(Not) Wanting to be a Hero

September 10, 2017:

Lorna meets Nate at the X-Bunker for catching up and trying to explain what she is looking for

X-Bunker

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Cyclops Phoenix

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

The so-called X-Bunker is no longer busy all the time now the Genosha War is over. On the other hand the upside of Xavier's grounds is now pretty full of kids returning for the new school year.

Since Nate is not a teacher or a student, he prefers spend his time at Xavier's here. Training or resting. Currently training - although he is not in the Danger Room, but in a small firing range at a corner of the bunker. There was a time he was fairly proficient with firearms, but that was when he was a teenager and he wasn't allowed to use his powers much. He is pretty rusty nowadays.

*

Lorna came down, still unaware exactly of what had been going on in the field. Rogue certainly hadn't told her and she'd been left to flit about the mansion and go on her own trips into the city for her own amusement. It was an odd place to be, having been gone for years and returning changed. Her hair was shorter, and she dressed like some punk rocker with steel toed boots, and other metallic jewelery.

Still, she found comfort in the electronic hum and tech that covered the sub-basements. A wondering walk that took her through various rooms followed, she wasn't quite up to the point that she wanted to train in anything particular.. but the sound of someone else down here drew her. A curious tilt of her eyebrows pulled at her expression as she waited to see whoever it was that was at the firing range.

Her gaze following to the targets opposite.

*

There are muffled sounds of gunshots, definitely. The bunker has thick walls, but high caliber handguns make a fair bit of noise. Although they stop when she shows up at the door, the young man turning as if he felt her presence and giving her a quizzical glance. "Love that hair," he states with a faint smirk.

He is pretty tall, early twenties, the long auburn hair with a white stripe. Not exactly normal either. The X-Men outfit in grey and black lacks labels but for the golden X at his belt. "Hey, I am Nate. Had not seen you before. New recruit or a returning student?"

*

Lorna stepped further into the room once the firing stopped. She knew better than to walk onto an active range. Even if she could deflect a good amount of the bullets if she wanted to. Her lips twitched faintly into a dry smile, and her hands shoved into her pockets as she came forward. She stopped a polite distance to him. "Thanks.. And I'm returning." She took her hand out of her pocket, holding it out on offer.

"I'm Lorna. Nice to meet you. What about yourself? I don't think you were here when I was here last.."

*

Nate puts the gun aside and moves forward to shake Lorna's hand. "I have been around about three years, as an X-Man, although with some gaps here and there. And I don't really live here often. I have been here the past few months because of the Genosha operation." So if she was a student a couple years ago it is possible they never met. Nate is fairly sure he would remember the green hair.

But after the Omega Shift almost anything is possible.

*

Lorna shook his hand and nodded, "Well it would seem we just missed each other. I left a little while after I graduated and went out West to be with my folks. Go to university. All that stuff." She shrugged lightly.

"You know, spending the whole of my time trying to figure out who I am and everything. Like people are supposed to whenever they hit that magical age when you're suddenly supposed to be an adult and stuff." She grinned, but it faded after a moment.

"..Rogue said shit had hit the fan. Told me to talk to Scott. But I haven't seen him around.."

*

Nate could say a few things about the figuring out part, but the comment about Rogue's words makes him frown. "Scott… yeah. He probably already has the mission logs written," the question is if Lorna has clearance to access those. "Genosha was three months of intense training and just three days of fighting, but has left a lot of people exhausted or scarred." And unwilling to talk about it. Nate included.

*

Lorna exhaled a breath, shooting Nate a look. "Rogue said people died. A lot of 'em from her tone of voice." She arched a brow and looked away. "I feel pretty horrible about having gone off to play at being normal and figuring out things … if that's the case. I should've been here." She grumbled and folded her arms.

"I guess I'll have to bother Summers after all." She murmured and shrugged with a small rise and fall of her shoulders.

"So." Her gaze went to the firing range. "Guns your thing?"

*

Nate pales a bit about the dying comment, but then shakes his head. Definitely ignoring the first issue, he glances at the handgun. "Guns? As much as anyone's thing. I am usually at the wrong side of them. But in Genosha I got my powers neutralized for a few minutes and found myself wishing I had a backup weapon. So I am here… hmm, refreshing old skills I learned when I was a kid." He gestures at the handgun and it levitates a few feet off the table. His left eye pulses golden briefly, and the handgun slowly dissembles in pieces. "I am telekinetic. And yourself?"

