Take My Siblings Please

July 08, 2016:

The Cyberforce crew all gather for breakfast. Sorta.

Lot 80

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Rose Wilson & Ripclaw

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It is mid-morning at the X-Force lair, but that means little since it is underground and the mutants down here follow strange, arcane sleep cycles that have nothing to do with reality, common sense or nature. Except maybe Ripclaw, which makes him the weirder one.

In Nate's defense, he was talking to Rachel until very late. But they had much to talk about, personal issues, family issues, even mind-boggling time-traveling stuff that… neither of them really understand, but they still try to figure out. Because they are very stubborn and maybe masochistic. After it got really late, Nate directed Rachel to a 'guest room'. That is, an unused room with a cot or something.

Not that he has much better, but he can sleep anywhere. And he did. And now he is awake and since he feels Rachel is waking up, he is being a good brother and making fresh coffee while chatting with Ripclaw and Chip.

Lunair is a college student. Her sleep-wake cycle are kind of odd to begin with it. But she does like her some beauty sleep. She's even been reading 'Awesome Ice Cream Cakes And Projects'. She has the book under her arm as she meanders in. Lunair would probably try to at least get Rachel a futon with cute sheets and pillows. You can't just stick someone on a cot! People's butts and spines get sore, and by god, this is not a Liefeld comic.

"Hrrng," Streeeetch and amble in. "Heeey, who wants french toast?" She offers as she meanders in to the place where coffee is dispensed.

Felines were just as nocturnal as any other animal in the kingdom. Though when it comes to rooming with various different personalities adaptation and evolution were something that comes as natural as it was to breathing the air. When some people were awake and bustling Nadia was as well, though it depends on the personality. Certain people, when awake Nadia could retire without fault or guilt or a need to be awake to not miss a thing, and when others are awake so is she. Adaptability.

Perhaps that's why when Rachel managed to come into the compound Nadia herself stayed awake. New blood in the territory. Upsetting the balance. It makes the hackles rise.

Though, that was neither here nor there. If Nadia had a problem with it, she wasn't going to voice her concerns. She wasn't going to stir the pot, throw out an ill word here and there. She wasn't going to speak unless she was spoken to and there was barely an opinion that most have ever asked of her. No one asks a thing. They assume that she rightly couldn't hear them. Thanks Rose.

But her trek into the kitchen was quiet enough, bare feet lightly hitting the concrete ground as she takes a direction less traveled to the side of the wall in the corner. And watches. Eyes darting to and fro, her throat working with a slight tremor to create an oddly low thrumming hum just for relaxations sake. French toast? Sure. Here's to hoping Lunair reads minds well enough to make enough.

Rachel slept, which is surprising enough on its own. Since she got here she's been hunted, and the only place she's really felt safe was with the X-Men - and her shadowy enemies even got to her there, via Laura. Even the offer of a comfortable futon (with cute sheets and pillows, even, thanks Lunair!) shouldn't have been enough to keep her from staring at the unfamiliar ceiling all night. Particularly after an evening discussing evil corporations and their cyborg mutates… if she even got that right.

But she was out like a light the moment her head hit the pillow. Nate was close, she could feel his mind, and on some instinctive, unconscious level, she knew he wouldn't let her come to any harm here.

Following her nose toward the scent of coffee, Rachel wanders in, her short red hair sticking up every which way. "Coffee and french toast. This is a good morning." She announces, a bit vaguely, sending a nod and a smile Lunair's way and then making for the coffee. Rachel's not asleep enough to miss the presence of Nadia, but… Rachel doesn't know what to make of her, after their last meeting. So a slightly cautious nod is offered.

Maybe Lunair can read minds, but Nate sure can. "French toast for me…" as if she had to ask him about food, "and for the quiet cat, who is thinking loudly. Also, Rachel too. If she doesn't want it, I can always… ah, good morning Ray. You want coffee, Luna? I think I got this odd coffee machine mastered. Yeah, pretty sure I do." Maybe. Probably not.

"Sure, how many for each of you? I still wanna play with ice cream cake making sometime," Maybe if Lunair hadn't been what she is, she might have been a baker, or something. But she is what she is, and what's done is done. She manages a smile to Nadia. "I can understand sign language a bit. I've been taking classes since I met and dropped art supplies on Joey," She admits. Poor Joey. He got surprise pastel'd. But she tries.

