1965-02-02 - Building A Brotherhood: Recruiting Empath
Summary: Lorna has been putting up recruitment posters for the Brotherhood about Mutant Town. But they had no contact information, part of the test for the drive and resliance of potential recruits. This is how Manuel found her, and she found her first recruit. Empath.
Related: Is The Brotherhood Back?
Theme Song: "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5Y11hwjMNs
polaris manuel 

Over the last few days word has been spreading about Mutant Town, or rather rumor, all centered about the Brotherhood coming back from being defunct for well over a year. Some supported the Brotherhood, some thought they just brought down the law harder on Mutant Town. But love'em or hate'em, they gave a sense that somebody is willing to do something against anti-mutant sentiment, and that they just might push the man to think twice. So there was certainly excitment brought about by those recruitment ads. Of course not having any contact information on them, made some more skeptical, with other thinking it's either a hoax, or something done by the government as an excuse to bring down the law all the harder on Mutant Town.

If Manuel took interest, and eventually spotted one person or another helping put out those signs, it was very little problem for him to eventually be told to look for the green haired babe with the badges and pins covered leather jacket. One suggestion being that she hangs at the Eight Ball every now and then, hustling people who'd misjudge a woman's skill at pool.

Sure enough, a visit to the Eight Ball late enough at night would reveal just that. Lorna, hard to miss with her vibrant green hair, surrounded by cheering and leering audience, sinking one ball after the next with what looks like a hundred bucks bet set at the side of the table. Every time she sinks a ball she looks up at a greaser looking guy with dark hair, "told you Tony," she taunts, "guys aren't the only ones who can handle balls," she winks and calls 8 ball to the left back pocket, which she promptly sinks to raucous cries of onlookers. She collects her winnings, and immediately waves her hand dismissively at the demand for double or nothing. "Told you I'd only play the one game tonight, can't waste all my time playing games," luckily there's enough of a crowd to dissuade him from getting more aggressive with her as she just walks away towards the bar.

Indeed, Manuel de la Rocha had taken an interest. It wasn't a difficult matter to get the information he was after; they are recruitment posters, after all. What good would it be to put up such things if the recruiter was difficult to track down? He steps into the Eight Ball, past the bouncer without any trouble; either he's been here before or he had no difficulty proving to the man he belonged. He lets his eyes scan over the contents of the bar; mutants all, some obvious, some not. His eyes fall on Lorna, and a smirk curls his lips slightly. No kidding about the green hair, it seems. Hardly out of place, in a place like this. Manuel crosses the distance between the door and the table she just finished her game at, and leans against the edge, crossing his arms over his chest. Distinctly in the way. Anyone who might remain crowded around the table though, besides Lorna herself, suddenly feels the need to give a little more space. "A little bird told me you're the one putting up all those posters. Why, I wonder, would someone want to bring -that- particular name back to life?"

Lorna was just about to take part of her winnings to enjoy a drink, but Manuel's arrival, and the consequent behaviour of the crowd to move back or disperse, certainly catches her attention. "Oh?" She turns around to face Manuel as he speaks to her once they have more space. "Nice little bird," Lorna grins, flicking her eyes to the left and right, before digging them right at Manuel, "looking at the way you can work a crowd…" she clearly means the obvious giving of privacy out of the blue, "I'd say you can answer that question yourself, can't you?" Her eyes are also green, a slightly unnatural green, but they carry an intense look. She wasn't a young woman playing games of make believe at being a rebel. She was steadfast and full of faith in her actions, in her goals. Whatever those may be, seeing how she's yet to share them with Manuel at this point.

"We all have talents, do we not?" Manuel flashes a smile, briefly. "I can think of a few reasons, I suppose. Invoking a name like that might draw attention. Not all of it good, however. It's not a name one associates, generally, with peaceful protests, sit-ins, and kum-by-yahs. You take over the name only if you're prepared for more.. assertive methods, to get your point across." He leans up from the table, and moves closer to the young woman. "Our kind haven't exactly had a fair shake, particularly of late. I'd be interested in doing my part to rectify that, under the right circumstances. I'm not much for sit-ins."

"That's what makes us special, doesn't it?" Lorna laughs as Manuel keeps right with her in their conversation, she liked that about him. Confidence goes a long way. "Good perception, too," Lorna adds, as if she was already valuating the man who had found her from a recruitment sign that had no contact information whatsoever. Could that have been part of the test itself?

