1963-06-03 - How Punisher Saved the Civil Rights Movement
Summary: Jason Wyngarde almost succeeds in bringing down a leader of the black community.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
xavier bobby alex castelione 

1:47 PM

The weather here is hot; hot and sticky because of the wet humidity that makes you want to take a shower right after taking a shower. Xavier and his cohorts arrived here a couple of hours ago via plane, rented a car, and arrived at the makeshift SCLC offices in downtown Birmingham for a meeting with Dr. King. Xavier had the luxury of meeting the minister after the latter's trip to the north and they'd kept in touch and have become friends. Which is the reason that Xavier believes he has a chance to talk the young leader out of his recent plans.

Inside it's stuffy and full of political talk. Xavier is seated as a small table talking to King and another man.

Outside there's a group of African-American men hanging out, smoking cigarettes, while across the street another group of young males stare and give dirty looks.

"Hey boy!" one of the white men yells. "Hey boy! Why don't you go back to the plantation. Ain't all the cotton been planted, yet."

Back inside now, Xavier is looking desperate. "I don't doubt that you believe that, Martin, but I'm not sure that the ends justify these means. To put children at the forefront of this movement not only endangers their safety, it risks putting the opinions of minds across this nation against everything you are trying to do."

King sits back in his chair and crosses his legs while looking long at the Professor. "Children, like all men, need to have a stake in their own freedom. We'll not force a soul to stand up for their right. But we won't prevent it either."

Outside and down the street in a green sedan, three men, mutants, sit quietly as a giant of a fourth man leans up against the wall. Bulbous and tall, the man sips at a relatively small bottle of Coca-Cola soda pop.

For his part, Alex is dressed with a simple suit, dressed up enough to look appropriate and respectful, but more importantly, it covers his containment suit beneath. Just in case. He's inside with Xavier in the meeting, shaking his head slightly in bewilderment, "If a child, God forbid, ends up injured — everyone's going to turn against you. They won't see anything but a child used as a shield, and won't even try to look for who is really responsible." He's been quiet throughout the meeting, but at this point, he has to speak up. "Can't children have a stake — elsewhere? Surely there's a meaningful contribution they can make to be a part of the movement that doesn't put them in direct danger."

Politics. Boooooooring. While the Prof is talking with the Reverend, Bobby's out front, having bummed a smoke from one of the guys out there. Almost automatically, he's cooling the room down too since he doesn't like being hot and sticky. Not because of the weather anyway. At the yell, he looks over at the window and yells back. "Because your momma ain't there at the moment."

Xavier looks to Alex, and then back to Dr. King. The young man has come a long way since Charles first met him, and he asks the very question that was on his mind. Unfortunately, the minister doesn't get the chance to answer the question because both he and Xavier become aware of what's happening outside.

"What the fuck did you say, nr lover?" says one of them as he reaches into the back of his pick up truck for a baseball bat. The white men begin to move across the street with malice in their eyes and switchblades in their pockets.

Meanwhile the three men in the car begin to stir slightly. "Be ready, just in case, Dukes," says Jayson Wyndgarde from the back seat out to the large man against the wall. His odd choice in facial hair seems out of place in the current day and age, but his dress seems impeccable. His suit is a grey and his black tie is a bit more thin than a usual choice. "If we need to move, we need to move."

"Looks like everything is happening just as you'd hoped," says Mortimer Toynbee.

As the group of white racists moves towards the SCLC headquarters, one of them throws a soda bottle that smashes the closest window.

Alex is up and alert the moment that its obvious there's trouble brewing and bottles breaking are gonna get him clued into the situation going tense, and he's shrugging out of his jacket and laying it neatly over his chair without even really thinking about it. It's his favorite jacket. He holds back though, a questioning look turned to Xavier, ready to follow his lead more then rush into things head first. He's grown up indeed.

"Are you deaf as well as ugly and stupid?" Bobby sneers, turning to face the door. He takes a drag of his cigarette then drops it and steps on it to put it out before blowing a cloud of smoke into the air. "You're going to pay for that window."

