JLA X Alliances

March 01, 2017:

After a visit from Flash and intel relayed, Storm and Wonder Woman meet.

//1407 Graymalkin Lane - New York City //

Xavier's Institute grounds are located on 1407 Graymalkin Lane in
Westchester County between Graymalkin Lane itself and Breakstone Lake (30
miles outside of NYC itself). A large portion of this is acres upon acres of
woodland forest. To the farthest eastern portion of the Institute's grounds
there is a stretch of low foothills.
Upon entering the Institute grounds immediately past the heavy
gated entrance one finds themselves on a carefully paved road that splices
in two directions, west and east.
The west leads to the School for Higher Learning where gifted
youngsters are educated and taught to use their unique talents. Here almost
year around children and teachers are housed.
To the east miles away lies Xavier's Mansion where Professor Xavier
himself and some faculty members of the school live. These "special"
individuals are those aware of Xavier's more clandestine operations, the
administration and training of the X-Men.
Beyond the neatly walled mansion's yard in those foothills is an
obscure landing strip that leads to a hangar complex and a subtly hidden
facility. A facility that houses underground sub-levels, a danger room,
Cerebro and the training halls of one of the most advanced mutant fighting
teams in the world.
An underground monorail connects the School for Higher Learning
with the Charles Xavier's Mansion and the X-Men's Hidden Complex. Security
is tight in this region, by means of limited magical warding, advanced
future tech security systems and telepathic sweeps. Tread carefully.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Flash, Cypher, Aquaman

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The spread of these Mists was known to be wide and far, but not all encompassing. The X-Men were not fighting alone and seeking answers, hope… Help. Flash came and went, and after a couple days of thought, conferring with Xavier she proceeded to call upon Wonder Woman for a meeting between the two team leaders who will bear the ultimate weight of decisions.

Meeting on the grounds first would allow space for them and to not have the door of the Headmistresses office bear the weight of eyes and ears of children and their uncontainable excitement. They would be kept inside, but allowed to see, watch, and keep ears at bay as the area is covered by Xavier so he could listen, but no one else could.

The fountain is empty due to winter, the snow pushed to opening piles along the drive, benches cleared for sitting but Storm did not sit, she stood and waited in that X-Men attire of black, the split pieces of suit held together by silver loops over abdomen and at back, lined in a matching electric hue, and the fall of her 'wings' like a cloak behind her, bearing also the regality of her heritage.

Diana arrives, descending from the leaden sky. As ever, she wears the armour of her people, this time without sword, shield, or cloak, though the lasso is everpresent. Out of courtesy, she lands at the end of the drive and walks the distance up toward the building to meet Storm. "Good day, Storm," she says as she nears, extending a hand in friendship. "I was pleased to receive your call. It's good to meet you in person."

Storm takes the final few steps to close the ending distance between them, the smile slowly rising as hand extended is met with her own to come to a clasp, cool blue gaze meeting Diana's own azure.

"It should have been long ago," A pause as hands release clasp and she turns with a welcoming gesture. "And I wish under better circumstance. None the less, welcome to Xavier's. Our home."

"I am honoured to be welcome here," Diana says graciously, sensing the non-American formality from the X-Men leader and responding in kind. "And, you are right. This should have happened sooner. But, we will make the best of the situation we have." Which is as good a transition to the business at hand as any. "I understand from Flash that you and your people have been actively caring for several victims of the Terrigen Mists. I commend you on that, and hope you may, perhaps, be able to help the Justice League in that regard, as well. We have recovered a small handful of survivors, but are not well-equipped to help them long-term. My embassy can host them for a time, but not indefinitely."

The accent of her homeland is still in Storm's voice, Kenyan to match the Nubian hue of skin, but not the white mane of mohawk shaven hair that falls to mid back, nor those eyes that bear a weight despite the smile. "This cannot go on forever, Sister." The final word one that puts them on an even field in meaning, both bearing the same responsibilities, weights, measures, and stances.

A turn to walk beside Wonder Woman, Storm guides them along the front of the large manse and towards the gardens, allowing the windows piled high with faces to get a view, the children's excited squees hard to not hear. It lightens Storm's mien ever so slightly. "We have been. Some are more dire then others, we have been taking them as if our own, no one should have nowhere to go or call home." A nod at Di's words and Storm glances her way. "I understand and we have opened resources and are trying for more to expand space, but it will leave our hands very full, and we will need more mentors for the youths. They are welcome here. It is the Dream, afterall."

