Refuge in Scotland

April 04, 2015:

Cyclops, Aspect, and Zatanna teleport themselves, along with their rescued smooth addicts and captured 'enemies', to the X-Men's secure facility on Muir Island. Shadowcat joins them and they decide what to do with the mess that's been handed to them.

Secret Facility -- Muir Island, Scotland.

Characters

NPCs: Rescued smooth addicts, one SRD militiaman, two HYDRA agents, MacTaggart's staff.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Muir Island - Scotland.

In the distant Scottish highlands, there is a remote facility dedicated solely to the research, protection, and science of mutants, metahumans, and the mutant X-Gene. Dr. Moira MacTaggert is the brains behind the operation, and she certainly runs a tight ship. Thus, it may come as a surprise to her when, out of nowhere and without warning, four-dozen sleeping mutants and a small handful of HYDRA and SRD alike simply appear within a large, enclosed hydroponics bay that serves as the facility's self-sustaining garden and courtyard.

Scott hesitates for a few moments following the teleportation, before clearing his head with a shake of the neck. "I'd better go head off the caretaker. She's not much for surprises." As he walks off, he calls over his shoulder, "Trent, can you find Kitty Pryde and bring her here?" He's trusting that Jericho is familiar with the younger X-Man.

*

Jericho is indeed familiar with Kitty. She's one of Illyana's best friends and he's worked with her in the past. One of the better X-Men so far as he's concerned. He doesn't know where she is though which means getting K'tten to bring her over is out without calling her up and asking what her location is. Instead, the hacker looks down to the imp that just emerged from the shadows at his side.

"K'nert, go find Kitty and get her over here." Well, actually he doesn't say that in english though that's the rough translation. The tongue he uses is a resonant, twisty one that sounds a bit on the harsh side. Demonic. Zee's heard it before. Jericho has no idea if Scott has.

"Zee are you with us?" He looks about and then looks over to Scott about to ask how they can help but… oh. His internal systems just caught up with the teleport. Scottland. Yeah, letting Cyclops 'head off' whomever is in charge here is probably a good idea.

*

Teleporting, when it's not your Teleport, is …. interesting. One moment, Zee had been leaning against the wall of the truck, the next she's falling backwards as they reach Scotland. Stumbling, it takes a few seconds to orient herself and she nods at Jericho's question. "Yeah, Jericho, I'm here." Looking around, Zee blinks a bit "Where is here?"

*

In the middle of the day on Tuesday, Kitty is at Xavier's. After finishing a computer class, there's a bit of a hiss and a jump as Lockheed is startled by the sudden appearance of K'nert. The two know each other, but it has always been a wary . "K'nert!" Lockheed jumps up onto Kitty's shoulder, protective of his charge, a curl of smoke rising from his nostrils. The little imp almost looks pleased that he's startled the pair of them.

"What are you doing here? Did something happen to Illy or Jericho?" The mutant scoops up the fashionable purse she's been carrying with her everywhere for the past few weeks just about in time for the Imp to leap forward and teleport both her and Lockheed to Muir Island. Despite the fact that she's both been to Limbo before and been teleported, it's disorienting. Landing nearby Jericho, she blinks, wavering one way and then the other. "Wh—uh, where am I now?" Though dressed in her buttoned up teaching attire, she luckily came prepared. Taking in Jericho and Zatanna and then the departing Scott as well as the crowd of sleeping people, she focuses on Jericho. "What is going on?"

*

Scott's silhouette can be seen inside the facility, arguing with someone else. There are agitated hand motions from each, and the argument lasts a while; long enough for the others to converse about what's happened. Poor manners; Cyclops never really told them where they were, aside from mentioning 'Muir Island' before departure.

*

Jericho knows primarily because he got the GPS coordinates from Scott so that K'tten could bring them all here and he has the ability to look up where those coordinates lead. "Small island off the coast of Scottland." Which means it may be a bit damp and chill out. He hadn't realized, and suspects a great many other people had also not realized that there was anything important here.