"Your face is gonna pay for comin' to these parts, son," says another one of the young men who sticks his fingers out towards Iceman. Now that they've arrived, it's far too close for comfort and escalation seems evident. The SCLC men seem to be used to this. Rather than dip their heads low like men of yesteryear might be forced to, they hold theirs high. But rather than escalate, they say nothing, and look ready to take a beating and turn the other cheek.

Xavier looks out the window and holds his hand up towards Alex. <No> he tells Alex through his mind. <Non-violence is their credo, we would be ill placed to break with their beliefs.> In truth, it's also Xavier's belief. Nevertheless, he reaches for the door, and leaves it open for Alex to join him.

Meanwhile, Martin Luther King Jr. stops in his tracks. Out in the car, Jason Wyngarde has closed his eyes and holds his hand up to his head. Rather than join the commotion, King turns and goes into one of his assistants desks and opens the drawer. Though it doesn't belong to his assistant, and was placed their by Toynbee earlier this afternoon, the details probably don't matter. King takes the gleaming gun and slides into the back of his waistband.

Alex isn't really that good at not engaging, so he clenches his jaw as he steps through the door to follow Xavier to join Bobby outside. He has a firm nod to give to Iceman, even as he rolls his shoulders a bit, but softly he replies to Xavier, "Yeah, but we're here. We aren't just going to stand by and watch them get lynched, are we?" He has a dark, angry look for the white supremists, but he holds his temper in check.
It's gotten noticeably colder around Bobby though he's not iced up yet. Hearing the door open behind him, he casts a quick look over his shoulder before turning back. "Prof, you didn't say if we can play show and tell."

Click click clackity click. The slow almost melodic sounds of a man walking closer and closer. His pace measured and respectful as he moves closer. Little more then a pure black shadow walking down the street. A long flowing black trench-coat over a black undershirt and matching pants. The only thing that isn't that dull black a pure white skull looking out from the mask.

The figure walks closer seemingly unarmed before with a single swift motion something appears from within his jacket, a lever action shotgun. The pitch black facade of the device matching right in with the rest of him as he moves closer silent. He doesn't announce his presence, just simply pulls back the trigger sending out a slug right into the drivers side window of the racists pickup.

The wind picks up slightly around him showing the glints of metal, a walking armory coming closer to the building seemingly without a care.

"Is it working?" a slythery fellow in the passenger seat of the green sedan asks Wyngarde, turning around to reveal snake like eyes and neck.

"Button your trap," says Toynbee as he looks back. Thick black goggles stand over his poochy-dog face and under his combed forward hair style. "He hates it when you talk when he's trying to concentrate."

Everyone, well, all the White Supremacists, African-American cigarette smokers, Xavier, MLK in the building, the three guys in the sedan, and even big Fred Dukes on the street corner all flinch as the oncomer fires a shot into the empty pickup truck.

"What in the sam-hell?" asks Blob as he looks towards Wyngarde. The latter, whose link is broken now with King, tries to get his bearings. King, who no longer is being controlled by Wyngarde, realizes he has a gun in his hand and drops it. Immediately.

And Xavier stands, closes his eyes, and enters the shooter's mind. Suddenly he is overcome with a pain between his eyes he has never felt, and the strong desire to drop his weapon, get on the road, and put his hands over his head.

"The hell?" Alex gives the Professor a surprised look, then looks questioningly at Iceman, and man, he's just not quite sure what's going on at the moment. Still, he stands still, eyes forward and watching for the most threatening person — which at the moment's the guy in the mask, so it's at him that Alex keeps his center of direction on. Just in case. "Anyone else having the idea this is a powder keg about to go boom? I'm sensing a boom. A boom would be bad."

"What the hell?" Bobby asks, instinctively icing up at the sound of the shot. If they wanted to keep being mutants under wraps, that's no longer possible. At least for him.

The urge is there, that pain stronger then anything Castelione had felt outside of that shooting. He wants to throw down those weapons just to surrender on the spot, but there's something in him that just screams No. NO. NO! The shooter starts screaming out from the pain in his head firing off shot after shot into the empty truck as he forces himself to move on.

It is taking every inch of himself just to keep moving just to stop from dropping and he is screaming louder then he has outside of the war. "GET OUT OF MY HEAD!" He screams it in his mind and out through his mouth that gravely voice shouting to the heavens as he spins the shotgun round in his hand firing off another round right into each of the tires on the truck, turning his attention over to the man he'd been here to see.

