We Should Make Them Love Us

September 10, 2015:

Brin arranges a coffee catchup for X-Red ….

New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Cleaning up M-Town is taking a lot of work.. made that much more difficult by the continued incursions of the Purifiers and Reavers. Today though, had been good… X-Red, Maria Stark Foundation and others had achieved a lot - getting at least one street cleared and accomodation usuable again.

Which is why Brins found herself in the Financial District of New York, she's headed to City Hall to lodge some paperwork. But she's arranged to meet a couple of friends before she does - get something to eat and drink before confronting the beaurcracy. She's waiting out the front of a small cafe for her friends to arrive - wearing her business X-Red uniform. Tailored pants and collared polo with a stylised X embroidered on the pocket over her heart.

One thing about being X-Red, you're public - public mutants showing that mutants aren't anything to be afraid of… which is why those people taking a wide berth around the brunette causes her to sigh.

Inside the cafe, a woman is working, her head bent over a file as she scribbles notes on a yellow legal pad. Her blonde hair is tied up into a ponytail, her fingers tapping the pen against it as she reads. A cup of coffee is cooling in front of her, and a few pieces of toast sit there untouched for the moment. She sits back, lifting her arms, stretching them over her head, before she rubs her eyes. A heavy sigh comes with the slump of her shoulders.

Wanda only has the one uniform. Some say she only has the one change of clothes. So when she shows up to join Brinley it is obvious who she is and who she works for. And her face and powers are starting to become known - damn you, internet!! And since her powers seem to be rather…disruptive…she is not being treated with a whole lot of respect by the crowds that part as she approaches. Wanda herself has her eyes down and doing her best to avoid the glares and the gossip and the occasional spit that comes her way. "Hello, Brinley" she smiles to her friend when she finally reaches her. Wanda's voice still heavily Eastern European accented - which just adds to the hatred. "Get back to Russia!" calls out someone with no knowledge of geography.

Brins head snaps up at the call to Wanda and she reaches out to hug the other woman "I'll get the PR team working on things. With everything that's happening, things are a bit unsettled."

It's pretty obvious that Brins injured - her right arm bandaged near the shoulder - two gun shot wounds will do that to you - and when she turns to guide Wanda into the cafe, the limp in her right leg becomes evident. Whatever the small brunette has been up to - she's in the wars.

As Wanda and Brin enter the cafe and head to the counter they pass Maggies table, "Clean up in M-Town went well today. No attacks at least… and I have to say, Wanda, that's a relief."

Maggie looks up, considering the pair of them for a moment, recalling that there is toast. Toast, mmmm. A munchie food, even as she watches with silent thoughtfulness. A pair of intelligent blue eyes analysing before she takes a deep breath, inhaling the air through her nose, an odd little curl to her lips.

"I tried to clean up near the river" Wanda shrugs, "I turned the debris into money again and it is amazing how quickly people want to help." Whether its good for the economy is another thing. "Why haven't you healed yet?" she asks with some concern. "Didn't you stand in the river?"

Wanda stares up at the menu board and purses her lips in deep thought. "No attacks? Does that mean they are planning something big? Why aren't the police doing anything?"

A realisation of the time, and Maggie is gathering her things, on the mobile phone, "It's Mog, I'm on my way. No, I just was working." And the blonde is gone.

"I stood in the river and it helped some, Wanda." Brin lets her mind wander over the crowd in the cafe, sensing emotions… it's as far as that power goes. "Then I got shot again, helping Gabby Trent." and she hasn't really been resting!

Brin watches as the blonde leaves and turns her attention back to Wanda. "I don't know if they're planning something big, or if we've hurt them sufficiently… only time will tell and … " she can't answer for the police. X-Red are still investigating at least. "What are you going to have, Wanda?"

"Why do you keep getting shot? Don't you have that magic shield?" Wanda asks with some frustration in her tone that Brinley is continuing to get hurt when she isn't around. Hell, she even got kidnapped when Wanda was off being selfish; guilt finds it very easy to cling to the Transian.

"I will just have an ice chocolate" Wanda decides before glancing around for a table. "I think that blonde woman does not like mutants" she muses before settling herself down under the gaze of many of the other customers. "We will never hurt them enough. We have to change the way they think and we can't do that by hurting them."