*

Lorna nodded briefly, "I've never liked them, personally. Might be the noise or just what they represent, you know? I just never cared for guns all that much. Still.. I get that whole thing with your powers going down.. That's a good reason to pick 'em up." She murmured, falling silent as he levitated the gun off the table. She hesitated for a brief moment. The same sensitivity that she'd had for years rearing it's ugly head in regards to her powers.

"Magnokinetic." She murmured, and reached up a hand, and the other bits of metal that dotted the shooting range—from fallen bullets to loose screws, lifted up into the air and did a little dance around them before settling back on the ground.

*

The gun reassembles with a quiet click and Nate glances at the dancing bullets for a few instants. "Nice. So I guess guns are not much of a threat to you." He picks up the handgun, though, because he needs to put it back into the armory. "No one uses them much here, even those who lack ranged powers and really should to have a backup. I guess it goes against American super-hero traditions or something."

*

Lorna shrugged, "Yeah, so long as no one goes around trying to use something weird. Guns really don't mean much in terms of threats. Really a pain in the ass though when I fry my phone 'cause I'm over tired and not being careful." She watched as he reassembled the gun.

"Must be nice though to be able to affect everything in a hands free way. You've got some pretty good control there." She added after a moment's thought. As he continued on about the lack of guns being used she nodded.

"Yeah, well, I'm more of leaning toward the use what will make sure you're not dead at the end of the day. And less on playing hero now a days. If it saves your life? Worth it."

*

"I am getting better," replies Nate, checking the handgun to make sure he got it right. "Still way behind Jean in finesse, though." He heads out, but waits for Lorna to catch up. "Agreed on the rest. More Kevlar and less spandex, hmm? Or steel for you? I am surprised how few people here wear good armor. Are you going to join the fighting team or just the faculty?"

*

Lorna followed along, her hands shoved once more into her pockets. "Almost everyone is behind Jean in finesse is practically everything. So don't feel too bad about that." She offered lightly, and shrugged as she walked.

"Yeah, armor would be better. Though I dunno how well it would help people that can't magnetize it to their forms. It doesn't slow me down or anything. So I guess it could be more trouble for those that can't.." She mused, green eyes flickering back to him. "Well any iron-based alloy could do the trick. There's a surprisingly high number of the stronger alloys out there that contain trace components. Even the rarer metals have it."

As they walked down the hall though, his last question caught her by surprise. "Well.. I.. hmm, I dunno. I wasn't even sure if I wanted to stay a few days ago. I've spent the better part of a year running around. Trying to keep up with my college classes." She exhaled a breath, "I don't think I'd be any good as a teacher. I'm not patient and I have the bad luck of being terrible at herding cats. Much less teenagers with mutant powers."

*

"Rogue manages, somehow," comments Nate with a smirk. Because, really, few have a fiercer temper than the Southern woman and somehow she made it to teacher. "And maybe I should see if I am up to Rachel's level of finesse, because yeah, Jean is years ahead."

The young man leaves the handgun in a closet with other conventional weapons, making sure the door is locked. "Things should be more normal now. I doubt Cyke has plans to get the X-Men into more serious trouble until he is sure everyone has recovered. Then again sometimes trouble comes here."

*

Lorna shrugged as she followed along, "More power to her. I came in when she was cleaning up after a pool party. I suck at that kind of thing and I have zero interest in trying it." She shook her head. Her gaze flickered briefly over all the various weapons in the stash but she didn't say anything. Even as they continued on.

"Trouble always shows up, especially when you're trying to avoid it." She offered up simply, her gaze lifting to the ceiling. "Isn't that how that always works? You try to keep a low profile. Try to just live your life.. and something or somebody comes in and smashes that all up."

*

Nate chuckles when he hears about the pool party cleaning. Yeah, he misses having the pool just for the X-Men. Damn kids. On the other hand, "I never tried low-profile," he admits. Would that reduce the smashing problems? Probably not.

"We did have a long period of peace before Summer, though. The Purifiers are illegal now, and the Brotherhood did little until an incident in June. I never knew what was it about," he comments. "Still, Xavier's is not for people wanting low-profile. So if you are staying you better start hitting the Danger Room."

