2187/Member Berries

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Member Berries
Date of Scene: 22 June 2020
Location: A high roller suite in Monaco
Synopsis: The ANTI-Social Network
Cast of Characters: Douglas Ramsey, Danielle Moonstar

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
    "Le Ciffre? He's in the High Roller suite. Never seen anyone play cards like that man. Which is appropriate, since he signed in under the name of the villain from 'Casino Royale'." The desk clerk says.

    "And you say you're an acquaintance of his? Shall I call ahead and let him know you're coming miss, ah..." The clerk pauses. "I'm afraid you never did tell me your name, Miss...?"

Danielle Moonstar has posed:

Danielle isn't the cloak and dagger type. Then again, her name might seem 'fake' to the average person, so why not. She sounds out that name a few times 'Le Ciffre' and mumbles to herself. "Who would want to go by that anyway?" But there's a shake of her head and a smile for the clerk in thanks before she's heading for the elevator.

You know what Dani has never seen? A high roller suite. Hell, she's never seen -most- of the excess one can find in Monaco. It's why she's spent little time on the casino floor (beyond the fact that she simply doesn't have the -money- for it). It's an uncomfortable disparity. And perhaps a stark reminder of how many people view -her- people. Even if she's not personally connected to anyone who is involved in the operation of a casino.

Arriving at the suite, she hovers outside the door for a moment, hands in the pockets of her jeans. She takes a deep breath, pushes up the sleeves of the off-white sweater she's wearing, and knocks.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
"What an enchanting name." The desk clerk says. Le Ciffre is french for 'The Cypher' - so Doug is basically hiding in plain sight using a pop culture reference.

The High Roller suite is a penthouse apartment, the lap of luxury. Normally Doug is as neat as a pin - he was the one who was literally a boy scout - but there are clothes and other items thrown about the place as if he tossed them aside and forgot about them.

At the moment he's standing and staring out the window, wearing the same tuxedo from last night, looking somewhat rumpled - and when he looks up, it's like he's looking through Dani at the wall behind her. "Dani." He says, "I was honestly expecting Illyana, or maybe Rahne - but I suppose there was a significant chance it'd be you." He turns. "Do you want champagne? I have plenty."

Danielle Moonstar has posed:
"Rahne didn't come with us," Dani points out quietly. Though that's not to say she couldn't have been bamf'd in later. She lets the door close behind her and glances around the room. Chewing on her lip for a moment, she steps gingerly around some of the detritus on the floor and makes her way toward the window. "I've been thinking about-" about how 'off' he felt. Not-Doug-like. But she doesn't say that.

Instead she shrugs. Maybe that's 'sure' for the champagne. "Been thinking about you. I, uh- I wanted to check in on you. Maybe, ehm. Try to help you out?" Yeah, Dani. That sounded -great-.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
"That's less of a concern for you than it would be for others." Doug turns, and says, "You're concerned. Worried." He pours Dani a glass of champagne.

"Mother Durga has... augmented my vision. Opened my eyes to the War in Heaven and filled me with *glorious* purpose. It's really quite incredible."

he offers the glass. "I appreciate the offer but I don't need any help. I'm a pivotal part of a cosmic battle of good versus evil!"

Danielle Moonstar has posed:
"I am concerned," Dani says, offering the glass. She doesn't drink right away. She hasn't delved into the drinking of the trip like the others have. Not a being of excess, this one. At least not when she'd distracted by something. Or, well, not when she's still recovering from Sinister ordeals. It takes time. She's still piecing herself back together, as it were.

And realizing that there's been a shift in her own capabilities.

"Can I... see? I'd like to better, uh- understand this purpose?" She sets the glass down on the nearest surface, already forgotten. A hand is extended towards Doug, uncertain. Will he pull away? Will he even notice? And the bigger question: can she even do what she's considering?

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug tilts his head. "Of course. I have absolute trust in you. I always have." He reaches out and puts his black and gold techno-organic hand in Dani's.

"Do whatever you need to do, Dani." His eyes have what looks like silvery circuitry threaded through them, reaching toward the pupil of his blue eyes.

Danielle Moonstar has posed:
In some weird way, that's exactly what Dani needs to hear. Maybe not right now, when she's trying to help him and... yet, it bolsters her. She takes his hand and gives it a squeeze. "All right," she says, though mostly to herself. Then, a bit more firmly: "All right."

She looks back at him and... reaches. It's not like pulling fears or desires, but it's close. It's built off of those same building blocks. One's greatest fear is, after all, often a memory. It's something contained in the mind. This is just moving past that, through those empathic threads. Who is Mother Durga? What did she do? When and how did she... open his eyes? So Dani will search and attempt to bring forth and recreate the moment.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
The answer, of course, is horrifying. Out of all their enemies, who among them inspires more fear, more hate and anger, than Mojo's six-armed sorceress? Mother Durga is Spiral.

What she did was what she always does- she captured Doug and used her craft to bend his perceptions to her will, and then turned him loose into the world, so that she could use his talents - knowing what to say, how to say it, in order to reprogram the minds of the receptive in a war of ratings, as she launches a bid to steal Mojoworld out from under the fat body of her disgusting master.

All of this is viewed through the lens of a righteous and holy war, of course. Doug hates Mojo. Everybody hates Mojo. And Spiral exploited the better angels of his nature to take control of his mind.

