swimming around the stomach of an immortal angel such as myself." Lucifer offers in a sort of conclusional effort to his own story. He's not even sure what more to say after that - at least about the stone - and so his attention directs itself to Warren specifically.

"I sense a bit of doubt from you. So what do you not believe? That I survived in space without aid? Claim to be the Devil himself? You can ask me anything you want if you'd like to ebb any part of your curiosity. I am an honest by default Devil and am willing to answer anything you'd like to ask..."
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
"I would have to assume he does." Nick responds to Betsy, taking a moment to look at a fry that seems to just scream Fibonacci in the manner in which part of the batter just curls. Probably not intentional but if it was- damn.

"And they had to have met over some type of topic. All the ones we associate with Fate seem to line up with what's being discussed now. So odds are better to consider it than to dismiss it."

Speaking of things ignored...

It's been a long time since he encountered time traveling robot assassins. Is that because he already did the unstated thing that they were trying to stop? Maybe it was a butterfly effect thing and he was supposed to order something else at that diner. Who knows?

Or is it because the meteor apocalypse wiped out the robotic one from fate? Hmm. Guess he should check with Sara to see if she's had any near misses recently.

Assuming she hasn't switched identities again to go even further into hiding that is.
Archangel has posed:
"You ate the stone as well?" With his face stationary, Warren gave a curious glance first to Betsy, then to Lucifer, and back to Betsy, wondering just how much he was in the dark about, before Sinister began to speak up on the meteor. He listened, following along more than most, but less than someone like Beast. "I wonder then, what it does with the energy that it siphons off, does it appear here, or in some other reality?" Soon, he would get his answer, "stored, I see, to what purpose then I wonder?"

Lucifer's prompt though had him considering. "That is an interesting question. How to prove one is who they claim to be. We live in a world of mutants, metahumans, extraterrestrial beings, and those who have in the past been worshipped as gods. What proof could I ask for? What test could be passed. Well, with dessert having been served, a party game might be in order. Why don't you go around the table, telling each of us our deepest desire. That sounds like fun, doesn't it?" Oh god, what did Lucifer and Warren just start here?
Psylocke has posed:
"Are you able to set up a meeting?" Betsy asks Nick, as she sets down her cutlery and picks up her wine glass. She's definitely not ignoring this potential. "I'd be interested in talking with him again sometime. Hopefully without the dramatics." Her smile is faint; she has a feeling that's just a part of the Other of Fate.

It's the thought of a butterfly that draws her thoughts back towards Nick, just in time to hear about time traveling robot assassins. It's a very good thing the woman is skilled at masking her expression, only a faint twitch of lips evidence as she sips from her wine.

"I didn't, no," she answers Warren. "I imagine it would kill me if I tried. Merely touching it was... unwise." Betsy's posture tenses a little as she lowers her glass. "I'm not sure if it was a vision of something yet to happen, or a moment of now -- I don't remember it clearly. It was too much for me. But the entity used me to reach out to Lucifer."

Betsy, at least, seems to have no doubts that Lucifer is who he says. Then again, she merely brushed against his thoughts that and that was more than enough for her to know it was too much for her mortal mind to handle. "Our deepest desire?" she echoes Warren. She's silent, considering her options.
Sinister has posed:
Betsy has a very good REASON to think that Lucifer is exactly who he says he is. That journey was one that will not be soon forgotten, if ever. The stuff of dreams and the stuff of nightmares both -- one cannot unsee hell, no matter what one wants or tries.

The novelty of a party game brings a chuckle to Sinister's lips, low and wicked as he settles back, waiting for the arrival of an inevitable coffee with designs in the foam and exquisite presentation. It is BOUND to happen, as with the after dinner drinks. He looks from Warren to Betsy, to Nick and back to Lucifer with one brow raising.

"This should be interesting..." he muses "...and you did ask for it." That with an exchange of eye contact from the devil to the one resembling what the being truly is.

"You know, I'm an atheist. It's a very strange situation to be in, given my partnership. But it just goes to show you don't actually have to believe in something for it to be very capable of flicking you in the forehead."
Lucifer has posed:
Well. Warren did ask for it. Lucifer takes a moment to consider and then actually stands from the table and begins to walk the length around that will take him over to Warren's side. As he makes this trek, he speaks...

"Ah. But that is not quite how it works, Mister Worthington. You see, I do not TELL people their desires. No matter how deep or dark they go. It's more..." He waves a dismissive hand. "A trait I have to pull it out of someone..."

