The Partisan Effect

June 20, 2015:

Jean and Partisan suffer a random meeting, somewhat friends are made over Pho.

M-Town

Characters

NPCs: Those people in the Vietnamese Market

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

M-town at this time of night, isn't the sort've place you want to be. Even before smooth became something of a thing, it's always been a rough neighborhood after the sun went down. Tonight is no different. Young mutants with something to prove, Bigots with some axe to grind, poverty, drug use and well you name it. It's also where a spraypainted cat's skull above crossed rifles has been showing up from time to time, and everyone knows what that means. The Partisan prowls these streets, sometimes they find evidence of her work. Smooth dealers, lone nutjobs you name it turn up dead in some greasy side alley with the Partisan's tag on the wall. Now you even see the odd youth sporting a shirt with that logo, folks have stickerbombed the logo on cross walks and back alley doors.
What people don't know, is what the Partisan looks like when she isn't wearing that trademark mask and screaming obscenities in a plethora of languages. She looks like she belongs in some upstate rich kid highschool's cheer leading squad, young and blonde and beautiful. A neat white dress shirt, a well tailored business suit with a soft pink neck tie and pocket square. She looks like some overdressed intern more than anything, and yeah she also doesn't look like she belongs around here at this time of night. Not that this stops her from strolling ever so casually down the sidewalk, puffing casually after a pale yellow cigarette. Closing in casually on a young tough on a street corner, hooking some sort of illicit substance.

Contrary to popular belief, M-Town hosts the best of the best food carts that rival those down in the Bronx. The Mexican food cart man could make a mean burrito, the hotdogs were always on point. Sometimes she could get some weird meat mixture with banana peppers that'll fill her up with three bites and leave a taste that isn't gross, but with a bit of spicy twang. But that was in the day. Food vendors know to start selling the rest of their goods at about 4:30 on a good day, and be out of the streets and home with their families or cats by 6pm. M-Town, it really wasn't the best place to be outside with money.

However, there was Jean. While her pockets weren't fat with Presidents, she did have a few bills here and there to stop at a local shop to get something to eat and drink if she need be. She looked like a true doctor; in a pair of baby blue scrubs with Ugg shoes worn and strapped to her ankles, hair tucked back into a ponytail and swept from her green gaze. White lab-coat adorning her shoulders, the sleeves rolled up to the elbows so that the thin of her arms could catch a cool breeze.

The little change that she did have was used to buy a cup of hot chocolate, which was sipped as soon as she steps out of the door. The moon wasn't high in the sky, it was only a few days off, but the street lights cast and eerie glow against the symbol that rests upon the brick-masoned building.

This draws out a slight grin. Someone actually attempted to copy the mark in little rows. Starting from small, increasing in size, leading up to the original marking. Jean just shakes her head and continues walking, her feet lightly squicking within her shoes to create a slow creak, following the path of the pretty blonde lady who looked too out of place.

"Hey Honey what-"The tough starts his dealer speech, but well he never gets to finish it. The blow doesn't just come quick, it's just a blur of motion and a -THWACK- loud enough to echo down the street. He reels from the punch,sinking to his knees as that blonde steps in all the closer to relieve him of the Glock-19 he had pushed into the front of his jeans. "Fucking amatuer hour chucklefuck wanna be hardass motherfucker, I ought to ghost your fucking ass right here on this street corner." Part steps back just a touch, pinning one shoe atop the kneeling man's thigh as she drops the pistol mag and in a smooth motion strips the slide from the pistol frame. Letting the parts fall to the sidewalk as the poor fuck reels, oh yeah those little white things over there on the sidewalk? Those would be -teeth-.
"You came to the wrong neighborhood mother fucker, I catch you down here again for any reason? I'm gonna chew the eyes out'cher face and skull fuck you to death, and don't think I won't fucking know."Theres a pause, as she grabs the poor fuck's collar and slams his head into the fender of a parked car, only to relieve him of his wallet. She sources the guy's license, before flipping the rest to the ground. The poor kid, well he tries to comply. Scrambling back with a groan and a grumble, before staggering drunkenly to his feet and meandering down the sidewalk. "Fucking amatuers, jesus fucking christ."
The young woman, yeah well lets talk shop for a moment. She isn't young, and we could argue about her status as a human being. Those brainwaves are as distinctive as they are alien, and yeah she's more annoyed than anything else. Certainly not the blood thirsty 'kill everything' sort've vibe you'd expect considering her reputation, I mean fuck she just let that guy walk. There are more than a few folks who'd kill over far less and call it a day, and well that'd be her reputation back at Xaviers but…thats not exactly whats going on out here in the real world now is it?