Questions of location answered Jericho brings Kitty up on what happened as K'nert climbs his shoulder and perches there, smirking at Lockheed. See? He has one too.

"Cyclops, Zee and I recovered a load of Smooth addicts that HYDRA was trying to snatch from the SRD. Not sure where they were being taken with to begin with but I do intend to look into it on both ends. Cyclops asked for your presence specifically, so I sent K'nert to go find you." And he did!

*

Zee had seen Kitty in New York once but hadn't really got to meet her. Scrubbing her face, the young magi tries to alleviate some of the tired she's feeling before nodding to the other woman "Hi, I'm Zee." because, really, it's not obvious is it?

Dressed all in black, leather pants, crop top, denim jacket, high heel knee high boots, the only colour she sports is the diamond encrusted collar on her neck and the emerald pendulum hanging on her left hip.

Shivering a little in the cold… colder than midnight in New York that's for sure, Zee pulls her jacket closer and watches Scotts ''discussion'' with the caretaker before focussing back on Kitty. "I put them all to sleep, it seemed the best thing to do. So much violence and killing… " she shakes her head "and I couldn't tell the good guys from the bad guys." Honestly, apart the HYDRA goons, Zee suspects that no one was really a ''bad guy'' today.

*

As Jericho explains a bit, Kitty takes in a bit more of the scenery. "Scotland. I've always wanted to visit Scotland." She becomes more acclimated to both the climate and having been teleported. "I thought something had happened to you or Illyana," she replies, eyes focusing on the sleeping forms now. Her attention quickly returns to Jericho when it's mentioned she was requested specifically. "Me? Ah. Okay. Sure, what can I do?"

As Zee introduces herself, Kitty realizes that she's in a bit of a bind. Jericho used Scott's codename, but he's not in his uniform. Should she introduce herself as Shadowcat? Or stick with Kitty? Unsure of the protocol and not wanting to be rude, she instead smiles and nods at Zee. "Hi, nice to meet you. I think I saw you in New York? Things exploding?" As for them being asleep, she nods one more time. "Quick thinking. How long will they stay asleep?"

*

Finally, Scott comes walking back out into the pseudo-courtyard. He glances toward Kitty, lips pressed firmly together, the visor keeping her from seeing the expression of 'God, she's hard to handle' that flashes through his eyes. "Kitty. Thanks for coming. We're clear to use our real names now." A glance to the others. "I apologize for that, by the way. When you called, Zatanna, I wasn't in a place where… let's just say the codename was essential."

For a moment, he looks around at the sleeping captives. Their very presence here was a violation of international law, something the X-Men have gotten far too comfortable with as of late. It troubles him. The whole situation troubles him. He glances toward Jericho for a moment, lips still pressed into that thin line. He's concerned for the whole affair.

"Dr. MacTaggert has begrudgingly agreed to take care of these people, until we can sort out just what the hell we're going to do with them. She's sending some of her staff over to help move them to a makeshift clinic. But these." He produces a series of syringes, shows them to the group, then seeks out the one SRD and two HYDRA agents that were, shall we say, 'collected'.

"… are for these guys."

Scott kneels down, injecting the three prisoners in the neck. "Gonna keep these guys asleep until we want them to wake up."

*

Jericho is… familiar with a wide array of enhanced interrogation techniques. Mostly from the recieving end. SEER training is a pain. Literally. (No seriously, they're allowed to break bones). The ones he's used on the giving end have involved demons in the past. They're very, very effective.

And slightly horrific.

Though that's neither here nor there. "Scott, then." He acknowledges. "Zee you look like you could use a stiff drink. Or a long nap." He glances over Kitty with a smile nodding to her. "Nice to see you again, by the way. So…" He looks over the two X-Men. This is their facility and fellow mutants by and large that they're dealing with. "What now?"