There's so much negative emotion so much fire and hatred filling up this man to the brim that it's almost completely unnatural as he starts trying to shoot one of the supremacists from the group. Every motion of him filled with pain as he screams out. "Si vis Pacem, Para Bellum!"

Each moment of that searing unending pain throws him almost to the point of falling over only kept going by that inhuman drive that unnatural hatred deep down within his mind.

Xavier has gone to extreme lengths to avoid this sort of thing in the past. He is non-violent and, except for where Raven and Erik have pushed him, resisted turning the X-men into any sort of weapon.

He's also pledged to his friend, Martin Luther King Jr., his aid and assistance. Now that this looks as though it's about to turn sideways on his friend, Xavier feels awful, and feels worse for the millions of African Americans who stand to lose out because of one foolish and idiotic soul.

It has been his intent not to mess with the memories or the emotions of people around him. Never, except for in the worst of circumstances would he ever erase portions of people's minds.

These are those circumstances.

Now that Xavier has the shooter, he opens his eyes and looks to Bobby and Alex. "Bring him down, and we bring him in. Do not take his life. I will take care of the rest."

Down the road, the green sedan begins to squeal its tires as it heads off down the road, plans thwarted. Dukes saunters away, no one knowing the better.

Alex inclines his head to the Professor, and looks like he's about to let a powered blast of booming on the stranger with the guns, but on second thought, he turns to Bobby, cocks a quick grin and makes a by-your-leave gesture, "Think you can handle it, Bobby?" He seems to think Iceman can, his expression firm and confident.

Bobby nods and steps outside. Ice from both hands starts flowing toward the shooter, building up a cage around him. "Don't make me make it solid and cut off your air." he warns.

As Bobby takes charge, Xavier nods to Alex and closes his eyes. A soft bit of weak exhale comes from his mind. He can't control everyone, but chooses to go into the minds of the shooter, the white supremacists, and a woman down the street who has been watching it all, but does not have enough power to change the minds of everyone.

King stands confused as hell and kicks the pistol out of the way.

Frank stops in his tracks watching as that car go's off on its merry way. If he could think straight he would have gotten out the remote detonator and given them a bit of a surprise that they wouldn't soon forget. As it stands he's stuck here with that pain in his head that makes it hard to think, hard to run through the plan. Everything was supposed to be simple. Why didn't it work!

He stands there silently behind his mask quieting down the moment he can no longer move. His teeth grit together as he's held in place looking daggers through that mask of his as he focuses on blocking out the pain. One two three four in, one two three four out. It was enough to get him through the hell of the camps and worse during the war it had to be enough now to get him to be able to focus.

On the outside he simply stands there holding the shotgun idly in his grip leather clad hand balled up into a fist. The anger almost palpable emanating off of him.

Alex stays by Bobby, just in case the younger X-men needs some backup, but he does slip his hands into his pockets and watch as it seems evident the backup isn't needed after all. Still, better to be careful. So, conversationally, he remarks, "Well, I was thinking I might end up losing my shirt today. I didn't. I call that a victory."

"You could have just tore it open like Superman does in the comics." Bobby answers as he finished off the ice cage surrounding the shooter. "What about his guns, Prof? Leave em to the cops?"

Slow and methodical Punishers breathing, and training helps him to somewhat block out the pain. No intention of actually giving in and setting down that gun. He has a mission to stick with a holy war that needs carried out. There's not another word spoken that masked face simply looking over towards the rest of the group, something naturally unnerving about him.

Xavier opens his eyes as a dozen squadcars all begin to file in from the four directions. "Dr. King, I do believe it's best if you take your men and leave." The White Supremacists are already walking away in the opposite direction. "Alex? Bobby? I do believe it's time." He pauses, looks out over the trees and winces. Even though Bobby has made it cooler, there's still a great deal of sweat on his brow. "I never liked the south anyways."

"Charles," King says, even as his men are moving into the building to get to their vehicles out the back. "Mutants? I had no idea." Xavier shrugs his shoulders and smiles at his friend. "In some ways, our struggle is not that different my friend."

"I suppose not." King nods to Alex and Bobby before this gets too out of hand.


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