Those Sticky Particulars

June 14, 2017:

Scott Summers and Phil Coulson butt heads over the X-Men's designs on Genosha. Rogue and Emma Frost weigh in. The meeting falls apart rather spectacularly.

The parking lot at Yankee Stadium.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Darcy Lewis

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Cyclops asked for Rogue to accompany him on this little adventure, it's not a date exactly, she is the only one around he knows who will appreciate the tickets he has. He wouldn't bring Logan, none of the others are currently present, the next best thing to a guy friend? Rogue. That isn't the sole purpose for their presence here this night though, it's a neutral territory of sorts somewhere they can knock out two birds in one stone.

Messages have been received, replies have been sent. Now they stand in that open lot, waiting. It's growing dark but its still light enough to see a distance, skies are clear, street lamps are everywhere. Scott's deep blue and silver Corvette Stingray is parked just to the side of a Malibu.

The tall X-Men's leader stands with hands shoved in to jean pockets, a loose outer shirt and those ever present red shades. He's not dressed to slay anything, women or otherwise.

Phil Coulson pulls up in a flashy red convertable. He is wearing a sharp-cut blue suit that radiates authority. He parks behind the Corvette Stingray, feeds the meter, and comes striding over to the two waiting X-Men. "Mr. Summers, Miss Carlyle," he says, as he comes walking up. "Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. I'm Agent Phil Coulson. I'm Agent Lewis' supervisor, and she filled me in, just a bit, on some of the things you'd like to get done."

He draws to a stop across from them, his features falling into their habitual Cheshire Cat smile.

Sometimes, it should be noted, the Agent radiates a low key air that makes him seem like Phil from Accounting. This time, though, he radiates Agent, and high-ranking Agent at that. Someone with authority, someone who expects to act on the information he learns here, one way, or another.

"I look forward to gaining some clarity here."

Rogue was sitting inside the passenger's seat of Scott's car and she was on her phone, her gloves were in her lap and she was texting. "See… Ah used t'go out on Friday nights an break inta places that I scouted out as criminal warehouses? Then Ah'd steal a buncha their shit an' take it ove'ah t'China town where the vendors there'd give me fat wads'a cash. Afte'ah that, Ah'd hit up the fight clubs that are down in the sewers? That is tons'a fun. Ya might think not at first, cause there's a lotta drugs an' shit going down, but once ya see the fights themselves… an' start throwin' down bets on'em, it really draws ya in." Rogue's World.

Rogue was about to say some more when the red car pulled up and the guy inside it knew her name. She then sat her phone down onto her lap which was encased in denim shortshorts, she turned around to look at the man and then lowered her head down to the open window doorframe and she just sat her chin down on it and smiled nice and big at Phil.

"Well heya there, Mistah." She said to him in a flirtatious sort've way. "Ah like your ride." The rest of what Phil said didn't seem to matter too much to the southern belle.

And Emma Frost isn't long behind, although she doesn't drive herself. She slips from the backseat of a non-descript black sedan with tinted windows, the car pulling up a small distance away. She's surprisingly casual, for her, in a thin and fitted long-sleeved white shirt with a scandalous keyhole neckline and the shoulders cut out and a pair of fitted acid-washed couture jeans that hang low on her hips.

There's a quick check in the car's side mirror to perfect the arrangement of blonde curls that hang loose over her shoulders and the application of mauve lipstick, before she starts her swaying walk towards the gathering and leaves her driver behind.

"You are a menace." That had been a line several times tonight from Scott as Rogue told him about her adventures while younger and more Brotherhood than X-Men material. Grown and aged now he assumes she's the sort who sets a good examples for their students, not showing them how to better get away with being 'trouble'.

Scott held a grin throughout it though. A small thing that was barely noticeable but it was there. It only faded at the headlights of Agent Coulson's convertible.

Manners on his side Scott actually offers Phil his hand. "We were in the neighborhood." A tease. Light humor to break some of the atmosphere's levity. The official nature of the SHIELD Agent naturally inspires such things.

