Not An Army

May 27, 2015:

Visitors come to X-Red Headquarters and Psylocke returns.

X-Red Headquarters - New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

X-Red Headquarters is open to the Public. Anyone can enter and meet with the X-Red team members. Some of the team members even live there, either temporarily or more permanently. The elevator opens into a waiting area which gives way to a two-story central hub. The lower level of the hub is more of a common area, the upper level is the 'bull pen' where the X-Red employees try to get ''real work'' done.

Midmorning on a weekday generally finds Brinley Myers in the bullpen at X-Red Headquarters, dressed fairly casually in a checkered button up shirt and a pair of jeans. As has become the norm, there's a few piles of folders on her desk and the brunette has one open, whilst she's on the phone talking. From her desk, located near the entrance of the bullpen, Brin can hear as people come and go on the lower level.

"I'll send a message to Berto, Mr Robertson and as soon as I get his response, I'll let you know." Pausing, obviously the other party is talking "I'm not sure when to expect to hear from him, but he's normally fairly quick in his responses." Another pause as the other party responds.


Wearing.. actually more clothing than normal, vis a vis yoga pants and a mid-riff bearing tanktop, Psylocke wanders in from the attached gym area. Moving with a bounce in her step and wearing flat, flexible shos, she hangs onto a towel wrapped loosely around her neck. Her dark, purple-tinted hair is pulled back in a tight ponytail to keep it out of the way.

Cutting through the bullpen, she moves to the little mini-refridgerator that has common drinks and snacks in it and starts rummaging around with a faint frown on her glacial features, moving some cans of soda and energy drinks out of the way.


The soft hiss of the elevator doors opening has the latest guest spilling into the waiting room. Amongst them happens to be a familiar face, a young adult who looks like she just stepped off the street, with a backpack and a slung cycle helmet that is stripes of green and yellow.

Rogue pushes back her hair with nervous fingers, that go on to smooth out her shirt, finally tamed only because she shoves her free hand into the pocket of her jeans as she approaches the front desk.


Craig Hollis makes his way into the front door, a brown corduroy jacket shrugged over his shoulders, a Captain America t-shirt adding a bit of red, white and blue. He knows about the X-Men, of course - he's a mutant in New York City, even if he's a relatively recent immigrant from the wilds of Milwaukee. And he's been a hero in his own right, albeit one with a pretty mixed track record.

So, it isn't surprising that he comes to take a look around the place, see what these people are up to. Controversial as they are, they've certainly gotten more respect than he ever has. He looks over at the girl who comes in at the same time to him, the one with the streak in her hair and gives her a nod, "Hey," he says, a bit shyly, holding up a hand in greeting.


The sound in the mini fridge and the elevator opening has Brinley looking up and then at her calendar. Craning her neck round, she waves to Psylocke as she speaks on the phone "Absolutely, Mr Robertson. As soon as I hear, I'll be in touch. Thanks for your time, have a good day." Hanging up the phone, Brin makes a few notes in the file in front of her and puts the folder in one of the piles. Her desk, is relatively neat and ordered…

"Morning, Betsy" Brin greets the other woman, her voice quiet as she stands and make her way down the stairs to the waiting area - the reception desk is unattended. "Welcome to X-Red. I'm Brinley, can I help you?" There's a flash of recognition in her eyes as she looks towards Rogue, but it's fleeting.


"Listen. All I'm saying is that my client has your friend's best interests at heart here!" The voice comes from a man dressed in a cheap suit made to look expensive. He's rocking a yamaka and looks suspiciously like Adam Sandler, as he follows Scott Summers and a young man into the common area.

"Yes, but your 'client' sends you to run his errands for him?" asks Scott. "Tell me, how much is your client paying you to be his breadstick boy?"

"Breadstick boy. That's cute. As much as I love a warm Italian mean fresh off the microwave at Fazoli's, Mister Summers, the point is, I am being paid handsomely to look after my client's interests, and I am trying to protect you here. Charlie got herself - himself into some pretty deep shit here, and I don't think you want to be exposing your Generation-X-Red-Hot's to Mike's Proverbial Ass Blaster, if you catch my drift."