Lunair sets about to gather things, pan, spices and all the bread. Happy little eggs, too! "Have you guys met? How are you?"

Hey. Kitty cat can't help but to think outloud. Not her fault no one told her that there'd be psychics here!

The cautious nod was met with one of her own, arms lifting to fold around her chest, the deep, growling purr halted for now as her bare foot lifts to press against the wall. This was her stance. This was her center. She was Jane's melancholy today.

"No need." Nadia finally says to Lunair. Her hand lifting to allow a single claw to extend to lightly tap upon the metal cochlear implant embedded within her ear. There was a nice scar too, lightly tattooed over in the form of bloodied stitches. She needs a haircut soon.

"I can hear just fine." That is, until she gets irritated and turns it off. Though the question of them meeting, Nadia just spares Lunair a slow nod. They have. And that was it.

"Lots." Rachel says, unapologetically and without shame or regret. She's hungry. And also… "You're always cooking for me, Lunair. I'd offer to cook for you sometime, but I'm not sure you'd want to eat the result." Rachel is under no illusions about her abilities in the kitchen. "So I'll just say thanks, again." And go and crowd Nate. "You think you've mastered it?" She says, a bit accusing, but good-natured. "Don't tell me I'm not going to get coffee now?"

"Yeah, lots," agrees Nate. "Hey, you think you can do better?" It is a cyber-coffee machine, or something. And Nate probably should be banned from all kitchens, forever. No, it is not complicated and Rachel should be able to figure it out how to turn it on without making it explode in a about ten seconds.

"Anyway… yeah, you meet Nadia a bit ago." He remembers, and waves to Nadia. "She has cybernetics for hearing. And like all the others in Rip's team, she was conscripted by Cyberdata and later rescued. So if you have questions about it I think she can answer them better than me."

Lunair is - going to trust Nate and the coffee machine. "Well, I didn't want to assume. Some people are more comfortable signing, some are not." A loaf of somewhat stale bread is rescued. Time to repurpose it into tasty french toast! "And that is pretty neat." Roboears! Or something. "Lots, coming up. It's okay, it's one of my few non-violence related talents." In another life, in another place… would she have been something else? No sense speculating, really. "I practiced a lot and I'm good at chemistry, so cooking kind of follows, you know?" The properties of what one uses, how it mixes or doesn't. She's setting about to domestic engineering. There's even powdered sugar, cinnamon and such waiting for its new home on that French Toast!

"No one's trying to kill or experiment on me. I'm pretty okay with things." Lunair's standards - frighteningly low. She's trying not to think too loudly, but the brain is cruel. The more you try NOT to think, the more enters your brain. Would this chemical work better? Hey, this toast is about done, mix that… She seems to have a million things at once and not, entering orbital space. Maybe Lunair does live in space - in her brain.

"I'm not good at chemistry or cooking, so… not really!" Rachel replies to Lunair, with her best attempt at a disarming smile. She's on much more solid ground with what the other woman says next, and nods with feeling. "I know what that's like." But, like she said before coffee and french toast make for a good morning in her experience. And thinking of coffee… "I'm not sure I could do worse!" Rachel replies to Nate, nudging him out of the way with repeated applications of a sharp elbow and taking over coffee making. For a few seconds she looks at the cyber coffee machine, eyes narrowing, then sets to work. "You WILL give me coffee." She tells the machine under her breath, and she seems to have some success. At least, the mugs she passes out have hot liquid of the right colour in.

"Coffee, before you explain everything that Nate hasn't?" Rachel asks Nadia, a slight smile on her lips. Coffee as an opening gambit.

Owow… damnit. "I knew that…" he grumbles at the redhead passing. "Hmm, yeah?" Glance at Luna. "Who here has not been hunted down by mad scientists and terrorists? It comes with the territory. Best we can do, we hunt them back. Which is what we should be doing instead of… -after- the coffee and toasts," maybe with ice cream, too. "Where did Ripclaw go? He was here a minute ago."