"This time, because I wasn't quick enough… and" Well Jesana had chosen to save Gabby first, so had Brin… but she's not going to mention that. "Ice chocolate it is, I'll have one too." Brin nods to the server and settles at the table with Wanda. "Maybe she didn't… I didn't get anything odd from her, though. Hurt who enough, Wanda? The Purifiers, or the general population?"

"I meant the Purifiers but I am starting to think they and the general population are the same thing" Wanda replies softly. A little energy builds around a finger before she casts it upon a spoon…which grows small legs and starts to dance. "Don't you think that we hurt people too much, Brinley? I know that they hurt you but that is because they are afraid. I have seen that in people all my life. I even saw it in my parent's eyes. But when we do what we do…destroy cities…lives…even as we think we fight for them. Well…can you blame them for being afraid?"

"That's why the X-Men don't kill… " Brin watches Wanda carefully, smiling at the dancing spoon. "And it's why X-Red is in the community." She does take Wanda's point about the Purifiers "We don't kill the Purifiers either, Wanda. We try to hold them for the police to deal with." It's not the mutants destroying things… but Wanda obviously needs to talk.

A casual flick of her finger and the spoon is just a spoon again. "It's not just about the Purifiers, Brinley, it is all of us and everything we do. I think we are keeping all the construction companies in business. I dunno, Brinley, I just don't feel much like a hero when people are spitting on me in the street. When I was homeless they never even did that but now that I am 'doing good'…"

Brin regards Wanda for a long moment and nods slowly. "I'm going to get you out in the field more, doing better stuff than just fixing M-Town." Brins had the benefit of working with X-Red for a while… and she knows they are highly regarded. Wanda, and Piotr and the others have only seen what it's like to be under fire.

Reaching for the tablet in her bag … Brin pulls up the news articles, blogs and other media of Wanda's efforts in clearing the town a few weeks ago. Glowing, positive reviews "Look at these, Wanda. Not that we do it for our personal glorification - but look at how you were seen then. I'm sorry, I've let you've down there…"

"You haven't let me down, Brin" Wanda smiles as she looks over the offered information. She taps the side of her head. "The voices let me down. I let me down." A faint smile as she reads some of the articles. "Did you write these?" she teases before handing back the tablet and considering her life for a long moment. "I want to do good, Brinley. But you are hurt badly and Bobby is turning into an icicle. How can I be a big hero when I can't look after the people I care about?"

Brinley and Wanda are in a cafe in the Financial District. Brins put out invitations to members of X-Red to meet her here - before she goes to lodge papers in City Hall…

"You can't take Bobby's or my issues on, Wanda." Brin speaks quietly, as is her want "And you do look after us. Look at last night - I didn't have to do anything except get those kids to run… you did the rest. And you helped Nick too." What Brin isn't saying, is that she might have a reckless streak that she doesn't want to curb just yet. "As for Bobby, that's concerning and there's nothing I can do either. I know he's worried." She taps the side of her head now "But I also know he's reaching out for help. We… just need to be there for him"

Since her return, Dani has been quite busy. Besides setting everything to rights within Xavier's School, she's also reached out to former teammates and friends to see what's been going on since she was away. This is how she found out about the X-Red team and eventually being inducted into it. Because of that, Brinley's invitiation was received and seen.

While she would have liked to get their sooner rather than later, late is still better than never, at least in Dani's books.

Leaving Brightwind at home, Dani took a rather pedestrian way to the cafe and when she steps off of the bus, the dark-haired woman will automatically scan the area. Once she spies the cafe, Dani will make her way over to it and then inside. While she hasn't yet met Brinley or Wanda, or really many of the other members of the team, Dani has at least read up on the dossiers' that were available to her. Which allows her to know what Brinley looks like. Upon seeing the two women seated together, Dani will raise a hand in a quick wave, before heading toward their table. "Ladies." She'll call out, once she's close enough to greet the two.

"I don't want to take on your issues but I want to help" Wanda replies before nodding slowly. "Bobby knows I will always be there for him" she states softly before looking over at Danielle. "Do yu know that woman?" she asks Brinley before nervously waving in the new arrival's direction. "It is just me, Brinley. I wouldn't worry about it."

Brins going to worry about it, of course she is. She's an empath after all! "Yes, Bobby does." She murmurs looking over to Dani as she hears the call and Wanda gestures, a small smile creasing her face. "That's Danielle, one of the newest members of the team, Wanda. She's been at the Institute for years." Which means that Brin may have seen her around there… but doesn't mean they actually know each other. "Come on over, Danielle. I'm Brin and this is Wanda. I'm so glad you could join us." The ice chocolates arrive just then and Brin looks expectantly at Danielle "Would you like to order something?"

