Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Come on an adventure in the Marvel Universe. Your character could be a superhero, regular person, or a wacky alien...Basically, anything else that exists in that 'verse.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Quaxo9 »

Cait McIvor

Cait leaned the chair back, balancing it on its back legs and looked at the ceiling for a moment before answering. She should have expected the question. Really, she should have. It was just that she revealed this piece of information so seldom that she'd almost forgotten what came next. Cait appreciated that Marshal's question focused on her experience - not on how she'd become immortal - which was usually what people were interested in and in large why she stopped mentioning it at all.

"It...it's hard to describe. I think it makes it easier if I tell you what an immortal life looks like for me. I was cursed from the day I was born by a super powerful magic dude who likes to call himself 'the Lord of Order'. Every hundred years, I get a 'reset' - so get to live to be an old hag, then wake up as a baby. He places me with a family, or an Order, or a monastery...whatever suits him. It's part of the deal that I learn everything I can from where I'm placed."

The chair feet thudded on the floor and she leaned forward to muck around with the remaining eggs left in the pan. "So, early on, I couldn't tell you what was changing in the world, really. I was placed in so many civilizations that were all in varying stages of their development that I can't tell you much about overall progress. It wasn't until Europe hit the Industrial Era that things started to pick up everywhere. It was also around then that I'd had enough of just growing wherever I'd been placed and I started to travel on my own. I revisited some of the places I had lived. Some of them were just - gone. Entire civilizations crumbled into dust and forgotten. Others...were very much the same. It's actually the sameness that scared me the most."

She'd stopped going back. Ultimately, it was just too hard - and too risky, as she'd found out.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

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Marshal Knox

"Wow," Marshal said, half under his breath. He listened as Cait talked about her immortality, eyes widening a little but careful not to interrupt.

He wondered, now, why she had bothered with him. What was the point of saving him? He was like a mayfly, compared to her. Whether he had died last night or in fifty years, his own life was just a blip in the span of hers. Why had she made the effort? He didn't ask, though. He didn't want to seem like he was making all about himself. Not when she was confiding something so important.

"That sounds... rough," he replied honestly. "It sounds lonely. Like all the crappy parts about living forever without any of the cool stuff you see in the movies."

He hoped he didn't sound flippant. She knew he was a movie buff; that was his frame of reference. But this was all too real.

Hesitantly, he reached across the table and briefly squeezed her hand.

"Glad you decided to be here right now, though."
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

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Cait McIvor

She caught what she could of his hand and held onto his fingertips for just a second longer. It was moments like these that made living worthwhile. Moments of pure presence. Marshal was here - right now - engaging in her story. It made her feel like less of the leaf in the wind she'd grown to understand she was. The moment passed and she released his fingers. She hoped that told him that she was glad she decided to be here too. Cait was starting to dwell on her situation, which never went well, so she answered a previous comment aloud instead.

"Yeah, that dude in Highlander really got the immortal thing down. Forever my best age and never having to go through puberty again? Yes please!"

She chuckled, still sort of amazed she'd told him the family secret. Well, one of...

Her eyes flicked to the door, face dropping its smile to pursue a measured look. A car had squealed its tires. The door slammed. The sound was almost familiar...and then she heard the steps on the sidewalk. They started up the walk. Cait's nose crinkled at the bridge, mien now decidedly sour. Things had been going so well, but of course, it was only a matter of time before someone got upset with her for breaking all those cameras.

"I would recommend against getting that. Three's a crowd."
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

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Marshal Knox

Marshal was glad that Cait had felt free enough to open up to him - about one thing, at least. In his experience, people rarely had just one secret. Perhaps he had made her feel... safe, in some way. Or perhaps it just seemed easy to confide in a man who would take the secret to the grave in an expedient way. Either way, surely it felt better to be able to tell someone.

He had no time for further response before tires screeched into the driveway. Marshal blanched. He shuddered reflexively as the door slammed, suddenly jumpy, his whole body on alert.

"Doesn't matter if I open the door or not," he said hurriedly. "She has a key. She'll just..."

Sure enough, a key turned in the lock.

"You should go. Out the back door. She'll know you were here, and she isn't going to like it, but at least you won't be in the line of fire - so to speak. She's going to be angry. Please, Cait. This isn't something you want to get mixed up in - trust me. I wish I wasn't, but there's nothing I can do about it. You, on the other hand, can still walk away. Please..."

Ginny's voice cut sharply down the hall toward them, resonating unimpeded in the near-empty house. "Marshal! What the hell do you think you're doing?"

It would surely not escape Cait's notice that the removal of the cameras had triggered an urgent response that Marshal's almost-suicide the night before had not.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

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Cait McIvor

She observed Marshal's reaction. Hawk-like. Cool. When he turned toward her with his pleas for her to leave, she squinted at him, half-smiled and settled back in her chair with the cup of coffee under her nose. No, she wasn't going to leave him to this woman. Anyone who inspired this much fear in a person, well, she believed they should be met head-on. Cait had clearly underestimated the woman.

"I am not walking out on you Marshal. Didn't last night. Not gonna now."

Cait kept her voice low and measured. There was no evidence that she might have been thrilled at the prospect of being challenged by Ginny. Really, the woman was not who she was concerned with. She was there for Marshal. And Marshal didn't need someone to fight his battles for him. Not really. Cait felt that maybe he just needed someone in his corner.

As Ginny swept into the room, she did her best to grab the woman's attention.

