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Complete ghosts and pastries

Discussion in 'Threads of Time' started by Wanda Maximoff, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. Wanda Maximoff

    Wanda Maximoff Marvel Universe

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    date | March 5th, Year 5
    tagged | @Superman

    A few days after being torn from a falling city, Wanda still couldn't say if any of this was real. Maybe she'd died after all and found herself in a purgatory called Misty Hollow, without her brother to meet her. That seemed like a fitting punishment. Except there were people still eking out lives of their own even this purgatory-like experiment.

    She did try to keep herself busy. Useful, helpful kinds of busy, so that she was not a complete waste of space whose most noteworthy contributions to history involved death, destruction, and harm unto others. She'd enlisted with the woefully understaffed med center, even if most of her beginning work involved assisting and following the instructions of those with considerably more experience than her.

    When she wasn't busy, during those rare hours during the day between shifts, she took to wandering aimlessly sometimes, other times lying listlessly on her back against the living room floor of the lonely house she occupied, outside of the barrier. Outside of what was considered safe. That was alright; she didn't need to be safe. If something managed to tear her apart at night… that was fine. She felt like a hollow shell of living as it were, comfortably at home amongst these stricken poltergeists.

    But so far nothing attacked her.

    Her head turned from her ceiling to the view of the backyard through the sliding glass door, and beyond the backyard, the sleepy woods surrounding the town. Distantly she recalled her run-in with the strange but strangely kind personification of a Soviet poster boy just the day or so prior.

    That hadn't been so bad. Just like the forests and the barrier outskirts hadn't been so bad. And the view from here, from where she lay, was even lovely. A fine spot where she could eventually wither away.

    Then suddenly, a pair of boots landed in her view. Thinking it might be a hallucination, or another one of those ghost induced illusions at first, Wanda blinked.

     
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  2. Superman

    Superman DC Universe

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    The forest fire he had flew off to extinguish only kept him busy for some minutes. Then there was someone else calling for help in the woods and a few other incidents that occupied his time until night arrived. That was when he needed a down time and his thoughts begun revovling around the extraordinary lady in the forest and the young spirit. He wanted to go back to see how they were, but it was late, so he decided to try and find the young lady from home tomorrow. He had a need to listen more about her country and her experiences. And there was voice in his head that snarked that her being beautiful surely had nothing to do with the fact that he was so eager to find her, but he shushed it quickly, not being quite used to those sort of fascinations.

    Misty Hollow prided to be the second biggest town in Pandora, but it was still a small settlement, with plenty of its buildings vacant, while the few citizens were crammed in a few blocks. Superman flew above the buildings for a while, but he could not find the woman named Wanda in any of them. Then he noticed that there were some lonelier homes away from the centre, that extended beyond the barrier the citizens had put to protect each other, that were inhabitted by people. He thought it curious to be living some meters away from protection, but with a closer look, he discovered the Slavic girl in her gothic house. It had character and he could not describe it negatively, given how promising the garden looked. But another thing had been troubling him that had nothing to do with the house itself, but its resident. Wanda was immobile on the bed, her face an expression of sadness. His distant gaze lingered for only a few seconds before he felt horrible about spying and set to find a good pastry shop.

    A few minutes later, he was landing on the back yard, carrying a turqoise box wrapped with a pink ribbon. 'Hello!' he waved, smiling kindly from outside. 'I felt bad about leaving you in the woods without even a proper goodbye so... I came to apologise and bring you a little something.' he spoke, unable to help himself.
     
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  3. Wanda Maximoff

    Wanda Maximoff Marvel Universe

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    It was that man. He'd flown off so abruptly the other day; Wanda had thought that marked the first and last time she'd ever see him. And that was an irrational thought which made her irrationally sad, like adding melancholy sprinkles to her depression cake. But he was obviously standing in her back garden now, so she could forget about those sprinkles. And she was still staring up at him in a daze from the hard bed of her wooden floor.

