Handlers and Programming

December 12, 2015:

Jean and Rose show up for a visit with the new Westchester county resident, Ripclaw.

Croton-on-Hudson, Westchester, New York

Abandoned Si-Fan dojo.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The abandoned Celestial Order training facility has become Ripclaw's very own hideaway in Westchester. As an ideal location it allows him to be close to wherever the X-Men are based and out of the general cluster of chaos that is New York City yet still near.
The Si-Fan left very little behind and whomever owned the land has let it fall in to disarray, reclaimed by nature much of it is overgrown and there is no electricity. Ripclaw is living by the basics out here and those who know how to find him, it isn't hard.
The weather this year is very little a concern, considering the lows have been in the 60s during this time of day.
The smell of something burning is also indication someone lies beyond the gates and wooden doors of the Celestial Order of the Si-Fan's dojo.

The odd man had given his whereabouts and denied joining them. Fine by Rose, she understood it well enough to have gotten her own home outside of Xavier's grounds due to the chaos she brought with her own entry. Ripclaws seemed no better.

After the storm on the Smooth compound, Rose found her time surprisingly idle, but 'Tis the season, even for mercs, bounty hunters and criminals sometimes, right? No, not really, but it was a lull that she was going to take advantage of enough to steer the Tomahawk off to the side of the road and hide it behind some brush, even drawing a dark cover over it she used to camouflage it when on jobs.

Peeling the helmet off once she entered the overgrown path the platinum hair spilled from the confining space to cascade down her back in a freefall unkempt by braids at this point, but she went for non-descriptive in attire while gallivanting into this unexplored neck of the woods. Jeans were ripped and tattered in their cling to posterior, revealing the netting and vinyl strapped leggings beneath for additional warmth. Abdomen is left bare from the low hang of jeans off hips and the belted cacophony f chains with each step. A halter top resembling a bra like capture of top bears straps that cross crosses over the expanse of plexus as well as a single x of threading to twine around the nape of neck.

The dojo wont get a knock, its obvious life is shifting inside of it by the smell of burning tinder - that is: unless she has to knock due to it being locked.

There's not much else to say when you're doing recon, recon meaning checking up upon your folks whether near and far without their knowing about it or knowing at all. The world had too many psychics, telepaths to even be such a sneak but she found the subject of Rose easier to tail with the absence of Nate.

And tail she does, high in the air, shield surrounding her which keeps the warmth in that bubble and the chill out. No costumes today, all civvies, jeans and a regular grey t-shirt with a hoodie that remains over her head to keep the red from sight.

She lands upon the rooftop perch, hands shifting within her pockets to draw out her glasses to place upon and squint. One hand lifts..

..why knock when you can just..


"Good thing I recognized your scent. I had to chase off a couple of vandals already… they I'm a groundskeeper now." A shrug and Ripclaw opens the large wooden gate motioning Rose in, "Brings you here?" The man appears to have freshly showered, dark hair wet and shining and he is wearing a pair of loose pants. Tight at the waistline. "I'd offer you a drink but all I have is bottled water." The garden behind the gate is open, full of overgrown plants, flowers, weeds. It does look like someone has started to clear some of them away though.
Jean's entrance goes apparently unnoticed though he'll be unsure why shes helping herself in through the roof openings, ventilation meant for releasing steam or smoke from the pits below. This place is archaic in concept but the design is by modern methods.

"Yeah, good thing. Let's not meet to only have to pause to lick wounds every time." Stating as much Rose slides past him and the opening he made remaining facing him. The jacket she wears is reached within and a flask is withdrawn, shaken lightly.

"Never leave home without it," Among other things. "But unless there's a reason to celebrate, it might be a bit early." It's never too early, and it may just kick the hangover she is sporting currently, none the less Rose should get a gold star for effort in repeating back what others tell her!

"Groundskeeper? Aspirations and dreams upon coming to New York set high, hm?" The sarcams is there, the jest even noted upon the wry twist of a grin on her lips as she shoves the flask back away. "I'll take some water."

Though as Jean makes her own ninja entry from the sky Rose's gaze flicks her way and then back to Ripclaw, the movement caught. "Mymy Mr. Popular, instead of sneaking out the back you have the sneaking -in- through the roof now?" A small air sucked between teeth with a waggle of brows.

Jean Grey has never been a stealth style character and the fact that a multitude of birds roost up there is indication of something more. Even Rose's attention is caught but then again she is facing that direction, "Hrm?"
Ripclaw lets out a low snarl and turns quickly to walk inside, a sniff upwards and a grin appears on his features, "You X-Men travel in teams? Smart I suppose but I am no threat. Not to any of you." His voice loud and carrying to make sure both of them are aware he is speaking to them, "Two waters?"

