1963-11-30 - Life Lessons
Summary: Life lessons come in the form of Lily Chambers.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
scott jean magneto 

Scott has arrived.


The day after Thanksgiving. Most people are with their families, especially considering the week's Trying events. Those who don't have family, or perhaps aren't wanted by their families, are here. For Erik Lensherr, this place is is family.

He's currently seated on a comfortable chair, catching up on the week's newspapers. A mug of hot tea sits next to him, along with some fresh apple slices and a biscuit.


Scott Summers has been reading all morning, hoarding any newspaper that's been delivered to the mansion like a mother of five keeps food during a siege. He pulls in everything he can about what's happening with the investigation into the death of the President and the arrest of Loki of Asgard. Moreover, he has several books on Norse mythology when he's done with the newspapers. It's going to be a long day, for certain. Good thing the school is on break.


Jean at least, was the nicest person around. She came with gifts from home at least; her mothers baked peanut butter cookies with actual peanuts in them! And a few rocks of chocolate no less. Still steaming hot due to the hand that rests beneath the pan. Entrance into the library stops that however, precious books were awesome commodities that she did not want to burn. Plus she wanted to borrow a few later.

There was also the six pack of bottled coca-cola that she carries, both soon sat upon the table in front of Scott, a light pat to his shoulder and a brief messing of his hair carries her off towards the bookshelves to scan. It was really a quiet, and sombre day. Jean liked quiet.


Mid apple, Erik notices someone else, with an entire stack of papers. An eyebrow rises; this explains where the rest of them have gone. His eyes then notice the stack of books, prompting him to fold his paper, gather his cup of tea, and move toward Scott's table.

As he draws closer, Erik is able to read some of the titles upon the bindings. "Norse Mythology?" he asks. "Studying up on Asgard, I see."

Jean receives a cursory look and a brief nod. "Miss Grey."


"Figure that now is as good a time as any," Scott says, hair mussed, as he reaches for a coca-cola left by Jean. He opens it with a lighter from his pocket and leaves the cap on the table with a tinny click. He tips the bottle to her in salute, and though he is ultra uptight about his hair, he doesn't seem too eager to make a move to fix it in this case.

"You think they're real, Erik? Or do you think it's a bunch of shit?"


If one were to whistle quietly, she'd be doing it. There was no sense in trying, but .. still. The mention of Asgard has her all sorts of piqued, even going so much as just to grab a random book which was soon brought to the table, the two men joined with quiet nods of greeting. The book she grabbed? An encyclopedia. Of animals. Greaat.

"They're real." Jean says quietly. Nevermind the fact that she was just offered a magic fun time ride on the back of a wolf to some .. Nine-Realms type dealio to meet someone named Hem-haws. "I've met Loki before. Just once though. Thought it was one of my nightmares again."


With a small gesture of his hand, Erik lifts the cap using a small, magnetic bubble, and sends it soaring off to a nearby trash bin.

Erik sets down his tea, before shifting some papers out of the way and taking a seat. The question earns a look that is quite serious, one that turns toward Jean. "Quite real, I can assure you," he echoes. "And there is a very real chance that the realm of Asgard may prove to be more dangerous than anyone would like to admit. I…"

Erik's words trail off. In moving the papers, he exposed an article he hadn't read yet, one easily missed from the day of Kennedy's assassination.

'Sacramento Mutant Town Burning'


"Do Asgardians come off as the type to pop off a President just for fun? Or is this some sort of conspiracy like they are claiming? That's what I would claim if I were accused of something like that," Scott responds with a shrug.

"And when did you meet Loki?" Scott says, suddenly realizing that Jean definitely rolls with a different crew than him. Competition is fierce, he thinks momentarily. Better raise his game.

The Sacramento thing, Scott's already read about. Shocking, the number of dead, but the young man ended the story with believing it to be predictable.


Jean finally pulls out the chair, slowly settling down as she nearly begins to recant the tale. "Well.." Since Erik trailed off, she shrugs her shoulders at Scott. "I want to say a month after Charles took over my care." She wasn't going to speak on their integrity however, the two that she's met never really did seem all that.. harmful. Joker, yes. And another one had dogs following him around. But it was with the sudden idea, she gets it. "Well, I was offered to go traveling to some places that.. they're connected to by one of them. Do you want to go?"

Jean didn't read the Sacramento thing, but she can read people. There was no choice. There was a slight stillness in the air that slowly has her rising to try to lean over the table. "Professor Lensherr.."


Erik snatches up the article and begins reading.

/The California capital's mutant community burned to the ground after riots began at nightfall. Angry protesters took to the streets with molotov cocktails and tanks of gasoline, burning down shoppes and apartment buildings in the small but bustling haven for mutants./

/According to the Sacramento Fire Department, 147 mutants died, half of which occurred in an apartment tower that went up in flames. When authorities arrived on the scene they found that all of the exits had been chained shut./

By the time he's finished, Erik has gone eerily silent. He sets the paper down slowly. In his eyes, a festering fire burns behind dampened lower lids.

When Jean speaks to him, the fire burns a bit brighter. "I'm going there," he says, decidedly. "There… may be some who still need help."

Somehow, he doubts it.


Scott's eyebrows raise. He's an X-man now. He has a uniform and a codename and everything. He's not going to let this opportunity pass him by. "If you're going, I can help." Helping out other mutants seems to be his raison d'etre of late.

He stands, getting the papers back in order.


