1963-07-24 - Too Many Secrets

The arrangements were they would meet somewhere safe, but Alex's idea of safe might not be the same as anyone elses idea of safe. They were told the general neighborhood with a payphone at a cross-strreets first, just so no one would have to fight across town, but a specific final destination was only given in a call from payphone to payphone an hour before the actual meeting. Its an industrial, warehouse type of district, but there's a number of cars on the street.

It's night, five past eleven, and there is Alex's car parked at the head of an alleyway. He's outside the car, leaning against it with his arms crossed over his chest. The young man is in a black turtle neck and black slacks, looking somewhat covert, but standing out after a fashion. After all, he's the face— and name— the secret government agency has, so he's supposed to get noticed.


The man with brown hair and a suit, seated in the back, is Charles Xavier. He looks out the window at Alex, raising his eyebrow slightly, before he sits back to make himself comfortable. He closes his eyes, trying to relax, and reaches out with his mind, seeing if he can pick up anything on those looking to meet them.


Having a meeting this late at night…it's not unknown, but it's also not usual for Sousa. He made sure he was able to tuck Mickey into bed before heading back into the city to meet back up with Fury to follow the directions for the meet. There's not a little amount of 'playing along' with the paranoid mutants but he's also made some of his own arrangements, especially should things go South.

He's wearing his prosthetic leg — not the Stark version, but the usual one he uses most often and also has his usual crutch rather than the more recent cane. Once Sousa meets with Fury he hands the man a key, "This is in case anything should…happen. Not that I think it will, but…" they don't know these mutants and they obviously weren't really trusting of him when he first made contact. "It's to a drawer in my office. There's an envelope for Peggy." Not 'Director Carter'.

The car ride to the pay phones and then finally to the meet site has Sousa offering the highlights of his intial meeting with the mutant(s) and appreciative comments about Fury's car. Once they reach the site, Sousa gets out of the car and limps his way to the other, perhaps noting the black on black clothing.


Sousa himself is wearing his work 'uniform' of a suit and tie with his holstered gun tucked under one arm. "Mr. Summers…it's good to see you again," is offered in a friendly tone even as he steps closer and offers a hand. "Interesting location you chose."


Bobby is seated in the passenger side just waiting and watching with the window rolled down. He followed Alex's lead in going for dark colors with dark jeans that shade of blue they come is that's darker than any of the others and a black tee shirt. When the car pulls up and Sousa gets out, he rolls the window up then gets out of the car. Staying on his side of it, he keeps an eye ont the two.


"If I didn't get you back to Director Carter, she'd have my ass. Just sayin'." The single-eyed man looks directly at Daniel before he breathes softly out in a huff. "Just, don't worry. Don't get crazy, and if you start havin' a problem, follow my lead."

It's the game of one phone to another, then, through the evening hours that annoys him the most. Does he understand it? Sure. Doesn't mean he likes it. "Jesus Christ, these fuckers are watching way too many spy movies, I swear," Nick grumbles. At least it's not on his dime. There is that. He's dressed in dark clothes, like normal, only now he's got a black hat settled atop close-clipped hair, giving more of a shadow to an already dark face.

A quick look is given to his partner, and once they arrive, the car door is opened and Nick "Effing" Fury steps out, and slams the cardoor shut (the only way it'll actually close). He pulls a pack of cigarettes out of a pocket and lights one from a pack of matches, and once lit, tosses the match away and puts the pack back. One drag, two, and when his erstwhile 'boss' approaches, he's able to bring up the rear.

Nick Fury is one calm, cool, collected guy; watching everything. His motive here? Determine if these fools are the bad guys, or if not, whether or not they could be of any use against any potential powered bad-guy.

"Summers." Nick isn't extending his hand yet, but he does make a point to check to see how many more might be in that car. He nods to Bobby in acknowledgment, if not greeting.


"This isn't where we're meeting. We're meeting inside— where I'll pour us some drinks, where we can all sit down relaxed and have a nice talk— and where I can be absolutely sure you don't have a team to pick us up or do something hasty. Don't worry. There's plenty of witnesses to keep us honest, too, on our way to the private room for chatting. Come along, everyone." He taps the roof to signal so the man in the car that its clear. "I prefer Alex." he offers to Nick with a pleasant enough smile, even if there's some tension showing on his features.

