Marching Orders

March 06, 2016:

After the events in Hawaii; Jean, Emma, Betsy and Scott gather in a meeting of the minds.

Jean's Office


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Beast, Rachel Summers, Nate Grey, Gabriel, & Professor Xavier.


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The debate's been going for only a few minutes, objectively speaking, but for a trio of telepath's it's taking forever. Betsy's in her 'thinking' repose, in her favorite chair in Jean's office (which is really Jean's favorite chair, but gets annexed when Betsy's in the office). She sits upside down in it, head hanging off the edge of the seat and her hair draping almost to the floor. Her shoes are set aside, and her bare feet wiggle above above the chair's high back. It's weirdly quiet in the room— the only sounds the whine of fans from the house climate controls and the click of a clock.

~Issues with Hank aside, Rachel is going to need help acclimating in general to life,~ Betsy points out telepathically. ~Recall that she endured this the first time she showed up. PTSD and trauma are both hallmarks of her experience in her original timeline. I think we're far better equipped to deal with it now, thankfully, but we should still make sure we don't get impatient and start moving too far apace. Part of her return to normalcy is going to be accomplished only by virtue of time, rather than pressure from us.~

Scott Summers leans against the wall, arms crossed over his chest. His X visor casts a soft, ruddy glow constantly, roiling energies within almost decorative as they're contained. "I promised her that we would be here to support and help her, that whatever difficulties she might have, she could trust us to get her through," he says. "I agree that patience is key - I'll say that she seems more together, at least, than the…other Rachel. Perhaps a bit more tenderhearted. Certainly more sane," he sighs. He blamed himself a bit for that past instability, but Scott Summers blaming himself is as sure as death and taxes - even he accepts it as par for the course.

"If possible, I'd like someone like a peer to befriend her. And I'm sure Nate wants to be that, but he's already invested in her. She needs to make friends, build ties, beyond just the genetic, with people in the here and now."

By comparison, the blonde of the school administration and education telepathic trio is sitting primly and properly - as if she could ever do anything else - in the padded chair in front of the desk, though she has turned it around to face the others. As with Elizabeth, Emma carries on their conversation in utter silence, carried out telepathically.

~ I do wonder about Doctor McCoy, but you are right. His psychological condition is not germane to the topic at hand. That said, I agree with the basic evaluation. However, before we begin development and adjustment of a treatment regimen to help her adjust and adapt to heal from her experiences, I feel that I must again stress the need for an in-depth telepathic scan and evaluation. I understand the sense of violation inherent in such a scan, especially to a telepathically aware subject. But the Rachel we knew previously became clinically unhinged, a danger to herself and others. And we were, every one of us, caught off-guard and unawares until it was tragically too late to save her, or anyone else. We simply //must avoid making the same error again. ~//

~Scott, at this point self-recrminations are worse than useful,~ Betsy points out, her thoughts blunt but softened to take any bite of reprimand from them as she picks up the subtle self-blaming undercurrent behind his words. ~I appreciate you wanting to throw yourself on the proverbial sword, but blaming yourself accomplishes nothing but make Rachel feel guilty about the actions of her predecessor. You are no more to blame for Rachel's actions than you are for the weather.~

She shifts her amethyst eyes to Emma, and nods curt agreement. ~My feelings precisely. I think we should broach that topic quite carefully, dear,~ she tells the white-clad woman. ~As well intentioned as we are, it is a terribly invasive procedure. I think it might be best if I bring it up, actually,~ she adds. ~She might not be comfortable with Jean in her deepest thoughts, and I'm not sure she knows you well enough to trust you so completely yet. I have—- have had,~ she amends, ~good rapport with her in the past. Perhaps I can achieve that again.~

Scott Summers considers, "I don't blame myself for her actions - I just recognize that they didn't occur in a vacuum. I made plenty of mistakes during that incident myself - part of it was trying to take too much on myself and playing the hero when I should have relied more on the team," he says.

"I agree that it's a good idea, but it obviously needs to be a discussion and it needs to be something to which she willingly consents," he says and he holds up his hand to ward off any angry retorts, "And I know that no one is suggesting that it be forced on her. I'm saying we need to make it clear to -her- that it won't be forced on her. The PTSD you mentioned means we have to handle her with consideration and respect. She has gotten sore little of it from this Institute thus far."

