A Quiet Alliance

February 11, 2016:

Aquaman and Phoenix meet to discuss diplomacy.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Jean was never known to be the impatient sort; but times were starting to mount to something that was a favorable position on her part. The tides and signs were aligning, Mutant Town was well on it's way to returning to it's eclectic roots. Mutant's were popping out of the woodwork, showing their faces and delivering the guns that were so helpfully given to them, turning them into warriors when all they wanted peace.

So, she struck out on her own, the supposed leader of the X-Men, usually ordered or having an entourage of mutants to protect her from what ever is out there willing to use the mutant to kill.. meh. Old potatoes. She's a bit better now.

There was no streak of fire within the sky, she was staying low upon the radar, flying dangerously close to the water so much that she reaches out with a gloved finger to skim the surface. Her mind was searching, diving in the depths below to look for the one they call king. And what does she get?

A whale. Who answers the call with a sudden leap that has her jerking backwards and losing all of her senses, dropping from her hovering flight with a loud *SPLASH*.

Which was funny. Ever hear a whale telepathically laugh?

Yes. Yes I have.

You know the funny thing about being a powerful mutant with a telepathic presence and skimming over the water? You're kinda a frikkin' beacon to a certain type of people. Like… a species of them. Or perhaps more accurately one of their representatives. Glittering golden in the sunlight, Aquaman appears to be riding the whale as it breaks the surface, having 'taken a knee' on it's back and letting the creature's momentum expldoe them both from the cold dark waters of the Atlantic in rather spectacular fashion before the pair slam back down into the waves with no real visible ill effects. «Why are you over my waters?» the voice comes to Jean's mind evenly but with a tone of wariness and caution that's likely more familiar then one might imagine.

He sounds a little bit like the Prof, or maybe Scott, the tone of command and weight and politely restrained threat that is the regular 'speaking' voice of a leader. And of course, he's also gone now, vanished under the sea, so it's only a little creepy.

It almost seemed as if she would sink just below the water. But having learned to swim since you were a child had it's benefits. There was also the ability to fly but lets discount that for now. She pops up out of the water, rubbing her hands along her face, drawing the red to become slicked back as she draws out a little breath. "Not funny." She says to the whale, treading the water easily, her eyes up.. up.. way up towards the man at the top. The voice within her head causes a slight little grin to appear, but nothing else.

« Your waters? » For clarification.

« Then I take it you are its King. »

Aquaman is frikkin Aquaman. Say what you want about his powers /everyone/ knows who he is. They have since he was outed at 16 as the heir to Atlantis. They knew more at 18 when he arrived as leader of the first 'new' generation of heroes, though they tried to remain a bit under the radar they still had a small following before mysteriously vanishing. Oh yeah. And there's that whole 'founding member of the Justice League' thing. And you know, he stopped his brother from completely invading, though not from destroying half of Metropolis with a crazy super advanced army of superhumans.

So yeah. He's the King.

The golden tips of the trident break the surface, then he slowly rises out of the water as well, until it's clear he's standing on the back of the enormous whale that's just chillin' under his feet. He doesn't respond to her statement with anything more then a deadpan look that very plainly says, 'Well duh.'.

Alright, so Jean may have died a couple of times and tried to ignore the news. However, she does shrug a shoulder lightly, drawing herself out of the water, only leaving the tip of her feet to touch and drip almost the same time the whale lifted the King up higher upon the perch. Well. Duh. It's not like they all could ride a whale with ease, and the whale seemed happy to do it. At least that's what she feels.

Try talking a bear down from eating a diseased coyote and see how well you'd make out of it all..

"I'm Jean Grey." She finally says, not matching the authority but she does show respect with that alone. Not approaching, hands behind her back, little small droplets of water slowly rising from her shoulders, her hair, mind focused on picking the molecules of water from her body so that she doesn't catch a death of a cold. It still is winter.

"I'm unsure if your people have sent word that I wished a meet with you. To negotiate, or come to a working agreement to form as allies in times of great need." She glances over the expanse of the ocean, not straying her gaze too far. "I do apologize that I did not wait to hear word. But times are trying on both our fronts, I feel."

Aquaman lets her speak and quirks a brow at the end. His beard is a bit longer then it usually is, and there are a few scales missing from his armor. He looks as if he's been in a fight, or perhapse several, and hasn't bothered to change. Trying times. He's attempting to save the largest empire on earth from the greedy grasping tentacles of an elder god thing from beyond the veil of time and reality. Yes. Yes it is a trying time. There are days he understands his people's general feeling about surfacers…

He reaches up to run a hand over his face, his mind is disciplined enough that she can't read his thoughts without actual conscious effort, but she can sense his mixture of annoyance and impatience and then how after a moment he wills both of those away to replace them with something more like duty. "It's occasionally difficult to find time for diplomatic functions," he offers by way of apology, "but so long as we're here." he shrugs and jerks his head towards the horizon, "There is an island where I generally take this sort of meeting, it's roughly seven hundred miles that way." An image floats into her mind from his own, well crafted and formed by someone extremely comfortable with telepathic communication, "Follow me if you like." and then he's falling back into the water with a splash. He floats there for a second, eyeing her, then he dips below the waves and is just…. woosh. Gone. A golden streak just under the water that travels so fast a spray of water nearly three stories high arches up behind him.

