Headroom

May 03, 2016:

Jean calls Scott and Rogue in to look at footage..

Jean's Office

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Charles Xavier

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The hour struck midnight - it was becoming increasingly more impossible to fall asleep on her own especially with the use of aids. The natural fight that rested within her psyche pushed off the drugs and kept her wired as all get out. It did not help that she often took to burning the midnight oils with a cup of joe or a bottle of soda on hand to keep the engines running. But there was always that one issue that lingered at the back of her mind. When her eyes close she could slowly feel the dreams rising to the surface, and the need to NOT DEAL immediately woke her up from a sleep that was possibly going to end up bad and not blissful as she had hoped.

It was time to at least confront the beast.

So she was in her office, the lights dimmed low, scented candles like a vigil casting a flickering shadow against the wall. The television set aiding in that as she holds onto the disc at hand. It was a meeting, a private meeting of the minds that were set up to the leader of the blue and one that she was sure would understand and trust. The disc remain in her hands as she taps it along her fingers, not gloved, no.. but there was a wish. For what was on that CD was something most disturbing and disgusting that even showing anyone would paint her shame the blackest of blacks upon her back. Her all too long hair remained in a ponytail, thick bun to keep it off her shoulders. 5r
Tank top adorned, usual sleeping attire along with loose pajama pants that had little hearts and dragons. They were cute enough, but nothing that fits the entire scene that remained upon the disc. She was about to lose her nerve and cancel.


Scott Summers had woken up in his own right. He could sleep very well, thank you, except when Jean couldn't. But he also knew she didn't want him hovering over her or coaxing her or trying to make her talk about it before she was ready. So he'd gone downstairs and gotten in his workout - jumprope, speed bag, chin ups, weights. After a quick shower, he throws on a t-shirt and jeans, his dark hair still damp from the shower as he makes his way up to Jean's office for the meeting.

He comes in with a small tray, setting it on her desk, with cups of coffee and a small tray of cookies, "No, I don't care how many calories they have - eat at least three," he says firmly, before he sits down in the chair on the other side of the desk.


No cancelling. Not after a good book is interrupted and she uncurls from her place tucked under blankets to pad barefoot along the halls of the Institute to come to Jean's office. The summon was vague enough it has her staring at the door for a brief moment of thought, just rechecking over where she was and what she had done that a late night rendezvous would come to pass. That or whispers in the dark she may have heard.

But when Rogue slips into the office the scenario is one that has her glancing around and the perfumes from the candles causing her nose to wrinkle.

From the dancing silhouettes through candle cast light Rogue is dressed for bed as well, though she wears loose shorts that tie around the waist, a green and black lace edging around the seams and along the cinched waistband, a matching top leaves glimpses of abdomen in motion. More exposure then the woman typically gives, but she was pulled from private time, and by someone she knew understood.

coming to the chair beside Scott, moss green eyes slide from the tray to Jean, where shadows cast make her look a bit more gaunt then the reality, but not right, none the less. "Ah say get her a big thick angus burger with bacon, wrapped in bacon."

But that does not strike the curiosity from Rogues face as she claims the chair and tucks her feet beneath her.


No cancelling it is. Right when she was about to turn foot to the door and walk right out, Scott wanders in smelling great with a tray of cookies and fresh cups of coffee. The smell on it's own was a godsend other than the lavender, the candles still dominating the general smell of the office in which to her? Smelled like work. And that was the last thing she needed to do at the moment. "I'm.. not really in the mood for anything sweet. Thank you though." The disc was set down in favor of the coffee, which was soon sipped as she takes a lean against the corner of the desk, her bare feet digging into the carpet.

Her eyes move up towards the door, almost as if she could see the silhouette of Rogue's approach, her brows furrowing slightly, silently willing Rogue to go away (with no powers) but yet, she enters. It was time to face the demons.

"Burger doesn't sound all that bad." Jean heartily admits, a smile upon her face as she takes another sip of her black coffee (fuck, I left it upstairs again! ARG!), her eyes wandering towards the television as she draws in a breath, exhaling slowly. "Well, it's now or never."

With a boost from her desk, she takes the disc from the surface, cracking open the case that reads 'ALPHA'. It was something she kept hidden. Something she didn't want anyone else to see. Even when she wasn't in her right mind she knew, instincts told her to grab it and hide it.