When the two woman acknowledge her presence, Danielle gives an easy enough smile, edging towards polite for Wanda, as Danielle doesn't outright know her. Settling into a seat at their table, Danielle will say to the server that just delivered the ice chocolates, "Coffee is fine. Thanks." Once her order is given, her attention turns back to Brinley and Wanda. "Good to see you, Brinley." And then to Wanda, "Nice to meet you Wanda. Sorry I was late. I got tied up with some business back at the school." And then perhaps realizing that she stepped into a somewhat serious conversation between the two, the dark-haired woman will ask, "I wasn't interrupting, was I? Both of you looked pretty serious when I first stepped in."

"I always look serious. It is a fault of mine" Wanda explains with a wry smile. "It is what happens when there is so much happening in here" she adds with a tapping finger to her skull. "I am probably just concentrating so there is only one voice" she notes before adding, "And nice to meet you, Danielle. I was not at the Institute but I think my brother was there until his hear was broken. You are most welcome to join us…especially since you were invited."

Brins just quiet normally but lately… well, she's had a bit of a time of it. Mindblasted by Jean, kidnapped by Jean then rescued, shot twice and the shot again… maybe the brunette should be looking for the target painted on her.

"Not at all and I'm glad you could make it!" Brin smiles warmly "It's good to see our newer members… and I'm so sorry I haven't been around much to officially welcome you to the team."

Waiting for Danielle to place her order, Brin then continues "I was just telling Wanda that we had a problem free day, cleaning up in M-Town."

It's not every day that someone tells you they're concentrating so there's only one voice going on in their head. That's enough to cause Dani to give Wanda an assessing looking, but Dani has been around for quite some time so she takes Wanda's words in stride. Cracking a grin, the dark-haired woman says, "If it helps, I've been told my resting face isn't always the nicest, either."

As for Brinley's statement about welcoming her, Dani will give her head a shake. "Not necessary, really. I think I can figure most things out if need to and if I can't, well I have no problems asking questions." The mention of M-Town causes Danielle's expression to turn more sober and serious, as she says, "I've heard about the troubles in M-Town, lately. I'm hoping to get there today to start helping where I can. It's good to hear that clean up efforts are going better than expected." And then she offers a faint shrug, "Well, for today at least. What else have I missed since I've been gone? It feels like so much has happened and I'm only hearing bits and pieces of it at a time."

"Have you been away?" Wanda asks Danielle before shrugging. "M-Town will be clean one day and then messed up again the next. This is what happens when terrorists run rampant. But I am not the best person to ask what is going on. I miss most of it. I heard there is another member I have not met. Wiccan? He seems to be avoiding me" she laughs. "What is it you do, Danielle?"

Danielle's coffee appears slightly more quickly than Brins and Wandas ice chocolate did!

It's also telling that Brin doesn't bat an eyelid at Wanda's discussion about voices … it just is… and she's used to it.

"Well… " she thinks about the question Dani's asked "We have Purifiers and Reavers - both mutant hating groups, targetting mutants with militant force. Both groups are well armed and disciplined… and we don't know how they're funded." Brin thinks a little more on that "We're investigating any leads we can get. I'll be happy to bring you up to speed later." Meaning there's a lot there to cover that might be best not discussed in public. "And recently, the SRD decided to move on M-Town… it was a nightmare and it was discovered they had Purifier sympathisers in their ranks. The SRD is no more." Which is something at least.

"On a bright note though, our services are becoming even more requested. Wanda helped saved a township recently from some curse… " Realising that she's off and running, Brin colours… just a little bit. "Uh… sorry. Why don't you tell us about yourself?"

Both Wanda and Brinley's explanation (and questions!) are listened intently too. Dani wasn't lying when she said she was trying to catch up on everything that has happened since she's been away.

First, Dani addresses Wanda's questions first. "Yes, I was away for a couple of months. Now I'm just playing catch up." And a grin will be flashed towards Brinley, "Which you both have helped me do. Thanks." As to Wanda's second question, Dani will answer, "I can do several things, but the shrot list is - I can pull a person's greatest fear or desire out of their heads. It's good for a distraction, which sometimes all you need to win a fight" Tilting her head slightly to the side, Dani will lob that question right back to Wanda. "And yourself? What do you do?"

