Zechs Marquise (thousandwinds) wrote in 3751_musebox,
Zechs Marquise
thousandwinds
3751_musebox

same song, different tune

[The only thing Zechs clearly understood about this place was that it wasn't his Earth, nor anywhere in the Earth Sphere.]

[Considering his status as a ghost, this suited him fine.]

[Hunched in a dark booth, because being dead for a better part of a year instilled habits in him, Zechs nursed a Scotch and attempted to relax. No-one knew his name here. What he did. The blood which soaked his hands.]

[Only he knew of his sins here.]
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fruitfultempo

July 8 2011, 20:43:12 UTC 6 years ago Edited:  July 8 2011, 20:43:49 UTC

[Charles doesn't know this bar or this Earth, but give him enough time and he can get pretty far. He gets a beer because that tended to be the safest choice in an unknown bar. He watches the people mill around, trying to stop himself from overhearing thoughts. Sure, at the pubs he knew well, he could spend half the night tuning into others thoughts. But, well, crowds can shift over time, and anyway, listening in on drunk people wasn't always as fun as it sounded.]
[This man is too paranoid to become drunk, as much as he dearly wishes to avoid his thoughts for just an evening. While he knows, intellectually, that he's a stranger to everyone here, he can't help but discreetly glance about.]

[Zechs already cataloged the exits and possible points of entry when entering the building. His back is toward a wall, he faces the prominent doorways. Watching others move, looking at shifts of fabric, his eyes coolly assess them under the fall of blond bangs. That man has a pocket-knife plainly stowed in his front pocket, doesn't think of it as a weapon. That woman handles her handbag with - must have a small revolver, she's nervous.]

[He looks to the unassuming Englishman at the bar and dismisses him quickly, already eyeing an athletic man in a leather jacket. Mostly harmless.]
[He tunes out the drunk meandering thoughts well enough, already trying to chat with some of the other people at the bar. Aimless conversation, how's the weather, how are you, what do you want to drink, where are you from. Small talk. Easily filtered out. Most people's thoughts align, and when they align, they're easy to ignore. He focuses on the conversations at hand.

He feels eyes on him. Not the glance of someone just looking around, but the feeling of being catalogued. He looks back in that direction, towards the booths. Someone nursing a scotch along with paranoia. He keeps looking for a moment or two, more curious than delving too deeply. He doesn't dismiss him from his thoughts, and every now and then he looks back again, but the conversation's moved on and he's not going to be left behind.]
[The fact that someone noticed him watching actually surprised Zechs a little. It surprised rather than alarmed him, of course, because it was the unarmed and quite civilian-seeming Englishman. His mask in place, he didn't meet the man's eyes when he was curiously glanced at, didn't acknowledge except in his thoughts his slight curiosity.]

[Unlike Charles, however, Zechs quite forgot about the incident within a short time. Once his Scotch was empty, he drew up to the bar. Now he was relaxed enough to stand tall, sober enough not to betray his limp. He ordered another expensive fifth of whiskey, and tipped generously.]

[His scowl to the bartender, however, was ignored.]
Must you continue playing that dreadful tune to please the whims of those too drunk to remember it?

[Yes. Completely ignored. Zechs considered the merits of getting drunk after all.]
[Charles made room at the bar for the newcomer, the one cataloging earlier. He needed to get a name, and preferably legitimately. The kind of person who looked around a bar for exits and threats probably would be aware if a telepath came knocking, even a relatively subtle one like him. He milled around, listening to the music, but more importantly, hearing the man's complaint about it.]

Yes, I'm afraid so. Must be part of the bartender manifesto.

[He didn't mind the music, actually. Up-tempo and electronic somehow. Something rather new, something he'd not heard before. The kind of beat that got stuck in most people's heads all too easily. It'd get stuck in his just as easily, but he already had so much inside.]

Don't think we've met. How do you do?
Well enough, one supposes, considering the atmosphere. [His voice is dry and while irritated, it's not directed at this stranger. Much.]

[There's something in Zechs which supposes that people his age are supposed to enjoy this kind of thing, but it's altogether ... he'd prefer quiet, and dark. Yet perhaps he'd have enough of the quiet and dark.]

[He should just leave it at that, but fragments of polite society in Zechs make him pause. There's no reason to coldly brush off this stranger, and the man is no threat. Heavens knew the last time he had civil conversation, after all, and while he was not the most social of people ... it had been some time.]

[Zechs was about to introduce himself -]

[And hesitated again.]

[Just who was he? Certainly not Milliardo Peacecraft, never again Milliardo Peacecraft. That was a name which was given in the intention to be a bastion of peace, and was used in a terrible gesture of warfare and terrorism. Never again. Except ... except. No. The peace would last. Never again.]

