1964-01-25 - The Resurrection of Hope
Summary: Father and daughter reunite and she introduces the boyfriend. Except nothing goes the way it was planned.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: None
cable hope tommy 

Another afternoon out in the city, and life is slowly returning to normal — or at least as normal as normal gets in the city that never sleeps. New Yorkers were a hardy bunch to say the least, and no threat of civil war would keep the citizens from going on with their daily lives — at least after the initial shock had passed.

Two of those New Yorkers (well, those who live in New York — one would steadfastly claim he's from Jersey) were walking through Hell's Kitchen with properly filled grocery bags. The platinum haired teen? Probably carrying more than he should be, as he's managing a balancing act that looks impressive from the outside.

Of course, from the inside? Tommy can see things pretty easily, with plenty of time to react to the shifting of the bags and the attempts of gravity to affect them.


Hell's Kitchen may not be the standard place to buy groceries, but the bodegas and cheap ethnic supermarkets cost much, much less than the nice, whitebread markets where the prices are ten times as high. Off brand doesn't mean much to Hope. That requires her to identify the brands in the first place. Other than a precious handful that truly stand the test of time, like Coca-Cola, bread is bread, eggs are eggs, and powder in a dozen flavours purporting to be its own food group is simply a thing. She leaves Tommy to juggle his bags, while she carries a few less bulky items stowed in a battered, military grade canvas rucksack about half as big as she is. Okay, that's an overexaggeration, albeit not by much to the casual look.

She trails a step or two behind the platinum-haired young man, but the two of them stand out. Call it the curse of being a redhead. No disguising that even if she's wearing a knit hat slouched low to help. For as odd as they might look standing out, this neck of the woods has the Irish mob contending with the Puerto Ricans, which surely buys them a little protection. The rest shows in her bearing, from the set of her shoulders to the sharp way every alley receives a pointed look, no window unglanced at, no doorway unchecked before they get close to passing. Casing a street, busy or not, gives her a good lay of the land.

"I still say going over top was better," she murmurs. "But too many tins. Too much glass."


"aaaAaaaAAAaaaaAAHHHHHHH— !"

Cloaked in a veritable blizzard of glass, 'Playboy' Buddy Luccienzi hurtles from a fifth story window on an express trip towards the pavement maybe fifteen feet from Tommy. His clothes - a simple shirt and trousers suitable for around the house - and hair are badly mussed; the rest of him looks remarkably intact for having just flown through a window.

Up on the fifth floor, an older man with snow-white hair rests his left arm on the windowsill and his right atop the left and studies Buddy with a grim expression, his brow cut with deep furrows and his left eye flickering madly with amber light.

"YOU FUUU- !" Buddy gets out as his vision fills with cracked gray and garbage. His eyes squeeze shut; memories flash, muscles tense.

Anticipation reaches a crescendo—

— only to linger, puffed and waiting.

Slowly, Buddy opens his eyes to find himself hovering.

And as he does, he snaps backwards, yanked back towards the window by an invisible tether.

"When's— the game— Buddy?" the white-haired man calls out to the 'Playboy'.

Given their proximity, Tommy and Hope draw a lingering, even contemplative look from the man in the window— but Cable's attention is mostly on his captive, by necessity; witnesses are one thing, but if he worries about them now, he could very well wind up making 'Playboy' pizza on the sidewalk.


"Yeah. I know you wanna teach me the whole Assassin's Creed shtick, but — yeah, you said it. Speed is good for defying gravity but defying gravity /and/ keeping our stuff from breaking on the way down…"

Tommy shrugs, and just flashes a cheery grin in the redhead's direction. He's about to open his mouth again before he's interrupted by that shattering of glass, eyes going wide and arms going south.

There's calculations that go on in Tommy's head. A brief debate on whether or not he can actually manage to catch the man without having everything broken in /him./

It takes a moment, but he decides it's worth the risk. The grocery bags are allowed to fall towards the ground and Tommy's blurring about a second, maybe two before Buddy would hit the ground. Then he's being tackled forward by Tommy — the results are likely to be pretty painful, a lot of broken bones, probably internal bleeding… but he's got a chance of survival, if nothing else. If only a chance that someone else will take away moments later.