The television was turned on, and soon the disc was placed into it's side, and with a snatch of the remote and a few steps back, she falls into her chair with a slight grunt that held all the worry in the world.

"I never really thought to look over this. When we burned down the facility up north, there was an office that held all of the recordings of those they captured and experimented on. I'm .. pretty sure that everything was lost and something inside of me tells me that most of the people who -were- captured and tested on are dead. But.. it's all bothered me ever since. The how and the why. Someone else, new and fresh eyes need to look at this."


Scott Summers takes a sip of his own coffee, liberally dosed with cream and sugar. He had enough bitter things in his life, he didn't need to add beverages to the mix. Still, the jolt of caffeine was good and he's quite fond of the taste, even if he uses more milk than he does water.

He doesn't like to think about some of the things that happened to Jean and this is certainly no exception to that rule. But dealing with what was in front of him was part of the job. He might wish things were different, but if wishes were fishes…well, he'd have a lot of fucking fish.

"We can be that, sure," he says.


Coffee is eye'd, but then strayed from. Something told Rogue she is going to need more then coffee if Jean's expressions, tone, and words did not give it away.

Rocking forward she grips a cup, and makes the coffee to cream and sugar ratio quite sad before she tucks it close and waits, offering a slow nod to Jean after Scott speaks - siding with his words.


Jean waits for a moment, fiddling with the remote, then finally lifts it up and presses 'PLAY'.

Static, which is shockingly enough is seen on the footage before it cuts in:

The Grey's family home, on Annadelle-on-Hudson. While she stays away from this particular family home save for emergencies, it looks rather lived in and empty. The fridge was stocked with fresh foods, the bed was recently made yet luggage still rested against the bed in the master sweet.

Close up of Jean Grey's tag.

Cue men in labcoats and booties upon their feet. White gloves outfitting each and every room with cameras. One man even douses the bottle of wine with a needle and syringe through the wooden stopper, then carefully puts it back into the fridge.

CUT FOOTAGE

Men immediately entering the house and surrounding the body of Jean Grey, careful not to step over the spilled wine and knock over the fresh paint. The bottle of wine itself was taken and discarded into a plastic bag and the cameras were soon removed from the residence.

CUT FOOTAGE

'Subject Alpha is undergoing surgery. The surgeons are currently outfitting Subject Alpha with a neuro-transmitter that connects the brain function as well as spinal functions to a rem-..'

The camera quickly pans to the operating room, where the heart-monitor quickly begins to beep rapidly and soon flatlines. Jean herself was on a table, stretched out and covered, the various doctors and orderlies rushing to enact life saving measures. There was a quiet roar that rattles the camera, numerous swearing and voices were heard until suddenly, a man flies against the opera-window face first with a crash.

CUT FOOTAGE

'Operation successful. Subject Alpha is currently wired in and responding well to treatment. All neurological functions have been suspended which would allow for the.. its.. its hot in here."

CUT FOOTAGE

'There seems to be a small issue with the programming. Specialists have taken control of Subject Alpha and security has been increased. We are now at eighteen hours since acquisition.'


Scott Summers shifts in his seat a bit uncomfortably. He tries to stay objective about what he sees, to remind himself that it's all in the past. She's safe, she's returned, what they did…for all the damage they caused, it's been undone. Or, at least, they liked to pretend it had. But he realizes that you can never fully escape from an experience like this.

And he doesn't like to think about the feeling it gives him. It almost feels…familiar. As if he himself had experienced something like it before, but his mind couldn't quite grasp it. He would strain his mind a bit, pushing against some invisible wall, reaching for a memory and then, as the barest outlines of something buried inside him started to show through…

Scott Summers shifts in his seat uncomfortably. He didn't want to think about this, what Jean had been through. He had to stay focused, though. He didn't like how his mind kept drifting. What had he even been thinking about?


A brow rises and Rogue now rises her coffee to her lips, sipping it while her mind tries to collect at what (and when) she is exactly looking at unfold.

Scott's slight movements get her attention, his pause, and then the reset… Lips part, then close again as she redirects her gaze to Jean. Curiosity went to being completely lost. She did not know what she was seeing nor it's purpose aside from putting Jean in her current state.

