The First Step is the Hardest to Make

January 08, 2016:

Beast discusses a hard truth of Scott and Jean's idea for him to speak on the behalf of mutant rights.

Doctor McCoy's Lab

Best coffee in Westchester brewed here.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

With classes starting up again, the school is back to it's normal buzz and energy, but there always seems to be something hanging about the instructors. It comes with the territory of being more than just a teacher. Hank is back from his brief mission with the JLA and doesn't seem much the worse for wear, aside from being a little battered, bruised, and bullet-grazed. He'll live. He has, however, been a bit pensive since his return and, out of the blue, he invited Jean and Scott to his office with the promise of freshly brewed coffee.

"He better have danish." Scott mutters, seeming to be tired as he makes his way down with Jean, the two of them not quite close enough to be thick as theives since he returned to the school from his last sabbatical. He's carrying a more.. shatterproof mug, this one a Moscow Mule made of metal. Less likely to break if chucked against a wall. He raps on the door of the lab before he steps aside to allow Jean entry first.

"I'm sure he would, Scott." Jean, she was in full regalia. Business suit, hair done up in a bun, the only sign of her approach with the fast click clacking of heels along with her own coffee mug and papers brought along for the discussion. It was a cute mug, one of the students bought her, the look of a red haired woman who looked sullen until it was filled with hot coffee and she'd turn into a gorgeous number ready to start the day.

Jean slides in before Scott, fingers tipping at her nose, pressing the glasses close against as she offers a light smile and greeting. "Hank." Is all she says, moving to take a seat at the counter, leg crossed over the other and her shoe idly dangling from the heels of her foot.

Beast brings the coffee pot to pour the caffeine into the mugs that are brought in as the two enter his office. "Thanks for coming in, I just thought I'd try to talk to you two before all of this exited my thoughts." There are indeed some breakfast pastries and fruit for the taking. "I know we're all a bit harried, but…I've been thinking."

He pours his own coffee and mixes cream and sugar to his satisfaction before he also takes a seat. "I don't know if you know this, Jean, but Scott introduced me to the JLA and I recently went on a mission with them where we attacked a Sentinel facility. I was, of course, targeted because of my X-gene…"

Scott is apparently dressed for class. Blue jeans, a nice cardigan sweater - Jean talked him out of the leather patches on the elbows, thank goodness, as he adjusts the rub lenses on his nose. Though at Beast's explanation, he stops from pouring himself a cup of coffee and turns to stare at Beast. "I thought that they were going to use you in an advisory role, just to help track the machines, not as live bait." Needless to say, Scott is not pleased by this slight revelation.

He finishes pouring his mug and waits for Jean's mug to top it off for her. "I'm sorry, continue." he offers, quieting down his anger so that Beast can continue on his findings.

Jean brings out her clipboard, her gaze falling towards Hank as he pours the coffee into the mug, her eyes alighting upon the sugar as trails of 'stardust' begin to form into a line into her cup. Eventually, her pen was dropped into, stirring of it's own volition.. saying nothing at all. "There was suspicion that they worked that way.." She murmurs quietly. "The Sentinels. Not the JLA."

There was a little hint of mirth in her eyes as she grasps her cup to drink, clipboard soon upon the table as she leans and takes the pen from her cup to shake it free, tossing it aside. "Sorry. Continue.." Was she copying Scott? Probably.

"They didn't intend on using me for live bait. I volunteered to draw them together for the attack once they explained that they target the X-gene," Hank explains calmly. "I was able to get pieces of them, once we incapacitated them, and I'm hoping that they'll agree to let me see the data that was remotely collected from the lab. I have my own notes, they have theirs. It would be best if we collaborated, but…" there's a shrug. He's not going to hold his breath for that to happen.

"But it had me thinking. These things are being created for genocide. There's concern in this world about refugees, merely because of their background. There are people talking as if a second Holocaust could cause all of our problems." He looks down at his coffee for a moment before he says, not looking at the two, "It might not be a bad idea for us to have a public…more political presence."

There's a lift of his brows as Scott looks over his mug at the discussion that Hank is having. "Keep pushing on the collaboration. If they had an expert, press him or her. That is much needed information we can use." he admits with a frown. "We have some information, but not as much as I would like. Anything we can find out can help us train better against this menance."

Then he pauses between sips of coffee as Scott digests the second half of the information that's been offered to him. "This would be global genocide that would make Hitler blush." he mutters before he lets out a breath. But when Hank starts his proposal, the brow goes up behind the glasses and he looks somewhat amused. "I'm feeling a sense of deja vu."

