The Thread, Part 9: El Picador

July 09, 2015:

Rachel and Scott turn themselves in to Captain America

Mutant Town

Seems like a good place to hide

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: El Picador, Calexico


Fade In…

Fires burn in trash cans beneath the overpass on an unnaturally cold July evening. The homeless camp is somewhere beneath the 9A overpass in Washington Heights, and it's where Rachel, Scott, and their allies found themselves after the terrors unleashed upon them in District X.

This was about as safe a place as any, though Scott Summers found it odd, going to ground so close to home.

The homeless look out for each other, to a point. Help is given where asked, but they are a paranoid type, who tend to keep their belongings close. After a couple of days, however, Scott managed to befriend a young man who's best kept secret happened to be a stolen phone, prepaid service, unlimited data, AT&T Straight Talk kind of deal. It was irony itself, perhaps coincidence, that Scott happens to be hanging out with Tony Bander when the announcement from Dario Agger, CEO of Roxxon International, hit the web, along with the slew of responses.

At long last, and after much bartering and negotiations, Tony allowed Scott to use his precious device to send an email.

To: Steve Rogers
From: Cyclops
Subj: Time Traveling Dames

Steve -

Thought that might get your attention. My daughter and I are ready to come and see you. We are at the homeless camp, under the 9A in Washington Heights. Try not to make a big fuss out of it, and bring some clean clothes.

-X-C

Thanking Tony, Scott returns to Rachel's side, hunkered down against the cold. The injury to his face has grown worse with time; though he's tried treating it, the clawed lacerations need proper medical attention. Infection isn't far off. "Welp. It's 1am," he remarks to her. "You think Rogers knows how notifications work?"

"I really hope so or we're in bigger trouble than I had thought." Rachel replied with a smirk to her father. She looked like hell, fitting in among the homeless just fine. She was still hopped up on painkillers, perhaps the only thing keeping her standing still after almost a week with a gunshot wound.

Her green eyes took in the scars on her father's face, and all she could think was how Cyclops was going to look like a total badass if he kept the scars.

It was noticeable that Piotr and Kurt were gone and Rachel offered an explanation before it could become a question, "I told Kurt and Piotr to head back when I sensed you coming. I figure I can't get in anymore trouble but I said that Piotr deserved to be a member of the X-Men after all his help.. cause you know he does, if he wanted to be."

"Not really," Steve says as he walks up behind them. "But I have a really, annoying, and loud chime that goes off whenever I get a message. I'd ask my girlfriend to teach me, but I think I get it better than she does."

Two green duffle bags sail through the air, one at Steve and one at Rachel.

"What happened with the dead FBI agents?"

"I know Jean will make the right call."

Anything else Scott might have said goes unspoken, what with Steve's voice from nearby. Turning, the X-Man rises to stand, peering at Steve from beneath his visor. A glance around reveals… no cars, no helicopters, no infantry.

The duffle bag is snatched from the air, it's weight tested, then slung over his shoulder. Finally, a single upnod is given to Steve, but he glances Rachel's way. "I'll let her answer that. Steve? Rachel Summers. My daughter."

Deal with it, kiddo. Full disclosure whether you like it or not.

Of course, at some point during the introductions, Scott reached into his pocket to activate that digital recorder.

Rachel nodded her head to Steve as she caught the duffel bag, sitting down against the wall of the alley and opening it up to look and see what was inside, "Thanks and wish we could have met under better circumstances Steve."

She looked between her father and Steve as the question was placed on her shoulders, "FBI Agents? We've been attacked a few times, by Deadpool, purifiers and paramilitary, well trained with a way to find us and track us unconventionally. They weren't FBI though and I didn't do them any harm, if they're dead." The closest Rachel had come to fighting was a TK blast at Deadpool.

"Rachel," Steve says with a nod before letting out a rather large sigh. "Well, before a few nights ago I think I could have helped you guys out. Apparently there are something like 14 dead agents. The press is saying that they're the FBI and haven't mentioned anything about a Deadpool or any other military group." Steve shrugs and wipes at his face, trying to figure it out. "I won't be able to go with Fury on it, I'd go straight to Upton. But I need something. Anything to prove you were innocent."

A frown has steadily formed upon Scott's face. He looks from Rachel to Steve, then back to Rachel again. "Those guys weren't FBI," he agrees, then looks back toward Steve again. "Steve, we - the X-Men - we have a no kill policy. If there are dead FBI agents… it wasn't us."