"Mister Kathman." Scott turns to face the lawyer, famous throughout the five boroughs for his cheesy TV ads and ambulance chasing billboards: U. Sam Kathman, Esq. As I've told you. I'm a concerned school teacher. I'm not a member of X-Men Red, and I'm only trying to protect Mister Adams from people who might do him harm. That's why he's living here. Now, I've respected your pandering long enough. Either get your ass out of our faces, or I'll find someone around here with the authority to threaten legal action."


Psylocke reaches deep into the back of the mini fridge and finds a protein/fruit smoothie. She straightens, not responding to Brinley's hail, until she's finished reading the label. "Hello, Brinley," she says in a tone of cool diffidence. "We're out of smoothies. Who restocks the icebox?" she inquires in her cultured British accent.

Hearing a visitor downstairs and the sounds of Scott arguing with the lawyer, she exchanges a look with Brinley and follows the slightly younger mutant down the stairs to the reception area, moving with a languid sort of disdain for the entire situation. She stops one step above the ground floor and bumps a hip against the railing for balance, unscrewing the bottlecap with one hand and taking few quick chugs from the bottle. She looks over at Rogue when the young woman wanders in on top of the other visitors, her eyes narrowing shrewdly in vague recognition of the southern belle.


"'ey honey." Rogue drawls, drawn into conversation with Craig first. After all, the reception desk is unmanned. "Jus stopped by for some easy readin', didn't think to find it so busy." The conversation between Scott and the slickback lawyer is just one conversation that draws her attention, but she doesn't interrupt. "What's your name? I'm Rogue." She smiles as she extends a hand, but not for a handshake, instead loosely curled up into a fist. Pound?

Brinley's arrival is met with a wider smile, "Well, actually, I was jus' stoppin by to see how the old crew was handlin their business. I'll tell you, sugah, that I think this is a sight better than the classrooms."


Craig Hollis is more than familiar with the bro-ish tradition of the fistbump, offering one up to the girl with cheerful ease, "Rogue, huh? That's a pretty good handle. I'm Craig," he says. He glances up as Brinley and Psylocke arrive, swallowing a bit visibly. Between Rogue and these new girls, it sure seems like the mutant power of being easy on the eyes is going around a bit.

"Old crew? You're…were…an X-man?" he says. He doesn't always keep up with things like membership rosters, although there's definitely a bit of awe in his voice. Craig's Midwestern superheroing was decidedly less glamorous - and less publicized - than the X-Men's feats of derring do. And that's just the ones the public knows about.

"And I was just…looking around. Although I guess, maybe, if there was a chance I could prove useful, maybe a little more than just visit?" he says, a little sheepishly.


"Code name, Mana" Brin will take the fist bump from Rogue, as she offers the other woman a small smile and hlds her hand out to Craig "Pleased to meet you both." Gesturing to the common area, she steps back to let the group through "Come on in and make yourselves comfortable, we can chat." She'll let Rogue explain her involvment with the X-Men.

"Out of Smoothies, huh, Betsy? There's a list near the Fridge, add it to it… I guess I'm kind of filling that role for now. I'm here a fair bit of the time." Brin responds with an easy tone, not overly phased by Psylockes diffidence.

As Scott arrives with Kathman, the brunette raises her chin in greeting "Need anything, Scott? When you're done with Mr Kathmann, maybe you would like to join us…." Back to the others "So how much do you know about X-Red?" Brin waits for them to precede her to them common room.


"Oh, legal action!" answers Kathman. "That's good. That's real good. Listen here, cool shades, last time I checked, 'open to the public' still had an 'l' in it, but all I see around here is a couple of dicks who don't know a golden spoon when they see one."

Scott's mouth curls into a smirk. He gestures toward the door. "Out."

"Are you ejecting me from this premises? Is the owner around to support your wishes?"