"I trust you've been around Mutant Town for more than a few days? If so, you'd have seen the free reign NYPD gets, how little 'muties' rights count for? I would say the place could use a little shake up," her speech is direct, just as her intense gaze is. She may be young, but she has great resolve already. "Then…" Lorna says as Manuel stated his peace, extending a hand towards him, "I think you'll find we share an accord, and I appreciate your upstanding drive to do what is right. Lorna," she introduces herself, "and you are?"

"Manuel," he replies, giving the woman's hand a gentle clasp, but not shaking it. He merely holds it a moment before releasing. One does not shake a lady's hand. "I will admit I don't spend a lot of my time in Mutant Town. Now and then, but only infrequently. I am fortunate in that it is not a necessity," he says. Trying not to sound arrogant, but it comes with the territory, unfortunately. "But I do keep myself informed. The injustices perpetrated against our kind aren't limited to one small part of the city.. but it may be the perfect place to start making changes." He smiles once more, and looks around the room again. "I think you'd be hard pressed to find someone in this room without a story that feeds that particular narrative," he says, his voice a little quieter, trailing off a moment before he refocuses on Lorna. "Cards on the table? Show me yours, I'll show you mine?" Let's not play coy games here, lady. Whaddya got?

Lorna gives Manuel something of a curious look when he doesn't shake her hand, but rather just clasps it for a moment, looking as though she's trying to assess if he's giving her a slight, or if there's something more at play. From the way he behaved thus far, she lets it slide, he didn't seem like he'd go out of his way to find her just to go about insulting her. No point jumping to conclusions. "My thoughts exactly," Lorna notes as Manuel shares his thinking, "this needs to be a foothold not to ghetto the mutants out of sight, but a place where none can harm our fellow mutants. A safe haven."

When prompted for cards on the table, Lorna motions around them, "I love hustling those who underestimate my abilities, it just so happens the majority of those happen to be guys. You know what they all have in common?" She points an index finger at her temple, "quick to act, not quick to think…this is hardly the place to have our little card game. But, if you're interested, I do like to hold high stakes game in a more exclusive setting. Do you accept my challenge?"

"Wholeheartedly," Manuel replies without hesitation. "Lead on," he says with a motion of his hand to indicate that he'll follow wherever she chooses for the venue of their little show and tell. His own gifts are best demonstrated amongst a group, but one-on-one suits him just fine as well. No need to be difficult about things just now.

"Groovy," Lorna notes and she starts to head out of the place, inclining her head at a few people, waving at others, her fringe biker jacket rattling a bit with her movement, covered by a whole mass of badges and pins. She leads Manuel to a short subway ride to Hell's Kitchen, before they wind up at the Six Alarm Fire safehouse.

Once inside they're both inside, the door shuts behind them without anyone doing anything. Lorna turns to look at Manuel, "was that a good enough demonstration?" She asks, nodding in the direction of the door.

Manuel follows Lorna up the stairs to the top floor of the tenement. Certainly making his rounds of the slums around town today, isn't he? The door closes behind them, and he smirks. "Not that I doubt you did that, but doors closing isn't exactly newsworthy," he says with a certain playfulness. "If that's the extend of your gift, I should wonder what makes you think you're the one to lead the charge," he continues, moving fully inside the room. "Is this your apartment, then?"

"You're not easily impressed, are you…? I like that," Lorna notes, and even as she speaks to him, a green aura starts to glow around her hands, and she starts to hover above ground, "is this a little better?" She asks, apparently not about to show him the high end of what she can do just because he wasn't impressed. "Let's put it this way, I'm a good player, I always keep my trump card to when it's needed…you wanna show me yours now? Or not satisfied yet?"

Asked if this is her apartment, Lorna smirks, "I don't even know you yet…just because you seem alright, and made the right decision, doesn't mean I trust you that well already."

"Better," Manuel says, nodding slightly as he watches her lift off the ground. "So you're a telekinetic, then." He can put two and two together, and given what he's seen that's the most likely explanation. He won't press her for more, though he would like to know exactly what he's working with as far as assets.

