Kurt Wagner's Not So Good Very Bad Day

August 15, 2015:

Emma checks on Kurt while he recovers from the beating he got from Jean in the park.

X-men HQ - Medbay

The recovery wing of the X-men's on-site medical facility.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Kurt is stabilized relatively quickly - his injuries aren't life threatening, just extremely painful. He does undergo some surgery, re-setting the bones in his arms and fingers, and he's in a cast pretty much from his left shoulder all the way down to his waist on that side of his body. He's come out of the anesthetic, though, and they're keeping him awake for the moment, wanting to monitor him for signs of brain damage or concussion. His eyes remain as they were before, the golden hue of them criss-crossed with cracks of crimson from the veins shattered from the impact of Jean's mind and fists.

He does, at least, have an apple juice, sipping it with his still functional hand, the straw in his mouth. He has his Bible and his journal, the TV turned off for the moment as he lets himself try to cope with what he's just been through. He has a lot to think about.

Having been the one to carry Kurt into this medbay, Emma has not been too far away. Nevertheless, she left the robot doctor units to take care of his injuries, and has spent a good deal of time making other arrangements. Proper and secret disposal of the car, and its replacement. Making sure all records show no evidence of her presence in the park today that might draw undue attention. And checking to make sure that the civilians were in fact saved as it appeared they were. So it is that a few hours later, her business meeting rescheduled for another day, the white-clad platinum blonde comes strolling in, just to see what the patient's condition might be. "Herr Vagner. You look a bit better than you did, at least."

Kurt Wagner glances up from where he'd begun writing in his journal, closing it and marking his place with a red ribbon, setting his pen aside. He manages a weak smile and nods, "Ah, Miss Frost, I do suspect I could not look very much worse, not and remain breathing. For that gift of breath, I believe that I have you to thank for it. I do not remember very much after…the attack, but I remember being inside your car and being taken to safety for a moment. I hesitate to ask but, if she were brought in with me, I suspect Jean would be here with me in the medbay, being treated for whatever mind control she has suffered. I take it she could not be captured?" he says. There is no blame in the question - he understands all too well that you can't always be victorious.

Emma's pale blue eyes darken as she looks down momentarily, then shakes her head. "I had her down. I don't think she would have awakened normally. But it's possible that collar had something built in to detect an unconscious state and try to automatically awaken her." Emma answers. "She waited until my driver had bound her wounds, then attacked him, hammered the car, and flew off." Emma finishes.

"About the only good news I have, right at the moment, is that you were saved, and so were the civilians she tried to kill to get us to back off." Emma offers, after several minutes. "That and … I can tell you a bit about who she thinks she is, now. I didn't have time to read all of her implanted memories, but I got a good bit."

Kurt Wagner nods softly, as if he hadn't expected much else, "Whatever identity may be foisted upon her, Jean is nothing if not formidable. She spent much of her life being underestimated - just the girl, on a team of nothing but boys. Those who overlook her always very quickly pay the price. Not to suggest that you did, fraulein - only that Jean Grey never surprises me in what she is capable of accomplishing," he says.

"But yes, it is good to know who she thinks she is, because that may very well hold the clues that are vital to tracking down who is holding her and for what purpose. I agre that the collar seemst o be the key…I was trying to wrestle it off when she…well, I bit off more than I could chew, obviously," he says. "I always did have a glutton's appetite."

Emma nods. She settles down in a chair nearby, crossing her legs at the knees, hands in her lap, all poise and care. "To be blunt, most men underestimate most women. It's just a fact of life, and one many of us find incredibly useful most of the time." Emma was 'driving' Lawrence. /She/ did not underestimate Jean. She just underestimated the damned tech. Who does that?!

"It's the Pacifiers. I would never have imagined they would bother with something like this. But that's who she's working with. She has a handler. Thinks she's a kind of soldier against the mutant threat. The collar controls her powers. Its default is shutting them off, but they can apparently remotely reverse it, letting her have some or all of her power back. There's also an incredible anger and guilt, resonating with an image in her mind of a child."

Kurt Wagner grinds his teeth a bit, "Purifiers. Of course. They do thrive on perverting everything good and true. Why not turn one of our own against us? They would turn God Himself against us, after all. Petty, disgusting…" he mutters to himself, and then breathes for a moment, closing his eyes as he finds his calm again.

"Jean was going through something before - she was comatose for sometime a few months ago, dealing with some sort of…sublimated trauma from her childhood. Rachel and Betsy could tell you more - I tried to help but, well…she put me in the hospital then, too, "he says, remembering when Jean psychically threw him into the wall. "There is some pain there that has never been resolved, a girl who died…I think Jean blames herself," he sighs. "All too often, those of us who choose to become so-called heroes make the mistake of thinking we can save everyone."

By comparison, Emma is cool. Calm. Impassive. Unemotional. Uninflected. And rather unruffled by it all, at least to all appearances. "Yes. I am aware of the situation, or at least its aftermath. I was the one who helped heal Elizabeth afterwards." Emma is always so prim and proper: Elizabeth, never Betsy, and NEVER Psylocke. What's that, anyway? "I am not sure that this particular child ever existed. The one in MacKenzie's memory. But I suspect it is burrowing into her thoughts so effectively because it resonates with those memories of Jean's. When next she is found, every effort must be made to disable that collar. I suspect we will still need to do an extensive telepathic debrief. But the collar seems to be the key at the core of this brainwashing."

