Past is but Prologue

March 25, 2016:

Gambit's intel is brought in front of the rest of the X-Men available.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

X-Men base proper on Xavier's owned grounds but separated almost a mile from the school itself. Gambit has been nosing around it to see if anything is new but tapping on intercom buttons, smashing keys and opening a flood of com channels isn't really the intention.

"Dis one? No." Feedback pipes through one com channel to an intercom and possibly someones cell line, "Oh shit, dis one? Nope. " More loud noises. Lots of loud noises and even echo.

"Merde! (Merde merde merde merde) Anyone hear dis (dis dis dis dis KREEEK), need a Jeanie or a Slim (Slim slim slim slim) at the HQ (Q q q q). We gon' have a party (party part party party)." Has the Cajun been drinking? Very possible. "Damn, dat annoying." Remy mumbles to himself, cigarette bouncing in his lip, he still hasn't lit up. Maybe it's Beasts chiding tone that has him behaving himself. Some folks you just feel awful about disappointing.

Scott Summers had been in the garage, working on one of his bikes. This amounts to leisure time for Cyclops. Even when he's trying to relax, he's doing work that other people would consider a job. When he hears the call on the com, he sighs and quite deliberately considers ignoring it entirely.

But, of course, duty always calls.

He wipes his hands quickly, throwing on a jacket. He's still got a couple of grease stains on his t-shirt, but he assumes this isn't a formal party, if it's even actually a party. He finally arrives, coming inside with a raised eyebrow, "Do I even want to know?" he says.

Beast is still at the computer console, trying to repair the corrupt files on the video that Remy brought. It's not been easy and it's not going quickly. Maybe others would be able to get it done faster, but he's currently the one at the keyboard until someone kicks him off.

The announcement has him wincing, "I could have told you the channel…" is murmured even as he continues working.

Cessily Kincaid just finished school for the day, and now it's on to the 'real' schoolwork. Training. The student arrives, quietly finding a seat where she can access her training routines. Looking across the room to Gambit and Beast at work, she bites her lip and isn't sure what hes doing. She then starts quietly tapping herself, trying to find the next thing she needs to be working on. Ah, it seems the routine is starting to adapt to what her expected abilities are, and today she is to train holds and throws, using guided shapeshifting for added leverage. The girl stares at demonstrated tactics, repeated for her, head tilting as she tries to put herself in the tactical combat mindset.

Jean was already somewhere in the HQ. Probably in one of the rooms attempting to do a nice P90Hell workout invented by Doom. Well, it wasn't invented by Doom but it damn sure felt like it. Those squats had her thighs hurting and her ass clenching through spasms. Nevermind her back. Oh sweet Jesus her back. Someone had said it, she needed to get out more often. But good lord her back. So it was a welcome distraction (and a quick headache) and a ringing in her ears that had her approaching at the ass end of Scott and Cessily.

"Remy my love, if you're going to use that, at least let Henry teach you how to work it." She pulls the comm out of her ear, then uses both of her hands to massage her lobe. "At least better, anyways."

Rogue had been back out to the stables just as the sun had risen, and returned indoors after a long ride across the grounds just in time to hear the blunders. "Ah sweet…" A pinch to the bridge of her nose and the comm pops out of her ear to dangle down along the chest of flannel clad torso.

The top is tied up to rib cage, leaving abdomen exposed with the knot tucked just at the base of rib cage. A green, black and gold lined plaid patterning the top while jeans are rather normal on hips, save the leather of chaps strapped over top and buckled at hips in hold. Cowboy boots herald her arrival into the room, fingers pulling remnants of straw from auburn and white hair, platinum strips framing her face in loose waves. "Ah think ah'm deaf in one ear. Lord mercy, Remy."

"Oh Remy know how to work it, chere." The thief assures Jean extra whiskey-on-molasses gravel to his voice, "Oh, you mean de comms? Where the fun in asking? Just push a button, see, voi la, simple enough." Somewhere someones cell phone just went nuts. "An' you do want to know, Scott. This some serious not good for any of us."
Grin is gifted to Beast at the mention of channels. Gambit's making sure everyone is aware he has returned in his own loving way.

"Who dis?" A thumb jerks at Mercury. "I dun know that one."

Then there is Rogue who gets her own approving look accompanied with a low whistle. "You here just to distract me. I can tell." Important things at hand and Remy is showing his flighty attention span.

Scott Summers looks over at Cessily, "That's Mercury. She's new, although she's been a student for a while. Not that I expect you to keep up on the student body," he says. He turns to welcome Jean, reaching out and taking her hand, "Hey, enough of that 'my love' business. You'll make a man jealous," he says, giving her fingers a squeeze as he looks back towards Gambit.

