No One To Turn To

August 22, 2015:

Nightcrawler tracks down 'Alpha' by word of mouth.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Kurt had a fair number of connections - he'd spent a lot of time in Mutant Town, volunteering, making friends, helping with the homeless, just listening and being a pastor. Priest things, even if he didn't have the collar or the vows. He finds they give his life meaning, fill in the gaps in his life in ways just throwing fists with bad guys never has. But they also can be useful resources, that flock of his.

He'd passed out Jean's picture and, lo and behold, got a bite. Which is why he's here looking in at a Buddhist temple where, for the moment, Jean seems be standing and staring at the statue inside. Who knows what's drawn her there? He flicks his disguise on, his holographic self hiding both his cast and his visage. He knows better than to just charge up to her now. He needs to get a better look at that collar. He does his best to tamp down his accent as he makes his way inside.

"It is beautiful," he says softly.


All she did was run away. Run from her handlers, run from people who called her by this other name. Run from the memories, that nagging feeling.. something wasn't right. It all just confused her, and that confusion was consuming. There was still a small metal plate tacked to the side of her head where the chip was, the chip that was tossed away and left discarded, the collar hung around her neck as she stands in front of the statue, black T-shirt, tight jeans wore with a pair of boots that lace up to the middle of her calf.

The way her head hung low, one could see the way that it was attached to her, two prong-points, directly into the back of her neck, which gives birth to the possibility that it was attached to her spine. "It is.." She murmurs softly, her gaze lifted towards the man that approaches. She looked tired. Worn out and ragged. Her eyes glossy and her pupils dialated to the point it almost seemed unnatural.

It was probably Scott's doing. And theirs. The drug that's constantly funneled into her system leaves her slightly paler than normal. "Excuse me.." She murmurs faintly. "I need to sit down.." The way she walks was as if she were an older woman, her back at a slight hunch as she lowers herself upon the bench. With a slight sigh, she draws her dull green eyes upright, her hand lifting to slightly rub at the back of her head to still the pain of the collar attached.


Kurt Wagner lets her sit and moves to stand in front of her. She seems weak, broken down somehow, but he's not so foolish as to think that means he should try and take advantage of it. He's in no condition himself and he's in no mood for a fight, regardless. He doesn't want to call in a strike team or attempt to wrestle her down. She looks like she hurts. She's not the only one.

"Sometimes, we must rest, no matter where we are," he says, "I am not a Buddhist, but I see why they like it here. It is very peaceful. Peace is, perhaps, the greatest commodity we have," he says softly. "You seem like you could use some," he says.


Jean looks up almost warily as he stands in front of her, her body tensing as she shifts within her spot. Such.. directness was uncomfortable to her, paranoia rung out, as well as.. there was something inside of her that was begging to be let free. Her fingers draw along the front of her face to slightly rub, drawing her fingers down to pull her hair to hide the stint embedded within her temple.

"You are not a buddist.. but you sound like a priest." She admits, one arm wrapped around her stomach as she leans forward, attempting to still herself from moving too much. "Everyone needs peace. We all do. From all of this.." She gestures her hand around, her eyes closing for a moment. She.. could almost hear him if she tries to concentrate..

"I'm sorry. You should get as far away from me as possible.."


Kurt Wagner considers, "Once upon a time," he says. "I have certainly spent my time in confession, my time with God. Sometimes, God is all you have, even if you don't believe in Him," he says.

"I appreciate your concern, but I've always looked out for myself. I am no longer afraid. That is one of the hardest things to give up, fear. To accept that things will be as they will be," he says. His words are measured, careful. He does not wish to provoke her - if anything, he wants to help quiet her mind. He does not like that she is suffering, regardless if that suffering might make her free. "Peace can only really be found inside. What is it inside you that is causing you pain?" he asks.


"I don't." She snaps, green eyes cut towards him with a tiny hint of anger, but even still.. things were starting to become questionable to her. Such as.. who was that little girl? Who was Jean Grey? Who is.. she? She couldn't remember the totality of her life, she just knew that she used to have someone.. a child with her..

"I'm.. I'm sorry. That was rude. But I really do mean this for your own sake." Her hand draws up so that he could keep his distance, her body sliding along the bench until she reaches the edge. "You can still have courage.." She pauses, nearly distracted.. "..and still possess fear." She points out, but with a roll of her shoulder, her head lowers briefly. "It.. I.. I don't know. There are.." She purses her lips tightly. "I.. I don't know who I am.." Her eyes begin to water, as she looks up towards him. "I.. I don't know what's causing me pain, I don't know how it's causing me pain.." Her hand slowly lifts, drawing out the pendant that she keeps close to her heart. "I .. I don't even know who she is to me and why she's dead, but.. I think I'm the reason as to why she's dead.." The little smiling face. "I think I killed her.."