Stepping over to close the distance, he hasn't yet looked inside of the duffle bag. He can guess at what's inside; clothing, rations, medical kits, stuff needed for a trip. Perhaps he'll find out differently later. Either way, the X-Man produces the small digital recording device, which he's kept in his inner pouch the entire time. Every major moment, every conversation, it's all been recorded and time-stamped, from the moment he spoke with Jean and Kurt and decided to resign from leadership of the X-Men, to this conversation right now.

The recording device is held out. "I'd give it to you know, but frankly, I'd like to hold onto it until we end up wherever it is we end up."

It's not that he doesn't trust Steve. Scott just doesn't trust most of the others they're likely to encounter.

Rachel Grey says, "It was being recorded by a few people in Mutant Town." Rachel replied simply to Steve, "My father made it sound like there was some kind of plan in place, I'm going to go ahead and guess without being a telepath that there isn't?" She didn't seem annoyed, she seemed amused. She had assumed between Cyclops and Captain America, this was going to be multi-tiered plan by two of the most meticulous heroes in history for her to turn herself in.

If only Scott hadn't gotten involved, she would have just remained on the run but it was too late for that now."

"It's fine," Steve says with a shake of the head as Scott talks about holding on to the recording to device. "SHIELD and the FBI are both options, but to be honest I can't guarantee your safety at either of those places. We have a small cell in Metropolis at the Justice League: HQ that we can process at. At least until they void us." There's a weak chuckle from Steve as he tries to take some of the humor from the situation. "We can take good care of you there and hold you until you get arraigned. My hope is that we can get to Upton before any of that happens."

"There's always a plan, Miss Summers."

Scott gently closes his fingers around the recording device and tucks it back away inside of his pocket. It's got plenty of space left; from this point forward, there will be no more pauses.

Steve's last has him turning toward Rachel, one eyebrow cocking upward. If her senses are trained at all, and not entirely weakened by the ordeal, she'll know; it's a mixture of cryptic agreement and a nice, fatherly 'I told you so'.

"I can agree to that," he answers, looking back to Steve. "The JL:A have been through a similar challenge as the one we are about to enter, Ray. It will be good to be near people who understand and empathize."

"Is that wise for the Justice League after all they've been through? Some of their detractors might see this as harbouring fugitives or worse, protecting them and getting them off the hook…" Rachel seemed weary of this but she would trust the pair of men, she didn't want to be directly responsible for making the situation any worse than it already was.

Pulling the clothes out of the duffel bag she turned her back towards the pair of men and began to change. Sure, she could have altered her own dirty clothes to look identical to these, but they were still /dirty/.

She wasn't worried about either man. One was her father, the other was a soldier. Besides, there was nothing at all for them to see, since she was ducked behind a large dumpster.

"As opposed to coming when your father calls and bringing new clothes for you," Steve says with a chuckle. "I'm afraid that I'm already on record for harboring fugitives." He shrugs his shoulders, "They'll either see it that way, or that the JL:A brought in the most wanted fugitive in the country. I'm willing to take that chance."

"The United States judicial system is build upon the idea that every man, woman and child is innocent until proven guilty," Scott reminds Rachel. "Being the most wanted individual does not make you guilty by default. I, my personal attorney, and the X-Men Red's lawyers will rain hell upon the courts should they even attempt to treat you otherwise."

It's a bold statement, but based on the strength behind each word, it would be unwise in this instance to test the grit of Scott Summers, especially where his family (both biological and X-related) are involved.

Looking back to Steve, Scott sighs deeply. "So, where to, Cap?"

"I appreciate that, thank you. You didn't have to help and I can't express my gratitude at the risk you're taking to clear this up." Rachel forced a smile, "Not trying to be ungrateful or anything, it just comes naturally sometimes." She looked to the pair of men to lead the way, squeezing her father's arm at the comment about lawyers; that was going to be a tough case even for X-Lawyers.

"I have a black SUV just down the block, if you all want to follow me. We can put out a statement after we've done the booking process. Just a fair warning, I have to get you finger printed and all that," Steve says almost apologizing as he walks toward the SUV.

"Good thing I burned them off years ago," quips Scott. Is he joking? Hard to tell, given that visored poker face.

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