1964-06-15 - Charlie and the Chocolate Bribe
Summary: Cassiel, Cyclops, and Gambit respond to a treacherous situation in Manhattan
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
scott daire remy-lebeau 

Autism won't really be analyzed for quite some time yet. In these days, kids on the spectrum are merely shuffled off to institutions or kept behind closed doors. To be different is to be shamed, and not just for mutants.

But what happens when a child with autism is also a mutant? Outbursts take on an additional danger, triggers become much more worrisome, and danger can be around every corner if the child is not properly taught how to deal with the sensory overload.

And that's what's happening here, only our friends, the X-men, don't know it.

By the time they arrive on the scene, it's clear to see that there's a problem. About 10 stories up in a high rise, there are intermittent bolts of electricity that flicker around the building, coming from inside. People have begun to panic and flee, but it's Cyclops, Daire, and Gambit, who head in the opposite direction, towards the danger.

"That's not good," Cyclops observes from outside the building, getting a look at the fleeing crowd and checking his watch. "This neighborhood? If we're lucky, we've got about twenty minutes before the authorities show up. And there are going to be plenty of civilians in that building." As always, his mind goes immediately to the practicalities of the tactics. Useful in the field, but not always the most useful trait when it comes to dealing with young, scared mutants.

Cassiel stands on the sidewalk, his hands in the pockets of his hoodie, hood drawn up to cover up those horns so that he's not quite as obvious outside of his usual haunts. "Okay so.. maybe somebody should try and keep the crowd in line while we go up and check it out? See what's what?" He glances over toward Gambit and Cyclops. He's been away from the Institute for a while, just having recently returned with Elixir. And this is his first time out "in the field" as it were, so he looks to the more experienced for guidance.

"Good an idea as any," replies Gambit as he looks to the other. He's wearing tactical gear underneath a trenchcoat and some sort of headpiece that is cut away at the top to reveal his hair. In his hand is a long, metal staff. "Whachu tinkin dere, Slim?" he asks the leader, realizing it's Cyclops' call.

Scott shakes his head, grimacing at the panicky crowd. "They're not going to listen to us. Better we get up there and deal with the problem. Then they'll calm down. You can fly, right?" he tips his chin toward Cassiel, already heading for the building. "We might need that. Either to evacuate people, or to get whatever's causing the trouble up there out of the way." He looks to Remy, the faintest, rueful smile crossing his lips as he switches from glasses to visor. "Chances are you're going to be more useful than Remy or I if it doesn't need to be blown up."

"Yeah, I can see if I can get up to the roof. That'd be the best way to do it, ah, less.. obviously?" Cassiel says as he squints up toward the top of the building, shielding his eyes a little. Sunlight. Bright. Not his best friend. "Blowing shit up, not my forte.. but get-away… flyer? I can do that." He then begins to head in the direction of the building along with them, following after Scott and says. "Want me to go see if I can get roof access and meet you?"

"Ahm 'ere a few months and already ahm bein' called less dan useful," Gambit replies with a smirk. He moves with a grace not generally befitting of a heavy smoker and drinker. It's clear he's done this sort of thing before and he follows Cyclops with intent, ready to guard his back if need be.

"Go for it," Scott nods once to Cassiel. "Gambit, you're with me." And the stairs. This, students, is why Cyclops is such an ass about conditioning. Because sometimes, you have to climb twenty flights of stairs to get to where the actual fight starts.

While Gambit and Cyclops make their way toward the room, Cassiel makes his way up toward the roof to check and see if he can get out onto it. He makes his way up there with no problem. For all that he hides within those baggy clothes, underneath, he's fit and in fighting shape.

Cassiel gets to the roof with ease, although there's at least some worry as he passes by the floor in question that he could potentially be hit by lightning. He's not, though, and he lands upon a simple looking rooftop with a lone door that is, presumably, the roof access to the building below.

Meanwhile, Cyclops and Gambit run step in step up the staircase. Both men do it easily, the former probably because of his training regimen, and the latter probably because of simple genetics. Either way, they weave and dodge passersby until finally getting to the landing in question.

"This is when I miss having a telepath," Scott admits as they reach the top of the steps, looking up as if he'll be able to see if Cassiel's landed or found a safe place to be. "Take your time," he says, moving a little more slowly now toward the source of the lightning. "We don't know what's caused this."

Somewhere further up, Cassiel is still making his way toward the top of the building, eventually finding one of the doors that leads out onto the roof and finagling with it to make sure he can, indeed, get out that way if needed. While up there, he shrugs out of his hoodie, leaving it up near the door. He likes that hoodie.