Kurt Wagner listens softly, his shoulder and arm twinging slightly in pain, but it doesn't show on his holographic visage, of course. He chews his bottom lip for a moment and leans forward, careful to set his pinned arm carefully. "I do not know you," he says and, in truth, he doesn't, not really - not to the degree he would need to, not in any way that means anything right now - what person knows another's heart, truly? "But…if you feel this shame, this regret…then you are not a killer. A killer would have no remorse, no regret. That does not mean that what you say did not happen - it is a question of who you are and what it makes you. Only monsters take lives without regret. You are not a monster."


Her fingers curl into a fist around the pendant, that fist pressing against her forehead as she tries to keep it together. But she felt that shame of the little girls death and.. what was pounded into her head to believe. That she was at fault, that she was scum. That she was nothing and deserved every bit of the pain that she had gotten.

"You don't know that." Her voice lowers, her eyes finally lifting towards him, the flame that licks within her gaze told him of a hidden threat. "Monsters are not the only ones who takes lives without regret. Monsters are those who actively deny your gods presence, who step outside of humanity.. the mutants, the meta-humans, who claim to be the next step in evolution set to cause the human race extinction.."

The collar emits a beep, sharp pain radiating through her neck as she closes her eyes again, her body slowly swaying upon the bench as she drops her fist down into her lap. The chain that the pendant rests upon is soon wrapped around her grip, a slow.. slow.. sigh being drawn out as she tempers herself against it all.


Kurt Wagner considers for a moment, 'Do they claim that? Some do, I'm sure, but not all. Most, I think, are just trying to make sense of their lives. How frightening it must be to suddenly discover you are not like everyone else…to have powers at your fingertips, abilities which make you fearful to everyone around you? It must be so very hard. That does not make them monsters, though - monsters, real monsters, are born of morality, not biology. Boogeymen hide not in our genes, but in our hearts."

He sighs softly, cocking his head as he hears that beep and sees the way her body reacts to it. It's hurting her, too, that much is clear. He stares at it for a long moment, committing it as much as he can to memory - memory that can hopefully provide answers, solutions. "As for God - regardless of what was done in the past, God is about one thing above all else - forgiveness. God has already forgiven you, whatever your sins. The difficulty is in finding a way to accept that forgiveness into yourself."


It was what she learned to believe. Those harsh words that were spoken taken her aback for a moment, allowing her a moment to sit and reflect. Does she really feel that way about herself? Was.. the self loathing justified? The little girl… Charlie.. he.. wait..

"If you say so, Priest.." She murmurs out quietly, pushing herself to a stand as she tries to walk off the pain, her shirt tugged upright to try to hide the collar as she paces a groove into the floor.

"I.. I don't know if I can accept that forgiveness. For what I've done.. the further things. These people.. I'm not sure if, if they deserved how they were treated. Coralled.. and.." She was hunting her own people.. "..this has to stop."


Kurt Wagner nods, "Yes, it does," he says softly. "The forgiveness is there for you, when you are ready. If you try to open yourself to it…you will feel it there. Sometimes, just allowing it into your heart, even for a moment…can do wonders. Can provide healing in ways you can't imagine. But only when you're ready," he says.

"People should be treated as people, regardless of how they're born or what they can do. It is what they do with those abilities that mark them for good or for bad - we are born sinful, yes, inclined to darkness, but most of us…find our way into the light, one way or another. In time, those stains can be washed away, although it may hurt, like any good scrubbing. That doesn't mean we forget - it simply means that we must find a way to move ahead, to move forward. That there is a new day ahead of us."


She shakes her head, stopping within her tracks, the same distraction within beating down at her doorstep. "I'm afraid to forgive myself.." She didn't know what she'd find if she does. The lines were blurring, even within her heart, her morality, her ideas. She's yet to capture a mutant, to send them to their dooms, but.. she hurt one. And a few others trying to run. All because they've called her Jean Grey and tried to approach.

And the hate.. she didn't know where her hate was born from. How could she..

"Stop.." She mutters quietly, holding her hands up, backing away from him. "Just.. just stop.. I can't stand it.." Something inside of her was pushing her, pushing her to do the right thing. But the outside.. the Mackenzie Green part of her, didn't want that to happen. She was battling herself, and it was obvious. "Just.. just be quiet for a moment.. I want my peace.."


Kurt Wagner does as she asks and nods, just sitting quietly. He prays, but to himself, for guidance and for peace and for Jean. Above all, most of all, for Jean. He cannot fully understand what she's going through, but her pain is genuine, obvious and impossible to escape. She is in a state of torture, her own private Gethsemane, and he only hopes she can come out whole on the other side. Whole and restored.

But he says nothing, for now, just waiting, letting her mind and spirit take their course and watching steadily.


There were so many thoughts and fragments swirling through her head. The idea and the thought of forgiveness was long gone from her. She needed to suffer the consequences.. no. She needed to make those people suffer the consequences borne through her actions… no.. she needed to go home. She wanted to go home.. but where was home? Annadale-on-Hud.. no..