Scott opens his mouth, but before he can say anything, the young man at his side speaks up. "I'm pretty sure 'harassment' qualifies."

Kathman looks from Scott to Charlie Adams. Charlie, a gender-changing mutant, has been living at the X-Red HQ for a while now, while still dealing with the pains of smooth withdrawal. The lawyer blinks, then looks back to Scott with a scowl. "Guess this place is 'open to the pubic' after all."

Scott extends his arm and flips Kathman a well-arched bird on his way out. Once the lawyer has, in fact, left the premises, Scott sighs and mutters toward Charlie, "Sorry about that."

"It's alright," answers Charlie, who then nods his head toward the room proper. "Got an audience, though."

Scott turns around and considers the faces. Eyebrows shoot upward at the sight of Rogue, then fall back down at the sight of Betsy. He'd… sort of ended their 'thing', whatever you could call it, after going solo for a few months without warning, in an angst-ridden hunt for students who'd been kidnapped during a field trip. Not exactly the classiest way to break up with someone. His ruby glasses eventually fall upon Brinley, then shift over toward Craig. Curiosity is there, but he looks back toward Brinley with a well timed upnod of acnowledgement. "I'm fine."

Charlie frowns as the term 'smoothies' is used, apparently mistaking Psylocke's remark as a derogatory term for smooth addicts, like himself.


Psylocke lifts one shoulder in a shrug, as if even though she'd asked about it, she could be less concerned. She gives Scott a glance, too, though the expression's about as loaded as her query regarding the blended fruit drinks. "I could run him down and convince him he's a mutated gerbil," Psylocke says. Was that a joke? Her face doesn't make it look like a joke. She takes another sip of her smoothie and finally deigns to join everyone, trailing along behind the group with an idle step. She finds a convenient stool in the common room and hauls her rear up onto it, leaning her elbows on the short counter behind her for support.


Really, when you can teleport, it's even faster than calling. Which explains why Mimic pops in upstairs to find out 'Berto isn't actually here. The advantage of calling except there's no reason to consider it a wasted trip given her can check in on how people are doing. Also, get gossip. Seeing various people on the monitors downstairs, he actually walks down for a change. "Hey Bri…Mana." he finishes, just now noticing a complete stranger. "Hi, I"m Mimic." he says to Craig and looks expectant. As in 'who are you?' and 'why are you here?'


"Nice to meet you both," Rogue says as she is introduced. Like Mana, the way she stared at her a second too long suggests that she too is struggling to place the familiar face. Though there is one that she has no trouble with, as Mr. Strong Jawline with Fancy Shades concludes his argument with the sleazy lawyer. "Aw, whas wrong now? Lover's quarrel are jus downright the worse, 'andsome! Don' worry, ain't a soul that can resist your charm once you start gettin' all…."

Cheshire smile. "Authorative." The woman looks past to Psylocke, and gives a terse nod. "Look't, was just passing through, dinnit mean to start havin' story time so I'll keep it brief. Ran with a tough crowd, crossed with the X-folks, ran with them for a spell. Never amounted to much, but they always made me feel like a million bucks. That about sums it up, sugah'." That was mostly for Craig's benefit, but now everyone else has a clue now as well.


Craig Hollis looks a little awkward and obviously feels it, especially with Cal arriving and giving him the "who's this turd and what's he doing in my punchbowl?" look. "That's…good," he says in response to Rogue, then answers Brin's question, 'Um…I know you're heroes and you're trying to help give mutants as good name. I'm a mutant and a hero, although not on the same level," he admits, "But I think I could be, if I was given the chance."

"My name's Craig," he says, to introduce himself to the others, "But if we're going by callsigns, as Mana put it, then I've usually been known as Mr. Immortal - although, lately, I've kind of dropped the Mister. It seems to make people not take me very seriously. As for my powers, well…it's kind of right there in the name."