    "You found me?" When her eyes drifted over what looked like the pastry box that he carried with him, she could feel her stomach protesting at the stark reminder of food, admonishing her for forgetting the past two meals, and the meal before that consisting of a protein bar and banana just so she wouldn't faint on shift. Finally, she began to drag herself up to her feet, at one point cradling the crick that had settled in her back. Her hair must have looked an unkempt mess, but she paid it no mind. Her fingers lingered tentatively on the glass door for a moment, before she pulled it open a bit further. And afterwards, the screen door behind it, leaving open space enough for him to pass through.

    It hadn't actually been his show of kindness that tipped Wanda over the edge from sending him away, not even her slight fascination toward him. It was the loneliness she thought she could detect—like hers, and yet wholly unlike hers.

    She wasn't smiling, but that was no slight against him considering her mood across the past several days. She wasn't cold to him; that much was certain. Guarded curiosity would've been a fair way of putting it. "I never got your name."

     
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  4. Superman

    Superman DC Universe

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    She looked far from alright and that brought concern in his eyes, but he kept the smile on his face, to avoid making her uncomfortable. It was possible that he would be able to help with what was ailing her, but he tried to not force that on others. Instead, he could focus on small things, like keeping her company and distract her from problems, until she was ready to share them herself.

    In stark contrast with her demeanor, because anything else would be unhelpful, he remained upbeat. 'Well, to be fair, there aren't many people living so close to that... enchanted forest.' he told her, pointing at the thick, dark woods in the distance. Magical forests were hardly his specialty, but they could not keep the girl away from his vision, luckily.

    He waited until she opened the door and walked inside, holding the box of pastries and wearing a friendly expression as he looked at her and she looked back at him. When she spoke, it shifted to something a little more mischievous, but never fake or unkind. 'What if I can't share it? What if it has been a State secret for many years to keep my family protected?' he asked her, as he stood in front of her, curious about her reaction. Usually he avoided the question, but something in Wanda's eyes made him want to be true to her and to himself. After all, maybe she would find it funny and smile.
     
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  5. Wanda Maximoff

    Wanda Maximoff Marvel Universe

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    For another beat she was struck by how tall he was, standing closer than before. Her eyes were a little brighter lingering over him, but that fleeting moment passed just like the rest. "If you don't give me something to call you, I'll just make something up. Like Boris or Annihilator." Wanda still wasn't smiling, but the tautness to her shoulders relaxed some—only to stiffen slightly again when she realized where, or when, her subconscious had snatched the latter of those two names from.

    She tried not to dwell on it. Stepping back on just barely even footing, she ventured the few paces it took toward the kitchen table. The house on the outskirts of the barrier had more or less everything she needed before settling in, short of an aggressive spring cleaning. The cleaning, dusting, and tidying up of broken furniture (and what felt like the odd haunted artifact) had distracted her thoughts well enough, but as it was apparent now, that hadn't lasted long.

    "Does Boris the Annihilator want to sit down?" she offered over her shoulder, still hesitant over how wretched she must have looked. But she did decide that she hadn't wanted him to go so soon, after all.

     
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  6. Superman

    Superman DC Universe

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    He could not help the incredulous face he made at the sound of two names that he did not think matched who he was. But he was glad she had found a way to escape what was bothering her and focus on the trivial, funny things. He followed her first with his eyes as she made her way to the kitchen, glancing at some details of the house. It was a nice place, so when he was inside, he could understand why she had chosen it, though it bothered him a little given how close to danger it was supposed to be. Not because he was afraid of his wellbeing, but he was concerned over Wanda's.

    Perhaps there was a reason he could not guess, connected to her powers. He was hesitant to move forward until she invited him to do so. He would leave if asked, but he smiled, without meaning to, at the promise of staying longer.

    'Please, don't call me that.' he requested with an otherwise amused expression. 'I have a birth name my parents gave me. There is no State regulation protecting my alien name.' he explained. There was nothing to protect really; his parents had died along with his planet. 'It's Kal-L.' he offered as he sat on a chair, his blue eyes watching Wanda with a kindness of their own. He felt that it would be lovely if he made a friend of this strange but compelling girl and that warmed his heart.
     