Cassiel will find himself on a floor full of commotion. People are in the hallway, not sure of whether they should go down or not. More than a few people have been electrocuted on the way down. Still, some of gotten through. Sitting up here could be a ticking time bomb, or it could be the best move. No one is really sure.

Meanwhile, Cyclops and Gambit pad out onto the carpet of a hallway that seems to be where the disturbance is coming from. The electricity has shorted out all the lights, so it is dark. Every so often a bolt of electricity splinters out across the wall. "Got a bad feelin' bout dis, Cyclops," Gambit mutters as he walks forward quietly. He stops abruptly. He looks at his metal staff. He drops his metal staff. "Dat prolly what dat bad feelin' was."

"Well, what's your-" And then Gambit drops his staff, and Cyclops smirks ever so slightly. "Yep, that'd be my guess." He's not blind, but he's also trained to be able to work without his eyes when he needs to. It's something you do when your unshielded eyes are weapons of mass destruction. With one hand along the wall to keep his pace, Scott steps carefully toward the source.

"Hello," he calls ahead of himself. "Is anyone there?"

Daire, surrounded by panicky folks, suddenly realizes that he's kind of trapped. He can either put the hoodie back on and not panic the panicky folks more, or he can stand around up there and wait. For the time being, he waits, in the interest of a speedy departure if needed, watching people from near the roof exit. Fortunately, most folks are trying to go down and not up.

There's a guttural scream, probably of a young male, that echoes out of into the hallway from a room about halfway down. A split second later the biggest burst of electricity either of the men have seen erupts from the room and is enough for Gambit to hit the deck. "Dun tink he like de cut of our jib, Cyclops."

This close to Mutant Town people are somewhat familiar with mutants. At least more than in middle America or somewhere like that. So the people are not immediately terrified of Daire like they might be somewhere else. Throw in that they're worried for their lives, they seem preoccupied and, probably, assume he's a tenant.

Once it's clear that folks are more concerned with getting down than looking at him, Cassiel begins to make his way back down, certain that the door is easily accessible. He slips through the crowd as quickly as he can, jostled a bit and bumped, but otherwise not having too much trouble getting back down to the level where Gambit and Cyclops are.

Scott flattens himself against the wall at the burst of lightning, grimacing to Gambit. "I'm not sure it's on purpose, honestly. Damn, I wish we had a telepath." Maybe not a certain telepath, but they do have their uses. Clearing his throat, he stays back where he is. "It's going to be okay," he calls down the hallway. "We're the X-Men. We're here to help. But I think you're going to need to calm down a little bit before we can."

Cassiel arrives on the opposite end of the hallway from Cyclops and Gambit, and is witness to the electrical outbursts. There is silence after Scott yells out his reassurance, which is scary at first. One would hope that whoever is doing this would answer. But the good news is that the electricity also has waned a bit.

From the other end of the hall, Cassiel watches, and then he begins to move slowly down along the hallway, closing the distance gradually. He doesn't seem in any particular hurry, but as long as things stay quiet, he makes his way forward, bit by bit, letting Scott do the talking for them, rather than adding to any confusion. He glances toward Remy and Scott and then toward the doorway.

Scott nods once to Cassiel, letting out a small breath. Good. This his team safe for now. "Whatever's going on, I get that it's probably kind of frightening," Scott continues, staying where he is. "But it's not the end, okay? We can work through this, help you get it under control. You're not alone here. I'm Cyclops," he adds. "What's your name?"

All stays quiet for a little while, before this tiny, detached and absent voice rings out. "Charlie." If one listens closely you'll also hear muttering and mumbling as "Charlie" is talking to himself. Feeling a bit more full of confidence, Gambit nods towards Cassiel and takes a few steps closer to the door.

"Heya Charlie," Cassiel says from the hall. "I'm Cassiel, and our friend Gambit is here, too. We're just here to make sure you're okay, alright? Is it okay if we come in?" He nods to Scott and moves a little closer to the door, though he doesn't enter it, waiting, perhaps to see if Charlie gives permission.

Scott seems willing to let Cassiel take over for the talking. After all, that's not really his forte either. He can give the inspiring speech if he needs to, but for a stranger, in this sort of situation…sometimes best left to someone who's a little bit more empathetic than he is.

"Hi Charleh," Gambit says as he slides into the conversation with Cassiel. After a moment of silence, Remy looks at Cassiel and shrugs his shoulders. "Charles, mah man, you like chocolate? Ole Remy has got dis chocolate bar he ain't bit into yet, if you are hungry." Uh, kids like candy, right? He shrugs his shoulders at Cassiel, not sure of what to do.