*

Zee's used to working with those who have codenames and secret identities and Scott just gets a small smile "Took me a second to work out which of the men I had met you were. But well, Remy's accent is pretty distinctive… It's fine Scott, I appreciate the trust you showed and that you showed up." and she does. What they do… is not easy. "Just Zee, please. My friends call me Zee."

"Kitty. Yes, things exploding." there's a small, wry smile there… before the teen magi looks around at the sleepers "You know, I don't know. I've not called magic on that scale, but generally it's an hour or so." Jericho's comment gets a nod as Zee rubs the back of her neck "Sleep sounds divine actually, but I'll take the stiff drink if there's one" she's joking, sort of.

*

Now that things are a little less official, Kitty grins at Jericho. "Nice to see you, too. Sorry, I'm a little disoriented. It's been a little while." Though adept at fighting and at stealth, interrogation is not really something she's done. Wrapping her arms around herself in the chill of the Scottish air, she studies the others. "Alright, so we've got a bunch of sleeping people and Hydra and SRD agents. Gotcha. Do we know what Hydra's been doing with Smooth addicts? Or is that part of why they're here?" she gestures vaguely at the men Scott is currently injecting with what she assumes is a tranquilizer.

"Sorry for not introducing myself before," she smiles. That's just how things can get complicated. "So, they'll wake up in an hour. Any particular reason we're in Scotland?" She's a little behind and trying to catch up as quickly as possible.

*

"I'm willing to trust anyone who thinks quickly in a crisis, and knows how to use discretion." There's a subtext there, given as Scott looks directly toward Zatanna. No costume, plus a codename. It means that knowing when to refer to him as 'Cyclops' may rely as much on where he is and what he's doing, as it does whether or not he's in an X-Men uniform.

Now, Jericho asks a very important question. They need a plan, and they need it quickly. He looks around at the collected mutants and extras, noticing that they lay in a relative arrangement to where they were kept; three groups of mutants for the three trucks they were in; the SRD agent lay by himself, the two HYDRA goons together.

"We'll group the mutants together as they were in the trucks. Give them secure rooms, with food and drink, medical attention. No restraints. A sense of camaraderie may help to quell their fears."

Next, he glances to Kitty. "This was the most secure place I could think to bring them. A place with no ties to the government." A place that was not the X-Men HQ.

Next, he looks to the three most troublesome prisoners. One SRD, two HYDRA. "These three will get their own private rooms." He looks to Jericho next, frowning. "If you're willing, Trent, I'll give you the honors."

Something tells him that Aspect has done this before. Given the situation, Scott is willing to turn a blind eye to whatever happens in those rooms.

*

The SRD is the most troublesome since Jericho isn't totally convinced that he needs enhanced interrogation and because it will be necessary to conceal both where he is, who is holding him, and why. Also who is questioning him, especially if he is to remain alive. He assumes that's the desired outcome here. "Keep the SRD militiaman sedated. He's going to need some delicate treatment. Might wanna search him for locators. Not standard issue but I'd hate for there to be a problem." As for the others… "And I'll need some ice cream." Best… not to ask what he needs it for.

"No idea what HYDRA wants with them, but I do know that they've gotten into it's production. No idea why either but it wouldn't be their first attempt to harm or control mutants as a group. Zee, you might want to look into these mutants to make sure they haven't been magically tampered with."

He regards Kitty thoughtfully and then glances to Scott and then back. "There's a mercenary named Shift who was looking into these matters. I've tried to contact him but he's gone dark. If you can find him, Kitty, or get me a secure line to a hacker named 'Rant'… He might be our best bet for information on the drug itself. Beyond that I can give you some of my HYDRA leads to follow up on while I'm asking these gentlemen pointed questions." He glances over to Scott. Does the mutant team leader have any further ideas?

*

Zee pales visibly as she realises what Jericho is planning. Poor girl, so innocent really. Scotts and Kittys comments aren't forgotten, but Zee focusses on the next thing Jericho says "Shift? The guy that helped clean out the iron works in Gotham? Armoury was looking for him a week or so back, said he's gone missing." She'd sensed something about Shift the first and only time she'd met him, something dark and vaguely sinister but because Jericho knew him had let it pass. Had that been a mistake?