Inside? Inside where? Alex grins and gestures to the alley, and begins leading the way down that way. There's a stair down and a door, and a big man leaning by the edge of the stair. "Hi there." He extends his hand to the man and they do a handshake. There's something a little funny about the handshake, but its not obvious what. He then gestures at those with him, "They're with me."

And down the stairs to the door, as the door open some music can be heard, if faint. A lady singing. Walking down the hall, the music gets louder, until there's a thick curtain Alex pushes aside and leads the way in.

To the illegal underground drag queen bar where feds would totally stand out like a sore thumb. In fact, all of them do already. Suits and black on black just don't go here. And that was totally NOT a lady singing, though he— she— is dressed up quite flashingly at that. With a grin and a wave to the bartender, he leads them through the club to a side door, which he pushes open and gestures everyone inside of. Its a big, comfortable room with a private bar and some couches. And soundproofing, which is why there's a speaker piping music in from outside.


As the meeting looks to be coming to fruition, Xavier cuts a stark difference from Fury's bravado. He opens the car door slowly and gets out, standing quite a bit shorter than some of the others. He looks almost like a school boy in some respects. He smoothes out his coat and nods to Sousa and Fury. "Charles Xavier."

He follows along quietly before they get to a spot where they can talk. He'd known that this is what Alex had planned for their meeting, and was curious to their reaction, but he seems ready to get down to business.


Bobby back to Fury and waits by the car to escort Xavier. When he uses his name, the younger man gives him a worried look but shrugs it off after a moment. It's not like they'll remember it if the Prof doesn't want them to. "Call me Bobby. It beats 'hey you'." And the same reasoning applies though he's not in any hurry to supply a last name.


Another nod is given to Bobby when he emerges; he never got the other's name but he offers a greeting nonetheless. As Fury steps up behind him, Sousa offers, "This is Agent Fury," one of his colleagues he mentioned at the first meeting. He calm and collected, and just a little wary, as if expecting some sort of sudden move or surprise from the others. He doesn't want to draw his gun and there is a hope that they'll be able to get through this Mediation without incident. But he's still on alert. A nod is given as the third steps out of the car, "You must be our Mediator. A pleasure, Mr. Xavier. Agent Sousa." Another nod is given to Bobby, "Good to see you again, Bobby."

When they're told that they're going into an establishment, there is a flash of ire — that this isn't being taken seriously enough for them to have a private conversation, but the mention of a private room, he pushes that rise in temper down. The stairs down gets a weary sigh but he navigates them with ease, albeit slowly. When the actual interior and purpose of the bar is revealed, he casts a glance at Fury even as he clenches his jaw, back to the realization that this might be a waste of their time. It's late at night. He's tired. He is missing spending time with his family. He is -not- in the mood to be made a fool of. He'll follow where the group is led, however.


Yeah, great way to start. Distrust. Nothin' like opening some doors, huh? "Charles Xavier?" Beat. "Nick Fury." Nick looks at the man; Kurt had his card; and the vision of the blue mutant sitting across the dinner table handing over the card could easily be seen in the black man's thoughts. "Nick keeps quiet, however, and takes another pull on his cigarette, and with each step looks to see where they're going. Angle of approach, exit strategy and, of course, threat assessment. "Yeah, but they're -your- witnesses." It's the only thing he does say. Suspicious? Probably.

Nick follows through the club, and sure enough, he knows he sticks out like a sore thumb. He moves through the crowds, though, keeping his eye on the forward man. Now, he's got a man to protect; he's gone from 'just going out' to 'I have to keep this fool from possibly being killed' mode, and at least he's not surprised. Not in the least.

"You know, if the State finds out, this place loses its license." He looks around at the private room, brows lifting, "Soundproofing. Nice touch."