Cue broken glass. That stops her in her tracks, and the redhead snaps a look up in the direction most plausible for its crashing, tinkling source. Emerald eyes peer at the dingy facades, searching for a fault in the tenement buildings stretching towards the sky's leaden underbelly. Stormlight sparkling in the weak, hellfire glow thrown by streetlights draws an arc back towards an empty window, a looming silhouette.

Countless knives lance around clothed flesh. It's one of those disturbing science experiments. What falls faster, ninety kilos of bricks and plaster or human body?

Without meaning to, really, Hope snaps her hand out and scruffs Tommy at the shoulder where the collar and his sleeve meet. His leather jacket might want to give way, but her strong fingers afford no other alternative.

Groceries are still dropping to the ground, bread fluffy and light, the other staples of Mexican junk food almost weightless. In her eyes the silver-haired guy is jumping at empty air, and she throws her full weight back. Pulling him short the anticipated fall radius, she flattens to the face of the building and shrinks lower, legs bending.

It takes all of a second. They're there, and then they aren't. Her next reaction is simple; a gun in hand, rounds chambered, both hands wrapped around the grip to stabilize any possible back blow. "You told me this was the nice neighbourhood!"

Keeping a low profile, she points up. The blur resolves itself to a girl probably about nineteen, covered, measuring her trajectory. It's a bad one for anything but flattening Playboy Luccienzi.


None of this is much good for Luccienzi: Tommy, and then Hope becoming colorful blurs was unexpected to say the least, so the man finds himself dropping out of his upward trajectory and into another stomach-lurching fall— only this time without the full-bodied pressure which told him that someone was - if not looking out for him - at least in control of his fate.

This time, his flailing fingers scrape across concrete just as he's captured, and then it's back to not being able to do much moving at all; a beat later, glass begins to bounce off of the sidewalk, and a few shards of it rebound back and forth between his body and the Earth, leaving no marks. The rest of the rubble begins to crash, forming a billowing red cloud for him to be drawn through on his way up to Cable.

"What'd you do," he lowly wonders while squinting at the upside down Playboy with a canted head, "go fishing for muscle in a malt shop? Those bodyguards…"

Leaning out of the window, he sweeps his gaze about, finding an increasing number of bystanders watching the spectacle from a distance— and unusually intense heat signatures trailing across the street. These, he follows until his eyes have locked onto the young woman drawing a bead and the young man she corralled; she gets a curiously arched brow before - with a flick of his wrist - Luccienzi sharply changes course to rocket straight upwards.

He then brings his eyes back to Hope and spreads his arms wide; pointing a gun at a guy who's moving towards a paranoid commando's window is tough to differentiate from pointing a gun at said paranoid commando himself, so now he's just daring her to try it.

Assuming that she doesn't take a shot in the few seconds that follow, a sheet of paper with, 'WHO ARE YOU? WHAT'S HE PAYING YOU?' on one side and 'PUBLIC PLACE; BROAD DAYLIGHT' on the other, in fat black letters, slithers out to press itself to the window above his head.


"Urk!" That sound is the sound of one speedster being choked by the other; feet swinging out in front of him as his balance wasn't perfect to between with, but that advantage that they share over gravity is enough to keep him from falling squarely on his rump and instead back on his feet and leaning ever-so-slightly on Hope.

…and there's a rip in that leather. Tommy won't be pleased when he spies it. He'll be greatly saddened. He /liked/ that jacket.

There's a brief look over towards Hope that she'll probably recognize as 'What the hell?' before words follow along with it, in his usual snark. "No, no, no. I said this was the raining glass neighbourhood, /Greenwich/ is the /nice/ neighbourhood!"

Eyes are looking up when she points, muscles are tensing as he prepares to move if they need to — it's not something they've really practiced yet, but he figures he'll let /her/ worry about aiming, and worry about getting her out of the line of anything incoming — humanoid or otherwise — if need be. She's flattened against the building, but he's braced to run; the differences between their styles of training were pretty obvious to the right eyes. She's careful, he's cocky. She's the survivor, he's the blaze of glory.

