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OOC - Question Meme!

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Ask me questions about my characters and I will answer. The meme is entirely OOC, questions and answers both. Use it as a fun time to find about about characters' choices, motivations, feelings, actions, or anything else you've been wondering.

ASK ME ABOUT: Mikhail


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  • What were Mikhail's parents like? Does he ever think about trying to contact them, now that he's broken away from the mob?
  • Beyond his family, is there anything Mikhail misses about Russia? Culture, food, whatevs.

- Kade Player

What were Mikhail's parents like? Does he ever think about trying to contact them, now that he's broken away from the mob?

Busy and warm. They have five kids and a bakery, and a lot of Mikhail's later childhood is filled with memories of things like taking care of his younger siblings and helping out at the bakery by sweeping floors or restocking. His family was close, but in that super busy way large families often have, where everyone is always doing something and there's never enough attention to go around.

He does think about his family, but the matter is complicated by several things:

  • He's in the country illegally and shadily, and while he misses his family, he doesn't really want to go back to Russia. He's a little scared of rocking the boat when it comes to that.
  • It's been seven years. That isn't to say that Mikhail no longer misses them, but the ache isn't really raw anymore. His little brothers and sisters are all grown up. His family has surely moved on without him. Would he even fit with them anymore? They wouldn't know him, not really. He wouldn't know them. I think that a subconscious part of him needs to hold on to them as they were, for fear of losing even that part of himself.
  • He's been part of the mafia for seven years. No, he wasn't the guy shooting people or stealing things. But he was the guy making that possible. He was the guy who helped his tiny branch grow from nothing to something substantial enough to try to grab territory in the middle of Manhattan. He talks like he was a slave, and he was, but at the end of the day, he still feels responsible. He second guesses all the things he didn't do, or didn't know how to do, to stop it. There's a lot of guilt that's burrowed deep in his soul. If he contacted his family, he'd have to admit to what he's been all these years.
  • He talks about being confident in his escape from the mafia, but the truth is that he's still terrified (this is part of what his power exploration is about), and he knows that he's a prize big enough to cause trouble for. When he was taken the first time, before he even knew what he was, he was with his younger sister. It seems very likely that contact with his family could result in real trouble for them. They're within the reach of the larger organization in a way he's currently not.

Beyond his family, is there anything Mikhail misses about Russia? Culture, food, whatevs.

Sure. I mean, he misses the familiarity of the food, of conversations in his native language, of the shape and feel and smell of his old apartment. It's crazy what you can be nostalgic for.

He misses Vitaly. He misses the man himself - his only real company for several years - and the things they used to do together. They played a lot of games, talked about books, watched movies together. Mikhail had a more than little crush on him. He still does. He worries about him.

He misses the surety of knowing that everything around him in genuine and not a response of his powers, although his opinion on that is fast changing. He's starting to think genuineness is maybe overrated.

Mikhail has had a rough (if fascinating) life so far. Is there anything about normal(er) life in particular that catches him really off guard or he has trouble adjusting to?

If he could have any other power - what would it be?

Mikhail has had a rough (if fascinating) life so far. Is there anything about normal(er) life in particular that catches him really off guard or he has trouble adjusting to?

Yes, although I'll be honest, I'm often kind of terrible about playing them. Mikhail had a really weird life in that he was exposed to very, very few people, but a lot of media, which means he's 'seen' a lot of the outside world but experienced very little of it. He also was a prisoner, but a prisoner of value, which means that he was restricted in some ways an indulged in others.

So the things he struggles with: Crowds in which he's meant to be a person instead of a shadow (X-Factor gatherings are often overwhelming for him), people who don't react according to his expectations (born from both movies and his increasing experience with his persuasive power), his own emotions.

He's turning into quite the little mood-swinger, and part of that is, I think, about the fact that he's never had to deal with many of these emotions before - or if he did, they were smaller and simpler. He simply didn't have that many people in his life to get angry at, or frustrated with, or happy with, or to be attracted to, or do be disappointed in.

Sometimes the choices overwhelm him, too - places to go, things to do, food to eat - but mostly he just loves that aspect.

If he could have any other power - what would it be?

Telepathy, hands down. Although if he thought about it too much, I'm not sure he'd exchange luck for telepathy. Telepathy is more powerful in that it controls actual actions. But luck can influence a lot of things beyond people's intentional choices. But telepathy is one of the few things that makes him legitimately terrified in a guttural sense, so having the same weapon to slash back with would be awesome.

Why you so into Lexie, Mikhail?

Why you so into Lexie, Mikhail?

There are several factors at play here. The first is that she was one of the first people he saw after his escape, and she's a hot girl. That's kind of a great first impression.

She's also one of the very few people to directly offer him sympathy, or even talk about it at all. In their first meeting, she looked right at him and told him she was sorry that happened to him. I'm not sure anyone else has done that for him, and it struck a deep and lasting cord.