"Where do you want me?" Zee looks a little lost, the older people have obviously done this before.

*

Kitty's eyes move from the agents to Jericho, pretty sure she knows that Scott has just asked him to interrogate them. However, she doesn't quite know what advanced methods may be used. While she knows the man has a dark past, she doesn't know much in the way of details about that. Trying to narrow in on what is happening, she frowns and looks over to the team leader. Willing. "Woah, there, what exactly are we planning?"

As for what her duties might be, she tilts her head just slightly. "I'd be glad to look into both Shift and Rant. I should be able to find at least some trail of one or the other. Just let me know which one you want me to focus on. Though, I guess I can get you a secure line first and then start looking into Shift."

At the information from Zatanna, it seems like she'll at least have a good idea of where to start looking from him.

*

"Consider it done," says Scott in regard to the militiaman. He won't say it out loud, but Muir Island is nearly as secure as the X-Men base itself. He'll still check.

When Jericho brings up the mercenary, Scott nods his head toward Kitty, agreeing with the delegation. She wanted to be a part of Blue Team; now, she has an operation of her own to complete.

The stern expression softens when Zee asks where she can help. He smiles at her and asks, "Zee, if you can stick around, I think you could help Kitty and I to assure the mutants that they aren't in trouble." He glances to Kitty then. "We'll explain to them what has happened, with transparency. Give them the option of being returned to NYPD custody, or… set them loose to run from the law. It's their call. They won't be held responsible for what we or HYDRA have done to them."

He can tell that Kitty isn't pleased with his agreement to let Jericho interrogate. For his part, Trent hasn't proven to be someone he can't trust. He puts a hand on Kitty's shoulder and leans in, though his murmur is easily heard by the others. "Look, if he does something inappropriate, I'll eyebeam his ass and ask Uncle X to scramble his brain for a few weeks."

No doubt Jericho wouldn't enjoy living life believing himself to be a bubblegum-popping twipster for a few weeks.

*

'Inappropriate' is largely a question of how badly you need the answers. Jericho's a soldier and interrogation is something he largely endures rather than dishes out. But when pressed, or backed against a wall, he can be very… expedient in getting things done. "I'll arrange to get the SRD officer back to his station soonest. Last thing we need is a manhunt for a missing not-quite-cop." With a little bit of creativity he can arrange for some 'sympathetic' time to ask leading questions before the guy's picked up. And he'll take that risk himself, rather than involving the X-Men. They have problems enough without adding the SRD.

The HYDRA agents… are going to get a much more direct interrogation. Though even there he finds that most of the value in such things are the answers to the questions one didn't ask rather than the answers to the questions one did. As for letting them go? Well, he'll try not to break them. He doesn't personally think that letting them live is a good idea, but if Scott prefer's to show mercy this is his ground and he gets to make that call.

Unless Illyana's threatened. Then all bets are off.

"Rant first. She'll be easier to get ahold off." Jericho confirms for Kitty. "Hell if you wanna go meet her in person she'd probably like you a lot. She likes hackers." Like us, he doesn't say. "Though she can be a bit acerbic." Charming when she wants to be, though. "If she's gone dark we have a bigger problem than I thought."

Zee gets a nod. "Lunair was looking for him? I'll go talk to her. Grab you to come, if you're available." On her helping the X-Men, he'll let her make that call. He thinks helping them is good. His relationship with the Xers has been rocky, but he'll take the bad with the good. THere's been a lot more good than bad recently anyway and Scott, for all his protectiveness, seems quite reasonable. He's a good guy to know, for sure and it'd be good for Zee.

*

Of course Zee will help and she nods her assent to Scott "Sure, I can do that. I'd like to." She noticed the softening and she smiles back. "Just… give me a script to work from?" Not being familiar with many of the Xers, only really Magik and Bobby, she's not sure how much or what to tell people.

