Sharpening Knives before the War

June 12, 2017:

Nate and Betsy bring Wanda up to date in the Genosha situation

The X-Bunker under Xavier's compound

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Cyclops

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Summer is coming and Xavier's School should be quieting down, but it hasn't. In fact the School is quiet, but the Mansion is not. And the X-Bunker much less. The X-men are going to war and everyone is busy, or going crazy. Or both.

Nate certainly is, although the incoming operation against Genosha is not the only problem keeping him on his toes. Still, he tries to make himself useful, and today he grabbed Wanda to update the mystic about the situation. Down in the bunker, of course.
*

Betsy's doing what she can to help with the operation, but realistically, Nate and Scott are the strategy ones. Planning a one-woman operation to insert herself and kill someone? That'd be easy. Team level operations, that's much less in Betsy's style.

But, Go Team is an unspoken mantra, and so she's down in the war room, providing some small contributions as the plan is refined and unfolded.

And she's sharpening her throwing knives, just because it never hurts to be as prepared as possible. She has a /lot/ of the little throwing weapons, many of them sporting a tiny pocket for poisons in the blade.

*

Wanda not only drifts in and out of the mansion, it seems she drifts in and out of reality. She was completely unaware of the Genosha issues and so is eager to find out from Nate what is going on. And do they need the Avengers to help out? This cross-team business could prove helpful…or confusing.

The witch is dressed in jeans and a white t-shirt under her scarlet jacket - very casual. Her eyes taking in the busy-busy around her but she isn't quite sure how to help at the moment. "I am sorry I have been away" she offers before she finds out how much she has missed.

*

Nate shakes his head at Wanda's apology. "I am not exactly around very often, but this operation is something I have been talking about for a while." He is not surprised to see Betsy here, but cleaning weapons? "Hey, Betsy. How goes?" He greets, finding a seat and inviting Wanda to sit down. "You weren't in Ibiza last year when Xavier revealed Genosha's little dirty secrets to the world, right? Did you hear about it?"

*

"Hullo Nate," Betsy tells the X-man. Immaculately dressed— as always— she makes her jeans and camisole top look like she just stepped off a summerware photo shoot, her purple hair captured in a sleek ponytail at the nape of her neck by a butterfly-shaped hairclip.

She invites Wanda to seat herself as well, setting a little throwing dart aside and leaning back in her chair with a lazy, catlike indolence, bobbing back and forth against the chair's springs in a partial recline.

*

"I remember something about Genosha" Wanda nods, "But I do not know the details. Did that have something to do with the Secret Land?" She looks to each of them before sighing and frowning apologetically. "Sorry. It may seem that I am not caring about the world but there are many things I have to deal with that prevent me doing all I can." She holds up an apologetic hand. "Never mind. If you can tell me everything, Nate, that would help." A thank you nod to Betsy for clearing the dart from her new seat.

*

On the other hand Nate looks as scruffy as always. Except his long hair is gone and he wears it short, almost a buzzcut. Blame a Sentinel with a flamethrower. And imperfect telekinetic shields.

"Genosha enslaves mutants," explains Nate. "Possibly also other superhumans too, but mostly mutants. There are thousands there… and they kidnap or buy more from Africa and Asia every day. Turn them into industrial slaves or weapons. They are also building Sentinels, and apparently a lot of anti-mutant Americans have moved there. Striker and Trask, the scumbags behind the Purifiers."

*

"Genosha's an ugly, sordid little island to begin with," Betsy remarks. "It's terribly humid and the cuisine is terrible. It's a lot like Madripoor," she says, frowning.

"Unfortunately, because of various political issues at the United Nations, there's not a good accord for how to deal with it. Genosha's status as a nation is not well established. Which means it was ripe for takeover."

*

"Ah…The Purifiers I know" Wanda frowns, her hands clenching a little. "And Sentinels. And if anti-mutant Americans want to move there, good. Though I do not think they should have slaves." She looks between Nate and Betsy as wheels turn in her mind. Her eyes narrow a little. "We are intending to invade them? Is this what this is about?"

*

"Eh, for what I heard after several major nations took economic sanctions against Genosha, it basically withdrew from most of the UN accords," comments Nate. It was a well-developed seemingly stable country a year ago. "It is quickly becoming a fascist state, and they are about to try expansion. Their African neighbors are comparatively weak, Genosha tech is impressive and its industry more powerful than anything this side of Wakanda."

*

"Not invade, dear, though… we're debating /how/ to do it," Betsy tells Wanda, glancing at Nate. "A few options come to mind. Espionage and infiltration, which is a tactic I favor. Others are proposing a bold frontal attack against Stryker and his facilities to make a strong show of force." She picks up a little dart and balances it on her fingertip effortlessly, then levitates it with a glance and makes it twirl in lazy circles.