Speaking of that blaze of glory, it takes a moment for Tommy to spot the paper with the message that he can only assume is directed their way. "Stay there." is offered briefly, before he's gone. It's a second later that he's back; holding a brown strip of paper and a thick marker. "You talk, I'll write. That way you can keep your fingers on that gun." …she's the only one who really knows how to /use/ the weaponry, after all. Spectators? Well. Positive press for his kind could go a long way at a time like this; with any luck, they're on the right side of this fight and will get to reap the rewards that result from it.


Raining glass neighbourhood full of edgy people who look the other way when trouble happens, slinking back into the warrens like rats aware there's a big dog slouching by. Eyes fractionally narrow at Tommy's answer, but she cannot afford to look his way. She's got targets to pick out, and measurements to take at speed.

Finger curled around the trigger, Hope doesn't shoot first and ask questions later. Tsk, tsk. Someone older and a smidge wiser might have a field day with that one.

Luccienzi plays the human yoyo and she mutters, "Kinetic. Or an alien. Antigrav? This is way, way outside our paygrade." Every sound carves out the bottom of a whisper, scarce audible, measuring up the sign that appears.

The gun slips back beneath the loose sleeve of her coat, and she narrows her eyes, bringing him into focus. The sign. "What's he fishing for? He's not mine, tell him that."

A question not made any easier as she opts then and there to bolt across the street towards the building occupied by one man and his mobster toy on a lure. Bolting at a fairly mundane rate gets her to the corner, and she waits to see if Tommy plans to follow.

The girl has a thing for heights, after all. Apparently a reckless nature second to none, because she's headed up, using the exterior apparatus of a fire escape if there is one.


'Kinetic' indeed— which Hope may well realize once she's scaling the building, provided that her mutant ability is able to lock onto the cybernetic psychic above.

The paper above Cable just falls shortly after Tommy and Hope's response, only to be replaced - after several more seconds - with another:

'SO WE'RE ON 'WHO ARE YOU?' THEN' is scrawled across it.

Cable is gone, meanwhile, having slipped out of view while his message slide into position; he certainly didn't miss the girl with the gun crossing the street. Hope may feel a foreign consciousness pressing against hers, probing briefly - uselessly - before receding to an astral corner to observe— follow, perhaps more accurately.

If she does, she may not be so shocked when the first thing she hears upon breaching the apartment with the carved-out window is the steady whine of an LF-93x particle blaster maintaining a moderate charge just inches from her skull.

"As ways to answer questions go," the towering, snow-topped, and now armed cyborg rumbles from just beside the opening, "this is a pretty shaky one. You must realize that."

Meanwhile, outside:

"YOU FUCKING MUTT, YOU— I'M GONNA CUT YOUR BALLS OFF AND FEED 'EM TO YOU, YOU MUTIE SHIT— !" rings out over the Kitchen as the Playboy continues to rise, now at a relaxed pace.


Oh, Tommy's definitely going to follow — outside of their paygrade or not, he wasn't about to leave Hope alone with this guy who clearly had /something/ going on that put him above the norm. He might not be quite as fast or as nimble as the redhead, but credit him for trying.

Of course, that credit comes in the form of that rather intimidating looking gun /far/ too close to a pretty face…

Well, he wonders if he maybe should've taken a different way in. Instead, hands slowly — to them, excruciatingly so — raise upwards. "Look, pal. You don't want to be pointing that thing at her. Me, sure. Her…"

Right now he's busy considering how bad an idea making the weapon itself explode would be. He's pretty sure it would be horrible, and no better idea comes to his mind at the moment. So green eyes just look over to the redhead, hopeful that she has a better solution.

…of course, then Playboy's shouting and Tommy just /grimaces./ "Fuck. Wrong side. Uh, you can drop him if you wanna."


Pluripotent echopraxia. The fancy Greek prefixes and suffixes boil down to psychic mimicry. Power photocopying if xeroxing were a thing in this godforsaken era. Pity, really, they're just mastering the basics outside the labs of Latveria and Stark Industries.

Hope taps into the speedster as force of habit. Her gun is sheathed away in its holster, possibly foolish but necessary. Freerunning cannot be done clutching onto a weapon other than brass knuckles.

