The Madness of Mercy - Recruiting Clarisse Potts - Part 1

OOC: This is a Joint Post between Esimed, Megumichi & High Rule.

Pepper Potts was an extremely busy woman who could not possibly keep on top of everything that required her attention; not without a support staff who constantly rearranged her schedule and put her where she needed to be at the proper time as well as putting information in front of her face when it was deemed critical. As much as she missed Tony Stark and wished he’d set the Iron Man suit aside twenty years ago, she was still monitoring reputable references to Tony and his Avenger identity. So Pepper was entirely aware of the Maximoffs’ presence in New York. Days after their impromptu interview with Bailey Bishop, anyone in New York who wasn’t aware of the Maximoffs would have to be thoroughly off the grid. At every moment of the day she expected a call, summons or visit from those two, but it had not happened and she was beginning to hope her persistent refusal to participate in their maneuvering had finally sunk in with that Theodosia Maximoff.

Across town in the cozy library of the Sanctum’s basement (or was it the third floor), Theodosia Maximoff was curled up in her favorite chair, content to read and study during these quiet hours of the morning. She’d gone to bed quite late the night before; the excitement of meeting Prince T’Chantem and recruiting Sam Rogers had fueled her past her normal early bedtime. And then there was the business of bringing Sam up to speed. He had many questions and none of her answers seemed to quell his curiosity. Theo had been prepared to turn the total occasion into a slumber party, but between the thought and tea she’d fallen asleep and when she woke up it was to the soft blankets of her own bed in her own room. So she’d thanked Niko by having Birdy wake him up super early and then she spent the morning in the library.

Shortly after T’Chantem arrived, immaculately dressed as always, Niko and Sam were heading out on their own errand of enlistment. Theo closed the volume she’d been mulling over and stood up. She slid her feet into a pair of tall boots and zipped them up. “Are you ready, your Princeship?” Theo asked T’Chantem as the legless coat rack tracked her across the room until she finally retrieved her long red leather jacket and slipped it on, popping the collar the way Birdy showed her.

“Avenger Tower will be heavily secured and Pepper Potts has communicated her lack of support to our cause on multiple occasions. To be fair, she’s always been polite about it, but I spent days on that construction paper greeting card when I was a kid; she really should have seen the value of my proposal. Maybe not just then, I was still having a hard time coloring within the lines at that age, but now? I’m 21, well trained in judo and magic, but she still refuses to budge. That’s why we did not approach her for the funding. And that’s why we’re going to bypass her and draw a passage directly to her daughter, Clarisse Potts. Here’s her file or what there is of it that Sam Rogers was able to provide. She’s a bright young woman and a tall drink of water.”

T’Chantem found himself once again within the shifting walls of the Sanctum Sanctorum the morning after his first visit. He had been invited by none other than the mad witch herself, who was on her journey to recruit Clarisse Potts to join their team, which had began to rapidly pull itself together. Even though his allies from Wakanda approved little of him visiting the elusive sanctum, he had insisted that he go, as he had already made a commitment to at least aid the Maximoff cousins in recruiting their newest members.

Theo handed the file to T’Chantem then slipped on a strange set of connected rings that resembled a half set of brass knuckles. They weren’t made of brass and they weren’t designed for combat, but Theo felt like they’d crack a jaw just fine in a pinch. “You may want to read that file when we get there which won’t take but a moment.”

T’Chantem silently flipped through her file, studying the way S.H.I.E.L.D. went about drafting their identification documents before tapping one of the Kimoyo beads stringed around his wrist. Several blue technological rays scanned over the paperwork, sending the data back to his cousins to review and eventually add to Wakanda’s database. Clarisse Potts was more than likely already on record, but any information that needed filling would now be closer to being complete, and a small portion of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s formatting and writing style was filed away for future knowledge as well.

Theo’s preferred magic was passed down to her from her mother; it was what she had come to understand intrinsically and relied upon nine times out of ten. It involved delicate, torturous gesticulation of the fingers and was accompanied by the tendrils of red miasma that Theo liked to call magic dust. It had countless applications, but dimensional travel was not one of them. On the other hand, access to the mystic arts, which she had only begun studying relatively recently, was a propensity passed down from her father. Its style and technique was something else entirely. To the outsider magic was magic, but she knew differently. The mystic arts were invoked by flamboyant, sweeping movements of the hands and arms, generating complex geometric shapes that shifted and fell into place as the spells were cast. She felt silly with all the hand waving and bold gestures, but that was what was required.

She began drawing those ornate patterns in the air; patterns that lingered and visibly shaped themselves into points, lines, angles and figures colored in radiant red and vivid violet. She sent her hands and arms into a practiced windmill of motion connecting the forms into those prescribed shapes and spatial structures. In no time at all a circular section of the library’s wall was replaced by a dimensional doorway to Clarisse Potts’ bedroom with it’s high windows overlooking the city below.

Once he was finished, T’Chantem set the folder aside, studying the complex gestures Theo made as she worked her magic. He was surprised when he realized that she was creating a dimensional portal for them to travel through, and even more so when he saw where the portal led.

“Nope, that’s not cool. She’s only seventeen, we better not have the Prince of Wakanda making any appearances in a minor’s bedroom.” Theo’s arms rotated and shifted again until the view was that of the living area just outside Clarisse’s room. The world’s tallest 17 year old was there, bundled in a blanket. “That’s our girl, all aboard the Theo Express,” she called over to the Prince.