Perhaps the first thing that caught her attention was the swearing. The absolute, freedom in which the swear words fly even made Jean blush. But she does nothing. She only watches, her body completely relaxed as she sips at her hot chocolate, brow raising, eyes wincing.. wait.. is that a tooth on her uggs? Gross. She lifts her foot to tap it off, dapping the tip of her toes upon the concrete as the chiclet rolls off, planting her foot flush against the ground as she takes a step aside to lean against the window of a shop that's currently closed.

Yeah. That reputation soars around Xavier's. One would consider her a little bit worse than the Merc with a Mouth the way those insults and swears fly. They still bring a touch of red to her cheeks that contend with the color of her hair. It was all an impressive display, really. One that Jean could afford to learn if she were handy with guns. Would she become handy with guns? Could she even use one..

*CRACK!*

The head bounces off the fender, bringing Jean from her reverie, waiting for the right moment to 'strike' as the man slowly meanders down the street at an odd and awkward stagger.

*SLURP!*

"I think he peed himself." Jean states, observingly, taking those few steps to stand within arms reach of Partisan, sipping upon her hot chocolate like it's going out of style. *SLURP!*

"Though, they say that New York is bathed in that smell. I could be wrong. Am I wrong, Partisan?"

Part doesn't offer the woman in scrubs so much as a glance, but well she's aware of the other woman's presence somehow. "He definitely did, not usual. It's just occuring to him exactly what happened, I can smell the adrenaline and endorphin high from here."Casually kicking that slide off into the gutter, before cracking that pistol frame with a well placed stomp. That too gets gently shoo'd into the gutter of course, before she turns to offer Jean her full attention. "Goodness I'm afraid you have me at something of a disadvantage then miss, I don't believe we've met though my reputation I presume does proceed."Offering her hand and a broad smile. No malice there, which isn't to say theres no danger of course.
It's like a switch flips, and she seems for all the world like any charming young thing out in the world. Only the almost glow-in-the-dark intensity of those eyes betrays anything out of the ordinary, visually at least. Between her ears though, well it's hard to decipher for sure if only because it feels anything but human. "I am of course, The Mother Fucking Partisan. It's a pleasure to meet you, are you a fan or are we about to have another bit of unpleasant social work here?"

"That's a good nose you got there." Jean idly comments. The hot chocolate was all but done, and tossed into a nearby recepticle. Jean isn't a crack shot, no. But she can will it inside the basket if she chooses. Tonight? She just got lucky. The nerd trying to be cool is certainly paying off tonight. The little white chiclets soon begin to slide sight unseen into the sewers as well, keeping the streets clean for the children, and yet with her attention divided she manages to hang on every word of Partisan's, noticing the shift in demeanor and attitude almost like sliding with ease into a second skin that fits.

And that was enough to put Jean on alert. It wasn't every day that she meets a person who could do just that.

Despite the slight fear that wafts, Jean slides out her hand almost easily, gripping hers firm but not strong, lifting once and dropping into a friendly and yet professional shake. "It does proceed! Yes!" A bit of nerves there, her voice raised an octave, but that was alright. "I'm Jean Grey." She didn't use formalities even though Partisan did, but her title was amusing none the less.

And damned cool.

"Well, I did have a mind to meet you one day but I wasn't expecting it to be under these circumstances. So I'm not sure if it'll be unpleasant social work where Nancy is involved."

"Ah, A pleasure then Doctor. I've heard lovely things about you."The hand shake is firm, without being vicelike. A perfectly executed business shake then, but then the Partisan is hardly a young girl now is she? "Is this purely a coincidence, or have you been sent to beg for more time in the face of a coming genocide?"Utterly casual, there without a hint of malice. "As for Nancy that's all the simpler, you folks stay out of her hair and I don't pull Xavier's down brick by brick to construct your tomb. Despite the popular rumors, I don't hate you people. I just very much dislike some of the things you've done to the innocents you're supposed to be protecting."and there comes a trickle, a weakness only a psychic could detect. Raw unpolished maternal instinct, and not perhaps the expected anger. She really is a cool customer.
"Tell me Doctor, do you like Vietnamese food at all? I was actually just on my way to dinner, and it'd be terribly rude of me not to offer."Part offers a warm smile, even if it's more cheshire than genuine. "My treat, if that suits your fancy?"