No shame there; all practice. The roof entrance was breached with a careful notice to the older design of HVAC in it's wake, Jean standing to her full height (which wasn't by much compared to some) and allows herself to fall with a float akin to a snowflake. The landing was easy in the sense that she didn't have to bend her knees, though hands were out to keep herself balanced as she touches down with not so much as a grunt.

A hand lifts to pluck a fallen feather from the top of her hood, flicking it away with the pass of her fingers. "We don't travel in teams, no. But I fancy myself the obligation of looking in at times to make sure that everyone isn't in need." Her eyes go to Rose, slightly squinting as glasses soon were drawn off and shoved into her pocket. "I'm fine." No water for her.

Though the area does gain a rather look, her path moving away from them and towards the gate proper, ah.. so that's what she meant.

"You know.." Well, no. They don't know. But her hand does lift and gestures towards the flowery, weeded area as if she were asking to help herself to 'tend' garden. Just to keep busy.

A brow rises as Jean speaks and her head tilts slightly. "So to keep track of me you want to pull weeds and become a botanist?" Rose is not one for the seclusion on the regular, so being out here for long periods of time won't be comforting to her like it may others. Even when necessary Rose does not hide well.

A rise and fall of shoulders and Rose glances back towards Ripclaw, speaking lowly. "Claiming you intend us no harm is a proclamation we've heard before. And I prefer to operate alone, but the team thing comes part and parcel with the X'ers. Get used to it. Just another fucked up family," Beat. "But well worth it. They helped me when I was an unknown on their doorstep and it cost them." A waving gesture towards Jean.

"And you see how much that has deterred them." A small smile, there and gone to show the passing moment of unsaid 'thanks'.

"Help yourself, it could use some love." Ripclaw regards the garden. "Lots but season as it is… I figure eventually a frost will hit and they'll need replaced but the weeds are strong here. Is she here to keep track of you?" Another light smile. "Aren't all families fucked up, Ravager? I mean, name one person you know who doesn't come from a broken home. We make the best of it." A sealed water bottle is pulled from a cooler and thrown to each. Even though Jean said no. "I can make tea as well but it might take a bit."

"All levels of fucked up. If it wasn't I would be far more suspicious it was programmed…" In saying that her words trail to cut off and brows furrow, her gaze dropping as memories came flooding back, ones she wanted to keep at bay for a good reason.

None of them were here. She couldn't say she was sorry enough. If Ever.

Snapping back the mismatched gaze shifts from Jean to Ripclaw and her head shakes with a small shrug. "I do not know why she is here, maybe she likes the way your jeans fit." A wink as the moment of past repentance leaves and is replaced by humor. Catching the water she uncaps it and drinks it, wandering within to explore what this stranger has claimed. "Do you intend to truly stay here and fix this place?" A dojo hm? "And what art will you practice or teach?"

"Good." Jean needed something to do, which is why she was trailing the random 'family' members to begin with. It was rather hard to answer Rose's question, but she did give a slight little grin and a shrug of her shoulders to feign innocence. "Probably."

But both words rang true in a sense; each family had their own list of problems but theirs was unique to the fact that Rose wasn't a native of this world, and Jean possibly held the record for most deaths and resurrections in the state. Though, as she kneels to reach for the first set of weeds, Rose's comments about the way his jeans fit causes the plant itself to blow from the ground in a tiny explosion that made her jump, and slightly laugh. The water? She nearly missed it, yet before it hits the ground she catches it in a quick hover and floats it right towards herself. "Good lord.." She murmurs to herself, "Rose, stop that."
Ripclaw clears his throat at the way his jeans fit commentary, "It was a darker place once and it could use some assistance. Nature is trying to cleanse it… it stinks of blood and past blight. Whomever owned this place, whatever practice went on here it involved misery and violence." The man is too unnaturally pale to display a blush if they possibly sought one. Who knows if he is even capable.
"So, yes, to answer your question I suppose I will be taking up residence here. At least until someone shows and asks me to leave." A shrug. "Programmed?"

Jean's reaction causes a small laugh, one that came in a burst in tandem with the explosion of the weed and ended just as the last bits of sod settled. "Hey, truth comes easy, right… Red?" The final statement towards Jean and the 'nickname' one to remark on her complexion at the moment, although it is noted Ripclaw does not shift…Much, but with the flash of red in that milky white eye she can tell his temperature rose slightly.

"Mhm." The half cocked grin remains as she speaks on. "Good," As her hand trails over a broken down old weapons rack where swords would have once rested, dusting off months, if not years, of residue from a hold. "Because we may just need someone like you to help in a group we just…Assembled." Fingertips smear together as her gaze shifts between the other two. "Not necessarily X-Men. We respond with more Force."