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  7. Wanda Maximoff

    Wanda Maximoff Marvel Universe

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    Slowly, she sat down in the chair across from him. Her arms folded along the surface of the table, her digits curling against her elbows reflexively. In some ways, Wanda supposed it was an improvement from laying on the floor.

    Her lips parted slightly when he mentioned an alien name. An alien name. Her mind was obviously going to latch onto that over the name itself—Kal Elle, which sure enough did sound like it belonged to an alien, but… "You don't look like an alien," she observed frankly. Maybe that was something she needed getting used to: the daily subverting of her expectations. The State was something else that tickled her.

    "And you... really had an in with Joseph Stalin?" Wanda recollected, pausing for a beat partially wondering if he meant a different Comrade Stalin that other day.

    She still wasn't smiling, but there was still no disdain in her demeanor either. Her dominant emotion at the time was definitely bewilderment.

     
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  8. Superman

    Superman DC Universe

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    A short-lived humorless laugh escaped his lips after Wanda's observation. 'I suppose I don't look anything like the popular concepts of aliens. Would you prefer it if I was green and had an enormous head?' he spoke in jest, shrugging his shoulders helplessly. 'The planet I came from was very similar to Earth. That is the reason Kryptonians look so much like humans, I think.' he explained. It had certainly helped him in many ways with blending in the crowd and go unnoticed when he wanted to, so he could not help but feel a sense of gratitude because of it.

    He nodded his head at her next question. 'When I went to Moscow, I was using my powers to help people. It didn't take long for the Party to notice. They named me champion of the Soviet Union, said that people needed to be inspired. I don't agree with all of Comrade Stalin's ways, but he helped me make Superman into what he is.' he stated, looking at Wanda with eyes curious about her reaction.

    'Some people don't like that.' he added, self consciously, speaking an uncomfortable truth. He hoped that would not be the end of their friendship, before it had even begun.
     
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  9. Wanda Maximoff

    Wanda Maximoff Marvel Universe

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    The comparison didn't stir much of a reaction. In Pandora it wouldn't matter if he were neon blue, purple, or any other color of the rainbow with a horse's bottom. The way he was currently, though, was very... classically handsome. Almost too handsome. It would've made her suspicious if she cared to be suspicious, but maybe that was her inner Pietro speaking through to her subconscious.

    And while her family had no love for the Soviets, she was mostly numb to that particular history. Her generation hadn't been without its strife, but she never experienced firsthand the gulags, the fear of being sent off to die shoveling snow in Siberia, the famine, the disdain for bureaucrats abusing their power. She found it easy to believe that if she lived during the times of her elders, she would've hated it just as much, but it was... interesting hearing from a different, if not exceedingly unique, point of view. So he started out helping people but got caught up with those same bureaucrats.

    "Then what do you agree with?" she asked, an inquisitive light flickering in her otherwise emotively dead and neutral face.

     
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  10. Superman

    Superman DC Universe

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    She did not had the reactions he was accustomed to, but he knew she was listening nevertheless and that mattered a great deal to him. And he looked and was relieved that she had not reacted badly to his story, but wanted to know more about him instead. That brought a light in his own blue eyes as well.

    'The principles and the ideology the Revolution was built upon. That every person is equal, no matter their wealth, social status or background. And that we are all connected with each other and the happiness of one is intertwined with the happiness of all.' he spoke, clearly inspired and passionate over his beliefs and ideals. But his words had something of a personal note as well, noticing how unhappy Wanda was, but hoping she knew she was not alone and cut off from the rest of the world and she could share her burdens with it.

    Not that he expected it to happen right now and with him but he felt compelled to make it known in any case.
     
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  11. Wanda Maximoff

    Wanda Maximoff Marvel Universe

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    There was a flash of something. Not quite a smile just yet, but her face was a little brighter, softer than it had been for the past several days. It wasn't just his answer, but how genuine he looked and felt to her as he gave it. Even if Wanda was naturally cynical, even if the common worker probably wasn't treated all that equally compared to the high ranking party member even during his days, if someone like Kal couldn't afford to be an idealist, then no one could.