Whether she was paying attention or not, she kept her eyes upon the clipboard, taking out another pen from her top with a click to begin writing with a quickened pace. In speaking of the public, her eyes lift towards Hank, her brows furrow just a touch as she angles her pen down towards the paper of which she writes. "It would be a bad idea for me and the Professor to have a public, political presence. You.. on the other hand.." She winks just a touch, then nods towards Scott.

"I see no harm in you working with the JLA. Just as long as it isn't a one sided relationship -UNLESS- it is necessary." She lets out a slight sigh, then glances towards Scott again. Mildly annoyed. "Don't."

Beast does look back at Scott, "Merely agreeing with your earlier proposal…I don't take credit for it at all." There's even a faint smile. "I'm merely saying that I agree that it's necessary now and…if you still think I'm the one for the job, we should discuss it." He then looks to Jean, "If I had a public presence…as Dr. Hank McCoy, mutant, my working here could easily be found out and it could put the school in jeopardy. This is why I feel we need to discuss it…or my employment here."

There's a sigh then, "The JLA has been more sensitive to keeping identities than SHIELD has been. I would trust them not to spill anything. That really isn't the issue." He's going to work with them if they want him…that's not really part of the discussion.

"And it is a terrible idea for me to try public speech." Scott adds as he hears Jean's tone and reaches to take her hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze. There's no running away this time. No shadow op. No need to hide from her and the world to protect her and the school. He'll stay by her side. "I came to you because we believed you were the best versed at it, Hank. But.. if you are concerned about your place here bing in jeopardy." It's something that they had both discussed, that this would be a decision to be made.

"Let me talk to Brinley." he offers with cautious optimsm. "Perhaps there would be a place in X-Red for you. If not.. I'm open to ideas, Jean. Though I think we should still provide him with support, no matter what decision that's made."

So there it was, the reason for this meeting. For a moment, Jean's face breaks into something akin to sorrow or the need to refuse and refute everything that was just said. Even to take back him working with JLA.. it was all just not allowed and the prospect of leaving was just absurd. But.. he was right. Her elbows press against the counter top, fingers soon rubbing against her temple as her eyes close, one hand soon moving away to snatch away her glasses to toss upon the counter top.

"Just.. no." She says to Scott. "X-Red isn't political. There wouldn't be a place there for him if he goes that route. His.." She rubs a little at her eyes as her other hand squeeze's into Scott's almost a little too hard. "Is.." She sighs just a little, eyes looking up and around the area that he calls home. "What are your thoughts, Hank? Tell us what you need."

Or she could pick it out of his brain.

"No," Hank offers quickly. "I have no interest in working with X-Red. Their methods and mine…it would become a toxic environment for all involved. If you think it's better for me to stay out of things, publicly, I'll continue to do so, but I will -not- work with that group." With that out, he offers, "If any of us here speak publicly and expose ourselves that way, it's going to have the same effect, whether it's me, you, Jean, Kurt, or anyone. We work here, we live here, we can be traced back here if people want to find us that badly. It's not about -who-…it's about if the school is willing to put themselves in that position. If you think it better for me…or you…or anyone to speak publicly about this, then it might be best if we separate ourselves from the school."

He nods as Jean agrees with him about X-Red. There's definitely a silent 'thanks' in his expression before he shrugs, "I don't know. Scott brought this idea up not too long ago and after seeing these Sentinels in action, I find I agree that we need a public voice. Now might be a time to step up, but I think whomever is in that position will need to separate themselves from X-Red and from the school unless you wish to eventually reveal that the school does exist. I would imagine anyone in this position would have to deal with their friends being accused as being mutants, whether they are or not. I might be catastrophizing, but I think we might need to understand what the 'worst' could be so that we could deal with it if it happens."

Scott holds up his hand. "Okay, okay, cease fire, Hank. Sorry." he offers apologetically, feeling the crushing squeeze of Jean's hand in his and there's a small wince but he continues to ride it out. He promised her he would be there for her now - and this is the proof in the pudding. At the thoughts being bounced around, Scott reaches down, catching Jean's hand in both of his to take some of the pressure off.

"Everyone else seems to have a voice at the United Nations. Themescarya, Atlantis.." he says, voice thoughtful. "The JLA is a very diverse group. Perhaps if you were to petition to join them, and you can remain here until there is a response. If not that, perhaps we can get support from there to sponsor Hank entering the UN as a possible.. I don't know.. human right's represenative? But that's the big picture item, I guess."

Beast shakes his head, "Voice in the United Nations are because they're countries. We're not countries. We're people. I don't know that the UN is even the right place for this platform. Human Rights, yes…but in order to be a representative, we'd need to have a sovereign nation, which we do not. We -shouldn't- have one, if you ask me…that will make things even more difficult." There's a shrug, "I'm not sure that I'm really appropriate for the JLA…and again, that would force me to be distanced from the school. Do they have pull? Do they do press meetings? I think we need to first figure out what it is we want to get across."