Things like this remind her why the Brotherhood was not that bad in part. "So many questions. Let's start with - When did this occur?"


Jean doesn't look at anyone. She doesn't even spare a glance. Though Rogue's words were welcome enough for her to lift her hand to press pause.

"Sometime last year, in the fall. After Scott's trial I went back home to do some minor painting and upkeep on the family home. And then.. I'm terrorizing mutant town under a new name and complete identity. I injured Nightcrawler, threatened to murder a yacht full of people, and within two weeks I've managed to capture and detain over fifty mutants and send them to this very facility."


Scott Summers sips on his coffee slowly, "Yes, I forgot Rogue was away during that time. It was…unpleasant to say the least. For Jean, worst of all. We got her back, but it took some time and cost some blood," he sighs. He knew Jean hid some of what had happened from him, some of what she suffered. He would have, in her place.


Rogue had been away during all of that, figuring out her best course in life as well as getting to really see why the Brotherhood was not totally for her when everything went and exploded. A lot was lost during the trials and revelations. That year was a turning point for the world as well as each of their individual lives apparently.

"So, what do you want us to do now? Because Ah'm unsure as to the why of this, aside from the fact that it still is still eatin' at ya, Jean. You need to burn that disc and maybe see if Charles can help." Her own advice, some she was desiring to ask of Jean or Charles herself, as the plague of voices in her head never quells and she needs to learn to block each down for her own sanity. Guilt and terror are omnipresent entities, and there she can empathize with Jean.


Jean makes a slight noise in Scott's direction, affirming that it was indeed hard. Still is, save for the nightmares that she had already suffered there are a few more added to boot. "Well, on our end and on this end, I want to know why. And how. And the what. When we went to the facility we burned everything to the ground and didn't stop to think that we may have needed what was there. How these people came to know the Purifiers, and who actually gave them the technology to staunch our gifts with but a trigger." She turns the television off, not wanting to watch even further.

"I don.. I'm seeing Charles already about this. It's a slow moving process, with him busy. But I tire of feeling.. like I still don't have.." Her words trail off for just a moment, her coffee reached for and taken. "I just want answers."


Scott Summers nods, "So do I," he says. He knew that his rage had probably played its part in the destruction that had been done - his anger at what had been inflicted on Jean overwhelming his better judgment. Scott was generally quite adept at separating his emotions from the job, but there were times…times when the fire inside him grew too much. This, too, was something he had in common with Jean.

"Perhaps, from examining the footage, we can get leads on the technology shown, about how to trace it back to its manufacturer. And certainly only a few can have the necessary surgical skills to perform such a task. Although I'm sure the number is growing every day, with the rapid onset of superscience into all our lives…"


Rogue just takes down the rest of her coffee and leans forward to set the empty mug down, a small waver in her gesture and a subtle *crack* resounds with the settling, the ear of the mug falling to the tray. She is trying to be composed and small signs show her failing. We all begin somewhere…

"One part of me… Would say you need to have someone go into your mind and trace steps back. It was still you. The way things have been the past year… It will be hard, but your head gal," A tap to temple as she looks from scott to Jean.

"No matter who is in it.. It's real. Tech is not natural and can lead us in circles, Ah don't trust it overmuch."


"Maybe.. Scott. Maybe." She glances down towards the remote, then drops it upon her desk, the coffee soon favored with both hands as she keeps the cup to her lips. She closes her eyes, then finally sips, taking long, deep drougts, then pulling away with a slight shudder to lift a cookie to drop with a little quiet *plop* into her cup.

"Someone go into.. oh!" Jean hadn't thought of that. "Well, certainly not the Professor. He's in there enough as is, once that creamy layer gets pulled back I'm afraid I'd make that man go balder than he already is." She chuckles, attempting to add a little amusement to her plight.

"But.. you both have great ideas. At this point.. I can't tell where this technology came from. If anyone is so inclined to look in Hank's lab, he still has all the pieces." She inhales slightly, then puts her now cookie-flavored-coffee upon the table. She seems a little bit more relaxed, at least since getting that little tidbit out. "Either way, thanks for listening to me."

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