Jean places her hands flat upon the table, her eyes lowering just a touch in attempts to read the surface thoughts of Erik. This only proves to try to read the article through his eyes, since reading upside down has become a feat as of late (read: lazy). It is a question if she picks up anything else, but the emotions were palpable. Even the ready made decision influences her words as she slowly draws herself upright.

It wasn't as if she had anything else to do. She really didn't. Holidays were in full gear and this was tragic. And this was a mission, clear and official from one of the leaders from the school even if it wasn't asked. "Me too." No doubt. No fear.


Erik looks from one to the other. He knows that Charles, Moira and Crystal all have their hands full, with SHIELD, Weapon-X, and royal diplomacy. It would seem that this task is upon them.

"Well then. Jean, Scott… suit up, and meet me in the hangar."

Not long thereafter, Magneto comes into the X-Men underground bunker. He isn?t wearing the conventional uniform of the X-Men; he hasn?t worn his in some time, and the old one doesn?t fit anymore. Instead, he wears a jumpsuit in black leather, complete with a deep purple cape draped down his back. A small, shining metal sphere floats over his shoulder as he walks toward their prototype aircraft, looking for the others. Behind him a cart floats above the ground, packed to the rim with first aid kids, field rations, and canteens filled with water.


Scott stops a moment to be sure that his new suit looks alright as he stares in the locker room. He too has a black suit with yellow trim lines and has changed his knew visor from chrome to golden. He toyed with the hood, but has let it go for now, preferring to keep his head free of inhibitions when his neck turns.

Satisfied with the look, he joins Erik out by the plane and looks for Jean expectantly.


It was settled. Nevermind the grave feelings that she felt at the moment, but she was there. The book was returned, cookies taken to her room, soda as well. Leave nothing out, especially if she didn't get a chance to have her own piece..

But she arrives in due fashion, a little bit after Scott. Her own black uniform carried no trails of any color, favoring the dark look for now. Though there were gloves, a hood of her own and boots that somewhat resembled heels, she looked akin to a form-fitted cat burglar sans mask and a belt full of tools.

She offers a little smile towards Scott, red hair tugged and pulled, wrapped into a ponytail which soon converts to a bun. "Looking good, bright eyes." She compliments, not really stopping to wait for replies as she heads onto the Blackbird to find a seat.


"Looks as if it's just us," Erik tells the others once they've boarded. The cart settles in the cargo hold, and is secured by heavy belts that secure themselves to each other (thank you, metal clasping rings), binding the precious cargo. As he walks toward the cockpit, his hand reaches for the cart behind him, and three compact radio transceivers rise, two of them floating toward Scott and Jean. "Once we reach California airspace? Codenames only."

The Blackbird's controls are eyeballed. He knew how to fly the machine, but it's been a while. "Well," he says, looking toward the cockpit seat. "I don't suppose either of you have piloted the 'bird within the past year?"


Scott gives Magneto a pained look as Jean passes up into the plane and mouths the words, "So hot" as he leans back in mock pain. Not so begrudgingly, he follows in after her and gets buckled. He reaches out to grab the radio and affixes it to his ear and the side of his uniform.

And then, Magneto says the magic words. Scott is quick to jump in. "I've never "actually" flown it, but I've done a ton of flight simulation. Additionally, with your powers, you could assist if anything were to go wrong." Come on come on come on come on come on.


Well, the infamous trio were going on a trip. Jean buckles in and practically wiggles in delight, obviously misplaced for the hell that they were going into. It's been a long time since she's been on one, but man. This is going to be great! So awesome! She thinks outloud.

'You lie to yourself.' The thoughts come back.

This killed her resolve almost immediately, her expression grown somber as she looks up towards the two. "Um.." Can she fly? Nope. But since Scott pretty much blasted his skills, she was going to siphon some good ol' fashioned knowledge! With a wiggle of her fingers, she reaches forward to press a slight-mocking finger against Scott's shoulder.

"Don't leave me out. I'm sure I can hold the plane up too!" Stealstealsteal. "And now I know how to operate a flight simulator." Thiefthiefthief. "Are you hot?"


Magneto just stares at Scott for a moment or two. Did that actually just happen? He looks toward Jean, noting for the first time that she likely has a figure most men would find appealing.


With a gesture toward the pilot's seat, Magneto surrenders it and claims the co-pilot's chair. "A powerful argument," he agrees. Then, while pulling on his restraints, he leans over and whispers, "And if it keeps your mind on the mission…"

Magneto leaves the pre-flight to Scott Summers, Pilot Extraordinaire. Instead, he busies himself with looking over the ancillary functions; radar, scoping magnification cameras, and the like, to make sure they are in working order.


"Totally focused, boss," Scott says as he nearly leaps out of his seat and holds his hand out to Jean. "If you know so much, then you can help," he says with a grin, somewhat sure she's digging into his brain. Be careful what you wish for, Jean Grey. You never know what you might find.

"Shouldn't take more than a moment to get it started. It has a remarkably quick warmup time. I think that was by design," he says, perhaps to himself, as he flips all sorts of knobs and switches.


Jean didn't find anything! Honest! Just flight simulations, and maybe a self image of himself surrounded by stars. Maybe.

But once the hand was offered, she jumps to the chance, unbuckling herself as she moves forward whilst taking his hand to use him to help herself up. She was all grins again, waiting until they were seated, keeping both elbows upon the chairs that were occupied, not moving to press a button but drawing her eyes all along the cockpit with a slight purse of her lips.

"What does this button do?"

