Sidebar: About Rachel

July 02, 2015:

Scott tells Captain America some surprising news related to the Rachel Grey case.

Lower East Side

A bar on the Lower East Side

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

After a solid ninety minutes spent pacing his office at the Xavier Institute, Scott Summers was nearly at his wits end. He'd already reviewed everything the X-Men had on the situation in Bahrain, from the mutant invasion at the hands of the terrorist-led nation of Qurac, to the eye-witness report of the Sentinel-led slaughter of those terrorists.

Everyone who'd come to his office had been turned away. Some of them politely, but as the evening wore on, the dismissals became further laced with verbal violence.

Multiple requests for Director Fury's attention have fallen on deaf ears. Understandably so; Scott knows this, understands it even. However, when finally at his wits end, he picked up the phone and dialed the next best thing.

At half an hour til midnight, Scott rolls up to parallel park not far from Otto's Shrunken Head, a divey place in Manhattan's Lower East. Scott's not much of a drinker. Never on school grounds, never in uniform, and typically in small quantities. Tonight, however, he's sitting over a glass of Kentucky bourbon, neat, a brooding expression behind ruby glasses.

"Hey," Steve says as he sidles up to the bar. "I'm glad you called, I was going to call you about that news today. I've never heard of that mutant. Was hoping you could point me in the right direction."

Steve pulls out a bar stool and raises his hand to order a beer.

"How are things? Haven't seen you in a while."

Steve's wearing a dark Yankees ball cap and a bomber jacket, white t-shirt, and jeans. Normally people would probably be able to recognize him, but he wears the hat low in an attempt to ward off attention.

Casting a sideward look Steve's way, Scott's brooding expression ends up a rueful smirk. "Not since riding a nuke into the stratosphere," he quips. "Had my hands full."

Similarly, Scott is dressed in a brown polo, blue jeans, and a duster. The cold front had moved to the East Coast after sweeping the Midwest; he always appreciated jacket weather.

There is a long silence, during which Scott seems to become transfixed by the amber liquid, largely untouched, in his glass. At long last he speaks up again. "She's my daughter."

Steve can't help but chuckles as Scott mentions riding the nuke. "That was somethin, wasn't it?"

But as Steve hears the next words out of Scott's mouth, rather than talk, he begins to drink. Then drink, then drink. Until the bottle is gone. He can't get drunk, but he's he's sort of wishing he could.

"Come again?"

One wouldn't notice it, but Scott is watching Steve's reaction from the corner of his eye. It's a telling moment, and reminds Scott that he's likely made the right choice here. He'll need that reminder later.

"You heard me." It's not his intention to be short, but this was an impossibly difficult situation. "Two of my team members are from other places. Parallel dimensions, future timelines. Stuff you find in sci fi flicks, or theoretical science journals. I wouldn't have believed it myself, aside from some, uh, irrefutable evidence." A pause, long enough for him to lift the glass, swirl the liquid around a bit, but he still doesn't drink it.

"She was born some time in the future, and was sent back in time to stop the Sentinel Program from ever launching. In her future, where she comes from, the Sentinels not only obliterated the metahuman community, they also tore the human world apart. I might not have believed her, Steve, if she didn't have my cheeks. My nose." Another pause. "My temperament."

He straightens a bit. "She already tried to stop it once. You ever hear about Project Centurion? Similar deal."

That operation had not been sanctioned by Scott or the X-Men, which is why the whiskey ends up down his throat in one gulp.

"Look, Scott," Steve says as he tries to think of the words. "I'm not going to say I don't believe you. I have a girlfriend who came from 1945, so I've heard of weird stuff. So let's just say, for the sake of arguement, she is your child. How does she know that these Sentinels are the Sentinels from her 'parallel-universe?'

"Look, this is kind of personal, but when Peggy came here—there was already a Peggy. Her older self. There were two, separate people. Wanting to stop this program is one thing. Going to the Russians and Chinese and advocating sedition, that's clearly another. Scott, she needs to turn herself in. To have them go as lightly as possible on her."