Daire remains at the door, tilting his head a little to the side. It's hard to get a read on someone, especially without any special abilities to do so, when there isn't much conversation going on and he can't see the kid yet. But when Charlie indicates that he likes the chocolate, Cassiel moves toward the doorway and he steps inside. He doesn't move quickly, instead taking his time to survey the inside of the apartment, and see if he can see Charlie. Then he motions for Remy to come on in with him.

As the others step inside, Scott stays near the door, keeping a weather eye on the hallway and glancing at his watch. He's making sure that no one interrupts them as they reach for a peaceful resolution here. Dealing with the authorities is at least something he's good at.

Remy hands the bar to Daire—it's just a regular old Baby Ruth bar, but it's hopefully their ticket out of this mess. Inside, the entire apartment is black with burned paint. There are a pair of skeletons in the living room with him: one on the floor and one on the couch, covered in black. Charlie, a little boy of about 11, sits on the floor, criss-cross applesauce style, with his head looking downward.

Daire tries not to look at the burned out skeletons, his focus on the kid on the floor. There's a kind of shiver that goes down his spine, but fortunately it's not a visible shudder. He crouches, not far away, but with enough personal bubble not to invade Charlie's space. He offers out the candy bar and says, "Hey Charlie. Want to get out of here? We can bring you somewhere with less people, more chocolate, quieter, less yelling and stuff?"

Scott glances inside as the others approach, grimacing at the sight of the skeletons. That's going to complicate matters for sure. Both with the authorities and with helping Charlie later on. That sort of thing sticks with a person.

Charlie is rocking back and forth a bit and hugging himself. His voice is a bit different than one might expect. It sounds upbeat, as if he can't quite figure out how to process all of the sensory triggers with what's happened. "Yeah." He stands up, just as if it's a normal thing and reaches for the candy bar.

"How we gun get dis kid outta here? And where we gun stick him?" Remy, as those who know him well would tell you, is not a fan of the cops.

"Okay, follow me, Charlie. We're going to go up, okay? Just stick with me," Cassiel offers the chocolate bar and his hand, waiting to see if Charlie either takes one, both, or just follows him, taking a couple of steps back toward the door. He can tell something's wrong, but he doesn't know what. This is his first experience with this sort of thing, and he's winging it.

"Cassiel, do you think you can fly him around the block?" Scott asks, still watching the door. "I can bring the car around, we can head back to a safe house. It should be quiet and safe there until the Professor can come and help out with things. Hey, Charlie," he adds with a faint smile as he looks to the boy. "We're going to get you somewhere a little safer."

"Okay," Charlie says quietly. As if he just finished a thought, he leaps forward a few steps and begins to follow along, looking around absently, focusing on other things.

"You and I might have t'avoid de fuzz," Remy says to Scott. "Either dat or mebbe I hide out till later." Cops tend to torture Remy since he tortured a cop that one time.

"Yeah," Daire says with a nod of his head to Scott. "I can carry him pretty easily. We'll get him out of here." He then continues to just walk steadily and calmly down the hall with Charlie, keeping an eye on him to make sure he doesn't wander off, getting him toward the roof. "Or I can take all of us to another roof nearby, and we can go from there.. the cops are going to come to this building, not the next one over. One of you just has to stay with Charlie while I get the other over, then him, then the last person. Up to you guys." But he keeps moving, because time is of the essence.

This, of course, means that the kid would be left alone with Remy for at least a little bit. Which is something that gives Scott a moment of pause. Finally, he nods. "Take Remy over first, he's the most likely to get into trouble if the authorities get here before we're finished. I can stay back."

"You sure bout dat?" Remy seems to have the same idea. Either way the group heads up when the rest of the people were heading down, buying them precious moments before the cops arrive. "We gun take dis kid back to de mansion? You tinkin de Professah be able to help him?"

"Well, I can't carry all of you at once ane we're not leaving Charlie alone on the roof, so it's gotta be one at a time," Daire explains, having no bravado and not seeming to be shy about admitting his limitations. Once they get up to the roof he holds open the door for everyone to get through onto the roof. He then crouches down in front of Charlie and holds out his hoodie. "Can you hold onto this for me, buddy? And can you close your eyes and keep'm closed for me til I tell you to open them?"

"If anyone can, the professor can," Scott nods to Remy with absolute certainty, taking up the spot nearest to the entrance where he can also watch the street below. "But we'll take him to one of the safe houses first. I want to make sure the school's ready for him, and the safe houses are equipped for this sort of thing."

Remy shrugs and nods. "You de boss," he responds with a grin. The whole operation doesn't take very long, to get the flights off the rooftop, anyways. And it's done without major incident. After Charlie eats the candy bar, Remy looks to the others, worriedly, "We'd better make a stop and get dis kid anothah one, non?"

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