Though not a member of the X-Red team, Kitty is pretty close with quite a few of their members - and their leader. It's not uncommon for her to drop by unannounced with snacks and beer for a gaming session with Doug or to gossip with Berto. She's already through - literally - the door with an armful of things (enough that trying to open the door would most likely have made her drop them). Her back is turned toward the others as she does so, sounding out, "Knock knock!" instead of the typical one.

Then, her head turns over her shoulder and realizes that Doug isn't here. "Oh!" And Scott and Calvin are here. "Uh!" Was there a meeting she missed? Is she not supposed to be here? Oh dear. Time to play it cool. "Hi! Brooklyn Brewery anyone? I've also got some killer chocolate chip cookies. And Doritos."


At the lawyers outburst, Brin straightens her back and is about to say something as Scott ejects him, and she smiles "All good then, come and join us?" addressing Charlie "Want something to eat and drink?"

"Brinley's just fine to use." she follows the group in and starts to head to the kitchen "Food and drink? Oh, hey Mimic… Berto's still not back. Did you need anything, I might be able to help?" She's seen where Calvin came from.

"Pretty much, Craig. X-Red is a public group, we try to show that we're really just human and that there's nothing to fear. The groups not suited to everyone though, we recognise that to." Casting Scott a glance, Brin will leave recruiting to him for now. With Berto away, that's where the buck kind of stops.

As Kitty enters, Brinley snorts softly "I was hoping to get through that pile of accounts on my desk." walking over to the woman, she helps relieve her of some of the burden "Let me help you, the contribution is appreciated."


Psylocke gives Kitty that same glacial look she gives everyone, along with the bounty of delicious snackage she's so thoughtfully brought for everyone.

"Empty carbs," she sniffs. "I hope you don't eat like that all the time. That'll make your arse start to puff out more." It's not said with any particular rancor or cruelty in mind- Psylocke might as well be remarking on the weather.

She takes another long sip of her health drink and gives Craig a scruitinizing examination. "Have you done anything of note? Heroism calls for more than spandex and a clever nom de guerre," she says, sloshing the fruit smoothie lazily at the bottom of the half-empty bottle. She tilts her head slightly to the side, regarding Craig with an unblinking stare.


"Well, a pleasure to meet you Craig. Welcome." Mimic shoots Scott a glance to see if he'd heard of someone called Mister Immortal. "So your power is immortality? May I ask how old you are?" Cause he'd really love to know if Alexander the Great and Hephaestion were lovers since there's no evidence of it beyond the old histories. Kitty's arrival is briefly distracting when she mentions beer and cookies. Two great tastes that… don't really go all that well together. "If you're looking to join up, Craig, I can arrange for a couple people to meet you. This is a good start though."


Craig Hollis runs a hand back through his hair, "Well, of note…I mean, if you lived in Milwaukee, probably, but I didn't make the national news a whole lot. Just fighting bank robbers and regular criminals, there aren't a lot of supervillains out there. And the ones that do exist, well, they're not exactly threatening to conquer the world - maybe the local Wal-Mart, but that's about as close as they get," he says.

To Cal, he says, 'Oh, I"m not that old, I just…can't die. At least, not permanently. I go down for a little bit, a few seconds, sometimes as much as a minute, but I always get back up again, right as right. I've been burned, shot, hung, run over, dropped, fricasseed, flambeed, skewered, slaughtered, bisected, disected, decapitated…" he says, then blinks for a second and shakes his head, "It can be pretty intense. But, y'know, I try to look at the bright side. I'm still here," he says, although there's a flicker in his voice that shows that he's not entirely sure that he always got the good end of that particular stick.


As Brinley takes some of the load off, Kitty grins a thanks. "Phew, thank you. I thought Doug would be here. We're supposed to be doing some, uh," she glances over toward Scott and Calvin. "Research." Because playing video games could totally be considered research.

The woman with the bad attitude is given a raised eyebrow. Her voice isn't exactly hushed, but it is certainly lowered when she asks Brinley and Scott, "Who's the asshole?" Her butt is fine as far as she's concerned and she doesn't really need anyone commenting on her food and beverage intake.