"It's actually quite a coincidence. I just finished my shift at the clinic with a few of the left over Smooth addicts." Though, the further words invoke a little bit of concern. Was there something else going on that Jean was too wrapped up to realize? "Another genocide? You mean the Smooth epidemic, right? I.. thought that was done and over with." If she was being mislead, then that would spelled trouble back at the manse.

Despite the threat, Jean remained unusually cool, forcing that tiny bit of fear back down to remain stoic and ever unfeeling. She doesn't even dare try to pry at the thoughts, no matter how open and upon the surface they were. Mostly out of respect, and tiny parts of being able to sleep tonight after a long day of doing what was right.

She doesn't bring up Nancy just yet, preferring to accept her invitation with a slight nod and a gesture forward, allowing Partisan to take the lead where as Jean would follow at her three or nine. It was when the walk began, she would continue the conversation.

"I didn't want to meet with you and Nancy on any sort of formal business. I know that I've played a very hands off role when everything happened to you and to her. And I regret that completely. I mostly just wanted to apologize to her and to see how she was doing. No coercion into coming back, no favors, just an overdue apology." From her, either way. Others? She doesn't speak for them.

"I will admit, there a few things that are happening that I do not agree with, yes. But that's neither here nor there. You mentioned genocide.."

"An apology is something you'll need to take up with her, I'm unsure if she'll want to meet with you. That is however, none of my business."Part does indeed walk, heading out of M-town and across the street into a little asian market. "Oh yes the Hydra made mutant detector, which I was promised the X-men were going to deal with themselves in a reasonable amount of time. The one I would have taken care of weeks ago, the one where Cyclops himself even admitted my plan would have worked? That same detector that's now out of the bag, and would require a rather noteworthy loss of life to put out of comission now? That one, and the whole plot to destroy or enslave all of mutant kind?"Part slips through the market's isles ever so casually, before tugging open a back door covered with Vietnamese script and into the bolt hole they go.
It's a narrow as hell, rickety staircase leading down to a second shut door, before the joint comes into sight. Theres a South Vietnamese and American flag hanging over the bar, and the walls are covered with photos of young vietnamese men from long ago. The place is filled with old guys for the most part, but there are about fifteen tables set out. The patrons offer Part a wave, which she returns with a polite word in vietnamese. She pauses to doff her jacket, exposing both the knife and the handgun there before taking her seat. Seemingly oblivious to the half burned, shot to hell flag over her shoulder. The one with a wolf's skull over crossed rifles, circled in what looks like French? The Partisan's old battle flag, of course. "Have you ever eaten Vietnamese before, or should I go ahead and order for you dear?"

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained." Jean says idly. "Pass the message on at least?" It was an easy thing to ask, she wasn't sure if Partisan meant it that Nancy wouldn't want to see her. But it was a well deserved punishment that Jean would readily accept. The rest of the walk itself was quiet, taking in her words, her brows furrowing with a little added anger at herself. How could she be so far removed that she had missed this tidbit of information?

Everything was going up in smoke around her. And she wanted to fix it all. Typical.

"It's getting old." Jean finally resigns herself, leaving that hanging in the air for now as they squeeze through the narrow hall and down the stairs into the main area of the 'diner'. The flags were all noted, memorizing them would be nothing. Where Partisan sits, is a note of curiousity for Jean as it seems to belong to her.

"No, I can't say I have. I could say that I've had the all too typical Americanized Pho, but I wouldn't call that authentic with all the manufactured crap they dumped into it. So yes, I'd like you to order for me." There was a smile there, along with a bit of worry.

"So these detectors can detect mutants, I'm assuming. And by now, since things have gotten so far out of hand, I'm assuming that they have found and possibly culled a few of ou.. my kind. This is troublesome indeed." A pause. "What was your plan that would have worked?"

