1964-11-16 - How to Catch a Mockingbird
Summary: Or in this case, a skrull.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
rogue logan 

What can it take to lure Logan out from the woods? How about drinks over a good Yorkshire pudding somewhere about the point Westchester County becomes part of New York. That explains why a Yorkshire pudding can be found at all instead of biscuits with a roast. Just no, never. Eat the damn majesty of puffy, wonderful bread. Someone has gone to the trouble of lighting the flagstone hearth.

Scarlett finds these places welcoming enough, the light low and the warmth high. No one questions a woman who could drink the cellar without getting inebriated. She rather smiles behind the veil of her scarf, drifting for the fireplace.

Logan shows up without too much question. Scarlett's good folks and, if she wants him, he doesn't mind showing up without much notice, even in odd circumstances. He has a cigar at the corner of his mouth, a bomber jacket and a motorocycle that he parked not that far away.

He makes his way in and grabs the available spot, "Hey there, darlin'. You got a spot o' need, I take it?"

Oh, what does the bohemienne want? The same thing as any of her vaunted cultural ilk. Freedom, passion, and satisfaction for all. That constitutes a proper dark stout or hard cider to accompany the proper meal, and she literally orders on her way into falling into a worn, comfy chair by the copper-glow of the flames. Naturally her braids turn to living serpentine coils in all their radiant hues, aflame, brilliant in their luminous profile. "In this weather, you're a brave man testing a bike. At least I have alternate transportation methods." Mind you, plowing into the road from spinning out isn't likely to hurt Logan, but the thought counts.

"I have need to see a friend and assure myself we do not all hibernate at this time of year," she adds, drawing her knees up slightly and finding a spot in the corner of her seat, hollowing it out. "The business comes after the pleasure of your company and pretending Columbia isn't eating me alive."

Logan grins, "I'm from Canada, darlin', an' lived there a long time before anything resemblin' heatin' got common," he says. "I think I can take a little stiff breeze,he winks.

He kicks up his feet a bit to enjoy the fire, though, letting it radiate through his boots, "All I need's a little bit o' booze an' I'm good, kid. Figure it's not somethin' related to Xavier's, else you'd be comin' by the cabin."

"In the frozen north, the only fires that warmed your heart danced in the sky and transformed the permafrost to a lurid green just the shade of my eyes?" Proof told she can spin a lyric from nearly everything, the poetic carte blanche to gain admission among those neo-romantics. Scarlett can wait for the server to manifest long enough to ask Logan what he wants, and then vanish off to make that drink order happen.

"You've heard anything about the fuss stirring up between the Soviets, us, the Chinese?" Might as well ask.

Logan just stares for a long moment, "You woulda been a hit around the old campfires back in my lumberjack days, dollface. O' course, pretty girls generally were, but a girl what could spin words like you? Priceless back before we had radios," he says.

He orders a beer and a whiskey and nods, "I hear rumblin'. Folks do like to rattle their sabers now and again, just to prove they still got 'em."

Scarlett can't help herself. She raises her sleeve but the crescent arc of her smile eviscerates any hint of sobriety. Laughter chases along her lips instead, warmed all the more by Logan's response. "I would have liked those days, I think. Something profoundly delightful in the freedom of the north country, the wilderness. Mind I've seen more than my fair share of the Arctic in the past year." No explanation for that further.

Her thumb traces the arc of her jaw as she has to relinquish a little of the concern. "Rattling caused by all the wrong reasons. They're fighting over something either consequential beyond words; or utterly inconsequential. Either way, it seems likely — though unproven, yet — that it's work of a race of master infiltrators. They change shape naturally. The only person I've met who can come close would be Raven."

Logan shrugs, "Like anything else, good and bad with it. More freedom, nobody breathin' down your neck, space to do what you pleased. Of course, if ya couldn't take care o' yourself or were prone to bein' prey, not quite as much to feel good about. Plenty o' bad men took the wilds as their own personal playground. I put more'n a few of 'em down in my day. No different than a wolf gone rabid," he says.

"Most of the reasons government types get in fights don't mean diddly shit. It's all chest puffin' and dick measurin'," he says. The shapeshifting thing makes him raise eyebrows, "Well, that would certainly throw in a monkey wrench. Raven managed to raise plenty o' hell in her time with only one o' her."

"The clarity of thought, though, deserves a nod." Scarlett would say more, but the server comes back with their drinks and a basket of bread, just in case. She accepts whatever be offered to her rather gladly, reaching for a tureen of fresh butter brought along with the deliveries. "Likewise the need to curb excesses. Not everyone would agree, though I hold a different view upon that. All things in moderation, the ancient Greeks said, and they were right."

Her hand slides under the sharp line of her jaw, and she toys with the tureen, picking up the butter knife afterwards. "Therein lies the crux. Suppose these shapeshifters are out there, embedded in key placements. Political ones. Media. Wherever they might flex their weight to stir up chaos. How would you find them?"

Logan isn't going to turn down a bit of bread, "I dunno much about the Greeks, but I've overeaten enough to know there's some truth in that," he grins, partaking a bit himself and having a couple of bites before he speaks again.