*

An answering smirk pulled at her expression as he chuckled. "Surprisingly easy for my power set to do low profile. Unlock doors, wipe camera footage, data, start cars…" She shrugged lightly, "I never have to touch a thing either, so no finger prints." She wiggled her fingers as if it meant something and continued to walk along side him. She fell silent for a long moment, considering.

"It's not as if I spent my whole time out of here doing homework and sitting around." She paused her lips twisting faintly into a grimace. "..It was less about wanting low-profile and more of.. not exactly knowing what I wanted to do with myself. I guess. This place still felt like home enough for me to come back to it.. I guess."

*

Nate grunts. After hiding for so long in his world he is not eager to do 'low-profile' living again. The DEO did nothing after the incident with the Suicide Squad, he is not officially wanted and if he is being watched, he was being watched before for sure.

"So you came here to figure out what you want to do with your life?" He laughs. "But you know very well what Xavier is going to tell you. Stay, be a hero, protect and teach the children. Seems to me you have already decided and just need to the X-stamp of approval."

*

Lorna exhaled a breath, "I don't want to be a hero. I don't feel particularly heroic." She pursed her lips and shuffled her feet with each step as she walked along side Nate. Her gaze held up toward the ceiling in thought. "So, the Professor can spout off all kinds of cliches and inspirational quotes, and I know he means them. Which is all well and good.. but I don't entirely believe them anymore. Not like I used to."

She fell silent for a time and when she spoke next, her voice was soft. "But then again I don't really know what else to do. And I don't like the alternatives on offer either."

*

Nate leads Lorna up, towards the main floor of the mansion. Looking for more people, or maybe looking for coffee. "Not sure what you mean, Lorna. You have all the alternatives. You can keep going to college and try to live a normal life. Low-profile is still an option. At least the law says it is." He sneers, as his faith in the law and the US government is an all time low. "Keep in touch, though, for protection," he adds. "You could, I guess, try the Justice League. But no… no if you don't want to be a hero. Maybe join SHIELD. We have a couple SHIELD agents in the team. I would avoid working for the government like the plague, though. The DEO is as corrupt as always," obvious bitterness there.

*

Loran snorted lightly, "There's no way in hell that I want to work for the government. If they even knew I existed, they'd be all over using me. Either as a lab-rat for my DNA, or something along those lines. I'm sure they'd be more than happy to use me for my powers too. Not a government in the world that wouldn't want me for that." She exhaled a breath, shaking her head. Green eyes narrowing faintly as she glanced back to Nate.

"I want to help, really I do. But the second that anyone high profile gets wind of what I can do? Think about it. There's only one other alpha level mangokinetic on this planet thus far. And people have strong feelings about him either way."

*

"Pretty sure there are a lot of people with magnetic powers, Lorna," points out Nate. "I suppose no one is as infamous as Magneto, but…" he handwaves. "Go around saying you can control metal instead of magnetic fields? Not that the government assholes won't try to put a bomb in your head and force to work for them. But that is why you stay in touch with us, or with the League, hmm?"

*

A small rise and fall of Lorna's shoulders followed, "Yeah, sure." Her voice half muttered as she walked along side him. "I could always claim I'm a metal bender. I'll just spend my time looking for the Avatar, master of all four elements so I can train him to overthrow the fire Lord, shall I?" She teased lightly. But there was a mountain of things unsaid there. Even under the joking tone and laughter in her voice.

"Besides, I'm pretty sure if they put a chip in my head, my powers would fry it the second I woke up." She sobered with that sentence, glancing back to Nate. "And that is why I came back.. that whole worried panic about things.. Stuff.. I'm sure I could handle it on my own." She added after a moment's thought.

*

Nate honestly doesn't know much about cartoons or a lot of pop culture, despite four or five years living in modern America. Nothing about Avatars, at least. The rest of Lorna's comments make him give her an assessing glance. "Good. Still, nothing wrong with checking out with the old man, right? I am going to grab some coffee and lunch. If I see Cyke today I'll tell him about you. See you soon, hmm?"

*

Lorna smiled weakly, dragging a hand through her hair. "Yeah, sounds good. I'll be around. It was nice meeting you, Nate." She offered him a two fingered salute, before turning and wandering further off into the mansion. Doing her best to avoid knocking into the more excitable younger kids that populated the main floor.

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