Rogue's flirty tone gets no acknowledgment from Scott as she fires it at the man. Also, nature inspired. Rogue is who she is. It's the click of Emma's heels that draw Scott's focus away from Coulson, no greeting yet for Emma just a look of appreciative acknowledgement.

"Right, clarity."

Phil shakes Scott's hand with full equinamity. He also smiles a little to Rogue. Well, complimenting his car earns points. "The lady has good taste," he says, game to flirt harmlessly back, just a little bit.

He glances over at Emma's arrival. "Ms. Frost," he says, by way of greeting, and that's pretty much that…it's neutral and gives away very little at all.

Then again, routinely, Phil gives away nothing at all.

He returns his attention primarily to Scott. "Agent Lewis said you intend to move on Genosha. She is very passionate about your cause, and I of course agree that freeing slaves is a worthy event. However, I would really like it if you could walk me through the plan step-by-step. SHIELD resources have been requested, and Agent Lewis wasn't very clear on just what, precisely, you intend to do. It's my responsibility to make sure those resources are used wisely and correctly. I appreciate you meeting me on such short notice so that I may understand just what it is that SHIELD is being asked to do here, and how the X-men intend to proceed."

Rogue would be sure not to mention to Scott that she went out and did the Fight Club Night about three Fridays ago…

At Phil's response to her greeting she just grinned at him from where she was seated inside the car all scooted down so that her chin was just resting on the window-sill. "Darn right Ah do." She replied playfully back to the SHIELD Agent as he spoke to Scottacular.

When Emma arrived, Rogue's chin tipped and her head turned to look at the beauty and she just did what she does… and wolf whistled at Emma. "Nobody said that Pure Hotness was gonna be here t'night. Now I feel threatened or somethin'." She grinned at Emma, having met her before though it had been some time. Rogue's right bare hand came up and she waved it from inside the car at the other lady.

Emma's lips curl into a secretive smile for Scott's acknowledgment of her presence, but little more. There's a glance in Phil's direction as Emma gently corrects as she draws up along side the gathering without deciding any one side to draw nearer to. "Miss Frost. But, hello, Agent Coulson." And Rogue? She gets th reappearance of a smile as Emma chuckles. "And hello, again, to you, too."

A firm curt handshake with no awkwardness to it as Scott's hand is retracted and shoved back in to his pockets, "Most the time, yes she does." The shaded mutant says with a dry tone. He is of course joking with Rogue but it's not always in Scott's ability to convey this. He's just that flat often enough.

"Miss Frost." Scott offers.

"I'll cut to it as, everyone here is already of course aware." Scott pauses, wetting his lips before speaking, a muscle in his jaw bouncing, "This is beyond just freeing the slaves of Genosha. We are going to stage a coup. The step-by-step of it is we want to topple their government, my team and I are going to infiltrate. We have methods of doing as much, I don't need to tell you all of them exactly, we're allowed our secrets but, very soon several of us, volunteers, myself included will be submitting ourselves to Genosha. We're going in and from the inside out we're going to peel them apart, replace one of their figureheads and establish a covert vanguard. When the time comes we need your people's assistance in getting out, a distraction and eventually… we're going to step out fully and hand it to SHIELD. At least as far as we can."

Break.

"I know you cannot exactly invade them but I am sure you have your methods of control in something like this. I don't care what they are, I don't want to know. Just as I am not giving you specifics. It sounds very cut and go but I assure you, we have been preparing for this for some time now."

"Upon agreement of your assistance I will forward you more intel. Everything we have on Genosha I will hand over. You will see we are justified in this." Scott sounds like a very convicted man. A person who is set with only one direction in mind.

"Soooo," Phil says slowly.

"Step one…get captured and become mutant slaves, which somehow translates to you replacing one of their figureheads. Step two…question-mark, question-mark, question-mark. Step three…SHIELD comes in and cleans up the mess, up to and including filling the power vacuum you and your people just created? Is that the plan I'm hearing?"