Once he's over at Warren's side, he grabs a closer chair, flips it around and sits it in backwards. He's sure to gain the man's gaze and to hold it with just the slightest tilt of his head. "So, we can surely play the game if you're willing..." Those blue eyes soon spark flickering flames of hellfire in a way that captivates those looking within them. "Tell me, Warren Worthington, what IS your deepest most darket desire, hmm?"
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
Nick pauses, looking over to Warren as he suggests Lucifer using an ability to reveal people's desires. As Lucifer provides additional information for what it curtails, Nick's brow raises.

Well that's a loaded question indeed.
Archangel has posed:
"Then I am thankful that you didn't try it," Warren replied to Betsy when she explained that she didn't share in the stone that Lucifer had decided to eat. He idly wondered what kind of seasoning one uses for a stone? He'd ask one of the many species that consumed stones to help break up food in their stomach, except as far as he knows, none of them have the power of speech.

"All in good fun," he added when Betsy echoed his question, before falling silent, "I'm sure."

With Nathaniel's statement still ringing in the air for a moment, which Warren had asked for it, Warren did specifically ask that Lucifer begin by going around the table. It had been a calculated risk. Lucifer, if he were a Devil of his word, would in theory start with Nathaniel, then Warren, or Nick, then Betsy, then Warren. It had seemed a good idea at the time. What he didn't foresee was Lucifer moving around the table before starting. Lucifer was in the details, as ever.

Even as coffee was being presented, Lucifer moved, taking a chair from near the wall, and awkwardly bringing it in, between Nathaniel and Warren, the blond remained unmoved. Warren looked, his angelic blue eyes staring into, well, another and real Angel, even if it was one that had come down to Earth.

"Very well?" He asked, having a faint inkling of what he got himself into, but willing to play along. He was hardly a coward, and no kind of man to back down from what he started.

The sound of Lucifer's voice was compelling, it felt strange, giving him a tingling sensation. Warren's face was frozen in place for the moment, as he considered. He could feel his heart pounding. His lips began to move, not by choice, not his decision. His face turned, shifting really, just enough, and for a moment, his eyes cast a glance to his extreme left, in the farthest point of his peripheral vision, given his position right now. And one word emerged, "family."
Psylocke has posed:
Sure, Betsy has had a taste of the truth of Lucifer. But this is... new. Different. More than a little unsettling. She turns to track Lucifer's path as he stops in front of Warren, and she's watching closely. Does he know what he's asking? Regardless, when he agrees to it, she ceases breathing for a moment.

One doesn't need to be a telepath to be aware the glance that Warren gives is directed her way. Her posture, already a straight and precise thing of habit, seems to stiffen even further at the answer that follows.

"I think I will pass on this game," Betsy says, after a considerable pause, reaching for her glass to wet a suddenly dry throat. This got a little too real for her. "But I suspect Warren got the answer he was after, anyway." The validation that Lucifer is who he claims to be.
Sinister has posed:
There's another chuckle, as Lucifer takes the statement literally, to go around the table. He shakes his head softly and watches as the power of the Star of Morning starts its way in and wiggles into the psyche. Slanting his gaze to Betsy, he studies her as the schooling of features and care to keep herself in check culminates in a solid 'pass' on this particular game. One would wonder why, except that darkness can bring with it a whole lot of things you don't necessarily want to admit in the light of day. He knows that all too well.

Back to Warren though, he seems to be intrigued by the answer, sitting straighter in his seat, watching the New world aristocrat. "Now that, my darlings, was fundamental." He comments, glancing now to Nick and back... settling on Lucifer. "I'm curious as to whether my own desires have shifted any. I don't think they have, but..." he shrugs.
Lucifer has posed:
At the answer Warren gives, once he's given it, there's a silent but firm disconnect. The man opposite the Devil might even wonder what he said or why he said it for a moment. Another trick of Lucifer's trade. "A pure answer. I like it. Believe it or not." He offers and then shifts just enough to face Nathaniel. Mostly due to Betsy declining to play the game.

"Such is fair, Betsy. You don't need to play of course..." Offering those words, and here is where the fun really begins. See, how he's in a position where Warren gets an up close and center view of how it draws other people. Even people that Lucifer knows. Even loves.

"Well... we can see if it has, my dearest.." Cause Lucifer doesn't pull favorites, he doesn't pull punches. Nathaniel will get the same as Warren did. As they all do. A holding of gaze, that flicker of hellfire within, and that very slight tilt of head. "Tell me, Doctor Nathaniel Essex..." He pauses, "What's your deepest most darkest desire?"

Tick-tock goes the clock, Nick. You're next.
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
As Warren answers with a solitary word but with a glance that turns it into a full out novel. Nick gives a slight smile. Oh. That's not a bad one at all. It's something he craved as well. But it seems that no matter what...

There's the glimpse of the housekeeper once more in a hallway of a hotel. A pleasant smile directed his way before the expression turns. The view suddenly becomes one of being pitched into another room.