"I wish she'd have come to me. We could have done this above board."

The empty glass is set back upon the table, no refill. Not yet, anyway. Steve's words are listened to, carefully.

"Odds are, they aren't," Scott admits. "I've read up on Quantum Theory. She can't change the world she comes from. Nobody can. What she wants to do, is prevent it from happening here, in our future."

The weight on Scott's shoulders seems to deepen. "She's not going to turn herself in unless I convince her to. There's a reason the X-Men have taken so long to go public. There's a reason the Red Team is what they are, and the rest of us are what we are. As much as we love, care about, and trust the people we try to protect? There are times where it seems clear that the bureaucracy is stacked against us. Most of my fellow mutants fear being known, because they're afraid of handcuffs, of being turned into a lab animal, of being registered as a potential menace to society. And I understand that. The reason I have to wear these damned glasses is because otherwise, I can't stop what comes from my eyes."

He can't bring himself to admit that he sanctioned Rachel's mission. Not yet.

"What the Sentinels did in Bahrain was a good thing. That much death is never pretty, but neither was D-Day. What we're afraid of is, what happens when they turn the Sentinels against the good metas, because the bad ones have put fear into people's hearts?"

Steve nods, "My worry is that her actions have made that a possibility. I mean, we just pulled in Red Skull, Scott. The tide was back on the side of the capes. My worry is that her actions have ruined that."

Cap orders another beer, but gets back into the conversation, "I don't know anything about the Sentinels, really. To be honest, I don't have anything more against them than I do a stealth bomber. Or a drone. Sure, they took out some mutants, but it sounds like paranoia coming out of your camp, Scott. The people who were killed happened to be mutants. But I'm sure some of the people who they liberated were mutants too. Are you sure this isn't a giant coincidence?"

"Of course it was coincidence," Scott answers. "Paranoia. Hell, I feel that paranoia myself. Its frightening. But I think you have the right idea, and it's refreshing to hear that because most of my people? They're about to pull a cover over their heads and relocate to Canada."

When the bartender comes over to refill Scott's glass, he holds up a dismissive hand and shakes his head. "I'll talk with her. But if she takes the high road and comes in, I'll need to come with her. I may not like how she went about it, but…"

His eyebrows rise upward, and a silent sigh lifts his shoulders before dropping them.

"But I sanctioned this one. So, a part of this is on me, too."

"Back in the 20s, when I was a little kid, just a toddler really, there was something called the Red Scare, where everyone was sure that everyone was a communist. People used to check under their beds at night just to make sure there weren't communists laying under your bed ready to kill you. And then, I read that a similar thing happened in the 50s," Steve reasons. "It seems like, in the end, these things blow over. They blow over and progress happens. To me, that's the story of America. Reason, in the end, beats idiocy."

Steve softens a bit and takes a drink of his beer. "We all make calls we sometimes wish we can take back. If she comes in, I can work with Chestnutt and put in my words with the President. She'd be charged federally. And I know a lot of people hate certain government actors, like Traverstein, but I've known Upton a long time. I think he's on the right side, here, Scott."

Scott nods his head slowly, weightily. He's quiet for a long moment, before turning to look toward Steve. "I've led the X-Men ever since they were just an idea. We have the potential, the experience, to be as influential as the JL:A. But my people need to get over their paranoia if it's ever gonna happen. I'm gonna go out on a limb and trust you here, Steve." A wad of bills is produced, their drinks paid for.

"Sides. If you're wrong, I'll just eyebeam you back to the twenties." A smirk. He's joking.

"Now, tell that asshole boss of yours to answer my phone calls."

"Fair enough," Steve says with a chuckle. "Talk to Rachel. If you can get into contact with her. Try and get her to surrender. I'll talk with the President and see what's what. The press likes to use terrorist as a catch word. I'm sure it's a lot better than it works."

"I'll give him your message. I assume he'd give you his love," Steve adds with a grin. "Take care of yourself, Scott. And your team."

"You bet." Scott is about to leave, before casting a look over his shoulder. "Don't drink and drive, Rogers. Call a cab."

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