Cal's comment on Craig causes the phasing mutant to study Craig. The idea of an immortal as well as someone wanting to join the team is certainly a curiosity. Him being killed in multiple different ways only to come back is met with a tilted head. "Cool," is all she can say to that. "Want a beer?"


"It's me, Kitty. Betsy." Psylocke sounds as if this is a conversation she's had to repeat multiple times since her return from Japan. She looks at Mimic and Calvin, who are grilling Craig, then regards Kitty again. "Are you still studying at the school?" she asks in that same bored monotone. "I haven't been back to the mansion in a little span yet."


"Pleasure, come on in." Brinley gives Kitty a conspiratorial glance "Research, hun, sounds good. This is Betsy, Kitty. Kitty, Betsy. And you work hard enough to enjoy some empty carbs." at the same time Betsy does her introduction. Psylocke gets a mildly flustered look. "Sorry, Dougs not here, Kitty."

Placing the supplies on the table, Brin snags a beer for herself and settles into a chair.

Regarding Craig thoughtfully, Brin murmurs "Not sure that sounds like too much fun… " a small smile "useful, but definitely not fun." beat "If you could, Cal, that would be great. With Berto away so much… " she lets the thought trail.


Mimic's brows arch at the list of the ways Craig has died. "Well, even if you don't join, I think we can give you a hand with your combat training." Cause it sure sounds like the guy needs it. He reaches up to run a hand through his hair as he contemplates the ramifications of him mimicing Craig's power. Half strength immortality? Probably take longer to come back alive. But if he's dead, does he drop the power and so die or does the immortality mean he's not quite dead? Some things are better off without experiments being performed. He casually reaches for a beer which floats over into his hand. "Codenames, Brin. Not all of us are out to the public, remember." And Craig's just a visitor. Not that he sounds at all put out about it. A first name isn't much to go on. "I'll definitely mention it to Cyclops, sure."


The mention of being Betsy is met with two raised eyebrows. "Uh, what?" Kitty studies the woman. The tone is very similar to the woman she knows, but she looks absolutely nothing like Betsy Braddock. "I'm, no not studying at the school. I live and work there now. Computer Science teacher."

Blinking, she pulls her attention over Brinley and grins. "Well, I know a woman named Betsy, but this certainly doesn't look like her, so maybe introductions aren't in order. Maybe more like explanations. And don't worry about making excuses for Doug. He gets emergencies. I may just have missed his text telling me he couldn't make it. On the bright side, beer, cookies and chips for everyone!" Calvin gets a smile and a shrug. "No worries. Most people here know my name. No need to get into codenames for me now as that turns into a Simpsons, 'L. Simpson, no Lisa S.' situation."


Betsy moves one strong shoulder in a shrug. "It's fine," she assures Kitty and Brin. "There's a file on Cerebro's network detailing everything. A few of us were there. It's fine if you don't believe me- I'm getting fairly accustomed to it."

Betsy drains the rest of her smoothie and walks behind the island countertop to throw the bottle in the recycling. She moves to a chair and flops gracelessly into it, crossing her legs at the knee and leaving one foot bobbing arrhythmically in the air. "You can call me Psylocke," she tells the newcomer cooly. "My real name is Betsy Braddock- that's something of an open secret about here, anyway."


Craig Hollis frowns slightly at Calvin, "I'll have you know I'm a highly trained combatant, I just have…bad luck sometimes. And I admit, some of those near-deaths came about…earlier in my life. Self-inflicted you might say, when I was a more troubled young man," he says. There's a shadow in his eyes as he says it, which might indicate that said troubles aren't as entirely in his past as he might like, much as he may try to generally move on from them.

"I mean, more training is always good - nobody's perfect,' he says, although the way his eyes flick to Betsy might make it seem like he's not entirely sure of that particular statement. He'se also just generally mystified by the conversation swirling around the British woman, just giving her a nod from the introduction, "It's nice eto meet you. I mean, Craig is just an easier name to call me, it gets weird being called Immortal all the time in casual conversation…and I don't really have anybody to protect with my identity. I'm just…me."