[He licked his dry lips, kept his face calm and cool, facade intact. There was one name he hadn't completely killed yet, even if that man died for Treize's puppetry out in the Atlantic ocean. He offered a hand to be shook.]


I am called Zechs Marquise.

fruitfultempo

July 8 2011, 22:48:35 UTC 6 years ago Edited:  July 8 2011, 22:52:15 UTC

You've barely begun to see atmosphere.

[Oh, how he knew. He heard the pause, the hesitance, and didn't fill the space on his own. For once. He knew the sharp edges of pain as they lance through others, too well at all times. He couldn't in any conscience ignore them, even his own negligible one. The world seemed to spin in pain, but some people orbited around it like satellites.

He shook his hand, wondering at how many people he needed to save from drowning.]


Charles. Charles Xavier. Have you been here long?
[Zechs shook his hand smartly, bowed his head slightly, unable to keep the military and aristocracy completely from his bearing. His brief smile was cool and polite, small and diplomatic. It then faded into his normal facade of indifference.]

I have only learned of this place recently. I admit this is my first opportunity to visit this particular pub.

And, you? Are you a regular here?
[Charles tended to act like a mirror: he reflected what he was given. Zechs practically shouted indifference, so Charles lowered his enthusiasm to match.]

Oh, no. I know of some very similar places, admittedly, but not this one in particular.
[Zechs is curious, but keeps it tightly wrapped inside of himself, knowing that being eager means being open. Besides, there's nothing yet presented from this Charles which warrents more than idle curiosity.]

Similar places?

[Now, for example, is that attention, the careful analysis. Mostly hidden beneath his careful, practiced calm manner, but his mind is not yet dulled by whiskey.]

Similar in its design, serving alcohol to the public, or similar in its ... nature?
Both, but not at the same time. I'm fairly familiar with [A pause as he tried to find the right word.] bars. I could hardly call myself a college graduate without it.

[An awkward, nervous laugh.]

And I know a place that allows multiple worlds to interact from time to time.

[Where the grass is really greener--Oh. The song changed. That explained a lot.]
You did not seem of an age to be yet unfamiliar with bars.

[There's a small, self-resigned smirk at that. College graduate. This was a man from another world, all right; a world of privelage, of peace, where men of his age and younger could afford to go off and earn an education over many years without the guise of military education. In his arrogance and experience alike, Zechs could not imagine one like Charles on the battlefield.]

[Now, he visibly shows some curiosity;]


This ... location was extraordinary enough, and without proof of its existence, I would have not believed it. Yet you claim to be one who connects with alternate worlds on a regular basis?

[Deep inside, the explorer in Zechs leaps, attempting to escape the paranoia and mistrust which surrounds his thoughts.]
To be fair, I think there's probably six year olds familiar with bars.

[His smirk was much less resigned. Much more actually amused. He didn't follow the thoughts of privilege, surface though they were, and followed the visible curiosity instead.]

It sounds so much more grand when you put it that way. But yes, I do. Entirely accidentally on my part, but, well, I've no complaints about it.
Mostly likely.

[He agrees like he's amused, but some dry part of his brain adds, especially depending on what age they were enlisted. It was rare that someone as young as six became involved in the military, but those colonial pilots ...]

[But he moves away from thoughts of war, and since he is usually given little opportunity to do so, he launches into this topic of 'other worlds' with enthusiasm. Carefully hidden behind a polite, calm facade enthusiasm, but still.]


Forgive me, yet I cannot imagine how the discovery can be anything less than extraordinary - if for its implications toward scientific understanding of reality alone.

[He considers, and adds,] Yet for the unknown realitys presented suddenly to an individual, unknown dangers must surely be introduced as well.
[Or depending on what movies they've seen. Or the parents they had. Charles knew his way around scotch bottles the way some people knew landmines.]

Oh, it's rather extraordinary, I agree with you there. But the worlds aren't as important as the people on them, at least as far as I see it.

[People changed the world around them almost as much as gravity. He smiled to himself, not quite launching into a spiel just yet, but clearly happy about this change in subject. He nodded to himself, as if agreeing with a private joke.]

Naturally. You'll forgive me if I won't discuss it here, will you?

thousandwinds

6 years ago

fruitfultempo

6 years ago

thousandwinds

6 years ago

fruitfultempo

6 years ago

thousandwinds

6 years ago

fruitfultempo

6 years ago

thousandwinds

6 years ago

fruitfultempo

6 years ago

thousandwinds

6 years ago

fruitfultempo

6 years ago

thousandwinds

6 years ago

fruitfultempo

6 years ago