It automatically sinks into place, which causes the entire surroundings to shake. The doors were opening for them to ready themselves for flight, the basketball court drawing in and parting it's ways to reveal the open sky.


"It does that," Magneto points out, and nods upward toward the ceiling.

Which gives him a particularly vicious idea.

"You two want to have a bit of fun, do you?" he asks. "Allow me."

Magneto unstraps himself then, and moves back behind Jean and Scott. "Excuse me," he says to the young woman, until he's just out of the cockpit itself. Then, his face forms an expression of pure focus.

Loose metallic items suddenly leap up toward the ceiling, and a static buzz fills the air. Magneto holds his arms out to either side, his jaw pressed together tightly, and the Blackbird begins its rise while the engines are still warming up.

"Mister Summers, I will increase the airspeed until you are ready to engage the engines."

The Blackbird rises silently, and begins spinning toward the west. Magneto's arms move along with it, a clear display of his magnetokinetic control. Then, with a lurch, the aircraft begins speeding westward.


"Excellent, I can t—" But just then, Scott can feel the visor rip from his face with no warning. The cabin lights up with the red of the massive concussive force. He shuts his eyes immediately, and prays that the front of the Blackbird does not tear away in a million little pieces.


As Erik moves from his co-pilots seat, Jean makes way, sliding this way and that, finally planting herself into the seat right next to Scott. "This is exciting.." She says, fingers bunched up into fists as she begins to wiggle-dance in her seat. -Someone- was too happy about this, and she made it known, a little hum upon her lips as she flip-flips the switches, then buckles herself in. As the air-craft begins to move, she takes a look back, her brows widening considerably.

How he does it with no headaches at all is a wonder! "You have to show me how to do that. Like.. not make it hu—.."

It was a sudden catch. The typical eyes of fire blazing bright as her hand strikes out to fan a telekinetic tilt to aim a wall in front of them. If the front end of the Blackbird was blasted out? Jean would make sure that no glass or metal would fall and cut them while they sat. It was a tight hold, that wall itself pressed, replacing the glass itself as the metal curls inward to prevent spikes and shard pieces from flying out. It was a quick hack fix, one that she'll had to hold while they were flying.. looks like she was going to get her lessons soon!

With a nervous glance aside, the floated visor lowers itself to Scott's waiting hand, an awkward smile upon her lips as she stammers out. "L.. look..s like you're somewhat on your own now.." Somewhat. Magneto was still flying!


Erik darts his head toward Scott when that blast lurches out. He does not lose focus, but the aircraft does buck to the side for a moment while it continues its acceleration. "What on Earth was that?" he asks, peering at Scott, flinching as the blast impacts the front of the plane. "You mean you can't control those things without the visor?"

Irritation is clearly evident in Magneto's tone. This is off to a swimming start. He looks on as Jean creates her quick fix, patching the hole that forms just inches from where the glass window is placed. That will have to be addressed before they reach the West Coast. Fortunately, he has an idea in place.

"Airspeed check?" he asks, urging Scott to get back on the ball now that Jean has the hole under control.

Inertia still suggests the aircraft is accelerating at a rapid pace.


Jean has partially disconnected.


"Yeah. That's exactly what I mean," responds an irritated Scott. "Which you might have figured out over the course of the year I've lived in the mansion. And you could also do better than to mock someone for their powers. Assuming you're one of us." Pissed off, now, Scott reaffixes his visor and sits quietly. Oh, to have an 'I'm with Stupid' shirt right now.


"Uh…" Jean.. pretty much says. In fact, she was full on in avoidant mode. She didn't hear anything, she didn't see anything. Focus on keeping that little gap closed as to not blow them out of the cockpit. Ayyyeeep.


"Alright," Erik answers in a short manner. "My fault." At least there's some honesty, there. "Perhaps I can work with Dr. McCoy to create a set made of hard plastic."

Doesn't sound as if he's joking.

The aircraft soon reaches proper airspeed velocity. "Engage the engines. Once I can feel the thrust, I'll let go. Just like popping the clutch. Then we'll get that mess patched up."

Whatever he's plotting, it doesn't exactly sound pretty.


"Alright," Scott says from a distance, engaging the engines as requested. He flips several of the knobs and takes hold of a red handle in between two of the seats. He pulls back on it, pulling it around the circumference of the semi-circle slowly, bringing the engines on line and increasing their output.


Still holding the hole closed, Jean looks back towards Magneto, and then towards Scott. There was a little bit of awkwardness in the air, but.. you know what? They're going on a mission! "This is fun, right?" She says towards Scott, leaning in with a reach out to lightly tap his shoulder. "Right?" She settles in her seat then, attempting to get comfortable, keeping that extension of herself busy. "I mean.. despite what's happened. This is cool." She was musing now. "This is like what, my second mission? Your first? His one-hundreth?" She nods, gazing out towards the sky. "Suh-weet."


Once the aircraft is moving beyond his control, Erik gently lets go his magnetic push, putting it completely under the capable hands of Scott. The transition is surprisingly smooth.

He then shifts up to stand next to Jean, and gestures toward a set of train tracks that head west and into country. "Follow those tracks," he tells Scott.

Assuming the young man follows his direction, they will eventually come upon a long cargo train, headed for the mountains. Erik glances toward Jean. "Just hold it for a few more moments, Miss Grey," he encourages her, before peering down at the train below them. "Try not to gain much more altitude, Scott. We're going to borrow some raw materials."

A beat.

"This is hardly my hundredth."