"It's impolite to walk into someone's home without knocking."
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

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Ginny Thornton

Ginny regarded Cait coldly. "I believe I explained the situation to you last night, so I can't imagine why you are here. Marshal is a dangerous man - dangerous to others, and clearly dangerous to himself. He needs to stay focused. He does not need your... influence."

It was fairly clear that Ginny was making certain assumptions about what Cait's intentions toward Marshal were. They might both have their clothes on for now, but it was only a matter of time - and Ginny wasn't amused.

"Please leave, Miss McIvor. For your own safety. Marshal's behavior is too unstable and unpredictable for you to risk being here."

She turned to Marshal and added curtly, "You made a mistake last night. We can't have any more... mistakes. It's time to be serious, Marshal. You know what you need to do."

He looked down, and nodded, knowing exactly what she meant. The subtle order had been given - what could he do but obey?
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

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Cait McIvor

Among other things, she really didn't care for Doctor Thornton's tone. Cait had many thoughts flying through her head, many of them violent, but Marshal's posture helped her rein in her enthusiasm. This...whatever this was...wasn't going to be fixed by a threat or two. No, it was clear that Ginny's focus was on making sure Marshal was under her thumb.

And that just wasn't going to fly.

"First off, you don't get to tell random people who they can spend their time with. That's not your jurisdiction." Cait slowly stood to her feet, still cradling the coffee close to her chest. Her physical presence still seemed calm, but she allowed her words to express some of her true emotions.

"Second, Marshal isn't the unstable one here. Third...pretty sure any mistakes made last night were yours, Doc."

Cait's teeth had started to click together as she spoke, and the tight grin she pressed out of her mouth certainly made it appear as though her canines might have grown slightly. She leaned against the table and took a sip of coffee, taking a moment to look at her reflection in the dark liquid. Centred. She needed to stay focused for Marshal's sake. Besides, she'd learned long ago that if she was going to kill someone, she should have the forethought to make it look like an accident.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

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Ginny Thornton

Ginny rounded on Cait, eyes blazing. "Oh, you're the expert on Marshal now? You've known him for what - an evening? I've been working with Marshal for a year. I guarantee you, you are out of your depth. You have no idea what you're dealing with here."

Her eyes narrowed. "McIvor... you have a niece and nephew, yes? I imagine you're fond of them. You know Marshal has killed plenty of children just like them, don't you? Or did he not tell you that?"

Marshal was staring at the carpet, avoiding eye contact with either of them. Ginny snapped her fingers in his face, and he startled visibly.

"Marshal, go upstairs. I'll deal with you later. Cait was just leaving. I can't imagine you'll see her again."

He hesitated, glancing at Cait to see if she still wanted anything to do with him.

This slight hesitation was enough to show Ginny, she was losing control - and that loss of control was unacceptable. She grabbed his arm, digging into the flesh. "Marshal," she said. "Careworn. Oil. Eighty. Transept..."

"Stop!" Marshal said. "Please. Stop. I'll do what you want. Sorry, Cait."

Marshal turned toward the stairs.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Quaxo9 »

Cait McIvor

Things were well out of hand. This woman clearly had installed conditioning into Marshal - probably under the pretense of getting rid of his other conditioning - but as far as Cait was concerned, two wrongs did not make a right. It was still control. Marshal was right, he wasn't free. And so far as she could see, Ginny was the reason for that. As she placed her cup down on the table, a plan formulated in her mind to give Marshal some space - and her some time to figure out a longer-term solution.

"Listen, Gin-Gin, I wouldn't worry about the children." If she and the good doctor were going to be on a first name basis, then she was certainly going to take advantage of that. Once she had her attention, she placed her hand on Ginny's shoulder in a reassuring gesture. "They're pretty safe with me."

A quick jabbing motion toward the neck, a light application of appropriately placed pressure, and Doctor Thornton would be unconscious. Cait had half a mind to let her hit the floor, but she wasn't certain of exactly what Ginny had programmed into Marshal. The last thing she wanted was for an automatic reaction to give Marshal further reason for self-degradation.

"She's fine. Just resting." she said, looping her arms under the woman's armpits and dragging her over to the couch. Ginny was deposited with little added care, and Cait returned her attention to Marshal.

"Are you okay? Look. It really doesn't matter to me what is in your past. What matters to me is what is in your heart. And you've shown me that in your chest beats the heart of a good man. Sounds corny, I know, but sometimes that's just how the truth sounds. And whatever she's said about you..." Cait took a deep shuddering breath, her anger finally starting to show, "right now, I think she's just as bad as Hydra. She had no right to put you under her thumb when you are working so hard for a way forward."
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Marshal Knox

"Cait, I..."

Marshal looked around the room helplessly. His world had turned upside down. Ginny, who had seemed to hold absolute power in his world, was unconscious on the couch. Not that he minded. Secretly, he thought a little 'nap' might be just what she needed to adjust her personality. But he wondered what would come next. How could there be a way forward from this?

What Cait said... it shocked him. It was so different than what anyone else had said. His whole life, people had treated him like he was broken. Like he was a problem to be solved, or an unworthy tool to be improved. How could Cait see him as a good man, just as he was?

"I..."

He drew in his breath and hugged her. It wasn't a romantic hug, but a fierce bearhug - a man clinging desperately to a shadow of hope.

Embarrassed, he pulled back.

"Sorry," he said. "I got... carried away. But thanks. I really appreciate it. That's sounds so lame, but no one has. Well. It means a lot. But um. What are we going to do? About...?"

He motioned toward the unconscious Ginny.
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