She also did a lot of just general-- like, if you reread that scene (This one!), you'll see all sorts of lifelines that she throws him. She tells him the things he made the mafia lucky for weren't his fault. She asks about his family. She asks him what he wants for himself.

All of these things stuck with him in a very real way. Most of the other people he's met have barely acknowledged his years as a prisoner, if they do at all. And most the time he'd rather that, because it's awkward and horrible, but there's something to be said for the one or two people who know something of that aspect of him. Lexie saw him early on, and she talked to him about it, and it created this sort of false intimacy and yearning in Mikhail.

And she's really hot, you know? And clearly into Russians, so.

Mikhail and telepaths. TALK TO ME ABOUT THIS. He's very reactive, yet there are ways in which his mutation manipulates other people that are not dissimilar from telepathy. Is he aware of that?

How does Mikhail feel about working with XFS?

Mikhail and telepaths. TALK TO ME ABOUT THIS. He's very reactive, yet there are ways in which his mutation manipulates other people that are not dissimilar from telepathy. Is he aware of that?

Mikhail's telepathy aversion comes from the fact that a telepath is the person who took him and controlled him, and thinking about this carefully, it seems to me that early on, Eva must have done some broad and sloppy complete rewriting of Mikhail's own desires. She's not a very good telepath and never had a teacher, which means that getting him to do what she wanted - or not do what she didn't want - was clumsy and heavy handed and probably really terrifying.

Later on, she stepped out of that role both because Vitaly came on board and because she no longer trusted her ability to consistently overpower Mikhail's unless she was always, constantly on watch.

Mikhail is terrified of telepathy because that, plus nullifiers, are basically the only mutations he can think of that sort of checkmate his own. Telepathy means loss of control and loss of self and loss of autonomy.

The similarity is not lost on ME. There is definitely an element of becoming the thing you fear in Mikhail's journey. The combination of terror and sudden freedom and lots of power is a very heady thing, and Mikhail is young and has been repressed for much of his life.

As for Mikhail, I think he'd argue harder. He's aware that aspects are the same - he wrote about it some in his last journal - but he's pretty sure he can't make someone do something they absolutely don't want to do. Although now that I type that, I think he goes back and forth depending on what he wants. For example, he wants Lexie to want to kiss him, and so he angsts about it. But he doesn't care whether Luka wants to help him or not, so no angst.

But anyway, tipping someone toward something they're kinda inclined toward anyway isn't nearly as evil as completely rewriting their desires, or shutting down something they're trying or thinking. He doesn't create things, he just makes them more likely. Totally different.

Telepaths are definitely the worst.

How does Mikhail feel about working with XFS?

He barely does, to be honest. He makes most of his money these days through nefarious means (by which I mean gambling) and a little through bussing tables. He does just enough for XFS to stay on the payroll because XFS makes him feel safe, and they're the only people he really knows, and after so long with only a few people in his life, he feels clingy. So he hangs out at the office a lot more than he actually does jobs - it feels like a place he can maybe be safe and comfortable.

He needs what familiarity they provide, especially people like Kade and Lexie. Even at XFS, he often feels like an overwhelmed outsider, but at least they're a fairly small group who kind of know where he came from.

He has no particular feelings on what XFS does - he spent half of his life in such a bubble that he's kind of outside this 'use or do not use your mutation' debate. It just doesn't resonate with him. But he likes the people, and he is grateful to the people, and he likes that many of them seem to be, y'know, less terrible than the Russian mob, what with taking them down and all.

What does Mikhail find most interesting or enjoyable about his new life? (LOOK A HAPPY QUESTION.)

What does Mikhail find most interesting or enjoyable about his new life? (LOOK A HAPPY QUESTION.)

I feel like maybe 'freedom' is a too-easy answer, but in many ways, it's the only right one. Mikhail enjoys being able to wake up in the morning and leave his apartment. He enjoys deciding whether to turn left or right. Whether to have pizza or hotdogs. Whether to see a movie or go to the park. Whether to speak to someone or make them ignore him.

He enjoys choices.

He enjoys having things to choose from. He enjoys variety, in food, in entertainment, in people. He enjoys new experiences.

He also enjoys power - the power that comes with being able to choose, when you almost always get the thing you choose. Probably a little too much. Maybe a lot too much.

What did Mikhail occupy himself with while in the Russian's captivity? That kind of experience of being kept in a single place can breed interesting hobbies.

The whole world is open to Mikhail now - does he have any idea's what he'd like to do with his new found freedom? There's been a sense in some of the recent scenes of him playing with his newfound power.

What do you think he might have gravitated towards if the Russian's hadn't taken him?

Unrelated sidenote: We should scene him and Ian together again. Their first encounter was really interesting and basically left Ian worried about the kid. What did Mikhail think of the random act of kindness?

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