*

Wanda nods to all the information she is being given. "Won't the world help the other countries if they invade? That would mean they can all attack, da? If they start something then we will finish it." A smile at the idea but then her frown is back and her lips purse in thought. "But if we attack them, then are we not as bad as them? I know that no one should have slaves. No one should treat mutants as machines. But so many people are frightened of us because they think we are, what is the word, 'loose rifles'? Does this not prove they are right? Acting above the law?"

Wanda takes a deep breath. "I am sorry. I, if anyone, knows that law can be bad. Cruel. Unjust. And I will be there to help if you want me…but I do not want us to be feared anymore. Fear makes hate which makes more fear."

*

"Cyclops has a plan," mentions Nate. Which he doesn't like, but… "his plans usually work. So I think we should follow it. He is also trying to get SHIELD to help." He looks at Wanda, "hey, it has been a year. The UN has done little besides political statements. The Justice League, the Avengers, they are not doing anything while thousands mutants suffer and die. It is up to us. Legality be damned. Genosha is violating human rights and if humans where involved, well…" ah, if humans were involved the UN might take five years to act anyway. They aren't very quick.

*

"At this point, the law has failed, and where the law fails, conscience dictates we step up," Betsy agrees, nodding at Nate. "So. Wanda, dear, we're breaking roughly into two teams for this operation. On the one hand, an advance force will go in with the /intention/ of being captured. They'll very likely use neutralization collars on the mutants. Some of us with more… martial talents won't be as handicapped," she says, pointedly tossing a knife into the air and catching it without the aid of telekinesis. "And the other team will be working in the shadows, ready to strike whne the moment is right."

*

"I am an Avenger too" Wanda points out. "And I am willing to do something. But what is it you want me to do? Neutralized I am not much use to anyone" she smirks, though whether her powers are purely mutant, purely magical or some strange mix has never been clear. "So I will be like the guerilla? It will be Transia all over again. I hope it will have a better result." A moment's silence as memories play in her mind before she is offering a smile to the pair. "When are we going? How long for?"

*

"Betsy got it right. Law fails sometimes," agrees Nate, leaning back on his chair. "Cyke is picking the teams based on their abilities. I think he is sending people with more than mutant powers first. Magic, adamantium claws, that kind of thing. I am very concerned with what the Genoshans can do to them, though. They have been merciless so far and they do not think mutants have any right. Those captured could be tortured or worse."

*

Betsy smiles approvingly at Wanda at the word 'we'. The Scarlet Witch is a team player at heart, and she clearly applauds the woman for her decisive approah to the Genoshan problem. But she stays silent, letting Nate direct the conversation and lay out the solutions they have decided on.

*

"So you want me to be captured?" Wanda shivers and seems to have some concerns with this. "I have been captured before. Back in Transia. And I have even been imprisoned in this country. But back home…that is how my parents died. I killed them. I…I do not react well to being captured." Some heavy breaths as she tries to calm herself before she adds, softly, her words slow and measured. "But if that is what you need me to do."

*

"You? No, Wanda," Nate sighs, shaking his head. "Cyclops will pick the teams, and I don't think you will be asked to go in the first team. Doubly so if you have that kind of psychological hang ups. Relax, you can go with the second group and blow up some Sentinels. That always makes me feel better, y'know?"

*

"You /are/ a formidable bit of artillery to have in the hole, Wanda," Betsy says, rising from her chair. She walks over to Wanda's seat and slides an arm over Wanda's shoulders, sqautting down next to the woman and giving her a gentle half-hug. "I won't ask you to do anything you're feeling unready for, dear. And I'd feel much better knowing you're standing in the eaves in case it all goes down. There are few people I'd trust more than you as a rescue party."

*

Wanda summons a faint smile of thanks to Betsy's words, leaning into that half-hug. "I guess I will wait to hear from Cyclops then. Maybe he will keep me in reserve? Like, on another continent." A little smirk at that though she does offer a pouty look at Nate for reference to a 'psychological hang up'. "Sometimes I wish we never existed" she sighs. "How much easier it would be if there were no more mutants. But then I think, maybe it should be no more humans." A shake of her head. "But I do not think we have to worry about that."

*

"Or maybe there should be no more racism," suggests Nate. Wishful thinking aside, "it ain't going to happen if we don't work for it. Genosha as it is, is an aberration and it needs to be gone yesterday. We can maybe build something better in its place. Not all humans in Genosha agree with the current government, so there is hope even there."

*

"Small steps. First step— get in there and make a mess," Betsy says, rising from Wanda and giving her shoulder a squeeze. "I should go. Try to relax, dear," she tells Wanda. "Nate— always a pleasure," she tells Grey, ducking her head at him companionably. Gathering her knives and blades into the little leather folding wallet, she leaves the room quietly.

*

"Da. No more racism. That sounds like a good idea" Wanda smiles to Nate before she too goes to stand. "I shall hear from you then. Or from Scott…umm…Cyclops. No one is ever of one mind, Nate. There are always people who want something better and we should be happy for that. Even in this country. "Goodnight, Betsy. Nate. I hope we win. And I hope we win without too much horror for the Genoshans." With that she is off too.

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