Strange flickering teases at the back of her brain, but it's not until that pressure teases at her skull she really registers it. Feeling out her defenses simply mirrors the force used against her, a sort of psychic Newton's Third Law. Shove hard and, at this range, she instinctively resists to the same degree plus a fraction.

Once she reaches the last floor she guessed he was on, and the hissing noise triggers memories. A cascade of them, all at once.

"What, I like face-to-face con—." Smart aleck response, one, out of her mouth. And then the screaming in her brain sets her eyes widening to vast green saucers showing a ring of white. "….Dad?"

Cybernetic bear horror stories, engage.


"Let's let me worry about what I want, right now."

The humming, chromed out, LED-striped thing resembling a handgun filtered through a Star Trek fever dream doesn't budge an inch. If anything, the metal finger cradling its trigger tightens thanks to Tommy being upstairs now, too; this brings a flurry of bright blue motes swirling forth from the weapon's depths to glimmer just past the barrel's tip. "Like— "


"— wh— "

A scar-bordered eye narrows as it visibly, instinctually scans over the girl who's apparently just decided to play maybe the least advisable mindgame that Cable could've imagined.

"— yeah," he then grunts— sneers, almost. "No."

Still, the barrel dims.

"Try again. Something remotely plausible, this time." He glances towards Tommy long enough to aside, "If this is turning into a money thing…" in a wary tone before bringing his gaze back to her.


"Waitasecond." Hands are staying put up in the air, but attention's going over to Hope. Eyes are blinking at a pace nobody has any business blinking at. "/That's/ Nathan?"

The name might strike some familiarity in their.. captor? Threaten-er? Whatever the case may be. Still, if one's paying close attention, that revelation might have actually made Tommy /more/ nervous than the surprisingly sophisticated gun by itself.

"Uh. So. Yeah. I'm gonna shut my mouth here, and I'm gonna let /her/ do the talking, because it sounds like you guys got a lot to talk about, and…. yeeeeeah."


Too few people appreciate the benefits of a face-to-face conversation, especially the kind involving short words, rational descriptions, and really good coffee. Even mediocre coffee.

Coffee to explain things might be nice. It's also about the last thing possible. Hope's creamy skin loses any of its natural colour, and on a redhead, that's the next thing to being translucent. Her jarred sense of the world takes time to reorient, but time is one duplicated thing she has.

Her lips tighten into a bloodless line at the denial. A flare of anger taints a fugue of emotions rising to the surface.

For all the futures she has grown up in, some things she is simply not equipped to deal with. Failure to compute sets her on the heel. The only person capable of comprehending her loneliness, being adrift, thanks to skewed futures, just said no. Thanks to the kick from the paler shadow with his hands up, she settles back into some coherent response.

"Nathan. Summers. My adopted dad," she hisses out, still standing where she is, crushing pressure of her chest thinning her words. She gives Cable an opaque, puzzled look, pieces coming together. "Hello? It's me, Hope? You… I thought you were someone throwing a guy for fun. But you're here in New York. We got separated. It must have been the slide, after the pods and…" If none of this registers, it's clear her voice is faltering for a moment.


One— no— both of them know his name, the one that followed him through the timestream to his adopted home— the only piece of his true one left to him. It sucks the air from the cyborg's lungs when Tommy says it and brings something between incredulity and visible panic to his features when Hope not only repeats it, but doubles down.

Because Cable does have a child— and that child is a son, also adopted.

A son who he hasn't seen since the battle that killed his mother, but a son just the same.

Something cold and jagged twists deep in his guts. The amber pulses steadily emanating from his left eye suddenly, but briefly intensify, but once again, his consciousness simply skates uselessly across the mirror that is Hope's. A thousand scenarios play themselves out in his thoughts as his eyes narrow anew and his jaw sets tightly; most of them involve razor-sharp masks, glittering armor, and mad, sadistic smiles.

"Either," he finally utters in a voice laden with caution, "you believe all of this enough to've convinced this one," a chin-tip towards Tommy, "that it's true, or you're hell of an actress— with a hell of a script."

Gun status: Unmoved.