Closing the door after everyone is in, Alex explains, "It has no license, which is why it has a secret handshake. They'll close it down eventually, no question. Then the people will find somewhere else to be safe for awhile— after being roughed up and some thrown in jail, no doubt. A private room surrounded by a public, but secret and underground establishment, full of witnesses who have a reason to be wary of strangers and an unwillingness to talk to suits? There's no way you have agents in here. And I know where that door leads." He gestures to the other door across the room, then heading over to the private bar where he lifts up a bottle of bourbon and pours a glass, "Anyways, Thanks for indulging me, Agents. And yes, my witnesses, Agent Fury. Because you have me at a disadvantage so before I put anyone else in danger, I wanted some precautions. Perhaps excessive, but I'm not used to dealing with … anything like SHIELD. Secrecy was a very, very comfortable coat Agent Sousa here ripped away without so much of a warning. Anyone want a drink?"


"Oh yes, I think a drink would be fantastic, Alex," Charles says with a nod. "Gentlemen, my name, like I said, is Charles Xavier. I was notified of your interest in this pair of my associates recently. I was overjoyed to hear you might be interested in bringing them in to use their incredible skills in making our world safer. I was, however, very interested in the privacy of these two young men, myself, and others. In a sense, what I am interested in finding out, is your intentions with these boys and mutants as a whole." Charles is reading their minds after he seeks, fully focused on doing his best to keep his children safe. Not these two, these guys can take care of themselves. It's the others.


"That's pretty much the point." BObby agrees. Their witnesses for sure. The nature of the bar doesn't seem to take him at all by surprise and he just follows the others in, taking up the rear and nodding tot he bouncer outside the door. "Brandy Alexander." he tells Alex.


"You're right, Fury. Someone's been watching too many spy movies," Sousa offers aloud as Alex gives his little expectations. "Did you bring a white cat?" is asked with a little sarcasm to his tone. He moves to sit, not answering the question about a drink, but he's also trying very hard not to let his temper get the better of him. He's usually able to be the calm one and he knows he needs to be for this meeting.

"Mr. Summers. Do you honestly not remember meeting a young, blonde woman and giving her your name? Did you think that maybe other people have high levels of deductive skills? Or you even told her about your mutant research facility outside Manhattan?" Dark eyes then turn from Alex and Bobby to Xavier, "Is this a meeting or a social event?" He shifts some in the seat, trying to get more comfortable, "My interest in these two…this one, actually," he gestures to Alex, "Was making contact. I guess my question to you is: What are the mutants intentions as a whole?"


"Son, just keep an eye on who you're talkin' to about 'safe for awhile'. You know as well as I do that a suit don't mean shit." Rosa Parks was only a few years back, Medgar Evers was killed only last month. Lynched in Mississippi. Martin Luther King, Jr is slated to speak in Washington DC in two weeks, and Nick is more than ready to be there. Firehoses. Lynchings. Such is this man's reality. The country he fought for and made other people die in order that it could continue. "Or maybe that house that Kurt tells me about really is somewhere tucked away from the real world."

Nick settles into the room and shakes his head in the drink request. "No thanks. Just an ashtray and I'm good." He's already calculating probabilities of being able to get Daniel out should these guys be anything less..

Now, it's Xavier that Nick is actually interested in speaking with. This is the man to whom he wants to speak directly. "Now, what I'm interested in with making contact with y'all… there are things coming and to be honest, I'm not sure normal people with every day abilities would be able to fight. We're good, but I'm afraid that we're just not 'that' good. No one is. Not us. Not you. What I'd like to know is whether or not you're gonna hide in that school of yours and teach your students that it's okay to hide away, or if you're willing to come out and fight side by side with good men and women."


For his part, Alex pours five glasses on a tray with something brown— a decent bourbon as it happens— two fingers each, but doesn't make anything fancy. As he goes to Bobby first with a grin he hands it down, "No fancy bartenders in here, I only know how to order fancy stuff, not make it. You'll get bourbon and you'll like it."

Then he grabs his glass, and stares at Sousa with a mounting rise of astonishment, "I've met many young, blonde women, and its my usual habit to give people my name. I don't have a secret identity. That I'm Alex Summers isn't a secret, that I'm a geophysicist with a masters degree from NYU who conducts active research on my doctoral dissertation isn't a secret, and have I mentioned I do research on geophysics where I work outside of the city? Yes. Yes, I have. I have never in my life so much as uttered the words 'mutant' and 'research facility' in the same sentence until just now. If I ever heard someone mentioning a 'mutant research facility' I'd put it on the top of my list of places to actively avoid, if not break into and rescue all of my people who are clearly held against their will there. That I am a mutant is a secret no one knows, that I do not make a habit of telling people, and I don't demonstrate my powers to strangers, and I do not go up to random people I've met and given my name to and said oh, by the way, I'm a mutant. So, no, Mister Sousa, I have no idea who this woman is or how she knows anything she claims to have known— which seems to be half wrong, anyways."