"I'll come with, when you do, Jericho. And yeah, Lunair. She was in Gotham and I was helping someone clean out a magical warehouse." She'll help Kitty too if she can… but computers and comms aren't her thing.

*

"Hey, I trust Jericho," Kitty tells Scott in the same tone as before, though she has no idea why he needs ice cream to interrogate people. She's not about to ask, either. She'll hope it's one of those techniques where he tells them they can have ice cream if they listen. But, the man is close to Illyana and Illyana is her best friend: that counts for something at least. On this matter, maybe she's being a little too optimistic. "No need for him to be eyebeamed or scrambled." Illyana would be pretty upset if she found out that happened on her watch. "But, you just took us to a secure facility somewhere in Scotland and are saying we're to drag off three people into cells in a very serious way." She wasn't there in the fight before, she's coming into this a bit behind. "I just want to make sure we're all on the same page."

That off her chest, she nods at the advice given by Jericho. "Alright, Rant first, then. What exactly am I asking her about? The ties between Hydra and Smooth? How much am I keeping close to the vest?" As for helping out the mutants with Zee, she nods again. "Sure. So, releasing into NYPD custody or running away into the hills of Scotland once they're properly cared for, got it." Finally, she gives Scott a wry smile, "Though, you know, all I know about what happened to them is that they were some place other than Scotland, Zee put them to sleep and now they're in Scotland and Hydra plus the SRD were involved."

*

Scott certainly appreciates the discretion Jericho is showing. As far as the HYDRA agents goes? All he needs to do is make one phone call to Professor Xavier, and they'll never be brainwashed, or remember any of this, ever again. Ethics can get muddy when unethical actions cancel each other out.

Now, often times Scott gets salty at his directives being challenged. In this instance, not so much. "I know." Those two words carry a lot of weight. He didn't come to this conclusion lightly, but aside from just letting them go… this is what they have. He won't make the argument that, if the roles were reversed, things would undoubtedly be quite uglier. "They're rooms. Not cells." Because ultimately? Those HYDRA goons get to walk away from this. "Not Scotland. Not here. We will take them wherever they need to go."

Lord knows they've already broken every law in the book, practically.

Scott reaches out to put a hand on Zee's shoulder. "Don't worry. I'll walk you through everything. You'll be fine."

At this point, Dr. MacTaggert's people begin to arrive. "Alright, people. Let's get to work."

*

Jericho nods to Scott. He'll have K'nert run out to Illyana and let her know what's going on, though he imagines he'll see her himself before long. Possibly in Limbo, possibly back at the apartment. They often do when things get like this. While K'nert's at that he'll handle the SRD guy. He's thinking… pick up in the Catskills. Let them search the mountains and wonder how he got there and who his mysterious 'rescuer' was. It'll give him some time to talk before he has to bug out when the Search Team he's already alerting gets too close.

Then the two of them will deal with HYDRA. That'll be interesting.

Kitty gets a thankful smile for the faith she shows in him. He's darker than many it's true, but it's nice to know people trust you. And uncommon in his world outside a small circle. "Catch you all soon."

*

And while Kitty certainly knows something about eyes for eyes, there's a difference between that and torture. Unfortunately for Scott and his dislike for people questioning his orders, the mutant hacker is and always will be someone who speaks her mind even (maybe especially) to authority. For now, though, she gives Scott a soft smile in response to his acknowledgement. At least she's being heard. Patting the hand on her shoulder for a brief moment, she let's the topic go at that. "Okay. I just wanted to make sure," she replies softly.

Jericho is given a grin as the mood turns from the serious discussion. Moira's entrance is enough to break up the atmosphere and turn everyone away from contemplation and toward their designated tasks. With hers given, she smiles and gestures at Zee for them to both help move people into their rooms and start talking to the soon to be very confused mutants who have found themselves in Scotland.

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