Diana nods in response, falling in step beside Storm. She glances briefly at the windows and smiles, raising a hand to wave to the children, as is her wont. Then, however, her attention returns to business. "My people are willing to supply as much aid as we can, but the reality of the ban that prevents us from taking in males is problematic in that regard. I am happy to ally the League with you in this, however, if you need more mentors. It's the finding of space we find most challenging, though perhaps that is something we can work together on."

She inhales a breath, thinking. "I should also tell you that we are actively investigating the government facilities outside Hell's Gate in Metropolis. We believe they are concealing harmful research behind benign. They claim to be seeking a cure to the Mist transformations, but we suspect they are in fact looking to find some sort of mutagenic catalyst they can control, perhaps for some sort of super-soldier program. We're not sure at this point. We are sure, however, that no one should be subjected to such a thing involuntarily, and those taken while they are still in chrysalis are certainly not volunteers."

"I intend to meet with the leader of the Morlocks, as we have aided them before, but despite it tensions run… High. Some wars are simply in the blood." Tribes have done it for generations, but sometimes peace can be met, or at least an agreement. Sometimes.

"I would appreciate more mentors, especially those of our ilk. It is what they all need, it is better us then.." But Storm is fading to silence as Diana carries on and informs her of the facilities. Just as Storm had warned against tampering to reverse to others as it leads to dark paths - Her suspicion and expectance of such is now confirmed. It would always land in someone's hands.

"…Them." That final word exhaled out in a sigh.

"None of this is exactly right, but by force of man and not of an… alien nature? I am with you." A pause and she looks over the garden, and though snow is still on the ground some of the heated days are brining buds to bloom on empty branches.

"How many of these labs are there?"

"Our best information points to at least one more facility outside of Hell's Gate," Diana replies. "Where, we don't know. Yet." They're working on it. "What we've ascertained so far, however, is that exposure to the mists leads to a 75% casualty rate among those who enter chrysalis without sufficient InHuman DNA in their genomes. We don't know, yet, how it interacts with mutant or metagenes, though our initial investigations suggest the likelihood of similar casualty rates. Nor do we know why many people simply seem to be immune, which makes it difficult to predict transformation rates overall. If, however, the Cadmus researchers working with the DEO are able to solve that problem, there may be not stopping them from reaching their goals."

Storm straightens more, even as those words pass and bear more depth and weight, gravity, of the situation at hand. "We cannot interfere with the natural mists, but we can perhaps… Naturally disperse them, get rid of the reality of it, get it out of reach." As Storm's hand reaches out towards a small bush, trailing fingertip over a small bud.

"Then we strike and eliminate the synthesized versions."

Looking to Wonder Woman then, Storm's jaw is set. "Either way, that is not going to be allowed to keep going. The Mists have taken more and more, caused joy and pains, losses of life and memories and sometimes it is necessary. But to force it, synthesize it, and weaponize it. No."

"Have we tried speaking to them?"

Diana nods, sighing softly. "Cadmus and the DEO? Yes. They hide behind their government mandate to seek a cure. But, that only covers part of what they're doing, and not the most dangerous."

Her eyes narrow thoughtfully, lips pursing slightly. "Still, yes. I agree. If we can find some way to neutralize the synthesized mists that are a result of the bombings last fall, without disrupting the mists otherwise natural course, that would be ideal. Do you have some idea on how to accomplish that?"

"I can urge the natural course, the unnatural…" A small shrug of shoulder, the Lightning Bolt earrings flickering reflections in the gesture and move as Storm's hands open and fingers splay, the drifted snows pushed aside in the garden pushed further away with a sudden upheaval and a chill wind that casts both of their attire around their feet, but the glittering wall lifted in a small wave glistens before it is rolled…. and dispersed in a flick of fingers.

"I will need aid, as this is not something I can do alone."