As the conversation flowed around her, Jean being part of the effective link that allows Scott to hear parts of the conversation that he was meant to, kept quiet. She was freshly back in Hawaii, her suit nearly torn and still kept with a bits of sand and a little bit of rock, her hair mussed, mask tugged to hang at the back of her neck. She smelled like outdoors and the sea salt, (as well as the blood of her enemies) and was still trying to come down from that adrenaline high, in which this meeting of the proverbial minds didn't allow her a break from. This was just important as anything else.

Gloved fingers remain steepled as she slumps within her desk chair, legs propped open, boots at a point upon the ground, her heels flexed as she rocks back and forth. Her bloodshot eyes remained upon her fingers, tensing them, relaxing them, tensing them, relaxing them.. was she even paying attention?

They could possibly feel the rolling anger which nearly draws discomfort from even herself, that need to get up and do battle, to crush the enemies and hear the lamentation of women (read: Betsy and Emma and Scott), but she finally chimes in, outloud.

"Then it's settled. Once Rachel has enough time to acclimate to her surroundings, Elizabeth will approach her one on one." She looks at Betsy then, her jaw tensing, mouth snapped shut.

~And no one else interferes.~

The blonde looks amongst the group curiously, open and impassive as she listens to everything everyone has to say, or think, on the matter. ~ I do not see how the Institute has been in any way derelict in our duties and obligations to this Rachel. I admit that Doctor McCoy was out of hand and more than a bit vociferous in making his points regarding the consequences of the previous Rachel's actions and how those will almost assuredly be laid at this young lady's feet, no matter how unfairly. That being said, I have absolutely no intention of being anything other than supportive of the young woman. I merely want to be sure - for her own sake, as much as our own - that we are keenly aware of her mental state, and stay tuned in and aware as she goes through the healing process and beyond, to avoid anything like the previous incidents. Everyone knows I have no problem with the judicious application of power on an as-needed basis to handle problems. But the key here is judicious, which I believe we can all agree that incident was not, and its consequences to our cause far outweighed any benefits accrued. ~ Leave it to Emma to reduce the cold blooded slaughter of fifty people to simple political calculus. ~ I could offer myself for the job. But I have no idea what experience she might have of me. If she feels she cannot trust me, that would make the entire task more complicated and uncomfortable for all involved, and inherently less than successful as a result. ~

Emma's own attire is impeccable as always. Even when she goes into a battlefield, she insists on cleaning up immediately and perfectly. Presentation is everything, after all. Privately, one on one, Emma gently sends to Jean, ~ Is everything alright? ~ As emotionally devoid as her own telepathic contact us, Emma is keenly aware of others emotive context, and pressure of discomfort and tension from Jean is more than enough to elicit concern, if only for safety and sanity.

Betsy scowls thunderously, brow darkening. "Hank almost got his furry -arse- kicked," she says, using her voice and lending a harsh certainty to her statement. Fingers clench into a fist, then release. "But that's neither here, nor there. From what you said, Scott, you've made a good step in ameliorating Hank's utterly disgraceful attitude. I think knowing that you and I are both strongly in her quarter will help a lot. My protege seems to have taken a liking to Rachel as well, and as impetuous as Nate is, he is steadfastly loyal once he deems it the correct thing to do."

"I shall talk to Rachel and see if I can sway her to understand my reasoning. It'll have to be her idea, though, in the end," Betsy agrees, looking at the others. "It's the safest solution, but if she isn't willing to extend me that degree of trust, I shan't force it upon her."

Scott Summers frowns softly, looking down a little bit. Hank McCoy is one of his oldest friends, close to him as a brother at times, but he can't deny that relationship has been under strain of late. "I, admittedly, was not here when Rachel first visited - she, as you might expect, mainly took the negative that she'd gotten from Henry to heart. The rest of you, I'm sure, did your best - you always do," he sighs.

He doesn't extend a direct thought to Jean, just offers her the warmth of his feelings and support through their psychic rapport, letting her draw strength from him if she needed. He didn't know what she'd been through, either, but he could sense her exhaustion. As usual, she was pushing through for the betterment of others. That was what they did, after all.