If they want ice cream, there's definitely some about. "We all have talents," She offers. "I'm not so great at sewing." She considers it. She'll slide a few slices of french toast onto a serving plate, putting more in to fry and mixing a few others. She's got the assembly line down at least. "I should use this loaf up anyway." She looks between the two at the coffee machine. "I think it saw that quote from I have no mouth and I must scream." HATE. "That's true. And um, what do you enjoy doing?" She asks Nadia. "Maybe he went to get a nail file or wait for french toast." She muses.

There was a slight glare that was cut towards Nate. Nadia herself wasn't a fan of talking about herself or her past. That'd reveal too much. Past PTSD or something or other. It was a condition that she was trying to kick by way of brooding. But the offer of coffee was easily passed away with a shake of her head and a lift of her hand, "Coffee is dangerous." Hey, its the truth! No one wants Nadia running around like a psycho bat. It's unsightly!

A chair was pulled out and sat upon, leaned back against and she watches. She was waiting for the food to be delivered, so that she could dig in and eat. "Ripclaw is more better suited for this conversation." She utters in her awkward tone, awkward as in flat. No emotion. Not used to hearing her own voice. Her gaze falls upon Lunair, her eyes slitting into a cats eye stare. What did she enjoy doing?

Images flash of her jumping on the bed, flailing pillows and listening to Taylor Swift. And playing in stolen makeup from the MAC store. (In the police reports, string of thefts in the local malls, all centered around the MAC store could be found.) There were even a bunch of teen romance novels that she'd read with her feet kicked up and swaying.

But to Lunair? "Sleeping."

OK, coffee as an opening gambit hasn't had the desired result. "At this time of the morning…" Rachel begins, then frowns, when she realises she has no idea what time it actually is, "Coffee is a necessity. Dangerous or not." As if for emphasis, Rachel lifts her mug, blows carefully on the contents to cool it, and takes a sip. Too hot, but like she said, necessary. She takes another sip, then rakes her free hand back through her hair. It doesn't do much to smooth away the worst excesses of bed-head, but it's a minor improvement.

Rachel keeps her eyes on Nadia as she sits, but then shrugs at her answer. "Maybe." She says, "But he's not here, and right now anything you can tell me would be useful. If you want to talk, I'm listening." She smirks, willing to let Nadia off the hook. "If not, Nate can always try confusing me again."

Nate offers Nadia a fake-happy smile and comments, "but Ripclaw sneaked off again, so…" he is also putting on some mind-shields on because he really, really didn't need to know about MAC stores and teen romance novels. Now he needs more coffee.

"Hmm, Ray. There is sugar somewhere… here," because he doesn't believe in coffee without sugar (and other things). Flopping down on a chair, he studies the women in turn. "Okay. If Nadia doesn't want to start, I will. I was born in a biolab of a lunatic called Mister Sinister, real name maybe 'Essex'. He mixed the DNA of two powerful mutants and then put me in a… hmm, womb-thing-machine. So I grew up without memories and with just some programmed skills. I think he was going to put some fake memories in my head so I was loyal to him later, but I got freed and avoided it. Mostly… I remember it was cold all the time. Now, this was in another world that blew up, and I killed him. So I can't have more revenge or justice or anything." Beat that, Nadia.

Lunair is quiet, and totally unaware of the secret hobbies of Nadia. But she would probably think they were rad. For now, she just accepts it and smiles at Nadia. "Sleep is good," She nods. "I read a lot," And for her knowledge is literally power. "There's some sugar here by the powdered sugar," Lunair points it out. "And um, are we giving out backgrounds? I uh. I'm a HYDRA slash government creation. I -" This is hard. "Um. It's nothing special. And I'm sorry your world blew up."

Lunair slides some French toast over for whomever wants to grab it, starting in on the next batch. "I'm defeating the Deadly Bread Loaf."

Well alrighty then! Rachel let her off the hook. There was a slight change to her posture, one that relaxes until Nate tells his story. And then Lunair. Her eyes cut towards Rachel and slowly she begins to sigh.

"Kidnapped. Brain box. Trained." She pulls her sleeves up, allowing them to see the decorative cybornetics that line her arms, as well as pulling her dreadlocks aside so that the could see the smattering of cybernetics along the side of her head and the back of her neck. Her hand pats each bicep, then fingers curling to sprinkle nothing into the air. Nearly a russian statement, but far from it. "We made it a point to snatch your kind and put them to work or death if they were faulty." She looks at them all now, pushing the chair back to draw herself to a stand.