"Mutant Town could have been a good start, but it's become so violent…and riddled with issues that mutants have a negative reputation. We need to fix that before we try to go further. I'm just sure how to do that of if I, with my appearance, should be the one to do so. If we want to try and show a more peaceful image then we need to have some control over X-Red and their public behavior." He takes another sip of his coffee then, "But those are my thoughts. It could be that we just can't do what we, the three of us, want to do. Not now. Maybe not for a while and everything stays Status Quo."

Scott closes his eyes, so he can remove his glasses and rub his temples. "If this were a battle, I'd know exactly what to do, Hank. I could tell you where to go to carry out the best plan of action. And while I have studied history, I agree.. there's no easy solution to this. No quick fix solution that's going to jump up into our faces and say 'hey, this is the answer'." He pushes his lenses back on and settles them back on his nose before he lifts his gaze. "Betsy has a lot of inroads with the JLA, perhaps you can talk to her, and feel things out. While I am friendly with some of them, for the most part, my time there wasn't exactly a social call."

Beast shrugs again, "Maybe. I'll see. Betsy and I don't necessarily see eye to eye. I don't agree with her methods and she doesn't seem to like that I am not intimidated by her. I just don't know if the JLA is our best way to do this either." He looks between the two, "What really needs to be discussed is how public do we want to be? I help out, human-looking, at the clinic in Mutant Town, but Dr. Henry McCoy is not linked to the school. It would be wonderful to try and get the kids involved with acts of Charity such as helping in Soup Kitchens, Habitat for Humanity, and the like…but that then opens the school up. I don't think we can have things both ways. Either we continue to remain a secret or we say to the world 'Here is a school that accepts mutant children who, for the most part, were tossed out of their homes and trains them to be the best people they can be.'"

"And the pitchforks, torches, and Westboro Baptist Church will be on our lawn within twenty-four hours." Scott has gotten a rather realistic view of the world, unfortunately, from his time in custody with SHIELD and others. "You may be right. It is not the time to come forward. Even if we could drum some support with the attacks on mutants that seem to be propogated by the Purifiers and others.. while I'm not a fan of hiding at times.." he sighs and finishes his coffee, setting his mug on the counter for now. With Jean currently in her own thoughts and still listening in, the mutant eyeblaster gives a frustrated sigh. "I wasn't exactly saying that you should ask Betsy on a date or marry her, Hank. Just talk to her about what she knows about the JLA. she may have some surprising insight." he points out.

With a slight sigh, Jean.. probably unable to deal with this talk at this moment, stands from her little perch, her ankle twisting to slip her shoe back on, clipboard grasped and tugged underneath her arm as the glasses were soon snatched, her hand shaking as she pushes it upon the bridge of her nose. "I have an appointment." She blandly states, taking those few steps towards the office door, opening it with a twist and push to step out into the hallway.

"Let me know what you two decide." And.. that was that. She wasn't going to push, pull, tug and convince, it had to be of their own doing. Sans.. getting the children involved, of course.

"I never said it would be without consequence. But something needs to be said…and it needs to be said in a peaceful way, without guns, without powers blasting…without warfare. But that isn't going to happen if we have Mutant Town and X-Red and their weapons running about." That said, he looks back to his coffee, "Maybe I'll talk to her." Although probably not. The last time they talked, there were some major communication issues. "Frankly, I trust the JLA more than I trust SHIELD."

He looks over as Jean departs and gives another nod, "Status Quo." Golden eyes then turn to Scott, "I'm finding I'm not happy about hiding either, but I know it's for the students' best interest right now, so I fear it needs to be done. For them."

Scott nods as he watches Jean leave before he returns his attention back to Hank. "The decision is ultimately up to you. To talk to Betsy. Or the JLA. To decide what step you want to take. This lab is safe, as is this house. And it always will be for you, Hank. If you decide to sally forth and find it lacking, you can always return to us." He starts to rise to his own feet. "School will be starting soon and I need to get my class of hooligans assembled. We're going to start brainstorming a new project to put together. No matter what you do though, Hank.."

Scott offers his hand, a sign of friendship given. "You will always have a home and family here."

Beast takes the offered hand and gives it a shake, "Thanks, Scott. I really appreciate that. I don't find this place lacking in the least, but I'm just not sure how long we can keep our remoteness. We're not Hogwarts." Although maybe about as close as it gets. "Let me know if you need any help with your classes. I'm serious about that. I can substitute while they write essays or watch movies or take tests or what have you…" and he could probably teach most subjects if it comes down to that.

Scott gives a dismissive wave. "I'll keep it in mind. Thanks." he says before he turns to head out to follow in the same direction that Jean went.

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