He nods in agreement with Jean's decision, "She's open to talking, I think, absolutely. She wants to be here. She wants to be an X-man. We just have to show her that extending that opportunity means being responsible about it and that it's for her good as much as anyone. One of the worst things about her being driven away is it's just against our basic mission - even if she were a menace, a danger to everyone, we want her -here-, where she can be helped and, if need be, contained, not roaming the world rejected and alone," he says, his voice showing the barest hint of anger. Given his levels of self-control, he must be enraged, indeed, for it to show at all in his voice.

Her eyes cut to Emma in the briefest of moments, there wasn't concern there nor panic, anger was lost for but a moment as she comes out of her thoughts and into Emma's own. Take a look. The battle that raged on hours before, and the slight concern of the media. There was a level of secrecy to which the X-Men operated, and Jean was worried that she blew the whole thing out of the water. Maybe, just maybe it was time to sit on her ass as she had planned. It was clear now with the three of them in the room, delegating, making plans without much of her input.

"Calm hearts." Jean states, nearly mimicking the Professor in its gentleness, one hand finally raising from it's steepeled position as she lets out a sigh. "I'm sure the surprise of a new Rachel had everyone's emotions on high. And considering all that Hank has been through, there is a little stressor of his that we have to consider. I'll talk to him, make sure he's alright. But it is of no question that we're in the majority that Rachel is to stay with us, out of sight and hidden until she has achieved satisfaction in moving her forward."

Which brings her to the next issue, an issue for Emma alone to follow. Which is why that thought was directed to her only. Citizenship, after all that's said and done and she passes our necessary steps. Do you think that you can make this happen for her?

The love and support was quietly accepted, a visible relaxation drawing upon her as that tenseness was slowly lifted from the room. "With Kurt gone to the mission for his extended stays, it leaves Blue Team without a leader and a guide." She smiles slightly towards Scott. "I know you've only just returned yet this burden must be shouldered. It is yours again if you choose to accept it."

"Onetwothreenotit," Betsy says, immediately putting a finger to her nose. She looks up at the others, after Jean's spiel about Blue Team being meaningless, and her eyes narrow. "Well. -I'm- not doing it," she assures the collective leadership, stubbornly refusing to take her index finger from the pert upturn of her nose.

Just in case.

"Hank's still one of ours. He's a bloody tosser lately, but he's still -our- tosser," Betsy agrees. "Jean, you take Hank aside and see if you can get him to reconsider the error of his ways. Feel free to remind him I'm not terribly opposed to violently expressing some pent up feelings upon him, and not in a fun way."

Emma reads Jean's frustrations and fears, and does her best to ease that burden from the redhead's mind. ~ Jean, I assure you, our secrets are safe. You cannot possibly imagine I would allow anyone to leave that island with any knowledge that would lead back to the Institute, do you? There are children here, woman. I may be a cold fish, but I still have my standards. ~ Because Emma is exceedingly efficient at the manipulation and control of information. She makes inconvenient information disappear like chaff on the wind, and she does it all the time, every day. This is no different, and she is shameless in her willingness to put those talents to use.

Emma offers no opinions about McCoy's attitude or its necessary adjustments, simply because she does not particularly care. Either the brilliant doctor gets his arse on board the team train, or he will be dealt with. If necessary, perhaps a psychic labotomy can help him get past his issues for the betterment of all. Or perhaps a diamond fist to the jaw will help rattle his brain cells back into working order. Whatever it takes.

~ I can make citizenship happen. What I need to know is how you want that to work. ~ Emma answers. Her contacts, power and capabilities are such that Emma can quite literally make the bureaucratically impossible happen almost instantly. Just don't ever be fool enough to ask her how she does it. It's better not knowing.

As for leadership, Emma isn't on Gold, or Blue. Her place is on Black, so she has no investment in who leads Blue team.

Scott Summers nods, "Of course. I anticipated as much when Kurt decided to take his leave. I'm not sure he was ever entirely comfortable doing it anyway - he prefers asking opinions, not giving orders," he says with a smile. Not that Scott doesn't ask for opinions on occasion - he just has no problem overruling them when he sees fit.