Scott gives a solemn nod and keeps the bird over the train tracks. He looks down at his panels for a moment before setting the speed so that he cannot vary it in any way. The effect is to give the plane the same speed and altitude, varying only by the landscapes ups and downs.


The hold itself was solid, made by the slight annoyance of her hand outstruck to keep it there. There was a slight wince, her hand slowly withdrawing as she tests the waters, waiting to see if there was any blow back from her removal. Nope! TK still in place! We are a-go! She was still holding onto that concentration, glancing up towards Erik with a slight nod, quiet now until he finally speaks.

In which she blurts, "What're you? Fifty?"


"Yes," Erik says, focused on the train below. "Good work." He looks from Scott to Jean, and frowns at her remark. "Thirty three."

He watches it for another moment, judging and calculating some factors in his head, before abruptly moving toward the back of the cockpit. His hands rise, and he closes his eyes.

There is a grunt, and a moment where he's pulled backwards, but then he seems to 'catch' something.

Down below, the train's wheels scream in momentary protest, but they remain betracked.

Upon a cargo car bearing long, thin steel plates, the chains keeping them in place begin to loosen and rise into the air. There is a hum of energy around the car, and the topmost plate rises into the air, before the chains secure themselves around their cargo.

In the Blackbird, Magneto's hands and arms move and twist, as if conducting a symphony. His jaw is tightly clamped, eyes closed in focus, until the plate rises up to match the Blackbird's speed. It turns on it's long axis, so as to maintain aerodynamics, then pulls closer to the damaged fuselage.

"Hold on!"

With a tug, the plate secures itself against the aircraft. Magneto splays his fingers apart, causing the overlapping edges of the plate to rip apart and pierce the aircraft in safe places. These ribbons wrap back around themselves and pierce fuselage and patch alike, creating makeshift knots. Then, with one final push, the knots themselves are magnetized, securing the job and creating a relatively aerodynamic surface.

Erik sighs and sits back, visibly exhausted from the affair. "That will do."


As all of this goes down, Scott is having trouble concentrating. The Professor is the young man's hero; the person he looks up to most in the world. And he trusts Xavier's judgement in totality. Still, something is beginning to severely worry the young man from Alaska.

First the haphazard use of powers is something they train themselves to prevent. Then, Mr. Lensherr just ripped a bunch of metal off a train to cover his mistake. Essentially theft.

What in the hell is going on here? Is this the sort of thing that usually goes on with the X-men?

He sits quietly, making mental notes of all of this, and merely wraps his hands tighter on the controls as if he's searching for something he can control.


Jean wasn't as forward thinking as Scott. Nope. She remained in the co-pilots chair, keeping her eyes upon the damage until it was rectified by the manipulations of Erik. There was a little smile there, her hand drawing down, her own eyes closing as she presses against her temples to rub in circular motions. "Cool.." She says quietly, finally opening her eyes to unbuckle herself to stand from the co-pilots chair, squeezing through the little opening and stumbling to a fall upon the floor to find herself a seat other than the front! There was a slight cackle, a quiet laugh, and soon a push up into one of the side chairs and a buckle in.

"Mission.." She sings quietly. "..save some peoplle…" She snaps her fingers idly. "..yeah yeah.."


The rest of the flight is relatively uneventful. As they draw near to the west coast, however, Magneto emerges from the cabin. He looks from one to the other, then rests a gloved hand upon the back of Scott's seat.

Oh yes, Erik has perceived the young man's tension. He's spoken not a word of it, but he's also recognized something in him; something that could use a bit of nourishment.

"The way I see it, we have two options. Land the aircraft in the wilderness and take the car in." He nods to the Buick stored in the cargo bay. "I can tow the supplies, but it will cost us time. Plus, the California landscape will be unforgiving in landing such a craft as ours." He looks between the two. "Or, we land in Mutant Town, or as close we can get."

His attention then falls solely upon Scott. "Your thoughts, Mister Summers?"


"I believe that under the current condition the plane can handle the trip back home for repairs," Scott says as he looks over the controls. "If it were up to me, sir, I would move ahead with the mission." He looks over to Jean, quizzically, wondering her thoughts.


It could have been that Jean was smart enough to avoid the tension by creating her own little song and dance. A song that was in essence a battle song, a little dance to keep her limbs moving and not falling asleep, her mind busy as to not pick and pry at those within the cabin. But it was a little welcome reprieve, the distance away from so many gave her spirits a bit of a rest.

For a time, she stares into the wall, until the silence has her glancing towards the two men. And then finally, towards Scott alone. "Close as we can get, the better. Just in case.."


"This will, of course, make our presence quite known," Magneto advises them. "There is a third option."

He turns again, looking toward the Buick, and raises an eyebrow.


Scott raises his eyebrow, "And what's that?"


"Isn't that the point? We're here to help them. Bring supplies and aid, to sho—.." She looks back towards the buick, and then towards Erik and Scott. "Nooo…"


"Yes, Miss Grey," Erik answers. "The point is also not to cause further hysteria."

Thirty minutes later…

With the Blackbird safely landed on the outskirts of Sacramento, the X-Men arrive in a rather unique fashion. A 1963 Buick Skylark, in light rose with chrome trim, comes soaring over the city. Behind it, a metal skiff packed to the brim with supplies. Floating above and between the two, Magneto guides them with hands outstretched as the trio makes for a landing in Mutant Town.

Erik's keen eyes observe the landscape, looking for signs of ongoing emergency workers and law enforcement.


Scott looks out over the edge of the car and down towards the land below as he notices lots of little things. Roads and how they turn at odd intervals because of water, turn at odd intervals because of railroads.