That said, Alex nods an acknowledging nod to Fury, "I have to admit, the fact that Agent Sousa said his organization had a non-white man on the payroll said a lot of why we're even having this discussion now." He grabs an ashtray and heads over to offer it to Fury, but for his part, he downs one glass and then lifts up another and offers it to Charles. He's a bit stressed right now. Social visit? No. The alcohol is so he doesn't blow them all up. That said, he nods to Fury's words and doesn't offer his own opinion on what Xavier will say to Fury's inquery.


"Thank you, Alex," Xavier says as he takes his drink and takes a deep pull as things in the minds of these people start getting intense. "Agent Fury, if you do not mind, I will respond to Daniel first and then you second." Daniel? He introduced himself as Agent Sousa…

"Daniel, and I do hope I can call you Daniel. By the way feel free to call me Charles because we are about to get very personal."

Charles takes another drink from his glass and nods to Alex in appreciation of purchasing some high quality stuff.

"I feel like I can tell you my name regardless of your intentions because I can just as easily pluck it or any memory of this or any conversation from your mind and the blonde you speak of. We sit at the precipice between becoming allies and enemies and I downright prefer the former. You see, my power is to read and, if need be, control the minds of others. While I have scanned your mind and realize your intentions to be pure, you must understand that this entire interlude threatens everything in the world that I hold dear. I am not afraid for the safety of these two gentlemen, but rather the others, my other associates, some of whom are very young."

"You approach my family. Like any family man the reaction is to immediately protect. Just as you would of Marg—No, Peggy. She doesn't like Margaret, does she? Or Mickey. Or the young child still unborn in your wife's womb. If you threaten my family, Mr. Sousa, you will start a string of unfortunate events that will be a very, very bad idea."

"There will be no investigations into my school. Those are off limits. To Agent Fury's point if you would like recruits to fight alongside your new group, I would be happy to provide those who are willing and ready. Our goals are the same. Peace. We have an additional goal, to be left alone. After this meeting you can never mention my name. And you will not remember anything about my school. I do not mean to threaten, but you have backed me into a very tight corner."


Bobby snorts at Sousa's question then looks at Nick. "Tell me, what are the negros intentions as a whole?" Hopefully that should get the point made and he takes the glass Alex hands him to take a testing sip. Glancing down into the glass, he nods approvingly and takes a second one.


"Oh, for crying out loud," Sousa shakes his head, "I'm Hispanic myself. Really? Why are you making this into a race issue when I certainly am not." He somehow resists correcting Alex in his proper title of address. Perhaps it's a testament to self-control that he just lets Fury talk rather than let his frustration get the better of him. "So this is about how I found out about you? Fine." Sousa then digs around in a pocket and slaps a folded piece of paper down where all can read:

Kay was good. Fed her dinner as per your list, went over ABCs, helped her clean her room.

P.S. A former military officer Castelione Jr., is going around killing members of the mafia who use their influence to avoid the law. Your analysts have probably told you that already, as the news isn't hard to piece together. There is also apparently a mutant-led research institution based somewhere near NYC dedicated to seeking out and obtaining more mutants. Seems to have scientific ties, and appears slightly on edge. Met one member, Alex Summers, geophysicist. Had another mutant as a bodyguard. Deduced most of the details after a conversation with him. Seemed like the sort of thing I agreed to tell you if I noticed.

Be back tomorrow at the usual time.


It's a level of trust that he's giving to these three, showing them this note that mentions his wife -and- his daughter.

As Xavier addresses him, obviously pulling information that he certainly did not volunteer and information that only one other in this room might know, he stiffens, his hands stilling on the note left on the table.

This is why he gave Fury the key to the drawer of his desk. This is why there is a note to Peggy in it with instructions as to where his Will is located.

