1964-12-21 - We Got The Plans
Summary: Able, Jean and Rogue come together to discuss their suspicions and meeting with Maximus.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
rogue able jean-grey 

Once upon a time there was this redhead having a makeout session with a robot, and they were going at things excitedly on a pile of genetics textbooks written almost exclusively by Moira MacTaggart and Charles Xavier. Based on what the rest of the hidden world knows on genetics, these are basically colouring books with a few mistaken labels, like ten year olds trying to explain the inner workings of the US economy. Business, business, graphs, business, numbers, ruler, accounting pencil. Right, that's how it all works, and then don't pay your taxes for the GOP to take away everything you hold dear except your soul, because you can't sell your soul to the Devil when he lives in Greenwich Village. Alas for everyone, the redhead in question is not a bohemian for whom a robot would actually make sense. Alas, she prefers heartbeats. That would be the headmistress getting very knowledgeable about practical hands-on experience for reasons that aren't fit for republication. Or publication. Or GOPication.

Scarlett happens to be carrying her camera, and why she wants the library is entirely a matter of sunlight lancing through the windows in a most desirable fashion. The low, moody shimmer through the grey clouds draws her out. Oh, and because she probably stashed something in the library worth finding, notably a copy of Dumas.

Trailing behind Scarlett, if one wasn't following the other, the other was following the one. Jean had books in her hands to return that she received from some of the students. She was heading that way, and they looked busy. Busy in their stuffy suits to either play outside in the snow or shovel around the city for fifty cents.

She didn't exactly blow past Scarlett; careful in the spacial awareness as she needs be, ducking where able and squeezing herself against the doorjambs to slide inside with a big rush. She needed to be here anyways. Where there was light needed, Jean needed books. Not a refresher, no.

She was still weirded out by the fact that she could remember every.. single.. detail..

But.. she was here for confirmation.

After a few days away, it took Able a night to settle back into the mansion. He's not feeling quite so out of place after an hour of sleep and his morning injection. As he wasn't doing much sleeping, he was doing an awful lot of thinking. Now he's on the lookout for the senior staff.

Lo and behold, here are both the redheads he was looking for. He lifts a hand just past his waist for a subdued wave. One eyebrow raised, he glances from one to the other. Not so different from an exchange they shared in Jean's office all too recently. No question is asked aloud, but does it really need to be?

Poor kids out to shovel snow. It's 55'F out there and gusty, no promise at all of the white stuff short of a certain African-American mutant brewing up a bluster in the northeastern tip of Westchester County. Alas, that's not coming down any time soon. The next week might as well be spring, for all that. They can earn their fifty cents by trimming branches and sitting in free parking spots, looking for Elflights, or fighting Frankie in traffic.

Scarlett isn't one to be blown past, stepping aside as needed, though her thoughts dance far and wide. Her easy composure allows for a sliver of a smile to show, though the girl's pearlescent vitality and absence of food are telling. Sleep has not been her compatriot any time recently, which might speak for the detached, diffuse quality around her. Lovely sights await, but she twirls lightly around, hugging the Kodak to her chest. "Bonjour, mes amis."

"Hello!" She doesn't know if Scarlett was speaking to her or not, but by then, she was already on the medical section of the library. Books were taken out, some that dealt with psyche's and premature thoughts and thesis on the way the mind works, and how to spot and detect such at a glance.

It was all speculation, but she was going to read it, and the books themselves were soon piled within her arms. Much like the first time when Dr. Able first met Jean. There was a glance up in Able's direction, her brows lifted, her shoulders shrugging as she soon plops the books upon the desk with a loud thud. "Hello to you too!" She says to Able. "Meeting of the minds or… did something happen?" Speaking of..

"Oh yeah, that family issue, Able. Anything we need to know so that we can help?" Cause, why not..

For his part, the doctor is looking substantially improved. His bruises have faded and the stitches have been pulled from his cuts, leaving barely visible pink lines. He's wearing the slacks, white shirt, and slim tie that's practically his uniform. There's a freshly pressed and scrubbed feel to him today This is one of the rare occasions it doesn't look like he's either been wearing them for too long or while he's doing something entirely too active.

