The Powers That Be

March 10, 2016:

Nate and Rose discuss X-Black, SHIELD and their involvement

Upstate NY

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Sometimes people are too much. Especially when they yell obscenities and it is like watching TED remastered into a cat, with a geekier creator. A night of drinking with Corben and since her return, mixing it with pain pills, a much needed talk, and a case of the spins - Rose slept soundly.

Waking though, she had to shower, as hot as the water could get in the Elevator was luke warm, until she sweet talked Chip into amping it so she can scald the /feeling/ from her skin. Leaving pale skin reddened and heated, only fading when she arrived at the Crotoan abandoned dojo just outside of Westchester, where even Ripclaw went for peace. No peace, or know it. Either way, Rose needed it and when she arrives to the abandoned dojo her duffel drops and coat is shed, leaving her in a black lycra sports bra top and matching shorts, leaving the rest and damage to her exposed. But she's alone.

She needed to start somewhere with returning to her regimen and unlike Ripclaw she does not start with a zen moment, instead bare hands, arms and fists start slow on the Muk ren zhuang and start picking up the pace.

Nate arrives about half an hour later, mostly trying to find Ripclaw, but also kind of hoping Rose would be here. Getting them back from the empty world Scorpio had banished them took a lot out of him. He had never done the world shifting with a passenger and he is quite sure he managed only because the previous shifting had left the walls between worlds weak.

He can barely remember how he got back to Xavier. But he slept twenty four hours. He is feeling pretty great now, although he is pretty sure his powers are not up to normal levels. But good enough to be able to fly here at sub-sonic speed. He steps into the dojo and watches the white-haired girl's training.

The battering on the Muk had teeth grinding and the standing post as well as the arms rattling. But it was meant to take far more and also teach restraint for those who could give far more, as some of those arms had been replaced, by the obvious newness versus battered nubs.

A warm up, one that moved her into further cardio, but now, she has to take the more cautious and zen approach and things knit, but the staples are a day shy of being removed, the makeshift stitching she had done in the empty world having earned her a scoff and chiding from Corben as he had to fix it. /Nothing but trouble, you are./

No shit.

But when she goes for her swords, tucking some of the pieces of razor shortened white hair back into pins she looks up at Nate's arrival, the breaths of exertion coming to a calm on one final exhale. "Hey." Well, wasn't that weak. From him to her towels eyes quickly snap and pace switches to them to wipe her face off. "Ripclaw generally doesn't come until later."

Nate tosses Rose one of the towels and nods in acknowledge to her statement. "Good to know. Have you told him about the team? I think Cyberdata is one of those problems X-Black was made to deal with. Corporations like that are built to avoid national laws. They are a step beyond crime syndicates." He pauses, "although we are not as secret as we though. SHIELD has approached Xavier about us."

Standing over a worn bench and her swords, Rose grabs up her water bottle and takes a drink, catching the towel tossed by Nate with a snapping rise of arm. She listens, and the grip on the towel becomes fisted, digging fingers into the folds before she sets the water aside and takes a seat on the mat, not trusting the bench beneath her weight.

Rose rolls a shoulder in a shrug and sweeps the towel over her face, for a moment just leaving it there as she gathers thoughts. "Good for SHIELD? They got their own fodder. What's wanted with us? Yes, I told him, he showed interest on a level most like us do. Wary. But yes, fits."

"After letting Xavier know," which was not nice, and no doubt part of a manipulation game. "Nick Fury asked to meet us. By the way, this Nick Fury is black and bald. Only thing in common with the Nick from your world is the eyepatch. So he met with Jean, Betsy and me. He claimed the US Gov is pushing SHIELD off and he has been forced to pull back to let the new DEA take over stuff SHIELD was doing. He definitely thinks the DEA is unfriendly to superhumans and a bureaucratic fuckup, maybe a deliberate fuckup. I think he was sincere. He offered to give X-Black work his agents no longer can do. Not sure how much of it would be doing dirty work and how much would be dealing with real mutant-related problems, though. But… the guy has a good reputation, and SHIELD has all the intel we want. Also, he could help delete Rachel's government records, which I wanted."

Listening, Rose takes it all in and then can only offer a shrug. "I worked for an agency in my world before I came to your team, Nate. I heard my fair share of promises and watched as they came with a price. Maybe not to you, or me, but others." The Kon of their world, which is still a sore spot, but one she was working hard to soothe. A slow shake of her head and lips open, then close to draw into a thin line.

"He can delete records but not her face from the minds of those who witnessed it all. As I told Betsy, Rachel, and X yesterday, those very people still have her face, and Scott's listed and wanted, and not for good things. A government record erased isn't going to erase memories. Rachel has to replace them herself. The road to redemption is not that simple, Nate." The final words from Rose come lowly spoken, the towel tossed aside as she rocks forward to rise slowly.

"I don't trust SHIELD, Cyberdata, CADMUS, NOWHERE, DEO… I trust people. And even then, it sucks enough. I have no more room for suck."

"Well, maybe we can trust Nick Fury," counters Nate, leaning against the wall. "Yeah, maybe not SHIELD as a whole, but I don't think this would be an official SHIELD operation. You gotta admit NOWHERE stank from the second they got you to those labs." And it must have been very bad to give Rose a phobia. "SHIELD does good work. At least most of the time. I don't know. I want to do more. As for Rachel, she is going to get crap for being a mutant. But so do I and other mutants living in the open. Ultimately it is not the same to be the face of anti-mutant posters than being watched by powerful government agencies."

"Yes, but they promised me I would be doing a favor to people, to the world. Keeping dangers contained while they bred protection the world needed and ensured it stayed safe. All the while they built fake lives, fake memories, fake… everything. Lies. What I saw them do, what they wanted me to do to their failures, that were just people, programmed and bred people, REAL people, Nate. Maybe my mistake was giving a shit in the end, because it almost got me killed by that agency."

A low exhale and she gathers her bag, walking towards the door, towards him. "People saved me." A light rise of hand and she touches his cheek and then lets it fall away. "Saved him where I could not. Not an agency." And with that she steps around him.

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