"Or you're incredibly full of shit. Whichever it is: I— don't know any 'Hope'." His eyes flick towards Tommy again, and upon seeing that he genuinely appears to be letting them talk rather than setting up for treachery of some kind, he finally lowers the barrel— by a few of inches.

"I certainly don't think that you belong here…" he then murmurs.

Hope can probably pick out the fear hiding behind his steely resolve.


"Neither of us belong here. Uh. None of us, I guess?" A look is shot over towards Hope. Carefully, one hand starts to lower. Reaching out to try and put a hand on her shoulder. Comforting. Trying to, anyways. If nothing else, he knows how it is to be disavowed by one's parents.

…just… maybe not as bad as /this/ situation was.

That's as much as he's offering for the moment, though.


Indeed, he's the man of the hour, Nathan Summers. Why, the girl in question might even successfully tack on a few other titles onto that if Cable doesn't squeeze off a few energy beams first.

Panic and incredulity meet absolute certainty. The yardstick of belief is by no means a guarantee of anything. Zealots go burning to their gods throughout all the annals of history convinced of their beliefs, seeing only what they want to see. As far as that measure goes, Hope leaves little doubt from the patent shock painted over her physically she believes what she says is true. Her voice has none of the varnish of a lie. Manipulation under the circumstances for a woman of her youth would be unlikely, but not impossible.

Factors supporting her: palms cross over her midsection. Skin faded pale shows two blushed spots starting to form as the threat grows. Eyes wide and mouth rounded, adrenaline seething through the bloodstream as her heart races in furious tandem. Even the mutant might have trouble reading into the turbulent churn of her thoughts except that they burst out of frozen stasis, a gush lighting up her brain, and critical little details coming to the fore.

Hell of a wall to raise but it comes fully assembled, slammed into place without much thought.

"Stop," she's saying before she quite knows what she says. It repeats with the terrible void wrapped around her. As many scenarios play out in her mind too at a speedster's rate. If either Tommy or the past incarnation of her adoptive father can detect anything about that power, they're staring both of theirs in the face. Especially given she starts to float off the ground slightly, not even fully conscious of it. "Please. I haven't done anything. He hasn't either. This is so not how this was supposed to happen."

Okay, not talking a mile a second, more like a minute. "You were supposed to find me. I'd find you. Finally everything would make sense. No, I don't belong here. Neither do you. You with that particular make of gun because it hasn't been goddamned invented yet. It won't be until, what, seven centuries from now? You were trying to send us back to 2014 or 2015 because insane militaristic zealots wanted to wipe us out."

Pause. "You know, like they've been doing since forever. None of this is registering? Nothing?"

Pause. "Please tell me I'm not talking to a clone."


Hope may notice - quickly - that the power she's drawing from this Nathan is different from that of the father she knew, an inferno of psychic potential rather than a dim ember.

For his part, Cable just sees astral energies seething vigorously about her where, moments ago, there was nothing unusual beyond the decaying heat signature of high speed motion.

Perhaps predictably, this doesn't do much for his caution levels: artificial and organic muscles visibly tense and the gun recovers its previous bearing as he watches - and listens to - Hope with a narrowed, flaring gaze.

Her rapid-fire narrative ends in a question, a plea; both are met with cold, contemplative silence and the continued threat of violence, initially. She knows just enough to be credible— enough that the gaps in her tale stand out starkly, begging to be explored endlessly by a man whose upbringing taught him to expect danger in every moment.

"… I'm not going to shoot you," he finally, deliberately decides after a good five or six seconds of nothing in a voice like a desert valley. "And I'm not a clone, to my knowledge. But— I've also got no idea what you're talking about. I ha— d— a son. Not mine. Not here. I'm here to find a zealot, not run from some."

A glance down to the gun, which he begins to lower - fully.

"And I can't see myself wanting to voluntarily send anyone to the aught-tens," he adds beneath his breath. His eyes rove towards Tommy towards the end, clearly sizing him up to gauge how concerned he should be that he and this woman claiming to be his kin have been casually discussing their atemporality in front of him.