"I'll see if I can gather Blue at some point and see where heads are." He knew Jean could sense that he wanted to be the one to deal with Hank, but he would accede to her leadership on the point. He wasn't entirely in the mood to be diplomatic and she was. If Hank would listen to Jean being reasonable, however, Scott was mentally taking a number for next in line.

Betsy's outburst actually has her grinning for once. She almost half-assed put Elizabeth in charge again just to be a bother, but she was a woman of her word and said that she'd never Headmistress ever again. She had never seen the Brit do backflips but she was sure that she wanted to when she heard that. "I agree. He'll be fine, Elizabeth. He's possibly in need of just an ear. Or a shoulder." She lifts hers briefly, even as a little bit of sand rolls off and into her chair. She was going to have that them blasted and steam cleaned.

Emma's quiet words does put her at further ease, the visible rate at which Jean shrivels within the chair was suspect. Her hand draws up and eyes close as she rubs the back of it against her forehead, letting out a little bit of a sigh. The question of citizenship goes unanswered for a moment, there was a little bit of fear that raises up. It was scary, the power that Emma wielded and she was formidable, so much that Jean was often left speechless in her wake.

I don't .. think I want to know how it'll work but I do -need- it to be as legal as you can make it.

She looks up towards Scott then nods, her hand placed upon the arms of the chair to push herself to stand with a little bit of a grunt. "Which reminds me. I need all the information you could get me on the DEO, Bets. At first chance you get, I need you to ship out to Metropolis to do your thing. Charles didn't give me a lot to go on. Emma, I need information on Valerie Cooper. Work your contacts. Don't.. try to kill her, okay?" A little teasing smile is given to the woman in white. She was just messing around.


"Or a size nine Louboutain up his ass," Betsy mutters, under her breath. Mostly.

She swings her legs around and pivots atop the chair effortlessly, righting herself, and tugs her hair back into place as it threatens some disarray, pulling it into a cascade over her left collarbone. She wiggles her feet into her heels and rises smoothly. "Seems we've all got things to do, so there's not much point in standing around debating it. Anything else before we close for" her eyes flicker to Scott "…a warm cup of tea before bed?" she remarks, checking her words.

Scott Summers had every intention of offering Jean tea, a massage and a very stern mutant standing guard at her door to keep her from being bothered the rest of the night once she went up to their room. He moves to stand near her, not automatically helping her up, but there for her to grab a hold of if needed. He takes her hand, though, either way, showing he intended to leave at her side.

"Maybe, Betsy, but I think I'd look a little silly in your shoes. Plus, they'd be a bit small," he says. He looks to Jean to see if she has anything else on the agenda before they go.

~ As you wish, Jean. I will make sure that it is absolutely, verifiably legal and unassailable. But that will take a bit longer. Probably two weeks. ~ Emma answers simply enough. Whatever details Jean does not want, Emma will keep to herself. The lady asked nicely, after all. And Emma is the very soul of politness.

Emma stands from her seat, stepping over towards Betsy to reach down a hand, offered to assist her up if desired. "Very well, then. I suppose this meeting is adjourned. Mr. Summers, we will leave Ms. Grey in your capable care. Please do see to it you do all you can to render aid to her. She deserves that time and attention." That said, Emma is done. Time to go.

"Calm.. hearts.." Jean emphasizes, but she doesn't go much further than that. Though, Betsy's glance towards Scott gets an upturned brow, then a frown.. and a shake of her head. "One more thing, for all of you." She states, taking Scott's hand, using him as leverage so that she could actually keep a steady stand. Her other hand joins to lightly pat upon his own, a little smile gone out towards Scott's poorly timed joke.

"There's a young man that I'm working with, Gabriel. He's a bit troubled but I know that we can help. For now, he's living at X-Red's base of operations and helping where he can. I'd like for you, Bets, to take charge of his physical training. You, Emma.. to.." She winces a little, bobbing her head left and right. ".. maybe assist him with his emotional side. He's quick to anger, I am learning. And if directed properly he could be a formidable young man. And Scott?" She looks towards him, her lips twisting a bit in thought. "Teach him to fix things. To focus." Yes, that sounds about right.

NOW they can leave. Cause, Jean's about to faceplant faster than Charlie Sheen after diving face first into a mountain of cocaine.

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