And then to Brinley, Dani will quickly add a side-note with that same faint smile of hers, "And no reason to be sorry. I'm all good with information being thrown my way. The more I know the happier I am." Finally her coffee will be pulled closer to her, as she adds a few packets of sugar to the dark brew. "And yes, let's talk later about the hate groups later. I have questions about both groups and some ideas on what to do. I'd like to know if we've ever tried to get anyone on the inside of those two groups - it'd be dangerous for certain, but possibly worthwhile."

"I am not sure what I can do" Wanda shrugs to Danielle. "I think I cast spells but I never learned any. I think I am a mutant but magic is not a mutant thing…is it? I hear voices that sometimes tell me what I need to hear. I can shoot balls of energy from my hand or turn metal into flowers with words I don't understand." She giggles softly. "I am a mess who seems to create her own reality and nobody wants to share it. Which I think is safe for them." Wanda sips on her ice chocolate for a long moment. "I am a witch. I am a mutant. I am mad. I am a killer. I am a saviour. I am a person who babbles. I guess it depends on who you ask."

"I tend to get a bit carried away." Brin smiles warmly to Danielle. Of course Brin has reviewed Dani's abilities and is remotely familiar with them. "A brief answer to your question, is yes… that's sort of in train but we'd be happy to consider other options. But understand, as X-Red there are things we simply can't do." That is something they'll work with other parts of the X-Men teams to achieve.

Finally, Brin starts to drink that ice chocolate. Fortunately the ice cream is only slightly melted, and she draws some throw the straw "Wanda's talents are unique, to say the least and we're working to help her understand them better." Noteably, Brin hasn't spoken about her own very meagre talents.

Wanda's somewhat rambling seeming explanation causes Danielle to frown thoughtfully. It's, however, that last sentence of hers that causes Danielle to look back at the young woman. "I'm asking you." She finally says to Wanda, even as Dani leans back against her chair, coffee still in hand, "Which means our next steps should be to help you find out exactly what you are and what you can do."

When Brinley mentions X-Red is helping Wanda to learn about her talents, she'll nod as she splits her attention between the othe two women. "Good to hear. It's more dangerous to not know, than know. Too many things can happen without your knowledge if you're unaware of your own abilities and what you can do. Especially if the voices don't have a chance to tell you what you need to hear."

"And yes, with X-Red being public, it would definitely be hard to send one of our teams into the terrorists folds." Another grin is given by Dani, as she takes a sip of her coffee, "It's why I figured we could discuss the ideas I had. We'd definitely need to work in conjunction with everyone else concerning them."

"I am still getting used to peope being interested in my opinions" Wanda smiles wryly to Danielle before she drains her ice chocolate. "I should get back to work. I will be working near the river again, Brinley. I think there is still some oil spillage in the river I may have been responsible for." She rises and offers a warm smile to both of the women. "Nice to meet you, Danielle, I am sure we shall see each other again. Brinley, please take it easy. You are a nurse, yes? Just imagine telling yourself off." Then she is slipping off out into the street to suffer the slings and arrows of prejudice.

"That's excellent, Wanda." Brin reaches over to hug the other woman - whether she's used to it or not! "I'll see you back at HQ, ok?" Brin and Wanda both have rooms there… it's where they live.

Obviously grateful for Dani's words to Wanda, the brunette nods slowly "I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts." So would Bobby, and others in the team. "Yes Wanda, I'll take it easy." or as easy as she can given the circumstances. Brins not exactly a nurse… but she is undergoing her EMT training.

When Wanda gives her farewells, Dani does likewise, "It was good to meet you, as well, Wanda. Be safe and take care of yourself." And when Wanda steps out of the cafe, Dani will turn her attention back to Brinley. "She's an interesting one." Is the last Dani will say about Wanda, before she turns the conversation upon Brinley. "How're you feeling?" Yes, she caught the fact that Wanda was worried about the other woman and Dani has also heard a little of what's been going on, as well.

"I've heard it's been pretty rough the last few weeks." Another sip of coffee will be taken, as she continues, "I'm trying to catch up on the reports for the crew - " Meaning the mission reports for X-Red, " - But it's going to take some time to read everything that's been logged in."