Theres a snap and a shout in presumably Vietnamese to the bartender, who nods and slips into the back. "Oh this isn't about a few mutants, or a few dozen. This is a tool designed to facilitate the mass capture and imprisonment of every Mutant in America, where they will kill every single one of you. Everyone tells me that's illegal, which is theoretically true. Except for the assasination of the President, which drove congress to become far more amenable. That was followed by the false invasion of Hydra, the first invasion of American soil. That gave Congress the drive to authorize a number of measures which they won't reveal to the public, but we can gather their meaning with the mass roll out of detectors. They mean to classify superhumans, mutants and so fourth as a threat to national security. At which point they can do whatever they want, how easy would it be to have some stuffed shirt doctor claim Mutants and so fourth aren't actually even human, and thus not actually deserving of actual constitutional protection?" Part pauses with a shrug, as she fishes out her smokes and gets one lit.
"My plan is gone now, the ship has already sailed unfortunately. It centered on killing everyone involved with the program, I'm already supposedly a terrorist so you folks would be safe from the fall out. Kill enough of the cops, mechanics, engineers, and so fourth? Well pretty soon touching a detector looks like signing your own death warrant, it sounds really simple and it is. It also works, it worked in Colombia during the cocaine wars, in Afghanistan both times, Chechnya, Poland and the Ukraine. That plan would have worked just fine whilst there were only two machines, but well now there are far too many of them circulating around. I gave the X-men time, and now I've given the X-men so much time that I can't protect you folks anymore."Part pauses, as Pho arrives. Some sort of, citrusy blend and a light beer for either women. "Now I'm just going to resort to the old tactics, if they start scooping up Mutants? I'm going to break this country apart, I'm going to begin a second civil war and your people better damn well band together to fight then because I can't win it all by myself over here." Theres a pause and a sigh. "As the poem goes, for want of a nail, the kingdom was lost."

Jean just props an elbow upon the table, her head lowering as her fingers press against the middle of her forehead. She was listening of course, but the impression she leaves with her fingers draws a red mark, one that is massaged and rubbed to ease the blooming headache that was soon growing. Had Jean still had that cosmic entity trapped inside of her; she could have wiped those things out of existance. She could have eaten the machines by a row of fire, swallowed their minds and spat them into the abyss. The world would be safe again under a rule of a Utopia created by a mad woman who would call herself a God..

Stop that.

The words weren't ignored, however. Not in the slightest. She had to have faith and take a possible backseat into this situation and focus her own efforts where it counted. Keeping those sane.. keeping those underneath her true. Keeping them from straying the path that she threatens to fall from.

"I may not agree with your tactics, Partisan.. but.." The support was there. "..Everything you do is appreciated by someone out there." Namely her.

"It's gotten too far." Jean admits. "Far enough that I am afraid that one of our own would actually cross that line that they pledged not to cross." Christ. They were already talking about doing it. She's heard first hand and passed the message along. "That they'll eventually figure out and feel that enough is enough and take a life. Lose their souls in it. Their minds pushed to the brink and hearts shattered to the point where they do not come back from such a hit." The sleepless nights. Sometimes the screaming.. even a strong mind such as hers struggles. "I want them to help. I will it. I wish for it but the cost is too great in my eyes. But, should it come to that? Tearing this country apart and down to it's bare bones to make sure that everyone is safe? And I mean everyone. Humans. Super humans. Metahumans? What choice is there?"

As the Pho was delivered, Jean wasn't the dishonorable sort. She takes her spoon and sips at the liquid, troubled.