Mimic turns to study the woman he's informed is Betsy. He's definitely going to be reading that file and probably should have already. Just so many things have been happening lately! He needs to find a time traveling mutant to mimic so he can make time for everything. "Well, welcome back Betsy." Turning back to consider Craig, he nods slowly. "Well, you aren't alone in that. Many mutants have difficulties growing up and discovering how they fit in. Many also don't have families for one reason or another so they find it with each other."


"Sorry, Mimic" Brin gives a sheepish grin to Cal before nodding to Kitty and Betsy "I'm still trying to work it out, Kitty." Betsy's story is strange, but then many of the X-Men have interesting backgrounds.

Sipping the beer, drinking it slowly, Brin nods in agreement as Mimic speaks to Craig "After Mom and I were attacked, I was sent to the Institute. I guess, in that regard, I was lucky. Being found so young and having the support around me."


"Say we don't have access to Cerebro?" Kitty raises an eyebrow. She yanks out a beer and opens it easily, palming the bottle cap. Dropping down onto a nearby seated area, she studies the woman who is calling herself Betsy Braddock. "Well, when a tall British lady comes back as a smaller Asian lady saying she's Betsy Braddock, I think you can imagine why people are a bit surprised, Betsy." Her own tone is almost flippant, though she certainly is curious. "Just trying to figure out what's going on."

"Nothing wrong with being called Craig, Craig," the phasing mutant grins, pulling her legs up underneath her so that she's almost perched on her seat in a comfortable way, nodding at Brinley and Calvin's assessment. "I mean, I grew up surrounded and helped by other people who understood what I was going through. If I didn't, I'd still be getting migraines in Illinois, probably going crazy."


Craig Hollis shrugs, "Mine were less about being a mutant and more just…life," he says, "But, yeah, I managed to make things work and I've been trying to help people ever since. And sometimes, since I know I can take it, I've put myself in harm's way to do help people. When you need someone to go down to the bottom of a coal mine or to jump in the way of an incoming bullet, well, you can't really do much better than me. Although I wish I didn't have to die to heal…it can be a real pain in the tuchus when I get…well, a pain in the tuchus," he says.

He blinks at the discussion of Betsy's transformation, raising an eyebrow, "Well, that sounds like a peculiar happening to be sure, but heroes can't get very far if they don't learn to trust one another." he says brightly, still somehow an optimist in spite of all he's been through.


"It's a difficult situation," Betsy tells Kitty, though not terribly apologetically. "I'm still myself- of a sort. There was a ritual in Japan that… did not end well. I don't want to discuss specifics. But I have all of Betsy's memories- her experiences, her opinions. Her soul is in here," Psylocke assures the slightly younger woman in those same chill, neutral tones. "I just have a different perspective on some philosophical issues." She spreads her long fingers in a vague wave at the room. "I'm not looking for pity. Just remarking on how ours is a life of adversity."


"Might as well continue with Cal now." he suggests with a shrug. "Craig, I'd like to find out more about how your power works sometime. There may be ramifications to it that can help you and training mutants in the use of their powers is one of the things I do. Sometimes another perspective can come up with ideas that even the one with the power didn't think of. Another time though since you've already gotten enough of the third degree. Have some beer or cookies and relax."


"Cals been helping me… get my mojo back, so to speak" Brinley's last big assignment hadn't ended all that well and she'd lost her confidence. "It's been helpful. But then too, so has working with the team again - knowing that someone has my back and I've got their's." Kitty gets a small smile here, "One of my first assignments after returning from R & R, was to provide support for an operation. It helped." Betsy's explanation gets a cant of her head "Sounds… interesting."


As Kitty listens to Betsy's story, she tilts her head curiously. It's clear she's listening and interested in her story. "Alright," she says. "I mean, I wasn't really offering you pity. I was just curious about what happened. Maybe later." Or not at all by the other woman's tone, but she wouldn't be herself if she didn't pry.