To be fair to Dani, Brin… writes lots of reports. And she's fond of handing her tablet over with the reports displayed for others to read them. Today… she doesn't do this.

"Wanda is unique, but she's saved us on a number of occassions and her heart is in the right place." Brin is obviously fond of the redheaded woman. Blowing out a breath, Brin shrugs her unbandaged shoulder "I'm feeling ok, more than ok… the wounds are healing and … I'm sleeping." Jeans mindblast opened up the nightmares again, the kidnapping helped Brin face some of it, but still… there's things she'd rather not relive. "Please ask, Dani… we're all pretty busy. I file a lot of reports and keep the teams up to speed." It's not an easy task, but it's what Brin is good at…

Dani definitely saw the /many/ reports earmarked with Brin's name upon them. That's for certain.

Brinley's words about how she's doing are listened to intently, even as Dani nods along with them. It's only when there's a pause in conversation, that Dani will say, "I'm glad the wounds are healing, but you realize there was way too many pauses there for me to believe you're really sleeping all that well." And while her words are definitely on the blunt side of things, there's a sympathetic humor there, from Dani. She's had things happen in her past that has caused nightmares to rear their ugly heads. Especially after traumatic or stressful times.

"It will get better." She finally ends with, before moving onto other topics, in case Brinley doesn't want to discuss what exactly happened with her kidnapping and mindblasting. "Tell me about the two hate groups. I've heard a bit about the Purifiers, but not much about the Reavers. Both are concerning."

Brin was a member of The Paragons. A group of Institute students that for the last four years of schooling, lived and trained together. They became family to each other. On a mission, not long out of school, the group was targetted by The Purifiers and more than half the squad was eliminated, including Brin's lover - not that that was common knowledge. Brin, Nick… a few others made it back alive - but they were all broken and Brin had telepathic blocks put in place to suppress the memories… under Jeans mindblast undid those.

"I'm not the only one who has trouble sleeping." Brin shrugs that off "Since Jean took me … she was trying to help and she did to a degree. I still have bad dreams, just not as many. It … will take some time to get over."

Thankfully Dani gives her something to concentrate on and she blows out a long sigh "The Purifiers are … simply a hate group. They hate anything mutant… perhaps non-human, even. What we're seeing though is that they're organised, in a military manner and there's funding for their equipment." Taking a deep breath… "And then… there's the Reavers…."

Brin's previous words are given a nod to. Yes, in their line of work quite a few people within the various teams have trouble sleeping. If Dani were honest about it, mostly everyone likely has trouble sleeping after all of the things they've seen. Giving an almost internal shrug to that thought, Dani will focus once more on Brin. "What I've read so far about them and what I've seen, I agree. They are very para-military like." Meaning the Purifiers, "I understand why they're attacking M-Town. That's an easy and obvious target for them, but do they have ways of knowing someone is a mutant or not? Or are they basing it on what they can see? Obviously people with visible mutations are the easy ones to spot, but we definitely need to know if they have other means of tagging us."

The Reavers. The way that Brinley says their name causes Dani to frown again, with concern. "I take it they're worse than the Purifiers?"

"There are mutant scanners… released a few months ago directly to the police." Brin adds to the explanation. "We've no proof the Purifiers have them, they just seem to target Mutant communities."

"The Reavers," the brunette barrels on "Are cyborgs. Cyborgs made from tech that appears to be stolen from Lobo Tech. They've been around for a few years… targetting high profile mutants… and now, they are targetting us." Us? X-Red? perhaps… "We've been working with Miss Potts from Stark Industries to investigate Lobo Tech. They're a major competitor to Stark and … Miss Potts is sympathetic to our plight."

Again, Dani nods at what Brinley has to say. This will likely cause Danielle to really start pulling the reporting that deals primarily with the Reavers and the Purifiers. To get a good feel on the two groups.

Her coffee, which is lukewarm at best now, is quickly finished as she sets the empty cup off to the side of the table. "It's good to hear we have friends in the technological community. I have a feeling that we're going to need all the help we can get."

And speaking of help, Dani says, "When we're done here I'm going to head down to M-Town. See if I can help Wanda with what she's doing and if not, I'm sure I can find something for my idle hands to do." Giving Brin a look, Dani adds, "Which means you should go back to HQ and rest. With the way everything seems to be heating up and boiling over, you should take every quiet moment you can to heal and rest."

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