Yeah, she felt it. But if it wasn't that important she wouldn't have came. In fact, she wouldn't have bothered until things were completely settled and everyone swam in the lap of luxury that peace provided. No, now was the time really. They shared the world, essentially, even if some worlds expanded further than most.

There was a cut of telekinetic through the raising of the water. Parting the ways to blow through the air. She may not have been fast as him, but she keeps up upon the heels of the King with a trail of fire that marks their path towards the island.

Aquaman is… really stupidly fast in the water. It's just not right. He explodes from the ocean a full seventy feet from the island and sails through the air with a sort of floating effortless grace with his arms out stretched and his knees slightly bent, until his impact which causes him to slide across the stone digging a shallow but impressive trench. The island is really more of an outcropping of wet gray rock. It sits about twenty feet above the water and is by all appearances lifeless, no plants grow there, though there are plenty of sea like creatures clinging to it's sides and likely found inside the tide pools on it's surface. It's a bit of barren land in the middle of the ocean, which really /is/ bigger then people think and feels bigger still when one finds oneself standing on the only land in sight.

The trident tinks softly as he stands, rising a foot and shaking a bit of now gravel from the tip of his boot, "So," he says idly, "what's your proposition exactly?"

It's a damn good thing that Jean could follow his trail with but her mind alone. Not to mention the island that was implanted into her brain. She knew where she was going and even if she looses sight of the man, she arrives in due order. Possibly a minute behind. There was no flash or play on the lights as she lands, just the absence of fire once she lands upon her feet, crouching just a touch and straightening out, her fingers clutching her elbows as the chills, no matter what she had done, rocks her to her bones. Dammit.

"Proposition is this." She states, trying to not tremble from the chill. "We help you, you help us. No fighting, no bad words. Alliance, true and simple. No hesitation." Surely, things wouldn't be that simple, but she tries to make it so.

Aquaman nods his head at that, "Okay. Who is 'we'?" he asks flatly. "No offense Ms. Grey, but I don't know who you claim to speak for." he motions with the trident, "I'm not up on my surface world people of note currently, my focus has been somewhat more home-centric for some time now." he offers her a sheepish grin.

If Jean could kick a rock, she would. But she didn't want to upset the king. "Cripes. I'm sorry." She relaxes a little, bottom lip trembling, teeth clenching to not cause them to clack. "The X-Men."

She takes a step forward if allowed, she would share the information but not -all- of it, only using herself as a central piece to the larger puzzle. Faces would be blurred, names left out, but the general idea? Transplanted. All with the touch of her hand. And it would have been a gentle information dump, not that shit that would make heads snap and nose bleeds.

"And I am their leader. We aim to protect mutants and humans alike, in the hopes that eventually.. one day we would all be seen as equals."

Aquaman is as used to telepathic communications as anyone Jean deals with on a regular basis, no stray background noise, no thought bleed over, and he doesn't shy from her information merely accepts it. "The X-Men." he says evenly and his expression is nearly unreadable, "I'm not entirely certain what sort of alliance you're looking for Ms. Grey." he ignores her shivering out of politeness, best not to draw attention to it and its not like he can do anything about it. Clark's the one with the heat vision and Bruce is the one with the Bat-Pocket-Campfire or some equally ridiculous gadget that would solve the issue. Arthur can just… splash her? Doesn't seem helpful.

"I'm looking for help." She states, not out of desperation. "Maybe a way to possibly expand ourselves, to not be at war with each other, to form an open union of Atlantean and X-Man and by extension, Mutant Kind. Protection on all fronts. A working friendship without the.." She waves her hand briefly, her lip nearly turning up. "Outside sources that seek to do us all harm, just because we're different."

So, it's pretty clear that Jean searched him out on a whim, but who in the world would want to hear something so rehearsed and fake. She was sure that neither of them did fake.

Aquaman is a monarch… of course he does fake. He has no choice. What does she think diplomacy is? He stares at her for a long moment, "Your honesty is refreshing but it's a bit…" he looks for the right words, trying not to sound condescending or patronizing. "Let me put it to you this way, you are offering an alliance of sorts from an unofficial organization who represents only themselves." he waves a hand in the air, "The sentiment is sound, but your word, whatever it is, is just that of a woman who's part of the organization, a bit like a member of a committee. I'm King of the largest nation on the planet, recognized by the other nations or not. Alliances I make aren't agreements by council or committee, they're laws. Official. Binding. Permanent." he eyes her.