"Alien spies, then, basically, doing what spies do. Only they got a power to take advantage. I mean, me, it wouldn't be hard - odds are pretty good I could smell they weren't human. One of the reason Raven always kept me at arm's length - she could fool me sometime, but only just barely and once I got her true scent in my nose, she couldn't usually hide it," he says. "Alien might even be easier fer me - Raven at least smells human," he says.

"Other'n that? Depends on how good they are. I imagine some psychic probin' might do a world o' good, but gettin' the powerful types to let ya mindscan 'em to check their identities ain't exactly easy."

Scarlett plants her elbow on the arm of her chair, leaning at a decided angle to support herself. Comfort takes many forms, and hers is casual, equally indicative her otherwise diaphanous clothing can take the abuse laid out. "Alien spies. Weaknesses, obviously a lack of familiarity with the culture. Superficial roles, someone who can be identified as having a gap, failure in performance. When the legend doesn't hold up intact, that should be where they can be found. However, I am nigh to certain the tells aren't going to be obvious. They do have wrong thought patterns, which is where I thought Jean needs to hear about this. If nothing else, she might catch something."

Her fingers tap against the tabletop, chasing crumbs through circuits around glass and napkin. "Suppose we know they exist. How do you draw them out when their purpose is not being pulled out? The best idea I've had so far, other than abstract, is dangling one of their archenemies in a way they could not resist striking. Too difficult to just manufacture, though. What's the best way to flush a spy?"

Logan takes a long puff on his cigar before he answers, "Hard to know until ya know what they're all about. Just gatherin' info? Tryin' to take over the joint? Wantin' to steal secrets or weapons? All kindsa spies an' they do all kindsa different things. Difficult to manipulate 'em unless ya know what it is they want in the first place," he says.

"Short of that, a few other options - capture one of 'em, find a way to make 'im squeal. Make a target big enough that you're bound to catch some an' find a way to filter - like, say if you know some's in the diplomat corps around Washington, you throw a big soiree where all the staff an' ambassador types show up - and then you get sniffers and psychics around and you let 'em start pokin'."

"Well. That would do it. Of course, pull them in where the numbers are impossible to resist attendance. And therein lies the rub, I've a good idea they must be well-connected within the government to be manipulating some of the information lines they hold. Classified," Scarlett replies, adding that information almost haphazardly. But the spin of concepts is coming together. "Christmas is coming. It would be reasonable to have something of that sort. I'll think on the idea. Right now the intelligence is so poor, it's throwing darts at a board and hoping we hit a bullseye from across a field."

Logan ponders, taking a long sip of his whiskey, "You gotta backtrace, then. You make different pieces o' fake intel that would be juicy enough they'd want it, but hide 'em in different places. THen see which ones they act on. It's like a plumber puttin' dye in your pipes and seein' which pipe bleeds green," he says. He's not sure that's a thing they actually do, but screw it, it's a good analogy.

Something to consider, social engineering and physical engineering. "Suppose I can pull a few strings, consider yourself invited with Ms. Grey, if either of you are inclined. We might as well have a good time of it." Scarlett muses over the facts laced out between her fingertips, and nods. "It's a good way to find the mole. Alter a few details in the juiciest of intel. See which they act on or talk about. That should give us a decent route to follow."

Logan grins, "Fancy shindigs are always nice, they usually got lotsa tasty little things to eat floatin' around on plates," he says. "I always like the little fish egg things, even if I dunno why it is they're so damn expensive," he says.

"Sounds like somethin' resemblin' a plan, then. Just keep yer eyes an' yer ears open - if ya really do got a whole race full o' shapeshifters, no tellin' how many of 'em are around."

"Canapes," agrees the redhead, and she pauses in hopes they will hurry along with her Yorkshire pudding. Maybe if she eats half the bread, they will take the message to heart. Butter makes the task infinitely simpler, occasionally doused by a sip of alcohol.

"An entire interstellar empire of them, if that makes you feel any better. Probably more of them than we ever want to count, in truth, but if you ask me, I'm happier to avoid the problem and let them think earth isn't worth the trouble." Wishes and fishes, Scarlett needs to learn a bit.

Logan winces, "I don't like to think about interstellar shit. My encounters with aliens mostly been pretty nasty, truth be told," he says. He doesn't think much about his time on that Shi'ar ship, the ugly things he experienced, the things he dreamed. SOme of it was nice. Most of it wasn't.

"Maybe we can find some way to make 'em think we ain't worth the trouble. Sort of like we all got terrible gas or somethin'," he grins.

She was there on that ship. She does not need to remember the bleak fates that sang to her with brilliant, horrific abandon. Scarlett's gaze closes down for a moment and she brushes crumbs into the basket, the napkin resting on her lap forgotten in a spill of white fabric. "No one likes the hand dealt, but I have an obligation to try and help where I can. It's the right thing to do and protecting others who cannot protect themselves is a noble enough cause. Maybe that gives purpose for why I am how I am, dare to say so much."

She sighs then, perking at the presence of the roast. Logan probably knows of its existence far better than she, but how not to love this bulwark of British cooking? "Shall we eat?"

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