He can tell Mutant Town as it approaches. It seems to be that part of town that's either burned down or still on fire in pockets.


The car ride was fantastic, Jean hung in the back and kept her eyes upon the window, never having left New York herself, this was a fantastic trip. But there was a sullen mood to it all, how the water rushed along the shores, the lines of the track.. and soon the ruins not too far away. She leans back within her seat, her arms lightly folded across her chest, her fingers idly tickling at her sides. She was nervous, no doubt, slightly afraid. But she wouldn't dare let anyone else know that.


When he spots the area, Erik begins to frown. He even goes so far as to shake his head, feeling both grief stricken and disgusted at the sight.

Spotting a handful of emergency vehicles, he decides to guide them toward a pair of fire trucks currently working on one still blazing building. The Skylark is the first to touch down; soon after, Magneto comes to land upon his feet moments after the supply skiff strikes the wet pavement.


Scott does a double check on his visor, twisting the knob on the right to ensure that it's on stun rather than a more dangerous setting. He exits the car, looks around, and then grimaces at all of the destruction that has happened here. There has to be people who still could use their help, but this place looks terrible. When you're in New York, everything seems so far away and it almost doesn't seem real. This seems very real now.


Jean closes her eyes, taking in a breath as she opens her car door, taking a step out into a neat puddle of water as she draws her hood above her head. It was horrible. She had never seen anything like it; pictures in the paper doesn't do the scene justice. "I'm going to go.." She says quietly, her path taking her towards the left of the wreckage as her mind seeks out any source of life still teeming on the surface.


"Cyclops, go with her," Erik advises. Their landing has earned some attention, and firefighters are pointing them out to a couple of police officers. "Help anyone you can."

When the officer approaches, he has his hand upon a holstered sidearm. "What the hell is this? What's going on?"

Magneto steps forward, eyes set upon the officer. "We are mutants, officer, and we are here to help."


"Alright," Cyclops says with a nod as he follows after Jean. He stays behind her as her mind reaches out, but mentally he prepares himself for anything should she need some sort of cover. He'd like to walk straight, but can't, of course, because everywhere there's strewn debris from the destruction from the riot.


There were a few loose boards that were stepped upon, slipped upon, and stumbled over. It was like grasping for straws, looking for signs of life, though one appears behind her that has her stopping to turn quickly with a slight alarmed look. "Oh. It's just you." It wasn't meant to be insulting, it was a relieving sense to have a bit of cover, and with a wriggle of her hand, she motions him to her side as she continues to walk. "This feels wrong. I don't feel anything from anyone.." She says to Scott. "I think we're too late.."


"Okay," the officer answers. He's clearly shaken, and trying not to overreact, but they just arrived in a floating car. "Okay, um…" He seems hesitant to remove his hand from the pistol. "So, uh, can I see your ID?"

Magneto shakes his head. "I'm sorry, officer, but… that is not something we are willing to offer. Not in such a hostile location."

"Hostile?" the cop answers, confused.

"Your hand still rests upon your sidearm, does it not?"

The cop looks down to his hand, then back to Magneto, trembling.


Cyclops looks grim as he continues to walk along the sidewalk. "I think you might be right," he responds sadly. "I get the feeling that these people always felt this way, and just used the President's death as an excuse."


They were a little bit out of the line of sight of Erik and the police officer, though her focus was slowly expanding, her steps grow slow as she listens to Scott with a nod of her head. It takes a sudden turn for her to stand in front of him, reaching out to press a hand against his shoulder to stop him from walking. It was just the two of them, really. No one else would hear what she would have to say. Or wish.

"Would it be so wrong to change their minds?" She asks, her voice lowering. "They.. wouldn't know it. And it would keep everyone safe." She finally lets him go, then continues to walk with a sharp turn of her heel. No. The Professor wouldn't be too happy with her if she did that. But it would save countless lives..


"We have come here offering aid," Magneto presses. He takes a step toward the police officer. "We're breaking no laws here."

"That… that flying car!"

Erik smiles in a charming manner, but something dangerous lingers behind those eyes. "Certainly the City of Sacramento has no ordinance against vehicles making safe use of airspace?"

Another step is taken, and Erik raises his hand, simply in a gesture of friendship. "Please-"

The officer draws his gun. "Freeze! Not one more move!"


Back to Scott and Jean now, as the former looks to her and shakes his head slightly. "I," he begins and then exhales. "I really don't know."


Jean suddenly reaches out to grab Scott's arm, her eyes widening as she stares into the ground. She was searching, her eyes darting left and right over the pavement as her hand strikes out towards an obviously collapsed house. She could hear the little voice! It was faint, but the thoughts were still moving, slowly.. still present. She lacked the presence of ears to hear the heartbeat, but as long as that voice was still present..

"Someones in there!" She practically screams out! There was no conversation, no more thought to altering the minds of everyone around them, the entire city. They had to get to that person now! "I think it's a kid!"



"I said not one more move!"

Three other police officers move over, having heard their partner's cry. All of them begin drawing their weapons, taking up flanking positions around Magneto. Which is precisely when he hears Jean crying out.

Erik tilts his head just so. Electromagnetic interference begins scrambling radio waves, bringing static to the emergency workers' and officers' walkies. A news reporter nearby turns and instructs his camera man to record the action, but the cameraman cannot get his machine to work. He turns the camera over, inspecting it with a frown.

"Now, gentlemen, let us not escalate this any further. My friends could use some help."