    Besides, her curiosity didn't end there. "What about... what you don't agree with? Would you have tried to change things?"

     
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  12. Superman

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    He noticed the change in her features and his eyes shimmered with hope. The ideology he believed in was
    always meant to inspire others into action, into dreaming of a better future and then making it a reality. It was why it appealed to him and why he had agreed to be the champion of the Soviet Union and all it stood for. Not being judged or ridiculed for that decision from outsiders was always welcoming. Though he supposed Wanda was not an outsider. No matter her distance, her strange inner powers and her unique gaze, she still felt more familiar than others he had met in Pandora.

    And perhaps that was why her question seemed the hardest to answer so far. He didn't want and couldn't speak against comrade Stalin, but he couldn't forget that his death had already created chaos amidst Party members that extended to the population. 'Well, that's the issue when it comes to the marxist ideology, isn't it? What right does a single person has to change things, especially when they have powers the people don't? I don't really want or think I am fit to lead the Party, even if some comrades have asked for it. I just want to help those who need it.' he stated, evidently conflicted and unsure about many things regarding politics.

    But he was never conflicted about using his powers for good.
     
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  13. Wanda Maximoff

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    … What right does a single person have to change things? "What right did Comrade Stalin have to micromanage everyone else?“ she posed, in the interest of devil's advocacy. But she was tired and didn't necessarily seek to change his views on somebody he knew personally, who she didn't.

    She was just tired.

    But his unassuming humility made him easier to talk to, despite or because of the… unique topic. So she tossed him what should've been as easy one, her chin coming to rest against her palm: "Do you think… your version of the Soviet Union is very different from the ones in most worlds?“ Her world, specifically, but she hadn't noticed too many discrepancies from the histories of other planet earths until he came along.

    "Well, I guess it already must be different, with you being there…"

     
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  14. Superman

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    Stalin rose from the Revolution. He was one of the proletarian revolutionaries, he represented the will of the people. I am not even a human.' he rushed to answer. Karl Marx and the other thinkers had not included aliens when they spoke about the proletarian revolution, which he really did not hold against them, because it was hard to predict Superman's appearance on Earth. But the fact still remained that having aliens ruling Earth nations was problematic and some would consider it straight fascism.

    He had thought hard and long about these things and there were not easy answers. Which was one of the reasons politics seemed so tiring to him as well.

    Her next question also required thought and knowledge that he did not possess. 'Possibly, but, I don't have enough information about other Soviet Unions to say with accuracy. Some things seem to remain constant, like the feud with the United States. I have certainly heard of Soviet Unions that were less powerful and accepted than ours. We had the support of an island of mythical Amazons, after all.' he spoke with a smile that betrayed fondness for Themiscyra, as he looked at Wanda.

    She could have been one of them back in his world. They were really tough on Stalin as well.
     
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  15. Wanda Maximoff

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    "How do you know he still represented the... will of the people?" she wondered, simply curious. Was his Stalin very different from the Stalin from textbooks, or the Stalin elders spoke of in her time?

    Her eyes squinted together when he mentioned the Amazons, that particular tidbit throwing her for a spin. "Oh..." Wanda mulled over the concept of that, before she finally let a slight yet sheepish smile edge onto the corners of her lips. What might've been her first smile since the one she shot at Pietro, for 'twelve minutes older'—and her last word to him had been 'Go'. The smile died as quickly as it came.

    "That's very different. I think it's ... possible, that I might be thinking of apples while you're trying to tell me about oranges," she relented.

     
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  16. Superman

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    The majority supported him and mourned him when he died.' he answered simply. There was opposition and voices against him, but it was a minority that was silenced fast. He did not agree with such methods, but his role, as Superman, was not to hinder the KGB's work. Perhaps he would have said more about that, to not give the false impression that the Soviet Union was a paradise, but it was meant to be one eventually and he still had hope in that dream.