The silence was threatening almost to her, seemingly radiating from the strange man who approached, seeking to place herself further away from him as she staggers away far enough to perch upon the bench at the other end. Her arms collapse into herself, hugging herself for comfort as she begins to rock back and forth, eyes closing as she quietly sobs, her hand, clutched with the pendant still rubbing at her temple where the piece remains that housed her link.

"What do I do what do I do.." She quietly mourns. She was truly at a loss.


Kurt Wagner stands up and walk over until he folds his legs under him, deftly sitting down, Indian style across from her. He doesn't try to touch her or invade her space - he's already learned better than to try that and, at any rate, he's not trying to confront her. He's trying to help her confront herself.

"You need to search your heart and think for yourself. Find a place, a person, someone who has known you. Family, friends…someone. Reach out. Let them help you," he says softly. "You deserve to be helped. You deserve to be free of this pain."


Her hands bury the visage that's written upon her face now, the tears were evident, so much so that they drip through fingertips and upon denim clad jeans below. Her head shakes slowly, as she tries to think. Who does she have that is -that- close? Who knows her? Who.. depends on her? Who is her family? "I…"

The flashes of images were flushed towards her as she jerks, her shaky hands nearly clawing upon her face as each and every one of Jean's true friends and family cloud her senses. Those people.. who were they.. who..

"I.. I don't have anyone! Anyone.. who.. I.. who is Jean Grey.. and these people, they.." She shakes her head, her lips pursed, her collar flashing yet again as her hands cover her face yet again. A low growl draws from clenched teeth, her body rocking back and forth as she begins to hit herself to redirect the pain elsewhere. "No no no no no.. I don't have anyone, I don't have anything.. all I have is Command and I need to go back.. I need to go back to figure everything out.. I need to find out who she is, who these people are.."


Kurt Wagner barely restrains the urge to reach out and touch her, comfort her. She needs to do this for herself, as painful as it was. Pushed too hard, too fast, and she might fly into a thousand pieces or, worse, just revert. "Command? What's command?" he says, trying to sound as naive as he can. If he can get any details, perhaps they can get some insight into how to find those responsible.

"Where is it? I can…get you a cab or something…" he says. That sounds crazy, just calling a cab to take her to Purifier headquarters, but it -was- New York City, after all. There were stranger places.


"Command.." She says mournfully, leaning back onto the bench so that her hand could sift into her pocket. She retrieves a small packet of wet wipes, drawing one out with a shaky hand as she begins to wipe away at her face, sniffling as she does. "The people I work for." She shakes her head, not willing to explain more, even though there was a small comfort at talking to someone who isn't calling her someone else. Who.. is normal.

"I.. I can't have you do that." She shakes her head. "But the gesture was nice.. thank you." She smiles just a little, even though it was sad, tired. "I lost contact with them a few days ago. I'll have to get somewhere safe.. secure.." The wheels were turning. There were safe houses in Mutant Town still, some ill placed contacts, but no. That was too close to home.. Brooklyn. There was a set up there that was raided, and no one would be any wiser at returning. She could clear the place in an instant, and make contact.


Kurt Wagner nods softly, "As you wish. I just hate to see someone in trouble. You shouldn't have to suffer so," he says carefully, making sure not to call her by name. He wants to, but he's already learned the perils of that - and heard from her own lips the trauma it caused. A new method is required.

"I wish you well with it. I will be praying for you, "he says softly. "God be with you," he adds.

He will, then, if she lets him, seemingly depart…but only seemingly…

Her bottom lip trembles a little as she looks towards him, her head shaking as she carefully wipes beneath her eyes. "No.. I'm.. I'll be okay." It did feel better, speaking to someone who used to be a priest.. or just speaking to someone period. The idea of forgiving herself.. remembering to love herself.. to find the truth within herself.. it almost gave her something to aim for.

As he makes way to depart, she slowly draws to her feet, turning to watch him go.. but not all the way. "Wait." She tries to move quickly, but with the way her body was currently hunched, it was close to impossible. "I'm M.. Mackenzie.." She smiles a little, then gestures towards him. "If.. if you need help with anything, and if I can.. I'd like for you to call me." She didn't have a card, but her shaky hands do reach into her pocket to rip off a piece from the paper she carried, a small pencil withdrawn to carefully scribble in the number to a cell phone. It was soon handed over, but there was an uneasy look to Jean. She didn't know why she felt that he would need her help.

Could possibly thank Scott and Jean for that.


Kurt Wagner takes the number gently, carefully, so as not to disrupt his illusion or let her feel too closely the fingers that lie beneath it, "Thank you. For the number and the trust. My name is…Thomas," he says, taking the name of one of his favorite monks, a man he considered a spiritual guidepost even though he'd never met him.

Be well, Mackenzie. Go with God…even if you don't yet believe in Him," he says softly.

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