Holding On

August 19, 2015:

Hank, Scott & rachel meet up.




NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The Xavier Estate.

Separate from the school yet on the same grounds, this building is where Charles Xavier and a handful of others call home. One of its residents is Scott Summers, and for the past 24 hours, he's been… troubled.

It's late afternoon. Heavy clouds linger in the sky, and there's a thickness to the summer air that suggests rain on the horizon. Scott has been seated on a bench for the past hour, having adopted a position that will prevent his legs from falling asleep; a ball cap is worn over his head, shielding his face from the lack of sunlight, and his hands are clasped together before him, knuckles white.

Following yesterday's psionic encounter with Jean, Charles Xavier had given Scott a particularly heavy assignment. Perhaps… the most difficult task he's ever faced.

Hank McCoy hasn't been as involved with many of the current events — he's been trying to help with Cerebro in order to contact Jean, but he's not one to rush into a gunfight unless specifically requested. He's been trying to think his way around this problem, but without access to the collar, it's not the easiest thing to do.

He was on his way across campus when he caught sight of Scott sitting on the bench.

Hank McCoy hasn't been as involved with many of the current events — he's been trying to help with Cerebro in order to contact Jean, but he's not one to rush into a gunfight unless specifically requested. He's been trying to think his way around this problem, but without access to the collar, it's not the easiest thing to do.

He was on his way across campus when he caught sight of Scott sitting on the bench. There's a hesitation before he approaches and pauses before the bench itself. "Scott. Is there anything I can do?"

Ever since encountering her mother and saving a ship full of people, Rachel had been scarce at the Institute. She was afraid of where this all might come to, especially since Jean had escaped; thanks to Emma Frost. It really wasn't Emma's fault, but Rachel needed someone to blame.

Entering the area, she caught sight of Scott and Hank and approached casually with her hands in the pockets of her jeans, "Hey you two. What's up?"

+MEET: Colossus has arrived via +meet.

Rachel Grey says, "Hey Colo!"

Scott grimaces at the entrance of another voice. Hands parting, he lifts one in a gesture of pause, as if knowing it will take some time for him to form a response to Hank.

"I… am not… sure." The words sound as if he's in pain; physical pain, rather than some kind of emotional duress, though there's certainly a fair portion of that going on.

Rachel will be able to discern what's happening at once. Scott is engaged in some sort of telepathic activity; surprising, given that he has no inherent psionic ability of his own, but he's found a way to activate the mind-link Jean had created with him, and he's maintaining it on his end, where she lacks the mental capacity to do so on her end. The psionic activity happening around him is particularly severe; as if some sort of blinding fire is assaulting him on the astral plane.

After a few moments, Scott draws in a very deep breath and appears to 'come to', in a manner of speaking. "Henry." It's not often he uses the man's full name; almost as if he were emulating Charles rather than himself. "Rachel. It's Jean. I'm… maintaining her. Keeping her… sane. It's… difficult to explain, but… it's… working."

Hank McCoy offers a nod to Rachel when she approaches but he remains quiet, letting Scott say what he needs to say. Or not. He's not told to leave, so that's a plus, at least. When his proper name is used, his eyebrows go up and he takes a seat on the end of the bench, "Would being attached to Cerebro help? We could make adjustments…focus it on this connection alone…it might take some of the work from you…"

Rumbling of a motored engine gives Colossus away long before he rolls into sight, his massive frame squeezed onto a rolling lawnmower, quietly tending to the grass, mush spat out in his wake as he guides the vehicle along the edge of a walkway.

Even with his headphones in to drown out the noise pollution, he's cognizant enough to pick out familiar faces and lifts one big paw to wave at them.

Rachel reaches out to sense precisely what Scott is doing, slightly distracted by the sight of Colossus on the lawnmower before asking Scott, "How did you manage this? Doctor McCoy is right, Cerebro or even myself could help strengthen your bond."