"An arms race ahead of the game beneath the worlds nose." Her shoulders roll, then she comments about the coffee. "Caffienated beverages tend to make me antsy. I do not like being antsy. Stuff gets destroyed when I'm antsy." Cue her scraching the crap out of walls or beating someone up. The hyperness is -real-. Like that Squirrel from Hoodwinked! "I am going to go find Rose. I need to do battle now." And with that, she was off.

Rachel gives Nate a sideways look. He'll start? Wait, is she going to be expected to share. There's a flash of alarm, both in her eyes and in her mental presence, before she gets it under control. Selfish it might be, but she'd expected to learn what this operation was all about without having to go into detail about her own past. She's still worrying about that when Nate starts speaking, but by the end she's focused on his words, and when he finishes she reaches out and squeezes his arm.

Lunair's few words give Rachel a bit of hope that she can get off lightly, and she takes the french toast as soon as it's offered. "Thanks, Lunair." Rachel should really say something more, but it's going to be her turn soon, and it's preying on her mind.

Oddly, it's Nadia's tale that settles Rachel's nerves. Specifically, when she relates how she used to snatch 'their kind' Rachel knows all about being used, and she's not going to show fear in front of the ghosts of her past - even if it's an imperfect reflection of them, from a different world. But then Nadia's leaving, and it doesn't matter any more. "Thanks for sharing, I guess." Rachel says under her breath. Nadia's going to take some figuring out, for the redhead.

Rachel looks between Nate and Lunair and shrugs. "I guess I don't really have to tell you my story. You know it already." There's a bit of bitterness seeping into her voice as she says it. Not even her secrets are her own.

It has been four years and he has told his story many times. But Rachel can feel Nate tense like a wire when she squeezes his arm. His voice was steady, if lacking some emotion. "Hmm… we could find you a fight, Nadia…" she is gone. Well, no one taught Nate diplomacy. But misery loves company, right? Right.

He reaches for his coffee mug and gives Rachel a mock-glare. "I maybe know. Bits and pieces. But you don't have to tell anything you don't want. I do suspect you have more in common with Nadia than with me. But they didn't put pieces of alien-based tech inside you." He reaches to touch her face, though. Her facial marks are invisible to him only when he is not blocking her illusion. "They did other things, though. And we can still claim justice and wreck vengeance."

Lunair looks blank a moment at Ray. "I forgot it," She offers cheerily. "I won't ask for it again." She has some idea, but the details slipped through some of her memory. She looks between them. "Poor Nadia," She looks sympathetic. Lunair doesn't claim to understand the feline woman. She just accepts her, as she is. Cats are utterly unfathomable. She'll never claim to understand them.

"Almost done with the loaf," She remarks. Plenty of 'toast for all. "I do't know. I served in Africa, I was experimented with and here I am."

Rachel doesn't flinch at Nate's mock glare, or his hand upon her cheek, touching those invisible marks. It's a lot harder not to, the second time. "They didn't have to put anything inside me." She tells him, keeping her tone even with an effort. "They did it all up here." She confirms, reaching up to tap the side of her head, then finally, gently, moving Nate's hand away and shaking her head. "Not for me, we can't. That was another world, and it's finished. I want to stop this one going the same way but…." She shrugs. "Hell if I know how to do it. All I've got is a list of things someone who looks like me already tried, and got wrong." Her tone's turned dark and brooding by the end, but Lunair, as usual, brings a spark of light. "I wish I could." Rachel replies, but then she manages a smile. "Maybe we should worry about what we can change, instead of what we can't."

"Yeah, Luna," happy Luna. Not a Summers. Summers brood too much. "Hydra got a beating recently, but they can always be given another one. Cut a head and two more will get cut soon, right?" He sips from his mug thoughtfully. "I wanted you to talk with Ripclaw, though. He knows more about Cyberdata operations, and there is a telepath in New York called Mother May that is 'recruiting' for Cyberdata. You know how to track down people like her."