“I understand that you wish to go against Ms. Pepper Potts’ wishes, but are you sure trespassing onto her property and directly approaching her daughter is the best option? She’s a minor, does she even have much say in this decision?” T’Chantem warily questioned. He wasn’t against trying to recruit Clarisse to join their cause, but he also didn’t fancy the consequences that could come with entering a stranger’s home without permission, especially when it was to talk to her daughter without her knowledge. He knew that Theo was likely used to getting her way, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t try to negotiate a compromise with her. “At least allow me to speak with her mother beforehand as well. Even if I can’t completely convince her today, I can give her a few thoughts to consider,” T’Chantem attempted to reason.

“No can do, Prince. That would only tip her off and she’d rush home to prevent such a meeting with her daughter. We won’t be dragging Clarisse from her home against her will; just talking with her. And I could argue Avenger Tower belongs to the children of the Avengers more so than it does the fiance of Tony Stark.” Theo stepped through the gateway and directly into the living room of Pepper and Clarisse Potts. She looked around at the opulence, though it was tasteful. Clarisse was there, wrapped in a blanket. A moment passed and Theo popped her head back through the portal to the Sanctum on the other side, “You coming?” she asked T’Chantem.

T’Chantem sighed inwardly at Theo’s adamant resoluteness and lack of trust in his persuasive skills. Even if Pepper Potts did decide to rush home, he still felt that it was more appropriate for him to at least talk to her first. Nonetheless, after a few moments of careful consideration, he followed discreetly behind her, careful to not make a scene, and allow most of the attention to be focused towards Theo until he felt the need to intervene.

Speaking of superheroes, wow. SHIT. Clarisse’s initial reaction was...gawking. Just gawking. There was half a human in her living room. “SH** FU** JESUS KILLITWITHFIRE!” Was her next, undoubtedly graceful response. Christ, where was Mum, WHERE WAS MUM? Abandoning ship, she threw her blanket at the weirdo (cause that was obviously effective) and ran the hell into her room, snapping the lock into place with about as much passion as she had ever mustered. Screw it, they could have the belongings or whatever. She wasn’t dealing with this. She’d stopped playing volleyball almost 5 years ago. That was the only form of exercise she’d had! She held back her tears carefully, cause playing it cool was obviously the correct approach. Maybe she should just pretend to play video games? M-maybe they’d fall off the tower and die? Crap, that was dark. Kinda like her room cause she’d forgotten to turn on the damn light. Where the hell was her computer? Well, that ruined her “play dumb” option. It was time to panic.

“A blanket? For me? I knew we were going to get along just…..hold on, where are you going?” Theo watched Clarisse scatter to her room and bolt the door. “I should have started in the bedroom,” Theo mumbled to herself. She wadded up the blanket and threw it through the still open portal. If the Prince didn’t get a move on it would shut on him then he’d be forced to take the slow way and chances are Theo would have wrapped everything up on this end by that time. The witch of Bleecker Street stepped over to the bedroom door and tapped on it lightly with her sling ring. “Clarisse Potts, there’s no need to be afraid. I’m not here to hurt you. Also, I just stepped through space and possibly time directly into your living room; do you really think this door will keep me out if I want in. Come on, I just want to talk and maybe ask you to risk your life and inherited fortune defending the planet. It’s time to put your big girl Underoos on like I did this morning. Actually, forget that last part, I don’t want you to misconstrue my reference to underwear as some sort of creepy talk to a minor. Can you just let me into your bedroom so I can sit on the edge of your bed and tell you what happened to your father when my Mom did what she did?” Theo’s eyes were roaming around the living room as she spoke to Clarisse through the door. It looked like they were the only ones home. She knocked again. “I don’t have any candy, but I could show you a magic trick. Real magic, not that street shit performed by clowns.” Smooth, Theo.

As she was about to activate operation: PANIC!, that idea was shut down by the fact that the invader didn’t simply fuck off and forget about her existence. Um...OK, just act natural. “If you wanna bring your funky, magical ass in here, then I’ll kick it into the shape of your di** and throw you back through your portal. Shall we try it?” Nailed it. Hopefully no one realized that she would probably be on the receiving end of that ass-kicking. She could relax. Confrontations were all about mind games. As long as she didn’t let her bluff on, then there was a 40% chance of this chick not coming into her room and debriefing her on saving the world. Oh, speaking of which, that almost sounded cool. It would be a good hook, if she hadn’t been raised by the widow of a world-saving ass-busting dude.

Admittedly, the idea itself of being a superhero wasn’t the worst. Well, assuming she didn’t die. She played video games. Kicking shit to death in video games was a riot. But her dad had died, and he hadn’t respawned. Actually, you didn’t tend to respawn in real life. Funny that. Well, the point was, Mum>the safety of the world and everyone on it. Perfect, exquisite, divine, enlightened logic. “Sweetie, I’ll leave the masochism to the big girls. You people are a buncha nutters, and there is no giant laser punching a hole in the sky right now. I’d say everything is peachy. ‘Sides, no candy, no access.” Candy, no access. But that last part made her feel even more badass from behind the possible safety of her bedroom door. “Still, I’ll take the story time. From that side of my bedroom door, thank you very much.” Go on magic girl. Play by her terms. It was funner that way, and also meant that no one saw her piss herself.


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