"Ladies," he greets. "Nothing to report at the moment, no. I'll keep you informed." There's a tightness around his eyes that's telling. That, and stitches. Of his latest family reunions, this one doesn't seem to have gone well. "I'd say we have more pressing matters to attend to."

Scratches and cuts are a thing unknown to the redhead of blithe disposition, though she halts in her progress to a bookshelf. Another look compromises with the habitual grip on manners beckoning her not to cause undue harm or rudeness to others. Staring might. Able has not been anything but polite to her, after all, and she assesses the damage with a concerned eye cast low, to avoid directly drawing attention. "Reunions?"

The word flickers over her lips, cast in concern. Don't ask her what kind of things family entails; somewhere elsewhere in the city is an unusual young man prowling after her, chasing her trail, forced to be landbound when she takes to the sky. "Other than hearing about fireworks, I dread the season being too quiet. How are you both? I hope that we aren't walking into a fire and me here in my sandals…"

One eyed squint was given to Able; if he could hear it now, it would be the all-too-typical 'Uh huh' mothering sound that one would make when there's general disbelief. But she doesn't press if he doesn't. "Well.." Jean says, finally flopping down into her seat. "..that's actually what I came here for."

"I mean, there wasn't a need to reflect back on the conversation with Maximus, but he was clear. I'm a telepath and empath. I'm not too sure what Kaleb has told him about me and the -extent- of what he's said, but I think I have enough juice to track down a Skrull if I do it right." She then looks up towards Scarlett. "We. Especially if we hold hands briefly." That was a tease on her friend. "I'm fine by the way." She says nonchalantly. Says the girl with a horrible diet who was already suffering the physical sides of it. Rings around the eyes, pale hair. But at least there was water!

The info is taken in without comment, at least initially, though there's a skeptical eyebrow raised at Jean's assessment of her own condition. "After this meeting, you're coming with me to the infirmary. You're going to drink something that tastes terrible. Doctor's orders.

Able coughs delicately into his fist, as he often does to cover a moment of thinking. "Ahemhem. Sufficed to say, I'm the black sheep. In any case, what do we plan to do once we start locating the Skrull? I have my own ideas, but somehow I doubt you two would be on board."

"Preferably something involving lots of rose hips, or oils. Cod liver, most likely." Scarlett is in agreement with a pertinent recommendation known 'round the western world as the bane of children everywhere. For a girl with absolutely no memories of her childhood or anything much short of nineteen, she sure as hell knows how to inflict maximum stomach damage. "You might even have an opportunity to convince her to take something really ghastly, like that awful powdered shake." This is how best friends treat one another, by throwing the under the culinary bus and going in reverse with the trailer. Affection is more dangerous than anything else.

Her gaze flickers between the pair, man and woman, her expression raising a measure of curiosity. "How to catch a Skrull? I just walked out last time. It fell on me." God's own truth; she's on headline news as a result for it. "Personally, I have any number of bad ideas, but I like hearing others and judging them before going ahead."

Jean's face says it all. Her nose wrinkled toughly as her lips curled up into a look of disgust. "What about those shots?" Those shots did wonders for a few hours, but she still managed to burn through anything like wildfire. And then it continues, green eyes set upon Scarlett as if she were to pick up a book and throw it right at her friend. If there was a pillow? Chucked. A balled up, dirty sock? Heaved.

A boulder?

Sisyphus would laugh with glee at the way it would have been tossed.

"Urp." Is the only sound that comes from Jean's mouth for a moment, hand pressed to lips, her eyes closing to squeeze out the thoughts as she inhales softly. "Okay.. so.. I don't think torture would do any good. I was hoping for the stealthier approach." Jean looks to the both of them, hoping to find them agreeable. "I'm up for demonstration if you are."

"My formula is a bit more… direct." Able suppresses a chuckle that's equal parts regret and satisfaction. It's the laugh of a doctor who knows the medicine is almost as bad as the ailment. "Glucose. Vegetable proteins. Amino acids. Essential vitamins and minerals. I take it intravenously, but I created something ingestible as well. For when the need arises."