It's true. Lunair ran into Cyclops. Brooding in Texas. And he routinely destroys the front lawn at Xavier's. She nods. "Also US Government. Everyone wants custom super soldiers or whatever," She shrugs. "So I am a custom job from the infancy of genetics." Fingerwiggle. "Anyway. I have 0 brain powers, so I'm gonna listen to this part." At Ray's words, she considers it. "I am sorry. Short of hitting you over the head with a brick, I do not think I can do that for you. But we're glad you're here. Heads up, toast." A plateful of the sweet toast is slid over.

"I'll take the toast over the brick." Rachel says with a smile. She doesn't say that sometimes, on nights when the dreams are particularly bad, she'd take the brick if it were offered. Rachel takes a bite of the toast instead. "You don't need brain powers, Lunair." Rachel says a bit indistinctly. The toast is good, after all! There's a part of Rachel that would like to ignore the rest of the conversation, and just drink coffee and eat french toast, but she knows that's not in the cards. "I don't think I can help you go up against the Government." Rachel says, more seriously, looking Nate in the eye. "The other 'me' did enough damage there, and…" Rachel winces a bit, "I'd like to enjoy the fact that they're NOT that interested in me for a bit longer." She's… only mostly serious. But she is afraid of making the wrong call. "This Mother May, though." Rachel muses, then comes to a decision. "You're right. I am a good tracker." She says that unemotionally, but she does say it. "I can help you, there."

"I will help you against the government, too," states Nate. "I don't care who they are. They worked with Hydra, so they made their bed and also their grave. Let me know the second they bother you. Meanwhile, though, Cyberdata is getting most of my attention. I can't find Mother May. I got in touch with her just once, to give the Mangeto supremacy speech, of all things, but she is sneaky and I am not very good tracking down psychic signatures."

Lunair holds up her hands, "The government is only moderately interested in me. They've been trying to catch and vivisect some of us or break us down for parts. It's hard to say. Regardless, it is MY problem and *I* will take care of it," She remarks. "Anyway, I am listening." She inclines her head. "And um, either of you like botanical gardens?"

Rachel's brow furrows as she listens to Nate. "Wait, you gave her what speech?" Rachel looks baffled. And also slightly guilty that she's not lining up and pledging opposition to the Government with the others, but the mistakes of her other self still hurt. She's trying not to cross the same lines. It doesn't mean that Lunair's casual mention of vivisection doesn't make her wince, hard, though. And then Lunair abruptly switches gears, as she's wont to do. "I… actually have no idea." Rachel admits. "I'd like to find out, though."

"No, she did it," explains Nate. "It was weird considering she is selling mutant kids to Cyberdata to be brainwashed. But she gave me the usual mutant supremacy slash fascist speech. Maybe she is nuts."

Botanical gardens what? "Sure I like them," he sips more coffee while trying to figure out what does it have to do with the rest of the conversation.

"Geez, you're talking work even before breakfast," Lunair smiles. "So stressful." She might even be picking up on the tension or unhappiness. "Here's your plate," One slid to Nate. "It's important, but sometimes I'd like to hear about you and not work stuff," She remarks. "They have Kiku: Japanese gardening with chrysanthemums coming up, and right now, the rose garden is in bloom." Beat. "I freaking love roses." Yes, she does. "Plus, there's lotuses and lilies. I think you'd dig them. I mean, I realize the things you talk about are SUPER IMPORTANT and BAD, but - at least eat breakfast first."

Well, that makes a lot more sense than Nate giving the speech, Rachel has to privately concede. Not that it makes the whole idea any more pleasant, and only underlines the fact that there's still a hell of a lot about all this that Rachel doesn't know. Under the circumstances, she's grateful that Lunair's changed the topic to roses. Roses are something Rachel can at least understand. "Lunair…" Rachel begins, then looks at Nate and shrugs, almost apologetically. "…you're right. Breakfast first, then we talk visiting the gardens. I think we could all use it." She might like it, she might hate it, she might be bored rigid. But right now it sounds like a good idea to Rachel, and reassuringly normal.

"Oh fine," Nate is not going to argue with the cook. "We have to take advantage Ray is no longer hiding in the basement and take a morning off. Or afternoon." Whatever. He guesses he has been stressing the redhead enough for now. So for the next few minutes he is just going to enjoy his breakfast.

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