Danielle Moonstar has posed:
At first, Dani nearly loses her grip. Had Doug not been holding her hand in turn, she very well might have. She was expecting something else. Something less sinister (not THAT Sinister), perhaps. A bad 'trip' of a sorts, maybe? There's drugs out there that can do weird, weird things to mutants and who knows what they might do to someone with a mind like Cypher's.

But this, this is so much worse and she nearly reels away from it all, not wanting anything to do with it. And yet-

She must. Because it's real. It's a threat. And simply not wanting a thing doesn't make it go away. So Mirage swallows down the fear, down the repulsion, and she faces it. She captures it, and she processes through it. When she finally does pull back into herself, she's shaking. The new level of power is still new to her and she's still testing its boundaries. "Oh, Doug," she says in a quiet voice. "I'm so sorry."

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug looks momentarily nonplussed. "Yes. You think I'm being mind-controlled." He turns, and looks out the window. "And once I would've agreed with you. But now I see so much more."

He clasps his hands behind his back. "I have what I always wanted - glorious purpose. I'm completely at peace, and it feels wonderful. Why would you deny me that?"

Danielle Moonstar has posed:
Now she needs that drink. Champagne isn't meant to be downed quickly and Dani actually sputters on it, coughing as she sets the glass back down. That didn't go as planned. She coughs again, thumping at her chest with a balled up fist. "Because-" cough. Ahem. Better.

"Because, Doug, that's not... not this 'Mother Durga' you think it is." She chews at her lower lip again. "Have you spoken with the Professor about this?" She can sift through memories, sure. She could even take Doug -into- his memories to relive them, but this is a level beyond. It's a 'weaving' that simply taking someone on a walk down memory lane wouldn't help.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug lets out a sigh, and then he shakes his head. "I don't have any interest in talking to Professor Xavier."

He tilts his chin upward, and says, "I knew you wouldn't understand. And I'm not going to let you try to 'fix' me. What I'm doing is important." He glances back over his shoulder, and says, "I'll be going back to Heaven soon, to do more work for Mother Durga. I was simply - living, for a little while. I appreciate your concern, but I assure you, it's misplaced."

Danielle Moonstar has posed:
"I really think you should," Dani tells Doug, trying to be insistent without... being whiny. It comes off the same, but the whining is for his sake! Really! She's concerned and there's a lot of it.

The rest of the champagne is drank, but slower this time. Look, no coughing! Setting down the empty glass, she turns to fully face Doug even if he's back to looking at... things she can't see. "If you leave, you'll be missed. People will be worried. You should at least talk to the Professor and let him know where you're going. What you're doing."

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug puts his hand on his chin, at least entertaining it with a thought.

"I know. But people leave all the time. It doesn't mean I don't care, it just means I've got more important concerns."

"If I 'talk' to Professor Xavier, I'll be detained. So the answer is no, Dani. I don't ask you to understand it, only to accept it."

Danielle Moonstar has posed:
"And if I don't accept it?" Danielle frowns at Doug, considering him in return. "I know you think you have purpose, but-" she spreads her hands, helplessly. They fall back to her sides with a soft thump. "I don't think you'd come back from this. And I don't think it'll be good for you or... or anyone. Not the rest of us, to be sure."

She looks towards the window for a moment, then back to him. "Take people with you. Capable people. Strong people. Don't go alone." It's not a good place to send -anyone- but... someone going alone is worse, right?

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
"If you don't accept it, that means I'd have to fight you." Doug says, "Which would break my heart." He casts his gaze down, and back up. "But for Mother Durga, I would. I'd fight anybody, Dani - even the people I love."

He turns, and paces the floor. "It's my powers she needs. You'd just be in harm's way. You can't see it, but Heaven is in turmoil. The Evil One, he's bound in old-fashioned ideas. Mother Durga understands the Power of the Streaming and why it's important for her followers to Like and Subscribe. Those are the New Laws." he looks up. "And the Evil One and the Old Laws will be swept away."

Danielle Moonstar has posed:
Lifting a hand to rub at her face, Dani is quiet for a moment. She lets out a slow breath. "Can you promise me that you'll check in, then? Let us know how you're doing? Call for help when you need it?" Not if, -when-. Because she knows it'll happen. She knows everything is gonna go wrong. And she doesn't want to fight him either. Of course not. But if she can get enough time to talk to the others: maybe they can find a way to save him.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug cants a look at Dani. "Of course." He says, with the air of someone who's certain that he won't need help. "The others will need you soon, just like they always do. You ought to go back to them." He turns back to looking out the window. "Good-bye, Dani. It's always nice talking to you."

Danielle Moonstar has posed:
And it's always those who are most certain they don't need help that do need it. Look at how often Logan gets into trouble. Oh sure he can outlive most of his trouble, doesn't mean he isn't always falling headfirst into it! Dani spends a moment longer staring at Doug before she finally leans back on her heels and pivots. "They're fine. I'd rather help you."

Even as he's insisting otherwise. But that's all she can do: make it clear she's there and available. "Be careful, Doug. Dig past the surface. You've never been one to take things at face-value." It's all she can offer before she starts for the door: the suite is a bit much for her after all.