"This is not an— this is not an insurmountable set of contradictions," he then allows at a more audible level. "If you think about it— if we take it as a given that we both are who we say and believe ourselves to be, and not clones, or worse. Either this is our first time meeting before we go on to reconnect at the point where I assume custody of you, or you were raised by a 'me' from a timeline parallel to mine; the first in particular raises some causal issues that you may not want to think too hard about, just now."

The gun finds its sheath, and then the cyborg's arms fold across his chest.

"If we take the above assumptions as givens— which my present circumstances don't allow me to do. I can't— vet you." Psychically, Hope can likely surmise. "And because we don't share any memories, you can't produce any other proof that can't be faked— can you?"


Some quick decisions are made. Stay put, rather than run. Face this younger man blazing like a beacon in the night, rather than cry in a corner. Square her shoulders and stand beside Tommy, instead of hiding or collapsing in defeat.

But gods, if she isn't scared, her heart cracking on the spot.

The platinum-haired mutant hasn't been forgotten by a long shot. Only now can she wrench her gaze away from the inescapable horror of her future for something like mute regard. Whether his own set of circumstances prepare him for the collision course two Summers are on remains unclear. That he stays and stands there matters.

Her hand is extended to him.

Power in numbers, literally. Hope licks her lips free of the salt and dryness, and then she breathes out a rattling sound deflating her by an inch. Not a short child by any means, she doesn't have any height to lose in front of the cybernetic bear of a man called… things.

"It's possible." Forcing herself to think instead of stating abject denials, a point in her favour. Nathan lowered the gun; she will honour that despite her personal feelings about the matter. "We might be in the wrong space. I know the risks jumping through time."

Her breathing has to even out, and she soldiers on. "Someone gave me to Nathan Summers when I was a baby. He trusted you — Nathan'd — keep me safe in the future until it was time for us to come back. I mean, who better to save me in wartime than the best soldier? He… Nathan… is my father. Maybe not in blood but all ways that count. He named me. I'm Hope Summers. Probably showing you a photograph of us together doesn't do a thing, does it? Holos didn't survive the slide."

Her eyes close for a long time, expression pained. "I could tell you all sorts of things about Dad. His habits, his history, the crap he went through. His sickness. Wouldn't make a difference if I disassembled and rigged up a gun to show you how to hunt with your own techniques, does it?" So many expressions want to come to the fore and she crushes them all back. "Can you detect the timeslide? Is there any kind of reading that would register? That could work. There were a few others aware of us. Stryfe. Bishop. All the people around… I think it was called the Ensabah Nur." Her gaze flickers up. "Not everything is straight. I know something went wrong, my memories are fuzzy in spots. Suppose some mad, superpowered mutant horror comes jumping through time shouting 'You,' and pointing at you along with me, might be convincing? I'm not saying that should happen, but it's the whole reason I've been on the run with Dad my entire life."


"… if you know Stryfe," the metal-clad mountain murmurs, "know anything about him at all— then know that he's the reason I'm here, and that he's had more than enough time to…"

His eye moves deliberately, almost accusingly down and up the length of Hope.

"You believe what you're saying. What you're saying has merit - there are many ways in which it is believable. But Stryfe…"

Things left unsaid that Hope would quite probably be aware of: Stryfe is a phenomenally powerful psychic, intimately familiar with Nathan and his history, a fan of cruel and unconventional tactics, and kind of incredibly nuts.

He doesn't quite look up at her after his trailing implication that she's a living trap, guilt flickering in his cold blue eye. Whoever— whatever she is, he doesn't need telepathy to feel the emotion in her rapid breaths and loosely suppressed pain.

As his arms begin to loosen, a realization sends cold fingers spreading through his chest and sets his eyes narrowing. "En Sabah Nur— En Sabah Nur— should be dead," he lowly notes, clenching his jaw tightly afterwards.

A beat later, he lets a short breath pass through his teeth and begrudgingly allows, "… which is a point in favor of the alternate-me theory."

He sounds more hopeful than certain, but nonetheless: his arms fall afterwards and metal fingers glide across belt pouches before stopping near his hip to withdraw a small metal disc with a black Phoenix symbol set against a red, recessed background. It's extended out to Hope, along with stiffly stated instructions: "Tap to open a comm link. Hold to transmit your coordinates for intervention; emergencies only on the latter, without prior contact. Keep it somewhere safe." His posture's just as stiff as his words are; guilt or no, he can't vet her effectively, and he knows it— and yet, here he is, communicator in hand, as if compelled to roll the dice on her anyway.