    But he noticed how she brightened at the mentioning of Amazons and assumed she might have preferred to know more about a different subject.

    'I don't want to give the impression that everything was perfect. And I won't force my views on Stalin, or on anything else on you. That was what the Americans feared, but I never had any intention of doing that.' he told her with his own small smile. 'What are the United States like in your world?' he asked, knowing he mightnot liked what he heard, so he prepared himself to stay calm no matter what.
     
    #16 Superman, Aug 2, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
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  17. Wanda Maximoff

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    He was... definitely not who Wanda would've expected, from a Golden Boy of the Soviet Union. Then again, she never expected meeting any Soviet official in her lifetime, if Kal counted as an official.

    At his turn to question, uncertainty fluttered across her face. Last week, she would've been able to spit out a quick, easy, succinct, abrasive answer, but now... Her eyes fell her open palms on the table. Something had changed in her ability to judge and be judgmental. "I never lived here," she reminded him quietly, "but Barack Obama is the president. They like their AK-47s and bald eagles. Taylor Swift is also popular." She actually... didn't dislike Swift's music. "Is there anything... specific you're asking about?"



    THIS IS SO CONFUSING so i'm just gonna say obama, sry president ellis idk u
     
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  18. Superman

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    He noticed the changes in her face and waited with patience and all his best intentions to listen and understand. Barack Obama sounded an unusual name for an United States president, which he was not sure how to interpret but it did give off the impression of promising. There was a deep frown at the mentioning of guns and the violence he assumed was the consequence of them. Cowboy films were amusing and interesting, but that quickly changed when they blended with reality.

    'Um.. Who is Taylor Swift?' he asked cluelessly. 'And are there still acts of aggression and violence towards other countries?' he posed a much harder question to answer, his face entirely somber now.
     
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  19. Wanda Maximoff

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    As she spoke, she was practically blindingly transparent with how painstakingly she tried to appear impartial. Hemming and hawing silently, she gazed into her hands and furrowed her brows ponderously. "Obama is well regarded. Relatively. They gave him a Nobel Peace Prize. But the Americans still have ongoing wars, in the Middle East, I think over oil and terrorism. I think… they've started getting along with Cuba again." They weren't terrible. From, where she lived, the American Government hadn't been perceived as unwanted interference as much as those independent Iron Man drones. Another story for another time.

    Ostensibly eager to move on, Wanda rose up to look for her phone—she only had a phone so work could call her in for emergencies, and still hadn't gotten around to getting a computer (and wasn't sure if she ever would)—before locating and snatching it from the counter.

    "This is Taylor Swift," she said with a mild lift of her brows, turning on her most popular video on Starktube and sliding the screen toward him. And Shake It Off began to play. A ways into the music video, her stomach finally began to grumble in protest of her negligence. Hoping that the jaunty tune masked the noise, she settled back into her seat without a word and crossed her arms over her chest.

     
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  20. Superman

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    It was a difficult subject for him as well and he could not help but feel a tinge of guilt for asking about subjects that were obviously a cause of distress for Wanda. So he simply shook his head when she finished, assessing that it was far from an ideal future, but it did not sound like the total chaos he feared. Not great, not terrible.

    Then he followed her with his blue eyes and focused his attention on the video in the small screen. Despite being very alien compared to his own aesthetics, that were painfully strange and old fashioned to most people from the 21st century, he could instantly see the appeal. Taylor Swift was very charismatic and upbeat and while he missed the point of some lyrics, the overall message was pleasantly positive. His inner scepticism and raised eyebrows turned to a smile.

    'I like her.' he spoke with reserved enthusiasm and glanced at the suggested videos. Those were for afterwards. He had not forgotten about Wanda, despite how attractive the singer and her dancers were. 'I hope you like the paczki. They are very similar to doughnuts. I brought some with just sugar on top and the others have strawberry fillings.' he informed Wanda, raising his eyes from the screen to her.
     
    #20 Superman, Aug 5, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
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