Turning his head toward Hank, Scott seems distraught. He's being forced to witness all of the horrible things that they are doing to his love, all of her suffering, and beyond that, her power is lashing back through the psionic link, hurting him. No physical injury is present yet, but the feedback feels like fire, constantly scorching his skin.

"I'm not sure," he struggles, clearly addressing both Rachel and Hank, even though he's not exactly turning his head either way. "Could work?" A long pause. "It's not a conventional link, Rachel." Another pause. "Something… unique. Professor said… my task alone. A moment…"

Jean… others are here to see me. I'm not going anywhere, I promise. But, they need more of my attention. I'm right here, love.

Following a momentary distraction, Scott breathes out a breath of relief and moves to stand, steadily growing more aware of his surroundings. "Okay, hello, you guys. Sorry about that, it's difficult to be in two places at once." Noticing Piotr, he answers the gesture with a wave of his own.

"It's up to you, Scott…" Hank offers, glancing over to Rachel and then at Piotr as he comes closer with the lawn mower. He gives a couple of sneezes as the smell of freshly-mown grass hits, but he then turns back to Scott. "You know we'll do what we can, and then some, to help, Scott. Just tell us what we need to do or where to go." Since no one else seems to have that link with Jean.

Piotr, as always blissfully ignorant of brain and magic stuff, rolls to a stop and lets the beast idle. "Mnawka, look at fly ride." He pats on it, "Ten miles per hour top spee—" Pause. "Is something matter?" He looks between the three and finally turns the engine off.

Rachel grows rather quiet at Scotts words, not exactly happy with the situation affecting her mother. She deals with it though, forcing a smile for Piotr before sitting down on the bench; lost in her own thoughts.

"I know." Scott's answer to Hank comes with earnest. He sits back down on the bench next to Rachel with a heavy motion, reaching for her forearm.

Rachel's here, Jean. And Hank, and Piotr. He helped Rachel and I when - no, I am not angry with her anymore - yes, I've - no, but I will - yes, I promise. You have my word.

Following the awkward pause, Scott 'recenters' on his friends. "We could try using Cerebro, sure… but we can't sever the link. It may be the only thing holding her back from… something… worse. Much, much worse." A long breath. "More important, we need to find her, stop what's happening."


"We might be able to use the link to find her…through Cerebro," Hank murmurs before he looks to Piotr and his question. "We might have a way of reaching Jean," is offered in answer before he stands, "Let me go work on Cerebro…I can do some adjustments before you get there, but the rest may have to be done on the fly. Give me a couple of minutes and then come on in?"

Rachel remains rather quiet as Scott speaks before admitting, "We had her, over the weekend. Emma insisted on being able to handle the situation and Jean escaped, I'm not too pleased with it." Even if it wasn't really Emma's fault she was still dwelling on it, especially with a reminder so close.

"Sure, Hank," answers Scott. "I'll meet you at the base shortly."

With Hank making his departure, Scott turns back toward the others. "She's not herself, Rachel. Somehow, they've managed to supplant almost all of her higher functions. Through our mind-link, I'm afraid -"

There is a sudden pause, during which Scott's hand clenches down on Rachel's forearm. Sweat beads up on his brow, but after a few moments, it passes.

"- I'm afraid it's the only thing keeping her from disappearing altogether."

Rachel reaches up to touch her father's hand and gives it a squeeze with her own, "Well, we need to make sure that link doesn't break or her consciousness could be lost forever or worse? Stuck on the Astral Plane as a sort of psychic vampire, only able to manifest by feeding upon or using others." She seemed very serious before hugging Scott and telling him, "Let her know I love her, okay?"

For a few moments, Scott's eyes go glassy behind the glasses. Then, he smiles. "She knows."

Scott relaxes, letting go of Rachel's hand. "Rachel… I'd better talk with her a bit… explain what's about to happen. I will find you later?"

Rachel nodded slowly to her father, wanting to reach up and wipe away the forming tears from his eyes but she holds back, "Keep her safe." She follows off to wherever Hank had went to see what calibrations he was doing to Cerebro. Hopefully, Jean would be safe.

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