Again, his eyes trail towards the gun as a lecture on safe handling and care wafts through his memory, one in a sea of many for the former general save for the weight of tiny hands cradled in his—

After a vigorous headshake and a briefly bemused look, Cable's expression settles into grave neutrality and he adds, "If— you decide to take it, that is. Obviously."


What impression does she make? Hope doesn't know.

A redhead hewn from a block of white obsidian, all hard muscle under ill-fitting clothes, honed and toned to an appreciable state. Clearly a combatant, a soldier who knows how to blitz across a road and case a place at a fully run.

Just a girl thoroughly displaced from all she knows, desperately in need of a sandwich.

Someone who moves faster than the eye can follow and boils over with radiant psychic energy, his own signature keyed up to twenty-seven.

Survivor, through and through. Survivor in all ways. "I know," she breathes out almost painfully at this point, forcing herself to keep to the rational trail. There are times to break down. This is not one of them. Showing weakness is a danger but the mask will not stay on, proof further someone wearing his face and the years clearly held an extremely deep connection, enough she'd be willing to bare herself this way.

Even if drowning. "He's a horror. Nightmare. Stryfe, I remember." A mirthless laugh greets Cable's warning there, and she turns her eyes up to him, emerald mirrors that shine with his reflection etched in them. "How could I ever forget? I don't say these names because I like them, trying to bandy favour or prove myself. If you were… If you remembered, you would never twist the screws on me psychologically. Not after what we went through."

Future him. Alternate him. They both point to a simple fact, one that sets her shoulders down. But the appearance of the Phoenix has her trembling for a moment, staring up at him. "Do you know what — " Of course. The question is cut off and she takes it quietly, closing her hand around the little black device. Her shaded expression clears by force of whim. "Dad said I have to stay alive. I will not waste this or give you reason to come storming in to rescue me from my own stupidity. I was raised better than that. Though it warrants being said." She reaches for a thin necklace, cheap steel beads, essentially the sort of chain connected to a pendant of twisted metal discoloured by an iridescent pattern, no doubt by very high heat at some point. It goes over her head, held out in the other hand.

The shape is not so entirely different, avian or a flame, hard to distinguish apart. "People around here are obsessed by labels. I suppose it's not a blinding secret they would call me a mutant. Genetically different. So not completely helpless when you come running in. I'll try not to be too much a burden. If you have questions about me, ask."




Playboy has managed to find a flagpole, so now the there are stars and stripes coiled about and periodically muffling him as he hangs on for dear life.


"Some kind of mimicry?" Cable posits, given the intense and familiar psychic radiance boiling off of her and the heat signature shared with Tommy. After a quick headshake, he adds, "The natives… they don't have anything more worthy of their fear than— us, the known unknown. Not yet, anyway. But En Sabah Nur's alive, here. Stryfe is— somewhere. They'll learn."

His head lowers for a moment after that sadly voiced prediction, and then his eyes lift enough for the necklace to be studied, its shape scanned and rescanned before metal fingers close around and gently lift it free with a nod of acknowledgment.

Tipping his chin towards her hand, he notes, "Use it if you need it; pride's not much good to a corpse, and there's no shame in someone covering your back." His mouth hangs ajar for a moment longer before pressing into a line as he refrains from letting himself lapse into a brief lesson on the value of teamwork and squad-level operations.


"Long time, it was just me and Dad. Us against the world, not because we wanted it that way but because the world insisted." Putting the little device into the inner pocket of her coat reveals precisely how slim — and armed — she is. The gun is under there, another probably stowed somewhere in another pocket. The coat of holding is voluminous compared to her.