"We came to you to try and strike up some sort of agreement. A partnership and all you've done is threaten even though we -promised- not to divulge information. How are we supposed to trust you? To trust that you're telling the truth? I'm not the one who offered threats. I'm not the one who brought us into an illegal establishment, surrounded by people some of you apparently know, yet neither of us do. We came here, just the two of us, in good faith and we get threats and invations of privacy in return?" Is he upset that his mind was read? Oh, yes. But he can freak out about that later. A look is given to Fury, "I don't think they're interested in your group unless it's on their own terms. That's what I'm getting. I don't even know if it's worth discussing since apparently our minds will be wiped of the conversation when we leave."


Nick holds up his hand to forestall argument, even if it's pretty much there set upon their laps. "Mr. Xavier. Now, I know you didn't mean anything about mentioning the man's woman and child, and unborn. That's low, and would put you in a catagory of those lowlives out there that goes around swinging bats for a living." His voice is low and he leans forward in his seat just a little, "That woman happens to be my best friend, and she's a damned fine woman. And children? First you go on about how you read our minds and said we were cool, and now you come back with, 'Oh in case you're not really cool, I know all about your shit.'" Nick shakes his head slowly. "Not cool."

Now Nick lights his cigarette after gaining one; he nods his thanks as he pulls it over. He sits back in his seat, and stares at Charles for a long moment before a ghost of a smile creases his lips as he leans back, taking the first drag. If one isn't looking for it, it may be not be seen, but it is there. That's his goal. Work together for the commom good. He gets it, he does. Hiding is safe. Children have to be protected, and if there was some way that he could protect little Emma, Stacy, Debbie.. he would. And he does. (3 of the little girls that play out in the street in the summer out in Hell's Kitchen.) But they don't have that luxury. No sir. And he breathes smoke out and nods once, "That's all I can ask." Steve is on the team on his own terms, so yeah. As is he.

Though now, Bobby?

"Son, what school did you go to? Damn, son. Don't they teach you anything? I sure as hell know what the negroes of this country want, and I know who the leaders of the fucking factions are. I know what they're capable of doing and I know what could happen if one side or the other wins. You ever hear the name of Dr. King Jr? How about Mr. Malcolm Little? Probably a better name is Malcome X. You know, Nation of Islam?" Smoke blows out of his nose and Nick leans forward again. "We Negroes are out front about it. Our children are dyin' in the streets and there are groups out there that'll take our equality by peace or by force. But I know who they are. They don't scare me. What I'm concerned with is you all. Do you know your players, because we all got 'em."


Alex sips on his bourbon slowly, shaking his head with a slightly pained expression, "He is not bringing race into it, he is declaring mutantkind is as varied and impossible to generalize as the negro race is, as is the hispanic race, as is the white race. Perhaps more so. No one speaks for all of us. We are unique, and individual, and come from all walks of life with all sorts of values, and nothing unites us or binds us: mutation isn't a matter of lifestyle, or breeding, or character. Its, as far as we can tell, completely random. You're asking the impossible of us: to help you understand *mutants* and their intentions as a whole? We have no unifying feature. We CAN tell you what OUR intentions are, our individual intentions, and the values we hold dear, and the values we try to install into our students. We can tell you about the people we choose to associate with, human and mutant alike, and what our goals are. Those are reasonable questions. You can't ask to help understand mutants though, because … we aren't a single people except in one thing: we have power above that of baseline humans." Alex shakes his head slowly, "We are trying to find those in danger and bring them together, we are trying to make our people a people when we have no culture or history that binds us together. But every mutant we find is a new mystery. Their powers a new thing to discover and understand and unlock, a new thing they have to learn themselves how to master— and we can only guess at how to teach them, though with experience, we do the best that we can. We aren't meaning to threaten you, Mr. Sousa, only saying there is one thing we insist on above all else: the secrecy of the school. The safety of those children is our first responsibility first and foremost. After that… Its a question of you asking the right questions, if you really want to understand us. And if you want us to work for you."


"I would suspect that such a high ranking member of an international intelligence agency would show more serenity. Perhaps this is understandable, given that you now know I know as much if not more about your family than you know about mine, Daniel Sousa. I wish you absolutely no harm, but you having this information is an extreme invasion of our privacy. The Bible teaches us that an eye for an eye is never a good proposition, but sometimes to make your point you have to regress towards the mean. I hope you understand," Xavier says calmly. A quick nod of his head, "The place was one of their ideas, I believe. Figure it's that much harder to, how would you say? /Out/ mutants when you yourself stand the risk of being outed, if you get my meaning."