"We can certainly help," she assures Craig. "At least with making sure you don't die quite so much. Maybe. I mean, I don't think that's a guarantee, but we'll try." She smiles at Brinley and nods. "And, like Stella, we try and get grooves back."


Craig Hollis smiles and runs as hand through his blonde hair for a moment, "Well, I'll do my best, anyway,' he says. "It can actually be a decent maneuver sometimes. Bad guys get a bit freaked out when they kill somebody on occasion - or when they guy they just killed pops back up again and punches them in the mouth." he says.

"I admit, it's kind of tough going it alone, though - I don't have anything but my fists and feet and, sometimes, that's just not enough against some of the bad guys you have around New York."


"Some additional combat training would be helpful, then," Psylocke informs Craig. She gets to her feet, then, stretching sinuously up on her toes as she works the kinks from her workout out. She folds one arm behind her head and tugs on her elbow, staring unblinkingly at Craig. "Perhaps learning how to use a weapon, if you have no inborn skills. We have a number of excellent weapons coaches here, if your skills run towards hand-to-hand or more ranged combat. Given your resilience," she says in those aristtocratic tones, "front-line combat in a team might be your best position."


"It probably would stand you better in Gotham." Cal agrees. "But not everyone can knock down a building by looking at it. Part of training is learning how and when to use your power and when to use something else, such as a weapon as Betsy mentions. Or just to run." He twists off the bottle cap and takes a swig before adding to what Betsy just said. "Assuming you've got the training for it. We don't do 'meat shields'." Tanks are another matter.


Brinley grins a little at the conversation "Learning when to use your fists instead of your gifts, can be helpful too." She's not a lot to look at, but maybe she's had some experience with that lately. "And grooves are important… " Kitty gets a grin for that comment.

Taking a swig of her beer, Brin looks to Betsy "So now that you're here, errrr back, what are your plans?"


Craig Hollis frowns slightly, "If I were in any danger, there would be a problem with me being a shield, but I wouldn't be, so I don't see what the problem with it would be. I don't run," he says simply. "And, yes, I could probably use some more training, btu I'm not a rookie either. I've been in the trenches and I've seen my share of fire. And I've been through things that nobody else could possibly survive. I don't mind learning, but I'd rather not be treated like a wet behind the ears pup," he says levelly to Cal.

"I was under the impression that this was a team of heroes, looking for ways to help. I'm happy to train, but I'll train as an equal learning from an ally, not as somebody's grunt answering to a drill sergeant. If I wanted that, I'd sign up for the Army."


Psylocke drops her arms, arching an eyebrow at Calvin when Craig makes his assertion. She reaches back and catches her toes behind her rear, stretching her quad out and standing with perfect balance. "That's not unreasonable," she tells Craig. "We get a number of students here who have no real knowledge of how to use their powers- or how their powers can benefit people," she explains. "Particularly in a team environment. But, you're quite correct. No disrespect intended."

She glances over at Kitty, changing legs easily. "I don't know," she admits to the woman. "I…" she hesitates. "I'm considering my options. I don't know if the team is where I need to be right now."


"Tanks are tanks," Kitty grins at Calvin. She pushes up from her seat and takes a long drink of her beer. "I think they'd be a problem just about anywhere." Setting the empty bottle into a recycling bin, she moves to grab her purse. "It's always good to make sure you can take care of yourself. Just because you can't die doesn't mean you shouldn't try to make sure that doesn't happen." She's known at least one other person who seems to be immortal and he fights like a crazy person.

"I wouldn't be so sure," she tells Craig with a raised eyebrow as to living through things other people couldn't. "It's a strange world out there. I'd never say never. If you're here and willing to learn, then keep an open mind. We're not the army, but we're not exactly a Kumbaya group either. If you think you're the equal to everyone, then you've got nothing else to learn, know what I mean?" The look given from Psylocke is met with a smile. "That's not meant as a disrespect, it's that if you're not about to take lessons from someone who may know better than you, then what's the point of learning?" The young mutant shrugs. "I should get going. The snacks are all yours of course!"