"If it's that serious, spill it. No reason to stand on ceremony."

Beast just falls quiet as the others show up and focuses on trying to get the files working. He knows that Remy will need it and he's working as fast as he can so that it's ready when the time comes.

Cessily Kincaid turns from her studies, and gives Gambit a shy wave. "You can call me Cessily if you want, hello," she answers, her voice soft and a little unsteady. "I was just studying combat before I practice. I can go if I'm in the way while you fix the comms…"

Jean reaches out to take Scott's hand as he offers it, giving Remy a slightly pained and gritted look at his little joke. Sure it was a play on words but she leans up to give Scott a kiss upon the cheek, then releases his hand to move towards her jacket.. or.. jogging hoodie.. whatever. "Ann-Marie.." Sure she was just half-naming her, but it seemed a lot easier. And once her jogging coat was togged on she gives a shake of her head to Cessily. "No, stay. Consider this a first official lesson, Cessily. Have a seat."

'Ah'm here because your deafening cry seemed distressed… Again." Rogue states with the play on calling him a dude in distress. Though this now causes that moss green gaze to slide over those within the space, coupled with Remy's comment her throat clears and she takes a lean to on a solitary place within the room but not out of earshot.

"Jean." A smile and an upnod in passing to the woman and Scott while Cessily does not fall far from her own observation, Beast as well acknowledged with a small smile and a curl of fingers in a wave just before they get shoved into pockets.

"Not takin' dat bait, Slim." Remy counters, "Cessily, a pleasure. No no, jeune femme, you can stay, if you down here it means you part of it too." Jean reaffirms that with her own prodding. "Dat me, dude in distress and you de dame always show up to rescue me. Romantic, no?" Rogue gets a wink and abruptly Gambit shoves his chair over so he is next to Beast, peering over his shoulder, "It ready? Or we gonna have to just show 'em later and 'splain de details? It cool either way, homme. I dun wanna rush the voodoo you do."

Scott Summers doesn't particularly have much to add, nodding to Rogue and putting his hands in his pockets when Jean goes to get his jacket. He has that patient, long-suffering look that he's perfected over the years. He has a long history of having friends and teammates who talk a lot of nonsense. It seems to amuse them and that's fine with him.

"I think it's ready…just not cleaned up yet. That's going to take me longer," Hank points out as he looks to Remy. "You might want to give them a bit of an explanation before we play this so that they know what they're looking at…and looking for. Many sets of eyes might find something we didn't initially see."

Cessily Kincaid smiles to the people who tell her to stay, nodding slighly to Jean, then to Remy. She turns in her seat to face the group, trying to take it seriously. It's to be a lesson, so she pays attention to what's going on, pausing the combat instruction for review later.

Jean didn't have much to add either, but that wasn't going to stop her from approaching the console at the other side of Hank, her hands pressed to the surface with a slight lean that would take the edge off of her back. "It already sounds like bad news." She states.
"Let's get to it." Impatient as ever, mostly because she needs to soak in epsom salt and cry a little.

Rogue stays back, but she will either ask more questions or get the details by the speech to follow the play of the video. Until then she pulls the pony tail hoder from the massive hold at the nape of her neck and starts pulling straw free, though through the tedium she is watching over the backs of the other X-Men.

"Okay, some of what is about to be unfolded, friend of mine, names not needed, just a friend. "
"This friend went on over to another of our friends in Africa. This friend has another friend who involved with a place born of nighmares… a place we all know 'bout not a place you wanna vacation or visit… Genosha, be 'xact."
"Now this lil thing come from dem friends of friends with friends back in to my hands which, now in your hands." Remy spreads his fingers out wide as if on queue Beast would activate the file. Nope. Too soon.
A quiet half-second late the computer Beast is working on chimes.

Incomplete File GSHA-UX235 accessed: Recording Start




A rocky landscape that could be a quarry or massive dig site is displayed. Zooming in even displays a massive construction site where armed men and women stand guard over captives. The 'chain gang' like ensemble is being lead further in to the construction zone where they disappear one by one in to the cliff side.


It is then a scuffle begins at the back of the prisoner train, three men and a woman struggle against guards and the woman suddenly takes flight.
She circles around and looks as though she is attempting to fire energy projectiles from her hands at the guardsmen.


A towering robotic humanoid appears and opens up it's palm firing an electrical discharge that causes the woman to plummet to the earth. The female attempts to stand again as a man steps out (his face is blurred but with work can be cleared up same with the bad audio).
The woman doesn't relent and the Sentinel (as if any X-Men wouldn't recognize them) steps forward lifts it's foot and ends her fight.