Another woman, bearing striking similarities to the first, in the courthouse, expression comforting. But with each flash of recollection, the expression changes.

In a tiny bathroom, tending to his cuts and bruises. Worry.

In the police station yet another time filing, whatever number complaint it was. Anger.

The backdrop changes to that of a hospital room with her seated in the chair meant for visitors. Fatigue.

Back to the apartment with a look of quiet acceptance.

And as he leaves, indifference...
Archangel has posed:
As reactions went, things could have gone worse, but that was because Warren had been tortured, experimented upon, manipulated, and losing control of his body, mind, and soul. He had an exceptionally high bar for how bad things can get.

He breathed out through his nose, his eyes remained fixed, unnaturally so, on an object on the wall. To those who did not know him, he seemed to be paying attention to Lucifer and Nathaniel's exchange. His face was angled in the right direction. His eyes appeared to be focused where they should be. But underneath, he may not have even heard a word being said.

He had asked for this. He had opened this can of worms. And he would have to live with the ramifications.
Psylocke has posed:
It's very possible that Betsy, right now, is working hard /not/ to hear anyone else's thoughts. Certainly there's no reaction to Nick following the mental trail of family.

There is no regret in Betsy's posture for her decision not to participate, however. Okay, a little bit, because of the way Lucifer looks at each of them when he makes that request, even if it's not directed at /her/, it makes her shiver. It's impossible not to believe Lucifer is what he is when one sees that.

The wine glass, regardless, is steady in her hand as she watches Lucifer move towards Nathaniel.
Sinister has posed:
Aah, the gaze has turned its allure upon him. Nathaniel meets the regard without hesitation; he's looked in these eyes a thousand times without fear. But then, his gaze goes rounder, a certain measure of the conscious control over his eyelids fading with the relaxing of inhibition. His breath in is slow and long --

Does he hear what thoughts go on in Nick's head? Maybe. Maybe not.

-- and there's a lunge forward, the villain of so many situations catching a deep and extremely passionate kiss for a moment that seems to be interminable, before he sags back, blinking and the words come. "To find the way to end Sinister." Wait, what? Yes. "...and bring them pain. I want to be whole again."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer finds himself caught in that kiss for the lingering moment that it's offered and then seemingly just as quick, the kiss is broken and Nathaniel is speaking. A single brow lofts upwards and he breaks that gaze from the other man, drawing in a deep breath. "To end a part of you that you've been for so long... a dark desire indeed..." He offers before slowly standing, moving the stolen chair back to it's place and then he moves to take his proper seat on the other side of Nathaniel. Across from Nick.

There's something interesting about the Devil for the moment. He's a little aside even himself at that revelation from Nathaniel. Still, he shakes it off, pushing it to the side, for the party game isn't over with just yet and he looks across the table to Nick. An attempt at a smirk given.

All the bells and whistles from that point on are the same. Held gaze of hellfire, a little smirk of lip and tilt of head. "And finally, Mister Michael Nicholas Raphael Drago. What is -your- deepest most darkest desire?"
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
Another hospital. A recently stitched arm and an offered hand. A glance up reveals a smiling Rod.

Through him he met Jack and Wade. He got another chance to avoid the dead end life that was being forcibly shoved on him. And it wasn't until the chaos that resulted from Punisher digging into his mother's murder that he realized just HOW much Rod changed his life.

So much pain.

So much manipulation.

The isolation. From one fucking group. And then they show up again an-


Nick blinks, seeing Lucifer staring at him. When did he-?

Pale eyes look to the hellfire as the question is asked.

In what may be a first for the whole dinner. Nick is silent. Granted he spoke some words but mentally. There is a stony cold silence that may very well mirror a similar mind left back in Ireland. Nick's posture, shifts. Eyes narrowing. "Pain. Manipulation. Isolation. Those who prey on the weak..." There's a twitch to his lips. "I want to stop them."
Psylocke has posed:
The moment feels too private to watch, so Betsy looks at her glass.

Betsy draws in a slow breath as she hears Sinister's answer. It's not /really/ a surprise -- who would want other versions of themselves, running around in the world, messing things up? That it's his deepest desire, though? That earns a startlingly brilliant smile from the purple-haired psychic when she turns her gaze on Nathaniel.

Betsy approves. Mostly because she knows how dangerous Sinister can be. The other thing Betsy approves of? Nick's determination and statement. It's not a desire she disagrees with.

Given she's the only one that /didn't/ play -- if one doesn't count Lucifer -- she rises swiftly. "Shall we adjourn to the lounge for drinks? I think there's a strong whiskey that might suit, if Warren's happy to let us indulge." The glance she gives him is careful, measured. She's in control now, back to her normal self. And determined to end the night on a more mellow note.