Yeah. Agent Coulson has some misgivings. There's no flirtation now, nothing but dark-eyed focus. "Have you considered the ramifications of an independent American group simply waltzing into another nation and staging a coup? Have you considered the potential blowback for mutants and metas in terms of public sentiment right here in the United States? Have you considered the fact that you and your people are going to 'submit' yourself to a government that has been very successful at holding mutants in bondage, with very few escapes or rescues? You thought you'd just…rely on my people for a rescue plan? Agent Lewis sure didn't bring that one up at the briefing."

His frown is severe. "Just when did you think you were going to launch this?"

Rogue stared at Emma for a few moments longer while the business stuff was talked about, but when Phil sounded less than enthused about Scott's plans she rolled her chin and tilted her head and looked back to both the boys.

"See… Ah didn't think it made much sense, neithe'ah. But… Scott says its for a good cause, and if thats the case, then I believe'im an' will do my part t'make it all work." She sat up in her seat then and picked her phone up off of her lap.

"Sides, ain't no damn cage gonna hold me if Ah don't want it too." Rogue put her green eyes back down onto her smart phone and went back to tapping away at it.

Cyclops certainly has a reply brewing in his mind to Agent Coulson's barrage of criticism, but Emma interjects herself as her own congeniality evaporates. One espadrille wrapped foot pops up a heel as the woman digests criticism. It's when Rogue cites her own stifled concerns that one sculpted eyebrow lifts a degree. "I don't think anyone is arguing the merit of the cause," she says, speaking past the men to her fellow female but certainly loudly enough to be heard by them without trouble. Speaks to Rogue, but watches and assesses the two leaders. "Liberating slaves is rather the gold standard for noble causes. It's a matter of the short-term and long-term particulars."

"In a nutshell, yes. We're giving you that opportunity before any other party seizes it." Scott replies, matching Coulson's own intensity. "I have considered the fallout and possible scenarios to a good extent. Quite frankly my real concerns are limited there, a certain level of apathy after exposure a year ago has done little to cease Genoshan activities. If anything they're worse now. Time for someone to step up to the plate and swing." Bad baseball humor, they are standing outside Yankee Stadium after all.

"Also, Agent Coulson, we're not an American group we're a mutant group. Many of the team is not even from 'this' world you can easily disavow us. And submit? I never said we would submit. Infiltrate. By any means we have available to us. As capable as they are of holding mutants in bondage we are just as capable in breaking them free. "

"You're are the contingency plan of escape yes. The other option is a lot more… unstable and likely to bring more harm than good."

As Rogue expresses her own doubt at Scott's plans he offers, a dry "Thanks, trouble." Emma's own words reaching him of course, he is very much listening to everything each one of them has to say right now. Yes, the particulars. That's where the real meat is, right?

"I'm sorry, Mr. Summers, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this," Phil says, shaking his head. "In my world, 'capture' is what happens when things have gone wrong. It's not the playbook. SHIELD is not apathetic, we've had people on the ground all this time. The reason we haven't moved yet is we've seen no reasonable way to move. And I think you are vastly underestimating how good they are at holding mutantkind. If they were any worse at it, they'd have a revolt on their hands and the whole place would be a mutant haven by now."

He crosses his arms. "Why now, Summers? Why right now? What's created this sudden urgency?"

He'll let Emma talk to Rogue, barely sparing her a glance for the moment, though it would be foolish to assume he is not absorbing every word and every nuance of every person here.

Rogue just remained in the car, but her arms came up to fold onto the doorframe since the window was fully rolled down. She listened to Emma's words and frowned a little, nobody had actually told her slaves were involved. She'd heard bits and pieces of things, but in her own words 'Nobody tells me nothing!' … which may or may not be true, she has a lot of memory retention issues. "Somebody's gotta step up. For the poor people there who can't do it themselves, or are waiting for a good moment t'strike. Ah like t'think we can be that moment, that spark to start the fire…" She muttered.

"There are different ways to step up, I think, is Agent Coulson's point," Emma gently offers back. And then, she jumps right into the thick of it, unapologetic. "But, to my genetic compatriots' credit, they also have a legitimate concern that our kind have been waiting a very long time already for help that has yet to come. The desire to put an end to the waiting is, you must admit, entirely understandable."