There is more talking and those other prisoners that tried to escape are rounded up, placed on their knees and shot. The bodies are collected something is taken off of them.


The devices removed from each of the prisoners is an object about 4 inches long, shaped like a spike. Blood visible.


Scott Summers watches grimly through it all. His expression is blank. He's gotten used to seeing such footage over the years. He saves his outrage. Outrage wouldn't save anyone. He waits for Remy to finish whatever explanation he might have.

Beast has already seen the feed but he tries to pay attention to any clues that he might have missed the first time. As it concludes, he goes back to working on cleaning the file up as the audio and visual will be helpful for later. As it is, he just sort of tries to stay distant from the conversation he anticipates.

Cessily Kincaid wasn't really prepared for that. Seated, her ankles crossed, hand son her knees, she watches. And as it becomes clear what she's setting, her face falls. Lips pursed tight, hands gripping her knees hard, by the end she's jsut looking down at the floor, listening.

Jean's hands remain pressed to the console as she watches, not tearing her gaze away from the scene not even for a second. Her lips were pressed into a thin line, her features unreadable. But what was readable was the projection. From Scott's outrage to her own, projected through her hands as the metal beneath them slowly begins to crick and creak, a red light to the left of her flashing instantaneous as she slowly draws in a measured breath of control to slowly stand upright.

Her gaze drops down towards the slight imprint that her hands made, fingers curling into a fist and joining together to rub tightly as if they were sore. With a look soon shot towards Scott, she directs her attention back towards Gambit and the back of Hank's head, and soon a blank smile crosses her lips. "Well then." She didn't sound too cheery.

"I want pictures. Clear as you can get them of that man's face. And the woman. I want to know who she was so that she could be properly honored." She pauses a little, that smile dropping. "All of them if you can." She steps away from the console, hand pressed against the back of her neck to rub idly as she makes her way towards Scott, standing shoulder to shoulder back facing the rest as a relative calmness lingers over her. Though.. it wasn't calm. Not calm in the slightest. That was rage she was projecting in the form of a neatly wrapped bow.

But she was a lady first and foremost.

Curiousity drew Rogue closer, but not too close, a lean to tip her and angled just to peer over Jean's shoulder. Brows furrow and when the woman is stepped on and others are lined up Rogue is already backed off of the relay and is done watching. She knows what comes next and it makes her look to the side and let out a low, long, exhale.

"Ah'm ready." In saying as much her hand lowers down to the table she took lean upon with the press of denim clad posterior, fingers curling into a fist. "When do we go?" That inquiry now directing her gaze from Beast and his work with Remy to Jean and Scott, but that does not stop there. Cessily, new to this comes under a moment of scrutiny that is by no means hard, Rogue's features soften to her exposure and abruptness, but there is not pity there either.

They all have to know some time.

"What form of Sentinel are we up against?" Maybe she is asking too soon, but as she said, she was ready and since Setntinels seem to be floating from hand to hand now and put to evil use, it is her main concern.

"Jus' pictures? This call for a lil more than that don't you think? Dis what de X-Men is about. You… we… need to do sometin' about dis." Gambit declares, a little heated. His friend of a friend connection might be a bit more than that or he just feels passionate about this.
Remy snaps thumb and pointer finger towards Rogue, "Dat more like it, knew there a reason I attracted to you, ma chere."
"What form matter? We just gon' smash 'em."

"If we just go and 'smash 'em'", Hank offers quietly, "The world will see us as no better than they are. They'll continue to make Sentinels and the general populace will support them in doing so…and they'll call for us to be rounded up and captured like these poor men and women in the video. If all we show the world is that we are trying to destroy everything, they'll never accept us." He finally turns to look at the other, "Not that I'm saying we shouldn't do anything, but we need to have a strategy. A long-term strategy. This has gone on for far too long."

Scott Summers frowns, "Jean isn't suggesting that be our only response. She's suggesting it as an immediate response because we can respect the dignity of the dead, while thinking still about how to take down their oppressors. It isn't an either/or proposition. And taking care of that can be easy to forget in the urge to strike back," he says.

"No one's suggesting we sit on our hands. Frankly, we need to liberate any remaining captives and work to destroy their manufacturing capabilities for those damn things. And, once again, I'm sick to death of knowing how much money gets thrown into purifiers and Sentinels and god knows what else and not being able to doing anything about it," he says.

"And Hank's right. Just dropping in and blasting everything in sight makes us feel better, but isn't a long-term solution. And if we do that, we have to know how to do it right. Precision is key - this isn't horseshoes - close isn't good enough."

Cessily Kincaid looks up, and nods at Hank's words. "Make people watch the video," she chimes in. "My parents didn't like what I am, but they'd never support something like that. If people see, what's really happening, it'll touch people's hearts. It's easy for people to pretend. Show them the truth."