Another cough and shrug from the doctor. He sighs, but there's nothing regretful about it. More a bracing for the coming admission. "I believe that permanent problems require permanent solutions," he explains. "I prefer painless ones, but difficult times often require extreme measures. I have experience in infiltration and eliminating a variety of targets. Judge as you will. I already know Jean wants me to stop killing… things. People. Whatever."

A boulder tossed Scarlett's way isn't going to faze her. Boulder, Colorado, possibly. She has the freedom to scream and run away, though possibly not in that order. Her mischief is present, though edged in ways normally not seen, a proof of the lack of sleep on her part and the need to suss out what the hell they're going on about. Family matters; family with Able, and that probably has to be enough. He's a conflict diamond of a sort, shining all the brighter when held up against the miseries of surrounding.

"Those put together sound like nigh near anything, but I like those methods that make for a good lesson," she says brightly. Wait until they're patching her up from jumping through the Jovian atmosphere. It's coming, soon enough. "Killing the Skrull to keep the world safe. Not entirely bad, but nothing stops them from continuing to show up. As a deterrent, it's a bit final."

There was a slight.. sigh. Her body leans back within her chair, her fingers tapping against the surface of the table as she throws a mental temper tantrum that shows upon her face. Lip poked out, cheeks a tad bit flustered, which slightly livens up the pale features that were there.

"Okay. Killing is permanent, and final. And sure, it'll keep the world safe, but for a time." Jean points out to them both. "We find just -one-, just one Skrull and we can find the many. I can link us, take us through the mental landscape and find out what makes them tick. Find out -who- they took the visage of, dead or alive.. sus them out and put them out." She frowns. "Or, try to find a better way with co-habitation. We start wiping out a race of Skrulls that have been here since god knows when, when their supposed leader or whomever knows about it, that leaves us in the middle of a war that I'm -sure- we don't want to be in." Her fingers lift to pinch her bottom lip, her eyes nearly glaze over.

"If I can find a way to have a private discussion with our Kree friend, I would. To explore the option of cohabitation, but I'd rather we find the Skrull first and find out their true intentions. Maximus Boltagon is convincing, but I like finding my own facts first, and not judging by the .. well, creepy and mad."

The doctor wets his lips with the tip of his tongue as he accesses a very, very old memory. "My creator once knew an artillery oberleutnant who said, 'If we kill enough of them, they will stop coming.' 1916. He was talking about the Brits during the Great War."

Able has the long-fingered hands of a pianist. He rubs them together thoughtfully as he considers what to say next. "I'll be the first to admit that it's not a perfect plan, but I work with more conventional methods than you two. I'm open to other ideas that are less likely to get us killed."

He's quite a bit more dismissive on the next topic. "As far as Maximus goes, I agree. He's crazy in a recreational way. I've seen people who were more insane for less reason, and thus more dangerous. Still, I don't think we'd be well served having him in the inner circle."

"Alas for him, that particular method did not work. Hence why murder, death, and general removal of an entire race fall outside the canon of what we typically review. Atop that, there is the simple precept that life is sacred," says that bohemienne, her camera held lightly in her hands. "Like it or not, Earth is not a planet alone. We dwell in a much, much bigger galaxy than just this collection of a few different planets orbiting a nice yellow sun. At the end of the day, we are part of a cosmic byway, not a highway of great size yet, but people will take the exit and they will come here. We must contend with the fact that in our awareness, our planet exists as a noted place. It has been a long foray for us, a twinkling of an eye in some scales, that we were left to our own devices. Our freedom and our cares as a race are part of a multitude of them, and assuming the Shi'ar or the Kree or the banded yellow scamanders are going to leave us alone because we say so is, unfortunately, wishful thinking of the worst sort."

There, someone had to say it. She nods with Jean's statement. "There is no choice to merely erase their presence. They will come, or if not them, someone else, and on it goes until our pyrrhic victory is complete. Cohabitation is a dangerous thought but not impossible given we have gods, mages, aliens, metahumans, constructs, and so many other things I'm not naming them all or we would be here. What, then, do you want to see from Mr. Boltagon? He did not lie; those people he holds no love for, neither the race who contacted us. In this, our best allies are ourselves."