Crystalline eyes turn to the SHIELD agent then, Frost tilting her head gently to one side. "And who can argue with an inspirational coup?" And then the blonde turns her attention back to Scott as she smiles. Encouragingly. See? So supportive! …until… "I just wonder if there isn't a way to empower the native population for revolt without jeopardizing your own people… who may or may not have experience with this sort of thing."

A pause. A charitable, but dubious, glance in Rogue's direction.

"We run on different playing fields, Agent." Cyclops replies, "I mention enough in this to let you in, to show you the doorway. The X-Men are trying to keep that door open for SHIELD, maintain open transparency where we can manage and I'm not honestly here to discuss the 'particulars' or the tactics involved with you. For starters I doubt you have the experience we have with Genosha and you are clearly already underestimating my team. We get results. We always have. We save lives, human and mutant-alike. We've been at this for a while and know damn well what we're doing." At least most of them. He isn't about to openly admit there are rookies involved in this.

Scott's shoulders square back and he straightens up, a thoughtful look, rifling through a pocket he thumbs open his cellphone, depresses his thumb to an X-Men app and flips open a picture, an Atlantean in a med-tube, human machinery having opened it's body up, Genoshan scientists surrounding the tank. "This will inspire some urgency in you. What was it, clarity? Take a look. This was discovered after my plans to go in to Genosha and it only encourages we act sooner than King Arthur his armies discover they're losing their people to Genosha as well, do you think he won't drop the ocean on them? That's invitation to World War III."

A thumbswipe and the single picture closes. "I would rather not see that. I think Genosha has been prepping for something massive, they have increased their production of Sentinels and are in a heavy push on their slaves, our sympathizes inside say its getting worse, they're cracking down, tightening the noose. If they snuff out what remains inside NOW, we lose all traction. We're set back two years of progress. It's now or never. This week we move."

Scott's smile to Emma is shortlived but it appears as he speaks, "That was what the Professor was attempting and they took a hit out on him." This harkens back to a previous conversation the two of them had, why her? Right there is an example.

Phil Coulson's eyebrow ticks up as Scott starts going on about experience. He gets a smile on his face. It's one he often gets. It gives away very little. He gazes at the intelligence, and his expression fails to give away whether it's anything he's seen before or not. Phil is very good at not giving away anything when he doesn't wish to.

He is rather placid as Scott lays out the why now, and the rapid timeline. "Those are good reasons for the urgency," he agrees. "But I'm failing to understand how you think SHIELD can play a meaningful role in your team's efforts if you are unwilling to discuss the particulars. You say you want to hand things over to SHIELD when all is said and done, 'as much as you can'. I'm going to need more than that. Without a full outline of the plan objectives, the risk and reward assessment, the alternative plans you've considered…" he spreads his hands.

"We've been given very little time to respond here, and you're unwilling to share the details unless I commit fully to supporting you. That puts me in a bit of a bind, as someone who is responsible for his own people. I have both metas and humans to look out for on my own team, and I'm no fan of wasting lives. 'We're really really good at what we do, just trust us' isn't going to cut it if you want us to send our people in. Going about this the wrong way and failing to consider alternatives could spark WWIII, as you put it, just as easily as doing nothing at all."

Rogue listened to both the boys and she shook her head at it all. "This seems like a weird place t'just spill all the beans on how we plan to upturn a government and free its enslaved population." Rogue pointed out of the car window toward a bit of trash a few parking spots over. "Ah mean, Ah think somebody puked in that hotdog bag at yesterdays ballgame and ain't nobody even has come along t'clean it up yet!" She threw her hands up in the air.

"Shouldn't this meetin' be more geared toward just agreeing that we want t'help the people out, then we go someplace a little more… professional… and… secure, t'talk out all the hot details?"

Rogue glanced over at Emma, then back to the guys, then she sat back in the car and picked her phone up. "I'll shutup." She muttered, now staring at her phone.

"No one suggested that, darling," Emma continues, although her expression is more readily considered neutral than apologetic. Arms cross under her breasts, and the telepath shifts her weight from one wedge-lifted foot to the other. "At the end of the day, Mister Summers, you know I said I'd help. And I stand by that promise." For whatever that's worth, coming out of the mouth of the infamous Daughter of House Frost.

