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Forest fell in step with Marcus again, a slight smile at his words.

"Sometimes the only time a person is being honest is when they're in a fight," she replied.  "And you're right.  Sometimes that's the best way to find out who someone is.  Like do they flee?  Or do they stick their ground?  Do they fight dirty or have a sense of fair play?  Do they have honor?  All of those are answered in the heat of battle."

Marcus's head and eyes locked onto the pebble, watching it bounce across the sidewalk.  Then, it returned to hers.  "Its not like people appreciate being copied either you know," he said, mirroring her sigh.  "Besides, your power is a lot more like Rouge's.  You actually get to know people directly, even if it comes with that horrible strain."

He began walking down the sidewalk, figuring Forest would keep up with him.  "Sometimes I think the only time I connect with people is in a fight.  At least my power gives me a hint of what they are really like."

Weird.  Why am I opening up to her this much? he thought just as he spoke.

"Ah, but the ability to copy another person's ability would be more useful.  Sort of like Rogue from X-Men without the coma side effects," Forest replied, "And you're not draining them of their energy either.  Honestly, with a bit of training, that could be a very formidable ability."

Forest kicked at a pebble with a sigh.  "With telepathy the connection is one sided.  Most people flip out if they find out someone's in their heads even if they don't mean to be."

Marcus tilted his head slightly at her talk about a curse, thinking back to his own experience copying her telepathy.  He could still hear the endless voices piercing his skull, the obnoxious cries and complaints.  Its a good thing she can sing, he mused.

His thoughts shattered into a blank void as he felt warm lips caressing his own.  After a quick blink, he regained his composure.

"Well its not a bad power," he said, placing his hand behind his head again.  "Its a lot like my power.  A tool to connect with people beyond words."

His grave voice did not betray any sort of emotion, but it was anything but empty. Its fierceness was more akin to a booming war-hammer, yet his words were no harsher than idle chatter, and despite all that it was by no means an oppressive power. "Not at all. I only bother with those who are worth it. But congratulations, you have passed."

Somehow, her words seemed to have pleased the silver vanguard. Had it been any other choice, they would be sharing words no longer. Indeed, they could not change the past, and they may not have a future to protect. All they could do was fight for the now.

"I have no need for your bad acting, but you seem to have some valuable skill. Interesting." He spoke, for the first time a hint of warmth slipped through his cold speech at the last word. His hand was laid on the woman's shoulder yet again, but this time his touch felt different, as if there was some sort of warmth that emerged from a strange glow.

The moment their auras connected, hers was reinvigorated by some inexplicable force, to the point her body was healed of its fatigue, letting her feel healthier than ever.

"You are a fine woman, wicked as you may be. I could use someone like you. What is your price? Money? Lodging? I have no such things, but I can promise you one thing. If you accept, you will never be hungry again." He spoke those last words with a certain foreboding calm, as if he understood and accepted her.

"Why would I fight for that? I fight only for myself, the me that is here, I couldn't care less about something that might never happen."  Her glare grew sharper and she shook her head at him.

This was turning out to be quite something she wasn't expecting. He was way too aggressive and she felt cornered, it both bothered her and excited. 

"Does everyone get this treatment?"


"I see." He said simply, wondering what could cause such discomfort in her eyes. Well, he didn't care. If he said something callous, it was what he truly believed. She was free to disagree, it wouldn't change his stance any more than his words would change hers. That was what it meant to have resolve.

But those eyes... he liked them. They were those of a warrior, perhaps not the sort who wields a blade in battle, but one who has its own battles to fight nonetheless.

"Then what would you fight for? The past that made you what you are, or the uncertain future of what you could be?" He asked her, as if he expected something out of her.

She fell on the ground, her body all but falling apart under his immense presence. Broken but not beaten, that would be the words best used to describe her right now. The Hunter looked up at him not in defiance but in contemplation as she struggled to get back on her feet.

It was painful, her body aching far more that it should have but she did not let that deter her, no she used that pain to sharpen her resolve. None of the discomfort was noticeable at a glance but someone of his calibre should notice it nonetheless.

"Obselete past? The past... Will never be obsolete. It's what made you... And its just as important as any moment, as this moment..."

She finally managed to stand up, her height nowhere near being a match for his despite that,

"...It sounds really pathetic."

The machine obeyed with no passion or glamour, tossing her down as if by accident. If she truly understood, then there was nothing more to question. The whole world was his enemy, including himself, and right now he was once again falling into his bad habits.

"A foolish statement. I already know such things. They don't matter." His voice rang hollow and metallic, and most of all, cold. The sort of bitterness that was best reserved towards oneself than others.

"And what of it, maid? If I am mad, then I will fail, my actions will change nothing in the grand scheme of things. If I succeed, all my mistakes will be undone, and no one will remember a thing. Either way, I will be nothing more than the reflection of an obsolete past."

The air froze for a moment, or perhaps time itself. The pressure of his eyes wasn't such that it put others beneath him, but it was crushing nonetheless. The sort of gravity that only the twisted and the broken legends of yore can possess. They were old, cold and tired eyes, even the fact he physically lacked such things did not change their nature.

"You are strong, I wouldn't be able to gaze upon myself with your resolve. I like that." He said, for the first time sith some sort of smile in his voice, genuine perhaps.

The maid showed now particular reaction to the show, her smile not fading one bit despite the disturning show he was providing. That didn't mean she was silent however as she did respond to his question. "Yup, I understand, understand that you really need a mirror." Molly let the insinuations hang in the air, leaving it up to the man to figure out what she meant by that.

Then she put a hand over the metallic one applying her own pressure on it.

"Let me down."

It wasn't a request, it was an order. Despite her unfavourable and the overwhelming strength he was displaying, the little maid showed no fear as she commanded him, with seemingly paying no mind to the possible consequences it might have.
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