Jean says nothing. The points were all made for her before she went into an elaborate speech of what she wanted to do. But a plan needed to be made there and then, Scott, Cessily, Ro-.. they all made good and fair points but the main point that was needed was action.

"Sentinels." She finally says, breaking her own silence. "That's a thing that's going to hang over our heads for a very, very long time. And it'll only be a matter of time before it turns on all of us as a whole." Humans and mutants alike. No one is safe. Her hands begin to pat herself down, soon shifting into her pockets as she pulls out her phone, firing off a quick text with the swipe of her thumb. She was already planning. Money needed to be allocated and passports had.

Rogue was part of the Brotherhood, and part of it still coursed through her veins in a mutual partnership of understanding. It was other parts, empathy for -all- that kept it from being a solid unit in her mind and heart. But the passion, it was still there.

Silence came from her small distanced space from the others for a good long while, the southern belle looked like she had just eaten something bitter in the way her lips remained thinned and eyes narrowed while many thoughts combatted in her mind, doors one by one flinging open. "If the video gets in tha wrong hands it could ignite the wrong people, right here in this city. I am here because ya'll bring me peace and have shown me the same. It needs to stay in these walls, between us… Or there ain't gonna be an end."

A glance to Remy as his own passion is reciprocated in the light in her eyes, a small fire that is being with held from raging. Then it sweeps to the others, mulling over what they said. "The only ones that need to see are the ones in that video, and when we go Ah'm in."

Fisted hands push Rogue from the table she had leaned against to make exit of the room. She needed to go somewhere, think, and lay hands on something that wouldn't crumble beneath.

Danger Room it is.

"I get dat gotta make a plan an' figure out threats." Gambit agrees despite appearing impulsive or rash he knows the ropes. Any good heist requires a great plan, precision and plenty of luck.
"No, not an option. We ain't showin' this to nobody who not an X-Man." Remy insists at Cessily's idea, not aiming to be mean at her but it's clear he is invested, maybe he doesn't want to diminishhe files value. "I brought dis to X-Men to be handled by X-Men, Rogue is right on dat front." Standing up the Cajun pulls the cigarette off of his ear, "I need to step out, you eggheads figure out what we gonna do and I'm in. We go do it."

"I am?" Hank looks surprised as Scott says that he's right. That's a first in a very long time. He then looks to Cessily, "I'm not sure it'll be that easy. There are a lot of people out there who think we -should- be rounded up and destroyed. This might just fuel their fire." He glances at Jean, "The JLA also has some information on the Sentinels…I'm pretty sure I have all of it already, but I'll double-check." He then looks at the others, "I want these people rescued as soon as possible as well, but…" they've already established that people can't just go charging in. "Should we show this to all X-Men or keep it small? I just worry about some deciding to take matters into their own hands and deal with the consequences later."

Scott Summers nods to Hank, "You are," he says. "You've brought this to the X-men, Remy, and the X-men will deal with it. Whether we deal with it in the way that you find most pleasing, I can't say. But I'm not taking options off the table until they're examined. If you're concerned about your source, we'll do our best to accomodate that if public exposure is a route we decide to pursue. But who gets to see the video, at this point, is Jean's call, not yours and not even mine," he says.
"Go with Rogue, work out any frustrations you have about it. Hank, maybe see if you can get on the funding issue? Somebody's paying a pretty steep fee to have giant robots built and it's on someone's tab," he sighs. He reaches over and puts a hand on Jean's back, supporting it as he can feel the ache sympathetically through their rapport, "And, while I may not be your boss, I still insist you go take a hot bath and take some time to think about it. I'll see about getting those folks ID'd so we can find their families."

Cessily Kincaid nods to the rejection of her idea. She's not offended or anythiing. She just, well, nods and curls up a little. She's well accepting of the idea that she might be wrong, so she contents herself to listen.

Still attempting to be a lady, Jean smiles towards the lot of them as they begin to think and work. She would leave Scott to the rest. A bath was in order but.. she could feel that intent from Rogue. It was heavy. That anger. And with a slight shake of her head she gestures towards the danger room and beyond.

"I think I need to get re-acquainted with Rogue." Meaning, they're going to bust some heads together. "Bath after. I'll be easy on myself."

She turns and purses her lips, "Keep it between us for now. Once we formulate a good plan then we'll get things going with including the rest. Starting with that video." She smiles towards Hank a little, then nods. "Reach out to your JLA contacts. See if anything else crops up on their end that they can offer. Cessily, I'm adding more training to your routine as you'll be learning with the guidance of Cyclops. I'll check on everyone later."

And with that, she's out.

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