Still in disagreement. Jean shakes her head vigorously but she does not raise up to interject. It was a conversation among friends, family, and they will usually end peacefully if she's near. "Quite frankly Able, all of them are clear guarantees that we'll die." Though, she rubs the back of her neck and stands, pushing her chair out gently so that she could pace the floors. All of this while thinking, all of this while shifting her hand within the air as if she were checking off marks, those marks being the books that she laid out scattering upon the table, pages flipping, opening to particular passages that she intends to read.

"I know that still, there are more worlds out there that -could- be in their infancy." No one needs to know how she knows this, but she does. "But, I believe that we're in that part, that portion where we could go either way. We could be conquered, or conquerors. Wiping out the skrull as a whole would tip the outward perceptions." Scarlett probably said it better.

"I really don't want to see anything from Mr. Boltagon. He gave us what you've already given me, Scar." She points out. "I was hoping for transparency, and we got it. But it took a long time to get there. But I also can see this; he does not care about the mutant race as a whole outside of Kaleb and those he can toy with and throw away, like Lorna. You're right. Both of you. I wasn't proposing he's in this inner circle but should we say it? Should we dare think that Kaleb himself is compromised due to his affections for Mr. Boltagon?"

"The best allies are ones you can trust. Ones that are stable." Able spreads his hands helplessly. "I don't trust Boltagon. He strikes me as… I'll call it unpredictable. That could be a liability if we choose diplomacy rather than a more direct resolution. I don't know Kaleb well enough to judge whether or not he's being influenced. The notion perturbs me."

If anything, he seems amenable to any plan that'll get them out of this in one piece. It doesn't take a telepath to realize that he's more concerned with the well-being of his friends than that of the general population, but he's keeping them in mind. Ish. "I think like a blunt instrument," he admits. "On that note, I doubt our Kree friends will like the idea of cohabitation. They seem a bit blunt, themselves."

"You should not trust him. His foremost interests are not to us," Scarlett points out, even as she turns her face to the window and the warming light that slips through the clouds, finding the fairness of her skin. "He loves his brother, his people, his city. I have very little doubt he has strong affections for Kaleb. I watched him prepare to execute people who struck Kaleb with a bullet meant for him, while in a city with my foremost protector off on a damn mountainside somewhere. I've been to Attilan, as oft as our lovely sound warper has. The tale of that comes for another time. Maximus is brilliant, bar none, and he is not stable. I would as soon as trust him as I ever did the Enchantress of Asgard. When my purpose aligned with hers, she would stand by me. When it did not, she would as soon stand in my way as try to swat me off her board. The truth lies in this; we are many pieces in a puzzle driven by many motives, and none of them are going to line up well. Maximus can be an ally and there are certain aspects to this I have given him trusted information for, where his brother Blackagar has not due to his absence on the mountain monasteries hunting for whatever precious lore he can find. Attilan in a way began much of this as near as I can tell. They at least were involved when calls of distress burst into the void, and summoned the Kree to investigate. Maximus knows that his brother sought to keep the Kree at bay, because I told him as much, as you have seen."

Playing politics is her nature, after all. If there was a congress of worlds yet, she'd sit on Mjolnir and claim Midgard. Odd position for the redhead, but such is the nature of life. "The Skrull go beyond this. What I did not tell Maximus Boltagon is that I still am, in very small part, a Skrull; it will always be part of me. I can wake that monster up, I can be that monster, and everything that Jean might need to leapfrog to the others has been trapped inside me for a year. Blackagar knew. He never really quite grasped how much was there. The creature was dying when I touched it, and I more than likely hastened its demise through the gate, but those death echoes leave strong enough imprints. The other voices are infinitely louder, and so help us all, you might be able to pull something out to centre your wavelength. I am not sure how new this data will be in terms of what you need, but turning into a shape-shifting green alien is one of those rarer talents I would like to keep out of the ordinary. I mean, they certainly saw me. And oh, have no doubt, that one and all his kin being chased by half the supernatural population in New York wanted nothing more than total subjugation of humanity into the Skrull Empire. They're pretty adamant about that."

Rogue goes home.

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