"If we want to stay here, I can ensure it's quiet enough. If we want to adjourn, I've a bottle of claret at home who misses me very dearly." Emma shrugs. "I defer to the gentlemen gathered."

"Perhaps I was being overly optimistic." Scott states. "I'm also not a very good salesman. If particulars and full disclosure are required we're at a dead end. I cannot give more than I have."

"So no hotdogs for you when we get in to the stadium, huh? That what you're saying?" A lopsided smile gifted to Rogue as she continues to sit inside the Corvette Stingray

"I appreciate the time you've taken out of your schedule, Agent Coulson. I figure, if you're so inclined you'll be watching Genosha closely, ready and primed within the next two weeks, otherwise, it might be best to just look the other direction."

Emma Frost gets her own smile, "Miss Frost, we'll be in touch. I'd invite you in with us but you don't strike me as the beer, peanuts and jumbotron sort of lady."

"Agent Coulson, you have a great night, sir."

Scott is walking off now, looking over his shoulder to click the locks on the car up and down as if that will chase Rogue free so she'll join him. He still has tickets that need used up tonight! Baseball might be much less boring to her than watching Scott and Phil bump chests.

Phil glances at Rogue. He's inclined to agree, about the location.

And then Scott is just walking off. Surprise flickers over his features. He gives a half shake of his head.

A grim look comes over his face. It's the look he always gets when he has to make some hard decisions. "I hope you're right, Summers," he says, turning back towards Lola. "But you're going to have to be right without SHIELD support. I'm pulling my people out of there. I don't do anything blind, least of all major operations like this. I hope you can live with the results of your decisions."

"Ma'am," he says to Rogue, as he passes. "If you don't like the plan either? I suggest you fight a little harder for a better one."

He glances at Emma, giving her a long look. "Miss Frost."

And then he's opening his car door.

Rogue looked over at Emma when she talked about the alcohol back at her place. "I'm inclined t'go with YOU, lady." She told the fancy rich woman. But when Scott basically 'jingled his keys' at her to get her to move like the family pet, she… okay, well, she jumped out of the car and shut the door and went after him.

In short jean shorts, with a flannel shirt tied off at her waist, a green tanktop beneath that and some flipflops on her feet (gloves on her hands of course) Rogue groaned at Scott.

"You're doin' this WHOLE THING WRONG." She told him, catching up with him. "We're supposed t'get hammered here in the parkin' lot on cheap beer, then go inta the game and nurse their supe'ah expensive ones to keep the buzz goin'!" Rogue groaned audibly and looked back to Phil then, she waved at him with wiggling fingers.

"Love your car, sugah!" She said all flirty like before turning back to Scott. "Who taught you how to 'game' anyway?" She added all huffily.

Hot dogs and beer and… ugh. Scott's almost invitation earns him a tight smile. "No, you two have a wonderful time. I'll wait to hear." He may have her pegged correctly there, at least, as Emma is more than willing to let Rogue and her leader enjoy that culinary delight without her.

She catches the long look from Phil, and returns it with a small smile that pull unevenly. "And a lovely evening to you, Agent Coulson." Because this is what lovely evenings are made of: dreams of coups yet to be.

She considers him for a moment longer, and then simply turns and makes her way back to her sedan and its driver, fif perhaps a little more aware of the litter on the ground.

"Roger that." Scott's only reply to Phil as the man declares zero SHIELD support status. They'll make due. It's not the first sortie the X-Men have had without any kind of assistance and it won't be the last. Though, there is one card up his sleeve still. A hand not fully played in this. One he's still unsure he'll even consider further.

"I am? Thats kind of illegal isn't it?" Ironic of a question to ask right now. "I brought you on this date, I'm paying. Just drink whatever."

"Game? Ball or… ball?" Scott thrusts both hands in to the pockets of his jeans as they make way for the stadium, "I had a father once… " Coy or naive with him, its hard to tell as his tone doesn't go through many variances. He's just Scott.

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