The lack of a smile acknowledges a fundamental truth, a nod sharing the reality. Maybe his lecture is something the girl anticipates. Something flickers under the surface of her cream face, expressiveness dampened, skin too damn bloodless from surprise. "He's here?" Her voice is small, not out of doubt. Rather the distraction of a curse outside or the usual turmoil of traffic requires some focus. "Just great. At least this way I've got an idea of what I am walking into. And yeah, you can call me a mimic. Some overblown woman with an enhanced sense of self-importance once gave it a really long, bizarrely complicated name for what boils down to sometimes I can manifest powers. They come and go. Beneficial. You need back up…"

Thinking out the thought silently, her mind processes at a quicksilver speed but doesn't quite keep up with her mouth. Blame the silent speedster keeping watch out a short distance away for that. "You gave it when you didn't know me from Adam. Summon me and I will come. Dad spent most of his time telling me to stay away from trouble. Trouble exists, and leaving you to fend for yourself, while entirely reasonable, isn't noble. There is that."

She glances askance to Tommy's general direction. "He, too, is a good person. One of the team I am slowly trying to acquire, have somewhere to land a little softer than bedrock without a familiar face in the world."


Skye arrives from Midtown.


Skye has arrived.


Skye leaves, heading towards Tenement [T].


Skye has left.


The cybernetic eye briskly scans over the inner lining of the coat in the moments when it's revealed and Cable gives a slight nod after the garment falls back into place.

"Wouldn't be here if not for him," he says of Stryfe as a dark cloud falls over his features, "and I'm sure that he'd be interested in you, were he to find out about you. Watch your back— not that you need me to tell you that, I guess."

Despite his own advice, he has to roll her reciprocation around his skull for a beat or two - time spent growing tense as his left eye's pulses intensify and the screaming outside begins to grow gradually louder - before responding to it with a firm nod and a lowly voiced, "I appreciate the gesture, considering that we're in the same boat, trust-wise." Tommy, too, gets a nod— which, given that he and Hope aren't exactly at the 'any friend of yours…' level is purely a matter of politeness, though it's perhaps better than warning looks or humming guns to the face.

A soft thud! sounds overhead, which prompts him to hold a finger up.

"Racketeering, loansharking. I'm beyond blown here; someone's almost certainly called the police, thanks to that idiot screaming his head off. No time to pump him for intel; I'd suggesting seeing if you can buy yoursel— ves— " an uncertain glance towards Tommy "— a little goodwill, but it's your call." The gun finally goes in its holster as he takes a step back from Hope.

After a beat, he quietly offers, "Let me know if this team of yours needs any assistance, emergency or otherwise— this era is going to need major organization to protect itself and the people living in it, spiritually if nothing else."


"This time is what I'm worried about. Everything came early or out of sync. Out of place," Hope murmurs, waving her hand towards the city. Nothing moves for that poor Playboy meeting the wrong end of the flag. "Showing up in the middle of it bothers me plenty. That you're here makes a terrible situation a little better." Her smile is faint, hard to see, but there in a shade of existence. "They need all the help they can get. None of the people or groups I ever learned about seem to be around, or in any condition to do much. They're sitting ducks. I mean, the mob forms over the colour of someone's skin."

Delusional and ludicrous to her ears, but she's a child of multiple centuries and she gives little coin to prejudice of a scale involving race, at least.

"Get going. You need cover or anything, East Village." The cybernetic attachments get a bit of a nod. "Do what you gotta, but I can get you some cover. I've been around here and my friends know a few benefits. Mutant Town is a ghetto and underdeveloped, with low levels of social participation and a lot of anger. Complacency and ignorance shouldn't prevail, and yet they do."

Unless you're a power mimic tied personally to genetics, in which case, Mutant Town is a vault, a trove of treasures.

Her expression weathers into something uncertain. "I don't know how to help them. But I will, somehow. All of them. We have to help ourselves."


"They disbanded the Avengers," Cable mutters with a shake of his head, somewhere between derision and annoyance. "Maybe they'll find their way before it's too late; maybe we're here by providence, on some level." The smile - when it's eventually caught - sends Cable's gaze fleeing anywhere else for a beat before he finds her eyes again.

"Thank you," he adds at a higher volume. "I'll be sure to visit— it sounds like a potential flashpoint." And speaking of flashes:

"Bodyslide by one."

The traveler's command summons a shining, golden pearl in the air before him, which rapidly expands to engulf him and bathe the room in brilliance. Maybe ten seconds later, it's gone, and so is he.

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