He closes his eyes then, taking quick stock of what he can sense. "There is a man and a woman on the third floor, two units to our right, having sex. A man two doors down from them is so angry he's ready to kill someone. On the first floor, two children are fighting over.. a toy? A woman on the fifth floor is longing for someone to return.. a lover? No, it's not a romantic desire.. her grown child." He opens his eyes, looking to Lorna for a reaction. Of course, he could have just made all of that up. That's the thing about reading emotions; awfully hard to prove.

"Not quite," Lorna answers, smiling mischeviously, no doubt quite pleased with herself for having used her power and yet not having given away what it is. Sometimes misdirection could be useful. For instance, when authorities look for a telekinetic instead of what they should be looking for. "An empath?" Lorna asks when all Manuel tells her focuses on emotions. "Could be useful, more so if you can do more than just read…can you manipulate emotions as well?" She asks curiously, before lifting her right arm, and Manuel will find that his watch hand is also starting to lift, albeit now he can tell it's clearly the watch drawing his hand upwards. "Just a hint, as we are being open with each other and all…magnetokinetic is better fitting." She eventually states.

"Ahh," Manuel responds as his watch pulls his arm upward. "Magnetism. Useful. Explains all the.. accessories," he says with a motion of his free hand toward the woman's plethora of buttons and pins. As to her question, he lets a smile creep more fully onto his lips. "I could have the residents of his building burn it to the ground if I wanted to."

"You're a quick thinker, I like that, and yes…weapons hidden in plain sight," Lorna nods with Manuel's words. Her jacket is no different than any other rocker/greasers worth their salt, decorated as possible. But in her case, it may well be a machine gun, only better and more versatile. She quirks a brow, and eventually suggests, "make me feel levity. I need to get a sense of it…" just like he was skeptical before, she seems to want a small demonstration herself. From the very challenge presented, one could guess she wasn't a very happy person. But then Manuel no doubt had already sensed that much.

"Levity, you say. As you wish," Manuel says, and focuses his eyes on her. Not that he has to, but it helps. He reaches out, metaphorically speaking, and turns that dial sharply clockwise. If she doesn't fight it too hard, after a moment she'll find herself in a mood to laugh; it won't even matter so much at what. There's a spot on the wall that looks kind of like a pair of Mickey Mouse ears which might do the trick. Or he could just tell her a lame joke. Wait, does Manuel know any lame jokes? All of his jokes are comedy gold. Wait, here's one. "Why can't pirates finish the alphabet? They get lost at 'C'." Deadpan. Cue uproarious laughter.

Lorna is trying to make it difficult on Manuel, not that she really faced an empath before. Well, there was one who tried to get her to date him, but she felt something amiss and knocked him out hard before he had a chance to really dig his hooks in her. This time, she invited the challenge, so when she starts to feel strange, she tries to resist, but before long he tells the lamest joke. Only its outright hilarious, and she snickers, chortles, giggles, and the dam breaks loose and she just has a full blown roaring laughter, shaking her hand dismissively, "hahahaha, got it! Hehehee, okay! Stop now!" He certainly delivered on the challenge.

And just like that, Manuel releases his control, and Lorna's emotional state will slingshot right back to where it was before he took the reins. "My gift has proven very useful over the years. Not as useful in a fight, I'm afraid, but certainly for avoiding them." He pauses a moment, and glances around the apartment again. "You never answered though. Is this your apartment? Or just a place you happen to have keys to? Or do you just pick the lock with your mind?"

Lorna takes several deep breaths once Manuel's manipulation fades and she stops laughing, but more than just that, she feels a bit shaken from the experience. It's not fun to know another has control of your reaction, even if you invited it. To her credit, she doesn't show fear or discomfort outwardly, trying to just stop laughing and lock down her emotions, she soon looks at Manuel and nods. "This will be a very useful skill, and your heart seems in the right place…" again she extends a hand, "if you'd like to join the Brotherhood, you're welcome to it…and we can discuss more in our secret hideout. If not, this is where we part ways…"

She grins at the insistance on the question she failed to answer before, "join, and I'll let you know everything there is to know."

Manuel takes her hand again, but again, doesn't shake. Because you don't shake a lady's hand. He just holds it a moment, and releases. "I'm in." There's no hesitation or uncertainty. He had made the decision before he approached the woman at the bar; unless she turned out to be a complete nutjob, of course. Thankfully, that doesn't seem to be the case. And Manuel should be able to tell.

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