"Doctor, I'm about to get somewhat philosophical so forgive me. Do you believe in fate, as in that at times things happen for a reason? Not a unversal truth, but a guiding one in some limited sense of the idea?"Pho is, well a complicated affair and this one is no different but we can summarize. It's warm, savory is pleasantly prickly in the peppery sense of the word. Not at all the sort've thing you can get just anywhere, this is indeed the real article right here in the grungy basement of a Vietnamese supermarket.
"I wasn't born this way, I didn't decide what I would be. All I wanted was to be a good wife, and a good mother when I was old enough. I was manufactured, people like me are a product of a tyranny left to run wild. The central underpinning of what holds whatever vestiges of my human soul together, were tools crafted by the oppressed to fight back against the governments who sought to control them. You look at me and what do you see, a girl? The human I once was, was tortured alongside her father for six months before being stripped naked and summarily executed with a shot through the heart. They threw that dead girl's corpse in the garbage beside her dead father, What rose from that filth isn't human Doctor."Part pauses if only to take a dainty sip of that cheap beer.
"I wasn't born, I was created by an act of desperation. I was constructed to avenge the unheard masses of the bloodied prolitariat, I exist to visit evil upon tyrants. I have fought in both world wars, I've overthrown six governments and I've seen horrors that defy any shadow of expression in words. I have walked amongst mass graves, I have seen funeral kilns, I have seen the disfigured, the murdered, the tortured, the destroyed. I exist to do the things that I do, so people like you don't have to. I exist to fight for you, and I am the only one left to undertake this work. There is nobody else, nobody else has the stomach nor the might for this sort of work."
"This darkness you see now, this is the result of forcing me to pause. These things could have been delt with, they'd be done and over and yet they are not. They persist, because I was asked not to attend to them. I was told, that the X-men would handle this. You haven't even started work, and the cracks have begun to appear. So I wonder if you feel as though Cyclops was right to ask me to stop, is any of this worth his ego?"Part shrugs, finally tucking into her own pho. "The X-men made this situation, they asked me to stop my work and this is the result. Whatever follows, the deaths are not on my head."

Jean looks up from her Pho, the taste was something else. It wasn't like what she had in the American Chains. This one had flavor, and a kick that was memorable. Each flavor was memorized automatically, so much so that she rubbed the flat of her tongue against the roof of her mouth. "I do believe in fate.. yes.." And then she gave birth to silence.

All the while she listened, she ate. She ate as she listened and repeated the process until there was nothing left of the Pho but little bits of liquid that she couldn't get to with her spoon. She thought it rude of her to actually pick the bowl up to drink, so she quelled the need to finish the rest due to raw nerve and whatever emotion bubbled up from that story with a napkin that was taken and dabbed against her lip.

There was a quiet kinship there. She wasn't sure if her own story needed to be told; for fear of one-upman ship. Jean tasted death three times over and could remember the cold wrap that clutched her soul and plunged her under. She remembered the chill of voidless space, the heat that wrecked her body as the otherworldly screams of a billion innocents and guilty pierced the depths of her soul. To walk on the edge of suicide with cold steel pressed against her temple..

..yeah. Jean felt that kinship there. Where as Partisan became what she was? Strong, willing to do whatever to ensure the safety of the entire world, that weight resting upon her shoulders? Jean set back and allowed that weight to crush her and suffered every, single.. night.

"I cannot speak for Scott unless I pull that connection and force his words from his thoughts to my lips." Jean states, fingers steepeled tensely. "But I feel that yes. He was right. I believe he wants to exhaust every, single avenue that he can to make sure that things are done the right way, with minimal losses. And when each and every avenue is explored and lost, and his back is against the wall?" She leaves that hanging.

"At the end of the day. I'll support him in whatever he decides. And when those deaths lay heavy on his shoulders I'll help shoulder the burden."

"But Partisan. Know that I'll do this for you too. I know you don't need my permission, or anyones permission or approval to do what you were made.. no.. rebirthed into this existence to do." Her shoulders shrug, and soon she resigned herself to picking up the bowl where the last remnants of Pho used to be, and drinks it down as if she were at home in this Vietnamese market. "I got your back." And then an idle shrug to make it seem as if it were no big deal at all. Even if it possibly was.

"I was hoping to be proven wrong, if we're both being honest here. I was hoping you all would handle this, and you wouldnt need me."Theres a quiet sigh there, and yeah more than a little bit've sadness hidden beneath that mask of calm. "I have been at my work for a very long time, Doctor. I've been at this for more than a hundred years, and I would want nothing more than to just not be needed at this point. I'd love to just, grow old and die and see what comes after. I don't exactly have heaven waiting for me I'd suspect, but it'd be worth finding out for the chance to see my husband again."Part shifts, tossing a fifty on the table before clearing her throat. "Now I'm getting all emotional and shit, fuck that nonsense."
She rises, slipping on that jacket and offering Jean a little smile. "Keep safe, Doctor. If you need me, Lunair knows how to contact me. Ya'll ain't exactly earned the 1-800 number yet, alright?"She bows her head for another smoke, and then she's off just like that. Slipping back off into the night to do, well…Partisan shit.

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