The officers look from one to the other, hesitating, unsure. They've never been in this position before. One of them nods to the leading officer. "Come on, Carl. Let 'em do their thing."

"Once they show us some damn ID."

"They're not gonna show ID, Johnson! Jesus Christ, look at them!"

"Yeah, but nobody invited them here."

Magneto's expression darkens. "Very well."

With a simple shove of his hand, all five find their weapons ripped away. The guns go soaring off away from the mess, high into the air, before they fall gently down upon the ground four blocks away.


Scott knew that there was no time to waste. Jean follows behind him, towards the direction of the voice that she could mentally hear. "Right there!" And then it starts, both of the X-Men pulling up boards, Scott using precision blasts (tiny ones) to knock the heavier ones out of the way, Jean using her TK to throw the smaller ones, middle weight ones, and larger ones as well. "HELP!" Jean cries out, looking back towards the direction where Erik was.

It was bad. Thankfully, there was no smell of gas that either of the X-Men could detect, so moving with a but of haste was entirely too good for the gander.

A little weak voice could be heard, a quiet little cry, and sensing that Scott himself would dive in, Jean lifts a large piece of rubble in time for him to dive into the depths of the darkness.

"Come on someone!" She mutters, tossing the large mangled concrete aside as she peers into the dark hole. "Cy?!"


There is a lot of resulting confusion amongst the officers. Magneto makes another gesture, freezing them in place. After all, there's a lot of metal going on there, between belts, badges, billy clubs and radios. "Now, if you'll excuse me," he tells them, "I'm going to go help my friends to save a life."

Magneto turns around and walks toward Jean, but as he goes, he flings a hand up behind him. Three police cruisers suddenly move, their tires screeching and flapping against the pavement, until they form a barricade of sorts between the cops and the rescue area.

Soon enough, Magneto comes up alongside the young woman. "Precarious," he tells her, observing the hole that she and Scott dug. Eyes turn about, observing the area not far from where they are.


Confusion. It came to her in waves. But she willingly pushed it aside for the matter at hand. She couldn't see in the dark, but a hand lifts to ignite a few tendrils of flame to lower in, keeping her hand away from the surface to not ignite any fumes that she couldn't smell.

As Erik approaches, Jean looks towards him with a frown. "What is going on?" To say that she didn't hear the cars were something else, she's heard them, but they were the farthest thing from her mind. "Scott went in. I'm feeding him the sounds.. of where the kid is. I don't think they're okay. They're going to need medical help." She draws her hand back, shaking it briefly.

"He didn't hesitate. He just.. went." That was -so- cool!



Down in the hole, Cyclops is trying to look around, but can't see anything. Once he stops thrashing around, though, he begins to use his other senses. In the distance he can hear something, someone. It's the whimpers of a small child.

"Here, I've got you," Scott says as he reaches his hand towards the sound. Eventually he finds cloth. "It's okay."

"I'm stuck," the young child replies. From the voice it's probably a little girl. "Okay," Scott responds. "Just hold tight."

Scott readjusts the dial on his visor. «Jean» he says, focusing with his mind. « Jean, can you hear me? »


"Local police are not pleased with our presence," Erik explains, with an air of calm. "I have prevented them from drawing and shooting at us, but, I'm afraid time is now short." There's a bitterness to his tone, but it's worth noting, at least for now, that his temper is in check.

With a hand, he reaches out toward the hole. An expression of focus is formed as he senses the ferrous material. There's so much of it, and much of it is in a precarious position, thanks to Jean and Scott's digging. He grimaces, but does nothing yet with the magnetic field. Only if the hole begins to collapse…


"Did you knock them out?" Jean asks quietly, a worried little glance upon her face. "I don't think that's condusive to what we're tr—-.." She snaps her head towards the hole, leaning in just a little bit to listen. Though, it was such an unneeded gesture! « I can hear you, Scott. Are you okay? »

She leans back, then glances towards Erik. "Scott's talking." She gestures to her temple. "I think he may need our help.." She gets an idea.. and it was an odd one, something she's never tried before. « Let me know if this hurts, Scott. »

At the risk of a headache to herself, and possibly the two others, she reaches out to grasp Erik by the forearm, attempting to draw his thoughts into hers as well as Scott's. Lacking the perfect technology for it, it was the best thing that she could do.

« Erik? Scott? »


« I need you to back anyone else away from here that might be in the way. Convince them, or whatever. I don't know how you do what you do. »

Once he gives her a bit to work her magic, so to speak, Cyclops selects the widest berth of optic blast his visor will allow and holds his breath. A split second later, the gigantic blast of red force rips through the coverings of the hole and makes a new, wider and more open one where both he and the little girl can be scene. Now that it's clear, Scott reaches for the little girl who he takes up into his arm as he begins to crawl at, using the wreckage from his blast as a ladder.


"No," Erik answers easily. "I tried reasoning with them-" But his voice cuts off when Jean snaps her head toward that hole.

When Jean locks them in, Erik grimaces. There is a funny sensation coming from Erik's psyche, as if in the not so distant past, something scrambled his brain. It will be obvious to Jean; to Scott, it may just feel a little… off.

«I'm here,» he answers in thought, and the words seem to echo a bit. Once he hears Scott's words, though? He knows exactly what the young X-Man has in mind. «Oh good Lord,» the thought comes, a genuine voice of concern and worry.