"You may think you did not threaten us, Mr. Sousa, but you being here is a threat to us. I understand you feel like you will keep your promises, but you come from a spy agency sir."

A finger comes up, "Well, whether or not and how much you remember about this conversation will be totally up to your emotions. So, it is no fait accompli."

"A man will do anything to protect his family. You understand this, Mr. Fury," Xavier says with almost a shrug. "It is important you understand the terms before we go any further. In our mind I've not acted any more aggressively than SHIELD has in finding and sorting us out. That being said, both of our groups want the same thing."

"Agent Fury, Martin King is one of my best friends. I encourage you to ask him about my character, if you have trouble deciding which side we are on."

Xavier sits back and ponders Fury's words and sits quietly about Raven. This has gotten so much worse since she left the school. Was that his fault? Was his inability to turn her back going to lead to the necessity of turning her in? His students are no threat, but what about his sister?

After a moment of quiet, Xavier nods to Alex, "Well put, my friend."


"Yeah, I have heard of them." Bobby tells Fury. "And I've met Dr. King." Granted, it was only to say hello while the Prof chatted with him. "And you think you can speak for them all? We a… What he said." he concludes with a nod to Alex.


"Safety of our children is our first thought, Mr. Xavier," Nick is perfectly honest in this. "Safety of children to go to school and not be barred from it by the government. The ability for our kids to play with whoever they want and not worry about what their parents will say other than 'Just as long as you get back by 8'."

Nick gives a look to Sousa and shifts in his seat; body language is saying it all. Nick is taking a bit of control here, and he's going to be gaining his feet now that there is an understanding.

"Mr. Summers, there you are wrong. Everyone is an individual, yes, but each individual looks to belong. That's why there's gangs. That's why there's clubs. You get some slick talking person who can stir a person up, and you know what can happen. I fought in the war and I saw what normal people became because of words. It's up to you all to take a close look at yourselves and figure out who those speakers are and what message they're sending. I know Reverend King's words and I know Nation of Islam's, and I know what I prefer."

Nick nods to Sousa now; Nick's ready to go. "You're a good man, Mr Xavier. But now it's time to find out if there are other voices out there that aren't so nice, because you're gonna need help. Just like the Negro."


Sousa notes Fury's body language and he let's the other take control of the meeting. As the other gets to his feet, so does he. The note is pushed towards Alex, "If it helps you feel better," so that others can't get information about him possibly being a mutant. He can do what he wants with it. He looks to the others, "I'm sorry we weren't able to reach a compromise, gentlemen. You have my card if you need to discuss anything." Using the crutch, he gets to his feet and starts to head out with Fury.

"He's right, you know. The safety of our children is paramount. After all, they're going to be the ones running the world when we're gone. It's up to us to teach them right. I hope your school is doing just that."


Alex offers a last thought, "Sorry, Agent Fury, but I'm not wrong. The problem is how you're defining the categories. Mutants simply aren't a category: not yet. Your mutant white supremecist who wants the negro back in his place is going to still belong to the KKK and now he has the ability to set fire to a church with a thought. The mutant preacher is still going to preach peace and love, even if now he can fly and preach this in one state one night and three states over the next. Yes, people want to belong, but mutantion doesn't change us into a new category. What it does, more often then not, is excludes the affected from all categories: and that's what we're trying to avoid at all costs, because those lost souls become angry, and disillusioned. They become dangerous. We're the category of last resort for humanity's most lost and alone. That's our school." Then he shrugs, "But, good evening. I notice we did offer to make available those who would be willing to work with you. We aren't the ones walking away from a compromise."


As Xavier sees the two men go he shrugs toward Alex, "Well that went well."

He takes another inhale of air and holds it, "It is like I always say, gentlemen. Good drink, good friends, good music. Let's go see what this place holds before it gets shut down, hmm?"


"They make great drinks. Honey, the bartender, sorta owns it." Alex nods his head, "Second best dirty martini's in town." He seems worn out by this entire endeavor, "I don't think we're going to be secret agents, Bobby."


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