Though when he asks about the programmed reality she had mentioned and caused a moment of repentance her smile utterly fades and her eyes focus on her fingers that even stopped their 'feel' of sediment.

"I was part of a program once that 'handled' clones. Or rather, I handled them… (Him). Everything they knew was false when they woke up. I definitely was not that /girl next door/." Lips were in a grim line and then with a shuddering shrug her hand was dusted off on the ass of her jeans that rested threadbare just beneath the curvature.

"People do messed up things to people like us. We stop it… Under any circumstances."

"Some of our people can do a search of the building in the database to see if there are any owners who are still currently interested in this plot of land you picked out for yourself." She stands, pushing the sod from the ruined ground into it's rightful place, the weed soon rolled with that same foot to the side. "Though if what you say is true I am sure that no one wants this place on their records."

Rose's toying with her emotions causes her hand to lift and pull back her hood, giving her that 'whatever' look as well as a wrinkle of her nose. Though, what starts to sound like a recruiting effort for 'that' team has Jean backing away from the conversation wholly to focus on the task to keep herself busy. She was still listening, just not an active participant.

"Messed up things as.." Jean finally adds.. "Placing bombs in the necks of people so that if they do disobey, they're met with death." Sore spot, much? While Jean could hurt the souls of people who try to kill and maim, she couldn't imagine doing that to another human being.
"So you were a handler? I had one of those once. She was good at what she did… a redhead too. Sadly, I didn't even know that was her purpose until it was too late. Much too late." Ripclaw seats himself on the stairs between inside and out. Garden to open inner dojo's main hall. "Corporate or government? Suppose at a point they just bleed together. This team you keep talking about… I'm tempted but at the same time, teams… just seems almost silly half the time. Plus connections and if you are responding in force, that makes you what? Soldiers? Assassins?" He can't judge there. He is just curious. A cellphone somewhere inside rings and Ripclaw glances that direction but doesn't move to go for it.

When Jean states her dislike of how things went down Rose casts her a glance from beneath half closed lids, though instinctively as part of the sensory memory she reaches back and threads fingers through that dense platinum hair to rub at the back of her neck while her spine itself straightens. "Yeah well, I stopped agreeing with methods in one world and it bled over all the same." A low murmur at that but the look to Jean holds for a moment longer, knowing she did not like the team Rose speaks of, nor wholly agree with it, but it /worked/, and Jean could not deny it even - so it is met with a tense silence.

When Ripclaw speaks knowingly of her situation and asks all the right questions her upper lip draws back, and when she speaks it is between teeth, and if she was an animal, the words would have been a growl. "I did not kill him or harm him… Physically. I never meant to. I helped him be free… Eventually. Even I had to shake some… Hiccups along the way." Another glance to Jean there.

"Stormwatch. In my world they were corporate, here, they are government; it seems you know of their functions well enough." Hence why the tension in Rose bumped up a notch and now those eyes upon him remain acutely placed with a keen edge, the phone ringing has a gun in her hand in the matter of a blink, safety off and aim taken to where Ripclaw glanced.

"Soldiers for a cause, assassins to ensure the blight doesn't spread." Pausing the gun lowers, but only slightly. "It is not silly. I am very much a solo member gang, but I found this just….fits. X-Men, X-Force. They make no demands of me, I can still be who I am much to their dismay. Eh, Jean?"

The ringing cell phone doesn't cause her to pause in her minor work, a decent row of weeds pulled up with slightly hardened sod is broken up with fingers and spread where the holes were made, pushing them into place and standing. Rose's production of the gun doesn't startle her or make her jump into action. It was who she was. Jean even half expected at times that the wrong move on -her- behalf will cause Rose to shoot, and there would be a possibility there that it was deserved. They didn't exactly meet on the best of circumstance.

She does stand, her expression solemn as she dusts her hands off against the other, allowing the debris to fall to the ground as she takes those steps towards the two, one hand risen to state that all is calm and yet, she didn't out rightly agree with the 'team' she speaks of.

"And that is the only thing we expect of you both." She nods to them, one after the other. "To be who you are and be unforgiving of that fact." Even though her own advice wasn't followed.. much.

"It is just a phone." Ripclaw states before pushing himself upright and walking over to pick the cellphone up, showing it to Rose.
-C- Is legible as the incoming contact. "An ally of sorts." Bladed fingers close over the phone and he studies the two women, "The word unforgiven can carry a lot of weight with it… anyways, I have to take this call. You're both welcome to linger but it is of a private matter." A pause and his red eyes settle on Ravager and her gun, "A safe private matter."

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