Erik scrambles back and away from the hole, moments before it goes up. With harsh eyes, he throws both hands into the air, grabbing what ferrous material he can with a focused magnetic field, if only to prevent it from falling back down onto unsuspecting faces. Then, he begins lowering the items, fusing them together with motions of his fingers, to form a ladder of sorts against the edge of Scott's new hole.

He's very careful not to draw that magnetic field too close to Cyclops' visor.


Distraction. Jean was distracted enough to cast a glance towards Erik, nearly missing the instructions from Scott. But as Erik moves, Jean finally gets a move on herself, hopping back a few paces until that red light shoots outward, her own hands striking out to telekinetically catch the debris that Erik was unable to control. -This- was a first for her, it was almost like a quick pick of tossed discs in the air. Snapping up one, tossing it to the other side, two.. tossing it backwards.. three.. and more. All hung suspended.

For an added touch, she even creates a moving barrier around Scott and the young girl, Jean glancing back into the direction of Erik, and off from where the car was that they had landed. "Is she hurt?!" She calls out. There was a little bit of hope that there would be at least an aid station near by, someone they could get the little girl to.

Or.. they could take her. Jean wasn't opposed to that.


"No, I don't think so," Scott says as he gets to the top of the hole with a girl on his arm. He sets her down softly upon the ground and looks down at her, doing his best to give her a weak smile while she looks up towards him, trying to give the same. Her face is black with soot and smeared with dried tears. She's going to need a host of things: food, shelter, water, a bath, and a search for her parents.


Erik gently and slowly begins lowering the rest of the debris, setting it down in places where he feels certain the ground is sturdy, and far from the trio and their rescued girl. He smiles toward her with a warm gesture, noticing that her ears have a rough, rocky nature. A mutant. "Come," he says to her, before looking to his fellow X-Men. "Let us see if the police will help her."


Aww! Jean clasps her hands in front of her as she follows Erik's lead. Placing random debris down until she was certain that nothing would hurt them. The shield was dropped then, and finally Jean approaches Scott and the little girl, a calming smile upon her face as she bends to reach out and brush a few pebbles from her hair.

"Hi pretty girl." She says quietly. "Want to come with me?" As she reaches her hands out, she picks the girl up underneath her arms, shifting her to rest upon her side. Once Scott was relieved of his babysitting duties, she carefully makes her way down onto a clear path, though a little bit worried of their next plan of action.

"Erik.." She starts, then shakes her head. "..nevermind."


"I don't mean to be a dick, Mr. Lensherr, but do we really trust the police to help if they didn't bother to help all of these people?" Scott asks, turning towards Erik with a raised eyebrow.


Before they come close to the frozen police officers, Erik turns back to look at the others. There is a critical eye, a look given toward each of them. "Do we?" he asks Scott directly, before turning toward Jean. "Do you?" Then he looks toward the little girl, his brow furrowing with doubt. "Does she?"

Back to Jean and Scott he looks, and shakes his head slowly. "Do not be so quick to take that which is not rightfully yours, X-Men." Oh, he understands their feelings, to be sure. While he has not answered their questions, he does nothing to guard his thoughts from Jean; no, he does not trust them, either. He turns then, expecting (and, in part, hoping) that they might follow his lead.

Leading the way, Magneto approaches the frozen police officers. He stretches out a hand toward the girl in Jean's arms. "We have rescued this girl from a fate worse than any of you could imagine; being buried alive. She is a mutant, and is most likely now orphaned. Will you do what is legally required of you?" He looks toward the police officer who he'd encountered first; regardless of the man's rank, he was the one who took the lead, so Erik walks up until he is very close to the officer, who now has a fearful look upon his face.

"Will you?"


"I don't." Jean admits. And it was only because she could fear their lingering fear from where she stood. It only seeks to make her clutch the girl tighter to her, even lightly petting her hair away from her ears as she begins to follow. His words stung, but there was still a chance the little girl could be an orphan. And if she was? Would it be best to leave her to -them-?

As he approaches the officers, Jean takes a slight step side towards Scott, her arm uncurling from the girl to allow her to settle upon the ground, not in front of the two, but a little ways behind, effectively shielding her from view after she's been seen.

"Scott.." She murmurs quietly. "..something's wrong with him."


"Hey man," Scott says quietly as he steps towards Erik, his boots making a light crunching sound as the mixture of debris and gravel breaks under the hard rubber. "It's cool. Let's just take her and go."

As soon as he says it, Scott regrets it. It is not "cool." Erik knows it and Scott knows it. Jean knows it and that little girl knows it. All of the people who saw what happened here know it.

"Let's just go."


There is a long silence, during which Erik turns to look at Scott with a heavy expression, before returning his attention to the police officer.


"-will take her and remand her into the custody of the state, as is lawfully required of you. Yes?"

The police officer gulps and nods his head once, slowly, then twice, rapidly. "Yes, yes, we will."

Erik takes a step back and raises his hands once more. A single firearm scoots backward across the street, rises, then settles itself into the officer's holster. Then, he turns around to approach the little girl, stepping around Jean momentarily, before crouching down to her level. "What's your name?"


"Lily who?"

"Lily Chambers."

"Lily Chambers, I'm so sorry for what has happened to you." He gestures toward the police officer. "These fine officers are going to take care of you."

The girl looks to the cop, then back to Erik, then turns and clings to Jean's legs. "But I don't want to go, I want my mom and dad!!"


Jean reaches behind to rest a hand upon the little girls shoulder for support. But she wasn't sure who needed it more, herself or the girl who was about to be handed over. She even moves a step back, her hand reaching up to tug her hood down sharper, a deep frown curling her lips as she looks to Scott, and then to Erik, her head slowly shaking.