"We know a mutant who can negate powers." Cal tells Craig. "We know of at least one serum that can negate a mutant's powers. I wouldn't be so certain that you're never in any danger of staying dead. I certainly would never assume that if you were on my team. Betsy is correct though. I didn't mean to imply you were a rookie and completely untrained. Just that we could help you be even better, either as part of the team or on your own whichever you decide."


Craig Hollis looks somewhat calmed and nods, "I'm not afraid of death. If the time does come for me, then it comes. I've cheated death often enough that it doesn't hold any fear for me anymore. If it's a choice between dying for good and saving someone else's life, I'm okay with me beeing the one who gets snuffed," he says.

"And that's all I'm asking - like I said, I'm happy to learn. Maybe I even have a few things to show in return. But…I've been made fun of plenty. I don't need to sign up to have anyone look down on me, y'know? Guess it just makes me a little sensitive 'bout it."


"See you, Kitty. I'll let Doug know you dropped by." Brin watches the discussion between Cal and Craig "We're a team and we're equal until we're not. We each fill a role and part of being a team is that we know when to lead and when to follow." Cals response gets a warm smile "Just so, too. We support each other, as individuals. If teaming isn't for you, doesn't matter. We want people to be safe."

Psylocke gets a considering look "What would be the deciding factor there, Betsy?"


"I don't know." Psylocke goes looking behind the little counter for something else to drink. "I have a confusing mass of memories I'm working through," she says calmly, going through a few old bottles of water and frowning at them. Finally, she finds some diet soda behind a cabinet. She straightens back up, looking over at Brinley with her/not her own eyes. "Being around everyone is complicated. It doesn't feel like it did. Maybe some distance would help me get some perspective on things while I'm sorting out who I want to be."


Cal just nods at Craig's response. Enough's been said on the topic for one evening. "You've been offered help, Betsy?" Of course she has and everyone here except for Craig knows it. It's what the Professor does. "Or if you just want to talk about it, there's that too. But you might be right in that some distance could help you get perspective."


Craig Hollis nods and senses that, to some degree, he's been dismissed from the conversation, "Well, it was nice to meet you all, anyway. I'll leave you my number so, if you ever need anything, you can feel free to give me a call," he says. He smiles to Betsy and nods to the rest as he makes his way out, leaving the more familiar people to talk amongst themselves about…whatever it is that's going on between them all.

So, maybe he won't end up being an X-man. That's okay. He'll find a place in the world. Helll, he's got all the time there is to find one.


Psylocke nods at Cal. "I appreciate the recommendation, Cal. I'll … think about it." She gestures at Craig in response to his smile- if she can smile, her grinner must be broken. "It was interesting meeting you. Come around again," she tells the man. "You seem determined- that's a more precious quality than any power or gift," she assures him.

"I'm going to shower and change. I'll see you later, Brinley." She flicks her ponytail behind her and with an arch look and an imperiously stiff back, glides gracefully out of the room, ponytail bobbing behind her.


Watching Psylocke and Craig leave, Brinley sighs. "Craig, I really would like you to meet the other X-Reds. I'll set up a time for us all to meet, OK? See you later, Betsy, I'll be in the bull pen all afternoon." The brunette stands and looks at the remainder of the food and snacks. "Sticking around, Cal? If so, I'll leave these out. Otherwise, I'll tidy and get back to work… You're welcome to stay, of course."


"We'll definitely be in touch, Craig." Cal assures the man. "Just need to clear things with some people." It might not be the Army but it's still got its secrets and ways to do things. "Take care, Betsy. No, since Berto isn't here, I have other things to do. Talk to you later." Giving Brin a wink, he grabs a few cookies telekinetically and floats them over before he BLINKs out in a flash of pinkish energy.

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