Kurt Wagner sighs, "I am perturbed as much by the idea that the Purifiers somehow knew something so intimate about Jean, that they would be able to design a method so perfectly attuned to her weakness. Ach, it makes me question just how close they've gotten to us," he sighs. He doesn't think anyone of their number would betray them willingly, but if they've managed to brainwash Jean right under their noses? Then they're closer than they seem - and Jean may not be the only one.

"Beast should be consulted regarding a potential solution for the collar - perhaps there are ways to deactivate it without laying hands upon her directly. Although I am willing to try again, if it comes down to that, injuries aside," he says, trying not to think of the pain he felt when one of the people he trusted most in the world nearly tore his arm from his body. "And we will definitely need a telepath on hand - given your propensity for healing, perhaps you would be the wisest choice in that regard." He says. He pauses for a moment and says, "If I have been reticent in giving you the warmest of welcomes to the team, Miss Frost, I will humbly apologize for my lack of manners. The only excuse I can provide is that we have all been distracted of late…but that is no excuse for ingratitude."

Emma merely gives a wave of her hand towards Kurt. "Don't be silly, Herr Wagner. I am certainly not one for all joining hands and singing Cum-bai-ya. I had a connection to Elizabeth. She missed a luncheon date, I came here to find her. It is nothing so deeply-seeded as all that." In short: Emma is playing it all off lightly, as if it is mere whim. Even when that whim compels her into a war zone. Or to abort an important business meeting to commandeer her own limo as a tank to go rescue a man she has only met once in her life.

That all makes perfect sense. Right?

The platinum blonde shrugs. "I am in no way offended by any lack of community feeling. Nevertheless, I appreciate the welcome once offered. Jean is very important to Elizabeth. I will do what I can for her, both to recapture her before she has to face even worse on her conscience, and to help heal her mind once she is captured." And anyone fool enough to ask why Jean being important to Elizabeth implies Emma should do any of that? Deserves what they get.

Kurt Wagner doesn't fully understand exactly what the connection is between Emma and Betsy. He knows they both from from high society backgrounds, however, and he understands that such worlds are well beyond the experienced of a Romani-raised circus performer. And he would certainly never imply or pry about anything of a more personal nature between the two women. It doesn't even occur to him to do so.

"I am not much for the singing of the Kumbaya myself - I don't even go to karaoke down in Westchester, although some of the other X-men do partake on occasion," he smiles. "You are under no obligation to make the people here your family or even your friends - we welcome your help nonetheless. But, if you do have need of those things - or simply want them in your life - they are available as well. I may have never finished my time at seminary, but I still try to do my part to be…a pastor to the people here, even if it isn't in the most conventional of ways. And that doesn't include any religious obligations - I'm no evangelist," he says.

"In short…thank you and, if you ever have need of a friend…you need merely say the word."

It wouldn't matter if Kurt asked; neither woman could explain it to him if he did. So it is probably best he doesn't ask. Don't look behind the curtain; it might ruin everything.

"I thank you kindly, for the well-wishes and offer. I merely do not wish to offend, if I do not partake." And apparently she won't, which is a bonus. Less effort she has to expend trying to explain to these incredibly naive, heroic-minded fools why it is she is helping. It's so exhausting! "I trust you know Doctor McCoy better than I. Perhaps you can speak with him regarding this collar? My own solution to the thing would be to have Rachel just tear it apart psychokinetically. Or just blast the damned thing off of her."

Kurt Wagner nods, "No offense will be taken, I assure you. We all have our own paths to follow, Fraulein Frost. Some of those roads are lonelier than others," he says, with a soft sigh. He speaks from experience in that regard although, in truth, he is not discontent. He has always taken a certain amount of pleasure in solitude. It certainly makes contemplation easier.

"I can approach Henry, ja," he says. "I understand the impulse - my first thought was simply to teleport the device off of her neck. And that might be the solution. But, until we better understand just what has been done to her, we should not pretend that there might not be dire consequences to such a sudden and violent solution. The Purifiers have already proven themselves wily - I would not wish to do Jean further harm by underestimating them again."

"I am getting rather tired of them, to be honest." Emma answers. She doesn't mention all of the research she has been working on regarding the Purifiers; she still doesn't know who is and is not cleared for that intel. But she can be honest: she hates them. What they do. How they do it. What they stand for. And the fact that they keep getting ahead, winning instead of being exposed and destroyed, is infuriating. "Your point is well taken, however. It would be a shame to do more harm in trying to 'save' her, given that would merely play even further into their hand."

Kurt Wagner nods softly, 'Yes. We are all, I think, getting very tired of the Purifiers. I have to trust that their time is coming - and that, God willing, we will have a hand in it," he says. "We will find solutions. We always do. That is one thing you will learn, the longer you are among the X-men, Fraulein Frost. We never give up. And no matter how many times we're knocked down, we always get up again."

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