She wanted to shield the girl from every thing so much, that even -she- begins to silently cry as the girl clings to her leg. She has to forcibly pry the girl away from her so that she could hoist her up again, taking a few steps back away from Erik and the cops. Hell, even Scott too.

"Please.. let's just find her parents. You know we can find them. We can't leave her with them." Jean was pleading, cradling the girl's head against her neck, still taking those few steps back. "Let's take her to the hospital. Surely they've been taken there, right? Or.. or.." She was grasping at straws. "Cy?"


Cyclops doesn't move a muscle. Not in his feet. Not in his hands. And not in his face. His visor remains locked on Magneto and he doesn't respond to Jean. The only parts moving are his head and his heart, and the latter is a muscle so I guess I lied. It's about leaping out of his chest.


Magneto turns then, looking straight toward Jean. He's not sure if she's still clued in on his thoughts, but Charles has taught him a few things recently… about shielding himself. Perhaps, in doing the opposite, he can make himself noticed.

And so for a moment, he lets go his self control. Not to the point where anything terrible might happen; his magnetokinetic powers are still quite in check. But his thoughts come rumbling through, quite easily to be picked up.

«Jean Grey. These men did not cause the riots. If we are to find any sort of collaboration with our homo sapien kin, then we must not so brazenly break their laws. Let her go… surely, you and the Professor can keep an eye on her.»

The police officers look on, becoming worried; worried that this trio of mutants may be considering kidnapping. The one who's firearm has been returned to him glances down to it, then back to the X-Men, his face contorted into a horribly conflicted frown.


"Cy.. please! Say something!" Someone say anything! Her own heart was beating a mile a minute, ready to bolt and knock each and every one of them to the ground over a fool-hardy mission that they possibly shouldn't have been on in the first place. At least her.

Hearing Erik's voice has her eyes shutting tight, her own head lowering against the little girls shoulder, her head shaking as she simply cries into the poor girl who may not have a family anymore. Something that they themselves could easily remedy.

« But we're half way across the world. If something bad happens to her while we're gone, we can't get to her fast enough! »

She had no arguments, the law was the law, yet hopefully Charles could appeal to the state to bring her to New York. They had to do this the -right- way. So with that in mind, she slowly sinks to the ground, allowing the little girl a chance to place her feet upon the cold, wet concrete. As she tugs her away, she holds her still by the shoulders, her fingers removing to lightly nod up the girls chin.

"You have to go with the police officers now, Pretty Lily, okay?" Jean nods her head, as if she were to convince herself that this was the right action. "They're going to take real good care of you. You get to take a bath, get clean clothes! M..maybe even meet other children there too. Doesn't that sound fun?"

Nope. Nope. Nope!


"Are you willing to bet this girl's life on that?" Cyclops asks quietly, finally saying something. Scott can hear Jean's words over his shoulders, but stares at Erik. Once the girl passes him on her way toward the police, a grit-toothed Scott walks away, quietly, heading back to the Buick.


Lily looks deeply into Jean's eyes, but she's listening, obedient, trusting. She turns and looks toward the police officers, then back to Jean, and nods her head slowly. "Okay. But I'm scared. Will I get to see you again?"

Watching Jean, Erik's chest rises and falls in a heavy manner. As soon as the girl asks her question, he decidedly intervenes. "Of course you will," he tells her, then reaches to take Lily by the hand. A look is given to Jean and Scott, a clear and visible warning, before he takes her over to the police officer. Before releasing her hand, though, he looks that cop right in the eye, with a cold stare that would cut any normal human through to the core.

"I'm willing to bet," he answers Cyclops, "that if anything bad happens - if Lily Chambers is treated with anything less than the utmost care and protection - these men will regret it for the rest of their… tragically short lives." He says this without looking away from the police officer, and in turn, gives the cop a malicious smile.

"We will be checking in on her."

The officer, fearful, nods his head, then turns away from Erik's intimidating stare and reaches for Lily's hand.

Magneto looks to the little girl, that horrible expression suddenly dissolved. He gives her an encouraging smile, telling her, "Remember, young lady; you are an incredible creature."

With that, he turns and walks back toward the Buick again. A swift hand gesture is thrown upward, and the electromagnetic field dissipates, suddenly restoring radio transmissions.

A little puddle has formed at the police officer's left boot. Pity.


Anyone in the vicinity who had the nerve to watch the woman and girl could visibly see all resolve shattering. The quiet little words from Lily has Jean nearly bawling, but she holds it together, wiping away at her own cheeks as she reaches down to take the little girl's hand. "It's okay to be scared." Jean reassures the girl. "And yes, you'll see me again." She lifts the little girl's hand, placing it over her heart. "I'll be in there. And if you need me, all you need to do is look up.. look up!" Jean directs her chin, allowing her view of the clouds and the sun in the sky. "And wish upon the sun really, really hard. And I'll be there! We share the same sun, you and I."

She leans forward to draw her arms around the girls shoulder, holding her tight until Erik pries her away. Slowly she stands, keeping her gaze away from the two, her teeth gritted as she begins to walk towards the Buick. Where one would think she'd get in, she lifts a foot to take a crack at an idle rock, sending it soaring down the street. There were no words, for she snatches open the back seat door of the Buick to climb in, immediately ducking down so that she could curl up into a ball upon the seat. She inconsolably cries. Pissed off, sad and confused she was. She didn't even know if it was the right thing to do.

But either way, it was going to haunt her.


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