"You have my aid, if you wish it," Diana promises. "And that of the League. We will very likely be striking against the DEO and Cadmus, once we discover the full depths of their activities, but beyond that we are still committed to finding a resolution to the challenges the mists represent. I understand the InHumans hold the mists in high regard; we are trying to reach out to them, but have had little success. Our only other recourse is to examine the technology that causes the situation in the first place. Several of our number and our allies have attempted to investigate a ship under the water, but we still do not have any clear cut answers."

"Any and all aid is appreciated. I cannot put any of our own into this…Most are so young." A glance back to the Manse, Storm's posture is righted but seems to reinforce at that glance even if her eyes have paled.

"But I will not turn away those willing, not anymore."

When Wonder Woman speaks once again, Storm nods lightly. "Reader is all we have, and as I told Flash, if he answers the call to speak, it is up to him. But if the X-Men are needed, we will come in turn. Perhaps Cypher will be able to also give you the aid he has given us."

A light tilt of her head and Storm ponders, the whit whisps sweeping along exposed back that is not draped in that fabrics' descent.

"We will do what we must. Forces of nature are not to be reckoned with, but we can assimilate or counter if we must." The smile birthed upon lips comes as that small bud blossoms within fingertips, cracking its own chrysalis of welcoming a 'Spring'.

"The waters are ruled by one King alone. Have you spoken to him?" If so and nothing has come of it…

Storm is at her own means to an end with all of this. It threatens war on her home, threatens her people, Nu and old alike.

Diana nods. "Yes. He is counted among our allies and was instrumental in helping us investigate the downed ship we found in the waters. "He is aiding how he can and has told us that even his people suffer from exposure to the mists. They also sustain both casualties and transformations." A small, wry smile touches the Amazon's lips. "And if you know him at all, you know how well he reacts to what he perceives as terrorism against the seas." About as well as the mutants or the Amazons respond to threats against their own, unsurprisingly.

"I do not know him at all." Storm states levelly. But there is no offense in her tone. She only knows what she has heard and there is no bank made there. She has to see it, speak to it, act with it… or him to know and cast judgement. But Wonder Woman's declaration does calm Storm bit, as she trusts in this woman and her JLA to join hands just as they had.

A tilt of Storm's head towards the sky, lightly, her eyes close and her lips purse before curling into a light smile as if what she heard was satisfying enough. "Count us in. Let the X-Men know what you need, Wonder Woman." And though the words come from Storm, her eyes are paling and her voice depthened.

Even after that moment Storm's own demeanor does not seem to change, though their course goes back towards the manse. "We have all of the armies and elements in our favor. We just need to move at the right time." And slowly her eyes regain the frigid blue hue.

Diana smiles at that and extends her hand, again, this time in the firm presentation of an allied warrior's grasp. "Thank you, Sister," she replies warmly, though seriousness remains in her expression. She is satisfied, and pleased with the alliance, but under no illusions about the situation that has necessitated it. "I will keep you apprised of our progress and the results of our endeavors against the research facilities. Once we have dealt with that threat, we will turn our eyes to the greater threat, and speak more then."

Her body language relaxes and her smile widens. "Next time we meet, perhaps you'll do me the honour of attending me at the Embassy, or possibly the Hall of Justice." Just so that they can trade hosting duties, so to speak. Keep it on even terms. "I should look forward to repaying your hospitality."

Storm pauses, almost turned from the extended hand, but once it is out there and their words did not fall flat and came to a mutual accord, Storm turns and instead of a clasp of hands and wrists it is upon one vembraced fore' to the one clad in bangles of her country… Some made by the children for the 'Priestess', endeared in her own way. The meet of metal on metal, beads upon hardened surface in a dull clatter.

"There is no holding back any longer, I do not…wish to lose more then we have. Any of us. All of us…"

"I will do you that honor, as long as you do mine the same." A small quirk of a smile as Storm tilts her head towards Xavier's and those face that had fogged the windows. "…Sister."

The final word bringing the flash of a true smile to Storm's lips.

"Everyone deserves happiness even as the smoke clears."

"They do," Diana agrees, as their clasp releases. "And I do believe we will clear the way for them to find it." Again, she glances to the windows and the faces peering out there. A soft chuckle escapes her lips. "They seem quite excited," she notes, nodding towards the walled-off students. You'll have to give them my greetings. It would be a pleasure to meet them sometime." Business is largely concluded, so it is good to speak of less dire things in the fading moments of conversation.

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