"This is the part of the job where I find myself torn. Part of me, the largest part actually, is a man from Maine who wants nothing more then to spend his time stopping bank robbers and trying to help further the cause of ecological repair on a global scale. That part of me is drawn to the idea of any alliance the likes of which you aspouse, allies are after all a grand and wonderful thing. If I were speaking on behalf of myself and my family, I would accept whole heartedly." he stands a bit straighter and something in his bearing becomes, well, regal, "The newer part of me however understands the truth, which frankly is that you are a small group with many enemies whos usefulness to Atlantis as a nation is negligable. An alliance like that which you ask for would bind me to assist you when called upon, and upon doing so could bring all the power I possess to bear. However what could you bring to help my people? You were splashed with water on a brisk winter's day and you are already shaking so bad I can hear your teeth chattering from here. If I were batteling some great for, right this moment, on ocean floor, what good would our alliance do for me? You and your people cannot assist Atlantis in it's time of need. You cannot supply us with resources because we want for none, you cannot supply us with military might because we are greater then you, you cannot supply us with trade agreements because you are not a nation of manufacturers." he seems to deflate a little bit, intentionally becoming less impossing. "So this is my conundrum, and as cold and petty as it sounds, I have to ask myself 'whats in it for Atlantis'. As it stands, it seems as if allying with you would be a coup for you and a burden for me and mine." he offers a gentle smile, "I hope you don't think me callous or lacking in empathy for your cause."

"Yes. Perhaps." She slowly touches down upon the rock, careful to not disturb the deposits there, her hands soon shoved into her pockets to try to at least create an aire of normalcy. Which doesn't really come. She didn't seem heartbroken in the slightest. There was a truth that they've faced more hardships than most and the hits just keep coming and multiplying.

"No. You have to think of your people first. I had to do the same, unofficial or no. It's truth there, where you would probably suffer the more losses and we would reap the benefits of a powerhouse behind us." Her hand lifts to rub away at her neck, present chill be damned, there was a slight little sniff given to bite back the sting of a sneeze but well..

What was the point? She wasn't going to flame up and out and probably threaten the sea life around her. That was just rude. Damn rude.

"What -could- we possibly give you that you would want or need on the ground that you can't get from anyone else? In that information alone I gave you a full range and scope of my mutations, the good, the bad, the ugly…" She lets it hang there, arms lifted in a slight shrug.

Aquaman eyes her for a long moment and smirks, "Ms. Grey, I am a ruler of a people that learned to breath underwater three millenia ago. If you think I am /new/ to mutation in all of it's varied and glorious forms then you are sadly lacking in imagination. I support your cause and my kingdom is a place where those with mutations are accepted equally, and if you would like it I would happily support the cause of mutant equality publicly." he rules the largest empire on earth, mutation is not just a thing that happens to people that breath air alone, it's kinda a planet wide thing, "But I cannot endorse nor officially link Atlantis to the X-men, nor would you likely wish me to. After my brother's nearly successful invasion of the surface my people are hated and treated with greater fear then even your own, any obvious overt alliance may push the fear mongering to new levels and only injure your cause." he tilts his head to the side, "Unofficially…"

"Never said that you were new to it.." Jean murmured. "But some of our brands of mutations could destroy worlds at best." She doesn't elaborate, he was pretty much right. Atlanteans have ruled the genetic lottery long before she was even considered a thought. Heck, possibly long before the Phoenix was ever thought or born into existence..

"You.. make a striking point.." She considers this now. Her hand pressed against her cheek as she rubs it with thought, her eyes shooting up to meet with his as one lowers in a considering glance.. "Unofficially?" She was waiting for it. Could there be anything else that they could lend a helping hand with?

Aquaman shrugs, "I have Superman on speed dial," he says flatly, "I'm not /comfortable/ with the level of power some of your people seem to possess, but I've come to terms with it's existence. If we had all the answers to life how boring would it be?" he leans lightly on the trident, "Unofficially I can offer small support to your cause so long as my involvement in such endeavors remains entirely secret." he pauses, eyes her, "Entirely. Completely. Meaning no one else can know without my consent." which is to say she doesn't get to tell anyone about this meeting. "I'm not sure what sort of infrastructure your organization has but I can silently bolster that using you as the cut out." he shrugs, "Occasional medical consults, funds if required, sanctuary-" he shoots her a stern look, "on /very/ limited and strict basis- from enemies that seek to eradicate you. However it will be clear between us that this support comes only from Arthur Curry, not from Aquaman, not from Atlantis, and whatever assistance I give you I will give you alone. Not my people, not my kingdom."

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